Sporting Kansas City signs 18-year-old cancer patient to honorary contract

Sporting Kansas City announced Wednesday the signing of Kalen Ricketson, an 18-year-old battling osteosarcoma, to an honorary contract.

The symbolic signing was made possible through the Victory Project's Sporting Wishes initiative, which caters to youth who are diagnosed with a secondary cancer or relapse after treatment.

Osteosarcoma is a type of cancer that affects the bones.

Ricketson's signing comes ahead of SKC's rivalry match against Real Salt Lake at Children's Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas, on Sunday.

"We are very excited for Kalen to join our team as we prepare to face Real Salt Lake," SKC coach Peter Vermes said in a statement. "His tremendous courage and fighting spirit make him a great addition to our roster, and we look forward to sharing this great experience with him and all of our fans."

Since being diagnosed with bone cancer in December 2015, Ricketson has undergone 13 surgeries. His left arm was amputated between the shoulder and the elbow earlier this year.

Ricketson, from Stillwater, Oklahoma, had two lung surgeries this summer after learning his cancer had returned in July. He attended his first U.S. men's National Team match earlier this month.