Sporting Kansas City Academy

The Sporting Kansas City Academy Youth Development Program has experienced a highly successful history since being formed in 2007. The program currently consists of four teams: the U18s, U16s, U14s and U12s.

SKC academy players have the opportunity to eventually join the Sporting Kansas City first team without going through the MLS draft process. In late 2006, Major League Soccer announced an initiative that created a “Home Grown Protected List” for each team. Clubs now have the opportunity to retain the professional rights of players developed within its youth academy. Sporting KC immediately began investing significant resources in the identification and development of young players from the region.


The Sporting KC Academy has produced three players that were signed to the Sporting Kansas City Professional Team. Goalkeeper Jon Kempin signed in August 2010, Defender Kevin Ellis signed in February 2011, & Defender Erik Palmer-Brown signed in July 2013.

Several Sporting KC Academy players also continue to make college commitments for top soccer schools across the country, including Creighton, St. Louis University, North Carolina, Duke, Wake Forest, Southern Methodist, Ohio State, West Virginia, Virginia Tech and many more.

The academy program is fully funded, meaning the academy covers all costs for gear and traveling expenses. All home games are played at the teams’ Sporting Club Training Center in Swope Park. Sporting Kansas City and the SKC Academy also offer youth camps throughout the calendar year.


The U18, U16 & U14 teams play in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy. U.S. Soccer created the USSDA in 2007 to improve the everyday environment for the elite youth player. The USSDA is a partnership between U.S. Soccer and the top youth clubs around the country to provide the best youth players in the U.S. with an everyday environment designed to produce the next generation of U.S. National Team players. The Academy also connects National Team coaches directly with the Academy clubs to develop and identify players and coaches for future Youth National Teams. In 2011, our U16 team qualified for the USSDA playoffs in Frisco, TX. See the USSDA tab for more information.

The U14 and U12 teams also play in various US Youth Soccer competitions such as National League, Midwest Regional League, Heartland League and Midwest Regional League Pro Youth Affiliates Division. These competitions bring together the top teams, under the USYS umbrella, from the nation, region, local area, and regional MLS affiliate clubs. Visit the National League, MRL, and Heartland websites for more information.

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