The Sporting Kansas City Academy Youth Development Program has experienced a highly successful history since being formed in 2007. The program currently consists of five teams: the U18, U16, U14, U13 and U12.
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 and Defender Erik Palmer-Brown signed in July 2013.
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. Two Sporting KC Academy teams have advanced to the USSDA playoffs with the U16s in 2011 and U18s in 2015. Visit the US Soccer Development Academy website for more information.
The U14, U13 and U12 teams also play in various US Youth Soccer competitions such as National League, Midwest Regional League and Heartland League. 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.
In 2016, Sporting KC Academy launched the Centers of Excellence for the U11 & U9 age groups. The Sporting KC COE is a supplemental training program with the aim to strengthen player's skill foundations and identifying players for SKC Academy teams.
If you have any questions, please email Academy@sportingkc.com.