Sporting Kaw Valley has made an exciting addition to their coaching staff. Former Sporting KC midfielder and Grenada international Craig Rocastle is the newest member of Sporting Kaw Valley’s premier coaching staff and will fulfill a variety of roles within the club. Rocastle currently holds a National “C” Coaching License and will now serve as an Assistant Age Group Director in their Premier Division.
"Rocastle will bring with him a wealth of individual soccer related knowledge and experience," said Marcus Dudley, Sporting Kaw Valley’s Executive Director. "He truly understands what we're trying to build here at Sporting Kaw Valley.”
Sporting Kaw Valley partnered with Sporting Kansas City through the Sporting Club Network as an Academy Affiliate in 2013. Sporting Kaw Valley is dedicated to providing opportunities for fun and development in a family-friendly environment. Their goal is to enable youth players to enjoy the game of soccer, while realizing their full potential as a player. Today, they serve more than 2,200 players between the ages of 3-19, primarily in the Lawrence and Topeka areas.
To read more about this announcement, please click here. To stay informed on all things Sporting Club Network, follow the SCN on Twitter & like them on Facebook.
Homegrown goalkeeper Jon Kempin started for the United States Under-21 Men's National Team on Wednesday in a 2-1 victory against Club Tijuana (MEX) Under-20's at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. The 21-year-old Leawood, Kan. native kept a clean sheet for the opening 45 minutes before head coach Tab Ramos made mass changes at halftime and Kempin was replaced by Kendall McIntosh for the second half.
Wednesday's scrimmage was the highlight of the training camp, the first for the U.S. U21's with an eye toward qualifying for the 2016 Summer Olympics. Kempin now returns to OKC Energy FC ahead of their home opener against Orlando City SC on Saturday. Kempin has started three games during the team's inaugural USL PRO season with one shutout and 10 saves, and was named an honorable mention on the USL PRO Team of the Week yesterday.
The Sporting Club Network is happy to announce two additional tour stops added to this spring’s #MLSCupTour of the Midwest.
Later today, the Cup will be making an appearance at the Sporting Blue Valley Benefit Game at the Overland Park Soccer Complex from 7-8:30 p.m. CT. Each spring, Sporting Blue Valley holds this annual benefit game where the premier coaches play one of the top teams in the club to raise money for the Sporting Blue Valley Scholarship Fund. Admission is free to the game with donations highly encouraged. The event is open to the public and fans are invited to stop by and support the local community while also having the opportunity to take their picture with the MLS Cup and see Sporting KC players, Matt Besler and Chance Myers. The Cup will be on display by the Fieldhouse pavilion near Field 1 where the exhibition game will be played.
On Tuesday, April 29th the Cup will continue its trek across the Midwest, as it will be taken to Columbia, Mo. for a Sporting Club Network Mini Clinic in conjunction with Sporting Columbia SC. The clinic will be taking place at Pride Park from 5:30-7 p.m. CT and the Cup will be on display for pictures. All are welcome to come take a picture with the Cup during this time!
For other MLS Cup Tour dates and locations, click here and to follow all of the adventures of the Cup, visit the Tour Storify page and include #MLSCupTour for your chance to be featured! Beyond that, be sure to follow the Sporting Club Network on Facebook and Twitter.
Since scoring the team's first goal of the year, homegrown defender Kevin Ellis has been in the spotlight for Sporting Kansas City throughout the opening month of the 2014 season. The Kansas City native and Sporting KC Academy product has started five games across all competition in 2014 and on Saturday, was featured in the Sporting Park videoboad series "Two Lies and a Truth" presented by The Parking Spot.
Take the test by watching the video below and for more, check out previous episodes quizzing fellow defenders Matt Besler and Aurelien Collin.
In August of 2013, during the Academy Affiliate Weekend, the Sporting Club Network named the very first Academy Affiliate All-Star Team with representatives from over seven different cities throughout the Midwest. During their time in Kansas City, this select group of young players received training from SKC senior team coaches at the team's training facility and competed in an exhibition game against Sporting KC's very own U14 Academy team.
With the success of the first Academy Affiliate All-Star Team, the program has been expanded in 2014. Now, the Sporting Club Network hosts two Academy Affiliate All-Star Experiences each year with the first one having taken place in late March. Eight Academy Affiliate clubs had the opportunity to select their top U14 and U12 male players to take part in this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Over 40 All-Stars were selected from over 10 major Midwestern cities to come to Kansas City to participate in a unique and exclusive opportunity.
To view pictures from the 2014 Spring Academy Affiliate All-Star Experience and learn about what these players got to be a part of, view the Storify below. Additionally, to stay up to date on all things Sporting Club Network, be sure to follow them on Twitter (@SportingKC_SCN) and like them on Facebook.
This weekend marks the start of the Spring Academy Affiliate All-Star Experience, hosted by the Sporting Club Network. Over the course of this weekend, players from eight of the nine SCN Academy Affiliate clubs will be represented as they train at Swope Soccer Village under the guidance of the Sporting KC Academy coaching staff, which has recently made some significant additions to their team. In addition to experiencing training at the same facilities as SKC’s Academy and senior teams, these players will even get a chance to compete against the Sporting Kansas City Academy teams in a series of exhibition games Sunday morning.
These U12 and U14 Academy Affiliate All-Star teams will be drawing players from over 10 major cities throughout the Midwest, spanning as far as Nashville, Tenn. to Minneapolis, Minn. And if the training opportunities and a chance to test themselves against Sporting KC’s Academy players wasn’t enough, these two teams will get to have a number of special game day experiences as Sporting KC takes on San Jose Earthquakes tomorrow night.
Any and all Sporting Club Network members are invited to attend the exhibition games, which will be kicking off on the championship field of Swope Soccer Village at 9 a.m. (U14) and 10:30 a.m. (U12). And as these players compete on the field, all fans in attendance will have the opportunity to take their picture with the MLS Cup, as part of the SCN’s #MLSCupTour. It will be on display from 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. at the same location of the fields. Admission is free and open to public and games will be played on the Academy Champion Field in Swope Soccer Village.
We encourage everyone to come out, take a picture with the Cup, and support some of the best youth players from all over the Midwest. For additional MLS Cup Tour dates and locations, click here and to follow all of the adventures of the Cup, visit the Tour Storify page and include #MLSCupTour for your chance to be featured! Beyond that, be sure to follow the Sporting Club Network on Facebook and Twitter.
J.B. Marine Soccer Club of St. Louis, Missouri has officially joined forces with Sporting Kansas City and Sporting Club as the newest Academy Affiliate in the Sporting Club Network. Rebranded as Sporting J.B. Marine, they join Sporting StL Rangers and Sporting Columbia SC as the third Academy Affiliate in the state of Missouri and the Sporting Club Network’s seventh total Academy Affiliate.
"We're excited to welcome Sporting J.B. Marine as an Academy Affiliate and the first all-girls club in the Sporting Club Network," Sporting Kansas City Academy Director of Coaching Jon Parry said. "Their history of player development speaks for itself and their teams have represented our region at the highest levels."
Sporting J.B. Marine has produced players of the highest pedigree and the club has accounted for six of the eight national championships won by any girls program in the state of Missouri. They have also amassed an astounding 76 Missouri state championships, 22 regional championships and 17 Final Four appearances since being established in 1978.
Sporting J.B. Marine coaches will have the ability to take advantage of coaching lectures and premium coaching clinics at the Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City, Mo., as well as at other locations in the metropolitan area and throughout the Midwest. The partnership will also include numerous added benefits for exclusive access to Sporting Kansas City as an official Academy Affiliate.
In addition to becoming an Academy Affiliate in the Sporting Club Network, Sporting J.B. Marine has partnered with Sporting StL Rangers to provide even more opportunities to the coaches and players involved in their respective programs. Through this partnership, training, events, and other player opportunities can be provided to members more efficiently, economically, and productively for both players and their families. Both clubs are looking forward to working together and sharing resources to allow the area’s most qualified coaches and clinicians to continue producing the area’s most outstanding players.
Players that participate and compete through the Academy Affiliate program will be directly connected to Sporting Kansas City’s Academy and youth development initiatives. In turn, they will have the opportunity to gain experience while receiving heightened levels of training and development. Beyond this, all Sporting J.B. Marine players will now be invited to partake in the annual Academy Affiliate Tournament, an event that brings together some of the most competitive and talented youth soccer players from across the Midwest, all under the Sporting Club umbrella.