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.
Sporting KC Academy midfielder Andrew Brown tallied two assists last night as Bradley University advanced to the second round of the NCAA men's soccer tournament with a 3-2 win over Northwestern.
The sophomore midfielder, from Overland Park, put Bradley ahead 2-1 when Wojciech Wojcik headed home his corner kick in the 27th minute. Northwestern leveled the match late in the second half, but Wojcik's header off a Brown long ball in the seventh minute of overtime pushed the Braves to the second round of the tournament for the third time in school history.
Bradley will now take travel to the west coast to take on the University of California - Berkeley. The two teams will square off Sunday at 3:30 p.m. CT.
UMKC forward Jordan Rideout (Courtesy: UMKC Athletics/MSH Photography)
College soccer programs across the country are into the postseason stages and more than 30 Sporting KC Academy alums are playing a part for their respective schools. Check out the list below for updates on several of the players representing the Sporting KC Academy...
- Tom Adams (junior forward at Oral Roberts): Has made 11 appearances, including three starts with one goal on the year (Aug. 30 at St. Louis). The Golden Eagles (6-7-4) will have the two-seed in this weekend’s Summit League Tournament in Macomb, Ill. and face No. 3 Western Illinois on Friday.
- Joe Amico (freshman defender at Central Florida): Has made 14 appearances, including eight starts with one assist on the year. The Knights (8-4-5) have the No. 3 seed in the American Athletic Conference Championship and play No. 2. seed UConn in the semifinals on Friday in Frisco, Texas.
- Chris Arce (freshman midfielder at Neosho CC): Has made 15 appearances, including nine starts with one goal (Oct. 11 vs. Pratt) and one assist. The Panthers (11-6-1) season ended earlier this month in the Region 6 playoffs.
- Jovanny Bonilla (sophomore midfielder at Barton County CC): Has made 15 appearances, including 14 starts with one goal (Sept. 22 vs. Allen) and two assists. The Cougars (11-5-1) season ended earlier this month in the Region VI semifinals.
- Andrew Brown (sophomore midfielder at Bradley): Has made 18 appearances with two assists. The third-seeded Braves (10-6-2) host the 2013 Missouri Valley Conference Men’s Soccer Championship beginning today and will face sixth-seeded Evansville.
- Paul Dean (freshman defender at Rockhurst): Has made 20 appearances, including eight starts with four assists. The Hawks (15-3-2) captured the Great Lakes Valley Championship and earned the third seed in Midwest Region of the NCAA Division II Men's Soccer Championships. Rockhurst will play at second-seeded Tiffin (Ohio) in a second-round game on Saturday.
- Eric DeJulio (sophomore defender at Creighton): Has made 11 appearances, including seven starts with two goals (Oct. 30 vs. Drake, Nov. 12 at Providence). The Jays (9-8-2) fell to Providence 2-1 in the BIG EAST Quarterfinals on Tuesday.
- Brandon Fricke (junior defender at Butler): Has made 19 appearances, including 18 starts with three goals (Sept. 22 vs Brown, Oct. 1 vs Evansville, Nov. 8 vs Xavier). Fricke recently earned Capital One Academic All-District V University Division Men's Soccer Team honors and on Monday was named the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week. The Bulldogs (11-7-1) face No. 2 seed Marquette on Friday at PPL Park in Philadelphia in the second round of the BIG EAST Tournament.
- Daniel Hare (sophomore defender at Loyola): Has made 15 appearances on the year. The fifth-seeded Ramblers (6-10-2) open the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament against No. 4 seed SIUE today on the campus of Bradley Unviersity in Peoria, Ill.
- Eric Hymer (junior defender at Fort Hays St.): Has started all 19 games on the year. For the second straight year, Hymer was named to the All-MIAA Men's Soccer First Team and the Capital One Academic All-District Team. The No. 20 ranked Tigers (12-4-3) will play No. 1 ranked Lindenwood in the NCAA Division II Men's Soccer Championships on either Nov. 21 or 22 at a site to be determined.
- Seo-In Kim (freshman midfielder at Duke): Has made 19 appearances, including nine starts with four assists. The Blue Devils (8-5-6) fell to Notre Dame 1-0 in the ACC Men’s Soccer Tournament Quarterfinals on Tuesday.
- Raymond Lee (junior midfielder at Saint Louis): Has made 16 appearances with four goals (Sept. 11 vs Evansville, Oct. 19 vs Dayton, Oct. 27 vs Duquesne, Nov. 3 vs St. Joseph's) and one assist. The Billikens (12-4-2) won the Atlantic 10 Conference regular-season title and have the No. 1 seed at this week’s A-10 Championship in Dayton, Ohio where they will face No. 8 seed UMassin the quarterfinal round on Thursday.
- Adam Lightner (freshman defender at Northern Illinois): Has made 15 appearances, including six starts on the year. The Huskies (4-13-1) season ended on Friday with a 3-3 draw against Buffalo.
- Andrew Lightner (sophomore defender at Dayton): Has made 15 appearances, including 13 starts with one assist. The Flyers (14-2-2) play La Salle in the opening round of the A-10 Championship on Thursday.
- Andrew Miller (sophomore defender at Baker): Has made 11 appearances, including six starts with two assists. The No. 3 seed Wildcats (13-5-2) will take on No. 1 seed MidAmerica Nazarene on Friday in Olathe, Kan. for the HAAC Conference Tournament championship.
- Michael Oakley (junior defender at UMKC): Has started all 18 games on the year and was named to the Capital One Academic All-district team. The No. 7 seed Roos (4-10-4) will face No. 2 seed Bakersfield on Thursday in the WAC Men's Soccer Championship.
- Paul Oliver (junior midfielder at Cal Baptist): Has made 15 appearances, including 14 starts with two assists. The fifth-seed Lancers (10-5-1) take on fourth-seed Simon Fraser on Thursday in the first round of the NCAA Division II Men's Soccer Championships.
- Nate Opperman (sophomore forward at Evansville): Has made 17 appearances with two goals (Oct. 1 vs Butler, Oct. 8 vs Kentucky) and one assist. The No. 6 seed Aces (10-7-1) open the Missouri Valley Conference Men's Soccer Championship on Wednesday against No. 3 seed Bradley in Peoria, Ill.
- Jordan Rideout (junior forward at UMKC): Has started all 18 games with a team-high seven goals (Sept. 21 vs Incarnate Word, Sept. 24 at Omaha, Oct. 5 vs Houston Baptist, two goals on Oct. 13 at Grand Canyon, Oct. 18 vs Air Force, Nov. 1 vs SJSU). For the third straight season, Rideout was named first team all-conference and moved into a tie for second place on the UMKC all-time goal scoring chart with 21 in his career. The No. 7 seed Roos (4-10-4) will face No. 2 seed Bakersfield on Thursday in the WAC Men's Soccer Championship.
- Derek Schrick (sophomore midfielder at UMKC): Has made 17 appearances, including 12 starts with one goal (Aug. 31 vs Wisconsin) and two assists. The No. 7 seed Roos (4-10-4) will face No. 2 seed Bakersfield on Thursday in the WAC Men's Soccer Championship.
- Alex Sweetin (senior midfielder at Saint Louis): Has made 18 appearances with seven goals (Sept. 21 vs Connecticut, Sept. 28 vs Central Arkansas, Oct. 2 vs Creighton, Oct. 13 vs George Washington, Oct. 27 vs Duquesne and two goals on Nov. 8 vs Rhode Island) and seven assists. The Billikens (12-4-2) won the Atlantic 10 Conference regular-season title and have the No. 1 seed at this week’s A-10 Championship in Dayton, Ohio where they will face No. 8 seed UMass in the quarterfinal round on Thursday.
- Chris Tuso (sophomore midfielder at Baker): Has made 20 appearances, including 14 starts with two goals (Sept. 24 vs Ottawa, Oct. 12 vs Benedictine) and two assists. The No. 3 seed Wildcats (13-5-2) will take on No. 1 seed MidAmerica Nazarene on Friday in Olathe, Kan. for the HAAC Conference Tournament championship.
- Taylor Vinnage (junior goalkeeper at Benedictine): Has played all 16 games with a 1.24 goals against average, 60 saves and 0.759 save percentage. The No. 9 ranked Ravens (11-4-1) fell 2-1 in overtime to Baker University of the HAAC Tournament Semifinals on Tuesday.
- Austin Wilcox (freshman midfielder at UMKC): Has made 13 appearances, including three starts on the year. The No. 7 seed Roos (4-10-4) will face No. 2 seed Bakersfield on Thursday in the WAC Men's Soccer Championship.
- Drew Wilson (freshman defender at Fort Hays State): Has started all 19 games on the year. The No. 20 ranked Tigers (12-4-3) will play No. 1 ranked Lindenwood in the NCAA Division II Men's Soccer Championships on either Nov. 21 or 22 at a site to be determined.
- Shane Woods (sophomore forward at Drury): Has made 20 appearances, including 11 starts with one goal (Sept. 17 vs Southwest Baptist). The Panthers (13-7-0) fell 3-2 to Indianapolis in the Great Lakes Valley Conference Championship men's soccer tournament semifinals on Friday.
Photo by Jamila St. Ann
The sixteen-year-old Lee's Summit, Mo. native signed as a Homegrown player in August and has traveled extensively with the U.S. youth national teams in 2013. He most recently returned from a trip to France with the United States Under-18 Men's National Team last month and scored his first international goal in a 1-0 win over the Czech Republic.
When former KC Wizards and US Men’s National Team coach, Bob Gansler, returned to Kansas City for his induction into the Sporting Legends, he made a point to spend some time doing what he does best – coach! The night before seeing his name revealed alongside Preki and Meola’s on the Victory Suite of Sporting Park, Bob took the field to lead a Coaching Education session, with Sporting Kansas City’s U14 Academy team serving as the demo team.
One of the events offered by the Sporting Club Network, Coaching Educations provide SCN member coaches with exclusive access to Sporting KC’s senior team technical staff. These 90-minute coaching clinics are led by one of SKC’s professional coaches and cover a variety of topics aimed to help local coaches at every level of the game. In special instances, the SCN has even been able to offer sessions with European clubs like Montpelier HSC, Stoke City FC, and Newcastle United FC, to name a few. This particular session led by Bob Gansler focused on the topic, “Possession in the Final Third”, and provided Sporting Club Network coaches the opportunity to see one of the game’s best coaches spend time honing the skills of some of the best talent the Midwest has to offer.
To see pictures of Gansler leading this Coaching Education session, as well as images of induction into the Sporting Legends during halftime of the October 18th Sporting KC match, view the slideshow below. And to stay up to date on all Sporting Club Network events and promotions, be sure to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.
Sporting KC homegrown defender Erik Palmer-Brown recently returned to Kansas City following a successful stint with the U.S. U-18 Mens' National Team. Palmer-Brown started all three games of the tournament and scored the lone goal in the team's 1-0 win over Czech Republic (watch highlight at 2:03 mark above).
Following his trip, Palmer-Brown spoke with AmericanSoccerNow's about his experience with the squad, his time Sporting KC and his international goals.
Read the complete interview with Brian Sciaretta here.
The Sporting Kansas City Academy U-12’s and U-14’s travelled to St. Louis last weekend to participate in the St. Louis Scott Gallagher Fall Festival.
The U-12’s opened tournament play with a 1-1 draw versus Evanston and a convincing 7-1 victory over John Gaspar. Stefan Freeman scored Sporting KC's only goal in their first match and Aidan Bates and Liam Bailey combined for four of the team's seven goals in their second match in group play. On day 2 of the tournament, the U-12’s won their group with a 2-0 victory over the U-13 Missouri Rush to advance to the semifinals of the competition, where the team fell to eventual tournament champions U-13 KC Fusion.
The U-14’s began tournament play with victories over Lou Fusz (5-1) and Missouri Rush (6-1). Sporting KC Academy striker Johnny Klein scored five of the team’s 11 goals on Saturday. The Sporting KC Academy U-14’s locked up first place in the St. Louis Scott Gallagher Fall Festival after securing three more victories on Sunday, defeating Nebraska FC 2-0 in their final group stage match before advancing to the tournament semifinals. In the semi's, the Sporting KC Academy beat the Chicago Fire Juniors West handedly by a 5-1 scoreline.
The team moved on to face Lou Fusz in the final match of the tournament. The game concluded 1-1 at the end of regulation with Sporting KC's lone goal courtesy of Klein. The teams played two five-minute overtime periods before heading into a penalty kick shootout. After the first five shooters from both sides finished their spot kicks, the tiebreaker went to single elimination. Braeden Vermillion buried his attempt for Sporting KC before Esteban Escobedo made a diving save on the Lou Fusz shooter to break the deadlock and help the Sporting KC U-14's earn first place at the SLSG Fall Festival.
For the third straight match, Sporting KC defender Erik Palmer-Brown started and played the full 90 minutes on Sunday for the U.S. Under-18 National Team in a 2-0 victory over Poland at the Limoges Tournament in France. The team went unbeaten (2-0-1) in the competition and finished second overall in the standings following a 2-2 draw with France and a 1-0 victory over the Czech Republic.
Palmer-Brown, a 16-year-old Homegrown Player signing in August, was one of 18 players on the roster for head coach Javier Perez. He returns to Kansas City on Monday.