Every year the Sporting Club Network hosts a variety of events exclusive to its members, with one of the more popular series being the mini clinics that give young players the chance to play alongside their favorite Sporting KC heroes. New in 2014, the Network introduced its very first Futsal Mini Clinic that took place at the newly installed Futsal Courts at Wyandotte High School.
In July 2013, MLS WORKS and Sporting Kansas City teamed up with the 2013 MLS All-Stars to unveil these new futsal courts at Wyandotte High School. These public-use courts were designed to provide local youth of the Kansas City community with a safe place to play while also improving their soccer skills.
Major League Soccer created MLS WORKS in 2007 as their official community outreach program. The goal was to create sustainable projects that would help improve the lives of people through the promotion of active lifestyles. MLS WORKS accomplished just that in Kansas City with the construction of these courts.
Fast forward eight months to April 7th, the date of the SCN’s Futsal Mini Clinic, where these once unused tennis courts are now providing the game to the local community and are still being used constantly. Not only were all the signs intact and the courts still in fantastic condition when staff from Sporting Kansas City arrived to set up for the clinic, but both courts were in use until the start of the clinic and both courts were swarmed again afterward with kids playing until the sun went down.
For pictures from the SCN Futsal Mini Clinic, and to see the use these courts continue to get, please view the slideshow below. And to learn more about the Sporting Club Network and how it engages with its members, be sure to follow the SCN on Twitter and like the program on Facebook.
To honor National Recycling Month in April, Sporting Kansas City along with The Victory Project and the Sporting Club Network have been hosting a series of donation drives for new and gently used soccer gear. Fans attending pre-designated games and events were encouraged to clean out their garages and bring used soccer equipment to the collection sites. At the conclusion of the campaign, more than 100 pairs of soccer cleats, shin guards and soccer balls were contributed to the cause.
Last night, a clinic was hosted featuring Sporting KC players, coaches and nearly 70 kids from the El Padrino soccer league at Soccer Nation in Wyandotte County. Thanks to the support of KCP&L, each child was provided food and given a drawstring bag with a soccer ball, water bottle and t-shirt. Each child was also able to go home with a pair of donated soccer cleats.
"This is a big event for us because our fans have been donating used soccer equipment," Sporting KC assistant coach Mateus Manoel said. "As we know, without equipment you can't really play. So for them, it's a joy to be able to have some of this stuff and learn from some of our coaches."
Check out the video above for sights and sounds from the event, as well as the photo slideshow below.
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.
The U.S. Men's National Team trained at the Sporting Club Training Center in Swope Park on Tuesday in preparation for Friday's FIFA World Cup qualifier against Jamaica at Sporting Park (5:30 p.m. CT on ESPN, WatchESPN, UniMas and ESPN Deportes Radio). Sporting Kansas City defender Matt Besler and midfielder Graham Zusi were among the 19 players in the session, after undergoing fitness testing upon the squad's arrival to Kansas City.
All fans are invited to attend the U.S. MNT public training session at 5:30 p.m. CT tonight at Sporting Park for a first-hand look at the team and to hear exclusive interviews with head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. Admission is free and open to the public with parking available in Lot D, Lot F and at CommunityAmerica Ballpark. Doors open at 5 p.m. CT and fans are asked to enter the stadium through the west gates.
The Sporting Club Network held its first-ever Mini Clinic for players ages 13-18 on Monday night at the Sporting Club Training Center in Swope Park. Sporting Kansas City players Matt Besler and Kei Kamara not only made appearances, but specifically offered the youngsters concise coaching pointers as they were actively involved in the session.
Kamara stressed the keys of success when attacking to goal by running both crossing and finishing drills. Besler worked more closely with defensive tactics and focused on the importance of proper 1v1 defending.
Following the clinic, a Q&A session allowed participants to ask Kamara and Besler questions before finishing with an autograph session, giving the kids the opportunity to get their soccer ball signed by the two Sporting Kansas City standouts.
This was an exclusive clinic that offered personalized coaching from Sporting Kansas City players and staff members. We want to thank all the players who participated, and specifically Kei and Matt for making the clinic one to remember for everyone involved. We hope to offer more clinics for these age groups in the future. For more information regarding the Sporting Club Network, please visit www.sportingkc.com/scn.
More than 40 kids ages 6-12 made their way to the Sporting Club Training Center in Swope Park on Tuesday night for a soccer clinic. The clinic was hosted in conjunction with Mainstreet Credit Union's Kick it Club.
Along with the Sporting Club Network, four Sporting KC players came out to help local youth improve their skills on the pitch. Matt Besler, Jimmy Nielsen, Michael Thomas and Graham Zusi helped the kids with various drills at different stations. The kids also beat the heat by playing a water version of duck, duck, goose. Once the games were over, the players signed autographs and each participant got a special soccer bag to help carry their gear.
The Kick it Club is a program offered by Mainstreet Credit Union for kids ages 2-19. The program teaches kids how to save money and set financial goals while earning Sporting Kansas City rewards.
Photos by Gatorade/Daniel Perales
Graham Zusi teamed up with Gatorade on Monday to help launch the company's Beat the Heat educational campaign while visiting a soccer camp at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Zusi, a Florida native, delivered an on-field talk about maintaining peak performance during the hot summer months and also participated in drills with the youth players.
In its ninth year, Gatorade Beat the Heat aims to raise awareness among athletes, parents and coaches on how proper hydration can help reduce heat-related illnesses during athletic activity. Click here to download the 2013 Heat Safety Kit, courtesy of Gatorade. And be sure to check out this link as SB Nation's Ben Gartland caught up with Zusi for a Q&A about the opportunity.
Zusi is one of six Sporting Kansas City nominees on the MLS All-Star ballot and is currently the second leading vote-getter among midfielders. Text ZUSI to 22442 or vote online before July 2nd.
Sporting Kansas City's central defense features two of the best players at their position in MLS with Aurelien Collin and Matt Besler each earning Best XI recognition in 2012. NBC Sports chose the defensive duo for the most recent episode of MLS: 36 as their camera crews went behind-the-scenes to give fans an inside look at the lives of both players on and off the field.
The series -- which launched in August of 2012 -- gives viewers an all-access approach to the game, including locker room footage and in-game audio, and has featured some of Major League Soccer's biggest stars. Check your local listings for upcoming episodes.
Collin and Besler's episode will also air on NBC Sports Network on Sunday at 9 p.m. CT.
Even a few rain showers couldn't keep Sprint employees from bringing their kids out to Sporting Park for a soccer mini-clinic on Tuesday night.
Along with the Sporting Club Network, six Sporting KC players came out to help local youth improve their soccer skills. Eric Kronberg, Chance Myers, Oriol Rosell, C.J. Sapong, Seth Sinovic and Michael Thomas led various stations running drills with the participants. But the players weren't the only ones doing the teaching. The kids taught our own Oriol Rosell how to play freeze tag, soccer style.
To finish up the evening, Sporting KC players signed autographs for the participants. If you would like to get more information about soccer clinics being hosted by Sporting Club Network, please visit the SCN website, Twitter and Facebook.