Columbia Soccer Club of Columbia, Mo. has officially joined forces with Sporting Kansas City and Sporting Club as the newest Academy Affiliate in the Sporting Club Network. Rebranded as Sporting Columbia SC, the club becomes the second Academy Affiliate in Missouri along with Sporting StL Rangers in giving players of the state a direct path to the Sporting Kansas City senior team.
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 have the opportunity to gain invaluable experience while receiving heightened levels of training and development. Moreover, all Sporting Columbia 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.
Academy Affiliate coaches have the ability to take advantage of coaching lectures and premium coaching clinics at both the Sporting Club Training Center in Swope Park in Kansas City, Mo., as well as at other locations in the metro area and throughout the Midwest. The partnership will also include numerous added benefits compared to most SCN members, who already receive numerous opportunities to gain exclusive access to Sporting Kansas City.
As an Academy Affiliate member, Sporting Columbia SC becomes an extension of the Sporting KC Academy and an extension of the Academy's scouting network. The relationship between the Sporting Club Network and Sporting Columbia will play a large part in the overall growth of soccer in the Midwest by elevating the level of youth soccer in the region, while also offering extensive new benefits that will directly impact the improvement of these players.
The official youth development academy of Sporting Kansas City, there are currently four Sporting Kansas City Academy teams playing in regional and national competition from ages U13 through U18. The U16 and U18 Sporting Kansas City Academy teams both compete in the prestigious U.S. Soccer Development Academy against the top youth clubs from around the country. The U16 and U18 Academy teams are both fully funded by Sporting Kansas City.