The Sporting Kansas City Academy has experienced a highly successful history since its formation in 2007. The program currently consists of five teams at the U-19, U-17, U-15, U-14, U-13 and U-12 levels
Sporting KC 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 nine homegrown players who have been signed to the Sporting Kansas City senior team. Goalkeeper Jon Kempin signed in August 2010, defender Kevin Ellis signed in February 2011, defender Erik Palmer-Brown signed in July 2013, forward Daniel Salloi signed in January 2016, and in 2017 forward Gianluca Busio and defender Jaylin Lindsey signed first team contracts. Forward Zach Wright and defender Matt Lewis signed in early 2018, while midfielder Wan Kuzain Wan Kamal signed in April 2018.
The Academy program is fully funded, meaning the Academy covers all costs for gear and traveling expenses. All home games are played at the team's Children's Mercy Training Center at Swope Soccer Village. Sporting Kansas City and the Spoting KC Academy also offer youth camps throughout the calendar year.
The U-19, U-17 and U-15 teams play in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy. U.S. Soccer created the Development Academy in 2007 to improve the everyday environment for the elite youth player. The Development Academy 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. Multiple Sporting KC Academy teams have advanced to the Development Academy Playoffs, with the U-18s in 2016 and the U-16s in 2007 advancing to the quarterfinal stage. Visit the U.S. Soccer Development Academy website for more information.
The U-14, U-13 and U-12 teams also play in various U.S. Youth Soccer competitions such as the 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, the Sporting KC Academy launched the Centers of Excellence for the U-11 and U-9 age groups. The Sporting KC COE is a supplemental training program with the aim to strengthen player's skill foundations and identifying players for Sporting KC Academy teams.
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