Saturday marked the start of the 2017-18 U.S. Soccer Development Academy campaign for the Sporting Kansas City U-19s, U-17s and U-15s, who played a tripleheader against national powerhouse FC Dallas on Saturday at the University of Tulsa.
While the U-17s and U-15s suffered defeats earlier in the day, the U-19s recorded a momentous victory to open the new season in style.
Sporting KC U-19s 2-1 FC Dallas U-19s
The U-19s pieced together an excellent first-half display, taking the lead in the 19th minute when Grayson Barber's clipped ball over the top fell neatly to Wilson Harris, whose well-struck volley nestled into the corner of the net.
Eight minutes later, Sporting KC doubled their advantage behind a goal from 15-year-old Gianluca Busio, who last month became the second-youngest player to sign an MLS contract in league history. Busio latched onto a precise cross from Sean Karani to open his scoring account at the U-19 level, having featured for the U-14s, U-16s and U-18s throughout the 2016-17 Development Academy season.
Goalkeeper Alec Wons made multiple saves in the second half to preserve his team's two-goal cushion, and although FC Dallas conjured a consolation goal in the 90th minute, the U-19s held on for all three points.
Sporting KC U-17s 0-3 FC Dallas U-17s
The U-17s experienced different fortunes on Saturday afternoon, falling 3-0 in the second game of Saturday's tripleheader. FC Dallas featured several players who guided their U-16 side to a second-place finish at the Development Academy National Championships in July. Sporting KC fell behind within the first minute before going 3-0 down by the 18th minute, but responded positively as 14-year-old Tyler Freeman and brothers Jahon Kaveh Rad were unfortunate not to score.
Sporting KC U-15s 0-2 FC Dallas U-15s
The U-15s conceded a goal in either half to open the afternoon with a 2-0 loss. Osvaldo Cisneros fired narrowly over the crossbar in the second period in what was Sporting KC's best opportunity of the match.
All three Sporting KC Academy teams will travel to Colorado next weekend for games on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday's tripleheader will come against the Colorado Rush at Denver Christian School, while Sunday's fixtures versus the Colorado Rapids will unfold at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City. Follow @SKCAcademy on Twitter for live updates.
Saturday, Sept. 23
- U-15s at Colorado Rush (11 am CT)
- U-17s at Colorado Rush (1:30 pm CT)
- U-19s at Colorado Rush (4 pm CT)
Sunday, Sept. 24
- U-15s at Colorado Rapids (11 am CT)
- U-17s at Colorado Rapids (1:30 pm CT)
- U-19s at Colorado Rapids (4 pm CT)