In an effort to further align one of Sporting Kansas City’s original Academy Affiliates with the developmental pathway of Sporting Club, Omaha FC has announced a rebrand to Sporting Omaha FC. Besides creating consistent branding in line with the other fourteen current affiliates, this rebrand shows a renewed commitment to Sporting Kansas City’s Academy Affiliate program, and the core developmental goals & philosophies of this system.
“We are excited about the next step in our Club’s relationship with Sporting KC,” commented Tim Bennett, Sporting Omaha FC Executive Director. “Over the last three years, Sporting KC has shown that it is leading the way in player and club development in our region and across the nation. In the ever changing youth soccer landscape, their Academy Affiliate model has proven to be sustainable and successful, and we are looking forward to our long term commitment to SKC.”
As a part of this rebrand, regardless of the level that a player is assigned, be it recreational, competitive, or premier, every member will truly feel a part of their hometown club in Omaha, as well as the greater Academy Affiliate family within the Sporting Club Network. This new brand further illustrates the tie to Sporting KC’s player development pathway & acts as a visual representation to show the bridge existing between the two clubs.
“We feel our Academy Affiliate model has the potential to redevelop the structure of youth soccer in the Midwest & continues to be a driving force in the evolution of youth soccer in this country,” added Sporting KC VP of Youth Soccer, Betsy Maxfield. “As our philosophies on youth development continue to get more closely-aligned, & we agreed that we wanted to show a long-term commitment to Omaha FC & those core ideals in every way this club is presented moving forward.”
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 valuable experience while receiving heightened levels of training and development. Some of these key initiatives include the All-Star Experience helping identify & develop the top talent throughout each club, the Academy Affiliate Friendlies tournaments, and the opportunity for elite affiliate players to trial with the Academy team of their age group periodically throughout the year.
Sporting Omaha FC Director of Coaching, Ryan Kruse elaborated on the announcement stating that “rebranding to Sporting Omaha FC involves much more than our club look and feel. The landscape of American soccer is evolving at a rapid pace in ways that are not always visible in our area or community. By formally aligning ourselves with a professional soccer club with vast resources and the highest standards that Sporting KC has, our players will find increasingly more benefit during their experience with Sporting Omaha FC. Coaching education, access to modern trends and methods, and exclusive events and opportunities are just the beginning of our Affiliate benefits.”
As an Academy Affiliate member, Sporting Omaha FC continues to serve as an extension of the Sporting KC Development Academy and therefore an extension of the club’s overall scouting efforts. The relationship between the Sporting Club Network and Sporting Omaha FC 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 benefits that will directly impact the improvement of these players. In the search for the next homegrown star that will wear the Sporting Kansas City crest and win championships at Children’s Mercy Park, Sporting Omaha FC will now be that much more closely linked with Sporting KC’s search to find and develop future talent.