This past weekend, the Sporting KC Academy competed in both the MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs and the MLS NEXT Cup Showcase. Earning automatic qualification to the playoffs after winning MLS NEXT FLEX, the Sporting KC U15s made it all the way to the MLS NEXT Cup Quarterfinals, while the U19s made it to the Round of 32 after a successful regular season. The U19s also competed in the showcase along with Sporting's U13s, U14s and U17s.
The MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs were a single-elimination tournament while every showcase club had the opportunity to play in three matches.
In the playoffs, the U15s made some impressive performances. They opened their playoff run with a 2-2 draw and subsequent win in penalties over Total Futbol Academy to advance to the Round of 16. There, they knocked Shockers FC out with a 2-1 win off Johann Ortiz's brace. Their title hopes came to a close following a loss to the LA Galaxy in the quarterfinals.
The U19s suffered a 2-0 defeat to San Francisco Glens in the Round of 32. They went on to draw with De Anza Force and beat Orlando City in the showcase.
In the showcase, the U13s showed out, winning their first match 4-1 over Louisiana TDP Elite. They followed that up with a scoreless draw against Michigan Wolves and concluded the tournament with a one-nil victory over FC Westchester.
Sporting KC's U14s also put in a solid showing, winning 2-1 over the Michigan Wolves and 3-2 over New York Soccer Club before drawing 1-1 with Tormenta FC.
The U17s went on to win their first match by one over Murrieta Soccer Academy, played to a scoreless draw against FL Rush and lost 2-1 to Seacoast United.
With the conclusion of the MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs and Showcase, the 2021-22 MLS NEXT season has come to a close. In the meantime, Sporting's U12s will be competing in the US Youth Futsal National Championships and the U15s will travel to France to play in two friendlies. The 2022-23 MLS NEXT season will begin later this summer. Fans can follow along with everything happening in the academy by following @SKCAcademy on Twitter.
About MLS NEXT
MLS NEXT is a new paradigm for player development, launched in 2020 to transform youth soccer in North America. Founded on a collaborative approach to governance and a commitment to innovation, MLS NEXT players have access to the highest level of competition, training and personal development opportunities that will prepare them for their futures, both in soccer and in life. Membership for the 2021-22 season includes 133 clubs, 598 teams and over 12,000 players across the U.S. and Canada. Official partners of MLS NEXT include adidas and Carolina Online at the University of South Carolina. For more information about MLS NEXT, visit www.mlssoccer.com/mlsnext