Sporting KC U-18s coast to victory over Texas Rush; U-16s surrender lead at Swope

Sporting KC U-18s vs. Colorado Rapids - Sept. 19, 2016

The Sporting Kansas City U-18s breezed to a 3-0 win over the Texas Rush on Saturday morning at Swope Soccer Village, keeping pace near the top of the Frontier Division in the 2016-17 U.S. Soccer Development Academy standings. The U-16s looked destined to sweep the doubleheader a few hours later, but surrendered a late lead en route to a 3-2 defeat.

Sporting KC U-18s 3, Texas Rush 0
Jon Parry's men dominated from wire to wire in the early kickoff at Swope, taking the lead in the 22nd minute when Mario Magana latched onto Chase Bromstedt's cross and hammered past goalkeeper James Fetterly. Wan Kuzain Wan Kamal went agonizingly lose to doubling the advantage on the stroke of halftime, but sent his free kick narrowly over the crossbar.

U.S. youth international Felipe Hernandez would grab the second goal four minutes after the restart, bagging his team-best sixth goal of the season with a header following Gabe Kash's excellent delivery into the penalty area. Joe Corner came within inches of scoring in the 69th minute, firing just wide of the post, but atoned a minute later when he headed Hernandez's cross over Fetterly and into the net.

The U-18s (6-1-0, 18 points) sit second in the Frontier Division, narrowly behind Lonestar SC on points per game, and lead the entire Central Conference with 23 goals scored through seven league games.

Texas Rush 3, Sporting KC U-16s 2
Josh Gardner's side wound up on the wrong end of an entertaining 3-2 result in the final game of Saturday's doubleheader. Texas landed the first punch after just four minutes, but the U-16s equalized on the half-hour mark when Jonathan Munoz bundled home following a rebound from Mason Visconti's initial strike. Sporting KC had momentum and surged ahead in the 35th minute as Ryan Fessler pressured goalkeeper Bronson Cast into a costly error and notched his second goal of the campaign.

The Rush restored parity on 63 minutes, cashing in on another dead ball situation with a long throw into the box that Sporting KC failed to defend. The drama escalated from there, with Cast saving Colin Innes' penalty kick in the 69th minute to keep the teams tied. A final twist in the tale proved fatal for the U-16s, who conceded in stoppage time to suffer their second loss of the 2016-17 campaign.

The U-16s (4-2-1, 13 points) are currently third in the Frontier Division, with Real Colorado and FC Dallas propping up the table.

Next up: Two games apiece in Colorado
The Sporting Kansas City Academy continues its 2016-17 USSDA season with a two-game road trip this weekend, visiting the Colorado Rush on Saturday at Aurora Sports Park and Real Colorado on Sunday at Real Colorado Soccer Complex. Both days, the U-18s will kick off at 11 a.m. CT before the U-16s take the field at 1:30 p.m. CT. Follow @SKCAcademy on Twitter for in-game updates.