Sporting Kansas City's U-19s are set to host Arkansas Legacy at Swope Soccer Village on Saturday at 2 p.m. CT in the semifinals of the OK-AR UPSL Playoffs after claiming the top spot in the division. In the team's first season in the UPSL, the U-19s earned an impressive 8-1-1 record, scoring 39 goals while allowing only eight.
Led by head coach Lee Tschantret, in his first year with the Sporting KC Academy, the U-19s earned eight straight results in their first eight matches. After opening the campaign with a 1-1 road draw at Side FC, the squad rattled off seven straight wins, including a 3-1 win over Tulsa Athletic, Sporting Kansas City's 2023 US Open Cup Third Round opponent.
Boasting a well-balanced attack featuring 12 different goal scorers, the SKC U-19s led the division with 39 goals. Their steady defense's eight goals conceded were also the fewest in the OK-AR division as the backline kept three clean sheets in the regular season.
Saturday's match with Arkansas Legacy will be just the second meeting between the two sides. In the only previous matchup, Sporting handled the Arkansas squad 3-0 at Swope Soccer Village. The U-19s' leading goal scorer Geremi Onentia tallied one of his eight goals of the season in the win, while Ethan Schaefer and Ryan Wagner also found the back of the net.
The win-or-go-home UPSL playoffs consist of two semifinal matches with the final set for Dec. 2 or 3. With the first-place finish in the division, Sporting has hosting priority throughout the playoffs. Fans can track the U-19s UPSL playoff journey by following @SKCAcademy on Twitter and Instagram.
About United Premier Soccer League
The UPSL was formed in 2011 and occupies the unofficial fourth tier of US Soccer. Across its Premier, Division 1 and Women's leagues there are more than 400 teams competing nationwide. The UPSL is now the largest Pro Development League in North America and is a National Affiliate member of the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF). Each UPSL team is individually owned and operated. UPSL teams are eligible to participate in the U.S. Open Cup Qualifying Rounds through the league’s affiliation with USSF.