2013 #AcademyAffiliate Weekend

As the Sporting Club Network’s Academy Affiliate program continues to grow in numbers with the addition of new clubs such as Omaha FC and the recently rebranded Sporting Columbia SC, new events and initiatives have been developed to provide further value to these members.  This was very apparent during the recently-held Academy Affiliate Weekend, which took place almost immediately after the MLS All Star Week concluded, and brought together players, coaches, and families from over eight different cities throughout the Midwest.
The weekend kicked off with the first ever Academy Affiliate All Star Day and BBQ. Three players from each of the seven Academy Affiliates came together to form a select U14 team that competed in the first Academy Affiliate All Star Game against our own SKC U14 Academy team. Before that match kicked off in the evening though, the All Stars assembled at Sporting KC’s Swope Park Training Facility in the morning.  There they got a tour of the facility by head Team Administrator, Rick Dressel, a chance to view the senior team during training ahead of their match against New York, and then their very own training session led by members of the SKC senior team technical staff.  Later in the evening, these boys reconvened at Swope for the Academy Affiliate BBQ – however, they were joined at this point by over 400 other Academy Affiliate families who came into town for the rest of the weekend’s events.  After chowing down on some KC barbecue as well as a short coaches seminar led by SKC Academy Director of Coaching, Jon Parry, the All Stars hit the field, coached by none other than Sporting Legends Tony Meola and Preki.
Saturday saw things continue early in the morning, with games from the second annual Academy Affiliate Tournament kicking off at 7am at the YSI Sports Complex in Lawrence, KS. Approximately 55 teams from across the Midwest competed in these preseason friendlies until 3pm, and again all day on Sunday. And of course, the Academy Affiliate Weekend wouldn’t have been complete without a trip to Sporting Park. On Saturday night, countless Academy Affiliate members headed to Sporting Park for pre-game tours, a Chalk Talk led by SKC assistant coaches, and of course a Sporting KC match – one of the largest in Sporting Park’s history to be more precise.
To view pictures from all of these SCN events and activities surrounding the 2013 Academy Affiliate Weekend, see the slideshow below. And to stay up to date on the Sporting Club Network, be sure to follow them on Twitter (@SportingKC_SCN) and like them on Facebook.

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