Seven players from the Sporting Kansas City Academy U18's made their college commitments on Wednesday by signing National Letters of Intent. The following individuals will continue their careers on college campuses across the country this fall:
- Andrew Blalock (picture): The goalkeeper from Blue Valley Northwest High School will attend Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. The Bulldogs compete in the Missouri Valley Conference and already feature two former Sporting KC Academy players (Steven Enna and Mason Leonard).
- Jack Freeman (picture): The defender from Olathe East High School will enroll at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. The Buckeyes went 9-8-5 in 2014 as members of the Big Ten Conference and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
- Bryce Gibson (picture): The defender from Lee's Summit North High School is headed to Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska to join fellow Academy alum Eric DeJulio. The Bluejays finished No. 8 in the nation in the NCAA's final RPI and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament for their 22nd postseason appearance in 23 years. Creighton were BIG EAST regular season champions in 2014 and ended the year with a 16-3-3 record.
- Ryan Krutz (picture): The goalkeeper from Blue Valley North High School was recruited to the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana. The Fighting Irish were NCAA champions in 2013 and reached the third round of the postseason tournament last year. Notre Dame (Atlantic Coast Conference) ended the year at No. 6 overall in the final NCAA RPI rankings with a 12-5-4 record
- Zane Moxley (picture): The defender from Olathe Northwest High School will enlist at The United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The Falcons compete in the Western Athletic Conference and are coming off a 7-7-4 season in 2014.
- Hector Solorio (picture): The midfielder from Oak Park High School will be a student-athlete at Niagara University in Lewiston, New York. The Purple Eagles are members of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
- Tucker Stephenson (picture): The midfielder from St. Thomas Aquinas High School will play alongside fellow Academy product Joey Piatczyc at West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia. The Mountaineers soccer program competes in the Mid-American Conference and went 11-7-1 in 2014.
A special college commitment ceremony will be held for these players and their families on Feb. 11 at the Three Points Club (1511 Baltimore Avenue) in downtown Kansas City, Mo.
Established in 2007, the Sporting KC Academy is the official youth development program of two-time MLS champions Sporting Kansas City and features four teams from Under-12 thru Under-18 playing in regional and national competitions. Led by Director of Coaching Jon Parry, the Academy teams train and host home matches at the Swope Soccer Village. Five former Academy players have been signed to professional contracts by Sporting Kansas City.