Southwest Indiana Soccer Association has officially signed on as the 14th Academy Affiliate in the Sporting Club Network, presented by Price Chopper. Rebranded as Sporting Southern Indiana, SSI is now the first affiliate of Sporting Kansas City in the state of Indiana.
“The affiliation with SKC, and what it can provide to Southwest Indiana, will be the biggest event in our 31-year history of our club as well as the tri state soccer community,” said Sporting Southern Indiana President, Jim List. “With this affiliation, it will allow us to provide numerous resources for our coaches and players, additional training opportunities and a path for our kids to play at the highest level possible.”
The Southwest Indiana Soccer Association (SWISA) is one of the oldest and largest travel soccer clubs in the tri-state area. The club was founded in 1984 and continues to grow and prosper. During the 2014/15 season, SWISA will field over 30 boys and girls teams in age brackets U9 through U18. In addition, their developmental program provides training for the young player not yet ready or old enough for a travel team. In total, SWISA will train over 500 players this season. While many of their players are from the Newburgh/Evansville area, their close-knit club philosophy attracts players up to 100 miles away from surrounding areas in Southwest Indiana, Western Kentucky, and Southern Illinois.
“We’re excited to welcome all the players, coaches and families from Sporting Southern Indiana into the Sporting Club Network as our newest Academy Affiliate,” said Sporting KC Academy Director of Coaching Jon Parry. “Their addition will make the Academy Affiliate program stronger as it continues to grow across the Midwest. Sporting Southern Indiana has our full support and we look forward to working closely together with their group to grow the game in this region of the country.”
Players that participate and compete through the Academy Affiliate program will be directly connected to Sporting Kansas City’s Academy and youth development initiatives. In turn, they will have the opportunity to gain valuable experience while receiving heightened levels of training and development. Sporting Southern Indiana players can now be invited to partake in the annual Academy Affiliate Weekend, an event that brings together many of the most competitive and talented youth soccer players from across the Midwest, all under the Sporting Club umbrella. Select SSI players will also be named to Academy Affiliate All-Star Teams throughout the year, offering these players a chance to learn the game in the same environment and setting as Sporting KC’s own Academy and first-team players.
Eric Schoenstein, Sporting Southern Indiana Director of Coaching, commented on the partnership, stating: “SWISA is entering an exciting new partnership with Sporting KC, a young and energetic professional sports organization. SKC will provide Sporting Southern Indiana coaches and players with professional training, unlimited access, and advancement opportunities unparalleled in the region. Over the last several years, SWISA has placed over 80 players into the college ranks and this relationship provides even more college opportunities, and now even provides the players a direct path to the professional ranks.”
As an Academy Affiliate member, Sporting Southern Indiana becomes an extension of the Sporting KC Development Academy and therefore an extension of the club’s scouting network. The relationship between the Sporting Club Network and Sporting Southern Indiana will play a large part in the overall growth of soccer in the Midwest by elevating the level of youth soccer in the region, while also offering extensive new benefits that will directly impact the improvement of these players. In the search for the next homegrown star that will wear the Sporting Kansas City crest and win championships at Sporting Park, Southern Indiana and the surrounding states will now be closely linked with Sporting KC’s search to find and develop future talent.