Sporting Kansas City Academy Under-15 National Championship
Jonathan Kaplan

Sporting KC Academy U15's crowned national champions

The Sporting Kansas City Academy U15's claimed the U.S. Youth Soccer Cup on Sunday with a 3-1 win over Fewster FC (Maryland) in the final of the 2015 US Youth Soccer National Championships at Mohawk Soccer Complex in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Sporting KC U15's become the first boys team from Kansas at any age level to be crowned USYS national champions in the competition's 80-year history.

USYS National Champions from Kansas
2001: KC Dynamos (U-14 Girls)
2015: Sporting KC Academy (U-15 Boys)

"We’re really proud of the boys. They deserve this based on their performance all year long and especially this week," said Sporting KC Academy coach Istvan Urbanyi. "Congratulations to all the players and of course the parents, as well — they’ve done a great job giving support."

WATCH: Match Archive

Cameron Duke -- an active member of the United States Under-14 Boys' National Team -- scored the game's opening goal in the 22nd minute on an assist from Roman Knox. Fewster FC equalized in the 46th minute before Abdu Kikhia scored the game-winning goal three minutes later on an assist from Max Rugova. Jacob Hall then clinched the national championship with his goal in the 76th minute on Kikhia's assist.

Following the match, three of the teams top performers -- Hall, Rugova and Mason Visconti -- were each named to the US Youth Soccer National Championships Best 11 for the under-15 boys age division. 

CHAMPIONS: 2015 USYS National Champions

The Sporting KC Academy U15's cap off a historic campaign in which the team went a perfect 9-0-0 in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy while finishing second in the Midwest Regional League (5-1-1) and fourth in the National League Blue Division (4-3-0). In order to reach the 2015 USYS National Championships, the Sporting KC U15's won Kansas State Cup in May and USYS Region II Championships in June.

The U15's roster -- led by head coach Jon Parry -- features seven players eligible to play in the U14 age division, and 13 of the 15 SKC Academy players who competed in the U14 age group at the USYS National Championships one year ago (denoted by asterisks below).
 
Player Name Hometown Player Name Hometown
Blake Arndt Wichita, KS Roman Knox* Shawnee, KS
Alex Brown Lee's Summit, MO Massimo McGuire* Olathe, KS
Cameron Duke* Olathe, KS David Merola Overland Park, KS
Dontell Gilyard* Lee's Summit, MO Luke Rafanan* Overland Park, KS
Jacob Hall Overland Park, KS Kyle Reese* Olathe, KS
Colin Innes* Olathe, KS Max Rugova* Overland Park, KS
Alex Jimenez Overland Park, KS Braeden Vermillion* Overland Park, KS
Mike Keon* Lenexa, KS Mason Visconti Lee's Summit, MO
Abdu Kikhia* Columbia, MO Jackson Wood* Lee's Summit, MO
John Klein* Columbia, MO Kyle Ziegler Kansas City, MO

 

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