The Sporting Kansas City Academy U-15s, U-17s and U-19s each played a pair of matches this weekend in Rocky Mountain country, posting victories in a clean sweep of the Colorado Rush on Saturday before experiencing mixed results on Sunday against the Colorado Rapids. The Sporting KC U-17s emerged with a 2-1 win over their MLS counterparts, while the U-15s and U-19s suffered narrow, one-goal defeats.
We recap Sporting KC's busy weekend in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy below.
U-15s notch first win
After falling to FC Dallas in last Saturday's Development Academy season-opener, the U-15s defeated Colorado Rush 2-0 to collect their first win of the 2017-18 campaign. Osvaldo Cisneros struck in the first half before Gage Akalu doubled the advantage midway through the second period. The Rush had an opportunity to grab a goal back in the late stages, but goalkeeper Nathan Gabris stopped a penalty kick to preserve his clean sheet.
The U-15s slipped to a 1-0 defeat against the Rapids the following morning, with Colorado's Jaden Ohlsen scoring early in the second half.
Double delight for U-17s
The U-17s got their 2017-18 season up and running in style, atoning for last weekend's loss to FC Dallas with a comfortable 4-1 win over the Rush on Saturday. After falling behind early, Gabe Findley pulled Sporting KC level in the 28th minute before Gabe Ramos fired his side into the lead in the 51st minute. Findley bagged his second goal shortly thereafter, then Tyler Freeman sealed the result off a cross from Cameron Duke.
Sunday's 2-1 triumph over the Rapids was sparked by Jahon Rad, who struck twice in the first half to give Sporting KC a cushion they wouldn't relinquish. Colorado pulled one back in the second period with a penalty kick, but the visitors held their lead to the final whistle.
Seventh Heaven for U-19s
The U-19s built on their momentous win over FC Dallas last weekend with an emphatic 7-1 win on Saturday against the Rush. A brace from Sean Karani, an own goal and strikes from Sporting KC homegrown forward Gianluca Busio and Wilson Harris put the visitors up 5-0 within 20 minutes. Camilo Benitez and Sebastian Cruz added late tallies of their own to round out the victory.
The weekend concluded with a seven-goal thriller, as the U-19s fell 4-3 to the Rapids on Sunday afternoon. The rollercoaster encounter saw Colorado take a 2-0 lead, but a long-range blast from Roman Knox cut the deficit in half just before the break. Sporting KC stormed out of the gates after the restart, drawing level through an own goal and surging ahead when Busio did well to set up Wilson Harris. But the Rapids would score in the 61st and 66th minutes to retake the driver's seat and ultimately claim all three points.
Next Up: Swope on Sunday
The U-15s, U-17s and U-19s will play their home openers in the 2017-18 U.S. Soccer Development Academy on Sunday at Swope Soccer Village. The tripleheader against Lonestar SC (Texas) kicks off at 11 a.m. CT with the U-15s, followed by the U-17s at 1:30 p.m. and the U-19s at 4 p.m. Follow @SKCAcademy on Twitter for live updates Sunday and throughout the Development Academy campaign.