Earlier this month, the Sporting Club Network, presented by Price Chopper, and GSI Sports put on a college showcase tournament called SHOWCASE KC. Besides the 100-plus college soccer programs in attendance, almost 300 teams from at least 14 different states were represented at this showcase tournament. In addition to each team playing three games over the weekend, the two hosts collaborated to put on several special events to add value and provide knowledge on the college recruitment process.
GSI Tournament Director Huw Savage commented on the tremendous turnout for SHOWCASE KC: “We know that getting a team to a tournament takes a lot of effort and sacrifice, so we especially appreciate the commitment that these coaches and managers make to get their teams rounded up and moving in our direction. It was also tremendous to see such a strong turnout from college coaches from across the region.”
The special events consisted of a Goalkeeper and Player Combine, a coach’s reception and College Pathway Education Panels. All events that were put on were in hopes of boosting knowledge, providing networking opportunities and increasing affective communication to all players, families and coaches that attended any of the events.
The first event, which took place on Friday evening, was the Goalkeeper and Player Combine. A total of 100 girls and 97 boys participated in the combine. The combine consisted of college-level training sessions with the college coaches that attended, including small-sided games. After the training and game play, the college coaches had a Q&A with the players who participated in the combine. The combine served as a supplementary tool for players to gain more exposure to college coaches rather than just rely on coaches catching one of their games over the weekend.
Friday night following the Goalkeeper and Player Combine, a coach’s reception was held at Pinstripes Overland Park. Coaches were served complimentary food and beverages as they were able to socialize and network with fellow coaches.
In between game play on Saturday and Sunday, youth players and parents also had an opportunity to attend a series of College Pathway Education Panels, facilitated by iSoccerPath, an educational partner of the SCN in the college recruitment process. The purpose of the panels was to share college coaches' and players' knowledge on that process with SHOWCASE KC participants aspiring to play in college. The panels consisted of eight college coaches or players that attended one or more panel sessions.
SHOWCASE KC gives players that extra exposure to college coaches as well as providing outlets to teach them more about the college recruitment process from experienced resources. As Sporting St. Croix coach Nathan Klonecki put it, “SHOWCASE KC was a fabulous event. The opportunity for the players to be observed and seen by collegiate coaches for three quality games gives these players the chance to start making connections with college coaches.”
Sporting Springfield Director Eric Sorlie added, “SHOWCASE KC was a great opportunity for our HS boys teams to break off the rust and get back into things. It was fantastic to get out and stretch the legs against good competition. We are looking forward to future editions.”
Looking forward, the Sporting Club Network is continuing to look at ways to improve this event each year. The SCN wants provide a platform to enhance the communication channel between aspiring players and college coaches. Overall, the goal is to make this premier college showcase tournament the best in the country.
To view the album of photos taken over the weekend from special events and game play, click here.