Three Sporting Kansas City Academy teams returned to winning ways on Saturday as the U-15s, U-17s and U-19s combined to sweep a U.S. Soccer Development Academy tripleheader against Texans SC Houston at Swope Soccer Village.
All three sides had suffered road losses to the Houston Dynamo last weekend but bounced back on Saturday with victories over another Houston-based opponent. The U-15s did so with a pair of first-half goals from Cody Casanova and Gage Akalu, prevailing 2-1 to capture their third win of the 2017-18 Development Academy campaign.
The U-17s (8-6-1, 25 points) climbed to third place in the Central Conference's Frontier Division with a narrow triumph of their own. After dominating throughout the match, Jahon Rad scored his team-leading seventh league goal of the season in the 78th minute to give Sporting KC a 1-0 victory as goalkeeper Max Trejo notched the shutout between the posts.
The U-19s (9-5-1, 28 points) rounded out a successful afternoon in style, posting a 4-0 win behind an early brace from Collin Innes and strikes in either half from Abdu Kikhia and Roman Knox. The result lifted the U-19s within three points of joint leaders Colorado Rapids and FC Dallas at the top of the Frontier Division table.
Academy clubs are off next weekend before the Sporting KC U-17s venture to Frisco, Texas, from March 23-31 to compete in the Champions Division of the prestigious 2018 Generation adidas Cup. The team will open the tournament against Spanish giants Real Madrid before taking on Brazil's Atletico Paranaense and fellow MLS academy New York City FC in the group stage
- vs. Real Madrid (Spain) at 6:15 p.m. CT on Friday, March 23
- vs. Atletico Paranaense (Brazil) at 2:30 p.m. CT on Sunday, March 25
- vs. New York City FC (USA) at 2:30 p.m. CT on Tuesday, March 27
Led by head coach Rumba Munthali, the U-17's secured a berth in the Champions Division at the GA Cup Finals with a first-place finish in the West qualifying region.