Three Sporting Kansas City Academy teams visited Southern California during Memorial Day Weekend to compete in the 2019 Nexen Manchester City Cup, a premier youth tournament featuring some of the most prominent academies in North America.
The Sporting KC U-14s, U-13s and U-12s all played six matches across a five-day period from May 23-27, taking the field at SoCal Sports Complex in Oceanside and Surf Cup Sports Complex in Del Mar.
“The Manchester City Cup was a great experience for the team,” said Sporting KC U-12 head coach Colby Childress. “It’s always good to play top competition across the country and internationally. It was a good weekend of performances from the players, and it showed the growth and progress each player has made throughout the season.”
The U-14s highlighted their campaign with wins over Mexican club Tijuana and Canadian side De Anza Force. Gianluca Armellino buried a last-minute penalty kick in the 1-0 defeat of Tijuana, while Manuel Romero and Luke Reidell scored in the 2-0 triumph against De Anza Force.
Romero was on target again in a 2-2 stalemate with New York City FC to end the tournament, which saw Sporting strike twice in the final moments. Nati Clarke also found the back of the net in the late-game rally, bringing the U-14s’ record to 2-2-2.
Sporting KC U-14s (2-2-2)
- May 23: W 1-0 vs. Tijuana (Armellino penalty)
- May 23: L 0-1 vs. FC Golden State
- May 24: W 2-0 vs. De Anza Force (Romero, Reidell)
- May 24: T 0-0 vs. LA Galaxy (lost 5-4 on penalties)
- May 26: L 0-3 vs. LAFC
- May 27: T 2-2 vs. NYCFC (Clarke and Romero score late)
The U-13s earned the best batch of results among Sporting’s representatives, compiling a 4-1-1 record. The team reeled off three straight shutout victories before narrowly falling 2-1 to the LA Galaxy, then rebounded with a 2-1 triumph over New York City FC and ended the competition with a scoreless draw against the San Diego Surf.
Sporting KC U-13s (4-1-1)
- May 23: W 4-0 vs. OC Surf
- May 23: W 1-0 vs. FC Golden State
- May 24: W 1-0 vs. LAFC
- May 24: L 1-2 vs. LA Galaxy
- May 26: W 2-1 vs. New York City FC
- May 27: T 0-0 vs. San Diego Surf
The U-12s were unable to enter the win column but scored eight goals across the six games, with four of their losses coming by the slimmest of margins to go with a well-earned 1-1 draw against Real So Cal.
Sporting KC U-12s (0-5-1)
- May 23: L 2-3 vs. Strikers FC
- May 23: T 1-1 vs. Real So Cal
- May 24: L 1-2 vs. Real Salt Lake
- May 24: L 3-4 vs. Tijuana
- May 26: L 0-1 vs. Arsenal FC
- May 27: L 1-4 vs. FC Golden State