The Sporting Kansas City Academy U-15s kicked off their 2019-20 season in impressive fashion this week, winning three of four matches and earning a second-place finish at the RSL Academy Cup in Herriman, Utah.
Ten different players found the back of the net for Sporting in round robin victories over Mexican club Tijuana, Real Salt Lake and Napa United. These wins set up a rematch with Real Salt Lake in Saturday’s championship, which saw Sporting fall just short in a 4-3 thriller at the Zions Bank Training Center.
Sporting opened the tournament on Wednesday with an emphatic 4-0 defeat of Tijuana. Kelly Kipruto scored twice while Gage Akalu and Manuel Romero also found the back of the net against their heralded Mexican counterparts.
Thursday’s contest with hosts Real Salt Lake was more tightly contested, but Matthew Fischer provided the game-winner to keep Sporting unbeaten. Pool play concluded Friday as Sporting rolled to a 10-1 triumph over California side Napa United—a goal fest that included strikes from seven different players. Gianluca Armellino, Barrett Kitts and Ryan Reid bagged braces to go with tallies from Romero, Edgar Bazan, Brevyn Cole and Jack Lucas.
Saturday’s championship unfolded breathlessly, and although Sporting was on the losing end of a 4-3 result, strong attacking play produced strikes from Armellino, Reid and Kipruto—all of whom finished their tournament campaigns with three goals each.
The U-15s will now return to Kansas City to continue their preparations for the 2019-20 U.S. Soccer Development Academy season.