What is an Academy Affiliate?

In addition to being members of the Sporting Club Network, select youth soccer clubs may also be eligible to be affiliates for the Sporting Kansas City Academy program. The clubs that rebrand as Academy Affiliates strive towards a common goal of growing the game, while providing the best possible resources, education, and developmental opportunities to all members both on and off the field.

ACADEMY AFFILIATE CLUBS

BENEFITS

  • Redesign of club crest
  • Permitted use of the Sporting KC brand
  • Sporting KC autographed home and away jerseys
  • Annual market visits & experiences with SKC Academy coaching staff
  • Discounted tickets
  • Priority access and pricing to SKC hosted competitions
  • Unparalleled access to SKC Senior team and SKC Academy
  • Top players participate in All-Star Experiences
  • Opportunity to make the jump to an SKC Academy team
  • Complete player development pathway
  • Exclusive opportunity to recommend top players for SKC DA Regional Player Pool
  • Resources and support for players in their college recruitment process
  • SKC observation days
  • Coaching educations led by SKC Academy coaches
  • Sporting Sessions (access to SKC Academy curriculum)
  • Connectivity and consultation from SKC Academy technical staff
  • Opportunity to send one director per year to SKC preseason
  • Participation in director’s summits
  • Monthly calls with SKC, involving front office and technical staff
  • Direct access to consultation from full time staff of Sporting Club
  • Behind the scenes access for SKC events (SKC trainings, chalk talks, etc.)
  • Discounted tournament prices
  • Discounted tickets to SKC and SPR games
  • SCN Uniform Scholarship Program
  • Educational resources tied to our clubs and player development practices

EVENTS

Academy Affiliate Observation Day

SKC Affiliate Observation Days will give the Academy Affiliate coaches the chance to observe training sessions from the youth & professional teams of SKC. Depending on the daily schedule, these on-field coaching education could include the Centers of Excellence (U9/U11), the SKC Academy (U12-U19 teams), the Swope Park Rangers (USL), and even the SKC Senior Team (MLS).

Academy Affiliate Director's Summit

Periodically throughout the year, SKC may host Academy Affiliate Director’s Summits. At these events, key Affiliate staff hear from guest speakers, participate in round table discussions & on-field demonstrations, and more. These events create a positive learning environment where Directors can share & increase their knowledge in youth soccer, and collectively work towards further developing their clubs.

Academy Affiliate Friendlies

The Academy Affiliate Friendlies are a tournament hosted by Sporting Club Network that is only open to Academy Affiliate teams associated with Sporting KC. The friendlies are hosted in Kansas City on a weekend.

The benefits of attending the Academy Affiliate Friendlies include, but are not limited to:

  • Player village
  • SKC player appearances
  • Contests & prizes
  • Individual player gift from Adidas
  • Guaranteed 3 games
  • Unique competition

Academy Affiliate All-Star Experience

Sporting Club Network hosts two Academy Affiliate All-Star Experiences throughout the year, one in the spring and one in the fall. The All-Star Experience includes four All-Star teams, two boys and two girls teams. Each of our Academy Affiliate clubs has the opportunity to send top boy and girl players to Kansas City to participate in the All-Star Experience.

The experience consists of a full weekend of events including but not limited to the following:

  • Welcoming ceremony which includes handing out All-Star gift bags, intro from guest speaker & more
  • Two high-level training sessions with Sporting KC’s Academy technical staff
  • Possibility of watching Sporting Club’s pro teams train
  • Potential for unique fitness/classroom session with a Sporting KC technical staff member
  • An All-Star exhibition match versus the top boys & girls teams in the KC area
  • Exclusive chalk talk lead by a Sporting KC technical liaison, who breaks down the technical side of the SKC match pre-game.
  • Opportunity to view SKC warm-ups field-side prior to SKC match

SKC Academy Regional Player Pool

Sporting Club Network and SKC Academy have collaboratively created a regional player pool. For the Academy Affiliate boys who are talented enough, but may have restrictions of travel/location, the pool gives them the opportunity to be a part of the SKC Academy while staying close to home.

The boys regional pool benefits include but are not limited to:

  • Player development and identification resource linking Academy Affiliates to the SKC Academy
  • The pool allows us to support the development of Academy Affiliate prospects while keeping them on a similar trajectory to the full-time SKC Academy players
  • Academy Affiliate players receive access to SKC Academy curriculum
  • 3 visits to Kansas City to be intermixed and train with the SKC Academy boys
  • The 3 training events comprise of a training session & small-sided game play
  • Evaluation period after each season where the SKC Academy coaches determine each players continuation of the program

For more information on Academy Affiliates or on how to become an Academy Affiliate, please contact Liam O’Connell at loconnell@sportingkc.com.