Sporting Kansas City Youth Soccer is excited to announce another addition to the Academy Affiliate program, Sporting Oklahoma. The new affiliate club, located in the Oklahoma City metro area, will provide recreational, academy and competitive soccer programs, as well as a variety of off-season player training programs focused on individual player development.
Dan Popik, Sporting KC’s Vice President of Youth Business Development commented on the new addition to the Academy Affiliate family. “I’m excited to formally announce the addition of Sporting Oklahoma to the Sporting Club Network and Academy Affiliate Program,” Popik said. “With the state of Oklahoma being in Sporting KC’s Major League Soccer Homegrown Territory, this is an incredible opportunity for players in Oklahoma City to have a direct professional pathway to MLS. Sporting Oklahoma will offer Oklahoma City and its surrounding communities a first-class youth soccer experience with an emphasis on player development and coaching education while treating all of its members with a high level of professionalism. We’re elated to be part of this club from the beginning.”
Sporting Oklahoma’s mission is to provide a positive, safe and professional environment that encourages early engagement and a lifelong interest in soccer by providing quality programs, facilities, staff, education and leadership for youth players of all ages and abilities. Sporting Oklahoma aims to develop character, encourage physical fitness and foster personal growth for all of their participants with a focus on learning invaluable life lessons realized through commitment, leadership, teamwork, perseverance and sportsmanship; and to develop and prepare youth players of all ages and abilities for the next level of competition through progressive programing and age-appropriate training designed to help each player reach their full potential.
Sporting Oklahoma’s President, Matthew Smith, also commented on joining the Academy Affiliate program. “Sporting Oklahoma is thrilled to partner with Sporting Kansas City as an official Academy Affiliate,” he said. “As an organization, the identity of Sporting Oklahoma is centered around its emphasis on collaboration and teamwork, as well as its devotion to its mission, vision and core values. This partnership provides Sporting Oklahoma an amazing opportunity to collaborate with a high-caliber professional club committed to growing the game from the youth level up.”
Sporting Kansas City’s Academy Affiliate program strives towards a common goal of growing the game while providing its members with the best possible resources, education and developmental opportunities both on and off the field while also giving members unparalleled access to Sporting Kansas City and Sporting Club.
Sean McMannis, Sporting Oklahoma’s Director of Coaching, commented on the benefits the Affiliate programs will bring to the club. “Our relationship with Sporting KC allows us to provide a unique player development pathway for our boys and girls, as well as education and certification opportunities for our coaches,” McMannis said. “At the center of our club culture is our focus on the long-term development of our players technically, tactically, physically and mentally. This player-first philosophy aligns perfectly with the training and developmental philosophies of Sporting KC, and our access to their technical staff and coaches will help elevate Sporting Oklahoma to the next level, allowing us to raise the game.”
Sporting Oklahoma’s Director of Soccer Operations and Director of Goalkeeping, James Ritchie, said “We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with Sporting Kansas City and bring their model to Oklahoma. The professionalism and infrastructure of Sporting KC is second to none. This affiliation gives young Oklahoma-based players a clear pathway from our youth program to the MLS.”
In efforts to consistently provide exclusive events, programs and opportunities for its members, the Academy Affiliate program flourishes through its connection and collaboration with the Sporting Kansas City Academy. The Affiliate program continues to search for new opportunities to strengthen ties to the Sporting KC Academy.
Nathan Hunt, Sporting KC’s Academy Affiliate Director of Coaching, said, “I look forward to working directly with the Sporting Oklahoma staff to enhance the soccer experience of not only the players and coaches but for the parents and all other interested parties of the club. James Ritchie and Sean McMannis bring a passion, focus and expertise that makes the prospect of consistently working with them something myself and the Academy Affiliate staff look forward to. Welcome to the family, Sporting Oklahoma!”
Sporting Oklahoma will provide an opportunity to expand the footprint of the Sporting Kansas City Academy Affiliate program, in an effort to collectively provide more resources and support towards growing the game and supporting player and coach development in the region. We are excited to welcome Sporting Oklahoma into our Academy Affiliate family and are looking forward to the ongoing partnership and collaboration our organizations will have.