On March 25-27, Sporting Kansas City Youth Soccer hosted the fourth annual Sporting Next-Gen Invitational, a youth soccer tournament for U8 (2014) to U14/15 (2008) Boys & Girls.
Hosted at Compass Minerals Sporting Fields and Swope Soccer Village, Sporting Next-Gen brought together some of the top clubs and teams from around the Midwest.
During the weekend, Sporting Next-Gen saw 172 clubs from nine states compete for the top spot in 30 brackets. States represented at the competition included Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and South Dakota.
The first matches of the tournament kicked-off on Friday evening with 288 matches taking place over the course of the weekend. Each team played a minimum of three matches, with the top teams in each division competing for the championship.
“I’m really grateful for each of the teams that attended Sporting Next-Gen,” said Alec Smith, Sporting KC Youth Manager of Competitions. “It was great seeing so many teams from around the region come together in Kansas City for the weekend. We were able to see different styles of soccer and how players adapt to facing new competition.”
Sporting Next-Gen players, their families and coaches also had the opportunity to make unique memories with Sporting Kansas City. Participants cheered Sporting KC on to a 1-0 win over Real Salt Lake at a sold-out Children’s Mercy Park, in the first meeting between the two sides since the 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs.
Sporting Next-Gen participants also had the opportunity to meet two Sporting Kansas City players at the tournament. Midfielders Gadi Kinda and Felipe Hernandez stopped by Compass Minerals Sporting Fields to take photos and sign autographs with tournament attendees.
“Sporting Next-Gen Invitational is unique in that we’re able to provide both quality competition on the pitch and personalized experiences with Sporting Kansas City off the pitch,” said Brennan Williams, Sporting KC Director of Youth Soccer Programming. “Our goal for each of our tournaments is to provide an environment where players can develop their skills and also experience what makes Sporting KC so special.”
The tentative dates for next year’s, 2023 Sporting Next-Gen Invitational has been set for March 24-26, 2023.