On Friday, Sporting Springfield was named Sporting Kansas City’s 2022 Sporting Club Network Member of the Year, presented by Price Chopper.
The award was one of a number presented at Pitch Black, Sporting KC’s annual awards banquet, and was accepted by Eric Sorlie, Springfield Executive Director of Coaching, Gerard Barbero, Springfield Boys’ Director of Coaching and Logan Favreau, Springfield Youth Director, on behalf of the club.
“Sporting Springfield is honored to be chosen as the Sporting Club Network Member of the Year for 2022. The players, parents, volunteers, coaches and board members work endlessly to provide and fulfill the best possible experiences on and off the soccer field,” Sorlie said.
“As a Sporting KC Academy Affiliate, we are able to help players and coaches reach their potential through shared information and resources to progress the opportunities afforded to our players and coaches. We cherish this award, what it means, and look forward to upholding its expectations!”
Based in Springfield, Missouri, Sporting Springfield has been a part of the Academy Affiliate program since 2016 and provides opportunities at various competitive levels for over 600 players aged 3-19 years old from across Southwest Missouri.
Sporting Springfield aims to develop elite competitors both on and off the field, which has been exemplified through the club’s participation in top leagues like Sporting Development League (SDL) and Elite Club National League (ECNL).
This year, Sporting Springfield teams were finalists at Missouri State Cup and Missouri President’s Cup. In addition, Springfield boys U12 and U13 teams were the regular season champions of SDL for the Fall 2021 season.
Sporting Springfield has also seen individual player success, with four current players representing Springfield with the SKC Academy, and an additional two that aged out the end of the spring season. The club’s player development model was also highlighted this year by the professional debut of 17-year-old Sporting KC II defender Draven Barnett, who made four appearances in MLS NEXT Pro and is currently a freshman at Temple University.
“Congratulations to Sporting Springfield on being recognized as the 2022 Sporting Club Network Member of the Year,” said Dan Popik, Vice President of Youth Business Development. “Sporting Springfield excelled this year on the field – winning multiple prestigious leagues and tournaments while continuing to produce players for the SKC Academy and placing multiple players on college rosters across all divisions.”
“The future is bright for Sporting Springfield as they opened their new training facility to support their growth in membership and create a top-level training environment for their players to grow,” Popik said.
In addition to its on-field success, Sporting Springfield became the primary tenant of the newly completed Betty & Bob Allison Sports Town Complex in Springfield during the spring. The complex boasts 12 fields (four turf, eight grass), LED field lighting and a 94,000-square-foot building that will hold a pair of indoor soccer fields, an athletic training area, and the Sporting Springfield office. Having access to new, local facilities will allow Sporting Springfield to provide a higher level of training and programming to families in the Springfield community and surrounding region.
“Sporting Springfield has an interesting and advantageous setup in southwest Missouri. They are able to think outside the box and really focus on improving the learning environment for not only players, but coaches also,” said Nathan Hunt, Director of Coaching, Academy Affiliates. “Sporting Springfield is in a prime position with their culture, coaching staff and facilities to really take creating and facilitating an environment for player and coach growth to a new level in their region. We look forward to being partners with Sporting Springfield for many years to come!”