Sporting KC Youth Soccer hosted the largest Sporting Classic tournament to-date, August 25-27 in Kansas City.
A total of 219 teams from five states attended this year’s tournament, up over 30% from last year.
After Friday evening matches were canceled due to the extreme heat and humidity, 344 matches were played across three local facilities Saturday and Sunday: Central Bank Sporting Complex, Compass Minerals Sporting Fields and Compass Minerals National Performance Center.
Open to boys and girls teams in U9 (2015) through U15 (2009) age groups, the 2023 Sporting Classic featured 44 total brackets. The top two teams from each bracket moved on to the finals on Sunday, competing for a trophy and the title of Sporting Classic Champion.
Of the 88 teams that moved on to play in a final match, 69 were Sporting Kansas City Academy Affiliates.
“This year’s Sporting Classic will definitely go down as one of the best and largest events we’ve hosted,” said Alec Smith, Sporting KC Manager of Competitions. “I’m glad so many teams had such a great experience and made memories with us.”
The excitement of the weekend continued Saturday night, as Sporting Classic players and their families cheered on Sporting KC at Children’s Mercy Park as Sporting went on to defeat the San Jose Earthquakes 3-0.
Players and fans also had the opportunity to meet some of their First Team favorites throughout the weekend, as defender Kortne Ford and goalkeeper John Pulskamp made appearances at Central Bank Sporting Complex, while forward Stephen Afrifa and defender Jake Davis greeted fans at Compass Minerals Sporting Fields.
This year’s tournament also introduced two new ways for teams to stay updated throughout the weekend: the Sporting Classic Tournament Hub in the Sporting KC App, where parents could access field maps and view game schedules and scores, and tournament text alerts, where players and spectators could opt-in to be notified about schedule changes, weather updates and player appearances!
Dates and registration information for next year’s Sporting Classic will be announced in the coming months.