Last month, the Sporting Kansas City Academy announced rosters for the 2023-24 Academy season. Its newest team – for boys 13-and-under – includes ten players who joined directly from an Academy Affiliate club.
“Congratulations to the 10 Academy Affiliate players that were selected to the U13 SKC Academy team,” Sporting KC Vice President of Youth Sports Properties Dan Popik said. “This is also a credit to our Academy Affiliate clubs, who year-over-year continue to develop players to represent the Sporting KC Academy teams.”
With teams for boys aged 12-18, the Sporting KC Academy features the top players from the Kansas City metro area and surrounding states.
Currently, 44% of all SKC Academy players came through an existing or former Academy Affiliate club.
Affiliate clubs represented include Sporting Blue Valley, Sporting City North, Sporting Columbia, Sporting Nebraska, Sporting Iowa, Sporting Kaw Valley, Sporting Springfield, Sporting Wichita, and former clubs Sporting Missouri Valley and Sporting Southern Indiana.
“Promoting Academy Affiliate players to the Academy has always been a key pilar of our strategy here at Sporting,” said Jamie MacGregor, Academy Affiliate Director of Coaching. “With so many Affiliate players in the system, (it) shows how well our affiliate coaches are doing to enhance player development in their local markets.”
Since 2007, the Sporting KC Academy has utilized MLS’s Homegrown initiative to identify and develop the top young players from around the Midwest. The Sporting KC Academy currently consists of five boys’ teams at the U19, U17, U15, U14, and U13 age levels. In the Academy’s 16-year history, it has produced a total of 18 Homegrown Players who have been signed to the Sporting KC First Team.
Established in 2011, the SKC Youth Academy Affiliate program has grown to include 15 youth soccer clubs across seven states. The Academy Affiliate program offers player development pathway opportunities, coaching education, specialized events and experiences and unparalleled access to the professional club to players of all ages and skill levels.
2023 Academy Affiliate Players Selected:
U13: Brady Cowan, Johnnie De Warabeck, Josmain Delgado, Brayden Drewing, Blake Hannagan, Porter Linhos, Daniel Martinez, Aiden Pardo, Cristian Ponce, Luca Pore
U14: Jake Adams, Luca Antongirolami, Finn Dean, Carlos Delgado, Mason Duffy, Luke Gardner, Julian Gutierrez, Mack Herrman, Emilio Jacinto-Lopez, Langston Lewis, Reid Lindstrom, Vincent Madeo, Jayden Pulley, Alfredo Velasquez, Sam Worcester
U15: Eman Alicic, Santino Barberena, Jack Francka, Alex Gemeinhardt, Justin Jones, Colin Kyser, Bryden Liem, Joel Ward, Baron Williams
U17: Angel Franco, Kiernan Gaughan, Jaxson Kalinka, Ronald Lozano Del Angel, Jacob Molinaro, Trajan Wormington
U19: Jacob Bartlett, Nathanael Clarke, Rhys Laws, Ryan Reid, Ryan Wagner