Sporting KC Launches Girls Sporting Development League

Sporting KC announces the expansion of the Sporting Development League to include a U12 (2013) Girls Division beginning this fall season. The Sporting Development League provides a competitive and developmental opportunity for players and coaches from each of the participating Academy Affiliate clubs with Sporting KC covering the fees associated with participating in the league.

I’m excited to announce the expansion of the Sporting Development League to include a U12 Girls Division,” said Dan Popik, Sporting KC Vice President, Youth Sports Properties. “This highly competitive girls league will feature top clubs from across the Midwest with a structure that promotes player and team development, coach education, and advancement opportunities for the top players.”

This fall season, the U12 Girls Sporting Development League will consist of six Sporting KC Academy Affiliate clubs. These teams will play a minimum of five-game regular season and compete in Sporting Development League Championship weekend where the league winner will be crowned. The matches will take place at Sporting KC’s world-class youth soccer facilities in Kansas City.


Sporting Development League Participating Teams:

  • Sporting Iowa
  • Sporting Nebraska
  • Sporting Kaw Valley
  • Sporting City West
  • Sporting Wichita
  • Sporting Arkansas

* Additional Sporting KC Academy Affiliate clubs may join the league prior to the start of the season.


“The launch of the Girls Sporting Development League is a fantastic opportunity to continue the evolution of the female game here at Sporting Kansas City,” said Jamie MacGregor, Sporting KC Director of Coaching, Academy Affiliates. “We are committed to encouraging future generations of female players to become more involved in soccer and create a positive learning environment that optimizes growth and development.”

The Sporting Development League was founded in the spring of 2020 by a collection of Academy Affiliate Club Directors, Sporting KC Academy Director and staff, and Sporting KC Youth Soccer leadership. The inaugural season kicked-off in fall of 2020 featuring eight boys teams in both the U13 & U14 Divisions which included the Sporting KC Academy teams, six premier SKC Academy Affiliate clubs and a Sporting Club Network club that featured urban players from Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas.

The Sporting Development League has evolved since its inception as the league now operates U11 and U12 Boys Divisions. The Sporting Development League recently competed its fourth year; the spring season champions were U11 (2013) Sporting City East and U12 (2012) Sporting Blue Valley.

The expansion to include a U12 Girls Division is the first step in providing the Academy Affiliate girls players with opportunities to individually challenge themselves against high-level players from across the affiliation, while competing with their team in the highly competitive Sporting Development League.


More information about the Girls Sporting Development League—including league rules and match schedules—will be available in the near future at


Club Remarks


Sporting Wichita

“To have our girls program be a part of the Sporting Development League alongside other affiliate clubs throughout the state and region is an honor and a great opportunity for our players. This league puts player development first above all else and provides a competitive environment against teams who mirror our style of play. Sporting Wichita continues to increase opportunities and pathways for our girls’ program and this platform will provide the player and team development we seek for our club.”

Brooke Garza, 2013 Girls Head Coach, Sporting Wichita


Sporting Nebraska

“We are excited to be invited to be part of the Girls Sporting Development League for the 24-25 season.  The league will provide our girls teams with the opportunity to play more developmental friendly games, in a collaborative environment. We are constantly looking to provide our teams with more opportunities to play and grow as young female athletes and this platform has historically proven to be a valuable piece of the puzzle.

Luke Baxter, Assistant Director of Coaching, Sporting Nebraska


Sporting Iowa

“Having seen the immense benefit, the boy’s programs have taken from the SDL experience, we are extremely excited to expose our girls program to the unique developmental and positive environment SDL creates for our young players.”

Matt Kenton, 12U Girls Director, Sporting Iowa


Sporting City West

“We are honored for Sporting City West to be selected for the inaugural Fall 2024 season of the Girl’s Sporting Development League. This marks a monumental step for Sporting City West and Sporting KC in support of female players within our Sporting KC Academy Affiliates. With the SDL platform tailored exclusively for the Sporting KC Academy Affiliates and with the addition of the 2013 girls age group, our determination and proven history of player development, now extends to our female athletes. We look forward to continuing to raise the standards for our region’s female players by providing them a proven platform within the Sporting KC Academy Affiliate network. Sporting City West is committed to providing the same high-level opportunities the boy’s SDL receives, by adding the girl’s SDL this fall.”

Matt Busch, Director of Coaching, Sporting City West


Sporting Arkansas

“Several of our boys teams have participated in the Sporting Development League in recent years, and both the players and coaches have had a great experience interacting with the other Academy Affiliates as well as the Sporting KC Academy Staff. We are thrilled to be able to offer that experience to our girls this year. I know that SDL will add to the overall soccer experience for our players and our coaches. Our girls will be ready to go this fall.”

– Scott Marksberry, Director of Coaching, Sporting Arkansas


Sporting Kaw Valley

“Joining the girls Sporting Development League represents a significant milestone for our club and girls’ program. This opportunity not only elevates the level of competition for our players but also aligns perfectly with our commitment to fostering growth, development, and excellence in youth soccer for young female athletes. We are excited to see our girls rise to the challenge, hone their skills, and embody the values of sportsmanship and teamwork on this esteemed platform.”

– Stefan St. Louis, Director of Coaching & Player Development, Sporting Kaw Valley