The Sporting Development League is a new player development platform featuring friendly competition amongst Sporting Academy Affiliate clubs from across the region as well as the Sporting KC Academy. The league consists of 16 teams, eight clubs in each U13 and U14 level. The top-level teams from each club will play a seven-game season from August through November with a flexible schedule that offers freedom to participate in regular league-play as well as tournaments throughout the Fall season. Additionally, there are no registration fees or additional costs for teams competing in the Sporting Development League.
August 21st marked the beginning of the inaugural season with matches kicking off for the league with Academy Affiliate teams from Blue Valley, Missouri Valley, St. Louis, Omaha, Iowa, Springfield all represented. The league sees the SKC Academy U12 and U13 teams playing up in older divisions with the U13 and U14 age groups, respectively. Overall, 12 matches were played (six per age group) through the course of two days at Swope Soccer Village with each team competing in two matches.
This past Saturday brought on the second set of competitive fixtures. Along with the Academy Affiliates and SKC Academy teams, Sporting United joined the competition. Made up from a collection of players in urban communities from the Kansas City metro, United teams are coached by former Sporting KC Academy player Hector Solorio Jr. A total of 12 matches were played during the second weekend of competition (seven in the U14 age group and 5 in the U13 age group).
Scores and standings can be found at: sportingkcyouth.com/sporting-development-league/
The Sporting Development League is unique in ways that each match is played with an emphasis on player development based on the rules and structure of the league itself. Coaches and staff had the opportunity to review SKC Academy style of play principles from the first weekend via video presentations conducted by the SKC Academy staff. In addition, teams had the opportunity to review their own styles of play to continue to learn how they can improve. This aspect of the league is a key component for players to compete in an ideal developmental environment going into each week of competition.
All league competition will conclude by the end of October with the SDL Championships taking place November 14-15 at Swope Soccer Village. League standings will determine seeding for the championships with teams having a final chance to see where they fit against the other clubs in the league. At the end of the season, the league champions in both age groups will be awarded a special gift courtesy of adidas and player awards will be announced for the All-League Team, Golden Ball (Best Player), and Golden Glove (Best Goalkeeper).
For more information on Sporting Development League, please visit sportingkcyouth.com.