Sporting Kansas City announced today that Lee's Summit Soccer Association (LSSA) has become the 13th Academy Affiliate in the Sporting Club Network. As part of becoming an affiliate, LSSA has rebranded as Sporting Lee's Summit.
"It's a great day for Lee's Summit Soccer Association and Sporting Kansas City," said Sporting Lee's Summit President Ron Cox via press release. "It allows us to work together to accelerate the development of our young players. It will help them get to the pros quicker and ultimately help Sporting KC, our hometown team, win another MLS Cup."
LSSA was founded in 1992 and has grown into an organization that has opportunities for both boys and girls to play and develop from recreational up through competitive teams and now has a direct link to Sporting Kansas City's Academy. LSSA home base are the all grass fields at Legacy Park in Lee's Summit.
"They are a club that brings players into their club regardless of age, gender or technical ability" said Sporting KC Technical Director Peter Vermes. "More importantly, they have grown their club to nearly 7,000 players and, as this membership has grown, they have consistently looked to add new opportunities for the players involved. Sporting Lee's Summit fosters the opportunity for kids to go through their program all the way from recreational to competitive. With this affiliation to Sporting KC, the club will have an opportunity to graduate those players looking to fulfill a dream of one day playing professionally via the SKC Academy and then hopefully into MLS from there."
Sporting KC's third homegrown player, Erik Palmer-Brown, grew up in Lee's Summit playing for LSSA before leaving to join SKC's development academy. Palmer-Brown signed with Sporting KC when he was just 16 and has drawn attention from Italian power Juventus.
Sporting Lee's Summit is the fifth affiliate in Missouri and the third in the metro area. Sporting KC has affiliates across the Midwest in order to draw in as much talent as possible.