Earlier this week, U.S. Soccer announced that both FC Kansas City and Sporting Blue Valley will be part of the Girls' Development Academy. They were part of an additional 22 clubs being added bringing the total to 74.
The Development Academy program is designed to accelerate the growth and development of world-class female players and will begin play in the fall of 2017.
Vlatko Andonovski is FC Kansas City’s head coach on the professional side and also serves as the Technical Director for the club’s youth teams. “It’s huge for the development of the game, especially on the women’s side in this city,” Andonovski observed.
“There are so many good young soccer players in Kansas City and the area; Wichita, Topeka, Emporia, Columbia, St. Louis, Omaha, Des Moines that are looking for more. They are looking for that next level and FC Kansas City will now be able to provide it,” Andonovski added. “We have already heard from players outside of Kansas City that are interested in coming here to play.”
On the boys’ side, Sporting Kansas City fields the lone Development Academy in the area but with Sporting Blue Valley fielding a girls’ team there will be high quality competition without traveling.
Andonovski likes that there is built in competition already. “It will be good for both to create that competitive spirit. Manchester United needs Manchester City, Arsenal needs Chelsea and FC Kansas City will need Sporting Blue Valley. That will keep us on our toes and it will keep them on their toes just to make sure that we are both doing the right things. I think both Sporting BV and us have the capacity to build a good program.”