Sporting Kansas City and the Swope Park Rangers are currently struggling during the 2019 seasons in MLS and USL. Sporting KC sit in 10th place in the Western Conference (out of 12 teams) and the Rangers are all the way down in 18th in the Eastern Conference (out of 18).
Despite the rough run of form for both teams, there are still things to be excited about when it comes to the Sporting KC organization as a whole. Particularly, in the SKC Academy. It’s tough to keep up on everything going on, so that we do our part, we’ve got a round-up of all the recent happenings that you might want to be aware of.
- Forward Osvaldo Cisneros and midfielder Rokus Pukstas both helped the United States U-15 team to the semi-finals where they ultimately fell 3-0 to Portugal. You might be saying, ‘Portugal aren’t in CONCACAF,’ and you’d be right, but three UEFA teams were were invited to participate. Portugal went on to beat Slovenia in the final.
- Speaking of Cisneros, he scored both goals in the 2-0 quarter final victory over Costa Rica to move on to face Portugal.
- Cisneros and Pukstas helped the US go undefeated in the group stage with wins over Haiti, Guatemala and Siriname.
- The 2019-2020 season just kicked off for the academy clubs and the U-15 team won three of four games at the RSL Academy Cup to finish in second place. They beat Real Salt Lake in pool play but lost to them 4-3 in the final.
- Sam Kovzan has a nice little story about Gianluca Busio and his relationship with his host family, which is a vital part of the success of the 25% or so of the players who move to KC from some other part of the country (or world — Daniel Salloi).
- Former SKC Academy player Cameron Duke signed a first team deal with Sporting Kansas City.
- Another former SKC Academy player, Tucker Stephenson, took a different path. After playing with USL League Two’s Kaw Valley FC (based out of Kansas), he signed with the Swope Park Rangers.
Sporting KC released a series of question and answers with various members of the academy. They are very interesting reads and give great insight into backgrounds and what is going on in the SKC Academy. All the interviews were also conducted by Anna Salloi, who is Daniel Salloi’s sister.
- Jon Parry — Academy Director (we have more on Parry and the SKC Academy as a whole too)
- Michel Ribeiro — Technical Coach
- Gavin McInerney — Goalkeeper Coach
- Colby Childress — U-12 Head Coach
- Luis Pacheco — U-13 Head Coach
- Declan Jogi — U-14 Head Coach
- Chris O’Neal — U-15 Head Coach
- Rumba Munthali — U-17/U-19 Head Coach