The 2020 Development Academy Championships return to Kansas City this year. National champions will be determined for boys at the U-15, U-16/17 and U-18/19 age groups and at the U-15, U-16 and U-17 age groups for girls. The matches will be played July 9th-12th at Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City, Missouri.
The four best teams in each age group will finish off the Academy season with hopes of becoming the champions. This is the first time that six different age groups will compete for the championships. Boys U-15 has been added and the distinct Girls U-16 and U-17 age groups have been introduced.
“We’re very excited to have the opportunity to host the Development Academy Championships in Kansas City again,” said Sporting Kansas City Manager and Sporting Director Peter Vermes said via press release. “This will be a great showcase for our city and the wonderful facilities we have built here, and we look forward to welcoming many of the top young players in the country for this event.”
The final four teams in the Academy Playoffs from the Boys U-15, U-16/17 and U-18/19 age groups as well as the Girls U-15, U-16 and U-17 age groups will advance to the Academy Championships in Kansas City.
Last season, New York City FC U-18/19 and Solar Soccer Club U-16/17 won national championships on the boys’ side, while Solar Soccer Club U-16/17 and San Jose Earthquakes U-15 took home the Girls’ Academy titles.
The Boys’ Summer Showcase and Playoffs will determine the teams for the Academy Championships will be held June 17th – 25th and the Girls’ event will be held June 20th -30th. Both events will be held at the SoCal Sports Complex in Oceanside, Calif.
Future stars on display
It will be a while before it is determined which teams have earned their way into the finals but in past DA Cups and GA Cups, some of the best players were present in Kansas City. Weston McKennie was on the FC Dallas roster when they played in Kansas City. Jesus Ferreira recently switched to play for U.S. Soccer and earned his first cap. When he was in the FC Dallas Academy he tore up the competition in Kansas City at one GA Cup. He scored a number of times and was almost unstoppable.
Gio Reyna is making a name for himself with Dortmund but he has also appeared at Swope Soccer Village in GA Cup games. Players like Efraín Álvarez and Uly Llanez from LA Galaxy have also played in Kansas City.
Those are just a few of the great players from other academies that have played in Kansas City but Sporting KC can see their future frequently throughout the year in the SKC Academy.