Thursday, March 8, 2012

 We've Moved: New Home

The Junior Way has been called up to the full team! All the same news and notes we've been delivering here on blogger are destined for a new address and can now be found at SportingKC.com/Junior-Way.

We're excited about the new opportunity to show off the Juniors alongside the other series of new blogs on SportingKC.com. A vast majority of the traffic to this blog originated at SportingKC.com all along, so now the new location can truly serve as a one-stop shop for readers.

But before we go, we'll leave you with some of the stats from our run right here on blogspot:

We'll leave this up for the archives, but please update your bookmarks and RSS feeds so you don't miss a single sentence. See you on the other side!

Monday, March 5, 2012

 U13s: Border Battle champs

Congratulations go out to the Sporting Kansas City U13 Juniors, who were crowned champions of the 2012 Border Battle Tournament this weekend! The Under-13 squad went 2-0-1 in Pool A of the Boys U13 Russia division, advancing to the final and securing a 2-0 win over SLSG Metro - Pre Academy 98/99.

Check out video highlights below, with all 11 goals from the weekend captured by Chris Bihuniak...


The U14 Juniors were also in action at the tournament, hosted in Overland Park, and went 0-1-2 while playing up a year in Pool A of the Boys U15 Switzerland division. The Under-14's opened the competition with a 1-1 draw against KCSC Blackstars 96/97 before falling 3-2 to eventual group winners Galaxy 96/97 Blue on Saturday. The Juniors rebounded on Sunday with a scoreless draw versus FCX North Black.

 Photos: U18s vs FC Dallas

Check out the photo slideshow below from the Sporting Kansas City U18 Juniors match on Friday against FC Dallas in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy. Some great shots!

Photos courtesy of Lightner family

Saturday, March 3, 2012

 U16s draw vs FC Dallas

The Sporting Kansas City Juniors opened the spring season of the 2011-2012 U.S. Soccer Development Academy on Friday night at the Sporting Club Training Center in Swope Park. The U18's kicked off the doubleheader against FC Dallas, dropping a 3-0 result versus the Texas Division leaders. Sporting KC fell behind early after conceding a penalty kick and FC Dallas scored twice more in the first half for their 16th win in 19 USSDA matches.

The U16's fared better, sending the visitors home with a 2-2 draw. Jon Parry's squad led twice in the opening 45 minutes on goals from Rockhurst High School classmates. Luke Stanley opened the scoring on a penalty kick and Cole Stevenson put the Juniors back ahead 2-1 with his strike, but an FC Dallas penalty kick in the second half drew the teams level.

Sporting KC will continue the USSDA season at home next weekend when both teams face St. Louis Scott Gallagher Metro on Saturday. Mark your calendars, U18s kick off at 11:30am followed by U16s at 2:00pm!

Friday, March 2, 2012

 Development Academy resumes

After playing their first six games in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy's 2011-2012 season in November/December, the Sporting Kansas City U16 and U18 teams will resume play in the USSDA tonight at home against fellow MLS foe FC Dallas!

The
Under-18 Juniors, led by Paul Rideout, enter the match with a 4-2-0 record but they will be facing an FC Dallas squad that has already played 18 games this season with only one loss. Their match kicks off at 4:30pm at the Sporting Club Training Center in Swope Park.

The
Under-16 Juniors, led by Jon Parry, will play after the U18's at Swope with kick off scheduled for 7pm. With a .500 record (2-2-2) through their first six games, the U16's will be out to start 2012 on a winning note against FC Dallas (7-4-7).

Both matches are free and open to the public. Come show your support for Sporting KC and catch a doubleheader of Development Academy action tonight between two Major League Soccer teams.

 Juniors at Border Battle


The Sporting Kansas City U13 and U14 Juniors will be competing at the 2012 Border Battle Tournament this weekend. Games will be held at the Overland Park Soccer Complex and Heritage Soccer Park, beginning tonight!

The Under-13 Juniors will play in Pool A of the Boys U13 Russia division. Their game schedule is as follows:
  • vs Toca FC MLS at 5:15pm on Friday (OP-12)
  • vs KCFC Magic at 8:20pm on Saturday (OP-4)
  • vs KC Fusion Academy 98/99 at 3:30pm on Sunday (HSP-15)
The Under-14 Juniors will play up in Pool A of the Boys U15 Switzerland division.
  • vs KCSC Blackstars 96/97 at 9:15pm on Friday (OP-3)
  • vs Galaxy 96/97 Blue at 2:15pm on Saturday (HSP-8)
  • vs FCX North Black at 3:00pm on Sunday (OP-2)
Good luck to both teams!

Monday, February 20, 2012

 Champions: Jrs at Futsal Nationals

The Sporting Kansas City Juniors strong showing at the United States Youth Futsal Nationals culminated today with an SKC squad in the championship match of all five age groups that Sporting entered teams into for the tournament. With all the results in from the Overland Park Convention Center today, Sporting Kansas City crowned four new champions!
  • Sporting KC U13 Jrs Croatia were 8-2 winners over 99 SportsTutor Ligers
  • Sporting KC Juniors Italy were 5-4 victors versus Magical Futsal Academy
  • Sporting KC Juniors Portugal triumphed 6-4 against Sporting BVSC U15B
  • U16s Sporting KC Jrs - Uruguay prevailed 5-4 past Sporting BVSC 94/95
Today's lone loss came in a narrow defeat as U16 Sporting KC Jrs fell 7-6 to BNC Revolution A in the Boys U16 Super Group finale. Congrats to all the Sporting KC Juniors on their performances at the US Youth Futsal Nationals and best of luck as they wrap up their seasons this weekend in the Futsal KC league.

 2012 Spring Break Camp

Spots are filling up fast for the 2012 Spring Break Camp, which begins two weeks from today! The three-day camp is open to competitive boys players between the ages of 9 and 16, and will be held at the Sporting Club Training Center in Swope Park.

The camp costs $130, which includes an adidas Sporting KC t-shirt and the opportunity to be evaluated by the Sporting Kansas City Juniors coaching staff.
Click here for more information and to register while spots are still available.

Last year, the camp was sold out with over 150 campers!
Click here to see a photo slideshow from the 2011 Pre-Academy Camp.

 Video: Jrs at Youth Futsal Nationals

Here is a recap of each of the Sporting KC teams in the tournament...

  • In the Boys U13/U14 bracket, it was an all-SKC Juniors semifinal as Sporting KC U13 Croatia (3-0-0) advanced past Sporting KC U13 Argentina (1-1-1) with a 6-4 victory on Sunday. The U13's are now facing 99 SportsTutor Ligers at 9am this morning.
  • In the Boys U14 Super Group, Sporting KC Juniors - Italy went a perfect 3-0-0 in pool play and face Magical Futsal Academy in the finals at 9:15am this morning.
  • In the Boys U15 division, Sporting KC Juniors - Portugal went 3-1-0 in pool play and will have a shot at avenging their lone loss in the championship when they play Sporting BVSC U15B at 8:15am this morning.
  • In the Boys U16 Super Group, the U16 Sporting KC Jrs went 3-0-0 in pool play and won 8-6 in the semifinals to advance to the 9am CT final against BNC Revolution A.
  • In the Boys High School Super Group, both U16 Sporting KC Juniors - England and U16 Sporting KC Juniors - Uruguay went 3-0-0 in pool play. Uruguay advanced to the championship match at noon today against Sporting BVSC 94/95.

Friday, February 17, 2012

 Video: Juniors Signing Ceremony

Sporting Kansas City held a special signing ceremony on Wednesday at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park for the SKC Juniors who have signed their National Letters of Intent to play college soccer this fall. Check out the video below to see footage from the event and hear from DOC Jon Parry, as well as future SMU Mustang Derek Schrick.

For more on Wednesday's gathering, check out Thad Bell's article on Examiner.com -- the first of several more on the Sporting KC Juniors youth development academy.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

 Video: KSHB covers futsal

As we mentioned yesterday, several Sporting Kansas City Juniors teams will be competing in the US Futsal Nationals this weekend. Well today, NBC Action News caught up with Sporting Kansas City Juniors Director of Coaching and US Youth Futsal Executive Director Jon Parry to talk about the tournament while the playing surface was being installed at the Overland Park Convention Center.

Watch below for the report from Jack Harry during the 6pm newscast...

video

 Video: Two new Juniors

Wichita's CBS affiliate KWCH picked up the story on two of the newest members of the Sporting Kansas City Under-18 Juniors, Dodge City's Armando Hipolito and Jovanny Bonilla. Armando is a member of the Region II 94 ODP team, while Jovanny was named to the SWKSCA 6A All-Regional Team. Check out the news feature below...
video

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

 US Futsal Nationals in OP

The 2012 United States Futsal Nationals will be held this weekend - Feb. 17 thru 20 - in the Overland Park Convention Center for boys and girls teams from across the country in the U8-U19 age groups. Among the 100+ teams registered to participate, the Sporting Kansas City Juniors will have a large presence:
"To have all 1100 players along with coaches and families in one space will create an atmosphere that is nothing short of electrifying," said John Sciore, director of development for US Youth Futsal, in this Examiner.com preview.

Admission is open to the public with weekend passes available for $8 or Saturday/Sunday passes sold for $5. Mondays finals will be free of charge! Follow @usyouthfutsal on Twitter for updates and news throughout the tournament.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

 Podcast with Jon Parry

Sporting Kansas City Juniors DOC Jon Parry sat down this week with Andy Edwards, host of the Talkin' Touches podcast, to discuss the club's approach to the academy and the Juniors recent affiliation with TSC Hurricane in Tulsa, Okla.

Click here to listen to the interview and hear what Parry has to say about a wide-range of topics related to the Sporting Kansas City Juniors.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

 Q&A with Eric DeJulio

Blue Valley Northwest's Eric DeJulio, a defender and captain on the Sporting Kansas City Under-18 Juniors this season in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, has logged a LOT of minutes for the Juniors each of the last three seasons. After leading all players on the U16 Juniors in 2009-2010 with 29 games started, he then started every match for the squad in 2010-2011.
Now off to a strong start in 2011-2012, he's the only player to have started all six matches for Paul Rideout's team and his play within the academy led to his recruitment by Division I powerhouse Creighton, to whom he recently signed his National Letter of Intent to play college soccer for in the fall.
SB Nation contributor Alex Englen caught up with Eric for a Q&A on his college plans and his experience with the Sporting Kansas City Juniors. Check it out!


Saturday, February 4, 2012

 Congrats, Betsy!

Mr. and Mrs. Maxfield

Sporting Kansas City's Director of Youth Soccer Betsy Pollard (shown above at Wembley Stadium in London) oversees all the behind-the-scenes details that go into providing the Juniors program with every last element the teams need to be successful. From scheduling flights and hotels for road trips to coordinating tryouts and youth soccer camps right here in KC, her influence is felt across all aspects of the academy...including this blog.

So it only seems appropriate that we use this space to be among the first to not only wish Betsy a happy birthday today, but also a blessed wedding day! She'll be tying the knot with her fiancé Ryan in sunny Manhattan Beach, California (and yes, last we heard, a game of beach soccer was on the day's itinerary).

Best wishes from all of us at Sporting KC on the first of many more cherished memories for the newlyweds!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

 Hare & Schrick sign NLI's

Wednesday marked a major moment for several Sporting Kansas City Juniors players as the first day of February brought the NCAA's official signing day for high school seniors to sign their National Letters of Intent for college soccer. Sporting KC will hold a formal ceremony in two weeks at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park to recognize all the college commitments from our soon-to-be graduates and we'll have plenty of photos and video to share from that event.

Two of the college-bound Juniors are Rockhurst High's Daniel Hare and Derek Shrick, whose friends and family gathered yesterday for their school's signing ceremony, led by Hawklets Coach Chris Lawson.

Hare signed with Loyola of Chicago and Schrick will play for Southern Methodist University. After the signing, both the Hare family and the Schrick family shared their excitement and anticipation for the boys further success as they embark on the next step of their soccer and academic careers.

Adam Hare, a Rockhurst Alum, was in attendance wearing a Sporting KC windbreaker to support his younger brother, as he and the two signee's ensured they would continue to follow Sporting Kansas City and their voyage in 2012.

Check out the video below to see footage from the event:

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

 Video: U13 Highlights

Yesterday we told you the U13 Juniors went undefeated en route to a first place finish at the Michael Brown Winter Classic in Frisco, Texas this past weekend and today we now have the video highlights courtesy of Chris Bihuniak. Some scrappy finishing at first and then some serious skills on display by the youngest of our academy teams.

Monday, January 30, 2012

 Juniors at Michael Brown Winter Classic

The Sporting Kansas City U13 and U14 Juniors were in Frisco, Texas this weekend at the Michael Brown Winter Classic.

The U13s went undefeated in their four matches at the FC Dallas Soccer Complex, posting a 3-0-1 record and finishing atop the standings in the U13 Gold group. "The boys played well and got better every game," said coach Matt Trumpp. "The weekend was a good start to our Spring season. We look to improve as we move into NPL."

The U13's opened the weekend with back-to-back 3-0 wins over Huskies Soccer Academy and Comets Soccer Academy, respectively. The team allowed their lone goal of the weekend on a penalty kick in a 1-1 draw against FC Dallas Academy 00 on Sunday morning, but goalkeeper Diego Alanis responded with his third shutout of the weekend with a 3-0 win later that day against FC Dallas Academy 99.

The U14's kicked off their tournament on Saturday with a 1-1 draw against Dallas Texans 98B in the morning and a 3-0 victory over TFC 98B Royal in the evening. Sunday started off strong with a 5-0 win against the FC Dallas 98B Blue before the team fell 2-1 in the fourth and final match of the trip versus group winners DFW Tejanos 98B Premier. With four games -- and two wins -- under their belt in the first outdoor action of 2012, Dustin Ottesen's squad will now have their sights set on gearing up for the Spring season ahead.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

 Video: NSCAA Convention

As promised, all-access video footage from the Sporting Kansas City Under-16 Juniors at the NSCAA Convention earlier this month. Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes led the session, titled "Approach Play in a 4-3-3."

Monday, January 23, 2012

 Sporting KC Youth Camps

Sporting Kansas City and the Sporting KC Juniors will once again offer a variety of youth soccer camps in 2012 for boys and girls of all ages. You can see all the camps currently scheduled for 2012 at SportingKC.com/camps, including four to be held at the Sporting Club Training Center in Swope Park and two camps in June at the Independence Athletics Complex.

First up is the 2012 Spring Break Camp, just 50 days away! The camp is designed for 9-16 year old boys who are currently playing in the Juniors program or who are looking to become part of Sporting's youth academy. The three-day camp will be held from Monday, March 12th thru Wednesday, March 14th and the cost is $130, which includes a Sporting KC t-shirt. Register here.

Other camps available are:
Registration is now open for all camps and spots are limited.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

 Video: U13 Juniors futsal highlights

The winter futsal seasons are well underway for the Sporting Kansas City Juniors in the local Futsal KC league and here's the latest video to showcase the skills being developed at the youngest age level. Check out clips from the U13 SKC Juniors - Croatia's 10-4 victory over Galaxy-White on Sunday at the Roeland Park Sports Dome, courtesy of Peter Wilkinson.


And here's an update on how each of the teams are doing in their respective divisions...
  • U13 SKC Jrs - Croatia, 6-0-0 (66 goals scored), 1st place
  • U13 SKC Jrs - Argentina, 5-1-0 (41 goals scored), 1st place
  • U14 SKC Jrs - Italy, 3-0-0 (25 goals scored), 2nd place
  • U14 SKC Jrs - Portugal, 2-1-0 (13 goals scored), 4th place
  • The U16 & U18 Juniors are dueling it out in their own division, with the U18 SKC Jrs - Netherlands currently atop the standings with a 5-1-0 record

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

 Q&A with Jon Parry

Congratulations go out to former Juniors player and Rockhurst University defender Kyle Miller on his selection by Sporting Kansas City in the MLS Supplemental draft on Tuesday! Miller was one of two former Sporting KC Juniors to be taken in the draft, as Matt Kuhn was selected by D.C. United as well.

Sporting Kansas City Juniors Director of Coaching Jon Parry took time on Wednesday to answer a few questions following the big news and shared his thoughts on the selections...

Having coached Kyle, can you tell us a little bit about him as a player and about your experience coaching him?

Parry: I coached Kyle at Blue Valley Soccer Club and originally he was on our second U16 team, but we pulled him up to the first team a few weeks after the season started and he has been with us ever since. He’s really versatile. He fits well into the system that Sporting play, the 4-3-3, because he can play a lot of different positions in the midfield and he can play out wide. Overall, he’s a good fit. He’s got an engine on him, a tireless work ethic and he is an awesome kid.

He was also a member of the Sporting Kansas City Juniors program. As the Juniors director, what was your reaction to hearing he had gotten drafted yesterday?

Parry: I was very excited to have been able to have coached him for so many years. He really helped start a legacy in regards to our Juniors program. He was on our 2008 team that went to the McGuire Cup final and he was a big part of that. It is always nice to get a homegrown kid. He definitely deserves the opportunity, and I think he is going to make the most of it, so I was very excited for him.

Another former Sporting KC Junior – Matt Kuhn – was drafted by D.C. United yesterday. How special is it to see these Juniors products getting opportunities with Major League Soccer clubs?

Parry: Matt is quite good, really good in 1v1 situations. He played out wide for us and he was on that same team – that 2008 Wizards team that went to the National Finals. He scores goals and has some pace. I think he has a good chance of making it as well.

It’s awesome. That’s why we started the program five years ago. We have demonstrated we can develop players. Our goal now, is not just to get them in, but to get them into the starting lineup for the home team. It is nice to see those kids going out and getting the opportunity to play at the highest level.

With all of the Sporting KC Juniors players now playing in college, how do you encourage or prepare them for transitioning into the next level of professional soccer?

Parry: I think the most important thing for those guys is that they come back and they train with the senior team in the summer months. That gives the staff a chance to see how good they are, what their qualities are and how they respond to coaching. Once those kids start coming back, we’ll have a pretty good indication of who we want to sign.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

 Video: Juniors help out NSCAA

As we wrote about on Sunday, the Sporting Kansas City Juniors were called upon to help showcase several of the sessions at the recently completed NSCAA Convention held in Kansas City. Now we've got some video evidence, courtesy of Chris Bihuniak. Check out the sights and sounds from the KC Convention Center below and check back later this week for comments from Sporting KC Manager Peter Vermes.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

 Juniors at NSCAA Convention

The 2012 NSCAA Convention was held at the Kansas City Convention Center from January 11th thru 15th and the Sporting Kansas City Juniors played a large part in the annual event, acting as demonstrators for several of the sessions that attracted coaches from all across the United States. Check out a few of the comments below from a variety of attendees on Twitter...

 KC Star All-Metro

Congratulations go out to all 15 Sporting Kansas City Juniors players chosen to the Kansas City Star's All-Metro Boy's Soccer teams. The selections were announced in Sunday's edition of the newspaper (shown on right), with our very own Derek Schrick being named the All-Metro boys soccer player of the year! Here's a rundown on the honorees:

First Team:
FWD Shane Woods (Kearney, senior), MF Derek Schrick (Rockhurst, senior), MF Chris Tuso (Blue Valley NW, senior), Matt Peterson (Blue Valley North, junior), Clay Stewart (Olathe South, junior), GK Jacole Turner (Lee's Summit North, senior)
Second Team: FWD Steve Enna (St. James Academy, sophomore), MF Andrew Brown (St. Thomas Aquinas, senior), DEF Eric DeJulio (Blue Valley NW, senior), DEF Julian Ramirez (Blue Springs, junior)
Honorable Mention: FWD Garrett Pulliam (Blue Valley West, senior), MF David Leichty (Shawnee Mission South, junior), MF Joey Piatczyc (Lee's Summit, sophomore), MF Taylor Walter (Blue Valley, senior), GK Evan Wright (Blue Valley, senior)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

 Walter to play at Colgate


Yesterday, another Sporting Kansas City Junior decided at which four-year institute he would further his soccer development. Taylor Walter chose Colgate University, located in Hamilton, N.Y.

Colgate is coming off an impressive 2011 season, as reigning Patriot League Champions. The Raiders (11-5-6) appeared in the NCAA tournament but fell to Rutgers 4-2 in the opening round.

Walter is an Overland Park, Kansas native and has played in each of the six games for the Sporting Kansas City Juniors this fall while providing an engine in the midfield for the under 15's in the 2008-2009 season.

Walter was a four-year starter at Blue Valley High School where he received first-team all-league and all-state honors. Walter guided his team to the Class 5A Championship game this past fall. Walter becomes the seventh Colgate-bound high school senior to date. To view a complete list of college commitments, click here.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

 DeJulio Chooses Creighton

As ESPN told its thousands of Twitter followers earlier today, Sporting Kansas City Juniors defender Eric DeJulio has verbally committed to Creighton! The Bluejays are coming off an impressive 2011 season in which they appeared in the semifinals of the NCAA College Cup before ultimately falling 4-1 in a shootout to Charlotte in Hoover, Alabama.

In post-season rankings, Creighton finished second among Division 1 Men’s Soccer Programs in RPI while the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) deemed them fourth in their end-of-the-year poll. Creighton -- alma mater of Sporting KC first team defender Seth Sinovic -- held a 21-2-1 record at the conclusion of the 2011 season, maintaining an undefeated (14-0-0) status at home.

DeJulio earned recognition through his performances with the Sporting Kansas City Juniors, as well as with his high school team, Blue Valley Northwest. DeJulio helped lead the Juniors to a second place finish in the Frontier Conference last season and he is the only Sporting Kansas City Juniors player to start all six games of the current 2011 US Soccer Development Academy season.

DeJulio captained Blue Valley Northwest and served as the anchor of his teams defensive line, leading them to the final four in Class 6A in Kansas. DeJulio scored six goals and added two assists, earning him the third highest points total on the team at the conclusion of the 2011 high school season.

DeJulio joins several other Sporting Kansas City Juniors players who have made their college choices, including Andrew Brown (Bradley), Nate Opperman (Evansville), Daniel Hare (Loyola), David Isaacks (Rhode Island), Evan Wright (Saint Louis) and Derek Schrick (Southern Methodist). To view a list of 2012 high school boys' soccer NCAA Division 1 verbal commitments on ESPN.com, click here.