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.