Sporting KC

Sporting KC Academy team crowned U.S. Youth Soccer national champions

The celebration resembled a move utilized by Sporting KC striker Dom Dwyer, except it came amidst the youth soccer fields in Tulsa, Okla., on Sunday morning.

Wearing a nearly identical Sporting KC uniform, Jacob Hall turned a cartwheel into a pair of backflips and then stuck the landing before a bevy of his teammates mauled him near midfield.

A worthy celebration.

And the lasting image from a historic victory.

The Sporting KC Academy Under-15 squad won the U.S. Youth Soccer Cup on Sunday with a 3-1 victory over Fewster FC (Maryland) in the championship match.

The academy team is the first boys team from Kansas to win the national tournament (in any age group) in the event’s 80-year history. It is also the first Sporting KC Academy team to win the national title.

“We’re really proud of the boys. They deserve this based on their performance all year long and especially this week,” Sporting KC Academy coach Istvan Urbanyi said. “It was very challenging for everybody.”

Cameron Duke, a younger brother of former Sporting KC player Christian Duke, opened the scoring in the 22nd minute. Duke is an active member of the U.S. Under-14 boys’ national team.

Fewster FC tied the match in the 46th minute, but the Sporting KC Academy team regained the lead for good only three minutes later, when Abdu Kikhia put away a goal assisted by Max Rugova.

Hall added the insurance goal in the 76th minute — leading to his Dwyer impersonation.

The Sporting KC Academy U-15 team finished its season 34-4-2 across all league competitions and postseason play.

The team’s national championship roster featured Blake Arndt, Alex Brown, Duke, Dontell Gilyard, Hall, Colin Innes, Alex Jimenez, Mike Keon, Kikhia, John Klein, Roman Knox, Massimo McGuire, David Merola, Luke Rafanan, Kyle Reese, Rugova, Braeden Vermillion, Mason Visconti, Jackson Wood and Kyle Ziegler.

To reach Sam McDowell, call 816-234-4869 or send email to smcdowell@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @SamMcDowell11.

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