The Full 90

Sporting Club's new network connects with regional youth organizations

Sporting Club is wrapping its tentacles around the Kansas City and the Midwest with the unveiling of the Sporting Club Network today. The aim is to create a network that ties local youth athletic organizations to Sporting Kansas City.

Affiliates will be provided with unique member benefits and access to Sporting Club's facilities, content and events.

"At Sporting Club, we are focused on connecting our membership with their passion," Sporting Club chief operating officer Greg Cotton said in a team release. "We listened to the coaches, administrators, parents and participants in the youth and adult soccer community and created the Sporting Club Network to offer unprecedented opportunities to those organizations that wish to affiliate with us. We believe that together as affiliated organizations, our mutual desire to make Kansas City the hub of soccer in the nation becomes more than a dream – it becomes an attainable goal."

The founding members of the network include: Heartland Soccer Association, Kaw Valley Soccer Association, Blue Valley Soccer Club, Metro United SoccerClub, Sunflower Soccer Association, Blackfire Soccer Club, Leavenworth Soccer Association, Prodigy Soccer Club, Newton United Soccer Club, Club Azzurri and the United Soccer League of Kansas City. As part of the Sporting Club Network, each organization’s membership will become members of Sporting Club, the parent organization of Sporting Kansas City.

This is part of OnGoal and Sporting Kansas City's plan to be the authority on soccer in the region. Aligning youth organizations to the team is an important part of that plan.

More from the Press Release:

Players that participate and compete through a Sporting Club Network member organization will receive a SportingClub patch to wear during competition, as well as access to exclusive clinics and trainings. Local member coaches will also have the ability to take advantage of a coaching licensure program and premium coaches experiences at both the Sporting Club Training Center in Swope Park as well as at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park on matchdays.

In addition to being founding members of the Sporting Club Network, BVSC and KVSA also become founding affiliates of the Sporting Kansas City Juniors program. The affiliation will provide each club’s players with a direct connection to the Sporting Kansas City technical staff, Senior and Junior teams. Coaches of each Sporting Juniors affiliate will have unprecedented access to advanced coaching and training methods and techniques provided bySporting Kansas City’s technical staff.

"I’m excited for both BVSC and KVSA to be aligned with the Juniors program. They are both two great clubs and now their best players have a clear path to our teams,” Sporting Kansas City Juniors director of coaching Jon Parry said. “Eventually, everyone is going to want to be aligned with MLS clubs across the country. The level of coaching and competition that MLS teams can provide is unmatched by any other youth soccer environment."

Each affiliate will, amongst many other significantly increased benefits, have access to Sporting Kansas City’s Juniors curriculum, access for affiliate coaches to attend Sporting Kansas City Juniors as well as senior team training sessions, and an invitation to attend roundtable discussions during and after summer tryouts for the Sporting Kansas City Juniors four academy teams. Elite teams from Blue Valley Soccer Club on both the boys and the girls side will play their competitive matches under the name Sporting BVSC in replica kits similar to what are worn by the Sporting Kansas City Juniors. Starting this fall, the boys teams will be playing in U.S. Club Soccer’s National Premier Leagues, while the girls will participate in the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL).

For more information on the Sporting Club Network, contact Betsy Pollard, Sporting Kansas City's director of youth soccer.