Three Sporting Kansas City Academy teams continued their winning ways in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy on Saturday as the U-19s, U-17s and U-15s defeated the Houston Dynamo in a clean sweep at Houston Sports Park.
The Sporting KC U-19s (11-2-3, 36 points) kept pace at the top of the Frontier Division standings with an impressive 4-1 victory, but not before falling behind in the ninth minute. One day after signing an Academy contract with the Swope Park Rangers, Sean Karani ignited a rally by winning a penalty kick in the 18th minute that Kaveh Rad expertly buried. Karani was at it again four minutes later, lofting a lovely ball over the top for Abdu Kikhia to chase down and slot low past the keeper.
Sporting kept their foot on the pedal in the second half and doubled their lead in the 66th minute when Dontell Gilyard intercepted a pass and played to Enzo Mauriz, whose ensuing strike nestled into the back of the net. Mason Leeth rounded out the scoring two minutes later, rounding the keeper and finishing with aplomb to make the score 4-1.
The Sporting KC U-17s (9-6-1, 28 points) earned their fourth straight league win on Saturday, landing the first punch near the 20-minute mark on a well-worked attack involving Edward Mendy and Francisco Lopez that set up Zion Long for the go-ahead goal. Goalkeeper Gavin Krenecki produced a brilliant and ultimately vital save just before halftime to keep his side in front, and Long notched his second strike of the day in the 68th minute to secure the result and render a late Houston goal trivial.
Like the U-19s, the Sporting KC U-15s (10-2-2) stayed in the race for first place in the Frontier Division, but had to claw from behind to take all three points. Houston took a 24th-minute lead, but 10 minutes later Sporting were level on a goal from Daniel Gutierrez. The match-winner came with 49 minutes on the clock as Jack Lucas played a neat one-two with Osvaldo Cisneros before dispatching past the Dynamo keeper.
The Sporting KC Academy returns home next Saturday to host its first Development Academy matches of 2019 at Swope Soccer Village. The tripleheader against Texans SC will see the U-15s and U-17s in action at 9 a.m. CT, followed by the U-19s at 11 a.m. CT. Follow @SKCAcademy on Twitter for live updates next weekend and throughout the year.