The Sporting Kansas City Academy enjoyed a successful weekend in the state of Colorado and at Swope Soccer Village, opening the month of May on a winning note.
The Sporting KC U-15s, U-17s and U-19s traveled to the Rocky Mountains for a pair of U.S. Soccer Development Academy tripleheaders, facing Real Colorado on Friday and the Colorado Rapids on Sunday, while the Sporting KC U-12s earned a two-game sweep with wins over FC Wichita on Saturday night and Sunday morning.
The Sporting KC U-15s (13-3-2, 41 points) opened the weekend with a 2-1 victory over Real Colorado, receiving a first-half brace from red-hot forward Dalton Visconti before the visitors netted a late consolation goal.
Friday’s triumph set the stage for a top-of-the-table clash on Sunday as Sporting visited the unbeaten Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Visconti bagged his third goal of the weekend off a Gage Akalu assist to give Sporting an early advantage, but the Rapids rallied to prevail 3-1. The loss keeps head coach Chris O’Neal’s side in second place in the Central Conference’s Frontier Division with three league matches remaining between now and June 2.
The Sporting KC U-17s (10-8-2, 32 points) put a 1-0 defeat to Real Colorado behind them with a huge 2-2 comeback draw on Sunday against the Rapids. Faced with a 2-0 halftime, Sporting cut the deficit in half with a 62nd-minute penalty from Tucker Lepley and restored parity in the 80th minute when Coby Jones slotted a loose ball past the Colorado keeper.
Sunday’s draw puts Sporting in fifth place in the Frontier Division, where they currently hold a wildcard spot for the Development Academy playoffs with three fixtures still to play.
The Sporting KC U-19s (14-3-3, 45 points) appear destined for a second-place finish in the Frontier Division after posting two narrow wins. Friday’s contest against Real Colorado remained delicately poised until the visitors drew first blood. Jahon Rad’s in-swinging corner kick was nodded home by twin brother Kaveh Rad as Sporting emerged with a dramatic win.
Sporting trailed 1-0 through 45 minutes on Sunday but struck twice in the space of a minute near the hour mark. Not to be outdone by his brother, Jahon Rad converted a 59th-minute penalty before Swope Park Rangers academy contract signing Sean Karani fired his team ahead in the 60th minute. Colorado would score a 66th-minute goal of their own, but Sporting held on for all three points.
The Sporting KC U-12s notched consecutive wins over FC Wichita, kickstarting their sweep with a 6-2 win on Saturday night at Swope Soccer Village. After falling behind early, Johann Ortiz, Alessandro Cupini and Joseph Mejia found the back of the net to give Sporting a 3-1 halftime advantage. The hosts kept rolling in the second half as Mejia notched his second and was joined on the scoresheet by Hudson Browne and Liam Dean.
Sporting claimed a shutout win on Sunday and remained rampant in attack. Ortiz and Cupini scored for the second straight game while Cristiano Delgado, Matthew Gerety and Ryan Reid also got in on the scoring act.
The Sporting KC U-15s, U-17s and U-19s will continue their playoff pushes next Saturday in a tripleheader against Texans SC Houston at Swope Soccer Village. The U-19s will kick off at 10 a.m. CT, followed by the U-17s at 12:30 p.m. and the U-15s at 3 p.m. All three games are free and open to the public, and fans can follow @SKCAcademy on Twitter for live updates.