Ilie Sanchez and Rodney Wallace speak to Academy players
Sporting Kansas City Academy players were treated to a summertime surprise on Monday as members of the first team visited training at Swope Soccer Village.
Academy products and Sporting Kansas City Homegrown Players Gianluca Busio, Tyler Freeman and Wan Kuzain Wan Kamal returned to their roots, participating in drills with the Sporting KC U-12s. Busio, Freeman and Kuzain all developed in the Academy before inking Major League Soccer contracts to launch their professional careers.
"It's awesome for the kids to see and understand that there is a true pathway for them," Sporting KC U-12 head coach Colby Childress said. "These opportunities can come quickly for them. We have had two players (Busio and Freeman) who signed professionally at 15 years old, so these kids are able to see the near future right in front of them."
Additionally, MLS veterans Ilie Sanchez and Rodney Wallace shared words of wisdom and motivation as the Sporting KC U-17s and U-19s prepare for the 2019 U.S. Soccer Development Academy Playoffs. Both teams will travel to Oceanside, California, next week to compete in the playoffs, which run from June 17-25 at the SoCal Sports Complex.
Sporting Kansas City first teamers visit Academy trainings periodically throughout the year to provide valuable insight, inspiration and pointers for younger players who aspire to reach the professional level within Sporting’s player pathway.
Gianluca Busio trains with Sporting KC U-12s
Wan Kuzain Wan Kamal at Academy training
Tyler Freeman (left) and Gianluca Busio (right) observe Academy training