Five Sporting Kansas City Academy teams continued their MLS NEXT spring seasons on Saturday and Sunday, facing fellow MLS academy Colorado Rapids at Fort Hays State Soccer Stadium in Hays, Kansas.
In a weekend that brought mixed results for Sporting, the U-14s and U-15s stole the show with shutout victories Sunday to end the month of March on a high note.
The U-15s improved to 2-1-0 on the season thanks to a comprehensive 3-0 result. Sporting surged ahead in the 39th minute when Edin Clark picked out Luis Agustin Cruz-Ayala, who dribbled into the box and tucked a left-footed shot into the right corner. Cruz-Ayala struck again near the hour mark after Geremi Onentia settled a low cross, carved an opening in the penalty area and set up his teammate. Onentia turned from provider to goal scorer in the 72nd minute, rounding out the victory on a cool finish when Sporting forced a turnover deep in Colorado's territory.
After claiming a 0-0 draw on March 21 against Real Colorado, the U-14s (1-0-1) secured their second straight clean sheet in a game that remained scoreless until the final minute. In a game that saw Miguel Lopez, Leo Christiano and Luis Ortiz ask frequent questions of the Rapids defense, Sporting earned a penalty kick on the cusp of full time. Ortiz made no mistake from the spot, hammering his attempt in off the post to seal all three points.
On Saturday, the U-19s (0-2-1) bagged their first result of the spring campaign with a hard-fought 1-1 draw in which Bailey Sparks buried a 52nd-minute penalty kick. Later that afternoon, the U-17s (0-2-1) slipped to a narrow 2-1 loss despite a successful penalty from Nicholas Pendleton.