Sporting Kansas City and the United Premier Soccer (UPSL) are proud to announce that the Sporting Kansas City Academy U-19s have joined the league, becoming the 14th MLS club to enter the UPSL. The U-19s will join one of the UPSL’s most competitive conferences this fall, competing in the Oklahoma/Arkansas Premier Division which includes Tulsa Athletic, a team that Sporting KC hosted in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on April 25.
"The UPSL is a very interesting league for us that occupies an important space between the older academy years and early 20s,” said Sporting Kansas City Academy Director Declan Jogi. “We are all looking forward to the unique challenge the competition provides and are excited that it will help broaden the education and development of our talented young players."
Named the 2018 MLS Academy of the Year, Sporting KC has been one of the top academies since its inception. As the first stop on the club’s pathway to the pros, the SKC Academy has produced 19 Homegrown players, including seven current first-team players.
Created in 2011, the UPSL is the largest pro-development league in North America with nearly 400 clubs competing in the United States. Sitting in the fourth tier of the U.S. Soccer pyramid and with an average player age of 22.5 years old, the league will offer the SKC Academy’s oldest age group a competitive environment as the players continue to develop.
“Welcoming the Sporting Kansas City Academy to our Premier Division this fall is something we are very much looking forward to,” said UPSL Vice-President Christian Vallejos. “Sporting Kansas City has a well-known and historic Academy program that will only add to our already competitive league. Sporting Kansas City’s commitment to player development is something that very much aligns with ours and we look forward to seeing what they can do in the UPSL.”
The 2023-24 Sporting Kansas City Academy season begins this month with preseason before UPSL matches kick off in the fall. For more information regarding the upcoming Fall Premier Division season, visit premier.upsl.com. To follow along with everything going on in the SKC Academy, follow @SKCAcademy on Twitter or visit sportingkcacademy.com.
About United Premier Soccer League
The UPSL was formed in 2011 and occupies the unofficial fourth tier of US Soccer. Across its Premier, Division 1 and Womens leagues there are more than 400 teams competing nationwide. The UPSL is now the largest Pro Development League in North America and is a National Affiliate member of the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF). Each UPSL team is individually owned and operated. UPSL teams are eligible to participate in the U.S. Open Cup Qualifying Rounds through the league’s affiliation with USSF.
More information about UPSL can be found at www.upsl.com or by following the league on Facebook (facebook.com/upslsoccer), Instagram (@upslsoccer) and Twitter (@upslsoccer).