The Sporting Kansas City Academy enjoyed a three-game sweep of the Dallas Texans on Saturday as the 2017-18 U.S. Soccer Development Academy continued on the campus of the University of Tulsa.
The Sporting KC U-19s and U-17s bolstered their respective playoff hopes with comprehensive two-goal victories, while the U-15s bounced back into the win column with a shutout triumph of their own.
The U-19s (13-6-3, 42 points) solidified third place in the Central Conference’s Frontier Divisionwith a 3-1 win over the Texans. The top three teams in the division will secure an automatic berth to the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Playoffs next month in Oceanside, California.
Defender Dontell Gilyard nodded Sporting KC ahead in the ninth minute, latching onto Jahon Rad’s free kick and steering a header past the Dallas goalkeeper for his second league goal of the campaign. The Texans drew level in the 24th minute, and the score would remain knotted at 1-1 until Rad tallied his second assist with 67 minutes on the clock. The midfielder utilized space and picked out Michael Scavuzzo, who did well to slot home amidst traffic and restore Sporting KC’s advantage.
All three points were effectively sealed in the late stages when Cameron Duke played a perfect ball into the path of Sebastian Cruz, whose first-touch strike nestled into the net for his fourth goal in three games.
The U-17s (12-6-4, 40 points) have followed a similar path to the playoffs as the U-19s, as a 2-0 defeat of Dallas kept the side in third place in the Frontier Division. That position would be good enough to punch a ticket to next month’s playoffs, should Sporting KC retain the spot through the regular season finale on June 2.
Brandt Betts fired Sporting KC into the lead in the 24th minute, tucking high into the roof of the net from a tight angle. Goalkeeper Grant Calvert delivered a solid performance en route to the shutout, notably producing a fine stop in the 30th minute to keep his team up 1-0.
The scoreline would stay unchanged until the 49th minute when Sporting KC doubled their cushion on a well-worked goal involving multiple players. Keith Peterson did well to keep the ball inbounds along the touchline and played to Gyuwon Chong, who whipped a cross into the penalty area. Tyler Freeman’s deft touch set up Gabe Findley, who made no mistake with the finish for his ninth league goal of the season. Calvert then made a slew of saves in the late stages to preserve his clean sheet as Sporting KC walked away with three precious points.
The U-15s (6-11-2, 20 points) returned to winning ways against Dallas, prevailing 2-0 with a goal in either half. Osvaldo Cisneros landed the first punch in the 32nd minute, settling a pass from Coby Jones and uncorking a low shot into the far corner of the net. Stefan Bilinac sealed the result in the first minute of the second half after the Texans failed to clear a free kick into the penalty area, and goalkeeper Landon Turner stood tall between the posts to record the shutout.
Up Next: Double-dip with Rapids at Swope
The U-15s, U-17s and U-19s will play each of their final three regular season matches at Swope Soccer Village. Two of which will take place next weekend when Sporting KC faces the Colorado Rapids in a pair of tripleheaders on Saturday and Sunday. On both days, the U-15s will kick off at 10 a.m. CT followed by the U-17s at 12:30 p.m. and the U-19s at 3 p.m. All six games will be free and open to the public to attend.
Follow the Sporting KC Academy on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat (skcacademy) for updates next weekend and throughout the year.