The Sporting Kansas City U-17s and U-15s have completed the first weekend of 2018-19 Generation adidas Cup qualifying in Toronto, having played three matches each between Friday and Monday and BMO Training Ground
Both sides finished with a win and two defeats against fellow MLS clubs as one of North America's premier competitive youth soccer tournaments kicked off its 12th edition.
After taking 3-0 losses to perennial powerhouse FC Dallas and Columbus Crew SC on Saturday and Sunday, the U-17s bounced back Monday afternoon with a 2-1 victory over the Montreal Impact. Francisco Lopez intercepted a pass in the attacking half and swiftly played the ball to Zion Long, whose clever one-touch finish beat the Montreal goalkeeper in the 29th minute
The Impact equalized shortly after halftime with a successful penalty kick, but Sporting KC were rewarded a spot kick of their own just two minutes later when Long was hauled down in the box. Tucker Lepley promptly buried his penalty with 53 minutes on the clock, giving Sporting KC the cushion it needed to secure its first qualifying win.
The U-15s began their qualifying campaign with a 3-1 loss to Toronto FC on Friday, but not before taking the early lead on an 18-yard screamer from U.S. youth international Osvaldo Cisneros. Toronto struck twice before the break and added an insurance goal midway through the second half to seal the result.
Saturday brought better fortunes for the U-15s, who found themselves in a tightly contested battle with the Houston Dynamo that remained scoreless until the late stages. Dalton Visconti, who had assisted Cisneros' goal a day earlier, slotted low into the far corner with seven minutes left to propel Sporting KC to a 1-0 triumph.
The U-15s were well on track for their second straight win on Monday, holding a 1-0 advantage for most of the game thanks to a superb solo effort from Salat Mukoma, but Columbus scored twice in the final 12 minutes to emerge with a comeback win.
Sporting KC U-17s: Generation adidas Cup Qualifying Schedule & Results
|Oct. 5, 2018||Sporting KC vs. FC Dallas||L 0-3||BMO Training Ground|
|Oct. 6, 2018||Sporting KC vs. Columbus Crew SC||L 0-3||BMO Training Ground|
|Oct. 8, 2018||Sporting KC vs. Montreal Impact||W 2-1||BMO Training Ground|
|Feb. 15, 2019||Sporting KC vs. Chicago Fire||3 pm CT||Houston Sports Park|
|Feb. 16, 2019||Sporting KC vs. Houston Dynamo||3 pm CT||Houston Sports Park|
|Feb. 18, 2019||Sporting KC vs. Toronto FC||2:30pm CT||Houston Sports Park|
Sporting KC U-15s: Generation adidas Cup Qualifying Schedule & Results
|Oct. 5, 2018||Sporting KC vs. Toronto FC||L 1-3||BMO Training Ground|
|Oct. 6, 2018||Sporting KC vs. Houston Dynamo||W 1-0||BMO Training Ground|
|Oct. 8, 2018||Sporting KC vs. Columbus Crew SC||L 1-2||BMO Training Ground|
|Feb. 15, 2019||Sporting KC vs. Chicago Fire||12:30 pm CT||Houston Sports Park|
|Feb. 16, 2019||Sporting KC vs. Minnesota United FC||10 am CT||Houston Sports Park|
|Feb. 18, 2019||TBD||TBD||Houston Sports Park|
The 2018-19 Generation adidas Cup features two preliminary rounds of regional qualifying, with 21 MLS teams split across three groups of seven. Three more qualifying matches are scheduled for President’s Day weekend in 2019.
The top two teams from each group, plus two wildcards, will advance to play in the Champions Division in the 2019 Generation adidas Cup Finals next spring at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. The remaining teams will compete in the Premier Division. This year marks the first time the U-15 age group will be represented at the Generation adidas Cup finals.
The Sporting KC U-17s, who are off to a 1-3-1 start in the 2018-19 U.S. Soccer Development Academy, picked up their first victory of the season with a 1-0 defeat of Real Colorado on Sept. 22 at Swope Soccer Village. The Sporting KC U-15s have enjoyed a strong first month of the 2018-19 campaign, boasting a 4-1-0 record with 24 goals through five matches.
Follow @SKCAcademy on Twitter for the latest Academy news as well as live, in-game updates throughout the 2018-19 season.