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Sporting KC U-19s vault into first place with two wins in Texas

By Sam Kovzan, 11/19/18, 2:15PM CST


The Sporting Kansas City Academy enjoyed a successful road trip to Texas over the weekend as the 2018-19 U.S. Soccer Development Academy campaign resumed with a pair of doubleheaders against Solar SC and the Dallas Texans, respectively.

The U-19s (7-2-1) posted consecutive victories to take first place in the Frontier Division, the U-17s (4-5-1) settled for a two-game split, and the third-place U-15s (7-2-1) exploded for 10 goals en route to a win and a draw.

Saturday at Solar SC

U-19s win 2-1

Sporting KC fell behind in the 13th minute when Dailyn Crawley opened the scoring for the hosts, but the visitors would respond with a flurry of chances before halftime. Solar kept their lead for an hour, but influential displays from Jahon and Kaveh Rad turned the game on its head. The twins played star roles in orchestrating Sporting KC’s comeback, with Jahon bagging a 61st-minute equalizer and Kaveh providing the 78th-minute winner.

U-17s lose 1-0

A physical, evenly contested match saw Sporting KC goalkeeper Tommy Williams perform well between the posts, making multiple saves over the course of the afternoon. Solar were awarded a penalty kick in the 50th minute, and although the attempt was missed off target, the hosts eventually found the breakthrough on a Bailey Sparks goal in the 67th minute.

U-15s win 7-1

Sporting KC’s offensive explosion ultimately resulted in a runaway victory, but not before Solar SC took a fourth-minute lead through Christopher Odweso. The visitors bounced back and drew level before halftime on a goal from U.S. youth international Osvaldo Cisneros. The second half belonged to Rokus Pukstas, who scored a remarkable four goals over 34 minutes to go with additional strikes from Daniel Gutierrez and Gage Akalu.

Sunday at Dallas Texans

U-19s win 2-0

The U-19s effectively picked up where they left off from Saturday, with Gyuwon Chong slotting home in the 18th minute to give Sporting KC just reward for their early dominance. Defender Sean Karani, who spent most of 2018 competing with the Swope Park Rangers on an Academy contract, doubled the advantage and sealed the win in the 55th minute.

U-17s win 1-0

After coming up narrowly short on Saturday, the U-17s prevailed by the same scoreline on Sunday morning. In a game that remained scoreless until the late stages, Jacob Karolczak decided the contest with a 77th-minute strike that was nearly canceled out nine minutes later. Goalkeeper Grant Calvert produced an excellent stop just before full time to preserve his clean sheet and secure the victory.

U-15s tie 3-3

In a back-and-forth thriller, Sporting KC landed an early punch as Akalu poked home off a Gutierrez cross. The Texans struck twice in the space of two minutes, however, to take a halftime lead. Pukstas stayed red-hot and drew the sides level in the 47th minute with a deflected effort that nestled into the back of the net before Cisneros put Sporting KC back in front on 57 minutes following a cross from Jack Sartino. The U-15s almost held on for all three points, only for Dallas to restore parity with six minutes remaining.

Up Next: Copa Rayados Internacional

The Sporting KC Academy U-13s, U-14s and U-15s will spend Thanksgiving weekend competing against premier teams from across the U.S. and Mexico at the 2018 Copa Rayados Internacional in The Woodlands, Texas. The sixth annual Copa Rayados will see all three Sporting KC Academy sides play group stage matches on Wednesday and Thursday with hopes of qualifying for the semifinal and final rounds on Saturday and Sunday. Follow @SKCAcademy on Twitter for live updates this week and throughout the 2018-19 Academy season.