Sporting KC Academy enjoys good begin to 2021-22 MLS NEXT season


Three teams from the Sporting Kansas City Academy celebrated a perfect start to the MLS NEXT season 2021-22 in the sunny Swope Soccer Village on Saturday and celebrated shutout victories in week 1 of the new campaign.

Former Sporting Kansas City star Benny Feilhaber made his U-17 coaching debut, beating Chicago Fire FC 3-0 before the Sporting KC U-15 team beating the same opponent 2-0 celebrated. To round off a successful football morning, the U-14 won 3-0 against the Texan Total Soccer Club.

Feilhaber and U-17 drive to victory

In Feilhaber’s first game at the top of the U-17s, Sporting lost no time with the first stroke as Nico Pendleton snaked into the box and fielded Mataeo Bunbury, who gave his team a 1-0 lead.

Bunbury, the younger brother of former Sporting player and current New England Revolution striker Teal Bunbury, doubled his record in the 19th minute following an assist from Kelly Kipruto. Sporting put the icing on the cake in the 56th minute when Braxton Arpachinda shot a sensational 35-yard free kick to make it 3-0. Goalkeeper Matthew Hudson recorded the shutout and thus cemented an outstanding performance at the start of the season.

U-15s lose Chicago in a 2-0 victory

Led by head coach Chris O’Neal, the U-15 followed in the footsteps of the U-17 by taking the lead in the first half and never looking back. The breakthrough came just before the 30th minute when Angel Franco stormed a succinct through pass from Anthony Jin and dashed past the goalkeeper to score the goal.

Goalkeeper Jacob Molinaro made a series of impressive saves over the course of the game to keep the clean sheet and Sporting would take the game out of reach in the 76th minute. Franco scored his second game after receiving an outrageous pass from Leo Christiano and landing in the near post.

U-14 win 3-0 over their Texas counterparts

Under the direction of head coach Declan Jogi, the U-14s delivered a good round on their way to a 3-0 win over the Total Soccer Club from Houston. Chinelo Robinson led the way with two goals and a determined defense kept the TSC off the scorers’ list.

Next up: Colorado road trip on Saturday and Sunday

Four Sporting KC Academy teams will take to the field this coming weekend as the early stages of the 2021-22 MLS NEXT season continue. On Saturday, the U-14, U-15 and U-17 will visit the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The action begins at 11 a.m. CT.

On Sunday, the U-19s will play their season opener in one of four games, while they will compete with the U-14, U-15 and U-17 at Real Colorado. Fans can follow @SKCAcademy on Twitter for live updates this weekend and year round.