Last week, Sporting Kansas City welcomed the Woodson City Rangers into the Sporting Club Network as a Sporting Junior affiliate.
This affiliation offers our players a unique and clear path to USSF Development Academy teams, the Major League Soccer reserve league, and, potentially, a professional contract with Sporting Kansas City. It provides our coaches and trainers with access to Sporting’s technical staff, their methods, techniques and curriculum for developing soccer players at all levels. The technical staff from Sporting will conduct a session for our club in St. Louis once a year. And we will make the trip to Kansas City, as well.
“It’s a great organization to be part of,” said Tommy Howe, Woodson City’s Executive Director of Coaching. He pointed out Sporting’s emphasis on building out and supporting the player pool within Sporting’s MLS-defined territory through its network and affiliations. Sporting funds its U16 and U18 USSF Development Academy teams. Tommy also raved about the training facilities at Swope Park. “They’re just doing everything right.”
There will be some changes for our club, changes to our crest, our kit and colors, and even our name. Sporting’s staff has worked closely with us, offering professional support on our re-branding efforts, and we are excited to be making an announcement before tryouts on June 16th and June 17th.
Tommy Howe’s Role
Tommy tackles a new role. In addition to his position as City’s Director of Coaching, Tommy will train the USSF Development Academy teams for the Sporting Juniors. He will join Jon Parry, coach to the U16 and U18 teams and Juniors Director of Coaching. Tommy will continue training our kids and directing all of City’s coaching efforts. He will split his time between his duties in Kansas City and his duties here.
Kevin Howe, President of the Woodson City Rangers, said, “When Kansas City approached Tommy, he went up there for some training sessions. He just fell in love with it; the facilities, the approach. So much so, that he wanted to bring it back to the kids in this club. With this arrangement, he gets to do that.”
More To Come
Look for additional announcements and further details in the days and weeks ahead.
“I’m excited for the club,” said Pat Mann, Youth Director for the Woodson City Rangers. Ever the homer, he added, “But I’m really excited for St. Louis. What a great opportunity for St. Louis players.”