Sporting Kansas City Academy U-18s clinch spot in USSDA Playoffs
Sam Kovzan, SportingKC.com
(Via Sporting Kansas City) – The Sporting Kansas City Academy U-18s secured a spot in the 2015-16 U.S. Soccer Development Academy Playoffs with a 1-0 victory over Solar Chelsea SC on Saturday at Rogers State University in Claremore, Oklahoma.
Felipe Hernandez broke the deadlock in the 84th minute, slotting home from close range to give the U-18s their fifth league win in six games. Sporting KC controlled the run of play against their Texas counterparts but relied on goalkeeper Alex Brown to make excellent saves in the 54th and 61st minutes to keep Solar Chelsea SC off the scoresheet.
Saturday’s result gives Sporting KC a 14-8-3 record (45 points) heading into the final weekend of USSDA action. Head coach Jon Parry’s team is guaranteed to finish fourth in the Frontier Division, missing automatic playoff qualification by one spot. However, the U-18s will secure a wildcard playoff berth thanks to their 1.8 points per game, placing them fourth in a wildcard pool that sends the top 11 teams nationwide to the postseason.
The Sporting Kansas City U-16s are close to punching their playoff ticket in a different manner after tying Solar Chelsea 2-2 behind Johnny Hansen’s brace. The U-16s (11-9-5, 38 points) occupy the third and final playoff spot in the Frontier Division, two points clear of fourth-place Texas Rush.