Sporting Kansas City Join UPSL, Latest MLS Academy to Compete in Premier Division 

August 18th, 2023

The United Premier Soccer League (UPSL) is proud to announce that Sporting Kansas City Academy has joined the league. Starting this Fall the MLS Academy team will compete in the Premier Division. Based in Kansas City, Missouri, the club will take part in the UPSL’s Oklahoma / Arkansas Premier Division. 

Founded in 1996, Sporting Kansas City is one of Major League Soccer’s charter members, having played in all 28 MLS seasons. With two MLS Cups, four US Open Cups and one Supporters Shield, Sporting Kansas City is one of the most successful teams in the league.  

In 2018, the Sporting Kansas City Academy received the prestigious MLS Academy of the Year award. Recently, Academy Director Declan Jogi spoke about the role the UPSL will play in the club’s development plans. 

“The UPSL is a very interesting league for us that occupies an important space between the older academy years and early 20s. We are all looking forward to the unique challenge the competition provides and are excited that it will help broaden the education and development of our talented young players.” 

The club’s first team currently has seven homegrown players on the roster—the Academy has produced 19 Homegrowns in total who have been signed to the Kansas City senior team. Notable current US Mens National Team players who have graduated from the Kansas City Academy are Gianluca Busio (Venezia FC – Seria A) and Erik Palmer-Brown (Former Manchester City – EPL). 

UPSL Vice-President Christian Vallejos spoke about the addition of another storied MLS franchise joining for the Fall season. “Welcoming Sporting Kansas City as the 14th MLS Academy to join our Premier Division is something we are very proud of. Sporting Kansas City have a well-known and historic Academy program that will only add to our already competitive OK / AR Conference. The club’s commitment to player development is something that very much aligns with ours and we look forward to seeing what they can do in the UPSL.” 

 Sporting Kansas City are set to make their debut this Fall in the Oklahoma / Arkansas Conference where top teams Total 90 Futbol and River Valley Bullys await them. For more information regarding the upcoming Fall Premier Division season, visit premierstaging.upsl.com 

About Sporting Kansas City 

Sporting Kansas City is owned by Sporting Club, an entity comprised of local business and community leaders. Sporting prides itself on a commitment and vision to provide high-performance experiences. Sporting Club purchased the team from the Hunt Sports Group in 2006, and under its direction has launched Swope Soccer Village, Children’s Mercy Park, Compass Minerals Sporting Fields, Compass Minerals National Performance Center and Central Bank Sporting Complex while investing in the Sporting KC Academy and Sporting Kansas City II for developing homegrown talent. A charter member of Major League Soccer, Sporting are two-time MLS Cup champions (2000, 2013) and four-time winners of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup (2004, 2012, 2015, 2017). 

About United Premier Soccer League   

The UPSL was formed in 2011 and occupies the unofficial fourth tier of US Soccer. Across its Premier, Division 1 and Womens leagues there are more than 400 teams competing nationwide. The UPSL is now the largest Pro Development League in North America and is a National Affiliate member of the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF). Each UPSL team is individually owned and operated. UPSL teams are eligible to participate in the U.S. Open Cup Qualifying Rounds through the league’s affiliation with USSF.  

More information about UPSL can be found at www.staging.upsl.com or by following the league on Facebook (facebook.com/upslsoccer), Instagram (@upslsoccer) and Twitter (@upslsoccer).  

Contact UPSL: [email protected] / Media: [email protected]