Saturday, December 13, 2014

Sporting Garden City?

Sporting Kansas City looks like they're trying to expand their affiliate network further. Already with 13 affiliated youth clubs, Sporting is looking to expand it further into Western Kansas as the team is on the agenda for an upcoming meeting in Garden City, Kansas about building a youth complex there with STAR Bonds and the potential creation of a PDL team.

Starting on page 74 of the document is a letter from Sporting to the city discussing the club and their proposal to build a youth soccer complex with Sporting Garden City being the primary tenant of the facility.

The hope for the facility from reading the letter is that the facility may take on a residency type feel as there's talk in the letter of building dormitories, classrooms, etc. The fields themselves would be a mix of synthetic and grass fields with a "championship field" stadium as well. The stadium is where the team would hope to have a PDL team play. Sporting's hope is that a local investor would step up to run the PDL club but the club would have Sporting's support.

The PDL part is where Sporting lose me a bit on this. While Garden City wouldn't be the smallest city to have a PDL team (Portsmouth, NH, St. Albans, VT, and Bluefield, WV all have teams), it just seems like an odd place to put a team. Would the team go to the Mountain Division and have to travel to the likes of Albuquerque, Las Vegas, and Provo, or would they fit in the Heartland Division with the likes of Thunder Bay and Winnipeg. Honestly a Garden City team would probably be better off in the NPSL playing in a South Central Conference that would see their longest trip being San Antonio and close trips to Wichita and Joplin.

I like the plan for the youth development, it's certainly an area that KC could find players in, they've done it before with the likes of Eduardo Moreno playing in KC's academy a few years ago, training with the first team and spending a little time with the US U18 national team in Bradenton, FL. As for the PDL, I would think SKC could be better served trying to get a team back in KC, or to try to put a team in Omaha and try to get into the Creighton pipeline a little bit.

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