Sporting Kansas City have announced the launch of the inaugural Patterson Cup, an inaugural youth tournament that will feature six U-12 academy teams from Major League Soccer.
The Patterson Cup is slated for March 30-31 at Wyandotte Sporting Fields in Kansas City, Kansas and will see U-12 teams from Sporting Kansas City, Atlanta United FC, Chicago Fire, Colorado Rapids, Real Salt Lake and Toronto FC.
The Patterson Cup is is named after Sporting KC co-owner Neal Patterson and his wife Jeanne, both of whom lost their lives to cancer in 2017.
As part of the tournament experience, all six Patterson Cup participants will attend an opening banquet and receive a tour of the Pinnacle National Development Center, the new training home of Sporting KC. The banquet on March 29 will also feature an appearance from a Sporting KC player.
“One of our goals is to create high-quality competitions for MLS academy teams to compete in every year,” Sporting KC academy director Jon Parry said in a statement. “With Sporting KC’s access to the best soccer facilities in the Midwest, we are excited for the Patterson Cup to become a destination for MLS academies well into the future.”
The tournament will take place in conjunction with the first-ever Sporting Next Gen Invitational, which features nearly 100 premier youth clubs from across the Midwest at the boys and girls U-8 through U-12 levels.
The Patterson Cup, which will expand to include some of the top U-12, U-13 and U-14 academy teams from MLS and abroad in 2020, is just the latest elite competition for MLS academy teams.
The Generation adidas Cup introduced a U-12 tournament in 2017 in addition to the usual U-17 tournament in Frisco, Tex. The first iteration of the U-12 competition that did not take place during the Under-17 tournament was completed for over Thanksgiving weekend in Atlanta. The Rapids won the title, beating FC Dallas, 3-0, in the final.
Sporting Kansas City won the U-12 competition last March.