Sporting Kansas City announced on Friday a formal partnership with Brazilian club Fluminense FC that extends through 2016 that will directly facilitate cooperation between the two clubs for player loans/transfers, academy exchanges and commercial opportunities.
"When we started the initial discussions of forming a partnership with a club outside of the United States, we were looking for a very specific set of qualities and opportunities," Sporting KC Manager Peter Vermes said. "We did not want this to be a marketing ploy. We wanted this to be beneficial for both clubs on the business and technical side.
"After meeting with Fluminense several times since the Disney Pro Soccer Classic in February, we realized that they were a perfect fit. We were aware of their club tradition and ability to produce world-class talent, but it was the common philosophy and vision shared between both clubs' management that drove this partnership. We think there are many business practices that each club can share to better the other club promoting a win-win scenario on and off the field. Through this partnership, we'll be able to send players down to Brazil to gain additional experience and Fluminense will be able to do the same with us."
As part of the affiliation, Fluminense FC agrees to loan at least one player per MLS season to Sporting Kansas City. Fluminense FC will also loan other players to Sporting KC's USL PRO affiliate(s). These loan moves will serve to further develop and showcase the players in the international market, while exposing them to a new culture and style of play.
In addition, Fluminense FC and Sporting Kansas City will collaborate on the exchange of youth players, academy staff and training/coaching methodologies over the course of the partnership. This alliance will provide opportunities for players within each team's youth development system to live, train and compete abroad within the Academy system at the partner club.
"Player development, training opportunities and coaching education all feed into our core mission and this partnership with Fluminense FC will be of great benefit in all of these areas," Sporting Club CEO Robb Heineman said. "This partnership will provide access to another level of curriculum and will continue to help us become the best developmental organization in the United States."
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