At the recent United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) playoffs and showcase in Oceanside, the talent was overflowing. The sidelines were packed with National Team and college scouts, and every field was full of US Youth National Team (USYNT) players and Development Academy standouts. Cameron Duke of Sporting Kansas City’s Development Academy is one of those players.
Cameron is a headliner on Sporting Kansas City’s U-16/17 Development Academy squad. He was recently named the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Central Division U-16/17 Player of the Year. A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Cameron’s dreams include taking the field professionally with his beloved Sporting Kansas City and playing at the 2026 World Cup with the United States Men’s National Team (USMNT).
With his strong U.S. Soccer pedigree and a high-profile college commitment, Cameron is well on his way to reaching his MLS and World Cup 2026 goals.
A few hours before Sporting KC was set to take on Concorde Fire I asked Cameron about his soccer journey, high school, family, and his college plans.
CS: “Is your big dream to eventually play for Sporting KC?”
CD: “I’m from KC. I want to play for Sporting KC one day. That would be really cool to play in front of my family in my home town.”
CS: “So you’re a home town guy. Do you have lots of family?”
CD: “I have a brother and a sister. I’m the youngest.”
CS: “Did your older siblings play soccer, too?”
CD: “My brother, Cameron, played for University of San Diego and now he plays for Orange County SC in the USL. My sister, Cara, played in college at Avila College in Kansas.”
CS: “You’re committed to Duke University for soccer? And your last name is Duke! That’s pretty cool. When did you commit to Duke University?”
CD: “I committed April of Junior year. I’ve always wanted to go there. It’s a really nice school.”
CS: “How did Duke University find you?”
CD: “They first found me through the national team. At a national team camp. I’ve just been talking to them ever since.”
CS: “How long have you been with the National Team?”
CD: “I’ve been with the national team since the very first camp I could attend. At U14. I think I’ve been playing for the national team for two or three years now.”
CS: “What’s your favorite trip you’ve been on with the US Youth National Team?”
CD: “My favorite was my trip to France with the National Team [for the 2016 Val-de-Marne Tournament, where the United States finished third].”
CS: “That’s a lot of travel. You must have had to miss school. How do you handle that?”
CD: “Yeah. It’s kinda hard to keep up with school stuff. Some of my teachers are really helpful. But it got hard.”
CS: “You were going to a regular high school in Kansas City?”
CD: “Yeah, it was kinda difficult to keep up with school when I was going to a regular high school. So this year, 2nd half of junior year, I switched to online high school. It’s a lot easier with my schedule.”
CS: “So, the goal is Duke, then Sporting KC, and eventually World Cup 2026 with the National Team?”
CD: “Yup. That’s the big goal!”