Kansas City is the Soccer Capital of America
In a city that’s as passionate about sports as Kansas City, it only makes sense that locals have embraced a rapidly growing soccer culture that’s become an integral part of the regional sports scene. Plus, with the addition of a new, state-of-the-art training facility, KC has taken its rightful place as the national leader in soccer development.
See how KC has become the soccer capital of the United States:
Crazed Fans and Championship Traditions
KC’s resident MLS club is Sporting Kansas City, a two-time MLS Cup champion (2000, 2013) that plays home matches at Children’s Mercy Park. Games are a sight to be seen thanks to the masses of chanting, singing and flag-waving fans, making the Sporting experience one of the hottest tickets in town.
Sporting also touts four U.S. Open Cup championships, tied for most in league history. It’s this winning tradition that fuels locals’ passion for soccer and their hometown team. Their affiliated USL club, Sporting Kansas City II, also takes the pitch at Children’s Mercy Park, where they’re greeted with equal enthusiasm.
New in 2021, the National Women's Soccer League is making its return to the Heart of America with Kansas City NWSL. Fielding home matches at Legends Field in Kansas City, KS, the team is led by majority female ownership and head coach Huw Williams, who previously served as the general manager of FC Kansas City as the club claimed two league championships in 2014 and 2015.
Children’s Mercy Park stands out as one of the finest sports structures in the city. However, it’s the new Pinnacle National Development Center that combines athletic science with player, referee and coach training into a single world-class facility.
The center, which was developed in collaboration between U.S. Soccer, Children’s Mercy and Sporting KC, is the training home for Kansas City’s MLS soccer team and houses the U.S. Soccer National Development Center and the Children’s Mercy Sports Medicine Center at Village West. Pinnacle also hosts national teams and clubs from all around the world, with amenities including five soccer fields, a sports performance lab, workout facilities and more.
When it comes to hosting a large-scale athletic event, Kansas City has no problem pulling out all the stops.
Children's Mercy Park will host five matches during the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup, including three featuring the United State's Men's National Team, July 11-18. After the tournament travels through Kansas City this summer, Children's Mercy Park will have hosted the U.S. Men's National Team nine times—the most of any venue in the past decade.
KC has also hosted the MLS All-Star Game, several Big 12 Soccer Championships and the NCAA Division III Soccer Championships, further proof that regardless of the age level or the stakes on the line, KC is the country’s most vibrant and thriving destination for soccer fans.
World Cup 2026
With a soccer fan base as passionate as the one in Kansas City—and not to mention the world-class training facilities—it comes as no surprise that the City of Fountains is a possible landing spot for match play during the 2026 World Cup.
Much is still to be decided, but you can sign the petition to help bring the internationally beloved competition to the heart of the country in a veritable showcase of all KC has to offer.