New soccer facility latest in KCK growth - KCTV5

New soccer facility latest in KCK growth

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KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) -

The major step towards a United States Men's World Cup soccer championship might have been taken this week on a dusty field in Kansas City, Kansas.

That's where officials broke ground on the new National Training and Coaching Development Center. The site might seem off the beaten path, but Kansas Governor Sam Brownback doesn't see it that way.

"We aspire to be the center of United States soccer," he told KCTV5 on Sunday.  "This is a great thing that we've landed!"

Politicians deal in hyperbole, but in this case, the sports people like Sporting KC CEO Robb Heineman are echoing his optimism.

"I'm convinced," he smiled, "If this facility had been built earlier, (Lionel) Messi would have missed that kick against the U.S. in the Copa America Cup!"

Located near the intersection of Parallel Parkway and 98th Street in Wyandotte County, the facility will feature a number of natural grass and artificial turf fields, as well as a 12,500-square-foot workout gym. It also will contain two locker rooms, three coaching classrooms, eight breakout rooms and the world's first fully wired coaching pavilions.

It will become home to  the U.S Men's and Women's National Teams, which has USA Soccer CEO Dan Flynn excited.

"Our coaching and playing needs to get better," he said. "This will provide us with a world-class facility to allow us to improve our programming and continue to move the sport forward."

Not only will team USA use the facilities, but Sporting KC announced they're moving their operation, including their corporate offices, to the KCK site.  They currently practice at Swope Park and office in downtown Kansas City, MO.

"The National Training and Coaching Development Center is an extremely important asset in growing our soccer program," Heineman said. "This also solidifies our position of Kansas City being the soccer capitol of America.

The facility will also be home to a state-of-the-art sports clinic, which will be operated by Children's Mercy Hospital.

"The Children's Mercy Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Center will serve players, as well as offering pediatric-specific sport medicine services... in all sports,not just soccer," Randall O'Donnell, PhD, President and CEO of Children's Mercy, said. "This will ensure that access to pediatric-trained sports medicine specialists are available to young people, parents and coaches."

The facility is the latest success story for the area around the Kansas Speedway. "This has been a big part of the economic development of our community," Unified Government Mayor/CEO Mark Holland said. 

He points to the area as an unqualified success.

"This development is unprecedented  in the state of Kansas and nationally," he told a crowd at the groundbreaking.

The soccer facility will be opened in November, 2017.

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