Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, Sporting Club CEO Robb Heineman and local officials made a push Wednesday night for Kansas City to become 'America's soccer capital' when they announced the planned construction of a $75 million soccer village a few minutes away from the team's Sporting Park stadium.
The Kansas City Star reports the 109-acre National Training and Development Center, which will include eight youth fields and eight lighted professional fields, is being built just west of downtown Kansas City, Kan., in order to court the U.S. Soccer Federation.
Federation President Sunil Gulati said the complex could serve as U.S. Soccer's training facility upon its completion in 2016. The National Soccer Coaches Association of America, the world's largest soccer coaches organization, is already located in Kansas City.
The Center would not only strive to develop America's brightest youth soccer talent - it is also slated to include a sports science institute, national coaching courses and referee training sessions, beach training courses and a 125-room extended-stay hotel.
Sporting Kansas City was set to take on the English Premier League's Manchester City F.C. Wednesday night in a friendly.
- Will Green