U.S. Soccer

U.S. Soccer National Training Center heading to Kansas City

Sporting Club and U.S. Soccer


KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The U.S. Soccer Federation is heading to this burgeoning soccer mecca in a major way.

Joined by the United Government of Wyandotte County and representatives from Schlitterbahn Water Park and EPR Properties Wednesday, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and Sporting Kansas City CEO Robb Heineman announced the development of a U.S. Soccer National Training Center complex in Kansas City, Kan.

The new $75-plus million, 100,000 square-feet project will house the National Training and Coaching Development Center and feature 16 fields for professional and youth teams. The complex will also include a 125-room full-service hotel and facilities tailored towards strength and nutrition.

“This is a great opportunity for us to continue to grow soccer in Kansas City and further establish being the soccer capital of America,” Heineman said in a press release. “To us, this is equivalent to bringing another sports franchise here, with the ultimate goal of helping the United States win the World Cup through youth soccer development, coaching training, advanced sports science and world-class facilities. We would like to thank Governor Brownback, Secretary of Commerce George, Mayor Holland and the rest of the Unified Government. This has been a long and complex process thus far, but we’re excited for the vision of the project and to help bring substantial economic development to the area.”

“Player and coaching development is a main focus for U.S. Soccer, and we are pleased that Sporting Club is pursuing a world-class training facility to help the sport continue to grow and advance,” U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati said in the same release. “We are looking forward to working with Sporting Club on the next steps towards the creation of the National Training and Coaching Development Center and anticipate it hosting our National Teams and coaching education programming in the future.”

According to Heineman, the project is expected to break ground this fall and open in time for the United States-hosted Copa America in 2016. The complex is expected to echo Sporting Park’s innovative approach in technology and research.

“The biggest thing that we have to do is have it open for the Copa America in 2016,” Heineman said. “We’d love to be a major training site for teams in 2016 — not only the U.S., but I think we’d like to talk to Brazil and Argentina and Chile and some of those (teams) and have them in residence.

“That will probably mean that we will start moving dirt this fall. To be very candid with you, we haven’t done a ton of design yet and the reason we haven’t is because I think we want to try and have best-in-class partners with a lot of the attributes in side of this thing.

“From a sports science perspective, we want this to be the most advanced facility in the United States. We don’t necessarily have the accruement to do that today so we’re going to have to do that through partners. That’s what we’re working in earnest now is making sure we do have the best partners to make this a success with the facility that we want.”

The complex will join the Federation’s California location, which will still be used for various U.S. Soccer activities. It will be located at the southeast corner of Parallel Parkway and 98th Street in Kansas City, Kan. The entire project is anticipated to have an economic impact for the city upwards of $1 billion during the next 30 years.


What do you make of the major announcement for Sporting KC and U.S. Soccer?

Share your thoughts below.

      • 407

        That’s James Ablecloth. He’s the founder and owner of “Tablecloths-R-Us,” the Midwest’s largest distributor of tabledressings and related furnitureclothes. The WSJ had a piece last week about how he’s trying to expand into menswear using the same inventory, although with not too much luck yet. WSJ also said his wife, Mable, was the lead fashion consultant, bless her heart.



      • Not 407, but Mable Ablecloth

        +1 for a Vaudeville reference, on purpose or not.


      • Horsewhistle

        Nailed it.
        You just mopped up the floor with said tablecloth!


  • bodeguero

    So this means the USMNT won’t be centered in LA? I’m assuming Camp Cupcake in January will still be in LA b/c KC in the winter is, like, cold.


    • Drummond

      Pictures of the planned facility appear to have very large indoor areas for training


      • SJ

        Not really a fan of the national teams training indoors on turf. Regardless of how “real” turf is, it will never play the same as grass.

        Unless SKC is funding this themselves, I think it’s a horrible waste of USSF funds.


  • Billy

    So do we know what exactly this means for programs like Bradenton? I have to admit I don’t know much about the relationship between IMG and the USSF. Are we talking about totally new programs are the relocation and centralization of existing programs at this new complex?


    • Anthony

      I personally think that the US is so large that you should probably have 3 regional, national centers: east coast (Bradenton), west cost (LA) and mid west (Kansas city). No need to close it.


      • user222


        Probably one more center is needed in the North East… US just too big.


      • The Garrincha

        Much agree with you all.
        The North-East, (Tri-state, Boston, Philly, MD/DC areas?).
        South (Bradenton),
        Mid-West (KC, central location, but how interesting is Kansas?, since William Burroughs left),
        and West Coast (LA).
        Could have tributary systems to best accommodate
        scouting, regional development etc.,
        which in turn progresses and enriches the whole.


      • Stinky Pete

        Tangent: I once went to William Boroughs’ house in Lawrence Kansas and his wife kicked me off the property.


      • 407

        Maybe the four regional centers could form a few squads each, say maybe four, and then all sixteen squads could form a league and play a season and have a championship, and playoffs, and, and, and, and…………………………………….

        (Just a bit of levity Garrincha, not aimed at you specifically)


  • chris

    This kind of feels like a waste of money to me. I mean how many times is this going to be used? Why not put it on the east coast to help euro based players travel less?

    In the end if this means less hammy injuries during the WC then ill take it


    • Joseph D'Hippolito

      chris, only firing Juergen Klinsmann will result in fewer hamstring injuries.


  • ernj

    I understand they are going to have indoor fields, but wouldn’t it make more sense to have the center in a warmer climate for year-round training?


    • Fast Eddie

      Maybe it has something to do with who has the money, and also the b*lls to put it on the line.

      Love that the Schlitterbahn Water Park is a big player.


    • Wood Chip Zip

      because the places that are warm in the winter are too hot in the summer


  • well they were drunk


    why not in the SOUTH? how do u expect us to get into soccer.

    but seriously well done. KC has truly been stepping up. How big is Sporting KC in the city? Sure they win and get thousands of loyal fans but are they upper class fans who played soccer or representative of the city?


    • CoMo Benny

      very representative of the city. Not to say that a lot of the stands are filled with rich Johnson County folks but the fabric of the team and the supporters is definitely a mix of jocks, emus, craft beer drinkers, oddballs, squares, boys and girls all the same. Never been to Seattle and I can see what they have there is amazing from TV but SKC and Sporting Park filled to the brim every home match (50+ in a row now) is something special. Ive been a Chiefs fan for years and Arrowhead is an amazing atmosphere but I would now put SKC matches right up there with it. Not a lot of people know this but original plans were to build this park and retail outlets down on the South side of KC,Mo around the Bannister area (for anyone familiar) Without being completely racist, this is not a good part of town anymore. Once it had been but those days had been long gone. Not sure what happened and why they moved the project to Legends in KCK but it was hands down the best decision they could have made with the rebranding of the club. Its easily accessible from the airport (in Mo) the Missouri side and the wealthy Kansas neighborhood, including both downtown KC,Mo and KCK.
      Not sure if this was part of their plan or not either but KC sorts franchises have long been in need of a winner (Royals 25+ yrs) and KC Chiefs in the 60’s (last playoff win in 93) We have been blessed with great owners from the Hunts to who is in charge now, Rob Heineman. Who has made no bones about it that he is there to build a winner and become the leader in the MLS in all facets of the game. I think his attitude and also his obvious yearning to be great and great soon resides well with KC natives who have had a mess with front office assclowns in the KC Royals and way too much up and down and overturn in the KC Chiefs organization.

      If you support another MLS club I highly suggest SKC for an away match as you will not be disappointed. the Park is second to none and the atmosphere is rocking just like Camarrowhead back in the 90s with the Chiefs


  • JayAre

    The trickle down effect for soccer in KC is going to be crazy. How long till Seattle builds one of these and completely out does everyone.


    • Alex

      I think that would be awesome. Start an arms race of sorts between MLS’ best markets. Will only be positive for youth development.


    • CoMo Benny

      yea to “out do” everyone I would first suggest natural surface match fields. I like how you just assume that Seattle will do it better. Its like sportscasters who refer to the Big4 when it comes to sports. They’re living in the stone age. Wise up, Seattle is good, but in no way the standard


  • WiscFan

    KC would be a good location for US Soccer HOF as well. Centrally located, plus during WCQ they’d get a lot of traffic.


  • Jonathan

    I love that there are comments here about the water park. Waste slides!

    Just another reason to make a trip out there.


    • Andy in Atlanta


      As someone who grew up there and played very high level club suffer there…KC is a soccer town. I am excited that US Soccer Haas taken this step..


      • Wispy

        Too bad. I was hoping to hear more about this Club Suffer thing.


      • bodeguero

        Club Suffer is an S&M club in the Meat Packing district in NYC. Their menu is surprisingly good, but the chef refuses to use Haas avocados from California/Mexico, opting instead for Florida avocados, like Booth 7, Choquette, and Lula.


    • Pele

      The airport? It was cutting edge in the late 1960’s…now days the design is well, tolerable. On the plus side KC is not exactly a hot destination so airport lines are virtually non-existent and the airport parking garage is close up and cheap!


    • CoMo Benny

      Airport is beyond easy to get in and out of. Depends on where you’re heading afterwards. Northland area you’ll be there in minutes. Down in Kansas and south Mo then its gonna take awhile. Heard there were changes coming too so not sure what thats all about.


    • Sheriffbart

      The Brazillian tax payers. There contractor and laborers will be building the facility as well.


  • user222

    KC needs to emulate Brazil’s Sao Paolo FC, this was “home” for the USMNT during the WC.

    Jurgen was very, very impressed with the state of the art facilities, he called it “one of the top of the world” soccer facility. I believe it includes a sport science branch as well.


  • Soccerhorn

    So the training will be indoors six months out of the year? This is excellent news. Our national futsal program has really needed a shot on the arm like this.


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