by William Crum
Sporting Kansas City said there would be an important announcement on Wednesday, but really there were two.
First, Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas, will be the host of the U.S. Women’s National Team in the Tournament of Nations doubleheader July 26.
Second, Children’s Mercy Park will be the host of the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup doubleheader next summer, officials announced at a news conference today in Kansas City, Kansas.
U.S. Women’s National Team here July 26
The U.S. Women’s National Team will play one match of a doubleheader at Children’s Mercy Park on July 26.
The tournament will be in a round-robin format at three venues, officials said. Children’s Mercy Park will be the host for the first match, Brazil against Australia, at 3:15 p.m. July 26 in Kansas City, Kansas.
The next match here at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas, will be at 6 p.m. July 26, USA vs. Japan.
Other games in the Tournament of Nations will be played on July 29 in East Hartford, Connecticut, and Aug. 2 in Bridgeview, Illinois.
“We are thrilled to be hosting four of the best women’s teams in the world at Children’s Mercy Park,” Sporting KC President and CEO Jake Reid said. “The U.S. Women’s National Team has played a tremendous role in growing and advancing the sport in this country, and Kansas City is proud to welcome them again in a premier international tournament alongside Australia, Brazil and Japan.”
The U.S. Women’s National Team is ranked first in the FIFA rankings. The three other teams playing in the Tournament of Nations are Australia, ranked No. 6; Brazil, ranked No. 8; and Japan, ranked No. 11.
Japan and the U.S. Women’s National Team previously met in the 2011 and 2015 FIFA World Cup Finals, as well as the gold medal match at the 2012 Olympics. Japan won a penalty shootout to win its first World Cup title in 2011, and the U.S. came back to win the gold medal at the Olympics in 2012. The U.S. also took the 2015 World Cup title.
The U.S. Women’s National Team, under the direction of head coach Jill Ellis, has a 5-0-1 record this year. Haley Hanson, an Overland Park, Kansas, native, made her senior international debut as a midfielder in the Women’s National Team’s match on April 8.
The U.S. Women’s National Team last played at Children’s Mercy Park in July of 2016, when they won a contest with Costa Rica 4-0. Overall, the WNT has won four and drawn three in Kansas City over the years. The WNT played at Arrowhead Stadium from 1999 to 2004, and then played at Children’s Mercy Park since 2011.
The WNT match here will be broadcast by FS1.
U.S. Soccer will put the tickets for the doubleheader on sale to the public at 10 a.m. Friday, June 1, through ussoccer.com, or through 1-800-745-3000. Sporting KC season ticket holders will have an exclusive pre-sale, on a date to be announced. U.S. Soccer is also offering Tournament of Nations VIP packages at its website.
U.S. Soccer will offer a four-day Girls Fantasy Camp around the matches in Kansas City, running from July 24 to 27. The camp is open to girls born in 2004, 2005 and 2006. Space is limited. For more information and to register, visit ussoccer.com/fantasycamp.
KCK selected for 2019 Gold Cup match
Children’s Mercy Park was selected along with 14 other venues in 13 U.S. cities for the expanded 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup, officials said today. Sixteen nations, from North America, Central America and the Caribbean region, will compete June 14 to July 7, 2019, in the tournament.
The tournament will help determine Concacaf’s representative at the 2021 FIFA Confederations Cup.
“The Concacaf Gold Cup is the region’s biggest soccer event, and we are excited to host matches for the 2019 tournament next summer,” Sporting KC President and CEO Jake Reid said. “Children’s Mercy Park has a proud history of welcoming festive crowds for high-profile matches at the club and international level, and we look forward to being a part of the Gold Cup for the third time since 2011.”
For the first time, some Gold Cup matches will be held in Central America and the Caribbean, according to officials.
Ticket sale dates will be announced in the future. A pre-sale offer is at GoldCup.org.
Among the other high-profile competitions held at Children’s Mercy Park have been the 2013 MLS Cup, 2013 MLS All-Star Game, 2014 Concacaf Women’s Championship, 2015 Men’s College Cup, Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifying in 2012 and 2015, and Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup finals in 2012 and 2017.
From the 13 host markets for the 2019 Gold Cup, Kansas City was one of eight host markets selected in the United Bid as a potential host city for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, according to today’s announcement.
The U.S. Men’s National Team, with Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, Panama and Trinidad and Tobago have automatically qualified for the 2019 Gold Cup, as participants in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Hexagonal. Ten other nations in the tournament will be determined through qualification matches from September 2018 through March 2019.