Dear Mayor James,
I know that you, like many of us, take great pride in Kansas City and the achievements of our people and the teams that represent our city and region. Last week, Kansas City had two professional soccer teams earn championships. It is rare enough for a city to be represented by one team being crowned as the best among their competition, yet we had two teams accomplish this on consecutive nights.
Last Wednesday Sporting Kansas City traveled to Philadelphia to play in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Final, one of the oldest competitions in this country. Over 1,000 fans from our city traveled to watch and support them. Tied at the end of regulation and after extra time this match was eventually decided by penalty kicks. Sporting KC made all but one of theirs, including a couple by ‘homegrown' kids that truly represent the best of KC as they are quickly becoming stars. Sporting's Captain, Matt Besler (national team player), and his partner on defense, Kevin Ellis, are both from this area.
This was the third Open Cup title for Sporting Kansas City and the second in the past four years. Since OnGoal assumed ownership of this franchise and hired Peter Vermes to direct the team, they established a winning history and culture, including a MLS Cup Championship in 2013.
The next night, FC Kansas City was in Portland for the NWSL Championship Final where they defeated the Seattle Reign to win their second straight NWSL title. The Blues feature several local players on their roster in addition to four veterans of the US Women's National Team that just won the Women's World Cup this summer.
In the three years since the NWSL was established, FC Kansas City is the only team to qualify for postseason play each year, they've earned more individual player awards than any other team and have now claimed back-to-back championships under the leadership of Vlatko Andonovski.
Both of these teams exemplify all of the qualities that make Kansas City fans proud. They have won their championships against difficult competition while earning national and international respect along the way. Both teams have great ties within in the community, have players that we can respect and be proud of and are both are led by some of the best in their business.
There is often a debate in soccer circles about which city is the soccer capital of the United States. Many cities try to claim that title, and many with compelling evidence. With six championship trophies since 2013 (including the Missouri Comets 2014 MISL Championship), Kansas City can make a strong claim for that title.
Ignoring that for a moment, Kansas City is known for many things...BBQ, hospitality and passionate sports fans. The City of Fountains is a nickname that has been applied to KC for many years, fitting with the number of great fountains that decorate our city.
However, with the number of sports titles being won by our teams lately, including the recent AL Central Championship by the Royals, I would like to humbly request that Kansas City change the motto (at least temporarily) from ‘City of Fountains' to ‘City of Champions' to honor these teams. You can't deny that City of Champions sounds pretty good. It also makes a great social media hashtag: #CityofChampions. Finally, it would be a fitting honor for Sporting Kansas City and FC Kansas City as they have represented our city so well.
Thad Bell (Managing editor)
P.S. Semper Fi...
P.P.S. I will fill out the official request for a proclamation if needed