Whenever someone scoffs and asks the last time a championship was won in Kansas City, I laugh. Partly because they’re usually jerks, but mostly because I get great joy in responding “last year.”
Yes, Kansas Citians, there’s a championship team residing in the Metro. The team is not only home to US Olympic athletes, but they will be competing for another championship title on October 1st. Though most in the area are probably aware of FC Kansas City, don’t feel bad if you don’t know much about them. However, you positively should be watching the championship game on October 1st, and here’s why:
1→ FC Kansas City only began play in the National Women’s Soccer League in 2013
With FC KC and the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) still in its infancy, now is a perfect time to start paying attention, especially if you’re new to soccer. A new sport can be overwhelming if exposed to a team with a long history. After I became a fan of Sporting KC, I decided to pick a “football” team in the English Premier League to root for. Many of these teams, such as Chelsea and Manchester United, have been around for over 100 years, making the process of becoming a fan more difficult (unless I just wanted to be a bandwagon fan). With FC KC wrapping up only their third season, it will not only be easy to catch up on their history, but you can also be that annoying hipster who brags that they liked the team before it was cool.
2→ Witness Lauren Holiday’s last game
Lauren Holiday, two-time Olympic gold medal winner and member of the 2011 and 2015 Women’s World Cup teams, announced her retirement from international and domestic play after the US Women’s National Team won the World Cup in July. Considered one of the best players in women’s soccer, October 1st will be the last time to witness the soccer legend play. To give you an idea of just how incredible Holiday’s career has been, she played in 130 international games, with 24 goals scored. The 27-year-old went out on top with a World Cup title, so expect FC Kansas City to work hard to get her a NWSL title, as well.
3→ Women’s athletics needs our support
With the roaring success of female athletes like Serena Williams and Ronda Rousey, support for women’s athletics seems to be growing in the United States. However, the battle for respect for women’s sports has been a slow and painful process, with athletes constantly fighting against sexism and unfair stereotypes. Despite claims that “women’s sports are just too boring to watch,” the World Cup final in which the USA obliterated Japan 5-2 was the most-watched soccer game EVER in the US. If the country wants future women’s World Cup titles, and for women’s athletics to grow, we need to be attentive to the teams and leagues these women are playing in. Many athletes in the NWSL live with host families. Some are even forced to take second jobs to support themselves. While there are many factors contributing to the inequality between men’s and women’s athletics, the easiest thing fans can do to elevate women’s soccer is to support them every year–not just when the World Cup rolls around.
4→ Beat Seattle, again
Okay, so if you’ve gotten this far you’re probably thinking a few things. One, Mindy, this article isn’t funny. I thought you were supposed to be funny? To which I say: SORRY FOR MY FEMINIST RANT. Two, you may be thinking: But I hate soccer, so why should I still watch?
Two words: Beat Seattle.
That’s right, FC Kansas City is playing Seattle Reign, team of goalie Hope Solo. It’s evident Kansas City enjoys beating Seattle in anything and everything. No one can forget our success over Seattle in being the loudest fans in the NFL. The soccer teams Sporting KC and Seattle Sounders also aren’t on the friendliest of terms, with Kansas City beating the Sounders by penalty kicks in the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. With Kansas City sports soaring right now, defending champions FC Kansas City have the opportunity to bring home bragging rights and another trophy, while giving us another Seattle thing to make fun of besides Russell Wilson.
FC Kansas City battles Seattle Reign Thursday, October 1, 8:30 CST on Fox Sports 1.