Professional soccer teams have catapulted Missouri into a nationwide soccer destination
By Isabella Wilkes
In the heartland of the United States resides a soccer fan base that exhibits an unbridled fervor for the game. As Missouri prepares to host FIFA World Cup games in 2026, the Missouri soccer fans’ passion for the sport grows with each passing year.
Soccer in Kansas City
Kansas City in recent years has elevated its standing as a soccer stronghold. The Kansas City Current, a women’s professional soccer team in the National Women’s Soccer League, is building a spectacular soccer-specific stadium in Kansas City, Missouri that is scheduled to open in March of 2024. This will be the first purpose-built women’s professional sports stadium in the world — set in scenic Berkley Riverfront Park.
Following the success of Major League Soccer’s Sporting Kansas City, the Current was founded in 2021. In 2022, the Current achieved a remarkable 13-game winning streak during the regular season. The women obliterated their competition in the playoffs and competed in the 2022 National Women’s Soccer League Championship against the Portland Thorns.
For fans attending either KC soccer club’s matches, there’s a post-game tradition that’s just as exhilarating as the game. The Power and Light District in downtown Kansas City transforms into a party place after each match. Whether fans are toasting a hard-fought win or finding solace in camaraderie after a tough loss, the vibrant complex of sports bars, restaurants and entertainment venues serves as a perfect backdrop for post-match revelry.
St. Louis Soccer
In St. Louis, a pivotal moment in sports history is underway with the arrival of a new MLS team, St. Louis City Soccer Club. The brand new City Park stadium in downtown St. Louis displays a commitment to honoring St. Louis’ rich heritage and supportive community.
Debuting in 2023, City SC surprised the league with a 5-0 winning streak right out of the gate. The club’s first-season performance marked it as the most successful MLS expansion team in the first eight games. From the inaugural kick to the final whistle, City SC showcased not just their prowess on the pitch (earning an impressive 18 points) but its indomitable spirit. Each match was a reflection of the dedication of the players, coaching staff and unwavering fans who packed the stadium each match.
Fans looking to release their post-match adrenaline need not look further than St. Louis’ downtown entertainment district. The city, known for its cuisine, has an abundance of award-winning restaurants to choose from.
FIFA World Cup 2026
As the world’s gaze turns to North America for the highly anticipated FIFA World Cup 2026, Kansas City stands proudly in the spotlight as one of the host cities. Arrowhead Stadium will transform into a coliseum of soccer brilliance, welcoming teams and fans from around the globe.
The FIFA World Cup is the most widely viewed and attended sporting event in the world, with 3.57 billion viewers and 6.8 million tourists attending the 2018 matches. This monumental event, the largest in Kansas City’s history, presents an opportunity to showcase Missouri’s status as the nation’s soccer capital.