Four days from now, Children’s Mercy Park will host one of the premier soccer events of the summer as the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup brings all four Group B participants to the Soccer Capital of America.
Doubleheaders featuring the United States Men’s National Team on July 11 and 15 will precede a mouthwatering tilt between the U.S. and Canada on July 18, making Kansas City the epicenter of the American soccer world for the next fortnight. Concacaf Gold Cup tickets start at $45 via SeatGeek.com and three-day passes can be purchased for access to all five international matches at the world-class stadium.
That, of course, begs the question: why should supporters show up to Children’s Mercy Park in droves? What should we be excited about and why should we snap up the opportunity to see the U.S. MT live in action at Children’s Mercy Park?
We’ve got your answer in 10 separate parts. Let’s dive right in.
1. Gianluca Busio
The 19-year-old Sporting Kansas City wunderkind has ascended from Academy star to U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder. The Children’s Mercy Park faithful have seen Busio grow up right before their eyes, blossoming into one of the biggest contributors on the team. Seeing him don the red, white and blue over the next three matches will be nothing short of awesome.
2. The 2026 World Cup Bid
This is a simple one, folks. By attending the Gold Cup in Kansas City, you are directly supporting its bid to be a host city for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. Capacity crowds at Children’s Mercy Park will work wonders in Kansas City’s ongoing effort to bring the world’s biggest sporting event to the heartland in five years’ time.
3. Playing for a Title
Following a missed World Cup opportunity in 2018 and a pandemic in 2020, the United States has returned to hot-blooded, full-throttled competitive action. The Americans made a statement of intent last month, ousting Mexico for the Concacaf Nations League title, and the Gold Cup gives head coach Gregg Berhalter’s side another trophy to pursue.
4. Alphonso Davies
The 20-year-old Canadian superstar is one of the greatest wingbacks in the world. Davies, who has helped Bayern Munich to a UEFA Champions League crown and multiple Bundesliga titles, is simply must-see viewing. Expect him to play in a more advanced role for Canada, which is seeking its first Gold Cup championship since 2000.
5. Nicholas Gioacchini
The 20-year-old Gioacchini is one of six forward on the U.S. MNT’s 23-player roster and one of several young talents looking to make a serious splash with the national team. What many people don’t know is that Gioacchini was born in Kansas City and spent his first eight years in the City of Fountains before moving to the East Coast and then to France. The versatile attacker will hope that his homecoming results in success on the pitch.
6. Rising Stars
Busio and Gioacchini are among the countless young players who could become household names on the national team. Forwards Daryl Dike and Matthew Hoppe and defenders Reggie Cannon, James Sands and Miles Robinson all have bright futures ahead of them, while Davies is part of a talented Canadian side that features MLS standouts Ayo Akinola, Tajon Buchanan, Mark-Anthony Kaye and Dayne St. Clair.
7. Unbeaten in Kansas City
The U.S. MNT is 5-0-1 in six previous visits to Children’s Mercy Park. That appearance number will swell to nine by the time the Americans end their stay in Kansas City, making Children’s Mercy Park the most frequent home of the U.S. MNT since the stadium opened in 2011.
8. Positive Momentum
A dramatic triumph in the Concacaf Nations League last month has injected new levels of excitement and enthusiasm into the U.S. MNT program. If the Americans can add a Gold Cup to their 2021 trophy haul, they will enter 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying this fall buzzing with belief and momentum.
9. Bang for the Buck
Very rarely will Kansas City soccer fans have the opportunity to experience five high-level international matches at Children’s Mercy Park in the space of one week. Three of those five games will feature the U.S. Men’s National Team, while the other two will feature Davies and Canada. That almost sounds too good to be true.
10. Summer Soccer Fix
Sporting Kansas City’s 2021 regular season has hit the pause button. With only two MLS home matches between now and mid-August, the Gold Cup has arrived at the perfect time for fans seeking that summer soccer fix.