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What is it with Kansas City and soccer? I’ve pondered this question since my visit there last week, and have been fueled to answer it. My analysis to find the answer is worthy of a blog post. (see picture)

In the week span whether you are an avid fan, casual fan, or not a fan of soccer, you’ve seen or heard the buzz of soccer from Kansas City. The buzz has been in the news throughout the country check these out USA Today, Huffington Post, and WBUR (Boston NPR station). And this is just a short list. Why all the attention?

Are you able to answer a question with a question? (That philosophical question is for another time.) But asking a detailed question to retrieve or point you in the direction of the information to help solve the original question is required. So why all the attention? Let’s look at that.

  • Tonight Kansas City will be hosting the MLS All-Star game in Sporting Park a soccer only stadium. The stadium seats 19,000 and is home to Sporting Kansas City MLS club.
  • Sporting Kansas City is atop the eastern conference MLS standings and is only a point behind for the best record in the league.
  • Sporting Kansas City is in the midst of 27 game sellout streak.
  • FC Kansas City is atop the NWSL standings, has tallied the most goals for 30, and is tied for the lowest goals against 17.
  • FC Kansas City average attendance per game is 4,591 second best in the NWSL.
  • Kansas City Shock made the playoffs in their first season and placed third in the midwest conference in the WPSL
  • Kansas City is home to the premier coaching association NSCAA

Need there be anymore reasons? I’m satisfied. I’ve been to Kansas City twice in the past two years and each time I leave the itch to go back hits me even before I land back in Boston. Kansas City is a buzz with soccer, I love it, and want to be a part of it!

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91 minutes: That’s how long the Breakers fought the Spirit before scoring a sensational goal.

91 words: That’s how long I’ll take to give you the highlights.

The Breakers’ attack started slow and was repeatedly turned away by the Spirit’s defense and goalkeeping. In the 75th minute, Breakers’ head coach Lisa Cole substituted in Elizabeth Guess, which proved to be the juice the team needed. Guess served up the ball for Sydney Leroux who sped past the Spirit backline and beat the goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris far post.

Epic soccer in 91 words.

The road for women’s professional soccer in the United States has been– simply put– bumpy. There was the first rendition in WUSA, then the second go-around with WPS, and now the NWSL. The one team to have weathered every storm is the Boston Breakers. Boston has hosted a professional women’s soccer team in every league. During the year between the collapse of WPS and the start of the NWSL, the Breakers even kept it going by forming a team to play in the semi-pro WPSL Elite.

Even with all this change, one thing remains constant for the Breakers—every player is excited for another chance to showcase their talent and love of the sport in front of the best fans. Since the announcement of the new league in November, more exciting news has been announced. Just last week, all teams in the league announced their allocations of the National Team players from USA, Canada, and Mexico. Lisa Cole returns as head coach for the Breakers, and the organization started the Breakers Academy, a youth development program.

I was able to catch up with some of your favorite Breakers; Katie Schoepfer and Heather O’Reilly to get their thoughts on the recent and exciting news.

Katie Schoepfer:

On Lisa Cole continuing as Head Coach:

“I’m really looking forward to Lisa being the head coach again. I think she is a great coach. Last year she really believed in me, and brought our team along. […] She can break down video like crazy and she very good at those kinds of “x’s and o’s” things in the locker room which I think helps us out tremendously. […] I think overall she is very much a player’s coach. She looks for a lot of input from her leaders and her team, which gives us some ownership. We’re able keep open lines of communication with Lisa and she is very receptive to it which is great for our team.”

On the new Breakers Academy:

“I really hope that girls around Massachusetts take advantage of the fact that they will be able to play and be coached by professional players and professional coaches. […] It is an honor for us to wear the Breakers jersey, so it is pretty cool for a 10-year-old girl to be able to put on that jersey too.”

“I love coaching, and I love being able to work with different teams and different age groups. Besides playing, it is one of my passions. I hope to get involved with the Academy as much as possible.”

On Heather O’Reilly:

“My rookie season I played with her in New Jersey with Sky Blue. There is really nobody like her. No one can match her work ethic. She loves to play and she loves the game. That’s really contagious on a team. You can tell the difference when she is at practice, and when she is in games. For me personally, it just gives me so much more energy because I try to match everything that she is doing. I’m looking forward to playing with her again. ”

Heather O’Reilly:

On the growth of soccer in the U.S.:

“I think as a U.S. player and a fan of soccer in our country, it’s exciting to see soccer take hold in our country. It’s amazing to be a part of this growth and another step for U.S. Soccer to advance the game in our country. I think in the last two years, with the 2011 World cup and the (2012) Olympics, we are proud of the stronghold we’ve had in terms of the attention (soccer has received).”

On teammate Sydney Leroux:

“Syd, although coming off the bench (for the U.S.), she pumped in 12 goals. That was all off the bench! I’m really proud of Syd as a player. She’s handled herself very well on and off the field. And, she’s entertaining.”

On teammate Heather Mitts:

“Heather Mitts is somebody who is just the perfect teammate. She’s always going to be fit. She’s always going to be ready to go. She provides so much to the team environment.”

Her opinion on players for Mexico and Canada in the NWSL:

“It’s an interesting dynamic. I can’t even guess how many games I’ve played against (Rhian) Wilkinson (one of Boston’s players from Canada) on the National Team. I’m excited to have her on my side this time.”

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