The U.S. women’s national team has scheduled a pair of home friendlies against Nigeria on Sept. 3 and 6. The latter game will be a historical one as for the first time in history the USWNT will play in the nation’s capital in a soccer-specific stadium. The women’s national team hasn’t played in D.C. since 2017.
⚽️ ⚽️USA vs Nigeria
— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) July 13, 2022
.@USWNT IS COMING TO DC‼️️: Sept 6th
⏰: 6 PM
: Audi Field pic.twitter.com/SybdK3NBhG
— Washington Spirit (@WashSpirit) July 13, 2022
The USWNT playing at Audi Field is an exciting move and one fans are satisfied with. What has rubbed some the wrong way, including the person writing this article, is that the game on Sept. 3 will be played at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas.
I’m a notorious hater of U.S. Soccer’s scheduling of home games and have already harped about the obsession of hosting games in Ohio. Kansas City is becoming an issue too as it continues to be given hosting duties for both national teams.
This is the 6th time either #USMNT or #USWNT has played in Kansas City since July 2021. Every single match in 2021 or 2022 has been in an MLS or NFL stadium. @ussoccer needs more location diversity to grow the sport in all the US. https://t.co/xTwAbVhBEM— Open Cup Stan (@OpenSoccerFdn) July 13, 2022
The game against Nigeria on Sept. 3 will be the 12th home game for the USWNT in the past year and the second time in that span that Children’s Mercy Park gets to host.
I understand U.S. Soccer has a fancy shmancy $75 million facility in Kansas City, but man do the national teams love going to that city. USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski said in a statement from U.S. Soccer that Kansas City, where he coached from 2013 through 2017, was where he likes the team to play.
“We’re looking forward to bringing the team back to one of the best soccer cities and best soccer stadiums in the United States in Kansas City,” Andonovski said.
Children’s Mercy Park opened in 2011 and in 11 short years the stadium has hosted the USWNT six times (including September’s game) and the USMNT 10 times. Getting 16 national team games in that timeframe is ridiculous.
I will slightly tip my hat to the USWNT for spreading out the home games in 2022. If you include these two upcoming Nigeria friendlies, then the USWNT will have played nine home games with eight different states/territories getting to host.
States that haven’t hosted the USWNT in at least five years, but have hosted before, include:
- Indiana (1998)
- Wisconsin (1999)
- Maryland (2000)
- Kentucky (2004)
- New Mexico (2007)
- Virginia (2008)
- South Carolina (2009)
- Nebraska (2010)
- Oregon (2012)
- Massachusetts (2013)
- Michigan (2015)
- Alabama (2015)
- Arizona (2015)
- Georgia (2016)
- Washington (2017)
- Louisiana (2017)
Couldn’t any of these states get a game before Kansas City gets to host for the 100th time?