New U.S. Soccer National Training Facility Hoping To Breed Success Amid USSF Upheaval
The future of U.S. men's soccer, as well as the continued success of the women's program, might "hinge on to what degree" the new National Training and Coaching Development Center in K.C. "can raise standards," according to Vahe Gregorian of the K.C. STAR. The 80,000-square-foot training facility, an estimated $80M public/private partnership between Sporting KC, Children's Mercy and the state of Kansas, is "scheduled to open in the first week of December." As much as all concerned might have "preferred it be christened off the momentum" of the USMNT preparing for the '18 World Cup in Russia, the reality "spurs a different sort of urgency and energy and even opportunity." Sporting KC coach Peter Vermes said, "Couldn't be at a better time in our state of affairs, if you will." He added, "We expect this place to be full year-round." Vermes also noted that U.S. Soccer has "already sent education staff members here to live full-time." But Gregorian wrote it "remains unclear just how often and for how long the youth and senior men's and women's national teams will be in residence." Sporting KC VP/Development David Ficklin said the facility was intended to be "aspirational and inspirational, aesthetically beautiful as well as functional." So it "remains the belief of Ficklin and Vermes that it's inevitable that the comprehensive resources will make it an irresistible site for the U.S. senior national teams to use frequently" as well as the current facility in Carson, Calif. Vermes: "A facility like this proves that we're able to do it with bricks and mortar. Now we have to do it with our spirit and everything else" (K.C. STAR, 11/12).