When FC Kansas City and the Houston Dash clashed in a women’s soccer match on Monday night at Swope Soccer Village, fans had the opportunity to see seven World Cup champions in a big-time up-close and personal manner.
The players — FC Kansas City’s Amy Rodriguez, Lauren Holiday, Becky Sauerbrunn and Heather O’Reilly; as well as Houston’s Carli Lloyd, Meghan Klingenberg and Morgan Brian — captured the nation’s hearts through their World Cup title. At Swope Soccer Village, Kansas City area fans were mere feet away from some of their soccer idols.
“It was fun to see them play on TV in Canada,” said fan Jack Crisman, 15. “But it’s fun to come see them play here, too.”
Before the match, Jackson County executive Mike Sanders praised all seven of the Women’s World Cup players and presented them each with a commemorative soccer ball.
“Thank you for all that you’ve done for this game and for this community,” Sanders said to the players, on behalf of the fans.
Kourtney Koc, 12, attended a soccer camp earlier on Monday. Her favorite player, FCKC’s Lauren Holiday, answered questions at the end of the camp’s day.
What stood out most to Koc, was a story Holiday told about how she’d always bring a soccer ball attached to a string so she could carry it wherever she went.
“I feel really lucky to be able to be so close to them,” said Koc, wearing her No. 12 Lauren Holiday jersey.
Koc added that Holiday’s personality and success on the field will inspire her as her soccer career progresses.
“She’s inspired me to work harder and train more,” Koc said.
For fan Lindsey Lancey, 28, Monday night provided a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see some of the best players of her generation.
“It’s great to see them here in person,” Lancey said before the game. “I’m excited to cheer them on.”
The match between Houston and FC Kansas City ended up a 1-1 tie.