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A Fan's Notes: The World Cup Comes Home

Jun 18, 2014

Before Monday night’s match between the U.S. and Ghana, I’d always found the World Cup just a little bit irritating. Especially when I was young, before I became the cultured citizen of the world that I am today, I didn’t see what was in it for me, an American, from the middle of America. / Wikimedia Commons

  The U.S. soccer team no longer carries the specter of a prospective defeat against Ghana--so where does that leave them?

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk with players from Sporting KC and FC Kansas City to get some analysis of the American team's strategies and chances as they move through the World Cup line-up.


  • Chance Myers, Sporting KC player
  • Frances Silva, FC Kansas City player
Valerie / Flickr--CC

After stagnating for a month in the American League Central standings, the Royals have taken off in the last two weeks. But when the last homestand concluded with two of the Royals’ most traditional draws, their attendance didn’t take off as they hoped.

New York Yankee fan Mo Moffitt, recently moved to Shawnee, Kan., from The Bronx, found a way to attend a Yankees game in Kansas City.

“If you’re a diehard to your team, you’ll show up,” said Moffitt a Royals home game.

But plenty of diehard fans during the most recent homestand did not.

Sporting KC / YouTube

Even if you missed the game Monday night, you probably know by now that the U.S. men's soccer team defeated Ghana in their opener at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

The win was sweet revenge after losing to Ghana in the last two World Cups.

Winning always sounds good, but it sounded especially good coming from Kansas City's Power & Light District where fans cheered on local players, Matt Besler and Graham Zusi:

Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

Swarms of soccer fans packed the Power and Light District Monday to watch the United States beat Ghana 2-1 in the U.S. team's first World Cup match.

The KC Live Stage was filled to the brim of fans wearing red white and blue, chanting U.S.A., and S.K.C. to cheer for the two Sporting KC players on the team, Matt Besler and Graham Zusi.

Kansas City native, Matt Besler played in the first half but had to leave the game due to a hamstring injury. Graham Zusi was brought in at the 77th minute, and assisted in scoring the second goal that brought the team to victory.

Elle Moxley / KCUR

The University of Missouri athletics department announced Monday the men's basketball team will play Oklahoma State on Dec. 30 at the Sprint Center.

The match-up demonstrates the university's commitment to play in Kansas City and recruit from the metro area, says MU athletics director Mike Alden. He praised head coach Kim Anderson's willingness to put a tough non-conference team on the schedule.

Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

As the FIFA 2014 World Cup kicks off in Brazil, we have the first installment in a series checking in on some of Kansas City’s international communities and how they’re cheering their home teams from afar.

It’s been a rocky path to the World Cup for host country Brazil: there were questions about whether the stadiums would be ready; ongoing crime concerns; and mixed emotions from Brazilians. 

Many Brazilians in Kansas City are a little sad to be watching the championship tournament from a continent away, but some are quite ambivalent about the games.

The Best Places To Watch The World Cup In Kansas City

Jun 11, 2014
dustjelly / Flickr-CC

As the 2014 FIFA World Cup kicks off this week in Brazil, many soccer fans in Kansas City will be cheering for the U.S. men's team and Sporting KC players Matt Besler and Graham Zusi.

But many other Kansas Citians will cheer on teams from around the globe.

For optimum World Cup viewing, we've rounded up a list of local places to go for a more international soccer experience:

Brazil: Taste of Brazil Market, 25 E. 3rd St, Kansas City, Mo. 

Beth Lipoff / KCUR

There will be crowds, cheering and that well-known cry of , "Futbol!" as the FIFA World Cup begins this week.

In the first part of Monday's Up to Date, we talk with Sporting KC's Chance Myers about what to expect from the competition and what U.S. team members-- and Sporting KC players-- Graham Zusi and Matt Besler might face.


  • Chance Myers, Sporting KC

The USA team that will participate in the World Cup soccer tournament departed for Brazil Sunday night.

Kansas City soccer fans will have a watchful eye on this team with two players from Sporting Kansas City on the roster. Seventeen-year-old Ady Barraza, a soccer player at Olathe Northwest High School, was at the Overland Park Soccer complex over the weekend along with other teens trying out for club teams. While trying to map out their own futures, they’re in tune to what will be happening at the World Cup in Brazil.

Greg Echlin / KCUR

More high-profile major league baseball pitchers have been sidelined by season-ending elbow injuries this year than ever before. But this epidemic is not just a big league concern. Young players, lured by the fastball, are getting hurt, too.

Jeremy Bernfeld / KCUR

The NCAA makes billions of dollars selling the rights to televise games and selling merchandise and jerseys. But a spate of court cases making their way through the judicial system could put those billions in jeopardy.

After nearly 120 years, jockey Issac Burns Murphy's winning record is still the highest in American horse racing history.  Though he won three Kentucky Derbies and set numerous records throughout his career, Murphy had to deal with the harsh reality of being black in the still deeply segregated South.

On this edition of Up to Date Pellom McDaniels III talks with Steve Kraske about his new biography of "The Prince of Jockeys" whose life and career spanned the Civil War, Reconstruction, and Jim Crow.

Tom Watson finished in second place at the Senior PGA Championship in Benton Harbor, Michigan. It was his best finish since winning the same event in 2011.

Colin Montgomerie of Scotland won by four strokes.

Watson said he has mixed feelings about finishing second.

“You need to make the putts to win and I didn’t do it today, but I certainly had the opportunities today,” he said. “It could have been a real low round today, and so I come away with a really good feeling inside about the way I played.”

Macmillan Publishers

For most of his 40-year career, sports representative Leigh Steinberg was on top. The inspiration for the film Jerry Maguire, Steinberg negotiated multi-million dollar contracts for some of the biggest names in sports: Lennox Lewis, Steve Young, and Troy Aikman just to name a few.

It’s happened again: the dominant sports story has nothing to do with sports. Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling—sorry, this is the last time I hope to mention his name—remains in the headlines for bigoted comments that were caught on tape, twice—the first time secretly; the second, on CNN.
For citizens of conscience, this is an easy case: as the NBA presses forward to banish Sterling from the league, some may debate the penalty, but not the transgression.

Macmillan Publishers

There are secret rules and pieces of wisdom that most baseball fans don't even know exist. For example, don't ever look an umpire in the eye when you're arguing with him. 

On Thursday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske sits down with former Royal and All-Star catcher Jason Kendall and sportswriter Lee Judge to discuss Kendall's new memoir of baseball wisdom, Throwback


Greg Echlin / KCUR

This year marks 50 years since a sports team at the University of Missouri finished runner-up for a national championship.

The Tiger baseball team finished second at the College World Series. In recent years, the Mizzou softball team has come the closest, but saw its season come to an end Sunday.

It isn’t the magnitude of a football game at Arrowhead Stadium, but Kansas Jayhawk and Missouri Tiger fans are keenly aware of possibly squaring off over the weekend.

Both schools are the NCAA softball regional in Columbia, Mo. For a University of Kansas-University of Missouri showdown to take place Saturday, both schools would need to either win Friday or lose Friday in the double-elimination regional.

It would mean that Kelsey Kessler, a native of Blue Springs, Mo., and sophomore pitcher at KU, would face the Tigers, which concerns Tigers Coach Ehren Earleywine.

The Kansas City Chiefs made news in the NFL Draft; not by the players they picked, but by the ones they didn’t get.

The Chiefs passed on University of Missouri defensive lineman Michael Sam in the later rounds. The St. Louis Rams ended up taking Sam in the seventh and final round. Sam has been in headlines since last February when he came out as gay.

Last fall, Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel knew that. But he also knew, as he said after Missouri’s win at Vanderbilt, what kind of player Michael Sam was last year for the Tigers.

Courtesy / Kansas Speedway

Night racing isn’t new at Kansas Speedway, but this weekend marks the first time it will take place there for NASCAR’s premier drivers.

Racing at night changes the dynamics in and around the speedway in Kansas City, Kan., and the races for the next two nights at Kansas Speedway have been highly anticipated by speedway officials since the approval for an installation of lights three years ago.

Speedway president Pat Warren has watched marquis drivers like Dale Earnhardt Jr., and his fellow competitors in Sprint Cup races and elsewhere.

Thomson200 / Wikimedia Commons

Back in 2002, Brian Banks was getting closer to his dream of playing for the NFL. Pegged for a scholarship to play for USC, Banks’ future was promising until he was accused of rape and sentenced to five years in prison.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we sit down with Banks to discuss his sentence, which was overturned when it came to light that his accuser had lied to reap settlement money. We'll also discuss his return to football nearly 11 years later.


With 30 games complete, there are ominous signs for the Kansas City Royals this season. The latest setback was a 9-4 loss against the Detroit Tigers Sunday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium.

When the stadium gates opened, more than 22,000 fans filed in for Sunday’s series finale against the Tigers, the American League Central Division leaders and the team the Royals hope to challenge. But the Tigers pounded a total of 42 hits in the series and outscored the Royals, 26-8, in the three games.

Wikimedia / CC

Construction begins Friday on the DeBruce Center, a three-story building that will house the original rules for basketball, typed up by the game’s inventor, James Naismith, in 1892.

 The DeBruce Center will be connected to Allen Fieldhouse by a second-story walkway.

University of Kansas associate athletics director Jim Marchiony says the rules will be part of a display that tells the story of the sport of basketball and KU’s connection to it.

This week’s hiring of Kim Anderson as Missouri’s new men’s basketball coach doesn’t just signal a new era on the basketball court — it also raises hopes for a cleaner slate with issues surrounding Tiger athletics.

Lately for men’s basketball games at Mizzou Arena, there have been more open seats despite them being sold. Even newly-appointed head coach Kim Anderson recognizes that. He concluded his introductory news conference this week with a clamorous message.

vanderlanos / Flickr--CC

A new sport is catching on across the United States, and soon you will be able to play in Kansas City. The sport will make its Missouri debut at the city-owned Heart of America Golf Academy at Swope Park in Kansas City, Mo.

FootGolf has been gaining popularity since its inception in Europe around 2008. According the the sport's Wikipedia page, the first ever FootGolf tournament was organized in the Netherlands in 2009.

Kim Anderson will be the new head men's basketball coach at the University of Missouri, the university announced in a release Monday.

After 12 years as the head coach at University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, Kim Anderson's wife, felt the Division II national title this year was the crowning moment for her husband.

"It's nice to be rewarded for hard work, so yeah, absolutely," said Melissa Anderson. "I'm sure anybody would feel like that."

Little did she know that his dream job would be just around the corner: head coach of the Missouri Tigers.

Elana Gordon / KCUR

After last year’s playoff season, the Kansas City Chiefs were thrust into the spotlight with three regular season games on national television this fall, one of which will be at Arrowhead Stadium.

The NFL schedule for the 2014 regular season was released Wednesday night, and for Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid, it’s unfolding in rapid succession.

Courtesy: Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe made his first public appearance Monday since his court case was settled in Riverside last week. 

The marijuana possession charge was dismissed, but Bowe said he learned a lesson.

"I mean you could be guilty of association," said Bowe. "That’s one thing I learned about it.


Updated 2:29 p.m.:

The University of Tulsa officially tapped Frank Haith, men's basketball coach at the University of Missouri, as its new head basketball coach on Friday afternoon. See the full announcement.

The original story begins here: 

The University of Tulsa is expected to announce Friday that Frank Haith will be named as head basketball coach after three years at the University of Missouri.