For the Glory of the City

December 11, 2013 by Mike Goff

Sporting Kansas City recently achieved what few professional teams in this wonderful town have accomplished—a league championship.  Our city’s Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise has been an absolute success story—from local ownership to fan engagement to world-class stadium to team involvement in the community.  The one remaining piece to the success puzzle then came on a frigid late afternoon on December 7 in Kansas City, Kansas —a penalty kick shootout to decide the MLS Cup championship versus Real Salt Lake.

Yet, from my vantage point, the real championship was scored by Sporting Kansas City earlier in the week when the team and MLS executives unveiled the newly re-done play room at Ronald McDonald House in Kansas City, Missouri.

The Ronald McDonald House mission is to create, find and support programs that directly improve the health and wellbeing of children.  The caring staff and volunteers that work at the two local houses—with ground broken for a third home—provide a home away from home for children and families who are dealing with the anxiety, uncertainty and stress of childhood illness.

Last week, members of Sporting Kansas City gave of their time to officially open the new play room that was thoroughly tricked out with Sporting paraphernalia and decoration.  (The play room makeover was a joint project by Sporting Kansas City and MLS.) The foosball table was painted like a soccer pitch with the players on one side clearly adorned in Sporting KC garb, down to goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen’s signature pink jersey.  The reclining chairs had the Sporting logo stitched into each of them.  And, one wall was adorned with Legos that formed an SKC logo.  Word has it that 40 hours went into creating that striking visual.

The one thing, though, that caught my eye was the photograph turned wallpaper that stretched across one wall of the room.  The photo showed SKC’s starters—Collin, Sinovic, Besler, Myers, Zusi and the others—walking towards the famed Caudron fan area where the team’s loyalists held a gigantic sheet that read “For the Glory of the City.”

How fitting a sentiment—the team delivered glory to this title-starved town on a frosty Saturday night, after the marathon match against Real Salt Lake, but the true glory was unveiled the prior week when these players, coaches and staff delivered a gift that cannot be measured.

Thank you, Sporting Kansas City, for what you do for this town and for what you did for those children and families at Ronald McDonald House last week.  “For the Glory of the City” indeed.