KC’s Next Play: World Cup dreams, Chiefs, NASCAR and high school memories at the fore

·3 min read

Kansas City will be on the clock this week as representatives from FIFA, the international governing body for soccer, make an official visit to evaluate our readiness to play host to World Cup games in 2026.

Seems like a long way off, 2026, but the FIFA delegation will be winnowing the field of hopefuls, and there are a lot of them, to 11 final winners early next year.

Mayor Quinton Lucas says landing one of those 11 spots could be worth as much as a billion dollars to the greater KC area, so members of the Kansas City bid committee have been hard at work in hopes of attaining this goal.

Get it? Goal? OK, no more soccer puns. It’s time to get prepped for a wild week.

A newly wrapped KC streetcar will be aiding in the promotion of Kansas City as an ideal spot for World Cup 2026 matches when FIFA delegates visit this week.
A newly wrapped KC streetcar will be aiding in the promotion of Kansas City as an ideal spot for World Cup 2026 matches when FIFA delegates visit this week.

The final pitch

The aforementioned site visit by those FIFA selectors is one of many the delegation is making to various sites around North America.

The bid to host this giant every-four-years event in 2026 was collectively awarded to our little continent in 2018 — the entire bid process takes years, as you can tell, so it also entails a lot of local legwork to make it happen. Now they’re down to picking which particular cities in the U.S., Canada and Mexico will welcome visitors from around the globe for games during soccer’s favorite month.

As reported by our soccer correspondent, Shaun Goodwin, last week, the FIFA peeps will be touring KC’s potential venues for hosting training and actual games — which in our case means Arrowhead Stadium.

This season hasn’t played out as the Chiefs or their fans have hoped, at least not yet, but any team fronted by quarterback Patrick Mahomes is a threat.
This season hasn’t played out as the Chiefs or their fans have hoped, at least not yet, but any team fronted by quarterback Patrick Mahomes is a threat.

Here come the Chiefs

This season hasn’t started as they would’ve liked, but the Chiefs get a chance to even their record at 3-3 and build toward a better finish — possibly even a third straight Super Bowl berth — today (Sunday) against the Washington Football Team.

They’ll be playing a team that no longer has former Chiefs star Alex Smith at quarterback — he’s retired — and that’s a good thing. This season’s starter, Taylor Heinicke, has thrown five interceptions.

Next weekend doesn’t set up quite as favorably for the Chiefs, as they head to Nashville to take on hard-charging Derrick Henry and the Titans in another noon road game.

A win at Washington on Sunday would sure make everyone feel a whole lot better about that trip to Tennessee.

Kansas State quarterback Skylar Thompson (7) and offensive lineman Noah Johnson celebrate after Thompson’s rushing TD against Stanford.
Kansas State quarterback Skylar Thompson (7) and offensive lineman Noah Johnson celebrate after Thompson’s rushing TD against Stanford.

Chasing a bowl

College football is back in the spotlight Saturday, with Kansas State hoping to inch closer to the six wins typically needed for postseason bowl consideration. The Wildcats are at Texas Tech, Patrick Mahomes’ alma mater.

Kansas has a monster on its hands, in Oklahoma, while Mizzou, which may also be in the mix for a postseason appearance, is off until Oct. 30, when the Tigers play at Vanderbilt.

For the first time, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will stage two races at Kansas Speedway next season, capped by a four-race weekend Sept. 9-11, 2022.
For the first time, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will stage two races at Kansas Speedway next season, capped by a four-race weekend Sept. 9-11, 2022.

Start your engines!

Playoff racing — hands down, the best kind — returns to Kansas Speedway.

The grand finale is next Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400, a 2 p.m. NASCAR Cup playoff race and the second stop in the postseason Round of 8. The day before, it’s the Xfinity Series’ Kansas Lottery 300 — the second race in that series’ Round of 8.

Saturday is actually a doubleheader. Racing later that day is the ARCA Menard’s Series’ Reese’s 150. It gets the green flag at 6 p.m., after conclusion of the Xfinity race.

Olathe Northwest quarterback Zayne Wilson pitches the ball to Manny Melendez during a recent game against Shawnee Mission Northwest.
Olathe Northwest quarterback Zayne Wilson pitches the ball to Manny Melendez during a recent game against Shawnee Mission Northwest.

High school postseason

It’s regional and state-tournament time for KC-area high school sports teams (not to mention competitors in individual sports).

The first state events actually took place this past week — tennis championships in Missouri and Kansas. The fun continues this week with girls golf and gymnastics (plus key volleyball, football and soccer games) in Kansas, and all that plus softball (but minus the gymnastics) on the Missouri side.

For a thousands of local kids and their families, this is a time of year when memories will be made. Join us in wishing ‘em luck.

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