KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A few young soccer players with the Brookside Rec League told KSHB 41 News Wednesday they want to get the ball rolling and bring the World Cup to Kansas City.
“I’m small, and that means I’m fast and I’m good at scoring goals and I can make moves and like beat Ronaldo,” said Gianni Coniglio, youth soccer player.
Gianni and his teammates have dreams of making it big time and seeing their favorite players in person, and if the World Cup comes to Kansas City, their dreams will come true.
“I’d be really excited because maybe I could get to go to a game or something like that,” said August Maher, youth soccer player.
For some, this opportunity could provide making memories at their first professional soccer game.
“It would also be really cool because it would be my first soccer game to go to, and I’ve never seen Messi before, I’ve only seen him on TV,” said Daniel Maher, youth soccer player.
Tomorrow, members of the FIFA 2026 Selection Committee will be in Kansas City for a site visit at GEHA Field inside Arrowhead Stadium and other parts of Kansas City as the city makes its bid to host the 2026 World Cup.
“We feel confident, we definitely feel confident. We have a lot of incredible assets working in our favor," said Katherine Fox, World Cup bid director. "We are the most centrally located city. One of the things that we’ve got going for us is that we are no more than a four-hour flight from any potential World Cup host city, including Canada and Mexico, from an accessibility standpoint, we are just perfectly positioned."
However, for soccer fans like Brookside Rec League coach Kevin Coniglio, an opportunity like this is a long time coming, and he hopes the next generation of players get to witness the world cup in KC.
“You know, for my generation, soccer was just kind of getting popular. The MLS started in '96, [which] is when I graduated high school, and so for me, there wasn’t a whole lot of opportunities,” Coniglio said. “Just think, for these kids, it gives them that next generation, that inspiration to say, 'Hey, eight years, 10 years, 12 years from now, is that something I can aspire to be, to want to play at that level.' And also play in that atmosphere because it’s amazing."