Meg Linehan says that the Salt Lake City-to-Kansas City deal is happening:
In a lot of ways this is bitter hard. For the Utah fans, in particular, who have turned out for the Royals in a way the Kansas City fanbase never did for the Blues over four seasons – and two championships! For the league, that appears to have been forced to accept the Longs’ offer rather than let the team fold. For the players who came from KC in 2017 who have to move for the second time in three years. And for the women’s game in general, which has to endure another frustrating one-step-forward-one-step-back stutter after the Louisville expansion.
The big question in my mind is Sporting KC. Right now the MLS team is being pretty rotten about not even opening discussions about sharing Children’s Mercy Park. For the Blues to have to go back to playing at dinky little Swope – or worse – would be troubling. As we’ve seen (such as Sky Blue playing at Red Bull) if you build it they’ll come, at least to some extent. But SKC seems determined to be impossible about this, so I’m not sure what options the new-look FCKC will have.
One thing I would enjoy, were it to reoccur, would be a renewed rivalry with The Blues. To me they were the Thorns’ “rival team” before The Damned Courage and the first real rivals we had; then-Seattle was just too sad back in the day. Obviously a lot of that was Vlatko and how he shaped those squads in his image. But I still think of FCKC as our rivals to a degree that they never seemed to equal after they moved to Utah.
But perhaps I’m looking for a silver lining to what has to be at least a small dark cloud over Rio Tinto right now…
Update 12/8: Linehan interview with the Longs re: FCKC v2.0 here.
For those outside the Athletic paywall, here’s the most interesting bit:
Angie Long:“We have a place that we are super excited to play in…” (Linehan adds: “multiple sources have told The Athletic the team plans to play at T-Bones Stadium)
[JL comment: for those of you not Wiz fans, this was “ComMerica Park”, the baseball diamond where the MLS franchise used to play back in the Oughts. It seats about 6-7,000 and is about a teeny step up from the Rainier’s field in Tacoma, if that.]
The rest is pretty much all just the standard owner boilerplate.
I think it’s interesting that the Longs have accepted that SKC is NOT going to even talk to them, and have agreed instead to settle for a venue that MLS outgrew a decade ago.
I’m not sure if that’s “accepting reality” or “the tyranny of low expectations”, but apparently that’s what they’re going with.