KANSAS CITY –Yesterday was the first time inside Livestrong Sporting Park for U.S. manager Jurgen Klinsmann, a man who has certainly seen his share of stadiums, inside and out.
He was duly impressed.
“If you walk into a stadium like Kansas City’s, and you experience that … It was my first time in the stadium yesterday. I mean, just the locker room … there’s no locker room in Europe like that! It’s just cool,” Klinsmann said at his news conference Monday. “It’s fantastic. You’ve got to give them a huge compliment for that.”
(Some of the locker room design concepts, by the way, were borrowed from designs at Wembley Stadium and Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium; that tidbit brought to you from the Sporting New-powered brain of Brian Straus.)
More broadly, Klinsmann was speaking more about the entire facility, the 18,500-seat Sporting Kansas City arena, one brimming with modern amenities and high-tech goodies.
Actually, that was part of his answer to a bigger question about the increased scrutiny coming from all corners of American soccer, from fans as well as from the chattering class.
In migrating down a path about Kansas City’s stadium, whether he was being evasive or just being the typically bubbly “Klinsi,” a man who will find something positive to say about everything, is hard to say. But his point was this:
The game has grown so much – and a beautiful park in suburban Kansas City, peerless in some ways, is just one example – that more scrutiny is a natural outcome.
But he does think locker room is very cool, too.