Swope Park to change stadiums in 2018
 
James Poling, contributor

United Soccer League club Swope Park will not return to Swope Soccer Village and is exploring stadium options for the 2018 season.

The club, which MLS club Sporting Kansas City owns and operates, is working with the league to meet the United States Soccer Federation’s Division II requirements. Swope Soccer Village (capacity 3,500) did not meet the federation’s 5,000 requirement and had additional issues with USL league standards.

“Swope Park’s stadium is noncompliant and will not be used for the 2018 season,” USL president Jake Edwards said. “The club has presented other options to us. One would be (Sporting KC’s) main stadium, and it is looking at other options, too.”

Swope played the past two seasons at Swope Soccer Village. It hosted its 2017 Western Conference quarterfinal match vs. Phoenix Rising, which had an overnight delay at halftime because of inclement weather.

The USL took issues with the stadium after the Phoenix match and, per league policy, initially moved the conference semifinal match to opposing Sacramento. After meeting with club officials, Swope’s match vs. Sacramento and its subsequent conference final vs. OKC Energy were played at Sporting KC’s stadium, Children’s Mercy Park.

“We were aware of some issues at the Swope Park facility,” Edwards said. “There were additional issues that came up during the (quarterfinal) match that we felt we needed a different environment for the next playoff round.

“We worked with Sporting KC. They did a great job of working with us to make the main stadium available, and it proved to be a fitting environment for a USL playoff match.”

Swope, which won the Western Conference in each of its first two seasons, plays at Louisville City on Monday in the 2017 USL Cup.

Image credit: Swope Park Rangers

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