Soccer KC

How Soccer KC Started from the World Cup and a Trip to Argentina

How Soccer KC Started from the World Cup and a Trip to Argentina

By Mike Shorman, Co-Founder | 4/5/24

Home » Community » How Soccer KC Started from the World Cup and a Trip to Argentina​

Pickup games in Argentina!

Pickup Soccer KC started just over 5 years ago.

 

October 10, 2017

 

I lost my job and Team USA would miss a World Cup for the first time since 1986. Black Tuesday.

 

I was heartbroken, and I needed to figure out what I was going to do next. 

 

I took some time. I spent a month as a volunteer in Buenos Aires where I lived with a host family, took in Argentine culture, and played soccer. I saw a passion and joy for the sport Americans were still discovering.

 

I learned how Buenos Aires is considered the melting pot of South America and one of the most diverse cities in the world.

Post game with a new Brazillian friend traveling through Buenos Aires.
Christmas in Villa 31.

Losing my job and volunteering in Argentina showed me another side to American life and the 9-To-5 grind.

 

I wanted to keep those feelings going. I wanted to create a soccer community.

 

The 2018 World Cup was approaching. Let’s start a pickup soccer group!

I quickly connected with some friends back home. We made a facebook group, bought some goals and balls and started hosting pickup games on evenings and weekends. We called it Pickup Soccer Kansas City. Simple. Catchy.

 

I also found a job. I had been working with law firms in my career and I had found one that racked up awards for diversity and inclusion. My boss was even a huge soccer fan!

 

Classic shirts vs. skins

In the beginning there were no rules. Can you run? Great, you’re on defense.

 

People would walk by and join our games!

 

Little did we know that merely hosting and marketing diverse pickup soccer games we would attract a lot of interest from players around the city. Once we started growing, we knew we needed some help. So we found someone in our group just as passionate about soccer, but also really knowledgable about running a business. Enter Josue Sanchez aka experienced KC businessman. Also the guy holding the drone controller above. Josue helped us scale our operation and develop new relationships that would help us spread our club and community mission.

We also realized that by parterning with schools in the community we could be more than a league: we had the opportunity to be a proper club.

 

The main objective of the schools where we play is to create positive experiences for students and prepare them for a successful life. A portion of the money we collect through leagues and pickups go directly to the recreation and athletic programs of these schools.

Five years on, it’s fun to think of our journey from a pickup crew of about 20 players, to KC’s largest soccer club with more than a thousand pickup and league players, not to mention the soccer gear donated through Gear for Guate. Thinking about lunch soccer today and bowling tonight with Diversidad, I’m reminded how incredibly meaningful human connections are to life. And isn’t that what soccer is about? A healthy excuse for connection and good conversation among friends. Things like, “Gustavo, pass the ball!”

 

Spring 2023 South Plaza Saturday Coed League

This is just my Soccer KC story. I hope every club member has their own to share!


If you’d like to share yours, email it to mike@pickupsoccerkc.com.