The Kansas City Wizards professional soccer team is now known as Sporting Kansas City. At the time the rebranding was announced, team officials scoffed at the suggestion that the franchise was trying to look and sound more European. "This, to us, is not European whatsoever," CEO Robb Heineman said, presumably before he donned a beret and drove home on the left side of the road.
While denied, the Eurofication of the team formerly known as the Wiz continues. The team recently let it slip that BBC correspondent Callum Williams will present, er, call Sporting KC games on television during the upcoming season.
Williams is based in Birmingham, England, according to his LinkedIn page. He's been covering football in South Yorkshire and London. He described himself as 19 years old and very determined on a blog last updated in 2009.
Earlier this week, Sporting KC announced a partnership with Livestrong, the cancer-fighting nonprofit founded by cycling maniac Lance Armstrong, who won the Tour de France -- France! -- a bunch of times.
Putting a British accent on the telecasts and the other nods to Europe seem a good strategy for Sporting KC. Interest in European teams and leagues is what's driving soccer's growth as a spectator sport in the United States. Sports Illustrated recently ran a long profile of José Mourinho, the manager of Real Madrid. We all have Facebook friends whose sports-related status updates are more likely to mention Tottenham Hotspur than the Chiefs.
So wear that man-purse proudly, Sporting Kansas City. Pegging your game to the euro will surely work better than waiting for a U.S.-born star to emerge in an under-14 tournament.