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FC Kansas City preview: Part 1 - what's changed

In preparation for the NWSL starting back up we are taking a look at FC Kansas City before their first match

FC Kansas City players displaying the new kits in their new stadium
FC Kansas City players displaying the new kits in their new stadium
Thad Bell

A couple days ago FC Kansas City released their official opening day roster and we wanted to break it down and do a general preview of what has changed and what can be expected of the Blues in their second season. This will be in four parts to be published in preparation for the opening match against Sky Blue FC.

First up is what's changed since last season.

Here is the detailed roster from the team.
Nicole Barnhart (FC Kansas City), Sara Keane (West Virginia University), Cecilia Santiago** (Boston Breakers)
DEFENDERS (6) - Kassey Kallman (Florida State), Amy LePeilbet (Chicago Red Stars), Nikki Phillips (San Diego Sea Lions), Leigh Ann Robinson (FC Kansas City), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Nia Williams (FC Kansas City)
MIDFIELDERS (10) - Jen Buczkowski (FC Kansas City), Katrina Gorry* (Brisbane Roar), Sarah Hagen* (Bayern Munchen), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Maegan Kelly (Marquette University), Mandy Laddish (Notre Dame), Merritt Mathias (FC Kansas City), Jenna Richmond (UCLA), Frances Silva (West Virginia University), Erika Tymrak (FC Kansas City)
FORWARDS (4) - Liz Bogus (Seattle Reign FC), Melissa Henderson (FC Kansas City), Morgan Marlborough (Santa Clara University), Amy Rodriguez (Seattle Reign FC)
* - Will report to team in June 2014
** - Injured

Notable player changes:

In: Nikki Phillips, Amy LePeilbet, Amy Rodriguez, Liz Bogus were all acquired through trades.  Katrina Gorry and Sarah Hagen signed as free agents. Kassey Kallman, Morgan Marlborough, Jenna Richmond, Maegan Kelly, Frances Silva, Mandy Laddish were drafted.

Out: Desiree Scott, Lauren Sesselmann, Courtney Jones, Sinead Farrely, Bianca Henninger, Katie Kelly, Kristie Mewis

The loss of Desiree Scott to Notts County in England seems to be the biggest blow to the Blues standard 4-2-3-1 formation from last season. Fellow Canadian Sesselmann was taken in the expansion draft but blew out a knee and will miss the rest of the season anyway.

New Stadium:

The Blues surprised many when they moved to UMKC's Durwood Stadium and lost a number of potential seats in the process but they feel that the stadium will have a far superior atmosphere and fan experience than the larger but distant feeling stands in their previous home. While it is still turf and not the natural grass that most would prefer, the turf at UMKC is far superior to the previous and will play much better. Another bonus is no gridiron lines.

New Uniforms and Sponsor:

The Blues and other NWSL teams had an option to choose from different uniforms this season and most took that opportunity. On front of the new kit is Research Medical Center replacing Title Boxing from the inaugural season.

Second article will be a look at the defense and keepers

Third is a look at the midfield and attackers

Last will be formations and expectations