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FC Kansas City: 2015 NWSL draft preview

Defending Champion FC Kansas City and the rest of the NWSL are prepared to kick off the draft

First step in defending the NWSL championship is the 2015 NWSL draft
First step in defending the NWSL championship is the 2015 NWSL draft
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

The NWSL holds their third draft today and defending champion FC Kansas City does not have a first round pick this year. In fact none of the four playoff teams have picks in the first round. The Portland Thorns traded away the last of their picks so they can sit home and watch. TheWashington Spirit only have one in the 4th round.

FC Kansas City may have to wait to get started with picks but once they do they will be busy. The Blues do not have a 1st round pick but they do have six total picks. The 12th, 16th, 19th 26th and 35th overall picks.

FC Kansas City head coach Vlatko Andonovski has a very good starting lineup; he will be looking for depth and players that can compete when National Team players are gone.

The general consensus seems to be that FC Kansas City will be looking for defenders but that may not be their draft strategy. FC Kansas City Director of Soccer Operations Huw Williams stated, "everyone assumes we need defenders and that is a position we are looking at but that is not the only need by far."

"It will be best available at positions that we need," Willaims continued. "We have ranked players 1 through 36, mathematically we know we will get one of the players we ranked 1through 12 and we would be happy with any one of those."

In past years, Andonovski and Williams had the draft pretty laid out. "This is a weird draft," Williams observed. "The last two draft were easier to predict than this one."

"We knew a little better of what other teams needed and there was a bigger separation in the players," Williams continued. "Certainly the first four in this draft have separated themselves. There are ten, maybe fifteen players that are about the same level. The same experience, the same abilities in where they are right now. That is part of our challenge to draft someone based on the current level of play but also draft them on potential level as well.  How well we think they can develop in our system."

Williams did not want to elaborate on which four were the top picks in his opinion but Morgan Brian, Sam Mewis, Abby Dahlkemper and Sarah Killion seem to be most people's first choices.

How to follow the draft:

The NWSL will have a running chat room on their web site and twitter.

FC Kansas City's picks:

2              12           FC Kansas City (via WNYF)

2              16           FC Kansas City (via SRFC/PTFC)

2              17           FC Kansas City

3              19           FC Kansas City (via HOU)

3              26           FC Kansas City (via SRFC/FCKC)

4              35           FC Kansas City

Local connections:

There are three women from the Kansas City area declared for the draft that were coached by Huw Williams. Midfielder Kaysie Clark from Missouri, attacking threat Shea Groom from Texas A&M and goalie Caroline Stanley from USC. All three of these players were coached by Huw Williams at the club level.

"As their club coach I am proud of them and excited for them and a little nervous for them because I know how excited they are," Williams said.

Groom will probably be picked in the top ten or so, Clark stands a very good chance of being selected as well.

Emily Lillard a goalie for University of Miami is also from the local area.

There are also several players that went to college in the region that are in the draft as well. Molly Huber from Missouri State, goalie Mckenzie Sauerwein from Missouri, goalie Kaitlyn Stroud and defender Caroline VanSlambrouck from the University of Kansas.

A complete list can be found here.

Full Draft Order:

Round   Pick        Team

1              1              Houston Dash

1              2              Sky Blue FC (via BOS)

1              3              Western New York Flash

1              4              Western New York Flash (via SBFC)

1              5              Chicago Red Stars

1              6              Western New York Flash (via WAS)

1              7              Western New York Flash (via PTFC)

1              8              Chicago Red Stars (via FCKC)

1              9              Boston Breakers (via SRFC)

2              10           Sky Blue FC (via HOU)

2              11           Boston Breakers

2              12           FC Kansas City (via WNYF)

2              13           Houston Dash (via SBFC)

2              14           Boston Breakers (via PTFC/CRS)

2              15           Seattle Reign FC (via WAS)

2              16           FC Kansas City (via SRFC/PTFC)

2              17           FC Kansas City

2              18           Western New York Flash (via BOS/SRFC)

3              19           FC Kansas City (via HOU)

3              20           Boston Breakers

3              21           Western New York Flash

3              22           Sky Blue FC

3              23           Chicago Red Stars

3              24           Boston Breakers (via WAS)

3              25           Sky Blue FC (via PTFC)

3              26           FC Kansas City (via SRFC/FCKC)

3              27           Chicago Red Stars (via BOS/SRFC)

4              28           Sky Blue FC (via HOU)

4              29           Boston Breakers

4              30           Washington Spirit (via WNYF)

4              31           Houston Dash (via SBFC)

4              32           Chicago Red Stars

4              33           Boston Breakers (via WAS)

4              34           Sky Blue FC (via PTFC)

4              35           FC Kansas City

4              36           Seattle Reign FC