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Women's World Cup players with ties to Kansas City

There are quite a few players that have some connection to Kansas City.

FC Kansas City's A-Rod with the US
FC Kansas City's A-Rod with the US
Thad Bell

The Women's World Cup has started. Canada got the home win over China and Germany has already racked up 10 goals on the outmatched Ivory Coast. Tonight the US plays their first match of the group stage when they meet Australia.

With the biggest tournament underway, there are several women with connections to Kansas City.

Heather O'Reilly - USA midfielder/winger - third World Cup

How does Heather describe herself? "I'm pretty much a goof ball. I am very intense on the field but upbeat and personable off of it."

HAO  (pronounced hey-oh) as she is known to her team mates was acquired by FC Kansas City in the off season. She has not seen much time with US lately but she gives US coach Jill Ellis a wide option off the bench.

One thing O'Reilly is looking forward to after the World Cup is being in Kansas City more.  "I'm a Jersey girl gone South; I now live in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Not that Kansas City is considered south but what I am saying is that I have successfully transitioned to the land of barbecue and I am looking forward to expanding my horizons in Kansas City."

Becky Sauerbrunn - USA centerback -second World Cup

The St. Louis native has used the NWSL to become a better and more experienced center back and has went from being on the US roster to starting and playing every minute recently for the yanks.

Sauerbrunn will be the anchor on defense for the US as she is for FC Kansas City. Becky hates to fail, hates to let down her team mates. While she is the most supportive as she can be of a team mate, she is the harshest critic of herself. Driven to be better at everything, Sauerbrunn is a very thoughtful player who learns from every mistake.

Lauren Holiday - USA midfielder -second World Cup

Holiday is known by her maiden name on the field. You will hear players calling for "Cheney" on the field and suddenly a pass is threaded between the opposition to find a team mate.

Lauren is another player that went from being on the US roster to starting reliably for the US after her strong play for FC Kansas City. She can score like she did the first season for the Blues or be the assist leader like she did in FC Kansas City's championship year.

Ellis has taken one of the best offensive threats at the club level and asked her to be a holding mid in international play, a testament to her versatility.

Amy Rodriguez - USA forward -second World Cup

Soccer mom! A-Rod took 2013 off to have her son and when she joined the Blues in 2014 she was still working to get in shape but ended up scoring the winning goals in the playoffs and final.

"I am in debt to this team because they took a chance on me," A-Rod explained. "They got me back to scoring goals and got me back on the national team and playing well so I will always love playing for KC and that shows on the field."

Throughout the Blues championship year Rodriguez just kept getting better and better. Her runs became less direct and predictable. Amy started using the seams in the defense and timing her runs for Holiday to feed her.

How much time A-Rod gets will depend a lot on the health of others but she should play at least a little. .

Katrina "Mini" Gorry - Australia midfielder

The diminutive midfielder joined FC Kansas City last year and became a good option off the bench and started some games when the US players were gone. Gorry is small in stature but her drive is huge. She can go non-stop and transition a turnover into a good scoring chance.

The KC-in-laws - these two have been in Kansas City more than the FC Kansas City players recently. It would not be a surprise to see at least one of these two push for a trade to Kansas City again after the World Cup. If that does not work they could take the Lalas option and just retire, move to Kansas City and then come out of retirement at a convenient time.

Sydney Leroux - USA forward - first World Cup

Syd quietly married Sporting Kansas City forward Dom Dwyer in the winter but could not keep it secret for too long before they started leaking photos on social media. They have quickly become a celebrity couple with US fans looking forward to some babies to play in the 2032 and 2033 World Cups.

Leroux asked to be traded to Kansas City so she and Dom could share the house they just bought. Seattle and KC were ready to do a deal when Western New York stepped in with a bigger offer.

With a host of forwards available for the US, a lot will depend on which player appears to be in form for US coach Jill Ellis.

Alex Morgan - USA forward -second World Cup

Married to Servando Carrasco of Sporting Kansas City, "Baby Horse" and Leroux were all over Kansas City training together when not in US camp. When healthy, Morgan can be one of the fastest players on the pitch. She has been injured off and on since last year but if healthy will see some time.

Big 12 Championships

Swope Soccer Village played host to the Big 12 championships the last two years and repeat champion West Virginia produced two players for Canada. Both Kadeisha Buchanan and Ashley Lawrence started in the win over China.  Courtney Dike from Oklahoma State lost to the Mountaineers and is on Nigeria's roster.

Any others?