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FC Kansas City draft preview - part 1

A look at the challenges facing FC Kansas City as they go into the NWSL draft

It will be tough for the champs to put the team together for another run
It will be tough for the champs to put the team together for another run
Steve Dykes/Getty Images

Currently FC Kansas City has 19 players on the roster although Amy Rodriguez will probably not be counted since she will be sitting out the season while pregnant.

Goalkeepers (2): Nicole Barnhart, Katelyn Rowland

Defenders (4): Becky Sauerbrunn, Amanda Frisbie, Meghan Lisenby, Brittany Taylor

Midfielders (6): Yael Averbuch, Jen Buczkowski, Kaysie Clark, Heather O'Reilly, Erika Tymrak, Mandy Laddish

Forwards (6):  Liz Bogus, Shea Groom, Caroline Kastor, Tiffany McCarty, Sydney Leroux, Francis Silva

Pregnant reserve list (1): Amy Rodriguez

Draft Picks: 16, 18, 28, 38

Each off season has been a challenge for FC Kansas City. After the first year they had to replace starters at left back, center back and midfield due to trades and other player moves (Lauren Sesselmann, Kristie Mewis and Desiree Scott). After winning the NWSL Cup in their second season, they again had to replace a left back, a center back and a midfielder (Kassey Kallman, Nikki Philips and Jenna Richmond). All starters.

Now after winning their second straight cup, the Blues are again challenged with replacing key starters at left back, center back and midfield with the added challenge of right back as well. Becca Moros was traded but Amy LePeilbet, Leigh Ann Robinson and Lauren Holiday all retired. Throw in the fact that Amy Rodriguez will miss the season to have a baby and it will not be easy to do it all again.

The Blues did get Brittany Taylor at center back in trade and they will see if Amanda Frisbie can be healthy and possibly play one of the outside back spots. A pair of draft week trades brought Tiffany McCarty and Sydney Leroux to Kansas City to bolster the attack but the team will still be looking for an outside back, center back depth and an attacking mid.

A lot can be done in the draft or through shifting players around a bit but replacing a Lauren Holiday not only won't be easy but can't be done. Holiday was arguably the best attacker through the first three years of the NWSL. Always leading or near the top in offensive categories and proved she could throw a team on her back and win like no other player in the league.

That cannot be replaced.

With just four draft picks, can FC Kansas City find center back depth, an outside back and a world class attacking midfielder?

If FC Kansas City even comes close to being as good as they were the last two years then Vlatko Andonovski will deserve coach of the year and Huw Williams Technical Director/GM/trade guru of the year as well.