With FC Kansas City set to open up their season in a little more than a month against the Boston Breakers and the number one overall pick and new USWNT player Rose Lavell, it seems like a good time to start catching up on everything that’s happened this offseason. There have been lots of changes including a trade, retirement, several re-signings and a draft pick heading overseas.
The Trade: Becca Moros Returns
In what feels like a steal of a deal, FCKC completed a trade with the Houston Dash to bring fullback Becca Moros back to the club. In exchange Kansas City sent whatever their highest pick is in the third round of the 2018 NWSL college draft. Moros has played for the Dash, FCKC and the Portland Thorns.
In her previous stint with FCKC she helped the club win the 2015 NWSL Championship playing along a back line that didn’t allow a single goal. It’s unclear where Moros will lineup in 2017 and head coach Vlatko Andonovski didn’t make it any clearer.
“The knowledge and experience that Becca brings will be vital for us in achieving our goals for next season. She is a great player with great understanding of the game and can adjust to any style, system and philosophy very fast.”
I have to assume she’ll lineup in one of the two fullback spots and that she has a good shot to start, but that phrasing makes it sound like she could play somewhere else.
2017 Draft Pick Heads Overseas
Maybe part of the reason FCKC are willing to trade away future picks is because you just never know if a player will suit up for you. 2017 NWSL second round pick Toni Payne has spurned FC Kansas City to play in Amsterdam for Ajax.
This has to be seen as quite the blow for both FCKC and the league. To have a player drafted so high (13th overall) never even play in the league stings. This is on the heels of Kadeisha Buchanan, a Canadian International, deciding to sign with Lyon in France instead of likely becoming the first pick in the draft.
The move to draft Payne, a player who scored 23 goals and added 21 assists, seemed like a steal at the time. Now, it looks like a wasted pick just a few weeks later.
Shea Groom Re-Signs
In news that doesn’t involve a draft pick leaving, former 12th overall pick from the 2015 NWSL draft, Shea Groom has re-signed for the 2017 season. Groom was very isolated up top last season but managed to score eight goals. This season it’s unclear where she will fit in with the return of Amy Rodriguez and Sydney Leroux. The deal appears to just be for one year, though terms were not disclosed.
Yael Averbuch is Back as Well
If Groom was the star of the offense, Averbuch did a pretty good job supporting Becky Sauerbrunn in central defense, despite that being not her natural position. FCKC announced Averbuch has re-signed through 2018. Despite FCKC having a down season in 2016, Averbuch was a bright spot scoring three times from central defense and adding an assist.
Caroline Kastor Retires
25-year-old Caroline Kastor is the latest NWSL player to retire waaaay too young. She announced on March 9th that her time as a professional soccer player was done. Kastor is a local product out of the University of Kansas who came all the way from Witchita, Kansas.
Kastor joins many other players who have retired before even reaching their athletic prime. If you haven’t heard, the NWSL has a retirement problem. Mostly because of very low wages, of which Kastor was likely pretty far down the list of player pay.
Tiffany McCarty Heads to Norway
In other news of high draft picks leaving, former second overall pick from the 2013 NWSL draft, Tiffany McCarty has decided to head to Norway to continue her professional playing career. It’s likely that McCarty would have struggled to earn minutes with FCKC in 2017 with three star forwards already on the team. Over four seasons McCarty only was able to find the back of the net nine times. Simply not enough for a forward who went second overall to the Washington Spirit.
FCKC Announce Three Preseason Games
With the regular season just over a month away, FC Kansas City will begin sharpening their skills on March 19th against the University of Missouri. All three preseason games will be open to the public and played on the road. The full schedule is below.
Sun, March 19 - 4:00PM - University of Missouri - Columbia, MO
Sat, April 1 - 2:00PM - University of Nebraska - Lincoln, NE
Mon, April 10 - 7:00PM - University of Kansas - Lawrence, KS
- Becky Sauerbrunn played in all three matches for the USWNT during the She Believes Cup where the United States finished last (ouch).
- Former FCKC defender Lauren Sesselmann will play for the Santa Clarita Blue Heat (UWS) this year.
- First round pick Christina Gibbons was selected to the USWNT U-23 roster for three matches in La Manga, Spain. The team went 2-1 in those matches. Gibbons made two appearances and captained the team in their loss to England.