With the disappointing end of the Chiefs season coming last night with the Super Bowl loss, the NFL season has officially come to an end. That can only mean one thing. It is now soccer season. I know that technically Major League Soccer has set a date for preseason training to begin February 22 and that date isn’t here yet, but close enough. KC NWSL has already started their preseason training on February 1. So therefore, my brain has 100% officially flipped to soccer season. And is there a greater feeling than the optimism felt at the beginning of a new season?
The 2020 season was obviously a strange one and hopefully unlike anything we will see again. Do I think that the 2021 season will be normal? Definitely not. Do I have some hope that at some point it will start to feel more normal? Yes…..I think?! All I know right now is that as I sit at home on a snow day from school and the next week with high temperatures only in the teens is that I am dreaming of warm sunny days watching Kansas City professional soccer again soon.
I am so excited to welcome NWSL back to Kansas City. I am quick to admit that I did not do a good enough job as a Kansas City soccer fan to show my support the first time the team was here. I have vowed to do a better job this time around! It seems as though the team has good, interested and invested owners, quality coaching and some exciting players. Make sure that you show this team some love. Buy some merch. Watch games on TV and if we are able to, buy some tickets and go watch the matches live. It is our responsibility to show that we deserve to have this second chance at having a team (Editor: I couldn’t agree more!!).
As far as Sporting Kansas City goes, I have several things that I am excited about. Right now, the big thing I am waiting for is to just know for sure that the season is going to happen without a lockout or a significant delay. It sure sounds like MLS and the MLSPA have settled everything and we are good to go.
A new SKC season is always exciting. Will we see a new, surprising breakout star for the team this year? Maybe. I’m interested to see how our new signings adjust and help out the team. We all know that we have big expectations and hopes that our new center back can help with some defensive woes and that we can maybe find a center back pairing that works well together for most of the season.
I’m also excited to hopefully see a healthy Alan Pulido play and contribute in more minutes this year. We all saw what seems to be some amazing potential to really score a lot of goals. If he is able to stay healthy and play, I think we see really good things this year. With, I assume, Johnny Russell and Khiry Shelton on the wings I am hopeful for some exciting goal scoring opportunities.
The question is who scores when those players aren’t available or need a rest or just a sub at the end of the game? It sounds like Gerso Fernandes and Erik Hurtado are both gone so that leaves Daniel Salloi and some upcoming young players. We also saw Busio play out on the wing some last season, so maybe he gets more minutes up there. Will Felipe Gutierrez be back this season and if so, is he healthy? Who locks down our right and left back positions? Is Ilie still a midfield starter? Are there more signings coming before the season begins? So many questions to answer and things to debate as we wait.
All I know is that I am ready. Ready for the ups and downs, the celebrations and frustrations, the confetti falling, the Cauldron and South Stand cheering. I’m ready to see the Blue Crew in action. I’m ready for the ridiculous Twitter takes. I am ready for it all. The season is officially underway in my brain so can it just be April already?!
What are you waiting for? What are you most excited about for the 2021 season for KC NWSL and Sporting Kansas City? Let us know in the comments.