There is so much happening around Kansas City soccer, it’s easy to lose track or miss a key story. Especially if you don’t have a subscription to the Kansas City Star as they’ve added two interns who are cranking out stories. I wanted to highlight a couple, and pick up some stories we’ve missed.
Carly Nelson Trying to be the Role Model She Needed
In the first story from the Star, intern Cora Hall profiles KC NWSL goalkeeper Carly Nelson and her journey of being an LGBTQ+ teen growing up as a Mormon in Utah. Nelson, who was on OL Reign in 2020 and is a backup keeper for Kansas City this year, has yet to appear in an NWSL game, but she’s still trying to make an impact.
She’s currently in the process of writing a book on her experience, which Hall lays out beautifully, if not somewhat painfully. Seeing what growing up gay in a very religious family and community can be like can be both tough to read and enlightening to people who haven’t lived these experiences or met people who have.
“I think that people don’t realize how religion, especially cultures like that play a big part into it,” Nelson said. “It’s not just that particular religious culture, because I came from there, I can speak from it.
“But it’s these communities and this religion is all around the world, like the 70 other countries that still are imprisoning people, the 11 countries that are still allowing the death penalty. I don’t think people realize that even in America, because it’s so big in the media, that there’s still like issues coming from the small cultures like mine.”
I highly recommend reading the full story.
Legends Field Overnight Transformations
In our second story from the Star, Briar Napier, another intern, keeps the KC NWSL coverage strong with a low-key, behind the scenes story of the transition Legends Field goes through between soccer and baseball games. Kansas City NWSL share their stadium with the recently rebranded KC Monarchs. The transition of baseball to soccer or vice versa can be done in as little as 24 hours, though, often they have at least a couple days to get all the details right.
Napier interviewed Tyler Stelter, who works for Midwest Laser Leveling, who takes charge of the transitions. His team did it first for the May 3rd match KC NWSL lost 1-2 to OL Reign. They are only getting better with more practice. It seems the soccer portion is easy, it’s that baseball mound that is a problem.
Sporting KC II Adds Two 17-Year-Olds
Back on the 22nd of June, SKC II added two young prospects on academy contracts. They signed Daniel Gutierrez and Coby Jones, who has already made his USL debut in a sub appearance against the OKC Energy FC.
Gutierrez joined the SKC Academy in 2018 and is actually an Oklahoma native. He primarily lines up as a winger or an attacking midfielder and appeared for the club in preseason. He’s a youth international having been called up to the U-15 and U-17 United States teams.
Jones, who has been with the academy since 2016, has climbed from the U-13s to the U-19s. He’s a local product out of Olathe, Kansas by way of Topeka.
Both Jones and Gutierrez played in the same age group as recent Sporting Kansas City signings Kayden Pierre and Ozzie Cisneros.
More Busio Transfer Rumors
At this point, it feels like Gianluca Busio has been linked to about half the teams in Europe. I exaggerate of course, but let’s add a few more. Among those clubs listed are recent teams we’ve already heard (Sassuolo and Fiorentina) there are a couple new clubs in Parma and Venezia. This story also sites the $6 million number that was recently reported (though other reports say that offer wasn’t true).
Teammates Johnny Russell and Daniel Salloi recently joked about it with Busio on his Instagram, so who knows what is true at this point, but him making the United States Gold Cup roster should only raise his stock.
Speaking of Busio, there is a nicely put together freeze frame analysis of his game against LAFC.