2023 is days away, and with it, a new start to a new NWSL season. The CBA and NWSL rules now allow teams the flexibility to hold a 6-8 week preseason opening as early as January 23 but no later than February 6. It will be here before we know it.
The Kansas City Current look to be contenders again after their historic second NWSL season in 2022, reaching the NWSL Championship, and they have made significant changes to their roster ahead of the 2023 season. Let’s break down the roster changes this offseason.
Players with new contracts
Hailie Mace: The veteran defender signed a three-year contract through the 2025 season. Mace played 31 games for Kansas City, currently ranks fourth in goals (5), third in total shots (56) and third in shots on goal (22) for the club, all from her defensive position.
Kate Del Fava: The third-year defender signed through the 2024 season. Del Fava is one of the players to be assigned to Kansas City’s roster in 2020 from Utah. She moved from a midfield position to a wing back, allowing her play in every match for the Current, with two assists in the regular season and scoring the game-winning goal in the 10th minute of added time against the Houston Dash in the quarterfinals.
Morgan Gautrat and Vanessa DiBenardo: Both players signed two-year agreements, becoming the first free agents signed by the club under the league’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Forward Jaycie Johnson and goalkeeper Sydney Schneider were waived in November becoming free agents. Addie McCain was also waived last week, allowing her to enter the waiver wire.
Players with contracts exercised
Defenders Addisyn Merrick, Izzy Rodriguez, and Jenna Winebrenner were all signed through 2023 with 2024 options for Rodriguez and Winebrenner.
Taylor Leach: Leach announced her retirement from professional soccer on November 29. She was one of the players from the original Kansas City roster announced in December 2020 that transferred from Utah.
Free Agents signing with another club
The Current have 22 players under contract for the 2023 season.
Goalkeepers (2): Adrianna “AD” Franch, Cassie Miller
Defenders (8): Elizabeth Ball, Kate Del Fava, Alex Loera, Hailie Mace, Addisyn Merrick, Izzy Rodriguez, Mallory Weber, Jenna Winebrenner
Midfielders (7): Chardonnay Curran, Vanessa DiBernardo, Morgan Gautrat, Lo’eau LaBonta, Claire Lavogez, Chloe Logarzo, Sam Mewis
Forwards (5): Elyse Bennett, Kristen Hamilton, Cece Kizer, Mimmi Larsson, Lynn Williams
What’s going on with Desiree Scott?
The 2022 captain is currently a free agent. She remains unsigned, but the club does hope to bring her back, and both parties have been in conversations with the midfielder.
I talked with #TealRising GM Camille Levin-Ashton this afternoon. I asked explicitly about conversations with captain and free-agent midfielder Desiree Scott, and this was the response: pic.twitter.com/YcOAYlXj8X— Daniel Sperry (@sperrydaniel94) December 7, 2022
The State of the KC Current Roster
This is, undoubtedly, a much stronger roster, especially with the additions of Gautrat and DiBenardo, even if Sam Mewis were not to fully return at the start of the season (much speculation and questions regarding her injury remain, by the way). Should Lynn Williams be fully cleared to play in 2023, she joins an already strong attacking side with Kizer and Kristen Hamilton. The question becomes does head coach Matt Potter finally shift to a 4-3-3 formation?
But also, will the Current use the college draft to sign/trade for another CB to accompany Elizabeth Ball? The defense may need another player or two, but with an already strong midfield, it may be fine for the moment.