The Sporting Kansas City season has started, baseball is back, Patrick Mahomes got married and March Madness is about to tip off, but don’t let all of those Kansas City sports stories let you miss another important one. The Kansas City Current kick off their season this week with their first match of the NWSL Challenge Cup on Friday in Louisville.
After a disappointing inaugural season hopes are high for a more successful year. The team finished last place in 2021, but there have been a lot of changes made in the offseason including coaching changes and the addition of a few high-profile players.
One big change was the replacement of the head coach Huw Williams. Williams has moved into a front office position and will work on talent identification. His head coaching position was filled with the arrival of Matt Potter. Potter has previously worked as an assistant coach for the USWNT and as the head coach of the U-22 USWNT team as well as experience in NCAA.
Danielle Russell, media director of the Current supporter’s group, The Kansas City Blue Crew, has hopes that the personnel changes lead to success on the field. “I’m hoping to see a team that is competing for playoffs and a championship,” Russell said. “I hope that we also see that the team continues pushing to be a players first environment. There are exciting things happening in Kansas City and the work the players are doing is a huge part of that. So making sure that they’re supported is always number one.”
Adding to the changes in leadership the team has added a few high-profile players to the team recently with the addition of multiple USWNT players. Kansas native, AD Franch, a national team goalkeeper, was added towards the end of last season. In the off-season the team added midfielder Sam Mewis and forward Lynn Williams, both of who get regular call-ups to the USWNT. The addition of these quality players are a good showing that the owners of the Current are committed to making the team more competitive in the league.
Another big change to look forward to this season is the change in location of KC Current home matches. Last season the team played at Community America Ballpark (Legends Field), a baseball field that is the home of the Kansas City Monarchs. When the KC Current opens their season at home in April, they will call Children’s Mercy Park home. The change of venue is a positive change for the team. Russell states, “Legend’s (Community America Ballpark) was great for what we needed, but this is a professional team who should be playing on a professional pitch. Children’s Mercy gives us that while we wait for 2024. The facilities are nice, there are more options and it’s a fun experience” As home to Sporting Kansas City, Children’s Mercy Park is familiar to most Kansas Citians and hopefully will help draw more casual fans to the women’s team.
All of these changes are steps needed to try to improve the overall success of the team. Last season the team was moved from Salt Lake City and decisions and roster building had to happen quickly which made it difficult to get wins. “The team finished last because of the start of the season. It took a long time to get that first win and it was frustrating,” Russell said. “But throughout the season there were trades and moves to help the team closer to what it is now and you saw that in the results near the end of the season. The team made it difficult for other teams to get results at the end and even dashed some playoff hopes.”
We will get our first look at the team in the Challenge Cup on Friday. The team starts in Louisville before playing in Chicago on March 25 and Houston on March 30. The Current make their home debut for the season on April 2. Let’s all get behind this team and show them the support they deserve. “Give this team a chance- the momentum is on our side and the moves over the offseason are just adding to that,” said Russell.
Challenge Cup matches can be viewed on Paramount Plus and tickets are currently available for the home Challenge Cup matches and can be purchased through www.kansascitycurrent.com.