The Kansas City Current almost won the NWSL Championship in 2022, but they did anything but rest on their laurels this offseason. They went out and made several high profile additions and now have to find a way to get all these ladies on the field in their best possible positions.
First, let’s take a look at the major roster changes between 2022 and 2023, knowing full well there are still four draft picks fighting for roster spots and there could be other moves/trades waiting to go down.
Also, there are links under each player’s name to the story of where they were signed, traded, drafted, released, etc. if you want more information.
Who’s In? (New Additions)
- Morgan Gautrat (midfielder)
- Vanessa DiBernardo (midfielder)
- Mimmi Larsson (forward)
- Debinha (forward/midfielder)
- Michelle Cooper (forward)
- Hanna Glas (fullback)
- Alexa Spaanstra (forward)
So far seven new players have come, and I’d suspect at least two more draft picks will get signed, but probably all three who are currently with the team (Robinson, Silkowitz and Childers) if they have the roster space.
Who’s Out? (Roster Subtractions)
- Taylor Leach (centerback)
- Jaycie Johnson (forward)
- Kirsten Edmonds (defender/midfielder)
- Sydney Schneider (goalkeeper)
- Addie McCain (midfielder/forward)
- Elyse Bennett (forward)
- Lynn Williams (forward)
And while she’s not officially a subtraction, Sam Mewis is out for an undetermined amount of time after another knee surgery.
Last Year’s Formation Returns?
If Matt Potter is anything as a coach, he’s definitely covert. He never formally announced what formation he was playing in and there is some debate as to what it actually was. I’m going to call it a 3-4-1-2, but that can look like a back five (with the fullbacks/wingbacks alongside the CBs). Also, in the midfield it felt like one player was almost more of an attacking midfielder than just being in line with the others. There were definitely at least two forwards, which sometimes that third midfielder could be called a forward.
Whatever you call it (5-3-2, 3-5-2, etc.), that was the primary formation used in 2022. The question is, was that the formation that Potter and his staff like to use OR were they simply using the talent he had in the best way they could and they have no allegiance to this formation?
The problem with the 3-4-1-2 is it requires three center backs. Looking at the current roster, the team lost Kristen Edmonds who was a consistent starter and Taylor Leach who was an occasional fill in. So far, they haven’t actually added any CBs. They are likely to signed draft pick Gabby Robinson after they waived the rights of Mykiaa Minniss last week.
Because of that, the CB depth chart looks like Elizabeth Ball, Addisyn Merrick, Alex Loera (who may be better in the midfield, but is quite good here), Jenna Winebrenner and potentially Robinson, if she’s signed. Five players for three spots isn’t ideal.
Another potential flaw with this formation is it leaves less space for all these new dynamic signings to be on the field together. That said, I’m not trying to predict starters, so take these guesses with a grain of salt (and in fact I’ll slide in multiple players per spot in some cases).
Maybe this is from years of watching Sporting Kansas City playing in a 4-3-3, but this feels like a more likely formation. However, while Sporting KC invert the triangle in the midfield with dual #8s (box-to-box midfielders), the Current have a very good option at the pure #10 (attacking midfielder) role in Debinha.
One potential flaw in this system is that it means the fullbacks need to stay home more (and they are all more wingbacks than true defenders). However, if you put two deeper lying midfielders, that may make up for it and could cover that space out wide where the fullbacks may be getting forward.
While the permutations that this team could be put into are seemingly endless, a formation with more midfielder makes a ton of sense. Also, if Debinha is the tip of the diamond, she could slip into a bit of a false nine role at times too, if need be, plus you get another dynamic midfielder in the game in a pair of 8s behind her.
All of these options leave out plenty of other moves that could be on the table. Hailie Mace is a dynamic player that can probably play in the midfield just as well as out wide as a winger. Desiree Scott, who is recovering from an injury isn’t listed anywhere as she’ll miss the start of the season. Claire Lavogez should be back at some point and could play that attacking mid spot or along the forward line.
This team is so remarkably stacked, that even when action is missed by some stars because of the World Cup, it feels like they may be best set to not skip a beat.
What formation do you think we’ll see to start the season for the Kansas City Current? How about long-term? Tell me in the comments.