Kansas City Current
FoundedDecember 6, 2020; 3 years ago (2020-12-06), as Kansas City NWSL
StadiumCPKC Stadium
Kansas City, Missouri
Capacity11,500
OwnersAngie Long
Chris Long
Brittany Mahomes
Patrick Mahomes
PresidentRaven Jemison
Head coach and
sporting director
Vlatko Andonovski
LeagueNational Women's Soccer League
202311th of 12
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Kansas City Current is an American professional women's soccer team playing in Kansas City, Missouri. It was founded as an expansion team in the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) in 2021.

History

Establishment

See also: FC Kansas City

Kansas City last had an NWSL team in 2017, when two-time champions FC Kansas City ceased operations and its player-related assets were transferred to expansion team Utah Royals FC.[1] Three years later, the Royals also had to cease operations after controversies from the team's owner Dell Loy Hansen,[2] and a Kansas City-based ownership group led by financial executives Angie and Chris Long took advantage to secure an expansion team along with the Royals' player-related assets on December 7, 2020.[3] Brittany Mahomes, wife of NFL quarterback Patrick Mahomes, a former college soccer player at University of Texas at Tyler and fitness trainer, purchased a stake in the team as well.[4] In January 2023, Patrick became a member of the ownership group as well.[5]

2021–present

See also: 2021 Kansas City NWSL season and 2022 Kansas City Current season

The Longs named Huw Williams, former general manager of FC Kansas City, as the team's inaugural head coach.[3] The franchise played their first season as Kansas City NWSL, playing their home matches at Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas, but ended their first season in Kansas City with 16 points from 24 games, 14 of which were losses.[2]

Huw Williams was relieved of duties as manager and replaced with Matt Potter for the 2022 season, but remained with the franchise as director of soccer operations[2] until November 2022 when it was revealed he was confronted by the team's roster for disrespectful and inappropriate behavior. This came in light of the NWSL's league-wide Yates Report.[6] In May 2022, the team hired Allison Howard as its first team president.[7] Kansas City unveiled their new team branding as Kansas City Current for the 2022 season, and relocated their home matches to the nearby Children's Mercy Park, in Kansas City, Kansas. A team training facility and headquarters opened in Riverside, Missouri, in June 2022[8] and in 2022 the ownership group announced plans for their future stadium in downtown Kansas City, Missouri.[9][10] The club made significant roster moves with the additions of Sam Mewis and Lynn Williams from the North Carolina Courage,[11][12] and Claire Lavogez from Bordeaux.[13] All three players would not finish the season on the roster due to season-ending injuries, the likes of which kept both Mewis and Williams from playing a single game in the regular season.[2][8] The Current had a 13-match unbeaten streak in the middle of their 2022 campaign,[2] propelling the team to their first playoff appearance in the 2022 NWSL Playoffs, and an eventual matchup against the Portland Thorns in the NWSL Championship.[8][14] Portland would go on to defeat Kansas City 2–0 in the matchup.

In 2023 the Current had a poor regular season showing, finishing 11th out of 12 teams, but had advanced to the semifinals of the 2023 NWSL Challenge Cup, where they lost to the tournament's eventual champion, North Carolina Courage. After three matches into the season, the team parted ways with Matt Potter as head coach and named Caroline Sjöblom as interim head coach for the remainder of the season.[15][16][17][18] In the club's final match at Children's Mercy Park, the attendance was over 15,671,[19] in what will now stand as a club record as they move to CPKC Stadium.[20] In October 2023, the team hired former U.S. women's national team and FC Kansas City manager Vlatko Andonovski to lead the team.[21][22]

CPKC Stadium held its first match between the Current and the Portland Thorns on March 16, 2024. Kansas City won the match 5–4 in front of a sell-out crowd. Rookie Alex Pfeiffer became NWSL's youngest goalscorer (16) in the match, and the overall goals tied a record for most in a single match in NWSL history.[23]

Colors and crest

The team's temporary crest for the inaugural season in 2021.

Due to the short turnaround between the team's founding and the 2021 NWSL season, the ownership announced in January 2021 that the team would play its inaugural season under the temporary name Kansas City NWSL with temporary crest and colors; a full brand development process would take place so that a permanent team name, crest, and colors will be in place for the 2022 NWSL season.[24]

On October 30, 2021, the team revealed its permanent name as Kansas City Current with a new crest for the 2022 season.[25]

Kit suppliers and sponsors

Period Kit manufacturer Shirt sponsor Sleeve sponsor
2021 Nike Palmer Square Capital Management[26] Blue KC[27]
2022– Saint Luke's Health System[28]

Kit history

2021 home
2021 away
2022–23 home
2022 away
2023 away
2024– home
2024– away

Stadium

The franchise's 2021 home opener at Legends Field

See also: Children's Mercy Park and CPKC Stadium

Kansas City played its 2021 home matches at Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas.[29][30]

The club announced in September 2021 that it would host all home matches at Children's Mercy Park beginning with the 2022 season.[31]

CPKC Stadium

Main article: CPKC Stadium

In October 2021, the club unveiled plans to construct the first purpose-built stadium built exclusively for women's professional soccer. The stadium was built in Kansas City, Missouri, at the Richard L. Berkley Riverfront Park with a capacity of 11,500 and estimated cost of $117 million. The project was proposed to be entirely privately financed through the ownership group, with the team signing a 50-year lease for the site at which the stadium will be located.[32] The costs increased from $70 millions to an estimated $117 million in May 2022, which the club's owners attributed to construction costs and a redesign increasing the stadium's capacity from 11,000 to 11,500. Angie and Chris Long requested $6 million in tax credits from the state of Missouri to supplement their private funding, in part because the lease agreement prohibited them from pursuing any local tax incentives.[33] The stadium was completed in 2024. The first match was held on March 16, 2024, in which the Current defeated the Portland Thorns by a score of 5–4.[2]

Supporters

The Blue Crew, a supporters group of the defunct FC Kansas City, has continued to support the new NWSL team in Kansas City.[34] Other supporter groups include Surface Tension (drumline) and The Undertow.[35][36]

Broadcasting

See also: National Women's Soccer League § Broadcasting

On June 13, 2021, CBS affiliate KCTV agreed on a multi-year deal to become the official local television partner through the 2023 season (in addition to any matches already scheduled by CBS Sports for national broadcast). The station and its MyNetworkTV affiliate KSMO-TV will broadcast eight matches locally in the club's inaugural season. Brad Porter will serve as the play-by-play commentator, joined by Aly Trost as the color analyst.[37]

Kansas City Current II

The Current founded an affiliated reserves team in the amateur Women's Premier Soccer League (WPSL) in 2022.[38][39] Under head coach Huw Williams, The team finished its first regular season atop the WPSL's Heartland Division with an 8–0–0 record, +49 goal differential on 47 total goals scored (including an opponent's forfeit), second-most in the league.[40] In postseason play, the Current II defeated FC Milwaukee Torrent 7–0 on July 7, 2022, and then defeated Indios Denver FC 6–1 on July 16,[41] before falling to Colorado Rapids Women 3–2 in the Central Region finals on July 17.[42]

In November 2022, Huw Williams departed from the club.[43] The Kansas City Current II club was left off the schedule for the 2023 season, and marked as an expansion team for the WPSL 2024 season.[44][45]

Players and staff

Current squad

As of March 13, 2024.[46][47]
No. Pos. Player Nation
2 DF Regan Steigleder  United States
3 DF Hanna Glas  Sweden
4 DF Hailie Mace  United States
5 DF Ellie Wheeler  United States
6 FW Temwa Chawinga  Malawi
7 DF Elizabeth Ball  United States
8 FW Nichelle Prince  Canada
9 FW Bia Zaneratto  Brazil
10 MF Lo'eau LaBonta  United States
11 MF Desiree Scott  Canada
12 DF Stine Ballisager Pedersen  Denmark
13 MF Sophia Braun  Argentina
14 MF Claire Hutton  United States
16 MF Vanessa DiBernardo  United States
17 FW Michelle Cooper  United States
18 DF Izzy Rodriguez  United States
20 DF Mallory Weber  United States
21 GK Adrianna Franch  United States
22 MF Bayley Feist  United States
24 DF Gabrielle Robinson  United States
25 FW Kristen Hamilton  United States
29 GK Jordan Silkowitz  United States
30 GK Hope Hisey  United States
47 FW Alex Pfeiffer  United States
77 FW Alexa Spaanstra  United States
78 DF Lauren  Brazil
94 MF Claire Lavogez  France
99 MF Debinha  Brazil

Technical staff

As of February 22, 2024.[46]
General Manager Camille Ashton
Head Coach and Sporting Director Vlatko Andonovski
Assistant Coach Freya Coombe
Assistant Coach Milan Ivanovic
Assistant Coach Lucas Rodríguez
Goalkeeping Coach Ljupčo Kmetovski
Director of Performance Garga Caserta
Head Strength Coach Joseph Potts
Medical Director Carlos Jiminez

Notable players

FIFA World Cup participants

List of players that were called up for a FIFA Women's World Cup while playing for Kansas City Current. In brackets, the tournament played:

Records

Head coaches

As of May 14, 2023.

Only competitive matches are counted. Includes NWSL regular season, playoffs, and Challenge Cup matches.

All-time Kansas City Current coaching records
Coach Nat. Tenure Games Win Loss Draw Win %
Huw Williams  Wales January 29, 2021November 18, 2021 28 3 17 8 010.71
Matt Potter  England January 11, 2022April 19, 2023 35 16 7 12 045.71
Caroline Sjöblom  Finland April 19, 2023October 23, 2023 27 13 11 3 048.15
Vlatko Andonovski  North Macedonia October 23, 2023 – present

Attendance

See also: National Women's Soccer League attendance

Home match largest attendance

Top five as of October 9, 2023.

Date Season Score Opponent Venue City Attendance Ref.
October 7, 2023 (2023-10-07) 2023 6–3 Chicago Red Stars Children's Mercy Park Kansas City, Kansas 15,671 [48]
August 18, 2023 (2023-08-18) 2023 1–0 OL Reign 13,455 [49]
May 14, 2023 (2023-05-14) 2023 0–2 San Diego Wave FC 12,969 [50]
September 1, 2023 (2023-09-01) 2023 0–1 Angel City FC 11,827 [51]
April 1, 2023 (2023-04-01) 2023 1–4 Portland Thorns FC 11,301 [52]

Playoff match largest attendance

As of October 29, 2022.

Date Score Opponent Venue City Attendance Ref.
October 23, 2022 (2022-10-23) 2–0 OL Reign Lumen Field Seattle, Washington 21,491 [53]
October 16, 2022 (2022-10-16) 2–1 Houston Dash PNC Stadium Houston, Texas 21,284 [54]
October 29, 2022 (2022-10-29) 0–2 Portland Thorns FC Audi Field Washington, D.C. 17,624 [55]

Regular season attendance

Season Results Attendance
Year League Regular season Playoffs Average Largest Smallest Ref.
2021 NWSL 10th of 10 DNQ 4,861 5,438
(Oct. 10 vs. POR)
3,449
(Oct. 13 vs. HOU)
[56][57][58]
2022 NWSL 5th of 12 Finals 7,657 10,395
(Aug. 19 vs. ANG)
5,695
(Jun. 11 vs. GFC)
[59]
2023 NWSL 11th of 12 DNQ 11,353 15,671
(Oct. 7 vs. CHI)
9,644
(Jun. 18 vs. WAS)
[60]

See also

References

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  2. ^ a b c d e f Kassouf, Jeff (October 28, 2022). "Inside the Kansas City Current's turnaround from last place to the NWSL Championship". Retrieved October 28, 2022.
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