It’s official: after 20 regular-season games, the Kansas City Current are the first – and only team thus far – team eliminated from the NWSL playoffs. It’s disappointing any time a team doesn’t make the playoffs, but with the moves Kansas City made coming into this season, it’s easy to see that they underperformed.
Everything seemed to be going the Current’s way before the season kicked off. First, Kansas City retained players that accounted for nearly 80% of their minutes played from last season, where they made it all the way to the NWSL Championship. Then, they won the Debinha free agency lottery and beefed up their midfield with veterans Vanessa DiBernardo and Morgan Gautrat. They traded Lynn Williams, whose form was in question after returning from a long-term injury, for the second-overall pick in the NWSL Draft. They went on to select Michelle Cooper, the best player in NCAA Division I last year, with that pick.
On paper, this team had a lot of potential.
Then the season rolled around. The Current lost their first three matches and allowed nine goals in that stretch. Former head coach Matt Potter was promptly fired, and Caroline Sjöblom took over. There was no real turn around for this Kansas City team though, who never crawled higher than seventh place in the standings.
So, what went wrong for the Current this year? Let’s dig in.