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A Look at the Current Roster

Two months before the season kicks off, and one day before the NWSL draft, here is a look at where the KC Current stand on position depth.



Credit: KC Current

As the 2023 NWSL season came to a close, the KC Current had a roster of 30 players. Now, a couple months into the offseason, the roster stands at 21 as the team has said goodbye to nine athletes, added three and have three remaining free agents.

OUT – Alex Loera, Sam Mewis, Kate Del Fava, Jenna Winebrenner, Chardonnay Curran, Addisyn Merrick, Morgan Gautrat, Croix Soto, and Rylan Childers

IN – Alex Pfeiffer, Claire Hutton, and Temwa Chawinga

FREE AGENTS – Mallory Weber, Desi Scott and Cassie Miller (Restricted)

Clearly there will be some further additions, most obviously during the NWSL draft today. This is not a look at the draft, as some of the excitement surrounding the event has waned ever since KC traded away their first-round pick (number four overall) as part of a package to earn protection in the (horrible) expansion draft. Instead, this is a chance to examine the pieces the team does have and what a lineup and position depth might look like if the season were to start today.

One important note: this analysis assumes everyone on the roster is healthy. That may be a foolish assumption as no team is ever fully healthy and KC was hit especially hard by the injury bug last season.

So here are the 21 players currently on the squad, separated into positions as indicated on the Current’s official website:

Goalkeepers (2):

AD Franch

Jordan Silkowitz

(Cassie Miller – free agent)

Defenders (7):

Elizabeth Ball

Gabrielle Robinson

Izzy Rodriguez

Hanna Glas

Hailie Mace

Stine Ballisager Pedersen


(Mallory Weber – free agent)

Midfielders (5):


Lo LaBonta

Vanessa DiBernardo

Claire Lavogez

Claire Hutton

(Desi Scott – free agent)

Forwards (7):

Temwa Chawinga

Michelle Cooper

Cece Kizer

Kristen Hamilton

Alexa Spaanstra

Mimmi Larsson

Alex Pfeiffer (listed as forward/midfield)

One thing jumps out immediately as this list is compiled; despite a few painful offseason losses, this team still has the potential to be quite strong. With health, cohesion, continuity, and coaching, there is no reason why the Current shouldn’t be competing for a position among the top teams in the league (yes, despite the national team-lite that’s forming in New Jersey).

There is a nice combination of young up-and-comers and proven veterans at every line. Additionally, Kansas City shouldn’t be hit as hard as some teams during the Olympics. Only 12 women’s teams compete in the games and so while, say, Chawinga and Glas may normally feature for their national team squads, they won’t have to leave KC as their nations aren’t part of the group of 12.

There are enough unknowns, including players coming off injuries, players new to the team or the league, players in their first professional experiences, etc. that any attempt to determine a starting eleven and accurate position depth may be a fool’s errand, but let’s give it a shot anyway. Additionally, because they are still listed on the team’s official site, I’m including the three free agents in this discussion, though there are no guarantees any of them will ever suit up for the team again.


This would seem to be the most straightforward position as the team employs a World Cup champion who has also twice been the league’s ‘keeper of the year, but a quick glance back to last season will reveal a battle for the starting job that lasted for months.

I’m still inclined to list Franch as the likely #1, but it will be important for her to avoid early season struggles that have plagued her the last couple of years. Three matches in to the 2023 season, her performance resulted in a benching (and perhaps even contributed to the team’s coaching shakeup). When she’s fully in form, there are few women in the world better at keeping the ball out of the net. The presence of Miller (free agent) and Silkowitz behind her, keeps the pressure on.

During Miller’s time as the starter last season, she experienced both highs and lows. She continues to show a lot of potential and is especially quality at snagging balls out of the air but didn’t do enough with her chances to unseat Franch at the top of the pecking order.

Silkowitz is still largely unproven but was a top ‘keeper coming out of college when KC drafted her a year ago and may ultimately be the goalie of the future for the team. Goalkeepers tend to have a longer shelf life than other positional players, and so at 33, AD Franch could still be around a while, but she has two younger options waiting in the wings.


More intrigue exists here as an argument could be made for any of four starting centerbacks. Ball and Robinson seemed to stabilize the defense as their partnership grew last season, but depth was added with the signings of World Cup veterans Ballisager Pedersen and Lauren. In the waning weeks of the season, both the Danish and Brazilian CBs saw the field some, but neither seemed like obvious improvements over Ball and Robinson.

Having depth at this position is essential (just ask Sporting who had quite the rotating cast of centerback pairings to start last season). I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Andonovski does a little mixing and matching to determine what pair gives the team the most stability along the back line. For now, I’m going to continue to list Ball and Robinson as the first-choice starters in the middle.

Speaking of Andonovski, my assumption is that he’ll run a 4-3-3 as he did for much of his time leading the USWNT, but if that’s doesn’t turn out to be the case, a lot of this discussion has to get reevaluated.

As for the outside backs, this would be a spot where the team could use additional depth. The starter at right back, Del Fava, has been traded leaving Glas as the obvious replacement. Glas was signed to the team a year ago to a lot of fanfare (promoted as one of the best outside defenders in the world) but spent the entire 2023 season injured.

Much of the last couple of years has seen Mace as the definitive starter on the left side, but that shifted as Mace started to get time elsewhere on the pitch and Rodriguez cemented her place as starter on the left side of the defense. Interestingly, Andonovski actually called Mace into the national team camp little more than a year ago following a stellar run of play in defense so there is a chance he returns her to the back line, but for now Glas and Rodriguez are the clear starters on the right and left.

In terms of depth, the only other defender currently “on” the roster is the (unfortunately often injured) Weber. She would have a legitimate case for the worst luck prize as she’s seen the field for literal minutes each of the last two seasons before suffering long-term injuries. Because of this injury history, she seems the least likely of the three free agents to be re-signed. So, again, getting some additional bodies in who could provide depth at the wing back spots seem important.


The Current’s front two lines are an exciting mess of possibilities. Among the six spots, really the only individual who seems like a “write in pen” starter is Debinha. She’s one of the best players on the planet and was a consistent bright spot during an otherwise often forgettable season for the team last year. She’s creative and has a nose for goal and the more she gets comfortable with her KC teammates, the more highlights we’re likely to see.

Beyond Debinha, though, I could see any number of lineups taking shape. Loera would have been the next closest thing to a sure bet had the team not traded her (again, damn the expansion draft). LaBonta is a fan-favorite, not just because of her incredible goal celebrations, but because she’s tenacious and consistently where she needs to be across the middle of the field. Because of injuries, the duo of Scott (free agent) and DiBernardo got precious little playing time last year, but one of them will likely occupy the defensive midfield position.

Until yesterday, Gautrat would have also been included here but she was just shipped to Orlando in exchange for an international spot. Reinforcements on the way?

Lavogez had an exciting introduction to the team in 2022 before, like so many others, suffering an injury that kept her out for much of ‘23. Like LaBonta and Debinha, she would be a much more attack-minded midfielder. That just leaves the other Claire, Hutton and her fellow U-18 signee Pfeiffer are unknowns in their first professional experiences. As much as teenager Alyssa Thompson made a splash in her professional debut last year, expectations in year one should be modest for the new KC teens.


Here we find another cluster of exciting parts, none of which have their roles absolutely defined. The trio of Cooper, Kizer, and Hamilton likely have the most local name recognition. They’ve gotten significant playing time in recent years, and yet I wouldn’t say with any certainty that any of them are definite day-one starters. Cooper saw the field a lot in her rookie campaign last season but didn’t tally the number of goals that likely would have been expected of her. It’s true that she was often on the wing instead of her more nature spot at the #9, but still the hope would have been for more of the scoring prowess she showed in college to translate to the next level.

Kizer and Hamilton have found a lot of success in KC, each being at or near the team’s lead in goals scored over the last couple of seasons, but each also finding themselves stuck in occasional long dry spells. They are both absolutely solid pieces for the team moving forward as no one outworks Hamilton over the course of a game and Kizer has a knack for being in the right place to poke in a rebound or finish off a wonderful series of passes. With that said, they may soon find themselves coming off the bench if some of the other attacking pieces for KC work out.

Speaking of, the biggest signing for the Current thus far this year is Chawinga. As has been recently discussed, she led the world in professional goals scored in 2023 (men and women). She’s been in China the last four years and so NWSL competition may be a step up for her, but the potential is there for her to be lighting up the scoreboard.

Spaanstra would be another relatively fresh face who could grow into a significant contributor this season. She didn’t see the field much early in her rookie season, but by the end of the year, was scoring bangers in back-to-back games.

And finally, there is Larsson, the Swedish international who was given several opportunities to cement her place among the team’s first choice attackers last year, but who rarely showed up in matches in any meaningful way.

So, after all that, here’s where I stand on a starting lineup if the season kicked off today:


Glas, Ball, Robinson, Rodriguez

DiBernardo, Debinha, LaBonta

Cooper, Chawinga, Hamilton

We’ll find out how close this is to being accurate on March 16!

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