As another new team in 2021, Kansas City NWSL is the temporary name for the club that formed following the collapse of Utah Royals FC. With almost the entire team’s player contracts purchased from Utah by Kansas City in addition to the purchase of expansion rights from the NWSL, this team was not formed via an expansion draft. Utah Soccer Holdings, the umbrella organization that owns the Utah Royals, therefore maintains the ability to return to the league if a new owner purchases the umbrella organization. In two NWSL seasons, the Utah Royals were known as a defensive powerhouse that were hard to break down but at times struggled to create chances on goal.
This narrative changed completely at the 2020 Challenge Cup when Utah dazzled audiences with a thriller against the Dash, scoring two goals in the final 10 minutes to tie the game. Conversely, the Fall Series brought lackluster performances for Utah in the wake of investigations into the sexist and discriminatory actions of the then club owner. Now in Kansas City, the supportive environment provided by new majority owners Chris and Angie Long can get this side of underrated veterans back on track.
By Tim Antoniewicz