Women Roundup: FC Kansas City, NWSL, Olympics

FC Kansas City previews and predictions, NWSL Championship game and rings and the USWNT Olympic draw is out and it’s rough.

With so much happening this past week in women’s soccer it only seems fair to give them a roundup article all their own. We have an additional preview for FC Kansas City’s season, the NWSL announce their 2016 Championship game location, new FCKC Academy and the USWNT Olympic draw.

In case you missed it, there has already been lots of news for FC Kansas City over the past week. We have a two-part preview (part one/part two) of their season. We have the results of their first game along with a call to Becky Sauerbrunn and Heather O’Reilly to step up their game after that first performance. And not one but two new signings to the club; Alexa Newfield and Alex Arlitt. Plus the team unveiled their new kits (and the home one is awesome).

Another Season Preview

Equalizer put together a very in-depth look at the now ongoing FC Kansas City season. Much like I was saying they echo that the key is defense. Nicole Barnhart is off to a good start as she stopped everything but a penalty kick in the opening game. The key to the rest of the defense probably lies in the arrival of Katie Bowen so the team can switch back to their preferred four-woman back line instead of that three center back rotation that really included a midfielder (Averbuch).

Also from the staff are predictions for their finish this season. In a 10 team league they are predicted to finish 7th, 4th and 6th. A little all over the place for back-to-back champions but I understand. This team has huge turnover and it will truly be a team effort if they can overcome it.

NSWL Championship Ring??

Instead of the FC Kansas City NWSL Championship rings correctly listing the name of the league, amazingly it said “NSWL” instead. It shows the league has a long way to go. I cannot imagine any other major sports league dealing with this. That said this league is in its infancy and who knows what kind of crazy tales existed for other sports at this time. Maybe hold on to those things, they could be worth something one day.

NWSL Title Game in Houston

BBVA Compass Stadium, the home of the Houston Dynamo and Houston Dash, will host the 2016 Championship game. The game will be held on Sunday, October 9, 2016 and broadcast on Fox Sports 1. Last years game, which was in Portland, drew 13,264 fans. In 2015 the average attendance was 6,413 for the Dash and the highest attended game (July 12th versus the Chicago Red Stars) brought out 13,025.

USWNT Olympic Draw Out

The United States Women’s team (unlike the men) actually qualified for the Olympics and their group draw was announced. They will be joined by France (3rd), Columbia (24th) and New Zealand (16th). There are no cries of this being the group of death, but it is. It likely won’t be for the USWNT as they are number one in the world, but for the other teams in the group, it’s rough.

There were four pots of three teams each and the United States group has the highest seed in each group (excluding New Zealand’s pot). And sure, Columbia got stomped in back-to-back games recently, but they were without many of their stars. They played the US tough in the World Cup and no doubt will here as well.

Advancing shouldn’t be an issue, but winning the group is critical. Winning will put the team into a match with one of the two third place teams that will advance. A second place finish could mean a game against Germany in the knockout round. If the United States win their group, they would then be likely to only see Germany or France again in the final.

FCKC Add another Affiliate

FC Kansas City have announced their third affiliate, Papillion Soccer Club, who play out of Omaha, NE. It’s interesting that of the three affiliates, two are located in Nebraska (the third is from South Dakota). Somehow there are no teams in Kansas or Missouri yet. We have to assume that is coming soon.

NWSL Standings

Courtesy of NWSLSoccer.com

It’s weird seeing Kansas City sitting so low in the table, but they have literally never won their first game of the season, so it shouldn’t be cause for alarm. What is weirder if the Red Stars at the bottom. If I had to make preseason predictions (which thankfully I didn’t) I would have put Chicago second after the Portland Thorns. We’ll see how it plays out.