KANSAS CITY, Kan. (KSNW) — Kansas City native Jenna Winebrenner is making her lifelong dream a reality.
She is coming back home to be the newest member of the KC Current, as the 41st overall pick in the 2022 NWSL draft.
“My parents are jumping up and down, my grandma is crying, I can’t even hear the coach on the phone because everyone’s up and screaming,” said Winebrenner about her family’s reaction on draft day.
A dream come true for the Winebrenner family, a dream that’s been in the making for 18 years after Winebrenner picked up the game at two years old, thanks to her older brother Cain.
“He was number 13, so I was number 13,” Winebrenner said. “He played defense, so that’s how I started playing defense.”
Winebrenner played varsity soccer all four years at Park Hill, racking up a long list of accolades, including conference player of the year in 2016.
“She is just dedicated, disciplined and tenacious. She’s just a very hard-working player that wants to win”, said Park Hill soccer coach Brandt Bell.
After a successful high school career, Winebrenner went to play at Notre Dame, but her rookie season didn’t go as planned. She broke her leg a month before reporting to Notre Dame and only played 45 minutes the whole year.
“I decided that I was going to put my head down and work”, said Winebrenner. “I earned my starting spot my sophomore year. I think I started every game except for two playing most minutes.”
And the rest is history — through three years, she helped the Irish to 16 shutouts and one NCAA Tournament appearance. Then, after the 2020 season, Winebrenner used her extra year of eligibility to play at TCU.
“I really am fortunate for both programs and how much they did for me given the differences in programs and people and experiences that helped me get where I am,” said Winebrenner.
And now she’s back in Kansas City, where she went from being a fan in the stands at Legends Field to now a player on the sidelines.
“To be able to come home and be a part of the soccer community that helped bring me up is just
incredible, and I can’t wait to be a part of that on the other end. You know inspiring the youth and the young
girls who I was in their shoes just 10 years ago.”
But the hard work is far from over. Now the next step in Jenna’s Journey is making the final roster in March.