CHICAGO, Ill. (Nexstar Media Wire) — The National Women’s Soccer League has announced the approval of an expansion team in Kansas City for the 2021 season, an official confirmation after reports indicated the Utah Royals FC would be moving back to the Midwest.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to welcome Kansas City back to the NWSL,” NWSL Commissioner Lisa Baird said in a statement. “Kansas City is a soccer-rich community, and this fantastic ownership group is ready and able to commit the resources necessary for this club to be a massive success.”
News of the Utah Royals FC relocation was first reported on December 5 by the Equalizer.
It wasn’t long ago that KC had its own women’s pro soccer team. FC Kansas City ended operations when the team moved to Utah in 2017. Now, they’re back.
The return team will be coached by former FC Kansas City General Manager Huw Williams. He was a part of the leadership team when the KC team won back-to-back championships in 2014 and 2015.
“We have had the privilege of seeing firsthand how Huw builds a winning culture, inspiring teams with not only his work ethic and technical expertise, but with his intense love of the game and commitment to excellence,” Chris Long, part owner, said.
Chris and Angie Long are leaders in the new team’s ownership group. The husband and wife duo both have experience in finances through Palmer Square Capital Management, where Angie serves as chief investment officer and Chris as CEO, according to the statement.
Brittany Matthews, fitness entrepreneur and former pro soccer player, is also a part of the ownership group. She is also engaged to Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
“As a former collegiate and professional soccer player, I have a true level of appreciation for what these incredible women do on a daily basis. I am honored to be part of an amazing ownership group that is passionate about the game and eager to welcome a NWSL team back to Kansas City,” Matthews said in the statement. “We have the greatest fans and community here in KC and I can’t wait to huddle around this team – we want more championship parades in the very near future!”
The NWSL Kansas City club is expected to have further public announcements related to its name, branding, and training and competition venues, in the coming weeks.