KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- One city’s celebration Thursday seemed to spell the end of professional women’s soccer in Kansas City.
Fox 4 has confirmed through league sources that FC Kansas City’s upcoming season is very much in jeopardy.
Just last year the future looked bright for FC Kansas City. The team was coming off back to back National Women’s Soccer League Championships.
But then came the release of degrading emails ranking prospective female players on their “hotness.” The emails one team owner said were fabricated by another owner also included bikini-clad players.
There were lawsuits. It was an ugly feud that eventually led to an out-of-towner coming in to take over the team for a disappointing 2017 season.
Thursday, Real Salt Lake joined the NWSL in announcing a team will play in Salt Lake City in 2018.
“This will be a league with ten teams; we’ll be one of the ten,” a representative of the newly formed team told the crowd.
But that means one city will lose it’s team.
"We are having ongoing discussion with owners of FC Kansas City regarding the status and future of the franchise in Kansas City." said Patrick Donnelly, director of communications for the NSWL.
Donnelly said they aren’t having any similar conversations with any other of the league's clubs. An FC Kansas City spokesperson also confirmed but said he couldn't comment on the discussions.
Parents were saddened by the news at soccer practice tonight for FC Kansas City’s youth academy.
“It’s meant a lot to have the FCKC professional team here they are some of the greatest athletes in the world," Kara Pinter said.
The women’s professional team has partnered with girls and boys soccer teams for several seasons, sharing coaches and advice from the players themselves.
“It’s great anytime you can have a mentor and someone to look up to and help emulate," FC Kansas City Youth Coach Brad Childers said.
"To have that right here in Kansas City was awesome for us and awesome for the girls," said Fred Lepper, whose daughter Mallory now plays on the college level.
FC Kansas City's website is still encouraging fans to make non-refundable deposits for season tickets next year.