KC NWSL’s training camp underway as some players compete for limited roster spots

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With training camp underway for KC’s new NWSL team, players are fighting to make the 28-man roster. Eleven camp invitees are vying for a couple open spots.

“I think one thing that’s great for them is that there’s so many of them fighting for one or two open spots. They realize not all of them are going to make it. It’s making them go so hard because they’re bringing that intensity. Your spot is never guaranteed at the end of the day,” veteran midfielder Lo’eau LaBonta said.

Head coach Huw Williams likes what he sees so far.

“Been very impressed with the players, with their mentality. Been very impressed with their work ethic. If we’re being honest, that was the expectation coming into this,” he said.

Williams said the team will play possession soccer, which implements a short passing system.

“We challenge them with, ‘How can you make your teammates look good?’ Clearly you make that teammate look good by providing options. Leaving a player alone on an island, that player’s probably going to lose,” Williams said.

Kansas City’s camp is a mix of contracted players, those who were drafted, free agents and invitees. Players said they’re already creating their team culture.

“One of the things we started in the first couple of days, when you arrive you’re dapping up everyone. Masks are on obviously. You’re saying good morning. Whether you are a non-roster player, a trialist, a veteran, someone that’s injured, everybody is saying hi,” LaBonta said.

The NWSL opens the season with the Challenge Cup, which begins April 9. The regular season starts May 15.

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