Kim DeCesare – F – Duke – Former Boston Breaker draft pick is back stateside after spending time in Sweden with Eskilstuna United. Scoring record with the Swedish club wasn’t exactly sterling, with just two goals in that stint but will hope for better fortunes back in the U.S. Is a big, powerful target forward who likes to bulldoze her way into the box to attack balls and excels in the air. Not too many other dimensions to her game at this level at this point though, and Sarah Hagen basically checks all the same boxes, so DeCesare will probably be fighting for minutes off the bench or plying her trade back overseas.
Molly Dreska – F – Maryland – Employee from Sporting Kansas City of MLS is here for a third straight season. Local status obviously helps out if the club needs an amateur player but faces a steep climb towards a regular roster spot considering club’s numbers in midfield and attack.
Dominique Richardson – MF – Missouri – Back for another go after briefly sticking with Houston last year. Looked like rounding into one of nation’s best central midfielders after a great junior season but hit a wall as a senior. Found a home at defensive midfielder for the Tigers but also packed a little bit of offensive punch as well. Is she big enough (5’6″) to be a holder at this level? Listed at defender on the preseason roster but hard envisioning her on the backline.
McKenzie Sauerwein – GK – Missouri – Another mild surprise to crop up despite starting four seasons collegiately. Has size at 5’9″ and displays solid range, enabling her to get to balls high in the corner. Handling can be an issue at times. Never really stood out though despite being in a league populated by shaky goalkeeping. Probably the favorite to stick as FCKC’s #3 but difficult envisioning her climbing much higher up the ladder.
Kaitlyn Stroud – GK – Kansas – A surprising name to crop up, as Stroud wasn’t really that accomplished a goalkeeper at collegiate level despite being a DI mainstay. Has size and a lot of starting experience for the Jayhawks over the past four years but major questions as to whether she can stick at this level. With Katelyn Rowland finishing up academically, she has an outside shot at the backup role short-term, but she’s still a longshot.
Caroline Van Slambrouck – D – Kansas – Towering center-back picked a fine year for a breakthrough season. Van Slambrouck had mostly been a reliable but nondescript central defender for a consistently struggling KU program up until she and her side flourished in 2014. FCKC is going to be seriously short on center-back depth until Kate Deines returns from her German loan spell, meaning Van Slambrouck may well stick around early for the club.
Released After First Roster Cuts
Shannen Wacker – F – Florida Gulf Coast – Though some of her goal output has fallen thanks to Tabby Tindell’s emergence, Wacker’s ability as a 9.5 type player has emerged, with the FGCU star putting up fifteen assists this past season, three more than she had combined in her first three seasons. Packs good vision for someone listed as a center forward and brings a different look to the table considering FCKC’s combo of speed (A-Rod) and power (Hagen). Ability to take the next step up is a question, of course, and Wacker might be well served to take her game overseas and get consistent minutes instead of fighting for scraps.
Added After Initial Preseason Roster Release
Brittany Anghel – GK – AIK [SWE] (Syracuse) – Expat back stateside after stints in Sweden with Brommapojkarna and AIK. Not the tallest keeper but has a nice vertical leap and can hit the corners while also being aggressive for high crosses. Great shot stopper but runs of her line like a banshee at times and has inconsistent handling. Average to above average-ish leg, but kicking can be inconsistent. Not much more than a #3 at this level in all likelihood.
Gisela Arrieta – F – Graceland – Colombian had a cup of coffee in preseason with FC Kansas City a few seasons ago and gets a second shot again this year. Was a prolific scorer in college for NAIA side Graceland University, but it’s hard to get a good read on her true potential considering how utterly abysmal the competition she faced was, with many of Arrieta’s goals coming off bad defense and/or bad goalkeeping. Club has international slots to work with, but the field is already crowded as is for potential attackers.
Caroline Kastor – MF – Kansas – Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Great junior season, so-so senior season. Looked like a solid prospect for the 2014 draft after eleven goals as a junior but tailed off to an inefficient six goals on fifty-eight shots in her final collegiate season in 2013. Judging by the results of her first two seasons, I’d say 2013 was more representative of her overall skill. Was here last year as an invitee, and the road to a roster spot on a club packed with attacking talent is still rough.