Meet The Kansas City Women Taking The Stage In The Women's World Cup
You might not be as aware as you were when the FIFA World Cup commenced in June last year — but we're in the midst of another World Cup: the FIFA Women's World Cup.
The U.S. women's team defeated China Friday 1-0, and they take on Germany Tuesday in Montreal.
This year's U.S. team boasts four women with Kansas City connections. All the women play for FC Kansas City, Kansas City's professional National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) team. Here is a little more about them so you can get on the bandwagon and root for our hometown women.
Heather O'Reilly (@HeatherOReilly): The 30-year old midfielder from East Brunswick, New Jersey is affectionately referred to as HAO (pronounced Hey-Oh) by her teammates. This is her third World Cup. After graduating from University of North Carolina, where she played as a forward for the Tar Heels, she played for various teams including the Boston Breakers before FC Kansas City acquired her in 2014. She is a three-time Olympic gold medalist.
Becky Sauerbrunn (@beckysauerbrunn): Sauerbrunn is a 30-year-old St. Louis native. This is her second World Cup. While attending the University of Virginia, she played for the Virginia Cavaliers. After graduation, she went on to play for various teams including the Boston Renegades and the Washington Freedom. She was awarded the NWSL "Defender of the Year" award in both 2013 and 2014 while playing for FCKC, which she joined in 2013.
Amy Rodriguez (@AmyRodriguez8): A second-generation Cuban American from Lake Forest, California, 28-year-old "A-Rod" is a forward for the U.S. team in her second World Cup. She was traded to FCKC from Seattle in 2013. She took time off during the 2013 NWSL season to give birth to her son, Ryan. She is a two-time Olympic gold medalist.
Lauren Holiday (@laurenholiday12): Holiday, who goes by her maiden name "Cheney" with teammates on the field, is a 27-year-old midfielder from Indianapolis, Indiana. This is her second World Cup. At three years old, Holiday had open heart surgery, but went to play soccer for boys' teams until she was 12. Many years and teams later, she was acquired by FCKC in 2013. After her first season, she was named MVP and awarded the Golden Boot for scoring the most goals.
Kansas City claims a few other players in the tournament. One of whom is Katrina Gorry, an FCKC player who is playing for Australia in her first World Cup.
Additionally, there are two U.S. players who are married to Sporting KC players. Forward Sydney Leroux is married to Dom Dwyer, and forward Alex Morgan is married to ServandoCarrasco.