Matt Potter is out as the Kansas City Current head coach.
The stunning development comes only three games into the 2023 season -- all losses -- but follows a 2022 campaign during which he led the Current to the NWSL final, where it fell to Portland, 2-0.
That was quite a turnaround under the first-year coach (nominated for the 2022 NWSL Coach of the Year after being recruited from the U.S. women's national team program). In 2021, the Current's first season, it finished last in the NWSL.
The Current said the decision was "related to issues around his leadership and employment responsibilities." Assistant coach Caroline Sjoblom took for as interim head coach.
“We watch the play on the pitch, we keep a pulse on the locker room, and we are constantly evaluating ways to improve our club,” said Current GM Camille Ashton. “Through our ongoing process of continuous improvement, we believe now is the right time for this change.”
The Current has lost to the North Carolina 1-0 and Chicago 4-2 at home and Portland 4-1 away. Its minus-6 goal difference (3-9) contrasts with its plus-0.3 xG - xG (3.8-3.5).
The Current started slowly, opening 0-4-1 in league play before going on a 13-game unbeaten steak and finishing in fifth place in the NWSL standings with a 10-6-6 record. The potential was evident in the preseason Challenge Cup in which the Current went 4-1-1 in group play with a very inexperience team.
Its owners have invested heavily in the team.
The Current used all sorts of player mechanisms to bolster its squad in the offseason with the free-agent signings of Brazilian Debinha, winner of two league titles with the North Carolina Courage, and two-time U.S. world champion Morgan Gautrat, and Vanessa DiBernardo, both picked up from the Chicago Red Stars. Swedish international forward Mimmi Larsson was acquired from FC Rosengard, while Michelle Cooper, the 2022 MAC Hermann Trophy award winner out of Duke, was taken with the No. 2 pick in the 2023 NWSL Draft acquired from Gotham FC for Lynn Williams.
A big selling point has been the Current's plans for a new 11,500-seat stadium -- the first being built by an NWSL team -- scheduled to open at a cost of $118 million at Berkley Riverfront Park in time for the 2024 NWSL season and the new $18 million training complex that opened in 2022.
Injuries have plagued the start to the 2023 campaign. Debinha and DiBernardo have started one game while Gautrat has yet to play with a calf injury.
With Potter's departure, all four head coaches of the 2021 and 2022 NWSL finalists have left within a year after they took their teams to the championship game ...
Rory Dames, 2 days
Rhian Wilkinson, 34 days
Matt Potter, 172 days
Kris Ward, 275 days
Photo: KC Current