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KC Current reshapes midfield with Gautrat, DiBernardo signings

Current midfield signings.png
Posted at 10:55 AM, Dec 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-07 11:55:15-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Coming off a runner-up finish in the NWSL playoffs, the Kansas City Current’s evolution for the 2023 season began Wednesday in earnest with the announcement of two free-agent signings.

The Current signed midfielders Morgan Gautrat and Vanessa DiBernardo to two-year deals, the club announced. The pair have been teammates with the Chicago Red Stars for parts of the last six seasons.

“Morgan and Vanessa are two of the world’s best soccer players and we couldn’t be happier they chose the Kansas City Current,” General Manager Camille Levin Ashton said in a statement. “They will have an immediate impact on this team and certainly their immense talent, experience and leadership skills fit perfectly with our mission to be the best women’s football club in the world.”

Gautrat, a former No. 1 overall pick by the Houston Dash in 2015, and DiBernardo, the daughter of former U.S. Men’s National Team player Angelo DiBernardo, joined a midfield that already includes Lo’eau LaBonta and Sam Mewis.

LaBonta was an NWSL Best XI First Team selection last season after leading the Current with seven goals and four assists.

Mewis, acquired via trade before the 2022 season, missed last season with a knee injury.

The Current roster also includes Chloe Logarzo and Claire Lavogez in the midfield.

Lavogez, a star for the French national team who joined the squad in July, may not be available next season after tearing her ACL during an October playoff win at Houston.

Gautrat and DiBernardo should help mitigate that loss.

Gautrat, 29, starred in college at the University of Virginia. She spent three seasons with the Dash before a trade late in the 2017 season to the Red Stars.

NWSL Washington Spirit Chicago Red Stars Soccer
Chicago Red Stars midfielder Morgan Gautrat (13) warms up prior to the first half of the NWSL Championship soccer match against Washington Spirit on Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021, in Louisville, Kentucky.

After spending part of the 2018 season at Olympique Lyonnais in France, Gautrat returned to the Red Stars, where she’s played parts of the last five seasons with four goals in 61 appearances.

Gautrat has made 88 appearances and scored eight goals for the U.S. Women’s National Team, helping them win the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2015 and 2019.

“I am beyond excited to be joining the KC Current family,” she said in a statement. “The ownership, the facilities, the staff, the team and the resources are world class. I am grateful for the opportunity to call this club home and to help the team in any way that I can. I can’t wait to play in front of the amazing fans and hopefully bring back a trophy to Kansas City!”

DiBernardo, a star at the University of Illinois in college, was the No. 4 overall pick by Chicago in the 2014 NWSL Draft.

Vanessa Dibernardo
Chicago Red Stars midfielder Vanessa Dibernardo (10) during an NWSL Challenge Cup soccer match, Sunday, March 20, 2022, in Houston.

She also played 22 games on loan to the Perth Glory in Australia’s Liberty A-League during 2015-17.

“I’m so excited to be joining Kansas City and starting a new chapter in my career,” DiBernardo said in a statement. “What this club is doing for the game, their players and this league is special, and I’m grateful to get the opportunity to be a part of it. I can’t wait to get started and help this team in any way I can to push for a championship!”