Lo’eau LaBonta is home — sort of.
She is back in Kansas City, where she played professional soccer for now-shuttered FC Kansas City from 2016-17. She comes back as a National Women’s Soccer League veteran, a solid presence in the midfield — oh, and a fiancée to Sporting Kansas City midfielder Roger Espinoza.
The air around Kansas City this year is different, too. There’s a renewed excitement for women’s soccer making its big return to the area. The city is now home to Kansas City NWSL, which is the temporary name for the new club. The owners are Chris and Angie Long, along with Brittany Matthews, a fitness entrepreneur and fiancée of Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
LaBonta shares in the excitement of being back in Kansas City, a place she always held close to her heart.
“It feels like a fresh start, and a way for us to have some input on how we want the team to be, the standards we want to set,” LaBonta told The Equalizer. “I’m absolutely excited. It’s a new challenge for us. I think it’s, ‘OK we had a rollercoaster of a ride,’ but now we have solutions for those issues. Make sure we don’t run into those issues again. I love the people of KC; I would come visit all the time. It’s a new challenge, and we’re taking it head on.”
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