KC Next Play: Chiefs rookies, Royals, Current, Sporting KC

KC Current defender Alex Loera (No. 22) celebrates the opening goal, her first as a pro, with teammates during an NWSL Challenge Cup victory over the Chicago Red Stars at Children's Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas.

KC Current defender Alex Loera (No. 22) celebrates the opening goal, her first as a pro, with teammates during an NWSL Challenge Cup victory over the Chicago Red Stars at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas.

Special to the Star

The resident women’s pro soccer team, the club that won just three matches all of last season — its first in the National Women’s Soccer League — will play this week for a spot in the NWSL Challenge Cup tournament’s championship game.

Later in the week, it’ll be time for the Chiefs’ annual rookie minicamp, where we’ll get our first look at the players the team drafted this past Thursday-Saturday in Las Vegas.

The Royals have a jam-packed schedule ahead, and Sporting KC heads east to New York City for a Saturday match.

Let’s get into it all via KC’s Next Play.

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The Kansas City Current enjoyed a strong run through the group-play stage of the 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup women’s soccer tournament. KC Current photo

Fully charged Current

The KC Current have the look of contenders after winning their division in the group stage of the 2022 Challenge Cup.

The KC Blue Crew will be out in full force for Wednesday night’s tourney semifinal at Children’s Mercy Park, where the Current will take on the North Carolina Courage at 7:30 p.m. Central Time. In the other semifinal on Wednesday night, the Seattle-area OL Reign meet the defending NWSL champion Washington Spirit. The winners will duel for the Challenge Cup championship.

The Current remain at CMP for their NWSL regular-season home opener next weekend, next Sunday at 4 pm Central, against the Houston Dash.

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Chiefs coach Andy Reid, right, and his staff of assistant coaches will get their first on-field look at the team’s new rookie class during a three-day minicamp for first-year players in Kansas City. Tammy Ljungblad tljungblad@kcstar.com

Calling all Chiefs rookies

The annual minicamp for newly drafted Chiefs rookies will take place next weekend at the team’s Arrowhead Stadium training complex.

It will be coach Andy Reid’s first opportunity to work with this crop of newcomers. He and Chiefs coordinators Eric Bieniemy (offense), Steve Spagnuolo (defense) and Dave Toub (special teams) are no doubt excited to get their initial on-field glimpses of cornerback Trent McDuffie, pass rusher George Karlavtis and the rest of this year’s rookie crop.

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Nicky Lopez (No. 8) is greeted at the dugout by manager Mike Matheny after scoring during Thursday’s win against the White Sox in Chicago. Charles Rex Arbogast AP

Bird-watching Royals

Once today’s weekend home series finale against the New York Yankees is in the books (first pitch is scheduled for 1:10 pm CT at The K), it’s time to get ready for a week’s worth of games against foes with feathery mascots.

First up are the Cardinals. The Royals play St. Louis three times this week: once on the road, at 3:15 pm Central on Monday, and then twice at home — Tuesday at 7:10 pm and Wednesday at 6:10 pm

After that (and a travel day on Thursday) come the Baltimore Orioles. The Royals kick off a road series at Camden Yards on Friday (6:05 pm Central), with games to follow on Saturday (again at 6:05 pm Central) and Sunday (12:35 pm Central).

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Sporting Kansas City coach Peter Vermes takes the squad to the East Coast next weekend for a road game against NYCFC. Nick Tre. Smith/Star file photo

Sporting in the Big Apple

Sporting Kansas City has an interesting week and a half in the offing.

First up, next Saturday at 6 pm Central, is a road match against NYCFC.

After that, and we’re getting a tad ahead of ourselves here, comes a Lamar Hunt US Open Cup round-of-32 showdown against FC Dallas at Children’s Mercy Park. Game time for this Tuesday, May 10 cup match is 7:30 pm

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