Frances Silva says there is nothing more a soccer player can hope for than their team to have a successful run during a rookie season. Not only is she experiencing just that, but she is relishing the success in front of a hometown crowd as a forward with FC Kansas City.
After finishing the regular season with a 12-7-5 record, which ranked second in the National Women’s Soccer League, FC Kansas City has clinched a spot in the championship match after a 2-0 victory against Portland Thorns FC on Saturday. Silva, a graduate of Blue Valley North High School, was never used as a sub in the semifinal game, but she’s still just as excited for her team’s achievement.
“It’s been a great ride the whole way,” Silva said. “I’m excited to see what this team will be able to do.”
The Blues have a difficult task ahead as they prepare to travel and face top-seeded Seattle Reign FC at 2 p.m. on Sunday for the NWSL title. In two regular-season matches, FC Kansas City lost 3-2 and played to a 1-1 draw against Seattle.
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Success seems to follow Silva, who won a Kansas Class 6A soccer state championship at Blue Valley North. She also helped West Virginia win the regular season and Big 12 tournament titles before being drafted by FC Kansas City with the 19th pick of the NWSL College Draft.
With 15 goals and 13 assists, Silva was selected Big 12 offensive player of the year. She also succeeded in the classroom, garnering Capital One Academic All-American honors during her senior year.
Though the Blues’ roster features a solid core of U.S. Women’s National Team players, Silva quickly made her mark, appearing in 18 games this season. She has started five games and scored two goals and tallied one assist.
“It’s been good having the veterans we do have because they are really helpful,” Silva said. “They’ve been really good to me and all the other rookies, making it easy for us to transition.”
Silva is one of three Kansas Citiy area players that FC Kanssas City selected in this year’s draft. The other two are Lee’s Summit natives Mandy Laddish and Morgan Marlborough.