One week ago, midfielder Christina Gibbons arrived in Kansas City, fresh off a stint with the U.S. U-23 Women’s National Team in Spain — and car-less.
The Duke alum hasn’t had much time to settle in since FC Kansas City selected her with its first pick (fifth overall) in the National Women’s Soccer League College Draft in January.
She trained with the national team in Carson, Calif., a call-up she earned a week before the Blues selected her in the draft. Then she traveled to La Manga, Spain, with the U-23 team that beat Norway and Japan and lost to England in the first week of March.
Now Gibbons is hitching rides around the Kansas City area with fellow FCKC teammates, putting in time at Scheels Soccer Complex in Overland Park to get ready for her rookie season in the NWSL.
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“Getting to play with Becky (Sauerbrunn) and A-Rod (Amy Rodriguez) was also a little bit of a bonus there since I had just found out I was going to Kansas City,” Gibbons said. “I picked their brains a little bit about the team. They told me great things about Vlatko and then I got here and it’s exactly what they told me.”
Despite shuttling around the globe the last three months, Gibbons hasn’t missed a step. The ACC defensive player of the year, who ranks third in Duke history with 7,794 minutes played, should be a solid addition to Vlatko Andonovski’s club, which last year allowed 20 goals for the second season in a row but only scored 18 and finished below .500 for the first time in club history.
“I’m very pleased with her understanding of the game,” Andonovski said. “She’s a very intelligent player and will do well for us.”
FC Kansas City will play the Missouri women’s soccer team at Audrey J. Walton Stadium in Columbia at 4 p.m. Sunday.