The Current and Global FC accept the Nationwide Community Impact Award during the 2022 NWSL Championship. (Courtesy of Nationwide)

The Kansas City Current were winners on and off the field this year. While completing a remarkable turnaround from last place in 2021 to the NWSL championship game in 2022, they also helped change lives for the better in their communities.

Before the season, the Current partnered with Global FC through a league-wide initiative led by Nationwide that promotes community partners and local service projects at each NWSL club. On Saturday, at halftime of the NWSL Championship, the league announced the Current and Global FC as the recipients of the 2022 Nationwide Community Impact Award for their exemplary commitment to helping those in need throughout the season.

As a result, Global FC, which provides underserved youth with access to first-rate soccer opportunities, will receive $25,000 in support of their efforts.

“Congratulations to the Kansas City Current and Global FC for earning the 2022 Nationwide Community Impact Award,” said Ramon Jones, Nationwide’s EVP and chief marketing officer. “Nationwide is proud to support the Current’s advocacy of Global FC’s mission to use soccer as a way to create a community of belonging for first generation immigrant and refugee youth.”

The Nationwide Community Impact Award is the culmination of a program that commences at the start of the NWSL season. Each of the 12 NWSL clubs choose a community partner and a player to serve as the team’s Community Ambassador, who supports the project through attendance and promotion. Nationwide provides each of the club’s community partners with a $5,000 grant.

The Current’s partner, Global FC, originated as a community development project to assist refugees as they resettled in the Kansas City area. It evolved into an organization that helps bridge the gap between groups of different socioeconomic backgrounds through sports.

Headquartered in Benton, Mo., just outside of Kansas City, Global FC helps local youth gain access to quality facilities, leagues and tournaments for soccer. In 2021, they provided over 179 hours of nationwide Olympic Development Program opportunities.

Current backup goalkeeper Cassie Miller served as Club Ambassador in her first year with the franchise, taking over for midfielder Victoria Pickett after she was traded to Gotham FC in August.

“We are thrilled to partner with the KC Current and are humbled to receive this award,” said Mariya D. Goodbrake, Executive Director of Global FC. “Thank you on behalf of our resilient youth, and our extraordinary volunteers who carry our mission forward.”

The winner of the Nationwide Community Impact Award was determined by voting from a panel of judges (including representatives from the NWSL, Nationwide, NWSL Players Association and media) and fans via a Twitter contest. The OL Reign won the fan vote in the month of September, earning $5,000 for community partner Intentionalist, which supports diverse small businesses. This counted as one vote toward the overall election process, from which Kansas City ultimately came out on top.