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KC Current draft pick ‘set up to fail’ by team, her mother says

Mykiaa Minniss was selected by the Kansas City Current in the third round of the 2023 NWSL Draft. (Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports)

Kansas City Current draft pick Mykiaa Minniss received “less than professional” treatment from the club, her mother said in a social media post Friday.

According to Nicole Minniss, Mykiaa’s experiences after the January draft have “ruined her daughter’s love of the game.”

A defender selected in the third round out of Washington State, Minniss had to pay for her own flight in order to report for preseason and also provided her own meals during the first week, her mother said in the post.

“Mykiaa was given little to no information until a few days before arriving in Kansas City about her upcoming schedule,” Nicole Minniss wrote, noting that Mykiaa had to lean on the support of nearby family members to arrange transportation from the airport to her hotel and to settle into the city.

“She hesitantly reported to KC against her agent’s and her intuition that something wasn’t quite right,” she continued. “When it was time to go to training, oversized items were thrown at her, and Current labels ironed on before her eyes minutes before going outside to practice.”

The defender later reported to preseason tryouts in Bradenton, Florida. During that time, Minniss reportedly had a meeting with the head coach Matt Potter and general manager Cami Levin Ashton, in which she expressed their lack of communication to her.

“She was laughed at by them and told not to focus on her goal of getting a contract from them,” Nicole Minniss wrote of that meeting. Mykiaa later was cut from the team.

She then spent a few days in preseason camp with the Orlando Pride, during which she was “treated exceptionally,” but she later decided to focus on her mental health and stepped away from the sport.

In a statement to the Kansas City Star, the NWSL Players’ Association said: “We take Mykiaa’s concerns and that of her family very seriously. We are actively looking into it. NWSL reached out immediately, and there will be a prompt and thorough inquiry.”

Under the NWSL’s collective bargaining agreement, teams are required to provide housing and either per diem or meals to trialists participating in preseason camps. Travel costs are not addressed, although another section does discuss relocation expenses for “newly signed and relocating players.”

NWSL commissioner Jessica Berman also addressed the report Saturday, saying she had spoken with NWSLPA executive director Meghann Burke as well as Current owners Angie and Chris Long.

“We share a commitment in that we all take this really seriously,” Berman said. “We want to understand what happened in this circumstance. We’re incredibly sad that was her experience, and we want to see how we can improve in the future and learn from this. So I have a lot of confidence with the people that are around the table, both proactively to create positive environments, as well as for the people who are prepared to be responsive in real time when there are challenges and we’re committed to seeing it through.”