One of the six original players on the Kansas City roster in 2020, Taylor Leach, has announced her retirement from professional soccer.
A two-time first team all-SEC for the University of South Carolina Gamecocks before starting her professional career in Sweden, Leach played in eight Challenge Cup and 26 regular season matches for the KC Current.
“Taylor’s leadership and experience have been extremely important to the growth of this club,” said general manager Camille Levin Ashton in a news release. “We thank her for all that she has done for the Current and the Kansas City community. We wish her nothing but the best in her future endeavors.”
After a season with Östersunds DFF and four seasons with Kopparbergs-Göteborg FC, Leach returned to the United States to join the Utah Royals in 2020. On Dec. 18, 2020, Leach was named as one of 22 players who were being transferred to Kansas City’s roster.
“After much time and reflection, I have decided to retire from the game that has changed my life forever,” said Leach said. “It’s never easy to come to a decision like this but I’m ready and excited to start the next chapter of my life.
“To my teammates, current and former, thank you for making my journey a very enjoyable one. To the fans, thank you for always showing up. The atmosphere you created was unforgettable! To the coaches, club, and staff, thank you for giving me the opportunity to play for and represent this club and city,” Leach said.
While being counted on for her defensive abilities, she has scored two of the most memorable goals in the club’s short history.
On May 23, 2021, Kansas City found itself down against the Houston Dash 2-1 as the referee signaled for two minutes of stoppage time at the end of the match. Shortly after, Leach made a run from the backline and leaped over a defender to score the equalizer.
Then March 30, 2022, Leach scored the fastest goal in club and NWSL Challenge Cup history in the second minute of the team’s 3-0 victory over the Houston Dash. Hailie Mace swung a corner kick low into the box to find Taylor Leach, who perfectly volleyed the ball past Jane Campbell into the top left corner.
The Kansas City Current offseason continues with the 2023 NWSL draft at 5 p.m. Jan. 12, 2023.
- Story from KC Current