CHICAGO – The National Women’s Soccer League announced Monday that it has re-acquired FC Kansas City LLC’s membership interest in the league and will be ceasing operations of the club, effective immediately.

The rights to the former Kansas City players will be assigned by the NWSL to the new Utah based club in the 10-team league.

Kansas City’s selections in the 2018 NWSL college draft and its spots in the discovery and waiver tie-breakers as well as the distribution ranking order have been transferred to the new club. The club also will be provided the No. 1 overall pick in the first round of the 2019 college draft.

Last week the NWSL announced that a new team in Salt Lake City would join the league for the 2018 season.

“First, we’d like to recognize and thank Elam Baer and FC Kansas City LLC for their efforts this past year. We appreciate his commitment in helping the NWSL move forward,” NWSL managing director of operations Amanda Duffy said in a statement. “As the league moves on, and as difficult as it is to share this news about FC Kansas City, we feel it is in the best interest of the league and the players at this time. Most importantly, we would like to acknowledge and sincerely thank all the fans and the city of Kansas City for their support of this club, the league and the sport over the past five years.”

FC Kansas City was one of eight founding members of the NWSL and hosted Portland Thorns FC in the inaugural match in league history April 13, 2013. The club reached the playoffs in each of the first three years of the league and became the first team to win back-to-back championships, defeating Seattle Reign FC in the final in 2014 and 2015.

“This is the best and necessary decision for the future of the league and the players who have impressively represented NWSL and Kansas City over the past five years,” Elam Baer, former owner of FC Kansas City said in a statement. “I will always be a fan of the game, the league, our players and, above all, our fans. I wish the NWSL a bright future and our former FC Kansas City players continued success in their careers on and off the field. I am sure the players will add another championship to the two they already brought to Kansas City.”