Kansas City Current defeats Chicago Red Stars with largest margin of victory in club history Kansas City Current

Kansas City Current defeats Chicago Red Stars with largest margin of victory in club history

Goals were plentiful at Children’s Mercy Park as the Kansas City Current (2-0-1, 6pts) delivered a 4-0 victory over the Chicago Red Stars (0-0-3, 0pts) in the UKG NWSL Challenge Cup. Former Red Stars midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo scored her first goal as a member of the Current, while forward Cece Kizer added a goal and Debinha added a brace to their totals. 

"I come into this room after the game extremely proud today,” said interim head coach Caroline Sjöblom. “I feel like we have been waiting for this kind of release that we got tonight. I think we’ve turned it around to more like 'this is us and if you want to come and play against us in this stadium it’s going to be really tough.' I think the most important thing is to keep the confidence from this win. We can celebrate tonight but tomorrow it’s all focus on Washington and the league.”

The Current dominated throughout the match, out-shooting Chicago 20-10 and maintaining an impressive 81.8% passing accuracy rate. The four-goal win is the largest margin of victory in club history, and it’s only the fifth time a team has scored four goals in UKG NWSL Challenge Cup history. All four goals came within 15 minutes and 58 seconds of each other, the fastest time that four goals have been scored by one team in the history of the Challenge Cup. 

Debinha nearly put the home team ahead in the 27th minute when she found herself open on the edge of the penalty box. The midfielder took advantage of the space, sending a twisting ball toward the near post and forcing a leaping save from Chicago goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher to push it wide. 

The heat kicked up for the home team in the second half. As the all-time leader for goals scored in the UKG NWSL Challenge Cup, it was no surprise that Debinha found the back of the net first. Just ten minutes after halftime, the midfielder found Hailie Mace charging down the left side of the pitch. Mace sent it right back to Debinha at the top of the penalty area. The midfielder took one touch and then hit a rocket over Naeher and into the top right corner of the goal. 

With the dam broken, it only took six minutes for the Current to double its lead. Midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo jumped on a ball that was loose in the box after a corner kick. Her left-footed strike from the top of the box soared past Naeher to find the back of the net. 

Two minutes later, forward Cece Kizer added her name to the scoresheet. Just seconds after entering the match, forward Mimmi Larsson intercepted a pass from the Chicago back line and tapped the ball forward. Kizer ran onto it and poked the ball under Naeher, who came off her line to try and deny the goal. 

Finally, Kansas City closed the scoring with a second goal for Debinha in the 70th minute. The midfielder timed her run perfectly to sneak behind the Red Stars defense and receive a ball in from DiBernardo. Her right-footed touch slid in past Naeher. With two goals tonight, Debinha broke her own record as the all-time leader in UKG NWSL Challenge Cup goals. She now has a total of 12 goals. She is also the only player to score at least three goals in each of the last three editions of the Challenge Cup – no other player has more than one tournament with 3+ goals in league history. 

Kansas City finishes out a busy week, with the final of three games in eight days on Sunday at Children’s Mercy Park. The Current hosts the Washington Spirit in regular season play on Sunday, June 18 for Heart Health Awareness Night, presented by Saint Luke’s Health System. Tickets are available for all home matches at Children’s Mercy Park. For pricing and information, visit kansascitycurrent.com.

UKG NWSL Challenge Cup Match Report
Match: Kansas City Current vs. Chicago Red Stars
Date: June 14, 2023

Venue: Children’s Mercy Park, Kansas City, KS 
Kickoff: 7:07 p.m. CT
Weather: 80 degrees, sunny 
Attendance: 8,226

20’ Kansas City – Cooper (Yellow)

55’ Kansas City – Mace (Yellow)
82’ Chicago – Malham (Yellow)

54’ Kansas City – Debinha (Mace) 
60’ Kansas City – DiBernardo
62’ Kansas City – Kizer (Larsson) 
70’ Kansas City – Debinha (DiBernardo) 

Scoring Summary





Kansas City









Kansas City Current Lineup: Miller, Rodriguez, Robinson, Ball (45’ Soto), Del Fava, DiBernardo (83’ Childers), Gautrat (45’ Kizer), Mace, Debinha (72’ Winebrenner), Cooper, Hamilton © (61’ Larsson) 
Unused Substitutes: Franch, Silkowitz, Curran, Spaanstra 

Chicago Red Stars Lineup: Naeher ©, Davidson (45’ Krueger), Sharples (45’ Milazzo), Malham, Aguilera, Jones (58’ Bianchi), Fisher, Bike, McCain (45’ Cook), Stevens, Matthews (75’ St-Georges)
Unused Substitutes: Boyd, Wright, Starke, Kowalski



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