Kansas City Current earns first win of 2023 in opening match of 2023 UKG NWSL Challenge Cup Kansas City Current

Kansas City Current earns first win of 2023 in opening match of 2023 UKG NWSL Challenge Cup

 The Kansas City Current opened the 2023 UKG NWSL Challenge Cup with a win over the Houston Dash, thanks to a brace from midfielder Cece Kizer. Kizer is the first player in club history to score multiple goals in one match.

Today, the Kansas City Current announced that the club has parted ways with head coach Matt Potter, related to issues around his leadership and employment responsibilities. Assistant Coach Caroline Sjöblom was named Interim Head Coach for tonight’s match. 

“It’s a good night tonight to sit in here with a 2-0 win,” said Sjöblom. “I’m really happy for the team right now and for the whole performance on the pitch today. Of course, there have been a lot of emotions today and maybe a little chaos as well. But from my side, I just tried to put all the focus on what can we do today and we can be a team today, we can play with a lot of effort, and we can play with our heart. And we can play with energy that we have within this group. I think that is what we showed today as well on the pitch.”

After a rocky start to the season, the Current found its flow in tonight’s match. Kansas City goalkeeper Cassie Miller was called into action early, when Houston forward Cameron Tucker slid a shot toward the back corner of goal in the sixth minute. Miller dove and got enough of a push to send the shot wide. 

The action was back-and-forth throughout the first thirty minutes until Kizer put the Current into the lead. Midfielder Lo LaBonta launched a rocket of a ball to fall perfectly at the feet of Kizer, who was charging past the Dash defensive line. Kizer drew Houston goalkeeper Jane Campbell off her line before cheekily chipping the ball into the back of the net. This is the second year in a row that Kizer scored the first goal of the tournament – she also scored the first goal of the 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup with Racing Louisville FC.

Miller would come up big again just before halftime, when Dash forward Michelle Alozie’s shot forced a quick kick save for the goalkeeper. This match was Miller’s second shutout in the Challenge Cup – the keeper was also in goal when Kansas City notched a 3-0 victory against the Houston Dash in the 2022 Challenge Cup. 

Kizer wasn’t satisfied with one. In the 66th minute, midfielder Debinha laid off a well-timed pass to defender Kate Del Fava, who was charging up the right-hand side. Del Fava cut in, drawing several defenders, before sending a beautiful cross to the back post, where Kizer was perfectly placed to tap it in. 

In the 69th minute, defender Mallory Weber made her season debut after rehabilitating an ACL tear sustained during the first match of the 2022 NWSL Regular Season. This was her first match in 354 days. In the 90th minute, she exited the game after sustaining an injury. She will be evaluated by medical over the next couple days.

With the win tonight, the Current are at the top of the Central Division in the 2023 UKG NWSL Challenge Cup. Next up in the Challenge Cup, the Current travel to Louisville on May 17. 

The Current returns to NWSL regular season action at Children’s Mercy Park on April 23, for the team’s third match in eight days, when Kansas City hosts the Orlando Pride. Season tickets, flex plans and single match tickets are available for all home matches at Children’s Mercy Park. For pricing and information, visit kansascitycurrent.com.

NWSL Challenge Cup Match Report
Match: Houston Dash vs. Kansas City Current
Date: April 19, 2023
Venue: Shell Energy Stadium, Houston, TX 
Kickoff: 6:38 p.m. CT
Weather: 78 degrees, sunny
Attendance: 4,124  

83’ Houston – Jennings (yellow)
84’ Kansas City – Weber (yellow)
88’ Kansas City – Merrick (yellow) 

36’ Kansas City – Kizer (LaBonta)
66’ Kansas City – Lind (Own Goal)

Scoring Summary









Kansas City 




Houston Dash Lineup: Campbell ©, Chapman (74’ Jennings), Harris, Lind, Petersen (58’ Maria Sanchez), Solaun, Hirst, Dydasco, Tucker (58’ Ordonez), Olivieri (58’ Anderson), Alozie (58’ Salmon) 
Unused Substitutes: Madden, Viggiano, Prisock, Desiano   

Kansas City Current Lineup: Miller, Robinson, Soto, Merrick, Rodriguez (69’ Weber), Del Fava (79’ Winebrenner), LaBonta ©, Debinha (70’ Spaanstra), DiBernardo (45’ Curran), Cooper (88’ Childers), Kizer
Unused Substitutes: Franch, Silkowitz, Larsson 



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