Match Preview: First Place Kansas City Current Travel to Take on Houston Dash on Wednesday Kansas City Current

Match Preview: First Place Kansas City Current Travel to Take on Houston Dash on Wednesday

The Kansas City Current play the Houston Dash tonight, March 30 at 7:30 p.m. CT in the final away match of the 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup. The match will be played at PNC Stadium in Houston, Texas, and will stream live on Paramount+.

Kansas City comes into the match after the team’s first ever comeback win against the Chicago Red Stars. Defender Hailie Mace scored first in the 58th minute with a screamer from the top of the penalty box. Later, she assisted Kristen Hamilton on the game-winning goal with a beautiful pass over the Chicago back line. The Current won the match 2-1. 

The Houston Dash also earned three points off a comeback win over Racing Louisville, after falling behind 2-0 at the half. María Sánchez, Marisa Viggiano and Rachel Daly each scored in the second half for the 3-2 Houston win. 

LAST MEETING
Kansas City defeated the Dash October 13, 2021, in the midst of a seven-game unbeaten streak to close out the inaugural season. Following a goal from Darian Jenkins, defender Elizabeth Ball scored her first career goal to give Kansas City a 2-0 cushion at halftime. Midfielder Lo’eau LaBonta converted a penalty late in the game to seal the 3-0 victory for the home side. The three goals represent the most scored by Kansas City in a single game and its largest margin of victory.

TOP OF THE TABLE
By virtue of the Current’s 2-1 victory last week, Kansas City sits atop the Central Division with four points. The Houston Dash and Chicago Red Stars are close behind with three points each. 

The 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup features three regional groups of four teams. The groups compete in double round-robin preliminary matches. Following the round-robin portion of the tournament, the winner of each group and then the next top overall team advances to the semifinal round on Wednesday, May 4. The NWSL Challenge Cup Final will be Saturday, May 7.

ESTABLISHING IDENTITY
The 2022 Kansas City Current has adopted an attacking mentality under head coach Matt Potter. The Current opened the Challenge Cup by outshooting Racing Louisville 24 to 8 in the opening match. Potter’s team then rallied in Friday’s match-up, defeating the 2021 NWSL finalist Chicago Red Stars 2-1 to earn the club’s first road victory. Falling behind 1-0 with only two shots at halftime, the Current’s halftime adjustments increased the offensive pressure with seven shots in the second half and two goals.

PLAYERS TO WATCH
Kansas City Current: Defender Hailie Mace – Mace joined Kansas City in a trade midway through the 2021 season. After finding some time at forward and midfield, Mace settled in on the defensive back line last season and through the first two matches of the Challenge Cup this year. A defender with an offensive mindset, Mace can often be found bringing the ball over the half and igniting the Current attack. 

HOUSTON DASH: Forward Shea Groom – Groom started both matches for Houston so far this season. The Kansas City, Missouri native was originally drafted in 2015 by FC Kansas City. She joined the Dash before the 2020 season and has 10 goals in 39 appearances for Houston.

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