Match Preview: Kansas City Current face Chicago Red Stars for Pride Night celebration on home pitch Kansas City Current

Match Preview: Kansas City Current face Chicago Red Stars for Pride Night celebration on home pitch

KANSAS CITY (June 13, 2024) – The Kansas City Current (8-0-4, 28 points, 1st place) return to action on Friday against the Chicago Red Stars (5-6-1, 16 points, 6th place) to wrap up a two-game homestand at CPKC Stadium. Friday’s match kicks off at 7 p.m. CT and is the Current’s annual Pride Night match presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City.  The match will stream live on Prime Video with Mike Watts, Lori Lindsay and Kealia Watt on the call. Fans in Kansas City can listen live as Dave Borchardt and Jillian Carroll Letrinko bring the action on 90.9 The Bridge and on the KC Current app. 

The Current will look to expand upon club history Friday night, as the team brings a franchise-best 14 game unbeaten streak into its contest against the Red Stars. Kansas City’s streak is the third-longest in NWSL history and the Current could match the second-longest regular season unbeaten run in league history with a positive result. 

A positive result briefly looked to be in doubt during the Current’s last match, which came last Sunday at home against the Seattle Reign. Reign forward Jordyn Huitema polished off a first-half brace in the 41st minute which gave the visitors a 2-1 lead. However, on the stroke of halftime, Lauren steered home a loose ball in the penalty area following a corner kick to level the contest. The Brazilian's first goal for the club came at a crucial time, as Kansas City was able to level the match just before halftime. 

In the second half, Kansas City blew the game open. Vanessa DiBernardo scored less than 30 seconds into the second half on an assist from Temwa Chawinga, then Chawinga generated a dangerous scoring opportunity immediately after Seattle restarted play. On a long pass forward from Elizabeth Ball, Chawinga met the ball on the run and quickly deked a Reign defender. Her touch put her through on goal, and Chawinga buried the breakaway opportunity for the Current’s second goal in 89 seconds. Kansas City’s two goals in 89 seconds marked the quickest amount of time in NWSL history that a team has scored two goals from kickoff. 

Lo’eau LaBonta rounded out the scoring in the 67th minute with a penalty kick as the Current secured a 5-2 victory. Goals have flowed for the Current at CPKC Stadium, as the team has scored at least four goals in four of the six games that the Current have played at home. Sunday marked the Current’s third five-goal performance of the season and Kansas City is averaging 3.84 goals per game at home. The Current 31 goals through the first 12 games of 2024 have set a new club record for most goals in a season, beating the old mark set in 2023.

Chicago enters Friday’s contest on the heels of a record-setting weekend. The Red Stars set an NWSL attendance record in their contest last Saturday against Bay FC, as over 35,000 fans filled historic Wrigley Field in downtown Chicago for the unique match. Bay FC spoiled festivities, though, as the visitors took a 2-0 lead in the 79th minute and ultimately held on for a 2-1 victory. The loss marked the Red Stars’ third consecutive defeat.

Kansas City Current Defender Hailie Mace – Mace’s versatility on defense and in the attacking final third are what make her such an integral part of the Current’s deep roster. The defender’s physicality in muscling opponents out of threatening positions is essential to preventing scoring opportunities. At the same time, her intelligence in moving the ball forward creates big chances for Kansas City.

Chicago Red Stars Forward Mallory Swanson – The lethal forward is back from injury and poised to pressure a mistake out of any defense.  Swanson scored a brace in the recent U. S. international friendlies, showing off the constant threat of her ability to break through the back line and hit the back of the net.

As the NWSL’s two Midwest entries, Kansas City and Chicago have a natural rivalry that has developed over the seasons. Recently, that rivalry has spilled over from the playing field into historic change. The Current have been redefining the women’s game since joining the league in 2021, especially in the way of facilities. First with the opening of the $18 million University of Kansas Health System Training Center in 2021. Then in March, the Current opened CPKC Stadium, the world’s first stadium purpose-built for women’s professional sports. Last week, the Chicago Red Stars shattered the NWSL single-game regular season attendance record with 35,038 fans at a special Wrigley Field match and hopes to ride that momentum into larger crowds and more success on the field as the season develops.

After an electric offensive showing at Sunday’s home win, the Kansas City Current are currently slotted in as league leaders in multiple categories. Thanks to Kansas City’s relentless front line, including five goals from Sunday’s win over Seattle, the Current lead all teams with 31 goals. Including forward Temwa Chawinga’s contribution of 38 shots and 27 shots on target, the Current top the league with 169 total shots and 93 total shots on target.

For the last three weeks in a row, a Kansas City center back has added their name to the growing list of Current goal scorers. The Kansas City Current has turned this rare occurrence into a weekly streak, involving the defense in on the offensive action. It started with defender Gabrielle Robinson arching her first professional goal into the net at home versus Louisville, followed up the next week with Elizabeth Ball scoring the lone goal in the Utah Royals matchup. Then Sunday, Lauren continued the streak with a triumphant goal-scoring finish in her first start of the season, tying up the match against Seattle Reign before half to kickstart the Current’s 5-2 win.

Friday night is the Current’s annual Pride Night, presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City. The players will be wearing special Pride Numbers on the jerseys while the club recognizes and celebrates the LGBTQIA+ community throughout the match.

The Kansas City Current Team Store at CPKC Stadium will have special Pride merchandise available Friday and throughout the month of June. A portion of all KC Current Pride merchandise in June will benefit Save Inc’s Pride Haven, a shelter supporting unhoused LGBTQIA+ Young Adults.



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