Match Preview: Kansas City Current kicks off final stretch of regular season with clash against NJ/NY Gotham Kansas City Current

Match Preview: Kansas City Current kicks off final stretch of regular season with clash against NJ/NY Gotham

 The Kansas City Current (8-4-5, 29pts, T-2nd place) looks to continue its 12-match unbeaten streak as the team begins September on the road with a pivotal battle against NJ/NY Gotham (4-13-0, 12pts, 12th place) Sunday, Sept. 11. Sunday’s match kicks off at 5 p.m. CT and can be watched nationally on CBS Sports Network. 

In the last match, the Current extended their franchise-best unbeaten streak to 12 matches with a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over the North Carolina Courage Aug. 28. Midfielder Lo’eau LaBonta opened the scoring in the fifth minute with a penalty kick, but the Courage responded to take a 2-1 lead in the early stages of the second half. After which, the Current completely took the match over. 

Forward Cece Kizer scored her sixth goal for Kansas City in 2022 to level the match in the 56th minute on an assist from rookie defender Alex Loera. All but one of Kizer's goals this season have been game-tying or go-ahead goals. Forward Kristen Hamilton completed the comeback in the 59th minute, sliding in to tap home a cross from defender Kate Del Fava. Kansas City’s ongoing 12-match unbeaten streak is tied for the second-longest streak in National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) history. 

Gotham, meanwhile, took part in the lone NWSL match played last weekend. The team lost 1-0 at home to the North Carolina Courage on an 81st minute goal by Courage midfielder Fuka Nagano. The loss extended Gotham’s losing streak to eight matches. 

The Current have just five matches remaining in the 2022 regular season, and three of them will be played over the next week. 

First up is Gotham, an opponent that the Current have historically found positive results against. Kansas City is 1-0-2 all-time against Gotham and most recently defeated them 1-0 at Children’s Mercy Park June 11. 

From there, Kansas City travels to Chicago for a mid-week road matchup against the Chicago Red Stars. The Current beat Chicago twice during the 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup, but the sides drew 2-2 June 18 in their lone regular season matchup so far. Proving how tight the top of the NWSL table is, the Red Stars sit in the sixth and final playoff position, but are only three points behind the Current. 

The Current close the stretch of three matches in seven days at Children’s Mercy Park against the Portland Thorns next Sunday, Sept. 18. With playoff positioning and possibly one of the longest unbeaten streaks in league history on the line. 

The Kansas City Current was well-represented on the international stage during the recent September FIFA window, with four players being called up to their national teams. Hailie Mace (USA), Desiree Scott (Canada), Sydney Schneider (Jamaica) and Chloe Logarzo (Australia) were all named to their respective country’s rosters. 

Defender Hailie Mace was called to the U.S. Women’s National Team for two friendlies against Nigeria, earning her first appearance in USWNT camp since 2019. The Kansas City defender appeared in both matches against the Super Falcons. The United States’ first match of the window came in Kansas City on Sept. 3, a 4-0 triumph at Children’s Mercy Park in which Mace entered the match as a second-half substitute. Mace also came on as a second-half substitute in the USWNT’s 2-1 win over Nigeria on Sept. 6 in Washington D.C. Mace totaled 30 minutes played across both matches. 

Veteran Canadian midfielder Desiree Scott appeared in both of Canada’s matches of the window, which were consecutive matches against Australia. Scott played the final 30 minutes of Canada’s 1-0 win over Australia on Sept. 2 and played the first half of Canada’s 2-1 win over Australia on Sept. 6.

Rounding out the Current players in action over the weekend was Jamaican goalkeeper Sydney Schneider, who started in Jamaica’s 1-0 loss to South Korea on Sept. 3. The appearance marked Schneider’s 19th international cap. 

For the second consecutive month, the Kansas City Current had multiple players named to the Best XI of the Month, presented by Mastercard: goalkeeper AD Franch, defender Elizabeth Ball and LaBonta. All three have been integral pieces of the Current’s ongoing 12-match unbeaten streak, which included a 3-0-1 record in August. Wednesday’s announcement marked the first team of the month appearance for Ball, while LaBonta and Franch received back-to-back team of the month selections for the first time in their NWSL careers.

LaBonta scored three goals and recorded an assist, accomplishing some significant career milestones in the process. Her impressive offensive month brought her goal total on the season to six, which marks both a career high and team-high total. LaBonta scored the 10th goal of her professional career against Angel City FC Aug. 19, and her five penalty kick goals in the 2022 regular season is one shy of a league record.

Ball has been a stalwart of Kansas City’s defense all season, and that was no different this past month. She played the full 90 minutes in all four matches in the month and totaled five tackles, 16 duels won and a team-best 22 clearances. She also has 18 blocks this season, which ranks second in the NWSL. Ball recorded the game-winning assist in Kansas City’s 4-3 win over the North Carolina Courage Aug. 13. 

Franch rounded out the Current players honored after finishing the month with 1.66 goals against average. Franch had four saves in Kansas City’s 4-3 win over the Courage Aug. 13. The Current were the lone team with three players selected by the NWSL Media Association to the August Best XI of the Month. 

This week the Kansas City Current announced a significant step toward the construction of its stadium at Berkley Riverfront Park, the first stadium in the world purpose-built for a women’s professional sports team. 

The official groundbreaking for the project will be Thursday, Oct. 6 at 5 p.m. CT. Fans from across the region are invited to attend as the ownership group of Angie Long, Chris Long and Brittany Mahomes welcomes dignitaries from across the region and the NWSL to take part in the festivities.

The event begins at 5 p.m. with remarks from ownership, the City of Kansas City, Port KC and others in the community, followed by key contributors to the project participating in the traditional shovel ceremony. A celebration party will cap off the night.

Kansas City Current forward Kristen Hamilton — Hamilton has been on an offensive tear in 2022, with 11 goals in all competitions. Hamilton has six goals in the 2022 regular season, which is tied for both the team high and a club record. She scored twice in August, once each in the Current’s matches against the North Carolina Courage. Hamilton found the game-winning goal in the 84th minute when Kansas City and Gotham FC last met June 11. 

NJ/NY Gotham FC midfielder Victoria Pickett — Pickett was traded to Gotham FC from the Kansas City Current Aug. 22. She made her debut for Gotham in the team’s 3-1 loss to Angel City FC Aug. 28. Starting and playing 70 minutes in Gotham’s 1-0 loss to the North Carolina Courage on Sept. 4. Pickett nearly got on the scoresheet for her new club against the Courage, but North Carolina goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland denied her close-range header in the 58th minute.

NJ/NY Gotham FC vs. Kansas City Current
Sunday, Sept. 11 at 5 p.m. CT 
Red Bull Arena – Harrison, New Jersey
Watch on CBS Sports Network



Link copied to clipboard!