Match Preview: Kansas City Current looking to finish 2023 campaign on high note on the road against NJ/NY Gotham FC Kansas City Current

Match Preview: Kansas City Current looking to finish 2023 campaign on high note on the road against NJ/NY Gotham FC

The Kansas City Current will finish the 2023 NWSL season on the road as the team faces NJ/NY Gotham FC Sunday, October 15 at 4 p.m. CT. The match will stream live on Paramount+ with Jacqui Oatley and Jordan Angeli and on KC Current Radio, on the KC Current app, with Dave Borchardt and Jillian Carroll Letrinko. 

Kansas City hopes to ride the wave of a record-setting performance against the Chicago Red Stars that saw six different players score in an impressive 6-3 win. Defender Izzy Rodriguez, midfielders Lo’eau LaBonta and Debinha, and forwards Michelle Cooper, Cece Kizer and Alexa Spaanstra all found the net for Kansas City. Rookie forward Spaanstra, who got her most extensive action on the season, also added an assist to her tally while Alex Loera added two more as she now leads the team in the category. This match will be the last of the season for Kansas City, but a strong performance can help the club springboard into the busy offseason and lay the groundwork for a successful 2024 season. 

Gotham heads into this match with its postseason fate yet to be decided. After getting shut out at Portland last week, the team needs only a win to secure a playoff berth and the chance to host one of the NWSL Semifinal matches. A loss or draw will not eliminate Gotham, but the team will have to rely on help from other clubs to even secure a spot among the top six, let alone host a playoff match. NJ/NY will rely on players like former Current forward Lynn Williams to help pave the way to the playoffs. Williams started the season hot with seven goals in the first 13 games but has been held off the scoresheet since June. 

Kansas City Current forward Alexa Spaanstra – 
The second of Kansas City’s first round draft picks in 2023, Spaanstra has enjoyed a solid rookie season. Her progression from the first match in March through the last match against Chicago has been phenomenal. Against the Red Stars, Spaanstra utilized her speed to beat defenders to the ball all over the field. Her growth was evident in the choices she made on the field from pass selection, to shot selection and everything in-between and paid off with her first NWSL goal and assist on the night. 

NJ/NY Gotham defender Ali Krieger – The veteran defender played her 175th career regular season match against Portland last week and has 196 appearances across all competitions. A member of the NWSL since its inception in 2013, Krieger is expected to play her final game Sunday before retiring from professional soccer. She has played in 16 matches this season, starting all of them.  

While the Current are not participating in the playoffs this season, Kansas City can still have a big impact in the postseason tournament. For the first time, the NWSL scheduled all six matches to kick off at the same time on the league’s final day of the regular season. Going into what is being hailed as CarMax NWSL Decision Day, only two of the six playoff spots have been confirmed, with eight teams vying for the remaining four spots. Kansas City’s opponent, Gotham FC can finish anywhere from the third seed to out of the playoff mix depending on the day’s results. 

With all of the matches happening simultaneously, the NWSL is streaming a whiparound show hosted by KC Current Television and CBS Sports analyst Lisa Carlin. The show will cover goals and highlights from each contest, airing exclusively on CBS Sports Network at 4 p.m. CT.

Even though the season will end after Sunday’s match for the Current, there are plenty of positives to look back upon from the 2023 campaign and even more to look forward to in 2024. 

From a player standpoint, several records were set this season. Midfielder Debinha has already surpassed the team’s single-season goal scoring record with nine goals and is within two scores currently of being the first Current player to earn the NWSL Golden Boot. She also recorded the first multi-goal game in club history, followed by forward Kristen Hamilton notching the first hat-trick in club history. Forward Cece Kizer, with 13 goals since joining the Current, is the new all-time leader in regular season goals and midfielder Alex Loera is the club’s new all-time assist leader with six. 

In the third season for the Current, several players reached important milestones. Midfielder Lo’eau LaBonta surpassed 50 career games played for Kansas City, while teammates Hailie Mace, Kristen Hamilton and Elizabeth Ball will all hit the 50-game mark with their next appearance. 

As a whole, the Current needs only one goal to tie the club’s single season record (29) and needs one clean sheet to tie the club’s record for most shutouts in a single season (6). Incidentally, if goalkeeper AD Franch is credited with the clean sheet, she will become only the third goalkeeper to have at least 10 shutouts for more than one club.



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