Match Preview: Kansas City Current vs. North Carolina Courage Kansas City Current

Match Preview: Kansas City Current vs. North Carolina Courage

The Central Division winning Kansas City Current host the club’s first-ever playoff appearance against the North Carolina Courage in the Challenge Cup semifinal Wednesday, May 4. The game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. CT at Children’s Mercy Park, where the team is 2-1-0 on the season. The match will be broadcast on Paramount+. 

FIRST PLAYOFF APPEARANCE
In just the second year of play for the club, the Kansas City Current will host its first-ever appearance in the playoffs. The team won the Challenge Cup Central Division with a 4-1-1 record, one of only two teams in the NWSL with four wins. The North Carolina Courage finished at the top of the Eastern Division with a 3-0-3 record. 

FAMILIARITY
This will be the first time these two sides meet in 2022, but the teams have a familiarity with each other. Four players on Kansas City’s roster once called North Carolina home. Forward Kristen Hamilton and defender Hailie Mace were acquired by Kansas City in a trade midway through the 2021 season while midfielder Sam Mewis and forward Lynn Williams were acquired in two separate trades this offseason.

For North Carolina, their roster also features four players with Kansas City ties. Former KC first round draft choice Kiki Pickett was sent to the Courage as part of the trade for Mewis, while goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland returned to North Carolina in the Williams trade. Forward Brittany Ratcliffe spent the 2021 preseason in Kansas City before signing with the Courage for the regular season and former KC defender Katie Bowen joined the Courage this offseason. 

PREVIOUS MATCHUPS

The Current and Courage met up three times last season, with two of the matches ending in 0-0 draws. The Courage produced the only win between the two August 21. The last matchup was played in Kansas City on Sept. 5, 2021. Midfielder Desiree Scott became only the second Canadian player to earn her 100th NWSL appearance and goalkeeper AD Franch earned her first clean sheet for Kansas City. 

SCENARIOS 
With a Current win May 4, the team will advance to the NWSL Challenge Cup Final May 7. The higher seeded semifinal winner will host the match.

If #2 KC Current win, #4 Washington Spirit win:

  • KC Current to host Washington Spirit Saturday, May 7 at 12 p.m. CT at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas. Tickets to go on-sale Thursday, May 5 at Noon.
  • KC Current’s 2022 NWSL Regular Season Home Opener May 8 vs. Houston Dash rescheduled to a TBD date.

If #2 KC Current win, #1 OL Reign win:

  • OL Reign to host the Current Saturday, May 7 at 12 p.m. CT at Lumen Field in Seattle.
  • KC Current’s 2022 NWSL Regular Season Home Opener May 8 vs. Houston Dash rescheduled to a TBD date.

PLAYERS TO WATCH 

Kansas City Current – Defender Kristen Edmonds – A jack of all trades for the Current, Edmonds has played as a defender and midfielder for the team in her five starts during the Challenge Cup. In its young history, Edmonds already holds the team records for most starts (22) and minutes played (1,811). Going back to last season, she has played every position, but goalkeeper for the club. Over eight years in the league, the veteran has more than 100 NWSL appearances.

North Carolina Courage – Midfielder Debinha – The Brazilian midfielder is tied with Kansas City’s Kristen Hamilton with four goals in the Challenge Cup and has led her team throughout the tournament. In her fifth season with the Courage, she has 38 goals across all competitions. 

HOW TO WATCH 
Kansas City Current vs North Carolina Courage
Wednesday, May 4 at 7:30 p.m. CT 
Children’s Mercy Park | TICKETS
Stream on Paramount+

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