Match Preview: Unbeaten Kansas City Current face off against second place Orlando Pride at CPKC Stadium Kansas City Current

Match Preview: Unbeaten Kansas City Current face off against second place Orlando Pride at CPKC Stadium

KANSAS CITY (July 5, 2024) – The Kansas City Current (10-0-5, 32 pts., 1st place) are gearing up to challenge the Orlando Pride (10-0-5, 32 pts., 2nd place) at CPKC Stadium Saturday, July 6 at 6:30 p.m. CT. The match will stream on KMCI 38, The Spot and broadcast on ION with JP Dellacamera and Jill Loyden. Fans can also tune in to 90.9 The Bridge FM to hear Dave Borchardt and Jillian Carroll Letrinko call the action. The radio broadcast will also stream on the KC Current app, along with Spanish and Portuguese language broadcasts.

Saturday’s match pits the top two teams in the league against each other. The two teams are so evenly matched that it takes the third tiebreaker, goals scored, to separate them on the table. Also unbeaten through the first 15 games of the season, Orlando has the same number of points and wins as Kansas City and only trails in goals scored by a tally of 39-30.

Last week, the Current defeated the Houston Dash 2-0 in record-breaking fashion, setting a new NWSL record of 17 games unbeaten dating back to the 2023 season. Kansas City’s offense continues to lead the league with forward Temwa Chawinga at the helm, scoring a brace Friday to become the first player to reach double digit goals this season for the club.

While the Dash defense stepped up to keep the Current off the scoresheet in the opening half, Chawinga was able to make the highlight reel in the 26th minute. The forward’s volleyed shot sailed past the goal and bounced into the nearby Missouri river, as Kansas City erupted in cheers, signifying the long-awaited first River Goal.

In the 77th minute, Chawinga’s pressure on the Houston defense resulted in a defensive mistake that put the Malawian forward point-blank on goal. Although Houston goalkeeper Jane Campbell made the initial save, Chawinga was able to jump back on the ball and send it into the net for her 10th goal of the season.

Just three minutes later, energy crackled into the stadium yet again as Chawinga intercepted a missed back pass meant for a Dash defender. Chawinga cleared the half with Houston on her heels, before maneuvering around Campbell to complete her brace.

The Orlando Pride will make the club’s first visit to CPKC Stadium coming from a 3-0 victory on the road against Angel City FC in Los Angeles Sunday. Brazilian forward Adrianna scored a quick brace within the first half to put the Pride comfortably ahead. Forward Barbra Banda closed out the match with a goal six minutes into second half stoppage time. Unfamiliar with being behind, Orlando has scored in all but one match and has seven clean sheets to show for its defense.

Kansas City and Orlando last met in the 2023 season, where the standings told a much different story. From the bottom of the table, the clubs were fighting for every point, but the Current locked the victory 2-1 on the road in Orlando. Midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo provided both of Kansas City’s assists in the match, serving one of them to Debinha, who chipped goalkeeper Anna Moorhouse to put the Current ahead.

Kansas City Current Forward Temwa Chawinga – Chawinga’s electric speed sets her apart from the pack and gives her the advantage against even the best defenses in the league and her strength helps her to hold up play and serve her teammates into scoring position. Scoring two goals in her last match, she now has 11 goals on the season. Combined with her six assists she leads the Golden Boot race. Saturday night Chawinga will look to score in her fifth straight match.

Orlando Pride Forward Barbra Banda – Banda has quickly made a name for herself as one of the most prolific goal scorers in women’s football. The Zambian forward joined the league in March and was named NWSL Player of the Month for May 2024. Banda has scored 11 times this season with 5 assists.

This Kansas City Current vs. Orlando Pride matchup brings together the top two powerhouse teams in the league this season. Both teams share the same record and goal differential after the first 15 matches and have simultaneously fought for the single season unbeaten streak record. While Kansas City sits atop the standings with 39 goals and the No. 1 offense, Orlando’s front line trails close behind with 30 and boasts the league’s best defense with only 11 goals allowed. The Pride has been scored on the least at this point in the season, but it is likely to be an entertaining challenge for Orlando to block the Current’s flow.

Two Kansas City Current players will be headed to Paris for the 2024 Olympic tournament during the international break. Forward Nichelle Prince has been named to Canada’s roster as she aims for two consecutive Gold medals with her home country. For Brazil, defender Lauren will join her first Olympic squad as an alternate after making her World Cup debut in 2023. The Orlando Pride will be sending six players to Paris. Marta, Rafaelle, Angelina and Adriana were all named to Brazil’s national team, while Barbra Banda and Grace Chanda will suit up for Zambia.

Saturday’s match will feature the 3rd Annual Media Game at halftime. The largest field yet with over 50 members of local and national media scheduled to play. Team Heartland, captained by KSHB’s Lindsay Shively, will take on Team Storm, led by 90.9 The Bridge’s Misti Mundae. Keeping control of the action will be celebrity referee and former Sporting Kansas City midfielder Roger Espinoza.

The NWSL announced Wednesday that the 2024 NWSL Championship will be held November 23 at CPKC Stadium, the first stadium purpose-built for a women’s professional sports team. The home of the Kansas City Current, CPKC Stadium will be the hub for a week of Championship entertainment as fans prepare to cheer on the two best teams in the league.

“We are so excited to host the world at our home,” said Kansas City Current Co-Founder and Owner Angie Long. “CPKC Stadium is the first stadium built for moments like these. We are excited to show everyone the unparalleled match experience in a stadium for players, fans and those watching on TV. It is an honor to host the NWSL Championship and Kansas City is ready for the moment.”

OUT:  Alex Pfeiffer (SEI-knee), Gabrielle Robinson (SEI-knee), Mallory Weber (SEI - knee), Bia Zaneratto (Foot)

QUESTIONABLE:  Vanessa DiBernardo (head)

INTERNATIONAL: Nichelle Prince (CAN)



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