Match Report: Kansas City Current’s unbeaten streak reaches 16 after 4-1 win over Portland Thorns Kansas City Current

Match Report: Kansas City Current’s unbeaten streak reaches 16 after 4-1 win over Portland Thorns

PORTLAND, Ore. (June 23, 2024) — The Kansas City Current (9-0-5, 32 pts., 1st place) extended the club record undefeated streak to 16 matches dating back to last season in a 4-1 win over the Portland Thorns (7-5-2, 23 pts., 5th place) Sunday afternoon at Providence Park in Portland. Sunday’s win also broke the single-season club record with 14 games unbeaten in 2024. Veteran midfielder Lo’eau LaBonta scored her first career brace and defender Stine Ballisager Pederson became the 17th different goal scorer for the Current in 2024.

“I knew in order to be successful in Portland we had to be brave and aggressive going forward, so we had to throw numbers in their half and force them to defend,” said head coach Vlatko Andonovski. “If we didn’t attack with numbers then we were going to end up defending a lot. It was a fairly brave setup by our players. I’m very proud of how brave they played when in that setup. I thought executed very well and scored some nice goals.”

Starting the 2024 season with 14 straight unbeaten games breaks the club’s single season record of 13 set in 2022. Dating back to the 2023 season, the club has now gone 16 games unbeaten which ties an NWSL record set in 2014 by the Seattle Reign.

One of the most anticipated games of the weekend, the Thorns and Current started the action early. Portland forward Sophia Smith wound her way around the Current defense in the third minutes and took a long shot from distance as soon as she found a sliver of an opening. Current goalkeeper AD Franch saw it all the way and tallied an early save, diving to keep the ball out of the corner of the net and off her fingertips.

Kansas City returned the opportunity in the ninth minute. Forward Michelle Cooper raced toward the endline, and after a strong first touch she chipped the ball back post to forward Bia Zaneratto who was unmarked and connected for a header. Bia put a powerful header onto goal, but it went straight into the arms of Portland goalkeeper Shelby Hogan to keep the match scoreless. KC midfielder Debinha generated another header opportunity in the 18th minute, but it sailed just high of the Portland crossbar.

While Kansas City held a nearly 54% possession advantage in the first half, both teams stretched the game vertically with a lot of space in transition. Franch kept the match scoreless again in the 22nd minute, keeping Smith from converting a cross from the nearside.

The scoring barrage began for the Current in the 30th minute. Cooper, after beating her defender one-on-one, connected on the cross to forward Temwa Chawinga at the back post. While backpedaling, she headed it towards goal. LaBonta helped the momentum by redirecting the header with another header backwards for her fourth goal of the season. The goal also gave Chawinga a club-leading sixth assist on the year.

With a 1-0 lead, the Current were not done. Ballisager got her first goal of the season in the 38th minute thanks to an assist from defender Elizabeth Ball, with Ballisager ultimately pouncing on a loose ball in Portland’s penalty box following a Current corner kick. That means the Current extended their league record to 17 different goal scorers in a season.

In the 40th minute, LaBonta earned her first career brace with a long-range shot fit for a highlight reel. From the top of the box, LaBonta fired a perfect strike to the top corner giving Kansas City the 3-0 first half lead.

Franch continued her dominance by keeping the Thorns scoreless with a big save in the 35th and 45th minute, sending the team into halftime with a comfortable lead and a first half clean sheet.

Less than two minutes after the break, Chawinga dribbled through multiple Portland defenders and targeted the near post for a shot. Chawinga’s left-footed effort beat Hogan, who was leaning the wrong way to give the Current a 4-0 lead.  Ball got her second assist of the match on Chawinga’s score.

Sunday’s match marked Ball’s first career multi-assist game, and she recorded as many assists against the Thorns as she had in her previous 81 regular season contests. Kansas City has scored 11 goals in the first 15 minutes of the second half, more than any other team in the NWSL this season.

The Portland Thorns are one of the league’s perennial powerhouses and were not about to go quietly at home. Smith found her way onto the scoresheet with a strike past Franch in the 73rd minute, but that would be the only goal for the hosts as Kansas City recorded a dominant win 4-1.

The undefeated Current have scored 37 goals in 14 games this season, breaking the record for the most goals through 14 games of a season in NWSL history, beating the previous record of 34 which was recorded by the Thorns in 2022.

Kansas City returns home for a matchup with the Houston Dash at CPKC Stadium Friday, June 28 at 7 p.m. CT. The match will be broadcast on Amazon Prime. In Kansas City, fans can listen along on 90.9 The Bridge and on the KC Current app.

NWSL Match Report
Match: Portland Thorns Vs. Kansas City Current
Date: June 23, 2024
Venue: Providence Park, Portland, OR
Kickoff: 1:08 p.m. PT/3:08 p.m. CT
Weather: 69 degrees, cloudy
Attendance: 20,024

62’ Portland – Hubly (Yellow)

30’ Kansas City – LaBonta (Chawinga)
38’ Kansas City – Ballisager (Ball)
40’ Kansas City – LaBonta
47’ Kansas City – Chawinga (Ball)
73’ Portland – Smith (Coffey)

Scoring Summary

Goals 1 2 F
Portland 0 1 1
Kansas City 3 1 4

Portland Thorns Lineup: Hogan, Muller, Sauerbrunn-c, Hubly, Payne (77’ Reyes), Klingenberg (68’ Coffey), Fleming (45’ Sheva), Sugita, D’Aquila (68’ Sinclair), Beckie (45’ Linnehan), Smith
Unused Substitutes: Alvarado, Dias, McKenzie, Nally

Kansas City Current Lineup: Franch, Rodriguez, Ballisager Pedersen, Ball, Mace, Hutton (94’ Scott). LaBonta-c, Debinha (79’ Feist), Chawinga (94’ Pfeiffer), Zaneratto (65’ Wheeler), Cooper (94’ Lauren)
Unused Substitutes: Steigleder, Silkowitz, Spaanstra, Lavogez



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