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5-2 win and still unbeaten, the KC Current regain the top spot

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Thad Bell | KC Soccer Journal

The Kansas City Current returned to CPKC Stadium after the international break to host the Seattle Reign, a team the Current faced a month ago to a 0-0 draw. A win for the Current would elevate them to first place in the NWSL standings.

With seven players returning from international duty with their respective national teams and losing defender Gabrielle Robinson to an ACL injury, head coach Vlatko Andonovski set a very different starting XI, giving Lauren her first start and appearance of the season at center back, and going with Claire Lavogez instead of Vanessa DiBenardo. Debinha also started the game on the bench.

What we learned: First half

We’re used to Kansas City’s depth, and against a team like Seattle who is near the bottom of the NWSL table, rotation seemed ideal, but the Reign have players that can take advantage of poor defensive marking, and we saw that with both goals by Jordyn Huitema. The Canadian forward was able to easily find space and get past her defenders to give the Reign the lead on two separate occasions.

On the first goal in the 24th minute, defender Elizabeth Ball is keeping track of Huitema, but Huitema speeds up for the pass from Veronica Latsko, and Ball is caught watching the ball instead as Huitema connects for the goal.

On the second goal in 41st minute, after a KC 2-1 lead, the Current’s set piece struggles this season troubled them again as Huitema gets in front of KC defender Lauren, diving for a header for the goal.

Thankfully, Kansas City kept themselves in the game, with goals by Temwa Chawinga (28th minute), her sixth of the season, and Lauren (47th minute) to keep this game 2-2 going into halftime. Lauren’s goal was her first goal of the season and her first goal as an NWSL player. She also became the 16th goalscorer for the Current.

What we learned: Second half

Bringing DiBenardo in at the start of the second half was important. She made an immediate impact as soon as the second half started, scoring a statement goal in the 46th minute, making it 3-2.

And if DiBenardo’s goal wasn’t enough for the Current, back-to-back goals within 90 seconds would extend the lead to 4-2 as Chawinga scored her second the game, and seventh overall, putting her in third place in the Golden Boot race.

In the 65th minute, Seattle goalkeeper Laurel Ivory took out Michelle Cooper in the box, giving the Current a penalty kick and an opportunity for their fifth goal of the night. Lo’eau LaBonta, as the designated PK taker for the Current, easily put this one past Ivory for a 5-2 big-time lead.

Even with 14 minutes added at the end of regulation, the Current kept their lead, remaining unbeaten after 12 games in the NWSL season and regaining the top spot in the NWSL standings.

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KCOutsider

Only got to catch about 20 minutes of this one, but what I did see was fun! Way more engaging than that other team. Thanks for the writeup.

Wet Water

Bia’s back and so is 5 goals a game.

ar_jhawk

First half was so disappointing. The same old outplay the opponent but give up two goals. Then the second half happened. Hope they hit 5 next week because I’ll be there!

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