The Kansas City Current returned to action for the first time since they were officially eliminated from the 2023 NWSL Playoffs over the weekend. However, the return to Children’s Mercy Park wasn’t an NWSL game but instead the club’s first open international friendly. They faced Mexican side CF Monterrey Femenil.
The KC Current rolled out a lineup with five changes, giving first starts to defender Lauren, forward/midfielder Claire Lavogez (she played CF tonight) and Rylan Childers. Stine Ballisager and Cassie Miller also returned to the Starting XI.
— KC Current (@thekccurrent) October 4, 2023
The Current would have the first chance of the night on a counterattack in the 6th minute that saw Debinha walk the tight rope of the offside line but get in behind the defenders. She would get in one on one with the keeper, dribble around her, but leave herself at too tight of an angle to shoot and she passed it back to no one in the box. Shortly after that off a misplayed corner kick Monterrey came on the counter and Kate Del Fava picked up an early yellow card for holding the Monterrey attacker who was all alone if she beat Del Fava (Kate was goal side during the hold).
In the 18th minute a really pretty build up came up the right side of the KC Current attack with Lavogez laying a perfect through ball to Michelle Cooper who sent a hard cross in the box to Deb that was cut out by some emergency defending from Monterrey. In the 21st a Del Fava deflection led to another half-chance as Lo’eau LaBonta dribbled through the entire midfield but held the ball too long letting Lavogez and Cooper drift offside. A late charging Debinha almost got to it before the keeper cleaned it up.
Moments later LaBonta got her through ball right to Michelle Cooper who was in on goal but sent her shot just wide of the far post leading to a goal kick. The chances kept coming in the 24th minute when the Monterrey keeper, Pamela Tajonar, misplayed a pass to her CB that was picked off by LaBonta and a couple passes later ended with Debinha putting her contested shot wide of the post.
In the 28th minute yet another chance came up that ended with Debinha, looking for a run of Lavogez which had stopped, but instead being forced to lay it off to Childers who’s shot was deflected out for a corner.
In the 33rd minute the Current made four subs as there was no limit in this friendly.
— Chad Smith (@PlayFor90) October 5, 2023
The attack kept coming, despite all the changes as the most dangerous shot of the game (up to that point) was taken by Lavogez and forced over the bar for a corner by Tajonar. In the 43rd minute, after another turnover from Monterrey, Mimmi Larsson was dribbling up the right wing and headed into the box when she was tripped, leading to a yellow for the Mexican side. On the stroke of halftime, the KC Current were inches from scoring. Lavogez played a well weighted pass to Del Fava who played a perfect cross to Mimmi Larsson who pinged it first time off the post.
No stoppage time was added in the friendly and the teams entered halftime tied 0-0.
Kansas City made four changes to start the second half, bringing their substitution total to eight in the 46th minute.
— Chad Smith (@PlayFor90) October 5, 2023
Monterrey actually had a bit of possession and a couple half chances to start the second half after three defensive changes. Soto came in at left back, Merrick at right back, and Lauren moved to RCB as Robinson played LCB. It didn’t take long for the Current to get a chance of their own with multiple attackers rushing into the box, but Larsson took a shot from her RW spot but it was hit straight into the arms of the new keeper Alejandria Godinez, who subbed in at halftime for Monterrey.
When they finally opened the scoring, it was a thing of beauty! It started with Gabby Robinson playing out of the back to Alexa Spaanstra who played a perfect square ball to the midfield. Childers progressed the ball before being taken out while laying off the ball to Kristen Hamilton. She did a bit of a give and go with Larsson. Hamilton then played a simple square ball in the box to Chardonnay Curran who tapped in her first professional goal. 1-0 KC.
Another chance fell to the Current on a soft Monterrey turnover that deflected to Hamilton. She chopped the ball back across the defender, but her shot was read perfectly and snagged out of the air.
Kansas City brought on Elizabeth Ball for Lauren in the 78th minute for the ninth sub of the match. Only Childers remained at this point from the starting XI, along with goalkeeper Miller. There was a scary moment in the 86th when a Monterrey player rolled up on the legs of Ball. Somehow, after a brief time on the ground, she gingerly got to her feet and played on.
Much of the second half was disjointed and ultimately there would be no stoppage time again and the game ended 1-0.
The KC Current will play their home finale against the Chicago Red Stars on Saturday in a game expected to, yet again, break the attendance record.