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Match Preview: Houston Dash at Kansas City Current

The last time the Dash faced the Current, mother nature decided to turn the game into the longest match of the season. What will be in store for the rematch?

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Credit: Thad Bell

You know how you’re always searching for new wagers to make with your friends? Well, how about making a friendly bet on how many different goal scorers the Current are going to finish the season with? Or perhaps you handicap the odds for who will be the 18th scorer. Probably the best odds would be with someone like Hutton or Mace followed by (the Canadians) Prince or Scott. The only other two people to have appeared in a match this season and not found the back of the net are goalkeeper AD Franch and reserve defender Regan Steigleder. It’s actually not completely improbable to think that Hanna Glas could start seeing some action and make it into the attack or Sophie Braun could impress with Argentina and become part of the team’s midfield rotation. And that literally only leaves the two backup keepers, Silkowitz and Hisey, and Ms. Tough-Luck herself, Mallory Weber (working her way back from another¬†season-ending injury).

That’s it. That’s the whole list of rostered (28 in total) players who have not yet scored for the Current this season. We can have this type of lighthearted and unusual discussion because this season has been successful in the extreme–punctuated most recently by the thorough dismantling of the Thorns in Portland.¬†Coach Andonovski had suggested before that match that the league was starting to separate itself with Portland, Gotham, Washington, Orlando, and KC occupying the top tier. Well, if that’s true, then the Current’s 4-1 drubbing of their hosts (completing the season sweep) at Providence Park on Sunday is quite the statement.

There are multiple records the team is adding to as this season progresses. As hinted at above, the Current have established the league mark for number of different goal scorers in a season–and the season has only this past weekend moved beyond the halfway mark. Stine Ballisager became KC’s 17th scorer with her game-winning goal against the Thorns and also was the 4th (of 4) center backs on the roster to have scored. Additionally, the Current are now undefeated in 16 straight matches, dating back to the end of last season, also a league record.

Kansas City will have the chance to add to both of those marks as they welcome the Houston Dash to town Friday night. The teams have played once this season and it was one of the more unusual and frustrating matches for the team. Not only was the game paused halfway through for over 4 hours due to heavy rain, but despite statistical domination (29 shots to 8), the Teal had to settle for a draw after some miscommunication late between Wheeler and Franch led to a Houston goal completely against the run of play.

On the other end of the pitch, occasional USWNT member Jane Campbell set a team record with 12 saves against the Current attack. That 1-1 tie began a disappointing (by the team’s high 2024 standards) stretch in which they only scored twice in three games and had to settle for two draws. It’s been a completely different story, though, since the calendar flipped to June. In three matches this month, the team has tallied 11 goals for an average of nearly 4 per game. That included exorcising some demons at the hands of the Reign who had shut out KC immediately following the match in Houston. When Seattle traveled to KC a couple weeks ago, they were knocked around to the tune of a 5-2 loss. Perhaps the Current can exact the same sort of revenge on Campbell and the Dash.

A lot of KC fans have had this match circled because it could potentially be Cece Kizer’s return to her hometown. However, she hasn’t appeared for the Dash since May 17 as she’s been saddled with both a concussion and knee injury this season. On the flipside of the trade that sent Kizer to Houston is Nichelle Prince–a winger that has only seen the field twice for her new squad. Is there a chance her familiarity with the Dash could help her crack the lineup this time around?

Regardless of who suits up, this match would seem to be the story of two teams heading in opposite directions. Kansas City sit first in the table with 37 goals scored and a +17 goal differential. Houston sit 12th (of 14) with 11 goals scored and a -9 differential. Again, KC has scored the same number of goals that the Dash has all season in just their past three games.

Following this match, the Current embark on what is likely to be the most challenging stretch of games this season. Will the Dash present a manageable tune-up for the games against Orlando and Washington, or will Houston once again figure out a way to spoil the Current’s fun?

WHEN: Friday, June 28 at 7:00 PM (Central Time)

WHERE: CPKC Stadium in Kansas City, MO

HOW TO WATCH: Prime Video

Record:

KC Current: 9-5-0 (32 points, 1st place)

Houston Dash: 3-5-6 (14 points, 12th place)

Last Match:

KC Current: 4-1 away win to the Seattle Reign

Houston Dash: 0-0 home draw to the San Diego Wave

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