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Match Preview: KC Current at Angel City FC

The undefeated Current head west to lock horns with Angel City for the second time in a month. Will KC’s vaunted attack buck their road struggles and show up in LA?



Credit: Thad Bell

If you’ve been to a Kansas City Current match thus far this season you’ve heard a lot of this: “We want another one, just like the other one. We want 18!” OK, so obviously you’ve not actually chanted 18, but the next time a Current hits the back of the net it will be the team’s 18th goal on the season. That’s close to 3.5 goals per game and is nearly double the next highest league mark of 10 (both North Carolina and Portland).

The team is still on track to absolutely shatter the record number of goals in an NWSL season. The team is doing it both with an impressive diversity in the attack (10 different goal scorers thus far) as well as some emerging dominating forces, namely Temwa Chawinga, Bia Zaneratto, and Vanessa DiBernardo.

That trio are tied with each other atop the league standings of “goal contributions,” a stat that combines goals scored and primary assists. Bia and Chawinga each have four goals scored and two assists while DiBernardo has two goals scored with four assists. The four goals scored sets the league pace in that category and DiBernardo is by herself atop the assist standings. Combine this with the fact that the team’s ten different goal scorers are miles ahead of any other squad and the Current appear an offensive juggernaut any way you slice it.

There was some concern that when Alex Loera (sorry about her ACL injury in KC last weekend) left town that the team would struggle to replace her vision and long, unlocking passes. Turns out, there’s nothing to worry about as evidenced by DiBernardo’s two assists on Chawinga’s goals Saturday.

Of course, lining up alongside a player with Chawinga’s skillset has to be a bit of a dream for anyone seeking assists as simply playing her into space is often enough. And with Bia’s physicality and deadly shooting, opposing coaches know they may need to try to win a shootout.

There is, however, another pattern that’s coming to light that may make the next trio of games slightly more of a challenge. In three home matches thus far, KC has tallied 14 goals. In two away matches, KC has notched just 3. This Friday night, the Current hit the road for the first of three straight away fixtures. Can they bring some of that scoring tenacity with them from the Midwest to the west coast?

In a scheduling quirk, the Current will complete their regular season series with Angel City just six matches into the season (every team plays every other team twice—one home, one away). Less than a month ago, the Current handled Angel City at home with a 4-2 victory. This will be the truest test so far of KC’s divergent home/away form. If the Teal can secure another comfortable victory, then they are simply a dominate side. If, on the other hand, the game ends in a tie or loss for KC (particularly if they score few goals), then it reaffirms just how important CPKC Stadium, and the home fans are to the team’s success.

Also working against Kansas City is the fact that Angel City seems to be rounding into form since the international break. In their last two matches, Angel City has two impressive wins: on the road against the Chicago Red Stars and at home against the North Carolina Courage. The Red Stars and the Courage are both in the top four of league standings, and with those wins, Angel City is charging up the table. Despite these wins, though, Angel City still posses a negative goal differential and have scored just six times on the season.

(Is it just me, or is anyone else regularly reminded of the 90s Nicolas Cage/Meg Ryan film City of Angels when discussing this team? Unfortunately, I don’t know how to draw any other parallels—to my knowledge no one has given up immortality for the love of soccer. Although now that I think about it, Angel City forward Sydney Leroux and former SKC man Dom Dwyer always had a bit of a Hollywood couple vibe to them.)

Whichever team gets to dictate the style of play will have the clear advantage in this match. If Kansas City can use its strength and speed to get out and run at Angel City and force the game to open up, they will score some goals and be in a good spot. By contrast, if Angel City clogs the attacking lanes and frustrates KC’s attack, they’ll have the chance to counter and steal the win. In both of their recent wins, ACFC was outshot and yet made their chances count (two goals in their only two shots on target against NC).

As long as it’s not the Current cast in the Meg Ryan role who get blindsided by a logging truck (sorry for the spoiler), I like the team’s chances.

WHEN: Friday, April 26 at 9:00 PM (Central Time)

WHERE: BMO Stadium, Los Angeles, CA

HOW TO WATCH: Prime Video


Current: 4-1-0 (13 points, 1st place)

Angel City FC: 2-1-2 (7 points, 7th place)

Last Match:

Current: 5-2 win at home to Bay FC

Angel City FC: 2-1 win at home to North Carolina Courage

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