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Match Preview: KC Current host Bay FC

Alex Loera reunion with Kansas City



Alex Loera | Credit: Thad Bell

Not to start by picking at recently healed scabs, but it was five months ago that Alex Loera posted this to Instagram: “I was not expecting this trade. It is incredibly disheartening to know that this took place after I had expressed my feelings about the kind of loyal person I am and my desire to finish out the contract I had agreed to with KC.” There were a lot of fans who felt the same way. It seems likely that Loera will continue to develop into one of the best midfielders in the league–perhaps even a USWNT contributor. We as fans get attached to favorite players on our favorite teams, and Loera ticked that box for a lot of us.

In that same Insta post, she continued: “To my teammates – I wish I could poke your ears one more time. I love you guys.” Full discloser, I don’t know what the poking ears thing is all about, but chances are that Alex will have the chance to do that on Saturday as her new team, Bay FC, ventures to the heartland for the first time to clash with the Current Saturday evening.

A brand new expansion side, Bay FC have had a positive start to their existence. They sit in 6th place on 6 points (two wins, two losses) after four matches. Like KC, they defeated Angel City (1-0 on the road) and are coming off a comeback win at home against Seattle during which Loera delivered this goal-of-the-week strike:


Not surprisingly for a new team, Bay FC doesn’t feature the star power that KC just faced in its trip to Gotham, though the team did make headlines when they signed Racheal Kundananji for a women’s world record transfer fee from Madrid CFF. The Zambian has notched one goal for the team thus far. Bay does have a lot of name recognition behind the scenes, though, as former USWNT and professional club players Brandi Chastain, Leslie Osborne, Danielle Slaton, and Aly Wagner joined forces to bring a team to the San Francisco area. (Additionally, Alex Loera isn’t the only former Current on the roster as Katelyn Rowland and Kiki Pickett both also now sport fancy Bs on their kits.)

Each of Bay’s four matches have been decided by a single goal resulting in a net zero goal differential. Their two losses came on the road to the Spirit (understandable) and at home to the Dash (less so). They’ve yet to be shut out, but have also given up a pair of stoppage time winners; in the 95th minute to Washington and in the 100th minute to Houston. So, if the game this weekend remains close late, KC definitely needs to keep pressing.

OK, quick aside…I’m all for distinct names but I feel a little silly every time I write Bay as a team/location. In fact, three of KC’s five opponents thus far have names that are, I suppose, creative takes on actual cities or geography (Angel City for Los Angeles, Gotham for New York, and Bay for the San Francisco area). By this logic, Kansas City should have been, what, Fountain City FC–abbreviated as FCFC?

As for the Current, the season is going about as well as could be dreamed to this point. The team sits just ahead of North Carolina and Washington atop the standings and at least partially spoiled Gotham’s championship ceremony on Sunday. It is true that the 1-1 draw in New Jersey was the first non-win for KC on the campaign, but the team should be feeling good returning to CPKC stadium this weekend. In the first two matches at their (own!) beautiful new digs, the Current are 2-0 and have scored an average of 4.5 goals per game. The team is also getting heathier with only Weber not participating in training this week. Star attacker, Debinha, might not quite be back to being match fit, but it seems like Chawinga’s injury removal towards the end of the last game wasn’t serious.

Honestly, some of the intrigue surrounding this team is who gets the minutes when everyone is available. For example, club legend (and recent birthday girl) Hamilton hasn’t seen the field since the second match of the season. Last year’s #2 overall draft pick, Cooper, returned from injury last week–Spaanstra has been getting the starts and most of the time on the wing, but does that continue if Cooper, Debinha, or Prince are available? Rookie Wheeler has locked down one of the outside defender positions, but what happens when Swedish international Glas (another birthday celebrant this week) is finally fit? Teenager Hutton has been impressive all season and partnered well with newcomer Feist last weekend, but do they give way to club stalwarts LaBonta and Scott at some point? Champagne problems for Vlatko.

I started this preview by discussing the difficulty that many fans had in saying goodbye to players like Loera. There is one surefire way to help in that healing process though, for the team and its replacement athletes to have success. The Kansas City Current are definitely doing that–first place and unbeaten through four matches and scoring goals at a record pace. Bidding farewell to favorite players is never easy, but getting to know new folks like Chawinga and Bia sure has been fun!

WHEN: Saturday April 20 at 6:30 PM (Central Time)

WHERE: CPKC Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri

HOW TO WATCH: KMCI 38 The Spot, ion (or in person!)


Current: 3-1-0 (10 points, 1st place)

Bay FC: 2-0-2 (6 points, 6th place)

Last Match:

Current: 1-1 draw away to Gotham FC

Bay FC: 3-2 win at home to Seattle Reign

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