The Current put out as strong of a lineup as they can with Hamilton missing…
Lavogez, Spaanstra, and Larsson available as attacking subs…
— KC Current (@thekccurrent) September 30, 2023
NWSL Matchday 20
Who: Kansas City Current at Washinton Spirit
When: Saturday, Sep 30th, 2023 at 6:00 p.m. CT
Where: Audi Field – Washington, D.C
Watch: Paramount+: Maura Sheridan, Jillian Loyden | KMCI-TV 38 The Spot: Lisa Carlin, Dave Borchardt
Listen: KC Current Radio on the Kansas City Current app
The Kansas City Current (7-11-1, 22 pts.) travel to the east coast to face sixth place Wahington Spirit (6-5-8, 26 pts). With this game being one of the three remaining games left in the regular season, the Current’s playoff hopes hang on getting results in every match. They are just four points behind Washington but there are four teams in between them for the final playoff spot that will all be scratching for every point possible as well.
On the positive side, the Current are 2-1-1 in their last four and have only one loss in their last seven. The Spirit are winless in their last seven with three draws and four defeats.
Current interim head coach Caroline Sjöblom told media in preparation for the match, “It’s a great spirit in the group right now, of course the San Diego game affects the energy and we are in the hunt for the playoffs. We know this is a really important game against Washington, they are right above the sixth position (the playoff cutoff) and that is where we want to be.”
Sjöblom wants to build on the 2-1 win at San Diego last match. “A lot of tactics we have been working on, I’m very confident that what we did against San Diego that we can do kind of similar,” she explained. “Then sprinkle in some things that I think we can stress Washington with. I think Washington has more stress and pressure right now than we have. We are hunting and they want to stay above.”
When these two teams met in Kansas City in June, the Current jumped out to a 2-0 lead with goals from Michelle Cooper and Debinha and were definitely the better team in the first half. The Tide turned and Washington tallied three straight goals to take the win.
The Spirit have a wealth of attacking talent with U.S. National Team stars like Trinity Rodman, Ashley Hatch, and Ashley Sanchez. The trio has 18 of the Spirit’s 24 goals this season. It will not be easy to keep them off the score sheet but Sjöblom has a plan. “I think we know how to disturb Rodmann, she is a world-class player but I think we can disturb her and all of those players with the style of play but also our individuals know how to bump into them a little bit extra.”
Kansas City Current
Vanessa DiBernardo (concussion)
Hanna Glas (D45 – knee)
Morgan Gautrat (concussion)
Kristen Hamilton (excused absence)
Sam Mewis (SEI – knee)
Desiree Scott (D45 – knee)
Jordan Silkowitz (D45 – hand)
Mallory Weber (SEI – knee)
Anna Heilferty (SEI – knee)
Civana Kuhlmann (SEI – knee)
Inès Jaurena (foot)
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Kansas City Current defense – Sjöblom has choices to make at center back and whichever lineup she starts will need to play smart against the Spirit attack. Elizabeth Ball and Gabrielle Robinson have been the most successful pairing this year but recently added World Cup veterans Stine Ballisager and Lauren are options. Stine started next to Ball at San Diego but just returned from international friendly versus Wales.
Washington Spirit forward Ashley Hatch – Rodman gets most of the attention for good reason, size, speed and skill but Hatch leads the Spirit with 9 goals and is just two behind Sophia Smith in the Golden Boot race. Hatch did not score in the last two matches and will be hungry.
Referee: Eric Tattersall
Assistant Referees: Rachel Smith,
4th Official: Adam Mitchell
VAR: Shawn Tehini
AVAR: Kaili Terry