NWSL Matchday 10
Who: Kansas City Current (2-7-0, 6 pts) vs NC Courage (4-3-2, 14 pts)
When: Saturday, June 3, 2023 at 7:30 p.m. CT
Where: Children’s Mercy Park | Kansas City
Listen: KC Current Radio on the Kansas City Current app
The Kansas City Current (2-7-0, 6 pts) host the North Carolina Courage (4-3-2, 14 pts). Saturday night. The two teams have a number of players that played for the other team so there is a lot of familiarity between these sides.
While the teams share a lot in common with players, they have been headed in the opposite direction lately. The Courage sit in sixth place with 14 points and a six-game (3W 3D) unbeaten streak in all competitions.
Meanwhile the Current have lost five straight matches in all competitions, Kansas City has struggled on defense, giving up multiple goals in all five games for a total of twelve.
The Current have squandered a run of home games, going 2-4-0 at home before an increasing fan base and need to get points while they can to salvage a season of much higher expectations.
Head Coach Caroline Sjöblom told media, “It’s an important game against North Carolina, a team that’s on a winning streak right now. I have a lot of confidence that we can break that streak. That is the plan for tomorrow.”
Kansas City has underperformed the expectations for a talented team. While they have struggled with injuries the Current should still have seen better results. The Current’s xG (expected goals) is 13.6, the second highest in the league, but they have only scored 9 total in league play.
The difference on the defensive end is more striking. They have a fifth best xGA (expected goals allowed) of 10.9 but have surrendered 18 goals, the second-worst in the league.
“They have this frustrated feeling in the group that we are better than this than the league table is showing right now, they think we should have won more games,” Sjöblom stated. Coach also praised how all the players are working to improve the situation, looking at the stats, working in practice, and seeking coaching.
A long list of injuries but it is getting better
Forward Kristen Hamilton is off the injury list and working back to more fitness. Hamilton was a huge part of the Current’s success last season with scoring and the tremendous work rate up top constantly pressuring the opponent. She has been working her game minutes up.
Elizabeth Ball is in full practice but will probably still miss the starting lineup but is really close.
Morgan Gautrat should be on the game day roster but will probably not see a lot of minutes if any but having her leadership on the bench will help.
Kansas City Current
Hanna Glas (D45 – knee)
Claire Lavogez (SEI – knee)
Alex Loera (foot)
Sam Mewis (SEI – knee)
Desiree Scott (D45 – knee)
Mallory Weber (SEI – knee)
Elizabeth Ball (hamstring)
Morgan Gautrat (calf)
Emily Gray (SEI – knee)
Estelle Johnson (lower leg)
Clara Robbins (lower leg)
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Kansas City Current attacker Debinha – Kansas City talented Brazilian attacker faces her old team for the first time in her career. Debinha scored 51 goals in all competitions for the Courage, tied with Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign) for the second-most in a single team in NWSL history behind only Christine Sinclair (72 for Portland).
NC Courage forward Kerolin – The Courage have a talented Brazilian attacker as well with Kerolin. Debinha and Kerolin were team mates in North Carolina and on Brazil. Both players have four league goals.
Referee: JC Griggs
Assistant Referees: Katarzyna Wa-
siak, Matthew Rodman
4th Official: Esad Omanovic
VAR: Kevin Broadly
AVAR: Laura Rodriguez