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The Current Season Concludes in New Jersey

Gotham wants to secure a playoff spot



KC Current | Credit: Thad Bell

The NWSL decision day (all six matches kickoff at 4:00 on Sunday) comes with a lot less at stake for the Kansas City Current than they would have hoped. It’s been two weeks since KC was officially eliminated from the postseason and shifted to the role of spoiler. They already knocked Chicago out of playoff contention last weekend and could do the same to Gotham this week. The team from NY/NJ currently sits just above the playoff line but in the middle of a chaotic cluster. Right now, only two teams are guaranteed a playoff spot (Portland, of course, and San Diego) and only two teams have been eliminated (KC and Chicago). A win and Gotham is in; anything less and they will need some help. A week ago, the Current played loose and it resulted in six different players notching a goal. Does being freed from the pressure of trying to make the playoffs allow them to go to the Big Apple and put on another offensive display?

Again, any discussion of the end of this season for KC needs to reflect on what was expected coming in. On the heels of a championship match appearance and after “winning” the offseason with significant signings such as Debinha, Dibernardo, Glas, Gautrat, Larsson, etc. expectations for this team were astronomic. That didn’t last long, though, as three matches in KC was winless, having conceded nine goals and parted ways with their coach. Additionally, at no point this season has the injury list contained fewer than six names. One can only dream about how differently things could have gone if Mewis, Scott, and Glas had played even a second this season (Mallory Weber saw all of about half an hour before suffering another season ending injury). Debinha, Loera, Ball, Dibernardo, Gautrat, and on and on each also saw significant time on the injury report. At one point, the injury list truly looked like the starting lineup card.

And yet this lost season isn’t simply a product of misfortune. This team teased us with what they’re capable of in their final home match last Saturday when they established a new team scoring record with six goals. These weren’t just lucky bounces either, they were strong buildup, incisive passing, creative playmaking, and well-placed shots. Fully in the category of too little, too late, the Current showed their fans (who keep showing up despite the disappointments) what they’re capable of. Perhaps the Red Stars match can be a tantalizing preview of what next season is going to look like (at least offensively) when KC opens their new stadium and routinely puts on a scoring clinic.



Before any of that, though, the Current will square off against, um, I think Batgirl, Poison Ivy, and Harley Quinn. Joining them will be a couple of familiar faces in Lynn Williams and Kristen Edmonds, both of whom were with KC last year. (Kristie Mewis also played for FCKC a decade ago and is the sister of Sam.) They have a couple of other significant names in defenders Kelley O’Hara (currently injured) and Ali Krieger and so racking up another half-dozen goals will be a big ask. As recently as a couple of weeks ago, Gotham FC were eyeballing a possible Supporters Shield, but now find themselves just wanting to secure any postseason spot. KC and Gotham have previously met once this season with the Current earning a 2-0 victory behind a Debinha brace. The Dark Knights have stumbled down the stretch and seem to go as Lynn Williams goes, compiling a 7-0-2 record when Williams scores or assists, and 1-7-4 when she doesn’t appear on the scorer’s sheet. You’ll notice those records add up to a total of eight wins on the season, the same number that Kansas City has. In fact, there are only three teams with more victories than KC’s eight. The difference, of course, is that the Current lead the league in losses. Shout out to the power of draws (which KC has all of 1 of on the season).

The match kicks off at 4:00 Central time at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ. It will be broadcast on Paramount+. For those in the KC area, there are official watch parties at The Blue Line and Bar K.

KC’s injury report will likely look much like last week’s with Dibernardo, Guatrat, Scott, Mewis, Mace, Glas, Weber, & Silkowitz all “out”.

Inevitably there will be some turnover this offseason, quite possibly including at head coach as Caroline Sjöblom has not only failed to guide the team into the playoffs but has never been able to shake the “interim” label. That means that Sunday is the final opportunity to cheer on this iteration of the Kansas City Current. And so, for one more time in 2023: KC Baby!


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