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Match preview: KC NWSL hosts the North Carolina Courage

Following a bye week, Kansas City NWSL returns home to Legends Field.

Chicago Red Stars v Kansas City Photo by Amy Kontras/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Match Details

KC NWSL (0-7-3 )
@ North Carolina Courage (5-4-1)

When: Friday, July 23 | 7:00 PM CT

Where: Legends Field | Kansas City, KS

TV: Twitch

KC NWSL returns to Legends Field, hosting the North Carolina Courage. If today’s game was not already anticipated, with a first-time ever meeting of 2021 between the clubs, it is now a game of much more interest. On Thursday, KC and the Courage announced a trade that sent KC forward Amy Rodriguez and $60,000 in allocation money to North Carolina in exchange for forward Kristen Hamilton, goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland and midfielder Hailie Mace.

The trade sent shockwaves throughout the league and for KC fans who have seen Rodriguez become a mainstay in Kansas City since her days with FCKC (Rodriguez scored all 3 goals in the 2 finals that helped the club win back-to-back championships in 2014 and 2015). KC NWSL was approached by North Carolina about trading for Amy Rodriguez. KC had no intention of trading Rodriguez, but it was a move that Kansas City needed, allowing them to make a bold counteroffer for three players who can contribute plenty. Kristen Hamilton scored her first goal of the season for the Courage on July 17, recording 16 regular-season goals for North Carolina, which is fourth-most in team history. All three players will be available for the game versus the Courage, and it’s likely Amy Rodriguez will be as well as she faces her former team.

Is this the game we see a breakthrough?

After a bye week, KC NWSL continues the season without a win, now at 10 game, becoming the third team in NWSL history to open a season in double digit winless streaks. One more draw/loss and they’ll tie the 2013 Seattle Reign for second place (the first is the 2018 Sky Blue FC team with 23). KC enters Friday’s game coming off a 2-0 loss at OL Reign on July 11.

They’ll face a team not at its usual strength. The Courage are missing numerous players due to the Tokyo Olympics, including Sam Mewis, Debinha, Abby Erceg, and Lynn Williams. North Carolina is also coming off a 2-1 loss to the Houston Dash last Saturday. But the Courage are still a very good team, led by forward Jess McDonald, and they are still fighting to stay in contention. Only three points separate the Courage, who sit in sixth place with sixteen points, from the Portland Thorns at the top of the table.

KC NWSL has had an extra week to prepare, however, and how they prepared and implement the game plan with their three new acquisitions will make a difference. But KC has some injury troubles, as seen below, and this may create issues for a struggling KC team.

KC NWSL Injury Report

OUT: Elizabeth Ball (R Thigh), Arielle Ship (SEI), Abby Smith (R Thigh), Taylor Leach (L Foot), Darian Jenkins (L Thigh), Maddie Nolf (L Foot), Lo LaBonta (illness)

QUE: Rachel Corsie (L Knee), Jéssica Silva (R Leg)

Olympics: Desiree Scott, Chloe Logarzo, Katie Bowen

Projected Line Up: 4-3-3

Nelson (GK)
Weber, Corsie, Edmonds, K. Pickett
Pickett, McCain, Vincent
Johnson, Larroquette, Vasconcelos