Coming off their first win of the season, Kansas City NWSL went on the road again to face the North Carolina Courage, their first trip to Cary. The previous meeting a month ago resulted in a 1-1 draw in KC, but there would be no draw this time as it was all the Courage to win 4-0.
What did we learn?
The score is all that matters, but Kansas City led with 26 shots and 54 percent possession. The difference, of course, is that while North Carolina only had 9 shots, 4 out of their 7 shots on target went in. The difference is that the Courage is a team that can score, and Kansas City...well, they continue to struggle in the final third. Head Coach Huw Williams said it’s something that they will continue working on, which is what we hear each week.
This North Carolina team was a much stronger team than the one KC faced in July at Legends Field. For one, it was the return of Lynn Williams, the U.S. National Team forward who came to the Courage’s starting XI without missing a beat. And second, it looks like Amy Rodriguez is fitting in okay at North Carolina, with a goal of her own against her former team in the 64th minute, her fourth since being traded to the Courage.
But on the KC side, allowing 4 goals, despite the final stats, is a complete defensive failure, and the worst loss in franchise history so far. Box-to-box defending is an obvious issue, and it was exposed against a very good North Carolina team. On the first goal, Lynn Williams was given too much space, and she’s the kind of player that cannot be left open.
12’ - Carson Pickett sent in a left footed cross to Lynn Williams, who found space in between KC goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland for the first goal of the game.
21’ - Pickett again with an assist, sending a corner kick that found Jessica McDonald, who was able to score off a header.
64’ - It was KC legend Amy Rodriguez scoring on her former team.
90’ - North Carolina’s Meredith Speck was able to take advantage of a counter to get around Rowland, who was near the middle of the field as KC pressed. Speck was left with no one in front of her and took advantage of a wide open net.
Four for Four #NCvKC | @Nationwide pic.twitter.com/nB8R3FvNl9— National Women’s Soccer League (@NWSL) August 22, 2021