An improved Kansas City Current took the field against Racing Louisville for the first game of the 2022 Challenge Cup, fielding a starting XI with Sam Mewis and Lynn Williams and rookie Jenna Winebrenner, captained by Desiree Scott & Mewis, who were both announced as co-captains before kickoff. Mewis wore the armband, however.
So, what did we learn from the first game vs. Racing Louisville?
Kansas City came on pressing. All the questions and doubts we had about Kansas City’s lack of offense were forgotten about as we saw Lynn Wiilams taking charge of the offense. They created chances. Plenty of them, but the finishing was a continued struggle.
And speaking of that press, it cost the Current a goal in the 20’. CeCe Kizer with the counter to give Louisville the lead.
But it was still all Kansas City this game, finding plenty of chances, only to miss or unable to finish. It was at the 45th minute that it seemed like William’s cross into the box would find the back of the next, only to have it deflected. Victoria Pickett could have finished, but her attempt hit the crossbar.
45’ | Alright, post. That’s enough. pic.twitter.com/aep77YP13M— KC Current (@thekccurrent) March 19, 2022
Kansas City returned for the second half ready to continue the work of the first half. Addie McCain subbed in for Sam Mewis, who is still working to go the full 90 minutes. It was the substitution Kansas City needed, and head coach Matt Potter commended her work ethic in the post-game press conference.
In the 78th, Williams forced a turnover and McCain took possession and took a shot at the top of the box for her side’s first goal of her professional career.
McCain nearly had a second goal towards the end of the game, as she found herself near the penalty spot. McCain’s shot was cleared away and kept the score level and eventually giving both teams a draw for the first match of the Central Region in the Challenge Cup.
For Kansas City, the game was theirs to win, dominating offensively with 25 total shots. A few tweaks this coming week should have them ready to challenge a Chicago Red Stars, a team that appears to be in a rebuilding year of their own.
We said the first game would be telling for this team that underwent so much change in 2021, and, indeed, it was as we saw a much better prepared squad.