Match: Kansas City Current (7-4-5, 26 pts) vs North Carolina Courage (4-6-4, 16 pts)
When: Sunday, Aug. 28 at 6 p.m. CT
Where: Children’s Mercy Park, Kansas City
Watch: Steam on Twitch
Listen: Radio on Sports Radio 810 WHB
The Kansas City Current (7-4-5, 26 pts) remain at home after hosting a record breaking crowd last week. This time hosting the surging North Carolina Courage (4-6-4, 16 pts) in what could be a high scoring, end-to-end match if it’s anything like their previous meeting.
The Current are on an eleven-game unbeaten streak with seven wins and four draws during that span. Kansas City was disappointed to not get the win last week when the hosted Angel City FC before a record 10,395 fans.
The Courage do not have the same impressive unbeaten streak but have won their last two and are 2-1-3 in their last six. The impressive stat is they have scored eighteen goals over those six games. They have also given up thirteen goals in that stretch.
Last Match: A disappointing draw despite setting the attendance record for Kansas City
In their last match, the Current were the better team for most of the game but Angel City took the lead against the run of play in the 78th minute when Cari Roccaro knocked a header past AD Franch. The Current came back quickly when Lo LaBonta was taken down in the box. LaBonta easily put the resulting penalty kick in the net four minutes later.
“I think we’ve frustration and disappointment from last week and not turning the result into a win” Current head coach Matt Potter told media at training this week. “I think everybody was aware of that, but we have to applaud the players for their endeavor and how we went about the game. Most importantly, we played in a manner that represented the city and the state and so on and so forth. So very pleased that we entertained the crowd that came because that was important because people did show up. So, for me, that was really important that we gave to the game and gave to the people that were there. So, job done in that sense.”
Current had the last word in North Carolina
These two teams faced off on August 13th in what was one of the most exciting NWSL games of the season. It was a back-and-forth goal fest at North Carolina. The Courage would score and then Kansas City would respond. Finally the Current’s newest face made the difference with a goal in the 79th minute. It was not just a goal but it was a spectacular shot from distance that earned Claire Lavogez player of the week honors.
Coach thoughts on the opponent
When coach Potter was asked about the Courage, he responded, “A team in form, they score a lot of goals so they obviously come into this game, even in the game that we played them, they find ways to score multiple goals in pretty much, every game. The challenge for us is we’re going to have to minimize those moments or not give them clear opportunities. And then obviously, in possession, we have to be able to take care of the things that we know how to take care of. But when all said and done, I think the team that comes out on top of we’re better at being us than they are being them, then we’ll do well in the game.”
Coach Potter was asked if North Carolina’s speed in the counterattack is what makes them so difficult to play at this point. “I believe so. They’re a competitive team, they’re very quick with the ball and very quick without the ball, and they have some personality players that any team would want on their team. In that sense, it can become a transitional game. It’s definitely a fair pace to it, that’s for sure. We’ll have to match that intensity, but again we’ve shown the ability to do that, whether it be in our possession, whether it be in our defending or in those transitional moments. Very much looking forward to seeing our players perform.”
Jaycie Johnson (right leg)
Sam Mewis (right leg)
Mallory Weber (SEI- right leg)
Lynn Williams (SEI- right leg)
Notes: Australian international Chloe Logarzo is off the availability list and looking pretty good in training but may not be in the game day roster. She has been called up by the Australian National team.
North Carolina Courage
Havana Solaun (right knee)
Diana Ordóñez (right shoulder)
Denise O’Sullivan (IRE)
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Kansas City attacker Claire Lavogez – The newest face and accent to Kansas City was the toast of the Current in their last meeting with North Carolina. She came of the bench to score a spectacular game winner to stun the Courage. With the trade of Victoria Pickett earlier in the week, Lavogez will probably see even more time to show off her attacking flair.
Kansas City Current goalkeeper AD Franch — Keeping a dangerous Courage offense off the scoring sheet will not be easy. Kansas City’s Franch will be tested and probably often by the high scoring North Carlina side. Franch is fourth in the NWSL with 50 saves and has recorded three clean sheets thus far in the 2022 regular season. She needs just one more to become just the second goalkeeper ever to reach 40 career NWSL shutouts.
North Carolina Courage midfielder Debinha — With six goals and two assists in the 2022 regular season, Courage midfielder Debinha is one of North Carolina’s most dynamic attacking options. In Wednesday’s victory over Portland, Debinha gave the Courage a crucial two-goal cushion after slipping to the back post and slotting a cross home. She does not object to scoring on the Current either, with a goal when the teams met both on August 13 and in the NWSL Challenge Cup Semifinal on May 4.
North Carolina Courage attacker Diana Ordonez – Goal leader for the Courage and leading candidate for rookie of the year has eleven goals in twelve appearances. She scored has scored in her last six games. Ordnonez left Wednesday’s game in the 33rd minute and her status is unclear if she will be available for this match.