Match: NJ/NY Gotham FC (4-13-0, 12 pts) vs Kansas City Current (8-4-5, 29 pts)
When: Sunday, Sept. 11th at 6 p.m. CT
Where: Red Bull Arena – Harrison, New Jersey
Watch: CBS Sports Network
The Kansas City Current (8-4-5, 29 pts) go on the road Sunday to face NJ/NY Gotham (4-13-0, 12 pts). The teams are a tale of two very different streaks. Kansas City is “Currently” unbeaten in their last twelve matches, Meanwhile. Gotham is on an eight-game losing streak.
The Current have eight wins and four draws in their last twelve and have scored in each game, the longest active streak in the league. Gotham has gone 17 games this season without ending a match in a tie (W4 L13).and have a dreadful -23 goal differential, scoring the least (13) while giving up the most (36).
Gotham fired coach Scott Parkinson on August 11th, replacing him with Hue Menzies but their record has not improved in his limited time with the team. They have good talent and recently added Victoria Pickett in a trade with Kansas City.
Last Meeting: When these two teams met earlier in the year it was a relatively even match. Most of the stats like shots, possession, passing were very close. The difference was an 84th minute goal from Kristen Hamilton assisted by Izzy Rodriguez. This was the Current’s third game unbeaten that is now 12 while Gotham won one more match before going on their losing streak.
Current had the last word vs North Carolina
Kansas City’s last match was against the Courage in another high scoring game. Current took the lead with a Labonta penalty but North Carolina came back with two goals before the Current replied with a pair of their own.
Kansas City sent several players on international duty including Desiree Scott, Chloe Logarzo and Sydney Schneider. It was defender Hailie Mace that got the most attention since the earned her first call up in four years and made an appearance off the bench when the U.S. Women’s National team beat Nigeria 4-0 at Children’s Mercy Park. It wasn’t just a cameo in Mace’s home stadium, Vlatko Andonovski brought Mace on when they played in Washington DC also.
Coach Potter was asked how they stayed focused during the international break, “We try to stay process-driven, what can we do every day that allows us to get to games and be the product that we all hope to be. So consistently doing things, simple things well, is something that we try to do. At this point in the season, we are what we are, teams are what they are. So, it’s about how can we kind of sharpen it a little bit brighter or polish it a little bit brighter to perform that one percent better and that’s what we focus on every day.”
Coach thoughts on the opponent
“It’s a challenge,” Potter explained. “They’re a very athletic group, obviously went through a coaching change. So, in terms of the style and how about how they go about things is probably evolving. We know they got a very good player in Victoria Pickett and we’ll have to manage that player for sure, because she’s very talented and we know what she can do to teams because she’s been with us. We expect nothing but the best of Gotham and that’s what we’re preparing for and they’re going to get the best of us too. Hopefully that means we’ll come out the right side of a good game.”
Sam Mewis (SEI- right leg)
Mallory Weber (SEI- right leg)
Lynn Williams (SEI- right leg)
Jaycie Johnson (right leg)
QUESTIONABLE: Alex Loera (right leg)
INTERNATIONAL DUTY: N/A
Allie Long (maternity leave)
Domi Richardson (SEI - right knee)
Ashlyn Harris (right knee)
Midge Purce (right thigh)
INTERNATIONAL DUTY: N/A
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Kansas City Current forward Kristen Hamilton — The Current have three players tied with six goals, but Hamilton is the one to watch. She has played the most minutes, only subbing off a couple times but still running and going all out through stoppage time. If Kansas City needs a late goal, Hamilton is likely to step up in the needed moment.
NJ/NY Gotham FC midfielder Victoria Pickett — When any player is traded they pick up their level when they face their previous team and Pickett will probably be no exception. She was traded to Gotham FC from Kansas City in August. Pickett was loved in Kansas City but it was hard to turn down $200,000 in allocation money and a first-round pick. Pickett will be dangerous dribbling out of the midfield and the Current defense will need to be alert.