by Brian Turrel
Hopes were high for the Kansas City Current to deliver a show to their fans in Children’s Mercy Park after starting Challenge Cup play with a three-game win streak on the road. The fans and the team were both disappointed with the 3-0 result given to Racing Louisville FC.
Kansas City generated several chances in the first half, mostly through forward Kristen Hamilton finding space up the middle or along the left side. Hamilton had recorded two goals in the past three games, but her early chances against Louisville, including a one-on-one against the goalkeeper, went off target or were snuffed out by the defense.
Louisville got on the board in the 9th minute, forcing a Kansas City own goal when a cross into the box glanced off defender Hailie Mace and into the goal.
Louisville scored its second and third goals in quick succession in the second half. Lauren Milliet knocked in the rebound of an attempted clearance in the 60th minute, followed five minutes later by a very well played Louisville corner kick that was curled in front of goal by Emina Ekic and headed home by defender Gemma Bonner.
After the match, head coach Matt Potter described a narrow miss, not a catastrophe.
“We carved out some chances,” said the coach, “especially in the first half. [There were] limited opportunities in the second. I felt we did enough, and on a different day it goes our way.”
Potter and team captain Desiree Scott were both quick to express appreciation for the enthusiastic home crowd.
“We’re just looking forward to righting the wrongs from today,” said Scott, “working on what little improvements we can make and being back out there and putting it right for our fans.”
Despite the loss, Kansas City remains in contention for the Challenge Cup, leading the tournament’s Central Division and on pace to get through to the knockout stage, starting May 4.
The Current’s next home match will be the fifth of six scheduled Challenge Cup games, played against the Houston Dash on April 15, starting at 7 p.m. Kansas City will open its regular season on April 30 in Portland.