Saturday marks the 2022 home opener for the Kansas City Current as the team faces Racing Louisville FC at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas. Gates open at 12:30 p.m. with kickoff scheduled for 2 p.m.
Kansas City enters the match undefeated with two wins and one draw, totaling six goals.
On Wednesday, the Current defeated the Houston Dash 3-0 behind goals from Taylor Leach, Kristen Hamilton and Lo’eau LaBonta. Rookie Elyse Bennett earned two career assists in her first start in the NWSL
Louisville sits in fourth place in the Central Division with a loss and two draws. U.S. Women’s National Team forward Jessica McDonald joined the team in the offseason and accounts for one of Louisville’s three goals in the tournament.
The 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup opened with the two 2021 expansion teams facing off at Lynn Family Stadium in Louisville. The first match under head coach Matt Potter resulted in a dominant performance as the team outshot its opponent 24-9, holding a 54% possession advantage. Louisville scored first against the run of play, but midfielder Addie McCain scored her first professional goal in the 78th minute to earn Kansas City a 1-1 draw.
View from the top
Since the opening day match against Louisville, the Current won two straight games and scored a NWSL leading six goals. With seven points, Kansas City remains in first place in the Central Division.
The 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup features three regional groups of four teams. The groups compete in double round-robin preliminary matches. Following the round-robin portion of the tournament, the winner of each group and then the next top overall team advances to the semifinal round on Wednesday, May 4. The NWSL Challenge Cup Final will be Saturday, May 7.
The Kansas City Current match on Wednesday included several Challenge Cup milestones. Taylor Leach’s goal in the second was the fastest score in Challenge Cup history, with the assist from Hailie Mace being her fifth in Challenge Cup play, breaking the previous record of four held by Louisville’s Jess McDonald.
The 3-0 score was the largest margin of victory in the Challenge Cup and matched the largest victory in club history. Also, the Current now has a streak of seven straight Challenge Cup games with at least one score. To date, Kansas City is the only club to have scored in every single Challenge Cup match played.
Players to watch
Kansas City Current: Midfielder Desiree Scott – Nicknamed “The Destroyer,” Scott is a dominating presence in the midfield. Her patience and soccer knowledge have made her one of the most respected players in the NWSL. As captain of the Current, her leadership has been key to developing the team’s identity.
Racing Louisville: Forward Ebony Salmon – Salmon joined Racing midway through the 2021 season and made an immediate impact. After scoring in her first appearance, she went on to lead the team in goals and assists. On Wednesday against Chicago, Salmon earned her first start of the season and challenged the Red Stars’ defense with shots.
- Story from KC Current