KC Current to kick off Challenge Cup on March 18 at Louisville

The Kansas City Current and the National Women’s Soccer League announced today the full schedule for the upcoming 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup.

The expanded 39-game tournament is set to kick off March 18 with a rematch of last year’s regular-season opener between the Kansas City Current and Racing Louisville FC. The match, to be hosted at Lynn Family Stadium, is slated for a 6:30 p.m. March 18 kick off.

“We’re pleased to once again open this year’s campaign with the Challenge Cup,” said Liz Dalton, managing director of competition and player affairs.

“The Cup is an exciting competition to kick off our 10th anniversary season and we are thrilled to provide another opportunity to crown a champion. Many thanks to all those who have helped make this year’s tournament possible.”

The 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup will feature three regional groups of four teams. The Current will feature in the Central Region, along with the Chicago Red Stars, Houston Dash and Racing Louisville FC. The East Region includes NJ/NY Gotham FC, the North Carolina Courage, Orlando Pride and the Washington Spirit. Angel City FC, OL Reign, Portland Thorns FC and San Diego Wave FC make up the West Region.

The groups will compete in double round-robin matches ahead of the semifinal round and the NWSL Challenge Cup Final Saturday, May 7. Details regarding broadcast schedule for the tournament are forthcoming.

The 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup rules and regulations differ from NWSL’s regular season policies and procedures.

Challenge Cup matches for KC Current:

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Edmonds to return to KC Current

Kristen Edmonds (Photo: NWSL  / ISI Photos)

Kansas City Current defender-midfielder Kristen Edmonds has agreed to a new contract with the club through the 2022 season.

“Kristen’s performance was incredibly valuable to this team last season,” said general manager Camille Levin. “Her leadership, experience and professionalism are qualities that are paramount to our success in 2022.”

Edmonds started her professional career in Iceland, leading Stjarnin to the Icelandic Women’s Cup Championship in 2011 before moving to WFC Rossiyanka of the Russian Premier League from 2012 to 2013.

Edmonds joined the NWSL in 2014, signing with Western New York. She recorded 29 starts in 31 appearances for the Flash. In December 2016, Edmonds was traded to the then-expansion Orlando Pride where she led the team in scoring and assists in her first season with the club. In five years with Orlando, the veteran from New Jersey tallied 72 appearances and scored 10 goals for the Pride.

Edmonds came to Kansas City via trade with the Orlando Pride in January 2021. Edmonds displayed her versatility early in her tenure with the Current, starting at forward, midfield and defense in preseason and the 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup. In the regular season Edmonds appeared most often on the backline. She led the team in starts (21), minutes played (1,721) and captained the squad through six matches.

“I couldn’t be more excited to continue my career with my teammates and this club,” Edmonds said. “The KC Current is really setting the bar for the future of this league. This club is built on solid moral values that I can get behind while also setting a foundation to be a force in this league and I am grateful to be a part of that. I can’t wait to start this 2022 season! KC Baby!”

The 2022 preseason kicks off for Edmonds and the Kansas City Current Feb. 1 with the 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup slated to begin March 19. For tickets and information, visit KansasCityCurrent.com.

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KC NWSL reveal new team name, wrap up season with 3-0 loss

After the team’s 3-0 loss to the OL Reign, team captain Rachel Corsie kept warm with her new Kansas City Current scarf. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)

by Brian Turrel

Kansas City’s NWSL team dropped the final game of their inaugural season 3-0 to Portland’s OL Reign, but the game seemed like merely an afterthought to the hype surrounding the announcement of the team’s new name, the Kansas City Current.

A halftime light show set the stage for the announcment, revealed simultaneously on the Legends Field video board, on signs around the field, and on the team’s website and social media.

The Current players took the field in the second half wearing the team’s new crest: a vertical KC, crossed by a sweeping river shape, and adorned by two stars representing championships won by Kansas City FC.

Back to the game, the Current had trouble fighting out of their own end during the first half hour, ceding repeated corner kicks to the Reign. Kansas City’s defense didn’t give up a goal in that stretch, but lost captain Rachel Corsie to an injury in the 23rd minute.

Kansas City’s best opportunity came in the 34th minute, when Lo’eau LaBonta unleashed a shot from just outside the penalty area that passed inches outside the goalpost.

In the 35th minute, the pressure got to Kansas City, which conceded an own goal, a redirection on a Reign shot from distance.

No longer able to play for a tie, Kansas City pushed higher on their offense with five minutes remaining in the half. The change in tactics created sustained pressure, but no goals, and the halftime score was 1-0.

OL Reign didn’t take long to double its lead in the second half. In the 48th minute, Megan Rapinoe sent a corner kick that bounced to the back post where it was knocked in by Eugenie Le Sommer.

The Rapinoe-Le Sommer connection worked again in the 64th minute, this time with a cross into the box that Le Sommer headed home for a 3-0 advantage.

With a sizeable advantage in the late stages of the game, the Reign used all five available substitutions to protect key players as they tune up for the coming NWSL playoffs.

The loss snapped Kansas City’s streak of seven home games without a loss, and the expansion squad’s final record stands at 3 wins, 7 draws, and 14 losses.

The Current has announced the team will play the 2022 season at Children’s Mercy Park. The team’s ambitious plans include a training facility to be built in Riverside, Missouri, and a dedicated $70 million, 11,000 seat stadium to be built on the riverfront in Kansas City, Missouri, in time for the 2024 season.

Sportcaster Aly Trost emceed the ceremony to reveal the new team name and crest. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)
The new KC Current crest decorated home plate at Legends Field. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)
Defender Elizabeth Ball made a sliding challenge to Reign forward Sam Hiatt. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)
The ball rolled dangerously close to the goal as Elizabeth Ball and the KC defense warded it off. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)
Reign forward Eugenie Le Sommer launched a shot over her head on the KC goal. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)
Kate Del Fava defended against OL Reign forward Sam Hiatt. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)
USWNT teammates Megan Rapinoe and Adrianna Franch met on the field. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)
Reign forward Eugenie Le Sommer headed the ball on goal. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)
Midfielder Lo’eau LaBonta made a sliding tackle on Reign midfielder Rose Lavelle. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)
Reign forward Megan Rapinoe launched a shot just wide of the KC goal. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)
Defender Elizabeth Ball knocked away a shot near the penalty spot. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)
Midfielder Desiree Scott cleared the ball from the KC 18-yard box. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)
Forward Kristen Hamilton struggled with defender Lauren Barnes near the Reign goal. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)
Forward Kristen Hamilton raced toward the Reign goal. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)
Reign goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi put herself in harm’s way to block a shot by midfielder Lo’eau LaBonta. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)