The Kansas City Current returned from the international break with a road trip to play the Chicago Red Stars. Goals from newcomers midfielder Debinha and forward Mimmi Larsson halved the gap but weren’t enough to bring home any points for the shorthanded Current.
“In terms of the scoreline, it disappointed tonight but lots of positives to take from the game and we will reflect obviously, do our due diligence, and move on,” said head coach Matt Potter. “I think the positives were to see Debinha and Vanessa (DiBernardo) get through the game in the manner that we wanted. I thought the back line did really well overall in terms of the whole content of the game. But those individual moments and those transitional moments, that’s a big staple for this league, and we were on the wrong side of it tonight.”
Kansas City nearly had the first goal of the match, as forward Michelle Cooper found herself on a breakaway in the third minute after poking the ball away from Chicago’s Tierna Davidson. Her charging run down the center of the pitch ended in a shot that rolled just wide past the left post.
The Red Stars turned things around just a minute later, when forward Ella Stevens found the back of the net after a scramble in the box. Chicago defender Bianca St-Georges charged down the right-hand side, but her cross was disrupted by the Kansas City defense. Stevens pounced on the ball to send a low shot past goalkeeper AD Franch.
The Current had a few more chances throughout the first half, the best of which came on a free kick taken by Izzy Rodriguez. She found Chardonnay Curran completely open at the back left post, but her header sailed wide of the goal.
Chicago logged their second goal of the match when Stevens found rookie forward Penelope Hocking out wide on the left-hand side in the 49th minute. Hocking charged past the Kansas City defense and tucked the ball under a diving Franch in the bottom right corner.
Bad luck struck for Kansas City in the 62nd minute, when Chicago forward Cheyna Matthews’ shot knocked off the right post and bounced off the back of Franch to cross the goal line, putting the Red Stars up 3-0.
In the 68th minute, Chicago added a fourth to the team’s tally, when Hocking again charged down the left-hand side to get on the end of a long ball from Matthews. Her shot from the top of the box sailed over Franch to net a brace for the rookie.
The Current found an answer late in the second half, when the Swedish forward Larsson entered the match. In the 79th minute, Larsson pounced on a loose ball from defender Casey Krueger and spun her around to poke a pass through for Debinha. The Brazilian chipped her shot over a charging Alyssa Naeher for her first goal with the Current.
Larsson wasn’t satisfied with the assist. In the seventh minute of stoppage time, she jumped on a loose ball in the box and hit it low toward the goal with her left foot, sending Naeher the wrong way to half the lead for the Red Stars.
Kansas City returns to action on Wednesday in the team’s first match of the 2023 NWSL Challenge Cup, presented by UKG, with the Current traveling to Houston to face the Dash. The team will return to Children’s Mercy Park on April 23 for its third match in eight days, when Kansas City hosts the Orlando Pride. Season tickets, flex plans and single match tickets are available for all home matches at Children’s Mercy Park. For pricing and information, visit kansascitycurrent.com.
NWSL Match Report
Match: Chicago Red Stars vs. Kansas City Current
Date: April 15, 2023
Venue: SeatGeek Stadium, Bridgeview, Illinois
Kickoff: 7:07 p.m. CT
Weather: 77 degrees, cloudy
72’ Kansas City – Cooper (yellow)
77’ Chicago – Hocking (yellow)
81’ Kansas City – Mace (yellow)
90+6’ Chicago – Roccaro (yellow)
4’ Chicago – Stevens
49’ Chicago – Hocking (Stevens)
60’ Chicago – Own Goal
67’ Chicago – Hocking (Matthews)
74’ Kansas City – Debinha (Larsson)
90+7’ Kansas City – Larsson
Chicago Red Stars Lineup: Naeher ©, Milazzo, Davidson, Krueger, Arin Wright, Nagasato (87’ Bianchi), Roccaro, St-Georges (90’ Bike), Matthews (82’ Cook), Hocking (87’ Aguilera), Stevens (82’ Griffith)
Unused Substitutes: Wood, Fisher, Lovera, Kowalski
Kansas City Current Lineup: Franch, Rodriguez, Winebrenner, Robinson, Mace (87’ Childers), Del Fava (79’ Merrick), Curran (79’ Soto), DiBernardo (62’ Larsson), LaBonta ©, Debinha (79’ Spaanstra), Cooper
Unused Substitutes: Silkowitz, Miller, Weber