The Kansas City Current (5-10-0, 15pts.) fell to Racing Louisville FC (4-4-7, 19 pts.) on the road 2-1, snapping a two-match road win streak as the NWSL heads into the FIFA World Cup break and UKG NWSL Challenge Cup play.
“We struggled with keeping the possession today,” said interim head coach Caroline Sjöblom. “It’s a tough pitch to play on for players, we just couldn’t connect passes, we got pressure and on pressure we made weird decisions. I think some players didn’t have the energy that they should have had today.”
Goalkeeper AD Franch had her own highlight reel, recording 7 saves on the night, including her 400th career save. A milestone that makes her only the fifth goalkeeper in NWSL history to reach that mark.
“She has been working extremely hard when she hasn’t been playing games and I think the way she handled the game tonight, she was one of the players that really showed up for the game,” said Sjöblom. “She made important saves when she needed to, so I’m happy with her performance tonight.”
In the sixth minute Louisville was called for a handball in the box thanks to a poor clearance by defender Abby Erceg, giving Kansas City a penalty kick. For the second week in a row forward Cece Kizer was on the ball but handed it off to rookie forward Michelle Cooper.
Stepping up to it in the seventh minute with a swerving run, Cooper froze Louisville goalkeeper Katie Lund in her place and placed it easily in the back of the net for the first goal of the match. Cooper has scored three goals this season, including two from the penalty spot in consecutive weeks.
In the 14th minute it appeared as if Louisville had drawn the equalizer, but the referee signaled for a foul on the attacking side, nullifying the goal. After the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) and the center referee checked the play, the foul on Louisville was confirmed. However, only moments later Louisville defender Elli Pikkujamsa found an equalizer that did count, the score was her first goal of the season.
Kansas City’s defense was put to the test late in the first half with a multitude of corner kicks. Franch recorded save No. 399 in the 31st minute and a major milestone with save No. 400 in the 45th minute. Right on cue, Franch ended the half in remarkable fashion with a diving 401st save seven minutes into added time, sending Kansas City and Louisville into halftime tied, 1-1.
The Current would have to find a way to navigate the second half without Kizer who went down in the 41st minute with an ankle injury and did not return to play. She will be evaluated back in Kansas City.
In the 46th minute Louisville defender Paige Monaghan struck with a shot off the outside of her foot into the back of the net, giving the home side a 2-1 lead.
Kansas City defender Alex Loera made her return from injury in the 78th minute and made her presence felt. The second-year player made an incredible pass in the third minute of second half added time and set up forward Mimmi Larsson for a chance – but her shot was wide. Cooper added a long shot in the 5th minute of added time but ultimately the Current fell, 2-1, in Louisville.
The Kansas City Current and NWSL are off next week. The team returns home July 22 at 7 p.m. CT to host the Houston Dash at home in UKG NWSL Challenge Cup play. Tickets are available for all home matches at Children’s Mercy Park. For pricing and information, visit kansascitycurrent.com.
NWSL Match Report
Match: Racing Louisville FC vs. Kansas City Current
Date: July 7, 2023
Venue: Lynn Family Stadium – Louisville, Kentucky
Kickoff: 8:07 p.m. ET/7:07 p.m. CT
Weather: 86 degrees, sunny
34’ Kansas City – Elizabeth Ball (Yellow)
83’ Kansas City – Michelle Cooper (Yellow)
90’ Kansas City – Rylan Childers (Yellow)
8’ Kansas City – Cooper (PK)
20’ Louisville – Pikkujamsa
46’ Louisville – Monaghan (Fischer)
Racing Louisville FC Lineup: Lund, Pikkujamsa, Pickett, Erceg, Milliet, Howell ©, Baggett, Fischer (82’ Pokorny), Monaghan (82’ Nadim), Davis (62’ Goins), Wang (45+5’ Ekic)
Unused Substitutes: Sekany, Wyne, Lester, Holloway, Parker
Kansas City Current Lineup: Gautrat (61’ Curran), Kizer, Ball, Del Fava (43’ Larsson), Cooper, Rodriguez (81’ Soto), Winebrenner (78’ Loera), Franch, Robinson, Spaanstra (46’ Merrick), Hamilton© (78’ Childers)
Unused Substitutes: Miller