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 Kansas City Current

Kansas City Current Look to Kick off Second Half of Season on the Road at Portland Thorns Sunday

June 21, 2024 - National Women's Soccer League (NWSL)
Kansas City Current News Release


KANSAS CITY - The Kansas City Current (8-0-5, 29 points, 1st place) hit the road this week to face the Portland Thorns (7-4-2, 23 points, 5th place) at Providence Park. The game will broadcast on KMCI, 38 The Spot with Anna Witte and Jordan Angeli on the call and streamed on NWSL+ with Joe Malfa and Jill Loyden. Fans in Kansas City can listen live as Dave Borchardt and Jillian Carroll Letrinko bring the action on 90.9 The Bridge. Dave and Jillian can also be heard live on the KC Current App, along with a Spanish language broadcast.

The Current, at 15 straight games unbeaten dating back to last season and having already surpassed the club record of 13 games, is on the verge of the longest unbeaten streak in league history. With a positive result in the club's trip to the Pacific Northwest the team will tie the NWSL all-time record of 16 games unbeaten. Kansas City currently sits at a streak of 15 games undefeated after the Current continued it's sold out homestand last week, facing off against the Chicago Red Stars.

In front of the seventh sell-out crowd of 11,500 fans at CPKC Stadium last week, the team battled to a 2-2 draw against Midwest rivals, the Chicago Red Stars. Six minutes into the match, Chicago forward Mallory Swanson put the Current in an early deficit. The Current struck back in electric fashion, dominating first half possession and creating one-way traffic for the Red Stars' defense. Despite outshooting Chicago 6-1 in the first half, the Current remained down a goal going into halftime.

Starting the second half on the attack, forward Bia Zanneratto found a loose ball bounce to her feet in the 51st minute. In a spinning one-touch motion, Bia kicked the ball past the defense and tucked it inside the far goal netting to tie the match. Minutes later, Bia again started the attack, passing up to midfielder Debinha for a quick transition. Stepping over the ball to draw away a Chicago defender, Debinha was able to slightly tap the pass with her heel and direct it onto the path of Temwa Chawinga. The crafty forward sped around the right side and nailed her shot into the goal to give Kansas City the lead.

Chicago was able to find their way back into the match, scoring off a corner kick in the 90th minute. Neither side could find a goal in stoppage time and the teams split the points with a 2-2 draw.

Portland also faced off against a rival last week, splitting a 0-0 result against the Seattle Reign. In a very defensive battle, Portland forward Christine Sinclair was the only player able to get a shot on target for the home side. Defensively, the Thorns were just as stout, only allowing two shots on target through the match.

The defensive battle for Portland is a huge contrast to when these two teams first met at CPKC Stadium to open the 2024 campaign March 16. Kansas City showed up to see the Current open the season and the first stadium purpose-built for a professional women's team. The Current immediately set the tone for its high-scoring season with five goals from five different players. Portland made an attempt at a comeback, scoring four goals on the day, but the capacity crowd was treated to a 5-4 victory for the home team.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Kansas City Current Midfielder Claire Hutton - Hutton has quickly become a mainstay in Kansas City's strong midfield. A credit to her lockdown defense, the rookie is second in the league for tackles won. Against Utah on May 25, she earned her first professional assist and has racked up more than 20 shots for the current this season. Her penchant for winning tackles and growing confidence makes her a strong candidate to become Kansas City's 17th different scorer this season.

Portland Thorns Forward Janine Beckie - Beckie scored a brace against Kansas City in the 2024 opener in her first game back since injuring her ACL. The Canadian international has been crucial on the field and to Portland's climb up the NWSL table.

DYNAMIC DUO

After Bia Zaneratto and Temwa Chawinga scored both of Kansas City's goals in last week's match, the powerful partnership reached a rare milestone: netting goals in the same game for the third time this season. While it is their first time playing together in the NWSL, their chemistry began during Bia's 2020 stint at Wuhan Jianghan University FC in China with Chawinga. Together the pair have combined for 22 goal contributions, best in the NWSL so far this season.

GOLDEN BOOT RACE

This week's matchup places two leaders of the NWSL Golden Boot race head-to-head. With nine goals this season, Sophia Smith -- the reigning Golden Boot winner from Portland -- is one goal ahead of Kansas City's Temwa Chawinga going into Sunday's match. Halfway through the 26-match season, both forwards have scored in six games. Last year, Smith won the Golden Boot for the Portland Thorns with 11 goals, but the 2024 competition will be fierce as the Orlando Pride's Barbra Banda rounds out the top three tied with Chawinga on eight goals.


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