Orlando Pride

Orlando Pride vs. Kansas City Current: Preview, How to Watch, TV Info, Live Stream, Lineups, Match Thread, and More

The Pride look to take first place in the NWSL as they face the Kansas City Current away from home.

Published

on

Image courtesy of Orlando Pride

The Orlando Pride (10-0-5, 35 points) continue their road trip as they face the Kansas City Current (10-0-5, 35 points) in a clash of the unbeatens. This is the first time the top two teams in the NWSL will face off this season with the second meeting in Orlando scheduled for Sept. 13.

Here’s everything you need to know about tonight’s game.

History

The Current joined the NWSL in 2021 after the team’s ownership group bought the Utah Royals and relocated the club to Kansas City. It’s the second NWSL team in the city — FC Kansas City played there from 2013 to 2017 before moving to Utah — and the team was known as NWSL Kansas City for its inaugural season.

The Pride and Current have played six games against each other, all in the regular season. Orlando has a 2-2-2 record in the series and both teams have scored nine goals.

The two teams last met on June 23, 2023 in Orlando. The visitors took the lead through Debinha, and Cece Kizer doubled the advantage just before halftime. Marta converted a penalty to pull one back, but the Pride fell 2-1. The first time they met in 2023 was on April 23 at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City. It was scoreless after an hour before the Current got a quick flurry of goals by Debinha and Kizer, lifting Kansas City to a 2-0 win.

Their first meeting in 2022 came on July 31 in Kansas City while the Pride were in the middle of their seven-game unbeaten run. The Pride opened the scoring when Erika Tymrak found the head of Celia and doubled the lead just after halftime through Julie Doyle. The Current stormed back with goals by Elyse Bennett and Kizer, pulling out a 2-2 draw.

The first game between the two in 2022 was on May 14 at Exploria Stadium. The Pride took the lead early in the second half on a Gunny Jonsdottir goal. Bennett scored late in the second half, and the visitors appeared to win the game a minute into injury time through Kristen Hamilton. However, Kylie Strom was pulled down in the box five minutes later, resulting in a penalty. With Marta injured, the only player willing to step up to take the penalty was center back Toni Pressley, who drilled the ball into the roof of the net, pulling out a 2-2 draw.

The teams played twice during the 2021 NWSL season, with the first game occurring May 30 at Exploria Stadium. Courtney Petersen found Alex Morgan just outside the six-yard box and the striker headed in the game’s lone goal as the Pride won 1-0.

The Pride and Current met again on June 23 at Legends Field in Kansas City. The Pride had a weakened squad as then-coach Marc Skinner left some key players at home, preparing to lose them to the Olympics. It looked to be costly when Mariana Larroquette gave the hosts the lead late in first-half injury time. But the Pride responded well. Two minutes after Larroquette’s goal, Sydney Leroux’s shot took a deflection off a defender and went in to make it 1-1. Shortly after halftime, Leroux scored on a great individual effort from just outside the box. Marta then scored the goal of the game, beating Kansas City goalkeeper Abby Smith from the top of the center circle, lifting the Pride to a 3-1 win.

Overview

This is the game the NWSL has been waiting for as the Pride and Current are the only two remaining undefeated teams in the league. The Current extended their unbeaten run, which dates back to last season, to 17 games with a 2-0 win over the Houston Dash on June 28. The Pride followed that with a dominant 3-0 win over Angel City FC Sunday night, extending their overall unbeaten run to 16 games.

Tonight is the last Pride game before the league breaks for the Summer Olympics. The Pride saw their league record eight-game winning streak come to an end on the last road trip, which featured a pair of draws. Returning home, they beat the Utah Royals 6-0 in a historic victory and had a similar showing in their 3-0 win over Angel City away. They’ll look to head into the Olympic break on a three-game winning streak and couldn’t be in better form heading into this crucial game.

The Pride and Current both have a league-best +19 goal difference but have done it in different ways. While the Pride have been a solid team defensively, Kansas City has built its goal difference with offense, leading the league with 39 goals — nine more than the second-place Pride.

Temwa Chawinga has been the primary offensive threat for the Current with a league-leading 11 goals. That total is tied with Orlando’s Barbra Banda, but the Pride striker has done it in four fewer games and has one fewer assist. Additionally, Bia Zaneratto and Lo’eau LaBonta have five goals, Vanessa DiBernardo has four, and Claire Lavogez has two. The remaining goals are shared by a number of players with one.

Chawinga also leads the Current in assists with six, followed by DiBernardo with five, Zaneratto with four, and Elizabeth Ball with three.

The Current haven’t been as good defensively as the Pride, sitting in the middle of the standings with 20 goals conceded. The 2-0 win over the Dash on June 28 was their fourth shutout of the season. The key to the Current’s success this year has been their ability of one side to pick up the other. They score several goals when conceding and have kept their opponents off the board when their offense struggles.

“We’re just over halfway through the season. We approach the match the same as we have done every other game as well. It doesn’t change for us. We prepared the same way and we’ve trained the same way,” Pride Head Coach Seb Hines said about tonight’s game. “We’re looking forward to an exciting game away at Kansas City. We still want to be in contention at the end of the year. We’ve done exceptionally well at the start of the year and couldn’t have imagined being in this position, still being unbeaten. We just approached it like we have done every game we’ve played. It will be a challenge. It will be at times difficult, but these players have shown that they’re capable of producing in those tough, tough moments.”

There are some changes to the Pride availability list this week. Morgan Gautrat (concussion) is available and Rafaelle (leg) is completely off the injury list. Simone Charley (leg), Luana (illness), Megan Montefusco (heel), and Viviana Villacorta (knee) remain out for the year and Haley McCutcheon (illness) is listed as questionable.

Kansas City will be without Alex Pfeiffer (knee), Gabrielle Robinson (knee), Mallory Weber (knee), and Zaneratto (foot) due to injuries, and Nichelle Prince (Canada) is on international duty. DiBernardo (head) is listed as questionable.


Projected Lineups

Orlando Pride (4-2-3-1)

Goalkeeper: Anna Moorhouse.

Defenders: Kerry Abello, Kylie Strom, Rafaelle, Emily Sams.

Defensive Midfielders: Morgan Gautrat, Summer Yates.

Midfielders: Julie Doyle, Marta, Adriana.

Forward: Barbra Banda.

Kansas City Current (4-2-3-1)

Goalkeeper: Adrianna Franch.

Defenders: Izzy Rodriguez, Stine Ballisager, Elizabeth Ball, Hailie Mace.

Defensive Midfielders: Claire Hutton, Lo’eau LaBonta.

Midfielders: Temwa Chawinga, Debinha, Michelle Cooper.

Forward: Claire Lavogez.

Referees

REF: Joshua Encarnacion.
AR1: John Krill.
AR2: Art Arustamyan.
4TH: Iryna Petrunok.
VAR: Kevin Broadley.
AVAR: Tom Felice.


How to Watch

Match Time: 7:30 p.m.

Venue: CPKC Stadium — Kansas City, MO.

TV: ION.

Streaming: None.

Twitter: For rapid reaction and live updates, follow @SkoPurpSoccer and the Orlando Pride’s official Twitter feed (@ORLPride).


Enjoy the game. Go Pride!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Trending

Exit mobile version