KC Current rallies to tie Orlando, 2-2

The Kansas City Current kicked off a stretch of three road matches Saturday with a draw against the Orlando Pride.

Forwards Elyse Bennett and Kristen Hamilton each scored to earn the Current a point on the road.

“I’m proud of the group, and we use this result to say this is the starting point, this is the standard,” head coach Matt Potter said. “There are lessons to be learned, but overall, it’s one that you’re happy to walk away with something. We wish it were a little bit more, given the way the game played out.”

After a scoreless first half, the action picked up in the 51st minute, when the Pride scored first. Darian Jenkins crossed into Sydney Leroux at the back post, who knocked it to the center for team captain Gunnhildur Jónsdóttir. Her shot slid under Kansas City goalkeeper A.D. Franch to put the Pride ahead.

The Current answered in the 76th minute. A long ball in from Lo’eau LaBonta found Bennett at the far post

The rookie forward, who entered the match in the 60th minute, charged toward the goal to head the ball past Pride goalkeeper Erin McLeod and notch her first professional goal.

Kansas City took the lead with a late match stunner. Bennett again found herself with the ball on the right-hand side of the field. Her cross found Kristen Hamilton perfectly at the center of the box, who knocked it in right at the 91st minute.

The Pride tied it up six minutes into stoppage time, when Desiree Scott was whistled for a foul in the penalty box after clearing the ball away from Kylie Strom. Toni Pressley stepped up to take the resulting penalty kick and tied the match at two goals each.

Kansas City defender Kristen Edmonds reached 10,000 NWSL regular season minutes played in the 61st minute. She joins goalkeeper A.D. Franch, who reached the same milestone in the Current’s last match.

Next, the Kansas City Current travel to Los Angeles to take on Angel City FC at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, May 21. The next home match is May 30 against Racing Louisville FC. Season tickets and flex plans are available for all home matches at Children’s Mercy Park. For tickets and information visit kansascitycurrent.com.

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KC Current visits Orlando tonight

The Kansas City Current head out this weekend on the first of three road trips in the month of May, traveling to face the Orlando Pride at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, May 14.

The match will be broadcast locally on KMCI, 38 The Spot and stream nationally on Paramount+.

Kansas City heads into week three of the regular season off a tough defeat to the Houston Dash on May 8. That match was the third for Kansas City in eight days as the team finished its run through the Challenge Cup and the opening weekend of the regular season.

The Orlando Pride are 1-1-0 in the season so far after defeating Angel City 1-0 last weekend in Los Angeles. Forward Sydney Leroux scored early in the match, getting the eventual game-winner in the third minute of play.

Previous matches
Kansas City played the Orlando Pride twice in the 2021 regular season. Orlando took the first match 1-0, then traveled to Kansas City and won 3-1 three weeks later. These two teams have never met in the Challenge Cup, but they have played each other in a pair of preseason matches with the Current winning once and the other ending in a draw.

Players to watch
Kansas City Current goalkeeper A.D. Franch – Franch joined the Current midway through the 2021 season. She is one of the league’s all-time greats with a NWSL best 1.02 goals against average. Franch surpassed 10,000 minutes played in the match last week against the Houston Dash.

Orlando Pride forward Sydney Leroux – Leroux started her NWSL career with Boston in 2013. Making stops in Seattle, Western New York and Kansas City along the way, she joined the Pride in 2018. In her career she has 113 games played and 37 goals.

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Controversial penalty marks Current home opener loss against Houston

On as a late substitute, forward Kate Del Fava sprinted toward the Houston goal as the Current tried to tie the match in the closing minutes. The Current lost the home opener 2-0 to the Houston Dash. (Photo copyright 2022 by Brian Turrel)

by Brian Turrel

The Kansas City Current looked like it had the better of the Houston Dash in the Sunday home opener at Children’s Mercy Park, but the 2-0 final score told a different story.

The home side conceded the first goal shortly before halftime on a controversial penalty awarded to the Dash when Elizabeth Ball defended a run from Houston forward Michaela Abam. Ball checked Abam’s momentum toward goal and made contact but didn’t appear to foul her.

Though the in-stadium replays drew loud boos from the fans, NWSL does not have video review, and the call stood. Forward Rachel Daly stroked the penalty kick confidently into the net for the 1-0 lead.

Kansas City goalkeeper A.D. Franch kept the visitors from extending their lead with a diving stop four minutes into first half stoppage.

Houston midfielder Bri Visalli, a late game substitute, scored the second goal late well after the 90th minute as Kansas City pressed high up on the field in search of an equalizer.

Despite the one-sided score line, the Current generated plenty of offense to keep the home crowd engaged in the match, outshooting the Dash 15 to 9.

Houston goalkeeper Jane Campbell was put to the test in the second half, collecting five saves overall in the match. In the 73rd minute, a Kristen Hamilton shot from the right side forced a kick save from Campbell.

Again in the 78th minute, after a flurry of activity in front of the Houston goal, Hailie Mace blasted a shot up the middle that Campbell had to dive to keep out of the net.

Winless in its first two regular season matches, the Current now faces a stretch of three games on the road at Orlando, Angel City, and the OL Reign, before taking on Louisville in its next home match on May 30.

Many moms and kids celebrated Mother’s Day at Children’s Mercy Park. (Photo copyright 2022 by Brian Turrel)


Houston goalkeeper leaped to snatch the ball on a Kansas City corner kick. (Photo copyright 2022 by Brian Turrel)


Midfielder Lo’eau LaBonta headed a shot on the Houston goal. (Photo copyright 2022 by Brian Turrel)


Forward Kristen Hamilton made a run toward the Houston goal. (Photo copyright 2022 by Brian Turrel)


Defender Hailie Mace overlapped on a play to take a shot. (Photo copyright 2022 by Brian Turrel)


Midfielder Victoria Pickett slid to keep possession and cross the ball in front of the Houston goal. (Photo copyright 2022 by Brian Turrel)


Defender Elizabeth Ball played a cross from the right side. (Photo copyright 2022 by Brian Turrel)


Forward Kristen Hamilton and Houston defender Katie Naughton were both determined to get possession. (Photo copyright 2022 by Brian Turrel)


Houston defender Haley Hanson took down midfielder Lo’eau LaBonta on a first half run on the Houston goal. (Photo copyright 2022 by Brian Turrel)