Preview: Kansas City Current (h).
Updated: May 14, 2022
When? Saturday May 14th, 3.30 p.m. PT, 6.30 p.m. ET and 11.30 p.m. BST.
Where? Exploria Stadium, Orlando, FL.
How can I catch the action? The game will be broadcast on Paramount+ for residents of the United States and on Twitch for international supporters.
The Orlando Pride will be looking to follow up last weekend's stellar victory, in the City of Angels, with another 3 points at home to the Kansas City Current. The Current have quietly assembled a squad capable of being play-off dark horses this season. This will be another tough test for the Pride.
The Pride should take a lot of confidence from their win in California. Natalie Portman's Angel City will win plenty of home games in front of their raucous home crowd. The Pride shouldn't downplay the significance of that victory. They showed they can go and be the protagonists by taking the game to the opposition. This game should be approached in the same manner.
I'm not even sorry for this.
Kansas City's style
Things haven't gone according to plan so far for Matt Potter's side. The Current made some impressive moves in the off-season, and had started to build a strong spine to their team. With Adrianna Franch, Sam Mewis and Lynn Williams through the middle, it was easy to summise what Kansas City were trying to do. They seemed to be setting themselves up to be compact through the middle, and to ensure they had pace and physicality up top.
When you play a 3-4-3, as the Current do, it's important to make sure you are strong in the middle of the park. The Current lined up with Desiree Scott and Alex Loera in the middle against Houston, and both players provide physicality and nous on the ball. You then have to have wing backs who are brave enough to push high up the pitch when in possession. Against Houston, Kristen Edmonds and Hailie Mace were concerned about the pace of Maria Sanchez and Nichelle Prince, and so didn't get into enough forward areas and weren't aggressive enough when they did. Mace, in particular, struggled as she completed 0 dribbles and was dispossessed 4 times (figure 1).
Figure 1 shows some of Hailie Mace's attacking stats from the game against Houston Dash, whole 90.
Edmonds, however, had considerably more joy (figure 2). I think Edmonds will be key to the Current's offence. I can see a lot of their attacking play going through her, in which case her battles with Courtney Petersen and Sydney Leroux are going to be very interesting.
Figure 2 shows some of Kristen Edmonds' attacking stats from the game against Houston Dash, whole 90.
Kansas City have had some horrific luck with injuries. Chloe Lagarzo, Sam Mewis, Lynn Williams and Mallory Weber are all missing through injury. They also have doubts over Elyse Bennett.
The Pride continue to be without Caitlin Cosme, Marta and Parker Roberts. Amy Turner and Angharad James are listed as out, as is Meggie Dougherty-Howard. Vivianna Villacorta is questionable.
right quad injury.
This section will be updated as new information becomes available.
Possible starting XI
Hailie Mace struggled on the left hand side in the Current's most recent game against the Houston Dash, so I can see Izzy Rodriguez replacing her there. Aside from that, I think it will be a fairly settled XI in their preferred 3-4-3.
Somebody who needs no introduction to Orlando Pride fans. Edmonds has established herself as a key player for the Missouri based club. The 34-year-old amassed 1,713 minutes across 21 games in 2021, scoring once. Her experience has proved invaluable. So far in 2022, she has started both games and created 5 big chances. Edmonds provides width and defensive solidity on the flank.
Kansas City have struggled so far, losing both of their opening games by a 5-0 aggregate score. They currently sit bottom of the standings.
The Pride, however, bounced back from their opening day defeat by winning 1-0 at Angel City last time out. The Pride currently sit 8th in the table.
Cover image courtesy of Orlando Pride.
Top player image courtesy of Kansas City Current.
Training b-roll footage and media availability footage courtesy of Orlando Pride.