Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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NWSL Challenge Cup Preview: Kansas City Current (1-0-0) at Racing Louisville FC (0-0-0)

Lynn Family Stadium | Louisville, Kentucky – Wednesday, May 17 at 7:30 PM ET

Players to watch:

Racing Louisville defender Abby Erceg notched goals in both the 2020 and 2022 Challenge Cups (both for North Carolina) and will now embark on a new road in the competition in new colors. The goal in 2020 was her only goal in any NWSL competition that year as Erceg has scored at least one goal in NWSL competitions in every season since 2016, making her the only defender to do so. In the regular season, midfielder Savannah DeMelo leads the way in scoring with two goals.

Former Racing Louisville forward and now Kansas City Current star Cece Kizer scored the first goal in Kansas City’s 2-0 Challenge Cup win over Houston on April 19. Kizer, who joined the Current from Louisville last season, joins Washington’s Ashley Sanchez as the only players with at least one goal in the 2021, 2022, and 2023 Challenge Cups. In the regular season, Kizer (3) is just one goal shy of midfielder Debinha for the team lead. The Brazilian has scored four goals on 13 shots, 8 of which have been on target.

Match facts: Racing Louisville FC begins its 2023 UKG NWSL Challenge Cup run against the Kansas City Current on Wednesday night when the two clash at Lynn Family Stadium. Last year, Louisville went unbeaten against Kansas City in the Challenge Cup, producing a 1-1 draw at home and 3-0 win on the road, though this year’s respective sides will line up with a different look. 

Last year’s win at the Current is Louisville only win in the Challenge Cup (D5 L4) as Racing is the only current NWSL team without a home victory in the competition. In five home games in the cup, Louisville has scored eight goals while allowing 10, compared to four scored and three allowed in its five road games. Momentum is in the club’s favor right now though, with Racing picking up its first win of the regular season – a 3-0 victory over the Chicago Red Stars – last Saturday. 

Kansas City is unbeaten in its last five road Challenge Cup matches (W3 D2) with the last three of those all being wins. That is tied for the longest road win streak in the competition’s history with the OL Reign, who did so between the 2021 and 2022 Challenge Cups. The Current will look for a pick-me-up result now after dropping their last two games in what has been an up and down start to the season in the Midwest.

Racing Louisville is unbeaten in four all-time home games against the Current (W2 D2) and have two shutouts in those games, including a 1-0 win in league play last October. Louisville also scored a 3-0 road win over Kansas City the last time these teams met in the Challenge Cup (April 2 of last year). After this match, the two will then meet in the league on Saturday, May 20.

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