Kansas City NWSL Opens August Home Slate Against OL Reign NWSL KC

Kansas City NWSL Opens August Home Slate Against OL Reign

KANSAS CITY (Aug. 13, 2021) — Kansas City NWSL plays the first of two August matches at Legends Field on Saturday, hosting the OL Reign in the third matchup between the sides in all competitions. OL Reign holds the series lead with a victory in the Challenge Cup and the regular season. 

Saturday’s meeting between OL Reign and Kansas City is set to kick off at 7 p.m. CT. The match will be broadcast locally on KCTV5 and ESPN Kansas City 1510 AM & 94.5 FM with Aly Trost and Dave Borchardt on the call. Paramount+ will stream the action nationally. 

Kansas City enters Saturday’s contest on the heels of a 3-1 road loss to Racing Louisville FC last Saturday. Head Coach Huw Williams’ team out-shot the home side 14 to nine and had nine shots on goal to Louisville’s three but couldn’t get past NWSL saves leader Michelle Betos and the Louisville defense more than once. Darian Jenkins scored Kansas City’s goal, her first with the club, in the final seconds of the opening half.

Rookie defender Kiki Pickett lifted a ball into Louisville’s 18-yard box nine minutes deep into added time, and defender Mallory Weber settled the ball in a sea of Louisville defenders, firing a shot at Betos. Lousiville’s goalkeeper came up with the initial save, but the ball fell right to Jenkins, who tapped the ball into the back of the net. 

OL Reign impressed last weekend, downing the Houston Dash 5-1 at home with all six goals coming in the first half. Forward Bethany Balcer opened and closed the Reign’s first-half offensive onslaught, scoring in the sixth and the 45th minute plus one. OL Reign added goals from Sophia Huerta, Eugéne Le Sommer and Jess Fishlock to complete the victory.

OL REIGN CARRIES HOT STREAK TO LEGENDS FIELD 
After a slow start to the regular season that saw OL Reign take seven points from its opening eight games, the team has since surged up the league table and currently sits in sixth place with 19 points. OL Reign enters Saturday’s match at Legends Field winners of three in a row and four of its last five, a run of form that started with a 2-0 win over Kansas City on July 11.  

While OL Reign's forwards have certainly stepped up during this stretch, one of the keys to Reign’s resurgence has been the team’s defensive play. OL Reign have not only won four of its last five matches, but it has shut out three of five opponents during that stretch. OL Reign’s defensive efforts over the current three-game winning streak have been particularly impressive.  

In a 2-0 win over the Orlando Pride on July 24, Reign’s defense allowed just seven shots with none on target. OL Reign beat Racing Louisville FC by the same score line on July 31 and allowed 17 total shots but only two required a save from Reign goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi. The team's most comprehensive defensive effort came in last weekend’s match against Houston, allowing just three total shots with the Dash’s lone tally coming on an own goal. 

Also of note, Saturday’s match marks the first match in charge for OL Reign head coach Laura Harvey, who is in her second stint managing the squad. Harvey will look to continue Reign’s impressive run of form as she attempts to lead OL Reign up the table and into the playoffs.  

PLAYERS TO WATCH 
Kansas City NWSL: Midfielder Lo’eau LaBonta — Kansas City’s energetic midfielder has been a regular in Williams’ starting lineups, minus a few games missed due to injury . LaBonta has operated all over the midfield this season, being deployed as both a defensive and attacking midfielder by Williams.  

LaBonta is a key distributor for Kansas City, completing nearly 70% of her passes and impressively converting nearly 43% of her long passes. She has recorded eight key passes this season and had three successful crosses. In addition to her passing acumen, LaBonta is undoubtedly the vocal leader of a Kansas City team looking to turn a corner and close the regular season strong. She will need to play a big role in helping KC remain focused and energized ahead of Saturday’s clash.  

OL Reign: Forward Bethany Balcer — Kansas City should be well-aware of just how dangerous the 24-year-old Balcer can be, as her first-half brace against KC on July 11 helped the Reign secure a 2-0 victory. After scoring a goal in OL Reign’s 3-1 loss to the Chicago Red Stars, Balcer failed to score in her next two appearances before her brace last weekend against Houston. Balcer’s recent goal-scoring run has catapulted her up the NWSL Golden Boot rate, as she currently sits second in the league with six goals — one behind Orlando Pride forward Sydney Leroux.  

Balcer, along with the rest of OL Reign’s front line, is extremely clinical and takes advantage of her opportunities in front of goal. Most of her goal-scoring opportunities this season have come from instinctual plays and being in the right place at the right time. Kansas City’s defense will need to always have an eye on Balcer on Saturday in order to limit her involvement in the match.   

KANSAS CITY LOOKING TO CLOSE REGULAR SEASON STRONG 
Following last Sunday’s contest against Racing Louisville Kansas City has entered the backstretch of the the team’s inaugural season. Kansas City now has 11 games remaining, with plenty of opportunity to pick up positive results. One key factor is that a majority of KC’s remaining games come at Legends Field. Including Saturday’s match, seven of Kansas City’s remaining contests are at home.

In addition, now that the Olympics are over, Kansas City can slowly but surely start welcoming back defender Katie Bowen and midfielders Desiree Scott and Chloe Logarzo into the fold. The latter two of the trio played deep into the tournament and are not expected to play this weekend, but Bowen should be in line for significant minutes after making a 15-minute cameo against Racing Louisville. Bowen, Scott, and Logarzo were critical pieces of the Kansas City lineup prior to going to Tokyo, and all three should provide a massive boost once healthy and rested.  

Another encouraging sign is the continued positive play of Kansas City’s new forwards Kristen Hamilton, and Hailie Mace. The pair looked sharp in their first appearance together against Portland on August 1 and last week in Louisville, despite not finding the back of the net. Kansas City has capable attackers in the wings in forwards Jéssica Silva and Mariana Larroquette as well, so the play of KC’s forwards could be a positive sign down the stretch. 

Kansas City NWSL plays at home six more times in the regular season following Saturday’s match, offering fans plenty of time to catch the team’s Inaugural Season. Tickets for Kansas City’s remaining home games can be found at www.KCWoSo.com/tickets.  

KANSAS CITY (Aug. 13, 2021) — Kansas City NWSL plays the first of two August matches at Legends Field on Saturday, hosting the OL Reign in the third matchup between the sides in all competitions. OL Reign holds the series lead with a victory in the Challenge Cup and the regular season. 

Saturday’s meeting between OL Reign and Kansas City is set to kick off at 7 p.m. CT. The match will be broadcast locally on KCTV5 and ESPN Kansas City 1510 AM & 94.5 FM with Aly Trost and Dave Borchardt on the call. Paramount+ will stream the action nationally. 

Kansas City enters Saturday’s contest on the heels of a 3-1 road loss to Racing Louisville FC last Saturday. Head Coach Huw Williams’ team out-shot the home side 14 to nine and had nine shots on goal to Louisville’s three but couldn’t get past NWSL saves leader Michelle Betos and the Louisville defense more than once. Darian Jenkins scored Kansas City’s goal, her first with the club, in the final seconds of the opening half.

Rookie defender Kiki Pickett lifted a ball into Louisville’s 18-yard box nine minutes deep into added time, and defender Mallory Weber settled the ball in a sea of Louisville defenders, firing a shot at Betos. Lousiville’s goalkeeper came up with the initial save, but the ball fell right to Jenkins, who tapped the ball into the back of the net. 

OL Reign impressed last weekend, downing the Houston Dash 5-1 at home with all six goals coming in the first half. Forward Bethany Balcer opened and closed the Reign’s first-half offensive onslaught, scoring in the sixth and the 45th minute plus one. OL Reign added goals from Sophia Huerta, Eugéne Le Sommer and Jess Fishlock to complete the victory.

OL REIGN CARRIES HOT STREAK TO LEGENDS FIELD 
After a slow start to the regular season that saw OL Reign take seven points from its opening eight games, the team has since surged up the league table and currently sits in sixth place with 19 points. OL Reign enters Saturday’s match at Legends Field winners of three in a row and four of its last five, a run of form that started with a 2-0 win over Kansas City on July 11.  

While OL Reign's forwards have certainly stepped up during this stretch, one of the keys to Reign’s resurgence has been the team’s defensive play. OL Reign have not only won four of its last five matches, but it has shut out three of five opponents during that stretch. OL Reign’s defensive efforts over the current three-game winning streak have been particularly impressive.  

In a 2-0 win over the Orlando Pride on July 24, Reign’s defense allowed just seven shots with none on target. OL Reign beat Racing Louisville FC by the same score line on July 31 and allowed 17 total shots but only two required a save from Reign goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi. The team's most comprehensive defensive effort came in last weekend’s match against Houston, allowing just three total shots with the Dash’s lone tally coming on an own goal. 

Also of note, Saturday’s match marks the first match in charge for OL Reign head coach Laura Harvey, who is in her second stint managing the squad. Harvey will look to continue Reign’s impressive run of form as she attempts to lead OL Reign up the table and into the playoffs.  

PLAYERS TO WATCH 
Kansas City NWSL: Midfielder Lo’eau LaBonta — Kansas City’s energetic midfielder has been a regular in Williams’ starting lineups, minus a few games missed due to injury . LaBonta has operated all over the midfield this season, being deployed as both a defensive and attacking midfielder by Williams.  

LaBonta is a key distributor for Kansas City, completing nearly 70% of her passes and impressively converting nearly 43% of her long passes. She has recorded eight key passes this season and had three successful crosses. In addition to her passing acumen, LaBonta is undoubtedly the vocal leader of a Kansas City team looking to turn a corner and close the regular season strong. She will need to play a big role in helping KC remain focused and energized ahead of Saturday’s clash.  

OL Reign: Forward Bethany Balcer — Kansas City should be well-aware of just how dangerous the 24-year-old Balcer can be, as her first-half brace against KC on July 11 helped the Reign secure a 2-0 victory. After scoring a goal in OL Reign’s 3-1 loss to the Chicago Red Stars, Balcer failed to score in her next two appearances before her brace last weekend against Houston. Balcer’s recent goal-scoring run has catapulted her up the NWSL Golden Boot rate, as she currently sits second in the league with six goals — one behind Orlando Pride forward Sydney Leroux.  

Balcer, along with the rest of OL Reign’s front line, is extremely clinical and takes advantage of her opportunities in front of goal. Most of her goal-scoring opportunities this season have come from instinctual plays and being in the right place at the right time. Kansas City’s defense will need to always have an eye on Balcer on Saturday in order to limit her involvement in the match.   

KANSAS CITY LOOKING TO CLOSE REGULAR SEASON STRONG 
Following last Sunday’s contest against Racing Louisville Kansas City has entered the backstretch of the the team’s inaugural season. Kansas City now has 11 games remaining, with plenty of opportunity to pick up positive results. One key factor is that a majority of KC’s remaining games come at Legends Field. Including Saturday’s match, seven of Kansas City’s remaining contests are at home.

In addition, now that the Olympics are over, Kansas City can slowly but surely start welcoming back defender Katie Bowen and midfielders Desiree Scott and Chloe Logarzo into the fold. The latter two of the trio played deep into the tournament and are not expected to play this weekend, but Bowen should be in line for significant minutes after making a 15-minute cameo against Racing Louisville. Bowen, Scott, and Logarzo were critical pieces of the Kansas City lineup prior to going to Tokyo, and all three should provide a massive boost once healthy and rested.  

Another encouraging sign is the continued positive play of Kansas City’s new forwards Kristen Hamilton, and Hailie Mace. The pair looked sharp in their first appearance together against Portland on August 1 and last week in Louisville, despite not finding the back of the net. Kansas City has capable attackers in the wings in forwards Jéssica Silva and Mariana Larroquette as well, so the play of KC’s forwards could be a positive sign down the stretch. 

Kansas City NWSL plays at home six more times in the regular season following Saturday’s match, offering fans plenty of time to catch the team’s Inaugural Season. Tickets for Kansas City’s remaining home games can be found at www.KCWoSo.com/tickets.  

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