KANSAS CITY, Kan. — It’s game day eve for Kansas City’s National Women’s Soccer League team.
KC is kicking off its inaugural season against one of the toughest teams in the NWSL — the Portland Thorns FC — in the NWSL Challenge Cup.
It’ll be a good measuring stick against a team that finished atop the NWSL fall series last season.
“What I remember thinking when we heard that we were facing Portland Thorns the first game of the season was ‘OK, lets buckle up,’ because this is a difficult opponent,” forward Amy Rodriguez said.
Kansas City’s coaching staff has analyzed and predicted Portland’s starting lineup. But at the end of the day, they’re more focused on how they can control the game.
“Our goal is to impose our style on the game, not adjust to who they have on the field, not adjust to how they want to play. But actually force them if they can to adjust to us,” KC NWSL Coach Huw Williams said.
With Kansas City still trying to solidify their identity, they’ve taken on a blue collar, “outwork you” mentality.
“I feel so confident in this team that we have those types of players on the field that are not going to shy away from competition, are not going to shy away from clutch moments. I think going into it, I feel pretty good to be honest,” Rodriguez said.
Williams would like to see his team finish off attacks, an area he’s wanted to see improvements in all preseason.
“The expectation is they score four goals, we score five. That’s going to be our mentality going into this game,” Williams said.
Friday’s game kicks off at 9:30 p.m. It’s the first of four Challenge Cup matches.