Who: Racing Louisville (3-6-2) hosts Kansas City NWSL (0-8-4)
When: Sunday, August 8, at 3 PM ET
Where: Lynn Family Stadium, Louisville, KY / Live on Paramount+
Keep Pushing On
The last time Racing Louisville met Kansas City NWSL in May, both teams looked quite different. Racing had yet to add Gemma Bonner, Ebony Salmon, or Nadia Nadim to their lineup and Kansas City still had franchise legends Amy Rodriguez and Nicole Barnhart on their roster. After trading Rodriguez to the North Carolina Courage for Kristen Hamilton, Hallie Mace, and Katelyn Rowland in a late June trade, Kansas City has quite a different look that makes it hard to gauge how they’ll do when they face off against Racing at Lynn Family Stadium this Sunday.
Although the Kansas City franchise has been around since the start of the NWSL, they moved from Kansas City to Utah to become the Royals in 2018, only to move back to Kansas City this year after Royals owner Dell Loy Hansen was forced to sell the team. As a result, Kansas City is technically the other expansion team this season besides Racing. While they kept most of their roster intact during their move, they have had a very rough start to the season. They currently sit in 10th place behind Racing and remain winless this season.
Still, this team should not be underestimated. Coach Christy Holly says that all teams in the league pose the threat regardless of where they sit on the table.
“The most important thing about the NWSL is there’s no such thing as an easy game,” said Holly after practice on Friday.
Louisville was only able to earn a draw against Kansas City in their previous meeting. And although they most recently lost to the Thorns 0-2 in Portland, Kansas City has been able to eke out draws against top teams like the Courage and Gotham FC this season. The additions of Hamilton and Mace make them a significantly more dangerous side. Both players have scored against Racing when they were still with North Carolina.
Coach Holly says that, in order to get results in this match, Racing needs to focus on giving a full 90-minute performance without the moments of inattention and drops in performance that have cost the team points recently. Racing arguably outplayed their opponents in their last two matches against the Washington Spirit and OL Reign respectively. They held possession and drastically increased the number of shots taken compared to earlier in the season. Still, they lost both matches 0-2 on small mistakes and an inability to put away their chances.
Despite the recent frustrations, Holly reports that the team remains in good spirits.
“You can see the energy around the team,” said Holly, gesturing to the players who are still taking shots and working out on the field despite practice ending ten or more minutes ago.
“The players want to work. We literally had to chase them off the field before we came over and did this. That’s something we’re very pleased about. We’re pleased with the application and the growth that they’ve shown both individually and collectively as a team.”
The fact that Racing has remained competitive, if not dominant, in their recent performances has pleased the team even if the final results are frustrating. Holly says that the fact that they know they can impose themselves on their opponents and control much of the tempo of each game is a clear sign of growth they can build off of.
“We think that the platform is there and we just want to keep pushing on.”
Sunday afternoon’s match against Kansas City NWSL at Lynn Family Stadium will be one for the record books for the Miramontez family. After a lifetime of playing together, sisters Sinclaire and Sydney will compete against each other for the first time ever.
The Miramontez sisters are one of only two sets of sisters playing in the league together along with Sam and Kristie Mewis. The two grew up playing club soccer together and then overlapped for a year at the University of Nebraska. Older sister Sydney has been with Kansas City since 2017, while Sinclaire had a brief stint with the North Carolina Courage in 2020 before signing with Racing in May 2021. When Racing last played Kansas City, Sinclaire was still a trialist, so if they both make it on the pitch on Sunday night, it’ll be the first time the sisters have ever met as opponents in their lives.
“It’s kind of weird, you know, you’re playing against one of your own family members,” said Sinclaire after Friday’s practice. “It’s really special, but, honestly it’s kind of weird for the two of us.”
However, just because they’ve played on the same teams doesn’t mean there’s been a lack of sibling rivalry.
“For 23 years we’ve been competing against each other in everything,” laughed Sinclaire. “You know you never want to lose to your sister, but it’s also just fun. It’s fun, friendly family competition. You know, we’re both two very competitive people, but it’s all in good spirits and at the end of the day we’re going to be happy for both of us.
“It’s going to be fun.”
Gorp Meets World
If you have been anywhere near Racing Louisville’s Twitter in the past few days, you have likely been introduced to Gorp.
Racing Twitter, meet Gorp.
— Racing Louisville FC (@RacingLouFC) August 3, 2021
Gorp is the host of the Louisville Free Public Library’s Adventures in Summer Reading program for kids. They went unexpectedly viral this week after their charming interview with Racing Louisville’s Julia Ashley, Sinclaire Miramontez, and Taylor Otto.
If you’ve been as dazzled by our new furry yellow friend as everyone in the #GorpGang, you’ll be delighted to know that they’ll be attending Sunday’s match. Rumor has it they might even be participating in Racing’s social media during the match. So keep an eye out and you might get to meet Racing’s newest, most popular supporter in the flesh fuzz.
— Megan (@proclaimer12) August 4, 2021