Late Start For KC And Bats Fly In Angel City

Justin Horneker
4 min readMar 30, 2023

NWSL Week 1 Review

The Chaos League™️ stayed chaotic as the season kicked off with some wild moments.

An impeded Current

Kansas City had a rough start with their depleted lineup in North Carolina. Some of that can be thrown up to lining up in a modified 4–3–3 that — to put it bluntly — did not work.

Current manager, Matt Potter embraces flexibility in his lineup but this one just did not work on a fundemental level. The spacing was off with Loera in the midfield and not enough coverage in the wide spaces but it sounds like that experiment was short lived.

“We felt that it was a structure that allowed players to feel the comfort of being in a place that they were familiar with. Is it a structure that we’re fixed on? no, it’ll change throughout the year” — Matt Potter

Kansas City should be reverting back to a 5–2–3 this weekend but will have to rely on some flexibility at the double pivot. Maybe this is a chance for Chardonnay Curran to showcase her growth as a player but it sounds like KC is getting closer to seeing the returns of Debinha and Dibernado… even if it isn’t this weekend.

“We pushed them again today, we pushed them yesterday, whether we see them this week, next week, or the week after that is up to them and the medical team so that we have them ready for the rest of the season” — Matt Potter

That isn’t to take everything away from North Carolina however, I highlighted Kiki Pickett in last week’s preview and she had a fantastic game on the left side with goal scorer Mille Gejl. If North Carolina are going to succeed this season it will come from embracing their fullback play through Pickett and Fox while allowing Kerolin to continue to shine as the lone striker.

Kerolin is a star and, despite not contributing to the statline, Kansas City had to respect her which is why there was so much space between the midfield and the backline resulting in Gejl stepping into that space often.

Picture showing Kansas City’s spacing that allowed North Carolina to slip in front of the Backline on thier lone goal
Spacing between the 6 and the backline allowed North Carolina to exploit Kansas City’s positioning

Jaedyn Shaw Takes Another Step

18 year old Jaedyn Shaw took another step into stardom as she had the goal of match week 1 in a week that wasn’t short of incredible goals.



Justin Horneker

Writing about Soccer and the current state of sports.