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OL Reign return to NWSL regular season play with 1-0 loss at Kansas City Current

A missed penalty for the Reign saw KC take all three points.

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3 min read
Angelina was surely smiling like this when she subbed on for her first regular-season action of the year.
Mike Russell / Sounder at Heart

The NWSL officially returns this weekend and OL Reign kicked off the weekend with a trip to Children’s Mercy Park to meet Kansas City Current. The two sides met earlier this season at Lumen Field with OL Reign picking up the 2-1 victory.

The return leg saw Kansas City avenge that June 10 loss with a 1-0 win. Cece Kizer scored Kansas City’s lone goal in the 61st minute.

OL Reign were awarded a penalty in the 73rd minute after a VAR check took longer than intended as the referee had to run back out onto the field and intervene in some extra-curriculars between Quinn and Kansas City goalkeeper Ad Franch while the referee was supposed to look at the monitor. Eventually the penalty was awarded to OL Reign and Jordyn Huitema had a chance to equalize, however it was saved by Franch.

While they are back from the World Cup, OL Reign’s US internationals were not available for selection in the match.


For the first half, OL Reign’s defensive approach was to dare Kansas City to beat them with something other than a counter. And for the most part, it worked. Part of it was that Kansas City wasn’t trying to create a different attack option, and Phallon Tullis-Joyce also made some great saves to keep it clean through the first 45.


In the 89th minute, Angelina made her return to the field from an ACL injury she sustained last summer. Angelina was with Brazil at the World Cup as an injury replacement, but did not make an appearance.

Nothing but respect and celebration for Angelina in making her return to the field.


All credit to Kansas City — they made their goal out of nothing. From a throw-in, a well-placed cross into the box by Izzy Rodriguez found an even better-timed run by Cece Kizer to get her head on the end of the cross and she placed perfectly, where a diving Tullis-Joyce couldn’t get a touch on it, for the goal.

“They were trying to scuff the spot.”

Obviously a notable event in the match was how referee Karen Callado had to interrupt her VAR check to run back out onto the field, as there was a town hall meeting between Quinn and Kansas City goalkeeper AD Franch. While Callado was able to eventually return to the monitor and ultimately award the penalty to OL Reign, midfielder Quinn told media after the match that extra-curricular was because Current players were trying to scuff the grass at the spot.

“I wanted to make sure the spot wasn’t scuffed for Jordyn to be able to take her PK. I was trying to get them off the spot as quickly as possible before they ruined it, because you can’t get that grass back.”

“Throw-ins, probably.”

As much as Kansas City got their goal from a well-placed cross and well-timed header, the play started from a throw-in. OL Reign’s season opening loss at Washington Spirit was also from a goal that came off a throw-in. When asked in her post-game presser what was a takeaway she had from tonight’s match in terms of something the team needed to work on, head coach Laura Harvey said defense on throw-ins.

“I think we’ve gotta get back to understanding what we’re trying to do. We did some of it tonight, but we lacked quality in the final third. We lacked quality moving the ball through the thirds at time, but I was proud of the group. They dug in and they kept going, but we just needed some quality and they didn’t have it.”

The loss keeps OL Reign at 24 points, though their placement in the standings could change after the rest of the weekend’s matches.

OL Reign remain on the road next weekend as they return to the west coast, traveling to Los Angeles, to meet Angel City FC on Sunday August 27. In their previous meeting in the regular season, back on May 27, OL Reign beat ACFC, 4-1. Kickoff for next Sunday’s match is scheduled for 5 PM PT with the broadcast on Paramount+ for US viewers. Canadian viewers can watch on TSN+ in addition all other international viewers watching on