How KC Current cultivated belief this season. Their regular-season finale is Saturday

Nick Tre. Smith/Special to the Star

Heading into the National Women’s Soccer League’s final weekend of the regular season — and with numerous potential seeding scenarios in play — the Kansas City Current are returning to where it all started this spring:

To the Bluegrass State, where they opened the NWSL Challenge Cup with a 1-1 draw against Racing Louisville FC.

That “gritty and not so pretty” victory on Memorial Day was the beginning of the Current’s historic 13-match unbeaten streak. (Racing Louisville, coincidentally, did not win another league game until the Current’s streak ended this month in Chicago.)

“It’s funny, we looked back at that game and I’m like, ‘When was this?’” Current coach Matt Potter said. “I think we’re a much different version of ourselves, and I think (Louisville coach) Kim (Björkegren) and his team would say they’re a much different version of themselves.”

That might be an understatement. The best player on the field for Racing Louisville that day was Cece Kizer. Eight days later, Kizer and Addisyn Merrick were traded to the Current.

“Cece has been incredible since she’s joined the group,” Potter said.

The acquisition and quick assimilation of Kizer in Kansas City has a lot to do with how comfortable she was from the jump. It was a whirlwind move, but as Potter likes to point out, if the person is taken care of, she’ll then be able to express herself as a player.

And sure enough, Cece Kizer has been clutch — seven goals scored this season, all since her June trade to KC.

“Cece has certainly been an attacking-minded player that is both creative individually and in combination with others,” Potter said. “And she certainly has shown that she has an eye for goal or to assist others.

“We’re certainly excited for her on the trajectory that she’s heading on. Her best days are ahead of her, not behind her.”

Kizer and Current teammate Lo LaBonta share the lead for the team’s golden boot honor with seven goals apiece. The winner of the golden boot will be the second-year club’s record-holder for most NWSL regular-season goals.

While adding Kizer was a massive shot in the arm for the Current, so were the lessons they learned from that Memorial Day match in Louisville. LaBonta described the run into that match — five games winless to start the regular season — as a struggle.

But she also indicated that particular match gave the Current something that has buoyed them ever since: belief.

“We were just like, ‘Alright. We can do this,’” LaBonta said. “We started to believe again, and now we stole two of their players.”

LaBonta went on to talk about how the Current’s belief in themselves grew game by game.

“We build (belief) with our confidence on the field, connecting passes, getting numerous opportunities on goal, and then our big tackles, as well, in the back,” she said. “I think it’s a team effort, and we’ve just built that (belief) from day one.”

In other Current-related news ahead of Saturday’s 6:30 p.m. game at Racing Louisville, three KC players have been called up to their respective national teams ahead of the next international window. International matches will take place Oct. 6-11.

Hailie Mace was called up to the U.S. Women’s National Team for the second time in a month. She’ll head overseas for two matches with the American side, including a marquee matchup with reigning European champion England at sold-out Wembley Stadium in London.

Chloe Logarzo will represent Australia for friendlies against South Africa and Denmark, and Desiree Scott will represent Canada against Argentina and Morocco.

All three will be available against Louisville before joining their respective national teams.