Team Wins 2-0 Despite Missing Seven Starters

Lisle, Illinois (June 13, 2013) – The old saying that a team is only as good as its bench was proven tonight.  With six regular starters attending to their national team duties and one nursing an injury, Kansas City Head Coach Vlatko Andonovski went deep into his bench for tonight’s match against the surging Chicago Red Stars.  A penalty kick score from Casey Loyd and a top-shelf goal from Courtney Jones gave the visiting ‘Blues’ a 2-0 victory.

As the game started, Chicago looked to take advantage of the new Kansas City lineup and pressed high hoping the Blues inexperienced lineup would make a mistake.  Jessica McDonald had the first chance of the game, beating the KC defense on the left side.  She sent a cross through the box to Maribel Dominguez, who took a shot wide of the goal.  After that, offensive opportunities were few and far between as Nia Williams and Katie Kelly shored up the central defense for the remainder of the game.  In fact, they only allowed three shots on goal in the match, with all three coming in the final moments as the Red Stars tried to salvage some scoring opportunities before time ran out.

Andonovski decided to replace Cuellar tonight with a 1-2 punch of speedsters, Melissa Henderson and Courtney Jones.  Together with Erika Tymrak, they continuously kept the Chicago defense on their heels running down the sidelines and defending dangerous crossed.  One cross early in the game found Melissa Henderson at the top of the penalty box, as she drove to goal she was fouled by Red Stars defender, Sonja Fuss.  The resulting penalty kick was buried by Casey Loyd in the 27th minute, giving FC Kansas City a 1-0 lead that held until halftime.

In the second half, the Blues hoped to grow their lead early.  Tymrak received the opening kickoff and drove straight to goal, passing numerous Chicago defenders along the way.  Her left footed shot towards the near post bent in just enough that Red Stars goalkeeper, Taylor Vancil, was able to make the save.  On the night she faced eleven shots (eight on goal) and made six saves.

The continuous pressure paid off for the Blues in the 66th minute.  Erika Tymrak received a clearance from Jen Buczkowski and had a wide open lane in front of her.  As she dribbled towards goal, drawing the defense towards her, she laid an easy pass to Courtney Jones on the right side.  Jones attacked the goalkeeper and rocketed a shot into the top of the net, giving Kansas City a 2-0 victory.

These two teams go right back at each other on Sunday, this time on Verizon Wireless in Overland Park, Kansas.  Game time is scheduled for 3:10p.m. CT.  Tickets are available by calling 855.4KC.GOAL (855.452.4625) or by emailing tickets@kcprosoccer.com

Coach Vlatko Andonovski: His thoughts on playing shorthanded: “Every one of these players is capable of playing at the highest level.  They showed a lot tonight; hopefully we can use this confidence and build on it for Sunday.”

Forward Courtney Jones: Describing her goal in the 66th minute:  “I was waiting on the wings and saw Erika driving towards the defense.  She saw me outside and gave me a great pass, I don’t know if they thought I was offside, but I made sure to check myself before the pass.  I had plenty of time because the keeper didn’t come out…I thought about going far post but decided to blast it instead”

“Like Coach said, we showed a lot of character tonight.  I know that some people thought we would lose without all of those girls, but we knew we had the better team with or without those players and we showed it.”

NWSL Match Report Match: FC Kansas City vs. Chicago Red Stars Date: June 13, 2013 Venue: Benedictine University, Lisle, Il Kickoff: 6:30p.m. CT (7:30pm ET) Attendance: 1,141

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Lineups:FC Kansas City: GK Bianca Henninger, Merritt Mathias, Courtney Jones (Natalie Norris 88’), Nia Williams, Katie Kelly, Jen Buczowski, Leigh Ann Robinson, Erika Tymrak, Casey Loyd (Jaime French 79’), Sinead Farrelly (Missy Geha 90’), Melissa Henderson Subs not used: none

Chicago: GK Taylor Vancil , Lydia Vandenbergh, Sonja Fuss, Taryn Hemmings, Michelle Wenino, Julianne Sitch, Jackie Santacaterina (Jennifer Hoy 67’), Jessica McDonald (Inka Grings 46’), Dinora Garza (Lori Chalpuny 46’), Alyssa Mautz, Maribel Dominguez Subs not used: Ella Masar, Rachel Quon, Leslie Osborne, Kelsey Devonshire

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