Win or Draw Sunday Reserves Playoff Spot for Kansas City

Prairie village, Kansas (August 2, 2013) – Last week, FC Kansas City successfully defended its spot atop the National Women’s Soccer League table by defeating Sky Blue FC 1-0 on the road.  This week they face another challenge when they travel to Portland to take on the Thorns.  A win or a draw for Kansas City would clinch a spot in the 2013 NWSL Playoffs.  The game is set to kick-off on Sunday, August 4th at 7:30p.m. CT and will be broadcast nationally on Fox Soccer Channel.

FC Kansas City vs Portland Thorns - Game Notes

By beating the Boston Breakers last Wednesday, FC Kansas City took over sole possession of first place by a point on Sky Blue FC.  They then had to travel to Piscataway to face the team they had just displaced at the top of the standings, Sky Blue FC.  In a spirited match, FC Kansas City was able to control possession for most of the match.  Kansas City doubled up Sky Blue for shots on goal, putting 10 shots on target.  In the 74th minute, NWSL Rookie of the Year candidate Erika Tymrak found her way into the penalty box, but was immediately surrounded by four Sky Blue defenders.  Although she lost her footing trying to ward off the defenders she was able to find Lauren Holiday who took a wide open shot that Sky Blue goalkeeper Brittany Cameron was barely able to knock over the crossbar.  Holiday then found Courtney Jones on the ensuing corner kick.  Jones’ header gave the Blues the lead and the win.

Portland also most recently faced Sky Blue, their match being played Wednesday.  Sky Blue got on the board first when Nikki Marshall deflected a ball past Karina LeBlanc and into her own net in the 18th minute.  Portland’s dangerous offense took control from there.  Alex Morgan, Meleana Shim and Allie Long all found their way to goals for the Thorns.  The 3-1 victory gave the Thorns sole possession of second place in the standings and brought them to within one point of Kansas City.

This Sunday’s clash at the top of the table promises to be an exciting match-up of a budding rivalry.  The two teams have split their season series to this point.  The teams played to a 1-1 draw in the NWSL’s Inaugural Match.  Since then each team has won at home.  Both teams are riding winning streaks.  Portland is undefeated in their last four matches, while Kansas City is currently tied for the longest undefeated streak in the NWSL at nine matches.  Portland is 2-0-1 in their last three matches, while Kansas City is 3-0, scoring six goals and allowing none.

The Blues defense has been up to task in their past matchups, for the most part shutting down Alex Morgan and Christine Sinclair.  This time they will have the added task of keeping Tobin Heath in check as well.  For the Blues, Lauren Holiday and Erika Tymrak are still the wheels that keep the offense turning, but the recent emergence of Courtney Jones and Merritt Mathias have helped to bring balance to the attack.  Jones has goals in each of the last two games.

The match is scheduled for a 7:30p.m. CT start and can be found exclusively on Fox Soccer Channel.  There will be no online stream for this game.  Fans are invited to watch this one, and every FC Kansas City away match, at the home of the Official FC Kansas City Watch Party, Futbol Club KC.

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