FC Kansas City Offense Comes to Life
KANSAS CITY (May 27, 2017) – While boasting the National Women’s Soccer League’s (NWSL) best defense, the offense of FC Kansas City (3-2-2) has seemingly struggled to find its footing prior to tonight’s match against the Washington Spirit (1-5-1). Sydney Leroux and her teammates turned that around with their highest scoring output of the season. The team remains unbeaten in their last four games and unbeaten at home as they beat the Spirit 3-2 at Swope Soccer Village.
FC Kansas City vs Washington Spirit Full Stats
Washington got the early lead in the match. When FCKC’s defense cleared away a Spirit corner kick, former Kansas City draft pick Kristie Mewis collected the ball and put her team ahead 1-0 in the fourth minute.
That lead wouldn’t last as FC Kansas City forward Sydney Leroux was on the end of a well-placed ball in the ninth minute from midfielder Brittany Ratcliffe and put it in the back of the net to notch her second goal of the season and first since the opening game of the season.
Kansas City’s offense continued to pressure the Spirit’s backline. Only a minute after Leroux’s first goal, the Kansas City crowd thought they had taken the lead when Shea Groom seemingly won a ball inside the six-yard box and put the ball in the back of the net. Unfortunately for Blues fans, the referee called Groom for a foul on the initial tackle, negating the goal.
The Blues, especially Leroux, were not ready to give up after that. Kansas City outshot Washington 15-5 overall tonight, with accounting for five of those shots.
On her fourth shot, in the 27th minute, Leroux struck for her second goal of the night. Groom found herself in the box with the ball but was taken down by a Spirit defender. Fortunately for FCKC the ball fell right to the feet of Leroux who wasted no time firing the ball past the Spirit keeper giving Kansas City the 2-1 lead, which held through the end of the first half.
FC Kansas City was in control for much of the second half, peppering the Spirit defense with eight shots.
Team captain Becky Sauerbrunn has earned a solid reputation as one of the world’s best defenders. In the 60th minute, she got to show her offensive skills. On a Kansas City corner kick, Sauerbrunn came running into the penalty box where she headed a ball across the goal and into the far corner of the net. There was no doubt as the ball left her head that it was going to end up in the back of the net.
Nearly the only negative aspect for Kansas City tonight occurred in the 70th minute. Already sitting on a yellow card for a foul in the first half, Alex Newfield challenged a ball inside the Washington penalty box. The referee felt her challenge on the Spirit’s goalkeeper was unfair and showed her a second yellow card, resulting in her ejection from the match.
Playing with only ten players for the final 20 minutes of the match, Kansas City did allow a goal to Washington’s Havana Solaun in the 83rd minute. However, the defense stayed true as the Spirit desperately tried for a late equalizer and FCKC secured their second straight win.
FC Kansas City now has 11 points on the season, vaulting them into fifth place on the NWSL table. The team heads to North Carolina for their first ever bout with the Courage next week. The match will be Lifetime’s Game of the Week with a pregame show starting at 2:30 p.m. ET.
NWSL Match Report
Match: FC Kansas City vs Washington Spirit
Date: May 27, 2017
Venue: Swope Soccer Village
Kickoff: 7:00 p.m. ET
Weather: 70, Partly Cloudy
15’ FCKC Newfield (Yellow – Foul)
39’ WAS Howard (Yellow – Foul)
70’ FCKC Newfield (2nd Yellow/Red – Foul)
86’ WAS Ordega (Yellow – Foul)
89’ FCKC Taylor (Yellow – Time Wasting)
WAS: 5’ Mewis
FCKC: 9’ Leroux (Ratcliffe)
FCKC: 27’ Leroux
FCKC: 60’ Sauerbrunn (Newfield)
WAS: 83' Solaun(Ordega)
Goals 1 2 F
FC Kansas City (3-2-2) 2 1 3
Washington Spirit (1-5-1) 1 1 2
FC Kansas City: Barnhart, Moros (Flynn 83’), Averbuch, Sauerbrunn©, Taylor, Scott, LaBonta, Ratcliffe (Bowen 65’), Newfield, Groom (Gibbons 76’), Leroux
Substitutes Not Used: Tymrak, Reed, Kelly, Parkhill
Washington Spirit: Labbe, Kleiner, Zadorsky©, Church, Johnson, Mewis, Jensen (Solaun 66’), Howard, Pugh, Stengel (Shipp 77’), Williams (Ordega 28’)
Substitutes Not Used: Kallman, Agnew, Castleberry, Haracic
FC Kansas City's next home game is June 17th at 3pm CT against Seattle Reign FC. Tickets can be purchased here.