FC Kansas City Extends Winning Streak to Three Games
Three different scorers for Kansas City in road victory
CHICAGO (August 20, 2017) – FC Kansas City won their third straight game on Sunday night, defeating the Chicago Red Stars 3-1 at Toyota Park. The win completes a nine-point week for the Blues, after collecting three-point wins against Houston last Sunday and Portland on Wednesday. Sydney Leroux, Katie Bowen and Maegan Kelly each scored tonight, with Shea Groom getting assists on the first two goals.
Due to a scheduling quirk, tonight’s match was the fourth game in eleven days for FC Kansas City. Alternating from home to the road in each game, Kansas City opened the match with a defensive mindset. Chicago, losers of their previous two matches, were anxious to get ahead early in front of their home crowd.
Kansas City was outshot 6-0 early in the match, but each one was well covered by goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart and the Blues’ defense. Christen Press and Julie Ertz each had chances on net early, but the veteran goalkeeper took great positions and denied any opportunities for a goal.
In the 23rd minute, Groom fought through three Chicago defenders before dishing to Leroux at the top of the box. The veteran forward took one touch to her right before burying her shot to the far post and giving KC a 1-0 lead.
Only six minutes later, Groom again showed her toughness as she stole the ball from Chicago defender Samantha Johnson. Suddenly Groom was alone as she had an open path to the goal. Coming from the right side, Groom drew goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher close then laid off an easy pass to Katie Bowen at the top of the box. The New Zealand international wasted no time in scoring her second goal of the season.
As the half wound down, Kansas City was content to sit on their 2-0 lead, but Chicago continued to press towards a score. In the 44th minute, Groom attempted a blind clearance from her penalty box just as Chicago’s Casey Short attempted to head the ball back towards scoring position.
The dangerous play earned Groom a yellow card and the Red Stars a penalty kick attempt. As Press lined up to take the shot for Chicago, Barnhart remained calm on her goal line. She correctly dove to her right on the kick and made the save, her first NWSL penalty kick save.
As the teams went into the halftime break, Chicago held a 13-6 total shots advantage, however all six of FC Kansas City’s shots were on target, against only four for the Red Stars.
The second half started much the same as the first, with the Red Stars pushing towards goal, desperate for a chance to get back into the match.
That chance came in the 64th minute. Midfielder Julie Ertz picked the pocket of KC’s Christina Gibbons, getting the ball to forward Yuki Nagasato. As she continued her run, Nagasato passed the ball right onto Ertz’s foot. One-on-one with Barnhart, Ertz was able to push the ball just past the sliding goalkeeper to put her side within one goal.
Maegan Kelly entered the game in the 71st minute and made an immediate impact. Within her first minute in the game, she broke open at the top of the box and just missed getting a score with her first touch on the ball.
Kelly made up for that miss in the 80th minute. As midfielder Lo’eau LaBonta looked up at midfield she placed a long arcing pass up the field to a streaking Kelly. As the ball bounced in front of her, Kelly noticed Naeher off her line and lobbed a shot just over the goalkeeper to put Kansas City back ahead by two goals. Kelly now has four goals on the season, with three of them coming off the bench.
FC Kansas City held on for the final ten minutes of the match to preserve their third straight win. They now have 23 points on the season and find themselves only six points out of playoff position with five games to play.
Tonight’s win is their second straight against teams in playoff position, and they have the chance to make it three straight when they host the Orlando Pride next Saturday at home in the NWSL Lifetime Game of the Week. Set to start at 2:30 p.m. CT, the game will be the second time this season the team has been featured in the national broadcast and the first time at home.
Tickets for next Saturday’s game can be purchased here.
NWSL Match Report
Match: Chicago Red Stars vs FC Kansas City
Date: August 20, 2017
Venue: Toyota Park, Chicago, IL
Kickoff: 5:00 p.m. CT, 6:00 p.m. ET
Weather: 90 degrees, cloudy
26’ CHI Short (Yellow Card)
45’ FCKC Groom (Yellow Card)
90’+3 CHI Naeher (Yellow Card)
23’ FCKC Leroux (Groom)
29’ FCKC Bowen (Groom)
64’ CHI Ertz (Nagasato)
80’ FCKC Kelly (LaBonta)
Goals 1 2 F
Chicago Red Stars 0 1 1
FC Kansas City 2 1 3
FC Kansas City: Barnhart, Moros, Miramontez, Sauerbrunn©, Taylor, Gibbons, Scott, Ratcliffe (LaBonta 67’), Bowen (Kelly 71’), Groom, Leroux (Flynn 89’)
Substitutes Not Used: Tymrak, Newfield, Parkhill
Chicago Red Stars: Naeher, Short, Johnson (Kaskie 83’), Naughton, Gilliland (Mautz 71’), Colaprico, Ertz, Huerta, Press, Comeau (Green 80’), Nagasato
Substitutes Not Used: Hoy, McCaffrey, Dalton