FC KANSAS CITY EARNS POINT IN LEAGUE OPENER
Renae Cuellar Scores First Goal in League History
OVERLAND PARK, Kan (April 13, 2013) – In front of a sold-out crowd of 6,784 fans at Shawnee Mission District Stadium, FC Kansas City and the Portland Thorns played to a 1-1 draw. Renae Cuellar will forever hold the distinction of scoring the first goal in National Women’s Soccer League history when she beat Portland goalkeeper, Karina LeBlanc, one-on-one in the third minute of the game. Canadian superstar Christine Sinclair evened things up in the 66th minute on a penalty shot.
With the hope of being able to get one of the few ‘Standing Room Only’ tickets being distributed by the team just before kickoff, fans began to line up at the box office four hours before the doors were scheduled to open. The stands were full of energy as soon as people began to fill the seats. Fans eager to see their new professional women’s soccer team play did not have to wait long for some action. In the third minute Mexican National player, Renae Cuellar broke through the Portland defense and beat LeBlanc at point-blank range to knock home the history-making first goal.
Kansas City controlled most of the play for the rest of the half. They outshot the Thorns 5-3 in the first half. Christine Sinclair gave FC Kansas City goalkeeper, Nicole Barnhart, her first challenge of the night on a shot from 30 yards out. Barnhart’s diving save kept the ‘Blues’ in the lead as the half wound down.
The second half saw Vlatko Andonovski’s team sit back in a defensive posture as they waited to see what adjustments Portland made. Through sixty minutes of play Portland’s dynamic duo of Alex Morgan and Christine Sinclair had combined for two shots, one of them on goal.
“When you play against the two best forwards in the world and keep them in check like we did, it is impressive,” said Andonovski. “Buzz (Jen Buczkowski) and Desi Scott were given the task of preventing them (Morgan and Sinclair) from getting the ball and they did a tremendous job.”
Portland was able to even the score when Lauren Sesselmann’s slide tackle in the 66th minute resulted in a penalty kick. Sinclair tucked the ball into the right corner to tie up the game. Neither team was able to muster a sustained attack after that resulting in a 1-1 result for the Inaugural Game of the NWSL. Kansas City is home again next week to face the Boston Breakers on Saturday April 20th at 7:35pm at Shawnee Mission District Stadium. Single Game, Season and VIP tickets are available Monday April 15th by calling 855.4KC.GOAL or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
NWSL Match Report Match: FC Kansas City vs. Portland Thorns Date: April 13, 2013 Venue: Shawnee Mission District Stadium, Overland Park, Kansas Kickoff: 7:35pm (8:35pm ET) Attendance: 6,784 Weather: 65 degrees, clear
[table id=6 /]
Team Scorer (Assist) Time FCKC Renae Cuellar (Kristie Mewis) 3rd Minute PORT Christine Sinclair 66th Minute
Lineups: FCKC: 1-Barnhart Goalkeeper; 9-Matthias Right Back, 14-Sesselmann Center Back, 4-Sauerbrunn Center Back, 13-Robinson Left Back; 19-Mewis Right Midfielder, 6-Buczkowski Midfielder, 11-Scott Midfielder, 12-Cheney Midfielder, 7-Loyd Left Midfielder; 10-Cuellar Forward Head Coach: Vlatko Andonovski PORT: 1-LeBlanc Midfielder, 2-Dougherty Defender, 16-Buehler Defender, 5-Williamson Defender, 7-Marshall-Defender, 14-Edwards Midfielder, 10-Long Midfielder, 8-Kerr Midfielder, 21-Washington Forward, 13-Morgan Forward, 12-Sinclair Forward