FC Kansas City v Seattle Reign, Round Two

A week after Kansas City hosted Seattle in Overland Park, Kan. the “Blues” will head to Tukwila, Wash. to visit the home of the Reign tomorrow, May 4th. With Seattle’s U.S. Women’s National Team allocation, Megan Rapinoe still playing for Olympique Lyonnais, her US teammate and FC Kansas City star player Lauren Cheney can take charge of the midfield.  Hope Solo, another of Seattle’s allocated players, is expected to be out until June while recovering from surgery.  Kansas City cannot underestimate the Reign’s current goalkeeper, Michelle Betos, who has filled in quite well, already with 14 saves this season.

FC Kansas City shut out Seattle 2-0 in their last meeting but not without a fight.  The Reign managed six shots on goal to Kansas City’s seven, but was still unable to secure the club’s first win.  Seattle’s  Jessica Fishlock, the captain of the Welsh national team, will be a challenger again for the ‘Blues’ as she holds half of the Reign’s goals this season and made a notable cross in last week’s game.   Seattle’s Elizabeth Bogus at forward has a talent for being able to run the ball, keeping Kansas City’s Becky Sauerbrunn and Lauren Sesslemann busy in the backfield.  Anchoring the defensive side of FC Kansas City is Nicole Barnhart in goal. She travels to Seattle with 8 saves and her first NWSL ‘Clean Sheet’ in her back pocket.

Like last week, this game may prove to be very physical.  Fishlock already has 2 yellow cards, 7 fouls called against her while suffering from 8 fouls. Teammate Kristina Larsen falls just behind with 4 fouls of her own.  Kristie Mewis was given the first caution in league history, but was not booked in last week’s game.

Sinead Farrelly scored the first goal for FC Kansas City off a corner kick from Lauren Cheney. The corner kick seemed to give the team a boost of confidence early in the match. That spark led Cheney to find Renae Cuellar for the second goal later in the game.  Cuellar will have to watch the defensive line this week if she wants to keep scoring, she leads the league in offside calls.

Following last week’s match, Seattle Head Coach, Laura Harvey said “I personally think Kansas City is the best team in the league.”  Coming from the same person who led the Arsenal women’s team to three league titles, most recently in 2012, this was quite a statement.  She will hope her squad will be up to the task this week as they are in front of their home crowd for the first time this season.

The game will be played at Starfire Sports Stadium in Tukwila, Wash. at 10:00 p.m. CT on Saturday night. The Futbol Club of Kansas City will be the official watch party site.  It is located at 12030 Blue Valley Parkway in Overland Park, Kansas.  Fans are invited to watch FC Kansas City away matches all season in the only soccer-themed restaurant in town.

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