FC KANSAS CITY FACES WASHINGTON SPIRIT
Team Welcomes Six Players Back From U.S./Canadian National Teams
PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan (June 12, 2013) – FC Kansas City will face off against the Washington Spirit Sunday, June 23rd at 3:10p.m. The two clubs will kick off for the first time against each other on Verizon Wireless Field in Overland Park, Kan. Both teams come into this match off losses last week, the ‘Blues’ falling to Chicago 3-1 on Sunday and Washington losing 2-0 to the Western New York Flash last Saturday. Both teams will also be returning stars from international duty. For FC Kansas City Lauren Cheney, Becky Sauerbrunn, Kristie Mewis and Nicole Barnhart were with the U.S. Women’s National Team, while Lauren Sesselmann and Desiree Scott traveled to Germany with the Canadian National Team.
Last week, FC Kansas City split a home and home series against the Chicago Red Stars. Sunday’s game was a homecoming after a 3 game road trip over 10 days. With the absence of the national team stars, this was another chance for the rest of the ‘Blues’ to prove the team’s depth, especially with the addition of amateur players Natalie Norris, Missy Geha and Jamie French who were added to the roster prior to the team’s 2-0 win in Chicago on June 13th. Allocated Mexican forward, Renae Cuellar looked to set the momentum for the game by scoring a goal in the third minute with an assist from Courtney Jones. Chicago’s Inka Grings answered Kansas City with a goal later in the first half evening the score at 1 as the teams broke for the halftime break. Casey Loyd took Jones’ place in the second half offering Kansas City some fresh legs and pushed the offense forward, although Chicago scored the only two goals of the second half in the 58th minute and on a penalty kick in the 91st minute on a penalty kick. The final whistle ended the game at 3-1 and tied the series between the two clubs.
The Washington Spirit played the Western New York Flash last Saturday. The 2-0 loss marked the third loss at home for the Spirit. The goals came from Veronica Perez and Vicki DiMartino, both in the first half of play. The Spirit went to the locker room and came back a stronger team. Washington’s backfield kept the Flash from making a single shot the second half. The Spirit’s offense had two shots on goal the second half, none of which found the back of the net. Washington’s Lori Lindsey looked to score on a corner, but Flash goalkeeper, Adrianna Franch saved the attempt. The score remained unchanged after numerous attempts from both teams.
As for this Sunday, Kansas City will return to the full original roster and Washington’s three international players will be visiting with the rest of the club. Kansas City will have the center of the league’s second stingiest defense returning, Captain Becky Sauerbrunn and Lauren Sesselmann. Goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart will be back in goal for the ‘Blues’ as well. Spirit defenders Robyn Gayle and Ali Krieger will have a strong Kansas City midfield to hold off. Lauren Cheney and Kristie Mewis will be back meaning Renae Cuellar can move up in to her normal attacking position. Washington goalkeeper, Ashlyn Harris will have a tough competitor in Barnhart for Sunday. Banhart has four clean sheets in the National Women’s Soccer League along with a recent shut out for the United States against Canada and 45 minutes of scoreless action against South Korea last week. A win for Kansas City means staying in the top four teams of the NWSL, securing a spot in the playoffs in August.
Kick off for the ‘Blues’ and the Spirit will be at 3:10 PM CT on Sunday, June 23rd. The match will be at Verizon Wireless Field located at 7401 Johnson Drive in Overland Park, Kan. Kansas City will visit New Jersey and Sky Blue FC on Wednesday, June 26 and return home June 30 against Portland. For tickets, call 855.4KC.GOAL (855.452.4625)