FC KANSAS CITY LOOKS TO SECURE HOME-FIELD ADVANTAGE
Team Travels to Boston for Final Regular Season Road Match
The playoff teams are set, but positioning is still up for grabs as FC Kansas City travels to face the Boston Breakers this Saturday at Dilboy Stadium in Somerville, MA. After becoming the first team in National Women’s Soccer League history to secure a spot in the post-season, FC Kansas City can clinch homefield advantage with a win. Kickoff is scheduled for 5:00p.m. CT
Last Sunday, FC Kansas City played in front of a NWSL record breaking crowd of 17,619 in Portland. The Thorns were a point behind the ‘Blues’ in the NWSL standings, meaning the team that won would receive the first spot in the playoffs. Lauren Holiday was the first player to score in the match. Merritt Mathias sent a ball across to a wide-open Holiday who took a beautiful shot. That goal would put her above Sydney Leroux and Abby Wambach for leading goal scorer. The teams would head to the locker rooms without another goal. Portland would come back out ready to fight; Danielle Foxhoven proved that with a goal in the 51st minute. However, the momentum shifted back towards Kansas City when Holiday would answer that goal just four minutes later. A pass from Erika Tymrak would find Holiday who sent it rolling past Portland goalkeeper Karina Leblanc. Rookie Kristie Mewis would have the third goal for Kansas City and her first professionally. Mewis came up from the back and caught Portland’s defense off-guard. Alex Morgan would score Portland’s second goal in the 89th minute, but it would not be enough to tie up the score. The Thorns matched up with FC Kansas City beautifully. The game proved to be high energy; Portland had 8 shots on goal while Kansas City had 5. Nicole Barnhart, goalkeeper for Kansas City had six saves in this one match, she now joins LeBlanc in most wins for the season. Though Barnhart did not add another shut out to her league leading 10, this was the team’s first win that was not a shutout.
Boston also played Portland last, on Wednesday night in Dilboy Stadium. A recent departure of the head and assistant coach has player Cat Whitehill acting as player-coach. The first half was scoreless, but there was still plenty to see. Portland star forward, Alex Morgan went down in the 8th minute. She was carted off and did not return due to injury. Portland would be the first to score in the 52nd minute. The goal was a counter attack after Boston stopped Thorns forward, Danielle Foxhoven. Tiffany Weimer was there to collect the ball and put it past the keeper on the far post. Heather O’Reilly set up a shot and fired it past LeBlanc in the 84th minute to bring the score up to 2-1. Although Boston won the match, their playoff hopes were dashed later in the day when Western New York won their game and claimed the final playoff spot.
FC Kansas City will play for full home field rights on Saturday. A win against Boston means the ‘Blues’ will play at home for the semifinal game, scheduled for August 24th. The undefeated streak will go to 11 with a win or draw against Boston and put even more space between FC Kansas City and the other three teams in the playoffs. Currently, Western New York Flash, Portland Thorns FC and Sky Blue FC are tied for second place at 34 points. This will be the third and final meeting between the two clubs. FC Kansas City has won both matches by a combined 5-0 score. Lauren Holiday hopes to keep her lead for goals scored in the NWSL. Boston players Heather O’Reilly and Lianne Sanderson trail behind Holiday, who also leads in assists. Holiday and O’Reilly are tied for shots on goal at 29. Boston has a good offense, but Kansas City boasts the stingiest defense in the league. The Kansas City defense has only allowed 19 goals in 20 games. FC Kansas City will have plenty to play for as they look to reward their great fanbase with a home playoff game in the team’s first year.
Kickoff will be at 5:00p.m. CT at Dilboy Stadium in Somerville, MA. The match is available online, but as it is a Boston home-game, they control the broadcast and charge a fee of $4.99 to view the stream. FC Kansas City fans are encouraged to be a part of the Official Watch Party at Futbol Club Eatery and Tap. Kansas City’s only soccer themed restaurant is located at 12030 Blue Valley Parkway in Overland Park. FC Kansas City will return home for the final match of the regular season against the Chicago Red Stars on Sunday August 18th at 3:10p.m. For tickets and information, call 855.4KC.GOAL (855.452.4625) or email firstname.lastname@example.org