FC KANSAS CITY HOPES TO GAIN MOMENTUM FOR PLAYOFF RUN
Final Regular Season Match Could Clinch Home-field Advantage
PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kansas (August 16, 2013) – FC Kansas City will return home for the last game of the 2013 National Women’s Soccer League regular season. The ‘Blues’ will be hosting the Chicago Red Stars Sunday, August 18th. A win or draw on Sunday means home field advantage through playoffs and the Inaugural NWSL Shield, although favorable results in Saturday’s NWSL contests could accomplish the same feat . All four playoff teams have been decided. Chicago did not find its way into the postseason and will be playing their final game in 2013. FC Kansas City looks to create momentum going in to the playoffs after a loss in Boston and Chicago is coming off of a 3-3 draw with Sky Blue FC. Kickoff for the last regular match of the season will be at 3:10 PM CT on Verizon Wireless Field in Overland Park, Kan.
Last Saturday, FC Kansas City visited the Boston Breakers at Dilboy Stadium. Riding a 10 game unbeaten streak, the ‘Blues’ would have secured home field advantage throughout the post-season with a win. Possession throughout the first half was equal. Both teams had chances in the first half but neither could finish; the ball went above or wide of the goal. The teams would go to break scoreless, but would come back out ready to fight. In the 65th minute, Boston’s Sydney Leroux would hit the ball just out of Kansas City’s Nicole Barnhart’s reach. FC Kansas City would not be able to answer the single goal before the final whistle sounded. This was only the third time Kansas City was shut out this season. Boston had already been eliminated from playoff possibility before this match and Kansas City remained in first place after none of the other playoff-bound teams were able to find wins either.
Chicago hosted Sky Blue FC last Saturday night in a 3-3 draw. Chicago was in the same situation as Boston, they could not change their post-season status. That did not stop the Red Stars from putting up a fight. The 8th minute of the match saw the first goal from Maribel Dominguez of Chicago. Sky Blue quickly answered with two goals in the 15th and 36th minute putting them up 2-1 before halftime. The score would remain 2-1 through the 77th minute of play when Chicago’s Jackie Santacaterina netted the equalizer. Monica Ocampo of Sky Blue FC would up the score with her second goal of the night in the 89th minute. The match seemed to be over at 3-2 but a Hail Mary play from Vandenbergh up to Santacaterina would save the Red Stars in the final minutes of the match. The score would stay at 3-3 and each team would take a single point home.
Sunday’s match is a big one for many reasons, besides the playoff implications. There are league leaders throughout the lineup on the home side. Lauren Holiday still leads in goals scored and assists for the season. Nicole Barnhart has the most shut outs and is a league leader in wins this season. The series between Chicago and Kansas City is spilt; each team has a win, a tie, and a loss. As for goals against each other, both clubs are tied at six as well. Kansas City has only allowed 5 goals at home while the Red Stars have allowed 19 on the road. Most important to many FC Kansas City players is the bad-taste left in their mouths after they gave up a two goal lead in the final minutes of the last match against Chicago. They will be looking to put the game away early and play hard through the entire match for victory.
Kick off for this final regular season match will be at 3:10 PM CT on Verizon Wireless Field in Overland Park, Kan. The playoff match-ups will be decided depending on outcomes of other matches in the NWSL this weekend. Tickets are available for Sunday’s game along with tickets for a possible home playoff match on Saturday August 24th. For tickets call 855.4KC.GOAL (855.452.4625) or email firstname.lastname@example.org