FC Kansas City Concludes West Coast Trip in Portland
Photos courtesy of ISI Photos
Two of the NWSL’s Top Defenses Square Off in Midweek Battle
KANSAS CITY (June 27, 2017) – Two of the league’s strongest defenses will meet for the second time this season as FC Kansas City (3-3-4, 13 pts) finishes their Pacific Northwest road trip by taking on the Portland Thorns (4-3-3, 15 pts) at Providence Park.
The two teams met earlier this season in Kansas City in a match that proved to be a defensive battle as it ended in a scoreless draw. The Blues lead the overall regular season series against the Thorns with five wins against three losses and four draws.
Both teams will be hungry for three points coming into the match. Kansas City is coming off a 1-1 draw against Seattle where forward Brittany Ratcliffe scored her first professional goal. The Thorns are coming off their second straight loss as they fell 1-0 to the Washington Spirit at the Maryland SoccerPlex last week.
Portland is captained by Canadian Women’s National Team forward Christine Sinclair while Danish Women’s National Team forward Nadia Nadim is the leading scorer for the Thorns. She has tallied four goals on the season, three of which have come via penalty kick.
Like KC, Portland’s strength comes from their defense. Their center back core of Emily Menges and Emily Sonnett have their side only giving up nine goals so far, only one more than Kansas City’s stingy back five.
The Blues represent one of the most consistent defenses in the league, currently ranked third with a one goal against average per game. Goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart, the National Women’s Soccer League all-time shutout leader, is helped by one of the game’s best back lines. Veterans Becky Sauerbrunn and Yael Averbuch are flanked by Brittany Taylor and rookie Christina Gibbons.
Forward Sydney Leroux will look to increase her goal count this season. She is the leading scorer for the Blues, amassing three goals and an assist. Midfielder Alexa Newfield has two goals and two assists this season and forward Brittany Ratcliffe scored her first NWSL goal against Seattle to go along with her one assist.
Midfield duo Desiree Scott and Lo’eau LaBonta look to continue their partnership in the middle and will go up against Thorns and United States Women’s National Team midfielders Lindsey Horan and Allie Long who have three goals and an assist combined.
Forward Shea Groom is still looking for her first goal of the season, but showed once again that she is one of the toughest players in the league as she went down early against the Reign with an arm injury, but came back in and played the rest of the match.
The match is scheduled to kickoff at 9:00pm CT and can be streamed on go90.com or on the go90 app which is available in the app store for both IOS and Android.
FC Kansas City single game tickets are available to purchase here.