FC Kansas City Travels to Orlando for 100th Regular Season Game

Photos by Amy Kontras courtesy of ISI Photos

By Rachel Gaylor

KANSAS CITY (July 14, 2017) – FC Kansas City (3-6-4) hits the road for the fourth time in five games this Saturday as they face the Orlando Pride at 6:30 p.m. CT. This game will be the second of the year between these two teams and Kansas City’s 100th regular season game since the inception of the National Women’s Soccer League in 2013.

The last time these teams met on May 7, Marta gave the Pride a 1-0 lead in the second half, but Erika Tymrak’s late goal forced a draw. Both teams will be looking to bounce back from disappointing results from week 12.

The Pride dropped two points on the road against the Washington Spirit last week when they drew 2-2. Orlando had the lead with a Marta brace up until the 88th minute when defender Toni Pressley gave up a penalty kick and the Spirit capitalized forcing the Pride to take one point instead of three.

The Blues arguably played their best 45 minutes this season in the first half against Sky Blue FC. Midfielders Katie Bowen and Christina Gibbons both scored their first career goals in the 29th and 42nd minute, respectively.

However, Kansas City was handed yet another challenge when forward Shea Groom was shown a straight red card in the fourth minute of stoppage time of the first half. The controversial call forced FCKC to play the entire second half with only ten players.

Sky Blue, and Sam Kerr especially, took advantage in the second 45 minutes by wearing down the KC defense with their advantage. Kerr scored a hat trick in the final twelve minutes of the game to beat the Blues 3-2.

The Orlando Pride are led by the Brazilian duo of Camila and Marta. Camila has three goals and three assists on the season and Marta is second in the league so far with eight goals along with her three assists. Orlando will hope to have Alex Morgan back for a full 90 minutes as she’ll likely make her third appearance since coming back from France and a hamstring injury.

Kansas City will be without one of its starters for the second straight game and the third time this year as Groom will have to sit out due to her red card. Kansas City has suffered three red card suspensions in 2017. In the previous four seasons combined, Kansas City players have only seen red twice.

Defender Brittany Taylor and goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart are inching closer to milestones this season. Taylor now has 96 NWSL appearances and Barnhart has 92. Since joining the Blues last season, Taylor has played 90 minutes in all 33 games. Barnhart, who holds the league record for shutouts with 35, has spent all five seasons with Kansas City.

Christina Gibbons, who had played exclusively on the backline prior to last week, was shifted into central midfield for the clash against Sky Blue and excelled there. She scored her first goal of the season and her professional career then notched her second assist. Gibbons is expected to make her second straight start in the midfield on Saturday night.

Kick off for FC Kansas City’s match against the Pride is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CT on Saturday. The game can be seen live on go90.com, the go90 app for Android and iOS platforms and NWSLSoccer.com.

FC Kansas City tickets are available here.