FC Kansas City at the Halfway Point

Photo by Amy Kontras courtesy of ISI Photos

Photo by Amy Kontras courtesy of ISI Photos

By Scott Popp

KANSAS CITY (July 7, 2017) – The conclusion of Sunday night’s game against the Houston Dash signaled the halfway point of FC Kansas City’s season. 12 games down. 12 to go. As the wins and losses have piled up, the team has already worked through many ups and downs.

Kansas City started the season off with a big lift; the return of U.S. Women’s National Team regulars, Amy Rodriguez and Sydney Leroux. The attacking duo sat the 2016 campaign out with the birth of their sons.

The much-anticipated return of FC Kansas City’s stars got off to a perfect start. Both Rodriguez and Leroux scored in the Blues season-opening victory over the Boston Breakers.

However, the game ended on a dark note after Rodriguez went down with a knee injury in the second half. The bad news came a few days later when it was discovered Rodriguez tore her ACL and would miss the rest of the 2017 season.

As the Blues tried to adjust to their new line-up and the loss of Rodriguez, the team hit the road to face the Chicago Red Stars and Sky Blue, dropping both games with a 1-0 score line.

The Blues responded with their longest undefeated streak of the season so far. The team fought to two draws at home and then won back-to-back matches over the Washington Spirit to extend their streak to four matches.

The team’s annual trip to the Pacific Northwest netted them a draw against the Seattle Reign and a tough defeat to the Portland Thorns. The team then played their third game in eight days, against the Houston Dash in a match that saw the team leading late, but ultimately unable to hold on for the victory.

Kansas City currently sits at 3-5-4 on the season and sits in eighth place in the NWSL table with 13 points, only six points out of playoff position. As the team looks towards the second half of the season and their hopes to make their fifth NWSL playoff appearance, they have several things to look forward to.

The backbone of Vlatko Andonovski’s team has always been growth towards the playoffs. While every game matters, FCKC has always finished strong. On the way to their second straight NWSL Championship in 2015, the Blues were 3-5-2 at the halfway point of the season. They only lost one game the remainder of the season and earned their second star above the team’s crest.

By the Numbers

7 - Home unbeaten streak

The Blues have been one of the best teams in the NWSL in front of their home crowd at Swope Soccer Village. Prior to Sunday’s loss to Houston, Kansas City had not lost at home in seven matches dating back to last season. The Blues will want to continue their home field advantage to move up in the table as the season goes on.

31 - Sydney Leroux’s return to form

The US national team and Blues forward is currently third in the league in shot attempts with thirty-one. She has three goals on the season and is continuing to grow her game, developing into a playmaker as well as a scoring threat.

4 – Score First, Score Often

FC Kansas City has had their most success when scoring early or often. They have four positive results (2-1-2) when getting the first goal of the game, and they are undefeated when scoring more than one goal in a game.

15 – Goals allowed

Despite some struggles of late, Kansas City still boasts one of the best defenses in the league. The center back tandem of Becky Sauerbrunn and Yael Averbuch are two of the best at distributing the ball. They are one and two in the league in passes completed.

3 – First-time goal scorers

While teams focus their defensive efforts on stopping Leroux and Shea Groom, the next generation of FCKC scorers is developing. Three players have scored their first NWSL goal this season: Maegan Kelly, Brittany Ratcliffe and Alexa Newfield.

Watch FC Kansas City's 6 remaining home games for as low as $72 with a 6 Gam Flex Plan. For more information email tickets@fckansascity.com or visit www.fckansascity.com/flexplans/

Team NewsBryn Raschke