Wambach double hands FC Kansas City first loss

Megan Manzari May 11, 2013 27
Abby Wambach

Abby Wambach scored twice to lift the Flash to a 2-1 win over FC Kansas City. (Photo courtesy Mark Novak/WNY Flash)

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Abby Wambach scored twice and Carli Lloyd made her NWSL debut as the Western New York Flash defeated FC Kansas City 2-1, handing the Blues their first loss of the season on Saturday at Sahlen’s Stadium in front of a crowd of 2,738.

Both teams started out eager for the win, battling aggressively for possession. The Blues defense looked strong off the bat, but soon lost momentum and started scrambling to break up Flash offensive runs, especially those of Wambach.

“We can’t give her that space, the time or looks, so that’s something we have to improve on,” said Kansas City captain Becky Sauerbrunn.

In the 34th minute, Brittany Taylor knocked a long ball to Veronica Perez, who chested it to an oncoming Wambach for a well-placed left-footed shot into the back of the net.

Kansas City midfielder Kristie Mewis caused a few defensive jumbles for the Flash in the first half. Her aggressive play along the flank and powerful left foot created many dangerous opportunities, falling just short of scoring. Soon after Wambach’s first goal she was out for the equalizer in the 36th minute, but was denied by the crossbar.

Wambach scored the second Flash goal in the 39th minute from a loose ball in the box due to a defensive miscue. Leigh Ann Robinson’s errant back pass went straight to Wambach at the top of the 18-yard box.

“It was a miscommunication — one of our defenders was playing it back to another to clear it and it rolled into Abby’s path, “said Sauerbrunn, when asked about the goal. “She put it away and it was a great finish.”

Lauren Cheney put Kansas City on the board in the 52nd minute after a ball in from Robinson. Cheney was involved again in the 74th looking for the equalizer when she passed a thru ball to Jen Buczkowski, who blasted the shot on goal from eight yards, but Adriana Franch was able to make the outstanding save and maintain the Flash lead.

Lloyd made her debut in Rochester in the 64th minute when she subbed in for Perez. She came in eager for a goal and nearly got one nine minutes later after blasting a free kick on goal that was ultimately saved by a diving Nicole Barnhart. “I saw the opening there, visualized it and I thought I had her,” said Lloyd about her free kick.

Lloyd has spent the last 4-5 weeks working hard on getting herself fit [after suffering a broken bone in her left shoulder at the Algarve Cup in early March] to play and was glad coach Aaron Lines gave her some game time.

“My mindset this last week and last few days leading up to the game was to have a solid performance and not do too much — keep the ball simple, work hard, defend hard and help my teammates,” she said.

Barnhart had an impressive game. Though two goals slipped by her, she maintained her composure and stopped many dangerous shots on goal, including denying Wambach of a hat trick [twice]. Barnhart can thank midfielder Desiree Scott, too, who cleared Wambach’s 66th minute header off the line.

Goals:

34’ | Wambach (Perez)

39’ | Wambach

53’ | Cheney (Robinson)

Cautions:

91’ | Yellow Card – Reckless Foul | Sesselmann

95’ | Yellow Card – Tactical Foul | Heyboer

Lineups:

WNY Flash starting XI: Sahlen, Kerr(Heyboer 83’), Salem, Zerboni, Adriana, Johnson, Taylor, Reynolds (McCarthy 75’), Perez (Lloyd 64’), Wambach, Franch.

FC Kansas City starting XI: Sauerbrunn Buczkowski, Mathias (Henderson 88’), Cuellar (Tymrak 59’), Scott, Cheney, Robinson, Sesselmann, Farrelly (Jones 75’), Barnhart, Mewis.

  • newsouth

    Lines completely out-coached KC’s coach for 70 mins. within 30 mins, it was clear Renae couldn’t run past Estelle Johnson, so they will need to shift to an offense which would build vs direct. They will have the same problem with SBFC. Rampone will turn her into a non-factor. Either she can flow by CBs, or she might have to sit the game unless they can reinvent how to use her in those situations.

    • luke

      Isn’t it similar case as Leroux? Very fast, strong and reliable finisher, but not so good when there is a need to dribble or create chances by herself?

      • http://www.facebook.com/forge.dias Forge Dias

        Yup that is always the criticism of Leroux. And Cuellar had a lot of problems taking the pass and turning, she doesn’t have the feet to do it. I think if they want a forward to hold the ball more to build possession in the attacking third they will need to use Cuellar as a change of pace sub and use either Courtney Jones or Melissa Henderson up top who can hold and turn with the ball.

        • Steglitz49

          Ms Cuéllar is 22, soon to be 23, so it may be worth investing in a bit of coaching to help her improve. She has scored 3 goals so far, not too bad.

          • newsouth

            Her 3 goals are all direct runs against slow CBs. Estelle and Rampone can blaze. Renae needs to get behind CB, not be forced to create in front of them. She will have no runs available again when they play SBFC. Rampone is still one of the fastest even at 37. Once they subbed her and build their attack, they got right back in the game. Renae will have no problem Portland and Buehler.

          • Steglitz49

            If I understand it right, what is needed is an old-fashioned wing who can get to the goal-line and put in a cross into the box.

          • necron99

            Same age as Leroux

        • Paul McNally

          Agreed. Cuellar has speed but playing long to her…1960′s Soccer. Henderson knows the role of target player AND has speed.

    • Paul Mcnally

      Agreed. Changing back line and concept was noticeable different from initial match vs. Portland. Consistency is lacking and thinking that going through Cheney every time down will work?? Nonsense.
      Scott is a nice surprise, Miews is a welcome addition and others have contributed.
      Get back to fundamental defensive concepts. Effort vs. NY was ugly.

  • http://www.myloanadvisor.com/ Jessica Bridges

    Uncharacteristic misses by KC’s defense were the problem tonight. You can’t give Abby Wambach opportunities to get to the ball in the box and not expect to get scored on. KC also should have had some more chances, but made some poor passes, turning the ball over up the field. WNY was hungry tonight and they took advantage of every opportunity.

  • luke

    Carli Lloyd was a beast! :o

    Lot of people smiled when she mentioned she want to win POTY award this year, but it looks she did mean it: dribbling, hustling, fighting, shooting, she was everywhere on a field. First game after quite a injury and stellar performance!

  • Ashley

    Never one of my favorites but, I must admit that’s an impressive effort from Carli Lloyd, only playing 26 minutes and still putting shots on goal, nice. Assuming US Soccer stops scheduling National Team games during the NWSL season (I half expect them to schedule a couple during the playoffs now, too), the Flash will be on the heels of FCKC and Portland for the title with her, Abby and Kerr in the lineup. Speaking of Kerr, I expected more from her tonight, this superstar player I’d heard very little about before the start of NWSL.

    • luke

      remember she’s still a kid and indeed, it takes 5 minutes of watching to recognize huge talent she has

      • Steglitz49

        Does that mean that a wealthy club in Europe will make her an offer that she would not want to refuse?

        • Kernel Thai

          Well money always talks but NWSL is perfect for Aussie players as they can still play a full season in their W League (Oct to Jan). They also dont have language barriers to worry about. Id expect Aussies and Kiwis to be willing to take a little less for that convenience. Of course, big money is a whole nother ballgame.

          • Steglitz49

            England and all the UK leagues (same lingo) plus the Nordics play summer seasons, as do Japan.

    • Michelle

      Thankfully there are no FIFA women’s dates in August, so all the NT players will (should?) be available for playoffs. I had the same thought.

  • Steglitz49

    Seeing that Sol has not yet commented, an attendance of 2,738 on a Saturday is a bit worrying.

    OK. It is likely a bit more than watched St Etienne’s ladies (the Steffanies) beat PSG 2-0 in the semi-final of the French cup, if that is any consolation, but it is below that magical 3,000 mark someone said was minimum.

    Also worrying is that two players aged 30 and 32 can dominate a match.

    • Kernel Thai

      Does Sahlen own the park or does the city of Rochester?

      • Steglitz49

        As I understand it, Rochester own the park but Sahlen paid money to name it. Only a few wealthy teams who own their own grounds, like Man Utd with Old Trafford and Barca with Nou Camp, can afford not to sell naming rights, but eventually those will cash in also no doubt.

        Given that the match was played in Abby Wambach’s back yard, the attendance is very poor indeed.

      • newsouth

        Sahlen purchased the naming rights for 10 yrs @ $2.5M during their 1st year in the WPS.

  • sol1711

    2738spectators, this is not good.
    or in usa style, this is the greatest spectator number of the world. very very great sarcasm.
    more media, more money for new stadiums, more tv.
    or the league, we germans say, gibt den löffel ab.

    • Steglitz49

      Your point is well taken, Sol, but it is worse, seeing that they were playing in Abby Wambach’s town, so 2738 is not impressive.

  • wosofan

    Lloyd said: “My mindset this last week and last few days leading up to the game was to have a solid performance and not do too much — keep the ball simple, work hard, defend hard and help my teammates.”

    There’s a lesson in there, if only she would see it.

    • Steglitz49

      Most players dream of scoring a goal in a World cup game or, failing that, in an Olympic game. Having scored the winning goals in two Olympic finals, one wonders why the lady still plays, not how she plays. If it helps establish the NWSL, more power to her elbow.

    • Paul McNally

      Lloyd made more impact in 26 minutes than any other player seen has made in 90.

  • flashroch2013

    Nice game on Saturday. Wish that more people were there to show their support of the Flash. Hope the weather gets better and brings the fans out. So come on Rochester, let’s support our hometown girl!