NWSL: Flash, Reign draw; FCKC breaks out

The Equalizer Staff July 3, 2015 28

The WNY Flash looked to turn the tides on the Seattle Reign on Friday night at Sahlen’s Stadium after being defeated 5-1 during their first meeting this season. Though the Flash outshot the Reign 20-1, the match ended in a 1-1 draw.

The WNY Flash hit the pitch strong and composed right at the start of the match. From creative offensive sequences to a strong defensive line, the Flash utilized the width of the field to build and maintain a strong, cohesive front. Seattle, in return, struggled throughout the match to break through the defensive line and create a steady offensive momentum.

The Flash created a series of dangerous offensive plays throughout the match, as evidenced by their 20 shots, but in the end Haley Kopmeyer did a fantastic job and denied them all but one goal.

Seattle was awarded a penalty kick in the 54th minute after Abby Dahlkemper took down Jess Fishlock in the box. Kim Little took the PK – Chantel Jones went right, Little went left to put the Reign on the board 1-0.

Lynn Williams scored the equalizer, her 3rd goal of the season, in the 81st minute. Elizabeth Eddy did a tremendous job moving through three defenders in the box and found Williams on the left side where she easily finished.

Williams had a strong match and was part of many strong offensive opportunities that resulted in shots on goal. In the 29th minute, she fired a strong shot inside of the box, but a deflection re-routed the ball and Kopmeyer easily snagged the ball. A couple of minutes later, she looked to break away towards goal, but Little put a damper on her plan and chased her down to prevent the shot on goal.

In the 22nd minute, Amanda Frisbee – who made her first career start – sent a beautiful cross into the box. Becky Edwards directed a header toward goal, but Kopmeyer — who had a very busy night in goal — made a diving save, denying Edwards the goal.

Danielle Foxhoven made her way down the right flank in the 37th minute looking to put Seattle on top. She sent a nice through ball to Fishlock in the box, but Dahlkemper came rushing in to break up the play. Fishlock was also on the forefront of dangerous ball played in over the top of the Flash defensive line in the 49th minute. Little and Jones both raced toward the ball, but Jones just beat her to it.

Jasmyne Spencer found Edwards at the top of the box in the 59th minute, but Edwards one-timed it just left of the goal. Sam Mewis, who did a great job at navigating and switching up flank play, took a shot in the 64th minute at the top of the box, but the shot rolled right to Kopmeyer for the easy scoop.

Williams nearly scored her second goal of the night in stoppage time when she rushed in and fired a rocket toward goal, but the ball was deflected out for a corner kick. Eddy also had a close call with seconds left to play when she launched a shot that just went over the goal post.

Both teams will meet again in a week closing a home-and-home series on July 11th.

-Megan Manzari

***

FC Kansas City breaks out to beat Spirit

FC Kansas City broke out of an offensive slump and snapped a five-match winless streak with a 3-0 win over the Washington Spirit on Friday night at Swope Soccer Village.

Former Spirit Yael Averbuch put the Blues head in the 27th minute when she curled a free kick around the wall and into the upper 90 after Estelle Johnson took down Shead Groom just above the area.

FC Kansas City added two more goals after the break. In the 53rd minute Liz Bogus made a far post pass from the left flank that went beyond the frame. Frances Silva sent it back in front of goal where Groom was left unmarked and had an easy finish past Kelsey Wys. In the 66th Erika Tymrak worked her way through midfield and delivered a ball into space deep on the right side. Leigh Ann Robinson ran onto it and gave a cross to Bogus to make it 3-0.

FC Kansas City (4-5-2, 14 pts) jumped into 4th place and will visit Boston on Thursday. The Spirit (5-4-2, 17 pts) missed a chance to take first and will instead remain third. They have two full weeks off before hosting the Reign on July 18.

***

The Thorns rallied for two second-half goals to win for the first time since April 18, 2-1 over Sky Blue FC. Sky Blue, themselves without a win since opening weekend, led 1-0 until Cami Levin fouled Ayo Anonma in the box for a penalty and red card. Allie Long converted the penalty and Sinead Farrelly scored on a header in the 78th minute off a gorgeous cross by Alyssa Kleiner.

Sky Blue took the lead in the first half when Taylor Lytle put Katy Freels through and Freels scooped a shot over Michelle Betos. Betos though, had the last laugh when she saved Freels’ stoppage time free kick that was targeted for the upper 90.

The teams will meet again Saturday, July 11 at Yurcak Field in New Jersey.

-Lauletta
-Dan Lauletta

  • Rdalford

    Attendance
    2377 for WNY v Seattle
    2079 for FCKC v Washington
    12223 for Portland v Sky Blue

    • Lorehead

      93° heat in Portland. I hope it’s a bit cooler when Seattle comes to town.

    • Steglitz49

      WoSo thrives in the US. Only the very best attended clubs in Europe get 2079 spectators — sometimes.

      • Lorehead

        I really hope the USWNT wins on Sunday and we see those numbers shoot way up. I have the feeling a lot of investors are only going to be interested if that happens, because if that isn’t the royal road to relevance, it’s going to be a long, slow, uphill slog.

        • Steglitz49

          Inasmuch as WoSo needs a thriving NWSL, the world of WoSo should support your sentiment. FIFA certainly understood.

          At the same time I wonder whether WoSo can survive this world cup? Hopefully we will get some good Champions league and a fine AFC and Euro-17 to compensate. Rio will matter to the 12 who qualify but there is no guarantee that the times will suit anyone, not even NA!

        • tonysocref

          FOX is not helping with this as far as the NWSL is concerned. There have now been 3 matches (semis and 3rd place) and not a single mention by the announcers or any commercials about the TV deal and upcoming matches.

          • Lorehead

            Unfortunately so.

          • JL

            Actually, I heard more mentions of NWSL in the Germany game than I did in the Nigeria, Colombia, and China games. I was at the Australia and Sweden games, so I haven’t seen the broadcasts of those yet.

    • David K Anderson

      A poor turnout for us here in Portland…but a nasty hot, humid day and a Friday, so no real complaints. I was there (of course!), but wearing my Swansea City kit (lightweight and white), and taking advantage of the beer peddlers now having cider.

  • Lorehead

    There will probably be a thread for this at some point, but in case there’s an update instead: the Thorns did not win pretty, but they won and that’s what matters. At the midpoint of the season, sixth place is not where we wanted to be. However, we’re only five points out of first, all our players are coming back, they’ll have about a week to get ready for the rematch, and then ten days to get ready for Seattle. That’s not too big a hole to dig ourselves out of.

    • john

      Aren’t they coming back to the same coach and team dynamics?

      • Lorehead

        The last time they were here, that same coach and team dynamics won the first two games, then got a draw on the road against the current number one team in the league. What team wouldn’t have problems if it lost nine starters for a month?

    • David K Anderson

      Pretty dreadful first half, with no cohesion in the attack and a poor concession via Allie losing her mark and Michelle getting caught too far off her line (but not far enough). The change in formation/assignments at the half worked, though. Obviously the DOGSO red card to Levin helped a lot, but I think the Thorns were pretty convincingly dominating play at that point, anyway.

      While I like three-at-the-back, I think the team will almost certainly go to four (Catley > Polkinghorne > Williamson > Menges, perhaps?) when everyone’s back and fit. That gives us two very pacey fullbacks and two tough, effective CBs.

      That Alyssa Kleiner cross to Sinead Farrelly was inch-perfect, and Sinead’s finish header was fantastic…lovely goal. Kleiner is clearly making her case to be retained after all the internationals return, and I think she may well pull it off (that is, since we really don’t need a fifth forward, I can see Hanna Terry being waived and Kleiner signed).

      And Michelle Betos saved our bacon at the death…again. Freels took a fantastic free kick that was destined for the upper 90, but Betos pushed it over the bar.

      • Lorehead

        Three-at-the-back worked better than I thought it would, but it also cost us a lot of games through defensive mistakes. With four forwards in the lineup, we probably play at least two up front. So will Paul Riley play a staid old 4-4-2?

        • David K Anderson

          I think so (although very likely with a diamond midfield). I can see Kyle/Zerboni at the base of the diamond, with Heath and Long at the wings, Ayo at the tip. Sinc and Alex up front…or possibly switch Ayo and Sic, since Sinclair is actually a very effective CAM. I can also see using Ayo as a sub, moving Allie to CAM, and Mana Shim or Kendall Johnson on the wing (although I might actually prefer Alyssa Kleiner there, myself: she’s faster than either one, has good feet, and makes good decisions with the ball).

          That’s a lineup with absolutely absurd pace. Morgan, Ayo, Catley, Kleiner, and especially Menges have serious wheels.

          • Lorehead

            I know I’ve said this before: but if two of Riley’s subs are to rotate Morgan and Sinc with Taylor and Ayo, what defense in the league is going to keep up with that in the second half?

          • David K Anderson

            And you can mix and match at will with that foursome. I might not have considered Jodie to be more than depth reserve prior to the World Cup (despite that hat trick in qualifying), but having seen what she can really do, I have no problem with her as a starter.

          • Lorehead

            Morgan/Sinc and Taylor/Ayo seem like good striker-playmaker tandems to me, but any team in the world would be glad to have any two of them, and that includes the national teams.

  • FootballNowAndAlways

    Why was there no NWSL preview this time around? Is EQ ashamed of the profession of these women?

    “You are not wearing a badge. Are you ashamed of your profession? I myself, I was a dentist, I did not hide the fact that I was a dentist. How are your teeth, Wyatt?”

    Doc Holiday (No relation to Lauren Holiday).

  • nwslfan

    Starting to like this WNY team. Like how they play

  • nwslfan

    Another random thought: Did Vlatko tweak Yael’s form on free kicks? That Fk was f*cking gorgeous- dipped well under cross bar.

    • guest

      She credited one of the assistant coaches during a halftime interview for her improved free kicks.

  • john

    As a DC fan just one more reason to dislike YaYa! On a more serious note Spirit need to eliminate these clunkers if they’re ever going to climb the mountain.

  • Guest

    Spirit appear to dependent on Dunn, when almost everything flows thru Dunn (even as good and creative as she is) they are too predictable. Spirit defense will improve post WC with return of Harris and Kreiger but team will need to raise their level of play to stay in playoff contention.

  • Iknowdagame

    Even though the Sky Blue FC owners suck and the GM is an absolute moron, I think it’s clear to EVERYONE that they need to fire the head coach, release or trade their right back and play the following lineup once everyone gets back:
    FWs: KO, Kerr, Nadim
    Mids: Freels, Killion, Lytle/Hagsma (Lytle needs to pick it up!)
    Def: Ford, Cutshall, Rampone, Hays
    Then maybe they’ll have the slight chance of making the playoffs.

    • GT

      Gabarra needs to be fired. He is by far the worst coach in the league. Right back? Thats Foord. Do you mean Levin, the left back? Why, because of the red card? Did you see the play? That was the worst call I ever saw. The ref should be fired. Levin is a smart, hard working player who has been and should continue to be an integral part of the Sky Blue defense. With respect to KO, I would prefer to see her at Attacking Midfielder like she has played in the last two games against China and Germany. Then she will be a regular scorer, but will also along with Freels and Killian control the middle of the field which has been lacking for Sky Blue. Move Hays back up front to join Nadim, Kerr, Ocampo and Fillgno if they ever show up.

  • InTheKnow7

    Lets see what happens for Sky Blue now that they will be at full strength. They certainly have looked over matched in the majority of their games so far this year. Hopefully the attendance gets a lift following the W.C too.

    No more excuses. Time to put or shut up.

    • GT

      Don’t agree with the over matched comment, except for the two 3-0 losses. Agree completely with the “No more excuses. Time to put up or shut up.” comment.