FC Kansas City open 2017 NWSL season with victory over Boston

The Equalizer Staff April 16, 2017 47

FC Kansas City defeated the Boston Breakers 2-0 to open their 2017 NWSL season as Syndey Leroux and Amy Rodriguez, whom are both coming back from giving birth, scored for the home side.

Syndney Leroux opened the scoring in the seventh minute. Becky Sauerbrunn played a long ball over the top to Leroux who was just able to sneak it in past Boston’s Abby Smith at the left post.

 

Amy Rodriguez then stretched FCKC’s lead to 2-0 in the 48th minute after finishing a Shea Groom’s low ball across the penalty area.

Not long after her goal, Rodriguez had to be taken off the field due to an apparent non-contact injury.

In the 72nd minute, as FCKC lost possession while passing the ball around in the defensive end., Leroux took advantage of a 50/50 ball and hit it, but it went off the left post.

Leroux was taken off in the 78th minute.

In the 79th minute, Tiffany Weimer served the ball into the penalty area, where Ifeoma Onumonu got to direct it to goal, but the ball went off the crossbar, then Nicole Barnhart came up with a save to keep the rebound shot out of the net.

In the 88th minute, Weimer again found space to get the ball across, but no one was able to make good contact and put it away.

That was the last of the significant chances of the game for either team, as FCKC got three points.

  • guest

    Great home opener win for KC. Hope Arod is ok. The SydRod combo is deadly. Epic return for the maternity duo. Syd could of had a hat track, as she hit two others off the post. She also does very well to track back and help cover defensively, perhaps why Pia tried her out at outside back at one time, though also since KC is playing a 433 rather than their usual 4231, the forwards have a little bit more of a defensive responsibility. Labonta and Averbuch did well to contribute as well. Great overall team performance from KC.

    • Calci0

      Her second shot that hit the post would have been an nice one touch goal! Nice to see she is rounding into form.

  • mockmook

    Now seems like a good time to list the non-injured players on the various teams who I was disappointed in not seeing get a start:

    Boston:
    Andrews

    Chicago:
    Naughton
    Proffitt

    Orlando:
    Driesse

    Seattle:
    K.Johnson

    Washington:
    Castleberry

    I’m not saying they are all necessarily the best at their position, but they are good enough and I want a good look at them.

    • guest

      Now NWSL teams are in season and playing games that count, the coaches will choose starters/players they believe give team best chance to win. Injuries and other factors have/will impact players availability but coaches are trying to win games – not give fans a look at their favorite players.

      • JL

        Yep. Preseason was the time for coaches to look at these players. Their only responsibility now is to put out the 11 that they believe gives them the best chance to win every week. If those players that mockmook wanted to see aren’t part of that 11, then coaches don’t have to play them.

        • Calci0

          It was kind of odd the KC subbed in one of the players they just picked up last week 1st. If they were rated that high, why didn’t they make the roster to begin with? Glad they are making the most of the opportunity, just seemed like a curious move.

        • mockmook

          So the coaches have perfectly evaluated all the players and any player who didn’t start in week one should never start a game?

  • Guest

    Hope that AROD is ok. Great all around performance. Was really impressed with Gibbons and can see why Vlatko is so pleased with her. Seems like Leroux is very determined and ready to fight back into the NT picture. Not really sure why everyone is counting her out. The NT has yet to transition to effective possession soccer and are still relying on strength, grit and individual heroics. Leroux could easily fit in in that sense. She’s not much different of a player than Williams who is garnering attention

    • guest

      leroux just received a 2017 uswnt player allocation. she’s not going to have to fight too hard.

      • guest

        there are 22 uswnt player allocation salaries. just have to be in the top 18 for game day rosters.

      • Guest

        To get minutes she will with the logjam at fwd. before injury and pregnancy when she last played she was starting for the most part

    • #1Fan

      No argument with your comments on the NT, but surely that is a huge departure form what has been stated by Ellis?

      • DNG

        But surely Lynn Williams allocation has already alerted us to this contradiction between what Ellis says and does. Having watched part of the game I need to see more from Leroux in any case. Boston’s defense is still just really bad.

        • #1Fan

          it is a sign, for sure. having read your comments here, I am sure you can watch a game and look at a player whether they score or not. I feel that a goal makes pundits almost ignore everything else.

          her goal was instinctive and a lovely finish. I noticed when she had time to pick a spot, she looked hesitant and not particularly good. A -Rod same. This may be rust. Only time will tell.

          Im not Anti Leroux or ARod, I just dont see them as possessing the skill that you need to play the style they say they want. It was interesting that the ball for the goal bypassed midfield and was really good as well. The USWNT could play this way if they chose and do ok .

          • DNG

            I didn’t see the build up to the ARod goal but Leroux’s was basically just a route 1 ball she beat her defender to. That probably works at the international level too against all but the best teams. Hard for me to see Renard and Mbock being beat by a similar route 1 ball. They do a great job of dropping off as a line too to deny that space in behind. US could still grind out results though if they can fix their defense. Problem is all of the US’s upcoming CBs are still really green.

            Not sure if you got to see the Sky Blue match but I really enjoyed watching them play.

          • #1Fan

            i did say do ok 😉 The thing is , that R 1 ball is brilliant and HAS to be played, but the real point of it, is to make teams respect you deep so you have more room to break them down in between the lines. Thats where the issue with both players will become more obvious.

            Most teams that face the US now just drop off because they do not respect our ability to beat them consistently between the lines.

            BTw, you clearly know all this

          • guest

            She was being defended by Purce who may have not played defense ever before

          • Calci0

            But both of her shots that hit the post weren’t “route 1” balls. And I think she showed fine form for this being her 1st competitive regular season game in 600+ days. 1 goal, two shots off the posts, and played box to box up until Rodriguez went down and she moved centrally.

  • guest

    Wow… I don’t want to curse ARod by saying the three dreaded letters but that did not look good. What a shame… that combo of ARod/Leroux could have been deadly this season

  • Calci0

    Seeing Rodriguez go down with what looked like minimal contact was not good. And seeing how she reacted makes one think it “could” be serious. I hope she’s alright, and is able to bounce back as soon as possible. She’s put in alot of work to get back to this point!

  • guest

    Syd’s reaction on her first goal with FCKC was such a joy to see. It was such a genuine and priceless moment that it reminded me of her first time scoring in the Olympics against New Zealand. So happy for her. Hope she does well and has a breakout season, perhaps even starting again on the national team.

  • guest

    Start of another dreaded season for Boston, cockney coach has to go.

    • Calci0

      They won’t come up against Barnhart and Saurbrunn every week. They created a lot of chances. I think they will show their quality throughout the season. They are an improved team.

      • guest

        A lot of teams have also improved except for Washington.

    • ted norberto

      Let me get me ones and twos, Baby Rose and Morgan Andrews and maybe myself will try to right the ship. The seas will calm down and the rooks will bring us safely ashore.

  • Ashley C

    -I wonder how Lavelle handles playing for Boston. She will have to get used to feeling ineffective at times, little service and losing. Hopefully Boston can do better this season because I always find myself rooting for them.

    -It’s a cruel world if Rodriguez is seriously injured again. I felt awful for her. She had a great start.

    -Incredible start for Leroux too. I’ve never been really sold on her as a NT player but perhaps she changes my mind.

    • #1Fan

      Im going to take the other side, but Boston defensively were awful. Both Leroux and A-Rod were guilty of some pretty awful misses.

      Was nice to see them score, but all it did for me was underline my feelings about WoSo in general. Speed is far more dangerous than technical quality and fast teams will generate several high quality chances. There is no real soccer reason to play any other way until its ceases to be effective.

      Maybe it was game one jitters, but to me anyone who does not draft defenders when given the chance is crazy. You can find lesser developed speed pretty easily.

      • Ashley C

        Yes, Boston not drafting defenders was inexcusable. It’s pretty bizarre they did nothing to fix their biggest liability.

        WoSo needs to move away from athleticism and constantly relying on individual moments of brilliance. Especially the US program who is still lacking in technical skill. There needs to be far more patience and buildup play and to not be scared of possession. It’s one of the reasons I do want France to get it together because I find their style much more fun and appealing to watch. Their development system on the technical side of things will work in their favor for years to come if they can win and not collapse when it matters.

        • #1Fan

          I respect your opinion and agree. The thing is, the French have a centre for excellence. parents are not footing the bill. The country is small enough for FFF to get its arms around, but big enough to have critical mass when it comes to soccer.and it has passion. Thru history, it has many different cultures to pull from. They respect beautiful soccer.

          I dont see any real force pulling the US towards change. Change will involve a period of adjustment. Change will involve hard decisions. Change will involve planning for a different future. i dont see the leaderahip iin place that has the stomach for that.

          SBC was a great example. We played uninspired soccer and lost. Almost immediately the system we had been advocating was scrapped and we reverted to type. The most interesting thing is we did it with largely the same group of players which either suggests amazing tactical flexibility or coaching hubris.

          My comment about defenders is really for all the teams. Until defending improves, then domestically, pace will rule. Its interesting tha almost every game NWSL I have seen Henry in, she has been dominant. Little and Fishlock similar. When I see Lloyd, HAO, Dunn Or Morgan in their respective leagues that has not been the same. I dont think out players generally travel well. They are just not rounded enough top adapt as well.

          Maybe in time

    • ted norberto

      I kinda wanted Morgan Andrews to start and see how she links with Baby Rose. Rose White was fouling a lot. I think if Baby Rose had a connector type of player she liked, she would’ve had a good game.

    • Lavelle had zero impact in this game. Looking forward to seeing her in future matches to see if other defenses can contain her.

  • Breakers fan

    I just re-watched this game closely and I was surprised at how Boston, i think, really overall had the better possession. Possible I’m slightly biased, but maybe not. I know that during the game they had lots and lots of nice, completed passes from many different players. You’d have to watch it again to see for yourself. For a first game at right back Purce was actually good. Westphal was solid overall. Many of their players had decent to good games. I’d be interested to look at the official stats for the game. The problem was that there were a few lapses – bad ones, usually by their backs pushing up too much and too high of a defensive line otherwise, but my point is that in no way were they dominated in possession, the advantage there may have gone their way. So the play was more encouraging than I initially thought, less reason to be as gloomy as I felt after the game.

    • DNG

      How did you re-watch if you don’t mind my asking

      • Breakers fan

        It was still up on the go90 app. I think that expires at some point – maybe it’s a 24 hour thing?

        • DNG

          I couldn’t get the app to load any matches today or yesterday but I can watch it via the site using Hola.

          • Breakers fan

            Feel free to watch it again, if you want. Don’t do it just for me. I’m not saying they were world beaters, just that their play wasn’t nearly as bad as advertised or as I thought it was. It was pretty solid, if you look at each instance. Errors too, but not all that many. They also, as you probably know, were inches from scoring a few themselves.

          • DNG

            I want to watch the first half since I missed that last night. Boston should have been down 3-0 in the first 20 minutes with Leroux and ARod both missing clear chances on goal. I don’t remember it being that bad in the second half though so I’m guessing they work through it and get better.

          • Breakers fan

            Yes, though even in the first 20 the goal instances were isolated and momentary. Boston had a 52-48 possession advantage in the first half.

      • Breakers fan

        One flaw in watching it. It appears you can Pause the action and while the screen does freeze and give you the appearance of pausing, when you hit play again it jumps ahead . If you paused it for 4 minutes at minute 32, when you hit play again it’ll be at minute 36.

    • Calci0

      I was impressed with Boston’s play. They just ran into a stout Barnhart. But I think their season is looking up! Though I am curious as to why Purce was moved from the front line. Any thoughts?

      • Breakers fan

        It was an emergency move to cover injuries to first Julie King, who has played right or centerback for them for the last 4,5 years and also an injury to Amanda Frisbie, who I believe may have been slated to be a starting centerback at the beginning of the season. When those 2 players will return is unknown to me. Brooke Elby is an experienced outside back too but she didn’t see the field yesterday and I think that’s just because they see Purce as an overall better athlete and they were probably impressed with her enough in practice that they decided to go with her there even though as far as I know she’s been a forward or at least a flank winger her whole life. On Leroux’s goal, although Purce was closest to her when she took the shot, one could ask “where were the 2 cb’s then — as Leroux scored from the center of the field? Purce to me did a pretty good job covering for them there. Thanks for your positive comments and outlook!

    • guest

      how did lavelle and morgan look?

      • Breakers fan

        Lavelle looked good. A very high % of her touches were successful, though not all. Morgan only played about 10 minutes. Only had a few touches – was fine, nothing spectacular or bad.

        • If they ever put the matches online I’ll have to watch this again. From the stands it looked like Lavelle only touched the ball 2 or 3 times. She seemed completely ineffective to me versus KC.

          • Breakers fan

            She had 10-15 touches during the course of the whole game, I would say. She made mostly completed passes, some nice ones. She was facilitating. Took maybe one shot – not a good one. She may have had a free kick goal but Adriana Leon preferred to take the kick over her, which bothered me – do you remember that? I wish she was central – think she would have been more of a factor. I wonder if they’ll move her there next game.

          • I think during the first half she was on the opposite side of the field from me. Maybe that’s why I didn’t notice her. I told the friends who accompanied me to the game to watch out for her, but my friend kept pointing out Leon as the best player on the field. “Who’s #19?” “She’s amazing.” “She’s all over the place.” “19 is so good.” “What a great player.”

            At halftime I moved to the end zone to watch the second half, but I can’t say I ever noticed Lavelle, even though I expected to see her tearing up the midfield.

          • Breakers fan

            Having watched the game twice I’ll say that Leon was energetic, and pretty good on the ball, but not good enough to finish. Her shots were strong but wild, pretty far off the mark. There could be potential with her to do some damage in the league this year – I’m not sure yet. I do think she’s quicker than Dowie on the ball.