On Saturday, the whole proved greater than the sum of its parts for FC Kansas City.
Missing four starters for the start of what will be a long stretch without U.S. national team players, the defending NWSL champions made some forced lineup changes but comfortably defeated the Houston Dash, 2-0 at BBVA Compass Stadium.
The victory was the second straight for FC Kansas City after starting the season with two consecutive defeats.
Liz Bogus opened the scoring and rookie Shea Groom scored her first professional goal to lift the Blues to the road victory and back to a .500 record.
Bogus opened the scoring with a laser of a goal in the 41st minute, ripping a right footed shot low from the top of the 18-yard box after a poor clearance by Houston’s Melissa Henderson. Dash goalkeeper Bianca Henninger was screened from the shot.
A minute later, FC Kansas City’s lead nearly doubled as Groom got in behind and was 1-on-1 with Henninger. Groom shot high and the Dash goalkeeper got just enough on it to push the ball over the bar.
Groom, however, would not be denied. Six minutes after halftime, she got her head on Sarah Hagen’s cross and redirected the ball past Henninger.
Henderson nearly got Houston back into the match in the 54th minute, but her header went off the crossbar. Jessica McDonald also had a half-chance in the 48th minute when she got on the end of Ella Ms
With center back Becky Sauerbrunn gone for U.S. national team camp, FC Kansas City coach Vlatko Andonovski played midfielder Yael Averbuch in the back four. Groom, Hagen and Silva earned starts in the absence of U.S. players Lauren Holiday, Heather O’Reilly and Amy Rodriguez.
Houston was also without their two central midfielders — Carli Lloyd and Morgan Brian — for the first time this season for the same reasons. Both players departed earlier this week for U.S. camp in Carson, Calif. United States internationals will return after the World Cup; the World Cup final is on July 5 in Vancouver.
#FCKC Starting XI: Barnhart; Moros, Robinson, LePeilbet; Buczkowski, Averbuch, Tymrak, Groom; Bogus, Silva, Hagen HOUvFCKC
— NWSL (@NWSL) May 3, 2015
— NWSL (@NWSL) May 2, 2015
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