FC Kansas City Still Undefeated
FC Kansas City continued its unbeaten streak with a 1-0 victory over the Seattle Reign in front of 2,618 fans at Starfire Stadium. Renae Cuellar scored the game winner in the 69th minute off a beautiful pass from defender Becky Sauerbrunn who had built the play from her own defensive end.
The win grows FC Kansas City’s (2-0-1, 7pts) unbeaten streak to three games, including two straight wins. They now sit tied for second place in the National Women’s Soccer League with the Boston Breakers, behind only the Portland Thorns FC.
In the previous meeting between these two clubs, only last week, FC Kansas City immediately jumped into an attacking position. They utilized their strong midfield to push the play into Seattle’s defensive third for most of the game. That strategy proved useful again tonight as Lauren Cheney and Sinead Farrelly monopolized possession and patiently held the ball until they could find their teammates in an open position. In the 16th minute, Cheney worked her way up the middle of the field and found Cuellar on the doorstep, but Reign goalkeeper Michelle Betos was somehow able to make two big saves on the Mexican International.
From their defensive midfield positions, Jen Buczkowski and Desiree Scott were able to keep Seattle’s Jessica Fishlock and Christine Nairn in check most of the night, but on the rare occasion a Reign player broke through, the Kansas City defense was there to smother any chance at an attack.
After going into halftime tied with no score, Seattle opened up their gameplay to try and force some offense. Often flooding seven or eight players into the attack, they were able to get three shots on goal. Nicole Barnhart was up to the task every time however, and earned her second straight ‘clean-sheet’.
Taking advantage of Seattle’s offensive push, defender Becky Sauerbrunn made a beautiful run up the right sideline, connecting passes to Scott and Cheney along the way. Her final pass across the field to Cuellar was on target and easily converted to the game-winning goal for Kansas City. Cuellar has now scored a goal in every match this season, bringing her streak to three straight games.
“I got the ball and dribbled out of a bit of pressure and realized the whole right side was pretty open, so I just went for it,” Sauerbrunn described the build-up towards the goal. “It was one of those plays you imagine in your mind but never actually think would happen. Everything clicked for that one play and it felt amazing.”
FC Kansas City is on the road again next week against the Western New York Flash on Saturday May 11th at 6:35p.m. CT. The team will return home on May 18th to face the Boston Breakers at 7:35p.m. CT.