Just two days after beginning the NWSL season on a high, FC Kansas City was dealt a blow when tests revealed Amy Rodriguez had torn the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee in the season-opening 2-0 win over the Boston Breakers on Sunday.
Rodriguez, who missed last season while pregnant, had scored the club’s second goal just minutes before being knocked over by an opponent. She crumpled to the ground, writhing in pain, and was eventually carried off the field on a stretcher.
She will miss the rest of the season — so, in a twisted way, it’s a good thing that FCKC’s two remaining forwards, Sydney Leroux and Shea Groom, have spent plenty of time practicing without Rodriguez. Rodriguez had joined the U.S. women’s national team for most of the preseason, leaving Leroux and Groom to their own devices.
It helps, too, that Groom became familiar with making the majority of the team’s shots last year as the lead striker on the team. Although the Blues will miss the star power Rodriguez offered, Groom and Leroux have enough experience to bridge the gap.
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Especially when they factor in a defense that in Sunday’s game won 33 duels to Boston’s 27 and made 15 tackles. Creating opportunities at that rate will come in handy on Saturday against the Chicago Red Stars, who in a 2-0 loss to Houston last week were forced to block six shots and make seven saves.
FC Kansas City plays at 3 p.m. Saturday in Chicago. The game can be streamed live on the go90.com app, available in the App Store and Play Store, for free.