FC Kansas City had some rotten luck on its last road trip.
Fresh off a season-opening win at home, the Blues traveled to Chicago without Amy Rodriguez (anterior cruciate ligament) and played aimlessly, prompting coach Vlatko Andonovski to call the 1-0 loss to the Red Stars the worst he’d ever seen from his team. Then they played without Shea Groom, who broke a rib in Chicago, and lost to Sky Blue FC when referees made a questionable offside call on a Christina Gibbons-to-Brittany Ratcliffe equalizing goal.
It didn’t seem the Blues would ever catch a break this season. Then Erica Tymrak, subbed into the second half of a match against Orlando Pride, grazed the ball on a free kick from Yael Averbuch and scored the club’s first goal in 312 minutes.
But FCKC (1-2-2) couldn’t score again in what ended as a 1-1 draw. It couldn’t muster any offense in last week’s 0-0 tie against Portland Thorns FC either.
As the defense has continued its stellar work — FCKC has yielded only three goals this season, including a shutout against Portland, the No. 2 team in the NWSL — FCKC’s offensive stores have all but dried up. Only the Pride (1-2-2) and Washington Spirit (1-3-1), which FCKC will face on the road at 6 p.m. Saturday, are worse off in the standings.
Even those teams have scored six or more goals this season.
But no one in FCKC’s camp is hitting the panic button.
“We’ve had slow starts before and ended up winning championships. I’m not concerned,” said Andonovski in a release.
The Spirit have allowed 12 goals this season and scored seven. They’ll have Mallory Pugh, a U.S. national team member and the youngest player to score in an Olympics, in their offensive third this weekend. The 19-year-old decided to turn pro and forego a college career. The Spirit were first in the league’s allocation order and won over Pugh, who could have chosen to play in Europe instead.
In 12 appearances with the senior national team, Pugh has scored four goals. She won’t make FCKC’s task any easier.