Without veterans Becky Sauerbrunn, Lauren Holiday and Amy Rodriguez, who were in Canada with the U.S. women’s national team, FC Kansas City coach Vlatko Andonovski knew he would have to rely on young talent.
The Blues played six rookies in Wednesday’s game, including Morgan Marlborough, who scored her first professional goal. Despite their efforts, the Blues fell 2-1 to the Western New York Flash at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester, N.Y.
The loss ended a two-game winning streak and dropped FCKC’s record to 2-3-1.
“It wasn’t an easy task for them, but I think they did a good job and got us all the way through,” Andonovski said. “Even at the end we could have tied the game with a great opportunity that we had, but we were unlucky.”
Western New York limited FC Kansas City to five shots; the Blues were averaging 16.8 entering the match.
“They were very organized defensively and there were not many holes there to expose,” Andonovski said. “We kept trying, but we couldn’t find the final touch.”
Samantha Kerr gave Western New York the lead with a header that sailed into the top left corner of the goal in the 38th minute, and Jasmyne Spencer added another goal in the 45th minute.
Marlborough, who was a second-round pick in the 2014 National Women’s Soccer League College Draft, scored in the 57th minute after the Blues recovered a free kick.
“Morgan is a natural finisher and she has a good sense for the goal, so when she is inside the goal, it seems like she knows where to be and puts it away,” Andonovski said.
Before the game, FC Kansas City called up reserves Molly Dreska and Missy Geha. Dreska was subbed in during the 17th minute for Melissa Henderson, and Geha was subbed for Dreska in the 69th minute.