When FC Kansas City traveled to New Jersey to face Sky Blue FC earlier this month, everything was going right.
It took just two minutes for the Blues to get on the board, and by the end of the match they had extended their unbeaten streak to nine games with a 5-0 victory. However, FC Kansas City coach Vlatko Andonovski says the team is expecting a much harder battle this time when it plays at 5 p.m. Sunday at UMKC’s Durwood Stadium.
“The last game against Sky Blue went very nicely, but games like that do not happen very often,” Andonovski said. “A couple days ago against Washington they were up 4-0 in the 84th minute, so that is probably the real picture of who they are and what they can do.”
Sky Blue ended up winning that game 4-2 to bounce back after a 14-day break that followed the loss to Kansas City.
The Blues, on the other hand, saw their win streak snapped one game later in a 7-1 loss to Portland Thorns FC, which has closed the gap to just four points for second place in the National Women’s Soccer League standings. FC Kansas City then played to a draw with the Western New York Flash last Friday.
Sunday also marks the first of five games over a 14-day span as the Blues close out the regular season. They currently have a 10-5-4 record and Andonovski said every player is available, even though goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart and forward Sarah Hagen have been battling ankle injuries.
“We are going to have to utilize every player that we have on the team and hopefully give everyone a little more playing time and keep everyone fresh going into the playoffs if we make it,” Andonovski said.
Four teams will advance to the playoffs, and Seattle Reign FC has earned the first bid.
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