With three games left in the regular season, FC Kansas City finds itself in a prime position to clinch a bid and even home-field advantage in the upcoming National Women’s Soccer League Playoffs.
A victory on Saturday would be the clearest path, but it will not be easy, as the Blues prepare to host the league-leading Seattle Reign FC at 7 p.m. Saturday at UMKC’s Durwood Stadium. The Blues could also advance if they draw and Chicago wins or draws. Regardless of Kansas City’s result, a loss by Chicago or Portland would also do the trick. If FC Kansas City wins and Chicago wins or draws, the Blues would not only clinch but also gain home-field advantage.
FC Kansas City had a chance to clinch a bid against Washington on Wednesday and held a 1-0 lead at halftime on a goal from national-team defender Becky Sauerbrunn but surrendered two unanswered goals in the second half.
“We tried hard and created opportunities but were a little unlucky,” Blues coach Vlatko Andonovski said after the loss. “We’ll have to try to fix the mistakes and focus on the games in front of us, because we made the playoffs and we need to do it this game.”
Seattle has already earned its bid and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs with a 15-1-4 record and a 12-point lead in the standings. Seattle also captured the regular-season title on Wednesday with a 4-1 victory against the Houston Dash.
This will be the third meeting between the two teams with Seattle leading the season series 1-1-0. Most recently, Seattle and Kansas City played to a 1-1 draw with goals from Kim Little and the Blues’ Amy Rodriguez, two of the top scorers in the league.
Little has proved to be a force offensively, setting the NWSL scoring record with 14 goals in 19 games. She has two in her two games against FC Kansas City. Rodriguez is in a three-way tie for second place with 11 goals in 19.
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Seattle at FCKC
WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday