FC Kansas City has a 29-day break from game action coming up, and it couldn’t come any sooner.
After collecting six points in their last three matches, the Blues dropped a crucial match on the road Saturday, 1-0 to Chicago. They’ll head into the National Women’s Soccer League Olympic break at 4-7-4, and desperately trying to collect enough momentum for one final run at a playoff spot.
Saturday’s match against the Red Stars (7-4-4) wasn’t exactly the recipe to get their confidence back.
Nicole Barnhart was playing outside of her box in the 54th minute, and collected two acrobatic saves from a couple of quick-fire Sofia Huerta shots. But Stephanie McCaffrey was in front of the goal, ready to take Chicago’s third opportunity as Barnhart was still scrambling to get back in position. McCaffrey’s shot burst past three FCKC defenders near the net, giving Chicago the 1-0 lead.
Barnhart, the reigning National Women’s Soccer League Goalkeeper of the Week, was otherwise able to contain the Red Stars. Just three minutes before McCaffrey’s goal, Barnhart leapt up and tipped a Vanessa DiBernardo shot just over the crossbar, her best save of the night.
On the offensive side, FCKC struggled to create chances, especially late.
Tiffany McCarty had a couple of close opportunities in the first half that both went wide left. The first, in the 11th minute, came on a runout after Frances Silva threaded the ball through the midfield to McCarty. But Chicago goalkeeper Michele Dalton got her fingertips on McCarty’s shot, which bounced past the goal post.
In the 39th minute, McCarty evaded Dalton outside of the goalkeeper’s box, but sent her one-on-one shot into the side netting.
Two Yael Averbuch free kicks also missed the frame for FCKC in the second half.
Following the loss, FCKC will head into a near-month-long NWSL break for the Olympics, which begins this week in Brazil. The Blues’ next match will come Aug. 28 against the Boston Breakers.