Since joining the National Women’s Soccer League in 2013, FC Kansas City has made the playoffs in three of its first four seasons, capturing a second-place finish in 2013 and bringing the championship home in 2014 and 2015.
FCKC failed to make the playoffs in 2016, finishing in sixth place after securing just 26 points (7-8-5).
For the second consecutive season, FCKC (3-4-4) is in danger of missing out on the playoffs. Through 11 games, the Blues have just 13 points and sit in seventh place.
The good news for FCKC is that, with 13 games remaining, only four points separate fourth place and seventh place in the standings.
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“That’s the great about this league, everyone beats everyone and keeps things within arm’s reach,” FCKC forward Shea Groom said. “We just need one win … to put us back in the playoff mix and back in the driver seat where we can be comfortable again.”
On Wednesday night, FCKC dropped its midweek match against Portland Thorns FC 3-0. It marked the fourth straight game without a win for the Blues.
“We didn’t create clear chances, but we were definitely in the area,” FCKC head coach Vlatko Andonovski said after the game. “We were lacking the savviness in the final third to make the final pass. Technically, we weren’t up to the level we needed to be to make those passes against a good Portland team tonight.”
It was another difficult game for FCKC on the road, where it has scored just two goals all season. The Blues are 1-4-1 on the road this year.
“It’s been a tough schedule this year, with great competition up and down the league,” Groom said. “We’ve had some tough games in the past few, where we’ve had some unlucky spouts.”
Meanwhile, the Blues are much more comfortable in Kansas City, holding a 2-0-3 record at home in 2017.
“It’s always nice to play in Kansas City, as it’s our home venue, in front of our own fans,” Andonovski said. “We are happy to be back.”
On Sunday, FCKC returns to Swope Soccer Village to play host to the Houston Dash in a prime opportunity to obtain three points and shoot up the NWSL standings.
“We are excited to be back home this week and be back in front of our own fans and get three points under our belt,” Groom said.
The Dash (3-7-1) sits in ninth place and has a minus-10 goal differential. FCKC defender Becca Moros, who started in 17 games for Houston in 2016, said although players on Houston have improved since she came to Kansas City, having experience and familiarity with the personnel is an advantage.
“I’ve always felt that having experience with people, whether on your own team or the opposing team is an advantage,” Moros said. “I have nothing but respect for that group, and I expect them to come out and try to get three points.”