Looking for a spark against the Portland Thorns on Saturday, FC Kansas City coach Vlatko Andonovski elected to return to a 4-2-3-1 formation.
Though it did not result in a win, leaving the Blues still searching after three games, it did serve to introduce rookie midfielder Jenna Richmond. The UCLA graduate was selected in the second round of the National Women’s Soccer League College Draft and made her first professional start in three appearances.
Andonovski is planning to use the formation again Wednesday when FC Kansas City, 0-2-1, hosts the Chicago Red Stars, 1-1-0, at 7 p.m. at UMKC’s Durwood Stadium.
“Jenna did really good, and I’m really happy with her performance,” Andonovski said. “She made absolutely no mistakes on her passes, was very good in our build up and covered lots of ground defensively. She is very good in that position.”
Richmond, played all 90 minutes and had one shot that was on goal.
“I was very excited and the team did well,” Richmond said. “It wasn’t what we wanted, but we are growing.”
Her week got even better when her boyfriend, Matt Wiet of the Columbus Crew, stopped by practice and proposed Monday.
Kansas City and Chicago met once this season in an exhibition game on March 22, a contest that resulted in a 1-1 draw. For Kansas City, which has scored just three goals this season despite tying for a league-leading 24 shots on goal, the road will not get any easier. Chicago ranks first in goals allowed, having given up one in its first two games.
“We know it’s not going to be easy, but with the situation we’re in we know we have to do it,” Andonovski said. “The girls are determined, and they can’t wait for the game.”