For the first time in a couple of weeks, FC Kansas City coach Vlatko Andonovski saw smiles on his players’ faces at Tuesday’s practice.
The team recently finished a stretch of nine games in 30 days and then had nine days off to relax and re-energize before tonight’s game against the Western New York Flash at 7 p.m. at UMKC’s Durwood Stadium.
“They are ready and looking forward to the game versus a couple weeks ago when the games were coming and they thought, ‘Oh, here we go again,’” Andonovski said.
Andonovski even urged his players to take a day to completely avoid soccer. Erika Tymrak and a few teammates cheated by attending a Sporting KC match that night. She said it was just as refreshing.
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“When it becomes so routine with games and no practice just flying, it kind of gets like your job and you don’t want it to get like that,” Tymrak said. “The fact that we can come, have fun and still want to work hard and want to be here is amazing.”
FC Kansas City will be welcomed back to National Women’s Soccer League play by the Flash who were regular season champions in 2013. They are 3-4-2 so far and have lost three of their last four games, but feature two of the top players in the game: Carli Lloyd and 2012 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year Abby Wambach.
“The first thing we are going to have to do is find a way to shut down Abby and Carli,” Andonovski said. “It is not easy but we are going to try our best.”
FC Kansas City entered the break with a 4-4-3 record after a 2-0 victory against the Boston Breakers and is undefeated in its last three games.
Western New York at FC Kansas City
WHEN: 7 tonight
WHERE: UMKC’s Durwood Stadium
TV: Time Warner Cable Sports Channel