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Preview: FC Kansas City at Washington Spirit

Both the Blues and Spirit will be looking for their first wins of the new season

Spirit keeper Ashlyn Harris faced a lot of tough matches last season
Spirit keeper Ashlyn Harris faced a lot of tough matches last season
Thad Bell

FC Kansas City makes their first road trip of the 2014 season when they travel to Washington D.C. to face the Washington Spirit at 5:30 Saturday.The Spirit dropped their opening week match 3-1 to the visiting Western New York Flash. The match can be watched online through FC Kansas City's page.

The Spirit finished last in the league in the inaugural NWSL season with just a 3-14-5 record but are a very different than last year's team. Washington fired their first head coach Mike Jordan midway through the season and handed the position to Mark Parsons who immediately worked to turn the Spirit around.

"Washington is a new team, a completely new team, they have several new players," FC Kansas City head coach Vltako Anodnovski observed. "It's not just that they've got new players, they got good new players. First round pick Crystal Dunn then Jodie Taylor, they got Yael Averbuch and Christine Nairn to control the midfield. It's a completely new team and we are very well aware of their potential. They had a couple unfortunate bounces in their last game and they did not get the result they wanted but they will do some damage in this league."

Andonovski expects a good game between the two teams. "Knowing Mark (Parsons), he does want the team to play the game and they are going to try to be as attractive as possible and that is our philosophy and mentality so I think it's going to be a good matchup."

FC Kansas City is coming off a slightly disappointing draw in their home opener last Saturday. Despite controlling the majority of possession, outshooting Sky Blue FC and again having the league opening goal for the season, the Blues just managed a 1-1 draw.

"We had not practiced that much together as a team so it was a good start for us, it's a building point," U.S. National Team midfielder Lauren Holiday said after practice. "Obviously we wanted the win but getting the tie was a good start and we will get better from there."

When asked about controlling the game against Sky Blue, Holiday replied, "That usually how it goes for us, we can control a game. The way that we play it's our style to keep possession; we just need to have a little more bite, a little more killer instinct to finish a game off."

Andonovski was understandably not pleased that they did not finish more opportunities and focused on making some corrections in practice. "We are working hard on the things we didn't' do very well last game and keep building on the things we did do well and hope we can get a positive result. We've got to have a little bite; our forwards have to have that bite. That is what we worked on the whole week. I feel that we will create chances, now we just have to get the final touch in."

It was pointed out that both Andonovski and Holiday described the team needing more bite. "We didn't talk about it, I'm glad I guess that is why we are on the same page. I guess that is why I feel she is not just a good player, but a smart and intelligent player, she thinks just like me," Andonovski jokingly laughed.