Wednesday night FC Kansas City beat the Chicago Red Stars 1-0 and earned their first win of the season. Jen Buczkowski's run down the side in the ninth minute drew the Chicago defense and keeper to her before crossing the ball into the box for an onrushing Amy Rodriguez to basically tap it in into the net.
The first win brings happiness
"I am happy," FC Kansas City head coach Vlatko Andonovski said after the match. "Happy with the performance first and foremost but of course happy with the result. It's definitely a relief and it's also a confidence builder. We were playing well but we just couldn't get the win. After this win we're going to be able to turn this season around and get back on track."
"I think everybody's happy; everyone has a sense of relief to them knowing we got the first win under our belts," goal scorer Amy Rodriguez stated. "It's great to see our hard work and our good play finally led us to a win. I think we have been wanting this win for a while. Going the first three games without a win was pretty disheartening. "
FC Kansas City held the advantage through the first half, pressing the attack and owning more of the possession but Chicago came out in the second half and turned up the pressure looking for an equalizer.
"I would not say they had possession," Andonovski observed. "But they attacked, they were more direct. They were successful doing that against us last year and managed to score a few goals last year but I have to give a lot of credit to our backline first and foremost but also to the whole team. They showed a lot of character and they showed that we are not going to be easy to break down this year; we are not going to give up easy goals."
Keeping a clean sheet was made harder by the fact that Andonovski had to sub Lauren Holiday in the second half. "I've got to give a lot of credit to Lauren, she's a warrior. She was sick and she gave us 60- minutes, a tremendous sixty minutes. I think anyone else in her place wouldn't even play six minutes. She set up a great base for us, controlled the game pretty much and gave us more than we ever expected."
FC Kansas City has had a nasty trend of giving up late goals going all the way back to last season so holding on to the win was a good sign for the Blues. Despite the constant pressure from the Red Stars late in the game, Andonovski's squad did a great job limiting the chances.
"Vlatko spoke about the last fifteen minutes, playing with heart and he saw a lot of it out there, a lot of effort," Rodriguez observed. "Our subs came in and were a big spark, a lot of energy for us. Chicago is a great team, they give a lot of effort and they are very tough and disruptive to team to play against and we had to match that intensity."
Andonovski has been getting his rookies game time and bringing them along. Kassey Kallman has been starting every game, Jenna Richmond started the last two games when they switched back to the 4-2-3-1. Home grown forwards are making impacts as well, Frances Silva started her first game and Morgan Marlborough made her third appearance coming off the bench.
Silva's first start came at home with her family excitedly watching. When asked about getting her first start at home, Silva replied, "nerve wracking, exciting but definitely nervous to get that first start. Got those jitters out and the team played well and it was awesome to be part of that first win."