FC Kansas City is in Portland looking for their eighth straight win tonight. The Blues have not lost in seven matches and are coming from a dominating 5-0 win over Sky Blue last weekend. In those seven straight wins, FC Kansas City has only allowed one goal helping Nicole Barnhart to a league leading 8 shutouts.
Portland has not won in four matches but fields an extremely talented team. "Portland is a tough team no matter what," Blues head coach Vlatko Andonovski stated. "They have four of the top five players from 2013, Nadine Angerer, Christine Sinclair, Alex Morgan and Veronica Boquete and the players that are in the mix, Tobin Heath, Allie Long, Stephanie Catley and Rachel Buehler (Van Hollebeke), it's a loaded roster."
An already tough road match will be even tougher with the Blues missing 2013 MVP Lauren Holiday. After the last match when the Blues easily won at Sky Blue, Holiday was taken to the hospital that night with nausea and dehydration and did not return to Kansas City for a couple days.
The Blues do not plan on using Holiday in the match.
"Lauren is feeling better, she practiced some today (Friday) but we are going to take it easy with her," Andonovski explained. "We understand it is not about one game, it's about her health and then the games that come up later and hopefully the playoffs. The fact that we have players that are eager to play and get some good minutes makes the decision to rest Lauren even easier."
There was not a definitive diagnosis so it makes even more sense to let Holiday rest. "We don't know for sure, it could have been something I ate," Holiday said. "Who knows? I just got sick and being dehydrated didn't help that situation."
Holiday's Top Ten goal
In that victory at Sky Blue, Holiday had a goal and an assist. The goal was off of a corner kick in the ninth minute. Holiday floated it in tight to the goal and the ball slid past everyone into the upper corner on the back post.
"I was actually aiming for Apple (Sarah Hagen) but every time I take a corner that way I aim to get it as close to goal as possible," Holiday explained. "Apple is such a big presence I was trying to aim for her but it went in the corner."
Holiday's goal was number three on ESPN Sports Center Top Ten but she didn't' even get to see it get the recognition. "I didn't actually get to see it," Holiday admitted. "I was in the hospital. But I think it's great for women's sports, it great for NWSL to have that kind of recognition on Sports Center and hopefully more people will watch."
With the trade of Melissa Henderson to Houston and Nia Williams moving to the reserve squad, the Blues have one open roster spot. "There is an open roster spot and there is a couple players we are looking at but it is not necessary that we make a move," Andonovski said. " I feel like we have a pretty good, a pretty stacked roster. We have a good team with the players we have on the roster already and if it's not a great fit we are not going to jeopardize any of that."