FC Kansas City is in Rochester to face the Western New York Flash tonight at 6:30pm Central Time. The Blues are on the road for their third straight game before returning home next weekend. The Blues easily won their first game of this road trip at Sky Blue FC 5-0 but had a meltdown of Brazilian proportions in their last match at Portland. FC Kansas City had a seven game (nine undefeated) streak smashed by the Thorns 7-1 last Sunday.
When asked about his team bouncing back after the loss, FC Kansas City head coach replied, "We don't have a choice. We are a good team and we've proved that in the past and having one off game doesn't mean it all goes downhill from here. We're a good team and we are looking forward to the next game to prove that was just a one off game."
Blues Captain and U.S. national team defender Becky Sauerbrunn echoed her coaches thoughts. "We've got to remember its one game. We went a month without giving up a goal. Every streak comes to an end eventually and ours came to an end spectacularly. We are in second place and we've got a lead on a lot of other teams as far as points go. Our goal is to win the regular season and win the championship and one game is not going to make or break that.
What went wrong in Portland
In Portland, the Blues conceded goals and chances early but did not give up and when Aussie midfielder Katrina Gorry scored her first NWSL goal it looked like the Blues were back in the match. Another mistake in the midfield late in the half allowed the Thorns to score and send the Blues into the locker room reeling a bit. Portland sensed blood in the water and pounced at every opportunity after that leading to a record night for the home team.
Immediately after that game, Andonovski took all the blame on himself. "I cannot think of just one thing that happened. There are probably twenty things I can list that went wrong but ultimately I am the one to take the blame. I don't want anything to go on the players because as their leader I am the one that needs to be blamed."
After practice this week, Andonovski would still not point to any players that did not play well or even that made mistakes. "There are several things that happened that didn't go our way. One of the things we need to change is our mentality and approach to the game."
Andonovski again accepted blame for not having the right game plan or putting his players in the best position to win.
While the coach should accept blame, several of his players did not have good games that day and they did not have Lauren Holiday who was still recovering from an illness.
"Of all the teams in the NWSL we better than the sum of our parts," Sauerbrunn explained. "We are better as team than we are as individuals whereas I think other teams are better as individuals. When a cog in our team is not working well, the whole team does not work well. Especially if six of those cogs are not working well then the team really is not working."
Against New York
Andonovski was happy to announce that "Lauren is back. Obviously coming back from illness will have a little impact on her. She is one of the best players in the world; even if she is not at 100% I will take Lauren over any other midfielder in the league and we are glad to have her back."
"New York is a tremendous team, very disciplined and organized team and even if Wambach is not there it would be a challenge," Andonovski stated. "It's a good opportunity for us, if we win this game then we forget about last weekend."
The Flash has been without Abby Wambach for most of the season and she is listed as out for this match as well, The Flash are still dangerous with Carli Lloyd and Samantha Kerr. Western New York has had keeper injuries to add to their woes as they look for points in the playoff race. After losing Adrian Franch before the season, Lydia Williams went down with an ACL injury as well leaving them with rookie Kelsey Wys as their probable starter.