FC Kansas City (10-5-4) returns home to face Sky Blue FC (4-7-7) Sunday at 5 PM. The last time these two teams met the Blues cruised to an easy 5-0 win in New Jersey with Amy Rodriguez, Lauren Holiday and Erika Tymrak each getting a goal while newcomer Sarah Hagen notched her first two in the NWSL.
Since that meeting, both teams results have went the other way. Sky Blue FC won 4-2 at Washington and FC Kansas City was thumped 7-1 in Portland before pulling out a 1-1 draw at Western New York.
Blues head coach Vlatko Andonovski knows Sky Blue will not be an easy match despite their last meeting. "I know it's going to be a great challenge for us. They are going to come out ready to play and they are going to try and prove the last game against us was just a onetime deal," Andonovski explained. "They are going to be coming for revenge. It's not going to be an easy game, but I am happy to be home on our field."
After the previous lopsided victory, some teams would have a tendency to look past the opponent to a match further down the road but when asked about that possibility, coach Andonovski replied, "I don't think so, they are smart, professional players. They understand what every game brings, every team brings, especially after Sky Blue destroyed Washington 4-2 in their last game."
This will be the Blues first and only game at home in July and they will be looking to get back on track while helping solidify their post season spot. Currently the Blues need 9 points from their five remaining matches (or equivalent losses by teams behind them) to lock up a playoff spot. Portland is only 4 points behind but have played one more match.
While Amy Rodriguez did score in the last meeting with Sky Blue, that was her only goal since June 4th after starting with 9 goals in her first 12 matches. For the Blues to be a serious contender in the post season they will need Rodriguez to regain her scoring touch.
"One of the days we stayed a little and did some extra work," Andonovski stated. "We focused on finishing with A-Rod and with the other forwards as well. We do seem to create more opportunities than last season and we do score a lot of goals but I feel like we can score a little more. We just have to focus and get A-Rod back on track because once she gets on a roll we all know what she can do."
Andonovski indicated that both Katrina Gorry and Amy LePeilbet are likely to get starts but rounding out his starting eleven may be tough since he should have a full roster from which to choose. "It's a good problem to have," Andonovski laughed. "They are all ready and all anxious to play."