FC Kansas City knew they needed a win Friday night when they returned home to face Washington. The 3-0 win was just what the Blues were looking for to start turning the season around and make a run for the playoffs.
Blues head coach Vlatko Andonovski had described the game as an almost must win in the week leading up to the match and knew he was putting some pressure on his team.
"This is a team that has an unbelievable mentality when the season is on the line, when the game is on the line. They know how to perform under pressure. I said it was an almost must win game and I made that clear to them that this was a game that we had to win," Andonovski explained in the post-game press conference. "I wanted to put a little pressure on them because I know we have been in a situation like that before and we always come out victorious before. I felt comfortable doing that."
Veteran forward Liz Bogus agreed with her coach. "We all knew we had to turn it around and we had to turn it around tonight," Bogus stated. "We believe in ourselves, we know we are a great team, we know it is still possible to turn this season around completely and get a playoff spot."
"I am so happy with our team right now," Bogus continued. "We have been working on coming out with different energy than we had last week in Seattle, high pressing. I think we really stuck with that and everyone just worked our butts off. We came out with that bite that we needed so I am really happy."
Three goals marks the highest output for FC Kansas City this year and all three by different players. The first goal was setup when rookie Shea Groom was taken down just outside of the box in the 26th minute. Veterans Yael Averbuch and Erika Tymrak discussed who would take it with Averbuch winning the right.
With five players in the wall there was not much room to go around the wall so Averbuch sent it right over the top and the shot quickly dipped and was just inside the post. Spirit keeper Kelsey Wys could only watch as it hit the back of the net.
The second goal was setup in the 53rd minute when Liz Bogus crossed the ball to the back post where Francis Silva headed it back across to Groom.
Bogus was the beneficiary of an excellent cross from Leigh Ann Robinson where she was able to just volley it past the keeper for the Blues third goal.
"We got the offense going not because we did so many different things, it was actually because we wanted it more than them, "Andonovski stated. "We wanted to win every tackle, we wanted to win every 50-50 ball and we wanted to get numbers in the box and get behind the ball. It was all about the willingness and the heart and that is what made the difference."
FC Kansas City will travel to face Boston on Thursday and try to reverse the result of their last match at the Breakers.