FC Kansas City will look to shore up a playoff spot tonight when they face the Boston Breakers at Swope Park Soccer Village. The Blues are on a three game unbeaten streak and hope to get their third straight victory when the game starts at 7:00 CT.
With the Blues sitting in the fourth and last playoff spot, head coach Vlatko Andonovski expects "a win, nothing less," from his team.
"We want to make sure that we play the way we have in the last two, three weeks," Andonovski explained. "In Chicago we did not play our best game but we played with more heart than any other game previous. What we have changed lately is the approach and mentality. I've been preaching this for the whole season. We would get it for a game or two and then relax again. We were going back and forth like a roller coaster ride. For three games now, going into a fourth, we have the right mentality. In practice we've had the right mentality and hopefully we can continue that and keep peaking going into playoffs."
Looking for consistency
With the US players at the World Cup, FC Kansas City lost a significant portion of their starters (4) but at times looked very good but could not seem to keep the momentum going. Now with the US stars back and the season winding down, midfielder Erika Tymrak sees the team coming together.
"Our main thing is to keep our rhythm," Tymrak excplained."Sometimes we would catch a rhythm and then get out of it but we are at the end of the season and I feel we are peaking at the right time."
The previous two season found the Blues easily in the playoffs but this season they are on the edge at the moment in the last playoff spot but Tymrak sees that as a positive. "Having to grind it out is good for us, it gives us a little more grit and I think we needed that. As a team we are peaking, everyone is gelling finally and it's not forced, everything is very fluid in practice and in games."
A reunion for O'Reilly
FC Kansas City acquired Heather O'Reilly from Boston in the offseason for Kassey Kallman and Morgan Marlborough. In the two previous matches this season, Kallman and Marlborough both faced their old team but O'Reilly was with the US national team so this will be the first time facing her former teammates.
"I am looking forward to seeing some of my old teammates but it should be a good game," O'Reily stated. " They have some really good players but for us it is about putting together and continuing our good performances from the last two games, getting three points and getting into the playoffs."
O'Reilly did not play much at the World Cup but has looked really good post World Cup with the Blues and in the US Victory tour games.
When asked about doing so well lately, O'Reilly responded,"If you keep good habits and do the right things then good things happen."
Lauren Holiday did not play the last two games for FC Kansas City and was on the bench for one of the US matches but ended up playing in most recent US match of the Victory tour. Holiday is day-to-day and may be available for the Boston match.
Shea Groom had a goal and an assist in Boston on July 9th but ended up leaving the match with a foot injury when Groom and Boston's keeper both went for a loose ball. Groom has returned to training recently and according to Andonovski, "Shea will be available but not sure for how long. She is close to 100% physically but not sure fitness wise."