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FC Kansas City Fails to Conquer the Red Stars

Great goalkeeping and solid defense was not enough in Chicago

Barnhart came up big again but it was not enough
Barnhart came up big again but it was not enough
Thad Bell

The Blues failed to get the W in Chicago in their last game before the break for the Rio Olympic Games, despite another hard fight by goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart. Although there was a goal let in, the weakness of this match was not the defending, it was putting a shot on frame. Out of the eight shots made by FCKC, only one of them was on goal.

The game began with an early corner kick for Chicago in the fourth minute, followed by a corner for FCKC in the 12th minute after a shot from Tiffany McCarty that was deflected past the goal by keeper Michele Dalton. The Red Stars won another corner kick in the 16th minute after the ball was deflected over the line. The ball bounced around the box before being "cleared" by the Blues for another Red Stars corner. FCKC was able to easily clear this ball out of the danger zone.

Nicole Barnhart was able to easily save a ball sent in by midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo early in the 28th minute. The Blues then gave up 2 corner kicks to the Red Stars in the 29th minute, one off of a shot deflection and the other deflected off of defender Brianne Reed. A clearance over the back line by midfielder Lo'eau LaBonta meant another corner kick for the Red Stars in the 30th minute. During the remainder of the first half continued with FCKC having difficulty getting the ball out of their defending half, leaving them lacking energy on the attack.

The second half began much as the first half ended, a lot of possession from the Red Stars, and a lack of connection from the Blues. Nicole Barnhart was able to send a ball over the crossbar in the 51st minute. In the 54th minute Barnhart made two diving saves in a row, only to have the ball sent past three defenders and into the back of the net by Red Star's forward Stephanie McCaffrey. Although the Blues fought to get the ball in their possession, they continued to have trouble keeping an attacking presence. The game would ultimately end in a 1-0 loss for the Blues.

The Blues now need a lot of things to go right for them in the remaining five games of the 2016 season.  They need to win at least 3 of their remaining games and tie 1 without the Red Stars taking home anymore wins or draws, without Sky Blue FC taking home more than 1 win (or 3 draws), without Seattle Reign taking home more than 1 win and 2 draws, and without Orlando taking home more than 2 wins and 1 draw. If the Blues fail to make the playoffs this year, it will be the first time in team history.

The NWSL has a break for the Rio Olympic Games after this soccer weekend concludes. You can watch the Blues take on the Boston Breakers at home on August 28th after the Olympic break concludes.