Western New York Flash at FC Kansas City (Verizon Wireless Field)
4:10pm E.T./3:10pm C.T.
The Western New York Flash (6-3-4, 22 points) are coming off a 1-0 defeat in Chicago on July 4. It was their first loss since April 27. The Flash were shut out for the first time since opening weekend (a 1-0 loss to Sky Blue FC).
The dangerous attacking contingent that includes United States stars Abby Wambach and Carli Lloyd were unable to generate many shots as Western New York registered just one shot on goal in 90 minutes. Lloyd, who was coming off of player of the week honors, nailed the crossbar on a free kick early in the match for her best chance of the game.
Wambach leads the Flash in scoring with seven goals and Lloyd is just behind her with four on the season after a hat trick against Washington on June 28.
Alex Sahlen has been an attacking presence from the back getting forward often. FC Kansas City will have to limit her runs up the right flank and keep her serves to a minimum.
Samantha Kerr made a second half appearance in Thursday’s match after pulling some back and forth trips with the Australian national team of late. Kerr and Wambach have been a dangerous duo up top for the Flash all season and will look to continue if Kerr is rested and able to go.
The Flash will be without Adriana who is in Europe preparing for the 2013 European Championships with Spain. Veronica Perez and Sarah Huffman have both started up top for Western New York as they shuffle their attacking players in order to accommodate for injuries and national team duty.
Victoria DiMartino remains out with an MCL sprain in her right knee suffered against Washington a week ago. Jodi-Ann Robinson (right hand fracture), Alex Sahlen (right wrist fracture) and McCall Zerboni (right hip strain) are all probable for this afternoon’s contest.
FC Kansas City (7-4-3, 24 points) is coming off a 1-1 draw in Washington on July 3. It is the second straight match in which the Blues have conceded a late equalizer on the road. Erika Tymrak scored her fourth goal of the season which is good for second in KC.
Lauren Cheney, who was named the Player of the Month for June, will miss the match as she is getting married on Sunday. Cheney leads the Blues in scoring with eight, which is good for second in the league. Aside from Tymrak and Cheney, FC KC has no one on the roster with multiple goals on the season.
They will look for one of their many options to step up and provide some scoring punch against a Flash squad that has conceded a league-low 13 goals.
Sinead Farrelly stepped into the central midfield spot on Wednesday in Cheney’s place and Tymrak moved out wide left. Kristie Mewis remained on the backline where she has played for three straight matches. Mewis and Tymrak will be tasked with keeping an eye on Alex Sahlen running on the right flank from the Flash backline.
FC Kansas City has no one who was listed on the injury report for this week.
This will be the second match between these two clubs on the season. The first match was a 2-1 win in favor of the Flash back on May 11 behind two first half goals by Abby Wambach. Lauren Cheney brought the Blues within a goal but were unable to find the equalizer and were handed their first loss of the season.
The match also marked the season debut of Carli Lloyd who had been sidelined with a broken bone in her shoulder suffered at the Algarve Cup with the US Women’s national team.
The match carries significance for both clubs. A win for Western New York puts them a point in front of FC Kansas City for third place. After last night’s results, a win for FC Kansas City will see them leapfrog Portland into second place.
Season Series: 1-0-0 (Western New York)