FC Kansas City overcome a missed penalty kick and a red card to draw against the Portland Thorns.
Tonight, FC Kansas City faced the powerhouse Portland Thorns in their second match of the season. The game started off with an early shot by Shea Groom that sailed over the crossbar and the Thorns quickly countered, resulting in a save by goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart. In the 19th minute there was a foul in the box on Shea by Kat Williamson, resulting in a penalty kick. The goalkeeper for Portland, Michelle Betos, managed to get a hand on the ball sent in from Shea, resulting in the ball bouncing off the post.
The goal for FCKC came in the 30th minute after some beautiful teamwork between Mandy Laddish, Heather O’Reilly and Shea Groom. Mandy sent the ball out wide to Heather who took a touch before crossing the ball into the box where a racing Shea found the back of the net with a flying header. Shea Groom was shown a questionable yellow card in the 41st minute after a small bump with Portland defender Emily Menges. The remainder of the first half played out relatively uneventful.
The second half started with a downturn with Shea Groom being sent off the field for a second yellow card in the 46th minute. Shea and Michelle Betos were both going for the ball in the box and Shea unfortunately got there a half step too late and received her second yellow of the game, leaving FC Kansas City down a player the majority of the second half.
[Editor: As someone watching online, Groom actually touched the ball before Betos but the referee was out of position to see that. Basically neither yellow card that Groom received was accurate and ultimately it would greatly effect the game.]
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The goal for Portland came in the 78th minute off of a corner kick from Tobin Heath that found the head of Lindsey Horan. At the end of the game goalkeeper Michelle Betos and defender Meghan Klingenberg collided during an FC Kansas City set piece, they both appeared to be in a lot of pain on the field but Portland had unfortunately already used all of their subs for the game so both players remained on the field for the four minutes of stoppage time. There was a set piece taken by Allie Long in extra time just outside the box. It was sent through the wall and was saved by Nicole Barnhart.
Overall, the team seemed to be meshing better this week than they were at their last game. There are still some quirks that need to be worked out but in general they seem to be finding their rhythm and coming together well. Considering they were playing a team with five USWNT players on the field it was impressive that they were able to hold off an onslaught of goals after going down a player early in the second half.
FC Kansas City will take the field again next week at 6:00 PM CST on May 1st in Seattle against the Seattle Reign. Stay tuned to Reporting KC for all your FC Kansas City News!