FC Kansas City 2 - 0 Boston Breakers
Full-time: FC Kansas pick up their first win of the season thanks to goals by Leroux and Rodriguez. Rodriguez' injury will be a concern and one hopes that it will not be a serious one. Boston had their moments but ultimately could not find a way past a very good Nicole Barnhart today.
90+4' Five minutes have been added on here but Boston don't look they'll find a way past FCKC today.
90+1' The game is beginning to peter out here as FCKC look to keep their clean sheet.
88' Andrews finds Weimer out wide and the substitute sends in another great cross that Sauerbrunn has to make a great headed clearance away to stop Boston from scoring.
87' Chapman almost puts her goalkeeper in trouble with a weak backpass but Smith comes out quickly and kicks the ball well away.
85' Kelly tries her luck from outside the area but her effort doesn't curl enough away from Smith and the Breakers' goalkeeper collects it easily.
84' Taylor gets forward and tries to find a teammate in the box. Smith reads the flight of the ball well and comes out to catch it cleanly.
83' Andrews sends in a free kick that falls to Chapman at the top of the box. Her shot is blocked and FCKC regain possession.
81' SUBSTITUTION: Morgan Andrews comes in for White as Boston make their last change of the game.
On watching the replay, Barnhart got just enough on Chapman's effort to tip it off the crossbar. What a save by the FCKC stalwart.
79' CHANCE! How have Boston not scored here? Weimer makes a great little shift of her hips to lose her marker and sends in a ball that's met by Chapman at the near post. Her header goes off the crossbar and the ball falls to an unmarked Dowie who couldn't adjust her feet quickly enough to steer the ball into an open net. Instead, it bounces off her shins and into a grateful Barnhart's hands.
78' SUBSTITUTION: Megan Kelly replaces one of the goal scorers of today, Leroux.
77' Radcliffe finds Gibbons making a run down the left flank and the left back sends in a ball, looking for Leroux but Oyster steps in and kicks the ball away.
76' Groom looks to set off again but Purce is on hand to halt her run and give Boston back possession.
74' SUBSTITUTION: Tiffany Weimer comes in for Leon who had a good game for Boston.
73' SUBSTITUTION: Rebecca Moros comes in for Newfield.
72' CHANCE! Well that has caught everyone's attention. FCKC win the ball back high up the field and Leroux turns and shoots towards goal. Her shot cannons of the post and bounces away. Smith was well beaten there.
71' Boston are still pushing for a goal but FCKC are holding strong for now. The game has fallen a little in tempo since the injury to Rodriguez.
69' Westphal tries to find White in the box but her cross is just too high for the New Zealander.
Update on Rodriguez: She has left the game in a full-leg brace and will be evaluated further tomorrow.
67' Lavelle fouls Radcliffe in midfield and FCKC get the ball back.
65' Boston have consecutive corners but eventually Barnhart wins the ball under some pressure from Onumonu.
64' Boston wins a free kick which Lavelle takes and now have a corner that Lavelle takes again.
63' Lavelle whips in a great corner and there's a scramble in the box. No Boston player can get a clean touch on it and Barnhart makes the save.
63' SUBSTITUTION: Ifeona Onumonu comes on for Amanda Dacosta.
61' Groom gets forward with the ball at her feet and tries to go for goal but Westphal is on hand to block the effort and clear the ball away.
60' YELLOW CARD: White picks up the second card of the game after a tough tackle on LaBonta.
58' SUBSTITUTION: Rodriguez' night is done as Brittany Radcliffe comes in for her.
55' This doesn't look good for Rodriguez. She goes down after a challenge by Oyster and seems to be in considerable pain.
54' Leon wins the ball from Gibbons and lays the ball off for Lavelle in the box. Gibbons recovers quickly and shields the ball enough for Barnhart to collect the ball under some pressure.
50' Lavelle wins the ball from Gibbons but her shot is wayward and goes well wide.
FC Kansas City 2 - 0 Boston Breakers
Purce and Megan Oyster get the ball got up in between in them and Rodriguez nips in to steal the ball and counter quickly for FCKC. She switches the ball to Groom on the other side and Groom gets to the byline before cutting the ball back to Rodriguez who tucks it into the near side of the goal.
48' GOAL! Rodriguez gets her first goal since 2015 as well.
47' Lavelle's trickery wins Boston an early corner but her delivery leaves much to be desired as it goes straight into Barnhart's hands.
46' Boston start us off in the second half.
FC Kansas City 1 - 0 Boston Breakers
Half-time: FCKC may have the lead after being on top for the first 15 minutes but Boston are right in this and if they can connect better in the final third, they will cause FCKC all sorts of problems in the second half.
45+1' CHANCE! FCKC get a corner after a great run by Gibbons. Averbuch gets to the delivery and Smith has to make a big save to stop another goal.
44' Boston break again and Leon gets the ball out wide. She faces up Taylor and cuts in before blasting the ball wide of the far post.
43' White fouls Taylor and FCKC can relieve some pressure and send the ball further up the field.
42' Leon has a discussion with Lavelle and White over who should take the free kick and eventually wins the discussion. Her effort is poor and goes high over the crossbar.
41' Leon breaks forward from midfield and gets near the box before she's fouled by Bowen. Boston have a free kick in a good position now.
39' Lavelle goes on a mazy little run that ends with her going for a goal but her effort lacks power and Barnhart has no problem collecting the ball.
37' Sauerbrunn sends in the free kick which is headed away. Newfield meets the ball outside the box and tries to volley first time. It loops in the air and is caught easily by Smith.
37' YELLOW CARD: Chapman takes out LaBonta and picks up the first card of the game.
36' CHANCE! Smith has to come up big again as a deflection on Alexa Newfield's pass falls to Rodriguez but Smith comes out quickly and smothers the ball.
34' White sends in a good delivery from a free kick that is headed right down to Rose Lavelle. The rookie midfielder takes a shot but Leroux is on hand to block the effort and clear it away.
32' Averbuch plays another great long ball to Rodriguez who brings it down but Christen Westphal recovers well and sends the ball out for a corner. The resulting corner comes to Leroux but her effort is blocked and the second corner goes right out for a goal kick.
31' Boston keep some good pressure as Natasha Dowie holds the ball up well before laying it off for Angela Salem. The midfielder gets her shot on target but Barnhart is well positioned and grabs the ball.
28' CHANCE! Boston has their first shot of the game through White. FCKC give the ball away and can't clear their lines. White takes a touch and tries to place the ball into the corner but Barnhart gets a big hand to it to prevent the equalizer. Barnhart also manages to catch the corner in the air to kill Boston's momentum.
26' Boston win a free kick that Chapman sends into the box but nothing comes of it.
24' Now Groom is the recipient of a foul in midfield by Leon.
22' Brittany Taylor and Chapman scrap for the ball at the edge of the penalty area. The referee gives the foul Boston's way.
21' The free kick eventually ends up at Adrianna Leon's feet but her cross goes straight to Barnhart.
20' Boston are beginning to grow into this game and this time get a free kick off of Katie Bowen.
17' Boston appeal for a handball on Christina Gibbons which the referee waves away. On watching the replay, the referee got that wrong and Boston should've been awarded a penalty. In the same sequence, Nicole Barnhart gives the ball away but Rosie White takes a bad touch and FCKC are able to clear their lines.
16' The resulting corner is met by Leroux but Boston are able to clear. FCKC's front three are very much in sync right now.
15' CHANCE! Again FCKC's pace is causing Boston's backline all sorts of problems. LaBonta plays a ball into space that Rodriguez catches up to. With a 2-on-1 situation, Rodriguez squares the ball to Leroux who tries to round Smith and sees her effort come off the post.
14' CHANCE! Rodriguez really should've put FCKC up by two. Groom picks up the ball in midfield and drives forward with no one able to keep up with her. She plays Rodriguez in and the striker hits the ball straight at Smith's midriff.
13' FCKC are keeping possession well and looking to spring their front three at any given moment due to their pace. Boston are trying to press high but FCKC keep playing around the pressure.
A quick word on Leroux' goal. Purce was got on the wrong side of Leroux which allowed the US international to spring forward and place her finish. A sign that Matt Beard's decision to play her there may not pay off straight away?
10' A foul is called on Boston as Lo'eau LaBonta is brought down in midfield. FCKC get the ball again.
9' Boston try to get forward on the right but it ends in just a goal kick for FCKC.
FC Kansas City 1 - 0 Boston Breakers
Becky Sauerbrunn plays another long ball forward that Leroux uses her pace to get to. She doesn't hesitate and hits it first time into the far corner past the dive of Abby Smith.
7' GOAL! Leroux scores her first NWSL goal since 2015.
4' FCKC almost find the breakthrough as Shea Groom sends in a great cross that Rodriguez just can't get to. Margaret Purce was on hand to clear the ball away before it fell to Sydney Leroux.
2' A long ball over the top is played for Amy Rodriguez to get onto but the play eventually stops with a foul in the box on Allysha Chapman that gives the ball back to the Boston Breakers.
1' And off we go with FC Kansas City in possession.
We're close to kick-off now as both teams huddle and pump each other up before their first match of the season begins. FC Kansas City will be starting us off.
Interesting little wrinkle in Boston's line up. Margaret Purce will be starting at right-back instead of at right midfield as most thought she would be. She will be up against Sydney Leroux today and it seems like Breakers' head coach Matt Beard has full confidence in her to keep Leroux out of the game. We shall see if this gamble will pay off for the Breakers.
Boston Breakers Starting XI (4-5-1): Smith; Purce, Oyster, Westphal, Chapman; Salem, Dacosta, White, Lavelle, Leon; Dowie.
FC Kansas City Starting XI (4-3-3): Barnhart; Taylor, Sauerbrunn, Averbuch, Gibbons; Bowen, LaBonta, Newfield; Groom, Rodriguez, Leroux.
Welcome to the last game on opening weekend of the 2017 NWSL season everyone. Starting line ups are not coming in and we will have them posted here shortly.
Prediction: This is a home game for FCKC in a place where they rarely lose. Even with all the changes that Boston may have made, the home side will probably have too much quality in them to not at least pick up a point on the day. Expect a 2-0 scoreline when all is said and done.
The referee assignments are out with Christopher Spivey being the center official for this one and he will be assisted by Amanda Ross and Brooke Mayo on the sidelines. The fourth official on the day will be Jack Feldman.
Projected Lineup for Boston Breakers (4-3-3): Smith; Frisbie, King, Oyster, Chapman; Andrews, DaCosta, Lavelle; Purce, Dowie, Leon.
Projected Lineup for FC Kansas City (4-4-2): Barnhart; Taylor, Averbuch, Sauerbrunn, Bowen; Groom, Laddish, Scott, Tymrak; Rodriguez, Leroux.
The match will be played at Durwood Soccer Stadium in Kansas City, MO on April 16th, 2017. The game will broadcast on go90, NWSLSoccer.com and the NWSL app at 6:00PM EST.
The key for Boston this year will be how quickly their rookies adapt to the league. In Rose Lavelle, the Breakers have the rising midfield star in all of the United States and the young rookie has already been capped by the national team. That's how good she is and has the potential to be. Morgan Andrews and Margaret Purce are no slouches either and will form an interesting midfield for the Breakers this year. If they all adapt quickly to the pace and schedule that come with the NWSL, Boston will be a team to watch out for as the season progresses.
The Boston Breakers come into this match as the underdogs and will be very aware of that. After finishing in last place for three straight seasons, Breakers' head coach Matt Beard will be hoping that all his offseason moves will give him a different outcome this season. The Englishman has now got a season in the NWSL under his belt and will be expected to push the team further up the table. Beard has brought in Amanda Frisbie, Megan Oyster and Amanda DaCosta to make up for the losses of Whitney Engen and Kristie Mewis while Natasha Dowie, Abby Smith and Julie King are all set to line up for the Breakers once again.
The big plus for FCKC is the return of a very solid backline led by goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart and captain Becky Sauerbrunn. These two and their supporting cast were the reason why FCKC did not place lower than they did last year as they were able to stop the rest of the league from finding the back of the net regularly. If you take the defensive solidity and the strong spine in midfield that FCKC have, then add the likes of Rodriguez and Leroux to that, it's hard to see how FCKC could finish any worse off than they did last year. The one question that will need to be answered is where the creativity will come from for the home side. They lost the services of Lauren Holiday over a year ago and Heather O'Reilly will not join up with team until the summer as she is currently on loan with Arsenal Ladies FC. That means that a large share of the creative role will fall on the shoulders of Erika Tymrak. Tymrak has the ability to be a force going forward but she had a season to forget last year. Head coach Vladko Andonovski will be hoping that she finds the form that saw her earn a call up to the USWNT in 2013 once again.
FC Kansas City, after three straight seasons in the playoffs, finished a disappointing sixth place last year and will look to go right back to the top of the table once again this year. The return of Amy Rodriguez and Sydney Leroux will no doubt aid them as one of their biggest issues last year was scoring goals. Rodriguez has performed well in the NWSL when she was healthy and will look to do so once again whereas Leroux had tapered off a little from her 2013 form before she missed last season due to pregnancy, but reports out of Kansas say that she seems hungry and ready to go once again. Shea Groom was the main striker for FCKC in their absence and although she did as well as she possibly could, the quality that Rodriguez and Leroux have exceeds Groom's and will probably see the young forward spend more time on the bench than on the field.
Both teams come into this opening day weekend with many unknowns for the viewers at home but will be looking to start the season right with a win and try to give themselves a platform to build off on for the rest of the season. Each team had a disappointing 2016 season and they will all know that a good start to the season will help them begin their journey to fare better in 2017 than they did last season.
Hello everyone and welcome to the last match of Week 1 in the National Women's Soccer League! Hosting this LIVE update for VAVEL USA is myself, Kudzi Musarurwa, and we will be watching FC Kansas City host the Boston Breakers in each team's first game of the 2017 season.