FC Kansas City 0 - 0 Portland Thorns FC
Full-time: And that's that. Neither team can find the killer touch in front of goal to get the win and ends up being a scoreless draw.
90+3' Tymrak loses her marker but her cross goes right into Franch's hands. That ends up being the last action of the match.
90+2' SUBSTITUTION: Megan Cox comes in for Allie Long.
90+2' Averbuch delivers another good set piece and play is halted after Leroux challenges Sinclair in the box for the header. Portland wins the foul and can clear their lines.
90' CHANCE! Portland almost grabs a late winner! The delivery comes in and finds Long at the far post. She nods the ball towards goal but a combination of Barnhart, Sauerbrunn and Averbuch are able to stop Emily Sonnett from scoring a scrappy goal from close range.
88' Portland earn a late corner kick and Klingenberg steps u to take the corner. It's a poor delivery and goes straight out for a goal kick.
85' Weber almost gets onto the end of Horan's cut back but she doesn't anticipate the ball well and the bounce allows the ball to evade Weber.
83' Boureille gets forward well and cuts inside past Gibbons but her final ball is not good and sails wide of the goal.
82' SUBSTITUTION: Groom has finished her time out on the field as she is replaced by Maegan Kelly.
79' Portland go on the attack and Weber finds Horan with her cross. Horan tries to volley it but Sauerbrunn is there to block the shot with her body and send the ball away from her goal.
78' CHANCE! Tymrak sends in a cross that Klingenberg gets to first. Her clearance is poor and allows Moros to take a shot on goal that goes just wide of the far post. Franch was beaten there.
75' Weber tries to put a cross into the box but Gibbons recovers well to stop the delivery and allow her goalkeeper to collect the ball.
74' YELLOW CARD: Henry hits the deck again after being fouled by Moros in midfield. The FCKC midfielder also earns the first card of the game.
72' SUBSTITUTION: Katie Bowen comes in for Newfield as FCKC's second change.
71' Sinclair tries to find Raso but Weber pushes Averbuch and gives FCKC a chance to move up the field with their free kick.
69' SUBSTITUTION: Mallory Weber is Portland's first change as she comes in for Nadim.
68' CHANCE! FCKC win the ball back and Averbuch plays another great long ball to Gibbons. The left back puts in a great cross and Leroux's diving header goes just wide of the goal.
68' Leroux crosses the ball toward Groom but it's just too high for her and her header doesn't have the accuracy to cause Franch any problems.
65' CHANCE! How did Leroux not score? Tymrak wins the ball back for FCKC right by Portland's penalty area and passes to Leroux. The striker is one-on-one with Franch but the goalkeeper gets a big hand to the shot and prevents Leroux from opening the scoring. The resulting corner comes to nothing.
64' Horan holds up the ball well before laying it off for Sinclair. The Thorns captain aims towards goal and her shot takes a deflection off of Sauerbrunn but fortunately for the defender, it goes right to Barnhart.
63' The corner comes in and bounces around before Saurbrunn tries a first time volley. It goes well over.
63' SUBSTITUTION: Erika Tymrak comes in for Ratcliffe as FCKC's first change of the day.
62' Averbuch sends in a free kick which Portland clear out for a FCKC corner.
61' Raso goes down as she is clipped while Gibbons makes an interception of a pass headed towards Raso. The Australian gets up though with any assistance.
58' Both teams are pushing forward a little bit more but the defenses are still winning these battles.
55' Now Portland get forward and Henry chests the ball down to Nadim who elects to shoot from a tight angle instead of pulling back for Horan. It goes into the side netting and the game stays at 0-0.
54' FCKC get the ball back and Groom takes on her defender before laying the ball off for LaBonta. The midfielder then blasts her shot well over the crossbar.
53' Newfield tries to chip the ball over for Groom but it goes just too long for the forward.
51' LaBonta takes a shot from a long way out which takes a bounce but goes right to Franch.
49' Portland break with Horan and Raso thinks she has a clear shot at goal but Sauerbrunn makes a great recovery run and nips the ball away from the Thorns forward and calmly clear the lines for FCKC.
48' Leroux tries to create something for herself as pushes into the box but Menges is on hand to stop Leroux's run and clear the ball away.
46' The second half is underway now.
FC Kansas City 0 - 0 Portland Thorns FC
Half-time: Not much in front of goal for both sides but Portland have had the better of the chances in front of goal. Hopefully things (and the game) improve in the second half.
45+1' FCKC get two consecutive corners which come to nothing. LaBonta gets the ball just outside of the box but her shot goes wide of the near post.
45' Franch has to be quick off her line as Groom almost pounces onto a poor Header back by Henry.
44' Nadim gets to the byline and sends the ball across the box but FCKC get there first and Gibbons kicks the ball away before any Portland player can get to it.
43' Groom is on the sidelines now and seems to want to continue as play resumes.
40' Play is stopped as Groom is on the ground clutching her midriff. The FCKC forward had come into this game after suffering a broken rub and it looks like that injury has flared up again.
39' Now FCKC start to push against the Thorns defense but their attack ends when Christine Gibbons sends in a poor cross that Franch is able to catch with ease.
37' CHANCE! Now Sinclair almost puts Portland ahead as she takes a great touch to create a little space for herself in the box and beats Barnhart but her shot comes off the post into Barnhart's grateful hands.
36' Portland push forward and Horan shoots towards goal but FCKC have enough players back to block the shot and clear it away.
35' Ratcliffe is one-on-one with Boureille and she cuts inside before aiming for goal. It goes high over the bar.
34' CHANCE! Raso should've scored! Horan gets to the delivery and nods it towards goal. The Australian is right there and all she has to do is tap the ball in but she skies it over the crossbar instead. It was easier to score there than to miss.
33' Raso wins Portland a corner kick and Nadim jogs over to take it...
31' Brittany Taylor plays a great long ball to find Ratcliffe in the box but her touch is poor and it comes off of her hand.
28' CHANCE! We finally have our first real chance of the game. Raso finds Long in the box and the midfielder pirouettes nicely to create some space for herself and aims for the near post. Barnhart is there to gather the ball easily.
27' Ratcliffe is fouled by Allie Long as FCKC were looking to break quickly. The fee kick comes to nothing though.
25' Neither team has had a shot on target yet as the battle remains in midfield.
23' Raso wins the foul in midfield after drifting away from Averbuch. Rebecca Moros fouls her to stop her from running towards goal.
22' LaBonta tries to play Groom in but Klingenberg stays strong and wins the ball back for Portland. The ball comes back to FCKC and Ratcliffe gets to the byline but she tries to shoot from a difficult angle.
21' Portland put together some passes and Nadim finds a little bit of space outside the box to take a shot on goal. It goes well wide.
20' Yael Averbuch switches the play ambitiously to Leroux and it's difficult for the US international to control so the ball rolls kindly to Franch.
18' Franch almost put Portland in trouble again there as she played the ball straight to Groom. Groom doesn't control her header towards Leroux and the play stalls. The home side do get a corner kick.
17' Newfield fouls Nadia Nadim and gives the forward a chance to serve the ball into the box for Portland. FCKC deal with the set piece well initially and eventually the play peters out as Barnhart gets the ball.
15' The ball breaks to Hayley Raso and she tries to play Christine Sinclair but Sauerbrunn is there to clean things up and play the ball calmly back to Nicole Barnhart in goal.
13' FCKC think they've won the ball off of Horan but the referee stops their break to call the ball back for a foul on the Portland midfielder.
13' Portland keeping possession here but no real chances for either team yet.
9' Lo'eau LaBonta plays Leroux through with space behind but the FCKC striker is called back for offside. It was close though because it looks like Emily Menges kept her onside on the replay.
8' Amadine Henry breaks forward from midfield to cross into the box but Becky Sauerbrunn clears it easily.
5' FCKC win the ball back high up the field after Adrianna Franch kicks the ball straight to Alexa Newfield. Syndey Leroux takes a one-time shot which bounces off of Shea Groom and out for a goal kick.
4' FCKC apply some early pressure but Portland win a throw in and regain possession.
2' Brittany Ratcliffe commits an early foul on Celeste Boureille and Portland keeps possession.
1' The ball is kicked out of play as Lindsey Horan went down after a challenge. She's trying to walk it off.
1' And we're off with Portland kicking off the start.
Kick off is only moments away now so I hope you're all settled in and ready to go.
Meghan Klingeberg gets her first start back from injury for the Thorns while Tobin Heath is a continued absence due to injury, as an unchanged Portland Thorns side comes into Kansas today.
Desiree Scott drops to the bench for the home side and Brittany Ratcliffe keeps her starting spot over Erika Tymrak.
Portland Thorns FC (4-2-3-1): Franch; Boureille, Sonnett, Menges, Klingenberg; Henry, Long; Horan; Nadim, Sinclair, Raso.
FC Kansas City (4-2-3-1): Barnhart; Taylor, Sauerbrunn, Avernuch, Gibbons; Labonta, Moros; Newfield; Groom, Leroux, Ratcliffe.
It's official! Mallory Pugh is now a member of the Washington Spirit. There will be much to talk about as this news continues to be processed but as of right now, the starting line ups are in for my coverage of today's NWSL match up between FC Kansas City and Portland Thorns so they will be following next.
Good afternoon everyone and welcome to another round of NWSL action that has started off with some big news!
FC Kansas City 1-1 Portland Thorns FC
Prediction: For the most part, in Kansas City, FC Kansas City has edged the series between the two teams during the regular season and in playoff situations. The home side is hard to beat in defense and that seems to be what they use to build on to pick up points. The Thorns can be dangerous on their day but without Heath, their creativity has been stymied and has prevented the likes of Christine Sinclair from thriving. Taking all of this and FCKC's injuries into account, the most likely outcome of this game is a draw.
The referee assignments are out with Karen Abt being the center official for this one and he will be assisted by Amanda Ross and Ben Pilgrim on the sidelines. The fourth official on the day will be Emily Fletcher.
Projected Lineup for Portland Thorns FC (4-3-3): Franch; Boureille, Sonnett, Menges, Klingenberg; Henry, Long, Horan; Nadim, Sinclair, Raso.
Projected Lineup for FC Kansas City (4-2-2): Barnhart; Taylor, Averbuch, Sauerbrunn, Gibbons; Ratcliffe, Scott, Labonta, Bowen; Groom, Leroux.
The match will be played at Durwood Soccer Stadium in Kansas City, KS on May 13th, 2017. The game will broadcast on go90, NWSLSoccer.com and the NWSL app at 4:00PM EST.
With all of that being said, their backline has performed admirably in the last four games. In particular, Emily Sonnett and Emily Menges have formed solid partnership in the centre of defense that has repelled most teams for the most part. Sonnett got named to the April NWSL Team of the Month but her partner would have been equally as deserving to be named to that list as well. If the goals are not coming at one end, head coach Mark Parsons can be thankful that his defense has not conceded too many either and thus, kept the team near the top of the league.
Portland Thorns FC are having an interesting season so far. Their results would say that they are one of the top teams in the league but their actual play would suggest otherwise. Of their two wins, they have only managed to win those games by one solitary goal. Their only multiple goal game came last weekend against Seattle Reign FC but even then, only one of those two goals was scored by a Portland player. It's still early days but as the season progresses, and depending on Tobin Heath's fitness, the Thorns will need the goals to start flowing.
The bright spot for FCKC has been the form of Nicole Barnhart. Barnhart, a former US international, has probably been the best goalkeeper in the league since its inception and her form this season has been nothing short of spectacular. She has kept FCKC in games that they should have lost four weeks in and they will need her to keep that form going this weekend when they welcome the Thorns into town. Defensively, FCKC are one of the more solid teams around, and led by captain Becky Sauerbrunn, will make it difficult for any team to break them down.
FC Kansas City's season started off brightly with the return of Amy Rodriguez and Sydney Leroux who performed well as a three-front alongside Shea Groom in the first game of the season for the home side but Rodriguez picked up a season-ending injury in that game against the Boston Breakers and since then, more injuries have begun to pile up for the former NWSL champions. Leroux and Groom have continued to try and give FCKC some threat up top but the injuries are beginning to tell as the team keeps picking up draws instead of wins. Head coach Vladko Andonovski can never be underestimated and if any coach can find a way to get his team performing despite the missing players, it's him.
Two teams on different ends of the table meet up this weekend to try and push their seasons forward. The Thorns came away from last weekend with a credible draw that puts them in second place heading into this weekend whereas an injury-riddled FCKC team battled to a draw themselves that kept them in tenth heading into this match up.
Welcome to Week 5 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 welcome Portland Thorns FC to Kansas.