Sedalia Soccer

Major League Soccer











In which our heroes learned nothing about giving up three goals at home. Nothing at all.
So, yeah... That happened. Again.
Sigh.
Short of Dom's quality strike, that was probably an even worse performance than what happened when DC came to town. DC is actually a quality side this year, so losing to them maybe not so terrible. Lousing to an entirely lousy Houston team? Really frustrating.
Benny losing his head and picking up a dumb yellow? Icing on the frustation cake.
Hard to come up with many positives from the last two matches, honestly. Injury situation will hopefully improve. Schedule doesn't look to get much better. Yellow card accumulation will force some guys to get some rest, but at what cost?
At any rate, let's turn to some numbers, shall we?





Houston Dynamo
Key Stats


Tally Hall
4.5
1 save


Tyler Deric
4.5
6 recoveries


David Horst
7.2
1 goal


Jermaine Taylor
5.3
15 CBIs


Kofi Sarkode
4.1
2 key passes


Corey Ashe
5.3
8 CBIs, 6 recoveries


Brad Davis
8.0
2 assists


Giles Barnes
4.5
4 fouls drawn


Boniek Garcia
4.5
6 recoveries


Ricardo Clark
6.1
1 goal scored


Andrew Driver
4.1
2 minutes played


Luis Garido
5.3
8 CBIs, 7 recoveries


Jason Johnson
4.5
2 aeriel duels won


Will Bruin
6.1
1 goal


Team Average
5.3













Sporting Kansas City
Key Stats


Jon Kmepin
4.1
3 goals conceded


Aurelien Collin
5.3
14 CBIs, 5 aeriel duels won


Seth Sinovic
4.5
3 tackles


Matt Besler
4.9
10 CBIs


Lawrence Olum
4.1
3 interceptions


Kevin Ellis
4.5
6 recoveries


Benny Feilhaber
5.7
1 assist


Graham Zusi
5.3
3 crosses


Jorge Claros
4.1
82% pass accuracy


Dom Dwyer
6.1
1 goal


Soon Saad
4.1
2 key passes


CJ Sapong
4.5
3 tackles


Team Average
4.5




Yeah, despite Collin not having a great game, he put up some good numbers. Otherwise, more or less what I would have expected...
I actually don't have a lot more to add, honestly. At least, nothing that hasn't been written somewhere else already. 6-1 outscored at home, two straight losses? Unacceptable for a championship team. Hopefully just a blip on the radar, and I get that MLS is a parity league (I actually like this and talk it up), and that sometimes you have an off month, but getting bossed by a pretty poor road team... Not cool.











The Blues put in an excellent performance as they defeated the Seattle Reign 2-1 to win the NWSL Championship.
Amy Rodriguez and Lauren Holiday have been connecting for goals all season. Today was no different.
Rodriguez put in two goals while Holiday provided the assists as FC Kansas City won the NWSL Championship, defeating the Seattle Reign 2-1 at Starfire Sports Complex.
For the first fifteen minutes or so, Seattle was controlling possession and creating some opportunities. The Blues were able to hold defensively and not allow the Reign to get anything substantial towards goal.
The Blues went ahead in the 22nd minute by doing what they have been doing all season. Amy Rodriguez made a nice, off the ball move to get behind the Reign defense and get open for a through ball from Lauren Holiday. Rodriguez finished the open shot for the goal to put the Blues ahead 1-0.
Seattle, however, was a team used to playing from behind, having gotten a result in ten matches where they had fallen behind this season. They created a great chance in the 30th minute when Kim Little sent in a cross that met the head of Naho but it went just wide. Their dangerous attack would keep the Blues on their toes for the rest of the game.
The Blues almost doubled their lead in the 36th minute when Rodriguez received another beautiful through ball and shot near post but it went just wide.
Megan Rapinoe almost found an equalizer in the 41st minute when she took a curling shot from distance but it was saved nicely by Barnhart. That would be the last good opportunity of the half as the Blues took a 1-0 lead into the half.
Seattle opened up the second half looking for the quick equalizer and almost got it in the 53rd minute. Rapinoe was taken down just outside the box right in the middle. The ensuing free kick got past the wall but was right at Barnhart, who made the save.
FC Kansas City gave themselves some breathing room in the 56th minute with another great Holiday to Rodriguez connection. Holiday weaved in and out of the defense as she entered the far side of the box and found an open Rodriguez in the middle. Rodriguez was able to take the pass and finish it to the near post for her second goal of the game. This gave the Blues a very important 2-0 lead.
In the 63rd minute, Amy Rodriguez seemed to pull up lame after a collision with a couple of Reign players. She would come off and be replaced by Sarah Hagen. Rodriguez finished her FC Kansas City season with 16 goals, the most in FC Kansas City's history.
In the 84th minute the Reign almost pulled one back when Rapinoe rocketed a shot from the top of the box that hit the connection between the crossbar and the post. FC Kansas City was fortunate to not give up a goal there, the second goal from Rodriguez becoming more and more important.
The Reign did finally pull one back in the 86th minute. Following a corner kick and chaos in the box, Megan Rapinoe received the deflection in the middle of the box and put it in for the goal. This gave the Reign some hope going into the final five minutes.
The last few minutes of the game were filled with high tension as the Reign pressed hard for the equalizing goal. The Blues' defense, however, remained strong, as they held on to win the NWSL Championship in an incredibly exciting match.
This is the first NWSL title for FC Kansas City in the league's short history. This also completed the Kansas City trifecta with Sporting Kansas City winning the MLS Cup, the Missouri Comets winning the MISL Championship and the Blues winning the NWSL Championship. It was Vlatko Andonovski's second title as he is also head coach of the Comets.
With a star above their crest, the Blues will return next March to once again go for the NWSL title, now able to call themselves "champions."



Join us as we watch FC Kansas City go for the NWSL Championship against the Seattle Reign.


The Teams

FC Kansas City
12-5-7, 4-7-1 on the road
41 Points

How They Got Here: Finished 2nd in NWSL, Defeated Portland 2-0 in Semifinals.

Manager: Vlatko Andonovski (2nd season)





Seattle Reign FC

16-2-6, 7-0-3 at home

54 Points
How They Got Here: Finished 1st in NWSL, Defeated Washington 2-1 in Semifinals
Manager: Laura Harvey (2nd Season)
Other Info
Lineups

FCKC: Barnhart, Robinson, Sauerbrunn, Phillips, Kallman, Buczkowski, Richmond, Mathias, Holiday, Tymrak, Rodriguez #NWSL #NWSLFinal
— Dan Lauletta (@TheDanLauletta) August 31, 2014


#FCKC Subs: Keane, Bogus, Gorry, Hagen, LePeilbet, Marlborough, Silva #SRFCvFCKC
— Seattle Reign FC (@SeattleReignFC) August 31, 2014


#ReignFC Starting XI: Solo; Cox, Barnes, Reed, Fletcher; Winters, Fishlock, Little; Kawasumi, Leroux, Rapinoe #SRFCvFCKC
— Seattle Reign FC (@SeattleReignFC) August 31, 2014





#ReignFC Subs: Kopmeyer, Deines, Brigman, Dallstream, Foxhoven, Nogueira, Goebel #SRFCvFCKC
— Seattle Reign FC (@SeattleReignFC) August 31, 2014


Date: August 31st, 2014






Gametime: 2:00 pm central

TV: ESPN2

Location: Starfire Sports Complex, Tukwila, Washington.
The Blues travel to Seattle in a battle of the two best teams for the NWSL title.
In preparation for the NWSL Championship match between FC Kansas City and the Seattle Reign, we traded questions with Sounder at Heart.
The Blue Testament's questions for Sounder at Heart's Josh Yockey.
1. Has Seattle's success come all from the off season trades or are there other factors like style, chemistry?
A lot has to go right to have a season like Seattle's had. The players get along well and there's a lot of belief in Laura Harvey's pressing and attacking style. And there was evidence that when it was actually assembled (meaning Hope Solo and Megan Rapinoe were playing) last year's Reign was competitive -- in June and July after they were already out of the running they only lost 1 of 8 games.
But the biggest factor by far was the offseason acquisitions. And not the trades really (though there were some trades to get players' rights), but all of the free agent signings. Kim Little was the best player in the league this season. Naho Kawasumi might be one of the top 5 attacking players in the league, though she's overshadowed by Little, Leroux, and Rapinoe. Bev Goebel has been a workhorse in the attack and leads the team in appearances. Kendall Fletcher quietly solidified the central defense that was the weakness of the team last year and probably should have gotten more consideration for Defender of the Year. All that talent turned a pretty good team into one that can go on a run like they did this season.
2. Kim Little, has anyone been able to contain her and could you please tell us in advance how?
The secret is actually to give her as much time on the ball as possible and back away. This confuses her and causes her to behave erratically and could be the key to beating the Reign.
3. As good as Seattle has been, it seems like FC Kansas City has matched up fairly well. a Seattle 3-2 win early in the season and then FC Kansas City was the first team to not lose with a 1-1 draw and another 1-1 result a few weeks later. Does Seattle see Kansas City as a threat or were they more worried about other teams?
Harvey definitely respects KC. For two years she's told anyone who'll listen that Andonovski has his teams play the way she wants her teams to play. We can get Portland-focused up here for obvious reasons, but rivalry aside I think Seattle and Kansas City were clearly a step above the rest of the league all season and it's a perfect final matchup.
Sounder at Heart's questions for The Blue Testament.
1. Amy Rodriguez. She was technically on the Reign roster last year but missed the whole season to have a child. When the dust cleared on Laura Harvey's offseason tradeapalooza, A-Rod was in KC and Sydney Leroux was in Seattle. That was widely seen as a big upgrade for the Reign, but Rodriguez finished second in the golden boot race. How does she play for KC and what's been the key to all of that offensive production?
A-Rod has progressed steadily throughout the season. At the beginning she was a bit rusty and not at 100%. Of course this case of rusty was scoring goals but they were very direct. As the season progressed so did A-Rod's runs. The game winner for FC Kansas City last Saturday saw Rodriguez go wide then use her speed to slip a defender off of her back shoulder and slide the seem behind another defender where Lauren Holiday laid the ball out for her. A nice goal and a better run. The real reason she has been so good? Lauren Holiday is her best friend and Holiday serves her very well.
2. What's year 2 of FCKC been like off the field? The move into the smallest venue in the league makes it hard to draw any conclusions from the attendance. One of the best teams in the league 2 years running is hopefully making ground in the local sports scene.
FC Kansas City graduated from a high school stadium with football lines to a college with a dedicated soccer field. Unfortunately that meant a smaller stadium seating wise and losing some Kansas fans that can't or won't cross into Missouri. Despite less attendance, the crowds are more into it. The Blue Crew supporters group is right behind one goal (sometimes they trade ends to follow opposing keepers) and they are better able to be heard and seen than before. Without being able to sell alcohol or have some "fun" tailgates, it has been hard to draw the same rowdy Cauldron crowd that Sporting KC enjoys.
The turf (the famous 159 degree turf) that Portland's Riley whined about post game is far better than the high school turf was and plays much better.
I do think the team could market better but they have made some solid moves building a youth club system that will give them a go-to ticket buying pool.
3. We know about Rodriguez and Holiday and Tymrak and Sauerbrunn, but who's someone that's maybe flown under the radar who could have a big game in the final?
Almost anyone that you did not name but I would say either Jen Buczkowski or Jenna Richmond. Both of the defensive mids could cause trouble. Richmond has a goal and four assists while Buz has a goal and three assists. Buz has gotten into the attack more this year and if you ever watch her in practice, you will see she is deadly from around the box. Coach Andonovski made the FC Kansas City versus Portland game into a Buz versus Vero match and Buz won. Richmond has quietly turned into a mid that not only compliments Buz but is a force by herself.




We trade three questions with the Sounders at Heart leading up to the NWSL Championship match
In preparation for the NWSL Championship match between FC Kansas City and the Seattle Reign, we traded questions with Sounder at Heart.
The Blue Testament's questions for Sounder at Heart's Josh Yockey.
1. Has Seattle's success come all from the off season trades or are there other factors like style, chemistry?
A lot has to go right to have a season like Seattle's had. The players get along well and there's a lot of belief in Laura Harvey's pressing and attacking style. And there was evidence that when it was actually assembled (meaning Hope Solo and Megan Rapinoe were playing) last year's Reign was competitive -- in June and July after they were already out of the running they only lost 1 of 8 games.
But the biggest factor by far was the offseason acquisitions. And not the trades really (though there were some trades to get players' rights), but all of the free agent signings. Kim Little was the best player in the league this season. Naho Kawasumi might be one of the top 5 attacking players in the league, though she's overshadowed by Little, Leroux, and Rapinoe. Bev Goebel has been a workhorse in the attack and leads the team in appearances. Kendall Fletcher quietly solidified the central defense that was the weakness of the team last year and probably should have gotten more consideration for Defender of the Year. All that talent turned a pretty good team into one that can go on a run like they did this season.
2. Kim Little, has anyone been able to contain her and could you please tell us in advance how?
The secret is actually to give her as much time on the ball as possible and back away. This confuses her and causes her to behave erratically and could be the key to beating the Reign.
3. As good as Seattle has been, it seems like FC Kansas City has matched up fairly well. a Seattle 3-2 win early in the season and then FC Kansas City was the first team to not lose with a 1-1 draw and another 1-1 result a few weeks later. Does Seattle see Kansas City as a threat or were they more worried about other teams?
Harvey definitely respects KC. For two years she's told anyone who'll listen that Andonovski has his teams play the way she wants her teams to play. We can get Portland-focused up here for obvious reasons, but rivalry aside I think Seattle and Kansas City were clearly a step above the rest of the league all season and it's a perfect final matchup.
Sounder at Heart's questions for The Blue Testament.
1. Amy Rodriguez. She was technically on the Reign roster last year but missed the whole season to have a child. When the dust cleared on Laura Harvey's offseason tradeapalooza, A-Rod was in KC and Sydney Leroux was in Seattle. That was widely seen as a big upgrade for the Reign, but Rodriguez finished second in the golden boot race. How does she play for KC and what's been the key to all of that offensive production?
A-Rod has progressed steadily throughout the season. At the beginning she was a bit rusty and not at 100%. Of course this case of rusty was scoring goals but they were very direct. As the season progressed so did A-Rod's runs. The game winner for FC Kansas City last Saturday saw Rodriguez go wide then use her speed to slip a defender off of her back shoulder and slide the seem behind another defender where Lauren Holiday laid the ball out for her. A nice goal and a better run. The real reason she has been so good? Lauren Holiday is her best friend and Holiday serves her very well.
2. What's year 2 of FCKC been like off the field? The move into the smallest venue in the league makes it hard to draw any conclusions from the attendance. One of the best teams in the league 2 years running is hopefully making ground in the local sports scene.
FC Kansas City graduated from a high school stadium with football lines to a college with a dedicated soccer field. Unfortunately that meant a smaller stadium seating wise and losing some Kansas fans that can't or won't cross into Missouri. Despite less attendance, the crowds are more into it. The Blue Crew supporters group is right behind one goal (sometimes they trade ends to follow opposing keepers) and they are better able to be heard and seen than before. Without being able to sell alcohol or have some "fun" tailgates, it has been hard to draw the same rowdy Cauldron crowd that Sporting KC enjoys.
The turf (the famous 159 degree turf) that Portland's Riley whined about post game is far better than the high school turf was and plays much better.
I do think the team could market better but they have made some solid moves building a youth club system that will give them a go-to ticket buying pool.
3. We know about Rodriguez and Holiday and Tymrak and Sauerbrunn, but who's someone that's maybe flown under the radar who could have a big game in the final?
Almost anyone that you did not name but I would say either Jen Buczkowski or Jenna Richmond. Both of the defensive mids could cause trouble. Richmond has a goal and four assists while Buz has a goal and three assists. Buz has gotten into the attack more this year and if you ever watch her in practice, you will see she is deadly from around the box. Coach Andonovski made the FC Kansas City versus Portland game into a Buz versus Vero match and Buz won. Richmond has quietly turned into a mid that not only compliments Buz but is a force by herself.

Ben analyses the Sporting KC vs. Houston match. Video produced by Isaac Knopf.