FC Kansas City is the only team in the league to have conceded only one goal thus far and it was off a penalty kick from Christine Sinclair. This record is a testament to their incredible back line and GK Nicole Barnhart for recording two clean sheets in three games.
On the other end of the field is Samantha Kerr, a player that has rose above expectations and elevated her team. Currently billed as the leading goal scorer for WNYF, she has netted two goals in three games. Kerr finds her greatest momentum in the first ten minutes where she has provided the Flash with either a goal or an assist. Undoubtedly the Flash’s best game was against Sky Blue last week, recording their first win via goals from Adriana and Abby Wambach The Flash surprised many with their headstrong style of play, allowing them full possession of the ball for long stretches of time.
The Flash found their diamond in the rough with forward Kerr, but with great power comes great responsibility, and FCKC back line will focus on isolating Kerr. Supporting Kerr in the midfield will be McCall Zerboni who has assisted in forming powerful offensive plays to include Angela Salem, Wambach and Kerr.
WNYF may have pulled out a win last week against Sky Blue but delivering the same result against FCKC will require patience. The Kansas City squad does not adhere to physical play save for Desiree Scott and Kristie Mewis who can deliver hard tackles in the midfield. Instead, they mostly play technical football, freeing up more time on the ball and creating successful short hand passes between the midfield. If FCKC gets stuck they will send the ball back to Becky Sauerbrunn who can restart an offensive attack with her perfectly aimed crosses outside of the 20 yard area.
This week marked the return of Carli Lloyd, who was recently cleared to play. It is still unclear whether Lloyd will play on Saturday but the option of knowing that Lloyd is available for future fixtures should provide the Flash and Flash fans with a sigh of relief. Lloyd is an opportunistic player and can score from anywhere on the field. She may appear selfish on the ball but that is hugely overstated; she plays in a logical manner because if she cannot find her teammates in a promising position then she will attempt to find her best angle and take the shot.
For the Flash to have their best chance of winning, they will need their back line, which typically consists of Brittany Taylor, Estelle Johnson, Alex Sahlen and Katherine Reynolds, to present a united front because Renae Cuellar, Lauren Cheney and Casey Loyd do not play individually. They link up their plays and support each other from the midfield onwards. Cheney in particular is difficult to dispossess and can find herself in a prime position to earn a free kick for FCKC. Flash defense will have to play smart rather than physically as they did against Sky Blue.
Western New York Flash Injuries
FC Kansas City Injuries
Match Date/Time: May 11 2013 at 7:35 pm
Venue: Sahlen’s Stadium, Rochester NY
Online WNYF Live Sports site