Hagen leaves mark in Blues’ 7th straight win

Dan Lauletta July 6, 2014 111

Sarah Hagen, shown in Bayern Munich kit, scored twice on her first start for FC Kansas City.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — FC Kansas City put a beat down on Sky Blue FC on Sunday, scoring twice inside the opening 10 minutes on their way to a 5-0 victory that keeps the pressure on the 1st-place Seattle Reign.

The result accounted for multiple league records including the Blues’ 7th straight victory, which tied the Reign mark set earlier this season.  Additionally, Nicole Barnhart notched her 6th straight shutout and extended her streak of shutout minutes to 585 – both extending league records.  The 5-0 score also matches the largest blowout in NWSL history.

“You cannot be any happier,” FC Kansas City coach Vlatko Andonovski said.  “We scored five goals and didn’t allow any.  There were probably a couple of things that we could have done a bit better, but the end result you just can’t ask for more.”

Andonovski gave Sarah Hagen her first NWSL start and tweaked his formation to accommodate her.  Hagen and Amy Rodriguez teamed up top with Lauren Holiday and Erika Tymrak manning the middle of the park.  Unlike the earlier part of the season when FC Kansas City experimented in a 4-4-2, this time they kept two holding midfielders above the back line.

“We’re very happy with Sarah’s performance first and foremost, but we’re also happy with the changes that we made,” Andonovski said. ” Offensively it worked tremendous.  Defensively we had to do a little more running than we used to, but sometimes you have to give up something to gain something.”

Hagen scored two goals and was a constant factor in the Blues’ attack.  But it was Leigh Ann Robinson and Tymrak who hooked up in the 2nd minute.  Robinson, who had more ground to cover in the change of shape, ran onto a ball deep on the right side and sent a cross through the goal area that went untouched to the far post.  Tymrak took it down with her chest and then finished to make it 1-0.  Holiday got into it in the 9th minute when the second of two straight corner kicks swung over Brittany Cameron and went directly into the upper 90, far post.  That put the hosts in a 2-0 hole, but things hardly got better.

“I’ll be the first one to say that the first half was just an embarrassment for everybody, myself included,” Sky Blue coach Jim Gabarra said.  “I think we took a risk and tried to press them a little higher on the field and got too stretched out and gave up two soft goals, and then we were very naïve and just kind of kept banging our heads into the wall instead of consolidating and trying to drop off and right the ship, and gave up two more.”

The next two were Hagen’s.  In the 20th minute FC Kansas City knocked the ball around in their defensive third for a lengthy stretch before finally pushing it forward to Tymrak on the left side.  The 2013 Rookie of the Year sent a well-meant ball over top for Hagen, who got a professional touch on it to draw Cameron out of her goal and then made a quality finish for her first NWSL goal.  In the 42nd, six different FC Kansas City players touched the ball off a short goal kick by Barnhart.  The 7th was Holiday, who was played through by Jenna Richmond and got off an impressive shot between defenders that hit the left post.  Hagen followed up the play and headed it home to make it a multi-goal game in her first NWSL start.

“As a forward you’re always supposed to follow everything in,” Hagen said.  “Luckily I didn’t overrun it and I was able to get my head on it.”  Hagen had a chance for a hat trick on a second-half breakaway but fired her shot high.  She later claimed a mishit.

Sky Blue gave Nadia Nadim her NWSL debut in the second half.  The Danish striker played partially as a target player but also tracked back to try and create as well.  One of Sky Blue’s best chances came off a corner kick that Nadim created, but the would-be goal was headed off the line by Richmond.  The other Sky Blue chance came on a deep shot by Sophie Schmidt that Barnhart had to dive to make the save.  Even with Sky Blue playing better in the second half, it was still FC Kansas City that got on the scoreboard.  Amy Rodriguez, the one quiet player in the offense, was given loads of space running into the box and easily put away a Liz Bogus cross.

FC Kansas City (10-4-3, 33 pts.) are at Portland next Sunday.  The Blues remain 9 pts. off the pace after Seattle came from behind to beat the Boston Breakers on Sunday. Sky Blue have two full weeks off before hosting the Washington Spirit on July 20.

  • guest

    FCKC putting on a clinic. They make it look so easy. Brilliant performance on the road to take home the 3 points. Patient build up, excellent ball movement, great technique, fluid possession, while exploiting spaces with deadly finishes. Smooth as smooth can be. Funnest team to watch in the NWSL.

    • Guest

      A final of FCKC vs Seattle would be incredible.

      • treehill

        At the moment it looks inevitable.

        • Guest

          Never know what’ll happen in a knockout game. Look at the Portland-KC game last year.

          • treehill

            Yes “anything can happen” in one game but the probabilities are way more skewed this year. Remember in 2013 the top 3 teams all finished with the same points, and Sky Blue was only 2 points behind them! Everyone was quantifiably very even. Portland was never far from first even though Cone was mercilessly ripped. Should have been no surprise for any of the playoff teams to win.

            Now the gap between 2nd and 3rd is 10 points and all signs are that it will only grow with KC becoming scary. Portland is 21 pts behind Seattle!

          • romel dias

            Yes but KC for example have become scary only because of great coaching…Hagen is still a newbie and KC had her rights last year…Tymrak was taken in a draft where everyone passed her over.. A-Rod has just come back from having a baby!!

            Its not like they have Morgan, Sinclair, Vero, Heath, Angerer, Rachel Van Hollebeke, Brooks etc!

          • treehill

            KC has great talent AND great coaching. They are worthy favorites.

            But I admit that Portland has so much talent that even if Riley were purposely trying to make them lose, he could not do that forever.

  • Guest

    That first Hagen goal gave me a flash back to the 2007 women’s world cup u.s vs sweden when wambach chested down a long ball on the run and slammed in the corner.

  • Calci0

    Stoked that Hagen was able to put her stamp on this game!!!!

  • BCAD

    I was beyond worried once I saw that SkyBlue was playing at home because they just play awful at Yurcak. They are my team but I hate how inconsistent they are in that they only play with a purpose when they are a) at Portland, b) losing, c) at the end of a half and d) a combination of b and c. Liked what I saw from Nadim and think her and KO should start up top. I was also looking to see if Rampone would have grabbed the players after the second or even third goal to just regroup but I don’t know if that happened. Someone can correct me if I am wrong about that and just missed it.

    • curious

      What is about yurcak that just sucks everything out of them?

      • BCAD

        honestly have no idea and they did not have this problem last year

    • Guest

      Looking at Sky Blue’s remaining schedule it is quite possible or should I say probable that they won’t win or tie a game as they play out the season. The teams they are playing will really need those points to advance to the playoffs while SB will be out of contention. Ouch.

      • BCAD

        I just wish they weren’t playing the Flash because the Flash give SBFC so many problems. Everytime I watch them play I feel like I cringe a little inside

    • xman22702

      I wouldn’t start KO with Nadim, play a 4-5-1 with Nadim solely at top and KO at either left back or left midfield.

      • romel dias

        Nadim is not the central forward in the true sense…she is actually a great 9 or can play incredibly as an attacking mid just behind the front line..a la Little!

        • xman22702

          Now that I think about it, that makes much more sense! Would she be paired with Freels in the mid?

        • guest

          Wow! I hope Gabbara follows you here on Equalizer.

          • romel dias

            Doesn’t need to..if he has gone out and got Nadim on loan…he has watched her play at the Euros. That was how she was utilised by Denmark! Usually deployed behind Rasmussen and Harder!

  • canyon

    sarah hagen was very good. i hope ellis had an eye on her.

  • guest

    Vlatko is a very very intelligent coach with extremely wise tactics, and has the team playing phenomenal soccer. KC plays like a true unified “Team”. He knows how to get the most out of each player by properly utilizing and exploiting each player’s skill set. The team has great chemistry and plays as a very strong comprehensive unit with excellent results. It’s no wonder why Ellis was at the KC vs Portland game last week and was extremely impressed by the technical ability of FCKC. Perhaps we may see some players called back up to the national team like Tymrak and Robinson, or perhaps even new faces like Buczkowski and Richmond to be tried as d-mids since that is a likely need, or even Mathias or Kallman who both can play outside backs, as Ellis emphasized during the Reign vs Boston game that she is open to deepen the back line and solidify the defense.

  • romel dias

    i really feel for Nadim…this was not the team that deserved her :(

  • SBFan

    Ouch – just got home from the game – that was quite a beat down. KC is loaded with National Team quality players who contributed greatly today. Sarah Hagen not only started her first game with them but Amy LePeilbet was back from injury and played very well on defense. Add to those two the likes of Amy Rodriquez, Lauren Holiday, Erika Tymrak and Nicole Barnhart and you have 6 of the finest players in the league who play and contibute in their normal regular game positions. How did KC manage to pick up all those players while we get only Rampone at that level and perhaps maybe at times O’Hara (if only she were playing in her national team position!! Assuming she has one anymore at that level considering what has happened to her here in New Jersey. I hate to say this but Kelly this off season may be the time to pull a Sydney Leroux if you want to keep your career on track). Seems like we didn’t pick wisely or get a break on national team allocations as did KC when the league formed last year or rebuild smartly as Seattle this past off season. Gonna break the news to the wife that we are moving to KC with a vacation home in Seattle!!

    • BCAD

      I feel like KO is in a very interesting spot NT wise. IMO she can play forward all she wants for SBFC but for my own selfish reasons she should be LB on the NT team, but Ellis needs to play her there why she doesn’t is beyond me

      • Lindsay

        I feel the last KO time played LB was at the algarve cup. When she came in the France game she was on the right. I agree IDK why Ellis doesn’t play her there it doesn’t make sense. Kelley doesn’t strike me as the person who has a hard time switching from forward to LB- separating club/country. Think she is better than Kling and faster than Cox and makes good crosses too

        • Commenter

          But can she defend?

          • Lindsay

            Yes she can defend and was the only reason back in the opener against FC Kansas City that they got a tie and didn’t lose. And was good at defending in all the other games she played for SBFC and with the NT team

          • guest

            Sometimes, but KO is not a natural defender and that weakness can be exposed.

    • SBFan

      Oh, I forgot Becky Sauerbrunn on KC – that gives them 7 of the finest players in the league. Talk about loaded. Can’t wait to see them play Seattle.

      • FCKCEvans

        KC’s original allocations were Barhart, Sauerbrunn, and Holiday. Their 2013 draft consisted of Kristie Mewis who eventually became allocated and (who was traded for Arod via Seattle) and Tymrak was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2013 college draft. Basically a good orginal allocation and a phenominal 2013 college draft has put them in this spot. LePeilbet was acquired from Chicago for KC’s 1st round pick in the 2015 college draft and Hagen has been on KC’s discovery player list since to the beginning of the league in 2013 and they were finally able to sign her this season because of the ending of her contract with Bayern Munich.
        KC was given some good talent in 2013 through allocation, assessment of the college talent through more effectively than anyone in the league (IMO) and play a style/have a coaching staff that attracts some of the best free agent signings.

        • Ron Bishop

          Right on! The original three USWNT player allocation gave FCKC a spine right up the middle of the pitch – something they have effectively built on with young players coming out of college and talented under rated veterans ie Buz, Robinson, LaPeilbet. They haven’t been afraid to make big devisions in trading easy players or letting them go – Cuèllar , Mewis, the Canadians…Trading for A-Rod gave FCKC a solid up top player and now Hagen also – a lot of arrows in the quiver.

          Some mocked Andonovski as a half time men’s indoor soccer coach when he was selected – he and his team are ripping it up!

          • romel dias

            I am a Reign fan purely cos I followed the womens game in England and was a great fan of Laura Harvey…I had no clue about the other coaches last year…but even midway through last year I saw that Andonovski was a brilliant tactician….to give up a proven goal scorer like he did with Cuellar last year…to recognise the forte of the ground game that Holiday is capable of and playing through her on the pitch! was brilliant!

            I think he is an incredible brain and more power to him!

          • luke

            I remember how confused everybody was, when he got rid of Cuellar (she was top or one of top strikers then) ! :)

    • guest

      Humble beginnings was a part of FCKC’s first season last year, in which Kansas City was perhaps an unknown place that nobody wanted to go to with very low expectations. It seemed as if players wanted to go to the more popular cities like Portland or Seattle. Even though KC did not get allocated the big name superstars, they did get a solid set of players, along with wise draft picks such as Tymrak, who some teams even passed up twice. Much of the success can be attributed to Vlatko Andonovski and his excellent coaching and management decisions. Vlatko made due what he had and developed it into a very impressive side. That speaks a lot about him as a coach.

      FCKC is like a “Greenhouse” to develop players and to also showcase one’s potential. In other words, taking the nameless and faceless, and transform them into great players allowing them to shine. A good example is Tymrak as no one knew who she was in the beginning but has blossomed and flourished under FCKC’s system. The type coaching, style of play, philosophies, chemistry of the overall team and organization, all seem to factor in well, thus providing a very conducive environment to excel. It seems that Kansas City is perhaps now a place of envy.

    • Jackie

      I’m a massive Sky Blue fan but if I’m being honest I think it would be best for Kelley’s career if she left the club and went somewhere that would consistently play her at left back. She has proven to be an incredible left back in the Olympics and algarve cups and she is without a doubt the best option there if she’s in form. However playing with Sky Blue has not allowed her to continue to progress her left back skills which could seriously hurt her national team status.

      • Osol

        My problem is that she was playing LB at the beginning of the season and she scored those 2 goals I think coming from the backline. Then after she did Gabarra moved her up top after realizing that SB was not playing well (weren’t scoring). Her playing up top lasted longer than I thought and it just happened to coincide with a NT camp. The problem her and Foord had was that they were pushing forward but they had no one to pass it to. And at this point i’m not even sure if moving her back would help. I still can’t imagine her not making the World Cup team because that would be awful and probably cause some type of outrage

        • Jess

          I can understand why Gabarra has moved O’Hara up to forward but it seemed to me she actually aided the attack more when she was playing left back because she helped create plays. But whether it makes sense for Sky Blue or not, playing her at forward is hurting her spot with the national team. I hoping for world cup qualifiers and the camp before hand, Jill will work Kelley at left back and for club in 2015 she’ll be at left back. If that happens she’ll be all set for WWC 15.

  • xanthophobe

    -Seattle might be in first place, but if I’m looking at current form, I would call Kansas City the best team in the league. They control their matches from top to bottom and have been so remarkably consistent in this stretch (Seattle not so much.) I was concerned about this FCKC team after their incredibly rocky start, but they’ve been a true joy to watch.

    -The switch to the 4-4-2 was a bold move by Vlato, seeing how horribly it worked at the beiginning of the season, but this A-Rod/Hagen duo could be really something.

    -Jenna Richmond for Rookie of the Year, please. I’m glad the 4-4-2 didn’t cost her a starting spot–she is a remarkable player.

    -Soooo….Sky Blue. What a mess. They had produced a string of alright games (definitely not more than alright, though) and then this.

    • guest

      seattle hasn’t been consistent? are you joking?

      • Guest

        Seattle has the weird distinction of being a great team that hasn’t hit it’s ceiling. They still haven’t put together a 90 minute performance. FCKC is more consistent but Seattle is more talented. Oddly enough, when their defense is on point, their offense looks slack and when their offense puts on a show the defense collapses.

        • guest

          I agree they haven’t hit there ceiling. But you don’t get to 39 points on top of the league by being inconsistent.

      • xanthophobe

        I think they’ve been consistent for the most part, but I also think this trend of allowing the first goal is very troubling and can’t go on for much longer. They continue to win but they have some slip ups in every match that really should be avoided (i.e. the complete lack of defense on Boston’s second goal tonight)

        • guest

          I agree, but just the way seattle has had lapses in defense fckc has had issues in offense. They just have different issues. Neither is perfect.

        • Guest

          For some reason, Seattle likes to be put in a corner. Sydney said they always scare themselves and when they think they will finally lose, they turn up the heat. Harvey is probably going grey.

      • Pia Knows Best

        Very consistent in allowing the first goal, then with 10 minutes left Harvey subs in Noguera for somebody and pushes Little and Fishlock forward. Presto, two goals instantly. The miracle is that nobody in the NWSL has noticed this tactic.

        • Calci0

          Today, AWESOME goalkeeping kept them from scoring 1st….

        • romel dias

          Im sure every coach has been closely reading the Disqus section on the Equalizer hoping you’d give them some insight! Thanks so much now we’ll see some great strategy against the Reign I suppose!

    • BCAD

      I agree Seattle hasn’t been consistent, they have won
      (barely) but they haven’t been consistent and lately they seem like they need to get scored on or have shots almost go in for them to turn on the intensity

      • Calci0

        Barely…… Outside of today FCKC won 4 of their last 5 by ONE goal. And even with 5-0 and 4-0 wins their GD is 13. Let’s not go too crazy over today’s events….

        • BCAD

          Wasn’t talking about today specifically. Haven’t there been been games when they got goals in stoppage time to get the win or the tie

          • Calci0

            But you used the word “barely” as if FCKC was winning games by 3+ goals regularly…….

          • BCAD

            I was never even talking about or mentioned FCKC I was just focusing on Seattle. And I also like FCKC and am not denying that they have their problems. Just trying to say their have a few close calls for Seattle hence using the word barely.

          • Calci0

            Since your reply seemed to echo

            xanthophob’s post about
            consistencyI gathered you were echo’ing his thoughts on FCKC……

          • BCAD

            Sorry didn’t mean too and had also read the comments below before I posted mine

        • guest

          Hagan did today and will continue to make a big difference as KC plays out its season – one goal wins are a thing of the past IMO!!!.

          • Calci0

            I don’t think you are giving enough respect to some of the defenses out there….

    • guest

      KC originally tried the 4-4-2 with a pairing of ARod and Bogus up top. Bogus is god awful it’s not a surprise it didn’t work. It just took putting the right person (Hagen) up there with ARod and magic can happen.

      • Rdalford

        The other key to 4-4-2 working this time was keeping the 2 DM setup

        • Vladlagg

          I hope FCKC gets Sammy Mewie next year in the second round–her and Jenna Richmond hooking back up from their UCLA days would be nice to see. The height and tenacity would hopefully fit well, but who knows if she’ll still be around (or even playing soccer). Sam once or twice mentioned quitting soccer after college, so who knows.

          • guest

            Perhaps Sarah Killion would be another option.

          • xanthophobe

            In my opinion, there’s no way Sarah Killion escapes the top 5. There are teams higher up in the order that could really use her talents.

          • FCKCEvans

            KC doesn’t have a 1st round pick and I would think Mewis would go before either of KC’s 2nd rounders. Especially with Boston in the mix.

        • guest

          Last time they utilized a diamond formation with one holding midfielder of Jen Buczkowski. This time they kept two holding mids in a more box midfield.

  • Rdalford

    Impressive first half by FCKC and solid more defensive second half to keep clean sheet and close out the game. Nice to see Hagen playing well, good attitude and skill set to execute effectively (… forward’s job to follow up shots attitude resulted in her being in the right place to head in the rebound) and she seems to work well in the FCKC system. Also continue to be impressed with Richmond, rookie of the year case could be made for Richmond. Hopefully FCKC avoids last years can’t finish out games pattern and continues to play at high level they demonstrated tonight.

    Play offs match up of an in form FCKC vs in form Seattle should be great.

    • guest

      Seattle and KC wouldn’t meet in the playoffs, they would ideally meet in the final, in Seattle.

  • Guest

    Looks like Barnie is going to get GK of the year again. Personally, I think Harris or Solo should have gotten it last year, and I think Naeher or McCleod should get it this year. I know stats are the main decider for that award and the numbers are bad, but those keepers stand on their heads to keep their teams in games.

    • luke

      Barnie’s consistency is phenomenal.
      She has that “Calm down, I got this” factor emanating of her.

      • guest

        That can be a good thing and a bad thing.

  • guest
  • TN

    The commentator was hilarious, talking about the number #22 where it’s listed as Santiago, and doesn’t see it’s listed in the roster. If you tell Holiday to take that corner kick again, there is an extremely high chance she won’t make that goal again.

    I thought after that third goal in the 20th minute, Cameron should have been subbed out, because I think she had lost her composure and confidence. Even though maybe one of those goals was her fault. I don’t understand why when SB had the ball and numbers moving forward, they were barely jogging.

    O’Hara was not good in 1st half today, her passings can’t connect and she kept losing balls. All her shots had better chances of reaching the moon than to be in the back of the net in the first 30 minutes. I think the second half, she was much much better.

    It seems every time FCKC commits a foul, the referee becomes temporary blind.

  • NYRick

    KC started the year in a funk due to the loss of Scott. They had to figure out how to play without her.

    I guess they have figured it out.

    Now having Hagen is going to almost make them unfair. And Holiday’s corner kick goal was pretty, but to be fair that was just horrific positioning by Cameron on that. Watch the replay and look where she is standing and her anticipation to the play.

    SB is a real mess. In fairness, they just can’t match the roster talent of the top teams. Bad management and bad coaching doesn’t help either. We all like KO, and she was always one of my favorite players but she is just not a very good forward option at this level. Hate to say it, but with her I’m starting to think her fame and attention is so attributed to her personality and grit over pure talent. She is still a good option at LB for the NT but they have to leave her there and play her to continue to develop. It doesn’t look like that’s happening with Ellis. Club soccer with SB has more damaged KO’s career than the ankle injury.

    • luke

      She is poor striker at this level and in form from OG 2012 – Algarve 2013 she is one of the best outside backs in the world. Messing with that is stupid.

      • fanfrom1995

        Amen brother!

    • fanfrom1995

      Absolutely agree that KO’s time with Sky Blue has wrecked her national team possibilities. She is no longer a forward, and should be in the backline (or even the midfield at club level). It’s a shame that Gabarra continues to place her in forward position; she just can’t strike with enough power or precision to warrant that position. And, I say that even though she is one of my favorite players; lots of speed, hustle, soccer IQ. Hopefully, KO gets a shot with Ellis on the back line, but for some reason, Ellis seems to like Kling and Cox.

      As a SB fan, I was completely dismayed with this team performance. I did not expect them to win against KC, but a 0-5 loss!!! No defence, no good passes, no score. The only positive is that they improved a lot in the second half. Hats off to Hagen on a great start. I had not watched her before; now I know why lots of people have been talking about how good she is.

    • VaFan51

      When she won the Hermann Trophy at Stanford, KO’s athleticism and energy trumped her lack of a fine technical touch. She led the nation in scoring, for heaven’s sake.
      I think these same qualities persist to the international level, which is why she is so well-suited for LB — and she is a bona fide, flat-out warrior out there. I have never understood why any of her post-Olympics coaches have wanted to mess with that. In an era in which coaches are forever converting forwards to backs, we have taken one of the parts of the WNT that wasn’t broken and damaged it.

      • Osol

        I agree with you. Everyone keeps talking about how the back line specifically the LB has no cohesion or depth. That’s because you have removed players like KO who have been playing there since early 2012 and put her someplace else. And if I remember correctly she was starting there over Cox in those earlier matches in 2012. Im not one of those people whoever talks about Pia and she had a hunch about KO being LB and was right

    • romel dias

      the coach is now bringing in players….like the fantastic Nadim….i think they were just complacent coming into this season….he just assumed that the NWSL would not attract players and that their best way was to work with the team that had over-achieved last year! I think the management of SBFC stinks….at least Boston has tried doing things and have failed at it!

      • fanfrom1995

        I agree SB did not appear to make any attempt to attract new players. Complacent …or perhaps management had the coach under some monetary constraints this year?? This year, except for Nana, there are no new players that would warrant big money (and I say big money, knowing the salaries are horrible and there is a salary cap). I mean they signed Stanton and Morris, I assume for a really low price. Also, they have 6 players getting paid by their respective federations. Just wondering what management is thinking.

        The thing is, the SB owner has been a fan of woso longer than other owners, so I don’t know why there were not more significant changes. Maybe, they expected more scoring from Hayes and Filigno. I also think losing Taylor Lytle to injury was a big lose for the team. She brought a lot of energy, connected passes and made some needed goals.

        I wonder how Nadim feels after this loss?? Can only hope she shakes things up. SB is now just playing for pride.

        • romel dias

          If you bring in the fact that Sky Blue has been around as well as the fact that the owners have been woso fans for the longest time…then I have a bigger question…the NWSL more than ever before has a foundation of help from the associations and there are players like O’Hara who are paid by USSoccer …how has the management not budgeted for payers?

          They have Nadim now on loan..and she is a premiere player from Denmark…how much more or less it would have cost to have a strong player from Australia/ NZ/ Nigeria etc. to come in? It could have failed…the player could have been inept or got injured like Samashima etc…but to not make moves that show any sort of intent is more damaging!

          • fanfrom1995

            I don’t have a clue what SB management is thinking. And as you said (and I said above), there are 6 players getting paid by their federations, so that gives SB some breathing space in terms of salaries. I was just wondering if the owner does not want to spend any money. Why they did not make any moves to secure better players? Perhaps you are right…the management is just inept or does not care.

            Seeing the plight of Boston, SB and Houston makes me admire Seattle’s owners and coach. When they had a terrible season last year, they developed a plan and worked hard off season to secure players. Hey, even Portland tried to make a good team better, although that does not seem to be working out at planned, but props for trying.

          • Rufan

            Regarding SB, I have written several times here and BS that I believe that the team went on a salary reduction going into this season- all its original (presumably high paid) “free agents” are gone, replaced by Levin, Kiryu, Morris, and college draftees who each could not cost much more than the minimum. Why?, probably to cut its $ losses.

    • BCAD

      I think KO problem is what we would have seen last year more out in the open had she not gotten injured

  • luke

    Fantastic first touch and classy finish by Hagen, but Erika’s pass was not bad either!

    http://i1338.photobucket.com/albums/o686/soccphan/qq_zps0125b6d4.gif

    • NYRick

      That is such a great ball by ET. I so wish she would get a real chance the end of the summer with the NT to play in the WC qualifiers.

    • Flammenwurfer

      It’s the Bayern Munich connection again.

  • wosofan

    I wonder if Ellis asks Vlatko how he gets KC to play this way. I hope she’s not too proud to ask. Or maybe she should talk to Swanson.

    • luke

      Yes, yes and yes.

    • guest

      Maybe she should ask you.

  • confused

    Pray tell what is a professional touch? Is there an amatuer touch? Youth touch? Would not all paid players have a professional touch? If not, why pay them?

  • I can see clearly now

    Can we just cut the BS and admit that the best US forward options for 2015 are Arod and Hagen. Arod alone if the 4-5-1 fits the in form players and opponents best. Her and Hagen if that fits the situation best. Based on current form Cox is our LB. KO is off and not current at the spot. Kling is not playing well. Therefore, Cox is the choice.

    • NYRick

      Hopefully you are joking, and I’m assuming you are. If you’re not, you would start Arod and Hagen as the US forwards over Alex, Press and Syd??

      OK.

      • I can see clearly now

        Well I wanted to see the reaction. In reality I want to see the forwards that mesh the best and are in the best form when the time comes. I’m not an obsessed fan nor an hater of any potential selection. My support is for the USWNT as an entity rather than individuals. I have my favorites, but it’s team first for me.

        • NYRick

          That’s cool. It’s all good. For me, Alex, Press and Syd are pretty elite and arguably and easily 3 of the top 6 or 7 forwards in the women’s game. Hagen is a player I like too and I think deserving of a WC roster spot due to her size, target striker, skill and relatively young age. Abby will shut her out of a spot. ARod has had over 100 caps or so with the US team. Been there, done that. She is no way ahead of the big 3 for any NT minutes. Credit to her for her good season in KC, but if she was on SB, Bos, Chi, Wash, Hou and maybe even Portland, she would most likely have about 2 goals at this point.

          But I’m with you for the success of the US team. I do have my favorites with Press being on the top of the list, but it is a competitive roster and the forward position is extremely hard to get minutes on this team.

          • I can see clearly now

            Hey not trying to argumentative, but given the goals Taylor is getting in DC I suspect Arod would manage her share.

          • NYRick

            You may be correct, but I think Taylor may be better than people give her credit for as well too.

    • luke

      Cox, Arod?
      Arod’s strike in the end was perfect, but have you seen some chances she wasted before in the match? Hard to watch if you root for KC.
      Cox had great beginning of the season, now with every game she’s looking less and less impressive in my opinion.

    • Jackie

      ARod and Hagen have a good shot to make the team but they won’t start over Alex Syd or press unless injuries occur. And good god I hope Cox isn’t our best option at left back. I’d rate Kling over Cox but truly if O’Hara is given a chance to get back into form at left back by Jill she’s the #1 option.

    • dw

      You seem to equate “best forward options” with playing and starting for the WNT.

    • Ron Bishop

      A-Rod is ripping it up, but she may be the Chris Wondolowski of women’s soccer – cranks out the goals with her club, but doesn’t seem to replicate the production or chemistry on the National Team level.

      And I’m an A-Rod and FCKC fan.

      • guest

        Hmm christen press?

    • fanfrom1995

      You cannot be serious!!!

    • Calci0

      Don’t get to caught up with the “right now”.

  • VaFan51

    I am a KC fan, so this is not unbiased, but the way they played this match reminds us that soccer sometimes can earn the label “the beautiful game.”

    • SBFan

      I am a Sky Blue fan and was at the game. I can only agree with you. KC was a pleasure to watch and the game they played was indeed “beautiful”. I was envious of their play and approach to the game. As a holder of 4 season tickets at Sky Blue I am quickly coming to the opinion that I am better off staying home and watching the other games on U Tube. Sky Blue management just doesn’t seem to want to make the effort or spend the money to compete with the other teams; and, it is getting harder and harder to take. Even bringing in the Danish forward – to late and to little. Oh well; and what will this team and leagure look like next year when many of the players will be gone for World Cup play.

  • wosofan

    Watched part of the first half again and really impressed with Tymrak. Her best match of the year. Also, very naive of Rampone/Gabarra to try to press and play a high line against KC.

    • NYRick

      I’d like to see Tymrak close the season really strong in these last 8 games or so and have a good playoff as well. She needs to make a statement to get on that roster for the WC qualifiers.

      • wosofan

        She’s not contracted though. Big hurdle. Now a blind person would rate her above HAO or Mewis or Heath (not to mention how well she combines with Holiday), but those players are all contracted. Also Ellis loves size and physicality. She rates players like Parcells used to build an NFL team. She’s really very conventional.

        • NYRick

          Hmmm…rating players on size in soccer. Let’s see, Leo Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, James Rodriguez, Neymar etc.

          In the women’s game, Marta is not big, and Mia Hamm was no giant. But I certainly get your real point and you’re absolutely correct…it’s all about those NT contracts. I understand how they are advantageous and needed in many aspects, but the lunacy of holding back better players for a contractual player really has to be re-examined and changed. Aside from hurting the team roster of talent, it really is just plain unfair. This is the national team we are talking about here, and the dream to make that team is the goal of every talented female soccer player in this country. Just pick the best 23 and move on, and any financial balances I believe the USSF can make up. The women’s team is a cash cow for them, and judging by the popularity of the men’s team at the WC they are going to be printing money soon.

          Stop the madness. Promote the best players and lose the bureaucracy. Many of those contracted players have had an awful nice run and made a good buck along the way. The team is too competitive now to stay with this nonsense. It is an infinitely harder team to make now than even 2-3 years ago.

        • Pia Knows Best

          I hadn’t noticed that before. Laura Harvey (Reign) has a different outlook on her players: Little, Naho, Fishlock, all small women, and Pinoe is not exactly husky.

        • nwslfan

          Agree. Harvey has fewer contractual restraints. LHarvey rates quality: technical ball skills, decision making and movement. LHarvey also fits the skill set of a player into the system or adjusts the system. For instance, Goebel able play target/hold the ball while others run on, or she can turn and attack + she combines well in attacking third. Syd started as a pure speed threat to stretch the field, but she is doing more target play and has improved her technical skills. Waiting to see when Syd will turn/ go or turn /crack a shot in a game, the way Bev or CP do this. I noticed in last game that Syd did not get a defender moving one way in the box and then cut the ball back to her other foot to create an opening- she should do this to be less predictable bc she has demonstrated quality striking w both feet.
          Very impressed w Hagen. She can FINISH. Hagen and ARod + the quality midfield in Tymrak Holiday and 2 holding mids are going to be a serious force.

  • guest

    Gimme a break, Hagen is slow.