Shorthanded FC Kansas City Loses in Final Minute
Controversial Call in First Half Forces Blues to Play Second Half Down a Player
Piscataway, NJ (July 8, 2023) – FC Kansas City saw two of their young players score their first career goals tonight, but could not hold on as they were forced to play the entire second half short a player due to a controversial red card to Shea Groom. Sky Blue FC’s Sam Kerr scored her first NWSL hat trick as she led her side to a 3-2 victory over the Blues.
Going into tonight’s match, FC Kansas City head coach tweaked his lineup to try and produce more offensive opportunities for his team. Becca Moros was moved to the backline while rookie Christina Gibbons pushed up to a central midfield role.
At least in the first half, Andonovski’s adjustment was spot on. Gibbons was at the heart of many Kansas City attacks. She was able to distribute the ball across the field to several FCKC players. In the 29th minute, as she found herself at the top of the penalty box she spotted midfielder Katie Bowen wide open. Gibbons dribbled past Bowen then sent a clever pass back to where the New Zealand international was able to hit a one-time rocket into the back of the net.
The rookie's hard work continued to pay off throughout the opening period. In the 42nd minute, Desiree Scott sent a perfect pass through the Sky Blue defense, hitting Gibbons in stride. With nothing in front of her but the goalkeeper, Gibbons shot the ball with enough force to the far post that Sky Blue’s Kailen Sheridan could not stop it and the Blues were up 2-0.
The excitement of the first 45 minutes was soured in the final moments of the first half. As forward Shea Groom broke towards goal, defender Erica Skroski grabbed her arm in an obvious foul and denial of Groom’s goal scoring opportunity. In frustration, Groom pulled away from Skroski with a light shove. The referee issued a yellow card to Skroski and a straight red card to Groom.
Kansas City’s defense did an incredible job stifling the NWSL’s second-ranked offense throughout the first 75 minutes of the game. Midway through the second half, a flurry of activity in the Kansas City penalty box gave Sky Blue’s Maya Hayes a wide-open look on net. Mills tapped the ball towards the goal, but KC’s Becca Moros came sliding in to save the ball off the goal line.
Playing with only ten players took its toll on the Blues though as the constant pressure from their opponents wore down the defense. Sky Blue’s Sam Kerr scored two goals in the 78th and 81st minute before completing her hat trick with the game-winning goal in the 90th minute.
FC Kansas City falls to 3-6-4 on the season and will remain on the road, taking on the Orlando Pride next Saturday, July 15th at 6:30 p.m. CT. The team will return home on July 22nd at 7:00 p.m. CT against the North Carolina Courage.
NWSL Match Report
Match: Sky Blue vs FC Kansas City
Date: July 8, 2023
Venue: Yurcak Field, Piscataway, NJ
Kickoff: 7:00 p.m. ET
Weather: 78, Cloudy
SBFC – 45’+ Skroski (Yellow Card)
FCKC – 45’+ Groom (Red Card)
29’ FCKC Bowen (Gibbons)
42’ FCKC Gibbons (Scott)
74’ SBFC Kerr (O’Hara)
81’ SBFC Kerr (Corboz)
90’ SBFC Kerr (Lytle)
Goals 1 2 F
Sky Blue (7-6-1) 0 3 3
FC Kansas City (3-6-4) 2 0 2
Sky Blue FC: Sheridan, Skroski (Galton 67’), Pearce, Freeman (Mills 27’), O’Hara, Tiernan (Lytle 47’), Hayes, Killion, Rodriguez, Corboz, Kerr
Substitutes Not Used: Meehan, Stanton, DeCesare, Casey
FC Kansas City: Barnhart, Moros, Averbuch, Sauerbrunn©, Taylor, Ratcliffe (Flynn 57’), Gibbons, Scott, Bowen (Kelly 72’), Groom. Leroux (Newfield 83’)
Substitutes Not Used: Tymrak, Parkhill
FC Kansas City single game tickets are available to purchase here.