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Kansas City NWSL Squares off with Houston for Second Time in the Regular Season

June 5, 2021 - National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) - Kansas City News Release


KANSAS CITY - For the second time in the 2021 regular season, and the third time in all 2021 competitions, Kansas City NWSL (0-2-2) faces the Houston Dash (1-1-2). The latest meeting between the two sides is slated to take place on Sunday, June 6 at 1 p.m. CT at Legends Field.

Kansas City is looking to rebound following a hard-fought 1-0 loss to league-leading Orlando Pride last Sunday, while the Dash are hoping to ride a wave of positive momentum following a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Red Stars last Saturday.

LAST MEETING

These two teams met for the first time in the regular season on May 23 in Houston, as both sides played to a thrilling 2-2 draw. Kansas City struck first with a well-positioned goal in the 13th minute. Midfielder Gaby Vincent started the move with an incredible long ball ahead of forward Mallory Weber, who outpaced Houston's defense to get to the ball. She played a one-time pass across the 18-yard box to forward Amy Rodriguez, and Rodriguez capitalized with a sliding finish at the back post to give the visitors the lead.

Houston responded in the second half with two goals in quick succession. Forward Rachel Daly, who scored when the two teams met in the 2021 Challenge Cup, lofted a header over Kansas City goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart to level the game in the 60th minute. Six minutes later, Kansas City native Shea Groom headed in a corner kick to catapult Houston into the lead.

In the 69th minute, Kansas City defender Elizabeth Ball picked up her second yellow card of the match resulting in a red card and leaving the visitors down a player for the remainder of the contest. Head Coach Huw Williams made adjustments to KC's on-field personnel in search of an equalizer, and an equalizer came in added time through defender Taylor Leach. Forward Marianna Larroquette found Leach with an inch-perfect cross inside the box, and Leach headed it in. Leach's goal came in two minutes into extra time and proved to be the last goal in the match.

SHORTHANDED KC SEARCHES FOR FIRST WIN

Kansas City's quest for its first victory in franchise history will be a bit tougher due to key players being unavailable on Sunday. Midfielders Desiree Scott, Jordyn Listro and Victoria Pickett will be with the Canadian National Team for two friendlies. The trio features on Canada's 29-player roster as the team prepares for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

In addition, midfielders Chloe Logarzo and Lo'eau LaBonta remain out due to injury. With the missing pieces in the midfield, an opportunity presents itself for several other Kansas City players to step up in the center of the pitch. Players like rookie midfielder Addie McCain, who played 90 minutes against Orlando last weekend, appear to be in line to step up in a critical spot.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Houston Dash: Midfielder Kristie Mewis - The standout midfielder is an important piece of the Dash's midfield and could pose a threat to Kansas City's midfield. Mewis scored the game-winning goal in Houston's 2-1 victory over Chicago last weekend and has one assist to her name as well. Mewis notched two goals in the 2021 Challenge Cup. In the regular season. Mewis has thrived as a playmaker, with eight key passes and two successful crosses. Kansas City's young midfield will need to slow Mewis down on Sunday afternoon.

Kansas City NWSL: Goalkeeper Abby Smith - In her first game back from injury, Smith made several key stops and was nominated for the NWSL's Save of the Week against the Orlando Pride last week. Smith made three saves in the match. In the one goal conceded in the match, Smith was able to get a hand on it and nearly keep it from crossing the goal line.

JÉSSICA SILVA COULD PROVIDE OFFENSIVE ASISTANCE

Forward Jéssica Silva signed with the club on May 10 and began training with the team this week. The 26-year-old Portuguese international joined KC NWSL from French side Olympique Lyonnaise (OL). Injuries hampered her time at OL, but Silva is a dangerous attacking threat when healthy. If Silva is able to enter the match for KC, she should provide a spark for her side's offense.

BROADCAST INFORMATION

Sunday's match will be broadcast on Paramount+ and locally on SportsRadio 810 WHB. Mike Watts and Kacey White will provide coverage and analysis for the national broadcast on Paramount+ while Brad Porter and Aly Trost will bring the action to listeners on WHB.

Tickets are still available for the match. More information can be found at KCWoso.com/tickets

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