KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With seven Women’s World Cup champions in the starting lineup for both teams, including all three Houston Dash medal winners, the Dash and FC Kansas City played to an entertaining 1-1 draw before a sellout crowd of 3,557 at Swope Soccer Village on Monday night.
Fifteen days after helping the United States Women’s National team win its third Women’s World Cup with a 5-2 win over Japan, the Dash trio of Carli Lloyd, Morgan Brian and Meghan Klingenberg made their first appearance since the World Cup triumph.
Lloyd, the Golden Ball winner as the best player at the World Cup, duplicated her Dash debut with the opening goal moments before halftime. Lloyd drove a low free kick from 25 yards around the wall and off the inside of the far post for a 1-0 Dash lead in the 45th minute. The midfielder also scored in first-half stoppage time in her first Dash game, a 2-0 triumph over the Washington Spirit on April 10.
The free kick goal extended Lloyd’s scoring streak to five games for club and country, including the final four games at the World Cup, highlighted by a hat trick in the final.
Lloyd’s goal ruined a strong first half for FC Kansas City, who outshot the Dash 6-3 and held a 7-1 edge in corner kicks.
Teammates for much of 2015 with the Women’s National Team, including the unbeaten run at the World Cup, the Dash trio were now rivals with FC Kansas City’s World Cup-winning quartet: Becky Sauerbrunn, Lauren Holiday, Amy Rodriguez and Heather O’Reilly.
The hosts leveled the score line 10 minutes after halftime. O’Reilly, after an active first half, stormed into box and served a low cross toward the near post for Holiday. Dash defender Toni Pressley stretched her leg to clear the cross but drove her clearance into her own net for an own goal.
FC Kansas City continued to apply pressure and Holiday came close in the 62nd minute, weaving through defenders at the top of the box before driving a low shot from 15 yards that was turned away by Dash goalkeeper Erin McLeod, who stretched her right leg to deny the World Cup winner.
The game opened up midway through the second half and chances came in bunches, beginning with a run and cross from Kealia Ohai that sailed just behind substitute forward Jessica McDonald near the penalty spot. Two minutes later, Ohai took an incisive pass from Ellie Brush, used a slick turn at the top of the box, but fired wide of the far post from a tight angle.
FCKC answered back a minute later as O’Reilly broke down the right flank and crossed for Rodriguez at the back post but the 2014 NWSL MVP’s header soared over the bar.
Moments later it was McLeod reacting well to tip O’Reilly’s left-footed strike from 25 yards over the bar for one of her six saves. Next it was Holiday continuing the FC Kansas City onslaught, collecting a loose ball 22 yards out and driving a shot just past the upper corner.
After weathering the FC Kansas City surge, the Dash enjoyed the best chances late. In stoppage time, Camila slipped a pinpoint pass to Lloyd, who turned and fired from eight yards but the shot was blocked.
The Dash nearly won the game on a corner kick four minutes into stoppage time. Melissa Henderson served a precise cross and Liz Bogus played hero for FCKC, clearing McDonald’s shot off the line.
The Dash and FCKC meet again in nine days as the Dash host the Blues on Wednesday, July 29 at BBVA Compass Stadium. Houston travels to Western New York prior to that meeting, facing the Flash on Saturday, July 25.
Houston Dash (3-4-5; 14 points) at FC Kansas City (5-5-3; 18 points)
NWSL regular season
July 20, 2015 – Swope Soccer Village, Kansas City, Missouri
Attendance: 3,557 (sellout)
Houston Dash: Carli Lloyd 2 (unassisted) 45
FC Kansas City: Toni Pressley (own goal) 55
Houston Dash: Erin McLeod; Ella Masar ©, Ellie Brush, Toni Pressley, Meghan Klingenberg (Jessica McDonald 56); Jordan Jackson (Niki Cross 81), Morgan Brian, Carli Lloyd; Kealia Ohai, Tiffany McCarty (Melissa Henderson 76), Camila
Substitutes Not Used: Bianca Henninger, Rachael Axon
TOTAL SHOTS: 8 (Carli Lloyd 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Carli Lloyd, Kealia Ohai 1); FOULS: 9 (Jordan Jackson 3); OFFSIDES: 1 (Kealia Ohai 1); CORNER KICKS: 2 (Jordan Jackson, Melissa Henderson 1); SAVES: 7 (Erin McLeod 6)
FC Kansas City: Nicole Barnhart; Leigh Ann Robinson, Amy LePeilbet, Becky Sauerbrunn ©, Becca Moros; Jen Buczkowski, Mandy Laddish (Yael Averbuch 81), Lauren Holiday, Heather O’Reilly (Frances Silva 81); Erika Tymrak (Liz Bogus 87), Amy Rodriguez
Substitutes Not Used: Katelyn Rowland, Meghan Lisenby, Sarah Hagen, Caroline Kastor
TOTAL SHOTS: 14 (Amy Rodriguez 7); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (Amy Rodriguez, Lauren Holliday 2); FOULS: 4 (Mandy Laddish 2); OFFSIDES: 7 (Amy Rodriguez 5); CORNER KICKS: 12 (Lauren Holliday 12); SAVES: 1 (Nicole Barnhart 1)
HOU: Ella Masar (caution) 40
Referee: Randall Kelley
Assistant Referees: Ross Kleinstuber, Ryan Cook
Fourth Official: Rachel Smith