FC Kansas City vs North Carolina preview: Two teams on the opposite side of the standings
FC Kansas City vs North Carolina: number 1 vs number 10

Three weeks ago, on a humid hot night, FC Kansas City and the North Carolina Courage took the field. At that time, both clubs were looking to regroup after losses. For 39 minutes, both teams put on a defensive effort, neither side relenting a goal. As the thunderclouds loomed, so did lightning, coming closer and closer to Children's Mercy Victory Field. Concerned, the referee halted play, sending players to the locker room and fans to take shelter until the thunderstorms passed. However, the line of storms would take several hours into the night to pass the Kansas City area, and the game was officially suspended until a later date. 

FC Kansas City (3-7-5, 10th) and the North Carolina Courage (10-5-0, 1st) try again in Kansas City on August 10 to finish the game they started on July 22nd. The matchup is scheduled for 8 PM EST and can be streamed via go90 APP, go90.COM, and NWSLSOCCER.COM.

Three Weeks Later, Same Narrative

The Courage hold the top spot in the NWSL standings after their 1-0 victory over the Seattle Reign last week. Forward Lynn Williams scored the only goal in the first half for the Courage thanks to a Makenzy Doniak assist, and goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland recorded her eighth shutout, which leads the NWSL. Williams also scored her fourth goal of the season, tied with Ashley Hatch, to lead the team in goals. She continues to contribute to North Carolina's high-pressing top offense with 39 shots. The Courage has netted 21 goals this season.

FC Kansas City escaped Boston with a 2-2 draw against the Breakers last Friday. A goal in the 21st minute gave the Blues the lead after Desiree Scott won the ball in KC's defensive third and dribbled up the field 60 yards. Christina Gibbons, in her new role as a central midfielder, received the pass from Scott and took it up towards the end line, which allowed her to cross it into the goal box for Maegan Kelly to score. Erika Tymrak would later send a long-distance shot that bounced into the goal in the 81st minute. Tymrak's goal allowed FCKC to leave Boston with a point. Kansas City continues to look for their first full three points since May 27.

FCKC vs NC: What to Expect

This is the second and final matchup between the two clubs this season. In June, FCKC and the Courage met in North Carolina in a game that was highly physical. The Courage went on to win 2-0 with goals from McCall Zerboni and Hatch after dominating much of the possession.

Lynn Williams, along with Ashley Hatch, leads the Courage with 4 goals | Photo: Cindy Lara - VAVEL USA
Lynn Williams, along with Ashley Hatch, leads the Courage with 4 goals | Photo: Cindy Lara - VAVEL USA

North Carolina is a well-rounded team with a high-pressing offense and a stingy defense. The Courage defense has not allowed more than one goal to get past them.

Despite their 2017 struggles, FC Kansas City is a strong team at home with only one loss in their six games at Children's Mercy Victory Field. Becky Sauerbrunn and Sydney Leroux return to KC after international duty. Rookie Christina Gibbons' shift to central midfield has revived the KC midfield. Gibbons has 1 goal and 3 assists at her new position.

Expect another physical matchup, especially as the Courage look to hold on to their number one spot, and FCKC hopes to defend their home turf.