FC Kansas City is the 2014 NWSL champion, defeating Seattle Reign FC 2-1 at Starfire Sportsplex in Tukwila, WA today.
“We did all we could to win but today they took their chances, and although we had more and dominated game they took it,” said 2014 NWSL MVP Kim Little.
Beautiful weather and an electrifying crowd was on Seattle’s side, and they controlled the majority of the game, but FC Kansas City was able to find the net with fewer shots to put them ahead on the scoreboard.
Lauren Holiday and Amy Rodriguez were a dynamic duo, Rodriguez scoring a brace with Holiday on both assists to see the Blues through to victory.
“I felt like todays game wasn’t necessarily our best, but luckily I was able to get two chances and finish them,” said Rodriguez. “I can’t thank my midfielders and especially Lauren Holiday, enough. She has made me look so good this season and gave me two beautiful through balls and I was able to put them away.”
Seattle Reign exploded onto the scene in the first half, immediately taking possession and holding it without a fight. Of course, their attack was sound but Blues defense was all over them, thwarting their finish every time.
FC Kansas City kept quiet on the attack in the beginning, but Lauren Holiday and Amy Rodriguez would sneak under the radar in the 21st minute. Holiday won the ball in the midfield and charged down the right side alone. She crossed low to Rodriguez on the left and, still with no Seattle defense to be seen, she went head on with goalkeeper Hope Solo, lobbing the ball over her and into the net to put the Blues up 1-0.
The second half began the same way as the first with Seattle putting on the pressure, but unable to break through FC Kansas City’s impeccable back line. Kim Litle was able to shoot on goal twice, but goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart was all over the net, shutting the chances down.
In the 55th minute, the Blues won the ball and went on the attack. Holiday once more sped away down the right side and crossed to Rodriguez at the last second. She wasted no time and blasting the ball past Solo to add some cushion to the FC Kansas City lead 2-0.
“I was trying to score myself but they closed me down. I saw A-Rod at the top and she had a great finish,” said Holiday.
Seattle tried their hardest to get on the board, and despite dominating possession, just couldn’t find the gaps they needed. Then in the 86th minute, their constant hounding paid off, and Megan Rapinoe delivered the goal they had been searching for all afternoon. Covered on all sides by defenders in the box, she found her way through and shot past Barnhart to cut the Blues lead in half 2-1.
Rapinoe had another chance to score at the very end of stoppage time. She had a clear shot to shoot from the top of the box, but decided to cross in to Blues defenders instead. The final whistle sounded and FC Kansas City prevailed, clinching the 2014 NWSL crown.
“Seattle has been great all season .They have a great attacking force but we were able to weather the storm and that’s a testament to our back line, they were phenomenal,” concluded Holiday.