KANSAS CITY (May 28, 2016) – Despite playing with three rookies in the lineup, two of whom were making their first start, the two-time defending National Women’s Soccer League champions from FC Kansas City earned their first victory of the season.
Yael Averbuch scored her second goal of the year and Erika Tymrak scored her first to lift the Blues to a 2-0 victory against the Orlando Pride at Swope Soccer Village. It was the first meeting between the two squads.
“Everything feels amazing,” Tymrak said. “We just have to keep this momentum and keep moving forward.”
With the victory, FC Kansas City improved to 1-4-2 and climbed out of the bottom of the standings. The Pride dropped to 4-2-0.
FC Kansas City debuted a much younger lineup in the absence of Heather O’Reilly and Becky Sauerbrunn, who were called up to the U.S. Women’s National Team. Tiffany McCarty and Alexa Newfield each made their first start and Newfield became the third rookie in the starting lineup this season. She joined Alex Arlitt and Katie Bowen.
Lo’eau LaBonta, who was signed on Tuesday made her first appearance as well. She subbed in
“I thought everyone did super well,” Tymrak said. “I think the players that started were ready. They stepped up and knew this would be a big game for us. They handled it well.”
However, it was the veteran Averbuch, who lined up for a free kick in the 53rd minute to give the Blues the lead. The shot ricocheted off the Orlando wall for her second set play goal of the season.
The goal ended a 348-minute shutout streak for the Orlando Pride, who were playing without starting goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris. She reported for USWNT duty along with teammate Alex Morgan.
Tymrak added the second goal in the 77th minute off an assist from Caroline Kastor. She curled the shot into the lower right corner from 18 yards out. It was the Blues’ fourth goal of the season and only the second from open play.
FC Kansas City will play back-to-back games on the road against Sky Blue FC and the Houston Dash on June 11 and 19 before returning home to host Seattle Reign FC on the 25th.