Tag Archive | "Chicago Red Stars"

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Red Stars can’t find any rhythm against the Beat

Posted on 20 June 2010 by mwkajdas

Despite both teams enjoying an infusion of new talent onto their rosters, neither the Red Stars nor the Beat could muster much in the way of an offensive threat against each other, ending their first ever meeting in a scoreless draw. Atlanta started all five of the players they acquired this week from the now-defunct St. Louis Athletica—a move prompting goalkeeper Hope Solo to christen her new team Atlantica—while Chicago only suited up Elise Weber, currently assigned to their developmental squad, to sit on the substitutes’ bench.

Neither Nikki Washington nor Anita Asante, Chicago’s two other Athletica additions, were available to play. “We’ve got Nikki Washington who is probably a couple weeks away from being completely healthy,” Chicago’s new coach, Omid Namazi, explained after the game. “She’s going to add another dimension to our game with her speed. She can open the game up for us… (Asante) will be ready to play next week. She is also a player who gives us some flexibility as to how we want to play. She can play out of the back line or she can play the holding midfielder role. So it gives us some options. At times, if we want to change the formation or move Formiga out, we can do that.”

It didn’t take long for Weber to get into the game, however. In the 4th minute of play, Red Stars defender, Natalie Spilger, leapt to clear the ball out of her zone and crashed skulls with Atlanta forward, Mami Yamaguchi. Both players went down to the turf but only Spilger got back up. Yamaguchi was eventually helped off the pitch but Spilger still had to join her in the locker room for stitches. Neither player returned to the game and, in the 11th minute, Ramona Bachmann and Elise Weber entered for Atlanta and Chicago respectively.

For the next twenty minutes both teams moved the ball well between the penalty areas but neither could find a way to penetrate inside them. Megan Rapinoe attempted several crossing passes into the box for Chicago but all of them ended up safely inside Solo’s gloved hands. In the 30th minute, Karen Carney slid a pass up into the box to Casey Nogueira, who dropped the ball back to Cristiane in space. However, Cristiane launched the ball straight into the air between the goalposts, which, in another brand of football, would have made a nice field goal attempt. Nine minutes later, Eniola Aluko was taken down inside the Chicago penalty area but no penalty kick was awarded, despite her plaintive pleading to the officials.

“I think it was one of those games where we didn’t get an opportunity to play that much football,” Atlanta coach Gareth O’Sullivan analyzed after the game. “I think that Chicago closed us down very well. We had a game plan for the second half but the wind picked up and we never really got it going.”

The Red Stars did get it going in the second half, however, creating a flurry of chances on Atlanta’s goal. In the 49th minute, Formiga dashed up the left wing but fired a weak shot that was easily scooped up by Hope Solo. Two minutes later Cristiane fed the ball to Megan Rapinoe just to the left of Atlanta’s goal. Pinoe took her time to line up the ball but fired another weak shot that Solo handled effortlessly. Just three minutes after that Cristiane fought off Katie Larkin on the right sideline and launched a long pass to Rapinoe in front of goal, but Solo was first to reach the ball. In the 58th minute, Kate Markgraf fed a long ball to Casey Nogueira on the right wing. Noogie centered the ball to Cristiane in front of net but she shot the ball wide of the right goalpost. In the 64th minute Formiga lobbed a ball from midfield that was picked up by Nogueira at the top of the box. Sandwiched between two defenders, her shot sailed harmlessly over the net.

Chicago’s best chance to win the game came in the 72nd minute when Karen Carney used a corner kick to make a short pass to Marian Dalmy. Dalmy passed the ball across the Atlanta goal line where a sliding Katie Chapman just missed pushing it into the open net. “It just came across really quickly,” Chapman commented afterward. “I don’t think I expected it to come that fast. I think that I was really, really close from tapping it in. And that’s one of those things, the kind of opportunity we need to finish to win games.”

Red Star coach Namazi would agree, praising his defenders and midfielders for their performances but remaining mystified by the inability of his forwards to finish plays. “I thought in general we turned the possession, in terms of control of the game, we did that well. Obviously, we’re only looking at one point as the result of playing well. I can look at it in a disappointing way and say we dropped some points in our first game here. The girls have been training under a different regime in different ways so we’re trying to change certain things, especially in our possession game, be a little bit more patient, stretch the other team sideways and forward and backwards and create some gaps where we can now attack. We did some of it. Obviously, we were missing that final pass. The play in the final third wasn’t that great but I was encouraged by the way we controlled the game… Overall, very pleased. I wish we could have gotten three points out of it but you don’t always get what you want.”

Match Summary
Chicago Red Stars vs Atlanta Beat
June 6, 2010 – Toyota Park – Bridgeview, IL
Attendance: 4227
Weather: Cloudy skies and 70 degrees

Scoring
None

Misconduct
92’ Red Stars: Elise Weber (yellow card)

Lineups
Chicago Red Stars:
Jillian Loyden
Natalie Spilger (11: Elise Weber)
Kate Markgraf
Whitney Engen
Marian Dalmy
Formiga
Megan Rapinoe (62: Kosovare Asllani)
Karen Carney
Katie Chapman
Cristiane
Casey Nogueira (86: Ella Masar)

Atlanta Beat:
Hope Solo
Leigh Ann Robinson
Kia McNeill
Tina Ellertson
Katie Larkin (70: Stacy Bishop)
McCall Zerboni (55: Johanna Rasmussen)
Carolyn Blank
Angie Kerr
Lori Chalupny
Mami Yamaguchi (11: Ramona Bachmann)
Eniola Aluko

Officials
Referee: Daniel Fitzgerald
Asst Referees: Shelley Finger, Ann Mayberry
4th Official: Stephanie Toth

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Weekend recap: Red Stars upset Gold Pride and a stalemate in the Garden State

Posted on 31 May 2010 by mwkajdas

Heather O'Reilly

In what could be considered the biggest upset win of this WPS season to date, the Chicago Red Stars, at the end of a tumultuous week of changing coaches, defeated league-leading FC Gold Pride and ended their five-game winning streak with an early second-half goal from Kosovare Asllani. Michael Kajdas reports from Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill., on that match.

The Boston Breakers came to Yurcak Field in New Jersey on Saturday night looking to stop two streaks, an all time winless record against defending WPS Champions Sky Blue FC and the five game winless streak they’ve carried since the second week of the season. After 90 minutes, the Breakers would leave with both still intact, playing to a 0-0 draw with Sky Blue in a game that saw Heather O’Reilly start at forward rather than her usual spot in midfield. The switch agreed with the U.S. international. “I have a lot of fun playing striker,” she said after the match. Lauren Barker reports from Piscataway, N.J.

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Red Stars tame Gold Pride with a 1-0 win

Posted on 30 May 2010 by mwkajdas

In what could be considered the biggest upset win of this WPS season to date, the Chicago Red Stars, at the end of a tumultuous week of changing coaches, defeated league-leading FC Gold Pride and ended their five-game winning streak with an early second-half goal from Kosovare Asllani. Gold Pride’s head coach, Albertin Montoya, sighed with deep despondence after the game. “Well I thought it was a pretty even game for the most part, both teams having some quality chances. And they put their chance away in that second half… We were flat for about 10-15 minutes after that goal. We made some changes toward the end that worked out well for us and we put some more pressure on them. But they did a good job of holding on and getting a win.”

In fact, the first fifteen minutes of the game was an even-ended battle for the midfield, which neither team was willing to concede. Chicago’s acting head coach, Marcia McDermott, dropped Formiga back into a defensive midfielder position, which frustrated Gold Pride’s attempts to penetrate up the middle, while Karen Carney continued to play the attacking midfielder role which she recently assumed during the previous game against Philadelphia. While both teams jousted back and forth in search of an opening attack, Chicago earned a moral victory by not giving up the early goal that has cost them three of their four losses so far this year.

Gold Pride ended up dominating the offensive play in the first half and nearly opened the scoring in the 16th minute. Marta received a pass from Kelley O’Hara inside Chicago’s penalty area and refused to be stopped, breaking away from a tandem of defenders to loop a left-footed cross to Christine Sinclair, who was waiting patiently inside the 6-yard box. Sinclair snapped a powerful header toward the open net but lifted the ball just up over the crossbar. Two minutes later, Marta found her again, heading the ball over the defensive line as Sinclair sprinted toward the Chicago goal. However, luck was not on their side this night as Sinclair deposited the ball into the back of the net but was waved off for an apparent offside infraction.

For the rest of the half, Gold Pride attacked mostly up their left sideline, continually sending O’Hara into the corner in search of Sinclair while doing just as good a job of keeping Marta away from the ball as Chicago was managing. The Red Stars, for their part, never really looked threatening in the first 45 minutes. Their best chance came in the 30th minute when Kosovare Asllani lead a long pass up to Cristiane in the penalty area, who deked deftly away from her defender only to fire her shot wide to the left of the goalpost.

But the Red Stars have always been a team that shines brighter in the second half and this game proved to be no different for them. In the 55th minute, Karen Carney passed the ball out wide to Marian Dalmy who took the ball deep into the right corner. Kosovare Asllani found her crossing pass and pushed the ball into the open net. “At the start of the play I was on the top flank, which is Cristiane’s place,” she described the play afterward. “And she ended up in my place. And when I saw that Dalmy took that run… I knew that the ball was going to come to me so I just took the hardest run. We really deserved that goal… I think that it wasn’t just my goal but the team’s goal…everybody had a part in this.”

The goal seemed to raise Chicago’s game as they went on to dominate play for the rest of the game. “After we went down a goal we panicked a little bit and started playing a little more direct than we needed to,” Montoya gave his assessment. “There was plenty of time in the game. And there was a time when we settled down again with about ten minutes left in the half. We could have been a little more composed and in control even though we were a goal down. There was lots of time left in the game. We just had to keep playing our game and not make too many changes and hopefully get the goal.”

Only the players in the locker room really know whether this rise in the Red Stars’ fortunes was due to the change in coaching or to their awareness that there is a contingent of Athletica players waiting in the wings eager to replace them. Marcia McDermott was noncommital about the prospects of acquiring any of the new free agents on the market. “Obviously every team has to consider the different options available and every team has to be very thoughtful of this opportunity. We are going to get ready with this team to enjoy what they accomplished on the field,” she glossed over the topic in sphinx-like fashion. On how long she will continue in her role as head coach, however, she was a bit more emphatic. “We’re conducting a coaching search currently. I think it’s just too much to expect to fill too many roles within an organization. It’s too important, each of them on their own. Right now we’re actively in the position of building a list for the next Red Stars coach. I want to get the right person. So it will take what it takes. We’ll be thorough. We’re conducting the search in the appropriate way.”

At any rate and with any coach, the Red Stars proved with this game that they can still hold their own against any other team in the league. “I feel like it starts now,” Kosovare Asllani expounded after the game. “We had a couple of games where I feel we had dominated the game and we hadn’t won. After all, winning is the most important thing. I think we got really good confidence after this game and we can be everything in this league.”

Match Facts

Chicago Red Stars vs FC Gold Pride
May 29, 2010 – Toyota Park – Bridgeview, Ill.
Attendance: 3845
Weather: Calm clear skies and 73 degrees

Scoring:

55’ Chicago: Kosovare Asllani (Marian Dalmy)

Misconduct:
83’ Gold Pride: Carrie Dew (yellow card)

Lineups
Chicago Red Stars:
Jillian Loyden
Natalie Spilger
Kate Markgraf
Whitney Engen
Marian Dalmy
Formiga
Megan Rapinoe (57: Casey Nogueira)
Karen Carney
Katie Chapman
Cristiane (91+: Julianne Sitch)
Kosovare Asllani (67: Ella Masar)

FC Gold Pride:
Nicole Barnhart
Ali Riley
Rachel Buehler
Candace Chapman
Kristen Graczyk (75: Kiki Bosio)
Becky Edwards
Tiffeny Milbrett (60: Kandace Wilson)
Carrie Dew (83: Solveig Gulbrandsen)
Kelley O’Hara
Christine Sinclair
Marta

Officials

Referee: Jose Carlos Rivero
Asst Referees: Ian Anderson, Victor Herrera
4th Official: Ian Gut

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Chicago Red Stars fire Emma Hayes

Posted on 25 May 2010 by mwkajdas

Life if often unfair. And nowhere is this more evident than in the world of sports where coaches often lose their jobs when players fail to do theirs. On Monday, the Chicago Red Stars announced that Emma Hayes was “relieved of her duties” as head coach following the team’s dismal start to the season that saw them lose four of their first six games, all of them by shutouts. Read on at our WPS page.

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Emma Hayes walks the plank as Red Stars seek to right their ship

Posted on 25 May 2010 by mwkajdas

Life if often unfair. And nowhere is this more evident than in the world of sports where coaches often lose their jobs when players fail to do theirs. On Monday, the Chicago Red Stars announced that Emma Hayes was “relieved of her duties” as head coach following the team’s dismal start to the season that saw them lose four of their first six games, all of them by shutouts.

Red Stars owner Peter Wilt was already in a dour mood prior to the Red Stars last game against Philadelphia after his beloved Fulham team lost to Atletico Madrid in the finals of the Europa Cup. His frustration was only exacerbated by what he witnessed on the pitch at Toyota Park on May 15th. The Red Stars and Philadelphia Independence both struggled to create even the semblance of an offensive attack, although Philadelphia managed to get their act together long enough to score a single goal in the first six minutes of play. By his own admission, as documented in his blog on the Pitch Invasion website (http://pitchinvasion.net/blog/2010/05/19/sports-results-effect-on-one-fans-psyche/), events degenerated into one of those rare occasions when he left the game early. By the time the Chicago Fire completed his trifecta of travesty by losing a two-goal lead to the Kansas City Wizards, a perfect storm of football frustration was forming in his psyche. And it seems the one person left standing in its path was Emma Hayes.

Her dismissal does not come completely out of the blue, however, as a cacophony of nattering nabobs has been forming of late. Self-styled pundits have been posting furiously onto their blogs speculating upon, if not outright demanding, Hayes’ eventual firing. The tragic irony is that at least half of these quasi-experts have probably never even watched a Red Stars game this season. If they had, they would have seen that, with the exception of the Gold Pride game when Chicago played short-handed for 70 minutes, their opponents have never outright dominated the Red Stars.

The Red Stars’ single failing this season has been in finishing their attacks. When their forwards receive the ball inside the penalty area, they either freeze, like a deer staring into headlights, or else close their eyes and fire the ball off-frame. If goals were awarded for shooting the ball just outside the goalposts instead of inside, the Red Stars would probably be in first place right now. The only thing Emma Hayes has not done for her team this year is to run onto the pitch and take the shots for them herself—something she once threatened to do after one of the team’s bitter losses. And perhaps if the WPS schedule had allowed Chicago to beat up on Atlanta at least once by now, as four other teams have already done—twice by Washington and Philadelphia—then Emma Hayes might still be at the helm of her team.

As it stands, the Red Stars are back to square one in a rudderless ship. If they can claim any success this year, it may only be in getting their coach fired. We can only wish the best of luck to Emma Hayes. Maybe she’ll return to Europe where the footballers still play with a bit of hunger. In their press release, the Red Stars’ management praised Ms. Hayes for pouring her heart and soul into their team. In her absence, Chicago fans are left now with a team that has neither.

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Red Stars suffer déjà vu loss to Philly

Posted on 16 May 2010 by mwkajdas

Like an ever-recurring nightmare, the Chicago Red Stars gave up an early goal for the third time in six games and spent the remainder of play Saturday evening against the Philadelphia Independence trying to find the equalizer that just wouldn’t come. Despite Coach Emma Hayes’ previous admonitions to her players about defending the first and last five minutes of each game, the Red Stars failed to clear the ball from in front of their net during Philadelphia’s opening assault. In reply, Amy Rodriguez found Joanna Lohman standing unguarded on the left side of the penalty area and, in the 6th minute of play, Lohman curled the ball around an unsuspecting Jillian Loyden to give Philadelphia all the scoring they would need for the night. Read the story on our WPS page.

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Red Stars dejected after déjà vu loss to Philly

Posted on 16 May 2010 by mwkajdas

Like an ever-recurring nightmare, the Chicago Red Stars gave up an early goal for the third time in six games and spent the remainder of play Saturday evening against the Philadelphia Independence trying to find the equalizer that just wouldn’t come. Despite Coach Emma Hayes’ previous admonitions to her players about defending the first and last five minutes of each game, the Red Stars failed to clear the ball from in front of their net during Philadelphia’s opening assault. In reply, Amy Rodriguez found Joanna Lohman standing unguarded on the left side of the penalty area and, in the 6th minute of play, Lohman curled the ball around an unsuspecting Jillian Loyden to give Philadelphia all the scoring they would need for the night.

“I just saw it at the last second,” Loyden recounted after the game. “I was kind of blocked a little bit. It was just a nice finish from the corner there.” Emma Hayes was slightly more emphatic in her assessment of those opening minutes. “I’m pissed off… They’re getting really deflated when they go behind after five minutes and then we have to climb ourselves out of the barrel. I’m more frustrated that we can’t carry out the game plan in the first period so that we can set ourselves in a good position.”

Chicago looked ready to retaliate in the 17th minute of play when Casey Nogueira passed the ball out to Karen Carney who found space on the left wing. Carney crossed to Cristiane in front of the net but her header shot ricocheted wide of the right post. They tried again in the 33rd minute when once again Nogueira passed the ball up from midfield to Carney who found Cristiane alone on goal but, this time, the offside flag shot up even as Philadelphia keeper Karina LeBlanc dove to push the ball safely out of harm’s way.

Philadelphia almost closed out the first half in style when, in extra time, former Red Star defender Nikki Krzysik sneaked a pass up the left sideline to Amy Rodriguez waiting in the Chicago penalty box. A-Rod fired a left-footed blast that deflected off Loyden’s outstretched glove and tucked itself inside the right goalpost just as the offside whistle blew and the crowd of 5645 Red Stars fans collectively exhaled in relief.

But, for the most part, the first half provided little excitement for Chicago fans, who elicited more cheers from seeing their faces displayed on the Jumbotron than from anything their heroines produced on the pitch. To stir things up in the second half, Emma Hayes brought Kosovare Asllani into the game at halftime in place of Megan Rapinoe. “I want the players to do a certain thing in order to get the ball out wide, and Pinoe kept drifting in,” Hayes explained about the substitution. “Megan Rapinoe wants to do everything to help her team but sometimes, by losing discipline and coming out of position and coming into areas where I don’t want you to come, that makes it hard for the team. And that’s why sometimes, by taking it on their own back to solve situations, it’s actually more harmful to the team than just carrying out your role and staying in your own wide area which we asked her to do. She’s disappointed but Megan’s a good pro and she’ll work out of that in training this week.”

The substitution provided a little déjà vu of its own as, six minutes into the half, Asllani collided with LeBlanc and came up holding her ribs. Asllani missed the last two games after she cracked a rib during a collision with Karen Bardsley just two minutes into the previous home stand against Sky Blue FC. As in that encounter, Asllani played for the rest of the game but we’ll still have to wait and see if history repeats itself on her ribcage.

This was the first time that Chicago has played against one of the two new WPS expansion clubs but ironically, it was the Red Stars who looked like the neophyte team. After continuing for another twenty minutes to lob long passes to nowhere in an attempt to outflank Larsson and Falk—Philadelphia’s self-proclaimed “Twin Towers” of defense—Hayes decided to go big herself and brought in the taller Jessica McDonald to replace Cristiane on the front line. “It was important to stretch them a little bit and make room to run behind them,” Hayes revealed. “I think Cristiane got a great deal of time and Jess came in to put them under a bit of pressure and she had one good moment from a set piece to use her aerial capability.”

But the move produced little else and, in the 78th minute, Natalie Spilger was pulled for Ella Masar in a last-ditch attempt to add striking power and score a goal. “We went from a 4-4-2 to a 4-3-3 and that generated a little more attack,” Hayes explained. “We put Karen Carney in the central position and that, I think, suited the team.”

But Philadelphia countered five minutes later, bringing in defender Sarah Senty to replace forward Lianne Sanderson in order to beef up their defense and protect their one-goal lead. The dueling substitutions came to a head in the 86th minute when Karen Carney launched a pass over the engorged Philadelphia back line but Ella Masar, positioned in front of the net, was unable to lift her leg up onto the ball.

“Our game plan tonight was to come out and really get a good early start and put them under pressure and make it difficult for them but, once again, we failed to do that and I take full responsibility for that,” Emma Hayes summed up the game afterward. “Because this lot care. They care about getting results for this team and they care about putting in performances that make their fans proud. Sometimes that doesn’t always show out… These players do care and it’s a very hurt locker room right now. They’re very upset with both their performance and the result… Take a look at their faces. It’s not for a lack or wanting to do it… You could drop a pin in (the lockerroom). It’s incredibly silent. They’re very hurt right now.”

Perhaps they might consider installing a Jumbotron.

Match Summary
Chicago Red Stars vs Philadelphia Independence
May 15, 2010 – Toyota Park – Bridgeview, IL
Attendance: 5,645
Weather: Breezy, overcast and 54 degrees

Scoring
6’ Philadelphia: Joanna Lohman (Amy Rodriguez)

Misconduct
83’ Chicago: Formiga (yellow card)

Lineups
Chicago Red Stars:
Jillian Loyden
Marian Dalmy
Kate Markgraf
Natalie Spilger (78: Ella Masar)
Whitney Engen
Karen Carney
Katie Chapman
Formiga
Megan Rapinoe (46: Kosovare Asllani)
Cristiane (65: Jessica McDonald)
Casey Nogueira

Philadelphia Independence:
Karina LeBlanc
Heather Mitts
Sara Larsson
Allison Falk
Nikki Krzysik
Caroline Seger (72: Holmfridur Magnussdottir)
Jen Buczkowski
Lori Lindsey
Joanna Lohman
Lianne Sanderson (82: Sarah Senty)
Amy Rodriguez (87: Danesha Adams)

Officials
Referee: Tony Crush
Asst Referees: Matthew Kreitzer, Greg Dopka
4th Official: Jorge Cuate

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WPS: FC Gold Pride stay tops

Posted on 09 May 2010 by asu

Pride keeper Nicole Barnhart held the back line and FC Gold Pride added a fourth game to their winning streak by defeating the Chicago Red Stars 2-0. What a difference a year makes! The Pride was at the bottom of the standing around this time last year. Now they are sitting on top for the second week in a row. Photo credit: ©2010 Patricia Giobetti. Read the story at our WPS page.

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Bay Area FC Gold Pride vs Chicago Red Stars

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The Pride stays on top

Posted on 09 May 2010 by asu

The FC Gold Pride added a fourth game to their winning streak by beating the Chicago Red Stars 2-0. In a technical sense, it was an unremarkable and one-sided game. In terms of the Pride continuing to see the fruition of all their hard work off the field, it was monumental.

The Red Stars attempted to apply pressure to the Pride during the first half but were only marginally successful. The majority of possession was at the feet of the Pride while the Red Stars tried to rally an offensive strike. One of the Red Star’s best chances on goal in the first half came in the 23rd minute when Megan Rapinoe’s slot pass narrowly missed Karen Carney, who was unmarked in front of the net.

Pride keeper Nicole Barnhart holds the back line.

The ability of Pride starters Marta and Tiffeny Milbrett to put together combination plays was impressive as they continuously found each other streaking through openings in the Red Stars back line. With such a speedy duo on the attack, the Red Star back line showed cracks early and never recovered or appeared to be able to readjust their strategy. To make matter worse for the Red Stars, defender Ifoema Dieke was red-carded in the 26th minute for taking out Pride forward Marta in the box. However, Milbrett’s ground-driven penalty kick was scooped up by Red Stars goalkeeper Jillian Loyden.

Milbrett had her moment of redemption in the 44th minute when she slammed one home from six yards. After her initial shot hit the crossbar and bounced back to her, Milbrett was able to take a touch and volley the ball out of the reach of Loyden and into the goal. Though the Red Stars rallied to put numbers behind the ball, the Pride ended the first half up by one.

In the second half, the Red Stars came out strong with a dangerous attack within the first two minutes of play. Red Star Ella Masar got through the central defense and came face-to-face with Pride goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart. Taking too hard of a second touch before the shot, Masar’s low and driven ball bounced off an incoming Barnhart, who then calmly took possession. From that moment, the Pride took advantage of the uneven numbers by playing a wider field and utilizing every inch of the turf to spread out the defensive line and produce attack after attack.

However, it would not be until the 77th minute before the Pride could score their second and last goal. Pride forward Kelley O’Hara flew past two defenders, and in a give-and-go with Kimberly Yokers, was then able to net her first professional goal. The remaining minutes of the game saw the Red Stars having a hard time defensively while unable to send the numbers necessary up to mount a convincing attack.

Barnhart once again was a key factor in the Pride’s forward momentum. Goalkeeper coach Jay Cooney cited Barnhart’s “breakaway save in the first minute and a half in the second half,” and stated, “Barney has come up with one crucial save in every single one of these victories, and that is what it takes to be a pro goalkeeper. You don’t have to stand on your head for 90 minutes; you have to make that one save when called upon to keep your shutout or keep your team in it and she’s done it.” Pride coach Albertin Montoya concurred by stating, “That save was just as important as both goals because it allowed us to kind of gather ourselves again,” and further credited Barnhart for “keeping us in the game.”

What a difference a year makes! The Pride was at the bottom of the standing around this time last year. Now they are sitting on top for the second week in a row. When asked how the 2009 Pride players compared to this year’s team, Milbrett simply replied, “Different personnel, there’s no way around it.” She further explained, “We have talent, we have experience, we have maturity, but then we also have the infusion of some talented youth,” providing for what she states is “a combination you need in order to have the right balance to win a championship.”

Montoya further attributed the current positive outlook to “defensively, we’re a little bit more sound, we’re more organized, the players know exactly what is expected from them, and they take good care of it, and we’re getting the results.”

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The WPS.ASN forum: For you, by you

Posted on 02 May 2010 by ASN Staff

For some time we have been looking for a way to implement forum functionality into this site. It appears we finally have a winner. The brand new WPS.ASN forum does not require separate registration. If you have a Facebook, Twitter, Gmail or Yahoo! username (and seriously who doesn’t nowadays) you are IN and can start posting! This doesn’t mean the forum isn’t moderated however (spammers beware). Obviously hate speech and threats of violence or other intimidation are not tolerated either.

The forum does not integrate comments posted to the site. Those remain a separate entity. Which is fine because it creates a church/state separation between the site’s proprietary content (and responses thereto) and topics that readers and fans are interested in discussing among themselves.

So go ahead and check it out!

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