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Sky Blue, Freedom play another stalemate in the Garden State

Posted on 08 July 2010 by lbarker

Many Sky Blue fans would probably want to forget the last time they saw their team play at home. Those in attendance three weeks ago saw the blue and orange upstaged by the expansion Philadelphia Independence, in an ugly 4-1 drubbing. Since then Sky Blue has been busy, handing first place FC Gold Pride their first home loss of the season, sending six players to the WPS All-Star Game in Atlanta, and then meeting President Barack Obama, who honored the team at the White House on July 1st for their 2009 WPS Championship. They’ve also since lost All-Star goalkeeper Karen Bardsley, likely for the season, with a broken collarbone and Swedish striker Jessica Landstrom to FFC Frankfurt of the Frauen Bundesliga. On Wednesday night at Yurcak Field in New Jersey, Sky Blue FC finally came home and treated the 2,871 in attendance to a good ol’ defensive battle, drawing 0-0 with the Washington Freedom. “A good, solid game” was how Sky Blue coach Pauliina Miettinen described it.

Lauren Barker reports.

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Sky Blue FC, Freedom play to 0-0 draw in [another] Stalemate in the Garden State

Posted on 08 July 2010 by lbarker

Many Sky Blue fans would probably want to forget the last time they saw their team play at home. Those in attendance three weeks ago saw the blue and orange upstaged by the expansion Philadelphia Independence, in an ugly 4-1 drubbing. Since then Sky Blue has been busy, handing first place FC Gold Pride their first home loss of the season, sending six players to the WPS All-Star Game in Atlanta, and then meeting President Barack Obama, who honored the team at the White House on July 1st for their 2009 WPS Championship. They’ve also since lost All-Star goalkeeper Karen Bardsley, likely for the season, with a broken collarbone and Swedish striker Jessica Landstrom to FFC Frankfurt of the Frauen Bundesliga. On Wednesday night at Yurcak Field in New Jersey, Sky Blue FC finally came home and treated the 2,871 in attendance to a good ol’ defensive battle, drawing 0-0 with the Washington Freedom. “A good, solid game” was how Sky Blue coach Pauliina Miettinen described it.

The chances came early for both teams. In the third minute Sky Blue FC ‘keeper Kristin Luckenbill, playing in place of the injured Bardsley and the still injured Jenni Branam, made a save on Freedom forward Lene Mykjaland. The Norwegian International received a feed from Sarah Huffman and fired a low shot that Luckenbill was able to reach. Two minutes later Sky Blue had their first chance of the match, as Heather O’Reilly sent a cross in for India Trotter, who was waiting at the back post, but the Washington defense was able to clear the ball.

In the ninth minute Rosana took a shot that was easily saved by Washington ‘keeper Erin McLeod. McLeod made another save in the 17th minute, this one coming on a shot by Sky Blue defender Brittany Taylor. Sky Blue kept the pressure on and had one of their best chances of the half, also in the 17th. O’Reilly beat the Freedom defense and sent a ball across the open net, but no one was there to put the ball away for the home side.

In the 27th Sky Blue forward Laura Kalmari took a shot from distance that curved towards goal, but it was too high. A minute later Trotter took a shot from almost the same spot, but hers too sailed over the bar. In the 30th minute Rosana had another good chance for Sky Blue, but her shot from near the top of the six yard box rolled just wide of goal.

Both teams exchanged chances through much of the remainder of the half, with the back four on both sides shutting down nearly everything that came their way. In the 34th minute Washington Freedom forward Abby Wambach received a yellow card after making contact with Sky Blue captain Christie Rampone.

In the 40th minute the Freedom got their best, and final, chance of the half, as Mykjaland took a hard shot on goal. Luckenbill made the save and she McLeod both went into the halftime break with zeros on the board.

The heat, which hovered in the 90s for much of the match, was a factor as the night wore on. “It was hot, I mean think we saw at the end of the first half there was a lot of fatigue and so from the middle part of the second half it was difficult to play” said Washington Freedom coach Jim Gabarra, who also acknowledged that the players were probably hotter than he was. “I wasn’t running around but it was hot in the locker room” Gabarra joked after the match. The Freedom coach also got a little heat from the referee. “My job is to protect my players and that’s his job as well” said Gabarra, who had a ‘friendly chat’ with both the fourth official and the referee during the game. “I should not be screaming at him from the sideline and he rightfully came over and said ‘this is your warning.’ But it’s an emotional game and I can’t get out there and play. He gets to run around and blow his whistle, I just get to stand there and yell at him” Gabarra said.

The second half started with Italian National Team captain Patrizia Panico making her WPS and Sky Blue FC debut. Panico, who signed with Sky Blue in early June, made her presence felt almost immediately, playing a ball in the six yard box to Laura Kalmari that was just out of the Finnish International’s reach. In the 54th minute it was again the Italian International kick-starting the Sky Blue attack. Panico, O’Reilly and Kalmari went through a sequence of passes in front of the Freedom goal before Kalmari took a shot that sailed over the crossbar.

Three minutes later it was Kalmari with another shot, this one saved by McLeod. The Freedom ‘keeper and Kalmari made contact on the play and the ball came loose and to O’Reilly who was able to fire a shot off the rebound, but it was almost directly at McLeod, who was nearly at the edge of the 18 yard box and in position just enough to stifle the attempt.

In the 60th minute Rosana sent another shot for Sky Blue harmlessly over the crossbar. In the 62nd O’Reilly took a hard shot that rolled just wide of goal. In the 68th Panico fed a ball through to Rosana, but the Brazilian International sent the ball where so many Sky Blue shots before had gone; over the crossbar (perhaps someone should take a tape measure out to Yurcak and check that those goals are the right size…).

In the 71st the Freedom had one of their better chances, off of a free kick near the corner. Sonia Bompastor’s ball was punched out by Luckenbill. A minute later the Freedom continued to pressure the Sky Blue defense and nearly caught Luckenbill out of position, but the shot went just wide of goal.

In the 82nd minute Sky Blue defender Daphne Koster received a yellow card for contact with Wambach. Three minutes later Panico had what would be the final chance of the match. In the 86th minute Sky Blue’s newest player took a shot from about 25 yards out that went directly at McLeod and the match ended where it started, with a 0-0 scoreline. Sky Blue did manage 19 shots, with five of them on goal. “Last week playing was one of our best games. The week before playing here was one of our worst” said Luckenbill after the match. “And this one was, we could’ve done better on the offensive side, I think finishing our chances, but overall a pretty good team effort.”

The 0-0 draw is the second at home for Sky Blue on the season, the other coming May 29th against Boston. Sky Blue has managed just two goals at home all year, one by Natasha Kai six minutes into the season opener and the other the lone tally in the Philadelphia match, a PK converted by Rosana. “I don’t know what the thing is, but we try our best and I think– I wish we had better results at home and we won all the time but that’s– I think it seems like we play better at away games” said Miettinen when asked about her team’s offensive woes at home.

Luckenbill had a lot to be happy about after the match, turning in a performance that was a little different than her last outing with Sky Blue (that would be the aforementioned 4-1 loss to Philly). “I think it was a good draw. We had some chances. Obviously you’re at home, you want to come away with a win, but I don’t think we have anything to be ashamed of today” said Luckenbill. “It was really hot, we worked our butts off and nobody gave up in this heat, it’s impressive.” Luckenbill saw 16 shots from the Freedom and made five saves on the night.

O’Reilly saw the performance as a sign of things to come for Sky Blue, “I think that more than just even getting the point, which is always nice, it’s just that we’re layering in aspects of our team. I think that we are keeping possession a lot better than we ever did and we had a great game last game.” The Sky Blue midfielder continued, “We definitely grew in some areas today. Obviously the finishing touch wasn’t there, but I think that we’re pleased with our organization on defense and some of our movement offensively off the ball. So we’re really coming together and I think that we walk away from this game pretty happy with our performance.”

FUN FACTS:

The match was played on Rosana’s birthday. The Sky Blue midfielder/forward turned 28…Ddespite the heat, which announced as a record for the hottest WPS match in league history, both teams used only 2 of their alloted substitutions…The match was the 12th of the season for Sky Blue and head coach Pauliina Miettinen. Barring any unforeseen circumstances Saturday’s match in Chicago will be the 13th for Miettinen, earning her the somewhat dubious distinction of ‘longest tenured coach in SBFC’s history’ (coach number two, Kelly Lindsey, made it 12 games before unexpectedly resigning in July of ’09. Officially Miettinen is the team’s fourth coach in half as many seasons)…Koster’s yellow card was her second of the season, no other Sky Blue player has more than one…Abby Wambach’s yellow card was her first of the season and just the third of her WPS career…This game marked the halfway point in the season, but it was the first time this year that Sky Blue and Washington have played each other…Sky Blue has never beaten Washington in the regular season, however they did beat the Freedom in the first round of the ’09 playoffs…This is the second 0-0 draw in a row for the Freedom, they tied Chicago by that score on Sunday…Sky Blue is also coming off a shutout, a 2-0 away win over FC Gold Pride on June 27th…Sky Blue FC plays Chicago on Saturday. In six lifetime meetings, the Red Stars have never beaten the NJ club…Panico wears number 96 for Sky Blue, the highest jersey number of any player in the league. She is the first, and only, Italian player in WPS…Panico is the third National Team captain on Sky Blue’s roster. She joins Christie Rampone (US) and Daphne Koster (Netherlands)…The shutout was Sky Blue’s league-leading sixth of the season…Landstrom “mutually terminated her contract with Sky Blue FC” sometime last week and has since signed with FFC Frankfurt in Germany…Freedom defender Becky Sauerbrunn played the full 90 minutes, continuing her streak of playing every minute of every WPS match the Freedom have played. No other WPS player has done this… Keeley Dowling, who hasn’t seen much time for Sky Blue as of late, played the full 90 minutes in place of an injured Megan Schnur.

MATCH FACTS:

Sky Blue FC (5-4-3) vs. Washington Freedom (4-3-5)
Wednesday, July 7, 2010 — Yurcak Field
FINAL

SCORING SUMMARY:
None

Lineups:

SKY BLUE FC — Kristin Luckenbill, Brittany Taylor, Daphne Koster, Christie Rampone, Keeley Dowling, India Trotter (Patrizia Panico, 45′), Kacey White, Yael Averbuch, Laura Kalmari, Heather O’Reilly, Rosana (Tasha Kai, 73′)

Substitutes Not Used: Kendall Fletcher, Shannon Myers, Kiersten Dallstream, Danielle Johnson, Angela Salem

WASHINGTON FREEDOM — Erin McLeod, Rebecca Moros, Nikki Marshall, Cat Whitehill, Becky Sauerbrunn, Sonia Bompastor, Allie Long, Sarah Huffman, Homare Sawa (Beverly Goebel, 64′), Lene Mykjaland (Christie Welsh, 81′), Abby Wambach

Substitutes Not Used: Brittany Klein, Kristi Eveland, Meagan McCray

TEAM STATS:

NJ WSH

Shots 19 16
Shots on Goal 5 5
Fouls 4 4
Offsides 3 3
Corner Kicks 3 6
Saves 5 3

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY:
WSH: Abby Wambach (Caution) 34′
NJ: Daphne Koster (Caution) 82′

Referee: Daniel Radford
Referee Assistants: Mike Kampmeinert, Juan Guzman
4th Official: Hakan Baydere
Attendance: 2, 871

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Fun, Flair on Display as Marta XI Wins 2010 WPS All-Star Game

Posted on 03 July 2010 by lbarker

As the world focuses on the World Cup in South Africa and takes in every match in crisp, clean high definition, it’s easy to forget summer days playing in the park.  As the debates rage on about referees and instant replay and goal-line technology, it’s easy to forget games with garbage cans as goalposts.  As fans fill stadiums and complain about (or embrace?) the vuvuzela and as players complain about (or embrace?) the Jabulani, it’s easy to forget middle-of-the-street games stopped not by a referee’s whistle, but by the simpler sound of someone yelling “car!”  On Wednesday night as the 2010 Women’s Professional Soccer All-Star Game took place, it was about remembering.  This year’s game came to KSU Soccer Stadium in Kennesaw, GA with a very unique format and a very simple goal; a return to the playground, schoolyard or middle-of-the-street roots where so many first found soccer, a tribute to why and how we came to love this game back when.

No good playground game is complete without picking teams and on Monday night in downtown Atlanta the two team captains, FC Gold Pride’s Marta and the Washington Freedom’s Abby Wambach picked their starters in a public event.

On Wednesday night it was game time.  Of course, the players weren’t playing in the street, but rather at the brand new KSU Soccer Stadium, which serves as the home for the Atlanta Beat when it’s not filling the role of “nicest schoolyard you’ll ever see.”  The 4,610 fans that filled KSU’s bright yellow seats saw Marta XI, the team whose starters included four-time FIFA World Player of the Year (Marta), the greatest Canadian Women’s player in history (Christine Sinclair) and the most capped player, male or female, of all-time (Kristine Lilly)  post a 5-2 victory over Abby XI.  Not a bad result considering the Abby XI starters included the woman many consider the world’s best goalkeeper (Hope Solo), the 2009 WPS Defender of the Year (Amy Lepeilbet) and scorer of 107 international goals (Wambach).

In keeping with paying tribute to soccer’s roots, it was only fitting that US National Team legend Michelle Akers delivered the first kick.  Older WPS fans likely know Akers (and know that without her and what she contributed to the game WPS probably wouldn’t be around), but some of the younger fans needed a little educating, which they got courtesy of current US National Team and Washington Freedom star Abby Wambach.  “The little girl next to me, who was walking out with me, she says ‘is she as famous as Mia Hamm was?’  And if you know anything about soccer you know, I mean MIa earned every credit that she deserved, and she did it with hard work, but I think that she would be the first one to say that Michelle was the star, the heart, the soul of the National Team, and she was the one that I was looking up to so I kind of was a little star-struck when I saw her” said Wambach.  And while the younger fans may not fully grasp Akers significance to the women’s game, Wambach certainly does, “To see her here to support us, she’s still ripped, she probably could still kill anybody.  To see her supporting this league, it’s special.”

Once the opening whistle blew, it took just minutes for Marta XI to put pressure on their opponents, forcing Abby XI ‘keeper Hope Solo to make a save in the 4th minute.  Three minutes later, Marta would put her side up 1-0.  English International and Boston Breakers midfielder Kelly Smith fed a ball through the Abby XI defense to the Brazilian superstar, who put the ball past Solo in the 7th minute.

One minute later Marta XI doubled their lead, again courtesy of their captain.  This time the FC Gold Pride star was able to slip a ball past Solo near post.  “I tried to beat my defender and brought the ball to my [sarcastic] powerful left foot.  And all I could see is that space there and I tried to hit it in that space and that was it” said Marta of the goal after the game.  The Marta XI had earlier in the week nicknamed themselves ‘The United Nations’ due to their international heavy roster.  Seven different countries were represented by the ‘white and teal team’ – the US, England, France, Switzerland, Brazil, Canada and Japan.

Neither Abby XI coach Paul Riley or Marta XI coach Albertin Montoya put much emphasis on defending early in the week (both teams had just three true defenders in their starting lineups), but come game time the Marta XI back line was up to the task, stopping an Eniola Aluko pass destined for Lauren Cheney in the 9th minute.  In the 18th Abby XI was able to break through the Marta XI defense, but Cheney shot the ball across the open net and wide.

As the opening half wore on, things calmed down, as both teams, who had had only one 90 minute practice session together prior to the match, seemed to settle in. But in the 31st minute ‘The United Nations’ found the back of the net again.  Solo made a save on a low, hard shot from Marta XI and Philadelphia Independence defender Allison Falk but the rebound landed at the feet of an open Christine Sinclair, who tapped in the ball to put her team up 3-0.  “At 3-0 I was getting a little frustrated, I’m not gonna lie.  As a competitor and somebody who doesn’t like to lose, from the time I was five years old I would storm off in a fit because my brothers would never let me win, being the youngest of seven,” said Abby Wambach after the match about her team going down early.

Abby XI began to pressure late in the half.  In the 33rd Eniola Aluko was beaten to the ball by Marta XI ‘keeper Erin McLeod.  A minute later Wambach sent a cross through the box, but it was again McLeod who got there first.  In the 35th the pressure paid off and Aluko put her team back within two.  US National Team and Sky Blue FC midfielder Heather O’Reilly crossed the ball to Wambach, whose point blank header was blocked by Freedom teammate McLeod.  Aluko, who plays for the English National Team and the Atlanta Beat, collected the rebound for Abby XI’s first goal of the night.

The night’s most egregious foul (and one of just seven in the game) came near the end of the half, as Marta XI and Atlanta Beat forward Ramona Bachmann went in for a very late tackle on O’Reilly, after being ‘megged by the Abby XI midfielder.  The two had several battles in the midfield on the night.  After the match O’Reilly laughed it off.  “I guess I don’t really know what to say to that” she said, before ultimately coming up with the diplomatic answer.  “I didn’t quite know what, uh–  Yeah, you know I think that we’re all competitive and even if it’s an all-star game, you know, there’s some competitive moments out there.”

Marta XI’s ‘United Nations’ went into the halftime break up 3-1 on the decidedly more US based Abby XI (just one starter and two reserves for Abby XI were not domestic players).

At halftime WPS Commissioner Tonya Antonucci spoke about the game.  “I think it’s fantastic.  As a fan I’m enjoying it myself.  You know, there’s not a lot of defense being played and that’s fine.  We’ve seen, what, four goals so far?  And I think we’ll see many more before the night’s out and it’s just fun to see the creativity and the flair and the flow and also, some of these players, they just don’t normally play together, it’s the nature of an all-star game,” the Commissioner said.  “I think also, unique about this year is having 34 of our players.  Last year we played Umea, a club team, so we had fewer all-stars involved.  This time we have more of the great players from our league getting to go head-to-head and I think they’re having a lot of fun and the fans are too.”

In the 53rd minute Solo came up with what was the game’s biggest save, sliding in to pull the ball away from her Atlanta Beat teammate Bachmann on a breakaway.  Two minutes later the US National Team goalkeeper made another save, this time on second half sub and Brazilian International Cristiane.

Both teams made a flurry of changes in the second half, as in true schoolyard fashion unlimited substitutions were allowed.  Apparent lobbying from other WPS coaches worried about their players legs for this weekend’s league matches also led to a late rule change that allowed players who were subbed out to re-enter the match.  Although not originally part of plan, the change only further captured the spirit of the playground game.

After each side had a share of opportunities it was again Marta XI that got on the scoreboard in the 74th minute.  Japanese International and Atlanta Beat midfielder Aya Miyama took a shot that beat second-half Abby XI ‘keeper Jillian Loyden.  Philadelphia Independence and US International forward Amy Rodriguez brought the ball into the area before feeding a pass back to Miyama, who took a fired a shot from distance to put Marta XI up 4-1.

Abby XI tried to make a comeback, getting their second goal on the night care of Lauren Cheney in the 79th minute.  The US National Team and rookie Boston Breakers forward headed an O’Reilly cross past Marta XI second half ‘keeper Nicole Barnhart to put her team back within two.  But just a minute later Marta XI would score again, the goal coming from Rodriguez.  The recent WPS player of the week went 1 v. 1 with Abby XI defender Tina Ellertson and then chipped the ball over Loyden for the night’s final goal.

Abby XI’s Natasha Kai scored for her side in the 88th, but the Sky Blue FC forward’s tally was called back for offsides.  The match ended two minutes later, final score: Abby XI 2 – 5 Marta ‘The United Nations’ XI.

After the match, the players and coaches, whether on the winning or losing side, all agreed on one thing: it was fun.

“It’s just all about attack, it’s all about scoring goals.  I’m not used to a 5-2 game, but I think it was a lot of fun.  I mean, world class talent out on the field, it’s an honor to be with a lot of those players.  Great crowd here so, all in all great night.  I wish I could be on the winning end of it, of course as a competitor, but this game is about the fans and just about celebrating WPS and the wonderful league that it is” said Heather O’Reilly.

Marta XI captain Marta agreed, “I think the game was a great game.  I think we gave the fans what they came for, which is to have fun, enjoy.  And of course I’m really happy because we won the game.”  And like O’Reilly she too  was thrilled to be playing with the league’s best.  “When you get together that many good players, it makes it easier for anybody on the field.  And right now, if you can see everybody on the field, there’s probably the top players in the world right now.  And it’s easy to play and enjoyable to play” the FC Gold Pride forward said through a translator. “It was a celebration.  The All-Star Game was celebrating the soccer here.”

Abby Wambach also had a good time, “I thought today was a perfect environment for people to come, enjoy themselves, see good soccer, see great goals, see individual flair and talent and obviously by the scoreline their team was better than ours, but all in all it was a fun day.  I’m proud to be a part of it, obviously honored to be named the captain, but you know, everybody on that field is a captain in my opinion” she said.  “I think that that’s obviously what we come here– as individuals to create an all-star team there’s not gonna be a lot of fluidity, there’s probably not gonna be great tactics, it’s just gonna kind of be individual flair and I thought that, obviously Marta’s the best in the world at individual flair, so, they got successful at getting in behind us early on and you know it’s just a matter of getting everybody off the field with no injuries, giving the fans something to cheer about and having some fun along the way” Wambach continued.  The Abby XI captain also acknowledged the fans, “Not too often do you get to play with some of these players and it was fun.  It was exciting and a lot of the kids out there were just telling me how much fun it was to see everybody on one field.”

Everyone also agreed that KSU Soccer Stadium was indeed a sight to see.  “My first time here and this is unmatched, anywhere else.  I haven’t seen a facility this incredible.  It’s just, it’s perfect for a women’s game.  It’s not too big and the field is, I mean this one of the best fields we’ve played on this year,” said Marta XI coach Albertin Montoya.  “The locker rooms.  I mean, to tell you the truth, I got lost in there today.  And I’m like ‘this is.. come on, this is out of this world.’  Things that they provide for the players.  And that’s how it should be.  I mean, it’s great that these players feel – that they feel like professionals.  And that’s how it should be.”  Commissioner Antonucci agreed, “The stadium is tremendous.  It’s the first of its kind in our league and as a women’s soccer specific stadium it’s really kind of groundbreaking for the sport.  And I think it’s just a real testament to the quality of play, the players on the field and what they bring in terms of their world class talent, for them to have a stadium that fits what they bring.”

Let’s let Abby Wambach bring it home:  “Nobody likes to lose, but, this is an all-star game, and like I said before, as long as everybody had a good time, we saw some great goals, some great individual talent and if everybody’s healthy coming out of this game, that’s what’s important.  And you know, obviously the fans getting something for them to cheer about – I think it happened tonight.”

Photos from the Pick ‘Em Event, Training and the All-Star Game here.

FUN FACTS AND OTHER NOTES:
The six Sky Blue FC players taking part in the All-Star Game – O’Reilly, Kai, Christie Rampone, Karen Bardsley, Brittany Taylor and Laura Kalmari – had a whirlwind few days of travel, taking a red-eye from the Bay Area to Newark on Sunday night after defeating Gold Pride and then flying to Atlanta in time for Monday night’s Pick ‘Em event.  After Wednesday’s game they had an early morning flight to Washington DC, where Sky Blue was being honored by President Barack Obama for their 2009 Championship victory.  “Luckily I have a bye-weekend this weekend coming up.  So I tried to keep that in mind as I was running up and down those flanks.  But tomorrow I’m off to meet the President with Sky Blue FC, so you don’t need legs for that, right?” O’Reilly joked after the match… Sky Blue goalkeeper Karen Bardsley was originally named as an All-Star starter and was selected to Marta XI, but couldn’t play in the match after injuring her clavicle in a collision with Cristiane during Tuesday’s training session – reserve Erin McLeod replaced her as a starter and FC Gold Pride’s Nicole Barnhart, who was in Atlanta ahead of Gold Pride’s match against the Beat this weekend, was named a reserve.  Bardsley is out indefinitely for Sky Blue and her injury will be reevaluated when the team returns to NJ… Marta XI coach Albertin Montoya did triple-duty on Wednesday, first playing, a scoring a few goals, for the PR and New Media team in the Media Game that morning (final score TV & Radio 8 – 6 PR & New Media), then holding a training session for FC Gold Pride in the afternoon and finally coaching Marta XI to a victory that night… Marta was named All-Star MVP, but was humble about the award “Before I even played professional I always dreamed to play for the Brazilian National Team.  And I always dreamed to be playing at such a high level and today I was not the MVP.  The whole team was the MVP.  And it’s nice to be playing at this level.  And I don’t think like everyday the stuff that I’m getting, I just go with it” she said…WPS Commissioner Tonya Antonucci talked expansion at halftime: “I think it’s very likely that we’ll be in a position to announce by the end of the year a new expansion team…More likely for 2012” the commish said.  “We’re talking to enough interested parties for 2012 that by the end of this year we’ll probably be in a position to announce that one will be coming for 2012.  And we have a particular focus on west, west coast, middle-to-west.  We just want to balance out the national footprint for sure” she said… The Commissioner also talked about the possibility of WPS taking a break during the 2011 World Cup next summer “Potentially yeah.  We’re just starting to engage with US Soccer and the other federations to try to – best plan for next season.  Obviously we want to do right by the national programs and make sure the Women’s World Cup is the pinnacle of the sport as far as an event so we want to work together with them but we also want to preserve as much of WPS’s regular season as we can.”… Antonucci said that the unique Pick ‘Em format for the All-Star Game actually came from a fan’s suggestion in an online forum… Because of the unlimited subs and the late rule change to allow re-entry there were 18 substitutions made in the match.

MATCH FACTS:
Abby’s XI vs. Marta’s XI
Wednesday, June 30, 2010 — KSU Soccer Stadium
FINAL

SCORING SUMMARY:
Team                    1                    2                    F
ABY:                    1                    1                    2
MRT:                    3                    2                    5

MRT: Marta (Kelly Smith) 7′
MRT: Marta 8 (Unassisted) 8′
MRT: Christine Sinclair 5 (Unassisted) 31′
ABY: Eniola Aluko 5 (Unassisted) 35′
MRT: Aya Miyama 1 (Amy Rodriguez) 74′
ABY: Lauren Cheney 2 (Heather O’Reilly) 78′
MRT: Amy Rodriguez 7 (Cristiane) 80′

ABBY’S XI — Hope Solo (Jillian Loyden, 56′), Cat Whitehill (Heather O’Reilly, 63′, Kelley O’Hara, 52′), Amy LePeilbet, Tina Ellertson, Lori Chalupny (Cat Whitehill, 66′, Heather O’Reilly, 63′, Kelley O’Hara, 52′), Lori Lindsey (Laura Kalmari, 57′), Shannon Boxx (Angie Kerr, 57′), Lauren Cheney (Karen Carney, 52′), Heather O’Reilly (Kelley O’Hara, 52′), Eniola Aluko (Tasha Kai, 52′), Abby Wambach (Lauren Cheney, 73′, Karen Carney, 52′)

Substitutes Not Used: n/a

MARTA’S XI — Erin McLeod (Nicole Barnhart, 57′), Brittany Taylor, Allison Falk (Christie Rampone, 49′), Rachel Buehler (Becky Sauerbrunn, 49′), Sonia Bompastor, Kelly Smith (Alex Scott, 49′), Kristine Lilly (Aya Miyama, 69′, Cristiane, 48′), Ramona Bachmann (Kristine Lilly, 78′, Aya Miyama, 69′, Cristiane, 48′), Aya Miyama (Cristiane, 48′), Marta (Rachel Buehler, 69′, Becky Sauerbrunn, 49′), Christine Sinclair (Amy Rodriguez, 47’)

Substitutes Not Used: n/a

TEAM STATS:
ABY           MRT

Shots     15     23
Shots on Goal           6     8
Fouls     2     5
Offsides     5     5
Corner Kicks     3     3
Saves     3     4

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY:
none

Referee: Margaret Domka
Referee Assistants: Amy Mahan, Patrick Baker
4th Official: Felisha Mariscal
Attendance: 4610

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Gold Pride stay tops in WPS after draw with Freedom

Posted on 06 June 2010 by asu

The top of the ranks for Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) league remained unchanged with the FC Gold Pride’s 1-1 tie tonight in the game against the Washington Freedom. The big news of the week, of course, was the acquisition of Shannon Boxx (formerly of the Saint Louis Athletica) on Thursday by the Pride. Boxx may have just practiced with the FC Gold Pride a total of two times before starting and playing a full 90 minutes tonight, but her ability to adapt and become an integral part of the number one team in the league in such a short period of time is telling. The fact that she had played with about half of the team before, either on the United States Women’s National and Olympic teams or the Los Angeles Sol, did not hurt the cohesive process either. ASN’s Alice Su reports on FCGP’s 1-1 draw with the Freedom.

Marta celebrates a crucial goal

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FC Gold Pride Remain Top After Draw With Freedom

Posted on 06 June 2010 by asu

The top of the ranks for Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) league remained unchanged with the FC Gold Pride’s 1-1 tie tonight in the game against the Washington Freedom. The big news of the week, of course, was the acquisition of Shannon Boxx (formerly of the Saint Louis Athletica) on Thursday by the Pride. Boxx may have just practiced with the FC Gold Pride a total of two times before starting and playing a full 90 minutes tonight, but her ability to adapt and become an integral part of the number one team in the league in such a short period of time is telling. The fact that she had played with about half of the team before, either on the United States Women’s National and Olympic teams or the Los Angeles Sol, did not hurt the cohesive process either.

Boxx made her presence known to the Northern California soccer within minutes of the starting whistle in what she proclaimed was an “exciting game.” Finding herself within 4 yards of the net, Boxx headed a beautiful ball that looked like it was going over Freedom goalkeeper Erin McLeod’s head. At the last second, McLeod was able to get a fist on the ball to clear it over the goal.

The Pride maintained possession early on and kept it a majority of the game. With short and driven passes, the midfield was able to continuously move the ball within 20 yards of the Freedom goal during every set play. The Freedom was kept away from the Pride goal at around the same mark, generally losing possession due to the strong defensive work by the Pride central defenders or occasionally through bad passes.

The first and only goal by the Freedom came in the 37th minute and was due to series of unusually bad clearances by the Pride. Freedom midfielder, Sonia Bompastor, served a give-and-go ball to a streaking Allie Long, after it seemed like every Pride player took a chance to clear the ball and missed. Long then took a quick shot from in front of the goal, getting it past Pride goalkeeper, Nicole Barnhart. Barnhart had little chance to set herself up after trying to react to the flurry of activity in her space.

Montoya’s directive for Pride captain, Rachel Buehler, to mark the Freedom’s own offensive giant, Abby Wambach, paid off, as Wambach was effectively taken out of the picture by Buehler’s aggressive defensive tactics and her ability to communicate with outside defender Ali Riley to double team the 5’10 forward. Freedom coach, Jim Gabarra, must have had a similar directive for his team as the usually dynamic duo of Pride forwards, Christine Sinclair and Kelley O’Hara, were shut down for a majority of the game. The Pride was down 0-1 at the end of the first half.

Fortunately, whether it was the presence of her ex-Sol teammate, Boxx, or being, as Pride coach Albertin Montoya, “just a matter of time of getting games in,” Pride forward, Marta’s ability to launch a one-woman offensive was kicked into overdrive. Whatever it was, Montoya said with a smile, “hopefully this continues because [] she was outstanding.” It seemed like Marta took more shots on goal in this game than in all the previous Pride games put together; only one went in, but it was a crucial one in the 75th minute.

Finding herself with the ball just outside the Freedom box, Marta calmly took on three defenders with another one coming up on the crowd fast. While dribbling through traffic, Marta took one look and shot a low driven ball into the left corner of the Freedom net. The Freedom did not get a good chance at the Pride net after that moment; the remaining part of the match saw the Pride retain possession and keep the Freedom from setting up any set pieces.

Marta celebrates a crucial goal

Gabarra acknowledged that it was a “battle” out there but that the Freedom was “defending way too much and [] were pinned in [their] end way too much,” to be effective against that “quality of a team.” The Pride’s offensive line is seemingly more confident in their abilities to take the shots necessary to keep their defenders off kilter. Whether they can keep up their offensive drives in the games ahead remains to be seen.

The chances were there, and as Boxx put it, “the way we get better is we finish those.” The Pride plays its next home game against the Boston Breakers on June 19, 2010.

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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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Notes from WPS Commisioner Antonucci’s Kick-Off Week Conference Call

Posted on 09 April 2010 by lbarker

WPS held its “State of the League” conference call Wednesday as part of WPS Kick-Off Week.  Commissioner Tonya Antonucci spoke to members of the media about where the league stands as it heads into year two.  Antonucci emphasized that the league is working tirelessly to make WPS long-lasting and sustainable.  “Through all the hard work, the off-season adjustments and the last minute preparations, we head into this upcoming weekend and the entire 2010 WPS Season with a sense of optimism, a sense of purpose and a sense that we laid a solid foundation in 2009 upon which we can grow” Commissioner Antonucci said.  She pointed to the two new expansion teams in Philadelphia and Atlanta, the new stadium in Atlanta, FC Gold Pride’s relocation to the East Bay, changes to the schedule including the move of the All-Star Game to mid-season and the longer season, and an increase in the number of countries represented through international players as reasons for said optimism.

Antonucci was equally optimistic about the business side of things, pointing to a 20% increase in season ticket sales, an 150% increase in local sponsorships, the addition of Citi as a founding partner and back-of-jersey sponsor league-wide, and the fact that four of the eight teams have jersey-front sponsors – an increase from just two teams with jersey-front sponsorships in ’09.

Some other points from the call:

  • 2009 saw an average attendance of 4,600 – hopes are for a 5-10% increase.
  • WPS is debuting “Defend Your Turf,” an interactive marketing campaign – in NJ, Chicago, and Washington, DC.
  • The league is looking to add as many as two new teams for 2011, on track with the goal of 12 by ’12.  The focus is the Rockies and west, including bringing a team back to Los Angeles – Antonucci stated that they have at least two interested potential ownership groups for LA 2011 (The Northwest, Dallas, San Diego and Denver were also named as possibilities for expansion).
  • The feeling is that there is a deep enough player pool to support expansion and expansion announcements could be made some time between July and September.
  • Although it varies slightly by franchise, on average the hope is for teams to break even around year five.
  • FSC ‘WPS Sunday’ games will be streamed on WPS website; in addition teams will stream a minimum of two home games online.
  • WPS is working with FSC to increase their international broadcast footprint.
  • “Metrics are trending in the right direction, despite the loss of a team.”  This was Commissioner Antonucci’s answer when asked about the stigma that the loss of the Sol might create.  The Commish was quick to point out that LA was an unfortunate, but isolated incident and that the other eight ownership groups are indeed committed.
  • WPS plans to do its part to honor the World Cup this summer – the league tried to schedule around WC matches, there are plans for viewing parties organized by teams and a hope to tie World Cup festivities in with the WPS All-Star Game.
  • WPS will at some point be announcing a cross-marketing campaign between the league and US Soccer/The USWNT.  Commissioner Antonucci praised US Soccer for what’s been done already to cross-promote, including mentions of players’ WPS clubs during USWNT broadcasts.

With Boston heading to DC on Saturday and FCGP at St. Louis, Atlanta at Philly, and Chicago at SBFC (live on FSC, 6pm ET) on Sunday we’re set to kick of 2010 with the first four-game weekend in WPS history.  For my closing remarks, I yield to WPS Commissioner Tonya Antonucci: “WPS is a super league of amazing stars ready for the mainstream. Ultimately, they are our biggest assets – athletes who have worked their whole lives at their craft simply out of passion for the game, who are incredible role models, heroes and entertainers for everyone both young and old.  They are athletes who do not come to the field with a sense of entitlement, but rather a sense of community. These are athletes that all fans can relate to.”

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WPS signs Citi as back shirt sponsor

Posted on 12 March 2010 by ASN Staff

Women’s Professional Soccer today, March 12, announced that Citigroup Inc. had signed on as a founding partner for the league. PUMA was a founding partner during the WPS inaugural Season. “Citi recognizes and supports the opportunities that WPS has created for female athletes and women’s soccer players over the past two years and looks forward to continuing to support the growth of youth soccer in communities around the country,” WPS said in its announcement.

As a result of the deal, Citi’s logo will be placed on the backs of all the team uniforms below the numbers, the first-ever national jersey partnership for WPS.

“Given our global reach, Citi is thrilled to contribute to the growth of the world’s most popular game here in the United States,” said Mark Ingall, Citi Managing Director, Global Strategic Media. “More and more Americans, including millions of women and girls, play and follow the game. This partnership will be an effective platform to attract and retain customers, including young women and families in local communities across the country. We are very pleased to support these tremendous athletes and their passionate fans.”

“We are proud to welcome Citi into the WPS family,” said WPS Commissioner Tonya Antonucci. “Our national partners are so vital to the growth of our league and helping spread the message that women’s professional soccer is a world class product that is here for everyone to enjoy in the long term.”

An update from the business side

The league also released information about ticket sales and sponsorships as part of the announcement. Season ticket sales for the six returning teams are up 17% on the whole compared to this time last year — with three of the six teams returning from the 2009 season tracking double their season tickets sold at this same period one year ago. The league has already seen an increase in overall sponsorships from 2009, and is projecting that four of eight teams will feature a jersey partnership this season with logos on the front of their uniforms – a two-fold increase on last year.

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Full 2010 schedule announced

Posted on 18 February 2010 by ASN Staff

Women’s Professional Soccer unveiled its 2010 WPS season schedule Feb. 18, along with Fox Soccer Channel’s WPS Sunday on FSC nationally-televised broadcast schedule.

In 2010, WPS will expand to a 24-game regular season schedule in which each of the eight WPS teams will host 12 home games and play the other seven teams in the league three or four times each based mostly on regional rivalries. Opening weekend will include a full slate of four games on April 10-11 – the first time four WPS games will be played on one weekend – with a regular season of 96 total games running through Sunday, September 12. WPS will take a break on the weekend of May 22 for national team commitments and 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifying games. Games are mostly featured on Saturday and Sunday evenings with 12 midweek games scheduled on Wednesday nights starting in early June.

The national television schedule on Fox Soccer Channel will kick off at 6pm ET on Sunday, April 11 with 2009 WPS Champion Sky Blue FC taking on the Chicago Red Stars at Yurcak Field in Piscataway, N.J. All eight WPS teams will be shown during the first month of the season and seven of the eight WPS venues will be featured on television in the first nine weeks of the regular season. Other television highlights for WPS Sunday on FSC include:

* Four-time FIFA World Player of the Year, Marta, debuting with her new team, FC Gold Pride (Bay Area), during a special Saturday, May 1 timeslot at 6pm ET against Sky Blue FC.
* The national television debut of WPS expansion team Philadelphia Independence, as they travel to Boston to take on the Boston Breakers at 6pm ET on April 18.
* The opening of the first-ever stadium built specifically for a WPS team with the Atlanta Beat hosting Sky Blue FC on Sunday, May 9 in their home opener.
* San Francisco Bay Area’s FC Gold Pride hosting their first national television game at Pioneer Stadium on the campus of California State University, East Bay on June 27.
* A new mid-season WPS All-Star Game presented by U.S. Coast Guard on June 30.
* Open dates on September 5 and 12 will be flex television games in order to broadcast match-ups with playoff implications.

The WPS Playoffs will follow the same format used during the WPS Inaugural Season with the No. 3 seed hosting the No. 4 on Sunday, September 19 at 2pm ET/11am PT in the WPS First Round featured nationally on Fox Sports Net. The No. 2 seed will host the winner of the WPS First Round on September 22/23 in the WPS Super Semifinal on Fox Soccer Channel. As the No. 1 seed, the winner of the regular season will play host to the winner of the Super Semifinal in the 2010 WPS Championship on September 26 at 2pm ET/11am PT, broadcast nationally on Fox Sports Net. Seedings will be based on the final 2010 WPS Regular Season standings in a single, eight-team table.

2010 WPS Season Schedule

Subject to change // home team listed first // all kick-off times listed in EST// Fox Soccer Channel (FSC) and Fox Sports Net (FSN)

Week 1
Saturday, April 10
Washington Freedom vs Boston Breakers 7pm

Sunday, April 11
Saint Louis Athletica vs FC Gold Pride 4pm
Philadelphia Independence vs Atlanta Beat 6pm
Sky Blue FC vs Chicago Red Stars 6pm (FSC)

Week 2
Saturday, April 17
Chicago Red Stars vs Saint Louis Athletica 8pm
FC Gold Pride vs Sky Blue FC 10pm

Sunday, April 18
Washington Freedom vs Atlanta Beat 4pm
Boston Breakers vs Philadelphia Independence 6pm (FSC)

Week 3
Saturday, April 24
FC Gold Pride vs Atlanta Beat 10pm

Sunday, April 25
Philadelphia Independence vs Washington Freedom 6pm
Saint Louis Athletica vs Boston Breakers 6pm (FSC)
Chicago Red Stars vs Sky Blue FC 6pm

Week 4
Saturday, May 1
Boston Breakers vs Chicago Red Stars 6pm
Sky Blue FC vs FC Gold Pride 6pm (FSC)
Philadelphia Independence vs Atlanta Beat 6pm
Washington Freedom vs Saint Louis Athletica TBD

Week 5
Saturday, May 8
Washington Freedom vs Boston Breakers 7pm
Saint Louis Athletica vs Philadelphia Independence 8:10pm
FC Gold Pride vs Chicago Red Stars 10pm

Sunday, May 9
Atlanta Beat vs Sky Blue FC 7pm (FSC)

Week 6

Friday, May 14
Boston Breakers vs FC Gold Pride 7:30pm

Saturday, May 15
Chicago Red Stars vs Philadelphia Independence 7pm

Sunday, May 16
Saint Louis Athletica vs Sky Blue FC 4pm
Atlanta Beat vs Washington Freedom 6pm (FSC)

Week 7
Saturday, May 29
Atlanta Beat vs Saint Louis Athletica 7pm
Sky Blue FC vs Boston Breakers 7pm
Chicago Red Stars vs FC Gold Pride 8pm

Sunday, May 30
Washington Freedom vs Philadelphia Independence 6pm (FSC)

Week 8
Saturday, June 5
Boston Breakers vs Saint Louis Athletica 6pm
FC Gold Pride vs Washington Freedom 10pm

Sunday, June 6
Philadelphia Independence vs Sky Blue FC 6pm
Chicago Red Stars vs Atlanta Beat 6pm (FSC)

Week 9
Wednesday, June 9
Saint Louis Athletica vs FC Gold Pride 8:10pm

Saturday, June 12
Saint Louis Athletica vs Atlanta Beat 5:45pm
Washington Freedom vs Chicago Red Stars 7pm

Sunday, June 13
Boston Breakers vs Sky Blue FC 4pm
Philadelphia Independence vs FC Gold Pride 6pm (FSC)

Week 10

Saturday, June 19
Sky Blue FC vs Philadelphia Independence 7pm
Atlanta Beat vs Chicago Red Stars 7pm
FC Gold Pride vs Boston Breakers 10pm

Sunday, June 20
Saint Louis Athletica vs Washington Freedom 6pm (FSC)

Week 11
Wednesday, June 23
Atlanta Beat vs Philadelphia Independence 7:30pm

Friday, June 25
Boston Breakers vs Chicago Red Stars 7:30pm

Saturday, June 26
Philadelphia Independence vs Washington Freedom 6pm

Sunday, June 27
FC Gold Pride vs Saint Louis Athletica 6pm (FSC)

WPS All-Star Game presented by U.S. Coast Guard
Wednesday, June 30 TBD (FSC)

Week 12
Saturday, July 3
Atlanta Beat vs FC Gold Pride 7pm

Sunday, July 4
Philadelphia Independence vs Boston Breakers 4pm
Washington Freedom vs Sky Blue FC 6pm

Week 13
Wednesday, July 7
Sky Blue FC vs Saint Louis Athletica 7pm
Chicago Red Stars vs Washington Freedom 8:30pm

Saturday, July 10
Chicago Red Stars vs Philadelphia Independence 7pm
Washington Freedom vs Saint Louis Athletica 7pm

Sunday, July 11
Boston Breakers vs Atlanta Beat 4pm
FC Gold Pride vs Sky Blue FC 6pm (FSC)

Week 14
Saturday, July 17
FC Gold Pride vs Philadelphia Independence 10pm

Sunday, July 18
Boston Breakers vs Washington Freedom 5pm (FSC)
Sky Blue FC vs Atlanta Beat 7pm
Saint Louis Athletica vs Chicago Red Stars 8:10pm

Week 15
Wednesday, July 21
Boston Breakers vs FC Gold Pride 7pm
Atlanta Beat vs Chicago Red Stars 7:30pm

Saturday, July 24
Philadelphia Independence vs Sky Blue FC 6pm
Washington Freedom vs FC Gold Pride 7pm
Saint Louis Athletica vs Atlanta Beat 8:10pm

Sunday, July 25
Chicago Red Stars vs Boston Breakers 4pm

Week 16
Wednesday, July 28
Sky Blue FC vs Saint Louis Athletica 7pm

Saturday, July 31
Boston Breakers vs Philadelphia Independence 6pm

Sunday, Aug. 1
Atlanta Beat vs Washington Freedom 5pm (FSC)
Sky Blue FC vs Chicago Red Stars 7pm

Week 17
Wednesday, Aug. 4
Washington Freedom vs Philadelphia Independence 7:30pm

Saturday, Aug. 7
Atlanta Beat vs Boston Breakers 7pm
FC Gold Pride vs Chicago Red Stars 10pm

Sunday, Aug. 8
Philadelphia Independence vs Saint Louis Athletica 7:30pm (FSC)

Week 18
Wednesday, Aug. 11
Sky Blue FC vs Washington Freedom 7pm
Saint Louis Athletica vs Boston Breakers 8:10pm
Chicago Red Stars vs Atlanta Beat 8:30pm

Saturday, Aug. 14
Atlanta Beat vs Saint Louis Athletica 7pm
FC Gold Pride vs Washington Freedom 10pm

Sunday, Aug. 15
Philadelphia Independence vs Chicago Red Stars 6pm
Boston Breakers vs Sky Blue FC 6pm (FSC)

Week 19
Saturday, Aug. 21
Boston Breakers vs Atlanta Beat TBD

Sunday, Aug. 22
Sky Blue FC vs Philadelphia Independence 4pm
Saint Louis Athletica vs Washington Freedom 4pm
Chicago Red Stars vs FC Gold Pride 6pm (FSC)

Week 20
Saturday, Aug. 28
Atlanta Beat vs FC Gold Pride 7pm
Washington Freedom vs Sky Blue FC 7pm
Saint Louis Athletica vs Chicago Red Stars 8:10pm

Sunday, Aug. 29
Philadelphia Independence vs Boston Breakers 6pm (FSC)

Week 21
Wednesday, Sept. 1
Sky Blue FC vs FC Gold Pride 7pm

Sunday, Sept. 5 (FSC Flex TV Date)
Atlanta Beat vs Sky Blue FC TBD
FC Gold Pride vs Boston Breakers TBD
Chicago Red Stars vs Washington Freedom TBD
Philadelphia Independence vs Saint Louis Athletica 6pm

Week 22
Saturday, Sept. 11
FC Gold Pride vs Philadelphia Independence TBD
Chicago Red Stars vs Saint Louis Athletica 7pm
Sky Blue FC vs Boston Breakers 7pm

Sunday, Sept. 12 (FSC Flex TV Date)
Washington Freedom vs Atlanta Beat TBD

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Gold Pride get Marta, Boxx to Saint Louis

Posted on 04 February 2010 by ASN Staff

Marta upends Carli Lloyd in a match last season

Women’s Professional Soccer held its dispersal draft Feb. 4 for players’ rights previously held by the Los Angeles Sol, whose operations were discontinued Jan. 28.

Saint Louis Athletica, which traded several players to the Atlanta Beat to gain the first pick in the dispersal draft used its selection to draft WPS All-Star Shannon Boxx, the Sol’s captain and one of the world’s best holding midfielders. With the second selection, the Philadelphia Independence then selected goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc, who led the league in shutouts in 2009 with 12 clean sheets.

The San Francisco Bay Area team, FC Gold Pride, then selected Marta, WPS’s Michelle Akers Player of the Year last year, with the third pick. Marta was a 2009 WPS All-Star, led the league with 10 goals and was voted FIFA World Player of the Year in December for a record fourth time.

Other first round selections in the dispersal draft included two first round selections from the 2010 WPS Draft (college draft) with North Carolina’s Casey Nogueira and Nikki Washington going to the Chicago Red Stars and Sky Blue FC, respectively. The Boston Breakers picked up veteran defender Stephanie Cox with the fifth pick, while the Washington Freedom grabbed one of last year’s top rookies, Brittany Bock with the seventh selection. Closing out the first round, Saint Louis Athletica picked up another WPS All-Star and midfielder Aya Miyama.

Several trades took place in the second round with the Bay Area’s FC Gold Pride trading up to the 13th slot to select forward Kiki Bosio, giving Chicago Red Stars their 14th selection in the dispersal draft and the FC Gold Pride’s 2nd round selection in the 2011 WPS Draft. The Red Stars then traded away that 14th selection to Saint Louis for the Athletica’s 2nd round selection in the 2011 WPS Draft. The Athletica used the 14th selection to pick up midfielder Tina DiMartino. Several teams passed on their selections in the third round.

[polldaddy poll=2649105]

WPS Dispersal Draft (player rights held by the Los Angeles Sol)

Round 1
1. Shannon Boxx, M – Saint Louis Athletica *
2. Karina LeBlanc, GK – Philadelphia Independence
3. Marta, F – FC Gold Pride (Bay Area)
4. Casey Nogueira, F – Chicago Red Stars
5. Stephanie Cox, D – Boston Breakers
6. Nikki Washington, M – Sky Blue FC (NJ/NY)
7. Brittany Bock, D – Washington Freedom
8. Aya Miyama, M – Saint Louis Athletica

Round 2

9. Manya Makoski, M – Atlanta Beat
10. Faith Ikidi, D/F – Washington Freedom
11. Kiersten Dallstream, F – Sky Blue FC (NJ/NY)
12. Michelle Enyeart, F – Boston Breakers
13. Kiki Bosio, F – FC Gold Pride (Bay Area) ^
14. Tina DiMartino, M – Saint Louis Athletica #
15. Estelle Johnson, D – Philadelphia Independence
16. Pavlina Scasna, F – Atlanta Beat

Round 3
17. Pass – Atlanta Beat
18. Pass – Philadelphia Independence
19. Lindsay Browne, F – FC Gold Pride (Bay Area)
20. Pass – Chicago Red Stars
21. Pass – Boston Breakers
22. Pass – Sky Blue FC (NJ/NY)
23. Pass – Washington Freedom
24. Catherine Sorenson, M – Saint Louis Athletica

* via trade with Atlanta Beat (trade prior to draft)
^ via trade with Chicago Red Stars (Chicago receives FC Gold Pride’s 2nd Round pick in 2011 WPS Draft)
# via trade with Chicago Red Stars (Chicago receives Saint Louis Athletica’s 2nd Round pick in 2011 WPS Draft)

NOTE: Mary Casey, GK, is now a free agent; Midfielder Julie Rydahl Bukh’s WPS rights have been released.

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