Categorized | Also Noted

Red Stars trio headed to USWNT camp

Posted on 26 August 2009 by mwkajdas

Three weeks after three of its players were named to the WPS All-Star squad, three Chicago Red Stars have once more been selected for honors, this time by Pia Sundhage, head coach of the United States Women’s National Team. Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe and Brittany Klein will report to The Home Depot Center in Carson, California for a 12-day training camp beginning September 21st.

As with the announcement of her All-Star team selection, Brittany Klein is once again the surprise bonus for Red Stars fans. And once again, the question remains if her selection is for her brilliant play during the WPS season or more as the understudy for Lindsay Tarpley, who is regularly chosen for the national squad but is unavailable now due to an ACL injury.

Whatever the reason, the elevation of Klein to both All-Star and national team statuses compels me to re-evaluate my earlier thinking regarding whom the Red Stars should protect from the upcoming WPS expansion draft. In my previous post, I excluded Klein from safekeeping in favor of midfielders Lloyd, Tarpley, Heather Garriock and Frida Östberg. With her marquee value burgeoning, however, it would be foolish for the Red Stars to let Klein slip away now. Instead they should take a gamble that one of the two internationals, probably Östberg, will not be at the top of the list of Red Stars targeted by either the Philadelphia Independence or the Atlanta Beat and that they can still protect her after one of the expansion teams draws first blood.

In choosing her squad, Sundhage seems to have dispersed her selections fairly evenly among the seven WPS teams, with three of them—the Boston Breakers, Sky Blue FC and FC Gold Pride—contributing four players each, the Washington Freedom, Chicago Red Stars and Los Angeles Sol adding three apiece, and two players joining in from Saint Louis Athletica. One has to wonder if this sort of grading on a curve is intended to even out the burden of national team call-ups on WPS teams for next season. If it is, then the plea of many fans, as well as Red Stars coach Emma Hayes, for WPS to stop league play during national team play appears to have fallen on deaf ears.

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