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Breakers Beat Atlanta, Extend Unbeaten Streak to Four

Posted on 14 July 2011 by Hank Alexandre


Allston, MA (July 10, 2011) – The Breakers got a goal each from rookie Keelin Winters and first-year Breaker Katie Schoepfer, and keeper Alyssa Naeher made three saves to record her league-leading fourth shutout of the season in Boston’s 2-0 win Sunday night over the Atlanta Beat. The Breakers improve to 4-5-3 on the season and move into a third-place tie with magicJack in the WPS standings.

“We’ve been talking about this game for a long time because of the break (during the Women’s World Cup), and we were disappointed to get the tie down in Atlanta (on June 19), but we kind of had a little bit of an off day. So, today we said, ‘Go at them, let’s dictate the tempo of it, and when we get chances, let’s make sure we put them away,'” said Associate Head Coach Lisa Cole, filling in for Head Coach Tony DiCicco, who is in Germany covering the Women’s World Cup for ESPN. ” I felt like it was good for us to get this win because we’ve got a long road to go to make sure we finish where we want to finish.”

The Breakers opened the scoring in the 5th minute. It started with a corner kick from Schoepfer, who hit it to Kasey Moore far post. Moore headed it to Winters, who headed it past Atlanta keeper Allison Whitworth for the 1-0 lead. The goal was Winters’ second of the season. Her first came against Atlanta in the opening game of the season. The score remained the same until Schoepfer scored her second goal of the season. It came in the 81st minute and began when Meghan Klingenberg sent a ball out wide to Schoepfer. With some space to move, Schoepfer took the ball into the top right corner of the box before striking it into the far post to put Boston ahead, 2-0.

Captain Leslie Osborne said the team had some extra motivation after watching the U.S. Women’s National Team come back to beat Brazil on penalty kicks Sunday afternoon in the Women’s World Cup.

“It was so inspiring. It was incredible,” Osborne said. “At halftime, I was just reminding everybody just how inspirational they were and how they had so many things going against them, and we have this 90-minute game here with this amazing field and fans. It’s just a blessing. I was saying, ‘Let’s just come out here and give the fans a show.’ It felt good to win tonight.”

The Breakers are off until Sunday, July 24, when they host the Western New York Flash, featuring Brazil’s Marta and Maurine, Canadian captain Christine Sinclair, and U.S. Women’s National Team forward Alex Morgan.

Boston Breakers vs. Atlanta Beat Box Score for July 10, 2011: http://www.womensprosoccer.com/boxscores/2011/1041952

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Breakers Break Even

Posted on 23 May 2011 by ASN Staff


Allston, MA (May 22, 2011) – Lauren Cheney knocked in a header on the goalline in the 48th minute to preserve a 1-1 tie for the Breakers (2-4-1) in their match Sunday afternoon against the Philadelphia Independence (2-1-2).

In front of 6,128 fans at Harvard Stadium, the Breakers snapped a two-game losing streak with the draw, the team’s first tie since Sept. 11, 2010, when they drew, 0-0 with Sky Blue FC on the road.

Tasha Kai put Philadelphia ahead in the 44th minute when she took a pass from Lianne Sanderson, cut back, and made a move to avoid Breakers defender Amy LePeilbet. Nearing the top of the box, Kai unleashed a shot that beat Boston keeper Alyssa Naeher. It was Kai’s second goal against Boston this season.

Less than three minutes into the second half, Cheney pulled Boston level, following up a header by rookie midfielder Keelin Winters. The play began when Breakers defender Alex Scott sent midfielder Kelley O’Hara on a run on the right side. O’Hara crossed it to Winters, who lined a header right on goal. Philadelphia keeper Nicole Barnhart managed to get her fingertips on the ball, but it dropped down right on the line, and that’s where Cheney headed it in for her first goal of the season.

“That was Keelin’s goal for sure. It could’ve been in before I headed it in, but I wanted to make sure it got into the back of the net,” Cheney said. “It was a great header by Keelin.”

Kai nearly gave Philadelphia the lead in the 61st minute, taking a well-played through ball from Tina DiMartino into the box and lining a shot on goal, but Boston keeper Alyssa Naeher made the save, one of eight on the night. Five minutes later, the Breakers tried taking advantage of a short corner played by Kelly Smith to Liz Bogus. Bogus hit it right back to Smith, who then looped a ball into the box where Winters hit a header over the crossbar.

In the 68th minute, the action picked up again. This time DiMartino put a shot on goal, one that Naeher had to dive to stop. Three minutes later, Philadelphia had a two-on-one break with Amy Rodriguez taking the ball into the 18 and to the left of Naeher. Rodriguez tried crossing the ball, but LePeilbet stuck out her leg and deflected the dangerous pass. Each team put a shot on goal in the final 20 minutes, but each keeper came up big to preserve the tie. Barnhart denied Breakers midfielder Leslie Osborne on a quick strike 6 yards from goal in the 72nd minute, and Naeher stopped a free kick by Sanderson in the 82nd minute.

“I like the way we came out in the second half,” Breakers Head Coach Tony DiCicco said. “They’re a good team. They’ve got speed up top. (Tasha) Kai on the counter attack, we give it up in the midfield, and she makes us pay. But for the most part, our defense did a good job against a very dangerous team. They didn’t really have that many really good looks at our goal, and I thought we had some great looks. I’m happy with the team. We’re still getting there. We’re still developing some of the younger players who need to really give us a boost here down the stretch. It was a good performance, especially in the second half for us, coming back and getting a goal. I’m disappointed we didn’t get the win, but I’m pleased with the performance.”

The Breakers head to New Jersey on Saturday, May 28, at 7 p.m. to take on Sky Blue FC (1-3-1). Sunday’s tie keeps Boston in fourth place in the WPS table, one point behind Philadelphia and three points ahead of both Sky Blue FC and the Atlanta Beat.

At halftime, the Breakers retired Kristine Lilly’s No. 13. Lilly became the first person in WPS history to have her number retired. An emotional Lilly addressed the fans following the video tribute that highlighted her legendary career.

“I couldn’t have done it without you. Thanks for all the support through all the years. It doesn’t go without notice,” Lilly said. “Everytime I stepped on the soccer field, I gave all I had.”

Following the game, Lilly said, “I think the whole halftime caught me off guard. I didn’t think I was going to get as emotional as I did. But it was great. The crowd was great tonight. The video brought back memories. Having my family here was really nice. It was just a really, really nice night.”


Breakers Head Coach Tony DiCicco on Keelin Winters: “Keelin was a great pickup. I knew her from coaching in the 2008 U-20 World Cup. She’s an excellent header of the ball. She’s fit. She runs hard. She’s a fighter. She’s been very, very solid. For a rookie, she’s played like a veteran. I can’t ask more of her. I’m very happy with her.”

Breakers midfielder Kelly O’Hara: “I think the difference between the first half and the second half was all of us being on the same page. Starting the second half knowing we needed to get a goal and trying to go for the win, and obviously we equalized. Everyone just stepped up their level so that’s why it appeared I was getting in the attack more. As a whole we just all took it to the next level.”

O’Hara on Cheney’s goal: “Alex (Scott) brought the ball down and she engaged their outside back and that kind of left me open on the outside and she played a great ball. (Keelin) Winters did a great job winning that ball and getting a header on goal and Barney (Nicole Barnhart) made the save and Cheney was there to finish it up.”

Boston Breakers midfielder Keelin Winters on setting up Lauren Cheney’s goal: “At the beginning of the game, Tony (DiCicco) just told our outside mids to find me at the edge of the 18-yard box so I rounded my run, I looked up and made sure I raised my hand. They saw me and just headed it towards goal. I think the goalie got a hand to it, and Cheney just followed it up and made sure it was in.”

Winters on playing in the WPS: “Coming into the WPS season it has been quite a transition from college, keeping up with the speed of play. Fortunately, I think I’ve been able to do that. It’s helpful when you have teammates around you communicating, letting me know when I can turn. It’s been hard to adjust, but I have really great teammates around me making it that much easier. Growing up, I knew I always wanted to play professional soccer so this is a dream come true. I’m glad the WPS is around. I remember watching her (Kristine Lilly) in the ’99 World cup. The WPS wasn’t around then, but I knew I wanted to play professional soccer. It’s a blessing for me to be able to play in this league.

Philadelphia Head Coach Paul Riley: “Anytime you get a point away from home against a team like Boston, I think it’s a well-earned point. We came here with a 4-3-3. We felt on the basis of winning 2-nil a couple week ago, that if we came out and attacked that we’d get an early goal and maybe draw Boston out a but, but that didn’t happen. Obviously, we’ve got the goal before halftime, but we gave up a suicide goal in the second half. We talked at halftime about keeping (Breakers defender) Alex Scott quiet. We didn’t get it done. (Breakers forward) Kelly Smith was fantastic. She ran the show. But I think a draw is a fair result overall. We created some great chances. Boston had some great moments. I thought it was a pretty good game. A point is better for us than it is for Boston. I think when you’re in this league, you’ve got to win your home games and you’ve got to try to get points as best you can on the road because last year we finished 3-7-2 on the road. We’re happy with the result. It’s going to be a battle to the end. Boston’s a great rival. It’s almost like a derby game. I look forward to playing them. It’s a great stadium. The fans are probably the best in the league, and they draw the most fans too. It’s always a good rivalry.

Philadelphia’s Tasha Kai: “Lianne Sanderson got the ball. I made a looping run. She played it with the outside of her foot. Took a first touch to goal, Amy LePeilbet cut my angle off, so I cut back the ball. I saw the keeper kind of hesitant so I just drilled it near post, and it beat her. I get drilled at all the time not to cut the ball back, but I do it all the time anyways, and this time I’m lucky the ball went in because I would’ve got reemed after the game. I just feel like her (Amy LePeilbet) momentum was taking her past me, so I cut the ball back and my next touch was the shot, and I beat both of them near post.”

Boston Breakers (2-4-1) vs. Philadelphia Independence (2-1-2)

Sunday, May 22, 2011 — Harvard Stadium



Team            1            2            F

BOS:            0            1            1

PHI:            1            0            1

PHI: Tasha Kai 2 (Unassisted) 44′

BOS: Lauren Cheney 1 (Keelin Winters) 48′

BOSTON BREAKERS — Alyssa Naeher, Stephanie Cox, Amy LePeilbet, Rachel Buehler, Alex Scott, Leslie Osborne, Keelin Winters (Kasey Moore, 77′), Nikki Washington (Liz Bogus, 16′, Taryn Hemmings, 85′), Kelley O’Hara, Kelly Smith, Lauren Cheney

Substitutes Not Used: Ifeoma Dieke, Ashley Phillips, Katie Schoepfer, Leah Blayney

PHILADELPHIA INDEPENDENCE — Nicole Barnhart, Leigh Ann Robinson, Nikki Krzysik, Estelle Johnson, Megan Rapinoe, Jen Buczkowski, Tina DiMartino (Holmfridur Magnusdottir, 69′), Lianne Sanderson, Sinead Farrelly (Lori Lindsey, 73′), Tasha Kai, Laura del Rio (Amy Rodriguez, 55′)

Substitutes Not Used: Joanna Lohman, Val Henderson


BOS        PHI

Shots 9 14

Shots on Goal        6 9

Fouls 13 9

Offsides 2 2

Corner Kicks 3 0

Saves 8 5



Attendance: 6,128

All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial.

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Flash beat Breakers again (2-0)

Posted on 14 May 2011 by ASN Staff


The Boston Breakers (2-4-0) fell behind by two goals twice Friday night against the Western New York Flash (4-0-1) and couldn’t catch up, falling to the first-place Flash, 3-2, at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester, New York.

“I think their team effort was a complete effort. I’m disappointed in some of our players’ efforts,” Boston Head Coach Tony DiCicco said. “I told the players this was a game we should’ve got a result in. All in all, we failed in this game. You have to have a fighting spirit in this league. It’s the ability to fight and work really hard that are important in this league.”

In the 10th minute, the Flash took a 1-0 lead with a drifted diagonal ball from McCall Zerboni across the field to Brittany Bock, who met face-to-face with Boston keeper Alyssa Naeher at the penalty spot. Bock was able to get to the ball first and neatly head it over Naeher for the ball to land in the back of Breakers net. In the 25th minute, Zerboni received a ball from Flash defender Kim Brandao with a near perfect touch that fell into her intended path. She finished with a clean struck volley that sunk straight toward the back of the net to make it a 2-0 game.

Play quieted down in the middle of the first half before Boston forward Liz Bogus properly got on the end of a corner kick from Nikki Washington. Bogus headed a shoulder height ball past Flash keeper Ashlyn Harris. Harris was too late getting a hand on the ball, and the Breakers narrowed the score to 2-1.

Although the Flash led in shots at halftime (5-2), possession and overall statistics were fairly even after the first half for both the teams. The second half started and the awaited rain began to fall at Sahlen’s Stadium as the match continued on slick turf. The Breakers had the majority of opportunities at the start of the second half. In the 51st minute, Australian international midfielder Leah Blayney, playing in her first-ever WPS game, connected with a head ball off a cross that missed just wide of the left post. In the 57th minute, Bogus ripped a hard shot from just outside the box which sailed past the left goal post.

Zerboni helped to put the control of the game back into Flash possession as she came away with her second goal of the game on a header off of a well placed cross from Gemma Davison, who beat a defender down the right flank. Naeher had no time to react to Zerboni’s head ball, which made it a 3-1 game.

A penalty kick was awarded to the Breakers in the 80th minute after forward Katie Schoepfer was tripped from behind by Zerboni inside the box while dribbling toward the goal. Kasey Moore hit the net with a high, hard shot toward the right side of the net to shorten Flash’s lead to just one goal for the second time in the game. The goal was Moore’s team-leading second of the season.

In the 83rd minute, the Breakers had another chance at goal as Washington tipped the ball for a shot before Harris could get to it. The ball traveled to the right of the net for a Flash goal kick. Late into stoppage time, Moore nearly sunk the tying goal with a potent header off a cross from substitute Claire Zimmeck. The ball skidded a hair to the side of the right post, seconds before the final whistle blew.

“We had some really good looks in the second half,” DiCicco said. “We played a pretty good second half, but you can’t come back twice from two goals down.”

Western New York Flash (4-0-1) vs. Boston Breakers (2-4-0)

Friday, May 13, 2011 – Sahlen’s Stadium



Team        1st    2nd    Final

WNY:         2       1       3

BOS:         1       1       2

WNY: Brittany Bock (McCall Zerboni) 10’

WNY: McCall Zerboni (Kim Brandao) 25’

BOS: Liz Bogus (Nikki Washington) 38’

WNY: McCall Zerboni (Gemma Davison) 69’

BOS: Kasey Moore (Unassisted) 80’

WESTERN NEW YORK FLASH— Ashlyn Harris, Kim Brandao, Gina Lewandowski, Kandace Wilson, Whitney Engen, Becky Edwards, Beverly Goebel, Yael Averbuch, McCall Zerboni, Brittany Bock, Gemma Davison (Alex Sahlen, 74’)

Substitutes Not Used: Brittany Cameron, Ashleigh Bowers, Mele French

BOSTON BREAKERS —Alyssa Naeher, Kasey Moore, Ifeoma Dieke, Taryn Hemmings (Elli Reed, 65’), Nikki Washington, Liz Bogus, Leah Blayney, Leslie Osborne, Keelin Winters (Niki Cross, 70’), Katie Schoepfer, Kiersten Dallstream (Claire Zimmeck, 74’)

Substitutes Not Used:  Kelsey Davis


WNY         BOS

Shots         9           8

Fouls         5           9

Offsides     5           2

Corner Kicks  3        4

Saves            1        3

Referee: Mo Hackett

Referee Assistants: Ashley Cedro, Russ Wolf

4th Official: Steve Montagnino

Attendance: 1,372

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial.

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Four Breakers named to USWNT World Cup Squad

Posted on 09 May 2011 by ASN Staff

Allston, Mass. (May 9, 2011) –  U.S. Head Coach Pia Sundhage named Boston Breakers defenders Rachel Buehler, Stephanie Cox, and Amy LePeilbet, and forward Lauren Cheney to her 21-player roster World Cup roster this morning. The players will represent the U.S. at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which takes place from June 26th to July 17th in Germany. The U.S. will compete in Group C along with Sweden, Colombia, and Korea DPR. Their first match is June 28th against Korea DPR in Berlin followed by matches against Colombia (July 2nd) and Sweden (July 6th).

Three of the four Breakers will make their first-ever World Cup appearance. Cox played in all six matches at the 2007 Women’s World Cup in China, one in which the U.S. finished third. Cox, Buehler, and Cheney all have Olympic gold medals from the U.S. victory at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and for LePeilbet, this is her first major international FIFA competition outside of the 2010 World Cup qualifiers.

“I am very proud of our National Team players, and that includes Kelley O’Hara, even though she did not get the call-up this time,” Boston Breakers Head Coach Tony DiCicco said. “Kelley is a young star with her best soccer and a wonderful international career ahead of her. I want to congratulate our other Breakers National Team players for making the World Cup Team, which, of course, is a wonderful opportunity to represent your country against the world’s best.”

Between the four World Cup bound Breakers, they have a combined 213 caps and and 14 goals for the U.S. Cheney has scored 13 of those goals, including seven during 2010. In 2011, Cheney (39 total caps), started five of the seven games she appeared in and scored two goals to go along with one assist.

“Lauren Cheney is a force on the field. She can hold the ball up top with the best in the world, and I’m sure is going to score key goals for the USA in Germany,” said DiCicco, who coached the 1999 U.S. Women’s National Team to a World Cup title.

Buehler (56 caps) played 666 minutes in 2011, the most of any field player this year on the National Team. She started seven of the eight games she appeared in. She made 17 starts in 2010 and logged 1,474 minutes, second only to Abby Wambach (1,516). Buehler had a goal and an assist in 2010. At the 2008 Olympics, Buehler played in two matches for the U.S.

Rachel Buehler is an amazing competitor who can win head balls, serve long balls, and duel with any attacker,” DiCicco said.

Cox, who has the most experience with the USWNT out of all the Breakers with 71 caps, appeared in seven matches (four starts) for the U.S. in 2011. In 2010, she played 554 minutes in nine games, six of which she started. On her way to winning the gold in Beijing in 2008, Cox started four of the five matches she played in.

“Stephanie Cox is an exceptional server of the ball from the left side who will likely link up with Abby Wambach on some of those serves,” DiCicco said. “She is also a smart defender and a real student of the game.”

LePeilbet, who earned her first National Team cap on Jan. 20, 2004, against Sweden, started every game of the CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers in Mexico, her first CONCACAF tournament with the U.S. senior side. LePeilbet (47 caps) started all three matches she played in for the U.S. in 2011. She started all 17 matches she appeared in during 2010, playing 1,439 minutes (third most on the team).

“Amy LePeilbet is an exceptional defender who takes such pride in her craft,” DiCicco said. “She has the ability to defend speed or strength and is one of the best 1v1 defenders in the world.”

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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.

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.

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

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

ABY           MRT

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


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

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Stalemate in the Garden State

Posted on 30 May 2010 by lbarker

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. The result leaves Boston winless in their last six and Sky Blue unbeaten in their last three, but also winless in their last two (ties are a funny thing, indeed).

Heather O'Reilly said she had a lot of fun playing striker ©ASN

Sky Blue FC pressured Boston early, finding their first opportunity in just the 3rd minute. The home team got behind the Breakers defense and managed to send a ball across the goalmouth and just wide. Four minutes later the blue and orange were at it again, with Sky Blue captain Kacey White feeding a ball to Heather O’Reilly. O’Reilly, who started the game at forward rather than her usual spot in the midfield, beat Breakers ‘keeper Ashley Phillips before sending her shot into the side netting. The New Jersey native broke a 14 game national team goalless streak last weekend in Cleveland as the US played Germany, but is still looking for her first league goal this season. After the match O’Reilly said she was happy with the position change. “I have a lot of fun playing striker. I think that’s what I find the most enjoyable about the game, is just being right on the restraining line…I think that up top suits my physical qualities. So I had a lot of fun with it. Unfortunately I couldn’t get the ball in the back of the net today and that’s the job of a striker so what can you do? Hopefully next game we’ll have more goals for us.”

She also acknowledged that she’s ready to play wherever Sky Blue coach Pauliina Miettinen needs her (O’Reilly would indeed move back to the midfield when Jessica Landstrom entered the match in the 72nd minute). “Obviously I’ll do whatever the team needs me to do in terms of position…whether it’s midfield or up top.”

In the 11th minute Sky Blue midfielder Rosana took a deceptive shot from distance that seemed to surprise Phillips. The Breakers ‘keeper managed to recover enough to tip the ball over the bar for a Sky Blue corner. Nothing would come from the set piece and momentum shifted, with the next few opportunities belonging to the Breakers.

In the 14th minute Breakers forward Lauren Cheney fired a low shot, but it rolled wide of the net. Two minutes later, Boston nearly got on the board, with Kelly Smith, Alex Scott, and Laura Del Rio moving the ball into Sky Blue’s defensive third. The English to English to Spanish combination ended when Del Rio sent her shot over the crossbar. In the 21st minute Del Rio sent a low shot in that Sky Blue goalkeeper Karen Bardsley got her fingertips on, sending the ball out for a Boston corner.

Then it was again Sky Blue’s turn. O’Reilly had another opportunity in the 35th minute, but again shot the ball wide. Three minutes later Sky Blue defender Daphne Koster sent a ball over the Boston back line but Laura Kalmari’s shot went well over the crossbar. Just before the halftime whistle O’Reilly once again beat the Boston defense, but like so many of Sky Blue’s shots, hers too sailed over goal.

The second half started with a familiar face returning to the Sky Blue lineup. Forward Tasha Kai, who’s missed the last three matches with a knee/hamstring injury, replaced rookie forward Kiersten Dallstream after the break. “Pretty banged up” said Kai as she outlined her injuries after the game. Kai made her presence felt almost immediately, first playing a ball over the Boston back line for O’Reilly in the 47th minute. O’Reilly beat Amy LePeilbet and took a shot that Ashley Phillips had to stretch to keep out of the back of the net. In the 50th it was Kai again, this time taking the shot herself, but as seemed to be the theme of the night, the ball sailed harmlessly over the bar. “[Her] coming off the bench I know especially just lifts the entire team” O’Reilly said of Kai after the match. “Whether I start or if I come off the bench I know that whatever my role is I’m gonna do it. The team comes before me. If I play ten minutes I’m gonna come in and play the best ten minutes I can possibly give and do whatever I can do to help the team” said Kai.

The next few minutes were a back and forth, first with a defensive miscue leaving Cheney wide open in the box in the 52nd. Sky Blue defender Brittany Taylor won this battle of the rookies, doing well to clear the ball away from danger. In the 56th it was Kai again. The Hawaii native won a header and flicked the ball forward before sprinting to catch up to her own pass. Kai found White who fed a ball towards the middle and Yael Averbuch. Averbuch’s shot? Over the bar.

In the 71st minute Sky Blue’s defense seemed to break down. A scramble in the box nearly led to a the go-ahead goal for the Breakers, but Sky Blue’s back four of Meghan Schnur, Taylor, Koster and India Trotter worked to eventually clear the ball away. The combination of Taylor and Koster in the center of Sky Blue’s defense shut down another attack from Smith in the 75th minute.

As time ticked down most of the attack seemed to be coming from the Breakers. The Sky Blue defense was able to hold on and a save from Bardsley in final minute kept the clean sheet. “Daphne was very solid, Brittany was very solid, Schnur played very well. I think she ran out of gas a little bit in the end” said Miettinen of today’s edition of Sky Blue’s ever evolving back line. The scoreless draw was good for Bardsley’s league leading 4th shutout of the season and her five saves brought her season total to a league-high 46 stops. It was the second shutout for Phillips, the other coming from a 0-0 game against the Washington Freedom.

Sky Blue players came away from the game disappointed but hopeful. “You’re bummed about the missed chances, but you’re also excited for what it means for the future” said O’Reilly. Kai expressed a similar sentiment, “It was a back and forth game. A lot of offense. A lot of defense. There was a lot of holes and seams that we saw through their defense. We had our chances. Real real good chances. They had their chances. The goalkeepers came up big, our defense came up big. For us we just need to finish. You’re only gonna get one or two chances and those one of two chances you have to put the ball in the back of the net and we didn’t get that done today. But the result was something to work on for next week.”

Coaches for both teams felt their respective sides were better on the night but agreed on the disappointment. “We had ’em. We didn’t put them away and you know, one point, I think it’s a little bit disappointing” said Sky Blue’s Pauliina Miettinen. Boston head coach Tony DiCicco made a similar argument for his team “I’m disappointed that we’re not scoring goals. I think either team could’ve won but I think we were the dominant team…I’m very very proud of the way the team played. From a soccer standpoint we did so much right. But this game is about sticking the ball in the back of the net and so we’re frustrated.”


When the league officially announced on Thursday that financial troubles had forced St. Louis Athletica to close up shop and join the Los Angeles Sol in the category of “Former WPS Teams,” Sky Blue FC earned a dubious distinction: being the last team that both the Los Angeles Sol and St. Louis Athletica ever played (Sky Blue beat LA in the 2009 WPS final in August, the Sol folded the following January; Sky Blue and Athletica played to a 2-2 result two weeks ago, Athletica folded 11 days later)… Boston is the only WPS team still unbeaten on the road in 2010, with a 1-0-3 record playing in places that aren’t called “Harvard Stadium”… The Breakers have not won a game in more than a month, with their first (and only) win of the season coming on April 10th, a 2-1 victory over the Washington Freedom to open the season… India Trotter made her second start, and third appearance, for Sky Blue since being acquired from St. Louis… Sky Blue defender Christie Rampone was available for the first time this season, but did not play “We trust that back line now…If something happened she would’ve been ready to go in but, we still have so many games left that we don’t want to risk her” said Miettinen after the match about Rampone… Keeley Dowling did not play for the first time this season, and for just the second time in her career… Tasha Kai was not the only Sky Blue player to return to the field tonight; Meghan Schnur made just her third appearance of the season and played all 90 minutes after returning from a knee injury. In 2009 Schnur was the only Sky Blue FC player to start and play all 20 regular season games… Former Sky Blue (and Athletica) forward Sarah Walsh was not available for Boston. Walsh is away on national team duty with Australia… The tie puts Sky Blue at 3-0-2 all-time against Boston.


Sky Blue FC (3-2-2) vs. Boston Breakers (1-2-4)
Saturday, May 29, 2010 — Yurcak Field
Attendance: 3418



SKY BLUE FC — Karen Bardsley, India Trotter, Daphne Koster, Brittany Taylor, Meghan Schnur, Laura Kalmari, Yael Averbuch, Rosana (Katie Schoepfer, 85′), Kacey White (Jessica Landstrom, 72′), Kiersten Dallstream (Tasha Kai, 47′), Heather O’Reilly

Substitutes Not Used: Kristin Luckenbill, Christie Rampone, Keeley Dowling, Danielle Johnson

BOSTON BREAKERS — Ashley Phillips, Alex Scott, Amy LePeilbet, Kasey Moore, Stephanie Cox, Leslie Osborne, Tiffany Weimer (Fabiana, 64′), Laura del Rio (Jordan Angeli, 83′), Kristine Lilly (Liz Bogus, 88′), Kelly Smith, Lauren Cheney

Substitutes Not Used: Chioma Igwe, Alyssa Naeher



Shots 14 23
Shots on Goal 1 10
Fouls 6 3
Offsides 5 4
Corner Kicks 4 7
Saves 5 1



Referee: Donald Dellavia
Referee Assistants: Debbie Coleman, Mark Allatin
4th Official: Dario Urrutia

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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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