April 30, 2010

WPS Weekend Preview - May 1

FC Gold Pride at Sky Blue FC – May 1 (6 pm ET, 3 pm PT)-FSC Game of the Week
Yurcak Field, Piscataway, NJ

FC Gold Pride: GK-N. Barnhart, B. Cameron; D-R. Buehler, A. Riley, K. Wilson, C. Chapman, K. Graczyk; MF-Marta, B. Edwards, C. Abily, S. Gulbrandsen (probable-hip flexor), C. Dew; F-C. Sinclair, K. O’Hara, T. Milbrett, K. Bosio.
Not Active: A. Bowyer, K. Fountain, E. Guthrie, R. Tantillo, K. Yokers.

Sky Blue FC: GK-K. Bardsley, S. Myers; D-D. Koster, B. Taylor, K. Dowling, K. Dallstream, D. Johnson; MF-Y. Averbuch, H. O’Reilly, Rosana, K. White, A. Salem; F-L. Kalmari, J. Landström, K. Schoepfer, M. Snell.
Not Active: N. Kai (hamstring), C. Lloyd (ankle), M. Schnur (knee), C. Rampone (maternity), A. Asante (knee), J. Branam (knee).

Previous Meetings:
This Season-Sky Blue 1 @ Gold Pride 3.
All Time-Gold Pride leads series at 2-1-1.

What to Look For: It’s a badly understaffed Sky Blue that will take the field on Saturday, as about half of their starters are out with injuries. Kai has scored two of Sky Blue’s 3 goals this season and will be badly missed. Meanwhile, Gold Pride will be returning Sinclair and Chapman to their lineup after their trip with the Canadian National Team last week. Bardsley has two shutouts, but SBFC has been outshot every game in 2010 and her defense needs to keep opposing strikers off her. Gold Pride scored two goals in the last 15 minutes of their last meeting to gain the victory.
Storylines: Sky Blue and Gold Pride sit tied atop the WPS table with identical 2-1 records and 6 points. Sky Blue is the only original team that Gold Pride has a winning record against. Gold Pride has only one road win in 11 tries over two seasons and have never scored more than a goal in any road contest.

Saint Louis Athletica at Washington Freedom – May 1 (6 pm ET, 5 pm CT)
RFK Stadium, Washington, DC

Saint Louis: GK-H. Solo, A. Harris; D-T. Ellertson, K. Fletcher, E. Weber, N. Cross; MF-L. Chalupny, S. Boxx, C. Blank, A. Miyama, T. DiMartino, L. Tarpley; F-E. Aluko, M. Edlund, I. Trotter, V. Perez.
Not Active: E. Walter (ribs), Daniela (knee), K. Larsen (foot), Elaine (groin), S. Wagenfuhr (hamstring), K. Spisak, S. Teegarden.

Washington: GK-E. McLeod, M. McCray; D-C. Whitehill, N. Marshall, S. Bompastor, R. Moros, B. Bock (questionable-foot), A. Singer, K. Eveland; MF-H. Sawa, B. Sauerbrunn, A. Long, S. Huffman, J. Gilbeau, B. Goebel; F-Abby Wambach, L. Mykjåland, L. DeVanna, C. Welsh.
Not Active: B. Scurry (head), C. Miskel, M. Abegg.

Previous Meetings (2009):
Saint Louis 3 @ Washington 3
Washington 1 @ Saint Louis 0
Saint Louis 0 @ Washington 1

What to Look For: This game will feature one of highest power offenses in the Freedom and one of the most consistent defenses in Athletica. Wambach has a goal and 4 assists in just 3 games. Aluko’s two goals lead Athletica in scoring. It should be a good battle at goalkeeper with USWNT starter Solo vs. Canadian National Team starter McLeod. Athletica is banged up with injuries, particularly at right back and they might be forced to move Chalupny to the back line to compensate. Bock, still looking for her first action of 2010, is listed as questionable.
Storylines: While most teams have had no problem scoring on Washington, Athletica has struggled. Two of Washington’s 4 shutouts last season came against Saint Louis. The teams developed quite a rivalry last season, but Saint Louis has never defeated the Freedom. Wambach is still looking for her first goal against Athletica.

Chicago Red Stars at Boston Breakers – May 1 (6 pm ET, 5 pm CT)
Harvard Stadium, Cambridge, MA

Chicago: GK-J. Loyden, K. Davis; D-K. Markgraf, W. Engen, M. Dalmy, I. Dieke, N. Spilger; MF-B. Klein, K. Chapman, K. Carney, Formiga, J. Sitch, M. Rapinoe; F-Cristiane, E. Masar, C. Nogueira.
Not Active: K. Asllani (ribs), J. McDonald (other), L. Vandenbergh, M. Weissenhofer, J. Santacaterina.

Boston: GK-Ashley Phillips, Alyssa Naeher; D-Amy LePeilbet, K. Moore, A. Scott, S. Cox, J. Angeli, A. Marquez; MF-L. Osborne, K. Lilly, K. Smith, C. Igwe, M. Tomecka; F-L. Cheney, L. Del Rio, Fabiana, T. Weimer, L. Bogus.
Not Active: S. Walsh (knee), M. Enyeart (knee), T. Hemmings, C. Zimmeck.

Previous Meetings (2009):
Boston 0 @ Chicago 4
Boston 2
@ Chicago 0
Chicago 0 @ Boston 1

What To Look For: Quite simply, the Red Stars must start scoring. Chicago will be missing one of their top offensive players in Asllani, but Rapinoe has been activated for this game and might see her first action of the year. The Breakers have been very good on their own set pieces, but not particularly good at defending opposing set pieces. While the Red Stars have outshot their 3 previous opponents, it should prove much harder to do so against a pretty potent Breakers offense. The Smith-Cheney-Lilly combination could give Chicago’s back line a lot of problems.
Storylines: Chicago is looking for their 1st road goal since last June. Chioma Igwe plays against her old team for the first time this season. Neither Loyden for Chicago (6 career starts) nor Phillips for Boston (3 career starts) has ever given up more than a goal in any game, although Phillips is still looking for her first shutout. English National Team stars face off against each other with Carney and Chapman for the Red Stars and Smith and Scott for the Breakers.

Atlanta Beat at Philadelphia Independence – May 1 (6 pm ET)
John A. Farrell Stadium, West Chester, PA

Atlanta: GK-A. Whitworth, B. Maron; D-K. McNeill, S. Bishop, L. Robinson, L. Sesselmann, S. Mundy; MF-M. Yamaguchi, M. Zerboni, A. Kerr, K. Larkin; F-R. Bachmann, J. Rasmussen, S. Thompson, M. Ocampo, A. Cinalli.
Not Active: T. Heath (ankle), T. Hamm, R. Nolin, B. Mattern, M. Schumacher-Hodge, M. Lofton-Malachi.

Philadelphia: GK-K. LeBlanc, V. Henderson; D-S. Larsson, N. Krzysik, A. Falk, H. Mitts, E. Johnson, S. Senty; MF-C. Seger, L. Lindsey, J. Lohman, J. Buczkowski, L. Patterson; F-A. Rodriguez, L. Sanderson, H. Magnusdottir, D. Adams, K. Maruyama.
Not Active: G. DiMartino, K. Reynolds, C. Patterson, R. Jones.

Previous Meetings (2010):
Atlanta 0 @ Philadelphia 0.

What to Look For: These two teams played to a scoreless tie on opening day. Since then, Philadelphia has played well earning a road tie at Boston and a home win against the Freedom. Meanwhile, the Beat has been a bit unlucky giving up a late goal last week to fall to Gold Pride. Atlanta get McNeill back from suspension which should help the defensive effort, but they will badly miss Heath in the midfield. Philly’s defense has been very sound so far. LeBlanc returns after missing last week’s game with the CNT, having given up just one goal on a deflection. Meanwhile, Whitworth has faced more shots on goal than any other keeper and her defense needs to keep Lindsey, Rodriguez, and company off her doorstep.
Storylines: Philadelphia tries to stay unbeaten, while Atlanta is still looking for its 1st win having earned their only point in the tie against the Independence. Lindsey leads WPS with 4 assists. The Beat continue their long road trip before playing their 1st game in their new stadium next weekend.

Answer to Trivia Question: How many current Saint Louis Athletica players, including developmental and injured reserve players, have at least one cap for a senior National Team (any country)? Answer: 14. For the USWNT, Shannon Boxx (124), Lindsay Tarpley (119), Lori Chalupny (92), Hope Solo (89), Tina Ellertson (34), Tina DiMartino (5), India Trotter (2), and Kendall Fletcher (1). For Brazil, Daniela and Elaine. For England, Eniola Aluko (46). For Japan, Aya Miyama (76). For Sweden, Madelaine Edlund (1). And for Mexico, Veronica Perez (2).