May 24, 2010

US Routs Germany 4-0 in Friendly

The United States Women's National Team defeated Germany by a surprisingly lopsided score of 4-0 before over 10,000 fans in Cleveland on Saturday. Abby Wambach led the way with two goals and an assist, while US goalkeeper Hope Solo made three sparkling 2nd half saves to keep Germany at bay.

After a somewhat unimpressive start, the US started the scoring in the 29th minute when Wambach had control of the ball in the German penalty area and drew a penalty on Saskia Bartusiak. Wambach's shot went just inside the left post to give the US its first goal.

Wambach had a part in the 2nd goal as well. A Kristine Lilly corner kick was headed by the American forward on goal. German keeper Nadine Angerer was unable to handle the ball cleanly and Amy Rodriguez gained possession of the loose ball, touching it to Heather O'Reilly who easily finished. The US went into the break with a 2-0 lead.

It was the Germans who had the first good opportunity of the 2nd half. Kerstin Garefrekes received the ball on the left side, moved in and hit a hard shot headed for the upper right side of the net. Solo made a brilliant reflex save, pushing the ball high and wide.

A few minutes later, the US managed to double its lead in the space of just seconds. Wambach was able to gain possession in the left corner and was able to get through two defenders and feed the ball to Lilly, who struck the ball into the right side of the net, with Angerer having no chance on the play.

In the blink of an eye, the score went to 4-0, as Lori Lindsey threaded a perfect pass to Wambach who was cutting toward the net and she made no mistake on the finish from 12 yards out.

Germany continued to put offensive pressure on the US. Solo was called on to make two more great saves, one on Birgit Prinz and one on Alexandra Popp, in the later stages of the match.

The US nearly made it 5-0 on a two player breakaway after a bad turnover by the German defense. Wambach chose to draw Angerer toward her and then released a pass to Alex Morgan on the right side, who put it in the net, only to have it called back offsides on a very close call.

This match marked the 3rd time that the US has defeated Germany in the past 7 months. The US defeated Germany before 30,000 fans in Augsburg last October by a 1-0 margin. In early March, the two teams met in the Algarve Cup final with the US coming out on top 3-2 on a very sloppy pitch.

The next scheduled matches for the US are against Sweden. The two teams will play in Omaha, Nebraska on July 13 and again in Hartford, Connecticut on July 17. Sweden is the last team to defeat the US, winning on penalty kicks in the 2009 Algarve Cup final.

De Vanna Breaks Leg in Asian Cup

Australian and Washington Freedom forward Lisa De Vanna suffered a broken leg in Australia's group stage match against China in the Asian Cup. De Vanna's injury came in a collision with Chinese keeper Zhang Yanru in the 2nd half of the match. At the present time, it is not known how long De Vanna will be out of action. China won the match over the Matildas by a 1-0 margin. b

Financial Problems with Athletica and NASL's AC St. Louis

Last week, an apparent financial crisis came to light which put the future of Saint Louis Athletica in doubt. Sanjeev and Heemal Vaid had purchased controlling interest in Saint Louis Athletica and their sibling NASL entry, AC St. Louis, during the winter. During the last two months, the two teams have been rumored to have financial problems and the Vaid brothers are reportedly no longer in the mix. Athletica's founding owner, Jeff Cooper, is working to find a solution to keep both teams in operation until a new ownership group can be found.

WPS officials have stated that "we're aware of the situation. The League's Owners continue to review and monitor the situation in conjunction with the US Soccer Federation."

Saint Louis' problems follow on the heels the discontinuation of the Los Angeles Sol organization in January. It was thought that Athletica would be positioned better financially, because the organization has their own facility, Anheuser-Busch Soccer Park, instead of having to rent a facility. Athletica, whose 2010 home games have been plagued by bad weather, have seen a decrease in attendance from an average of over 3800 last season to just 3100 this year.

WPS Exhibition Action
Boston Breakers 3, Boston Aztecs (WPSL) 1
Breakers goals-Weimer, Bogus, Hemmings.

Chicago Red Stars 5, Chicago Red Eleven (W-League) 0
Red Stars goals-Sitch, Asllani, Nogueira, Cristiane 2.

Washington Freedom 3, Canadian National Team 3
Freedom goals-Welsh 2, Mykjåland.
Canadian goals-Julien, Sinclair, Robinson.