May 7, 2010

WPS Weekend Preview - May 8 & 9

Boston Breakers at Washington Freedom – May 8 (7 pm ET)
Maryland SoccerPlex, Boyds, MD.

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

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

Previous Meetings:
This Season-Boston 2 @ Washington 1.
All Time-Boston leads series at 3-1-1.

What to Look For: Boston won the season opener between these two teams with goals from Cheney and Smith. The Freedom will be missing two key players in forward De Vanna and midfielder Sawa. While the Freedom have averaged 1.89 goals per game against all other teams over two years, they have averaged only 0.80 against Boston. The most successful Breaker in the matches between these two teams is Kelly Smith with 2 goals. Rebecca Moros had a goal and an assist last year against Boston.
Storylines: The game features two of the world’s best finishers in Abby Wambach for the Freedom and Kelly Smith for the Breakers. After Lauren Cheney scored 7 minutes into the opener, she is still looking for her 2nd goal. Sawa’s absence might signal a start for Brittany Bock in the midfield, but she can play anywhere on the field. This is a huge matchup for two teams in the middle of the table.

Philadelphia Independence at Saint Louis Athletica – May 8 (8:10 pm ET, 7:10 pm CT)
Anheuser-Busch Soccer Park, Fenton, MO.

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

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

Previous Meetings:
This will be the first meeting between the two teams.

What to Look For: The injury to Seger hurts Philly’s midfield considerably. When Saint Louis is at their best, they are a dominating midfield team and they need to exploit Seger’s absence. The Independence are most dangerous on set pieces with Lindsey delivering and Falk finishing. Athletica’s defense got torched for 3 goals last weekend and they will concentrate on preventing that from repeating. Aluko’s speed could be a challenge for Philadelphia’s back line. The Independence goalkeeper tandem of LeBlanc and Henderson have been exceptional.
Storylines: Philadelphia is the lone unbeaten team remaining in WPS and they look to break the record for unbeaten streak to start a season. Lindsay Tarpley is set to make her first start for Athletica. The DiMartino sisters are both active for this contest and it could be the first time two sisters take the field in a WPS match. It’s the current 2nd place team against 2009’s regular season 2nd place finisher.

Chicago Red Stars at FC Gold Pride – May 8 (10 pm ET, 9 pm CT, 7 pm PT)
Castro Valley Athletic Stadium, Castro Valley, CA.

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, L. Vandenbergh, M. Weissenhofer, J. Santacaterina.

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

Previous Meetings (2009):
FC Gold Pride 1
@ Chicago 0
Chicago 1 @ FC Gold Pride 1
FC Gold Pride 1 @ Chicago 3

What To Look For: Camille Abily will miss the match with an ankle injury, which leaves FCGP shorthanded in the midfield. Chicago will be looking to build on their success from a week ago. Casey Nogueira has been a spark for the Red Stars scoring 2 of their 3 goals this season. But Jill Loyden and the Chicago defense may be the key to this match against a very good Gold Pride offense. Gold Pride will be looking to increase their division lead. Christine Sinclair leads WPS with 3 goals and she score twice last season against Chicago. For Chicago, Cristiane scored all 4 goals against Gold Pride last season and Bay Area’s defense had best find a way to stop her this season.
Storylines: This game features several interesting matchups. The two stars of the Brazilian National Team, Marta for Gold Pride and Cristiane for Chicago, will be facing off against each other. The current backups for the USWNT at goalkeeper, Nicole Barnhart and Jill Loyden, will be matched up against one another. Also we’ll see a redux of the 2009 NCAA final with ex-Cardinal Ali Riley and Kelley O’Hara facing ex-Tar Heels Casey Nogueira and Whitney Engen. O’Hara did not finish that match as she was redcarded and UNC won the title.
Update: After this was posted, I learned of an update on Camille Abily's injury-word is she's out 4-6 weeks with a fractured ankle.

Sky Blue FC at Atlanta Beat – May 9 (7 pm ET) – FSC Game of the Week
KSU Soccer Stadium, Kennesaw, GA.

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, I. Trotter.
Not Active: N. Kai (hamstring), C. Lloyd (ankle), M. Schnur (knee), C. Rampone (maternity), J. Branam (knee), M. Snell.

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

Previous Meetings:

This will be the first meeting between the two teams.

What to Look For: Atlanta comes home to their new stadium and looking for their first victory. Although they haven’t scored much so far, the Beat have several dangerous offensive players and the injuries to Sky Blue’s back line could make New Jersey vulnerable. Both teams will be looking to find an offensive spark as they are the two lowest scoring teams in WPS through 4 games. Kai’s injury will force Sky Blue to depend on a pair of talented European strikers in Kalmari and Landström, as well as their solid midfield group. Karen Bardsley has been excellent in 3 of the 4 matches she has played for SBFC. Meanwhile, Atlanta switched to Brett Maron in goal for last week’s match, after Whitworth faced a barrage of shots in the first 3 matches of the season.
Storylines: It’s a very big night for Atlanta, with their 1st ever home game and opening a brand new stadium. The game has a strong Damallsvenskan flavor with Yamaguchi, Bachmann, and Rasmussen (all former Umeå ) for Atlanta against Landström (former Linköpings), and Kalmari (former AIK) for Philadelphia. While Sky Blue is still tied for 3rd place, they are trying to survive the rash of early season injuries to remain in contention.

Trivia Question - FC Gold Pride and Sky Blue FC earned 6 points in the month of April. Which team holds the record for most points earned in one month and how many points did they earn? Answer: The Los Angeles Sol earned 14 points in June of 2009 with a 4-0-2 record, outscoring their opponents by a 12-3 margin for the month. The 2nd best total was 11 points by Sky Blue in July of 2009 with a 3-1-2 record. Congratulations to kevinwparker (who not only got it right, but got it precisely correct with how they arrived at their 14 points) and to everyone else who knew the correct answer.