June 2, 2010

WPS Midweek Notes - June 2

Asllani Named Player of the Week

Chicago Red Stars forward Kosovare Asllani has been named WPS Player of the Week. Asllani scored the only goal in Chicago’s 1-0 victory over 1st place FC Gold Pride. She took advantage of Marian Dalmy’s beautiful cross and scored her first WPS goal. The goal stopped Gold Pride’s 5 game winning streak.

Asllani is the first Swedish player ever to win the Player of the Week award and the first Chicago Red Star player to win it this year. At age 20, she is also one of the youngest players in the league. Asllani had been slowed earlier in the season with a rib injury.

Sky Blue Signs Panico

SBFC has signed long-time Italian National Team player, Patrizia Panico. Panico earned her first National Team cap in 1996 and has scored 80 goals in her career for Italy. She also has a long club soccer career in her home country.

Panico becomes the first Italian player to join WPS. Sky Blue used the slot that happened opened up when they dealt Anita Asante to Saint Louis in May.

Around the League

Atlanta Beat – The Beat tied the W-League’s Tampa Bay Hellenic 1-1 in an exhibition game on Saturday night. Tampa stepped in when Atlanta’s match with Saint Louis was cancelled due Athletica folding…..In that match, Kennesaw State alum Rebecca Nolin scored Atlanta’s first goal in their new stadium…..The Beat now have 7 starters from last year’s Saint Louis team including Hope Solo, Tina Ellertson, Kia McNeill, Angie Kerr, Lori Chalupny, Amanda Cinalli, and Eniola Aluko. The 7 players combined for 119 starts for Athletica in 2009 or 54% of the team's total.

Boston Breakers – The Breakers have placed Sarah Walsh on 30-day injured reserve…..Ashley Phillips earned her 2nd shutout in three weeks in Boston's scoreless tie with Sky Blue…..Other than Kelly Smith, only two players have scored for Boston in their last 11 games dating back to last year, Lauren Cheney and Kasey Moore.

Chicago Red StarsJill Loyden’s goals against average dropped below one with her 2nd shutout of the season…..The Red Stars will be attempting to win 2 games in a row for only the 2nd time in their history when they face Atlanta on Sunday…..All four of Chicago’s goals this season have come in the 2nd half.

FC Gold PrideMarta and fellow Brazilian Cristiane are tied for the WPS lead in shots taken with 26…..Gold Pride reached 15 points on May 14 this season. Last season it wasn’t until August that they reached that many…..FCGP’s goal differential is a +5 in their three home games, but a -1 in their four road games.

Philadelphia IndependenceLianne Sanderson scored her 2nd goal of the season against the Freedom, this one coming off the bench…..Caroline Seger became the second Independence player to be ejected already this year. Earlier, Jen Buczkowski had received two yellows in a match, leading to an ejection…..Philadelphia has now scored in six consecutive matches.

Saint Louis Athletica – At the time of their demise, Athletica had scored in 11 consecutive regular season matches which stands as a record.....Athletica is the all-time points leader in WPS with 43 over two seasons. Washington, now at 42 points, will have a chance to pass them this weekend…..Eniola Aluko will finish as the franchise’s all-time leader in both goals (10) and assists (4). As she continues her career in Atlanta, she is third only to Marta, who has 13 career goals and Abby Wambach who has 11 career goals.

Sky Blue FCKaren Bardsley leads WPS with four shutouts to her credit…..Only four Sky Blue players have started every match, Laura Kalmari, Heather O’Reilly, Brittany Taylor, and Bardsley…..In spite of missing several matches due to injury, Tasha Kai is still tied for the team lead with 6 shots on goal.

Washington Freedom – The Freedom completed another unbeaten month of May and are presently on a four game unbeaten streak, just one shy of a team best…..Abby Wambach converted her first penalty attempt of the season against Philadelphia after being stopped in her only 2009 attempt by Kristin Luckenbill…..The Freedom now occupy 2nd place. A victory over Gold Pride this weekend would put them in 1st place for the first time ever.