Sunday, 25 April 2010


                                     Sun April 25th 2010 6pm ET/11pm GMT  Live FSC / Webcast/ Audio
Saint Louis Athletica host the Boston Breakers at The Anheuser-Busch Soccer Park tonight with the top of the WPS table up for grabs.
Both teams have identical records so far this season with both starting out with a win and then tying their games last weekend. Both team’s leading scorers Eniola Aluko and Boston's Kelly Smith, both teammates on England’s Women’s National Team  have two goals each this season. Both Boston and Saint Louis have scored three goals this season. So really on paper there is nothing to separate them.
On the field  Athletica will be starting with their formidable midfield which consists of Shannon Boxx, Captain Lori Chalupny, Tina DiMartino and Aya Miyama. Aluko will look to latch on to the chances created by them.
The Breakers will look to play through Smith, captain Kristine Lilly and Lauren Cheney. Their backline of Stephanie Cox, Amy LePeilbet, Kasey Moore, and Alex Scott have started forming a cohesive unit and are very strong.
Prediction - close game. Score draw.

                  Sun April 25th 2010 6pm ET / 11pm GMT Webcast(delayed) 7.30pm ET/ 12.30am GMT
The Chicago Red Stars search for their first win of the season when they host the defending champions Sky Blue FC at Toyota Park. They look to overturn the scoreline on the first day of the season in New Jersey where they lost 1-0 to a Natasha Kai goal. Chicago played well but couldn't get the ball in the net.
They went one better last weekend against Saint Louis Athletica where they scored a goal to draw the match. Casey Noguiera getting her first professional goal. Head coach Emma Hayes will be looking for the team to take their chances and get in front of goal more. Something they have been working on in training.
Sky Blue FC will be looking to bounce back from their 3-1 defeat last weekend from FC Gold Pride. 
Sky Blue have been dissappointing so far this season in their forward play and midfield.In midfield the likes of Carli Lloyd and Kasey White need to make more of a precence. With Lloyd in  particular needing to stamp her authority in midfield. The game passed her by against Chicago in game one and last weekend she was subbed out at half-time against Gold Pride.
Prediction - Home win.


                                            Sun April 25th 2010  6pm ET/ 11pm GMT
The Philadelphia Independence will host its second home game at John A. Farrell Stadium this Sunday as they take on WPS neighbor to the south, Washington Freedom. The Independence is still looking to earn its first win of the season after back-to-back ties against Atlanta and Boston in the opening matches.
Backup goalkeeper Val Henderson is in net this weekend in her first appearance for the Independence. Starting goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc is in China competing with the Canadian National Team. Midfielder Jenn Buczkowski misses out from suspension after her red card last weekend in Boston.
Washington  hope to build on the confidence gained from last week’s win against another expansion team Atlanta Beat and to continue making improvements throughout the defensive line. Brittany Bock is still not available for the Freedom.
Prediction - Home win


Saturday, 24 April 2010


                                                      Sat April 24th 2010 10pm ET /3am GMT
FC Gold Pride remain at home taking on the Atlanta Beat for the first time. Pride are coming into the game of an impressive 3-1 win against the defending champions Sky Blue FC and Atlanta need to rebound from a 3-1 defeat by Washington Freedom last weekend.
Atlanta Beat goalkeeper Allison Whitworth and defender Leigh Ann Robinson will face their former team and Ramona Bachmann is in line to meet up with former teammate Marta. The two played together in Sweden with Umea IK.
There will be several players missing from both teams due to international duty , injury and suspension.
The Beat’s Kia McNeill is unavailable due to a one game suspension and the backline looks like being Lauren Sesselmann, Stacy Bishop, Leigh Ann Robinson, and Sophia Mundy.
Gold Pride will be without striker Christine Sinclair and defender Candace Chapman who are away on international duty with Canada. Marta is being monitored hour by hour on a bruised ankle she picked up last weekend and fullback Ali Riley is looking doubtful due to illness. She has not trained all week due to a virus.
Whoever is on the field expect this matchup to be exciting and play to be fast.
Prediction - Home win.

Monday, 19 April 2010


                                     Boston Breakers  v  Philadelphia Independence Sun April 18th 

The Philadelphia Independence held the Boston Breakers to a 1-1 draw on Sunday at Harvard Stadium.
The game came alive in the 2nd half and was end to end and also very physical which resulted in the Independence midfielder Jen Buczowski sent off for incurring 2 yellows.
It was Boston who started the 1st half on the front foot. They had an early chance when Kristine Lilly was put through at the side of the box and drove inside. She looked to be brought down by Heather Mitts. The referee pointed to the spot to award a PK however he went to his assistant ref who said Lilly was offside. Freekick to Philadelphia. The Breakers had a few more dangerous opportunities in the first half, but Karina LeBlanc came up with three major saves to keep the game scoreless entering halftime.Lianne Sanderson towards the end of the 1st half was through on goal but was denied by Ashley Phillips.
The Independence came out energized in the second half, substituting Joanna Lohman for Mitts and switching to a 4-4-2 formation. However The Breakers got the 1st goal in the 49th minute. A Kelly Smith free kick that was deflected of the wall. Le Blanc had no chance she was going the other way and had to correct herself. Smith's 2nd goal of the season.
The Independence bounced back immediately, equalizing just six minutes later off a headed finish from central defender Allison Falk. Lori Lindsey sent a perfect bending free kick to the back post that Falk buried beyond Breakers keeper Phillips. Falk scored the first-ever WPS goal last season in the inaugural 2009 WPS match, and tonight scored the first-ever WPS goal for the Independence franchise.
Both teams continued to create offensive chances for the remainder of the half until Philadelphia went down to 10 with the red card for Buczowski  in the 88th minute. Boston took the game to Philadelphia for the final minutes but the Independence held on for the point.

LineupsBoston Breakers: Ashley Phillips; Alex Scott, Amy LePeilbet, Stephanie Cox, Kasey Moore; Chioma Igwe, Leslie Osborne, Kristine Lilly(C), Kelly Smith (Tiffany Weimer,89'), Liz Bogus (Laura del Rio, 74'); Lauren Cheney
Philadelphia Independence: Karina LeBlanc(C); Nikki Krzysik, Allison Falk, Sara Larsson, Heather Mitts (Joanna Lohman, 46'); Jen Buczkowski (R-88), Caroline Seger, Lori Lindsay (Estelle Johnson, 90'); Holmfridur Magnsdottir, Lianne Sanderson (Denesha Adams, 69'), Amy Rodriguez

Midfielder Kelly Smith, Boston Breakers

On what the Breakers can improve on
Finishing when we have our opportunities.  You know I had one where I should’ve scored early on.  [Kristine] Lilly had one that she probably deserved and was disappointed that she didn’t put away.  [Lauren] Cheney at the end there with the header.  Opportunities that you need to put away in games like this.
On her knee
Fine.  Good, healthy. 

Defender Allison Falk, Philadelphia Independence
On her goal
It was the perfect ball that came in.  I was wide open went up for it, put a head on it and it went in.  It was very exciting that first goal [for us] that tied the game and brought momentum back in our favor.

                                        FC Gold Pride v NJ Sky Blue FC Sat April 17th 

In their home opener, FC Gold Pride defeated defending WPS champion Sky Blue FC  3-1, with a pair of goals by Christine Sinclair and a goal by Marta.  Sky Blue FC leveled the game with an early goal in the 2nd half from Laura Kalmari in the 49th minute but it was not enough to avoid their 1st defeat in 4 matches.
The Pride started the first half strong creating multiple chances to score with shots from Camille Abily, Marta, and Sinclair.  In the 10th minute,  Sinclair scored her first goal of the season, putting away a deflected save off a shot from Abily. Sky Blue came back and created a couple of chances.In the 28th minute, Kalmari struck a well hit ball towards the FC Gold Pride net, and the next two Sky Blue FC possessions ended with shot attempts by midfielder Heather O’Reilly and forward Tasha Kai.
Sky Blue FC came out of half time starting a new front line with Rosana and Jessica Landstrom  who entered the game for Kai and Carli Lloyd.  With the new attacking duo adding more pressure to the Pride's back line.Sky Blue got back into the game to tie it up on 49 minutes. Rosana crossed a ball to the center of the field, where Landstrom put a touch on the feed. With the ball trickling towards the end line, Kalmari stepped onto the scene to strike the ball off the far post and into the net.
The Pride answered back in the 75th minute with Sinclair's second goal.  Kelley O'Hara-who had a good game- played a ball into space for a running on Sinclair who chipped Sky Blue FC goalkeeper, Karen Bardsley, to put the Pride ahead.In the 82nd minute,  Marta finished it off with scoreing her first goal as a member of FC Gold Pride after receiving a pass from O'Hara-her 2nd assist of the game- and struck a shot  into the upper  corner of the goal past a diving Bardsley.

FC Gold Pride: Nicole Barnhart;Ali Riley, Rachel Buehler (C); Candace Chapman; Kristen Graczyk(Kandace Wilson 79); Becky Edwards; Carrie Dew; Camille Abily (Kiki Bosio 72);Marta, Kelley O'Hara; Christine Sinclair (Tiffany Milbrett 85)
 NJ Sky Blue FC: Karen Bardsley; Keeley Dowling(Kiersten Dallstream 82); Daphne Koster; Brittany Taylor; Danielle Johnson; Heather O'Reilly; Carli Loyd (Jessica Landstrom 45);Yael Averbuch; Kacey White(C); Laura Kilmari; Tasha Kai (Rosana 46)

Albertin Montoya -FC Gold Pride Head Coach
"I was thrilled to see the stands filled the way they were.I think we did our job and put a show on for our fans and hopefully they'll want to come back to see more goals and good soccer because this team is has the quality to do so."

 FC Gold Pride's post game interviews in AUDIO

                                     Chicago Red Stars  v Saint Louis Athletica Sat April 17th

The Chicago Red Stars in front of over 5000 fans held league leaders Saint Louis Athletica to a 1-1 draw at Toyota Park, Chicago. Rookie Casey Noguiera with a fantastic strike leveled the game after Lori Chalupny put Athletica in front
St. Louis Athletica dominated the first half with captain Chalupny scoring in the 3rd minute of the game,pouncing onto a loose ball giving the visitors an edge they used through the rest of the first half.
The Red Stars went on the attack in the second half. In the 58th minute, a Red Star player put a shot over Solo that hit the crossbar and bounced straight down. The Red Stars stayed on the attack and then Red Stars midfielder Katie Chapman sent the ball from right to left to Nogueira, who took one dribble toward the middle to free space then fired the ball into the upper right corner.
Much of the rest of the second half was played in the midfield, but the Red Stars went on the attack again in the final five minutes and Nogueira had a nearly identical shot opportunity in the final couple of minutes but sent it high.
For the game, Hope Solo had six saves for Athletica and Jillian Loyden made a pair of saves and batted away several other potential Saint Louis scoring opportunities

Chicago Red Stars: Jillian Loyden (GK), Marian Dalmy, Kate Markgraf(C), Ifeoma Dieke, Whitney Engen, Kosovare Asllani, Kate Chapman, Brittany Klein (Formiga, 70), Julliane Sitch (Karen Carney, 65), Ella Masar (Casey Nogueira, 46), Cristiane.
Saint Louis Athletica: Hope Solo (GK), Elaine (Nikki Cross 30), Kendall Fletcher, Tina Ellertson, Elise Weber, Carolyn Blank, Lori Chalupny(C), Shannon Boxx, Aya Miyama (Madelaine Edlund 67), Tina DiMartino, Eniola Aluko (Lindsey Tarpley 77).

Red Stars midfielder Casey Nogueira:
On her second potential scoring chance: "That was a sitter. I should have just placed it, and I blasted it; it went right over."
"It was pretty awesome. The field is amazing and we had a bunch of people there and you could hear them the whole time and it was an enjoyable first home match for me."

Athletica goalkeeper Hope Solo:
"They came at us with numbers. They threw everything at us. At times it looked like they had a far aggressive back line. And it was hard to control. I think our best defense against them was moving the ball on the attack."
"I saw Casey Nogueira and I knew exactly what she was going to do. Because that's her shot. On the national team, that's her shot. She's better than anyone I know at that kind of bent ball far post. I saw early enough that she was going to do it. I wish I would have kept cheating."

                                       Washington Freedom  v  Atlanta Beat  Sun April 18th 

 Washington Freedom posted their first victory of the 2010 season, defeating expansion team Atlanta Beat 3-1 in the first meeting between the two teams. Freedom forward Abby Wambach, posted one goal and two assists to help Freedom clinch the win Sunday night.Ramona Bachmann goal was 1st for Atlanta in WPS.
Play went back and forth in the first half with Atlanta maintaining good possession and chances by Beat midfielder Lauren Sesslemann in the fourth minute, Johanna Rasmussen in the eighth, and Tobin Heath in the 11th.
The Freedom took the lead late in the first half with a goal in the 41st minute scored by Wambach with an assist by Sonia Bompastor. Bompastor took a free kick for Freedom, sending a dangerous ball in front of the Atlanta goal, where Wambach was waiting to tap the opening goal past the Beat goalkeeper Allison Whitworth.
At the start of second half, Atlanta’s Mami Yamaguchi played a through ball into Bachmann in the 47th minute. Bachmann ran in behind the Freedom defense to score the Beat’s first goal in WPS history.
Nearly three minutes after Bachmann’s finish, a Washington Freedom serve came in from right midfield. Wambach laid it off to Homare Sawa who shot from the top of the box and put the Freedom up 2-1 in the 50th minute. Christie Welsh scored the game’s final goal in the 89th contributing to the 3-1 result.

Washington Freedom: Erin McLeod; Rebecca Moros; Cat Whitehill(C); Nikki Marshall; Sonia Bompastor;Allie Long (Sarah Huffman 59);Homare Sawa; Lene Mykjaland (Jill Gillbeau 81);Becky Sauerbrunn;Lisa DeVanna (Chrstie Welsh 64);Abby Wambach.
Atlanta Beat:Alison Whitworth, Lauren Sesselmann(Sophia Mundy 88), Kia McNeill, Leigh-Ann Robinson, Stacey Bishop, McCall Zerboni(Monica Ocampo 67), Angie Kerr(C)(Amanda Cinalli 67), Mami Yamaguchi, Johanna Rasmussen, Tobin Heath, Ramona Bachmann

Freedom striker Abby Wambach
“Our first goal gave us confidence going into halftime and that was important for us,” 

Beat midfielder Tobin Heath
"Abby and Cat and a number of their players are very solid. I have great respect for them. Competing against them at this level is awesome.I've been on a number of teams that win, so I bring that edge. I have the experience which helps with the development of our players, and try and carry the rhythm out there. I just try to be productive on the offensive end and give my team a spark when we need it. This is only our second game so we are still trying to figure things out, but we have great strengths on the attacking end. We have different personalities, so we are just trying to get those personalities to mesh. The hardest thing when you score is that first five minutes after, not allowing another one and we had a lapse, and they had that goal right after ours took. My hat goes off to them. They definitely took the wind out of our sails a little bit."  


Saturday, 17 April 2010



                                                   Sat April 17th 2010  8pm ET/ 1am GMT - Live webcast
Saint Louis Athletica travel to Toyota Park to face Chicago Red Stars on a high after their dismantle of FC Gold Pride. The game will be streamed live through the Chicago Red Stars website, 
Athletica have gotten the better of Chicago so far with 2 wins to Chicago's 1.A few players could see themselves playing against their former club. Chicago's new keeper Jillian Loyden was backup to Hope Solo but now she very much the number one at Toyota Park. Lindsay Tarpley was also part of that deal sending her in the opposite direction to Saint Louis. Tarpley is still coming back from her ACL injury but is training, if she is there she will be on the bench.
Both teams are much improved from last season and both played well in their opening matches last weekend. Chicago at times had good play and accounted themselves well against Sky Blue but they need to be more ruthless in the final 3rd. With players like Cristiane and Kosovare Asllani in the side their should be plenty of goalscoring opportunities. Megan Rapinoe still out through illness.
For Saint Louis it is more of the same. Most of their play will come from midfield, feeding the speedy forward in Eniola Aluko.
 Prediction - Away win 2-1 Saint Louis. Chicago will get their goal but Saint Louis will be too strong. Aluko to score.

                                                   Sat April 17th 2010 10pm ET
Coming off a disappointing 2-0 loss against the Saint Louis Athletica in their first game of the 2010 season, the FC Gold Pride returns home to the Bay Area and looks to regroup in preparation for this weekend's showdown with Sky Blue FC.
Sky Blue FC opened up the 2010 WPS season with a 1-0 victory over the Chicago Red Stars last Sunday, and look to continue the defense of their title with back-to-back wins.Natasha Kai will be dangerous in attack and the defence is looking like being one of the best in the league. They will be without LB Meghan Schnur who is out with a knee knock. Christie Rampone and Anita Asante still not available.
Saturday's Home Opener will mark the Pride's first time playing in front of Bay Area fans at Castro Valley High School Athletic Stadium, after moving their home stadium and front offices during the 2010 offseason.The fans want a win. Against Saint Louis, Coach Montoya played Marta in midfield with Tiffany Millbrett, Kelly O'Hara and Christine Sinclair up front. This left the Pride's midfield exposed. Marta needs to be closer to the goal to take any chances that fall to the Pride. And Camille Abilly and Solveig Gulbrandsen need more help in midfield especially against the well oiled midfield of Sky Blue with has Yael Averbuch and Carli Lloyd patrolling the middle and Heather O'Reilly and Kacey White coming in from the flanks.

Prediction - This is tough. It will come down to who scores first. 1-0 away win Sky Blue. Confidence is an extra man. Sky Blue have bags of it.


                                                 Sun April 18th 2010 6pm ET/ 11pm GMT Live FSC

The Philadelphia Independence is looking to capture its first win of the season at Harvard Stadium on Sunday night's televised game, taking on the Boston Breakers in their second game of the season.Boston look to maintain their form by getting another win. Tonight's game will be a sort of reunion for Heather Mitts and Amy Rodriguez who previously played for Boston last season. Mitts will be playing her first game of the season after missing last weekend through injury and the Independence also welcome back defender Alison Falk from suspension. Boston are missing the Brazilian Fabiana through injury. Kelly Smith and Lauren Cheney both should start up front continuing their blossoming partnership.
Expect a tight game.

 Prediction - Home win Boston. 1-0


                                                 Sun April 18th 2010 7pm ET

Week two of WPS is underway as Washington Freedom hosts Atlanta Beat, tonight, at the Maryland SoccerPlex in the first meeting between the two teams. 2010 is the inaugural WPS season for the Beat. Both teams are looking to post their first wins of the 2010 season, after Atlanta opened the season with a scoreless tie against fellow 2010 WPS expansion team, Philadelphia Independence and Freedom fell 2-1 against Boston Breakers in the home opener. Freedom will look to improve the defensive line, as well as continue working on the fundamentals of attacking and possessions in hopes of converting more chances in the box to goals. Both teams’ rosters are heavy with international players as well as plenty national talent, setting the stage for an exciting first meeting between Washington Freedom and Atlanta Beat.
The visitors should welcome back swiss striker Ramona Bachmann who missed the first game due to illness.
A tough match for both teams. It will be a battle especially between Abby Wambach and Kia McNeil.

 Prediction - Home Win Washington 2-1


The week that was!

WPS got started last weekend with all 8 teams taking to the field. Saint Louis Athletica find themselves at the top of the table with a 2-0 win against FC Gold Pride on Sunday at The Anheuser-Busch Soccer Park,Missouri. Eniola Aluko scoring on 40 mins and 62 mins ,both assists from  Shannon Boxx.
The win was a surprising result to some as FC Gold Pride had new signings Marta and Camille Abily in the lineup. But the Athletica’s dominant midfield play set them up for a win.
The Boston Breakers roll into 2nd place in the league with a 2-1 win away to Washington Freedom. Rookie Lauren Cheney scoring in the 7th minute from a corner by Kristine Lilly and Kelly Smith continuing her open day scoring streak with a goal on 20 mins from a pass by Stephanie Cox. The Freedom managed to pull one back in the dying minutes at The Maryland SoccerPlex  with a great shot from Allie Long in the 87th minute. Washington could not find a way to get the equalizer and Boston held on for the win.
The televised Sunday game from Fox Soccer Channel was for the defending champions NJ Sky Blue FC
against Chicago Red Stars at Yurcak Field , NJ. Over 4400 fans came out to see Sky Blue hold on for the 1-0 win. Natasha Kai scored the lone goal in the 7th minute from a defence splitting pass by Heather O’Reilly. The Red Stars put up a spirited fight back in the 2nd half but couldn’t convert any of their chances. The game between the expansions teams ended in a stalemate at John A Farrell Stadium,PA, in front of the weekends biggest crowd of over 6000. The Atlanta Beat and Philadelphia Independence both created many chances the best falling in the dying seconds to Amy Rodriguez who was 1v1 in on the keeper but a good save by Allison Whitworth kept the game a tie

Sky Blue FC v Chicago Red Stars

Saint Louis Athletica v FC Gold Pride

Philadelphia Independence v Atlanta Beat

Washington Freedom v Boston Breakers

Eniola Aluko - Player of the Week.

Congratulations to Saint Louis Athletica forward Eniola Aluko who has been named the first WPS Player of the Week in 2010 after scoring both goals in Athletica’s 2-0 win on Sunday over FC Gold Pride. This is the second time Aluko has won the honor. She was Player of the Week in Week 12 of WPS’s inaugural season. No surprises to see her already leading the goal scoring charts.
"I am delighted to get the first player of the week accolade of 2010,” said Aluko upon being informed of the award. “I am so pleased that I was able to contribute to what was a great team performance against FC Gold Pride at the weekend. I aim to score more goals than last season, so this will give me confidence to keep scoring." 

Eniola Aluko tops the Brits with her 2 goals all round play against Gold Pride edging out Kelly Smith who scored once again on opening day, this time her goal was enough to ensure a Breakers win. Smith was substituted out in the 68th minute as a precautionary. Lets hope the knee holds up. Alex Scott put in a fine performance in the back limiting the Freedom attack to go through the middle.

Sky Blue goalkeeper Karen Bardsley got a rare start due to the injury of Jenni Branam. Bardsley got her clean sheet with a strong, commanding performance. Lucky her collision with Karen Carney was not a PK. Scottish international Ifeoma Dieke was back in the starting lineup partnering US star Kate Markgraf. She let Kai through for the goal in the 7th minute but was untroubled for the rest of the game as Chicago had most of the game. English midfielder Kate Chapman also made her first start for the Red Stars. A lot of the game bypassed Chapman in the 1st half as she looked to adjust to the speed of play of the WPS. In the 2nd half she saw more of the ball and got forward on a few occasions as Chicago were pressing for the equalizer. Karen Carney came on in the 2nd half  back from knee surgery and was immediately creating chances. Had a good shout for a penalty when she looked to be brought down in the box by Bardsley. Still not match fit, but great to see her back nad in the thick of the action.
Ex-Chelsea player Lianne Sanderson was in from the start for Philadelphia Independence partnering US star Amy Rodriguez. Sanderson was tidy and showed of her close ball control  linking up well with Rodriguez, especially at the end when her control of the ball and through ball found Rodriguez in on goal.
Anita Asante is still rehabbing her knee. Training with the team and looks to a June comeback.

 Kelly Smith on Boston's win against Washington.

Saturday, 10 April 2010




                                                     Sun April 11th 2010  4 pm ET

This match looks on paper to be the most exciting player wise.  Marta, Camille Abily, Shannon Boxx and Aya Miyama are all from the disbanded Los Angeles Sol and who all were so dominant for them now play on opposite sides of the pitch.

Saint Louis Athletica come back with 9 players from last year but they have added experience during the off season. As well as Boxx and Miyama they also added Lindsey Tarpley from the Chicago Red Stars, former Gold Pride midfielder Tina DiMartino and Brazilian Elaine and Swedish striker Madelaine Edlund from Umea IK.
Elaine could slip into defence and Edlund should provide a scoring partnership with Athletica top striker Eniola Aluko. Captain Lori Chalupny has been plagued by symptoms from concussions and may be a question mark. Daniela who recently resigned is still out injured. GK Hope Solo will have to contend with a new defence in front of her.

FC Gold Pride look for another win again to start their season. Coach Montoya likes to play like Barcelona. He may get that wish with Marta and Abily in the ranks. Offensively the Pride have many options with Christine Sinclair for height and power and college #3 pick Kelly O’Hara with her 1 v 1 abilities joining Marta, but it will be in midfield and defence where they need to improve the most. Both area were very soft last season. To contend for the championship the likes of new team captain Rachel Buehler and Norwegian midfielder Sloveig Gulbrandsen  need to have a massive impact on the team.

The game will be a battle of the midfield. What midfield will come out on top and dominate the game? The one that does, their team will win the game.

Prediction - Home win for Saint Louis, just!

                                                            Sun April 11th 2010 6pm ET

The two new expansion teams face off for their first match.  Who made up this schedule? Both cities have a deep history in women’s soccer and both will have incredible support from the fans of the cities.

Philadelphia have gone with experience for their first season. Most of their roster consists of players that have already played last year on other WPS teams or experienced internationals. In defense they have no1 GK Karina LeBlanc and top defenders Alison Falk and Heather Mitts. They have a WPS champion in Jennifer Buczkowski in the ranks, she having played a major part for Sky Blue in the playoffs. Midfield consist of Swedish captain Caroline Seger and Lori Lindsay who had a good first season with the Freedom. Up top England’s Lianne Sanderson is out to prove she is England’s no1 and Amy Rodriguez is looking to make a better impact than she did in Boston.
If Philly get to gel early they could be a very workmanlike team that will be difficult to beat and no team would like to play them.

Atlanta by contrast have gone for a very youthful team. Full of impact players that like to run with the ball and attack. The key to the Beat will be in midfield. They picked up good professional steady players in the offseason such as Angie Kerr and Amanda Cinalli from Saint Louis. No1 draft pick Tobin Heath will bring the fans in with her skills and 1v1 tricks and the likes of McCall Zerboni and Mami Yamaguchi can offer width and another attacking presence. If the midfield can get the ball to the forwards Atlanta may just be our favorite team to watch.
In the forward positions a clutch of internationals hold the key. Among them, young upstart Ramona Bachmann, who comes to Atlanta with a big reputation  and an abundance of talent . If given the chances and the service she will score goals. A natural goalscorer she is.

Expect Atlanta to come out fast with many attacking opportunities. Philly may stem the flow of the attacks and sneak one in. It will be interesting however with the contrast in styles.

Prediction - Home win. Philadelphia to overpower, eventually.


                                          Sun April 11th 2010  6pm ET Live Fox Soccer Channel /Webcast

The first televised game opens with the defending  WPS champions at home. A thrilling match should occur as both teams have a point to prove. Sky Blue will be looking to show people that their win was not a undeserved or a fluke and the Red Stars need to show they can live up to the talent on the paper. Games are not played on paper.

Sky Blue come into the new season with yet another coach in Pauliina Miettinen from Finland. That’s how many now? What hasn’t changed is that many of the core players from last season are back. They have also added quality players in the offseason to push again for the playoffs. The Dutch captain Daphne Koster will slot into the back and star strikers Jessica Landstrom and Laura Kalmari will add  more attacking presence that was missing for many games last season. They will join a fit again Natasha Kai in the hunt for goals. In midfield the core of the team remains with Carli Lloyd coming in from Chicago replacing Collete McCallum to provide the service.

Chicago come in to the new season with a new mentality. Although they return with 9 players from last season, from the looks of it, it is an entirely new team. The team will still have the flair players of Cristiane, Megan Rapinoe and Karen Carney but they have added players with experience and steel to keep the squad ticking over. Kate Markgraf returns to organise the defence and probably the team. England’s midfielder Katie Chapman should provide a strong presence in midfield. Something that was not there last season. Up top Cristiane is fit and settled right from the start and Swedish starlet Kosovare Asllani and UNC star Casey Noguiera should provide a cutting edge.

Going from games from last season between these two teams, the games will be hard fought.

Prediction - Home win. The crowd behind them Sky Blue will be to strong for an improved Red Stars team.


Friday, 9 April 2010



                                                                Sat April 10th 2010 7pm ET                                                                                  
Once again the Washington Freedom play in the opening game of the WPS Championship. This time versus the Boston Breakers. The Breakers again will be opening on the road.
Both teams however will be looking for a different opening result. A win. Both teams lost their opening matches to Los Angeles Sol and FC Gold Pride respectively.
Who wants it more?

Washington return with the core of their squad -13 in all - with a few players added to shore up the defence and run the midfield. Look to a better defensive display from the Freedom as it’s looking likely that Cat Whitehill, Sonia Bompastor and college rookie Nikki Marshall are in the back. GK Erin McLeod starts from the start which is a big difference to last season. In midfield Sarah Huffman should return to give them a more attacking midfield push. Norwegian striker Lene Mykjaland may also start in midfield or off the main striker Abby Wambach. Wambach is also fully fit and is in form. What formation they play we will see but expect it to be fluid from 5 in midfield to 2 up front.

Boston come into the match looking for goals. They have overloaded on attack minded players. College draft #2 pick Lauren Cheney, Spanish international Laura Del Rio, Australian Sarah Walsh, Tiffany Weimer add to returnees Kelly Smith and Kristine Lilly. Not hard to see where Coach DiCicco felt his team lacked last season. However with so many attacking players the system they play in and who fits where becomes important. In midfield Leslie Osborne should start and in defence they get a boost with Stephanie Cox from Los Angeles Sol slotting into the left back position vacated by Heather Mitts. Smith is back fit and looks to start up top.

Will the game turn into Washington’s defence v Boston‘s attack? Hardly, but we will get the first glimpse of  how each team sorts out their biggest problem from last year.

Prediction - Both teams could cancel each other out.  A score draw.

Thursday, 8 April 2010



WPS have launched their own fantasy football/soccer game this season.It is open to everyone although to win the prizes on offer you have to be a US resident but that shouldn't stop the participation of the game for us foreigners.

Check it out and sign up to support WPS and women's soccer and if anything else it's fun fun and more fun. You can even create your own leagues. Brit league anyone?

How would you like to run your own WPS team? Here’s your opportunity.

The WPS Fantasy Challenge has just launched and allows fans to test their knowledge of WPS players while competing in leagues against friends, family and fans for bragging rights. It is the first-ever Fantasy Game for women’s soccer. Great prizes – including PUMA gear and player-autographed items – are on the line for season-long winners, while weekly prizes will also be awarded. Fans must manage their roster to stay under the $10 million team budget, while seeking to maximize the points they accumulate each week based upon how their selected players perform in actual WPS games.

Learn more about the WPS Fantasy Challenge HERE

Play the WPS Fantasy Challenge HERE

Week 1 Fantasy Picks preview

Wednesday, 7 April 2010


This weekend the 2010 WPS Championship season begins and many new faces will seep into our hearts and minds. The new faces will consist of a mixture of internationals and collegiate players all out to prove their worth, to impress on their teams and the soccer fan.

During 2009 there were a number internationals that increased their stature in the game and impressed fans. Boston Breakers English star Alex Scott and the French midfield pair of Camille Abily ,Los Angeles Sol and Sonia Bompastor of Washington Freedom. To name just three who were relatively unknown outside of their country but had an excellent season making their way onto the WPS All Star team which was voted for by fellow players, fans and the media.
College players that made their mark and were vital to their teams and deservedly earned starting positions included the Los Angeles Sol rookie defence of Stanford’s Allison Falk and Notre Dame’s Brittany Bock and Santa Clara’s midfielder Brittany Klein all of them outgunning more experienced players in defence and midfield to shine brightly .

So who will make their mark this season? Over the next few days till kick-off we will profile a few of the players new to WPS and the public, whom we hope will make a name for themselves, entertain fans and push women’s soccer that bit further forward.

Katie Chapman - Chicago Red Stars and England

Chapman a strong , committed and tough tackling midfielder, makes her way to Chicago Red Stars via Millwall, Fulham, Charlton and Arsenal. A member of Arsenal’s 2007 quadruple winning squad , Chapman was the engine in midfield that propelled the team to a historic season which ended with them claiming the European Cup against a Umea side which included someone called Marta.
A senior member of the England team with 76 caps and 8 goals having competed in the 2001,2005 and 2009 European Championships and 2007 Women’s World Cup. England’s best player at Euro 2009. So say all of us here at womans soccer insider.
Chapman should bring heart , experience and a bit of steel to Chicago’s midfield.

Ali Riley - FC Gold Pride

All the way to the Bay by way of LA, Stanford and New Zealand.
LA born Riley is a pacey full-back, winger. The former striker offers speed and directness to any team. She was captain of a Stanford team that went 25-1 and reached the final of the 2009 NCAA Championship. The rookie from Stanford is a rookie in WPS name only. She is a mainstay on the New Zealand national team with 34 caps, represented NZ in the 2007 Women’s World Cup and 2008 Beijing Olympics Games. At 22 years old Riley has already captained her national team and help take NZ to the finals of the 2010 Cyprus Cup where they went down narrowly 1-0 to Canada.
Riley will bring speed, commitment and experience to the FC Gold Pride back line with the green light to join in attack by overlapping up the wing and providing crosses and through balls. Strength lies in taking on and beating defenders at pace.