Monthly Archives: March 2010

Happy Birthday, WPS (and other loose ends)

 

If you’re like us birthdays are celebrated all week long, not merely one day. And seeing this week is WPS’ one year anniversary, we’ll be ringing in Year Two with team-by-team season preveiws released daily. Sorry WPS, perhaps next year we’ll have a better gift… 

We’ll be starting from the bottom of the 2009 table (that’s you, FC Gold Pride) and will finish with the Atlanta Beat and the Philadelphia Independence, WPS’ two newcomers. 2009 performances, offseason pick ups and losses and attendance figures will be considered.

Other notables:

  • Please check out the updated Fixtures page. There you’ll find monthly a schedule of all the fixtures in the major leagues and competitions around the world. Results will be added once the fixture is completed. If there’s a league or cup we’ve overlooked, do let us know.

 

  • Don’t forget that the WNT takes on Mexico again tonight at a potentially snowy Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. The Salt Lake Tribune pays tribute to Kristine ’327′ Lilly. And these are USSoccer’s pre-match thoughts. The match will be televised nationally on ESPN2 at 7pm MT. It will also be on ESPN360.com. (Note: Look for Whitney Engen, Alex Morgan and/or Brittany Taylor to earn their first caps for the WNT). 

 

  • The Chicago Red Stars will play two 45-minute mini-games against DePaul and Northwestern tonight.

 

  • England’s Three Lions will be facing Spain at Millwall FC’s Den (see what I tried to do there) tomorrow night for FIFA 2011 World Cup Qualifying. Eniola Aluko   shares her thoughts on the FA’s website.

 

  • Player diaries are all the rage. The New York Time’s Goal blog has a frequently updated journal from SBFC’s Yael Averbuch. Jeff Kassouf and The Equalizer have a player blog with Brittany Taylor. Manya Makoski discusses preseason training in Florida. And Brittany Klein counts down her top ten preseason moments.

 

See you on the other side of Arsenal v. Barcelona and Inter v. CSKA Moscow!

Preseason Updates

With preseason winding down and the regular season well on its way, here’s a team-by-team rundown of preseason results including goal scorers. It’s difficult to put a whole lot of stock into preseason results, especially when the bulk of the opposition was collegiate teams and many National Team players were missing due to the WNT v. Mexico friendlies.

Note: Team covered is featured first, regardless of home or away status

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Well, that wasn't so bad

Perhaps the biggest blunder of the match didn’t even occur on the pitch at all. Sidestepping FSC’s blunder at the beginning (presumably it was technical) where in which the starting line-ups and first four and half minutes of the game were lost, Coach Sundhage has reason to be pleased with her team’s performance.

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Looking Ahead to the U.S. v. Mexico Friendly

In anticipation for the U.S. v. Mexico friendly in San Diego, USSoccer.com has released three new videos.

The WNT in some five-a-side action

And finally, Rachel Buehler takes us home

Here’s the 24-woman roster:

  GOALKEEPERS (3): Nicole Barnhart (FC Gold Pride), Jill Loyden (Chicago Red Stars), Hope Solo (St. Louis Athletica)
DEFENDERS (8): Rachel Buehler (FC Gold Pride), Stephanie Cox (Boston Breakers), Whitney Engen (Chicago Red Stars), Amy LePeilbet (Boston Breakers), Heather Mitts (Philadelphia Independence), Meghan Schnur (Sky Blue FC), Brittany Taylor (Sky Blue FC), Cat Whitehill (Washington Freedom)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Yael Averbuch (Sky Blue FC), Shannon Boxx (St. Louis Athletica), Kristine Lilly (Boston Breakers), Lori Lindsey (Philadelphia Independence), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC), Heather O’Reilly (Sky Blue FC), Megan Rapinoe (Chicago Red Stars)
FORWARDS (6): Lauren Cheney (Boston Breakers), Alex Morgan (California), Casey Nogueira (Chicago Red Stars), Kelley O’Hara (FC Gold Pride), Amy Rodriguez (Philadelphia Independence), Abby Wambach (Washington Freedom)

Random thoughts:

  • It would be nice to see if the younger players like Nogueira, Morgan (who had that wonderful 2008 U-20 World Championship campaign), O’Hara, Averbuch and Engen got some minutes alongside the vets. But Pia’s probably just thinking about letting them gain experience from senior camps and whatnot first.
  • This is the stadium that Abby Wambach broke her leg in a match against Brazil during the run-up towards the 2008 Summer Olympics. Just thought I’d mention that.
  • Tobin Heath (illness), Lori Chalupny (injury) and Christine Rampone (motherhood) weren’t called up. Other than these three notable absences, the squad seems quite solid. Shannon Boxx will don the armband.
  • It’ll be interesting to see what kind of form Lauren Cheney will be in now that she’s back in the States and has been at camp with the Breakers as of late. Perhaps she can keep up some of that terrific form that propelled the WNT through the Algarve Cup.
  • It will also be interesting to see the attendance figures. Crowd numbers for the WNT haven’t been spectacular over the past few years but perhaps the nascent WPS has helped stimulate interest in women’s soccer again and thus the national team. And in your author’s humble (and probably erroneous) opinion, San Diego seems to be one of the most overlooked soccer markets in the States.
  • And with that, AWK salutes the San Diego Spirit (2001-2003), led by Julie Foudy, Shannon MacMillan and Joy Fawcett during the WUSA days. WPS needs to expand in the West (because it currently has like, one team west of the Mississippi) and when it does perhaps San Diego will be ready for another go-around.
  • The US is currently hot on a 41-match unbeaten streak in the States (thank you, USSoccer.com’s News and Features section). Not quite Geno Auriemma’s UConn…..unless of course the WNT defeats Mexico today 23-0 or something.
  • Coach Sundhage is officially over the hill today with her 50th match. But don’t worry Pia, this only means your best days are yet to come.
  • It will be nice to see the full WNT back on national television after a near nine month hiatus. No need to follow the pesky (yet wonderful) Match Tracker or try to find an illegal stream broadcasting from Godknowswhere on the world wide web.
  • I know absolutely nothing about the Mexican National Team, minus the fact that it will feature two WPS’ers (Monica O’Campo of ATL and Veronica Perez who is apparently fighting for a spot on the Athletica). But hopefully we can see the return of Maribel Dominiguez, who was so good that she legendarily prompted FIFA to impose a rule mandating the seperation of sexes in any FIFA-regulated league. Just one of the many fine decisions Sepp Blatter has made in his acclaimed career as FIFA boss. (Side note: I never use sarcasm. Or irony.)

 Well then, that just about commences my one-woman watch party for the match. Expect player ratings and reaction sometime after. And enjoy the football.