Six Things That Happened in WPS Week Eight

Form chart shows teams’ last five results.

 

The WNY Flash could be this year’s Los Angeles Sol and FC Gold Pride…but better.

Aaran Lines’ side proved once more why the Flash remain the only undefeated team in WPS. The Flash retained a one goal advantage over the Philadelphia Independence even as both sides fought fatigue into the second half. Neither team showed their true attacking potential as the team’s respective defenses had the most say over the match. Marta’s penalty in the 23rd minute broke the 1-1 deadlock and gave the Flash its sixth win of the campaign. Kandace Wilson, McCall Zerboni, and goal-scorer Becky Edwards continue to show fine form, and could be the players to watch this summer as the World Cup looms large.

So how does the Flash compare to previous runaway regular season champions the L.A. Sol and FC Gold Pride? In certain ways, Western New York are simply incomparable – and in the best way possible. After seven games, both the Sol and FC Gold Pride had scored eight goals each. The Flash have already scored 18 goals within the same amount of time. And then there’s this…both the Sol and FC Gold Pride took a total of 15 points from a maximum 21. The Flash? The team has only dropped one point all season, taking 20 out of 21 points.

Form chart: W W W W D

Next game: Friday, June 3 at home to Sky Blue FC

 

Sky Blue FC continue to ascend.

Sky Blue FC rebounded from its first victory of the season last weekend with a 2-1 win over the Boston Breakers on Saturday. Wet weather conditions, an injury to vaunted striker Adriana, and a goal by Kelley O’Hara (her first in a Breakers shirt) could have put a damper on the proceedings. However, Sky Blue stormed back to claim victory. In the 58th minute, Eniola Aluko completed a run and converted the game-drawing goal. With just two minutes left in regular time, Therese Sjogran assumed the playmaker role once more and found Carolyn Blank who promptly notched the game winning goal. The win puts Sky Blue FC level on points with the Boston Breakers. Impending USWNT call-up’s isn’t likely to do as much damage to Sky Blue FC as it would to other teams around the league. That could mean that the New Jersey outfit should continue to climb up the standings.

Form chart: W W L L L

Next game: Friday, June 3 away to the WNY Flash

 

magicJack remain on the prowl…for now.

magicJack recovered from the team’s frustrating 3-0 loss against the Flash last weekend by trouncing the Atlanta Beat 4-0 in West Palm Beach Boca Raton. Abby Wambach netted her first hat-trick in league history with goals in the 9th, 67th, and 89th minutes. The team retain sole possession of second place, but could find its upcoming fixtures tricky as USWNT players will now be absent from the team until the World Cup ends. Dan Borislow’s club stands to lose seven key players to national team duty. Johanna Rasmussen, Omolyn Davis, and Lydia Vandenbergh made appearances against Atlanta. All three – plus Christen Press and Nikki Marshall – will likely need to find their scoring boots now.

Form chart: W L W W W

Next game: Sunday, June 5 away to the Boston Breakers

 

The Atlanta Beat made it impossible to deny the disappointment.

It seems head coach James Galanis has changed his tone. After previous defeats, the Beat boss put the team’s poor run of results down to his players and their lack of effort. It seems Galanis has taken a softer approach now. He blamed the team’s loss against magicJack on a few defensive errors. “Apart from the scoreline,” he said, “I am pleased with the performance of the team.” The scoreline? 4-0. The Beat’s shots on goal? Zero. The Beat have the fewest amount of victories in the league with one, the most amount of losses with six, the least amount of goals scored with five, the most conceded with 20, and the worst disciplinary record in the league. Enough already.

Form chart: L L L L L

Next game: Saturday, June 4 away to the Philadelphia Independence

 

The Boston Breakers threw a really lame send-off party for its USWNT players.

The Breakers let what would have been two consecutive draws slip away as the team conceded the game-winning (or losing) goal in the 88th minute of play. The Breakers have been criticized for showing a lack of resolve all season. Case in point. After eight games, Boston now have five losses – just one fewer than the Atlanta Beat. The Breakers wouldn’t be in such a dire position if the team was assured its starting back four and high-flying attack all throughout the season. From now until possibly mid-July, Boston will have to do without three-quarters of that highly-rated defense. A win – or even a draw – on Saturday was crucial. Now a second half turnover like the one in 2010 will seem even more miraculous.

Form chart: L D L W L

Next game: Sunday, June 5 at home to magicJack

                                                              

The Philadelphia Independence dozed off and awoke to a 2-1 loss.

The Independence’s attack went cold against the Flash. After Megan Rapinoe’s excellent looping shot in the ninth minute, Philadelphia’s attacking threats were few and far between. In fairness, the Flash weren’t exactly pelting Nicole Barnhart with shots either and it was a penalty kick that decided the game, but the Independence’s offense spent most of the day on mute. On the bright side, Philly’s attack extends far beyond the capabilities of Amy Rodriguez, Megan Rapinoe, and Lori Lindsey – all of whom will now be gone. Perhaps Indy will show a few more facets against the Flash as they meet the team again in two weeks.

Form chart: L D W W L

Next game: Saturday, June 4 at home to the Atlanta Beat

 

Woman of the weekend: Abby Wambach

 

Please pardon the lack of updates. Working on stuff.

13 thoughts on “Six Things That Happened in WPS Week Eight

  1. Beau Dure

    Funny thing is that WNY will only get better after the Cup when they can finally get everyone together. I was thinking they and magicJack might be more dangerous in the playoffs than in the regular season for that reason.

    Reply
    1. augusto

      I would even say it will get better after WC curtains are shut down and spotlights off: so players’ minds turn back to day-by-day work and ‘ordinary’ objetives.

      Reply
  2. pasoccerdad

    Philly did not go to sleep… there were a large amount of assists from the reff in that game. Hard to attack when WNY took down players, yet somehow when Marta falls, there is always a foul and a card came out….

    Reply
    1. Jenna Pel Post author

      A lull fell over the match for the first 30 minutes of the second half before the fouls started cropping out. Philadelphia didn’t do much to try to find the equalizer. Then the flow of the game got permanently disrupted by the physical play that proceeded afterwards.

      Reply
      1. Eight

        I would have liked to see Kai start/put in a lot earlier. Rodriquez did nothing all game — like she wasn’t even there.; and her height isn’t helpful for Pinoe service. Kai never got her groove once she was put in, got some touches and then the game ended.

        There could have been some Pinoe-Kai-Sanderson combination potential right when Philly started off hot.

        Reply
        1. Jenna Pel Post author

          I was surprised to see Kai enter the game so late. The broadcasters said that Kai had a mysterious trip to the doctor’s during the week. Maybe that played into her late appearance? The Flash’s midfield just never let Philadelphia get into their passing groove. As we often see with the USWNT, A-Rod tends to disappear when she isn’t getting good distribution. Kai should definitely be given license to start more now that A-Rod will be absent.

          Reply
  3. Daniel Lopes

    Caused some surprise to me at the beginning of the championship, the blogger’s analysis , the WNY not be identified as the main favorite to win.
    The base was already the champion FC gold pride, that is, the team had already been arranged in three sections. Abily gives the place to Seger in the midfield, an excellent organizer out comes an even better, and still is reinforced with Morgan? It is much talent for one team.
    And that’s because the trio Martha, Sinclair and Morgan is not settled, for if they fit in, sorry to give the opponents, becomes the female version ofBarça, as I had written before starting the tournament.
    Can come to lose the championship? It can end, in only one game, the team wakes up on a bad day and the rival wins. But under normal circumstances, gives what is happening this early is that championship, win after win. Bloggers and analysts dare more, because it was very clear that this could happen and is happening for the good of those who love soccer well played.

    Reply
  4. random

    speaking of what the broadcasters said, Farrelly turned down a USWNT call up for the upcoming camp. I wonder if O’Hara only got called up once Farrelly turned it down or if Farrelly was just called in to be a practice player. Can’t say I blame her I’d rather be playing with my club team and starting then possibly sitting on the bench for a WWC where I probably won’t get a minute. Staying home will be better for her development short term I just hope it doesn’t hurt her in the long run as far as future call ups.

    Reply

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