Tag Archives: DC United Women

A Match Made in Heaven: “A Celebration of Women’s Soccer”

Laura Kane and Jess Hnatiuk of the Chesapeake Charge/Maryland Capitols defend against Lianne Sanderson of the DC United Women/All-Stars, who would score twice on the evening. (Ken Harriford)

Somewhere in Heaven in the distant future, the all-time, all-Freedom team is taking the field. Co-captains Jen Grubb and Cat Whitehill check their starting lineup one last time. Beside them on the back line are Carrie Moore and Becky Sauerbrunn; Siri Mullinix is between the pipes. Up top are Mia Hamm and Abby Wambach; while Sonia Bompastor, Steffi Jones, Lori Lindsey, and Bai Jie line up across the midfield.

The other team consists of the best their opposition has offered over the years. So many to choose from, but you have to figure the lineup includes forwards Marta and Birgit Prinz; midfielders Lori Chalupny, Kristine Lilly, and Kelly Smith; defenders Joy Fawcett, Christie Rampone, and perhaps a Danielle Slaton finally without knee problems; and of course Hope Solo in goal.

All right, the lineup for Saturday’s “Celebration of Women’s Soccer”, with the “Maryland Capitols” taking on the “All-Stars”, wasn’t anywhere near that awesome, but given that it was limited to active players who could make the match on fairly short notice, it was plenty awesome enough. Three of the players I named above were there – Sauerbrunn, Lindsey, and Whitehill – though due to US Soccer’s concerns over possible injuries, only Cat was allowed to play. Becky and Lori served as part-time coaches and also participated in a penalty kick face-off at halftime. (Lori won, 4-3, after Becky’s first attempt went off the bottom of the crossbar but out rather than in.)
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W-League Final Four Preview

After three months of play and a weekend of playoffs, the teams gunning for the W-League Championship have been winnowed down from 30 teams total to 11 that made the playoffs to the four that will compete this weekend for the title: the Quebec City Amiral, the Ottawa Fury, the DC United Women, and the Pali Blues. Here’s a closer look at the four teams:
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DC United Women Leave No Doubt Who’s No. 1 in East

The scene after Sanderson scored the DC United Women's third goal

The Charlotte Lady Eagles arrived on Sunday with a distinguished pedigree. According to their coach, they’ve made the playoffs 12 of the last 13 years. Despite being in the same division as the defending W-League champion Atlanta Silverbacks, they finished with a superior record, good enough to rank fourth in the entire 30-team league. On Saturday they demolished another division champion, the fifth-ranked Long Island Rough Riders, 4-0.

None of it mattered. The DC United Women took control almost from the opening whistle and, except for a few minutes to start the second half, dominated possession for the entire match. That the result was only 3-0 is more a reflection of the patience of the Black-and-Red attack (and some unfortunate near-misses) than the competitiveness of the match.
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Top Seeds DC and Charlotte Advance Easily in W-League Eastern Conference Semifinals

Gabby Charno of Long Island (left) battles Charlotte while Lianne Sanderson of the DC United Women (right) faces Virginia Beach

The top two seeds in the W-League’s Eastern Conference advanced easily in their playoff matches today, the #1 DC United Women dominating the #4 Virginia Beach Piranhas, 3-0, and the #2 Charlotte Lady Eagles doing likewise to the #3 Long Island Rough Riders, 4-0.

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Playoff Preview: DC United Women vs. Virginia Beach Piranhas – the rematch rematch rematch

The DC United Women players at the Meet-the-Team Event

Due to the benighted design of the W-League’s Eastern Conference playoffs, the regular-season champion DC United Women will start off by playing a team they’ve faced three times already. On the one hand, they’ve beaten them two of those three times; on the other, the Piranhas are the only team that’s gotten points off them – a 1-1 draw on June 23, on the very same field where they will line up in the playoffs.
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MWSJA Players of the Week – Week 10

It’s hard to believe that the season is drawing to a close – in fact, due to the Capitols’ loss on Sunday, this will be the last POTW that all three teams participate in.

Let’s not dwell on Maryland’s loss too much, though – in their inaugural season they finished the regular season in first place in their division and third in the entire conference. And of course they gave numerous players a chance to show their stuff, several of whom have earned well-deserved POTW mentions during the course of the season. I’m really looking forward to seeing how they do next year with a year’s experience under their belts both on the field and off it.

But onto the players themselves.
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MWSJA Players of the Week – Week 9

First off, congratulations to the Maryland Capitols for earning a home playoff game as the #3 seed in the Northeast Atlantic Conference of the WPSL. That will take place this Sunday at 3 pm at the Prince George’s Sports and Learning Center as they take on the #6 seed Syracuse Lady Knights.

Also kudos to the DC United Women, who earned the #1 seed in the W-League’s Eastern Conference and the right to host the conference playoffs. Those will take place on Saturday and Sunday, July 21 and 22, with the #2 team playing #3 Saturday at 3:30, and DC playing the #4 seed – which will be either the Fredericksburg Impact or the Virginia Beach Piranhas – at 6. Then the final is Sunday at 4 pm. All games will take place at the Maryland Soccerplex Stadium.

But on to the Players of the Week.
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Sauerbrunn Leads DCU Women to Conference Championship

Becky Sauerbrunn plays for the Black-And-Red in her last match before the Olympics

On one of the hottest evenings in DC history, a season-record 703 fans showed up at the Maryland Soccerplex Stadium to watch the DC United Women play the Dayton Dutch Lions, the last match Becky Sauerbrunn would play on domestic soil before joining the United States Women’s National Team for the upcoming Olympics in London. They would not be disappointed, as the Black-and-Red cruised to a 4-1 victory keyed by a Sauerbrunn goal early in the second half.

Since their conference rivals the Atlanta Silverbacks had played to a tie right as the match started, the win gave the United Women the W-League regular-season Eastern Conference Championship and the right to host the conference playoffs at the Soccerplex on July 21 and 22.
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MWSJA Players of the Week – Week 8

First off, the Maryland Women’s Soccer Journalists Association would like to extend their congratulations to the Maryland Capitols and the DC United Women, each of whom clinched a division title and a spot in the playoffs this past weekend.

We’d also like to extend our admiration to the Chesapeake Charge, who against vastly tougher competition than either of those teams face were eliminated from the playoffs this past week. However, they’ve continued to play classy, competitive soccer, and their games have been a joy to watch. As Ray Curren puts it, “[Head coach] Oni and the Charge have drawn my admiration both times I’ve seen them this season in the way they’ve approached the game. There were no ‘bunkers’, no ‘hitting and hoping’, no wasting time from the opening kickoff against semi-professional opposition last Thursday. I looked up on a couple of occasions to see the ball in the Charge end and three forwards still sitting toward midfield as Chesapeake stuck to their gameplan.” (See http://www.allwhitekit.com/?p=9653 for Ray’s complete writeup.)

But on to the Players of the Week:
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