2009 WPS Power Rankings: Week Six
In this week's WPS Power Rankings, the Chicago Red Stars enjoy another week at the top, while Boston, FC Gold Pride, and St. Louis flip the on switch after the weekend's action.
Let's take a look.
1. CHICAGO RED STARS
Emma Hayes' club may need to be keen to watch over their shoulder as they enjoy the view from the top.
With a well deserved week off to recharge, Chicago will look to vault their way to the top of the Women's Professional Soccer standings against Sky Blue FC, who were unfortunate to give up a late goal to FC Gold Pride on the road.
As with the case of the Los Angeles Sol against St. Louis Athletica, is there a reason to be worried of a letdown?
Or will it be business as usual for Cristiane, Caroline Jonsson, and the women of the Windy City?
Kickoff is scheduled for Sunday, May 10, 6:00PM ET at Toyota Park in Bridgeview.
The match will be covered by Fox Soccer Channel.
2. BOSTON BREAKERS
Doesn't it feel good to have your battery back operating the machine?
If you are Boston Breakers manager Tony DiCicco, it should.
Kelly Smith's early goal in the second minute set the tone for Boston's breakthrough 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Sol at Harvard Stadium. Captain Kristine Lilly sealed the deal for the home side in the 55th minute.
8,031 at Soldiers Field (which Harvard Stadium is sometimes called informally—no relation to the one in Chicago, of course) witnessed Boston become the first team to score on and defeat the Sol in the WPS's young history.
“I am really proud of the players because they were embarrassed last week,” said a chuffed DiCicco after the match.
“They played the number one team in the league who hadn’t lost a game or given up a goal, and I am very proud of the showing we had.
"The key to the game was mentality. I thought we started well in both halves, but Los Angeles is a very good team.”
But then again, so is Boston. And the Breakers look to capitalize on their new found momentum when they travel to the Home Depot Center to face the Sol in the away leg of this two game stretch.
Kickoff is scheduled for 4:00PM ET on Sunday, May 10.
3. WASHINGTON FREEDOM
The Freedom seem to be making a living of being escape artists.
This week's Houdini act was courtesy of forward Sonia Bompastor. Her brace prevented St. Louis Athletica from stealing all three points in a 3-3 goal festival of a draw at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Germantown, MD.
Bompastor's equalizer in the 29th minute was added by another: a header from Cat Whitehill in the 90th.
The set piece worked to perfection, as Athletica keeper could only watch it sail out of her reach into the net.
From the start though, Solo was facing a firing squad that George's men at Yorktown would be beaming at.
Washington outshot the visitors 28-15, and also had more shots on goal (14 to 8).
Adding to the scoring for Washington was Australian international Lisa De Vanna. The Matilda opened her account in the 79th minute to make it 3-2.
After taking the week off, Jim Gabarra's club will look to consolidate on their point total as they visit Harvard Stadium to take on the Boston Breakers on Sunday May 17.
Kickoff is scheduled for 6:00PM ET. The match will be covered by Fox Soccer Channel.
4. FC GOLD PRIDE
The Lionesses of the Bay make their move up with a hard fought 1-0 decision over cellar dwellers Sky Blue FC at the friendly confines of Buck Shaw Stadium.
Leigh-Ann Robinson scored the late winner in the 86th minute. The super sub, along with Adriane, were instrumental in the winner, with Adriane finding Robinson inside the penalty box to slide it past Sky Blue FC keeper Jenni Branam.
Albertin Montoya's club outshot Sky Blue 13-9 in one of Nicole Barnhart's best performances this season, attaining her first shutout of the year with four saves.
The Pride will look to add to their win total against St. Louis Athletica at Korte Stadium on the campus of Southern Illinois University.
Kickoff is scheduled for Saturday, May 9 at 8:00PM ET in Edwardsville, IL.
5. ST. LOUIS ATHLETICA
Jorge Barcellos's Athletica continues to improve, but their first victory will have to wait as a result of giving up what would have been a potential 3-2 victory, and settling instead for a 3-3 draw at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Germantown.
While Bompastor was dominating the scorelines for the ladies in red, the girls in green were led by Daniela.
The Brazilian international opened up the scoring with a goal off a rebound from Washington goalkeeper Kati Jo Spisak, and followed it up with a 25-yard strike in the 41st minute.
Under threatening skies, midfielder Enoila Aluko added St. Louis's third in the 69th minute, but Solo picked the wrong time to unravel at the feet of Bompastor and De Vanna.
“Everyone fought hard in those last minutes,” said Ellertson after the match.
“Washington kept pressing and they capitalized on the changes we were forced to make because of my coming off and then Daniela going down.
"We can’t lapse at any point though. We have to stay focused for 90 minutes.”
St. Louis gets another crack at getting their first win against FC Gold Pride on Saturday night at Southern Illinois University.
6. LOS ANGELES SOL
Sooner or later, the drying offensive production was going to catch up to them.
After a mostly defensive showcase by Karina LeBlanc, the Canadian keeper for the Los Angeles Sol was facing a barrage of shots from Kelly Smith, Kristine Lilly, and the Boston Breakers dealing Abner Rogers' side their first loss of the season, 2-1.
Brittany Bock pulled one back for the visitors in the 63rd minute, but it was not enough as even Marta's golden touch ran out late in the match.
"They had a purpose, especially in the first few minutes," said LeBlanc following the contest.
"After[wards] we relaxed and started to play our game. After the second goal, being the fighters we are, we came back and had a few chances."
The importance of capitalizing and finishing will be the topic of the week as they look to make amends at the friendly confines of the Home Depot Center on Victoria Street.
Kickoff for this Mother's Day tie is scheduled for 4:00PM ET on Sunday, May 10.
7. SKY BLUE FC
Apparently the W-League and the WPS are two different animals.
FC Gold Pride is no FC Indiana.
And Ian Sawyers' Sky Blue FC discovered that difference the hard way in a cruel 1-0 defeat to the home side at Buck Shaw Stadium on the campus of Santa Clara University.
Sky Blue FC has found the net only once in it's last four games, and did themselves a disservice by committing six offsides compared to the Pride's two.
Adding to the woes for Sky Blue was Kelly Parker seeing yellow in the 44th minute.
It doesn't get any easier for the cellar dwellers of this week's rankings; they travel to Chicago to take on the red hot Red Stars on Sunday, May 10 at Bridgeview's Toyota Park.
Kickoff is scheduled for 6:00PM ET, and will be televised by fox Soccer Channel.
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