T-120 minutes to kickoff: This week, Jim Gabarra's Washington Freedom and Gareth O'Sullivan's Atlanta Beat tangle at Kennesaw's Beat/KSU Stadium. The Fox Soccer Channel combo of Mark Rogandino and Jenn Hildreth loved the facility so much, they decided, why not have another visit to the Owls' Nest?
T-110: In other WPS news...it seems that the Los Angeles Sol have anointed through a telekinetic intervention FC Gold Pride as their successor. The Lionesses of the East Bay are now, all of a sudden, the ruthless ones. The Boston Breakers were the latest to fall to the Pride, 2-1, and a Marta brace sealed the deal.
Who else did you think was going to take this? Sissi?
T-100: Here are the line-ups.
Manager: Gareth O'Sullivan
Formation: 4-4-2 Diamond
Colors: Gold tops, white shorts, gold socks
17 Brett Maron
7 Leigh Ann Robinson (C) ---- 6 Kia McNeill ---- 4 Stacy Bishop ---- 5 Katie Larkin
11 Angie Kerr
2 McCall Zerboni ---- 13 Johanna Rasmussen
15 Amanda Cinalli
10 Ramona Bachmann ---- 18 Shelley Thompson
12 Tracy Hamm
14 Lauren Sesselmann
1 Allison Whitworth
3 Tobin Heath
16 Blakely Mattern
0 Mallori Lofton-Malachi
8 Monica Ocampo
2 Marisha Schumacher-Hodge
19 Rebecca Nolin
Manager: Jim Gabarra
Colors: Red tops, white shorts, red socks
18 Erin McLeod
19 Rebecca Moros ---- 17 Nikki Marshall ---- 4 Cat Whitehill (C) ---- 22 Becky Sauerbrunn
9 Allie Long ---- 14 Sarah Huffman
3 Jill Gilbeau ---- 8 Sonia Bompastor
20 Abby Wambach ---- 7 Lene Mykjaland
6 Beverly Goebel
13 Christie Welsh
21 Alex Singer
27 Marisa Abegg
0 Meagan McCray
T-90: The Freedom currently have a 2-2-1 record (seven points), while Atlanta is winless at 0-4-1 (one point).
T-60: Could the inability to finish carry over to today's match for Atlanta? Or will they finally figure it all out? Meanwhile, a victory for Washington will put them back in the title race as FC Gold Pride get separation on the Philadelphia Independence
T-30: Mami Yamaguchi is on national team duty and is unavailable, as is Homare Sawa.
FIRST HALF START: 3:08 P.M.
1' - We're off. Daniel Radford is our official today.
3' - Wambach had surgery to fix her broken nose; however, she's not wearing the protective mask. Takes courage, I will admit.
5' - And Sonia Bompastor and McCall Zerboni collided in violent fashion. She will need some gauze. Ouch. Zerboni may need to be subbed.
7' - Now you can't tell me that there is NO physical play in the women's game. Absolutely there is.
9' - Substitution Atlanta Beat
IN 20 Sophia Mundy
OUT 2 McCall Zerboni
15' - We are 15 minutes into the match, it's scoreless, and it looks like Zerboni will need some serious medical attention.
16' - Brett Maron with her first save. Jill Gilbeau with the volley.
17' - The Freedom capitalize on the bad decision making, and they are on the attack.
19' - Here's Shelley Thompson. High shot from the German international.
20' - This is Amanda Cinalli. Atlanta on the attack. Angie Kerr's entry finds a sea of red.
21' - Ball movement is nonexistent.
22' - Brett Maron going well off her line to clear. Throw-in for the Freedom.
24' - Ramona Bachmann needs to be involved a bit more. Bompastor gets gauzed up.
25' - Atlanta on the attack once again. Corner for the Beat. A chance for Bachmann hits side netting. Here we go again with the poor shooting from the Swiss international.
26' - Angie Kerr with another chance, and Eric McLeod snaps that up.
27' - Kerr seems to be getting a good deal of the shots. Another McLeod save.
28' - GOAL! Washington Freedom 7 Lene Mykjaland Assist 20 Abby Wambach
An impressive goal off the transition by Washington. The Beat bit on double-teaming Wambach that they forgot about the Norwegian international.
30' - Another corner for Atlanta. Sophia Mundy was in traffic. Cleared.
31' - Throw-in for the Beat.
32' - Maron saves the chance for Wambach. The Beat are now behind the 8-ball and need an equalizer. Kerr's shot goes wide right.
33' - Can't wait for Montreal's first match with the Flyers.
35' - A chance inside the box, and Leigh Ann Robinson could not convert. McLeod makes another diving save. She's gonna be doing a lot of work in the net, the Canadian international.
36' - Easy save for Erin McLeod. Goal to goal, and it's a goal kick for Maron.
37' - Here's Mundy again. Allie Long with the clearance, and the Freedom engage in a possession war. Goal kick, McLeod.
38' - Robinson with a frustration foul on Bompastor.
39' - A free kick. Gabarra's wondering why the heck is there no card dealt by Radford.
Bachmann's got backaches, and I don't blame her.
40' - That's deflected. Maron resets the rotation for the Beat. And Bachmann is hurt.
41' - Another side netting shot for Atlanta. If the league kept stats on side-netting shots, this team would lead it.
42' - Bachmann is back on the field after the chiropractor puts her back into place.
44' - Three minutes of stoppage time are on hand this half.
45' - McLeod grabs that shot by Cinalli and taps another chance from Bachmann over the crossbar.
45' + 1' - The Beat waste a couple of chances off the corners. Goal kick for McLeod.
45' + 2' - Looks like this half will go quickly. Again, Atlanta have not been impressive and all that Washington did was make the Beat pay the price.
45' + 3' - Set piece after the Kia McNeill tackle for the Freedom. Wide right and cleared. Halftime. And the score...
Atlanta Beat 0
Washington Freedom 1
Lene Mykjaland 28'
SECOND HALF START: 4:11 P.M.
46' - The second half for this match is underway. The agenda: consolidation for Washington, equalization for Atlanta
47' - Thompson with another shot missing the inside post.
48' - Whitehill shaken up, but get on her feet.
49' - Maron with the reset. Please, that volley by Thompson would be good...if this were the American code.
51' - Here is a short corner for the Freedom. Headed away, and here is Cinalli, whose pass for Bachmann is intercepted. Thompson on the transition. And Bachmann's shot is deflected by the Freedom defense.
53' - Substitution Washington Freedom
IN 6 Beverly Goebel
OUT 3 Jill Gilbeau
56' - Washington on the transition and McNeill is there to stop that attack. Beat fans showing their frustration.
58' - Zerboni is now under the watch of a neurologist. The View and b/r hope for the best from this player, who was part of a "This is the Los Angeles Sol" series last year.
60' - Bee Gees in the background?
61' - Bompastor with the corner. Maron gathers that.
62' - Now, on the marquee for the next match on the Fox Sports Soccer broadcast it says "Washington Freedom vs. Philadelphia Freedom." Huh? I thought Philly's team is the Independence...
63' - GOAL! Washington Freedom 20 Abby Wambach Assist 8 Sonia Bompastor
A well-played header from Wamach inside the box and another good delivery from Bompastor. There's nothing you can say other than that. It's textbook, and this match is all but academic now for Gabarra's club.
Substitution Atlanta Beat
IN 8 Monica Ocampo
OUT 15 Amanda Cinalli
65' - Offsides on Bachmann.
66' - A rather drab attendance for this match. McLeod with the save from Bachmann. Again, poor decision-making by the opposition makes for an easy sweep when you are the net-minder.
67' - Corner for Washington and that is snuffed out. Goal kick for Maron.
68' - Wambach's second goal of the season has made it a 2-0 lead for the Freedom.
70' - The local marching band exhibits their specialty cadences. Goal kick.
71' - I wonder if the Beat will be able to score. No foul on the challenge, and McLeod is there to scoop that up.
72' - It's been a one-sided contest here at the Owls' Nest.
73' - Substitution Washington Freedom
IN 13 Christie Welsh
OUT 7 Lene Mykjaland
Substitution Atlanta Beat
IN 14 Lauren Sesselmann
OUT 18 Shelley THompson
74' - McLeod with another save, this time on an Ocampo volley.
77' - If I am Gareth O'Sullivan, I am tearing my hairs out right now. This team still doesn't know how to finish.
80' - Another high shot for Atlanta. I can understand why the turnout is low, and it's not the weather...lot's finishing.
Substitution Washington Freedom
IN 21 Alex Singer
OUT 19 Rebecca Moros
81' - Singer, the Virginia Cavalier, comes in. Her university is going through some tough times, especially regarding its lacrosse team.
82' - Another shot for the Beat is in the hands of Erin McLeod.
84' - Hard tackle by Beverly Goebel on Katie Larkin. That results in the first card of the day from Daniel Radford.
Yellow Card 6 Beverly Goebel
85' - Offsides on the free kick, and Lauren Sesselmann was offsides anyway.
87' - The Freedom can just sit on this two-goal lead because Atlanta still do not know how to produce.
88' - Let's see how much stoppage time will be added on here as that shot by Wambach misses the mark.
90' - Ambitious one-timer. Two minutes of stoppage time.
90' + 2' - And that entry ball that missed wide left for Atlanta exemplified how the day has been for both teams. That's a wrap.
ATLANTA BEAT 0
WASHINGTON FREEDOM 2
Lene Mykjaland 28'
Abby Wambach 63'
Stay tuned tomorrow for the next version of the WPS Power Rankings.