Women's Soccer USA

Coverage of women's soccer in the US. If it's not here...it's not important...

August 29, 2008

Texas A&M and UNC face each other tonight

The Texas A&M Women's Soccer team will face the Tar Heels of North Carolina at the Aggie Soccer Stadium Friday.
This highly anticipated game will feature two top-10 teams who have national championship aspirations with some of the top collegiate players and two of the best coaching staffs in the country.
Head Coach G Guerrieri views this upcoming game not only as an opportunity to knock off one of the top teams in the country, but also as a chance to improve and get better.
"The issue with playing North Carolina, is that it's a game that no one will expect us to win…" Guerrieri said. "We view this as a great measuring stick. The measuring stick doesn't get much taller than UNC.

August 28, 2008

Texas 3, Kentucky 1

The University of Texas soccer team (2-0-0) scored three times in just two minutes in the second half to defeat the Kentucky Wildcats, 3-1, in Lexington. Senior Kasey Moore netted two while freshman Amanda Lisberger scored one for the second-straight game.

Sundhage the bigot?

"The US women’s soccer team’s Swedish coach has refused a personal audience with President George Bush.
Pia Sundhage might have led the the US women’s team to Gold in the Beijing Olympics, but says she is not interested in going along to meet Bush with other Olympic Gold medalists.
Speaking to Aftonbladet newspaper, Sundhage made it clear that she doesn’t share Bush’ politics and isn’t interested in meeting him."

Oh Pia why would you choose to insult 45% of your supporters?
Its 2,000 years old and still valid in Sweden and the US..."When in Rome..."

You had no problem taking Hu Jintao's cash, did you?

Chicago Fire vs. Chicago Red Stars

From Peter Wilt's blog:
"At the risk of sounding like a disgruntled former employee - which i'm sure i am - i feel compelled to share a story about my only previous contact with the Chicago Fire's new team president, Dave Greeley....
At one point during the meeting, Greeley's relentless disparagement of soccer and the Fire forced AEG's Bill Peterson and me to swear at him (as I recall, it began with an "f" and ended with a "u"), get up from the table and head for the door."

Wilt sure knows how to hold grudges... and make them public. Why would you want to embarrass Greeley now?
Chicago Fire and Greeley will be Wilt's landlords. That lease better be signed and sealed by now.
Can't wait to see how this love affair develops.
By the way, does anyone know who instigated that boycott of Monterrey Security and the Fire?

August 27, 2008

Angerer unlikely to play in WPS

Angerer is under contract with Djurgården, the salary cap in Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) gives her better earnings in Europe and finally Dietrich says he can't imagine any German national team players leaving Europe before the 2011 World Cup in Germany.

WPS player preferences

Chicago - Markgraf
LA - Boxx, Solo
NY/NJ - Rampone
Washington -
Boston - Hucles
St. Louis - Chalupny

August 26, 2008

Barcellos confirmed as St. Louis coach

Jorge Barcellos, who has directed Brazil to the finals of the past two major international women’s soccer competitions, will be the first coach and general manager of the St. Louis team in Women’s Professional Soccer, the new league that starts in the spring.

August 25, 2008

WPS 2009

For the first time since the WUSA folded in 2003, veterans of the U.S. team will face off against each other.
Some players don't have preferences. Some do.

"I would like to go back home," says New Jersey defender Christie Rampone. "It would be my first preference, but we'll see what happens."

"Definitely Chicago," says defender Kate Markgraf. "(Team president Peter Wilt) actually lives like four blocks away from me. I've stayed away because I don't want it to be weird."

"I live in Boston," says versatile player Angela Hucles. "I really like it there, but we'll see what happens."

"I haven't really thought about it in the last couple of weeks, but obviously Los Angeles," says midfielder Shannon Boxx.

"L.A., baby," says Solo.

August 24, 2008

Hermann Trophy Watch List

Name Pos Yr. School Hometown
Marisa Abegg D Sr. Stanford Lake Oswego, Ore.
Kristin Arnold K Sr. Texas A&M Centennial, Colo.
Yael Averbuch M Sr. North Carolina Upper Montclair, N.J.
Greer Barnes D Sr. West Virginia Rye, N.Y.
Brittany Bock F Sr. Notre Dame Naperville, Ill.
Kiki Bosio F Jr. Santa Clara Mission Viejo, Calif.
Zoe Bouchelle M Sr. Penn State Cockeysville, Md.
Jenny Bradfisch K Jr. Purdue Carmel, Ind.
Lauren Cheney F Jr. UCLA Indianapolis, Ind.
Amanda Cicchini M Sr. West Virginia Oakville, Ontario
Dani Collins M Sr. William and MaryCream Ridge, N.J.
Amanda DaCosta M So. Florida State Katonah, N.Y.
Gina DiMartino F Jr. Boston College Massapequa Park, N.Y.
Christina DiMartino M Sr. UCLA Massapequa, N.Y.
Becky Edwards D Jr. Florida State Downingtown, Pa.
Michelle EnyeartF Jr. Portland Hernet, Calif.
Kim Germain M Sr. James Madison McLean, Va.
Kerri Hanks F Sr. Notre Dame Allen Texas
Tobin Heath M Jr. North Carolina Basking Ridge, N.J.
Lauren Hyde D Jr. Florida Carmel, Ind.
Jaimel Johnson K Sr. Tennessee Dayton, Ohio
Nikki Krzysik D Sr. Virginia Clifton, N.J.
Stephanie Labbe K Sr. Connecticut Stony Plain, Alberta
Katie Larkin F Sr. Brigham Young Draper, Utah
Kelly Lawrence D Jr. Indiana Chigwell, England
Stephanie Logterman D Sr. Texas Austin, Texas
Edel Malone M Sr. Hofstra Ennis, Ireland
Nikki Marshall D Jr. Colorado Mead, Colo.
Kasey Moore D Jr. Texas Mission Viejo, Calif.
Alyssa Naeher K Jr. Penn State Seymour, Conn.
Ashley Nick M Sr. Southern Cal Monrovia, Calif.
Casey Nogueira F Jr. North Carolina Raleigh, N.C.
Yolanda Odenyo M Sr. Oklahoma State Uppsala, Switzerland
Kelley O'Hara F Jr. Stanford Fayetteville, Ga.
Kristin Olsen K Jr. Southern Cal Lake Forest, Calif.
Carrie PattersonF Jr. Georgia Atlanta, Ga.
Lorraine Quinn M Sr. Duke Farmingdale, N.Y.
Elli Reed D So. Portland Park City, Utah
Amy Rodriguez F Sr. Southern Cal Lake Forest, Calif.
Kylee Rossi F Sr. Tennessee Pennington, N.J.
Malorie RutledgeM Jr. Louisiana State Sharpsburg, Ga.
Katie Schoepfer F Jr. Penn State Waterford, Conn.
Brittany Taylor D Sr. Connecticut Campbell Hall, N.Y.
Cate Tisinger F So. James Madison Clifton, Va.
Ingrid Wells M So. Georgetown Upper Montclair, N.J.
Claire Zimmeck F Sr. William and MaryFairfax, Va.
Emily Zurrer D Sr. Illinois Vancouver, B.C.

Rampone wants to play in New Jersey

The gold medalist U.S. women's soccer team has three more days in China, then a tour of American cities.
After that, defender Christie Rampone might be heading back to New Jersey for a while. Women's Professional Soccer kicks off next year, and the U.S. captain has her eye on Sky Blue, the New York/New Jersey club in the startup league.
"I would like to go back home," Rampone said Friday, just a few hours after the U.S. defeated Brazil 1-0 in overtime Thursday night to retain the Olympic gold medal. "It would be my first preference, but we'll see what happens."

August 23, 2008

The first game of the Greg Ryan era

The University of Michigan women’s soccer team opened up the 2008 campaign with a 7-0 loss to No. 5 Notre Dame Friday evening (Aug. 22) on Alumni Field.
The Wolverine netminders were faced with an unrelenting attack of 34 shots. Freshman goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer (Troy, Mich./Lasher) got the start and made three stops in 45 minutes in her collegiate debut between the posts. Senior Madison Gates (Baldwinsville, N.Y./C.W. Baker) and redshirt-freshman Kristen Keane (Wheaton, Ill./Warrenville South) split the second half. Gates stopped three shots in 28 minutes of work while Keane made four saves -- three of the spectacular nature -- to close out the contest.
"It is a good thing for us because we need to see where are problems are -- things that we can fix. This game shows us everything we need to know about what we need to improve on and what we need to work towards. A national championship contending team like Notre Dame is going to expose you and we got to see where our weaknesses are, what is going to cost us games. There were two or three areas, in particular defensively -- we pretty much gave them two or three goals. They are very fixable but we are going to have to work on it. It takes a team like Notre Dame to expose you because they are talented enough find those little chinks in the armor." - Greg Ryan

August 22, 2008

Player salaries and transfer fees going up

Kopparbergs/Göteborgs FC chairman Peter Bronsman today confirms that Sweden's and Göteborg's star forward Lotta Schelin leaves for French top side Olympique Lyon. The two clubs have agreed on the transfer and Lotta will join Lyon no later than September 1. No transfer sum is disclosed, but according to local newspaper Göteborgsposten it is more than SEK 1 million ($160,000), the largest transfer sum in the history of Swedish women's football.
Lotta Schelin only says that she hasn't signed any personal contract yet and would like to wait with her comments until she has. But according to her chairman it is a two year contract and according to other sources the contract could be worth more than SEK 1 million ($160,000) a year for her.


However, let’s be clear that WPS is not WUSA. The 1999 Women’s World Cup saw nearly 100,000 fans packed into the Rose Bowl stadium in Pasadena, CA. This brought hope, pride and celebration to the world, and from this, an American women’s soccer league (WUSA) was born. However, trying to run a start-up league on a Madison Avenue budget with an office in downtown Manhattan, salaries for executives and players that had no relationship to actual income streams, and questionable business decisions - for instance the national television contract with Pax - all combined to sink the venture.

Barcellos says he wants to coach men

According to Globo.com, coach Jorge Barcellos of Brazil stated that he right now is interested in coaching men. According to our sources he will arrive in St. Louis within two weeks.

August 21, 2008

USA 1, Brazil 0

The U.S. Women’s Olympic Soccer Team put together a near perfect defensive performance to hold powerful Brazil scoreless for 120 minutes while getting a goal from Carli Lloyd just six minutes into overtime to record a historic 1-0 victory and earn the gold medal.
This victory marked the third gold medal for the U.S. women in four Olympic Games. The USA also won gold in 1996 and 2004 while taking the silver in 2000.
The match was played in front of a raucous crowd of 51,612 on a field made slippery by rain that fell during the entire day and for the first part of the match.
The winning goal came on a shot from outside the box from Lloyd, who took advantage of a nice piece of possession in the U.S. attacking half that saw the ball go from substitute Lauren Cheney to Lloyd, who one-touched it to Amy Rodriguez. The speedy U.S. forward played a cheeky back heel to an overlapping Lloyd, and she took a touch forward before blasting a low left-footed shot into the lower left corner of the goal.

August 18, 2008

Brazil coach to join St. Louis after Olympics

According to reports from China, WPS St. Louis franchise has reportedly signed Brazil coach Jorge Barcellos after agreeing personal terms.

USA 4, Japan 2

Angela Hucles scored twice and Lori Chalupny and Heather O’Reilly added goals as the U.S. advanced to the gold medal match of the 2008 Olympics with a 4-2 come-from-behind victory against Japan at Beijing’s Workers’ Stadium on Monday.

August 17, 2008

UAB 0, Mexico U-20 2

The UAB women's soccer fell to the Mexico Under-20 National Team, 2-0, Sunday evening at the Jack Allen Soccer Complex in Decatur, Ala. The match served as the Blazers' first and only exhibition game of the season.

August 15, 2008

USA 2, Canada 1

A dramatic diving header goal from Natasha Kai in the 101st minute of overtime gave the U.S. Women’s Olympic Soccer Team a 2-1 victory against Canada and a berth to the semifinals of the 2008 Olympic Games.

August 12, 2008

Jamie Trecker is at it again

"In a statement, Johnson said: “WPS has proven itself to be a smart business venture, with a conservative business plan built on realistic numbers and executive leaders that not only know soccer as a sport, but as a business,” said Johnson.
But surely a man of Johnson’s acumen knows that his statement is wishful thinking at best. The new league is unproven, because it hasn’t started. And, a look at WPS’ roll call shows a distinct lack of soccer business people. Only Peter Wilt, who is heading up the league’s marketing, has the combination of soccer experience and soccer business experience.
I have to wonder if these same “soccer business people” realize that announcements like these lessen the league’s credibility."

USA 4, New Zealand 0

Heather O'Reilly Opens Scoring with Fastest Goal in Women's Olympic Soccer History.
Goals from Amy Rodriguez, Lindsay Tarpley, and Angela Hucles Seal the Win for the U.S.

August 11, 2008

WPS Atlanta in 2010

Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) announced today that it has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to expand to Atlanta, Ga. in 2010, the League’s second year of play. Atlanta joins Philadelphia as an expected 2010 WPS expansion city, while host cities named to date for the inaugural 2009 season include Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New Jersey/New York, St. Louis, and Washington D.C. Meanwhile, the League continues to explore additional potential franchises for both the 2009 and 2010 seasons.

FC Indiana 1, Ajax America 0

W-League runner-up FC Indiana defeated the Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL) national champions Ajax America Women 1-0 to win the USASA Open Cup.
FC Indiana’s triumph at Starfire Soccer Stadium in Seattle, WA on Saturday was the club’s fourth major trophy in four seasons.

August 10, 2008

Women's Amateur Cup

National Championship Final:
Turbo D’Feeters: 2 vs. Eclipse Select 1

August 09, 2008

Women's Cups

Women’s Open
Ajax America: 4 vs. Dallas Sting: 0
Goals: Sabrina Demonte 1’; Shannon Cross 13’; Lisa Hermen 64’; Mele French 78’.

FC Indiana: 8 vs. United German Hungarian: 0
Goals: Annie Hamel 16’, 56’, 86’; Kelly Parker 21’; Jessica O’rourke 71’, 78’; Fatima Leyva 73’, 81’.

Women’s Amateur
Turbo D’Feeters: 3 vs. Colorado Sporting Fire: 0
Goals: Heather Hutyra 46’; Kristin Campbell 50’, 58’.

Eclipse Select: 2 vs. NY Athletic Club: 1
Goals (Eclipse): Carly Smith 50’; Vanessa Laxgan 107’.
Goal (NYAC): Magdalena Tamecka 53’.

Women’s Over 30
Forza: 7 vs. Houston Challengers: 0
Goals: Janelle Munnis 8’, 21’; Toni Riccelli 19’; Taryn Coffey 26’; Brenda Mueller 37’, 71’; Nicole Bartkus 89’.

United German Hungarian: 1 vs. JB Marine: 0
Goal: Noreen Park

Women’s U23
Real Colorado: 2 vs. North Texas Select: 1
Goals (Real): Kaitlin Bast 67’; Marissa Sampias 85’.
Goal (North Texas): Cynthia Torres 53’.

USA 1, Japan 0

The United States Women's Olympic Team rode a Carli Lloyd goal and a solid defensive effort to a 1-0 victory against Japan in the second match of Group G action at the 2008 Olympic Games.
With the shutout win, the U.S. secured a vital three points as they seek a place in the knockout phase, moving into second place in Group G behind leaders Norway. The top two finishers in each of the three groups advance to the second round along with two best third-place finishers based on points.

August 06, 2008

Not sure about Dallas

The Women's Professional Soccer league is scheduled to launch next spring with a franchise in Dallas. Or, at least, that was the original plan.
Eight months away from the start of the regular season, Dallas and St. Louis remain the only teams among the seven franchises without a home stadium.

WPS commissioner Tonya Antonucci said she hopes the Dallas stadium issue will be resolved by early September. If not, the opening season for Dallas could be postponed.
"If we had nowhere to play, we have to all agree to give ourselves more time to get into the market the right way," Antonucci said. "That would mean 2010, but we haven't given up on 2009."
The lack of a stadium has kept Dallas team owners, who also operate the Sting Soccer Club, from selling season tickets, finding business sponsors or hiring front-office staff.

USA U23 2, Chelsea 1

Chelsea Ladies proved themselves a formidable force when they faced the USA's Under 20 side last night.
The Ladies, who fronted a full strength side ahead of the training match against Chelsea Old Boys this Sunday, faced a USA team who had played two games in seven days against last season's league winners Arsenal and runners-up Everton.
A last minute goal in the fading light secured the visitors a victory, despite the Blues coming back from a one-goal deficit only minutes before, and the final score saw a 2-1 triumph to the USA.

USA 0, Norway 2

The U.S. Women’s National Team fell to Norway, 2-0, in the first match for both teams at the 2008 Olympics as the Europeans stunned the U.S. with two goals in the first five minutes. The Americans pushed to pull a goal back in the second half, but an organized Norwegian side held on for the victory on a hot and steamy night at the Qinhuangdao Sports Center Stadium.

August 05, 2008


After a training camp in New Jersey from July 23-28, wher the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team downed the W-League’s New Jersey Sky Blue by a 5-1 score, the team headed to England where it dropped matches to the Everton Ladies (1-0) and the Arsenal Ladies (3-1).

Against the Sky Blue on July 26, the USA got an early goal from Alex Morgan, who also added one with 15 minutes left in the game, plus individual scores from Gina DiMartino, Amanda DaCosta and Kiersten Dallstream for the final margin. The U.S. team then headed to Europe and faced Everton on July 30 almost right off the plane.

Everton’s lone goal came in the 80th minute, but the Americans hit the post twice after beating the ‘keeper during the game. Two days later against Arsenal, one of the top women’s clubs in the world, the USA played well but fell behind, 3-0, as superstar Kelly Smith scored against the run of play, the USA gave up a penalty and then a goal off a corner kick. Alex Morgan pulled a late goal back with three minutes left.

USA U20s

Tony Dicicco has been training the USA Women's Under 20s side at Cobham this week.
The manager of the USA team, who guided the USA to Olympic gold in 1996, was at Cobham ahead of the clash with our very own Ladies side, which takes place at the training ground tomorrow evening.
'Many thanks to Chelsea Football Club and the hospitality extended to the USA U20 Women,' said Dicicco. 'Not only is it an honour to train at Chelsea in Cobham but the facilities are fantastic.
'Our team is looking forward to playing Chelsea ladies as we are learning a lot playing against the Premier League's ladies' teams.'
Tomorrow's game will be the Ladies' final pre-season fixture, following their 6-1 win over Portsmouth last Thursday. On Sunday they will play an exhibition training game against the Chelsea Old Boys.

Indiana offers Del Rio two year contract

The FC Indiana Lionesses, who played in the recent United Soccer Leagues W-League Championship game in their inaugural season in the league, announced Monday forward Laura Del Rio has been offered a two-year contract to remain with the team.
Del Rio had 15 goals and 13 assists for the Lionesses this season.
She was made 30 appearances in her career for Spain's women's national team, scoring 12 goals, and has led them to three league titles and six cup titles. She has scored 156 goals in all levels of competition in nine seasons in her country's Superliga.

August 04, 2008

W-League all-Tournament team announced

United Soccer Leagues announced Monday the W-League Championship All-Tournament Team led by Pali Blues defender Amy LePeilbet, who was honored Saturday following her side’s 2-1 championship victory as Most Valuable Player.

W-League Championship All-Tournament Team
G Jessica Salvi, Seattle Sounders
D Amy LePeilbet, Pali Blues
D Emily Janss, Washington Freedom
D Kandace Wilson, Pali Blues
M Kelly Parker, FC Indiana Lionesses
M Fatima Leyva, FC Indiana Lionesses
M Lori Lindsey, Washington Freedom
M Jessica O’Rourke, FC Indiana Lionesses
F Christie Welsh, Washington Freedom
F Danesha Adams, Pali Blues
F Laura Del Rio, FC Indiana Lionesses
W-League Championship MVP
D Amy LePeilbet, Pali Blues

LePeilbet led defensively and offensively for Pali BluesLePeilbet scored the biggest goal of the year for the Blues when she headed home the equalizing tally in 83rd minute of the W-League Championship game. That goal brought the Blues back to life and eventually led to the game-winner just five minutes later. LePeilbet was also strong defensively as she led a backline that surrendered only one goal during the Final Four weekend.

Although battling a hamstring injury the entire weekend, FC Indiana forward Laura Del Rio made her presence felt. She came on in the 61st minute in their semifinal victory over the Seattle Sounders and set up the game-winning goal with beautiful one touch pass to Fatima Leyva. Del Rio was also dangerous throughout the championship game as her play-making ability was on display against a tough Pali defense.

Washington forward Christie Welsh was one of the most dominant players on the weekend as she continued to force her will on the opposition. Welsh hit the post twice in Washington’s semifinal matchup against the Pali Blues and drew heavy praise from Blues coach Charlie Naimo.

“No one this year has been able to push us as much defensively as Welsh did tonight,” said Naimo after their semifinal contest. “I give her all the credit in the world.”

Welsh finally found the back of the net early in the Third Place Game against the Seattle Sounders as she put away what would stand as the game-winner.

Arguably the most impressive offensive performance of the weekend was turned in by Pali forward Danesha Adams in the Blues semifinal matchup against the Washington Freedom. Adams scored both goals for the Blues and demonstrated her athletic superiority throughout the contest. Adams also drew the attention of the entire FC Indiana defense in the championship game, which gave her teammates more space and helped lead to the two winning goals.

One of the most consistent and dangerous player of the weekend was FC Indiana midfielder Kelly Parker. Parker at times during FC Indiana’s semifinal and championship games was the best player on the field and almost willed her team to victory over the Blues.

Pali head coach Charlie Naimo, who has faced Parker many times over the past few seasons while coaching in the northeast, could not say enough good things about Parker and called her performance over the weekend, “the best I’ve ever seen her play.” Parker’s amazing runs up and down the field wowed the crowd and made for some anxious moments for her opponents the entire weekend.

FC Indiana midfielder Fatima Leyva was the only player the entire weekend to score points in both games, and her goal in the first semifinal match set the tone for a great weekend of soccer. Leyva gained possession in the midfield and quickly maneuvered her way around two Seattle defenders before playing a beautiful give and go with Laura Del Rio and finished with a striker’s grace in the lower left hand corner. Leyva also began the scoring in the Championship match when she sent a curling corner kick in the 47th minute that found the head of FC Indiana midfielder Jessica O’Rourke.

Washington midfielder Lori Lindsey was a force in the middle both games and she clearly showed her importance to the Freedom team. Against the Pali Blues in the semifinals Lindsey linked up with forward Christie Welsh throughout the game and was the main force in controlling the possession battle against the Blues. The Third Place game with the Sounders was more of the same with Lindsey controlling the midfield and tipping the balance of the field in Washington’s direction as most of the game was played in Seattle’s end of the field.

FC Indiana midfielder Jessica O’Rourke played one of the best games of the playoffs and almost sent the Lionesses to the top of the W-League with her amazing championship performance. O’Rourke’s main goal in the championship game was to be a disruption to Pali forwards Danesha Adams and India Trotter. She made life difficult for those two players and limited the amount of space they had to play with. O’Rourke did that beautifully throughout the contest and frustrated both forwards while she was on the field.

Not only did O’Rourke display her strength defensively, but she was also responsible for getting FC Indiana on the scoreboard. O’Rourke soared in the air over two Pali defenders and headed in a cross from teammate Fatima Leyva that gave the Lionesses the lead and put Pali in a trailing position for the first time this season.

Washington defender Emily Janss played all 180 minutes for the Freedom and was a force both defensively and offensively. Janss displayed her quickness on the flanks in both games as she made life miserable for the opposing defenses by making dangerous runs down the sidelines. Janss was also a workhorse defensively as her constant energy and production led to the shutout of Seattle and the frustration of the offensives from both Pali and the Sounders.

The versatility of Pali defender Kandace Wilson was on full display over the weekend as this standout defender showed she can help win games in more ways than one. In the Blues semifinal victory over Washington her athleticism help keep the Freedom forwards at bay and her constant work rate made her a tough defender to beat. Wilson’s big moment came near the end of the championship game when her coach Charlie Naimo moved her to forward to create more energy in the Pali attack. That move paid dividends in the 88th minute when Wilson flew down the left side and sent a cross through the outstretched hands of FC Indiana goalie Kristen Luckenbill and found the head of an incoming Ilaria Pasqui.

Seattle goalkeeper Jessica Salvi was the lone Sounders representative to make the W-League Championship All-Tournament team. Salvi played a courageous game in net for Seattle in their 1-0 setback to FC Indiana. However, if it wasn’t for Salvi, the score could have been much worse. Salvi showed no fear the entire match as she put her body on the line in making clearing punches and several diving saves that put the upstart Sounders in position to make it to the W-League Championship game.

WPSL Champinship: Ajax 3, Arizona 1

As the final seconds of the 2009 Women's Premier Soccer League (WPSL) National Final ticked off the clock, and the victorious Ajax America Women (14-3-1) began their team celebration, it almost felt like a family affair. In a certain sense, it most certainly was as the defense and offense seemed to meld fluidly this weekend with the Bosio sisters - Dani (defender) & Kiki (forward) - taking home Co-MVP honors in the 3-1 victory over the Arizona Rush (10-2-3) for the 2008 WPSL National champions.
The Ajax defense led by All-WPSL defender Dani Bosio clamped down on a young and athletic Arizona offense, only allowing a 30-yard strike from University of Arizona's Kelly Nelson past All-Tournament goalkeeper Alli Lipsher. The Ajax offense was bolstered by the return of U.S. U-23 forward Kiki Bosio on this night, with their attacking volume turned up to 11 (ala Spinal Tap) as soon as she stepped on the field.
Setting up the first & second goals of the match, while notching the insurance goal, Bosio was a true difference-maker for Brain Boswell's side. However, the casual observer could easily witness that the true success of his side was a complete team effort.
"Its been a long time coming," said Boswell, as the last WPSL title for Ajax came in 2001 with his team making three straight trips to the Final Four (2006-08). "We're real happy with this one. over the last couple of [Final Fours], we've been the bridesmaid and it feels good to be the winner. We're just a great team... it doesn't matter who's out there. We just play very well as a team. We play well for each other - more than any superstars."
"Brian just told us to play our game tonight," said Kiki Bosio, also a star forward for coach Jerry Smith at Division I powerhouse Santa Clara. "Let us dictate the game and let them defend us - not the other way around."
And so they did, as Ajax would hold the run of possession through the first half but would find quality scoring chances hard to find via the Arizona's young, physical and determined defense - led by All-Tournament selections Analisa Marquez and Lindsey Johnson. Midway through the half, though, All-Tournament selection Renee Scachetti would beat Rush keeper Emalee Rogers (4 saves) to a flighted ball into the penalty area, but her header would sail just over the cross bar.
In the 28th minute, Ajax would threaten again as Leah Wilson had a point-blank shot on Rogers, but the Big Sky Conference of the Year would save smartly and push the shot away for a corner. But then in the 33rd minute, Arizona's Nelson would repeat her shooting prowess from the day before in the WPSL Semifinal win over New England, firing another 30-yard bomb for the first goal of the match.
Even with her full extension dive at the shot, Ajax goalkeeper Alli Lipsher (2 saves) could only watch the shot fly just over her fingertips and underneath the crossbar. Ajax would respond in high order, as Kiki Bosio initiated the offensive rush that led to the tying goal in the 39th minute.
Bosio broke down the right flank, sending in a low, hard drive across the face of goal that the Rush defense couldn't properly clear. Scachetti would redeem herself in clinical fashion, as she pounced on the loose ball and finished under the dive of Rogers and inside the far post. The half would end with the score tied at 1-1.
It didn't take much time in the second half for Ajax to get their second goal, as the dangerous flip throw-in from Kiki Bosio proved too much for the Rush defense to handle. Essentially a corner kick from the left sideline, Bosio let fly and Myisha Delaney pounced on the knockdown for the 2-1 lead in the 47th minute - which proved the be the eventual gamewinner. The Rush offense could not get anything going against the experienced unity of the Ajax team defense in the second half and were held to only one shot on Lipsher.
With a little over 13 minutes remaining, Kiki Bosio would again prove to be a handful, attacking deep down the left flank and drawing a yellow card infraction on Arizona's Danielle Morin. All-Tournament selection Brooke O'Hanley would drive the free kick towards the face of the goal, which would force another knockdown and Bosio finished for the final score of 3-1.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Dani Bosio/Kiki Bosio (Ajax).
ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM: Marcia Foltz (MYSC Lady Blues), Mary-Frances Monroe (N.E. Mutiny), Danielle Dakin (N.E. Mutiny), Kelly Nelson (Arizona), Analisa Marquez (Arizona), Lindsey Johnson (Arizona), Kiki Bosio (Ajax), Dani Bosio (Ajax), Brooke O'Hanley (Ajax), Renee Scachetti (Ajax), Alli Lipsher (Ajax).
AJAX STARTERS: Lipsher (GK), D. Bosio, Scachetti, Scholl, O'Hanley, Brewer, Bognanno, Delaney, Cross, Wilson, Alfiler.
ARIZONA STARTERS: Rogers (GK), Balcer, McDonald, Moore, Heath, Johnson, Morin, Davis, Bednarz, Nelson, Marquez.
STATS: Shots - 13-5 (Ajax); Saves - 4-2 (Arizona); Fouls - 6-6; Corner Kicks - 7-2 (Ajax).

August 03, 2008

W-League Chmapionship: Pali Blues 2, FC Indiana 1

It’s not always the case that a game can live up to the hype, but the Pali Blues 2-1 victory over FC Indiana in the W-League Championship game will be remembered for ages.
The Pali Blues came out loose and relax and it showed early in the contest. Pali was in control of the game early, dominating possession and getting everyone involved. On the other hand, FC Indiana looked nervous and the big game jitters definitely contributed to early FC Indiana miscues.
Although FC Indiana could not keep possession for any period of time, their defense was solid and Pali could not create any true scoring chances. Jessica O’Rourke was key in FC Indiana’s early defensive play as Head Coach Shek Borkowski unleashed a defensive strategy which clogged up the space that the athletic Blues desperately needed.
“Shek did an excellent coaching job tonight,” said Pali Head Coach Charlie Naimo. “He was able to take away our athleticism and we were really in trouble.”
The first big moment of the match came in the 30th minute when FC Indiana thought they took the early lead. Laura Del Rio played a beautiful curling ball in the front of the Pali goalmouth, where the awaiting Lauren Sesselmann headed into the goal. However, Sesselmann was whistled for being a step offside.
Pali responded quickly to FC Indiana’s scoring chance with one of their own. US youth international Danesha Adams sent a through ball to India Trotter, who looked to have a good shot on goal. However, Trotter tried one too many moves and the retreating FC Indiana defense deflected Trotter’s shot wide.
Right before the end of the first half it looked again like FC Indiana would take a 1-0 lead when midfielder Lena Mosebo blew past a defender on the wing and found an open Spain international Laura Del Rio at the top of the box. Del Rio’s shot was pushed aside by Pali goalie Val Henderson and the deflection went towards the direction of the back post and also towards the direction of a sliding Lauren Sesselmann. However, the sliding Sesselmann was unable to connect as the ball went safely out of play. The two teams headed to the half level, but with the momentum clearly in FC Indiana’s favor.
FC Indiana used that momentum to come out strong in the second half. They dominated the early play and used that advantage to score the first goal of the match. Midfielder and Mexican international Fatima Leyva sent a dangerous curling corner in the 47th minute that found the head of Jessica O’Rourke to make it 1-0 FC Indiana.

This was the first time all season that Pali trailed in a match and it took awhile for the Blues to regain their focus and command of the game.

FC Indiana continued on the offensive following the goal and in the 57th minute almost made the score 2-0 when Lauren Sesselmann went down the sidelines and sent in a cross the Del Rio just headed wide of the goal. Del Rio was at it again in the 70th minute, when she sent another beautiful cross that FC Indiana forward Mexican international Monica Ocampo got too, but was unable to put on goal.
“We were really struggling to make anything happen in the first part of the second half,” said Naimo. “We switched our formation from a 4-4-2 to a 3-4-3 to try and get some energy up top.”

The switch worked magically for Naimo and in the 83rd minute Pali leveled the match. Pali defender Amy LePeilbet beat all FC Indiana players in the air to the ball from a corner sent in by Rosie Tantillo and smoothly deflected the ball past FC Indiana goalie Kristen Luckenbill.

The equalizing goal sent waves of confidence through the Blues players and sent FC Indiana into a state of shock they could not recover from. Pali used the bounce in their step just five minutes later to score the game-winning goal. Defender Kandace Wilson, who was moved up top by Naimo in the second half, beat her defender on the wing and sent in a cross that went over the outstretched hands of Luckenbill. Italian international Ilaria Pasqui jumped at the opportunity and sent a diving header into the back of the net for only her second goal of the year.
FC Indiana frantically tried to gather themselves to find the equalizer, but none came, and Pali rode the strength of two goals in the final 10 minutes to win the 2008 W-League Championship.
“Our depth was a huge reason why we won this game,” said Naimo. “Our bench gave us the energy we needed and helped put us on top.”
FC Indiana’s loss was especially devastating to midfielder Kelly Parker, who is now 0-3 in W-League Championship games.
“To have the game in our hands, to be able to see the trophy right in front of us, this just hurts a lot,” said an obviously dejected Parker. “With the 1-0 goal lead we played a little bit safer but the momentum swing at the end of the game was too much to overcome.”
Kelly Parker was arguably the best player on the field tonight. She made tireless runs up and down the field and was a constant thorn in the side of the Pali Blues.
“I have never seen Kelly play this well,” said Naimo. “I can’t say enough good things about her.”
With the win the Pali Blues finished their season with a perfect 14-0-0 record, trailing only for a period of 36 minutes – as about a perfect a season as any team could produce. Star defender Amy LePeilbet was named the Most Valuable Player of the W-League Championship as she scored the goal that breathed life back to Pali.

August 02, 2008


Roland Arnqvist, responsible for player contracts at Umeå IK, reveals that the new American soccer league WPS has been in touch with the club regarding some of their players. Lauren Gregg, who works with international player contracts for the league, approached Umeå, requesting permission to start talks with three players; Brazilians Marta and Elaine and Swiss teenage talent Ramona Bachmann. WPS recieved Umeå's permission to start contract talks with Marta, but were denied this when it comes to Elaine and Bachmann. Both these players are on two year contracts and are tied to Umeå through the 2009 season. It is of course possible, and not uncommon, to change clubs during a contract period, but Arnqvist doesn't think WPS has the money to buy the players from Umeå. He adds that he wouldn't recommend a young player to join the WPS the first years, but rather wait and see. But then, he is not really an impartial observer here.

WPSL All-Star team

F Jessica McDonald (ARIZONA RUSH)
F Katie Schoepfer (SOCCERPLUS CT)
MF Mary-Frances Monroe (NEW ENGLAND MUTINY)
MF Megan Dickerson (UTAH SPIDERS)
D Manya Makoski (SOCCERPLUS CT)
D Nancy Goffi (ARIZONA RUSH)
D Kendal Billingsley (WEST COAST F.C.)
GK Sophia Perez (SD UNITED)

Buffalo joins W-League

United Soccer Leagues announced today the first W-League expansion team to be added for the 2009 season, unveiling that the Sahlen family, led by W-League player Alexandra Sahlen, has acquired the franchise rights for the greater Buffalo area, which will be home to the new Buffalo Flash.
Sahlen family expands sports enterprises Sahlen is currently the President of Sahlen Sports Park, a family-owned indoor sports facility that the W-League team will call home for training. The facility is an 180,000 sq/ft multi-sport center with three open fields, a boarded field, a fitness center, soccer store and café. The facility features a full field sized 70 by 100 yards and is home to numerous adult and youth sports leagues and tournaments.

W-League All-Star team

W-League 2008 All-League Team

G - Mallori Lofton-Malachi (Tampa Bay Hellenic)
D - Marie-Eve Nault (FC Indiana Lionesses)
D - Cindy Walsh (Laval Comets)
D - Sue Weber (Long Island Rough Riders)
M - Chelsea Cline (Minnesota Lightning)
M - Michelle French (Seattle Sounders)
M - Lori Lindsey (Washington Freedom)
M - Jill Oakes (Pali Blues)
F - Shay Powell (Ottawa Fury)
F - Sarah Steinmann (Atlanta Silverbacks)
F - Christie Welsh (Washington Freedom)

Most Valuable Player – Sarah Steinmann (Atlanta Silverbacks)
Coach of the Year – Tony Anglin (Atlanta Silverbacks)
Defender of the Year – Sue Weber (Long Island Rough Riders)
Goalkeeper of the Year – Mallori Lofton-Malachi (Tampa Bay Hellenic)
U19 Player of the Year – Fortuna Velaj (Connecticut Passion)