Week 4 of WPS took place at the same hour, same day and same coast. All 4 games this weekend were played at 6 pm on the east coast, on Saturday with a special FSC broadcast of the Sky Blue FC-FC Gold Pride match up that day. This weekend saw the Chicago Red Stars earn their first win of the season against a very strong Boston Breakers side, and that was the big story that came out of WPS.
First up, FC Gold Pride made a trip across the country to New Jersey to face the WPS defending Champions, Sky Blue FC. It took only one goal from Canadian international Christine Sinclair to get the the Pride their third win this season. Kelley O’Hara drew a penalty kick in the 34th minute, which was saved by Karen Bardsley. The goal, however, came just 4 minutes later when Camille Abily took a free kick which was headed across the 6-yard box by Carrie Dew. Sinclair got on the end of it, shooting the ball to the far post. The Pride now stand alone in first place in the standings at 3-1-0 with the only loss coming against the St. Louis Athletica in Week 1.
The Washington Freedom hosted the St. Louis Athletica at RFK Stadium in front of the weekend’s highest attendance: 8,261. Freedom got on the scoreboard first in the 18th minute when Abby Wambach turned a Sarah Huffman pass to Sonia Bompastor, who then curved a left-footed shot past Hope Solo. In the final seconds of the first half, Eniola Aluko scored an equalizer. Shannon Boxx sent a cross inside the box. Lori Chalupny nodded the ball down for Aluko to score with two Freedom jerseys in front of her. In the 46th minute, the Freedom earned a corner kick, taken by Bompastor. It was Homare Sawa this time, who shot a right-footed volley into the back of the net. The Freedom secured the win in the 74th minute. Washington goalkeeper, Erin McLeod took a goal kick, which was headed further up the field by Wambach. Lene Mykjaland let the ball bounce once and then kicked the ball near the left post past Solo who was well off her line and could not reach the ball in time.
The Philadelphia Independence defeated the Atlanta Beat in the expansion teams’ second meeting this season. Lori Lindsey scored her first goal of the year to give her team the win. Homlfridur Magnusdottir took a free kick form 30 yards out. Allison Falk found the ball but her header was finished by a kick from Lindsey into the goal. Both team had many other chances to score but both goalkeepers made saves to keep the score at 1-0. Philly now stands at 2nd place in the standings, 2 points ahead of the Freedom from two ties this season.
Lastly, the Chicago Red Stars upset the Boston Breakers this weekend with 2 goals. In the 63rd minute, Karen Carney crossed the ball inside the box, and Nogueira to a low shot to the right post to give the Red Stars their first lead of the season. Six minutes later, Cristiane scored her first goal of the season by making a run down the field to score from a tight angle after getting on the end of a Megan Rapinoe pass. The Red Stars now stand just 3 points ahead of the last-placed Altanta Beat (0-3-1) with a 1-2-1 record.
Next week on Saturday, the Washington Freedom will host the Boston Breakers at &pm ET, Philadelphia will travel to the midwest to take on the St. Louis Athletica at 7pm CT, and the Red Stars will travel out to the west coast to take on FC Gold Pride at 7pm PT. On Sunday, the Atlanta Beat will play their first home game of the season, after 4 straight games on the road, in front of their brand new stadium against Sky Blue FC at 7pm ET. The game will be aired live on FSC. For more information, visit womensprosoccer.com.