June 11, 2010 - Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) - Chicago Red Stars
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- The Chicago Red Stars start a four-game road trip when they travel to Boyds, Md., to take on the Washington Freedom at 6 p.m. CT Saturday in Women's Professional Soccer play at the Maryland SoccerPlex.
This marks the first meeting of the season between Chicago (2-4-2) and Washington (4-4-2). The last time the two teams met, the Freedom eliminated the Red Stars from last season's playoff contention, topping Chicago, 3-2, on July 26, 2009, at Toyota Park. The all-time series is tied at 1-1-2.
The Red Stars are coming off a scoreless draw against the Atlanta Beat, while the Freedom are coming off a 1-1 draw against WPS-leading FC Gold Pride. Washington is in the midst of a five-match unbeaten run, posting a 3-0-2 record during the stretch. The Freedom's last defeat was a 3-1 loss against the Philadelphia Independence on April 25.
Chicago has a 1-2-0 record on the road this season, while Washington is 3-1-1 on the home front.
ASANTE, SPILGER AVAILABLE; DAVIS OUT WITH ACL INJURY
On June 5, the Red Stars came to terms with defender and England National Team member Anita Asante. Because the acquisition was pending league approval, she was not available against Atlanta. But Asante will be in uniform this weekend against Washington, wearing a No.
5 Red Stars jersey. Asante reunites with fellow England players and Red Stars midfielders Karen Carney and Katie Chapman. ... Red Stars defender Natalie Spilger, who suffered a head injury early in Sunday's match against Atlanta, going up for a header against the Beat's Mami Yamaguchi, will return to the pitch. Spilger needed seven stitches on the top of her head following the collision, but she is fully ready for Washington. ... Red Stars backup goalkeeper Kelsey Davis is out with an ACL injury, and developmental player Meghann Burke will be the primary backup behind starting goalkeeper Jillian Loyden. Davis' injury occurred during Thursday's training.
LAST TIME OUT
The Red Stars out-shot the Atlanta Beat, 16-5, and held an 8-1 shots-on-goal advantage, but had to settle for a scoreless draw Sunday in the first-ever meeting between the two teams. It was Chicago's first scoreless draw of the year. The Red Stars had two scoreless draws in their inaugural 2009 WPS season. Omid Namazi made his head coaching debut for Chicago. The Red Stars wrapped up a three-game homestand with a 1-1-1 showing, while the Beat picked up their second point of the year.
Freedom defender Brittany Bock, a native of west suburban Naperville, Ill., has played in one match and 13 minutes for Washington this year. Bock has close ties to the Chicagoland area and played plenty of soccer with Red Stars defender and Elk Grove Village, Ill., native Elise Weber. Both played club ball with Eclipse Select and both played collegiately at Notre Dame. Bock was with the Irish for all four seasons, while Weber spent her junior and senior seasons with Bock and Notre Dame, following her transfer from the University of Wisconsin. Bock is coming off a 2009 season where she started in 18 of 19 games played for the Los Angeles Sol, while netting two goals. The Freedom selected Bock with the seventh pick in the 2010 WPS Dispersal Draft.
ALL-STAR VOTING IS IN
The Red Stars were shut out from the 2010 WPS All-Star voting as the league tallied the votes earlier this week. The 2010 WPS All-Star Game presented by U.S. Coast Guard Reserve kicks off at 7 p.m. June 30 at KSU Soccer Stadium in Kennesaw, Ga. (televised on Fox Soccer Channel). The top two vote-getters in the league were Washington's Abby Wambach and FC Gold Pride's Marta, earning them captain designations. The All-Star Game format this year begins with the captains selecting their starting team together with the All-Star Game head coaches. Washington midfielder Sonia Bompastor and Freedom defender Cat Whitehill also were voted in for the All-Star festivities.
ON THE HORIZON
Following Saturday's match against Washington, the Red Stars move to the second leg of their road trip when they travel to Kennesaw, Ga., to battle Atlanta for the second time in three matches at 6 p.m. Saturday, June 19.
TUNE IN ONLINE
Red Stars home matches are broadcast in both English and Spanish on www.ChicagoRedStars.com. The next Red Stars home match is at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 7, against Atlanta. Rob Coons handles the English play-by-play, and Jorge Trujillo and Enrique "Tico" Fernandez provide the Spanish webcast.
"They're a good offensive team. They do well with possessing the ball. We need to make sure we're tight defensively and we don't allow too much space and time. It's never a case where you can stop [Abby Wambach]," but you can limit her production, defend by committee. It will be a tough task. She's physical and she creates her own chances."
-- Red stars Head Coach