FC Gold Pride Crowned as WPS Champions
HAYWARD, Calif. (Sept. 26, 2010) - FC Gold Pride capped the 2010 season with a 4-0 victory over the Philadelphia Independence in Sunday's WPS Championship presented by Citi. The Bay Area team put on a show in front of the near sell-out crowd of 5,228 fans at Pioneer Stadium bringing the Bay Area its first professional championship since the San Jose Earthquakes won the MLS Cup in 2003.
The Independence, playing in their third game of the week, didn't go down without a fight putting up a good battle against the hosting Regular Season Champions. It took 17 minutes for the Pride to get on the board in the first half. Philadelphia goalkeeper Val Henderson put up a strong effort, blocking two consecutive close range shots from two-time PUMA Golden Boot winner, Marta. Though Marta was denied, the Pride kept the pressure up continuing the assault with immediate shots from Tiffeny Milbrett, and Camille Abily who were also denied. The fifth and final shot of the assault came off the foot of Sinclair who cleaned up the ricochet of Abily's shot, to net the first goal of the game.
The Pride would strike again on another opportunity created by Marta as she fed a ball to the feet of Kandace Wilson who was streaking up the right flank of the field. Wilson was met with a little pressure from Independence defender Allison Falk but Wilson found a way to make just enough space between her and Falk to strike a well-placed shot that bypassed Henderson who was off her line to put the Pride up 2-0. The home team would take the two-goal lead into the half. For Wilson, this marked her first goal of the season.
The Bay Area side kept the pressure up in the second half, scoring again in the 53rd minute to take a commanding three-goal lead over the visiting Independence. Marta again set up the play by dribbling towards the end line. Just outside of the six-yard box, she threaded a perfect pass trough Philadelphia's defense to the feet of Sinclair who easily redirected the ball into the net for her second goal of the game.
The long week of competition and the heat wore on both teams as substitutions were made and the pace of the Philadelphia side slowed but the Pride did not let up continuing the attack. Wilson and stealthy forward Tiffeny Milbrett both came inches away from adding to the Pride's already healthy lead, bounced shots off the post.
In the final minute of the game, Wilson paid back Marta for her first half assist, serving a ball from near the right side of the field to Marta who was waiting on the far post to fire her 20th goal of 2010 putting her team up 4-0. Marta's two assists and stoppage time goal earned her MVP accolades for the WPS Championship. The PUMA Golden Boot winner finished the year with 20 goals; double her season total from 2009.
The Pride's stellar 2010 season set records in multiple categories including longest winning streak (5 games; twice), most goals in a game (6) and most goals in a half (5). The victory also extends the Pride's WPS record, 14- game unbeaten streak. The Bay Area remains undefeated against the 2010 expansion team, Philadelphia Independence.
With Sunday's 4-0 victory, the Pride wrote the final chapter of its 'worst-to-first' season in the history books of WPS and women's soccer as the Pride became the 2010 WPS Champions.
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Women's Professional Soccer Stories from September 26, 2010
- FC Gold Pride Crowned as WPS Champions - FC Gold Pride
- FC Gold Pride Capture 2010 WPS Championship - WPS
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