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Freedom and Chicago Red Stars play to a 0-0 final

June 13, 2009 - Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) - magicJack News Release


Washington, DC-(June 13, 2009) In a fiercely fought game, the Washington Freedom (3-3-4) and Chicago Red Stars (2-3-5) played to a 0-0 tie Saturday afternoon in front of a crowd of 5,049 at Washington's RFK Stadium.

The key to this game was toughness and intensity. Chicago players, never afraid to go body-to-body, brought their rough playing style to Washington. Each team recorded a pair of yellow cards, and head referee Juan Carlos Rivero ejected Chicago's Karen Carney in the 60th minute after a hard foul on Washington's captain Abby Wambach.

This was the second straight game against Washington that a Chicago player was red-carded (the last game took place at the Maryland Soccer Plex on April 11, with Red Stars captain Frida Ostberg earning the ejection). When asked about Chicago's physical play (a trait they have become known for around the league), Washington's Allie Long said she "doesn't mind it because it hypes us up." This attitude could be seen through her play, as she was the clear star for Washington, taking seven shots including two on goal.

Through the first 20 minutes, Washington took four shots to Chicago's two, but none found the net. This shooting disparity would continue

throughout the game, with Washington taking 24 shots to Chicago's nine. After Carney was ejected, Washington took a staggering 13 shots, including six on frame. Chicago's best first half chance came at the 25 minute mark from midfielder Megan Rapinoe, who struck the ball well but missed the goal high. Washington's best chance came at the 41 minute mark, when midfielder Allie Long's shot sailed just over the crossbar.

On Chicago's end, Rapinoe ran hard throughout the game, giving the Red Stars all four of their crosses. These opportunities never came to fruition, but were some of Chicago's best chances during the hard-fought draw.

On the topic of draws, Chicago head coach Emma Hayes commented after the game that her Red Stars have become the "draw specialist," with tonight's game constituting their fifth tie of the season. On top of that, this was Chicago's third straight tie (and fourth straight on the road). Coach Hayes is happy with her team's play, but, as she puts it, "we just need to put it in the back of the net."

Washington recorded its first shutout of the year, despite the fact that coach Jim Gabarra had to make two changes to his back line, which lost Alex Singer to an injury. Added to the defense was Ali Krieger, who played her first game with the Freedom after arriving from her previous club in Frankfurt, Germany. Fresh off her European affair, she commented on the disparity of the speed of play between European and American soccer, citing that in Europe, unlike here, you "get yelled at if you play too slow." A true team player, Krieger said that she "wants to bring excitement and a spark to the Freedom."

Washington will travel to St. Louis for its next game (Saturday, June 20), and Chicago will travel to New Jersey to play Sky Blue FC next Wednesday, June 17.

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