LA Sol v Washington Freedom Post Game Thoughts

31 03 2009

In a great unfortunate accident, I fell asleep halfway through the LA Sol versus Washington Freedom match up. If there is one thing I am willing to bet money on though, don’t let this match be the standard for future matches. In both a good way and a bad way.

First, the good way. This match was not the standard of play for the future. I expect teams to play better and better as the season goes on, and team chemistry and problem solving by coaches progresses throughout the season.

Second, the bad way. The near 14,000 in attendance for the game is not likely to be a regular occurrence. This is definitely true considering some stadiums in the WPS are half that size. It is very good to see a large attendance like that, and we all should be happy about it. But keep your eye on that 5,000 average prize, where clubs break even financially.

Overall I thought the level was a little below what I think is an entertaining women’s soccer league. I thought team cohesion was lacking, and therefore the passing and rhythm suffered. I’m sure LA is glad to get the win, especially in an effort to keep a lot of those fans coming back. The Washington Freedom looked a good ways away from championship contender. People talked about Brianna Scurry but the Freedoms midfield is what bothered me the most.

BOLD STATEMENT: Marta may very well not be a shoe in for the league MVP. It is early to say because we haven’t seen what all the teams look like and how they rank in success. But the WPS is a balanced league in principal, and Marta will not have any push overs to bang in a handful of goals against. Then there is also the factor in MVP debates of whether the player made the team better. Landon Donovan himself had an absolutely killer season last year. In the end, Donovan’s Galaxy had a poor season and because of that he missed his chance at garnering one of the few MLS awards that he does not already have, the MVP award.

Marta will not only have to do well individually but make the Los Angeles Sol a very good team. Who could be her competition out there? FIFA World Player of the Year Runner-Up and fellow Brazilian Cristiane would be a possibility, especially on a Chicago Red Stars team that seems packed with quality in the midfield and forward lines. Hope Solo could be in the running if the St. Louis Athletica put together a top performance season, and Natasha Kai could be make a run for it if she turns up with big game performances and clutch goals like she’s done in the past. Of course my dark horse is Megan Rapinoe. It’s ok, you can laugh, but I’ve got a good feeling about this player.

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