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Thursday, September 23, 2010

2010 WPS Playoffs Presented by MedImmune by Rob Penner

A guest post by Rob Penner for World Football Commentaries
Women's Professional Soccer
2010 WPS Playoffs Presented by MedImmune

WPS Super Semifinal Preview

2010 WPS Playoffs presented by MedImmune – Remaining Schedule

Thursday, September 23, 2010
WPS Super Semifinal – 8pm ET (Fox Soccer Channel)
Boston Breakers vs. Philadelphia Independence

August 7, 2010: Number one player in the world FC Gold Pride  Marta in action during the WPS match between the Bay Area FC Gold Pride and the Chicago Red Stars. The first place Pride tied Chicago 0-0. Hayward, California.
Marta Vieira da Silva: There are no words
to describe the four-time FIFA World Player
of the Year.

Sunday, September 26, 2010
WPS Championship presented by Citi – 2:30pm ET (Pregame Show at 2pm on FSN, Comcast SportsNet; check local listings)

FC Gold Pride vs.
Philadelphia Independence

WPS Super Semifinal Preview
Thursday, September 23
Boston Breakers vs. Philadelphia Independence (8:00pm ET)
Soldiers Field Soccer Stadium, Boston, MA

- Philadelphia became the first WPS team ever to win a home playoff game Sunday when they won 1-0 against the Washington Freedom in the WPS First Round courtesy of a 120th minute goal from forward Amy Rodriguez.

- Boston’s last game was a 0-0 tie against Sky Blue FC on the final day of the regular season on September 11.

- After going 1-5-4, including a nine-game winless streak, during the first half of the season before the WPS All-Star break, Boston went 9-2-3 in July, August and September to finish second in the WPS Regular Season standings.

- Philadelphia finished third in the regular season with 34 points, one point behind Boston, and defeated No. 4 Washington to earn a place into the WPS Super Semifinal.

- Philadelphia was 10-6-4 through August 15th before a four-game losing streak to finish the regular season left them at .500 for the regular season.

- Boston finished the season by being shut-out in two consecutive games by FC Gold Pride and Sky Blue FC after having a streak of eight consecutive games prior to that with at least two goals.
- Scoring is key for Boston, they did not win any games by 1-0 scores this year: Boston is 10-1-1 when they score 2 goals or more and 0-7-5 when they score one goal or less.

- A tight game could benefit the visiting team as Philadelphia is 7-4 in games decided by one goal including Sunday’s playoff victory. By contrast, Boston is 4-6 in games decided by one goal and won six of their 10 victories by two goals or more.

- Boston was 2-0-2 against Philadelphia this year. The teams played three times in Philadelphia with Boston winning 2-0, 2-1 and tying 2-2. The only game played in Boston this season was at Harvard Stadium, a 1-1 tie in the second week of the season.

- This playoff game is being played at Soldiers Field Soccer Stadium at Harvard University. It will be the smallest-capacity venue to ever host a WPS game.

- Philadelphia’s Amy Rodriguez finished third in the league in scoring with 12 goals and notched her 13th goal of the season in the WPS First Round. Her teammate Lori Lindsey was second in the league with eight assists.

- Boston’s Kelly Smith was fourth in the league in scoring with 11 goals while also leading her team with five assists in 2010.

- Philadelphia features four 2010 WPS All-Stars including Rodriguez, Lindsey, defender Allison Falk and midfielder Caroline Seger.

- Boston features five 2010 WPS All-Stars including Smith, defenders Alex Scott and Amy LePeilbet, forward Lauren Cheney and midfielder Kristine Lilly.

- Both Philadelphia and Boston have WPS Year-End Award winners. Boston’s Amy LePeilbet won MedImmune Defender of the Year while Paul Riley was selected as WPS Coach of the Year in a vote by media, fans and players.

- During the regular season, the league had a 75% conversion rate for Penalty Kicks in which nine of 12 PK attemps were scored.

- Boston had just one PK in 2010 in which Kelly Smith converted against Philadelphia’s Karina LeBlanc on August 29.

- Philadelphia had no PK attempts in 2010 but led the league in the number of penalty kicks they faced with five. Four of five PKs against the Independence were goals.

- Philadelphia had three two-game winning streaks this season following up a victory with another victory but did not have any three-game winning streaks – something they would have to do in order to capture the 2010 WPS Championship.

- Boston’s winning streaks included two three-game winning streaks and one two-game winning streak.
- Boston and Philadelphia are a combined 0-7 against FC Gold Pride, who awaits the winner of the WPS Super Semifinal in the 2010 WPS Championship presented by Citi on September 26 at Pioneer Stadium in Hayward, CA.
- Last year, Sky Blue FC was 0-2-1 vs. the regular season champion Los Angeles Sol before defeating them 1-0 in the WPS Championship.

- Last year’s WPS Super Semifinal saw Sky Blue FC defeat Saint Louis Athletica, 1-0, in front of a near sell-out crowd in St. Louis.

About Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS)

Headquartered in San Francisco, Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) is the world’s premier soccer league for women with seven teams across the United States featuring the best players from around the world. WPS completed its inaugural season in August 2009 as Sky Blue FC of New Jersey became the first-ever WPS Champions. In 2010, seven teams will each play 24-game schedules from April 10-September 12 including five original WPS teams – Boston Breakers, Chicago Red Stars, FC Gold Pride (Bay Area), Sky Blue FC (NJ/NY) and Washington Freedom – and two expansion teams Atlanta Beat and Philadelphia Independence. The top four finishers in the regular season will qualify for the 2010 WPS Playoffs scheduled for September 19-26. For more information, visit the WPS official website at www.womensprosoccer.com or follow all the news at www.twitter.com/womensprosoccer.

About the Author

Rob Penner is the Director of Communications for Women's Professional Soccer.

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