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Canadians Abroad - May 13-19, 2009


Vic

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Two Canadian WPS debuts, minor disappointments in Europe and the W-League gets rolling.

WPS

Sky Blue 0 - 1 Sol

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Kelly Parker

The league leaders Sol stay in control with a narrow win off a late Marta breakway. Karina Leblanc goes 90 and handles 14 shots (3 on net) to record her fifth shutout in 6 starts. Martina Franko also puts in a full 90 for the Sol as well as Kelly Parker for Sky Blue. U.S. forward Natasha Kai collided with Sol goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc and left the field on a stretcher with a quad bruise and is questionable for this weekend.

Freedom 1 -1 Breakers

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Erin McLeod

Two debut Canadian performaces. The first is the long -awaited arrival of Erin McLeod in the Freedom's net who brings immediate dividends and saves the point in the 68th minute when Kelly Smith aimed for the top left corner, but McLeod was there to knock away the attempt in what DiCicco [boston coach] called the "best save of the year." The Breakers goal was a beautifully placed high shot by English International Alex Scott, but no such luck for teammate Smith on McLeod's late play of the week save:

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Erin McLeod

"At Harvard Stadium, Scott's goal came in the 49th minute when Christine Latham played a ball towards the former Arsenal defender, who beat a defender before blasting a shot over goalkeeper McLeod into the centre of the goal. Scott said: 'Christine did a good job holding the ball up and got me a great pass. Kelly (Smith) was screaming for it in the penalty box and I think she would have gone mad if I didn’t put it in."

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Christine Latham

Latham gets an early yellow and goes 64 minutes this week before Amy Rodriguez comes in, and will have to wait to for the results of this week's Discipline Committee meeting to find out if she receives supplemental penalty for an elbow.

The second debut is Candace Chapman coming in the game in the 79th minute. A perfect chance for the Breakers in the 83d minute sailed out of play when Candace Chapman laced a pass right to Kristine Lilly who had a clear shot in front of the goal, but rushed the shot. "I should have finished that," Lilly said. "There was no excuse. It as a great ball by Candace. . . . I wish I could have it back."

You can see the save and the highlights here:

Red Stars 0 -1 Gold Pride

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Christine Sinclair

Both the Pride and the Stars go to .500 as the bounce smiles on Christine Sinclair. In the 30th minute Adriane crosses to Swedish Keeper Caroline Jonsson who fumbles it right to Sinclair's foot on the 4 yard line who bangs it off a defender and then walks it into the net.

If you can survive the completely bizarre announcing you can see the goal around the 35 second mark:

Sinclair is pegged for 4 of the teams 5 offsides and ups her shots to six this week, with one on goal (the walk-in). She is now second in the league in shots.

Bye week for Melissa Tancredi's Athletica.

W-LEAGUE

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Robyn Gayle, Natasha Kai

FC Indiana lived up to their Top 10 international ranking and walked the Chicago Red Stars 4-0 with Sharolta Nonen and Robyn Gayle playing strong 90's in the back and Sasha Andrews coming in on the hour. No sign of Carmelina Moscato.

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Robyn Gayle, Natasha Kai, Sharolta Nonen

This week celebrated FC Indiana coach Shek Borkowski lauded very high praise on Nonen:

quote:"Sharolta is a quick, aggressive centre-back and will be a terrific addition to the squad. She is a top international player and her arrival will strengthen my squad. I was surprised, I was shocked that she was not drafted by any WPS teams, I called her right after the draft and asked her to come to Indiana. When Sharolta plays you always expect that when it matters, FC Indiana will win. She instills in the rest of the team an unbeatable confidence, her presence alone is enough. Players need self-belief but Sharolta has huge reserves of the stuff. She is very professional in how she looks after herself, she is very fit, and she can keep going at the highest level."

Kara Lang's Pali Blues go to 2-0 with wins over LA and Colorado. If you can survive the Postal Service-ish creepy music and early video of the world juggling record by fans at the game, the link below contains some great Iris Mora highlights, and some wonderful skill from Lang at 3:35 and 4:41:

NORWAY

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Diana Matheson

In the Toppserien 4th place Team Strømmen tie 8th place IF Fløya on two second half Diana Matheson goals. Their home game Thursday against the league's superower Stabæk has been postponed until the Fall due to Matheson and Rhiann Wilkinson returning home for the USA friendly. No idea of the process behind that.

SWEDEN

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Brittany Timko, Barbara

Brittany Timko and Kaylyn Kyle cannot solve the Brazilian Barbara in the Lappland derby and front of 1,400 fans as Piteå go down to Sunnanå 0 - 2 (another women's program celebrating 35 years) in the Damallsvenskan. Another good game from Stephanie Labbe. Australian Kate Gill scores on a questionable PK early and breaks Piteå's spirit, who are now six league games without a goal. Piteå played a 4-5-1 in the first half but went to 4-4-2 in the second adding support to just Timko up front. Kaylyn Kyle shoots over the net early in the second half on a good opportunity and knocks out Swedish national defender Hanna Marklund with what's called a late tackle (but Marklund later returns to the game) before subbing out on 65 minutes. Timko gets a yellow in the second half for encroaching on a free kick.

No relief in site as they travel South to play the perenially strong Kopparbergs/Göteborg this weekend who have lost just once in seven games, this time to try and put one past Hedvig Lindahl who is Barbara on steroids. Free entrance if you have a ticket to the Sweden/Brazil women's friendly, although I imagine the Canadians will be farther South in Toronto.

DENMARK

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Mariel Solsberg

Update. Finally tracked down Mariel Solsberg with Fortuna Hjørring who bagged a pair a few weeks ago and earned the name Speedy Gonzales, "The Fastest Mouse in all Mexico".

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