WPS Championship: LA Sol vs. Sky Blue FC (Matchday Preview)

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By CHRISTA MANN

After a twenty game regular season and two opening rounds of the playoffs, today's Women's Pro Soccer Championship (4:00 PM EST on FSN and Comcast affiliates) features the L.A. Sol against Sky Blue FC (NJ).

One team was always expected to be in the championship game, while the other, well the other wasn't even expected to make the playoffs amid inner turmoil and early-season struggles.

Here's a closer look at the two teams participating in the first WPS Championship Game.

Since Day One, the Sol has dominated this inaugural season. With Marta, the best female player in the world, and her supporting cast of notable talents, L.A. suffered only one loss in the first twelve games and finished 12-3-5 overall. Week in and week out, opposing teams have struggled against this obvious favorite.  They basically walked away with the regular season title and a guaranteed spot in the final despite ending the season with two losses in a tie in the last five games but the best of the best ended the season on a pretty sour note. Going 2-2-1in the last four games. The Sol is a fan favorite without a doubt but its opponent has won over the hearts of many.

Sky Blue FC is the ultimate underdog in WPS after overcoming constant drama behind the scenes and a four game winless opening. Somehow this team found a way when there was no way and performed at its best when not one but two head coaches had to go.  In each of those instances, SBFC had one of its best games of the season.  Adversity to them is a good thing.  It inspires the team's will to pull off some astonishing results.  In the playoffs alone, SBFC found a way to upset two teams that it had never defeated in the regular season.  The Washington Freedom and St. Louis Athletica both went down in the  SBFC's quest to the final.  They have battled through injuries and forgotten all the drama but can they overcome the best team in the league?

Who wins it all?  Can SBFC's Jenni Branam make it for 90 more minutes in goal? Who deserves it more? Will you be watching?

Share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below. Enjoy the match.

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17 Responses to WPS Championship: LA Sol vs. Sky Blue FC (Matchday Preview)

  1. ag nigrin says:

    Sky Blue FC is on a roll! Christie Rampone has them playing a tight passing game with tenacious defense. LA has been in poor form of late and they haven’t played in two weeks! Marta will choke like she always does in final games!

  2. cbr says:

    lets go skyblue!

  3. Christa says:

    Pretty back and fourth so far. First goal scored by Heather O’Reilly. Play resulted from a Keeley Dowling serve flicked on by Kai and finished by O’Reilly.

  4. Zack says:

    straight red to one of the sol players, didnt see who it was.

  5. Christa says:

    Allison Falk. Should have been a yellow. She unintentionally clipped Kai from behind and Kai added some theatrics to her fall. Galk wasn’t even the last defender. Sol has Nonen, Cox, and Bock in the back line now

  6. Christa says:

    SBFC leads SOl 1-0 going into the half

  7. Marc says:

    I’m watching with my daughter and we were both surprised by that red card…I agree yellow at best and Kai sold it….a bad call especially in the Championship Game…the ref will know once she s=es it she made a mistake….all in all LA is playign well with 10 men…Marta is such a great player which gives LA a chance even a woman down…

  8. Christa says:

    Sol getting some looks int he last 10 minutes of the game. Subs are paying off but SBFC is sitting in.

  9. ag nigrin says:

    I told you so. Sky Blue are the Champs! Woo hoo!

  10. ag nigrin says:

    The red card was justified as she was the last defender back and she prevented Kai on a breakaway. Straight red in any book!

  11. Fred says:

    I watched the second half. It was entertaining. The Sol seemed to have the better of the play but Sky Blue showed a lot of grit and got the job done. The defense played well. Sky Blue seemed out of gas. They needed to knock it around and make the Sol chase more than they did.

  12. Magpie says:

    Never should have been a red card. Contact was unintentional and incidental. Some would say Kai dove on the play. At least she embellished it. And I believe there was another defender back. The non-call on the foul against the Sol attacker in the box in the 2nd half deserved a card and a PK more than the foul on Kai. I’m a Red Stars fan and was pulling for NJ, but I feel their win was tainted if not directly a result of the bad calls. The red affected the entire match and the non-PK denied the Sol a chance to even up the score. The NJ defender got ball but also took down the attacker from behind. IMHO if the ref calls the first one a red card she has to call a PK on the second one. The ref should be consistant and hopefully not determine the result.

  13. nathan3e says:

    Falk fouled Kai from behind when she was running full speed. Kai did not dive or embellish – why would she go down when she is clean through? None of the Sol defenders were going to catch her.

    Have someone knock you off your stride from behind when you are going all out and see how well you stay on your feet.

    And O’Reilly’s play in the box was NOT a penalty. She got all of the ball before making contact with the player. There would be four penalties per game if that was called.

  14. alex says:

    that red card should have definitely been a yellow (at most)…the other yellow for l.a. in the box should have been a straight foul…and the non-foul call in the second half should have been at least a pk (even though the defender did hit the ball…because the ref should have realized, after spending some time in the locker room at the half, that she made a horrible call in the first half and this was her opportunity to even the score…it is just pathetic to see these type of calls…honestly if this league ever wants any type of support from people that do follow football and have seen high level play (e.g. premier league, la liga, il calcio, sudamericano, eurocopa etc.) need some real refs…i am livid with what i saw…it was ridiculous how sol was the better team…this was the first wps game i’ve ever seen and i have no real intentions to ever watch another one…i cringe just watching mls play…why would i go even lower and watch this nonsense?? people just need to realize that the beautiful game is beautiful because…you know what forget it

  15. Roehl says:

    “you know what forget it”

    Well argued.

  16. Edwin says:

    It is established that Falk fouled Kai from behind, but she was not the last defender. In this light, it was a yellow card.

    As for the incident occurred in the 18 yards of Skly Blue, I would like to say, it was a pk. I say this to say that, the defender played the ball and fouled Marta. More to this, there is no rule in this direction that says when the defender plays the ball before fouling an opponent it is not a foul.

    The referee and her assistants blundered in calling the game. Sol defeat derived from the aforementioned.

    I would like to acknowledge the commissioner and the rest of the executive members to offer refresher courses for empires before the 2010-2011 league embarks.

  17. esteban says:

    I was also at the game. I was surprised by the red – could have been called yellow.

    More surprised in the second half when the sky-blue tackled the sol from behind in the box, and it was then called a corner!

    I think sky used the width of the field better than the sol, but the referee definitely determined the outcome of this game.