Guest Author - Alice Jones
The inaugural season of Women's Professional Soccer heads into the final weekend of the league stage and the play off pattern is becoming clearer, with two places left to play for in the play offs. The regular season championship was won by Los Angeles Sol, who won themselves a free pass into the final and the right to host it on August 22nd 2009.
Saint Louis Athletica also booked their place in the play off's ahead of the final weekend, by finishing in second place in the league stages. They will host the super semi final on August 19th.
The two remaining places in play offs will be made up of the two best finishers out of three teams, Washington Freedom, New Jersey Sky Blue FC and the Boston Breakers.
Freedom and Sky Blue play each other tomorrow, Saturday August 8th, while the Breakers play Sol on Sunday, August 9th.
With Freedom and Sky Blue level on points, one point ahead of the Breakers, it is clear that whatever the result, one of those two teams will have to wait until Sunday to find out if they are going to make it through to the play-offs.
Both teams know that a win will put destiny in their own hands, while the other team will have to rely on the Breakers v Sol result on Sunday.
In the first game, the advantage is with Freedom, who only need to draw the game to qualify, due to their head to head results against Sky Blue earlier in the season, so they will carry the tiebreaker if the score is even tomorrow. Whatever the result, Sunday's game is also still crucial to determine the second play off place.
On Sunday, the Breakers know that a victory over Sol will put them into the play offs. A draw might be enough depending on the previous day's game. To put it as simply as possible, if the Freedom win against Sky Blue, then the Breakers must beat the Sol, because a draw would not be enough due to their head to head tiebreaker results against Sky Blue. If the situation is reversed, and Sky Blue beat Freedom on Saturday, then the Breakers can get through to the play offs with a draw, as their head to head tiebreaker results against Freedom are superior.
So all is yet to play for on the final weekend, and it begins to get very interesting indeed.
Also playing on Sunday is FC Gold Pride vs. Saint Louis Athletica, with Athletica already in the play offs, FC Gold Pride are simply playing for … pride.
Fixtures via WomensProSoccer.com
Saturday, August 8
Washington Freedom vs. Sky Blue FC (7 pm ET)
Maryland SoccerPlex, Germantown, MD
Sunday, August 9
Boston Breakers vs. Los Angeles Sol (6 pm ET – FSC, webcast)
Harvard Stadium, Cambridge, MA
FC Gold Pride vs. Saint Louis Athletica (8 pm ET)
Buck Shaw Stadium, Santa Clara, CA
Standings at August 7th 2009
Team P Win Lose Draw Points
Sol 19 11 3 5 38
Athletica 19 10 6 3 33
Freedom 19 7 7 5 26
Sky Blue FC 19 7 7 5 26
Breakers 19 7 8 4 25
Red Stars 20 5 10 5 20
FC Gold Pride 19 4 10 5 17
The play-offs will begin August 15th 2009
First Round - August 15 1:00 pm EST
3rd Place vs 4th Place
Super Semi-Final - August 19 4:00 pm EST
2nd Place – St Louis Athletica vs First Round Play off winner
WPS Final - August 22 1:00 pm EST
Los Angeles Sol vs Winner Super Semifinal