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Can Twitter save women's soccer? #USWNT

Several supporters of women's soccer are hoping that fans across the US and beyond can help make a true impact by promoting the USWNT via Twitter today. Here's more:


As you know, the USA vs Italy game  is today, and a few of us avid supporters are trying to make #USWNT a trending topic on twitter. Ultimately we know that's probably damn near impossible, but over all just want to raise awareness about how big of a game this is and what it means to the future of soccer in American, especially in regards to the World Cup.  We're going to try and push a big campaign to make a statement (our goal isn't really to make a trending topic [TT], but just to raise awareness).


We're having a TweetChat tomorrow throughout the game (which essentially is just an on going conversation via people's tweets that use a certain hashtag, in this case it will be #USWNT) and want to get it out to as many players, coaches, and fans ahead of time.


If you wouldn't mind, would you send out a tweet and promote this as much as you can tomorrow before and during the game?


Here's the standard format we're going with, but feel free to make it your own and just ask people to retweet:


"Hey tweeps! Please support USA Women's Soccer as they attempt to qualify 4 the 2011 WWC. Add #USWNT 2 ur tweets. Pls RT!"


or 


"#USWNT take on Italy for the World Cup Qualifier today! Be a part of the conversation 11/27 @ 2pm ET: http://tweetchat.com/room/USwnt "


And if you can, please please please pass this along to any fans, supporters, coaches, NSCAA Members, MLS/WPS players, and better yet any National team players that you know would do a great job supporting this cause (and that are on twitter too of course).


Also, we've been trying to get bloggers to step it up this week and promote this game as much as possible to amp up the hype and push for monumental games like this to be on TV.


GOOOOO USA!



The make it or break it game: 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup Qualifier in Chicago


The USWNT will face Italy this Saturday, November 27th for the second of two games that will determine which team will qualify for the 2011 World Cup.  The US defeated Italy last weekend 1-0 with a last minute goal from substitute Alex Morgan.  The US has the upper hand coming into this game, but their fate has yet to be determined.  


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Tomorrow's the last day to buy supporters tickets to this suspenseful World Cup Qualifier at Toyota Park.  Here's more from the Chicago Red Stars' supporters group Chicago Local 134:


Buy your Official Supporters Section tickets to the USWNT game vs. Italy on November 27: http://tinyurl.com/swnt1127 


Tickets will be distributed/available for pick up on the day of the game.


Local 134 is partnering with Section 8 Chicago, the American Outlaws, Chicago Soccer and other super fab groups in the soccer community to organize the Official USWNT Supporters' Official Tailgate that will be officially awesome soooooooo be sure to get in on that action too.


Also, you'll see an option for donations in the above link which of course is not required, but any donations made along with ticket purchases will be used for extra tailgate goodies and tifo supplies. Three cheers for generosity!


ALSO x 2 -- the Chicago Red Stars very own Megan Rapinoe and Jillian Loyden were named to the USWNT playoff roster for this series vs. Italy. Just another reason to come out and support (we got loads more reasons where that came from...)!

USWNT 1 - China 1

Yesterday the US Women's National team tied China 1-1.  Here are some facts and random observations that I took from the game:


  • Yesterday's game against China was the USWNT's last friendly match before World Cup Qualifiers start
  • China hasn't qualified for the World Cup since 1999
  • Christie Rampone wore the captain's armband for the US.  She's played in 218 international matches for US Soccer and has the 5th most all time caps at 35 years old.  Not only that, but she just had a baby earlier in the year. 
  • Chicago Red Stars' player Megan Rapinoe started in the match.  Sadly, she wasn't sporting her funky new lost-boys-esque ponytail.  She didn't score a goal in this game against China, but she did score a goal against them in their 2-1 victory against them on Saturday, October 2nd, and she also scored in the game previous to that.
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Rapinoe always rollin' with her own flare and style -- here she's rockin' that ponytail


  • This was the first time in history that the four starting defenders (Heather Mitts, Amy LePeilbet,  Rampone, Rachel Buehler) for the US had ever played together (at the same time).
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Jillian Loyden earns first cap with USWNT

On October 2nd Jillian Loyden earned her first international cap with the U.S. Women's National Team in a victorious match against China that ended with a score of 2-1. Here she shares her excitement on her first cap and victory with the U.S.:


It was awesome. I couldn't stop smiling. It was so much fun and I had the support of the coaching staff and a great team in front of me. 


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Rapinoe scores in the USWNT's win against Sweden

Yesterday the USWNT played against Sweden for the second time in a week.  On Wednesday the game ended with a score of 1-1 in a game I personally felt they should have won. Yesterday, however, the US women's team defeated Kosovare Asllani and her swedish teammates 3-0.  Red Stars' Megan Rapinoe scored the first goal for the US with a goal in the 33rd minute. Abby Wambach tallied the other two goals for the US in the 45th and 72nd minute of play, both of her goals were scored off of headers. 

Since this goal there have been two rad photos of Pinoe (as many of her fans like to call her) floating around the internet from the USWNT soccer blog at US Soccer's website. I couldn't help but share them to celebrate her awesomeness with all of you. I hope she puts one in the back of the net for Chicago soon!

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Pinoe rockin' the shades

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Kate Markgraf earns 200th cap with USWNT

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Chicago Red Stars defender Kate Markgraf earned her 200th cap with the USWNT team on Tuesday in their match against Sweden.  Markgraf proudly wore the captain's armband in the game that ended in a 1-1 draw. Since 1998 Markgraf has played 200 games for the US, started 189 games, scored 1 goal, and has had 9 assists. 

Markgraf was not the only Red Stars player represented in the international friendly.  Megan Rapinoe also started for the USWNT, while Kosovare Asllani started for the Swedes. 

Red Stars, USWNT dominate their opponents

The Red Stars finally got the confidence boost they needed on Friday with a 5-0 win against the USL W-League's Red Eleven in Buffalo Grove. Julianne Sitch, Kosovare Asllani (+1 assist), Casey Nogueria, and Cristiane all scored goals for the Red Stars. Cristiane finished the game off for the Red Stars with two goals, one off of a PK and a goal that was assisted by Sophie Reiser. 
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Cristiane takes on Athletica defenders in an earlier match this year. 

"I've really been working hard on the front three -- pressuring, and putting the [opposing] team on a lot of pressure, and I thought in the first half we did that really well," Red Stars Head Coach Emma Hayes said. "And then making sure our movement's good up top to create opportunities. When it was 1-nil at halftime, I thought we deserved to be up by a bit more."

Because of national team duty, the Red Stars were without a majority of their regular starting defenders and midfielders, as well as goalkeepers Jillian Loyden and Kelsey Davis. Defenders Marian Dalmy, Ifeoma Dieke and Kate Markgraf, and midfielders Karen Carney, Katie Chapman and Megan Rapinoe, were all unavailable for the Red Stars.

---- [Red Stars Net 5-0 Win Over Red Eleven - Chicago Red Stars]

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Kate Markgraf warming up before a Red Stars game.


In other women's soccer news... 

Saturday the USWNT took on the Germany's powerful squad.  The US won 4-0 with two goals from Abby Wambach, as well as goals from Kristine Lilly and Heather O'Reilly. Red Stars players Kate Markgraf and Megan Rapinoe both saw the field during the second half of the game.  It was Markgraf's first time in the lineup since December 2008, after giving birth to twins last year. 
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U.S. U-17 women beat Haiti 9-0, then offer hugs

U.S. U-17 women beat Haiti 9-0, then offer hugs 

(reblogged from Dirty Tackle - World Soccer)

 A touching story that is a perfect example of soccer making women out of girls and how the great game brings us all together. 

girlinks - december 19th edition

Friends of the Red Stars

Red Stars look to regroup in 2010 - Red Stars GM Marcia McDermott reflects back on the ups and downs of the Red Stars inaugural season in an interview with Soccer Hype blogger Giovanni Albanese Jr.  She also expresses hopefulness for the 2010 team with players like Katie Chapman and Kate Markgraf, who will likely join the starting eleven. [Soccer Hype]

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Lindsay Tarpley

WPS Chicago Red Stars' Tarpley Is Female Soccer Player of the Decade -  Lindsday Tarpley and Heather O'Reilly were finalists for the Girl Soccer Player of the Year award from ESPN Rise.  Tarpley edged out O'Reilly not only because of her commitment and hard work on the field but because of her dedication to the game off the field. During her junior and senior seasons, she served three-game suspensions for violating a state association out-of-school participation rule while playing for the U.S. youth national team. She petitioned the state, which ultimately changed its stance on the issue for her and future players in her state. [Bleacher Report]

No down time for the Red Eleven: Team busy during offseason preparing for second summer at Benedictine - The Red Eleven, who are a part of the developemental W-league, hope to improve in the 2010 season after a disappointing loss in first round of the playoffs this year (the Red Eleven were 10-2-1 in 2009).  They've already scored a new head coach David Nikolic and a new assistant coach Greg Muhr. [Naperville Sun

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USWNT defeat Germany 1-0; Masar collects her first cap

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Ella Masar pictured training with the USWNT. Masar saw playing time in the 2nd half of the US's game against Germany yesterday. [Photo Credit: http://womentalksports.com/twitter]

Yesterday the US Women's National Team played in front of a crowd of 30,000 in Augsburg, Germany defeating the German National Team with a score of 1-0 with a goal from Abby Wambach in the first half. 


Here are some thoughts from U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage on playing in a World Cup-like environment and looking towards the future: 

"We had 30,000 watching this came and my communication with the players is very hard, but it's good to practice that going into the World Cup 2011. There are certain things in the midfield we need to improve. When we make the decisions, sometimes its really good, but sometimes not so good. Sometimes we kept possession and played some pretty nice soccer, however, we couldn't execute in the final third. It's not only about the final pass, but also decision-making as well and that's something we will go back and look at it because to be successful we have to do that better."  [Post-Match Quote Sheet: USA 1, Germany 0 - US Soccer]

What's most excited for Red Stars fans is that forward, Ella Masar, received her first cap with the team yesterday.  She subbed in for Amy Rodriguez of the Boston Breakers in the 73rd minute of play.  
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USWNT Roster Update For Game Against Germany

In my previous blog entry I stated that Ella Masar would be joining her Chicago Red Stars teammate, Megan Rapinoe, with the USWNT at the end of October in Germany.  However, Rapinoe just recently had arthroscopic surgery on her knee, which will sideline her for a few weeks.  Kacey White of Sky Blue FC will replace Rapinoe, while Masar steps in to fill the shoes of the recently retired Angela Hucles. 

More details can be found at the US Soccer website.

 

Another Red Stars player called up to the USWNT

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Chicago Red Stars player Ella Masar was recently called up to the USWNT.  She'll join teammate, Megan Rapinoe, when the US take on the German Women's National Team in Augsburg, Germany on Octorber 29th.  

Masar is a fan favorite at Toyota Park, as she's an Chicagoland native and a graduate of University of Illinois.  She started five games for the Red Stars this past season and tallied two assists. 

Have you heard about Rapinoe?

Red Stars player, Megan Rapinoe, has been called up to the USWNT to play against Germany on October 29th.  Check it out

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Megan Rapinoe (right) warms up with the Chicago Red Stars before playing against the Irish National Team this summer.


WPS Expansion Draft- Pick 10! (Third Edition)

The WPS Expansion Draft is just around the corner (Tuesday, September 15th), as we welcome the Philadelphia Independence and Atlanta Beat to the league.  Nick Hawkins and Katie I. picked their favorite ten Stars to protect in previous Red Stars Confidential entries (here & here), so I thought I'd share mine with you as well.  

In no particular order...   

1.  Brittany Klein (M): one word- tenacious.  Is there really anything else to say? Klein came in from Santa Clara- she's a tiny little thing and she won ball, after ball, after ball, after ball (oh, you get it) against all the top players in the league. I want anyone with this kid of work ethic and determination on the team I support. 


2.  Frida Ostberg (D/M) : Frida is a feisty fighter just like Klein or maybe it should be the other way around, since Frida is the Swedish veteran that the Stars look to for leadership. 


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Cristiane dribbles though the defense of the Ireland National Team. Her knack for finding the back of the neck is just what the Red Stars need to be successful in 2010. 

3.  Cristiane (F): Chicago's own Miss Brazil was injured at the beginning of the season, but once she found her footing on the field she started beating defenders left & right while finding the back of the net.


4.  Karen Carney (M): Carney impressed me in a major way this year. If she's back next year, I hope she can find a similar connection with her Chicago teammates like he one she has with the English National Team.  She was quite impressive during Euro Cup 2009.  I expect more assists and goals from Kaz if we see her in 2010.


5.  Megan Rapinoe(M) : Pinoe is a fan favorite and is quickly establishing herself as a star of the USWNT.  She has fancy foot skill and a killer cross.  She has proven she is able to set players up and score goals- hopefully she can execute in higher numbers next year.  Is anyone else still daydreaming about her bicycle kick attempt at the beginning of the season?


6.  Caroline Jonsson (GK): Carre has one it takes to be one of the top keepers in the league. I could be biased, but I thought she was already one of the top goalies this past season.  She needs a defense to back her up. I hope she's in the net again for us this year with a stronger and possibly faster defense.


(Continued...)

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Red Stars Rumors

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Caroline Jonsson makes a save for the Red Stars as Frida Ostberg tracks back to help defend. 

It's about that time of year when rumors start spreading about which players will be staying with their current teams, which players will be leaving the league or looking for another WPS team to join. I just read on Women's Soccer USA blog that some of my favorites might be on their way out the door- say it ain't so!  

Carli Lloyd of the US Women's National Team is one of the players rumored to be omitted from the Red Stars roster come next spring. It sounds as though head coach, Emma Hayes, wasn't particularly fond of her play this year.  I can hardly blame Hayes, though Lloyd did pick up towards the end of the season.  Is it enough to keep her on the roster for the 2010 season?

Miss Ostberg, Miss Jonsson, Cristiane- please please don't go! I'm begging you so. 

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For more on the Red Stars rumors posted in this entry click here.

Surprise, surprise- it's Brittany Klein!

Most women's soccer fans expect Red Stars players such as Carli Lloyd, Lindsay Tarpley, Cristiane, and Megan Rapinoe to get called up to their perspective national team squads, as well as to the WPS All-Star game, but I think few would have expected to hear that Brittany Klein was one of three Red Stars players added to either of these team's rosters.  

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Brittany Klein uses her body to win the ball against FC Gold Pride's forward, Christine Sinclair. 

Klein along with Rapinoe and Cristiane will be making appearances in St. Louis this weekend when the WPS All-Stars play against Swedish league champions UmeĆ„ IK. You can watch the game live on Fox Soccer Channel and webcast at womensprosoccer.com on Sunday at 4PM (CT). 

If you follow me on Twitter you might have read my tweet that said: @nikhak you'll never guess which red stars player got called up to the national team.  And of course, it's Klein! Besides for Klein getting called up as a substitute for the inaugural WPS All-Star team- she's also been called up to train with the USWNT along with Red Stars players, Lloyd and Rapinoe.  If training goes well for Klein- it's quite possible she'll earn her first international cap. 

Early on in the season when the Stars played against Sky Blue FC at Toyota Park- Klein quickly became one of my favorite players on the roster.  Sure, it's easy to appreciate the national team talents- Lloyd, Tarpley, Rapinoe- and to love the flare of the international players- Cristiane, Karen Carney, Frida Ostberg, but what about 5'3" Klein previously of Pali Blues and Santa Clara?
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USWNT Sweeps Canada

The USWNT played their third and final game of their summer series against Canada last night in Charleston, SC and defeated Canada 1-0 with a goal from Christine Nairn in the 89th minute. Red Stars players, Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe, and Lindsay Tarpley all started for the US squad.

Earlier in the series the US destroyed the Canadians 4-0 on May 25th in Toronto and 1-0 on July 18th in Rochester, NY.  The loan goal on July 18th was the 100th USWNT career goal scored by Washington Freedom's Abby Wambach, while both Rapinoe and Tarpley netted goals for the US side in Canada on May 25th.

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With that said, I'm off to Soldier field to watch the USMNT play against Hondoras in the Gold Cup Semifinal. You can find more game information here.  And also check out this interview with Chicago Fire's Logan Pause, who has made his dbeut with the USMNT during this tournament.  

Red Stars make WPS history again

5,127 fans came out to celebrate history at Toyota Park last night by remembering the USWNT 1999 World Cup Championship. But what they didn't realize was that they'd also witness WPS and RS history that evening.   

Red Stars forward, Cristiane, scored the first ever hat-trick in the WPS, this included the first goal scored off of a penalty kick (31st minute) in Red Stars history.  

The Red Stars upset FC Gold Pride with a score of 3-1 and have moved into the 5th spot of the WPS standings.  The CRS now face a two game road trip as they travel to the east coast to play the Boston Breakers this Wednesday and FC Sky Blue on Sunday.  

Tarpley, Rapinoe and the LA Sol

Lindsay Tarpley named WPS player of the week

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[Photo Courtesy of the Chicago Red Stars- David Durochik]

Red Stars and USWNT player, Lindsay Tarpley, was named WPS player of the week.  Tarpley is one of Chicago's two captains and had an outstanding performance against the Washington Freedom last week, scoring the game winner in the 61st minute of the match.

Related link: Lindsay Tarpley Named WPS Player of the Week




We love Megan Rapinoe!


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[Image Courtesy of Pott Rodriguez]

Megan Rapinoe is the ruby slippered stud of the Red Stars. Remember when she pulled out that killer byicle kick that just missed the net in the beginning of the season? It was great!

Rapinoe was the second player overall to be drafted in the WPS draft- the first pick for the Red Stars.  She is also a member of the USWNT along with WPS player of the week, Tarpley, Carli Lloyd and Marian Dalmy.

Read more of Rapinoe's thoughts on the Red Stars and playing with the women's national team in an interview here: Rapinoe: Red Stars Need to Build on Momentum

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Red Stars celebrate the 1999 World Cup

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Chicago Red Stars celebrate 1999 this Sunday

The Chicago Red Stars are celebrating then ten year anniversary of the 1999 U.S. Women's World Cup Championship this Sunday when the Red Stars take on FC Gold Pride- 7PM at Toyota Park.

World Cup heroes Brandi Chastain, Tiffeny Milbrett, Briana Scurry, and Kate Markgraf will be on hand to celebrate the anniversary and interact with Red Stars fans throughout the July 12 game against FC Gold Pride. To commemorate this historic anniversary, the Red Stars are offering a special 99 cent ticket offer for Sunday's game. Purchase your first ticket for only 99 cents and all accompanying tickets will be discounted at the group rate. The first 100 fans who take advantage of this offer with tickets in the midfield section will be able to have their photos taken with Brandi Chastain, Briana Scurry and the 1999 FIFA World Cup trophy.

Additionally, prior to the game all fans will have the opportunity to meet U.S. '99 goalkeeper Briana Scurry and the first 1,500 fans in attendance will receive PUMA Cheer Stix and make sure you visit the PUMA lounge in the pre-game fun zone.

Tickets are on sale now through the Red Stars office at 1-866-WPS-2009 or by logging on to www.chicagoredstars.com.

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