Here are Soccer America Associate Editor Dean Caparaz's predictions for the June 30-July 1 games:
Washington 0 Carolina 1
San Diego 0 New York 1
Philadelphia 1 Atlanta 2
(all times ET)
Sunday, June 30 - (5:00 pm) - Carolina (2-7-2, 8th place, 8 pts) at Washington (4-5-2, 5th place, 14 pts) (Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, CNN/SI regional).
Season series: Washington leads 1-0-1; All-time regular-season series:: Washington leads 1-0-1 (Washington leads 4-3 on aggregate goals).
Leading scorers: Carolina: F Danielle Fotopoulos (5 g, 2 a = 12 pts); Washington: F Pretinha (5 g, 1 a = 11 pts).
Did you know? Each defense has broken down in the second half of the two previous meetings. In the April 28 meeting, Washington scored two goals in the last eight minutes to win, 2-1. In the May 19 game, Carolina scored twice in the second half to salvage a 2-2 tie.
Key players out: Carolina: F Silvana Burtini (Canada/USA friendlies), G Bente Nordby (Norway/Euro 2001), M Hege Riise (Norway/Euro 2001), D Nicole Roberts (tibia/fibula fracture-R); Washington: F Mia Hamm (USA/Canada friendlies), G Siri Mullinix (USA/Canada friendlies), M Michelle French (USA/Canada friendlies).
Notes: This is the second Washington doubleheader with D.C. United this season. ... Carolina has played well against Washington in their previous matchups. While Washington loses three players to the United States for games against Canada, the Courage loses only Burtini to Canada. Carolina is still without Riise, who is one of the best players in the league, and Nordby, who has had a below average season for an Olympic gold medalist. If Carolina's anemic midfield can create anything for frontrunnners Fotopoulos and Meredith Florance, who face a porous Freedom defense, this could easily be the third win for the lowly Courage. ... Carolina has allowed the most goals in the league. The defense improved somewhat in a 1-1 tie with Atlanta last Sunday, though the Beat is the WUSA's lowest scoring team (12 goals through 11 games).
KEY MATCHUP: Carolina F Danielle Fotopoulos vs. Washington D Lindsay Stoecker: In the 1998 NCAA final, Fotopoulos abused Stoecker, Lorrie Fair and the North Carolina defense to lead Florida to a 1-0 championship win. Look for Fotop to hammer the shaky Washington defense of Stoecker, Skylar Little and Emmy Barr.
SCHEDULED REFEREES: Referee: Arnold Baldeaux; Assistant Referees: George Gansner (SAR), John Schmitz (JAR), Fourth Official: Kenneth Kaplan.
Sunday, June 30 - (7:00 pm) - New York (6-1-4, 1st place, 22 pts) at San Diego (3-5-3, tied for 6th place, 12 pts) (MSG, Cox Ch. 4)..
Season series: New York leads 1-0-1; All-time regular-season series: New York leads 1-0-1 (New York leads 1-0 on aggregate goals).
Leading scorers: New York: F Tiffeny Milbrett (10 g, 2 a = 22 pts); San Diego: F Shannon MacMillan (6 g, 4 a = 16 pts).
Did you know? Milbrett has scored the last seven goals for New York. The last time another Power player scored was on June 7, when D-M Kristy Whelchel struck in the 37th minute of a 4-2 win over Carolina. ... The home team in each of the previous two matches has not been much of a threat to score. In the 0-0 tie on April 29 in Uniondale, N.Y., only three of New York's 11 shots were on goal. In the Power's 1-0 win on May 20 in San Diego, only two of San Diego's 11 shots were on goal.
Key players out: New York: F Tiffeny Milbrett (USA/Canada friendlies), D Christie Pearce (USA/Canada friendlies), D Gro Espeseth (one-game suspension/yellow card accumulation); San Diego: D Joy Fawcett (rehab after maternity leave), F Shannon MacMillan (USA/Canada friendlies), M Julie Foudy (USA/Canada friendlies), G Jaime Pagliarulo (USA/Canada friendlies), D Kristin Bengtsson (Sweden/Euro 2001), G Ulrika Karlsson (Sweden/Euro 2001).
Notes: Where will the goals come from? New York has capable forwards in Ann Kristin Aarones, Kerry Connors and Tammy Pearman, but the absent Millie has carried the Power the last few games. Likewise, San Diego's MacMillan is by far the most dangerous Spirit player and is also in Canada right now. Even when Foudy was around, and more often than not marked by an opposing midfielder, San Diego struggled to create good scoring chances. This has all the makings of a low-scoring game. Or, because of the missing defenders and goalkeepers, especially on San Diego's side, this could be the first high-scoring game of this series.
KEY MATCHUP: New York F Ann Kristin Aarones vs. San Diego D Fan Yunjie: Aarones is the next most dangerous Power player with Milbrett away. The tall Norwegian will put Fan's lauded defensive heading ability to the ultimate test.
SCHEDULED REFEREES: Referee: Peter Kokolski; Assistant Referees: Alex Del Angel, Jr. (SAR), Sandra Belmont (JAR), Fourth Official: Debbie Hoelscher.
Sunday, July 1 - (6:00 pm) - Atlanta (5-1-5, 2nd place, 20 pts) at Philadelphia (5-4-2, 3rd place, 17 pts) (CNN/SI national).
Season series: Atlanta leads 1-0-1; All-time regular-season series: Atlanta leads 1-0-1 (Atlanta leads 2-0 on aggregate goals).
Leading scorers: Atlanta: F Cindy Parlow (3 g, 4 a = 10 pts) and F Charmaine Hooper (4 g, 2 a = 10 pts); Philadelphia: M Liu Ailing (5 g, 1 a = 11 pts).
Did you know? In the first two games of this series, Atlanta was whistled for 34 fouls to Philadelphia's 30.
Key players out: Atlanta: F Cindy Parlow (USA/Canada friendlies), M Nikki Serlenga (USA/Canada friendlies), M Marci Miller (torn ACL-L), M Charry Korgel (fibula fracture-L), M Sara Reading (torn MCL-R); Philadelphia: M Lorrie Fair (USA/Canada friendlies), F Kelly Smith (England/Euro 2001), D Doris Fitschen (Germany/Euro 2001), M Laurie Schwoy (strained hamstring), D Erica Iverson (stress fracture foot-R).
Notes: After Atlanta F Charmaine Hooper, M Amy Walsh and D Sharolta Nonen play for Canada against the United States in a friendly on June 30 in Toronto, they will join the Beat for the Charge match. The trio will rejoin Canada for its July 3 friendly against the United States in Blaine, Minn. ... The Charge won't get Fitschen back anytime soon, as Germany advanced to the semifinals of the European Championship. Smith may be back soon. England would need an unlikely upset of Germany to have any chance of reaching the semis.
KEY MATCHUP: Atlanta M Amy Walsh vs. Philadelphia M Liu Ailing: If Philly plays its usual 4-5-1 formation, Atlanta's strong backline will easily shut down whomever the lone forward is for the Charge. Philly would then need a bigger contribution from Liu than it got from the Chinese star in its last match, a 3-0 loss at the Bay Area on June 20, if it hopes to score.
SCHEDULED REFEREES: Referee: Kari Seitz; Assistant Referees: Karalee Sutton (SAR), Martha Sinclair (JAR), Fourth Official: William DeLaney.
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