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Week 5: Marta and Co. spread the gospel
by Paul Kennedy, April 24th, 2009 7:01AM



[WPS] Women's Professional Soccer faces its its first week of play without many of its foreign stars on international duty abroad. Marta and four other WPS Brazilians are in Europe. For a look at this weekend's WPS action ...

Saturday, April 25, 2009
Saint Louis Athletica vs. Los Angeles Sol, 4:00 pm ET
Site: Robert R. Hermann Stadium, St. Louis, MO
International Callups
Both teams have players unable due to national team obligations. The Sol will be without Brazilian Marta, who scored three goals in her first three WPS games, and Frenchwoman Camille Abily, as well as Han Duan, who is playing in the Chinese provincial games. Saint Louis will be missing Brazilian Francielle. Brazil drew a European women's soccer record crowd of 44,825 fans Wednesday in Frankfurt for its 1-1 tie with Germany. Brazil plays Sweden Saturday in the new Gamla Ullevi Stadium in Gothenburg. Abily scored in France's 2-0 win over Switzerland on Wednesday.

By the Numbers
Los Angeles has yet to allow a goal, while Saint Louis has yet to score a goal. The Athletica hasn't been for lack of chances, producing 27 shots in two games.

Chicago Red Stars vs. Boston Breakers, 8:30 pm ET
Site: Toyota Park, Bridgeview, IL
Chicago's Karen Carney and England's Kelly Smith square off after playing for England Thursday night in its 3-0 win over Norway before 4,468 fans in Shrewsbury, England.

By the Numbers
Chicago's Caroline Jonsson leads all goalies with 20 saves. The Swede has allowed only one goal in three games for the Red Stars. Boston goalkeeper Kristin Luckenbill made the first stop on a penalty kick stopping Abby Wambach in the Breakers' 3-1 win at Washington on Saturday.

Sunday, April 26, 2009
FC Gold Pride vs. Washington Freedom, 6 pm ET (Fox Soccer Channel)
Site: Buck Shaw Stadium, Santa Clara, CA
Player to Watch
With Sonia Bompastor back in France for two matches with Switzerland, Lori Lindsey will shoulder much of the playmaking duties for the Freedom. Lindsey, a WUSA veteran, scored the Freedom's lone goal against Boston.

The Freedom's Homare Sawa was outplayed by countrywoman Aya Miyama in the Los Angeles Sol's 2-0 win in the WPS inaugural game. Sawa now goes up against WPS's third Japanese star, Eriko Arakawa of FC Gold Pride.

What They're Saying:
"She has to be patient just like we have to be patient for her. It is frustrating. You know the goals are going to come. But she still has a ways to go physically. And as frustrating as it she still has got to realize that there's still a ways to go with her physically and once she gets one and gets that gorilla off her back she'll probably take a little bit of the pressure off herself."
-- Washington coach Jim Gabarra on Wambach, who is scoreless in three games for the winless Freedom. (Washington Post)

Bye Week:
FC Indiana, last year's U.S. Women's Open Cup champion and W-League runner-up, was five minutes away from beating Sky Blue FC, which is off this week, on Tuesday in Indianapolis when the WPS team rallied to win, 2-1.

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