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All-Stars rally to beat Swedish power
by Paul Kennedy, August 31st, 2009 7AM



[WPS] Women's Professional Soccer earned bragging rights as the best women's league in the world Sunday when its All-Stars rallied from two goals down after 15 minutes to beat an albeit depleted Swedish powerhouse Umea, 4-2, in an exciting All-Star Game in Fenton, Mo. WPS MVP Marta, a former Umea star, scored a goal and had two assists and Canadian Christine Sinclair scored twice to lead the the WPS All-Stars.

"It was a party game," said Marta. "It was a game against a high-level opponent and an opportunity to play with players we usually play against."

With 2007 Hermann Trophy Mami Yamaguchi very much in evidence in the Umea attack, the Swedish team went ahead on goals by Madelaine Edlund and Sofia Jakobsson.

But Umea could not stop Marta, its former star, and the All-Stars pulled even by halftime. Kristine Lilly, fed by Marta, began the comeback with a goal in the 24th minute, and the Brazilian star even the score in the 41st minute with a shot from the top of the penalty area.

Two minutes after halftime, the WPS All-Stars moved ahead when Marta fed Sinclair, and the Canadian completed the scoring two minutes later.

Sinclair had several chances to complete her hat trick, most notably in the 69th minute when she rattled the crossbar.

"I think in the first half we may have mishandled it," said Sinclair, "but we eventually started to click. On the first [goal], Marta played just a great ball across and I just made the run.  On the second goal, Brittany Klein played a great ball in behind."

Umea played without teenaged Swiss star Ramona Bachmann, who was ill, and three players called up to play for Sweden at the European Women's Championship.

"We were missing seven players from our team," said Umea coach Mika Sankala. "We had some chances to score goals. We scored a couple, and they made saves. We're very happy and proud to be here. I'm so proud of how this team worked hard for each other. It's too bad that Ramona Bachmann was not available. She had a fever and couldn't play. A lot of people are saying she is our next Marta and it would have been exciting to see her out there."

Aug. 30 in Fenton, Mo.
WPS All-Stars 4 Umea 2. Goals: Lilly (Marta ) 24, Marta 41, Sinclair (Marta) 47, Sinclair 49; Edlund (Yamaguchi) 3, Jakobsson 18.

WPS All-Stars -- LeBlanc (Solo, 46), Ellertson (Milbrett, 46), LePeilbet (Sinclair, 46), Rampone (Klein, 46), Chalupny, Rapinoe (O'Reilly, 46), Boxx, Lilly (Whitehill, 46), Miyama, Cristiane (Wambach, 46), Marta
Umea -- Soberg, Berglund (Kullberg, 74), Frisk, Westberg, Ostberg, Moura, Konradsson, Aberg Zingmark (Mostrom, 46), Edlund,Yamaguchi, Jakobsson
Referee: Sandra Serafini
Att.: 4,115


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