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Lots more to final than just Abby vs. Alex
by Paul Kennedy, August 30th, 2013 4:48PM

TAGS:  australia


[NWSL: Final] It's being billed as Abby vs. Alex, the Western New York Flash with Abby Wambach against the Portland Thorns FC with Alex Morgan (coming off a knee injury) for the first NWSL title Saturday at Sahlen's Stadium in Rochester, N.Y. (TV: Fox Sports 2, Fox Soccer, Fox Soccer 2Go, 8 p.m. ET).

But more than Wambach or Morgan, or the other allocation stars like Carli Lloyd for the Flash and Rachel Buehler and Tobin Heath for Portland, the championship game is about the supporting cast of players who have bought into the new league and excelled in Year 1.

ADRIANNA FRENCH (Flash). The 22-year-old goalie out of Oklahoma State has had a great rookie season, finishing second in both the Rookie of the Year and Goalkeeper of the Year balloting. She was sensational against Portland in June with nine saves in a 1-1 tie.

SAMANTHA KERR (Flash). The 19-year-old Australian has been one of the most exciting players in the NWSL, one of the few players brought in from abroad. She grew up playing Australian rules football like her father and brother, both well-known Australian rules football, before switching to soccer. She had six goals and five assists to finish as one of only six players in the league to finish the season with at least five goals and five assists.

The Equalizer one-on-one with Samantha Kerr:

ALLIE LONG (Thorns). The 26-year-old forward broke the deadlock in overtime to complete Portland's comeback at FC Kansas City. She was the first free agent to sign with Portland after leaving Paris St. Germain. The former Penn State and North Carolina star is also a veteran of all three WPS seasons.

BRITTANY TAYLOR (Flash). The 25-year-old defender was the only Flash player besides Wambach to earn Best XI recognition. She was a WPS all-star in her first league in that league with Sky Blue FC in 2010.

TIFFANY WEIMER (Thorns). The 29-year-old forward joined the Thorns in mid-season from Denmark, one of six different countries in which she has played. She has been starting since Morgan was injured and had a goal and assist in the semifinal win at Kansas City. In her spare time, she edits Our Game Magazine.

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