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Seattle Sounders Women Speak Out on New Pro League

The Seattle Sounders Women are extremely proud of our representatives within the U.S. Women’s National Team and would first like to congratulate Hope Solo, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, and Sydney Leroux on their Olympic gold medals.

Recently there have been reports of a new professional women’s soccer league, and the awareness of this development are largely due to the fantastic momentum that Team USA has generated with their gold medal performance in London.

The Seattle Sounders Women, coming off an incredibly successful 12th season as a franchise in the USL W-League, will absolutely return to the pitch for a 2013 campaign. We are aware of the possibility to move to a different league or evolve with our current league. At this point, the Sounders Women are open to all options and evaluating what is best for women’s soccer in the United States as well as what is best for the Sounders Women and our unparalleled fans.

Whether we are dealing with our own league or outside interests, women’s pro soccer deserves a fair shot at surviving. What survival means is a dogged restraint to costs in such a way that can compel future franchise growth nationwide. Our league and owners must agree on realistic player salaries and franchise fees and conjoin them with knowledgeable soccer people and business infrastructure.

The Sounders Women encourage our fans and all supporters of women’s soccer to be patient in order to ensure a stable, sustainable, and prosperous model is chosen for the women’s game in the U.S. so previous unsuccessful models are not repeated.

D.C. United Wins the W-League’s Eastern Conference

Today’s championship match should have been a classic. It was a matchup between the top two teams in the conference, both of whom had demolished their semifinal opponent. The D.C. United Women though had other ideas.

In another showing of their dominant play this season, United won the Eastern Conference Championship by a tally of 3-0. After an incredibly sluggish first 25 minutes D.C. found another gear and left the Charlotte Lady Eagles in the dust.

In the 28th minute Lianne Sanderson added another highlight to her already stellar season. On a deep cross in from Molly Menchel, Sanderson broke the tie with a rocket past the keeper. It was a great play all around with the beautiful deep ball into Menchel, who gave Sanderson the perfect pass.

In an almost identical play from yesterday’s match, Hayley Siegel scored on another incredible free kick. From the left side of the box again she bent the ball to the right corner of the goal and it sailed past the outstretched hands of the Eagles keeper.

Keeper Didi Haracic played a wonderful match as well, saving multiple shots that would have turned the game dramtically. It was the 3rd straight shutout for Haracic despite facing 3 playoff teams.

Taking the 2-0 lead into the break the lead was still in some doubt, with the high flying Charlotte Lady Eagles having the ability to score quickly. But all those doubts were put to rest in the 53rd minute by the British superstar Lianne Sanderson.

Off of a free kick into the box from Jerica DeWolfe Sanderson really just directed the ball into the back of the net for her second goal of the match. At 3-0 up United were in control and weren’t threatened for the final 40 minutes.

Next up United will head to Ottawa for their final four matchup against the hosting Fury. The winner of that match will play in the championship game against either the Quebec City Animal or the undefeated Pali Blues.

D.C. United Women Advance to Eastern Conference Finals

It was the 4th matchup on the season between the D.C. United Women and the Virginia Beach Piranhas. But for the first time it truly meant something. The winner of this match would go on to face the Charlotte Lady Eagles in the Eastern Conference Championship. And yet it was like nothing had changed.

United proved they were the superior team, beating their division rivals 3-0 in the semifinal matchup. It was a physical game played by both squads with a total of 3 yellow cards handed out, but in the end the D.C. offense could not be slowed.

Hayley Siegel, United’s self-voted MVP, earned that title tonight helping put in two of the United goals. In the 23rd she scored off a wondrous free kick from 30 yards outside of the box. The keeper got a hand on the shot, but couldn’t control the spin as the ball sailed into the back of the net.

Her second contribution to the scoring was just as impressive, winning a ball at midfield and laying a beautiful long ball into Lianne Sanderson in the 45th minute. Sanderson turned and shot quick to put the United up 2-0 heading into the break.

The 4 points in the game matched Siegel’s regular season total, and proved her value on a loaded D.C. squad.

After the break, play got a lot more physical and the teams held at a stalemate for most of the half.

Finally in the 80th minute United put the game away for good. Ashley Herndon played a perfect cross into the box right to the foot of Joanna Lohman, who rocketed the shot past the diving keeper.

While impressive the scores from today mean nothing in tomorrow’s championship match. It will be a hard fought battle between two division champs and the top two seeds in the conference. The Championship game will be tomorrow at 4 pm with the winner heading to Ottawa for the league championship.

D.C. United Women Clinch Home Field Advantage

All D.C. United Women needed tonight was a win. With the news before the game that the Atlanta Silverbacks had tied their match earlier in the day, all that stood between United and home field advantage were the Dayton Dutch Lions. Yet despite a tough first half, it wasn’t enough.

It was a performance that embodied what United have been all about this season, teamwork. Winning 4-1 over an outmatched Dayton squad, United also clinched the top spot in the Eastern Division, assuring them the honor of hosting the playoffs this year.

It took a while for the scoring to get going, without any real chances coming in the first 30 minutes, but that didn’t slow down the hottest player in the league. Lianne Sanderson continued her tear through the second half of the season with her 3rd goal in 2 matches scoring in the 34th minute. The goal was a bit of an oddity as she misplayed her first touch and whiffed on the shot, but like the star she is the second touch was right on target putting United up 1-0.

The Dutch Lions made it interesting heading into halftime. On a counter Dayton put the ball into the box, and after multiple clearances and sloppy defensive play by D.C. the ball fell to the foot of Jen Agueci. The goal set the score at 1-1 and put the pressure all back on United.

13 minutes after the restart though that was all gone. Within a five minute period three different United players scored and put the game out of reach for good. It started with Olympian Becky Sauerbrunn slipping it past the keeper in the 53rd minute. 16 year old Andi Sullivan and 17 year old Ashley Herndon followed really close behind with goals in the 56th and 58th minutes to put  United up 4-1.

From that point on both teams were content just possessing the ball and waiting to get out of the sweltering heat. Even though the game was decided half an hour before, the final whistle lifted a weight from the shoulders of the United players. With the playoff hunt now behind them it is time to relax.

Next week’s season finale has no consequence for D.C. but could mean everything for their opponents the Virginia Beach Piranhas. With the second place team securing a spot in the playoffs alongside the United, Virginia Beach could be playing for their postseason next weekend.

But let’s not talk about that. Let’s raise a glass to an incredible season for  United and wish them best of luck in the playoffs this year.

D.C. United Women Beat Fredricksburg Impact 4-1

Another match, another 3 points for the D.C. United Women who beat the Fredricksburg Impact 4-1 on Sunday. After dropping their first points of the season in a 1-1 tie with Virginia Beach last week the United have won 2 straight and clinched a first place finish in the Atlantic Division. With the race for the division now over the squad can start looking at clinching home field advantage for the playoffs.

Things started off quickly on a 7th minute throw in from Sam Baker. Baker threw it deep into the box and Tiffany Brown controlled the ball for an easy goal. It was Brown’s first goal of the season, as she continues to look dangerous up front.

The star of the match though was again Lianne Sanderson.

After a couple straight disappointing outings for Sanderson she made her presence felt for the United Women, single handedly dominating Fredricksburg for the 2nd time this season. In the 9th minute Sanderson intercepted an Impact clearance about 25 yards out. Without hesitation she powered the ball over the outstretched hands of the keeper into the top left corner for her 3rd goal of the season.

She wasn’t done though, playing the role of provider in the 26th minute. Off a goal kick Sanderson headed the ball forward to Mikaela Howell who slipped the shot past the oncoming goalie. Not satisfied she scored her second goal of the match in the 53rd minute and almost had a 3rd, but couldn’t capitalize on a penalty kick in the 68th.

It was not a surprising performance as Sanderson had scored twice in an match earlier in the season with the Impact. With Sanderson, Howell, and Brown all running on full cylinders the offensive power of United may be hard to match going forward.

The Impact showed life early scoring in the 10th minute and pulling within a goal, but couldn’t find sustained possession in the second half and wilted under the pressure. With the win the United sweep the season series with Fredricksburg by a combined score of 13-3.

With just two remaining games before the start of the postseason the United continue to dominate and look to lock up home field advantage with wins in their last two matches. With Atlanta only a couple points back the last couple matches could mean everything for the United Women.

Next up on July 7th D.C. hosts the Dayton Dutch Lions and go to Virginia Beach to play the 2nd place Piranhas in the finale.

The United Women look to be shaping into form at the best possible time.