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WPS Fantasy Shots: Week 3

Posted on April 26, 2010 by Lauren Salter

Another exciting week for WPS soccer has come and gone.

What was projected to be a battle for first place in league standings between the St. Louis Athletica and Boston Breakers became a three-way tie for second after they tied 1-1.

FC Gold Pride climbed to the top of the standings with a 2-1 win over the Atlanta Beat thanks to a game-winning header goal by Gold Pride defender Carrie Dew.

Sky Blue FC goalkeeper Karen Bardsley continues to perform very well, helping Sky Blue to a 1-0 win over the Chicago Red Stars.

The Philadelphia Independence hit its offensive stride yesterday as it easily beat Washington Freedom with a 3-1 score.

Top four point leaders for each position:

Goalkeepers: Karen Bardsley (Sky Blue, 75 points), Hope Solo (St. Louis, 64 points), Karina LeBlanc (Philadelphia, 47 points), Allison Whitworth (Atlanta, 44 points)

Defenders: Allison Falk (Philadelphia, 53 points), Carrie Dew (Gold Pride, 33 points), Meghan Schnur (Sky Blue, 20 points), Kasey Moore (Boston, 17 points)

Midfielders: Lori Lindsay (Philadelphia, 32 points), Homare Sawa (Washington, 31 points), Kristine Lilly (Boston, 30 points), A. Long (Washington, 23 points)

Forwards: Tasha Kai (Sky Blue, 36 points), Abby Wambach (Washington, 36 points), Kelly Smith (Boston, 30 points), Christine Sinclair (Gold Pride, 29 points)

Point leaders remain mostly the same players as weeks previous. The four goalkeepers return from last week as point leaders. Falk and Schnur return for the defensive line, as do Sawa, Lilly and Long in the midfield. Wambach, Smith and Sinclair all return as top point leaders for forwards.

Game results from Week 3:

St. Louis 1-1 Boston

FC Gold Pride 2-1 Atlanta

Sky Blue FC 1-0 Chicago Red Stars

Philadelphia 3-1 Washington

Lauren’s Week 3 Team (*denotes captain)

Formation: 3-4-3

Total points earned: 85

Goalkeeper: H. Solo (STL, 10 points)

Defenders: C. Whitehill (WAS, -3 points), A. Falk (PHI, 34 points), B. Taylor (SBFC, 10 points)

Midfielders: H. Sawa (WAS, 2 points), K. Lilly (BOS, 12 points), K. Chapman (CHI, 4 points), L. Chalupny (STL, 2 points)

Forwards: K. Smith (2 points), A. Wambach* (WAS, 12 points), Marta (FCGP, 0 points)

My picks this week skyrocketed my overall standing in the WPS Fantasy Challenge almost 200 places. I now sit in the top 100, which is an awesome feat considering there are over 1,000 fans participating.

My faith in Allison Falk was secured in Week 2, so she’ll likely be kept on the roster for some time. Brittany Taylor also has been a good choice for the past couple of weeks. In my midfield, Homare Sawa continues to perform well. She’s bound to get a goal soon. Wambach and Smith are excellent, consistent choices for forward, though Tasha Kai continues to be Sky Blue’s foremost goal contributor.

Marta will not return to my roster. As predicted in a preseason feature on the St. Louis Athletica midfield roster additions following the LA Sol distribution draft, the two key players in Marta’s WPS 2009 success now play for the Athletica. As such, Marta has been struggling to find the back of the net early in the 2010 season.

Picks for Week 4 (*denotes captain)

Formation: 3-4-3

Worked last week! Don’t mess with the good things!

Goalkeeper: K. LeBlanc* (PHI)

LeBlanc and the Philadelphia defense will face a struggling Atlanta offense. Atlanta has plenty of shots on goal, but have a hard time finishing. LeBlanc should have some good saves, and a possible shutout. It’s a gamble to put her as captain, but then again, isn’t it for everyone?

WATCH LIST: K. Bardsley (SBFC)

Sky Blue will be going hard for a win in a rematch with FC Gold Pride, who defeated them 3-1 in their last meeting. Bardsley, if backed up by a solid defense, will have a challenging, exciting game.

Defenders: A. Falk (PHI), S. Cox (BOS), T. Ellertson (STL)

Falk has continued to have successful game. Cox will go up against Chicago and should have her work cut out for her. As for Ellertson and St. Louis, they will be going up against Abby Wambach and the Washington Freedom. Their defense will be crucial if they look to pick up another win.

WATCH LIST: C. Whitehill (WAS), B. Taylor (SBFC), C. Dew (FCGP)

Each of the above defenders have played well in the last couple of weeks. Unfortunately for Whitehill, her defensive line has struggled a bit. Taylor and Dew are both steady in the back and Dew has gained points for offensive strikes.

Midfielders: K. Lilly (BOS), H. Sawa (WAS), L. Lindsay (PHI), L. Chalupny (STL)

It would be foolish to remove Lilly and Sawa from the roster. Each have steadily brought in points. Lilly will have a lot to do against Chicago, while Sawa’s playmaking will be vital against St. Louis. Lori Lindsay also is consistently bringing in points, and could be a game-winning factor against Atlanta. Chalupny continues to play full matches, and continues to make things happen in the midfield. Her steady consistency is hard to pass up.

WATCH LIST: S. Boxx (STL), A. Long (WAS), C. Abily (FCGP), H. O’Reilly (SBFC)

Boxx will be a welcome presence against a strong Washington midfield and works well with Chalupny to make things happen for St. Louis.

Long will help feed Wambach balls up top for Washington as they look to pick up a win.

Abily and O’Reilly are both key to their team’s midfield. They should see lots of action this weekend.

Forwards: K. Smith (BOS), C. Sinclair (FCGP), A. Wambach (WAS)

All three forwards have brought in many points over the last several games.

Smith will have a good opportunity to put points on the board for Boston and Wambach will likely be the deciding factor in a tough match against St. Louis. Never count out Sinclair, who could break through Sky Blue’s tough defense.

WATCH LIST: E. Aluko (STL), L. Cheney (BOS), T. Kai (SBFC), A. Rodriguez (PHI)

Aluko hasn’t scored since her first game with St. Louis this season, but she continues to have good looks on goal.

Cheney could also be a potential goal scorer this weekend against Chicago, especially if her midfielders are on their game.

Kai continues to score goals for Sky Blue, and could punch one through the Gold Pride’s defenses.

A-Rod might be Philadelphia’s look to score when they face Atlanta for a rematch of their opening weekend game.

FEATURED WEEK 4 ROSTERS from Twitter followers:

@marie_ryan: Solo* (STL), Falk (PHI), Markgraf (CHI), McNeill (ATL), Chalupny (STL), Boxx(STL), Miyama (STL), Lilly (BOS), Kai (FCGP), Aluko (STL), Sinclair (FCGP)

@alondrah18: Solo* (STL), A. Falk (PHI), A. LePeilbet (BOS), S. Cox (BOS), R. Buehler (FCGP), H. O’Reilly (SBFC), C. Abily (FCGP), A. Miyama (STL), L. Lindsay (PHI), T. Kai (SBFC), A. Rodriguez (PHI)

Week 2 Overview Here!


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