Author Topic: Washington Freedom  (Read 12758 times)

Offline redrobin

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Re: Washington Freedom
« Reply #20 on: October 18, 2008, 11:47:04 AM »
Freedom roster looking familiar
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
by Dan Lauletta,

(Oct. 15, 2008) -- The Washington Freedom went local at last week’s General Draft—in more ways than one.

Head coach Jim Gabarra chuckled when it dawned on him that all four of his picks had played their college soccer at either the University of Maryland or Virginia.

“I didn’t realize until after the fact they had all gone to school locally,” he said.

What Gabarra did realize is that all four players wore Freedom jerseys in the W-League giving his club a bit of instant continuity likely to be lacking in the early days of the new league.

“I was more concerned with getting players who had played with the Freedom the last couple of years,” he said.  “I think they’re valuable in that they’ve been around the club for a couple of years so they have an understanding about how we want to play.”

The players—Sarah Huffman, Becky Sauerbrunn, Lori Lindsey, and Emily Janss - agree.

“I definitely am looking forward to playing for Jim,” said Sauerbrunn, a central defender tabbed by Gabarra as a perfect partner for the allocated Cat Whitehill.  “He wants the game played a certain way and I really like that style of soccer.”

“Jim and Clyde (Watson, assistant coach) are both players’ coaches,” said Lori Lindsey who also played for Gabarra’s Freedom side that won the last WUSA championship in 2003.  “They really try to give us ideas and scenarios about what might happen in a game, but also encourage us to relax and just play the game.”

Sauerbrunn, Lindsey, and Sarah Huffman all played at Virginia (Janss went to Maryland) which gives them a leg up when it comes to playing for Gabarra.  The Freedom coach says he and Virginia boss Steve Swanson see the game in a similar light.  Again the players concur.

“They are very possession oriented,” added Sauerbrunn.  “They believe the ball should stay on the ground if possible, passes need to connect, and players should combine and make dynamic movements off the ball to open up space.”

Then Sauerbrunn added what might be the most important point of all: “At the same time, they don’t stifle individual flair.”

As Lindsey put it, “They both like to play attacking soccer,” an attribute that can go a long way toward developing a reputation as a players’ coach.

Asked if he considered going outside the Freedom family, Gabarra admitted he was tempted.

“There were quite a few players that didn’t get drafted that I liked,” he said.  “Maybe you get a good player, but you don’t get a player who’s been with the club the last few years.  It was probably thought of, but we were going to pretty much go with players that had played with the Freedom.”

Gabarra cited Christie Welsh as a Freedom W-Leaguer he would have liked to have had playing for him in WPS.  Unfortunately for Freedom fans, Welsh was snatched up by Los Angeles with the 12th overall pick.

And it wasn’t as if they took Freedom players just for the sake of it.  The coach who built the WUSA Freedom from an also-ran to champion in two years has a very clear vision about building this version from the ground up.

In Sarah Huffman, he has a versatile player who can play central midfield but will more likely wind up somewhere on the outside of the park.  Lindsey is a smart midfielder who has steadily improved since her rookie WUSA season of 2002.  She will be called upon to provide scoring opportunities for another Freedom veteran, Abby Wambach, who played with the club’s WUSA team in 2002 and 2003.  Janss is another WUSA veteran and with the Freedom she has made a successful transition to right back.

“She’s done a really good job of adjusting to playing in the back in the W-League,” Gabarra said of Janss.  “And she has the ability to get forward and score goals and set up goals.”

As for Sauerbrunn, she is hoping her National Team experience will help put her on the same page with Whitehill sooner than later.

“I played with Cat this past January at the Four Nations Tournament,” she said.  “We trained together for a month and a half and I think we should have a pretty good understanding with one another on the field.  She's a great distributor and a tough defender, so any team is lucky to have her.”

Just as Gabarra is lucky to have four Freedom W-League veterans on his WPS side.

Offline redrobin

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Re: Washington Freedom
« Reply #21 on: January 10, 2009, 01:17:35 AM »
Freedom agrees to terms with three players
Friday, January 09, 2009
by Washington Freedom
BOYDS, Maryland

The Washington Freedom announced today it has agreed to terms with Lori Lindsey, Becky Sauerbrunn and Emily Janss, three of its picks from the Women’s Professional Soccer draft in October.

They are the first three domestic players whose agreements have been announced by a WPS club.

“We are thrilled to have Lori, Emily, and Becky on the Freedom,” President and General Manager Joseph Quinn said. “All three players have been a member of the Freedom family for some time – Lori since the WUSA days – and I can't wait to see them on the field.”

Sauerbrunn, the third overall pick in the October draft, has two caps with the U.S. Women’s National Team, was the ACC Defensive Player of the Year in 2007 and is the only three-time NSCAA All-American in Virginia history. The 2008 W-League season was her first with the Freedom.

“I’m extremely excited to start playing with the Washington Freedom,” said Sauerbrunn. “I’m very honored to become a member of the Washington Freedom and to start playing with the other Freedom players.”

Lindsey, the Freedom’s third round pick, has been with the Freedom since being traded from San Diego to Washington before the 2003 WUSA season. Lindsey was part of the Freedom’s 2003 WUSA and 2007 W-League championship teams and is one of only two players in ACC history to be named the ACC Player of the Year in back-to-back years (2000 and 2001), with Mia Hamm being the other.

“Women’s soccer is finally coming back,” said Lindsey. “We have been training and waiting for this day and now it is finally here. It gives us a second chance at really making this work. I’m excited to be a part of it and excited to continue to be a part of the Freedom.”

Janss, the Freedom’s fourth round pick, is also a WUSA veteran having played with the New York Power from 2001-2003. Janss joined the Freedom in 2004 and was a part of the 2007 W-League championship team. The Maryland graduate was named to the All ACC First Team and All ACC Tournament Team in 1999.

“This is happening, this is real. It’s an exciting time. All of us have been doing so many things for so long but have always dedicated and put so much time and effort into growing the sport. It’s an ongoing quest for women’s soccer in the country to progress and grow and its one step closer now.”
« Last Edit: February 26, 2009, 01:14:26 PM by redrobin »

Offline redrobin

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Re: Washington Freedom
« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2009, 02:17:22 AM »
Japan's Sawa looks to 2nd stint in U.S.
Jan 22nd 2009
TOKYO, Jan. 22 (AP) - (Kyodo)—Japan midfielder Homare Sawa has made up her mind to join the Washington Freedom, who named her in the first round of September's international draft for the U.S.-based Women's Professional Soccer league, it was learned Thursday.
It will be the 30-year-old Sawa's second stint in the United States after she played for the Atlanta Beat in 2000-03 in the Women's United Soccer Association, the former women's pro soccer league in the United States that was forced to disband in 2003 due to financial difficulties.

WPS comprises seven teams and begins its inaugural season this spring.

At the Beijing Olympics last summer, Sawa helped Japan to a fourth- place finish, the country's best result in Olympic women's soccer history.

The NTV Beleza star scored three times in six matches in Beijing and has scored 72 goals -- the most by a Japanese player -- in 144 matches for Japan.

Other Japanese players -- midfielder Aya Miyama, striker Eriko Arakawa and striker Shinobu Ono -- were also chosen by different WPS teams in the September draft.

Offline redrobin

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Re: Washington Freedom
« Reply #23 on: February 03, 2009, 01:54:48 AM »
In inaugural season, Freedom are nine years in the making
Monday, February 02, 2009
by Dan Lauletta,

The Washington Freedom are ready to start anew.  Yet in many ways, the team that will take the field for the inaugural WPS season is the culmination of nine years of hard work.  The lone WUSA franchise not to close its doors after the league folded in 2003 is building its WPS side in the vision of what has become a soccer staple on the Beltway.

“Visually we want to play the same way we played the last four or five years and the way we played in the WUSA,” said Jim Gabarra, who was named founding coach of the Freedom on August 10, 2000.  “We want to be a possession-oriented team that attacks and has freedom of attack.  But we’re a possession-oriented team.”

Those are excellent models to follow.  In three WUSA seasons the Freedom played in the title match twice, winning in 2003.  In the W-League they earned the championship in 2007, and reached the semi-finals in 2008.  So Gabarra went out and built his WPS side in the same mold.  After using all four picks in October’s General Draft on former Freedom W-Leaguers, he was at it again in the 2009 WPS Draft when he made six of his 10 picks one-time Freedom players.  In addition Gabarra was able to secure Joanna Lohman, another player with Freedom experience, in a trade with Saint Louis Athletica.

“I think that we’re certainly comfortable and we’re glad about our five years with the club and maintaining our operations,” Gabarra said.  “It’s finally time that we can reap a little bit of those rewards.”

The players are in agreement.

“I think what he did was very, very smart and should hopefully allow the Freedom to hit the ground running and start as if we’ve already been active for years instead of this being the inaugural season,” said midfielder Rebecca Moros, a two-year W-League Freedom veteran who was selected in the sixth round.

That could be a major advantage at the startup of a new league.  When WUSA launched, play was choppy and discombobulated for several weeks before most teams found their footing.  Gabarra cautions though that whatever edge the Freedom may have could be short lived.

“I think there will be a little bit of that, but it’s tough to read how players are going to react,” he said.  “You can have a good unit that understands each other, but if you’re playing against quality players and they improve their level just as quick—it can be a fleeting advantage. Let’s put it that way.”

Moros, who played at Duke and was hoping to be picked up by the Freedom, credits the club’s atmosphere with easing her adjustment to a higher level after college.

“I had felt like the Freedom had a number of veteran players that had experiences that I didn’t have and had a wealth of knowledge that I could learn from,” Moros said.  “So I really felt that it would be a fabulous experience for me as young player learning from veterans.”

Moros cited Freedom draft picks Sarah Huffman and Lori Lindsey plus Los Angeles Sol forward Christie Welsh as players who took her under their wings over the last two W-League seasons.

“I’m still learning a lot from Lori Lindsey,” Moros said.

It was familiarity with the Freedom that landed Sarah Senty’s name on the draft board in the seventh round.  A college senior, Senty turned down a chance to play at the East Coast Combine and will not be available to play in WPS until she completes her philosophy degree at Virginia in May.

“I just put my name on the list,” she said.  “I figure Jim had already seen me play enough so if he had wanted me, he would have picked me regardless.”

Senty admits she will be nervous trying to find her way into the club in May, but is at ease thanks to some encouraging words from Gabarra.

“Last time I talked to him he just said there was no pressure to leave school and I could just come in and be fine,” Senty said.  “Obviously I’ll have to fight for a spot on the roster.”

“Jim definitely takes an active approach in getting to know his players and making sure they’re happy,” Moros said.  “I think that’s part of him picking up the players that he did because he has great relationships with so many people.”

Of course the most famous returning Freedom player is Abby Wambach, who scored the last WUSA goal to give the club its 2003 championship.  She scored it against Brianna Scurry, one of the four players Gabarra acquired in the draft without prior Freedom experience.  Earlier in that WUSA Final, Scurry leaped off her line to the upper corner to parry away a free kick hit by Sandra Minnert.

“I don’t know if many men’s keepers would have pulled that one out of the corner.  Still to this day I don’t know how she pulled it out,” Gabarra said. “I thought it was a goal.  It was one of the best shots you’re ever going to see taken from a female player and she matched it with just a spectacular save.”

The 37-year old Scurry is hopeful for a chance to compete for the starting role and will have an early leg up on Canadian Erin McLeod, who is recovering from knee surgery.

Wambach is also recovering from surgery, hers for a broken leg suffered on the eve of the Olympic Games last summer.  She is currently participating in a National Team camp, her first since the injury.

“I’m really happy for her to be able to get back out there again,” Gabarra said.  “She’s optimistic, but she’s also very realistic about it and I’m sure she’s going to listen to her body.

Whether or not Wambach is ready for the Inaugural Game in Los Angeles on March 29, she won’t have to get reacquainted with the Freedom system.  That has been in place for nine years.


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Re: Washington Freedom
« Reply #24 on: February 04, 2009, 07:51:21 AM »
Sonia Bompastor is reaching 100 caps for France-Iceland qualifier on Saturday.
She either plays left back or left midfield.
Louisa Necib is nicknamed  the female Zizou and there is no bigger accolade than that.
She is excellent technically.
Bompastor has signed up for the Freedom apparently.

Offline redrobin

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Re: Washington Freedom
« Reply #25 on: February 13, 2009, 03:23:23 PM »
Freedom to have 7 nationally televised games as part of 2009 schedule
Thursday, February 05, 2009
by Washington Freedom

BOYDS, Maryland – Having had the first two games of the 2009 season previously announced, the Washington Freedom announced the rest of its schedule today, which includes 7 games nationally televised on Fox Soccer Channel.

The Freedom is scheduled to play each WPS team three times this season while facing the Boston Breakers and Chicago Red Stars an additional time to complete a 20-game schedule.

Along with appearing in the WPS Inaugural Match against the Los Angeles Sol in Carson, Calif. live on FSC on March 29, Washington found out its home opener against the Red Stars on April 11 will also be on FSC. Home matches against Saint Louis Athletica on May 3 and Los Angeles on July 5, will also be part of “WPS Sunday on FSC” along with away matches against FC Gold Pride on April 26, the Boston Breakers on May 17 and the Sol on June 7.

Times for games not on FSC as well as doubleheaders with D.C. United are still being determined. All games on FSC featuring the Freedom will start at 6 p.m. ET except for the April 11 home opener, which will begin at 5:30 p.m.

The top four teams in the WPS Regular Season qualify for the WPS Playoffs, which begin August 15 with the First Round and conclude August 22 with the WPS Final to decide the 2009 WPS Champion.

Home Games in Red
Sat 14 March    Sky Blue (2 pm)
Sun 29 March   Los Angeles Sol
Sat 11 April     Chicago Red Stars  (5.30 pm)
Sat 18 April     Boston Breakers (7 pm)
Sun 26 April    Gold Pride
Sun 3 May       St. Louis Athletica (6 pm)
Sun 17 May     Boston Breakers
Sat 23 May      Sky Blue  (tbd)
Sun 31 May     Gold Pride (4 pm)
Sun 7 June      Los Angeles Sol
Sun 14 June    Chicago Red Stars (4 pm)
Sat 20 June     St. Louis Athletica
Wed 24 June   Boston Breakers
Wed 1 July     Chicago Red Stars
Sun 5 July      Los Angeles Sol  (6 pm)
Wed 15 July    Sky Blue
Sat 18 July     St. Louis Athletica (tbd)
Sun 26 July    Chicago Red Stars
Wed 29 July   Boston Breakers (7 pm)
Sat 1 August   Gold Pride
Sat 8 August   Sky Blue (tbd)

« Last Edit: February 13, 2009, 04:29:12 PM by redrobin »

Offline redrobin

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Re: Washington Freedom
« Reply #26 on: February 20, 2009, 11:19:11 PM »
Freedom signs International picks Sawa, Bompastor
Friday, February 20, 2009
by Washington Freedom

With preseason camp set to start March 2, the Washington Freedom announced it has signed its first two selections of the WPS International Draft, Japanese legend Homare Sawa, a two-time winner of the Asian Football Confederation’s Women’s Player of the Year award, and French women’s national team captain Sonia Bompastor.

Both Sawa and Bompastor bring extensive experience at the international level to the Freedom as both players have amassed at least 100 caps for their respective national teams.

“If you asked me what type of player I like, Sawa would be the example I would use,” Freedom Head Coach Jim Gabarra said. “We cannot be happier with this addition. She is a complete player that brings to WPS an unparalleled level of experience.

“In our International player research over the past year we believe that we have found in Sonia one of the best left backs in the world,” Gabarra said. “She brings leadership and a winning mentality that will positively add to the Freedom’s team dynamic.”

Both figure to play important roles for the Freedom once the season begins March 29. The Freedom opens the season against the Los Angeles Sol in the WPS Inaugural Match at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The game will be broadcast nationally on Fox Soccer Channel at 6 p.m. ET as part of WPS Sunday on FSC.

Washington’s home opener on April 11 against the Chicago Red Stars will also be nationally televised on FSC, with the game scheduled to kick off at 6 p.m. at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds, Md.

France's Sonia Bompastor will join defenders Cat Whitehill and Becky Sauerbrunn on the Freedom back line.

Sawa Highlights:

Made international debut with Japanese National Team in 1993 at age 15, scoring her first goal with the team in her debut.
Has more than 130 caps and 60 goals for the national team.
Member of WUSA Atlanta Beat from 2001-2003, scored first goal in franchise history.
AFC Women’s Player of the Year in 2004 and 2008, runner-up for award 2007.
Member of Japanese women’s team that finished third at the 2008 AFC Women’s Asian Cup.
Member of Japanese women’s team that finished fourth at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Bompastor Highlights:

Has 100 caps for France’s Women’s National Team and has competed for the squad in its 2001 UEFA Women’s Championship appearance and 2003 Women’s World Cup appearance after debuting with the team in February 2000.
Captain of both France’s WNT and former club, Olympique Lyonnaise.
Helped three different French clubs win six league titles in a span of four years.

Offline redrobin

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Re: Washington Freedom
« Reply #27 on: February 26, 2009, 01:13:34 PM »
Six from open tryout invited to invitation tryout
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
by Washington Freedom

BOYDS, Maryland. – The Washington Freedom announced that six players who participated in the team’s open tryout Feb. 21-22 have been invited to the Freedom’s invitation-only tryout that runs Feb. 26-27.

Elizabeth Brewster, Abby Crumpton, Dena Floyd, Sandra Matute, Joy Shaiebly and Jessie Wolfe will be among the 40 or so participants trying to earn an invitation to the Freedom’s preseason camp that starts on March 1.

Brewster and Wolfe are familiar to the Freedom as they both played on youth teams the Freedom provided coaching support to. Brewster also played for the Freedom’s U20 Super Y League squad.

Crumpton’s name may be familiar to WUSA fans as she was the teammate of the Freedom’s Homare Sawa and Briana Scurry with the Atlanta Beat in 2003. Floyd will be familiar to Florida Gators fans as she was a teammate of the Freedom’s Abby Wambach at the University of Florida.

Shaiebly is a graduate of Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Va. and spent 2008 with the Lancaster Inferno of WPSL.

Matute is a French player who has been coaching for Freestate Soccer Alliance based in Bowie, Md.

Teams are allowed to have a total of 28 players to open camp. Teams will need to cut rosters down to 24 by March 13 before announcing the final roster (18 players plus 4 developmental players) on March 25.

Offline redrobin

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Re: Washington Freedom
« Reply #28 on: February 27, 2009, 08:26:34 PM »
Huffman, Singer, Gilbeau and Eyorokon sign with Freedom
Thursday, February 26, 2009
by Washington Freedom

Boyds, Maryland  – The Washington Freedom announced today midfielder Sarah Huffman, defender Alex Singer, defender/midfielder Jill Gilbeau and midfielder/forward Parrissa Eyorokon have each signed contracts with the club.

“These player signings represent a significant step in the development of our roster,” Freedom Head Coach Jim Gabarra said. “All four players will provide versatility and excitement to our team in this WPS inaugural season.”

Huffman and Singer rejoin the Freedom after playing for the team’s W-League squad in 2007 and 2008, in which they helped the team win the W-League North American Championship in 2007 and win the W-League Eastern Conference title in 2008. Huffman and Singer both played collegiately at the University of Virginia. Huffman was the No. 1 overall pick in October’s general draft while Singer was the team’s second round pick (No. 8 overall) in the 2009 WPS draft in January.

Gilbeau, the team’s third pick (22nd overall) in the 2009 WPS draft, also returns to the Freedom after playing with the W-League squad in 2008. Gilbeau was a four year starter for the University of Texas.

Eyorokon, the team’s fourth pick (23rd overall) in January, joins the Freedom having previously been named the Big 10 Player of the Year in 2007 and was recently part of the U.S. U23 Women’s National Team that competed in a three team competition in Spain.

Washington opens preseason camp on Sunday, March 1 in preparation for the inaugural WPS season. The first week of training camp will be open to the public (March 1-7), with an additional day in each of the following weeks being open to the public as well.

Offline redrobin

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Re: Washington Freedom
« Reply #29 on: March 06, 2009, 02:35:24 AM »
Nine added to Freedom's preseason roster
Monday, March 02, 2009
by Washington Freedom

BOYDS, Maryland  – After evaluating players through two different tryout sessions, nine players received invitations to the Washington Freedom’s preseason camp.

Goalkeeper Joy Shaiebly, defender Jessie Davis, defender/midfielder Madison Keller, defender/midfielder Kristen DeDycker, forward Brittany Tegeler, forward Katie Watson, midfielder Kimmy Germain, defender/midfielder/forward Jayme Leigh Cargnoni and midfielder Sheuneen Ta all joined the Freedom for the opening of preseason camp on March 1 in hopes of making the final squad. The Freedom roster will have 18 players along with 4 developmental players during the 2009 season.

Shaiebly, who played collegiately for Eastern Mennonite University, was the only player to make it through the Freedom’s open tryout and invitation tryout while DeDycker, formerly Kristen Warren, is the only player of the group to have previously played professionally in the U.S. having been a developmental player for the Atlanta Beat of the WUSA in 2003.

Davis, Keller, Tegeler, Watson and Germain all have local ties. Davis played high school soccer for W.T. Woodson High School in Fairfax, Va., Tegeler played high school soccer for McDonogh School in Owings Mills, Md., Germain played collegiately for James Madison and played with the Northern Virginia Majestics W-League team while Watson and Keller both played for the Washington Freedom’s W-League team.

Cargnoni played collegiately for UCLA before transferring to Wake Forest while Ta is an English national who played collegiately at the University of Miami (Fla.).

Rosters need to be cut from a maximum of 28 players to 24 by March 13, two days after the Freedom host Sky Blue FC in the preseason opener for Washington, and need to be finalized by March 25.

Washington Freedom Preseason Roster by position

GOALKEEPERS (3) – Briana Scurry, Joy Shaeibly, Kati Jo Spisak
DEFENDERS (11) – Sonia Bompastor, Jayme Cargnoni, Jessie Davis, Kristen DeDycker, Jill Gilbeau, Emily Janss, Christen Karniski, Madison Keller, Becky Sauerbrunn, Alex Singer, Cat Whitehill
MIDFIELDERS (9) – Parrissa Eyorokon, Kimmy Germain, Sarah Huffman, Lori Lindsey, Joanna Lohman, Allie Long, Rebecca Moros, Homare Sawa, Sheuneen Ta
FORWARDS (4) – Brittany Tegeler, Abby Wambach, Katie Watson, Claire Zimmeck

Offline redrobin

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Re: Washington Freedom
« Reply #30 on: March 08, 2009, 12:04:36 AM »
Washington Freedom and D.C. United announce three doubleheaders
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
by Washington Freedom

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – The Washington Freedom, in conjunction with D.C. United and the DC Sports and Entertainment Commission, announced today the clubs are set to play three doubleheaders at RFK Stadium. The matches are scheduled for May 23, June 13 and July 18, with the Freedom playing the opening match on all three dates.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity for both organizations,” Freedom head coach Jim Gabarra said. “We’ve done these in the past and they were hugely successful from both teams’ points of view. I think it offers fans of D.C. United a chance to see our product and offers our fans a chance to see D.C. United’s product. I just think it’s a great mixture of two different markets and for us to be able to play at RFK again for three games, we’re looking forward to it.”

The first game, on Saturday, May 23, features the Freedom taking on Sky Blue FC (New Jersey/New York) at 5 p.m. followed by United taking on Real Salt Lake at 7:30 p.m. Originally scheduled for June 14, the Freedom will now take on the Chicago Red Stars on Saturday, June 13 at 5 p.m. followed by United facing the Chicago Fire at 7:30 p.m. The final double-header on Saturday, July 18 features the Freedom facing Saint Louis Athletica at 5:30 p.m. United will face the Colorado Rapids at 8 p.m.

"We are very pleased to once again partner with the Washington Freedom," said United Executive Vice President Stephen Zack.  "We are excited about the launch of WPS and feel these double headers offer a great opportunity for our fans to experience the woman's game."

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Re: Washington Freedom
« Reply #31 on: March 09, 2009, 11:35:56 AM »
Team Preview: Wambach, Freedom seek to answer questions
Friday, March 06, 2009
by Dan Lauletta,

Now that the Washington Freedom have begun training camp, there is one question on everyone’s mind:  how is Abby Wambach doing on her surgically repaired left leg?

“She’s been the Abby of old, very competitive but always smiling and enjoying the training,” reported head coach Jim Gabarra as week one wound down.  “That’s great to see.  I think Abby still has a little ways to go but she has participated in everything.”

Gabarra is banking on Wambach returning to the form that led the first incarnation of the Freedom to the 2003 WUSA championship and then anchored the frontline for the U.S. National Team.  But she is not the only high profile player who came to camp in the final stages of rehabilitation from a serious injury.  Central defender Cat Whitehill tore her left ACL in training last June and has not played since.

“I couldn’t be happier from what we’ve seen from Abby and Cat coming back from injuries,” Gabarra said.  “They have looked really good in training.”

The Freedom have a shorter camp then most since they must travel to California to play the Los Angeles Sol in the WPS Inaugural Match on March 29.  Still the coach said he would be shocked if Wambach and Whitehill were not both in the lineup for the season opener.

As for who else will be in the Freedom’s first WPS lineup, much of that will hinge on how quickly the club’s contingent of international players are able to make their way to the nation’s capital.  As of Thursday, Australian forward Lisa De Vanna was in Washington visiting with the team but had yet to sign a contract.  While signed to contracts, Japanese midfielder Homare Sawa and French defender Sonia Bompastor have yet to enter the country due to visa issues.  Canadian Goalkeeper Erin McLeod is likewise in visa limbo and has yet to sign with the club.  Seeking to fill its last international slot, the Freedom continue to speak with Norway’s Lene Mykjaland and France’s Louisa Necib about joining the team on loan.

“The process has just taken as long as it can possibly be taking,” Gabarra said.

Sawa in particular could be held up until the middle of March, leaving her precious little time to find a rhythm with her new mates.

McLeod is yet another member of the surgical rehab crew.  The Canadian goalkeeper has been cleared for full training after an ACL tear last summer and has been working out on her own trying to keep up with the rest of the Freedom.  McLeod’s competition in goal will come from 37-year-old Briana Scurry, the starter for the U.S. National Team at the 2004 Olympics.

“She’s made her saves and done reasonably well with her distribution skills,” Gabarra said, adding that the tight quarters of the Freedom’s indoor practice facility have made definitive evaluation difficult so far.

Fortunately, more than half of the final roster is expected to be made up of players who played for Gabarra’s Freedom in the W-League.

“The big thing is I think we’ll have an advantage at the start,” said midfielder Sarah Huffman, a two-year Freedom veteran who will battle with Sawa and first round pick Allie Long for the right to feed balls up to Wambach.  “A lot of us know each other.  We know the style.  Hopefully that advantage will stay with us, but at the beginning I just think we’re going to know each other better than some other teams.”

Among those with Freedom experience besides Huffman and Wambach (who never played for the W-League side), central defender Becky Sauerbrunn and right back Alex Singer are favorites to be starting along the backline next to Whitehill and Bompastor.  Emily Janss, Joanna Lohman, Rebecca Moros, Christen Karninski, Lori Lindsey and Kati Jo Spisak have also played for Gabarra’s Freedom at one time or another.

To that end, expect the Freedom to line up in a standard 4-4-2 which will focus on possession but encourage individual flair when appropriate.  Wambach will be the main target but will also set the tone defensively with her tireless work ethic in all areas of the pitch.

“Jim likes to stress individual creativity,” Huffman said.  “If that’s the option and it’s on, he likes to see individual flair.  But he definitely likes the possession-oriented style.”

“That’s how we’ve played for the last few years,” Gabarra said.  “In a start-up situation I think it makes sense for us to plug in some pieces, even the major pieces as they are, that were selected because they can fit into the way we play.”

Gabarra said that 15 of his final 18 slots are already locked in leaving only three up for grabs plus four optional developmental slots, one of which is likely to go to goalkeeper Kati Jo Spisak.  Joy Shaeilby has also been brought into camp to battle for a ‘keeper spot.  Gabarra will likely decide on his roster by next week even though final rosters are not required until March 24 due to the “short cycle getting ready for our first game.”

Offline redrobin

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Re: Washington Freedom
« Reply #32 on: March 10, 2009, 01:50:59 AM »
Whitehill, Scurry, Long sign with Freedom
Monday, March 09, 2009
by Washington Freedom

Boyds, Maryland – The Washington Freedom announced today that U.S Women’s National Team veterans Cat Whitehill and Briana Scurry and 2009 WPS Draft first round pick Allie Long have signed with the club.

Whitehill, a defender from the storied University of North Carolina program, has 129 caps and 11 goals in her USWNT career, which includes winning a gold medal with the team at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece and is the only defender in World Cup history to score two in a single game.

Scurry, a goalkeeper selected in the fifth round of the 2009 WPS Draft, is one of the most recognizable names in USWNT history after helping the team win the 1999 Women’s World Cup and gold medals in the 1996 (Atlanta) and 2004 Olympics. Scurry was also one of the founding members of the WUSA, playing for the Atlanta Beat from 2001-2003 and helping the team to the league’s championship game in 2001 and 2003.

Long, a midfielder, finished her collegiate career at the University of North Carolina in the fall by helping the Tar Heels secure the 2008 NCAA Women’s Soccer National Championship. Long also has international experience having played for the U.S. U-20 and U-21 national teams.

Washington opens the 2009 preseason Saturday, March 14 when it hosts Sky Blue FC (New Jersey/New York) at the Maryland SoccerPlex at 2 p.m.

Offline redrobin

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Re: Washington Freedom
« Reply #33 on: March 18, 2009, 01:49:02 PM »
Freedom fall on Kai's late goal
Saturday, March 14, 2009
by Washington Freedom

Boyds, Maryland - Taking the field as a pro team for the first time since 2003, the Washington Freedom saw its 2009 debut spoiled as Sky Blue FC’s Natasha Kai broke a scoreless tie in the 86th, giving Sky Blue FC a 1-0 win at the Maryland SoccerPlex on Saturday in WPS preseason action.

Despite the late goal that led to the loss, starting defender Cat Whitehill and starting goalkeeper Briana Scurry were impressed with their new teammates.

“We’re 11 days into the season and I think our chemistry is tremendous considering that it’s 11 days,” Whitehill said. “Obviously we have a long way to go with this team and a long way to go with chemistry – especially in the backline because that’s where you always have to be on the same page – but I’m excited with this team, I love this team and we’re having fun together. I think we’re just going to keep getting better.”

Added Scurry: “I was really impressed with the way we played. Some of the players on our team, I knew they were good players but today I was like ‘wow, she’s good.’ It was a real exciting start – first game we’ve played together and it’s going to be good.”

Scurry gave the crowd something to get excited about as she punched away a shot over her head from Sky Blue FC’s Yael Averbuch at the end of the first half to keep the score tied at 0-0.

Washington continues its preparations for the 2009 season on Sunday, March 22 at 2 p.m. when it takes on defending NCAA champion North Carolina in an exhibition match at Legion Stadium in Wilmington, N.C. This will be Washington’s last preseason match before traveling to Los Angeles to take on the Sol in the WPS Inaugural Match on Sunday, March 29 at 6 p.m.


Head Coach Jim Gabarra

On the difference in the game
“The biggest thing for us is we didn’t do a good job in transition. We lost the ball and we shouldn’t have lost the ball. We have our defenders going forward and we’re exposed in that part of the field and they did a good job of exploiting it.”

On the development of the team
“I’m very happy with it for two weeks into preseason against a quality opponent. There was some good things done by both sides.”

Cat Whitehill

On playing her first game since her ACL injury
“I felt really good. This was my first real 90 minutes, we played in a little scrimmage last weekend, but it was fun, it was great to be on the field and there were no problems with my knee.”

On playing at the SoccerPlex
“The nicest thing about it is that everybody’s right on top of you and I think that’s a really cool atmosphere. You can hear what they’re saying and there’s not a big track where you feel out of touch with the fans. The fans feel like they’re kind of the 12th person out there and I think that’s exciting for us.

Briana Scurry

On playing professionally in the U.S. after a six year break
“I’m just grateful that I’m a part of it right now.”
« Last Edit: March 19, 2009, 12:55:02 PM by redrobin »

Offline redrobin

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Re: Washington Freedom
« Reply #34 on: March 19, 2009, 12:44:11 PM »
Freedom signs Moros, Zimmeck, cuts roster to 24
Monday, March 16, 2009
by Washington Freedom

(BOYDS, Maryland) – The Washington Freedom announced today it has agreed to terms with midfielder/forward Rebecca Moros and forward Claire Zimmeck.

Moros, Washington’s sixth round pick in the 2009 WPS Draft, is a Duke graduate and a member of the Freedom’s 2007 and 2008 W-League teams, helping the squad win the W-League championship in 2007.

Zimmeck, the team’s ninth round pick in the 2009 WPS Draft, is the No. 3 all-time leading goal scorer in William & Mary history and is a two-time CAA Player of the Year. The Fairfax, Va. local previously played for the Richmond Strikers and Northern Virginia Majestics of the W-League.

Also announced today was the reduction of the Freedom preseason camp roster from 28 players to 24 as per WPS league guidelines.

A final roster cut down to 18 players and four developmental players must be finalized by March 25, four days before the Freedom play in the WPS Inaugural Match in Los Angeles against the Sol. Washington will open its 2009 home schedule on Saturday, April 11 against the Chicago Red Stars at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Germantown, Md.

Preseason camp roster

No. Player Position
1 Briana Scurry GK
3 Jill Gilbeau D/M/F
4 Cat Whitehill D
5 Joanna Lohman D/M
6 Lori Lindsey M
7 Parrissa Eyorokon M/F
8 Sonia Bompastor D
9 Allie Long M
10 Homare Sawa M
11 Emily Janss D/M
14 Sarah Huffman M
15 Kristen DeDycker D/M
17 Lisa De Vanna F
19 Rebecca Moros M/F
20 Abby Wambach F
21 Alex Singer D
22 Becky Sauerbrunn D
24 Christen Karniski D
25 Claire Zimmeck F
26 Madison Keller D/M
27 Brittany Tegeler F
28 Katie Watson F
29 Jayme Leigh Cargnoni D/M
61 Kati Jo Spisak GK
« Last Edit: March 19, 2009, 01:32:04 PM by redrobin »

Offline redrobin

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Re: Washington Freedom
« Reply #35 on: March 26, 2009, 04:27:03 PM »
Freedom announces opening day roster

Boyds, Maryland - March 25th 2009

With the Washington Freedom set to take part in the WPS Inaugural Match against the Los Angeles Sol at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. at 6 p.m. ET on Sunday, the team announced it has cut its roster down to the league mandated 22 players (18 players with 4 developmental players).

The roster was built in five steps – U.S. national team allocation, International player draft, a 4-round draft in October, a 10-round draft in January and tryouts.

After Sunday’s match against the Sol, Washington will play the University of Virginia in a Kicks Against Breast Cancer charity exhibition match at the Maryland SoccerPlex on April 4 at 7 p.m. before playing its first home game on April 11 at 6 p.m. against the Chicago Red Stars.

Starting Roster

1 Briana Scurry - Goalkeeper
3 Jill Gilbeau - Defender/Midfield/Forward 
4 Cat Whitehill - Defender
5 Joanna Lohman - Defender/Midfield
6 Lori Lindsey - Midfield
7 Parrissa Eyorokon - Midfielder/Forward
8 Sonia Bompastor (France) - Defender
9 Allie Long - Midfielder
10 Homare Sawa (Japan) - Midfield
11 Emily Janss - Defender/Midfield
14 Sarah Huffman - Midfield
15 Kristin DeDycker - Defender/Midfield
17 Lisa De Vanna (Australia) - Forward
19 Rebecca Moros - Midfield/Forward 
20 Abby Wambach - Forward
21 Alex Singer - Defender
22 Becky Sauerbrunn - Defender
24 Christen Karniski - Defender
25 Claire Zimmeck - Forward.
26 Madison Keller - Defender/Midfield
29 Jayme Leigh Cargnoni - Defender/Midfield
61 Kati Jo Spisak - Goalkeeper

Single game tickets for the 2009 Washington Freedom season are now available through Ticketmaster. Don't forget to check out the Inaugural Ticket Pack, which includes tickets to the Freedom's first two home games - April 11 and April 18. The Inaugural Ticket Pack is only available by calling the Freedom ticket office at 202-547-KICK.

Offline redrobin

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Re: Washington Freedom
« Reply #36 on: March 27, 2009, 02:34:44 PM »
Wambach, De Vanna among latest Freedom signings

Thursday, March 26, 2009
by Washington Freedom

Boyds, Maryland - March 26

Having announced its full roster for the opening of the 2009 WPS season, the Washington Freedom announced today forward Abby Wambach, forward Lisa De Vanna, defender/midfielder Jayme Leigh Cargnoni, defender/midfielder Kristin DeDycker, defender/midfielder Madison Keller, defender/midfielder Joanna Lohman, defender Christen Karniski and goalkeeper Kati Jo Spisak have signed with the team.

“It’s exciting to finalize these players in what has been a very long signing process,” Freedom Head Coach Jim Gabarra said. “We have been very pleased with our whole team this preseason and having Abby Wambach has proven to be as important as we thought when she was allocated last September.”

Wambach returns to the Freedom after having played with the team during the 2002-03 seasons of the WUSA, where among the many honors she received she was Rookie of the Year in 2002 and tied with teammate Mia Hamm as the league’s leading scorer in 2003.

De Vanna, from Perth, Australia, is the third international player to sign with the Freedom and is widely recognized as one of the top forwards in the world. De Vanna was the leading scorer for Swedish club AIK in 2008 and scored four goals for Australia’s national team in the 2007 Women’s World Cup.

Along with seven of the players currently on the roster, Keller, Karniski and Spisak all have experience with Gabarra and the Freedom as they previously played on the team’s W-League squad. Keller and Karniski played for the Freedom in 2008 while Spisak played from 2007-08, helping the team win the W-League championship in 2007.

Lohman, from nearby Silver Spring, Md., has seven caps with the U.S. Women’s National Team and left Penn State University as a two-time finalist for the M.A.C. Hermann trophy (awarded to the nation’s top college soccer player) and three-time NSCAA All American selection.

Cargnoni, a three-year starter at Wake Forest, was second among defenders in assists in the ACC in 2005 and was a starter for the 2007 W-League Western Conference champion San Diego Sunwaves.

Like Wambach, DeDycker is a former WUSA player having played for the Atlanta Beat in 2003. As a player at the University of Denver, DeDycker was a two-time NSCAA All American selection.

These signings fill out the team’s 22 player roster, which includes four developmental players, before the Freedom plays in the WPS Inaugural Match on Sunday against the Los Angeles Sol at 6 p.m. ET at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California.

Offline redrobin

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Re: Washington Freedom
« Reply #37 on: March 31, 2009, 03:10:49 PM »
The Freedom's report on the opening match of the new season.

Freedom falls to Sol 2-0 in WPS Inaugural Match
Sunday, March 29, 2009
by Washington Freedom

Match: Los Angeles Sol vs. Washington Freedom   
Date:  March 29, 2009   
Venue:  The Home Depot Center, Carson, Calif.   
Kickoff:  3PM PT   
Attendance:  14,832

CARSON, California (March 29) – Soon after getting off the bus at the team hotel in Carson, Calif., midfielder Lori Lindsey gave head coach Jim Gabarra a hug, hardly able to contain the excitement she felt for the return of professional women’s soccer to the U.S.

Despite the fact the Freedom lost to the Los Angeles Sol 2-0 at the Home Depot Center earlier in the afternoon, it was visibly clear the sacrifices Lindsey, Gabarra and others had made waiting for the return of pro soccer had finally paid off.

“It’s a tremendous atmosphere,” Gabarra said after the match. “I think the fans were great. Obviously [this is] a world-class stadium. I was very happy with the product both teams put on the field – it’s well deserving of an inaugural game. From my experience I think the level of play was better than the WUSA inaugural game.”

In spite of giving up two goals, the Freedom defense seemed to do a good job of containing three-time FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year Marta, only allowing her to assist on Camile Abily’s goal in the 87th minute at a time when the Freedom were pressing forward in an attempt to tie the game.

“I couldn’t have been happier with our back four dealing with Han Duan, Marta and Miyama,” Gabarra said. “They were a real handful and our defenders did a good job with them.”

Added Cat Whitehill, one of the defenders tasked with keeping tabs on Marta: “I was really proud of the defense. I think in the beginning we were a little shaky but we got our legs underneath us. Defensively I thought we played really well. Marta, she was non-existent for a lot of it and they have two incredible international forwards in Han Duan and Marta and they have a really good midfield.

“To play a player like Marta and Han Duan in the first game and to hold both of them scoreless, I think that’s a pretty good job.”

Becky Sauerbrunn, who in 2006 was part of the University of Virginia defense that allowed an NCAA-low 0.4 goals against average and recorded 15 shutouts, felt the defense did a good job of assisting each other.

“I think as a defensive unit we had talked about, we’re going to have to give each other a lot of cover when it comes to Marta because she’s so tricky with the ball at her feet. And I think as a defensive unit everyone was covering for each other whenever Marta had the ball.”

After allowing a goal to Allison Falk off a Aya Miyama free kick in the sixth minute, the Washington defense tightened up and made the plays it needed to in order to keep the Freedom in the match. However, the offense never quite got on track despite multiple scoring chances.

“We were missing some synchronization up front and that’s really due to the fact our first string forward Lisa De Vanna has been [battling] injury and hasn’t really had a chance to play with Abby,” Gabarra said. “I thought they were a little bit inverted there for the most part of the second half where we needed Lisa to be getting behind their defensive line and Abby showing. They were kind of doing each other’s jobs.”

With the first game in the books, Gabarra has already entered coach – ready to learn from the team’s mistakes and start preparing for the next match in which the Freedom will host the Chicago Red Stars in the team’s home opener on April 11.

“It’s great to get that one under your belt,” Gabarra said. “We have some things to work on and some adjustments to make.  I was very proud of the team and I thought they fought, did the things we asked them to do for the most part and I really think we deserved a goal or two. It’s just you don’t always get what you deserve in this game.”

Along with the return of pro soccer to the U.S., there is a second potential silver lining to this match. After winning the inaugural match of the WUSA in 2001, the Freedom finished tied for last place in the league while their opponent – the San Jose CyberRays – went on to win the league title. With 19 more matches left this season, there is still enough time for history to repeat itself.

Washington Freedom:
1-Briana Scurry (GK), 4-Cat Whitehill, 11-Emily Janss, 21-Alex Singer, 22-Becky Sauerbrunn, 6-Lori Lindsey (3-Jill Gilbeau, 72), 8-Sonia Bompastor, 9-Allie Long, 10-Homare Sawa, 20-Abby Wambach (Captain), 25-Claire Zimmeck (17-Lisa De Vanna, 43).

Subs not used: 61-Kati Jo Spisak (GK), 15-Kristin DeDycker, 19-Rebecca Moros.

Offline K_Lincourt30

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Re: Washington Freedom
« Reply #38 on: April 12, 2009, 03:02:20 AM »
Sauerbrunn scores first goal of the season for Freedom off Bompastor corner, Jonsson denies Abby's "Super Girl" flying header


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Re: Washington Freedom
« Reply #39 on: April 22, 2009, 12:23:30 PM »
I was looking their W-League roster and they kept 10 players from last season, so they should have had a head start on other team that started from scratch but it does not look like this..