It was the best of weeks, it was the worst of weeks for women’s soccer in the USA.
The W-League playoffs saw Pali Blues keep rival Seattle Sounders at bay, while D.C. United Women confirmed their status as the best in the East and Quebec City Amiral emerged as the best of the non-Ottawa teams in the Central.
The WPSL Elite regular season wrapped up with Boston taking first ahead of Western New York. Then New York, which just signed Casey Nogueira away from FC Dallas, held off Chicago for third. New England finished with a winning record. Chesapeake finally got its second win, 2-0 over Philadelphia, to finish sixth. Philadelphia and FC Indiana finished with identical 1-11-2 records.
Chicago may have dropped to fourth in the WPSL Elite, but the Red Stars won the Women’s Cup in a 3-2 thriller over New York Athletic Club after rallying to beat Turbo D’Feeters (featuring a couple of FC Dallas players) 5-3 in the semis. Chicago put roughly two-thirds of its regular starters in its WPSL Elite finale and the other third in the Women’s Cup games.
Then we have the WPSL playoffs. The West proceeded nicely, with Salt Lake United upsetting the San Diego SeaLions 3-1 even though half of United was also busy with the Women’s Cup.
– West: Spokane Shine couldn’t continue to the playoffs. Issaquah took their place.
– Big Sky-South: Oklahoma Football Club advanced when FC Dallas refused to play. The club’s Twitter feed claims the WPSL changed the playoff format at the last minute. Reached for further comment, FC Dallas says it placed a big emphasis on the regular season and wasn’t happy when the format was changed so that those who didn’t win their conference could advance. The rift between team and league here looks irreconcilable.
– Sunshine/Southeast: The Sunshine conference took four teams to the playoffs. The Southeast took one — Gulf Coast Texans. So the Sunshine played two games, with Tampa Bay Hellenic and Florida Sol FC, and then both teams pulled out of the playoffs. Texans advanced.
– Northeast Atlantic: New York Athletic Club advanced to the conference final and seemed set to split its squad between that game and the Women’s Cup final, but the club abruptly pulled out. Aztec MA advanced.
A couple of WPSL teams had been on the verge of cracking the top 12 in the power rankings. Pity we won’t see them play each other.
1. Pali Blues (14-0-1, W-League Western; Last Week: 1) – roster
Looking forward to seeing them in the semifinals.
2. Boston Breakers (11-3-0, WPSL Elite; LW: 2) – roster
Well-deserved regular-season champions. Reminder: One of their losses (to Western New York) is on a technicality over player registration.Bos
3. Chicago Red Stars (9-4-1, WPSL Elite; LW: 4) – roster
We’re attributing their skid at the end of the WPSL Elite season to the split-squad realities. They already have one trophy. Has anyone ever done the double?
4. New York Fury (9-3-2, WPSL Elite; LW: 5) – roster
Seven points in three games in seven days. Not bad.
5. Western New York Flash (9-2-3, WPSL Elite; LW: 3) – roster
Will have home field for the playoffs but already lost 1-0 this weekend to
Chicago.Boston. (thanks for the fix, Alyse)
6. D.C. United Women (13-0-1, W-League Atlantic; LW: 7) – roster
Simply awesome against
ChicagoCharlotte (thanks for the fix, Kevin), which had eliminated the defending champions and routed Long Island.
7. Seattle Sounders Women (10-4-1, W-League Western; LW: 6) – roster
Couldn’t crack Pali defense. Would’ve loved to see them try with Alex Morgan and Sydney Leroux available.
8. New England Mutiny (6-5-3, WPSL Elite; LW: 8) – roster
Finished with a big 3-0 win over Chicago and a 1-0 win over FC Indiana.
9. Charlotte Lady Eagles (10-2-2, W-League Southeast; LW: 9) – roster
Competed well against D.C. United Women after beating Long Island.
10. Ottawa Fury (10-2-0, W-League Central; LW: 11) – roster
Idle; will host W-League semis and final.
11. Atlanta Silverbacks (8-1-3, W-League Southeast; LW: 12) – roster
12. Long Island Rough Riders (9-4-0, W-League Northeast; LW: 10) – roster
Tough way to end season.
Salt Lake United (8-0-2, WPSL Big Sky – North): U.S. Women’s Cup and WPSL semifinalists.
Quebec City Amiral (8-2-2, W-League Central): Advanced to W-League semis and could break into top 12 with decent performance, even if winning would be a long shot.
New York Athletic Club (8-1-2, WPSL Northeast Atlantic – Mid): U.S. Women’s Cup finalists.
Aztec MA (9-1-1, WPSL Northeast Atlantic – North): Pity we won’t see them face NYAC.
Turbo D’Feeters (Texas amateur): Not a bad showing in Women’s Cup semifinals.
Oklahoma Football Club (10-1-2, WPSL Big Sky – South): They did beat FC Dallas once this season. Sorry we won’t see the rematch.
Gulf Coast Texans (8-0-0, WPSL Southeast): Obliterated first seven opponents: 31 goals, 3 goals conceded. Beat Georgia Revolution 4-3.
W-LEAGUE – at Ottawa (streaming on uslnation.com
Semifinals – Friday
Quebec City vs. Pali, 4:30 p.m.
Ottawa vs. D.C., 7:30 p.m.
Third-place and Final – Sunday
Third-place game, 1 p.m.
Final, 4 p.m.
WPSL ELITE – at Rochester
Semifinals – Wednesday
New York vs. Western New York, 5 p.m.
Boston vs. Chicago, 8 p.m.
Final – Saturday
WPSL – at Pensacola
Semifinals – Saturday
Aztec MA vs. Oklahoma FC, 4 p.m.
Gulf Coast vs. Salt Lake, 6:30 p.m.
Final – Sunday
WOMEN’S SOCCER VIEWING/FOLLOWING GUIDE
Olympics: Great Britain vs. New Zealand, 11 a.m. (MSNBC)
Olympics: USA vs. France, Noon (NBC Sports Network)
Olympics: Brazil vs. Cameroon, 1:45 p.m. (NBC Sports Network)
Olympics: Colombia vs. North Korea, 2:30 p.m. (MSNBC)
Olympics: Japan vs. Canada, 4 p.m. (NBC Sports Network)
Olympics: Sweden vs. South Africa, 4:30 p.m. (MSNBC)
WPSL-E semi: New York vs. Western New York, 5 p.m. (LiveSportsVideo.com)
WPSL-E semi: Boston vs. Chicago, 8 p.m. (LiveSportsVideo.com)
W-League semi: Quebec City vs. Pali, 4:30 p.m. (USLNation.com)
W-League semi: Ottawa vs. D.C., 7:30 p.m. (USLNation.com)
Olympics: Japan vs. Sweden, 7 a.m. (MSNBC)
Olympics: New Zealand vs. Brazil, 9:30 a.m. (NBC Sports Network)
Olympics: Canada vs. South Africa, 9:30 a.m. (MSNBC)
Olympics: USA vs. Colombia, Noon (NBC Sports Network)
Olympics: Great Britain vs. Cameroon, 12:15 p.m. (MSNBC)
WPSL Elite final, 1 p.m. (LiveSportsVideo.com)
Olympics: France vs. North Korea, 2:45 p.m. (NBC Sports Network)
WPSL semi: Aztec MA vs. Oklahoma FC, 4 p.m.
WPSL semi: Gulf Coast vs. Salt Lake, 6:30 p.m.
WPSL final, 1 p.m.
W-League third-place game, 1 p.m. (USLNation.com)
W-League final, 4 p.m. (USLNation.com)
(After Sunday, you’re on your own for TV listings — check NBCOlympics.com)