Steffi Jones’ homecoming, anthem update, other notes from RFK

German women’s coach Steffi Jones has every reason to be pleased tonight. Her team took an impressive 1-0 win over England, and she did it in her old home stadium from her Washington Freedom days.

“That was about 14 years ago, but I was still feeling home,” Jones said. “I remember so many great games here, the great fans. I was feeling good coming back. I know it’s going to be a new stadium coming, so me being in here one more time is a good, good feeling, yes.”

She was too polite to mention that the place looks like it’s about to fall down. A few newcomers to the RFK Stadium pressbox have been looking around in disbelief.  And the cookies and brownies in the hospitality room have disappeared.

But a good crowd has filed in here, despite the threat of rain. Sunil Gulati is here. So is Abby Wambach.

This is probably my last trip to the pressbox, so it’s a little sentimental for me, too.  So many memories of incomprehensible PA announcements, nachos and bad weather. And great soccer.

One note from the lineup: Former Spirit players Ashlyn Harris, Ali Krieger and Crystal Dunn are NOT in the starting lineup. You could say Jill Ellis is a spoilsport, or you could say she simply cares more about developing her team than anything else.

And … it’s pouring again. This stadium always makes it interesting.

Thoughts on the game at some point tomorrow and later this week.

UPDATE: I also got a little bit more information about the national anthem policy (NOT BYLAW) and why it was not included in the “book” that’s released before the Annual General Meeting. The quick answer: Not enough time. Items from the February board meeting simply couldn’t be added to the book. (You might argue that they still could’ve sent out an addendum, of course.)

I was also told the when the policy appeared on screen at the AGM, the crowd of state and association reps from all over erupted with a loud cheer. Take that for what it’s worth or whatever you want to make of it.

WPS: Bompastor goes mindless; Solo reviews Dave Matthews

In terms of lead-ins for the Washington Freedom, D.C. United’s loss in the ancient broiler known as RFK Stadium wasn’t exactly a new episode of Seinfeld. Fortunately, the Freedom and St. Louis Athletica turned around with a game that entertained the few thousand who remained.

“The fans that stayed over were loud,” Washington’s Abby Wambach said. “I felt we had a good fan base behind us.”

“I think they enjoyed the game,” Washington defender midfielder Sonia Bompastor said. “It was a great game with a lot of intensity. We scored three goals, and both teams played well with a lot of heart.”

Bompastor moved up from left back to left midfield and responded with a 19th-minute blast for the Freedom’s first goal.

“To be honest, I don’t like too much to play left back,” Bompastor said. “It’s not my favorite position. I know some games we need me to be left back, but I prefer to be midfield. I’m more free, and I don’t have to think.”

Wait … don’t have to think?!

“When you are playing midfield, you just have to run,” Bompastor said. “You have to think, but I know how to do because I was midfield in France.”

Freedom coach Jim Gabarra wasn’t planning to shut down the French star’s brain. He had tactical reasons for the switch.

“We needed to get her more attacking but also get Becky (Sauerbrunn) on the back line. She brings a lot of calm and defensive ability. It helps (rookie defender) Nikki Marshall out, having a more defensive player next to her that’s going to talk to her.”

Both teams warmed up quickly to keep the crowd from getting too restless while many of RFK’s concession stands shut down. St. Louis’ Shannon Boxx didn’t mind.

“Preparation’s different wherever you go. I think it’s great that they did the doubleheader. RFK Stadium’s a great place to play.”

St. Louis keeper Hope Solo had mixed feelings about RFK: “It’s a great field, beautiful stadium, but I enjoy playing in smaller, intimate soccer-specific stadiums. But this is awesome – you can’t complain about it.”

After winning gold in Beijing, Solo told me she was looking forward to getting back and seeing Dave Matthews Band. During the Olympics, DMB saxophonist LeRoi Moore passed away from complications resulting from an ATV accident.

How has the band been since then?

“I love their new album, that’s for sure, and I can’t wait for them to come to St. Louis,” Solo said. “They played with so much passion after they lost LeRoi. Some of their best shows were live after that.”

Final note from RFK: Briana Scurry, injured in her lone appearance for the Freedom this year, doesn’t seem to be holding a grudge over the 2007 World Cup controversy. She came over and gave Solo a friendly hug after the game.