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Due to technical difficulties – okay I messed up recording the match, twice – I was unable to watch the Chicago v Sky Blue FC match from Sunday. As it was Mother’s Day, I wasn’t at Toyota Park either so I can’t give you any first hand observations about Chicago’s first defeat: Sky Blue FC 2 Chicago 0.
In reading various accounts, it sounds like Chicago was sluggish and their attack was out of sync after the bye week. Chicago’s last match was 15 days prior to Sunday. After scoring four times against Boston in that previous match, they rarely threatened Sky Blue FC’s defense Sunday. On the other hand, Sky Blue FC struck early in the match, moved the ball well throughout the encounter and sealed the match with a nice display of speed which resulted in their second goal. Sky Blue FC is a club which may gather momentum as the season rolls along. Their coach, Ian Sawyers, won the WUSA title in the first season after a slow start so he has a bit of a track record.
In other action, Los Angeles and Boston battled to a scoreless draw. St. Louis won their first match of the year defeating visiting FC Gold 1-0. So, there are no undefeated teams in the league and every club has won at least one match.
Since there are seven clubs in this league, one club will have a bye each week. Normally, this would seem to be a nice week to rest a bit and tend to injuries; however, with these teams still learning how to play together, I’m wondering if the bye week might be a bad thing for WPS clubs. Chicago’s performance suggests that might be the case.
So far, teams coming off a bye week have won once, lost twice, and had two draws. Significantly, only two clubs have scored a goal in the match after their bye week with three clubs going scoreless. It will be interesting to see how Washington fares after their week off.
3) Los Angeles
4) Sky Blue FC
5) FC Gold
6) St. Louis