A week ago, Marta was awarded player of the week for factoring in on three of FC Gold Pride's goals. This week, many players performed at a high level -- but she was still a bit better than the rest.
Week 13 of Women’s Professional Soccer provided lots of action in the five games. Two low-scoring, nail biters opened the week (Atlanta 1 at Chicago 1; Washington Freedom 0 at Sky Blue FC 0) on Wednesday, with a couple offensive shows on Sunday to end the week (Washington Freedom 2 at FC Gold Pride; Atlanta 1 at Boston 3). Chicago also had a convincing 2-0 win over Sky Blue FC on Saturday at home.
With so many great games, and even more quality individual performances, picking this week’s Goal.com WPS Player of the Week was more daunting than ever.
In Atlanta’s 1-1 draw at Chicago on Wednesday, Hope Solo showed why she is quite possibly the top women’s keeper in the world. Only the white-hot Ella Masar managed to beat Solo in that game.
Meanwhile, in the Sky Blue FC, Washington Freedom scoreless draw, both keepers – Erin McLeod with Washington; Kristin Luckenbill for Sky Blue FC – shined, stopping every shot on target – and there were plenty of shots fired.
Masar netted another goal in the Red Stars’ win on Saturday night – her fourth in four games – giving her two goals for the week, both crucial goals in helping her club get into a tie for the fourth and final WPS playoff spot.
Boston had a total team effort in getting its second straight win on Saturday, sparked by the magnificent goal – and energy – by halftime substitute Jordan Angeli. Angeli also factored in on Liz Bogus’ first WPS goal.
And Solveig Gulbrandsen put in her first goal with the Gold Pride, the game winner, in its 3-2 win over the Freedom on Sunday.
But how can you not go with Marta for player of the week for the second consecutive week? All she did was play 90 minutes and score two more goals – one on a penalty to get the Pride going in the 13th minute; the other in the run of play in the 65th minute – on top of being robbed of two more goals by All-Star keeper McLeod and setting up several point-blank opportunities for her teammates.
Marta's second goal also showed how incredibly swift she is with her footwork, deking out All-Star keeper Erin McLeod to the point where she could have literally walked it into the net. Marta was sportsmanlike, however, and tapped it in from about five yards out to spare the added embarrassment.
Yes, Sola got the game-winning goal for the Pride, but that was a backed-into game-winning goal. At the time, Gulbrandsen’s goal gave the Pride a 3-0 lead in the 71st minute. It was Marta who got everything going. Her pace, creativity and unselfishness opened up space for the rest of her club and they were riding high until they took the foot off the gas in the 80th minute, allowing the Freedom to creep back into the game.
Angeli finished in a close second – making all her contributions in 45 minutes. She had a great game, but the level that Marta is playing at right now, it’s going to take more than a great game to outperform the four-time FIFA World Player of the Year.For more on Women's Professional Soccer, visit Goal.com's WPS page and join Goal.com USA's Facebook fan page!