FC Gold Pride is in a seemingly insurmountable lead atop the Women’s Professional Soccer’s table, and it is much ado to great individual performances on a week-in, week-out basis. In week 14, Christine Sinclair was the latest Pride player to perform above and beyond.
Sinclair, the Canadian international, netted a pair of goals for the Pride in its 2-0 win on Saturday night at home against the second-place Philadelphia Independence.
Prior to the game, FC Gold Pride’s organization was selling a “Canada Day Four Pack” which invited fans to buy a four-pack of tickets and their gift was an on-field photo with Canada’s Sinclair and Candace Chapman of the Pride, and Karina LeBlanc of the Independence. Sinclair stepped up her game so much so, Pride GM Ilisa Kessler could be heard in the press box saying, “Maybe we should have Canada Day every game.”
Sinclair’s response to maybe having another Canada soon: “Absolutely!”
But in all seriousness, Sinclair, in her usual modest, soft-spoken way, was just happy she could help the Pride (10-3-1, 31 points) jump out to a 10-point lead in the standings over Philadelphia (6-5-3, 21 points).
“Canada Day or not, it was a huge win for us,” said Sinclair.
And with so much offensive fire power -- taking nothing away from the Gold Pride’s stingy defense (allowing a second-best 12 goals thus far, only behind Chicago’s 11) -- simply put, there are too many players to stop.
“They (WPS defenses) can’t mark all of us,” said Sinclair. Saturday marked the third straight win for the Pride, and third straight in which a forward scored two goals. Marta scored two goals in each of the last two games -- wins over Atlanta (4-0) on the road and Washington (3-2) at home. But this time around, it was Sinclair’s turn, and she gives a lot of credit to the playmaking ability of French international Camille Abily.
“Camille’s finally healthy, which is great to see,” said Sinclair. “She’s been tremendous these past couple games and the balls she’s able to play to the two of us, we’re bound to score a couple goals a game … hopefully,” she concluded with a laugh.
Even both coaches knew something like this could happen. With Philadelphia putting most of its defensive efforts into stopping Marta, this is what both coaches had to say:
“We forgot about Sinclair while trying to focus on Marta,” said Independence coach Paul Riley; “They did a reasonable job shutting down Marta, but Sinclair hurt them.”
And that’s why Sinclair is this week’s Goal.com WPS Player of the Week. Other players receiving consideration for player of the week honors were fellow Pride and Canadian national team player Chapman, who didn’t allow any space for Philadelphia forwards -- albeit no Amy Rodriguez -- to create chances, as well as Boston’s Jordan Angeli, who came up with another goal in Boston’s 2-1 win over the Freedom at home on Sunday.
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