Friday, March 29, 2013

29 March 2009 - The Sun Rises On WPS

On 29 March 2009, the Los Angeles Sol hosted the first WPS match, beating the Washington Freedom 2-0. L.A. went on to finish as regular season champions.

The new league brought professional women's soccer back to the United States for the first time since the collapse of the Women's United Soccer Association in 2003. It started with seven teams, including Saint Louis Athletica, Sky Blue FC, Boston Breakers, Chicago Red Stars, and FC Gold Pride in addition to L.A. and D.C.

For the league's first match, Washington traveled to the Home Depot Center in Carson, California to face Los Angeles. There, playing in front of a crowd of 14,832, Sol defender Allison Falk scored the league's first goal in the sixth minute from a header off a free kick. Freedom goalkeeper Brianna Scurry protested the goal, claiming she had been fouled, but the referee allowed it to stand.

Despite the presence of star forward Abby Wambach, DC failed to create much of a challenge. Their best chance came in the 64th minute, when Lori Lindsey hit the left post. L.A. then extended their lead with an 87th-minute strike from midfielder Camile Abily.

Los Angeles went on to top the table at the end of the season. That earned them a direct pass into the playoff final, where they lost to Sky Blue.

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