It's a wrap! I know, it's very sad (except of course, if you're a Washington Spirit fan). But quit your sniveling because we have TWO weekends of National Women's Soccer League post season play to get excited about. Western New York Flash, FC Kansas City, Portland Thorns FC and Sky Blue FC finished the season in that order with the top two teams earning home field advantage.
There will be two semifinal matches played on Saturday, August 24, 2013. Both matches are scheduled to be broadcast on Fox Soccer Channel. Here's a quick preview...
Portland Thorns FC (11-6-5) at FC Kansas City (11-6-5), 2 p.m. ET
FCKC has got to be the surprise of the NWSL season. Not only did they win 11 games, finish in second place and earned home field advantage in the playoffs, they featured the top scorer in the league with Golden Boot winner Lauren Holiday (12 goals). And on top of it all, they play on the worst pitch in the league.
Portland finished third by way of goal deferential, but who cares? Head Coach Cindy Parlow Cone and company still have the most enthusiastic fan base in the NWSL. And one thing's for sure, with or without an injured Alex Morgan, the Thorns are still a stacked team led by Canadian National forward Christine Sinclair, game changer Danielle Foxhoven and US Nationals attacking midfielder Tobin Heath and defender Rachel Buehler.
Sky Blue FC (10-6-6) at Western New York Flash (10-4-8), 8 p.m. ET
Don't you hate when the semifinal is better than the Final? Neither do I. This is the match-up supporters of both sides have been waiting for and it should be lights out at Sahlen's Stadium!
Early in the season Sky Blue looked unbeatable. But then around mid-July, they hit the skids slipping to a fourth place finish. More bad news for Sky Blue is their cold hard stat of 1-3 against WNY this season with only 2 goals scored. Still, look for SBFC top scorers Monica Ocampo and Sophie Schmidt to lead the attack and don't forget about that sneaky striker, Lisa De Vanna!
So what have we learned about Western New York this season? Well, besides the fact they host some of the gnarliest half-time eating contests around, we've learned that when opponents build their defense around stopping Abby Wambach, they get bit in the arse.
Sure, they have to defend the world's top scorer, but if they're leaving Sam Kerr, Carli Lloyd and Vicki DiMartina unmarked, that creates a problem. Not to mention the fact that no matter how many defenders are put on Abby, she'll still find a way to get her head on the ball. Truth is, WNY is peaking right now and that's a dangerous prospect for anyone to face.
Finals are scheduled for Saturday, August 31.
Don't miss NWSL news and updates throughout the post-season and off-season by hitting the subscribe button at the top of the page. And follow @NWSL_Examiner on twitter for more NWSL good time tweets!