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2010 WPS All-Star Game: A week in words

Sometimes it is best to let the players speak for themselves, and they certainly did that over the tree day stretch the 2010 Women’s Professional Soccer All-Star Game covered.  Here is a look at what some of the superstars had to say:

Marta on All-Star Game chemistry between players:

“Even though we played against each other we know each other.  It’s fun to be over there and be on the same team.  It’s something that everybody looks over.  Maybe we’re not training everyday with each other but everybody is at such a high level that when everybody comes together it is just a fun thing.”

Abby Wambach on being an entertainer as well as an athlete:

“I think that that is something that it is hard to actually grasp as an athlete because you just go out and play and you just try to win.  We forget sometimes that we are actual entertainers and people do pay and take time out of their lives to come out and watch us, to take time away from their stress.  This is their stress reliever and I thought today was a perfect environment for people to come, enjoy themselves, see great soccer, see great goals, see individual flair and talent and obviously by the scoreline, their team was better than ours.  But, all in all it was a fun day.  I am proud to be a part of it.  I’m obviously honored to be named a captain but, you know, everybody on that field is a captain in my opinion.”

WPS Commissioner Tonya Antonucci on the match and the Pick ‘Em Event:

“I think it is fantastic.  As a fan I am enjoying it myself.  There’s not a lot of defense being played…It’s just fun to see the creativity and the flair and the flow and also, some of these players, they just don’t normally play together.  It’s the nature of an all-star game.  I think also unique about this year is that 34 players are involved.  Last year we played the Umea club team so this year we have more of the great players from our league getting to go head-to-head and I think they are having a lot of fun with that and the fans are too.”

“Well I think that the pick ’em is something that we wanted to try.  A fan actually suggested it in an online forum and we thought we would give it a try – kind of go back to the roots of the sport where you are out on the playground and captains pick people.  So, we thought that was fun and the players had a good time with that of picking their sides.  But, you know, whatever format we go with in the future it’s good to keep trying things and keep it interesting.”

Heather O’Reilly on the All-Star Game:

“That was a lot of fun tonight.  More tiring than you would think.  It was all about attack; all about scoring goals.  I mean, it was a 5-2 game.  I think there was a lot of pride.  I mean, world class talent out on the field and I’m honored to be with a lot of those players.  Great crowd here.  All in alla great night.  I wish I could be on the winning end of it of course as a competitor but…”

“This is about the fans and just about celebrating WPS and the wonderful league that it is.”

FC Gold Pride midfielder Shannon Boxx on the entire week:

“This was fun and the whole idea of the All-Star Game is to just bring the best players around and have a good competition.  It’s in the middle of the season so you know that’s the thing – you have to make it really competitive for the fans but it’s got to be a really fun environment.”

Atlanta Beat defender Tina Ellertson on the appreciation of defending:

“We get the props from our teammates.  Like defender is a job that only your teammates really know what you do.  The media, they want to give (Player of the Week) to forwards, they want to give it to midfielders but I think our team gives us that acclimation that we are doing a good job.  You need to have a good defender.  You need to have a good defense to win.”

Philadelphia Independence Head Coach Paul Riley on the All-Star Game:

“It’s a great environment for women’s soccer and obviously a great opportunity for all these players just to show the world how they can play and we have a lot of attacking players as you can see on the list and the All-Stars are the cream of the crop of the league.”

Abby Wambach on her favorite memory from the game:

“There are these two girls that are staying in our hotel and they are without a doubt just die-hard fans.  They are actually staying on my floor and I am a little bit sceptacle of letting them know exactly which room I am staying in.  And so, I am just walking down the line and I see them.  She’s made up a whole poster and stuff and they are both sitting there and they said, ‘Can I have your jersey?’  And I said, ‘no.’  And they were so, so upset and I just started bending over and untying my shoes and I gave them both one of my cleats and they – tears in their eyes.  They came from North Carolina.  So, those are the kind of people that I like to kind of take care of.  There’s a woman and a dad and a girl that came from Tennessee.  You know, people travel far distances and maybe it is two or three a game, but for us that makes a difference, because those people – unfortunately we can’t have tons of teams in every city.  It’s just not possible.  And these people make the sacrifice to come and support this league, and so that was my favorite part of this experience.”

Boston Breakers defender Amy LePeilbet on the environment:

“It was a lot of fun.  The fans were really into it.  We played a full 90 and a couple of us did so they kept us in it.  They’re cheers really kept us going.”

WPS Commissioner Tonya Antonucci on Marta:

“I think that you almost sense that the pace just catches people off guard a little.  I mean, she has an amazing change of speed and pace and even playing against the best in our league and in the world you see her just have the ability to get behind players and be so dynamic and explosive.  And, for an attacking player, this is the environment you want to be in.  You want to be in an all-star game where you can really showcase that.  You know, I think it’s great.  I think she is just an amazing player.”

FC Gold Pride Head Coach Albertin Montoya on the honor of coaching Marta XI:

“It means a lot and I am quite honored.  And more so because it’s really our entire team that deserves this and our coaching staff and our front office.  And we have worked very hard in the offseason and we’ve put a lot of time into this and it’s nice that we’ve been rewarded.  Our players have played their hearts and souls all season long.  We’ve gotten some very good results against excellent teams, but we’re only halfway there and we’ve got a long way to go.  This is a very competitive league and we’re hoping that we can keep this up.  But it is exciting and we are looking really to enjoy this.”

FC Gold Pride Tiffeny Milbrett, who did not participate in the All-Star Game but is in Atlanta training with FC Gold Pride:

“I am really happy to be down here for the league leading into our match on Saturday but to be here to support all-stars and our teammates and the stars from around the league and make it a special evening.  Because I remember going for WUSA and being around there for those All-Star Games and it is something very special and I am happy to be a part of it and be able to be here.”

Check out this postgame interview with Sky Blue FC’s Brittany Taylor and Heather O’Reilly, who were on different sides of the pitch for this match:

Heather O\’Reilly and Brittany Taylor React to WPS All-Star Game


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