This just in: Ella Masar is really heating up. Masar now has five goals in her last eight games after scoring the game-winner in a 2-0 victory Sunday over Sky Blue FC.
Once out of favor under Emma Hayes, Masar is now a regular in Head Coach Omid Namazi’s line-up and she has proven her worth. All five goals of her goals this season have been scored in this eight game stretch under Namazi, who has been pleased with Masar’s production.
“When I first got there, she wasn’t playing much and then we got her in the starting line-up and she’s really taken advantage of it,” Chicago Head Coach Omid Namazi said. “I think she’s got five goals in seven or eight (eight) games and she’s really done an outstanding job. She’s strong, fast, can get in behind defenders and really a great compliment. We are asking her to play high and she can and she’s done a good job so far.”
After Sunday’s match against Sky Blue FC, Masar was sporting a true swagger – not one of arrogance, but of confidence. Striker is a position that requires such confidence; a position that requires perseverance even through hard times and scoreless droughts. Masar has taken anything but the glamorous path to her current success. After starting just five of 16 matches and not scoring in 2009, Masar has started just nine of Chicago’s 18 matches this season.
However, seven of those starts have come under Namazi, who has given Masar new life and Red Stars players are confident in what their new head coach, who took over June 3, is doing for the team. Red Stars midfielder Karen Carney spoke of a patience that Namazi has instilled in the team, and while Masar knows she is on a hot streak, she is quick to point to the success of her teammates.
“It goes to the team,” Masar said. “I mean, I am lucky I get to play up top and the balls come in. They are playing me great balls. Sometimes I feel lucky because they have to worry about (Cristiane) on the one and (Karen Carney) and (Megan Rapinoe) and I think I get forgotten sometimes and the balls get right there and then they go in, so I am going to ride it as long as I can right now.”
Still, as much as Chicago has found some of its form of late, Masar is a main reason for that. Prior to Sunday’s win, the Red Stars did endure a poor stretch of three-straight losses, but that followed a four-game unbeaten streak that put Chicago back in the thick of the playoff hunt. With only three goals from Cristiane this year, Masar is the team’s leading scorer thanks to a superior work ethic.
“This one works her ass off in training and she’s been cracking them in finishing, so that’s why she has so many goals of late,” said Carney, who knew all of Masar’s impressive statistics.
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