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USA is No. 25 in FIFA rankings, Real Salt Lake tops CONCACAF Champions League group, Freedom exercises option on Abby Wambach

*Those wacky FIFA rankings have been updated: The USA dropped seven slots to No. 25, Russia moved up 15 places to No. 10, Montenegro (unbeaten in Euro qualifying) jumped 14 to No. 26, Mexico stayed at No. 28, and mighty Guinea went from 81 to 47. Go figure. Spain and the Netherlands remained first and second, respectively.

*Real Salt Lake saved its starters for this weekend's consequential MLS league finale and still defeated Cruz Azul, 3-1, to win its group in the CONCACAF Champions League. Six quarterfinal slots have been filled: RSL, Cruz Azul, Santos Laguna, Columbus Crew, Monterrey and Saprissa. Toluca, Puerto Rico and Olimpia are vying for the final two places tonight.

*The Washington Freedom exercised the option on star striker Abby Wambach's contract. She had 13 goals and eight assists this season. There had been speculation that the expansion club in western New York would try to acquire Wambach, who is from Rochester, N.Y. However, a Freedom official said the team has not been approached. Washington also re-signed defender Becky Sauerbrunn, who was included, along with Wambach, on the U.S. national team roster for World Cup qualifying. The club did not exercise the option for defender Cat Whitehill, who will become a free agent. As for the coaching search, it "will commence in November while we continue to focus on core business issues in October," team president Mark Washo said. The club has been seeking investors.

By Steve Goff  | October 20, 2010; 1:17 PM ET
Categories:  CONCACAF Champions League, FIFA, Freedom, U.S. men's national team  | Tags:  FIFA  
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Next: Maurice Edu scores for Rangers ... and Valencia

Comments

As a season ticket holder, I must admit I will be saddened and shocked if Cat does not return to the Freedom.

Posted by: Tony-Tony-Tony | October 20, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

However it works out it has been my great pleasure to watch in person Cat Whitehill strike a soccer ball.

If womens soccer had a DH for dead balls, she could play forever.

Posted by: OWNTF | October 20, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

[Head coach search] "will commence in November while we continue to focus on core business issues in October," team president Mark Washo said.
==========

Is this a harbinger of closure? Finding a new head coach should be priority #1.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 20, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Save some cash -- don't hire the coach until next March.

Posted by: Reignking | October 20, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

I translate "while we continue to focus on core business issues" as "while we wait to see if we even have an ongoing business"

Posted by: OWNTF | October 20, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Nice start, Spurs.

Posted by: Reignking | October 20, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

#25 or not, we still have a better chance of qualifying for 2014 than a bunch of countries ahead of us. And then, when we win the WC2014, we should move up to #22.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 20, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

As a season ticket holder, I must admit I will be saddened and shocked if Cat does not return to the Freedom.

Posted by: Tony-Tony-Tony | October 20, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse


It's a total joke that they didn't exercising the option for Cat Whitehill, but did so for Jill Gilbeau -- the same Jill Gilbeau who subbed for someone in the second half of a match, only to be subbed herself 10 minutes later! What's wrong with this picture?

Maybe they could hire Emma Hayes as head coach, after she consulted the last third of the season?

Posted by: stwasm | October 20, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Cat Whitehill = U.S. National Team Player

Jill Gilbeau = Uh........

Posted by: stwasm | October 20, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I love the FIFA rankings. They're the only organization in the world that can bring confidence and credibility to the BCS.

Posted by: FulhamDC | October 20, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Edu just scored but is still on the ground

Posted by: rockotodd | October 20, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Wow sick CL goal for Edu!

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | October 20, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Now Mo dents the upright from 25 yds.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | October 20, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

...and his bum teammate (Miller?) fails to put the rebound in an empty net.

Posted by: BooThisMan | October 20, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Ha! I remember a certain ATLien jonein' on me for starting Mo' in my fantasy team... how ya' like me now King? ;)

Posted by: DadRyan | October 20, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Edu scores again! For Valencia!

Posted by: Reignking | October 20, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

How you like Edu now, Ryan? ;)

Posted by: Reignking | October 20, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Real Salt Lake looked pretty good last night.

Posted by: DCUSince96 | October 20, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Two nice headers from Edu!

Posted by: Kev29 | October 20, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Actually, Whitehill hasn't been selected for a USWNT for quite some time. I think Pia Sundhage has some problem with her. I've always liked her on the field (at least after she left UNC), and I've met her a couple of times off the field, and she's terrific about dealing with fans. Not that that has anything to do with business.

As for Gilbeau...Gabarra clearly had a REAL serious problem with her. I don't expect the team to talk about internal issues, but the day she came off 10 minutes after being subbed in, she was in tears afterward, and at the end of the game. I found that situation baffling, because I didn't notice her doing anything awful (of course, I have no idea what she was coached to do or not do). I've always thought she was a versatile and decent player, but clearly there was some pretty major issue there that we'll never know about.

That said, the club's personnel decisions have been baffling for quite some time. As I recall, Ali Krieger, who very clearly didn't like being here, was protected over Lori Lindsey in the last expansion draft. It's possible Lindsey didn't want to be protected, or there was something else going on (maybe she was part of the Perkins deal--hah!). But that stands out as a stunner.

I'll miss Whitehill if she's really gone. She can certainly move a soccer ball about three times as far as I can. And I'll miss the league, if it's gone. It's a shame that it's had trouble gaining traction.

Posted by: Landru | October 20, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

If there's a WPS, Whitehill will catch on somewhere if she still wants to play.

Posted by: OWNTF | October 20, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if it was a salary issue. Everyone in WPS is losing money and Abby must have a big price tag. Then again, J&M Hendricks don't have to pay Sonia anymore.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 20, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

OT -- Greg Janicki was named USSF_2 Defender of the Year. I'm guessing the 'Caps didn't employ the 3-man back-line.

Posted by: fischy | October 20, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

BAR BAR One more and it's a Jackpot.

Posted by: fischy | October 20, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Sweet. DCU plays them twice next year(?). If ever there was a chance to net one...

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | October 20, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

fischy, are you trying to say that Tom Soehn might know something about soccer?

Posted by: Reignking | October 20, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Um...Gareth Bale apparently can carry a team by himself.

Posted by: Reignking | October 20, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

@fischy,

Is Janicki more likely to score against United next year, or FOR United (while playing for the Caps, of course)?

I will never forget his hat trick of doom: OG, PK conceded, red card.

Posted by: benonthehill | October 20, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Garth Lagerwey, right under KP's nose for so long, is MLS Executive of the year. KP enjoyed BB Kasper's spongebaths when he was sick so much that he was blind to Garth's intelligence: Duke vs Maryland; Georgetown Law vs. R. J. Bentley's - you do the math.

Saborio? Also right under KP/BBK's noses when Costa Rica played the US in a qualifier. Garth snags him to play in a fly-over square state where he is arguably MLS Newcomer of the year.

It's a result business, Dave. Will, get the broom out and give us DCU fans some hope!

Posted by: lgm6986 | October 20, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Yep, that MLSNet three-part interview with Garth Lagerway is a must-see. Oh, what could have been! He is a very impressive man with a plan. DCU's loss.

Posted by: b18bolo | October 20, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Yay for USA FIFA Ranking!

Say it with me...

FOUR MORE YEARS! FOUR MORE YEARS!

Posted by: gr8nylacbiz | October 20, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Four more years until the next World Cup?

Posted by: Reignking | October 21, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

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