Cristiane, Rapinoe, Klein join lineup for Aug. 30 festivities in St. Louis
Three Chicago Red Stars players will represent the organization during the first-ever Women's Professional Soccer All-Star Game on Aug. 30.
Brazilian forward Cristiane and midfielders Brittany Klein and Megan Rapinoe will be part of the match, which features a collection of WPS All-Stars against Swedish champions Umea IK. The game takes place at 4:30 p.m. at St. Louis Athletica's home field, The Anheuser-Busch Soccer Park, in Fenton, Mo.
Multiple WPS players are unavailable for this game because of the 2009 European Championships. So Cristiane and Rapinoe were named to the WPS First XI and will be starting for head coach Abner Rogers' lineup. Klein was named one of seven at-large selections to round up the 18-player roster.
Cristiane had a slow start to her Red Stars debut because of a late arrival and knee injury. But she picked up her game as the season progressed, accounting for more than a third of the team's offense. Cristiane posted a team-leading seven goals, and she became the first WPS player to net a hat trick during a 3-1 victory over FC Gold Pride. This inaugural WPS season has provided an outlet for Cristiane's skills to earn their own merit, because for two years she has been runner-up to FIFA Player of the Year and Brazilian national teammate Marta of the Los Angeles Sol.
Rapinoe was a clear fan favorite from the start of her Red Stars tenure. She was chosen as the No. 2 overall pick in the WPS General Draft. Rapinoe probably covered more ground on the pitch than any other Red Stars player. She had two goals and three assists in 18 games. She also was called up to the U.S. Women's National Team on a couple of occasions, registering a goal in first-half stoppage time en route to a dominating 4-0 victory over Canada on May 25 at BMO Field in Toronto.
The 5-foot-3 Klein had to carry a mountain of responsibilities this season. There were moments when Chicago's midfield was missing as many as four players to national team duty - Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd and Lindsay Tarpley for the U.S., and Karen Carney for England. But Klein shouldered the extra load and handled a lot of the gritty work that does not show up on a stat sheet. Aside from goalkeeper Caroline Jonsson, who played all 1,800 minutes in the net, Klein led the rest of the team with 1,678 minutes, starting all 20 games. She also tallied three assists and a goal.
• Tarpley tears ACL: Red Stars midfielder Lindsay Tarpley had to miss Wednesday's 2-0 loss to St. Louis Athletica because of an injury. It turns out that she tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee during training Tuesday. "Lindsay's injury is not complicated, and she will work hard to rehabilitate in the off-season in preparation for 2010," Red Stars athletic trainer Laura Behr said in a release. Tarpley had four goals and four assists this season. Three of her goals were game-winners, and twice she earned WPS Player of the Week honors.