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Welcome to the special edition, #USwnt chat! I will be moderating this chat as part of the Twitter Campaign to build support and awareness for the US WNT before, during, and after the match versus Italy on November 27th at 2pm EST. If you are not able to attend the game live like me (watching it on ESPN3) then join us for the pre-game questions, in-game discussion as the live action happens, and post-game discussion to wrap up. If you are live at the game (lucky!) join in the discussion and tweet live in-game moments.

The questions below will be pre-game questions starting at 1:30pm EST. The chat will then go into a live discussion surrounding the action on the field. We will then “hit the showers” and do a post-game wrap up of the match.

Q1: The Lineup.

  • Who would be your starting XI?
  • What player will have the most impact on the game?
  • Would you make a substitution?

Q2: The Game.

  • Who will score first US or Italy?
  • What player has the best opportunity to score?
  • What will the final score be?

Q3: The Cool Down.

  • Whether the outcome is good or bad what happens to Pia?
  • What are your final thoughts before kick-off?

Get your virtual pre-game on and join in on Saturday at 1:30pm EST to throw your thoughts into the mix. Just log on to Twitter, Tweetchat, or Tweetgrid, and use the #USwnt tag.

This is the sixth installment in the ‘Who Dat’ series. As I mentioned in my previous post, the beginning of the 2010 season is fastly approaching and to be sure each team gets its due, there will be two series posted at a time. The Saint Louis Athletica is this post’s team to go through the ‘Who Dat’ treatment.

The Front Line: The front line for the Saint Louis Athletica had a slow start to the 2009 season but that shouldn’t be a problem for this year’s group. Eniola Aluko is familiar with the teams system and should pick up where she left off at the end of the 2009 season. In fact, she will have more help now with fellow front line players Madelaine Edlund and Lindsay Tarpley. This unit will be ready to play from the get go.

The Midfield: If you thought the front line for the Saint Louis Athletica was stacked with talent, then you may be surprised that the midfield is as well. They have two veteran USWNT members in Shannon Boxx and Lori Chalupny who will steady this group and provide consistent play. On top of that, they have two international star players in Daniela and Aya Miyama who will provide a great offensive boost. This group shouldn’t have any problems working as a unit and providing great play for the Athletica.

The Defense and Goal Tending: The Athletica goal tending and defense will be as good as any in the league for the 2010 season. You will see a lot of familiar faces in the back line and minding the net. This group had the second best GAA for the 2009 season at 0.75. Tina Ellertson, Kendall Fletcher, and Elise Weber were the reason for this and they are back for 2010 season. In between the sticks you will find Hope Solo who had the leagues second best GAA of 0.82 for last season. This group is top-notch and will be hard to score against.

The Saint Louis Athletica is a good contender to be regular season champs and to knock off Sky Blue FC in their title defense.

The next team to be put on the table for the ‘Who Dat’ treatment will be the Sky Blue FC, so stay tuned.

Installment number three of the ‘Who Dat’ series. The series takes an in-depth look at all the WPS teams in a lead up to the start of the season. The Chicago Red Stars are this post’s team to go through the ‘Who Dat’ treatment.

The Front Line: The front line of the Red Stars started to find the back of the net in the latter part of the 2009 season with the emergence of Christiane as a scoring machine. The 2010 season should start off as it ended last season, with this group continuing their scoring ways. The main pieces of the group except for Lindsay Tarpley are still in place and the UNC duo of Casey Nogueira and Jessica McDonald as well as Ella Masar will fill the gap left by Lindsay’s absence.

The Midfield: The Midfield went through the biggest transition for the Red Stars in the off-season. Carli Lloyd, Chioma Igwe, and Nikki Krzysik left either through free agency signings or the expansion draft. The Red Stars reloaded the midfield by moving Megan Rapinoe from the forward slot and by acquiring Katie Chapman and Formiga. This group has yet to prove itself as a unit and it will be interesting to see how they perform throughout the season.

The Defense and Goal Tending: This group needed the most improvement from the 2009 season letting in an average of 1.25 goals a game, the 3rd worst in the league. The net minder for the Red Stars to start the 2010 season will be Jillian Loyden who was acquired through a trade. She played three games in the 2009 season and two of those were shutouts. Jillian has yet to prove herself day-in and day-out for a full season but has great potential and will be a determining factor in the success of the back line. The next step in bring down that GAA of 1.25 is to build a solid defense in front Loyden. The Red Stars looked to do this through the college draft. With the 4th overall pick they selected Whitney Engen from UNC and winner of the Honda award as the top women’s athlete in soccer. Whitney should bolster the defense for the Red Stars and help bring down that GAA.

The Red Stars will be an improved team from the 2009 season and will compete in every game. The big questions will be the midfield unit and the improvement of the back line.

The next team to be put on the table for the ‘Who Dat’ treatment will be the FC Gold Pride, so stay tuned.

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