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July 30, 2010 > Gold Pride looking for sixth straight

Gold Pride looking for sixth straight

By Giovanni Albanese Jr.
Photos By William Mancebo

FC Gold Pride has all but clinched the top spot in Women's Professional Soccer. Holding a 12-3-1 record with 37 points, they are 13 points ahead of the nearest competitor. But regardless of their lead, they continue to play with an incredible work rate.

And that's why on Sunday afternoon, Aug. 1, the Pride will be going for an unprecedented sixth consecutive win at the place it winning streak began on July 3 - KSU Soccer Stadium in Kennesaw, Ga.

Four wins later - two against the Washington Freedom; one over both the Boston Breakers and Philadelphia Independence - and the Pride enter the game with more confidence than a month ago.

On that early-July match, the Pride crushed the Atlanta Beat - who entered the game on a three-game unbeaten streak - by a 4-0 count. Atlanta has since turned it around, having won two in a row and making headway to the logjam of teams vying for the final two playoff spots. (Atlanta played at home on Wednesday, July 28; results were unavailable at press.)

When St. Louis Athletica folded from WPS, the then-winless Atlanta Beat (3-7-4, 13 points) made several in-season acquisitions, picking up five former Athletica players. Tina Ellertson was one who has paid off right from the get-go. Now the two major pickups, keeper Hope Solo and striker Eniola Aluko, are starting to pick up steam.

Both of Atlanta's wins in their current two-game streak were of the 1-0 variety. And each 1-0 win was highlighted by an Aluko goal, and some remarkable keeping by Solo, the United States national team regular starter.

Gold Pride has played a league-high 16 games thus far. Marta leads the individual tally for goals scored in the WPS, having a league-record 13 (with Christine Sinclair not far behind with eight), but the Gold Pride as a club have 30 goals, five more than second-place Philadelphia Independence.

But the Gold Pride isn't all offense - as coach Albertin Montoya states week after week. And he's right. Going into its match against Atlanta, the Pride have allowed a league-low 14 goals, one less than the Chicago Red Stars.

In total, the Pride have a plus-16 goal differential with eight games remaining - four at home; four away. That differential tells a lot to how the Pride have achieved two, five-game win streaks this season (the first coming in weeks two through six).

Gold Pride will go for its sixth straight, kicking off at 2 p.m. The game can be viewed on Fox Soccer Channel or on womensprosoccer.com via webcast.

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