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Wednesday, May 22

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Soccer Wed Aug 04 2010

Red Stars Dethrone Defending Champs

As the Chicago Red Stars (5-8-5) proved Sunday night on the road, all streaks are meant to be broken. Doing so against the defending champion Sky Blue FC makes it all the more rewarding. After succumbing to their last three opponents, the Red Stars finally ended their three-game losing streak at Yurcak Field in Piscataway, N.J., by beating Sky Blue, 2-1.

"Anytime you can get a 'W' on the road, that will give you more confidence," Red Stars Head Coach Omid Namazi said following the match. "It was a big win."

A big win, indeed.

Not only does the win propel the Red Stars into fourth place in the WPS standings, but it also matches their 2009 total for wins (5) and points (20), with six more games to play. Sky Blue, on the other hand, falls to 5-8-3 on the season and into fifth place in the standings.

In Sky Blue's final preseason match this year, goalkeeper Jenni Branam fractured her right patella and was sidelined for 15 games. On Sunday, she made her season debut against the Red Stars but wasn't given a warm greeting as forward Ella Masar beat her in the fourth minute to give Chicago an early 1-0 lead.

Chicago added a security goal in the 60th minute when forward Karen Carney scored her first goal of the season thanks to a Marian Dalmy through ball.

"She really was very good tonight," Namazi said of Carney. "We started playing her down the middle and then we switched her with Megan Rapinoe, put Kaz on the right out wide. She was very productive."

Sky Blue managed to get a goal back in stoppage time, but it was too little, too late. With the loss, the defending champions appear to be spiraling downward as they extend their own losing streak to four matches.

The Red Stars complete their three-game road trip on Saturday, Aug. 7, against first-place FC Gold Pride. Kick-off is slated for 9 p.m.

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