Hello all! It's been a hot minute so let's get reaquainted. Time really flies when you're researching your thesis.
Last FA WSL season for the Arsenal ladies was less than spectacular, with the team fighting to get fourth place in the league and failing to qualify for Champions League. Woof. The silver lining was the double FA Cup win by both the fellas and the ladies teams. On the Arsenal!
A flurry of offseason signings have Arsenal looking pretty fresh. Enter new head coach Pedro Losa along with England international Lianne Sanderson and Spaniard Vicky Losada. Both Sanderson and Losada will probably miss some of the season for the Women's World Cup. Singing world class talent is such a struggle sometimes.
Flashforward to now. Arsenal Ladies opened up the 2015 FA WSL campaign with a 1-1 tie against a pesky Notts County squad. Then, the FA Cup defense came to an abrupt stop as the Gunners fell 2-1 to Chelsea in the tournament. Positives? Arsenal bounced back and grabbed their first FA WSL win off the season with a shutout win against Bristol Academy. Let's get to the match.
Arsenal 2 (Humphrey, Losada) - 0 Bristol Academy
Starting Lineup: Chamberlain, Rose, Scott, Mitchell, Stoney, Nobbs, Williamson, Yankey, Humphrey, Losada, Carter
Subs Used: Ubogagu for Yankey 60', Bailey for Williamson 67', Sanderson for Losada 79'
Unused Subs: Byrne, Weir, Oliver, Sanchon
An excellent way to rebound from getting knocked out of a tournament we will refrain from talking about again until next year's edition is to win the next league game in shutout fashion. The Arsenal Ladies put together their first real total performance under new head coach Pedro Losa, with a solid defensive effort and an attack that took advantage of Bristol's mistakes.
Losada's goal was her first in an Arsenal Ladies uniform, and Carla Humphrey seems to be proving herself as an solid midfielder despite her lack of professional experience. This team seems to have an interesting mix of veterans and young players that got thrown into the fire a bit last season. Perhaps all the growing pains will be worth it this season. I know we are only two games in, but being back in second place feels good.
Up next the Arsenal Ladies face big bad Manchester City, who unfortunately aren't tripping all over themselves like their male counterparts. Last time these teams saw each other was last season's Continental Cup, in which Arsenal fell 1-0.
One final note, the PFA Players' award nominees were announced yesterday and two Arsenal Ladies are in the running. Our Queen Kelly Smith is up for PFA Player of the Year while Leah Williamson is up for PFA Young Player of the Year. Don't call it a comeback!