The Washington Freedom (4-6-5) are in real crisis mode as they get set to face the Atlanta Beat (3-7-4) tonight down in Georgia. Having gone winless in eight games, Freedom head coach Jim Gabarra is making major adjustments to his lineup. He won't reveal them until the team takes the field, but it's sufficient to say, it will be new and uncharted territory.
"Psychologically, I think we’re probably at an all-time low this year, and it’s just something that we have be professionals and come out of it," said Gabarra. "We’re going to make some changes and shake things up because what has been going on is not good enough. You can’t go a third of the season without a win and just keep doing the same things."
Gabarra said the main difference will be two regular starters that will be relegated to the bench but it could've been five of them.
"I can’t throw ten new players out there and throw the game, but there will be some changes," said Gabarra. "It’s up to the players to be professional enough and go out and do what they have to do for the club to get a win, get a result and change the momentum."
One change, of course, will be at goalkeeper. As expected, an MRI revealed that starter Erin McLeod indeed tore her right ACL. There was no cartilage damage, but she will undergo surgery soon and she''s certainly out for the remainder of the WPS season and World Cup qualifying this fall with Canada as well. Her best hope is likely to get back on the field for next summer's Women's World Cup in Germany.
If there's any silver lining, Gabarra said that rookie Ashlyn Harris has probably been the best keeper in training the last week and a half. She was slated to start at Atlanta even before McLeod was injured.