Rachel Yankey and Rachel Unitt have won the W-League Championship in the USA.
New Jersey Wildcats beat 2004 champions Ottawa Fury 3-0 to win the 2005 W-League Championship in America with England internationals Rachel Yankey and Rachel Unitt playing starring roles.
The game was televised on the Fox Soccer Channel, with the Wildcats avenging their only defeat of the last two seasons in front of a crowd of 2,233.
Rachel Unitt was in the thick of the action after only three minutes when she put in a last ditch challenge to prevent the 2005 league top scorer Rhian Wilkinson from opening the scoring for the Canadian side.
And It was the Everton and England left-back who would then open the scoring at the other end of the pitch after 14 minutes.
Kendell Fletcher sent in a cross from the right, flicked on by Christie Welsh and Unitt took a touch with her left foot, turned and fired a ferocious shot from five yards out that flew past Canadian international goalkeeper Taryn Swiatek into the back of the net.
A deep corner from Rachel Yankey after 20 minutes nearly resulted in a 2-0 lead. US youth international Kacey White put the ball back in the box and after Swiatek fumbled the ball, it fell to Unitt, whose header was cleared off the line by Ottawa defender Marie-Eve Nault.
The Wildcats doubled their advantage with a penalty on 63 mins and sealed the win seven minutes later with two goals from US international Heather O’Reilly.
New Jersey continued to control the match as it wound down with Kelly Hammond and Yankey – who was also named in the all-star team - both going close.
USA and Canadian National Team coaches Greg Ryan and Even Pellerud were both interested spectators at the W-League Championship play-off games at the weekend.
“The standard of play has been very, very good. As you see from so many Canadian National Team players out there, it's critical for all of these players to get this kind of high level experience and it’s going to help them improve. We’re a very young team now so it will help our young players continue to grow,” added Ryan.
“I also think its fantastic,” he said about the inclusion of internationals from abroad.
“Rachel Yankey is such a special player and she’s so much fun to watch. And our players are learning a lot from seeing a player like that play and she’ll learn a lot from them too.”
2005 W-League Championship All-Tournament Team:
G – Karina LeBlanc (New Jersey)
D – Cat Reddick (New Jersey)
D – Kendell Fletcher (New Jersey)
D – Randee Hermus (Vancouver)
D – Erin Baxter-McCorkle (Central Florida)
M – Kacey White (New Jersey)
M – Kim Montgomery (Central Florida)
M – Rachel Yankey (New Jersey)
M – Diana Matheson (Ottawa)
F – Rhian Wilkinson (Ottawa)
F – Amber Allen (Vancouver)
Both players are now returning home for the new domestic season and will join up for a national team training camp at Lilleshall between 15-18 August, prior to England's first World Cup Qualifier away to Austria on 1 September.