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Three Independence players with USWNT at Women’s World Cup

The US opens Group C play against North Korea on Tuesday (11:45am on ESPN). The Philadelphia Independence has three players representing the squad in Germany (thanks to the departure of midfielder Megan Rapinoe for magicJack), two of whom should be seeing significant time. Here’s a breakdown of how the Independence’s finest should do at the Women’s World Cup.

Amy Rodriguez—One of the key scoring threats for the United States, Rodriguez will be called on to create chances for both herself, and her fellow striker Abby Wambach. Rodriguez has only played five games for the Independence this season, mostly because of her national team duties, and she has distinctly different roles with both teams, both of which she plays exceedingly well. With the Independence, Rodriguez is more of a target striker, but with the USWNT, she plays as a withdrawn forward, supporting prolific scorer, Wambach. While she has been prone to missing easy chances, Rodriguez will be essential to the success of the U.S. attack.

Lori Lindsey—Although she’s not a starter, Lindsey will most likely come on in relief of defensive midfielder Shannon Boxx in the second half. Lindsey will be looked to as a calming influence in the latter stages of games. She excels at possessing the ball, making smart passes, and working to keep the midfield under control, things that the United States’ relatively weak central midfield will benefit from. If she does see a start, it would most likely come against Sweden, if the U.S. has already locked up Group C and is looking to sit some its starters.

Nicole Barnhart—As Hope Solo’s backup, Barnhart will not see any playing time unless Solo is sidelined with an injury or a card. However, Barnhart has proven herself as a reliable backup in the past, so if she is called upon, she’ll be able to step in seamlessly. Barnhart started seven matches in 2011, while Solo was recovering from shoulder surgery, where she tallied a 6-1 record, conceding six goals.

Local soccer fans can also cheer on two former Independence players as the recently traded Rapinoe is joined by former Independence and Philadelphia Charge defender Heather Mitts. Delran, NJ born Carli Lloyd, who plays for Atlanta Beat, is also on the team.

Photo: Paul Rudderow

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