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Preview: Independence vs Beat

Game time: Sunday, 6 pm

TV: Fox Soccer Channel

The Philadelphia Independence can lock up at least a berth in the WPS Semi Final match with a win on Sunday against the Atlanta Beat. With the news coming out this week that whichever playoff game that Philadelphia hosts would be played at PPL Park, there is added incentive for the Independence. A first placed finish is not out of the question, with Philly still three points clear of Western New York, but WNY still has two games in hand.

This will be the fourth and final meeting against the Beat this season, with Philadelphia winning twice in Atlanta and the teams playing out a 0-0 draw the last time they played in Philadelphia. The two teams faced off just two weeks ago in Atlanta, with Vero Boquete netting the only goal in a 1-0 win.

Philly should feel confident coming  into the game after grabbing three important points on the road in Boston on Wednesday evening. Boquete also had the winner in that game, scoring in the 84th minute. Atlanta tied magicJack 0-0 in their match last Saturday. The Beat have only won once this season (in their second game of the season, way back in April) and have scored a paltry 7 goals in 15 games. They are currently the only team not in the running for the WPS playoffs.

The match on Sunday marks the first time USWNT players Amy Rodriguez, Lori Lindsey and Nicole Barnhart will play for the Independence at home since the World Cup. The players will be honored at tonight’s Union match as well. Atlanta is welcoming back two USWNT players as well, Heather Mitts and Carli Lloyd should both feature for the Beat on Sunday.

Note: The Independence will be wearing pink for this week’s game in support of Project Pink.

Probably Starters:

Philadelphia: Nicole Barnhart, Leigh Ann Robinson, Nikki Krzysik, Kia McNeill, Estelle Johnson, Jen Buczkowski, Sinead Farrelly, Christina diMartino, Vero Boquete, Amy Rodriguez, Tasha Kai

Atlanta: Allison Whitworth, Heather Mitts, Cat Whitehill, Katherine Reynolds, Analisa Marquez, Kylie Wright , Kacey White, Angela Salem, Carli Lloyd, Kelly Parker, Lori Chalupny

Prediction: Philadelphia 3-0

Atlanta is the bottom club in WPS for a reason. They are built on youth and might be contenders in the future, but their team right now is lacking the quality that Philadelphia features. Look for Vero Boquete to be on the ball a lot for Philadelphia. Her creativity will be key in unlocking an Atlanta defense that will look to remain compact and behind the ball for most of the evening. It’s also the perfect game for Amy Rodriguez to find her scoring touch. The striker seems void of confidence after a difficult World Cup and a goal would hopefully be a boon for her.

2 Comments

  1. I’ll raise your 3 and make it a 5.

    Independence going to STEAMROLL Atlanta.

  2. can’t wait for the playoffs

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