Featured / Independence

Preview: Independence v Sky Blue FC

Game time: Sunday, 6 pm

TV: Fox Soccer Channel

The Independence take on Sky Blue for the second time in two weeks on Sunday at Widener University. The game will be the last regular season home game of the season, and final game at Widener University with the Independence hosting their playoff game at PPL Park. Philadelphia are now tied with the Western New York Flash on top of WPS with 33 points after the Flash won midweek. Sky Blue is currently in the fourth and final playoff spot, three points clear of the Boston Breakers.

This will be the fourth and final time the teams have met this season. They last met two weekends ago at Rutgers University, where a very poor Independence side was seen off by the score of 2-0. The game marked the return of the team’s USWNT palyers and, after winning six straight games previous to that match, Philadelphia looked tired and disjointed. The teams also met in the first match of the season in NJ, when they played out a 2-2 draw. A second frantic game last month resulted in a 4-3 win for Philadelphia at Widener University.

Amy Rodriguez and Lori Lindsey have not been able to find much chemistry with their club team since returning from the World Cup. Paul Riley was critical of their handing during their tournament after last week’s win against Atlanta and is hoping the two can find their form heading into the playoffs. Veronica Boquete has three game winning goals in the last four games for the Independence and they have not lost with her in the line up this season (she missed the previous Sky Blue game with a thigh strain). She collected her third WPS Player of the Week honor for her performance last week.

Riley has mentioned possibly resting some of his players for the last two games of the season. Key players like Christina DiMartino, Jen Buczkowski, and Tasha Kai have seen a lot of minutes over the course of the season. Additionally, Riley would probably like to rest some of his back line. But with no other natural defenders on the roster, that could prove difficult. Nevertheless, expect Laura del Rio, Joanna Lohman, and Lianne Sanderson to see more time over the last two matches.

Probable line ups:

Philadelphia: Nicole Barnhart, Leigh Ann Robinson, Nikki Krzysik, Kia McNeill, Estelle Johnson, Jen Buczkowski, Verinoca BouquteSinead Farrelly, Christina DiMartino, Tasha Kai, Amy Rodriguez.

Sky Blue: Jenni Branam, Kendall Fletcher, Anita Asante, Brittany Taylor, Carrie Dew, Heather O’Reilly, Allie Long, Therese Sjogran, Carolyn Blank, Adriana, Casey Nogueira

Prediction: 1-1

Sky Blue have more to play for as they try to secure their playoff spot but Philadelphia have only dropped four points at home all season. The midfield battle should be important with Sjogran, O’Reilly and Long looking to keep Boquete, Farrelly and DiMartino off the ball.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *