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Philadelphia Independence – magicJack Preview

The Independence travel to south Florida to take on the mysterious team known only as magicJack in the final regular season game of the season. Philadelphia currently trails Western New York by three points in the league table, but hold the tie break if the teams should tie. MagicJack have secured a third place finish and will host either Boston or Sky Blue FC in the first round of the WPS playoffs, which will be later this week.

Paul Riley hinted that he may try to rest a few of his key players for this match, saying that he did not believe the Atlanta Beat (WPS worst team) could get a result travelling to WNY tomorrow. More or less resigning Philly to a 2nd place finish. Last week he specifically noted that Jen Buczkowski and Nikki Krzysik, who have played every minute of every game this season, could use some rest. But he also mentioned that the team he puts out will be expected to win the match.

With magicJack’s playoff position already decided, they may also choose to rest some of their key players, especially with their playoff game being either Wednesday or Thursday. It will be interesting to see if player-coach Abby Wambach decides to give herself or any other regular first team players the night off in what is a meaningless game.

The teams have faced each other three times already this season. MagicJack won a tight affair in the second game of the season down in Florida. But the Independence dominated the two games at Widener University, thumping a magicJack team playing without their 7 USWNT players, in back to back games in June, to the tune of 6-0 and 3-1.

Probable Line Ups:

Philadelphia: Nicole Barnhart, Kia McNeill, Estelle Johnson, Leigh Ann Robinson, Sinead Farrelly, Joanna Lohman, Veronica Boquete, Laura del Rio, Lianne Sanderson, Amy Rodriguez, Danesha Adams

magicJack: Jillian Loyden, Marian Dalmy, Christie Rampone, Tina Ellertson, Becky Sauerbrunn, Shannon Boxx, Sophie Schmidt, Megan Rapinoe, Sarah Huffman, Abby Wambach, Christen Press

Prediction: Tie. 1-1.

While the Independence technically do have a chance to finish in the top spot in the league, they don’t seem to be counting on WNY to drop points to Atlanta, making the game almost meaningless for themselves. The game is completely meaningless for magicJack. So the possibility for a drab game where the two teams will look to protect their players heading into the playoffs is a definite possibility.

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