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Boquete, Riley, Krzysik win WPS Awards

Featured image: Michael Long

The Philadelphia Independence’s Veronica Boquete, Nikki Krzysik, and coach Paul Riley all won end of the season awards in front of the team’s Super Semi-Final match on Saturday. Boquete won the Michelle Akers Player of the Year award, Krzysik received the Citi Sportswoman of the Year award as voted on by the players, and Riley won his second consecutive Coach of the Year award.

Nikki Krzysik photo by Michael Long

Boquete was at the center of the Independence’s surge to second place in the WPS regular season. Joining the team eight games into the season in early June, Boquete has scored five goals (with four game winners) and assisted on four others in just 11 games. The diminutive Spaniard can often be found on the ball in the center of the pitch, facing up defenders, playing clever through balls and dictating the offense with her playmaking as good as it gets in WPS. The only thing that overshadows that playmaking is her ability to find vital goals. She scored game winners in three of the final five matches of the season. In the 11 matches that Boquete has played, the Independence have lost only one: their final regular season match against Super Semi Final opponent magicJack. She also played in every match during the team’s seven game winning streak.

Nikki Krzysik has been rock steady in central defense for the Independence this season. The captain has played in every minute of every match, leading her defense to the lowest goals against average in the league at 1.0.  The Citi Sportswoman of the Year is an award voted on by her fellow players to reward not only excellence on the field, but also charitable work off the field. Krzysik has “lead international philanthropic efforts that took abroad with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes where she led clinics and shared her experience and love of the game with the participants of the women’s soccer league in Honduras” according to the WPS press release. The quiet leader is known for her ability to distribute out of the back and the ability to keep her defense organized.

Paul Riley photo by Michael Long

Paul Riley led the Independence to the WPS Final in their inaugural season last year and to a second place finish in this year’s regular season. The Independence finished the regular season winning 11 games, losing only four, and tying three. He increased the team’s point total by two points this season, despite playing six less games than last year. Riley demands the best from his players and his squad looks to be the most fit in the league. He is also seen as a quality tactician, changing his formations and tactics to exploit opposition weaknesses and take advantage of his own players strengths. His name should definitely be on the short list if the USWNT coaching job should become available.

The other WPS Awards handed out on Wednesday included Rookie of the Year (Christen Press, magicJack), Defender of the Year (Whitney Engen, WNY), and Goalkeeper of the Year (Ashlyn Harris, WNY).

Other Independence players that were up for awards were Jen Buczkowski for Defender of the Year, Sinead Farrelly for Rookie of the Year, Nicole Barnhart for Goalkeeper of the year and Tasha Kai for MVP.

The Independence will host magicJack on Saturday at PPL Park for the chance to take on Western New York in the WPS Final next week. You can purchase tickets for the game here.


  1. bringing jesus through soccer

    • “The FCA Vision
      To see the world impacted for Jesus Christ through the influence of athletes and coaches.

      The FCA Mission
      To present to athletes and coaches and all whom they influence the challenge and adventure of receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, serving Him in their relationships and in the fellowship of the church.”

  2. i’ll celebrate boquete and riley.

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