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Farrelly re-signs, Lenczyk signs, Riley talks Independence roster

Photo: Michael Long

Midfielder Sinead Farrelly has officially agreed to terms to return to the Philadelphia Independence for the 2012 season. Farrelly was a standout at the University of Virginia where she was a second team All-American and a Hermann Trophy finalist.  The Havertown-native was Philadelphia’s first pick (second overall) in last season’s draft. She played in 14 games, starting 13, scoring one goal and adding two assists in her rookie season.

An offensive midfielder in college, Independence head coach Paul Riley used the versatile Farrelly in a variety of roles for the team in 2011. When playing in a diamond, Farrelly featured out wide and was relied upon as a box-to-box midfielder. Farrelly was also used as a shutdown player, particularly in the WPS Final, where she tracked Caroline Seger and effectively marked the influential Swede out of the match.

Riley seemed confident that Farrelly would continue to provide versatility in her sophomore season. “If we go out in a diamond, she’ll probably play in the outside of the diamond, if we go 4-2-3-1 she’ll play in the 2 alongside [Jen] Buczkowski, if we’re 4-3-3 she’s still alongside Buczkowski.”

It was somewhat surprising that Farrelly was left out of the US Women’s National Team camp as they prepare for this year’s Olympics. Riley went on to say “How she’s not on the national team is absolutely beyond me…She was obviously one of the best young players in WPS along with [Kristen] Press. How she doesn’t even get called into camp is beyond me.”

Riley also commented on yesterday’s news that former Atlanta Beat striker Meghan Lenczyk has agreed to terms with the Independence. “She should be like Laura del Rio was for us last season, coming off the bench and changing the game for us a little bit. She’s good around the net and we get the ball to our forwards around the goal.” Del Rio often found herself with the ball in good situations last season, with her finishing being the only thing lacking in her game. Lenczyk often came off the bench for an offensively starved Atlanta team in 2011 and probably lacked the service to be a more effective striker. Riley is hoping Lenczyk can replace del Rio’s missed chances with goals.

Riley told the Philly Soccer Page that the Independence had verbal agreements with many member’s of 2011’s WPS Final Runner Up squad. He said that the entire starting XI from that match, including Amy Rodriguez, Nicole Barnhart, Vero Boquete, and Nikki Kryzik, amongst others, will all be back with the club this season. Icelandic midfielder/striker Holmfridur Magnusdottir will also return with the addition of another Iceland international.

Riley also said that the Independence are due to announce “two major signings, one a striker, one a midfielder,” next week. Atlanta Beat striker Lori Chalupny has been strongly linked to the club and would be a fantastic addition up top.


  1. Ed Farnsworth says:

    Farrelly for the U-23 squad, Buczkowski for the senior squad, and Riley to replace Sundhage when she leaves after the Olympics. Let’s make it happen!

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