May 7, 2011

WPS Weekend Matches - May 8

The Boston Breakers and Philadelphia Independence renew their rivalry, while magicJack tries to stay unbeaten against Atlanta.

Atlanta Beat at magicJack (4 pm eastern, Sunday)
FAU Soccer Field, Boca Raton, Florida.

magicJack (2-0-0, 6 pts)
Coach: Mike Lyons
Goalkeepers: H. Solo, J. Loyden.
Defenders: M. Dalmy, C. Rampone, T. Ellertson, B. Sauerbrunn, M. Schnur, N. Marshall.
Midfielders: S. Boxx, S. Huffman, L. Tarpley, M. Klingenberg, K. White.
Forwards: A. Wambach, E. Masar, C. Press, J. Rasmussen, R. Moros.
Not Active: S. Schmidt, A. DaCosta, O. Davis, L. De Vanna, B. Maron, L. Vandenberg.

Atlanta Beat (1-2-1, 4 pts)
Coach: James Galanis
Goalkeepers: A. Lipsher, A. Whitworth.
Defenders: C. Whitehill, K. Dowling, K. Reynolds, H. Mitts, A. Marquez.
Midfielders: C. Lloyd, L. Chalupny, M. Jesolva, I. Trotter, K. Wright.
Forwards: K. Larsen, L. Sesselmann, K. Bethke, L. Patterson.
Not Active: A. Salem, B. D'Agostino, K. Fraine, C. Flanagan, V. Strnadova, M. Lenczyk.

magicJack is looking for a third straight win at home, while Atlanta is looking to rebound from last week's 3-0 loss at the hands of WNY.

Hope Solo will be facing the Atlanta Beat for the first time in her WPS career. She has a veteran defense in front of her and they have surrendered just one goal in two matches.

Abby Wambach had a goal and an assist against Philadelphia a week ago, but the other goal scorer from that match, Lisa De Vanna, is not active for this match. Wambach will be joined up front by Ella Masar, who scored in magicJack's opener.

The talented magicJack midfield, led by Shannon Boxx and Lindsay Tarpley, will hope to keep Lori Chalupny and Carli Lloyd in check for this match.

For Atlanta, the midfield is the key. They have scored three of the Beat's four goals so far this season. Generally, it is Lloyd and Chalupny that must be on the attack if Atlanta is to score. At forward, Kristina Larsen is among the league leaders in shots and she will be hoping that one will find the back of the net in this contest.

For the first time in WPS, Cat Whitehill will be trying to stop Wambach, not assist her and this matchup should be one of the more interesting of the day. Alli Lipsher continues her fine play in goal in spite of last week's loss.

magicJack needs to win to stay close to Western New York, a team they will meet in Rochester in two weeks. And although it's still early in the season, Atlanta would like to maintain their hold on the fourth and final playoff spot.

Boston Breakers at Philadelphia Independence (6 pm easter, Sunday)
Widener University, Chester, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia Independence (0-1-1, 1 pt)
Coach: Paul Riley
Goalkeepers: N. Barnhart, V. Henderson.
Defenders: K. McNeill, H. Magnusdottir, L. Robinson, E. Johnson, N. Krzysik.
Midfielders: L. Lindsey, C. DiMartino, M. Rapinoe, S. Farrelly, J. Buczkowski, J. Lohman.
Forwards: A. Rodriguez, T. Kai, L. del Rio, L. Sanderson, D. Adams.
Not active: A. Falk (injured), V. Boquete, L. Barnes, G. DiMartino, L. Fowlkes, R. Jones.

Boston Breakers (2-2-0, 6 pts)
Coach: Tony DiCicco
Goalkeepers: A. Naeher, K. Davis.
Defenders: A. Scott, S. Cox, A. LePeilbet, R. Buehler, I. Dieke, L. Bogus.
Midfielders: L. Osborne, K. Winters, K. O'Hara, N. Cross.
Forwards: K. Smith, L. Cheney, T. Hemmings, K. Dallstream.
Questionable: K. Moore.
Not active: J. Angeli (injured), N. Washington, L. Blayney, A. Phillips, E. Reed, K. Schoepfer, C. Zimmeck.

For the Independence, this will be their home opener since their April 16th meeting with magicJack was postponed. It will be their first match in their new home at Widener University. This marks a rematch of last year's semifinal, a game won by Philadelphia on a disputed goal by Danesha Adams.

It will be interesting to see if Tony DiCicco continues his experiment of moving Alex Scott to a striker position and using Kelly Smith to control the midfield. Last week, this seemed to work well, especially after Smith pushed forward more in the second half of the match.

Boston has a strong defense and has given up just a goal per game on average. Alyssa Naeher is the Breakers' keeper. USWNT center backs Amy LePeilbet and Rachel Buehler are in front of Naeher.

Philadelphia is still looking for their first victory. They have a lot of talented offensive players including Amy Rodriguez, Tasha Kai, Megan Rapinoe, Tina DiMartino, and Lianne Sanderson.

Philly's defense will need to throttle Smith and Lauren Cheney to win this match. Frida Magnusdottir is always a threat to attack if she's playing outside back. National team goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart guards the net for the Independence.

Boston needs this game to stay within reach of WNY, while Philadelphia needs to get untracked before too much space develops between themselves and the pack at the top.