June 12, 2011

Preview: Philadelphia at Western New York

Philadelphia Independence at Western New York Flash (6 pm eastern, Sunday)
Sahlen Stadium, Rochester, New York.

Western New York Flash (6-0-2)
Coach: Aaran Lines
Goalkeepers: A. Harris, B. Cameron, A. Bowers.
Defenders: A. Riley, K. Wilson, W. Engen, G. Lewandowski, K. Brandao, A. Sahlen.
Midfielders: B. Edwards, B. Bock, M. Zerboni, Y. Averbuch, B. Goebel, Maurine.
Forwards: Marta, G. Davison, K. Fountain.
Not active: C. Chapman, C. Sinclair, C. Seger, A. Morgan.

Philadelphia Independence (2-2-3)
Coach: Paul Riley
Goalkeepers: V. Henderson, R. Jones.
Defenders: K. McNeill, N. Krzysik, E. Johnson, H. Magnusdottir, L. Robinson.
Midfielders: C. DiMartino, S. Farrelly, J. Buczkowski, J. Lohman.
Forwards: T. Kai, L. Sanderson, L. del Rio, V. Boquete, D. Adams.
Not active: N. Barnhart, L. Lindsey, M. Rapinoe, A. Rodriguez, L. Barnes, A. Falk, L. Fowlkes, G. DiMartino.

Philadelphia lost to Western New York in their previous meeting back in May. They will be missing four players, Nicole Barnhart, Lori Lindsey, Megan Rapinoe, and Amy Rodriguez. Western New York will be missing four as well. Candace Chapman, Caroline Seger, Alex Morgan, and Christine Sinclair are all listed as out for this match.

Philadelphia has been unable to get a win three weeks running now. They have only scored twice in their last three matches, which is very unusual for this team. One would think the arrival of Veronica Boquete would help in that regard. She made an instant impact in just a few matches for the Chicago Red Stars in 2010, after helping the Buffalo Flash to the W-League championship. This will be somewhat of a homecoming for her.

Only Tasha Kai and Tina DiMartino have as many as two goals for the Independence. Their strong midfield group takes a hit because of national team obligations, but that is an area of depth for them. The back line has been solid for the most part, led by Kia McNeill and Nikki Krzysik in the middle. Val Henderson earned a shutout last weekend in only her second start of the season.

Western New York will be without two-thirds of their vaunted front line, but Marta will still cause Philly problems. Gemma Davison has put in some good minutes at forward for the Flash and they shouldn't lose a beat there.

The midfield will miss the playmaking ability of Caroline Seger, who is having a very strong season. McCall Zerboni has come on and done wonders in her few starts. We should see Yael Averbuch play a larger role, now that her training with the USWNT is behind her. Brittany Bock and Becky Edwards have been very effective.

The back line for the Flash is very good, even without Canadian starter Candace Chapman. Goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris has been spectacular at times and uneven in others. She has two shutouts in eight matches.

Win or lose, the Flash have a huge margin over second place magicJack. The Flash haven't lost a match yet and have been very tough at home. The Independence currently reside in fourth place, just ahead of Sky Blue FC. This is an important match for them to come away with some points.