July 19, 2011

WPS Preview: magicJack at Western New York

magicJack at Western New York Flash (7:30 pm eastern, Wednesday)
Sahlen Stadium, Rochester, New York.

Western New York Flash (7-2-2)
Coach: Aaran Lines
Goalkeepers: A. Harris, B. Cameron.
Defenders: W. Engen, C. Chapman, A. Riley, K. Wilson, R. Moros, G. Lewandowski.
Midfielders: Y. Averbuch, B. Bock, M. Zerboni, B. Edwards, B. Goebel.
Forwards: Marta, C. Sinclair, A. Morgan, G. Davison, K. Fountain.
Not active: C. Seger (injured); A. Bowers, K. Brandao, Maurine, A. Sahlen.

magicJack (5-4-1)

Goalkeepers: J. Loyden, B. Maron.
Defenders: B. Sauerbrunn, T. Ellertson, M. Dalmy, L. Vandenbergh.
Midfielders: S. Schmidt, M. Rapinoe, S. Boxx (questionable), S. Huffman, N. Washington.
Forwards: A. Wambach, L. De Vanna, E. Masar, C. Press, J. Rasmussen.
Not active: H. Solo, C. Rampone, L. Tarpley (injured), O. Davis, A. Gunning.

It's a homecoming game of sorts and they are expecting a sellout crowd at Sahlen Stadium in Rochester. It should be a special night with many of the USWNT players seeing their first WPS action since the World Cup. It will also be a homecoming for Abby Wambach.

This will be an important match for both teams. Western New York hopes to climb within a point of league leading Philadelphia. MagicJack is in a three-way battle for third place right now.

The guess would be that the USWNT players will make appearances of varying lengths in this match. According to the roster report, Hope Solo and Christie Rampone aren't expected to play at all for magicJack. Caroline Seger is injured for Western New York.

Jill Loyden should get the start in goal for magicJack. Ashlyn Harris, who is presently in a close battle with Alyssa Naeher for lowest goals against average, will be in goal for the Flash.

The Flash look to have their entire arsenal of forwards back. Christine Sinclair is second in WPS in goal scoring with six and she leads the league in assists. Marta has three goals and three assists for the Flash. Alex Morgan will be fresh off scoring two goals at the World Cup.

The Flash will miss Seger in the middle, but McCall Zerboni has done well this year with two goals and two assists. Though more defensive-minded, Becky Edwards has scored two goals as well. Defensively, the Flash should have their entire back line available for this match.

Abby Wambach will lead magicJack, although one has to wonder how many minutes she will play in this match, given that she started and finished all six World Cup matches. She will get support from Lisa De Vanna, Ella Masar, and Christen Press up front.

Shannon Boxx is listed as questionable for this match, but magicJack should have newly acquired Megan Rapinoe, with the same possible restrictions in minutes as Wambach. Canadian midfielder Sophie Schmidt should give magicJack a lift as well.

Defensively, it will be interesting to see how magicJack's three back formation will work against Western New York. The first time around back in May, it didn't work very well. Tina Ellertson and Becky Sauerbrunn are keys to their defense.

The match has been picked up by Fox Soccer Channel and will be televised.