Sky Blue FC (0-3-1, 1 pt.) vs Atlanta Beat (1-4-1, 4 pts.) – Saturday, 7 PM EST
Still searching for their first win in 2011, Sky Blue FC look to be boosted by the return from injury of defender Kendall Fletcher. Listed as probable in the latest injury report, Fletcher looks likely to return straight into a Sky Blue defense that has desperately felt her absence. Heather O’Reilly is in electric form at the moment but may see her minutes limited after extensive USWNT action this past week. Head coach Jim Gabarra faces many decisions about his stuttering offense, though it seems Adriana, who scored on her debut sensationally, is a likely candidate to replace misfiring Brit Eniola Aluko up front for SBFC. The goalkeeper rotation employed thus far by Gabarra makes it seem likely that Jenni Branam will get the call in between the pipes on Saturday night.
Sky Blue FC (from) – Branam (GK), Fletcher, Dew, Taylor, Asante, Blank, Long, O’Reilly, Sjogran, Nogueira, Adriana, Bardsley (GK), Heath, Aluko, Kalmari, Kerr, Mautz, D. Johnson
With the roster turnover of mid-week still fresh in the minds of many, the Beat travel north to New Jersey in an attempt to break a three match losing streak and a four match winless streak. With Heather Mitts once again ruled out through injury, Analisa Marquez looks set to retain her place in the starting lineup but will be suspended for Atlanta’s next match should she be booked. With Atlanta in desperate need of points, USWNT midfielder Carli Lloyd could see extensive action for the Beat. Kristina Larsen’s release means Meghan Lenczyk is all but assured of a starting role up top. Lauren Sesselmann and Lyndsey Patterson were both initially listed as questionable in the mid-week report but have been upgraded to probable in the latest update and have made the traveling roster. Colleen Flanagan’s status was similar but has not made the traveling roster along with Kylie Wright. The Beat look poised again to only bring four subs on the road.
Atlanta Beat (from) – Lipsher (GK), Marquez, Dowling, Whitehill, Reynolds, Lloyd, Chalupny, Trotter, Bethke, Jesolva, Lenczyk, Whitworth (GK), Patterson, Sesselmann, D’Agostino
Boston Breakers (2-4-0, 6 pts.) vs Philadelphia Independence (2-1-1, 7 pts.) – Sunday, 4 PM EST
Boston will be desperate for the three points in an effort to both snap the team’s two match losing streak in addition to capping off the weekend’s ceremonies for Kristine Lilly with a win. Though the team’s first choice backline is back from international duty, Amy LePeilbet is an injury worry although listed as probable on the injury report. Injury to Ifeoma Dieke may further hamper recent efforts to play Alex Scott on the wing. Injury to backup keeper Kelsey Davis means Ashley Phillips is likely to backup Alyssa Naeher on the night. Though Kelley O’Hara has been struggling with an Achilles injury as of late, she is not listed on the injury report and may feel she has a point to prove to USWNT coach Pia Sundhage ahead of the selection of Lindsay Tarpley’s replacement. Midfielder Keelin Winters is one booking away from a one match suspension.
Boston Breakers (from) – Naeher (GK), LePeilbet, Cox, Buehler, Scott, Osborne, Winters, O’Hara, Washington, Smith, Cheney, Phillips (GK), Moore, Bogus, Cross, Blayney, Dallstream, Schoepfer, Dieke
Independence head coach Paul Riley finds himself in a mini-defensive crisis, missing rookie Lauren Fowlkes and Allison Falk through injury and Kia McNeill through suspension after last week’s red card against Atlanta. It likely means that Estelle Johnson will keep her place in defense after playing solidly off the bench last week and poaching a goal against Atlanta. Riley also faces a decision as to whether to start Amy Rodriguez who saw major minutes with the USWNT over the past week or Spaniard Laura del Rio, who also scored against the Beat last Sunday. Fellow Spaniard forward Veronica Boquete is still unavailable for selection.
Philadelphia Independence (from) – Barnhart (GK), Johnson, Magnusdottir, Krzysik, Robinson, Buczkowski, T. DiMartino, Farrelly, Sanderson, Kai, Rodriguez, Henderson (GK), Lindsey, Lohman, Rapinoe, del Rio
Western New York Flash (4-0-1, 13 pts.) vs MagicJack (3-0-0, 8 pts.) – Sunday, 7 PM EST
The WPS league leading Western New York Flash are at near full strength ahead of their showdown with MagicJack on Sunday night. The lone exception looks to be injured striker Kaley Fountain, who looks to be missing through injury once again. Also absent will be Brazilian star Maurine, still looking for her WPS debut after signing with the club. Head coach Aaran Lines faces a few selection dilemmas though, with McCall Zerboni pushing for inclusion into the lineup after her Player of the Week performance last week in the victory over Boston. If Zerboni is included, it could be at full-back at the expense of Kandace Wilson. Yael Averbuch started right out of the gate last week but could find breaking into the Seger/Edwards/Bock trio difficult. Little would seem to be holding Lines back from naming the Marta/Morgan/Sinclair attacking tridente on Sunday night, making for an exciting proposition against MagicJack’s bold three-back system. The likes of Wilson (or Zerboni), Averbuch, Kelly Parker, and Gemma Davison on the Flash bench makes for plenty of options both defensive and offensively for the WNY coach.
WNY Flash (from) – Harris (GK), Riley, Engen, Chapman, Zerboni, Bock, Edwards, Seger, Marta, Sinclair, Morgan, Cameron (GK), Parker, Wilson, Averbuch, Davison, Goebel, Lewandowski, Brandao, French
MagicJack’s preparations for their first road match of the season have taken a serious blow with injuries to Lindsay Tarpley and Christie Rampone ruling both out for Sunday’s crunch showdown with Western New York. Marian Dalmy could slot back in a four player defense if whoever’s pulling the strings for Dan Borislow’s team decides to not be too adventurous against one of the league’s deadliest attacks and on a wider pitch. Australian misfit Lisa De Vanna is back stateside and figures to be one of the offensive options off the bench while Johanna Rasmussen is still searching for her first match action of the 2011 campaign. Shannon Boxx and Abby Wambach could see limited minutes after featuring prominently in the U.S.’ two friendlies against Japan this week.
MagicJack (from) – Solo (GK), Sauerbrunn, Dalmy, Schnur, Moros, Boxx, Huffman, Klingenberg, Masar, Press, Wambach, Loyden (GK), Ellertson, Marshall, De Vanna, Rasmussen