MagicJack (3-1-0, 8 pts.) vs Atlanta Beat (1-5-1, 4 pts.) – Saturday, 7 PM EST
It’s anybody’s guess as to how MagicJack will respond to last week’s 3-0 defeat at league leaders Western New York. The biggest talking point is midfielder Shannon Boxx showing up on the injured list as questionable, a designation that will likely have USWNT coach Pia Sundhage sweating going into the weekend. Fellow USWNTer Christie Rampone looks sufficiently recovered from a groin injury to be on the active roster. Whether she’s healthy enough for ninety minutes or even starting duties is up in the air. Rookie Meghan Klingenberg has been dropped from the active roster while fellow first-year player Omolyn Davis is active for the first time in 2011. Brett Maron is preferred to Jillian Loyden as the team’s reserve goalkeeper, while Sophie Schmidt is one of a handful of MagicJack players still waiting for debuts. That list includes winger Johanna Rasmussen, still bizarrely rooted to the bench thus far in the campaign.
MagicJack (from) – Solo (GK), Ellertson, Sauerbrunn, Schnur, Dalmy, Huffman, Moros, Marshall, Press, Wambach, Masar, Maron (GK), Rampone, De Vanna, Rasmussen, White, Vandebergh, Davis, Boxx
The upheaval in Atlanta continue in earnest this week with the Beat trading away two 2012 draft picks for WNY Flash reserves Kelly Parker and Julianne Sitch. The experienced duo look set to come into the lineup from the start, with Parker likely to begin in attack while Sitch takes root in midfield. The clock is ticking on Heather Mitts’ chances at making the final USWNT World Cup roster as the full-back misses out again through injury this weekend. Mitts’ absence means it’s likely that Analisa Marquez continues in the starting lineup once again. India Trotter and Katie Bethke are dropped entirely from the traveling roster despite starting last weekend, while Lauren Sesselmann has also missed the cut for the group traveling down to Boca Raton. Lori Chalupny was forced to go off injured at the half last weekend, but all indications are that the Beat captain has been given the green light for this weekend. In her last match before the World Cup, Carli Lloyd is likely to start after coming on at the half for the Beat last weekend.
Atlanta Beat (from) – Lipsher (GK), Marquez, Dowling, Whitehill, Reynolds, Sitch, Lloyd, Chalupny, Patterson, Jesolva, Parker, Whitworth (GK), Lenczyk, Wright, D’Agostino, Salem
Sky Blue FC (1-3-1, 4 pts.) vs Boston Breakers (2-4-1, 7 pts.) – Saturday, 7 PM EST
On the back of a dominant performance against Atlanta last weekend for their first win of the season, Sky Blue FC figures to not ring the changes too much for this last test before World Cup preparations begin in earnest. If Jim Gabarra holds true to form, Karen Bardsley will rotate into goal after Jenni Branam kept a clean sheet against the Beat last week. After her stunning cameo appearance last weekend, Heather O’Reilly should be on the pitch from the start, although who she’ll replace in the lineup is up for debate, although Laura Kalmari may be an option given the Finnish forward’s early exit last week with breathing problems. Spanish forward Adriana looks to be preferred over Eniola Aluko in attack, while reserve defender Danielle Johnson is questionable.
Sky Blue FC (from) – Bardsley (GK), Fletcher, Asante, Taylor, Dew, Kerr, Long, O’Reilly, Blank, Adriana, Nogueira, Branam (GK), Kalmari, Heath, Aluko, Sjogran, Wenino, Mautz, D. Johnson
Nikki Washington is the latest Breaker added to Boston’s swelling injury list, with the recent outbreak of maladies coming at a horrendous time for Tony DiCicco’s team who are about to lose a wide swath of players for the World Cup. While Washington’s injury isn’t thought to be severe, it is enough to keep the winger on the sidelines for Saturday’s match. Ifeoma Dieke misses out again, meaning Kasey Moore is likely to be in at center-back with Alex Scott again on the right-wing. Otherwise, the attack looks likely to be unchanged from the group that squeezed out a 1-1 draw against Philadelphia last weekend. Keelin Winters is one booking away from a suspension while the bench is worryingly thin on in form attacking options.
Boston Breakers (from) – Naeher (GK), Cox, LePeilbet, Buehler, Moore, Scott, Osborne, Winters, Smith, O’Hara, Cheney, Phillips (GK), Cross, Bogus, Dallstream, Schoepfer
Philadelphia Independence (2-1-1, 8 pts.) vs Western New York Flash (5-0-1, 16 pts.) – Sunday, 6 PM EST
It’s much the same story with Philly as it has been for the past few weeks as defender Allison Falk is still missing through injury, while Veronica Boquete is unavailable for selection yet again. Kia McNeill returns from suspension and could slot in for Estelle Johnson in central defense, while Megan Rapinoe will be looking to hold off Fridur Magnusdottir at full-back for the Independence. Up front, Amy Rodriguez will likely be inserted back into the starting lineup after coming on the second half of last weekend’s 1-1 draw against Boston. The midfield figures to be unchanged for Paul Riley.
Philadelphia Independence (from) – Barnhart (GK), Krzysik, Magnusdottir, McNeill, Robinson, Buczkowski, T. DiMartino, Farrelly, Sanderson, Kai, Rodriguez, Henderson (GK), Rapinoe, del Rio, Lindsey, Johnson, Lohman, Adams
A week after downing closest contenders MagicJack, Aaran Lines’ squad will look to vanquish another highly touted challenge in Philadelphia. The Flash will be without the injured Candace Chapman, with Ali Riley likely to slot back into the defense after the Kiwi was rested last weekend. McCall Zerboni is likely to continue at full-back after an impressive run of form in the WNY lineup. Otherwise, it’s likely as you were for a Western New York side with enough depth and talent that Brazilian star Maurine is still waiting for her WPS debut.
WNY Flash (from) – Harris (GK), Zerboni, Riley, Wilson, Engen, Bock, Edwards, Seger, Morgan, Marta, Sinclair, Cameron (GK), Averbuch, Davison, Goebel, Lewandowski, Maurine, French