Kai, Rodriguez lift Philly to second-straight final

Jeff Kassouf August 21, 2011 7

Tasha Kai and Amy Rodriguez both scored in the second half of Saturday’s WPS Super Semifinal at PPL Park to give the Philadelphia Independence a 2-0 victory over magicJack. Philadelphia now advances to Satuday’s final against the Western New York Flash.

Check out my match report on espnW that focuses on the revival of Kai and Rodriguez and how Head Coach Paul Riley believed in both of them. And here is Jacqueline Purdy’s piece on how Philly’s defense was the key to victory. We also produced a podcast following the match. Listen to that here.

Here are five quick thoughts on Saturday’s game:

  1. Kai and Rodriguez are in form. Kai’s goal was her 10th of the season, which is incredible coming off of a tough, emotional 2010 season at Sky Blue FC. If these two can click in the final, Philadelphia has a shot against the Flash.
  2. Sinead Farrelly was spectacular on both sides of the ball. Riley said giving her a two week rest helped. The rookie midfielder looked rejuvenated. She nearly created an early goal with a left-footed rip in the fifth minute. In the 38th minute, Farrelly did it on the defensive end when she blocked a sure goal from a Christen Press shot on the 6-yard box.
  3. No midfield for magicJack. The strength of the visitors was anything but on Saturday. Fatigue drew Sophie Schmidt and Shannon Boxx out of the middle far too often, giving Philly playmaker Veronica Boquete freedom to roam.
  4. Chippy game. This game was surprisingly more physical than usual. The most obvious incident came in the 72nd minute when Megan Rapinoe shoved Philly forward Danesha Adams near the face. Referee Ted Unkel did not bother to issue a yellow card. He missed a few calls on the day, but WPS aficionados are already pretty hard on Unkel, so I’ll leave it at that.
  5. Ir’s all about Barnhart. Nicole Barnhart was huge for Philly today, She made eight saves and at least twice she punched the ball over the bar.

I’ll have more later on Sunday (hopefully). On that note, thank you to everyone who was patient with the site. We are still working on fixing everything. I will post more on this soon. If you don’t have a clue what is being referrenecd,

  • nice blog. thanks for the useful post.

  • Were you going to say more about referee Ted Unkel in item 4?

    As for Barnhart, I was thinking during Wednesday night’s game that part of Boston’s downfall was that they didn’t have a goalkeeper of that caliber to back up their defense.

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  • PASoccerdad

    Unkel let MJ get away with alot more than he should have… the slap to the face, then push down on Vero was one

    For the guy with quick draw card gun, he was not pulling any out for MJ until the game was mostly decided

    Philly was not saints but MJ went to another level never seen in an Unkel game… Philly would have lost 3 players off the pitch if they pulled the same stuff… glad they won in spite of the ref

    • Not true – Rampone was carded in the 12th minute. But Abby really should have been cautioned for that takedown of McNeill.

  • PASoccerdad

    SCF – there was a period where MJ had about 4 fouls that were not called, up until a strike earned them a corner in the second half..(When we yelled, “hey ref, did you get a hundred grand from dan too” if I watch it again, I will provide the minutes I am referencing