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Analysis

Kai, Rodriguez lift Philly to second-straight final

Veronica Boquete by Nell Enriquez

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,

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