Independence Coach Speaks about Team, Expansion

In a media conference call-in on Wednesday morning, Philadelphia Independence coach Paul Riley fielded questions about a number of topics, including what his team needs to improve and expansion of Women's Professional Soccer.

"We need depth in the back and flank," Riley said, "another fullback, another midfielder another forward [too]."

Regarding expansion, the two-time WPS coach of the year added: "At least one or two teams will come in. There's lots of interest in Connecticut and Washington, eight teams would be fantastic."

Currently the WPS is comprised of six teams: Western New York, Philadelphia, magicJack, Boston, Sky Blue and Atlanta.

Riley sees the forthcoming summer Olympics as another venue for increasing interest in women's professional soccer.

"The World Cup created a lot of interest, we're hoping the Olympics will get people excited, too," Riley said.

The World Cup tournament ran from June 26 to July 17. The Olympics are scheduled to run from July 25 to Aug. 11 in London, England.

The 2011 WPS regular-season schedule started on April 10. The playoffs ended on Aug. 27, when Western New York defeated Philadelphia on penalty kicks, 5-4.

Which means that top players on each of the WPS teams once again will be lost to the U.S. national team.

Germany didn't make the Olympics so Riley said he is hoping to sign one or two high-level German players. He added that he worries about the WPS losing top talent such as Indy's Amy Rodriguez and Western New York's Marta and Christine Sinclair if a salary cap is imposed. But he has other concerns.

"I'm more interested in the floor than the ceiling," Riley said. "The floor must be at least $2,000 a month [for players] to survive." -Bill Iezzi

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