Saturday, September 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Match report: Independence 1, Beat 0

With U.S. national team coach Pia Sundhage in the stands, Lori Lindsey scored the only goal in the Independence's second win of the season.

Match report: Independence 1, Beat 0

We will have plenty of time to discuss the Union's rather desultory 3-0 loss at Los Angeles later this week. But for a moment, let us consider the fact that the Independence are undefeated through four games this season.

Yes, really. Two wins, two draws and no losses. The second of those wins came last night at West Chester's John A. Farrell Stadium, in front of an announced crowd of 2,760.

No, that's not very many people, especially as the team has a goal of 5,000 per game. But we'll get back to that another day. What mattered more was that one of the attendees was U.S. national team coach Pia Sundhage.

Sundhage had to like what she saw from the Independence, and captain Lori Lindsey in particular. After being named the WPS player of the month in April, Lindsey started May by scoring her first goal of the season.

The Independence could have had one or two more, in particular Caroline Seger's 40-yard free kick in the first half that smashed right into the crossbar. As you can see above, I took a few photos from the game, and one of them is of the ball coming off the bar with Beat goalkeeper Brett Maron in full flight.

"She was the best player on the field today," Sundhage said. "She was involved in both attacking and defending, and not only once in the buildup of the attack. She changed the tempo and the point of attack."

Independence coach Paul Riley was especially pleased with the chemistry between Lindsey and midfield partner Caroline Seger.

"[Lindsey] and Seger look like they've played together for the last 10 years, and they've played together for four games so far," he said.

It might be a bit of a stretch to say that we who just cover American soccer really knew about Seger when she came to Philadelphia. But at least we were told what she was capable of when she signed here. Lindsey, on the other hand, has been a real surprise even though she played in the WUSA.

But Riley clearly saw something big in Lindsey, and her talents have come to the fore this season.

"She can knock a deep ball, she can knock a square pass, she can beat you on the dribble," Riley said. "She's strong, she's got a great shot, she can play the million-dollar ball."

That's a lot of praise, especially considering the rather low pay scale in WPS.

There's much more from Sundhage, Riley, Lindsey, Seger and Heather Mitts in audio form below. There are also video highlights in the player at right.

The Independence sit in second place in the table on eight points, one below FC Gold Pride (three wins, one loss) Riley, Lindsey and the rest now hit the road for their next three games: at St. Louis, Chicago and Washington. We'll see if the team can keep its momentum going - and whether more people make the trip to West Chester if they do.



Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
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The Goalkeeper is your home for the latest news about the Philadelphia Union, Major League Soccer, U.S. national teams and the rest of the world's most popular sport. It's also a place for fans to gather and celebrate the culture of soccer and its unique place on the sports landscape.

Reach Jonathan at jtannenwald@phillynews.com or 215-854-2330.

Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
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