Thursday, August 21, 2014
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Video: Independence vs. magicJack SC postgame reactions

Postgame reaction from Philadelphia Independence forwards Natasha Kai and Amy Rodriguez, head coach Paul Riley and owner David Halstead.

Video: Independence vs. magicJack SC postgame reactions

Below you'll find postgame reaction from Philadelphia Independence forwards Natasha Kai and Amy Rodriguez, head coach Paul Riley and owner David Halstead after the Independence beat magicJack SC, 2-1, at PPL Park in the Women's Professional Soccer Playoffs Super Semifinal.

If you missed the game, the video highlights are here.

I don't know if the Independence can beat the superstar-laden Western New York Flash on their own turf in the championship game. I rather doubt it, to be honest, but then again the Independence proved a lot of pundits wrong by beating a magicJack squad that features Megan Rapinoe, Abby Wambach and WPS Rookie of the year Christen Press.

This much I do know, though. After spending two years playing home games at small-college football stadiums with paint-covered artificial surfaces, the Independence finally got to play a soccer game in a soccer stadium yesterday. It just felt right, even if the crowd wasn't anywhere close to PPL Park's capacity.

There was real grass, and the playing surface was devoid of gridiron markings and end zone decorations. There was even a moderate-sized contingent of Sons of Ben, with songs and scarves and a big bass drum.

Those things matter a lot in the presentation of soccer as a spectator experience - not to mention as a playing experience.

One of the many reasons why the Women's World Cup was a ratings success for ESPN was that it was presented as soccer. Not as generic women's sport, not as a one-off cultural event without a real attachment to the sport that was being played. It was soccer.

Sure, there was nationalism involved, and it was certainly of consequence that the players were female. No one forgot what it took for the players to get to that point, nor what it took for the generations of players who came before to lay the foundations for the current era.

But it was soccer first, and I dare say foremost. I would argue that if professional women's soccer is to survive and thrive in the long run, it has got to keep going in that direction. Whatever soccer team you root for, I think we can all agree that having a professional women's league in this country is a good thing.

So here's hoping that this wasn't the last time we saw the Independence at PPL Park.

Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
About this blog
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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