The Independence will be without all-star defender Alison Falk when they visit the Chicago Red Stars on Wednesday. After Sunday's 1-1 draw with the Boston Breakers, coach Paul Riley indicated that Falk needed a game off.
Falk is officially listed as having a knee injury. Selected as a WPS all-star this year, Falk had played every minute after sitting out the first game of the year due to a red card she received last season with the Los Angeles Sol.
"Falk doesn't have the same energy she had earlier and she is tired and her knee has been bothering her," Riley said. "Since that first game, she has played every minute of every game and she needs a break."
Riley expects Sara Larsson, who has been sidelined with a groin injury, to be back as a central defender.
The Independence (8-6-4) is in second place with 28 points, two ahead of Boston. The top four teams will earn playoff berths.
This is almost a must game for Chicago (5-8-6), which trails the Independence by seven points but has played one more game. Coached by former Kixx player-coach Omid Namazi, Chicago will have only four remaining games after Wednesday.
Chicago is coming off Saturday's scoreless tie with first place FC Gold Pride as goalie Jill Loyden of Vineland High and Villanova earned her fifth shutout for the Red Stars.
Contact staff writer Marc Narducci at 856-779-3225 or firstname.lastname@example.org.