Photo: Michael Long
With Philadelphia not having a team in the new National Women’s Soccer League, we take a look at where the 2011 Philadelphia Independence players have landed. The Independence lost in the WPS Finals in 2010 and 2011, with head coach Paul Riley being named Coach of the Year in both of those seasons. Riley is not coaching in the new league after interviewing for the USWNT coaching vacancy last year.
Players were signed to the NWSL through a variety of processes. National team players from Canada (16), Mexico (16), and the US (23) were allocated evenly amongst the eight teams. A Supplemental Draft was held on February 7. Each of the eight clubs submitted a list of 8-10 players to construct the list of players to be eligible for the draft. Domestic and international players were eligible for the Supplemental Draft but each team is allowed only two international players in addition to the international players that were allocated. There was then a Free Agency period and a College Draft to round out the teams.
The 2011 Independence
Val Henderson – Taken in Round 4 of Supplemental Draft by Western New York
Nicole Barnhart – Allocated to FC Kansas City
Estelle Johnson – Taken in Round 1 of Supplemental Draft by Western New York
Nikki Krzysik – Taken in Round 1 of Supplemental Draft by Seattle Reign
Kia McNeill – Signed as a Free Agent by Boston Breakers
Leigh Ann Robinson - Signed as a Free Agent by FC Kansas City
Sinead Farrelly – Signed as a Free Agent by FC Kansas City
Jen Buczkowski – Signed as a Free Agent by FC Kansas City
Tina diMartino – Taken in Round 5 of Supplemental Draft by FC Kansas City
Joanna Lohman – Taken in Round 1 of Supplemental Draft by Boston Breakers
Lianne Sanderson – Signed as a Free Agent by Boston Breakers
Lori Lindsey – Allocated to Washington Spirit
Tasha Kai – Taken in Round 2 of Supplemental Draft by Washington Spirit
Amy Rodriguez – Allocated to Seattle Reign but taking time off to have a child
Lauren Barnes – Taken in Round 2 of Supplemental Draft by Seattle Reign
Lauren Fowlkes – Taken in Round 2 of Supplemental Draft by Chicago Red Stars
Danesha Adams – Signed as a Free Agent by Sky Blue FC
Allison Falk – Taken in Round 6 of Supplemental Draft by Sky Blue FC
Players signed before the cancelled 2012 season
Lori Chalupny – Signed as a Free Agent by Chicago Red Stars
Coco Goodson – Taken in Round 3 of Supplemental Draft by Sky Blue FC
Bianca Henninger – Taken in Round 2 of Supplemental Draft by FC Kansas City
Meghan Lenczyk – Taken in Round 4 of Supplemental Draft by Sky Blue FC
Vero Boquete (Sweden), Laura del Rio (England), Holmfridur Magnusdottir (Norway), and Sarah Hagen (Germany) are all playing internationally. Midfielder Lauren Cheney was strongly linked to the club before WPS folding but I do not believe she was ever officially signed. She was allocated to Kansas City.
So where is the Philadelphia Independence? It breaks down to: FC Kansas City – 6, Boston Breakers – 3, Sky Blue FC – 4, Western New York – 2, Washington Spirit – 1, Seattle Reign – 2, Chicago Red Stars – 2, Portland Thorns – 0.
Looks like you’ll be rooting for Kansas City if you are looking for the most former Philly players. Sinead Farrelly, Jen Buczkowski, and Tina diMartino made up three-fourths of the Independence’s starting midfield in the 2011 WPS Final as well.
There have been few rumors of a new Philadelphia team and it does not seem that former Independence owner David Halstead is in a rush to bring professional women’s soccer back to the region. But as any reader of this site knows, Philadelphia has a strong soccer culture and can probably support a team as well almost any other city in the country. It’s also sensible geographically with DC, Sky Blue, Boston, and Western NY all being bus-able trips. We’ll keep an eye to 2014 or 2015 and hope to see women’s soccer back in the area.