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Atlanta Beat to Host Philadelphia Independence on Fox Soccer Channel's

May 14, 2011 - Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) - Atlanta Beat News Release


KENNESAW, GA. - The Atlanta Beat (1-3-1) of Women's Professional Soccer return home to take on the Philadelphia Independence (1-1-1) at the KSU Soccer Stadium on Sunday, May 15 at 6:00 p.m.

The Beat will face the Independence for the first time this season in their first Beat home match since tying the Western New York Flash on Sunday, April 24. The two teams are currently tied in WPS standings with four points apiece. Sunday's match will be Game Six for the Beat and Game Four for the Independence. Beat goalkeeper Alli Lipsher currently leads WPS in saves with 33. Lipsher is also tied with Hope Solo (magicJack) and Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers) for best save percentage at 0.83.

The all-time record between the Atlanta Beat and Philadelphia Independence features two ties and two Independence wins. When the clubs first met as expansion teams in their inaugural WPS match on Sunday, April 11, 2010, a scoreless tie resulted. The Independence took the next match 1-0 on May 1 of last season before the clubs battled to a 2-2 tie in their first meeting at the Beat's home stadium. The Independence came away with the fourth and final 2010 match between these clubs in a 3-2 thriller at West Chester University.

Beat defender Heather Mitts and forward Lyndsey Patterson are the only Atlanta players who were members of the Philadelphia team last season while Independence defenders Kia McNeill and Leigh Ann Robinson make their first return to the site of their 2010 home stadium. The Beat's Bianca D'Agostino, who started the Beat's 2011 season opener against the Boston Breakers on April 9, spent the early part of this season with Philadelphia.

This week U.S. Soccer named the Beat's Carli Lloyd and Heather Mitts to the 2011 US Women's World Cup roster along with Independence players Amy Rodriguez, Megan Rapinoe, Lori Lindsey and Nicole Barnhart. The team will begin a two-game series against fellow World Cup competitor Japan on Saturday, May 14 in Columbus, Ohio. All six players will miss this week's WPS match as they compete with the U.S. Women's National Team.

Call 678-298-4780 or visit TheAtlantaBeat.com to purchase tickets to this week's match featuring the Atlanta Beat against the Philadelphia Independence at KSU Soccer Stadium on Sunday, May 15 at 6:00 p.m. The game will be nationally televised on Fox Soccer Channel.

Midweek Coaching Report

Atlanta Beat Head Coach James Galanis

On playing at home again after two games on the road:

It's always good to play at home. I think playing in front of your own fans helps motivate you. The fact that you don't have to worry about travelling and you get to stay in your familiar surroundings helps to some degree.

On conceding goals:

Four of the last five goals we have conceded have been errors on our part. As a unit, we have defended well but we need to eliminate the errors. That will be the focus this week.

What does it mean for the Beat organization to have these two named to the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup Roster.

The entire Beat organization is proud of both Heather and Carli. It's special for the Beat because two of our players will be representing the USA and seeking to make us all proud that they are Beat players. Our fans will have a special connection with both Heather and Carli when watching the World Cup games on TV this summer. They are players that our fans can call their own and be proud of throughout the World Cup. For me personally, I am very proud of both of them. I have been training them individually for many years. I know how hard they work on a daily basis and how hard they have worked to make the World Cup squad. I'm happy that they both have found their dream of playing at the 2011 World Cup. Hard work always pays off. They are both an example of that.

Describe Heather Mitts as a mentor:

Heather has been great with the younger players. You often see Heather talking to the younger players and giving them advice on how to be a true pro. In the locker room, Heather always finds effective words that help the younger players grow as individuals.

Describe Carli Lloyd as a player and as a professional:

I have been working with Carli for almost 10 years. I don't think you will find a bigger professional than Carli in the women's game. Her entire life revolves around her soccer career. From the time she wakes up the to the time she goes to bed her mind is on the job. Her diet is based around soccer, her sleeping habits are based around soccer, she stretches constantly, she hydrates all day, and she is always visualizing and focusing on the upcoming game. Her work ethic at training is outstanding as is her work rate on the field. She is a true professional both on and off the field.

What is your outlook for this week:

It's another clean slate for our team. It's a new week and a new game that we need to focus on. The focus is to find players within our squad that look confident at this present moment and to find players who want the ball at their feet at all times.

How will the team be effective this week:

I have been telling the entire team and especially the younger players that they are good enough to not only play at this level but to also be very effective at this level. I plan to keep reminding them until they are mentally tough enough to go out there and not fear their opponent.

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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