Natalie Capuano Gets Tryout with Philadelphia Independence

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PHILADELPHIA - The Philadelphia Independence, an expansion team in Women's Professional Soccer (WPS), will begin tryouts on Monday -- and former Penn player Natalie Capuano will be there in an attempt to make the squad.

Capuano, a 2009 graduate who was a three-time first-team All-Ivy player from 2006-08, enjoyed a successful stint in Finland last year and parlayed that into a spot in Philadelphia's camp. She recently attended a tryout with 25 other hopefuls, and was one of five players from that camp to earn a spot on the preseason roster.

"I am very excited for the start of camp," said Capuano. "I'm being presented with an incredible opportunity to not only make a professional team, but to play with some of the best players in the world. It is going to be a challenging environment, but I'm looking forward to it."

According to reports, the Independence will hold tryouts beginning March 1 with 28 players, with preseason camp officially opening March 7. The roster will be reduced to 24 players by March 15, and on March 31 the Independence will present their 18-woman roster as well as their four developmental players. During the preseason camp, Philadelphia will play four exhibition matches including three in Downington, Pa.

Philadelphia's first match takes place April 11, a home game against WPS' other expansion franchise, the Atlanta Beat.

Philadelphia was announced in March 2009 as the eighth team to become part of Women's Professional Soccer, joining seven teams that played last year's inaugural season: Bay Area, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, NewJersey/New York, St. Louyis, and Washington. Atlanta was added later in 2009, giving WPS nine clubs for the season which starts in April.