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Danesha Adams providing spark for Independence

Danesha Adams has patiently waited her turn, but when it has come, she has given the Independence offense a major spark.

Danesha Adams has patiently waited her turn, but when it has come, she has given the Independence offense a major spark.

The most recent example came in last Sunday's 3-2 win over the Atlanta Beat in a key Women's Professional Soccer match at West Chester University.

Inserted in the 62d minute with the score tied, 2-2, Adams helped set up the game-winning goal.

Her cross from the right flank led to the eventual game-winner by Joanna Lohman. A few minutes earlier Adams almost connected with Lohman on a corner, but it was headed wide.

With great speed and the mind-set to take on defenders, Adams puts extreme pressure on defenses.

"She is a good striker and very underestimated in the league," Independence coach Paul Riley said. "I wouldn't be surprised if you see her score big goals between now and when the season is finished."

Four games are left in the regular season. The Independence (10-6-4) will visit New Jersey's Sky Blue (6-9-4) at 4 p.m. Sunday at Rutgers University in New Brunswick. With a win or a tie, the Independence will clinch a postseason berth and a home playoff game.

The 24-year-old Adams has appeared in 10 games and has one goal and two assists. On June 22, she was named WPS player of the week.

Before last week's game, she was promoted from being on a developmental contract to a regular contract. Teams are allowed to have four developmental players, who are able to play as many as 10 games on that contract.

According to a league official, a regular contract is worth approximately three times more than a developmental one. The average WPS salary is $32,000, but a lower-end regular contract is in the $21,000 range.

Either way, players such as Adams aren't getting rich and are playing for the love of the game.

"I want to be able to help the team, and now with this contract it enables me to play the rest of the season," Adams said.

A former star at UCLA, Adams played last season for the Chicago Red Stars, appearing in 12 games and making two starts. She didn't have a goal or assist last year.

With so many teams giving extra attention to Independence forward and current WPS player of the week Amy Rodriguez, it's important for others to step up on offense. Adams is more than willing to oblige.

"In college I was a goal-scorer," she said. "I want to transfer that to the professional league."