When the Independence host the Atlanta Beat Saturday night at Widener University, the home crowd will see some unfamiliar faces on both women's professional soccer teams.
The Independence lost four players to the U.S. National team, which is in full training for the World Cup in Germany.
"This week will be tough," said Tasha Kai, a flashy, 28-year-old Independence forward. "We are losing [top] players. We'll have to focus on our team."
Kai, a flyin' Hawaiian of another sort, will have more to do in the absence of forward Amy "A-Rod" Rodriguez, who along with midfielders Megan Rapinone and Lori Lindsey and keeper Nicole Barnhart are training to meet North Korea on June 28.
Meanwhile, Spanish forwards Veronica Boquette and Laura del Rio have been added to the Independence roster. Boquette played briefly for Chicago and del Rio for Boston last season.
The Beat (1-6-1), which lost to the Independence, 2-1, on May 15, will play without Delran's Carli Lloyd, a midfielder who is playing in her second World Cup.
Kai and midfielder Tina DiMartino lead the team in scoring with two goals each, but that's not enough after six games, according to the forward and her coach, Paul Riley.
The Independence have a 2-2-2 record, and if they are to return to the championship game - the disbanded Gold Pride of Northern California defeated the Independence, 4-0, in the title match last year - more production is needed from the forward and midfield positions.
"My job is to score, so I hold myself accountable," said Kai, who scored six goals with Sky Blue of New Jersey over the last two years. "I need to be more dangerous in the box, take more shots."
Riley figures that Kai, the tattooed terror from Kahuku, needs to score in double figures if the team is to reach second place in the standings, which is good enough to win home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
The Western New York Flash are 6-0-1 and look to be uncatchable at this point.
"She is unusual for a forward because she never stops working," Riley said of Kai. "She's the best [woman] in the world in the air, and that opens other avenues.
"[But] she has to finish, have composure in front of the net.
"She has 52 tattoos. She's one crazy lady, but she'll go through a wall for you to win, and a coach likes that."
Kai, who won a gold medal with the U.S. women's national team at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, likes running full speed at defenders, causing havoc on the back line. She was such a daredevil growing up in Hawaii that her father, Benny Kai, wouldn't allow her to go surfing, she said.
So Kai started surfing at 21. She said it helps to clear her mind, just as soccer does now with Riley at the helm.
"Coach is a silly guy on and off the field," Kai said. "This is the first [pro] coach I actually like. He's a good teacher. He wants us to become better people.
"There was one point when I didn't want to play anymore, and he made me fall in love with soccer again. I love being in Philadelphia, the whole atmosphere."