WPS Champs Are The New Kids in Town

Yesterday’s final of Western New York Flash against Philadelphia Independence was one crazy ride for the championship in Women’s Professional Soccer. Each side battled right down to the very last of 5 penalty kicks they each had to go through. For those of you who didn’t watch or would like to revisit the match I will give an in depth rundown before getting to my point.

WNY Flash won.

Ok, now onto my point. Wait, I feel like I left some things out. Let me back track a little. The game was a hard fought battle in the mid field from beginning to end. I really can’t give enough praise to Brittany Bock. Each side’s midfield was playing a strong game, but she was just everywhere. She’s Notre Dame alumni and let me tell you, she is one of the ‘fighting Irish’ I would never want to fight. She was like a Fighting Irish ninja who drank too much Red Bull; she was everywhere! In a game with such huge goal scoring forwards such as Christine Sinclair, Alex Morgan, Marta, Amy Rodriguez and Tasha Kai it was surprisingly low scoring and battled in the midfield. Bock played a major part in their win and shined every second of that game. You take Bock and her superb work in the midfield out of that game and I see a very different result. I absolutely love a hard fought game in the midfield like this one was. After one goal a-piece in regulation they went into overtime where neither team was able to finish it up and they headed to penalty kicks. I can honestly say I don’t know how many more penalty kick finishes I can handle for one summer. The US Women’s National Team tortured us with 10 PK’s in the World Cup and now another 5 from this game. I don’t think these players realize what they’re doing to us. Forget about how difficult it is for them to go through it, that’s nothing! We’re the ones sitting here on our couches with a Corona on the edge of our seats losing our freaking minds. It’s tough. Now, I am a Boston Breakers fan at heart but WNY came in a close second for me this year so I was rooting for them all the way. Not only for some of my favorite players being on the team, but it’s also been great seeing a new team do so well. They went through all 5 penalty kicks making all of them on each side before Ashlyn Harris came up with an enormous save on Philly’s 5th shot. I mean enormous. Like Kirstie Alley before Jenny Craig enormous. It was phenomenal. How she didn’t make the World Cup roster, as a reserve behind Hope Solo I’m still unsure. So the new team to the league, WNY, walked away regular season champs and also with the cup for the final.

So now, let’s get down to some real talk. That game was a clear indication of the level that we have in this country for women’s soccer. Between the Women’s World Cup this summer and the growing talent of this league, people are taking notice. I live in Los Angeles where we do not have a professional team and I am dying to have one. Before you get all smart with me, I was not here when the Los Angeles Sol was here before folding. How’s this for timing? I am from Syracuse, NY which is about an hour from Rochester. I moved to Los Angeles in January of this year. So I moved to the place which just lost a team, from a place which was about to get a team. I would say the irony doesn’t escape me, but that’s one of those situations where people call it irony when it’s really not, it’s actually just bad luck. It’s like that song “Ironic” by Alanis Morissette. None of those situations were ironic, they just sucked. So this also, is in fact not irony, it just sucks. Now I want to listen to that song though. Maybe I can find my cassette tape single of it. Then I would need to find a cassette player too though. Oh, maybe a walkman! I appear to be off track.

It’s time for some more expansion teams! There, if I just put it right out there before I get off track again I know I at least said it. This WNY expansion team flourished and the league is growing along with the interest across the country. We have Olympics next year so it is a great time to keep that momentum, as I know the league knows. I just hope there are enough funds somewhere to get a few more expansion teams out here on the west coast over the next couple of years. It would have to be a cluster of teams at once out here and it won’t happen overnight but I can be patient. Some West Coast 2013 or 2014 teams would be a beautiful thing. I mean, let’s be real here. It’s southern California. It’s basically Mexico. There are kids playing soccer in the streets everywhere. It is a soccer rich area. Don’t get me wrong, I would much rather see the teams play in stadiums, not in the lot off Santa Monica Blvd with the Mexican children. But hey, if it would get some teams out here I’ll help clear the lot of broken glass. Let’s go!

There is so much young talent in this country coming up the ranks from college and with the growing interest I can only hope that there is something in the works for more expansions soon. These women deserve great facilities, big sponsors, and lots of publicity. So my hope is that WPS can not only flourish along the east coast, but also come out to the west coast again soon too. And hey, let’s even include all those states in the middle of the country that no one really cares about. This is the best women’s league in the entire world, and there are only 6 teams. Imagine if there were 12 teams. It would be the best league in the world…but with 12 teams. So, twice as best. Wrap your head around that.

I think I’m done rambling for now. So congratulations to the WNY Flash and of course my favorites from the team (Imagine a cool music intro for this awesome shout out segment and picture me screaming their names and shrieking holding a sign with their names inside of hearts like I was on TRL back in the day. Damn, I keep going back to the 90’s. Damn! I’m off track again! Ok, music intro, GO!) Begin: shout out. Ashlyn Harris! Alex Morgan! Brittany Bock! Christine Sinclair! Caroline Seger! Ali Riley! Whitney Engen! Beverly Goebel! Kaley Fountain! Yael Averbuch! McCall Zerboni! And congrats to the whole WNY Flash team! (Shrieking noise only dogs can hear) End: shout out.

Thanks for an amazing season of the beautiful game. I am so excited for next season and to see Morgan, Bock and the whole WNY team tear it up again. I also cannot wait for the Olympics next year and am anxious to see if any different faces make the trip to London on the roster. (cough, cough, Brittany Bock cough, cough Ashlyn Harris) Now I’m off to find my Alanis Morisette cassette tape and hit up some garage sales and thrift stores to find a walkman!

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Amy Maestri

Writer / actress / producer.

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