The WNY Flash had a great debut on the field. The dominating 3-0 win over the Atlanta Beat was a performance that many expected from a roster that looks to be the best in the WPS.
Marta was magical on the ball.
Christine Sinclair scored twice to push her season total to four goals.
Alex Morgan came off the bench to score her first goal in her WPS career.
The team limited Atlanta to three shots (compared to 20 for the Flash) and they got their first clean sheet of 2011.
And with tomorrow night's match against Sky Blue FC, they will have the advantage of having their three USWNT players in camp this week to practice as a full squad.
All in all, you couldn't ask for more from the players.
Now to the attendance discussion.....
WNY Flash captain Caroline Seger doesn't want to hear excuses for why the attendance at the Flash home opener was a little over 2000 fans.
Personally, I saw some things that pointed to why the attedance disappointed many. If you looked at the few sections of the stadium where individual tickets were $13 a piece, they were pretty packed.
The seats that cost $18 and $25 on an individual basis were nowhere near as full.
There are likely a few main root causes for attendance being what it is. The first is that not enough people knew about the team and their home opener. Then you have the ticket prices and the fact that it costs more to go to see the Flash play than it does to see more established teams in the market in the Rhinos and the Red Wings. Then you have the question about how many people are willing to pay to watch a professional women's soccer team play. And finally you have all the stadium issues that have been talked to death for the past few years.
The team can only control their marketing efforts and the pricing of the games. They can not change people's perceptions of the stadium and if people don't want to give professional women's sports and/or soccer a chance in many instances.
The really scary conversation that comes down the road is if an amazing team playing in a market like Rochester doesn't work, what chance does the league as a whole have in the long run?
Hopefully things turn around starting tomorrow night against Sky Blue FC and we don't have to have that conversation moving forward.
News & Notes:
- Christine Sinclair was named the WPS Player of the Week for her brace versus Atlanta on Sunday.
- Check out how WNY Flash D Ali Riley gets in shape.
- Hopefully Kelly Parker impressed the Canadian WNT coaching staff on Sunday.
- Here is a Christine Sinclair interview at Equalizer Soccer .
- Here is video of the Seattle fans tribute to Steve Zakuani who is out with a broken leg. It reminds me of the 9th minute tribute to Charlie Davies.
- Here is a MLS Week in Review post by WV Hooligan
- Will DeRo skip the Gold Cup for Canada to stay with the Red Bulls?
- Scott Palguta got his first start for Colorado last night and rewarded the Rapids with the game winning goal.
- Josh Wolff and Charlie Davies combined to push DC past Seattle.
- Thomas Rongen is out as the U-20 USMNT coach.
- Fox Soccer Channel is rolling out "Soccer Night in America".
- Here is the video of the Houston Dynamo's tribute to Pat Onstad.
The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author, and not necessarily those of the Rochester Rhinos or SoccerSam.com. Feel free to send any comments or complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org. James promises to read (but not to respond) to all of them.