The Western NY Flash added the best women's player in the world and an assistant coach that most soccer fans in Rochester will know.

First, they added Marta to an already dangerous group of forwards. That came less than a week after Flash owner Joe Sahlen said that Marta's contract status was up in the air and things might not get settled for a few months as a guest on Kick This!.

Devo also talked about the theory that the Flash might try and trade Marta for Abby Wambach. While the Flash say that they aren't interested and Jeff wonders if it would be better to get the pop of Abby playing twice a year in Rochester, I think the opposite case is the one to make from a financial point of view.

Marta is great. Of that there is no debate. But, I believe that Abby would be much more marketable in Rochester than Marta will be. And I'm guessing that Abby makes a fair bit less than the $400,000 to $500,000 that Marta reportedly gets as part of her 3 year deal that was originally signed by the LA Sol.

Marta isn't very fluent in English. Abby has had endorsement deals locally and nationally, along with appearing in national ad campaigns for Dodge, Gatorade, and Nike.

Marta will appeal to soccer fans who know and appreciate the world game of women's soccer. Abby has name recognition in Rochester amongst a much wider range of people.

Just look at the coverage that Abby's broken leg a few years ago received locally. 

Personally, I think that Marta is the bigger risk to becoming someone that local fans take for granted 4 or 5 games into the season.

I don't see that being an issue with Abby.

But, I do hope that the Flash can win big and avoid the Marta Curse and they live to play in 2012 as well!

And if we're going to throw wishful trade ideas out there, how about Alex Morgan for Abby Wambach? An attacking trio of Sinclair , Marta, and Wambach would be fun to watch.

Vallow leaves the Rhinos to join the Flash coaching staff

Devo's Direct Kicks

When the news broke Wednesday evening that Scott Vallow was leaving the Rhinos to join the Flash's coaching staff my first thought was "How am I going to break this news to my two boys who are huge Vallow fans?".

That may be the toughest thing that the Rhinos have to deal with after Scott made the choice to step away from the team that he has been the face for lately to take the next step in his coaching career.

Even though he wasn't the starting keeper last year, Vallow was still the guy that had the most fans around him on the field after games. He was still the lone Rhino player that makes his home here and is out and about in the community during the off season.

There is a lot of value that Vallow brought to the club off the field. And, the Rhinos are going to have a hard time replacing that as they move towards the 2011 season.

And some people might be wondering why I have yet to use the word "retirement" yet in this piece. Well, let's just say that I wouldn't be surprised if Scott Vallow suits up for a Rochester professional soccer team again..........

News & Notes:

- There was some good media coverage of the announcement that the Norfolk Sharx are the 3rd team to join the USL's I-League. The local newspaper, ABC affiliate , and NBC affiliate had coverage of the announcement. Hopefully they get 5 more teams lined up.

- The back and forth between the USL and the NASL is getting tired. First, the USL poked fun at the NASL when they unveiled their playoff structure and the NASL did much of the same when they unveiled their schedule for 2011. It's too bad that the game of soccer in the US below MLS is being run by people that tend to act like pre-schoolers too often in public.

- The NASL still thinks that they will get 2nd Division sanctioning for 2011. 

- Paul Kennedy at Soccer America says that D2 soccer has lost it's shine and I can't disagree.

- Did Fake Sigi just give Devo props?

- Houston just got moved to the Eastern Conference by MLS with Portland and Vancouver joining the league. 

- The Columbus Crew signed Jeff Cunningham after he didn't land a gig across the pond.

- Jimmy Conrad in Chivas USA gear looks weird.

- With Michael Bradley looking to make a move , I wonder why an MLS club doesn't go after him? The transfer fee of around $6.5 million shouldn't be too big for MLS at this point and I'd like him more as a DP than a lot of guys that MLS clubs have signed.

- There has been a lot going on with the USL this week. I hope the Rhinos have some player signings up their sleeves.

- The potential NASL team in San Antonio is making some noise this week, as well.

- FC New York has a home stadium.

- Dax McCarty had a sweet bicycle kick goal in training with the USMNT.

- Here is the US Behind the Scenes for the US-Chile match. I love the stuff that US Soccer puts up on the web.

- And here are the highlights of the USWNT's 2-0 win over China at the Four Nations Tournament.

- Ronaldinho is still sick.

- Jack Huckel takes a look at MLS in year 16 vs the original NASL at the same point in time.

- The irony that naming rights sponsor of the Portland Timbers' training grounds in Beaverton is adidas is thick.

- Chivas USA's jersey sponsor is waaaaaay better than Philly's.

- Somebody doesn't like the new Canadian National Team kits.

- Is this a sign that MLS has more respect on the world stage?

- And if you haven't heard the goal call for Teal Bunbury's PK for the US vs Chile......

The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author, and not necessarily those of the Rochester Rhinos or Feel free to send any comments or complaints to James promises to read (but not to respond) to all of them.