And now for some happy talk.
Or, if you've been following WPS to the exclusion of MLS and the USMNT, more happy talk. Never is heard a discouraging word, even before Sunday's game.
So, I guess it's up to me. But I gotta tell you, gang, I had a great time. And I missed both goals.
Y'see, there were about ten minutes left, and the Sol (it's "the Sol," right? I was even sort of iffy about whether the nickname rhymed with "ball" or "goal" until talking to season ticket reps, so I'm inexcusably behind on the WPS style guide) were continually going to the left, to Han Duan. Han Duan can fnid space for herself very well. She just can't pass or shoot.
So while my back was turned, Abner Rogers subbed her out for Christie Welsh, the Sol started working the left, and bam. As a Galaxy fan, it's been a while since I've seen a coach make an in-game adjustment. Proving that MLS to WPS culture shock has upsides as well.
The crowd looked pretty poor on television, but I believe that's because the tickets on the far side were sold last - season tickets and such are only offered on the west side. Which is, like, incredibly silly, because it makes the stadium look empty on television. But trust me, it was a legit 14,000 and change.
Now, how much will that drop off? We won't know until it happens. No matter how much faith we have in the people running this league, there's still so little to base projections on. Los Angeles, Chicago and St. Louis are uncharted waters for women's pro club soccer. Televised Sunday afternoon games are routinely attendance death for the men's teams in town, so maybe 15,000 is in the Sol's neighborhood. But we don't know, and we don't know where the floor is. Now is nervous time for the people selling this league.
And the gimmicks not only are going to wear off, they have to. There was way too much Kobe Bryant, way too much Mia Hamm, way too much Twittering. The on-field product is....
Okay, it's pretty good, so far. But. The Washington Nothing Left To Lose has been a going concern for several years now. Most of the roster has played together for a while, the new additions - Scurry and Sawa - should have been indisputable upgrades. Marta and Aya Miyama were breaking their ankles.
Will we have a 1996-esque gap between a minority of talented players and a morass of ham 'n egger tomato cans with a one-way ticket to Palookaville? Well...the legendary Abby Wambach faced off against the less legendary Allison Falk, and that battle was won by the player whose name I had to double-check the spelling of on the Sol website.
So yeah, we'll have some previously unknown stars bloom in the league, the way that WUSA produced Wambach. But I think we're also going to have some cricket scores as qualified pros film their highlight reels against college kids.
I think the big question is, will this league build loyalty towards clubs as opposed to players, and turn amateur players into fans - preferably fans with disposable income?
How should I know? What am I, Pete Nostradamus Rozelle?
I think it's more likely now than ever, though. When you look around at the kids, and the not-so-kids, who were there - they love this. They've been dying for this. There may not be millions of them, not yet, but there didn't used to be dozens of American men's soccer fans, either.