The Western New York Flash have added another trophy campaign to the storied soccer history of, er, western New York. (I know, I know, WPS names have been eccentric at best, even in this era of Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim - but would "Rochester Flash" have been THAT hard? Are fans in Buffalo and Syracuse really that sensitive? Too late now, I guess.) Despite Philadelphia starting Auntie Entity at forward, the Flash achieved one of the most unusual feats in American soccer, and in American sports - being the best team in the league and also winning the championship.
Fine, so trashing Tasha Kai's look can come across as sexist, but (a) I survived 90's MLS, which was basically 80's MTV as far as hair was concerned, and (b) hey, I didn't tell her to go out in public looking like that.
You have to feel for the Independence...well, I suppose you don't have to. I don't know you. Maybe you see those ASPCA fundraising ads, turn up the volume and cackle manically. But Philadelphia outplayed WNYF for most of the game...which isn't saying much. The Flash apparently agreed with my DVR, and thought the game was Sunday. Amy Rodriguez -
Actually, I need to step back and think about why I hate Amy Rodriguez, because there are lots of objectively worse people in the world who don't involuntarily set my teeth on edge. She's a soccer player, not a stage mom on "Toddlers in Tiaras." This is obviously my problem - but where is it coming from?
1. That miss! Well, technically, the refusal to take the shot. A horrible decision that gave me serious World Cup flashbacks.
1a. And that goal! Now I can't even call her a choke artist. Where was THAT in the World Cup?
2. The nickname. There's only one A-Rod, and he's a snipe (anagram). Maybe I just hate Alex Rodriguez. But someone saying "Yes! Think of him when you think of me!" has to factor into this somehow.
And don't give me that "but it's her name!" nonsense. Aaron Rodgers of the Acme Packers rugby team could also be called "A-Rod" if he wanted. No one does. Don't believe Wikipedia; no one calls Andy Roddick "A-Rod" either. Do they call her teammate Joanna Lohman "J-Lo"? Huh? Do they?
3. She's the only prominent former USC soccer player (not the Clint Mathis USC, the other one), and so she's really the only outlet I have for my Trojan hatred in this context.
Well, Rodriguez didn't get her medal. But Marta got another one. Now, in fairness, I was sort of obliged to cheer for Marta when the league began - being an LA Sol fan, you didn't have much alternative, since no one else on the team did much of anything for long stretches of the season, apart from LeBlanc rolling up the shutouts. And that was before the recent World Cup, where she took fair play and sportsmanship out to Miller's Crossing. I'm pretty sure that was the first time any player had been booed clean out of a World Cup stadium, and that was by neutral freaking fans. Jilted Sol and Gold Pride fans can claim ignorance, with varying degrees of plausibility. Poor Rochester had to put on the "Yeah, but she's our international disgrace, and isn't Alex Morgan just great?" pose.
At least until Saturday, where that was replaced with the admittedly more satisfying "Screw you, we're the champs" talking point.
Now comes the much harder challenge - continuing to exist.
So the USMNT is holding a practice open to the public, which I think is a fantastic idea. I'm pretty sure they're doing it despite rather than because of my suggestion, but it's still a good move. If only my car hadn't decided to take the week off. But I can't blame that on club or country.