In a Flash: WNY vs Washington
The Matchup: Friday's meeting will mark the third time Western New York (5-2-4, 19 points) and Washington (1-6-3, 6 points) have faced each other, but it will be the first time the two teams meet at Sahlen's Stadium. The previous two games, at Maryland SoccerPlex, resulted in four points for the Flash, as they drew to a 1-1 tie on April 20th and then won 2-0 just three games ago (June 15th).
Where to Watch: The Flash and all participating NWSL teams will stream games live on the Internet throughout the 2013 season. Flash fans can find today's game video by clicking the link above.
Fans can join the conversation by following the official Flash Twitter account (above) and by using the designated hashtags for the game: #WNYF, #WNYFvWAS, #NWSL
Where We Stand: The Flash, holding an eight-game unbeaten streak, are currently in fourth place in the NWSL with 19 points. FC Kansas City broke a two-way tie for third place Wednesday night with a draw, putting them one point ahead of the Flash. Washington, on the other hand, has one win on the year and is in seventh place with six points. Over their last four games, the Spirit have been held without a goal, including the 2-0 loss to the Flash on June 15th.
Is Eight Enough? The Western New York Flash have not lost a game since April 27th, a 2-1 loss to the Boston Breakers in the home opener. However, the Flash went undefeated with three wins in the month of May, and look to end June undefeated after Sunday. The Flash's unbeaten streak stands at eight games (5-0-3), the longest span by any NWSL team thus far.
Flash Welcome Wells: Friday's game will mark the first time midfielder Ingrid Wells faces her former club, as she was released by the Spirit on June 20th. The Flash subsequently picked Wells up off of waivers, after the New Jersey native saw eight starts for Washington.
National Team Duty: The Flash will be without Samantha Kerr and Adriana Martin on Friday as the two will be with their respective national teams. Kerr returned to Australia on Monday to prepare for a June 29th friendly against the Netherlands. Adriana will be with Spain for an extended period, as the Spanish National Team gets set for the Euro Championship. Spain will first play a friendly with Denmark on June 28th before kicking-off the Euro Championship on July 10th. She will return to the Flash when Spain has completed play.
Beach Night: Despite the likelihood of rain, Friday will be Beach Night at Sahlen's Stadium. The Flash Shack will be offering limited edition tank tops and sunglasses for sale, while Rochester band MoChester is set to perform pre-game. $5 tickets will also be available for Friday's game with the presentation of a college ID, new or old, with $1 drafts until kick-off.
Familiar Faces: Fans will recognize a number of players on the Spirit roster. Lori Lindsey, a member of the USWNT and the 2012 WNY Flash Championship roster, will wear the armband for a Washington team that features goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris. Harris played a key role in the Flash's 2011 WPS Championship run; she would go on to win Coast Guard Goalkeeper of the Year honors after making a key save in penalty kicks. Defender Candace Chapman was also a part of that 2011 team, while Stephanie Ochs and Tori Huster were on the 2012 roster.
Game Eleven Recap: The Flash hosted the Seattle Reign on Sunday, with the teams playing to a 1-1 draw at Sahlen's Stadium. Seattle struck first with a shot that took a fortuitous deflection off defender Estelle Johnson and went in. However, the Flash equalized in the second half after Abby Wambach was awarded a penalty kick. Facing USWNT teammate Hope Solo, Wambach struck the underside of the cross bar to level the game at 1-1. Despite multiple late opportunities in the final minutes, the Flash could not find the go-ahead goal.
The Quest for Four: This season, the Flash will aim for its fourth title, this time in the newly formed NWSL. The Flash are back-to-back-to-back Champions, winning three different championships in the three different leagues since 2010.
In that year, the then-Buffalo Flash went undefeated in the W-League, defeating the Vancouver Whitecaps 3-1 to take the league crown. The following season, the WNY Flash won the WPS Championship in their first year as a member of the league. The Flash claimed the crown on penalty kicks in front of a league-record crowd. It took penalty kicks again for the team to win its third, coming away with a 2-1 victory over the NY Fury in the WPSL-Elite last year.
The Kit: The Flash announced that Sahlen Packing Co. would serve as the team's official jersey sponsor for the 2013 season. Joe Sahlen, owner of the Buffalo-based packaging company, started the Flash in 2008 and the Sahlen's family has been tied to the team ever since. Sahlen Sports Park in Elma serves as the official practice facility of the Flash, while the team will play home contests in Rochester at Sahlen's Stadium.
Third Time's a Charm? After the folding of the WUSA and the WPS, the NWSL will look to create a sustaining women's professional soccer league. The NWSL is backed by US Soccer, the Canadian Soccer Association and the Mexican Football Federation.
All teams were allocated players from the respective countries and rosters were then filled out through drafts and free agent signings.
There are eight clubs competing in the league. They are: the Boston Breakers, the Chicago Red Stars, FC Kansas City, Portland Thorns FC, Seattle Reign FC, Sky Blue FC, the Washington Spirit and the Western New York Flash.
Next Game: The Flash will hit the road for their second four-game road trip of the season, this time starting with a 2 p.m. (ET) meeting at Chicago on July 4th. The two teams have met twice this year, with the Flash winning 2-1 at Sahlen's Stadium on May 24th and an exciting 2-2 draw on June 19th. On that date, Brittany Taylor scored the game-tying goal in the 89th minute to extend Western New York's unbeaten streak to seven games at that point.
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National Women's Soccer League Stories from June 28, 2013
- Reign FC Partners with You Can Play in Support of Equality In Sports - Reign FC
- Lloyd's Hat Trick Paces Flash to Shutout - Western New York Flash
- Spirit Fall at Western New York, 4-0 - Washington Spirit
- Seattle Reign FC Returns Home to Face Red Stars After Successful Road Trip - Reign FC
- Reign FC Acquire Forward Jessica McDonald - Reign FC
- FC Kansas City Prepares For Prominent Rematch - FC Kansas City
- Red Stars Take on Reign FC in Seattle Saturday - Chicago Red Stars
- In a Flash: WNY vs Washington - Western New York Flash
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