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Western New York Flash Down Some Cheesesteaks

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I attended my first Philadelphia Independence game of the season on hot and humid Memorial Day weekend. Philly’s Cheesesteaks fell to the Western New York Flash by a score of 2-1 at Leslie Quick Stadium at Widener University.  The expansion Flash are on a roll in their first season in WPS. The Marta-led team has not lost any games and is leading the league. The Independence currently sit in third.

The Independence initially took the lead with a beautiful, long bomb by Megan Rapinoe. The shot, from an extreme angle, found the back of the net at the far post. However, the Flash followed up with two goals later in the first half by Becky Edwards and Marta. Marta scored on a penalty kick after a foul called on Nikki Krzysik for taking down the Flash’s McCall Zerboni in the box.

The Independence continue in their struggles against Marta and whatever team she happens to be playing for this season. Although the best player in the world was not as much of a factor in this game as in others, the teams she plays for all seem to be winners. This game was the last before the WPS teams will lose their players for the women’s World Cup.

This was my first game at the Independence’s new home at Leslie Quick stadium. The facility was not difficult to find, but the situation could have been improved with addition of a few signs along the route. There was ample free parking for spectators. Attendance seemed to be respectable although the stadium was far from full. The team had plenty of free goodies for fans, including a calendar, CD, noise makers, schedule card, bumper stickers, and programs. A picture of my booty:

Philadelphia Independence Swag

The Independence have reasonable ticket prices (starting at $15) as well as a variety of season ticket and flex plans.  They also seem to run regular ticket specials. Sunday night, for example, was military appreciation night, and the next home game will feature specials for teachers, graduates and students. I also purchased a deal for three Saturday game tickets through Living Social. The downside to all of these deals is that are quite a lot of unticketed patrons arriving at games who have to go to Will Call or trade in vouchers.  This situation created quite a line when a printer decided to go haywire prior to game time. I guess the moral to this story is to get there early.

There are a limited number of concession items (soda, water, pizza, hot dogs, etc.) available for comparatively reasonable prices for a professional sports event. Most items were between $1and $3. WPS can be a good value outing for families, youth teams, or school groups. It does seem to attract a different demographic than Philadelphia Union games. As a bonus, you might run into a Union player or two in civilian mode, who don’t seem to be recognized by the other attendees.

Here are a few shots from the game:

 

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