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A Hidden Gem Right in our Backyards

July 10, 2011

There won’t be many posts about soccer on this site, so don’t go running for the hills yet.  Today was the first chance I’ve had to watch the great Brazillian soccer sensation Marta on TV.  Marta, who is just 25 years old, has already been named the FIFA women’s player of the year 5 times.  She happens to be a member of the Western New York Flash, who have played all their games this year in Rochester, NY.

As a former soccer player in high school, and an all around fan of the game, I’ve always been interested in the progress of our national teams when the World Cup comes around.  I like to follow both the Rochester Rhinos and the Flash as well.  I’m not writing this claiming to be a soccer expert or die-hard fan saying I told you so.  I’ve usually get to 3 or 4 Rhinos games a year, but haven’t ever had the itch to see the ladies play.  That all changed today.  I think there are a lot of people in the same boat as me when it comes to actually attending a Flash game.  But assuming many people in the area watched the thrilling cup game today, the team could see many more people flock to the gates when the great striker returns.

Marta was by far the best player on the field today, even if you hold her cheeky tactics against her.  She deserved the jeers that rained down from the crowd today, for sure.  It’s just another reason to like her even more.  The more the crowd booed, the better she seemed to get.  That shows fantastic mental toughness.  The ball control she possesses just can’t be matched, or in many cases, stopped.  Forget the missed offsides call prior, the goal she scored in the 92nd minute today was one of the better goals I’ve ever seen…men or women.  What I was most impressed with, was her ability to get people the ball in space.  Multiple times, she’d thread a pass through multiple defenders only to have a fellow forward collect it in a 1 on 1 situation.  She makes everyone around her much, much better.

People need to get out to Sahlens Stadium, before it’s too late.  This is a world class talent, who somehow plays in Rochester.  Abby Wambach, a native of Rochester, is a huge draw for the team.  The problem is that she plays in Florida, limiting the big time crowds to games when Wambach visits town.  Marta should be just as big of a draw.  I’ve already marked next Wednesday, July 20th down on my calender.  Assuming the World Cup players are back on their club teams by them, it could be an electric game.  It should also be a sellout, which makes soccer games so much more exciting.

I knew Marta was good, I knew all the accolades that followed her around.  Now, I’m almost in awe of her skill, and won’t miss out on the chance to see her live.  It’s something that everyone in the area should try to do, before some big market team steals her back again.

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