Western New York Flash

Giveaway Time Again!!!!

Okay so as we said yesterday we’ve never done a giveaway like this before and we’re pretty excited about it…

Anyway if you wanna win a custom NWSL snapback all you have to do is reblog this post!!!!

International entries are welcome

Options for snapbacks are:

Orlando Pride
Washington Spirit
Seattle Reign
WNY Flash
Chicago Red Stars
Houston Dash
Sky Blue FC
FC Kansas City
Portland Thorns
Boston Breakers
Or NWSL logo

Ends 28th January

Good luck!!!

theguardian.com
Skilled, determined and broke: Africa's female football pioneers
Despite social and sporting progress, even the best teams at the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations struggle to fund friendlies
By Maeve Shearlaw

Please take the time to read this. Often our focus is on the USWNT, canWNT, Germany, etc and I think it’s important that as fans we do everything we can to support CAF teams too.

Comprehensive Timeline of My Relationship with Carli Lloyd

I’d like to start off by saying that I’ve met probably 90% of the USWNT players that have been around the last couple of years (still waiting to meet Pinoe and Morgan Brian!), and I have to say, literally ALL of them have been kind and gracious. A lot of them go out of their way to take pictures or talk for a little bit (special shout-outs to Julie Johnston and Crystal Dunn for being so friendly; Ali Krieger who is a total sweetheart, gives great hugs, and laughed at all my jokes; Christen Press who bravely dodged cranky security to come take pics with us; and most of all my absolute fave BECKY SAUERBRUNN who was so incredibly nice and appreciative that I was a huge fan. She even remembered me a year later, hugged me, and said how nice it was to see me!)

The USWNT is full of kind, gracious, fun, and interactive players. That is, with only one exception - Carli Lloyd.

Disclaimer:  Much like at the beginning of Carli’s book, all events in the following post have been described to the best of my ability. Quotes may not be 100% word for word accurate, but believe me I have not forgotten the sentiments behind them. I am genuinely a fan of Carli Lloyd; I think she’s very talented and absolutely hysterical. I bought her jersey! This post is not meant to spread hate; I am trying to be as objective as possible. If I truly felt like I did something to deserve Carli’s loathing, I would have no problem admitting it, but I still honestly can’t really pinpoint what I did to deserve it!!

Fall 2012

Our rollercoaster of a relationship started in fall 2012. My sister and I got invested in the USWNT during the Olympics, like OBSESSED. I’m embarrassed to admit how many times we’ve watched Party in the USA and still have dreams about Alex Morgan’s header against Canada years later. So when we found out that Carli Lloyd was being honored at a Rutgers Women’s Soccer game that fall, we had to go! That’s only 20 minutes from my house! Like she’s Carli Lloyd…who wouldn’t take the chance to meet this woman??

I had a pretty good idea of what her personality was like.  I watched that post-Olympic final interview where she was going on about how she’s a champion and works the hardest out of everyone, so I’m like yeah okay Carli whatever, but I still thought she would be cool in person, right? How young, how naive. She was honored at halftime and after the game she went over to the side of the bleachers. It was cold out so my sister and I wanted to try to meet her and then go home. There were a couple people by the fence already waiting for her. Carli is talking to a friend about thirty feet away, but she knows we’re here. Some kids are calling for her autograph. She refuses to come over, even though she is clearly doing nothing urgent. She turned her back to us. Now I try not to be an entitled fan, no player owes fans pictures or autographs etc etc blah blah blah, but there are seven people here and she’s not doing anything! It would have taken two minutes. She doesn’t even have to do it for me; do it for the little girls there! Like would Ali Krieger or Tobin Heath have blown us off? I don’t think so! The game’s over and I still vividly remember when dozens of ten year old girls rush over and are crowding in on her, she backs away slowly and gets Brian to pull up right on the other side of the fence, and then she makes her great escape. It was literally like this scene from Jurassic Park:

It’s the most awkward, hilarious thing I’ve ever seen. Fearless champion Carli is terrified of ten year olds. She should have appreciated it more when it was just seven of us. So that being said, I don’t remember having any interaction that was significant enough for Carli to remember me, like she didn’t come close enough for us to talk to her. I think all I did was wave? Idk but I guess it was enough for Carli to remember me. (I’m a 6'4 tall woman, but still, how did she remember me from that?) So apparently we’re off to a rockier start than I expected. Idk how and to this day I do not fully comprehend why she dislikes me so much…

The story continues.

April 2013

This experience does not involve me unfortunately. But my sister was in NYC for a school event that was later that night and had some free time before it started. What a perfect opportunity to go to Times Square for the US Soccer Centennial celebration! The special guest was Carli Lloyd, who wasn’t with the WNT because of injury. The universe really came together to create this perfect moment. My sister goes to the setup in Times Square, and goes straight to Carli who’s inside the little mini field that was set up there. She can’t tell if Carli recognizes her or not, but tries to make conversation about the National team, if she’s excited to play for the Flash, etc. but all Carli can muster up is a few uninterested one word answers. Carli tries to sign her autograph but complains that my sister’s pen isn’t working. She gets Carli a new one, Carli says in the most monotone voice possible, “it’s okay I have a better one.” Okay Carli! This isn’t going particularly well!! But by the grace of God this other dude comes up to them, and says “Who are you? Are you famous? Can I have your autograph??” Carli is dumbfounded and annoyed, responding “You don’t know who I am? You want my autograph but you don’t know me?” You just know she is so confused by the nerve of this man, not knowing who this glorious champion is. My sister senses an opportunity and jumps on it. “How do you not know who she is? This is Carli Lloyd, Olympic champion. How can you not know her??” The poor man, she totally threw him under the bus. But it was worth it because Carli gave her a smile and nod of approval. She’s in!! Later Carli takes a picture with my sister and even puts her arm around her! My sister was with me that night at Rutgers and now Carli’s good with her! If that’s true then she probably doesn’t have anything against me either, that is even if she remembers me. I felt so relieved!

July 31, 2014

The Western New York flash is coming to play Sky Blue. By the locker room, the Flash players are coming out and high-fiving people that are lined along the fence. I’m there with my sister and my two cousins. Carli comes out and starts high-fiving people until she sees me. We make eye contact. Her expression can only be read as annoyance. Unmistakable! I’m not kidding, she literally high fived people up until the girl right in front of me, looked me in the eyes, then stopped and crossed to the other side. What? Did that just happen? No way that was a coincidence! I have definitely picked up on the dislike now. She knows me and she does not like me!! It gets worse after the game. At Yurcak field the players sign from field level and reach up to the people in the stands to sign, so the angle is sometimes hard to see which players are there, and it’s hard for them to see everyone up top too when it’s crowded. I spot Carli. There’s a bunch of little girls ahead of me on the fence, but I look over and shout “Carli, you were exquisite!”  She looks up at me, sees me, and is visibly annoyed. She STOPS SIGNING some little girl’s ball mid-name and leaves. Like the poor little girl’s ball literally just says Carl. CARL!!! The little girl looks at her ball and looks up at me with a mix of sadness and confusion, like what did you dooooo?

Oops sorry kid. Carli couldn’t even finish signing her name before she took off to get away from me.

June 2015

For a year Carli is fortunate enough to mostly escape me. I couldn’t make it to the Sky Blue vs Houston game in April 2015. But I saw her after the WWC semi final in Montreal. My cousin found out the hotel where the girls were staying, so we head there after the game.  It is VERY crowded. They kick all of us out of the hotel, so we line the sidewalk where they will walk in from the bus. The bus arrives. We are all very excited! They just beat Germany in a great semifinal game! The girls walk by single file. They wave and smile and high five fans. We spot Carli coming. We are behind people, but remember, we are all over 6 feet in my family so we have long reaches. My cousin yells for Carli and she looks over, smiles, and high fives him. The glorious moment was even posted on the ussoccer_wnt twitter!

I see her high five my cousin.  I want a high five… I cheer “Carli!” and hold up my hand. She looks at my face, looks at my hand, turns away and walks on. Seriously? AGAIN?? I only wanted a quick high five but I was rebuffed. Please see the video below documenting this.

September 2016

During this past NWSL season, Carli was away on national team duty when Houston came to NJ. It’s been over a year since Carli and I have had any significant interaction. I miss her. In August Carli takes forever to get back to the Dash even though the rest of her WNT teammates were able to get their butts back to their teams. My sister makes a mildly critical comment on Twitter about Carli’s obvious lack of commitment to the NWSL. BLOCKED!! Like it wasn’t even that bad but I’m happy because this might mean that I’m no longer her least favorite!! Luckily for my sister, Carli is merciful and unblocks her weeks later. She promises to never hate on Carli again. But now that we know that Carli clearly checks her mentions, maybe she’s seen all the times that I’ve tweeted that I love her! Shouldn’t that mean something? Probably not.

It seems like another year will go by without talking to Carli. Depressing! That is until Carli announces a book signing in NJ September 26th. Of course I have to go! This will give me an opportunity to see Carli where she can’t just leave as soon as she sees me. I’m in! My sister and my friend come with me. It’s really crowded but the line is moving ridiculously fast, like everybody is only getting five seconds with her… People are tweeting about how they waited hours in line for 5 seconds of getting ignored by her. Yeah that’s not gonna cut it for me! I didn’t wait on this line just for that. Plus, we have some tension to resolve! So we finally get downstairs in the bookstore where she’s signing. She spots me.

She reacts in that typical Carli way:

She looks in the other direction and refuses to look back.

She tries her hardest not to make eye contact with me again.

We are getting closer and closer to the front of the line. People have 5 seconds tops with Carli. Hah, just wait until I get up there. A woman takes our books to get them ready for Carli to sign. Turns out the girl is Carli’s glorious cousin. I make friends with her and we are joking around together.  I tell her, “Listen I have a bit of a rocky past with your cousin so I’m gonna need you to help me out a little bit.” She thinks I’m still joking with her, so she nods and winks. Thanks cousin!!

It’s finally our turn! I call out to the cousin and ask her to take pictures of us with my phone. She hesitates for a second, presumably because she’s probably not supposed to do that, but agrees. The three of us go up to Carli. She is smiling! Wow! I mean it’s completely forced but it’s a step in the right direction!

As we walk up, the cousin yells out “Carli! These are my friends!” Carli, in a monotone voice, looks at me and says, “oh.”

We tell Carli how nice it is to see her again. We pose for our picture. Everyone else stands in front of Carli while she signs. Not us! We stand next to her and make her pose, and she can’t really say anything because her cousin is the one leading the charge. The guy that works there says we’re not supposed to pose for pictures. Carli adds, “yeah.. you’re setting a bad example” and we’re just like haha Carli you’re so funny! I guess clearly we are out of line for posing for pictures and stretching out those five seconds to a full 45 or so. She signs all our books. This picture was taken while we talked to her, and it is a perfect representation of our relationship. (Photo creds: Carli’s cousin)

Here comes my favorite part: As we get ready to leave, I stand in front of her to get my book signed and I said very genuinely “Carli, this has been the most positive interaction we have had in years. Thank you so much!” She looks up at me, locks eyes, and says in the most serious and deadpan way possible, “I know”. At this point I am dying inside with laughter. As we turn to leave we all say goodbye and she says “thank you for your support”, as if someone is twisting her arm to say it.

The first step in fixing a problem is acknowledging that it exists. By saying that this is our first positive interaction, we admitted that our friendship has been negative in the past but we are turning over a new leaf. I love Carli Lloyd and can’t wait to see her next year. I look forward to many more positive interactions in the future!! ❤️ If not, at least Becky likes me!

Jessica McDonald: NWSL regular season all-time leading scorer

Chicago Red Stars:
1 assist (9GP/3GS)

Seattle Reign
3 goals, 1 assist (7GP/6GS)

Portland Thorns
11 goals, 1 assist (24GP/13GS)

Houston Dash
7 goals, 1 assist (20GP/19GS)

Western New York Flash
10 goals, 7 assists (19GP/19GS)

North Carolina Courage
2 goals, 1 assist (4GP/4GS)

Total: 6 teams, 33 goals, 12 assist (83GP/64GS)

Congrats Jess!