Western New York Flash issues statement on field fiasco

narrow field

by TOM SLATER

Ahead of the results of an “exhaustive investigation” by the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), the Western New York Flash have issued a statement on last weekend’s match with the Seattle Reign.

The match was moved to Frontier Field — a baseball stadium — because of a scheduling conflict with a concert at Rhinos Stadium, the normal venue for the Flash. The ensuing match was won 3-2 by Western New York with two goals being scored on throw-ins.

But results were not the issue. Despite assurances from the Flash on regulation field size, the pitch measured 58 yards wide — well below the 71 yard minimum required by NWSL. That sparked a heavy backlash from media, fans and players alike, excoriating the club and the league for their decision to play under such conditions.  Seattle coach Laura Harvey was the first to voice her displeasure on social media. It was followed by tweets from a number of United States Women’s National Team players as well.

After a day, there was a statement and apology from NWSL commissioner Jeff Plush. Following that statement, there was a promise of an “exhaustive investigation” by the league.

The following is the statement from the Western New York Flash:

“On Saturday, July 9, 2016, the Western New York Flash hosted the Seattle RTeh eign in a National Womens Soccer League match. Due to a scheduling conflict, the Flash’s regular home field, Rochester Rhinos Stadium, was unavailable. The venue for the game was moved a few blocks away to Frontier Field, a baseball venue that, in the past, has had a rich history of hosting professional soccer games, including the United States Women’s National Team. Our intention throughout this process was always to provide a quality game atmosphere for players and fans alike in a stadium that holds a special place in the hearts of Rochester fans.

Due to the configuration of Frontier Field, Flash management was aware that the pitch was going to be smaller than a typical field. Certain dimensions were designated and communicated to the league and to our opponent.

After a thorough investigation of what transpired this past weekend, it has been determined that there was a lack of oversight on behalf of our organization in preparing and operating Frontier Field at the standards we should expect for a professional women’s soccer game.

This ultimately resulted in an embarrassment for our league. We, as a family and organization, have always strived to enhance and benefit the sport of soccer and, in particular, women’s soccer.

On behalf of our organization and our family, we sincerely apologize to the NWSL for tarnishing its reputation and image. We also apologize to the Seattle Reign organization and to the players and fans. Our club has continued to be dedicated and invested through several iterations of women’s professional soccer and we will continue to work hard to grow the league and the game in the most positive ways possible.”


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  • Yep

    Sorry, nobody cares about women’s soccer. It may not be right, but it’s the truth.

    • Ken Reeves

      You are right. It is the truth. I’d rather watch rodeo, lacrosse or arena football.

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  • yankiboy

    Yeah. Nobody cares about womens’ soccer.

    Those USWNT tv ratings numbers get absolutely pummeled by the Arena league, lax and professional bull riding…

    • OpenCupFan

      #mlsbot speaks, hear him roar.
      .
      Hey Yanki, how you feel about mls taking $$$ from the USWNT tv deals?

      • yankiboy

        I’m not an economics specialist but it seems like the whole SUM/MLS/USSF financial thing is really waaaay too cozy. And I’m no “anti-corporation” type. Sometimes the phrase “conflict of interest” comes to mind (rightly or wrongly).

        When it comes to the money made from the USWNT–they have for to do better during their next CBA. A lot better…

    • The Iron Shin Guard

      Yeah you tell him, the NWSL has caught the imagination of the nation! People are flocking to YouTube to watch those matches!

  • Cynthia/s a Simpleton

    When is MLS going to release a statement about that embarrassing field my soft blue team plays on?

    • Larry\’s a Simpleton

      you mean the stadium that gets over 27000 per game? they dont have to say anything. the numbers speak for themselves.

      now when are the f.cosmos going to release a statement about the empty lacrosse stadium they play in. whats next? cut the seating sections in half again? charge $3.00 per ticket? roll out peles corpse for more matches? inquiring minds want to know!

      f.cosmos fanboys are so so jealous of new yorks ONLY home town team! must really suck to realize their heads are just as empty as their stadium. roflmao

      #INDEPENDENTSOCCERTEAMSAREFAILURES!

      • What Larry Really Means

        I have no friends so I like to make believe that all the people v attending NYCFC games are my friends. It makes me feel less desperately lonely and upset over my lack of social skills and extraordinary girth.


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