NWSL Gets Abby Wambach-Alex Morgan Matchup For Inaugural Championship Game
Officials from the National Women's Soccer League "would never admit it in public, but they couldn't ask for a better ending to the league's inaugural season" with the Portland Thorns playing the Western New York Flash in the title game on Sunday, according to Geoffrey Arnold of the Portland OREGONIAN. The game will "feature the league's two most popular players" -- Thorns F Alex Morgan and Flash F Abby Wambach." NWSL Exec Dir Cheryl Bailey said, "A lot of those fans will come out to see both teams because of various connections they have and because of the names we're bringing into town." Arnold wrote a championship "loaded with high-profile stars is what the league need[s] to close an inaugural that can be considered a modest success, but there are areas in need of improvement." There were "sold out crowds at some stadiums and sparse crowds at other games" this season. Flash Communications Manager Jackie Maynard said that the title game "wasn't a sell out as of Wednesday evening." She added, "We're expecting to have at least 10,000. With a good walk-up, we could get a sellout." The league finished with an average of 4,270 during the regular season, and clubs such as the Chicago Red Stars and Sky Blue FC "struggled at the gate." Bailey: "While the numbers on paper might not look like they're exceedingly high, the percentages of what they sold in the stadium was. Just to use the raw numbers is something we're not going to look at. We're going to certainly look at the percentages of how they've been able to fill their stadiums and what those numbers might look like" (Portland OREGONIAN, 8/29).