Memories on the WPS anniversary.

Down on the Fan Corner, they are asking What was your favorite memory from the first year? Since responses seem to be a series of memories, I feel as though I should have an answer to that. Maybe make a list, in no particular order.

  1. Saint Louis drafting Kerri Hanks. I remember the morning of the draft. It was freezing in StL, but I made coffee and set up in the living room to live blog the draft for a friend. My local team drafting one of my favorite players in the draft made me happy for weeks… right up until I realized I didn’t like the local team. Then they traded her and I was happy again.
  2. My first WPS game: Saint Louis vs. Chicago at Korte Stadium in Edwardsville. I had just gotten in from a funeral in Indianapolis an hour before. (That’s a four hour drive, if you’re not familiar.) I sat with the Chicago contingent for the first half, but I am not a tall person and couldn’t see the game well from the stands, so I went down to the track. At the end of the game, Ella Masar’s family asked me to take a picture for them.
  3. My second WPS game: Saint Louis vs. FC Gold Pride, again in Edwardsville. I had just spent the morning packing my entire apartment into my car. I could have left the Midwest days before, really, but I wanted to see this game. I wanted to finally see Tiffany Weimer in person, but I think this was start of the slump that would take over her season. I didn’t care that she didn’t have her best game, though. I had postponed an 800+ mile drive until 10 p.m. for a chance to see her and the Bay, just in case I didn’t get to see them again that summer. And then I drove straight home–to the East Coast.It was worth it. Thank you, FCGP and Weimer.
  4. My first WPS game with friends: FC Gold Pride vs. Washington at the end of May. I don’t know what I can even say about this. This was a day full of fun, even though my team lost. Again, one of the best parts came after the game, when talking to Sinclair about the upcoming Canada-US games. Sorry you didn’t nail your hundredth in one of those, Sinc. I was rooting for you.
  5. The generosity of an unknown fan at my first Sky Blue FC game. Fourth of July. Thanks for the ticket, man.
  6. Val Henderson vs. Allison Whitworth. That was an amazing game for Whitworth.
  7. Taking one of my friends to her first WPS game. Another FCGP game, this time at SBFC.
  8. Nicci Wright suiting up for Washington when they didn’t have any keepers left. Hilarious and awesome. I wish I had been there.
  9. My last WPS game of the season: Sky Blue FC at Washington. A trio of us had gone to the W-League final the night before (Go Pali!) We sat behind the Sky Blue bench, which was a source of constant entertainment, and we got to chat with Cori Alexander about the upcoming season for the Pilots.
  10. Sky Blue FC beating Saint Louis. I wasn’t there for this game, but I made sure to watch it, and I wasn’t disappointed. Dowling scored, Hanks started, and Branam had a monster game.

So, no, the inaugural and final matches meant nothing to me. I didn’t care much about the All-Star game. But I have great memories of the summer of 2009, of games I enjoyed with friends and by myself. I put a lot of driving time into seeing these teams, especially FCGP, which is by no means a local team for me at any time of year. They are my favorites, though. These are my favorites.

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