It’s like the World Cup, but with higher stakes.

As much as I have disliked Athletica, I am rather connected to the team. My time in St. Louis unintentionally mirrored Athletica’s, including stadium/apartment moves and quick (but foretold) departure. We were both relatively successful while we lasted, had our ups and downs, and never really had a chance to settle in. Now we’re in free-agency, and there is a pretty good chance of unemployment for the summer. Funny how that works.

A friend of mine, a fellow FC Gold Pride fan, was recently accepted by graduate programs in both St. Louis and Philadelphia. For a variety of reasons, she decided on the Philly school (more prestigious and better for networking, in my opinion) and will be making that move this fall.

When Athletica was shut down yesterday, I eventually said to myself, “Glad I moved. Got out of there just in time.” Later it occurred to me that she and I both got lucky, as we both will have dodged the bullet of being in the St. Louis area without a pro soccer team, with little decent WPSL or W-League presence, and far from any NCAA teams that we support.

We have talked a lot in the past couple of months about attending soccer games together this fall and next summer. Yesterday, we quickly agreed that we need to be Philadelphia Independence season ticket holders next summer. It’s not an emotional decision; it might have happened anyway. Even knowing that I won’t be able to make every home game next summer, I want to do my part in the numbers game.

I don’t know if Philadelphia is one of the teams rumored to be in trouble, and quite frankly, I don’t want to know. I think that, as fans, we need to play defensively. We should have been playing defensively all along, but we got lazy, sloppy, and beat in LA and St. Louis. So it’s time to man up or sub out. I shelled out probably more than I could afford for the WPS (and a couple W-League games) last year. I will very likely do the same this summer, and I fully intend to do the same next summer. Even if I can’t put my butt in the seat, the WPS can have my money, and I’ll do my best to get the ticket to someone who can be there.

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