It was, by most accounts, a pretty amazing season. A first-year team with a first-year supporters group in a first-year league. We fielded a team, raised what might be the largest tifo ever produced for a women’s club team, and then we raised a trophy.
It wasn’t the smoothest ride for any of us, but we made it. And I wouldn’t trade a minute of it for anything.
And here we are in the offseason and the first changes are being made to the roster. People are upset and disappointed and frustrated just days after our team brought home a championship.
It’s not easy to let players go. We learn to love them, they become a part of our lives, and then the time comes when we need to let them go. Whether by their choice or by the choice of the club, it’s part of the business of soccer.
I was in the attic of a warehouse-y building down by the train station on an epically cold January morning when a coworker emailed me about Kenny Cooper.
And I was in a Safeway parking lot in NE Portland when my phone blew up with the news about Eric Alexander.
Stevie Smith took to Twitter to announce his departure.
And, in the most painful way possible, the dismissal of Kris Boyd went on for months. Months of rumors and conjecture and heartburn and, for me at least, more than a few tears.
I’m as surprised as anyone about the announcement of Nikki Marshall’s departure. As many have said, the honeymoon is over. Now comes the hard part.
Folks are posting on the Thorns FC Facebook page, DEMANDING to know the reasons behind the decision to waive Nikki. One guy is threatening to cheer for FCKC if the Thorns “keep it up” though I’m not sure which “it” he’s referring to. One particularly eloquent person tweeted to the Thorns with this gem,”I’m done with your shit.”
Oh, honey. Welcome to sports as business.
We don’t know the reason Nikki was cut. Chances are we won’t ever know the full story. Demanding it from the front office via Facebook and Twitter are going to get you nowhere. And – this might seem harsh – when it comes right down to it, it’s none of our business.
But don’t give up now. Don’t be done with their shit. And, despite the abundance of good barbecue, don’t wander off to Kansas City. This is where you graduate from fan to supporter.
Chin up. I have no doubt that more changes are coming. Silly season is upon us.