There might not be an easier in sports to play for than the Flash.
They’ve missed the playoffs two straight seasons after four straight finals appearances and three titles.
Is there any pressure to end that streak?
“I don’t think there’s any pressure at all on the group, to be honest with you,” Head Coach Paul Riley said. “I took all the pressure off them the beginning of the season. There’s no expectation.”
The Flash will play their home opener on Friday after splitting a pair of road games.
Western NY opened with a surprising win over the two-time champs from Kansas City and maybe got a bit too high on themselves before a lackluster loss to Chicago.
It’s a young team. Riley jokes only two players are old enough to rent cars. They don’t have anyone from the last Flash team to make one of those finals… only three seasons ago.
“The great thing about the young ones is that they’re fearless,” Riley said. “They listen. They take almost everything you say too literal onto the field. They’re a very coachable group.”
Most NWSL experts give the Flash little chance to break their postseason “drought”, but that’s fine with them.
“I think every person said we’re finishing 8th, 9th or 10th,” Riley said. “I’ve told the players that. I’ve said, ‘Nobody knows who you are. Nobody cares who you are. Nobody’s talking about us’. The longer they don’t talk about us, the better for us.”
“We have nothing to lose,” 23 year-old team leader Samantha Mewis said. “No one thinks we’re going to do well. It is freeing in a way, but it’s also.. we’re upset about it and we want to prove people wrong. We want to prove to ourselves that we can do it.”
The home portion of that proving begins Friday night at 7pm against the Washington Spirit.