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Gotta go with the flow: Nell Enriquez looks back on a wacky weekend in Philadelphia

With four games under its belt the 2011 WPS season is well on its way. However, there should have been five games played. As most of you know the much awaited game between Philadelphia Independence and magicJack was postponed due to weather and Widener University curfew policy. I made the trip to Chester, Penn. to cover the match and with hopes to be there first hand to see the unveiling of the magicJack kits and how the team works. But, let’s start at the beginning.

I arrived on Friday and attended a pregame VIP Reception held by the Philadelphia Independence. It was a two hour meet and greet of sorts where the players and staff had a chance to bring in the home opener, as well as a chance to thank the sponsors and host families.

I can’t go without saying what a lasting impression the Philadelphia Independence have left on me in terms of what a well oiled machine it is. The event was put on by its staff and everyone in attendance was excited to be there. The players spent those two hours chatting with sponsors, taking pictures with young fans, signing autographs and chatting up their hopes and wants for the season.

Owner/CEO David Halstead and General Manager Louise Waxler took a few moments during the event to thank their staff for their hard work in making this event successful and working together to have a successful season. They are looking to close in on some unfinished business this time around.

As I walked out of United Sports, where the Independence offices are located and where the team practices, I couldn’t help but be excited not only for the game the next day but also for the entire season. I’m sure you WPS fans know what I’m talking about.

The next day started off rather gloomy but I wouldn’t have guessed the intense storms that were yet to come. As kick off closed in I headed towards Widener University. I found myself digging in my trunk to find rain gear as the plan was to take photographs during the match. When I reached the press box it slowly dawned on me this was not going to be a typical evening. The rain couldn’t have come down any faster and lighting and thunder made appearances throughout the night. We were informed of delays as we all watched the storm continue. About an hour before the scheduled kick off the Philadelphia Independence took the field for warm-ups and about ten minutes later the elusive magicJack team did the same.

You could hear the silent excitement amongst the few fans as the players took the field. As I made my way to the far side of the field I noticed that the magicJack players were all wearing their training gear, zippers on jackets as high as they could go. No way to see the kits. I was on the field as long as warm ups lasted and finally a few players took their jackets off only to reveal the white Puma training jerseys. Disappointment.

It must be noted that as the Philadelphia Independence worked on warms-ups set up by the coaches, while magicJack players seemed to take it upon themselves to decide what to work on prior to the match. Christie Rampone seemed to take a lead role in guiding the players along with Shannon Boxx. Brianna Scurry made a brief appearance to speak with a few of the players. So for now the magicJack team remains still a mystery.

No date has been set for the postponed game.

Check out these photos from warm-ups and the game that never happened:

Check out more of Nell Enriquez’s photography.


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