Western New York Flash
|Full name||Western New York Flash Football Club|
|Stadium||Sahlen's Stadium, Rochester, NY
|League||National Women's Soccer League|
The team was founded in 2008 as the Buffalo Flash, playing in the USL W-League. For the 2011 season, the team became the Western New York Flash and joined Women's Professional Soccer. In 2012, the team was a member of Women's Premier Soccer League Elite. While participating in three different leagues over the last three seasons, WNYF have become league champions in each of them (2010, 2011 and 2012).
The franchise is owned by the Sahlen family, who run a meat packing company in Buffalo. Joe Sahlen is the owner. His daughter, Alex Sahlen, is the team President. Former New Zealand international Aaran Lines, Alex Sahlen's husband, is the head coach.
In 2009, Buffalo Flash made its debut in the Great Lakes (formerly Northern) Division of the Central Conference, lining up against teams from Hamilton, Laval, London, Ottawa, Quebec City, Rochester and Toronto. It finished second, with a regular season record of 9-2-3 from their 14 matches, undefeated in their seven games on the road, and with 40 goals scored, and 10 conceded. In the post-season playoffs, the Flash reached the Central Conference semi-final, to end their inaugural season with a 10-3-3 record. They were beaten 3-0 by FC Indiana, the only other full-time professional outfit in the league.
The 2009 team roster included players from six countries across four continents. There were four local players from Western NY, various US players from numerous states (including two with USA U-20 National Team experience), players from the full Italian National Team, Portuguese National Team, South African National Team, and also from Spain and Japan. To aid team bonding, the squad were housed in the same apartment complex.
Before the 2010 season Buffalo Flash signed English trio Gemma Davison, Eartha Pond and Ann-Marie Heatherson. Mele French and Kelly Parker arrived from German club SC Freiburg. Kimberly Brandão returned despite attending a training camp with Sky Blue FC, but Erika Sutton left for the Boston Breakers and Sarah Wagenfuhr joined St. Louis Athletica.
In 2010 Buffalo Flash competed in the Midwest Division of the W-League, finishing the regular season 14-0-2 against Chicago Red Eleven, Cleveland Internationals, Kalamazoo Outrage and London Gryphons. Buffalo Flash won the W-League Championship by defeating the Vancouver Whitecaps 3-1 at Harry Welch Stadium in Santa Clarita, California. They finished the season undefeated, while Kelly Parker was named W-League MVP.
The team made plans to move to Women's Professional Soccer for the 2011 season. In September 2010, team president Alex Sahlen and coach Aaran Lines—both of whom have played for Rochester-based soccer teams—indicated that the team was looking at playing up to half of its WPS home games at Rochester's Marina Auto Stadium (now Sahlen's Stadium). On September 24, WPS officially confirmed that the new team would indeed join the league. The name of the WPS team was announced as the Western New York Flash on December 1, 2010. The September announcement confirmed that the team would play half its home games at Marina Auto Stadium. The remaining games were originally intended to be played at Niagara Field, a smaller facility on the campus of Niagara University in Lewiston that was set to be expanded to 4,000 for the 2011 WPS season. The league also attempted to negotiate a deal with All-High Stadium in Buffalo, although the owners of the field, Buffalo Public Schools, never responded. However, the December announcement indicated that the entire 2011 home schedule would be in Rochester.
With a 13-2-3 regular season record, the Flash earned the regular season title and the right to host the WPS Championship presented by Citi. On August 27, 2011, Western New York Flash capped their inaugural season in WPS by capturing the 2011 WPS Championship title 1-1 (5-4) in a penalty kick shootout in front of the largest championship crowd in league history.
When it was announced that WPS had suspended its 2012 season, the Flash announced their plans to continue playing and shortly thereafter joined the new Women's Premier Soccer League Elite. During the 2012 playoffs, the Flash won the championship in penalty kicks.
For the upcoming 2013 season, the team will compete in the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL), a league sponsored by the national soccer federations of the United States Soccer Federation (USSF), the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) and the Mexican Football Federation (FMF).
In 2009 the team played their home games at Orchard Park High School Field, in Orchard Park, New York, 15 miles south-east of downtown Buffalo, NY, and trained daily at the nearby Sahlen's Sports Park in Elma, NY. In 2010 the team played home games at the Demske Sports Complex at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York.
The stadium has a seating capacity of 13,768. The stadium's highest attendance record was set on July 20, 2011 at 15,404 during a match between the Flash and magicJack (led by player-coach and Rochester native, Abby Wambach) after the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup. The game was also the largest single-game crowd in WPS history. 
Colours and badge 
The Flash's home colors are red and away colors are black.
Current roster 
Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Notable former players 
- Pamela Conti
- Jessica O'Rourke
- Alex Morgan
- Erika Sutton
- Rosie Tantillo
- Sarah Wagenfuhr
- Whitney Engen
- Caroline Seger
- Christine Sinclair
- Ashlyn Harris
- Ali Riley
- Gemma Davison
|2009||USL W-League||2nd, Great Lakes Division||Central Conference semi-final|
|2010||USL W-League||1st, Midwest Division||USL W-League Champions|
|2012||WPSL Elite||2nd||WPSL Elite Champions|
- "Buffalo Flash join W-League in 2009". USLsoccer.com. Retrieved 2010-05-25.
- DiVeronica, Jeff (September 16, 2010). "Women's soccer on horizon". Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, New York). Gannett Company. p. 1D. Archived from the original on September 16, 2010. Retrieved September 16, 2010.
- "Watkins Glen title sponsor names grand marshals". motorsport.com. Retrieved 2010-05-25.
- Sarah Delmonte. "Flash Forward: Soccer In Buffalo". Sports & Leisure Magazine. Retrieved 2010-05-25.
- "Buffalo fields English flair in 2010". USLsoccer.com. Retrieved 2010-05-25.
- "Buffalo Sign 2 From Sky Blue". USLsoccer.com. Retrieved 2010-05-25.
- "Sarah Wagenfuhr". Women's Professional Soccer. Retrieved 2010-05-25.
- "Buffalo Flash Wins USL W-League Women's Soccer Championship". Hometime Station AM 1220. 2010-08-02. Retrieved 2010-09-20.
- "Western New York Franchise Set to Join WPS as Eighth Team" (Press release). Women's Professional Soccer. September 24, 2010. Retrieved September 24, 2010.
- "Western New York WPS Franchise unveils team name" (Press release). Western New York Flash. December 1, 2010. Retrieved December 2, 2010.
- Moritz, Amy (September 23, 2010). "Buffalo slated to receive WPS team". The Buffalo News. Retrieved September 24, 2010.
- womensprosoccer.com; Western New York Flash acquire Marta; January 25, 2011
- womensprosoccer.com; Flash Win WPS Championship ; August 28, 2011
- "WNY Flash Crowned WPSL Elite Champs". Western New York Flash. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
- "U.S. Soccer Unveils Name And Logo Of New Women’s Soccer League" (Press release). Western New York Flash/U.S. Soccer. December 18, 2012. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
- "Sahlen acquires 10 year naming rights to Rochester stadium". Equalizer Soccer. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
- "A record-setting 15,404 people saw Western New York Flash beat magicJack 3-1 at Sahlen's Stadium in Rochester, NY on Wednesday 20th July 2011.". Women's Soccer United. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
Media related to Western New York Flash at Wikimedia Commons
- The Official Western New York Flash website
- Sahlen's Buffalo Flash join W-League in 2009
- Sahlen's Sports Park