Hurricane Florence has devastated the state of North Carolina. While that’s more important than a soccer game, North Carolina Courage players still have a right to be mad.
EDITORIAL (Sept. 17, 2018) — Hurricane Florence is tearing away and devastating the state of North Carolina.
So far, 17 lives have been lost due to the weather disaster. Clearly, that’s the worst part of the storm. The homes that have been destroyed will be rebuilt, but memories are lost. However, the storm has affected the sports world as well.
Due to the harsh conditions, the North Carolina Courage were not able to host their semifinal match against the Chicago Red Stars. North Carolina, a team that dominated the NWSL the entire season, had to give up hosting a crucial match at WakeMed Soccer Park.
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Now, the Courage and Red Stars are meeting up at Providence Park, home of the Portland Thorns FC. Providence Park is also home to the NWSL Championship match — a match that the Thorns already punched a ticket for with victory over the Seattle Reign FC.
North Carolina battled for hosting rights.
Of course, the team, the league and nobody on the coaching staff could have predicted that Hurricane Florence would wreak havoc. All over social media, critics against the Courage are insisting that the move from WakeMed to Providence Park shouldn’t even be discussed, due to the damage and tragedy caused.
To reiterate, the devastation and lives lost ARE more important than some soccer game.
However, the North Carolina Courage still have a right to be disappointed and upset. Surely, the players are concerned with the devastation and destruction, already setting up funds and planning charity work to assist with the cleanup and post-hurricane aftermath.
North Carolina took this season and completely ran away with it. While the Chicago Red Stars had to wait until the last weekend of action to find out if the club made it to another postseason, North Carolina clinched with a month left to spare. The Courage finished the NWSL season with a staggering 57 points — only losing one match.
That’s an outstanding accomplishment. No matter what — if North Carolina loses against Chicago or manages to fall for the second year in a row to Portland — this is the best NWSL team that we have seen in the modern NWSL era.
After losing McCall Zerboni to injury, North Carolina lost its home-field advantage. This is a team that, despite what the 17-1-6 record holds, has battled plenty of adversity. Many fans were just waiting for that moment when North Carolina would lose and continue the trend.
That never happened.
If any team deserved to win the NWSL Championship, its North Carolina. There was never a moment when the Courage weren’t consistent this season. It’s hard to believe that a team that holds the No. 1 position in the NWSL is having to play their semifinal match in a stadium on the other side of the country.
Florence, it’s not that your timing was way off — you should have just never happened.
Should the North Carolina Courage reign victorious, it would bring a lot of hope and joy to a state that is experiencing heartbreak, devastation and horrific, uncontrollable circumstances.
Yes, the hurricane’s attention should be focused on the families trying to find shelter and a safe place to stay. It should remember the 17 lives lost.
However, don’t blame North Carolina Courage players for being a bit irked that a completely random weather tragedy struck their home state. They have a right to be a little upset about playing their semifinal on enemy territory.