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How Western New York Flash is tied to U.S. women's soccer team

The U.S. Women’s National Team at the World Cup has some Western New York flair, or should we say Flash.

Seven players on the 23-woman roster spent at least some portion of their pro careers with the Western New York Flash before the team was sold to the owners of North Carolina FC and moved in 2017.

The group includes Team USA captain and two-time FIFA Player of the Year Carli Lloyd and star Alex Morgan, along with Abby Dahlkemper, Adrianna Franch, Ashlyn Harris, Sam Mewis and Jessica McDonald.

The U.S. team opens play Tuesday at 3 p.m. against Thailand in a Group F opening match.

Morgan was the first overall pick by the Flash in the 2011 Women’s Professional Soccer draft and she scored four goals in 14 games as the team won the championship.

Lloyd, who has been on the national team since 2005, spent two seasons with the Flash in 2013 and ’14 after being allocated to the team by the league. In all, she played in 34 games and had 16 goals. Her 10 goals in 2013 were third in the league and she scored twice to help push the Flash to the title game against the Portland Thorns before a 2-0 loss.

She had eight goals in 2014 as the Flash missed the playoffs. She was then traded during World Cup qualifying to Houston, an acrimonious departure that led Lloyd to rip the organization for disrespecting her. Lloyd is currently with Sky Blue FC.

Harris played 18 games for the Flash in its championship season in Women’s Professional Soccer in 2011. Harris was in goal and blocked a shot in penalty kicks to secure the title. Harris spent part of three seasons with the Washington Spirit and was chosen by the Orlando Pride in the 2016 expansion draft.

Franch was the sixth pick in the 2013 draft in the newly formed Women’s Professional Soccer League, the first goalkeeper selected, and appeared in 22 games. She missed the 2014 season because of a torn knee ligament and then signed in Norway for the 2015 season.

Dahlkemper was selected third overall by the Flash in the NWSL draft in 2015 and played on the Flash’s title team in 2016. She currently plays for the North Carolina Courage.

Mewis was chosen fourth in the 2015 draft and had four goals and four assists in 20 games. The following season, she helped the Flash win the title, scoring in both the league semifinal and championship game. She currently played for the North Carolina Courage.

McDonald had 10 goals and seven assists — both third in the league — in 20 games with the Flash in 2016 after being acquired in a trade from Houston. She remains with North Carolina.

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