The Western New York Flash have played anything like an expansion team in the early part of Women's Professional Soccer's third season.
The Independence were the latest to feel the brunt of the best team in the league with the best player in the world.
After jumping to an early 1-0 lead, the Independence saw the Flash answer convincingly Sunday in a 2-1 win before a crowd 3,456 at Widener University.
The Flash are 6-0-1, while the Independence, competing in their second season, are 2-2-2.
"We didn't create enough, work off ball enough and do little things going forward that you need to do, and they deserved to win," Independence coach Paul Riley said.
This marked the last game before WPS teams begin losing players to full-fledged training for the World Cup in Germany. The U.S. team opens June 28 against North Korea.
The Independence will lose four players to the U.S. national team - midfielders Megan Rapinoe and Lori Lindsey, forward Amy Rodriguez, and keeper Nicole Barnhart.
The Flash's biggest loss will be Marta, the five-time FIFA player of the year from Brazil, who at 25 years old seems to have plenty of years of world dominance remaining.
Marta led since-disbanded Gold Pride of northern California to the WPS title last year, beating the Independence, 4-0 in the championship.
The Independence jumped to a 1-0 lead against the Flash in the ninth minute when Rapinoe, from an extreme right angle just outside the box, sent a shot inside the far post.
That goal seemed to wake up the Flash, who tied it in the 14th minute when Becky Edwards headed in a rebound from close range.
McCall Zerboni set up the Flash's second goal when she was taken down inside the box by Nikki Krzysik. Marta converted the penalty kick in the 21st minute for her third goal of the season.
The Flash had clearly taken control of the game.
Despite Marta's play, Riley said that former Independence midfielder Caroline Seger was the best player on the field for the Flash.
"It was tough mentally playing them because I have a lot of friends on this team," Seger said.
Seger also served as a translator for Marta, who was impressed with the Independence.
"They are a good team, play really fast and work hard," Marta said.
Barnhart kept the Independence in the game with a kick save on WPS scoring leader Christine Sinclair in the 50th minute and a sliding save on a charging Ali Riley in the 76th minute.
The Independence's best second-half chance came when Tasha Kai just missed getting to a cross in front of the goal in the 65th minute.
Kai, who entered the game in the 46th minute, and Lindsey, who was inserted in the 57th minute, gave the Independence needed energy, but not enough to overtake the league's top team.