Women's Soccer

Titans Bastard

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There's a USWNT thread, but I think it's worthwhile to have a general women's soccer thread for other issues.

Some bad news on a couple of fronts:


The FA have been pilloried in WoSo circles for hiring Phil Neville, who has very little managerial experience, as manager of England's NT. He's already deleted his Twitter account because there were so many sexist tweets in his history and he's been busy giving tone-deaf interviews about how this is such a great opportunity for him to develop as a manager.

https://inews.co.uk/sport/football/football-opinion/phil-neville-sexist-tweet-england-womens-coach/
 

swiftaw

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Yeah, the Phil Neville thing is so ridiculous it belies belief. Given the reason why the last manager was fired you would think that the FA would want to make sure that decision on the new manager was completely beyond reproach, so what do they do, hire a man who has made multiple sexist comments on social media and who has never managed any team ever. Way to go FA.
 

SoxFanInCali

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Yeah, from a sporting perspective it makes no sense, as England is a legit contender to win the World Cup. Adding in that he's replacing a guy fired for making racist comments and having inappropriate relations with players, and it's laughable. It sounds like their top few choices all turned down the job, so I guess they felt they might as well go for a name people have heard of, but it's still stupid.
 

Spacemans Bong

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Women's soccer isn't taken seriously in England, as you can tell. I was at a Labour Party conference that had a discussion on sport in society with a women's soccer journalist and some of the stuff she was talking about in terms of how much of an afterthought it was even by clubs that run top women's sides (eg Everton, Bristol City) was depressing. Even at Arsenal, where the Ladies' side was famously the only side winning anything for a decade, they're stuck in a semi-pro ground on the ass end of London. I know a lot of people, myself included, who would go to their games if it wasn't a 2 hour round trip from my house. Personally, I think they should play at the Emirates.

As SFIC noted, England's women's team is actually really good - far better than their male equivalent - and has occasionally attracted large mainstream support as women's soccer has become more popular. Their run to the semis in 2015 was noticed and broadcast live on the BBC. But then you've got the FA treating them like a joke.

For all the smug denunciations of America for Bush or Trump, the British Isles (I'm including Wales/Scotland/the Irelands in this) have a laughably retrograde attitude to women's sports. Northern and Western Europe are quite a bit better on this front.

As an aside, John Herdman going from Canada's women to their men seems to have rubbed some noses the wrong way, but I don't know a lot about the situation other than he did a good job with the women.
 

Spacemans Bong

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To buttress my point

Prosecco Soccer, a brilliant new series of social football sessions for women, is coming to Whitehaven following incredible success in its pilot in Egremont.

On Friday 1st September 2017 from 7.00pm, females over the age of 18 will be able to enjoy a fun, informal hour-long football session at Whitehaven Amateurs Football Club, before enjoying a glass of Prosecco and a buffet to socialise with fellow players.
 

Mighty Joe Young

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Women's soccer isn't taken seriously in England, as you can tell. I was at a Labour Party conference that had a discussion on sport in society with a women's soccer journalist and some of the stuff she was talking about in terms of how much of an afterthought it was even by clubs that run top women's sides (eg Everton, Bristol City) was depressing. Even at Arsenal, where the Ladies' side was famously the only side winning anything for a decade, they're stuck in a semi-pro ground on the ass end of London. I know a lot of people, myself included, who would go to their games if it wasn't a 2 hour round trip from my house. Personally, I think they should play at the Emirates.

As SFIC noted, England's women's team is actually really good - far better than their male equivalent - and has occasionally attracted large mainstream support as women's soccer has become more popular. Their run to the semis in 2015 was noticed and broadcast live on the BBC. But then you've got the FA treating them like a joke.

For all the smug denunciations of America for Bush or Trump, the British Isles (I'm including Wales/Scotland/the Irelands in this) have a laughably retrograde attitude to women's sports. Northern and Western Europe are quite a bit better on this front.

As an aside, John Herdman going from Canada's women to their men seems to have rubbed some noses the wrong way, but I don't know a lot about the situation other than he did a good job with the women.
Phil Neville being named as the next Head Coach of the England squad has left a few noses out of joint as well ..

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/jan/26/phil-neville-fa-england-women-vera-pauw-carolina-morace

What's more Neville has been criticized for a few misogynist tweets in his past leading to charges the FA did not do enough due diligence.
 
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Ale Xander

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Damn, that sucks. Costs too high or demand too low? It also seemed like they got a raw deal scheduling-wise, too often v. Red Sox games. Also probably hurt them that the stadium is a pain to get to with traffic/parking. Could have done better with a smaller, suburban, stadium that catered to groups better (elementary school girls) perhaps but that doesn't really currently exist in the area.
 

Titans Bastard

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Mexico won its first CONCACAF U20 women's title, beating the US on penalties.
 

Schnerres

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German national team in huge trouble (biggest ever for them?).
They won six consecutive Euros. Then they won the gold medal in Rio. Then coach Silvia Neid stepped down and Steffi Jones became coach (no previous coach experience; she was the organizing face of the WC2011 and assistant coach for Neid for a year).
Germany lost in the Euro 17 quarterfinal.
Germany lost 2-3 to Iceland in the WC qualification (they won each match in the Euro qualification without conceding a single goal).
Germany finished dead last in the She believes Cup behind USA, England, France, three top national teams. Before that tournament, Jones said that the test phase ended and now it´s up to them to show some results.

The DFB stepped up and fired her. They hired former striker and german U-coach Horst Hrubesch as a bridge guy. He is old and experienced. He´s well-liked and has shown a feeling for the right people in the right situation. Let´s see where this will end.
 

steeplechase3k

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NWSL Final is tomorrow. North Carolina Courage vs Portland Thorns.

The courage are the #1 seed, but the final is at Portland as a Neutral (ok, picked ahead of time) site. The stadium should be sold out at 21,444.

A good preview is here:
https://lifehacker.com/tired-of-men-watch-this-weekends-nwsl-final-1829210199

The match will be live on Lifetime Network at 4:30pm Eastern time (1:30pm local)
 

Ale Xander

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NWSL Final is tomorrow. North Carolina Courage vs Portland Thorns.

The courage are the #1 seed, but the final is at Portland as a Neutral (ok, picked ahead of time) site. The stadium should be sold out at 21,444.

A good preview is here:
https://lifehacker.com/tired-of-men-watch-this-weekends-nwsl-final-1829210199

The match will be live on Lifetime Network at 4:30pm Eastern time (1:30pm local)
Thanks for the heads-up. Big fan of Tobin Heath. Not a fan of Hinkle. Go Thorns!
 

InstaFace

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Sky Blue FC is garnering more attention for their off-the-field troubles.

https://deadspin.com/the-nwsls-sky-blue-fc-is-falling-apart-on-the-field-an-1828043155
I missed this when you first posted it, but man, she might be a kook and an abuser but Hope Solo is sharp and takes no bullshit:

Solo agrees. “I know a lot of players power through the conditions because they have such a love for the game and are happy to be living out their dreams as professionals,” she said. “But we can’t settle. We have to fight for some basic professional standards: a four-star hotel, a great field, clean showers and pumped-up balls—these things are all a must. The ‘grateful to be here’ mentality in 2018 needs to stop, and its persistence among female players is why things aren’t getting better at a more immediate pace.”
other than "also, lack of team revenue" as a reason, she's still right. It's a bit like baseball pre-players association and free agency.
 

SoxFanInCali

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The 2019 Women's World Cup Final will be July 7th, 2019. That also happens to be the day of the CONCACAF Gold Cup Final and the Copa America Final.

Seems like FIFA could have arranged that better so that the biggest game in women's football isn't overshadowed in an entire hemisphere by other games.
 

Titans Bastard

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France Football created a Ballon d'Or category for women for the first time. And this happened:

 

Titans Bastard

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Too soon to know if this is good news or bad news for the NWSL:

 

DJnVa

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13 year old is going pro.

Olivia Moultrie is such a talented soccer player that this year she not only competed in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, the nation’s highest level of youth soccer, but she was also the first girl to ever play for a boys team.

Two years ago she accepted a scholarship offer from college powerhouse North Carolina. That came not long after she began being homeschooled to allow for additional time to focus on soccer, including trips to train in the youth academies of prestigious European clubs.
 

SoxFanInCali

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I was about to say that the SheBelieves Cup is back, with the US about to take on England on Fox. Turns out this is the second game for the US, having tied Japan 2-2 on Wednesday.

It's a little over 3 months until the World Cup kicks off in France, so this should be a good look at where they are in their preparations for the tourney.
 

steeplechase3k

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I was about to say that the SheBelieves Cup is back, with the US about to take on England on Fox. Turns out this is the second game for the US, having tied Japan 2-2 on Wednesday.

It's a little over 3 months until the World Cup kicks off in France, so this should be a good look at where they are in their preparations for the tourney.
USA vs England highlights:


CB Abby Dahlkemper and GK Adrianna Franch were new names to me, as was (CB?) Tierna Davidson who I guess was a fast-rising college star. They were all wearing novelty names on the backs of their jerseys so it was hard to tell who was who at times (for those of us who haven't memorized uniform numbers).

Dunno where Alyssa Naeher is in the GK hierarchy if someone else is starting vs England. I just think she wouldn't have made the mistake leading to the first goal (and FWIW, Hope Solo probably saves the second, even today).

Looked like an action-packed match. Rapinoe continues showing that she might be the single most talented woman on the team. That video is worth watching just for her wonder-strike at 33'. Pugh and Dunn didn't appear to do much. Morgan had some great runs but lacked her usual finishing touch. And one of the England defenders appeared to attempt a Luis Suarez (handball, not ear-bite) on the second US goal, which brought a real grin from me - go on, try and tell me these ladies care less about this cup than about other top international competitions if they're willing to try that.

Final game of the Cup vs Brazil tomorrow (Tues) at 8pm ET. USA needs a result to finish not-last, and needs a 3-goal win plus a Japan-England draw to come away with a surprise title. Otherwise, winner of the undercard (5:15pm ET start) wins the cup.
 

Titans Bastard

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Naeher is the starter, but she was out with a small shoulder injury. People have been calling for Franch to get a shot for a long time, though she never once received a cap until now. From the sound of it, she did not capitalize.

The CB depth chart has undergone some changes since Ertz has been moved to DM. Dahlkemper and Davidson are both core players at this point, alone with old warhorse Becky Sauerbrunn.
 

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England wins their match vs Japan decisively, and thus the cup.

USA leading Brazil 1-0 right now at 56'. Tobin Heath has been a menace.
 

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This probably deserves to go over to the USWNT thread, but while we're here...

I'm no labor-relations expert (hi @Myt1 !), but there are few bigger proponents of women's pro sports on this board, and this action has always seemed to me to be really thin gruel. The ladies collectively bargained, for a higher floor (guaranteed salaries as employees) rather than a higher ceiling (as the men did with a pay-per-game contractor compensation model). They cite "the women made $20M more for the federation in 2015", but obviously 2015 was a women's world cup year, and the USSF later said that it was the only year in history where the women's team out-earned the men's. How did that compare in 2014, when the men were in the world cup? Or over any 4-year cycle that included both a men's and women's world cup appearance?

I am very sympathetic to their complaints about shitty training grounds, coaching and medical staff, second- or third-rate playing venues, travel accommodations, and so on. SF121 last time around said that it's this "Second-class citizen" stuff, and having their noses rubbed in it, that's created the labor problems. The underlying compensation issues are probably secondary to how the general arrangements feel (and how anyone would feel in their position).

We went through this at great length back in 2016, when USSF had to sue the USWNT's union to confirm the existence of a CBA, and a month later when five players sued for wage discrimination (represented by Jeffrey Kessler). SFIC had a good post pointing out much of the above then, and an excellent discussion follows. We then got Carli Lloyd's NYT editorial, we had the USSF firing back with their own numbers, and a federal judge ruled against the five players and validated the no-strike clause of the CBA. And of course, USSF terminating Hope Solo's contract after she talked shit about Sweden in the Olympics.

And right after that, with Solo suspended and not doing the negotiating, the USWNT and USSF agreed on a new CBA, which dramatically improved their own income potential. So I'm really at a loss - why did you agree to a new CBA and say nice things about it when 18 months later you decided to sue them over the terms you agreed to?
 

DJnVa

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Also word today that the FIFA/WWC sold "group tickets" to people, then didn't give them seats together, including some folks that bought just 2 tickets to the same game.

Good job, good effort.
 

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So I didn't realize there's a women's version of the International Champions Cup, and it's basically the only time of year that NWSL clubs play UEFA clubs. Last year the North Carolina Courage beat Olympique Lyonnais in the final (1-0, after a 2-1 win over PSG). This year, with all matches in North Carolina, it's between the Courage, Lyon, Atleti, and Man City. In last night's SFs, the Courage beat City on essentially a walk-off by McDonald, and this Sunday night they'll take on Lyon again in the final (Lyon beat Atleti on a 90+1' header by Renard to win 1-0). The Courage went down 0-1 in the first half and then scored at 84' and 90+2':

View: https://www.facebook.com/ICCWomensTournament/videos/514449599328746/
 

Titans Bastard

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The NWSL has raised its salary cap by about 20% for 2020, allowed teams to sign players to multi-year contracts, allowed teams to pay transfer fees for foreign-based players, lifted the cap on housing & car expenses, and introduced the MLS-ish concept of allocation money which allows teams to pay more than the league max salary (still an extremely modest $50k) for non-American/Canadian NT players.

 

Ale Xander

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ACC Women's tournament starts tomorrow with the quarterfinals at the sites of the better seed. Semis and Final next weekend at Cary. BC didn't even make it this year. Losing their top player to a PSU transfer (Sam Coffey) and two other starters to preseason season ending injuries (Jenna Bike and Kayla Duran), as well as adjusting to a new head coach and his system (Jason Lowe). BC went 1-8-1 in the ACC this year after going 6-3-1 last year.
 

67YAZ

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My close colleague’s daughter just got called up to the Serbian U17 camp. The young woman is incredible. This fall as a 15 year old freshman she led her varsity team to the state championship scoring 4 goals and assisting on another in the final. Oh, and she’s already 5’9” with a wicked free kick that scored from 40yds out this season. I have been shown that video several times.

Her parents are Serbian immigrants, came over in the 90s. I’ve played some with her dad. He’s a burley guy with no mobility due to an old knee injury, but does something brilliant with the ball every time he touches it. No one gets mad when he won’t drop back to defend because he’s a constant source of shots & assists.

Anyway, I’m excited to hear about the Serbian system and if maybe this gets her on the USWNT radar.
 
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Awesome Fossum

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I trust you're right, but what makes you say that? Seems like there are already right-sized stadiums and operations in place, no?

Also, this article reminded me that Louisville's new NWSL team is going to be named Proof Louisville FC.
 

Titans Bastard

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I trust you're right, but what makes you say that? Seems like there are already right-sized stadiums and operations in place, no?

Also, this article reminded me that Louisville's new NWSL team is going to be named Proof Louisville FC.
Competing D1 leagues is Extremely US Soccer, where squabbles over turf make progress difficult. It's awfully hard in these parts to get people pulling in the same direction instead of engaging in internecine warfare. It's been happening for literally 100 years, when the two competing men's pro leagues in the 1920s dragged each other down and set American soccer back 50 years.

And yes, Proof Louisville is truly a terrible name.
 

OCST

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Noteworthy in England's Womens Super League: two derbies draw media attention and good crowds:


Another milestone in women's football was reached on Sunday when a record Super League (WSL) crowd of 38,262 saw Tottenham Hotspur's 2-0 defeat by champions Arsenal at their new stadium but such matches in big grounds are still the exception.
Total attendances on a packed day of top-flight women's games in England was almost 75,000, with 23,500 at Anfield to watch Liverpool lose 1-0 to Everton in the Merseyside derby.

“Defeat was tough to take because we were the better team today,” said the Liverpool manager, Vicky Jepson [Everton's goal was against the run of play on a spill by the keeper of a shot from well outside the box]. “I don’t think they would have scored but for us gifting them a goal. We’ll come back from this, but at least a crowd of 23,000 saw us playing well. That’s the cause for celebration because I’d like to think a lot of those people will be tempted to come and watch us again.”
The Everton chat board I frequent is having a robust discussion about the game, with several having been in attendance and all enjoying that a Toffees side won at Anfield.

All great stuff, and making me wonder again if MLS womens' teams would be the way to go for American women's soccer, to leverage existing marketing, fan loyalties, facilities etc. Of course there is no institutional will to do anything other than engage in petty turf battles, but still.
 

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Guess they want to sell themselves the top NWSL talent at a nice discount.

The existing owners give a pretty convoluted rationale... I'm guessing the expansion of the Reign academy and other investments left them undercapitalized and they needed cash more than anything.
 

Awesome Fossum

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The Women's World Cup could be staged every two years, FIFA president Gianni Infantino said Friday. ...

Infantino said he is keen on a proposal from the French federation to double the frequency of the Women's World Cup because of its "incredible impact for the development of the game" compared to club soccer.

"We need to see what kind of big events we can create," Infantino said. "So we are studying this of course."
 

Vinho Tinto

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FIFA and the IOC has had a weird dance around each other for decades. It looks like FIFA wants to squeeze out the Women's Olympic tournament from having any significance.
 

Ale Xander

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Ando cuts Pugh, Brian, Long and others from Concacaf team


Don't agree with it, especially with carrying only 5 Middies, but let's see how they do. Brian and Pugh are 2 of the most skilled/entertaining players on the team. Not sure if the Concacaf women's ratings register a blip anyway. Hope the 2 of them end up making the Olympic roster
 

SoxFanInCali

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Brian hasn't been as effective as she was in 2015. She barely made the 2019 World Cup squad and the only game she played in France was the group game against Chile. It's not a surprise she got bumped here.

Pugh is clearly talented but has had a few injury issues and hasn't been consistent in the NWSL. She was just traded from the Washington Spirit to Sky Blue FC for draft picks this week. She definitely has a chance to make the Olympic squad, and Andonovski has her continuing to train with the team, but they are obviously stacked at forward. And don't forget Alex Morgan, who misses qualifying with her pregnancy, but is due in April and says she plans to be ready in time for Tokyo.
 

steeplechase3k

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