Women's Soccer

Ale Xander

killed off Vin Scully
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Go Chelsea, Arsenal, Kharkiv, Lyon!
I didn't even know Kharkiv had a competitive women's team, impressive. Is it one of those similar to M Dynamo Kiev situations where they have like 70% of the national team members?
 

mikeford

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well, the Gunners get Barca in the group stage. That should be both entertaining and an excellent barometer for this season’s aspirations.
Barca are on another stratosphere from basically every other women's club team but it's definitely a good measuring stick for just how good this Arsenal team is because they look incredible right now.
 

67YAZ

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Barca are on another stratosphere from basically every other women's club team but it's definitely a good measuring stick for just how good this Arsenal team is because they look incredible right now.
And Tobin Heath is still a couple of weeks away from breaking into the team, per recent reports. A front 3 of Parris-Miedema-Heath is super scary.
 

67YAZ

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USSF to offer USWNT and USMNT similar contracts. The article title claims “identical” contracts are being offered, yet the article also states that issues like NWSL support, maternity leave, and more USWNT-specific items may remain in that contract. We’ll see. My guess is that USSF is trying “win” the news cycle against the women’s team by hyping this as identical contracts.
 

67YAZ

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Washington Spirit co-owner Y Michelle Kang confirms the ugly behind the scenes mess at the club.
 

67YAZ

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And now the league has issued initial punishments to Washington - Richie Burke banned from working in the NWSL and Spirit ownership suspended from participating in league governance. Team has 14 days to respond to external investigation.
 

steeplechase3k

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67YAZ

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A long article detailing horrifying allegations against Paul Riley.

https://theathletic.com/2857633/2021/09/30/this-guy-has-a-pattern-amid-institutional-failure-former-nwsl-players-accuse-prominent-coach-of-sexual-coercion/

Allegations of coercing players to have sex with him. Allegations of sending players players photos of himself in only underwear, or asking them to film sessions in his hotel room and when they showed up being in only underwear. And more that makes me sick to read about.
Christ, I can’t get through it. It’s horrifying. Riley groomed his victims and then manipulated them. And after a league investigation, still got another job. Fuck
 

67YAZ

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That's such a brutal article. The NWSL sure has a lot of skeletons in its closet, e.g. the Washington Spirit.

I think we're going to be hearing more stories, big and small.

View: https://twitter.com/nadia_nadim/status/1443585878970880018
Just came here to post this, too. Nadim appears to be calling out Sky Blue, who traded her to the Thorns before the 2016 season.

The NWSL needs to move swiftly to partner with the players, bring in new leadership, and engage in a comprehensive review process of every club. The league has had some nice commercial and media growth the past few years, even despite the pandemic. But these stories and an exodus of talent would kill it.
 

ThePrideofShiner

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A long article detailing horrifying allegations against Paul Riley.

https://theathletic.com/2857633/2021/09/30/this-guy-has-a-pattern-amid-institutional-failure-former-nwsl-players-accuse-prominent-coach-of-sexual-coercion/

Allegations of coercing players to have sex with him. Allegations of sending players players photos of himself in only underwear, or asking them to film sessions in his hotel room and when they showed up being in only underwear. And more that makes me sick to read about.
Damn, that was a devastating and horrifying read. The inability of the league to hold anyone accountable in an attempt to protect the brand is so immoral, but so prevalent throughout American life and culture.

Hopefully Riley is fired and these types of things become part of the past as the league moves forward.
 

Cellar-Door

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My takeaway on NWSL is that it's like the early MLS, but where MLS was set up an run by people with a lot of experience in much larger scale sporting, the bulk of early NWSL owners and executives were small type, and fairly unprofessional. That and the fact that many saw themselves as "saviors" of the women's game (while MLS was always a way to make money) who were "subsidizing" the women's game (versus investing in the men's game for eventual return) led to a bunch of weird dynamics and a league that had terrible strucures, rules etc. Obviously it being a women's sport brought a whole lot of other concerns (that they never tried to address).

But yeah, it seems like NWSL was rife for misbehavior in large part because it was built without any structure or foundation.
 

Titans Bastard

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The extremely low pay for many players chasing their dreams creates a vulnerable group of people who know they have a lot to lose by speaking up.
 

Cellar-Door

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The extremely low pay for many players chasing their dreams creates a vulnerable group of people who know they have a lot to lose by speaking up.
yeah that's what I meant about early MLS, when 70% of the players were making like 18k. But MLS had a lot more extensive rules structure (and the obvious gender dynamics) HR processes, it ran like a professional league.

RIley Fired, NWSL comments:
View: https://twitter.com/NWSL/status/1443656930292076546


THat woul be more impressive if all the reporting didn't note that all this was reported to NWSL repeatedly and ignored.
 

ThePrideofShiner

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I'm glad Riley got fired, though there wasn't any real choice based on the response from high level players around the league. But saying that you are going to require SafeSport training as though that is enough is so dumb.

We are talking about a power point type training where you click through and answer some questions. That doesn't fix the fundamental flaws in the current commissioner and her office.
 

Van Everyman

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yeah that's what I meant about early MLS, when 70% of the players were making like 18k. But MLS had a lot more extensive rules structure (and the obvious gender dynamics) HR processes, it ran like a professional league.

RIley Fired, NWSL comments:
View: https://twitter.com/NWSL/status/1443656930292076546


THat woul be more impressive if all the reporting didn't note that all this was reported to NWSL repeatedly and ignored.
Right, and here are the relevant parts from the article about Baird:

After the NWSL adopted a new anti-harassment policy earlier this year, Farrelly and Shim contacted the league to ask for a new investigation into Riley’s behavior. League commissioner Lisa Baird thanked them for raising their concerns but informed both former players the 2015 complaint was “investigated to conclusion,” and that she could not share any details. This week, when informed of The Athletic’s reporting on Riley, including the allegations made by Farrelly that were not part of the 2015 Thorns probe, Baird chose not to respond. An NWSL spokesperson said in a statement: “The league was contacted earlier this year regarding an investigation that was completed in 2015. Absent any new or additional information, the matter was closed. That said, the behavior described by former players has absolutely no place in our league and will not be tolerated.”

Baird and others within the league have come under criticism recently as teams have pushed out coaches and other employees without explicitly stating, or obfuscating, the reasons. For example: The Spirit initially announced Richie Burke would resign from his position for health reasons and move into a front-office role; one day later, a Washington Post story led the team to change its official explanation and announce an investigation into alleged misconduct.
This is the same fucking playbook as Larry Nasar and USAG/Michigan State: do nothing about the culture or to hold people accountable, shuttle around the abuser, hide and obfuscate details of the investigations, act shocked when the abuse continued. Also: the role that women in leadership positions have played in both of these scandals is possibly the most depressing part of all.

That's interesting about SafeSport -- I've done the training for this, but never had anything to report. If sports leagues around the country are using it, here's hoping they up their game in the face of criticism from prominent survivors like Raisman.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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What's so great about this particular vessel for the women's game?

Why not just burn it down and start over?

The players are marketable now. The USWNT pulls numbers. They have clout here.

I wouldn't mind seeing MLS clubs become true clubs, in the European model, and have both men's and women's sides (and not quasi-affiliates like the NBA/WNBA relationship - none of this San Antonio Silver Stars-type half measures). I don't know if that's damning the women by association with MLS, which ain't great sometimes. Still, it's lamentable that we have big European clubs building elite womens' rosters by trading off their brands, while here in the hotbed of women's sports generally we're still fucking around with the Western New York Flash and whatever else bullshit.

But whatever the alternative might be, surely there's no need for the NWSL.
 

67YAZ

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What's so great about this particular vessel for the women's game?

Why not just burn it down and start over?

The players are marketable now. The USWNT pulls numbers. They have clout here.

I wouldn't mind seeing MLS clubs become true clubs, in the European model, and have both men's and women's sides (and not quasi-affiliates like the NBA/WNBA relationship - none of this San Antonio Silver Stars-type half measures). I don't know if that's damning the women by association with MLS, which ain't great sometimes. Still, it's lamentable that we have big European clubs building elite womens' rosters by trading off their brands, while here in the hotbed of women's sports generally we're still fucking around with the Western New York Flash and whatever else bullshit.

But whatever the alternative might be, surely there's no need for the NWSL.
There is merit to this idea, but the NWSL has been growing and developing a sustainable foundation. It has a broadcast & streaming deal with CBS, Paramount+, and Twitch. Several of the clubs have add a number of high profile and/or strategic co-owners, similar to how an up and coming business might recruit for a board of directors to help them step up. And there are good clubs with good owners working hard to grow the game, including a lot of American players who have devoted their careers to this league.

But the question has to be asked. Is the league irredeemable? Is it rotten to the core? Or can it be salvaged? There’s good stuff going on here and a lot of good people would get hurt by killing the NWSL.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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There is merit to this idea, but the NWSL has been growing and developing a sustainable foundation. It has a broadcast & streaming deal with CBS, Paramount+, and Twitch. Several of the clubs have add a number of high profile and/or strategic co-owners, similar to how an up and coming business might recruit for a board of directors to help them step up. And there are good clubs with good owners working hard to grow the game, including a lot of American players who have devoted their careers to this league.

But the question has to be asked. Is the league irredeemable? Is it rotten to the core? Or can it be salvaged? There’s good stuff going on here and a lot of good people would get hurt by killing the NWSL.
Glad to know the positives.

just seems like too many of these guys (emphasis on “guys”) got in at a time where it was like they were doing this Fledgling enterprise a favor and they thought they could get away with a standard of behavior that would never fly elsewhere.

If I’m a sponsor I’m royally pissed off. Most sports programming is leveling off or losing share. Soccer, women’s sports, and, yes, women’s soccer are areas of untapped growth and upside. The USWNT are on millions of bedroom walls around the counrty. I was in lower Manhattan for their parade and it was bedlam, huge turnout, three generations of families all wearing Heath and Ertz and Wambach and Rapinoe shirts. The right sponsor vision has the chance to ride the wave like Nike did with the NBA, which was a niche sport within my lifetime. If I’m, say, Panera or Under Armour or Ford or Dove, I don’t want these fucksticks within 1000 miles of this property.
 

67YAZ

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Glad to know the positives.

just seems like too many of these guys (emphasis on “guys”) got in at a time where it was like they were doing this Fledgling enterprise a favor and they thought they could get away with a standard of behavior that would never fly elsewhere.

If I’m a sponsor I’m royally pissed off. Most sports programming is leveling off or losing share. Soccer, women’s sports, and, yes, women’s soccer are areas of untapped growth and upside. The USWNT are on millions of bedroom walls around the counrty. I was in lower Manhattan for their parade and it was bedlam, huge turnout, three generations of families all wearing Heath and Ertz and Wambach and Rapinoe shirts. The right sponsor vision has the chance to ride the wave like Nike did with the NBA, which was a niche sport within my lifetime. If I’m, say, Panera or Under Armour or Ford or Dove, I don’t want these fucksticks within 1000 miles of this property.
I have no idea if they play nationally, but I see the Julie Ertz Chipotle commercial all the time here in Chicago. As if she actually eats carbs, but it’s a pretty good ad. (As an aside, I used to have a student who was a competitive bodybuilder and he would eat 2 Chipotle burritos before class in the evening to power up for his night workout. Still hurts my stomach to think about it.)

The Alex Morgan tweet suggests to me that at least some of the top players will come out against league leadership in a similar way to their very public battle with USSF. And that would be disastrous for the league. The players have proven to be steely, savvy, and disciplined in their contract fight. The NWSL has much less institutional apparatus and money to withstand a similar campaign.

Oh, and there are very real and lucrative opportunities to chase in Europe on the club level. The younger and up-and-coming generation of Americans might just say “fuck this” and sign for Everton (foolishly, the best women’s club in Liverpool). That’s a big problem for the league. The post-Rapinoe/Morgan/Ertz future gets closer every day.
 
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Cellar-Door

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I have no idea is they play nationally, but I see the Julie Ertz Chipotle commercial all the time here in Chicago. As if she actually eats carbs, but it’s a pretty ad. (As an aside, I used to have a student who was a competitive bodybuilder and he would eat Chipotle burritos before class in the evening to power up for his night workout. Still hurts my stomach to think about it.)

The Alex Morgan tweet suggests to me that at least some of the top players will come out against league leadership in a similar way to their very public battle with USSF. And that would be disastrous for the league. The players have proven to be steely, savvy, and disciplined in their contract fight. The NWSL has much less institutional apparatus and money to withstand a similar campaign.

Oh, and there are very real and lucrative opportunities to chase in Europe on the club level. The younger and up-and-coming generation of Americans might just say “fuck this” and sign for Everton (foolishly, the best women’s club in Liverpool). That’s a big problem for the league. The post-Rapinoe/Morgan/Ertz future gets closer every day.
I would guess she eats plenty of carbs. Most professional athletes do, and Chipotle is pretty popular with athletes (though I bet she, and most athletes get bowls not burritos because the tortilla is just empty calories and they'd rather spend those on something that tastes good).
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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I have no idea is they play nationally, but I see the Julie Ertz Chipotle commercial all the time here in Chicago. As if she actually eats carbs, but it’s a pretty ad. (As an aside, I used to have a student who was a competitive bodybuilder and he would eat Chipotle burritos before class in the evening to power up for his night workout. Still hurts my stomach to think about it.)

The Alex Morgan tweet suggests to me that at least some of the top players will come out against league leadership in a similar way to their very public battle with USSF. And that would be disastrous for the league. The players have proven to be steely, savvy, and disciplined in their contract fight. The NWSL has much less institutional apparatus and money to withstand a similar campaign.

Oh, and there are very real and lucrative opportunities to chase in Europe on the club level. The younger and up-and-coming generation of Americans might just say “fuck this” and sign for Everton (foolishly, the best women’s club in Liverpool). That’s a big problem for the league. The post-Rapinoe/Morgan/Ertz future gets closer every day.
That’s what worries me. European clubs have the brands. We have work to do but we’re fucking around with this.
 

67YAZ

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Rampone delays her Hog induction for a year given the circumstances. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this before.

 

dirtynine

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Went to Carli Lloyd’s farewell match tonight at the Union’s stadium, which was also the first NWSL match in Philly. They probably had 15-18K there - pretty impressive turnout.

I’ve never seen a farewell match like it, in that Carli did not interact with the crowd at all except for a small area near the benches. People stayed for an hour after, ringing the field with signs, and she basically stayed in one spot and never did a lap or acknowledged the fans. The young female athlete demo (which included my two daughters) was probably 60% of the crowd. Would have been nice to get a jog by and a wave. Her day, and she wasn’t rude or anything, but we left a little bummed. She’s still awesome.
 

steeplechase3k

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67YAZ

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NWLS playoffs are set.

The Red Stars have rounded into form this past month, winning 4 of 5. Mal Pugh came back from the September international window in top form. She's healthy and confident again, which is pulling defenses to her side and allowing Keila Watt to get some great looks cutting inside. The big question is if Julie Ertz can come back for the quarterfinal match vs Gotham. Ertz has played less than 30 minutes this season, so even finishing 4th is quite a nice surprise...but this squad was in go for it now mode and will have to be turned over a bit this winter. Getting Ertz back is essential to making a run here.

The Courage have lost three and drawn one since Paul Riley was fired. They are limping into the playoffs and face a streaking Washington side. Hopefully, both organizations can get their shit together this off season and provide the kind of backing that both rosters deserve.
 

Ale Xander

killed off Vin Scully
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NWLS playoffs are set.

The Red Stars have rounded into form this past month, winning 4 of 5. Mal Pugh came back from the September international window in top form. She's healthy and confident again, which is pulling defenses to her side and allowing Keila Watt to get some great looks cutting inside. The big question is if Julie Ertz can come back for the quarterfinal match vs Gotham. Ertz has played less than 30 minutes this season, so even finishing 4th is quite a nice surprise...but this squad was in go for it now mode and will have to be turned over a bit this winter. Getting Ertz back is essential to making a run here.

The Courage have lost three and drawn one since Paul Riley was fired. They are limping into the playoffs and face a streaking Washington side. Hopefully, both organizations can get their shit together this off season and provide the kind of backing that both rosters deserve.
Stars play 3PM local time sunday. Is it nationally televised?
 

67YAZ

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Stars play 3PM local time sunday. Is it nationally televised?
haven’t seen an announcement yet. Both quarters matches are listed as CBS Sports Network or Paramount+. The semis are both on CBS Sports and the final is on CBS.
 

67YAZ

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Stars play 3PM local time sunday. Is it nationally televised?
Red Stars-Gotham on CBS Sports Network, Spirit-Courage on Paramount+.

I almost feel bad that Chicago is going to end Carli Lloyd's career. (I hope Lloyd doesn't see this and use it as motivation to score a hat trick.)
 

Ale Xander

killed off Vin Scully
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Red Stars-Gotham on CBS Sports Network, Spirit-Courage on Paramount+.

I almost feel bad that Chicago is going to end Carli Lloyd's career. (I hope Lloyd doesn't see this and use it as motivation to score a hat trick.)
Thanks!
 

67YAZ

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Chicago started hot. NY/NJ took over the middle of the half, but Chicago composed themselves and made an end-of-half push. Still nil-nil, set up to be a great second half.
 

67YAZ

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Mal Pugh at 61’!

Edit: It was Waldmoe who won the ball in a great spot to start that sequence, a little reminder of what she used to do for Gotham.
 
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67YAZ

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Never seen this before - Freeman runs on the pitch too quickly for Gotham to sub in for Lewandowski...and Freeman gets an immediate yellow. LOL.
 

67YAZ

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Chicago books its trip to Portland! Mal Pugh was the best player on the pitch by a comforable margin. Should be tough to keep that up against the Thorns, though. @steeplechase3k

Lloyd was emotional after the final whistle. Tough day for her, not a lot of operating room
 

mikeford

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Arsenal Women's are a fucking buzzsaw in the league. Just toying with people before sticking 3-4 past them every time.

And Barcelona dispatched them with EASE last time out so yeah... Barca Women's is like... unholy level of skill.
 

67YAZ

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And Washington beats Carolina in extra time to also a earn a trip to the Pacific Northwest.

It’ll be something if Seattle and Portland end up traveling to Louisville to play for the cup.
 

67YAZ

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Trinity Rodman shares a very personal & mature reflection on her relationship with her father. She’s so great. I hope she breaks through as the next great American striker.

 

67YAZ

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Semifinals on Sunday

No. 2 OL Reign vs. No. 3 Washington, 2pm cst ( TV on CBS Sports Network)

No. 1 Portland vs. No. 4 Chicago, 4:30pm cst (TV on CBS Sports Network)