German women’s coach Steffi Jones has every reason to be pleased tonight. Her team took an impressive 1-0 win over England, and she did it in her old home stadium from her Washington Freedom days.
“That was about 14 years ago, but I was still feeling home,” Jones said. “I remember so many great games here, the great fans. I was feeling good coming back. I know it’s going to be a new stadium coming, so me being in here one more time is a good, good feeling, yes.”
She was too polite to mention that the place looks like it’s about to fall down. A few newcomers to the RFK Stadium pressbox have been looking around in disbelief. And the cookies and brownies in the hospitality room have disappeared.
But a good crowd has filed in here, despite the threat of rain. Sunil Gulati is here. So is Abby Wambach.
This is probably my last trip to the pressbox, so it’s a little sentimental for me, too. So many memories of incomprehensible PA announcements, nachos and bad weather. And great soccer.
One note from the lineup: Former Spirit players Ashlyn Harris, Ali Krieger and Crystal Dunn are NOT in the starting lineup. You could say Jill Ellis is a spoilsport, or you could say she simply cares more about developing her team than anything else.
And … it’s pouring again. This stadium always makes it interesting.
Thoughts on the game at some point tomorrow and later this week.
UPDATE: I also got a little bit more information about the national anthem policy (NOT BYLAW) and why it was not included in the “book” that’s released before the Annual General Meeting. The quick answer: Not enough time. Items from the February board meeting simply couldn’t be added to the book. (You might argue that they still could’ve sent out an addendum, of course.)
I was also told the when the policy appeared on screen at the AGM, the crowd of state and association reps from all over erupted with a loud cheer. Take that for what it’s worth or whatever you want to make of it.