Is Rapinoe’s protest effective?

I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the Twitter debate over my Guardian piece on the Washington Spirit derailing Megan Rapinoe’s protest last night. Granted, in nearly 30 years of journalism, I’ve resigned myself to a low bar. If I don’t have a high school cross-country coach running into the newsroom to yell at me about something I didn’t even touch or a gaggle of Alex Morgan fans threatening to kill me “twice” or buy my book to slap me with it, it’s a good day. Low bar notwithstanding, I think people have raised some good questions. I’ve seen some tangential debate on … Continue reading Is Rapinoe’s protest effective?

Spirit dropped the ball, then Rapinoe dropped it again

My complex reaction to a wild night in which Spirit owner Bill Lynch tried to quiet Megan Rapinoe’s protests but wound up amplifying them — and then Rapinoe made horrible use of that platform. Source: Washington Spirit gave Megan Rapinoe fans by stopping her anthem protest | Football | The Guardian Continue reading Spirit dropped the ball, then Rapinoe dropped it again

U.S. women in the World Cup semifinals: Decisions, decisions

Jill Ellis made three lineup changes for Friday’s quarterfinal win against China, two out of necessity. The result: Still just a 1-0 win against a team that had little attacking punch, but the team looked better and felt better. And it was the kind of performance U.S. fans had wanted to see. Amy Rodriguez was buzzing around making things difficult for China, Alex Morgan was a looming threat, and Carli Lloyd was unleashed. Not that the trio was perfect — A-Rod shanked a great chance like a beginning golfer, Morgan didn’t quite have the scoring touch, and Lloyd had a … Continue reading U.S. women in the World Cup semifinals: Decisions, decisions

U.S. women’s national team: What are they doing?

I figured it out. The USA is playing a 4-3-3 formation with fluid interchanges in midfield. No, wait — it’s a 4-5-1, with one target forward and two traditional wingers. Or maybe it’s a 4-2-4, with Carli Lloyd and Lauren Holiday as the only actual midfielders. No, no. I’ve got it. It was Col. Mustard with the lead pipe in the conservatory. In some senses, the Jill Ellis Way isn’t all that complicated. At least, it wasn’t in Monday night’s rather routine 6-0 rout over Haiti that clinched first place in their World Cup qualifying group and moved the team … Continue reading U.S. women’s national team: What are they doing?

An instant classic at Old Trafford

I’m just going to state for posterity what should be remembered about today’s Olympic semifinal, in which the U.S. women beat Canada by the odd goal in seven: Christine Sinclair is a brilliant player, and it’s nice to see her finally getting a worthy showcase, even in a loss. Fellow Portland alum Megan Rapinoe should now be alongside Abby Wambach, Hope Solo and Alex Morgan as the stars of the U.S. team. She’s already one of the best crossers of the ball in any level of soccer. Her second goal today was simply superb. Referee Christiana Pedersen wasn’t up to the task. Many of her calls, including … Continue reading An instant classic at Old Trafford

Will WPS stars sign up for another season?

Here’s a bit of irony: iTunes, in shuffling through my music library, has just called up Stevie Wonder’s Signed, Sealed, Delivered. If you look at the list of players who have and have not signed with WPS teams for 2012, you’ll see that an awful lot of players are in the “have not” category. That includes most of the U.S. national team assembled for Saturday’s revenge friendly against Sweden. A couple of sticking points: 1. When will the WPS season take place? The Olympics fall rather inconveniently in late July and early August. (Yes, if things go awry in January’s … Continue reading Will WPS stars sign up for another season?