What happened to the Washington Spirit?

I spent several weeks reporting this piece tracing the club’s trajectory from “30 seconds from the title” to “who’s starting for this club?” and “what happened to the youth clubs?” I did not pick the word “downfall” in the headline, which immediately made me think of Meme Hitler screaming about the Krieger trade. Source: So close, and yet so far: the curious downfall of the Washington Spirit | Football | The Guardian Advertisements Continue reading What happened to the Washington Spirit?

U.S. women’s soccer: Always look on the bright side of life

Sure, they lost 3-0. But they learned a lot, and the crowds keep coming out to see them even when they’re not seeing a bunch of celebrities crushing some hapless, unfunded national team just happy to be staying in a nice hotel. Go ahead and rip me on Twitter. I won’t be responding. At least until Easter, when all bets are off. My analysis, quotes and words of comfort from what’s probably my last appearance in the RFK pressbox … Source: USA women suffer worst defeat in a decade as France win SheBelieves Cup | Football | The Guardian Continue reading U.S. women’s soccer: Always look on the bright side of life

About this story: How this weekend could shape US Soccer’s long-term future

Reminder: I’m off Twitter for a while aside from automated stuff like this. And the next one. And the next one. So if you want to chat with me about this story, why not chat here? And this one has a bit of a back story, anyway. I’ve been working on this for months. One reason it took so much time is the staggering number of documents I read — financial reports, transcripts from annual general meetings (“Alabama … here … Alaska … here … OK, now the adult associations … Alabama … Alabama … Alaska … here …”) and so … Continue reading About this story: How this weekend could shape US Soccer’s long-term future

U.S. women and 60 Minutes: What we still don’t know

Yes, Carli Lloyd actually said the women’s team deserves to be paid more than the men. We still don’t know what that means. So my Guardian piece on the matter covers some familiar ground. But we do have some news, and it’s probably not good. This labor dispute has no signs of progress. The next round of talks has been delayed, and we don’t know why. The EEOC doesn’t seem to be close to issuing any sort of guidance. The women are willing to talk about the issues. But only on their terms. A few other thoughts: I’m not comfortable … Continue reading U.S. women and 60 Minutes: What we still don’t know

Stats work against Cubs (and all regular-season wonders)

The Cubs had the best record in MLB this year, and enter the NL Championship Series as favorites – but history shows such a record is usually a kiss of death. Story includes references to Spinal Tap and the Washington Spirit. Source: Is this finally the Chicago Cubs’ year? Sadly, the stats suggest not | Sport | The Guardian Continue reading Stats work against Cubs (and all regular-season wonders)

Carli Lloyd strikes another blow against USWNT’s old image

Carli Lloyd says she “doesn’t do drama.” And yet that’s her entire book. Indeed, it’s much of her career, and she devotes a lot of ink here toward rehashing the various reasons she has long played with a chip on her shoulder. So, like prior books by Hope Solo and Abby Wambach, When Nobody Was Watching presents a more complicated — and more realistic — view of the athletes who sacrifice so much of themselves in pursuit of excellence. Source: Carli Lloyd’s memoir explodes myth that US women’s soccer is all fun and friends | Football | The Guardian Continue reading Carli Lloyd strikes another blow against USWNT’s old image

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