Women’s soccer, pro/rel, UConn hoops and taking things for granted

If there’s war between the sexes, then there’ll be no people left — Joe Jackson. (Tori Amos did a terrific cover version.) I’ve spent too much time on Twitter this week grabbing the third rail. I’ve been in conversations on promotion/relegation, women’s soccer equity, and UConn women’s basketball. Let’s dispense with the last one first. The “Connecticut is too dominant” issue has reached The Guardian this week, but it’s being fanned by ESPN. You know — the colossus based in Bristol, Conn., founded by people who wanted to watch Connecticut sports. Perhaps I shouldn’t be so quick to point to … Continue reading Women’s soccer, pro/rel, UConn hoops and taking things for granted

The U.S. women’s unlikeliest win …

No one saw this coming. Not at this World Cup. Not after France picked this U.S. team apart in February. Not while Jill Ellis stubbornly persisted with Lauren Holiday and Morgan Brian alone in center midfield with Carli Lloyd shoved wide. Not even after the round of 16 win against Colombia, in which the USA looked indifferent in beating an inexperienced team. Not with the USA persisting in playing a predictable direct style. Not with the sense that something was wrong deep in the roots of this team, with the latest Hope Solo legal developments likely far less of an … Continue reading The U.S. women’s unlikeliest win …

Young U.S. women’s soccer players aren’t really young

The For The Win podcast looking ahead to the Women’s World Cup final made an interesting point about Jill Ellis finally trusting a young player like Morgan Brian to play a key role. I listened to this the morning after a fun Twitter conversation. And I think it's unfair that no #USWNT player was nominated for Best Young Player. "All the players are too old" — what an excuse. — Beau Dure 🗯️⚽👨‍👦 (@duresport) July 3, 2015 @duresport What? Julie Johnston has been no less than stellar. — Sara McCutchen (@sbethTX) July 3, 2015 @duresport Seriously!? Jeebus. — Sara McCutchen … Continue reading Young U.S. women’s soccer players aren’t really young

U.S. women make their own luck to reach World Cup final

You need a little luck in the World Cup. That’s what you heard from Germany … Germany’s men, anyway, after the World Cup final last year. Germany’s women, on the other hand, were not so lucky against the USA in the World Cup semifinal tonight. A couple of close officiating decisions went against them. Playing the USA so soon after dragging themselves to a grueling win over France is less than ideal. So can you take anything away from the U.S. women tonight? No. Not a damn thing. They earned this. I joked on Twitter tonight that the USA had … Continue reading U.S. women make their own luck to reach World Cup final

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

Hope Solo is unique because …

… there simply isn’t anyone like her. Obvious statement, isn’t it? It’s the very definition of the word “unique.” She’s an individual. But in her case, when she’s in the news, we always have a confluence of issues that make it difficult to compare her to any other athlete. And they’re coming up again now that she has been suspended in the wake of her husband’s DUI arrest and the complex situation around it. Read the ESPN story with Julie Foudy’s insider take on what led to the suspension. Elsewhere, I’ve heard the suspension compared to a “persistent infringement” yellow card … Continue reading Hope Solo is unique because …

Michelle Akers: What experience is necessary?

One of the greatest women’s soccer players ever, Michelle Akers, is upset that the U.S. Soccer powers that be haven’t taken her up on her offer to help out with the national team: Per a phone conversation with Sunil (Gulati, USSF president), he told me I did not have enough experience to coach at that level,” Akers said. “I disagreed.” Which raises a general question: Can a former player with no known coaching experience* contribute to a major coaching staff in a meaningful way? (*Update – She is listed as a volunteer assistant at Central Florida. In a lengthy Twitter conversation, … Continue reading Michelle Akers: What experience is necessary?