Women’s soccer

spirit15Enduring Spirit: Restoring Professional Women’s Soccer to Washington was published in September 2013. It’s the story of the first season of the NWSL’s Washington Spirit, who were kind enough to let me wander around at their practices and follow them on a couple of road trips.  It was first released for Kindle and Nook but is now available at other outlets as well. The print version is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.


Selected clips

Projects and indexes

Recent posts

  • Upcoming coverage/career plans - Mid-major announcement to start with: Ranting Soccer Dad now has its own site. I’m not married to the design yet, but it should stabilize in the next few days. This site and podcast will be my top work priority for some time to come. I’m even planning a related book. Stay tuned. Ranting Soccer Dad deals primarily with youth soccer, but it ties into everything in the soccer world — U.S. Soccer politics, the national teams, the pro leagues (men and women), etc. Even if you think you’re not interested in youth soccer, check it out. You’ll find some interesting …
  • Alex Morgan’s ejection from Epcot: Not a big deal, not not newsworthy - Let’s first get rid of the notion that male athletes or public figures would not make the news if they were tossed from a bar — let alone tossed from Epcot Center, where hundreds of people may have seen the incident — or some similar things: Ric Flair tossed out of bar (pro wrestler) Deshaun Watson kicked out of bar (football player) Something about a hat (also football) Something about paying with bubble gum (also football) Noooo! Harry Potter himself tossed from bar! (male actor) Underage college drinking (football) Underage college drinking (basketball) More college drinking (football) Remember Freddy Adu? (soccer) …
  • Spirit season recap and a post-Vegas anti-cynicism rant - In the wake of the Las Vegas massacre, the Ranting Soccer Dad podcast opens with a few thoughts on why we shouldn’t give up on changing people and society as a whole, either on something relatively trivial like youth soccer …
  • Spirit, Reign play a legitimately entertaining soccer game - Things didn’t bode well Saturday. Traffic heading up the Beltway to Maryland was worse than usual. The SoccerPlex didn’t have its usual Ben & Jerry’s cart — Yom Kippur apparently kept the proprietor away. And Seattle’s Jess Fishlock, simultaneously one of the most inspirational and infuriating players in women’s soccer, started the game by clattering into Washington’s Mallory Pugh, the type of foul that does nothing other than send an early message. Then a funny thing happened. An actual soccer game broke out. Free-flowing. Long strings of passes. Good runs. For Spirit fans, it looked a bit like 2016 all …
  • No one injured in Spirit-Breakers game - Neither the Washington Spirit nor the Boston Breakers tanked Saturday night’s game to get the No. 1 draft pick. For once, my prediction was right. But it wasn’t pretty. I didn’t notice any Spirit Academy kids in the crowd, and …
  • Promotion/relegation propaganda/reality, Part 3: U.S. Soccer - There’s no organization in the world quite like U.S. Soccer. That’s not a compliment. That’s not an insult. It just … is. U.S. Soccer is unique among major U.S. sports federations in that its mandate goes beyond organizing national teams …
  • Podcast, Ep. 10 – Ronnie Woodard on women in coaching, youth soccer madness -   Tennessee Soccer Club’s Ronnie Woodard is a legit women’s soccer pioneer — first scholarship player and goalkeeper at Duke, one of the first wave of women’s soccer players to move into the coaching ranks. She has coached college and elite youth teams, winning 2016 NSCAA Coach of the Year honors, while launching a consulting business for college prospects. We talk about what’s keeping women out of coaching (10:20 mark) and what’s better or worse in youth soccer today (25:00). Then I rant about my youth soccer weekend (coach ejected!) and some upcoming Ranting Soccer Dad programming.  

History

thumb-wosoI’ve covered just about everything in women’s soccer, from an Olympic final (2008) and World Cup games (2011) to high school games and sparsely attended exhibition games in the Dark Ages between U.S. professional leagues. I’ve also covered ongoing news stories such as the feud between WPS and maverick owner Dan Borislow. When Borislow suddenly passed away, I wrote a remembrance that was one of the most popular posts in SportsMyriad history.

Some reporters are afraid to be controversial in women’s soccer coverage. I’m not. I’m willing to call out Brazilian star Marta on her gamesmanship (while still paying tribute to her skill) or lead the chorus questioning the USA’s tactics and personnel decisions. I’ve had some interesting “discussions” on Twitter with angry soccer celebrities.

The point is not to be cynical or snarky. The point is to show the reality of the situation and hold people accountable.

And as journalists, we’re beholden to the facts. So when they’re bent, as came up often in the Great U.S. Women’s Pay Dispute in 2016, it’s up to us to correct the record, popularity be damned.

Also, when a team overcomes its problems, as the USA did in the 2015 World Cup, the victory is that much more sensational.

I think people are tired of seeing female athletes treated as perfect little robots who go out and do nothing but generate positive things. The reality is much more interesting, much more important, and much more inspiring.

Full clips by topic: women’s soccer, nwsl, wps, olympics

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