US Women’s National Team

USA vs China PR: International Tournament of Brasilia 2014

Game On.

Over the next ninety minutes or so, U.S. Women’s National Team will proceed to bury China PR in the first round of the International Tournament of Brasilia.

However, it is a women’s game, so it would appear that American fans not pirating an international television feed from somewhere or other will just have to follow the livetweets.

And as we write this, the present score is USA 1-0 CHN (Lloyd 23′, Rapinoe assist).

The available Twitter feeds are in English and Spanish.

A Kick in the Holiday Season

The U.S. Women's National Team heads to Brasilia in December.

The MLS might take a break in the middle of the playoffs for the sake of international fútbol, but the U.S. Women’s National Team has a tough run in December, packing four games into eleven days for the 2014 Brasilia International Tournament.

That said, up in the Pacific Northwest fans are preparing for Sunday night’s showdown in Carson when Sounders FC will meet L.A. Galaxy in the first leg of their Western Conference Final match. Their last meeting was less than a month ago, with the Seattle club taking a 2-0 win and also the Supporters’ Shield, much to the delight of over fifty-seven thousand fans at CenturyLink Field.

Meanwhile, Don Ruiz offers the latest preview of Sunday’s big game:

The Seattle Sounders would be notably short of their best without forward Clint Dempsey and defender DeAndre Yedlin, just as the Los Angeles Galaxy wouldn’t look the same without goals-leader Robbie Keane.

Those realities led Major League Soccer to schedule a break between its conference semifinal and final rounds, going dark during a two-week window for international play.

For the USA, that window closed Tuesday with a 4-1 loss to Ireland in Dublin. The USA played without MLS stars Dempsey, Yedlin and New England midfielders Jermaine Jones and Lee Nguyen. Dempsey wasn’t called for either of the United States friendlies during the MLS break, while the others were released after the first match last week — a 2-1 loss to Colombia — so that they could spend this week in playoff preparations with their club teams. Ireland did the same with Keane.

“It’s good,” Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said of Yedlin’s early return this week. “Obviously they have Robbie Keane back as well, so it’s the same for everybody. It’s good that (U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann) allowed those guys … to return after the game. That’s what we thought was going to happen, and that happened.”

While Clint Dempsey acknowledges feeling “pretty beat up, pretty tired” from all the running around, DeAndre Yedlin—who will play next season with Tottenham Hotspur—says he’s ready, citing the one asset he has over the veteran superstar: youth.

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The Time for All Good Fans to Come to the Aid of the US Women’s National Team

The United States Womens National Team advanced to the CONCACAF final against Costa Rica with their 3-0 win against Mexico.  The victory also earned the American team their ticket to the FIFA 2015 Women's World Cup.

Good news, everyone!

24 OCTOBER 2014: Christen Press crosses against Mexico at PPL Park. (Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)Really. The United States Womens National Team topped Mexico 3-0 Friday night at PPL Park.

The 8,773 people who showed up saw a CONCACAF semifinal game folded in there, as well. The final is today: U.S. vs. Costa Rica.

Congratulations are definitely in order. That much is obvious.

Oh, and by the way, this is also happening:

Abby Wambach continues to add to her world goal scoring record after tallying career goals No. 172 and 173 against Haiti on Oct. 20 at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. On June 20, 2013, Wambach passed the legendary Mia Hamm to become the world’s all-time leading scorer when she pounded in four goals against South Korea at Red Bull Arena. Hamm had 158 international goals from 1987-2004. The match against Haiti marked the 111th win for the USA in a game in which Wambach has scored at least one goal (111-2-8). Wambach has scored 48 goals in her past 59 games over 2012, 2013 and 2014. She is also third all-time in assists with 65, behind only Kristine Lilly (105) and Hamm (144).

Oh, yes. Congratulations. Y’think?

Kickoff is 6 pm Eastern; game is broadcast on FOX Sports 1.

Some Thoughts on a National Disgrace

Players for the Mexican and Jamaican women's teams present themselves before a nearly empty house at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., prior to the CONCACAF group stagte fimale on 21 October 2014.  Final score: Mexico 3-1 Jamaica.  The Mexican team advances to face the U.S. Women's National Team in the 2014 CWC semifinals.

You know how we always hear about various pro sports teams struggling with their salary cap? And the persistent question of how much is too much, and whether any pro athlete is really worth that many millions of dollars a season?

SeattleReignFC-logo-bwHere’s a real salary cap for you: $30,000 per season.

For the record, that’s not a minimum salary. That’s a maximum salary for the National Women’s Soccer League.

While KUOW gives an August report from Arwen Nicks and Marcie Sillman a happy title, “Seattle Taking Notice Of Reigning Women’s Team”, it’s also a bit deceptive. Seattle took greater notice of S2, the new Sounders FC third-league team intended for their reserves to get playing time.

It should be noted that aside from playing their games at Starfire, the Seattle women’s professional soccer team is entirely unrelated to Sounders FC. Rather, they are Seattle Reign FC, a name apparently held over from the former ABL squad.

While SRFC is blessed with powerful talent, it is almost a prerequisite for any kind of success; unless a player is on a national team, her salary is capped at thirty thousand dollars per season, creating a situation in which the lucky players without a national team roster spot get to play in the championship game, go home, and either pay rent the next morning or move.

As any sports fan in general can tell you, this is no way to run a premiere league. Then again, considering the history of, say, English football clubs, we’ll have to see what the NWSL becomes over the course of the next century.

Meanwhile, this miserable state of things is accentuated by a soccer match that had nothing to do with SRFC or the U.S. Women’s National Team except for the fact that the winner will meet Hope Solo, Sydney Leroux, and Megan Rapinoe (all of SRFC) and their USWNT teammates in the semifinal round.

Not that you care, but I just saw Donna-Kay Henry of Jamaica score one of the best soccer goals I've seen in ages. (John G. White Jr., 21 October 2014)Mexico topped Jamaica in a CONCACAF contest at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., earlier tonight. The final was 3-1, though Joseph White of Associated Press tweeted during the game, “Not that you care, but I just saw Donna-Kay Henry of Jamaica score one of the best soccer goals I’ve seen in ages.”

And, yeah, as goals go, it was a sweet one.

This was the end of CONCACAF group play; Mexico will meet the U.S. in the semis. And, true, the weather only made the game that much tougher, but White’s recap for USA Today should probably be praised for not making a point of the absolute embarrassment this game has caused should cause Americans.

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