The IX: Soccer Monday with Annie M. Peterson for March 9, 2020
US Soccer says it extended an olive branch, but just kind of? — Links galore — Carli Lloyd live from New Jersey
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The Week in Illness and Strife
Hi! Personal update: I was knocked out all last week by pneumonia. I was feeling yucky for about a week, and when I developed chest pain and a fever I knew it was time to hit the urgent care.
Interestingly, when I got there they said I did not fall into the categories for health department COVID-19 testing because I had not traveled abroad recently or come in contact with someone who was known to be infected. Didn’t matter that I have asthma and therefore at-risk. I was told there were no tests available, anyway.
So the plan was to test me for everything BUT coronavirus. Flu swabs, etc. Sure enough, I had pneumonia.
But Yikes! This did not instill a lot of confidence in the response to this public health crisis.
Anyway, I just wanted to share. Because I’m kind of mad that we have no way of knowing how widespread this is. Should I stay home? Should Fast Eddie stay home? What about covering games in big arenas filled with 20,000 people, like I’m supposed to do three times this week? Am I endangering others? Are others endangering me?
Oh, and don’t get me started on the state of my 401k today.
OK, enough with virus talk. I’m sure y’all are tired of it anyway. With this pneumonia, I’m only good for about three hours at a time, so I’ll make this quick.
So U.S. Soccer on Saturday night (why do they do these things at night? Oh wait, I know) sent around a letter from President Carlos Cordeiro to federation supporters. You can see it here.
The gist is that U.S. Soccer essentially offered the USWNT players the same pay structure as the men but that players wanted the same prize money from events like the World Cup.
The USWNT countered that the pay structure was the same as the men had in 2008 and did not include all of the players.
This is the latest back-and-forth in the USWNT’s discrimination lawsuit. Players are seeking more than $66 million in damages in the suit — which you can read here — set to go to trial on May 5 in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.
Molly Levinson, who represents the players in matters of the lawsuit, gave a pointed reply:
“The USSF letter is riddled with falsehoods and issued on the eve of the SheBelieves game, which demonstrates that it is more important to USSF to diminish the women’s team than it is to support them on the field,” players spokeswoman Molly Levinson said in a statement. “USSF did not and has never offered equal pay to the women players.”
Guessing — and granted, this is not much of a leap — we’re going to see this kind of thing ramp up before that May 5 court date, so buckle up. In fact, there’s a doc drop set for tonight. Weeeeeeee!
On to the links before a crash!
Reminder: First, the underlined words are the links. Second. CLICK these, even if you’ve already read them. Clicks = Attention from editors, producers and webmasters. Third, if you want to push out stuff you’ve written or read, email me! firstname.lastname@example.org.
My AP colleague Ron Blum on Corderio’s letter.
AP’s Tom Canavan was at the match against Spain. His report is here.
ESPN’s Graham Hays on how players were irked at the timing of the letter’s release. Hayes also had a good story on the players’ admiration of Spain’s recent improvement on the national stage.
Dan Lauletta from the Equalizer also notes Spain’s progress.
Bleacher Report with Megan Rapinoe’s reax to the letter.
Jezebel with its commentary on the situation. Personal note: I MISS GAWKER!
The New York Times pulls it all together nicely.
Harjeet Johal, one of my faves, had some takeaways from the victory over England for ProSoccerUSA.
Nice story from Jeff Kassouf on Casey Short.
Caitlin Murray, as always, is a good source for all matters concerning the lawsuit. Here’s her latest.
Jonathan Tannenwald, another go-to source for all things USWNT, took a look at Julie Ertz’s importance to the team for the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Tannenwald also examined the roster choices Vlatko Andonovski is going to have to make going forward.
Tweet of the Week
Five at The IX: Postmatch Carli Lloyd
Hey guys, I wasn’t at Sunday’s game, but Jonathan Tannenwald was, and he was gracious enough to send audio from the postmatch scrum with Carli Lloyd. Thanks Jonathan!
Lloyd: We got the win, which was good. Sometimes you just have to find a way in those last few minutes. Christen Press putting up a great ball, JJ finishing off a great, great goal. I think there’s some things that we can extract and learn. But to get the win in those last few minutes was really special, and special on International Women’s Day as well.
Question: What is it about Spain that has made it so difficult at the World Cup and again today?
Lloyd: They’re climbing, they’re getting better and better. They’ve got more resources being pushed in Spain, their league is doing well. They possess the ball very, very well, they’re very good on the ball. They didn’t create too many chances but they found those seams. It’s something that we have to sometimes be okay with: Not every game we’re going to have the ball all the time. I think this was a great team to be able to play so we can continue to get better at it and figure out ways where we can evolve as a group. There’s no better games than being able to play three different teams, three different styles. While it was a little frustrating out there at times, I think we’ve just got to still remain positive and figure out ways we can just be better.
Question: You mentioned for Christen Press before, what can you say about her performance in recent international matches?
Lloyd: I think Press has been doing some great things for a while now. I think her and I have kind of been in this little boat together over the last couple of years, but I think she’s been great to see flourish. She’s taken her chances, and she’s done really well, and I love playing with her. I think that we really read off each other very well. But she’s done a great job. She’s come in, she’s scored goals, she’s creating goals and hopefully she just keeps continuing the form, which I know she will. She’s been given the chance under Vlatko and given the confidence from him, and she’s obviously flourished. That’s what you want, coaches are supposed to bring out the best in players and that’s what’s going on there.
Question: I wonder if you had a reaction to the timing of Carlos’ letter?
Lloyd: I have not gotten to read that whole thing yet. Been a little busy prepping for a game, sorry. Haven’t caught up, I’ve been off the radar.
Question: You seem to particularly delight in proving people wrong Is that a factor at all for you when people doubt you and you use that as fuel? Or are you just like other people’s opinions don’t matter. I do it for me.
Lloyd: No, I mean, I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t essentially playing for me. I know what I’m capable of doing and I believe in myself and I go out there each and every day and give it my all. Obviously those doubters that continuously are in my back corner, back pocket, they’re always going to be there, and it’s just been (that way) over the course of my career. But that isn’t what gets me out of bed every single day, to be able to prove people wrong, I’m trying to prove to myself that I can continue to play and and be in top form at the age of 37, soon to be 38. I want to give it my all for this team and help in any way shape or form. Yeah, I mean doubters, you know, they add a little extra motivation but I’ve got internal motivation within to keep climbing and keep doing what I’m doing.
Question: Vlatko has rotated you, Lynn, Crystal and Jess all in sort of the center forward position in recent months and Alex as we know, might make it back to the Olympics. We don’t know yet. What have the conversations been with him about that rotation, what he sees in you and what he wants to see. And whether it’s a competition or not a competition
Lloyd: If you look at it as not a competition, there’s something wrong. We’re competing every single day/ There’s no talk about who’s rotating, how you’re rotating. I mean, we’re here to compete and get the job done and we have unbelievable forwards that can come in and do an unbelievable job. With the Olympic schedule, with two days in between like this, and five, six games at the Olympics, we’re going to need to rotate players. We’re going to need to have everybody coming off the bench and helping. It’s going to take all 18 players to get that done. But you know, every day is a competition and what I’ve done my whole entire career is just worry about me what I can control, and go out give it all I have, do everything for the team. I think everybody’s in the same boat and doing the same thing.
Question: What was the deal with the captain’s armband?
Lloyd: Good question before all the Twitter Trolls come out. So we had a little technical difficulty because Crystal’s bicep isn’t as big. (Laughs) So she was playing like this for the first 15 minutes, for those that could probably notice, it kept sliding down her arm. So she was over it at halftime. She said `I just need to get in the weight room a little bit more.’ And she gave me the armband back but it was even sliding off my arm. So I don’t know. I don’t know if she stretched out, we’ll have to ask Becky how it fit on her.