The IX: Soccer Monday with Annie M. Peterson for May 18, 2020

Hair today, gone tomorrow — Christine Sinclair interview — Must-clock woso links

(Hi! Howard Megdal here. The IX helps build the necessary infrastructure for women’s sports media. In this moment, freelance budgets are being cut, reporters are losing their jobs. Women’s sports always bears the brunt of that first.

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Hair today, gone tomorrow

In case you missed it, Sue Bird cut Megan Rapinoe’s hair in A Touch More. I just found out that a The IX reader was teasing me and Howard over who gets to use this. (Editor’s note: I always yield to Annie.) This image just really says it all.

Thanks to both of them for the great content while we’re all at home. Also, they’re raising money for a good cause.

Late Friday the NWSL extended the training moratorium through May 24. Teams have allowed the players to work out individually or per household on outdoor fields under strict protocols.

Houston, Portland, Utah, Orlando and North Carolina have all started the workouts. But the Reign, Red Stars, Sky Blue and Spirit are still under stay-at-home orders. Could that mean those teams will be behind once play can resume?

And what about play resuming? So far, a couple of ideas have been floated, including the latest from Steven Goff of the Washington Post.

I’d be OK with this because I might be able to convince AP to send me — if the controlled environment included some media — because Utah is fairly close. Although I’m guessing the existing proposals don’t make concessions for me. 🙂

There was an earlier plan to have all the teams come to Washington D.C., although one league source I talked to said it was never seriously considered.

So what does all of this tell us? Basically, nothing. I think it’s safe to say that league officials, like everyone else, are looking to see if the infection rates start to decline as states re-open.

Moving on, there’s a movie in the works about the 99ers, based on Jere Longman’s amazing book, The Girls of Summer. Lots of folks have weighed in on a wish list of actresses for the actresses including Stephanie Yang for All For XI, so I’ll play along with a few of mine:

Michelle Akers: Ellie Kemper

Mia Hamm: Kristen Stewart

Brandi Chastain: Brie Larson

Kristine Lilly: Emma Watson

Julie Foudy: Anna Kendrick

I have no reasons really for picking these except that it would be cool to see them all together in a movie about the 99ers. Or you could just go with the originals:—%20Gal%20Pal%20Sports%20(@GalPalSports)%20a%20href=

One last thing before I move on to the links. FIFA announced that on June 25 the FIFA Congress will select the site of the 2023 Women’s World Cup. You likely know the players: Australia/New Zealand, Japan, Colombia and Brazil.

Here are links to their bid books:

Australia/New Zealand, As One.

Brazil, First quote goes to, who else, but Marta.

Colombia. The odds are against it, but it could be really cool for women’s soccer in South America.

Japan. Very complete.

The Australia/New Zealand bid was winning in my Twitter mentions. But we’ll see. On to the links.


(Reminder: First, the underlined words are the links. Second. CLICK these, even if you’ve already read them. ESPECIALLY NOW, as newsrooms are forced to make difficult choices. Clicks = Attention from editors, producers and webmasters. Third, if you want to push out stuff you’ve written or read, email me!

First off, if you missed The Business of Women’s Soccer forum with Lindsay Barenz, Gretchen Hamm, Alyse LaHue and moderator Meg Linehan, don’t fret! It is being rebroadcast on Twitch TV at TODAY at 5 p.m. ET. I cannot recommend this more. So much positivity and momentum for the women’s game right now. I hope they do more of these.

I’m sure you’ve heard about it, but here’s the SI article that folks were talking about this week. Makes you wish Grant Wahl was still there. But, I will say this: As someone who has to cover a lot of sports, and even general news stories, it’s really difficult to parachute in and write about the NWSL. I have trouble at times because I write for an audience that ranges from woso fans to people who know nothing about it.

Katie Whyatt talks about what needs to be addressed for the Women’s Super League to return, for the Telegraph. Yahoo says that the FA is continuing to consult with clubs about the fate of the season.

Samantha Lewis talks about women’s sports in a post-coronavirus world.

ESPN’s Graham Hays with the USWNT’s court date pushed back again. Could be moot if the appeal goes to the Ninth Circuit.

Our fearless leader Howard Megdal talked to fellow Trojan Amy Rodriguez about returning to practice.

Outsports on Megan Rapinoe’s address to graduates: Demand better.

Yahoo on the Netflix movie.

The USWNT filed its appeal, Michael McCann weighs in on what’s next for Sports Illustrated.

Soccer America’s Beau Dure looked at the landscape for girls’ soccer in the wake of the demise of the Development Academy.

The LA Times’ great Kevin Baxter on referee Katja Koroleva, who is also an emergency room attendant on the front lines of the coronavirus.

ESPN looks at what the fight for equal pay really means in sports.

Tweet of the week

This ain’t right. Hope Solo’s dog was shot after he wandered on to a nearby property.—%20Hope%20Solo%20(@hopesolo)%20a%20href=

Five at The IX: Christine Sinclair

So I found out recently that Richard Farley tweeted out that I asked Sinclair a theoretical question about if the goal record was still hanging in the midst of the pandemic. I DID NOT ASK THIS QUESTION! It was some guy with an accent. (Note to Farley: How on earth did you confuse us? LOL) although I kinda wish I did. Not reading my mentions lately for obvious reasons connected to the USWNT lawsuit.

Sinclair was a good sport. She laughed and said: “Absolutely. I mean, that record had been weighing on me for probably about a year and a half as the goals were ticking away and you start to realize like, if I stay healthy, it’s just going to happen. It’s just a matter of when. But it was a lot. It was stressful. And especially with the national team, you play one game and then you don’t have another game for four months or three months or whatever the case may be. And so you have to sit with that for those three months, which is a lot. I was grateful to get it out of the way and I mean that in the best possible way.”

Here’s some other excerpts from the interview.

Question: You guys got a chance to get back into the facility, begin working out. What did that feel like?

Sinclair: I mean, to be honest, like it was pretty similar to what I’ve been doing, just it happened to be at Providence Park. It was good be able to go into the stadium, but obviously we’re not to use any of the facilities other than the field. We each have our own little corner of the field. That’s about it. Everything’s just on your own, unless you happen to live with someone on the team, then you can train with them. So it’s a lot of individual drills. Pretty similar to what I’ve been doing for the past eight weeks.

Question: I know you have to stay on your separate parts of the field, but did you get to see any teammates from afar that you hadn’t been able to see in a while?

Sinclair: Yeah. I was obviously great to see them. Great to see some of my new teammates that obviously weren’t on the Thorns before and then to see the staff. It’s a good group. I think we’re all looking forward to the season. Unfortunately, you know, it’s progressing the way it is.

Question: How’s your family doing? And how are you doing? Considering everything’s going on? What are you thinking right now?

Sinclair: Well, first, the family. I think they’re doing OK. I haven’t seen them since this all started. They’re all in the Vancouver area, and for me to go up to Canada right now would be two weeks of quarantine. So that’s not ideal. But yeah, they’re doing alright. My mom’s doing alright. She’s in a care home. She’s hanging in there, a little bored, but other than that everyone’s just trying to make the best of it. Everyone’s mastered face time. So that’s good and bad.

As for me, just trying to go slow, it’s been a roller coaster of a few months, especially with the Olympics and things like that. You know, you head into this year with goals and aspirations. You qualify for the Olympics and then all of a sudden they’re postponed. So just a little bit of a reset in terms of the focus for the year and just trying to make the most of it.

Question: I was wondering if getting back onto the pitch, was that significant to you? Did it mean a little bit more?

Sinclair: I think it was just like, for me, a minor step, but a step in the right direction, a step in the direction of hopefully being able to play some games, some meaningful games, throughout the rest of the year. A necessary step. But I still think we have a very long way to go. This is a nice change-up, I’m not going to lie, from finding random fields and training in your garage to actually have a world-class pitch to to train on and actually to get to throw on some Thorns gear, yeah, it was nice.

Question: Do you feel optimistic about getting the chance to play again? To have the season to play matches? Where are you at on that?

Sinclair: You know, obviously, I’m no expert, I think I personally go through like one day. I’m like, yeah, you can see progress is being made and somewhere down the line this is gonna happen. And then the next day you’re like, `Who are we kidding?’ So it just for me, it depends on the day. As a team and as a league, we’re just following the guidelines of experts and we’ll see where that takes us.

Question: I was wondering if you had been able to speak or face time with some of the younger players that have come in, like Sophia Smith and Morgan Weaver, and has there been anything that has impressed you about those players?

Sinclair: As a team, we’ve had quite a few Zoom meetings and things like that, where we’ve been broken off into smaller groups. I’ve been fortunate to be in small groups with both of them. The thing I’m impressed is just their maturity. I mean, obviously, it’s one thing to come across on a platform like this, but they their soccer knowledge change seems top class. Those, for instance, are two of the players that you just wish this season could have gone on normally. I was really looking forward to playing a season with them. Obviously we’ll just have to wait for to see what happens this year and next year.

Question: Earlier this year, you hit a personal milestone that was very significant in the soccer world. And I’m wondering, since you’ve had time to be at home and able to reflect on that achievement, what your thoughts are on that?

Sinclair: I’m not going to lie, it’s not something I spend too much time thinking about. When people bring it up, even today, like Nadine was like You broke the record! And I was like, What Record? Like, I didn’t even dawn on me what she was telling me. It seems like a different world ago that it happened. It’s definitely something I am proud of. It’s an achievement. I think when I’m done playing that, I’ll look back and that’s a pretty cool one to have. I think it just goes to show that I’ve been very fortunate to have such a long career and such a successful career with the national team. Yeah, I’m pretty proud of it but I think it’s something when I’m done playing that I’ll look back on more.

Mondays: Soccer
By: Annie Peterson, @AnnieMPeterson AP Women’s Soccer
Tuesdays: Tennis
By Joey Dillon, @JoeyDillon  Freelance Tennis Writer
Wednesdays: Basketball
By: Howard Megdal, @HowardMegdal High Post Hoops
Thursdays: Golf
By Carly Grenfell, @Carlygren
Fridays: Hockey
By: Erica Ayala, @ELindsay08 NWHL Broadcaster

Written by Annie Peterson