The IX: Soccer Monday with Annie M. Peterson for March 16, 2020
LOTS AND LOTS happening in WoSo, despite the coronavirus. Plus so many links, it's scary. And Carli Lloyd spoke following the SheBelieves victory, addresses the jersey decision.
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What a week it has been. In a lot of different ways.
Last last Monday night, after I had already published Soccer Monday for the day, U.S. Soccer dropped a bomb. Well, kinda. There were plenty of hints that this was coming.
Both sides filed their responses to the motions for summary judgement: U.S. Soccer had asked for the case to be dropped, the women’s national team asked for a ruling in its favor.
In a nutshell: the USSF argument appears to be that the women are inferior to the men and therefore shouldn’t be paid at much. They also have less responsibility, so again, they should be paid less.
There were signs this was coming: Like when the lawyer deposed Carli Lloyd and asked her about training with the U-18 team. She was also asked whether the women could beat the German men’s national team. That nugget was in Lloyd’s deposition that dropped on on Feb. 22.
But the stark nature of the latest document drop caught hold, provoking criticism from sponsors, players, and, significantly, members of the USSF board, including MLS Commissioner Don Garber and VP Cindy Parlow Cone.
For USSF President Carlos Cordeiro apologized. Then he quit.
Which leads us to Cindy Parlow Cone.
A former national team midfielder, I met her when she was coach of the Portland Thorns, leading the team to the first NWSL championship in 2013. Looking back, here’s the story I did from the team’s post-championship celebration. (Fun to go back and look at it now).
So the general feeling is that Parlow Cone will be able to better guide U.S. Soccer’s tactics going forward, when it comes to the lawsuit. Mediation indeed seems more likely.
I’m somewhat skeptical, though. Like many, I refer back to this letter (Thanks, ProSoccerUSA) that was addressed to the U.S. Soccer board. If this fell on largely deaf ears, allowing the federation to go forward with is legal arguments, then will Parlow Cone’s promotion have much of an impact?
Hope Solo said it this way: “The blatant disrespect and sexist attitude toward the women’s team is nothing new. It didn’t start with Carlos and it won’t end with his resignation. It’s been in place for decades, was perpetuated under Sunil Gulati and was tolerated by so many in the organization. For meaningful change to happen, it has to be institutional.”
For U.S. Soccer to rescue its reputation, it seems like it’s time for a settlement. Perhaps Parlow Cone will raise her voice, along with fellow board members Lori Lindsey, Lisa Carnoy and Patti Hart.
Interesting tidbit: At least according to AP’s metrics, the Equal Pay story was getting a lot of attention late last week, and was one of the few stories that broke through all the coronavirus news. I think that’s significant. U.S. Soccer seems to be really losing the public relations battle on this.
On a final note, here’s a PSA: Because of the coronavirus a lot of freelance journalists are losing work, a lot of us in sports are being asked to contribute on the news side. Please, if you have a few bucks to spare, support the work of outlets like The Equalizer, The Athletic, and your local newspapers if they have a paywall. This is going to get worse before it gets better, and many of us well remember what the crash of 2008 meant for journalism. Clicks matter, too. (Editor’s note: every bit for us helps, too. Thank you so much for supporting our work. If there’s someone you know who you think would want to do so as well, here’s a discount to pass along as well.)
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.
First a few from me and my AP colleagues, namely Ron Blum: US soccer apologizes for tactic. Cordeiro resigns. Cindy Parlow Cone takes over at a critical time. And, if you missed it, the national team friendlies have been canceled.
Sports Illustrated’s Michael McCann, who is an actual lawyer, looks at the possibilities in the wake of Cordeiro’s resignation.
Jess Kassouf on what Cordeiro’s exit means from The Equalizer.
Caitlin Murray looks at the takeaways from the SheBelieves Cup amid the coronavirus, for Yahoo Sports.
Murray on why Cordeiro’s resignation won’t change much, for the Guardian.
Shalis Manza Young for Yahoo on Cordeiro’s resignation as a good first step.
Rachel Bachman from the Wall Street Journal broke the Coca-Cola criticism. She’s a must-read when it comes to the lawsuit.
Gotta say, Molly Hensley-Clancy has been doing some amazing work for Buzzfeed in this Equal Pay case. She was great at updating the sponsor backlash.
Here’s a good explainer of the case from ESPN.
Jezebel weighs in.
Nancy Armour with a good column for USA Today on why the USSF’s arguments are insulting to everyone.
Meg Linehan and Paul Tenorio on the lingering questions after Cordeiro’s resignation for The Athletic.
Linehan asks: How does U.S. Soccer recover from this?
Stephanie Yang for starsandstripesfc.com about whether Parlow Cone can win back the USWNT’s trust.
The Mixxed Zone podcast with a good one: USSF’s March Madness of Soccer.
Julia Poe for ProSoccerUSA on how the Chicago Red Stars are doing good.
Tweet of the Week!
Five at The IX: Postmatch (again!) Carli Lloyd
Many, many thanks to Harjeet Johal for this week’s Five At The IX.
Question: What was your impression of the Japanese team?
Lloyd: They’re a very good team. Obviously, I’ve been a part of this team for quite some time, so I’ve seen the evolution of them. I know that they’ve been in a very long rebuilding phase since 2015. And it’s impressive. It’s impressive to continue to stick with a philosophy and a way of playing. They’re a very good team, very good on the ball. And I give them huge props to continue to to implement what what kind of style they want to play.
Question: Do you think they can be aggressive as American teams?
Lloyd: I don’t know. I mean, I think that you you sort of have that within. I think that it’s something that definitely can be learned. But to have that mentality and, you know, to kind of go out every single day and bring that mentality is, sometimes that is kind of inside a person, per se. But in our team, we obviously have had that mentality. It’s kind of been the culture. So, yeah. We’ll see what happens with Japan, but all the best to them.
Question: Have you seen the latest statement (the apology) from U.S. Soccer Federation? And if you have, what’s your response to it?
Lloyd: You know, I think it’s just very unfortunate timing. All of it. Obviously, this is a very, very tough situation that we as players are in, and it’s not something that we want to be public about, you know? But at the end of the day, I think that we all stand united as a team. I can’t comment, I didn’t fully read the statement that was put out, yet. I literally just came out a locker room in here. So, I’ll take some time to read it. But I think a lot of it has been unacceptable, what’s gone on. We just want to continue to keep making things better. We’ve obviously proven it on the field, and that’s ultimately our job first and foremost. But it’s our job as well to keep pushing and making things better.”
Question: We’ve seen the notes from your deposition. But were you surprised by the stuff that came out in the court flight filing this week?
Lloyd: I honestly haven’t read all of that, either. I mean, I had my deposition that was, you know, three and a half hours. So I can remember that fully. It’s interesting because I train with U-18 boys team at home. And I said that in my deposition. I’m more skillful than all of those boys there, put together, but they’re bigger, they’re stronger and they’re faster. And that’s just the way that they are born, As they get older we just can’t compete with that. That’s science. But from a skill point, I’m better than every single one of those boys and are more skilled than any one of those boys. So you put some more speed and more strength, and all that on me and there’s no doubt that that I’d be able to fully compete. But me, as an almost 38 year old, I’m still still given those boys a run for their money. So there’s a lot to process. I’ve kind of taken this whole SheBelieves Cup and just really tried to focus in on the games. So I haven’t really been on Twitter. I’ve been been binge watching on other things and kind of making sure my my head space is on that. But we’re united as a team more than ever and we’re we’re not going to go down without a fight. That’s for sure.
Question: The team came out in warm ups and had their kits inside out. When did the team decide they were going to do this? And was it because of what happened with the statement the other day?
Lloyd: Yes, it was a direct correlation from the statement. We just decided today as a group, and everybody was on board with it. And I think it just was a powerful message, without having to really send a message. I’m really proud of this group because this is not an easy thing. Like I said, we don’t want to be in this position, but we’re here and it’s just gotta be better.
Question: What’s your reaction to the NBA suspending the season and a player testing positive?
Lloyd: I haven’t been able to catch up on all this news. Yeah, it’s it’s crazy. We’re on planes and in hotels and all sorts of things. This is our lives. And I can tell you that the majority of the times I get sick is when I’m traveling — when your immune system’s low. It’s obviously, there’s a lot of things going on. For us where we’re probably gonna go home and who knows if other things are gonna get canceled, postponed. It’s crazy. It’s it’s scary. It’s obviously something that we don’t want to see continue to spread.
I’m hoping that the warmer weather kind of zaps it out of people. But, yeah, it’s definitely a scary thing and it’s a real thing. So we all might have some extended holidays when we get home.