The IX: Soccer Monday with Annie Peterson, September 9, 2019

Lessons from the weekend: SEE SOMETHING? HEAR SOMETHING? ACT! — Becky Sauerbrunn interview — Must-click woso links

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How to be anti-racist

First off, if you haven’t yet, fill out the U.S. Women’s National Team Players Association survey and let them know what you think. It’s here.

We still don’t know what happened in the stands at Friday night’s game between the Utah Royals and the Portland Thorns. Perhaps the investigation by the Royals will yield some answers.

To recap, an accusation was made via Twitter about a racist taunt directed at Portland goalkeeper Adrianna Franch. The tweet has since been deleted, and the Salt Lake Tribune reached out to the account but there was no response. Security was dispatched to the section, but apparently no one could identify the person who made the comments. I saw one report that the person was ID’d but that security did not feel there was enough evidence to remove him or her.

I’ve also heard the Royals *may* make additional information available tomorrow.

Here’s what struck me, however. AD went to Twitter to address it, and said it wasn’t first for her.—%20Adrianna%20Franch%20(@ADizzle23)%20a%20href=

That’s so, so sad.

We need to be especially vigilant in this current political climate to make sure racists don’t feel emboldened. The onus is on each and every one of us.

We cannot shrink away from the confrontation. Make sure these people understand that this kind of behavior is ABHORRENT. Call them out, get them in trouble, identify them in public, videotape it, post it on social media. Make it that the consequence for being a racist jerk is being PUBLICLY known as a racist jerk.

Every single person in those stands who heard anything should have — en masse — gotten their phones out, taken photos and videos of the idiot and pointed at them when security was called. You need to do better than just a random tweet.

It’s up to us.

There another head-scratcher in all of this. The NWSL’s statement about the incident uses the words “per league policy.’’ But I’ve never seen this policy, and it’s not on the league’s website. I’ve requested a copy.—%20NWSL%20(@NWSL)%20a%20href=

I find it interesting that this has come up because of all the controversy of Major League Soccer’s fan code of conduct, and the antifascist Iron Front issue, which I wrote about here last week.

Most top pro leagues in the United States — including the NFL, NHL and NBA — all have published fan codes of conduct. The codes cover things like unruly behavior and intoxication and the like.

The NWSL should have one, too.

One positive: The league, the teams, the players union and several individual players denounced the behavior, even before the investigation was complete.

And with that, I’m on to the links.

This Week in Women’s Soccer

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!

This was breaking as I was writing today, but apparently Trump told FIFA President Gianni Infantino to make women’s soccer more equitable.

Meg Linehan looked at Thorns-Royals incident for The Athletic this morning. Linehan also wrote an excellent story on what’s being missed in a lot of coverage about NWSL attendance.

Equal Time Soccer’s Matt Privratsky looks at the World Cup bump, too.

John Halloran’s story for The Equalizer on the racist taunts.

Jeff Kassouf from The Equalizer writes about player input in the search for a national team coach.

Don’t remember if I linked to this last week, but Caitlin Murray wrote about players taking advantage of the ability to monetize their likenesses.

NPR looked at head injuries in women’s soccer.

Jamie Goldberg with a story about U.S. Soccer’s soon-to-be changing role in the NWSL.

Positive changes are being made at Sky Blue, including the `interim’ removed from LaHue’s title.

AP’s Rob Harris on the big opening weekend for the Women’s Super League. Also, APs coverage on the Manchester derby is here.

Is Caster Semenya abandoning track for soccer?

ESPN column on mapping out the future for women’s soccer.

Kelley O’Hara in the ESPN The Magazine Body issue.

Suzanne Wrack for the Guardian on putting women’s games in big stadiums.

Ellen White talks to The Telegraph about the World Cup, and being offside.

Alex Morgan talks about the possibility of meeting Ronaldo after that tweet at the FIFA best awards in Milan.

Five at The IX: Becky Sauerbrunn! Goooooaaaallllll!!!!!!!—%20Utah%20Royals%20FC%20(@UtahRoyalsFC)%20a%20href=

Sauerbrunn spoke to reporters following the game Friday about her goal.

Question about how it has been awhile since her last goal and if she’s had a game winner

Sauerbrunn: Yeah most of the time when I score we wind up losing the game so this was a nice change. I think coming at the time that it did right now in the season, and against Portland who we’re trying to steal points from because you try to score points on the people above us, I was really happy. I got pretty fortunate, I think Christen was the one that crossed it right? So it was just a great cross and barely missed Sinc’s head. I just got my head to it and luckily I thought it was going wide but somehow it skidded in, so I’ll take it.

Question: You also got a clean sheet as a defender, does one feel more important to you or you? You don’t score a whole lot of goals, does that feel a little bit more special?

Sauerbrunn: No, I think scoring is kind of icing. My job for sure is to not let the other team score, so I take more pride in the fact that we kept a clean sheet tonight than I did in scoring the game winning goal. It’s not my job but if that happens to me I’m not gonna be too upset about it.

Question: Did you realize that you got enough on it? It was from far out.

Sauerburnn: It was from far out and I didn’t even have to jump for it because really I thought Sinc was gonna get it. I was kind of blindly going for it just in case. I honestly thought AD either had it or it was going wide because it was so far out, but I think the grass was just the right amount of slickness, I got it in.

Question: Looking at the chances created, they created 18 and you guys created five. Obviously you guys came out with the win, so when when you’re kind of under it like that for a whole game, especially by a team like that, how do you guys keep your composure in order to figure out a way to win?

Sauerbrunn: Well we knew going into this game that Portland, when they get chances they’re extremely dangerous, especially on set pieces. We’ve had a more comprehensive training program around set pieces and defending set pieces, we’ve kind of changed up since the season before. I think last year we gave up a lot of set piece goals and so going in this season that was one of the things that we were going to pride ourselves on. Portland is pretty well known for either on the first or the second phase making a lot of and generating a lot of chances on the set pieces. So Barney came up huge, Corsie, Bowen cleared a bunch out. I think everyone was just really, really on the game tonight because any drop ball is very dangerous for Portland.

Question: Does it feel like this was a particularly good win given where they’re at on the table? [00:02:43][9.0]

Sauerbrunn: I think all wins feel really good, especially in this league. I think on any given night any team can beat any other team. The fact that Portland’s No. 1 right now and it’s the only team in Utah’s history that hasn’t beaten Portland, I think having that tonight, that was a win that I think we needed kind of like a confidence booster, knowing that we can beat the people ahead of us. We can beat Portland. We’ve beaten everyone else is so now it’s just `All right. Let’s see it through the rest of the season, let’s make a playoff push in the playoffs.’ And I think we make the playoffs we have every chance of winning a championship.

Question: How much confidence does this team have right now and how important is that,coming into this part of the season where it’s really kind of do or die, make or break?

Sauerbrunn: I mean I think this team has a fair amount of confidence. I think we know that this league is just insanely talented and so every single night is a battle. But I think it’s a confidence and it’s a momentum that we’re growing from. The way that Laura wants us to play takes a little bit of time to gel and so we might not start the season as strong as we want but we’re hoping that we’re going to end it very strong. I think we’re starting to get that chemistry on the field, the relationships, trying to get more people healthy. But we’re kind of at a good point right now where everything’s kind of gelling a little bit more. We kind of know where each other’s at. Even today you can kind of tell we’re a little off on some of those final third passes. So we’re almost there, I think we get more dangerous but I think it’s a good run to form right now so hopefully can carry that on.

Mondays: Soccer

By: Annie Peterson, @AnnieMPeterson AP Women’s Soccer
Tuesdays: Tennis
By Lindsay Gibbs, @Linzsports ThinkProgress
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