U.S. women’s national soccer team to honor Stoneman Douglas shooting victim

On Sunday morning, Marjory Stoneman Douglas soccer captain Jamie Morris sent out a simple request to the U.S. women’s national soccer team: Honor our friend Alyssa Alhadeff. Alhadeff, a 14-year-old freshman and an avid soccer player, was one of the 17 people killed in the mass shooting at her high school on Feb. 14. “The USWNT exemplifies strength, activism, and resilience, and as young soccer players, we admire you,” Morris’ message, which went viral on Twitter, read in part. “Please let me know if there is a way we could work together to support Alyssa’s memory and commemorate our amazing school, Marory Stoneman Douglas High School.” The national team listened loud and clear, announcing Sunday it will honor Alyssa during to its match against England in Orlando on March 7. “Thank you so much to everyone who helped @jamiemorris03's tweet spread and make its way to us,” the post reads. “We got in touch with Alyssa’s family last week and are honored to say they will be at our match in Orlando on March 7, where we will hold a moment of silence to honor her life.” Thank you so much to everyone who helped @jamiemorris03's tweet spread and make its way to us. We got in touch with Alyssa’s family last week and are honored to say they will be at our match in Orlando on March 7, where we will hold a moment of silence to honor her life. pic.twitter.com/2OwbB40fMI— U.S. Soccer WNT (@ussoccer_wnt) February 25, 2018 In a second tweet, the U.S. Women’s National Team confirmed that Alhadeff’s club team — Parkland Travel Soccer — will be attending the match and that it has reached out to the Douglas soccer team as well. The match will take place at Orlando City Stadium as part of the SheBelieves Cup. The match is set to begin at 7 p.m. “Thank you so much,” Morris wrote in response to the national soccer team’s announcement. “We are very Continue Reading

NFL, WNBA and US women’s soccer unions link in licensing biz

The players' unions for the U.S. women's national soccer team and the WNBA are joining with the licensing arm of the NFL players' union as founding partners of a business that will provide group licensing and brand management services to athletes.REP Worldwide, which stands for Representing Every Player, was launched Monday.The initiative stems from the work of NFL Players Inc., an arm of the NFL Players Association, which has allowed athletes to tap revenue streams independent of their contracts, supplementing their own salaries and helping to fund their union.The NFLPA will work in collaboration with founding partners to develop the business."Building on the athlete likeness commercialization successes we've seen through the NFLPA, REP Worldwide can immediately stand alone in terms of what it can offer athletes and partners alike," said NFL Players Inc. President Ahmad Nassar.When the women's national team reached a new contract with U.S. Soccer in April, the players earned the right to control group likeness rights for licensing and non-exclusive rights in sponsorship categories where the federation did not have a sponsor.REP Worldwide will be guided by an athlete advisory board as well as an executive board that includes representatives from all three unions. Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Continue Reading

Abby Wambach, U.S. Women’s National Soccer team legend, aims to further ‘evolve the game’

Abby Wambach remembers the days when she first started playing for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer team and the attendance levels, in her mind, “were at an all-time high.” “That was even during the Mia Hamm era,” says Wambach, the retired forward whose rookie year on the national team was 2003, and who later won two Olympic gold medals and one World Cup title (2015) during her storied career. But two years removed from calling it quits, Wambach thinks that women’s and girls’ soccer continues to evolve for the better, and she says that the Danone Nations Cup international youth tournament — which will have its world final Sept. 24 at New Jersey’s Red Bull Arena — is a perfect example of putting that philosophy into effect. “I want to continue to try to help evolve the game in the U.S. It’s so great to put kids in competitive environments, teaching them the values of winning, and also the values of losing,” says Wambach, who is a Nations Cup ambassador. “These kids are going to experience the highest of highs. And some will experience the lowest of lows. Right now in our day and age, those are some values that are sorely needed in our culture.” Wambach, 37, says that during her playing days, one of the arguments she often heard was that women’s sports “don’t generate” enough income or that investors in those sports don’t reap any return. But Wambach says that theory has been squashed with the success of teams like the one she played on for so many years. Women’s soccer in particular, Wambach says, has been riding a wave of popularity ever since she turned pro. “Winning the 2015 World Cup was the pinnacle. It was epic. Women are now garnering 20,000 to 25,000 (fans) per match they play,” says Wambach. “That means there is actual evidence out there that our national team is not only growing in Continue Reading

SEE IT: Hope Solo gets emotional seconds after learning about her suspension from the women’s national soccer team

Video cameras were rolling the moment Hope Solo found out about her suspension and the footage shows that her response was an angry, emotional one. “Seventeen f------ years and it's over,” Solo, said harshly, fighting back tears in front of a camera crew for the documentary series “Keeping Score” and her husband, former NFL player Jeremy Stevens. “Six months suspension,” Solo said, hugging Stevens. “No pay. Terminated contract. Effective immediately.” It’s all a result of Solo, 35, calling the Sweedish nation team “a bunch of cowards” after the US squad fell to them in penalty kicks in the semifinal round of the Olympics. “The comments by Hope Solo after the match against Sweden during the 2016 Olympics were unacceptable and do not meet the standard of conduct we require from our National Team players,” said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said when handing down the suspension. Solo was being recorded for the Fullscreen documentary, "Keeping Score," which has chronicled her journey, as well as teammates Megan Rapinoe’s and Crystal Dunne’s, to and from the Olympics in Rio. The complete episode that features Solo learning of her suspension from the national team will air next month. Continue Reading

Afghanistan women’s soccer team to debut uniforms with built-in hijabs, leggings

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — With a little tuck here and a little tuck there, Shabnam Mabarz hides her long hair under a red headscarf and gets ready to play. “Voila,” said the 20-year-old Mabarz, a member of Afghanistan’s national soccer team. Mabarz and her teammates will be the first to wear a new hijab that is connected to the base layer under their national team shirt. The new creation, which also includes leggings, will make it easier for women to combine their soccer with their faith. Using it is optional. “This jersey is the Afghani team uniform and I am proud to be a role model for thousands of young girls and women back home in Afghanistan,” said Khalida Popal, the team’s former captain. “It is very special to me. It is our identity.” The outfit was designed by Danish sportswear brand Hummel, the company that also makes the national team uniforms for Denmark and Lithuania. LIONEL MESSI SENDS JERSEY TO AFGHAN BOY WEARING PLASTIC BAG Playing soccer in Afghanistan can be dangerous for women, so many members of the national team live in Europe. “Football was not easy for us to play, especially in a male-dominated country,” Popal told The Associated Press. “It was not acceptable for women to play. Football is a man’s game.” When women are allowed to play in Afghanistan, they are usually required to wear a headscarf. But that often proves tricky with the cloth sometimes falling over the players’ eyes. “So we thought of this solution, the sports hijab that is part of the whole package we made for the Afghan Football Federation,” Hummel owner Christian Stadil said. “We wanted to make one that is cool and fashionable.” FOLLOW THE DAILY NEWS SPORTS ON FACEBOOK. "LIKE" US HERE. Stadil, who previously sponsored the exiled Tibet team, said the brand was in talks with other Middle Eastern countries Continue Reading

Alex Rodriguez, Yankees cheer on U.S. women’s soccer team as world champs beat England in Tampa

TAMPA — Several Yankees took a short field trip together on Thursday night — OK, across the street from Steinbrenner Field — to attend the U.S. women's national soccer team's 1-0 victory over England at Raymond James Stadium. "We won, so that was great, it was a great game," Alex Rodriguez said. "I'm somewhat of a fan. I don't know much about it, but it was great supporting our women's team." The Yanks watched the match from a luxury suite, but A-Rod and several teammates — including Dellin Betances, CC Sabathia, Carlos Beltran and Brett Gardner — also posed for pictures afterward with team captain Carli Lloyd, goalie Hope Solo, striker Alex Morgan and others, which U.S. Soccer later posted on Twitter and Instagram. FOLLOW HE DAILY NEWS SPORTS ON FACEBOOK. "LIKE" US HERE.  "It was a lot of fun, something different to enjoy ourselves here in spring training," Betances said. "I'm a fan. I watch every sport, I'm a big sports guy and anytime you can have a chance to watch the USA team play, it's a lot of fun." Rodriguez also presented a signed bat to Solo, saying she and her husband — former NFL tight end Jerramy Stevens "are buddies of mine from the Seattle days." Solo tweeted a group photo with the caption "Nothing like having the support of the @Yankees when you play England!" "It was my first time seeing the women play, the best women's team in the world," Gardner said. "Everyone thinks I must have played soccer when I was little because I'm fast, but I never played growing up. But it was a cool experience and a great game." Continue Reading

US Women’s National Team calls foul on US Soccer, files complaint with EEOC alleging unequal payment

The defending World Cup champion U.S. women’s soccer team took a legal kick Thursday at a big-bucks pay disparity with their American men’s team counterparts. Five members of the title-winning squad, in a federal discrimination complaint, charged they were paid millions of dollars less than their mediocre male counterparts despite vastly superior play. “The numbers speak for themselves,” said women’s national team goalie Hope Solo. “We are the best in the world, have three World Cups, four Olympic Championships, and the (men) get paid more to show up.” EXCLUSIVE: HOW WOMEN'S SOCCER MISTREATS WORLD CUP-WINNING WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM The women, for example, earn $30,000 each for making the World Cup team — compared to $68,750 for the men, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint. Women’s team members, for 20 matches a year, can make a maximum of $99,000 — while the men can collect $263,320 for the same workload. EIGHT WOMEN BREAKING BARRIERS IN MEN'S SPORTS The most dramatic difference came in the World Cup, where the women — despite winning their third title in 2015 — received $2 million in compensation. The men, after posting a mark of 1-2-1 one year earlier in the World Cup, earned more than four times the women, collecting $9 million. “I think that we’ve proven our worth over the years,” said New Jersey native Carli Lloyd, the team’s all-time leading goal scorer. “Just coming off of a World Cup win, the pay disparity between the men and women is just too large. And we want to continue to fight.” FOLLOW THE DAILY NEWS SPORTS ON FACEBOOK. "LIKE" US HERE. The federal civil rights complaint came a day after the Daily News chronicled in a special online report a list of player grievances that have loomed over the sport over the past year. Rather Continue Reading

Captain of Iranian women’s soccer team to miss Asian Cup after husband confiscates passport

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The captain of the Iranian women’s soccer team will miss the Asian Cup tournament as her husband has confiscated her passport in a domestic quarrel, local media has reported. The dispute between 30-year-old midfielder Niloufar Ardalan and her husband, sports journalist Mahdi Toutounchi, touches on the rights of women in the Islamic Republic. Under Iranian law, husbands can stop their wives from traveling outside of the country. News of Ardalan missing the tournament came Monday, when Iranian news website fararu.com reported that Ardalan wouldn’t be traveling to Malaysia for the Asian Cup, which begins Thursday. Ardalan’s husband reportedly wanted her to be home for their son’s first day of school. FOLLOW THE DAILY NEWS SPORTS ON FACEBOOK. "LIKE" US HERE. In an Instagram post Tuesday, Ardalan said foreign media was exaggerating her case, but also acknowledged she would be missing the tournament. She also made a call for Iran to change its laws governing married women’s travel. “I am only a national soldier who fights to raise flag of our country,” she wrote. “I wish a law would be approved that allows female soldiers to fight for raising the flag.” The dilemma of Ardalan, known by the nickname “Lady Goal,” has sparked social media chatter across Iran, with many demanding she be allowed to travel and play. Women’s sports largely disappeared after Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution. Over time, however, they have gained popularity, especially soccer. Social customs still come into the game though, as the country’s soccer team plays its games with players’ hair covered by hijabs. Two Islamic countries make the headscarf mandatory for women in public — Iran and Saudi Arabia. FIFA overturned a yearlong ban against players wearing hijabs in 2012. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

U.S. women’s soccer team qualifies for World Cup, but Hope Solo case lingers

CHESTER, Pa. — The U.S. women’s soccer team is so much better than its CONCACAF rivals that no American coach has to worry much at these regional matches about being second-guessed on her lineup. So when the Americans officially qualified Friday for the 2015 World Cup in Canada with a 3-0 victory over Mexico in a CONCACAF championship semifinal, Jill Ellis was on safe ground starting without Abby Wambach — the country’s all-time leading goal scorer who had just been nominated by FIFA for Player of the Year, the Ballon d’Or. Ellis’ move, in the biggest match of the year, never was going to blow up in her face the way that Landon Donovan’s omission created a shortcoming for Jurgen Klinsmann in Brazil. “They have so many weapons, so many tools, they can put out two teams and finish top four or five in the World Cup,” said Mexico coach Leonardo Cuellar. Even without both Wambach, 34, and injured forward Alex Morgan, the U.S. had few problems generating attacks. Tobin Heath’s cross in the sixth minute from the left side found Carli Lloyd’s brow for a header past goalkeeper Pamela Tajonar, taking all the pressure off the Americans. Lloyd then scored a second goal in the 30th minute on a penalty kick drawn by Heath, and Christen Press finished the scoring in the 56th minute, before Wambach finally entered the already secured game in the 62nd minute. “Not just look at how we start games, look at how we finish,” Ellis said, about her employment of Wambach. The U.S. will next face Costa Rica on Sunday in the CONCACAF final. Both nations have clinched a spot in Canada, regardless of the result. “It means a lot, I’ve been playing so long, especially with this team,” said Christie Rampone, who received a diamond necklace from U.S. Soccer for her 300th cap, under six different U.S. coaches. “Now we have to peak at the right time.” Hope Solo Continue Reading

U.S. women’s soccer team looks to erase memory of bitter World Cup defeat as they get a rematch vs. Japan for Olympic gold

LONDON - These heart stopping, improbable comebacks on the soccer pitch are not the exclusive property of the U.S. women. Sure, they've produced their share of miracle finishes in just the last 13 months alone, punctuated by Monday's thrilling victory over Canada at Old Trafford. But those types of dramatic moments can work both ways. And it is the memory of two blown leads resulting in a bitter defeat to Japan at last year's World Cup that still stings the Americans and serves as motivation heading into Thursday's gold medal match at historic Wembley Stadium. "They snatched our dream last year," Megan Rapinoe says. Organizers are expecting a crowd of approximately 83,000 which would be an Olympic and United Kingdom record for a women's match. The home of England's national soccer team is the perfect setting for top two teams in the world who have forged a terrific rivalry in a short amount of time. "I've been hoping for this final from the moment I stepped off the podium in Germany," said forward Abby Wambach. "The way we lost the World Cup gives us even more passion and desire to perform." "It's definitely redemption," added midfielder Carli Lloyd. "But also a chance to show we're No. 1 in the world." When the Americans played Japan in Frankfurt they were the superior side only to lose the title in a penalty kick shootout. In the final minutes of regulation, Japan overcame a one-goal deficit and then repeated the feat in the final minutes of extra time. It was a stunning defeat for the U.S. and an uplifting win for Japan, a nation recovering from an earthquake and tsunami. Japan celebrates World Cup victory - PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP/Getty Images Japan reached the gold medal match by eliminating disappointing Brazil in the quarterfinals and surviving a late penalty kick to defeat France 2-1. Meanwhile, the U.S. cemented its reputation as the cardiac gals of soccer by rallying from a one goal down three times against Canada in the semifinals Continue Reading