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

North Korean national soccer teams in Japan for tournament

TOKYO (AP) — North Korea's national soccer teams have arrived in Tokyo as an exception to Japanese sanctions against Pyongyang's missile and nuclear development.North Korea is competing against Japan, China and South Korea in the E-1 Football Championship, which starts Friday.The arrival of North Korea's men's and women's teams comes amid growing tension in the region. Pyongyang test-launched an intercontinental ballistic missile that landed within Japan's 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone, which experts said could hit Washington if launched on a standard trajectory. The U.S. and South Korean militaries are holding a major air force exercise.Japan has banned North Korean nationals from entering the country as part of its sanctions against Pyongyang's nuclear and missile tests. 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

Federal judge hears arguments on whether U.S. women’s national soccer team has the right to strike

CHICAGO (AP) — A federal judge in Chicago has heard arguments whether the world champion U.S. women’s soccer team has the right to strike for improved conditions and wages before this year’s Olympics. Lawyers for the U.S. Soccer Federation told Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman at a Thursday hearing that a no-strike clause is implied in a still-valid 2013 memorandum with players. But a lawyer for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team Players Association balked at that claim. Jeffrey Kessler said the federation had “screwed up” by not securing a no-strike clause in writing and can’t argue three years later that such a provision is implied. The union wants the option to strike before the Olympics start in August, but hasn’t said it will. Many players have voiced concern over gender equity in soccer. Continue Reading

U.S. national soccer teams to wear rainbow-themed uniforms to support LGBT Pride month

The U.S. men’s and women’s national soccer teams plan to sport rainbow-themed numbers on their uniforms during June contests to support LGBT Pride Month as part of a collaborative initiative between U.S. Soccer and You Can Play— an organization dedicated to eradicating homophobia and transphobia through the sports world.The men’s team members will wear the rainbow shirts in their game against Venezuela on June 3 in Utah. The women’s team will wear theirs in games against Sweden (June 8) and Norway (June 11). After the games, the shirts will be auctioned off for charity.Michael Bradley wore a rainbow captain’s armband last summer in a game against Ecuador. It was later auctioned off to benefit those affected by the Orlando nightclub shooting.USWNT coach Jill Ellis is an open lesbian and has coached openly lesbian stars such as Abby Wambach and Megan Rapinoe.“(A sport) brings every different kind of person together, and you have to have a common goal,” Ellis told USA TODAY Sports in a 2015 story on LGBT issues in the sports world. “And as much as (gay slurs and homophobia) have been a bastion for locker room talk on certain teams, I also think it’s a place where we can break down barriers and forge supportive environments and equality.” Continue Reading

U.S. women’s soccer team expects medal test from Canada in Monday’s semifinal match

LONDON — Hope Solo has seen more action on Twitter than in front of the goal lately. “We haven’t been really tested,” Solo said. “I’m waiting to still get tested, but that’s what happens when you’re ranked No. 1.” PHOTOS: DAY 8 AT THE LONDON GAMES The U.S. women’s soccer team enters Monday’s semifinal match against Canada at Old Trafford in Manchester having posted three straight shutouts after conceding two goals in the first 15 minutes against France. Overall, it hasn’t given up a goal in the last 345 minutes and counting. The U.S. also didn’t play attacking-style teams in its last two matches, either. North Korea employed a defensive system, using five backs to presumably just keep the result respectable. New Zealand’s strategy was to play long balls, but it didn’t have the speed or talent up front to create many chances. The Kiwis didn’t have one corner kick in their 2-0 quarterfinal loss. The Canadians, though, feature Christine Sinclair up front and she scored her 140th international goal in a 2-0 win over Great Britain. With the host nation knocked out, the Americans likely won’t face a crowd of 73,000 rooting against them. “The USA is obviously favorites for the tournament and are on fire right now,” Sinclair said. “But we know them very well and we deserve to be there.” Abby Wambach has 142 international goals, including one in each game of the tournament. But Wambach also plays a key role in defending as both she and fellow striker Alex Morgan pressure the opposing team’s backline when they have the ball. Their relentless pressure unnerved New Zealand from the opening minutes. “When we’re scoring goals our defense has the utmost confidence in themselves and I have the utmost confidence in our defense,” Wambach says. “They’ve proven over the last three games that they are Continue Reading

Olympics 2012: Megan Rapinoe, Abby Wambach and Carli Lloyd find the back of the net to lead U.S. women’s soccer team past Colombia

GLASGOW, Scotland - Megan Rapinoe celebrated her goal by reaching into her sock and pulling out a birthday note for an injured teammate, part of a dominant and somewhat feisty performance that kept the U.S. women's soccer team unbeaten after two games at the Olympics. Megan Rapinoe - Chris Clark/AP Krieger turned 28 Saturday and is sorely missed, but the Americans are so deep that there's always someone else seemingly ready to step in and do an effective job. Boxx injured her right hamstring in the 4-2 win over France, but veteran Lloyd — who led the team in minutes at last year's World Cup — started in Boxx's place and scored for the second time in two games. The win all but assured a berth in the quarterfinals for the Americans, pending the results of Saturday's other matches. The U.S. has one group game remaining against North Korea in Manchester on Tuesday. Colombia wraps up with France in Newcastle on the same day. Colombia is ranked No. 28 in the world and has nine players on U.S. college teams, but South American national squads generally play a light international schedule that gives them little chance to develop any cohesion. Join the Conversation: 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

U.S. women’s national soccer team is missing the color of America

Briana Scurry made her name in the nets, providing a resolute barrier to intrusion during an illustrious 14-year career with the U.S. women's soccer national team. The goalkeeper may have appeared right at home once she got there, but she took a somewhat unconventional route. Although she'd excelled at the sport from an early age and garnered All-American status as a high school standout in Dayton, Minn., her tiny hometown, Scurry says it was only a personal connection between her club soccer coach and Jim Rudy, the former University of Massachusetts coach, that got her the look she needed to land a scholarship. "I completely came in the back window because the front doors were closed to me," says Scurry, 39, who started in goal for the U.S. national team in two Olympics and three World Cups, and played professionally until her retirement last year. As a teenager, Scurry tried out for the Olympic Development Program but did not advance beyond the state level; she never played with the developmental teams of the U.S. Soccer women's program. But in 1993, while she led UMass to NCAA women's soccer championship semifinals, she demonstrated her value to North Carolina coach Anson Dorrance, who was then coaching the U.S. national squad. The fact that she was the only African-American player at UMass, she says, didn't really dawn on her at the time, but Scurry says she has since begun to wonder what factor her race may have played throughout the course of her career. "I think about it more now because I'm trying to think if there's something I'm missing," she says. "Clearly, there is." Women's soccer has skyrocketed, both in quality and popularity, during the past 20 years in the U.S., but Scurry and others say that many minority women are being left out. "Soccer is simply not a choice for young African-American girls," she says, crediting her parents' decision to move to a predominately white suburban neighborhood outside Minneapolis as the "only reason Continue Reading

UWM’s women’s soccer team one of two unbeaten teams in nation

And then there were two.UW-Milwaukee’s women’s soccer team is one of two remaining unbeaten teams in the nation. The Panthers are 12-0-3 and UCLA is 12-0-2.It would be understandable if the Panthers got caught up in their school-record unbeaten streak of 15 games. But that would be counter to their collective mindset and might affect the way they play, so they politely steer the conversation in another direction.“Honestly, that’s not even on my mind,” said senior midfielder Anna Smalley, who leads the team in scoring with eight goals and 21 points.“Obviously, we want to stay unbeaten but we have to focus on each game,” said redshirt senior goalie Mallory Geurts.That’s because as well as they’ve played the Panthers can’t afford to let down their guard. In a bit of a statistical oddity, while they are unbeaten overall they are third in the Horizon League at 4-0-2. IUPUI is 6-0 (13-2 overall) and Northern Kentucky is 5-0-1 (8-4-1).And it’s showdown time as UWM hosts IUPUI at 4 p.m. Wednesday at Engelmann Stadium. After that, only two regular-season games remain before the conference tournament.The Panthers’ success starts with defense. They’ve outscored their opponents, 33-4, and are ranked No. 2 in the nation in goals against average (0.255).Geurts is second nationally with 11 shutouts. She started the season with a shutout streak of 917:25 – the ninth-best mark in NCAA Division I history – before Marquette scored in the 86th minute in a 2-1 Panthers victory Sept. 17.“It’s not just the defense, it’s the entire group,” said coach Troy Fabiano. “One thing we stress is our first line of defense is our forwards. Trying to get forwards to buy into defense sometimes is not the easiest thing.”Said Smalley, “Troy does a good job of making you understand that if you don’t play defense, you’re not going to play.”Fabiano has Continue Reading