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World Soccer XXX: We Have Men Too!

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  • Has Qatar ever been in a World Cup? They're hosting and now all of a sudden they actually looked decent and are Asian champs.

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    • Well, that was an annoying way for the women to lose.

      Canada’s lone goal comes on a penalty given by VAR off a play where I don’t think the contact actually stopped her from getting the ball, because it already passed her by the time she got hit. But alas, it was just inside the box.

      Dominated the stat sheet, controlled play for 80-85 minutes, partly due to Canada willing to sit back, but just couldn’t get one past the line. Helps Canada limited the best chances to headers. US never really got a great look off the foot.
      Go Green! Go White! Go State!

      1966, 1986, 2007

      Go Tigers, Go Packers, Go Red Wings, Go Pistons

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      • Originally posted by Slap Shot View Post

        Didn't you just get done.... never mind.
        Oh I’m sure there was a bit of play acting involved there but, for once, Alexi seemed somewhat genuine there. Lalas undoubtedly loves seeing Mexico get beat, the guys from the 90’s era went through some serious battles against Mexico and I’m sure bad feelings still run deep.
        U-A-A!!!Go!Go!GreenandGold!
        Applejack Tells You How UAA Is Doing...
        I spell Failure with UAF

        Originally posted by UAFIceAngel
        But let's be real...There are 40 some other teams and only two alaskan teams...the day one of us wins something big will be the day I transfer to UAA
        Originally posted by Doyle Woody
        Best sign by a visting Seawolf fan Friday went to a young man who held up a piece of white poster board that read: "YOU CAN'T SPELL FAILURE WITHOUT UAF."

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        • Originally posted by Spartanforlife4 View Post
          Well, that was an annoying way for the women to lose.

          Canada’s lone goal comes on a penalty given by VAR off a play where I don’t think the contact actually stopped her from getting the ball, because it already passed her by the time she got hit. But alas, it was just inside the box.

          Dominated the stat sheet, controlled play for 80-85 minutes, partly due to Canada willing to sit back, but just couldn’t get one past the line. Helps Canada limited the best chances to headers. US never really got a great look off the foot.
          That PK is absolutely the correct call. Canada forward gets in front of the US defender, has position to play the ball and gets kicked in the leg inside the penalty area.

          Lest we forget the USWNT won the World Cup on a controversial VAR PK. VAR giveth, VAR taketh away.
          U-A-A!!!Go!Go!GreenandGold!
          Applejack Tells You How UAA Is Doing...
          I spell Failure with UAF

          Originally posted by UAFIceAngel
          But let's be real...There are 40 some other teams and only two alaskan teams...the day one of us wins something big will be the day I transfer to UAA
          Originally posted by Doyle Woody
          Best sign by a visting Seawolf fan Friday went to a young man who held up a piece of white poster board that read: "YOU CAN'T SPELL FAILURE WITHOUT UAF."

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          • And of course people immediately go after the USWNT coach instead of the players, it is as sad as it is predictable.
            U-A-A!!!Go!Go!GreenandGold!
            Applejack Tells You How UAA Is Doing...
            I spell Failure with UAF

            Originally posted by UAFIceAngel
            But let's be real...There are 40 some other teams and only two alaskan teams...the day one of us wins something big will be the day I transfer to UAA
            Originally posted by Doyle Woody
            Best sign by a visting Seawolf fan Friday went to a young man who held up a piece of white poster board that read: "YOU CAN'T SPELL FAILURE WITHOUT UAF."

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Jimjamesak View Post
              And of course people immediately go after the USWNT coach instead of the players, it is as sad as it is predictable.
              Yeah. You asked me about my friend being shunned by the regulars?

              no. Back then, the coaches were too chicken**** to take out foudy, lily, hamm…so my friend wasn’t developed and was left in the dust
              she was considered premiere talent esp on the left foot. It didn’t matter.

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              • Originally posted by Deutsche Gopher Fan View Post

                Yeah. You asked me about my friend being shunned by the regulars?

                no. Back then, the coaches were too chicken**** to take out foudy, lily, hamm…so my friend wasn’t developed and was left in the dust
                she was considered premiere talent esp on the left foot. It didn’t matter.
                That's pretty much what happens to everyone, star power matters more than ability on the USWNT. Andy Mead, a photographer from North Carolina with years around the WNT (and US Soccer in general) had a really good BigSoccer post on the subject:
                I'll go slow and speak up so those in the back of the class can hear.

                It's not politics. It's economics.

                And people (not just me) have been pointing out all the source and evidence you could want for the last decade or so.

                Not all player unions are created equal.

                The USNTPA (Men) and USWNTPA (Women) unions are a case in point. Getting into the men's union involves suiting up for a game. Getting into the women's union involves getting into a lot of games over a set amount of time (I don't have it in front of me).

                This matters - a lot.

                Why? Because union priorities are set by the members of a union. If you have a union with, say, 70-80 members - where only 18-25 of them are likely to be called on at any given time, your priorities are going to differ than if you have a union of say 28 members with the same caveat.

                As such, the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) that each union has crafted with U.S. Soccer (USSF) is more narrowly tailored for the needs of that membership. And those agreements also tend to reflect the needs at the time in which the basis of the current agreement was reached.

                The men's union (actually not currently under an active CBA, but operating under the dictates of an expired one) is made of mostly working men's professional soccer players in an era where it's now possible to make a very good living as an American man playing soccer. They all, generally, have good jobs and playing for the national team is a bonus, not an expectation. As such their agreement basically pays the more when they show up and pretty much bupkis the rest of the time.

                The women's union current agreement was basically formulated in the dead zone between death of the WUSA and birth five years later of the WPS. It was then re-worked when it became apparent that the WPS's business model wasn't strong enough to keep the league afloat. In order to keep a pool of players working and playing soccer full-time, USSF basically turned the USWNT into a club team. This is pretty much the same thing it did a decade earlier with the MNT before World Cup '94. This was a stopgap measure that was beneficial to US Soccer - allowing it to keep a core group of players ready to play and the players - salary, healthcare, benefits. The trade-off was that the fees they received for actually playing (and winning) games were much lower than what the men earn.

                This was also an era where the USWNT was playing to non-sellout crowds at the Virginia Sportsplex and the like. After the WUSA folded, and the "Founders" retired after the Athens Olympics, attendance and ratings for a very good WNT plummeted. These guarantees helped keep the lights on.

                The other factor at play is revenue. When you don't sell tickets, and your broadcasts don't get ratings, it's hard to get sponsors and advertisers to give you money. And that's doubly hard for easy to understand historical reasons for women's athletics. (Hold this thought, I'm coming back to it).

                U.S. Soccer is a small organization run mostly by volunteers, for which the national team program is a very small slice. It actually has to offload a large amount of actually getting **** done, and it's rarely been in a situation to take financial risks. One thing it does with domestic friendlies of both genders (and SheBelieves are friendlies) is it puts games out to bid for promoters to host. U.S. Soccer is looking for financial guarantees with the local (or national) promoter assuming the risk of nobody showing up. Ticket prices are absurd these days because the system pushes them that way. Many games (both MNT and WNT) are actually a loss for the game operator, seen more as a loss-leader for general venue/market interest). Lamar Hunt famously guaranteed USSF the revenue of 30,000 tickets to win the hosting rights for the USA/CRC World Cup Qualifier in 2001. Lucky for him, 37,000 showed up to Arrowhead Stadium. But then in 2004 during the WNT Farewell/Victory Tour, I think only about 15k showed up for a WNT/MLS doubleheader.

                To offset the risk, promoters expect a minimum number of "name" players that they can market. A Pulisic here, Rapinoe there, sort of thing. One benefit the men have with a large player pool is a large number of "known" players, plus the men's team laundry has a certain appeal as well - but there are limits and we've seen plenty of poorly attended men's games after 2017 and a house-cleaning of oldtimers. Holding onto Lloyd and friends is very promoter and sponsor friendly. (This is the point I told you hold). If the sponsors record a bunch of commercials with Alex Morgan or Christen Press, they really want those players on the bench. There's a reason why during 2019's "Victory Tour" the roster was limited to only the members of the WWC19 team (and emergency alternates to fill out a roster). It was in the contract. It was in the contract with the promoters. It was in the contract with the women's union - the WWC19 players were going to get paid for those games regardless of who showed up.

                And that's a second pressure. When you're on the book to pay 25-28 players under Federation "club" Contract regardless of whether they're called in to the national team, you're going to lean towards calling those players in - to the exclusion of almost everyone else.

                I haven't seen as much recently, but over the last decade there was an odd situation where WNT camps were almost completely union members and college players. What's special about a 20 year-old college player than a 26 year-old experienced peak of her career professional? Not only do you not have to pay them, you can't - if they want to keep playing college soccer. Sure, they get some nice swag and clothes, and they get a per diem, but your saving coin.

                It's not politics "keeping the band together" (though some Tom Sermanni fans might disagree), it's economics.

                As long as the USWNTPA/USSF has player contracts and turns the USWNT into more club than national team, this pressure will exist.

                And as long as the WNT union is 70-90% made of players who are likely to be on the next tournament roster, those players are going to vote for the status pro: maternity leave, retirement funds, salaries over game fees and win bonuses. Tom Sermanni wasn't fired because he lost the Algarve Cup (I'm pretty sure Tony DiCicco went 0-6 at the Algarve Cup, not always making the final). He was fired, in part, because of the economic (and yes political) pressure. He was consistently calling in untried and untested players that were either U20/U23 stars or had started making a name for themselves professionally. (Kristie Mewis anyone?). He was doing it regularly enough that promoters didn't know whether Abby Wambach was even going to be present - that hurt sponsorships and promoter guarantees. He was doing it regularly enough that a fair number of these players were building up enough caps to almost merit membership in the USWNTPA. And that threatened the status quo and most importantly the majority needs of the union. You double the size of the WNT union, and suddenly salaries are a big issue - because most of the players know they don't apply to them.

                Whenever the MLS/MLSPA CBA comes up for renegotiation, so many people go on and on about how the players should want more DPs, to do away with the Salary Cap and Maximum Salary. And then the CBA gets agreed to and it's all about raising the minimum salary, about year-round health benefits and moving expenses. It's about stuff that benefits the large majority of the union, not the 1%ers at the top. Most MLS players know they're not going to be DPs. Most MNT union members know that they'll have to be fit and playing well at exactly the right time to make the next World Cup team, they'll never be offered a salary (as it were).

                I don't think there's anyone sending a memo to Vlatko saying "you have to take these players to Tokyo". But he's a smart man, just like Jill Ellis is a smart woman. They understand what keeps the gravy train moving.

                Yes, it'd be great to have a team as young as Canada's (only 4 of 22 players were in London in 2022, and two of those were originally among the 4 alternates), but the economics that make the USWNT work make the risks involved not deemed worth taking until - usually - it's after we've lost a tournament.
                U-A-A!!!Go!Go!GreenandGold!
                Applejack Tells You How UAA Is Doing...
                I spell Failure with UAF

                Originally posted by UAFIceAngel
                But let's be real...There are 40 some other teams and only two alaskan teams...the day one of us wins something big will be the day I transfer to UAA
                Originally posted by Doyle Woody
                Best sign by a visting Seawolf fan Friday went to a young man who held up a piece of white poster board that read: "YOU CAN'T SPELL FAILURE WITHOUT UAF."

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Jimjamesak View Post
                  That's pretty much what happens to everyone, star power matters more than ability on the USWNT. Andy Mead, a photographer from North Carolina with years around the WNT (and US Soccer in general) had a really good BigSoccer post on the subject:
                  Thank you for the Mead post, it's persuasive. I have no idea of the merits, of course, but it passes the smell test.

                  This may be what happens when you artificially promote a sport well above its ability to naturally generate revenue through real fan interest. Massive guaranteed revenue would dwarf all these effects and ultimately result in massive investment that spread to everyone (c.f. baseball, football, basketball).

                  TBH, the effects Mead is talking about are probably present in US hockey, too. And in women's hockey absolutely. Not necessarily mediated through a players union (not even sure such a thing exists in women's hockey) but replicated at every level.
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                  • Originally posted by Jimjamesak View Post
                    That's pretty much what happens to everyone, star power matters more than ability on the USWNT. Andy Mead, a photographer from North Carolina with years around the WNT (and US Soccer in general) had a really good BigSoccer post on the subject:
                    Thank you for posting Mead's explanation. I don't follow soccer enough to know what is going on, but I hear about the various complaints or disputes or criticisms and am curious about the source. That was a really good explanation.

                    It seems intuitively correct to think that if there isn't a way for women players to support themselves playing soccer like the men do, that it would be harder to develop a large pool of talent for a national team, and thus the difference in the way the CBA's and unions are set up. I have to assume this is a similar problem for women's teams from other countries, though, no? What do other countries do? Is the primary difference the fact that the women's team here has a CBA?
                    That community is already in the process of dissolution where each man begins to eye his neighbor as a possible enemy, where non-conformity with the accepted creed, political as well as religious, is a mark of disaffection; where denunciation, without specification or backing, takes the place of evidence; where orthodoxy chokes freedom of dissent; where faith in the eventual supremacy of reason has become so timid that we dare not enter our convictions in the open lists, to win or lose.

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                    • That post was great.

                      DiCiccio was the coach who “found” her and tried to champion her, she was on a few of those losing algarve rosters actually.

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                      • Originally posted by Kepler View Post

                        Thank you for the Mead post, it's persuasive. I have no idea of the merits, of course, but it passes the smell test.
                        Andy Mead is a long time sports photojournalist from North Carolina and has been around both the men's and (especially) the women's game in the US for decades.
                        U-A-A!!!Go!Go!GreenandGold!
                        Applejack Tells You How UAA Is Doing...
                        I spell Failure with UAF

                        Originally posted by UAFIceAngel
                        But let's be real...There are 40 some other teams and only two alaskan teams...the day one of us wins something big will be the day I transfer to UAA
                        Originally posted by Doyle Woody
                        Best sign by a visting Seawolf fan Friday went to a young man who held up a piece of white poster board that read: "YOU CAN'T SPELL FAILURE WITHOUT UAF."

                        Comment


                        • USWNT takes the bronze 4-3. Only saw highlights, but much different than the first game against the Aussies.

                          Rapinoe opened scoring with an Ol?mpico. Followed it up with a midair strike off a poor clearing attempt. Then Lloyd added a couple of her own. Great way to go out if it is indeed their final game, but given the articles jim has posted, I’d bet a farewell tour happens to finish out the calendar year before they call it quits for good.
                          Last edited by Spartanforlife4; 08-05-2021, 10:01 AM.
                          Go Green! Go White! Go State!

                          1966, 1986, 2007

                          Go Tigers, Go Packers, Go Red Wings, Go Pistons

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                          • I won't flat out say the the U.S. too high but this is a straight mathematical result correct? If they can keep a high ranking when (pots?) are made for the WC is this favorable for teams at the top?

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                            • Correct. But, this is after they’ve gone 15-1-1 since 2020. Technically 14-1-1 for rankings since Martinique doesn’t count.

                              If they lose to basically anyone except Mexico during WC qualifying they’ll drop. Not sure what site you’re using so I don’t have up-to-the-day, but the last official FIFA rankings from May have the next closest Concacaf team at 45th in Jamaica. The European nations have a little more leeway due to SOS.
                              Go Green! Go White! Go State!

                              1966, 1986, 2007

                              Go Tigers, Go Packers, Go Red Wings, Go Pistons

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                              • Originally posted by Spartanforlife4 View Post
                                Correct. But, this is after they’ve gone 15-1-1 since 2020. Technically 14-1-1 for rankings since Martinique doesn’t count.

                                If they lose to basically anyone except Mexico during WC qualifying they’ll drop. Not sure what site you’re using so I don’t have up-to-the-day, but the last official FIFA rankings from May have the next closest Concacaf team at 45th in Jamaica. The European nations have a little more leeway due to SOS.
                                Not sure of the site either - it came from a tweet.

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