Four days after causing a stir by taking a knee during the national anthem, USWNT star and Seattle Reign midfielder Megan Rapinoe was in Maryland on Wednesday to take on the Washington Spirit. It was expected that Rapinoe would once again show solidarity toward 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and his silent protest.
But instead of playing the anthem with all the players on the field, as is typically the case, the Washington Spirit did not wait for Rapinoe to make her protest. The organization played the anthem as the teams were in the locker room getting ready.
[RELATED: Rapinoe proves Kaepernick's message of equality for all]
The organization then released a statement defend its actions.
"We understand this may be seen as an extraordinary step, but believe it was the best option to avoid taking focus away from the game on such an important night for our franchise," the team said in an official statement.
"To willingly allow anyone to hijack this tradition that means so much to million of Americans and so many of our own fans for any cause would effectively be just as disrespectful as doing it ourselves."
The Spirit, owned by Bill Lynch — a veteran — expressed concern over disrespecting those who also served. "Professional athletes have incredible numbers of followers, to which we believe they have the ability to articulate a conversation with objectives and plans and begin a serious conversation directly, or through traditional media appearances, without insulting our military and our fans."
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With the Earthquakes mired in a 4-8-16 season, management made a change Monday, parting ways with head coach Mikael Stahre and assistant coach Alex de Crook.
The move comes less than a year after Stahre was hired by the Quakes.
Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli issued a statement regarding the news:
“I would like to thank Mikael and Alex for their hard work and professionalism this season. Mikael has qualities, both as a person and a coach, that will be missed by players, staff and the front office alike.
“We felt we needed a change and decided that the six remaining games represent an opportunity for all of us to begin heading in a new direction and to evaluate our options actively with a single goal in mind: to strengthen our First Team for the upcoming season and beyond.”
Assistant coach Steve Ralston will serve as the interim head coach for the remainder of the 2018 season. The have six games left season, including Wednesday night's game against Atlanta United at Avaya Stadium in San Jose.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Alphonso Davies and Nicolas Mezquida scored to help the Vancouver Whitecaps beat the San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 on Saturday night.
Davies opened the scoring in the 22nd minute, scooping a pass from Yordy Reyna in the Quakes’ box and tapping it into the bottom left corner of the net. It was the 17-year-old’s sixth goal of the year for Vancouver (11-9-7).
In the 78th minute, Reyna sailed a pass to Mezquida, who took a moment to settle the ball, then punted a rocket into the upper left-hand corner of the net. Vako Qazaishvili scored for San Jose (4-15-8) in stoppage time.