Why U.S. Soccer canceled the USWNT game in Hawaii


Why U.S. Soccer canceled the USWNT game in Hawaii

A match that was set to be played in paradise, was anything but when U.S. Soccer pulled the plug last minute on Sunday’s game between the U.S. Women’s National Team and Trinidad & Tobago.

Thousands of soccer fans traveled to Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii to watch the World Cup champions during their victory tour, only to wake up on game day to find out the match had been canceled.

Canceled because the field at the stadium on was deemed “unplayable”. The USWNT authored an articled entitled “Equal Footing” on the Player’s Tribune in which they explained the circumstances surrounding their decision to cancel the game:

“ It wasn’t until we got to Aloha Stadium the next day — the day before the match against Trinidad and Tobago — that we finally saw, for the first time, how bad the stadium’s field truly was. The conditions were such that our coach shortened practice to a brief 30-minute training session so we wouldn’t risk injury before the game. There were sharp rocks ingrained all over the field. They were everywhere. The artificial turf was actually pulling up out of the ground, and the turf itself was both low-grade and aging. This was a playing surface that looked like it hadn’t been replaced in years.”

It’s also worth mentioning that Megan Rapinoe tore her ACL during the team’s practice session on Friday, which the team also said took place on subpar conditions. The team took their concerns to the U.S. Soccer Federation who ultimately made the final call to cancel the game.

On Tuesday, U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati issued an apology, saying “We had a series of mistakes involving this game. We screwed up. It won’t happened again”.

One of the largest mistakes the federation made was not performing an inspection of the field ahead of time. Gulati acknowledged that out of the 10 stadiums being used for the USWNT victory tour, Honolulu was the only facility that was not inspected, adding that the cancelation was “absolutely a black eye for this organization”.

This “black eye” of a mistake echoes an issue that was prevalent prior to the start of the 2015 Women’s World Cup. Many athletes took issue with the fact that while their male counterparts play on grass, the women’s tournament was solely held on turf fields. Even Abby Wambach notably said how she was hesitant to commit to headers on turf whereas on grass she tended to play more carefree.

For the USWNT it’s more than just an issue about grass vs. turf, it’s an issue about equality, and an issue that goalkeeper Hope Solo voiced on her Twitter account.

The USWNT still have three dates left in December for their victory tour, including another match against Trinidad & Tobago on December 10th in San Antonio, Texas.

Megan Rapinoe likely won't be coming to DC if USWNT wins World Cup

Megan Rapinoe likely won't be coming to DC if USWNT wins World Cup

Megan Rapinoe is one of the United States Women's National Team's biggest stars, and her two goals against Spain in the Round of 16 propelled the United States into the quarterfinals of the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup.

Rapinoe, who sports the captain armband for the stars and stripes, is also one of the most outspoken players on the team. When asked by a reporter from the magazine Eight By Eight in a story published earlier this month if the team would visit the White House if the United States came home from France victorious, her response was simple and direct.

"Psssh, I'm not going to the f*****g White House," she said. "No. I'm not going to the White House. We're not gonna be invited. I doubt it."

Rapinoe's comments caught the attention of President Donald Trump after the magazine posted a short clip of the interview to Twitter on Tuesday. Trump responded with his own tweets:

Rapinoe has a history of speaking out about injustices she sees in this country. A few years ago, she followed former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick's lead by kneeling for the National Anthem before matches. 

“Being a gay American, I know what it means to look at the flag and not have it protect all of your liberties,” Rapinoe told American Soccer Now's John D. Halloran on why she took a knee. “It was something small that I could do and something that I plan to keep doing in the future and hopefully spark some meaningful conversation around it.”

Rapinoe has stood for the National Anthem during the World Cup - US Soccer now requires it - but found a new way to protest. While her teammates have had their right hand over their hearts and sung the Star Spangled Banner, Rapinoe has stood still with her lips sealed and hands by her sides.

This also caught the attention of Trump, who called Rapinoe's actions "inappropriate." 

The United States Women's National Team is back in action on Friday, as they face the host nation France. 



Premier League Roundup: Chicharito wants out of West Ham, in talks with MLS

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Premier League Roundup: Chicharito wants out of West Ham, in talks with MLS

Just one week after Phil Jagielka informed Everton management that he had just captained his last season for the Toffees, West Ham forward Chicharito has confirmed to Sky Sports that he intends to leave the Irons this summer. 

Here's the latest Premier League news: 

Player Notes

Brighton and Hove Albion: 22 year-old centerback Matt Clarke has officially signed a 4-year, €3.5 deal with Brighton. This is the first signing of manager Graham Potter's tenure with the Seagulls. 

Burnley: Everton and Newcastle have joined a number of top-flight Premier League clubs expressing interest in the Claret's 19 year-old forward, Dwight McNeil

Everton: In wake of the news regarding Jagielka and center-mate Ashley Williams' desires to transfer, the Toffees have joined the bidding war for Bristol City defender Adam Webster

Newcastle: Manager Rafael Benitez plans to leave the club when his contract expires June 30th, ending a three-year tenure in St. James Park. 

West Ham United: In the midst of his quest for a second Gold Cup title, Javier Hernandez and West Ham United have reportedly come to a mutual agreement that the forward should leave this summer with a year still left on his contract. The decision comes on the heels of West Ham signing forward Maxi Gomez from Celta Vigo, putting the Mexican's playing time in jeopardy. Chicharito's agent is rumored to be in talks with MLS clubs as potential destinations. 

Source: Rotoworld