Happy 34th birthday, Abby Wambach!
Happy 34th birthday, Abby Wambach!
Hope Solo is at it again (Image: Getty)
Looks like USWNT No. 1 and Seattle Reign stopper Hope Solo has found herself in the midst of a little war of words. Shocker!
Over the weekend, Solo’s Reign visited the Portland Thorns in a National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) contest between two unbeaten teams. The Reign held on to a 1-0 win, but a few egos seemed to be bruised in the process.
Thorns owner Merritt Paulson was the first to fire a shot across the bow, tweeting:
Reign celebrating like they won a championship after being outplayed by depleted Thorns team. Good game…will be fun to see them again.— Merritt Paulson (@MerrittPaulson)May 11, 2014
A depleted Thorns team? Paulson was likely referring to the absences of U.S. national team stars Alex Morgan and Tobin Heath. Nevertheless, another Reign and USWNT star, Sydney Leroux, fired back at Paulson:
Aw, @MerrittPaulson don’t be bitter it’s a bad look.— Sydney Leroux (@sydneyleroux)May 11, 2014
That looked to be the end of it, until Solo tweeted out a photo on Tuesday that showed quite a few Thorns fans giving Solo the one-fingered salute.
Hmmm….truth be told….who flipped off who again? Real classy Portland. Maybe you get it from your owner? pic.twitter.com/VlnD3Tm2R3— Hope Solo (@hopesolo)May 14, 2014
It looks like some pretty definitive proof right here, but there’s always another side to every story. Lucky for us, these two squads will face off again on July 27, but this time on the Reign’s turf.
Photo: Getty Images
Forget ‘men versus boys.’
In Australia, it’s now: women versus boys. Literally.
A week after losing the W-League’s grand final to the Melbourne Victory, the Brisbane Roar have made the unusual choice to compete in Queensland’s Under-15s boys league. The reason? With a regular season that lasts only three months, the Roar would like to develop their players by providing them with more consistent playing time.
From The Guardian:
“We wanted to put them in a competition where physically they are able to compete and also able to play football and develop as players,” says head coach, Belinda Wilson.
What the boys have in strength, especially as they develop over the season, the women have in smarts, she says. “That’s the major difference. They are probably a lot stronger than us in the physicality, so we have to adapt our game so we can be competitive in that environment. In terms of footballing sense, the girls are a little bit more game aware and have more ability from a tactical point of view, because of the level they’ve been playing.”
She’d like to be competing with the under-16s boys, but with so many of her players away on national duties for long stretches of this season, the decision was made to go down an age group. But, she says, “we’d never, ever, ever play against the under 18s, because physically we can not compete against an under-18 boy. Or man.”
Wilson believes the regular off-season schedule will help the team be “bigger and better” next season. We’ll see.
H/T The Guardian
Forget random drug testing.
Female soccer players in Iran will now have to undergo mandatory, random gender testing after several top players — including four from the women’s national team — were found guilty of being men.
Medical examiners will now turn up unannounced at training sessions of teams playing in Iran’s Women’s’ Premier League and indoor league on the lookout for possible Juwanna Manns. Clubs will also be forced to carry out medical examinations on all new players before signing them to contracts, according to Ahmad Hashemian, head of the Iranian football federation’s medical committee.
From The Telegraph:
"Those unable to prove they are female would be barred from taking part in the women’s leagues until they underwent medical treatment," said Hashemian.
"If these people can solve their problems through surgery and be in a position to receive the necessary medical qualifications, they will then be able to participate in [women’s] football," Hashemian, a qualified doctor, said in remarks quoted by IRNA, the state news agency.
According to the IRNA, seven players have already had their contracts terminated under the federation’s gender test directive.
While pre-marital sex and homosexuality remain strict taboos in Iran, sex change operations have been legal in the country since 1979, when the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a religious ruling saying they were acceptable.
H/T Dirty Tackle
Inside #USWNT camp
The US women’s national team all-time Best XI was released on Thursday, featuring three active players in Christie Rampone, Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan.
To come up with the selections, the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) appointed a committee of 56 soccer historians, former players, coaches, media members and administrators at the national team level. Defender Joy Biefeld (Fawcett) and forward Mia Hamm were the only unanimous selections, while midfielders Michelle Akers and Kristine Lilly were just one vote shy of a unanimous ballot.
Here’s the full list from US Soccer:
Goalkeeper: Briana Scurry 1994-2008 (31 votes)
Last week, Julie Foudy correctly predicted the all-time Best XI during a segment on ESPN’s Sportscenter (except for herself; Foudy chose to vote for Shannon Boxx), but drew the ire of current US goalkeeper Hope Solo in the process. Solo was not selected, losing out to Scurry by what we can only assume was a slim margin (considering Scurry got only 31 of 56 votes).
— Julie Foudy (@JulieFoudy)
@JulieFoudy i think you were confused of the question. It wasn’t to name your top IX friends. This isn’t the ponytail posse days anymore.— Hope Solo (@hopesolo)
Ignorance is bliss???? Or just dumb…— Hope Solo (@hopesolo)
The game has grown from15 years ago. Ihave no disrespect,but the facts are that the game HAS evolved.Players are better and so are the teams— Hope Solo (@hopesolo)
Interesting. You may remember that a young Solo was once benched in favor of Scurry back in the 2007 World Cup semifinals, which set off quite the firestorm. The USA lost 4-0 to Brazil, after which Solo said:
"There’s no doubt in my mind I would have made those saves. And the fact of the matter is, it’s not 2004 anymore. … It’s 2007, and I think you have to live in the present.
Solo was briefly kicked off the team after that World Cup, and the controversy may have ended up costing her some votes during this selection process. In any case, it seems like any mention of Scurry still pushes Solo’s buttons a bit.
FOX Soccer’s Warren Barton and Matt Reis sounded off on the debate of Scurry vs Solo during Thursday’s FOX Soccer Daily show:
On Friday, the United States men’s national team all-time Best XI will be released on FOX Soccer Daily. Make sure to tune in to the show to find out the complete squad (live, FOX Sports 1, 3:30 p.m. ET).
Have you ever wondered what a football match looks like with no men in the stands? Well, Fenerbahce found out, and apparently it’s not a big deal. At all.
The Süper Lig leaders banned all male adults for one match after drawing all kinds of negative attention for their expletive-laced chants, but the absence of testosterone clearly didn’t affect the outcome. In fact, the fairer sex may even have helped Fenerbahce’s cause, as the home side ran out easy 4-0 winners against Akhisar Belediye on Friday.
Take a look at the incredible scenes below (image courtesy of 101GG):
Still a larger crowd than half of the teams in Serie A can lay claim to.
And to think, this wasn’t the first time that Fener hosted a match filled with just women and children. Back in 2011, Fener distributed free tickets before a friendly after the Turkish FA banned adult males in result of fan violence during a preseason match against Shakhtar Donetsk.
Our bus broke down at the stadium. Option A: Hitchhike with fans. Option B: Wait. What do you think we did? pic.twitter.com/ntqwBIVHFp— Sydney Leroux (@sydneyleroux)
— Hope Solo (@hopesolo)
We really do have THE BEST fans!I mean,having our backs when our bus breaks down?And getting us back to our hotel safely! Awesome!— Hope Solo (@hopesolo)
Hey @CarleyPainter thanks to you all for the ride home today buddy. Hopefully I’ll be able to return the favor someday!!— Abby Wambach (@AbbyWambach)
Park Eun-Seon was the South Korean women’s soccer league’s top scorer last season with 19 goals in 22 games for Seoul City. Now, her rival teams’ coaches have threatened to boycott the new season if Park does not have a gender test.
Unfortunately for the pack of sore losers, the Korea Football Association responded that Park passed a gender test when she was 15 and that there is no need for another test. Park, 26, played for South Korea in the 2003 Women’s World Cup and the 2004 Olympics.
Park’s gender was called into question once before, prior to the AFA Women’s Asian Cup tournament in 2010. South Korea did not select Park to the squad.
From Sky Sports:
"We have no intention of accepting the gender verification test just to stop the boycott," said Seoul Sports Council general secretary Kim Joon-Soo.
"But if it is needed for Park to compete in an international game and under specific regulations of FIFA, we will consider it. This is a serious violation of human rights that she’s suffering for a second time," said Kim.
"The question regarding Park’s gender identity shall never be raised again. The city of Seoul will take all necessary measures to protect our player’s human rights."
Park Eun-Seon’s gender has come into question once again (Image:
The boycott threat was issued by six of the seven WK-League teams, but on Thursday one of the coaches said he was resigning from the request. That coach reportedly insisted that their motives had been misunderstood and that they had simply been joking.
Terrible joke, we reckon.
On her Facebook page Park said she felt “humiliated” by again facing questions about her gender. “I’ve worked so hard to get to this point, and I will not give up easily. I know what these people are trying to do, and I won’t fall down,” she added.
What do you think was the goal of the weekend? Arsenal’s incredible team pinball goal against Norwich? Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s stupendous backheel?
How about Peamount United’s Steph Roche, straight out of the Irish Women’s Soccer League?
Receiving the ball with her back toward the goal, Roche pulled off three flick-ups before drilling home a sublime volley into the top corner.