It’s been a bit since we’ve (me) talked about women’s soccer here but between an ESPN notification that popped up on my phone and a cool video about a new club announcement on my Twitter timeline, as well as some other notable news, I figured we should talk about some of it.
WoSo (women’s soccer for those not familiar with the acronym) has had a tough year. Whether it was the coaching and ownership scandals that have been running rampant in the NWSL or the continuing back and forth battle between members of the USWNT and U.S. Soccer there hasn’t been much good news stateside for the sport.
Across The Pond
The first big announcement to address was that the players association for the Barclays Women’s Super League and Championship League have approved paid maternity for all of its players. While my initial reaction was, “wow that’s awesome!”, my next one was “I can’t believe that hasn’t happened already”.
One of the biggest differences at the professional levels in men and women’s sports is the biological and physiological factor that women can and do carry children. This has not just physical effects on them but also massive mental and financial ones. The decision of whether to start a family vs advance to the highest level of their sport is a struggle that is uniquely one that belongs to female athletes. Depending on the sport, and the support system around them, pregnancy will cost a female athlete at least 1 year away from their sport. That’s why this news is huge. In leagues that are growing, or not particularly high paying, a year away from the sport can have massive implications. Good for the Super League and Championship league for taking at least that worry from its players.
In The Land of 1000 Lakes
One of the other cool stories I came across while scrolling through WoSo twitter comes from Minnesota, where a group of people came together to form a local professional women’s soccer team. Born from a desire to have a women’s team nearby members of the community (3,000 altogether that come from across 48 states) pooled together to make a new community team that recently revealed their name, colors and crest. What makes Aurora FC so unique is not just the correlation to the Aurora Borealis lights that can be seen in the state, but the fact that it is a women’s club completely independent of an existing men’s one that it could have ties to. As the youth theater program I grew up in would often boast that it was “for youth, by youth” this club is definitely “for the community, by the community”. Now I just can’t wait to see what their kits look like. I’m sure they’ll be beautiful.
Beginnings and Endings
I’m glad I waited until after the weekend to finish writing this because even more cool stuff happened. The women’s game has been growing internationally at an exponential rate over the last 35 years and there’s a new contender entering the ring. After advancing to the Asia Cup semifinal the Philippines has secured a spot in the next Women’s World Cup. I might have to buy one of their kits for not only myself but also for the Filipino members of my family! Break out the lumpia and celebrate! Binabati Kita LabanFilipanas!!!
Last but not least, Amy Rodriguez announced her retirement from the NWSL after playing professionally for 16 years. She will return to her alma mater of USC to become an assistant coach. She will also likely be most remembered for this epic NWSL moment and that’s how I’ll leave all this for now…
- / 11 months ago
To me, Rachel Nichols is the personification of posting a black square on Instagram.