USWNT abandons Hawaii match over field condition

Jeff Kassouf December 6, 2015 280
U.S. Soccer canceled a planned match against Trinidad and Tobago in Hawaii hours before kickoff after players spoke out against poor field conditions. (Photo Copyright Patricia Giobetti for The Equalizer)

U.S. Soccer canceled a planned match against Trinidad and Tobago in Hawaii hours before kickoff after players spoke out against poor field conditions. (Photo Copyright Patricia Giobetti for The Equalizer)

Hours after players spoke out against poor field conditions, U.S. Soccer announced that Sunday’s match scheduled to take place between the women’s national team and Trinidad and Tobago at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii, would not be played.

The game was canceled “after a determination that the artificial turf surface is not suitable to hold an international soccer match,” according to U.S. Soccer. All tickets will be refunded, U.S. Soccer says.  Approximately 15,000 tickets had been sold for the match.

“We extend our sincere apologies to those fans who were scheduled to attend the U.S. Women’s National Team match in Hawaii,” said U.S. Soccer spokesman Neil Buethe. “Player safety is our number one priority at all times and after a thorough inspection throughout the day, we determined it was in the best interest for both teams to not play the match. We regret not being able to play in front of our fantastic, loyal fans.”

[MORE: Morgan, Ellis vent frustrations over U.S. Soccer’s field selection]

The decision to cancel the match came hours after star U.S. forward Alex Morgan spoke out against poor field conditions not just at Aloha Stadium, but on the entire victory tour, including the grass training grounds in Hawaii on which Megan Rapinoe tore her ACL in a non-contact injury on Friday.

“I think the training grounds that we were given and the playing surface of the stadium were horrible,” Morgan told Fox Sports in Honolulu. “I think it’s hard because no one’s really going to protect us but ourselves. So we’re put in a very hard position because obviously we want to play in front of these fans and we want to train before the game but injuries happen when you don’t protect yourself and when you’re not protected from those higher up from you.”

A U.S. Soccer spokesman tells The Equalizer that an inspection of the field was not conducted prior to the national team’s trip to Hawaii, but the NFL’s usage of the field and inspections of it gave U.S Soccer confidence

“Due to that available information, we did not do a formal inspection of the field before the victory tour,” U.S. Soccer spokesman Neil Buethe said. “During the formal inspection, however, concerns were raised about the uneven seams and the hard pellets and we deemed the field unplayable.”

ESPN’s Julie Foudy and Fox Sports’ Jenny Taft made separate notes on Twitter, Foudy on the inequities between preparing for men’s and women’s friendlies and Taft about what was found on the pitch at Aloha Stadium.

U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo posted a close-up photo of the field being pulled up from the ground:

U.S. Soccer says that “all possible options available were considered to get the field in a playable condition.” The announcement was made at 5:25 a.m. ET Sunday, which is 12:25 a.m. in Honolulu.

Aloha Stadium manager Scott Chan expressed disappointment with the decision, according to Hawaii outlet KHON:

“We are extremely disappointed that this event will not take place at Aloha Stadium,” Chan said. “U.S. Soccer officials informed us that this game will not be played at approximately nine this evening. We feel the people of Hawaii deserve to see an international soccer match of this caliber, however, we were unable to reach an agreement with U.S. Soccer to allow this event to happen.”

The financial hit for U.S. Soccer will be significant. U.S. Soccer will need to refund all tickets and there will surely be implications with media partner Fox, which hyped the event for months as part of their Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day promotion (the very reason the game was being played in Hawaii). The Equalizer also understands that U.S. Soccer is covering expenses for Trinidad and Tobago during its opponents’ time in Hawaii and San Antonio (Trinidad and Tobago paid its own expenses to get to Hawaii).

Sunday would have been the first time a U.S. national team played in Hawaii.

Player outrage over venue conditions goes beyond Hawaii. Rapinoe said in October about picking up bolts off one field on the victory tour:

“In one stadium, we were literally picking up bolts from the turf before the match,” she told the Players’ Tribune. “I want as many people to see us as possible, but my ankles could use some nice, soft grass for once.

Two of the final three stops on the team’s victory tour are on turf fields, in San Antonio on Thursday and in New Orleans on Dec. 16. Both games are slated to be played as scheduled, as is the Dec. 13 game on grass in Glendale, Ariz.

  • dw

    How about an article about what really happened?

    • TsovLoj

      Artificial turf can’t melt steel beams!

      • guest

        back and to the left…back and to the left.

  • mskillens

    wow just wow. I am so happy that the USWNT are standing up for themselves. I am now wondering if Pinoe’s injury was because the field was pure crap.

    • 4 clarity

      Her injury was on a different, but unworthy practice field.

  • One of a Kind

    Here’s MY issue: why did it take an ACL tear to a star player for this to happen? Why did it take unti less than 24 hours before kickoff for this to happen? Did no one with any ounce of power not do as much as a quick glance at the wiki articles of the stadiums to see the playing surfaces? Blaming it solely on the team becoming lab rats for profit isn’t good enough in my opinion since the males to this day nonsensically still play friendlies and Gold Cups on turf.

    From the get go this was a clear issue to me and almost ironic considering what’s happened in the last 18 months. The game in Chattanooga to me was so bad it was near unwatchable; I couldn’t believe that they went back on the field after a severe weather threat just to trounce Costa Rica some more in terrible conditions. Legion Field is notoriously bad. Aloha Stadium is used for the Pro Bowl so this major of an issue kind of surprises me. Due to FOX’s heavy promotion of the game as part of a Pearl Harbor Remembrance event, I wonder if this was all their doing and USSF had no say in the random choice of Hawaii.

    • guest

      Most of the time grass gets laid over the turf fields for the men. Doesn’t happen for the women at all.

      • Steglitz49

        It did in Euro-13 at Norrköping which was used for group games and one semifinal.

      • Nicole C.

        This is what can happen when grass is laid over turf:

        • guest

          My point is at least they make an effort for the men they don’t for the women so…

  • Terry Lash

    Gulati and USSF have to take responsibility for this fiasco. There has to be an official explanation and description of how poor practice and game field conditions will be avoided in the future. What has just happened is inexcusable.

    • CT Yankee

      They need to play more games at Renschler Field in CT. All grass. They won’t get 25k fans though. 18k would be great at that venue.

    • dw

      My money is on the tried and true “deny and deflect”.

  • Nicole C.

    Here’s another pic of the seam. Disgraceful.

    • mskillens

      I don’t know much about turf fields but I take it that seam is not safe for the players to play on.

      • Nicole C.

        It isn’t. The seam’s placement (right in the box, where the game can get chippy) makes it worse.

        • Steglitz49

          It does not matter where it is, it is a disgrace, and it is a disgrace that the USSF could not be bothered to check out the joint beforehand.

          “When drums roll in London, heads roll in Berlin”, ol’ Winnie is said to have mused. That heads roll in USSF HQ, please.

        • kernel_thai

          Its also tough on the GK to have a speed bump to alter shot right in front of the net.

    • Steglitz49

      Who inspected the pitch and checked that it was OK? That is the person who needs to be brought to book if not flogged around the league.

      • Lorehead

        No one, apparently.

        • Seems that’s the fault of the women’s side. Obviously the USWNT has enough money to send someone ahead of time to check field conditions.

          • Steglitz49

            Or some loyal fans/players in Hawaii who could have done it for them on the spot.

          • Lorehead

            Someone ought to take responsibility for this fiasco.

          • There are plenty who could. That’s for sure. It probably starts at the training staff and goes all the way up from there.

          • kernel_thai

            This has nothing to do with training or coaching. Whoever books the venues needs to assess the field on site before they sign a contract to play there.

    • Ron Bishop

      Wow – right in the goalkeeper box! That is incredible…

    • Deni Pike

      This is an obvious accident just waiting to happen.

      The fact that the #USWNT just said no to playing under those conditions is another example of being a positive role model for women, globally. They have a right to protect themselves from harm.

    • selfie much?

      Two things a player should always take to practice: a water bottle and their phone.

    • harry homeowner

      2 sided carpet seaming tape and that’s fixed.

  • guest

    Welcome to the discussion EQ staff.

  • sepp

    I told you this would happen if women played.

  • dw

    So does Fox Sports have enough incentive to out the truth, or do they live in fear of future retaliation by USSF?

    • Steglitz49

      Someone must have inspected the pitch and said it was OK. It is that person that needs to be brought to book.

      The referee does an inspection of the pitch before kick-off, usually about an hour or so before, to check that it is playable. Top matches have been called off because of failing pitch inspections.

  • newsouth

    http://www.army.mil/e2/c/images/2013/09/06/311131/size0.jpg

    this guys play on it with a couple of pounds of equipment and a heavy helmet vs light weigh shorts and a t-shirt like the uswnt. get over yourselves.

    • chive-on

      Shut up dude. That is all.

    • guest

      “this guys” lol

    • NYRick

      In the photo above, it seems #3 just took a misstep on one of those seams.

      • fourTurns

        they are doing the haka a la New Zealand All Blacks – tonguey expressions are de rigeur

        • Steglitz49

          Why are they doing a Haka? I thought it was NZ’s trademark.

    • Get real

      When the football hits the turf the play is dead, unless it’s a fumble. In soccer we need a nice flat surface, no rug warps please.

    • Wear Nikes Drink Gatorade

      There is a significantly greater risk of ACL tears for football players playing on synthetic turf than on grass. But yeah, the NT should accept the high safety standards and concern for player safety that you find in college football.

  • chive-on

    That’s utterly ridiculous that these players should have to put up with this. Good for them for taking a stand. Nice that it took a major injury to their best midfielder (and yes, before anyone says “read the article, that didn’t happen on this field”, I realize Rapinoe’s injury came on a grass – but equally sh!#@y field) to make this happen. The players have been asking something be done for awhile now, and nothing was. Maybe now that they’ve taken away what is clearly most important to the higher-ups – money – they’ll change their tune,

    • Best midfielder?

      • mockmook

        Good question– with Holiday gone and Lloyd a Forward– I suppose it is Rapinoe. But Brian is gaining fast and watch out for Ohai.

        • guest

          I don’t think there was or is a definitive best midfielder at the moment or during the WC. Holiday certainly distinguished herself for her club but never really had that same impact for the national team. Rapinoe is probably the best midfielder but probably not by any meaningful margin. She, by and large remains, inconsistent. Brian is well on her way to being a top footballer. I thought she was the most impressive US midfielder in the WC although Rapinoe, and Heath had great tournaments as well. Holiday rebounded nicely in the semifinal and final.

  • NYRick

    Apparently Obama has weighted in on this match cancellation as well:

    “There is the possibility that this cancellation was terror turf related. However, we must not rush to judgment and call this Radical Turf Terrorism.”

    • Dick Cheney

      Bush just said “Mission accomplished, or something like that. You know. Now, where are those WMD?”

      • kernel_thai

        The important thing was USSoccer had an exit strategy

    • dw

      Classic.

    • Lorehead

      Good one!

      Jokes don’t have to be literally true, but enough people believe the myth you’re joking about that I’ll be pedantic again. Barack Obama has mentioned terrorism more than 3,000 times as President, and on average, twice a day in 2015. There are a bunch of people out there who are, somehow, both incredibly obsessed with what the man says, yet incredibly ignorant of what he’s said, probably because they don’t listen to anybody but each other or ever check their facts. In the last month of the 2012 election, that led to the absurd situation where President Obama was telling everyone that of course the Benghazi attacks were acts of terror and he’d said so within two days, while some of his nuttier opponents managed to convince themselves that he’d never said anything like that as part of some nonsensical conspiracy theory.

      • NYRick

        I hear you. Just a bit of satire that’s all. I respect your political views and this is by no means the forum for those topics anyway.

        BTW, congrats to the Portland Timbers. I remember that you are a Thorns fan so maybe that carries over to the Timbers as well. I’m sure the Portland area is celebrating. Well deserved for the support the people of the region give to soccer in general. My Red Bulls of course choked again.

        • Lorehead

          It was funny! And, yeah, I relapsed yesterday. Sorry about that.

          Thanks for the good sportsmanship! Yeah, I was watching that game at the bar. MLS title, World Cup and NWSL in 2013! Hope the Kansas City fans had as much fun when FCKC and Sporting KC did the double.

        • FNAA waiting for new computer

          Your New York Mets also choked. Hope you’ve added lots of fresh air to your daily regimen.

      • saywhat

        you do realize that he only acknowledged that the fort hood shooting was terrorism 5 years late lol. talk about the barry fail. obama said isis was contained the day before the paris attack. obama said america was safe from attacks on the same day that california shooting happened. either obama is a liar or he has no clue what is going on. the poor man needs to retire

        • Lorehead

          I disagree with your characterization of the man. Ranting that, in his eulogy for the victims, he said “the same extremists who killed nearly 3,000 Americans continue to endanger America,” but didn’t say the magic word is petty, partisan, and quite frankly disrespectful to the people he was honoring.

  • weltmeister

    the most exciting league

    • HOFCToDi

      USV Jena vs. Köln 0 – 2
      Attendance 250

      Werder Bremen vs. Hoffenheim 0 – 4
      Attendance 236

      lolololololololol

      • Steglitz49

        Don’t laugh at Cologne lest they put their goat on to you.

        As for Jena, they belong to that exclusive club of Bayer Leverkusen and PSV Eindhoven, though Bayer is best known.

        The owner of Hoffenheim is very wealthy.

        • HOFCToDi

          No one cares.

          USV Jena vs. Köln 0 – 2
          Attendance 250

          Werder Bremen vs. Hoffenheim 0 – 4
          Attendance 236

          The Frauen Bundesliga attendance is pathetic.

          • Steglitz49

            German sport in general is grateful that Bayer sponsors sports. More than 80 Olympic golds have been won by German athletes sponsored by Bayer and even more silver and bronzes.

            2017 and 2018 will be interesting years for WoSo.

          • HOFCToDi

            Non sequitur.

            Football in Germany is (like in most European countries) the number one attended and practiced sport.

            Frauen Bundesliga attendance is pathetic.

          • Steglitz49

            The NWSL is only a copycat taking leaves out of the European WoSo books.

            The NWSL expands by adding MLS teams and Portland is an MLS. The German ladies teams, except Frankfurt and Potsdam, also belong to men’s clubs.

          • HOFCToDi

            The NWSL model is the WNBA.

            European WoSo does not incorporate a salary cap or a college draft.

            Steglitz49 is talking out his ass once again. Actually, Steglitz49 can’t talk out his ass since he has his head firmly shoved up it.

          • Steglitz49

            The WNBA is kept by the brothers in the NBA. It was the previous commissioner that drove through this big subsidy. Another team sport where the women’s business plan depends on crumbs from the men’s table.

            Nevertheless most, if not all, WNBA players also play in Russia in teams kept by Putin’s loyal henchmen.

            The salary cap is a great invention. Would that UEFA had applied it but they did not. Thus, the Champions League looks like it does and have done for the past 5 years or so.

          • HOFCToDi

            Steglitz49 is a bitter Swedish troll who is envious of the USSF, the USWNT, and the NWSL.

            Meanwhile, the Damallsvenskan has become a second rate European women’s league, especially with the bankruptcy of Tyresö FF and the recent departures of Ramona Bachmann and Anja Mittag. Wave bye bye to Bachmann and Mittag.

          • just asking

            Apropos bankruptcy

            How often did the Damallsvenskan collapse?
            How often did the Frauen-Bundesliga collapse?
            And how often did a professional women’s Soccer league collapse in the US?
            And by when is America able to let the women play on appropriate fields? (the answer my friend is blowing in the wind…)

          • Just asking

            So what is the attendance of the American Football women’s league in the US?
            American Football is the number one attended Sport in the US?
            So, again what are the attendance figures of the women’s NFL?

          • Lorehead

            Which one? There are three professional women’s leagues I know of.

          • just asking

            Pick it. As you like.
            Are the games on TV

          • Lorehead

            They don’t release any attendance figures that I’ve seen. If we think the players in the NWSL have it bad, women’s pro football players (I’m talking about the leagues that play with the real rules and equipment, not LFL.) have to pay $700 to play, don’t get health insurance, and then work the concession stands for free. Despite this, there are two teams in Portland, the Shockwave and Fighting Fillies, and one in Seattle.

            The most popular female gridiron football players are the girls who sometimes play on high-school teams with the boys, mostly as kickers but I remember a girl playing quarterback for a drive in Florida. High school football is pretty big in a lot of the country, especially Texas. There was a recent story about one who kicked a field goal and, on the same day, got named homecoming queen in her football uniform. The game doesn’t translate as well because of the need for upper-body strength.

            Unfortunately, as I mentioned elsewhere recently, women’s gridiron football can’t exist in college as an unintended consequence of Title IX: if any college added a women’s team in the same sport, it would need to have the same budget overnight, and the budgets of men’s Division-I football programs are really bloated. (Almost all of them lose money, contrary to the myth that the men’s sports are subsidizing the women’s.) However, the law allows colleges to add a different team and spend a lot less on it than on men’s football. There are no athletic scholarships for women to play football (although one woman, April Goss, made history by playing in a NCAA game and scoring a point). Therefore, the major motive for parents to have their daughters play a team sport is absent. There is one tackle football league for young girls, in Utah, which is now in its second year.

            WoSo therefore had a major advantage over women’s tackle football in that soccer was not yet a well-known sport in America when the ’99ers won the World Cup and became famous. Unlike in most other countries, Americans tend to think of female soccer players first. The most-established women’s league in the country, though, is the WNBA, so that would be a better comparison.

          • Steglitz49

            You type that — “Unlike in most other countries, Americans tend to think of female soccer players first” — but hand on heart is that really true? I put it to you that it is not.

            Americans know the names of many top male soccer players from around the world. Granted, when speaking of American soccer players they might actually be able to name a few females of the species, like Alex, Abby, Hope and Carli.

          • Lorehead

            You often try to lecture Americans about their own culture as if you understood it. When Americans do that to Sweden, how stupid do they sound? Go look up the video of Clint Dempsey walking around the streets of New York right after the 2014 World Cup, asking people what they thought of the captain of the U.S. national soccer team, and not having a single one recognize him.

          • Steglitz49

            I typed that Americnas know top male players from around the world. Thus, had Clint shown the same people pictures of Messi, Zlatan and CR7, they would have named them.

            People do not remember carthorses and donkeys but the recognize thoroughbreds.

          • just asked

            An average of over 1000 is not bad.
            The Bundesliga is a real league and not an arteficial league which is just brave enough to play in that small number of months were other leagues such as NFL are pausing.
            Bundesliga is brave enough to play in fall and winter cause it is supported by real fans and not only by screaming fan girls coming mainly for the funny mascots and aren’t able to stand colder temperatures
            The NWSL is the only so called league which keeps on playing without national players. THAT is pathetic

          • mockmook

            That’s called depth

          • Steglitz49

            No. It is pathetic. Just Asked is correct.

  • NYRick

    I guess the cash-starved USSF couldn’t afford to send a rep out way in advance of this fiasco to inspect the field. I’m all for player safety and support their boycott, but it is pretty low rent to cancel the match with less than 24 hours notice in lieu of any pending nature or man-made disaster. Just not very professional.

    • Terry Lash

      Cancellation at the last minute is poor form, yes. But did the team have a realistic alternative in order to get USSF to pay attention and provide support for the team? I think not, based on past behavior by USSF. Kudos to Morgan and other team members for standing up to and calling out Gulati. He now has explaining to do publicly. What will USSF do in the future to protect the safety of women players and provide them with the first class facilities that they deserve? I hope the public puts and keeps pressure on Gulati to take swift and comprehensive action to make necessary changes at USSF.

      • NYRick

        I’m not disagreeing with you. It’s quite obvious that if you follow WoSo and the USWNT that the facilities and standards are never in pace with what the men get. However, I do wonder if Pinoe does not get hurt, do they play this match? How much did her practice injury on another field play into this?

        • Guest

          Yeah, but imagine Morgan getting another knee injury during this game. People could be fired over that.

      • dw

        Well they have 7 days to avoid a repeat.

    • Steglitz49

      The USSF do not give a monkey’s for the ladies except as cash-cows!

  • JD

    Why doesn’t Aloha Stadium have a grass field anyway? It’s Hawaii – plenty of sun! Dolphins stadium in Miami has natural grass for obvious reasons.

    • NYRick

      It’s amazing that the multimillion dollar NFL stars play in this pit at the Pro Bowl ever year. I can’t believe their agents haven’t inspected the conditions. And we are not talking padding for turf burns here, we are talking turned ankles and ACLs with those seams in that pull up cheap astroturf. The NFL could put in a grass field for this stadium. It would be chump change for them, and since they all the execs enjoy a paid family vacay in Hawaii every year to go to the game, it would certainly be warranted.

      • Guest

        They actually don’t have the Pro Bowl there any more due to field conditions. The NFL decided to move venues.

        • NYRick

          Since when? I thought they played that game there since…forever. Is this something recent, like last year?

        • john

          You got me curious, so-the 2015 Pro Bowl was played in Arizona. Currently the 2016 version is scheduled to be played at Aloha and tickets are on sale now. Something tells me that might be revisited. Of course, if you watch the Pro Bowl rule #1 has always been don’t hurt each other.

  • Cc W

    With all the money the women’s team has made for US Soccer it is pathetic that they can’t make sure the team plays on appropriate fields. I think the women on this team now realize they do have some power. Disappointing for the fans and likely the team.

    • Steglitz49

      The green, green grass of the Algarve never looked so lush?

  • Davestwin7

    The decision to not practice on unsafe fields, and play on the terrible match field ahould have been made day one of the practice sessions. Waiting this long is absurd.

    • Guest

      The players/coaching staff don’t see the field until a day or two before the game. That’s why you’re only hearing about their complaints now. They assumed (fairly) that their employers had done a proper inspection beforehand to guarantee their safety.

      They also probably tried to find a way to not disappoint fans because the team truly does care about their fans. I doubt they made this decision lightly.

      • Davestwin7

        The fields they were practicing on were deemed unsuitable yet they continued on those. Day 1, if the facilities are unsafe don’t use them.

  • Guest

    Quite the embarrassment for the USSF but this is what happens when a federation outsources control of a team to a marketing company. Chasing the almighty dollar at the expense of players safety. Thanks SUM!

  • guest

    Maybe with enough advance warning they could have moved the match to Waipio Soccer Complex (capacity 4,500) where the rainbow warriors play. It’s grass and looks nicer anyway. Somebody should be fired for this.

    • guest

      They sold 16,000 tickets, logistically i don’t think thats possible for that venue.

      • guest

        You give out refunds and then sell new tickets, and they would have been desirable tickets too because of the intimacy of the venue. Also, I think Fox would have liked to show a game, rather than not.

        • Steglitz49

          You do it right first time round.

          • guest

            In a perfect world, everything comes out right the first time, but that’s not how the world works. So there has to be do-overs, like how about a new USSF president?

          • Steglitz49

            Heads should already be rolling. Officers of USSF should be falling on their swords. Where is Donal trump and his apprentices when we need them?

          • dw

            Deleting emails and shredding documents is what in the real world passes for your ridiculous “falling on their swords.” StegWorld is a strange place. An honest one, it seems. Odd that soccer can exist there at all.

          • Steglitz49

            The fans of swimming seem to have swallowed that there is no doping in their sport in spite of the evidence to the contrary. Likewise, the cycling world seem happy to believe that there is only the odd rotten apple. Track&field is holding some show trials but it will be business as usual in Rio.

            This is why it is critical that WoSo does not get the image that Mammon is their god and that winning at all costs is their war cry.

            If the image of joy, sharing and caring is lost, then WoSo will be lost, because those attributes are there to be seen in so many other sports where women compete and the men don’t display them.

          • Lorehead

            US Swimming is publicly complaining to FINA about the lack of effective doping enforcement as we speak.

          • Steglitz49

            Some would say that that is the pot calling the kettle black and that they might want to heed the old saying about sitting in glasshouses. Be careful what you pray for lest your prayer is answered.

          • HOFCToDi

            The DFB is the epitome of a Mickey Mouse operation, bribing FIFA officials to land the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

      • mockmook

        If the seats go up that high, I’m sure they can get more that 16k in there.

  • Silver Frost

    I hope Gulati learned a lesson here. Think of the money and reputation USSF could save if only they had an advance man check out the conditions well before this fiasco. Bravo to the women.

    • Calci0

      Are they hiring 😉

    • mockmook

      Or, an advance woman…

      • Steglitz49

        as in, the female of the species is deadlier than the male?

  • guest

    Maybe while Morgan’s checking out the fields she can look for her form.

    • Steglitz49

      “Form”? Is she a criminal now too? On whose side are you on?

  • mockmook

    Remember the good ol’ days when all we needed to worry about was the quality of the soccer?

    Such a damn shame for the players and the fans.

    Huge embarrassment for USA soccer. Huge embarrassment for Aloha Stadium.

    How ironic would it be if the “lowly ” sport of woso instigated a change of surface at Aloha?

    • Aloha Stadium isn’t going to change anything. Not for the NFL. Certainly not for soccer. The only reason anyone plays in that stadium is because of it’s location.

      • Steglitz49

        Well. Nobody is playing there this time, that much is obvious.

  • mockmook

    Regarding the “sharp” “plastic” pebbles, the UBU Sports Speed S5-M surface has a rubber and sand pellet mix as infill. The sand might account for the “plastic” pellets.

    • Steglitz49

      Natural grass. It rains a lot in Hawaii and the players might develop a taste for the real McCoy.

  • mcb0b

    Don’t worry about a thing. The check that paid for it cleared and somebody with the right connections got paid and that as we all know is what it’s all about in Hawaii.

    • Steglitz49

      Sounds like FIFA.

      • weltmeister

        no fifa, it’s ussf wrong

        • Steglitz49

          Sorry, you meant the DFB.

          • weltmeister

            the dfb have no corrupt dings doing, and the dfb is a beautiful friend of the gerwnt, no turf in the allianz women bundesliga.

            BAD USSF

          • mockmook

            First intelligent thing you’ve said.

          • no way

            Somebody hacked his account.

          • HOFCToDi

            Wolfgang Niersbach resigns as German FA president amid claims that bribes were paid in order to host FIFA 2006 World Cup

            dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-3310646/Wolfgang-Niersbach-resigns-German-FA-president-amid-claims-bribes-paid-order-host-2006-World-Cup.html

            German Football Association (DFB) boss Wolfgang Niersbach has quit his role amid ongoing claims that brides were paid in a bid to land the 2006 World Cup.

            Earlier this month the corruption crisis surrounding the tournament intensified after tax authorities launched raids on the country’s football federation and private residences.

            And after the disclosure in German magazine Der Spiegel last October, that the DFB made a secret payment of €6.7million (£4.6m) to FIFA in 2005, Niersbach is now resigning, telling reporters that he’s taking ‘political responsibility’ for the affair.

          • weltmeister

            jeffrey webb and john warner ex concacaf presidents in jail, wolfgang niersbach is not in jail, sorry

          • Steglitz49

            Who is going to be the next president of the DFB? Christine Hohmann-Dennhardt?
            — Oliver Bierhoff or Silvia Neid are too obvious, aren’t they?

          • HOFCToDi

            Police Raid German Football Association HQ

            news.sky.com/story/1580910/police-raid-german-football-association-hq

            Police have raided the headquarters of the German Football Association (DFB) in Frankfurt over payments made to FIFA in connection with the 2006 World Cup.

            The homes of DFB President Wolfgang Niersbach and former president Theo Zwanziger were also raided, along with that of former general secretary Horst R. Schmidt

            More than 50 police officers and tax inspectors took part in the operation.

          • weltmeister

            jeffrey webb and john warner ey concacaf presidents in jail, no dfb member, sorry

  • Movement

    They should just lay a bunch of bathroom rugs all over the turf, and all is okay.

    • Don B.

      From the pictures, it seems like that was exactly what they did.

  • VaFan51

    It is very clear the players need to have meaningful representation in USSoccer decision-making.
    Surely, this incident publicly exposes the money-grubbing and paternalistic leadership in the organization, but we need more sunlight — we need to have names named. These attitudes and decisions happen in the murk of anonymity, with no regard for the players who, after all, make the whole thing work. Players look into the camera after a match and say to international audiences “we need to do better,” while the USSoccer leadership hides in the dark, manipulates decisions, and counts their salaries. Come on, USSoccer, stop acting like FIFA and man up — step in front of cameras and take responsibility for treating the WNT as nothing more than a cash-cow.

    I am intrigued by Carli Lloyd’s statement that something is going to change “come January 1st.” Fingers crossed. At the very least, the players need to have a major institutionalized role in decisions that affect their health and their careers.
    Last but not least, hat’s off to Alex Morgan for going public with the players’ concerns. These issues have been kept quiet for too long.

    • mockmook

      Was that a tweet by Lloyd?

      • VaFan51

        This video at about 0:35 —
        https://youtu.be/wHVnZmv-f9g
        She says “comes January 1, it’s not going to happen again,” probably referring to playing on turf.

        • mockmook

          Thanks!!!

        • Lorehead

          I doubt she means they’ll never play on turf again. The men play on turf sometimes, even in the Gold Cup.

    • kernel_thai

      OK, I think I have the answer to ur mystery…hope there is prize money involved.

      “The issue isn’t over, though. The Guardian understands that US Soccer
      will be reviewing the venues for the rest of the tour’s matches in light
      of this weekend’s controversy and will be meeting with the players to
      discuss the issue. US Soccer has also set a goal to play the women’s
      games after the victory tour on grass leading up to the 2016 Olympics.”

      Above is a quote from a Guardian article by Caitlin Murray. Apparently US has promised that all matches leading up to the Olympics will be on grass so that’s where the January 1 date comes in.

      http://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2015/dec/07/were-the-us-womens-soccer-team-right-to-boycott-their-own-victory-tour

      • VaFan51

        I have that prize money around here somewhere…
        That sounds promising, although “reviewing the venues” sort of implies USSoccer might actually move matches or do something else that values players over money, and I have my doubts — cynic that I am. But, hey, Christmas is coming up.
        Thanks for the info.

    • Steglitz49

      “Their’s not to reason why,
      their’s but to do and die …”

  • dw

    I understand the sexist angle, but doesn’t USSF pay the women more than the men, on the account that men’s club salaries are much higher?

    • guest

      hahahahahahaha. you’re joking right?

      • dw

        No really, wasn’t there a USSF financial report that listed its highest salaries, and most were WNT members? My memory not being what it was, however…

        • sa

          I remember something about that too, but overall they spend more on the men.

          • dw

            Glad it wasn’t just me. I think it was pre-JK-era, so JK is the highest paid USSF person. Also, doesn’t take into account the “player development” system for men, which involves staying at lots of European 5-star hotels while scouting for dual-passport talent. No such program exists for WNT.

          • Steglitz49

            The real world is a harsh place.

        • Lorehead

          Sort of. Every year, the USSF releases a list of its top-paid employees, who are usually the coaches. Players only make the list when they get six-figure bonuses. In 2014, the only players on that list were men getting their World Cup bonuses. In 2013, there was a Mexican-American who cap-switched. In 2012, the top-paid players were the women collecting their Olympic bonuses of about $300K.

          This year, the women are going to get mid-six-figure bonuses again for winning the World Cup. That’s a fraction of what the men would have made for winning the World Cup. But of course, the men didn’t win the World Cup, or the Gold Cup, or qualify for the Confederations Cup. So I guess they get points for effort?

          • dw

            Thankfully positronic brains don’t suffer memory loss as they get older.

        • Lorehead

          Okay, fine: the forms you’re thinking of are their IRS disclosures, which are publicly available here. Last year, US Soccer spent $31,116,527 on the MNT and $10,307,142 on the WNT plus $1,431,892 on the NWSL. This does not count disparity in other respects, such as the coaches’ salaries, which are ten times higher for the men, or the budget for the men’s Olympic team, which unlike the women’s is a separate age group.

          • Steglitz49

            There is no reason why the men’s coaches salaries should be 10x the ladies. Twice, maybe.

            It is not as if JK has such a great coaching record.

          • Lorehead

            Even the assistant coaches on the MNT made more than the WNT coach (at least before she got a raise this year and a performance bonus).

          • Steglitz49

            Even at NT level I have the impression that the USMNT matches are better attended and the ticket prices higher than for the USWNT. That may be a mirage and not the truth but it is nevertheless the impression.

            For all that 25 million Americans watched the WC-15 final, it is only 8% of the population. It would be interesting to know how many in the US watched the 2014 WC final and, say the Brazil-Germany SF, and maybe throw in the men’s Champions League final and, why not, the men’s FA cup final while we are at it.

            I think we would be frightened by how much greater the TV audience is for BroSo than WoSo even in the US.

          • Lorehead

            That’s certainly true of meaningful games the USMNT plays at home, but let’s compare friendlies to friendlies. In its victory tour, the women have drawn:

            32,869 in Orlando
            23,693 in Seattle
            35,735 in Birmingham, AL
            34,538 in Detroit
            20,535 (sellout) in Chattanooga, TN
            44,028 in Pittsburgh

            Their sendoff tour had attendances of:

            26,467 (sellout) in Harrison, NJ
            27,000 (sellout) in Carson, CA
            18,000 (sellout) in San Jose, CA
            35,817 in St Lous

            How does that compare to the MNT? Ticket prices are all over the place: the game against Mexico with a Confed Cup place on the line sold out the Rose Bowl with an average price of $280 on the secondary market, but tickets for their friendly against Peru were significantly cheaper than tickets to the USWNT victory tour. The men have had three friendlies since their last major competition, which drew:

            9,214 in Harrison, NJ
            29,308 in Foxboro, MA
            28,896 in Washington, DC

            The low number was against Peru, the high numbers against Brazil and Costa Rica. The USMNT’s meaningful games on home soil drew much better (which might be why US Soccer wants to host a competitive women’s tournament in the U.S.), the half-exception being the third-place match against Panama in the Gold Cup, and so did their friendlies against Mexico and Guatemala before the Gold Cup. It’s likely that they made money off their tour of Europe instead of losing hundreds of thousands of dollars as the women do when they go.

          • Steglitz49

            The men “sold out the Rose Bowl” is enough. There is your answer for you.

            The day the USMNT wins the World Cup by defeating Germany in the final, people will flock to the men’s victory tour matches at $280 for the cheapest seats.

          • AlexH

            To be accurate the Mexican men sold out the Rose Bowl . Our men just served as people to be called “P*to” by the throngs of Mexico supporters.

          • Steglitz49

            People went along and filled the Rose Bowl and there was a ticket tout market which by all acoounts seems to have been substantial.

            Is there a secondary market for WoSo games? Maybe the WC final?

          • Lorehead

            It’s worth noting that a lot of the crowd when the USMNT plays Mexico or a nearby country with a large diaspora are first-generation immigrants who support the visiting team and don’t have much money anyway. They’d never buy a US jersey. So, that playoff with Mexico in the Rose Bowl was a huge payday for CONCACAF, to the point that I’m a bit suspicious of some of the calls in the Gold Cup that set it up, but US Soccer likes to hold its USMNT matches in cities where it can sell more tickets to its own supporters. The Mexican fans are less valuable on the US Soccer balance sheet than their numbers would suggest.

          • Steglitz49

            The point is that no WNT victory tour match has been scheduled for the Rose Bowl — or Giants stadium or Soldier Field for that matter.

          • AlexH

            Unless you consider the free market a reason. “Free Market” being defined as “what the dumbest billionaire club owner / dumbest national team suit will overpay for your services.”

            Bottom line is that bad men’s coaches have more lucrative job offers away from the national team than bad female coaches.

          • Steglitz49

            I suspect USSF wanted a big name and they got just waht they wanted but not more than that.

          • AlexH

            I think JK is a bad coach but ironically he should be the the role model for training forwards because the things that made JK a great striker can be taught in a training setting. 1) Know where you need to be 2) Run like hell to get their 3) Bury the chance. It is a tall order to reach JK’s level of skill but it can be approximated without the necessity of learning your game in the slums of Sao Paolo.

          • Lorehead

            4. Dive without shame.

          • AlexH

            Forgot about that- A veritable Baryshnikov he was!

          • Steglitz49

            That is what Christen’s coach in Göteborg taught her. Maybe if she had stayed in Gbg she might have become even better and started all games in WC-15.

            We will never know.

            I wonder what Sasaki told his charges? Perhaps — Here is the ball; now go out and play with it.

          • AlexH

            Kudos for a gratuitous Press bash.

            I miss the press gang, hopefully your swipe will energize them.

          • Steglitz49

            NYRick has already commented twice.

            I thought 180 comments were a bit poor show for such an important topic.

    • Lorehead

      IIRC, women are full-time employees of USSF and are paid a regular salary, in addition to the USSF paying their NWSL salaries, while the men are full-time employees of their clubs and just get bonuses from USSF. The men get a much higher bonus for reaching each stage of their World Cup than the women do.

      • dw

        That, in effect, was the point I was trying to make.

        • Steglitz49

          As I typed to Lorehead but maybe ought to have put here, the NTs get much more money for reaching each stage in the men’s WC than the ladies do in their. Therefore, it stands to reason that the male players get bigger bonuses in the WC.

          The average attendances at MLS matches exceeds those at Portland for the NWSL and the fans pay more to watch the chaps. Thus, the men earn more.

          Portland is an MLS set up as are the two NWSL expansion teams. WoSo players seem to have accepted that being subsidized by the men is the viable business plan for now — and, maybe, forever.

          • Lorehead

            I know I’ve said this before, but I’m not going to stand on the principle that women should get equal pay no matter what. I’m a consequentialist. Insistence on equal budgets when men and women play the same sport in Title IX means that women get fewer sports than men and much lower budgets for those sports than men, but NCAA women’s football can’t feasibly exist at all because the girls would have to be as pampered as the boys out of the gate.

            There are some changes that could and should happen, though. Symbolic gestures of respect are, to be blunt, cheap. Playing on adequate surfaces costs some money, but the USWNT draws well enough that U.S. Soccer can afford it. And there are enough revenues in the sport now that the players can get raises the next time their contracts are up for negotiation. As we all know, this year’s World Cup final drew higher TV ratings in the U.S. than any men’s soccer game ever, or the NBA finals. Ad revenues were in the tens of millions. The NWSL salary cap does not need to be as stingy as it is, either.

          • Steglitz49

            The Ad Revenues from the WC would have accrued to the Network who in their turn paid FIFA for the pleasure of showing the WC. Infact, FIFA sells the men’s and women’s WC as a package deal and the network is expected to show a certain number of WoSo hours.

            FIFA knows WoSo can’t stand on its own feet — yet.

            Nevertheless, only 8% of the US watched this final to be compared with 37% of Japanese in 2011 in the middle of their night and almost 50% of Swedes for the 2003 WC final.

            Maybe we will see Networks grumbling next time round because so much of this ladies WC was played when the ROW slept, including the final which usually is watched by the fans whoever plays.

            FIFA obsviously has made the not unreasonable deduction that WoSo depends on the US being onboard.

            The harsh reality is that in the US men’s soccer is much better attended and the ticket prices higher. Thus 3 MLS-teams now have ladies sides and the 2 expansion teams were MLS.

            The figures for the 3 best paid USWNT members are impressive by any standards.

          • Lorehead

            Next time around, the ad revenues might make FIFA increase the prize money, which would let the federations increase the performance bonuses the players and coaches get, and the base salaries if they’re serious about winning.

          • Steglitz49

            There is a limit to how much you can tax the men’s game to keep the women playing. 1% seems easy, 3% just about OK but the male fans balk at 5%.

            Real Madrid never opened a ladies section and Man Utd closed their down 10 years ago.

            FIFA relies on the US to show how you can run stand alone WoSo profitable. The reality of both expansion teams being MLS suggests that this may never happen.

          • Lorehead

            It’s not a tax on the men’s game: the ad revenues on that broadcast were high enough that FIFA can charge more money for the rights, and put some of that money toward prizes.

          • Steglitz49

            A network cannot buy the rights to the men’s WC without also buying the ladies WC AND agree to show a certain number of hours of it. FIFA enforces that link.

            You can buy the ladies WC without buying the men’s.

          • AlexH

            Good point. For all of the FIFA bashing the linking of WWC broadcast rights to the MWC is the single greatest thing that has ever been done for woso.

          • Lorehead

            But Title IX is up there.

          • Steglitz49

            In the US, yes. Everywhere else, not obvious how.

          • AlexH

            The real unsung hero in US soccer is the American Dad. I would say that 90% of the coaches of girl’s soccer teams are dads and without them woso would be dead at the ground floor. I won’t say it is unique to the USA but in my experience, pride in their daughters athletic prowess runs deeper in the USA than anywhere else.

          • Steglitz49

            Verily and forsooth. Hound’s tooth. Spot on.

            Some of them have not even played the game. They, like Ingrid Bergman in that old film, seem to have learnt from a book BUT they struggle on and do the best they can.

          • My parents knew NOTHING about soccer before I started playing, but they dutifully took me shopping for cleats and shin guards, cut up oranges for soccer games, and ran alongside the pitch shouting encouragement to me and the other players at a game for which they barely understood the rules.

            Had I not played, they probably would not currently attend NWSL games with me and I’m sure my dad wouldn’t have spent the time & money to go to the World Cup this year, but because I’m interested – they’re interested. And while I wouldn’t call either of my parents feminists or particularly equality-conscious they both think it’s crazy and unfair that the USWNT isn’t treated better in comparison to the men.

            Most of their peers still don’t know or care about soccer, yet my parents still will talk about the stadiums here in KC and watching the women play on TV. You’re spot on that pride in the accomplishments of their children are a major motivating factor in American parents and may be one of the biggest forces behind strives toward equality in sport.

          • commonsensedude

            The USWMNT isn’t treated better in comparison to the men?
            The profits from the men’s team have been subsidizing the US women’s teams since 1990. Look at the financial books which are made available online. The women have not ever covered their expenses. Every time the women play a game overseas’s, it loses over $100,000 for the USSF. Just look at the algarve cup. The USSF flies 25 people to Portugal and puts them up in a nice hotel and feeds them for 9 days. The average attendance is less than 500 and late night infomercials get higher tv ratings, and the financial rewards virtually non-existent, so the USSF takes a huge huge loss on the Algarve Cup.

            Fair or not the men have huge financial advantages over the women. Everytime the men play Mexico, Germany, Spain, or Brazil at home, they make between 3 to 5 million in profits. That is why they are treated better, not sexism. The USSF is not under Title IX. Should it be taxed? Perhaps, but it is not under any legal or moral obligation to have a woman’s team in the first place.

            Let us not forget that the USSF is also subsidizing the NWSL and if it were not for the USSF, the NWSL would not exist. Let us also not forget that almost all the US women’s players played in college under full scholarships. Yet, the average NCAA Division I school loses over 500,000 a year. The women’s NCAA tournament is a huge money loser. The money to pay for these programs are paid for by the profits from football and men’s basketball. Poor African American men are exploited so upper middle class white woman can play soccer in college.

            All the European women’s professional leagues lose money. Most of the women’s teams losses are covered by men’s teams. Again, most professional male soccer players are from poor or working class backgrounds. Most the professional women’s players are college educated middle to upper middle class.

            So in closing, please tell me how the us women’s players are mistreated by the men, when it seems the men are picking up the tab at every step of the way.

            http://www.ussoccer.com/about/federation-services/resource-center/financial-information

          • Lorehead

            Just about everything you claimed in your post is incorrect, and you don’t sound like you’re open to changing your mind.

          • Steglitz49

            Please answer those observations one by one, in separate comments if necessary.

            Just claiming that s/he is wrong won’t cut the mustard. No-one (except HOFCToDi and WeltMeister) can argue against data.

            Sadly, I, who am strongly pro-WoSo, feel s/he has points.

          • Lorehead

            No, I’m not going to do that every time Somebody is wrong on the Internet! It’s a waste of my time. Here’s one that I happen to have at hand, because the misogynists who so strongly resent that women’s sports exist at all, all seem to believe that men’s college football and basketball subsidize the other sports: No, the NCAA does an annual financial report on that. Most of those men’s football and basketball programs lose money.

            Really, though, it shouldn’t be necessary. What does an uninformed rant about how men who want to play a sport that doesn’t make money deserve to be subsidized instead of women who want to play a sport that doesn’t make money have to do with the fact that everybody agrees that the turf at Aloha Stadium was unfit to play on, and the photos prove it? Nothing. Somebody who throws that in is just jerking his knee in the direction of women’s sports.

          • Steglitz49

            Thank you. It is a thorough and detailed document. But. What are the key points? To my eyes, just glancing at it, the ladies seem to be thoroughly in the red.

            In absolute numbers, the women’s figures seem to be about 5% of the men’s.

            I short, if college grid-iron loses money, who pays for all the ladies sports, including soccer?

            Is this what you had in mind?

            “Generated revenues for men’s programs decreased by 2.3 percent from 2013, including a 2.9 percent inflationary effect. Thus, the real decrease in men’s generated revenues was 5.2 percent. Generated revenues for women’s programs decreased by 14.6 percent, which included a 2.5 percent inflationary effect, yielding a 17.1 percent real decrease. ”

            and

            “Between 50 and 60 percent of football and men’s basketball programs have reported net generated revenues (surpluses) for each of the nine years reported, while the dollar amount has increased slightly but steadily each year.”

            and

            “The highest coaches’ salaries were incurred in football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball and men’s ice hockey respectively.” — it says nothing about soccer, even WoSo!

          • Lorehead

            I’ll note that the second paragraph, about how 50–60% of men’s football and basketball programs have net revenue, is taken out of context. That’s just the Football Bowl Subdivision schools. A much higher proportion of the total lose money.

            And, Steglitz, you need to understand that soccer is just not as big as gridiron football in America.

          • Steglitz49

            Of course grid-iron is big in the US. Even a blind and deaf person from terra del Fuego who has been in a coma for 30 years realizes that.

            Yet. Someone defrays all those women’s sports at college.

            We lived in CT when the so-called “Snowbowl” was played. I was down with a cold I remember. We enjoyed Lou Holtz wisdom on the box. Apart from Grid-Iron — college as well as NFL — we followed the ladies college basketball religiously but could never get tickets to the Final Four. Went to some WNBA matches. We did not bother watching the NHL.

            We followed Kay Yow coaching her Wolfpack whilst being treated for cancer and getting more and more jaundiced. The players really loved their coach but they could not win the title.

            We never watched any college WoSo but we remember seeing Abby play in WC-03 and saying: Vow! What a player. A lot of WC-06 was shown live in the US and there were tons of reports about the giant screens erected in Berlin and other major German cities.

          • Lorehead

            The report has more detail, but what basically happens is that rich alumni donate money to the colleges they went to, to help them win games. Phil Knight, the founder of Nike, was a runner at the University of Oregon and as a backer is single-handedly responsible for turning them into national-title contenders.

          • Steglitz49

            How does that differ from both the expansion teams being MLS teams? How does that differ from all the rich European clubs running WoSo sides?

            Rich Alumni give money to sport at their old varisties. Rich men’s clubs give money to their women’s sections.

            I guess that the difference is that the alumni do not give money to the women’s sports specifically. They give it to the sports program and 5% trickles down to the ladies.

          • Lorehead

            We’ve been over this. You have this strange belief that women’s football could never make business sense anywhere, which is simply not true. Sharing the fixed costs with a men’s team is like two people with jobs moving in together; it’s not a subsidy from one to the other, but a way of saving money.

            Boosters giving money to college sports teams is not a business decision at all, and absolutely not a charity. It’s a lot more like how the Western New York Flash are a gift to Alex Sahlen from her dad, for sentimental reasons.

          • Steglitz49

            See it that way if it fits your view. Everyone is happy in his faith and must get to heaven their own way, seems to be your philosophy.

            It is most obviously not like two people with jobs moving in together because the ladies do not earn a living wage. They benefit from the structures that re in place in the men’s team. Subsidy, iow.

            Should the liaison run aground, the men have all the property and fixed assets. The lasses nada. Like when Man Utd closed their women’s section. Chelsea almost did, had not John Terry opened his wallet.

            It may well be that stand alone pro-WoSo is not possible and that being kept going by the men’s teams is the only option. That may have to be the business model but it is onesided.

          • Lorehead

            You have some very strange beliefs about this. Let me put some ballpark figures on it. Let’s say, to simplify a bit, that Merritt Paulson has already built a stadium and has to make lease payments of $650K (plus 7% of ticket sales) on it, whether one team plays there or two. Let’s say the cost of opening the park on game day is around $7,000 and there are ten home games. (The high-school football championships just left because Providence Park charged $10,000 and they were offering $7,500.) Let’s call the entire cost of hiring additional staff, coaches and players for a team like the Thorns $500K.

            Disregarding jerseys, scarves and concessions, how many tickets would the Thorns have to sell to break even, assuming the Timbers will stay in business one way or the other? How would this calculation change if it had to pay for all its facilities by themselves?

          • Steglitz49

            What a marvelous story. Thank you.

          • rkmid71

            I think I’m similar to your parents!! BTW — it took me a couple years to understand the offside rule and it still drives me crazy. And I hate the inconsistent quality of the refs, especially in a game where so few goals are typically scored. I love the refs with a sense of humor, not too sensitive, and are willing to interact and provide some explanation at times. For me, in addition to pride in accomplishments of your kid, and without having played the game myself, a major motivating factor is that I’ve actually come to love the game. Even some 0-0 games are amazing to watch. The teamwork, skill, courage, flair/creativeness, unpredictability, amazing individual plays, the continuous action/flow and player decision making, the physicality, athleticism and fitness required, the blending of different player qualities and personalities, playing in all weather conditions and the tactics.Every time I think I’ve seen it all, something new happens.

          • Lorehead

            Yeah, but Fox Sports 1 made tens of millions of dollars in profit, so it’s not as if they had to be threatened into doing it.

          • Steglitz49

            Think all the nations around the world that don’t give a monkey’s for WoSo. FIFA sees the global picture — not just for bribes.

          • AlexH

            8% is a pretty good number for US sports. The world series and NBA finals get about 15M per game, the NCAA basketball final got 21M, the men’s woso final got 26M and the USMT got 20M for the game against Belgium. The only thing that beats it is football. 33 M for the NCAA final and 110M for the Super Bowl.

            Woso still has a long way to go but the TV ratings for the WWC were good by US standards.

          • Lorehead

            And sports is the only thing people watch live, any more.

          • Steglitz49

            The men’s WC final got about the same as if not more than the WC-15 final. Vow!!

            A game between German and Italian men draw as well as the USWNT against the reigning World Champions in a rematch of the 2011 final.

            110/315 = 35% about the same proportion as watched in Japan the WC-11 final.

            WoSo may be growing in popularity in the US but maybe it is just old fashioned nationalistic jingoism. Now, if we could get the NRA to sponsor a WoSo team ….

          • AlexH

            Annie Oakley FC! Where can I buy tickets?

          • Steglitz49

            Hear hear! Tickets for the West, over here.

          • HOFCToDi

            The bitter Swedish troll does not have a clue about the sporting landscape in the United States.

            sportsmediawatch.com/2013/12/2013-ratings-wrap-nfl-dominates-list-of-most-watched-sporting-events/

          • Steglitz49

            The real gorilla in the room is advertising revenue.

            Soccer is 45 + injury time x2 during which no adverts can be shown. Before, during the half-time break and after: yes sir, but not during.

            The networks would have to develop new models and anyway lose revenue compared to the stop-start Big 4 + tennis, golf and tiddlywinks.

            The NHL might be in a tighter spot than the NFL but all that money from those adverts. Go away, soccer!

          • HOFCToDi

            The bitter Swedish troll does not have a clue about the sporting landscape in the United States.

            List of professional sports leagues by revenue:

            NFL – 10,005 million Euro
            MLB – 8,040 million Euros
            NBA – 4,580 million Euros
            NHL – 3,390 million Euros
            MLS – 414 million Euros

            Soccer is a niche sport in the United States.

          • Steglitz49

            Thank you for reinforcing my arguement for the 3rd time.

            Now, please be constructive and present some ideas about how to improve it for the ladies. Chop! Chop!!

          • HOFCToDi

            Come back to me when the Frauen Bundesliga attendance reaches the NWSL attendance for the 2014 NWSL season. Until then, you have no point.

            2015-16 Season
            Frauen Bundesliga – 1,154 (average per match)

            2014 Season
            NWSL – 4,139 (average per match)

            Soccer is a niche sport in the United States while soccer is the the number one sport in Germany, yet NWSL attendance blows away Frauen Bundesliga attendance.

            Now, please be constructive and present some ideas about how to improve attendance for the European ladies. Chop! Chop!

            Once again, Steglitz49 is talking out of his arse.

          • Steglitz49

            You do repeat yourself an awful lot.

            As I typed elsewhere, the attendances are about the same pro rated for population.

            USA 1104 and Germany 1154. QED.

          • HOFCToDi

            Once again, your population figures do not apply whatsoever.

            2015-16 Season
            Bundesliga – 43,450 (average per match)

            The German public will come out in droves to support the men and literally ignore the ladies.

            Once again, Steglitz49 is talking out of his arse.

          • Steglitz49

            You just typed that diatribe.

          • HOFCToDi

            Once again, Steglitz49 is talking out of his arse.

            2015-16 Season
            Bundesliga – 43,450 (average per match)

            2015 Season
            MLS – 21,547 (average per match)

            The German public will come out in droves to support the men and literally ignore the ladies.

            Now, please be constructive and present some ideas about how to improve attendance for the European ladies. Chop! Chop!

            Like shooting fish in a barrel.

            Where is your reply to improve attendance for the European ladies? I’m waiting.

          • HOFCToDi

            Non sequitur.

            The NFL dominated the list of the most-watched sporting events in the United States.

            sportsmediawatch.com/2013/12/2013-ratings-wrap-nfl-dominates-list-of-most-watched-sporting-events/

            Once again, Steglitz49 is talking out of his arse.

          • Steglitz49

            Thank you for reinforcing my points for me. It helps a lot.

            It is good to see that you agree with me because not everyone does.

          • HOFCToDi

            Come back to me when the Frauen Bundesliga attendance reaches the NWSL attendance for the 2014 NWSL season. Until then, you have no point.

            2015-16 Season
            Frauen Bundesliga – 1,154 (average per match)

            2014 Season
            NWSL – 4,139 (average per match)

            Soccer is a niche sport in the United States while soccer is the the number one sport in Germany, yet NWSL attendance blows away Frauen Bundesliga attendance.

          • Steglitz49

            They are about the same by population.

            Population of the US is 315m and of Germany 84m. (4139:315)x84 = 1104

          • HOFCToDi

            Your population figures do not apply whatsoever.

            2015-16 Season
            Bundesliga – 43,450 (average per match)

            The German public will come out in droves to support the men and literally ignore the ladies.

            Once again, Steglitz49 is talking out of his arse.

          • Steglitz49

            The constructive action is to figure out ways of improving attendances at WoSo games. Good ol’ Sepp had some ideas but they were not well received, at least not by the US PC brigade.

            Let’s hear your ideas, please.

          • HOFCToDi

            Steglitz49 is talking out of his arse.

            2015-16 Season
            Bundesliga – 43,450 (average per match)

            2015 Season
            MLS – 21,547 (average per match)

            The German public will come out in droves to support the men and literally ignore the ladies.

            Now, please be constructive and present some ideas about how to improve attendance for the European ladies. Chop! Chop!

            Like shooting fish in a barrel.

          • Steglitz49

            I think you need to restart your medication or up the dose.

          • HOFCToDi

            Come back to me when the Frauen Bundesliga attendance reaches the NWSL attendance for the 2014 NWSL season. Until then, you have no point.

          • Steglitz49

            Just take the tablets and don’t give up because it can take 2-3 weeks for the full effect to kick in.

          • HOFCToDi

            You have no point.

            2015-16 Season
            Frauen Bundesliga – 1,154 (average per match)

            2014 Season
            NWSL – 4,139 (average per match)

            Steglitz49 is a blithering idiot, a clueless moron, and a worthless troll.

          • Steglitz49

            NWSL championship final: 13,264 tickets sold
            German women’s cup final: 19,204 attended
            Women FA Cup final: 30,710 attended

            50% more went to the German ladies cup final than to the NWSL championship match and more than 2x went to the FA cup final.

            NWSL is not such a big draw as you may think.

            The ladies FA Cup final was shown live on the BBC.

          • HOFCToDi

            You are grasping at straws. I don’t give a crap about attendance for one match.

            worldfootball.net/attendance/frauen-bundesliga-2014-2015/1/

            2014-15 Season
            Frauen Bundesliga – 132 matches
            1,022 average per match

            Now, please be constructive and present some ideas about how to improve attendance for the European ladies. Chop! Chop!

            Like shooting fish in a barrel.

          • Steglitz49

            8 % is 8 % and neither 18 nor 81 %.

            As many in the US watched Germany and Argentina play in the men’s WC final as watched the USWNT play their WC final. Together they do not even amount to 18% of the US.

            Thank you for reinforcing my opinion that soccer is a niche sport in the US.

            The constructive issue is: have you any idea for how to increase the numbers for the ladies?

          • HOFCToDi

            What was the most popular sport in the United States during the 1970s?

          • Steglitz49

            Croquet?

          • HOFCToDi

            Steglitz49 is a blithering idiot, a clueless moron, and a worthless troll.

          • Steglitz49

            It can’t have been cricket, could it?

          • HOFCToDi

            Try college football which by the way revenues today exceed those of the Bundesliga.

      • Steglitz49

        The NTs get much more money for reaching each stage in the men’s WC than the ladies do in their. Thus it stands to reason that the male players get bigger bonuses.

        Remember the two NWSL expansion teams are both MLS as is Portland, the best attended NWSL team.

        Only in certain sports is there equal prize money between the sexes but the men’s marketing deals are usually worth considerably more to them than the ladies, even when the ladies are the big names.

  • NYRick

    There was an alternative field in the Hawaii area to use, but the USSF nixed at the 11th hour because Fox was having trouble setting up it’s feed on the location.

  • NYRick

    Off topic but a fun true fact for the day:

    The NY Giants have lost 5 games this year when having the lead with 2 minutes or less to go in the game. You can reread that sentence if you like. It is a true story of ineptitude and buffoonery to the highest degree in professional sports. Yet Tom Coughlin will not be fired. And you thought Klinnsy or Ellis had job security. There aren’t even LV odds on such a stat. Carry on. Just had to get that off my chest.

  • Reality

    Morgan and Lloyd have gone public on the latest turf scandal. Prior to the WC, it was a group of players who stepped forward about discriminatory turf practice. Where was/is Ellis on this key issue?

  • nwslfan

    Is it weird that Wamvach not outspoken on this matter?

    • moving on

      Torch is passed. Just letting the heir apparent begin to fill her role.

      • dw

        Right, note all public statements made by untouchable players. CL, Hope, Alex, Boxx…

  • Calci0
  • HOFCToDi

    U.S. soccer tax records, 2012-13

    washingtonpost.com/news/soccer-insider/wp/2014/02/01/u-s-soccer-tax-records-2012-13/

    • Lorehead
      • HOFCToDi

        The Klinsmann contract is a boat anchor for the USMNT head coach who can’t coach his way out of a paper bag.

        • Lorehead

          At least he didn’t do well enough to trigger any of the bonus clauses in his contract?

          • HOFCToDi

            Fourth place finish at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup?

            BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

        • Lorehead

          And I strongly suspect the real reason U.S. Soccer gave Jill Ellis a big raise, when she was still under contract for five years and they didn’t need to, is that it just would have been too embarrassing to disclose that the woman who coached her team to victory in the World Cup made a tenth what the man did who failed to qualify for the Confederations Cup or even reach the final of the CONCACAF championship.

          • Steglitz49

            The punishment has to fit the crime.

  • Getagrip

    I am tired of the exaggeration of painting USSF as an evil sexist organization. This is a first world problem. The USSF have treated their women better than any other Federation in the world. The US women get a base salary of at least 150,000 a year plus medical benefits. They stay in nice hotels, are fed good food, and have an excellent coaching and training staff. Look at the financial books which are made available every year. What you will find is that the women don’t make enough revenue to cover expenses. The men pick up the tab and the men have been doing so since 1990. Every women’s team in the world loses money for their federation. Every women’s pro team loses money. I am not against the women refusing to play on the horrible turf. What I can’t stand is the constant victim status given to the US women’s team. Ask any woman in Afghanistan if they would trade places with them.

  • Getagrip

    Before my comment gets lambasted I will answer the question which will most likely been thrown at me. That question being “Would the men be asked to play on such a surface”. The answer is ‘no they wouldn’t”. Why? For the same reason the Rolling Stones don’t fly coach and the same reason Celine Dion doesn’t share a dressing room with her backup singers. Being an average male team is much much more lucrative than being the best women’s team in the world. That is just reality. When you are the rainmaker, you get different treatment. That is life and life isn’t fair.

    • luke

      US Men national team is as comparable to Rolling Stones as Freddy Adu to Elvis Presley.

      • Dude3434

        Being a below average men’s team is much more lucrative then being the top women’s team in the world. The men have make much much much much more money than the women. Look at the financial records for the USSF which are available for anyone to view online. That is the reality. That is why they are treated better. Being the top woman’s team in the world does not mean much outside the United States. That is just a fact. Besides, the US men face much more difficult competition. There are only 4 or 5 good women’s teams and maybe 5 average women’s teams in the world. If the US women faced the same level of competition as the men, they would be an average team as well. The US women have the same strengths and weaknesses as the men. The are athletic, have great goal keepers, and tactically sound, but lack players with high technical skill and creative ability. They are almost mirror images of one another. It isn’t as if the men are terrible and the women are great. It is the women don’t face the same level of competition.

        • Lorehead

          All right: here are U.S. Soccer’s audited financial records for 2015. They don’t say what you claim. In fact, the major sponsorship deal, with Nike, covers both the men’s and women’s teams, and licensing is the largest single source of revenue, so it doesn’t make much sense to talk about that being men’s revenue or women’s revenue. I would bet you, though, that if you checked whose jerseys Nike sold the most of, Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd, Abby Wambach and Hope Solo would beat any of the men. US Soccer’s player t-shirts category consists entirely of shirts with the names and numbers of women. The top ten items in U.S. Soccer’s men’s shirts category are all in honor of the WNT or its players. What about the men’s NT fan gear page at the Nike online store? There is one replica jersey there, and the other items are all branded with Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan, or the Women’s World Cup. U.S. Soccer and Nike are selling more merchandise for the WNT than the MNT.

          TV revenues? Again, a single deal with Soccer United Marketing covers the USMNT, the USWNT and MLS, but the American TV ratings for the USWNT are higher than for men’s soccer.

          Revenue from those two deals totals $37 million. Even half of that would be $18.5 million, and the USWNT easily accounts for more than half in the year it won the World Cup. The expenses of the WNT were only $10.3 million, a third of what U.S. Soccer spent on the USMNT. (Some other costs should be folded in, but these mostly increase the disparity: the coach of the USMNT made more than $2M, ten times the coach of the USWNT’s base salary. Even his assistants made more. The US men send a different U-23 team to the Olympics with a separate budget, counted under Youth National Teams, but the women send the same team, so the men get more of that $14M, too. On the other side, U.S. Soccer spent $1.4M dollars on the NWSL.) And this is before any game-day revenue. Therefore, when you cite that report to claim that the men subsidize the women. If anything, the opposite is true.

          So what about the next-largest source of revenue not counted above, ticket sales? The men had a number of home matches with something on the line: the Gold Cup, a Confederations Cup playoff with Mexico, and one World Cup qualifier. Most of the money from the first two went to CONCACAF., but the World Cup qualifier in St. Louis had a great crowd. The women played friendlies at home this year, and many more of them than the men. So let’s compare friendlies to friendlies.

          The men’s friendly against Costa Rica in Red Bull Arena on October 13 sold 9,214 tickets starting at $35, a price comparable to the women’s victory tour. The women have played two friendlies against Costa Rica this year, in Pittsburgh, which sold 44,028 tickets, and in Chattanooga, with 20,535 tickets (a sellout). They have also played once at Red Bull Arena, and sold it out (26,467 tickets). What about Brazil? The men sold 29,308 tickets to their friendly match against Brazil. The women have played Brazil twice at home this year, selling 23,693 tickets the first time and 32,869 the second time. The one opponent the men sold many more tickets to a friendly against was Mexico; but the women still sold out the StubHub center, with more than 27,000 seats.

          The same source you cite to say that the women lose money on their trips to Algarve also said the women made around $300K on their home friendlies, they play many more of those than the men do, and that was before their popularity shot up this year. Their revenues from ticket sales are easily in the mid-seven-figure range. And, as you know, US Soccer is going to hold more home friendlies instead of sending them to Algarve next year.

          In short, you are entirely wrong about the financial situation of the USWNT, and don’t seem to have seen the photos of Aloha Stadium either.

          • Steglitz49

            You are missing the gorilla — the amount of money that NTs earn in the WC.

            In total, $576m was on the line for the participants of men’s WC-14, while just $15 million in prize money for the women in WC-15.

            The amont of money that a men’s teams get for progressing at each stage is way more than the women’s NTs get.

            The average share for the non-winning WNT was actually down from an average of $670,000 to $650,000 because WC-15 was increased from 16 to 24 teams.

            You will be frightened to learn how much more the USMNT has earned at men’s WCs compared to the ladies.

          • Lorehead

            No. While it is true that FIFA paid the USMNT $14M for losing in the quarterfinals in 2014 and the USWNT only $2M for winning the World Cup in 2015, the claim was that the distaff side loses money and that the revenues from the spear side subsidize them. A look at the numbers shows that isn’t true; the USWNT easily brings in more than the $12 million or so that it needs to cover its costs, including the NWSL.

          • Steglitz49

            $14m is still $12m more than $2m.

            About as many Americans watched the men’s WC-14 final as the ladies WC-15 final. There is your answer. I wonder how the TV advertising revenue compared?

            The hope for all pro-WoSo is that the US finds a way of making the NWSL profitable. FIFA knows that without vibrant pro-WoSo in the US, WoSo will never be independent.

            Judging by both expansion teams being MLS, it suggests that the sisters in the NWSL risk being kept by the brothers in the MLS — just like the WNBA.

            2017 and 2018 will be crunch years because there is no need to play in the NWSL. Colleges seniors might flock to European teams where they will get playing time, that is not even the rich teams.

          • Lorehead

            No, that’s not true. The audience for the women’s WC final in the U.S. was more than any men’s soccer match, in the World Cup or ever. I’m leaving now. Good night.

          • Steglitz49

            The number I have seen was 26m viewers for the WC-14 final. The viewers for the US v Belgium match was 20m.

            That is the issue. Even in the US, men’s matches pull in the viewers.

          • HOFCToDi

            As it stands, the Germany-Argentina game (17.3 million) was the third-most watched World Cup game on ABC/ESPN, trailing only the USA-Portgual game from June (18.2 million viewers) and the 1999 Women’s World Cup final (17.9 million).

          • Steglitz49

            According to reports the 2014 World Cup Final Rating was that over 26 million Americans watched on TV.

            It was 17.3 million viewers on ABC + 9.2 million on Univision = 26.5 million.

          • HOFCToDi

            ABC/ESPN reports ratings for their network, not anyone else.

          • Steglitz49

            I believe the 26.5 million. You believe what makes you content.

            WoSo fans don’t like it because it means that the USWNT is not quite such a hot draw and only game in town.

          • HOFCToDi

            2013-14 Season
            Frauen Bundesliga
            Attendance – 1,185 (average per match)

            worldfootball.net/attendance/frauen-bundesliga-2013-2014/1/

            2015-16 Season
            Frauen Bundesliga
            Attendance – 1,154 (average per match)

            worldfootball.net/attendance/frauen-bundesliga-2015-2016/1/

            2014 Season
            NWSL
            Attendance – 4,139 (average per match)

          • HOFCToDi

            2015-16 Bundesliga Season
            Bayern München – 75,000 (average per match)

            worldfootball.net/attendance/b…

            2015-16 Frauen Bundesliga Season
            Frauen Bayern München – 1,562 (average per match)

            worldfootball.net/attendance/f…

            No excuses whatsoever for the piss poor attendance at women’s matches in Germany.

          • HOFCToDi

            Bull crap.

            Only a few US players signed overseas contracts in 2014.

            Two US players signed overseas contracts in 2015, Corboz and Ubogagu. Arsenal released Chioma Ubogagu having reached the end of her contract in November 2015.

            There will no desire to play in Europe after what has occurred this season with Stengel, Clark, Gaul in the Frauen Bundesliga.

        • luke

          I’m cool with your numbers, just confused with the comparison of bunch of scrubs to one of the best bands in music history.
          Nobody knows, nobody seek, nobody cares about American footballers outside the US. They are world-wide irrelevant.

    • Lorehead

      Please come back when you know what kind of crowds and ratings the USWNT has been getting. Or don’t.

      • Steglitz49

        S/he happens to be right.

        The issue is: how does WoSo fix it?

        Many comments on this article has addressed this conundrum. The USWNT has been one of the very best WNTs in the world. Yet, two pro-leagues failed and the NWSL grows by MLS teams.

        WoSo in other countries is not in better shape and for the past 5-7 years the rich men’s teams are increasingly dominating by subsidizing their ladies. Several WoSo-alone clubs have gone bankrupt or been restructured by having their debts written off by local governments.

        FIFA helps by selling the ladies WC as a package deal with the men’s WC. Another hidden subsidy.

        That is the reality. It is up to WoSo to fix it for themselves. No-one else is.

        • Lorehead

          No, he or she is not. I am writing a more detailed post as we speak.

          • Steglitz49

            Do you actually go to WoSo matches? And men’s matches?

          • Lorehead

            Steglitz, you’re not from the United States, although I seem to recall your saying you’ve lived here in the past. Which of us has been to a match in the U.S. more recently?

          • Steglitz49

            In other words, you don’t.

          • Lorehead

            Does Portland count as part of the United States? Barely?

          • Steglitz49

            OK. You win. They have loyal fans given how poorly the team has done for the past 2 seasons. They can’t be bothered to turn out for the Championship game though, which suggests that all is not well with WoSo even in Portland.

        • AlexH

          How to fix it is the million dollar question. Refusing to play on crap fields is a good start. Woso in general might not make as much a s broso but USWNT friendlies do make a lot of money. It is a revenue stream that the USSF wants so it is is a good place to apply pressure. LIke any negotiation the key is to know what they can push fore and apply the maximum pressure before the other side says, “F-U! You guys are more trouble than you’re worth.”

          • Steglitz49

            This episode is odd to say the least. The owners (for want of a better word) of the stadium claims that USSoccer did inspect the pitch and found it OK.

            That the players agreed to play in Hawaii is not odd. It is one of the states in the Union. They could not refuse to play.

            If the US cannot find a way to make WoSo pay its own way, then WoSo the world over will be beholden to and kept afloat by the men’s game.

            2017 and 2018 will be the litmus test for WoSo USA.

          • AlexH

            I think the WNT can and does turn a profit. College woso by law gets subsidized by men’s gridiron so it’s only the leagues that cant make money.

            I have written before that the league format doesn’t work for women’s sports because there is a lot of overhead associated with leagues, that women are too evolved to engage in the type of fandom that league finances require, and that men are afraid to identify too passionately with women’s sports lest their mates view them as unmanly.

            Woso should adopt a tournament / tour format.

          • Steglitz49

            Your point is well taken. The WNT is profitable and they sell an awful lot of kit for NIKE with their names on.

            Women have much less disposable income than men. After board and lodgings are paid, men aged 18-30 have plenty more than women to spend on luxuries.

            I understand the expansion by MLS because it is essentially what has happened in Europe over the past 5-10 years. WoSo is becoming a subdivision of BroSo. Not much different from the WNBA.

            2017 and 2018 there is precious little on offer for college seniors in the US. The smart ones will go abroad. Things might open up after 2019, maybe.

            It could be argued that 3 nations got something out of WC-15. The US by winning, Japan by reaching the final and England by beating the arch-enemy to claim the 3rd spot.

            Yet, at the end of the day, just running USWNT won’t work if only for the simple reason that other nations will object. It is one thing for FIFA to screw 9.5m Swedes over 200m Brazilians but FIFA has reached the end of the road for what they can do for the USWNT. Nations like England, France and Germany have more than enough clout.

  • Calci0
    • Steglitz49

      Let’s hope the fans win. That will teach everyone to behave.

    • Lorehead

      I don’t know whether that suit is likely to win in court, but US Soccer really mucked things up when they failed to do due diligence on the field before agreeing to play there. This is the kind of mistake that gets people fired.