USWNT players describe decision to cancel match

The Equalizer Staff December 6, 2015 40
The USWNT explained their decision to cancel Sunday's match in Hawaii. (Photo Copyright Erica McCaulley for The Equalizer)

The USWNT explained their decision to cancel Sunday’s match in Hawaii. (Photo Copyright Erica McCaulley for The Equalizer)

In a post on The Players’ Tribune, the U.S. women’s national team detailed the decision to call off Sunday night’s victory tour friendly against Trinidad & Tobago at Aloha Stadium in Hawaii.  The match was officially postponed in the wee hours of Sunday morning–just after midnight in Hawaii–following a training session on the pitch slated to host the match.

“The conditions were such that our coach shortened practice to a brief, 30-minute training session so we wouldn’t risk injury before the game,” the post reads.  “There were sharp rocks ingrained all over the field.  They were everywhere.  The artificial turf was actually pulling up out of the ground, and the turf itself was both low-grade and aging.”

The post, which can be seen here, also mentions that Megan Rapinoe’s torn ACL suffered a day earlier, took place on a “subpar training field.”  The post also specifies that the issue was not about playing on turf as opposed to grass, but about fair and equal practices for both men’s and women’s matches.  U.S. Soccer has acknowledged they did not inspect the surface at Aloha Stadium ahead of the match.

The victory tour is scheduled to resume Thursday in San Antonio against Trinidad & Tobago.

U.S. coach Jill Ellis and forward Abby Wambach also discussed the cancellation of the match on FS1, with Wambach noting that Rapinoe’s injury was in the back of players’ minds:

  • Rufan

    “U.S. Soccer has acknowledged they did not inspect the surface at Aloha Stadium ahead of the match.” But according to an earlier article, USSF spokesperson said it did not do a “formal inspection”, which may be different from a general or preliminary inspection or just a walk around the field.

    Also according to the Players Tribune article, “…(Usually, for what it’s worth, the Federation will go out to the venue to check out the field months in advance. To our knowledge, this was not done, and the field had only been inspected days prior.)..”,
    implying the field was inspected by someone from USSF before the players and coaches saw the field for the first time on Saturday.

  • Movement

    Rapinoe is going to sue their asses royally.

  • Keithustus

    Rocks sticking from the field and turf coming up? Is this the same Aloha Stadium where the NFL plays the Pro Bowl every year?

    • I don’t think the NFL is happy either. Of course the NFL is also much better equipped to deal with BS for one major game.

    • The Pro Bowl was not played there last season but it looks like it is supposed to be back there next year. It has been played there every year but two (2010, 2015) since 1980. From what they said publicly, the NFL moved it to the site of the Super Bowl those two years to garner more interest but the real reason may be something different.

  • dw

    Of course the Federation was “in agreement” once they knew the players weren’t playing regardless. Then blame the stadium. Almost a good thing that they’re too cheap and/or negligent to do advance field inspections for the women, because I’m sure Aloha Stadium would have produced such evidence of such inspection/approval to clear their name if they had it.

    • Uni(n)formed

      You’re assuming the field would have been found acceptable. The other possibility is that they would have chosen a different venue in a timely fashion.

      • dw

        Hmm, well, I was questioning the everyone “in agreement” portion of the referenced article. My assumption would be that USSF was “in agreement” because they had no choice. Also, I am not taking accountability away from the stadium because they also could have taken their responsibilities seriously and provided a safe, playable field. Does Hawaii actually have another venue of that size?

  • VaFan51

    I still have not seen an explanation of what Carli Lloyd meant when she said about this situation “come January 1, it’s not going to happen again.”
    Whatever “it” is, I hope something is going to happen to give the players more control of the decision-making that affects their health and careers.

    • The CBA doesn’t expire than right?

      • dw

        Perhaps something to do with SUM?

        • Steglitz49

          SUM or SUV?

          • HOFCToDi

            Yet another moronic response from a worthless troll.

      • Guest

        the most recent CBA was finalized in March 2013 and reports at the time indicated the new CBA was through 2016. My assumption is that “through 2016” is until end of 2016.

      • Guest

        They don’t have a CBA. They have an “agreement” in place. They’ll probably be discussing the new CBA in January

  • AlexH

    This was the perfect time to take a stand on field conditions. Last I heard, only 16,000 tickets were sold so it was a perfect time to make the point with the least amount of collateral damage. The fact that the Aloha Stadium filed was abysmal was an added bonus. Well played ladies!

  • Pissed

    fock!n queens too fragile to play, they are gonna protest everything now. people paid big money to fly out to hawaii, to rent hotels and buy tickets, and they decided to be divas and not play. pathetic

    • Guest

      1. That’s their own damn fault for choosing to attend the game in Hawaii rather than the handful of options stateside. I find it difficult to cultivate much empathy for those that are “stuck” in Hawaii, most likely spending time with their loved ones.
      2. The only thing I find pathetic is your blind assessment of risks vs benefits at this stage — and only 7 months out from the Olympics.
      3. May you and your loved ones personally enjoy the luxuries of subpar field conditions and torn ACLs.

      • pissed

        hey moron, instead of announcing on the same day that the match is cancelled because ooops we don’t want to play on the field that pro superbowl is played on, they needed to play the match anyway and in the future make sure to let people know ahead of time. so you are gonna tell me where i can go see the game and where i can’t? you are as stupid as they come.

        • guest

          Things don’t always turn out the way you want them to that’s life get over it. The players have every right to stand up for themselves and the players did not see the actual playing until the night before. Stop being so selfish and grow up. If anyone is spoiled it’s you.

        • Steglitz49

          In soccer the referee inspects the field before kick-off to decide whether the surface can be played on. Matches, including top matches, have been cancelled at short notice because the refereeing team has decided that the surface is unplayable, though it is rare for it to happen.

        • guest

          Thank you so much for respectfully enlightening me with your vast knowledge and wealth of the english language. I’ll be sure to share that with all my patients.
          Stop following women’s soccer …. you are a flat out embarrassment. I hope you have suffered a career ending injury ….. or maybe this is all side effects from your TBI

        • Guest

          1. The Super Bowl has never been played in Hawaii
          2. The Pro Bowl is now played AFTER the Super Bowl. I just can’t imagine what the logic is behind that decision …
          3. No one ever said what game(s) you could or could not attend. However, based on your logic no games/concerts/events or anything else requiring paid admission have been cancelled on short notice or the day of the event ….. So there are actually 3 things in life that are certain: death, taxes and scheduled events taking place when you’ve prepaid for admission. Got it!

    • Flyingshoe_17

      Too fragile? They’re risking their health for THE OLYMPICS. You know, that event that only happens every 4 years. You may have heard of it. They are just concerned for each others health before the Olympics come. Rapinoe is already out and she’s one of the best players on the team. Can’t risk anymore for just a victory tour game. The turf is literally peeling off the ground… It’s not safe.

      • pissed

        ok lets make them only play on clouds.

        • Flyingshoe_17

          I think grass would be sufficient. That would be nice

  • HOFCToDi

    Soccer Morning: 12/7/2015

    backheel.com/2015/soccer-morning-12715/

    Jeff Kassouf (Equalizer Soccer) then comes on the show to discuss U.S. Soccer’s decision to cancel a USWNT friendly in Hawaii & Megan Rapinoe’s ACL injury.

  • dw

    Where are the smartphone photos of the rocks on the field and the drainage plates next to the practice field?

    • guest

      You calling them liars?

      • dw

        Did you read something above where I accused someone of lying? I’m just saying that such evidence is very easy to provide, either from the players, the federation, or the so called media. And it would further affirm the decision. So ask yourself, Equalizer is the “#1 source”, so why would you not have similar expectations of them?

  • VaFan51

    I admit to being math-challenged, but, if I read this Soccer America article correctly

    http://www.socceramerica.com/article/66881/alohagate-us-soccers-black-eye-and-just-what-i.html

    each member of the USWNT lost about $18,000 (or more) by cancelling the Hawaii match.

    • Rufan

      From the original story cited for that $1.20 per ticket figure, which implies that is for the team total and in addition to Victory tour pay. http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/soccer/ct-womens-pro-soccer-side-spt-0831-20150830-story.html

      “The World Cup players also earned $15,000 each for making the roster and will be dividing $3.6 million in bonuses (some $150,000 apiece) for winning the tournament and taking part in the victory tour exhibition matches. They also divide a percentage of ticket sales revenue (the team share is $1.20 per ticket sold) for all domestic matches, an aggregate of some $70,000 from the first two of the 10 victory tour matches.”

      • VaFan51

        See? I said I was math-challenged. Thanks.

        • Steglitz49

          Is Rufan typing that a torn ACL is only worth $1.20?

        • Rufan

          t was not your math but your reading 🙂

    • Steglitz49

      Now we know how much a torn ACL or destroyed ankle is worth.

  • Calci0
    • Ugh. I hate superfluous lawsuits. Every ticket for a major event that I’ve ever purchased has a disclaimer on it that the event may be cancelled at any time. Why are they so entitled that they think they deserve special compensation? Spectators everywhere have been in a similar position at one point or another. Sorry you spent money to attend an event that didn’t happen. Suck it up. Get over it.

      • Steglitz49

        It seems there are special rules in Hawaii for those that live in a different island.

        I hope the Hawaiian fans win their lawsuit.