Cruz, Rodriguez sound off on Costa Rica federation

Harjeet Johal February 24, 2016 114
Costa Rica captain Shirley Cruz wants more friendlies and camps. (Photo Copyright Erica McCaulley for The Equalizer)

Costa Rica captain Shirley Cruz wants more friendlies and camps. (Photo Copyright Erica McCaulley for The Equalizer)

HOUSTON, TEXAS – The Rio Olympic Qualifying tournament has wrapped up and we now know that the United States and Canada will be representing CONCACAF during the Rio Olympics tournament in August. The draw to determine which of three groups the 12 qualifiers will fall into will be held on Thursday, April 14 at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Costa Rica had a strong chance to compete at the Rio Olympics, however they fell to Canada 3-1 thanks to a pair of fantastic volleys by Christine Sinclair. The Costa Rica program has come a long way in four years. Players like Shirley Cruz are four years older and young Raquel Rodriguez has helped Costa Rica add another dangerous scoring threat to the squad. However it’s not all fantastic with the Costa Rican Football Federation. 

Cruz didn’t hold back in describing the lack of support from the Costa Rican Football Federation heading into Rio Olympic qualifiers.

“Compared to Mexico, the U.S. and Canada we were not as nearly prepared as them with the matches under our belt like them,” the Paris Saint-Germain midfielder said.  “In that case we’d have to say that our federation didn’t support us with that kind of preparation as the other teams who came in well prepared.”

You know the situation for Costa Rica women’s national team is not what it should be when Mexico is mentioned as having better prepared for Rio Olympic qualifiers. The big factor in getting players minutes, experience, and opportunity to form chemistry and link up on the pitch results in the lack of friendly matches. The 30 year-old Cruz would like to see the Costa Rican Football Federation take advantage and schedule more matches during international dates.

“At the end of the day we had a good World Cup and we had a good showing here for the most part. In the end the big thing for us is having matches, the matches ahead of time are key. The fact that those matches are key, the federation knows that there are FIFA dates that we can be playing on and we aren’t playing on those dates. Those are dates that we should be taking advantage of where teams are available to play us as well. The key is to have the matches.”

Raquel Rodriguez finished Rio Olympic Qualifying tied for first in the tournament with 6 goals. Costa Rica had an up and down tournament. A 5-0 loss to the U.S. followed by a 9-0 win over Puerto Rico before a nail-biting 2-1 victory over Mexico to advance to the semifinals against Canada. Rodriguez was happy with how Costa Rica performed despite the lack of support and resources available.

“I think we had a good tournament in general and I think we demonstrated that without much compared to other teams we can do good things,” Rodriguez said. “At this point I think this tournament is a platform for us to speak up and ask for friendlies and continuity for the national team. That’s something we don’t have.”

Money speaks and having funding available to set up international friendlies, training camps, and tournaments like the Algarve and Cyprus Cup are exactly what Costa Rica needs to continue to help their players reach the next level. More of everything is needed from the Costa Rican Football Federation. Not nearly enough is being pumped back into the women’s national team.

“Yeah, there is funding… maybe. I don’t know the exact numbers or anything,” declared Rodriguez.  “I definitely think we need planning and to take advantage of FIFA dates. We have to have friendlies, that’s something we didn’t have. That’s tough, and yes we need more of that.”

During the 2015 World Cup we saw Costa Rica feature as one of the surprise teams of the tournament. Response and quick action to support and continue the positive results and progression of the team was not existent. Costa Rica didn’t make it out of Group E, but they also didn’t get destroyed by the competitors they faced. Draws against Spain and Korea Republic showed that Costa Rica is a team to look out for. A narrow 1-0 loss to Brazil to close out the tournament was also viewed as a surprise result.

After the World Cup, the 2015 MAC Hermann Trophy winner expected to hear some sort of positive communication from the Costa Rica Football Federation. In the end, Rodriguez was left disappointed from the lack of no response and no further information provided.

“As a player I never had communication between players and the federation. It’s also something we could improve, and again this is not something I experienced, communication,” Rodriguez recounted. “I don’t know whether the coach (Amelia Valverde) probably had communication after the World Cup. As a player I feel like there’s no ears from the federation to listen to what we have to say sometimes. After the World Cup, I don’t know. I didn’t see any response.”

Cruz, now 30, remembers the 2012 London, Olympic Qualifying tournament in Vancouver when Costa Rica advanced to the semifinals only to fall to the U.S. 3-0. In the time since then, the team continues to push forward and onwards without much support behind the scenes. Cruz once again echoed the need for the Costa Rican Football Federation to step up and show support.

“I remember that the journey has been quite long and we’ve been making lots of strides with the World Cup and with the Olympic qualifying cycle. The fact is that the federation needs to recognize the work, heart, and determination we are putting in. We are probably the most well structured central american federation when it comes to women’s soccer, but it’s still not at the level that it needs to be. To compete with the big ones, U.S. and Canada we are going to have to get more support.”

Heading into qualifying for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, Rodriguez wants to see more matches, camps, and opportunity for the national team. It can’t just be getting together every few months with half the team available. Costa Rica needs a plan and needs to put something together that will allow players to play in matches. The only way to get better results is to play matches. That isn’t happening and it needs to be.

As Rodriguez turns her attention to preparing for the upcoming NWSL season with Sky Blue FC she will also be keeping an eye on what transpires with the Costa Rican national teams. The 12-teams preparing for the Rio Olympics will be playing friendlies as they get set for the tournament. Costa Rica would make a great opponent for any one of those 12-teams to play in preparation.

“I think definitely the friendlies and continuity throughout the year, because it’s a mistake that we only get together a couple of months before these kinds of tournaments. The truth is we need more preparation for that. Friendlies and continuity and what I mean by that is more camps with the whole team together and planning.”

As for Cruz she will be heading back to PSG to help her club team in France. Her decision on where she intends to play football next season has yet to been decided. Cruz would like to stay in Europe, but cautioned that nothing is set in stone. Everything will depend on her health and the status of her knees.

“I’m not sure where I will be next year, but the goal is to continue to play and stay in Europe. The knee is something I obviously need to look, but the key is to go back and play in the World Cup qualifying cycle and hopefully help the team make the World Cup. In the end I’m going to have to play it by ear with my knee and what I have ahead of myself.”

Costa Rica continues to climb the CONCACAF ladder and should be in fine form for World Cup qualifying. The strength of the team and how they will fair at the next World Cup, if they qualify, will depend on the Costa Rican Football Federation. If they intend to provide much more funding, matches, and training camps to support the team Costa Rica will be even further improved.

  • Steglitz49

    Don’t dispair! In 1999 the US beat Japan 9-0. It remains Japan’s ladies heaviest defeat. In 2011 Japan became world champions and they played again in the final in 2015.

  • VaFan51

    Let us once again give thanks for Title IX.
    Not only has it provided much of the base for woso in the U.S., but it even has effects in other countries. While Rodriguez might have had the talent to go straight to a pro team when she was 17 or 18, her opportunity at Penn State allowed her to develop in a more structured way. In the process, she became a leader and now she has the perspective and the platform to try to improve opportunities for women in her own country.

    • Timber Dave

      Indeed. College soccer functions as a training academy, nearly the only one around, for up-and-coming players in their late teens and early 20s.

      • Steglitz49

        But, it would not be there for WoSo but for Title IX.

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        • JN West

          That’s the point they both made. Title IX is what created collegiate soccer or rather made sure female althetes had equal opportunities to participate in sports and have access to similar resources.

          • Steglitz49

            I simply reinforced VaFan51’s point for her/him.

            As you would have noticed, I am a stern supporter of the NCAA and Title IX and would that this were in all parts of the world.

            One fine day enough people will attend WoSo club matches to create a pro-sport. Till then, the ladies will struggle on as best they can. In the US they have the fabulous benefit of getting a top notch education.

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  • AlexH

    It really isn’t a matter of money but rather of will. You can do a lot on a shoestring if you put your mind to it but federations in lots of countries just don’t give a rats rear end. CR is a pretty forward looking place so there is hope.

  • kernel_thai

    Im a little surprised some of the CR players havent gotten offers from NWSL teams. Players like Herrara and Acosta for example have a great understanding of how the game should be played. Maybe it’s just the language barrier.

    • Steglitz49

      Mexico was a founder member of the NWSL. A fat lot of good that did them. CR might as well send their players to Europe, like Japan do.

      • Yea but Mexico doesn’t have enough quality players, which is why most of them got no playing time. Some of the CR players would be a good fit — not all, so I don’t think they should be subsidized.

        • Steglitz49

          I stick by my whimsey: CR lasses, go to Europe. Have Ms Cruz speak to the Emir.

    • VaFan51

      I would think CR players would have fewer language problems than most Central American players, but maybe that’s just a public relations image of CR that I have.
      One thing that seems to be clear: It is only the truly good international players (Andrade) who have a chance for real playing time in the NWSL. The league still is pretty small and is very competitive in all ways. But I certainly agree that 2 or 3 CR players seem to have what it takes to make a roster.
      Style of plan may be a big issue, too. Just because the USWNT is progressing toward a more technical style does not mean that NWSL teams are — although one can dream.

      • Steglitz49

        Why waste time on the NWSL where they are screwed before they start?

        • VaFan51

          “Screwed before they start.” Thanks for that insight. Somebody needs to get that message to Raquel Rodriguez and Lady Andrade.

          • Steglitz49

            RR came up the US college route. She got that trophy Alex did not get. She is as homegrown as apple pie.

          • schoup

            The point I think he’s making is that NWSL is pretty raw deal unless you’re a USWNT allocated player. Internationals are better off in trying to go to Europe if they can. If they become a star they are not capped at the low max of NWSL salaries. I think people like Rodriguez and Andrade should just try to raise their profile and try to get to Europe where if they become a star they can get paid 6 figures, that’s not happening ion the NWSL for a long long time. For now NWSL is their best option until they raise their international profile and can maybe get to europe.

          • Steglitz49

            Thank you.

          • VaFan51

            Both Rodriguez and Andrade already are stars and, if anyone from Central America or northern South America qualifies for six-figure star treatment right now, it would be they. Yet, here they are. Maybe not everything is money.
            I definitely agree that in the long run the NWSL will have to position itself to be fundamentally either a US developmental league or the premiere international woso league.
            Of course, if we could just get Taylor Swift and/or Oprah to fund the league, it could do both.

          • Steglitz49

            How about Mrs Bill?

          • Terry Lash

            Yes, money is not everything. The league will be both a training ground for the USWNT and a place for accomplished international players. The longer it exists and crowds grow, the more attractive it will be for international players, but as long as US Soccer provides substantial assistance, the league will also have to limit the number of international players.

          • Steglitz49

            As long as the NWSL grows by adding MLS-based teams, it gives the lie to being a WoSo league.

            Th entry in Europe of the rich men’s teams into WoSo has changed the club game forever. Soon WoSo will be a plaything of the rich few, not an all-embracing female for females event.

          • guest

            The NWSL does not need Taylor Swift’s money, they need butts in seats. Now, maybe if Taylor put her butt in one of those seats, others would follow.

          • Guesting

            It might be nice to have Taylor Swift just donate some time and do a halftime show at the championship game this year. That might really help to get butts in the seats

          • Steglitz49

            Portland certainly seems to need a sweetener to support the Championship final.

          • Lorehead

            Portland had fine support for the championship final, better than any other championship final in a decade. Especially under the circumstances. If you don’t have a better argument than that, you’re wrong.

          • Steglitz49

            Cut the garbage. You know but will not admit that it was a failure.

            Let’s turn over a new leaf and trust it pans out better this time round. It could hardly be worse, could it?

          • Lorehead

            The fact that support for the home team on a weekend is better than support for its rivals on a Thursday afternoon doesn’t make it a failure. It just means the Thorns are doing even better. Which is the opposite of the point you want to make.

          • Steglitz49

            Have it your way. You heard a seal bark.

          • Lorehead

            That isn’t even an example of poor turnout in Portland. All you’re saying is that weekend games where the home team is playing do even better.

          • Steglitz49

            It was the Championship Final in the country that had just become world champions in the city considered to be the top dog for WoSo.

            Maybe spectators were worried that players would be away at weddings?

          • David K Anderson

            Are you still beating this (sub-moronic) drum? FFS…

          • Steglitz49

            let’s trust that the 2016 Championship Final will be sold out. It ought to be. It is the final of the Championship after all.

          • Ethan

            Yes, it’s about raising their international profile via game time. Rodriguez looks set to start for Sky Blue from the beginning. Which European club that can afford to pay her a 6 figure salary would give her as much playing time and start her ahead of more established players?

          • Steglitz49

            Shirley Cruz went to PSG, Lindsey Horan’s alma mater.

          • mockmook

            If she can get 6 figures now, then she has a high profile (surely R-Rod and Lady both have as much cachet as Horan did).

          • Ethan

            I guess my main point was maybe players like Andrade and Rodriguez care a little more about playing time than money right now.

          • JL

            The idea that any international can go to Europe and make 6 figures is a myth. Those salaries are rare. In fact, most players get paid about the same amount per month overseas that an NWSL player makes.

          • Steglitz49

            Ask Lindsey Horan and Shirley Cruz, not to forget Tobin and Pinoe.

          • JN West

            And ask Kim Little, Lady Andrade, not to forget Vero Bosquets and Jess Fishlock, about their pay in the NWSL.

          • Steglitz49

            Boquete as in Verónica “Vero” Boquete Giadans.

            Jess Fishlock has a green card.

        • JN West

          Your Euro bias is showing again.

    • Jersey Shore Rises

      Of all the foreign young players in the CONCAFAF Olymp Qualifying, Herrara really impressed me with not only her speed on the flank but she also can boot the ball from outside the box with speed.

      • kernel_thai

        And she is only 19. The down side is she costs u an international spot but the up side is she is probably inexpensive.

    • mockmook

      “have a great understanding”

      Whew, you came oh so close to saying the verboten “high soccer IQ”.

    • JN West

      Mexican national team players play on NWSL teams. So have Spainards. The U.S. Population is 18% Latino. Colombian players have also signed with NWSL teams. NWSL cities like Houston and Washington, DC have huge Latino populations. CR players would do fine with easy access to translators if need be.

    • Lorehead

      They’re in competition for a limited number of international slots and need to get P-1A visas.

  • Steglitz49

    Meanwhile in Germany, Frankfurt have promoted Matt Ross to be Chief-Trainer. The 38-year old Australian has a contract to 30th June 2017. He had been interim head coach (Chief-Trainer) since Colin Bell left.

  • JD

    With the increase in teams, they should try and get their Fed to help pay some of them to play in NWSL.

    • Steglitz49

      Fat lot of use that did the Mexicans who were and still are founder members of the NWSL.

      CR should send their young hopefuls to Europe.

  • schoup

    People are missing the economics of the situation of countries like Costa Rica and others. There is extremely poor financial return on investing in your womens team compared to mens team for non rich countries. You get your mens team into for example the Wcup you get min 9 mil minimum, you get your womens team in it’s a few 100K guaranteed. if f you don;t have a culture of title IX like laws than you’re not going to invest.

    • Steglitz49

      Thanks for reminding us and pointing out that the USMNT brought home a lot more lolly than the USWNT did.

      • schoup

        B/c the womens Wcup is a rounding error in revenue compared to the mens wcup. When WWcup produces 5 billion in revenue the pay will be the same.

        • Steglitz49

          Indeed. The only reason that the ladies’ WC is televised is because FIFA sells it as a package with the men’s.

          The US are unwilling to accept that as many and probably slightly more people watched the WC-14 final between Ger and Arg than the women’s between the US and Japan.

          Verily, the scheduling for the ladies WC final meant that all of Africa and Europe slept through it, let alone Asia.

          The expansion of the NWSL through MLS-teams gives the lie to pro-WoSo being healthy and strong in the US. College WoSo and the USWNT, yes; all others, no.

          • Lorehead

            Since you’ve been told, time and again, how the USWNT’s World Cup games had higher ratings in the U.S. than any men’s World Cup games, you’re just in denial at this point.

          • Steglitz49

            You are in denial about the final. I added the figures up for the final. Your excuse as I remember it, was that I included people watching on Spanish language channels. Well, welcome to the modern USA of A where an awful lot of people only speak Spanish.

          • Lorehead

            No. You’re wrong. 25.4 million people watched the Women’s World Cup final, compared to 24.7 million for the most-watched game of the men’s World Cup (of which 18.7 million watched in English).

            You won’t change your mind or stop repeating misinformation, but you’re wrong.

          • Steglitz49

            Firstly, I found figurs that showed M>W and you know that.

            Secondly, even if we accept your numbers (which i don’t, obviously), that is a difference of <2.8% which I think we can agree is within the error margin of such estimated figures.

          • Lorehead

            No. You didn’t read the source you cited carefully enough, or you’d know it said no such thing. You believed what you wanted to believe.

          • guest

            Woso may be a charity in Europe, but in the US it’s a business. If you don’t believe me, look at the profits the Thorns are raking in.

          • Guesting

            Might want to add that, that in an article in SI, Alex Morgan talks about the huge interest she has experienced in the Orlando area for the Pride, and that she expects to see them average 15,000 a game. Others living in the Orlando area have said pretty much the same thing about the huge interest for the Pride team, and that they think there will be 25 to 30K for their opener, and that when the new stadium opens up next year, they expect a sell-out of 25,500, and wouldn’t be surprised to see a few other games sell-out. The Orlando organization has done a fantastic job of getting the Pride team and all the players names out there in and around Orlando

          • Steglitz49

            Why do you think Orlando made sure they got Alex Morgan?

            They saw what happened in Houston.

            If WoSo is as popular in Florida, let’s not mess about but have 3 or 4 teams in FL.

          • Guesting

            Typical reply to the solution. If Orlando can do it, with all the people they have in Florida, let’s add 3 or 4 teams in Florida, Like every location would be the same in Florida. Orlando’s location is unique like Portland, in that it is not inundated with so many major professional sports franchises that suck up the sports entertainment dollars, something that is effecting most of the teams in the larger metropolitan areas. It will take more time to build the fan bases in those areas, time that some of the independent teams may not have. To help the growth of the NWSL, it is better for the time being, to find similar type of locations like Orlando and Portland with MLS teams, where the process can have dramatic results in a short amount of time. There are those who think that Salt Lake City is one of those areas that fit the profile.

          • Steglitz49

            Thank you for your view that Orlando may be unusual. They certainly are high profile with Alexandra the Great in their squad.

            By all means put a team in Salt Lake City but if it is to be part of the MLS-team there, then they must drop their “Real” moniker because Real Madrid has never had and refuses to have a WoSo side.

            It may well be the case that today’s WoSo is a satrapy and fully owned subsidiary of BroSo. The ladies would not seem to care, at least not as long as the brothers keep their side of the bargain but, as their sisters in Man Utd and Brazil and elsewhere have learnt the hard way, the rug can be pulled from beneath your feet in the blink of an eye. Chelsea’s John Terry is an exception, who proves the rule.

          • Lorehead

            Let’s hope so.

          • Steglitz49

            Portland. The place where less went to the Championship Final than attend the local team. I guess they had weddings to attend?

          • Lorehead

            The reason you’re so crazy is that you hoard a small handful of factoids that support your point of view, show them off constantly, and refuse to give any of them up. No reasonable person would ever agree with your interpretation of what happened there, especially in context.

          • My2cents

            You have such a narrow minded concept of what is truly a women’s soccer league. You stereo type all WoSo as to whatever is happening in Europe, which you present as very bleak. To be a true women’s soccer league, by you standards, it would require that all owners should be women , teams should employ only women in the front office, have only women coaches and staff, etc. While there is definitely an identity crises for WoSo in Europe, created by the rich club owners who could care less about what happens to their women’s teams, here the MLS teams make every effort to have the women’s teams establish their own identity separate from the men’s teams. Paulsen has stressed to Houston and Orlando, that it is absolutely imperative that the Dash and the Pride place that kind of emphasis with their WoSo teams. So please spare us with all your innuendos.

          • Steglitz49

            Reduction to the absurd.

            Noone has said that male support of WoSo is wrong. It seems to be essential and necessary. Tough but true — at least for now.

            But, as Man Utd’s and Brazil’s lasses learnt, unless you have safeguards in place, the ladies lose out. Not all teams have a John Terry on hand to step up to the plate and open his wallet.

            The obvious absentee from WoSo matches are women aged 18-35, even 40. Pro-WoSo is missing a whole demographic.

            Worse, with the incessant bleating that we want male refs instead of being loyal to their sex and fighting for better consitions for female refs, the whole ethos of WoSo is undermined at the core.

            The energy that went into the fight over plastic surface in Canada would have been better channeld to get better condition for women refs. The match between Fra and Ger and also Fra and Colombia were marred by bad refereeing, as would China claim of their match against Canada.

            Unfortnately, the concept of women being loyal to women is far removed fom WoSo and probably all female endeavour.

          • Guesting

            Blah! Blah! Blah! You are consistent with your negativity. StegNeg.

        • Lorehead

          First, “People in most of the world don’t watch women’s sports” is not a fact of nature, but an example of sexism. People in the U.S. and Canada do, so it’s possible.

          Second, there’s a wide range of possible levels at which federations could fund the women’s game, between nothing and the same as a men’s team that goes to the World Cup, or beyond. (And many of the CONCACAF countries don’t have a men’s team in the World Cup getting a slice of that revenue, so what’s their excuse?) What everyone else here says is that women should get raises as that becomes economically viable, not calling for equal spending right away.

          Third, FIFA, USSF and CONCACAF are all, ostensibly, non-profit charitable organizations dedicated to promoting the sport of soccer. That’s the basis on which they get their exemption from taxes. So, organizations like that should be spending some of their money on the women’s game instead of two-million-dollar kickbacks (by the way, FIFA just reduced Blatter and Platini’s punishment for that today).

        • guest

          gonna need alot more adult women to support women’s soccer for that to happen.

          • Steglitz49

            Indeed. WoSo’s achilles heel. Lack of loyalty.

          • guest

            there are more women than men in the us. where are all women supporting women’s sports? don’t think you can blame that on the men.

    • Lorehead

      You’re assuming what you’re trying to prove. Costa Rica has never invested in its team, and never plays at home. So of course its women’s team has never had a chance to build a following. It would surely be more popular if the federation invested money in it, if it sometimes won, and if the Costa Rican media gave it publicity.

      Popular enough to make a profit? Who knows until they try. No Latin American country ever has, yet.

      • ARED

        I agree on all your points, and that is the goal and hope for the future for Costa Rica and many other nations. But I do have to say, it’s true that the current return is much higher for the men’s team. So, given that many in power seem to only see things short-term, that is a problem. We need more who can/will have vision and realistic measures to help give good long-term results.

        • Lorehead

          Some of the things women in Costa Rica, Mexico and Spain have been calling for recently wouldn’t even cost money, such as talking to the players about what they need, and not making head coach of the women’s team a sinecure for a good ol’ boy.

          • ARED

            Ha, now that is another very good point. That would really only need management that cares and is competent. Seems reasonable, but maybe not in the world of football…lol.

    • kernel_thai

      But doesnt FIFA require a certain percentage of money go to the woman’s program. Considering the men had a good WC there should be plenty of FIFA money in the fed’s coffers.

      • Steglitz49

        I don’t think they do. The reason countries like England and France have upped the ante allegedly is that the minister for sports met behind the scenes with the soccer leadership and asked them to put more money into female soccer voluntarily, otherwise s/he would legislate.

        It also helped that Lyon piled in the money and it bought success.

  • Jesus Gambino

    We need more equality in women’s game.

    All soccer Federations should have equal amount of money
    Every NWSL player should make the same amount of money as Alex Morgan

    It’s very easy to do. They should just redistribute US Soccer’s income to other federations and Alex Morgan’s income among other players. This could be easily done through taxes and seizures.

    • Guesting

      LOL

    • x

      hi Bernie

      • Jesus Gambino

        It’s not about politics. I just think we should all be equal and live like a happy family.

    • Steglitz49

      You seem a dyed in the wool true WoSo fan. While you are at it, why not tax the NFL and NHL as well to defray ladies soccer?

      I would like to rebaptize the NWSL to the NLSL but that has even less chance to succeed but good on you for trying and thinking of new revenue streams.

      • Jesus Gambino

        Sure, I want equality. It is very simple. If NFL and NHL have money while others don’t, you take it from them and give others. There are so many ways you can do this, it’s quite easy.

        • Steglitz49

          How much financial support does the NHL provide for ladies hockey?

          The Japanese are a rising power in female hockey! Hard to believe but there it is. Fascinating that team games seems to excite the female of the species in Japan.

          • Jesus Gambino

            My point is that players and teams shouldn’t be allowed to play until their excess income is taken away from them and distributed amongst those who need it the most. I have read that NWSL players can’t even afford rent and food, especially in places like Boston. How is this fair? I’m sure women in NHL must have similar problems.

          • Steglitz49

            As far as I know, the US is unusual in their WNT members can earn so much more than the crew in the clubs. When you add in personal sponsorships and private deals, the disparity is even bigger.

            Why USSoccer does not make the pay scales more equitable is a curious observation. Granted, that it is the USWNT that pulls in the lolly so the top brass does not want to disturb the geese that lay the golden eggs.

    • Lorehead

      FIFA does something like this to a small extent: all federations, regardless of size, get the same development funds.

      • Jesus Gambino

        That’s a rather cowardly way of doing things. I am saying that FIFA should force US Soccer to donate it’s revenues until it is level with every other soccer federation. FIFA should only allow US Soccer to participate in it’s tournaments if it complies with this order.

        • Lorehead

          Is that the best you can troll?

          • Jesus Gambino

            Excuse me? I am offering a solution. You have offered NO solution to the problem of inequality between players and federations.

          • Lorehead

            Look, if you want your impressions to be funny, you have to listen to what the people you’re trying to satirize are saying and have some idea what they sound like. That’s the equivalent of a James Bond impression with a southern accent.

          • Jesus Gambino

            Again, I have offered a real solution, you have not. How about you also offer a real working solution to the problem in income inequality in women’s soccer?

          • Lorehead

            You’ve run your joke into the ground.

          • Jesus Gambino

            I care. You don’t.

      • Lorehead

        Jesus Gambino, don’t reply to this. You aren’t discussing in good faith.

        Here was my utopian proposal to fix the salary cap back in 2013. I’ve changed my mind about some things since then.

    • AlexH

      Yeah, and lets have FIFA hold the money and ensure that it is spread evenly and that federation officials in third world money don’t just pocket the cash when it is distributed. I can’t see how that could possibly not work.

  • ARED

    I think it’s important to remember that patience and hard work is vital here. I agree with the Ticas here, and the general ideas from many posting that more support and investment is needed in the women’s game. However, it’s important to remember that nothing happens overnight. In fact, one of the goals of NWSL this time was slow-and-steady instead of flash-bang-broke. Look at MLS and how it has grown to be strong and steady, but only after many years. And still the profits are not high league-wide. It’s a process.

    Similarly, yes FIFA can do more for the women. World Cups should not be on turf. Development, investment, and marketing are needed, and so are incentives to federations follow suit. But we have to be realistic too. FIFA is not going to divide all money 50-50 to the men and women evenly, and they should not -yet. The Women’s game needs to keep growing from the ground up, one fan/player/federation/etc at a time. It would do little good to hold a 32-team WWC right now, b/c honestly there aren’t 32 good teams. Let’s keep the faith, keep the work, and see where we are in each 10 years that go by. Tough to not get “instant-win” results, but most things worth fighting for take time and heart! ; )

    • AlexH

      I think FIFA should host / fund / subsidize another tournament for sometime between the OG and the WC. National teams are popular in woso so another international tournament would gain interest and maybe even make some money. 3 years is too long for woso to be out of the public eye.

      • Lorehead

        I’ve suggested before that the North American qualifiers for the OG and WC could become a hex where the continental confederation pays for each team to host five meaningful home matches. (Or gives each national federation an option to arrange and pay for it or have CONCACAF do it.) Something like that might work for South America, too, but not Africa (where two teams just forfeited in the Olympic qualifiers because their feds wouldn’t pay for travel) or Oceania (where, in terms of making the region competitive, there’s just nothing to be done).

        • Steglitz49

          It will not make one iota of difference.

          In 2017 we have the Euros in Holland and the AFC somewhere in Asia.

          The US is too dominant to be of any interest except to sadomasochists.

          • JN West

            Poster is focusing on making CONCACAF more competitive, which might also be used as a model for the South American region, yet you go back to focusing on the Euros. It would make a huge difference for struggling teams in the Americas to help garner more support from their federations. But you don’t seem to care about that or might be scared about creating more competition? Perhaps afraid the Euros would get ignored if the Americas helps another competition.

            A Centennial Copa America typed tournament with North and South American teams would be great. We can invite a few African teams over to participate. This would help all the teams involved to receive more support and attention between the OL and WC cycles.

          • Steglitz49

            How big a budget do you need? And, where is the money gonna come from?

            There is a limit how much you can tax the men to pay for the ladies. FIFA makes its money from the men’s game. That is how the USMNT brought home $7m more lolly from WC-14 than the USWNT did from winning WC-15.

            How did Japan and Asia become such a competitive region? The distances are large. I have no memory of FIFA pumping in a lot of extra money there but maybe they did?

        • ARED

          That sounds like a good option to consider. I suppose for now though the most profitable for everyone is to just play in the USA and divide the “guest’s” portion of the revenue from the large crowds, no? Esp. considering travel costs as well, so just one short trip is needed instead of many.

          Also, I like having the matches on good field -so for me Texas worked nice. Playing on rocks somewhere might level the matches -to a level we don’t want to see…lol.

          • Lorehead

            In the short term, it would make more financial sense to hold a qualifying tournament in the U.S. or maybe Canada. The advantage of doing it the way I suggested, though, is that each team would get five important home matches against its regional rivals. I think that would help it develop an audience in other countries. And, if the crowds really would be tiny, the organizers could always rent a small stadium for cheap.

      • Steglitz49

        Between the OG and WC there are the Euros and AFC. Get with the program.

        Anyway, why should FIFA do anything more for WoSo? They already make the networks by WoSo as part of buying BroSo.

        • JN West

          Those are regional championships, not international competitions. How does that help struggling programs outside those regions? They don’t.

          • Steglitz49

            The poster lives in the past by bleating on about turf. That was yesterday’s issue for the World Cup. A more relevant issue was to get a better referee program for the ladies.

            If Costa Rican ladies want to improve their game, they must play their club football in competitive leagues. That means going abroad.

            The logical foreign league to play in ought to be the NWSL but as the Mexicans discovered, the NWSL favors the North-American players. Anyway, CR lasses would count as international players, which is another strike against them.

            As for FIFA sponsoring another international WoSo competition, it is kind of hard. The Algarve, Cyprus and Istria Cups are struggling on. That International Club Competition in Japan seems to have petered out after 3 years.

            Of all the strange countries to climb to the top of the WoSo pole, it was Japan’s Ladies. Maybe FIFA helped them disproportionally?

          • ARED

            The poster remembers the past to inform the future. ; p

            A future of World Cups in decent stadiums with grass fields is more important than the refereeing I believe -and, much more attainable and dependent on FIFA/Federations efforts. Nobody can make good referees instantly, and, they are terrible in Men’s Soccer too but that doesn’t seem to hold it back so much does it? Meanwhile, efforts in growing WoSo and realizing it looks/plays/draws best on grass is something to push for on every occasion.

            Rapinoe may miss Rio thanks to turf -is that “yesterday’s problem”? Thiney may miss another “sitter” thanks to turf, thus leading many to (wrongly) believe it was an easy goal and think negatively of the quality of WoSo. Is that not a very current problem you often speak of -getting larger audiences to get interested/excited about women playing this game?

          • Steglitz49

            The NWSL plays on artificial surfaces as do many WoSo clubs in Europe. It is not ideal but there it is. If the US wants to play matches on inferior artificial surfaces, that is a US issue, not FIFA.

            As far as I remember the stadiums used in Canada and Germany were all decent.

            There is every indication that high quality stadium will be used in France and Japan, and Holland before that for Euro-17.

            The first ladies WC was run in 1991. Plenty of time to develop good women refs. FIFA needs to put money and effort into women refs.

      • ARED

        Well, there is the Algarve and Cypress remember. Not great, but something. Added to the qualifying processes and current attendance numbers, and I think that Cruz is right -the next important step is for these “small” nations to organize more friendlies on the FIFA dates, and hold at least some short camps.

        Team USA is in nice, long camps all the time. Costa Rica is spread around, and it takes money to for travel, facilities, and organization. That is where to start for me, then maybe something more like you suggest when more nations are stronger.