USWNTPA changes counsel as CBA negotiations continue

The Equalizer Staff December 28, 2016 154
The U.S. women technically finished 2016 without a loss, but it hardly felt like that. (Photo Copyright Patricia Giobetti for The Equalizer)

The USWNTPA has changed legal counsel, parting with Rich Nichols. (Photo Copyright Patricia Giobetti for The Equalizer)

Rich Nichols will no longer serve as counsel for the U.S. Women’s National Team Players Association, players announced on Wednesday.

Terms of the current CBA will expire at the end of Dec. 31, 2016. Negotiations have been ongoing, with two meetings taking place in December, but neither the players nor the federation seem close to a deal.

“Rich Nichols will no longer serve as counsel to the USWNT Players Association.

“We thank Rich for his service, and wish him well. We are focused on productive conversations with U.S. Soccer regarding our future. We are also grateful for the tremendous ongoing support for women’s soccer from all of our beloved fans worldwide, and look forward to seeing everyone over the course of the NWSL season, as well as at the 2017 SheBelieves Cup in March.”

Nichols took over as executive director of the USWNTPA in late 2014, replacing longtime player rep John Langel.

There is no looming strike or lockout – not for January, anyway. Terms of the CBA will remain in place in the new year unless either the players or the federation provide 60 days’ notice that they no longer plan to honor those terms. Neither party has done so as of yet.

The SheBelieves Cup is set to begin on March 1 (dates and venues still not yet officially confirmed).

  • Jon Forsythe

    FYI, March 1st is 62 days away.

    • Rufan

      The players are not going to pull the plug, at least not for awhile. USSF is not since the players indicate in their release their intent to play this year.

      • rkmid71

        Their intent? As I understand it, they are bound by the existing CBA and its no strike clause. It seems that both sides have a 60 day notice clause for the old contract to end, otherwise it’s automatically extended. I don’t think USSF’s decision on whether to give the notice has that much to do with the players intentions — it’s more to do with a meeting of the minds and progress towards a new, improved CBA.

        • mockmook

          Hmmm. I don’t feel like reading through the MOU/CBA and court decision, but it was all about could they strike now or did they have to wait until after Dec 31st.

          So, they can strike with 60 days notice (or maybe anytime) in 2017

          • guest

            60 day notice requirement is due to us labor laws
            the no strike clause in CBA expires Dec 31st
            so in 2017 either party (USSF or USWNT players association) must give 60 days notice to terminate

          • Steglitz49

            I don’t understand. Either it expires or it does not.

          • guest

            the CBA does expire Dec 31st (so no strike provision expires), however the MOU did not/does not have a termination date and both parties may continue to operate under the employment, financial terms in MOU until
            a) new agreement (CBA or modified MOU etc) is signed or
            b) Either party (USSF or USWNT players association) gives 60 day notice of termination

          • Steglitz49

            Thank you.

            The USSF still holds the cards, as I see it, and the USWNT by begging to be part of the SBC is as submissive as can be.

          • Steglitz49

            Does anyone care?

            By bending over and revealing their thinking parts, the USWNT have shown what it their priority.

        • Steglitz49

          Expires at midnight on Dec 31st. Ring out the old; ring in the new!

      • Steglitz49

        This year does not matter. The USSF should show their resolve by brining in college sophomores if not freshmen.

        • guest

          back around 2005 during extended CBA negotiations with US men’s national team (USMNT) the players went on strike (or were locked out depending on which side you trust) and then USSF did try to bring in substitute (scab?) players with poor results so USSF and USMNT players went back into CBA negotiations and players worked under a MOU until new men’s CBA was finally signed

          • Steglitz49

            After OG-16, any result would be an improvement.

            Alex Morgan plays for Lyon for big bucks. So far no other USWNT player has had a call though Amandine Henry will do a bit for PSG.

            Hmmm. Is that MOU worth the used toilet-paper it is scribbled on?

          • mockmook

            The player pool for the men wasn’t anything like what it is currently for the women — but, would the best non-USWNT players cross the picket line (that is the question).

          • guest

            player pool for men was of course larger (more men play soccer and USSF could pull players from college and/or pro leagues). During men’s strike/lockout in early 2005 the USSF mostly tried to use pro players from lower pro levels since for the most part the MLS players stood with USMNT players and did not accept USSF call-ups. Both parties (USSF & USMNT) realized that substitutes players would put WC qualification at risk so both parties came back to negotiations but still took until near end of 2005 before men’s CBA was agreed.

          • mockmook

            Men’s pool might be larger, but it’s not deeper.

            Only using uncapped:

            http://drawformation.com/post/585f76afd68a0/sm-585f76afd68a0.png

            Uncapped or non-contract:

            http://drawformation.com/post/5865d405f23f1/sm-5865d405f23f1.png

          • mockmook

            Apparently Lynn Williams is now under contract with the USWNT — so, throw Doniak or Tymrak up there.

          • Steglitz49

            Not Tymrak, please.

          • Steglitz49

            The USMNT had done very well in WC-02 and would have done even better with a competent and observant ref.

            The USWNT in 2016 blotted their copybooks.

            The USSF must show no mercy to the USWNT. They must be crushed into submission and acknowledge the brave new world that is WoSo.

          • USMNTfan4life

            yes!

    • Steglitz49

      Beware the Ides of March, USWNTPA.

  • Rufan

    From what I had understood, the players, with a new union leadership, grew unhappy with their prior executive director Langel (“not getting what they wanted” was the quote I was told) and hired Nichols who advocated a tougher approach to USSF. That apparently had not worked out and now Nichols is gone. Maybe it was that his legal arguments have not worked out, maybe the forcing out of older players (Solo, HAO) put fear in some the of the rest, or maybe the talk of a strike scared the newer players who finally got to join the team and earn the pay. But the firing of Nichols and the comments in the press release seem to be the players intend to play this year, even under the existing CBA terms. Maybe the fight for “equality” can wait for a while longer?

    • Steglitz49

      Going out in the QF of OG-16 cooked their goose. The worst ever result by a USWNT. Worst. Ever.

      Zero leverage. Alex Morgan tasting the French kitchen in Lyon. Realization that college sophomores would be pleased as punch to play in the SBC.

      In short, the USSF did not even need to show the instruments of torture. The USWNTPA did not expect a kind of Spanish Inquisition. Even an imaginary whiff of smoke off the bonfire was enough.

  • guest

    if that isn’t an indictment of hope solo i don’t know what is. no hope left.

    • Rufan

      I think that we had read that Nichols was Solo’s pick/recommendation as executive director.

    • Movement

      Hope is strong with the Force and is fighting for a chance to get back.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dtr0CTlj04

  • guest

    These players know they are replaceable now so they are folding. Solo was the only real bulldog of the group and she got tossed to the curb. Pinoe knows she is on the way out, Carli is attached to Ellis’/USSF bumhole as long as she can get playing time, Sauerbrunn doesn’t seem particularly vocal, and even Morgan has probably been told she is replaceable.

    • guest

      the timing was off for the 5 who filed the suit – all of whom are on a downhill trajectory in terms of their careers and not needed anymore. as evidenced by how poorly they did in Rio…

      • Steglitz49

        Hear hear!

      • guest

        all the uswnt gang of five cared about was getting one last cycle big payday before retirement. they had no concern for the next generation of players possibly losing salaries and benefits for a pay to play model.

    • Cc W

      I agree with you – Solo being termed made them realize that they have very little power. They’ll get a few of their demands met, get some more salary and cave on their other demands – a bit of a shame though. They’ll never have as much leverage as they do now.

      • rkmid71

        Why do you think they have leverage now? I don’t see that they have any leverage.

        • Cc W

          Probably more accurately “did” have some leverage. They made a lot of press a few months back, publicity, public outcry, but with no games ahead, they are out of sight out of mind.

          • Steglitz49

            They will get little if anything. They have bent over to protect their jobs for the SBC. What could be more submissive? Pure prostitution.

      • southbayfan

        They had leverage, but then Rio happened, and it all went away. If WNT had won gold, there would have been a Victory Tour and US Soccer would be rolling in money and happy to give them almost anything they asked for.

        • Steglitz49

          Brasilia, strictly speaking. They never got to Rio. It was those Swedes that played at the Maracana — twice too.

    • Steglitz49

      Morgan Brian is replaceable. Alex Morgan belongs to the ages — and can make hay while the sun shines in France.

      • guest

        alex morgan is on the decline. sorry. i actually think Ellis had a “talk” with her about her future in the forward position which is why she is now trying to commit to being “more versatile” which she has never done or had to do in the past. i wouldn’t be surprised if that is part of why she is going to Lyon.

        • guest

          from her own mouth, that is why alex is going to Lyon. she is hoping to learn to play on the wings. i can’t imagine she will be a better option than pugh, dunn, heath or even ohai there in 2019. we’ll see. i feel like alex is a forward or not on the pitch.

          • Steglitz49

            25,000€ per month, if we believe #1Fan, may be the main, if not only. reason.

            Helping Lyon win the Champions League: priceless. The last NWSL player to help someone pull that of was Jess Fishlock.

          • Antoni

            But Fishlock was not around anymore when they played the final. And I even don’t know whether or not she was still around when the semis were played. So it seems she was not that much of help for FFC Frankfurt for winning the WCL.

            Krieger and Lewandowski were. Alex has good chances to join that club

          • Steglitz49

            Frankfurt asked UEFA for a medal for Jess, which UEFA granted them. This request was necessary because Jess did not play in the final and thus was not automatically given a medal.

            This shows how highly the Frankfurters regarded their Jess because only the club could ask for it, not Jess.

            Jess had gone back to Seattle for the start of the NWSL season. She did not enjoy her time at Frankfurt. This was mainly because the other players had the German language in common. Thus, she felt a bit socially excluded. The head coach, Colin Bell, was English.

          • Antoni

            Fishlock didn’t play in the semis as well. Hence sending her a medal seems to be rather a nice gesture than honoring her contribution to win the CL.
            .
            Do you have any evidence of what Fishlock appeared to have stated about her time in Frankfurt? Boquete and Ando have been there as well. Many of the Players like Marozsan, Crnogorcevic, Hendrich and Sasic seems to be able to speak English.

          • Brienne BB

            Jess was on loan in Frankfurt. She had to leave in March since she promised the Reign organization to be back when preseason starts.

            I can recall that she said that it was sometimes difficult due to the language barrier, but she still enjoyed playing there. She also said she loved playing with Maroszan.

          • Steglitz49

            As I remember it, Seattle had agreed to let her stay but Jess chose not to take up that freedom.

            Your point about the language barrier I made and it is the reason I remember given at the time.

          • guest

            does alex morgan deserve a medal if lyon wins since she is not showing up until the champions league quarterfinals?

          • Antoni

            If she helps them beating Wolfsburg in QF, Man City in SF and Munich, Paris or Rosengard in the final – yes, I would think so

          • Steglitz49

            Yes.

          • Steglitz49

            What I know is that which I have written. Frankfurt asked for a medal for Jess and it was approved.

            Fishlock at the time made some statement about why she chose to go back to Seattle instead of playing for FF, something which she could have done. You would have to hunt around for it. It was charitably interpreted, that because the language in the locker-room was German, she felt isolated. The other explanations could be that she simply felt a fish out of water for whathever reasons.

        • Steglitz49

          That goal against Germany in the SBC says more than you want to read.

          At speed conjuring and then slamming in with her weaker right foot. Scored with her right paw against italy 6 years ago. Alex’s most famous goal is a header, fittingly in the Theatre of Dreams. Her best stunt was in body-paint.

          Some lass our Alex.

          • Guest

            you realize that no one cares what she did 6 or even 4 years ago right? Even Alex knows she needs to improve her play and I respect her for that. The game has evolved, and the team is hoping to evolve. i do realize im talking to an idiotic troll though.

          • Steglitz49

            The next world championship is in 2.5 years time. Plenty of time to do all sorts of things, not just mastering the art of the French kitchen.

            Btw — the SBC was less than a year ago.

      • guest

        You are an idiot. I am not even a huge Morgan Brian fan (I have always thought she was a little bit overrated) but she will be more important to the team going forward than Alex Morgan ever will be again. Alex Morgan is only good for the marketing at this point, but USSoccer seems to be trying to market other players more

        • DNG

          Just out of curiosity how do you rate a central midfielder?

        • Steglitz49

          If you believe that, you believe anything.

          • guest

            Christen Press about to take her job (writing is on the wall). I can’t wait to see your and HOFCtowiejaosidfj’s meltdown

          • Steglitz49

            If you believe that, you’ll believe anything.

    • GT

      No one is irreplaceable. However, I doubt any NWSL player would “cross the picket line” (actual or virtual). Especially at their meager salaries. I wouldn’t want to be labeled as the one who helped prevent American Women professional soccer players from getting what they deem to be a “fair contract”. I would guess that many fans would refuse to go watch such games. The fews fans as they are (except Portland).

      • rkmid71

        Now this is funny. But sadly you might be right. Just be aware that the “fair contract” includes significant restrictions on calling in aspiring players, like you, to camps. And I think you’d find in the NWSL that attendance doesn’t change much with or without WNT players — who in the last two years have barely been to half the games. And in one instance didn’t even bother to show up at her team’s NWSL playoff semifinal. I think the wise course of action is to act the same as the WNT players — in your own interest. I wouldn’t be worried about labels The non WNT players need to start standing up for themselves.

        • mockmook

          “When you strike at a king, you must kill him.”

          If the current USWNT players were to regain their position, there would be hell to pay for those who crossed them.

          • rkmid71

            Hell to pay? That depends on the coach and USSF and how that situation is managed. And so what, at least those players had a shot.

          • DNG

            I don’t think that there will be a lot of NWSL players that stand against the union especially the players who think they are close to breaking through like Williams or Ohai. Players like Ohai and Williams will likely see USWNTPA’s actions as actions that could potentially benefit them soon. Maybe some players who thought they were unlikely to get call up without the strike to go but I don’t think there would be a replacement squad effort by the USSF. I think the USSF is much more likely to close up shop(no camps of friendlies) until the dispute is resolved(Union cracks) if they think the USWNT demands are unreasonable.

          • Steglitz49

            The SBC is listed with dates and locations. Not too many days left to prepare for that.

          • guest

            couldn’t the ussf just drop all the uswnt veterans and start a new team? that way the new players wouldn’t be crossing any picket line. this isn’t a club team. and if some of the veterans wanted to be considered for the new team they could later on.

          • DNG

            They wouldn’t be just dropping the veterans but all the young players as well. Brian, Mewis, Horan, possibly Pugh among others. Those players are already part of the union and players like Williams and Ohai are close to becoming part of it. They would likely be forced to pick college players and in a similar vein I doubt a player like Sullivan would act against the union either. That might put them at risk for qualifications in the next cycle. Also, once the replacements finally get their contracts they will unionize like the current team and we’ll be back to where we are now.

          • rkmid71

            Don’t forget about 2011. Was the USWNT at risk for WC qualification that year?

          • Steglitz49

            Late in 2010 Alex Morgan came on as alate sub and in injury time scored the first of her many memorable goals for the USWNT in tight spots. She used her weaker right foot to do the needful.

          • DNG

            Different situation. I doubt the fans would accept missing out qualifying for the WC because the US’s best players didn’t participate.

          • Steglitz49

            No USWNT player will want to miss out because of some political action. They would walk over their grandmothers’s graves to be in that band of sisters.

          • rkmid71

            Did the “best” 18 US players participate in OGs? Or the best 24 in the 2015 WC?

          • DNG

            That’s not the same situation. We’re not talking about a couple of players missing out we are essentially talking about replacing the entire team and not being able to replace them with many of the best NWSL players. There were still plenty of very good players on those teams. If you replace the whole team and ban them from ever being a part of it again that is something entirely different. Not to mention that whoever they decide to use if they decide to use replacement players at all will want to negotiate contracts as well albeit from a position of much less power.

          • rkmid71

            Why would you ban them from ever being part of it again? That would be up to the players. The door is still open. USSF could provide a contract similar to the men, no salaries, pay to play — become a true NT. Mockmook has given a couple possible lineups as a starting point below.

          • DNG

            Maybe ban was the wrong word. The federation can lock out the players or the players could strike both resulting in a similar situation. I don’t think the players will just accept any CBA. Both of Mockmooks line ups have players in them I do not believe will cross the picket line.

          • rkmid71

            I thought the women wanted to be treated the same as the men — that’s not any CBA, it’s the same structure as the men. Mockmook has a deep well of talent to construct good lineups. Awhile back I recall he had A, B, C, D, E, F teams all of which would be competitive and represent this country with honor.

          • DNG

            I never believed the women wanted everything to be equal which is one of the reason their rallying cry feels wrong to me. Some claim to want as much in salary while getting additional benefits and the protection of a year long contract.

            The US can probably play competitively with 2-3 starting XI’s. Maybe a couple more if qualifying in the only goal. That’s 33-55 players and we’re taking about removing 25 of those players. I don’t think it will be so easy to replace 25 players.

            Another thing I just started thinking about is that replacement players don’t usually earn permanent places in the team. It’s not that it’s impossible but players that cross the picket line likely won’t stick once a labor agreement is reached so all they end up doing is lowering the players bargaining power. They are pawns for the USSF used to gain leverage and the USSF will drop them as soon as they get what they want with the PA

          • rkmid71

            Nobody should have a permanent place on the team. Those spots should have to be continually earned.

          • DNG

            Poor choice of words. What I meant to say was regular call up.

          • Steglitz49

            Fine.

          • Steglitz49

            Hear hear!

          • Steglitz49

            Alex Morgan has signed with Lyon for a princessely sum. Clubs have signed Rolfö (Bayern Munich) Harder (Wolfsburg) and Blackstenius (Montpellier, tbc) but so far no USWNT player of note. None. Not one.

            The fact that only one NWSL/USWNT player so far has landed a decent contract with a decent club abroad, speaks volumes to how exposed the USWNT players are.

          • Steglitz49

            The USSF is the official body recognized by FIFA. It is up to the players and USSF reach a sensible agreement.

            If the negotiations fail then the USSF must act on its mandate. If that means playing with sophomores and freshmen from the NCAA, so be it.

            The fact that only one NWSL/USWNT player so far has landed a decent contract with a decent club abroad, speaks volumes to how exposed the players are.

          • Steglitz49

            Hear hear!

            Mockmook delivers the goods.

          • Steglitz49

            The USSF has to lay down the law. There will not be a better opportunity for the USSF.

            The solution is obvious. If the players don’t want it, the USSF must proceed with players willing to play under new terms.

            It would, of course, be best all round if a negotiated settlement can be achieved but the USSF must ensure that the players understand that it is an honor to represent one’s country. It is only a gravy-train in the sense of the personal sponsorship a player can mint from off the back of their NT service.

          • GT

            Who should be riding the bench?

          • Steglitz49

            In the OG-16, no. In WC-15, enough.

          • Tyrion

            Ellis thought so. Are you really sure you know better?

          • rkmid71

            No, but JE has noted the constraints and limitations she’s under as coach by the CBA. So maybe Ellis thought so in the circumstances. Though she took a helluva gamble on Rapinoe with only 18 roster and left off some good alternates. And in WC, carried some old veterans which didn’t play much. Now with a new CBA, there is an opportunity to remove the shackles from JE (or any other future coach) and make it a true NT. Also, hopefully marketing factors don’t play a significant role in some of these roster decisions.

          • Steglitz49

            A gamble too far and no iron cross to show for it.

          • Steglitz49

            Ellis might have acted on orders from higher up as for WC-15.

          • GT

            Not to mention Short, Dahlkemper, Colaprico, Groom, Gilliland, Sonnett, McDonald, Hinkle, DiBernardo, McCaffrey, Edmonds, Yanez, Nairn, and Killian just to name a few.

          • Steglitz49

            Not to mention the Sheikh of Araby?

          • Paul Klee

            Williams, Short, Sullivan are already part of the USWNTPA.

          • DNG

            Thanks for the info

          • Steglitz49

            The USSF should make clear to this sorry excuse of a USWNT that their time is up.

            One way of salvation would be to get a berth with a top foreign club at a salary commensurate with an officer and lady.

            So far only Alex Morgan has managed this. We wait with bated breath to see who else cuts the mustard.

          • GT

            Couldn’t agree more.

          • Steglitz49

            It depends on the Hell, too, does it not?

          • Steglitz49

            You play in the SBC and then move on. How many young women have played in the NT shirt let alone against opposition of the caliber of England and France, let alone Germany. A pity the swedes are not invited, nor the Canadians.

        • GT

          I am right. I put the words “fair contract” in quotations and said what they deem to be a fair contract. I don’t know what’s fair and what’s not, but I like people sticking up for themselves if they feel they’re right. I am not an aspiring player and where do you come off saying that I am. With the exception of Portland, NWSL attendance is an embarrassment with or without the NWSL players. The WNT players have “barely been” to half the games is because they have been off playing in the World Cup and the Olympics. How selfish of them. And then you suggest a course of action that the NWSL players act like the selfish WNT players. You have a consistently problem. As far as the non WNT players, for most of them this is just a continuation of college soccer. There they played on scholarship. Here they receive a minimal barely living wage, they are put up in a house with some of their team mates by a benevolent family in the area and they get to follow their dream and make some new friends along the way. At which time they’re either riding the bench or realize they will never make the WNT and they move on with their lives. Nothing wrong with that.

          • rkmid71

            Maybe you’re representing a WNT player point of view? You put yourself in the hypothetical shoes of non WNT player by saying “I wouldn’t want to be labeled as the one who helped prevent American Women professional soccer players from getting what they deem to be a “fair contract”. I assume you’re including non USWNT players in your definition of American women professional soccer players. That contract should be fair to them too in terms of opportunity — otherwise it’s not a national team. Which it’s not at the moment. It’s a club. In my world, based on performance, several WNT players would be riding the bench for their NWSL teams.

          • GT

            Who should be riding the bench?

          • rkmid71

            As a starting point, I wouldn’t start unfit players (Rapinoe) — apparently still not fit months after OG. Or players that decide they would rather go a wedding than the teams playoff semifinal (Krieger) — but I guess they traded her instead. Or even some past their prime players on the decline — especially players like Lloyd. Mia Hamm retired at 32. There can still be role for them assuming they are willing to embrace it (like Tim Duncan) but not as everyday starters. It happens to all the great players in all sports. San Francisco 49s were relentless at weeding and pruning, bringing in new — even with their great Super Bowl winning players. San Antonio Spurs were masterful at blending the experienced older players with the up and coming — but that requires exceptional leadership and humility from the experienced players. Soccer is a young person’s game.

          • Steglitz49

            Maybe the USWNT paid the price for not following your principles. I was vocal that someone who does not play for their team in the Semi-Final of the Championship must not be allowed to play for the NT — but she was. Likewise, not holding up your hand when you must know that you are not all there, seems below the belt too.

            It seems that the USWNT invited vengeance from on high — and the sport obliged.

          • GT

            Wow. You have a lot of pent up animosity towards the WNT players. I suggest counseling.

          • Steglitz49

            No. rkmid71 speaks the truth. You need counseling — or, at least, new glasses.

          • GT

            rkmid71 is a moron and so are you.

          • Steglitz49

            As far as I know the only USWNT player to sign a significant contract abroad is Alex Morgan and for a princessly sum if #1Fan is correct (where is #1Fan? have not seen him type of late).

            Meanwhile, Ashley Lawrence of Canada is joining PSG according to reports and Kadeisha Buchanan has been spotted in Lyon.

            Time will tell if any USWNT players will get invited to take a walk on the wild side. There is no shortage of teams around the world.

          • Arti

            It’s not about invitations. It’s about who is interested in the art of french kitchen. Besides Morgan no USWNT player is interested. They are interested in playing soccer not in learning kitchen work.

          • Steglitz49

            Given all whose names have been bandied about, the silence is deafening. Mind you, there are two weeks till the transfer window closes, so there is hope yet.

            Given how much the USWNT players earn in a lean year let alone the fat ones, they can afford help in the kitchen not least if they pay cash.

          • guest

            hope solo, carli lloyd and megan rapinoe.

          • Steglitz49

            Most college WoSo scholarships are partial, if even that. A surprisingly large number of girls play college soccer without much college rebate.

            The USWNT should not have had its worst ever major tournament in a year when they are trying to renegotiate their contract. Not a smart move.

        • Steglitz49

          Hear hear! Verily and forsooth.

      • Steglitz49

        They could use college sophomores if not freshmen. Seniors might be a bit vary but juniors would probably jump at the chance.

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  • GT

    Julie Foudy thinks this (the termination of Rich Nichols) is a good move. Does anyone know why?

    • Rufan

      Attach a link to her comments.

      • GT

        Check her twitter account.

        • Steglitz49

          twitter ye not.

          I don’t want to check her account. Please give us her comment, there is a good Grand Tourer.

          • GT

            No.

          • Steglitz49

            Denamrk just beat the Czechs 2-2 in the Junior World Cup. Where is the world going?

            First Sweden has the temerity to chuck the USWNT out of the OG to their worst ever result. Now a bunch of pig-farmers put a celebrated hockey nation to the sword.

          • rkmid71

            Hold on…don’t underestimate pig farmers. Did you know that pigs share a number of cognitive capacities with other highly intelligent species such as dogs, chimpanzees, elephants, dolphins, and even humans? And don’t get me started on farmers. I listened to Paul Harvey as a kid.

          • Steglitz49

            Oink, oink! Or, neuf neuf, as the French pigs grunt.

            Did you know that if the pigs on a fram start grunting for no obvious reason and keep it up continuously, it is bad news for the farmer? That, if a pig eats its tail, it signals a bad omen?

            The USWNT pigged out on turnips before they fell flat on the boobs against those Swedes. Twitter ye knot!

          • rkmid71

            It seems like there has been a lot of grunting and tail biters within the USWNT. Possible causes include playing on turf, CBA, no VT bonuses from OG, dissatisfaction with coaches and who knows what else. The usual strategy is to remove offenders from the group until there is a response.

          • Steglitz49

            If they do not want to play on plastic they can always find an English team to play for because the FA insists that matches in the FA women’s cup are played on natural grass. Thus matches have been played in 27,000 and 40,000 seater stadiums to fulfill this need.

            In the Nordic countries, plastic is more the rule than the exception. yet plastic did not do either Hope’s, Christen’s, Kling’s, Whitney’s, Krieg’s or Harris’s careers any harm

    • rkmid71

      No. But it might be because the more hostile, aggressive approach combined with their OG performance was a disaster?

      • Steglitz49

        The Bomb in Brasilia did not help, for sure.

    • Bruce

      My impression of Nichols is that he is amazingly incompetent. This is the guy who said that the USSF’s dismissal of Solo was “a violation of Ms. Solo’s First Amendment rights”. Even first year law students laugh at that argument.

      The union has misplayed every step in negotiations this year. It’s fitting that they end 2016 by just giving away their last bargaining chip (the SBC). Nichols should go, but the moment to apply leverage has already been lost.

      • mockmook

        “said that the USSF’s dismissal of Solo was “a violation of Ms. Solo’s First Amendment rights””

        I know this will shock you, but attorneys (like politicians) say a lot of stuff that isn’t true, and they know it isn’t true.

        • rkmid71

          Unfortunately, nowadays saying stuff that’s not true isn’t limited to attorneys and politicians. The rubber meets the road when you have to say stuff under oath with consequences for lying, and even then it doesn’t stop some people. Remember all those baseball players lying about steroids. Lance Armstrong. Bill Clinton and the blue dress. Look at the decline in media standards in the last 20 years. I’m not sure what happened to those values like honesty, telling the truth, taking responsibility etc. My theory is that the root cause is from the breakdown in the family. And a world with 7.5bn people is a lot different than a world with 1.5 or 2bn in last 100 yrs or so. btw — births have exceeded deaths today, so far, by about 160,000 and YTD about 83 million.

          • Steglitz49

            If Hope had used a more PC word, she would have been OK.

            Expressions like — “they lacked in moral fiber but what can you expect from a bunch of turnips” — would have given Hope a standing ovation.

      • Steglitz49

        Well spotted, sir. They did not want to boycott the SBC because they know that there are 5x if not 10x as many young ladies prepared to play — in bodypaint if necessary.

    • USMNTfan4life

      Joulie Foudy is not a legal scholar nor an attorney. I generally don’t take Ms. Foudy’s comments too seriously. She doesn’t seem to have all her marbles. I wish her well. 🙂

      • Guest

        she went to stanford though.. if you haven’t heard… in the 40x she says it… every game for which she serves as commentator

        • USMNTfan4life

          I met a couple once who graduated from Yale. In every sentence, especially when they started those sentences, it was “when we were at Yale,…” These alums from prestigious schools never want anyone to forget where they went to school.

          • Steglitz49

            Neither Winston Churchill nor Benjamin Disraeli nor Harry Truman went to university, except the varisty of life.

          • WoSoFan2

            In that case DJT will be the greatest world’s leader ever.

          • Steglitz49

            Time will tell.

            (Hard to beat those 3.)

          • mockmook

            Right, he was terribly “mis-educated” at Wharton…

    • Paul Klee

      After making that twitter comment she did not elaborate (at least on Twitter) even though several asked her if she would in their comments to her post.

      This is something that seems to be lacking in WoSo reporting.

      • Steglitz49

        Had you just noticed?

    • guest

      julie foudy is a uswnt puppet.

  • Cc W

    This is an interesting move – makes me think that the players are going to lower their demands to get a deal done. Betting that USS told them they’d make concessions if they got rid of him.

    • Steglitz49

      The WNT players are desperate to play in the SBC.

      Only Alex has been offered a berth worth a pitcher of warm spit.

  • HOFCToDi

    US Soccer is a Mickey Mouse operation. Goofy ran the men’s program for the last five years …………………………………………. straight into the ground.

    • Steglitz49

      Minnie Mouse, surely?

    • USMNTfan4life

      yep on both counts. sunil needs to go.

      • Steglitz49

        Who would replace him? One of DJT’s brood?

        • USMNTfan4life

          President of the USSF is not a glamour position that attracts alpha personalities. It is not the equivalent of the NFL Commissioner.

          It is a non-profit who is chartered to run, promote and maintain soccer coaching, teaching and play of the beautiful game. In additon, it manages men’s and women’s national teams. What kind of high-profile person wants this job? It has no term limits, so Sunil has been “the Man” for almost 15 years, or more.

          Whomever succeeds Sunil will be a federation pencil-pusher, or beaurocrat. The USSF needs to overhaul many aspects of its operation (leadership, administration, revenue generation, etc.), and unless you get an ambitious shit-kicker, nothing will really change. Which is sad.

          • Steglitz49

            A US Commissioner for soccer fights and uphill battle but should s/he succeed, that name will live forever.

            American TV has created sports where there are countless ad-breaks and if there are not enough you have euphemisms like “time out on the floor”, “technical time out” and “power-breaks”.

            As early as for WC-94, TV tried to get a game of 4 quarters and also ad-breaks. FIFA stood firm. Starting in 2014, in hot climates there are now 3 min drinks breaks about halfway into each half, the beginning of a not so thin end of a very broad wedge.

            In short, you need a dynamic person of private means who takes on this task to grow the game and get her or his name into the neon lights.

  • Patrick Keeler

    All Nichols did was make the women the bad guys with people who follow the game and understand the situation. He made Gulati a villian; nobody has been fairer to WoSo at any federation. The players probably realized they can get a good deal without going to the mattresses. Probably, Nichols would have had many more billable hours though…

    • Steglitz49

      The reality remains that if you bomb out of the OG with the worst performance ever by a USWNT in a major intercontinental tournament ever, then your negotiating position becomes weak overnight.

      If on top of that you fail against a country with the population of NJ or MA you look decidedly odd. Add to this, that that country itself had suffered its worst loss ever and you look decidedly incompetent.

      In short, the USSF must not lose this opportunity to lay down the law. Losers, weepers. The USSF must crush the USWNT. If necessary humiliate them though it is hard after their inept performance in Brasilia that more humiliation can be heaped on them that they have not contributed to themselves.

    • guest

      no doubt now the uswnt players will be trying to do damage control now and blame everything that was said and done on nichols. saying everything was his idea.

      • guest

        that they were not lawyers and didn’t fully understand everything and relied upon nichols advise. very predictable.

  • Paul Klee

    QotD: As it is the beginning of the new year and there is no CBA. Which 24 players are now USSF Contract?

    I’m sure WoSo media types are going to report this soon!

    • Gary Diver

      The lack of media interest in USWNT at this point is probably telling us something.