Thursday Roundup: Sunderland Ladies drop pro status

The Equalizer Staff January 5, 2017 46

Also in today’s roundup, NWSL players headline W-League POTM nominees, Bianca Henninger earns call up for Mexico, Ellis adds Sarah Killion to USWNT camp roster and more

After two full seasons with a full-time professional squad, Sunderland AFC Ladies have decided to return to part-time player status model

After two full seasons with a full-time professional squad, Sunderland AFC Ladies have decided to return to part-time player status model

Today, the Sunderland AFC announced that Sunderland Ladies will now operate on a part-time basis only, ahead of the WSL Spring League after two full seasons operating as a team with a roster of full-time professionals in addition to part-time players. This adjustment will be a return to an older operating model at the club in which players were purely part-time.

According to the official release, through the course of review by management, they felt that “it became apparent that having a mix of full-time and part-time players was not working as effectively as the club, and indeed the players, had envisaged.” Much of the current team has other responsibilities and commitments in career or school which appears to have hindered full-time professional playing careers. With the new part-time status, players will be able to remain committed to their careers or to study while still having the ability to be a member of the first team, although it’s likely some current full-time professionals may look for other full-time opportunities elsewhere.

In 2016, Sunderland AFC Ladies finished in the lower portion of the FA WSL 1 table in seventh place with a 2-10-4 record.

NWSL players headline W-League Player of the Month Nominees for December

Yesterday, the W-League announced the nominees for December’s Player of the Month that included three NWSL players on loan to W-League teams in the four-woman list. Headlined by English-international Natasha Dowie (Melbourne Victory) who received this award for her performance in November, the list also includes Sam Kerr (Perth Glory), Jen Hoy (Newcastle Jets) and Katrina Gorry (Brisbane Roar).  Dowie and Kerr both sit atop the scoring table with eight goals each in the race for the golden boot. Most recently, Dowie’s hat trick led the Melbourne Victory in a 4-1 routing of the Brisbane Roar in W-League action this past Sunday as her goal total reached eight over the last nine games this season.

Melbourne Victory's Natasha Dowie celebrates her goal against the Newcastle Jets this past weekend.

Melbourne Victory’s Natasha Dowie celebrates her goal against the Newcastle Jets this past weekend.

Dowie, Kerr and Hoy are all on loan to their W-League clubs from the NWSL’s Boston Breakers, Sky Blue FC and Chicago Red Stars respectively. Gorry had a short stint in the NWSL in 2014 as she was a member of FC Kansas City’s Championship-winning squad.

{NWSL NEWS: Breakers, Red Stars swap draft picks, Flash ink Brazilian WC vet Debinha}

Bianca Henninger earns Mexico call up

Bianca Henninger earns international call up for Mexico ahead of February friendly (Photo Copyright Patricia Giobetti for The Equalizer)

Bianca Henninger earns international call up for Mexico ahead of February friendly (Photo Copyright Patricia Giobetti for The Equalizer)

Bianca Henninger received an international call up for Mexico’s upcoming friendly against Canada in February. She re-signed with the Houston Dash in October 2016 and currently is on loan to Melbourne Victory of the W-League. Henninger, who has played for the USWNT at both the U-20 and U-23 level and was called into camp with the full national team in 2011, saw her first Mexico call up in 2016 for the Four Nations Tournament in China.

Ellis adds Sarah Killion to USWNT roster for January camp

Sarah Killion puts penalty kick past Breakers keper Jami Kranich (photo copyright Linehan Photography for The Equalizer)

Sarah Killion puts penalty kick past Breakers keper Jami Kranich (photo copyright Linehan Photography for The Equalizer)

Sarah Killion (Sky Blue FC) has been added to Jill Ellis’ upcoming USWNT camp. Her addition to the player pool increases the number of players in camp to 30. Killion made 18 starts in which she played every minute during the 20-game NWSL season. This is her second call up to the senior team though she remains uncapped at this point.

Reign sign Madalyn Schiffel

Less than a week after her call up to U.S. U-23 women’s national team camp, Seattle Reign FC announced the signing of goalkeeper Madalyn Schiffel to the club for the 2017 season. Schiffel came to Seattle through a trade with the Washington Spirit in November. She was selected by the Spirit in the 2016 NWSL College Draft as the 34th overall pick, but most recently has been playing her club soccer with Avaldnes IL of the Norweigen Toppserien. Schiffel was also selected to the 30-player U.S. U-23 women’s national team camp this past Friday that will start on January 3 in Carson, CA.

Elizabeth Addo bemoans neglect from Ghana Football Federation; Oshoala wins African POTY

Ghanaian-international Elizabeth Addo spoke out regarding the neglect the women’s national team is feeling from their governing body, the Ghana Football Federation, via Instagram on Thursday morning ahead of the GLO-CAF awards where she was nominated for Women’s Player of the Year.

“It’s such a heartbreaking story when an ordinary Ghanaian girl like me works their socks off, sweat the hell out of their pores to put on a shirt and represent her beloved country Ghana just to bring honors and joy to the people,” she writes “only to have her hard work to be smacked in her face by authorities.” She continues to address the lack of monetary pay for the Black Queens from their government.

Other nominees for the award included Nigeria’s Asisat Oshoala and Cameroon’s Gabrielle Onguene. Oshoala was eventually announced the GLO-CAF Women’s Player of the Year on Thursday afternoon. She plays her club soccer for Arsenal Ladies in the FA WSL.

  • Som Termanni

    Tim Nash interviews Crystal Dun for Excelle:

    Of special note:

    > “Specifically, what I like about Chelsea is the relationship [the
    women’s team] has with the men’s team is incredible. Facilities are
    shared, doctors are the same. The environment is so professional, which
    will make my job a lot easier. I will only need to focus on soccer and
    being the best I can possibly be.”

    And Hayes does little to narrow down where she’ll appear:

    > “She has good versatility. She can play in a wing-back or full-back role
    for us, as well as playing in any of the front-three positions.”

    Even a note of low confidence in Ellis’s opinion of her:

    > “Now that I am playing an attacking role with the national team, I
    always have to be working on my shooting and my crossing,” she said. “I
    haven’t played this position my whole life, but that’s no excuse. I
    still think I’m struggling to find the niche where [national team coach
    Jill Ellis] needs me.”

    • Steglitz49

      Glory, laud and honor be to John Terry?

  • Som Termanni

    > Melbourne Victory’s Natasha Dowie celebrates her goal against the Newcastle Jets this past weekend.

    It’s rather embarrassing that you didn’t report Hayley Raso returning to the Victory from Canberra, dressing in Victory kit, and running onto the pitch to celebrate it. Quite a feat by her to go unnoted.

    Or maybe you just used a photo from last year when Raso and Dowie played together on the Victory.

    • Steglitz49

      There is not a lot of money in WoSo. Last year a WoSo site in Sweden that had been active for 17 years folded.

      Yes, 17 years, Poof, gone. The editor got to old, not enough money and nobody willing to take over, which there no doubt would have been hade there been enough money.

      • Tom F

        why didn’t the Swede editor do what the EQ apparently does for money; SPAM the living daylights out of this website?

        • Steglitz49

          I have not the foggiest. They had some adverts. 9.5m read Swedish.

          Maybe if they had been able to carry on with the success in the OG it might have been a different story — but nobody around the world give a monkeys for WoSo except true fans and when it is an extension of nationalism.

          If Maria Rydqvist book about the organisation and structure of sport is translated into English, which I doubt that it will be, i is worth reading.

  • Confused

    EQ, please clarify what country Addo represents. Thanks!

    • guest

      Note to EQ/missing in action editor,
      Addo is from Ghana
      so “Nigerian-international Elizabeth Addo …”
      should read “Ghanaian-international Elizabeth Addo”

  • GT

    Happy to see the Killian call-up. Well deserved.

    • Rdalford

      Echo, the happy to see Killian get the call-up and opportunity

  • Rdalford

    FAWSL news re Sunderland returning to part-time model is sort of two steps forward, one backward style progress.
    Only last month FA announced Funding to be increased for all FA WSL clubs from 2018-19 season under new licence agreement

    • Steglitz49

      One assumes that the men’s side are not willing to put in the money other male clubs do even if they don’t say so.

      Seen in absolute terms, what is a trivial % for Arsenal, Chelsea and Man City, is no doubt a bigger % for Sundeland. One gets the impression that Liverpool also are not backing their ladies to the full hilt either.

      • Som Termanni

        I keep repeating myself… the main advantage for a men’s side attachment in WSL, due to the team salary cap being tied to a percentage of women’s club turnover, is spending less on common business staff and marketing (and having higher quality staff at that), having more and better seats, and bringing in more and better sponsors.

        The gap can get large, but it’s not insurmountable. The bottom line is that small clubs have to do smart business first and worry about the product just enough to dodge relegation.

        Sunderland’s news is disappointing, but they’re doing it with a foothold in WSL 1 intact, and it shows that they’re willing to find a way to make the business work. Until (and unless) they can stabilize that, due to the structure of WSL, the players get the short end of the stick.

        • Steglitz49

          These may be old figures but they are from the same year:

          Sunderland has an estimated net worth of $120 million. This can be compared to Man City’s $560 million, Chelsea’s $525 million, Arsenal’s $485 million and Liverpool’s $415 million.

          Man Utd, the richest of them at $700 million closed down their women’s side 10 years ago not wanting to waste money on it. Meanwhile Tottenham $290 million, West Ham $200 million and Newcastle $210 million are building up theirs. Everton ($190) million has a ladies team in the FAWSL but it is so so.

          John Terry rescued Chelsea Ladies 7 years ago.

          • Steglitz49

            I found more recent figures but they do not include Sunderland. Of the 20 richest soccer clubs, as far as i know 4 or 5 do not have women’s sides. For some of those with ladies their total revenue (not necessarily turnover) is in million Euros:

            Barca 560, PSG 480, Bayern Munich 475, Man City 465, Arsenal 435, Chelsea 420, Liverpool 390, Spurs 257, Milan 199, Atletico Madrid 187, Newcastle 170, Everton 165, West Ham 160. (If the proportions are the same, maybe Sunderland is at 100.)

            I stand by my assessment, that the Sunderland management contend that they can’t afford to waste money on their women when there is serious work to do in the men’s side –just like clubs in Brazil 7-10 years ago, and Man Utd and Chelsea.

          • Som Termanni

            Are you willingly missing the point that salaries are tied to women’s club turnover and men’s club revenues can’t be spent on paying players, or are you making some other interminable point?

            If it’s the latter, can you for once spell it out for the rest of us idiots?

          • Steglitz49

            You are missing obvious points. Some men’s clubs
            — are willing to spend money even if they are not that rich; the obvious one is Lyon.
            — have tried to close down their women’s sections to spend more on their men — Man Utd is the obvious one, Chelsea tried to but John Terry stepped in, and the CEO of Atletico Madrid changed his mind after pressure
            — the women’s teams in the smaller countries where the men’s team spend all their money on male players, are no longer linked with men’s teams — as in Brazil
            — Red Bull sponsors several male teams with substantial amounts of money but none of their loot go to women’s teams

            Are you simply ignoring financial realities or are you, like #1Fan, just argumentative for the hell of it? Maybe you are #1Fan in disguise?

          • Som Termanni

            More ignorant of the financial realities than ignoring. Where are Sunderland’s women losing money for the mens’ side if 60% of their turnover can’t be spent on personnel? The system seems built to insulate mens’ sides from losses by protecting so much turnover for the women’s side’s operations and allowing for Sunderland to choose not to pay all of its players to be full-time professionals.

            It seems more likely to me, despite my lack of knowledge about anything actually going on behind the scenes, that Sunderland simply couldn’t muster sufficient turnover from women’s team activities to pay all of their players to be professional players. By their own words, however untrustworthy they might be, Sunderland then tried paying some of them professionally–this caused problems within the team, as one would expect when much of the squad wouldn’t or couldn’t show up to practice with the rest of it.

            Unable to fix that correctly by paying everyone to play full-time due to the turnover cap’s restrictions–again, presumably, without detailed knowledge of their accounts–they likely decided to stop paying _any_ of their players a full-time wage.

            If they stopped paying _non-playing professional staff_ on the women’s side, I’d be more concerned that their losses were eating into the rest of the organization. If they’ve done that, it’s not being reported. Maybe they have, in which case, we’d agree. If they haven’t, I’d maintain that the entire organization, mens’ and womens’ sides alike, would have to be catastrophically mismanaged for the women’s side to cost them a significant amount of money.

          • Steglitz49

            Sofia Jakobsson and Yuki then Ogimi now back to Nagasato, have described their time at Chelsea. How sharing equipment and facilites with the men did not work because if the male trainers suddenly wanted to use them, the women were just chucked out even though it was their booked slot. I guess Emma Hayes managed to rightened that ship.

            Most of the wealthy clubs these days simply have separate facilities for their ladies and men though not on their books. Liverpool and Everton together hire a stadium for the lasses to play in.

            Louise Schillgard described the difference between playing for Liverpool and her old Swedish club. In Sweden, to save money, the girls slept on the coach so as not need hotel rooms. In Liverpool they stayed in 4 star hotels when necessary and their coach was like a luxury liner.

            As I noted elsewhere, the low turnover at women’s matches makes it hard to sponsor them if they are a stand alone activity. How creative male club’s accountants are able to be is an interesting question.

            I guess if English clubs keep losing in early rounds of the Champions League, like Chelsea just did, more money will need to be channelled to the ladies and the FA will accommodate that.

          • Tom F

            why did Ogimi change her name back? and what ever happened to her lil sis?(did she retire?)
            btw……..unbelievably, Ogimi aka Nagasato can’t get back into the starting lineup at Frankfurt, a team that’s struggling in the Bundesliga this year. Yet still Japan;s premier striker, what gives with that?

          • Steglitz49

            Yuki and her hubby divorced. Her kid sister is still single.

          • CED

            They have plenty of money. The EPL new tv deal just gave them all massive amounts of new money. They are sharing the money more evenly than ever. The last team in the league in the table is guaranteed 97Million Pounds from tv money per year. The champion about 147Million pounds. This is just tv money from EPL, there is ticket sales, merchandise, etc…

          • Steglitz49

            The FA pays for the FA women’s Cup final to be played at Wembley. The FA has made sure that the BBC shows it live.

            No doubt the FA could do more for WoSo but why let the men’s clubs off the hook?

            Also, being financially shrewd and marketing savvy, a successful Spurs, Hammers or Magpies ladies team is worth a heck of a lot more than Sunderland.

            What the FA wants is for Man Utd to crawl to the cross, confess their sins and as an act of contrition fund a ladies team to the hilt.

    • Tom F

      Sunderland had an exciting fwd in Beth Mead, Does this mean she will not get payed a full time salary?

  • Ethan

    Killion!!!! An actual DM.

  • Som Termanni

    Flash are moving to North Carolina, per multiple anonymous league sources via 442:

    • mockmook

      Hope this helps league attendance.

      For players, they should definitely get a boost from UNC grads who don’t get drafted or who want to return “home”

    • Paul Klee

      Super, another city in the summer league With 90°F temps and 90% humidity in July! Maybe helps explain the Brazilian signings, probably not helpful for Jess McDonald.

    • Steglitz49

      Thank you. There is no point me replying to the Painter because he has blocked me. Therefore, I write here.

      A key bit in the article is this — The Flash averaged 3,868 fans in 2016, ranking fifth, and averaged just 2,860 fans in 2015, 2nd last that season. These are figures European teams would die to have, even the lower 2,860 exceeds most and maybe all European teams.

      It suggests that you may need to average 5,000 if not 8,000 at a game to be solvent in the NWSL.

      • Som Termanni

        When the Courage were in the WPS, they averaged 5,400-5,600/game. (Yes Steg, medians were within 100 of those numbers.) They were 9th of 10 teams each of three years. Those numbers would put them 3rd or 4th/10 in the 2016 NWSL, on par with MLS-backed Houston.

        Drawing 5,400/game would be a 1,600/game improvement over WNY.

        • Steglitz49

          If it costs $4m a year to run a ladies team and there are 20 home games and no revenue sharing, then you must clear $37 in profit from each 5400 man, woman and child that attends. That is a tall order.

          The rules about the tax-deductability of sponsorship makes it very hard to sponsor womens teams because they do not bring in enough revenue. The sponsorship gets classed as a donation not a sponsorship.

          As you can see from the figures in my other thread, it is not enough for an owner to have the money but the owner must be willing to absorb the losses. Also, owners with less money seem willing to help women’s sections.

        • JL

          Hard to be in 9th place when there were only 8 teams in WUSA.

          • Som Termanni

            Thank you. They were 7th of 8 in WUSA.

    • CED

      Could be a PR problem . Pro sports and NCAA are moving events out ofNC b/c of their anti LGBT laws, yet NWSL is going there who have a strong following in LGBT. Potential PR nightmare, when you’re being less progressive than the NBA who moved their all star game. NCAA moved almost 10 events and will not schedule in NC till the law changes.

      NWSL should have pushed Sky Blue to sell b/c they have the worst ownership and attendance. Moving Sky blue would make it easier for NYCFC to get a team b/c they surely won’t put 2 NWSL so close to each other.

      • Kaley

        As someone who is gay, I feel like keeping pastimes that attract a lot of LGBT people out of less progressive environments only hurts gay people and makes the climate worse – I’m sure a NC team would be gay-friendly by default (look at the statements of inclusivity supporter’s groups have put out).

        Many LGBT musicians have continued playing NC cities (often while donating all their profits from the show to charity) while praising Bruce Springsteen for canceling his huge arena show.

  • Som Termanni

    Melbourne City’s head coach was moved to its A-League’s side as senior assistant coach, and Jess Fishlock is now Melbourne City’s W-League interim head coach. She’ll continue to play. MCFC hold the title but are 8 points off the lead and in 4th place.

    • Steglitz49

      Jess is a smart lass. She is building a career after her playing days, like Pia, Neid and other ladies have. Let’s more ladies can climb the greasy management pole.

    • mockmook

      MC start losing games and then their coach is “promoted” to A-league — love it!!!!

      BTW, congrats Jess!!!

      • Gary Diver

        I am not a fan of player-coaches. Wasn’t Abby Wambach a player-coach just five years with the MagicJack?

        • JL

          Christie Rampone was a player-coach for SkyBlue when they won the WPS title in 2009.

  • Gary Diver

    Sarah Killion

    Any reason why Ellis added her after announcing her January camp roster? How good has she been for Sky Blue? I notice that Tom Sermanni called her up in 2014 just before the axe fell on him.

  • Som Termanni

    Voting is over for the CONCACAF annual awards. Results by fan vote:

    Female player of the year:

    Winner: Tobin Heath (42%)
    2. Alex Morgan (29%)
    3. Shirley Cruz (18%)
    4. Karla Villalobos (3%)
    5. Christine Sinclair (2%)
    6. Carli Lloyd (2%)
    7-10. Becky Sauerbrunn, Mal Pugh, Crystal Dunn, Janine Beckie (1%)

    GK of the year:

    Winner: Ashlyn Harris (54%)
    2. Yoselin Franco (29%)
    3. Dinna Diaz (7%)
    4. Alyssa Naeher (5%)
    5. Ceclia Santiago (3%)
    6-8. Michelle Betos, Stephanie Labbe, Kimika Forbes (1%)
    9-10. Sabrina D’Angelo, Erin McLeod (0%)

    Female coach of the year (only 4 nominated):

    Winner: Amelia Valverde, Costa Rica WNT (66%)
    2. Jill Ellis, US WNT (24%)
    3. Laura Harvey, Seattle Reign FC (6%)
    4. Michelle French, US U20 NT (4%)

    Female Best XI, Defender:

    Ali Krieger (70%)
    Kelley O’Hara (13%)
    Alina Garciamendez (9%)
    Becky Sauerbrunn (3%)
    Julie Johnston (2%)
    Meghan Klingenberg, Kadeisha Buchanan, Shelina Zadorsky (1%)
    Ashley Lawrence, Allysha Chapman (0%)

    Female Best XI, Midfielder:

    Tobin Heath (56%)
    Shirley Cruz (15%)
    Gloriana Villalobos (12%)
    Carli Lloyd (7%)
    Morgan Brian (4%)
    Jessie Fleming (2%)
    Megan Rapinoe, Desiree Scott, Diana Matheson, Sophie Schmidt (1%)

    Female Best XI, Forward:

    Christen Press (51%)
    Alex Morgan (42%)
    Raquel “Rocky” Rodriguez Cedeno (4%)
    Karla Villalobos, Christine Sinclair, Crystal Dunn, Mal Pugh (1%)
    Janine Beckie, Melissa Tancredi, Deanne Rose (0%)

    Two goals by women were nominated for goal of the year. They placed 4th (Kelley O’Hara 45′ vs. Puerto Rico, 13%) and 7th (Christine Sinclair 52′ vs. Costa Rica). O’Hara’s goal was one of two US club or NT goals on the list; the other was Clint Dempsey (20′ vs. Ecuador); he placed last with 1%.

    • Steglitz49

      Who draws up the shortlist? and, who votes?

      Given that Canada did a whole lot better than the US in 2016, the results of the voting seems a bit strange.

      In Norway, Ada Hegerberg was voted best soccer player male or female. She also won the award for best woman in sport any category. Ada plays for Lyon, where Alex is joining her and Pinoe once played, as have a whole slew of other Americans, including Hope.

      • Som Termanni

        CONCACAF nominates, fans vote. Thus Harris winning GK with a majority.

        • Steglitz49

          315m Americans. Is some adjustment for population applied?

          Carli finishing below Shirley Cruz and Sinc says a lot.

  • Som Termanni

    Carli Lloyd wins FIFA Best Player. Silvia Neid wins FIFA Best Coach of the Year.