Wednesday Roundup: USSF files formal complain against Lyon for tampering with Allie Long

The Equalizer Staff May 10, 2017 82

Also in today’s roundup, Heath expected to be out at least two more weeks with injury, 16,000 tickets already sold for opening EURO 2017 match, Carli Lloyd, other soccer legends, appear at FIFA event, and Boston Breakers waive Libby Stout

Allie Long played center back in a 3-5-2 as the U.S. comfortably defeated Switzerland, 4-0.

USWNT and Portland Thorns midfielder Allie Long said to be a prospect for Lyon (Photo Copyright Patricia Giobetti for The Equalizer)

Earlier today, Grant Wahl reported for Sports Illustrated that U.S. Soccer filed a complaint of player tampering with FIFA against Lyon owner Jean-Michel Aulas. The complaint was filed due to a tweet that Aulas sent to Long.

 

The tweet from Aulas showcased his desire to bring Allie Long to Lyon to join USWNT teammate Alex Morgan who has been with the club this season. Merritt Paulson, owner of the Portland Thorns, fired back at Aulas on Twitter as well about tampering with players who are under contract. It now appears that U.S. Soccer has taken this a step further by filing a formal and official complaint with FIFA.

Paulson Tweet Response to Aulas

The Lyon boss is by no means new to Twitter. Before signing Alex Morgan, he also consistently tweeted at her in a similar way, hoping to entice her to join Lyon. Later in the day Paulson tweeted–and then deleted–that the tampering went beyond just the tweets directed at Long.

Tobin Heath sidelined at least two more weeks with back injury

Tobin Heath and the USWNT are headed to Hawaii on Dec. 6 to play Trinidad and Tobago.

Tobin Heath remains sidelined with back injury that occurred during preseason with Portland (Photo Copyright Erica McCaulley for The Equalizer)

Yesterday, it became clear that Portland Thorns and USWNT midfielder Tobin Heath will remain sidelined for at least two more weeks, putting her total injury timeline to more than six weeks, after suffering a back injury in preseason.

Thorns coach Mark Parsons told Jamie Goldberg at The Oregonian that she would be out another 2-3 weeks, hoping she may make a return when the Thorns welcome the Boston Breakers to Providence Park on May 27.

Parsons also said that Australian international Ashleigh Sykes will join the Thorns in June, sometime between June 10-15. Princeton alum and No. 21 pick Tyler Lussi will also be joining the team on trial mid-June.

Tickets for EURO Opening Match reach 16,000

Early this morning @UEFAWomensEURO tweeted that the number of tickets sold for the first match of the 2017 European Championships is 16,000 to date. The first game of the EURO this summer will take place on July 16 where the Netherlands take on Norway in Utrecht.

Carli Lloyd among FIFA Legends at fan event in Manama

Carli Lloyd appeared with other FIFA legends Argentinian Diego Maradona and Brazil superstar Ronaldinho yesterday at Seef Mall in Manama. Fans were able to meet many of the sport’s greatest players at this event. Some of these stars competed today in a closed door friendly which was held in conjunction with the 67th FIFA Congress.

Breakers waive goalkeeper Libby Stout

Libby Stout's 2017 season is off to a rocky start. The Breakers keeper has a sprained ankle that will keep her off the field up to six weeks.

In 2016, Libby Stout posted a 2.1 goals against average. (photo copyright Linehan Photography for The Equalizer)

In an official release, the Boston Breakers announced that they have waived goalkeeper Libby Stout. Head Coach Matt Beard said, “I would like to thank Libby for all her hard work and dedication. We will miss her personality around the locker room, and I wish her every success in the future.” Stout started in Boston in November 2015 after being signed as a discovery player. She spent two years prior to that with Liverpool in the FA WSL where she played for Beard. For the Breakers, she made 10 appearances and nine starts in 2016 and led the team with 42 saves.

In other NWSL news, the NWSL announced today that the Game of the Week of Lifetime set for June 3 featuring FC Kansas City and North Carolina Courage will now be listed at 3:30 pm ET on the schedule with kickoff slated for 3:50 pm ET.

 

  • Ashley C

    Aulas loves to troll and doesn’t care if it’s unprofessional – he even does it to Lyon’s own fans. He talked about how much he loves doing it. It’s how he got Buchanan, too. Although I do sorta get a kick at the thought of Paulson getting annoyed. I’m surprised they’re even interested in Long tbh.

    • Guest

      He’s gonna care when be gets sanctioned for it.

      • Ashley C

        Doubt it. Aulas will never change.

        • AGuest2

          So if they issue a fine to him, he would keep on doing it even if they keep fining him. I guess it would depend on how stiff the fine was.

          • Steglitz49

            Given all the contributions Aulas has made to the ladies game, it is ironic that he is being cited.

    • kernel_thai

      Maybe they think it helps them keep Morgan

  • mockmook

    How sweet a word is “bezoekers”? I want to be a “bezoeker” πŸ™‚

    https://more-nl.howtopronounce.com/bezoekers-in-more-voice-26987z26987-ot01.mp3

  • TsovLoj

    I want to see this Portland-Lyon grudge match happen.

    • mockmook

      Indeed — make a match the condition for Aulas avoiding other sanctions.

    • Steglitz49

      Nothing stops Portland from travelling to France and playing Lyon. They simply have to find a time which is convenient for both.

      Also, if Portland are going to travel all that distance they might as well play PSG and Montpellier while they are at it and then nip across the Channel and have a go at Arsenal, Brum, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man City. Indeed, why not play a few German and Spanish teams while they are at it and then wander up to the Nordic countries, Sweden and Norway, Iceland and the Faeroe Islands.

      • Calci0

        Why when each game they play here would probably have 15,000~ in attendance….

        • Steglitz49

          Two immediate reasons but no doubt there are more:

          1. Portland wants to play Lyon.
          2. Lyon’s ladies regularly get crowds in excess of 20,000 for important matches.

    • Ashley C

      I think it could be an fun match. I did find it strange to see a few Thorns fans absolutely convinced they’d thump Lyon.

  • mockmook

    Am I the only one who had no idea where Manama is?

    • sudeep das

      I hope you are joking

      • mockmook

        Sure, I mean, who doesn’t know every capital city of every country on earth, right?

        • sudeep das

          Not the new countries maybe but Bahrain has been around for quite a long time. Seeing similar feedback from other posters I think it depends on an individual’s area of interest in world geography. Most people here will be interested in Europe, Americas and part of developed Asia/Africa I guess.

          • wolf

            Actually the Manama referred to here is in the United Arab Emerites.

          • mockmook

            sudeep das is correct.

            Seef Mall is in Bahrain

          • sudeep das

            As much as the Eiffel tower is in Las Vegas, right?

    • guest

      i didn’t even know that was a word. lol.

    • Alex

      You’re definitely not the only one, had to google it.

    • dw

      Nope.

  • guest

    SO stupid. Get a sense of humor, Paulson. Your daddy can pay for one if you need help.

    • newsouth

      ha

  • kernel_thai

    Kind of a funny Portland complaining about another team raiding their players when Portland seems to consider the rest of the NWSL as their farm system. Maybe if Long actually had a contract with Portland instead of a shady deal with USSF designed to circumvent club rights, Aulus wouldn’t have been this blatant.

  • guest

    Also, the fact that Allie Long is central to this controversy is hilarious. Not to sound like EQ conspiracy theorist NYRick, but what does this woman have on Ellis/Gulati/Paulson/etc? She is at best a fringe player for the NT, despite Ellis’ obsession with playing her anywhere and everywhere.

    • kernel_thai

      Remind me of this undying love for Long when it’s time for Portland to protect two NT [players ahead of the expansion draft.

      • Bruce

        She’s killing it for POR this season.

        • JL

          She is? She’s been kind of meh, actually. Was nowhere to be found when Portland lost to NC.

      • DNG

        I’m going to be interested to see whether or not the expansion draft rules get changed in the next go around.

        • Paul Klee

          Right now the imo the expansion draft allocated players would be Short, JJ, Krieger, Sonnett, Kling and Long.

      • guest

        we all know portland is going to get the rules changed again so they can protect their uswnt players. portland is too big to fail.

      • TsovLoj

        I suspect Portland protects her and Heath. Horan might have a case, though. No way do they burn that resource on Kling, and I think we’ve got the coverage to lose Sonnett if Reynolds and Menges are healthy.

        • kernel_thai

          Best thing to happen would to have Sonnett dropped from allocation so they can protect her. Still, Uve got Sonnett & Horan at 23 at 30. I think u see a back room deal to protect those players between Portland and the expansion teams

          • DNG

            Like I alluded to, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some rule changes too.

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    • All things considered

      Not sure soccer ability is this fellow’s chief consideration when he “approaches” a player.

      • sudeep das

        Marketability definitely is though

    • Guest

      She is one of the all time leading scorers in the NWSL despite not being a forward

      • Katie Curtiss

        She only has 26 goals, McDonald is the all time lead in scorers with 33

        • Reality

          Jessica McDonald
          68 apps
          33 goals

          Allie Long
          80 apps
          26 goals

          Christen Press
          41 apps
          24 goals

          • Katie Curtiss

            Majority of Allie Long’s goals came from taking PKs

          • Reality

            Maybe she can take Lloyd’s place. πŸ™‚

          • Steglitz49

            The standard way of describing goals in soccer is X(Y) where X is the number of goals and Y is the goals from PKs.

            Thus, 21(9) is 21 goals of which 9 were from PKs and 21(3) means 3 from PKs. In a goal-scoring league, if two players are on the same number of gaols, the one with less from PKs get top billing.

          • Timber Dave

            Huh?? She has 5 PK goals for the Thorns, out of 26 total goals. http://www.foxsports.com/soccer/allie-long-player-stats

            She doesn’t take penalty kicks for the Thorns. Nadia Nadim does it now, and before her it was mainly Christine Sinclair. Long did for one season — 2014 — but even that year her PK goals (4) accounted for less than half of her total goals (9).

          • mockmook

            Thanks for correcting the record.

          • Steglitz49

            21(6) in the standard notation, and 9(4).

        • Guest

          I said “one of the”.

    • dw

      Aulas sees what I see, and that few others see. Long is an immensely underrated player, who still as an older player has tremendous upside. Despite most of the world saying how bad she is, how slow she is, etc, she’s made her way onto the WNT and become basically an automatic starter, and all this despite never playing at her preferred position. I saw it years ago when she played for the Freedom: She was then and is now a hell of a player. How so many with alleged football knowledge fail to see it is beyond me.

  • disqus_hj8dHnhlYK

    How come when Aulas was doing the same thing to Alex last year USSF did nothing? Is it because Aulas is now going after one of Paulson’s players and Paulson has more control over the league and the federation than we would like to believe?

    • Timber Dave

      Maybe it was just a matter of drawing attention to it.
      Did Orlando make a stink about it like Portland (Paulson) did?

      • Steglitz49

        If the mighty Portland suffers players lured away from them to the fleshpots of Europe, then what future is there for the NWSL?

        That Alex (Orlando), Carli (Houston), Dunn (DC) and HAO (KC) left for clubs in EU might not be so bad but if a comparatively unknown player playing for the top US WoSo team signs her French letter of intent and takes the Euro in preference of the NWSL greenback, what future is there? Barca or no Barca.

      • disqus_hj8dHnhlYK

        Not that I can recall and Alex was just as much under contract as Long is.

  • mockmook

    Dear Mal Pugh,

    I thought you wanted to play as a professional some time this year — the clock, she is a ticking…

    • Ron Rocha

      She’ll be going to he spirit and Dunn will be returning there also in Ron’s perfect world!

      • ted norberto

        That’s what I want to see. Pugh and Dunn up top. It’s gonna rain red, white and Pugh!

    • Katie Curtiss

      Nothing is set in stone with the Spirit but they say she can play as early as May 20th if the correct paper work gets done

      • mockmook

        Thanks!!! Didn’t know they were talking about this. But, is it wishful thinking for Washington?

        • DNG

          Yeah Goff wrote another article. It seems like he is optimistic that Pugh will cave and play for Washington because they are adamant about not trading her. Dan Lauletta tweeted that nothing is official yet. Nothing has been signed.

          • mockmook

            I know you don’t like it, but I think it is good for the current “draft” system if Washington does stick and if Pugh caves.

          • DNG

            I hate it but I do understand it from the owners perspective. As long as there is an allocation system where US federation players don’t have contracts with their clubs, There might not be a better way to allocate players than a draft.

            Thinking more long term here though, I think the NT player need to have contracts with their clubs and the clubs should decide who they pay and how much they are willing to pay them. At that point I think they should get rid of the draft system.

            I don’t really have a problem with whatever Pugh decides is best for her though. If it’s staying in the United States and playing with Washington, I’m fine with that. If it’s going overseas to play for PSG, I’m fine with that too. The league will be okay with or without her.

        • Katie Curtiss

          One would hope so but Pugh really doesn’t want to play for Washington, but she wanted to go pro so time for her to grow up. When you become a professional especially in the field that she is in, you don’t always get what you want

        • Katie Curtiss

          It’s rumored now though that Pugh is going to be at the OL v. PSG women’s game on Sunday

          • mockmook

            Uh oh…

          • guest123

            The game is on Saturday, May 13th, 4pm local time.

            This is the tweet that prompted the rumor that Pugh was in France which came out after Gabarra & Waldrum mentioned that she was visiting Europe.

            https://twitter.com/RomBalland/status/861813794426814464

    • guest

      i would like to see the spirit inquire about trade offers for mallory pugh from all other interested teams like orlando and houston to determine a more accurate market value than just accepting portland’s take it or leave it offer. then washington can use those offers as leverage with the ussf during negotiations. ultimately, pugh will do what the ussf says to play in world cups with the uswnt.

      • DNG

        From recent reports it doesn’t seem like Washington are willing to deal at all. I’d guess it’s their play to convince her to play for them this year. All the other teams seemed to pull out presumably because the asking price was too high.

  • chive-on

    I’m sure Portland is thrilled that their star player has now been out the entire season with a “back sprain”. Sounds more serious to me.

  • gu

    What’s wrong with luring a player away? It’s all just part of free market capitalism, I would think. This is just another stupid rule from FIFA, the world’s most corrupt organization, and the idea that they can set forth ethical guidelines is a total joke.

    • mockmook

      I suppose top players would constantly be evaluating offers and have little time to actually concentrate on where they were currently playing.

      • Steglitz49

        Transfer windows are there for a reason.

    • Lorehead

      It’s a form of collusion between team owners to reduce the bargaining power of players.

  • AlexH

    These tampering rules make no sense. In one context a tweet is “tampering” yet I seem to recall that Bayern Munich managed to lock up Lewendowski before he played off his final year at Dortmund. Certainly communications much more substantive than a tweet must have occurred and yet no sanctions whatsoever?

    Personally I think there is nothing wrong with teams trying to lure away players, but if there are going to be rules against it then they should make sense.

    • Steglitz49

      The situation is complicated by the contract that Allie Long has with USSF, which seems to be her primary (only?) contract.

      Most players have their primary contracts with their clubs but US WoSo is a bit unusual in that NT players seem to have their primary contracts with the USSF, who then allocate the player to an NWSL club though clubs can trade allocated players.

      There was no whinging and whining when Pinoe decamped to Lyon and Tobin to PSG for the first half of that inaugural NWSL season.

      • mockmook

        I thought Pinoe and Tobin were already signed in France before the NWSL saw first light.

        • Steglitz49

          I can’t remember but I think it was a bit like ARod’s first pregnancy — revealed when the time was right, i.e. after allocation.

    • DNG

      The club presumably asked Dortmund for permission to speak with Lewa. That is generally how these things are taken care of

  • ggg uest

    Aulas and Paulson.
    One’s English is like a 10 year old.
    The others answer like a 9 year old.
    Funny figures in women’s soccer at least.

    • Oxmo

      And may we here your french or any other language you might be speaking ? Luckily for you we will never be able to confirm how old you sound like speaking it …

  • guest123

    From L’equipe / French sport magazine. To summarize, since the French Federation did not consider “tweeting” as an official courting and denied any tampering by Lyon. This response prompted US Soccer to file the tampering charges with FIFA.

    “Lyon replied to the American Federation for the tweet of J.-M. Aulas
    Published on Friday May 12, 2017 at 09:00| Updated12/05/2017 with 09:53

    Lyon defended itself by sending a letter to the American Federation, after the tweet sent to a player of Portland by Jean-Michel Aulas, threatened with complaint before the Fifa.

    According to our information, Lyon has responded to the letter sent by the American Federation (US Soccer) to the French Federation (FFF), following the approaches made by Jean-Michel Aulas on Twitter, with the American player Allie Long, With Portland. The Rhodanian club reportedly said it had not started negotiations with the American player for possible recruitment for next season at OL and that sending a tweet could not be Considered as such. In this case, the US Soccer would consider filing a complaint with the International Federation (FIFA) against the President of Lyon.”

    https://t.co/yu543bsWXB

    • Steglitz49

      Thank you.

      Today the FA women’s Cup final will be played at Wembley. It looks like being a record crowd. The weather is obliging by being sunny and warm. The Champions League final is on June 1st. Thus, Club WoSo is becoming a European scene, reinforced by Barca having a team in the NWSL.

      Not surprising that the USSF must fight with their beaks and talons to disrupt this domination and the escape of big North-American names to Europe.