Last month, the USWNT picked up two wins in rather lackluster friendlies against Norway and Sweden. The performances themselves did not do much to ignite the passions, but after the trip, fans and media were buzzing about something else that occurred - or rather, did not occur - during the games. Where was Sydney Leroux?
Here it is: your complete guide to the 2017 summer soccer schedule.
For most sports, the offseason is a time of respite. Once the Super Bowl ends in February, NFL teams don’t suit up for another game, scrimmage or otherwise, for six months. Soccer, fortunately, doesn’t abide by such silly rules.
The European soccer season technically ends after the Champions League final around late May or early June, but preseason exhibitions pick up in early July. Then there are also international matches (friendlies and cups) to also fill the void.
The United States women's national team, ranked No. 2 in the world, failed to really take hold of the game against a strong Norwegian team, ranked No. 11, on Sunday in Sandjeford, Norway. USWNT coach Jill Ellis cotinued her experimentation with personnel and formations — the starting line-up featured just two players that got minutes at the 2015 World Cup.
It wasn't the greatest performance from the USWNT in Gothenburg, but it did the job. The United States was looking for some semblence of revenge after a heartbreaking Olympic exit at the hands of the Scandinavian side last summer in Rio. The misery of the penalty shootout defeat was compounded by some bitter words from notoriously outlandish goalkeeper Hope Solo. After the loss, the U.S. No. 1 called Sweden "a bunch of cowards."
U.S. Soccer teamed up with the You Can Play Project to celebrate LGBTQ Pride Month in early June's international friendlies. The You Can Play Project is centered on securing equality, respect and safety for all athletes, coaches and fans of any sexual orientation or gender identity.
On Thursday Olympique Lyonnais topped Paris Saint-Germain in the Women’s UEFA Champions League final. Lyon took home the trophy after eight rounds of penalty kicks, topping PSG 7-6. The win gave Lyon their second straight treble and saw them tie the record of most Champions League titles at four.
USWNT superstar striker Alex Morgan started up top for OL after putting in a wonderful debut season with the club. And, while she will gladly take the UEFA title in her first attempt, her night was marred by an injury in the 23rd minute.
With three World Cup titles and four Olympic gold medals, the U.S. Women’s National Team boasts an impressive history. Many players have contributed to the team’s accomplishments, but I’m attempting to narrow the focus to assemble an all-time roster. Soccer writers and historians voted on an all-time starting XI a few years ago, but this list will also include seven substitutes to simulate a roster during a major tournament.
In just her third cap with the USWNT, 21-year-old midfielder Rose Lavelle stole the show. She got things started in the 5th minute, with a chipped ball into the box that nearly found Mallory Pugh, another bright young star who had a strong game. Moments later Lavelle dribbled past several Russian defenders along the edge of the box, shooting from 20 yards out and forcing an impressive save from Russian goalkeeper Alena Belyaeva.
U.S. Soccer and the U.S. women’s national team have come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement after months of uncertainty and advocacy. The five-year deal will cover both the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the 2020 Olympics.
U.S. Soccer and the USWNT Players Association ratify collective bargaining agreement through 2021.