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Club vs. Country, WPS Version

I understand the delicate balance between national team call-ups and club commitments -- it's never easy and demands careful consideration and negotiation -- but I wonder a bit about the USA women's May 25 friendly against Canada in Toronto (7 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel).

The USA players will gather May 21 in Canada and not return to their clubs until the day after the match, which means 13 of 21 on the roster will miss WPS matches, including Washington star Abby Wambach for her return to RFK Stadium as part of a May 23 doubleheader with D.C. United. (Boston has a bye week and is not affected.) The Freedom's opponent, Sky Blue, will be without defender Christie Rampone and forward Heather O'Reilly.

Much more on the continuation of this thread.....

Washington's Canadian goalkeeper, Erin McLeod, is scheduled to train with Canada all week but return to the Freedom in time for the RFK match. (Her situation is unique because she just returned from a knee injury and has not been playing regularly.)

The Freedom will now also have available midfielder Homare Sawa, whose Japanese program created this mess by withdrawing from its North American tour yesterday and causing the USA and Canada teams to scramble.

The USSF should be fully commended for its support of women's soccer and the new league, for trying to avoid scheduling conflicts with WPS and for providing international experience to young players. The national team needs to spend time together periodically, even during a slow year, and the USA regulars are under contract with the USSF in addition to their deals with WPS. In addition, WPS teams knew the call-ups were coming long ago. But after Japan withdrew from the two USA games, was it really that important to reschedule and leave WPS teams shorthanded during a short season? There are no major events on the calendar and the USA and Canada are already set to play each other twice in July. Just a thought.....

What do you think?

By Steve Goff  |  May 13, 2009; 1:52 PM ET
Categories:  Freedom , Women  
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Comments

It's tempting to see this as another example of the self-cannibalization of American soccer. But, maybe USSF and the Canadian federation already signed contracts for the friendlies and are obligated to pay the facilities and vendors. Maybe they're thinking that they could recover some of the money with a US-Canada friendly. With "no major events on the calendar," this could be their only chance to do so.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 13, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

It's dumb. Smells like it's driven by USSF money decisions and not the well-being of the players, the WNT or WPS.

Posted by: OWNTF | May 13, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Just wondering, were the double header dates chosen after USSF scheduled those friendlies against Japan? Because from what I remember, the dates of the friendlies were announced before the dates of the double headers (but hey I could be wrong as I have a bad memory).

If they chose the May 23 double header knowing there was going to be a WNT friendly against Japan, I'm wondering how this was decided. Because I thought one main purpose of the double headers is for the women's league to gain new fans. It would be better if all of the best players of both Freedom and Sky Blue would be there right? Or maybe there were no other available dates?

The July 18 game is just bad luck though because I think the dates of the friendlies against Canada were announced after that.

Posted by: KG118 | May 13, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

It's dumb. Smells like it's driven by USSF money decisions and not the well-being of the players, the WNT or WPS.

Posted by: OWNTF | May 13, 2009 2:15 PM


There it is, done. Close thread/

Posted by: JkR- | May 13, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

It's dumb. Smells like it's driven by USSF money decisions and not the well-being of the players, the WNT or WPS.
I hate scrolling down and seeing that not only have my thoughts been said(OWNTF), but my secondary thought after the initial thought has also been said, JkR-. Do I get points for the blockquote and bold?

Posted by: sitruc | May 13, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Points granted. I'll e mail you some of my 'Post Points'....

Posted by: JkR- | May 13, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

How about this: Abby appeals her suspension so she can play this weekend, then drops the appeal and serves it for the game on the 23rd, leaving her free to play on the 25th. There's probably some rule that prevents that, but if not that's exactly what I would do.

The WPS/Freedom is definitely the loser otherwise, because this is their first game at RFK and chance to play in front of many more people than at the SoccerPlex. But it won't be as attractive if their best team isn't on the field.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | May 13, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

USSF scheduled the friendlies after the doubleheaders were scheduled. I don't remember when exactly the doubleheaders were set, but I remember looking at the Freedom's schedules to see how the friendlies affected them and thinking "Crap those dates fall on two of the three double headers"

Posted by: soccerfan80 | May 13, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Did someone say "Japan"?!

"Winters cityside
Crystal bits of snowflakes all around my head and in the wind
I had no illusions
That I'd ever find a glimpse of summer's heatwaves in your eyes
You did what you did to me, now it's history I see
Here's my comeback on the road again
Things will happen while they can
I will wait here for my cab tonight, it's easy when you're big in Japan

When you're big in Japan, tonight
Big in Japan, be tight
Big in Japan where the Eastern sea's so blue..."

Posted by: joedoc1 | May 13, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

No sex, no drugs, no wine, no women
No fun, no sin, no you, no wonder it's dark
Everyone around me is a total stranger
Everyone avoids me like a Psyched Lone Ranger
Everyone

That's why I'm turning Japanese I think I'm turning Japanese I really think so
Turning Japanese I think I'm turning Japanese I really think so
I'm turning Japanese I think I'm turning Japanese I really think so
Turning Japanese I think I'm turning Japanese I really think so

Posted by: OWNTF | May 13, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

I think, on the men's side, the big picture of the national team will always be more important. More visible players playing for their countries makes the league product (at least seem) better in the long run. So, in many cases, at least to me, the league serves the national team here.

But this situation strikes me as being odd. The WNT needs the WPS to survive, if not thrive. I'd think, in the first of two non-competitive years for them, they'd really focus on the league. Why that means taking your stars to Canada on a holiday weekend, I don't know.

Posted by: ZidVicious | May 13, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

I agree that it's dumb to schedule friendlies like this. It seems thee is no communication between WPS and USSF. WPS should consider denying call-ups of star players until USSF figures it out.

Posted by: sobugged1 | May 13, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Stupidity. Pure and simple.

Posted by: croftonpost | May 14, 2009 2:39 AM | Report abuse

ZZZZZZZZZZZ

Posted by: YNOT1970 | May 15, 2009 5:02 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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