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?
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