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The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly: Equality, Call-Ups, and Lost Points

The USWNT fights for equal pay, the USMNT roster is suspect, and the Lions lose potential points on the road.

2019 SheBelieves Cup - United States v Brazil Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Welcome back, Mane Landers! Why yes you did see me this morning in Lion Links, but don’t get too used to it, as I’ll be back on Mondays soon enough. It really feels good to be back in the thick of all that is soccer, so let’s see what got under my skin this week.

The Good

Christian Pulisic and John Brooks were added to the 24-man roster for the upcoming USMNT friendlies against Ecuador and Chile on March 21 and 26. That’s good. Bobby Wood, Josh Sargent, and Tim Weah were not. You might think that’s bad, except that Weah and Sargent are being made available for the U-23 squad that might have an actual chance to qualify for the Olympics. That’s the type of total program thinking we need for U.S. Soccer. This is the last camp before Gregg Berhalter has to make selections for the Concacaf Gold Cup, and though I would have liked to see Pulisic work with Wood, Sargent, and Weah, I can understand the decision. On the other hand, Gyasi Zardes was called up, and haven’t we all seen enough of his heavy first touch? Oh well.

The Bad

The USWNT is suing the United States Soccer Federation for gender discrimination. This is only bad in that it shouldn’t even need to be an issue. One can debate if this is the right move for the players, but it’s hard to debate that the USWNT isn’t the most accomplished of all the national teams. Here’s a list:

Women’s World Cup
  • 1st Place in 1991, 1999, and 2015.
  • 2nd Place in 2011.
  • 3rd Place in 1995, 2003, and 2007.
  • Gold Medal Winners in 1996, 2004, 2008, and 2012.
  • Silver Medal Winners in 2000.
  • USOC Team of the Year in 1997, 1999, and 2015.
Concacaf Championship
  • First Place in 2000, 2002, 2006, and 2014.
FIFA World Player of the Year

Mia Hamm (2001 and 2002).
Carli Lloyd (2015 and 2016).

Sports Illustrated Athlete of the Year in 1999 (as a team)

Feel free to go look at the accomplishments of the USMNT, I’ll wait. Not as many, are there? There is ample justification for the USWNT to get equal pay as the USMNT, not that such justification should be necessary. Actually, given the records, one could argue they should be paid more than the men. There have been many times in the history of our country when a group has stood up and said “no more.” This is one of those times, and I hope they are as successful in this as they are on the pitch.

The Ugly

Ugly is giving up a goal in the 95th minute of stoppage when you are leading by a goal, up one man, and on the road. Fans, players, and James O’Connor have plenty to be upset about, and I’m certain that the players got a dressing down after that match. Hopefully they’ve been getting reminders all this week as well. Orlando City has had more than its share of both goals for and goals against in extra time. The Lions have even scored when down a man, but it sure hurts when the team gives one up like that. The Lions did get a point on the road, and hopefully dropping the other two won’t hurt too bad at the end of the season. Enough said, let’s move on and pretend it never happened.

There you have it. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Go City!