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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Orlando Shines, Cordeiro Writes a Letter, and Jill Ellis Steps Down

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This week Orlando City wins at hosting the MLS All-Star Game, Carlos Cordeiro shares some “facts,” and Jill Ellis will need to be replaced.

United States v Chile - International Friendly Photo by Shaun Clark/Getty Images

Here we are again, another week has passed and I’m writing this while waiting for the MLS All-Star Game to begin. Let’s see what caught my attention and got me riled up this week!

The Good

Orlando City hosted the MLS All-Star Game in Exploria Stadium last night. The club has had stuff going on all week. From Abe winning the eMLS tournament to kick things off Sunday, to Nani, Chris Mueller, and Sebas Méndez winning the MLS All-Star Skills Challenge on Tuesday, it’s been a banner week for the host club. There has been nothing but positive news surrounding the event, and that is good for Orlando City. Exploria Stadium is often cited as a great soccer-specific stadium in MLS, and this is exactly the type of press that keeps the venue in the eyes of MLS, NWSL, FIFA, and any other organization looking to host a match.

The Bad

Carlos Cordeiro put out a “fact sheet” addressing some of the equal pay concerns in the lawsuit between the USWNT players and the U.S. Soccer Federation. For those who are unaware, Cordeiro is the president of the U.S. Soccer Federation, co-chair of the United 2026 committee for the World Cup, a Concacaf Council member, and a member of the FIFA Stakeholders Committee. Cordeiro wrote that U.S. Soccer paid the women $34.1 million and the men $26.4 million from 2010 to 2018. Of course, this looks over the fact that at an individual player level the base salary and bonuses for the men are higher than for the women. This is not in dispute. Cordeiro is hoping to muddy the waters with this letter, and I hope it is given the consideration such “facts” deserve.

The Ugly

Jill Ellis is stepping down as head coach of the USWNT. I’m not saying this is ugly because I’ll necessarily miss her. Though to be fair she did coach the team to back-to-back World Cup victories, had the team at or near the top of the international rankings her whole tenure, and has decided to step down in a time and manner that I think is suitable. No, I’m focusing on the potential ugliness of replacing her. The next skipper will have the luxury of stepping into the job of coaching the best women’s national team in the world. At least in the beginning. Many of the U.S. stars are aging, and quite possibly won’t be around for the next World Cup. That means identifying the next batch of players is going to be a big part of the job if the U.S. plans to stay at the top of the mountain in international soccer. The other potential ugliness comes from the U.S. Soccer Federation — the people who brought you the very lengthy USMNT head coach search that was chock full of controversy given Gregg Berhalter’s brother works for the organization. While there may not have actually been any favoritism, there was certainly a whiff of it in the air. Let’s hope that U.S. Soccer can avoid that mess, but also get the right person in quickly.

That will do it for this week. Let me know if the comments what you think. Go City!