Happy Tuesday, everyone. I hope you’re all hanging in there and doing well. Personally, I finally caved and let my girlfriend give me a haircut yesterday and she did a wonderful job, so I’ve had a pretty good start to my week. As always, there’s a lot to talk about today, so let’s have at it.
Orlando Players Support Healthcare Workers
A pair of familiar faces have joined “The Real Heroes Project,” a campaign designed to recognize and honor healthcare workers who are on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19. Orlando City SC captain Nani and Orlando Pride forward Alex Morgan have each joined the initiative, representing Major League Soccer and the NWSL, respectively. Athletes across various sports and leagues are dedicating their jerseys to the names of healthcare workers at the forefront of the fight against the virus. Nani will be honoring Dr. Raymond Franklin and Morgan will represent Dr. Steve Cheung.
Fallout From USWNT Ruling
Last week a judge dismissed the majority of arguments in the USWNT players’ lawsuit against U.S. Soccer, leaving the women with only two claims in the suit. But, the players aren’t giving up, and Morgan and Megan Rapinoe have said they remain committed to their cause and will fight the judge’s decision. The players plan to appeal the decision and move forward from there, although the appeals process could take quite a long time under the best of circumstances. Court closings due to COVID-19 will likely draw out the process even more. Meanwhile, the USMNT released a statement backing its female counterparts, saying that they “understand the WNT players plan to appeal last week’s decision and we support them.”
Virus’ Impact on HS Soccer
The virus has impacted sports at every level. Hell, I haven’t seen any of my athletes in over a month, and my school’s last athletic event was all the way back on March 12. High school soccer is no exception, and with many club seasons and tournaments postponed, lots of high level players are pivoting back to the high school game. A lot of boys soccer recruiting happens at club showcases and tournaments, but with the aforementioned cancellations, local programs like the one at DeLand High School have already seen an increased interest from players for next year. The girls high school game has been similarly impacted, and recruiting will likely look quite different once the pandemic has passed.
NWSL to Allow Individual Training
The National Women’s Soccer League has announced that it will allow for the resumption of voluntary individual training on May 6. As the first part of “Return to Phased Play Protocol,” clubs may allow the use of outdoor training fields. An essential employee must oversee the training while following social distancing protocols and any training activity has to follow all government, state, and local mandates in place. However, the league-wide moratorium on full team training is still in place through May, 15 and may be extended longer.
- Check out the NWSL teams as the Avengers (The Pride are Ant Man).
- SBNation has a bracket to crown the best Marvel movie.
- Check out Orlando City’s tribute for Star Wars Day.
- Exploria Stadium is featured on this week’s U.S. Soccer wallpaper.
Start the new week with a new U.S. Soccer-themed digital background, available now for free download— U.S. Soccer (@ussoccer) May 4, 2020
New sets will be released weekly as part of our #BendTheCurve campaign
- Miguel Gallardo spoke to Orlando City’s strength and conditioning coach about keeping the Lions fit.
- The Lyon women are still waiting to find out whether or not they have defended their league title despite the season already ending.
- Wolverhampton Wanderers players will be allowed to return to the club’s training ground on May 11.
- Real Vallodolid will refund season ticket holders for any games played behind closed doors.
Real Valladolid will refund season ticket holders for any league games played behind closed doors.— B/R Football (@brfootball) May 4, 2020
Ronaldo's club is the first in La Liga to announce this initiative pic.twitter.com/ufmGDv9I0i
That’ll be all for me today, y’all stay safe out there.