U.S. world champions back together 'to share the love'

Less than four weeks after they won the Women's World Cup, the U.S. champions will be back in action on Saturday against Ireland at the Rose Bowl.

Or at least most of them.

Injured stars Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan have not played for their NWSL teams since the World Cup and won't be available.

All 23 U.S. players play in the NWSL, where four games are being played this weekend. Unlike the other games on the Victory Tour -- Portugal in Philadelphia (Aug. 29) and St. Paul (Sept. 3) and South Korea in Charlotte (Oct. 3) and Chicago (Oct. 6) -- Saturday's game is not during a FIFA window.

Coach Jill Ellis, who announced her intention to step down at the end of the tour, said the two goals for her players were to not get anyone hurt and give back to their fans.

“I said to the players last night," she said, "we want to keep you healthy, we want to share the love and the load and we want to share this summer with our fans. That’s what we’re going to try and do in terms of how we play. Feed off their energy, but also show up close and personal what this team is all about.”

Perfect against the Irish. The USA has won all 12 games against Ireland, allowing only one goal in those games. It is unbeaten and untied with more wins (14) against only two teams: Costa Rica and Finland.

The Irish are preparing for Euro 2021 qualifying, which starts in September against Montenegro. Their team includes 11 foreign-based players: six in England, two in Germany and one each in Portugal and the USA, where forward Heather Payne will play for reigning NCAA champion Florida State as a freshman in the fall.

Crowd count. As of Thursday, more than 32,000 tickets have been sold for Saturday's game.

The Rose Bowl was the site of the 1999 Women's World Cup final, where the USA beat China in a shootout before 90,185 fans.

The only two women's internationals played since then were Women's World Cup qualifiers against Mexico and Canada that drew 5,568 and 6,911 fans in 2002.

15 comments about "U.S. world champions back together 'to share the love'".
  1. beautiful game, August 3, 2019 at 12:14 p.m.

    Playing the Irish...not worth the price of admission...if playing minnows in a 'victory tour,'  it doesn't wet my appetite at all. It's more about the show and staying fit.

  2. Peter Bechtold replied, August 3, 2019 at 2:14 p.m.

    Not about staying fit. Their NWSL clubs have to play  without them.
    These matches are without sporting merit, just PR. I wonder why they feel so insecure still to have a victory tour. Imagine if the USMN Basketball Team went on a domestic victory tour after winning the Olympic Gold.

  3. Victor Mathseon replied, August 3, 2019 at 4:11 p.m.

    Really? What’s wrong with a game just being for show? Literally “the show” is exactly what spectator sports is all about. And it’s not insecurity. It’s capitalizing on the interest generated by the World Cup to sell tickets. Why wouldn’t the USWNT take the opportunity to sell $1 million worth of tickets to people willing to buy them to watch their heroes?

  4. Jack DiGiorgio, August 3, 2019 at 4:07 p.m.

    This shows the stupidity of the USSF...! There are 4 games today in the NWSL and the league schedules a friendly FOR NO REASON of the National Team. Stupidity will always run in the Federation and the League. Oh...., maybe I will watch it tonight; the two unpleasant bitches are not playing.     

  5. Ben Myers replied, August 3, 2019 at 5:37 p.m.

    Unpleasant?  Because they are outspoken about wage discrimination?

  6. Bob Ashpole replied, August 3, 2019 at 11:34 p.m.

    The "victory tour" is a cash cow for USSF.

  7. Ben Myers, August 3, 2019 at 5:23 p.m.

    The only reason for the USWNT victory tour is to pay the ladies more money.  But does this outweigh the possibility of career-ending injury?  The NWSL teams cannot be pleased to have fatigued players returning from the tour, and, once again, the possibility of injury rears its ugly head, because we are know that tired bodies are more prone to injury.  Even if they do not get injured, can they play at even 90% of their effectiveness.

  8. Peter Bechtold replied, August 3, 2019 at 7:27 p.m.

    @Ben M.: The "wage discrimination" is opposite of what the media and the lawsuit portrayed. Did you see the spreadsheet ?

  9. Bob Ashpole replied, August 3, 2019 at 11:32 p.m.

    Peter, the Equal Pay Act prohibits the payment of women at a lower rate than men doing the same job at the same "establishment". I have seen no media story that touches on that issue.

    The only minor exception is that one relevant rate was mentioned in SA articles, the per diem rate which until 2017 was lower for women. SA, however, mistakeningly reports that the per diem rate is no longer an issue since--going forward--the rate is not lower. The suit is for back pay. So the lower per diem rate prior to 2017 still matters. I have seen no other discussion of rates in the press, unfortuneately. The press seems to buy into USSF's publicity about revenues and total pay, which is not relevant to the Equal Pay Act part of the case. 

    I did listen to a podcast interview of Mike W. where he actually got into the really important part of the case--gender discrimination. I haven't see any other journalist discuss this part of the case. I suggest that the best way to view that part of the case is to compare it to University sports programs after Title IX was in effect. This is not a Title IX case, but it is similar. It will be interesting to see how the courts handle it if the litigation is not settled out of court. 

  10. John Soares, August 3, 2019 at 7:11 p.m.

    These are "friendlies" for fun... and yes for money.
    Just sit back and enjoy it....or
    Simply don't.

    ***Wouldn't it be great to see the men on a 
    "Victory Tour":)

  11. Craig Cummings, August 3, 2019 at 8:13 p.m.

    The tickets for tonights game are not cheap. My sister paid $140 a tcket for just ok seats.  thats$560 for 4  seats. then $25 to park.

  12. frank schoon, August 4, 2019 at 11:23 a.m.

    I didn't know they were even playing... after looking at the stats I would rather have  seen a few old "Roadrunner" cartoons.  I mean, seriously, they should have let the crowd in for free...
    If the girls can make some money out of this, fine....let them.

    But now lets get to some real seriouis business. I want the USSF  hire a coach, a de Boer type of high level that can introduce and improve the quality and level of the USWNT for although they won the WC ,I'm not impressed by the level and quality of their play; it's the same old ,same old, reliance the USWNT have been applying for over the past 20some odd years..

  13. Bob Ashpole replied, August 4, 2019 at 11:32 a.m.

    USSF is making the money.

  14. frank schoon replied, August 4, 2019 at 11:48 a.m.

    Bob , it is difficult to believe they are not making anything out of this...

  15. Bob Ashpole, August 4, 2019 at 1:52 p.m.

    There has not been any detail in the press. SA says that the women are salaried implying that they don't get anything extra for playing matches.

    That would explain why USSF cut back the victory tour to 5 games instead of the 10 in the last "victory tour". There is a law suit going on and every additional game would lower the women's dollars-earned-per-match-played rate in comparison to the men. Notice that I am a very skeptical person when it comes to corporate managers and the subject of money. Even when the corporation is "non-profit".

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