Last night, in the frozen tundra of East Hartford, Connecticut, in front of 21,792 loyal fans, the U.S. Women’s Soccer team dominated 2015 Women’s World Cup opponents, Seleccion Colombia, in a blistering 7-0 goal-fest. The friendly marked the first of a 2-game series with Colombia, the next being this Sunday at Talon Energy Stadium, the home of the Philadelphia Union. Precautionary measures took Alex Morgan and Morgan Brian out of the lineup, allowing for a slight adjustment to the starting lineup and the inclusion of Portland Thorns’ Allie Long for her first appearance for USWNT since August 2014 and giving Washington Spirit’s U-23 star Crystal Dunn a spot up top. In the ensuing action, Long tallied two goals and Dunn recorded 2 assists and her own goal. For the first 15 minutes though, things appeared to be going as well as they could for a shaky Colombian team, crippled by a lack in wages – they are paid a daily stipend for some expenses, but no salary, and have been in training together for the past four months for free. Let that sink in. Thus it was no surprise to see the world’s foremost team defeat their counterparts netting four goals within 12 minutes in the first half, and another 3 in the second. It could have been worse if Colombia’s Catalina Perez hadn’t made 5 saves during the course of the match. Diana Ospina and Leicy Santos provided Las Cafeteras’ two best efforts on goal but both were easily saved by Hope Solo. This year, the USWNT are 10-0-0 with a 39-1 goal differential. In spite of the record, in spite of the championships, in spite of the consistency with which they perform, the shadow of their legal battles over wage discrimination follows not far behind.
“I’m really good friends with Yorely Rincón. I wasn’t sure if they were going to come over here and play. It’s just really a shame to know they haven’t been paid in four months, especially coming off a great World Cup, and they get paid $70 a day and they’re not even getting that. It’s hard for me to understand, having them come off a great World Cup run and then to be told that all the money is going to the men. We want to help other countries out. I know Australia is fighting as well. All these teams just need the support of their federations and we have been very lucky over the years to have the support of our federation. But I think that in order for us to continue to grow, we have to keep fighting as well. So we’re trying to set the standard and get what we deserve and I hope that all these other countries get what they deserve as well.” – Carli Lloyd
Every time the USWNT win, it shines a light on them, casting a greater shadow on the future. Now, with the world watching, with women’s teams across the globe carefully following the legal play-by-play, with other soccer federations undergoing increasing scrutiny for their own discriminatory practices, although the salary that the U.S. Soccer Women’s team is fighting for is their own, the reality is that this battle is just the first fight of a much greater impending war.
– Yoreli Rincón
QUOTE OF THE MATCH
“I don’t think anything impacts them in terms of what they’re willing to bring to training or to the pitch. I don’t think that’s in the front of their minds. These women, it’s their profession, they’ve embraced it. They don’t think in terms of dollars as they’re competing or playing. I think certainly as a female, and in terms of the broader scope, any time you are advancing the female capacity to earn in evey walk of life, that it is a positive because there are inequalities in life. That’s something our women have chosen to pursue and I think for them it’s what they need to do. It’s allowing other players and other federations to see what they’re willing to do.” – Jill Ellis, on how wage discrimination issues affects the quality of the game.
HOW THE USWNT LINED UP
— U.S. Soccer WNT (@ussoccer_wnt) April 6, 2016
“We showed we can play a 4-3-3” – Captain Carli Lloyd. Although that’s what it was technically, once things got started, the fluidity of attack meant interchanging parts effortlessly while maintaining shape in defense blocking all Colombia’s efforts to launch a successful attack of their own.
After a few hiccups in the first minutes, balancing the midfield with the attack became smooth sailing once they settled down. Once Crystal Dunn and Carli Lloyd were able to find their synchronicity, “it was staying connected with each other… Mallory and Tobin didn’t leave me on an island,” Crystal Dunn explained in post-game.
USA: Dunn (Lloyd), 27th.
USA: Long (Horan), 32nd.
USA: Pugh (Lloyd), 33rd.
USA: Lloyd (Pugh), 39th.
USA: Heath (Dunn), 62nd.
USA: Long (Johnston), 65th.
USA: Press (Dunn), 74th.
KEY MOMENT OF THE MATCH
The moment Crystal Dunn finally broke through off an assist from Lloyd in the 27th minute, Colombia began revealing the pitfalls of lack of adequate support from their federation in infrastructure
— SOCCER.COM (@soccerdotcom) April 7, 2016
TWEET OF THE MATCH
— Erin (@ArdensMommy) April 7, 2016
This is what it’s all about.