US Women lose to England, play Spain Tues 2:30 pm
The US ladies lost a heartbreaker to England on Friday 2-1 after some questionable calls which included a PK for England and a US goal called back by VAR. Coach V – took a young squad to Europe, with Alex Morgan and Becky Sauerbrunn among others missing due to injury. Sophia Smith was sensational along with Trinity Rodman and Megan Rapinoe up front. Alana Cook playing centerback for the injured Sauerbrunn – gave up the pretty bad 2nd goal. The US pushed down the stretch but couldn’t find the net in front of a sold out Wembley Stadium in England. The #2 team in the world played well at home over our #1 US squad. The US will travel to Pamplona to run with the Bulls vs #9 Spain on ESPN2 at 2:30 pm on Tuesday. Hey Refs – What do you think of this offsides call that cost the US a great goal? More Ref stuff below.
Indy 11 Last Home game Sat 7 pm
The Indy 11 wrap up the home season tonight at 7 pm at the Mike, An 8W-6L-2D overall record at home this season has put off mostly good vibes, and the impetus this weekend for the squad falls on leaving the Eleven faithful with a good impression of what could come at Carroll Stadium in 2023. Tickets start at $15 at indyeleven.com/tickets or watch MyINDY-TV 23, ESPN+. Be Sure to Vote for former CFC GK Coach and Indy 11 GK Jordan Farr Player of the Month in the USL. His San Antonio team is first seed in the USL West. More GK stuff below.
High School – #1 CHS Boys Sectionals Final 6 pm at Murray, #3 CHS in final vs North Central @ Westfield 2 pm
The Carmel High School boys host regionals tonight at The Carmel High School boys host the Sectional Finals tonight at 6 pm at Murray Stadium. Here’s the shootout from Thursday night’s 4-4 (5-4) win where long time Carmel FC forward Will Latham hit the game winner. The #3 CHS ladies knocked off Zionsville 3-1 and now play North Central in the Finals at 2 pm at Westfield. Best of wishes to former Carmel FC GK Bethany Ducat who injured her kneecap and will miss the playoffs – fortunately another CFC GKU former keeper Aubrey Empie is there.
Congrats to these Carmel FC Socctoberfest Champions from last weekend.
BIG GAMES ON TV
Sat, Oct 8
10 am USA Wolverhampton vs Chelsea (Pulisic)
10 am Peacock Fulham (Ream, Jedi) vs New Castle United
12 noon Paramount+ AC Milan vs Juventus (McKinney)
12:30 pm ESPN+ Bayern Munich @ Dortmund (Reyna)
12:30 NBC Brighton vs Tottenham
Sun, Oct 9
9 am USA Crystal Palace vs Leeds United (Aaronson, Adams)
11:30 am USA Arsenal vs Liverpool
12 noon Big 10 Net Rutgers vs Indiana
1:30 pm ESPN+ Stutgart vs Union Berlin (Pefok)
2:30 pm FS1 Orlando City vs Columbus Crew
5 pm ESPN2 Real Salt Lake vs Portland Timbers
Mon, Oct 10
3 pm USA Nottingham’s Forest vs Aston Villa
Tues, Oct 11 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
12:45 pm Para+ Maccabi vs Juventus (McKinney)
2:30 pm ESPN2 US Women vs Spain (Pamplona)
3 pm Para+ Chelsea (Pulisic) vs AC Milan
3 pm Para+ PSG vs Benifica
3 pm Para+ Celtic vs RB Leipzig
3 pm Para+ Dortmund (Reyna) vs Sevilla (Musah)
Wed, Oct 12
12:45 Para+ Club Brugge vs Atletico Madrid
3 pm Para+, TUDN Barca vs Intermilan
3 pm Para+ Tottenham vs Frankfurt
Thur, Oct 13
12:45 pm Para+ Bode vs Arsenal
3 pm Para+ Union Berlin (Pefuk) vs Malmo
3 pm Para+ West Ham vs Anderlecht
Sat, Oct 29
8 pm CBS NWSL Championship Game
What do you think of this offsides call that cost the US a great goal?
USWNT falls to England in friendly at packed Wembley Stadium
By The Athletic StaffOct 7, 2022
The U.S. women’s national soccer team fell 2-1 to England on Friday in a packed Wembley Stadium in London, snapping a 13-game winning streak by the U.S. The result of the friendly between two top-four teams in FIFA’s world rankings didn’t end in the Americans’ favor, but it provided a chance for younger players to test themselves against a formidable English side.
Forward Sophia Smith provided the only goal for the top-ranked U.S. in the 28th minute on a play set up by veteran Lindsey Horan, who muscled the ball away from England as they played out the back. Smith finished with a hard shot to the lower left corner past England’s goalkeeper Mary Earps.
Lauren Hemp opened the scoring in the 10th minute for the Lionesses, ranked fourth in FIFA standings heading into the match, who took the 2-1 lead with a penalty kick netted by Georgia Stanway in the 33rd minute.
The U.S. nearly leveled the score minutes later when Trinity Rodman sent a ball into the net off a pass by Smith, but it was overturned with Rodman called offside.The match also saw defender Crystal Dunn return to action for the national team after the birth of her son in May. The absence of star forward Alex Morgan, who was ruled out of the trip due to a knee injury, was notable, but 17-year-old forward Alyssa Thompson saw her first minutes on the senior squad.“I can literally be her mom and like not her team mom,” forward Megan Rapinoe said. “I asked her a couple times: are you just like, What the fuck is going on? You’re playing in this massive game. It’s such a young age.”The USWNT is set to play in a friendly against Spain on Oct. 11 in Pamplona.
USWNT’s loss to England was a major test, and an exercise in clinging to joy
Oct 8, 2022
Last summer, one of the main themes of the U.S. women’s national team’s performance at the Olympics centered around joy. Or rather, the apparent lack of it. Whether it was the strangeness of lockdowns and empty stadiums, or the lack of time to build chemistry, or the adjustment period with head coach Vlatko Andonovski at his first major tournament, or some other reason or a combination of all of them, the USWNT looked flat and uninspired for significant spells of their time in Tokyo. The door opened significantly to the creeping fear that the world was catching up ahead of the 2023 World Cup and an attempted three-peat.On Friday night, four days after the release of the full findings from U.S. Soccer’s independent investigation led by former deputy attorney general Sally Q. Yates, joy wasn’t just an important ingredient for the potential success of the team; it became a concept to cling to, to find a moment’s respite from an extraordinarily heavy week.“I’d be lying if I said we were doing well,” Crystal Dunn told assembled reporters on Wednesday before training. “We’re getting through it. I think a lot of us are trying to find joy in playing this game.”
Every player on the team was navigating it differently, she said — some were able to separate the work from the news, to focus on one training at a time. Dunn said she personally tried to navigate everything at once. “I find joy in playing the game, but I also know that there are things bigger than training and this game coming up, that really matter and they deserve our attention as well.”
Friday’s 2-1 loss to England was supposed to be one of the major tests of the calendar year for the USWNT, after the CONCACAF W Championship final against Canada, and followed by another away match against Spain, before a double test against Germany in November. The narrative was simple, and billed like a heavyweight title fight on the half-and-half scarves sold outside Wembley at the bootleg merch stands: the world champions vs. the European champions.
Emerging from the Jubilee line outside Wembley on Friday night, fans were greeted by banners honoring every single player on the Euros roster (and, of course, head coach Sarina Wiegman), changed over at some point between Thursday’s pregame press conference and Friday’s match. A sea of ecstatic England fans flowed and crested below, before orderly filing into Wembley where the final count would prove to be less than the expected full capacity, but impressive nonetheless: 76,893 strong and loud.
England defender Lucy Bronze promised a moment of solidarity with the USWNT ahead of the match. “Every single one of us is in solidarity with all of those players,” she said on Wednesday. “Particularly the ones who have spoken out and told their truths because I can imagine — well, I can’t even imagine — how hard it must be to have gone through it, and then to speak out.”
On Friday night, players from both teams wore teal armbands in solidarity with sexual violence survivors. The lights of Wembley stadium also became a wash of teal. The two teams gathered for a pre-match photo behind a banner reading “Protect the Players.”
Moments like these are not the true work, but there can still be power in a symbol if that solidarity continues and builds.
She mentioned the team’s next opponent, Spain, where 15 of the team’s most prominent players are embroiled in their own battle against their federation; Rapinoe said the USWNT was behind those players “100%.” While there are other, bigger reasons for the Spanish players to essentially boycott their own national team, consider this smaller detail: until 2019, they could not lock their own hotel room doors at night while traveling with the team. They had to wait for manager Jorge Vilda to check on them at night and meet his standards. Only then could they close their door and go to bed.
“Without the players, you don’t have anything,” Rapinoe said. “You don’t have a game, you don’t have a sport at all. If we’re not protected in the right ways, then nothing really else matters. For us to come together, and take a moment on a night like this, I think is really important and powerful.”
This week has largely been an exercise in still trying to comprehend the scale of the problem, the depth of the systemic abuse: sexual, emotional, verbal, racial, and homophobic. How those intersect with each other, how they extend with many tendrils to other parts of the game and other parts of the globe. There has been some progress on the accountability front in certain markets, even greater pressure from the public, media and sponsors, but we are just scratching the surface — even with a 171-page report. The true work still lies ahead.
“The scope of (the NWSL and NWSLPA) joint investigation includes every instance of inappropriate conduct towards players by individuals in positions of power at every existing NWSL club since 2013 and seeks to trace it back to its origins,” a statement from the players’ association (issued on Wednesday) reads. “While the findings of and recommendations in the Yates report are significant and disturbing, it is not the end of the story.”
There is still yet more light that needs to shine brightly into every corner of the sport. As much as the Yates report has been painful, the account is not yet complete. We may now have a much better sense of the scale, but we are still waiting to see the true extent. We have not yet seen the bottom of this hole.
On Friday night, though, the match provided a moment to hold all of this at once, to grapple with the highs of a massive crowd at Wembley with two top teams battling it out, existing right alongside the sobering context of the last week, the last year, the ten-year history of the NWSL. It was an opportunity to see everything that this game could be, but also to know the cost of reaching this moment, to feel a twinge of guilt for enjoying a world-class football match but to embrace that inner conflict, or even recharge thanks to the electric atmosphere.
England vs. USA was a time to hope that there is not just a way out of the darkness, but a way that reimagines a night like Friday as the norm, rather than the remarkable outlier.
England beat the USWNT as both teams send out a message that can’t be ignored
Charlotte Harpur Oct 8, 2022
Fireworks flew and lights flashed as the pre-match show to England against the USA foreshadowed the lightning talent on the pitch.It was a fitting celebratory atmosphere as the European champions looked to make a statement against the champions of the world in front of a 76,893-strong Wembley crowd. England did just that, defeating the icons of women’s football for the first time in five and a half years and the first time on home soil since 2011.Juxtaposed with that carnivalesque feel, however, was an important message. Before kick-off, every player, wearing teal blue armbands, stood behind a banner which read “PROTECT THE PLAYERS” while the Wembley arch also shone in the same colour.It was a show of solidarity from the two squads after the report published on Monday — commissioned by US Soccer and led by former deputy attorney general Sally Q. Yates — that found allegations of abusive behaviour and sexual misconduct in America’s National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL).
There is a tension between the joy of playing on the pitch and the “horrible situations”, in Sarina Wiegman’s words, that many players experience off it. Both exist side by side, a reflection of the state of the women’s game.“We celebrated lots of things but also when this happens, you can’t let it go,” said Wiegman after the match“The timing is now. We used this momentum to spread the word that this is unacceptable. We are all behind it and supportive, but then we can play a very intense game. You could see lots of respect.”
So what does this victory mean for England? A 2-1 friendly win over the USWNT — “a good measure” and a “test”, according to their manager Wiegman — extends England’s winning streak to 15 games, a run which includes victories over the world’s top three ranked sides, plus the Netherlands and Spain. They are undefeated in 23 games and have never lost under Wiegman. The World Cup is 10 months away and this was another step in the right direction.“We took this moment to take another starting point to see where we are and we will take it from there,” said Wiegman.Since her appointment in September last year, the England manager has cultivated an unshakeable self-belief. The focus is not on their opponents’ strengths but their own.“As English people, we are the first to point out opposition and say, ‘They’re unbelievable’,” said Georgia Stanway. “Whereas now, we look in the room and we think we’re unbelievable.“This is us — this is what we’re here to do, that is how we play, this is our crowd, this is our home.”Before kick-off, captain Millie Bright, in the absence of the injured Leah Williamson, said she told her team “to put the stamp on our game”. The US are quick, physical, and make darting runs in behind. England didn’t choose to sit back, though, and restrict the space behind the defence. They set out with a high press and went at their opponents; a team they, and the world, had once feared.England reaped the rewards with Lauren Hemp, filling in for Alessia Russo at No 9, poking home from close range in the 10th minute.England’s performance, in the first half in particular, was dominant. They reduced the US’s possession to 31 per cent, the lowest number recorded since 2016. Of course, it’s not all about possession but it’s what you do with it, but England looked strong offensively, despite Russo’s absence, registering an expected goals (xG) total of 1.89.The all-conquering US put England under pressure, however; a much-needed test to see if they could adapt.“There were moments that were challenging, especially when we’re trying to build up and play out from the back,” said Stanway, who, hassled by Lindsey Horan, conceded possession in front of goal. Sophia Smith found the equaliser with a razor-sharp finish.In previous times, England may have crumbled but this summer’s triumph has established an unwavering confidence. For Stanway to step up and convert a penalty five minutes after five minutes after she was dispossessed, leading to the US’s equaliser, is symbolic of this side’s resilience.“We had already overcome that (mental) barrier before this game,” said Bright. “The summer proved to ourselves the level that we can play. Winning a major trophy, you’re on an equal ground almost; two top teams coming together.”“We proved to ourselves that we can beat anyone,” added Wiegman. “We just have to do what we can control and stick together, communicate with each other at all times. We need to have the freedom to make our own choices. We are doing well in that.”
There are “extra gears”, in Stanway’s words, to be found and that counts for both sides. Of course, the caveat is the US squad is missing key players and come the new year, their team will look very different. Wiegman, as is her trademark, made few substitutions compared to her US counterpart, Vlatko Andonovski. Lauren James’ 91st-minute appearance is a nod to her progress so far.Just as this is not cause for panic for the US, Wiegman is not getting carried away. “It’s now October and not July yet,” she said. “You are the best team in the world when you have won the World Cup. We didn’t.”It was a display of two of the top teams on the biggest stage but Megan Rapinoe wrapped it up best.“Without the players, you don’t have anything. You don’t have a game, you don’t have a sport at all,” she said.“If we’re not protected in the right ways, then nothing else really matters. So for us to come together and take a moment on a night like this, it is really important and powerful.”
Leeds have a difficult balancing act to provide Gelhardt a pathway to the first team
By Phil HayOct 7, 2022
The first episode of Leeds United’s Academy Dreams documentary starts with a question-and-answer session for their under-21s. Sam Greenwood is the best finisher in the squad, or so says Nohan Kenneh. Charlie Cresswell is the player who cannot keep out of the gym. Sean McGurk is most in need of a haircut and Crysencio Summerville is promising (or threatening) to drag McGurk to his barber.Lewis Bate gets onto talking about Joe Gelhardt and cuts to the chase, saying Gelhardt has it in him to be an England international, to go to the top, to be whatever he wants to be. Gelhardt hears that said about him a lot and he is one of those footballers who will end his career with his reputation lying one of two ways: either promise fulfilled or promise which should have been. No one could look at him and pretend that the faculties were not there in the first place, ready to be mined.
So sold are Leeds on him that he was used as part of the justification for the club’s inclination to let the last transfer window close without signing a forward. To quote their chief executive, Leeds — prior to hastily summoning Wilfried Gnonto from FC Zurich at the last minute — were content with their choices up front because those choices included someone “widely regarded as the best young striking talent in the league” and it is hard to be any more effusive than that. Gelhardt, for a snip from Wigan, was the sort of signing which could hardly go wrong; the sort of signing which could, quite easily, earn a club a killing competitively or financially.
Gelhardt was signed from Wigan in 2020 and has already made an impression in the Premier League (Photo: Michael Regan/Getty Images)
They talk constantly about pathways at Leeds because pathways are essential bargaining chips in negotiations with any young footballer of any real value who is not simply chasing the dollar. Academy players with a brain and a clue want to know that the first team exists as an entity they have a reasonable chance of reaching. Clubs in the market want to be able to show that they do. Gnonto is a thinker, an intelligent cove, and it is almost inconceivable given his previous career choices that he did not ask that question or do some homework on what academy dreams at Leeds actually entail.He must have thought about Gelhardt because, to some extent, they are in direct competition: emerging, admired, looking to push themselves and working on establishing the exact type of forward they are. Gnonto likes to play a little deeper than a No 9 and moves into wider roles with Italy’s national side. Gelhardt can be highly effective off a striker too, but compared to Gnonto, looks more vibrant and more of a handful in central areas, congested or otherwise. Moving at speed, his touch and balance makes him difficult to contain but Gnonto has that air about him too, a player who wants the ball at his feet.In analysing strikers in the transfer market this summer, Leeds said more than once that they were mindful of avoiding any signing that, in style or ability, would cramp Gelhardt’s pathway. Despite everything, Gelhardt was able to turn last year into something of a break-out season, which made him a focal part of selection discussions.
It invited Leeds to push him further again. But on Sunday he was the spare part at Elland Road, the player omitted as Jesse Marsch picked his 20 for a goalless draw with Aston Villa. The fitness routine Gelhardt went through before the warm-up told the crowd he was available, simply because it was obvious from the running drills that he was fit. This is what players sometimes do when they are about to watch from the stands.Marsch and Leeds have options up front which, in the context of the year behind them, is a welcome and necessary novelty. What is yet to establish itself on his watch, though, is a clear or complete pecking order in which people know their place.There is a sense that if Marsch had all of his cards to play, Patrick Bamford would start up front but Bamford suffered another knock last week so the game of persistence continued with Rodrigo. Marsch doubted at first that Gnonto would be primed for the Premier League straight away but it turns out that he is, to some degree anyway, and a seat for him on the bench meant no seat for Gelhardt.
“It’s not based on performance because I think (Gelhardt) is playing well,” Marsch said. “We have a lot of other guys performing well right now. Please don’t take that as a negative on Joffy.” Which is fair enough and Gelhardt knocked in two goals for the under-21s two days later. But omitting Gelhardt on Sunday touched on something Marsch found himself discussing 48 hours earlier: how best to manage those players who are caught in the grey area where under-21s football is easy bread and butter but first-team football is not fully in their grasp? How to keep pathways open when the laws of choosing a squad dictate that a coach cannot maintain pathways for everyone? Who has to suck up the reality of hard numbers?Those numbers ebb and flow, dictated by some things Marsch cannot control. Luis Sinisterra’s impending one-match ban will open up a space in the squad for Sunday’s game at Crystal Palace. Gelhardt, in any case, is good enough to prove the theory of cream always rising to the top. But it is not a secret that he would have liked more minutes last season and that certain occasions when he wasn’t used, particularly as a substitute, confused him as much as others watching. Every appearance he makes in Academy Dreams says the same thing: that he wants to play, any time, anywhere.That the door is not open quite so wide is not inherently a bad thing for the club. It was incumbent on Leeds over the summer to move beyond the stage where players were in the squad by default or where naming a squad meant making up the numbers. Whereas last season Gelhardt had no guarantee of starting, now there is no guarantee of who will make the bench.It is on him to take up the challenge and on Marsch to keep the pathway clear.