Soccer Monday with Annie M. Peterson, March 18, 2019

Referencing Miley Cyrus, looking at the huge weekend in global women's soccer news; must-click (and I mean it) links, and a lightning round with Jill Ellis

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Personal note in my own journey: Yesterday I ran an 8K at the Shamrock Run here in Portland. That’s just about five miles, but it may have been 500 for all the stuff I’ve gone through personally and physically for the past two years. And, if y’all didn’t know, I’m 54 years old. So while I’m not going to challenge Allyson Felix — YET — it’s progress. Think Miley Cyrus and The Climb. (Or not, but my daughter was really into Hanna Montana when she was younger and so it’s kind of stuck with me.)

As for women’s soccer: Holy cow, what a weekend.

On Friday, FIFA approved VAR for the World Cup. Then made the vote for the 2023 World Cup public. This was an issue because in the pastm it had been secret. Remember Canada’s bid and artificial turf? So yes, it’s important.

Also on Friday, U.S. Soccer President Carlos Cordeiro responded to the USWNT’s lawsuit alleging gender discrimination. Personally, I question whether it was all that much of a surprise. But he says he’s listening. And that’s good. Guessing the groundwork for a settlement is already in the works.

Also this past week, Colombia’s pro league will survive, thanks in part to the social media campaign from Melissa Ortiz (who we spoke to last month) and Isabella Echeverri.

And thanks in part to Maca Sanchez, Argentina’s league is getting pro status. Pro players will receive a monthly minimum salary of $365, which is equivalent to that earned by male players in the fourth division of Argentine soccer.

Sergio Marchi, leader of the soccer players’ union, held up a copy of a contract and said, “With this, we are generating a legal framework and a way to be able to advance professionally. This is the base, it is the beginning. It is in each of us to develop it.”

Yep, it’s a start.

It’s a good reminder that while the U.S. women’s soccer team is fighting for equitable pay, elsewhere across the globe women are increasingly making gains that are significant, albeit incremental, in the fight for equality.

Change doesn’t occur overnight, and in Latin America in particular there are so many economic and cultural challenges that players face.

So I guess I’ll go back to Miley again, because I’m a total geek. It’s all about the climb.

On to the links!


This Week in Women’s Soccer

Reminder: First, the underlined words are the links. Second. CLICK these, even if you’ve already read them. Clicks = Attention from editors, producers and webmasters. Attention = More Coverage of women’s sports! Third, if you want to push out stuff you’ve written or read, email me! apeterson@ap.org

AP’s Rob Harris on FIFA making the Women’s World Cup bid vote public.

Harris again on the the official vote to use VAR for the Women’s World Cup.

My story on U.S. Soccer’s response to the players’ lawsuit.

Argentina grants pro status to its women’s league. Progress.

Colombia’s women fight for fair treatment: Here’s an AP story before their success. And the follow-up with officials keeping the women’s pro league there.

AP on Argentina’s pro league.

Ann Killion, one of the trailblazers for women in sports media who also wrote the Hope Solo book, on the US Soccer pay disparity.

The Boulder newspaper weighs in with a column.

Meanwhile, I’m so, so tired of this ill-informed opinion. By a former political lobbyist. So a little louder for those in the back: IT’S NOT ABOUT REVENUE!

If you want yet another perspective, here’s an actual lawyer in the the Las Vegas Review Journal. I don’t agree with this, and it’s far more complicated that he presents it here, but food for thought.

Research is your friend, people, if you’re going to write about women’s soccer. Better yet, talk to folks who know something about women’s soccer.

Caitlin Murray for Yahoo Sports on why US Soccer’s response to the lawsuit signals change. Caitlin also broke out some of the most glaring allegations in the lawsuit.

Loved this story on Rachel Daly from The Equalizer’s Dan Lauletta.

Ali and and Ashlyn are engaged! Jordan Culver spoke to them for Pro Soccer USA.

Alicia DelGallo (who I met at the SheBelieves!) weighs in on the USSF response here for Pro Soccer USA.

BTW, Pro Soccer USA is rapidly expanding and doing some great work. Give them your clicks!

Tweet of the Week

Five at The IX: Lightning Round with Jill Ellis

This is part II of the lightning round series. Since many USWNT fans spend a lot of time second guessing Jill Ellis, I wanted to do something considerably lighter with her when we had a wide-ranging sit-down interview a week ago. (Stay tuned, I’m lining up stories for release in the weeks before the World Cup).

Annie: What is your favorite food?

Jill Ellis: Favorite food? I say Curry. Curry.

Annie: What was the best movie you saw last year?

Jill Ellis: "You know I saw a really good movie, a documentary movie, called Meru. Phenomenal. It was a documentary about a climbing route. I really, really I loved that, it was real. I don't know if Wonder Woman was last year but I also loved that. What it represented, I loved the superhero piece and I think it was awesome to have a female director, very entertaining. I love movies.

Annie: What was your favorite book last year?

Jill Ellis: Gee, I don't know. I was reading Sir Alex Ferguson's book last year. I tend to read a lot of real life things.

Annie: Soccer or football? Which do you prefer?

Jill Ellis: Oh, I have to say soccer.

Annie: What is the best piece of advice you ever received?

Jill Ellis: My dad, he gave me a lot. Treat treat people well. This was in coaching, he said, “Treat people well, make decisions for the good of the whole and you sleep with a clear conscience.”

Annie: If you weren't the coach of the national team what would you be doing?

Jill Ellis: I'd be a soccer mom. (Laughs.) Right now? Coaching at some capacity, I can't say I'd be a college coach because I kind of did that and I was looking to do something different.

Annie: And if you weren't in soccer?

Jill Ellis: "I'd probably be an English professor. I was an English Lit major. I love writing. I love poetry. I don't have time to read that anymore but, I really I enjoy teaching. I enjoy engaging with the people.

Annie: All right. Final question. If you could pick one word to describe yourself what would it be and why.

Jill Ellis: That one is really hard. Persistence. I was at UCLA, and we went to eight Final Fours. So, you go to championships, and I think it’s persistence. I think it’s the mother of all virtues, because if you want to accomplish something, You've got to stay with it. So I think I'm persistent. I also think, and I don't know how to say this in one word, but every juncture in my life I have taken not that easy route. So I could have stayed in England, finished school. I could've stayed as an assistant coach. I could have stayed at UCLA and retired. But I like challenges. It's also adventure, a little bit. I don't think I've ever played it conservative, in terms of my professional career. I think a lot of that is because of my father, he was always supportive. He always said if you've got ability and you're a good person you'll always land on your feet and can afford to take risks.

Mondays: Soccer
By: Annie Peterson, @AnnieMPeterson AP Women's Soccer
Tuesdays: Tennis
By Lindsay Gibbs, @Linzsports ThinkProgress
Wednesdays: Basketball
By: Howard Megdal, @HowardMegdal High Post Hoops
Thursdays: Golf
By Carly Grenfell, @Carlygren PGA.com
Fridays: Hockey
By: Erica Ayala, @ELindsay08 NWHL Broadcaster