The IX: Soccer Monday with Annie Peterson, June 3, 2019

Who is gonna win? The people have spoken! Plus a couple of quotes from the always interesting Megan Rapinoe

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This is the complimentary issue this week, but there is so much more to come from Annie Peterson live in France over the next six weeks, along with continued tennis from Lindsay Gibbs, basketball from Howard Megdal, golf from Carly Grenfell and hockey from Erica Ayala. Only way to make sure you don’t miss all the latest news, interviews and deep dives across women’s sports every week is to subscribe! Five different women’s sports in your inbox, five days a week, just five dollars a month!


Greetings from London!

Thank you all so much for submitting your choices for who will win the World Cup. We got a good turnout! It was great to get your opinions.

First, a shoutout to RJ Allen who wrote: “The real winner is the friends we make along the way, Anne.”

Truth.

But without further ado, your choice to win the World Cup is France. Les Bleues got 9 votes and 2 conditional votes. One of those was a voter who voted with emojis!

“I wish it was (Canada flag), I’d be thrilled if it was (Australia flag), I’d bet it will be (France flag). Apologies, couldn’t figure out how to get the actual flag emojis to work here on Substack. The other conditional was a voter who hopes it’s Australia but guesses it will be France.

The runner-up with 7 votes — and one conditional —was the USWNT.

England got three votes, tied with Australia. Germany got a pair of votes, including this from Alex Vejar, who wrote about it for the Salt Lake Tribune. Canada got one vote, which I was personally stoked about: not because I think they’ll win, but because y’all know how I’m Team Canada because of a certain adopted Portlander. ;)

My pick is France. They have a strong team with Amandine Henry and Eugenie Le Sommer. They beat the U.S. in January 3-1 in Le Havre, although Tobin Heath, Megan Rapinoe and Julie Ertz sat out of that game because of minor injuries.

The one head-scratcher for France is the absence of 20-year-old Marie-Antoinette Katoto, who was left off the roster. Katoto was the leading scorer in the French league this season while playing for Paris Saint-Germain. She scored in that January game against the U.S.

The oddsmakers have the USWNT as favorites, but not by much. There’s a chance the Americans will face the French in a quarterfinal match in Paris, so it might all be decided there.

The IX contributors went against the odds! Guessing that’s because you KNOW soccer. Thanks again for voting.

I’ll be at USWNT training at Tottenham for a couple of days. Then off to Paris for the  FIFA women’s conference and the tournament opener. FIFA is actually having a women’s conference with the FIFA Congress. This is not a big deal, but couldn’t they have a women’s conference that’s not connected to a another event? But on the other hand, perhaps scheduling it with the Congress means more people will pay attention.

Final note: To all our The IX readers headed off to France: safe travels. I hope you get to sit together at the games. Please be on the lookout for me! Say hi! Reach out!


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. Third, if you want to push out stuff you’ve written or read, email me! apeterson@ap.org.

I took a few days off before the trip to spend time with the fam, but I wrote about Jamaica.

Jonathan Tannenwald was a machine this week, churning out a week’s worth of stories. He profiled Jess McDonald, Ali Krieger, Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe and Becky Sauerbrunn. This is one busy dude. Sorry JT if I missed anything.

Leander Schaerlaeckens profiled one of my faves, Adrianna Franch, for Yahoo Sports. Also, Henry Bushnell has has a story about how the legacy of the 99ers has impact on this team.

Michelle Kaufman with the players to watch at the World Cup.

Here’s the Guardian’s Women’s World Cup Page. A wealth of information.

GO TO THE EQUALIZERS WORLD CUP PAGE. Ya’ll know why.

Kim McCauley did this really fun story, ranking the World Cup teams on entertainment value.

Graham Hays with a nice story on Carli Lloyd.

Marketing Week with an interesting story on how brands can capitalize on the World Cup.

I loved Meg Linehan’s story on HAO for The Athletic.

Interesting story here on the French women getting booted from their training camp because of, yep, you guessed it, the men’s team.

I know this doesn’t come close to all the stories this week, but guys, I’ve been awake for 20 of the last 24 hours and I just watched a cricket match because I’m loopy.


Five at The IX: Megan Rapinoe

So I was off doing other stuff, like teaching my lazy children how to mow the lawn while I’m gone, so here’s some interesting stuff from Megan Rapinoe from media day. Again, courtesy of my colleague Howard Megdal.

Question: Other women's professional leagues, you look at what hockey players are doing or the WNBA, what is your understanding of how those teams and those leagues look to the success of this soccer team when they're looking to improve their current state?

Megan: Honestly I feel like they're looking at everything. I feel like the whole movement is looking at the itself and each other for inspiration for everything. I think we're maybe one of the more high profile players in that movement, but, anything from the hockey players, to us to Times Up, all of it is sort of, um, part of the same thing. And even beyond that, you know, Black Lives Matter and the Native American groups, and all of it. So I feel like everything sort of plays off of each other, and it's obviously in a swell right now, which is, which is exciting. I think specifically in sports, you look at, sort of your peers and other players and people that are doing the same thing. But I think it just in general, it's part of a greater movement at the moment.

Question about those in power threatened by equity:

Megan: I think it's pretty, pretty clear why sort of people power where it is. I think, you know, equality for all requires people who have more of it right now to give up some, which I think obviously is a good thing for everyone. But some people don't want to give that up, so they're doing everything they can to keep all of it to themselves. I mean I don't think it's surprising. I think those people are probably going to do everything they can keep all the power that they have for as long as they possibly can, and maybe they feel like it is that moment where a kind of a tipping point where it's starting to, I wouldn't say slip away because it's not their power to have, but things are becoming more equal for everyone. And I guess people are uncomfortable with that because they're selfish.

Question: One of one of the things that came out of a discussion I had about the Argentinian players' is just that women might need football institutions but football from institutions may need women way more or is that something that you agree with? And so in what way?

Megan: Yeah, honestly I feel like it's a win- win for everyone. I feel like for a lot of the institutions that have been perpetrators of bad behavior, this is like a very easy PR move, and get back in the good graces with everyone and actually do the right thing all at the same time. It's sort of the exact same thing. I don't really understand why there's such a resistance against going all in on women. It's pretty clear women in sport have not been treated with the same care and financing and all of that, that men's sports have. I don't think anyone's really arguing about that anymore. And then so far as you're not arguing, as far as you believe that the potential is there on both sides, I don't understand why the action step is not there with it.

Question: Where do you feel this team is, what your role is for this particular World Cup?

Megan: I feel like the team is at the point now that we're excited to leave the country, it's time, after these next few days. (Laugh) We've been busier in these last few months that we've ever been, which obviously is a sign that things are good and the sport's growing and everything. But it'll be nice to get out. But in the same sense we're, you know, we're so excited for this World Cup. It's gonna be bigger and better than it's ever been. Seems like every year, women's football is just this turnover, things just become so much better. So we're excited. Obviously for the ones who have been there before, this is like the best time in your career and it only comes every four years and if you're lucky to get to do it a number of times, it's just incredible. And obviously for the new ones, it's going to be like the dopest month that they've ever had as an athlete. It's just so much fun. All eyes on you for the month. It's just incredible. To be honest, having a foreign country, too, is very cool. The last one felt like a domestic World Cup to us. I didn't, I didn't see a much red and white without blue splattered in there, so it didn't really feel Canadian to me at all, which is great. It was essentially a home World Cup, so it will be nice to kind of get out and have it have a more global feel. But I think everyone's locked and loaded and excited and ready to get to it.


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