Twitter/@bemesporte

Former Brazilian women’s team players protesting federation

1 Comment

A group of former Brazilian women’s national team players have signed an open letter criticizing their federation following the dismissal of coach Emily Lima.

[ MORE: USMNT thrashes Panama in crucial WCQ match ]

The group includes Formiga, who currently plays professionally for Paris Saint-Germain in France but retired from the national team last year after a record-breaking career that included every Olympic women’s tournament.

“We, the players, have invested years of our own lives and all of our energy to build this team and this sport to its strength today,” Friday’s letter said. “Yet we, and almost all other Brazilian women, are excluded from the leadership and decision-making for our own team and our own sport.”

Lima, the first woman ever to coach Brazil’s national team, was fired late last month after less than a year on the job. The team went 7-5-1 during her short tenure.

Following her dismissal, several veteran players, including Cristiane and Fran, stepped down from the team. They were among those who signed the open letter, along with Formiga.

“Over many years we have lived and watched in despair as Brazil’s women were neglected by CBF (the Brazilian soccer confederation). The events of the last week – where players’ voices were ignored, and some are now retiring in protest – is the result of a long history of lockout,” it read. “While some validly choose to remain inside the team and seek change from within, the fact that players have to make such a choice raises bigger issues. It has made us determined to speak out and demand change.”

The players called on CBF to include women in leadership and decision-making positions, and to help provide a path for players to pursue coaching jobs.

Cristiane spread the letter to social media with the hashtag (hash)hearhervoice.

“Today I’m posting a very important document, which I’ve signed together with many legends of the Brazil team. Please join many other former national team players from around the world by supporting & sharing our request for gender equality in Brazil football,” she said on Instagram.

The CBF did not respond to an email seeking comment.

Oswaldo Alvarez, known as Vadao, was hired to replace Lima. Vadao was the coach of the team before Lima replaced him, but he was dismissed after the Brazilians failed to reach the podium at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Marta, perhaps the best known current Brazilian player, said a week ago that she did not plan to step down.

[ MORE: El Tri honors first responders from devastating earthquake ]

“I will not stop playing for Brazil. Whenever they want me I will be willing to go,” the 31-year-old five-time FIFA World Player of the Year said about a week ago. “I am very sad, these athletes still have a lot to give. I hope the girls take it back so we can fight like we did all our lives, asking for improvements, pay rises and whatever is needed.”

Marta plays professionally in the United State for the Orlando Pride, which is set to play Saturday in the National Women’s Soccer League semifinals against the Portland Thorns.

Blanc: I turned down USMNT talks

Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Leave a comment

U.S. Soccer has not been inactive when it comes to the USMNT coaching search, despite its uncertainty with an impending presidential election.

Le Parisien has an interview with Laurent Blanc in which the ex-Bordeaux, France, and Paris Saint-Germain boss says he was approached by the United States Soccer Federation, but was not interested in the gig.

[ MORE: Making sense of the PL table ]

Blanc said an international job would have to touch his roots, and he’s most certainly not American. The tall 52-year-old had a glittering playing career with Saint-Etienne, Barcelona, Marseille, Inter Milan, and Manchester United amongst other stops.

More important, it shows that Sunil Gulati and his men have to some degree moved forward with keeping their imprint on the national team.

That’s a little worrying on any team: A hierarchy that may not be around much longer may be working to fill a position arguably more important than its own. It’d be nice to have them commit to not hiring anyone until after February’s election.

Premier League Preview: Everton vs. Swansea City

Peter Byrne/PA via AP
Leave a comment
  • Everton leads all-time 15W-9D-3L
  • BUT Swans unbeaten in 7 vs. Toffees
  • Toffees go ninth with win
  • Swans four back of safety

Everton hopes its up-turn in form can end three seasons of futility against visiting Swansea City when the two sides meet at Goodison Park on Monday (Watch live at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

Gylfi Sigurdsson gets a chance to face his former club for the first time, while longtime Swans man Ashley Williams may also feature for Sam Allardyce.

Swansea has no time to focus on the past, as Paul Clement‘s men sit deep in the drop zone. The last place Swans are four points shy of safety.

What they’re saying

Everton’s Ashley Williams on facing his former club (again)“The game is a little bit more important to me, I would be lying I said it wasn’t. You always want to play against your old teams and it’s a fixture you always look for.  I have been looking forward to this one and it will be nice to see old faces and old friends. It is a game we want to win and to keep a clean sheet in, especially at home, in order to keep our momentum going.”

Swansea City’s Roque Mesa on the match“This is a massive game for us. We need to pick up points because we are bottom and we need to improve our position. Everton have a new manager and their players have done very well under him – you can see their confidence has grown since he joined. But we did well against West Brom and picked up three points, which was very important. Then we faced Manchester City and they proved too good for us. They are the best team in the league, and unfortunately, we couldn’t match them on the night.”

Prediction

Swans need to move past that Man City loss and build on a 1-0 win over West Brom a few days previous. That may not be possible at Goodison, and the Welsh side would be thrilled to escape with a draw. It seems unlikely. Everton 2-1.

Report: Man City, Guardiola to discuss new contract this summer

Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Manchester City does not want to let Pep Guardiola start the third year with the club without signing on for longer term.

Guardiola enters the third and final year of his deal in August, and the BBC reports that Man City plans to negotiate a new deal with the Catalan wizard this summer.

[ MORE: Making sense of the PL table ]

This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise given City’s outstanding sophomore season under Guardiola.

Unbeaten City has an 11-point lead on the Premier League table after 18 weeks, with one draw and a PL record 16-straight wins. They have 56 goals scored, conceding just 12.

They’ve won five of six UEFA Champions League matches, only losing a match their opposition needed and they did not, 2-1 to Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine. City faces Basel next, and visits Leicester City in the League Cup quarterfinals Wednesday.

Lanzini charged by FA for fooling ref with dive

Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Manuel Lanzini dove to earn a penalty in West Ham’s 3-0 win over Stoke City on Saturday at the bet365 Stadium, and he may pay for it.

Lanzini, who also posted an assist in an influential performance, drew the penalty converted by Mark Noble when he hit the deck under minimal contact from Erik Pieters.

[ MORE: Making sense of the PL table ]

He could miss two matches for “successful deception of a match official,” the same penalty given to Everton’s Oumar Niasse for a similar offense.

West Ham pulled out of the drop zone with the win, but has three bottom-half battles coming up over the festive fixtures: Saturday versus Newcastle, Dec. 26 at Bournemouth, and Jan. 2 versus West Brom.