Australia women

Pugh stars as USWNT beat Australia in eight-goal thriller

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COMMERCE CITY, Colorado (AP) Mallory Pugh scored twice in her return to Colorado to cap a three-goal rally, and the U.S. women’s national team held on to beat Australia 5-3 in an exhibition on Thursday. Tobin Heath and Megan Rapinoe scored goals early in the second half and Alex Morgan also scored for the Americans.

The U.S. is 3-1-2 in the first six games of the Countdown to the Cup. The Americans have four games left leading up to the Women’s World Cup in France from June 7 to July 7.

The U.S. team will start defense of its World Cup title against Thailand on June 11 in Reims, France.

Lisa De Vanna, Sam Kerr and Caitlin Foord had goals for Australia.

The match at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park was a homecoming for Pugh and Lindsey Horan. Horan is from Golden, Colorado and Pugh is from Highlands Ranch.

Pugh received a loud ovation when she checked into the game in the second half, and she wasted no time in scoring. Emily Sonnett fed her a pass as Pugh was charging in from the right side and she beat Australian goalkeeper Lydia Williams in the 67th minute to make it 4-2.

Just before that, Rapinoe gave the U.S. the lead when she got the ball at the top of the box, worked around to the middle and sent a low shot to the left corner in the 60th minute.

Kerr’s header in the 80th minute cut the lead to one, but Pugh scored in injury time to close it out.

Morgan’s goal was the 100th of her career and came in her 159th match. She tied Tiffeny Milbrett for sixth all-time among U.S. players in career goals.

Morgan got the milestone marker when she fought off an Australian defender to gain control off a pass from Crystal Dunn. She then maneuvered around defender Alanna Kennedy and beat Williams with a well-placed shot to the right in the 14th minute.

The Australians got even when De Vanna got a pass from Foord and beat U.S. goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher with a shot to the far side in the 29th minute.

The Americans turned up the pressure and only a couple of good saves by Williams kept the score tied. She made a save on Rapinoe’s shot from close in and Ellie Carpenter cleared it off the line before it crossed in the 31st minute. Soon after she got a hand on Horan’s high shot and knocked it over the crossbar.

Australia took the lead early in the second half when Foord dribbled through the defense and beat Naeher with a low shot in the 47th minute.

The Americans tied it in the 53rd minute when Sonnett lofted a cross to Heath, and she headed it just past Williams to make it 2-2.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Australian women boycott practice, games vs. USWNT now in serious doubt

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If you were planning to watch the U.S. women’s national team play later this month against Australia, you may have to re-jig your plans.

The USWNT are due to play the Matildas in a two-game series on U.S. soil on Sept. 17 and 20, but an ongoing dispute between the Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) and Football Federation Australia (FFA) has seen the Australia women’s national team down tools.

[ MORE: How will the USMNT line up vs. Brazil? ]

PFA have decided to take action against the federation, which in turn forced the head coach of the national team, Alen Stajcic, to cancel practice on Tuesday and leave the two friendlies between the U.S. and Australia in Detroit, Michigan and Birmingham, Alabama, in serious doubt.

The AP states that the PFA is seeking “an increase in the salary cap at each of the 10 A-League clubs, an increase in payments for international matches, and increases in spending on wages, air travel, accommodation, and benefits for the Matildas, the national women’s team.”

[ MORE: Klinsmann concerned about young U.S. strikers ]

How do the players feel about this? Backed into a corner would be a good summary. Goalkeeper Lydia Williams, who played for Australia as they reached the quarterfinals of the World Cup for the third-straight time in Canada this summer, had the following to say about the decision to boycott training.

“This was an extremely difficult decision to make,” Williams said. “For the past two months the players have been unpaid and have made every attempt to reach an agreement that gives the women’s game a platform for growth.

“This is about the future of Australian football. We want to establish football as the sport of choice for Australian women, and we want to be one of the best nations in the world.”

Talks are ongoing between the PFA and the FFA but there is not much progress being made as the men’s national team was told to boycott a sponsorship event in Perth before a qualifier last week.

The FFA have said they’ve opened their books to show the PFA what would be a sensible offer in terms of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, but right now it seems like both parties are far apart from agreeing anything.

All of this leaves the USA vs. Australia in serious doubt of happening, which would be a huge shame as the USWNT’s victory tour continues following their World Cup success in 2015 which began with a 3-1 group stage win over the Matildas in Winnipeg.

Australia’s web site rips Yanks after loss to USWNT: “They just aren’t that good”

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Judging by Monday’s match write-up on the Australian team’s web site, “Staff writer” is not feeling the USWNT’s chances at the 2015 World Cup.

In a piece entitled “Australia v USA: 4 things we learnt“, the site criticizes the attacking mindset of head coach Jill Ellis, claiming that Hope Solo was the only thing that kept the States around long enough to win 3-1.

[ MORE WWC: France 1-0 England ]

Whether you think it’s correct, it is audacious stuff for a team web site. Take it from our friends at Equalizer Soccer, who posted the “hot takes” of the Aussies:

source:

It’s just one game, though much of it carries interesting if not indebatable criticism (Wambach shouldn’t have been as much of a focal point, if even a surefire starter, and the Matildas carried the first 25-30 minutes).

The critique is missing this point, though: if the States had brilliance from Rapinoe and Solo, 2/11 of its Starting XI, it’s hard to claim Australia was vastly superior.

And it could’ve been a different result. Solo was fantastic in a high-pressure situation, but there’s a big difference between, “Wow, that could’ve been a 3-2 win on a better day” and the Aussies being a “better, smarter footballing side.”

So how ’bout we relax, “staff writer”?

USWNT, Australia stars react to hiring of female coach by Ligue 2 club

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Ligue 2 men’s side Clermont Foot made waves this week with the hiring of Portuguese coach Helena Costa, who now has the highest-profile job of any woman in men’s football.

And while women have been coached by men for ages, the news has certainly made its way around the locker rooms of the women’s game.

PST caught up with US international Carli Lloyd and Australian international Sam Kerr, both of the NWSL’s Western New York Flash, for their takes on the hiring.

Lloyd, 31, has 50 goals in 171 appearances for the USWNT and hopes this is a signal that more leading female coaches will get a look.

It’s great to see a female being recognized and rewarded by the men’s game,” Lloyd said. “I’m sure she is a great coach and I hope she does well and this appointment leads to other female coaches being hired for men’s teams around the world.”

Kerr, 20, echoed the sentiments.

“I think this is a very cool story and this is another step in awareness for women’s football,” Kerr said. “It will be interesting to see how her experience as a women’s manager translates to the men’s game. I’m looking toward to seeing what she can do. “