Megan Rapinoe

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Rapinoe: USWNT ‘doesn’t buy’ apology from U.S. Soccer

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USWNT star Megan Rapinoe has hit out at U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) and their president Carlos Cordeiro as they issued a hastily-arranged apology to the U.S. women’s national team.

She’s not buying it.

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Cordeiro issued an apology on Wednesday after a court filing disparaged female athletes and called the World Cup champions an inferior squad to the men’s national team. The filing also claimed that the women have it easier because fierce away crowds are tougher on the men. Multiple major sponsors, including Coca-Cola, issued statements condemning the language in the court filing and supporting the USWNT.

Rapinoe, 34, scored a superb free kick as the USWNT beat Japan 3-1 on Wednesday to win a third SheBelievesCup and speaking to the media after the game and following Cordeiro’s apology, Rapinoe wasn’t best pleased with the conduct of the USSF.

“We don’t buy it….That wasn’t for us. That was for fans, media, sponsors…” Rapinoe said. “Every negotiation we’ve had, those undertones are in there that we’re lesser. Every mediation session that we had, any time we meet with them and obviously the reason we filed this lawsuit. So for him to put that out saying sorry, presuming it’s for us, we don’t buy it. That wasn’t for us at all, that was for everybody else.”

The USWNT warmed up for Wednesday’s match with their uniform tops inside out, hiding the badge of the federation, and took its Starting XI photo as an entire squad.

Cordeiro’s apology came after details were released of a court filing as the USSF and USWNT are locked in an equal pay lawsuit, with the blame put at the foot of the USSF lawyers.

Lawyers for the USWNT want $66 million in damages and Cordeiro finished his statement by saying “we will continue to work to resolve this suit in the best interest of everyone involved.”

It is safe to say the language used by the USSF lawyers will not help at all when it comes to getting this situation resolved and the USWNT now have even more backing outside of the courtroom.

USWNT wins third SheBelieves Cup

SheBelieves Cup
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Megan Rapinoe and Christen Press scored early goals to help the USWNT to a 3-1 win over Japan, reclaiming the SheBelieves Cup in the process.

Lindsey Horan added a goal in the 83rd minute to salt away the win after a short dicey period.

Vlatko Andonovski improves to 10-0 as USWNT coach and leads the Yanks to their third SheBelieves Cup crown (2016, 2018).

[ MORE: Cordeiro apologizes to USWNT ]

Japan’s Mana Iwabuchi scored in the 57th minute, ending a shutout streak that ran 788 minutes since conceding twice to Sweden in Andonovski’s debut as head coach on Nov. 7.

The U.S. players took the field for warm-ups with their shirts inside-out, hiding the federation logo due to an ongoing and fierce dispute with president Carlos Cordeiro’s administration.

Rapinoe spun home a free kick in the seventh minute after a dangerous Japanese foul on Lindsey Horan left the star favoring her shoulder.

The goalkeeping was suspect, but we can thank it for giving us an even better highlight.

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It wasn’t 1-0 for long, thanks to a ruinous giveaway from Japan.

One pass, one chip, 2-0.

Press is on fire, scoring a wondergoal in the tournament opener before assisting the match-winning goal in the second contest.

Goalkeeper Adrianna Franch made a few saves as Japan found footing in the second half, including a fine double stop in the 51st minute.

Japan seized momentum after Iwabuchi’s goal, consistently driving down the right flank to try and find receivers in front of goal.

Franch made a big save late, and Narumi Miura plunked the post with a bid as the match entered its final 15 minutes.

But Horan turned a header inside the near post off a late corner kick to end the Japanese threat.

USWNT cruise past Canada, win Olympic qualifying finale (video)

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Lynn Williams, Lindsey Horan and Megan Rapinoe all contributed goals in the second half as the U.S. women’s national team rolled past Canada 3-0 to win the CONCACAF qualifying tournament finale on Sunday at Dignity Health Sports Park.

Both teams had already qualified to the 2020 Olympics heading into Sunday’s final via seminal wins on Friday – the USWNT 4-0 win over Mexico and Canada’s 1-0 victory over Costa Rica.

It’s the Stars and Stripes’ fifth CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying title after winning five-straight games, scoring 25 goals along the way and conceding none. All in all, the USWNT are unbeaten in their last 28 games – 25-0-3.

Alyssa Naeher recorded three saves in a game in which Canada won the possession battle but was outshot by their opponents.

In the 71st minute, Horan scored her sixth goal of the tournament, while with three minutes to go in regular time, Rapinoe upped her all-time goal count to 51 after finishing a fine through ball from Williams.

Winner of four goal medals (1996, 2004, 2008 and 2012), the USWNT will make their seventh appearance in the summer Olympics this year.

USWNT opens Olympic qualifying with win over Haiti

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The USWNT was rusty, that much was clear. Vlatko Andonovski still made sure they took care of business.

Four different goalscorers delivered a 4-0 victory over Haiti to begin CONCACAF Olympic qualification, putting the United States in front of Group A early. Lynn Williams picked up a goal and assist, proving useful on an otherwise sputtery evening for Vlatko Andonovski’s attack.

Just 78 seconds into the game, Williams charged down the right flank and crossed to Christen Press at the far post for the opening goal. Williams’ assist came without the use of her left shoe which she lost while holding off a defender for the bobbling ball.

Despite the early lead, the United States seemed somewhat sluggish as Haiti built themselves into the match. There were few chances on net after the opening goal through the half-hour mark.

Haiti nearly caught the U.S. napping on a corner as the ball found the back of the net on 20 minutes, but the goal was somehow ruled out. It appeared to be for offside, but since it’s impossible to be offside from a corner, there must have been another reason for the official ruling. Nonetheless, it was a clear sign for the USWNT that they needed to pick up the level of play.

The U.S. continued to struggle after halftime, creating very little in front of net. There was a half-chance for Lloyd near the penalty spot but a quality tackle by Kethna Louis put that to bed. Then finally they put the game to bed on a corner, not coincidentally coming just five minutes after Megan Rapinoe entered the fray. Rapinoe delivered a corner to the doorstep where Williams headed in well under pressure, moving her upper body away from goal against the motion of her lower body to reach the delivery.

Another Andonovski substitute paid dividends however as Lindsey Horan scored, again coming off a corner. They played it short and Horan headed from a significant distance out, the ball squirting past the goalkeeper Kerly Theus and Louis who tried to clear off the line. It was clear that Haiti had begun to tire and the USWNT was taking advantage. Up front, Carli Lloyd had a poor game, unable to get involved in attacking play, but she found the scoresheet in stoppage time, bagging a header off a Rapinoe cross in the 93rd minute to finish out the scoring.

Emily Sonnett replaced Kelley O’Hara with 10 minutes to go for Andonovski’s final change, and the USWNT saw the rest of the match out. They have two matches remaining before the knockout stage, set to take on Panama on Friday before the group stage finale against Costa Rica on February 3. The top two teams in the group reach the knockout phase with the semifinals to begin on February 7.

USWNT Best XI of the decade (2010s)

USWNT Best XI of the decade (2010s)
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Back-to-back World Cup winners don’t grow on trees, but how many of the 2015 and 2019 champs should comprise the USWNT’s Best XI of the 2010s?

Choosing a men’s Best XI was difficult enough. Claiming the women’s top team is darn near impossible.

That won’t stop us from trying, especially given there are more hours in the year than there are posts to write in earnest.

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The challenge in putting together an XI given this decade’s accolades is how many shiny attacking toys produced by this fine country.

Start rattling off the big names and you’ll see the struggle: Wambach, Morgan, Lloyd, Heath, Rapinoe, O’Reilly.

Shoot: Amy Rodriguez and Christen Press would be the best attackers of the decade if their nationality was any of about 125 other options (FIFA only ranks 141 women’s teams).

So we are going to cheat a little bit.

Our Best XI will play three at the back despite the fact that the Yanks rarely if ever operated that way. The reason is the Yanks have one no-doubter fullback who played left back in one World Cup win and right back in another.

[ MORE: Best USMNT, USWNT moments of the 2010s ]

Ali Krieger is a fit enough choice for right back, but can the newlywed star justify her place over one of the attacking heroes we’d like to swing into the fold? Meh.

Plus Julie Ertz at center mid gives us a bonus center back, and we’re willing to bet that either Becky Sauerbrunn or she would make for one heck of a full back in a pinch.

Lauren Holiday slides into the midfield alongside Ertz. The superstar retired near the peak of her powers to start a family with NBA husband Jrue Holiday, and we can hope that she wins the soccer or hoop debate if her children are sport-inclined.

That all brings us to the attackers.

Tobin Heath may be the flashiest and most fun attackers in the world, but she’s just missing out. It was either her or Abby Wambach, and the latter is the current (though not for long) leading scorer in the history of the game.

Solo

O’Hara — Rampone — Sauerbrunn

Ertz — Holiday

 Rapinoe — Lloyd — O’Reilly

Wambach — Morgan