USWNT on-court wins tempered by post-Roe world

USWNT on-court wins tempered by post-Roe world

SANDY, UTAH — The United States Women’s National Soccer Team took to the field Tuesday night in Sandy, Utah, into a paradoxical world.

Tuesday night’s friendly against Colombia marked only the second match in which USWNT players have received equal pay to their male counterparts after the two teams agreed to a historic CBA on last month.

And yet, four days after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade – and in a state where a near-total ban on abortion is about to go into effect – players have spent more time expressing their empathy with women across the country than celebrating a day of historic payoff with back-to-back shutouts against Colombia.

“I think these are tough times for everyone,” said Ashley Hatch, who made his 10th appearance for the USWNT in Tuesday night’s 2-0 win at Utah. “To have each other, I think that helps, and I think we get the most joy from walking on the pitch together. So anytime we can just go out on the pitch and have a stadium like that. there – it brings us joy.

Utah is one of 13 states with various “trigger laws,” which were designed to go into effect quickly after last week’s Supreme Court ruling. On Monday, a Utah judge blocked the near total ban on abortion from taking effect for 14 days, allowing time for the court to hear challenges to the state’s trigger law.

“Obviously a very difficult situation in the environment,” the USWNT head coach said Vlatko Andonovsky. “I know the players have had a chance to speak and as staff we have spoken about it, but one thing I know is that the moment we put on that shirt, the moment we put on the crest, that’s what it’s all about.. You know, we want to be good ambassadors for this country, good ambassadors for the game and role models for everyone who comes to see us.

Making its seventh all-time appearance at Utah, the USWNT improved its Beehive State record to 7-0-0 and extended its home unbeaten streak to 69. The team’s appearance in the west – which also included a 3-0 win over Las Cafeteras on Saturday in Denver – also inspired a team outing for nearly 20 US Ski & Snowboard athletes, led by a mogul skier Kai Owenswho rallied the women’s field trip to the game from nearby Park City.

“In terms of empowerment, watching the United States Women’s National Team has been really, really powerful for me to trust myself as an athlete and see what these women can do and how they can stand up for themselves.” , said the alpine runner. Alice Merrywether.

“I think it’s so inspiring to see how they stand up for women’s rights and the rights of the LGBTQ+ community because it’s so important that they use their platforms to help get that message across to everyone watching in the rest of our country, especially in these times”, jumps added skier Kaila Kuhn.

That all of this takes place less than a week after the 50th anniversary of Title IX has not escaped the head of the American sport of skiing and snowboarding. Anouk Pattywhich was especially fortunate for America’s winter athletes to be exposed to some of the world’s best summer athletes at their peak.

“It’s really inspiring for our athletes to come out and see the women warming up, how they prepare, their focus and their intensity, but in a different environment,” said Patty, who is a veteran of the team. American ski racer and an NCAA giant slalom champion. in Dartmouth. “It’s great for our athletes to see this and recognize that there are other women out there working just as hard and improving their game as well.”

Knowing that other national team athletes were in the crowd was particularly inspiring for the 26-year-old defender Carson Picketwho made her first selection for the USWNT on Tuesday and wrote a new line in the history books in the process, becoming the first player with a limb difference to play for the team.

“Women come together, no matter what, and no matter what sport you’re in…I think in the United States, if we can all stick together and be each other’s biggest fans, I think it’s amazing,” Pickett said. , regarding the visit of the national team skiers.

“There are things that are bigger than football,” she continued. “I think we have to stick together, we have to realize that sometimes football comes second, but sometimes it’s kind of an escape to help us. We have to keep focused and obviously with what’s going on going on, our hearts go out to whatever is going on.

Alongside his landmark appearance on Tuesday, Pickett notably reaped the rewards — and dollars — available under the new CBA that was ratified in May. Under the new agreementshe received an appearance fee of $8,000 plus a bonus of $5,000 for the win, making her first cap all the sweeter.

“It’s amazing,” Pickett said of the $13,000 salary. “And I have everyone who was in the ABC bargaining talks – alexander (Morgan), Kelley O’Hara, so many people – to thank for that. I think we can all say a big thank you to them. They work so hard and be able to be called up under the new collective agreement – ​​it’s just a dream come true.

The USWNT is back in action on Monday against Haiti in the Concacaf W Championship, which runs from July 4-18 and serves as a qualifier for the 2023 Women’s World Cup and the 2024 Paris Olympics.

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