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Breath, The U.S. WNT will be okay

By J.J. Pavlick


The USWNT suffered back-to-back losses for the first time since March 2017, for some reason, reporters and fans in the United States are acting like this is a sign of horrible things to come. They claim the program is in shambles and the players cannot turn things around before the World Cup in New Zealand/Australia. The Women’s World Cup is about 10 months away in the summer of 2023, there is plenty of time for players to return from injury, start to heal from the mental health issues caused by years of abuse in the U.S., for players forced to stay with their abusers in the NWSL, and those who escaped to the WSL to remove themselves from their abusers. It is like some in the media and fans at home forgot what the team was dealing with to start this trip. Alex Morgan the team’s striker is out on injury, Crystal Dunn is returning from parental leave and not at full pace yet, others with injuries, and some dealing with the trauma they suffered at the hands of the staff they were supposed to trust in their country. The Yates report took a toll on everyone, especially the players involved either as the victims of abuse or finding out what their teammates have been battling with for years. The report was released just before the game against England, the report was dark and emotionally damaging to anyone who read it and especially to those having to relive it. So, let’s pump the breaks on the ridiculous takes out there including the ones stating the manager for the team needs to go because he is punishing players for speaking up against NWSL managers, owners, front office, and more.

The team may not have won a match on this road trip to Europe, however, there were some bright spots. Sophia Smith played well as the team’s striker and is becoming even more dangerous, 17-year-old high school phenom Alyssa Thompson gained valuable minutes with the first team and in her limited play showed she can hang with the 1st team. The job demanded that Andonovski not only put his team in a position to play well but also protect the mental health of his team. In an impossible situation, he did admirably, and we got to see players who normally sit on the bench get the minutes they needed to prepare for a spot on the World Cup roster. Do we expect to win every match in the United States of course we do, we have been spoiled for so long in the women’s game. We forget that Europe used to dominate in both the men’s and women’s games. If the FA did not pull the plug on women playing in Europe, our history in soccer may not have been the same. The world is catching up in talent, they are finally reinvesting in the women’s game. The USWNT has two matches with Germany here in Florida and New Jersey. If you want to support these players, support them through the toughest time in their careers, and show up in full force. Pack both arenas and show you stand with them. Do the same for the NWSL playoffs which start up shortly. Yes, we are all mad as hell at the owners and staff who failed them. Yes, we want to make their wallets hurt like hell. However, let us remember the players, the victims of this gross injustice are going to be out there playing. Playing to help heal their wounds, help their teammates heal, and help make sure this never happens again. So, I leave you with this, Let’s fill every arena to the gills, let’s show up loud, instead of sitting in a comfortable chair or bed at home, come out and show these players you have their backs. Stand for the 90+ minutes of every match. Do it for the players, for a moment let’s show the world the real United States of America. Put your political beliefs behind you, stand shoulder to shoulder with your fellow citizens, and support the bravest women in the sport. Set an example for your children and show them why this country is still the greatest country in the world and why many die trying to reach our borders. #MentalHealthMatters #WeAreUnited #EnoughWithDivision

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