Soccer public continues to support U.S. women.(Wednesday, December 29, 1999) -- Support for the United States women in their contract battle with the United States Soccer Federation -- with an occasional dissenter -- continues to pour into SoccerTimes' e-mail box. Here is a second sampling of those correspondences.
U.S. women deserve better
I think the actions of US Soccer regarding the women's national team are disgusting. This team has carried the torch for the U.S. during the last six years while the men's team was doing nothing but bickering over playing time and trying to fit national team participation in their MLS careers.
Now, with Olympic and World Cup victories behind them and having developed a huge following for themselves and therefore soccer in general, U.S. Soccer's response is an attempt to gratuitously show them the door. With the exception of Michelle Akers and Carla Overbeck, the team is well within its prime athletic years, half being under twenty-five. All of the "B" team had the opportunity to make the team last January and could not, so a massive rebuilding is obviously not called for.
The only conclusion I can reach is that chauvinism has prevailed in Chicago. The Federation apparently thinks women should be grateful for the opportunity to play at all and should do so for free, or they don't want the men to continue to be upstaged and are willing to give up the women's program to achieve that.
I think it will be extremely ironic if the success of the World Cup raises the level of women's soccer in other countries while the best team in the world is deliberately disbanded by its own association for the basest of reasons.
William Wallace [firstname.lastname@example.org]
USSF bureaucrats are shortsighted
To the USSF:
How incredibly bureaucratic and shortsighted!
Your executive committee must be close to senility and your PR and communications staff made up of wet-eared interns for you to bungle this issue so badly. This should have been settled quietly while it would have been a ripple in the pond. Of course it's not just a matter of money. It's a matter of momentum.
Now, if ANYTHING happens to make news regarding the substitute squad, YOU are going to have to explain just how these media darlings suddenly turned into spoiled, selfish brats. And before you tell us all that we "don't understand, don't know the whole story," I remind you that "reality" is 90 percent perception. It doesn't matter if you are right in principle, you are wrong in action.
In short; the USSF blows it again!
Jim Armstrong [email@example.com]
USSF doesn't get it
I can't believe the way the federation is treating the U.S. veterans. They have earned the right to be treated fairly.
I thought the USSF was supposed to promote soccer in the U.S. What more do they expect from the women. The players they send to Australia will represent themselves well, but this action by the USSF is dumb. Frankly it shows that the Federation just doesn't get it when it comes to promoting soccer in the .
It would be impossible to overstate my lack of respect for the USSF haggling over a new contract for the women's national team. To demonstrate such disrespect for these women is unconscionable. Please count me as thumbs up for the women, and embarrassed for the dunces at USSF.
Richard A. Brown [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Support for USSF
I highly doubt that there is unanimous opposition to the USSF against the women, but to make certain, I will let you know that I support the USSF.
The women aren't bringing the type of soccer fan that will watch 200 matches a year like I do. So they've excited a few people who will watch the Olympics and a Women's World Cup in the USA. The main focus should be making the U.S. a real soccer country. The WNBA did not precede the NBA.
Acting like creeps
The U.S. Soccer Federation . . . is acting like a bunch of boardroom creeps.
Marc Janssen [Marc.Janssen@holidayretirementcorp.com]
'B' team should boycott
Why doesn't someone tell the younger girls to boycott? I know it is now their chance to try to make the national team, but they will benefit in the long run if they boycott with the senior team.
The senior team should be fighting for all of the future women soccer players. I hope they are lucky enough to buck the politics and actually make it because they are good players, not who they know.
No support for women
Here is an e-mail NOT in support of the U.S. women's team. Let me get this straight: the USSF puts over $3 million in the 18 months leading up to WWC '99 preparing and training the team in a first-class manner (by the way that is about $3 million more than any other Federation in the world spent on their women's team) and it resulted in a wonderful moment for U.S. Soccer. To repay the investment that USSF put into these players and this team, the women decide to go on a "victory tour" outside of USSF, where the players make a lucrative amount of cash and the Federation gets nothing.
Now that the tour is over, the players go on strike and complain that they aren't getting their fair value and can't understand why the Federation hasn't come to them earlier. What don't I understand? U.S. Soccer should tell them that they are free to go on their own from here forward and make as much money as possible. These ladies may find that the luster fades quicker than a Vanilla Ice single.
They were only able to be in this position because the USSF made a financial commitment to the program. The players aren't bigger than the game. I say bring on the next group.
Sexist attitude prevails
All concerned soccer fans should be in an uproar with the old men of USSF over their sexist attitude toward the 1999 World Cup winners. Call, e-mail, write to these sexist males and demand their immediate resignations.
If soccer is to succeed in this country innovative, creative leaders must provide the needed leadership. A doctor (USSF president Bob Contiguglia) and his sexist male compatriots are not the ones to do it. This organization has failed in so many ways in providing clear, unprejudiced leadership that they must be sent on their way.
An outside source should look into how this organization is run, who benefits etc. If USSF is not willing to do this, then a congressional committee must. Just like they have been looking at the International Olympic Committee. We might be surprised what is turned up.
USSF males RESIGN immediately. Let the Woman show you what leadership is!!!
Robert James Bachman [email@example.com]
U.S. women are ungrateful
Soccer is a business and the women's team needs to understand that. The United States Soccer Federation wanted to give them a better deal and the women turned their backs on the people at the USSF that have supported them since 1991.
Girls it is great that you all have lots of fans, but how many of them are really fans. You shouldn't turn your back on the USSF. Remember they where the ones that met you at the airport after you go back from China in 1991. The USSF cannot give you a better deal until they get more information about the next Women's World Cup. What would happen if the USSF gave the women a huge increase, and then they find out in a couple of years they can't afford it?
Another thing I would like to talk about is people complaining about the bonuses of the women's and the men's world cup teams. The women got about a $50,000 bonus, and if the men had won they would have gotten $250,000 bonus. But there is a difference the USSF had every intention of paying the women, and they knew that there was no chance that our men would win the World Cup.
This summer I thought that the women's team was great and something for use to be proud of. They faced hardship, were respectable and won. Now they turn there back on their real supports because they want more money. Their argument holds little water with me. You get paid to play the beautiful game stop complaining. In the past few years you have come so far, and now you are taking a step backwards.
Austin Green [firstname.lastname@example.org]