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The Week In Women’s Football: Brazilian great Marta joins Orlando Pride as US Soccer reaches CBA

This week, we review the new Collective Bargaining Agreement between the U.S. Women's National Team Players Association and U.S. Soccer, the American national team allocations to NWSL teams for 2017, Brazilian superstar joining Orlando Pride, and some news on recent international friendlies for the U.S., Canada and Trinidad and Tobago.

U.S. Soccer and the National Team Players Association Peacefully Agree to New Labor Agreement

This past week, the U.S. Soccer Federation and U.S. Women's National Team Player's Association have concluded a new collective bargaining agreement, which will run from 2017 through the end of 2021, guaranteeing no strikes ahead of or during the 2019 Women's World Cup in France and the 2020 Olympic Games in Japan. This provides considerable continuity and stability after 2016 started with the real threat of a pre-Olympic Games strike by the reigning World Cup champions. Changes in leadership with the Players Association—both on the legal and team leadership side—created a more positive atmosphere. Reports are that some players could double their current annual salaries to between $200,000 and $300,000 during World Cup or Olympic years. The players will also receive increases in travel and per diem payments as well as control over their group images for advertising and promotional purposes. The agreement continues to cover U.S. National Team Players while in NWSL. Another good thing is the number of guaranteed salaries per year was reduced from 24 to 22, allowing more flexibility for head coach Jill Ellis to bring in players that aren't on contract—either new young talent or veteran players like Allie Long of the Portland Thorns whose stellar play in NWSL for years—particularly in 2015—resulted in repeated call-ups in 2016 and a spot on the Rio Olympics team. 

U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said about the new Collective Bargaining Agreement: “This agreement helps to ensure the strength of the women's national team, provide stability and growth potential for the National Women's Soccer League, and over time strengthen the elite player development process at the grassroots level. We believe our continued partnership will ensure a bright future for our sport for years to come."

It has been a good month few weeks for women's national team as the women's hockey team threatened to boycott the World Championships in a quest for better salaries. They signed an agreement which should bring most players in the range of $70,000 to $100,000 a year, so they can train full time. They then went out and defeated Canada in the Final to win the World Championship.

NWSL Names U.S. National Team Allocated Players

With the fifth season of the National Women's Soccer League due to start over the Easter Weekend, the NWSL announced 22 U.S. National Team Allocated Players, whose salaries are funded by U.S. Soccer. These allocations did not result in any club changes, but one 2017 rookie, Rose Lavelle (Boston Breakers) is among four new allocations, along with Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars) and Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage).

Boston Breakers: Rose Lavelle*

Chicago Red Stars: Julie (Johnston) Ertz, Alyssa Naeher, Christen Press and Casey Short*

Houston Dash: Morgan Brian and Carli Lloyd

FC Kansas City:Sydney Leroux, Amy Rodriguez and Becky Sauerbrunn

North Carolina Courage: Samantha Mewis and Lynn Williams*

Orlando Pride: Ashlyn Harris, Ali Krieger and Alex Morgan

Portland Thorns FC: Tobin Heath, Lindsey Horan, Meghan Klingenberg, Allie Long* and Emily Sonnett

Seattle Reign FC:Megan Rapinoe

Sky Blue FC: Kelley O'Hara

Washington Spirit: None

Marta leaves Rosengard in Sweden for Orlando Pride

The NWSL's Orlando Pride announced this week that they had signed Brazilian international forward Marta. Marta has been a fixture on the international stage since winning the Golden ball at the 2004 FIFA U-19 World Cup in Thailand, but she is still 31 and a proven winner at the club level. She has won league titles in 10 of the last 12 years, including the Swedish Damallsvenskan title in 2014 and 2015 with Rosengard. She played all three years in Women's Professional Soccer from 2009 through 2011 and appeared in every final, winning two titles—with FC Gold Pride (San Francisco Bay Area) in 2010 and then with the Western New York Flash in 2011. In Rochester, she played with rookie Alex Morgan, who will be available on the front line with her in Orlando once her loan expires with Olympique Lyon at the end of the Champions League season. Marta leads all women in World Cup goals with 15. Her coach, former U.S. and Australian international head coach Tom Sermanni, said about his new forward: “She is probably the female equivalent of the likes of Ronaldo; she plays the game at the very highest level, understands the game, knows the game, has all the attributes of a professional player, physically [is] in good shape, a consummate professional and the ability to change games and score goals." Sermanni also said that Marta will: “Lift the standard of the team by helping others play and understand game better." Sermanni also felt that attracting a player of Marta's pedigree was “a fantastic statement for the league." He is absolutely right—Marta's signing has brought the limelight back on the league after a fantastic Final last fall in Houston. The league has done very well in surviving and growing for four seasons, but Marta's presence should bring other top international players into the league; reversing a trend that has seen national team stars Carli Lloyd (Manchester City), Alex Morgan (Olympique Lyon) and Crystal Dunn (Cheslea) go abroad, albeit the first two on loan.

U.S. Handily Defeats Russia in Two Friendlies in Texas

The U.S. Women's National Team bounced back nicely from their two consecutive defeats to England and then France in last month's SheBelieves Cup to defeat Russia in two friendlies in Texas. The Americans defeated Russia 4-0 on April 6 before 15,191 in Plano, Texas, with a pair of goals in each half from Allie Long (Portland Thorns) and Crystal Dunn (Chelsea). Rose Lavelle (Boston Breakers) had a strong game in the middle of the field, rather than on the wing as she played during the SheBelieves Cup last month. In the second game on April 9 in Houston, 11,347 saw Crystal Dunn again score a brace, leading the Americans to a 5-1 victory. Carli Lloyd (Manchester City/Houston Dash) opened the scoring with a penalty kick goal in the 20th minute while Lavelle scored her first goal, along with a Russian own goal. Nadeshda Karpova scored Russia's only goal late in the first half, again from the penalty spot. Russia's side was entirely drawn from domestic clubs. Russia is now 0-1-9 in their 10 matches against the Americans, with the lone tie came in 2000. Russia has played in two World Cups—in 1999 and 2003. Their head coach is Elena Fomina, the first woman to coach the national side, and who played in the 2003 World Cup.

Jane Campbell played the last sixteen minutes in goal to earn her first senior cap for the U.S. 17 year old midfielder Jaelin Howell and 16 year old forward Sophia Smith of Real Colorado—which produced Mallory Pugh—were both on the roster but did not see action in either game. Next up for the Americans will be a trip to Scandinavia in June, for matches against Sweden (June 8) and Norway (June 11).

U.S. Roster:

18-Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), 1-Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars), 24-Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride).
7-Meghan Klingenberg (Portland Thorns FC), 11-Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride), 5-Kelley O'Hara (Sky Blue FC), 22-Megan Oyster (Boston Breakers), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), 7-Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars)
25-Jaelin Howell (Real Colorado), 16-Rose Lavelle (Boston Breakers), 10-Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash/Manchester City), 20-Allie Long (Portland Thorns), 3-Samantha Mewis (NC Courage), 15-Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign)

19-Crystal Dunn (Chelsea/ENG), 13-Alex Morgan (Lyon/FRA), 21-Kealia Ohai (Houston Dash), 23-Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), 2-Mallory Pugh (UCLA), 8-Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), 26-Sophia Smith (Real Colorado), 12-Lynn Williams (NC Courage).

Russia Roster:

1-Tatiana Shcerbak (Kubanochka), 12-Alena Belyaeva (Chertanovo), 21-Iuliia Grichenko (CSKA)

4-Tatiana Sheikina (Ryazan-VDV), 8-Daria Makarenko (Ryazan-VDV), 13-Anna Belomyttseva (Ryazan-VDV), 18-Elvira Ziiastinova (CSKA), 19-Ekaterina Morozova (Chertanovo), 22-Ksenia Kovalenko (CSKA)
9-Anna Cholovyaga (CSKA), 10-Elena Terekhova (CSKA), 11-Ekaterina Sochneva (CSKA), 16-Anastasiia Pozdeeva (Zvezda-2005), 17-Ekaterina Pantiukhina (Zvezda-2005), 20-Margarita Chernomyrdina (Chertanovo), 23-Elena Morozova (Kubanochka).
2-Nelli Korovkina (Chertanovo), 6-Nadeshda Karpova (Chertanovo), 15-Elena Danilova (Ryazan-VDV).

Canada defeats Sweden 1-0 before falling to Germany 2-1 on their European tour

Canada defeated Sweden on April 6th 1-0 in Trelleborg, in Southwestern Sweden, with Janine Beckie (Houston Dash) scoring the winner with an assist from Christine Sinclair (Portland Thorns) in the 34th minute. Canada lost to Spain by the same score in the Final of the Algarve Cup last month. Canadian Head coach John Herdman said: “It's a great result to beat Sweden, in Sweden. We knew it was going to be a tough game, but I think the team played very well. We came out strong in the first half, and the second half was all about game-management--when you are a goal up at halftime, our job is to ensure we come away with the points." On April 9, Canada fell to Germany 2-1 with goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan (Sky Blue FC) gifting the Germans an early lead in the 13th minute when she completely missed clearing a back pass and it rolled into her net. After Deanna Rose (Scarborough in Canada) tied up the match with an assist from Beckie, halftime goalkeeper replacement Stephanie Labbe (Washington Spirit) punched a ball straight to Linda Dallmann (SGS Essen), who scored the winner before 10,023 in Erfurt. Canada split a pair of games last summer with Germany in the Rio Olympics, winning a group match but falling in the semifinals to the eventual Olympic Champions.

Canada Soccer Women's National Team 2017 European Friendlies Roster

Stephanie Labbé, age 30, from Edmonton, AB/ Washington Spirit (NWSL)

Sabrina D'Angelo, age 23, from Welland, ON/ North Carolina Courage (NWSL)

Kailen Sheridan, age 21, from Whitby, ON/ Sky Blue FC (NWSL)


Lindsay Agnew, age 21, from Kingston, ON/ Washington Spirit (NWSL)

Allysha Chapman, age 28, from Courtice, ON/ Boston Breakers (NWSL)

Ashley Lawrence, age 21, from Caledon, ON/ Paris St-Germain FC

Marie Levasseur, age 19, from Stoneham, QC/ University of Memphis (NCAA)

Hannah Taylor, age 17, from Edmonds, WA/ Eastside FC

Kadeisha Buchanan, age 21, from Brampton, ON/ FCF Olympique Lyonnais

Shelina Zadorsky, age 24, from London, ON/ Washington Spirit (NWSL)


Jessie Fleming, age 19, from London, ON/ UCLA (NCAA)

Rebecca Quinn, age 21, from Toronto, ON/ Duke University (NCAA)

Sophie Schmidt, age 28, from Abbotsford, BC/ FFC Frankfurt (Bundesliga)

Desiree Scott, age 29, from Winnipeg, MB/ FC Kansas City (NWSL)

Gabrielle Carle, age 18, from Lévis, QC/ CS Lévis-Est & Québec Soccer REX

Sarah Stratigakis, age 18, from Woodbridge, ON/ Aurora United FC (League1 Ontario)


Jordyn Huitema, age 15, from Chilliwack, BC/ Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite BC Soccer REX
Nichelle Prince, age 22, from Ajax, ON/ Houston Dash (NWSL)

Deanne Rose, age 18, from Alliston, ON/ Scarborough GS United

Adriana Leon, age 24, from King City, ON/ Boston Breakers (NWSL)

Janine Beckie, age 22, from Highlands Ranch, CO/ Houston Dash (NWSL)
Christine Sinclair, age 33, from Burnaby, BC/ Portland Thorns FC (NWSL)

Trinidad falls to Venezuela in their second friendly 2-1

We discussed two weeks ago that Trinidad and Tobago is struggling to find their feet under new head coach Carolina Morace, a former international star forward for Italy and former head coach for Italy and Canada. After player turmoil and a less than galvanizing performance at home on March 26 against lowly rated Venezuela (60th in the latest FIFA rankings) in a scoreless draw, Morace received more bad news as T&T dropped the second match 3-1, again at home. Paola Villamizar and Milagros Mendoza staked the visitors to a first half lead, though Tasha St. Louis scored from the penalty spot to leave T&T down 2-1 at the half. Tahicelis Marcano restored Venezuela's two goal margin in the 69th minute. On the basis of this game, Venezuela is not to be overlooked by their South American foes with World Cup qualification coming next year, if they can muster the funds for more training camps and friendlies as the country suffers through a severe economic crisis. They played the ball on the ground intelligently and were not rushed at all. They also did not have their U-20 World Cup star Deyna Catellanos, who was at school at Florida State University. Curiously Morace seemed rather pleased with her team's play: “First of all, I think that today we played better than Sunday. I saw much better movement in the game… Unfortunately, we lost too many goals [because of] technical mistakes and this is where we have to work a lot."

The full-time salary commitment to many in the squad by the Federation will help, but Morace needs to show some signs that she is positively impacting the team, particularly since Caribbean World Cup qualifying begins this summer.

Friendly international
(Wednesday 29 March 2017)
Trinidad and Tobago: 1 (Tasha St Louis 31 pen)
Venezuela: 3 (Paolo Villamizar 23, Milagros Mendoza 28, Tahicelos Marcano 69)
Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva

Trinidad and Tobago (4-3-3): 1.Kimika Forbes (GK); 8.Patrice Superville, 3.Anastasia Prescott, 5.Arin King (15.Chevonne John 74), 11.Liana Hinds (20.Lauryn Hutchinson 61); 14.Karyn Forbes (6.Nia Walcott 74), 7.Dernelle Mascall, 12.Ranae Ward; 9.Mariah Shade, 10.Tasha St Louis (captain), 13.Shanelle Henry.

Unused substitutes: 21.Shalette Alexander (GK), 2.Ayanna Russell, 4.Crystal Mollineaux, 16.Ke'die Johnson, 17.Annalis Cummings, 18.Kelsey Henry, 19.Laurelle Theodore.

Coach: Carolina Morace

Venezuela (4-4-2): 12.Micheel Rengifo (GK); 2.Petra Cabrera (5. Nayle Quintero 46), 4.Barbara Serrano, 17.Yeiny Rosal (18.Hilaris Villasana 34), 6.Rafanny Mendoza; 7.Milagros Mendoza, 8.Tachicelis Marcano; 16.Maikerlin Astudillo, 19.Vimarest Diaz; 10.Paola Villamizar (captain), 11.Joemar Guarecuco.

Unused substitutes: 1.Oriana Palacios (GK), 20. Paola Camacho, 21.Diosely Mendoza.

Coach: Josefina Infante

Tim Grainey is a contributor to Tribalfootball. His latest book is Beyond Bend it Like Beckham on the global game of women's football. Get your copy today.

Follow Tim on Twitter: @TimGrainey

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