Women’s football round up
Cady Siregar rounds up this month’s news in the WSL and beyond...
Chelsea Ladies are on prolific goalscoring form at the moment, with the team scoring 52 goals in their last 12 league games and assuring their spot at the top of the WSL. The Blues are yet to concede a goal in their four league games this season and scored six to remain above Manchester City, who earlier edged past Birmingham, on goal difference.
WSL Manchester City leaders sign forward Nadia Nadim from Portland Thorns, who is a hero both off the pitch and on. Born in Herat and raised in Afghanistan, her father – an Afghan National Army (ANA) general was executed by the Taliban in 2000. Her family then fled to Denmark, where she started playing football in refugee camps and began her career at Danish clubs B52 Aalborg and Team Viborg. Nadim represented the Danish team at the Euro 2017 where she was a finalist, and has 75 caps for her national side. She will move to Manchester City in the new year after transferring from Portland, where she has scored 13 goals in 29 games.
The England U19 manager Mo Marley has very deservedly been promoted to manage the Lionesses following the sacking of the disgraced Mark Sampson. Marley should have been the obvious choice from the very beginning and remains a popular figure with the players, having worked with the current side at youth level and was also Hope Powell’s assistant during her tenure at the top of the women’s game.
The US National Women’s Team Players Association have donated $16,000 to the NSWL Players Association to help kick-start it. The NWSL Players Association represents more than 160 players who are not paid by the U.S. and Canadian soccer federations. Those federations pay the salaries of 33 national team players who are allocated across the five-year-old women's professional league.
In other news relating to how the US Women’s team is far more competent than their male counterpart in all aspects of the game, three female American soccer players have pledged to donate 1% of their salary to Juan Mata’s Common Goal initiative. You may have heard that the USMNT failed to qualify for next year’s World Cup. You may also have heard that their women’s team have won it three times (honestly, just let the women play for the men’s team). Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and Heather O’Reilly have joined the Common Goal initiative, a charity project started by Manchester United’s Juan Mata. It’s been well-documented that the average NSWL player makes about an annual average of $37,800, compared to the men’s Major League Soccer players who earn a median $100,000. And yet, only two Premier League players have joined Mata’s initiative. If the less-paid women can find the money to donate, surely the more handsomely-paid men can do their part as well (here’s looking at you, Neymar and Carlos Tevez). Sure, it may be that footballers who aren’t joining Mata’s initiative have their own charities that they donate to – but who is to say that Morgan, Rapinoe and O’Reilly don’t donate to both?
Norway have levelled the gender pay gap between their men’s and women’s teams to show that equal pay in in this day and age is 100% doable. In a statement move, the Norwegian Football Association has decided to pay their women’s national team players the same as their men’s team. According to Joachim Walltin, the head of Norway’s players’ union, the decision is a world first. The women’s national team players are on course to earn six million kroner per year (roughly $750,000), almost doubling the previous amount of 3.1 million kroner (about $387,000). It’s a precedent that will hopefully resonate with the rest of international football, at it has been a motion long overdue and delayed – challenging other national teams to rightfully do the same.