Over the last 30 years, the USWNT (United States Women’s National Soccer Team) has become an American sports institution the likes of which has no peer in terms of followers and admiration from American sports fans. Four World Cups, four Olympic gold medals (plus a silver medal) and countless role models have been produced during that stretch by the USWNT, making the team a world hegemon for athletic excellence and a world revolutionary for equality and women’s rights.
Their athletic contests on the field have recently run parallel with their legal fight with their bosses, the United States Soccer Federation, including a gender-discrimination lawsuit filed in March of 2019 that came to its latest climax last Friday when a California circuit judge gave a partial victory to the USSF by dismissing part of the lawsuit, including the contention of discrimination under the Equal Pay Act. The events that have led to the near-acrimonious relationship between the team and the federation — including the controversial comments and eventual resignation of former USSF president Carlos Cordeiro on March 12 after language in court filings attempted to show women’s players “did not perform work of equal skill, effort and responsibility” to that of the men’s team — will continue to be dissected as the trial is slated to begin on June 16.
The events that have led to the team’s indelible place in American lore are without doubt, however, and during this interregnum in live sports action due to the coronavirus pandemic, A Lot of Sports Talk will provide stories and/or pictures from games we have covered in the past that have yet been published, starting with the US Women’s National Team’s greatness that we have been fortunate to witness firsthand.
Featured today is the Stars and Stripes’ August 2019 game against Portugal during the team’s Victory Tour in Philadelphia, a match that eventually set the record for the highest attendance in a USWNT game in a friendly (49,504) and ninth-highest attendance for a game on home soil in the team’s history. In the second match played after its triumph in France at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the United States Women’s National Team posted a 4-0 drubbing of the Portuguese, getting first-half goals from Tobin Heath and Morgan Brian and second-half tallies from Carli Lloyd (her celebration is the cover photo for the story) and Allie Long.
On that 78-degree day that saw Lloyd score her 115th international goal and midfielder Julie Ertz play on the home field of her husband (Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz) for the first time, ALOST senior photographer Robert Cole was on the pitch for us and shot the pictures that are now part of this never-before-seen photo gallery detailing the events of that night. There are 30 pictures in total, and we hope you enjoy.
We will have never-before-seen photos from other USWNT games published on our site over the next few days, along with other stories and photos from games of the recent past and fresh new material (ahem, podcasts).