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Just finished listening to the live audio of the match against Stanford. The number one team in the country against UCLA, the 10th ranked team in the nation. It really looked like UCLA were going to make a come back since Stanford looked to control most of the game in full time. UCLA scored first in the 12 minute and then Stanford 2 minutes later equalizes it. Then would go up 2-1 late in the second half. In the 86th minute Jessie Fleming would equalize it from a corner kick. Since this wasn't televised, the announcer called it like this.

"Left booted miracle from Fleming"

"Magic presence on the pitch"

Since Fleming is a right footed player, its nice to know that Fleming can score from either foot. In the overtime, UCLA had several good chances to score and had a Stanford player clear a ball from the line so it was close. Stanford would score the golden goal in the second overtime period and win the match which was disappointing with the heroics of Jessie Fleming.

Stanford is a very technical team. They play ball possession football so losing to them isn't the end of the World since they are the number one ranked team in the nation. It would of been nice to get a result though for UCLA.

So Jessie Fleming scores her 8th goal of the season. Pretty sure she is winning the Pac12 freshman of the year honors this year. On her playing time. Since she played about 108 minutes on Thursday, her minutes were less even with both overtimes. She only played 35 minutes in the first half and about 40 in the second but played all the overtime.

Edited by Forgedias

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Watched this match when they replayed it a few hours later since I missed it earlier. UCLA were playing against the Arizona Wildcats a bottom team in the Pac12 conference. 1-4 so far in their conference schedule. They would beat Arizona 2-1 in overtime, probably not something that Amanda Cromwell is going to be pleased about but the Arizona keeper played a very good game against UCLA.

Jessie Fleming helped assist on the first goal in the 7 minute mark that Annika Rodriguez scored on. Her second assist of the season. After that Fleming mostly when she got touches was trying to be the linking midfielder, trying to flick the ball to her team mates and holding the ball up so her offense can set up around the Arizona box. UCLA had about 70% of the possession in the first half and maybe 60 in the second. UCLA dominated Arizona but were outshot 11 to 8. But that isn't the whole story, Arizona had like 2 shots on goal while all 8 shots from UCLA were on frame and forced the Wildcat keeper to make some good saves. Arizona were a very direct team, trying to lob balls forward or long ball it and then high press the ball carrier when they recovered the ball. Arizona were able to tie the game up with this tactic in the second half after the 60 minute mark with a moon ball shot on goal that Tegan Micah couldn't tip over the cross bar.

Jessie Fleming for her part decided to take a more active role in the match after the tying goal. She was still there using her vision to move the ball around. In the 21st minute for instance she launched a run down the right touch line or bottom from where the camera was looking and she did several step overs to shake her mark off and then sped to the corner with the ball, Fleming then deked the same mark and got around her and then held the ball up waiting for help to arrive and passed it off to player. That is the stuff I love watching from Fleming.

In the second half when Arizona tied it, Fleming started carrying the ball more, trying to dribble through players. She got a very good shot off point blank against the Arizona keeper in the box when UCLA countered a minute after Arizona scored and minutes after that, Fleming would pick the ball up in the center circle, charge forward pass the ball to a forward to passed back to Fleming and then Fleming dribbled through 2 defenders forcing one of them to drag her down right at the box. Fleming wanted a penalty kick but the referee deemed it right outside the box. And the color commentator said this.

"That's the danger of trying to defend a player like Fleming, she is so good on the ball, keeps it close its like its attached on a string. Your trying to get in there and poke it away but instead she ends up fouling her."

UCLA gave the free kick to Annika Rodriguez and she kicked it right into the 7 man wall. I really want coach Amanda Cromwell to allow Jessie Fleming to take those kicks since she can take them and get them over the wall with her shooting ability.

In the 83rd minute, Fleming would get a pass and would run down the flank (Her speed is really impressive, she looks so effortless out there) and move the ball inside the box, she would deke her defender and then pass to an open player who gets a good shot off but is saved. Color commentator said this.

"Hernadez with a nice right footed strike but once again its Fleming doing a lot of the work to create that opportunity. She draws 2 or 3 defenders as she is dishing it off hits the turf and Hernadez with the nice strike."

Jessie Fleming's vision and her ability to create is beautiful to watch, its easy to pass to an open player but with Fleming she gets those passes to players when she has defenders draped all over her.

The commentator is in full admiration of Fleming continued to say this.

"I think right there that shot we just saw of Jessie Fleming the first time I've seen her walk all game. She's constantly jogging and she barely ever walks, constantly in movement, picks her moments to run at pace. What did coach Cromwell tell us in the last match? The Cal match or the Stanford Match. Her monitor read 9 miles when she was done that game. All these players wear these GPS heart rate monitors that track their fitness and work rate."

Both commentators were talking about this and an average player would run 7 miles. They were amazed at Fleming's fitness.

UCLA would link 8, 9 passes to try to move the ball forward while Arizona whenever their goal keeper would get the ball, she would never pass the ball off to her back line. She would drop kick and punt the ball down the pitch trying to start a counter which tells you how direct Arizona was playing. UCLA did send a few long balls from their back line which invariable would lead to Arizona getting possession but they kept that to a minimum at least.

The golden goal happened right at the start of the second overtime period but on the replay they skipped the first one. I had to rewind the feed just to make sure I wasn't imagining it but they obviously wanted to shrink the game for a replay. Hailie Mace who is a center back for UCLA is the only center back that is allowed to dribble forward. She dribbled through 2 Arizona players and got into the box and then sent a pass in that Dunphy who redirected the ball into the net for the game winner.

My take on Jessie Fleming is that when that early goal was scored for UCLA, Fleming wanted to be more of a linking midfielder that she plays on Canada. Keep the ball, try to get her forwards and her team mates involved into the play. When Arizona tied it up in the 60 minute. That totally changed and Fleming took on more of a carry role. She wanted the ball more and she was much more willing to dribble at defenders and force them to tackle her down which happened several times. One that nearly set up a penalty kick. I think Fleming knows she is the best player on the pitch and when its needed she will try to make things happen for her team. Really interesting to see the development of Jessie Fleming at this level and how much of a leadership role she is taking on.

Edited by Forgedias

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I used to think that the NCAA was the best development system but after being informed about some other things and seeing quite a few of our NT players dominating and winning awards I'm not so sure if that is the best environment for them.

Maybe they would be better served in a more competitive (read professional) environment with free schooling, something akin to junior hockey.  NB offers free tuition (bursary program) to families making under 60k, Nfld had something similar but I believe they ran out of money and cancelled it.  Doesn't Ontario have something along these lines? 

What I am saying is I think something could be worked out or create a scholarship program and as Canadian carded athletes don't they already have some sort of education benefit?

Now why am I saying that the NCAA may not be the best route? They have very particular rules regarding amateur status (accepting money) and the amount of practice vs school time that Canadian institutions don't have.  A CIS coach can spend 24 hours a day with them no problem, an NCAA coach can't do that.

There is a very enlightening interview with Carleton basketball coach Dave Smart (start at 21:40) that explains this.  It is really worth your time to listen to.

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I think there are non-soccer related pros to going to play in the NCAA, especially if one is going to profit from a proper high quality education.  The NCAA has some very arcane rules  with regards to practice time limits but at the end of the day, someone who is intelligent like Jessie Fleming is better off at a UCLA than going to many schools is Canada.  And I'm not just talking about the education but with all due respect to the CIS, the level of play is better in the NCAA as well.  I mean, it's not like she's going to a university with questionable academics.

And I've heard that interview with Dave Smart before.  I attend many Carleton basketball games during the course of the season and what he has built there is revolutionary and amazing.  But the thing is that the only challenge Carleton usually gets is when they play NCAA Div 1 schools in the preseason.  I can't see them losing a game this year on the way to another CIS Championship.  So why does Dave Smart get the players he gets?  Because he is an extraordinary demanding coach who wins and kids get a good education.  I don't know if there is a CIS soccer coach of the same ilk as Smart, so why would Fleming stay in Canada?

 

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The problem with the NCAA is athletes in sports like American football & basketball don't really get a quality education or any education at all. In soccer, it is different since most aren't going to get a big payday but the quality of play especially on the men's side is weak.

But it seems like many Canadians playing soccer in NCAA are going to Run of the Mill State University. If they're coming back to work in Canada, it isn't going to get their foot in the door for an interview - though the cachet of what university you went to doesn't hold much traction in Canada compared to the US labour market.

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45 minutes ago, red card said:

The problem with the NCAA is athletes in sports like American football & basketball don't really get a quality education or any education at all. In soccer, it is different since most aren't going to get a big payday but the quality of play especially on the men's side is weak.

But it seems like many Canadians playing soccer in NCAA are going to Run of the Mill State University. If they're coming back to work in Canada, it isn't going to get their foot in the door for an interview - though the cachet of what university you went to doesn't hold much traction in Canada compared to the US labour market.

I can't disagree with anything you've said especially with Canadians going to Run of the Mill State. With all due respect to the University of West Virginia, for example, on a purely academic basis, it can't compare to McGill, U of T or UBC.  But I think the soccer competition is going to be way better week in week out down south, even though it may not be great.  And with 315+ schools in Division I, much of the soccer below about 50 is truly awful.  You just have to remember that they are supposed to be students first.

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Unless a big club in Europe is willing to give Jessie Fleming a 6 figure salary, it isn't worth it to skip a free education considering the costs involved. Women do not have the same avenue to play at an Academy and then make money later on. The money just isn't there unless a club is willing to fund the development for the player.

As to the weakness of the NCAA, I agree it can be weak in the sense that conferences are not equal. There are many conferences that only send one team to the NCAA tournament. The best conferences are the ACC, Pac12, Big10, SEC and the Big12. The WCC and the Big East are smaller conferences that can send more then one team to the NCAA tournament.

These conferences at least have teams that attract the best players in the nation so against each other they have competition plus when they schedule non conference matches, they tend to try to schedule against each other to get the strongest opponents.

ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference) North Carolina (22 championships) Notre Dame (3 Championships) Florida State (1 Championship) Duke, Virginia, Clemson make up the best of these teams. North Carolina lost 3 players to the U20 World Cup, Duke look very strong this year and Florida State has had times struggled. Clemson has Kailen Sheridan and she carries the Tigers to a lot of wins on her back.

Pac12 (Pacific 12 Conference) Stanford (1 championship) UCLA (1 championship), USC (1 championship) California are the best teams in this conference. Stanford is the favored pick to win the NCAA tournament this year because they kept all their players that would of gone to the U20 World Cup this year. Penn State who won the championship last year lost 6 players to the World Cup. UCLA lost 3 players so I don't expect UCLA to be a favorite, but next year they have Mallory Pugh who played at the Olympics, Ashley Sanchez and Marley Canales and should be a scary force together with Jessie Fleming. The only weakness I see from the UCLA is their goal keeper.

Big10: Penn State, Minnesota and Rutgers make the cream of the crop here. Penn State shouldn't be able to repeat since they lost 6 players to the World Cup. But if they had those players, they would be on of the favorites to repeat. Rutgers use defense to win so I think all 3 will be in the NCAA tournament.

SEC (Southeastern Conference) South Carolina, Florida and Arkansas (The team that beat mighty Florida State) make up the best here. I had Texas A&M here in the beginning of the year but they have struggled hard this year.  South Carolina was the former home of Sabrina D'Angelo and normally the motto is defense but this year its defense and offense. They are one of the best teams in the nation this year.

Big12: West Virginia, Baylor and Oklahoma make up the best here. West Virginia has of course Kadeisha Buchanan and Ashley Lawrence but they also have 5 other Canadians on their squad. They have only conceded 6 goals all year and none in their conference play. Plus they score a ton of goals. They are the current number one team in the nation after Sanford lost to USC 3-0 in a shock loss and dropped out of the top spot. A lot of people have tabbed Stanford as the favorites to host the College Cup but my pick is West Virginia. Their defense is bar none the best in the nation and they are a strong possession team. Their last match against Texas Tech this Friday. They outshot them 29-5. That should tell you how good they are compared to most teams.

At the college level, teams schedule matches against each other. They have a conference schedule where they play against their own conference opponents and a non conference schedule where they try to schedule matches against the strongest teams outside their conference. RPI (Rating percentage index) is a rating that each team gets for determining their wins against how strong their opponents are. So if their opponent was a puff cake, then their rating would most of the time reflect that.

Currently the top RPI teams in the nation are Stanford, West Virginia and South Carolina. By scheduling strong teams in the non conference part of their schedule and then beating good teams in their conference. You can tell where the strong conferences are located.

Does this alleviate the fact that their are weak teams and possibly the wrong system that a player will play in? No of course not. There is always the risk that a player will be lost in a college system. Especially if they go to a college that isn't one of the stronger ones out there. But look how Kadeisha and Ashley developed at West Virginia. They are World class players and are elite. UCLA plays a ball possession game. If you watch them, they do a lot of one touch passes to each other. They have weaknesses. Some of their players are simply place holders until Pugh, Canales and Sanchez arrive next year. But they have Fleming and Rodriguez who will form the back bone of the midfield and they will make deep runs into the NCAA tournament. And that is the important part. Making a deep run into a major tournament which in by itself is a very good development tool for a player.  I do question their goal keeper for UCLA because she has only one attribute. Size but she isn't quick and she is slow. Because she is slow, she can't get off her line to challenge for balls inside the box and that is a problem.

And this is where I am coming around to the idea of West Virginia winning the College Cup. Their defense is scary good. They have Buchanan, Mayi Kith who form the backbone of that defense. And because both are so dominant back there, Rylee Foster rarely gets tested much. Foster who looks potentially a star keeper because she has qualities that are needed in the modern game for women's football. She has mobility, ball handling, quickness and she has shown some athleticism. And for a first year player that really bodes well for her development. Add into all this is that West Virginia possess the ball so much. They tend to dominate ball possession 70-80% of the time from what I have seen. It will take a good team to match them possession wise or use strategies like bunker counter attacking to beat them.
 

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Unless a big club in Europe is willing to give Jessie Fleming a 6 figure salary, it isn't worth it to skip a free education considering the costs involved. Women do not have the same avenue to play at an Academy and then make money later on. The money just isn't there unless a club is willing to fund the development for the player

Funny millions of Canadians have no problem paying for their own education.  That's the joy of a social democracy.  We are not the United States when it comes to the cost of a quality education and thanks to every known God for it.

The decision is of course qualitative to the player in question.  But I guess it depends if you're a footballer or an oceanographer.  If you're an oceanographer who likes to play the game you're probably at RandomU.  But if you're a footballer with an interest in oceanography you're in Europe playing for a Champions League team and doing your schooling part-time or after your career.

When Lindsay Horan (the top recruit) went to PSG out of high school years ago it was the watershed moment.

Again, if you want to focus on your education, all the power to you.  If you're a talented footballer who lives and breathes the game though; sitting in a classroom, playing a bastardized version of the game, against weak competition, and only young amateur players, in a miniature season... if that classroom is math or philosophy a passing grade is standing up and taking an Uber to the airport.

There are a millions of girls playing the game while pursuing their careers.  It's a great past-time to keep you fit and healthy and socially connected.  But that's not what a real player is about.

Edited by Vic
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19 hours ago, Vic said:

 

 

Funny millions of Canadians have no problem paying for their own education.  That's the joy of a social democracy.  We are not the United States when it comes to the cost of a quality education and thanks to every known God for it.

The decision is of course qualitative to the player in question.  But I guess it depends if you're a footballer or an oceanographer.  If you're an oceanographer who likes to play the game you're probably at RandomU.  But if you're a footballer with an interest in oceanography you're in Europe playing for a Champions League team and doing your schooling part-time or after your career.

When Lindsay Horan (the top recruit) went to PSG out of high school years ago it was the watershed moment.

Again, if you want to focus on your education, all the power to you.  If you're a talented footballer who lives and breathes the game though; sitting in a classroom, playing a bastardized version of the game, against weak competition, and only young amateur players, in a miniature season... if that classroom is math or philosophy a passing grade is standing up and taking an Uber to the airport.

There are a millions of girls playing the game while pursuing their careers.  It's a great past-time to keep you fit and healthy and socially connected.  But that's not what a real player is about.

Lindsay Horan also got a 5 figure deal to play for PSG when she was 18 where she put that money for her future education. I don't doubt some players can pay for their own education but not everyone has that ability. Getting that free education is a big plus for a lot of players.

Take for instance the Stanford players that skipped the U20 World Cup this year. There were 4 players that could of made the team but opted to stay in school. Stanford has some strict academic requirements and trying to make up the lost time would of put those players back since the USWNT U20 coach Michelle French wanted all her players to red shirt the year which would of meant skipping at least one semester. For some players it was simply too much to ask.

And for those players who have aspirations of developing further and maybe getting noticed by the senior team? Its a hard sacrifice to make for these players. These are the decisions that a lot of the men don't have to make. The best players get pulled into academies and then they either play at club level or get sold or transferred to another club. Either way they have the potential to make money for themselves. Women simply don't have many options for themselves.

Jessie Fleming is very lucky in that she got noticed at such a young age and got capped at 15 years old. Her 3 years with the national team developing, the U17, U20, World Cup and Olympics all were huge development tools for her. And now she gets to play at the college level.

If your thinking the college level is not where she should be developing at, then fine, she could develop at a club in Europe, but she opted to go to college. And its not like she was forced to go to a small college, she had her pick of which college she wanted to go. She is at a premier college team in UCLA in one of the better conferences in the Pac12. She isn't going to stop developing.

Jessie is already being relied as a leader for her club and more importantly is stepping up to take that leadership role. When her team is in a close game, she goes out and tries to make that goal happen, tries to take the pressure to win on her shoulders. That is very good to see happen.

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Lindsay Horan also got a 5 figure deal to play for PSG when she was 18 where she put that money for her future education. I don't doubt some players can pay for their own education but not everyone has that ability. Getting that free education is a big plus for a lot of players.

5-figure deal?  You could get that at McDonalds.  I know exactly what she made and she wouldn't have banked a dime living in Paris.  She went to be a footballer, to be a professional.  That's her dream.

Of course Fleming won't stop developing, nor will any other player who plays against 18-22 year old amateur players for a few months a year. But they will develop at a fraction of the rate they would in a fully professional year-round environment.

 

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Vic said:

 

 

5-figure deal?  You could get that at McDonalds.  I know exactly what she made and she wouldn't have banked a dime living in Paris.  She went to be a footballer, to be a professional.  That's her dream.

Of course Fleming won't stop developing, nor will any other player who plays against 18-22 year old amateur players for a few months a year. But they will develop at a fraction of the rate they would in a fully professional year-round environment.

 

Well 5 figure or 6 what your real point is that Jessie Fleming should be developing at a Club that will play year round. If she was a man, she may well do so but how many women in North America get a change to develop over in Europe? I can't name many. And the thing is everyone thinks that a North American player would be much better served if they were playing in Europe and not North America like the MLS. Anytime a player comes to NA, the talk is about why they couldn't hack it over in Europe. And they have a point.

But when it comes to women's football, then its also a whole different situation. Women do not get the same opportunities to earn the money men do. If a Europe Club offered her a contract, then maybe she would be playing there, yet she is not. Education regardless of where you stand on this is still important because for these girls, their years as a pro tend to be very short. There are women retiring early from football constantly because they have to consider their future.

Having that education is that safety for a lot of women. Despite your cavalier attitude that millions of women can pay for their education. Many cannot and I can't say what the financial situation is like for Jessie Fleming, but if she can get a free education and not be a burden for her family. More power to her especially since she is in an Engineering course.

You need to give these girls a break. Its alright to demand the men try harder for their chances, because those are out there. But for women, its much harder for them to earn that big pay day. Lindsay Horan? how many Horan's have their been? None after her. Why did a club like PSG want to take a risk with an 18 year old? Because she has size, she has technical ability and they wanted that.

We don't know what decisions go into making these choices but its not just the player that is involved here, its the parents as well and if those parents thought Jessie could of gone to Europe, don't you think that would of been explored? I give every girl that goes into football all the credit in the world because its not an easy career for them. They don't make much money, leagues constantly implode or in the case of Europe, the big clubs subsidize the women's side. In fact some of them have gone out of business and players have had to step in to save the women's programs like Chelsea.

Outside of Tennis and Golf, players that have an athletic back round, there are not many sports that women can excel at and be paid a reasonable amount of money. Volleyball can net the very best players 1 million indoor and beach volleyball, women frequently make more money then men. 2 million or more for the very best. Skiing and cross country and biathlon can earn women several hundred thousand but its endorsements that make up the rest. Some cross country stars make in the millions.

In football its not as easy. How many women make millions in salary? None. Marta was the highest player at one point at 300k. Alex Morgan with her USWNT salary was over 100k but she earned several million in endorsements. But how many Alex Morgan's are out there? Not many. Even in Europe, the top paid athletes don't come close to what Morgan makes. Women's football, they don't even come close to the other major women sports for money making opportunities. Jessie Fleming is doing the right thing. If she isn't getting that big contract from Europe, then she should be going to school and looking at her future and making sure she is prepared for after football. Its the smart thing to do for her.

If we are going to continue with this, should I stop posting here? I really like Jessie Fleming, a huge fan of her play and her brilliant technical ability. But if this is going to turn into Fleming isn't getting the best development and its going to turn into a bashing of the US college system. Which I agree isn't perfect. Then I will stop posting here.

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Agreed, Forgedias, don't stop posting on here.  The Voyageurs are not a homogenous bunch when it comes to opinions.  The NCAA is not as good as some of the European women's leagues but this is not strictly about soccer but about real life.  If someone is intelligent and shows academic prowess, then it's a no brainer to go to a good school and get your education done which you'll have the potential to make a good living from until you are 60-65.  And it's not like she won't be able to play soccer in the meantime and be part of the national team for years to come.  

 

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9 hours ago, Forgedias said:

If we are going to continue with this, should I stop posting here? I really like Jessie Fleming, a huge fan of her play and her brilliant technical ability. But if this is going to turn into Fleming isn't getting the best development and its going to turn into a bashing of the US college system. Which I agree isn't perfect. Then I will stop posting here.

Ease up with the prima donna stuff.  Vic made a valid point and one that i agree with.

In my case, I don't have the answers, just posing some questions.  In the mid 60's Canada had a fairly successful short lived (seven years?) Olympic hockey program first based out of UBC and then Winnipeg obviously the first part that players could continue their education while playing high caliber international hockey.

Junior hockey players are able to play in a "professional" environment and still obtain a university education through their scholarship program.

Would it be a good idea to have a high end national training program at/near a place like UBC where there would be a large selection of good academic programs? Many of the restrictive NCAA rules would not apply and the large player pool would be able to train professionally and tour without much restriction.

This isn't a one size fits all proposition, of course this would not be suited for everybody but we have seen successes from this kind of approach especially in Australia with their NTCs.

I'm not advocating any of this, just thinking out loud.

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Well 5 figure or 6 what your real point is that Jessie Fleming should be developing at a Club that will play year round.

Fleming made the choice that works for her and Godspeed to her.  People do what they like.  She wants to be the best player in the world and an oceanographer (or engineer or whatever).  Go for it.

What I'm saying is if you want to be the best player in the world, if that's your dream, similarly - go for it.  Don't let your geographic options and/or social norms limit you. If you're also interested in some form of higher education another option is like Horan to do it on the side or after your career.

The decision isn't black or white.  Despite the opinions here there is no right or wrong.  It's contextual to every player.

The global women's game has progressed to the point women are starting to have to make the same decisions men in this country have had to make for decades.  The development system here is limited compared to abroad.  Stay or go becomes a valid question the best young players will have to start to consider.

Vic is coming at it from a purely football perspective

Women want, expect and even demand equality in the game.  In return, they should be expected to approach the game with equal professionalism.  I have no problem posing them questions like this.

If we are going to continue with this, should I stop posting here?

Continue with this?  Woah cowboy.  You lit the fire by quoting a 6-figure number and claiming people should not go to Europe.  I disagreed with the black/white comment for the reasons above and said "The decision is of course qualitative to the player in question" and mentioned Horan.

You posted at length, again, misleadingly about her finances and I corrected you.  And mentioned that like med school is better for doctors than playing soccer, playing soccer is better for soccer players than studying medicine.

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Granted.  But on the female sport pay level it's better than many.  The highest paid women are extremely well compensated and there are university age young women in Europe making six-figures per year.  Tell them they've made a bad decision.

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Oof, she kind of lost herself in that last answer.  Needs some media coaching from Crash Davis!

Still, love that she gets to do this so often.  She's becoming a natural at absorbing and directing media attention.

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