Charlie & Debbie

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Alright, so let me preface this with I’m not a soccer guy.  I completely respect the game and the athleticism, etc.  However,  I just can’t get excited about a game that in its biggest event, The World Cup, teams “advance” by losing.  It just goes against my competitive nature.  Another thing I don’t get about soccer is the strange worship of some of the players, and the catering to their whims.

Case in point, Lionel Messi.  Messi is arguably the best player the game has ever seen.  He’s Michael Jordan on the pitch.  It is a HUGE deal that he has left playing professional soccer in Europe for the MLS team in Miami.  I get it.  That being said, If Michael Jordan in his prime left the NBA for the Italian League, do you really think they would have changed the width of the foul lane or the distance of the three-point line (both are significantly different than the NBA) because he’d never played with those in America?  That’s essentially what’s happening with Messi.

He’s never played a soccer game on artificial grass.  It’s been speculated that he would refuse to do so.  The problem is that some of the stadiums in the MLS have artificial surfaces.  Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium is one.  I would say fine, don’t play then.  That’s an easy win for the home team.  Here’s the rub, not only has the Commissioner of the MLS said he expects stadiums to change for Messi, BUT ( and this is a big BUT) teams are charging a huge premium ticket-wise for games against Miami and Messi.  How big a premium?

According to WCNC, the cheapest tickets for the match are around $150 for the upper deck seats. The lower deck seats are almost completely sold out and resale tickets are listed from around $300 with many tickets being listed for well over $1,000. For comparison, Charlotte FC’s next home MLS match against Los Angeles FC has tickets from $15 to $200.

This could be a PR nightmare.  What to do?  As of right now, Charlotte FC isn’t budging.  Honestly, I don’t know if they can for this reason.  One of the biggest bones of contention between the NFL Players Association and the league’s owners is the dangers of playing on artificial vs. natural grass.  If Messi’s perceived demand is met, it gives huge credence to the NFL players’ argument.  The owners can’t afford that kind of leverage shift.  And if you connect the dots, who owns Charlotte FC?  David Tepper.  He’s also the owner of the Carolina Panthers.

So, who will blink first?  This is gonna get good.  As someone with no dog in the fight, I can’t wait to watch this game of wills.  It’s far more entertaining and intriguing than the actual soccer match.

5 Things You Need To Know: USA Women's FIFA World Cup

The Women’s FIFA World Cup is just hours away from kickoff. In anticipation of the 2023 games, we will highlight five things you need to know about the USA Women’s FIFA World Cup team.

Although we’ll get underway in New Zealand, this is the first time two countries will serve as the host nations. Australia is the other. Four cities and stadiums will be the site of the games in New Zealand. Furthermore, five cities and six stadiums will be used in Australia.

The opening ceremonies are planned to take place at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand prior to the first game between New Zealand vs. Norway. This is a 50,000 capacity stadium. “The ceremony will feature mind-blowing, electrifying performances showcasing the cultural diversity and heritage of New Zealand and Australia,” states.

This year’s World Cup will feature 32 different nations. This is eight more than previous tournaments. In addition, eight nations will be making their FIFA World Cup debut.


The USA Women’s FIFA World Cup team has been placed in Group E. This includes Vietnam, Portugal, and the Netherlands. In total, there are eight different groupings. USA’s group is aligned to New Zealand for the first round of play.

To date, the USA Women have won four World Cup titles. They are the defending champions, beating the Netherlands during the 2019 tournament in France. Before that the USA Women’s team also won the World Cup in 2015, 1999 (the Brandi Chastain winning penalty kick year) and 1991.

Although the USA is ranked #1, they are considered a young team. NPR explained that “Nine players on this year’s U.S. roster were part of the 2019 champion team. This includes Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan and Julie Ertz.” Five players remain from the 2015 team.

Excitement is surely mounting. Team USA has now been in New Zealand for a week. In anticipation of their defending title run, here are five additional things you need to know about the USA Women’s FIFA World Cup team.

  • New Uniforms

    Back in April, new uniforms were debuted by Nike. USA will wear white when they are the home team, and blue when they are the away team. Nike crafted this uniform using innovative techniques emphasizing player comfort and staying cool.


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  • A Massachusetts Player Is On The Roster

    #22 Kristie Mewis was born in Weymouth, and grew up in Hanson. She graduated from Whitman-Hanson Regional High School where she was a three-time All-American midfielder. Unfortunately, Samantha Mewis (Kristie’s sister) is not on this year’s World Cup team due to a knee injury she is currently recovering from.


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  • This Is Megan Rapinoe's Last World Cup

    Rapinoe recently announced her retirement. Therefore, this will be her last World Cup experience. #15, this legendary midfielder/winger is the oldest member of the team at 38 years old. The youngest player is Alyssa Thompson, an 18-year-old forward. She is sporting an iced-blue hair color look for 2023 Cup.


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  • Equal Pay Bill

    The United States women’s soccer team has had a  long battle to be paid as much as the men’s team. “The Equal Pay for Team USA Act, passed late Wednesday, will require all athletes representing the United States in global competition to receive equal pay and benefits in their sport, regardless of gender,” ESPN reported back in December.

    USA pose for a photo during the New Zealand Football Ferns official FIFA Women's World Cup.

    USA pose for a photo during the New Zealand Football Ferns official FIFA Women’s World Cup. Photo by: Phil Walter/Getty Images

  • Alex Morgan and Lindsey Horan are the captains.

    There are 23 members of the team. This also includes Dennis Rodman’s daughter, #20 Trinity Rodman. The USA Women’s Team will play their first game on July 21 (9PM EDT). It will be vs. Vietnam and played in Auckland, New Zealand.


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