How turmoil in US women’s soccer could drive players to Europe

Disputes over pay mean that the NWSL is struggling to keep hold of top international talent

On the field, the US women’s soccer team has followed up a thrilling NWSL final with a couple of smashing debuts in friendlies against Switzerland. Off the field, the sport is bogged down in the courts and at the negotiating table.

The talent pipeline is still intact, a fact US coach Jill Ellis celebrated by calling in a staggering 11 uncapped players for camp. Lynn Williams, fresh from winning the NWSL Golden Boot and posting clutch performances to lift Western New York to the league title, scored just 49 seconds into her debut on 19 October. That was a new record for the fastest debut goal in US history – until Kealia Ohai scored 48 seconds after taking the field four days later.

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