Notes From the Has-Been: A Collection of Weekly Soccer Thoughts

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The ball leaps off the tee and sails toward the netting between the tee and the Hudson River yd.

Women’s World Cup notes: U.S. cares more about opponents’ style than where they live

The reigning U. She leads the U. As the defending champions and top-ranked team, the Americans are favored to win. But the competition is historically tough.

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When the U. Now, thanks in part to increased investment from soccer governing bodies and their corporate backers, many more have a real shot in the tournament, which now has 24 teams, up from 16 two decades ago. Interest should be particularly high in the U. At a time of almost paralyzing political division, the World Cup has the potential to be a welcome national distraction, a respite from presidential politicking and cable-news sniping.

And that, my friend, is how the world actually changes. Morgan, 29, is the face of Team USA—her steely gaze will be plastered on billboards and dancing across screens in commercials for Coca-Cola, Nike and Secret deodorant. Her millions of followers on Instagram and Twitter give her one of the largest social-media imprints of any female athlete in the world.

Are they thinking about anyone other than themselves? We do have more than one job within this role, and are getting paid much less. After a few crisp swings, she whiffs, missing the ball completely. Leading the fight for equal pay in sports was far from the mind of the 8-year-old Morgan when she left a Post-it for her mother, Pam, at their home in Diamond Bar, Calif. The certainty was surprising. Unlike most promising young soccer players, Morgan avoided the high-pressure Southern California youth circuit and played many different sports as a kid.

Her competitiveness was honed in fierce board games with her parents and two older sisters.

Morgan began playing elite travel soccer at 14, years after many of her contemporaries. She credits playing a range of sports with preventing her from burning out. Morgan excelled on the pitch for Cal and was named to the U. Under team, which functions as a feeder for the top national team. After helping lead the U. Her impact was immediate. Morgan scored a key goal against Italy to help the U. The performance endeared Morgan to her older teammates, who gave her the nickname Baby Horse.

Coaching Psychological Skills: Introduction and Sample Soccer Coaching Exercises

Her winning goal in the semifinal against Canada—a header seconds before time expired—has become soccer lore. The Olympics made Morgan into a star. Buoyed by endorsement deals, her annual income grew into the seven figures—far beyond that of any other top U. My legs would not go.

I was thinking about how to be pain-free. It was a low moment. Morgan needed to rekindle her passion for the game. So she did what many other Americans in search of inspiration have done: move to France. After being courted publicly by Jean-Michel Aulas, the president of the French club team Olympique Lyonnais, Morgan agreed to join the squad for its season. More importantly, Morgan rediscovered the joy of playing. She began meditating and doing yoga, and soon switched to a vegan diet after deciding it was unethical to eat meat. Save for exalting the beeflike Impossible Burger, Morgan couches her new regimen as a personal choice and keeps the proselytizing to a minimum.

But over a dinner of artichokes and stuffed peppers in New York, she says the change has boosted her energy on the field. She is decidedly no longer Baby Horse. President Donald Trump is another target. If that turns anyone off, so be it. The roots of the equal-pay fight go back decades.

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In the early s, the team flew to a tournament in China in cramped economy seats adjacent to the smoking section. Players recall staying in roach-infested rooms and taking the hotel shuttle bus to a game.

Read: Can conservative journalism survive? Kristol positioned his magazine as the ideological vanguard of American conservatism while never fully swearing allegiance to the movement. One year the Standard might portray itself as a dissident voice at odds with the Republican establishment; the next it might serve as the mouthpiece of the politicians it had just ripped.


With the covert backing of the CIA, he edited the journal Encounter. His primary collaborator, and nemesis, was the English poet Stephen Spender.

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The next publication he launched, The Public Interest, had an entirely different vibe. It posed as a stodgy journal of policy and leveled a supposedly friendly critique of s liberalism, which grew ever less friendly as the decade wore on. The Public Interest was bursting with fresh ideas. It had the crackle of a new intellectual movement putting down its arguments for the first time.

Irving Kristol made his name in the world of New York intellectuals, the disillusioned left that turned away from Stalinism. The magazine was interested in electioneering, full of journalism about rising conservative politicians, dispatches from Senate races, reports on little-known White House figures. In the early years, it featured a remarkable cast of septuagenarians— James Q. He also had an adventurous taste in writers. In their earlier incarnations, they produced work that was stylish, unexpected, and full of warmth.

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The best features in the Standard sought to combine the easy charm of a Michael Lewis story with the edgier satiric streak of Tom Wolfe. For me, the whole experience was interesting and fun. I had a great time. Over the decades, it hardly evolved in its look and feel. Its hugely talented writers—Chris Caldwell, Andrew Ferguson, and Matt Labash—seemed slowly drained of higher ambitions. Kristol never supplemented his original cast with writers of equal talent. Meanwhile, the war in Iraq overwhelmed the identity of the magazine.