It was business as usual for USA who secured a confident 3-0 win over Republic of Ireland on Saturday in their first match since winning the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ a month ago.
The last time the women’s national team was on a soccer field together the players were being showered with confetti after beating the Netherlands in the World Cup final in Lyon, France.
That was less than a month ago but a lot has happened since then. A fourth star, emblematic of the team’s four World Cup titles, was added to the U.S. jersey and Jill Ellis, the team’s coach, announced she was stepping down after five years and more than 100 wins.
Four players were named to the 12-woman shortlist for the FIFA world player of the year award and the struggling NWSL, the domestic league in which all 23 members of the national team play, was buoyed by a solid World Cup bump.
At the same time, however, the battle lines have hardened over the pay-equity lawsuit the players have filed against their federation, with the two sides renewing their rhetorical sparring after an uneasy World Cup truce.
USA will next welcome Portugal on 29 August and 3 September, before two further home matches against Korea Republic in October.
Republic of Ireland, meanwhile, will open their 2021 UEFA Women’s EURO qualifying campaign against Montenegro on 3 September.