The Equalizer Podcast

The Equalizer Podcast

By The Equalizer
We are The Equalizer, the leading women's soccer news and analysis outlet in the United States since 2009. This is our podcast, where top journalists and personalities from throughout the women's game gather for critical, thoughtful and fun discussion.
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2016 NWSL Draft Rewind
Rachael Kriger and Dan Lauletta take a look back at the 2016 NWSL Draft, which featured Emily Sonnett going No. 1 to the Thorns and the Dash picking up the future NWSL Challenge Cup MVP in Rachel Daly.
42:33
August 10, 2020
NWSL after the Challenge Cup
Dan Lauletta and John Halloran talk about the Houston Dash's NWSL Challenge Cup win and what it could mean for the franchise moving forward. They also discuss the report from The Athletic's Meg Linehan that Sam Mewis is headed to Manchester City, and whether more U.S. women's national team players could play elsewhere next year. Plus, a look ahead to the upcoming expansion teams in Louisville and Los Angeles, and how the expansion drafts will impact the league.
37:53
August 3, 2020
Dash win the NWSL Challenge Cup
Dan Lauletta, Pardeep Cattry, Rachael Kriger and John Halloran recap the Houston Dash's win over the Chicago Red Stars in the NWSL Challenge Cup Final. They discuss the importance of the tournament for the Dash, and debate whether we'll see a similar tournament in the future. Plus, a look back on the highlights and key moments of the tournament.
1:01:12
July 26, 2020
Dash, Red Stars advance to the NWSL Challenge Cup final
The Houston Dash and Chicago Red Stars will meet on Sunday in the final of the NWSL Challenge Cup. Dan Lauletta and Pardeep Cattry recap their semifinal wins, and look back on the performances from Portland Thorns FC and Sky Blue FC in defeat.
38:55
July 23, 2020
Sky Blue FC, Red Stars move on to the NWSL Challenge Cup Semifinals
Sky Blue FC and the Chicago Red Stars advance, while the Washington Spirit and OL Reign are headed home. Dan Lauletta, John Halloran and Rachael Kriger recap Saturday's NWSL Challenge Cup quarterfinal penalties and look ahead to Wednesday's semifinal matches.
40:30
July 19, 2020
Thorns, Dash advance in the NWSL Challenge Cup
Britt Eckerstrom's big game leads the Thorns to an upset win over the Courage. Jane Campbell's penalties magic continues as the Dash beat the Royals. Dan Lauletta, Emily Dulhanty and John Halloran recap Friday's quarterfinal matches of the NWSL Challenge Cup. 
48:45
July 18, 2020
NWSL Challenge Cup Quarterfinals Preview
Another win for the Courage and a scoreless draw between the Thorns and OL Reign. Dan Lauletta, Rachael Kriger and John Halloran recap the final day of the preliminary round of the NWSL Challenge Cup and look ahead to this weekend's quarterfinal games.
38:22
July 14, 2020
Spirit, Red Stars Win on Day 7 of the NWSL Challenge Cup
The Red Stars get their first victory of the NWSL Challenge Cup and the Spirit pick up another win. Dan Lauletta, Pardeep Cattry and John Halloran recap Day 7 of the NWSL Challenge Cup.
40:10
July 13, 2020
Day 6 of the NWSL Challenge Cup
Dan Lauletta and Rachael Kriger discuss OL Reign's eventual breakthrough against Utah Royals FC. Then, John Halloran joins Dan to discuss Sky Blue FC finally shaking off the rust in a win over the Houston Dash.
39:01
July 9, 2020
Day 5 of the NWSL Challenge Cup
Dan Lauletta and Emily Dulhanty recap another win for the Courage. Then, John Halloran joins Dan to break down an entertaining 1-1 draw between the Thorns and Spirit.
40:13
July 6, 2020
Utah and Houston win on Day 4 of the NWSL Challenge Cup
Dan Lauletta, Pardeep Cattry and John Halloran recap big wins for Utah Royals FC and the Houston Dash, and tough losses for Sky Blue FC and OL Reign, on Day 4 of the NWSL Challenge Cup. 
35:19
July 5, 2020
NWSL Challenge Cup Day 3
The Courage show their dominance in a 2-0 win over the Spirit, and the Thorns and Red Stars draw on Day 3 of the NWSL Challenge Cup. Dan Lauletta, Rachael Kriger and John Halloran react to the games.
37:11
July 2, 2020
NWSL Challenge Cup Day 2
A 3-3 thriller between the Houston Dash and Utah Royals FC, and then a 0-0 draw from OL Reign and Sky Blue FC. Dan Lauletta, Ray Curren and John Halloran recap it all.
30:02
July 1, 2020
NWSL Challenge Cup Opening Games
Dan Lauletta and John Halloran recap North Carolina's win over Portland and Washington's win over Chicago on the first day of the NWSL Challenge Cup.
43:28
June 28, 2020
NWSL Challenge Cup Preview
Dan Lauletta gets ready for the NWSL Challenge Cup with a close look at the teams that finished at the top and bottom of last year's table. Neil Morris joins the podcast to talk about the North Carolina Courage and Julia Poe previews the Orlando Pride.
57:37
June 22, 2020
The Equalizer Podcast: NWSL's Outlook and U.S. Soccer's Apology
Dan, John and Rachael discuss the NWSL Challenge Cup as the tournament nears, and discuss what 2020 might mean for the league going forward. They also take your questions in the first segment. Then, they discuss U.S. Soccer's repeal of Policy 604-1, which was implemented in 2017 to ban kneeling during the national anthem. Should we continue to be skeptical of U.S. Soccer?
35:55
June 15, 2020
2015 NWSL Draft Rewind
Dan Lauletta, Chelsey Bush, and John Halloran look back on the 2015 NWSL Draft. Which team won the draft? Which player has had the best career so far?
42:33
June 8, 2020
NWSL Challenge Cup Draw
Dan Lauletta and John Halloran react to the NWSL Challenge Cup Draw and share what they think of each team's chances in the tournament.
24:58
June 1, 2020
NWSL Challenge Cup Announced
Dan Lauletta and John Halloran discuss the announcement of the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup, taking place this summer in Utah. They share their thoughts on the tournament format, the blind draw, which teams they're most looking forward to seeing and more.
36:06
May 31, 2020
2014 NWSL Draft Rewind
Dan Lauletta, Chelsey Bush and John Halloran take a close look back at the 2014 NWSL Draft, which featured a number of players from "that" USWNT U-20 team. It also featured the last pick going on to become an MVP candidate. Which players have developed the most? Which teams got the best value for their picks?
47:00
May 25, 2020
2013 NWSL Draft Rewind
Dan Lauletta, Chelsey Bush and John Halloran look back on the 2013 NWSL Draft. Which teams did well? Which teams did not? Who would be the No. 1 pick if they could do it all over again?
42:21
May 18, 2020
Next 23
Could a United States Next 23 win a World Cup? Who would be on that hypothetical roster? Dan Lauletta, Chelsey Bush and John Halloran debate their picks.
38:29
May 11, 2020
USWNT Lawsuit Ruling Reaction
Kelsey Trainor joins Dan Lauletta and Chelsey Bush to explain and react to the recent ruling in the U.S. women's national team's gender discrimination lawsuit. They examine what's next for the USWNT and answer listener questions about the ruling.
37:14
May 4, 2020
Weird, Wild, and Unforgettable WoSo Moments
Dan Lauletta, Chelsey Bush, and John Halloran roll through some of the weirdest moments they remember in women's soccer--including, of course, some memorable weather games--and hear from listeners about the topic.
50:59
April 27, 2020
Top Women's Soccer Memories
Dan Lauletta, Chelsey Bush and John Halloran share their top women's soccer memories of all time. What's your favorite women's soccer moment?
58:00
April 20, 2020
WoSo Origins
Dan Lauletta, Chelsey Bush and John Halloran share their women's soccer origins and hear from fans about when they first started following the sport. 
40:31
April 15, 2020
Imagining Soccer's Return
Building off of Jeff Kassouf's recent interview with new National Women's Soccer League commissioner Lisa Baird — in which Baird discusses how the league is handling the COVID-19 pandemic, and speaks to a possible return to play at the end of June — Jeff and Dan Lauletta look at what the NWSL season could look like, and what the one-year delay to the Olympics means for the United States women's national team.
35:45
April 9, 2020
Socializing During Social Distancing
We're living in strange times, no doubt. The National Women's Soccer League season is delayed to a date unknown and the Olympics have been postponed to 2021 (news which dropped after the recording of this podcast). Jeff Kassouf and Dan Lauletta discuss the NWSL season, as well Australia's W-League deciding to play its championship match with no fans. They invite you to join this casual chat as we all try to make sense of things right now. We'll be keeping the podcast going in some form, but it will obviously need to adapt until soccer returns. We will continue to produce new content. Your support of The Equalizer as subscribers is more important than ever as everyone in this sport — and this world — tries to get to the other side of this pandemic.
39:10
March 24, 2020
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 100: Everything But Soccer
This wasn't how we expected to celebrate Episode No. 100, but this is our world right now. The U.S. women's national team won the SheBelieves Cup and protested the U.S. Soccer Federation at the same time. Carlos Cordeiro stepped down the next day, and U.S. Soccer has canceled upcoming games due to the COVID-19 outbreak. And what will happen with the National Women's Soccer League season? Dan Lauletta and John Halloran talk a little soccer, and Kelsey Trainor joins to discuss the ongoing equal pay legal battle.
46:59
March 16, 2020
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 99: (Kinda) Live from SheBelieves Cup
We're in the middle of the SheBelieves Cup and that means a whole lot of United States women's national team analysis. Jeff Kassouf and Dan Lauletta come to you from Red Bull Arena (until they get abruptly kicked out) with thoughts on the U.S.' first two games — including the quality of each opponent.
40:54
March 9, 2020
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 98: Meet the Boss, NWSL Edition
Lisa Baird is the new commissioner of the National Women's Soccer League, and she brings an extensive marketing background from her days at the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee and the NFL, among other organizations. This week, Chelsey Bush, John Halloran and Dan Lauletta discuss first impressions of Baird, why the NWSL is in need of both direction and a face of the league, and what sort of operational challenges Baird will face. The EQZ crew also discusses the impending Becky Sauerbrunn trade, the NWSL schedule and U-20 World Cup qualifying. As ever, they take your questions in segment three.
54:57
March 2, 2020
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 97: Paid by the Fed
The National Women's Soccer League released the list of 2020 federation players (those paid by U.S. Soccer or Canada Soccer), and while there were few changes to speak of, the list is never short on intrigue for the window it gives us into some of the politics and processes of U.S. Soccer, in particular. This week, Dan Lauletta, Chelsey Bush and John Halloran discuss those decisions, as well as Vlatko Andonovski's 26-player SheBelieves Cup camp roster. What does it tell us about some of the fringe players hoping for Olympic roster spots? In segment three, they discuss the ongoing question around who is even running the NWSL right now, and they answer your questions as always.
48:24
February 24, 2020
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 96: Explaining the USWNT's Lawsuit
This week, attorney and writer Kelsey Trainor joins Dan Lauletta and Chelsey Bush to discuss where the United States women's national team's lawsuit stands right now and what's ahead. Kelsey takes your questions from social media and explains the latest in this ongoing saga between the World Cup champions and the United States Soccer Federation. She expands upon some of her thoughts from previous EQZ articles she has written, including where things are right now in the discovery process, as well as why the U.S. men's team's statement in support of the women likely has some ulterior motives to it.
46:48
February 17, 2020
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 95: The USWNT's Impossible Problem to Solve
Who is the most irreplaceable player on the United States women's national team? And which player who isn't seen as a regular starter should be? The truth is, the U.S. is so deep that there are many correct answers to most questions. This week, Chelsey Bush and Dan Lauletta debate all that in the context of another U.S. triumph in a Concacaf tournament, this time in Olympic qualifying. After booking their tickets to Tokyo, the Americans defeated Canada in the final, 3-0. We look at that game and debate some of the finer points of lineups and tactical choices. Of course, in segment three, we let you weigh in with comments and questions!
48:40
February 10, 2020
The Equalizer Podcast Special: Tori Huster's Spirit
Tori Huster has played for the Washington Spirit since the team's first kick of a ball in the National Women's Soccer League in 2013. She's among a very rare group of players — particularly those not on the U.S. national team — to have stayed with the same club throughout the entirety of the NWSL. Huster recently joined EQZ founder Jeff Kassouf to discuss her journey through the ups and downs of the club, her career and why she utilizes a sports psychologist, and what she's working on as president of the NWSL Players Association. They get into some big-picture topics toward the end of the pod. As always, you can listen to The Equalizer Podcast wherever you like to enjoy your audio. Find us at the link below, rate, review and subscribe. The Equalizer Podcast is released weekly, in addition to some special podcast like this one with Huster and other interviews from Podcast Row, including ones with Laura Harvey and Alyse LaHue.
26:03
February 5, 2020
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 94: We've All Been Concacaf'd
Concacaf Olympic qualifying thus far has been as predictable as you could have imagined. Dan Lauletta, John Halloran and Rachael Kriger analyze the United States' games thus far and whether there's any shot at all that a team other than Canada and the U.S. will qualify for the Olympics out of this region. In segment two, they discuss Christine Sinclair finally setting the all-time international scoring record with her 185th goal, breaking Abby Wambach's old mark. Dan makes his case that Sinclair might be the best all-around player in the sport's history, while John points out that it depends when you've seen her over the past two decades. Rachael opines on whether Sinclair's record will ever be broken, and why Sinclair remains so underappreciated. Finally, we bring you the FBref.com Stat of the Week in segment three, and answer your pressing questions on qualifying, to the National Women's Soccer League and everything else.
58:19
February 3, 2020
The Equalizer Podcast Special: GM Alyse LaHue on Sky Blue's makeover
Sky Blue FC has undergone an immense makeover on and off the field. A year after their top two National Women's Soccer League draft picks declined to play for them, they were the talk of the league on 2020 draft day, acquiring United States international Mallory Pugh via trade. Off the field, Sky Blue's move to Red Bull Arena fully ushers in a new, more professional era for the team. General manager Alyse LaHue has been at the forefront of this overhaul. She joined EQZ founder Jeff Kassouf on Podcast Row in Baltimore to discuss the club's transformation. We talk a lot about allocation money in the middle of this episode. Here's more information on the initial announcement of allocation money, with further details that EQZ reported coming out of the draft in Baltimore. The NWSL will now start sharing the amount of allocation money involved in trades; Sky Blue netted $80,000 from the Chicago Red Stars in related draft-day trades.
33:28
January 31, 2020
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 93: It's money, honey
This is an economics podcast now. This week, Dan, Chelsey, and John break down what we thought we knew about NWSL allocation money, what we know now, and how that could equally rev the league up and spell disaster for a certain number of teams. Assets! Fees! Long-term appreciation! They also talk through the Olympic Qualifying USWNT roster, and answer your questions.
55:53
January 27, 2020
The Equalizer Podcast Special: Water Cooler Talk with Laura Harvey
Laura Harvey is the new coach of the United States Under-20 women's national team. She topped by Podcast Row at the United Soccer Coaches Convention in Baltimore to talk to us about why she took that job and left Utah Royals FC somewhat abruptly after two seasons in charge. She also discusses that in the context of missing out on the U.S. senior team job, and why she wanted to still work with Vlatko Andonovski. Harvey also tells us why the narrative that she doesn't develop young players is a myth, and we go on to talk about tactical trends in the women's game and her pursuit of the USSF Pro License; she'd be only the second woman to acquire it. Oh, and stick around for the end for Harvey's recommended Netflix shows.
36:40
January 22, 2020
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 92: What Just Happened?
Chelsey Bush and Dan Lauletta come to you from Podcast Row at the United Soccer Coaches Convention in Baltimore for this week's episode. They discuss the 2020 National Women's Soccer League College Draft, which saw the entire first round of draft picks moved around in a flurry of trades made even more confusing by mysterious amounts of allocation money. Chaos! They discuss which teams got better on the day, which teams didn't, and what to keep an eye on, including Mallory Pugh's arrival in New Jersey after being traded to Sky Blue FC. As always, they take your questions at the end.
49:15
January 17, 2020
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 91: Let the Trades Begin
The new year finally brought an active trade market in the National Women's Soccer League. Chelsey Bush, John Halloran and Dan Lauletta discuss all the biggest trades from the first full week of the new year, plus some of the coaching movement that came along with them.
56:38
January 13, 2020
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 90: The Calm Before
Whew! So a lot has happened on the first Monday of 2020. Catch our first episode of the new year to hear discussions on what the feeling surrounding the league was as it pulled out of a holiday slumber. This week, Dan and Chelsey talk through Laura Harvey leaving Utah to once again try her hand at a role with U.S. Soccer. They also discuss the USWNT January Camp roster, and what Vlatko Andonovski might want from his qualifying squad. They also lament the lack of NWSL expansion, and answer your questions. Welcome back, everybody.
53:50
January 6, 2020
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 89: 2019, What a Year
Well folks, it's the end of the calendar year, and time to reminisce. 2019 saw the U.S. Women's National Team defending their World Cup title in grand fashion, the North Carolina Courage defending their NWSL title in grand fashion, and a whole lot of soccer in between. Come join us as we talk through the good, the bad, and the ugly of women's soccer over the past 12 months.
1:02:15
December 16, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 88: It's Stanford's Year
Stanford won the 2019 NCAA championship on Sunday, defeating North Carolina in a sudden-death penalty-kick shootout after a scoreless game through regulation and extra time. The victory was Stanford's second in three years and third of the decade. It was the second straight year in which North Carolina fell in the College Cup final. The Tar Heels last won the national title in 2012. John Halloran and Ray Curren discuss the matches from the College Cup weekend, from the contrasting styles on display to the standout players who seem to have a future in the National Women's Soccer League and, potentially, with the United States women's national team. What they agree on is this: The best team of the 2019 season won the national championship. Episode highlights Segment 1: Talking tactics and coaching decisions from the College Cup final Segment 2: Which players from the four College Cup teams left lasting impressions for their NWSL stock? Segment 3: FBref.com Stat of the Week, plus listener questions!
29:12
December 9, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 87: Lyon's NWSL Reign
The OL Groupe, which owns Olympique Lyonnais, is in exclusive negotiations to become the majority owner of the National Women's Soccer League's Reign FC. What does that mean for the Reign? And is this truly overwhelmingly good news, or are there reasons for caution for both the club and the league? Dan Lauletta and Chelsey Bush discuss on Episode 87 of the pod.  In the second segment, Dan and Chelsey argue over how the league's new allocation money should be spent and why and how U.S. players should be eligible for the money in the future. Then, they wrap up with listener questions, including a juicy one (and a heated debate) about whether the North Carolina Courage could beat the United States women's national team.
55:31
December 2, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 86: Dawn of a New Era
United States women's national team coach Dawn Scott is leaving the program after a decade to return to her home country and take over a similar role with the FA and England's women's national team programs. What does that mean for the U.S. as Vlatko Andonovski begins his tenure as head coach? And is this another chapter in a growing rivalry with England?  Dan Lauletta and Rachael McKriger discuss that, plus Sky Blue FC's move to Red Bull Arena in 2020 and the latest news in the National Women's Soccer League.
44:25
November 25, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 85: What's the News?
The National Women's Soccer League season is over and the United States women's national team is done playing in 2019. Slow season, right? Not quite. Expansion news for 2020 still remains strangely TBD, and now there's news of a potential competitor top-flight league beginning play in 2021. What the heck is this? Probably the start of a really bizarre offseason. Dan Lauletta and John Halloran answer all of this and your questions.
51:09
November 18, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 84: The Andonovski Era
With their 3-2 victory over Sweden on Thursday, the U.S. Women's National Team opened up a new chapter in their history, under the guidance of new coach (and old friend) Vlatko Andonovski. This week, Chelsey Bush and John Halloran sat down to talk results, tactics, and that ever elusive roster bubble going into 2020. They also answered your questions!
42:53
November 11, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 83: The Wild Offseason Begins
Vlatko Andonovski is officially the new head coach of the U.S. women's national team, and the National Women's Soccer League has unveiled a $300,000-per-team allocation initiative to attract top world talent to the league. Oh, and on the same day as the NWSL's announcement, MVP Sam Kerr told the Chicago Red Stars that she was leaving for Europe. Buckle up, people! The winter months won't feature any NWSL games, but we're sure to have a whole lot of news. Dan Lauletta is joined by The Equalizer's social media ace, Rachael McKriger, to discuss all the latest.
46:36
November 4, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 82: All Hail the Courage
The North Carolina Courage won their second consecutive National Women's Soccer League Championship with an emphatic 4-0 victory over the Chicago Red Stars. It was a dominant display from the Courage, one which no team in this league would have been able to stop on the day. And the thing is, nobody has really been able to stop North Carolina over the course of a season, either. How will anyone in this league keep up in 2020? Chelsey Bush joins Dan Lauletta and John Halloran from on the ground in North Carolina to discuss the NWSL's final game of the season.
54:57
October 28, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast, NWSL Championship Preview Edition
The 2019 National Women's Soccer League Championship has arrived! Chelsey Bush and John Halloran preview Sunday's final between the North Carolina Courage and Chicago Red Stars. Will the Courage win a second straight title? Or will Chicago, led by league MVP Sam Kerr, lift the trophy for the first time in franchise history? Chelsey and John discuss tactics and narratives ahead of the big game.
15:06
October 26, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 81: NWSL Semifinal Recap
The North Carolina Courage and Chicago Red Stars have advanced to the 2019 National Women's Soccer League Championship after defeating Reign FC and Portland Thorns FC, respectively, in Sunday's semifinals. Dan Lauletta and Chelsey Bush break down each match — and John Halloran joins from on the ground in Chicagoland — while also previewing the final.
49:44
October 21, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast, Playoff Edition: NCvRFC and CHIvPOR
The NWSL playoffs are upon us, and the Equalizer Podcast Team is here to guide you through it! First, Chelsey Bush and Dan Lauletta break down the North Carolina Courage vs Reign FC, to see if Tacoma's finest can pull off one of the biggest upsets in NWSL history (bet against Vlatko at your own peril). Then, after the break, Chelsey and John Halloran talk through the Chicago Red Stars hosting the Portland Thorns, and whether or not Chicago and their star striker can finally turn some of their semifinal luck around against a team who has their number. 
27:36
October 18, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 80: Seeding
The NWSL playoff table is finally fully set, with Reign FC drawing their way to fourth place and the Portland Thorns also drawing their way to third. This week, Dan Lauletta and Chelsey Bush discuss the Reign's draw with Orlando, Portland's scoreless affair with Washington, Laura Harvey's Utah finishing with a win over Houston, and the North Carolina Courage gritting out a win against the reinvigorated Sky Blue FC. They also answer your questions.
53:50
October 14, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast Episode 79: Jill Ellis' Final Act
Jill Ellis' tenure as United States women's national team head coach came to a close with a victory and a draw in a pair of friendly matches against South Korea. That final win gave Ellis 106 in her career as U.S. head coach, setting a new record for the position. Tony DiCicco won 105 games as U.S. head coach. On this week's episode, Chelsey Bush and Jeff Kassouf discuss the highs and lows of Ellis' time in charge, which included back-to-back World Cup titles. They also speculate on who might replace her as head coach and -- perhaps more important -- what that person needs to do right away, no matter who it is. As always, they take your questions at the end of the podcast.
44:00
October 7, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 78: It's How You Finish
The 2019 NWSL playoff field has been set, with Reign FC clinching the final spot this week with wins over the Utah Royals and the Portland Thorns. The Chicago Red Stars will be hosting a semifinal for the first time since 2019, and the Spirit stole a game right out from under North Carolina after drawing Houston, while Sky Blue and Orlando played to a stalemate at Red Bull Arena. The Equalizer Podcast Team is here to figure out what the home stretch of the regular season means for each club, and answers your questions.
45:24
September 30, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 77: Clinched
It was a significant weekend in the NWSL, with the North Carolina Courage clinching the shield, and Chicago and Portland punching their respective tickets to the playoffs. The rest of the race? Still to be determined. We break it all down in this week's episode.
45:57
September 23, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 76: Playoffs, Anybody?
Over the course of four days, the North Carolina Courage won matches 6-0 and 6-1 on opposite sides of the country, putting their dominance on full display. The NWSL playoff race continues to heat up for half the league -- with Utah Royals FC and Reign FC playing chicken for the final spot -- while a few bottom-dwellers are again in need of serious makeovers. Chelsey Bush and John Halloran discuss those teams, as well as the 17-year career of Heather O'Reilly, which is coming to an end this fall. Stick around for the FBRef.com Stat of the Week and fan questions.
43:54
September 16, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 75: A Late Surge
The end of the NWSL season is approaching, and there are five (okay maybe six) team surging towards the four available playoff spots. Dan Lauletta and Chelsey Bush talk through Chicago handling Houston, Reign FC taking down Orlando, and perhaps most significantly Utah holding on against Portland. They also talk Sky Blue, fan conduct, and Kristen Hamilton's very impressive summer.
47:54
September 9, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 74: Unsurprising Results
Another NWSL weekend has occurred, with less than shocking results. North Carolina outlasted Reign FC, Portland trounced Chicago, Houston couldn't unlock Sky Blue and Washington had a party against Orlando. This week Dan Lauletta, Claire Watkins and Chelsey Bush all discussed how the season looks familiar, what's going on with the U-23's, and attendance record and what expansion might hold in the future.
50:02
August 26, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 73: Winners and Losers
NWSL action rages on, as does the WoSo appetite of a nation. This week, Dan Lauletta and Chelsey Bush break down NWSL action, ICC drama, and what's going to happen to the USWNT now. 
50:04
August 19, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 72: The Triangle
There was another week of heated NWSL action, and teams are beginning to separate themselves. This week, Chelsey Bush and Claire Watkins talk through Chicago's impressive streak, Portland making it work, the Reign winning and losing, Utah's surge, and whatever it was that happened between Houston and the Orlando Pride. Drama!
42:36
August 12, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 71: Outside the Window
Lots of soccer this weekend, EQZ Pod listeners. Reign FC held on against the Houston Dash, North Carolina brought the rain against the Washington Spirit, the Chicago Red Stars toppled the Royals and Sky Blue FC added to their long history of holding Portland to a single point. The USWNT also played a game! Dan Lauletta, John Halloran, and Chelsey Bush were here to tell you all about it, and answer questions.
54:40
August 5, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 70: Blowouts and that World Cup Bump
Dan Lauletta and Chelsey Bush discuss the latest from around the National Women's Soccer League, including landslide victories in Portland (for the Thorns) and Tacoma (for the visiting Red Stars). They also take a look at some of the teams which still haven't totally impressed them -- including Utah Royals FC -- and wrap up with the FBRef.com Stat of the Week and your questions.
45:33
July 29, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 69: A Nice Return
The confetti has fallen, the celebrations have subsided, and it's time for the USWNT players to jump back into the NWSL. This week, Dan Lauletta and Ray Curren talk through Utah grabbing a point against Portland, Orlando getting the better of Sky Blue, the Dash breaking their winless streak against Washington and 17,000+ in Chicago witnessing a powerful return against North Carolina. They also answer your questions.
44:06
July 22, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 68: What's Next
Well! The World Cup is over, and life goes on. On this weeks episode, Dan Lauletta and John Halloran talk through their experiences in France, the NWSL, and what's next for women's soccer in this country and beyond. Enjoy.
44:33
July 15, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 67: We Have a Winner (It's the USA)
They did it! The U.S. Women's National Team are your FIFA 2019 World Cup winners. What a journey. Claire Watkins and Chelsey Bush sat down immediately post-game to talk through the tournament, the issues, the winning, and what happens next. Enjoy it y'all, we made it.
47:12
July 7, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 66: Drawn and Quartered
The World Cup quarterfinals have been played, and the semifinals are set. Gosh, there's so much to talk about. This week, Chelsey Bush and Claire Watkins talk through what exactly happened with the USWNT met France, how disappointed Germany should be by this year, whether the Netherlands are real contenders and what the heck Sweden has been up to. Oh, and England too. They also talked through an NWSL weekend that saw the triumphant return of a few familiar faces, and answered your questions!
52:54
July 1, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 65: Attack and Counter
Drama! The knockout rounds of the 2019 FIFA World Cup have kicked off, with no lack of compelling storylines. This week, Dan Lauletta and Chelsey Bush break down what they saw from the weekend, VAR, controversy, and competition. They also run through the NWSL weekend, and answer your burning questions
49:09
June 24, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 64: All According to Plan
We're in the thick of the 2019 World Cup, and the U.S. Women's National Team has opened their account with a fair amount of emphasis. Much to discuss, and today Chelsey Bush and Claire Watkins broke down intensity, form, opposition, and the best laid plans of the USWNT after their first two games in Group F. They also consider Australia on the brink of disaster, whether Canada can keep grinding out results, and the value of organization. They also (there were a lot of games this week!) touch on the weekend of NWSL action, and answer your questions.
49:56
June 17, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 63: Off with a Bang
The 2019 World Cup in France has finally kicked off, and boy are we excited! In this weeks episode, recorded at the end of the third match-day of group play, Chelsey Bush and Claire Watkins broke down how the first three groups are looking, whether or not the top seeds look like true contenders, and tackle the issue that is the talk of the tourney so far: the dreaded VAR. They also question the possibility of upsets going forward, and how the group stages might shake out. They also answer your questions. 
41:26
June 10, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 62: Raise Our Expectations
It's the last week before the World Cup kicks off, and we're excited! This week, Dan Lauletta and Chelsey Bush talk through a whole mess of NWSL action, where North Carolina took down Orlando, Houston and the Reign got a point each, Washington looked like the real deal against Utah, and Portland celebrated their big home opener with a 3-0 win against the Chicago Red Stars.
46:42
June 3, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 61: Shipping Out
The U.S. Women's National Team is on their way to France and boy are we excited! This week the Equalizer Podcast Team really honed in on the USWNT final friendly against Mexico, and what it all meant (both good and bad). Chelsey Bush, Claire Watkins, and John Halloran all convened to consider Tobin Heath at left back, if Alex Morgan needed to buy a goal, and just how much any of this matters going into a major tournament anyway. They also gave the Sports-Reference Stat of the Week, courtesy of FBRef
33:00
May 27, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 60: Play Better
This week, Dan Lauletta, Chelsey Bush and John Halloran take a stab at the USWNT's victory over New Zealand, as well as a whole heap of NWSL action. They talk Washington's defeat of Portland, North Carolina's draw with Utah, the Reign's take down of Sky Blue and Chicago's topping of Houston. They also answered your burning questions.
46:38
May 20, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 59: Mom Goals
Wow, what a Mother's Day weekend! Four NWSL matches were played, and the USWNT took on South Africa in a comfortable, if not particularly exciting, victory. This week, Dan Lauletta and Chelsey Bush tackled the depth in the USWNT midfield, whether or not a player should be subbed if actively bleeding from the mouth, as well as notes and analysis on Washington's victory over Sky Blue, Houston's taking down of Utah, and Portland adding to Orlando's misery. In addition, John Halloran and Claire Watkins tuned in from immediate post-game at SeatGeek Stadium to talk through the Chicago Red Stars win over a (dare we say?) struggling North Carolina Courage squad. Things are heating up from here, don't miss it.
47:08
May 13, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 58: Final Decisions
In this week's episode, Dan Lauletta, Chelsey Bush and John Halloran discuss the current round of NWSL matches, whether the USWNT roster spells disaster, and answer your questions about both the current round of NWSL matches and if the USWNT roster spells disaster. It's an episode worth checking in for.
49:58
May 6, 2019
EQZ Pod, Special Edition: USWNT World Cup Roster Drop
Yes, the day is finally here: The U.S. Women's National Team has dropped their 23 player roster indicating who will be representing the team at the 2019 World Cup in France. There were some big surprises in both inclusion and exclusion, and the EQZ pod team simply had to react. Today, Claire Watkins and Jeff Kassouf talk through what looks good, what is frightening, and how this group truly represents head coach Jill Ellis's legacy with the team.
18:28
May 2, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 57: Dark and Stormy Nights
It took some re-planning, but Week 3 of the 2019 NWSL season has successfully occurred, with Utah taking down Orlando 1-0, North Carolina stomping Houston 4-1, Sky Blue getting a 2-2 draw out of Portland, and Chicago downing Reign FC 3-0 after a massive snowstorm in the Windy City. This week Dan Lauletta, Claire Watkins, and Chelsey Bush talk through the adverse conditions in Bridgeview, Christen Press's hot start, Crystal Dunn's current intensity, and just how well Sky Blue like to play the Thorns. They also allude to USWNT roster talk, as the stage is set for U.S. national players to depart their clubs in favor of camp this upcoming week, and they also answer your burning questions.
45:30
April 29, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 56: A Weirdness You Can't Shake Out
NWSL Week 2 is in the books, and we've got an all-timer already. Chicago and Portland drew 4-4 in a wild match that said many things (and sometimes very little) about two heavy NWSL hitters. This week also featured two 1-0 score-lines, the first favoring the Houston Dash over Sky Blue, the second finding the Utah Royals in victory over the Washington Spirit. And finally, Reign FC drew the Orlando Pride 1-1 (a good result for the Pride after a 5-0 thrashing at the hands of the North Carolina Courage mid-week). Clearly, Chelsey Bush and Claire Watkins had a lot to talk about in how Chicago put it all together, whether or not Sky Blue is improving, the value of Christen Press, and the Pride's highs and lows. They also answered your Twitter questions!
52:20
April 22, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 55: Soccer Games!
Games! Soccer games to discuss! NWSL is back, and the Equalizer Podcast Team could not be more thrilled. North Carolina and Chicago drew at 1-1, Washington beat Sky Blue 2-0, Portland downed Orlando 2-0 and the Houston Dash tied Reign FC at, you guessed it, 1-1.  This week Dan Lauletta, Claire Watkins, and Chelsey Bush were here to talk pace, tactics, players, and...kits! The squad talked through whether Washington is ready for the big leagues, if Chicago hedged too many bets against last year's champs, how Houston seems like a squad of years past and if Orlando can get themselves figured out quickly enough to factor dangerously into this season. They also talk streaming, shirts, and the answering of Twitter questions (yours).
46:02
April 15, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 54: The Great NWSL Preview Pt II
Welcome back for the second half of The Equalizer Podcast Team's epic NWSL preview episode, this time checking in with Dan Lauletta and John Halloran about how the Chicago Red Stars are going to get their midfield to work, whether or not the league is ready to utilize a World Cup year to their advantage, and what exactly watching league games is going to look like with no TV deal currently in place. And then, it's prediction time! Dan, John, Chelsey, and Claire all break down their 2019 playoff teams, champs, MVP's, and much much more. The picks might not be perfect by the end of the season, but what's sports without some wild speculation into the future.
36:30
April 11, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 54: The Great NWSL Preview Pt I
Finally!  The 2019 NWSL season is upon us, with mainstays looking to stay at the top of the table, and challengers ready to shake the standings up and make a push into the playoffs. The Equalizer Podcast Team is here to break all of it down, starting with Dan Lauletta and Chelsey Bush talking about what last year's playoff contenders need to do to keep their momentum in 2019. Later, Dan and Claire Watkins talk about what the other teams in the league need to do to surge into post-season contention, and perhaps most importantly in a Word Cup year, when in the year  top squads might be vulnerable to dropped points. Stay tuned for Part II with John Halloran and the whole squad's 2019 predictions later this week!
33:58
April 9, 2019
EQZ Pod, Special Edition: USAvBEL First Reactions
Wow, what a different kind of game. The U.S. Women's National Team smashed the Belgium Red Devils on Sunday night 6-0 behind goals from Carli Lloyd (x2), Alex Morgan, Lindsey Horan, Sam Mewis, and Jessica McDonald. Ali Krieger saw her first playing time in almost two years, and the vision for the final World Cup roster is coming into view. Right after the match Chelsey Bush and Claire Watkins sat down to see what takeaways could be gleaned from such a lopsided performance, and to discuss the bigger picture of a USWNT game turning into a flashy LA event.
21:12
April 8, 2019
EQZ Pod, Special Edition: USAvAUS First Reactions
Wow, what a game. The U.S. Women's National Team defeated The Matilda's 5-3 on Thursday evening, showing the best and the worst of the way the team is set up right now. With fewer than 70 days between now and World Cup kickoff, the Equalizer Podcast Team is trying to break down exactly what occurred. Claire Watkins and Jeff Kassouf talk midfield formations, defensive personnel, and what's going right in addition to what's going wrong for the U.S. and what Australia can take away from a tough match against the world's best.
28:52
April 5, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 53: The Waves of Preseason
NWSL Preseason is rolling on, and the Equalizer Podcast Team is here to discuss who's thriving, and who's having trouble making an impact. This week Dan Lauletta, Claire Watkins, and Chelsey Bush talk through Sky Blue's injury woes, and wonder who's going to fill out their starting lineup in the wake of some hits to their depth. They also circle back to the pickup of Taylor Smith by Reign FC, and talk salary and roster philosophies surrounding de-allocation. Later, Claire gives a follow-up on the state of the Portland Thorns, Reign FC, and the Chicago Red Stars after seeing a few more Portland Invitational games, and the crew wonders what, after an extensive camp, they're going to see from the U.S. Women's National Team in their matchup against Australia. They also answer your Twitter questions, including which NWSL teams could use the talents of one of college basketball's top point guards (yes, we're talking about Sabrina).
54:02
April 1, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 52: Familiar Faces
NWSL preseason is heating up, the U.S. Women's National Team dropped some roster bombs, and the Equalizer Podcast Team is ready to get things started. This week, Claire Watkins, John Halloran, and Katelyn Best met up in person after the first round of the Portland Invitational to talk about what they saw from Reign FC's 2-1 victory vs the U.S. U-23's and the Portland Thorns' similar scoreline against the Chicago Red Stars.  They also discussed the surprise re-calling of Ali Krieger to the USWNT, wondered if the U.S. midfield knows what its job is, and as always, answered your burning questions from Twitter. The Equalizer Podcast theme music is First Conversations by Scout Ripley.
47:08
March 25, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 51: Signals of Progress
It's been a bit of a quiet week in the days after the conclusion of the SheBelieves Cup, as players report to the early stages of 2019 NWSL preseason. Not a ton of soccer being played, but that didn't stop the Equalizer Podcast Team from taking a look at some other things going on in the WoSo landscape. This week Chelsey Bush, Claire Watkins, and John Halloran talk about VAR being announced for the 2019 World Cup, U.S. Soccer Federation's response to the women's national team lawsuit, and what can reasonably be expected from NWSL preseason in a World Cup year. They also tackle your questions, which included topics like USWNT development, Nike expectations, and allocation stress.  The Equalizer Podcast theme music is 'First Conversations' by Scout Ripley
42:04
March 18, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 50: Let us fix this
The 2019 SheBelieves Cup left the U.S. women's national team with more questions than answers, so the Equalizer Podcast Team took a deep breath, reflected on the tournament, and came up with all the ways they could improve the situation.  This week Dan Lauletta, Chelsey Bush, and John Halloran put their heads together to figure out what exactly the USWNT can do about that midfield, and how they can shore up a shaky defense to back up a well-tuned offense. They also tackle the delicate issue of the gender discrimination lawsuit brought by current USWNT players against U.S. Soccer Federation, and as always, do their best to answer your burning questions. 
47:52
March 11, 2019
SheBelieves Cup: USAvBRA First Reactions
The USWNT wrapped up their 2019 SheBelieves campaign this evening with a 1-0 victory over Brazil, and the Equalizer Team was ready and waiting to pod about it. Chelsey Bush and Claire Watkins broke down the feeling immediately after the match, asked whether the tough questions are going to be answered, and looked at both strong and weaker performances. 
20:04
March 6, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 49: Looking lost out there
The U.S. women's national team has had an interesting run so far in the 2019 SheBelieves Tournament, with consecutive 2-2 draws against Japan and England showing the team having some difficulty in separating themselves from their competition. In their own right, the Equalizer Podcast Team considers themselves match-fit, and ready to determine whether or not the USWNT should be too concerned with their current form. This week, Chelsey Bush, Claire Watkins, and John Halloran break down who's doing well for the U.S., who is struggling, and what exactly Jill Ellis is trying to do with all of the U.S. formation shifting in 2019. They also take a look at the tourneys being played across the globe, featuring heavy hitters like Australia (looking good!) and Canada (not so sure!). They also, as always, take a shot at your Twitter questions.
45:24
March 4, 2019
Live from the SheBelieves Cup: USAvJPN First Reactions
The U.S. Women's National Team started their 2019 SheBelieves campaign this evening, with a 2-2 draw against Japan behind goals from Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan.  The Equalizer team showed out in full force in Chester, PA, and Jeff Kassouf and Dan Lauletta were there in the aftermath of the match to break down their first reactions of an inconsistent USWNT performance.
21:17
February 28, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 48: Seizing the Opportunity
In the fallout of a bombshell announcement, there's nothing to be done but to discuss the long-term ripples, and such is the discussion this week after the shocking midweek news that the NWSL would be splitting with A+E going into the 2019 season. In this week's episode, Dan Lauletta, Claire Watkins, and Chelsey Bush take a look at the TV breakdown with the benefit of a few days perspective, speak on the importance of the ownership group turning possibility into reality, and what exactly the NWSL could be losing with Lifetime out of the picture. They also discuss the upcoming SheBelieves Cup, amongst other tournaments, and answer your Twitter questions (stay tuned at the end for some ranting about under-staffing in the league office)
1:00:30
February 25, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 47.5: Not the best of circumstances
When breaking news drops, the Equalizer Podcast Team is on the job, and this midweek emergency pod is no different.  In this episode Dan Lauletta and Chelsey Bush try to make sense of A+E's sudden divorce from the NWSL, the expectations for game coverage in 2019, what the original deal brought to the table, and what the league should do now. And in usual fashion, they answered some of your questions.
23:20
February 21, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 47: A Truly Grand Final
The W-League season ended with a bang, and the NWSL pre-season is just weeks away, so where is the schedule exactly? This week, Chelsey Bush, John Halloran, and Claire Watkins break down the W-League Grand Final, where it might lead its American stars in the future, before turning their attention to the 2019 NWSL season.  They also discuss the U.S. Women's National Team SheBelieves Cup roster (Morgan Brian out, Danny Colaprico in, Allie Long somewhere in between), and as always do their best to tackle your burning questions!
43:02
February 18, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 46: Kerr Boom
Sam Kerr had quite the game for the Perth Glory in their W-League Final matchup against the Melbourne Victory, and the Equalizer Podcast Team is here to give her performance a full rundown. In this week's episode, Dan Lauletta, Chelsey Bush, and John Halloran break down what switch flipped to allow Kerr to take over that game, what she can still do in Chicago, and what it means for the future. They also tackle the other W-League Final between Sydney FC and the Brisbane Roar and, as always, answer some of your questions
49:36
February 11, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 45: A Case of Independents
It's been a week of significant news, and the Equalizer Podcast Team is on the case!  This week, Dan Lauletta, Chelsey Bush and Claire Watkins dive in to uncover the history behind Reign FC's move to Tacoma, the W-League's roll towards the post-season, and Sky Blue's journey toward their self-imposed 30 day deadline. Tune in to see who's on board! 
46:02
February 4, 2019
Live from the 2019 USC Convention: Beast Mode Soccer's David Copeland-Smith
Beast Mode Soccer's David Copeland-Smith is one of the most well-known soccer trainers in the U.S. He works with and has helped develop international players from Alex Morgan to Rachel Daly and Ali Riley. Dave stopped by to share some of his funniest stories and fondest memories of training players who many fans have come to adore.
44:42
February 1, 2019
Live from the 2019 USC Convention: Haley Carter on Afghanistan WNT, women in coaching
Former Houston Dash goalkeeper Haley Carter joins the podcast to discuss her time as an assistant coach with the Afghanistan women's national team, the reform needed at the federation following allegations of player abuse, and the barriers facing women in coaching.
22:30
January 31, 2019
Live from the 2019 USC Convention: Monica Gonzalez on joining the Houston Dash coaching staff
Monica Gonzalez was recently appointed as an assistant coach on new Houston Dash head coach James Clarkson's staff. Gonzalez is a former professional player and international player with the Mexican women's national team. She also has extensive experience as a TV broadcaster in the men's and women's game. Gonzalez joined The Equalizer Podcast to discuss her transition into professional coaching, a move she has long wanted to make.  
21:32
January 29, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 44: Reading from the same hymn book
In this weeks episode, the Equalizer Podcast Team (this week: Dan Lauletta, Claire Watkins, and Kieran Theivam) take a look at the U.S. Women's National Team win against Spain, the continuously curious case of Australia National Team upheaval, and ongoing issues with Sky Blue FC, which might have just as many issues on the field as they do off of it.
51:38
January 28, 2019
Live from the 2019 USC Convention: Alexi Lalas on media coverage of the USWNT
Former U.S. men's national team defender and Fox Sports studio analyst Alexi Lalas joins The Equalizer Podcast for a discussion on how he covers the women's game the same way he covers the men's game,  plus his thoughts on the United States' chances at the 2019 World Cup.
30:37
January 25, 2019
Live from the 2019 USC Convention: Yael Averbuch on the state of the NWSL
NWSL Players Association president Yael Averbuch joins the podcast to discuss the recent unionization of the PA, her immediate playing future as she works to get healthy, and her passion for her training business, Techne Futbol.
19:18
January 24, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 43: France's Opening Statement
The U.S. Women's National Team had their first friendly of 2019 this week, and boy was it one to talk about. This week, man on the ground in Le Havre Kieran Theivam joins Chelsey Bush and Claire Watkins in taking a look at what went wrong (and perfectly fine) in the USWNT's 3-1 loss to France. The trio also discussed Australia's sudden coaching change, shed some insight into Julia Ashley's ultimate destination (a hint: it's not Sky Blue), and as always answer your questions
46:08
January 21, 2019
Live from the 2019 USC Convention: Utah Royals head coach Laura Harvey
Utah Royals FC coach Laura Harvey joins Chelsey and Dan to discuss the process of building her roster -- including the long pursuit of Christen Press -- and how the league can make itself better by being more transparent.
19:59
January 18, 2019
The Equalizer Podcast, Episode 42: Analyzing the Draft
 The 2019 NWSL College Draft has come and gone, with some teams making some major moves, while others sat the whole thing out entirely. Regardless, there's plenty to talk about! 
48:42
January 18, 2019
Live from the 2019 USC Convention: Lesle Gallimore on opportunities for female coaches
Lesle Gallimore is the longtime head coach of the University of Washington women's soccer program and board member of the United Soccer Coaches. In 2018, she served as president of the United Soccer Coaches. She joined The Equalizer Podcast in her final days as president to discuss the year that was and the challenges women face in the coaching industry.
11:10
January 15, 2019
Live from the 2019 USC Convention: Ali Krieger on pursuing a future in coaching
Orlando Pride defender Ali Krieger joins The Equalizer on Podcast Row at the 2019 United Soccer Coaches Convention in Chicago. Ali shares her plans for pursuing a coaching career after she is done playing, what the Orlando Pride need to do in order to improve upon a poor 2018 showing, and how the National Women's Soccer League could better market to adult fans.
16:58
January 14, 2019