The Equalizer Podcast
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.
Dan Lauletta is joined by The Guardian's Suzy Wrack to take a close look at the FA WSL and the U.S. women's national team stars who've joined the league this season. Then, Dan and Rachael Kriger react to the weekend's NWSL Fall Series action, including Kealia Watt's brace for the Chicago Red Stars.
Dan Lauletta and John Halloran recap Courage-Dash and Spirit-Red Stars in the NWSL Fall Series, and discuss what the recent signings in the FA WSL mean for the NWSL.
Dan Lauletta, Emily Olsen and John Halloran recap Sky Blue FC's 2-1 win over the Washington Spirit, which featured Midge Purce at forward and Mallory Pugh's Sky Blue debut, and try to predict what we can expect from the rest of the NWSL Fall Series.
Dan Lauletta, Rachael Kriger and Emily Dulhanty discuss the 2020 UEFA Women's Champions League Final, the finally-announced (if not updated) NWSL Fall Series, and a series of controversies following days of protests across the world of sports that has led to the departure of one of the NWSL's most prominent owners.
Rachael Kriger and Pardeep Cattry break down the UWCL quarterfinal results. They also recap the latest news from the NWSL, including the possibility of another expansion team and more player transfer rumors.
It's been a busy week in women's soccer. Dan Lauletta and Pardeep Cattry recap OL Reign acquiring the rights to Rose Lavelle, ahead of her expected move outside of the NWSL. They also discuss Sam Mewis officially joining Manchester City, Racing Louisville hiring Christy Holly to be their first head coach, and Sarina Wiegman taking over as England's coach in September 2021.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!