Happy Friday, everyone! It’s been a busy soccer week, and there’s lots still to do, so let’s get right to it.
NWSL announces record bonus pool increases for 2023 season (NWSL)
With the Challenge Cup prize pool at $1.1 million this year, it makes sense for the NWSL to increase bonuses for the Shield and Championship so the tournament didn’t start to mean more than the actual season. This is good news for teams like the Spirit, who are currently 1st in the league but 3rd of 4 in their Challenge Cup group.
Qatari Investment Authority close to buying stake in Wizards, Capitals, Mystics: sources (The Athletic)
I don’t love this development, to be honest. Concerns about sportswashing are legitimate, and as we learned in the 2022 World Cup, the increased media attention and criticism that sports can bring to a country like Qatar don’t seem to result in many changes.
Riley Tanner called up to Panama National Team for 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup (Washington Spirit)
A sixth Spirit player will be headed to Australia and New Zealand next month. Rookie Riley Tanner will join Panama for their first appearance in the World Cup.
2011 Women’s World Cup champions Japan will fundraise to buy broadcast rights (Optus Sport)
Japan Women’s National Team are World Cup Champions – one of only 4 women’s teams to ever win it! – and this year’s Cup is not currently planned to be broadcast anywhere in their home country. This team deserves much better.
USA vs. Jamaica, 2023 CONCACAF Gold Cup: Scouting Jamaica (Stars and Stripes FC)
For those of you planning to watch the Gold Cup this weekend, here’s the scoop on the USMNT’s first opponent.
Hey Spirits episode: “So wholesome in the tent” + Going to the World Cup (The District Press)
I did want to share the latest of episode of our Hey Spirits! podcast, in which I got to interview one of my favorite soccer players but didn’t ask a single question about soccer.
Here’s your schedule of games for the weekend:
|Washington Spirit vs. Portland Thorns||Fri., June 23 at 10:30 p.m. ET||Providence Park||Paramount+, NBC Sports Washington|
|Loudoun United FC vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies||Sat., June 24 at 7 p.m. ET||Segra Field||ESPN+|
|D.C. United vs. FC Cincinnati||Sat., June 24 at 7:30 p.m. ET||Audi Field||Apple TV|
|Old Glory DC vs. Rugby New York||Sun., June 25 at 6 p.m. ET||Memorial Stadium||FS2|