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Morning Flurries: USWNT and continued pay equality fights

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USA v Thailand: Group F - 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup France Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

The US Women’s National Soccer Team is one of the country’s most decorated teams in recent history, bar none.

They set an American viewing record in 2015 when a whopping 23 million tuned in to watch them defeat Japan — on Fox Sports alone. Another 1.3 million tuned in on the Spanish-language channel Telemundo, making it both the most-watched game in English-language American soccer broadcast history and the most-watched Spanish language game in Women’s World Cup history.

That year, they reportedly outpaced the US Men’s National Team in revenue drawn in by $20 million — and there’s no comparative US Men’s World Cup year’s worth of revenue to pull in from last year, because the men’s team straight-up didn’t qualify.

Despite all of this, the women currently make just $100 more per national team appearance win than the men do per national team appearance loss, and $8,000 less than the men per win.

It’s the stuff like this that’s worth remembering when we think about the comically dominant 13-0 beating the USWNT gave Thailand in their opening match of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Alex Morgan scored five goals, which is one more than the US men’s team has collectively scored in their last five games combined — and they’ve only won two of those five games.

Putting aside the comparisons, though, the women truly did bring everything out for their first game — which, naturally, has brought about the debate over whether or not they should have celebrated as much as they did once it was clear they were running away with the match.

On one side, there are those who think that the move — which saw veteran players like Morgan celebrate late-game goals in excess — was tasteless, exhibiting poor sportsmanship over a clearly underqualified opponent:

On the other hand, of course, the players themselves argued that each and every goal scored on the World Cup stage is potentially a rare and precious moment for the players who are experiencing their first (and for some, only) run at the tournament — and that kind of consideration might be given to men during similarly dominant performances and subsequent celebrations.

There’s a personality debate to be had — the difference in preferring demure celebrations and thrilling in showboating, for starters — but also the gender angle to consider, particularly as the women fight to argue that they’re dominant (and visible) enough to deserve a bigger piece of the US Soccer financial pie. With the US women facing a first-time qualifier in their next game, though, it’s clear that this argument is far from over.

In some hockey news:

The Blues and the Bruins will face off in Game 7 for the Stanley Cup tonight at 8pm EST, and the Blues will have an incredibly special guest in the stands all the way on the east coast for the game. [NHL.com]

In the world of non-cup teams, though, there’s some interesting news out of Pittsburgh. The Penguins seem to have accepted that they won’t be able to trade Phil Kessel after all — and here’s what that could mean for the club moving forward. [Pensburgh]

In Avalanche news (and to update you on some draft reading), here’s a look at potential draft candidate Marc Del Gaizo — the kid who played alongside Cale Makar back at UMass. Yes, he’s still draft eligible, and he could be on the table for Colorado. [Mile High Hockey]

In some additional Avalanche news, we want to give a hearty congrats to The Athletic Denver’s Ryan Clark for celebrating his one-year anniversary covering the team!

Throughout the year, few beat writers were able to show the kind of interest and caring in the team they covered that Clark showed in covering the Avalanche — and it showed.