So. Maybe you were paying attention to a non-45-related scandal this week. You'd have had to dig pretty deep, because 45 has been killing it with misplaced apostrophes in contractions and implausible explanation run-ons for a pretty solid two weeks now, and it's hard to take a breath. But, what if a non-45 politician found a way to make some noise. A Democrat even. How 'bout a governor?!? How 'bout NEW JERSEY'S Governor? 

Seems like lots of media discovered this week that the lovely footballing women of New Jersey's Sky Blue FC (which is owned in large part by the sitting Governor of the Garden State, Phil Murphy) aren't exactly playing, practicing or living in ideal conditions. Or even in marginally professional ones.

Love that scandal coverage! Plenty of "mainstream" media have done lots of "reporting" which has mainly consisted of quoting two reports from dedicated, NWSL-specific media outlets and reporters who are the only people worth reading on the topic. So, you should do that. Go read them. Here are their stories:

Yes, that one has a pay wall. Pay it. 

Here's the other excellent story, from a person I very much miss seeing at every Boston Breakers home game:

And here's the super fast solution that has emerged:

So that seems completely solved now, right?

Journalists frequently learn from each other, but it's important to give credit where credit is due. I've seen several pieces in the past few days with a lot of the content lifted with minimal credit to the original reporting. Pro tip: if the first sentence reads, "A soccer website is reporting that..." and there are lots of paragraphs that follow with no additional sourcing, you can be pretty sure the author of that piece is just recycling the work of a hard-working and underpaid WoSo writer. 

C'mon Sky Blue. Even the Breakers gave the players donuts! #FrisDeservesDonuts


What Happened in COG 16?

Last Wednesday:
North Carolina Courage 2-0 Washington Spirit
Houston Dash 3-1 Orlando Pride (!)
Seattle Reign 1-0 Utah Royals

Last Saturday:
Sky Blue 0-4 North Carolina Courage
Utah Royals 1-2 Orlando Pride
Chicago Red Stars 1-0 Seattle Reign

Last Sunday:
Portland Thorns 3-1 Houston Dash

North Carolina Courage at Utah Royals 

Friday at 10PM Eastern on Go90

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USA! USA! Where are the players with recognizable names? USA! USA! 

A huge chunk of the Courage is off to USWNT camp, and so the visitors will be without Dahlkemper, Dunn, Hinkle, Mathias, Mewis and Zerboni. Utah is sending Press, Rodriguez and Sauerbrunn to the same camp. No problem, right?

Incredibly, North Carolina still has top talent everywhere, especially on the attack. Oh, and in the midfield. Oh, and Erceg is still in the back line. Yeah, there is a reason they're so good.

Utah has fewer options, but they're not missing quite as many pieces (though Abby Smith will miss the match after suffering a concussion last week and Kelley O'Hara is still out), and do have quality players in Ratcliffe and Tymrak available to step in and work hard for some needed home points.

I can see this one ending in a draw, but for some reason I think the Courage win it late.

North Carolina Courage 3-2 Utah Royals

Seattle Reign at Orlando Pride

Saturday at 3:30PM Eastern on Lifetime TV

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Seattle: No Addo (injury) and Allie Long and Megan Rapinoe are with the USWNT. Rumi Utsugi is questionable.

Orlando: Ashlyn Harris and Alex Morgan are with the USWNT, and Rachel Hill is questionable.

Rapinoe is more important to the Reign than most single players are to their teams, but Allie Long does a lot of work as well. Missing both is a lot. Orlando will have all their weapons that they had during Morgan's brief break a couple of weeks ago, plus they're at home and can leapfrog the Reign up to 2nd place with a win. Mission accomplished.

Orlando Pride 3-2 Seattle Reign 

Houston Dash at Washington Spirit

Saturday at 7PM Eastern on Go90

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The home side has shipped Rose Lavelle to USWNT camp (danger!), and have added Tiff Weimer to the 45-day disabled list due to a cyst in her knee. Pugh remains out.

Houston is in strangely rough shape. Allysha Chapman is out with a concussion, and Kyah Simon will also sit due to some achilles tendinitis. Janine Van Wyk is questionable with her hamstring, and Kealia Ohai and Bianca Henninger are both out on international duty.

Can Washington find only their third win of the year in their 18th match? I'm not seeing it. Not with Rachel Daly on the field.

Washington Spirit 1-3 Houston Dash

Portland Thorns at Sky Blue FC

Saturday at 7PM Eastern on Go90

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You guys, it's the first game at New Jersey since SCANDAL 2018!!!!! Will there be showers? Will the owners show up and make some sort of statement? Will the team score a goal? None of these are good questions.

Here's what we do know about Sky Blue: Carli Lloyd won't be there. Katie Johnson won't be there. Jen Hoy is still out. Raquel Rodriguez and Rebekah Stott are both questionable.

Portland's donations to the USWNT camp include Tobin Heath, Lindsey Horan, Emily Sonnett and AD Franch (IT'S ABOUT DAMN TIME!). Midge Purce is still out with that smooshed ankle. That's going to give several very good players a chance to get involved in a game in a bid for increased playing time going forward. Mal Weber and Angela Salem need to start this game. It probably won't matter though; Sky Blue is in a bad way on the field as well as off.

Sky Blue 1-3 Portland Thorns