= TSX DAILY ~ 2 August 2019 =
| 1. | LANE ONE: U.S. men’s soccer players want a “fair share” ~ how much is that?
The United States National Soccer Team Players Association sent out a statement on Tuesday ostensibly supporting the U.S. Women’s National Team and its “equal pay” campaign, but also ripping the U.S. Soccer Federation because the men’s Collective Bargaining Agreement ran out at the end of 2018.
So they’re unhappy. So are U.S. soccer fans, after the embarrassment of 2017, in which the American men’s squad failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
There’s no doubt that U.S. Soccer has money, but how much as these guys actually worth? Isn’t there actually some base value in representing the United States itself that is independent of whoever the players are?
A review of the U.S. men’s team schedule in 2018 – a year in which the team was at its low point, playing 11 friendlies and compiling a 3-5-3 record – showed that an astonishing total of 169,801 showed up to the seven games they played in the U.S.
That’s an average of 24,257 per game to see the U.S. play three teams which did not compete in the 2018 World Cup in Russia and four teams that did (Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Peru).
That interest has very little to do with the players on the team that actually played in these games, and a lot to do with the brand built by players like Cobi Jones, Landon Donovan, Alexi Lalas, Clint Dempsey and others. Why should today’s players be paid for what they did?
It was be fascinating to see how U.S. Soccer – which had 2018 revenues of $102 million – handles this, no doubt after dealing with the women’s team that will start its “Victory Tour” matches on Saturday at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. The details are here.
| 2. | SWIMMING: If you think you’re fit, you’re not … compared to the Iron Lady
FINA’s annual Swimming World Cup series begins on Friday in Tokyo (JPN), this year in long-course (50 m) pools to ensure all times will be valid for Olympic qualifying purposes.
The first-week program features 16 individual events for both men and women and with the rules now allowing swimmers to enter as many events as they want – although only three will count for seasonal point totals – Hungary’s amazing Katinka Hosszu is back to her old tricks.
The triple gold medalist from the Rio 2016 Games once entered – and swam in – every event in a single World Cup. In Tokyo, she’s entered in 14 of 16 events, which means that if she qualifies for the final in each one, she would compete in 27 swims over three days.
Starting just a week after the end of the 2019 World Championships and being in Tokyo, the World Cup has attracted a good field, but the two-time defending women’s champ, Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) is not entered this week. That’s good news for Hosszu, who won the prior five titles!
Two-time men’s champion Vladimir Morozov is the likely favorite among the men’s swimmers. The U.S. has 10 entries (nine men), including star sprinter Michael Andrew.
Hosszu will have company in Tokyo, as Russia’s Vitalina Simonova, the European silver medalist in the 200 m Breaststroke back in 2013, has also entered 14 events! Let’s see if she goes through with it. Our World Cup preview is here.
| 3. | SWIMMING: Youngsters leading the way at U.S. Nationals at Stanford
In a show of ridiculous scheduling, the USA Swimming National Championships are being held at Stanford a week after the World Championships in Korea concluded and on the same weekend as the first leg of the FINA World Cup. But the future of U.S. swimming is performing beautifully.
On Wednesday, teenagers Luca Urlando (17) and double world-record holder Regan Smith (17) won in the 200 m Butterfly, both with times ranking them in the top 10 on the 2019 world list.
On Thursday, 20-year-old Austin Katz of Texas won the national title in the 200 m at the touch over Shaine Casas of Texas A&M and the times placed them 5-6 on the year list … and they weren’t even on the World Championships team.
In the 100 m Free finals, Olympic veterans Abbey Weitzeil and Ryan Held triumphed, again with marks moving them into the top 10, and Held’s 47.39 placed him at no. 3. Alison Schmitt, the 2012 Olympic 200 m Free champ who swam poorly in Gwangju, came back to win the event at Stanford, and Madisyn Cox, swimming in the Nationals again after her drug suspension was commuted, won a satisfying victory in the 200 m Breaststroke.
| 4. | SWIMMING: FINA Council member indicted for masterminding a 1998 murder
We asked in May why an accused murderer has been maintained as a member of the FINA Council. Now the question is why Tamas Gyarfas (HUN) continues to be a member of the FINA Council after indictment as the mastermind of a successful 1998 plot to kill a business rival.
Gyarfas responded to our May story, writing that there had been no prosecution after more than a year of investigation, but now there is. He’ll have his hands full with his defense, but will FINA do anything about his status?
In addition to his responsibilities on the FINA Council, Gyarfas was also the Technical Delegate in Gwangju for the women-dominated sport of Artistic Swimming. Why?
| 5. | ATHLETICS: Long-time IAAF Council member alarmed at possible easy-on-doping candidates
Amadeo Francis of Puerto Rico, a member of the decision-making IAAF Council from 1976-2007 and an Honorary Vice President, is sounding the alarm in advance of the 25 September Council elections in Doha (QAT), just before the World Championships begin.
The candidate field is huge, with 11 vying for four Vice President positions and 40 running for 13 Council spots, including Willie Banks from the U.S. But Francis is worried about three candidates, from India, Kenya and Ukraine: countries with less-than-stellar records on doping control.
Wrote Francis to dozens of voting members: “This is the ultimate decision making body of the IAAF and, in the absence of positive measures from the Members, could have a dominant presence of members from countries which have shown an inability or unwillingness to comply with IAAF rules and regulations and thus could not be depended upon to guarantee a clean sport for the rest of the Athletics community.”
| 6. | DOPING: No supplement is safe: Olympic bronze winner Galloway suspended
The 2016 Olympic bronze medalist in the women’s Taekwondo open-weight category, U.S. fighter Jackie Galloway, was suspended for six months for a doping positive. She took a supplement that contained a prohibited substance, even though it was not listed among the ingredients.
This is the same situation as hit Madisyn Cox and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency posted a video with the sad story of teenage weightlifter Abby Raymond, whose career in her chosen sport was threatened when a supplement provided by a family friend caused a doping positive. Her penalty was confined to three months since she had no idea that the supplement had a prohibited substance in it. It was the USADA’s first case of a contaminated supplement involving a minor.
It’s an issue that is only going to get more prevalent as time goes on.
| 7. | WATCH PARTY: Weekend picks for the Olympic sports fan
If you’re in the mood for more Olympic sports this weekend, some suggestions:
● Football: The U.S. Women’s National Team begins its “Victory Tour” with a match against Ireland in Pasadena, California on Saturday at 7 p.m. Pacific time on ESPN2 and Galavision.
● Swimming: The USA Swimming National Championships continue from Stanford at 5 p.m. Pacific time on Friday (NBCSN), Saturday (NBC Olympic Channel) and Sunday (NBC Olympic Channel).
● Pan American Games: The quadrennial hemispheric spectacle in Lima, Peru turns the corner for the second week on ESPN; check their program guide for the events on ESPN2 and ESPNNews.
The TSX Daily is your complimentary daily briefing on competition, news and politics in Olympic sport from The Sports Examiner, your all-in-one source for commentary, coverage and results across all 41 sports and 441 events on the program of the Olympic and Winter Games.
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