USA/Australia Women's Matches Are Out, USA/Haiti is In
14 Sep, 2015
Labor Dispute Leads to Australia Pulling Out of Series
According to Soccer America Daily, the USA will face Haiti in a pair of international women's matches Sept. 17 in Detroit and Sept. 20 in Birmingham, Alabama. Haiti replaces Australia, which had to pull out of the Victory Tour series because of a soccer labor dispute. Each match has sold more than 31,000 tickets.
A dispute between Professional Footballers Australia and Football Federation Australia reached the boiling point Tuesday when the Matildas, the Australian women's national team, went on strike. The 2015 Women's World Cup quarterfinalists were scheduled to leave Friday for the USA to face the U.S. world champions.
Football Federation Australia chief executive David Gallop confirmed on Thursday the cancellation of the series. He had said the FFA wanted to invest more in the women's national team "but unannounced, fresh demands" got in the way of a deal. Goalkeeper Lydia Williams blamed the stalemate on the FFA for not understanding what the Matildas had given to soccer in Australia.
The matches will be the first friendly match between the USA and Haiti. The USA has played and beaten Haiti four times in Concacaf qualifying tournaments. The teams most recently met in 2014 at Washington's RFK Stadium during qualifying for the 2015 Women's World Cup. The USA won, 6-0.
In its last two games, Haiti has won 14-0 over Aruba and 13-0 over Grenada. But a 3-2 loss to Puerto Rico knocked it out of contention for a berth in the final round of Olympic qualifying in February 2016. In May, Haiti fell to Ireland, 1-0, in a friendly played in Lauderhill, Florida.
Haiti's national team regularly sets up base in Indiana under the direction of Shek Borkowski and faces Midwest college and youth teams. Back in Haiti, the "Camp Nous" academy program has been identifying and developing young Haitian women.