Petke, Harvey Praise Equality Measures In Women’s Soccer
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Real Salt Lake head coach Mike Petke and his co-host Brian Dunseth were joined by Utah Royals FC head coach Laura Harvey on the latest edition of The Mike Petke Coaches Show.
Donning a super cool Pride edition of Nike Air Max 270s, Harvey was asked by Dunseth about she’s enjoying and handling the biggest event in the world right now, the Women’s World Cup.
For the Royals, its more than just a tournament of the best female soccer players playing across the pond in France, the team has a personal connection to the event.
Utah sent several of its top players to the World Cup to compete. In the group that represents the Royals, all but three members of the U.S. national team have been eliminated. American and Royals players Christen Press, Becky Sauerbrunn and Kelley O’Hara remain in the World Cup. Naturally, Harvey and the rest of her team are enjoying watching their colleagues compete but it is a challenge to lose so many players during the NWSL season.
“I think it’s the craziest thing that we play through it,” said Harvey. “I truly do, especially in the group stage.”
Harvey believes that the NWSL season could benefit from taking a break and letting the World Cup do its thing, but she’s making due in the meantime.
After all, it’s probably good for the sport to have the World Cup right now.
“I think from a world stage, it’s got the exposure that it deserves,” said Harvey. “The game is still growing so you saw in the group stage, there’s some teams that aren’t as good as other teams.”
For example, the U.S. team smashed Thailand 13-0 in the first game of the group stage.
The European continent is doing especially well this time around. Of the seven remaining squads, only the United States stands alone as the only team not from Europe.
The appreciation for the women’s game is rapidly growing. It was recently announced that the soccer federation in France would add $23 million in additional funds to be used solely for the women’s team.
To Petke, he sees equality in soccer as supremely important. To him, news like the funding in Spain shouldn’t be as surprising as it might seem.
“I feel like we’re celebrating something that’s unbelievable and great, but it’s about time,” Petke said.
The Mike Petke Coaches Show airs weekly on KSL.
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