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  • Writer's pictureSoccer Down Here

Federation strategy, baloney, and more: Starting Lineup, September 14

by Jason Longshore

1- The US Soccer Federation announced their "Strategic Vision" with the five pillars to the right as the core. They have initiatives including the legacy of the 2026 World Cup, developing more referees, "democratizing soccer knowledge", and more. More from Soccer America at the link and more will come from US Soccer as the strategy turns to action.

2- Spain's female professional players have called off a strike after reaching a deal to increase minimum wage, the league and unions said Thursday. The first set of games was not played last weekend, but the second block of matches will now go ahead as scheduled. The new agreement will increase the minimum wage for the women’s league to $22,500 this season, with that sum rising to $25,200 by 2025. It could go even higher depending on revenue. Last season, of 334 players, 80 players made less than $21,400 per year, while the average salary was about $42,900, according to the league.

3- Poland's struggles in Euro 2024 qualifying have turned a few heads and now Fernando Santos has been fires as the national team manager. He won the 2016 European Championships with Portugal and took Portugal to the last World Cup, but did not last nine months in the Poland job. Poland should land in the playoffs for the Euros, thanks to their performances in the last Nations League.

4- As the world turns in New England, club president Brian Biello and interim sporting director Curt Onalfo spoke to the media yesterday. They really didn't answer any questions about the process that has led us to this point. Richie Williams is still with the club, but no longer the interim manager, and will have some time off right now. Clint Peay has done a great job with New England Revolution II and now it's his job (presumably for the rest of the season, but we thought that about Williams). Curt Onalfo with a bold statement here late in the media event.

5- Reading have been deducted three more points after failing to deposit enough money to cover the club's monthly wage bill, the English Football League (EFL) said on Wednesday. The third division club received a one-point deduction last month with a further three points suspended, to be applied if they breached EFL regulations again. Reading failed to comply with an order to deposit funds equal to 125% of the forecast monthly wage bill in a designated account by Tuesday, the EFL said in a statement on Wednesday.

6- Keira Walsh and Beth England, who helped England reach the final at the recent Women's World Cup, will miss the team's next two Nations League games due to injury. Coach Sarina Wiegman otherwise stuck with the bulk of her squad from the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand with 21 players returning for their Sept. 22 match against Scotland at Sunderland and Sept. 26 game against the Netherlands in Utrecht.

7- With 137 caps for Andorra over 26 years and in 4 different decades, Ildefons Lima made his last appearance for his national team on Tuesday, bringing down the curtain on the longest international career in men's football. Lima, 43, made his debut for Andorra at 17 in a 4-1 defeat by Estonia in 1997, which was the country's second official international match. The defender went on to score 11 goals for Andorra and captain the national team. He played 23 minutes in Andorra's 3-0 loss to Switzerland on Tuesday, starting the game before being substituted to a standing ovation from fans at the Stade de Tourbillon in Switzerland. His appearance also made Lima the oldest footballer to have played in a Euro qualifier.

8- According to Relevo, Barcelona will have to deal with another big reduction of salaries starting in the winter window in January. They had a salary limit of €648.8m with which to pay their players within La Liga regulations last season, following the sale of numerous assets to the tune of €667m the previous year. The club had been proud of their reductions over the last year, cutting their player payroll by €162m with the likes of Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets leaving the club. Their current wage bill is around €404m, meaning they will be €134m over their current figure – 49% in excess. This means that Barcelona will only be able to spend 50% of the money they save in wages they remove from their wage bill, in addition to 50% of the extra they make from sales, until they are back in the black. Here we go again...

9- Manchester United have announced the signing of Spain midfielder and World Cup winner Irene Guerrero from Atletico Madrid. She was an unused substitute in the final against England.

10- On this date in 1968, Georgia State played their first ever varsity men's soccer match against Clemson at Atlanta Stadium prior to the Atlanta Chiefs vs Cleveland Stokers NASL playoff match. In that match, Kaizer Motaung scored the winner in sudden death extra time to send the Chiefs to the championship series with a 2-1 win.

11- Amy Winehouse was born on this day in 1983. She was an incredible artist who we sadly lost due to alcohol poisoning at 27 years old in 2011. Her singles "Rehab" and "Back to Black" were massive hits worldwide, but I'm picking a different song of hers for our Song of the Day. Amy was such a tragic loss to the music world.

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