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This Week in Women's Football: Feb. 24, 2022

This Week in Women's Football: Sassuolo vs. AC Milan on ATA Football, international friendly tournaments results, equal pay settlement

February 24, 2022 By Juan Aguerrevere
The Italian Serie A is back in action this weekend, the U.S. Soccer and the USWNT reached $24 million equal pay settlement and a series of international friendly tournaments have concluded. Keep reading to get a breakdown of what went on last week in women’s soccer, and what to expect this upcoming weekend.

Sassuolo vs. AC Milan live on ATA Football 

ATA Football will stream an Italian Serie A match between Sassuolo and AC Milan live on Saturday, Feb. 26, starting at 8:30 a.m. ET. 

Sassuolo and Milan have lived almost identical seasons up to Matchday 15. The Black and Greens sit third in the table, tied in points with Roma (34) and sitting below league-leaders Juventus (40). On the other hand, the Rossonere sit in fourth place with 31 points. 

The top two teams at the end of each Serie A season qualifies for the UEFA Women's Champions League. As a result, Sasssuolo, Milan and Roma find themselves in an all-out battle to clinch that second position in the table by the end of the season. With eight game weeks left to play including the one this weekend, this game between Sassuolo and Milan will be a critical one. 

International friendly tournaments results: Algarve Cup, Arnold Clark Cup, SheBelieves Cup, Tournoi de France

Algarve Cup

Sweden won the 29th edition of the Algarve Cup in penalties against Italy in the final. Norway defeated hosts Portugal in the third-place game, despite a Portuguese win over Norwegians during group play. And Denmark withdrew from the tournament after players testing positive for Covid-19.

The exhibition tournament averaged 2.33 goals per match, with Italy's Valentina Giacinti and Norway's Celin Bizet Ildhusoy sharing the golden boot with two goals apiece. 

  1. Sweden – beat Italy in the final
  2. Italy – Lost to Sweden in the final
  3. Norway – Beat Portugal in third-place match
  4. Portugal – Lost to Norway in third-place match
  5. Denmark – Withdrew

Arnold Clark cup

England won the first edition of the Arnold Clark Cup after taking down Germany 3-1 on Wednesday. Fran Kirby's late goal in the final game separated the English from the Spaniards in the standings by one goal.

Given the competition in this tournament compared with others, the average goals per match was drastically lower (1.67). English center-back Millie Bright and Spanish attacking midfielder Alexia Putellas shared the golden boot for each scoring two goals.

  1. England – 5 pts.
  2. Spain – 5 pts.
  3. Canada – 4 pts.
  4. Germany – 1 pts.

SheBelieves Cup

The USWNT claimed their fifth SheBelieves Cup title after a decisive 5-0 win against Iceland. The host nation did not allow one goal throughout the tournament and scored 10, five against Iceland and another five against New Zealand.

American winger Mallory Pugh was the top scorer of the tournament with three goals. The tournament averaged 2.33 goals per match.

  1. USA – 7 pts.
  2. Iceland – 6 pts.
  3. Czech Republic – 2 pts.
  4. New Zealand – 1 pts.

Tournoi de France

France won their second consecutive Tournoi de France. The host nation defeated the Netherlands and Brazil again, just like in 2020. Finland finished last without scoring a goal but managed a goalless draw against Brazil in their first-ever appearance in the tournament.

The tournament averaged 2.83 goals per match, with Les Bleues scoring 10 goals out of the 17 total goals. French forwards Marie-Antoinette Katoto was the top goalscorer with four goals.

  1. France – 9 pts.
  2. Netherlands – 4 pts. 
  3. Brazil – 2 pts. 
  4. Finland – 1 pts.

Equal Pay Settlement 

The U.S. Women's National Team reached a proposed settlement in its equal pay lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation. 

"We are pleased to announce that, contingent on the negotiation of a new collective bargaining agreement, we will have resolved our longstanding dispute over equal pay and proudly stand together in a shared commitment to advancing equality in soccer," the USWNT and U.S. Soccer said in a joint statement on Tuesday.

U.S. Soccer agreed to pay $22 million to the players. The money will be distributed by players and approved by the court. The remaining $2 million will go into a fund for USWNT players' post-career goals and charitable efforts. Each former player will be able to apply for the fund for up to $50,000. The federation also promised pay men's and women's senior national teams the same in all friendly games and tournaments, including the World Cup.

The agreement fell short of the more than $66 million that the players demanded for in back pay. However, the $24 million figure and equal pay is still a big win for the team.

"We feel like this is a huge win – obviously contingent upon the ratification of the CBA – but it will have equal pay on everything moving forward," two-time World Cup winner Megan Rapinoe told The Athletic. "It's honestly kind of surreal. I feel like I need to take a step back. We've all been in the trenches of it for so long. I think I honestly don't even understand how monumental this is."

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