Thick as a Brick

Britt Eckerstrom has hung up her gloves.

Image by NWSL.com on Twitter. Licensed under Fair Use.

The Thorns goalkeeping depth has never looked more valuable, but it’s worthwhile to take a moment to ponder the loss of this player.

Eckerstrom didn’t give a proximal cause for her “retirement” at the age of 27, but if I had to guess it probably has something to do with the seemingly-endless grind of playing professional soccer for what amounts to entry-level wages for the sales floor in the appliances department of Sears.

That’s punitive.

And the reality of the league and the teams we follow as fans – of the Thorns, of the NWSL, of the women’s game – is that worldwide the women’s game stands behind, and often far behind, the men’s game in revenue and stature. That’s neither fair nor right, but that’s the fact.

Here in the United States the situation is even more difficult. Soccer as a professional sport is competing for the entertainment dollar that, unlike European or South American sport, goes largely to other entities; professional football, basketball, and baseball. MLS is fourth in line at the ATM, and the NWSL stands behind the men.

Again…I don’t like that. It’s grossly unfair to these exceptional athletes. But it’s where we stand, and to change that requires changing the landscape of American sport. Can we do that? Can it happen?

Sure.

But it won’t be easy and it won’t be quick.

Until then I can ruefully promise we’ll see more farewells like this one.

Thanks, and farewell, Brick.

We’ll always have Utah.

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3 thoughts on “Thick as a Brick

  1. Yes Thanks Britt! We will never forget Utah! She is retiring on a high but I wish she was going to stay for one more year at least because we don’t know what exactly is wrong with Franch and Bella’s injury will take time. Yes, we still have two very good keepers, but not at their best right now.

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  2. I have had an opportunity to meet Britt, as she coached my daughter a couple of times and became friends with my wife. She is a quality person and it is sad to see her leave the team.

    She was coaching in her spare time to earn extra cash, as many of the lower paid Thorns do. While I am grateful for her help with my goalkeeper daughter, it is a sad commentary that female professional athletes have to take odd jobs.

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  3. As usual, the FO is opaque updating us about either Franch or Bixby’s conditions, so we don’t know where they are in the progress towards match-fitness. Franch’s failure to re-appear on the training ground, both here and with the Nats, is more than a bit disturbing. Hopefully the coaching staff are on top of this and are ready to pull the trigger on signing a third keeper if either or both are struggling with fitness.

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