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Becky Sauerbrunn, Alex Morgan express support for Spanish players

(Maddie Meyer/FIFA via Getty Images)

U.S. Women’s National Team veterans Becky Sauerbrunn and Alex Morgan are lending their support to the Spanish national team after players expressed their concerns over head coach Jorge Vilda to Spain’s soccer federation (RFEF).

“The RFEF can confirm that, throughout today, we received 15 emails from 15 players of the women’s senior soccer team… in which they state that the current situation affects ‘significantly’ their emotional state and their health and that, ‘as long as it is not reversed,’ they resign from the Spanish national team,” the Spanish FA said in a statement Thursday.

The Spanish players, however, took issue with that characterization, stating that “We have never asked for the dismissal of the coach as has been commented,” but did ask for “a firm commitment to a professional project.”

The federation has taken a hard line, declining to fire Vilda and demanding players apologize if they want to return to the team.

“The RFEF is not going to allow the players to question the continuity of the national coach and his coaching staff, since making those decisions does not fall within their powers,” the Spanish FA said, warning players that refusing a national team call-up is classified as “very serious infraction and can carry sanctions of two and five years of disqualification.”

In their response, the Spanish players expressed dismay over their private communications being made public by the federation.

Morgan and Sauerbrunn weighed in on the situation over the weekend, joining USWNT teammate Megan Rapinoe in supporting the Spanish players.

“This is so hard to watch knowing the federation is throwing their players under the bus for players asking for better protection, treatment, and professionalism,” Morgan said in a post on Twitter. “Players(the BEST players in Spain) deserve so much better.”

Sauerbrunn also condemned the Spanish federation, writing, “I don’t know the private details, but if 15 of the best players in the world wanted to share feedback I’d respect them enough as people and players to take their concerns seriously.”

The USWNT is set to travel to Spain for an Oct. 11 friendly, but the latest developments and outspokenness of U.S. veteran players throw that matchup into question.