All Scores

Jamia Fields on Race and Soccer

TONY QUINN/ISI PHOTOS

Jamia Fields is a forward for the Houston Dash of the NWSL. A graduate of Florida State University, she helped lead the Seminoles to their first ever NCAA title in 2014.

Why do you think it’s important to speak out now? 

“It’s very important because we all have our own experiences that I feel like we’ve been suppressing for so many years. Maybe we’ve been in a situation where we felt that we couldn’t really speak out. And I know there’s a divide in the world right now, but I do feel that because so many people are coming out to support this cause, this is a perfect time to join the movement and to really push for change.”

It’s no secret that women’s soccer tends to be, well, pretty white. How has your experience in soccer intersected with some of what’s happening now?

“Yeah, growing up in Southern California, I was always one of the only black girls on my team. I always felt welcomed, but there were definitely times when I felt like the odd one out. And then, going to Florida State, there were a lot of black girls when I got there. I think God did that to give me a different type of experience. There were a lot of different cultures on my team at Florida State. And that was really, really amazing, something that I really needed. I was really immersed in the black culture. That was a real turning point in my life where I actually got to see black is beautiful, first of all. Growing up in Southern California, it was really just blond, blue eyed girls, honestly. But going to Florida State, I was like, ‘Okay.’ You know? There were six black girls on my team at one point. I was like, ‘What is this? This is crazy.’ That was so amazing.”

It’s wild to think that it was only when you were 18 that you saw other people who looked like you on your team. It’s honestly pretty heartbreaking. 

“I literally remember mentioning to my parents, like, “There’s other black girls on my team.” Like, “What?” It was such an exciting thing. I was so shocked. And the fact that that’s something that’s shocking is what’s sad. And then, going into the pros, it’s kind of a similar situation where there’s very few black people. You have to be confident in your skin when you’re the minority in that situation. That’s just how it has to be because, like I said, you’re outnumbered. And even if the people are loving, and on many of those teams, I felt loved, it’s still a personal battle. People might still say things that they don’t even know are wrong. It’s a lot.”

What do you think needs to change? I realize that’s a big question. 

“I have a lot of friends reaching out, which I’m really thankful for because I feel the love and the support. And that’s just the main thing right now. I feel like people, black people, black women, black men, we need to feel the love and support because it’s been a long time of suppressing feelings and feeling outnumbered. And this is just a weird situation. With this question, I just don’t really know how to answer it all the time… In my life at least, stepping a little bit out of my comfort zone is what helped me grow the most, so I encourage people to do that, even if it’s small steps. Reach out to your black friends or coworkers. Help them feel loved and supported. And then ask each person ‘How can I support you? How can I help you?’ Because everyone’s needs may be different.”

Why do you think that athletes, in particular, are speaking out in such numbers?

“Well, I feel athletes already have it in them to be competitive and to fight. Now they want to fight for what is right. In different sports too, people have a lot of black teammates, and I think that’s causing people to step up. I think it goes back to that competitive desire, though. Athletes have it in them to push for something. And right now, it’s pushing for change, it’s pushing to win against injustice.”

Anything else you’d like to share with our audience? 

“I just want to encourage people to continue to push themselves outside their comfort zone and to use their voice. I know everyone’s saying it, but I feel like that is what’s going to create change. I’m also really thankful for you and this platform, because we need platforms like this who are open to talking about racism and are willing to say that black lives matter. These platforms are going to create change.”

USWNT to face Costa Rica in final Olympic send-off

uswnt sophia smith and tierna davidson celebrate at shebeilves cup 2024
The USWNT will play their final pre-Olympic friendly against Costa Rica on July 16th. (Photo by Greg Bartram/ISI Photos/USSF/Getty Images for USSF)

U.S. Soccer announced Tuesday that the USWNT will play their last home game on July 16th in the lead-up to the 2024 Summer Olympic Games in Paris.

The 2024 Send-Off Match against Costa Rica will take place at Washington, DC’s Audi Field — home to both the Washington Spirit and DC United — at 7:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, July 16th. The friendly rounds out a four-game Olympic run-up campaign under incoming head coach Emma Hayes’ side, with the last two set to feature the finalized 2024 U.S. Olympic Women’s Soccer Team roster.

Hayes will appear on the USWNT sideline for the first time this June, helming the team as they embark on a two-game series against Korea Republic hosted by Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado on June 1st followed by Allianz Stadium in St. Paul, Minnesota on June 4th. 

The team is then scheduled to meet a talented Mexico squad on July 13th at Gotham FC’s Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey, where the Olympic-bound lineup will attempt to rewrite February’s shocking 2-0 loss to El Tri Femenil in the group stages of this year’s Concacaf W Gold Cup. And while clear roster favorites have emerged from both of this year’s Gold Cup and SheBelives Cup rosters, a spate of recent and recurring injuries means making it to the Olympics is still largely anyone’s game.

Broadcast and streaming channels for the USWNT's final July 16th friendly at Audi Field include TNT, truTV, Universo, Max, and Peacock.

Caitlin Clark’s WNBA start to serve as 2024 Olympic tryout

Clark of the Indiana Fever poses for a photo with Lin Dunn and Christie Sides during her introductory press conference on April 17, 2024
The talented Fever rookie is still in the running for a ticket to this summer's Paris Olympics. (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)

The USA Basketball Women's National Team is still considering Caitlin Clark for a spot on the Paris Olympics squad, says selection committee chair Jennifer Rizzotti. 

On Monday, Rizzotti told the AP that the committee will be evaluating the college phenom’s Olympic prospects by keeping a close eye on her first few weeks of WNBA play with Indiana.

The move is somewhat unconventional. While Clark was invited to participate in the 14-player national team training camp held earlier this month — the last camp before Team USA’s roster drops — she was unable to attend due to it coinciding with Iowa’s trip to the NCAA Women’s Final Four.

Judging by the immense talent spread throughout the league in what might be their most hyped season to date, competition for a piece of the Olympic pie could be fiercer than ever before.

"You always want to introduce new players into the pool whether it's for now or the future," said Rizzotti. "We stick to our principles of talent, obviously, positional fit, loyalty and experience. It's got to be a combination of an entire body of work. It's still not going to be fair to some people."

Of course, Clark isn’t the first rookie the committee has made exceptions for. Coming off an exceptional college season that saw her averaging 19.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 4 assists per game for UConn, Breanna Stewart was tapped to represent the U.S. at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil less than two weeks after being drafted No. 1 overall by the Seattle Storm. Eight years prior, fellow No. 1 pick Candace Parker punched her ticket to the 2008 Games in Beijing just two weeks after making her first appearance for the L.A. Sparks.

In the lead-up to Paris’ Opening Ceremony on July 26th, USA Basketball Women’s National Team is scheduled to play a pair of exhibition games. They'll first go up against the WNBA's finest at the July 20th WNBA All-Star Game in Phoenix before facing Germany in London on July 23rd.

While an official roster announcement date hasn’t yet been issued, players won’t find out if they’ve made this year’s Olympic cut until at least June 1st.

WNBA teams make history with 2024 season ticket sell-outs

Arike Ogunbowale on the wnba court for the dallas wings
The Dallas Wings are now the third team to sell out their entire season ticket allotment in WNBA history. (Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images)

For the first time in history, three different WNBA teams have completely sold out of season ticket plans well before the league's May 14th kick-off.

Call it the Caitlin Clark effect, attribute it to this year’s tenacious rookie class, or look to the skyrocketing visibility of veteran players across the board. But no matter the cause, facts are facts: Tickets to the 2024 WNBA season are selling like never before. 

On Monday, the Dallas Wings became the third team to sell out of season ticket memberships in the league’s 27-year history. The announcement from Arlington came shortly after the Atlanta Dream issued their own season ticket sell-out statement, also on Monday, and almost seven weeks after the back-to-back WNBA Champion Las Vegas Aces made headlines by becoming the first-ever WNBA team to sell out their season ticket allotment.   

According to the Wings, season ticket memberships will fill nearly 40% of the 6,251 seats inside their home arena, College Park Center. The club also said that their overall ticket revenue has ballooned to the tune of 220% this year, spanning not just season tickets but also a 1,200% increase in single ticket sales. There’s currently a waitlist to become a Dallas season ticket holder, a status that comes with extra incentives like playoff presale access and discounts on additional single-game tickets. 

In Atlanta, season tickets aren't the only thing flying off the shelves. The Dream also announced that they broke their own record for single-game ticket sales during a recent limited presale campaign. Sunday was reportedly their most lucrative day, with five different games totally selling out Gateway Center Arena. Individual tickets for all upcoming matchups will hit the market this Thursday at 8 a.m., while a waitlist for season ticket memberships will open up next Tuesday at 10 a.m.

"Excitement around women's sports, particularly basketball, is at an all-time high and nowhere is that felt more than here in Atlanta," Dream president and COO Morgan Shaw Parker said in the team’s statement. "We’ve continued a record-setting growth trajectory over the past three years under new ownership — both on and off the court — and 2024 is shaping up to be our best season yet."

As of Tuesday, season ticket sales revenue for Caitlin Clark’s hotly anticipated Indiana Fever debut haven’t yet been announced by the club. But if these numbers are any indication — not to mention the explosive demand for Fever away games felt by teams around the country — it won’t be long before we see some scale-tipping figures coming out of Indianapolis.

Nelly Korda ties LPGA record with fifth-straight tournament win

Nelly Korda of the United States celebrates with the trophy after winning The Chevron Championship
Nelly Korda poses with her trophy after acing her fifth-straight tour title at The Chevron Championship on Sunday. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

25-year-old American pro golfer Nelly Korda secured her spot in LPGA history on Sunday, notching her fifth-straight title at this weekend's Chevron Championship in The Woodlands, Texas.

Ranked No. 1 in the world by Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings, Korda joins Nancy Lopez (1978) and Annika Sörenstam (2005) as just the third LPGA player to rack up five consecutive tour wins. She is also the third No. 1-ranked player to capture The Chevron Championship victory since the rankings debuted in 2006, accompanied by Lorena Ochoa and Lydia Ko.

The Florida native shot three-under 69 in Sunday's final, besting Sweden's Maja Stark despite Stark's valiant come-from-behind attempt in the 18th. Korda finished with a four-day total of 13-under 275, celebrating her two-stroke win by cannonballing into Poppie's Pond, much to the crowd's delight. She left The Club at Carlton Woods with $1.2 million from an overall purse of $7.9 million.

It wasn't long ago that the two-time major champion's current winning streak seemed unimaginable. After maintaining her No. 1 position for 29 weeks, Korda underwent surgery to remove a blood clot from her left arm in 2022. She returned to the course not long after, but failed to win a single tournament in 2023 before seeing a surge in form during the first four months of 2024. As of today, she hasn't lost a tournament since January.

Korda will attempt a record sixth-straight win at next week's JM Eagle LA Championship at Wilshire Country Club in Los Angeles, where she'll vie for a cut of the $3.75 million purse.

Start your morning off right with Just Women’s Sports’ free, 5x-a-week newsletter.