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Sophia Smith on Alex Morgan fine: NWSL priorities ‘all messed up’

(Photo by Robin Alam/USSF/Getty Images)

Sophia Smith criticized the NWSL’s response to Alex Morgan’s comments about the officiating in a game over the weekend. The league issued a fine to the San Diego Wave forward on Wednesday for violating the “Prejudicial Statements and Public Criticism” section of the operations manual, which amounts to a $500 fine.

On Sunday, Morgan called out the refereeing in San Diego’s 2-1 loss to Kansas City after she sustained an injury from a hard tackle in Saturday’s match. Posting a video from the incident, the 34-year-old questioned the non-call after Kansas City’s Stine Ballisager slide tackled her in the box in stoppage time.

“In what world is this not a penalty and red card, or even foul? Completely reckless and the leg going in for the tackle doesn’t even get a ball when I cut her?” Morgan wrote. “Just glad I saw her coming and didn’t plant on that leg or I’d 100% not be walking today.”

Smith, Morgan’s NWSL opponent and teammate on the U.S. women’s national team, took issue with the fine, calling it “backwards” and a reflection of “messed up” priorities.

Morgan’s coach, Casey Stoney, has also been fined twice this season for criticizing NWSL referees.

After Morgan limped off the field following the tackle on Saturday, the extent of her injury remains unclear.