ACFC buddies and season ticket holders, Karen Tongson & Jennifer Doyle, process the FIFA WWC from opposite ends of the globe.
Special Edition with Brenda Elsey
Release Date: 08/26/2023
The 2023 Women’s World Cup has been widely acclaimed for being the best ever—this is in no small part due to the extraordinary performance of the women playing for Spain. While the award ceremony was marred by the sexist behavior of their president, fans of the game around the world have marveled as the players united to stand up to Luis Rubiales.
Jennifer Doyle, who has had an obsession with the question of Spain’s underperformance over many years prior to this tournament, calls in sports historian Brenda Elsey to talk about the importance of this moment and what it means for the international game.
Finale: The Return from Oz, Takeaways from 2023 FIFA WWC
Release Date: 08/23/2023
Karen lands in L.A. after tropical storm Hilary has left the building, and just in enough time for the grandest of processing sessions with Jennifer (who is still in NJ), about the end of this year’s tournament. Spain wins, and we celebrate the players’ significant victory in spite of their federation and coach.
We congratulate England and Sarina on their exceptional play throughout the tournament, and reflect on Sweden’s hope that this is their LAST bronze before they break through to the championship. And of course we get into the long term impact of the Matildas, and the Football Ferns as tournament co-hosts.
Beyond the run of play, we discuss concerns about the carbon footprint and environmental impact of World Cup tournaments more broadly, while speculating on who might win the bid to host in 2027. And we leave off with our takeaways about the growth of various national leagues, from Spain to Columbia, to the WSL and NWSL as indicated by this year’s expanded, competitive field (with only 1 NWSL player in the mix by the time we reached the semi-finals).
Thanks for listening to our in-depth coverage, as well as social and cultural analysis! Review us on all the platforms, and share these episodes as resources with any college-level+ courses you have not only on women and sports, but also about gender and sexuality studies, cultural studies, LGBTQ studies, critical geography, and more.
Week 4: Quarters and Semi-Finals
Release Date: 08/19/2023
Karen hops wholeheartedly on the Matildas’ bandwagon during her regular visits to Stadium Australia, as she and Jennifer both mourn the departure of Japan, and our last ACFC international, Jun Endo. We shout out the eloquent, elegiac coverage of the Matildas’ exit by ABC’s Samantha Lewis, and marvel at the depth of coverage we’ve been lucky to have during this WWC.
The cup of colonial reckoning transmutes into the empire strikes back, as we offer our analysis of the quarters and semis, as well as a preview of the final between England and Spain. Vlatko resigns! Kerr shines!
Plus, we explain why rooting for Spain is deeply layered and problematic, while we also take a look at an elaborate L-Word-esque chart of WoSo couples that’s making the sapphic rounds in group chats around the world.
Week 3: The Round of 16
Release Date: 08/12/2023
We process all of the round of 16 action knock-out, including the USWNT’s early (but not entirely unexpected) exit, Julie Ertz’s remarks about her possible retirement from the international game, and the ins and outs of Lauren James’ red card. We pay homage to the teams that are making an impact on their federations, like Colombia.
Karen tries to find the chicken wing stand at Sydney Football Stadium and lets us in on the carnivalesque atmosphere for the Matildas vs. “the Danishes” showdown at Stadium Australia, which was filled to capacity at over 75,500, while Jennifer gives us insight on France vs. Morocco from her local village boulangerie, including the significance of Benzina’s presence on the pitch in her hijab for Morocco, in light of an oppressive and islamophobic French ban of hijabs in all sports.
Plus, a glimpse into the ACFC Equity House afterparty at Bondi Icebergs and an update on all of our international angels, including Endo’s ball distribution, Captain Riley’s trip to Hobbiton, and Swaby’s memefication.
Week 2: The Cup of Colonial Reckoning
Release Date: 08/06/2023
What a stunning finish to group play! We cover all the upsets (No Germany! No Brazil!), and the pivotal match moments that built to what we’re now calling the World Cup of colonial reckoning. “Minnows” no more, we game out what it means for South Africa to face-off against the Dutch, Nigeria to battle England, and Morocco to take on France.
Karen gives us an inside look at ACFC’s Equity House at the Sydney Opera House, while emitting peak L.A. vibes by ordering tofu fries at a pub during a Matildas game. Meanwhile, Jennifer sneaks her own preferred croissants into a bar in Montpellier where she catches all the action early in the mornings, alternating between coffee and beer.
Of course we offer a round-up of all our international Angels–including players “on loan” like Vanessa Gilles, and Allyson Swaby, one of the keys to Jamaica’s clean sheet in group play. We also discuss why tuning into USWNT games have turned into “an existential watch,” while recommending some fantastic journalism about Banyana Banyana’s Andile Dlamini, and Colombia’s soccer federation.
Plus, round of 16 predictions and much much more, including long distance love for our NWSL player of the month, Savannah McCaskill.
Release Date: 07/30/2023
We get into all the action from the first week of the tournament, as Karen travels from L.A. to Sydney (where she’s confronted with a “Sydney Tuna Burger” at FIFA FanFest), and Jennifer seeks out venues to watch in London, where she falls in love with Baller FC watch parties, before making her way to Montpellier, France.
Karen is Natlie Imbruglia’s TORN when Captain Riley’s New Zealand plays her beloved underdogs, the Filipinas, while Jennifer defends the use of Julie Ertz as centerback, despite vociferous calls to put her in the midfield. As usual we assess all of our ACFC players’ highlights, before providing extensive match notes on New Zealand vs. Norway, Australia vs. Ireland (including the emergence of sapphic-themed tabloid fodder), England vs. Haiti, Germany vs. Morocco, Colombia vs. South Korea, and Nigeria’s upset of the Matildas.
We also cover both USWNT matches, with special attention paid to the draw against the Netherlands. From our love of goalies, to talk of Oshouala’s Brandi Chastain-esque celebration after scoring a Super Falcons goal against the Matildas (despite FIFA’s anti-sports bra celebration rules), to a hard look at the paltry support certain WWC debutante or “minnow” teams have received from their home federations, we get into the nitty gritty things.
Plus, our matches-of-the-week (Jamaica vs. France, New Zealand vs. Philippines), AND highlights of our favorite coverage so far, like Preath’s RE-CAP Podcast. Also, listen up for a chance encounter w/ more ACFC fans at Darling Harbor!
Release Date: 07/17/2023
Join podcast veteran Karen Tongson and soccer scholar Jennifer Doyle, who are also Angel City Football Club buddies, and season ticket holders–as they process the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup from opposite ends of the globe.
This episode gives you a preview of what to expect from our coverage throughout the tournament hosted by Australia and New Zealand, including updates on the 5 ACFC players called up for international duty, and a look at some of the deeper issues confronting the sport, as well as a first-look at some international players and teams you might not be paying attention to yet.
Karen will be broadcasting from Sydney and watching the Stadium Australia games in-person from the round 16 through the final, while Jennifer will be battling jet-lag and questionable internet access across time zones in England, France and NY/NJ throughout the tournament. You’ll also get a sense of where we’re watching, how we’re watching, and what we’re eating and drinking while we’re soaking up the local women’s football culture.