Fans like yours truly want sports writers to sink their nasty little teeth into better topics than irrelevant fights between amateur players, playing in matches that matter to no one but those teams and their campuses.
We would like: Nasty rants about the shit refereeing in the women's college game (because that matters nationally). Cynical swipes at Marta's Amway deal. Follow up on rumors that players have been selling Amway to make up for their crap salaries, and let's hear more about that agent of Marta's while we are looking at the business side of things. How about some paranoid writing about the UNC-Chapel Hill cult. Let's hear about who pays for retired NWT players' knee surgeries. And why not rip into AEG, for the "good will" this WPS sponsor garnered for themselves while they sold out the best team in the league. (Called it here, natch.)
How about some bitching about player development systems? The weirdness of international scouting for the WPS? And the fact that FIFA can't think of anyone who knows how to play soccer besides Marta. (I mean, she's great - amazing - but four years in a row? Seriously?) Let's push up against the milktoast vibe of the USWNT while we are at it, and call out the US Soccer Federation on its apologetic attitude that the women's team has a (MUCH) better record than the men's team in international competition, as if this was something one should be sorry for. Or: let's call out FIFA on their paternalism and test this hypothesis: FIFA's involvement with the women's game has set the development of the women's game in most countries BACK, because FIFA requires that the women's program be run by - you guessed it - the men who run national football associations. Who are mostly corrupt bastards. Why won't FIFA deal with a separately organized National Women's Football Association in those countries which have failed their women's program? Like: India, Uruguay, South Africa and, oh, let's say Spain.
Sports fans want their sport taken seriously - this doesn't mean uncritical boosterism - far from it. We want reports on the highs, and the lows - especially the lows! - the problem with women's soccer has been that the real lows (see above) are not reported. Instead we get nothing, and then a blip of hysterical shit about how violent the women's game is (see the men's World Cup final, anyone??), and an open invitation to the morons who never watch the women's game, ever, to give their opinions about how lame it is.
Every now and again someone writes something real about the game - Grant Wahl and Andrea Canales's stories about Hope Solo's return to the US Women's National Team after the World Cup fiasco, for example. Coverage like this is rare - and, frankly, that controversy would have had a very different shape if sports writers had been more critically engaged with the USWNT from the start.
Sports fans gripe and complain, we obsess and worry. Fans of the women's game have few forums to vent about the real stuff - and it's infuriating to watch this stories go uninvestigated and unremarked upon. We deserve better stories than the "news" that women lose their tempers. Much better.