U.S. women need opponent as Australia pulls out of soccer games

Written By Marc Lancaster
Australia's Laura Alleway
(Getty Images)

What if the U.S. women's national team held a victory tour and the opponent didn't show up?

That's the situation facing U.S. Soccer after the union representing Australia's players announced Wednesday that its national team would not take part in a scheduled two-game series in the U.S. later this month.

MORE: U.S. in Women's World Cup final | Controversial U.S. goalie Hope Solo

Professional Footballers Australia informed the Australian soccer federation that its women&'s team, known as the Matildas, would not participate in a Sept. 17 game in Detroit or a Sept. 20 game in Birmingham, Ala.

"The players are currently uncontracted and are under no obligation to participate in any Matildas-related activities," union chief Adam Vivian said in a statement. "The players feel they have been left with no option other than to take this course of action."

That decision is the latest salvo in an ongoing contract dispute between the union and the federation that has also affected the country's men's national team.

U.S. Soccer did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the situation, but a Ford Field representative told the Detroit Free Press: "U.S. Soccer is working with the Football Federation of Australia to ensure that the game takes place as scheduled."

Australia stunned Brazil to reach the quarterfinals of this summer's World Cup in Canada before falling to eventual finalist Japan.

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