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When Ashlyn Harris Tried To Defend Her Wife On Twitter, Trinity Rodman Clapped Back To Defend Her Team

The Gotham-Spirit match on Friday spilled over to Saturday.

Social media is often a horrible place, I think we can all agree. But sometimes it gives us wonderful moments of schadenfreude, moments when we can step back from an argument and be oh so happy we’re not involved. There was one such popcorn-grabbing moment this weekend when Ashlyn Harris and Trinity Rodman got into a Twitter feud after their respective clubs played on Friday.

Harris’ NJ/NY Gotham FC and Rodman’s Washington Spirit tied 1-1 in the NWSL Challenge Cup on Friday night. Kristie Mewis’ 23rd-minute penalty canceled out by Ashley Hatch’s 61st-minute near-post missile. The Spirit played the final 25 minutes down a woman after Amber Brooks was sent off. 

Playing at home, Washington dominated the match, even after going down to 10, racking up 29 shots to eight for the visitors, forcing Harris to make nine saves in goal. Rodman was electric throughout, though she was at fault for the foul that led to the Mewis penalty. Both players were quite involved, for better or worse.

The next day, Harris and Rodman got into it on Twitter.

On Saturday morning, the Spirit, probably a little frustrated to open the NWSL Challenge Cup with two draws, tweeted a gif of Ashley Sanchez sending Ali Krieger — Harris’ wife — skidding to the turf with a delightful piece of skill. (It’s not the first time Sanchez has impressed us with her skills.)

Harris responded by defending her wife and calling out the artificial turf at Segra Field, where the match took place. Segra Field is home to USL Championship side Loudoun United FC and one of two venues the Spirit use (the other being D.C. United’s Audi Field). 

Segra Field is, of course, more than a high school or amateur field, but not quite the level you’d like for a top-flight soccer league. 

Now might be a good time to remind you Harris and Krieger have a longstanding beef with the Washington franchise. The two played together for the franchise when the league launched in 2013 and later called out then-owner Bill Lynch for being homophobic and the Spirit for being the only NWSL team without a Pride Night.

It was at this point Rodman joined the chat and said she didn’t see anyone else falling like Krieger. 

To be fair, there were a few players who stumbled on the turf at Segra Field, including Rodman when she committed the foul in the box. 

Gotham’s McCall Zerboni responded by telling Rodman to stay in her lane, to which Spirit defender Emily Sonnett could only laugh.

At this point, Harris probably should’ve just let things rest. Instead, she made one more comment calling out Rodman’s inexperience. 

It’s not a great look for a 36-year-old to be going after a 19-year-old, but you can understand a veteran wanting to stand up for her wife. Harris hasn’t been a part of the USWNT since early 2020, while Rodman was on the most recent roster.

Ashlyn Harris has 25 USWNT caps to her name. She’s won two Women’s World Cup titles with her wife, plus championships at the high school, college and professional levels. She’s been around; she’s won. She hasn’t been the USWNT’s No. 1 keeper often, but she’s got far more experience than Rodman.

Trinity Rodman has exactly two USWNT appearances, both off the bench during the SheBelieves Cup earlier this year. She never played a game in college but did win the NWSL in her first season to go along with Rookie of the Year honors. Earlier this year, she signed the richest contract in NWSL history. However, she turned down an opportunity to travel to Australia make her USWNT debut in November, with speculation the reason was because she wasn’t vaccinated, a requirement to enter Australia. 

While I’d always bet on the younger generation (Rodman) to win a fight on the internet, Harris probably could’ve ended the argument with two words: Get vaccinated. (If you haven’t yet, go get vaccinated for Covid-19 and get your booster(s), so we can all stay safe and healthy during this pandemic.)

Who actually won the Twitter feud? I’d say NWSL fans, who were treated to some off-field spice to complement what was an entertaining weekend of Challenge Cup matches. These teams meet again on April 17 at Red Bull Arena, and I for one can’t wait to see what happens. 

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