US women roll over Korea Republic; Wambach scores

The Equalizer Staff June 15, 2013 245
Alex Morgan

The U.S. women celebrate Abby Wambach's stoppage time goal. (Photo Copyright Meg Linehan for The Equalizer)

Abby Wambach scored her 156th international goal in second half stoppage time and the United States women’s national team defeated Korea Republic 4-1 on Saturday in front of 13,035 fans at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.

Wambach’s goal in the 93rd minute brings her within two of tying Mia Hamm’s all-time record of 158 international goals. Wambach scored on a penalty kick drawn by Alex Morgan, who was taken down in the box by captain Shim Seoyeon.

“It’s good for her [Abby] to get a goal and she’s getting closer to that mark now,” U.S. coach Tom Sermanni said. “And hopefully — hopefully — we can get that out of the way sooner rather than later and then things will get easier for her.”

Kristie Mewis first international USWNT goal

Kristie Mewis scored her first international goal for the United States in front of her hometown crowd near Boston. (Photo Copyright Meg Linehan for The Equalizer)

Boston-area native Kristie Mewis (pictured right) opened the scoring in the 3rd minute of the game with a simple tap in after Sydney Leroux beat her defender on the right side and sent in a low cross that made its way to the back post, where the 22-year-old from Hanson, Mass., calmly slotted it in.

“It was the best feeling in the entire world,” Mewis said. “It was just amazing to be able to play in front of my family and friends. You know, Syd made a great run down the endline and she did all the work. I just kind of tapped it in, I was there, and it was just the best thing in the entire world.”

Lauren Cheney extended the home team’s lead in the 7th minute and looked like the rout was on at Gillette, but the South Koreans shook off their nerves and pulled within one goal in the 26th minute. Cho Sohyun fired a shot past Nicole Barnhart off a nice pass from Jeoun Eunha that followed a wonderful combination of passes from Korea Republic.

Midfielder Carli Lloyd scored the United States’ third goal on a low, long-range rocket from 32 yards that slipped past Korea Republic goalkeeper Kim Jungmi in the 57th minute.

Hope Solo also made her return to the national team, replacing Barnhart at the start of the second half. The 45 minutes were Solo’s first for the U.S. since Feb. 13 after recovering from left wrist surgery.

“First 45 in five months,” Solo said.” I still have some work to do, playing on turf. I better learn how to play quickly on turf, since the 2015 World Cup. My kicking was a little off, and distribution, and things like that. But it felt good to be out here, being behind the back line, seeing players like Mewis jump into the defense and just play like a star; I was proud of that.”

University of Virginia midfielder Morgan Brian, 20, replaced Cheney in the 77th minute to earn her first senior international cap.

***Additional reporting from Meg Linehan in Foxborough, Mass.

– U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report –

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Korea Republic
Date: June 15, 2013
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Gillette Stadium; Foxborough, Mass.
Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET
Attendance: 13,035
Weather: 71 degrees, sunny

Scoring Summary:  1   2   F
USA 2   2   4
KOR 1   0   1

USA – Kristie Mewis (Sydney Leroux) 3rd minute
USA – Lauren Cheney (Tobin Heath) 7
KOR – Cho Sohyun (Jeoun Eunha) 26
USA – Carli Lloyd (Heather O’Reilly) 57
USA – Abby Wambach (penalty kick) 90+3

Lineups:
USA : 18-Nicole Barnhart (1-Hope Solo, 46); 3-Christie Rampone, 19-Rachel Buehler (capt.) (11-Ali Krieger, 70), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 8-Kristie Mewis; 9-Heather O’Reilly, 10-Carli Lloyd (16-Yael Averbuch, 67), 12-Lauren Cheney (25-Morgan Brian, 77), 17-Tobin Heath; 2-Sydney Leroux (20-Abby Wambach, 46), 13-Alex Morgan
Substitutions Not Used: 6-Crystal Dunn, 14-Whitney Engen
Head coach: Tom Sermanni

KOR: 1-Kim Jungmi, 4-Shim Seoyeon, 6-Lim Seonjoo, 20-Kim Hyeri (14-Kwon Hahnul, 80), 5-Lee Sejin, 8-Cho Sohyun, 15-Kim Narae (13-Lee Mina, 71), 17-Park Heeyoung (22-Lee Jungeun, 62; 3-Jeong Younga, 87), 10-Ji Soyun, 12-Yoo Younga (2-Kim Jihye, 90), 18-Jeoun Eunha (16-Kim Sangeun, 54)
Substitutions Not Used: 19-Shin Jiyoung, 21-Yoon Younggeul
Head coach: Yoon Dukyeo

Stats Summary: USA / KOR
Shots: 21 / 8
Shots on Goal: 13 / 4
Saves: 3 / 8
Corner Kicks: 7 / 2
Fouls: 3 / 12
Offside: 4 / 1

Misconduct Summary:
none

Officials:
Referee: Kari Seitz (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Veronica Perez (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Marie Josee Charbonneau (CAN)
Fourth Official: Christina Unkel (USA)

  • Silver Frost

    More fans show up for a Thorns game than for WNT at Foxboro!

    • Just more reason to believe the Thorns are heavily playing with their numbers.

      • Steglitz49

        Do you have any evidence for that? Your point is well taken, that Portland’s numbers are skewed compared to the rest of the teams, including those who play in big stadia.

        At the same time one has to worry about the viability of soccer in the greater Bean-town area. This was an international against a reasonable team. Granted, not Japan or Germany, but fair. There are quite a lot of people of Korean descent in USA.

        Given that the NWSL is up and running and that we recently had the CL final, would you not have expected a few more in the stands?

        • kernel_thai

          The Thorns have 7000 season ticket holders so every game starts with 7000 and goes up from there.

        • My only proof is that sports teams (I’m being very broad here) are notorious for lying about their attendance numbers.

          kernal_thai replied to you saying that the Thorns have 7,000 season ticket holders. And how many of those are not companies getting free tickets?

          Like I said. I don’t have any real proof, but if it looks like a ducks, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck… It’s probably a duck…

        • Boston Red

          What does the CL final have to do with anything?

          • Steglitz49

            Those who follow ladies football can not be unaware of the number of American lasses who play abroad, some of which either played yesterday or were on the bench for this match. On the other hand, seeing that the American who played in the last CL final was not on the team sheet yesterday and according to one of the other commentators, that the bit of Gilette stadium that was used was pretty full, all in all not too bad — except with the population of the greater Beantown area, is 13,000 not a little on the little side?

          • Boston Red

            Only the most hard-core of women’s soccer followers in the US (meaning the kind of folks who post here) know *anything* about the CL. The followers of the USWNT know that Rapinoe and others play overseas, but have no idea what teams they play for or anything about women’s soccer in Europe.

            The CL was not broadcast in the US and there was no coverage of the game in mainstream US sports press. The event doesn’t register for the fans of this team.

            Sure, 13k isn’t a great percentage of the total area population, but still in keeping with the attendance they have had at US friendlies in 2012 & 2013. A quick calculation shows average attendance in the US post-Olympics has been 15.6k. It’s not like this was an important game or that it’s hard to see the team play without going to the game.

          • Steglitz49

            To be fair, not that many countries in Europe bothered to broadcast the ladies CL final live either. This is a critical nut to crack: how to get women’s soccer into mainstream media. It is a problem in Europe, not just in USA.

            Therefore, let’s hope that Conny Pohlers soon can play for DC and does not get stuck in some bureaucratic limbo. Wolfsburg did not really want her to go. They wanted her to rest up for the next season but the leadership found that they did not want to stand in her way which was much appreciated by the fans (maybe the VW PR-department gave her a helping hand).

          • Boston Red

            I think the US is ahead of Europe in that regard. I would be curious how many Europeans could name top players in the women’s game excluding perhaps Marta.

          • Christy

            The fans have dictated the visibility of the USWNT, it hasn’t been the graciousness of US Soccer or FIFA (who claims to be investing SOOOO much in the women’s game) Last year after the WWC, the fans DEMANDED televised games or streams, we wrote emails and attacked US Soccer thru social media, we bombarded them to a point where games that were not going to be at least streamed were suddenly streamed, even poorly but they were streamed. This year, we are actually getting streams without having to ask for them.

            Last year a campaign was launched by the fans to get Algarve at least streamed, it failed and the fans were Furious! Japan sent a crew to stream their games and the only one we fans could watch was the game the US played against them, we were sitting around phones and computers watching the game with Japanese commentary cuz we were that dedicated, this year it was not only televised/streamed (Pay per view) but it was then rebroadcast the next day or close to it on Fox soccer. Lots of ppl paid way too much to see these games, proof that the fans are serious about their team. Social media has been vital to growing the women’s game here because we all know TV ratings are a poor example and not representative of the country and who is actually watching.

          • Steglitz49

            At the Olympics last year, Sweden agreed to play their match against Japan at noon at the request of Japanese TV. The JFA may treat their Nadeshiko niggardly but their people love them.

            In Europe you do not get much ladies soccer on the small screen either — not that that is any consolation for fans in USA.

          • Christy

            I know my friend lives in England, she says its impossible to catch women’s games there. She watches all of ours that she can get a stream for and we watch Portland and SBFC games together most times. We (the fans) have fought for this, so far we are being rewarded but the ppl need to stay dedicated or it will all be for nothing.

            13,800 at the Portland game today place was booming! looked like a pretty accurate number to me from the crowd!

          • Steglitz49

            At the Olympics last year, Sweden agreed to play their match against Japan at noon at the request of Japanese TV. The JFA may treat their Nadeshiko niggardly but their people love them.

            In Europe you do not get much ladies soccer on the small screen either — not that that is any consolation for fans in USA.

          • Steglitz49

            Your point is well taken. Of the general crowd, hardly anyone even within their own country. Apart from Marta, maybe Lotta Schelin.

          • ctsmith73

            “Wolfsburg did not really want her to go.” Eh? What’s this?

          • Steglitz49

            The manager (head coach) of Wolfsburg apparently said in an interview that they would have preferred for the lady to rest and come back to next season refreshed but that they understood her wish to take advantage of this opportunity and therefore did not want to stand in her way. (Sol can probably put it more succinctly and elegantly.)

      • vert2013

        have you seen a thorns home game? Those numbers look very accurate based on the number of fans in the stands.

        • This stadium doesn’t look half full – http://youtu.be/yqlwgv11oJ8?t=1h15m42s.

          Especially since they are not using the upper decks and you can’t see the opposite side of the field. There is like 20 people in the entire right (from the camera) corner.

          I think what really is going on is that stadium is nicely spread out.

          But who knows? The Thorns and maybe the league. Maybe I am just jealous. That’s a distinct possibility I won’t deny.

          However… If the Thorns really are drawing as well as they say they are… It’s because they are putting a very high quality product both on and off the field. The players, the stadium, the video production. Even the commentary.

          • Christy

            Last thorns game on the week night last of the school year was their lowest attendance of the season at under 10800 something, we were missing nearly 2k regular fans which accounted for the more vacant shot. I have no doubt the numbers are accurate, and even the commentator was shocked she thought there were close to 13k and couldn’t believe it was under 11k.
            The difference is the hand of MLS, they put as u said good product on the field and they are active off. They have the largest draw in the league but even when Morgan and Sinc weren’t playing they drew almost 12k, Portland is just a soccer loving town and The owner has put his resources into making sure they know they are playing (Advertising)! He is proof that if MLS was involved they could make the women’s game profitable, tho the end of the season will tell where the numbers are.
            If an empty stadium is doing nothing but costing money sitting there,then a stadium with 11-12k ppl makes money, period. There is no reason for these owners not to put a little money into a women’s club and see if they can make money out of a stadium that was otherwise sitting there empty and unused in the absence of the men’s team.

          • Steglitz49

            Make Portland the “National Arena” for soccer! Why waste precious income on locations that do not know the difference between Green and Gren?

          • KT5000

            On the side of the field that isn’t visible on the stream, the upper deck is completely open , and those are also the deepest sections (most rows). Also, today those sections looked to be more densely packed than the general admission section you see behind the goal to the left (where all the flags, etc. are).

            The reported # doesn’t seem far off to me.

          • Fair enough.

    • Just more reason to believe the Thorns are heavily playing with their numbers.

    • Steglitz49

      It is consistent with the lack of interest in Breakers’ games.

      • TsovLoj

        And Revs games.

      • kernel_thai

        The Breakers turn away fans for most of their home games. If ur stadium only seats 2500 u cant have a crowd of 13000. The Breakers sell out almost every game. They added 1000 more seats but cant use them because the ground is still too soft due to the wet weather. If u want to talk about attendance problems, look to NJ and Chicago, not Boston.

        • Steglitz49

          Your point is well taken, Obviously you have to use the stadia that are available. Nevertheless, the success stories are KC and DC. Chicago seems a misjudgment.

          Unfortunately, Boston has had at least one game with poor attendance which is a bit worrying. Let’s hope it is a one off.

          • Boston Red

            That one really poor attendance game was a school night with horrible weather. They have already announced they are down to standing room only tickets for tonight (still can’t use the extra stands — we got 4x the amount of rain in an average month just this past week).

            They won’t have huge attendance games, but expect them to average close to 3k once the new stands are open.

          • Steglitz49

            Your point is well taken. What matters is that the books balance at the end of the season.

            This season two German ladies’ clubs ran into financial difficulties although it seems they are pulling through. An audit of the top 14 teams in Sweden found that only four were solvent. Granted that the other ten would be OK with between 50-150 more spectators at home games, nevertheless Mr Micawber’s maxim applies equally in ladies soccer as elsewhere.

      • Boston Red

        And the two stadiums are 35 miles apart in a densely populated area. Not a huge overlap of the two audiences.

    • kernel_thai

      I went to the game. The only seating that was offered was the lower deck on the bench side of the field (full), the lower level end zone seats (full) and the mezzanine on bench side (half full). So they missed a sell out by 1000-2000. Add to that the fact that the Bruins were also playing and the crowd was great.

      • Steglitz49

        The organizers judged their market right, in other words.

        • kernel_thai

          yes and putting everyone together makes for a better crowd than the same number spread out thru the stadium. I believe they do it to keep down costs in stadium personnel. Less ushers, less security, fewer hawkers.

          • Steglitz49

            Verily and forsooth. The same in old Europe. I can’t speak for Japan, though.

            It makes the TV coverage a bit odd because the cameras tend to be on the side where the spectators are so the stadium looks empty but a lot of cheering (and jeering, sad to admit) goes on.

    • Christy

      The market as Steg says below is a weak on for soccer, not sure how their MLS team does on Attendance in comparison to Portland and Seattle areas. And at 13k it was more equal than more than, Thorns have averaged out side of the opener in the 12k range per game. I was impressed that the Spirit game sold out with the allocations not in attendance, that is a good sign!

      • Boston Red

        The Revs have been averaging about 13k with a team that has not done very well at all until the last 3 weeks. They play in that same stadium, which is a horrible environment for soccer.

        Boston is an above-average soccer market with a high number of fans of the game in general, but it has suffered because of the distance to Foxboro and the poor environment in the stadium. It’s no fun playing in a big empty stadium.

        They drew 37k fans to see Liverpool play Roma last year in Fenway Park. 64k came to see the USMNT play Spain in 2010 in Foxboro. Foxboro used to be the place to come for US Men’s games because we could get a good, knowledgeable pro-US crowd. Now, there are better, more intimate soccer stadiums for that (with natural grass).

        • Christy

          So you would say then the market in comparison for the women’s game in the area is fairly accurate at the 13k? It’s not a bad crowd considering pre wwc 2011 the average crowd for a USWNT game (of which US Soccer would not advertise for) was under 5k, far under!
          I have been following the women’s game since 99 when the girls sold out the Rose Bowl for the final of the WWC, I went to a game just 1 year later here in Florida, the stadium was small and there were about 2k ppl there, and that was post all the hype of the 99 win, barely.
          I wonder if it’s the same issue we have here, I went to the USWNT game in Boca end of last year and we had under 11k ppl. (disappointing to the 13-14k average the rest of the fan tour brought!) then in February I drove up to Jacksonville for the first game of the year and we drew 18k. But that location brought fans from Florida, Georgia and alabama being so close to both. It was a better location and a nice venue.

          PPl’s expectations are unrealistic, I already see a huge push of popularity that has NEVER been there before. We are just about 2 years removed from the WWC and we are drawing crowds more than 5x’s what we drew after we won the WC in 99 just the next year. You can’t gauge the success of the women’s game on the numbers of the men’s game, MLS didn’t go from 2k to 13k in a year for attendance (those numbers mean nothing, just examples) the MLS clubs started out very poorly and had to grow their fan base yet we sit here and complain that the women’s game isn’t producing men’s games numbers, If owners put the resources into the women’s game it will grow, just like the men’s game and it wont happen in months it will happen in years. Thorns is a massive success and proof that this country can support a women’s league with the right support. Shame on MLS (Timbers the exception) for turning it’s back on the women’s game , this country is supposed to be progressive in women’s equality. They should be embarrassed looking at the euro leagues who support their women and they don’t have a fraction of the support that we do here of the fans.
          One more thought, if the MLS wants to talk numbers, I will be interested to see if the overall profits for the Timbers increases (not counting money from the thorns) I know that the women’s game fans in some large part are different than the men’s, but how many fans are now attending Timbers games that wouldn’t have before? Interesting question.. if timbers add fans because of the thorns now we are talking and they should. I never had seen a timbers game before the Thorns and Ive seen three this season. I am certain I am not the only one, certainly the ppl in Portland are spending more.

          • Boston Red

            For that location, I think it’s a fair number. Could have been better, but that’s almost always the case.

            Women’s soccer mostly draws from the clubs in this part of the country. Men’s does much better with the young adult crowd. An urban stadium in Boston with a similar match for men or women would do much better with the latter and perhaps drop off a little with the former.

            Portland and Seattle have cracked the code & there’s plenty of debate how. The big thing is that they have made their games (in all facets) more European in nature and less of the “family friendly” atmosphere that has been pushed on most MLS audiences.

            The Revs played inside the city of Boston last week for the 1st time ever for the US Open Cup and sold out a tiny soccer stadium at Harvard. It held about 2500 and people who usually won’t go were quite happy about it & had fun. Better than drawing 3k to Foxboro. There’s a huge untapped market of soccer fans (mostly on the men’s side, but open to the women) who just won’t (or can’t) drive an hour outside the city for a game.

          • Steglitz49

            You have lost this bear of little brain. It sounds like Europe. Men will play lots of money to watch men play practice matches, while few will pay little money to watch top ladies’ sides. Good to know that humanity ain’t that much different across the pond..

          • Christy

            That’s interesting, I think that can be said of a lot of markets just no one bothers to tap!

            Wow that’s crazy that they played for so few. I personally enjoy the intimacy of the smaller stadiums but I also understand that money dictates, it’s hard to love the game and want to see it up close and feel apart of the players on the pitch and at the same time want thousands to be there for the success of the league!

          • Steglitz49

            Are we discussing ladies’ or men’s football? The issues and constellations are totally different.

            To put it on its edge: this season Bayern Munich’s ladies averaged 340 at a home game, which was less than the season before when they managed 534 per home game. The men’s games are usually (though not always) sold out. (The She-wolves managed to average 1643 this season which was only slightly less than their 1791 last season, but I think >8,000 showed up for their last game at home when they were presented with the league trophy, otherwise the average would have been more like 1200.)

          • Christy

            We aren’t talking over seas, we are talking within the states and the gap here is far less apparent between the sexes in soccer because of the infancy of soccer compared to euro countries n such. It is easy to argue that on the national level the women’s team is more popular, popularity is subjective however, by popular I am not referring to how many ppl attend matches, just because the men’s team draws larger crowds doesn’t make them more popular. This countries foreign ties and Hispanic population loves it’s soccer, they will attend games for the sake of soccer not really because they are fans of the men’s team. You could pole the average American and I bet they can tell you more about the USWNT than the USMNT. Even if its just Hope Solo or Alex Morgan, they are hard pressed to be able to rattle off a player from the men’s team. And by average American I mean not the soccer obsessed fan but the casual big tourney watcher. Which determines popularity in modern society.

          • Steglitz49

            The pattern is the same everywhere, independent of how old soccer is. Mediocre men’s teams draw bigger crowds who pay more to boot than quality ladies sides. Women aged 20-35 are missing from the stands at women’s matches.

            America’s contribution to women’s soccer is massive. “The business of America is business”. Soccer is a product like all other performing arts. Women’s soccer, wherever you are, does not seem to sell except for the odd exception.

            Why women do not go along and support their sisters and get these leagues into orbit is an interesting conundrum. Is it a female thing? Or, is it a middle-class thing? Maybe it is a bit of both. It clearly is universal.

          • Boston Red

            I was defending the premise that Boston wasn’t a good soccer market in general. In the US, the issues are remarkably similar. Soccer is the 5th or 6th most popular sport and the men still have a hard time getting traction. It’s not like every team in MLS gets 25k per match.

          • Steglitz49

            America’s contribution to women’s soccer is huge. We would not have the WC and OG for ladies if USA had not fought for it, probably not even the ladies’ CL. The USWNT has consistently been excellent.

            Yet. MLS pulls in considerably bigger crowds than NWSL (the previous 2 leagues having died) who pay more. It is no different from Europe. Same pattern of behaviour.

            Boston may be a good market for ladies football. As long as the books balance, fine. But, US Soccer cannot subsidize the NWSL forever, and are unlikely to do so after the next OG.

          • Boston Red

            The US Open Cup is a weird competition because you only find out a week or two ahead of time that you are the host. It’s hard to get more than 2-5k, especially if you charge admission. So why not do something really different?

            Alex Morgan showed up as well as the father of the Revs GK. He was really badly hurt in the Boston Marathon bombing (the GK was near the finish line as well, but not hurt) and he had his 1st outing out of the hospital along with his docs.

            The tickets were only $10 so it still was probably cheaper than opening up Foxboro &, since the team is hot right now, it gave some different fans a look.

          • Christy

            that makes good sense, I’m glad he was healthy enough to come out and watch! It’s a great idea and as u said gets some other ppl involved and out to a game. 🙂 Plus you make it affordable! can’t remember last time I paid 10 bux to see any sporting event!

          • Steglitz49

            “There’s a huge untapped market of soccer fans (mostly on the men’s side, but open to the women) who just won’t …” — The ladies’ CL final was played in London, a city of 10-12 million people. 19,000 showed up which was about 50% more than 2 years ago when it also was in London. The stadium used holds about 42k spectators. Where were the missing 23,000?

            Half of London is women, that is 5-6m. If 1% had been willing to go along, the stadium would have been not just full but overflowing. The tickets were cheap. When will women start showing solidarity to their sisters?

            Women want to play pro-soccer. Why can’t other women simply go along and sit in the stands? They can bring their knitting or iPads or books, but simply being there would make an enormous difference. If women won’t help women ???

          • Steglitz49

            The NWSL should put a 2nd team in KC and teams in KY, TN and GA. Boston is for losers as is Seattle.

          • Boston Red

            That’s harsh, dude. Not taking your meds?

          • Steglitz49

            Stirring the pot; simply stirring the pot.

          • Steglitz49

            Seeing that Boston Red took exception to my previous interjection, I will try again.
            “They [the MLS teams] should be embarrassed looking at the euro leagues who support their women … ” — It is only a couple of year’s ago that John Terry opened his wallet rescued Chelsea’s Ladies from extinction and less than 10 years ago that Man Utd closed their women’s section.

            Yes, certain European teams do support their ladies — Arsenal always have — but it took the success of Lyon to get others to appreciate the PR value. At the same time, at least in the smaller towns, the people value their ladies, as in Wolfsburg where masses turned out in the pouring rain to celebrate their She-wolves.

            MLS teams are not as wealthy as Bayern Munich or Arsenal. Indeed, they seem to take their cue from Man Utd and Chelsea as regards the fairer sex. What is America’s answer to VW or SAP? Why are those corporations not supporting a ladies side? Or, are they and we have missed it? Will the USWNT winning the World Cup make a difference? Not winning it probably would.

            In short, why is attendance in certain places abysmal while it is excellent in other places in spite of competition from the USWNT? And when will American refs start protecting attackers?

  • vert2013

    Solid first 10 minutes and then pretty average after that. Carli is taking to DM pretty well though, good game from Tobin and Cheney as well. Don’t think anyone played poorly from what I saw. PRK’s goal was a defensive breakdown though, the hole in the back line was huge.

  • snish

    I’m expecting pretty much everybody who didn’t play today to start the next game. What is a mystery is whether Tom will play Alex. I wouldn’t be surprised if he goes either way. She didn’t necessarily have a bad game, but it was definitely an average performance from her. From my perspective alone, she just didn’t seem as goal-hungry today. I remember one really good opportunity early-ish in the second half where she had a pretty good angle in the box. Instead, she didn’t put any power in it and set up a cross or something. Essentially, it just rolled to the opposite post where literally nobody was around. That threw me off as normally she would just fire it on goal. It was a bit baffling as she normally goes full baby horse during games. On the other hand, Tom might play her again. I’m pretty sure he plays her the most out of all the forwards. The only game she didn’t start was that Netherlands game, but did come on at the end. Another reason why I could possibly see him play her is just because I would think she would be extra motivated (if that is even possible for her) to play harder and score a goal or
    even assist. As for the game itself, it was very enjoyable. Yes, it was a little bit of a blowout, especially towards the end. Still, South Korea fought till the end and I was very impressed by their goal. I wasn’t very impressed by our defense during
    that sequence though; she was completely unmarked. Hope seems to be back on
    point with 2 excellent saves. Tobin had an A+ game in my book. Great goals for
    Mewis and Cheney. Happy that Mewis was so happy. It’s always nice to score any
    goal in front of your hometown crowd, but your first, that’s going to be special for her. Also proud of Morgan Brian. I had to laugh at the tucked in shirt though. Good crowd too. I was concerned when they tweeted they only sold 9500 tickets at the beginning of the week , but good turnout. I still have to say that playing at football stadiums is just not good for this team. Their highest crowd is generally around 20,000. A football stadium, especially Gilette, seats how many exactly? No matter the crowd size, it will just look empty and doesn’t reflect a good image of the interest in women’s soccer. Lastly, I agree with Cat Whitehill and Abby. It’s starting to get on my nerves this whole “Chasing Mia” thing. Not only for some of the reasons they said, but also because if you follow the USWNT, you will eventually find out about the goal record. It’s not hidden away in a cave. The information is out there; US Soccer doesn’t need to cram it down our throats. Looking forward to the next game. Cheers.

    • heremerawr

      I could be wrong, but I think he’s building his team around Alex. So my guess is that the starting forwards will be either Alex and Press or Abby and Press. I kinda hope he goes the Abby/Press road because Press can only benefit from playing with an experienced striker of Abby’s caliber, much in the same way Alex has benefited. Am I the only one who thought Alex should’ve been subbed off at half instead of Syd? Not that Alex was playing poorly, although her shots were off, but I simply thought Syd was playing better. But eh, whatever. Tobin was fantastic, I agree, and I was also extremely impressed with Carli. She’s really doing a good job at the DM position. I think we all know the main reasons for the defensive breakdown that resulted in the S Korean goal. One, Rampone played out of position. Two, Mewis is quite new. And three, Buehler. Just, Buehler. The sooner she’s gone the happier I’ll be.

      • ctsmith73

        Re: Buehler, did you get a good look at her foul on Cuellar during Thorns/KC match? I understand the concept of a professional foul, but I’m curious to know there a way to execute those w/o inflicting injury, and if Buehler could have been a little nicer about it. Not suggesting malice or anything – Rachel’s a fine person – but from my angle (one angle, one replay), that foul was inexcusable. And I still don’t understand why there was no card. But I digress…

        • Steglitz49

          Do you wonder why the Nadeshiko were a wee tad bit disappointed at Wembley — and why the German sports press were up in arms?

        • heremerawr

          KC is my team, so I was super ticked when Buehler took out Cuellar. There have been enough injuries as is without the Buehldozer adding to the problem. I might’ve red carded her just to protect Seattle for their next clash. Again, I really hope TS phases her out of the NT before the next World Cup, or at least leaves her as a sub.

  • GetThemIn

    So happy for a young player like Mewis. She definitely played well at left back and was very aggressive several times in the 2nd half, anticipating passes; sadly O’Hara should easily start at left back, love to see Mewis more at left mid than Tobin since Tobin isn’t a winger.

    I really think Tom needs to play Engen/Dunn and more defenders since I’m still not too confident in Sauerbrunn (not that fast) and Buehler (rather clumsy)

    Liked seeing Morgan Brian get a cap, but I think Ohai has a better chance at making the team since Ohai is more dynamic (fast) than Brian has. Brian is like a baby Tobin, just not as great on the ball.

    Last Comment: Please drop Barnhart………We need the younger better keepers to get chances behind Hope Solo. Barnhart is like a Hahnemann behind a Keller/Friedel, it’s sad and doesn’t do much for the development of the younger players.

    That left footed kick out of the back was one word “SAD”

    • snish

      I respectfully disagree with you on Barnhart. If you’re referring to up and coming goalkeepers, then it’s basically Ashlyn Harris and Adrianna Franch. There are a lot of Harris fans who have been vocal about Harris not being called up. However, the coaching staff did say it wasn’t an issue of health, but performance. It probably means she’s the #4 GK in order (and they generally don’t bring up the 4th GK for friendlies). As for Franch, they did call her up earlier this year, but I guess they either didn’t like what they saw or wanted her to develop more (probably the latter). As for Barnhart, she’s had solid games. One of the more recent ones was the Algarve final where she looked sharp. I think we have to consider that on any other team, she would probably be the #1 GK. It’s just because this team has so much depth and Hope Solo that she isn’t. Cheers.

      • GetThemIn

        The German Keeper and maybe even Japanese Keeper are stronger than Nicole. Also England’s Bardsley is prob better than Barnhart.

        Barnhart and Hope are similiar ages and we need more games for the younger keepers since Barnhart hopefully won’t be in Canada.

        Yes, one good game against Germany, but she’s not that great one example. game where we lost to Mexico

        • USWNT junkie

          Actually, Barnhart has been outperforming Solo, especially at every practice. Solo got lucky with her second save as she was on the ground practically before the Korean took the shot. The first save I was surprised/impressed with. Barny wasn’t in the right position for the second shot because she was going up against the girl who wiffed. I think Hope would have let that in too. Barnhart has A LOT of talent.

          • kdm

            Wouldn’t that be down to the fact that Hope is coming back from surgery and thus is still playing catch-up whereas Barnhart has been playing pretty much all year?

            I still agree with your main point though. We have some really solid players in that position and Barnhart has more talent than she’s given credit for. It’s just unfortunate for her that her time has coincided with Hope’s. Also, did anyone else notice her being renamed to “Rachel” during the ESPN feed at HT?

    • vert2013

      Ohai and Brian don’t even play the same position, and Tobin had an awesome game, she’s been playing consistently well since Algarve, don’t know what you’ve been watching. She’s also one of our best players on the ball, her and Pinoe are top 2 by a mile.

      Barnhart as shown better in the first half of this year than she has in years, but I agree that we do need to start bringing in viable younger keepers, not for Barnies lack of talent, but her and Hope are the same age and will probably be retiring around the same time which would be a problem.

      • GetThemIn

        I know they don’t play the same position, Ohai is just more dynamic and could be effective on the right wing like a HOA.

        I’m not saying Tobin should be dropped. I said I’d like to see Mewis at left mid than Tobin to take advantage of her left foot further up the field. so I’m not sure you’re reading everything clearly.

        Yes the other reason why Barnie should be dropped. Barnie just seems super slow and I was rather surprised she couldn’t save Morgan’s blast against Portland, maybe Morgans that good or Barnie is too slow, i think Hope might have tipped that shot over.

        • guest

          missed the “as” in “not as great on the ball”…makes all the difference.

          I think Mewie is pretty set at LB under Tommy though, she hasn’t played midfield since March and it was only for a few minutes. We do need viable LB backups, wouldn’t have picked her for it though. She’s doing alright at it though, especially recently. She’s got to lock down the defending aspect, but as a midfielder she’s already got the attacking mindset that Tom seems to like from his outside backs. If she can take to the position it could work out very well.

          • kernel_thai

            Brian is at a position of much greater need than Ohai. Brian defended well and, passed well. She is very good in the air tho she didnt get a chance to show it. If I had any complaint about Brian is she didnt go forward into the box. The problem with Cheney is she doesnt do enough of what got her the goal. With fast forwards like Morgan and Leroux making post runs they need Cheney to come in behind looking for the second ball. She got that ball because she was in the right position and slammed it home. Usually she is drifting around at the 30yard mark. Brian’s offensive game isnt international class yet but she is good in the air which is an aspect missing on this team other than Wambach.

          • Steglitz49

            Alex Morgan and Morgan Brian will be awfully confusing for the commentators, let alone the audience. Morgan had better start using her middle-name or get a nickname up, running and established fast.

          • Boston Red

            It only gets more confusing. Waiting in the wings:

            Morgan Andrews U20
            Morgan Reid U20
            Morgan Stanton U20
            Morgan Stearns U20
            Morgan Marlborough U23
            Morgan Stith U23

            So much for that “unique” name that all the moms & dads were so proud of 20+ years ago.

          • Steglitz49

            But, the greatest of them was Cliff Morgan. Like Tony O’Reilly.

          • kernel_thai

            See how big Alex Morgan is…a whole generation of soccer players r named after her ; p Id put my money on Andrews and Marborough from that list.

          • Steglitz49

            Are they named after the motorcar? The one with the wooden frame.

          • Elaine

            Speaking of commentators I had a laugh at one during the Algarve final against Germany when he called one of our players “Sidney Press”.

          • Christy

            Mew isn’t a LB, at all. The reason she seemed to do well last night is because she wasn’t tested, at all. When she came on during the Canada game at LB it was for the same reason as this, Canada was flooding the midfield and they couldn’t seem to break the fwds, this tactic worked as it allowed Tobin to come back to her more productive left wing position and produced 3 goals on a tired def, however, when she was being tested Syd had tracked back to help clean up, yes the fwd/bff was in left back, backing her up, thankfully! Mew isn’t comfortable there and she’s too slow to be a left back. She is a good developing midfielder however and I think she is the future at wing.

            If you notice when TS has her play left back it’s when he is anticipating a lot of midfield play, so essentially they are playing a 3-5-2, with Mew checking back if needed, in this game you had Broon who plays a solid LB and Buel who is terrible tracking back and can stay home with Rampone covering the rest of the right side, against this team it was a no brainer, they knew the majority of the possession would be in the midfield which is typical of the Asian style of play and we (US) are notorious for terrible midfield play especially in the first half. Adding the 5th midfielder helped to stabilize.
            Capping Brian was interesting as we are so deep at mid field but I think considering the stage she had some nice touches and did well but not really much contribution tho I certainly didn’t expect it, what a great time to get her on the field tho.
            Tobin has been really hot lately last night was no exception she was all over the place, had an assist and fed Alex thru a number of times . She still gets a little excited at times and the trick plays tended to be a little behind her team mates, luckily they weren’t too far out of reach for them to track back for, Tobin needs to be the attacking mid, that is all. Her production and distribution have improved 100%, when she plays at left mid or center. Her quick thru balls are perfect for Alex’s pace.
            Someone up there mentioned getting rid of Barny, lol she has a fantastic record and there is no one better to step in for the of late injury prone Solo so dropping Barny is just ridicules. Do we need to play other keepers during these easy friendlies, yes please. I think we will see hope and Lloyden on Thursday.

          • heremerawr

            What’s your opinion on Carli as a DM? I like her there, personally.

          • Christy

            I think Carli above anyone else needed this injury, it forced her to step away from the game and realize the team didn’t need her to win and for a selfish player that is a much needed wake up call.

            I think she came back to the team healthy rested and refreshed with a new take on things and a glimpse at her own soccer mortality set in, I’m guessing. She has played strong and determined she has done well with possession and created plays for her teammates which is what she should be doing, her post game comments haven’t been about how great she is and how hard she works which is a huge change in her persona. If it keeps up I think any position she is gifted on the field for the remainder of her career she will do well at. She has played the DM position well and I will not be surprised to see her and Boxx sharing the role until Boxx retires, then let’s see who she shares it with then.

          • NYRick

            Great post and excellent points on Carli. She needed a reality check and I think she’s playing some really good soccer right now. I think she does have a bit of an inferiority complex on this team (two game winning goals for two successive Olympic golds and little fanfare). That will never be done again.

            But in all fairness, she has been an important player to this program the last decade and could be transitioning well to a different role for the team. Still a very valuable player. Go Scarlet Knights!

          • Christy

            I also think she is learning that she is replaceable, as you said she let her complex get the better of her. Embracing the role she is given and putting in the work will keep her fresh and relevant. I think she realizes this and I’m happy for her, she deserves to be part of this team but there is nothing wrong with arrogance being served a little humble pie for desert, reminds you that your still human.

          • Elaine

            That is the problem in finding a quality DM player to back up Carli. I don’t know if Boxx would still be around come WC time. Remember at the Olympics, she got injured after the first game against France even though she recovered to start in the final against Japan. And now she is also out due to surgery. That position in the DM is one of the toughest position physically, along with the attacking center mid. You get beaten up and taken out numerous times in the game. I think Tom really needs to find that next DM player this year to prepare for the WC. What do you think of Yael or any of the other players he picked to take up that position? Seems like Carli has that spot for now, but who will follow her? After the NWSL season is over, Tom will certainly bring in the DM prospects he had a eye for from the league.

          • Christy

            That is a good question and one I have been thinking about since before this Olympics. Carli should (if she stays healthy) be around for the next Olympics but odds are she wont be a 90 min player, not necessarily because she can’t be but because Tom will have infused who ever will succeed her into the mix. I doubt Boxx will make it to the WC, she was planning to retire after the Olympics and I believe her and Rampone only stayed on at Tom’s request to help transition the team. Of course, since Rampone has had a renewed interest in being around and she’s healthy, she wont have a problem being a role player going into the next WC is “she” stays healthy.

            Yael certainly has the size to be a strong midfielder too much to be an attacking but she is more finesse than strength. She is missing the aggressive instincts that the DM position requires because no matter how hard a coach tries to make us a technical team, it wont work and why would you want it to? The US has stayed on the top of the rankings because of how they win as a team, you can’t take the heart out of what makes the US team great. Does it need evolution? Yes, but I think you can infuse that power and strength with technical ability and push the US team from almost unbeatable to unstoppable. The fact that Tom is toying with different slights of the popular 4-4-2 without having to actually “change the formation” is really great. This can help structure the midfield needs based on the opponent and get us through the next Olympics, in the mean time that gives us a little time to keep looking for that next Carli.

            Honestly and I have said this before, Cheney can do it. She has tech skill on the ball, good distribution and she isn’t a push over. she could toughin up to the role and I really like that she can still be an attacking presence if need be. I still say Tobin is the future at AM and she is proving that more each time she steps on the pitch. Cheney has the right amount of grit and play making ability which should make Tom happy and should be something that is toyed with not to mention Tobs and Chen can play well off of each other and their communication is excellent, both qualities you want in your midfield fixtures.

            I have looked around the league and no one catches my eye in that position, most of the teams that have no strong midfield Allocations tend to struggle there.
            Brian was adorable out there in her first cap, but I don’t know her body style doesn’t scream DM to me but I am open to see what skills she has to offer. I haven’t had the chance to watch much college last season so I am not sure who else may be there that has potential.

            Anyone stick out for you?

          • Elaine

            I had suggested earlier about Becky Edwards, but someone else posted that Pia had passed her up because she was too “soft.” But the games that I have seen her in for the Thorns team, I was pretty impressed. She is totally defensive minded, tough on tackles, great instincts in closing those passing lanes, and pretty aggressive to me. Would like to see how she plays on the international stage and on the national team though to really access.

            I love Cheney but she needs to put in her good games more consistently. What I love about her is at least she is taking some shots on goal. Don’t know if she has the defensive presence to play as the holding DM though, although I’m sure she can adapt being the great player that she is. I’m still getting used to Tobin being in the center AM. I loved her on the flank, especially on the same side as Alex. Her passing and technical skills are impressive to watch, but what would even elevate her more would be developing a killer shot, much in the way of Carli and sometimes Boxx.

          • Christy

            Yeah they mentioned Edwards ACL injury during the game, they didn’t say tear just injury which was weird, saw her at the game with a brace on so didn’t look very serious but she’s out for the season. Course usually when some one says ACL it’s usually a tear.

            I agree Cheney has lacked serious consistancy, I really believe this has been due to the midfield issues we have had in the past, and honestly may have been Carli as a huge part of the problem. Look at the last 2 games, Carli has been less selfish and more consistant in play.. when you aren’t looking for some kind of glory you play the game for the advantage of the team. She has taken a positive hold of the DM position in the last 2 games and this has given the wing players more stability. Plus pushing Mew into the mid as a 5th player it seemed like they gave Tobin free run of the midfield which let her go where she was needed without being out of position. This also seemed to work well but how does that translate to more attacking minded teams, we can run a 3 man back line with strong offensive teams at least.
            not at this point in our progress.
            If Tobin is allowed to work out of the midfield from the center she would be more free to push fwd and feed those through balls into Alex from that left side or up the middle. Right now as the left wing player she is limited to where she can position herself to feed Alex through which limits Alex’s positioning to take advantage of it. Outside of Abby and sometimes Cheney Tobin knows how to play Alex’s pace and position on the ball better than anyone. Her from the center make more oppertunities for Alex and Syd since they have a similar pace.

          • Elaine

            We can forget about Becky Edwards. Someone just posted that she’s out with an ACL injury. Darn it!

          • Steglitz49

            Unless we can get to grips with and prevent ACL-injuries among ladies, women’s soccer will change, or have to change, else it will fade away.

            If the 15-20 min exercise programs do not help — though they do so in the studies — what else is there? ACL damage does not seem to be owed to fouling usually, so we can’t blame the referees. Are the coaches failing to drill their charges in the exercises?

          • Steglitz49

            Why does the US seem to have a problem finding good defenders, not least DMs? Is it that attack is where the glamour is? Very few defenders are remembered, are they, and they rarely get these player of the year/decade/century awards.

            Which defenders do you remember from WC-11? Iwashimizu, Kumagai (probably mainly because she scored the winning penalty) and possibly Sara Larsson.

          • Elaine

            Defenders are a different breed with different skill sets. One has to watch with a keen eye to appreciate what they do. They never grab the headlines but when the opponents goal score is 0, you know the defense had done its job, along with the goal keeper. Rampone was one defender that I watched in the WC11 against Brazil. She was the workhorse in that game, tracking both Marta and Christiane.

          • kernel_thai

            Agreed. Now that she sees she can play back there and still get shots as she did in the Olympics. Her toughness helps make up for Boxx not being there to make challenges. The only problem is when Wambach is out they miss Lloyd in the air around the goal.

          • Steglitz49

            “Olympics”! What happened in the WC final?

          • kernel_thai

            The WWC was a totally different iteration…maybe PIA 3.76a. Back in that bygone era, Lloyd played ACM, Boxx played DM and Cheney played somewhere on the arc either wing or forward depending on what Sundhage had for breakfast. Lloyd spent most of that tournament kicking people in the ankle. By the time the US stumbled to the final, the head coach realized that after not scoring in 973 consecutive games, maybe A-Rod didnt match up well with Wambach. So Sundhage brought in her Cheney of all trades and wahlla, the US played the Japanese completely off the pitch in the first half. They made the Japanese defense look embarrassingly bad and Norio had his hari kari kit out on the bench. Unfortunately, all the US got for their onslaught was battered goal posts and Cheney with a sprained ankle. On comes Morgan about 40 minutes earlier than usual. Now in her hours and hours sitting on the bench wondering why her team never scored, Morgan developed a system. The Morgan Plan was a) to try and hit the ball between the pipes instead of into the woodwork as hard as u can and b) pass the ball to Wambach. Wahlla 2.0. Unfortunately, by the time the Morgan Plan was implemented, the Japanese figured out that they were just as good as the Americans. The rest is history.

          • Steglitz49

            It is not how I remember the final of WC-11 but I take your word for it. I remember the wrong call when Miyama had beaten the off-side and would have been alone with Hope at 0-0. Everyone remembers Morgan. That is how you become a star. Whatever made Sawa back-heel that goal? Even Zlatan could not have improved on it. Finally, Kiddo Saki’s penalty, of course.

          • heremerawr

            This honestly just made my day, haha, I love it.

          • NYRick

            What you are in essence saying here is absolutely true. My recollection of that WC11 final is that it should have been about 3-nil by the 10 minute mark. I remember thinking of course that I wanted the US to win, but “I hope they don’t embarrass them too bad with the tsunami tragedy and all…” Little did I know that they would tear my heart out in the end. Cheney hit two posts herself and was as dominant as I’ve ever seen her on the soccer pitch. It’s a shame she got hurt in that match. So as not to offend Steg, I’m not going to get into PIa here, but you outline some of her major faults well in the opening paragraph.

            I still don’t know how Sawa’s tying goal went in. If she tried that 100 times, 99 times it wouldn’t have happened. I think there was some divine intervention at work for the Japanese team that day, and all credit to them for weathering the onslaught in the first half and coming back twice to win the match. I also hate to use the “C” word in sports, but it should be pointed out that the US team did in fact choke in that match. You can’t yield two, one maybe, incredibly late leads with a WC championship on line. The fact that they are women, not men, and were celebrated as heroes even in gut wretching defeat says a lot about the inequality that still exists in men’s and women’s athletics. The media couldn’t use the “C” word for them, but they certainly would have crucified the US men’s team had a similar scenario happened to them in a key WC match.

          • Elaine

            Lack of defensive marking in the box lost us that game against Japan, just like it almost lost us that game against Canada in the Olympics. The US could’ve pulled a win out in the final too if we hadn’t “C” like you said in the penalty kicks. Tough to lose a game like that in that fashion. I felt bad for those that missed their penalty kick. But by that time the momentum had swung over to the Japanese going into that and they got the better of us. Great final though.

          • Steglitz49

            Japan simply were better (and more determined).

          • Steglitz49

            The simple answer is that the USWNT played its best soccer ever but had the misfortune to play a team that played even better, a team that brought fresh tactics and ball-skills, and with great heart, truly inspired.

            The WC-11 final will be seen as a watershed in ladies football (unless the ACL-injuries side-lines the sport). It is up there with the Wonder of Bern.

          • Steglitz49

            Mewis play for KC. That is good enough for me.

          • NYRick

            So they can essentially play a 3-5-2 to accommodate Mew, but can’t play a 4-3-3 to accommodate Press. That makes sense. I don’t see why not at least try that in these friendlies in a meaningless year for the team from a record standpoint. This year should be all about young player development and experimentation. What’s your thoughts on that? You might hit on something magical through accident. Rooney and CR7 clicked, Rooney and RvP didn’t. I would have predicted the later was the better fit. You never know without real minutes together on the pitch, not in practice or in theory. If you would have told me in 2011 that Alex and Abby would click as a great combo in 2012 I would have said that seemed improbable, but not impossible.

          • Steglitz49

            Even Pellerud sometimes plays 2-5-3. Christen could check out if she is eligible for Norway. Maybe her grandma kept a Norwegian elkhound?

          • Christy

            Whoa! Please go and read my original post up there some where. And please re read the section where I talk about the 3-5-2 theory. I did NOT say nor did I imply that they were essentially playing a 5 man mid to accommodate Mew or any 1 player, this was TACTICAL! Since long before the WWC 2011 the Midfield of the US has been sloppy, lack luster and in-cohesive to say the least, far too many times we lob our way through and get handled by every team who plays a strong mid field in the first half or more of each game we play holding our breath and waiting for our fitness level to win out. Tom is looking for answers here so he is playing with some things.

            Canada did this and it worked in all ways but 1, they essentially played a 4-5-1 for the majority of the game which put numbers in the mid and def with plenty of players to swarm back to D to assist and keep the US off the score sheet, problem was they were overloading the Midfield using Sinc, their star fwd. which left them no chance to score. This has happened to the US in the past where our mid was being over run and Abby would check back leaving Alex on her own with no one to cross to reducing our scoring chances by more than 50%, this wasn’t working.

            So what do you do when the other team is overpowering your mid with numbers? You increase your numbers as well. So how do you do that without taking the power off of your offensive 3rd? You pull a Def into the midfield.

            When your playing a team who plays possession and has no real attacking threat you can get away with a solid 3 man back line, theoretically if you have the majority of the possession your back line shouldn’t be tested too much so the key is a strong midfield and fwd presence with your 3 best Def covering the back line and your 5th middi essentially holding def duties.
            This was the same thing they did against Canada in the second half and it almost cost them a goal or 2 because of Mew’s barely serviceable LB skills, and Canada has an attacking threat, thankfully they weren’t playing an offensive game. But if you see what happen, Mew came on and immediately impacted the midfield giving us numbers and control of the possession which resulted in 2 Morgan goals and 1 syd goal because we stayed in our attacking formation but rolled the dice with the def and won. This would not work against a team such as Germany.
            But the US has notoriously struggled against the Asian style of possession midfield play and we need a formation to combat that.

            I did not mention “Press” in this post because she was a non-factor. However if you review my original post you will see a note about press at the bottom and how Tom does something similar with her as he does with Mew.
            This is a team sport and it’s about tactics not accommodating any 1 player. Yes some Veterans are going to get the benefit in cases but they have more than earned it and at the end of the day the best players that work together as a solid unit will be on the field when the games matter, end of story.

          • NYRick

            OK got it. Formations are based on tactics, not to accommodate any individual players.

          • Elaine

            Your post makes perfect sense

            “this is a team sport…it’s about tactics not accommodating any 1 player”

          • Steglitz49

            The Dutch built their team around Johan Cruijff. They could afford to because they had so many talented players. It was known as Total Football. They say the great Turin team that perished in the aircrash did the same 30 years earlier.

            The USWNT has such strength in depth that they can do whatever they feel like — as long as they win WC-15.

          • heremerawr

            I was under the impression that when Press was in the midfield it was a hybrid 4-3-3, just like with Mewis as LB. so I’m not quite sure what your complaint is, unless you want it to officially be a 4-3-3.

          • Christy

            This is precisely what I said in my earlier post, thank you! it’s purely tactical and when necessary not to accommodate any one.

    • Steglitz49

      Anyone who plays for KC deserves a chance.

  • GetThemIn

    So happy for a young player like Mewis. She definitely played well at left back and was very aggressive several times in the 2nd half, anticipating passes; sadly O’Hara should easily start at left back, love to see Mewis more at left mid than Tobin since Tobin isn’t a winger.

    I really think Tom needs to play Engen/Dunn and more defenders since I’m still not too confident in Sauerbrunn (not that fast) and Buehler (rather clumsy)

    Liked seeing Morgan Brian get a cap, but I think Ohai has a better chance at making the team since Ohai is more dynamic (fast) than Brian has. Brian is like a baby Tobin, just not as great on the ball.

    Last Comment: Please drop Barnhart………We need the younger better keepers to get chances behind Hope Solo. Barnhart is like a Hahnemann behind a Keller/Friedel, it’s sad and doesn’t do much for the development of the younger players.

    That left footed kick out of the back was one word “SAD”

  • Elaine

    Strange to see Rampone at right back and was glad to see her back in the middle when Kriegs came in. Tobin, what can I say, playing in France has really given you much confidence and awareness on the pitch. If you can find that shooting foot of yours, all the better. Loved the excitement of Mewis getting her first goal on the international stage and doing it in front of her hometown, what a treat. HAO was the workhorse as usual. What a rocket of a shot from Carli. She’s really growing into the role as defensive mid but haven’t given up her desire to shoot the ball. Congrats to Abby for another goal, just 2 more to go. Alex, nice passing and dribbling skills but are those Hypervenom shoes affecting your shooting? Just wondering.

    • Steglitz49

      But. Was it a penalty?

      • heremerawr

        You think it isn’t? It looked to me like she took an elbow to the face/neck. My thought process was, how is that not a card?

        • Steglitz49

          Iwashimizu rules OK. Or, do I mean a certain USWNT defender, who seems to knobble them also, to make sure they do not try again to score (at least not on the pitch — who cares about the disco?).

          • ctsmith73

            There’s a disco?

      • Elaine

        On the replay, it looked like the defender strong armed Alex and hip checked her off the ball. There were other fouls in this game that was not called: the one Broon had in the box in the first half and the one against Abby in the second half. Other than that, not much controversy with the refs in this game. The next one should be more interesting. I expect S. Korea to come out more aggressive and maybe a little bit more chippy. The refs in that game better take control of the game early.

        • Steglitz49

          Since the whistle went America’s way, it must have been correct, eh what? Else, please see my other comment.

      • kernel_thai

        Im not sure u ever get away with that in the box with the ball. It was shoulder to shoulder but she made no attrempt at the ball. If it had happened up field or if both player r chasing the ball I dont think it gets called. I think it was a PK. The one Seitz missed was the Sauerbrunn foul in the box. That was definitely a PK as well so they each should have had one.

        • Steglitz49

          Why did a Canadian or Mexican referee not take this game? They are part of the NWSL after all, are they not?

          • snish

            I’m sure that there are, but I would assume that there are predominantly American refs, just due to geography. I also believe that Seitz has the most experience. She generally does a lot of the USWNT friendlies on home soil.

          • Steglitz49

            Fair enough. Cricket internationals used to be umpired by the home refs, so there is good precedence from the British empire.

          • romel dias

            that practice is however slowly being watered away…it began with having one international umpire with one home umpire…and nowadays some of the important series (Ashes etc.) have a greater ratio of all international umpires…

          • Steglitz49

            Maybe matches between Canada and USA should be called the Blueberry Cup and they could talk about bringing back the blueberries? Or, maple sugar if you prefer.

          • romel dias

            haahahahaaaa…maybe the Niagara cup and each side has sole rights to sightseeing boats for that year 😛

          • Steglitz49

            I think modern goal posts and bar are made of metal of plastic, so they cannot bring home the Ashes, can they? Anyway, women are not allowed into the Long Room at Lords, are they?

            I once got a free drink on the night that india won the World Cup … .

          • romel dias

            u follow cricket as well!!?? Crikey!

  • NYRick

    #10 on S. Korea can flat out play. Every time the ball was at her feet I took notice. She is fast, skilled and always seemed to make the right decision.

  • Christy

    It was a great game, I as a fan love to see Alex score, but if not I love it when you get 4 different goal scorers and for Mew to get her first in front of a home town crowd that was so great for her, not to mention her BFF on the assist! Over all she really had an average game tho, she had a specific role as I mentioned below, she is being pegged at LB deceptively, TS is playing her at LB against teams who flood the midfield, she is really there to push into mid and help stabilize possession checking back to D if needed. As long as she isn’t tested back there (and I don’t see Tom putting her there against strong attacking teams) she can gap fill the LB position. Essentially when Mew is at LB we are playing a 3-5-2. That is why you had Rampone, Broon, and Buel back there at the same time. The same situation occurred when she came on for the Canada game, she was acting as the 5 player in the mid, when she was tested tho, as I said Syd was checking back from the FWD position to help clean up. (not what you want from your FWD)

    Great half for syd, she came in ready to go she settled more into that Role Alex usually has when Abby is on the field and Alex ,Abby’s pushing more into the Mid at times. This works better because both players have the speed and fitness to get back into the box to support a cross from the other where Abby struggles here with her speed.Some more time together up top and I am convinced that this is going to be a very productive tandem.

    Heath and her through balls are just so good and she was fantastic last night. She looked faster with the ball than I had ever seen her. Some times too fast with her trick passes, her teammates would tend to overrun not sure where the communication miss was there but we still maintained possession more often then not. I think Heath and Pinoe on the field at the same time could be advantageous now though it wasn’t before, I would like to see them again and see if they can work better together given their France experiences. I’d say Thursday but I doubt we will see Heath on Thursday and Pinoe will likely get the nod.

    Cheney, yay! You scored, nice shot and placement! I was happy to see her score, I think this gives her some renewed confidence.

    Abby, well she looked fresh, coming on second half is going to happen more often I think, it makes sense. She’s slower, bring her in when the game has slowed down and the def is tired. She had some nice shots on goal, Alex pushing back into the role she’s accustom to, but damn it stop trying to set Abby up and that goes for all of you! She doesn’t want you to do it so stop, the goals they will a come! Alex should have taken what 4-5 shots instead she toyed with the ball looking to play Abby in. Yes I understand this game is meaningless but if you have a better shot pull the damn trigger and get your goal.
    Foul on Alex in the box was legit so stop it ppl, I watched the play over 5 times hell they replayed it 3, was it the worst foul ever? No but it was late in the game and those fouls almost ALWAYS get called, PK shots and yellow card percentages go up something like 60% in the second half to protect the players from sloppy tired play. Alex landed on a cement floor on her shoulder, this was the delay in getting up it wasn’t dramatics. I’ve been on the Gillet field before, never played on it ,but Ive walked on it its like 1″ of green carpet over cement, you fall on that let me know how you feel. Anyone who hit that ground is wearing some pretty bruises this morning terrible field!

    Broons foul in the first half should have been called but as I mentioned the tendency to let it play in the first half is much higher so I wasn’t surprised it among others weren’t called.

    Alex as she said herself in post interview didn’t have her best game though I certainly didn’t think it was bad outside of trying too hard to help Abby score which she ultimately did (does she get the assist for that or… lol) She should have pulled the trigger more often. Alex struggles on Turf sometimes, a lot of players do she tried to keep the ball at her feet so it didn’t get away from her and this took her speed down a notch, when you try to change your game style to reflect the surface your playing on its tough, if Alex plays on Thursday then she will make that adjustment is Redbull stadium grass or turf? Anyone?

    Will Alex play on Thursday, I think so, but not for 90, 45 maybe 60? depends on the score and who all fields with her. I think we see a whole new midfield and Def. We should see Press and Engen, and more of the 1st capper Brian and Syd should get a cap as well.
    My Line up predictions, lets see how I do lol!
    Dunn Engen Broon KO(if healthy) – Pino Yael Brian Heath (Mew) – Morgan (Press) Syd (Abby) though I’m not sure how the Fwd sitch will work out Abby and Press don’t seem to play off each other well either but we will see how it shakes out, we see Press regardless of how and at what position on Thursday. It’s possible she comes on for Pinoe, she kind of has a similar role to Mew, where she is put in a position she isn’t comfortable with but really she’s pushing up top and acting more as a fwd but responsible for mid duties.
    We will see Lloyden I think for 45 and hope the other 45.
    I expect more goals this time around, if not then the line up he chooses doesn’t mesh well and we look disorganized and struggle yet still a win. We have seen it before he throws ppl out there and sees what happens, this is the kind of game to do it, it’s just hard for us fans to watch lol.

    • kernel_thai

      I agree that the team is trying too hard to get goals for Wambach. They r trying to force things a bit. Oddly, it hasnt effected Wambach nearly as much as her team mates.

      • Christy

        that’s true it seems to be concerning them more than her.

        • Steglitz49

          Maybe they want to be rid of her?

          • Christy

            Steg, it’s out of pure respect and that is all. They don’t want rid of her, they are happy for her, this is a huge deal in the women’s game and they want to help be a part of making that happen for her. I get it it’s just they need to stop , the goals will come when ever that is. Personally the over trying is drawing it out. Just play let it happen!

          • Steglitz49

            I first saw Abby play in the 2003 WC. Vow! What a player.

            Abby is one of the most important players in the ladies game. She does not need any record. Abby has been loyal to the NWSL. It is sweet of her team-mates to try to get her those last goals. There are more than enough matches as you point out.

          • Boston Red

            I think the point is to get the chase over with (though Sinclair could turn around and pass her and we start all over again).

    • Steglitz49

      Did you know that the memo that Churchill wrote that lead to the construction of the Mulberry Harbors was 32 words? They are cast in copper at Arromanche.

      The Hotel de Normandie in Arromanche is a great place to stay, and the museum is worth a visit, as is the Bayeux tapestry museum. The Pegasus Bridge is a good local outing. (Why the Horsa Bridge is forgotten is a mystery. PR?) The American, British and German war cementeries make for interesting comparisons of how we hallow those that died in combat. The Motherland Calls is, maybe, the ultimate expression of this.

      What has this to do with ladies football in 2013? A good question.

    • Michelle

      I think being in Jersey, you’ll see Christie Rampone start. I wouldn’t be surprised to see most of the Jersey natives start the game.

      I’m sincerely hoping to see a backline of Rampone, Engen, Krieger, and O’Hara on Thursday — and Dunn in for O’Hara if she’s still injured. I’m also hoping Abby starts this one and gets subbed out for Press in the second half.

      • Christy

        I thought about that with the Boston game being a feature of ppl with ties to Boston, it would make sense but if you think about it the majority of the line up from the last game are your Jersey ppl.

        Abby may get the start but I just think her coming on at the half is so much more productive becasue the pace of the game slows so much from the first half to the second.

        that back line is a starting line for sure, but I don’t think we will see it in this game. I do not like Dunn at LB she struggles unless there is a winger who can back her up as we saw against canada, but this Korean team shows they have no attacking presence on the right side so it shouldn’t much matter who is there, she could develop here I am sure she is a talented Def no doubt. I would not be surprised to see S.K. exploit that weak LB position if KO isn’t starting, it would be the smart thing to do.
        I wouldnt be surprised to see the same FWD tandem on Thursday. I think Tom is giong to want to re-establish that chemestry between Syd and Alex since it was a strong connection at the U23 level. Of course If you may see Abby on for 90 and Alex and Syd rotating out with each other since Alex was the one who played 90 on Saturday. Press will come in, but maybe at that hybrid position in the midfield where he likes to put her. If she starts up top I would be surprised but not shocked if you know what I mean.

        • NYRick

          Christy, I think there is no one on these boards who understands the women’s game from a both a player and tactical strategy standpoint like you. I’m a soccer nut so I watch a lot of men’s games too, and still find myself learning a lot from your insight, so thanks for all of that. Really. If you’re not a coach at some level (junior, HS, college or beyond) you should be. That’s where someone with your ability can best serve developing young players. I know you say you play, but sometimes even good to great players have a hard time translating their knowledge to a chalkboard and assessment level, and I think you certainly do that.

          Now with all that said, I think the one area of your assessments (at least as it pertains to USWNT) that is a bit biased and for me somewhat confusing is the forward position. I just don’t understand why you would say (and it’s just your opinion and that’s cool) for Press, “If she starts up top I would be surprised but not shocked if you know what I mean.” Isn’t this match on Thursday another friendly in an inconsequential year for this team? You know I totally disagree with you on this (and that’s cool too, we can respect each other’s opinions), but there is no way on this green earth that Press doesn’t warrant a forward start on Thursday, at worse a half which she will get in a token gesture most likely. She is arguably right now the most dominant striker in the women’s game (yes that includes Lotta and Alex). Steg even said the same, so do you realize what it took for him to say that? That’s not coming from newsouth. She’s not just playing well, she’s tearing up Europe. Shouldn’t that count for just a token 90 at forward for the national team in a throw-away match? She will be very well rested, and doesn’t Alex have a big match for first place with SB two days later? Pakacuda on these boards put it the best about Press, “she makes very difficult things look easy.” Unless you watch her extensively on video (I think you said you watch a lot of video, but you don’t ever mention vids of her), you may really be missing something.

          I get that Abby (pending record and iconic status) won’t be replaced and will play. Although at 33 I think she’s is starting to log too many minutes this year between the NT and Flash and she will break down sooner than later at this pace and will basically be shot by WC15. I get that the golden girl (your favorite) is a given, although she never plays defense. Not that’s the most important thing for a striker, but she can come back and defend a bit once in awhile. But I think now you are putting Syd in front of Press which is truly unfair. Didn’t you call Syd something to the effect of “Water Park Syd” for her sliding a short while ago. Now you are referring to “building chemistry” with Alex based on their U23 days? So that past matters in their U23 days and nothing in Press’s absurd dominant past matters in every level she’s played at. The only thing that matters is chemistry with Alex. Did it ever dawn on you that maybe Alex doesn’t want to have chemistry with her for very personal reasons. It wouldn’t be the first time two very talented players acted in this manner. It is quite obvious Alex is rooting for Syd in the pairing. Syd is no threat to her. But that’s OK, Alex can play it anyway she wants it, she’s earned that. It’s just surprising that TS allows it, which leads me to believe he is not as strong a coach as I originally believed. But we’ll see, I’ll cut him slack on this. It’s just that you would think that he would be at the very least mildly curious with a CP-AM pairing for one full game. They’ve had chances to do so with no real stress attached to the match.

          Also, you’ve talked in the past about how players perform in practice, team chemistry, fitting in to the team scheme etc. as to whether that gets them a spot on the pitch. OK, makes some sense, but haven’t you also said that Alex was known for having terrible camps (your words) and even some past US junior coaches didn’t believe in her (Alex’s words). Based on that, wouldn’t we have been robbed of seeing a truly great player who once on the pitch in a competitive nature truly excels? Practice is practice. It’s the time on the field that matters.

          It’s also funny that CP could develop chemistry with who I feel is still the best player in the world, Marta, yet not be able to develop chemistry with Alex or Abby. I don’t buy it. I just so wish Press could get even 3 straight starts at forward for this team for a full 90 each time, paired up top with Alex. Then, even after that short sample I promise to shut up on the subject. For good!

          And of course, there is nothing personal directed at you here. I have the utmost respect for you.:–)

          • kdm

            Just to stir the pot a little…in the games I’ve seen Press play for the NT so far, there’s been just one criticism of her from me. She doesn’t look for her strike partner. Not to say that she can’t but I get the feeling that when she’s on the pitch, she’s only looking out for herself and out to prove a point (which is understandable).

            For example: the game against the Netherlands. The first chance of the game was her trying to take on the entire defense before the ball rebounded back to her kindly when she could’ve slipped HAO in. For the 1st goal, she mis-kicked it and it fell to Tobin; the 2nd goal Syd set her up; the 3rd goal, she had the chance to play a through ball for Syd but she decided to go for it alone. I have no problems with my strikers being selfish but if people go after Carli for never passing and going for goal instead, should we not say the same for Press? Maybe that’s why she doesn’t get enough playing time, because she isn’t willing to put in the work for her strike partner that the other strikers do when they play together?

            Again, I could be way off base here and she’ll start the next game and racket up ASSISTS and goals:) it’s just a thought that was niggling at the back of my head for awhile now.

          • Steglitz49

            Your point is well taken. It is worth noting how many assists Alex Morgan made in the OG, let alone passes. Indeed, Alex passed to Abby for her goal in extra time in the WC final.

          • pakacuda

            It is worth noting how the numbers actually look in the big picture so we don’t get lost in our selective memory.

            By the time the Olympics rolled around, Alex had 1960 minutes under her belt.

            Christen has played 384 minutes and has 1 assist. In Alex’s first 384 minutes she had 1 assist. In Sydney’s first 384 minutes she had 1 assist.

            Around the 800 minute mark Alex got her 2nd assist and started to ramp it up. Around the 600 minute mark Sydney got her 2nd assist and started to ramp it up.

            I think it takes a while for young forwards to get in tune with their partners.

          • newsouth

            excellent find.

          • Christy

            You are spot on, this has been my criticism of her since WPS days as well and why I think she needs to be seated in midfield for a while and see if she can develop some team skills. A point proven makes no sense if a game may potentially be lost because a single player needs the glory. It’s an insecurity she needs to break if shes ever going to start on this team. There is nothing wrong with being a prolific goal scorer but a great player looks for the best ways to help the TEAM not for self satisfaction.

          • NYRick

            Christy, what you are implying here is essentially correct in regards to Press’s game. But all great teams need prolific goal scorers to be successful. I don’t necessarily think CR7 is thinking “team first” with some of his exploits. But I’ll tell you what, he can play on my team any day. Mostly because he can do the hardest thing in the sport as well as and better than anyone, put the ball in the net.

            At the end of the day, in this sport in particular, all the great players are measured by goal totals. Regardless of how complete you may think Mia was as a player, or Abby, or even Alex, what is everyone talking about regarding Mia and Abby today? The career goal record!

            When Barry Bonds, steroid induced or not, broke Hank Aaron’s HR record it could easily be argued that Aaron was by far the better all around team player, which he was. But Bonds holds the most important record in the sport because he did the hardest thing to do in the sport better than anyone, hit home runs. Just like scoring goals is the hardest thing to do. Alex is famous because she can put the ball in the net. She is famous for her 123rd minute header, famous for breaking the 0-0 deadlock in the WC11 final, not famous for the 6 assists at the Olympics. I don’t think we give the players who are quite good at scoring goals, and it is the rarest of skills, enough credit. That’s always been at the crux of my argument concerning CP. As you probably know from playing, it’s extremely hard to do.

          • Christy

            And I’ve never implied that if in need of a goal scorer that I wouldn’t find her useful. The issue is we are talking about the USWNT , that isn’t short of goal scores, prolific ones at that. Hence the need to better be evolved to be included. Some NT’s struggle with a the attack and would love to have a player that can score goals. The US atm has the talent and the luxury to develop more complete players. The more well rounded your roster the more successful your team. See it won’t take good def long to shut Press down, but have her become a playmaker and not just a scorer, now you have someone who can create plays for their more open teammates. That wins you WC’s and Olympics’

          • NYRick

            Totally agree with what you are saying here. But in truth, a player really needs to be on the pitch and integrated with the first team to truly develop into the complete player you are indicating. She certainly has the talent to do so. Maybe you’re right about her being better suited to work into the team (at least initially) from a midfield position. A dose of humility and less limelight would further develop her game, force her to look for more options, and in turn give the team a more dynamic look. In all fairness too, I think she is doing more of that on her Swedish team as well (maybe a Marta influence) and has made a number of nice pass plays on the NT in her appearances. It’s just that her goal scoring prowess overshadows much of that, and she is very much a strike first player (Alex was that initially too). So that is the first thing anyone thinks of or sees when you mention her or her game.

            I think the perfect role for her may be the forward super sub. Come in for 25 minutes or so at the end, after the US team (as they usually do) wears down an opponent by the 70th minute. Then someone with her skill set could be called upon for a big goal or to generally put the game away. All told, the group of forwards on this team are a collective nightmare for any coach to strategize against. It’s pick your poison.

          • Christy

            She needs to be integrated in the midfiled for now. Force her to be a facilitator or sit her. Super sub is fine if she can come in late and make an impact, not all players can do this, Alex was exceptional at it.

            they called Syd a super sub but she really hasn’t produced at a high level in that position so far but she really never got on the field much in important games so it’s unfair of me to assess.

            And why would she really, you have the 2 most clutch Fwd’s in the women’s game today, why would you take one of them off when the game is on the line. You can’t!

            watching ppl compare minutes played with Alex ,Syd and Press is so pointless because you are never comparing apples to apples.

            When Alex first joined the NT it was at the start of world cup qualifiers, the competition was much harder as we had to play the better teams who were competeing for a spot in the WC. She would come off the bench for 10-15 minutes and make that impact. The games were crucial and sometimes must win and she would produce, she produces at a higher level when the game winds down and we are behind than when we are ahead, no need for a sense of urgency, sure she’d love a goal but it’s not important enough to spark her need to score. It’s really kind of unsual for a player to be this way. Over all Alex has a much lower goal percentage against lesser competition. Yet against tougher opponents she averages more than a goal a game. I don’t know the actual percentages I wish I did.

            Syd played her first minutes in an Olympic year and I don;t know this to be fact but I don’t think she really saw the field much in important games either. She got a lot of the same hype Press gets this year because she scored 5 goals in a game…..however, to me this was kind of a joke, syd came in second half of a game we were already up like 7-0 and scored 5 goals against a team we beat like 14-0. It was almost sad to watch and boring.
            Press’s minutes are much the same because she has played so far in games that had little or no meaning out side of development.

            However, minutes themselves really don’t mean anything. If it takes Press 30 minutes to score a goal and Alex 15 minutes to score a goal against the same team,they both still scored a goal within a game, conditions on the field dictate when we score not a fwd’s abiltiy to do so. That is an apples to apples comparison.

            My point is ppl need to stop, you CANNOT compare an established Proven Fwd to one that is just starting out on the NT, conditions aren’t identical to do so and ppl need to move on. If you really want to, wait till their careers are over then compare away!
            Sorry Rick this was a little off your topic point.. see paragraph one for you 🙂

          • Steglitz49

            The manager could try playing Alex as the provider and Christen up top. This is what Milan did with the Gre-No-Li line. Gren became the provider and Nordahl scored the goals while Liedholm split the mid-feild with his long-range passes.

            Gren and Nordahl had traded places as top scorer but instead now Gren’s skill at reading the game and delivering the perfectly weighted passes became his trade-mark. Gren’s nickname was “Il professore” while Nordahl was “Il cannoniere” and Liedholm “Il barone”.

            In some ways, Liedholm was the greatest of the three. Grenoli worked because Gren could play another role. He wore the #10 shirt.

          • NYRick

            You make many valid points here. But a couple of things from my end.

            The minutes on the field of play for any player in any sport are important, and you can’t fairly judge any player without equal time. That includes vets or newbies. Mike Trout stepped onto a ML baseball field as a starter at 20. He was unproven on day one, but in just several months quite proven. Arguably the MVP of the league. Any of the starting “proven” established outfielders on the Angels were far inferior. That’s an instance where you can prove it.

            Now let’s talk my favorite example, Tom Brady. Drew Bledsoe, the former #1 pick in the NFL draft, was the Patriots starter and quite a good player for his first 3-5 years in the league. He even got the Pats to a SB. Many considered him the best young QB in the NFL. He was never going to be replaced as the starter by anyone less a meteor hitting the earth. A serious injury to Bledsoe gave the world the unknown, and “unproven” Tom Brady. Who knew? Who knew this guy would become easily one of the 3 greatest QBs to ever play the game, and he did it right from the start too. Who knew he also possessed the rare, what I’ll call “clutch gene.” Also, few know that while at Michigan, Tom was also a backup to a guy named Drew Henson. Henson was the most sought after high school prospect in the country and his starting QB role at Michigan was preordained. Everyone on the team knew how good Brady was, but he was destined to be a backup and many times wanted to transfer. Only his hard-headed determination kept him at Michigan. This also cost him being a high draft pick and let him fall as a low round afterthought to the Pats. So much for all the so-called draft experts. Once he finally got on the field by accident really, he let his play do all the talking. But here’s the key, he needed to get on the field. That’s why minutes and opportunity are so essential for any potential star and do very much matter. Regardless of who (maybe less LeBron James) is playing in front of them.

            Also, this example is not about Press-Alex, but just to emphasis your point on minutes in reverse, would if Press plays 10 minutes and scores a goal, and Alex plays 90 and also scores one goal. Does that make Press better? Of course not. But you cite “conditions on the field” dictating a forward’s ability to score. By pure logic, wouldn’t the extra 80 minutes for one player dictate more scoring chances? It was this very reasoning by many US women soccer fans that had us all screaming for Alex to start ahead of ARod.

            One last thing on Alex with her initial WC qualifying matches. And I have to emphasis here that I’m not citing these examples to be critical of Alex. I think she is tremendous and easily one of the best players in the game today. But you say that her entry into the team (2010 or so) involved playing tough competition for WC qualifying. First off, the US has only a handful of teams that I would call tough for them, and really few in any in qualifying. Mostly everyone they can steamroll with depth, stamina and a ridiculous talent pool overall. The team was pretty average at the time though and in a bit of a transition. Alex had a huge goal against Italy that helped the team qualify. That was her first indication of delivering in a real big spot. After that, she went into a bit of a slump leading up to the WC until scoring what I feel are the two biggest goals of her career (WC11 semi against France to put away a 3-1 win) and her star turn in the WC11 final (goal and assist), but aided by the Cheney injury to even see the field.

            I say these examples because I feel if “you’re good, you’re good.” And you will perform in the big spots too. I think that pertains to Press. I just can’t accept the “lesser competition theory” because so many of Abby, Mia and Alex’s goals also came against inferior competition too. That’s just a fact of life for the US team. Their 4th string players would start on just about any team in the world. My opinion is that Press will deliver when it most matters too. So will Syd probably over time as well.

          • Christy

            Your not reading my post, I didn’t say minutes on the field weren’t important, I said comparing these players thru minutes is pointless and it is. Unless you can put 2 players in the exact same conditions then there is no comparisson, period. But you Press fans don’t seem to get it because your are too busy claiming she gods gift to the game. Stop it!

            And you can’t compare other team sports to each other, because you are not comparing apples to apples. Not even close. Comparing baseball to Football, is like comparing lawn bowling to skeet shooting, you just don’t do it.

            And just becasue some one scores in the 10th minute absolutly does NOT mean they will have ANY scoring chances at all after that, or they could have plenty. Conditions in the game can change in a split second and they do. Teams change tactics teams adjust.

            The US to an earlier point does not score 4 goals or more a game not sure who you’ve been watching.

            You may not buy that different levels of competition make a difference but it is a fact. And down playing better competition to justify a players scores against lesser teams is ridicules. All fwds score goals against lesser teams, yes, but when a player is pit against tougher defenses and comes thru you can not compare that accomplishment to similar minutes against lesser teams with weaker def , you just can’t.

            You want to talk football ref ok. So if Brady puts 50 points up against the Jets 7, and 21 points up against Peytons Bronco’s to their 14. Which is a quality win? Which win shows you a clear competitive difference. Scores are scores, yes but when analysts talk about it this is exactly how they rank teams by power.

            In turn you can’t tell me that scoring a goal against Japan is equal to a goal against costa Rica, that’s ridicules. And while the US alway is favored and should win, that win could be 1 goal or half a dozen, the difference is who they played and what performace was delivered by all members of the team.

            I also agree that Alex had few minutes in the begining and was there to paoch and that was all she had time for so in that it is the same for Syd and Press. But ppl are trying so hard to dance around saying Press is better than Alex and it’s needless. Let Press be Press and Alex be Alex and walk the F away.

            And I am firm on the fact that within this team Press is not a starter, yet. She needs to find her place and learn how to be a team player because she will never be a starter until she does. The US just doesn’t need that right now, if she wants to come on late in the game I am all for it. It’s good experience and will help her get chemestry with her teammates which will aide her growth in the team and as a player, nothing at ALL wrong with it. I also stand by the reasons she isn’t on the field more is clearly not known to us and Tom will do what he thinks is best for the team unit not for a single player.
            I agree they (all) need more time on the field I have never implied otherwise, what needs to stop is idiotic comparisson, that is all. And my last word on this cus I am getting irritated.
            Enjoy your day Rick.

          • NYRick

            This isn’t about Press, I could care less about that. It’s about minutes and in turn gaining experience on the field for any player. You can fill in any other name, Syd, Engen, Mewis etc., and my thoughts would be same. Take KO for example. She needed minutes on the field at LB to see if she could even learn the position, let alone play it. Theory, strategy, watching film or tough practices were not going to do for her. Also, I’m not comparing the minutes identically to each player from their past situations. That’s impossible. I’m just talking about playing time overall. Whether a player deserves to be a starter or not is irrelevant in the conversation. Maybe CP or Syd doesn’t deserve to be a starter. No big deal. But I can’t make that full assessment without equal playing time, NOT comparable playing time in the same situations whether those were important matches or not.

            And yes, you can compare other sports simply because you are comparing professional athletes in similar situations. Playing QB in the NFL is maybe the hardest thing to do in sports as a young player. Way harder than walking in and playing forward on the USWNT. As for “quality wins,” seriously how many truly quality wins does the USWNT have in a given year, two or three?

            Also, I’ve never said Press was better than Alex, nor am I trying to compare the two. CP is just different, and maybe just as effective. That’s not crazy talk. That’s a very subjective evaluation. Not right or wrong, just subjective. And it has nothing to do with being a fan of either. Seriously, at this point, I don’t give a toss. And if I think that Press would also score against Japan or Germany, what is so crazy about that? Yeah, scoring against Costa Rica may be easier, but if a player is good they will perform under any test against any level of competition. Or they will flop and fade away. Without the full opportunity, that can never be measured. Also the word “better” when comparing two talented players is always subjective. Is Marta better than Sinc? Is Brady better than Brees? Is Chris Paul better than Derrick Rose? Is Paul Scholes better than Xavi? Sides can be argued for each case when looked at objectively.

            Sorry to irritate you. Good day.–)

          • Steglitz49

            In a dog show, like Crufts, you pick a winner and reserve among many and various groups of breeds. In the sub-finals and the best-in-show final each dog is compared to the standard of its breed, not the other dogs in the final.

            As for who plays where and when will be debated from now till the cows come home, or at least till the final of the next WC. Till then we can enjoy Euro-13 and before that the Confederations cup.

          • Steglitz49

            You have totally lost me.

            “all the great players are measured by goal totals” — Really? All? How do you measure the Kaiser, Zagalo, Cruiff, Rahn, Morace or Sundhage?

            “Barry Bonds, steroid induced or not” — Either it was steroid-induced in which case it is void, or it was not. It can’t be both. Who has been the real star of MLB for 20 years?

            In the WC final, Alex scored a goal, passed for another one, and induced a red card (the first in a ladies final). If you do one of those in a top match you get noticed. All three makes you a star.

            TS would be mad not to have Christen in his WC squad. How he employs her optimally is a good question. The German NT has just lost its 6th girl to injury and still have to play the “Woodchippers”. America has strength in depth.

          • NYRick

            Yes, you are kind of correct here. Certainly not all great players are measured by goal totals. I think I was stating that more from a standpoint of fame and attention garnered. You can’t measure the great Paul Scholes or Andrea Pirlo or Xavi by goals or certainly the players you mention as well.

            I think my argument was focused around all teams need a selfish prolific goal scorer, of which CP is one. And I was trying to point out that Alex is famous for her goals, not her assists. Mia is famous for her goals, not all the assists. In every sport, I do prefer the creative playmaker a bit more over the scorer. In a lot of aspects I like to watch Tobin and Pinoe with the ball more than Alex or CP. But goal scorers get the headlines, that’s all. There is an American saying in baseball about HR hitters. “Chicks dig the long ball.”

          • Christy

            I will disagree, you are speculating, Mia, yes mia was famous being a great goal scorer but equally for her play making ability, when people talk about her it’s not “she scored a lot of goals” its what a great player she was and a teammate, how great she was on and off the field a complete player.
            Michelle Akers is one of the most famous women’s players and a great scorer in her fwd days but its her grit and strength she’s known for now as a mid fielder, most ppl don’t even know she was a fwd before she was a middi.
            What were the headlines late last year buzzing about? The fact that Alex had scored more than 20 goals and 20 assists in a calandar year, a feat accomplished previously only by Mia because that was the accomplishment of the moment, now its Abby about to reach Mia’s goal scoring record.
            The ability to be a productive player is what it takes for longevity in the sport. Straight “goal scorers” are one trick ponies, once key defenses figure your methods out in big games they render you useless to your team. It’s the player who can change the game or point of the attack in order to create goal scoring opportunities for whom ever is open as well as themselves that makes the long haul. There have been many times this year that def have shut Alex down inside the box but in almost every case she would record an assits where she didn’t record a goal or force a PK charging into the box forcing the Def to take her down.
            You say “Goals” thats all you hear about because that is the topic now with Abby so close, as it should be. It’s an accomplishment but not the definition of a great the player.

            In that late goal Abby scored in the quarter final of the WWC you hear as much about Pinoes cross as you did Abby’s goal, it took both pieces to make that goal happen and ppl recongnized that, you had to.

          • NYRick

            Yes, I hear you on this. In my previous post I pointed out Pinoe’s assist to Abby in the Brazil. In my opinion, that assist and perfect pass far exceeds Abby’s finish. Plus, HAO’s cross to Alex in the 123rd minute goal is very overlooked as being a truly great play. In both instances though, Abby and Alex got the glory. No one is minimizing the importance of the assist, but my argument focused on fame and headlines garnered from the goal scorers. I still point out that Alex is famous for her goals, not her assists. The fact she can now do both is of course a big plus for the team, but not her sponsors or for headlines.

            If we are going to point out Alex, I think it is important to note that Alex WAS a “one-trick pony” before she became an NT starter, even with the Flash as you know. She was bought in the 70th minute to score a goal, to create a spark. That was her role. Her game only truly developed in my opinion when she was on the pitch for 90 minutes with the NT, saw the match unfold in terms of opportunities more clearly, played with the best players on the team for longer stretches, and then became just as much a playmaker as a goal scorer. Or as you define, a more complete player. Whether Syd or Press could do the same with 90 minutes on the pitch remains to be seen. I don’t think it’s far fetched to assume that both could be great passers and playmakers too with the minutes. It’s the law of averages with the opportunities they will create. And also one must take into account that the USWNT is vastly superior to just about every international team they play, so 90% of the time they are going to score at least 4 goals or more a game. More goals means more assists and stats for the forward starters on this team. Any of the 4 would put up big numbers in my opinion.

            The US team also really wears down every opponent in the second half. There is no team deeper or more fit than the US team and it usually is the deciding factor in every match. I still go back to minutes on the pitch. You learn and improve from playing and experience. That pertains to every player. With that said, no player can be truly judged without a full opportunity. I think Engen is a vastly superior player to Buehler. But Buehler has over 100 caps and Engen has less than 10. With the same amount of caps the difference would be startling in one’s interpretation of their games.

          • pakacuda

            OK I’ll take the bait 🙂

            My impression is the exact opposite- Christen is a superb and creative passer and very willing to do so.

            I can give plenty of counterexamples to your examples (and btw your 2nd and 3rd examples don’t prove anything). Here’s a small sample:

            1. In the 1st Scotland game her assist to Boxx required a perfectly lofted ball over a defender that landed right at Boxx’s foot. 2. In the 2nd Scotland game right after she came in she had a great run and cross to Leroux that Leroux almost scored; the announcer made note of the two young forwards as they worked well together. 3. Right after that she had a beautiful back heel pass to O’Reilly that gave O’Reilly a nice shot, the announcer mentioned how impressive the pass was. 4. Right after that Press had a nice lob to Leroux. Leroux couldn’t get the shot but she got her head on it.

            How about the numbers? In 384 minutes Press has 1 assist. In her first 384 minutes Morgan had 1 assist.

            It took more than 750 minutes for Morgan to get her 2nd assist. Press has plenty of time.

            Basically if you want an “example contest” I’m sure I would win, and the numbers don’t support your claim.

          • Elaine

            goals and assists so far this year among the 4 forwards:

            Alex: 6 goals/3 assists – 560 mins played
            Syd: 3 goals/3 assists – 447 mins played
            Abby: 3 goals/3 assists – 460 mins played
            Press: 6 goals/1 assist – 384 mins played

            To say she is a goal scorer is absolutely true. To say she is an assist machine is absolutely false.

          • pakacuda

            Sorry I wasn’t clear. I am not saying the numbers prove Christen is a good passer. I was a making a “pre-emptive strike” against anyone trying to use her “only 1 assist” against her. So in summary I’m saying:

            1. My eyes tell me Christen is a good passer and I can describe her abilities.

            2. I am confident I can show more examples of her good passing than someone can show of her being “selfish.”

            3. Her having only 1 assist is not stastically significant yet and can’t be used against her. Morgan had only 1 assist in her first 750 minutes.

            To pre-emptively answer another possible question:

            Some might argue “if you can’t use her assist numbers against her how can you use her goal numbers for her?”

            It is basic logic that it is much harder to prove a negative (e.g. that someone is bad at something) than proving a positive. To prove something exists you just show your evidence; to prove something doesn’t exist you have to wait a long time to collect your “lack of evidence”, to be statistically valid. Certainly longer than 384 minutes.

          • Elaine

            1. Whether your eyes or mine say she’s a good passer or not is not the point. In this instance you can say anyone on this team is a good passer. The only number that matters is the assist number that leads to goals.

            2. I’m happy that you follow her that closely, just as others follow different players for the same reasons as you. There is nothing wrong with being a fan.

            3. The number you give for Alex ( 1 assist in her first 750 minutes is incorrect.) Look at her statistics from 2010 when she first played on the NT as a sub. In 232 mins played, she had 4 goals and 1 assist. I don’t want to pit Alex against Press here. I acknowledge that you are absolutely right when you say that she needs a longer time period to get her assist number up. When these ladies hang up their cleats some day, we will get our definitive answer. What are the chances that any of them can surpass Mia’s record of 144 assists? Now that’s amazing!

          • Steglitz49

            The club statistics tell their own story. Quite clearly, actually.

          • Elaine

            The problem with club statistics is that the numbers may be great, but no one really notice them, unless you happen to follow that club or that league wherever in the world they are. The only numbers people pay attention to, especially in the US and maybe worldwide, are the statistics (international goals) accomplished for the national team. But to be fair, I give all the credit to Press for improving that part of her game in Sweden.

          • NYRick

            I’m going to respectfully slightly disagree with your point #1. Technically you are correct, the only number for anything that matters (goals or assists) is what actually winds up in the final score sheet. But there are plenty of instances in every game where a great cross, perfect chip into the box for someone etc. is not converted. Does that mean the player wasn’t creative and didn’t make the proper play and deserve an assist? Of course not. In the game the other night, Rampone put in an absolutely perfect cross on the run into the box to Abby that she just headed a foot or so over the bar. You simply can’t make a better play than Rampone made in that instance, but she gets no assist in her stat totals.

            Of course, we can cite numerous instances for goals as well. Alex could probably have about 5 or so more goals in her total with any luck. Christen had at least 4 others that easily could have gone in so far with any luck. And of course, it’s hard to fathom the number of assists lost to players, or as Ian Darke best puts it, “chances that went begging.”

            I’m one of these people too who try to go by “what my eyes tell me,” in every sport. It usually is the best barometer for any sport. It’s just that today, we live in an age of sabermetrics in sports where everything is measured on a player’s worth. Stats don’t define a clutch player. Stats don’t tell you what’s inside Alex to keep pushing for that 123rd minute goal, or in Pinoe to make the incredible pass 4 minutes into stoppage time to Abby for the Brazil goal.

          • Elaine

            Those two examples your mentioned as also part of statistics, in fact one was even a record. Alex”s 123rd minute goal was the latest goal ever to tally in international competition. Pinoe’s incredible assist wouldn’t be the talk of the town if Abby didn’t put it in the net. Take Shaquille O’Neal for instance. He goes on the free throw line more times than any other player in the NBA but his percentage barely makes it over the 50% mark. You wouldn’t call him a free throw shooting machine, would you. Fact is stats count big time in sports, that’s just the way it is. You never get credit for those half-chances or near-misses, only what was scored and recorded. Admiring with one’s own eyes is satisfying only to a degree a fan can appreciate, but those eyes are very much subjective. Stats are not, they are facts.

            The argument about Press being a prolific goal scorer is kinda mute at this point. I think pretty much everyone agrees she is, although some of us think that she is not at the same level as Alex is until she can score that “crucial” goal. The other argument about Press being a good assister and overall team player is very much in play here. Based on the stats on the national team so far (this is the only team that matters for the WC), she is not quite there yet. Not saying she will not get there or not capable of getting there, just that she needs more work. If she can get her assist rate higher than Syd, she will be the #3 forward on this team. If she can get her goals/assists higher than Alex, then she will be the #1 forward on this team. It’s all in the stats.

          • newsouth

            that’s all you do when someone compares the two. it’s post after post. you can’t even live with the idea morgan wasn’t passing the ball that much when she started out. i’m assuming (don’t have time to look it up) that press has better stats than morgan after 6 caps and about the same # of mins. is she lethal against top teams? sermanni hasn’t capped her against the best. he put in deep in the mid-field against germany. even morgan or wambach couldn’t succeed in that role, and she would need more than one game against germany, france, japan, sweden, etc to figure out how good she is internationally, not one game. the first thing we will get is, she can’t score against good teams. yeah, after 1 try (eyes rolling). we know she is deadly at the club level, wps or sweden. btw, to someone above, the marta press is playing with now is not (coming off of two surgeries in 2012) the marta of 2007 while morgan is teamed with sinclair in top form against worst defensives. they have most of their goals against the bottom 3 teams.

          • Elaine

            Sorry if my postings about Press has upset you, but not all of us have jumped on her bandwagon yet. You have a right to point to her “greatness” as you see it, and I have the right to point to her “not so great” as I see it. Are either of us completely right? Most likely not. You are right in saying she hasn’t been capped in big games against tougher opponents, and we can’t judge her by that. All true. Yet at the same time I can’t judge her by her stats at the club level in Sweden or by her college days at Stanford or by her days in the WPS because, in my opinion, the level of play can’t be compare to playing against national teams on the international level. By the way, why don’t you ever give credit to Alex. Just wondering what your thoughts about her as a player are because it seems you dislike her the most out of all the other posts here. Or how about Abby, or Syd?

          • newsouth

            i’ve said on bigsoccer i have no problem with her, but her fans are another can of worms. she’s the greatest thing to ever step on the pitch, even better than marta, a 5 time fifa player of the year. morgan does her direct game well within the stacked line up of the uswnt, but there are individual talents on LESSER teams who ware better like sinclair, marta, and delie, just more over-all skill sets, but morgan will get the numbers just like wambach and hamm. it’s how funding and resources works for the uswnt vs the world.

          • Elaine

            I think you have confused me with someone else. I have listed in my previous posts that top forwards in the world are Alex, Abby, Sinc, Marta and Lotta (not in any particular order). I have also posted elsewhere that Delie’s stats are amazing (51caps/42 goals) as well. This I learned from another’s post, can’t remember who it was. Anyway, do you not deny that Alex has the potential to top them all? She is only 23 yrs old and her record is 66 caps/44 goals/28 assists so far. Not only that, she has come through big times for the US in crucial games. To not give credit to her for that only points to the blind bias that some people have against her. We will see if she has the longevity to stay in the game. I, for one, who will ALWAYS root for my country to win, sure hope so.

          • Steglitz49

            I see Marta like Johan Cruijff, except that Cruijff has no excuse. On the other hand, to emulate Johan, she has to manage a team as well.

          • Steglitz49

            Never apolgize; never explain. We all know who forever will be the greatest …

          • Steglitz49

            The statistics from Sweden suggest that Christen is learning to pass. She seems to be rounding out her game.

            Last year Christen was coached by one of the great strikers in his heyday. The current coach was not as much known as a player. Also, the striking side having been elevated, other parts of Christen’s game can now be worked on.

          • NYRick

            Great post. And it has nothing to do with supporting CP. Just very well written from a logic standpoint. Something we as fans, me included, lose sight of at times.

          • NYRick

            Elaine, you know it is getting a bit funny. Not the stats you present which are valid and reviewable, but the fact that I’m really starting to find this board to be divided in two camps between Alex fans and Press fans. There seems to be no middle ground anymore because to mention one, it seemingly is always at the expense of the other. It’s almost like those Eclipse movies, with Team Edward vs. Team Jacob.

            Fact is, both are outstanding players in my opinion. One has proven it on an NT level of course, and deserves the upper hand. The other still has to prove it with the opportunity. I just enjoy watching Press play and would like to see her on the pitch more. I’m not going to get into knocking Abby, or knocking Alex, or knocking Syd. It isn’t worth it, and it’s for TS to figure out. Honestly, I think the team is so good it really doesn’t matter who plays forward at this point. You can pick two names out of a hat of the 4 forwards for any match (even against Germany and Japan) and win the game.

          • Elaine

            Yeah, it is a little funny if you think about it, arguing about who is better than who, when they are all on the SAME TEAM. But I appreciate fans that are passionate about the players they like and follow. Without them (us), women’s soccer wouldn’t be where they are now. But we should keep it within perspective, because I think you can agree on this, we just want the US to win. We need the USWNT to win the World Cup. If it takes Abby/Alex or Alex/Press or Syd/Press or Alex/Syd as the two up top, so be it.

          • Steglitz49

            This is the perennial problem of all managers. Whom to select and whom to play together and whom to play against which opposition?

            The strength in depth means you are better covered for injuries than small countries are (Sweden in the OG is a god example) but you also have more choices, and sometimes too many options. In spite of 6 injured players, most fans and bookies keep Germany as favorites to win Euro-13. Six injuries to Sweden would be good night and good luck.

          • Elaine

            We, as observers of the game can play “coach” from the stands and push for who we want to see on the pitch. But in the end, it is the manager to select and he has the front row seat. Whatever the decision he makes, it’s on him. But like Tom has said numerous times when asked, “it’s a good problem to have” (as in selecting among quality players that the US have).

          • Steglitz49

            This situation is unusual in that a player who had a high profile in being awarded the Heisman trophy then seemed to vanish only to resurface in an industrial city and seaport on the west-coast of Sweden, there to be coached by a great former striker and become visible again, now playing for another team and continuing to do great things, is impossible to ignore, ever one soccer pitch, goals without end.

            What TS wants is some defenders and DMs of the same caliber to put with KO. A leaky defense is no joke even though a goalie of Hope’s caliber can make up for i up to a point.

          • Elaine

            Completely agree with you that our forwards situation is the least of TS’s problems. He needs to find the backup to Carli for that DM position if Boxx is not available come WC. Otherwise we can forget about getting that ball to our strikers or stopping the attack from midfield against teams like Germany and Japan.

          • Steglitz49

            I am not familiar enough with the current defensive and DM crop to express an opinion. I know some of the names, and that Engen and Averbuch play in Europe, and maybe others too.

            What seems to be needed are to find the American Kumagai and Iwashimizu. I suppose that Buehler shares with Iwashimizu in having collected a red card though there the similarities probably end. I would prefer to have Ms Buehler as a reserve, partly because a top ref would have done her homework before kick-off.

          • romel dias

            I think the team should go to the WC with a top secret strategy…print competition team kits…take out some of the opposition in the time the team waits in the tunnel…and actually play some of the USWNT in opposing kits….imagine Press scoring spectacular own goals in opposing team kits

          • Steglitz49

            The middle ground is that Christen should be in the NT but will have to accept a role as super-sub or starter only in certain matches or assume a role for an injured player.

            All the teams going into Euro-13 have suffered losses to injury. Germany are up to 6 by now, France and England have a few, as do Sweden. Unless we can get the injury rate down, ladies football will kill itself.

          • romel dias

            I disagree to a certain extent here…yes Wambach has incredible talent and so does Morgan…but thats true of Christen as well…

            And the incredible truth is that they are all very very different players, which is testament to the development and the talent spotters for the USWNT team.

            Wambach is in the tradition of the classic European No. 10’s with her ability to powerfully hold up the ball, bring in players around her into play, poaching and outjumping any defense. I would compare her to the great Eusebio…so she will soon be legendary 🙂

            Morgan is the speedy technical new age striker…she has the fantastic ability to get onto her bike and run into dangerous positions mostly flank into the box and shoot. (one of the best proponents of that type of striker is King Henry now with the NY Red Bulls)

            But where Christen differs from them is the ability to out maneuver her tag find an inch of space and shoot (…she is a No.10 who could actually be in the mould of Maradona…ready to take on an opponent…) with a high percentage of her shots beating keepers. I think it is actually quite a sense of confidence that the girl will strike rather than pass..because the more no of shots you take will get you a higher possibility of goals..

            Leroux actually mirrors Morgan and hence will be my starting choice only if Morgan isn’t starting.

            What TS will need to do is bring the rest of the team to function around these styles. They will have to change tactics and regroup to change their approach depending on whichever forward is playing.

            On to you….

          • Elaine

            Your point about Press “will strike rather than pass” is rather true but this is also part of the argument against her right now for the USWNT. You know if she was on another team, let’s say Canada and there was no Sinc for instance, she would be the most welcome. She can just concentrate on scoring and little else because they don’t have another prolific goal scorer on the team. But she’s not, she’s on our team. And on our team we have 3 goal scorers ahead of her. Her role may not necessarily or even needed at this point to be just a goal scorer. Maybe that’s why Tom has been trying her out in the midfield. She also need to develop her passing game, to create scoring opportunities for others, and overall chemistry with the team as Christy had posted. Is it unfair? Maybe, but that’s the way it will play out, I believe, until the WC. But you never know who will be injured or if Abby retires early. Then she can be called upon to just “score” for this team.

          • romel dias

            All I am saying is that from the 3 strikers in front of her..2 of them (Morgan and Leroux) are very similar….if the team comes up against teams that possess speed in defense…the Nadeshiko for instance..then playing Wambach and Christen is a better combination…or playing Morgan and either of Wambach or Christen …Morgan and Leroux are only to be played together with a slower defense…say the Canadians 😉

          • NYRick

            I just figured out who Christen is? She is the female Diego Forlan. When on Utd., he showed signs of pure scoring brilliance every short spell he was on the pitch. Of course, you always heard that he’s a strike first player, he doesn’t service his teammates, he doesn’t come back on defense, he has no chemistry with the midfield. On and on and on. Low and behold, he leaves Utd. and simply becomes one of the most dominant strikers in the world. In fact, at WC10, he was arguably the player of the tournament.

            Sometimes, players are victims of their settings and circumstances. Yet people will always instead find fault or excuse in everything else about them but the obvious.

          • NYRick

            He was the player of the tournament. He got the Golden Ball. Just checked and tied for most goals with 5 at WC10 leading Uruguay to an incredible 3rd place finish.

          • romel dias

            Hahahaaaa yesssss!

          • Elaine

            Agreed on what you say here. These are tactics and adjustments that need to be made according to who the opponent is. I have stated all along that these 4 are our forwards going into the WC. As long as Tom does not bring in any other forward, these 4 are it. The argument and disagreement arises when we bring up the pairing up top. Unfortunately we are commenting and accessing with one eye open because we have yet to see the pairing of Alex/Press or even Abby/Press. I won’t get into the “conspiracies” of why or why not that is the case. You can read our posts about that under “Americans abroad: Press leading Damallsvenskan” on this site.

            You are right in saying Alex and Syd are kinda similar with their speed and their ability to get behind the backline of the defense, so the pairing of the two makes sense when you play against a slower or less fit team. The main problem is who to pair Alex with in big games. Some argue Abby, others Press. Feel free to put your 2 cents in. There are no wrong or right answers to this, just our preferences. In the end, it’s the head coach’s decision that matters, not the fans.

          • Steglitz49

            It is, as we muttered about elsewhere, high time to contemplate the other end of the field. Defense and defensive midfield needs a lot of work. This is where the shoe pinches.

          • Steglitz49

            That is why all four likely will be in the squad for the WC, though, should Abby call it a day, her natural replacement is Lindsey Horan. It is tight in attack for USA, for sure.

          • romel dias

            I think its time for a USB team 😛

          • Steglitz49

            Any port in a storm. In X-country skiing relays Norway’s ladies B-team not infrequently comes 2nd or 3rd. It is hard at the top in small nations also.

            Speaking of Norway, Even Pellerud is back at the helm. The lasses did well in Algarve. We shall see how they fare next month but WC-15 comes with perfect timing for the old fox.

          • NYRick

            How are there 3 goal scorers ahead of her!!! Last time I checked she’s tied with the team lead in goals with 6, playing a gross amount of minutes less than the other 3, and playing out of position to boot! The other 3 haven’t played a minute on the pitch other than in the advantageous scoring position of striker.

            She’s a pure scorer being repressed (no pun) in the system. Romel dias makes a good point, TS should build strategies or systems for the team to take advantage of the skill set of each of his forwards, especially Christen because she is a very unusual change of pace for the team. That way, the US can come at you in some many ways that really can’t be defensed. Not just long ball to Alex and Syd and hope they shoot accurately from a bad angle or Abby crashing into the box for a header at 100 mph and no defender wants to get leveled by an NFL sized free safety in the process.

            Christen allows the team to attack the center of the pitch from the forward position. Why can’t anyone see that! The other forwards can’t or don’t do that, and yes, Alex and Syd are essentially the same player with Alex just being better.

          • Elaine

            I put them in that order because that’s the order they came into the team and that is the order that Tom has been playing them in the forward position. I thought I said in another post that we all agree she is a prolific scorer, didn’t I? My point to Romel was that on this team, we have quality goal scorers and Press is just 1 out of the 4. It seems unfair to her admirers that Tom is asking her to do much more than scoring, i.e. play in the midfield, and you may be justified. But he is the coach, and what you and I say really has no baring in how he sees the game or how he wants to organize his players on the pitch. And by the way, if you harp on her goal totals for this team so far, then you also have to acknowledge her assists total so far as compared to the others as well.

          • NYRick

            OK, fair enough. I was going by pure goal totals this year when you say scorers. I still don’t rate Syd ahead of Press, but maybe Tom does, and he’s the only one that matters. :–)

            How bout this lineup for just one match? Tom, I’m begging here in a 4-3-3. Why freakin not? Especially in a meaningless friendly in June against a non top 10 team with the WC still two years away!? It’s the Big Apple baby. How about tomorrow night? Pretty please. Give the fans a little treat in the media capitol of the world.

            GK: Hope
            Backline: Kriegs, Rampone, Engen, KO
            Mids: Pinoe, Cheney, Tobin
            Forwards: Abby, Alex, Press

            What international team out there (I’m talking to you too Germany, Japan and France) could possibly compete with this? This lineup is flat out sick. Press rotates in a hybrid role between attacking mid and straight forward throughout the match. Plus, as Christy wants for Press, it makes her less selfish and maybe more apt to find options. Abby can also move back to a center mid on occasion just above Press and Alex, and service the both of them. Look at the creativity of the mid flanks in Tobin and Pinoe. Plus, I have Pinoe for all corners and free kicks. I have Abby doing her thing on headers in the box off of corners. I have KO entering the play late from LB and continuing her chemistry with Tobin and Alex. Engen and Rampone can always hold the fort in the back with the versatile Kriegs playing her usual great D can pick her spots moving up into the play from the right. Hope can basically pull up a lawn chair and have some lemonade. But we know as good as she is, she’ll come up big if challenged.

            Plus, I bring in Syd in the 70th minute for Press to totally mess with you, Carli for Cheney at the 60th and maybe HAO in for a forward or a mid to really run you to complete death depending on the game situation, or save the last sub (Brunn) if needed for the backline in an emergency injury etc. 3 subs for a real international match, I think he probably gets 6 for this match so HAO, Brunn and Mewis could easily be worked in for kicks and giggles as well.

            Seriously, a good HS coach can do wonders with this team.

          • NYRick

            And before anyone can say who is going to be holding mid? Cheney can certainly perform that role. She’s strong, highly skilled and smart, and rarely caught out of position. This lineup is about putting the metal to the pedal and unleashing this very talented team in it’s full glory and with all its might. Isn’t that what we’d all like to see. Does it really matter if we beat SK 2-0 or 5-1?

          • Christy

            I can get on board with this. It’s basically what I’ve been saying for ages with a couple of differences. I would start Brunn at LB for the first half then rotate her into CB for Rampone to keep her healthy. KO comes on.
            Tobin is your AM because she is the future there, Cheney rotates DM with Carli who looks too good right now to keep her on the bench at least unless this changes. I have said Cheney and Heath are the future CM’s
            Press takes the Wing opposite Pinoe but in a hybrid role, when Abby checks back to Mid Press can push FWD and vices versa, also you can Rotate Alex this way so she can work on her head flicks and def skills or lack there of. 3 way rotation keeping at least 2 players in striking distance for the thru balls.
            However, this line up will be unlikely against teams that stack the midfield (4-5-1) like Canada tried to do and like the asian and french teams do. This is where we would use the other hybrid def/middi using Mew, to stabilize the Midfield hopefully she can become a serviceable LB plug. If we are clogging up the mid we don’t want to use 2 hybrid roles at the same time, leaves the team vulnerable at D.
            This line up would work nicely against teams who play a 4-4-2.

          • NYRick

            Wow, the stars are truly aligned! You and I agreeing on a strategy, and CP is even in the mix too?!

            Actually, I like a lot of what you’re saying even better. You see, you are a coach and a far better strategist. I agree that maybe Carli’s a better fit at DM but Cheney and she can certainly rotate or compete outright for that spot. I like your idea of getting Rampone to play just a half with the KO/Brunn move. This will keep her fresh and maybe just keep her around for WC15. She may be the key to winning the WC for the US if she stays healthy.

            I also do agree that Tobin has always been instrumental to all this. I think we’ve said that in the past that she’s the present and future natural QB for this team with her infinite creativity and ball skills. It seems the last 6 months or so she seems to have gotten even stronger on the ball too, and has stopped trying to nutmeg everyone. She’s playing smarter, and combined with her rare skills she will soon develop into one of the best players in the world in my opinion. I also like Mew as a hybrid player too (mid and LB). She has a toughness about her that I really like, and even as a player with about 5 caps she never looks overwhelmed out there. She makes mistakes of course, but she has a look on her face that she belongs. That’s really important to see in a young player. She’s kind of like a young Lindsey Tarpley for me or maybe even a Carla Overbeck.

            You know who is the real winner in all this? Your girl Alex. She will simply be indefensible because her ever increasing skills and unmatched anticipation and drive will find her in even more scoring chances at the front/around the 18 yard box. Especially when Abby drops a bit in front of her and CP from a mid position. Sometimes, it will be a fight to who gets there first, her or CP. And that’s where I most totally agree with you. Their chemistry and cooperation together will make the team simply unstoppable or cause a conflict and a foil to these plans. I think it will work, because at the end of the day, great players respect each other and want to work together. It’s always in their best interests. Plus, if CP is smart (she is a Stanford grad) she will understand (and I think she fully does) that her cohesion with the meal ticket is essential to her getting minutes on the pitch. The nice thing is that Syd also has a strong role as maybe the supersub. But she also has to prove she can do that. At the present, she hasn’t really excelled when placed in that role.

          • Steglitz49

            You asked who was going to be holding midfield. One candidate is Amber Brooks, someone you and Christy have failed to mention.

            Amber can win balls in midfield and can play both as a defender and midfielder, even a bit of attacking midfield. (She may be unavailable, I do not know.)

          • Steglitz49

            Your point that defense is the big issue is well taken. This match may be a good opportunity to experiment.

            The future midfield has to have a player in it who can defend and win balls. An (the?) obvious candidate is Amber Brooks. Bayern love her and are proud over her — and Portland own her draft rights, them smart gnomes in Portland.

            Alex may well need to develop her head game a bit, though it is pretty good already. She will, of course, defend at corners, but she is a forward and should not waste her time on improving irrelevant weaknesses but concentrate on her attacking game.

          • Christy

            That is obvious, I have said the same thing in more than 1 post. I didn’t say Alex would check back into Mid to intentionally work on flaws of her game. Personally I don’t want her def, but the fact of the matter is when a Fwd checks back into mid it is to attempt to collect the ball and often assist the mid field in some def.

            I have also said multiple times that Alex’s head play has much improved but still needs more work, checking back into mid as all fwd’s should when needed go up to win 50/50 balls and again the learning is inevitable.

          • Steglitz49

            Top athletes always look to improve. It is in their nature. Stenmark recently in a chatshow said he never ran a perfect race. First the audience tittered but then they realized that he was serious. The same applies in soccer. All truly great all take that view. Once you stop trying to improve yourself, you are history.

            It would be fun to see some times for 0-30 and 20-50 yds for top athletes. Alex and Syd are probably among the very fastest, as is probably Christen. Euro-13 would give us some ideas for those teams.

          • Elaine

            This could work if you want to include Alex, Abby, and Press on the same pitch at the same time. But in looking at this lineup, I would be very worried once the opposing midfield gets past Cheney. At this time she is not able to be the holding defensive mid player. She needs to be extremely disciplined to stay back more and not push up too forward. I would leave the rest of the strategy to someone more knowledgable than I about formations and such. But good to put out a plan there, NYRick. Who knows? It might just happen.

          • Steglitz49

            It would be an opportunity wasted to build for the future, quite apart from the lineup having some serious flaws.

            He ought to give Amber Brooks a run for her money (unless she is injured), for example.

          • Elaine

            We will see who he has in mind from the NWSL that he will call up after the championship game is played. Considering how many players he has tried out in the centermid positions, points to me that this is the problem area, more so than the forwards and even the the backline. I thought he had called in Brooks, but she never got capped.

          • Steglitz49

            There is some evidence that Ms Rapinoe and Heath do not play at their best when both are on the pitch. He needs to give someone like Amber Brooks a run in mid-field.

            Also, he has to decide about Mrs Rampone. It is time to develop a new captain and new player for WC-15, or not.

            With Euro-13 this year and WC qualifiers next + the AFC, TS will have some difficulty in finding times outside the Algarve cup to play the strong teams. Granted, money will talk. Maybe he can organize some mini-tournament like the Volvo tournament that USA, Japan and Sweden played last June — the Estée Lauder cup?

          • Christy

            They like the same flank side and one or the other winds up playing out of position, moving heath inside will take this out of the equation, Brooks has been called up and clearly isn’t ready yet but she’s on the radar, as she develops she will get the call again..

          • Steglitz49

            Ready is as ready does. Ms Brooks is a wee bit older than Alex Morgan was in WC-11, 2 years older than Ms Kumagai was when she slammed the last nail into the coffin in WC-11, and considerably older than Ms Iwabuchi. Granted, Saki had the advantage to play next to the 24-year old Iwashimizu, which no doubt helped her.

            As for Ms Heath and Rapinoe, I would make one the alternate for the other and start the one who is playing better at the time.

          • Christy

            You can’t compare who is ready and who isn’t because of someones age. Players develop at different times at different levels and expecially at different positions. We are deep at the midfield postion so unless the player blows TS’s mind in practice and scrimmages there is no rush to bring them along. When qualifiers get closer he will likely pull in a bigger camp and start evaluating more midfielders and defenders but until then he will probably just have one or 2 at a time that he is really interested in so he can focus on them within a smaller camp. If Brooks was so exceptional at this point in her development she would be in camp on the regular like Mewis has done since the begining of the year.

            Again, with Tobin growing into a more Center Mid position it is counter productive to have your best winger and your developing AM not on the field at the same time. The reason ppl feel like they don’t play well at the same time is subjective. They both tend to wander out of position which opens up vulnerability in space on the wings and too many ppl in the center tripping over each other, then add Carli and you have 3 players all trying to possess the ball from each other at the same time, that does not work. Pulling Tobin inside will allow Pinoe to do her thing with out so much issue, infact it could actually create some nice give n go production with thru ball combinations having the 2 arguably most tech players on the team working closer together.
            I can’t spell check atm so my bad for the errors.

            Pinoe and Heath need to be on the field at the same time come WWC so they might as well start working it out now.

          • Steglitz49

            “We are deep at the midfield postion” — I put it to you that USWNT are deep in attacking players but not defensive and ballwinning players.

            As for Ms Brooks being in camp on the regular, this might relate to Bayern blowing the whistle and putting their foot down. Ms Press arrived late because Tyresö had a key match.

            It will be interesting to see how Tobin and Pinoe go forward. I would not be surprised if Tobin goes the whole hog with PSG and Benistiti while Pinoe may even switch to a NWSL-Australian combo.

            Finally, age is not totally irrelevant. If women’s soccer survives and develops, the majority of players will be in senior teams by 18-20 years and dropping out arond 27-30, some like ARod even at 25.

          • Steglitz49

            Maybe Christen can claim Viking ancestry and then sound out Pia, Pellerud or the Danish manager? If her grandma kept a Norwegian elkhound as a pet, would that qualify do you think?

            TS is stuck is he not and however you twist and turn, your tail is at your back. Alex, Syd, Abby, Christen … the list is almost endless. But. The She-wolves beat Lyon, so anything can happen. The ball is round, indeed.

          • Steglitz49

            “she is a No.10 ” — in the days of position-specific shirt numbering, the No 10 was the inside left position, generally regarded as the most difficult to play. The number was worn by two of soccer’s greatest — Gren and Pelé — and thereby became coveted.

            Players and their agents made teams do all sorts of mixes and matches to be able to wear 10, that in the end the position specific numbering was abandoned. In one of those charming pieces of tradition, because position specific numbers were first worn in a match between Arsenal and one of the Sheffield clubs, it was also dropped at a match between the same clubs.

            Incidentally, Johan Cruijff did not wear 10.

            Eusebio — such a star! I doubt that Abby has been fouled (hacked down) as much as the poor man was, not least in 1966.

          • Guest

            I would also like to see Press and Alex just one game start up top and actually go to 75 or 80 before any subs; but it would have to be against quality opponents like Germany or France. Morgan has proven over and over again that she is at her best against the best and I would like to see if Press could rise to the occasion as well.

          • Baines3

            I would also like to see Press and Alex just one game start up top and actually go to 75 or 80 before any subs; but it would have to be against quality opponents like Germany or France. Morgan has proven over and over again that she is at her best against the best and I would like to see if Press could rise to the occasion as well. I am a Morgan fan, but have nothing against Press. I haven’t seen much of her on the international stage when it matters (the Neth or even Korea friendlies doesn’t matter); however, I do not think she is the second coming because she plays on a team with the likes of Marta and Mitag and other Sweedish internationals and puts of good numbers. All I wish is that they would be paired up against the best to see if it works so everyone could stop comparing or pointing fingers.

          • NYRick

            That’s all I want too. Just one game, maybe 3-5 to be truly fair. 90 minutes each at forward paired together with Alex (Abby and Syd on vacay for 5 games) against a Germany, Japan, France, Sweden or Canada. Then anyone can come back to me about chemistry, being a team player, delivering against the tough comp, servicing the other forward blah blah blah.

            Most of what else you say I’m 100% agreement with you too. I’m an Alex fan as well. However, when you say teaming with the likes of Marta, Mittag etc in Sweden kind of minimizes CP’s totals, then to be fair playing and starting for 90 on the same pitch with the likes of Abby, Tobin, Pinoe, Boxx, Rampone etc. on your team certainly helps Alex’s totals too. No?

            As is being paired with Sinc (agruably the best player in the world) on every club team match Alex plays. Fair is fair. Not saying Press is the second coming. It’s just that she may be something very special (and I’m by no means certain on that, just speculating) who is a victim of circumstances on this team (political or otherwise).

          • NYRick

            And just to further that, I think TS is grossly at fault about not pairing the two for 90 for one stinking match in a non-consequential year so far. He’s had plenty of opportunities now, and the fact that he hasn’t proves to me that this is all very political, because any coach, especially a new one, would be at worse, mildly curious at the pairing. Syd and Alex can be paired, but not CP and Alex? Very strange. The games mean nothing this year too. Not even a qualifier in the bunch.

          • Baines3

            I completely

          • Baines3

            agree*

          • Baines3

            Yes but my point is in regards to a club team and not the national team. Press obviously has the advantage in Sweden with her club team than Morgan does in Portland (as of right now given their less than stellar midfield without Sinclair).

            I don’t think though we will get 5 games of that though, which I wouldn’t mind seeing. At the end of the day, we all want the US to win the World Cup and whoever is paired with Morgan (I’m fairly certain she and four other current players are guaranteed starting spots barring injury) and gets the job done than it won’t matter

          • Steglitz49

            I am not sure what advantage Christen has over Alex in Sweden. Christen’s team leads the Swedish league at the halfway mark, having 3 points more than Malmö but both Gbg (Christen’s old club) and Linköping are also within striking distance. The situation is not dissimilar in NWSL where the Thorns are second on account of worse GD and less GS, but WNYF can close the gap in theory, and then there are the play-offs which Europe do not use.

          • Steglitz49

            Marta and Mittag are international players that happen to play in Sweden, though in Marta’s case the point that she has played virtually all her adult career in Sweden is well taken.

            Many, though not all, the Swedish internationals play abroad, not just Lotta Schelin and Kosse Asllani.

          • Steglitz49

            To be fair to Ms Press you should look at the club statistics.

            In Sweden this season so far Christen leads to goal scoring league with 12 goals (none from penalties) before Taylor at 10, Marta 9 and Mittag 8, and their assists are Press & Taylor 4 each, Marta 7 and Mittag 6.

            Last season in the league, Mittag scored 21 and had 6 assists, Press 17 no (0) assists, Melis 16 (0), Bachmann 15 (4), Asllani 7 (5), DeVanna 6 (4).

            Christen is passing more than last season. It may simply reflect that this year she has someone to pass to, though Taylor who replaced Christen in Gbg has the same number of assists.

          • Baines3

            Oh wow getting assists with Marta, Mittag and other Sweedish national players must be really challenging for someone…

          • Steglitz49

            I thought you were going to point out that Kosse Asllani is the only Swede among all those names.

            A criticism voiced last year and repeated this season by no lesser person than Pia Sundhage, is that there are too many foreign players in Damallsvenskan. There are 69 foreigners between 12 teams.

            Else I do not follow your point, good as it no doubt may be.

          • NYRick

            The instances you cite above are all good ones of her creativity and overall pitch IQ. The blind backheel pass to HAO in the second Scotland game was the best play I’ve seen anyone make on the team all year. It was a play only a player with real vision and talent could make.

            Also, in I believe the Netherlands game, the dummy ball she let go through (she didn’t whiff on it) to Tobin was instrumental in the goal. Tobin knows that and would be the first to tell you. I think you are beginning to understand that you can’t win any head-on argument if it’s against Alex on these boards. It’s like any guy trying to beat Brad Pitt in a sexy contest. AM is the current queen of the sport and she will be seated on that throne in the eyes of many for the duration of her career.

            Bottomline, some of us who closely watch the game (not saying we are entirely correct) would lay down some heavy odds that she would light it up in a similar manner to Alex and have just as big a star turn with the opportunity. Doubtful you will ever see it happen in the current climate and with the current scenario she faces.

          • kdm

            Okay, thanks for pointing it out to me. Like I’ve stated, it’s just my opinion and I stated one example, there’s more but I’m not going into an in-depth analysis about it. She has time on her side to prove me wrong and I’ll welcome any chance she gets to show me up. All I want is the world cup coming to the US in 2015 and I don’t care who starts, plays etc to get it.

          • NYRick

            If your point is that Press is selfish as a striker, first I agree. But secondly, let me point out that every great striker in the sport is selfish (Drogba, RvP, Henry, Torres, Villa, Robbie Keane, Totti, Rooney, Walcott, Lotta and yes even Alex Morgan). It’s really a prerequisite for being great at the position. Quite frankly, I want my striker selfish. And very selfish to be honest. Press is a strike first player. That rubs people, maybe players, the wrong way I’m sure.

            But I think she fully understands it’s HER JOB to score for the team. Alex fully understands that too but presently can do no wrong in anyone’s eyes. I think Alex’s assist totals have also escalated at the Olympics to the 10-match victory tour etc. into this year with her near obsession of trying to set up and continually feed Abby for goals to break the record. There are plenty of games I’ve also watched where Alex is quite selfish out there taking multiple wild shots from a variety of angles. In the first Scotland game, she took 3 successive shots right at the goalie in the box. On two of those shots she could have slotted to someone else for an easy goal. Go back and watch the Olympic final against Japan. I think it was her worst match of the last two years. She may have been a bit nervous, which is understandable, but she played completely out of control the entire match. Shooting wildly several times.

            As for implying about CP that “she isn’t willing to put in the work for her strike partners that the other strikers do when they play together,” well come on, that’s just not fair. How would you possibly know that to be true?

            The beauty of sports is that we are all entitled to our opinions. Mine is that she would be not a good, but a great and prolific player for the NT as a forward starter. I could be wrong, but I’ll stand by that. But she of course needs the opportunity.

          • kdm

            Just to be clear, I don’t favour one or the other in this discussion (Alex or Press), just stating what I think. Again, like I said above I don’t mind my strikers being selfish and she could prove me wrong over time as she gets more games. I was just offering a different point of view. I honestly don’t care who starts as long as come WC2015, the USWNT register their first world cup in a long, long time:)

          • NYRick

            OK fair enough. And I’m with you on the team winning WC15 and Olympics 16 as being is most important thing regardless of who the 11 is out there.

            To be honest, this USWNT is very similar to our men’s Olympic basketball dream team. There are just not enough minutes or positions to go around for everyone, and you can most likely win easily with any mix of players. I’ve maintained for awhile that for the USWNT we could essentially put two teams from our country (USWNT1 and USWNT2) in any tournament, including the WC and depending on the draw bracket find the two teams in the finals.

          • Steglitz49

            “How would you possibly know that to be true?” — the statistics from Sweden shows zero (0) assists last year but 17 goals but 4 assists and 12 goals this year, which suggests that Christen is developing her game (see elsewhere in this string for details).

          • Christy

            Rick I appreciate you buttering me up before you insulted my intelligence, it was a nice touch.

            to start: I don’t see what Alex’s past battles have to do with Press, Alex yes was nearly passed over at the youth level. So what. Stop comparing the 2 there isn’t a comparison to be made at this point.

            At this point yes slip n slide Syd has show me growth she has show the willingness to create goals and play in a teammate as well as score them. A good fwd can score goals, a great fwd can look for the best way to score a goal even if it isn’t you that scores it.
            I will make a few of points then I am done with Irrational Press conversation. *All Rational unbiased opinions and thoughts are welcome.* Otherwise do not bother to reply I wont respond.

            1. Press is in NO way the best striker in the women’s game and the idea is ridicules, she has proven nothing on the international level. All press fans see are goals, doesn’t matter how poor the competition or how many goals may have been scored off half chances she missed not playing a team mate in to the box. (Carli was notorious for this as well, hopefully that new leaf of hers stays turned)

            2. If you think 1 player dictates a starting line up then you really have no clue about team sports and how they are played at an elite level, hell at the amateur level, the best unit takes the field when the game counts..period!

            3. Tom is the head coach of this team, his job is to create a cohesive unit that can compete at the highest level. If Press was good enough to be a starter, she would be. He watches tape endlessly he evaluates the players standing in front of them and sees what works and what doesn’t and he recognizes what players need what development and puts them in those situations with the opportunity to succeed or fail on their own. The player may not like it but if they want to be a part of this team, the coach knows best, fall in line or gtfo.
            4. Poor Press cus I started on these boards saying “wait and see” she needs a lot of development at this level, “wait n See”. Now because of the overwhelming irrationality of those constantly singing the Press fight song, I wish she would go away and take her bandwagon fans with her.
            5. My criticisms of developing players are observations of what I have seen from these players to date. Syd is NOTORIOUS for sliding to the ground needlessly its annoying, funny thing happened, she didn’t want to slide on that cement surface covered with thin green carpet they call Gillet stadium, she stayed on her feet and was twice as productive, as predicted. I have said countless times if syd ever stays upright she will be a much better player. therefore if she can produce at that level consistently she has a year with the team under her belt she certainly deserves a spot up top with Alex. (though Abby isn’t going anywhere soon) The fight shouldn’t be for Abby’s sub between Press and Syd because if the WWC was tomorrow Press would be the alternate. Press has about a year to change Tom’s mind about her and to surpass Syd’s progress as well as develop a relationship with Alex and Abby and the midfield, because come next year it’s time to start prepping for qualifiers and you must have your FWD tandem in place and the core of the rest of your team must be set with a few pieces still being plugged in here and there for fine tuning. The last thing you want is an inexperienced duo up top and a disorganized midfield going into WC qualifiers or even the WC. (Please note what happen last qualifiers)

            6. I am so tired of listening to Press fans crying about how unfair life is and how she deserves this and should get that, oh the injustice of it all. Press is perfect shes the greatest player to walk the earth it can’t possibly be Press that’s the problem , no, it’s the rest of the team and the coach! It’s Press against the world. Please, give me a break. over it!

            7. Last Point… WAIT AND SEE! If she can develop the way she needs to, to fit into this team then she will and with this team she will be.
            Rick I do respect your opinion, your overall game evaluations are pretty good and I will happily discuss that with you any day!

            For the time being I do not wish to discuss Press further, I have made my points clear and delivered them in an educated manner, you know where I stand, if something occurs and that opinion changes, perhaps I will discuss it again, not before.There are plenty of Press ppl here who will be glad to sing her praises with you all, enjoy.

            Press may very well start on Thursday its a good game to get her in to, she will def play, the question is at what position as I indicated earlier. This is my last comment on the matter.
            Not Personal, its a generalization of the Press fan. My apologies to the unbiased supporters.

          • NYRick

            First off, I wasn’t buttering you up, my comments on your overall knowledge and potential coaching ability were sincere. If you can’t take a compliment than that’s your problem.

            As for Syd-Press, I disagree and in my opinion that one is not close. We can disagree. That’s the beauty of sports analysis. No one is 100% correct on anything. That’s why they play the games. Also, you are not a fan of Press’s game, that’s perfectly OK. Every player has their faults and every fan’s interpretation of that player is all their own. No problem with that. No matter what the girl does will never be good enough in your eyes and that’s OK. You see things we don’t, I’m fine with that. But if Alex played in Sweden and was putting up those numbers, teamed with Marta no less, I would sincerely doubt you would call the league poor competition. And to be real here, I haven’t been overly impressed with the level of play in the NWSL this year. I thought the WSL was superior in talent on many levels. A good 4 teams in the NWSL don’t have a legitimate scoring threat.

            Also, as for me not having a clue about team sports, I played baseball at a collegiate level and was all-county in several sports in high school (not soccer), so I do know something about competing in team sports. Please don’t insult my intelligence in that area.

            Finally, we can talk about other soccer issues for the team. I’d like that, and we won’t talk about Press, that I can promise you. From now on, in your wait and see mode, we’ll let her play do the talking (if she gets the opportunity of course, that’s really all I want to see).

            Just two final points: 1) if you think Tom does not have directives above him on the political workings of this team (especially in his first year), than you are sadly mistaken. 2) I’d love to hear Marta’s opinion of Press’s game.

            Cheers.

          • Christy

            Actually I had the same criticism of Alex in WPS, she had some impressive plays but I was more impressed with her on the NT than in WPS, and she played more minutes in club of course. If Alex scores a hundred goals in club league I would say that’s great now do it on the National level, but she has, so the point is moot. Club is like glorified scrimmage compared to the National Level so it doesn’t matter who it is it doesn’t impress me.

            I make no apologies for being a fan of Alex, but the difference I can still be unbiased and she has already proven herself at the national level, there is nothing to defend. I am also the first to point out areas of her game she still needs to develop and as long as I still see her working to improve on those things there is no reason for me to criticize. Same goes to ANY player on the NT.

            Tom may get asked to do certain things but he will not give way for something when it doesn’t benefit the team. He is coaching the best women’s team in the world, his job is and depends on wining, not to appease other people. His focus is building a WWC wining team.. If you think otherwise, you are mistaken.

            Like it or not veterans are not going to go away just because you want them to, you are just going to have to be patient. This team has always been anchored by the vets it is a huge part of our success.

            I agree that NWSL lacks cohesion but you have to curb your expectations a tad, it took WPS almost to it’s final season to collect enough international top players to boost the level of the club teams up to where it was. NWSL is in it’s infancy in a country who has tried 2 previous failed leagues, its going to take time yet again to build up the confidence of other countries top players to want to come here and play. The US produces the best women’s soccer talent in the world, our player pool is operating out of the deep end. There is a reason why the majority of other countries top players come here to play college ball. I think the interest in some of the German players to come here in their off season is a good sign. We should see more of that coming.

            Thank you for the compliment I tend to knee jerk my reactions when I’m irritated, my apologies.

          • snish

            Is it just me or does pretty much every USWNT article Equalizer posts somehow turns into a conversation (to put it nicely) about Morgan v Press? The only honest way that anybody can truly say their on the same level or one is better than the other is for them to play together. It should not be only for 1 game either. The rest is pure speculation. All the stats that people are using, while interesting to analyze, don’t mean anything as they are in the past. Can the past predict the future? Maybe. We won’t know until they play together. By the way, I’m not directing my comments to you Christy. I just wanted my post to be in this particular thread of comments. Cheers.

          • Christy

            agreed.

          • Steglitz49

            It is jolly repetitive (and longwinded) for sure. But it is an unusual situation — a former Heisman winner to boot — and illustrates some points that most other countries have struggled with for years, namely that their top players play abroad, but USA is only just starting to deal with.

            Indeed, the FIFA dates and all that was brought in to protect small and poor countries from rapacious clubs who would not release their players for international duties. Now it seems that players have to be protected against rapacious NTs.

  • kernel_thai

    I have to say I really like the new system. The full backs were forward all game. Heath, who isnt really a wing anyway is doing a real nice job handling the ball in the midfield. HAO isnt getting byline as much but instead has found a nice slot at the corner of 18 where she making some nice crosses. Cheney is getting more involved in the offense making runs thru the box after the forward clear it. It’s a much nicer offense than the one featured last year. They still have a problem competing in the air when Wambach is not on the field. There was a huge difference between the first and second half.

    • Elaine

      Agree about missing the air game when Abby is not on the pitch. Once she retires, they definitely need to find someone to fill in that role because it’s a crucial component to our offense. Usually we see Boxx heading in balls but since she’s out or maybe even retire come WC time, that’s a problem. Alex or Syd may have to shoulder more of that and improve on their heading game. I wonder why Alex is always standing in front of the goal keeper for set plays. Tom should move her out and use her as a target on set plays and see how that goes.

      • snish

        Perhaps that is the reason why she marks the keeper, because her heading isn’t that great, at least compared to Abby. Since headers are the way that most goals are scored off corner kicks, or at least the initial attempt is, it probably wasn’t effective to put her anywhere else.

        • Steglitz49

          Remember Old Trafford 2012.

          • snish

            Who wouldn’t remember that, absolutely amazing! I’m just saying that 8 or 9 times out of 10, it probably wouldn’t happen. As for the Olympic one, it wasn’t off a corner kick either. As for the Algarve one, that ball was placed perfectly onto Alex’s head. She didn’t even have to move. I’m not criticizing her and I do think her heading skills have improved, but just saying that there are probably better players to head than her. Cheers.

          • Steglitz49

            Point taken. But. Do you think the Nadeshiko would have let Alex put in that famous header? They would not even have let Heather O’Reilly put in the cross, would they?

            That SF goal is quite remarkable. Everyone was dog tired, yet the speed at which that is played and the accuracy is stunning. Japan’s goal in extra time defeating Germany in the QF in 2011 is similar. The same stunned look on the other team’s faces. In the final, of course, Japan never gave up. What made them not?

          • snish

            To be honest, I don’t have a clue. Canada and Japan have completely opposite styles. It would be anyone’s guess. However, I would say that the Japanese would probably have covered the area where HAO whipped in that cross. Nobody was there, she had all the time to herself to pick out the spot. Secondly, are you referring to the German team or Canadian team giving up? I didn’t watch the Japan Germany game during the WWC ’11. As for the Olympic semi, it never really seemed that Canada gave up. To me, it was a combo of defensive breakdown and pure luck that the ball went in. But hey, I’m not complaining.

      • Christy

        Its a good idea, Alex has improved her head play and has scored at least 2 important goals so far with her head and she wasn’t even intentionally the target.

        • Steglitz49

          Verily. Alex headed that 4-3 winner last year. If she never heads another ball, that one is enough for the record books.

          The obvious replacement for Abby is Ms Horan.

        • Guest

          There’re still improvements to be done. Alex and Syd both had good heading chances. Alex didn’t get her heading angle right to keep the ball on the frame. Syd got the direction but not enough strength. But it’s nice to see they attempt it.

          • Christy

            But they are improving and are arguably the future, Alex’s head play was nearly non existant until late last year, since she’s score something like 4 game winners with her head. they weren’t flashy but the work she’s putting in is starting to pay off. No one will be as good as Abby with her head but Alex has proven if a goal is needed she will use whatever body part she needs to get the job done and as you said Syd is working on her game as well.
            Of late I have seen some really nice flick ons by Alex some even impressive with her ability to redirect but still a place of development for her no doubt.

      • kernel_thai

        Young help is on the way. Lindsey Horan is good in the air at forward. Morgan Brian is good in the air at attacking center mid and Julie Johnston is good in the air from the DM spot. None of them r gonna be Wambach but together they will fill the breach.