Buckle up for busy Monday of women’s soccer news

The Equalizer Staff January 13, 2014 59

Let’s just put it out there: Monday is going to be one heck of a busy day in women’s soccer.

The known quantity is that the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year will be revealed — along with the Ballon d’ Or winner on the men’s side, of course. The three female finalists are Germany goalkeeper Nadine Angerer, Brazil midfielder Marta and United States forward Abby Wambach, the reigning FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year.

After that, things get a bit unpredictable.

Angerer will reveal which NWSL club she has signed for — something she has teased since August — with all signs pointing toward Portland Thorns FC, who protected an unnamed discovery player after losing Mana Shim with the No. 4 pick. But, we wait for official word from Zurich…

(On a related note, if you missed it Friday, there are two key NWSL rule changes for 2014: Allocated players do not need to be traded for allocated players anymore, and each team can now have up to three international players each, up from two. Expect those to come into play immediately.)

That’s likely not the end of the Thorns’ movement on Monday, as owner Merritt Paulson teased:

And Houston Dash president Chris Canetti teased that there are moves coming Monday, just hours after reports that FC Kansas City will move goalkeeper Bianca Henninger to Houston (a report that also very loosely links Sinead Farrelly to Portland to reunite with Paul Riley):

Don’t be fooled into thinking that is all that is going on behind the scenes. Several teams are in the market to make moves ahead of this Friday’s NWSL College Draft, but there’s nothing firm enough to responsibly report as of yet.

Just wait a few hours.

  • TsovLoj

    If allocated don’t need to be traded for allocated anymore, and Angerer is coming to Portland, it makes me wonder if Leblanc is headed somewhere. Chicago, maybe, considering they’re short a keeper?

    • PMT

      And LeBlanc started following Chicago’s owner on Twitter……

      • TsovLoj

        Nice catch!

        • radioactive badger

          You’re talking to yourself.

          • TsovLoj

            I don’t think I am. Discus has cancer or something; this has happened before. I’m seeing a “PMT” as the person responding to me.

          • PMT

            Yeah I responded about LeBlanc following Chicago’s owner on Twitter. It’s showing on my end but if it’s not showing to the rest, I’m sure it’s just a hiccup in technology ;D

          • TsovLoj

            We need better comment software, bad.

          • radioactive badger

            Ok, and Disqus sucks. All I’m seeing is one TsovLoj.

          • Lorehead

            Reload the page and the guests will show up under the names they really used, not all under the same name. I don’t think this affects people with Disqus accounts.

      • Lorehead

        We’ll see in a matter of hours.

      • romel dias

        whoa!! Tho Leblac became a star in her own right last season!

    • Reality

      If Chicago obtained LeBlanc, that would certainly solve the departure of McLeod. Then Dames can focus in the College Draft on acquiring mids that will support his new offense up front. This twitter exchange from Dames is revealing…

      Chicago Red Stars ‏@chicagoredstars 10 Jan
      Fans, our coach wants to know…RT @dames_rory Well now that is over what are your thoughts about the college draft? Who do we take?

      Demo_Nic ‏@Demo_Nic 10 Jan
      @chicagoredstars @dames_rory Prob won’t get Dunn, doing great on forwards so hopefully Julie Johnston, Vanessa DiBernado or Mandy Laddish?

      Rory Dames ‏@dames_rory 10 Jan
      @Demo_Nic @chicagoredstars very good points Demo…thanks for input!!
      #CRS2014

  • newsouth

    Don’t be fooled? —— all the big moves happen behind closed doors. you’d be a fool if you thought otherwise. Farrelly isn’t a power move, just a player Riley might like in his mid-field. The Cushing deal was done under the table. It’s still a backdoor league. And Paulson is the biggest hustler in the league.

    • Lorehead

      How is any of this different from the way trades happen anywhere?

    • NYRick

      Paulson = Jerry Jones wannabe.

      • Silver Frost

        Jones is an old man now, well past the sell-by date. Paulson is just getting started.

        • NYRick

          He’s “early” JJ.

          One thing I really don’t understand is how there isn’t a gag order on owners in this league on Twitter. In other professional leagues that would be considered player tampering and there would be fines. I get that it’s Twitter, and the absurdity of that platform at times can’t be understated for celebrities, even quasi ones (aka big fish in a small pool) like Paulson.

          • Lorehead

            Well, he has gotten fined for it before. I don’t think anything I’ve seen him say could constitute player tampering. The only names he’s named are the players he promises are not being traded, Morgan and Heath. And it can’t be tampering to hint at deals that have already been done.

            I certainly have never seen him suggest to any specific player that he or she might want to come work for him. (He did observe with regard to Mana Shim that players have left and come back before in the history of football.)

          • NYRick

            In one respect, an owner’s passion and caring for the team and community is certainly a good thing as in the case of Paulson. But wasn’t the last women’s soccer league pretty much destroyed by ONE powerful ego-driven owner? He has the hammer on the NWSL and he knows it. And he will use it at his choosing. Never a good thing.

            Plus, his father was a former CEO at Goldman Sachs. Make what you want out of that. I’m telling you that he badly wants to be Jerry Jones. But in a bigger US professional sport, the other owners would squash him like a bug. In the NWSL, the league must now cater to him…and it will at every turn. Good for you, I know you are a Portland fan, you’ll benefit.

          • Silver Frost

            Not every ego maniacal owner is bad for sport. Paulson is about soccer, and does it well, while Magic Dan was about something else.

          • Silver Frost

            Henry Paulson, Sec. of Treasury under Bush II. Helped manage the Great Depression 2.0 in 2008 with the TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) bailout of Wall St bankers like Goldman Sachs who destroyed the housing market with bubble inducing Credit Default Swap charlatanism, mortgage derivatives, and sub-prime mortgages. Socializing the downside of finance fraud.

          • Lorehead

            Well, I am, but ultimately the source of his power is not that he’s richer than the Sahlens, Alex Sahlen not exactly being a self-made woman herself, and he definitely does not have more money than the Houston Dash ownership. It’s that he owns the team that fans will pay to see. I’m going to start complaining when he stops acting like he holds this team in trust for its stakeholders and starts thinking that what he’s been handed is his to dispose of as he pleases. It’s rather feudal, but that’s the system we have.

            I have, you will remember, called for him to share some of that revenue with the other teams for the good of the league. But what has he done so far that’s been abusive? If our guesses are correct and he signed Angerer, promised Chicago LeBlanc after the draft in exchange for sending Adriana Leon to Houston before the draft and letting all the teams know their goalies were safe, then made sure to give Houston some better field players than the other teams did, that worked out really well for everybody, right?

          • Pressured

            Well, Angerer is overrated. Portland’s midfield will have trouble maintaining possession and Angerer will have a tough year. Good job Jerry.

          • Lorehead

            So overrated that she just won Player of the Year?

          • Pressured

            Yes, overrated.

          • Lorehead

            You know, the player of the year could be overrated and also really good.

          • Ben

            Currently is she that much more better than LeBlanc to warrant the trade, no, but is she overrated, absolutely not. Me thinks this trade had less to do with footballing reasons and more to do with the bragging rights that comes from signing Angerer. I for one does not mind this if it raises the profile of the league

          • newsouth

            Solo > Angerer. All bragging rights for the hustlers along with his two FREEBIE forwards.

          • you’re funny

            get over it, everyone in the league technically has “freebies”

          • Lorehead

            Indeed, and the only way one team had any advantage over the others is if the players stated they wanted to go there.

          • newsouth

            Not like Paulson out of the gates. You win with forwards in the league and it was proven from day one last year and will be proven again this year.

          • Silver Frost

            Brooks, Long, Heath midfield will have trouble maintaining possession? Are you sure?

          • Pressured

            A day later and having calmed down… I like Brooks, Long and Heath as they are good people. I hope that I am wrong.

    • STT

      By that logic, every league is a backdoor league. I don’t see MLS or any other big US leagues being any more transparent.

  • Lorehead

    Paulson also said, more specifically, in a deleted tweet, “if he is a thorns fan two big trades tomorrow plus signing…”

  • Erwin

    Sarah Hagen is leaving Bayern Munich this summer according to kicker (print edition)

    • Empress

      American birds all returning to the nest.

    • FCKCEvans

      Any other details?

      • Erwin

        unfortunately, no other details were mentioned

  • Lorehead
    • tplant36

      I don’t fully understand this move on Portland’s end. Simply Paulson’s need to sign the biggest free agent available? KK was arguably the best goalie last season (both her and Franch were better than Barnie in my opinion), and she was one of, if not THE, most popular players in Portland. What benefit does this move really bring the team that won the championship? Angerer isn’t an improvement in this position, assuming KK plays as well this year as well as last of course. I guess we’ll have to see who comes in from Chicago, assuming that’s where KK ends up.

      • Lorehead

        I think the benefit is not the upgrade from KK to Angerer, but the trade he worked out for KK niw that he can trade her. She ends up in Chicago now, most certainly.

        • FCKCEvans

          I agree, although I don’t really think the upgrade was needed when they already have a very good keeper they don’t have to pay in LeBlanc. But I do wonder what Chicago is giving up, surely not one of the 3rd and 4th picks, right?

          • Lorehead

            If it’s a current player, with the obvious efforts Portland is making to give itself room under the cap, I think it’s probably another allocated player. Chicago has a number of Canadians, but the fact that the league just changed its rules on like-for-like trades does suggest that the owners want a deal to trade a Canadian player (such as KK) for some other player to be possible.

            If Riley expects Portland to be a top team for a long time to come, and therefore to have low draft picks, trading for another team’s future picks is not a bad long-term move compared to loading up right now. But I’m sure they would get more than picks for KK!

      • Davis

        Angerer is an improvement over LeBlanc. Yes, LeBlanc played very well for Portland and she’s an excellent shot stopper, but her game is lacking in the other aspects of goal keeping. Her ball distribution is poor, and she can be a liability when the ball is played back to her feet. These are the same reasons why she doesn’t start for the CanWNT. Angerer is every bit the shot stopper LeBlanc is, and she’s a far more well-rounded goal keeper.

    • newsouth

      If the USA meets Germany in the WC final, Angerer will have a feed on all the USA forwards, as far as timing their tendencies. If Wambach starts, Germany is my new favorite. She’ll practice with Morgan for the next two years at least

      • Lorehead

        That works both ways, and the U.S. got three goals against Angerer (one from Morgan) the last time they played.

        • newsouth

          It favors the guardian because she passes that information to her back-line, as far as directing them when USA forwards hit the box. My new favorite is Germany if Wambach starts. If Morgan Sydney and Press are the show at least Sermanni will be in a position to throw everything at them for 90 mins. Advantage Angerer.

          • newsouth

            They may look at Angerer for the next 44 weeks or whatever but they won’t see her defenders until the cup

          • Calci0

            She won’t see anything that the German scouting department hasn’t already identified….. Also knowing what’s coming, and stopping it are two different things….

          • morgs

            The “German scouting department” makes it sound like a subdivision of the CIA or something lol. She will see those players day in and out, learn their most frequent and recent tendencies… that beats anything some coaching assistant watching tapes from 6 months ago or tapes of the US blowing CONCACAF opponents out of space will gather.

            Plus, It’s still very good shooting practice for her… she’ll be playing with many of the US or Canadian players she will end up facing or her own players will end up facing, like the US good ole defenders like Buehler.

          • Lorehead

            We spy on their prime minister, they spy on our women’s national soccer team. At the World Cup, who has something to show for it?

          • Calci0

            Practicing against Micheal Jordan “may” have made his teammates better. That doesn’t mean had they been traded, they’d have been successful shutting him down. And again knowing what’s coming and stopping it are two different things…. And if you think scouts are 6 months behind then my point is moot to you….

          • mors

            the 6 months ago was just an exaggeration. But really, how many matches do other NTs get from ours that are worth dissecting tapes of? The USWNT doesn’t play truly competitive friendlies that often and when they do, a lot of time, they are blowout matches against weak opponents. There is nothing to gather out of those tapes that an invested fan doesn’t see.
            As for successfully shutting them down, who said that? More info, redundant or not, and more time playing alongside them can never hurt.

          • Calci0

            She plays the other forwards what?!? Maybe 2-3 a year.The only person she’ll get daily looks at is Morgan. And if you feel that a friendly isn’t “competitive” enough for scouts to warrant much attention too, then why is a practice for an NWSL game a big deal?!? I venture even in friendly’s you’ll see players putting more out on the field for the USWNT than you’d see in a NWSL weekly practice….. All I’m saying in don’t make it seem like the ultimate move in gamesmanship…. Will Angerer be “better” prepared…. Sure but so will the US. Morgan will get an better idea of Angerer’s range, maybe her tendencies on PK’s, sides she’s weaker at diving to, etc…..

      • Pressured

        I respectfully disagree about Angerer. I think Portland’s defense will give up the most shots on goal next season. Angerer’s confidence will take a dive.

      • Sydonia

        Angerer’s a mole in the NWSL for Silvia Nied. The perfect spy.

  • FCKCEvans

    Seems as though KC is going to be a very different team from the year before. Loosing Sesselmann and Scott, Trading Mewis and Jones and possibly Farrelly and Henninger who were fan favs and a large part of team chemistry. Should be interesting.

  • nwslfan

    EQ- is it true that league is mandating broadcasts in HD? can someone confirm?