Harvey to Wambach: No pressure to play in 2015

Dan Lauletta March 30, 2015 209
Laura Harvey, Seattle Reign FC

Laura Harvey says Reign FC aren’t pressuring Abby Wambach to play in the NWSL in 2015. (Photo copyright Patricia Giobetti for The Equalizer)

Seattle Reign FC head coach and general manager Laura Harvey said her club did not acquire Abby Wambach with the expectation that she will go back on her decision to sit out the entire 2015 NWSL season.  The all-time international goal scorer was traded to the Reign with Amber Brooks and a 1st round pick in 2016 with Sydney Leroux and Amanda Frisbie headed back to the Western New York Flash.

“If you look into 2016, she may come back,” Harvey said.  “No pressure from us, but we would love to have her here whenever that may be.”

Harvey said she spoke briefly to Wambach after the trade went down but that they did not get into the 2015 season and whether Wambach might play for the Reign after the World Cup.  In an interview with Grant Wahl, one of the reasons Wambach gave for deciding to sit out the season was the difficulty in being so far from Portland, where she owns a home with her wife, former NWSL player Sarah Huffman.  Seattle is an easy drive to Portland as opposed to a cross-country flight from Rochester.

“We haven’t done the trade thinking that her decision is going to change,” Harvey said.  “There is going to be no pressure from us on that.  We respect the decision she made to not play this year.  She’s been very public about the reasons behind that and as far as we know that’s not going to change.  Obviously if she ever decided to change that would be great.”

[KASSOUF: Lines sees Leroux as upgrade, ‘franchise player’ for Flash]

The Reign are due some financial relief for Wambach’s spot as an allocated player, but said the club will not take it until they are absolutely sure Wambach will not play this season.

The Equalizer has learned that Leroux did request a trade from the Reign and that at least one other team was involved in talks before Harvey elected to accept the offer from the Flash.  Leroux and Wambach did not have to approve the trade.

***

The Reign also acquired Amber Brooks who never played for the Flash after being traded there by the Thorns over the winter.  She will arrive in Seattle on Wednesday and provide additional options for all aspects of the midfield.

“She adds a different dynamic to our midfield,” Harvey said.  “I thought when we her last year I thought she was one of the better performers against Kim (Little).  It gives us even more flexibility to move people around now having an extra player in there.  And Kim, obviously, you can play as an attacking midfielder or a little higher up the field.”

The NWSL Coach of the Year added that her newfound glut of midfielders could lend to the Reign spending more time in a four-midfielder setup as opposed to the 4-3-3 that was so prominent in 2014.

  • ruby4

    Look, this is really simple for me as a reign fan.

    I trust Laura Harvey. I saw how she handled that hellish first year. I saw how she molded a team that would not turn on each other no matter what happened. In the second year I saw her mold a team of huge personalities and star power into a unit. She has earned my trust and the trust of reign fans in general. IMO she is a fantastic and incredibly intelligent coach who i would be honored if she one day coached the uswnt. If she traded for wambach there is a reason. She either believes abby has a role she can play or she has other plans. I trust and believe in that.

    • Rufan

      Or she decided to move Leroux for whatever she could get.
      ” The Equalizer has learned that Leroux did request a trade from the Reign and that at least one other team was involved in talks before Harvey elected to accept the offer from the Flash.”

      • kernel_thai

        Not stunned she would want out. At the end of the day a goal scorer needs to be somewhere where the system is designed to help them score goals. Or Wambach made her do it as part of elaborate conspiracy. : )

        • Guest

          She wanted out to be near her husband but that did not work out for her!!!!

          • Steglitz49

            That seems a bit mean. Surely USSoccer can fit them up together somewhere.

      • ruby4

        is anyone really surprised sydney wanted an out?

        • Steglitz49

          Where does her hubby play?

      • Lorehead

        That explains it.

    • dw

      So you don’t think it’s possible that this trade was a forced deal and she was reading a script?

      • ruby4

        No. I don’t.

      • TsovLoj

        I think you’re paranoid. What kind of evidence would it take to convince you that there’s no force from the top involved? If word from the people involved doesn’t do it, what would?

      • Steglitz49

        Not a forced deal but Seattle may get a consideration in 2017, if not 2016.

    • Steglitz49

      She lost the one match that mattered.

      • ruby4

        and? many great coaches can say they lost a match that mattered.

        • Steglitz49

          There is too much praise of LH and not enough for CPC on the EQ.

          • ruby4

            she doesn’t get praised because for the majority of the season the thorns were inconsistent and lackluster under her. The common feeling is that the thorns won the league despite CP not because of her. I’m not a thorns fan though so i don’t know why your asking me about it. I just gave my opinion of LH. Feel free to disagree.

          • Steglitz49

            It could be argued that in 2011 Japan played lacklustre in their group, even losing 0-2 to England, but in the knock-out stage — wham!

          • Lorehead

            The Thorns peaked at the right time in 2013, and the Reign peaked at the wrong time in 2014. Harvey picked up two trophies last year, the Shield and the Coach of the Year, so even by the standard that winning trophies is everything, she earned our respect.

  • kernel_thai

    I still wouldnt be surprised to see Amber Brooks moved again. She’d be perfect for Jenna Richmond’s spot in KC while KC has lots of wing types like Fran Silva and Shea Groom, either of which would fit nicely in Harvey’s system…

    • ruby4

      read my mind.

    • Steglitz49

      Poor Amber. Shuffled around like a piece of rozen fish. Was Bayern Munich the high point of her career?

      • David K Anderson

        Nope. *wink*

    • Craigaroo

      Harvs already got one of KC’s wing types in Merritt Matthias.

  • Rdalford

    Dan/Equalizer, thanks for follow up with Coach Harvey and for getting more of the background details (i.e. Leroux did request a trade) out. Speculation has been running awok in the comments section so useful to read some actual reporting.

    • dw

      I’m not buying what they’re selling.

      • Rdalford

        I really do not not care.

        • dw

          More Kool-Aid, sir? (or Madame?)

          • Steglitz49

            I thought that the rankings were based on coke.

    • GT

      Now that I know that, this is actually a win-win trade. i wouldn’t be surprised to see Wambach flip-flop and play with Seattle after the WC now that she is on a winner. So with Brooks and Wambach, Seatttle wins and I think Leroux if she is healthy will thrive with the WNY. I also think Leroux will eventually wind up in KC (2016).

  • Wear Nikes Drink Gatorade

    Had Leroux not been a NT player, she would (and should) have been benched last year. She’s not that much of a loss to Seattle. The reactions to this deal have been largely based on Wambach being in it.

    Funny how the loss of Naho has received so little attention…

    • Steglitz49

      It is not funny. It is in keeping with commentators on the EQ pushing their brands and buzzing around their pets.

      Naho is neither an American nor went to college here. Also, subconsciously, helped defeat the US to win the world cup (and certainly defeated Sweden on the way). Being pretty does not help you with the hard core commentators either.

      • Guest

        Naho was fully conscious when she won the WC.

      • Lorehead

        I genuinely can’t recall anyone here ever having a bad word to say about Naho. She’s a fine player and a fine person, and we’ll miss seeing her in the NWSL.

    • Rdalford

      there has been no trade/transfer/article re Naho so not much opportunity to comment. however some prior comments re Seattle have noted that not having Naho will be the biggest gap to fill and biggest adjustment that Seattle/Harvey must make for this season.

      • Calci0

        Naho is the biggest hole to fill inside Harvey’s system. And will be sorely missed. Losing her and Leroux no matter how her stats were last year is a big loss in offensive production. Frisbie was being looked at in helping fill that void, and now she is gone too. Yanez, Foxhoven, and Mathias are going to be called to make the transition seemless.

        • dw

          Exactly, Leroux deal which doesn’t make sense to begin with makes even less sense in the post-Naho era…

        • Steglitz49

          Why not llok for Naho MkII?

      • Craigaroo

        I thought getting Merritt Matthias was a good move. Of course she’s no Naho (who is?) but given the resources of a NWSL team it was a good pickup. Matthias works hard on the wings and she shows some ability and drive. I liked her play for KC very much. Will she put the ball in the back of the net a few times? That’s the big question for the players asked to pick up the slack left by the departure of Naho and Leroux.

        • mockmook

          Don’t see her as a scorer, more as a facilitator — also was impressed with her in KC — like many of the KC players, she just quietly goes about destroying the opposition one pass at a time.

  • Reality

    If Leroux requested a trade and Harvey did not feel that she was a good fit for Seattle, the obvious trade would have been to send her to Chicago for Press. Both players and both teams would have benefitted from that trade in terms of superior fit and preferred geographical location.

    IMO, the reason that obvious move did not happen was because of Wambach’s declarations of wanting to be close to her spouse and supposedly not playing in the NWSL to presumably preserve herself for the WC.

    We might hear an announcement in the future that Wambach will play for Seattle after the WC…assuming she that still doesn’t find a way to get moved to the Thorns.

    I would also add that I think that Lines made some courageous and wise decisions in cutting loose both Lloyd and Wambach to make a fresh start with younger players. He will no longer be limited in diversifying the range of play for the team. If only the NT would follow his example.

    • Fred

      Maybe Seattle tried KC, Chicago and other clubs but clubs were not interested in dealing for LeRoux so they took the only option available!!!

      • Reality

        If Chicago was indeed approached and Dames was not interested, that only confirms my opinion that he does not know how to properly utilize Press either on the field or in a beneficial trade.

        • newsouth

          the only other deal would have been KC for a-rod but that wouldn’t happen because kc, boston and seattle already did that 3-way deal. no way in hell seattle could pass on press for a goat on the bench. does sydney’s play for the rhinos? these guys spin so much nonsense with the league it isn’t even funny. there are people who still think the ohai and cushing draft position deal wasn;t under the rug. sydney was a bust, the sahlen wanted wambach out of town and seattle is a good demo fiit for wambach and the wifey. the only other thing i could see was another 3-way type deal and teams were back away from that including. in other leagues like the nfl, nba and nhl we get to see what the other deals on the table were, but no this league.

          • Reality

            I think KC is quite satisfied with the Holiday Rodriguez combination and Hagen will serve the team well during the WC. Leroux would also not be the best fit there with Andonovski’s system whereas Chicago would be perfect for her in terms of Dames’s style of coaching. Chicago is also the next closest NWSL city to KC and is only an hour away by air.

            While Chicago has great potential with their new roster, I have no confidence that Dames will modify his coaching philosophy and employ them efficaciously as regards Press.

            Press would thrive in Seattle under Harvey and that team does lack some potency at the forward position which she would provide.

            Alas, all of these considerations are moot since the Wambach factor predominates the decision process.

          • mockmook

            For “Reality” you sure pile speculation on top of speculation.

            There is no evidence Dames would used Leroux more effectively than Press — he would have to know he wasn’t using Press effectively, wouldn’t he?

            And I think Dames values Press above Leroux — he’s not going to make the deal just so you’re happy.

          • Reality

            I’ll ignore your gratuitous first and last sentences and address the substantive portion of your comment.

            One only has to examine Dame’s coaching style where he emphasizes direct play and over the top passes to appreciate that this plays to Leroux’s strengths. He also emphasizes the physical side of the game which also fits Leroux. He is not going to change this approach to take full advantage of all the qualities that Press has to offer that are wasted at Chicago but would be valued at Seattle. However, I would agree that despite Press being handicapped by these circumstances, I could understand Dames still valuing her over Leroux.

          • Guest

            Shhh! Don’t say this too loud. I don’t want Press being traded to the boondocks of WNY for Leroux to be in Chicago, although that would be the best team for her.

          • Reality

            Rochester is not suitable for California girls.

          • NYRick

            Actually what really needs to happen is for both Sinc and Wambach to retire, thus clearing them out of the Portland and Seattle scenario. Press gets traded to Portland, teams with Alex with Vero as the QB. You might get Tyreso North all over again. Her best scenario is with Vlatko though with Tymrak and Holiday and that stellar D. Or…they can both go to the SoCal team when that forms, but Syd will want to get in on the act there. It should be interesting the next year or so what transpires.

          • Reality

            Given the precedent set by Wambach and the strange wanderings of allocated players in the NWSL, who knows what might happen given various combinations of circumstance. As regards Press at Portland, if Boquete returns, given that Riley esteems her, she would be a good advocate for the Thorns obtaining Press…

            https://twitter.com/Jigsawwill/status/547875619711614980

          • Lorehead

            Portland is going to have its pick of the allocations for the foreseeable future. If the circumstances changed so that the Thorns wanted a different set of U.S. allocated players than Morgan, Heath and Van Hollebeke, they would probably end up with them, because the players they wanted would also want to go there.

          • Reality

            I’m curious to see how this allocation mishegoss will be resolved. Could make for some interesting combination.

          • Craigaroo

            Press would thrive under Harvey, I agree. But Leroux to Chicago makes no sense for Chicago.

          • Steglitz49

            Kim Little would be in the way and without Naho putting in pinpoint accurate crosses and corners, what would Christen do?

          • Reality

            See my previous comments to you about the relative sense of the trade.

          • newsouth

            they play long balls late and press high early. great fit for sydney. press doesn’t like to press.

        • Craigaroo

          The way the ball tends to skid off the pitch at Benedictine isn’t suited to Leroux’s style of play. The pitch plays short and narrow. (besides looking like hell)

          • Reality

            Benedictine isn’t suited to anyone’s style of play and it is a disgrace that it is a home field for an NWSL team.

          • Craigaroo

            Chicago does alright there! Gave Seattle tons of problems.

          • Reality

            It will give any team problems including CRS because it limits the diversity of play and leaves much of the scoring to the way the ball bounces or one might say, sheer chance, which is not a consistent formula for success.

          • JL

            A stark contrast to SS, which I believe is the biggest pitch in the league.

          • Steglitz49

            What has WW2 to do with this?

          • JL

            SS is Sahlen’s Stadium, where the Flash play.

          • Steglitz49

            as in WS for Wembley Stadium, which noone uses. Possibly for WHL for Spurs’s ground but I have never seen that either.

        • NYRick

          You can forget Press ever going to KC. Syd has the inside track on that for 2016. And if Morgan’s husband stays with KC, she will make a beeline there in 2016 as well. WES has been passed on to these two, don’t forget that.

          • Steglitz49

            Alex and Syd will step out probably already after this WC and for sure after Rio.

          • NYRick

            If healthy, they are both playing till at least 30 and probably beyond. Just too much money to leave on the table.

          • Steglitz49

            I expect them to do what Kuzmina, Neuner and Rydqvist did so successfully. More power to their elbows.

          • Reality

            In a recent interview with Morgan and Wambach, they rhapsodized about the good old days of 2012, how well they work together and Wambach officially ordained Morgan as her successor in the sometime future…

            https://twitter.com/BillSimmons/status/581629214123655168

          • NYRick

            This is why Alex can probably never take that next step to greatness. People think she is there already, but she is not. I think she is about 80% of the dynamic player she was in 2012. Of course, the injuries are a factor but it is a loss of the pure abandon and athleticism that she continually showed then. Once again, she is fearful of being injured and that’s understandable. But that was a big edge for her. A little recklessness in her play. Her body hasn’t held up yet for continual play like that, and now Syd is starting to see the effects of that type of play too with her injuries. All to cater to #20. When will they learn?

          • Reality

            Press is doing well despite not being ordained by Wambach…

            http://www.self.com/body/workouts/2015/03/christen-press-soccer-workout-nike-training-app

          • Fanboy

            What a freak’n goddess

          • Reality

            She clearly is an attractive individual which as we know will serve her well particularly if she has a good WC for the NT.

          • Lorehead

            She is. It’s not what got her where she is today, but it sure doesn’t hurt.

          • Lorehead

            That’s good to see.

          • Reality

            It was predicted by many that once she began to play Stateside, she would obtain a higher profile in the media and obtain valuable sponsorship contracts such as with Nike.This is apparently happening and will increase if she has a good WC. But this is secondary to her helping the NT to win.

          • Lorehead

            Definitely; the way for her to become a star would be to score a brilliant winning goal like the one Abby got against Brazil or Alex against Canada or Carli against Japan.

          • Reality

            That is the path…performance under pressure with winning results.

          • NYRick

            If by some good fortune the stars aligned for her this summer and she had a big WC, and the US team won…she would become a huge US sports star literally overnight. It’s happening in small increments as we both predicted.

          • Reality

            That indeed would be the breakthrough scenario.

          • im-Pressed

            Don’t jinx it. So far so good.

      • newsouth

        i doubt any of this this. wambach got the next best option to portland because sinclar has made it clear she isn’t moving and morgan can’t be moved. easy for lines and harvey because lines got rid of his viruses and harvey got rid of a her #1 overall bust.

        • NYRick

          You keep saying this, but I truly don’t think you fully understand the power of the Abbster in the US. Sinclair is as good as gone from Portland. Just watch it happen.

          • Lorehead

            I honestly can’t tell if this is intentional self-parody.

            Sinc might choose to retire after this season, or she might stick around for the Olympics, and then she might stick around for a while longer because she’s still having fun. But that decision won’t have anything to do with Abby Wambach, and Merritt Paulson is not going to trade her. There is nothing Abby Wambach could possibly say or do to convince either the Thorns’ or the Reign’s front offices that that trade would be in their own self-interest.

          • Facticity

            “Merritt Paulson is not going to trade her.” And you know this for a fact, e.g., you’ve spoken with the owner himself and he assured you of this? Even if he did so yesterday, he could change his mind tomorrow. Let’s stick to the facts.

          • Lorehead

            Look, I get that you felt defensive when I pointed out that what you were saying about Abby Wambach was not true. And I get that you’ve felt compelled to accuse me of doing the exact same thing, whether that made any sense or not.

            This is one of those times when it doesn’t make sense. I made a prediction about the future. Those are inherently not facts, although they are empirically testable.

          • Craigaroo

            You understand what a hero Sinclair is in Portland?? You want 10,000 season ticket holders in Portland to get seriously upset? Even the USSF isn’t stupid enough to do that for Wambach’s sake.

          • Guest

            You seriously overestimate the fan base of Sinc for the Thorns. Nobody is irreplaceable. Fan favorite LeBlanc was kicked out for a has-been (Angerer), and Thorns sold just as many tickets. It wouldn’t be the end of the world if Sinc was cashiered.

          • Steglitz49

            Verily and forsooth.

          • Craigaroo

            Good point but, a) LeBlanc is still not Sinclair, and b) as I just said up above (below?) it’s one thing if Sinclair retires or if it’s normal business, but it’s another thing if people thought the USSF did something funny behind the scenes to accommodate Wambach.

          • David K Anderson

            Angerer quickly became a fan favorite, too. And the move was made because it was seen as an upgrade…

          • Steglitz49

            They will still buy their tickets. No-one is indespensible. If you can’t sell WoSo tickets in Portland, where can you? In DC, possibly.

          • Craigaroo

            It’s one thing if Sinclair retired. It’s another thing if Portland fans thought the league forced her out of there to accommodate Wambach. They’d be furious. I’d be furious.

          • NYRick

            They may be furious, but you know what…they’d still show up and pay for their tickets and be at the games.

            I heard this same stuff with Mike Petke being unfairly fired by the Red Bulls in January after their most 2 successful seasons in the team’s history. Billboards were taken out in NJ with fans voicing their displeasure. A boycott of Red Bull apparel was being made by the fanbase etc.

            You know what…they all showed up for the home opener. The team is off to a 2-0-1 start and are looking good and the fans quickly forget. Fans are fickle. Put a winner on the pitch and all is quickly forgiven.

          • Steglitz49

            Sinclair is Canadian and Wambach is American. Thus, Christine should not be part of the equation. They could release Tobin or Alex to accommodate Abby.

          • NYRick

            I completely understand that. I don’t live there, but I get that argument from most of what everyone says about her Portland following since her college days.

            However…Abby is just bigger than her obviously. The USSF runs the NWSL, not Canada’s federation and Abby will get her way. Just watch.

          • Craigaroo

            No. The USSF cannot be that dumb. Abby may be a bigger draw throughout the US but there is no one in the NWSL that means more to live, paying, butts-in-the-seat season ticket holders in any city in America. The howling from Portland would be massive.

          • David K Anderson

            Exactly. Abby is NOT bigger in Portland, I absolutely guarantee that.

          • Lorehead

            Your view of what motivates the people who run this sport is drastically different than mine. I mean, Merritt Paulson is on U.S. Soccer’s board of directors. He owns the biggest WoSo brand in the best market in the world, and basically is keeping the whole league afloat. He’s a pauper compared to the billionaires who own the Seattle Sounders or Man City/NYCFC, but he and the Sahlens are the deepest pockets in the NWSL.

            Abby Wambach is pretty well off, in the top 5% or so of the income distribution, but she couldn’t fund a team. She’s done a lot for her team, but she herself is saying she’s got about a year or two left, so neither the NT nor any club needs her that much as a player. She has friends on the team, but Alex Morgan wouldn’t put pressure on Paulson or Sunil Gulati to get rid of Sinc on Abby’s behalf. That’s just completely unrealistic.

            Plus, Sinc has much more influence on the CSA than Wambach has over U.S. Soccer, and the NWSL really wants to keep the CSA happy more than it wants to keep Abby Wambach happy.

            So, why on Earth would Merritt Paulson ever think, “I don’t want to do this, but no one may refuse Abby Wambach?” He has much more influence than she does, even over U.S. Soccer and Alex Morgan. You’ve got this fantasy that, even in the little world of women’s soccer, Wambach is powerful. But as soon as you’re talking about real money, she’s not.

          • NYRick

            In the world of women’s soccer, Wambach IS powerful.

            Surely you have figured that out from following the sport closely. To think otherwise is naive.

          • Lorehead

            No. She really isn’t. She can’t make things happen off the field the way you think she can.

          • NYRick

            Also if your argument centers around real money, you don’t think Abby and the USSF stands to profit a great deal by dragging her on for the Last Hurrah WC charade? She stands to make a ton of money from 2012 on till whenever. Probably 2017. If it wasn’t about real money she would have most likely been cut from the NT sometime late in 2013 after she had her record.

          • Lorehead

            This is a good example of how your conspiracy theory makes no sense. US Soccer would make real money if it won the World Cup. The ticket sales of the Flash last year show how much money Abby Wambach brings in at the gate. And Abby Wambach is not going to quit the national team and can’t credibly threaten to.

          • NYRick

            I didn’t use the phrase “conspiracy theory,” you did. I don’t see it as any conspiracy, I voiced as a player being very powerful. And I think she is. It’s funny that a couple of weeks ago she is retiring, and now out of thin air with no hint from anywhere she is traded back to the PNW to be closer to her wife IF she plays this year. I think there is a good chance she will. In the current USSF/NWSL model, the star name players have an abundance of power of where they play. That is viewed as the trade-off for the lower salaries. No one has more power than AW. She would have been cut from any of the top 5 woso soccer powers if she had none.

          • Lorehead

            What’s funny about it? She said she didn’t want to play thousands of miles away from Portland, so her value to any team outside the PNW was zero. Laura Harvey had another player at the same position who didn’t want to be there. She figured it was worth taking a chance that she could talk Wambach out of retirement, so the teams swapped players.

            And you are, in fact, asserting that the real reason a lot of things happened that you don’t like is a conspiracy, orchestrated by Abby Wambach, where everybody else is doing what she wants and covering it up even though they have no possible motive to go along with that.

          • David K Anderson

            Not a chance. The Thorns front office wouldn’t risk the fan sh!tstorm. Not only is Sincy one of the most popular Thorns, after that dive fest in the 2013, Abby is markedly UNpopular with a whole bunch of the Thorns fanbase. If the USSF or the league office tried to put pressure on the Thorns for such a trade (which I consider absurdly unlikely anyway), Merritt Paulson and Gavin Wilkinson would tell them to pound sand. The chances the league woudl play hardball with their shopiece franchise are slim to none.

          • NYRick

            I totally respect your opinion on this. And you certainly, from the sounds of it a loyal Portland fan with your finger on the pulse of the fanbase, know more than I on this matter. However, all I’ll say is never underestimate the power of a big-name US athlete, in any sport. I know the feeling is that Abby has a year or so left and is really irrelevant. I don’t think it’s that simple. I could be off base on this, but Sinc and really no athlete is untouchable when politics come into play.

            Also ask yourself this simple question…will the Thorns attendance decrease if Sinc is traded? Wouldn’t they still get the 12-15k and above they normally get? I think it is a cultural thing whether they fielded a team of HS players and put them in Thorns uniforms, the same fans would show. If Morgan left tomorrow for KC, their attendance would be similar.

            If Joe Montana could be traded from the 49ers, Michael Jordan actually have to come back and play for the Wizards and Wayne Gretzky leaving Edmonton, what makes Sinc so special? Megastars leave for a variety of reasons. Some being that they are past their sell date, some for money and some simply for the politics of sports.

          • NYRick

            Also note that Paulson could sell it as “Morgan-Abby” reuniting the magic of 2012 again.

          • guesto

            But this is 2015 and I don’t think there is any Morgan -ABBY Magic left in the tank. 😉

          • NYRick

            Tell that to the USSF. Both will be the forward starters and getting the bulk of the minutes at this year’s WC.

          • guesto

            USSF is just engaging in willful blindness but a smart guy like Paulson knows better. Its not even like Alex is lighting up the league.

          • David K Anderson

            You may very well be right. There would be a huge, huge outcry, and people wouldn’t be holding back. But would they still end up with their butt in a seat for the next home game? Yeah, most of them, I suspect. I’d be among them (and also among the people screeching at the front office about it). Of course, I’ve already bought this years season ticket. =P

            The support for the Thorns is deep and emotional (surprisingly so for a team just beginning its third year), not just numerous. The team started with a fan base open to really buying in to the team…and the team sealed it by delivering silverware in the first season. And you’re right, I think: a single infuriating act from the front office isn’t going to change that.

          • NYRick

            Also following the WC and all the emotion and drain that will be for Sinc, I wonder how much she has left in the sport? There will be nothing really left for her to accomplish. She played till the WC in her home country. I’m sure she cherishes that more than anything. She is going to be the focus of her country this summer. It’s all a letdown and downhill for her after that. Especially for a player with the sterling resume she has.

            Trust me, I’ve just seen Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter retire from the Yankees in successive seasons. I was at Rivera’s last home game. People openly wept in the stands. I can’t fully express to you just how big of sports stars both these players are, especially in the NY market. Living legends. Jeter’s farewell carried over an entire season.

            But life goes on in sports. Fans are fans. Team loyalty is in our blood from childhood, usually passed on from our parents or some event early in our lives. Players change. The loyalty to the laundry doesn’t. I’m sure it would be the same for Thorns fans.

          • Lorehead

            You know, I think I see now why you think athletes have so much power. When a pro athlete, star or not, really, truly feels that a situation is unacceptable and he isn’t going to back down, one of three things can happen. His team could back down and give him what he wants, or if they say no he could ask for a trade, or if they say no to that, too, he could quit. You are interpreting each of those three outcomes as an example of how much power stars have.

    • Craigaroo

      There are many (and you don’t have to be NYRick) who would say Press is a better forward than Leroux or that Press is a better fit in a Chicago team that is solid but lacking a little bit at the quick attacks that would make best of use of Leroux. Chicago’s offense is a bit choppy (partly because of the playing surface at Benedictine); Press is able to create something on her own in those conditions, which Leroux can rarely do.

      • Reality

        I will grant you that Press is more creative than Leroux in the run of play. However, Dames’s offensive style is based on direct counter attacks with over the top passes which would suit Leroux very well. Unfortunately, this style fails to take advantage of all the skills that Press can offer which would be more fully utilized at Seattle for the mutual benefit of both parties.

        • Craigaroo

          that’s true about the counter-attacking. But Press doesn’t look lost at Chicago — how often did she hit the woodwork last season? and there was the one goal that was ruled out that shouldn’t have (crossed the line, hit the goalframe support and bounced back out). I think I’d still stick with Press if I was Chicago but it’s at least a good debatable point whether stylistically Leroux’s a better fit.

          • Reality

            I don’t think Press is lost at CRS but rather functioning at low idle at about 50% given the type of game that Dames plays. Her hitting the wood demonstrates how close she is to getting back her groove that she had in Sweden. It’s a matter of adjustment and confidence which appears to be increasing with her play in every game. However, her contribution has been limited on both the NT and CRS by the manner in which she has been employed.

            But, as I stated in another post, I can understand why Dames might want to retain her to help his limited offensive plan since she still is quite effective despite the restrictions of his strategy.

            However, in the long run, both CRS and Press would be better served if he let her go to a team like Seattle where she can utilize her full potential and some one like Leroux can be obtained who would function more effectively to support his run and gun physical counter attack offense.

      • NYRick

        For the record, I still think Press is a better forward than Alex too. Just want to clarify that. In regards to Syd, that is simply not a contest anymore.

        • Steglitz49

          This WC is Christen’s chance to shine. Another lass might grab that top spot, like Popp, Caroline or Niedma.

          • NYRick

            I’m going to agree with you on this. She would have a greater chance to shine as a pure forward, not a mid, but it is certainly a stage and she should step forward. Now or never this summer.

          • Steglitz49

            Thank you. I think this could be Christen’s World Cup. Even if the US does not win, the marketing slogans that can be bilt around “press” are legion as in the “Press Cup”. The use of press in various combination would make her immortal.

          • newsouth

            ha, unless press will be making long runs for goals like she did against france, lloyd will get more chances for goal scoring.

          • Steglitz49

            Not everyone can be Miyama or Morgan, the m&ms of WoSo. Some have to do the anonymous hard graft. Maybe Christen can emulate Karina Maruyama? That would be a feast for sore eyes.

  • nwslfan

    Hmm Reign go 442 at times. Very interesting potential there. Not much counterattack at SR and Syd was not terribly productive in Harvey’s 433 system. Syd gets a new chance to thrive on the field and be media star for WNY. This trade is good for both teams.

    • Agent Wanted

      Media star in the Rochester market. Interesting.

    • mockmook

      Doesn’t a 4-2-3-1 make more sense — you use 5 mids instead of 4 — that is the team’s strength.

      • Craigaroo

        Harvs goes Vlatko! It does make sense although it may seem a step back from last year. But yeah, Winters/Brooks (or Nogueira) as your two holding/d-mids; Rapinoe/Little/Matthias as your other mids. Goebel-Yanez suddenly though seems to suffer by comparison with either Amy Rodriguez or Sarah Hagen… (as would Leroux)

      • nwslfan

        Good thought

      • Steglitz49

        5 mids instead of 4 means 3-5-2, surely?

        • mockmook

          Depends on who is counting (assigning position names).

          4-2-3-1 (2 DMs, LM/AM/RM is pretty standard)

          • Steglitz49

            The way you describe your numbers, it is a more defensive position than 3-5-2. You are only using 2 attackers/strikers at the expense of having a back 4, which is OK if you have no attack.

          • mockmook

            Models aren’t data.

            Position names aren’t game summaries.

            You really are the most incredible troll. Feigned or actual ignorance of some aspects of soccer while knowing the minutest details of others.

          • Steglitz49

            I see myself as an agent provocateur or the devil’s advocate, not a troll. Anyway, trolls have gotten a bad press.

            I like to keep stuff simple. A soccer lineup as X-Y-Z, no fancy subdividing ad nauseam. I know that rugger goes: FB-3/4s-FH & SH-3-2-3 for the forwards.

          • mockmook

            Poor FCKC, too bad that couldn’t play something besides a 4-2-3-1.

            If they had, maybe they would have had a sucessful attack. They might have even made the playoffs.

          • Steglitz49

            KC won did they not? That is all that matters, like Japan winning in 2011. The last lady standing and all that.

          • mockmook

            Did they? What formation did FCKC favor?

  • nwslfan

    I would pay money to watch a film on how Abby’s directive leadership style on the field and in the locker room gels or curdles under Harvey’s clear vision as a coach and manager.

    • mockmook

      Appears she won’t be in the locker room til 2016 (if ever).

  • dw

    People need to go back to their initial reactions to this deal, because they are the most telling. If I can paraphrase most people, it was “WTF?”. So then, with subsequent threads, we are spoonfed information that makes this somehow make sense. What, nobody knew that Syd wanted out, until after this went down? How strange. Oh, but it’s public knowledge now. How convenient.
    Take a good look at all the deals with allocated players, LeP, Lloyd, and now Abby and Syd. None of them make sense. Look at what Ching and Lloyd had to say about that deal. To me it’s clear that USSF re-allocates players as they see fit, and then creates “factual context” to support it.
    So USSF gets the most it can out of this mess (Wambacle?) that it can, which is a headline grab a week and a half out from the season opener. They also move another star to a team where she can be the star. So double bingo for USSF.
    What I don’t get is how people here turn their “WTF?” into “Oh, OK, it all makes sense” in a few hours after being spoonfed some USSF-written propaganda. It’s like a twisted Pavlovian response. Whatever. I hate to break it to people but there are only 2 things real about the NWSL. One is the soccer on the pitch. The other is the struggle of so-called “ownerships” to get revenue to meet or exceed costs. All the rest is just pretend.
    Which for me brings me around to the central issue. I would prefer a real league over a pretend one. However, I would prefer a pretend league over no league. What I won’t do is pretend that the pretend league isn’t in fact, pretend.

    • nwslfan

      Trading Syd for Brooks + a 1st round pick seems like a good trade. I can see ussf fully blessing this bc WNY was screwed w no box office draw. Syd gets a dresh start to be productive and regain her form.

      To respond to your pretend league notion, until the pie is big enough, the league strong enough, that teams can make it wo ussf support and NT star power as box office draw, you’ll just need to be content w manipulations. Otherwise, we fall into a league lacking competitive parity or worse, a failed league.

      • dw

        Very good points. I just substitute the word “orchestrating” for your word “blessing”. Maybe just a trivial difference, in the big scheme of things, maybe not.
        But consider, SRFC already has the best midfield in the League, and a WWC-proof one at that. Plus, if I’m Amber Brooks, I’m looking to get back to Europe ASAP. Lastly, the biggest void SRFC has to fill is due to not retaining Naho. Doesn’t Syd look even better in this light?

        • Steglitz49

          Who in Europe would take her? She did not make it on the NT. Time waits for no lady. European teams with money might as well pick a senior who does not go into the draft, like Katie Stengel.

          Bayern have had Amber on loan and can borrow her again no doubt. Probably cheaper than keeping her.

          • dw

            Your first two statements are contradictory, whether you know it or not. Anyone on the NT is probably going to make a lot more staying at home on the USSF subsidy, with the chance of banking some sponsorship deals on the side. It is the players just below USWNT level that are going to want to go to Europe, and basically play for anyone, like whatever team Roche was playing for, in an effort to draw attention from a club with deep pockets. Or wait for the next version of PSG, which will happen in Europe, as opposed to in the USA, where a group of higher paying roster spots all of a sudden materializes.

          • Steg Watch

            “contradictory” is the reason Steg49 posts any comments. Pure troll bait 24/7.

          • Steglitz49

            Even teams with limited budgets do not necessarily take players who have a great future behind them unless they truly come for free and have something to offer.

          • Steglitz49

            Stephanie Roche went from an obscure Irish club to a small French club, Albi, because her boyfriend was playing in France. Then she hit the jackpot, which had nothing to do with her time in Albi. Stephanie fulfills Ashley Wagner’s rule of thumb, namely that a lady in sports has to be either very very pretty or sexy to get attention — and, judging by that gala in Zurich, Roche excells at both.

            The wealthy clubs in Europe can pick young hopeful seniors before they go into the draft (which was Amber’s mistake) rather than pick the also rans. That Christen did well in Göteborg is not odd because the club has a trackrecord of picking and developing players while she was a talent washed up by the collapse of her league.

          • John

            One correction, Stephanies boyfriend was not playing in France, Steg. He played for a League of Ireland club called Bray Wanderers

          • Steglitz49

            What was she doing in France then? Did she have a bit on the side? I know that the cathedral is spectacular but? The piece I read was that there was a man involved.

          • John

            Offered a pro contract and she wanted a step up from the Irish Womens League. She thought France was the place to go to.

          • Steglitz49

            She will always have Albi — and that gala in Zurich, not to mention the White House! Most lasses don’t even get that.

          • dw

            Earning more than the 200 euro she was on at Peamont, presumably.

        • nwslfan

          I know SR has Nogy, but what about insurance against injury? How much better did Fish play when fresher and under less pressure to carry the team on her back as she had to in 2013? Brooks will more likely thrive in a Euro style possession oriented system, as she did in Germany. SR will find a way to score. HInt: her name rhymes w “Bim Fiddle”

          Syd had a year in SR and was not figuring out the runs needed in the 433. I think she’ll produce more from feeds by Sam Mewis in WNY.

          • Craigaroo

            I’m still having hard time with this trade from Seattle’s point of view. Until #hasLauraHarveyMadeATradeToday strikes again. But Seattle, you could say, was fortunate that Little, Fishlock, Winters all stayed pretty healthy through 2014. Nogueira was a good backup and sub but, passing-wise, there’s a big dropoff from the starting three to her. Brooks is better in that regard. But was that worth giving up Leroux even if we agree Leroux wasn’t a “star” on Seattle?

            //Besides depth (or making Nogueira expendable), perhaps, as a few others have suggested, it gives Harvey more options of pushing Little or Fishlock higher in certain situations and if Seattle’s forwards aren’t getting it done. Winters/Brooks/Little in midfield and Fishlock somewhere on the front line??

          • Guest

            If Little is pushed forward, as she was in almost every game last year (to win close games), on a more permanent basis, then Little will be marked even more furiously and the expected payoff will be lacking.

          • mockmook

            If they focus on Little, someone else has to be open — Bev, Rapinoe, Mathias, Fishlock are all capable scorers.

    • Craigaroo

      Interesting comments with some thought behind them. Voted thumbs up; doesn’t mean I’ve reached same conclusion 🙂

    • KCFan

      Another reality is that NT players have some say in where they get sent. Last year Leroux wanted to be near her mother, and she went to Seattle. This year Wambach wanted to be near her wife, and she gets sent to Seattle. I think having some input into where you play is one of the perks of being an NT player, in part because the pay is so low. If they were paid decent, they would just go where the money is.

      • NYRick

        Most established NT players are pulling in between 250-300k per year. That is not chump change so I don’t agree with the low pay. Low pay yes for the average NWSLer, but not for the NTer. It is truly the only league in the world where players can dictate movement on a seeming whim where they want to play. That makes it a semi-pro league in reality, not a true professional league. Stars have run the asylum from 3 years ago when initial allocations were made and it really hasn’t stopped. As dw says above, we get spoonfed silly propaganda by the NWSL flacks and try to rationalize it as fans. When you see below the surface, it truly stinks.

        The stars destroyed 2 previous leagues. I don’t think a women’s pro soccer league model works in the US. You need major sacrifice by the stars to make that happen, and they certainly don’t seem to be very willing. Each should read about what Billie Jean King and Rosie Casals and others had to do to get the Virginia Slims tour and really some type of financial equality for women players off the ground. They had to eat plenty of you know what and check their egos at the door.

        • Steglitz49

          Does a ladies pro-soccer league work anywhere?

          • NYRick

            Not unless your buddy the Emir is funding it.

          • Steglitz49

            Kept women, iows.

          • Guest

            You keep calling woso players prostitutes. Another sexist comment, like so many others it makes me think you hate women.

          • Steglitz49

            A kept woman is a mistress, not a prostitute.

            The ladies teams are kept under the arms by the wealthy men’s sides these days. Too many women teams can’t pay the bills so they fold, like Tyresö. If they live because the men support them instead of earning their own keep, what are they? Toy poodles?

            Just look at who dominates the women’s Champions League today and have been for several years. Not exactly paupers by ladies standards, are they? In England Liverpool have won the League twice in a row now, Arsenal won the FA cup and Man City defeated Arsenal to claim the Conti cup. Where have we heard those names before?

            If the US can show the world how to run solvent ladies sides much will be achieved. Then we have a model to work from for the rest of the world.

          • Guest

            The quid-pro-quo for a whore is sex. Woso players are doing legal work for money and paying their taxes. The lower tiers of men’s football leagues are subsidized too, and yet you don’t call them prostitutes. You are a misogynist troll.

          • Steglitz49

            The fans of Tyresö and the Swedish taxpayers might not be as sanguine as you are. When the legendary Swedish club Umeå got into financial dire straits, the German club Frankfurt played an extra game and gave all the proceeds to Umeå to help keep them out of debtors’ gaol.

            PSG’s ladies went to Qatar for winter training all expenses paid. The ladies in the Swedish team Kristianstad paid for their own winter training in Turkey.

            When Wolfsburg could not go to Japan for the nestle cup, first it was Chelsea and then it was Arsenal who stepped into the breach to send a European side. Chelsea, who almost closed down their ladies soccer which Man Utd actually did.

            The US can help by finding a way of marketing WoSo and making it solvent. Else it lives a kept life.

          • dw

            I call Tyreso “the Marta effect”. It is not limited to North America.

          • John

            Tyreso were on a hiding to nothing with their wage bill. Press, Marta, Boquete, Krieger, Engen, Harris, Klingenberg et al? Marta alone must have been north of €250,000 per annum. The others must have been high 5 figures at the very least. How were they going to pay for this with around 1k to 2k fans watching their games? Even with sponsorship deals.

          • John

            It will only work in the US if the league comes before the USWNT and players ego.

            So no chance then. 🙂 🙂

          • Steglitz49

            Given how cheap it is to run pro-WoSo, it is amazing that USSoccer has not managed to get US corporations on board, each funding one team. Bizarre!

          • NYRick

            Abby would probably beat Usian Bolt in a straight 40 yard dash before that was to happen.

          • Steglitz49

            Why cant the US make a ladies soccer league work? Not enough Viagra?

          • John

            Not enough teams tied to MLS clubs that can tell USSF to get stuffed if thet don’t like a decision?

          • Steglitz49

            Money talks and lots of money speak loudest. Europe’s WoSo is changing and not necessarily for the better, but what can we do and there indeed we have it.

          • John

            Unless the Football Federations in say France subsidise the Semi-Pro clubs in their leagues by around €300,000 – €500,000 each then the gap will continue to grow.

          • Common Sense

            Somebody has to subsidize the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th tier of the European men’s leagues. Why would woso be any different?

          • Steglitz49

            They do a bit of subsidizing and they prevent Lyon and PSG from hoovering up all the good French players. Thus Juvisy and Montpellier are decent as is St Etienne i believe.

          • John

            Look at the league table though and the big 2 are miles ahead of everyone else. Juvisy used to make a good push for second, but now that the Emir and his minions have invested big cash in PSG, they don’t stand a chance.

          • Steglitz49

            and that is WoSo’s achilles heel. Much faster than the men’s game, the ladies game is being taken over by money.

            Even 30 years ago it was possible for semi-pro men’s sides to make a splash in European soccer. That probably ended about 5 years or so ago for the ladies

          • dw

            I call it “the Borislow effect”. But that is a North American phenomenon only.

          • Steglitz49

            Allegedly it has been political pressure behind the scenes in England and France. The minister for sports telling the wealthy clubs and leagues that they must do something for girls soccer and that they could either do it voluntarily or they would force them by legislation.

          • dw

            Which may lead us to discuss whether MLS is a pretend league as well. The sooner MLS can get away from single-entity-ness the better.

          • Lorehead

            Single-entity makes a lot of sense from the perspective of the owners and U.S. labor law. The best response to it is for players to negotiate a fair CBA.

          • John

            Lindsay Horan has the right idea. Forget the NWSL and this circus, stay in Paris, collect a six figure salary and watch the third iteration of a pro league in the US tank.

          • NYRick

            Agree. All the power to her.

        • GT

          Those are solid salaries but they pale by comparison to what the top women tennis and golf and possibly the WNBA players make. Look, its all about attendance and TV revenue. We need to watch closely this year how the Houston Dash, Seattle Reign and FCKC do at the gate. With their MLS ownership/relationships/top teams on the field, with the” WC bump”, in the second half of this year if they’re not drawing 5k, 6K, 7K, 8K a game, this year will be considered a huge disappointment.

        • Craigaroo

          C’mon let’s not be too pessimistic. It’s working for the moment. Not perfectly but it’s working. Year 3 and no teams have folded but instead we’re talking about expansion.

          • Steglitz49

            Yes! Always look on the bright side of life.

          • dw

            I thought I was looking on the bright side…

        • auditors report

          WNT us soccer salary numbers only in 200K+ range in years that include WWC cycle. The most recent (2013/2014 fiscal year that ended in March 2014) us soccer financials had only 2 players (both men and both with reported 180K-187K us soccer salaries) in the top 5 non officer salary list – so no WNT player over 180K in us soccer salary for 2013/14 report.

          • dw

            Half of the time you are either in a WWC or OG year…

          • auditors report

            and therefore more accurate to use approx $200K if you want to average across multiple years. Good salary and about the same as what us soccer pays the USMNT players – except of course the USMNT players also have club opportunities to get paid much higher M+ salaries – those ops don’t exist for WNT

        • Lorehead

          I believe a lot of that money was the performance bonuses from the World Cup and the Olympics.

          • Steglitz49

            The US bonuses for coming second in WC-11 were bigger than Japan’s bonuses for winning even when including what the Kirin Brewery gave the Nadeshiko.

            What happens this time if the US get turfed out in the SF let alone the QF stage.

        • KCFan

          I’m trying to find this spoon-fed propaganda you’re talking about, but I can’t find it. I’ve seen statements from Lines and Harvey and they both seem to confirm that Wambach wanted out of WNY, just like Leroux wanted out of Seattle, it’s clear as day and there’s no need to spin it. All NWSL clubs pay NT players about the same, so how do you choose where to play? You pick a club near your home or near a loved one or with a hip reputation. As for sacrifice, I don’t think you need to lecture the non-NT players about sacrifice when they survive on about $6,000 per year.

          • Lorehead

            In fact, allocated players receive their salaries from U.S. Soccer regardless of where they play, so if they’d rather play elsewhere, they ask to.

    • NYRick

      This is what I like about EQ. Well thought articulate evaluations on topics and some rhyming prose thrown in to boot. Well done. You do realize that in your last two sentences you transfixed the word “pretend” 4 times, but in some odd way it made perfect sense.

      • Steglitz49

        The question is whether a trade like this brings WoSo into disrepute?

        In one English-speaking country, Australia, FIFA are having to pump in $500,000 to shore up WoSo while in another the FA is willing to defray the cost of playing their women’s FA Cup final at Wembley AND get the BBC to broadcast it live.

        Pity the poor lasses trying to play WoSo in Africa, let alone Turkey or Iran.

      • Craigaroo

        That was the best part, the “pretend” business.

  • Silver Frost

    Harvey completes Abbster’s Portland quest by trading Wambach to Thorns for Jodie Taylor. And it happens this week.

    • nwslfan

      Would love that sooo much, but Taylor too productive for Riley to ignore, right? Cough Jessica McDonald cough.

    • newsouth

      wambach and sinclair can’t exist on the same team. we aren’t talking sinclair and marta complimenting each other.

    • Lorehead

      You know, if he said, “And because Taylor counts against the salary cap, and an allocated player like Wambach doesn’t, that’s how I was able to bring back Vero,” we’d forgive him.

  • nwslfan

    Wanna bet Vlatko consulted Holiday before pulling the plug on trade talks? Or nfw Vlatko would give up Apple?

  • nwslfan

    Syd probs cool w this trade, if she couldn’t get to KC, bc little Mewie now at WNY.

  • NYRick

    I wonder if Abby ever read a copy of the Jordan Rules by Sam Smith? She is certainly well on her way to writing a copycat sequel.

  • nwslfan

    Dan – you should update the article per your tweet that Syd asked for a trade specific to KC! I can see Harvs thinking- if you ask for a trade, you haven’t bought in. I’d unload a player like that too…

    • Steglitz49

      In the old days if a player asked to be transfer-listed, he did not get a cut of the transfer fee. If you were traded without having asked, the traditional cut was 5% but a good agent could get you a bit more.

  • nwslfan

    checked Syd’s timeline. radio silence on the trade. I guess if you can’t find anything nice to say…. recent tweet on the tv series she and Abby binge watch and asking for more suggestions… not the best communication for pro athlete..