United States beats Japan for 3rd World Cup title

Jeff Kassouf July 5, 2015 728

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Under a thick haze and the smell of smoke from a blazing forest in the distance, Carli Lloyd caught fire on Sunday at BC Place.

Lloyd scored a hat trick in the first 16 minutes of the Women’s World Cup final to lift the United States past Japan, 5-2 and deliver a record third World Cup title. Lloyd scored her third goal from midfield, driving the ball over Japan goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori.

Japan entered the match as reigning World Cup champions, having beaten the United States in penalty kicks in the 2011 World Cup final.

The World Cup title is the United States’ first since 1999. They are also three-time defending Olympic champions, having beaten Japan in the 2012 Olympic final in London. Lloyd scored twice in that final to beat Japan as well.

“Ms. Lloyd, well she always does this to us,” Japan head coach Norio Sasaki said after the game, dropping his head and smiling. Lloyd scored twice in that final to beat Japan as well.

For two teams that entered Sunday’s final on the backs of defensive performances, the United States and Japan (but mostly the Americans – and even more specifically, Lloyd) combined to smash offensive records.

Lloyd became the first player in history to score a hat trick in a Women’s World Cup final; Michelle Akers is the only other player to net a multi-goal game in a final, scoring twice in 1991. Lloyd’s goal in the 3rd minutes was the fastest ever scored in a final. Lloyd also became the first American player to score in four straight World Cup games.

The seven combined goals is the most in a Women’s World Cup final, and the United States’s five goals is a record for one team.

In the 3rd minute, Lloyd beat Japan defender Azusa Iwashimizu to the ball on Megan Rapinoe’s corner kick, and two minutes later Lloyd beat Iwashimizu again for her second goal. After mis-heading the ball up in the air just prior to the United States’ third goal – scored by Lauren Holiday – Iwashimizu was replaced in the 33rd minute by Homare Sawa, playing in her co-record sixth World Cup.

Japan managed to get a goal back before halftime through Yuki Ogimi, and a second goal just after halftime off the head of U.S. defender Julie Johnston.

But two minutes after that second Japan goal, U.S. midfielder Tobin Heath scored the United States’ fifth goal, icing the match.

The United States finished the tournament unbeaten, winning all but one game – a scoreless draw against Sweden in the group stage.

A rough start in the opening minutes of the World Cup against Australia – when Hope Solo made two tournament changing saves and Megan Rapinoe scored her first of two goals early against the run of play – feels like a memory of years’ past. After the tie with Sweden, the Americans scraped past Nigeria to win Group D and then narrowly defeated 10-player Colombia in the round of 16 before coming into their own in the quarterfinal against China.

In that match, Ellis inserted Morgan Brian and allowed Lloyd to push higher up the field, a move that truly paid dividends in the semifinal against Germany, which the United States dominated.

Building off of those successes, U.S. coach Jill Ellis stuck with the same starting XI from the semifinal in Sunday’s final against Japan, freeing up Lloyd to sit behind Morgan and do what she does best: Push forward and score goals.

  • sweetjazz3

    U-S-A!!! They may have peaked 75 minutes early, but that’s a minor quibble at this point.

  • Ethan

    The US didn’t need any questionable refereeing decisions. The team legitimately won this game on its own.

    1) There are not enough words to describe Lloyd’s performance in this match.
    2) Despite her error and own goal, Johnston was phenomenal throughout the match, particularly that challenge late in the second half. Krieger, Sauerbrunn, and Klingenberg continued to be phenomenal.
    3) I know Alex didn’t score, and her finishing still needs to work. However, she created her two chances on her own, held the ball well, and linked up with her teammates very well. She made the lovely ball into Klingenberg that led to the corner for Heath’s goal.
    4) Despite periods of Japanese pressure, Morgan Brain and Lauren Holiday were immense in the middle of the pitch. And what a finish by Lauren Holiday for her goal!
    5) Nice to see Rampone and Wambach get time on the pitch.

    Congratulations to the USWNT!! This was very much a deserved World Cup win.5

    • Guest

      Carli Lloyd was unbelievable not only the goals but her work all over the pitch. Still want her out of the midfield but she can play Pseudo-forward or whatever position that was as long as she can go.

      • Ethan

        Completely agree. She was unbelievable. And that third goal? Brilliant thinking and execution.

        • Guest

          Also before that 4th goal our midfield was shredding the Japanese defense. Some of the best combination football I have ever seen this team play.

        • Silver Frost

          JP can finally drop the ancient Kahori, a very undersized GK. Only in woso could a player score a 50 yd volley as Lloyd did.

          • guest

            Clearly you’ve never watched any men’s soccer.

          • Tae

            You mean matches like this one?

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8why3PU06e0

          • Tony Lee
          • Tim Howard?

          • dw

            Well, perhaps the first part of the statement is true.

          • Ron Bishop

            Claudio Lopez vs LA Galaxy

            https://youtu.be/ZvTSQkhDYNI

          • Vertigo

            Didn’t USMNT goalie Tim Howard score one? Long drop kick, bounced once off the very hard turf, and over the head of the opposing goalie.

    • luke

      ad 2) Johnston has had bad last two matches and demonstrated her main weaknesses that are technical ineptitude and lack of speed.
      She was instatly panicking, kicking balls in chaos to nobody, fouling in the box and scoring own goals. She is not player of WC format imho, just an enforcer.
      There are better US player for her position for sure.

      • Ethan

        I guess we just have to agree to disagree. She is definitely a WC caliber player in my eyes. I really thought she had her bright moments in this game, and her distribution out of the back has just gotten better and better as the tournament has gone on. Plus, she had the flick on for Carli’s second goal. I can’t think of a player I’d put on in her spot. Becky Sauerbrunn is the only CB better than her, and she’s already playing.

        • mockmook

          I don’t think anyone had an issue with Engen being our other CB — and there are many good young to young-ish ones available (Grubka, Kallman, Williamson, King, and more). CB is probably the deepest position after Forward.

          I’m thrilled with JJ at CB, but I think she would be even better suited to be a DM.

          • Tae

            You’re still thrilled with JJ at CB? After the three mistakes? I’m not saying yank her now. But I’m definitely not thrilled with her right now.

          • Altius

            You know center back isn’t her natural position, right? She’s a DM. Her evolution has been phenomenal, but she’s still young and learning, forming a partnership with Sauerbrunn. She’ll improve.

          • Tae

            My concern is she seems a bit panicky to me. If it’s just inexperience showing, ok, she’ll get better. But experience doesn’t always bring composure, some players are just twitchy by temperament, and she might be one of those types. Look at Moe. She’s even younger and less experienced. But she has the cool.

          • guest

            Moe even at this age is one of the most technically gifted players in the world. She is always comfortable on the ball and makes it look easy sort of like Heath when she is in form

          • kernel_thai

            Yeah, how did technical midfielder slip thru April Heinrichs net??

          • So very true.

          • Altius

            Moe is RIDICULOUSLY calm for her age. JJ is really composed, but by nature more aggressive. Because of that, she makes baller plays, but the style is riskier. That’s why she has the best in the world beside her, having her back, teaching her, bringing calm. She really will get better…I’d bet on it.

          • Tae

            Moe’s a freak for sure, and there are many reasons why she’s freakishly composed, but one of them is she reads the game so well she always has more time than everyone else in a given situation. Becky is the same way. I’m not sure JJ is. That’s the number one reason a CB panics, is they are not great readers of the game and have less time to react.
            Oh well it is what it is, I’m not saying anything silly like drop her or anything. Just concerned is all. JJ reminds me a bit of Giorgio Chiellini (I’m a Juventino). He’s an aggressive risk taking CB also and he’s been very good for us. You do want a contrasting pairing at CB, a cool positional defender like Becky and a more aggressive man marker alongside. I’d just feel better if I felt more confident about her temperament and game iq.

          • kernel_thai

            Johnston just needs more caps. A lot of these things she is seeing for the first time and has to make it up. When she gets more matches under her belt she’ll have seen most everything and her reactions will be more schooled.

          • kernel_thai

            Brian is scarey. For the game to have slowed down for her so soon in her career is unbelievable.

          • Altius

            She’s on another level. At least 2 more WCs in her, and the future of this team looks BRIGHT. Praying she stays healthy, though. That concussion was no joke, and she looked noticeably hesitant going up for headers in this game.

          • nwslfan

            Very well said. The game has absolutely slowed down for her. Delighted to see her take a quality strike on goal too.

          • Guest

            I will be absolutely fine with her playing DM at the next major tournament.

          • David K Anderson

            I concur: not her best game, that’s for sure. I like her, but that she’s getting more attention than Broon is a bit absurd, IMO.

          • kernel_thai

            She gets more attention because of the offensive element she brings. Even before the Germany match Sauerbrunn had put in the better defensive shifts. Anyone who thought Johnston was better at defense was missing the subtleties.

          • Tae

            I’m with you there. Despite the hat trick Brunn is my team MVP for this WC. We could have won without Lloyd, not so sure we do without Becky.

          • kernel_thai

            Im thrilled. Yes she is a young player so u have to live with mistakes. She also set up the second goal and set a screen freeing up Lloyd for the first goal.

          • Tae

            Offensive production is extra gravy, not a reason to play someone at CB. Look at David Luiz. I hear what you’re saying about inexperience. But the nature and timing of the mistakes has me unsettled. I don’t think it was inexperience with certain plays or situations that rattled her. I think it was the pressure of the big moment. Depending on the person that sort of panic will dissipate with simply more time in pressure situations. But not always. Some people are just chokers by nature. Just think of all the nba players who play plenty of huge games but still tank their free throws in the big moments til the day they retire. Experience is not always a cure.

          • kernel_thai

            Yeah but if u can get set piece production out of CB that’s very good tasting gravy. I do agree that she still needs to defend. U cant hide an offensive player at CB. Still her impact on the team has been HUGE. They pretty much had zero offensive production out of Rampone & Sauerbrunn and Wambach was becoming less a factor. Suddenly JJ is scoring goals and creating havoc on set pieces. Even tho she didnt get a WC goal she had one called back, had at least three on frame shots saved by the keeper, had another shot saved off the line and grabbed two assists to boot. That’s a lot of contribution from a CB.

          • Tae

            I don’t know about women’s but in men’s, you are slightly more likely to be scored on taking a corner than you are to score. Non-corner set pieces near the box offer better odds of course, not because you’re any less vulnerable to a quick counter, but because the chance of scoring goes up with a better angle on the entry. But if you were to go by the numbers, you do not advance your CBs for corner kicks, it’s fool’s gold. Italy v Netherlands in 2008 Euro offers the best example of this.

          • mockmook

            “In Japan, Johnston captained her team to win the FIFA under-20 world cup, and won the Bronze Ball award herself.”

            Julie performs under pressure.

          • Tae

            After what we just saw you have to append “most of the time” to that sentence. Again I’m not saying drop her now. But if this is who she is — brilliant 99% if the time, but makes huge mistakes once in a while in the biggest moments, she can’t be our starting CB. Move her to DM where she’s not the last defender.
            Oh and Ohai nabbed the winner in the final. Doesn’t get her on the senior squad. Leroux outscored Morgan in the U-20, Morgan was the one who made the 2011 squad. U20 is nice but for the real deal there’s a lot more involved in assessing a player.

          • Ethan

            I watched David Luiz week in and week out when he was at Chelsea. Julie Johnston, from what I’ve seen, has much more focus and fewer defensive lapses than Luiz has. Of course, Johnston has things she needs to work on, but I have full faith that she will continue to improve.

          • NYRick

            Not disagreeing totally. Also have to take into account that she is fearless, a leader (former U captain) and a gamer. But I think it’s more on Ellis for basically wasting a year of her development too. Without the header at Algarve against France I think Rampone starts the entire WC.

            And I know you are a big fan, but you can’t have a CB (even a young one) making big errors late in a tournament when you are a championship team.

          • NYRick

            I agree to your assessment on JJ. You simply can’t make mistakes as a CB in big tournaments, and I think she kind of did in both the semi and the final. Mistakes by midfielders and missed chances by forwards are costly and can be overcome, but against the best teams when your CB makes a grave error or two in the box it mostly is in the net.

            Granted JJ is a young developing player and by all accounts had a very good tournament. The praise has been a little overblown because of her offensive abilities on set pieces. Also having the real best CB in the world as your partner certainly helps. JJ reminds me a lot of Phil Jones for Man Utd. Young, talented and physical and often brilliant at times. But also having a penchant for over aggressive play and the occasional costly boneheaded play or card at the wrong time.

          • Tae

            Phil Jones… that’s harsh lol. Not that Jones is a bad player.
            I would feel better about chalking off JJ’s mistakes as simply due to youth and inexperience if they’d been spread out over different types of situations at different stages of this tourney. But the three mistakes she made were all chokes on goal-threat situations in the two biggest matches.

          • Lorehead

            We do have a better backup CB than a DM.

          • mockmook

            Does not compute — statement too ambiguous to process…waiting for input…waiting…waiting….waiting…

          • kernel_thai

            Jill Ellis doesnt believe there is a place for a DM in the modern game!!!! Did u fall asleep in lecture???

          • atalba

            Don’t forget she’s only been playing CB for 1 year. She has a lot to learn, if she stays in that position. She’s a natural attacking midfielder, which is her BEST position. I’d be happy with her anywhere on the pitch. She’s a winner. Give her time.

          • Lorehead

            Whitney Engen is a better CB than our next-best DM after Julie Johnston is at DM. On the other hand, the formation we just played scored five goals against Japan and gave up none against Germany, so maybe we’re better off with Morgan Brian as a playmaker and Carli Lloyd as an attacker than with a DM.

          • mockmook

            I’d say, when JAP was attacking, Holiday and Brian were playing as DMs (just like against GER).

            Just as JJ is more naturally a DM, I’d say that Brian is more naturally a CAM.

            The line-up we used yesterday, won’t be available in 4 yrs. Lloyd may be gone, even Sauerbrunn and Krieger might give up (or be forced to give up) NT duties. Possibly Holiday and Heath, too.

        • She’s a great player, but she really needs to get better. Thankfully she has 3 years to improve before any really critical games are played again.

          Of course the own goal was good defensive play. It just didn’t work out for her.

          • JL

            We’ve got the Olympics next year, assuming we qualify.

          • My bad. Olympics. Men’s World Cup. Women’s World Cup.

            As soon as I start overthinking it it all just becomes jumbled together.

      • Terry Lash

        You are nuts, to use a technical term.

        • luke

          She will always be the weak link in a great technical team you’re about to build on Moe, Dunn, Tymrak, Ohai and Co.
          Mark my words.

      • john

        I’m not ready to drop her, but I did point out after the semi that her play was dropping as the stakes rose. Is she the future or Whitehill?

      • kernel_thai

        Dont agree at all. Johnston did make an awful play on Ogimi. With a 4-0 lead she should have played behind her and try to block the shot when she turned. Trying to steal the pass to Ogimi (and especially not getting it) left Ogimi alone on the keeper. Certainly a bad decision but that has nothing to do with anything more than she is 23 with 14 caps. I dont give much credence to the own goal. Johnston was crashed into by a Japanese player causing the ball to skim off her head and into the goal. It could have very easily been a foul nullifying the goal. Regardless, Johnston has to try and head that ball out of there and did. As to losing her composure, with the big lead a lot of the defenders were just launching balls down the field forcing the Japanese to restart their attack. Do u think they r all inexperienced and unfit to NT defense?

        • nwslfan

          Very level headed approach. Johnston had limited exposure to Ogimi-level players. Johnston had very limited minutes + full cupcake matches w about 10 caps total going into this WWC. That is 100% on Ellis.

      • dw

        Brian and JJ have lots of future upside, so you can relax a little here.

    • Lorehead

      Where do you think Lloyd’s 4–0 goal will end up on SportsCenter?

      • Ethan

        Have there been any other ridiculous sports moments? I’d say it should be #1 because it so rarely happens at the top level, and Lloyd executed it to perfection.

        • Lorehead

          I’ve seen a few goals like that from men, but not as significant as that. It really put the game away in the World Cup final.

          • kevin

            i swear lloyd tried a midfield shot like that in one of the games in the last year. maybe it was during the concaaf tournament.
            today she perfected it.

      • mockmook

        U no it’s #1

      • sweetjazz3

        How about Holiday’s goal? That was extremely impressive … until it was topped two minutes later.

      • #2 – So it can’t get voted #1 week after week after week.

    • Morgan Brian is on the cusp of becoming my second favorite player.

      • Altius

        A quality choice. Second to whom?

        • Heath.

          • Tae

            Heath has been my favorite for years, but Moe has supplanted her. As good as Heath is, Moe is a level above, and she doesn’t have the psychological hangup that prevents her from putting her full skills on display regularly.

          • Brian may be better at what Heath does, but she isn’t so much better to replace her as my favorite. Brian’s time will come. She has a ton of time to become even better.

          • Tae

            Oh I totally disagree. I love Heath but Moe is on a different level. I don’t think she will dominate like Akers did but that was due to Akers physicality, Moe’s game won’t ever be that overt. If Moe doesn’t improve one bit she’s still going to be one of the best we’ve ever had, and if she does improve… holy smokes.

          • So we do agree.

          • Tae

            No. Moe is Batman, Tobin is Robin. Just because Akers is Superman it doesn’t mean Robin and Batman are closer together in ability level, it just looks that way on a power level chart.
            Lavelle might push Tobin down another slot for me also, if she is who I think she is. But man Rose looks like she’s about 11 years old.

          • Guest

            Moe is going to be a special player and almost definitely be more impactful than Tobin over her career but I am not sure they are exactly the same player. While it is true they have similar technical abilities I do not think Moe would be anywhere near as good as Pinoe or Heath on the flank nor do I think Either Heath or Pinoe would be as effective at CM as Moe. However, Moe at 22 sees the game differently at the cerebral level than anyone else on the NT.

          • Guest

            Also Moe is not really a take-on player

          • Tae

            Oh I don’t think it was being suggested that the two be compared at the same position, one is a pure wide, the other a pure central player.
            Here’s the exciting thing though. Moe is going to make Tobin so much better, and vice versa. It’s telling to me that in Moe’s forays forward, it was always down the right side — where Tobin is. She could interchange with Tobin in a way she can’t with the heavier footed Pinoe. And with Tobin, it may be that one of the things that’s held her back is that until now, she’s never had a teammate on the national team that can match (I would argue greatly exceed) her level of technical ability. There must have been times when Tobin was frustrated that she can’t even do a simple give and go with some of her teammates, and she makes the smart pass but her teammate wasn’t astute enough to make the run.

          • Guest

            Totally agree. Moe, Holiday, Tobin and even Krieger were excellent creating triangles and linking up down the right hand side all game. They broke down the organized Japan defense over and over. To you other point on Tobin I really don’t think she ever really fit into this team play style wise during the Abby ball days. Too gifted to keep off of the team be never appearing to have a significant role. A gifted technical soccer player forced to play kick and run is really kind of sad and it really is too bad Moe was not born 4 years sooner or Tobin 4 years later. On a side note it is somewhat worrying to me that Tobin and Moe are the only two true modern soccer players(or European styled players) on the team. Hopefully Lavelle is everything we think she can be and we start focusing on players with more technical skillsets.

          • Tae

            Yeah. I really want Lavelle called up to senior squad asap so she can start training with Moe and Tobin. If Holiday really is retiring maybe that opens that up. Surely Moe’s performance in this wc will have Ellis or her successor looking more closely at the youngsters.

          • Guest

            The way we develop players is one of my biggest pet peeves. If players have the potential or ability they need to be called up to train with and learn from the veterans what it takes to succeed at the next level. Their age should not matter if they are talented enough. Also players like Boxx, Chups, Wambach, Rampone, and whoever else I forgot should never take up valuable roster spots as a gift for years of service. There is no good reason at all why Dunn or any of the other youngster who would have benefited greatly from experiencing a World Cup were left off this roster.

          • Tae

            Sadly the money issue makes that an imperative. I mean Moe is a 2 time Hermann winner and the top pick in the draft, and her club can’t pay her enough where she can even get her own apartment, she has to live with a foster. So the $2 million bonus for winning the world cup, that’s a big thing. That’s incentive going forward to young players as we ask them to take up national team commitments. Even sneaking in a few young players is probably a really tough emotional moment for USWNT, as they have to tell some of the long serving vets that they’re not going to get the payout.

          • The only thing we seem to disagree on is if we agree.

          • Tae

            Maybe we should just say we both love Tobin and Moe.

          • Guest

            I agree Moe is the more cerebral of the two and special in this regard but I do think we slightly underrate this part of Tobin’s game. On occasion she does give us moments of shear brilliance.

          • Guest

            Correct me if I am wrong Tae but I don’t think he is comparing the two players in the same way that you are. Their technical abilities are not so different Moe might be a slightly better passer while Tobin may be a slightly better dribbler(Moe is also probably a better shooter. Their differences lie more in how they read the game. With Tobin you get flashes of this, she makes good smart runs and some excellent final passes. She really could use Akers mentality thought. With Moe on the other hand she is always in the correct positions and sees plays happen 3 or 4 passes before. A good example was her pass to Heath on Holiday’s goal, Moe was the catalyst for that whole sequence.

    • Jersey Shore Rises

      The sad fact is you will see numerous people say that Lloyd was lucky, Lloyd was just in the right spot, Lloyd never helped in the back the defend the 2 goals…

      It will happen, and I just say, Congrats our USWNT on winning the 2015 World Cup and they can just cry about it….

      • guest

        Of course she was a little lucky. That does not mean she didn’t earn all of her goals, work hard, or that she didn’t play great. She had an unbelievable game.

        • Jersey Shore Rises

          You have no CLUE what many here in these threads think about Lloyd, they just hate so much,,,, Not my opinion just look at comments by NYCRick and others…

          • I don’t think anyone here hates Llyod. Do they get frustrated? Absolutely, but I challenge anyone to make an argument that she can’t be the best player on that pitch when things are working.

            Llyod has certain responsibilities, and when she is playing as a DM her job is to sit back and defend, but she frequently refuses to do so. That would get most people benched – If you think Klinsmann would put up with that BS you are out of your mind.

            However when she is playing as an attacking midfielder her responsibilities are drastically different. It fits her mentality, and she becomes devastating to opposing defenses.

            Regardless of what should or shouldn’t happen when your coach tells you to do something you better damn well do it. Very few athletes can explicitly defy their coaches, and Llyod neither plays a sport that allows it, or is even good enough to defy her coaches the way she does. This isn’t the NFL and she sure as hell is no Manning, Brady or Favre. She is much more like a Terrell Owens.

          • Guest

            They have had some fair points though. Lloyd struggled mightily in the first 4 game playing out of position in a flat 442. She had difficulty holding the ball and moving it quickly under pressure and too often she coughed it up in dangerous counter attacking situations. All of that changed against the Germans where she was given an attacking role and was not asked to defend much. In both of the last two games(the most important games) she has been the best forward on the field. I think some of the frustration that other commenters have is not totally about Lloyd’s ability, many have stated she would be better utilized as a forward, but the double standard that seems to exist particularly with some of the veterans in regards to their performance and allotted playing time. Carli Lloyd has played every minute of this WC while players like Press, Leroux, Arod, HAO, O’hara, and even Brian prior to the China game have had to scrape by in considerably less favorable circumstances. Having said all of that Carli’s propensity to find her form and show up in big games makes it difficult to criticize her too much. Overall I think many of the people you are labeling as Lloyd haters truly think she is one of the WNT’s greats and her performance tonight certainly backed that up.

          • dw

            Well I have a clue. When SuperCarli puts the cape away, and returns to being mild-mannered Carli, and we play a tomato can to a 0-0 draw on the victory tour, the fanboys and apologists can say “Who cares, we won the World Cup!”.

      • Ethan

        I get how you feel. My favorite player of all-time on the men’s side is Frank Lampard. Being lucky and just being in the right spot are common statements that his detractors make. It takes a whole lot of work and skill though to constantly be in the right spot and tuck opportunities away. Lloyd, just like any other player, will have her off games that will justify some criticism; this game was most certainly not one of those games. Everything from her goals to her work rate was utterly phenomenal.

    • dw

      Very glad that the ref did not enter into the equation on who won the World Cup. Well, at least in the final game.

  • Rdalford

    Attendance 53,341 (from FIFA match report) in Vancouver for USA v Japan

  • Guest

    Looks like all the forwards are screwed if Carli wants to keep playing. What a game.

  • Altius

    Wow.

    Lloyd is not a good player. But she is a GREAT player, and that was one of the most clutch performances you will ever see in a World Cup, men’s or women’s. Astonishing.

    • sweetjazz3

      For all the Ellis bashing that goes on here, many folks around here were asking to sit Carli. No thank you!

      • Altius

        Thing is, you want to bench her because you have players of more thorough qualities who can offer better midfield play, but you just CAN’T drop her because…well, because she does stuff like this game!

        • mockmook

          Well, to be fair to some of us naysayers, we often said play her at Forward or don’t play her.

          • guest

            some of the naysayers on this site better enjoy eating crow.

          • guest

            Sounds like they’re already starting the spin.

          • A_Dog_Without_A_Clutch

            She’s great at finishing everybody’s work, BUT PLEASE DON’T MAKE HER RESPONSIBLE FOR THE WORK.

            5 well-timed moments for a team that was class above the competition does not discount that she and Boxx are only two players that do not make a lesser team better.

          • Guest

            And I don’t think it was ever an unfair assessment on your part. I guess we will have to see if Carli still wants to play because if she does there is going to be a lot less space for all of the forwards.

          • Lorehead

            Which confuses me. Instead of sulking that she’s starting in the midfield, she scores from the midfield and makes herself a star. But everybody knows that’s impossible.

          • mockmook

            She scored from the midfield by playing as a forward (even before JE “changed” her role).

          • Guest

            She really played as a secondary striker in the last two games not really in the midfield.

          • kevin

            somebody get the the heat map out!!!! hehe

          • kernel_thai

            he he, well played.

        • sweetjazz3

          Usually, when Lloyd looks bad, it is because the coaching staff is asking her to cover too much ground. But give her a clear role and don’t force her to play box-to-box the whole game and she is deadly. And you can’t question her heart and commitment to the game. An absolute champion who stood out on a team full of stars.

      • justsomeguy

        dude she sucked the first couple of games, its a fact, just because she had an enormous game does not erase her crappy performances from before.

        • atalba

          It was formation, and they finally got it right. Carli was first asked to play out wide: dumb. Then was asked to be a dual 6# with LH: another stupid move. Then she was set free. LH and Moe (attacking midfielders) were asked to sit back and cover. Not like they did early on, switching back and forth in the 4-2-2-2. They were both covering in the mid. JE made a change (apparently with some influence from the players), and got it right!

          • justsomeguy

            i agree that was one of the best things ellis did

      • kernel_thai

        The Lloyd performance just supports us Ellis bashers. Watching her play the last few matches ud have to be damn stupid not to put her in a central offensive role….hence the bashing.

      • Of course she was actually doing what she was being told to do in this game, and the previous 2. She was supposed to sit back previously. Ellis however has put Brian into that position and moved Llyod up.

        The problem (for me) was never really her style of play. My problem was her style of play was creating holes in the midfield.

        And only a crazy person would question her ability to shoot the ball for long distances, but I don’t think any sane person thought she had this in her. Okay. Maybe one sane person – Her!

    • Lord_Littlefingers_Lash

      What did I say! Let Carli be Carli! She dominated in qualifying too. Carli Lloyd WHAT!!!!!

    • Tae

      For sure it’s utterly astounding how a player with her manifest flaws puts up performances like she does, time and time again. But as epically as she trolled us haters this wc we’re still going to say we would have won without her, and looked better doing it lol. You’re never going to stop us.

    • kernel_thai

      Lloyd is a very gifted offensive player. Ud have to be an idiot not to play her in an offensive position.

  • luke

    Congratulations USA! 🙂

  • Ztwom

    Amazing game! Happy for all of the ladies on the team. Sweet sweet redemption for them!

  • >:((

    f**k!!!!

  • Rdalford

    USA! USA! USA!
    Congrats to USWNT
    third World Cup championship.

  • john

    I’ve read somewhere that this is absolutely the worst thing that could have happened. However, I’m pretty happy right now.

  • Lord_Littlefingers_Lash
  • john

    Whatever happened to that Press girl?

    • Rdalford

      She won a World Cup

      • guest

        So did Engen.

        • Tae

          Chalupny got Dunn’s medal, and Dunn’s bonus money too.

          • Guest

            Yeah that suck and who knows how good this team will be in 4 years.

          • mockmook

            But, JE is the thief.

        • Rdalford

          all 23 team members on the USWNT won the World Cup

          • guest

            Oh, the insight! I think you missed the point.

          • Rdalford

            my point is the USWNT is a team and all of them are now World Cup winers.

          • guest

            I’m pretty sure only Solo has an alcohol problem.

          • Well that sure came out of left field.

          • comprende?

            Winers not winners.

    • atalba

      I hate to be wrong about things, but I was certain she was going to be the star of this WC. Alex is huge threat, and did her job, but she could not score; and that was predictable considering how much time off she had.

  • Tae

    It’s hard out here for a Lloyd hater.
    Tobin was awesome. Moe can do no wrong. Great to see super trooper Holiday get a goal. Utterly fantastic to see Tobin get a goal, and that it was off a pass from Moe makes it my favorite goal of the tournament.
    Favorite moment: when Becky makes a long run to nowhere down the left flank for no reason whatsoever. Run Becky run!
    JJ, it’s not cool to say anything negative right now, but, if she were an Italian man, she would never make another world cup roster as a CB.

    • Guest

      Tobin and Moe were outstanding and really changed the look of the midfield. I could not believe some of the combination play I saw tonight.

    • kernel_thai

      Yeah, have to give Heath her props. Not much of a supporter because Ive been let down by her potential so many times but she had a great WC. SO did Klingenberg who is another player Ive been rough on.

      • guest

        She may be more consistent if she tones back some of her take on play. This WC notwithstanding she seemed to always want to take on players in areas where it did not make much sense. She has a good motor, two good feet, is an excellent passer and an outstanding dribbler. She also moves well in space and makes good runs. In fact she has all the tools to be a very effective player without really taking on players at all. In her defense I don’t think the era of Abby ball fit with her style of play at all but with Moe becoming a star of this team maybe the US play style changes and hopefully she can figure it out.

      • Tae

        Heath’s been my favorite for years (til Moe came along) but yeah, she’s maddening. She is so freaking talented. On talent, she should be leaving defenders for dead and making killer passes and scoring the odd goal on a consistent basis. But usually she looks hesitant and lacking confidence. She has some sort of psychological block I think.
        I should like Kling more than I do but I don’t.

        • Guest

          Yeah I wonder if she just lacks that killer instinct. There is no reason at all she should not be constantly attacking the box trying to draw penalties.

          • Tae

            Well I don’t now that I want Tobin in the box necessarily, her meat and potatoes play should be beating a defender on the wing, forcing a second defender to come out, then finding a pass to a forward. But yeah she does not have the instinct and confidence she should.

          • Guest

            She is definitely a play maker at heart and maybe constantly attacking the box is too much but I don’t see any reason she can’t attack the dangerous areas like Pinoe. Sure she does not have the pace Pinoe has but her skill on the ball is at times is surreal. Against Germany I thought her one touch with Holiday inside the 18 could have been very dangerous she just barely lost control of the ball. If they go back to a 442 with two strikers I agree it probably makes more sense for her to keep spacing out the midfield.

    • I think there is a hole in my ceiling from when Tobin scored.

      • David K Anderson

        I let out a whoop that probably scared my cat more than last nights fireworks.

    • Calci0

      Up until the Germany game she was one of the best CB’s in the entire tourney. And part of a unit that tied a WC shoutout record. Not sure why all of a sudden she is no longer a trusted CB. And even against Germany she had a solid game, and was just in a bad position on a play. Last I checked Germany didn’t score that game…..

      • Tae

        A CB on a side that has the aspirations we do can’t be brilliant 99% of the time and then have catastrophic letdowns in big matches. Keepers and CBs, they have the toughest roles in that they are not allowed to make mistakes. Robert Green misplayed one ball vs USA, he retired from international the moment the tourney was over. Cech blew it in Euro 2012, he retired from international play when the tourney was over. Zaccardi scored one own goal, he was never called up for Italy again. Tim Howard misplayed one goal for United, he was sent packing.

        • Calci0

          Good thing she hasn’t had a catastrophic letdown. And seeing as how we just won a WC with her I think she has shown her worth.

          • Tae

            Because Sasic missed. There was an 80%+ chance she doesn’t. And if she makes that PK we lose the semi in all likelihood. I probably shouldn’t overstate the importance of JJ’s mistakes but you shouldn’t understate them either.

  • dj

    The best decision Ellis made: replaced Rampone with Johnston. The shaky defense has been a problems for some time. Go back to the WC 2011 when Japan tied the score, there was mass confusion and scramblings in front of Solo.

    Rampone and Rachel Buehler were the weakest links but Pia kept playing them.

    btw, a note to Jeff and the equalizer staff : do not ever pick a choker like France. Never. Brazil is excused because they received no support at home.

    • Tae

      You don’t call Johnston these past two matches shaky? And there are more vehement words we might use there.
      Next wc is in France. At this moment in time, without knowing more, I pick France.

      • World Cups don’t seem to favor the home team.

        • nwslfan

          You sure we weren’t the home team? Look at our knockout bracket

          • Of course we were the home team – So long as we didn’t play Canada. But the US is one of only 2 countries to win at home – womens or mens.

    • justsomeguy

      johnston was very good this tournament, but she caused a penalty vs germany game and the 2 goals japan scored on us were her mess ups.

      • dj

        what do you expect from a rookie? She gonna screw up but she is one of the reasons they won today.

        • justsomeguy

          lets be clear that im not bashing johnston, but only stating the facts, i am one of her biggest supporters and am happy she was a starter for us

      • mockmook

        How was trying to block a shot/cross with her head a mistake — r u saying she should have just let it sail by?

        • justsomeguy

          yes, it was not gonna go in. did you not hear that it was an own goal? she scored on us

          • mockmook

            But it might have made it to a JAP player — she has to attempt to block it — she was just very unlucky (like Bassett).

          • justsomeguy

            we dont know what might have happened, but its clear the decision that she made resulted in an own goal. i am in no way bashing johnston, she was one of my favorite players this wc, im only pointing out the facts.

          • Guest

            We honestly need to see more to know whether or not a move is warrented

          • justsomeguy

            i agree

          • No. You must have meant no.

  • Terry Lash

    My hat is off to Steg49 for is long time prediction, with only occasional wavering, that the USA would win. Myself I doubted that Ellis could realize her initial approach was not working well. But she adapted, changed formation and starters. Nonetheless, after a couple of celebratory games I hope she resigns and lets the team move into a competitive future. Other teams will not stand still. Ellis, I believe, cannot build the next team to win the WWC next time.

    • sweetjazz3

      I had little confidence in Ellis. I remember waiting for the lineup to be announced versus Germany and being stunned (pleasantly so) that she played five midfielders and no Abby. It seems as though Ellis is quite strong at all of the non-tactical aspects of the game, and she had enough awareness of tactics (or sense to listen to her players) to make an adjustment when necessary.

      I think she’s earned a chance to try to win OG 2016.

      • atalba

        Agreed!

    • Silver Frost

      I predicted USA 5-0 JP. I was wrong, about the JP scoreline. No shutout for Solo. And Wambach did nothing to produce either the semi or final wins. But now we get to see the same roster play in Rio, minus Press. Whoopee!

      • Pressured

        Yup. Wambach ain’t retiring. Neither is Box. We’ll never see young new exciting players besides Moe.

        • Steglitz49

          Sasic has a lot to answer for.

      • Lorehead

        Wambach had a neat cross to Lloyd to set up O’Hara’s goal against Germany, so I wouldn’t say she did nothing in the semi.

        • Guest

          Actually that was Klingenberg but semantics 😉

    • dj

      please stop the hatred. Ellis is as much responsible for the win. She made some critical decisions that helped win this WC

      • Terry Lash

        No hatred. She’s just not a very good coach, and I doubt she can build a new, competitive team for the future.

        • john

          Unlike many of us here Ellis seems to learn from her mistakes :).

          • mockmook

            She has JJ on the bench until forced to use her. She puts Brian on the bench until forced to use her. I wouldn’t say she learns form mistakes, mistakes beat her over the head and say “Look at me!!!”

          • Pia had Morgan on the bench until forced to use her. Come off it.

          • mockmook

            If ur saying Pia did some stupid things too, I agree.

          • All the great coaches do stupid things.

          • guest

            This is a great comment. Your last sentence is pure gold.

        • kevin

          considering the summer olympics are in one year, i would imagine there won’t be any coaching changes until after that at the earliest. the more that i think about it, i would like to be in rio for the olympics too. should be some party. hehe

          • Terry Lash

            Realistically, you are probably correct, unless for personal reasons Ellis wants to leave earlier and not finish her contract.

    • We better have a damn good coach lined up for Ellis to leave, and I don’t think one exists. I’d still like to see Aaron Lines someday coach this team, but he isn’t at that point yet.

    • Steglitz49

      Why should she leave unless she wants to leave?

      Allegedly Sasaki wanted to step down after OG-12 but the Nadeshiko persuaded him to carry on. With him they won the AFC for the first time and now got to the WC final. Not too bad.

      • Terry Lash

        Because she is not a very good coach. In particular she has not shown an ability to identify young players who could be on the WNT if given a chance. Previously you have said that by and large the USA should take a U-23 team to the Olympics next year. Can you seriously believe that Ellis would do that? No, she would not. Instead, for whatever reason, she will take as many older players as want to be in another Olympics. At least that’s how she behaved in terms of the WWC 15. Why else would she take Boxx and Chalupny, for instance, but not players like Dunn and Huerta? She almost did not take Johnston. Ellis will not build a young team able to win WWC 19. That’s why she should go no later than soon after next summer’s Olympic Games.

        • Steglitz49

          I suspect that JE was ordered to take certain players and because she was in a weak position, she obeyed.

          Now she is at the pinnacle of her career. JE can decide. She is in a select band and were she to win WC-19 she will best Sasaki’s record (though maybe not his achievement).

          The temptation to go for safety for Rio must be great because no country has won the OG the year after the WC.

          Oth, JE may feel in her bones that she cannot replicate WC-15. She may well be right. FIFA is unlikely to make such a biased draw again — and it would favor France and not the US.

          If I were JE, I might not even do the fans tour and certainly resign and take a college post before Rio. This is as good as it gets.

          • Terry Lash

            I hope she does what you would do.

  • sweetjazz3

    I feel bad for Crystal Dunn who 100% should have been on this roster. The silver lining is that when WC 2019 rolls around, she’s going to be super hungry for her taste of a title.

    • atalba

      I don’t think she should have been on the team. We’ll see if she can stay injury free a year. She’s doing great right now.

      • ruby4

        agree

  • chive-on

    Oh dear lord what a game. After 16 minutes, all my worries of another penalty-kick situation went away. It’s funny how the offense has been taking heat this entire tournament for being lackluster, and then……today happened. Also, JJ and Brian need to be starting every game.
    As a goalie, my heart went out to Kaihori, that fourth goal was rough, and like it couldn’t get any worse for them right then.
    Japan’s imploding was definitely on the coach at least in part – timing of the subs when no one was injured was just so weird, and then having one of the players coming off be Kawasumi? Speaking of coaches, could Jill Ellis be an evil genius?

    • Silver Frost

      If Ellis wants it, she is going to be the coach in 2019, probably with the same 23 players. I’m not joking.

      • guest

        Than you’re being a moron again.

    • Ethan

      I was very surprised by the Kawasumi sub. She’s one of the best outside mids in the world and set up Ogimi for her goal. Unless she had an injury, I don’t see why she was taken off.

    • Japan’s coach panicked. Plain and simple.

  • GT

    I think this is the best team of all time. Even better then the 91ers and the 99ers. I say that because the overall competition world wide has increased so much since the 90’s. If you look at the goaltending, the defense, the midfield (once Morgan Brian was inserted) and the offense (once Carli Lloyd was moved up top), they were unstoppable. In two consecutive games they knocked off the number 1 team in the world 2-0 and then came back and beat the defending champions 5-2. I don’t think either of those other two teams could have done that.

    • atalba

      Wrong! The 99ers weren’t even favored to win. There weren’t a lot of competitive teams, but there were enough to make it difficult. The 99ers are the best team for all of women’s sports. They’ve had more impact than any team in any women’s sport.

  • john

    Let’s start the speculation. Who retires before Rio?

    • FlyingSquirrel42

      Boxx seems like the likeliest suspect. It’s been a while since she’s been part of the starting XI or even a frequently used sub.

    • sweetjazz3

      Abby. Boxx, Rampone, Chalupny do not make the roster (but may continue to play professionally). HAO probably should not make the roster either, but hope she continues to play professionally.

      The US is really, really deep right now. Maybe we should start a ‘B’ team?

      • David P

        18 person squad. In 2012 we brought 2GK. That means at least four have to go, five if you want Dunn. I am hoping Wambach announces that this her last tournament and enjoys playing during the farewell tour. Boxx for sure. If you are confident in Engen, then time is up for Rampone. Chalupny and probably HAO. That allows you to put Dunn on the roster. Too bad HAO is one of my all-time favs, but we have a ton of people that can play that spot.

        • kernel_thai

          Hopefully they use the alternate spots for young players. Sundhage did that in 2012 by taking Press and Klingenberg

        • sweetjazz3

          Yes, and it’s a good thing if some of our national team players like HAO are forced off the team before they retire. It is not because HAO is not still a high quality player, but rather because we have so much depth. If the NWSL can last, we are going to have stacked rosters for the foreseeable future.

          • kernel_thai

            Not sure HAO wants to keep playing even tho she hasnt lost a step. To play club she has to live away from her husband 5 months a year plus the amount of time she is away for NT duty. I can see her wanting to settle down.

          • sweetjazz3

            Sure and that is totally understandable. But she can certainly be a top player in the NWSL if she wants to keep playing. And she’ll still have a chance to make the Olympics roster. (Don’t forget that injuries and pregnancies may happen between now and then.)

      • GT

        If not before Rio, certainly before the next cup.

    • mockmook

      Brian — it would be all downhill from here — wants to quit on top.

      • kernel_thai

        LOL Yeah, think of the pressure trying to top this for the next two cycles.

    • kernel_thai

      Any of the seniors who hang around after this r just there for the money grab. They all have Olympic medals and this completes the set.

      • Hwah

        I think Abby and Rampone (and probably Boxx) will go. Leave on top, don’t stay for a potential loss. Go out now with all glory.

    • kernel_thai

      I would like to see Rampone, Wambach, Boxx step aside due to age. I could also see HAO (because she doesnt have a role) and Rodriguez (who could be expanding the player pool at home). As for the other 30 somethings Lloyd will have to be carried off, Krieger missed the Olympics last time, Rapinoe is just figuring this team stuff out and Sauerbrunn is just hitting her peak. That leaves Solo as the most interesting one to wonder about.

      • Altius

        Solo being the most irreplaceable of them all. No one even touches her quality. Long may she play, and play at the top of her game!

        • atalba

          Solo is the best in the world. US women continues to produce quality keepers that fill rosters all over the world. We have good ones just out of college and in college. We’re set no matter what happens.

          • Altius

            We’ll have very good keepers, but I think Solo is a truly special GK. I don’t believe anyone will match or exceed her for decades to come.

          • atalba

            Agreed!

          • john

            And that’s going to be a problem. Our next keeper could play very, very well and always be seen as poor b/c of the exceptional standard set by Solo. I will add that in the latter games I thought Solo was punching balls I felt she normally would have caught. I have no idea why-just an observation.

          • Harris is no Solo. Even I know that.

        • kevin

          the only question with solo is off the field. hopefully, she can stay out of trouble for four years. don’t think there is much room for any mistakes. the media will be all over ussf. the hug between hope and gulati was kinda funny. lol

          • The media can do whatever they want. She still is innocent in the eyes of the law.

      • atalba

        Chups out also. My guess is there will be one more that doesn’t continue. Maybe it’s just Arod, or maybe someone like SydL. Kriegs is 34, but the broken leg must keep her fired up for one more chance.

        Retiring means you’ve been told you won’t make it. No chance would they give it up on their own.

        • mockmook

          I think Krieger is 30. She should try for Rio (she has no OG medal). Step aside for France.

          • atalba

            My mistake. I thought she was older. She definitely deserves first rights.

          • Does a gold medal matter after today?

          • mockmook

            It might to her.

        • kernel_thai

          I Forgot Chalupny

        • Calci0

          Don’t see why a 25 year old Leroux would hang them up…… Now you do have players that after the Olympics may look to start growing their families, and Morgan, and Leroux could both be a part of that.

          • I think Morgan puts soccer first. Obviously things could change, but I don’t see it at the moment.

      • Solo should still be around. Goalies stick around a while.

  • nwslfan

    Carli freaking Lloyd!! You are a champion!! Saved the best for last!!! That Nairn goal was amaaaaaazing!! Love you!!!!

    • kernel_thai

      More importantly she’s going to be the FIFA PotY (but Blatter will probably mistake her for Marta anyway)

  • Calci0

    Was not expecting 5 goals!!! But it made watching the game that much easier!!!

  • john

    Speaking of adjustments made I have to note that the two set piece goals were on ground balls when the conventional wisdom would be flighted balls to take advantage of our height.

    • It’s not easy to defend what you don’t expect right?

  • BCAD

    I am so proud of this team, CARLI LLOYD OWNING LIFE AND JAPAN and ahhhhhh so excited. This probably isn’t the right to mention it but after Lloyd’s craziness I can’t believe our forwards combined only scored 2 goals this whole tournament but who cares. WE WOOONNNN

  • justsomeguy

    to newsouth: wats up bro, you said something about heath sucking vs japan? her dribbling in the final third caused japan to foul her which caused us to score, her cross that made cheney score, and her goal. suck it loser

    • Guest

      That whole side of the field shredded Japan’s defense

      • justsomeguy

        i agree, 4 out of 5 goals came from there

        • Tae

          But two of them came off Moe drifting there, once to win the corner and the second the assist to Tobin, which came off a corner won by Alex I believe on the left side. Tobin’s assist to Lauren also came off a smart ball from Moe.

          • Guest

            Was not my intent to undermine Moe or Holiday’s performance at all they were key pieces of some of the best linkup play from the midfield I have seen from them in a long time. The midfielders were actually supporting each other all over the field.

          • justsomeguy

            was going by how i remembered it, will need to watch the highlights, but you might be right

  • kevin

    that was a……..Caril Lloyd Shock and Awe!!!! USA USA USA!!!

    • kevin

      …she just wouldn’t be denied.

    • I want to upvote that like 10 more times.

  • brdn08

    As someone who consistently saw the greatness of this team (still dont agree that Sermanni should have been replaced) and believed that at its best is head and shoulders above other soccer teams, this was a long time coming. The only problem this team had been having was an inability to finish. Everyone knows that the greatest teams will show and prove. Carli is still the greatest big game player in woso. Alex still not fully fit but wreaking havoc (look at her runs on the set pieces). I’ve got to say Becky Sauerbrunn is a force of nature. Never loses her cool always in the right place and consistently picking up her teammates. Watch her reactions to the two mistakes by Johnston (great teammate and leader). Chainz and Tobin both put in goals and Brian’s hustle was amazing (have to admit I was wrong about her). the midfield went from a weakness to a strength overnight. Lastly if I was Jill Ellis I would’ve stood on the podium and shouted a big eff you to all her critics. She put together the best defense i’ve seen in a long time, she finally figured out the lineup and had the guts to do what she felt was right. Jill Ellis deserves much better than she’s received.

    • justsomeguy

      i agree about saurbraun, i dont think she made any major mistakes this whole wc

      • David K Anderson

        Best CB in WoSo…

        • kernel_thai

          It’s a real shame there is no Best Defender award. As u noticed by the short list the only defenders who get considered r ones who contribute to the offense.

          • Guest

            I would have given her the golden boot. Until Lloyd happened

          • Guest

            Golden ball my mistake

          • kevin

            i agree there should be a best defender award. maybe i’m getting carried away. but i’d like to see an award for best goal, best save, best offensive play and best defensive play. hehe.

          • kernel_thai

            It will be interesting to see if the Lloyd goal gets Puskas consideration

          • kevin

            after watching the replay. besides being off the line a bit, it look’s like the goalie loses the ball in the sunlight at the last second.

          • mockmook

            I think she had it (to at least push it away) if she didn’t stumble.

            She did see it well enough to get a hand on it — just couldn’t keep it off frame.

          • kevin

            yea i forgot about the stumble. makes it even more dramatic along with going off the inside of the post.

          • kevin

            talk about putting a dagger in the opponent. scoring a goal like that has to be just crushing to the other team”s morale.

          • Steglitz49

            It ought to.

          • Let’s not confuse the people at FIFA anymore. They have enough trouble naming finalist as it is.

          • David K Anderson

            Agreed. Hmmm…Golden what, would you say?

          • kernel_thai

            Shield?

          • kevin

            that’s what i was just thinking too. hehe

          • David K Anderson

            Perfect!

          • kevin

            you should send the suggestion to fifa.

          • Golden Wall 😛

          • Steglitz49

            They were not playing China.

          • Ha…ha…errr…no…

          • guest

            The NHL has an award call the Norris Trophy. It is suppose to be awarded to the best defender in the NHL over the course of a season. Every single year it is awarded to the Defenseman with the highest point total. I want a best defender award as much as the next person but I would be lying if I still didn’t think defenders with the offensive edge get the nod.

          • Lorehead

            There’s a good chance that Julie Johnston would end up with it over Becky Sauerbrunn because of her set-piece goals. The one (major American) sport that really does a good job of objectively measuring defensive performance is baseball.

      • atalba

        She was THE ROCK!

    • “Lastly if I was Jill Ellis I would’ve stood on the podium and shouted a big eff you to all her critics.”

      So very true.

      • Guest

        “You were right! I should have used a DM all along! My bad.” Ellis probably

    • Steglitz49

      Your point about JE is well taken but iIn soccer traditionally the coach does not stand on the podium. I guess that might change.

  • NYRick

    There are some times in life you just gotta own up. Here’s my tribute. Incredible performance by the TEAM today.

    • Rdalford

      appreciate your stepping up.

      • guest

        He’s making a pathetic attempt to give some credit to Press tonight. Hence, the TEAM.

        • JL

          Just stop. I’ve ragged on Rick for his Press obsession, but this isn’t the time for that. Thank you, Rick.

          • Guest

            I think ragging on him is quite justified since he’s gone out of his way to tear down and bash other players to bring up his favorite one. If he had made any attempt to bring up good arguments about his player without once resorting to bashing then maybe myself and others would have more respect for his thoughts and views but he always resorted to ripping Abby or Morgan or anyone who got the start over his girl even Leroux. Any shots he gets he deserves.

    • Lorehead

      Agreed. Also, major contribution from Press, scoring the game-winning goal against Australia.

      • G

        That could be said for a few others as well: major contributions from rapinoe in the first game, to Kelley against Germany, To alex scoring the winning goal and pk against Colombia, Abby with her goal etc. Give credit to all the players not just to Press to pacify the leader of the Press fangirl club.

    • Lorehead

      Oh, and by the way, congratulations on winning your bet about Abby Wambach’s minutes.

    • Jersey Shore Rises

      How about admitting that was the best performance of any player in the first half for the World Cup finale no matter male or female?

      You do that NYRick, then we might agree…

      • NYRick

        Forget soccer for a second, it’s probably one of the five best sports performances by an American athlete (male or female) in ANY SPORT of all time, given the magnitude of the event. I don’t know what more you want me or anyone else to say for that matter.

        You’re allowed to enjoy, but don’t over gloat. Being over-bearing is not going to win you points. People rightfully commented and critiqued her during the year, much like many of the star players on this team. Much of the criticism and suggestions about her play could be deemed justified much of the time. I’ve joked that she was always a forward trapped in a midfielder’s body, and maybe that’s correct.

        • john

          Rick, I ask you to make your second sentence your mantra for the rest of your commenting life.

  • Wandering Coyote

    The Ellis transformation took place during this World Cup. Learning to be head coach coming from a subordinate role is not easy. It took her some time to understand her team and when the time came she had the courage to make the changes needed to win a World Cup. I think she has found her mojo.

    Those changes Ellis made was matching the best players, who had both individual talent and the ability to play as team. She had so many missteps leading up to the second half of the World Cup it appeared she was a loser. I now believe Ellis has been riding the learning curve. It is paying off.

    With the correct starting 11, Ellis can now safely sub/integrate other players who will be able to learn from this elite group how to play well as a team.

    We may be looking at another dynasty team.

    Those women were happy at the end. I was happy. Fans were happy. I was over come with emotion, joy, so much so I could not speak without my voice betraying my emotion. We often cry for joy and relief. I love WoSo and the USWNT.

    Can’t wait for the victory tour.

  • nwslfan

    Brilliant performance by USA midfield, spectacular. Defense and attack, wonderful to watch. Yaaasssss!

  • SBFan

    Congratulations to the United States Women’s Soccer Team on winning the World Cup!!; and, to Coach Ellis for bringing it all home!! A Class Act all around!!

  • sweetjazz3

    Fire Ellis! Bench Lloyd!

    • justsomeguy

      you’re an idiot. and i know you’re being sarcastic.

      • sweetjazz3

        agreed

        • mockmook

          Apparently, there’s nothing funny about humor.

          • justsomeguy

            fact: ellis was a complete idiot before the china match, and people who were calling for her to be fired were justified.
            fact: lloyd sucked at possession and was disruptive to our own team in the role that ellis was playing her before the germany game. yes you might say its because ellis played her there, but the fact remains that she still sucked at possession before the final 2 matches. was she amazing in the last 2 matches? DEFINITELY no question about it.

    • kernel_thai

      I’d still fire Ellis. It’s only a matter of time before she gets another big idea and screws things up. : )

      • A_Dog_Without_A_Clutch

        It’s what the Pittsburgh Steelers should have done with Tomlin when Whisenhunt won them Super Bowl 43. Ellis would put any other program except Germany 3 step backwards by the her childish methods.

      • Guest

        Indeed. What did Pia say? Carli and Hope made her look really smart in 2008 and 2012? I’m thinking if Sweden needs to hire a coach don’t hire Ellis unless Carli comes with. Ellis was forced into every big decision in the WC, including having a dedicated DM, and Carli went into beast mode.

        I will give Ellis credit for being unscoutable. Coaches literally didn’t know what the team would look like one game to the next. Those crappy short corners that we kept seeing turned into those A Wild Carli Appears corners we scored on today. How would Japan know we were going decide to play soccer and not whatever that was earlier.

  • :D

    newsouth,dont hang yourself just yet.

    • newsouth

      I didn’t watch the game, just found out this minute who won. It don’t matter, because I still won’t watch a game with Wambach on the roster. Unfortunately, I’m not as deep-rooted as you are. Really, I don’t feel anything, did my part in the build up. Lastly, I’ll be rooting for their opponent in the 1st tomato can tour game too.

      • Altius

        newsouth, do you support/root for any specific country’s national team?

        • guest

          i think he is a brazil fan and speedforce fan. lol

          • Virginia Rules

            What does it say about someone’s soccer acumen when their favorite player is a track athlete? After Brazil he jumped on the Germany bandwagon. The man knows losing.

      • ladywing

        Nobody cares.

      • David K Anderson

        Gosh, that’s real neato…

      • Lorehead

        Do you think you could mail me a bottle of your tears? Thanks.

    • justsomeguy

      he doesn’t watch any games, but he somehow knows so much about what happens every match, and which players were good and which players sucked

  • Tikitaka

    “Ms. Lloyd, well she always does this to us”. The best quote ever! In all seriousness, Japan is such a respectable team, and I wish them the best. Sooooo happy for the US though! I never stopped believing in this team, which is a lot more than so many people can say. Proud supporter!!!

  • NYRick

    3 other things…

    1. Pass of the match: Brian to Heath for the goal. Sweet. And a real big goal too.
    2. Naho sub out early. That was strange. Maybe the genius outsmarted himself a bit or was really shellshocked at that point. No way I take her off if I want any chance to try to make it respectable.
    3. Classy move by Ellis making Rampone the final sub late. She deserved to be on the pitch for the final time as a champion.

    • Altius

      That Brian pass to Heath looked easy. It was NOT. Superb choice and stellar execution.

      • NYRick

        Lightening fast too. I love how Alex was basically in the back of the net with her arms raised. The ball almost hit her.

        • Ya. What was that all about?

    • kernel_thai

      1) Brian has soccer esp
      2) Yeah didnt get that. Ud think if u needed a bunch of goals ud want her out there.

      3) I was hoping to see Engen but I get the Rampone thing.

      • mockmook

        Is that Brina Scurry? 😉

        • kernel_thai

          lol, I corrected it before I saw ur comment…at the very least I would have said something snarky ; p

      • mockmook

        No fair!!!!

        Correcting your comment and leaving mine hanging out there — all punch-line and no set-up.

    • Tae

      #1. Moe to Heath for the goal is my favorite goal of the tournament due to the players involved. But I think my favorite pass in that game has to be Moe to Heath who then assisted to Holiday. A vertical pass splitting two defenders perfectly weighted to let Tobin take it in stride.

      • guest

        Is a failed clearance really an assist(as much as I love Heath)?

        • Technically anyways. Half these goals seem to come from failed crosses/clearances anyways some games.

      • kernel_thai

        The best part of it was Brian, despite seemingly being stuck as last middie back, managed to get forward on a few occasions. That’s the interchange that Ellis has been hoping for.

        • nwslfan

          Holiday is a very generous, team first player.

    • Calci0

      #2 Puzzled me the moment I saw it. Kawasumi provided the ball that lead to the 1st goal. And the ball that lead to the PK against England. Why sub her of all people off?!?

  • ladywing

    Tonight we are gonna party like it’s 1999 !!!!!!!.

    • NYRick

      “I was dreamin’ when I saw Carli’s golazo from so far away.
      Because when I woke up this mornin’, could’ve sworn that she and Wambach were going to ruin my day.

      Japan seemed lazy, first 16 minutes there US jerseys runnin’ everywhere.
      Press once again not starting, so I thought I wouldn’t even care.

      Say say two thousand zero zero party over, oops, out of time
      So tonight I’m gonna party like it’s nineteen ninety-nine.”

      • kevin

        Feeling’s getting stronger
        Music’s getting longer too
        I wanna take you higher!!!

        boom shaka-laka-laka
        boom shaka-laka-laka

        higher!!!

  • Miami66

    Such a fantastic game they played. I think the sun did play a minor role, probably when Kaihori was off her line for the 4th goal. But they weren’t going to be denied no matter what after losing in 2011. Well, if Carli Lloyd wasn’t there, then maybe they could’ve lost. Feel a bit bad for the defender.

    Wambach in an interview after gave a shoutout to the players who didn’t make the squad, naming Crystal Dunn. Nice gesture! Scary that a player like Dunn is on the horizon for 2019.

  • David K Anderson

    Carly Llegend…

    • Steglitz49

      Verily. The Geoff Hurts of WoSo.

      High time to cash in if not print money.

  • kernel_thai

    Not only did we break the three star barrier but this is the first time a team has won both Algarve and WC.

  • See? I told you Tobin Heath was very talented. And I don’t even think she is anywhere near her full potential. If she keeps getting chances to be better that’s exactly what she will be.

  • snishy

    -I’m going to have to be the debbie downer on Lloyd’s 3rd goal. Luck played a big part in that goal. Kaihori was staring into the sun and then she slipped on the field. If she hadn’t slipped, there would have been a great chance she would’ve made it back in time to catch/bat away the ball. Then, obviously, there’s the hits the post and goes in when it could’ve easily been hits the post and goes out. There is no doubt that the goal was impressive due to the vision that Lloyd had to catch the keeper out and due to the fact that she was able to get it on frame from 50 yards out, that’s incredible! She deserves all the accolades and praise because she went into beast mode this game. Just saying that that goal was extremely lucky.
    -Got goosebumps from seeing that 3rd star added to the jerseys. Just amazing.
    -Still don’t know how I feel about Ellis as the coach overall, but for now, she’s put on a master class in these last 2 critically important games.
    -Ironic how we got to the final with defense and won with offense. And by offense, I mean a 1-Lloyd wrecking crew with 2 Holiday and Heath cherries on top.
    -I’ll be waiting for the documentary on The 15’ers.
    -Loved the post-game coverage because you get to see the players just being incredibly happy and silly. Cases in point: Brian and Johnston throwing the confetti in the air and making confetti angels and Alex rocking the trophy like a baby.
    -Funniest in-game moment: I agree with Rick on this one, Alex already being in the back of the goal when Heath scored was hilarious. You just see her stuck in the net trying to get out and the ball just sails into the goal right next to her.

    • atalba

      It’s quite natural, or common, for keepers to stumble as they’re going back like that. It seems comical, but I’ve seen it so many times. She got caught off her line; simple as that.

      • It’s not comical. You try and stop a ball coming in from 50 yards out and you are completely out of position. If that’s not enough to completely rattle a GK – at least in that moment – I don’t know what is.

        🙂

    • dw

      Someday someone should really point out the merits of goalies playing 30 yards out. Because I for one don’t see any.

      • Calci0

        More often than no thought, they are able to beat fwds to though balls defenders let through.

        • dw

          Fair enough.

      • It’s all about making yourself big.

    • mwriley101

      Lucky? Try putting a ball 54 yds, over the keeper, on frame, in a pressure packed match. Not to mention winning the ball and having the presence of mind to look up and find the keeper while still in your own half of the field. That was a galaxy class goal.

      • guest

        The luck part is not Lloyd’s shot but the keeper being so far out and tripping over her feet in an attempt to stop Carli’s excellent shot. Without the stumble i think the Japanese keeper has that ball.

        • Calci0

          You could use that same logic on many goals a GK lets in……..

          • guest

            Really? How many goal are scored from 60 yards out?

  • Tony Lee

    Congrats USA.

    • Steglitz49

      Indeed.

  • NYRick

    Considering that this was a WC final with a massive TV audience, it can easily be argued that Carli’s 54 yard Beckam-like goal was maybe the greatest goal in modern soccer history, men or women. You have to take in the stage. I know Kelly Smith called it the greatest women’s goal of all time, but really has anyone seen anything that sick? This was a world cup final for crying out loud. And it was a dagger too. Game over right there if it wasn’t already. Credit to Japan for not having that match turn into a 7-nil or 8-1 match.

    Also, when watching the first 20 minutes, did anyone else think of the Brazil-Germany WC semi last summer? You almost couldn’t believe what you were watching. And Holiday’s goal was a great one time volley. Most players would have tried to take that down first or worse made a mess of the volley.

    • Steglitz49

      Carli’s agent has a lot of material to work with. More than enough.

      • NYRick

        Just read something on ESPN that her value is already skyrocketing. She picked up 50K and counting Twitter followers after the 3rd goal. An autographed card of hers on EBay was going for $10 this morning, now it is going for about $220 tonight. Her agent says he is talking to big sponsors for her now (McDonald’s etc.). It’s estimated that she may have made herself 5 mil tonight alone.

        What she essentially did was throw 6 TD passes in the SuperBowl with the whole country watching on a Sunday night primetime. Kudos to her for delivering in such a manner on the biggest stage. Amazing really. Total beast mode. Hopefully it helps WoSo. I was wondering why the NWSL didn’t produce a TV commercial and work a deal with Fox to just play it a bit during post game etc. I think we all got a little sick of the Fiat ad and the Alex Nationwide ad. Thankfully, that song is over.

        • Steglitz49

          It did not do Doug Williams much good, did it? Everyone still talks about the QB Williams beat, setting all sorts of records.

          • NYRick

            That’s a very astute point there Steg. You are right on that.

          • Steglitz49

            Steg is always right, right?

          • No.

          • Calci0

            But it did Steve Young wonders, and he DID throw 6 TD’s!!!!

          • Steglitz49

            Hmm. I think I understand your comment but would prefer not to have to face that reality in 2015 but the Williams sisters have faced it for a long time now as did Yamaguchi.

        • WNY had (very crappy) ads locally.

          • Steglitz49

            She plays for Houston.

        • Futbol5

          I sure hope Carli makes some endorsement money off of this. She has certainly put in the work.

        • John

          And she’ll get nominated for the Puskas award…and should easily make Top 3 if not win it outright. Plus, she’ll get top 3 for the Ballon D’Or.

    • I know I couldn’t believe my eyes just 3 minutes in. But it just kept getting more and more intense. It really was on the verge of becoming even worse than it did.

      Can anyone think of a worse performance by an exceptional team? Or was Japan only half the team they appeared to be? England embarrassed them too remember.

      • Steglitz49

        FIFA’s draw has been much criticized.

        Mind you, France could have tactically gotten themselves over on Canada and Japan’s side of the draw but were too stupid.

        • I’m not so sure the draw was really that bad. I mean look at some of the matchups we wouldn’t have had if it was “set up better”.

          • Steglitz49

            There is something wrong when the match for 3rd place is more exciting than the final.

            In WC-14 Germany did trounce Brazil but the final was close. Also, that Brazil side was missing two key players (Thiago Silva, who incidentally is a supporter of WoSo, and Neymar).

          • guest

            It may have just been a match up thing. England have been playing solid defense the whole tournament and just happened to be better than the Germans on that day(it was not exactly Germany’s best effort).

          • Steglitz49

            England playing Germany is always a match. Even losing 0-3 at Wembley!

            The English clubs and the FA have deep pockets. England could come to dominate WoSo, at least in Europe, if they manage this outcome well.

          • ARED

            It’s a matchup thing, b/c as we saw Germany could not (without Kessler and Maroszan) create much of anything against a good and organized defensive team. In three matches against France, USA, and England, they scored one goal, and that came on a fortuitous penalty.

            Also just a single additional goal against Norway. 18 goals against Ivory Coast, Thaliand, and Sweden, but only 2 against Nor, Fra, USA, and England.

          • Right. But that was England’s bad luck. Not FIFA’s fault.

          • guest

            France and Germany should not have had to play each other in the Quarter finals as a result of both winning their groups regardless of whether or not France should have tried to place second.

          • ARED

            Well, do you want it set up for matchups or set up for “Fair Play”? har har.

            France, Germany, and Sweden being together in a quarter was criminal, as was Japan, Australia, and Brazil. Meanwhile USA had Colombia and China, while England and Canada were free to battle it out in the weakest bracket.

          • Brackets are not made to be fair. In fact they are unfair by their very nature. 1st seeds playing last place seeds? Do you think that’s fair?

          • Guest

            It’s not about fair really. It’s about wanting to see the best teams in the final, not the quarter and semi finals.

          • ARED

            Are you talking about American sports now? I am talking about specifically at a World Cup, where there will always be a bit of squabbling over which teams are “Pot 1” teams, but beyond that choice -and giving the host position A-1, everything should be completely random. But FIFA admitted to stacking the draw for the USA and Canada, while making it as hard as possible for France and Germany.

            After the group stage there are 4 quarters. FIFA set it so 2 were VERY stacked, and 2 were very empty. That is clearly not fair, and even if it were, the USA -as the #2 ranked team -certainly didn’t deserve that honor over Germany.

          • Germany #1. That’s funny. Call back when they can maintain that position for more than one ranking cycle.

          • ARED

            Ok, now you’re ignoring the main point and focusing on whether Germany deserved their ranking? It didn’t matter what the rankings were, b/c FIFA set the knockout draw based on which TEAMS they wanted to advance. That is the problem. If they had said “there’s a silly ranking formula and a silly bracket set up, but after asignning one seeded team to each WC Group, it is random” it would have been fine. Silly perhaps, but fair. Instead it was smart financially (maybe), but clearly unfair.

            And the Germans might reply “USA WC Champs?….That’s funny, call us back when they beat us with our best player and without the referee’s help”. ; p

          • We did beat them… With their best players… And the ref had no idea what she was doing in regards to either team…

          • ARED

            Well, that really just isn’t true….

            Enjoy the win, celebrate, have fun, be crazy. But is there need to resort to taking shots at opponents -esp when there are more than a few out there to be taken at “you”.

            (ie: Kessler, and Marozsan. No red card for JJ, no yellow card for Solo. Imaginary penalty for USA, before which they did not score. USA won, so credit to them and enjoy. But let’s not rewrite history.).

          • Whatever makes you sleep at night.

          • ARED

            No, I just watch a baseball game for that… ; )

      • A_Dog_Without_A_Clutch

        Japan was better team than they were in 2011, but sometimes ignorance is bliss. They did better at creating their chances but seem to uptight in finishing- too much deliberation when delicacy was needed.

  • John

    Carli will probably win the Ballon D’Or now. What a game.

    • Steglitz49

      There is always Marta …

      • A_Dog_Without_A_Clutch

        Sasic has the better overall resume this year; however, the women’s game is overdefined by the international game so Lloyd is the likely winner. (Although, technically there is no such thing as called a “Women’s Balon D’Or”).

        • Steglitz49

          Sasic blew a penalty. Had she scored, Germany would have won and won the WC. Sasic should not be anywhere near the Ballonette d’Or.

          • That’s a curious position. The US had plenty of time to do what they do best. Dramatics.

          • A_Dog_Without_A_Clutch

            Yet that reinforces my argument that women’s game is overdefined by the international game. She won the women’s CL, was second in the FBL (leading scorer I believe in one of those competitions), and the “dissappointing” 4th place was still technically an improvement. Sasic is in the final three at least.

            Probably- Henry, Lloyd, Sasic

          • Steglitz49

            Your point about internationals is well taken. Quite large crowds turn up for international friendlies and Euro-13 was to practical purposes sold out, but even important club matches don’t make the spectator grade.

            We will get a small indicator on August 1st, when for the first time the women’s FA cup will be played at Wembley. Given England’s success, it ought to be sold out — but will it?

          • ARED

            Well I agree it should be a big match, but 90,000 is a lot for any match in any sport around the world. This WC final only had what, 50,000+? Of course I think it could have drawn many more if the venue were larger.

          • Steglitz49

            Since it was staged there the first time in 1923 — remembered for the white horse — the men’s FA Cup final has always sold out. Let’s hope that people show their support for the ladies by going along.

          • ARED

            Perhaps, but I can’t tell you much about the 1966 season in the English First Division, but I can tell you a bit about the World Cup that year….

            It may be over-defined by some amount, but 1) People live/dream for World Cups and always will, and, 2) In the women’s game the club competitions are not (or barely) self-sustaining financially, while the WC is a big hit.

            So on two fronts, I’d say it certainly deserves to be the top of the mountain. But I also would agree that the club game is growing -and needs to.

          • A_Dog_Without_A_Clutch

            1. People eventually lived/dreamed for the World Cup, but remember your English team poo-pooed the event and did bother to show up until 1950 where they embarrassed themselves with an early exit. However, they had and still have a beloved domestic league that can carry the soccer culture no matter how they finish in the WC.

            2. Countries flat-out banning women to play contributes to an uncultivated culture to sustain a leagues throughout the world. In the US, women’s soccer is paradoxically under/overregualted that contributes to their unsustainability.

          • ARED

            1) *People coming up in the past 30+ years live/dream about the WC, it is universally accepted as the highlight, and it’s popularity transcends any single country’s pro league. (My point was actually that I don’t care much about the English league history, but do happen to know the English team won the WC that year, as en example of how the WC matters more).

            2) *Unless or until they are able to truly cash in professionally.

        • dw

          I’m glad you are not a judge of my resume…

          • A_Dog_Without_A_Clutch

            So are you saying one moment should define a person in his or her profession? Where is the line? Should Carli Lloyd, Tobin Heath and Shannon Boxx not be on the team for “succumbing to the pressure” in 2011?

    • kernel_thai

      And Ellis FIFA Coach of the Year? Im afraid I may have a wry smile over that one.

      • Steglitz49

        Who else? It is a world cup year and the US won, beating the reigning champions in the final and Germany in their semifinal.

      • John

        Yes…she’s a shoe-in for that. I’d expect Carli also gets nominated for the Puskas Award for the 50 yarder.

  • Steglitz49

    The world of WoSo should rejoice at US winning the World Cup. Certainly rather than Germany.

    I have long contended that WoSo worldwide needs a vibrant and dynamic pro-league. Winning OG-12 made it possible to set up the NWSL. Now it can be grown and developed.

    WoSo in Europe has gone down a strange alley which may be a blind. Briefly, the clubs prepared to spend on their ladies are dominating. What took the men 30 years, the ladies have done in 5 years.

    The NWSL is based on the classic NFL principles of trying to keep the teams even to create excitement. There is also a team salary ceiling.

    What the NWSL must not become is some farm-league for Australians. Instead, teams must scout in Africa and Asia too.

    This is America’s chance to drive WoSo forward and shape it, as America did in its early days. Don’t fumble on the 5 yd line, please.

    • I’m still not sold on the NWSL. I don’t expect this World Cup to pump anywhere near as much into the league as the Olympics did. What there was to pump has already been used up.

      • Steglitz49

        If the NWSL does not grow after this, true pro-WoSo is doomed. Instead, WoSo will (continue to) be kept by the wealthy men’s teams, federations and the odd private person.

        England were successful. They started spending after the debacle of Euro-13, although they had started for the Olympics the year before. Granted, Man Utd have yet to reopen their ladies division but City is more than making up for it.

        France is going to pump money in to be ready for 2019, maybe already in Rio. Norway has the money but may not have the will. In short, pro-WoSo would be a paying hobby in 4 or 5 big countries.

        The NWSL had better succeed.

        • The NWSL is good for scouting, but I’m not positive it’s needed.

          • Steglitz49

            If you did not have the NWSL, what would you have?

          • More camps I suppose.

          • Steglitz49

            FIFA and the other federations won’t stand for that.

          • Is there a regulation for that? I seem to remember something now. If so what is it?

          • Steglitz49

            I do not know if it is a regulation in writing but after the previous US league went belly up and Pia relied on extra camps and friendlies (and matches against boy teams) allegedly the powerful FAs complained to FIFA. That resulted in the plans of the NWSL which was set up after the OG gold.

            FIFA, UEFA and all the other confederations contend that soccer is a club game on to which the international tournaments are bolted on as a superstructure. The clubs are the workshops where the jewels are crafted; the internationals the shop windows where they are displayed.

            The NWSL solves the problem for the US, Canada and Mexico, though what Mexico gets out of it is a bit unclear.

            That does not mean that FIFA does not allow other countries to run without a pro-league but FIF can’t ignore the US.

            I would rather that the ROW adopted the NCAA-system but I can’t see it happening.

          • So basically everyone cries that they can’t beat us, and looks for any excuse they can?

          • Steglitz49

            No. It is the age-old principle of soccer.

            Soccer is the world’s game, unlike cricket or rugby. It developed and evloved in its way. It is not perfect but it is what it is.

            The USSF could fight for WoSo being based on something like the NCAA, but I doubt that they care not least when they are winning.

          • Stop bringing up the NCAA. The only similar thing is how corrupt both are.

          • A_Dog_Without_A_Clutch

            That response typifies the problem with women’s soccer. The World Cup is a cute promotional event to promote league football. It is not the defining event!

            The country you were born is contrived way to test your mettle as a player as oppose to being a professional in a theoretically boundless environment. Brazil could be awash with midfield talent that displayed in all types of leagues yet that can’t play them all in a 23-woman roster. Also they don’t produce enough defenders- should they devalued because a handful of nations can punish them for that?

          • um?

          • Calci0

            Needed?!? Maybe not. But if that’s the case, nor are the WOSO leagues in France or Germany, England, etc…… But I think women should be able to have a professional league like the men. Male US players could try to ply their trade in the lower rungs of Euro football, but I think the MLS is a better fit. Why shouldn’t the reigning WC champs have their own league?!?

          • Because you need to make money to keep a league running.

            Hey. It’s nice having a women’s team in Rochester. But nice doesn’t pay the bills.

  • The best thing about winning this World Cup? We don’t have to listen to “99ers blah blah blah”. 16 years of that gets old.

    • Steglitz49

      That was one of the reasons I was hoping Japan would win again. The other was to thumb my nose at FIFA.

      FIFA got the outcome they wanted. FIFA won the turf battle. With a new bunch at the head of FIFA, FIFA will be awesome.

      • dw

        With a new bunch, FIFA will still be FIFA.

    • Miami66

      Nothing can ever top that though, nor should be expected to. It just transcended so many things, and was more than just a game, and it showed what happens with support. There was a whole storyline of Title IX being born in the same year as Mia Hamm. Not to mention it is incredibly rare to win on home soil. Combing men and women – just France ’98 and USA ’99 have done it since 1978.

      And that’s the point of 2015 (and 2011 even though Japan won). The big story is there was a big sports game that people tuned into and talked about because that ceiling was broken in 1999. Its not more than just a game anymore in the US. Though there are still some barriers as a whole.

      • I’m not down playing 99. I’m just sick of it being talked about ad nauseam.

        • Abby #1 USA Fan USA #1 etc.

          Some people like the 99ers. You prefer Wambach to get all the attention. We get it.

          • Or Tobin Heath. But whatever. Really anyone who plays great soccer.

          • Guest

            Moe Brian is my personal MVP of the tournament. If Tobin can get out of her own damn way she has always had the potential to be a special player.

          • True. On both accounts.

      • Steglitz49

        5-2 against the current World Champions is pretty awesome.

    • Better

      You prefer to hear about Wambach for the next 16 yrs. The 99ers had a greater accomplishment.

      • guest

        The player who barely played in the last three games you think will get more credit than Carli Lloyd? Okay.

        • ARED

          I went to the ESPN page just to confirm my suspicion -and yes, Wambach’s name on the top and multiple headlines….

          Lloyd up there as well, but I’d say one was deserved while the other should have been a tertiary story.

          • guest

            That is more than a little depressing

  • Elaine

    Victory is sweet. Victory can erase all past ghosts. It must be extremely satisfying for Tobin, Carli, and Lauren to have performed and scored goals in this World Cup, considering what happened in 2011. Abby finally can retire knowing she is a World Cup champion. Carli played like a player possessed. I wouldn’t be surprised if she finally gets the recognition for FIFA and US POY awards. Honestly this team came together and peaked at the right time. Are they the best team in the world? Probably not. Were they the best team in the games that counted in this tournament? Absolutely yes. Congratulations!

    • Lorehead

      Are they the best team in the world? They just beat #2, #3 and #4 by multiple goals, drew #5 and won the group stage over them, and beat #6. Who else would the best team in the world be right now?

      • Elaine

        That’s a good point. Never would have seen this coming though. You must admit. Not until the China game. These three games were the best they’ve ever played in the Ellis/Sermanni tenure.

        • Steglitz49

          Not to take anything away from them but they did have a bit of good fortune, not least with Sasic miss in the SF. But, you have to grab your chances and not squander them, like Sweden did against Nigeria.

          Provided the US makes a good transition, the US could dominate WoSo like Brazil once did the men’s. The colleges should be overflowing with interested young women from abroad. The risk is that it will be squandered for short term gain like earning $250,000 each from fan tours.

          • ARED

            While I thought 2007 was a tough WC for the USA to win, I truly did believe that 2011 was a huge missed opportunity to begin a(nother) run of dominance. I’ve always considered Pia’s reign actually disappointing b/c of this, although I know that is almost heresy to say…. ; )

            “The rest of the world is getting better”, true. But the US still has the talent at the top and the depth to overcome all challengers -and most of them with ease.

          • Steglitz49

            WoSo does not have the same hold on the soccerplaying world as it does for the US. Granted, the smaller countries who have been good at WoSo, like Norway, Sweden and Denmark, but whose men can’t quite make it at the male top any longer, have paid a little attention to WoSo but not an awful lot.

            I expect as time goes by, the US will continue to dominate. Whether England, France or Germany can get in on the act remains to be seen, likewise Spain joining and Italy rising from the ashes.

            I suspect that UEFA will continue to work on solidifying the Champions League and the FA its cup with a final at Wembley. Maybe the FA will get behind their ladies as France must for the next WC but it is awfully hard to see anyone getting near the US now.

          • ARED

            Agreed, although I’d change the final sentence to “…awfully hard to see anyone getting *equal to the US now”. Fra/Ger/Jap are all near now, and likely to remain so -of course, depending on the definition of near.

            And, Sweden (men) just won the U-21 Euro -so don’t count on them staying down for long! (j/k, despite the success of the recent winners of that tournament, I don’t see Sweden actually replicating at the senior level).

          • Steglitz49

            Your definition of “near” is a strange one because the only team to threaten the US was Sweden who tied 0-0. The Germans lost narrowly but you must sink your penalties. No excuses there. As for France, we will never know how they would have played against the US.

            The US has the structure at college level. They have the money. What happened in 2003, 2007 and 2011 remains a mystery — except 2011 where they simply were not up to the task. Why they were 4 years later is an interesting question.

          • Calci0

            Finishing, Finishing, Finishing, Finishing, Finishing……….

          • Steglitz49

            as Sasic learnt the hard way — and Carli, Heath and Boxx 4 years ago — and could explain why Press did not make the grade?

          • ARED

            Your conclusion that the Germans and Australians did not threaten the US seem strange to me, b/c I see without Hope Solo a loss to begin the tournament. And without a missed penalty and fortunate yellow instead of red, a loss to end it. That’s near enough for me to call it “near”…..lol.

          • Guest

            They played a lot less direct in 2015 which led to a lot more possession compared to 2011. The defense was was also much better this year.

          • Steglitz49

            In 2011 Sweden beat the US in their group game. This time they tied. But, this was an old and tired Sweden, missing several young players from injury.

            In the short term, unless Ger, Fra or England can raise their games, international WoSo looks like belonging to the US, the way Brazil dominated the men’s for an awfully long time and thereby built their brand name. In such a scenario, the club championships like the Champions League, FA cup and even the Nestlé cup will take prominence.

          • guest

            I think Ger, Fra, Eng can all raise their game’s and compete with the US. The Problem will always be that the US has a deeper player pool. Soccer is among the most popular sports for young women in the US. US Men’s soccer has to compete with Football and Basketball watering down the talent pool on their side. If soccer ever becomes as popular as American Football in this country we may see the US exert dominance on the Men’s side as well. China is another country that could have an equally ridiculous sized player pool.

          • Steglitz49

            Your point is well taken. The next 8 years will be fascinating.

            My concern is the injury rate. The joint injuries, not least the ACL-tears, and the concussions. We may have reached or even exceeded what the bodies of young ladies can cope with. The US came with the squad they wanted and suffered no injuries. Not all others did.

            There is only a WC every 4 years. I doubt FIFA will make another biased draw — and France, the next hosts, were the loudest critics — so hopefully it will be a fair fight.

            Before then there are 4 more Champions League, FA cup and Nestlé cup finals, not counting the other domestic cups and leagues — but only 4 NWSLs. College matches galore, though.

          • guest

            I am not sure what to make of the injury rate and am not sure if the US conditioning and fitness programs have anything to do with their health. Morgan however was injured to start this year and almost missed the tournament(nightmare for FIFA). Who knows how healthy she really was.

            Also, if you are implying that woso has a long way to go on the club level then I would agree with you. There just does not seem to be enough great players playing in the same leagues. Hopefully the NWSL on FOX is successful and helps put money into the sport but at this point I remain skeptical. While I do not know if the NWSL will succeed I do know that soccer’s popularity in the US is growing and ratings have been up. There have been more MLS and Premier league games on over the last year then I can ever remember.

          • Steglitz49

            A couple of old friends, who are not that intersted in WoSo, told me that they watched a few matches but thought they were boring.

            It would be interesting to compare the US TV viewing figures of last year’s men’s WC for the two SFs and the final with this year’s ladies. The men probably have it.

          • Guest

            I think the finals of the Women’s World Cup was actually slightly higher than Germany Argentina but don’t hold me too that.

          • Calci0

            I still think the 2011 WWC, was a huge success in getting more attention focused on WOSO. Would a win have been better?!? Yes, but I think it’s hard to how much better.

          • Steglitz49

            Do you mean WoSo in general or WoSo in the US? My take has always been that WC-11 worked wonders for WoSo everywhere and the PR-machine helped the US out, while WC-15 is too early to tell.

            I suspect the English lasses will make out well from their WC, second only to the US.

            As for the ROW, not that many games were on while people were awake, which can’t be helped and is nobody’s fault, but out of sight is out of mind not least when the young men’s U21 Euro was so exciting!

          • ARED

            Yeah, it worked out to be a nice money and marketing success in the USA, no? But as I said, I was a bit surprised b/c of how poorly I thought the US actually played at times, compared to their potential, which made them play such close matches and eventually come up short.

            But the growing success in the USA seemed to fit that time well, and the WWC coming as a follow-up to the men’s seemed to help keep interest strong and growing from year to year in 2010-11 and now again in 14-15. And it seems that Americans believe anything is a big deal if ESPN tells them so, even if their “epic, best goal ever” is actually in the QF while the real “epic, best goal ever” is scored against them by Sawa as she leads Japan to the win….

            Lastly, I think the great and professional hosting job by Germany helped the WWC and the USA interest, as well as the preferential times for US and European viewing. Not sure how many Americans were dedicated enough to watching the China tournament in 2007.

        • The best in the Ellis/Sermanni tenure? It was one of the best games they have EVER played. I know… It’s near impossible for a lot of people to admit that about a team coached by Ellis.

          • ARED

            She spoke of the three games. The final is one thing, but they did still only beat a modest China team 1-0. So that was the start of the run, and it culminated pretty well.

          • Making a great team look ridiculous.

          • Quiz

            Define “best”.

      • Calci0

        THIS!!!!!

      • mockmook

        In this WWC, they beat #1, #4, and #10. Drew #5.

        Earlier in the year beat #3 and #6.

        USA is #2 (for the moment).

        • Lorehead

          For the moment, yes. Freudian slip. Everybody knows who’s really #1 right now.

    • dj

      name a better team and please don’t say Francia is better. Winning a friendly don’t mean nada

      • Elaine

        It was a process, just like Ellis and the players have said. So I think we can say they knew what they were doing, while all of us here on the EQ do not know a thing. Happy for the win.

        • NYRick

          The process was often shaky though. Top soccer analysts and many former US players were highly critical of how things were going right up to the Germany match. Not just EQ. I’ve lived through the Tom Coughlin/Eli Manning era for the Giants. For 10 years together, they have driven their fanbase crazy with inconsistency and stubbornness (Coughlin). But they will only be remembered for two glorious SB runs and delivering on that given Sunday. The other 8 years or so (many not even making the playoffs with a very good team) are pushed aside. Winning (and not just winning, but winning a big title) cures everything and blurs the bad very nicely.

        • Sydonia

          No, no, no. Many comments here on why Wambach was wrong for this team in the WC. We were right. There was one old bag who proved us wrong, Lloyd. The other old women were not even playing, which is what we wanted: Boxx, Rampone, Wambach. Their spots could have gone to new players to get valuable experience.

          • Davis

            But Wambach was right for this team. I think she was the heart of the team that helped them keep their eye on the prize. In some ways, she was absolutely perfect for this team.

      • ARED

        Best team right now yes, and best team in world-class talent and in depth yes. But while friendlies don’t mean nada, the USA was struggling in every competition -and it took until pretty much the last minute for the final “switches” to be flipped.

        So I would not say the best team didn’t win, but I would say France has the right to be upset that they didn’t get a chance at the US when it mattered. (To say nothing of Nadine Kessler).

        • NYRick

          Not for nothing, but playing Germany without Kessler, and ironically Maroszan (who only played a few minutes and was badly hurt) is like taking on Golden State in game 7 and Steph Curry has a hamstring injury. Throw in the QF battle with France a couple days before when the US had a easy match. In the end though, championship teams get it done through any adversity or challenge. This US team simply wanted it more than the other top challengers. It was obvious.

          • Vasa

            US had an easy path until Germany. And then Morgan took a dive into Krahne outside the 18, and the rest is history. WC title owing to fakery, diving, simulation in the semifinal.

          • Tim

            Only a moron thinks that was a dive but there are a lot of them posting on this site so carry on.

          • guest

            i think this might be newsouth’s wife.

          • Steglitz49

            If he is not a German then he is either a Swede or a Finn or a Swedish-speaking Finn. Certainly the spiritual partners to many.

            Germany lost its SF when Sasic blew her PK. Losers, weepers. Then the Lionesses put them to the sword.

          • ARED

            Indeed. You have to feel for Kessler all the more now (than when her injury first occurred). Maroszan at least got to try, but it hurt to watch her play as well (even though she was great in the quarterfinal).

            But this is why I think there is so much pressure -and criticism -for Ellis. She has the best team (both in high-end talent, and depth). That is no guarantee you will win, but it does make things dicey when you’re having a tough spell. But other nations know that losing a Kessler, or not getting the best from Necib, can pretty much put them on the brink especially if something else goes wrong (another injury, calls, tough draw, etc).

          • Calci0

            Sounds “almost” like you are slighting the US….. There were no concerns when Germany was running through the group stage. Or when they beat Sweden. But it’s like some already had a built in clause if Germany lost a game.

          • Steglitz49

            Marzosan played in those games.

            Germany’s problem was missing a pk. As the US learnt 4 years ago, missing pks is not a good idea.

  • Steglitz49

    Is it good for WoSo that a final between the favorites and the reigning world champions is so onesided?

    That is a question that WoSo must ask itself. In 1970 the Dream Team beat Italy 4-1 and in 1958 the proto-dream-team beat the hosts, Sweden, 5-2. Granted, Germany trounced Brazil 7-1 a year ago but that was in a semi-final and Brazil was missing Thiago Silva and Neymar (Silva supports WoSo btw).

    If WC-11 was part of a rising trajectory for WoSo, what happens next? The US players stand to make a lot of money but the rest of WoSo?

    • AlexH

      That’s sports. Men’s soccer seems to be thriving in the USA and the debutante ball for soccer in the USA was the 1994 WC which ended in an incredibly boring 0-0 draw. I think woso will survive.

      • Steglitz49

        The 1994 WC had a lot of positives about it and quite a few matches are still remembered even though the final was dull.

        In 1994 Sweden tied Brazil in their group game but because of the format played them again in the semi-final, which Brazil won 1-0. All the QFs were exciting.

        Maybe the weakness for WoSo is that the US is too dominant in its own hemisphere? Japan, Australia, North- and South-Korea and now again China, play close-run matches in Asia. The Euros are generally decent stuff and even if Germany wins all the time, they are not as dominat as the US are.

        Another way to look at it is, that the 4 SFs are from countries with big populations and good GDPs — USA 315m, Japan 145m, Germany 84m and England 50m. France, the next host is 60m and China … . Against that argument is that Spain was the only UEFA side not to get out of their group!

        • JL

          The 4 semifinalists all have a strong domestic league.

          • Steglitz49

            Canada and Mexico are cofounders of the NWSL. It did them no good, though Canada missed a couple of players through injuries.

            If resources and commitment are key factors, England will get stronger as had better France, while both Spain and Italy can make an impact. Norway has the money but 5m are 5m when the cows come home.

          • Calci0

            It did Canada well, because they made it further than in WWC past….

          • Canada and Mexico didn’t commit. They also don’t have any cities in the league.

          • Steglitz49

            Mexico were royally screwed during the first season. Canada did OK. The US won the WC, which was the purpose of the NWSL.

          • Mexico wasn’t screwed. Their players were not good enough to make teams. Short of paying for their own players I’m not sure what they did.

            Having a city in the league would help, but probably not by much.

    • A_Dog_Without_A_Clutch

      Japan is great team that played too aware that they were not generating goals. Too much self-induced pressure meant they were as alert as their accustomed to.

      • Steglitz49

        I got the impression that they considered even getting to the final an achievement. They probably thought in terms of a 0-2 or 1-3 loss, not a cricket score.

        • A_Dog_Without_A_Clutch

          I think they came out wanting to win, but not being efficient in their finish prior to this game contributed their collective yips.

    • dw

      I posted elsewhere, look to Sasaki for the one sided score.

      • Steglitz49

        Who was to blame for that men’s debacle of 1-7 which nearly was 0-8 last year?

        • Guest

          Thiago Silva for getting a stupid second yellow and getting suspended of course.

          • Steglitz49

            Indeed. It was stupid and they really missed him. The Brazilian defense was a shambles.

          • ARED

            And FIFA, for punishing yellow cards so harshly, yet having referees who think that a player taking 8 seconds to restart a play is a worse offense than a dangerous slide tackle from behind.

            Players must know the tolerance levels and suspension rules, but it almost seems like FIFA (and UEFA) want for big players to end up missing the Finals and Semifinals of these events.

          • Steglitz49

            Baah

        • Calci0

          Zúñiga?!?

  • JJ

    US scorers this world cup: Megan Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd, Abby Wambach, Christen Press, Kelley Ohara, Lauren Holiday, Alex Morgan, Tobin Heath.

  • AlexH

    I think the American way of muscle, hustle, and wheels just proved its worth. Cry havoc and let loose the dogs of war!….. and if we can scratch together an artist or two to ride along so much the better.

  • Jersey Shore Rises

    I for one will not call out all the Carli Lloyd haters these threads have had over the last year. Instead I will just congratulate the entire USWNT on a devastating win they did in the FIFA 2015 Women Cup….

    Congrats and so proud as an American and may 2019 bet just as well…

    • I was going to ask if that really was needed, but I did the same thing, so I suppose I can’t really judge.

  • eL cascador (RIP Cdr Wank)

    I was starting to say the USWNT is slowly turning into what the men US basketball team is.
    They will left only Euro titles for the Euro teams and they will win everything else.
    But I keep this line should the US win the next OG which is more likely because the OG is more demanding on fitness and athletism than the WC is. Teams like Japan or France will struggle to follow. Teams like Germany, Australia and Canada have a fair chance.

    Congrats to the US on that win. Many here in France knew that the US will make it (former OL coach Patrice Lair for instance)

    The USA need to improve its national league and its domination over WoSo would be complete.

    Now this WC is over hopefully European clubs should start its mercato. I look forward to this too.

    • kevin

      maybe creating an all-america copa america in the off-year comparable to the euro would be good too for the younger and developing players.

  • Jersey Shore Rises

    Did I call it, my Jersey Girl Carli Lloyd dominated the pitch yet we have people here implying she did not deserve the Golden Ball and her hat trick was due to circumstances… NYCRick time to step up and call them all out or look like a fool over the next few days…

    • Steglitz49

      NYRick already has. Read the comments.

      • Jersey Shore Rises

        Sorry Steg, it’s time for all the USWNT haters to respond to threads in which the USWNT is degraded…I’m sick and tired over the last 3 years dealing with people degrading our team and taking on the people that disagree with them. Time for NYCRick and others to take on their OWN USWNT haters and put them in their place..

        Go USWNT…

        • ARED

          I obviously understand why you are passionate and upset about “haters”, but are you saying you don’t want any criticism of the team here, or just that you thought some went too far?

        • Steglitz49

          I did my fair bit of fighting those slings and arrows too but remember — “in victory, magnanimity”, as the great man said.

    • dw

      Yeah, the circumstances being that she was bigger, stronger, faster, and just plain better. I’m as guilty as anyone else here. For all we say that Carli is unable to do, we didn’t put enough stock in what she does do. And what she does do, for at least the last week, made her the best player in the world (at least for the week and this WWC).

      • eL cascador (RIP Cdr Wank)

        The credit goes to Ellis and her coaching staff who figured out in which position Carli’s abilities shine the best. Lloyd as a DM was a waste of her capacity.

        • ARED

          I agree that changing things made the difference, but any concern or critique that it took JE 13 months to figure out a change was needed?

          • eL cascador (RIP Cdr Wank)

            Indeed. They did the right change at the right time. And the final result is all that matters…for now

          • ARED

            Fair enough. But I think I’m giving more credit the US players overall. But a ton to Ellis (or whichever coach/player) for those set piece plays. That had a huge impact, and created nightmares for the Japanese defense.

          • eL cascador (RIP Cdr Wank)

            When a team wins most of the credits goes to the players. When a team looses it is all the coaching staff’s fault. This is a constant principle in soccer.

          • Guest

            Still concerned and still don’t know if they really know what the problem was or if bandaids we applied. Brian and Heath are like midfield bandaids you can place them anywhere and they will improve ball movement and possession. We will find out soon if Jill Ellis actually has a clue.

          • ARED

            Haha, I like that, band-aids. Got a broken midfield, but don’t have time/desire to actually have it treated? Try a band-aid.

            The USA is certainly fortunate to have the luxury of being good enough to “play themselves into the tournament”. Otherwise the band-aid approach might be found out. And, at the risk of being drawing some ire, they did score 3 goals on set pieces and 1 from a once-in-a-lifetime midfield shot. And 1 from actual run of play. So as much as Heath and Brian improved the midfield, and Morgan created a lot of danger, they still seemed to have another level to go with ball movement and possession, and with turning that into goals. Might have been nice to work on that over the past 5-6 months….but hey, the band-aids worked!

          • Guest

            Morgan definitely helped the offense but I think even she would have struggled to look dangerous had the midfield kept up the atrocious play of the Sweden game.

          • ARED

            Agreed. She has the best ability (for the US, and maybe the world?) to create instant danger with her speed by beating a player, getting to a loose ball, or by letting Heath/Holiday/Rapinoe player her in behind the defense. So there would have been more danger, but the overall play would still have lagged.

          • Guest

            Run of play goal was a terrible clearance, the two Carli set pieces goals she was un marked, Moe to Tobin while being a great bang bang play should have been cleared by the keeper(great ball in by Holiday though) and I don’t think anyone expects to score from 60 yards out every game. Japan’s first goal was the nicest play of the night(JJ totally blundered that though). But I think I am being a little hyper critical. There is usually quite a bit of luck involved in every goal and I though for the most part of the first 16 minutes and at times in the second half our attack was looking very dangerous especially down the right flank. The interchanging and combinations down the right were better then anything I have seen from that side since for about 4 years.

          • ARED

            Yeah, I mean I’m not going around on this too hard since -well they just won the WC -but I have been left shaking my head at some of the thoughts/mindsets/comments of the team and the media.

            As we’ve said, 5-2 is awesome, as are set piece dominance and 60-yard goals. But as you said, Japan probably created more and better actual chances from open play, so take away the set pieces and it’d be a very interesting and tight match.

            Which leads to the underlying point. So, everyone agrees the team started slow, there was a change, then they played much better and beat China/Germany/Japan. But the company line is that the change was giving Lloyd more freedom. Really…? That is what did the trick? So in your old system she wasn’t allowed the freedom to attack set pieces? Or take penalties? Maybe they mean the freedom to shoot from midfield, but that was the last and only goal she scored that wasn’t a set piece, so how did her freedom help the team?

            1) It helped b/c with her freedom she got out of the midfield, allowing the others to run the game. This worked well, but left a bit to be desired when connecting to the forward(s).

            2) It helped b/c despite Lloyd floating mostly in the periphery of the build up play she was an improvement over AW -who at this point is an active deterrent, even on most aerial balls. Same for helping to press the opponent/backline -not really Lloyd’s strong suit, but she did get around a little bit.

            Not quite sure the story fully matches the reality, but in the end it doesn’t matter in 2015 as the celebrations continue.

          • Guest

            Agreed. Lloyd might be a great player but she really is not a fit for any modern offense. If she was stronger on the ball and possessed better decision making in the defensive third she would be an excellent DM. With a true playmaking CAM or another forward like Arod who links well with the midfield I do not see any reason why the team can’t be way better in the future. Also agree that the matches tell the full stories not the score lines. Oh well on to OG2016.

        • NYRick

          There are other US players (some on the current roster, some who wrongfully didn’t make this team) whom had their capacity wasted. That is the problem of a stacked program. Carli is fortunate her coach stuck with her, because she was pretty average, at times bad, much of the time adjusting to a different role that didn’t suit her. It is often understated how important a coach is in a player’s success. Belief and patience. Some coaches have their favorites on every team and Carli rewarded her coach’s belief. It doesn’t always happen that way.

          • eL cascador (RIP Cdr Wank)

            I am happy they give the key of the US play to Heath and Rapinoe though. Two superb players who have played couple years in France.

          • dw

            Smacks of revisionism to me. Kling and Krieger still very much on the ball, though less as WWC progressed.

      • Jersey Shore Rises

        Typical BS with your comments over the last 2 years saying how horrible Carli was….. Next…

        • dw

          Clearly I was wrong. Her style of play is not for me, but it wins World Cups. No competition on which is more important. She could have been a forward throughout. Maybe we would be even better? Think about it.

          • eL cascador (RIP Cdr Wank)

            True. She is more efficient in front of the goal than any other US forwards at the moment.

          • dw

            Well, there you go. Validation of a system where no forwards will score. Awesome win. We will deal with potential costs later, because they don’t matter now, right?

          • eL cascador (RIP Cdr Wank)

            Kind of. Victories give time, confidence and relief to think other things through.

          • dw

            Really? History tells me that all flaws are swept under the rug, and rose colored glasses are distributed to all. The only thinking things through will be how to keep on doin’ what we’re doin’.

          • guest

            I would say the position Lloyd played in the last to games was that of a secondary striker not a midfielder. The team arguably would have not looked much different if Syd had started instead Lloyd.

          • ARED

            The US team *definitely* would have looked much different if Leroux or Press started instead of Lloyd. Of course for the final you’d have to count on someone else on those set pieces, and do without the 50 yarder….lol.

            But I think that’d be an amazing team (with Morgan paired with a striker who can pressure defense and create chances in the run of play).

          • Calci0

            We have about a year to find out.

          • dw

            Scoreboard might have looked a lot different, though.

      • HM

        If Lloyd is going to be starting forward, where does Abbster fit?

    • NYRick

      Who on here is implying that she did not deserve the Golden Ball?

      Simple question though: you are either a relative (I’m assuming a close one) or maybe even the fiance. Correct?

      • eL cascador (RIP Cdr Wank)

        He is from New Jersey

      • ur wife used to being Christen

        Well being a relative is a whole lot better than randomly picking some woman and obsessing over her don’t you think?

  • ARED

    Congrats to the USA. Quite a game. Lloyd’s proven again that if she’s on form and getting chances it’s very hard to stop her. Those scoring feats are unlikely to be matched in a WC Final (M or W) during our lifetimes.

    Aside from the obvious role of set pieces, in this match the USA scored the most timely goals I’ve ever seen. Obviously started with the early goal off the first USA possession, followed by another immediately off the kickoff. But also Heath’s goal which came right when Japan had started to shake the USA’s confidence and was legitimately back in the match. The first two built the lead, the final one iced it. Japan played well in this match for the vast majority of play, but yet still got smoked.

    • FootballNowAndAlways

      You made a great point. I think Tobin Heath’s goal was the second most important American goal of the night (the most important being Lloyd’s third goal which essentially decided the game). If Heath hadn’t scored to diffuse the confidence instilled in the Japanese by their second goal, there is no telling what might have happened. There was plenty of time after their second goal and the deficit was only two goals at that point.

      • ARED

        Yeah, if you’re the team on the comeback trail you’ve dug so deep already, and just when you start to realize it’s actually possible, you get knocked flat on your back. Japan was creating plenty of attack, just struggling as always to finish things off -but Solo was flying around and made uncomfortable more than she has since the Australia match.

        I see the first two goals as the most important though, since without them the whole match would have been different. I don’t think Lloyd attempts or makes her midfield shot if she didn’t have 2, and a 3 goal lead already. It’s truly amazing how well Japan bounced back from that -the worst possible start, and it came in the final!

  • NYRick

    Just asking, anyone check to see if Carli Lloyd was the Budweiser Player of the Match on ussoccer.com recap?

    • Guest

      She is.

      • mockmook

        Pretty sure it was a rhetorical question. Though the BPotM selection does sometimes leave one scratching their head.

        • AlexH

          I wonder who would be PotM if Budweiser used some sort of FIFA point system.

  • john

    Once again I find myself speaking up for Ellis. Even if circumstances forced her to make her decisions/changes ylu can’t deny she glt them right. Instead of Brian she could have used Boxx or Chups. HAO for KO. Then there is the whole how to deploy everyone. No matter the circumstances Ellis glt more right than wrong. Furthermore, she showed a willingness to accept the input of others. Based on kur record here that doesn’t seem to be a strength of many of us.

    • ARED

      True, but she also could have used Averbuch, Long, Zerboni, JJ, or Lloyd in that position. Or incorporated Tymrak or Dunn, or used Heath and O’Hara from the start.

      Just pointing out that if she had played Boxx of Chups, she would have had herself to thank/blame for that….lol. It’s the blessing and the curse of being national team manager, esp for a nation with the immense talent of the USA -you’re the boss, it’s all up to you!

    • AlexH

      Well I’ll give her credit for her forward thinking. When she said that “modern soccer” doesn’t use a DM I had no idea she meant that “modern soccer” meant using two. I have no idea what she was thinking in pool play but I’ll give her credit for realizing that her plan wasn’t working and coming up with plan B. Lots of coaches would just persist with their strategy rather than admit that they were going down the wrong path so kudos to Jill.

  • AlexH

    So the cloud to this silver lining is that going forward we may have a CB problem. Julie Johnston had a very bad last 2 games. She made a dreadful mistake in the semis that could have been catastrophic had the ref shown the red, she was at fault in the first goal for Japan and then scored an own goal. CB’s don’t get to make mistakes in the biggest of games so I’m wondering whether she just needs some more experience to improve her consistency or whether, as more than a few have suggested on this page, she move up to the midfield.

    • NYRick

      She is entrenched now and a media and fan darling. She will never be replaced for the next 8 years if she stays healthy. Even when she is not healthy her place is guaranteed. That’s how it works with this program. Her set piece ability overshadows her mistakes in many people’s eyes. She is still and young and developing player with a minimal amount of caps, let’s not forget that. I still see her as a bit slow and over aggressive but having Brunn as a partner is a big bonus to save her at times. But I agree, a CB can’t make the type of mistakes she made late in a tournament for a championship caliber team. Scoring that many goals on Japan so early gave every player on the pitch a lot of leeway. That was an aberration.

      • AlexH

        To be clear, i’m not saying she should be replaced. I was wondering whether her true calling is at CB. She looked very good the few times she was driving the ball forward so I’m wondering whether or not the midfield might be a place for her. A Johnston / Brian pairing could be devastating in 2019.

      • Calci0

        So being apart of a defense that tied a shutout record. hold Germany scoreless, is grounds to be called out as not being on par?!? You show me a defender that is perfect, and has never made a mistake.

        • NYRick

          That’s not what I said. However, elite CBs can’t make mistakes in big matches against top competition. She has been well praised for her play, but the Germany gaffe could have cost them the game (non red and missed PK both extremely lucky) and yesterday she played the big part in the two Japan goals. It didn’t matter with the big lead, but it’s fact.

          • Calci0

            But your comment almost amounted to her not earning her spot on the team. “She is entrenched now and a media and fan darling” One has nothing to do with the other. The FACT is she and the rest of the D didn’t give up any goals against Germany, and held them to one legit shot…… Did she play her best against Japan? No, But that doesn’t mean she isn’t top shelf. You tell me one CB you think is elite, and I bet I can find a highlight in a game against lesser competition that shows them getting beat. it happens.

    • A_Dog_Without_A_Clutch

      She’s Brian Urlacher. When you play Football 101 and do the sensible thing (avoiding the linebackers) his talent is in full display. Yet if you are counterintuitive and attack directly at him, he’ll make tons of mistakes.

    • ARED

      These are the mistakes she should have been making over the past 12 months instead of making her 12 appearance in a WC final (ok, I don’t know her exact current cap total…).

      It’s far to early to know for sure. I thought she got a bit overconfident in playing long balls forward (when the midfield *should* be much more adapt at starting the attack) and also in some of her defensive play. On both mistakes, she was aggressive and got burned. She tried to take a touch instead of just clearing against Germany, and in the Final she tried to step in front and got turned -which was more good attacking play than anything to me, but the mistake against Germany is the sort of play that maybe you can make against low quality players, but it really seemed on that and a few other occasions JJ was testing the waters, and assuming she could try almost anything she wanted, since so far everything had been working.

      Regardless, I for one would have loved to see at least one game played in the build up to Canada which featured Engen and Sauerbrunn as the CBs, with JJ in midfield. But, it seems that JE doesn’t use a DM, or make changes unless they are absolutely necessary…

    • justsomeguy

      I’d keep her at cb. her positives definitely outweigh her few negatives

  • nwslfan

    Holiday’s volley for the game winner was pure beauty too! Clinical, absolutely clinical.

  • nwslfan

    That half line strike in the biggest of games will go down in history as one of the greatest ever

  • Lord Zlatan

    Let see what this WC would do for WoSo.
    What would you say, successful or a lackluster one?

    World Cup 2015 Teams and USWNT Players

    Vibrant—————- England, Australia ———– Julie Johnston, Kelley O’Hara

    Fading—————- Sweden, Brazil—————– US veteran Wambach, Rampone

    Disappointment ——France, Canada ————- Christen Press – full of expectation
    came up short, did not ceased the opportunity, don’t get a lot of those in the WC especially with a team full of talents.

    • Steglitz49

      Ladies need tall goalies. The 5’7″ goalie should be in the dustbins of time. 5’11” as a minimum and preferably 6’1″.

      • Lord Zlatan

        There is not a lot of tall women who posses agility and quick response.

        The US should convert Hagen into a goalie she’s still young and willing.

        • Steglitz49

          Those that have it in buckets play basket.

      • FLwino

        FYI – Hope Solo – probably the best goalkeeper over the past 8 years – is listed at 5′-9″.
        Nick Rimando is listed at 5′-10″.
        Talent is talent.

        • Lord Zlatan

          But the game is changing even for the men, Casillas is 6’1″ and he use to be the best in the world, look at his fellow goalie now his probable replacement David De gea 6’5″, Cortois 6’7″
          Hart and Neuer 6’5″.

          • FootballNowAndAlways

            I don’t think any changes in the game require recruiting people who are better off playing basketball. What advantage would height have given a tall goalkeeper facing any of the goals for the U.S. yesterday? A tall goalie wouldn’t even have saved the lob. Carli would simply have hit it a little higher, or more forcefully. The ball didn’t score before Kahori wasn’t tall enough, it scored because she was out of position.

        • Steglitz49

          The great and only Gordon Banks was 6’1″. As Lord Z points out, he would be considered short today among the men — AND the goals are the same size for the ladies.

      • Calci0

        Japan had a backup keeper that was at least 6ft if not taller.

        • NYRick

          Sasaki is wishing he used her for the Carli shot.

          • Steglitz49

            Verily and forsooth.

        • Steglitz49

          Why on earth did they not play her?

          • FootballNowAndAlways

            Because there is more to being a goalkeeper than being tall? Like being competent than others to play the position, for example?

          • justsomeguy

            lol

          • Steglitz49

            Kaihori played splendidly 4 years ago.

      • atalba

        She’s an athletic stud, and she’s tall. Both are, and will continue to be, trademarks of American women keepers.

        We have just as many girls playing volleyball and basketball. There’s plenty of tall athletic studs to choose from.

        • Steglitz49

          The teams in the SF reinforce your point.

  • One of a Kind

    First time commenting here!

    I’ve been wondering all tournament who the “breakout star” would be since Press flopped woefully in terms of becoming someone that could potentially rival Alex Morgan; did the right people score when it mattered in terms of marketability? With soccer having so many casual fans, the goalscorers will always receive the most attention here. It may be an asinine question to ask after such a heroic last couple of games, but is Carli Lloyd the right person going forward? After ’11 we had Solo and Morgan as the two stars with Wambach a close third. Morgan has done wonders in terms of drawing attention to WoSo while Solo proved to be unfit for the role with her off-field issues.

    However, Lloyd is essentially 33 and will be practically 37 in 2019. Furthermore, followers of the team know that Carli can have some rough games, so can she carry a team like the Dash to relevance (they’ll get numerous TV matches this year). I’m actually a Carli fan as well as a Holiday fan, but one would assume both will receive a boost in marketability before potentially fading. Carli did score both goals in the 2012 Olympic final and quickly faded after that while Morgan, Solo, and Wambach have sustained their star-power. I can’t see her doing DWTS or a magazine shoot (both were kind of exploitative moves, but got the job done). If anything, maybe O’Hara (Under Armour deal maybe hurts her) and Johnston (Nike didn’t even promote her) step up?

    Sorry for the novel of the post, but I’d love to hear what you guys think!

    • NYRick

      Alex Morgan was never going to be rivaled. It was long determined she was going to play full time in every match after just testing her conditioning the first two matches. It is impossible for Press or even Syd to rival her when they are on the bench.

      • One of a Kind

        Too be fair, I wanted Press to seize the opportunity, but she played poorly and deserved to get benched. Nike did a decent job of putting her in a couple of ads, but she was a disappointment; same with Syd. If Abby stays for Rio, it’ll be interesting to see who out of Press, Syd, and A-Rod gets cut.

        • Calci0

          I don’t think she tries for Rio. She has 3 OG’s and now a WC. I don’t think she wants to be a sub for another big tourney.

          • Steglitz49

            She = who? The cat’s mother?

          • Calci0

            Wambach..

          • kevin

            i think she only has two OG. she got hurt right before the 2008 olympics, think holiday took her place.

        • NYRick

          Hi and welcome, thanks for joining in the conversation. You’ll find some interesting commentary on here and pretty passionate fans. Regarding your comment on Press playing poorly I do think that is a bit harsh. If I defend her on here people go ape shite, but I don’t know how she or Syd could have been effective when they both really didn’t play from match 3 on. The first match against Australia, she scored the winner. The second match against Sweden she played 68 minutes at forward (her only action at forward the whole tournament). She is a scorer and needs to play.

          It’s sacrilege to say, but Morgan played all 7 matches and scored 1 goal as the primary forward on the team. And that one goal was of the flukest nature as well against a 3rd team keeper who made a silly mistake. Fans will point to “drawing” the PK against Germany which was certainly a big play, but the ruling of an actual PK was questionable when you watch the replay. Morgan just has to be “dangerous” due to her marketing and being the biggest name in the sport. Press and Syd have to literally score two a match or have a game like Carli yesterday to make an impact. And even with that, their starting spot would not be ensured with Morgan on the scene. If people are being objective and truthful, they understand all that. At this point I don’t care.

          • One of a Kind

            From what I saw, Press looked extremely nervous versus Australia and constantly lost the ball/disrupted the width of the team before she scored, which Syd fittingly assisted. Versus Sweden, she had another poor game where it seemed like she was trying too hard to score (for obvious reasons) and constantly called for the ball before making poor plays to the point her teammates started to not pass it to her. Her problem is that she’s not a true wide player and it’s near impossible to supplant Alex and Wambach. She’s not that young either so maybe it wasn’t meant to be. It happens in sports.

            With Syd, she’s definitely better off the bench, but her touch was really off in this tournament and besides her pace and tenacity, she didn’t bring much else to this WWC. With her, she probably has the most legit gripe due to how bad we were in the opening 2 games as a whole with our possession. Hopefully she isn’t a Natasha Kai.

            Morgan isn’t the Morgan of 2012-13 that was arguably one of the world’s best (I personally feel she got robbed in 2012 of POTY), but she’s still the best forward on this team. The media infatuation with her has gotten irritating, but it’ll be near impossible for her to get benched outside of severe injury or taking absence to start a family. She’s proven to be not just a pretty face although she’s still living off some of her old hype. I hope she gets her true form back.

          • NYRick

            For the Sweden match, you fail to mention that the entire midfield was in disarray with Carli and Holiday offering incredibly bad performances. But of course either are never blamed for a poor showing. Just playing out of position or just off that day. Forwards need a solid midfield. In the Sweden game, Press and Syd got little help. If you rewatch that match there were several instances where Press made a run and couldn’t get the proper through ball from the midfield. Plus, that was the infamous “let’s give Ali Krieger the whole right side of the field” and see if she can beat us. Ali is a limited offensive player and that night in particular was indecisive and passed poorly as well, despite acres of space.

            I don’t mind the critique of Press if you feel she didn’t play well that match. But the built in excuses only come for the names on this team who we both know, or any knowledgable fan should know, can’t be replaced for non-soccer reasons. Morgan being the kingpin of that. This is all just opinion on both our parts and respectfully should just be viewed as that. I just don’t like when the whole story isn’t told. For instance, I can break down each of Morgan’s last 4 starts here and tell you of the many things she did wrong. Or Carli’s first 3 to 4 matches which were borderline insane bad. In the Sweden match as well, Press drew an obvious PK on Fisher in the box that wasn’t called. That’s called that whole match is different from an offensive standpoint. Least we forget that Pia was playing for a tie and parked the bus. And when an experienced, top 5 team like Sweden parks the bus with players like Seger and Fisher it is very difficult to look good offensively. Once again, let’s compare apples to apples in any analysis.

          • NYRick

            Australia match the whole team looked nervous. They were collectively lucky they weren’t down 2 nil the first fifteen minutes of that match. But Press scored the winner deep into the second half of that match. Doesn’t that count for something? She obviously did something right. If Abby or Alex scored that goal they would be holding a parade and talking of how clutch and game worthy they both were. Let’s put it this way. Here’s how I feel. You and I can have equal teams in talent (defenders and midfield) and we get to have one striker in a 4-2-3-1 formation. There are no US jerseys, Nike sponsors and media to worry about. You get Alex, I get Press. Tell you what, I like my chances. I’ll take that anyday.

    • Lord Zlatan

      Only Wambach and Morgan would get the most benjamins on this one, even though their performance are sub-par especially Wambach. I blame the media because they are lazy and stupid.

      • Steglitz49

        Verily and forsooth. You took the words right out of my mouth.

    • atalba

      Good post. Carli cleans up pretty well and will do for 2 years, but she isn’t the “it” girl that sells products to the casual fan, or just women consumers. It’s not about inconsistency on the field, especially when “no one” is watching. Alex hasn’t hardly played in the last 18 months, but the advertisers had her lined up, and she raked it in prior to this tourney. She would have made a boat load, if she contributed like Carli.

      The best choice would have been Press, if she stepped it up for this WC. She may not have been seen in bikini shoots on twitter/IG/SC, like Alex (I don’t really know), but she has a priceless smile. JJ has a strong fierce look that could sell, but that was a long-shot for her to ascend to “it” girl.

      Carli will get some play, but I’m sure she’s not what the advertising world sees as a no-brainer. Hopefully, the demographics grow, and will see even more growth from the Olympics.

      • Steglitz49

        Carli never invested in a half-decent agent. That is her problem. If she does not make out like a bandit after this …

        • atalba

          Even with American “achievements” in equality, and acceptance of women in sports, you must “looook good,” to be marketable.

          • Steglitz49

            and be white or at least passe blanc

          • FootballNowAndAlways

            Interesting how we’ve all just danced around that 800 pound gorilla in the room.

          • Steglitz49

            Doug Williams and Kristi Yamaguchi would no doubt agree with you too

          • AlexH

            Uh Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods made phenomenal money off of endorsements.

          • Steglitz49

            If you adjust for percent of population, you will be frightened at how few minorities played for the USNT compared with France, Germany, England, Canada and even Sweden.

          • FootballNowAndAlways

            Sorry to stick my oar in here unbidden, but you will be frightened at how many minorities choose not to involve their children with soccer.

          • Steglitz49

            Fair enough. Also, they might not afford it in the US?

          • FootballNowAndAlways

            You can outfit a child with boots, shin guard, socks, shirt, shorts and ball for $100 or less if you shop carefully. And if you can’t afford fees for the various leagues, you can organize your own games in public parks which are completely free.

          • Steglitz49

            It is a little more to that in the US, is it not?

          • atalba

            You recall I outlined what it takes. It’s not for the poor.

          • Steglitz49

            Thank you for your support. I remember figures of $10,000 a year being bandied about. Even $3,000 would be a lot, especially if you don’t have it. Ask Zlatan.

          • FootballNowAndAlways

            There is a formal way of doing things, and an informal way. If you are not financially disposed to doing it the formal way, how about the informal way? How do minorities succeed in basketball and baseball? Does it cost money to play in high school from where college players are recruited?

          • Steglitz49

            The brothers subsidize the WNBA to the tune of many millions of dollars. What does the MLS do?

            A hoop to practice with does not cost too much. Bjorn Borg’s garage door is in a museum somewhere.

            Soccer is a cheap game but you need quite a large piece of land — and for the girls to have access to it and not to be harassed by the boys when they do.

          • guest

            I remember back in the day wearing hand-me-downs.

          • FootballNowAndAlways

            That is a great point. How about this one? Remember Joe Carter? I wouldn’t be surprised if you don’t. Won the world series with a home run in the bottom of the 9th. Every kid’s dream. Yet many people have never heard of him. What do we know instead? Kirk Gibson’s overrated home run.

          • Steglitz49

            One of Sweden’s most famous players is Zlatan — hardly a Viking name, but much respected and loved.

          • Tae

            I don’t know about that. There’s a real love-hate thing going on there. Zlatan has said, to Swedes, he is Swedish only one month every four years, the rest of the time he is a Bosnian.

          • Steglitz49

            I suspect that is an old quote, if it is a real quote (his mother is Croatian and his father Bosniak).

            A couple of years ago Zlatan changed the Swedish language with his reflection that “sometimes it is post-in and sometimes it is post-out”. On the male side, noone outranks him; on the female side he has competition from Kalla, Sjöström and, possibly, Nordén. Granted, Stenmark will always be the greatest but that is a given.

          • Tae

            It is an old quote but it is real. Probably said around the time he quit the national team for a while. The relationship between Zlatan and Swedes does seem to have mellowed in recent years. And to be fair to the Swedes it’s not like there’s a culture anywhere Zlatan hasn’t clashed with, his ethnic group only has one person in it.
            I do love the post-in post-out thing. I read an article a while back about how pervasive that has become in Sweden, across generations and institutions, from politics to business to sports to everyday life.

          • Steglitz49

            In 2007 Zlatan was voted the Jerring Prize by the Swedes. He is the only soccer player (as opposed to a team) to have won this unique award. His book changed a lot too.

            Zlatan’s misfortune was/is that he was the only thoroughbred among carthorses and mules for the NT. There was not the same quality as got Sweden the bronze in 1994 let alone those earlier teams that wrote their names in glory. Whether Zlatan is a better player than the Grenoli we shall never know and it does not matter.

            On the female side, none of the soccer players can hold a candle to the three I mentioned though some of those who played in 2003 are still lionized. I am not sure Zlatan outranks Kalla.

          • Tae

            Oh there’s no doubt Swedes appreciated his footballing ability, Zlatan never complained that they did not, his beef was they were all too willing to benefit from his talent on the pitch, but otherwise viewed him as a foreigner and constantly carped on his personal mannerisms and lifestyle.

    • dw

      Welcome aboard. You start off with an excellent observation. Lloyd is a known quantity, not very young, and so would probably not be a player to break out of WoSo and be a marketing machine. Leader in the clubhouse was Press, but her impact in the WWC knockout stage was negligible. Player with the best chance going forward is probably Morgan Brian. She won’t have a meteoric rise like Alex did, unless she pulls a stunt like bodypaint. Steg (you’ll figure out who he is, unless you’ve been a lurker) would approve.

  • KCFan

    Well, well, well, remember how four years ago in Frankfurt it looked like we were just going to blow them off the pitch in the first 30 minutes? It looks like this time we had some unfinished business to take care of. Congrats to Lloyd, who was rewarded for the hours of sweat and toil she left on the practice pitch, to Ellis for the strategy of pouring on the goals and letting the other team catch up, exactly how it played out, and to Gus for the well choreographed set pieces.

    Wasn’t it Mockmook who suggested that Lloyd just play forward, which I’m sure many thought was a joke at the time, but there she was, right alongside Morgan in a 4-4-2. But will Carli-ball set back the program 10 years? No, I think we have the right mix of ball possession and movement, individual athleticism, and good old American muscle and hustle.

    The award ceremony was a bit of a disappointment, I thought. There was better staging four years ago in Frankfurt: dramatic lighting, more confetti, and the losers in tears looking on close by. There wasn’t even a team victory lap with “We are the Champions” or even “Party in the USA”, the players just scattered in different directions. Sporting events need rituals and it would have been a nice gesture to the fans.

    • FootballNowAndAlways

      Last year, I suggested Press and Lloyd switch places, Lloyd to Forward and Press to midfield, and I almost got killed for it. Maybe now that Lloyd is encroaching on Morgan’s hallowed territory, the society of Morganites, which are much more influential than the Pressists, will rally to restore order.

      • Steglitz49

        I think the USWNT manages well without Press but please keep pressing you case, though we are not impressed.

        • FootballNowAndAlways

          The USWNT will manage well without anybody. But we have been fooled into thinking that some players’ services are indispensable. They are not. Pick any starting 11 out of a hat, and they’ll still destroy anybody.

          • Steglitz49

            They almost didn’t against both Sweden and Germany. Granted “almost” is the operative word while at the same time, why did they not win 4 years ago?

          • FootballNowAndAlways

            So you want to split hairs eh? Okay, I admit I asked for it by saying they “will” instead of they “should” destroy anyone. But is there any doubting this team’s dominance? Mind you, I am not remotely emotionally invested in this team? I just comment on what I see, and what I have witnessed is athletic excellence writ large.

            In all fairness, I suspect they might have underestimated the Japanese 4 years ago and accepted the match as already won. That is probably why they came out red-hot this time around, and put forth their most aggressive, offensive effort.

            But you’re right. Germany in particularly would have been interesting. In this world cup, we never got to see how this team would react when down 1 one goal.

          • Steglitz49

            The 2011 Nadeshiko were something else. Inspired. We may never see the like again.

          • FootballNowAndAlways

            We must give them their much deserved credit for that victory. Women’s soccer cannot prosper if it is seen as a one-team sport. Nothing wrong with the U.S. dominating the sport, but if she wins every time and everything, the sport will surely suffer.

          • Steglitz49

            Indeed. Your point is well taken.

            As I typed elsewhere, unless other countries with resources — most obviously Ger, Fra and England, hopefully also Spain and Italy — can match the US, international WoSo looks, like you type, to belong to the US. Unlike Brazil, who built their brand by dominating the men’s game, the US dominating, as you note, will likely damage WoSo.

            In such a scenario, the club championships like the Champions League, FA cup and even the Nestlé cup will take prominence, unless the NWSL is prepared to truly internationalize itself and not just take on Australians.

            We may see two WoSos — the college based US and the ROW — and the one with most money wins. I suspect that the Champions League and FA hold more trumps than the NWSL but who knows, the American league may ace them.

          • Breakers fan

            Any 11 from the WC 23, you mean? An interesting hypothesis you propose here. It would be fun to test it but alas we won’t be able to. I’m not saying you’re necessarily wrong but if I had to bet I would say “no, not any 11 would destroy every other team.” But I respect the point you’re making about how good the U.S. players are.

          • FootballNowAndAlways

            Welcome back (assuming you’re not posting from Canada). Hope you enjoyed the semifinal match. But yeah, I truly believe this team to be more talented than we might ever truly realize. Something else I should mention, in their 0 – 2 loss to France earlier this year, the French could not even outplay them on home soil. They scored more goals, sure, but the ball possession was pretty even, and if Wambach had scored her penalty, who knows what might have happened?

          • Breakers fan

            Thanks. I am back. I posted a little about the trip. It would even be fun to see a “B” U.S. team from outside the WC 23 – that I would like to select with a few advisors – you included – play other nations.

          • FootballNowAndAlways

            Thanks for your vote of confidence. You would certainly find plenty of talent from the NWSL to work with. If you wished, you could even form one team from the rookie class alone and you’d still be in decent shape

          • skybolt

            I think it’s damned if you do and damned if you don’t. People that dislike the USWNT will make fun of their play in the lead up to a major tournament and state how inferior they are to teams like France and Germany. However, when they ultimately prevail then their accomplishments are diminished by statements such as any 11 could’ve done the same thing. This person is overrated and that person is overrated. Who cares they beat Japan 5-2, the US is so big and has so much money, just pick any players from their system and they should dominate. This always happens!

      • Breakers fan

        I know that I personally am #1 on Jill Ellis’s and Alex Morgan’s speed dials when any move regarding the forward position is considered – any move at all! Every suggestion I have made has been followed to date- I will reveal that here in public for the very first time.
        And I will also reveal here for the first time my position. You’re welcome in advance. It is: go ahead and play anyone there you want. I actually cede my power to the head coach of the USWNT, if you can believe it. Alex revealed, to me of course, that if she continues to start – head coach’s call on that — she’s absolutely fine with whomever Jill chooses to put beside her – be it one or two others. How’s that for scandal? Piss poor, I realize.

  • FootballNowAndAlways

    There is a time to give praise. And this is a give to give praise – To give unstinting credit to the USWNT as the best team, bar none in women’s football. She took on
    all comers and vanquished them all. You could say she was lucky Germany missed her penalty, but was that mishap really due to luck? Was the miss caused by a cruel
    twist of providence, or was the penalty kick made more difficult by the stature of the team it was being played against? It is often the case, in competitive sports that we are unable to recreate against strong teams, the same dazzling plays we routinely execute against weaker competition. That vaunted mesmerising passing of the
    Japanese that some compared to the antics of the Harlem Globetrotters? Easy to pull off against weak teams, but not remotely possible against foes boasting the
    personnel of the USWNT.

    The best team won the world cup and the best team won good, ain’t no two ways about it. Group D, it turns out, might have really been the group of death afterall. The
    U.S. might simply have dispensed the same inspired play she did in the final throughout the tournament. Rather than the team getting stronger as the competition
    progressed, it might have been the opponents getting weaker.

    Julie Johnston’s vicissitudes underscore the indispensability of experience and exposure. Perhaps the passage of time, and maybe even the upcoming and shameless gloating and preening…I mean victory and appreciation tour, will reveal Johnston as not ideally suited for the central defender position. However, there is no
    gainsaying the experience she has gleaned operating in that capacity in this world cup, and the confidence it has hopefully given her as she continues on her enviably
    young and promising career.

    Jill Ellis a genius? I don’t think so. As has already been mentioned, her brilliant decisions materialized by default. JJ played because Rampy couldn’t. Brian played
    because Holiday couldn’t. Wambach always came in ten minutes from the end whether the U.S. was winning heavily or not, whether, speed or defense (neither of which Wambach was equipped to provide) was needed or not. Some players got numerous opportunities to retrieve their poor performances, while others were subjected to the inactivity of the reserve bench for having only one bad game. Of these players, none was more cruelly treated than Christen Press. It is hard to believe now that this same woman scored the go-ahead gone in their first group game, a goal that provided the cushion from which Rapinoe’s confidence to make the solo run that culminated in the third goal, largely sprang.

    Amy Rodriguez, Sydney Leroux and Whitney Engen all suffered significantly too. Rodriguez is a wonderful player, as her NWSL performances ably demonstrates. But of course, we are told that she was given her chance and failed to produce, even though Holiday and Lloyd, automatic starters, have turned in more forgettable games than anyone can remember.

    I will do what many will call sacrilegious and criticize Carli Lloyd, hat trick or no hat trick. With the exception of the penalty kicks, only one of her goals in this world cup (the reality-defying lob from the center of the field) was scored from her assigned position. The goal against China, as well as the first two yesterday, were scored from the forward position. She was basically playing Morgan’s position from the China game on. And yes, the U.S. would still have beaten Japan yesterday, Carli or no Carli. Her goals were wonderful, but this team would have beaten any team anywhere yesterday.

    Enough of the Alex Morgan excuses already. She is still not completely healed? How long will it take to heal from a “bone bruise?” She ran very well against the
    Japanese defense? What do the other forwards do when they are not scoring, lie down on the field and go to sleep? For what it’s worth, I even think Morgan’s minuscule goal output might be a result of other players encroaching on her territory, e.g. O’hara dashing in front of her for her goal in the semifinal, Lloyd pretty much
    usurping the center forward role since the China game, e.t.c. However, if you are going to make excuses, make it for everybody, not just some players.

    I disagree that this team deserves more praise than the 99ers because it faced tougher competition. This team is also more glory conscious than the 99ers. There was hardly any glory or money in them days, and whatever endorsement money materialized after that victory was largely unexpected. This team is more acutely aware of the rewards to be had from winning NT matches. They are arguably also less passionate about the game as the lack of passion many of them appear to affect for the NWSL (Press, Rodriguez and Holiday strongly excepted) attests. I am not saying they are not supremely proud to be winning for their country. They are, but I believe the 99ers had a more wholesome love of the game than the 15ers.

    Hopefully, this program can bid farewell to Wambach. She has her world cup, but not a record I suspect she secretly coveted – most goals in world cup history. She will have to settle for second place on that score and spend the coming months cursing her missed penalty against Colombia.

    Again, congratulations to the U.S. Any way you slice it, they kicked everybody’s ass – They were the only team that did not lose a match in this world cup. They never

    came close, never fell behind, not even once. CONGRATULATIONS INDEED!

    • Steglitz49

      “Let us now praise famous ladies and their mothers that begat them”?
      and
      “Some there are that have no memorial but their names live forevermore!”

      and so on, and so forth, ad infinitum let alone nauseam

    • skybolt

      I think Morgan will be the first person to admit that her finishing suffered in this tournament. However, her ability to draw double and triple teams from the opposing defense really opened up space for some of our other attacking players. Re-watch the match against Japan (or even Germany) and see how many players are surrounding her on any given set play. There’s a reason why when she’s in the game the US tends to do a lot better, and where other players step up. The last 2 tournaments she didn’t participate in (Algarve 2014 and Brazil 2014), the team failed miserably. Sometimes opposing coaches will double team certain players and make the rest of the team beat them. I personally thought that Sasaki should’ve done that with Carli (not Alex) in this match (especially since her shooting touch was off), but that was his decision. Even a player with Messi’s magnitude was held scoreless in the knockout stages in the 2014 WC since he was being marked so closely. I don’t equate Morgan to that, since she missed a couple of sitters that she usually makes. However, let’s not forget that she created 2 penalty kicks and could’ve had 3 goals in this tournament if she took them.

      • Steglitz49

        Alex gets the same medal as Chalups.

        • dw

          Hmm. Alex’s medal comes with all those loaded endorsement deals. Not the same medal after all?

          • Steglitz49

            Alex has been WoSo’s superstar, at least in its biggest market. Granted, she may never be the player that Marta has been but that does not change the image of Alex.

            Indeed, without Alex’s goal in Manchester 3 years ago, there may not be an NWSL, not counting her late goal against Italy 5 years ago. Granted, Carli had a huge role in OG-08 as well as OG-12 and again this time round — but why was Chalups and some other players on this squad? Did JE follow orders?

      • NYRick

        I’m just going to play devil’s advocate here. If a player is not scoring, they are not drawing double or triple teams. If an NBA star is having a game shooting 5 for 19, then he is not drawing the double team that night. Fair or not, Alex has swooned her fans for the last 3 years.

        There is basic rule in competitive sports, especially at the elite level. If you play, you are healthy. You can make all the excuses needed, and some are valid. But sports are a bottomline business. Without her name and marketing, she would have been substituted for another forward on this team in the lineup. And it didn’t have to be by the name of Press. Syd or ARod could have maybe produced more as well.

        • Steglitz49

          Your point that some of the players among the pool of 20+3 seem to have been there for sentimental reasons, is well taken.

        • skybolt

          Rick, your post needs to be addressed towards the opposing coaches since that is exactly what they were doing. For instance, in the Germany match Neid had Krahn playing Alex man-to-man the entire match. On the second goal against Japan 3 defenders are mugging Morgan in the penalty area. I’m not saying that she was one of our top 5 players in this WC, but your reasoning seems to be to bench her even though the team was winning with her out there. Coach Ellis stated herself that Leroux and Press did not do much upfront against Sweden, which resulted in our worst match of the tournament. Even our superstar Carli stated how great it was to have Morgan upfront since she plays so well with the midfield and attracts attention. Moving forward, Press and should be given every opportunity possible to play as forward, but saying that Morgan should have been replaced because she wasn’t scoring is the opposite of how the team was performing on the field. Like I stated above, she did earn 2 penalty kicks, which shouldn’t be discounted. In all honesty, I feel like Ellis used her as a decoy in a 4-2-3-1 formation since opposing coaches were still considering a scoring threat. I’m not sure that was a wise decision on their part since I would’ve let her shoot if her scoring touch wasn’t back yet.

          • NYRick

            Respectful reply coming here because I do totally respect your knowledge and viewpoint. You state that the Sweden match was the worse match of the tournament. If we want to analyze, can’t we look into that further? For starters, Press most definitely drew a PK on Fischer in first half of that match. She was mugged. If called, that is a totally different match. If we are dealing in IFs and decoy stuff for Morgan, let’s do so for Press and Syd as well. Also I think Syd had a fairly strong game in game 1 as well and a great assist on the CP goal.

            Now let’s talk teams. Sweden is a much more organized team and tested team than Nigeria, Colombia or China. Games Morgan was allowed to play full without any repercussion of average play. Also let’s take into account the change in the midfield that occurred. It can be argued that playing any of ARod, Press or Syd could have resulted in the same type of success and attack to the final. They were beating Japan yesterday no doubt. Why do you assume that those 3 aren’t equally dangerous and a coaching nightmare as well? We can discuss till we are blue in the face but I will forever believe that Press in Morgan’s role for this WC would have scored more and been just if not more so dangerous. Bottomline is 1 goal in 7 matches for Morgan. If they lost this WC, she would have to be one of the scapegoats, but even with that she probably would not have been. Not being harsh here, just fair.

          • NYRick

            Plus, the big one…no Abby choking minutes the last 4 matches. That is humongous to the team success to the end. As much as Morgan Brian being inserted or Carli going forward etc. as a true forward.

          • skybolt

            Rick, for someone with your extensive knowledge in the sport you are making Morgan’s role too simplistic. In the Japan match she was drawing double and triple teams (whether that made sense or not), while Carli was left unmarked on her 2 goals. The only 2 chances she got in the entire match were created by her ability to lose her marking round 2 players and attempt a shot on goal. Against Germany she drew the penalty which resulted in the first goal. Again, for a player with her caliber she should have scored a couple more goals, but there’s no denying the team feels comfortable with her out there because the opposing defense take her seriously. Do you really think that A-Rod would’ve drawn double teams from Germany?

            Again, I am of fan of Press and felt like she should be starting, but not instead of Morgan. Like I mentioned before, when Morgan is not playing the team seems to perform worse. Perhaps some of that is due opposing coaches giving her too much credit for past accomplishments, but until they start double teaming other players and stifling our offense, I would keep starting her.

        • Breakers fan

          I disagree that she would have been substituted. I think she was played because people have seen her play before and they want that player, with those talents, on the field. She did things after her first game winner vs. Colombia that helped the team. Her playing was not a mistake and she did contribute solidly. You may disagree with that, but we both simply have opinions – it’s for everyone else to decide if they agree with me or you. I bet I could find about 50 three game stretches in his career where Messi “only” contributed by doing what Alex did in those 3 games – drawing a big PK – the ref in my opinion can’t be blamed for missing that –, not scoring, and doing all the other solid play she did. Let’s say Press had those exact games Morgan had – would YOU, knowing what kind of player she is, take her out? Not what would Jill Ellis do, because we saw that, but should a player of Press’s caliber (Morgan to date is above that) be taken out if she did exactly what Morgan did in the last 3 games?

          • Steglitz49

            The US won, so it does not matter, does it?

          • Breakers fan

            It doesn’t really matter, but this is a soccer discussion and here is where those happen.

          • Steglitz49

            My point is that it is pointless.

          • NYRick

            Pre and post analysis discussion of sports is often more interesting than the actual game. That’s why we are all here. You included.

          • Steglitz49

            It is much harder to do when you have won the final.

          • skybolt

            Which is exactly what happened in the the 2014 WC where Messi went through the entire knockout stage without scoring a goal. he was contributing in other ways.

          • Breakers fan

            Curry, any top player in any sport has 3 let’s call ’em average, solid games — but doesn’t light up the scoreboard like he/she has so many times in the past — are they removed from the field, or court? Should they be?

          • NYRick

            Press and Syd had what’s been called on here, 1 average or poor game (Sweden). They didn’t even lose and they are both held accountable. Let’s face it, if Press had scored 2 or Syd 2 that night, they were going to be replaced by Morgan full time for game 4 on. Let’s stop the silliness. Not directed at you, you know that.

          • Breakers fan

            You can play 2 or 3 forwards. To me Morgan has earned a spot. Pick any 1 or 2 others. I think where we disagree is the question of whether Morgan has earned a spot and what it takes from her to justify removing her.

          • Breakers fan

            That’s not to say all those other forwards may not produce wonderfully if given a shot. I like ’em a lot, as you know.

          • Altius

            Morgan earned it years ago. Her recent playing time has really depended on the credit she built up. When at her best, she’s a phenomenon. She hasn’t been at that level in a while. I think every US fan hopes and believes she’ll get back there.

            However, I thought her play against Japan was quite poor. Bad first touches and misses that were uncharacteristic. Morgan was the perfect lone forward to play against Germany, but I wholly believe that Press would have been a better option against Japan.

            Oh, well! Game’s been deliciously won and it didn’t even matter who played striker.

          • Breakers fan

            Didn’t notice that about the Japan game – now I want to go back and really watch her play – thanks.

          • Davis

            Morgan had a very good game against Japan. Looked dangerous, created chances for herself and others. The only thing missing was her finishing. Unlike you I thought her first touch was very good for the most part and she looked quite sharp.

          • Breakers fan

            What I said below being said I do have sympathy for any forwards not named Alex Morgan or Carli Lloyd at this point in USWNT history. I think I finally get that you are not so much saying that Morgan shouldn’t play as you are that it’s a lot harder for anyone else to get in or stay in the lineup. You, I think, aren’t bashing Morgan so much as you are saying she is given more leeway than others get. Hard to argue that point. I just keep coming on here and saying ” she’s earned it and it’s the right thing to do” I don’t know if you agree with that, but regardless, I think the focus of your argument is not so much anti-Alex Morgan the soccer player as it is anti-“how hard it is for any other forward to get onto the field and stay there”, even though there is or was another spot open. Now that Carli has come onto the forward scene with a bang it’s even harder for Press and Leroux.
            Is it a foregone conclusion, do you think, that Carli will continue to play forward? Seems like it is and maybe that it should be after that game yesterday, as much as I’d love to see Press and/or Leroux out there at forward. Who knows what’ll happen.

        • Alex created quality attacks. Plus she needs to get back into form, and where does it matter where she does it so long as the team is winning?

        • Steglitz49

          Sainthood? St Alex of Old Trafford? Who are the most famous Alexes of the theatre of dreams?

        • Guest

          Does anyone know how many goals were scored from midfielders in this tournament? I think it is appropriate to count Carli’s in the Japan game as goals from a forward.

        • mwriley101

          If that NBA star is having a 5 for 19 night, it’s because he is being double teamed. The minute you drop the double team, he goes 6 for 6. Not to mention the probable assists while being doubled. Apply that logic to Alex, then watch again. She did her job.

      • atalba

        Her finishing didn’t actually come back. It takes time for a forward to get their timing/finishing down, and she hasn’t achieved that yet. She’s been out 3 times (9 months) over the last 15 months. During the game, TonyD referred to a conversation he recently had with her saying she was contributing, with Alex stating she needed to get it “out of her head.”

        • Steglitz49

          World Champion and silver and Olympic gold and several key and famous goals — Alex is likely to take a leaf out of ARod’s book. I doubt she will wait as long as Marit has.

    • Breakers fan

      I was thinking of writing the same thing you wrote about Sasic’s PK miss when I read about how lucky we got — namely what you said and said well, – that the pressure of playing the U.S. contributed to the miss.

    • NYRick

      Great post, thank you. Do you want a glass of Country Time Lemonade or perhaps the Paul Newman pink lemonade brand? Actually, I’ve found the best lemonade I’ve ever had to be from Chick-fil-A. Try it, it’s mind blowing.

      • Steglitz49

        S/he needs an ice cold from Alex.

        • NYRick

          Poster claims they don’t touch alcohol.

          • Steglitz49

            Well played, sir! Vow. I am impressed.

          • Lorehead

            Especially not their keeper.

      • Breakers fan

        Do you think Chick-fil-A uses a powder for lemonade or actually squeezes real lemons into water then adds a sweetener? Serious question – your rating of it has me intrigued.

        • NYRick

          No apparently I think they use the real stuff (fresh lemons and good old bad for you white sugar). It really is good. Perfect fast food lunch for any non-vegetarian: Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich (bun with just the pickle and no crazy sauce, they don’t put any anyway, their waffle fries and a tall glass of their lemonade.

          • Breakers fan

            Sounds good. I will try it if I go there. I make it myself and use either light or dark brown sugar, or…..even better – honey. Very easy to do.

    • atalba

      I’m not sure you can measure the wholesomeness of Carli versus Mia. In all of sports, especially women’s sports, the amount of dedication to fitness and the sophistication of learning and playing has increased tremendously since 1999. Even for the love of the game, at any level, the expectation of training, fitness, athleticism, and competitiveness has increased tremendously.

      The 99ers experienced something very few other teams in sports have ever endured. They transcended women’s football; they elevated women’s sports; and they won the hearts of a country. The constant pressure of the World Cup in the US; winning; playing to capacity crowds all over the US; being the headlines of every evening news nightly….PRIOR to the finals. Playing in front of a capacity crowd at Stanford (73,000) in the semi’s, then in the Rose Bowl (90,000), was like no other women’s soccer event in the world, then and now. Sorry Euros, not even CL finals compare! It can’t be compared to anything. 1.2 million fans attended these games. They walked into the final with the entire country looking on. What pressure!

  • AlexH

    Well kudos to the US Soccer Illuminati. They got to win the WC and have their Abby marketing moment too. Well played oh shadowy puppeteers! Well played!

  • Altius

    Anyone watching that 3 Stars special on Fox Sports…did you hear Ellis when she hugged Cheney?

    “What a send-off!”

    She CANNOT be retiring. No. Nonono. She’s not even 30!

    • Steglitz49

      Holiday, please.

      • Altius

        No, Steg. I use nicknames.

        • Steglitz49

          She is Mrs Holiday to you. You may call her Lauren. Quit being a jerk.

          • Altius

            Chill, person on the internet telling me what to do.

          • Tae

            But how is her maiden name a nickname?

          • Altius

            The way Pearcie is a nickname for Rampone. What people call them.

          • Tae

            But there’s an extra letter in there. If they called her Pearce that wouldn’t be a nickname either.
            What are the nicknames on this team by the by? Football generally seems to be lacking in nicknames, except Brazil, and I don’t know if those count.

          • Altius

            Broon. Kling. Moe. Kriegs. HAO. Pinoe. Pearcie. Cheney.

            Among others.

          • Tae

            Just variations on names then. There was a time when we had colorful nicknames in this sport, Chopper Harris, Vinnie the Ax, Butcher of Bilbao, Psycho, Vulture, El Diablo, Phenomenon, Battigoal, Kaiser, Divine Ponytail.
            But I suppose the modern trend is away from such garish names in all sports. It’s the same in the NBA and NFL.

          • mwriley101

            My name is Michael, and I am constantly being called Mike, even immediately after introducing myself as MICHAEL. Call her what SHE wishes to be called if you have any respect for her!!

          • Altius

            Lots of people call her Cheney. This is an informal setting.

            Chill.

          • civility

            That is rude when people are interacting with you. That is not the case here. If I remember the manners Momma tried teach me I believe we should all be referring to her as Mrs. Holiday as none of us know her. But then we’d have to be polite, respectful, try to spell correctly, and so forth amongst each other as well. Probably too big a stretch.

    • One of a Kind

      I saw that! She’s always stated how she’s been on the team “forever.” She’s my favorite player and honestly with how religious she is and the fact she went as far as changing her last name, I could see it happening. She already has two gold medals, a WWC, and even domestic league title at the age of 27 so she’s pretty accomplished.

      Maybe she goes away for a couple of years to start a family and possibly comes back?

      • Altius

        Yeah, been my favorite player for years. She’s always been a Christian, but I think what might be informing the decision more is her husband’s profession. Whereas Rampone has a husband with more flexibility in his work to stay at home with kids when needed, Jrue Holiday doesn’t have that. Pro athletes just travel all the time. So if it’s kids…argh.

        Please do an A-Rod and come back fast! Even the thought is jarring…

        • Steglitz49

          “Marit Björgen carries all Norway’s baby in her tummy”

        • One of a Kind

          Great point about Jrue being a basketball player and the need for someone to be at home! It was interesting to see what Ellis told each player as they got their jerseys. I think it was a heartfelt Freudian slip because she said the same to Boxxy.

          • atalba

            He’s only a good starter for an up-and-coming team that plays in New Orleans.

            CONTRACT:4 yr(s) / $41,000,004 SIGNING BONUS-AVERAGE SALARY$10,250,001

            This is guaranteed through 2016-17. He’s in his third year of the contract. When it expires, he’ll be 27 years old, and playing as a point guard with the best (and highest paid) big man in the game. Very bright future!!

          • AlexH

            Maybe Jrue will buy Lauren an NWSL team for their anniversary….

          • Altius

            Hahah, yes, please

          • Steglitz49

            In short, she can afford to do whatever they want.

        • Tae

          Be funny to see an NBA player raise a kid though. They could make a reality tv show about that. Jrue could take Jrue Jr on the road. Just imagine the episode where JR Smith babysits.

      • Steglitz49

        Maybe she can’t motivate herself anymore? How many medals do you need to be content?

    • AlexH

      I’m happy for her if she wants to go out on top and start the next chapter of her life. She has 2 gold medals and 1 WC medal (Just like Abby) so it’s not like she hasn’t achieved what she set out to achieve (are you listening Abby)

      • Breakers fan

        And if part of her consideration (if this is in fact happening) was a conscious altruism – “I want someone else to have the opportunity that I have had” I would admire that aspect of it greatly, though I’m sure there are several reasons in her mind for such a decision. An open midfield spot, if there is to be one, is very intriguing.

    • skybolt

      Wait, so she will not play in the Olympics?

      • Altius

        No idea. That was all that was said.

        I want her to play all the games for at least another 5 years…

        • Steglitz49

          How are we ever going to rejuvenate the USNT?

          • Altius

            Seriously…?

            Wambach, Rampone, Boxxy, HAO, Lloyd, and Krieger will all be gone in 5 years. Maybe even Sauerbrunn.

            I think we’re gonna be okay with Brian, JJ, Dunn, Ohai, Hagen, etc.

          • seriously?

            Hagen, I can barely score in NWSL lite, Hagen? At least the Ancient One can still knock one in during the WC.

          • Altius

            Ok. I haven’t seen much of her this season. She was good for Bayern Munich.

          • Steglitz49

            “Those were the days my friend,
            we thought they’d never end …” — as did Amber Brooks. They seem to have.

          • john

            It’s the Frauen Bundesliga. After the first 4 teams, anyone can score in that league.

          • Steglitz49

            To be fair to Sarah, she scored the first goal for Bayern Munich when they defeated Frankfurt to win the German cup in 2012. Neid did not pick Mandy Islacker either.

          • AlexH

            You rejuvenate a team by ruthlessly taking the best 23/18 and ruthlessly playing the best 11. Put aside sentiment and politics and the rejuvenation takes care of itself.

          • Tae

            But what national side is ever able to do that? Italy and Germany to some extent. Other than those two, sentiment and public pressure are insurmountable for any manager. Even when you hire a foreigner.

        • skybolt

          In all honesty, for me she’s the most caring person on the team. All the young players hug her first after scoring a goal. I remember when Morgan came on the team Lauren was so supportive of her. She’s a class act all the way.

          • Altius

            I remember seeing a Q&A with Hope Solo at a school a few years ago. She was asked which person on the team she respected most.

            Not Lloyd, who’s friends with her and has a rabid work ethic. Not Rampone, who’s the vet and a quiet captain. She said, “Lauren Cheney.” To the best of my knowledge, they’re not even really friends, and NOTHING alike. Says a lot about her.

            I loved it, and it’s stuck with me all these years.

          • skybolt

            Whenever I saw her relationship with younger players on the team I always thought to myself she would make a great mother. It wouldn’t surprise me if she wanted to have kids sooner rather than later.

          • Tae

            Huh that’s interesting. I read in Hope’s book that when that whole absurd public lynching of Hope was going on in 2007, Carli was the one player who was vocally opposed to what was happening. Hope made it sound like, in her book, that Carli was her best bud on the team.

          • Altius

            She is. Hope and Cheney aren’t really close, as far as anyone knows. Which made the statement all the more significant, in my eyes.

          • Steglitz49

            Holiday, please.

          • Altius

            No, Steg. See below.

          • Buckeye

            I can vouch for that. It was at the Ohio State University. I was there for the event.

          • john

            I thought it was THE

    • Tae

      Yeah, dang wrong player is retiring.
      Maybe frustration at never being able to play her natural role played into it a little bit. She was always in a Paul Scholes situation, and now that she has all the hardware, the motivation has to be low. Just have fun playing your natural role in NWSL and padding your all time leader stats in goals and assists.

    • Guest

      If this is true the US really has to up it’s game and find some very good CMs before the olympics.

      • guest

        They did fine with her on the bench…deep player pool and all that.

        • Guest

          Well they may be fine playing with Brian covering for Lloyd like we did in the china game but more to the point this team could really benefit from having some DMs that can still play(unlike Boxx) and alternative CMs so the team is not stuck having to play Brian and Lloyd 90 plus of every game because they have no body else to put there.

    • kevin

      yes i heard her say that too on the show. maybe she will stay for the olympics. but then again her husband is an nba player. maybe she also wants to give a chance to someone else.

    • Miami66

      Possibly said it just because of the unsure nature. But she may just want to end it there.

      • Steglitz49

        Indeed. Why not. Leave at the top. Winning the biggest price in front of 8-10% of your population. What can trump that? Starting a family, if you believe Magda, Gold-Lena and Marit to name but a few.

    • Lorehead

      “Send-off” could mean a lot of other things. The last set of friendlies was the “send-off series.”

    • kevin

      i think holiday really is done. ellis told holiday, what a send-off, when she gave her the jersey. then alex morgan came up after holiday and ellis told her, hope you get another one. the only other comment similar to holidays, was when ellis told boxx, what a way to go out.

  • john

    This might explain some of the unengaged play that was commented on here.

  • AlexH

    So apparently the TV ratings for the tournament were blockbuster. Ratings = money and if women’s soccer can bring in money then it’s future is secure. Hopefully people in other countries watched as well. It’s kind of embarrassing that FIFA forces networks that want to air the MWC to air the WWC as well and it would be nice if networks competed to air the WWC on its own merit.

    • Guest

      They are really going to have to sell the USWNT players and other internationals in the NWSL. We really need all of them to be stars for their clubs to prop up the viewing interest. Thorns should be set with Alex.

    • Steglitz49

      If FIFA had not mandated, few if any networks would have bought this WC. With a final in the early hours of the morning and many matches likewise, there was no commercial justification in Europe.

      The reality of TV numbers around the world will soon be known but I doubt many in Europe stayed up for the final. Indeed, few of the night-matches were watched except by the die-hards.

      This was America’s world cup for the American market and FIFA did everything in their power to help them win it. The US almost let them down.

  • leftbacklion

    Never have I been happier to be wrong. Wrong about my disdain for Lloyd disappearing in lesser games (she has always shown up for the big ones). Wrong about Ellis’s coaching ability, although her substitution patterns still leave me puzzled. But hey, she’s wearing a championship medal, so I’m wrong. Morgan Brian as a defensive midfielder??? – boy was I wrong. Wrong about Germany’s superiority. Wrong about Christen Press’s superiority. And soooo happy to be a USA fan. Congratulations to the USWNT. I’m so happy that they proved me wrong.

    • ARED

      I think you’re being a bit harsh on yourself. Winning the WC certainly overcomes all worries and doubts about those things, but it doesn’t mean they were misplaced either.

      Specifically with Brian -I still would never say she’s a strong, natural defensive midfielder. I think the key is she’s very smart, and very willing to play that role. Holiday and Lloyd always felt harnessed, and were still told they needed to get forward and stimulate the lifeless US attack, so they always seemed caught in between. But Brian was happy to get in and play the role. She did impress me going up on that header with Popp (unfortunately…), but I really think it was just her reading of the game and willingness to sit in that role that did the trick.

  • john

    I was just thinking that if the Holiday retirement is true how huge that is. No matter how the roster gets trimmed for Rio there is still going to be this large hole in what became the magic midfield. As a coach I was always aware of the two solutions. First, just plug in the second best player at that position, which gives you the most continuity. Second, shuffle the deck if you believe the end result will be a case of the sum being better than the parts. Personally, I always favored the first. However, in this case the second choice is probably Brian, which starts the dominoes falling. How would you all solve from Holiday?

    • mockmook

      I’d say Brian and Holiday were playing the same position already.

      Anyway, overturn the whole roster.

      Short of that, put JJ in for Holiday and start those dominoes going.

    • ARED

      If you want an easy fix with the fewest changes to the current setup, I’d put Heath in the middle and O’Hara (Leroux) in on the right. Everything else could stay through Rio -although you’d be asking for more/differerent contributions from those two so nothing is automatic. But the Olympics aren’t as tough or as long as the WC, so you have that in your favor.

      I’d favor just making real changes, if the manager believes they are valid. It was a pretty instant-fix to change the team’s outlook and style in Canada, despite a significant lack of time in that system to “adjust”. Similar to JJ on the backline -sometimes (usually) it’s worth it to just throw the best/right players out there and let them figure it out.

      • Steglitz49

        It is easy to forget that but for a missed penalty, Germany could have played in the final and also that the US only tied with Sweden and but for Klings would have lost. The US also did not have to play either France or England.

        The coach, be it JE or her successor, must start pruning now, not in 13 months time. S/he owes it to the up and coming players.

        • ARED

          I have held that position concerning the USWNT, with changing names and years, for about a decade….lol.

          If they had lost in the semifinal playing a brand new system and with Press, Leroux, and ARod on the bench it would have really been something. And as you say, they were not so far from it….

  • Steglitz49

    721 comments (722 with this) and press did not play a significant part.