After WC title, Wambach, Ellis face Olympics decisions

Jeff Kassouf July 6, 2015 430
Getty Images

Getty Images

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – So, what now?

It’s a blunt question, to be fair, but it was the forward-looking inquiry for the United States women’s national team after the last pieces of golden confetti fell onto BC Place’s artificial turf, amid thick haze that blew into the partially-roofed stadium from wildfires to the east.

The U.S. had just won its first Women’s World Cup in 16 years, demolishing Japan, 5-2 in the highest-scoring final in history.

But the Americans are also three-time defending Olympic champions, and the Rio Olympics start in just over a year. The U.S. was also the oldest team of 24 teams at this World Cup with an average age of over 29 years old.

Longtime captain Christie Rampone turned 40 years old during the tournament. She won both the 1999 and 2015 World Cups, the only player on the current team to win two titles.

“It’s been amazing,” Rampone said. “To be put in at the end of the game is truly an honor and I thank the coaching staff for that. It just brings it full-circle for me. Starting with a win and ending with a win, it doesn’t get better than that.”

But Rampone played only 14 minutes in this World Cup, losing her spot as starting center back – initially due to injury – to 23-year-old Julie Johnston. This was Rampone’s last World Cup, but will she try to play at the 2016 Olympics? Will she retire at year’s end?

“We’ll see how it goes,” she told The Equalizer on Sunday.

[MORE: Lloyd the hat-trick hero  |  US peaks at right time  |  Japan implodes]

Rampone is not alone in the dilemma. Midfielder Shannon Boxx turned 38 years old in June; she played only 16 minutes at this World Cup, all against Nigeria.

And the big question that everyone wants to know: Will Abby Wambach retire? Wambach is the most decorated goal-scorer in the history of men’s or women’s international soccer. Her lone tally of the tournament against Nigeria boosted her haul to 183 career goals.

In the moments following the match on Sunday, Wambach was pointed about enjoying the night before thinking about or discussing her future. On Monday morning, she told Fox Sports that she needs time to think about her future.

“Right now, I’m gonna have to definitely re-evaluate in the coming weeks, the coming months,” Wambach said. “We’ve got the 10-game celebration tour that we’re gonna have a lot of fun with and we’ve got to qualify come January/February of next year for the Olympics. So, we’ll see how my body feels, we’ll see what’s going on with some of the other players on the team. It’s an 18-[player] squad, so it’s a harder squad to make. And I just want to be happy and playing really good soccer.”

Wambach’s mom, Judy, said Monday that she was “over the moon” for her daughter, but she isn’t sure what the 35-year-old forward will do.

“She has so much fun doing this, I would hope that she would [continue],” Judy Wambach said. “But she has always said they have to want her to, so it all depends on the circumstances at the time, if she’s healthy and they want her. There’s a lot of young, beautifully talented women behind her now that can take the reins and be successful.”

These roster questions are the latest that stare down U.S. coach Jill Ellis, who faced hefty criticism for the team’s uninspiring play in the first four matches of the World Cup before being anointed for her tactical changes from the quarterfinal stage onward (some changes were made by force due to suspension, but it’s irrefutable that Ellis nailed the United States’ tactics in the final two games).

[LAULETTA: Wambach gets the World Cup title she has so long desired]

Ellis said on Monday that she hasn’t yet discussed the future with Wambach or some of the other veterans, but the English-born U.S. boss will have to trim her 23-player World Cup roster to 18 players for the Olympics. The last player cut from this United States World Cup team was Crystal Dunn, who has largely played fullback for the national team but has, since being inspired by her publicly perceived snubbing from this U.S. squad, gone on a tear in the National Women’s Soccer League, scoring a league-leading seven goals in 11 matches for the Washington Spirit.

“Crystal was on the cusp and it was a really hard decision, but I know we’ve got a lot of quality and there’s some players that maybe I haven’t seen,” Ellis said. “I’ll continue to look at the NWSL games and look at the youth teams and see what’s out there.”

A usually stoic Ellis was visibly ecstatic – to use her word – on Sunday night and Monday morning. This World Cup victory was about the here and now, but it was also about sending the veterans out – with “out” at least being in terms of their World Cup careers – on a high note.

“It was one of the priorities for me,” Ellis said. “As much as you want this for your country and you want this for these players, those women have given so much and to send them off with a World Cup, I get emotional thinking about it, because that was a big, big part. I want their legacy – they’ve done so much for the game and now to leave their mark and people talk about them, and this generation now has their next set of heroes.”

That appreciation for the outgoing generation is a longstanding part of the U.S. national team’s culture. Hat-trick hero Carli Lloyd handed over the captain’s armband when Wambach checked into the final in the 79th minute, and Wambach handed it over to Rampone after the game. Rampone, in turn, made Wambach wait with her at the back of the procession for the gold medals, so that the two multi-generational legends could lift the World Cup trophy together.

That sort of togetherness isn’t lost on the new stars of the team, including the player Wambach has most directly influenced, forward Alex Morgan.

“Me and Abby spent a couple minutes sitting down in the locker room as everyone was celebrating,” Morgan said. “It was a pretty special moment for me, knowing that – I actually asked her if it was the last time we were going to play together ever on the field together, starting to tear up, and she said, ‘no, we have a couple more months together, probably.’ So, that made me smile a little bit.

“Abby, like I said before the World Cup final, she’s the glue to this team and I love her so much. She’s such a great friend of mine and it’s not only her, though. It’s honestly some of the other players like Christie Rampone, who has worked so hard and is Captain America to us. So, it’s some of those players that we look up to, still to this day.”

Wambach started three of the seven games at this World Cup but played only 25 combined minutes in the United States’ final three matches. She said last week that her time on the bench this tournament has taken years off her life, and she now knows how stressful it is for her parents to have to watch matches from the stands.

“I said it to her: ‘Now you know what it’s like to sit there patiently,” Judy Wambach said Monday.

Now the world waits patiently to see what Wambach and some of her teammates will do.

  • FootballNowAndAlways

    Well who runs the team, Ellis or the veterans? Did the coach need Dunn’s permission to cut her from the team? Why should the issue of retirement or exclusion from the olympics roster be decided by anyone other than the coach? Why does she have to talk to them? If the coach says you are out, you should be out, and that should be it. What is Rampone still undecided about? She is 40 years old! Wow, there are 22 to 24 year olds in the NWSL who would run rings around her like Julie Johnston does.

    I am beginning to think it will take a court order and sheriff’s deputies to remove some players from this program.

    • Tae

      I don’t know that there are that many who could run rings around Rampone.
      But when it comes to national selections, it really isn’t just manager’s decision. This is a shared endeavor in many respects, and the public does get a say. Let’s flip the question around. If the manager picks a side based solely on footballing needs, then what right would the team have to ask non-football fans to support the side? Would it be better to have a squad that was more rationally chosen, playing to NWSL attendances, than a team that’s popular with the public packing the Rose Bowl?
      Germany 2002-2006 and Italy on a fairly consistent basis are the only national sides I can think of that disregard public opinion in the manner you suggest.

      • FootballNowAndAlways

        Surely you jest. This whole culture of taking players’ popularity into account is an aberration. In most countries, the coach makes his or her decision without recourse to public opinion. Otherwise Donovan would have been on the WC team last year. Kaka would have been on Brasil’s team, Ashley Cole would have been on England’s team e.t.c. Sorry, but in the sane world, the public gets very little say in who makes national team rosters and who doesn’t.

        • Lance Scallop

          And unfortunately, the US women’s team does not operate in the sane world.

          • dw

            There’s a sane world?

        • Tae

          Oh sure there are plenty of examples you could bring up about popular players being left off. Tevez, Redondo, Roy Keane, etc.
          But think of England having to field Lampard and Gerrard at the same time, because the public would not accept either one not starting. There are just as many examples like that. And there are big picture issues where the public plays a big role — like Brazil and the public rejection of the Dunga school and the national debate that followed the disaster of 2014.
          And that’s on the men’s side, where the sport sells itself. With USWNT the popularity issue is far more important.

          • Lord_Littlefingers_Lash

            That’s england, and you just described why they’re always horrible.

          • Tae

            For sure England are the most susceptible to this. But England are hardly alone in this. Passarella was able to cut Redondo because Redondo was a tall white European looking guy, had he fit the pibe image the Argentinian public favors Passarella would have been the one to go. In footballing terms you’re talking about cutting the ballon d’or holder, Real Madrid legend, and all time great from your squad at his absolute peak. Or think of lesbians getting cut from African squads. Or when Ghana was purging Christians. Politics and public opinion do play a role here. And why shouldn’t they? This isn’t champions league, the teams are flying national flags.

          • FootballNowAndAlways

            African squads didn’t cut Lesbians. The Nigerian team might have though. When you alluded to lesbians being cut from African squads, I think you meant Nigeria. Africa is a big continent with over 52 countries. It is far more diverse in language and cultures than any other continent in the world. You shouldn’t lump countries from the continent together.

            When did Ghana purge Christians from their team? If you can provide a link, I’d like to read about it. Couldn’t find anything on google.

          • Tae

            Eudy Simulane was murdered. She was South African right? I don’t follow African football closely enough to know if actual player selections were affected but you see what I mean about public opinions and politics affecting national sides? Because in Nigeria it’s a very visible public issue.
            With Ghana I seem to recall something about Nii Lamptey having to change religions.
            There’s a lot more too. Look at Argentina and the Menottista-Bilardista politics that went on there, or the Castilian-Catalan divide that affected Spanish sides for so long back in the day.

          • David K Anderson

            Why would Ghana purge Christians? The country is majority Christian by a fairly significant margin.

          • Tae

            Maybe it wasn’t Christian to Muslim, but there was some religious issue there where Lamptey had to change religions if I’m remembering it right.

          • kernel_thai

            An interesting example of bizarre player selection is French midfielder Almandine Henry who earned the Silver Ball at this years WC. The Lyon star and Bruno Bini didnt see eye to eye so she was not on the team for the previous WC or Olympics.

    • newsouth

      Gig is too good. 10 game tomato can tour and no pressure for the Olympics. Sponsor dollars will be pouring in. again with no pressure, why would the goats retire when they are cool to play reserves now? i can see holiday because her husband is sitting on a $30M contract.

    • guest

      Oh no you d’ent!!

  • Altius

    OUT: Rampone, Wambach, Boxxy, Chalupny, Naeher.

    IN: Dunn…?

    • kevin

      look’s like holiday might be done too per the three stars show.

      • Altius

        I’m in denial. Heart dropped into my stomach this afternoon when I heard that. Been my favorite player for years and I am NOT READY to see her go. She’s not even brushing 30! 🙁

        • kevin

          yea that was kinda shocking. i still have to go back and watch the full show later tonight. would be a big loss for the team. maybe it’s just personal reasons. i started following the team right around when she was starting. crazy how she has won two olympic gold, world cup silver and world cup gold now. i hope the victory tour comes near philly to maybe see a game.
          even though turn -over is part of the game it still is sad seeing people leave but they will always be 15ers now.

          • Boston Red

            Well, it’s been surprising that there have not been more players step away for baby making. A-Rod managed to return, but perhaps the lure of the WC title kept them in.

            I expect most of the players without much playing time to step away, maybe as late as the Olympics, but probably before.

            Winning the World Cup makes it easier. The question for some will be if they retire from the NT only or from the sport. Without a NT subsidy, playing in NWSL won’t be worth it for some.

          • Lord_Littlefingers_Lash

            No what’s surprising is that there are people who would rather have babies than play for the national team. I just can’t imagine it.Though, no one in my entire generation in my family has any children….so that could be part of it. I can’t imagine people would rather have babies than play FIFA and go on vacation.

        • Tae

          Yeah. What stuffed animal should we have on the bench to symbolize Lauren? Maybe Steglitz would know.

          • Steglitz49

            A shoebill? A grosbeak? A beaver? A wolverine?

          • Tae

            Beaver? You’re in trouble now. Will Japan be sending you the teddy bear?

        • Guest

          Yeah I know!!! She still has another 10 years!

          • Ethan

            Another ten years? Not many soccer (football) players play until they’re 38.

        • kevin

          after watching it again, i think holiday really is done. when ellis gave holiday the jersey she told her, what a send-off. alex morgan got her jersey right after holiday and ellis told morgan, hope you get another one. will always be a 15er.

          • kevin

            the only response similar to holiday was when ellis told boxx, what a way to go out

      • kara

        I watched that show, but must’ve missed whatever indication Holiday gave for being done…please enlighten me.

        • Altius

          Ellis was handing her a 3-star shirt and said something like “What a way for a send-off”

          • Lord_Littlefingers_Lash

            Why would she be done? It makes no sense, what else does she have to do?

          • Altius

            My only guess is she might want to have kids. Given that her husband is also a pro athlete who travels a lot and wouldn’t have the flexibility of someone like Rampone’s husband to stay home when she’s on the road…leads me to think it would require some time off, or (please, no) retirement.

            I cringe at the thought, and HOPE that she wants to keep playing this game she loves and that she is so brilliant at.

          • Lord_Littlefingers_Lash

            I guess. That seems like more reason to keep playing to me. Even if she quits her husband still isn’t going to be around…..Also you know how pro athletes are…. I’m looking at you Ryan Giggs…..John Terry…. Tiger Woods… everyone ever…..

            On the other hand if Lauren Holiday is in the market for a side piece…. I am willing to travel.

          • Altius

            Very generous of you to volunteer yourself like that. Noble sacrifice.

            Jrue Holiday is NOT a Giggs/Terry/Woods. Very solid guy and they seem to have a quality relationship. He also makes enough money to support a family of whatever size!

          • Sad Facts

            Most NBA players file for bankruptcy a few years after their last game. She needs to reconsider the career path and do a Rampone to play until 40.

          • Steglitz49

            Lay off Terry in this context because he saved Chelsea Ladies. What Giggs did for WoSo I have not the foggiest seeing that Man Utd did close their WoSo section.

          • Lord_Littlefingers_Lash

            The main point here is that I want to be Lauren Holiday’s side piece.

          • Steglitz49

            You imght be disappointed. It is said to be better to travel expectantly than to arrive.

          • sweetjazz3

            I’m a bit surprised if she is planning on retiring right away, but I would be shocked if she does not start a family soon. It is clearly something very important to her. She has achieved just about every possible accomplishment in soccer (World Cup, Olympic Gold, NWSL championship, US soccer female athlete of the year, MVP of NWSL) and she has a very strong Christian faith, one aspect of which is the importance of having a family. Also, she is apart from her husband Jrue almost year round because of their intensive time demands during their seasons. Christen Press made an offhand comment in one of the recent Red Stars videos about Holiday always talking about missing her husband.

            Of course, it will be very sad to see her go if she does. But I think that when she does leave US Soccer, it will be to do something she loves even more. So I am happy for her in that regard. A great player and an equally wonderful person.

          • HM

            A woman does not need very strong Christian faith to reproduce. Billions have already done so.

          • sweetjazz3

            Of course not. But Holiday is likely to use her faith as a guide to her decision about raising a family, and the Christian tradition is very pro-family. I’m not saying that other traditions are not pro-family, nor am I saying that other people who may not belong to any religious tradition are not pro-family. I am just trying to explain why Holiday herself is likely interested in starting a family.

          • GT

            I think would should celebrate Holiday’s decision, whatever it is. Now that is a role model.

        • kevin

          what altius said below. i only recall ellis saying that to holiday. it’s only speculation at this point. guess will just have to wait and see.

      • David P

        I assume you are referring to Ellis’s comment to Holiday that was something like “way to go out”. I think Ellis either made a Freudian slip or just got confused. There is no way Holiday is gone for the Olympics unless she has decided to have children. Out are: Naeher, Rampone, Wamback, Boxx, Chalupny, and based on Ellis’s dislike of her O’Reilly. That opens up a spot for Dunn. Obviously injuries can change things. After seeing JJ not play that great in the last two games, maybe Rampone has a chance to move Engen for the Olympics.

    • GT

      As Mr. Gambini said “Bring in the yutes.”

    • kernel_thai

      Why Naeher…she is their youngest GK?

      • Altius

        You can only take 2 GKs, and she’s their 3rd-stringer. Not as good as Harris. Not young enough to be a next-generation GK, either.

    • Keithustus

      Concur except Rampone. She’s a freak of nature and has one more tournament in her at least. Still the best defender we have. (Hate to point out that both Japanese goals were because of JJ.)

      • Altius

        Disagree. In the last several games she played at full health, she was shockingly error-prone. Made at least one major mistake in each match. Very un-Rampone. Sauerbrunn is the superior defender now. And there’s no way she’s staying. 40 years old, bookending her career with World Cups. She’s going out with class.

        • Keithustus

          K, thanks. Had just seen the highlights of last friendlies rather than full games.

          • Altius

            I think that’s a funny thing about highlight reels…while they often put the skill of attacking players on full display, they’re rarely an accurate gauge of defensive quality. We have to qualify defenders by lack of mistakes as much as anything. Given that you won’t see such mistakes showing up on highlight reels, it’s a very incomplete picture!

  • john

    Hasn’t Huffie waited long enough? Time to go home, Abby.

  • Tikitaka

    Man, what a great article!

  • brdn08

    regardless of how it happens, Room needs to be made for Ohai and Dunn in 2016

    • Tae

      Dunn has to be there. But I’m watching Dash matches and I’m not sure Ohai is justifying a callup. With only 18 slots that might be a real long shot. I’d be happy if she made it though, I’m rooting for her. But I think I’d rather kickstart Lavelle getting used to senior USWNT than slot Ohai.

      • brdn08

        I disagree this World Cup shoud have taught everyone that there is no substitute for fitness and pace. I love Rose Lavelle and maybe she gets an alternate spot but Ohai’s pace is world class. She’s just 23 and that puts her at 27 for 2019. Dunn is about the same age. Let’s be honest HAO is done, Chups, Wambach, Rampone and Boxx won’t be back. If the US wants to continue playing this aggressive style. These are the types of players they must go after.

        • Tae

          Pace and work rate seem to be all Ohai has though. That’s enough for you? To take a spot away from A Rod or Syd or Press or whoever?

          • brdn08

            It’s all that was needed in front of our back line to win a world cup. Carli and Alex did the rest of the heavy lifting. I also think Kealia isn’t done developing her game and would benefit immensely just being in the NT environment. Look how far Crystal, Morgan and Julie came in just two years of work with the NT. Let’s be honest Carli is not a technically sound soccer player (no that’s not a direct comparison to Ohai just noting a similarity) but her fitness and work rate put Japan to the sword.

          • Tae

            I think you’re selling our squad short there. There was a lot more going on than pace and work rate.

          • brdn08

            I think we’re doing the same with Kealia. She’s more than just pace and work rate.

          • guest

            If Kealia is already 23 and still does not possess strong technical skills why should the team wait longer for her to develop them. At this point she either has them or she does not. Maybe she should have been called up sooner but had she distinguished herself like Moe she would have been called up.

          • guest

            Just because we can’t rid of one soccer player with inferior technical abilities does not mean we need to keep adding them!

          • kernel_thai

            Again, she is a good flank defender and can make an accurate cross from either side. One of the the areas that needs improvement on the NT is speed on the flanks.

          • Sydonia

            A-Rod? She won’t even make the OG squad. She did squat in the WC. Played about three minutes in group.

          • Tae

            A Rod creates so many chances though. And the laws of probability dictate she can’t go on blowing the finish forever. You really think she gets dropped?

          • mockmook

            She did plenty in the CHN game. But, it is time for fresh blood.

            Anyone who will be over 30 by WWC 2019 needs to be VERY special to keep on the roster (in my perfect world).

          • Terry Lash

            Huerta.

          • Tae

            Doesn’t she play for Mexico?

          • Terry Lash

            I don’t believe she has yet decided to play for Mexico. She apparently is eligible to play for the US WNT and she wants to, but if not picked she might try to play for Mexico. If my understanding is correct, the US would make a serious mistake not to invite her into camp and tryout for the US WNT.

        • Guest

          Nonsense the US ladies attack improved once technical players were inserted into the starting XI, not players with better pace and fitness. The other two top teams in this world cup, France and Germany, are filled with players that ]possessing all attributes leaning more towards skill players.

      • David K Anderson

        Agreed, re: Lavelle. Rose is precisely the kind of technically gifted player we need to start nurturing if we’re going to keep up with the changes in WoSo. She’s a player with Vero-esque potential.

    • the voice from beyond

      General rule of thumb, for everyone, myself included: Whenever one finds oneself promoting a pretty player one must ask oneself “If this player were not physically attractive would I be saying exactly what I am saying right now?” If, and only if one can say that it is so, with genuine honesty to God, Father and Mother then one can proceed with this belief. If not, one must reconsider and look at oneself.

      • Tae

        That’s kind of harsh to Ohai. Title winner at NC, #2 pick in draft, scored the winner in U-20 which the manifestly gifted Maroszan failed to do on the other side. And she is speedy. We might view her as our Aluko — a player who might not know what to do with the ball once she gets it, but who’s going to get to it faster than anyone else.

        • the voice from beyond

          Both sides of the coin were presented in the original post. Any implications you draw are your own. You are free to form your own opinion, judgment about whether she belongs on the national team.

          • Tae

            It’s really hard not to draw implications when someone brings up looks when no one else had mentioned it. But if I misunderstood you then I’m sorry.

          • the voice from beyond

            You’re absolutely right to draw the implication that looks and Ohai are being connected in my original post. But what was not necessarily there was the idea that just because she is attractive she is not worthy of being included at the highest level possible. All I asked is that one consider if that aspect of the player is a too-excessive part of one’s reason for promoting such a player – be it Ohai or anyone else. It’s not really directed at Ohai, but was rather a general comment about fans and attractive players and I direct it at myself as much as I do at anyone else.

          • voice again

            Finally, by the absolute same token a player with good looks should not be considered to be inferior due to those good looks. So if you find yourself discounting the abilities of attractive players ask yourself if you are discounting their abilities for this reason.

          • the voice from beyond

            I’m not God and I don’t know what I’m talking about.

          • Steglitz49

            Thank god.

          • Tae

            Ok I get you. And you’re not wrong to bring it up, that’s just something inescapable with Ohai, given the reality of WoSo. I’ve mentioned her looks too in different conversations.

          • Keithustus

            Thought the attractiveness comments were in reference to Dunn. Ohai is *another* blonde white girl. Plenty of those already.

          • Ethan

            I had the same thought as you. You’re not alone.

        • kernel_thai

          Ohai is a relentless defender and has a work rate off the charts. She can get her shot on anyone and can make the cross from either side. On the down side her touch reminds u of Leroux and she doesnt always strike the ball cleanly so she sprays her shots. Still at 23 what she needs most is NT experience to see if she can complete her game.

        • guest

          “A player who might not know what to do with the ball once she gets it,”
          Is that really the path that the USWNT should take when the modern game is pushing for technical players?

          • mockmook

            Except Ohai has demonstrated she does know what to do with the ball — either attacking the goal or making killer passes.

          • Tae

            It’s a good tool to have in the box. If all else is failing you put in a player like that to change things up. It’s what Sampson did vs Japan and Aluko wreaked havoc.

          • David K Anderson

            I think Ohai can grow in skill on the ball (and pitch vision to improve her passing). She’s not hopeless by any stretch of the imagination; she just needs some refinement. And you can’t teach pace…

          • Tae

            At this level though you have it or you don’t. Improvement can help in league play (unless the league is a top European men’s league), but if you don’t have an innate good touch you’re never going to be a skill player.

        • David K Anderson

          Agreed: Ohai’s the real deal, regardless of her looks.

          She is indeed fast, too…but I also saw her start a breakaway run down the left side vs Portland…and Emily Menges caught her with relative ease. But Menges has NCAA Div. 1 track All-American speed…

          • Tae

            Yeah I think she’s got enough that we might benefit from her on the bench. I could see a variety of roles for her, from poacher slotted next to Alex, to a wide mid to see out a comfortable lead, to a water carrier in central mid to free up Moe.

        • Steglitz49

          DZ did not play in the SF against the US. We will not know what the outcome might have been had she played.

          • Tae

            I was talking about the 2012 U-20.

          • Steglitz49

            DZ is the German nickname for Maroszan.

          • Tae

            I know. And she played in the U-20 final when Ohai scored the winner.

        • Steglitz49

          Aluko made a huge difference for England in the match for bronze.

          • Tae

            Yeah and I think it argues for Ohai’s inclusion. Ohai is who I was thinking about whenever I saw Aluko play.

          • Steglitz49

            Maybe Ohai should have a spell in Europe. It did wonders for not only Christen but several other American lasses who were among the 20+3 elect.

          • Tae

            How about Moe to Lyon to play with Henry, Le Sommer, Lavogez, Thomis, Abily and Necib for a spell. But the Dash would never let her and Moe doesn’t need it. I’d just like to see it though.
            Would Europe improve Ohai’s senior call up chances though, over staying in Houston? Dash are giving her a prominent role, and one big advantage Ohai has is, she has a chance to show she can link well with Moe, who is a lock to dominate our central midfield. But maybe the flip side is USWNT might not feel they really have to look at Moe anymore and aren’t scouting Dash matches as closely as some others.

          • Steglitz49

            It depends.

            If you consider your chances for the NT to be slim, playing abroad is a good idea. Yanez, Moros and, more recently K Mewis, spent time in Japan and by all accounts enjoyed themselves. There are plenty of other countries to chose from.

            Established US players like Tobin and Pinoe went to France.

            It is hard to know where with this WC-15, the USNT is going. Will it be more of the same with the odd person like Holiday leaving of their own accord? Will JE deselect 15 players?

          • Tae

            I wonder how Ohai rates her chances of a senior call up. No way to know I guess. Folks here mostly seem to see her as a lock.

      • Ethan

        I was thoroughly impressed with Ohai at the 2012 U-20 World Cup, and from what I’ve seen of her at UNC and the Houston Dash, I can say she definitely has potential. Of course, there are deficiencies to her game, especially when asked to play central. However, she is a very dangerous, hard-working flank player, and I would still be saying all of this even if she wasn’t considered conventionally attractive.

    • guest

      Unlikely that both Dunn and Ohai make it. That will make way too many wingers. Dunn will likely be there. I don’t understand the hype of Ohai.

      • Tae

        Is winger the role Ohai would have if she made the squad?

        • kernel_thai

          I believe it’s her best position on the International level. Ohai and Dunn running and defending the flanks would be difficult for any team to deal with.

          • Tae

            I was thinking of Ohai’s proper role as a substitute second forward. I’m not all that keen on the idea of using her at wide mid. She might be great defensively, but that’s rarely our problem, and we just saw how devastating a high skill player like Tobin could be from out wide when we get our squad and tactics right.

          • guest

            But where does Christen Press fit into all of this?

          • Steglitz49

            Doesn’t.

          • ARED

            Well said, esp “when we get our squad and tactics right”.

          • Steglitz49

            What is Ohai’s improper role?

          • Tae

            That sounds faintly dirty. How do you feel about her at wide mid? To me we’re a side that advances the ball and creates from out wide, and we can’t have a work horse type like her at the advanced wide spot. If she can convert to back maybe.

          • Steglitz49

            I confess that I am not sufficiently familiar with Ms Ohai to offer an informed opinion. Nevertheless, she played well for the U20s 3 years ago, whereby she is deserving of a serious look for the NT.

          • Ethan

            I see what you’re saying, but I feel like Ohai is so much better in open space on the flanks. And she can still get into the box from wide positions (i.e. her goal against Germany in the 2012 U-20 World Cup final).

          • Tae

            She’s better in open space because she doesn’t have the skill set to operate in close quarters. But we’re not really a side that asks our wides to cut into the box, other than the occasional plays like KO’s goal in the semi. And also, if we put a player out there who needs space, high pressing disciplined defenses can shut us down there.

          • Ethan

            Fair enough. If that’s really the case, I suppose she could come in late as a counterattacking option when the team is holding onto a lead.

          • guest

            I think players like Ohai, KO and HAO have their uses. They are not the type of players to build an offense around.

          • guest

            Tobin made a bunch of runs into the box while playing a 4231. I think the formation of one striker gave her space to get further forward.

          • mockmook

            Total BS. Ohai is as skilled as any of the “newcomers”.

            Her only deficiency is not getting called in like JJ and Brian were. Why? JE only promotes young players when no one else is available.

          • Tae

            I don’t have as high an opinion of her skill set as you do but I’m on record here supporting Ohai’s inclusion so we’re sort of in the same place. But I think you’re nuts if you see her “as skilled” as Moe.

          • mockmook

            By “newcomers”, I meant any one we are thinking of adding to the team.

          • Tae

            Ok I get you. On that score we might agree, though probably for different reasons.

          • Breakers fan

            When you say winger and flank do you and Tae (and I’d like to hear brdn08’s views on this too) mean in the midfield or on the front line? My knowledge of Ohai is marginal – I’ve seen her play at UNC a few times, on the U-20 team in 1 or 2 games and with Houston in a couple, so I don’t really feel qualified to have a reliable, informed opinion about her. What I saw in her was good (great? not sure) speed and a good hard right footed shot. If on the front line how does her speed compare to that of Syd’s or Press’s? Do you rate her overall a better choice than Press or Syd on the front line? I don’t see that yet. If you see her in the midfield how are her ball control and passing skills? Speed used in the midfield, I mean blazing blow-by speed doesn’t come into play all that often, so that talent isn’t as important there as are technical skills. So for me the jury is still out on her. I haven’t dismissed her, just need to see more. Gonna check her NWSL goal tallies over the last 2 years…

          • Steglitz49

            Slash and burn. Cut, cut, cut. If not born 1993 or more recently, lets stop at 1990.

            Rio stands for RIng Out

          • Breakers fan

            Radical approach, Steg. Do you base this on personal research you’ve done on “the decline of athletes’ performance capabilities after the age of 25” ? I lean to the side of youth but am not as militant as you – I mean how do you explain the great play of 30 year old Becky Sauerbrunn, for example?

          • Steglitz49

            As I typed many a time before I would take a U23 squad (born ’93 or more recently) with 3 older for stability, to wit Brunn, Carli and Alex if they are game.

            Basta!

            It would, of course, be called “U2”.

          • Breakers fan

            You’d have a mutiny on hand I have to think with Tobin, KO, Christen, Syd, Kling, & others, but maybe you could handle their protestations.

          • Steglitz49

            Tough. They all have a World Cup now (and KO, Tobin, and Syd at least one OG gold). Basta.

            High time to do something else.

          • Breakers fan

            I don’t know if you’re only half serious here. I mean, you haven’t scouted our U-23 team, or other NWSL players of that age, in depth so you really don’t know if they have players who would be improvements on the ones I mentioned, correct? and while I appreciate your feeling that young players tend to get short shrift on the American team in general I don’t think a precipitous decline in abilities occurs at age 26.
            Reading your posts, though, maybe your motivation is as much “share the experience with as many young ladies as possible, because it’s the nice thing to do”, as it is a “this is the way to make the best team” approach. You may think the U.S. is deep enough in talent to pull it off and you may be right.

          • Steglitz49

            If you want the team in WC-19 to have a majority of players aged 23 to 29, then by extension the majority in Rio must be aged 20-26. Elementary.

            I took that logic one step further and went for those aged 23 or less but balanced it with 3 older ones, such as Brunn, Carli and Alex.

          • Breakers fan

            Interesting approach. Not sure a nation has ever created a team based on such stringent ruthless age-only considerations. A novel approach and a good one to get young players experience on the international stage. I’m not dismissing it, just mulling it over. I wouldn’t go as far as you do. Can I be a fly on the wall when you deliver the news to those I mentioned earlier?

          • Steglitz49

            Unlike the Europeans and the Asians, the regional championsship is no contest for the US. There is precious little the US can do about it. Thus, the Olympics loom high, at least they did before this WC gold. Now we have final confirmation, if we needed it, that OG-gold is like Dung compared to WC-gold.

            American players must now concentrate on building up the NWSL and make it like the NHL and NBA — the place to play. That is a tall order given the Champions League and the FA women’s cup — but what other option is there?

            Limiting recruitment to the NWSL to Australians is wonderful for the Matildas but poison to the NWSL.

          • Boston Red

            Your Euro-centric view clouds your perspective on the Olympics. It’s still an important tournament and the Japanese mentioned a desire to even the score with losing the OG to the US.

          • Steglitz49

            It is hard to take the Olympics seriously when they are WC-lite.

            8 European teams competed in this WC and all but 1 (Spain) made it to the knock-out phase.

            In the OG there will be half as many nations — 12 vs the lads 16 but no screams of sex discrimination — but not 4 European teams but only 3. Because England can’t compete in the Olympics, Swe, Nor, Swi and NL will play an extra tournament.

            C’est la vie, c’est la derrière.

          • Steglitz49

            Look at it this way. Angela Merkel attended the ladies Champions League final. No doubt Angie was pleased that Frankfurt won.

            What senior US politician has attended either of the two NWSL finals? Obama. I can’t remember that he did.

            Let’s wait and see who does the honors at the FA women’s cup final on August 1st.

          • Calci0

            Has Obama been to a SB, an NBA Finals, World Series, MLS Championship, etc? It’s not a normal occurrence for a high ranking political official to attend huge sporting events. Now more equal footing would be hosting the NWSL champion at the WH.

          • Steglitz49

            The President throws out at baseball, doesn’t he?

            What is sauce for the gander is sauce for the goose.

            Angela Merkel seems to have done more for WoSo than any other politician. Long may it last.

          • Calci0

            But he doesn’t kick a Field Goal, or Shoot a Free Throw, or do a Slap Shot…………

          • Steglitz49

            He could carry the ball to the centre circle — or failing that simply award the trophy.

          • Calci0

            Let me know when that happens in the Men’s WC.

          • Steglitz49

            At the German men’s cup final, an eminent German woman sports person is invited to carry the cup on to the field. The list o ladies who have done this is impressive.

            Meanwhile, we have to make do with the German Chancellor commanding the German federation to bid for WC-11 and, more recently, attending the ladies Champions League cup final (it was played in Berlin). Prince William invited the Lionesses for croissants at Kensington Palace.

          • Calci0

            I think the honor of the Ticket Tape parade is unmatched for a WOSO team. Not to mention the President did call which is a rarity, also the VP was in attendance which also goes a long way to show the respect the team has earned..

          • Steglitz49

            Indeed. The ticker-tape parade was great!

            What you type proves that FIFA was right in smoothing the part for a US victory. With the US engaged and energized, WoSo all around the wold profits.

            FIFA also gets the US focus away from the Olympics to its world cup. Noone today any longer believes that winning the olympics is better or even coequal with the world cup.

          • Calci0

            Well to be fair it’s hard for the Oly. to equal the WC, since it’s mixed in with so many other events and individual stories.

          • Steglitz49

            In WC-15 there were 8 UEFA teams, 7 of which progressed from their groups. In OG-12 there will be 3 UEFA teams, that is, not even half as many in spite of half as many teams.

            The OG also discriminates against the women with 12 teams vs 16 teams.

            In short, while the US were unable to win the WC, the PR machine pumped out the garbage that the OG were worth more than the WC. No sane person believed that nonsense. It only did WoSo harm.

          • Terry Lash

            And you really think Jill Ellis would support/implement an approach even close to your suggestion? She won’t. That’s one reason she also should retire with her WWC medal.

          • Steglitz49

            JE has the status and kudos. She might as well be hung for a sheep as for a lamb.

            “I did it my way” is her song. She bested Neid and Sasaki. As for Pellerud, Sampson did the honors.

          • EbaJ

            Tearing the team completely apart now won’t happen. The big changes will be post Olympics.

          • Guest

            How about their passing, possession and playmaking ability? And I don’t mean running past tomato cans. I would personally like the see less HAO’s on the roster in the future and a lot more triangles, interchange, and strong build ups.

  • guest question

    Does the CBA obligate the 23 players on USWNT WC roster to participate in the 10 match victory tour? And/or obligate U.S. soccer to use only those 23 players for the victory tour matches? Is Ellis free to choose different/additional players to participate in victory tour matches? Or will any potential roster changes only occur after the 10 match victory tour is complete?

    • kernel_thai

      Yes ul only see the WC roster. That’s how they did it with the Olympic tour.

      • dw

        Barring injury or (LOL) retirement.

      • Breakers fan

        kt – is it the case that so far only a couple of the 10 games of the tour have been announced in terms of location and date?

        • kernel_thai

          So far the two Costa Rica games have been announced but the rumor is two in Sept and two in Oct have been slated already (pre final). Australia is the rumored opponent for Sept.

          • Breakers fan

            Thank you. Any idea of where those games will be held? I ask just because I’m hoping one will be close enough for me to go to…

    • Rufan

      That is in their contract- up to 10 games for winning the WWC or Olympics. Its part of their bonus for winning.

    • Boston Red

      I’m sure the players can decline if they want, though that would mean they don’t get paid for those games. After the Olympics, they didn’t even play the alternates (and that was a short roster), so it’s pretty locked in unless they have some injuries and need an extra player.

    • EbaJ

      To earn the bonus which they need to maximize in Olympic and WC years, the short answer is yes.

  • leftbacklion

    Take your cue from Jerome “The Bus” Bettis Abby – go out on top!

  • FlyingSquirrel42

    “‘Me and Abby spent a couple minutes sitting down in the locker room as everyone was celebrating,’ Morgan said.”

    Somewhere Alex Morgan’s former English teacher is saying, “Alex. It’s ‘Abby and I.’ NOT ‘ME AND ABBY’!”

    • kernel_thai

      Maybe Sauerbrunn who I believe has an English Lit degree set her straight. Morgan’s degree was in economics which kinda puts her on the career path to be president of USSoccer one day : )

      • Steglitz49

        President of the US, surely.

        • FlyingSquirrel42

          Morgan/Johnston 2032?

          Alex would have to quit doing the “Me and…” thing before she gives her first State of the Union, though.

          • Steglitz49

            Alex should have the Hispanic vote in her pocket through her hubby but is JJ her best match? Maybe Press? Too close in age, I fear.

            For an elder stateswoman, Carli is the obvious choice. Someone younger, maybe Dunn?

            Alex could go outside her sport. One of the Williams sisters or why not Yamaguchi?

        • Tae

          In all seriousness I always thought Julie Foudy should go into politics. Smart, well spoken, focused, diplomatic, already has experience in the political arena on Title IX, Stanford connections to draw on for funding.

          • Steglitz49

            Is she Condi Rice’s spiritual sister?

      • Anna

        Actually, as a Cal alum, I have to correct you. Her degree was in something called “Political Economy of Industrial Societies,” which was known as a cross between Poli Sci and watered-down Econ (no hard Math). Popular with athletes!

  • Pressured

    LOL, Abby, Box and Rampone ain’t goin’ nowhere but Rio.

    • newsouth

      hahaha

    • EbaJ

      i think Boxx will retire or not be chosen. I think some of Rampone’s comments and a frank conversation with Ellis pushes her out the door. Abby — who knows?

  • guest

    I’ve mentioned before that the U-23 players get the short end of the stick when it comes to the Olympics. In no way should we have these aging players occupying the roster for 2 major world events. It’s like the national team has become a club team for heavens sake and it’s so wrong and unfair to not give looks to well deserving players. Heck, in the interviews that Carli has given she gives the impression she’s coming back in 2019. These players believe they are entitled to “their” spot no matter what age they are. Rampone, Wambach, and Boxx have now laid precedent for aging players and I think it’s dangerous for US to coddle them and shun the younger ones.
    US Soccer is pumping out players like an assembly line and there’s no slowing down since they’re making money off female players all the way from youth to college. With all these players and the media so quick to dub them as the next best thing, we have a bottleneck of players waiting for a chance to represent their country. I’m afraid this only guarantees players they may have to wait until they’re pushing on 40 to get a look if they weren’t shown the red carpet in their 20’s. And how does that make the US a force to be reckoned with? The politics on this team looks as sleazy as Bill Clinton!

    • ARED

      What the USA (or the fans at least) really needs is a special FIFA allowance to field two national teams. One can be the current “club” as you say, who will of course still be quite formidable, and the other would be the “kids”, and then we could see how each team does and who relies on who more.

      Of course the definition of the youth/kids/etc would be significant, but I do believe Lloyd spoke of even Alex Morgan in that manner….

      • Steglitz49

        Why? China to have 10 and India 6?
        Why stop at 2? If Norway, 5m has one the US could have 60 — one for each state and 10 for the big soccer states.

        • ARED

          I meant that to facetiously imply the tough truth that, although we like to believe otherwise, there is always an element of opportunity and fortune in our successes. And most of all, that in the absence of these even a good, committed, hard-working player with all the passion and heart in the world may come up short -or may never come up at all.

          • Steglitz49

            Indeed.

      • AlexH

        Or they could just broaden the player pool and schedule more friendlies to accommodate them. I like having more than 1 team but my way doesn’t involve FIFA.

    • Does anyone know why the U.S. isn’t competing in Women’s Soccer at the Pan Am games? USA is sending a contingent of 600+ athletes to the Pan Am games that begin this week in Toronto. The only sports the U.Sdoesnt have a team for are Handball and Women’sFootball (soccer). Seems like this would be a good event for the U-23s.

      The 8 teams competing are Canada, Argentina, brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Trinidad & Tobago.

      Edit: so, I just looked it up. I guess ourU-20s have competed before. Did they not qualify this year? I’ve never really heard of these games, so I’m clueless.

      • ARED

        I’m sure someone else will know more about the Pan-Am than me, but I believe it is an olympic sporting event placed in between the actual Olympic games, giving the athletes additional competition (and prize money) in the long interlude between the Olympics -since many/most of those sports are not really professional with leagues and money to sustain things during the downtime.

        But as WoSo is trying to get away from that scenario and into one where they have viable professional leagues sustaining (or at least supporting) things, they probably have less interest/need in the Pan Am games. And, FIFA has it’s own youth WC’s at many levels now, so I assume the Pan Am would be mostly a filler tournament for nations that wanted additional events, or, weren’t qualifying for the FIFA events.

      • Terry Lash

        You might be interested in this discussion:

        http://www.allwhitekit.com/?p=14353#comment-39486

      • STT

        The U-20s went before, but USSSF simply hasn’t bothered since. I don’t think anyone has a good idea why.

        • kernel_thai

          Ellis took her u-19 (sortta) to Pan Am in 2007 as a prelude to her coaching the 2008 U20s but ducked it for a better gig. Have they gone since?

          • cary nelson

            Really….. ??? I thought Tony DiCicco was the Coach of the U20 Squad 2008 which won the World Cup TOURNAMENT Sidney Alex Kilngenberg

      • Keithustus

        Handball is stupid. NBA players could win every OG gold at it….but they won’t be demeaned in that way. Watch a game and see if you disagree.

    • Boston Red

      The reality is that USSF and the players’ union reached an agreement in the CBA that rewards staying with the team. They built in a salary structure and rewarded loyalty to keep players in the game. Without pro leagues willing to pay more than most players could make historically, it wasn’t worth it to stay in the game.

    • Keithustus

      The younger players usurp older ones when their play is great. The 2012 roster shows that. If Dunn and players not yet called up show that they can play better than Boxx, Sauerbrunn, etc., the roster will change around Algarve time.

    • cary nelson

      Yeah… it does seem like many of our Best Young Players… won’t be so young.. when they finally get their shot at the USWNT. Bill Clinton??-!! What is that about?

  • ARED

    I’m not sure Engen has to go, after all you do want a 3rd CB option ready at all times (assuming you actually move on from Rampone, and JJ stays at CB). Until a younger player is developed -either on the JJ two-month plan, or the more traditional 2-3 years it takes for a young player to be fully adjusted as a CB -I’d keep Engen in the picture. Also, great as Sauerbrunn is, she is at the 30 mark herself, so by 34 it *should* be a rare and impressive feat if she’s still starting.

    But I agree on pretty much everything else. (But what do you mean the next star -it’s Lloyd isn’t it!? Crowned as she turns 33, she’ll be good for another 5-9 years, won’t she!!??)….

    • Keithustus

      Haha. I’ve worshipped to the Carli-final gods since 2008, but she will wear out after Rio.

  • eL cascador (RIP Cdr Wank)

    I see no reason why she should leave right now as the USA will more likely win the next OG next year. NWSL has one of the biggest off season break. She’ll get plenty of time to rest and to recover.

  • Dillon77

    Until the Women’s National Team ceases to be the main cash cow and/or basis of a player’s professional existence, you’ll see players trying to stay on this team as long as possible. The uncertainties of the (latest) professional league in the States and the inconvenience of going abroad put huge weight on staying “in that club” once they get in the door.

    This runs counter to keeping a team fresh with new players and strategies, but that’s where the gig currently is….

    Ellis said a priority this year was to get a lot of these veterans the World Cup. Mission accomplished. After the victory tour, that transition may start sooner than most expect: if memory holds, the Olympic roster is only 23, not 18, so some serious questions need to be addressed. Given that the core “golden oldies” have all won at the Olympics I think that might make mattes easier for folks like Shannon Boxx, Heather O’Reilly and even Rampone. After Rio, give thanks to one and all, but let’s start from scratch and let the doors open….

    • Steglitz49

      Too late. They won.
      Had Germany or Sweden put them to the Sword, maybe. Not now.

      • Dillon77

        Yup — hey certainly did. Still, there are five less slots on that Olympic tream and that affords the opportunity to reshape the roster (by excising a few oder playrs)…or keep it static (by shelving a few younger ones who are not played as often). Stay tuned…

        • Steglitz49

          I have long since nailed my colors to the mast of players born 1993 or more recently with 2 or 3 older, like Alex, Carli and Brunn.

          I will persist in my heresy.

          Slash and burn! RIng Out, don’t ring-fence.

    • Boston Red

      But remember that the Olympics allow alternates, even though they can’t play once the games start. You’ll have 21 players involved in the tournament.

    • cary nelson

      Very Good Point! Many people don’t really understand The Money Factor! You are Exactly on Point,about WHY many of the current members… do NOT want to leave the Team!Even when it is obvious their skills & physically have greatly diminish!But,This is the Right Time… and the Best time to start the makeover of the USWNT! The Truth is the US Women Program has lost a number of young dual-national’s over the years,because it takes So Long to get a call up to the USWNT!!!My List: All can go out on Top… Chalupny,Boxx,O’Reilly,Rampone & Wambach,Unfortunately Hoilday also! I say..Let these Ladies ride off in to the Sunset… after the Victory Tour… Please!!! Yes… this is My Opinion.

  • john

    Refresh my memory folks. Did a new CBA ever get implemented? I believe they agreed to respect the old one for now. Surely that becomes a factor in this process.

    • EbaJ

      Yes they are under the new one.

  • john

    To reduce by 5 I start with Rampone, Chalupny, and Boxx. Naeher unless Solo’s situation means she is unavailable. If Holiday does retire that’s the fifth. If not I look at which Abby-like forwards are ready. If none I consider wide players for both defense and midfield. Krieger and O’Reilly at the top of the list. The first post tour camp should not include any player I mentioned by name (except Naeher). I’d make it a large camp with the emphasis on recognition rather than competition in that opening camp. Then in January I’d start taking my hard looks.

    • EbaJ

      Krieger will be there for the Olympics but after that who knows. Brunn is less than a year younger. What you might see is Krieger and Brunn at CB and JJ at DM moving Brian into Holiday’s space.

  • john

    What I would like to hear is Ellis’ plans. We might not have agreed or even had a sense of what she had in mind, but Ellis all along was headed somewhere. Perhaps some intrepid EQ writer can ask Ellis her framework for Rio.

    • Steglitz49

      RIng Out the old RIng in the noO (Noi Joysey spelling).

  • Daniel Strick

    A cynical perspective. No one, except apparently Cheney, is going any where. They’ll have to be dragged away, kicking and screaming. With the obvious success of the 4-5-1, 5 mids being required by the inferior technical skills of the midfielders, except maybe Brian, the current midfielders will not be challenged by call-ups. Why tamper with success. And if you’re a forward not currently slurping at the trough of the USWNT, forget about any chance of moving up, until or unless Morgan retires or gets injured or knocked up. The solo forward job is hers in perpetuity. If she’s out temporarily, no need to have any reserve other than who they already have. Anyone can fulfill the forward responsibility in this system. You just have to run around a lot, drawing defenders’ attention, so the midfielders have some space to come forward and score the goals. Back line, no doubts about anyone there. Front to back, the lineup is set.

    • Steglitz49

      Holiday, please.

      • Ethan

        You might want to inform Pinoe about that as well.

        • Steglitz49

          Pinoe is her colleague and knows her. She may use whatever term of endearment that Mrs Holiday is OK with.

          Sniveling commentators on the EQ should mind their manners — and grow up.

          • Ethan

            Although “sniveling” is a little harsh, I suppose you have a fair enough point.

          • Steglitz49

            I am harsh (in soccer) — please see my plans for Rio. Cut, cut cut!

    • Breakers fan

      You may be right. Jill’s history is to make changes slowly, even when things aren’t going particularly well. Her nature is to be loyal to people, and now after how well this unit has played in the last couple games it seems likely that she will keep it the same; and as much as it pains me in some ways (players I like not playing much) I think I agree with that approach. Well, maybe I’d make a tweak or two.

    • Ethan

      That is a gross simplification of what Alex did in the final and of what any forward has to do in that 4-5-1 formation. Link-up play, good passing, and intelligent movement (not just running around a lot) are very desirable for a forward in such a formation. I definitely saw all of that in Alex’s performance. However, given the tone and nature of your comment, I’m just going to have agree to disagree with you.

      • Daniel Strick

        No denying my comment is over-simplified, as well as exaggerated, sarcastic, and probably stupid. A feeble attempt to express conflicted emotions, that I don’t think I even understand, over the U.S. win.

        • Ethan

          I guess I understand that, and I do see where the conflicted emotions come from. It’s just that I’ve seen similar comments about Alex’s play that don’t come off as exaggerated and sarcastic. I apologize if I was a little aggressive myself.

      • guest

        Alex played very will in the final. But, she once again had chances that should have been finished.

        • Ethan

          Although, in fairness, she created the open space for her two chances largely on her own, I agree that she should have done better. I was merely addressing the fact that Alex did more than just run around a lot and draw attention.

          • guest

            I agree, I am not all that worried she has missed a lot of time over the last year. But, would any of the other forwards be afforded that luxury.

          • Ethan

            That is a question that many of the commenters here would answer with no. I have no idea. On one side, none of the other forwards almost singlehandedly won the 2011 WWC final for the US. On the other side, selection choices should be largely based on current performances and not past performances. (Outside of finishing though, Alex has actually performed quite well in my opinion. However, many people view scoring goals as the only, if not biggest, criterion for evaluating strikers.) I’m just really sorry that Alex had to go through the MCL injury and then the 7 month layoff with the ankle injury. She did come back from her ACL injury in high school though. So, we’ll see.

          • guest

            I understand that there is way more involved in successful soccer then simply scoring and getting assists. She gets an A+ for doing all the little things right and creating some great chances. I do however, think a forward’s play needs to be evaluated slightly more on results than say a midfielders. Alex is not not responsible for playing defense(other then pressing the back line), controlling possession or the build up play. She gets service does her magic and creates chances.

    • guest

      The 4-2-3-1 is the preferred formation of the Men’s game, even among the teams who possess superior technical ability. Anyway you are severely selling our midfield short for their performance in the final two games games of this world cup. Despite Lloyd’s label as a midfielder she was anything but that in either of the final two games. A closer approximation of our formation was that of a 4-4-1-1 and at times in the Japan game it looked a hell of a lot like a 4-4-2. And also like someone else said, claiming all Alex did was run around and draw defenders is not only and oversimplification of her job but also inaccurate as she did well to create a few chances on her own. Her finish was off.

  • leftfielder

    Way off topic, but I just thought of this. As well as I can recall this WC on turf had no serious turf related injuries. Is that correct?

    • Steglitz49

      As far as I know, yes. Ando’s injury has not been blamed on plastic and rubber, as far as I know.

      FIFA won the turf war if not their own turf.

    • While there were no specific injuries that I’m aware of, the combination of turf and turf-amplified heat seemed to take a general toll on a team’s stamina. The German side, in particular, looked completely physically decimated after their match against France, and I’m unsure if their deficit would’ve been quite so severe on grass. No way of knowing…

    • STT

      No, no serious turf-related injuries, though you saw a lot of players showing off some pretty serious turf burns throughout the tournament. Many also complained about how it affected play, both with interactions with the ball and with being excruciatingly hot at times and completely draining the players of energy.

    • AlexH

      I think the turf didn’t cause any problems. Heat was an issue but certainly no more than the men faced in Brazil.

      Going forward I hope that the next step isn’t to ban turf from the women’s game but tor get men to accept its use. It still isn’t up to the standard of a well maintained first rate permanent grass field but I think it is better than temporary grass. But technology advances the quality of turf can only improve and will one day be as good as the best grass fields if not better.

      • Keithustus

        How about Dubai? They’re not planning for turf are they? 110 degree air plus turf = players will actually be cooking.

    • Tae

      The pellet that went in McLeod’s eye is the only one I can think of but while she missed a match that didn’t ultimately affect the team.
      But I’ll bet JJ and Sesselmann must wonder what role the turf might have had in some of their mistakes.

      • Steglitz49

        It was Bardesley’s eye, surely? Never seen that before on turf.

        • Tae

          Oh yeah Bardsley my bad. There were some slow mos I saw of tackles where you see a spray of pellets go up. One was in the England-Japan match.

          • Steglitz49

            FIFA won the turf war. One wonders why they bothered to fight it? The simplest explanation was that it was up to Canada to concede and when they didn’t, FIFA stuck by their guns — and pulled it off.

            Now, if the US had lost the final, the turf would have been a marvellous excuse. Funny, the Nadeshiko do not seem to blame it.

      • Keithustus

        Sesselman doesn’t need turf to make mistakes.

  • Guest

    Seattle prosecutors have made it clear they intend to press charges against Solo again. They might not be dismissed this time. If she can’t go to Rio, I have confidence in the backline but can our #2 and #3 keepers intimidate strikers and pull off saves like the ones she did against Australia. I don’t think so, but we need to start capping Ashlyn just in case Solo becomes unavailable

    • Steglitz49

      Hope’s defense team could do well to consult with Petter Northug’s legal team. Indeed, the Seattle prosecutors can learn a thing or two from the Norwegian prosecutors and judge.

    • Cc W

      First of all, the incident wasn’t in Seattle, it was in Kirkland a smaller city outside of Seattle. Both are in King County and the KC prosecutor decided there wasn’t enough evidence to press charges and the charges were dismissed. The City of Kirkland didn’t like that decision and has appealed to try and have some charges reinstated. I’m not defending Hope, but if you are going to talk about this at least get the facts right.

  • nwslfan

    Tea leaves have spoken. Based on mic’d comments and body language from Ellis at star ceremony:
    DEF IN: Brian, Morgan (“you have another star in your future”)
    IN: Rapinoe, Heath, LLoyd
    OUT: Boxx, Holiday
    Should be out, but apparently get to decide for themselves:
    Wambach, Rampone

    BUBBLE: the rest, but HAO and Engen need to work extra hard to win a spot

    • AlexH

      My guess is that Wambach, Rampone and Boxx will retire whether they like it or not because with an 18 person roster for the OG they will have to play many minutes and they just can’t. So they (along with Holiday) wiil be given a star-studded send off at the end of the victory tour. I think Dunn is in because the federation will want to make it up to her (yes that’s how I think roster decisions are made). If you figure that 1 of the 2 backup GKs will get cut that leaves 20 players for 18 spots.

      I don’t think any other outsider will get a chance because after the Victory Tour because federation will determine that the top 18 has a good chance of winning anyway and there really isn’t enough time to revamp the team. I’m not saying it’s right but that’s what I think will happen. So sometime in the Winter of 2016-17 we will finally get to see new players.

    • guest

      Every single player that did not play prominent role in the last to games should be evaluated to see if they can contribute or not. The hard questions like “why didn’t we trust certain players in certain situations.” Also 2 striker or 1 striker formation needs to be explored and decided upon before the Olympics. To switch to a lone forward formations in the middle of the tournament when you brought 5 is a waste and the team was sorely missed replacement flank mids center mids and defensive mids.

      • Steglitz49

        Make it simple. Cut everyone born before or in 1993. Then select 3 elder stateswomen for stability. Stop messing about!

        • Tae

          Cut Tobin?

          • Steglitz49

            Yes. She has a world championship now to add to her two olympic golds. That is more than enough. Cut, cut cut.

          • Tae

            Duuuuude… Would you change your mind if I told you she’s been my favorite player for years, and even now is second only to Moe?

          • Steglitz49

            I too used to be a strong champion for Tobin on the EQ, as NYRick and others can attest, but I am not persuaded.

            Let’s not walk backwards forwards in time lest we are in the desert for another 16 years. That those who have a WC gold now step aside, please.

          • Breakers fan

            If you are not persuaded allow me to theorize that you did not watch the American World Cup games closely, sir!

          • Steglitz49

            I watched vey few of them because we no longer live in NJ but in the European time zone. We watched the 3rd place match, the 2nd half of Japan v Australia, Germany v France and Norway v Germany and Nigeria v Sweden, but not much else. We have not bothered with highlights.

          • Breakers fan

            Bad luck – shut out of basically all American games due to broadcast times. A true travesty for any fan of the team. Not sure if you *are* a U.S. supporter but to miss all of their World Cup games is not the outcome a fan of a team hopes for.

          • Steglitz49

            Matches have to be staged conveniently for the US. It is WoSo’s biggest market and without the US we would not have any WoSo at this level.

            Maybe the final should have been staged at 11 am or noon but with Japan playing I am not persuaded anything would have been gained but rather lost.

          • Keithustus

            They don’t have DVR in Europe?

          • Tae

            Well I’ve voiced an under 30 rule before so as a general matter I like what you’re saying. I just want an exception for Heath. But then I suppose Jersey Shore Rises would claim one for Carli and NYRick for Press and then the next thing you know we have the oldest squad in the tourney.
            Still. Heath is a bit different in that I think we’re going to be hard pressed in the near term to field a squad with a high level of technical ability throughout, and Heath is one of the few players who is able to play at the level of the Moe types we want to see more of.

          • Guest

            It is particularly noticeable in the way they both direct the ball movement and give passing suggestions. I agree that a focus on technical ability needs to be the focus of all up and coming midfielders. The ability to beat people down the flank is great but simply not enough in the modern game.

          • Tae

            I wonder about Moe’s giving directions to her teammates. I love it, I’ve mentioned it before as evidence of how she’s thinking far ahead of her teammates, but generally veterans aren’t keen on the rookies doing things like that, and I can’t say her teammates were necessarily following her guidance. Moe does that playing for Dash also, she was doing it in the opener as a rookie lol.

          • Guest

            I don’t think they always did either but they should listen to both of them they are both clearly the best passers, dribblers, and possess the best vision of anyone on the team.

          • Keithustus

            War film moment: she’s no longer a rookie.

          • luke

            Moe + Tobs – Carli = beautiful game

          • cary nelson

            I Feel Your Pain! Not sure about a U30 Rule for the WWC,But for the Olympics i could see that… on the Men’s side the Olympic Tournament it is a U23 competition. Would love to see the women’s tournament go to U30 or U29… better.

          • Keithustus

            Who on this team will be the sole Rampone on the 2031 team, imparting wisdom and keeping people on track, and able to play a hell of a game of defense when asked?

          • Steglitz49

            None, hopefully.

          • Keithustus

            2015: no Rampone? no trophy.

          • Guest

            I don’t want to cut Tobin but she really needs to earn her spot and prove her worth from now on. And the NT really needs to find flank players to replace her and Rapinoe. Playmakers and not just the HAO and KO types.

          • Tae

            Are you saying she didn’t prove her worth in the final? She was immense in that match.

          • guest

            Not at all she clearly was and still is the best option at right flank. If the team becomes more possession oriented she becomes more valuable than Rapinoe(a lot more). However ,she is no longer the 23 year old rookie playing for the NT. She needs to show up like she did against Germany and Japan every night. The other reason I don’t want her cut is because I want all of the young midfielders to model their games after both Moe and Tobin and avoid Lloyd like the plague.

        • guest

          I think it is unrealistic to cut players in their mid to late 20’s if they are better than the alternatives. It does not happen even on the men’s side. 30 yo’s and older however really need to be key pieces to be included on a roster as deep as ours.

          • Steglitz49

            If the aim is to play in WC-19 with a team aged between 20 to 29 with most 23-27, then in Rio you don’t want too many aged 26 or more and preferably most aged 24 or younger.

          • Guest

            I don’t disagree with that at all but it is not going to happen. For better or worse our NT is still in better condition than any other team. It probably wont change much in the next 4 years. I am not even considering all of the sponsorship stuff in this.

          • Steglitz49

            In Rio the female attention might be focussed on whether Jessica Rossi can improve on her 99 out of 100 or, at least, retain her gold medal. After that, some track-n-field lass, probably.

          • Guest

            Fair point. Olympics ratings on the whole have been going down.

    • Tae

      Engen’s got a huge advantage in that we do need a backup CB and with Rampone presumably leaving, someone who’s been training with the squad should be presumed to keep the spot with the one year turnaround til OG.

    • luke

      Carli Lloyd will be 37 in 2019. 37!
      And her game relies strictly on physicial attributes like strengthan speed.
      She basically can’t play combinational football, she is a slasher, thus she runs and shines in the offense or she becomes invisible.

      37yo vocal point of attack in the WC, smh.
      PLUS: every minute you keep Carli on the field you constrict Morgan Brian value and capabilities for this team. You should just stop calling up Moe with Lloyd on the team in next quadrennial, it’s waste of her talent. Have mercy on Morgan then and send her to Europe to win some UEFA CL or sth.

  • Recoveredamishman

    Here’s the thing…keeping the status quo, even for the next year, ensures that this team will decline. They should be introducing new, young players to the rotation at every opportunity. Somebody has to go. It should primarily be the over 30 crowd for the most part, but if you must sacrifice a few young, currently underperforming talents like Leroux or Press to make space, so be it. What can’t happen is rosters frozen in place by a successful World Cup. The question has to be, “Would we rather watch aging stars cashing in or would we rather win the next Olympics or WC?”

    • Steglitz49

      The choice is war or dishonor. Will we chose dishonor?

      JE must stand tall and face the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, she must use her scythe and winnowing-hook diligently, she must not recoil from slashing and burning. Forsooth be WoSo’s scourge and not its scrooge!

    • Tae

      The one year gap between now and OG, and then the long period of time we have to build to 2019, argues for the established names. It’s not just them cashing in, we need to think about maintaining and building interest in WoSo in general.

      • mockmook

        Young players would create interest.

        • Tae

          Is that historically true of USWNT with the exception of Alex Morgan and now JJ? I don’t think it is.

          • mockmook

            It’s always true of the OGs.

      • FootballNowAndAlways

        People don’t care about the names on the Jerseys. All they care about is the color of the Jerseys. Americans went nuts last Sunday when every American goal was scored. They didn’t care who was doing the scoring. People want the team to win, not any individual players.

        • Tae

          What about the status of Abby and Alex in the public consciousness and how heavily they figured into the marketing?

          • FootballNowAndAlways

            More myth than reality, that’s what I think of their appeal on the team. You could drop those two players from the team right now, and the stadiums will still be packed for the appreciation tour coming up.

          • Tae

            Is it completely coincidence Thorns average 17,000 while the rest of the league averages 3,000? I agree that the stadiums will be packed without those two right now, but let’s not completely discount the possibility that Abby and Alex raised the profile of the NT enough so that this win registered more loudly in the public mind.

          • FootballNowAndAlways

            Raised the profile of the NT? The profile was raised by the team’s performances, not Alex and Abby. We’ll have to agree to disagree, but I really don’t think more than a handful of people care about who is playing when they buy tickets.

          • Tae

            I’ll just this. The people whose professional occupation it is to sell tickets and raise tv ratings, they very obviously see huge importance in specific individuals.

  • timetoretire

    go home abby

  • kernel_thai

    Outside of money players make off the 10 match victory tour which Gulati said boosts their pay for the year to around $300K, there is another somewhat traditional perk. The CBA has a three step payment structure. For example in the 2006 contracst they were $30k,$50k,$70K. When the US won the Olympics in 2012, USSoccer kicked all the players on the roster up to step three. As WC is much bigger I would hope for a similar gesture.

    • Steglitz49

      “Money, money money”, sang ABBA. They also wrote “Super Trouper” and “Dancing Queen”. “Money makes the world go round”, was a song in “Cabaret”. “Money does not smell”, said one of the Roman emperors when he put a tax on the lavatories.

    • Tae

      Is that $300k with or without the WC bonus?

      • kernel_thai

        Total. In the budget after the Olympics the Top paid players made $268K so they r doing a little better. Now not sure what USSoccer does with the $2 million dollar first place prize.

        • kernel_thai

          If they want a idea for some of the prize money I’ll give them one…Please pay Dawn Scott. She is a big reason for the continued success of the US team. I read that she resigned at the end of last season due to feeling she was severely under paid but was talked into returning for the WC run. PAY HER!

      • Steglitz49

        To think that 4 years ago when the Nadeshiko won, the JFA was not intending to give them a bonus so the Kirin brewery stepped in and gave them $10k each.

        The next year the world champions were flown coach to Europe for the OG while their men’s U23 flew business class. C’est la vie; c’est la derrière.

        • kernel_thai

          Good for the beer meisters!

          • Steglitz49

            If you play for Wolfsburg, you get bonuses in the shape of cars. Their team bus is to die for, apparently.

        • Tae

          I didn’t know that about the bonus money but I remember the coach seats issue. Iirc the Japanese ladies didn’t express anger publicly, I remember being struck by how mildly they seemed to react.

          • Steglitz49

            As I remember, the action of Kirin forced the JFA to pay something also.

            The European media, not least the British, really did pursue the coach seats story and the JFA were angry with the women that they used the opportunity to vent their frustration if not anger instead of meekly keeping silent.

      • EbaJ

        It would include the 75K bonus for winning, all the roster bonus money and everything all in.

        • Tae

          $75k bonus for wc win, so players get almost all of the $2 million. That’s nice. It’s less than the ladies deserve, but the total payout is a nice chunk of change.

    • Lance Scallop

      Exactly. The payoff in an Olympic year is ridiculous. No way most of these players leave and US Soccer and/or Jill (or whoever is our coach) won’t “cut” any of them.

      Then, the Olympic team will take a tour (victory or not) through the end of 2016 which puts us yet another year behind for 2019.

  • Miami66

    Wow, Holiday retiring in her prime. Guess she figured she’d go out after scoring a goal in a world cup winning performance. And probably has other things she wants to do – mentioned family.

    • kernel_thai

      Shop : )

  • tonysocref

    Let’s not count our chickens before they hatch. The US has not qualified for OC16. They still have a qualification tournament to participate in and we all know what can happen in a CONCACAF tournament. Think back to 2010 when the US came in 3rd and had to win a playoff match in order to get to WC2011. I believe the tournament is slated for January 2016.

    • Lance Scallop

      True, although with Mexico in such disastrous shape right now it’s hard to see how it will be anybody but the US and Canada.

      • tonysocref

        Costa Rica could be the giant killer.

        • FootballNowAndAlways

          Costa Rica could truly surprise. They are stronger than they are often given credit for.

  • One of a Kind

    I think the 1st real test will be how willing some of these players are to return to the NWSL this year and if they’re truly committed to building the league. The lack of promotion on the USWNT’s part during all this in regards to mentioning the league by name rather than generalizing the need for a “better future” has not only shocked me, but disappointed me.

    Secondly, I’m sad to see Holiday retire, but I think it’s awesome that she’s finishing the NWSL season. That says a lot about her character and I hope the others (except Wambach) follow suit unlike the report that said half a dozen or more are contemplating sitting out the second half of the season.

    If the federation and these women are truly determined to grow the sport, it’d be great to see an Olympic squad with players that have never been on the USWNT when it matters besides Carli/Alex/Broon and those that have yet to win a gold medal (JJ, Brian, Krieger, Press, Kling, etc.) instead of the likely last hoorah we’ll get. I worry that Wambach AND Rampone will stubbornly politic their way onto the team and become glorified subs. No point in having a domestic league if the national team remains a glorified sorority club.

    • Steglitz49

      The FA is making a lot of that the Wembley FA women’s cup final on August 1st will be the first time England Lionesses Eniola Aluko and Laura Bassett will be performing for their clubs following the national teams stunning World Cup campaign.

      I don’t know whether the Lionesses get a fans tour or any bonuses.

      • FootballNowAndAlways

        The Lionesses were in line for a £35,000 bonus if they won the world cup. Don’t know about any bonuses for finishing short of the title.

        • Steglitz49

          Knowing the English, they would probably get £50,000 just for beating the Germans, if not £70,000.

    • Lance Scallop

      And now they are all going to party in New York for a couple of days even though the NWSL clubs have vigorously been promoting “welcome home” celebrations for their players this weekend.

    • Guest

      While I agree with the sentiment of bringing players who have not one yet I think you will find that replacing players like Pinoe, Tobin, and now Holiday is not so easy. France and Germany, if they bring their full teams are, not just going to roll over.

      • Guest

        who do not have one* ugh brain is not working right

      • FootballNowAndAlways

        “I think you will find that replacing players like Pinoe, Tobin, and now Holiday is not so easy.”

        It will be easy to replace them, just like it was easy for them to replace their predecessors. The country is awash in talent. Other women will be able to replicate the achievements of the above trio if given the opportunity.

        • Guest

          They are allowed to play for their positions just like all of the other players trying to take them. The only thing that should matter is that the best players are playing and honestly at this point I don’t see any clear potential replacements outside of Dunn.

  • smallchief

    Let’s see. Out for the Olympics. Holiday, Wambach, Boxx, Rampone, O’Reilly (I like O’Reilly, but Ellis obviously doesn’t)

    Kelly O’Hara’s performance at the WC saved her hide for a while, as did Heaths
    Engen is our best sub at Center Back for the foreseeable future.

    Call into camp:

    Franch (gk)
    Winters, Freels, Long, Buzcowski, Ohai, as midfielders. Maybe Mew II.
    Huerta, Dunn, Horan, maybe McCaffrey. And why not MacDonald. She doesnt seem to do much of anything well, but she scores goals — which none of our other forwards seem able to do.

    Call in a couple more from the college ranks. Roccaro, Lavelle? Go real young with Sullivan?

    • Tae

      Lavelle before all those others. She is who we’re all waiting for, everyone else is speculative.

      • mockmook

        LaVelle is speculative too at the next level.

        • Guest

          Fair, but a lot these speculative players with talent could probably use some guidance from the senior team women. I think we need to start grooming the younger talent better. Especially talent that possesses Brian like potential.

        • Tae

          I feel the same certainty about her as I did about Moe. I didn’t think Moe would be this good this soon but now that just makes me more eager than ever to get Lavelle in asap.

    • mockmook

      Calling in any “new” player who will be over 30 for 2019 is not smart.

      • Steglitz49

        Hear hear!

  • Jim Sylvester

    With Holliday now retired (as of today); players who shouldn’t be on the small 18 person roster for the Olympics: Rampone ; Boxx; Wambach; Chalupny; O’Reilly; Naeher. Apart from Naeher, all of these have had great careers, but the time has come. Also with Ellis’ position now secure, those who haven’t been playing shouldn’t count on that changing.

    We would see Dunn come up & have room for another, maybe Ohai of the Houston Dash. Experience counts but the team needs to always be reinventing itself. Always.

    • AlexH

      With Holiday out that leaves room for Dunn to come on, but it is looking like the USWNT might need an additional CM if Jill wants to continue playing a 4-5-1, so maybe somebody other than Dunn or Ohai are on deck unless a current player would move centrally.

      • mockmook

        Using Jim’s cuts and Holiday gone, the 4-2-3-1 “A” team:

        Solo
        K – Engen – S – K
        Brian – JJ
        Heath – Lloyd – Rapinoe
        Alex

        Subs:

        Harris
        KO – Dunn
        Huster
        Ohai – Syd
        Press

        Ohai would be fine as an outside mid or CF.
        Huster could play either CB or DM (whichever the team needs).
        Dunn could be an outside back — also outside mid.
        If needed, Brian could relieve Lloyd (Huster for Brian at DM).

        KO can play literally anywhere except GK and CB.
        Krieger or JJ can play CB if needed.

        If it were me, I’d drop even more veterans.

        • mockmook

          Dang, forgot Rodriguez.

          Guess we don’t have room for Ohai unless another vet is pulled (or leaves).

          • Keithustus

            Rodriguez doesn’t have the same inertia as several of the others. If an equally good younger player is available, it could go either way. One good but not mind blowing game against China doesn’t imply attending the Olympics.

          • guest

            At this moment Ohai is not as good as Arod.

          • Keithustus

            K, good info. I’ve not been able to watch NWSL since S1.

          • Tae

            Why not? Games are on youtube. Best thing ever. Wish European women’s leagues would do this, I would love to follow Lyon and City.

          • Keithustus

            New kid and grad school. Agree the streaming is the best thing ever, though. Get on it, other sports!

            Your team list: also Tyreso when they had both Press and Marta. I tried to find some way to see their games online but couldn’t. Clearly less draw for them now, of course.

          • Tae

            You know I never liked Marta. I don’t like over dribblers. I’ve always preferred the more elegant types who accomplish much with fewer touches and less movement.

            Congrats on new kid. I went to grad school so I can imagine how pressed you are for time. I remember snapping all my video game discs in half because I was in a rage over constantly not having enough time and I needed to get some stuff out of my life, and you don’t have that option with the kid.

          • Keithustus

            Thanks. I plan to resume all that once school is done and the little one is starting peewee sports.

            Over dribbling is beautiful…isn’t that what Pia wanted Heath to evolve into? It has served Marta well, what with the WC record and all.

          • Guest

            Pia wanted Tobin to play the #10. Carli has made that next to impossible for her and now Moe until she retires.

          • Keithustus

            Really? I find that very surprising. Heath to me based on her wicked possession, good assists, and rare goal scoring when combined with the “future of US Women’s soccer” lines I interpret as meaning technically excellent passer-dribblers, someone who can consistently feed the forwards though without maybe as much flair as Pinoe.

          • Guest

            Typically a #10 is the playmaker of the team they need to be good passers, possess the ball in tight spaces and move the ball quickly. Carli Lloyd has never been this type of player. She is essentially a forward with a good motor, plays good defense, and lines up in the midfield.

          • Steglitz49

            In the days of position-specific numbering the #10 was worn by the so-called inside-left. It was considered the most difficult position to play. Gren and then Pelé made the number iconic.

            Once specific numbering was abolished, players fought over the #10 jersey.

          • Guest

            Lol thanks for the history lesson and I know. I was using it’s current meaning to most teams.

          • Steglitz49

            De nada. Don’t mention it. (I can’t guarantee that the English won’t mention the war, not least 75 years since the few prevailed. The Germans would be excused for preferring not to.)

          • Tae

            What I prefer to the furious leg churning and million touches of a Marta or Messi, is a Baggio or ZIdane sending guys off balance with a swivel of the hip, tapping the ball just past the reach, and getting to it not with speed but with guile.
            I don’t know that Pia wanted Heath to over dribble like a Ramona Bachmann, I think she wanted Heath to utilize her ability to beat a man.

          • Steglitz49

            Tobin beating a man! That would be a sight for sore eyes. Makes dominating your opposite number take on a whole new meaning.

          • Tae

            I could say Tobin beating a mensch but that would take on even more meaning.

          • Steglitz49

            “Mensch”? That has a positive ring in my uneducated eyes. She should be encouraging him not henpecking him.

          • Steglitz49

            Marta is the greatest WoSo player of all time (so far). She probably never will win the World Cup. Thereby she joins a whole string of outstanding players like Cruyff, Puskas and the Grenoli, to name but a few.

          • Tae

            I don’t doubt her skill or her status in the game. I just don’t like her style. Winning the WC to me isn’t all-defining. In fact some of the non winners are far more iconic in footballing history than the long list of winners who don’t matter.

          • Steglitz49

            The real question is: why did they lose?

          • Tae

            One factor might be, over dribbling slows down your attack. Ball moves faster than the man as the saying goes. Off the top of my head I’m trying to think how successful overdribbling sides have been in WC history. Pele’s Brazil back when the game was wide open sure. Maradona obviously. But post Maradona when the game adjusts to the high skill dribbling playmaker, how well does that work?

          • Steglitz49

            It does not explain why Holland lost in 1974 or, even greater upset, the Wonder of Bern when Hungary lost to Germany after being 2-0 up.

            Indeed, it does not even explain how Japan won WC-11, WoSo’s equivalent to 1954 both spiritually and contextually.

          • Tae

            You can’t view the 74 Dutch or the 54 Hungarians as overdribbling sides though. In fact with the Dutch it was the opposite, Clockwork Orange was a rejection of the dribble happy Brazilian style that dominated 58-70. And in 54 Germans had new shoe technology, I’ve always heard that made a huge difference.
            Japan won in 2011 because Buehler and Krieger.

          • Steglitz49

            Many maintain that the Great Turin side that perished in the 1949 aircrash were the first to play Total Football.

            After the disaster, Turin could only field their juniors. The clubs that played them answered by playing their juniors. Thus, Turin was able to win the league. It was the last time Turin was a force in football.

          • Tae

            I was introduced to soccer by an old Italian barber named Enzo and he was always talking about Grande Torino.
            But you know what was more epic than that mythic side, is Zeman’s Foggia dei miracoli. Most glorious soccer ever.

          • Guest

            Rampone also had a pretty terrible turnover.

          • Tae

            Yeah she started that tragicomic sequence. But it shouldn’t have cost us like it did.

          • Steglitz49

            It was Miyama’s final. She scored the 1-1 equalizer. She kicked the corner for the 2-2 equalizer. She netted her penalty. And she picked up a yellow card. Some day at the office, you might say.

          • Tae

            How did she score that 1-1 equalizer though?

          • Steglitz49

            With an amazing piece of skill. It is best appreciated from the camera behind the goal.

          • Tae

            You don’t credit utterly shambolic displays from Buehler and Krieger in that? Miyama made a great run and a great finish, respect. But the whole thing never should have happened.

          • Steglitz49

            You may blame the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown, if you like. I wouldn’t myself.

            It was an epic final. Just what the doctor and PR-gurus ordered for WoSo. Always look on the bright side of life.

          • Steglitz49

            Miyama’s 1-1 equalizer is to die for. Her Roberto-Carlos freekick will probably be longer remembered.

        • Guest

          Not sure how I feel about Ohai as a midfielder. She certainly has the speed and work rate to defend well and attack the flank. However, her skill set seems more suited to that of a winger and does not seem like much of a technical player.

      • Tae

        Lavelle. Everything screams for Lavelle to be called up now. Even if JJ moves to DM we still need a spare central mid.

        • Guest

          Agreed. Lavelle should be called up even if she doesn’t start. Also I watched some of Ohai’s games and everything about her game screams winger. I don’t ever think she will have the technical skills some of the people around here think she will. She is 23 now and quite honestly it is not there. Moe, Tobin and Alex all looked better than her at comparable ages.

  • NYRick

    OUT: the big one…

    Abby (come on, please, you said you just wanted a WC). You got that and you have plenty money. Plus you’ve got 2 gold OG medals too and the scoring record. Enough. And your overdramatic everybody leave the room little interview would have been far more dramatic if you announced this will be my last international match for the team. In fact, we’ll even give some tomato can victory tour matches for the balance of this year, but by Jan. 1, 2016 you are officially done.

    The others who need to step away: Boxx, Rampone (seriously??), Chalupny, HAO, Holiday (this we just learned), ARod, Krieger and I think Hope. (Hope will go kicking and screaming into the night, and for sure stick for OG16, but then she should leave. Throw in one of the 3 keepers and that means you go from 23 to about 14 or 15. That leaves a good 3 or 4 spots for new young faces. Dunn for certain, Ohai will become the new Press who everyone clamours for but I think she would make a very effective and speedy wing player. Also love to see Rose Lavelle and a strong DM, ball controlling player from the NWSL.

    This is all dreaming of course. Holiday has left of course and probably Boxx, but would it surprise anyone to see Abby and Rampone on the 18? The decision can not be theirs. Unfortunately this program is swimming in money right now from this win and will be all warm fuzzy and sentimental…once again.

    • Guest

      Don’t disagree with any of the players you think should be cut. But how about Moving JJ to DM and picking up a CB. Or do we have no faith at all in younger CBs

      • ARED

        Which would be a bit ironic, considering the impasse found by Sauerbrunn, Engen, and JJ to even get a look.

    • Keithustus

      Don’t you like experience? Those players just won the World Cup for a reason. Abby is probably cardio broken, and Boxx hasn’t played much, but Kreiger, Rampone (sans injury), and Solo are rocking, and one more year probably won’t cause a precipitous decline. I was pleasantly surprised to see that ARod can still play (ignoring silly easy miss, of course.)

      • Tae

        Yeah. I think post OG 2016 is when to start thinking of changes and the future. That’s plenty of time. Lots to be said for going into OG marketing the WC winning squad, and maximizing our odds of winning it, and experience will help there, so we can go into WC 2019 touting ourselves as undisputed champion of the world.

        If we got both Dunn and Ohai (or whoever, not sure she’s a lock) that’s probably the most we could hope for for 2016. I wouldn’t be surprised if we only got Dunn.

    • skybolt

      Rick, I actually agree with almost everything you said. The USWNT won the big prize after 16 long years, which is the WC trophy. Even if they lose in the Olympics it should not negatively impact women’s soccer in this country, as long as we’re still world cup champs. That being said, since there is very little turnaround time between the celebration tour and the Olympics I would hesitate to leave off any of our starters from the current squad. This means that Krieger and Solo will likely stay, since both those players still have a shot at making the 2019 squad (this includes Lloyd of course). The other players you mentioned should be replaced. If A-Rod cannot crack the starting line-up and will be 32 by the 2019 WC, I think it’s a good time to replace her with another young forward to learn the ropes from the other 3. As far as Morgan/Press/Leroux are concerned I’d finally give those 3 ample time to play with each other at the forward position (probably not all 3 at the same time) and ride that horse for the Olympic tournament. If they figure things out by then and score multiple goals (while assisting each other) in the Olympics, then we’re in good shape heading into 2019 with all 3 being in the 29/30 age range, which is when most players peak. If they don’t perform well (with Abby not being in the equation), then at least we’ll know within a year and still have ample time to find replacements starting in early 2017. I seriously don’t want to have the same conversation of whether or not Leroux/Press are being given adequate opportunity to prove themselves at the forward position 2 years from now. The statement also applies to Morgan. A.) She has to remain healthy, and B.) she has to get her scoring touch back soon.

      • NYRick

        Agree to everything you said. Abby and Rampone are the key. Abby needs to “free up” the forwards to finally progress forward and really determine if those 3 are the ones to push into 2019. Keep in mind all 3 will be late twenties/pushing 30 too. I would like to see those 3 with 2 forwards on the team or developing who were in the 22-24 range.

        With Rampone, this defense is now all about Brunn. It’s her team. Yes JJ was good (a little too much so, she did make 3 fairly critical errors the last 2 matches) but this is JJ’s defense moving forward as well. She may be moved to a DM (which might be her more natural position) if formation and personnel dictate. But point is, Rampone’s time is up. She got the obligatory roster spot and bonus money for the ride, but she’s 40, has over 300 caps and time to give way to younger players. These players, whether it’s ego or the power they yield in this program after a good stretch, forget they too were once 22 or 23 and needed a break for their careers to happen. Abby I think conveniently forgets that Mia stepped aside at 32. I’m sure Mia could have hung around till 35 if she wanted and still was the feature forward as long as she wanted. That would have put Abby into the 27/28 range before she became the feature player. Who knows how she would have developed?

        You also make a terrific point over the fact that OG16 should not be much pressure for this US team. They still would be reigning WC champs till 2019 and retain all #1 FIFA rankings most likely even with a bronze at the coming Olympics. Play that to your advantage to properly retool the program. Problem is, they won’t. I’ll use my often over used phrase on here, “gig’s too good for these girls.” Making 250-300k a year plus sponsor money is awesome for someone in their late twenties to mid to late 30s. Plus, the fame and adulation. Hard to give that up, even to start a family. They have to be told it is NOT their decision. That’s not how this program works. Abby, Boxx, Rampone, Lilly, Foudy etc. set a bad precedent. Now the genie is out of the bottle. Can’t fix it. It will be worse than ever with this WC win.

        • skybolt

          I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m hanging my hopes on Ellis making the right decision. Personally, I don’t believe she actually wants Wambach, Rampone, HAO and Boxx on this team moving forward. Having now won the WC she will have a lot more power to make these tough decisions, especially after benching Abby for most of the knockout stages. Of course these players want the fame and money that comes with the gig, but by Jan 1st, 2016 I’m 99% sure the above players will be gone. At the age of 28 A-Rod is still young and relevant (especially in the NWSL). It will be a tough decision to keep her off the squad, but as you stated, we need to start grooming the next generation of young forwards. I will also make another prediction and say that one of the 3 current forwards (Morgan/Leroux/Press) will not make the 2019 WC squad. Not sure which one yet.

          • Steglitz49

            So far Ellis has made the right decisions as witness that the US are World Champions.

            What other points were you making?

          • skybolt

            Uhm, this was my point. I am confident that Ellis will make the right decisions moving forward even though I doubted her before the WC.

    • DG

      I don’t think Ohai is anywhere near as skilled as Press. A quality fast wing player with a good shot and cross but I have doubts as to her technical abilities and ability to play in the midfield. I think Dunn is a better player all around though. Having said that I would probably still call her up. Agree with pretty much everything else.

      • skybolt

        I think we’ll learn a lot about Ohai with her playing alongside Lloyd in Houston. If I were her I’d assist Carli as much as possible if she ever wants a personal reference for a call-up to the NT. At this point I agree that Dunn is a higher priority than her, but with 20 spots available for the Olympic Qualifying tournament, there could be room for both.

        • DG

          I agree. I think we should try and find room for 3-4 youngsters maybe Levelle, Ohai, amongst others. They should also bring in either a young CB or DM depending on what position they want JJ at in the future. Dunn obviously needs to be on the team. She should have made this WC team.

          • Steglitz49

            I would say 6 is an absolute minimum and 10 ought to be a reasonable target.

        • Steglitz49

          18+2 — 2 have to be goalies.

          • skybolt

            Yes, my thinking is that if Holiday, Wambach, A-Rod, Rampone, Boxx, let’s say Naeher, Chalupney and HAO are left off of the Olympic Qualifying squad, that would leave us with 15 active players (with the 2 goalies included). Since the qualifying roster calls for 20 players we could see up to 5 new recruits joining the team. It’s wishful thinking but not impossible.

          • Steglitz49

            I would prune more ruthlessly. Else I have typed that noone born before 1993 but with 3 elder stateswomen.

            Even not going that far, I would leave off all those who already have one or more Olympic golds because they do not need another. I would also leave behind Press.

          • skybolt

            This approach worries me as well since a mix of veteran leadership and youngsters is needed to win titles. I don’t want all the experience players in their mid to late 20’s obtained in this WC to be squandered. The last thing I want is for an inexperienced super young group to get nervous/flustered during the later stages of a tournament and get humiliated in the 2019 WC like the Brazilian men’s team was in the 2014 WC. Heck, even if we get rid of another 5 or 6 players on this team I wouldn’t mind replacing them with proven NWSL players in their mid to late 20’s.

          • Steglitz49

            I am looking to the USNT in 2019 being between 20-29 years old with the majority 23-27, with maybe 1 or 2 aged >30. Thus, the squad in Rio must needs be 20-26 but in reality mainly 20-24.

          • skybolt

            Although I agree with you in principle, unfortunately the reality we face is a different thing. I think both you and I will be content with a quarterfinal finish in the Olympics (with a super young team), and even if we don’t win the WC in 2019….losing in the semis, it’s not the end of the world. However, for a majority of fans and the USSF, these results will be a disaster and heads will roll. What that means is that 75% of the young players we were grooming to be our core for the next 10 years, will likely get the ax because results matter. Now you’re back to square one just like Brazilian men’s team was by hiring Dunga and bringing back Robinho after the WC debacle. Look at someone like Horan. Do you mean to tell me that the quarterfinal finish in the U-20 didn’t hurt her stock to ultimately make the NT? Results matter and especially to a successful team like the USWNT. Again, I’m not saying that this team should stick with the older players, but a proper balance across the board is required to have a successful team. For instance, in the last 3 major tournaments our leading scorers were over the age of 30. I don’t want to completely eliminate that age group unless it makes sense.

          • Steglitz49

            Your points are well taken. At the same time, Philip Lahm retired from international football at 30 having lead his country to the world cup. Now Lauren has done it at 27. Bobby More was only 32 when the retired from the national team, having won the WC at 25.

            Exactly how you transition the team is a tricky task and you may well be right that Horan has had her goose cooked.

          • guest

            I think we also should note that player development for European Mens sides are quite a bit different from the women’s game. All of the US players played and developed in college not the youth squads of wealthy clubs at the age of 15 and 16.

          • Steglitz49

            The American way would be much preferable the world over but is unlikely to happen. That eponymous bear has a lot to answer for but the idea of the NCAA was good.

          • DG

            An unfortunate truth is that many of these ladies rely on the income from being a part of the NT. Lahm may have retired from international competition but he is still getting paid rather well by his club and maybe at some point an MLS team. Women’s footballers are not afforded such luxuries once their stint with the NT is over they are done. The current pittance of NWSL salaries is not nearly enough to support them yearly while they train many have to take on other jobs. These circumstances make it difficult for me to blame any player who wants to keep playing, even if I don’t think that players no longer capable of being effective should be gifted roster spots.

          • Steglitz49

            Lahm was not actually that well paid. He was not even the best paid German player.

            I doubt that we will see Lahm in the US. He married his highschool sweetheart and they have at least one child. He has long been involved in charitable causes. Like Gold-Lena Philipp is happy in himself and where he is.

          • DG

            Not well paid for a Bayern Munich Player is still set for life compared to any women footballer from anywhere.

          • Steglitz49

            Once women footballers regularly fill a large stadium at high ticket prices and big sponsorship, they too can earn good money.

            Till then, marry someone loaded is not a bad alternative.

          • Guest

            And that is all well and fine but then don’t be surprised when they do not want to retire for kids who are not yet better than them.

          • Steglitz49

            The coaches can do their duty by not selecting them.

          • skybolt

            Yeah, it’s definitely tricky. I just feel like the level of popularity the USWNT has with many casual fans in the US is based on A.) great results, and B.) recognizable players. If we head into the 2019 WC with only 2 or 3 players from the current squad, it could result in a disconnect with 90% of fans whom only tune in during major tournaments. On top of that, if that unrecognizable team under-performs during the WC, the disconnect with the fans could grow much larger, which could lead to bad repercussions for the NWSL league as well.

            Once you obtain success it’s hard to reverse course and start over. For instance, France managed start fresh with a young team prior to the 2011 WC and has ridden that team to reasonable success for several years now. However, now that they’ve achieved that success and grown the popularity of the sport in France, it’ll be hard for them to do a complete rebuild and risk missing the subsequent WC or Olympic tournaments. In retrospect, Spain’s men’s team should’ve probably gone with a youth movement in the 2014 WC, but after winning 2 straight Euro Cups and 1 WC, they decided to ride that old horse again to much less success in 2014. Even Neid played all her tired veterans against the US in the semis (even though she had talented youngsters sitting on the bench), because she knew that results matter to the German fans. It’s a lot easier to lose with Mittag and Sasic and say I went with my proven veterans than risk losing with Petermann and Debritz.

          • Steglitz49

            Indeed. Neid misused her bench. Players like Däbritz, Petermann and Breme (spelling?) should have been starting, not least Däbritz. Bizarre.

          • skybolt

            I really like Dabritz. She sort of reminds me of a young Morgan, where she’s always visible on any given attack.

          • Steglitz49

            I verily can’t see how Neid even won one world cup. Granted, it was not her fault that Sasic missed but seeing how well she managed them during Euro-13, what went wrong here? Did they really miss Kessler, Wensing and Alushi so much?

            Granted, the US was one of the few teams to have all its ducks in a row coming into WC-15 and rode their luck, but what were Germany up to?

          • skybolt

            I do think that after playing an extremely easy group and scoring 15 goals, then beating a toothless Swedish team 4-1, the Germans were a bit shocked that France took it to them in the quarters. After that they looked scared against a US team who came at them like a wrecking ball.

    • mockmook

      Krieger is still good enough that she should at least be a back up OB/CB (and get a chance for OG medal, then she should go).

  • AlexH

    It seems to me that if I ran a big company that wasgoing to sign a USWNT to some endorsement deal she would be worth a lot more to me if she remained on the team rather than went quietly into retirement and I would stipulate that in order to get big bucks she would have to continue to play. If anybody is actually in the ad business chime in, but I think that the old gals have got a lot of monetary incentive to stick around.

    • Steglitz49

      Your point is well taken and probably explains why so many sportspersons continue past their best-by date.

      There are, of course, striking exceptions who simply walked away at their peak and at a young age. Some were enticed to make a comeback — most likely for a bag of swag — but the sensible ones stayed away.

      Having at last brought the trophy back to the US, they ought to enjoy their fan tour. After that it is anyone’s guess but soccer has come to mean so much to them and they have not had time or made the effort to develop outside of soccer and it is an alternative lifestyle and a flase family, that the risk is they will continue.

      JE has a tough time ahead of her. I would prefer to resign and let someone else sort it out.

  • FootballNowAndAlways

    The thing about championship titles, if you win them all the time, they lose their appeal. Would this victory have been so special if the team had won since 1999? Nope. It was the rarity that made it special. If you are winning everything, you get tired of it. If it were up to me, everybody on this team would be released, and an entirely new and extremely young team constituted. I am not convinced that the current rookie class in the NWSL wouldn’t give this team a run for its money.

    • DG

      Idk 16 years is a long time to have to go with out winning and I will never apologize for being a Yankee fan. I enjoyed every year from 1996-2000 and never got tired of them winning. But to your point the team needs to do a better job of infusing young talent at an earlier age.

      • FootballNowAndAlways

        “Idk 16 years is a long time to have to go with out winning”

        That’s what I mean, that is when winning is most special, when you go a long time (like 16 years, or more accurately, 3 world cups) without winning.

        • Guest

          I would much rather have a team win every single year then be subjected to what cleveland fans have had to endure for over 50 year or Cubs fans for 100 years

      • cary nelson

        Totally Agree with you!!! New/Younger Talent needs to come in sooner. Just bring the NEW kids in to Camp and play friendlies to see what they have!!! Oh… yeah that Yankee thing is a little disgusting!!! Lol… Life long Atlanta Braves fan!
        .

    • Tae

      Jordan’s Bulls? Maybe what you say is true of others but we’re a nation of excess, the more we win the more we love.

  • Jane

    Basically, everybody’s agents are pounding the pavement right now to see what the sponsorship market is willing to pay. There is big brand money tied to the Olympics that will be tough to pass up. Decisions will be made based on dollar signs.

    USSoccer should offer Rampone a coaching gig. Maybe one of the U teams or assistant to the USWNT. I believe the current senior team lacks a backline coach. Maybe they will dangle that to speed up her retirement.

    As for Abby, I think USSoccer needs to negotiate or create a cushy figurehead role for her. Like “US Ambassador of Soccer”motivational speaking job or an announcer job for FOX or work with Nike to give her some token position like “Chief Soccer Officer.” Basically pay her off and assuage her ego in some symbolic way.

    • Steglitz49

      Hence that photo. Can’t let Carli have it all her way, can we now? not to mention Lauren.

      • Jane

        I don’t know why you are so hung up on that photo. The media – traditional and social – created that phenomenon. Abby just went and celebrated the same way all the other players did and a photographer happened to catch it in a photogenic way. I actually think that Fox threw fuel on the fire by going radio silent on the kiss during the broadcast leading many other news outlets to gleefully jump in to clarify who it was that Abby was smooching.

        • Steglitz49

          If WC-15 will be remembered for anything, it is Carli Lloyd. Carli at last getting the recognition she so rightly has deserved for 7 years at least.

          It might also be remembered for Lauren retiring (at least temporarily).

          It might even be remembered for a white teddy bear or a Norwegian freekick, and FIFA winning the turf-war.

          Hence my cynical observation linking that photo to your opening sentence of “everybody’s agents pounding the pavement right now …”. What smarter move for her agent to remind us of Abby?

          • Jane

            We don’t get to decide what the WC will be remembered for. The Internet has democratized that process for us. But if it makes you feel any better, today’s Twitterized and Snapchattified attention spans will have already moved on from WC-15 in 3… 2… 1…

          • Steglitz49

            They are right to. WC-15 might be remembered for FIFA winning the turf-war.

  • Tae

    NYT article about tough choices ahead for USWNT. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/07/sports/soccer/after-the-world-cup-title-the-womens-team-may-lose-some-veterans.html?ref=sports&_r=0

    Here is the comment I found most interesting:

    “I think that’s what changed,” Holiday said, comparing the 2015 team with the 2011 World Cup team that finished second to Japan. “We have a belief in each other, no matter if you’re on the bench or not, that whoever is on the field is going to get it done”

    Maybe that means nothing but I’m wondering if there is some suggestion here of locker room discord in 2011.

    And I don’t want to annoy Jersey Rises any more than I have but this doesn’t make me happy:

    “Lloyd … spoke Monday about aspiring to play in the 2019 tournament in France. “Yes, absolutely,” Lloyd said. “Got to get another star on that jersey.””
    It makes me unhappy because if Lloyd wants it, maybe she deserves it after this performance. Certainly will be hard to say no to her with all the precedent we have set for players in their late 30s making the roster.

    • john

      But this shouldn’t be a big deal. Lloyd hopes to make the roster. Coach decides if her form at the roster deadline merits it. The other factor is the one mentioned by Holiday-team chemistry. There is no other reasoning that need enter into it.

      • mockmook

        Ellis did not pick Wambach, Rampone, Chalupny, and Boxx on merit. There were younger, more in-form options for each of those.

        If JE is around for 2019, she will likely make the same mistake with Lloyd (I’m assuming Lloyd 2019 will not be nearly as good as Lloyd 2015).

        • john

          I was describing how the system should (and does on most NTs) work. I don’t believe the US currently works that way, their way just won the WC. My point is twofold. There is nothing wrong with Lloyd stating her goal of 2019. Second, Holiday made an important point that the 23 best players do not necessarily make the best team. Form and chemistry should be the bottom line at selection time.

        • Guest

          Just my own Opinion here but, really, just how good was Lloyd from the run of play. I saw 2 PKs, two goals from set pieces the Japanese saw fit to leave her unmarked, one brilliant header, and another equally brilliant 60 yard strike that no one expects to be replicated, along with a whole lot of crap when she was assigned to midfield duties.

          • ARED

            And, the brilliant header was on a set piece also -and against China. Still very nice, but it was not a goal from open play.

            She had one assist, put ARod through on a great ball that went unfinished, and scored from 55 yards. Other than that, her “offensive freedom” led to very little. Despite what many are claiming in their summaries of the tournament/final.

        • Steglitz49

          JE won. That is enough.

    • Guest

      I know the USSF will never operate this way but the policy should be that the best players make the team. Not the best players under 30 and certainly not the best players plus some oldies who can no longer contribute. The best players. Period. Not taking the best players for the team is a horrible precedent for the team to set.

    • mockmook

      I think Holiday is just saying the team was deeper for 2015.

      Imagine how deep it would have been if the deadwood had been removed.

      • ARED

        Or she is saying that in 2011 the players on the bench were good enough to win , or at least help win, (specifically Morgan, Heath, and Sauerbrunn) but weren’t given the faith by the coach or the veterans to really believe they could do it. Even Holiday a starter was shifted around and around, despite being the best US attacker for much of the WC. But now, in 2015, the vets were forced to see that the “kids” could do it, so finally they came around to realize that “if it was going to happen, it was probably going to have to be with me as a sub” -as Wambach said.

        That is reading a bit into a statement from a person who is smart and kind enough not to say what I’m suggesting. But the team -coaches and veterans -have made it clear in words and action that they do not trust players without experience. To a very large fault. Especially off-putting if you’re the inexperienced player but you show more poise and team play in your limited chances than the vaunted vets (ie, Morgan and Sauerbrunn in 2011, or Brian and JJ now).

        • mockmook

          By the start of the WWC 2015, the only “youngster” who wasn’t starting regularly was Brian.

          The only other player who can reasonably be labelled “young” is JJ.

          I’ll have to go back and see what the roster was in 2011 and see the ages (especially on the bench).

          • ARED

            Well as I said, start with Morgan, Heath, and Sauerbrunn. Heath perhaps more of a stretch, depending on how you want your team to play. But Buehler was a liability (as was LePeilbet), and Morgan was better than Wambach or ARod. I suppose some would argue that…? And Rapinoe wasn’t even a starter (usually).

            And that’s why “kids” was in quotes, b/c to AW and the O-30’s, the rest are still the “kids” -or at least until very recently. I believe Holiday, Heath, and ARod were the ones who couldn’t shake that moniker. AND that’s the point -it shouldn’t ever matter (much), but certainly not now when they’re almost all 26-30. Those aren’t kids, those are world class players in their prime. O’Hara is talked about as if she is some teenager who was a huge risk and surprise that she played well. She is 26, has 60+ caps, and played every minute of the Gold-winning 2012 Olympics. But she’s still a “kid”?

            Yes some are/were young, but Japan’s young “kids” beat the USA veterans in 2011 -despite two world-class plays by the USA’s kid (Morgan) which gave them two leads. And a very similar, but probably even better, Japenese team in 2015 fell to a very different USA team -one that had mostly the “kids” playing from the start.

  • Fencerider

    Hi guys. I’m from Germany. The USWNT have impressed me during the whole WC15. The team has inspired me. So actually have to play Germany. In our internet forums we discuss about the lost properties of the coach Silvia Neid. But she sticks to Olympia also to her chair.

    I tried the discussion here to follow and have some questions. Sometimes I follow the NWSL on youtube.

    It is clear to me that deserved players should also stop times, and if
    they not think of yourself because you have to stop them to show the
    way.
    Now I’ve read a couple of new names here, but I think there also to
    players who have played sometimes in Europe and presented themselves
    well there.

    What do you think about Sarah Hagen? Could Sarah be the successor of Abby?

    Whats about Nici Cross, Keelin Winters or Amber Brooks. Erika Tymrak has also played at Bayern Munich. But I think she has not the strength for the national team.

    Sorry for my british english terms. It’s a bit difficult to use american english terms.

    • mockmook

      Welcome to this forum!!!

      Some of your comments were unclear — but, I understand that English is not your first language.

      Hagen has not impressed me. She seems slow and does not play with urgency. She is not the next Abby.

      I have not seen much of Cross. She looks good — but at 30 years old, she doesn’t look good enough to invest time in for WWC 2019.

      Winters and Brooks both deserve to be auditioned as DMs for the USWNT. But, I have been more impressed by Tori Huster. Also, Julie Johnston is ideal for that role.

      Tymrak is playing very good football right now. Of the players you listed, I think she has the best chance of making the USWNT. She may be a successor to Rapinoe.

      Much will depend on who is the next coach (or if Jill Ellis continues) for the USWNT. The formations and tactics they favor will heavily influence the players they will choose.

      • NYRick

        What exactly is a successor to Rapinoe? You know Pinoe is not leaving this team for a good 4 years and barring injury is a lock to be on the team for 2019 which would make her 34. Even if her play declined and another younger player was more worthy, she is now too visible and too popular a player on the team. She represents zaniness and fun and being yourself and all that. This is all taken into account on this national team in the selection process.

        Look at this current roster. They got the “we have kids” and we still balance our incredible lives by being on this national team (Rampone, Boxx and ARod). All 3 they could have easily won without.

        You can be a renegade cerebral loner who finds themselves and their love of the game (Press). She kind of fills a nice slot there for the outsider a bit.

        The Gung Ho win at all costs bulldog/warriors (Lloyd, Abby, HAO) who put absolutely nothing but soccer first in their lives. That fills the slot for the driven life dream type of player who aspires to the team one day without all the top skill sets.

        Then there’s Hope. The bad girl. The bad ass who lives on the edge but her stellar ability makes her a necessary evil. You know that appeals to some as well.

        In Heath you have the clever trickster. Don’t you want to grow up and nutmeg someone just like Tobin.

        And of course there’s Alex. Every girl’s dream. The pretty prom girl who also scores goals (well, at least she used to) and grabs all the headlines and the cover shoots. She fulfills the fantasy of being attractive and talented…and popular. Wow.

        This team is carefully constructed from a marketing standpoint, even more so than age. I’m starting to believe that.

        • mockmook

          Perhaps Pinoe’s free-spirit will let her walk away by 2019 — she’s reached the top (especially if she can get a championship with the Reign), and she has a great life outside of soccer.

          Interesting point about the mothers.

          There may be no mothers for 2019. Alex and Syd are the likeliest, but I just don’t see them wanting to do the balancing act, don’t see them wanting to plan their kids to fit in the WWC schedule.

          • Anna

            I saw an article in which Alex told the reporter that she wanted to have a child before 30 and come back and play.

          • mockmook

            If that’s her wish, I hope she can make it happen.

            Maybe the time away (and the maturing process) will make her better like it did for A-Rod.

          • Cc W

            She may well have a plan – she got married beginning of this year – does WC and Olympics. She’ll be what 27-28 after the Olympics, can have a kid in 2017, get herself back into in 2018 and be ready for 2019. I could see that path for several of the players if they choose to have children.

          • Breakers fan

            I just want the coaches to be ruthless in their ability to play whomever they think is playing the best at any time. If younger midfielders or forwards are, for example, outplaying Rapinoe or Lloyd, the latter sit. It’s not unprecedented on men’s teams, this replacement of older players with younger ones. I just hope we have a coach with the ability to make fearless decisions based on what he/she is seeing in practices and in games. Who know which players will really keep up with their conditioning, for one thing. And age does gradually slow one.

        • ARED

          I agree these things are important (to US Soccer) and could even play a role at times, but Solo is the GK b/c she’s the best by far, not for marketing potential. Yes, they sell hard on the bad girl image, but she’d be there either way. Same for most mentioned, although it does seem like they are fascinated with (and stuck on) marketing Rampone (soccer mom) and Wambach (“I want to win *so* bad”).

          Those are the storylines I see being overly marketed, esp in relation to an undeserved role/place on the team. But maybe it’s just b/c I miss a lot of the marketing reach, or I am overly biased by my belief that those players are holding back the team….

    • Tae

      Hello from USA. German ladies, when on, were so impressive. I don’t think I’m the only one here who thinks Germany probably wins the semi vs USA if Maroszan had played.

    • ARED

      I think age has to come into the evaluations, and while I agree that Tymrak has had ups and downs, she is just 23 and has 4 years to develop into a solid USA player by the next WC. And 27 is a perfect age to play at a WC.

      Meanwhile Cross, as mockmook says, is already 30 so it’s probably too late. This may be true even for Winters and Brooks, who I like. But the USA is very slow to bring new players in, so unless that changes I think players who are already 26 or over will have a hard time making it. But, the USA should take the best players, regardless of age -as many people on this website often say.

      Sarah Hagen I am not certain on, but I think she is still below many on the US forwards list, which is the problem many find. If Press and Leroux cannot get chances to play, I don’t think Hagen is going to anytime soon either.

  • NYRick

    The Olympics should be done like it’s done for men’s soccer. A complete U23 team with I believe is allowed 2 “select” players over that age per team. And this rule should be in effect for qualifying matches as well. It is absurd that the women get the two events. In men’s soccer, the OG is thought to be a joke and really a proving ground for young players on a visible stage. Also with the U23 rule for women at the OG you are better leveling the playing field when you think how well Nigeria’s U20 team did. Granted, the US and Germany would still field powerful teams and be favorites, but it would just make for more interesting competition and new faces.

    • Breakers fan

      Interesting idea, Rick. A lot of it appeals to me, mainly because, as we know, it is hard for younger players to break into the national team. It takes years, usually. So this would give us a chance to see new faces in a big, prestigious international tournament that is very much in the spotlight. I don’t know if there is any movement in this direction – I don’t think so, but maybe someday. Although I like your U-23 idea one could maybe expand it to under 26 or 27 but not on the World Cup roster. One step beyond that would be “those who received very few WC minutes.” But the more allowances you make the fewer younger players you would see. Thanks for this idea – it’s one I really hadn’t thought of in such a strict, across-the-board (for every nation competing) way.

    • ARED

      It’s 3 overage players allowed for the men. And I am pretty sure that only that actual U23’s can play in qualifying, the allowances come in just for the tournament.

      I like the idea, but I might let it ride for 10-20 more years. With so many WoSo leagues fledgling and fighting for every break they can get, having a second boost in popularity/coverage/hype/star power every four years can really only help. It certainly would even things out and change the competition to show off youth, but I’m not sure they can afford to pass on the chance at the headlines and buzz the Olympics bring the sport. You want Marta playing drawing those headlines. The US is deep enough to still be intriguing, along with a few others, but that is appealing to hardcore fans, not the 26 million who watched the WWC final in the US.

      • Steglitz49

        The idea is pretty obvious. The first aim must be to get 16 ladies teams into the OG.

        In WC-15 1/3 of the teams were from UEFA and 7 of 8 advanced from the groups. In Rio, there will be 3 UEFA teams. Meanwhile we can expect the US and Canada to be there in a walk, also Japan and Australia unless North-Korea grabs a spot. And, of course, New Zealand!

  • NYRick

    Love this Wambach stuff…

    “She said last week that her time on the bench this tournament has taken years off her life.”

    Abby it’s more like your time on this team the last 2.5 years has taken years off the careers of Syd and Press.

  • cary nelson

    You are Right on Point!!! Especially with McCarthy Rocarro,Huerto. I would like to add Narin,Horan,McDonald and DiBernardo! Got to get the young players in to camp/call ups! It is Crazy… that it takes so long to get a SHOT at a roster slot.Now is the Time!!!

  • Cc W

    Ellis had to hedge her bets, but she knows the cuts that get her to 18 are rather easy. She isn’t going to admit it now, but cutting Abby, Boxx, Holiday, Rampone and a GK get her to 18 and she loses nothing. The squad won the world cup – we can quibble that maybe someone else could have been sitting on the bench during the games rather than Boxx or Rampone, but to me it is irrelevant at this time

    For me the bigger question is, whether you bring in some youth and replace maybe ARod, HAO or possibly even Leroux (unlikely). Chemistry is a big part of a team make up. Ellis has been able manage the egos so far, but her biggest test is yet to come.

    • Cc W

      Oh and Chup, Engen possible out too.