Clutch Carli: Lloyd proves hero in World Cup final

Jeff Kassouf July 6, 2015 145

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Carli Lloyd waited her entire life for this moment. The United States women’s national team waited four years for a second crack a World Cup title.

On Sunday, Lloyd needed only five minutes to emphatically secure her and her team’s fate.

The United States midfielder scored twice in the first five minutes on Sunday at BC Place to electrify a pro-American crowd of 53,341 fans, and the Americans marched on to score another three goals – Lloyd added one of those – to beat Japan, 5-2 on Sunday in the highest-scoring Women’s World Cup final in history.

Her third goal “might be the best goal ever scored by the United States,” said longtime captain Christie Rampone, who was part of the 1999 World Cup title team as well as this one.

source: Getty Images

Getty Images

In the 16th minute, Lloyd collected the ball in her own half off a Japan turnover and made a subtle touch on the ball to slip past a defender. When Lloyd lifted her head, she saw Japan goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori well outside of her goal box and, with a foot inside of each half, Llloyd launched a shot over the head of the hopeless goalkeeper, who got a finger on the ball but could only slow its inevitable roll of destiny over the goal line.

“I’ve dreamed of scoring a shot like that,” Lloyd said, adding that she scored a similar goal once when she was younger.

“I think when you’re feeling good, mentally, physically, those plays are just instincts and it just happens.”

[LAULETTA: Wambach finally wins the World Cup she has so desired]

The team’s World Cup triumph was at one point a relatively improbable though, but Lloyd playing the role of hero is really the most probably of endings. She was the first man or woman to score the Olympic gold-medal winning goal in back-to-back Olympic Games, lifting the now three-time defending Olympic champion U.S. women to glory in 2008 and 2012.

Lloyd, who turns 33 years old this month, has evolved from an out-of-shape young player, who was cut from youth national teams and on the verge of quitting the game over a decade ago, to one of the greatest players in the history of the greatest women’s soccer program on the planet now that it has become the first nation to win three title, in addition to four Olympic gold medals.. She won the Golden Ball award for the 2015 World Cup, given to the tournament’s best player.

Lloyd is the epitome of an athlete who is laser-focused, eyes wide and hungry at every moment on the field. She disconnects from her personal life during major tournaments and maintains minimal contact with her family and friends in order to focus solely on herself.

However, during tournaments, Lloyd does maintain daily contact with James Galanis, her trainer and the man she credits for her career turnaround. Galanis has been in Greece on vacation during the World Cup, but on Sunday morning, in a time zone 10 hours ahead of the one in which Lloyd played, Galanis sent the midfielder a motivational email just has he does before ever major tournament final (Lloyd has played in four now), the contents of which remain between trainer and player.

“She’s just a mental and physical machine,” Galanis said via text message.

Mentality is key for Lloyd.

“All these years, there are going to be people that try to push you down,” she told me in October. “There are going to be people that try to tell you you’re not good enough. What James has always continued to harp on with me, is that you train 100 percent, 100 percent of the time and you prove everybody wrong.”

That there are any doubters of Lloyd left out there after Sunday’s performance is a ludicrous thought. But any lingering thoughts about Lloyd and this generation of players not yet having a World Cup title of their own have been put to rest.

Lloyd’s mentality – emblematic of the team’s – is a big part of what got the United States to the podium.

After Sunday’s otherworldly performance, Lloyd shared a personal moment she had back home in southern New Jersey last month before departing for the World Cup. Lloyd was by herself on the humble, unassuming fields of raggedy grass in Medford, N.J., headphones in her ears while she ran sprints. Lloyd had a moment, she said, when she was daydreaming of playing in the World Cup final again. In that dream, she scored four goals, which by all realistic accounts of a soccer match – especially a World Cup final between two world-class teams – is an audacious pipe dream.

But there sat Lloyd on Sunday, having just become the first player to score a hat trick in a Women’s World Cup final, and it never seemed like it couldn’t happen. It felt like Lloyd could have scored six goals on the day if she were given the time; the same could be said for her teammates.

U.S. coach Jill Ellis also envisioned winning the World Cup, just not that emphatically. “Five is kind of a dream come true,” she said.

Even 10 days ago, the United States winning this Women’s World Cup title seemed unlikely. “I feel like this core of these 23 players and this staff have believed more than anybody else in this country,” U.S. forward Alex Morgan told me on Friday. She is right. That belief among player is all that the team ever really needed, and they told everyone all along.

In the face of team-wide criticism following an ugly round-of-16 victory over Colombia, Lloyd stepped up and led like a captain. (Lloyd and Abby Wambach rotated the armband throughout the tournament. Both wore it at one point on Sunday, but the 40-year-old Rampone walked off the field one last time at a World Cup with the armband around her bicep.)

Ahead of the quarterfinal match against China – which was the turning point of this World Cup for the United States – Lloyd faced the TV cameras and the scrutinizing questions all that week – just as she did all tournament – in Ottawa.

“We all know we’re not playing our best football,” she conceded then.

“Our best is yet to come,” she promised.

“I need to get the ball and I need to run at players, I need to create stuff,” she implored. “I need to find a way to impact the game, no matter how it’s going.”

All of those things happened. U.S. coach Jill Ellis, first by force due to suspensions and then by choice, changed her approach and pushed Lloyd up higher on the field, giving her the freedom for which she longed – the freedom which had delivered two Olympic gold medals and now, ultimately, a World Cup title to the United States.

Lloyd speaks often of her desire to be the best midfielder in the world. On Sunday, she proved that such a designation would be a disservice; to just call her a midfielder is too limiting.

“She was obviously the best forward in the world, the way she performed tonight,” Rampone said.

On this day, Lloyd stated loud and clear her case as the world’s best player.

“It’s a surreal moment,” she said. “It’s been amazing. We just wrote history today and brought this World Cup trophy home, which is unbelievable.”

But really, it’s all believable when Lloyd is on the field.

  • Hwah

    I think all that called for benching Lloyd throughout the tournament (even up to, and including, this game) should comment here: “Hi! My name is ______________, and I was wrong.”

    It could be therapeutic for you:)!

    • OkieDokie

      NYRick and DII deserve to be banned from the USA and never be allowed to enter our borders. Their hatred for Lloyd is psychotic – there are more on here but they are probably the worst. lol.

      • dw

        I actually think it is fanboys and apologists who can’t take any criticism of their favorite player(s) that is much more central to the issue than any so-called haters. I don’t hate any USWNT player, for the record.

        • NYRick

          I do take offense that you are probably labeling me or Reality as fanboys and apologists, when in fact you yourself have been Doctor Doom on here regarding many players, including personal attacks on their abilities, for the past year or so. Now we are the apologists/fanboys but you are of course, beyond that, and not a hater. OK.

          Sorry, you can’t have it both ways. I have congratulated the team and Carli. She answered her critics in the biggest spot, and actually has done that often in big games. That’s to her credit. But I still hold my opinions on both she and Abby for certain aspects of their play. I’m not a hater, but any elite, high profile athlete should be open to critique. Even if they are women. There is a double standard in that regard. You should check the boards for the US men’s team. They are people too, and some of the attacks were far more brutal than ever on here leading up to last summer’s WC.

          • Steglitz49

            The worrying bit for me is that the oldest team played one of the other old teams in the final and that Carli 10 days short of her 33 birthday was a towering figure.

            I have all along been a supporter of Carli’s but mainly commiserating that she has not been able to cash in on her goals. Suddenly, nearly 33 goals come in buckets.

            Hmmm.

          • smallbatches

            If not for the suspensions she would have had no effect. Let’s face it she is not equipped to play the role she was in and the only way to be effective is to essentially make her effectively the other striker. The team thrived with her taking Abby’s spot and because they high pressured because Abby was on the bench.

            Carli is about scoring, hard tackles and a fierce take no prisoners competitor who comes up big when put high up the field and not needed as a connector, she loves to freelance/roam.

          • Guest

            Yup this is spot on. If the choice is between her playing DM or sitting she should sit every time. However, I have no issue at all with her playing as a secondary striker and coming back on defense. The only thing I would add is that if Carli is going to be played as such in the future she should have to compete will all of our probably equally talented strikers who were forced to ride pine the last two games.

          • dw

            I don’t understand this. If Carli was DM yesterday, she still would have scored 3 goals.

          • Guest

            I am going on the assumption that a better team is not going to leave her unmarked on back to back set pieces and am basing this on some of her play prior to the last two games she played at forward. If she was playing DM she would not have been in position to score the third goal. If you watch the replay look at how much farther back Brian and Holiday are on that play. She had serious problems with bad turnovers, holding the ball, and making the smart pass quickly all tournament when playing at DM. The last two games do not change this.

          • dw

            My contention is that she would have been on the same spot on the pitch regardless of where she happened to fall on the tactical layout. Part of that aggravation vs. brilliance angle.

          • Guest

            I don’t really agree on this so we will have to agree to disagree. Part of the brilliance of the US defense this tournament has been how organized their defense has been. they stack 4 on 4 and keep the space in between them tight so they can help if someone gets beat. In the earlier games where Carli started at DM she was always a part of the 4 on 4 organization on the defensive end. Maybe I should make it clear that I think Carli Lloyd is one of the greatest USWNT players to ever put on a jersey and her performance last night was unbelievable. Even outside of her goals I thought she did fantastic work all over the field. However, I do not think it is unfair to point out some of her apparent limitations and that they most likely had something to do with the commonly held view point that the team had significantly underperformed in every game prior to Germany.

          • dw

            I don’t even think that we are disagreeing all that much. Note that Carli didn’t play DM in this tourney (not 100% sure on this, but pretty sure). And when she did play DM, she was often even with Holiday (who would have generally been CAM at the time), and sometimes even in front of her. To Carli DM means “top of the 18” and CAM means “top of the 6”. It’s just how she’s wired, to be close to the goal. Your description of her as “secondary striker” isn’t necessarily how it was deployed tactically, just how it was in practice. Whether that was Ellis, or Lloyd, IDK.

          • Guest

            They played a flat 442 before the china game rapinoe and Heath/Brian/Press pinching in for the overlap which ended up looking like a 4222 in the attacking end with Lloyd and Holiday nowhere near goal. Maybe Lloyd and Holiday would not be called out and out DMs(like one would be designated in a diamond) but were both suppose to share the role and take turns attacking. They never seemed to figure out when to stay back vs. attack and did not work well with one another in the same ways that Brian and Holiday did in the games against Germany and Japan. China was really the first game all tournament where Lloyd was an actual CAM and Brian was left organizing the attack and build up from the back. As for my description as a secondary striker she may have started from spaces that a CAM would play in but she clearly had free reign to move to wherever she wanted in the attacking third. I would agree that she came back a lot more on defense than if another true striker had been playing.

          • dw

            Funny observation from the final game, because the outcome wasn’t really in doubt. I was looking at our formation and it was a standard (flat) 4-4-2 with Lloyd and Alex even up top. People can call it what they will, but IMO it was never a 4-3-3.

          • Guest

            Maybe I need to watch the game again and focus on Lloyd. I definitely saw her a lot in the forward spot of a flat 442 and there was a lot of interchanging going on. I just had the impression that she did a lot of roaming in the attacking third and played a little more CAM in some of the buildup. You might be right though. And I also agree about the game never being in doubt after going up 4 the team took it’s foot off the gas.

          • dw

            Well I was talking about a few isolated observations. I didn’t mean to over-generalize. But that does mesh with how I think Carli operates. And not to say this is a bad thing. We both agree that it’s a good thing, making Carli a forward, I think.

          • Guest

            We are in agreement. If Carli wants to keep playing and keeps putting up performances like that I have no problem with her playing that attacking role. She can play that role for as long as she is able.

          • dw

            There you go, Steg. Haven’t you heard? Old gal soccer is the way to go! Teams need to skew older to win World Cups, cause that’s the only way to do it!

          • Steglitz49

            I am not persuaded that the market will buy that.

            The victory in itself is fine but WoSo must be sold. The real market is something else.

          • dw

            Well, someone has to say it. WoSo may be at the end of Golden Age, where several countries have gotten used to a lot of talented players that may not be immediately replaceable, especially in quantity. Brazil, Canada, USA, Sweden, Germany, France, Japan all perhaps with similar issues. That is why so many veteran heavy teams. When you eventually get a generational shift, the overall quality of int’l WoSo may go down, perhaps markedly.

          • Steglitz49

            WoSo has been blessed with a dozen years or so with exceptionally talented players and some glorious matches, goals and saves.

            New players will arise and fresh talent will be developed. Male soccer did not stop because the Grenoli hung up their boots, nor Pelé, Cruyff or the Kaiser.

            The drawback in this world cup was that so many around the world were old and many of the young talent sidelined by injury. Worse, the new star is almost 33.

            As the man with the cigar mused: Is this the end of the beginning? Sadly, it might be the beginning of loss of interest, not least if injuries keep decimating the ranks.

          • dw

            Another problem is that statistical records may be untouchable. Whatever Abby’s final tally is, it is likely to hold forever, because a lot of those goals came in an era where there was no defense by tomato can teams, no fitness either. We are approaching a future of very few tomato cans. This WWC showed that a lot of teams are capable defensively, even if only a few are capable offensively.

          • Steglitz49

            This WC showed that you could play soccer on artificial surfaces.

            Your point is well taken, that the stats are beyond reach. Somehow WoSo must create the new soccer where these past glories are taken for granted.

            This is where the high age of so many teams may be a handicap; Sweden, another ancient team was the only team not to lose to the US. Que?!

            The development in WoSo is faster than among the men. Nevertheless, currently nationalistic jingoism trumps the soccer, not least the quality of the matches.

            One day we will know whether WC-15 was a consolidation of what was achieved in WC-11 and Euro-13 (not sure where to put OG-12) and became a launchpad for greater things or whether WC-11 was the summit.

          • dw

            Well, I see a period of better tactical soccer played by lesser quality players. (Before people go off on this statement, I’m talking about all-time great caliber players, like Abby, Marta, Prinz, sort of like the NHL post Gretzky and Lemieux. The NHL has done fine, expanded, but there was a lot of trapping defense, and goal scoring plummeted, and has never gotten back to what it was). So you will get a lot of 1-0 games, unfortunately, unless people want to go PK happy, which we have seen in both NWSL and WWC, another bad trend. WoSo will survive, and even grow. But even if the perfect striker came along, their impact would be lessened by the greatly increased size, fitness, and organization of opposing defenses. USWNT could continue boost a player’s stats by playing even more friendlies, but they are really the only side in the world that can do that economically, for now, and probably the short (and mid-) term future.

          • Steglitz49

            The PR-machine has made sure that it is forgotten that Gretzky played in the 8-1 drubbing that was dished out in 1981 — and not just Gretzky but LaFleur, Trottier and you name them. Made to look 3rd rate and yet referred to as the great one. PR is useful to have on your side.

            What has PR done for WoSo?

            How long can FIFA insist that networks buy the ladies WC together with the men’s? Maybe for 2019 but I doubt in 2023. Yes, the studios in Europe sat up all night and showed games starting late and extra late, not just the final — but the audiences must have been trivial.

            Thus, I revert to my theme — when the key person in the WC final is 33 and not 24-28, WoSo is on a slippery slope to nowhere. Nationalistic jingoism does not fill the stands and WoSo living off handouts from the rich men’s soccer simply reinforces the perception that WoSo has no role.

            That only 8-10% of America watched this final confirms that the dice are loaded against WoSo. It is up to WoSo to redress those odds — or perish.

          • dw

            No one’s going to remember who wins the Golden Ball, Steg. Maybe 3 or 4 of us here. If Sawa didn’t win in ’11 I have no idea who it was. I have no clue who won in ’07 (guess Prinz, actually Marta). What you think matters doesn’t really matter.
            Sawa and Marta have almost exactly ZERO marketability in the USA, and yet WoSo continued to grow. How do you explain that? US Olympic golds and bodypaint? Well maybe they’re worth something after all (gold medals, that is).
            And for those us grounded a little bit more in reality, 8-10% is pretty darn good. I haven’t seen comparisons vs. 2011, but I’m sure the numbers are out there somewhere.
            ProWoSo is on pretty solid ground. If you want to look at something on really shaky ground, look to Pro Women’s Hockey.

          • Steglitz49

            We learnt on the 5th of July that Olympic gold is dung to WoSo players. The lack of that WC gold burnt a hole in their hearts, like pouring acid into their ears.

            Selfevidently, the locals are more markeatble than Giovanna Foreigner. That is true for all sports — unless the locals are totally useless. Who is biggest in Sweden: Schelin or Marta? Both are trivial compared with Kalla or Sjöström.

            In 2011 4-5% of Americans watched the ladies final. In 1999 it was about 6% now it is 8-10%.

            Women’s hockey changes its feathers when in this years World Cup Japan beat Sweden in Sweden. Team games seem to have a special niche for Japanese ladies. Maybe a chance for women to work together as a group for themselves, no blokes about to interfere.

          • dw

            Is there Pro Women’s hockey in Sweden? In Japan???

          • Steglitz49

            Search me. Sweden won Olympic silver in 2006, defeating the US in the semi-final.

          • Keithustus

            Real hockey or field hockey?

          • Lord_Littlefingers_Lash

            CARLI LLOYD —–> MLS

          • Tae

            Why does the age issue worry you? Youngsters gave Japan all it could handle throughout the tourney, and youngsters provided the platform for Carli to stage a virtuoso performance. Roger Milla and Rumenigge had star turns too in world cup history.
            As for the marketing side, if you were a marketing firm, would you be pushing Lloyd to your clients? The proper reward for athletic brilliance is rings and trophies, the marketing side looks elsewhere, and Lloyd doesn’t have the attributes. I don’t see unfairness here. Did Abby ever make a ton? On the endorsement side what sticks out in my memory with Abby is MagicJack…

          • Steglitz49

            People will not watch a WoSo of the 30+. They are not watching a lot as it is and it is not going to improve with Zimmerframes Utd playing Walkingstick Wanderers.

            What are you trying to sell? What is your product? Why have numbers stayed reasonably steady at the NWSL in spite of the WC.

          • Tae

            I think you’re making too much of the average age, at least when it comes to the US. Boxx and Rampone push that way up and they did not figure. Other than Lloyd it was JJ who got the lion’s share of attention and she’s 23. We had plenty of youth on display.
            I’m also not sure 30+ hurts WoSo as much as you’re saying. Seems to me like in WoSo the big names are usually the names that have been around. Folks don’t pay as much attention to WoSo, they need to hear a name over and over for years for it to stick. The Alex Morgan types are the exception. It’s not like Abby ever had the type of game to excite, she was all about scoring all the time forever and ever.
            On the marketing side I don’t think there is a demo or a product where you could market it with a female pro athlete who isn’t athletic-looking or pretty. This goes back to the ancient greeks competing naked. Even if you’re pitching the “winner” idea, it the win came in the athletic arena, it has to fit preconceptions of what an athlete looks like, at least on the female side. If Charles Barkley had been a woman he never would have risen to prominence either.
            I wonder how much value Moe might have. She deserves tons money and fame. I don’t know if she’ll get it though.

          • guest

            Bingo I think the star power of the NT players is more important, at least in the United States. Think of how many people we just exposed to Moe, JJ and others just for tuning in to watch Abby, Alex, and Pinoe. Most of these casual viewers won’t care about Dunn, Levelle, Tyrmak, or Ohai until they make the senior team.

          • Steglitz49

            My take is that they care about the US winning. That is all.

          • Tae

            Sadly its entirely possible Moe will become the best most influential player on USWNT and never gain public acclaim. Dealing as we are with mostly casuals who flock to world cup then cease to care for the next four years, a player who’s not racking up stats and isn’t SI cover pretty might not register.

          • guest

            Yeah you might be right. It seemed like the only reason Tobin and Lauren got face time today on that Fox program was because they scored in the final. JJ on the other hand looks to be the new marketing gem of the WNT for the next 10 years the media can’t stop talking about her. Even her screw ups have served her well and help bring attention to her. Look at Brunn for contrast. I will to my part however to let everyone know that Moe saved this world cup for the USA.

          • Tae

            I’m a little mystified by how much attention JJ is getting. But you know what, maybe it’s not such a bad thing if the public begins to appreciate defenders, even if they haven’t picked the defender who should get the most appreciation.

          • guest

            She is attractive, has a great smile and has a vibrant personality. What marketing department can’t work with that?

          • Steglitz49

            Zlatan is a year older than Carli while Messi is 5 years younger, and both have been stars for a long time, while Carli who scored the goals in the OG-08 and -12 finals has been a curiously forgotten player. Heck, Press got more press than Lloyd did.

            Why did the world take the 2011 Nadeshiko to heart? Not only because of the backdrop but because they were young and exuberant. I am not persuaded that the world will be moved by this WC. Maybe the world will embrace England because of their max bad luck in the SF and then rose and put Germany to the sword.

            It may not matter in the US but in most other countries WoSo players compete for column-inches against other ladies — let alone the men.

          • Tae

            You can’t compare the men to women though. In men’s football, talent speaks. Ronaldinho is maybe the ugliest man alive and look at how popular he is. Even Scholes at least got the most underappreciated player award on an annual basis. Hell the first time I heard of Pirlo, he was 12. On the WoSo side talent is not enough. Mia definitely was not the best player for us in the 90s, Akers was. And I’m not even sure how big a moment it is in the public consciousness to come up big in Olympics soccer. Akers came up huge in two world cup wins and got nada.
            As for Japan, I still think you’re overplaying the age factor. Fukushima and underdog status were the compelling issues there, and the fact they knocked off the mighty and resented USA, that’s something the world will rally around. And to be honest, I’m not sure western viewers can even put an age to Japanese faces.
            About England, have you heard about FA tweet flap? If not you should google it. So sad.

          • Steglitz49

            The FA’s tweet flap was bizarre. British media have weighed in on the ladies side like there is no tomorrow.

          • Keithustus

            Nadeshiko? Earthquake and their wonderful banner.

          • dw

            Rick, how you doing? Actually, I was labeling you objective-criticizer-mislabeled-hater by the Carli fanboy apologist cult, but to each their own.

          • NYRick

            Well said. Sorry for the attack. I have to ward it off from all angles on here sometimes. I figured things are really bad when one of my darkside brethren are turning on me. I think people take the “hater” word a little far. In fact, I really detest I think Addidas using the “haters gonna hate” slogan. Such nonsense. That is also actually in defense of Luis Suarez who totally deserves critique of some kind for his unseemly vampire actions. I, you others don’t hate certain players. It’s silly really. We don’t even know them. They could be the nicest people for all we know. My evaluations come from a sports perspective, but with that, since they are women, and the critique is coming from a man, it makes you look like an a-hole to some. It’s sports. These girls are well paid professionals if they are on this NT. Let’s be real.

          • Captain MacTruck 27

            Ignore the trolls and be happy that the NT won. I don’t think your critiques in a lot of instances are unfair. Most of the time they are objective critical analyses of what is actually going on. On a side note be happier still that Sather is finally done screwing the Rangers with albatross contracts(Signing Girardi over Stralman seriously?). You are a Ranger fan right?

          • NYRick

            Absolutely, big Rangers fan. Still hurting from last month. Sather has to be the only GM in major sports to last for 15 years without one championship. The Dolan factor at work. If he likes you, you are golden. Ask Isiah. Actually the Rangers have been pretty strong contenders the last 4 years or so for the cup. I blame a bit on Henrik (I know sacrilege) but he always seemed to blink first in one series the past 5 years when he was arguably the best goalie between the two teams.

            McD playing on broken foot didn’t help. I think the Blackhawks have the formula obviously. Elite players in the key spots and then fill in the blanks: best insane forward/clutch scorer (Kane), best mobile defenseman (Keith), best center in the game (Toews) who controls face-offs, scores and dominates the other team’s top line. Actually those 3 are really 3 of the 7 or 8 best in the game. I thought the Rangers had the formula: stud all world goalie, top mobile defensive man (McD), stud forward (Nash) but they lack the dominant centerman to counter someone like Toews.

          • Captain MacTruck 27

            I think Toews is a little overrated(at least statistics wise) but it is hard to argue with his clutch factor and obvious leadership abilities. Marian Hossa(underrated), Patrick Kane(elite playoff performer almost a ppg), and Duncan Keith on the otherhand all live up to the billing and are some of the best players at their positions.

            I maintain that the Rangers would have played much better against the Hawks then they did against the Lightning. The Lightning happen to be an awful match up for us because of how immobile most of our defensemen are vs how fast their forwards are. Stamkos, Killorn, T. Johnson, Kucherov, Filpula, and Palat is the best top 6 forward grouping in the NHL. I honestly believe that if Bishop had not gotten hurt TB would have won in 6 or less.

            Back to the Rangers, I know it seemed like Hank gave up a lot of goals in the TB series but honestly many of the mistakes that led to them were of the kind that Japanese defender made in the WWC final. Hank is not blameless and that overtime loss was definitely a softie, I just have a hard time blaming our consistently best player when he so often bails us out. I am thrill to see someone else recognize Nash’s worth even if most of NY seems to have labeled him a pariah.

    • Lorehead

      Hi. I go by Lorehead. I suggested benching Lloyd and trying some combination of Holiday, Brian and Johnston. I still would like to see Ellis try that experiment in the upcoming friendlies, since Lloyd won’t be in the next World Cup and the coach has to plan for the future. I’ll determine whether that would have worked better, worse, or the same—that is, whether I was actually wrong—when I’ve seen both and can compare.

      I’ll happily grant that I was greatly underestimating Jill Ellis’ tactical acumen, and that what she did worked out spectacularly well. If I could go back in time and give her advice, I wouldn’t tell her to change a thing. She knew what she was doing.

      • dw

        Positronic brains need (potentially) therapeutic admissions of guilt?

        • Lorehead

          Bayesian updates of prior probability estimates.

          • dw

            Acknowledged.

          • Lorehead

            Although I do sometimes dream of electric sheep.

          • dw

            Like Orwell before him, PKD was an optimist.

    • Hi, my name is Slicey, and I take back 90% of the things I’ve said about Carli Lloyd. I was wrong to not want her playing in the majority of these games. 🙂

  • Jersey Shore Rises

    I will just say the entire USWNT won this Cup and they all deserve to be congratulated…..

    I know the numerous Lloyd-haters here and I hope they at least say they might have been wrong about her…. 😀

    • dw

      No one will doubt your commitment. It’s not so much that we were wrong, because we weren’t, and we aren’t. It’s just that Carli played in a manner in which to make these things meaningless. Shaq couldn’t make free throws, but that didn’t stop him winning championships. Yet it didn’t stop people from saying that he couldn’t make them. And he never really improved to the point where he was a reliable free throw taker. Same deal. The criticism is accurate, just much less relevant in light of ultimate victory.

      Certainly congratulations to the entire team for a great win.

    • leftbacklion

      I offer my unconditional congratulations to the entire USWNT on a well-earned World Cup Championship. And I also congratulate Carli Lloyd on 3 MONSTER games in the quarters, semis and, of course, in the final. But I still stand by my criticisms: she disappears in lesser games. I base this on her performance in the 1st four games in this WWC, and also on her disastrous time in the WPS version of the Chicago Red Stars. But she is a big-time player who shows up big in big games. She did it in this WWC, in the 2012 OG Gold-Medal Game AND in the 2008 OG Gold -Medal Game. We would have fewer championships without her, no matter how much we criticize.

  • Jersey Shore Rises

    For once I will be quiet but just ask everyone to check my threads about my Jersey Girl Carli over the last 12+ months… Yep 12+ months I’ve defended her and 12 months been attacked by so many in these threads……

    All I can say is thank you and and I hope all the Anti-Carli attackers will do the same and at least give her a little kudos…

    Congrats USWNT for the Cup….

    • time to go lgt

      You’re about as quiet as newsouth.

  • Calci0

    Like I said elsewhere, her performance in the knockout rounds was MJ esq!

  • smallchief

    Well, I bashed Carli during the first few games of the World Cup — because she was bad. But, once Ellis decided to play Holiday and Brian together in the midfield, Carli was released from defensive duties to do her thing. And she did it.

    However, in terms of prediction, I predicted before the WC that, for the U.S. to win, either Carli or Rapinoe had to show up big time. That prediction was based on my loss of faith in all of our forwards — a loss of faith that has not yet been contradicted by events.

    • Seriously. We’re there ANY goals by U.S. forwards other than the one by Wambach vs Nigeria?

      • Lorehead

        Alex Morgan’s vs. Colombia. You might or might not consider Christen Press’ vs. Australia to count.

  • Hwah

    We could also make this a safe place for all those that wrote their “this is why the US lost” posts early to post/purge them:)

    I hope you all know I’m just playing here (but I do know deep in my heart a few were pre-written)!

  • Movement

    So who’s the next Carli Lloyd?
    Should the USWNT invest in Vanessa DiBernardo?
    She can also rocket a shot, and is actually a better play-maker than Lloyd.
    Is she as clutch? Probably not. But her genetics are better.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pl1uEiFpU90

    • dw

      This is a good topic, but USWNT has never worked like this. We didn’t get another Mia Hamm, although both Carli and Alex exhibit some of her traits. We never have found an Abby 2.0. So would we start doing this now?

  • dw

    Steg, (or anyone for that matter) what’s your assessment on Sasaki’s coaching in the final? Clearly he missed the mark on defending Carli. I think he plainly missed the level of threat she represented. Abby’s been the focus of defenses for like the last 100 years, but when the time came to defend against our most potent offensive weapon, where was the planning, much less the execution? And it’s not like he didn’t see it firsthand before in the OG12 final…
    IMO, both Neid and Sasaki both came empty-handed to ultimately important contests.

    • Steglitz49

      Neid went into the championship missing at least 3 players — Kessler, Wensing and Alushi — that she would have liked. For the match against the US she also missed Marzosan. Nevertheless, had Sasic scored her penalty, I firmly contend that Germany would have won the semi-final.

      As for Sasaki and Lloyd, I can’t tell. Among the men, Brazil beat Sweden 5-2 in the 1958 final and they beat Italy 4-1 in 1970 but England only 1-0, and Germany laid waste to Brazil 7-1 last year. These skewed results sometimes happen — you see them in tennis occasionaly — and add spice to life.

      The USWNT were always favorites to win this title. Usually the favorites win.

      • Guest

        IF…IF…IF….?

        • Steglitz49

          I would turn it around and look it from a different angle. The US were the favorites. The US was one of the few if not only of the major NTs who went into this WC without missing players through injury. Also the US did not lose players during the tournament while Alex went from strength to strength.

          Not only Germany but Canada, Sweden and Norway were without several players. I don’t know the French set-up well enough to comment but they hamstrung themselves through dumb tactics.

          The record-books will not show that. They will note that USA and Japan played yet another final and America won.

          Does anyone know TV viewing figures for the final and 3rd place match?

          • Rdalford

            25m TV viewers in USA on Fox network for USA v Japan World Cup final

          • Steglitz49

            That is not even 10% of the population! Are you sure?

            Almost 50% of Sweden watched the 2003 final and 37% of Japan the 2011 in spite of it being in the middle of the night.

            Any figure for England v Germany to compare with?

          • Guest

            Well considering the previous high in 2011, where the Final was being watched by 13.3 million, the 25 million just about doubles that that figure.

          • Steglitz49

            The previous high was the ’99 final with 18m watching. I don’t know the figures for 2003 which also was played in America.

          • Lorehead

            2003 was a big drop-off. The tournament was moved to the U.S. at the last minute, it was scheduled to compete with the pro leagues here rather than in a lull in the sports calendar, the novelty had worn off. Then WUSA folded and the U.S. lost to Germany in the semifinal. That semifinal got a tenth of the viewership as the ’99 final. What followed was a low point for the team. Attendance at USWNT games dropped to a few thousand.

          • Steglitz49

            The US rescued WoSo from oblivion by staging that WC.

            All WoSo owe the USA a huge debt. Obviously the US does not trade on that but, like getting WoSo into the Olympics, the US has been the engine in the good ship WoSo.

      • dw

        Yeah, Steg, but she knew those players weren’t available for the semi final, didn’t she? How do you explain ALL THE REST.

        • Steglitz49

          I don’t even attempt to.

    • Ethan

      Well, he obviously wasn’t prepared for the early onslaught. However, all I have to say is I have no clue why he took off Kawasumi as his second change.

  • Wandering Coyote

    My reaction to this victory is totally emotional. It is like total relief. It is like total joy and happiness.

    This story is about the three top players on the team, two of which are facing their farewell. No one ever say anything bad about Wambach, Rampone or Lloyd in my presence. All you would do in show your ignorance about what matters.

    Wambach has been a hero, willing to sit on the bench accepting a sub’s role. That was vastly important to this team, from both a tactical and psychological perspective. When she took the pitch in waning minutes of the World Cup final the crowd responded with joy and respect for a career that is beyond attainment for most players in the top 99.9999 percentile. She deserves her due.

    What can we say about Rampone, she has become a matriarch (using that word as an honor) and champion in the Greek sense. I know she will leave soon and it makes me incredibly sad and the taste is bitter sweet. She too sat on bench but what a glorious moment when took the pitch in those last minutes. She had to be there, she is the bookend between the 99ers and today. I have nothing but love and respect for her leadership and example of what can be.

    My girl (woman) Carli Lloyd, oh how I love her. I have been a fan since I first saw her on the pitch moving like locomotive driving that ball down the pitch and into the net. She always struck me as fighter, a strong willed woman who knows exactly who she is, where she wants to go and does all she has to get there. She has reached the next level.

    My favorite moment was not the 50+ yard goal, nor the hat trick, (all impressive beyond belief) but it was the moment Lloyd took off the captain’s arm band and put it on Wambach. If that was not moving enough, Wambach handed it off to Rampone who by all that is good in this world, deserved to be captain at the presentation.

    These three Amigas, Wambach, Lloyd and Rampone represent this team and this time. One is the bridge from the past, one will carry the touch into the future and one served out team with goal after goal after goal until no one will touch her record at least for a very long time. All warriors and when you see them coming better get out of the way.

    Yeah, I am sentimental.

  • calimeesh

    Equalizer, thank you for the fantastic in-depth, informed and feminist coverage this tournament and all year round! I have been recommending this site to all my friends who are frustrated with mainstream media’s style of coverage. This has been almost as enjoyable to see as the US team’s success!

  • Lorehead
    • dw

      Genius.

  • Amber

    Did Ellis elude to Holiday leaving the team? She said something like “what a way to go out” when handing her the new jersey. I had heard rumors that Holiday was retiring and this seems to support those rumors

    • Steglitz49

      Seems fair enough. How many medals does she need to be content?

      • Amber

        Just surprised because she is still young enough for 1, maybe 2, world cup cycles. Would like her in the midfield, with so many of the other midfielders retiring or getting up there in age

        • Steglitz49

          Lauren is 28 later this year. Seems as good as any time to hang up her boots. She is almost a year older than Lira Alushi. High time to do something else.

  • weltmeister

    congrats to uswnt but
    the uswnt must say thank you fifa and concacaf for the fake group of dead.
    it’s was so easy for the uswnt the group to win.
    colombia and china very very easy and then germany in the semi final.
    germany must play against sweden and france and has no power for the uswnt.
    but
    the fbi arrested 9 concacaf members with jeffrey webb, ex concacaf ceo.
    in the next days we have now news.
    the concacaf and ussf has no good times.

    • enough already

      Jersey shore is that you? Repeating the same post on every article.

    • Keithustus

      Ya, FIFA had it all worked out so USA would face Columbia and China in knockout, and FRA-GER at quarterfinal. Very smart of them.

  • Rdalford

    Over 25m TV viewers in USA for USA v Japan World Cup final

    • Steglitz49

      Is that figure correct? It is less than 10% of the population, not a match for the almost 50% of Swedes who watched the 2003 final nor the 37% Japanese who were up in the middle of the night in 2011.

      I had expected 45m, not as few as 25m.

      I wonde what the England v Germany match pulled in those countries?

      • AlexH

        I would think it would be higher because I assume (not sure though) that they are counting TV’s not actual viewers. I watched the game with my wife and my younger daughter so if every TV set had 3 viewers (like mine) then it would be 75M.

        • Lorehead

          Correct. The ratio would be even higher for bars or watch parties.

        • Lorehead

          Sorry, I’ve looked and my previous answer was mistaken. It is an estimate of the number of people watching, not of TV sets, but it probably underestimates the number of people watching at bars, parties and other public places, perhaps by 10% of the total.

        • Steglitz49

          As Lorehead notes, it is an estimate of the number of viewers.

      • Rdalford

        25m+ is what the TV rating folks are reporting and it did establish a new record

      • Rdalford

        The 25m in USA for USA v Japan final set a record for most viewers for a TV soccer match in US. The USA v Portugal match in last’s years 2014 men’s WC drew 18.2m
        The USA v China 1999 women’s WC final drew 17.9m and the 2011 USA v Japan WC final drew 13.5m

        I do not know if the 25m is “viewer households” (I.e. TVs) or an estimate of viewers but regardless it is now highest TV viewership in USA for a soccer match.

        • Guest

          25.4m on Fox and another 1.3m on Spanish language Telemundo for total USA TV viewership of 26.7m. The 25.4m is avg viewers on Fox during match broadcast the viewership peaked at over 30m on Fox.

          Better TV viewership numbers than a number of other sports events in U.S. And highest TV viewership in USA for a soccer match

          • Steglitz49

            Even at 30m it is only ca 10% of the US population.

            The WC-11 QF between Germany and Japan was watched by an estimated 20% of Germany’s population.

            Nevertheless, 30m is a lot of viewers however you look at it.

            It would be interesting to learn the viewers in England for their SF and bronze matches.

          • mockmook

            And 10% is higher than any previous percentage in the USA.

            That’s called going in the right direction. That’s called growth. Seems you won’t be happy unless the team has 100%, and has it right now.

            What is the % threshold that Steg will bless? And, what makes you the arbiter of what is an acceptable %?

          • Steglitz49

            45% judging by Sweden in 2003, 35% by Japan in 2011 and 20% by Germany.

            Since it was the final and in the American time zone, let’s be conservative and say 25%. 75m.

            Yes, the numbers grew compared to before and 30m is not to be sneezed at but I doubt that FIFA are pleased after all the help they gave them.

          • Guest

            If FIFA can find a way to break really into the US market they will not mind what investment it takes. It will pay itself back.

          • Steglitz49

            Ever since Saki Kumagai’s penalty in Frankfurt, FIFA has bent over backwards to build their business in the USA. This WC was the latest installment in that plan. It looks like being the last.

            The men’s 1994 WC may still be the most profitable. The ladies 1999 may well still be even after this one. FIFA gave up on the US men; FIFA may now be forced to let the US women go.

            It is up to USSoccer to remian in FIFA’s good books. If they are wise, they have a business plan ready for approval by the gnomes of Zurich.

          • mockmook

            And what makes you the arbiter of the “correct” %?

          • Steglitz49

            You asked me what % I considered worthwhile. I answered you. You may not like my answer and some would contend that it was far too conservative but it is what it is.

            The question remains to be answered: can WoSo build on this, the way Euro-13 built on WC-11, or was this WC a pyrrhic victory.

            FIFA won the turf battle. Smart FIFA.

          • mockmook

            No, you were already making a judgement on the correct percentage. I wanted to know why your % threshold (whatever it was) was any more correct than my opinion or anyone else’s opinion.

          • Steglitz49

            This was the final between America, who were the favorites going into the tournament, and the reigning world champions. It was played at a time that suited America. It had been 16 years (3 WCs) since the US last won.

            If I were the head of FOX, I would be a bit disappointed. I suspect that they were hoping for 50m viewers, ca 16%. They got about half that.

            Which is the least watched of the 4 big men’s sports in the US? Probably the NHL. How many viewers does a critical game in the Stanley Cup get?

            Women’s college basketball Final Four. How many viewers has that attracted over the years, even if the Huskies of UConn have been rather dominant?

          • mockmook

            BTW, according to FIFA, the % for Japan has been less than 10% in both 2011 and 2015.

            You weren’t just making stuff up were you?

  • ladywing

    I never thought I would see this site become the last resting place of misogynist and partisan trolls.

    TEAMS are comprised of people who all contribute according to their ability, playing the hand they are dealt by fate as well as they can. I don’t understand the vitriol being dealt out to indívidual players. If you are a USA fan enjoy the moment, if not you will have another chance in four years. We had to wait 16 but in the meantime enjoy your team without belittling others.
    I just had to post this.

  • jp

    Discussion on what Randy Waldrum does now with personnel and the Dash formation? And will we find out as soon as July 12? (A Brian-Colaprico match-up would be interesting.)

    • Guest

      Waldrum normally uses a 4-3-3 tactical formation with one DM (Bock or Axon) playing behind the 2 centrally located attacking mids (Brian and Lloyd).

      The Brian and Colaprico match-up has probably occurred many times in practice during the 4 years Brian and Colaprico played together for UVA.

  • Guest

    Okay I tip my hat to Carli for pulling off what she did, but what does that say about the state of women’s soccer when a player like her can rack up 3 goals in 14 mins and receive the accolades that she did? We’re talking about a 32 yo player who can hardly defend, fouls players, selfishly shoots, turns the ball over in dangerous areas, makes poor decisions, and is about as heavy footed as they come. What gives? I’m pretty certain I’ve seen better out of Crystal Dunn at UNC.

    • guest

      It means that Japan had some of the most abysmal marking during set pieces I have ever seen. She also did not participate much in any of the midfield build up play so all the attacking was gravy for her. All she had to do was put the ball on net. She also missed a free header right in front of goal.

      • Calci0

        “All she had to do was put the ball on net. ” easier said than done. Especially from just after the half……

    • dw

      It means that the ultimate metric in soccer is goals scored vs. goals against. No style points given. If you are physically unstoppable, all those other detriments you mention are trivial.

      • mockmook

        It also means she has been playing Forward all this time (as FootballNowAndAlways said a little while ago).

        • Lord_Littlefingers_Lash

          Not really, she doesn’t like to receive the ball in advance of the attack or hold up the ball to link up with other players. She likes to run on to a play that has already developed and receive a ball or put back a rebound. Right you could argue many of the lading goal scorers in the world are technically midfielders, Messi, Ronaldo, Bale, Dempsey and Donovan all did/do most of their scoring from the midfield. Kim Little and Lauren Holiday are the two golden boot winners in NWSL. Right, like these position names are just guidelines. They’re suggestions. Carli drug this team through qualifying by it hair, kicking and screaming and then once it became clear Abby couldn’t score anymore she did the same at the world cup.

          • Guest

            On the offensive side of the ball Carli plays nothing like a midfielder. She participated very little in the build up play in the midfield. All of those players you mentioned are forwards and do not play a midfielders role any more than Carli does(maybe except Messi in the Copa America). All of them do however, hold the ball and link up with other players(unlike Carli). It was a revelations for me that the midfield finally started to function properly once she was removed. Also which players drew the free kick and corner that Carli scored on? Moe and Tobin. The idea that Carli dragged this team to a world cup victory is in my opinion a very shallow analysis of the actual play of the USWNT.

          • Lord_Littlefingers_Lash

            yeah but they play in the midfield. You can call Gareth Bale a forward all you want, but his position is actually midfield.

            I will admit to not being a very big fan of Tobin Heath, I find her mostly useless. It’s not that she’s not a good player it’s just that her individual quality doesn’t generally help the team win in my opinion.

            The problem the US has had since Alex Morgan got hurt in 2013 is one in goal scoring production. The defense has been up and down, the midfield has been discombobulated, the keeper has been arrested, several times, but the problem has been where the goals are going to come from given Wambach’s decline and Morgan’s injury. The argument has been whether the was down to a failure of system/tactics or of the individual players . My argument has always been if you put Lloyd, Holliday, Press, Pinoe, Morgan and Leroux all on the field at the same time and let them attack no one can defend against them all, much as we saw when Bayern tried to play free flowing soccer against Barca with Suarez, Neymar and Messi baring down on them. The main requirement of such a strategy though is that the quality of your attacking players must show through, and Leroux, Press and Morgan hadn’t been scoring consistently enough. Lloyd scored the game winner in every game in the knock out phase, except for the final, where she score a hat trick. She was similarly dominant in qualifying. I’m just not sure anyone else would have provided the requisite goals, given the inconsistent play of the team over the past year. Becky Sauerbrunn was more crucial, but at the end of the day someone has to score in order for you to win.

          • Guest

            First of all just because forwards come into the midfield while in the attacking third does not make them midfielders they have different responsibilities with the options to interchange to create a flowing attack. Second you are significantly under appreciating the midfielders who play for Barca and Bayern and what their role is during build up and attack. The reason Messi has to track back so much when he plays for Argentina is Argentina’s midfielders have a more difficult time transitioning from defense to offense.

            And also I want to get this clear. You Honestly think a front 6 of Alex, Leroux, Press, Lloyd, Holiday, and Rapinoe can dominate every team regardless of tactics and despite all of the evidence to the contrary. We have witnessed a completely dysfunctional offense for almost a year with most of your suggested line up and to think that simply inserting Alex back into the starting XI. The teams you just compared us to are both dominant possession teams. All of their players possess superior technical skill on the ball unlike most of our players.

            Now I wont argue that Tobin didn’t play very well against Nigeria or Colombia but she improved in every game until the final where she put up a performance better than any other player who has played right flank in the last 12 months. I do not think I need to go over Morgan Brian’s impact when she was inserted into the starting line up. Her play should speak for itself.

            Overall I don’t think I could disagree with you more about you dismissal of the midfield play. But if you really need more evidence of how a dysfunctional midfield can stall an offense re-watch the US Sweden game. Midfield ineptitude is plastered over every minute of that game.

          • Guest

            *you think that simply inserting Alex back into the starting XI will fix the attack.

          • Lord_Littlefingers_Lash

            Look, just because Gareth Bale doesn’t doesn’t play defense doesn’t mean he isn’t a midfielder. I mean you can call him a forward that lines up behind other forwards if that’s what you want but I would argue that is basically the definition of an attacking midfielder.

            The problem I’ve had with Ellis were that 1) she played Wambach and 2) that she gave Holiday and Lloyd defensive responsibilities which lead to a lot of the dysfunction you’re describing and the failure to link up between the midfield and forwards, and then Ellis tried to solve this problem by telling Klingenberg and Krieger to play wing back and provide service. It wa a poor use of both the defenders and the midfielders.. Also, I would have played Pess a center forward and played a 4-3-3. So that isn’t really want Ellis was doing at all, even though a lot of personnel were the same. But yes basically the US has so much offensive talent that if deployed and allowed to attack they can’t be stopped. The Barca team I was comparing US to isn’t nearly as possession based as the older ones (teams I couldn’t stand watching, btw) they’re much more direct with Suarez and Neymar, it’s not that bayern never saw the ball when the played Barca its that in gaining possession and trying to attack they opened up lanes for Suarez and Neymar and Messi and they’re so good it was just a matter of time. That’s how the US is. They don’t need to posses the ball all the time, what they need to do is finish the scoring opportunities, they get far more than their opponents.

            I don’t dismiss midfield play for Seattle Reign and FCKC last year their teams were all about playing through the middle. Kim Little and Lauren Holiday have been two of the most dominant player in the league, playing through the middle. My only point was that this team was not well balanced and that playing through the midfield and possessing the ball in the midfield are entirely superfluous to winning.

            Once the quality of the black line became apparent, the need to play a CAM opt of position as a DM wasn’t there, Just let hope and the back line defend and let the other players attack the whole game.

          • Guest

            Except this team was not creating chances for the first 4 games through direct play. Holiday and Lloyd’s play was significantly hurting the teams ability to create chances. Inserting Heath and Moe into the line up was the catalyst that improved this teams offense regardless of what type of football you might want to watch. Many of your suggestion are nothing more then hopeful speculations some of which have already failed. As for you statement about Moe. She is already better than Lloyd and Holiday at every single midfield position judging her solely off the teams play at this world cup.

          • Lord_Littlefingers_Lash

            Yeah if you think Morgan Brian is better than Lauren Holiday, then you’re insane. https://vine.co/v/OuBMU3lpXDD
            The team wasn’t generating chances because Ellis was playing Wambach who was the focal point of the attack. and Lloyd and Holiday were stuck playing holding midfield. Also Press would be better used as a central forward. We played the exact lineup I’m suggest against switzerland last year. It was excellent. Basically she was not doing anything I’m suggesting because all the service was for Wambach.

          • Guest

            Bases off of WORLD CUP play. And one play in a game does not account for anything more than a dot on the canvas of overall play. Try again.

          • Lord_Littlefingers_Lash

            Was that supposed to be a coherent response? Lauren Holiday won the Golden boot and was the MVP in the NWSL in 2013, she was the US play of the year in 2014 and won NWSL championship assisting Amy Rodriguez on both goals in the Championship game, including the one above, where she dribbled through the best defense in the league. Calling it an assist is like calling is like calling Thriller an Album, it was a virtuoso performance.

            Or were you talking about something else? It was really quite difficult to tell.

          • Guest

            It is 2015 now. Not 2013 or 2014. What she did a year or two years ago mean exactly squat. From world cup play Lloyd and Holiday were awful in all 4 games to start the tournament. They consistently turned the ball over in the defensive third didn’t get involved in the attack and had total lapses that should have led to goals against. You can pretend all you want that the Holiday Lloyd combination in midfield was working fine and creating chances but that does not make it true.

          • Lord_Littlefingers_Lash

            No they weren’t creating a lot. I’m simply saying that it’s because everyone in the midfield except Pinoe were being played out of position. The whole basis of Ellis’ ridiculous system was that Lloyd and Holiday were supposed cover the defenders and the outside back were supposed to come up and provide the service. That is a very poor system given the personnel, that’s why no chances were being created. Lloyd and Holiday are attacking midfielders, we didn’t let them attack. You’re completely missing the point of what I’m advocating, my whole point is to overwhelm the defense by sending 6 attacking players at them, not to simply to put 6 attack players on the field.

          • Guest

            So your plan is to simply send 6 attacking players and play no defense leaving the team wide open for counter attacks. That is brilliant why didn’t JE think of that. You system is completely speculative and seem to rely on our team holding possession for the entire game and does not seem to take into account that at some point the team might actually have to defend. Defensive miscues almost got up burned in the Australia game.

          • Lord_Littlefingers_Lash

            My system doesn’t send any more players forward that the one Ellis was using. She sent the outside backs up the field to provide service to make up for the fact that Press Lloyd and Holiday were all playing out of position, while at the same time trying to get Holiday and Lloyd to provide cover for the center backs. Instead just leave the 4 defender playing defense. Also of course even the forwards have some defensive responsibility. My attitude was simply that if we turn the game into a contest of who can score the most goals the US will probably win that. This particularly became the case when it became clear how solid our back line was with Solo backing them up. I never expected us to keep a clean sheet between the opener and the final, but I thought a free flowing US attack without Wambach bogging it down could hang three goals on pretty much any team in the world.

          • Guest

            Also the point of the analogy was that this one play is not evidence of anything other then she made an amazing run and assist. Using this a proof that she is absolutely better than another player right now is about as useful as the Press supporter bringing up her run and goal against France as if Press or in you case Holiday can repeat these feats on a regular basis. That is not reality.

          • Lord_Littlefingers_Lash

            I don’t know when “right now” is supposed to be, I’m fairly certain when people say Michael Jordan is better than LeBron James, they don’t mean Jordan can out perform LeBron in a game beginning in the next 30 seconds. So I will say this at no point in her career has Morgan Brian ever been better than Lauren Holiday. Not right now, not last week, not two years ago. She may be better that Lauren Holiday at some indeterminate point in the future. Holiday clearly can duplicate the aforementioned run, because she lead the league in scoring.

          • Guest

            It means that at this tournament Morgan Brian’s influence in the deep lying midfield role had more impact on the overall game than any strategy that JE had come up with until that point. Morgan Brian was the most important player in the midfield for the last three games of the World Cup but nobody cares because she didn’t score any goals.

          • Lord_Littlefingers_Lash

            Well you could argue that. That’s fine, I might agree with you since she freed up Carli to go forward. I just don’t know that we needed a DM in the place. The reality is that the best player on the team all tournament was Becky Sauerbrunn and so great is my faith in her (and JJ and Hope and Krieger) That I think a DM was complete unnecessary and that Carli and Lauren should have been loosed to wreak offensive havoc all tournament long.

          • Lord_Littlefingers_Lash

            That goal was the NWSL final. She assisted on both goals. That’s the league’s best defense she dribbling through to win the NWSL championship. The Previous season she was the MVP and won the golden boot. Morgan Brian is a very good player but I’m sorry, she isn’t even close to being as good as Lauren Holiday yet.

          • Lord_Littlefingers_Lash

            I have no problem with Morgan Brian, I would just play another forward instead of playing her. I don’t think her job was necessary in the first place. We didn’t need a DM and I? wouldn’t have started her over Lloyd or Holiday.

  • FootballNowAndAlways

    I guess Carli Lloyd must be a footballer like none we have ever seen before, because, in her case, we have a midfielder who scored 6 times more goals than any of the forwards on her team during a tournament. 6 times more goals ladies and gentlemen. How does that happen? If she was truly playing her position like she was supposed to, how was she in position to score all those goals. And who exactly was covering her position when she was scoring goal after goal from the heart of the opponent’s penalty box? This from a midfielder, I will reiterate.

    Nobody will ask these questions because the goals have been scored and the tournament won, but I have spent a little of my spare time on Wikipedia, and I have unearthed no midfielder in the history of the sport, man or woman, who has scored as many goals playing for the the NT as Lloyd has for the USWNT – not Maradona, not Cruyff, not Zidane, not even Martha.

    If you want to play forward, then declare unequivocally for the position and accept the pressure to score goals that come with it. As it is, it would seem that Lloyd always plays forward, but since she is not officially designated a forward, can enjoy the luxury of going many games without scoring, then suddenly exploding for multiple goals and receiving so much adulation. She might be a hero today, but she essentially took Alex Morgan’s position for much of this world cup. No midfielder is good enough to score 6 times more goals than accomplished goal-getting teammates – not if she is playing in her assigned position.

    In the interest of fairness, she actually scored 4 times more goals than any of the forwards, not counting the 2 she scored from penalties.

    • Lord_Littlefingers_Lash
    • Guest

      Your point is well taken Carli plays nothing like a 10, she sprays shots from all over the field when she has teammates open in more dangerous positions. In fact, I don’t think she has the skill to play any midfield position other then DM which would still be an awful fit because far too often she displays abysmal decision making and poor passing. If anything she is a secondary striker and if that is the case she should be competing with all the other forwards and judged accordingly.

    • Steglitz49

      Maradona cheated. Don’t bring him into polite company, please.

    • dw

      And they call me a hater…

  • Vertigo

    Interesting article. I think it explains what goes through many of our minds about Carli.
    http://www.sbnation.com/soccer/2015/7/2/8887283/carli-lloyd-usa-japan-2015-womens-world-cup-final?_ga=1.145395252.1049938823.1406783607