Lauren Holiday retires from international play

The Equalizer Staff July 7, 2015 284
(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Lauren Holiday used the United States national team’s World Cup championship celebration event on Tuesday in Los Angeles as the time and place to announce her retirement from international soccer.  

“I know this is where I was supposed to be for so many years, and I know that I gave my all to soccer, to the sport, to this team,” she told SI’s Grant Wahl. “And I’m excited for a new chapter of my life. I feel like this team isn’t my identity, it’s my choice. I think there’s power in making a choice. I chose this team for 10 years, and now I’m going to choose my family.”

Holiday’s retirement had been long speculated, but things moved to a fever pitch following the team’s victory celebration on Monday in Vancouver.  U.S. coach Jill Ellis handed each player a new jersey with the third World Cup star above the crest.  As Holiday approached, Ellis could be heard saying, “What a sendoff for you, my friend.”

Holiday, 27, scored in Sunday’ final, which will now stand as her last tournament appearance for the United States. The U.S. defeated Japan, 5-2 to secure a third World Cup title and first since 1999. Holiday’s goal proved to be the eventual game-winner.

[KASSOUF: Will Wambach, others retire? Tough roster decisions await Ellis for Olympics]

Wahl further reported that Holiday will finish the NWSL season with FC Kansas City.  The national team will play 10 games this fall to celebrate the World Cup win.  The two announced matches are August 16 in Pittsburgh and August 19 in Chattanooga.  There was no immediate word about how many, if any, of those matches Holiday will be available for.

Holiday is a two-time Olympic champion in addition to the World Cup title she helped the team win on Sunday. She is also the 2013 NWSL MVP and the 2014 NWSL Championship MVP, helping FC Kansas City win the title. Holiday currently has 24 goals in 130 career appearances for the United States over 10 years with the team.

[KASSOUF: Motivational email drove hat-trick hero Lloyd to success]

Holiday, then playing under her maiden name, Lauren Cheney, was named to the 2011 World Cup all-tournament team after a breakout performance. She was removed at halftime from the 2011 final against Japan — which the U.S. lost in penalty kicks — due to injury.

She is married to NBA point guard Jrue Holiday, who plays for the New Orleans Pelicans. The two met while attending school together at UCLA.

Watch Holiday’s 2015 World Cup final-winning goal:

  • Altius

    I feel like crying.

    And I’m a total stoic.

    • Steglitz49

      I blame Lira Alushi.

  • Jersey Shore Rises

    Not surprised as she probably want’s to start a family and being married to a NBA player means she does not need additional income for the household.

    • Steglitz49

      The Norwegian headline which wiped everything else from the front page read “Marit carries all Norway’s baby in her tummy”!

      Let’s trust Lauren does not get exposed to that sort of scrutiny.

    • Lord_Littlefingers_Lash

      This is some bullsh!t. don’t no body wana watch Jru Holiday’s a$$ not make the playoffs in either in New Orleans or Philly. Let that dude have the baby, Lauren is actually good at her sport. IT’S NOT FAIR!!!!

      • Jersey Shore Rises

        I guess you never read the comments Holiday made about wanting a family with her Husband and how it is more important then soccer… Google is your friend…

        • Lord_Littlefingers_Lash

          Yeah but that’s bullsh!t. Nothing is more important than soccer. I mean OK OK OK if she manages to eliminate poverty and/or fix the public education system then that’s more important than soccer. But having kids? That’s not even more important than re-runs of The West Wing. That’s just me though, well me and my sister, and everyone else in my family younger than age of 50.

          • Jersey Shore Rises

            This is why Social Media can get Poisonous when you are clueless about the facts and just make up crap….

            That about sums up Social Media in a nutshell.

          • Lord_Littlefingers_Lash

            The only fact I’m asserting is that I don’t like children. Well I like them fine I guess I just don’t consider them to be useful. And apparently no one else from my generation in my family does either, since none of us have children. So I would prefer Lauren Holiday play soccer rather than spending her time raising children. But I don’t get a vote so it’s irrelevant what I think, I tried to convince Abby Wambach to go have several babies this year, but she ignored me too and insisted upon playing in the world cup.

          • Jersey Shore Rises

            Wow, thank you for being honest and I’ll end it there…

          • Don’t know what Jersey’s getting so ticked off about. I think this is hilarious. 🙂

          • Lord_Littlefingers_Lash

            Yeah, I don’t know either, am I required to think reproduction is the greatest utilization of every human’s potential? I mean it’s not like I have any power to to enforce my belief, as a voting block the childless eliminate ourselves from the population, it’s not like we’re going to take over.

  • smallchief

    I had a feeling this was Holiday’s last hurrah. Married, not playing a position she likes, etc.

    Now maybe we can develop a real defensive midfielder — or maybe two. Winters, Huster, Long, Buzcowski — somebody else younger?

    • Steglitz49

      Winning the World Cup is the pinnacle of a player’s career. She already has trophies coming out of her ears. A good choice to leave at the top.

    • justsomeguy

      i doubt it had anything to do with the position

    • tychomarx

      You don’t “develop” 30 year old players for a NT. Ellis and her cronies need to take the next 3 years to clean out the dusty cabinets and call up some U-23, U-20, and (possibly) U-17 players.

      • smallchief

        I was thinking of the Olympics next year. I liked Ellis’ formation with both Holiday and Brian in the central midfield. Now Brian needs a new partner.

        • woso32rooter

          Yes indeed ! Morgan Brian is going to be a mighty important brain nexus in mid-field and up top. All round for that matter. She needs a Becky-like mentor–and role reversal. Though, to her credit, she been a quick study and has held her own. I assume we shall still see Holiday playing in the upcoming 2015 WC Victory Tour ( 10 games?) And that the Teams have USWNT playing elegantly,and having a good time. Might you have any partnership suggestions? MB’s play partner will be a factor too- enter Chrystal Dunn, perhaps.

        • soccertaxi

          Johnston

        • Breakers fan

          Heath, Dunn or O’Hara are the first possibilities that come to mind. Maybe Nairn.

    • Ethan

      I’d prefer Killion to be developed as the defensive midfielder. I was more impressed by her than DiBernardo or Brian in the 2012 U-20 WWC. Of course, Brian was very impressive in the World Cup when played centrally, and I haven’t seen any of Sky Blue this year. However, I’d love to see what Killion could do on the senior team.

  • justsomeguy

    Good for her, she finished it on a high note, no reason to wait till they lose in the olympics or the next word cup to quit.

  • Hoosier

    I am hoping this means the USWNT will finally come to Indy for one of the victory tour games. A sellout at Lucas Oil would be the perfect goodbye.

    • Маркус Джилс

      Amazing how they dont play in Indy or Seattle. I’ve never understood that. Especially Seattle. Matter of fact… when was the last time they played in Atlanta/Portland?

      • JL

        The last Portland game was during the celebration tour after the 2012 Olympics. The last Atlanta game was a friendly against Russia in February of last year.

  • Steglitz49

    Holiday, please.

    • Altius

      It’s a nickname, a term of endearment used by many who followed her from her earliest playing days, coaches, teammates, and friends.

      Stop trying to tell people what to do here.

      • Steglitz49

        I will not desist. Respect please.

        • Altius

          Ok. Neither will I. Cheney it is.

          • Steglitz49

            She won the trophy that mattered as Mrs Holiday. It was the name on her jersey and is the name in the record books.

          • Altius

            …yeah. If I was writing an article about her, I’d refer to her as Lauren Holiday. Informally, to me and many others, she’s Cheney.

          • Amber

            but many people, including her teammates, still call her Cheney. Do you need to be obstinate all the time? Do you insist on calling Mia Hamm, Mia Garciaparra, because yhat was the name on her last jersey

    • kernel_thai

      U do understand that the team still calls Rampone Piercy? Hard to break old habits let alone newer ones.

      • Steglitz49

        We are not their team-mates.

        • Altius

          Your rules for people on the internet are so…uninteresting.

        • kernel_thai

          There might be something to that

      • Tae

        Yeah they call her Pearcie, not Pearce. That makes all the difference. I’m with Steg on this, just not as vehemently.

  • nwslfan

    Tears over Broon’s tweet honoring Cheney. *sniff*

    • Breakers fan

      Just saw it – touching. Tears to these eyes as well.

      • mockmook

        Now, THAT’S an iconic photo.

  • Маркус Джилс

    THAT’s how you do a career. 10 years, full health, in and out, got your money, got all the trophies you could including TWO Olympic Gold Medals, and retired on top w/ a WC goal AND 1st place in the World Cup. I didnt see this coming. It feels it was only a short time ago she was in those “New Kids” vids. And that’s because it WAS a short time ago. Which makes it Im sure all the more sweet/satisfying.

    That’s pretty damn cool man.

    • BigBadBossMan

      It’s actually not cool if you’re a fan of hers… imagine the reaction for any man soccer player who quits at age 27. In soccer 27 is the very prime of your career. Fans of yours , when you’re supposedly one of the very best players in your country if not the world, would not take abandoning the sport for “family” as a sensible choice. It’s actually sexist double standard to praise Lauren for doing this. Yes it’s her life but still

      • TinyGuy

        There is no ” but still ” when speaking of the life and choices of others. The young lady has stated clearly, she wants a family. It is possible she and her husband want to be young and still active when their kids begin to age. I’m not sure one person can speak for any other fan except self. Perhaps she feels ” abandoning ” her wish for family would not be a ” sensible ” choice. The arrogance in your statement is stifling. And keep in mind, men don’t have babies!!

  • NYRick

    That’s how it’s done folks. Well done Lauren. Class act, outstanding player and really one of the best talents the program has ever produced without the fanfare others received. Sad to see her go, but not many athletes leave on top. Seems like she’s been here forever but she’s only 27. A good 9-10 years in the program.

    Best of luck to you and your husband. Please tell his agent if they could somehow swing a deal to get him to play point guard for the Knicks. We desperately need him.

    • sweetjazz3

      No sir! Jrue is a Pelican and he’s working on winning an NBA title with Anthony Davis. We’re not giving him away for any price.

      Agree about Holiday. She’s been my favorite player and I am always impressed by how she handles herself, on and off the pitch. I will miss watching her play, but hope to run into her at the Smoothie King Center cheering on her husband.

      • NYRick

        Jrue is a helluva player. He would be a very big deal in NYC. Our fanbase would love his game. But you’re right, he should stayed tied to the hip of AD. That is a great place to be.

        As for Lauren, I’ve been critical of her a bit the past year, but I think only because she is so obviously such an immense talent that she would frustrate you when she didn’t dominate out there. The last two matches of this WC you can tell she came to play and it made a huge difference to winning the title. A total team player who didn’t complain when the positional change the past year or so was to her detriment to her talents. A great role model.

        • sweetjazz3

          Well, Holiday definitely had some subpar games this year. But I am happy for her and her team that she came through big time when it was needed.

          BTW Rick, Mets/Yankees, Giants/Jets, Rangers/Islanders/Devils? I used to live in Rockland County many years ago.

          • NYRick

            Mets/Giants/Rangers/Knicks/Red Bulls/Sky Blue.

            International: Man Utd.

    • Jersey Shore Rises

      Rick, my Alma Mater mate Grant is going to amaze you… Maybe we can meet Friday in the City as I will be at the USWNT parade….If interested let me know…

  • Breakers fan

    Thanks for all the good, tough, solid play over many years, Lauren! You were fun to watch – one of the more reliable consistent players who could do a lot of different things. As a fellow tri-Stater it’s rare we get to cheer on women from our neck of the woods at the national team level. Best wishes to you in your post- national team life. Enjoy it.

    • sweetjazz3

      What is a tri-Stater? I thought the tri-states referred to NY, NJ, CT?

      • Breakers fan

        Although I’ve been in Boston now for many a year, I was born and raised in Cincinnati, which is in the extreme Southwestern corner of Ohio – very close to Indiana,where Lauren is from, and Kentucky to the South. That is also called the tri-state area and while she is from Indianapolis – which is not right in that southeastern corner of Indiana – it’s close enough for me.

        • sweetjazz3

          Interesting, I did not that region was also called the tri-states. Are you going to the game Thursday night? I wonder if Holiday will play. Seems like an awfully quick turnaround, considering she is in LA today.

          • Breakers fan

            Yep – got my ticket already. Psyched!! Yeah, I don’t know how many of those KC’ers will be there. I can tell you that I want Naeher there, though Kranich has been very good in her absence.

          • Boston Red

            I am, but I’m doubting any USWNT appearances (maybe to wave to the crowd). Naeher could easily play, but I do think Kyah Simon will be on the pitch.

          • Boston Red

            And now the team’s in NYC for Friday morning’s parade. Doubt Naeher makes an appearance on Thursday.

          • tonysocref

            Doubt it. Team is scheduled to be in New York on Wednesday.

        • Dierdre Popov

          Yet another tri-state area in the U.S. that’s commonly called such by residents and visitors alike is the regional area centered on Chicago, which takes in its ambit southeastern Wisconsin, northeastern Illinois, and northwestern Indiana.

    • NYRick

      Isn’t Lauren originally from Indiana? Is a tri-stater a mid Western thing? That’s kind of what we call the NY Metro area.

      • Boston Red

        Tri-state is used almost anywhere 3 states come together.

      • Jersey Shore Rises

        Rick I work in the City, will be at the “Canyon of Heroes” Parade for the USWNT, care to meet up?

  • AlexH

    Congrats to her and Happy Trails.

    Not the one I wanted to retire but hopefully it serves as an example to others.

  • Sabrina Beach

    Never a more apt moment for this: https://vine.co/v/OuBMU3lpXDD

    • sweetjazz3

      That was so dirty!

    • Altius

      THANK YOU! One of her all-time most brilliant plays, and the first one that comes to mind when I think of her skill.

      • Breakers fan

        My favorite part of that sequence is the last dribble back to her left foot which really enabled the accurate pass she made. Lots of rightys I think would have tried to make that pass one dribble before, with their right foot, at a really tough angle, and maybe that pass wouldn’t have been as good as the one Lauren made.

      • Lord_Littlefingers_Lash

        I watched it live and found it very upsetting. I can’t believe she could be so selfish as to deprive us all of herself. What if Carli Lloyd had done that that in 2011? You’re 27 DON’T GO LAUREN!!!!!!

        Though if she does retire, may it be be like Damarcus Beasley’s international retirement in every respect.

        USA’s DaMarcus Beasley offers to come out of retirement for …
        http://www.si.com/planet…/damarcus-beasley-usa-gold-cup-jurgen-klinsmann
        Jun 10, 2015 – DaMarcus Beasley says he’s willing to come out of retirement to play in this summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup; he’s made the USA’s provisional …

    • Breakers fan

      Never seen that before – fabulous! To be honest I never knew she had such quick footwork abilities.

      • Altius

        That was in the NWSL final against Seattle.

        FCKC won.

        • Breakers fan

          Does it on the big stage – very cool.

    • Jersey Shore Rises

      NWSL videos will not cut it as 90% of the players are not World Cup quality…. Need instead to see how she did during Non-Friendly International play and World Cups..

      • Sabrina Beach

        You obviously know very little about the women’s league in the US.

        This video was clipped from the 2014 NWSL Championship Game between FC Kansas City and Seattle Reign. During the 2014 season, the Reign set a league record unbeaten streak of 16 games and compiled a 13-0-3 record during that time.

        Seattle’s defense in this video consists of Keelin Winters (11), Lauren Barnes (3), Kendall Fletcher (13), and this unknown goalkeeper at the time named Hope Solo (1). I can see how you would be unimpressed that a player could dribble through a 3 on 1 and then score against the World Cup Gold Glove winner.

        • Tae

          To me NWSL matches are more competitive for the NT stars than the vast majority of our international matches. Even in WC we might be tight and fail to impress here and there but the majority of the games are not in doubt. I’m loving NWSL, imho the level of play is far above the two previous leagues.

      • Altius

        Umm, have you never seen her play before? Hahah, NWSL champ, NWSL MVP, 2011 World Cup All-Star XI, 2015 World Cup final goalscorer, etc. etc. etc. We could sing her accolades all the way from her Bruins days up until last Sunday, really.

  • woso32rooter

    Lauren Holiday— As one of my favorite players, I was not ready for your retirement….yet. I enjoyed watching your dynamic play moves (360 degrees of connection), and understated cool, on and off pitch. 100 % team player and motivator. Terrific World Cup goal to punctuate your style to the end !(Still, I hope you will be involved in youth soccer development to help us keep in global contention). My very best wishes, wherever you take your present future….

    Congratulations Team USA 2015 ! You All Did US Proud!

  • sweetjazz3

    Lauren Holiday was my entry point into watching women’s soccer very closely. I followed the USWNT team during their World Cup run in 2011 and the Olympics in 2012, but then forgot about the sport until the Men’s World Cup last summer. Reminded that we had the WWC coming up this year, I looked back at their roster. Honestly thought Lauren Holiday was a completely different player than Lauren Cheney. Eventually found the NWSL games and learned that Lauren Holiday was married to Jrue Holiday. It still didn’t dawn on me that she was Lauren Cheney and had changed her last name because of the marriage. But as a big Pelicans fan, she instantly became my favorite player. A little while later, I came across the USWNT video about her changing her jersey and I said to myself, ‘Duh!’ Seeing just how great she is at the game, plus loving how wonderful she and her husband are in the community, was just a real treat. Through my interest in her, I have discovered the beauty of women’s soccer. I’ll cherish the moments I got to watch Holiday on the pitch, and I know she will start a wonderful family with Jrue. My thoughts and prayers to them as they start a new chapter in their life together.

  • STT

    Rumors from well before the WWC (i.e. way back when Abby announced she would sit out the NWSL season) suggested Holiday was already looking to start a family.

    Did anyone else notice she didn’t drink any of the champagne? Methinks she just pulled a Rampone – won a championship with another announcement soon coming.

    • Tae

      I was assuming that was the case. Even if she planned to start a family there is no guarantee she’d conceive anytime soon, or even ever.

      • Lance Scallop

        Maybe she already has.

        • Tae

          That’s what I’m saying, she must already be pregnant.

          • tonysocref

            If that’s the case she would have announced her complete retirement from the game. She indicated that she would play out the season with FCKC.

          • STT

            Not necessarily. This has precedent: Rampone played most of the 2009 WPS season pregnant.

          • Steglitz49

            Lira Alushi played the Champions League final pregnant. Afterwards she had to ‘fess up. Ando played on the winning team in that final.

          • Steglitz49

            “Lauren carries all America’s baby in her tummy” — where did I read that before?

    • soccertaxi

      Maybe she doesn’t drink…

    • woso32rooter

      Perhaps Lauren does not prefer champagne? Or she was in reflective mode at that very moment-to take it all in knowing it was her last hurrah? I am hoping it is the latter because I would have loved to see her and Morgan Brian just one more time playing together in the upcoming Victory Tour matches. Oh well, if so, I am glad her snazzy play moves can be recaptured. Their kiddo(s) will have surely have plenty of moms and dads footage and hardware to show, from which to draw dribbles. Family heirlooms indeed.

    • EbaJ

      She doesn’t drink.

      • Steglitz49

        Neither does Kenny Dalgleish.

    • mskillens

      I noticed that she didn’t drink as well. I thought the behavior was suspicious and went on an assumption that she has been playing pregnant.

  • smallbatches

    Cheney was the first player that really became mine on this team. What I loved about her was her friendly attitude, and humble demeanor just wanting to be a part of the team. An important part but not the star. For me that was why she was the star.

    The other thing that attracted me were her obvious skills. I always thought that she was the best technical player on the team whose vision on the field was unparalleled and that she embraced and excelled at the new style of play that so many of the vets have trouble with. Yes you could make an argument that Heath is more skilled but the offense never went through Heath. She was never asked to do as much.

    Lauren was a great scorer in college but she became a facilitator on this team. Probably because she was one of the few offensive players who embraced that role and wasn’t striving to be the big star. A true team player.

    I became an FC KC fan because of her. She kind of looks like the mama on that team. Truly the leader it’s perfectly obvious when you see the other girls around her. Two years ago she won the scoring title in the NWSL and was league MVP just to remind everyone that she has game. With her leading that team they play some of the most enjoyable football to watch in the NWSL and the team is essentially built around her as the engine.

    She will be missedon the field. I’m sure she wants to start a family. And that will be a wonderful next step for her. I hope she gets into coaching at some level. She seems to have the right makeup for it and obvious her experience and legacy speaks for itself.

    I’ll miss her but am glad she is making way for some new blood. She has had a long career and I understand her motive now. It will be fun to see the team evolve after the other expected retirements fun for all of us here to watch and rant about.

    All the Best Lauren loved watching you play.

    • Steglitz49

      Holiday, please.

      • newsouth

        He’s American.

  • Tae

    Question based on something Steglitz said and the praise Lauren is getting for a classy and, according to many, a timely exit.
    Should Tobin Heath also retire from international play?

    • Guest

      I hope not I still think she can be better than what we saw in this WC especially playing along side Moe. I would also prefer to not see Moe surrounded by players with not technical skills. The NT development still does not put enough emphasis on technical skill coupled with athleticism. The idea that Morgan Brian may have to play without technical players because we favor the best athletes is nauseating.

    • Breakers fan

      In my opinion, not even close to retirement. I see her career as really just starting to bloom. She just turned 27, single, healthy, no signs of slowing down at all.

      • guest

        Also dare I say the USWNT should start running the offense directly through Tobin and Moe

        • Breakers fan

          You just echoed a post I made below. I’d consider Dunn and O’Hara in that role as well. I have some other ideas but I know the reaction they’d get here so I won’t even post ’em.

          • guest

            What was apparent during this WC was that we need more midfielders. The fact that we started the same lineup almost every game and never subbed a CM is pretty telling. O’hara and Dunn are excellent options. They can both play flank midfield and provide an offensive threat from the full back position. I approve.

        • ARED

          Run it through Heath and Brian, with O’Hara/Dunn/etc the tools they use on the wings. And Morgan/Press/Leroux up front of course.

      • AlexH

        If Steg took twice the time to think things through he wouldn’t be half as fun to read. That man really GETS the internet.

        • Breakers fan

          Interesting perspective – thank you. Steglitz49: the Founder of the Let it Fly, Off the Cuff School of internet posting.

          • Steglitz49

            I prefer to see it as laser-sharp analysis, that gets to the heart of the matter.

          • Breakers fan

            I’ve seen. And your brevity can be disarming at times. I mean that in a good way.

        • Steglitz49

          Thank you. You made my day.

      • Steglitz49

        Some would say that the fact that a white teddy bear was a high point of WC-15 shows something.

        • Breakers fan

          I for one enjoyed the heck out of the WC. I didn’t find it boring. Some of that goes with the territory but I was not disappointed. I can’t speak for any other viewers of course. The teddy was a plus, for sure. Have you heard what has happened with it? I assume it was presented as a gift to Ando?

    • justsomeguy

      i say let her stay for the olympics and then she needs to retire

      • Breakers fan

        I’m stunned, justsomeguy. Isn’t Heath your favorite player? You will consider her over the hill at just-turned-28? You know Kristine Lilly played great midfield until she was 40, right? She’s a freak of nature, but her example is an illustration of a point about human capabilities.

        • AlexH

          Yeah but that’s Kristine Freaking Lilly, although I do believe that woso players can play well into their 30’s because they don’t play nearly as many games as the men. Carli, after all, is 32 and pretty much kicked butt and took names.

          • Breakers fan

            I wrote she’s a freak of nature, so we’re on the same page about Lilly. And about how long good soccer can be played by some women.

          • ARED

            It is worth examining Lloyd’s play in two segments: During the run of play throughout a match, and then on set pieces. I think she was 10 out of 10 on set pieces. In the run of play? Aside from the midfield goal I’d say 5-6, but that goal might make it a 10….lol.

          • guest

            Yeah I think we are overrating her performance in the run of play honestly the midfield looked significantly better without her playing a big role in it. At the same time what a goal from 60 yards out.

          • ARED

            Those are pretty much my exact feelings. People overreact to everything, especially goals. It shouldn’t be too hard to watch those goals and see they were all set plays (but one), and that in the build up to winning those set plays -or just in general -Lloyd had very little impact. But obviously most do not worry about that.

            And, regardless, that midfield goal was one of the best goals in history, and she should enjoy that and her medals down to the last drop.

          • guest

            Yup, I could not agree more. Carli should in part thank Moe and Tobin for winning the corner and free kick she scored on and Holiday and Rapinoe for the service in.

        • Guest

          She just turned 27 on May 29 but whether or not she can play for another 4 year largely depends on her commitment to conditioning. Technical players age much better than players who rely on their pace.

          • Breakers fan

            Absolutely – about the importance of conditioning. Although that basically goes without saying, it’s so vital that it should be said! My sense is that it won’t be a big chore for Heath to stay fit since it appears she loves the game so, but I don’t know her personally of course and whether conditioning is any kind of issue for her.
            And just to explain, I wrote 28 as her retirement age because the other poster had her retiring after the Olympics.

          • Guest

            I hope she continues to play and honestly I think it sucks that they didn’t reorganize the team to run the offense through her and eventually Brian after the 2012 Olympics. Instead we were treated to three years of kick and run looking for Abby’s head. Sermanni was basically fired for trying to take the team where it seems to be headed now. I think Tobin can do it and I think she can be even better than she was this cycle. As she gets older she might need to be moved more centrally because it is much more difficult to play flank regularly as players get older.

          • Breakers fan

            I agree with what you say here. Glad there are some kindred spirits in this regard.

          • David K Anderson

            Tobin’s pretty fanatical about conditioning. Moreover, as long as she’s a Thorn (and as long as Riley’s coach…not a sure thing), she’ll be playing for a team that focuses on fitness.

            I think Tobin has a lot of very high quality years in her. She’s also never really been in the best situation with the nats, as our transition into a more technical approach (which suits her game) has been so long in coming. I suspect she still feels she has things to prove.

          • Breakers fan

            Really glad to hear this about her approach to conditioning. Thanks. I am in total agreement with the rest of your post.

          • Tae

            I think the question isn’t so much about Tobin Heath specifically but a firm rule that seeks a squad made up of players in their mid 20s. Tobin offers a good point of discussion because her high level of technical ability and the fact that she’s just past the cut off age makes her the toughest application of the rule.

          • Guest

            I am already seriously worried about how we scout for young players. For all of the KO, HAO, Ohais the US possesses, we have very few technical players like Tobin. As far as I am concerned if she can still compete at the highest level at 31 and there is no clear replacement she should play. Speed may be something that can’t be taught but things like touch, vision and football IQ are of similar stock.

          • Breakers fan

            I don’t like the notion of a “cut-off Rule”. You play the best players you have, regardless of their age. But you don’t get sentimental or duty-bound about keeping players around who are no longer the best you have.

          • Tae

            But the need for a firm cut off rule is precisely because USWNT cannot avoid being sentimental. There is no reason to think this will change, compounded as it is by the money issue.

          • Guest

            What the team really needs is an empowered manager like Klinsmann. That would eliminate the sentimentality issue real fast.

          • Tae

            I sure do feel sentimental about how the Belgium match might have gone if Landon had been in there in place of Wondo though.

          • Guest

            But wasn’t Landon not fit. Why the hell should he get special treatment. Anyway he was never our solution to finally finding a quality 9.

          • ARED

            Donovan was easily in the top 5 fitness-wise for the USMNT, probably top 3 with Yedlin and…? But b/c of his 3-month break (1.5 years beforehand) and a picture of him with no shirt one where his belly looked big, people quickly believed that story, despite him playing better, covering more ground, and being faster than every MLS player who made the roster. But Klinsmann didn’t cut him for fitness, he did b/c he thought he was “a little bit behind the level” of the other 23. As in not good enough. So Wondo, Green, Zusi, Bedoya, or my personal favorite -Brad Davis -were all better than Donovan. Clearly not true, and clearly Klinsmann cut him for personal reasons but didn’t want to admit it.

            (And yes, clearly I have strong feelings on this -but I, along with most of the international world -thought it was pretty shocking how JK handled this. If he had admitted that LD could help the team, but he just didn’t want him on “his team” that would have been disappointing but at least honest. But he kept trying to sell off the idea of LD not being good enough, or committed enough. How didi Zusi, Wondolowski, Bedoya, and Davis work out against Belgium? Even if Julian Green did somehow score the only meaningful goal of his career)

          • Guest

            Fair point on the Klinsmann stuff. I never heard about all of that. I really don’t think he would have mad a difference against Belgium the difference in the quality of players on both teams was and still is immense.

          • ARED

            Thanks. Obv it’s a loaded gun topic, but there is a long history there (back to when Klinsmann got fired from Bayern Munich), and just b/c he’s the coach with the power does not make him right.

            And you are right, the US would’ve needed a special performance to beat Belgium -but stranger things have happened, and LD deserved the chance to play a part and see if he could help make that happen. He’s played a part in more special performances than any other American.

          • Altius

            A cut off rule is no more sensible than sentimental rosters.

            THE BEST PLAYERS. Period.

          • Tae

            But you can’t deny the advantages. For one thing you would avoid assigning roster slots to players who aren’t going to figure to compensate them for services rendered. With players falling into a 23-29 age group you would have players returning for a second world cup with priceless experience under their belts, as well as more youngsters on the bench who have gone through the experience and won’t be so wide eyed when they play the next tourney. These advantages are structural and independent of the player pool.
            On the flip side there is no structural disadvantage; there is no rule that says 30+ players are better than under 30s.
            So if we’re going to fail being sensible whether we go under 30 rule or the current system of favoring veterans, wouldn’t the under 30 rule be slightly less un-sensible?

          • Altius

            No. That’s overkill from overthinking.

          • guest5

            I propose a cut off rule for this site – once you turn 30 you can’t post here anymore; or, perhaps the rule should be you can’t post until your 30!!!

          • Selection

            Tell that to Donovan. Given two players of equal talent and skill set, a manager must weigh experience v. longevity.

          • guest

            I think most agree that Donovan was unfairly left off of the roster for reason other than talent(Klinsmann).

          • Breakers fan

            But saying “you can’t do something” easily becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. I mean — legally they CAN do whatever they want, right? By “they” I mean the coaching staff. Maybe it’s wishful thinking only and in perpetuity that we will never have a coach with the guts to make the tough calls on the lineup, as you suggest and fear. You may be right and probably a cut-off rule wouldn’t be disastrous considering how many young women play soccer in America. It just seems so very brutal though — let’s say someday you have a striker who is tearing up the world at age 30 – no fall-off in her performances. Then one day she wakes up and she’s off the team. That would happen with an age rule. Your response may simply be: “You had your time, time to let someone else play.” That to me is not totally unreasonable, but it’s never happened in any sport before and so it seems really weird and hard to consider.

        • Tae

          And as much as I love Lil we lost in 03 and 07 and in the process set a precedent of veterans clinging to an absurd age. She also played in a far less competitive era, and we weren’t producing as many bright youngsters as we are now.

          • Steglitz49

            They failed to win in 2011 too.

        • justsomeguy

          I want her to retire on a high note, not when the fans are screaming for her to retire because she is not good anymore

          • Breakers fan

            Well-said. I agree. As you know, this place can be brutal in terms of criticism. I’ve seen it with my favorite players and you have too. Players have different strengths. The standard evoked here at times, though, if you take all posts together, can have the appearance of absolute non-stop perfection for every player. Every player embodying all soccer virtues. While it’s of course good to strive for that it’s not realistic to expect that level to be attained.

    • AlexH

      I think it is impossible to say. The real issue isn’t Tobin but rather Tobin plus all of the other players who will be in their low 30’s when the next WC comes around. If the tenure system holds and these players don’t age as well as Carli, the team could be in a real fix.

      I have said a lot that I think Tobin would make an excellent DM and now that Holiday is gone maybe that is her position of the future. I think that being a full time flank player is tough post 30. Just look at HAO and Chups. Both were fantastic players in their 20s but were very fortunate to make the team this go round.

      • Guest

        I agree that she might need to be moved Centrally as she gets older but honestly I don’t think the NT possesses an abundance of players with her type of skill. Obviously a lot of this depends on her and her commitment to keep playing but she is a totally different player than HAO and Chups.

      • Tae

        I think that’s Steg’s thinking for the fairly firm rule. I also have advocated a 30 and under rule with exceptions for keeper, veteran CB, and locker room leader. If we make an exception for Heath we will have to make exceptions for others and then we’ll be the oldest team in 2019 again and many bright youngsters will stay home.

        • Steglitz49

          I am a believer in WoSo as a sport for young ladies. Lauren has set a good example. Others ought to take note.

          There is no need to be greedy.

          The US has the talent to show the world that you can do well with players 29 and younger. WoSo needs to build a whole different structure from MeSo. In Europe, the federations, as far as I can tell, lean on the players to develop alternative careers for obvious reasons.

    • memyselfandi

      Heath should not retire imo, I think she is actually just hitting her stride if this world cup is any indication; she’s been a real revelation for me. Before she seemed to be tasked with beating players and sending in a cross which she didn’t seem to do that well when faced with non-Concacaf defenders. Playing to feet and recycling possession and throwing in a killer pass or two on the ground is what she excels at, so with this new-look WNT appearing to take shape she is key right now. I still think she is a clumsy tackler so don’t think DM is best for her as someone has suggested. Keep her in the middle and let her operate to support midfield/attack and she’ll do just fine. If she can consistently score then she would be something else. Plus if Moe Brian is in there with her that means two technical players in the middle so teams may shut down one of them but hopefully not both.

    • Steglitz49

      What did I type?

      I think Tobin should consider other options. I know nothing of her life off the field but she would be well advised to invest a bit of effort on that part of her life.

      • Tae

        Iirc you advocated the rule of players born no later than 1992 for WC 2019, with only a couple of exceptions. The rule I had advocated in the past was under 30, with exceptions for keeper, one veteran CB, and one locker room leader who doesn’t play. Amounts to the same thing I think. Anyway I asked if you would make an exception for Heath (born 1988) and your reply was “NO. CUT CUT CUT”
        I recall reading that in her spare time, Alexandra Popp pursues an internship in zookeeping or something. Garafrekis was the same, she had some professional track she was following while playing soccer. Germans always have a sensible game plan.

        • Steglitz49

          There is not much money in EU soccer. The sort of money a USNT player can earn is pie in the sky in Europe. One or two earn something like that but their advert income is close to zero.

          The European federations really lean on their female players to develop and pursue alternative careers.

  • Silver Frost

    I find this shocking. But Boxx, Rampone, Wambach, Solo, have said nothing. And Lloyd is already on record as wanting to be in WC 2019. The gig must be hard to walk away from.

    • justsomeguy

      im all for heath, rapinoe, o’reilly, rampone, saurbraun, krieger, lloyd, alex, arod, box, chalupny to retire after olympics, some even sooner like wambach solo and rampone

    • Tae

      “Lloyd is already on record as wanting to be in WC 2019”
      Oh my god

      • Breakers fan

        A lot can happen in 4 years. Not saying anything about Lloyd but a statement 2 days after this WC doesn’t hold a ton of water to me, but maybe it should based on past practice.

        • Tae

          I wouldn’t put it past her to pull a Roger Milla though. She has a real talent for trolling her haters.

          • Breakers fan

            I had to look up Roger Milla. At first I thought you were doing a Boston accent for “Roger Miller” – the guy who sang “King of the Road” but I figured that wasn’t it, so I googled the name as you spelled it – haha. And then saw his 38 year old WC heroics.
            The second sentence — really? Intriguing. Where does one see evidence of this – twitter perhaps? I do not follow her there.

          • Tae

            Trolling us with her play, not with words.

          • Steglitz49

            I wish commentators on the EQ would stop being rude and simply call her by the name she has chosen.

            I don’t know if Ogimi gets the same grief in Japan but as her kid sister Asano now plays for the NT with Nagasato on her jersey, I don’t think they can.

          • Tae

            I take it you meant this to apply to the discussion about Cheney vs Holiday.

          • Steglitz49

            It applies to all jerks who troll the EQ equally.

          • Tae

            I take it you’re referring to me but I have no idea what the reference is here because whatever I’ve done in other regards I haven’t called anyone by an inappropriate name.

          • Steglitz49

            You needed to look up Roger Milla? How young are you? 30?

          • Tae

            I went to all the Palo Alto matches in 1994 and got to see Roger Milla. Magic was gone though. Man I got to see some epic matches and also the Brazilian fans. But I think my favorite moment was Oleg Salenko had scored 5 goals to set a single game goals record and then he had an open net for a sixth but passed to a teammate to tap it in. Pure class.

            I would have traded it all for one match with Baggio though.

          • Breakers fan

            I bet many woso fans over 30 – my category – don’t know about a Cameroonian man who played well in the 1990 World Cup. Remember – I’m the guy who corrected you and someone else about Evonne Goolagong. 🙂

          • Steglitz49

            a reduntant “r”?

          • Breakers fan

            You know the strong native Boston accent from your east coast days – “r’s” where none exist, no “r’s” when they do exist.
            I can’t remember how I corrected you about Goolagong – I think you had her first name wrong.

          • Steglitz49

            Like “alarm” and Ogden Nash.

          • Breakers fan

            You’ve lost me good sir. “Alarm = allam” in Boston-ese. I don’t get the Ogden Nash reference.

          • Steglitz49

            I seem to remember it being part of the ditty:

            The one l lama is a priest. The two ll llama is a beast and I bet you … there is no such beast as a three lll lama except the Boston all-lama.

            Please help me get it right.

          • Breakers fan

            Bravo! Have never heard that before. I hope you were singing out loud as you typed it.

          • Steglitz49

            Thank you. I think he bets his pajama maybe spelt pyjama.

        • Jersey Shore Rises

          She was asked a question… Can you imagine a Men’s WC finale hat trick scorer not saying that same?

          Of course not….

          • Breakers fan

            Good point – what else would anyone in that position likely say? I’m on a Carli high so I’m careful not to say anything negative about her. I admit that I’ve been on the fence about her – pro and anti the last year, but I’ve been more on her side the last month – before her great games even. If she is worthy of playing in the ’19 Cup I’m all for it. She won that finale for us, plain and simple. I was in awe of her performance, and I thank her immensely for it.

          • luke

            Can you imagine a Men’s WC finale 33yo hat trick scorer?

          • Steglitz49

            Geoff Hurst played in 1970. Please see my longer entry elsewhere.

      • Jersey Shore Rises

        Wow, imagine for a second a player in the Men’s World Cup Finale just scored a Hat Trick in the WC Finale and said they do not want to be in the next finale….

        Just shows the inherit bias between Men’s and Women’s Football as people would be outraged if Messi/Rinaldo were not back for the next WC and they both never had a hat trick in the Finale..

        • Tae

          No bias there. I guarantee Argentinians will not want a 36 year old Messi starting.

          • Jersey Shore Rises

            I hope humor is back for you as Messi is God in Argentina…. 😀

          • Tae

            Actually no he’s not. For the longest time contra all rationality and evidence Tevez was more popular than Messi in Argentina. They have now surrendered to the inevitable but he’s still not loved like Maradona or Riquelme or even Tevez and never will be. If he doesn’t deliver a WC, which seems unlikely at this point, he won’t even be remembered fondly all that long. South American football does not work like European football, you can’t leave at the age of 12 and expect national love. You’re supposed to become a star in the domestic league, go excel in Europe, and then come back home to play out your final years.
            Also does not help that Messi left his birth neighborhood and lost any claim he might have had to pibe status. Maradona by contrast built a mansion on the spot where he grew up.

          • Jersey Shore Rises

            Latest poll I could find is Messi was the top Favorite football player in Argentina by Argentina voters…

            http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2250735/Lionel-Messi-comes-Argentinas-best-athlete-poll.html

            If you have more recent facts that can be verified, let me know…

          • Tae

            Like I said, they’ve surrendered to the inevitable and you won’t find anyone anymore who claims Tevez is better. But it is a complex relationship, and he’s not loved in the way you’re suggesting. Just google “messi popularity argentina” for starters.

          • ARED

            It is known, both in Argentina and beyond, that Messi has never been fully embraced as a “god” there ever since he left as a 12-year old. Yes he is their favorite player, but of course that should be a given -he is the world’s favorite player, so how could he not be in his home nation.

            The very article you link speaks to this, as he was voted behind two other athletes, despite football being Argentina’s love, and Messi being the best in the world. Obviously there are some underlying issues in the Messi-Argentina story (as Tae suggests, the internet is full of stories and interviews which show as much -assuming you’re can’t stop by BA to ask around….lol).

          • Calci0

            Who said anything about starting?

        • luke

          ?Can you imagine a Men’s WC finale 33yo hat trick scorer?!

        • Steglitz49

          Geoff Hurst did play in WC-70 in Mexico. In the QF against Germany he had a goal ruled offside, which many consider a valid goal.

          If you go to Wembley on August 1st, you can admire his statue.

    • Jersey Shore Rises

      Lloyd did not say she was on record for the WC 2019, she was asked a question about it and responded to it….

      • kevin

        at the very least maybe lloyd could fill the wambach supersub role. i can’t doubt her chances after the last performance.

        • Jersey Shore Rises

          Why not instead wait to see what the team looks like in say 2018 before assuming…. That would be my position…

          • kevin

            yes, i am open-minded. there is plenty of time for that to sort out. the party isn’t even over yet on the last one. hehe

          • Player pool

            As long as a large pool of players has been evaluated at the senior level by 2018. However, it seems like the current player CBA makes this fiscally difficult for US Soccer.

      • Tae

        You really think fans would not react negatively to a male player who wants to make a NT at the age of 36-37? I love Tobin as much as you love Carli, and I don’t want Tobin on USWNT at the age of 36. Heck I tossed up a question asking if she should retire form international play now, at the age of 27.

        • Jersey Shore Rises

          I’ll give you some words of advice that hopefully you listen too, Why not wait to see how the USWNT players are performing in 2018 before trying to assume how they will play in the 2019 WC along with how the fans will react… I for one will do just that…

          • Tae

            Because call up slots and minutes are limited and I’d rather spend them on youngsters then players who will be 36-37 in WC 2019. How they performed in 2015 doesn’t change that, even an all time epic performance like Lloyd’s.

          • Jersey Shore Rises

            Could not disagree more and I for one will wait till how players are performing in 2018….

          • ARED

            Because that sort of mentality is what led to JJ barely getting any experience before the WC, where she made a huge -but preventable -error that could have knocked them out in the semi. They were more than a bit lucky that sticking so hard to Rampone, Chalupny, Boxx, and yes Wambach, in the 3 years since 2012 based on the “let’s see how they look in 2015” mindset, instead of properly bringing along and fully incorporating younger players.

            I’m not saying Lloyd needs to go, or should go, esp right now. But, I’m not sure how many long periods of not “being on fire” she should get as an automatic starter. It should be a continual evaluation, and an honest decision based on who the best players are for each camp/friendly/Olympics/Algarve/WC.

        • Calci0

          Outside of the US my favorite int. Men’s squad is Italy. And Many fans were calling for Totti to play in the last WC. Pirlo was playing at 35.5. Del Piero was looking to get called up encroaching his 40’s. All I’m getting at is it’s not so far fetched…..

          • Steglitz49

            They earn an awful lot more than WoSo players, even Alex. Maybe Mr Holiday earns more than Pirlo?

          • Tae

            Totti, yeah, Prandelli seriously considered that. But that had to do with a miserable talent pool and Rossi getting injured. I mean my beloved Italy had to go with Balotelli in 2014. That’s what had everyone freaked.

            I don’t know what fans you’re talking about though, re supporting guys of that age making a roster. Bleacher Report sure, but I get my Italian commentary at juventuz.org where European articles get translated and noted by users and that sort of talk is never on. Del Piero might have desires but even the Juventini to whom he is god replied no Ale it’s not possible. Let’s put it this way — Totti not only did not make the squad in 2014, he didn’t make the squad in 2010. Not only did Del Piero not make 2010, even in 2006 he was a reserve, in a year when his club was dominating Series A. In 2010 in fact the guys were stressed that Cannavaro was on the roster only a few years out from winning Ballon d’or, only defender ever to do so, and look at what happened.

            Pirlo is singular. Can’t use him as an argument for anything. I wanted him to sign another 5 year deal with Juve.

          • guest

            Pirlo is probably the best deep lying playmaker of the modern game but even you must admit to him having some defensive deficiencies at his age.

          • Steglitz49

            Pirandelli?

          • Tae

            Pirelli? I love the nudie calendars. I don’t know who Pirandelli is.

          • Steglitz49

            Touché! well played sir/madam. There is no reason why you should, because it was a trick question. Now, what was the tricky part?

          • Calci0

            Well the coach at least had him in mind…. http://www.goal.com/en-au/news/4034/world-cup-2014/2013/08/20/4199368/prandelli-considers-del-piero-for-italy-recall

            And as an Azzurri fan myself, I didn’t see the Balotelli selection in the negative light you did. Sure he has improvements to do, but I don’t want his talent left behind.

          • Tae

            Pirlo agrees with you about Balotelli, he always Mario had to be on the squad. I don’t doubt his talent but his work ethic is non existent. He wants the game to be easy.
            About Totti, yeah, I acknowledged he was considered. But with what is being discussed here, it should be noted that Totti was no longer being called up, he was considered done due to his age. It was only when the roster was looking terrible people started wondering, should we call him up again and see if he could play a role.

          • Calci0

            I was more so linking to the Del Piero comments in that the coach was at thinking of the move.
            “experienced forward, who has scored 14 goals in A-League 21 games, could be a useful tool during the tournament”
            “”In March and April we will have a look at the condition of certain players like Francesco Totti, Antonio Di Natale and even Alex Del Piero,” he told Sky Sport Italia.”

            “”We are following all players who can make a difference, Alex still has a great desire and we have to keep an eye on everyone.”

            I think we are on the same page, I was just trying to say it’s not that Wild of a thought that a 35+ year old can still compete and provide a service. Maybe not a 90min player but in a pinch could be a positive.

      • Revealed to All

        “she was asked a question about it and responded to it….” – that’s called being on record. Duh.

    • Jersey Shore Rises

      How about we instead wait to see what the team looks like in 2018 before assuming…. That would be my position…

      We all know what assuming can lead too as the “Bad News Bears” have pointed out….

    • ARED

      That is the norm, not the shock my friend…. ; )

      I’ve heard a few mentions of “this was probably (her) last chance at a WC”, but even that was usually from people other than those players themselves.

  • Pete

    Thanks for the memories Lauren!

  • atalba

    Great career! 10 years playing NT soccer is awesome.She’s a Bruin and another product of great soccer from California.

    2009
    Became the first player in school history to earn NSCAA/adidas First-Team All-America honors all four years of her career … One of three finalists for the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy for the second time in her career (also a finalist in 2007) … One of four finalists for the Honda Award … Rewrote the UCLA career record books during her senior season, breaking the school records for points (173) and game-winning goals (28) … Also tied former Bruin Traci Arkenberg for the career school record in goals with 71 … Ended her career ranked second all-time at UCLA in career assists with 31 … Finished the 2009 campaign ranked second on the team in scoring with 46 points (18g, 10a). SydL was a freshman on the team.

    Mr. Holiday comes from UCLA as well.

    The volley goal in the WWC2015 will be unforgettable.

  • wosofan

    She was also a dominant player in the first two seasons of the NWSL, and I think FCKC really set the standard, for their consistent style and level of play, and she was a huge part of that.

  • pepe

    I think the rest of 2015 to the Olympics should be about finding a real DM or transitioning one. JJ is still my top pick. Because Saurbrunn is really the anchor of the backline, they will adjust with someone else. Moe is the #10, Carli can be the false 9 (what she really is). If one of the forwards starts to perform well and gels with the pencilled in Morgan, I guess they’ll go back to 4-4-2.

    • Guest

      Carli as a false 9? No No No No No No No. Carli can not in any way shape or for play the false 9

      • pepe

        She did on Sunday…

        • Guest

          No she did not. Watch what Messi does when he played if for Barca. It is not nothing like what carli did for the USWNT on Sunday.

          • pepe

            I’m not comparing Carli to Messi. Messi is in a whole other universe in whatever position he’s playing. Look up what a false 9 does and that’s how Carli was deployed in the matches against Germany and Japan.

          • Guest

            Except Alex was playing a true 9. We had a Striker. Carli might have been roaming in the attacking third but she really was not part of the the link up with the midfield for most of the game.

          • pepe

            You can have a true #9 and a false #9 on the field at the same time. Lloyd was positioned behind Morgan in the line up. My point is as long as Carli is scoring, I’d want her there. Not as a #10 or DM. Otherwise, sometimes she disrupts the attacking flow and I wouldn’t start her.

          • Breakers fan

            And how many negative grand conclusions and pronouncements can we make from 1 so-positive game? Not a ton of raw soccer material to look at to draw conclusions from. I don’t know how good she’ll be there but I do like the evidence from Sunday.

          • Steglitz49

            The question is whether the final was an exception that proves the rule or whether it opens a new chapter in WoSo?

            In 1970, Italy crawled their way to the final. They played a nasty and rough SF against Germany (I think Beckenbauer had his arm broken) and were, quite justly, annihilated in the one-sided final, not least the 2nd half. The score could have been 8-1 but was 4-1.

            We have all commented on Fra-Ger, US-Ger and Eng-Ger as tense and gripping. Some of the other matches were good also.

            Even though we had the glorious Ajax/Dutch NT of the 70s, the fact is that nearly 20 years were lost, mainly owing to rough play. Starting with the bronze match in 1994, refereeing took a turn for the better, helped by the emergence of superb refs like Colina and Frisk.

            This tournament was not particularly dirty BUT it was awfully boring. Only the odd match made us sit up and feel great. WoSo can’t afford that.

          • Guest

            The concept of a true false 9 is to remove the striker from the box to create confusion among the CBs typically the 9 will track deep into the midfield. If you are playing a true 9 at the same time you do not get any of the tactical advantages that the false 9 is aiming to create. Having midfielder float around is not the same thing as playing a false 9.

          • Steglitz49

            In days of old when knights were bold and positional numbering applied, the #10 position was considered the most difficult to play in. First Gren, nicknamed Il Professore and the Gre of the Grenoli, and following him Pelé made the number famous and coveted. Once positional numbering was abandonned, players fought to have it.

            Johan Cruyff started his career as #9 but switched to #14 by force of circumstances.

            When Liedholm (the Li of Grenoli) retired, Milan wanted to retire his jersey but were not allowed to because of positional numbering.

        • Steglitz49

          “Never on a Sunday”, surely?

      • Steglitz49

        Carli belongs to the ages. The US has 3 golds — 1 WC and 2 OG — because of Carli.

        Seeing that Carli plays in #10, why not let her keep her jersey? It was the number that Il Professore and Pelé wore and thus made coveted!

        You can play Carli wherever you want — except there is no need in goal as long as goalies keep out of gaol.

        • Guest

          Yeah she really was not a 10 in the last too games either but I don’t think she has ever been a true 10 personally.

          • Steglitz49

            Let’s make her an honorary inside-left. That would resolve the issues about her number.

    • Steglitz49

      Who coined this term “false 9”? This WC in the EQ is the first time I have seen the term. Does it come from a video game?

      • Tae

        I think the concept has been around forever, going back to Pele era Brazil and the idea of employing zero forwards and a bunch of midfielders, but as a Serie A guy I first saw it when Totti was used at advanced center mid for Roma in a 4-6-0. But then Barca used it with Messi so of course Roma get no credit.

        • Steglitz49

          I understand that it is as old as the hills. I just have not seen the term before. “False 9” means nothing to me.

          We know where the term “Total Football” comes from even if we might disagree who pioneered it. “Tikitaka” is another one. There are other such descriptors, but where does “False 9” come from?

          • Tae

            You know you got me so curious about the origin of the actual term I spent a minute googling and can’t find the answer with a cursory glance. Italians continued to call Totti a trequartista in that formation. English commentators were calling him a false 9 but I don’t know if they coined the term specifically about Totti or it was already in use.

          • Steglitz49

            Please note that I never questioned that the role existed, I simply typed that I did not know the terminology of “False 9” neither who coined it

            Please see my lengthy reply elsewhere for details but the first player to be associated with the role was one of the great Hungarian NT players: Nándos Hideghuti (1922-2002).

          • Tae

            Yeah at first I was thinking it’s odd that someone who’s so familiar with football history wouldn’t know the concept but I gathered you meant the term.
            Noteworthy here is that as long as the concept has been around, it was the Italians who brought it back into the modern game, just as they’re doing with the 3 man backline. Say what you will of Italian footballing decline, they’ve always led the way in tactical innovation. But just as noteworthy, Spain and Barca are being given the credit. Any day now we’ll learn that Barca invented passing.

          • Steglitz49

            Like libero/sweeper?

            Sasaki brought passing to WoSo.

            I still haven’t figured out what went so haywire for the Japanese in the final. The match was over after 5 mins or so, certainly by 15 mins. Bizarre. Of all the WC-15 matches, it took the biscuit.

          • Tae

            I don’t know that Sasaki brought passing into WoSo so much as the talent pools among the national sides prevented the passing game from being implemented for a long time. He’s to be given credit for how he molded that squad to be sure but I don’t know that Sasaki can be given credit for a national footballing tradition that gave him a roster with a high degree of technical ability throughout. He couldn’t have played that style if he managed Sweden or USA back in the day.
            We dominated them to open the match in 2011 also, we just didn’t finish. We could have easily been 3-0 at 16′ in 2011. And that’s without the superior high press we had in 2015.

          • Steglitz49

            Sasaki essentially developed all those players. His problem for this WC was that, like Sweden and Norway, several of his young bright things had sustained injuries, not least Yokoyama.

            The WC-11 final was wonderfully exciting. Marvellous. A classic.

            The official statistics show that the WC-11 final was more even than we remember it. Funny that. It also had an erroneous off-side which would have won Japan the match but because they did win, it never was an issue.

            The risk is that, apart from in the USA, WC-15 will be forgotten. It might be remembered for FIFA winning the turf-battle, ironically enough!

          • Steg Patrol

            This is typical troll work from Steg. Ask a stupid question and then not bother to Google it. So it isn’t really a question, but a troll.

          • Steglitz49

            The answer is Nándos Hideghuti (1922-2002).

            Some say that the position was first used in South-American football 90 years ago while others refer to the Austrians (yes, Austrians) 80 years ago but most consider that the role of deep and roaming striker that caused confusion was perfected by Nándos Hideghuti (spelling?) one of the Mighty Magyars of the 1950s.

            As far as I know, Hideghuti idid not give what he played a specific label — at least not one that made it into English, though sometimes it was refered to as playing “second striker” and with usual British irony and humor the player was called the “SS”. That term never caught on for obvious reasons.

            In the football of the 2nd Millennium the position was revived my Totti playing for Roma (2006/07) and also by Messi for Barca (2008/09) and again by van Persie in Arsenal (2009/10).

            The first mention of “False 9” I can find is from 3 years ago but it is still unclear to me who actually coined it.

            Please note that I never questioned that the role existed, I simply typed that I did not recognize the term. That the first name to be associated with the role was one of the great Hungarians was a bonus. Nándos Hideghuti of the Hungarian NT.

          • Tae

            It isn’t a stupid question at all. I googled, though not long, and the answer isn’t readily available.

    • ARED

      Yeah, Lloyd played as a withdrawn or secondary striker, not a false-9. It doesn’t really matter, and most uses of a false-9 have varied at least a bit. But Lloyd was playing behind Morgan, the real #9. And she was following behind her when out of possession, and never positioned in front of her with possession. So I don’t see how a false 9 is in play, it’s just a simple 4-4-1-1, with Lloyd as the second forward. Or, a 4-2-3-1 if you want….but the role is still a withdrawn forward, or possibly a CAM.

      Of course, Lloyd really had very little to do with the US build up or midfield play, so this may be why it’s a bit hard to define and agree upon her role. As brilliant as the game and Lloyd were, it’s not as her role in the tactics came into play in creating the goals. (Whereas with Messi or Cesc in the false-9 it is very clear what their influence is and how they play).

  • smallbatches

    Thinking ahead to next year I’m going to throw out an idea. Call me crazy but I think Sydney L would make a fantastic left back. She has it all. Size, speed, toughness and she is relentless. I don’t think it’s in the cards for her at striker.

    Think about the real swift forwards in the world like Delie, DeVanna, Thomis, Kerr etc. Now imagine Syd defending them. Or think about Syd flying down the wing into the final third linking up with the forwards. She would be incredibly dangerous and put pressure on any teams back line. Think Deandre Yedlin only tougher.

    I think Syd has too much to offer to not be on the pitch. I want her on the pitch. She is in her prime. She is a gamer. I just don’t like her as a striker. I’m a Press guy in that department. I’d rather see her on the back line because she has all the talent for that position and she is a competitor and that’s a place that has openings.

    I see her having more potential than Kling or Krieger and yes even Dunn. She is bigger and stronger than Dunn and just as fast. Try her out there and see what she can do Jill.

    • ARED

      Much as O’Hara just needed a chance to shine, I think Leroux just needs the same. I think she’d do well in a wing or wing-back position, but still is best as a forward. I would see her as a downgrade to Kling all-around, and a better attacker but much worse defender than Kreiger.

      So it’s an idea, but if I had the opportunity to make the call, I’d just incorporate a true 4-3-3 (not the faux one claimed) and play her as a forward at least 75% of the time, and I think she’d shine. As would Morgan and Press. The midfield without Holiday would be different, but anybody out there who doesn’t like Heath-Brain-Rapinoe? Keep the backline, and search and give chances to new players at all positions.

      • Bruin

        Sorry, but Leroux had a chance to shine defensively with Reign. She was a flop and got traded. Leroux is not interested in the less glam position of back. She wants to be a striker.

        • Calci0

          HUH?!? She was a fwd with the Reign. And excelled at defending. Game in, and game out, she back tracked from her fwd position to the defensive 18……… And she was asked to play a different role with the Reign. When played as a CF like she was with the Breakers, she scored goals.

        • ARED

          I’m sure she does want to be a striker, as she should. She’s a good one. I could expound to say “I think she’d do well -for a forward trying to play defense”.

          But um…she was a forward in Seattle, no? And she plays with great effort and defensive contribution from that position, but of course outside back is another thing.

      • guest

        I think I would play Pinoe in the wing position and Heath and Brian above a DM like JJ in a 433. In a 433 the midfielders need to be strong possession players and support each other all over the field.

        • ARED

          Yeah, in my mind Rapinoe and Heath are flexible within a 4-3-3, between “midfield” and “forward” roles. I think depending on form, injuries, and matchups you’d have a lot of leeway -although less now without Holiday -esp in the midfield.

          • guest

            Yeah the 433 requires actual midfielders who can possess the ball, and support one another and I am not sure if any of the new players can play like that. Maybe Lavelle, but she is only 20 and may not be ready. the good thing about the 433 is that we have many players who can play on the wings. 4231, 442, 442 diamond, might be better for the teams personnel.

      • mockmook

        “anybody out there who doesn’t like Heath-Brain-Rapinoe?”

        Me. Not enough defense. I think the two “DMs” should get as much credit for our final push as Carli.

        They could be the 3 in the 4-2-3-1, but not for 2019.

        • Guest

          I think they can all play pretty good defense when they want to they get back fast enough. They are all probably not the greatest tacklers in the world and if we moved to a 433 I would prefer a true DM. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see Tobin still playing at 31 unless she gets the injury bug or wants to settle down. I haven’t been to impressed with any of the up and comers except Dunn but a lot can change in 4 years.

          • ARED

            I imagine Rapinoe will be more of a stretch for 2019 than Heath, but as you say nothing is certain for any player. And you can’t predict whether there will be greater need at CAM or DM in 3-4 years’ time. Or if Heath or Brian will be so good at one of those positions it renders the discussion moot.

            Most likely? Lloyd plays as a CAM/forward for the foreseeable future, and everybody else just fits in behind, in -gasp- a 4-4-2.

          • Guest

            I will be very happy for Lloyd if she retires after OG 16. As well as she played in the last few WC games it will be very hard for the team to move forward if she is still starting in 2019.

          • ARED

            Although she was only a drop of water compared to the ocean of Wambach, I’ve felt that way for 4 years. The team had the players to move forward and evolve into something special for 2015. They didn’t, but, they won anyway, so fair enough -but the future is a bit uncertain.

          • Guest

            Lloyd is not a bad player and if she could improve on the turnover is the defensive third she can still be a very good DM. At the same time she has a great shot and nose for goal so she would also still be a good forward. Brian and Heath may be better suited to play a CAM role but with Lloyd on the team it seems unlikely to ever happen. I also thought Brian played very well as a DM/Deep-lying playmaker.

          • ARED

            I agree, I’ve always felt Lloyd is the world’s best DM who just never/rarely plays there. She wins every free ball, is dominant with her tackles, and her passing is good enough when she keeps it simple (doesn’t dribble) and has the game in front of her. Perfect for a DM. And, she has been better than Wambach as a target on set pieces for awhile now, and certainly strikes a ball better on free kicks and penalties, so having her on the field as a DM gives you all of that -without compromising your build-up play, combinations, and creative threats.

            Ellis played her as a #6 yet still put pressure on her to “get forward”, which ended up making Lloyd mostly ineffective at either role, and a pretty huge liability. JE finally fixed that by putting Brian in that role, a player who was 10x better just by playing smart and simple. No reason to think Lloyd couldn’t play that role, but she never really has.

        • ARED

          Ha, well I should know that you, of the 6 defensive players mantra, would not like it… ; ). I think the defense would matter little due to the possession and attacking improvements, but if needed Heath and Brain could be 2 DMs, or you could sub in another if you were scared of someone (or it just worked better -certainly something to try).

          But to the idea that a 4-3-3 is too offensive or suicide, I say that it easily can become a 4-5-1 or a 4-2-3-1, whether for a set match, to hold a lead, etc. And for me the “DMs” should get more credit than Lloyd -lol. You don’t win those pens and set pieces without a competent midfield, and it became competent for the first time in a long time when Lloyd got out of it and Heath-Holiday-Brian-Rapinoe ran it. But they could have had similar or greater impact in other formations/positions as well.

    • Lance Scallop

      Pia played Leroux a few times at right back when she was trying the 4-2-3-1.

  • Joe

    Jeff- you forgot that she was also named a World Cup All-Star (while of course playing out of position). The midfield worked during this Cup run because someone had to give, and naturally that was Holiday. Such a selfless, humble, world-class player. Best of luck!

  • ARED

    Lauren (Cheney) Holiday. A US legend at 27.

  • chive-on

    Stupid reason (oh dear god that sounds boring) – good timing though, since she basically has everything. Only 27, that’s a shame, she’s done so well too. Hopefully she’ll do an Amy Rodriguez and come back at some point.

  • More Retirements?

    Morgan, Press, and Leroux will be 27 by Rio 2016. Will they retire as well? Morgan and Leroux are married. What do most married women want to do? Have kids.

    • Based on what Leroux and Dwyer have said, I would imagine Syd at least taking a year off after the Olympics, but I assume she would try to come back. I haven’t heard Alex say anything about wanting to start a family.

      • AlexH

        Hmm, I’m not familiar with the comments but did it seem like Syd felt that her being at the OG was a given?

        I ask because the roster is only 18 players which means probably a max of 3 forwards will make the team and possibly only 2 if the team decides to play a single striker formation. If I were the coach would probably favor a players that will be coming back after the games than those who were taking a break when deciding who is the last to get on the plane.

  • Steglitz49

    199 comments! Let’s make it 200 just for fun.

  • FlyingSquirrel42

    I wonder if she had planned to make this announcement so quickly or if Jill Ellis unwittingly spilled the beans early with the “send-off” comment.

    Ellis did say something about “a great way to go out” to Boxx at the same event. I wonder if any soccer journalists have tried to follow up with Boxx yet to find out if she’s going to be hanging it up soon as well. I imagine she’d have a tough time making the Rio squad anyway.

  • leftbacklion

    Gold medalist, World Cup champion, NWSL champion. Going out on top. Thanks for the memories Lauren!!

  • Steglitz49

    Last year at the age of 30, having led his country to win the World Cup, the Magic Dwarf aka Philipp Lahm retired from international football.

    Lahm did it in the time-honored way of politely asking Jogi Loew in private not to select him anymore. Loew was not happy about it but granted Philipp his wish.

    Now Lauren has set a precedent for the ladies by retiring at 27.

  • guest

    What kind of an example is she setting for little girls? Find a millionaire husband and abandon your profession. Don’t tell me she doesn’t make enough money either, with a WC bonus of at least $300K this year. KMAG YOYO by Hayes Carll great song, google it.

    • mockmook

      That family is more important than a game. She already has reached the pinnacle of her profession.

      • guest

        So we should all quit our jobs and focus on our families? Good luck with that.

        • mockmook

          For thousands of years, women have managed to have families while not having a “job”. Don’t you believe in personal choice?

          • guest

            I would have more respect for her if she got pregnant and sat out a year, but you cannot just abandon your profession when you haven’t yet reached your full potential, you’re not injured or you’re not at retirement age. If women want to be treated equally in the workplace, they have to respect their careers.

          • Guest

            Ridiculous. Holiday does not owe anyone a thing if she decides she no longer wants to play at age 22 we should respect her choice.

          • guest

            Of course she can do what she wants, but she’s not setting a good example. If all women followed her example and dropped their professions because they could, how can women be treated equally in the workplace?

          • Guest

            She is not all women she is one. Any person, male or female, can walk away from their job whenever they want for whatever reason already. Her future, by all accounts, is financially secured, so if she wants to stop working to start a family it is her prerogative to do so there are plenty of women all across the country who do the same thing.

          • guest

            You bring up a good point that it’s possible for men to find a rich spouse and quit their jobs too, although I’m certain it happens a lot less and I don’t have the data to prove it. But if we’re trying to reach a point in society where men and women earn equal incomes, and just as many men can quit their jobs to start a family as women, then I don’t think Lauren is setting a good example to help us reach that goal, in fact, she seems to be reinforcing negative stereotypes.

          • Guest

            Personally I don’t really believe men and women will ever truely be treated equally even if their salary’s are the same due to maternity leave. Women can do every bit as good a job as men, if not better, for plenty of jobs. But, at any moment a Women can decide she wants to have children and raise a family. Employers take all of these things into consideration regardless of whether or not they are technically allowed to.

          • ARED

            Why not try to reach a point in society where men and women can be happy and connected with people they love?

            (Your goals for society or mine may not be Lauren Holiday’s, so while she may not set a good example for how you wish for women/people to live out their lives, that alone does not make it a “bad” example).

          • Steglitz49

            At the age of 24 Magdalena Neuner stunned her sport by announcing that she was going to retire because she could not motivate herself any longer. At 25 she hung up her gun and skis.

            Jessica Rossi won the OG-12 gold in Trap at 20 years of age by shooting an unbelievable 99 out of 100. She has continued to dominate her sport with ease. Trap is not onerous so she could carry on to 2044 at least but I doubt it.

          • ARED

            Setting the example that there is far more to life than “professions” and “workplaces” is of far greater use than showing some sort of blind dedication to punch a timecard endlessly without thought or perspective.

            Soccer is a game. Holiday is a person. She decided to stop playing a game.

          • Breakers fan

            It’s possible she’s lost some passion for the sport, as others have mentioned. If that is the case it’s best for her to stop, in my opinion, as one must be fully invested to stay at that level. And who’s to say that down the road she will not pursue, and begin another profession? Don’t rule out that possibility.

        • guest

          Okay, so maybe she’s motivated by family and relationships and not by wealth and fame. But just to play the devil’s advocate one more time, do you think she would have quit the game if she had not married a millionaire? Of course not! Those women on the NT are clutching their $300K and thinking they just won the lottery, and they’re wondering, how much do the Olympics pay, and where do I sign up? In the case of Holiday, she married well, lost her ambition and wants to be a housewife. So is she a good role model for little girls? If they want to marry a millionaire, I suppose so. But if they’re like the rest of us and not fortunate enough to marry well, they’ll have to keep struggling and striving to claw their way up in the world.

    • ARED

      How much money is enough? How long should she pursue her profession based on money, or the desires of others?

      Being great at playing a game, making a lot of money doing so (and getting a college education), and yet still being wise and humble enough to focus on relationships and personal development, sets a pretty good example for little girls. Arguably a better one than Carli Lloyd’s “dedication” which overtakes her life to the point that she cannot even allow her family to attend the WC Final. (But, it’s her choice all the same).

      Or maybe Holiday is tired of being second/third/fourth fiddle and thinks she’s better than that, so she’s moving on with her life instead of staying “trapped in a job/role she doesn’t want”. Isn’t that a good example, and far more likely than your scenario?

      Jrue Holiday was drafted in 2009. So if she did as you say, she would have retired then. (Nevermind that she “found” him before he was a millionaire).