FC Kansas City return to NWSL Championship

Dan Lauletta September 13, 2015 247

FC Kansas City jumped on the Chicago Red Stars for three early goals and cruised to a 3-0 victory Sunday at Toyota Park to move within a match of repeating as NWSL champions.

The match turned on an early mistake by Red Stars goalkeeper Michele Dalton who got the starting nod over veteran Karina LeBlanc who went into retirement with the loss.  With the Red Stars getting the better of the early possession, Abby Erceg played a ball back to Dalton’s feet but left a lane for Lauren Holiday to run up to the keeper for a challenge.  Holiday blocked the clearance, and the ball went to Amy Rodriguez who finished it with her left foot to give the Blues a lead after only 12 minutes.

[LAULETTA: 3 observations from the match]

The Red Stars continued to put the pressure on FC Kansas City who were content to sit back and counter for much of the afternoon.  They doubled the lead on a perfect, 21st minute counter after Becky Sauerbrunn slid over to erase what looked like a promising Red Stars attack.  Sauerbrunn dispossessed Alyssa Mautz and the the next time the Red Stars touched the ball was to pull it out of the back of the goal.  After working the ball quickly through midfield the Blues found Heather O’Reilly in space on the right side.  O’Reilly cut inside in Arin Gilliland who took away the path to the goal leaving O’Reilly to move to her left.  After a quick, short-range, give-and-go with Rodriguez, O’Reilly played the ball to the right side of the box where Erika Tymrak took two touched and beat Dalton with a perfect shot to the roof of goal.

The dagger came in the 25th minute.  Nicole Barnhart took a free kick from deep in her penalty area and O’Reilly won the midfield header from Gilliland to flick the ball in the direction of Rodriguez.  Rodriguez took a cheeky touch to beat Ereg and was off to the races.  She faked Dalton off her feet and patiently waited for the right time and angle before calmly scoring her second of the match to make it 3-0.

Rodriguez now has five goals in three playoff matches for FC Kansas City including a pair of multi-goal games. The other player with a multi-goal playoff game is Carli Lloyd for the Flash against Sky Blue in the 2013 semifinals.

The Red Stars brought Sofia Huerta on at halftime and Melissa Tancredi after that and did their best to push forward and get themselves back in the match.  Ultimately they could never completely unlock Sauerbrunn, Barnhart, and the FC Kansas City defense.

FC Kansas City advance to the final for the second year in a row.  In 2014 they beat the Reign, 2-1 in Seattle.  The final is Thursday, October 1 in Portland against the winner of Sunday night’s Spirit-Reign match.

  • ladywing

    The two FOX announcer’s said “The final will be played in Portland, where all the players agree it should be held”. Really? I imagine it’s a special treat they just can’t wait for. What BS straight from FOX’s minions mouths to my ears!

    • Guesting

      Still eating away at you? “Get Over It” (Eagles)

      • ladywing

        I met with the Reign and Laura Harvey at a get together for season ticket holder’s about a week before the announcement. Laura said they were playing for home field advantage. You can say what you like about me but Laura Harvey is not a liar.

        • Tikitaka

          Laura also said in an interview that she’s excited about Portland because she relishes the thought of being the “enemy” and playing in front of the largest crowd in the league. I don’t think players and coaches are as heart broken as you think.

          • ladywing

            I think they are putting a good face on a bad deal. But as a fan there is no political necessity for me to do so. Laura has a job to do that she does superbly.

          • Tikitaka

            Or they’re seeing the bigger picture and moving on, but to each their own I suppose.

          • Guesting

            It is more important for the survival of the league then a fan that doesn’t get it. I will be curious to see what kind of crowd Seattle will get for a semi-final game, especially since they opened up additional seating.

          • Tikitaka

            I agree with you. I’m not against moving the final to Portland, and I’m not even a Portland fan.

          • ladywing

            Are you going to go to the final?

          • Tikitaka

            I did purchase tickets, but as I live on the east coast it isn’t likely. If things don’t work out I will donate or resell them.
            If I lived on the west coast the trip would be a done deal.

            You?

          • ladywing

            Do you have a team who may be. In the playoffs?

          • Tikitaka

            The Reign and SBFC are my teams. I see what you’re trying to do and we’re just not on the same page about the issue…

          • ladywing

            Then let us end this in a civil manner. Go Reign!!

          • Tikitaka

            Go Reign!!

          • Steglitz49

            Go KC?

          • ladywing

            On, I can help you with that our attendance has gone down since we lost home field advantage. I’ll be there but why is this so personal to you?

          • BigBadBossMan

            Yes, even though I have noticed 99% of the opposition to the Portland final is from Seattle fans, I also am opposed to it. I am tired of people who have resigned themselves to this corrupt shady practice and are even now pretending it is a “great idea” or “needed”. No and no. But keep licking those boots people

          • Steglitz49

            Maybe the USJD should open an investigation here too?

          • TsovLoj

            Harvey’s not stupid. She’s realized that everyone who comes to play in the Park is energized by the crowds. I think this’ll be a boon to Seattle if anyone.

        • Guesting

          That’s understandable since the league made a big mistake by not announcing it earlier, but now it’s time to move on.

    • mockmook

      I believe they said that all the “teams” agreed to move the game — I think they meant all the owners.

      But, even that may be misleading — I doubt the owners were unanimous on the decision, and the implication was that they were.

    • One of a Kind

      Judging by the fact that Toyota Park didn’t seem even half full in both of CRS’ last two matches, SRFC is declining in attendance, and the NWSL did pretty badly (65k viewers) against the VMAS on a Sunday night, I don’t think you should criticize the move to put the final on a Thursday night in Portland just yet. If both these NWSL games today don’t get at least 100k in viewers, the move will still look like a good risk to me.

      • ladywing

        You see, I blame the move to Portland for the declining attendance. It’s all about the fans, bout the fans, not the owners to paraphrase a popular song.

        • One of a Kind

          We’ve discussed this before and my stance is the same. There will be no fans if the league doesn’t get exposure. What’s the best form of exposure? Television. The move to Portland was primarily an attempt to create an interesting TV product while making it economically viable for the league given the circumstances.

          To blame the move to Portland for attendance declining is a huge stretch. Maybe some of the commoners lost interest. Also, what’s the excuse for the lukewarm turnout in Chicago? They have a legit excuse for today’s game because the Chicago Bears opened their season at Soldier Field, but 5.6k isn’t that great for last week’s match.

          • another guest

            for what it is worth, Chicago Red Stars in their WPS days only averaged in 4000-5000 range when playing in Toyota Park. Maybe be lots of reasons/excuses for level of attendance for pro woso in Chicago but so far there is little evidence that Chicago will support woso at/above 4000-5000 level.

          • One of a Kind

            That just sucks man. I was hopeful attendance would be in the 7500-10000 range for at least last week’s game because CRS has done a great job in promoting Press and Johnston in Chicago media from what I’ve seen (I don’t actually live there). I read a comment on here saying the team gets no media attention though.

            Maybe CRS needs to somehow try to find a fitting stadium that’s actually closer to Chicago and go from there? Affiliate themselves with the Fire? Even the Chicago Sky (WNBA) average just short of 7k, with their lowest attendance of the season so far being 4.1k. Just more proof that to get woso on a stable level will take more effort.

          • JL

            There aren’t any. The only two options are Toyota Park, which was a big cause for the Red Stars dropping out of WPS after two seasons, or Benedictine.

          • TsovLoj

            We keep going over this, but I think there are some options. North Park U’s soccer field is in Chicago proper and is set up for 3000 viewers.

  • HOFCToDi

    Hopefully that is the last the NWSL will ever see of Abby Erceg.

    • Bulkon Capital

      Boss, you had called it. Props to you.

      • HOFCToDi

        Samantha Johnson is a FAR superior centerback. Abby Erceg does not belong in the NWSL.

        • Bulkon Capital

          Is she not fully fit due to an injury? I try not to be harsh, sometimes injuries make you a lesser player than you are. But, I agree that Sam Johnson was much better than Abby in this game.

          • HOFCToDi

            Negative. Not on the injury report unlike Huerta.

            nwslsoccer.com/injuryreport/index_E.html

            Abby Erceg lacks pace, takes bad angles, late to react defensively, bad with the ball at her feet. Abby Erceg has always been slow.

        • HM

          I tried to give Erceg benefit of doubt, but by now it’s obvious she is the weakest link in the CRS defense, unless Quon is back there.

          • HOFCToDi

            To be accurate, Abby Erceg is THE weakest link in the starting XI with regard to the field players. The goalkeepers are another subject altogether.

    • mockmook

      And, new GKs.

      • Steglitz49

        and a fanatical devotion to the ….

      • HOFCToDi

        Chicago Red Stars
        2016 NWSL College Draft Priorities:

        First Round – Centerback
        Second Round or Third Round – Goalkeeper

        If Abby Smith (Texas) falls to the bottom of the second round, it might be too tempting to pass up.

        • xanthophobe

          They can also try to get AD Franch back from Norway–I think that’s probably a better option than Abby Smith.

          • HOFCToDi

            Franch was selected by the Western New York Flash in the first round of the 2013 NWSL College Draft. The Western New York Flash still retain her rights?

        • One of a Kind

          Abby Smith from UT Austin? Thoughts on her?

          • HOFCToDi

            Coaches’ survey: Best women’s DI players
            Published: July 10, 2015

            topdrawersoccer.com/college-soccer-articles/coaches-survey:-best-womens-di-players_aid36779

          • One of a Kind

            Thanks for the link! The women’s team at Texas gets absolutely no love. What I found interesting though was that they advertised the home opener against UNC in the welcome back pamphlets given to returning/new students, a move that I’m positive would’ve never happened without the US WWC win this summer. Unfortunately, attendance has looked abysmal from the couple of times I’ve tuned into matches on the LHN, but I’m intrigued knowing that they have a top player. I’ll try to attend a game or two if possible.

  • jay

    didn’t see the match but did they share why dalton started over leblanc?

    • Tikitaka

      Probably because she’s better than Leblanc. I don’t think Leblanc has the best chemistry when playing behind the team

      • Rufan

        Story above has that LeBlanc is retiring.

        • Tikitaka

          Retiring after the season ended, meaning she was available off the bench.

      • Bulkon Capital

        I agree, Dalton is better than Leblanc. I’m not going to give Dames grief over starting Dalton.

      • mockmook

        He should have played Dalton in their last regular season game. Keep her sharp (though, her bad decisions were more than lack of sharpness).

        • Tikitaka

          Dalton just underestimated Holiday for whatever reason. I’m sure no one felt worse than her though.

      • guest

        today’s match does not provide much support for the Dalton is better than LeBlanc theory.

  • Tikitaka

    Dames got the lineup wrong the first half, it really shouldn’t have taken him the whole time to make subs. Christen Press was a ball hog this game and when she decided to pass it was always too late. All in all Chicago had a great season that they shouldn’t be terribly disappointed with.
    KC really does play beautiful football. Very happy to see them make it to the final again. Now the Reign just need to do work tonight!

    • Steglitz49

      If you lose in the SF, you are disappointed. If you lose ineptly in the SF, you become a laughing stock.

      • BigBadBossMan

        Noone thinks that way though… we take the season as a whole into account… just because there are “playoffs” doesnt matter THAT much, most knowledgeable fans understand playoff system is flukey

        • Steglitz49

          Remember 8-1 in 1981? The PR-machine has done a great snow-job on that but those of us who watched remember, as does the ROW (at least the hockey playing world).

          Think the Stanley Cup.

          In short, once you bolt a play-off on to a basic series, the basic series means diddely-squat or, in the words of a former VP, “it aint worth a pitcher of warm spit”.

          • BigBadBossMan

            Let’s not compare the NWSL semifinals to the Stanley Cup I don’t think it’s the same kind of event at least not yet. If you’re talking about classic historic tournament-based results overshadowing strong presence established in “league” play in general then sure you have a point. My point is that increasingly nowadays fans are more informed and can see through the “one-off” flukey nature of those tournaments

          • Steglitz49

            In the 1981 Canada cup, Canada beat the USSR 7-3 in the basic series. There was only one, like the NWSL. They met again in the final, having won their SFs.

            In the final the USSR destroyed Canada 8-1. The Canadians were taken apart and found wanting. That Canadian team included Gretzky, Lafleur, Trottier and Bossy among others but they were totally outplayed.

            As I typed, when you bolt a play-off on to a basic series, the series means nothing. The Canadian PR department did a great job though.

      • Tikitaka

        I’m not saying they are going to doing cartwheels, but they can definitely look back on this season and say that they were better than they were in 2014

        • Steglitz49

          They can but will they — and will anyone? Had they lost 3-2 after going 2-0 down in the first ca 20 min, OK. Not now.

          • Tikitaka

            I said, “Chicago had a great season that they shouldn’t be terribly disappointed by”. This match, while not good, doesn’t dictate the season they had.

          • Steglitz49

            Yes because for them the season did not end with the season. It ended today. Think 8-1 in 1981.

          • Tikitaka

            Dames is not going to go back to the team and tell them the season was bad. However he probably will admit that they shot themselves in the foot during the semi. They can be mutually exclusive.

          • Steglitz49

            8-1 in 1981 — Dames would remember even if the players were not born then.

          • Tikitaka

            I never said anyone would forget this game, but none of them will say they had a sucky season because of it.
            If you read/watch interviews with the Reign all of them are still very proud of their 2014 season, but still pissed about the final. One thing doesn’t necessarily dictate the other.

          • Steglitz49

            We kept being told that the Olympic gold was worth more than the World Cup and those of us who disagreed were shouted down. We were right. The WC is the big cigar.

            Losing ineptly in the NWSL SF wipes out the basic series. Believe me.

          • Tikitaka

            I don’t believe you.

    • Nicole C.

      Why doesn’t Rory Dames go to the gym?
      Because he can’t bench Press.

      • Bulkon Capital

        Hah! 🙂

      • Steglitz49

        That is unfair to Christen.

      • Bulkon Capital

        I’d be happy then if Jill Ellis has to stop going to the gym

      • Tikitaka

        Well played!

  • NYRick

    1. The Dalton first goal gaffe was as ridiculous as it gets. As amateur a play as you will ever see at really any level. An U8 goalie has more awareness. Throw in the fact she does it with a world-class player like Holiday 4 feet from her. Total gift and basically ruined the match. I was worried that Dames would start LeBlanc (whom I’d expect for such a play), but can’t even blame her. Once again, goalkeeping in this sport is absolutely abysmal. The weakest part of the women’s game. You would think on even a pro level where you only need 9 top keepers you would get better. ARod’s second goal was almost even funnier and more inept by Dalton. So slow to react and close angles and dive at the player and win the ball. ARod actually screwed up on that by trying to be too fancy by the keeper is just so bad.

    2. Press. Here it comes. Sorry to my friend Reality, but the nonsense of hitting posts has to stop. Especially in big games. It’s silly at this point. Her first miss off the crossbar (actually before the Dalton howler) might have been the match right there. In the second half, she over-forced the issue and really had poor accuracy throughout. KC with Becky and LeP are obviously tough, but big players have to rise in matches like this. The team needed her badly to score and she just didn’t. That simple. Barnie is a beatable goalie and they needed to do better.

    3. KC is just a better team and deserves to be in the final against Seattle. CRS had the run of play and possession for the most part but you have to finish.

    4. Tymrak goal was a cool finish. Much credit to HAO who actually made the best play of the entire match with her pass to an open Tymrak. Once again, Dalton slow to react and stood back in the net allowing for lots of room to shoot.

    • ladywing

      First the Reign need to win tonight. Then we will see.

    • HOFCToDi

      It’s a monumental task for Abby Erceg to complete an accurate forward pass.

      Heather O’Reilly was allowed to make that chip pass over the top because Abby Erceg did not close the space in front or her.

      • tlhazz

        Erceg was horrendous the last few games.

        • Steglitz49

          Then why start with her? The coach must take some of the blame.

          • tlhazz

            No argument from me there.

      • Elaine

        I’m very surprised that Erceg is this bad knowing she is a national team player for New Zealand.

        • HOFCToDi

          Abby Erceg has been awful since her return from the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

    • Ethan

      I was shocked seeing Dalton partially or completely at fault for all three goals when I watched the highlights. This game was not a good advertisement for women’s goalkeeping. The next match has two USWNT goalkeepers; hopefully, Hope and Harris will be on their best form for the match.

      • Steglitz49

        Indeed.

      • Guest

        Harris and Solo both put on a clinic in last years semis. Looking for a repeat from them.

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    • Reality

      1. True
      2. True
      3. True
      4. True

    • Keera McKinney

      Well put, NYRick, I have nothing to add. Thanks.

      • Steglitz49

        I would add that the goalie was inept and guilty. Please see Ethan’s analysis for details.

      • mockmook

        O/T

        Sorry if this has been asked on any of the other threads, do you have any YouTube or other videos out there of your troupe/band?

        • Keera McKinney

          Oh, wasn’t expecting this today. The Tour videos from 2013 & 14 will be released as part of the promo for the US Tour & that will be In January for 2013, April for 2014, and those will be DRM-free, and you’ll be able to view them on YouTube. 🙂

          • mockmook

            Thanks, looking forward to seeing this eclectic menagerie of woso fans 🙂

          • Keera McKinney

            I actually think that’s a heck of a good expression to sum us up! 🙂 Can we use that? Hmmm … “EMOWF?” 😉 Now Gisel & I have to go catch our flight, Gisel being in a state of absolute shock about how poor this game was. I’m not much better, but she sulks more than I do. Catch you maybe around the championship game. 🙂

        • Keera McKinney

          Thank you for asking. 🙂

    • Ethan

      Regarding #1, I actually thought ARod screwed up with her second touch. It was long and could have been cleared if Dalton hadn’t backed off so much and had been more aggressive moving forward.

    • Breakers fan

      Funny, while not totally “defending” Press I’m not as critical as you are here, Rick. I thought that chip was a pretty brilliant attempt and idea. That shot requires precision and she just, just missed. Her lefty shot from some distance on the left angling in, in the first half was hit well, but it needed to be hit expertly for it to score there. I agree that a shot in the 2nd half – about 10 yards from goal in the center was not hit well – she hit it pretty much right at Barnhart. She did not have a great game, but I didn’t think it was awful. She tried hard to score, made some good attempts just didn’t pull them off. At least once when the announcers said she “played with the ball too long” I disagreed. You have to be in a position to hit a shot, it can’t be done at every second and you want to see at least some opening. It’s one of those games – every forward has many of them in her/his career. It shouldn’t in a just world alter Ellis’ view of her, in my opinion. But I appreciate your openness to critique a personal favorite.

      • NYRick

        Breakers, sorry on this one. She has to bury that first goal. She was in, Barnie out of position and at her mercy and she put it high. She had a lot of net to look at. The second chip off the crossbar was a tough shot, but when those go in during a big game they are remembered. She just seems to have a little of Peyton Manning in her in my opinion. An outstanding talent and good in the regular season, but when the lights shine the brightest either she underperforms or things for her team don’t go her way. The goalie gaffe in the first 10 minutes put the team behind the 8 ball against a well coached team from the start.

        • Hwah

          That Peyton Manning comparison is pretty apt for her thus far in her career, plenty of time to change it hopefully. I think you also made the Eli Manning/Carli Lloyd comparison awhile back, horrible regular season, huge big game players. Both very apt comparisons.

          • HOFCToDi

            Nah!

            Eli Manning can thank his defensive line for the first of the two Super Bowl runs.

          • Hwah

            As well as David Tyree, was it, with that incredible catch with his helmet. Thing is though, Eli is a much better QB in playoffs than in regular season.

          • HOFCToDi

            Don’t forget the patented overtime interception by Brett Favre against the New York Giants in the NFC Championship Game.

          • NYRick

            Every championship is defined by plays that are made either one way or another. Remember the Tuck Rule for Brady which basically springboarded his first SB run. That was a clear fumble. Who knows where his career goes from there without it.

          • Calci0

            Adam V. also played a pretty big role. And BB’s defenses can take some credit!

          • NYRick

            I’ve basically seen every minute of Eli Manning’s career with the Giants. I sit in the stands for most of the home games. Eli was a beast in the 07 playoffs and in 2011 he had one of the best clutch seasons of any QB in recent memory. He has beaten Tom Brady not once, but twice on the biggest stage. And he had a lot to do with it both times. He has that weird intangible about him or aloofness when the pressure is at it’s greatest. He is also wildly inconsistent, but for the past few years he has matured into an elite QB and certainly one of the top 6 or 8 in all of football in my opinion. I have no problem going to war with him as my QB in any game. Especially a big one.

          • HOFCToDi

            Eli Manning was hardly a beast against the Green Bay Packers and the New England Patriots during the 2007 NFL Playoffs, unlike the New York Giants defensive line.

          • NYRick

            In those conditions in GB, he was a beast. The Giants had the game won 3 times if not for shanked FGs.

          • NYRick

            As we move on, I’ll try to think of the perfect Cooper Manning analogy as it relates to a USWNT player. :–)

          • Hwah

            Yikes, no one wants that one, how awful for him to have been diagnosed with something that prevented him from playing. Maybe a Chalupny comparison had she not come back to the the national team?

          • NYRick

            Supposedly Archie is on record saying that Cooper was the best athlete in the family. The QB brothers agree to that as well. He was all-state in high school and ticketed to be a bonafide star in college. I think he was also going to play at Ole Miss.

        • Guest

          I think you are being too hard on Press and overreacting to an awful game from the defense and Keeper. The game was over after the third goal. I do think Press can be better and will be with the support of the other NT players around her. She did score against France at Algarve. Forwards are streaky in all sports. Sometimes it just does not go in. Messi has not had the greatest track record in all of the biggest games he has ever played in.

        • Breakers fan

          Two of the shots we’re discussing are in the highlight video at the top of this article. It’s interesting to look at them closely. With the first one, start at about the :51 second mark of the video. Press makes a very good first touch to give herself some space to shoot. I think it’s Le Peilbet who is closing in fast on her right. Press has little time to shoot for this reason. If you pause it at 2 different points of the :59 second mark you see first what she was looking at when she shot and then the moment of the shot. A great shot, going back against her momentum (not easy to do), cutting it back more and with a lot of pace would have gone in, most likely, though you see in the picture Le Peilbet sliding in with a leg out that possibly would have blocked a more sharply angled-back shot. As you say, make-able, I think, but it would have been a great shot with her non-dominant leg. But you’re right – it’s the kind of thing you want to see in a huge game.

          The second one, the chip shot…when I look back at this one it’s even harder than I originally thought. Go to 3:15. She is served a great pass which she expertly chest-traps down in the direction of her run to move away from the defender and give herself a shot. She is marked closely, behind and in front. She literally has a split second to get off this shot, she one-times it off a bounce from her chest trap. This shot, trust me, is extremely difficult. It would have had to have been perfect. Usually chip shots happen from further out. Barnie is in position. It may have been unmakeable. If she hits it softer, which she would have had to do to give it a shot Barnie may have jumped up and caught it or tipped it over. It was a very good effort.

          The highlights don’t show the other one – the one in the 2nd half. We both agree that was a bad shot. Overall, I see where you’re coming from. You want her to make the great shot in a game like this. I agree. It didn’t happen. I guess my point was that she didn’t miss any total gimmees and she created some good chances with runs, and made solid efforts in them. Lastly, I still don’t agree with Tikitaka that she was a ball hog in this game. As you wrote, she simply went for some shots. Who else on your team do you want doing this more than her? No one else I’d want.

          A lot of credit to KC. A great defense, just a very good team all-around. The final should be a great game.

          • NYRick

            OK I looked at the highlights again as you suggest. The first one for Press has to go in. She has to make that. A lot of net to hit and she put it in the one spot Barnie had the best chance for a save. The second was a real nice effort and good attempt. Tough shot but sweet if it goes. A player of her caliber should be able to make it though and it gets them right back in the match. Again, with Brunn and LeP, the chances were going to be minimal the whole match, you have to convert when you get an opening. The third miss in the second half was just bad. No way around it. Totally open with the ball on a platter in the center of the 18 and she shot straight at the goalie without the greatest of pace either.

            I don’t want to be harsh but this was a big game for her. She has just added to fodder that you will now hear on here about her ability to score in big games. She gave them more ammunition today. That’s too bad.

            BTW, take a look at KC’s second goal with Tymrak. Was she offside? At first I didn’t think so. Now I think she was. And it can’t be understated just how bad Erceg was in that first half. When you watch KC’s second and third goals and her position and role in those goals, you just say WTF. I mean watch her on Tymrak’s goal. It’s laughable. And she did kind of put a clumsy goalie in a hectic spot on the first howler.

            Press and CRS in general have to overcome what the other top teams (Sea and KC) never have to. Abysmal keeper play and mindless gaffes in the backline. It comes down to personnel really.

          • mockmook

            “And she did kind of put a clumsy goalie in a hectic spot on the first howler”

            There wasn’t anything hectic about it until Dalton decided to wait for Holiday to take the ball off her foot….

          • NYRick

            Yeah maybe so. It’s a shame to see a play like that in a playoff match.

            BTW though, if you need a good laugh, watch Erceg completely on Amy’s second goal. From the start of the flick over her to the very end where Amy shoots. What in the world was she doing? That goal, even with Amy going in alone, could have so easily been stopped if she comes from behind and makes any type of effort. I think Amy took too long to shoot and only a hapless keeper and defenders made it happen.

          • mockmook

            I rather enjoyed the whole sequence 🙂

          • Breakers fan

            We’re basically on the same page here. I still think the first shot was not easy – it happened fast, and remember that even if she angled it back more Barnie would be going after it – it was a tough shot – her momentum taking her away from where she wanted to put it and a defender closing in fast, but, yes, the hope is that she hits it better and makes the brilliant shot. With her right foot she has a better shot of making that.

            I just watched the Tymrak goal again. Not offsides… I think you maybe didn’t see Colaprico, who is a good yard back of Tymrak in the center of the box, but she’s easy to miss because she’s in the shadows. The instant O’Reilly strikes the pass of course is the moment to consider. Check it out again. That was a nice play by Tymrak – her first touch of the ball in the air, leading into the shot, was very nice and then the shot was good too – not a gimmee.

      • Tikitaka

        If you don’t have an angle on a shot you need to pass it as opposed to try to dance around three defenders. I’m certainly not a CP hater, but she was a ball hog this game. I felt like she tried to put the team on her back this match and CRS really doesn’t need a savior. They’ve got players that can score besides her.

        • NYRick

          I agree with you to an extent. In the second half she was forcing the issue, but don’t forget they were down three. She knows at that point she is the one who has to make it happen. If I’m the coach, I don’t mind her assertiveness there. Also, stars in any sport (and she is the star of this particular team) need to put the team on their back in the big spots. Nothing new there. She is the type of player that if that first one goes in (that went off the crossbar) she probably might get three in the match. She is extremely streaky and confidence on the pitch is a big deal for her. In addition, she has a young team. The younger players look to her to deliver.

          • Tikitaka

            I appreciate her attempts in the 1st half, but like you said earlier, the hitting the crossbar thing is getting old. I think trying to make something out of nothing all the time is worse leadership than knowing you don’t have the shot and passing it off. I know confidence is a big thing for her, but she also has to have confidence in her teammates who did just fine while she was in Canada.

          • One of a Kind

            I agree with this. Press certainly was more active today off the ball, chasing defenders and trying to coach up her teammates, but I’ve felt for awhile now that she needs to pass more and not try to shoulder the load so much by trying to take on so many defenders. She’s a serious threat and NWSL teams have/will start to adjust accordingly. Press feels like her teammates trust her, so she needs to return the faith a little bit more.

            As I said above, I’d love to see the CRS system if everyone has/had more time to gel with one another. I personally thought Press had an O-K game and I’m glad no one’s really blamed her for the loss.

  • One of a Kind

    Man, FCKC are just too good. Their experience, chemistry, and coaching are all superior to Chicago’s. That early mishap by Dalton/Erceg really put CRS on the back burner and their inexperience/miscommunication showed throughout when the game became a long shot contest. I’d love to see how they’d do with a little more time to gel with one another, which may happen next year since the Olympics are once gain starting in August?

    Also, why have most people written off Tymrak? To me, she deserves another crack at the USWNT. Jill Ellis was in attendance today so she witnessed this NWSL match transpire with her own two eyes.

    • Bulkon Capital

      I think Tymrak is a good league player. But NT requires a work rate that Tymrak is simply not fit enough to provide.

      • mockmook

        I think she is fit, but she does appear to “loaf” from time to time — or, she may be one of those players who don’t look like they are working hard even when they are.

        • Steglitz49

          Whom would she replace in the current NT?

          • NYRick

            I can name about 7 players off the WC roster of 23, but why bother at this point.

          • Steglitz49

            Winners of the World Cup. Some have been granted retirement. others will find themselves sent to the knacker’s yard.

      • NYRick

        That may be a bit unfair. You take the good and bad with every player. I’m sure you and I can dissect the games of every NT player and find fault. Tymrak is a special player and if the US played a different system and had a different coach, well…things would be quite different for her on the US team.

        • Steglitz49

          As you noted in your own analysis, had Christen’s early effort gone in, it would have been a different game — but we can’t blame Christen for that even if even you joke about the woodwork.

        • guest

          we shall see how special she is when Lauren Holiday is no longer there next year.

        • guest

          there you go again with tymrak. Let me remind you that Tom Sermanni dropped her.

          • mockmook

            And JE thought the ideal “DMs” for the USA were Lloyd and Holiday…

          • NYRick

            May I remind you that US soccer dropped Tom Sermanni.

          • guest

            but Ellis made no attempt to call Tymrak back up to NT

          • Hwah

            and yet, managed to win the WC

    • NYRick

      For all the criticism of her and her lack of apparent hustle and no defense, Tymrak remains one of the most clever and fun to watch players in all of women’s soccer. I think she was outstanding and maybe the best player on the pitch for KC, even in 70 minutes. Unfortunately, I think newsouth said it best, an unimaginative coach and really US program with Ellis at the helm just doesn’t understand how to truly employ her and really any high skill players with vision. Muscles and wheels for the US team, and that is exactly the opposite of Erika. It’s a shame. But you see how she excels under a coach who understands her game.

      • Steglitz49

        The US won the world cup (and dropped only 1 point in the process). It is hard to argue against that.

      • One of a Kind

        She really is a joy to watch and that ESPNW article on her really portrayed her vision and unique flair. I think if she could possibly bulk up just a little bit, she’d be an amazing player for the NT. As you said, she just needs the right coaching. I’d take her as an alternate for Rio if I were Ellis.

        • NYRick

          Agreed. But she is not a player they would ever take for some bizarre reason. I personally think she is much more creative and can do just about anything on the pitch that Pinoe can do. But Pinoe has become a darling forever with the US program.

          • Steglitz49

            She got injured at the wrong juncture. Remember, Christen has never been (seriously) injured. Being injured is not a good idea when you are trying to make the NT. Think Dunn.

          • NYRick

            It goes beyond that. This program obviously waits for you if you are injured (Morgan), and allows much leeway for the stars (Hope, Abby, Rampone, etc.). They simply just don’t know what to do with Tymrak. Just too creative. The Japanese coach would welcome her with open arms.

          • Steglitz49

            Instead of going to Germany she could have gone to Japan and played as others did.

          • HM

            The reason is that they don’t need Tymrak. Dunn is ahead of her on the depth chart, among many others.

          • HOFCToDi

            Tymrak? You’re kidding?

            Tymrak’s offensive production has gone down each successive NWSL season.

          • mockmook

            The Tymrak we are seeing as this season comes to a close is the best all-around playing Tymrak that I remember.

          • mockmook

            In a sane world, there should be at least 10 openings on the USWNT.

          • Guest

            Including goalies? I don’t agree if you think there are 10 position spots open. Most of the starters from the WC Final are still better players than the up and comers. I do understand if you are talking about 2019 as Rapinoe, Krieger, Sauerbrunn, and Lloyd will be 34, 34, 37, and 34 respectively. The core of the team will also be in their early 30s.

          • mockmook

            Since many will be that old, you start grooming the replacements TODAY.

          • Guest

            I am okay with the early 30 players for 2019 if they are still as effective as they are right now and there are no players clearly better. Really that applies to every player but I highly doubt that Krieger, Rapinoe, and Lloyd will be as effective. Brunn is more up in the air. I wish the team would hold more camps as right now it is more difficult for a player to grow in the nwsl than with the NT as the NT plays tougher competition. That is one of the main ways WoSo is different from MeSo. Club play comes first other than major tournaments.

          • Calci0

            So you are saying she is just as good as Rapinoe?

          • NYRick

            Rapinoe is 30, Tymrak is 24. I’m saying at this point the potential is strongly there for Tymrak to do many of the same things Pinoe does for the NT. To her credit, Pinoe has been fairly consistent the past year or so and the bad games seem to be more distant. But for me (and this is just personal opinion of course) I like Tymrak over Pinoe. Also, Tymrak needs the right coach and system to flourish and found it in KC.

          • Calci0

            I just don’t understand, how you can say that, when on the NT and in the NWSL, Rapinoe has the stats to say otherwise. Rapinoe’s numbers in the NWSL alone show she is an elite talent. To just put someone else on her level, when the numbers don’t show that to be the case, makes me ponder…….. I like Tymrak, she is an entertaining player. But does she have the nose for goal like Rapinoe?

        • mockmook

          She is the most interesting woman in woso

          https://allagora.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/4242.png?w=360

          • One of a Kind

            HAHAHAHAHA! I didn’t realize until recently that’s she’s quite the character, joking about her lack of strength and what not. I like how players like her and K. Mewis have attempted to make an impression rather than languishing in NWSL anonymity. Tymrak is even going down the Press route of blogging. It worked for CP, so why not!

      • Guest

        “Lack of defensive hustle” that is not a characteristic of the NT midfield players. I realize that Rapinoe can at times be lazy but she stepped up her game when it mattered. She was very active in the Germany game. and owned Maier the whole games. I would choose both Dunn and Ohai ahead of Tymrak as replacements for the current flanks and none of the potential replacements are better than Rapinoe or Heath. You could probably throw O’Hara in there too for everyone but Dunn.

      • RM27Fan

        What? Rapinoe and Heath are the opposite of muscles and wheels. High skill is their game and Ellis did a very good job utilizing both of them in the WC semi-final and final. They were the key pieces used to advance the ball up the field due to the weakness in our center. I think this criticism of Ellis is a little bit of a stretch. I don’t agree at all with the sentiment that Tymrak was passed over because she too creative of a player for the NT. Brian is another high skill player who was utilized well during those last two WC games although I think Brian’s excellent play against China forced JE’s hand.

    • Steglitz49

      Erika Tymrak went on loan to Bayern Munich but got injured. Since then she has not been on the NT radar. Bulkon Capital gives her/his ideas. I don’t know except that others grabbed the bat at the plate and swung gung-ho.

      • guest

        the Tymrak injury she picked up while on loan to BM in late 2013 also impacted her 2014 NWSL performance (which was down from 2013 rookie of the year level). Tymrak was expected to do well in 2015 NWSL season while WC players were out – but somewhat mixed results. Perhaps Tymrak will again string together some consistently strong play and again catch the eye of Ellis/USWNT – but I would not want to have to bet on her return to USWNT

        • Steglitz49

          I agree with your assessment.

    • Ethan

      Honestly, I think inconsistency is why Tymrak isn’t rated as highly by fans and the NT staff. Then again, Rapinoe has been a mainstay on the NT for years now. I personally wouldn’t mind Tymrak being on the NT.

      • Steglitz49

        Pinoe is a pretty tough cookie when she wants to be. You don’t mess with her on the pitch.

      • One of a Kind

        Which is what I don’t get sometimes. Rapinoe is amazing, but she’s allowed to be inconsistent to little criticism. If the main issue is strength, surely there’s more characteristics to worry about for a flank midfielder, right?

        • Steglitz49

          Everyone knows that Pinoe crossed to Abby in WC-11 but how many remembers that HAO crossed to Alex’s head in OG-12?

          • One of a Kind

            Why must we always revert back to moments from years ago? Pinoe’s signature left footed in swinger to Wambach has created goals, but many also remember HAO’s signature touch to the end line before her looping cross to Alex. Anyhow, the US kind of needs to evolve from that style (and yes I know they won the WC).

            Pinoe can be inconsistent and sometimes turns into a ballhogging machine, but her place in the team is seemingly never questioned despite her being 30. Of course, Pinoe’s moments of magic often negate those incidents. I think the U.S. could turn Tymrak into her successor, but that’s my opinion.

          • NYRick

            Pinoe is a personality that the US fanbase has come to love. The fact that she is openly out and is a champion in that area as well always greatly enhances her stature in a sport like women’s soccer to the fanbase too. Plus, she is engaging with that bright short bleached hair and is personable. Her game is daring and creative, albeit as you say filled with inconsistency and many errors. Yet she is always forgiven. Tymrak will not get the same chance and the same leeway. Ever.

          • ForeverLOST108

            Let’s also not be quick to forget that Rapinoe has also been on of the best US players their last 3 major tournaments. I’d say she’s “forgiven” because when she’s on her game she’s one of the best players in the world. I don’t think Tymrak, even with leeway, will attain that regard.

          • guest

            Very true. Sometimes i get frustrated then she does something that gets the team a big win and i just forget.

          • Bulkon Capital

            Also, HAO ran really hard at the ball. Most players would have taken it a bit easier.

        • Ethan

          Honestly, if she’s got good/great balance, she’s fine as a flank midfielder. I guess working on her strength couldn’t hurt though.

        • gus

          Rapinoe gets plenty of criticism. She got it hard by Pia and patrice lair also said some things about her.

        • Guest

          Rapinoe also gets marked out of games and gets way more double teams. I believe the German coach said the two players she wanted to shut down in the semi-final were Morgan and Rapinoe. Not a fan of Tymrak’s fitness and at times she has a poor defensive work rate.

      • dw

        Most players would dream of inconsistency like Pinoe. She’s kept the lid on DarkPinoe for a while, and when she’s on sometimes she’s like the best player in the world. And even when she’s off, she’s not really invisible, like the Tymraks or Longs of the world.

    • Tikitaka

      Tymrak gets bodied off the ball way too easily. I think if anything she needs to work on her strength.

      • mockmook
        • Tikitaka

          Sweet. Let’s hope we see better results then!

        • Bulkon Capital

          I’d be glad if she is fit enough to roll with the NT. She is certainly the most enjoyable player on and also off the pitch. Hope she works on her fitness more.

  • Guest

    The drop off in goalkeepers between everyone else in the league and Chicago was so stark today. They need to work on that in the off season.

  • Steglitz49

    Where is Rdalford when we need her/him? How many went to the match? It looks jolly empty in the shots.

    • Hwah

      You simply cannot expect attendance when the game is scheduled against the opening day game for the Chicago Bears and they are playing their greatest division rival the Green Bay Packers at home at the same time.

      There was no way they could expect casual fans to pick that game versus the Bears, folks who didn’t go to the Bears game were either watching at home or out at bars with friends. I actually would be curious to learn whether even the USWNT could draw big under these circumstances.

      I’m sure that would be true in lots of cities. I blame the NWSL for this scheduling snafu…finish the season before football starts or put games on a Saturday (even that is going to run up against college football).

      • HOFCToDi

        Northwestern on Saturday versus the Chicago Bears on Sunday.

        Yeah, that is a no brainer.

        • Steglitz49

          315 m live in the US. If you grab 1%, you have 3m.

          • Hwah

            I don’t think Toyota Park fits that many folks:). Trust me, the ratings will be horrible too, opening day in NFL for all teams. Sorry, but football is massive in the US, NWSL not a blip on radar against that. Dumb scheduling.

          • Steglitz49

            I agree with you. Following the Deflate Gate in the NYT and Boston Globe about 6 weeks ago was fun!

    • Rdalford

      NWSL took a long time to post match report with attendance (only 3031).
      Elsewhere in this thread I did post attendance once NWSL finally provided a number.

      • HOFCToDi

        The Chicago Red Stars attendance is still better than twice the Frauen Bundesliga average attendance of 1,104:

        worldfootball.net/attendance/frauen-bundesliga-2015-2016/1/

        • Rdalford

          The Chicago Red Stars level of play today was significantly below Frauen Bundesliga

          • HOFCToDi

            I would say that Abby Erceg’s and Michelle Dalton’s play today was significantly below the Women’s Premier Soccer League and the USL W-League.

      • Steglitz49

        Confess! You were watching the Bears, weren’t you?

        3031 — How does that compare with Chicago generally this season, not lest post-WC?

        Where is HOFCToDi when we need him. He keeps tabs on the European scene for us. 3031 is about or even less than most European teams get for their top league matches. Umeå in their glory days averaged >3000 over the whole season.

  • NYRick

    Anyone remember what player ARod did that little flick over to get by and open on goal before the third goal?

    • Bulkon Capital

      Abby Erceg

      • Steglitz49

        You’ve done it now. HOFCToDi will blow a gasket.

        • Bulkon Capital

          What? Lol.

        • NYRick

          Yep. HOFCToDi is going to lose it now that his “favorite” CRS player has been mentioned.

          • HOFCToDi

            For the record, my favorite players on the Chicago Red Stars roster:

            Hoy
            Johnston
            DiBernardo
            Gilliland
            Colaprico
            Huerta

            Maybe Christen Press should take both games off against Haiti.

          • Bulkon Capital

            Hoy is so underrated. A bit like Freels.

          • HOFCToDi

            Jen Hoy:

            2013 NWSL College Draft fourth round steal.

          • HOFCToDi

            I am a bit of a sports purist, loyal to the team’s draft picks.

          • NYRick

            Whether you like her or not, CRS comes nowhere near the playoffs without CP. Plus, her presence on the pitch opens things up for many of the players you list above. They need to step up too.

          • Bulkon Capital

            I am not going to equate Press to Messi, but she has a similar effect on defenders. Everyone rushes to close her down, and that leaves others open.

          • HOFCToDi

            Christen Press was a ball hog today. Others players would be able to step up if Christen Press was willing to pass the ball.

          • NYRick

            For CRS to have a chance (I viewed them as a big underdog coming in), they needed to play a 1-nil, 2-1 match. The goalie whet the bed in the first half for them. As for Press being a ballhog in your opinion, well, if I’m a CRS fan I have no problem losing with my best player at least trying to force things and taking the shots. They were down 3 at halftime, your scorer has to force things as much as possible. She is the type of player who can get two very quickly. The game was lost after 25 minutes, so at that point the following 65 become a crap shoot for CRS.

          • HOFCToDi

            Blame the following culprits for the Chicago Red Stars loss today:

            1. Erceg (yanked at half time)
            2. Dalton
            3. Tancredi (why even bother?)

            Alejandro Bedoya looked better against the Brazilian men than Abby Erceg against FC Kansas City and both were yanked from the respective games by the start of the second half.

          • NYRick

            I would throw Press into the mix as one of the culprits for the defeat. She has to bury that first one that went off the woodwork. And the second chip had Barnie completely beaten again. In the second half, she got a perfect pass to the center of the 18 on a silver platter and hit it right at Barnie with a ton of net right or left. She gets some blame here no doubt.

          • HOFCToDi

            Christen Press was not great today but she is a better striker for the USWNT than Amy Rodriguez, who looks quite pedestrian against international centerbacks not named Abby Erceg.

          • guest

            I would blame coach Dames

          • Ethan

            Well, just be glad Ramona Bachmann isn’t on Chicago.

      • NYRick

        Wow. Was it? For her sake I was hoping it wasn’t. She is a really bad player. It’s not a coincidence anymore after watching most of the CRS matches this year? How is she the captain of New Zealand??

        • Steglitz49

          New Zealand qualifies for the WC and OG by simply turning up for their matches.

          • NYRick

            The NZ team has Ali Riley and this girl is the captain???

          • Steglitz49

            The US could have had Ali Riley …

            Maybe if you ply your trade in Sweden you are black-balled from the NZ captaincy?

        • Ethan

          Honestly, I thought the whole defense was set up wrong. You don’t play that high when Amy Rodriguez is the opposing team’s striker.

          • HOFCToDi

            I didn’t see FC Kansas City score a goal in the second half when Samantha Johnson was substituted for Abby Erceg. This is strictly a talent issue not a formation issue.

          • Ethan

            Alright. That doesn’t change my opinion that Chicago’s defense was too high on Rodriguez’s second. Plus, I’ve watched plenty of games that were 3-0 at halftime and 3-0 at the final whistle with no change in personnel. That is either due to the winning team taking its foot off the pedal or the losing team just performing much better defensively.

            Can I ask a question though? Did Dalton make any glaring mistakes in the second half? If she didn’t, that probably helped as well.

          • HOFCToDi

            That’s not how teams sports operates, everyone must do their job. Erceg failed, Erceg yanked.

            Nothing as egregious as the first half.

          • Kansas City was playing keep away in the second half.

          • mockmook

            And, in a weird way, since they were able to keep CRS’ attack under wraps, they didn’t have a bunch of break-away counter attacks that might have made the score even more lopsided.

          • mockmook

            Did you get to go to the game?

          • HOFCToDi

            Exactly the opposite.
            CRS outshot FCKC 12 to 4 in the second half.
            It’s called “parking the bus”.

    • Bulkon Capital

      Erceg had plenty of time to recover after that, but she slacked off. Had she tried, she could have easily made it in front of Arod to block the shot, or even make a tackle.

      • HOFCToDi

        Remember the fable called ……

        The Tortoise and the Hare

      • AlexH

        Thank you for pointing that out! I didn’t particularly mind Erceg getting faked out but the fact that she decided to avoid the tiresome formality of chasing her own mistake made me want to throw something at the TV.

  • ForeverLOST108

    All else aside, did anyone else think that Colaprico had a fantastic game? She really limited Holiday’s involvement and her ability to break up play and possess for Chicago was really evident. My vote for ROTY.

    • Bulkon Capital

      I second that. Danny is a terrific player. I voted her for ROTY.

      • HOFCToDi

        You know what they say about great minds.

        Rookie of the Year Voting:
        Colaprico
        Huerta
        .
        .
        .
        .
        .
        .
        .
        Mewis

        • JL

          Huerta and Mewis are somewhat equal. Both got off to a strong start, then didn’t do much after the WC break. Mewis at least had a great final game to boost her stock. Huerta didn’t.

    • mockmook

      The only player who stood out for me today (in a positive way) was Chalupny.

  • brdn08

    Can’t get enough of Sauerbrunn. She literally is never out of position. No bad turnovers, wins almost every 50/50 ball, and the slide tackling is second to none. Chicago never had a chance; Becky commanded the pitch today.

    • HOFCToDi

      A contrast of polar opposites:

      Sauerbrunn – one of the best centerbacks in the NWSL
      Erceg – one of the worst centerbacks in the NWSL

      You could make the same case with the goalkeepers.

      • brdn08

        one of the best???????…….by far the best

        • HOFCToDi

          Okay.

          Sauerbrunn – the best centerback in the NWSL
          Erceg – the worst centerback in the NWSL

          Better?

    • HOFCToDi

      Amy LePeilbet gets my vote for NWSL Comeback Player of the Year.

      • brdn08

        What was she coming back from? She seemed healthy in the final last year.

  • Rdalford

    Chicago attendance 3031 (from NWSL match report)

    Disappointing attendance and disappointing game from Chicago perspective.

    Congrats to FCKC.

    • HOFCToDi

      chicagotribune.com/sports/soccer/ct-red-stars-playoff-spt-0914-20150913-story.html

      Rule number one NWSL Commissioner Jeff Plush, don’t try to compete with the NFL.

      • Rdalford

        Agree the original NWSL schedule had semi’s on 9/12 or 9/13 and the both semi’s on 9/13 date and the times were only announced (along with Oct 1 final date change) when the NWSL – Fox Sports TV deal (negotiated by Plush?) was announced. So blame Fox and/or Plush.

        To be (sorta) fair, no weekend afternoon in the fall is free of NCAA football or NFL football games. Once the NWSL decided to adjust to the WC by short halt during group stage of WC and extend season and playoffs into Sept (thus overlapping with american football) the playoff off game conflict with american football was hard to avoid.

        • HOFCToDi

          So far this year, Jeff Plush comes off as “not the sharpest tool in the shed”.

          • Guest

            Since the WWC screwed things up this year they should have scheduled the Semi’s in Portland as well since Portland doesn’t have an NFL team to compete against. Do it like the College Cup format.

    • guest

      Assuming Portland gets at least 10,000 It is very difficult to blame the NWSL for wanting to host the final there. What if the CRS were the host of the final. I would not be oppose to Portland hosting the final for the next couple of years if they draw at least 10,000.

      • mockmook

        If CRS hosted the Final at Toyota on a non-NFL day, attendance would likely be fine.

        • guest

          I don’t think they surpassed 6000 at Toyota in the last game of the season. Good point about the NFL though. The season should probably wrap up before the NFL and College Footbal start up in the fall.

        • another guest

          history ( Red Stars in WPS days only drew 4000-5000 range while playing in Toyota Park) does not support that conclusion

    • Miami66

      At least fans showed up to Memorial, amazing crowd. And its not even an MLS stadium.

  • FawcettFan14

    Chicago has a solid base to work from. In the offseason they need a better goalkeeper (Dalton really is only backup caliber, and LeBlanc is retiring). Also ditch Tancredi and Erceg. Leon has been poor too, though she adds some zest off the bench. I do hope Chalupny continues to play at club level. She still adds value. Also perhaps add a second dangerous striker. Hoy is a supporting forward and Huerta is still young. The midfield is solid if a little undersized. They could still use some bite, maybe move JJ up to holding mid?

    I had a feeling FCKC would win today. They simply have too much experience and intelligence. The final should be a cracking game. I expect KC to have strong support from neutrals.

    • mockmook

      Chalupny is getting to that age where you wonder if she will bounce back up when she goes down — especially playing at Benedictine.

      I’d be looking to replace her.

      • AlexH

        I can’t imagine the team replacing Chups, but I do hope that Chups decides not to return. It is pretty clear that the NWSL is a league not to be taken seriously, as evidenced by the actions and attitudes of its own stars, so why should any player jeopardize their health for it?

    • HOFCToDi

      I doubt Lori Chalupny will return to the NWSL, since she found a new job. With a history of concussions, Lori Chalupny should play it safe.

      foxsports.com/soccer/story/abby-wambach-still-trying-to-decide-the-future-082715

      So far, Wambach has not announced she is leaving the game for family reasons, as Shannon Boxx has said. She’s not leaving to go to medical school, as Rachel Van Hollebeke just announced upon her September entry to the University of California at San Diego. She’s not leaving to be an assistant college coach, as Lori Chalupny is doing. Nor is she stepping away to spend time with family and serve God, as 27-year-old Lauren Holiday said she will do.

      • Lord Otter-Blotter

        Not sure about the Chalupny thing. Did a bit of research and she’s apparently had that job for a few years.

    • HOFCToDi

      Seriously?

      Julie Johnston is by far the best centerback on the Chicago Red Stars roster and Danielle Colaprico is a finalist for NWSL Rookie of the Year Award playing the defensive/holding midfielder role.

      Erceg was the iceberg that sank the Titanic and Dalton was the captain.

      • Steglitz49

        You mean the designer, not the Captain, surely.

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  • FootballNowAndAlways

    Chicago needs to do something about their defense ASAP. And if Johnston wishes to be taken seriously as an elite center back, she has to start ensuring that players do not receive enough time to compose themselves, and even transfer balls to their stronger feet while they are in the CRS penalty area. Amy Rodriguez spent so much time with the ball on that goal, that she was actually able to transfer it to her right foot which she apparently felt more comfortable with.

    Dalton picked the worst game possible to have her worst game (in fact the only bad one as far as I can tell) of the season. The bungled clearance could have been dismissed as a simple error, but her gaffe on the Tymrak goal was simply amateurish. The only reason to stay on your line is when you determine that one of your teammates is likely to engage the opponent before she advances with the ball into point blank range. Erika Tymrak was so open, she appeared offside. With the goal so close, no CRS player stood a chance of tackling her before the inevitable shot. Under those circumstances, Dalton had no reason to remain on her line. In doing so, she gave Tymrak, an immensely skilled player to begin, all the time she needed to compose herself and deliver a master stroke.

    Not to rag on Press, but she should have scored on her chip. Hitting the post on a shot is one thing. Shots are partially speculative anyway. Chips are more deliberate, finesse shots. Yesterday was not a day for close calls. Between her and Chalupny, FCKC should have left the battlefield bloodied if still ultimately victorious.

    Arby Erceg is LaBlanc in the outfield – more prominent for her hirsute anomalies than her sterling play. Her uninspiring pursuit of Amy Rodriguez after the easy dribble (center backs should never be beaten that easily) was deplorable. She should be benched and Sam Johnson played in her stead henceforth. Whatever Johnson’s shortcomings might be, a no-nonsense devotion to the task of repelling ambitious attacks from the stars’ penalty area does not appear to be one of them.

    The Red Stars blew a grand opportunity to demonstrate the virility of youth. Press missed a chance to replicate her Algarve cup final performance, Chalupny showed why she should always be grateful to Jill Ellis for essentially gifting her a world cup medal, and Sophia Huerta finally got the opportunity to realize the futility of her USWNT quest. At this point, I would say a sighting of a Sasquatch on the White house lawn in broad daylight is a far more likely possibly than Huerta receiving a USWNT call-up.