2016 NWSL Preview: Chicago Red Stars

Dan Lauletta April 4, 2016 444
Christen Press scored her first two NWSL goals, the second one a highlight reel blast, to key the Red Stars rally. (Copyright Patricia Giobetti | http://www.printroom.com/pro/psgiobetti)

Christen Press scored her first two NWSL goals, the second one a highlight reel blast, to key the Red Stars rally. (Copyright Patricia Giobetti | http://www.printroom.com/pro/psgiobetti)

The Equalizer will be posting previews for all 10 NWSL clubs over the next two weeks.

Last season (8-3-9, 2nd place; lost semifinal): The Red Stars reached new heights in 2015, pacing the league into the summer and checking in second behind repeat Shield winner Seattle Reign FC. That was enough to earn them a debut playoff appearance though that did not go so well, a 3-0 loss to FC Kansas City in their now permanent home, Toyota Park.

Key Changes: With Karina LeBlanc retired, Rory Dames set out to find himself a top-flight goalkeeper. He came eventually landed Alyssa Naeher with defender Abby Ercegg as the main bait (Ercegg was traded to Western New York for Whitney Engen who was flipped to Boston for Naeher.) Dames also secured the services of Casey Short to play right back. A 1st round pick in 2013, Short has still never played in NWSL, the first two years through injury followed by a campaign in Norway. In the midfield, Lori Chalupny called it a career leaving incumbents like Vanessa DiBerardo and Alyssa Mautz with more responsibility than ever.

Another change is the move to Toyota Park and its expansive grass pitch. After three seasons at the cost-effective but limiting Benedictine University Sports Complex, the move to Toyota will allow the Red Stars to continue their evolution into a more attractive side.

“I definitely think the players we have and the style of play that we started to move towards last year, it’s definitely more suited for Toyota Park,” Dames said. “Benedictine was 120 x 64 (in yards; Toyota Park is 120 x 75) so there wasn’t a lot of reason to do much other than try to go north-south. When we played at Toyota Park even last year, what we tried to do was a little bit different than when we played at home.”

Strengths: Christen Press played only 11 games for the Red Stars last season but she managed 10 goals in those appearances and may have been the best striker in the league for her sample size.

“Christen is a presence on the field and Christen has the ability to do things that nobody else in the league quite honestly has the ability to do,” Dames said. “She can turn a game on its head in a three-second moment.”

In midfield, Danielle Colaprico will be trying to build on her Rookie of the Year campaign that saw her get a brief look from the national team. As a rookie the Red Stars plugged Colaprico in as the holding midfielder and she helped change the way the club attacked.

“Dani’s Dani,” Dames said. “We changed a huge part of the way we played last year solely because she could go into that pocket and get us in and out of pressure. Her time with the national team in the offseason definitely didn’t hurt her. She looks a lot more constant and a lot more fluid. I’m excited about that.”

Sofia Huerta and Jen Hoy are a superb pairing to play as a second and third forward and super-aggressive left back Arin Gilliland is being handed some extra responsibility ahead of her second season. Naeher was Goalkeeper of the Year in 2014 despite playing to a 2.26 goals against on a poor Breakers side. She should thrive behind a solid Red Stars defense. Michele Dalton makes an excellent backup and should step right in when Naeher joins the United States.

Areas of Development: Chalupny started 50 of 66 regular season matches over her three seasons and while no one will specifically replace her, the midfield will be left longing for many of the things Chalupny did. Shannon Boxx retired during last season and was never a fixture on the pitch but her leadership presence will be missed.

Amanda Da Costa was acquired from the Spirit and figures to get plenty of playing time with Colaprico, DiBernardo, and Mautz. But it is fair to ask if the Red Stars current roster has enough wide players to capitalize on the newer, wider home park.

Up top, Huerta had all six of her goals and all three of her assists during the time when Press was on World Cup duty. Dames thinks Huerta played better soccer after the World Cup even though she did not have the goals to show for it. But the coach also acknowledged that several players’ level dropped with Press in the lineup.

“I don’t think that’s Press’s fault,” Dames stressed. “I think that was the youth and inexperience of some of our players last year. Part of the reason Sofia had some success when Christen wasn’t here is because the fluidity of what we were trying to do within the framework of our team was a little bit more structured. And when Christen is here there is a little bit more freedom because you don’t want to tie Christen down or make it too structured for her.

“When Jen (Hoy) and Sofia are up front the movements are a little more structured and a little more orchestrated so it made it easier for those two. When Christen jumps into it, they have to be able to read the game a little bit quicker and they have to be able to read Christen.”

Dames added that in the week before Press left to join the current U.S. camp, she was Huerta trained together as much as or more than they did throughout 2015.

Points of Interest: The Red Stars finished up their three seasons at Benedictine with a 10-6-14 record. They also played four times at Toyota Park the last two seasons, winning twice with a draw in the regular season and losing the playoff game. The six regular season home losses is tied with Seattle Reign FC for the second fewest in the three year history of NWSL. FC Kansas City has only lost five times at home. All three teams have lost a home playoff game.
***
Dames on the general overview of the 2016 Red Stars: “The core of the players that did the work for us last year are back.”

  • STT

    Chicago has a lot of potential, but IMO in addition to losing many key players, they’ve lost two of the biggest advantages they rode to 2nd place last year:
    –having an extended period of time where teams were without NTers. Chicago had one of the best benches in the league, and earned the vast majority of their points when Press, McLeod, etc. weren’t present. This year, though, we won’t be missing the NTers nearly as much, and Chicago only had 2 wins in the latter half of last season when all teams were at full power.
    –home field advantage. What the article doesn’t mention about those 6 losses at Benedictine is that they were front-heavy: aside from 3 losses in the first half of 2013, Chicago spent 2.5 seasons without losing to anyone at home except for being swept by the Washington Spirit. While Toyota Park is an amazing facility overall, the Red stars are giving up the advantage of being used to a unique surface + size for their field.

    TL;DR – I don’t see Chicago in the playoffs this year unless their young talent has really matured to be truly on par with the NT-heavy other teams in the league.

    • Steglitz49

      Your points are well taken, not least the home field peculiarities.

      Nevertheless, Mss DaCosta, Colaprico and DiBernardo are a pretty good trio, though Colparico has been injured I believe.

      As for Christen Annemarie, let’s hope her club form is better than her NT.

      • newsouth

        lets hope parlor trick fc has any form at all.

        • Steglitz49

          The NWSL is jolly even so it is a crap-shoot.

      • Gary Diver

        Colaprico’s injury history is a mystery. Back in the fall, Jill Ellis gave an interview talking about possible future call-ups to USNWT. She explicitly mentioned Colaprico by name as someone she wanted to look at but was currently injured. So no call-up and interestedly also no information on the Internet about any injury.

        Colaprico get’s called up for the January camp and eventually gets decommissioned without playing a minute on the field. No one says anything about what happened or didn’t happen.

        Then Colaprico, Rose Lavelle, and Andi Sullivan get called-up for the U23 team, but almost immediately Colaprico is dropped because of an unspecified injury.

        The Chicago Red Stars have never mentioned any injury and she is now in pre-season with them. It’s a bit mysterious.

        P.S. On the Chicago Red Stars website there is a Colaprico video about her efforts to push herself and improve. Reading between the lines it seems she was sent home from USWNT with a list of things to work on.

        Hope she gets she another call-up, but being 5 foot 3 might be a strike against her being in the USWNT midfield.

        • Steglitz49

          Thank you. Intriguing. I buy the 5’3″. In a land where the average height of ladies their age is 5’4″ to 5’5″, no need to needlessly hamstring yourself.

    • ?

      McLeod hadn’t played for Chicago since 2013, perhaps you meant LeBlanc?

      • Steglitz49

        S/he meant McLeod — in spite of McLeod having decamped to Sweden for this season and now is out injured.

        • STT

          Nope.

          • Steglitz49

            If you insist.

      • STT

        Ah yeah, I meant LeBlanc. For whatever reason, since their first WPS season, I’ve always mixed up their names. (Other people on BigSoccer can attest to this.) X-D

    • mockmook

      “TL;DR”

      If u r going 2 use that, shouldn’t it come at the beginning of your comment?

      • STT

        I’ve always seen it used at the end of a rant. I mean the ‘D’ stands for “didn’t”, past tense, so it’s supposed to come after what it summarizes.

        • mockmook

          How is someone supposed to read that if they didn’t read your comment?

          https://www.bing.com/search?q=TL%3BDR&PC=U316

          • STT

            You see a wall of text, then flick down to the bottom where you would EXPECT a conclusion to be. It’s not my fault Bing gave you a misquoted answer – check the reference, which points directly to the Wikipedia article, which says “followed or preceeded”. And in my personal experience, it’s always been after.

          • mockmook

            I never expect a summary in a “Comment”

          • STT

            Well then you must have a hard time navigating news article and forums, then. Wall-of-texts happen quite often online.

          • mockmook

            “Comment” =/= “Article”

          • STT

            Okay, fair, I misspoke – I meant navigating the comments sections of article. User-generated content. Like forums and comments sections.

            Doesn’t change the point.

  • Reality

    Dames knows that Press is the engine that drives Chicago’s offense. Her creative ability in being able to improvise with the run of play is what distinguishes her from other forwards. This means that the team, whether it be CRS or the NT, needs to play her on a consistent basis in her natural forward position so that she and her team mates can get to know each other well enough to maximize their interaction. The WC last year and the OG this year will inhibit this process to some extent, but much was gained from last year’s experience, so Chicago should do well.

    Given the larger field at Toyota Park, the mid-field will need to be able to widen the flanks to enable a more varied attack. Colaprico, DiBernardo, Mautz and Da Costa will have to make appropriate adjustments to facilitate this. And Gilliland will have an important role in making it work properly. Counterattacking will be both a weapon and a vulnerability in this new environment.

    Naeher is definitely an asset along with Johnston. However, while I think the offense will be OK with Huerta and Hoy, I’m curious to see how the defense will do when the NT’s are absent. That could be the real challenge for CRS.

    • Don’t entirely agree that Press is the engine. She scores the goals and is (by far) their best player. But DiBernardo is the engine, in my book. When she’s clicking, the team is fluid, passes move quickly, and the attackers get space to move into. It’s worth noting that the offense sputtered pretty badly in the final couple months. It wasn’t *because* Press came back, and perhaps that’s just an argument for building the tactics to make better use of her many talents. But I’d be hesitant to construct the team around Press as the tip of the spear, rather than building out from the middle.

      • Reality

        Well, it depends on how one defines “engine”. If you limit it to those in the mid-field who support the front line, then all well and good. But I’m looking at it from the point of view that Press represents a dynamic force for Chicago in her skill and creativity that can lift the team above the mundane set piece routine and enable a fluid attack that inspires a different mind set.

        • guest

          The engine of Chicago’s team is their midfield core in Dibernardo, Colaprico and Mautz. They control games through solid midfield play and physical play. Press is the most efficient goal scorer in the league but she likes to occupy the same areas as Huerta and Hoy who are both pretty good forwards in a 4-4-2. I don’t think either Huerta or Hoy can really play as wings and Press has never been great with her partnerships in a 4-4-2. Maybe they will improve and prove me wrong but I don’t think it was a coincidence that Huerta and Hoy struggled more when Press came back to the lineup. There is also no guarantee that Huerta and Hoy would have been as effective as the were when Press wasn’t there if the other WC players are all back in their NWSL lineups.

          • NYRick

            Huerta and Hoy are not in the same league as Press as the lead striker. It’s that simple. Press is the best pure striker in the league if one is being truly objective.

          • Terry Lash

            I agree with your first sentence, but I think your second sentence does not give enough credit to Morgan. I also agree that a major challenge for Press on the WNT is being played out of position. Ellis makes a big mistake not playing Press as a central striker frequently and for extended periods of time.

          • F0OtballNowAndAlways

            Maybe if Morgan played more in the league she’d get more mentions as one of the league’s best?

          • mockmook

            And god knows, if we want “truly objective”, you are the one to go to.

            Don’t worry, we peons will try really, really hard to keep up with you this year….

          • NYRick

            What is with you? Slamming me at every turn? Where do I ever say a bad word about you on any of your comments but you take nearly every turn to go after me. OK, whatever.

          • mockmook

            “Press is the best pure striker in the league if one is being truly objective.”

            If you will take a second to learn the difference between “opinion” and “fact” — if you will quit writing opinions that drip with condescension — then I will quit responding the way I do.

          • NYRick

            Judging from last season in the NWSL, my statement on Press can be taken as fact (10 goals in 11 matches), First XI in the NWSL. If you want to counter with Dunn being better, I said best pure striker, and I think Press is that. If you want to counter with Alex, she has been woefully inconsistent and often injured in her 3 NWSL seasons. So tell me opinion v fact on any of the above.

            As for “dripping with condescension” sorry if my comments offend you.

          • Reality

            “…Press has never been great with her partnerships in a 4-4-2.” I disagree. Press has not had much occasion to play in a 4-4-2 since she collaborated with Marta at Tyreso. That worked out rather well! She and Hoy have also been good in the limited time they have had together. Since Huerta and Press have been working with each recently, it will be interesting to see them as a tandem. As the article states, “Part of the reason Sofia had some success when Christen wasn’t here is because the fluidity of what we were trying to do within the framework of our team was a little bit more structured.”

            Huerta and Hoy are good but Press is the premiere forward with the team. “Christen is a presence on the field and Christen has the ability to do things that nobody else in the league quite honestly has the ability to do,” Dames said. “She can turn a game on its head in a three-second moment.” Press can move the team beyond a rote structured approach and become more fluid.

            She will be paired with either Huerta or Hoy as circumstance dictates. I suspect that Press and Johnston will be named co-captains and each will serve the team in leadership.

          • guest

            What forward wouldn’t play well with Marta and Vero? That is the only time I have seen her work well with her partners in a 4-4-2

          • Reality

            Press not only worked well Marta and Vero but surpassed them as the leading goal scorer on the team and won the Golden Boot that year in the Damallsvenskan. Since the NT has hardly utilized the 4-4-2 nor Press as a forward, there is no basis for your allegation there. Press was outstanding in a 4-4-2 with previous teams she has played with at Stanford where she was the Hermann award winner and MagicJack where she was rookie of the year. With CRS, she has paired well with Hoy and if Huerta is more consistent this year, Press will also do well with her. In short, there is no basis for your statement.

          • guest

            So you think she would have played as well at Tyreso without Marta and Vero? I’m not surprised that she had the most goals for Tyreso for a season, she is a clinical finisher. I didn’t see Press play at MagicJack or Stanford but both are not recent and a quick look at her stats show that she was not as efficient of a goal scored at MagicJack. She hasn’t combined well with any of the USWNT forwards when I have seen her up top and I don’t think she combined well with Hoy and Huerta either.

          • Reality

            Your comment speaks for itself since you have not been following Press’s career. As regards the recent past, it is hard for Press to combine with the other NT forwards when she is often not played as a forward and with the formation seldom in a 4-4-2. We can agree to disagree about her time at CRS, but that is a work in progress that has been disrupted by Press’s late entry to the team in 2014 and with the WC in 2015. This year will also hard to draw firm conclusions due to the OG.

            It is advantageous for non-NT players to play the full NWSL season where they can fit into their particular team’s strategy. NT players must conform to Ellis’s “style” and then shift gears upon their return to the NWSL. However, one cannot argue with Press’s success in managing the transition since she was the most successful NT player in the NWSL last year with 10 goals in 11 games playing a 4-4-2. She will be paired this season with either Huerta or Hoy as circumstance dictates and I think it will work out just fine.

          • F0OtballNowAndAlways

            Huerta this, Huerta that. She has done very little with NT players present. That is nobody’s fault but hers. Nobody can impair your performance, at least not to the extent that you show nothing at all when the NTers are around, if you are truly good

            Huerta just scored 2 goals against NorthWestern U. All well and good. Now let her burn the Reign, Dash or KC with 2 and then we’ll talk.

          • NYRick

            She didn’t just “play well” with them. In a fair assessment, she actually shone brighter than the two when playing together. That is extremely hard to do when you are talking about that type of talent. And didn’t Vero say to the effect that “Press is the best forward she ever played with.”

          • guest

            Marta and Vero are even better goal creators than they are scorers(Marta great at both) so I don’t think Press scoring more than either in one season necessarily means that she outplayed either.

        • NYRick

          CRS without Press is Golden State without Steph Curry. Star power and the go to player.

      • NYRick

        How about we instead go with the old Reggie Jackson line, “the straw that stirs the drink.” Ask Dames who is the one player on his roster that he wouldn’t want to be without, and that will give you the answer. I think he made that quite clear in the above article.

    • JL

      “Dames knows that Press is the engine that drives Chicago’s offense.”

      An offense that scored just as many goals with her as they did without her with maybe a 2 point difference in their overall record.

      Don’t get me wrong, I think Press is a great player who fits in well in Chicago’s system, and she’s produced a lot of goals for them in the past couple years. But the numbers and their record tell me they would do just as well without her.

      • Reality

        Huh? I believe we had this discussion before. I disagreed with you then and continue to do so. Numbers are just that…numbers…that can be selectively utilized to support any point of view. They don’t reveal more important aspects. CRS would be an also ran team without Press who supplies the X factor in their play. The opposing team must devote considerable resources to contain her and even then, often to no avail. That cannot be said of anyone else on CRS. She and Johnston are the team leaders on offense and defense respectively and IMO will be named co-captains.

      • Lord Otter-Blotter

        I think I agree; but in fairness, every team went without some key players last summer. USWNT, Canadians, Brazilians, Australians, English, and the various other stragglers like Erceg and Ordega all went away. Some teams adjusted better than others, for numerous reasons of course; but it’s hard to make qualitative “before and after” comparisons based on numbers, since those absences take their toll not only on the team at hand (CRS), but also on the opposition. Some more than others, obviously.

        • Steglitz49

          Germany was missing Nadine Kessler. Sweden Fridolina Rolfö. etc etc.

          • Lord Otter-Blotter

            Sorry if I was unclear: I’m talking specifically about NWSL clubs losing players to international duty, especially the World Cup. This phenomenon differs from injury because it affects every club simultaneously (on a per-country basis) and almost always involves multiple players per team.

          • Steglitz49

            The European ladies leagues (an men’s) do not play during major championships. Those that play summer seasons suspend play.

            Because the US has so many great players, losing players to the WNT is not such a hardship as in Europe.

          • Lord Otter-Blotter

            That’s interesting. Does the break begin when the tournament starts, or when the players leave? I’m assuming that even the less-wealthy European national teams can afford a week or two of camp before a major tournament. Do you believe these suspensions of play affect these leagues negatively? I’d imagine the players who have to stay home might not relish the interruption.

            In any event, even though the US has a surplus of quality players, teams will still undoubtedly look and play significantly different when several of their starters leave and stay away for a prolonged period.

          • Steglitz49

            The break starts before the tournament (it usually corresponds to the FIFA window). Because the major intercontinental championships have been won by Japan and USA, there have been no VTs. I don’t remember Germany having a VT after Euro-13.

            The Nordic countries and Russia play summer seaons because of the weather. The Home Union (ie British Isles) play summer seasons so as not to compete with the men. France, Germany Spain and a couple of others play winter seasons.

            I contend that the ladies should play summer seasons.

          • JL

            For major tournaments, clubs are required to release players 14 days before the start of the tournament.

  • guest

    So reading between the lines everyone struggles to play with Press.

    • Steglitz49

      What do you mean? Speak clearly, please, my dear fella or speak not at all!

    • Reality

      Actually, Dames was too diplomatic to say it, but he knows how to best utilize Press whereas Ellis does not. Perhaps it’s because Ellis has to rely on set plays because she is obligated to have Lloyd on the field every game for 90″.

      Press, Huerta, and Hoy will do very well together once they get to know one another’s inclinations and Huerta and Hoy gain more experience.

      • Steglitz49

        Are you sure?

        • Reality

          Nothing is sure in life except death, taxes, and your proverbial instigations here at EQ.

          • Steglitz49

            Petter Northug rules OK

          • NYRick

            Or that Lloyd and Morgan will be the forward pairing for the USWNT if they are fit enough to put on a uniform on said game day.

          • Reality

            Hah! 🙂

          • F0OtballNowAndAlways

            Finally some truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth on this thread.

          • Reality

            I would reply that taxes are a necessary ingredient in a civil society in order to make it civil. However much depends on how they are used to accomplish this. As regards churches, “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s” covers this fairly well.

        • Guest

          Off topic but you were right about Caroline Graham Hansen Steg. She is a very exciting player to watch.

          • Steglitz49

            Thank you. Much obliged. It warmed the cockles of this seal’s heart.

            There are two rules with Steg. Rule #1: S49 is always right. Rule #2: in the unlikely event of Steg being perceived as in the wrong, Rule #1 applies. (It is not original.)

          • F0OtballNowAndAlways

            Still I yearn to see Nadine Kessler play.

          • Steglitz49

            I doubt that we will in spite of it just being her 28th.

        • NYRick

          LOL. Can you at the very least acknowledge that she is one of the best players in the league and certainly one of the biggest attractions on the field and off in the league?

          I know you are always instigating when it comes to #23/#12, but give it a rest for once.

          • Steglitz49

            Given that the ladies that won the world cup must be among the world’s very best players ex officio, it follows that Christen Annemarie is, as you put it, “one of the best players in the league”, though HOFCIToDi might disagree.

            She is, no doubt, “one of the biggest attractions off the field” and always decently attired. There is a picture of her with Neymar which is to die for, though publications often crop it which is a pity.

        • F0OtballNowAndAlways

          A coalition of chipmunks and spotted owls could coach this USWNT to any championship.

          • Steglitz49

            Sasaki and Neid might beg to disagree, like wise Pellerud and that other Norwegian chappie who spoilt the party in Sydney, ever one WoSo, Floyd without end.

      • NYRick

        Dames is not the only coach in the NWSL I’m sure who views Press exactly the same way as he does. Ellis is the anomaly.

        • Reality

          You are being kind to Ellis. 🙂 I would phrase it a bit more harshly.

          • NYRick

            Ellis is the ignorant anomaly.

          • Reality

            Better…but it still gives her credit by presuming ignorance.

  • Steglitz49

    FFC Frankfurt – Breidablik 0-5

    • Nicole C.

      Eintracht Frankfurt?

  • AlexH

    With Leblanc and Erceg gone CRS truly added by subtraction. To get Naeher in the bargain is miraculous. Losing Chups is really the only issue. She was both a leader and a workhorse and there is definitely a hole to fill there, but the team is young so hopefully the other players can pick it up. I think they will make the playoffs.

    • Steglitz49

      They got Casey Short from Avaldsnes.

  • NYRick

    “Christen is a presence on the field and Christen has the ability to do things that nobody else in the league quite honestly has the ability to do,” Dames said. “She can turn a game on its head in a three-second moment.”

    So nice to see a “real” coach singing the proper praises of a true marquee player. New respect for Coach Dames. Also liked the explanation of giving her the freedom she needs on the pitch. For a defensive minded coach like Dames that is some out of the box thinking. He realizes that CP is the meal ticket and he doesn’t attempt to surPRESS it. Unlike the current coach on the NT who feels the great need to cater to Carli’s rigidity by playing key players out of position. It’s refreshing really to hear a coach talk this way. He gets it. I didn’t think he did, but now I know he truly does.

    Also, CRS will be a playoff team again and one that the likes of proposed powerhouses like Seattle and Portland won’t want a part of in the playoffs.

    How can you not like a team that has Press, JJ and Dani?

    • Guest

      For all the people that will disagree, can we just list all of the people that have been played out of position as a result? Holiday, Brian, Horan, Press, Dunn, Pugh……………

      • NYRick

        The sick thing is that all 6 players you list are “star” or were star players on every team that they have played on. Marquee stars, not the average star mind you as well. It’s a shame really.

      • ARED

        You can add Heath, Leroux, O’Hara, and even Rapinoe and Lindsay, if you consider “bench” to be a position…

        Obviously not everyone can play, and a manager will make their choices. But it is only fair to be aware of the fallout when you are locked into a player/formation/style/etc, esp, for USA with so many great players.

        • Guest

          Do not really understand what you are saying but the fact of the matter is is that at least six players, who are world class at a certain position, have been pushed all over the field in order to accommodate keeping Lloyd at attacking mid/withdrawn forward even when she is not productive.

          • ARED

            I’m agreeing, and pointing out how not only have we seen obvious compromises *on* the field, but Heath, Brian, and O’Hara were pushed *off* the field. In the past Rapinoe has been. And despite having 5 forwards on the roster, they only ever used one at a time at the WC.

            Press plays mid, Heath sits. Lloyd plays the CAM/Forward role, Leroux/ARod/Press/etc sit. Every part or change to your 11 affects every other part.

          • Guest

            Oh I see now. I thought that is what you meant but was not completely sure. Yeah it just does not make sense to completely discombobulate your lineup in order to make room for a player who does not fit well with the style of play you are playing and who has long stretches of poor performances. What would a midfield triangle of Horan, Brian and Pugh look like? Or Horan, Brian, and Press? Or Horan, Brian and Dibernardo? At least experiement in the meaningless matches.

          • guest

            bonuses get collected for wins in those matches

          • ARED

            Yes, it is difficult to understand/explain why other options are not at least tried on occasion (players, formations, style of play, etc).

        • NYRick

          True. The USWNT for that embarrassment of riches also makes it a difficult team to coach. But with that, a coach should not be playing players like Carli at this stage 90 a match. Or even Alex when you have the likes of Press and Dunn to play forward. It is unfair and I will argue that with anyone.

          • Guest

            Not even that, in a one year stretch between WC and OG, why not give other players looks at attacking mid/withdrawn forward in order to just see how they do and if they can improve the midfield? Why not plug in a possession oriented player to roam the midfield with Horan and Brian in order to see if they could completely take over games? There is no harm in trying players out in meaningless matches against Colombia, Brazil, China, etc. Guarantee you that is Horan/Brian had an attacking mid with them who was good at reading spaces and was good in possession, the midfield would be tremendous.

          • NYRick

            All makes perfect sense as to what you say. But as you know, certain players own the program. Always have, always will in the 3 decades this program has been in existence. Carli is now untouchable. Alex has been untouchable since 2012. It’s the way it works. Did they both earn it? Maybe. But they were given more chances than the rest to not only earn it, but sustain it.

          • ARED

            I don’t try to argue for a “fair” solution, b/c it will always be unfair in some way. But, a “more fair” solution is usually available if we look for it…

            And it is certainly unfair to be overly harsh on some players who have found their chances fewer or lesser in quality. To do so is to not understand and appreciate the need for opportunity and support in order for an individual to achieve success. Lionel Messi has just spoke about how Rijkaard was his most important coach -because he’s the one who gave him a chance, and Messi knows that even for him this was a necessary aid, and something some players don’t quite get.

          • HOFCToDi

            Christen Press started 11 of the first 12 matches in calendar year 2015 for the USWNT.

            ussoccer.com/womens-national-team/results-statistics

            Jill Ellis has moved on from Christen Press to Crystal Dunn once Megan Rapinoe tore her ACL and now has moved on from Crystal Dunn to Mallory Pugh.

          • F0OtballNowAndAlways

            Well lets’s hope she doesn’t move on from Mallory Pugh to Ashley Sanchez, shall we? Because if that happens, I shudder to speculate who she’ll move to from Sanchez.

          • NYRick

            I gave this example from another sport. Mariano Rivera. In 1996 he was the setup man supreme for John Wetteland in the Yanks championship season. Often throwing two scoreless innings (the 7th and 8th) before Wetteland took the 9th. Now Wetteland was certainly a top notch closer, but every Yankee fan knew how ridiculously good Rivera was. And every Yankee fan and their management (Torre especially), knew it was OK to let Wetteland walk (he was MVP of the WS too) the next year when he wanted the big payday.

            Rivera needed the chance, and the manager, to become Rivera. Same as Messi as great as he is with the example you cite. Some of these US players like Press are like that. Press has that potential but Morgan will stop it from happening. One player gets every opportunity to succeed, the other can’t have any slip-ups. Life works that way too in business as well with employees and their bosses.

          • ARED

            I know Rivera, but cannot say I knew that detail about his origins with that story.

            It is also a bit more flexible in soccer than in that story, or in american football I believe, where maybe there is only 1 quarterback who can reasonably play -it’s impossible to change your formation to allow for 2, and difficult to alternate between 2. But in soccer there is no reason you cannot simply play 2 or even 3 forwards, or alternate between several players during your friendlies and give different combinations a chance to shine. And this is what I feel the USWNT has often failed to do over the years -to find solutions beyond the normal players and the normal way of playing.

    • Guest bot

      I don’t see Thorns in the playoffs. They lost to Houston a few days ago, at home, and to Reign before that, at home. Weak.

      • Guest

        There is a long olympic break, so they will only play a few games without WNT players. At full strength they can easily make playoffs.

      • HOFCToDi

        The Chicago Red Stars midfield is solid except for Chalupny’s replacement which is still a mystery:

        Starters
        DiBernardo – central attacking midfielder
        Mautz – right flank midfielder
        Colaprico – defensive/holding midfielder
        ???? – left flank midfielder

        Reserves
        Raetzman – central attacking midfielder

        chicagoredstars.com/red-stars-blank-northwestern-in-preseason-opener/

        Midfielders Comeau, Luba are a major downgrade from Chalupny.

        • NYRick

          Welcome Linkmaster. Can you provide some type of link for us to properly ascertain Press’s 10 goals in 11 matches?

          • HOFCToDi

            2015 NWSL Playoffs
            Press – 0 goals, 0 assists, 8 shot attempts, 2 shots on goal

          • NYRick

            8 shots and I think 2 posts shows that she was pretty dominant against the best team in the league in that match. They had zero chance without her. KC has an all-around better team. She gave them a chance in that match and just ask Holiday and Brunn who they feared most going into that match?

          • HOFCToDi

            2015 NWSL Playoffs
            Press – 0 goals, 0 assists

            Hardly dominant.

            One playoff disaster has already been purged from the Chicago Red Stars roster in Abby Erceg. Another playoff disaster now can be relegated to the bench in Michele “debacle” Dalton with the addition of Alyssa Naeher. The third, who incidentally is now the oldest outfield player on the Chicago Red Stars roster, needs to show up for the NWSL playoffs.

          • NYRick

            Simple and serious question here: you’re a CRS fan, correct? If so, you are the only CRS fan on the planet who doesn’t like Press. Or at worse, having her on the team. That would have to make you: a) related to Hoy or Huerta or b) crazy.

            I’m going with choice b.

          • guest

            for the record, he want’s press off the uswnt and crs.

          • guest

            also… for the record, I do too. she’s old news. bring on the new blood.

          • NYRick

            That’s fair. At least you stated your opinion and gave a reason why. Linkmaster just spews venom with no substance for it.

          • Guest

            So, Kim Little should be purged from the Reign because she did not score a goal in the playoffs either?

          • NYRick

            He doesn’t understand that the Reign don’t get to the playoffs without Little, and CRS doesn’t get there without Press.

          • Guest

            He just does not understand that there is more to the game of soccer than the goal count

          • JL

            They might have gotten there in 2014 without her. 6 of their 9 wins that season came before Press played her first game for them. If she hadn’t missed that PK in their finale, Chicago wins that game and goes to the postseason instead of Washington.

            But then again, if DiBernardo hadn’t missed a PK against SkyBlue when Chicago was up 2-0, then Chicago wins and still gets to the playoffs.

          • HOFCToDi

            Send your complaint to the Seattle Reign FC fans.

          • Guest

            Its called a comparison, hypocrit. You know the thing that you do to diminish Lindsay Horan and christen press?

          • HOFCToDi

            The Senior USWNT did not need the services of Christen Press to win the gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games.

            The Senior USWNT did not need the services of Christen Press to win the gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

            As history has proven, the Senior USWNT does not need the services of Christen Press to win the gold medal at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

          • Guest

            2008 is IRRELEVANT to 2016! Stop changing the subject. It diminishes your credibility even more by implying that you have minimal reading comprehension skills!

            The Senior USWNT did not need Julie Johnston, Morgan Brian, or Alex Morgan to win the 2008 Summer Olympic Games either. Does that mean that they do not need them now?

          • HOFCToDi

            The aforementioned represented the United States at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup tournaments:

            2008 U-20 USWNT
            Klingenberg
            Morgan
            Naeher

            2012 U-20 USWNT
            Brian
            Dunn
            Johnston
            Mewis

            The U-20 USWNT did not need the services of Christen Press to win the gold medal at the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.

            Not only has Christen Press become irrelevant to the USWNT in calendar year 2016, Christen Press has never been needed at the U-20 or Senior level.

          • Guest

            Christen Press games started in major tournaments at the senior level: 2

            Christen Press goals in major tournaments at the senior level: 1

            If you still do not get it, I am not arguing that Christen Press has been on the bench. Because you cannot change the fact that she has been. That is what you are saying. The point that myself, and every other poster on this site is saying besides you, is that she deserves more playing time at forward/attacking mid. Just saying that she was not on the field in 2008 does not refute the point that we are making that she should be given more time.

          • Kevin

            TRIVIA QUESTION

            How many assists does Carli Lloyd have vs Top 30 teams in the past 24 months (36 games, over 3100 minutes played)?

            ANSWER

            1

          • Kevin

            TRIVIA QUESTION

            Excluding PK’s, how many goals does Carli Lloyd have vs Top 30 teams since the start of 2015 (25 games, 2138 minutes played)?

            ANSWER

            6

          • Steglitz49

            3 of those sank Japan in the World Cup final.

            I accept that that does not make her a female Helmut Rahn but she did score 3 goals in a final against the reigning world champions to boot. Shades of Geoff Hurst in 1966.

          • Kevin

            Absolutely. I’m not taking that away from her at all. It was a performance for the ages.

            Let’s keep things in perspective here though. Take away the final 3 games of the WWC and against Top 30 teams she…

            …has scored 2 goals in 22 games (1778 minutes) since the start of 2015.

            …has 0 assists in 33 games (2733 minutes) in the past 2 years.

            This isn’t a slump, this is a consistent, long-standing, glaring pattern of poor play from an aging player that clearly doesn’t fit the team’s current style of play.

          • Steglitz49

            Unless a player stpes down of her own volition, it is a tall order to sideline not only the POTY but one who has won the US three big finals.

            Why these players don’t see the value of going out on top is beyond me. Philipp Lahm asked to be excused NT duty after Germany won in 2014. Why not follow his lead? He is 32 as we type.

          • Steglitz49

            Strange how Seattle now twice has not hacked it when it mattered. Consistent, I guess, you can say about it.A repeated failure might be more accurate.

          • NYRick

            NWSL Best XI, well only playing a ridiculous 11 matches. Brunn the only other NT to do that and she didn’t have to register any goals or points. Even more astounding for a forward to do that.

          • Guest

            Careful now! She did not score a goal in her 8 minutes off the bench vs. France!!

          • NYRick

            Sorry, you’re right. Linkmaster is going to hit me with a link on that in five, four, three, two…

          • HOFCToDi

            Sounds like Rick Nash for NY Rangers last season.

            I could care less about best XI. The only individual trophy that matters in Chicago is the Conn Smythe Award:

            Toews
            Kane
            Keith

          • Guest

            You could care less about the NWSL best XI because Carli and Alex are not on it, but you for some reason care about every other award list out there. Hmmmmm

          • NYRick

            He does post an awful lot of pictures of US players holding trophies doesn’t he? But he is selective over which count more. For instance, silly of you not to understand that the Concacaf tourney Golden Boot (80% of goals on PKs) far outweighs an NWSL Best 11.

          • Guest

            The CONCACAF qualifying field consists of Canada and then a pile of tomato cans. Lol.

          • NYRick

            Which is clearly the reason why Carli is most needed on the pitch for 90 in all 5 or so matches.

          • Guest

            CP scoring stunner goal vs. Costa Rica within minutes of getting on field = garbage time goal.

            CL scoring set piece header that goes in bc of goalkeeping error against T&T in dying minutes after being up 3-0 and being on field the whole game = validation to be in starting lineup.

          • HOFCToDi

            Christen Press a recipient of an individual international award?

            Where is Christen Press showing off that Olympic gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games on the podium?

            Where is Christen Press showing off that gold medal at the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup?

          • HOFCToDi

            With regard to the USWNT, the only awards that matter are international awards:

            FIFA World Player of the Year
            FIFA Women’s World Cup
            CONCACAF Women’s Championship
            CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying
            Algarve Cup
            SheBelieves Cup

          • Guest

            We are talking about CRS, dummy.

          • HOFCToDi

            How many times has Christen Press been named US Soccer Female Player of the Year?

          • Guest

            She has been on the team for 2+ years? How many times has Lloyd been in NWSL best XI?

          • HOFCToDi

            Christen Press was not even one of the five nominees for US Soccer Female Player of the Year in calendar year 2015.

            ussoccer.com/about/history/awards/player-of-the-year/player-of-the-year-mini-bios

            How many times has Christen Press been named US Soccer Female Player of the Year?

          • Guest

            How many games in her career has she started as a forward (her natural position)? Thank you.

          • HOFCToDi

            Christen Press was given the opportunity three times in the first twelve games last year against France (2-8-15), Switzerland (3-6-15), Sweden (6-12-15). The end result was ZERO goals scored.

          • Guest

            Idiot. If the sampling size was three games, then Lloyd should have been benched after She Believes, and Morgan should have been benched on several occasions in calendar year 2015. CP scores a goal against France, moron. You listed three non-consecutive games. She scored goals inbetween those games. We could also pick out random games where other forwards did not score.

          • HOFCToDi

            France (2-8-15), nobody scored for the USWNT.

            ussoccer.com/matches/wnt/2015/150208-wnt-vs-fra

            You are the idiot.

          • Guest

            Picking out three non-consecutive games in which she did not score means nothing. She scored two goals against top 10 teams in between the games you selected. Just picking three games from calender year 2015 does not hold any value. Could do the same for Lloyd, Morgan, Wambach, Leroux, Rodriguez, Heath, etc.

          • HOFCToDi

            Yet, Christen Press landed in the doghouse (along with Leroux, Rodriguez, Wambach) in the semifinals and final of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

            Yet, Christen Press landed in the doghouse for the two international women’s friendlies against Brazil.

            Christen Press has become inconsequential to the USWNT.

            Jill Ellis is not going to bench her first string #9 Alex Morgan, who incidentally won the Golden Ball and Golden Boot awards at the SheBelieves Cup. Jill Ellis is not going to bench her first string #9 Alex Morgan, who incidentally leads the USWNT in goals scored for calendar year 2016.

          • Guest

            This is not an argument about factual lineup rosters dummy. Funny how you mention she was in the doghouse for the year, yet still was the second leading team scorer in calendar year 2015 despite that. You also don’t list three consecutive games in which she played forward and did not score because if you did, you would have run into her goals against France and Australia. Your bias statistics and you have NO CREDIBILITY

          • HOFCToDi

            YOU HAVE NO CREDIBILITY since you refuse to admit that Christen Press was benched not only once but twice last year.

            Christen Press landed in the doghouse in the semifinals and final of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

            Christen Press landed in the doghouse for the two international women’s friendlies against Brazil.

          • Guest

            Are you literate? I said “SHE WAS IN THE DOGHOUSE LAST YEAR” and yet she was still the second leading scorer on the team. Saying that SHE WAS IN THE DOGHOUSE LAST YEAR acknowledged the point that she was benched. If you did not hear me the first two times, I said SHE WAS IN THE DOGHOUSE LAST YEAR (AKA BENCHED) BUT WAS STILL THE SECOND LEADING SCORER ON THE TEAM WHILE PLAYING OFF THE BENCH. Go to a kindergarden reading comprehension class.

          • HOFCToDi

            No one gives damn whether Christen Press scores a hat trick against an U-20 Costa Rica team during the Victory Tour. No one gives a damn whether Christen Press scores a goal against an U-20 Haiti team during the Victory Tour. No one gives a damn whether Christen Press scores a hat trick against Trinidad and Tobago during the Victory Tour only to fail to score against the same team two months later during the semifinals of the 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying.

          • Guest

            Yet you care that Carli Lloyd scored PKs against those same teams in 2016? You can twist the statistics any way you want, you will never win this debate. You use tomato cans for Carli and against Christen. It does not work like that. If no one gives a damn about the aforementioned tomato cans, then that means no one gives a damn about Carli Lloyd in 2016. Please formulate better arguments, or be quiet and keep your opinions to yourself.

          • HOFCToDi

            I care about a player who scored the winning goal in the final of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. I care about a player who scored the winning goal (two goals) in the final of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. I care about a player who scored a hat trick in the final of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Without clutch performances from individual players during the knockout stages of the Summer Olympic Games and FIFA Women’s World Cup, there is NO VICTORY TOUR for Christen Press to feast upon tomato cans in meaningless international women’s friendlies which have bearing whatsoever on Summer Olympic Games qualification.

          • Guest

            Nothing to say about 2016, huh? Nothing to say about the comment you just replied to? Nice. The US has switched to a new style of play that your girl does not fit into and it is showing profoundly. Keep grasping at straws. You care about any bandwagon player who knocks in a goal.

          • HOFCToDi

            Christen Press has been absolute garbage for the USWNT in calendar year 2016.

            Failure to recognize Carli Lloyd as the 2008 US Soccer Female Athlete of the Year and as the 2015 US Soccer Female Athlete of the Year proves you are a blithering idiot, a clueless moron, and a worthless troll.

          • Guest

            I am curious as to where you went to college and what your current occupation is. Because I am astonished that reading comprehension is not a prerequisite for either of those.

          • HOFCToDi

            You don’t give a damn about the USWNT, all you care about is Christen Press.

          • Guest

            DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH? I said I am curious as to where you went to school and what your occupation is due to your lack of reading comprehension.

          • HOFCToDi

            That’s none of you freakin’ business.

            You don’t give a damn about the USWNT. All you care about is Christen Press.

            The bottom line:

            Practically everyone on the USWNT receives the individual glory or individual recognition at the international level except for Christen Press.

          • Guest

            No, actually the bottom line is that:

            -You are incapable of refuting a claim or defending your own
            -You have been proven wrong on several occasions
            -Your claims have been adequately countered by means of data and proper usage of statistics
            -You repeat yourself endlessly, contributing to your lack of knowledge and credibility
            -You act like a five year old.

            Practically everyone on this site is capable of having a civil, informed conversation about WOSO except you.

          • HOFCToDi

            Christen Press has been absolute garbage for the USWNT during the 2016 calendar year. You have repeatedly failed to acknowledge that Christen Press has been absolute garbage for the USWNT during the 2016 calendar year.

            The bottom line:

            Practically everyone on the USWNT receives the individual glory or individual recognition at the international level except for Christen Press since Christen Press was first capped by the Senior USWNT on 9 February 2013.

          • NYRick

            Your last sentence might have been the stupidest thing I’ve ever read on here? And coming from you, that’s saying a lot.

          • HOFCToDi

            You are the clueless moron with the reading comprehension issue.

            Christen Press has not been the recipient of one international individual award:

            2013 Algarve Cup
            2014 Algarve Cup
            2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship
            2015 Algarve Cup
            2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup
            2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying
            2016 SheBelieves Cup

            Best Player Award? Nope! Golden Ball Award? Nope! Golden Boot Award? Nope! Silver Ball Award? Nope! Silver Boot Award? Nope! Bronze Ball Award? Nope! Bronze Boot Award? Nope!

          • Guest

            Everybody that disagrees with you is a clueless moron and has issues? Sounds like you have some issues yourself

          • HOFCToDi

            The downward spiral towards irrelevance for one Christen Press with the USWNT is nearly complete.

          • Guest

            Glad you think so! I hope that you continue to think that anyone from USSoccer cares about your opinion. Take your medsssssss

          • NYRick

            Hold on, I have to put on a dunce cap to get on your level.

            Give me a second, just have to find something that would work. Let me fold this napkin into some type of cone-shaped thing. There, that works. OK…where were we?

          • NYRick

            Does it dawn on you for one solitary second that Brunn has also not won any of the above awards, yet she is arguably the best player on the team?

          • HOFCToDi

            TSG announces CWOQ Best XI, Awards

            concacaf.com/article/tsg-announces-cwoq-best-xi-awards

            2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship

            Best XI
            If your read the article you might actually learn something instead of spewing your incessant garbage on message boards. By the way, Christen Press is not on the list.

          • HOFCToDi

            2015 Female Player of the Year Nominees

            The U.S. Soccer Player of the Year award is the highest honor awarded to soccer players in the United States.

            ussoccer.com/about/history/awards/player-of-the-year/player-of-the-year-mini-bios

            If your read the article you might actually learn something instead of spewing your incessant garbage on message boards. By the way, Christen Press is not on the list.

          • NYRick

            By the way, she WAS on the list as one of 5 nominees for US Female Soccer Player of the Year in 2014.

            Do your homework Linkmaster before spouting your nonsense.

          • NYRick

            She also won the Hermann Award: Highest honor for an American Collegiate Soccer Player.

            She is also the ONLY US player who has won a Golden Boot in any Euro League during her time at Tyreso.

            She also had the most goals and assists in CL play leading Tyreso to the CL final.

            Any of that good enough for you?

          • HOFCToDi

            It’s been all downhill ever since 2014 for Christen Press. Christen Press lost her role in the starting XI during group stage of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Christen Press was BENCHED during the knockout stage at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Christen Press was BENCHED for the two international women’s friendlies against Brazil. Christen Press has been absolute garbage for the USWNT in calendar year 2016.

          • NYRick

            Why do you assume he went to college? That’s one helluva an assumption.

          • Guest

            I was giving him benefit of the doubt.

          • Guest

            By your logic, if you want to call it logic, Abby, Mia, Lilly, Akers, Chastain, and Foudy should still be playing.

          • HOFCToDi

            By my logic, Christen Press should have been thrown off the USWNT after the SheBelieves Cup:

            FIFA World Player of the Year
            US Soccer Female Athlete of the Year
            FIFA WWC Golden Ball, Silver Ball, Bronze Ball
            FIFA WWC Golden Boot, Silver Boot, Bronze Boot

            CONCACAF Women’s Championship Golden Ball
            CONCACAF Women’s Championship Golden Boot
            CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Golden Ball
            CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Golden Boot
            SheBelieves Cup Golden Ball
            SheBelieves Cup Golden Boot
            Algarve Cup Best Player Award

            Christen Press has not won even one individual international award in three years with the USWNT at any tournament whatsoever.

          • Guest

            Your response brings me back to the question, what is your occupation and where did you go to college? Thanks

          • HOFCToDi

            Who scored the game winning goal in final of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games? Who scored the game winning goal in the semifinals of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games? Who scored the game winning goal in the quarterfinals of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games? Name the USWNT players and the number of goals scored during the knockout stage of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

          • Steglitz49

            You could also ask: who missed a critical penalty in the WC-11 final pso? That ball is still orbiting Saturn.

            I agree that Carli’s goal won the OG-08 final, that her goals won the OG-12 final because Hope kept goal brilliantly and, worse, the ref should have gone to the opticians.

          • Kevin

            Yes, the Linkamaster is illiterate.

            Yes, the Linkmaster has no credibility.

            Yes, the Linkmaster has zero reading comprehension.

            He has to avoid any and all debates because he can’t back anything up and continually posts irrelevant and erroneous statistics, irrelevant awards and irrelevant links to the topic at hand.

            If you ask him what the weather is going to be tomorrow, his answer will include links to the semi-finals and finals of the World Cup.

          • Steglitz49

            That is too harsh. When HOFCToDi bothers to put his brain into gear, he does produce valuable material and lucid insights.

            On the subject of Christen Annemarie he is the pole opposite of NYRick and the Pressgang (aka Pressoni). They at least have had the joy to see their darling win the World Cup, so all their posting was not in vain.

          • NYRick

            “…he does produce valuable material and lucid insights.”

            I honestly never have seen it. Unless of course it is to support Lloyd in some twisted, bizarre and irrelevant way…while simultaneously bashing Press in the same multi-link.

            But then again, you enjoy that, so carry on.

          • Kevin

            The Linkmaster said…

            “Christen Press was given the opportunity three times in the first twelve games last year against France (2-8-15), Switzerland (3-6-15), Sweden (6-12-15). The end result was ZERO goals scored.”

            What he fails to mention is…

            • vs France – she was moved to RM early in the 2nd half
            • vs Switzerland – she was moved to LM to start the 2nd half
            • vs Sweden – she had Wambach the statue playing RF in front of her and was moved to RM sometime in the 2nd half

            Try to refrain from using big words and statistical terminology like “sample size” or “correlation” with the Linkmaster. He has no clue what they mean, which explains why he always links irrelevant and erroneous statistics.

          • Kevin, your posts are my favorite because they are always accurate in refuting what Linkmaster links. Good job.

          • NYRick

            If she played the forward position for 90 every match for 20+ matches like the current two forwards do, she would hands down win the US Soccer Female POY.

          • HOFCToDi

            Only in your PlayStation fantasy world.

          • Guest

            No, that world is where you envision Lloyd scoring goals from the run of play against quality opponents.

          • NYRick

            Run of play and Lloyd does not compute. Even in Play Station.

          • NYRick

            Logic says otherwise my friend. She would be a top scorer in the NWSL (proving that she comes to play for her club soccer team, unlike some other US stars), and would rack up an impressive amount of goals as a starting forward on the US team. That would be Female US POY in my book. Only your pea brain can’t process that.

          • Guest

            His pea brain cannot permit the reading comprehension of a third grader. Lower your expectations

          • HOFCToDi

            It proves nothing. Amy Rodriguez has led all NWSL players in NWSL playoff goals scored for the past two NWSL seasons. A lot good that has done for the USWNT.

          • NYRick

            FIFA POY is a joke which has been proven consistently. Concacaf can not be taken seriously for acclaim by any American woman player. The deck is so stacked in their favor that it is beyond absurd. Algarve and She Believes are still exhibition tournaments by nature, but do offer the best competition when the right teams enter.

          • Guest

            Chapman made the OGQ best XI, enough said. Wambach was a finalist for POTY 2014, enough said.

          • ARED

            I see you put the Player award above the World Cup. Explains pretty well how you seem to look at the picture? (“I” before “team”)….. ; )

          • Guest

            And SheBelieves Cup last, aka the tourney where Lloyd did not win an award 🙂

          • ARED

            “I” before “team”, except (at) SheBelieves?

          • NYRick

            “I” before team = Carli Lloyd. That’s his logic too.

          • ARED

            It does seem a match as to why he likes her so much, but I’m trying to do less internet-psychoanalysis….. ; p

          • MrTemecula

            Maybe Carli believes in the Jordan Rules: There is an ‘I’ in win.

          • HOFCToDi

            You don’t give a damn about the Chicago Red Stars or the USWNT. All you care about is Christen Press.

            Meanwhile, Rory Dames talks up Amanda Da Costa who is no where to be seen against Northwestern yesterday. The same Amanda Da Costa who was no where to be seen for the Washington Spirit during the semifinals of the 2015 NWSL Playoffs.

          • Guest

            The only time I talk about christen press is when it is in an argument with you. She is my third favorite player on the team behind Brunn and Pugh. I just defend her when you say that she should be cut due to irrelevant stats.

            Oh and another subject change, what else is new. Keep grasping at straws.

          • HOFCToDi

            You don’t give a damn about the Chicago Red Stars. All you care about is Christen Press. You have not even mentioned the loss of Rachel Quon for the Chicago Red Stars, a former second round draft selection in the 2013 NWSL College Draft.

          • Guest

            Because that is not what we are talking about. The fact that you think I don’t care about the CRS or USWNT is irrelevant to a conversation about CP being worthy of being on the field. You just try and change the subject at every possible moment. What does Rachel Quon have to do with CP being playing striker? Take your meds.

          • HOFCToDi

            You don’t give a damn about the Chicago Red Stars. All you care about is Christen Press. You have not once even mentioned Amanda Da Costa.

          • Steglitz49

            But, Casey Short has arrived from Avaldsnes, so all is not lost.

          • Steglitz49

            Ali Krieger was “the player that was no where to be seen during the semifinals of the 2015 Playoffs”.

          • NYRick

            I’m a Rangers fan, but have great respect for the Blackhawks and agree with you on Toews (best player in the league in my opinion), Kane (best clutch player in the league), and Keith (best defenseman in the league).

            You see, we can agree once in awhile. Nash is a choke artist and takes some awful abuse by the NY media and fans. But he is a great regular season player and a stand-up guy in interviews if you watch him.

          • I was about to say the same thing. The Linkmaster has returned. How refreshing.

      • guest

        paulson should sell the team if they miss the playoffs again.

        • dfsf

          lol thats dumb. He has the most profitable team in the entrire league. HE can lose 10 years ina row and he would be a fool to sell that team.

          • Steglitz49

            Any team in Portland would be profitable.

          • Lord Otter-Blotter

            I think that was his point.

      • guest

        FYI the thorns were missing 6 of their starters against the Dash although their goalkeeping and defense does seem a bit worrying

      • brdn08

        It’s the coaching. His lineup at full strength was mindnumbingly idiotic.

    • F0OtballNowAndAlways

      “Unlike the current coach on the NT who feels the great need to cater to Carli’s rigidity by playing key players out of position.”

      Ummm, wrong. It is Alex Morgan he is catering to in not playing Christen Press. It is because of Alex Morgan than neither Press or Dunn has been given fair opportunities to play forward, the same chance that Morgan has received through periods of anemic productivity. Carli Lloyd has little to do with Press’ reduced minutes.

      • Todd Thomas

        It’s frustrating when a post-prime marquee player drives the lineup decisions.
        On the other hand, we should be used to it.

        • Rickisa Di

          lol NYRick is being an idiot again. Too bad Ellis doesnt give two Fs about what he thinks. BTW Ellis picked the perfect team to win the WWC, yeah that little tournament. lol Rick…

          • NYRick

            Did she also pick the perfect time for Sasic to choke on her PK? That goes in, they most likely go home and are playing for the bronze.

          • Gary Diver

            The day after USWNT won the WC, Caitlin Murray (The Guardian) stated: “Any team that wins a world championship needs a little luck along the way.” I would go further and say that you cannot win the WC without some luck.

          • NYRick

            Agree. I watched the Giants win the two most miraculous SBs in the Eli era and I still can’t explain how they did either. But let the record show, they did. Let the record show that the WC15 women’s champs were the US team.

          • guest

            Pass rush both years and Eli was great in 2012.

          • NYRick

            Yeah but…the Tyree helmet catch…the even more ridiculous Manningham sideline catch. Some things in sports you can’t explain. And this is coming from a Giants season ticket holder who has seen every one of Eli’s games. He does have brass ones in the big spots. I’ll give him that. In fact, someone on here once compared Eli to Carli and I feel that was pretty accurate. Good players who had great moments in the biggest spots, but both were not what you would call superstars without those moments.

          • guest

            There was nothing miraculous about the Manningham catch imo. That was just a well executed play and a perfectly placed throw. I think Eli stands up better with his peers than Carli.

          • NYRick

            Google and Youtube the Mannigham play again and rewatch it. Eli made the throw from around the end zone to around midfield. Manningham had about a foot, maybe inches to work with on that sideline to catch it and get both feet down. Astounding play. Throw in the fact that it happened during the last 2 minutes or so and lead to the Giants go-ahead TD and it was miraculous.

            As for Eli, when all is said and done, he is a first ballot HOFer and will have unbelievable overall stats due to his durability and now having OBJ for the rest of his career.

          • guest

            No way Eli is a first ballot HOF unless he plays another 5 years like the last two. The throw was incredible but was a perfectly executed throw and catch unlike the Tyree one that was miraculous.

          • NYRick

            Eli is a first ballot HOFer. Two time SB MVP. All time QB stats for one of the league’s oldest and marquee franchises. After 5 years, he will be in the top 5 of most QB stats if he stays healthy. Also don’t discount what OBJ brings to the table for him these last 5 years. Also if the Giants manage to win one more SB before he retires it’s an absolute lock.

          • Steglitz49

            What luck did Japan have in 2011?

          • NYRick

            Seriously?? Bueller/Krieger gift on the first goal and the Sawa tying goal is a one in a thousand type of goal. High skill level yes by her, but really a low percentage type of shot to go in.

            And…I don’t know why I’m going there with you, but everyone who saw the match know the US should have been up by 3 or 4 goals by the 20 minute mark. Just absurd bad luck the ball wasn’t going in because the route was on. After that, the US did play cautious and credit to Japan for realizing that and getting that game to PKs. For the PK shootout for the title, the US team (as a whole in terms of the shooters) choked as badly as any team you will ever see in a big shot with a world title on the line.

          • Steglitz49

            I thought you were going to say Sweden missing Caroline Seger because of injury and Nilla Fischer because of 2nd yellow card meant that Sweden’s midfield and engine room was weaker than it was against the US.

            The official stats of the final are about even stevens. That the US squandered a whole load of chances and possession was hardly Japan’s luck.

            Finally, the incorrect offside decision never became an issue because Japan won the trophy.

          • Lorehead

            Germany needed a stroke of luck to beat France. Japan needed a catastrophic own goal in stoppage time to beat England. Everybody needs luck, and if the game had played out exactly the same from that point on, the US would still have won by a goal.

          • NYRick

            Agree on the luck thing for any title in any sport. You need some to happen somewhere. The Royals won the WS last year by winning 4 games they were actually losing in the 8th inning. That is just ridiculous and beyond lucky. They were good, but absurdly lucky.

            As for the Germany match, you simply can’t assume that if the game played out the same from that point on the US wins by a goal. The whole complexion of the match changes if Germany goes up by a goal in the second half. Then the US is chasing the match against arguably a team as good as them. Not saying they couldn’t have still pulled it out, but you can’t assume like that. The circumstances of how it could have been played were entirely different if Germany goes ahead. Sylvia could have parked the bus with a very smart German team and a very seasoned keeper.

          • Lorehead

            If the game had played out the same, the USA would have scored twice and Germany would not have scored again. Because that’s what happened, and we’re supposing nothing else changed.

            Sure, it wouldn’t really have played out the same—but it’s a real stretch to say that Germany would not likely have given up even one equalizer. And you’ve got to say that, when they were already playing on short rest from 120 minutes of football plus a shootout, the odds are against them in extra time. After that, in a penalty shootout? Surely gifting them a penalty that they missed just to get them there would anger the soccer gods.

          • Steglitz49

            Poor refereeing lost France the game against Germany.

          • Gary Diver

            Agree. France has a reputation for choking, but they also have more than their share of bad luck.

          • And if that would have happened, now KO would be the hero for her game winning goal. Ahh what a world that would be.

          • F0OtballNowAndAlways

            There you go, Ethan. The reaction to Sasic’s miss was quite tame and sympathetic? I think not! And this without anything that can be convincingly described as an antecedent.

      • Gary Diver

        Part of the nature of USWNT is that it is based on a hierarchy of star celebrities. This is not a criticism, just the nature of the beast. Coaching decisions have to take that reality into account. We see that now with Carli Lloyd playing 90 minutes in nearly every game when obviously she needs a rest on the bench.

        • HOFCToDi

          Don’t you worry. Jill Ellis has her star UCLA recruit Samantha Mewis waiting in the wings to replace Carli Lloyd. As a bonus, Samantha Mewis was one of the three finalists for 2015 NWSL Rookie of the Year.

          • Gary Diver

            I am really torn. I like Carli Lloyd but at this point I think I would like her more on the bench. Sam Mewis, like Whitney Engen, rose from the dead during the Germany game. I didn’t see it myself, but reports are that Ellis was all grins when asked about Mewis’ performance.

          • HOFCToDi

            Samantha Mewis is 23 years old. Whitney Engen is 28 years old. One of the aforementioned two can actually seen as a youth movement in preparation for 2019.

          • JL

            I didn’t agree with Mewis being one of the 3 ROTY finalists. I find it hard to justify someone being up for a seasonal award if they either don’t play half the year or they underperform for half a season. Mewis was virtually non-existent after the WC break. The same goes for Huerta. I would have preferred the 3 finalists to be Colaprico, Oyster, and either Gilliland or Hinkle.

    • Gary Diver

      The Red Stars are definitely a likeable and talented team with a lot of young players. NWSL needs to develop team loyalty, apart from celebrity stars, and the Red Stars can do it.

      • Steglitz49

        USSF can help by paying NT players through the clubs and not ridiculously extra for representing the nation.

    • Steglitz49

      Dani La Rue?

  • Reality

    Here is some more praise for Press in a 3/26/16 article in SB Nation entitled, “Roger Federer’s forehand, Thiago’s passes and other beautiful sports things”…

    “Christen Press is like 2/3 Alex Morgan, 1/3 Megan Rapinoe. Rapinoe was so important to that 2011 US World Cup team because she seemed like the only one in the front half of the field with any sort of artistry. You had these blunt force weapons in Morgan and, of course, Abby Wambach, but you need a little bit of creativity when you can’t just physically overwhelm an opponent, and she had it in droves. And by 2015, Press had kind of developed into a hybrid of all of them, and maybe a better dribbler to boot. She has just about every trick in the bag.”

    http://www.sbnation.com/2016/3/25/11305890/beautiful-sports-roger-federer-thiago-alcantara-kam-chancellor

    • smallchief

      I see no resemblance between Press and Rapinoe whatsoever. Press, to my mind, is not a very good winger. Press is a center forward — and that’s all. Playing her elsewhere is a waste. Rapinoe is a winger. She can play elsewhere, but she’s best on the flank.

      Nor do I see much resemblance between Press and Alex Morgan. Press is finesse and good movies and Alex is speed and power.

      I had the expectation that Press was going to become The Greatest Forward in the World. So far she hasn’t — although she is certainly good.

      • NYRick

        The Press-Rapinoe analogy is one of craftiness, or doing things others on the pitch simply can’t do. They both too are a little inconsistent, the sign of an enigmatic type of star, which both of them are. Rapinoe can not play elsewhere on the pitch. Let’s leave it at that.

        Your Morgan-Press analogy is spot on. That’s why as a pairing they would be hard to defense. And by pairing, I mean 10+ straight games together for 90. I can’t believe the USSF hasn’t put them together on an NWSL club team the past two years. It could have easily been done. They’ve manipulated everything else in the league to the star player’s benefits. It would have made perfect sense to see how that would work and then translate to the NT. Finally, Press is one of the best strikers in the world in the women’s game. To truly reach the proper fanfare she would have to start predominantly at forward for the long stretch for the real fair assessment. She may fail and not live up to expectations, but it really has never been done, regardless of many on here who say that it has.

        • Ethan

          Press and Morgan on the same NWSL team? That could cause a bigger uproar than Morgan and Sinclair both being on Portland. That being said, it would be interesting to see them on the same club team, and if there’s a southern California based NWSL team in the future, who knows?

      • Reality

        It is hard for anyone to be a great forward when they aren’t played in the forward position which is the case for Elliis’s misutilization of Press. However, it is my impression that the article was not talking about the positions played on the team, but rather the skills, artistry and creativity shown on the field. I do think that Lloyd should be substituted for Morgan in the narrative when referring to a blunt power style. As I’ve often said, the obvious combination up front for the NT is Morgan Press and it is appalling that Ellis has not given it the chance it clearly deserves.

    • NYRick

      S49’s next comment: “Christen Annamarie is really on the bubble for Rio. The She Believes Tournament was most likely her Waterloo.”

      • Steglitz49

        On the whole I agree with SmallChief.

        I disagree with SmallChief in that Alex too has finesse and ball skills. She also has vision in buckets.

        Simply put, Alex dominates the field and a room which she enters while Christen is present and correct.

      • Reality

        You may found some amusement in Steg and his twin brother/sister in their Press mania. I think it is best to ignore their desperate comments.

  • smallchief

    Frankly, while Press may be the best forward in the NWSL, barring the reincarnation of Alex Morgan 2012. I don’t think Chicago will miss her much while she is gone on Olympic duty. Huerta and Hoy will score and Chicago will win most of its games. I think Danes said it above. The two of them can do their thing better when Press is not around and dominating the offense.

    • HOFCToDi

      2015 NWSL Season
      Chicago Red Stars with Press
      W-L-T PTS %
      4-1-6 18 54.5% (18/33)

      2015 NWSL Season
      Chicago Red Stars without Press
      W-L-T PTS %
      4-2-3 15 55.6% (15/27)

      • brdn08

        Facts

    • Gary Diver

      So you are saying “less is more”?

      • guest

        I didn’t see a huge difference in Chicago’s offensive output with Press out of the lineup.

        • Gary Diver

          I think Sofia Huerta is a player to watch. When Press was away at the WC, she shined and there was some speculation that she could get a USNWT call-up. And then when Press returned, Huerta’s limelight completely disappeared. She is talented, works hard, and is a nice person. Hope she has a great year.

          • NYRick

            Huerta may be in a situation where she is on the wrong team. I too think she is a talented player. Would love to see her on Sky Blue or Boston where she would get a chance all the time.

            Ironically, Huerta is kind of like Press on the NT. Stuck behind a big star (Morgan) who has to play.

          • guest

            Morgan deserves all of her minutes this year. She has played very well to start the year.

          • NYRick

            I agree that Morgan has played very well this year. It’s good to see her healthy and playing with a bit of abandon again. As for all of her minutes, I think when you also have forwards like Press and Dunn on the team and someone with the talent of Pugh who could also play forward, then a good coach better distributes the minutes properly. Especially for a 34-year old who is a square peg in a round hole in relation to the other front 6 players.

          • guest

            Dunn and Pugh are likely too small to play as lone 9s. They would struggle against big defenders that like to sit in, play physical, and have a bit of pace. M’bock and Georges did a great job against Pugh(and Morgan) in the France game(M’bock’s sloppy play did lead to the lone goal though). if it was up to me Lloyd would have been gone years ago. If they were going to play the 4-2-3-1 why shouldn’t Holiday have been the CAM. I think Allie Long is a better player than Lloyd too

          • NYRick

            Good assessment on Dunn-Pugh against the bigger more physical teams like Germany, Sweden, France & Canada etc. They are both however buzz saws in their style and relentless so I wouldn’t rule them out. LOL, I do agree with you that Allie Long is a better all around player than Carli right now.

          • brdn08

            Dunn and Pugh would have opportunities because of their speed. Press is the forward that wilts under any physicality.

          • NYRick

            Another Press hater. No one on this roster is more polarizing. Your buddy the Linkmaster is a few steps down, be sure to praise his insane anti-Press links.

          • brdn08

            I’m not a Press hater but she doesn’t fit on this team. not fast enough to play forward, not quick or disciplined enough to play winger. Not physically imposing or creative enough on the ball to play the 10.Also she doesn’t win balls in the air and isn’t a threat on set pieces. With that said, she’d flourish on France’s, Japan’s or even Germany’s WNTs. The US at full strength plays too fast for her. I’d take Pugh over her right now without hesitation.

          • NYRick

            OK serious discussion here. First off, I respect your opinion if that’s how you see it. But I have to ask: you don’t think Press is fast? I’m not saying she is Alex fast or a burner like Pugh or even Dunn, but she’s plenty fast. Watch some of her CRS goals or some of her highlights at Tyreso. At times she runs by players like they are standing still. She is deceptively fast and smart and finding the right pockets of space. I don’t think the US plays too fast for her. That’s absurd. Too fast for Abby yes, but Press. Come on. For that matter, Holiday may have been one of the slowest front 6 players I’ve ever seen and that didn’t prevent her from starting. And let’s not even get into Lloyd’s foot speed. Don’t forget she is the other starting forward now.

            I agree she may be better suited on a France or Japan. I think the perfect place for her is the Brazil NT where she would be a mega star playing once again with Marta. Marta understands how good she is and the two together have great chemistry.

          • brdn08

            I think you depiction of Holiday’s speed is misinformed. She is fast. Look at the run she made on her goal in the World Cup final.She blew the doors off multiple players on the field and actually made up ground on Alex’s run. I personally wouldn’t have Carli on the team either.

          • HOFCToDi

            2016 Summer Olympic Games will be the last major tournament for Carli Lloyd. The Jill Ellis youth movement will not be curtailed in calendar year 2017.

          • NYRick

            I don’t think Lauren was fast. She had plenty of other skills and smarts, but she looked slow and lumbering a lot to me.

          • brdn08

            Not when she played in an advanced position. I think in general she struggled in 2014 dealing with family issues and some health problems.

          • Rdalford

            Holiday was a very good player who was early in her career effective as a hold up back to the goal forward with quick turn and hard shot from either foot then she adapted to multiple position adjustments under multiple WNT coaches in order to get WNT playing time/starter status. Great player Yes. But fast? No.

          • Ethan

            Maybe NYRick is exaggerating, but Holiday really was one of the slower front 6 players to play for the USWNT over the last half decade or so.

            Lampard made plenty of long, late runs into the box for Chelsea, and no one thinks he was fast.

          • brdn08

            thats just one example I’ve been watching Holiday since she was at UCLA. No way anyone who saw her work in 2011 would describe her as slow.

          • Ethan

            People just have to look at her second goal in that 3-2 win over Seattle last season. I was quite blown away by that goal when I saw it live.

            Pugh is definitely a #10 over a #9.

          • HOFCToDi

            Samantha Mewis is a central attacking midfielder.

            drawformation.com/post/56d0de4513441/56d0de4513441.png

            Samantha Mewis is a natural replacement for Carli Lloyd.

          • brdn08

            I’d like to see Horan work on her fitness and then it doesn’t matter which of the three center mids moves forward in attack

          • Gary Diver

            Horan has publicly acknowledged that she needs to improve her fitness. Actually in the past 4 months she looks like she has lost a little weight. It may take some time, but I think she will be fine.

          • Gary Diver

            One of the things I like about both Pugh and Sanchez is that when they get the ball, they don’t pause to think about what to do – they attack. Pugh has shown she can do it at the national level and her quick mind and smart decision ability will only get better. It is very easy to forget that her first cap for USWNT was only a little more than two months ago!

          • rkmid71

            I would put it slightly differently. Pugh (I haven’t seen Sanchez) thinks about what to do and what her best option is before getting the ball. It’s not always attack no matter what..She’ll play back, keep possession. As a result, the ball keeps moving, the speed of play is quicker, etc.And it makes her less predictable, keeps the defense honest and keeps her teammates alert.

          • Gary Diver

            I agree completely – it is not always forward march. It is fun watching her get the ball and try to guess what she will do next. If, in fact, she has decided what her best option is that she has an unusual talent.

            It does seem like she can think on the fly. The game also seems to speed up a bit when she gets the ball – there is less pauses for thinking. That makes her a dangerous player to defend against and an exciting player to watch.

          • JL

            She’s a CAM with the Flash (although from some stuff I’ve heard from preseason she might be playing a bit further back this season), but is playing a more defensive role with the NT.

          • guest

            If they are given opportunities to counter I would agree. Against a team that sits in and denies them that space and defends with numbers, they would struggle like Morgan does against those teams. Sweden for example has always been an awful match-up for the US.

          • brdn08

            We’ve seen Press vs. Sweden it wasn’t a good thing and I’ve seen Morgan score against Sweden at least five times.

          • Steglitz49

            Ms Pugh, yes; Ms Dunn, i am not persuaded. Ms Press is too easy to mark out of a game, as witness several matches.

          • Gary Diver

            I like Press and she has a ton of talent, but she seems fragile when faced with a lot of physical contact.

          • Steglitz49

            Christen Annemarie has never been seriously injured. Indeed, I can’t remember her having even a fairly minor injury. That speaks in favor of your assessment.

            I would go further and propose that Ms Press stopped growing and developing as a player when she moved to Tyresö. She had already played for the NT before she kicked a ball for Tyresö. Admittedly, Tyresö’s high profile may well have helped her — their other 4 Americans all were in the WC-15 squad — but her play for Göteborg (a club where Hope cut her teeth in) was of a higher order.

            At the end of the day, Christen Annemarie has a WC winners medal, something not many ladies have. That goes with her Swedish Cup, where she scored in the final. Can’t quarrel with that. She also was Goalscoring Queen in Sweden one year and was 2nd the year before. Sweden was good to and for Ms Press. “Sweden forever in her heart”?

          • Steglitz49

            They won the world cup after 16 fallow years and Carli scoed 3 gaols in the final. There is your answer.

          • JL

            Allie Long at her best is merely a poor man’s version of Carli Lloyd at her worst.

          • guest

            The only thing Lloyd is better at from a skill standpoint is heading the ball. It is difficult to know how Long would have played for the NT because she hardly ever got an opportunity. When she has been called up I think she has played very well. Long was much better in the NWSL last year in every statistical category even after accounting for the number of games played discrepancy.

          • Gary Diver

            Morgan’s goal against France was impressive (and so was Pugh’s assist) but her goal against Germany will be one that people will show when they do retrospectives after she retires.

          • NYRick

            Press’s goal against I think CR, that back heel stop thing, switch to the other foot and score was equally impressive. I did like Morgan’s a lot too. Fabulous goal. Both are really talented players.

          • Gary Diver

            If Ellis wants to stay with one real forward, maybe she should try an experiment and play her forwards for only one half. Let Press or even Dunn play for a straight half and let’s see what they can do.

          • NYRick

            Press or Dunn for that matter could score hat tricks as forward starters for 5, maybe 10 straight games and neither would unseat Carli or Alex as the forward starters. Fact.

          • Gary Diver

            The USWNT is a hierarchy system of star celebrities.

          • NYRick

            That’s like saying the sky is blue. Yet you will find many on here argue to the contrary to that very point.

          • Gary Diver

            As I have argued before, USWNT being represented by The Gang of Five in their civil rights complaint makes sense for a number of reasons. But The Gang of Five itself is essentially the face the stars in the hierarchy system. So indirectly the team itself is acknowledging it.

          • brdn08

            Yeah, because Becky Sauerbrunn has been starting since 2009 and isn’t as good as Buehler or LePeilbet.were lol. Oh wait, Carli didn’t get benched by Pia in 2012. Oh yeah it didnt take Rapinoe 5 years to become a starter. Amy Rodriguez never started at forward. Wambach didn’t get benched at the world cup. It’s amazing the ridiculous narratives people create to support their own biases.

          • Gary Diver

            The day Ellis benches Lloyd I will revisit my view of USWNT as a hierarchy of star celebrities.

          • NYRick

            Prediction: Whether Ellis coaches this team one more year or the next 5, Carli Lloyd will never NOT start for this team somewhere on the pitch.

          • brdn08

            Carli won’t be on the team very long past the olympics. You can quote me on that.

          • NYRick

            She says she playing to WC19.

          • Gary Diver

            I believe immediately after the WC, Lloyd did say she had a 5 year plan to at least play WC19 and maybe even OG20.

            A lot of people would like Lloyd to sit a few games to see if the team is worse or better without her. That experiment won’t likely happened until at least after the Olympics.

          • NYRick

            Kicking and screaming into the night. She’s not going anywhere and will be on the pitch at WC19, just watch. Especially if Ellis is still at the helm. Ellis owes her for life for the Japan final.

          • Gary Diver

            We can always hope, can’t we?

          • brdn08

            Abby and Rampone both said they would be in Brazil. Things change.

          • guest

            actually lloyd said she’s doing another cycle. which might mean through 2020 olympics.

          • brdn08

            It isn’t true.

          • Steglitz49

            The sky has not been blue for Sky Blue for a while now.

          • brdn08

            Inaccurate description of what Ellis has done.

          • NYRick

            1) Morgan at best 80% at the WC, yet she started and played all the key minutes after game 3.
            2) Wambach actually starting WC matches when she had no business starting
            3) Hope given special treatment to stay on the roster after two really bad PR incidents that embarrassed the team, the last being only 6 months before the WC
            4) Gold watches for Boxx, Rampone, Chups at the WC with Dunn off the team.

            You’re up…

          • brdn08

            Morgan created the penalty that beat Germany in the semifinal and the spacing problems that led to Japan’s downfall. Wambach scored a GWG at the world cup and played a role in the second goal against Germany. Hope’s saves against Australia at the World Cup and her play more recently at She Believes. I agree leaving Dunn off the roster was an aggregious misuse of power by the veterans but Boxx, Chalupny and Rampone were nowhere near the most popular payers on the team or celebrities by any stretch.

          • NYRick

            1) Morgan penalty may have been just outside the box and she dove forward. Don’t think it was a PK but she did make a good play putting that thought in the ref’s mind and she sold it really well. She has become a great diver. Spacing problems for Japan? That’s a stretch. Japan was just run over all around that day.

            2) Wambach had no business starting any WC match. A US forward is going to get scoring chances in every match.

            3) Hope obviously played well against Australia but had little to do in the other matches. My point was more to the fact that she should have been kicked off the team.

            4) Regarding Boxx etc., my point was in response to what you said to be “what Ellis has done.” Obviously putting those 3 on the roster is a politically motivated move whether they played or not. They got the WC medal and the bonus money that went with it at the expense of younger, better players.

          • Steglitz49

            It meant Ms Dunn losing out on a lot of money, though.

            If the NT players essentially kept their club play and got a reasonable bonus for winning the WC, Crystal would only have missed out on the bonus — as well as the joy of winning the world cup.

          • HOFCToDi

            Crystal Dunn started at forward against Puerto Rico. Christen Press played the entire second half at forward against Ireland.

          • Gary Diver

            True, but it takes at least a couple games to see what a player can do with an opportunity.

          • HOFCToDi

            Christen Press was initially capped by the Senior USWNT on 9 February 2013. Christen Press has three years worth of opportunity. Enough is enough.

          • Gary Diver

            Everybody should have a purpose. Maybe Press is keeping a seat warm for Ashley.

          • HOFCToDi

            Former USWNT players from the 2011 USWNT roster:

            Barnhart
            Buehler
            Cox
            LePeilbet

            So much for the notion of USWNT for life.

          • Gary Diver

            So you don’t see the WC15 roster as evidence of the “star system”? Crystal Dunn staying home while Shannon Boxx, Heather O’Reilly, Lori Chalupny, and Christie Rampone getting gold medals was hard for a lot of people to stomach.

            I checked the USWNT WC11 roster and 13 out of the 21 players also played in WC15. So 13 out of the 23 WC15 players were carry-overs from WC11. More evidence of the star system.

            Observations:
            1. Jill Ellis is not responsible for the “star system” which has existed for a long time.

            2. Jill Ellis was probably told when hired to win WC15 with the Veterans on the roster.

            3. Jill Ellis is currently doing a very good job of making changes in the roster and giving new players opportunities. (Retirements, pregnancies, and injuries have greatly helped her hand.) Dunn, Pugh, Horan, and Mewis are going to Rio and also maybe Sonnett and/or Hinkle. Ellis has done a remarkably good job making as many changes as she has when facing the OG in less than a year after the WC.

          • HOFCToDi

            Calendar year 2015 is in the rear view mirror. Tell Heather O’Reilly, who has played a total of 45 minutes for the USWNT in calendar year 2016, about the supposed “star system”.

            Remember Heather O’Reilly ……….

            youtube.com/watch?v=8TTVF3_3JBU

            By the way,

            Alex Morgan USWNT superstar
            Christen Press USWNT superfraud

          • Guest

            “Calender year 2015 is in the rearview mirror”

            Tell that to Lloyd who has done nothing in 2016

          • HOFCToDi

            TSG announces CWOQ Best XI, Awards

            concacaf.com/article/tsg-announces-cwoq-best-xi-awards

            2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying
            Best XI
            By the way, Christen Press is not on the list.

          • Guest

            AGAIN WITH THE READING COMPREHENSION. I said LLOYD has done nothing in 2016.

          • HOFCToDi

            TSG announces CWOQ Best XI, Awards

            concacaf.com/article/tsg-announces-cwoq-best-xi-awards

            2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying
            Best XI
            Goalkeeper: Hope Solo (United States)
            Right Back: Kelley O’Hara (United States)
            Center Back: Becky Sauerbrunn (United States)
            Center Back: Kadeisha Buchanan (Canada)
            Left Back: Allysha Chapman (Canada)
            Right Midfielder: Tobin Heath (United States)
            Center Midfielder: Lindsey Horan (United States)
            Center Midfielder: Morgan Brian (United States)
            Left Midfielder: Ashley Lawrence (Canada)
            Forward: Alex Morgan (United States)
            Forward: Carli Lloyd (United States)

            No, it’s Christen Press who has done nothing in calendar year 2016.

          • Guest

            AGAIN WITH THE READING COMPREHENSION. I said LLOYD has done nothing in 2016

          • HOFCToDi

            Since you fail to recognize the CONCACAF Technical Study Group as an independent soccer entity and fail to recognize the CONCACAF Technical Study Group findings, it proves you are a blithering idiot, a clueless moron, and a worthless troll.

          • Guest

            Carli Lloyd goals 2016:

            Penalty Kicks – 3
            Trinidad and Tobago – 1
            Ireland – 3

            Carli Lloyd is the Prima Donna of the 2016 tomato cans. The same Carli Lloyd that failed to score at the 2016 SheBelieves Cup. The same Carli Lloyd that failed to score in the 2016 Olympic Qualifying Concacaf Final against quality opposition.

          • HOFCToDi

            CONCACAF Technical Study Group – credible source.

            On the other hand, you are a blithering idiot, a clueless moron, and a worthless troll.

            Christen Press has been ABSOLUTE GARBAGE for the USWNT in calendar year 2016.

          • Guest

            AGAIN WITH THE READING COMPREHENSION. I said LLOYD has done nothing in 2016.

            Carli Lloyd = 2016 Prima Donna of Tomato Cans.

          • HOFCToDi

            Since you fail to recognize the CONCACAF Technical Study Group as an independent entity and fail to recognize the CONCACAF Technical Study Group findings, don’t bother to respond to one my posts ever again.

          • Guest

            The same technical study group that put Chapman as the left back over Klingenberg? The group that omitted one of the best players in the tournament, Pugh? What did Lloyd do in CWOQ to get on the list? Beat up on worthless tomato cans? Keep grasping at straws.

          • Gary Diver

            If there had been a SBC Best XI, Mallory Pugh would have gotten my vote.

          • Gary Diver

            I have nothing against HAO, but why does she keep getting called up and yet never sees the field? If she makes the final Olympics 18, a lot of eyeballs will roll.

          • HOFCToDi

            I like HAO but don’t understand the latest call-up if HAO is going to rot on the bench.

            As for this thread, it’s obvious that a certain number of posters don’t give a damn about the USWNT or the Chicago Red Stars but only about Christen Press 24/7. Not once has a poster responded to me about Mary Luba, Taylor Comeau, Amanda Da Costa, Rachel Quon.

          • Steglitz49

            Should that not be 23/8 ?

            Amanda DaCosta won the FAWSL twice with Liverpool Ladies while Whitney Engen did it once but it is Ms Engen who has that all important medal that Christen Annemarie has too.

          • HOFCToDi

            Not one individual has responded to the absence of Amanda Da Costa at yesterday’s exhibition game. I have a good idea where Amanda Da Costa is currently located but the usual suspects who post on this message board don’t give a damn about the Chicago Red Stars or the USWNT.

          • another guest

            DaCosta was previously in camp with Chicago. Currently DaCosta is with Portugal WNT as they prep for UEFA Euro qualification match (Portugal v Spain) to be played Friday.
            DaCosta is already under contract with Chicago (Washington had already exercised the 2016 option year for DaCosta so she was under contract when Chicago traded for her).

          • Steglitz49

            Thank you. Fascinating.

          • HOFCToDi

            I already know.

            en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portugal_women%27s_national_football_team#Current_squad

            However, this speaks to lack of interest with regards to the Chicago Red Stars. Christen Press 24/7, simply pathetic.
            The Chicago Red Stars are a team, not one player:

            Colaprico
            Dalton
            DiBernardo
            Gilliland
            Hoy
            Huerta
            Johnson
            Johnston
            Mautz
            Naeher
            Short
            Walls

            In addition, seven players were selected by the Chicago Red Stars in the 2016 NWSL College Draft.

          • HOFCToDi

            The USWNT don’t need players who ride coattails but produce in the knockout stage of the Summer Olympic Games.

          • HOFCToDi

            Christen Press is a fraud.

            2013 Algarve Cup – 1 goal
            2014 Algarve Cup – 1 goal
            2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship – 2 goals
            2015 Algarve Cup – 1 goal
            2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup – 1 goal
            2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying – 2 goals
            2016 SheBelieves Cup – 0 goals

            The next three years are better spent developing a 17 year old Ashley Sanchez than to waste another three years on a 27 year old Christen Press.

          • Gary Diver

            The Red Stars are a young, talented, and exciting team containing many interesting players.

            Somebody else pointed out the obvious that Christen Press seems to be the most polarizing player in the EQ-verse. I just hope people don’t say negative things just because they don’t like her as a person.

            It is interesting that Press at 27 is now the oldest Red Star. (The two goalies, Alyssa Naeher and Michele Dalton, are also 27.) Strange but I never think of Press as one of the older USWNT players but she is 10 years older than Pugh and Sanchez. Hmm. . . .

            In addition to Sofia Huerta and Danielle Colaprico, two other valuable Red Stars are Arin Gilliland and Vanessa DiBernardo. People could discuss their merits.

            The Red Stars definitely should get credit for getting rid of Melissa (“The Beast”) Tancredi and Abby Erceg.

            You mentioned Rachel Quon. Interesting case – good potential that never panned out. Similar to Zakiya Bywaters who was let go a few weeks ago.

          • Rdalford

            HAO is a tier #1 contract USWNT player ($71k) and an allocated NWSL player ($56k) so USSF has already committed significant money to HAO for this year (money they pay out whether they call her in or not). HAO is quality veteran player who always compete and works hard so although she is unlikely to make OG roster (imo) she will push others in the training camps and I am not surprised to see HAO called in to USWNT training.

          • Gary Diver

            Good points:
            1. Tier 1 USWNT player
            2. Good role model, motivator, and leadership for youngsters like Sonnett, Hinkle, Horan, Pugh, and Sanchez.

            HAO is probably not taking a roster slot from another younger player since Ellis has probably made up her mind about her Olympics 18 and time is running short to integrate anybody else. It still seems odd to have a player on the roster who sits on the bench and never sees the field. If she decides to take HAO to Rio she would have to leave at home a younger player.

            HAO has a large fan following who are very vocal every time HAO is dropped from the roster. Being a popular player with a lot of fan support should not be a reason for going to Rio. That is why I said eyeballs will roll if HAO goes to Rio.

          • Steglitz49

            Can’t deny that it helps, though.

          • Steglitz49

            This is another reason why the system of paying WNT players must be reformed.

          • guest

            she has a guaranteed annual salary. gotta pay her anyway.

          • Lord Otter-Blotter

            Ellis doesn’t seem to believe in rotating her players, and doesn’t seem to believe very strongly in using her bench players as the “game changers” she says they are (seems to conflict with the things game commentators seem to be saying lately about her “wanting them to solve problems on the field”). Rdalford’s probably correct, HAO’s there for morale and as a reliable sub to be used only in case of injury.

          • HOFCToDi

            As for the supposed “star system”, three USWNT players were selected to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year short list.

            ussoccer.com/stories/2015/10/19/19/29/151019-wnt-lloyd-rapinoe-solo-on-womens-ballon-dor-short–list

          • Steglitz49

            Hear hear! Verily and forsooth.

          • JL

            The whole kerfuffle over Dunn infuriates me, and not because she was left off the roster. When Ellis was deciding on her roster, Dunn was not in the form that saw her take the NWSL by storm. I think it’s fair that she wasn’t selected, because she spent most of the period between WCQ and the roster selection on the sidelines with various injuries. And would she have had the season she did have without the motivation of being snubbed? Doubtful.

          • HOFCToDi

            Crystal Dunn will on the 18 player squad for the Summer Olympic Games.

            Strikers: Morgan, Dunn
            Central Midfielders: Brian, Horan, Lloyd, Mewis
            Flank Midfielders: O’Reilly, Heath, Pugh, Sanchez
            Centerbacks: Sauerbrunn, Johnston, Engen or Sonnett
            Fullbacks: Krieger, Klingenberg, O’Hara
            Goalkeepers: Solo, Harris or Naeher

          • Steglitz49

            If JE has any moral fibre in her body, a certain player in your list will not be going to Rio at USSF/UIOC expense

          • Why must you troll so hard? You well know Press is going to the Olympics. Unless, you’re just implying that you would rather her be with the Red Stars all summer, considering you’re a Chicago fan. That I can understand.

          • HOFCToDi

            Why should the USWNT name a 27 year old player to the 18 player roster with the following three year tournament record:

            2013 Algarve Cup – 1 goal
            2014 Algarve Cup – 1 goal
            2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship – 2 goals
            2015 Algarve Cup – 1 goal
            2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup – 1 goal
            2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying – 2 goals
            2016 SheBelieves Cup – 0 goals

            As for your other comment, calendar year 2016 marks a new four year cycle. Rory Dames needs to focus more on the development of Flaws and Huerta than watch Press deviate from a structured system.

          • F0OtballNowAndAlways

            He is a stinking hypocrite, that’s why! He complains about sticking a fork in somebody yet pollutes every thread he can find with vicious lies and innuendos about Christen Press.

            He calls Press names because, in his diseased opinion, she only scores against tomato cans, yet he supports Carli Lloyd using goals she scored against tomato cans.

            He calls Chicago Red Stars his team, yet hates their most prominent player. Where else will you find a more complete definition of imbecile than this ill-mannered clown who lacks any capacity for civil discourse?

          • rkmid71

            Does the Boxx roster selection infuriate you also? What kind of form was Boxx in at the time? It’s pure speculation about her NWSL season. What about Morgan, Leroux injuries pre-WC? Or were the veterans given a pass even if injured? I guess its pointless to argue at this point. Time to move on.

          • Guest

            Just an opinion, but Dunn and Long should have made the roster over Boxx and Chalupny. Leroux should have been dropped to considering she needed major ankle surgery immediately following the WC. Morgan likely wouldn’t be dropped if their was any chance of her being able to play.

          • Gary Diver

            I think most people, including Dunn, would agree that being left off WC roster was a blessing in disguise for her. And, of course, one year ago she was listed a defender. I’m glad we have gotten her moving up the field in the right direction.

            On the other hand, Jill Ellis has admitted that dropping Dunn was the hardest roster decision she had to make. And Dunn is like HAO in that each have vocal supporters will to speak up if they feel their player has not been treated fairly.

          • Steglitz49

            I wonder what her career might have looked like if she had stayed playing for Göteborg and not jumped ship to Tyresö at one second before midnight?

          • Gary Diver

            If Huerta could make the NT it would be an amazing human interest story. She is definitely a player to keep your eyes on.

          • F0OtballNowAndAlways

            Sofia Huerta failed to impress last year with NT players players. Didn’t score a single goal when NT players were in residence, and seemed completely eclipsed by Press.

          • Gary Diver

            True, but maybe it wasn’t her fault. Soccer is a team sport and the chemistry of the team changed when the NT players came back. Let’s give her the benefit of the doubt and see what she can do this year.

          • HOFCToDi

            23 years old and some posters want to stick a fork in a player’s career. PATHETIC!

          • Gary Diver

            Agree!

          • Steglitz49

            Not really.

          • NYRick

            I agree, give her a chance. She has talent. But she may be on the wrong team with a star forward in front of her to truly flourish.

          • Lord Otter-Blotter

            I wonder how long she should/will try and pay her dues for the USWNT before reconsidering and changing her allegiance back to Mexico.

          • Steglitz49

            Zlatan plays, Messi plays, CR7 plays — the big guns all play.

          • NYRick

            Except on the USWNT that is not the case.

          • Steglitz49

            They won the WC and reached the final in 2011, so they have not been doing too many things wrong.

            Now, 2007, that was a whole different kettle of fish. But that was BP and we are now in AE.

      • Steglitz49

        It would appear that s/he means: “Less Press is more than enough”.

      • smallchief

        I recall in the semi-final debacle of KC/Chicago last year. Huerta came in at the beginning of the second half, put two hard shots on goal that the goalie was lucky to save, and then disappeared for the rest of the game as the offense became all Press.

    • Reality

      Huerta and Hoy, while they are good players, do not have the talent, skills or experience of Press. So while they may do well in the NWSL while the NT players are absent from the other teams, they lack the the kind of dynamism that Press adds when playing against NWSL teams that are at full strength. Hoy is at best a slightly above average forward and Huerta, while having potential, was inconsistent in her play last year. That is due to her lack of experience and inability to adapt to a more fluid run of play when paired with Press. Hopefully, her time in practice with Press will enable them to get to know one another better as I think they could be a potent combination for CRS in the 4-4-2.

  • Rdalford

    Dan/Equalizer, appreciate this Chicago Red Stars preview and found it useful that you included comments/quotes/insight from Dames the Chicago coach.

    Looking forward to reading the previews for the other NWSL teams.

  • F0OtballNowAndAlways

    From the NWSL website, preseason results:

    Reign 2 Oregon State 1

    WNYF 1 Syracuse 0 (played on April 2)

    WNYF 3 Vermont 0 (played on April 2)

    Pride 1 FSU 0 (Cancelled after 32 minutes because of lightning).

    FCKC 4 Nebraska 0 (I suspect we haven’t heard the last from Shea Groom).

    Spirit intrasquad scrimmage 1 – 1 and PKs (UNC, the original opponents, couldn’t make it).

    No upsets. Looks like the pro teams are alright.

    • JL

      The two Flash games were each one half. And the result against Vermont was 4-0.

      • F0OtballNowAndAlways

        And the Spirit scrimmage transpired in 35 minute halves, not 45. That one I did notice, but I didn’t really think the extra 20 minutes mattered too much.

        I just scanned the articles and copied the results. The WNYF matches are listed as 1 – 0 against Syracuse and 3 – 0 against Vermont on the nwslsoccer home page and on the header of the article about the game itself. Only if you scroll down do you see a different score of 4 – 0. Ayinde is also listed as scoring in the last minute against Vermont. One would ordinarily assume the 90th minute unless you scroll down and see the summaries where Ayinde’s goal is listed as being scored in the 45th minute. And even in spite of that, one could be forgiven for assuming they meant to say 90th minute, not 45th.

        I just wanted to post results I saw at the NWSL website. I wasn’t trying to overly analyse anything. The inaccuracies and lack of clarity are due to them, not me.

    • Did Boston lose all of their preseason games? I know they lost to FSU and to a U-16 boys team.

      • F0OtballNowAndAlways

        No, they beat Northwestern 7 – 0.

      • F0OtballNowAndAlways

        Here is a link to the u16/17 match write-up from SOCCERWIRE.com

        http://www.soccerwire.com/notes/florida-elite-u1617-boys-defeat-nwsl-boston-breakers-in-friendly/

        I still find it hard to believe that such a yawning gap exists between the abilities of males and females in soccer. The wide discrepancy does not seem to exist in some other sports. The men’s record for the 100 meters dash, for instance, is less than a second faster than the women’s record. I would have expected the disparity to be more like 2 or 3 seconds. And the men’s record for the shot putt is only about 18 inches longer than the women’s. I would have thought something along the lines of 10 or even 15 feet would be the case there too.

        I mean, unless you are an Olympics class male sprinter, you haven’t a demon’s chance at an exorcists’ convention of beating a female Olympics class sprinter. Why then do top echelon female footballers routinely lose to boys only 2 or 3 years removed from puberty?

        Can any physiologists help?

        • Ethan

          I really don’t know how to answer your question. However, I will make three statements.

          1) I don’t think comparison to a sprinting event that lasts for only a matter of seconds is really appropriate. I know the difference in the world records for a mile run is probably still within 30 seconds, but track events covering a distance of at least a mile are more appropriate for this conversation.

          2) Maybe a comparison with other team sports would be helpful. (I am curious how top female tennis players would do against top male tennis players as well.)

          3) Men’s football has been around for a very long time while the first women’s World Cup took place in 1991 under a different name. Maybe in the future, as women’s football is taken and treated more seriously, we’ll see less of the “gap [that] exists between the abilities of males and females in soccer”.

          • F0OtballNowAndAlways

            “I don’t think comparison to a sprinting event that lasts for only a matter of seconds is really appropriate.”

            The fact that only Olympics class male sprinters can beat Olympics class female sprinters is what I am fascinated with here. That is just too close to me, even if these times involve only about 10 seconds.

            And what about the shockingly (I think) small distance between the record throws in the men’s and women’s short put? I mean its only about 18 inches, give or take an inch. That to me is even more impressive (for women) than the disparity in the sprints.

          • Ethan

            Fair enough. I’m just not surprised that there’s less discrepancy in some individual sports like sprinting and shot put.

        • Kevin

          Just doing some quick research…

          Men’s shot put weighs almost twice as much as women’s… 16 lbs vs 8.8 lbs.

          ~1 second is an enormous gap in the 100m dash. The boys high school records in most states, maybe all, shatters the overall womens WR. Even the USA record for 13-14 year old boys is only 0.24 seconds slower.

          • F0OtballNowAndAlways

            The record for the high school 100 meters dash (10 seconds flat) is held by Trentavis Friday. That does not invalidate my point. 10 seconds flat is definitely Olympics class for a man. In the 2012 100 meters dash, the seventh place finisher came in only 1/50th of a second faster at 9.98.

            Your point about the shot putt is well taken though, but that is due more to my inexcusable oversight. I completely forgot that the men and women use short putts of different weights. Realizing that, I would have to say I am even surprised the men can throw it farther than the women at all.

          • Kevin

            1 second, or even 0.5 seconds doesn’t seem like a huge margin in the 100m dash, but it actually is.

            I live in Ohio and just looked at the High School Boys state finals for the last 4 years. Just about every year there’s at least a couple boys beating the women’s WR and several others running the 2nd fastest women’s time ever, and that’s just one event for the state of Ohio. Many of them had better times earlier in the season.

        • guest

          Some quick math tells me that Bolts time vs the fastest female time would see Bolt finish when the fastest women has almost 9m left to run. The fastest 200 meter time for women would finish 20m behind the fastest man

          • F0OtballNowAndAlways

            Good job. No wonder they say a picture is worth a 1000 words. I just did the math myself, and it doesn’t seem so incredulous when the gap is factored in.

  • 349 comments on the Chicago Red Stars preview.. The power of the never ending Christen Press argument..

    • HOFCToDi

      The major issue with the Chicago Red Stars is the lack of bona fide flank midfielders:

      Central Midfielders
      DiBernardo
      Raetzman
      Colaprico
      Da Costa

      Flank Midfielders
      Mautz
      ????

      • MurderOnZidanesFloor

        Could they be planning on using a 433 with Hoy and Huerta as wide forwards? I guess they might play a 442 diamond like last year but I don’t think DaCosta is much of a like for like replacement for Chalupny.

        • Steglitz49

          Not enough players starting with an H?

        • HOFCToDi

          I suspect that Rory Dames will stick with the 4-4-2 diamond tactical formation.

      • Yes I agree with that. Just out of curiosity, is Chicago your favorite team in NWSL?

        • HOFCToDi

          The Chicago Red Stars are my favorite team and I’m most loyal to the players originally drafted by the Chicago Red Stars:
          Hoy – 2013
          Johnston – 2014
          DiBernardo – 2014
          Gilliland – 2015
          Colaprico – 2015
          Huerta – 2015
          Walls – 2015
          Cara Walls may be on the bubble with the selection of Jannelle Flaws in the fourth round of the 2016 NWSL College Draft. The Chicago Red Stars also lost valuable depth with Rachel Quon quitting the NWSL.

          • Steglitz49

            But, they got Casey Short from Norway.

          • another guest

            Casey Short is from Chicago area. She played at U17, U20 and U23 levels for USA, was 4 year starter at FSU and a 1st round draft pick in NWSL 2013 draft. Her unfortunate knee injury (in U23 event post draft but pre start of 2013 NWSL) knocked her out of 2013 NWSL. Chicago traded for her (so she could rehab at home in Chicago) but she re-injured knee before 2014 season. As you note she played well in Norway in 2015 and Chicago was smart to sign her for 2016 NWSL. Short is a quality player who should do very well in NWSL.

          • Steglitz49

            Thank you. These knee injuries.

          • Gary Diver

            2015 draft was good for the Red Stars.

          • HOFCToDi

            Very interesting …..

            thefootballsack.com.au/2016/01/westfield-w-league-201516-team-of-the-year.html

      • Steglitz49

        Why do you keep ignoring Casey Short?

        • HOFCToDi

          Casey Short is a fullback not a flank midfielder.

          Read the match report:

          chicagoredstars.com/red-stars-blank-northwestern-in-preseason-opener/

          • Steglitz49

            Colaprico has been injured a lot.

    • Steglitz49

      Christen Annemarie is quite fetching. If she posed in body paint, the web would melt down. As far as I know she is always decently turned out.

    • Gary Diver

      I hope this helps sells tickets:)

    • Craigaroo

      Yeah, I was wondering how many are Press-related. If anyone bothers to do a count, post it! But on the whole, a very good article by Mr Lauletta.

      • mockmook

        I don’t think such a count will be “fair”.

        Certain commenters are obsessive on Press, it isn’t an accurate reflection of the EQZ community’s overall interest.

  • MurderOnZidanesFloor

    I think Chicago are looking stronger than last year. Naeher is a big upgrade in goal and Short should be a suitable replacement for Hemmings. They could have done with Chalupny for another year though. Also I’m not sure how highly I rate Sam Johnson in defence and I’m not sure who’ll play alongside her when Johnston is on international duty. Overall I think they should make the playoffs, but they do lack cover in some areas so I don’t think its a guarantee.

    • Steglitz49

      Lori Chalupny is 32 and needs to take care of her brain.

    • HOFCToDi

      With Julie Johnston on national team duty, pick one of the two centerbacks that will be available to pair with Samantha Johnson:

      Naughton, Katie
      Gorden, Sarah

      • MurderOnZidanesFloor

        Both straight out of the draft and neither were among the top defenders to be picked. I’m not writing them off completely as I’ve not seen either play and Rory Dames did well out of the draft last season, but I’m definitely not expecting them to be at the same level as the centre backs of Portland and Seattle.

        • HOFCToDi

          Seattle Reign FC does not have any centerbacks allocated to the national team. As a matter of fact, Seattle Reign FC has only one player allocated to the national team with Megan Rapinoe essentially placed on “injured reserve” to use the NFL vernacular.

          • MurderOnZidanesFloor

            Yeah, they don’t need the same depth that Chicago need. I guess an injury or two could see Barnes taken to the Olympics, even as just a reserve, which could mess with Seattle’s back line a bit. Unlikely to happen though.

          • HOFCToDi

            The USWNT already has four centerbacks currently on the 23 player roster:

            Sauerbrunn
            Johnston
            Engen
            Sonnett

            Dawn Scott cleaned the cobwebs off Whitney Engen for the USA-GER match.

          • Gary Diver

            I apologize in advance for my ignorance, but what does Jill Scott have to do with Whitney Engen playing in the Germany game?

          • HOFCToDi

            I corrected the name, Dawn Scott. Jill Ellis has to assign one of the assistants on staff to dust the cobwebs off a severely underutilized player. It’s a joke, by the way.

          • Gary Diver

            Actually that is who I thought you meant:) If there was a USWNT-B team, Engen could be a starter.

            A USWNT-B team probably could beat every national team except maybe FIFA top 10.

    • F0OtballNowAndAlways

      How about something like this for Chicago, because right now, Colaprico is being seriously wasted as a DMid?

      Find another defender to pair with Johnson, assuming she works out. Julie Johnston should be playing DMid, not defense.

      How about playing Johnston, Colaprico and DiBernado in mid, and Press, Huerta and Hoy as forwards? 4-3-3 anyone?

      I am a little apprehensive about a central defense of Johnson and Johnston. The former is unproven and the latter wasn’t particularly outstanding for CRS last year. But I guess we don’t have too much longer to wait to watch this experiment unfold.

      But Colaprico truly is being criminally wasted at defensive mid.

      • MurderOnZidanesFloor

        I think Colaprico could be used further forwards but I don’t think now is the time to try that. She did brilliantly at defensive midfield last season, and this season Chicago have other talented attacking midfielders (Di Bernardo and DaCosta), but not a lot in terms of defensive midfielders.

        Moving Johnston would cause another bigger issue, I feel Chicago’s weakest point is probably their central defenders as it is. Sam Johnson alongside one of the draft picks would be way weaker than the other sides expecting to make the playoffs.

        • HOFCToDi

          Nope!

          Abby Erceg was a roaring tire for the Chicago Red Stars subsequent to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

          • MurderOnZidanesFloor

            Erceg is long gone though. And let’s not forget that she was still making the team above Sam Johnson.

            The point I’m making is playing JJ in midfield would leave Chicago picking centre backs from Naughton/Gorden/Johnson, which is not on the level as Williamson/Sonnett/Menges or Barnes/Corsie/Fletcher.

            Edit: I see you’ve addressed that above!

          • HOFCToDi

            Julie Johnston did not even play midfield for the U-20 USWNT at the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. Julie Johnston is a centerback for the Chicago Red Stars, Danielle Colaprico is a defensive/holding midfielder for the Chicago Red Stars, Samantha Johnston is a centerback for the Chicago Red Stars. Candace Johnson will be available to the Chicago Red Stars this summer once she completes her spring semester.

            As for Abby Erceg comment, Abby Erceg was benched for the second half of the 2015 NWSL Playoffs in lieu of Samantha Johnson.

        • HOFCToDi

          It’s a ridiculous notion. Julie Johnston is by far the best centerback on the Chicago Red Stars roster. Danielle Colaprico is by far the best defensive/holding midfielder on the Chicago Red Stars roster. With the departure of Rachel Quon, I have no idea who will be the backup to Colaprico.

          • F0OtballNowAndAlways

            Julie Johnston the best center back on the Red Stars roster? We’ll have to wait to see Sam Johnson play a season first before we make that determination. However, we already saw plenty of Johnston last year though. The “best” center back who played central defense while the team gave up goals willy nilly during the playoffs race. The “best” center back who committed a give away that led directly to a goal, costing Red Stars 2 points, also during the playoffs race.

            Calling Johnston “by far” the best center back on the Red Stars roster is a moronic characterization. She is not even a regular USWNT starter anymore.

          • HOFCToDi

            Blah! Blah! Blah!

            Julie Johnston made one mistake in one game yet you continue to crucify her. Meanwhile, Abby Erceg made a boat load of mistakes in August and September yet not one word about Abby Erceg.

            Your opinion of Johnston is a moronic characterization.

          • F0OtballNowAndAlways

            Why don’t you enlighten us about this “boatload of mistakes?” You can’t, because this is another case of you repeating myths and inaccuracies in the hope that it will become perceived as fact.

            The fact that Red Stars gave up so many goals in multiple matches with Johnston playing in central D contradicts your glowing assessment of her and your claim that she is being unfairly short-changed for “one mistake”. Saurbrunn essentially put up a “no more goals allowed” sign in the KC defense after she returned from the world cup. So only one player can make a difference in central D.

            At least you responded directly to me this time instead of disagreeing in a post made in response to the post you were disagreeing with.

          • HOFCToDi

            The Chicago Red Stars lost only three games last year.

            Are you going to blame Julie Johnston for the Chicago Red Stars losing to the WNY Flash on June 6, 2015?

            nwslsoccer.com/scripts/runisa.dll?M2:gp::73928+Elements/Display+E+47107+Stats/+5148285

            Who was responsible for marking Amy LePeilbet on a corner kick against FC Kansas City on August 1?

            youtube.com/watch?v=ZkTPu1uAN-s

            Time Stamp 2:16

            Who was responsible for the clown show act in the 18 yard box against the Portland Thorns on August 9, 2015?

            youtube.com/watch?v=Q9avVK7uvJw

            Time Stamp 1:40

            Who was responsible for screening the goaltender against the Portland Thorns on August 9, 2015?

            youtube.com/watch?v=Q9avVK7uvJw

            Time Stamp 3:00

            Are you going to blame Julie Johnston for the Chicago Red Stars losing to the Washington Spirit on August 16, 2015?

            nwslsoccer.com/scripts/runisa.dll?M2:gp::73928+Elements/Display+E+47107+Stats/+5148288

            Who was responsible for goal scored by Ella Masar against the Houston Dash on September 6, 2015?

            youtube.com/watch?v=iDXrh-tfTjM

            Time Stamp 1:30:05

          • F0OtballNowAndAlways

            “The Chicago Red Stars lost only three games last year.”

            But blew blew many victories during the playoff race. When you are trying to make the playoffs, giving up 2 points can be just as bad as giving up 3.

            I see now what you mean by that “roaring tire fire” nonsense you keep spewing about Erceg. You think she should be infallible, never get beaten. By your logic, CRS should go this season without conceding a goal since Erceg is now gone.

            I am concerned with situations where a central defender shouldn’t get beaten, or where she makes a glaring or foolish mistake. Corner kicks are notoriously difficult to defend against. What was she supposed to do, foul LePeilbet? Jump in front of her and head the ball away, on a corner kick hit with pace?

            Your much-loved CRS midfield is more at fault for the Maser goal than Erceg. Where was the midfield when Morgan Brian Ran unchallenged for about a quarter the length of the field through the heart of the midfield? Why was CRS right full back slow in tracking back, leaving Erceg alone to defend the entire central and right side of the field? Is she a superwoman?

            And I can’t believe you posted what you called a debacle in Portland. I can’t believe LaBlanc was not waived from the team right then and there. She tackled Erceg as if Erceg was on the opposing team. Erceg was completely blindsided by the challenge, giving her no time to avoid it. But then, I didn’t expect any honesty from you.

            The only thing your videos prove is what an amazing player Christen Press is.

          • HOFCToDi

            Excuses are for losers.

            You don’t have a freakin’ clue what you are talking about.

            ….. and another one.

            Who was responsible for the goal scored by Stephanie McCaffrey against Boston Breakers on July 18, 2015?

            youtube.com/watch?v=tbOV2ccvtvw
            Time Stamp 3:50

          • F0OtballNowAndAlways

            “You don’t have a freakin’ clue what you are talking about.”

            You or I are obviously biased in this argument, so there’s no point running up the post count with jaundiced back-and-forth posts. Hopefully, others will watch your videos, read both our posts on this little issue, and whatever conclusion they come to, I’ll accept. Till then, I suggest you go back to work, your business or your dinner – whatever you might be engaged with at the moment.

          • HOFCToDi

            You are the clueless moron who is blaming Julie Johnston for all the goals scored against the Chicago Red Stars last season.

            You don’t have a clue what you are talking about.

          • F0OtballNowAndAlways

            “You are the clueless moron who is blaming Julie Johnston for all the goals scored against the Chicago Red Stars last season.”

            I am now convinced you are a potential mass murderer who will go on a rampage if he does not get the attention she craves. Nothing else can explain why you constantly lie, insult people and post outrageously selective statistics.

            I never blamed Julie Johnston for all the goals scored scored against Chicago last year. Nowhere did I state or even imply that. I have repeatedly qualified my criticism of her performance in central defense by invoking the period leading up to the playoffs.

            And although I cannot be expected to be an impartial appraiser of my own abilities, I am quite confident I am not a “clueless moron” as you characterize me.

            Please don’t kill anyone. Posters really have been giving you attention. They really have been mentioning your name.

          • HOFCToDi

            You continue to deny the video evidence presented when time and time again Abby Erceg ball watches, Abby Erceg blunders, or Abby Erceg gets plain smoked.

            Therefore, you are a blithering idiot, a clueless moron, and a worthless troll.

          • F0OtballNowAndAlways

            Just make sure all your guns are safely locked up. That’s all I need you to do for me.

        • F0OtballNowAndAlways

          A response that looks like something posted by a thinking adult, unlike some people who affect arrogance, as if they are on the staff of every single NWSL team.

      • Gary Diver

        “But ‘X’ truly is being criminally wasted at defensive mid” must be one of the most commonly repeated observations made on this website.

      • I actually thought of Johnston for DMid as well. I think she could be valuable there.

        • Paul Klee

          Yeah it’s easier to hammer the ball over the goal line for goal kick from midfield than from the center back position. Sorry for the snark.

          • Snark and banter is the only reason I visit this website.

          • Steglitz49

            Hear hear!

          • F0OtballNowAndAlways

            Johnston doesn’t shoot much anyway. She is more into headers than footwork when it comes to attacking goal.
            With the Red Stars, she doesn’t really get into the attack.

          • Paul Klee

            I was talking about the wasted passes from the back that are 20 yards too long.
            This is where the Red Stars are going to miss Chulupny and her long passing to the forwards. She was great for Press. And why I was excited to see that Engen however briefly was coming to Chicago.

        • F0OtballNowAndAlways

          Her play is far more DMiddish than defense-like. Look at the pass she dished to Press in the U.S./England match at “She Believes”.

      • mockmook

        CRS doesn’t seem to have any good combination of players that you look at the formation and go “Wow!!!”

        I don’t like their attacking posture. So, I’d sacrifice some defense to have a strong attack — I’d make JJ a target Forward, I’d move Gilliland up to LM:

        http://drawformation.com/post/57048e51c931b/sm-57048e51c931b.png

        • F0OtballNowAndAlways

          “I don’t like their attacking posture. So, I’d sacrifice some defense to have a strong attack — I’d make JJ a target Forward, I’d move Gilliland up to LM”

          CRS is fine in attack and attacking mid. The shaky areas are DMid and defense. DMid is essentially all Colaprico. One woman can’t carry that load all by herself. I like a 4-4-2 for Chicago with Press and Huerta up top and Colaprico, JJ and DiBernado among the midfielders.

          If you don’t shore up the midfield, this as yet untested defense will be constantly mauled by strong offenses such as Seattle’s.

    • AlexH

      I think every team lacks cover in certain areas though. CRS young role players played well last year when the WNT players were away so I have a lot of confidence in them.

      Last year their 2 main issues were Erceg and LeBlanc just flat out handing games to the opposition. Not having those two will make the team better all by themselves.

      • Gary Diver

        It is strange that in some cases not having a player improves your team. Improvement by subtraction.

  • Gary Diver

    Just noticed that it is Julie Johnston’s birthday today.

    Nearly half of the Red Star roster is younger than Julie.