USWNT to play Japan on June 2 in Colorado

The Equalizer Staff April 4, 2016 181
Mallory Pugh will not turn professional in the NWSL with Portland Thorns FC, according to her father, who says Pugh will attend UCLA in the fall. (Photo: CONCACAF)

Mallory Pugh will have a chance to wear a U.S. shirt in her home state of Colorado. (Photo: CONCACAF)

The United States will host Japan on June 2 at Dick Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado. The match will kick off at 9 pm. EDT and be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1. A second match that weekend is expected to be announced at a later date. Tickets are on sale Thursday, April 7 at noon EDT via ussoccer.com.

The U.S. most recently thumped Japan 5-2 last July in Vancouver to capture their third World Cup championship. It was the third consecutive global competition that saw the two countries meet in the final. Japan won the 2011 World Cup in penalties over the United States, but the U.S. flipped the result at the following year’s Olympics, winning 2-1. There will not be a fourth straight final this summer in Rio. Japan flamed out at the recent Asian qualifying tournament and finished third in a race for two spots. Australia and China will represent Asia in Brazil. After the qualifying meltdown, Japan coach Norio Sasaki stepped down.

“Given the history and rivalry of these two teams, we know this match will provide challenges and pressures similar to what we will see in Rio,” U.S. head coach Jill Ellis said. “So in terms of preparation, we couldn’t ask for a better match up.”

{ALSO SEE: Equalizer’s 2016 Chicago Red Stars preview}

The match will mark the fourth trip to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park for the United States women. They played one other match in Denver at old Mile High Stadium. Dick’s Sporting Goods Park was also host to the famous “Snowpocalypse” match, a 1-0 qualifying win for the men’s national team over Costa Rica in a 2013 match played on a pitch entirely covered in snow.

The Japan match may run into trouble attracting young soccer fans in the area. Local youth coach Lauren Meehan tweeted that most of the youth soccer programs in Colorado have their final tryouts on June 2.

  • guest

    Are there going to be regular and scab ticket prices?

  • Guest2

    Watch out, Ellis. Sundhage and Sermanni’s final USWNT games were played on the same field against two other AFC opponents…

    • Gary Diver

      You must have a remarkable memory. Didn’t Sermanni win that game?

    • Gary Diver

      Sermanni’s last game was on April 6, 2014 – exactly two year before Wednesday’s Columbia game. Time does fly when you’re having fun.

      • Crazy how fast that went. Who saw us winning the World Cup on April 6, 2014? Not me.

        • Gary Diver

          It goes to show you how much can change in a year. All WC19 roster prognosticators should remember this cautionary tale. Three years can be a very long time in soccer.

          And maybe Tom Sermanni should get more credit than he does for helping USWNT win WC15. In the big picture, his sacking played a big role in the outcome.

    • Lorehead

      But Ellis beat her last three UEFA opponents.

  • Gary Diver

    In addition to Mallory Pugh, Lindsey Horan and Jaenele Hinkle are also from Colorado.

    • Nicole C.

      S. Mewis. McCaffrey, and Naeher’s reactions were quite amusing.

      • Gary Diver

        Yes, especially McCaffrey. Didn’t she say she didn’t want to talk about it?

  • newsouth

    lived 2.5 yrs in the god awful state, will pass on the friendly. i did enjoy the brazil friendly when i lived 2.5 yrs in that god awful state.

    • neko

      I don’t know.. there are nice parts of Colo. Although it has to be admitted Commerce City is not one of them.

      I also lived there for about the same length of time (but back in the early 1970s.. perhaps before you were there). At the time, there were actually quite a few Japanese-Americans living in the area, mainly due to the fact they they (or their parents) had been interned out there during the war and stayed on afterwards. Don’t know how it is today.

    • Tom F

      why would it be such an awful state? Any of the states east of it are flat as a pancake. At least it’s got scenery,skiing, mountain climbing ect. and a few world class resorts.
      but they’ve had more than their share of mass shootings, so you just might have a point!

  • Gary Diver

    USNWT Orlando training camp

    I have tried to follow the USNWT training camp in Orlando for information about Ashley Sanchez’s experience. Ashley never appeared in any of the photos or videos released by USWNT. There were a few nice photos of Mallory Pugh, even one of Allie Long, but Ashley Sanchez doesn’t appear to exist. Has anybody heard anything about her experience? Is USWNT obligated to protect minors from the press?

    • Nicole C.

      I doubt there’s anything of that sort, since it would include Pugh as well. We didn’t see much of Barnes, either.

      • Gary Diver

        Yes, Barnes did quietly disappear. Actually I don’t think they ever got a photo of her up on the US Soccer site. (They currently don’t have a photo of Allie Long.)

        I hope Ashley can see some action in one of the two games, but I expect that will depend on what Ellis has seen from her in the past few days. The other complication is that Ellis is only going to suit 18 of the 23 players for each game. Somebody else previously made the observation that if we see Sanchez’s name on a match roster, she will probably get her first cap.

        • Paul Klee

          See above for reply

          • Gary Diver

            Thanks! That was actually a cool picture. How if Sanchez gets a cap I’ll be happy, though I don’t expect it.

        • Well at least Solo was there to take pictures with her Reign teammate and post them to social media, in Barnes’ case. Unfortunately we’re now stuck with Long being one of the bunch in the 2016 team head shots.

          • Paul Klee

            Did see a picture somewhere of Allie Long sporting #23 Away kit in the team photo shoot.

          • Paul Klee

            Also Ashlyn Harris was wearing #24 in the team photo shoot.

          • Steglitz49

            as in two for the price of four?

          • Gary Diver

            Do you know who determines the players numbers. I’ve been very surprised by how much number flip-flopping goes on. Didn’t Horan have HAO’s number and now HAO has gotten it back

            We all have sports legends that we associate with specific numbers but the USWNT player numbers come and go with the seasons.

          • guest

            number assignment choice seems to follow seniority (# of caps and perhaps date of first cap) but also must be adjusted when “rules” require 1-20 or 1-23 number schemes. The OG and OG qualification with 1-20 # limit did require players to use numbers (Horan #9 etc) normally associated with more senior players (HAO) who were not called up for the OG qualification cycle. Since this call up does include Engen, HAO etc both Engen #6 and HAO #9 have reclaimed their traditional numbers with other less senior players shifting #s as needed.

          • Gary Diver

            Interesting, so there is a reason for the shifting number.

          • Paul Klee

            Yeah, I wouldn’t be surprised if Christen Press reverts to #23 after the Olympics. Just like Abby Wambach went back to #20 after wearing #14 at the London Games. As OG numbers have to be between 1 and 18. With 19 – 22 reserved for OG alternates.

          • Gary Diver

            I don’t know why but Christen Press and #23 go together like ham and eggs.

          • Steglitz49

            Ham and bagels?

          • Gary Diver

            It has been reported that Alex Morgan won’t play tonight due to an injury. If so, doesn’t that mean that either Press or Dunn will be up front in her place?

            And if true, doesn’t this beg the question: Does Ellis need a Non-Morgan Plan B?

            Didn’t Alex start every WC game? Isn’t Alex prone to injury? Since OG are late this year, doesn’t that increase the likelihood that Alex will have injury issues? Nothing in soccer is guaranteed, we are dealing with probabilities.

            Since there will only be a few more USNWT games before OG, it seems to me that Ellis needs to see what her team looks like without Alex Morgan. The whole chemistry and dynamics of the team could be greatly altered. It is better to plan now in April than having to gerry-rig a Plan B during the OG.

          • Steglitz49

            Alex is only needed for the knock-out stage which is 3 games in the OG, of which the first one can be expected to be easy, so really only 2.

          • Gary Diver

            Are you a minimalist?

          • Steglitz49

            Only 4 teams are eliminated by the group play. Wherever the US ends up they should reach the semifinal at least and probably the final.

          • Gary Diver

            I assume the Olympics number rules is not to insure that teams don’t cheat with having more than 18 players on the bench. That would seem a bit anal.

          • Steglitz49

            Did Abby ask for #14 or was it given her?

          • Paul Klee

            Don’t know but since she was senior to most on that team she probably could have taken anyone’s number except for Rampone’s. But Probably for ease just took whatever number was available. Seems like #14 is a newbie number on the #USWNT. I wonder if Brian will eventually change. Maybe to 12 if Press reverts to 23 after th OG.?

          • Steglitz49

            I wonder whether there is some superstition around #14, seeing that it was the number Cruyff wore most of his career. He started in #9 but for one match was forced to wear #14 (#9 was soiled or torn or something) and then just kept playing.

            Cruyff had a private sponsorship deal with Puma. Thus he used to paint over one of the three Adidas stripes on his NT shirt! Eventually Puma and Adidas cut a deal and a shirt with only two stripes was made for him. The owners of Puma and Adidas were brothers.

          • Steglitz49

            In homage to Johan, who started his career in #9 and then switched to #14. 9 + 14 = 23.

          • Gary Diver

            Soccer numerology?

          • Steglitz49

            I wonder how many in the USWNT knew who Cruyff was before he died? Maybe Rampone?

          • Gary Diver

            US Soccer finally today put up a photo for Allie Long.

          • Gary Diver

            Have you noticed that a large number of the pictures that Hope Solo posts include her two backups? It must be perk – if you are a backup for Hope Solo you get to be in a lot of Hole Solo pictures.

    • Daosium

      Sanchez had like 3 pictures front and center among the official images from the camp, and was in the background in a couple others if you’re a good snoop. She was certainly there participating. She’s also in the official portraits that were just released today.

      • Gary Diver

        Where do you find these photographs? Website links would be appreciated.

    • Paul Klee

      Kind of odd that the new roster pics that USWNT put up today Sanchez is the only one not in the new kit?

      • Gary Diver

        I noticed that this morning and asked myself, “does this mean something or does it mean nothing?” I hope doesn’t mean Ashley will be watching both games from the stands:(

        Tomorrow’s game will be played with 40 degree temperatures. It is hard to imagine playing quality soccer under those conditions. If players want to impress Jill the weather conditions will not make it easy.

        P.S. Daosium mentioned below that s/he has seen “official images” with Sanchez. Did you notice them somewhere on the US Soccer website? I couldn’t find them.

        • concerned parent

          your quest for pictures of a 17 year old soccer player are verging toward creepy.

          • Gary Diver

            When is looking at official USWNT pictures creepy? I follow the whole USWNT team and often look at the pictures posted on their website and their twitter. Those official pictures are put there because they want people to look at them.

          • TsovLoj

            trololol

        • Daosium

          She had her portrait taken in the full team kit just like everybody else. I don’t know why it’s not on US Soccer’s site. You can see all the official images by going to isiphotos(dot)com and you can search for USWNT or Ashley Sanchez to narrow it down.

      • guest

        Sanchez head shot pic is from U20 world cup qualification roster.

        • Gary Diver

          The question is “why is Ashley the only member of the roster not in the new kit?” Even Allie Long made the jump from no picture to one in the new kit.

      • Paul Klee

        But today, game day, The only picture up is that of Ashley Sanchez. Good grief! Of course it is in her under 20 kit.

    • guest

      USWNT site notes that Sanchez (who return to attend school) and Hinkle (ankle injury) are not traveling with the team and also notes that Alex Morgan (hip pointer) and Morgan Brian (hamstring) are not available for tonight’s match in Hartford.

      • Gary Diver

        Thanks for the update. Did you notice that US Soccer seems to have changed their USWNT roster page to a “current roster” page for the Colombia games. And it is ironic that the only player on that page with a photo is Ashley Sanchez.

      • Gary Diver

        When is the last time Alex Morgan hasn’t started a game? If Morgan can’t play, I wonder if that means Press or Dunn will be lone forward?

        Also, if Morgan Brian can’t play it may give Allie Long a great opportunity.

  • Paul Klee

    Sam Mewis posted a pic with 1/2 the team sharing an ice bath on 4/1 that included Sanchez.

    • You’re point being what exactly? The team that takes ice baths together sticks together? This is as much of a non-event as you can get.

      • Kevin

        I think his point was that Sam Mewis posted a picture with a bunch of players sharing ice baths and Ashley Sanchez was one of them.

        • Steglitz49

          What is an icebath? If it is what it describes then it ought to be jolly uncomfortable and make your nipples stand up. Maybe that is why he ogled it?

          Those monkeys in Japan have learnt that the hot springs are quite comfortable in winter. They are rather fetching what with show in their fur sitting in the steam.

          • Ethan

            Ice baths are used to help with recovery after training/games, and Lloyd apparently seems to enjoy them while Leroux hates them.

          • Steglitz49

            Thanks for the background. Like one of those training troughs for horses or riding you nag in the waves and wash on the seashore.

          • guest

            It’s hard to imagine anyone enjoys cryotherapy while they are actually doing it. It is ridiculously uncomfortable from personal experience but it is very effective at reducing swelling and tissue breakdown.

          • TsovLoj

            Eh, it’s pretty nice when you don’t have AC at the height of summer and don’t have a convenient beach. Just get some ice and fill the tub.

          • Gary Diver
          • Steglitz49

            Thank you. Were they around in Johan’s days let alone in the days of the Grenoli?

            I say, bring back those Japanese monkeys in their hot springs!

          • Gary Diver

            There has been a lot of USWNT photos of the girls in ice baths.

            Check out: “Doing What Carli Does” where Sam Mewis and Stephanie McCaffrey go around stalking Lloyd to find out the secrets of her success and then attempt to imitate her. Hilarious!

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3HjyMBBobo

            At 1:25, McCaffrey finds Lloyd taking an ice bath and joins her. And then Mewis comes along and tries to fit her 5 foot 11 frame in the same tub.

  • Miami66

    Can’t believe they haven’t played in NY yet since that massive parade. Yankee Stadium would’ve been nice. And guess what – its a GRASS field.

    • Rufan

      Those Yankees just had to open the season at home.

    • TsovLoj

      Wholly agree. Maybe they figure Hartford’s close enough to count?

  • Gary Diver

    Weather in East Hartford, CT

    USWNT is training this morning with temperatures around 25 degrees which will later warm to 37 degrees. Tomorrow’s Columbia game temperature is expected to be around 43 degrees.

    I don’t have any experience, but 40 degrees seems to me to be too cold to play good soccer. Any first-hand experience out there?

    • TsovLoj

      Colombia’s a mountainous country. Bogota’s at an altitude (~8500 ft) where they see those temperatures regularly in wintertime. I’m sure they’ll be fine.

      • Gary Diver

        It is funny but it is easy to think that countries near the equator never see snow. When you don’t know something you tend to fill it in with your imagination.

  • Gary Diver
  • Gary Diver
    • guest

      Public support for USWNT re equal pay has also been expressed by the Australian WNT and the Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) the union that reps all pro footballers (men/women and both Australian MNT & WNT teams) in Australia.

      • guest2

        I wonder if they also support the demise of the NWSL, which is a possible outcome in all this.

        • Gary Diver

          Such an optimist:) I can’t imagine anybody who really wants to see NWSL collapse.

          • guest2

            Point is, if the women have to be paid more, the money will have to come from somewhere and NWSL seems a likely source.

          • Gary Diver

            I hope the USWNT complaint opens up a can of worms and all aspects of how USSF supports women soccer is placed on the table for examination. It is not just USWNT that deserves better, all American women soccer deserves better. The argument that “we can’t afford to do better” is always used by people who really don’t want to do better.

      • Gary Diver

        Colombia’s players claim that they have not been paid in 4 months. Ouch! A few days ago there were rumors that the Colombia team may use these games to make some sort of “statement”. Stay tuned.

      • Gary Diver
        • guest

          same source (the women’s game) also has articles about Matildas and support for USWNT in equal pay efforts as well as a series of articles on PFA negotiations with federation before new contracts were put in place.

          The PFA did negotiate a better contract deal for Matildas (as well as better deal for men and A-league players) so Matildas now at least get a little better base (tier#1, tier#2) contract and remain able to collect club salaries (for play in W-league and other leagues) on top of base contract. Net is more Australians WNTers playing outside of Australia (in NWSL, Japan, Europe etc when the W-league is not in season) which does make pulling the WNT together for camps or friendlies more complicated and expensive (extra travel etc). In last WC cycle Australian federation held long Matilidas camp in Europe pre WC so will be interesting to see how the federation/Matilidas chose to prep for OG. Hopefully they find a way that is not too disruptive for Australian players on NWSL teams. Due to long travel times to/from Australia the FIFA calendar windows are often not long enough to accommodate the travel needed for Australian friendlies. Glad that Australia qualified for OG and hope they do well (up to the point they play vs USWNT).

          • Gary Diver

            The Matildas seem to have a fighting spirit and great personality.

  • Gary Diver

    Why Soccer Should Pay Women’s Players Equally, Regardless Of Revenue?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/uswnt-equal-pay-us-soccer_us_56fda313e4b0a06d5805596c

    “Simply focusing on revenue ignores the sport’s sexist history.”

    Historically investment in women soccer has much less than men soccer. Of course the apologist will say, “that’s fair because men soccer brings in more money”. But that self-serving argue is really just a justification for the status quo: those who have will get and those who don’t have can wait and wait and wait.

    • Steglitz49

      Reality is a bit different. Tough cheese but there it is, moldy or not.

    • mockmook

      Good grief, simply focusing on real or imagined historical grievances doesn’t get you anywhere either.

      • Gary Diver

        The historical backdrop in this case may play a role in its outcome. Cases involving claims of discrimination often look for consistent patterns in the past. And if USSF is required to open all of its books, they may have to share embarrassing information.

        Nobody knows where this is going to end up. It may be a historic case or it may just disappear. Some people think that if USSF and USWNT can come to some agreement a requirement will include USWNT dropping its civil rights complaint. We will all have to wait to see which way the wind blows.

        • mockmook

          More likely the political makeup of the EEOC will determine the outcome — regardless of facts.

        • Steglitz49

          Seeing that the USSF seems to be taking this in their stride, it could be the ladies that are in for a cold shower.

          • Gary Diver

            Good stories often have unexpected endings.

  • Steglitz49

    Kind of Japan to come state side so soon to play again. What might be the score? 7-0?

    • Gary Diver

      I love JJ but maybe she shouldn’t play since she was responsible for all of Japan’s WC goals.

      • Steglitz49

        Maybe the cop who booked the goat could referee the match?

        • guest

          Do you enjoy kicking people when they’re down?

          • JL

            Compared to schoup, who refuses to engage in civil discussion and only knows how to throw insults, Steg is tolerable at times. Not that that’s hard to do, mind you.

          • Steglitz49

            Glasshouses, glasshouses.

    • another guest

      Japan has frequently come over as part of build up to WC/OG and (recent WC excluded) normally give US a very tough match. My understanding is the initial plans for June matches between USWNT and Japan WNT were already in the works pre Japan not qualifying. Glad Japan agreed to US/Japan match

      • Steglitz49

        Volvo sponsored a little tournament i Sweden in 2012 before the OG between Japan, USA and Sweden — the 1, 2 and 3 from WC-11. The only problem was that not that many bothered to turn out to watch, the perennial problem of WoSo.

        • Gary Diver

          Is it generally true that people will come to watch national games only if (1) their country is involved and/or (2) it is the WC or OG?

          The structure of SBC was interesting. The first and third “games” occurred during the middle of the week and the US game was the second game. I was at Tampa and the turn-out for the France-Germany game was terrible. One complication is that the non-US game started late afternoon and most people were probably coming home from work. To allow the most people to watch the USWNT, the US had to play the second game. Still, it was surprising to me how few people showed up to see No. 2 versus No. 3.

          The Nashville “games” were played on a Sunday afternoon, the US vs France game was first and a reasonable number of people stayed to watch the England vs Germany game.

          The question is whether people come to WoSo games because they like women soccer or only because they want to support “their team”?

          • Steglitz49

            I doubt that matches between the men’s teams of Eng, Fra and Ger would be badly attended, even if they started in the afternoon.

            Women go and watch figure skating (like in Boston last week), show jumping and gymnastics. They also go to other sports like tennis and the skiing events. There are not that many of them at male soccer matches but in absolute numbers they may well outnumber the women who go to WoSo matches.

            There may well also be differences between countries in who attends WoSo matches.

            The fact that after 25 years of ladies world cups and 20 years in the olympics, attendance even at NT matches is not stellar, suggests something gut about WoSo. It could be a failure of marketing — but after 25 years? The FA women’s Cup will be 45 this year and the Spanish and Swedish ladies Cups 35.

          • Gary Diver

            Good observations on a perplexing problem. For WoSo to go forward, attendance at their games has to somehow increase.

            Lack of investment and poor marketing of women soccer is part of the problem, but as you noted the past 25 years indicates other problems are at play.

            I wonder if there are any parallels with Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and the new National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL).

            Some critics have claimed that women are often hypocritical in that they complain but don’t support women sports by attending them.

            At SBC there were thousands of excited young girls who essentially brought their families to the games. That interest needs to be promoted long-term.

          • Steglitz49

            I contend that there is an unholy alliance between sports editors, sports writers and men’s soccer to keep the ladies game off the screen and as few column-inches as possible.

            It is not the male stars like Messi and co that are worried but all those 3rd rate and worse men and their associates, who would be wiped out if the ladies got more attention.

      • Gary Diver

        Wonder if they will be auditioning a new coach?

  • Gary Diver

    News Flash: Abby Wambach pleads not guilty

    Strange, but apparently it is normal to plead not guilty during the arrangement even if the person admits guilt. This allows her lawyer to work on the case and deal with the details.

    And a different perspective on Abby’s fall from grace:

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/04/04/opinions/wambach-driving-under-the-influence-opinion-cevallos/

    • Nicole C.

      This “legal analyst” has no grasp of what DUI is. The qualitative clause isn’t the officer “just concluding” a driver is intoxicated- clear impairment can and should lead to an arrest, .08 BAC or not.

  • Gary Diver

    Soccer and inclement weather

    Has USSF ever canceled a game due to inclement weather? Tomorrow the temperature for the Colombia game is suppose to be in the 40s. If there are strong winds, it would be miserable to play soccer. If it snowed it could even be dangerous.

    • new england area uswnt fan

      Matches are often delayed for lightning, not sure if/when USSF might have ever cancelled a match due to weather.

      A few years back (Oct 2012) the USWNT v Germany match was played (to a draw) in a match long heavy rainstorm at Rentschler Field in Hartford, but 18k+ of the crazy New England area soccer fans showed up anyway.

      My understanding is that over 20K tickets have been sold for Wed match at Rentschler Field and expect that most of the crowd will not let the weather keep them from attending.

      • Gary Diver

        20K in the stands will definitely warm the players hearts, if not their feet.

      • JL

        They had to postpone a game in Atlanta two years ago due to freezing rain, but that was because Atlanta isn’t used to that type of weather and doesn’t have the same snow removal protocol in place that a city like Hartford does. And the postponement was only one day.

        • guest

          I had forgotten about Atlanta, match was to be played indoors at Georgia Dome but weather was so bad the concern was fans could not travel safely.

    • HOFCToDi

      You want snow?

      youtube.com/watch?v=_gM6fhwkeuY

      • Gary Diver

        AMAZING! But I wonderful if the slippery conditions could easily cause an injury?

      • Gary Diver

        I am amazed that they didn’t clear the snow off the field. That field of snow had to be more dangerous to play on than the Hawaiian turf where USWNT refused to play a few months ago. On slippery surfaces it is very easy to get knee injuries.

    • Gary Diver

      Snow training in Connecticut

      USWNT took their snow day yesterday in stride.

      http://collinsvillepress.com/2016/04/u-s-womens-soccer-team-comes-to-farmington-to-train-in-the-snow/11039/

  • Gary Diver

    Last games before OG?

    Are the two Japanese games the last games USWNT will play before OG? If so, USWNT will only play two games between April 10 and OG nearly 4 months away.

    • guest

      USWNT will hold a camp sometime in May, play Japan in June, have publically stated they will also schedule 2 prep/sent off matches in July (July match dates etc not yet announced for July but FIFA calendar window for OG starts 14 days – around Jul 20 – before the first OG match on August 3rd and all NT players must be released by clubs for NT duty in those FIFA calendar international match windows).

      • Gary Diver

        I hope they can find a team to play in July that doesn’t play bunker soccer. That would be useless for their OG preparation.

        • Steglitz49

          How about Norway or Holland?

          • Gary Diver

            Canada is playing the Netherlands on April 10th in Eindhoven. I think it is a single game. In June, about the same time USWNT plays Japan, Canada will be playing two games against Brazil in Canada. I find that odd since that will mean that Canada will have played Brazil 5 time between mid-December and mid-June. Maybe nobody else like to play rugby-soccer with the Canadians.

            Getting back to your suggestion. People always say good things about the Dutch. And I like their uniforms:)

          • Steglitz49

            Brilliant orange.

            You may be right about Canada having a hard time to find teams willing to play them. Brazil I presume is a question of lack of money.

            Canada know that to repeat OG-12 will be a tall order, though they ought to be able to challenge for a place in the semi-finals and once there, anything could happen. More likely is that they lose in their QF.

          • Gary Diver

            An aside: Would anybody care about OG if it was U23 like the men? I guess we could highlight Colaprico and Lavelle.

          • Steglitz49

            Yes. I expect people will care much more than they do today AND it would help drive WoSo forward.

            The Veterans proved, if proof was needed, that the WC is the real McCoy. The US wore 2 stars for a long time and now 3 stars. They did not add the OG stars, did they?

            The ladies U23 is a team without meaning. Norway and sweden stage a mini-tournament where the US usually takes part but else, what? Let’s give them a purpose.

  • Daosium

    Looks like no Sanchez caps this time around. I wonder how she did in the camp.

    • What makes you say that?

      • Daosium

        She went back to school. She’s not on the 18 roster.

        • Thanks, just saw US Soccer’s tweet. It makes me think that Sanchez was probably in training during her school spring break in order to get her some time with the team and wasn’t expected to see any game time, even if she did practice well all week.

          • Gary Diver

            The U17 team is having a training camp from April 16-23 and Sanchez was excused from attending. You can interpret this different ways, but I think it was a big plus for Ashley.

          • #1Fan

            what was a big plus ?

          • Gary Diver

            Getting the opportunity to meet Ellis, her staff, and the USNWT players. Training for 6 days with Mallory Pugh by her side was a valuable soccer education. Sanchez now knows first-hand what NT level soccer involves in terms of speed, communications, team work, and technical skills. It is not possible to appreciate these things just by watching film.

            As Pugh said about her own first NT training experience about a year ago, it gave her perspective and motivated her to get back with the NT team. And as I said above, the ball is now in Sanchez’s court. If she shines at U17 WC and U20 WC, she will be back with USWNT in 2017.

          • #1Fan

            I am not a believer in playing on multiple YNTs . You should be playing at the highest level your talent can support and on that team alone. If its U17 fine . if U20 great. We should be using these spots for as many deserving kids as possible. As far as the camp experience. Who knows, probably a good thing. I will say again, I don’t see how shining vs U17 competition is necessarily development.

          • Gary Diver

            You make good points.

            I am a women soccer neophyte so my “opinions” are not any more informed than anybody else’s on this bog. But it does seem to me that USWNT focuses on identifying young talent that down the road could become star players. And the head coaching staffs of the women program (April Heinrichs, Jill Ellis, Michelle French, and B. J. Snow) seem to do a lot of note comparing.

            I heard Mark Sampson on the BBC broadcast of the SBC US-England match almost scream out asked when he was asked about Mallory Pugh: “where in hell does the US keep on finding players like that?”

            I am not making a judgment call of whether it is good or bad to focus on young prodigies. I realize that it is probably disheartening to young players with moderate talent who slowly raise the ladder to find someone else catapulted over them.

            I know we disagree on Pugh accomplishments and potential but I’ve been looking at clips of the last few games, especially the SBC games which I saw in person and I feel it is amazing what she has done in essentially two months. And it is only fair to expect her to develop much more with additional experience.

            As for as Sanchez goes, she has been picked out and she knows what she needs to do to get called back up in 2017. We will see what she does with her opportunity.

            Another “picked out” young player is Rose Lavelle. I was a little surprised she didn’t stick, but things will look better for her after the Olympics.

          • #1Fan

            I don’t disagree on potential. I don’t think she has done anything meaningful in the game yet and should simply be allowed to do that without all the hype. Im not being funny when I say I don’t find it amazing. Frankly I see it as amore a reflection on where the womens game is. I am more amazed at how a player like Dunn who is limited technically is able to stand out in games. I am more amazed how a Horan can play a new position and be effective. All these things tell me where the global game is ….and its not very strong.
            I don’t have any issue with prodigies either. My point is that if you want to bring Sanchez in to a full NT camp for experience …Great. But she should be on the U20 team then and that’s it. The USA should be capable of winning these events with all the players they have . The YNT set up is more than Pugh or Sanchez and to flip these kids up and down like they are going to be the difference between winning and losing is a terrible indictment of the system .
            Everything I see in the set up here is troubling. Instead of the NT being the pinnacle of development, it is pretty much a separate entity. A Club to which the membership rules are not clear. Once you are in that club, the actual difficulty of games largely becomes easier, a few signature games aside. Your comment about the failure of the U20s with Pugh says what ? Tells me that with superior players and investment, the USA failed to advance. Points to either bad selection, bad luck or that the other teams were better. if those teams were better at U20, where are they now at the full INTL level. Your comment about Sampson says what? that he had not seen Pugh before ? if not, he is asleep at the switch.
            I enjoy our debates, but be careful not to misunderstand my position . I like both Pugh and Sanchez. I love seeing young talent brought through. I have issues with the need to win impacting the development of players along the way . The USA has more than enough players to win these events and I don’t think it helps the team or morale to parachute saviors into teams. To make the whole greater than the sum of the parts, you need spirit and cohesion. Don’t for a minute think that the other girls like it. If Pugh and Sanchez have earned the right to be playing up, then they should continue there and allow other kids the opportunity to take the spots left behind.

          • Gary Diver

            A thought just crossed my mind. Much of the US soccer policy seems to be based on the need to win and to set records. Even at the NT level the “importance” of the 100+ game non-losing home game streak was somewhat strange since we were dealing in most cases with Friendlies. For USWNT the term “Friendly” is a misnomer – there are no practice games for them.

            Why does Hope Solo start every Friendly? Somebody pointed out yesterday that Solo is approaching 100 shutouts and 200 wins.

            Americans, both fans and players, love winning and they love seeing records broken. If you focus on these things, then experimenting and taking risks on the field are restricted.

          • #1Fan

            and that is why its poorly managed. But it can be when you keep churning out players based on the sheer volume playing. I remain amazed how long term players play heavy minutes in meaningless games vs overmatched opposition. Its overkill. Bullying and not needed. you learn ZERO. I feel bad for the 20 somethings who have been deprived of opportunity by a stupid insistence of playing older players for as long as they win. I really think the fear is that other p[layers would do just as well. the only route to the NT is training camps and the route to getting invited is really not clear.
            As long as this persists, not much will change.

          • Gary Diver

            Food for Thought

            I greatly enjoy our discussions. They give me a different perspective and make me think. I like this site but there are some people that are both arrogant and mean-spirited. It is nice to have a thoughtful discussion with someone whom you want to hear their views.

            We may disagree about both Pugh and Sanchez for the next two years, but it will be fun disagreeing.

          • #1Fan

            we actually agree on both. I just don’t think it helps to get carried away. I believe strongly that if good enough you should play. with the state of WoSo, on the US squad, good enough is a very political question.

          • Gary Diver

            I live in Canada and am a dual citizen. I really don’t like John Herdman for a number of reasons, but he did make an interesting comment during the CONCACAF OQ tournament. He admitted that the US has the best team in the world, but he then said that the US does not have the best team per dollar investment nor the best team per million population. Food for thought.

          • #1Fan

            he is correct.

          • Gary Diver

            One of the problems with US women soccer starts at the top. There are too many good players and not enough slots for them. The USWNT has only about 22 slots and I believe there is enough good talent to make at least two national teams USWNT-A and USWNT-B and the “second team” could probably beat every other national team in the world except the top 10.

            At every level in the US, there are more talented women players than slots. And this reality is certainly an argument against double dipping. But, of course, the expectation to always win by both players and fans is an argument in favor of double dipping.

          • Gary Diver

            Pugh and Sanchez

            Let’s come back in two and a half years (fall 2018) before the WC19 preparations and compare notes about Pugh and Sanchez. Time will reveal all things, as they say.

            One major misunderstanding in national team discussions is that people tend to conflate the best team with the team of the best players. They are completely different things. All-star teams often are not the best teams in terms of playing the best soccer. The goal of all teams is to win games and showcasing individual talent should be secondary.

            Jill Ellis’ job is to construct a team that plays the best soccer. Team talents are more important than individual talents. What Pugh brings to the team impresses me more than what she can currently do as a 17 year-old individual player.

            I went to all of the SBC games partly because I wanted to see first-hand some of the best players in world: Lucy Bronze, Amandine Henry, Dzsenifer Marozsán, among others. Unfortunately Henry was injured and didn’t play. Everyone seems to claim that Marozsán is one of the best players in the world but what I saw was a great individual player who didn’t seem to be a great team player. (She does have a dangerous canon shot from anywhere on the field.)

            If you look at the Pugh-Bronze match-up you see what Pugh brings to the field for the team. Bronze is a very important part of England’s offensive attack and Pugh forced Bronze to play back and neutralized her completely. That was in addition to beating Bronze individually on several occasions. That showed me that Pugh has an important team component of play that transcends her individual play.

          • #1Fan

            maybe. my point remains that until the concept you just stated is the difference between winning and losing, it wont matter. Currently it isn’t. The US won the WC in spite of itself. They still played a largely disjointed , individual game and won. They could probably do so again. It is currently an allstar team based on marketing. the only differences you see now is the attempt to “make” new stars for the public to identify with and phase out some older ones. HAO could still play on this team and the results would not change at all.

          • Gary Diver

            “HAO could still play on this team and the results would not change at all.” It is unlikely that we will see that experiment.

          • #1Fan

            I agree, but it is more to illustrate a point. it really does not matter much.

          • Gary Diver

            If you disagree with Sanchez being on both the U17 and U20 teams, I assume you also disagree with Pugh being on both the U20 team and the NT. Winning the U20 WC is a big deal and not having Pugh on the team would definitely hurt the team’s changes of winning this difficult tournament.

          • I don’t know if disagree is the right word for me, but clearly Pugh is a part of the full NT now. She will keep getting called in and is very likely going to the Olympics, maybe as a starter. In my mind, once you reach the highest level, why play back down with lower levels, just because your age allows? If it comes to U20 World Cup vs. full NT camps/games at the same time, I personally want Pugh with the full NT. That is the level all of the U20’s are trying to reach after all.

          • Steglitz49

            The U20 WC is in December. No clash with the senior WNT.

          • My thought was just in general. She is now a part of the senior NT. It would benefit the U20 team to have her, not the other way around really.

          • Steglitz49

            Thank you. I think both Mallory and Ashley should play in their age-groups.

            It is easy to forget that their ages and they should be allowed to be those ages and with their peers, not with women 10-15 years older and even more in the NT.

          • Gary Diver

            So if it was up to you, Mallory Pugh would not be allowed to be on the USWNT?

          • Steglitz49

            I did not type that, did I?

            The gist of my comment was that they should be allowed to be their ages.

          • Gary Diver

            The U20 WC is a big deal. The US has not done particularly well over the years. They won in 2012 with a team loaded with familiar names like Julie Johnston, Morgan Brian, Crystal Dunn, Sam Mewis, among others.

            But the 2014 team, which included Lindsey Horan, Rose Lavelle, and Mallory Pugh, did not get past the quarter finals. I expect Mallory would like an opportunity for some redemption for what happened in 2014.

          • Maybe you are right. Although I’m sure an Olympic Gold will suffice instead, should the US win it.

            That’s why I said “disagree” may not be the best word for me to use, as I can see reasons she would go to the U-20 World Cup. I guess it is just my personal preference that now that she has been fully integrated with the senior team, she stays playing at the highest level.

          • Gary Diver

            I believe what happens after the OG will be largely determined by how well USWNT does at the games. If USWNT wins gold they will become a mythical team who did something no other team in history has done.

            Attempting to win OG immediately after WC is something never done before. I imagine USWNT players realize both how difficult it will be to do and their place in history if they can accomplish it. There has to be a lot of pressure on the players, especially when you consider their current conflict with USSF.

            This is one of the reasons I believe Ellis wasn’t calling Sanchez to camp as a tryout to replace one of the veterans. Ellis knows this is no time to look for new players to be worked into the team, it is time to get the team playing like a championship team. And I’m sure Sanchez was told by Ellis that her time will come.

          • Steglitz49

            Indeed. It would not warm the cockles of U-20 &/or U-17 players if their teams lost without a top class player unavailable. Likewise their parents, siblings and friends.

          • Gary Diver

            And, of course, everyone should visit Papua New Guinea once in their life.

            P.S. A major soccer tournament in Papua New Guinea? That’s a topic of conversation for another day.

          • Steglitz49

            FIFA wants to stage their WCs all around the world. I don’t know how it became Papua New Guinea and in December. Do you? Who bid and who dropped out.

            The U17 WC will be in Jordan and last year’s U19 Euros were in Israel.

          • #1Fan

            I said Youth teams. but I do think that the only way a NT regular should be dropping down to a YNT is if there is a loss of form.

          • Gary Diver

            It is good to have a discussion on team double-dipping. Personally I don’t have strong feelings either way and can see arguments for both sides. And I can understand why youth team players and their parents feel shortchanged when national youth team slots are taken by double dippers.

            I assume that there is a history of the double-dipping policy. Somebody in a past discussion pointed out that some of the best European women players had played at the same time on both their youth team and national team.

            P.S. We will have to agree to disagree about U20 WC. U20 is the launching pad for many, if not most, of the younger NT players. If you look at our 2012 U20 team you see a large number of players who have made a name for themselves: Julie Johnston (captain), Morgan Brian, Crystal Dunn, Sam Mewis, Kealia Ohai, Vanessa DiBernardo, Cari Roccaro, and others. The U20 WC played a big role in the development of these players.

          • #1Fan

            I don’t see how you draw the conclusion on the development role it played. Or that winning it somehow meant the development was more relevant. Parents have zero to do with it. I fail to see how double dipping benefits anyone, but the coach’s resume. As far as YNTs in general, they are fun for the players involved. But the coaching itself is not better as most of the coaches are ECNL people anyways. Its the same. The only differentiator is the camaraderie amongst the players. You can replicate the quality by training with older/better players so its not that fort some.
            I restate that I see no argument for double dipping.

          • #1Fan

            That is the biggest flaw in all of this. the U20 WC is not a big deal. None of the Youth events are. Go look at who has won them and what impact it has had. But lets say it is a big deal, If one player is the difference, then it highlights what a terrible job is being done .

    • Gary Diver

      I doubt very much that Ellis brought Sanchez into camp with any expectations of her displacing one of the veterans. Barring injuries I think Ellis has decided on her Olympic 18.

      People should remember that Sanchez is nearly a year younger than Pugh. Did you see the “Mallory Pugh: A Day in the Show”? That occurred in January of last year. It is interesting that Mallory admitted feeling extremely nervous the first time she was training with the NT.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhHphuWLFk8

      Like Mallory, this training opportunity with the NT must have been a great opportunity for Ashley. She got to talk to Ellis and her staff and had the opportunity to meet the USWNT players. Can you imagine how unsettling that could be? Anyway, Sanchez got to train with the NT about the same time in her life as Mallory and instead of one day of training, she got 6 days. And I assume she roomed with Mallory. They are good friends and having Mallory by her side had to help her.

      If she wasn’t going to make the match roster for the Colombia games, it is better that she goes home this way than coming to the games and sitting in the stands.

      My guess is that she now has some good first-hand experience about what it takes to be on the USWNT. She was probably given a lot of feedback and some “homework” to work on. Finally, she will be involved with both U17 WC and U20 WC (with Pugh) at the end of the year. If she shines there, the door will open for her.

  • Also no Alex or Morgan Brian tonight.. Let’s hope Press gets a start.

    Press
    Pugh Lloyd Heath
    Long Horan
    Kling Sauerbrunn JJ O’Hara
    Naeher

    Is my guess for a starting XI

    • Gary Diver

      I would agree and add two comments:

      1. This would be great opportunities for both Press and Long.

      2. If Ellis doesn’t start one of Solo’s back-ups, a lot of questions should be asked.

      • Agreed, the backups need to play. I suspect it will be Naeher because she is the hometown girl and also looks to be the preferred #2 at this point.

        • Gary Diver

          I don’t know why, but Naeher has grown on me over time.

          • Me too. I would be happy to see her as the 2nd Olympic GK.

          • Gary Diver

            I just notice a US Soccer promo for today’s game that includes pictures of Tobin Heath, Whitney Engen, and Alyssa Naeher. I wonder if they know something we don’t know?

          • Possibly. I actually thought the same thing this morning when I saw it, and also thought how refreshing it was that we got a promo that didn’t have either Alex or Clari on it. Either way, we should know here momentarily.

    • I was two off… Dunn instead of Press. Which was a coin flip for me anyway.
      But come on, why is Solo starting this game??

      • Gary Diver

        Hmm . . . So Ellis is going with a 4-3-3? I hope Dunn makes the most of this opportunity to be on top. But starting Solo in every game makes no sense. It is flirting with disaster during OG. (Canada doesn’t have McLeod and they are panicking.)

        • Yea it is pretty ridiculous. I suspect Naeher will probably get the second half but would a full game hurt? Also, I assume this lines up as more of a 4-3-2-1, with Dunn playing in the striker role that Morgan usually has. Maybe not though..

          • Gary Diver

            Good for Dunn:)

        • Guest

          I’ll believe it’s a true 4-3-3 when I see it or Lloyd out of the lineup.

          • Gary Diver

            And who says that Press is the most controversial player on this site? I could suggest someone else.

          • Guest

            I’m shocked they actually played a 4-3-3

  • Rdalford

    USWNT site already has announced a sellout for the June 2nd WNT v Japan match.

    “CHICAGO (April 8, 2016) – The U.S. Women’s National Team match against Japan on June 2 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado, is sold out, including 1,000 standing-room-only tickets. The match will be broadcast on FS1 at 7 p.m. MT from the home of Major League Soccer’s Colorado Rapids, which seats more than 18,000 fans.”