Morgan, Johnston lift U.S. past Japan in rematch

The Equalizer Staff June 5, 2016 507
The USWNT celebrates Alex Morgan's goal against Japan. (Photo Copyright Erica McCaulley for The Equalizer)

The USWNT celebrates Alex Morgan’s goal against Japan. (Photo Copyright Erica McCaulley for The Equalizer)

Lightning didn’t strike twice on Sunday for the U.S. women’s national team after a bizarre 3-3 draw with Japan on Thursday, but once was enough to halt the rematch in the 76th minute.

Julie Johnston and Alex Morgan scored to lift the U.S. past Japan, 2-0 at FirstEnergy Stadium in a match called off in the 76th minute due to inclement weather. The result comes three days after the U.S. rallied from 2-0 down and blew a lead in stoppage time to draw Japan.

Johnston opened the scoring in the 27th minute, tapping in the ball at the far post after a low cross from Allie Long. Meghan Klingenberg had played Long in behind Japan’s defense after a botched free kick was mis-cleared, giving the U.S. a second chance. Replays showed that Johnston appeared to be offside.

Morgan’s goal came in the 62nd minute, doubling the United States’ lead. Crystal Dunn received a ball from Johnston and Dunn, the 2015 NWSL MVP, played a low cross right into the path of Morgan.

Dunn also appeared to be offside on the initial ball from Johnston, but no call was made.

Morgan played creator eight minutes prior to her goal, springing Christen Press in behind Japan’s defense. Press opted for a square ball to Tobin Heath, who couldn’t convert the ball at the far post after trying to take a controlling touch. Morgan also nearly scored in the opening seconds of the first half, but was denied by Japan goalkeeper Erina Yamane.

Press had several opportunities in only her fourth start of the year. Her right-footed shot in the opening minute of the match went off the face of Yamane. Press also put an early second-half opportunity wide of the frame from 20 yards out after Tobin Heath played Press into space.

[MORE: Canada falls 2-0 to Brazil in disappointing display]

Morgan and Press paired together up top in what looked at times like a more traditional 4-4-2.

U.S. players will next convene ahead of a July 9 meeting with South Africa in Chicago. The National Women’s Soccer League resumes next weekend.

Japan, which beat the U.S. in the 2011 World Cup final and lost to the Americans in the 2012 Olympic gold-medal game and the 2015 World Cup final, failed to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympics. New coach Asako Takakura brought a young roster to the U.S. for the pair of games.

On Thursday in Commerce City, Colo., the visitors jumped out to an early 2-0 lead before the U.S. scored three straight to take the lead in the final minutes, only to concede the equalizer to Japan in stoppage time.

[LAULETTA: Five thoughts on Rampone’s decision to walk away]

  • Paul Klee

    Thought it was more of a 4-4-1-1 as Press was seemingly doing more backtracking defensive work. But they were both up front.

    • kernel_thai

      It was the way they play it with Lloyd. Sometimes Lloyd is higher and sometimes Morgan. I actually thought it was very effective the times Morgan was behind Press looking to slip ball thru.

      • Don B.

        I would much rather have Press than Lloyd any day of the week.

  • sudeep das

    Both goals iffy in the offside rule?

    • Guest

      Both pretty clearly offside from my view.

      • sudeep das

        Thought so

    • HOFCToDi

      youtube.com/watch?v=lMUTJfn81oE

    • Steglitz49

      Got to have replay before goal is confirmed. It is only a question of time. Probably by WC-18.

  • Guest

    Really enjoyed some of the connections between Heath, Press, and Morgan. Wish they’d be able to get more time together.

    • kernel_thai

      Even tho it didnt produce any goals for Press I loved her in this roll and I loved the freedom it gave Morgan.

      • Cc W

        Best that CP has played in awhile and of course it has to do with getting the opportunity. Great for CP!

        • Observed

          Press blew a wide open goal. She does not need to make the trip to Rio. We already have a star forward in Morgan, with no time required to make her better. People keep hoping Press will have this break-out moment, but it never arrives. Time to move on. Morgan in form is peerless.

          • Ethan

            Morgan also blew a wide open goal the last match. Not finishing a clear cut chance shouldn’t stop Ellis from giving Press starts considering how good of a player she is. Plus, even though I’m a bigger fan of Morgan’s overall play, Press is the better finisher of the two.

          • Steglitz49

            The real argument is that JE needs a sub for Alex and Christen can be that. JE would love to be able to rest a few players so Christen can play in Alex’s stead as well as be her supersub.

          • Andrew Alberico

            Christen should not be a sub. She and Alex have to be on the field at the same time.

          • #1Fan

            not like for like . I see Dunn more similar to Morgan and consistent with the current attacking philosophy. Press is a flank player OR 2nd striker in the current set up. Not sure they will roll out that line up you saw last night again . To me, that was specifically designed to counter Jpn possession. I think that is a shame in many ways. Again the need for a result is what drives these changes. I think last nights line up SHOUL be the base set up really. Press needs to play.

          • Bruce

            Dead on re: Dunn. She’s clearly the team’s best second option up top under the current model.

          • Steglitz49

            With 16+2 players will needs double up, like when you stage a play on tour.

          • I honestly think that Dunn, Pugh, Press, and Alex can all equally sub for each other. They may be more effective either up top, in the center, or on the flank, but that doesn’t mean they are ineffective in any of the other spots.

            They have all shown that they can assist and score, so it really shouldn’t matter much who starts and who subs. If Alex and Press both start, Dunn or Pugh can sub for them, no problem.

          • necron99

            I don’t know why people keep making that statement. I am not sure how finely people are skimming the cream to call Press a better finisher. How are you defining finisher? The NWSL stats would say that is not that case.

            They are different players to be sure, but I would say Press excels at shots from around the top of the box, and poaching. Morgan excels at running between the lines taking the ball in, and poaching.

          • Guest

            The people who value xG would tell you that the best finishers outperform their xG over a large sample. Finishing ability is difficult to quantify although some chose to focus on efficiency.

          • necron99

            And hence the stats currently show that Press is underperforming her xG, ie is not a better finisher? I am trying to understand peoples meaning for finisher. Why say she is a better finisher?

            It mostly seems to be the appeal of her style to some viewers, or even her personality. I have no problem with people having preferences, everybody does. There is nothing wrong with that. I do not understand the vehemence that people seem to have for Press being the better finisher. I endeavor to understand what they mean.

          • Guest

            I think she slightly outperforming her xG. She has 3 goals with an xG of 2.54. Mcdonald with 2 and an xG of 2.89 is underperforming unless I got something wrong. Up until this year I think she was the better finisher stats wise in both league and NT duty. Morgan has been better so far this year but many of the avid Press supporters will point to the difference in minutes and position. I don’t think that Press is definitely a better finisher though. Both Morgan and Press have been good in the NWSL. I attribute Press’ more opportunities to Chicago being a better team than Orlando but I do think Press has been very good too.

          • max

            they are morons

          • Ethan

            I will admit that I’m going by my memory of Morgan and Press’ finishing.

            I agree with your comment on Press excelling at shots around and outside the box, and that’s the critical difference between Press and Morgan’s finishing for me because I think Press is just as good of a finisher as Morgan inside the box.

            It’s just my personal opinion though, and I definitely think Morgan’s a quality finisher. Her read on how Dunn’s pass was coming into her was very good.

          • necron99

            I think you should watch that June 2014 game against France to see how good Morgan’s finishing is in the box. Danced through the box, turned defender of the year Wendi Renard and finished past Bouhaddi. Morgan has not had many balls played to her in the box since 2012.

            Press has the wonderful hit to herself and turn to shoot goal. Morgan has the left foot over the keeper and defender followed by right foot volley goal. Both very good goals.

            They both can score good goals. Morgan has scored some 18 yard shots for the NT and in club play. The biggest difference to me is that Morgan seems to force her way open to a shot more often, and cuts back when she gets too far to the endline. I wish we had a 4-4-2 with Press crashing the box to take advantage of that, the way Wambach did in 2012.

          • john eric

            I thought Press played a better game. She defended well and made good passes. If anything, Heath was too slow to the pass from Press ,consequently missed a clear shot at goal. She is not quick enough to play wing. Her technical skill requires her to play close to midfield where she can create opportunities.

          • Cc W

            As does every forward – I can’t tell you how many Clint Dempsey has missed for the Sounders. It is simplistic to say that because she didn’t score she had a bad game. I thought she defended well, some good passes that didn’t connect. Overall a solid showing by CP

          • necron99

            I agree with you CCW, this game was pretty good for Press.

          • Captain Crunch

            Best all around game I’ve seen her play for USWNT.

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          • mockmook

            Hey, I can remember Lloyd blowing a wide open look at goal on a PK vs JPN (WWC11).

            And, Lloyd didn’t have to hit a moving ball.

            So, definitely leave Lloyd off OG16 roster, right?

          • Observed

            I didn’t say a word about Lloyd. This WNT does not need Press. If Ellis has room for her on the 18 player roster, fine, but Press is not indispensable.

          • mockmook

            Neither is Lloyd, right?

          • Paul Klee

            Who is indispensable? You could take Out Kling and replace her on the roster with Hinkle and they’d be just fine. Take out Morgan replace with Dunn add HAO they’d be just fine. No one on the team is indispensable. You could flip Alex Morgan and Becky Sauerbrunn and you’d be just fine.

          • Steglitz49

            Alexandra is indispensable, as is Hope too.

          • #1Fan

            def not .

          • max

            a moron’s comment

          • mockmook

            Was the comment true?

          • kernel_thai

            Sure but this is a much better role to use Press in. The current holder of that spot is Lloyd who is 34 and coming off a knee injury. None of the CM behind her r real goal scorers on this level. Having Press, whose comfort zone seems to be top of the box, gives u insurance for Lloyd so u dont have to play her 90 minutes and every match. This is better than using Press wide where she seems much less comfortable and she is competing with good young wide players like Dunn and Pugh for time. I do agree that Press has to cash in these chances.

          • necron99

            Completely agree with you on this one kernal. The big thing to me is that Press starting out wide always comes inside even when it is not the best choice. Also when she was defending in the first Japan game she kept going into the middle as well leaving players unmarked on the flank in the defensive 3rd. Press needs to be part of a 4-4-2 or behind of Morgan in the middle. It fits her style and makes her valuable/dangerous on the field. Once Morgan and Press start clicking better it is a catch 22 for opposing defenses. It is a shame it has not been tried seriously and sooner.

          • kernel_thai

            I thought Press’ movement was really good both going forward and trying to provide a passing outlets. For me this was just as valuable as her shooting.

          • necron99

            Yep, way better in this position all around in this game.

          • Captain Crunch

            Agreed. The reason I don’t think she has seen as much time as other is she wasn’t aggressive or just didn’t appear to be as engaged when she got time, whether she was wide or up top. Then when she was missing chances, she wasn’t making a great case to be on the field. Today, she seemed like she was everywhere, playing really hard and it resulted in a lot of space for others. Her missed chance wasn’t even a big deal because she did so many things well today. I hope she continues to play this way because it would add a new dimension and make the team even more dangerous.

          • I agree. Her work rate all over the field seems to have increased the past couple of games. Maybe she now realizes that’s what she needs to do to see playing time on the NT.

          • mockmook

            Press played fine defensively in both games — it’s kind of much more the responsibility of the back line and the DM/s to cover the defensive 3rd.

          • necron99

            Press’s defense was completely lacking in the first game. She routinely left her player unmarked and wandered into the middle. If Japan is 8 people into the attacking third, and not on a counterattack, then it is every players job to get back and defend. But you know that.

          • Guest

            Press was great. Heath also miss a really good opportunity in this game. Misses happen. What I think is more important is that the front 4 created a bunch of chances today without a lot of time together. I expect better finishing in the future. I don’t think this team misses Lloyd one bit either.

          • Andrew Alberico

            “Star forward” is not a good choice of words. This team does not need “stars”. It needs team players and team chemistry. The US team had it in this game. And it will only get better if the coach stays with this lineup.

          • #1Fan

            I happen to agree. US seem to need a star system because that’s is what drives sponsors. I personally believe the team should be the star.

          • Deni Pike

            Agree

          • max

            Press = potato cans players. Morgan has already made to $25 mil net worth so Morgan= megan star player

          • max

            But I like Press a lot too. She loves soccer and always works hard. Hope her time will come soon. We need her for the team

      • F0OtballNowAndAlways

        To tell the truth, Press is currently experiencing a goal drought. She hasn’t scored for the Red Stars in a couple of games either.

        • Lorehead

          I now expect to see that added to our troll’s litany: Christen Press scored zero goals against the Chicago Red Stars in her last game in the NWSL, zero goals against the Chicago Red Stars in the game before that ….

  • Guest

    Both goals were offside. The USWNT were dominant today but with a bunch of changes to both Japan’s lineup and and USWNT pressing tactics I’m not exactly sure what to make of each result. The good thing was that the back line moved the ball much better today than Thursday.

    • What else is new

      As usual, the USWNT were on the good side of crap officiating.

      • Guest

        The result doesn’t matter as much to me as the team’s response which was good. Unacceptable missed calls in a tournament though.

        • Steglitz49

          What do you mean? Please explain.

          • Ethan

            Pretty much, performance is more important than the result in this match, which makes some sense. From just watching the first half so far, this match leaves me far more optimistic.

            P.S. Sorry about being a little intense on the Johnston debate. Appreciate your responses.

          • Steglitz49

            But if the goals had been declared off-side, the scoreline would have been 0-0. Indeed, the game may have taken a different shape.

            Thus, the Japanese coach can draw conclusions but what conclusion can JE draw?

          • Ethan

            She can draw the conclusion that her players performed much better even if Japan’s performance wasn’t as good. I’m sure though that Ellis wants to see better finishing from her team in upcoming matches.

            Note: Apparently, I am going to have to wait to watch the second half. It’s not available on ESPN3.

          • Steglitz49

            The simplest conclusion is that Alex Morgan is needed.

          • Guest

            Pretty much this. Friendlies are an opportunity to asses where the team is at and to try some new things. Or in this case to see how a team responds after taking one to the chin. I’m much more concerned with the team’s performance in these matches against good teams like Japan than what the final score is. That is in direct contrast to the way most view a major tournament where the result is really the only thing that matters.

      • sudeep das

        That is the worry – it has been like this over the past year including the 2015 WC. One day everything will go against them – hope they will still be able to pull through.

        • Ashley C

          I must admit I was worried this might happen at the WC last summer. Or some sort of weird football karma. Fortunately that hasn’t happened yet.

          • Steglitz49

            Are you saying it is not coincidence?

    • kernel_thai

      I dont take as much from score lines in friendlies as play and opportunities created.

    • Jersey Shore Rises

      Guess you missed the 2015 WC in which 2 goals scored against the USWNT were off sides…… It goes both ways so just get used to it.

      • Steglitz49

        Who scored against the US?

  • Fred

    Allie Long is going to Rio. Props to her, good example of NWSL being a success.

    • Jim

      Seems that way. I think she has started 3 of last 4 friendlies. I think practice is huge, that’s where she has beat Mewis.

      • CED

        Long has past Horan in the CM pecking order.

        • Steglitz49

          Don’t be too sure because Ms Horan scored in the last match while Ms Long was involved in Yokoyama’s equalizer.

          • CED

            LOL..Too much value placed on a goal by GK error. The GK today was so much better than thurs. If she plays US loses thursday.

            Long has outplayed Horan since both have been in camp..Colomboa anf Japan series.

        • Guest

          Horan came into camp with a hip injury and I imagine this was still somewhat of an audition for Long. She does seem to have the edge over Mewis though.

          • Cc W

            I think Horan is ahead of Allie – she brings her ability in the air that helps.

          • I think Horan is ahead too, if not by skills, by allocation. Horan is one of the chosen ones. (I don’t know how I feel personally on who i’d pick, just pointing it out)

          • Cc W

            I’m not sure either, but Horan is part of the future.

          • kernel_thai

            If Press made some headway today in Ellis’ mind in a central attacking role, it hurts Mewis’ chance to make the 18.

          • FlyingSquirrel42

            I’ll admit I was surprised to see Long come back in to the mix, especially given her age. Maybe she benefits from her considerable experience playing with Alex and Tobin (and now Kling and Horan) at the club level? It probably helps her get up to speed with everyone’s play style more quickly than some of the others who seem to move in and out of orbit.

  • x

    Much better game today. Pity they had to leave the last 15 minutes unplayed.

  • sudeep das

    Things to sort out – Press’ finishing + willingness to take a shot herself and Heath’s first touch + possessing the ball a bit too much before being forced to release it

  • HOFCToDi

    Alex Morgan rocks, Christen Press sucks! Alex Morgan rocks, Christen Press sucks! Alex Morgan rocks, Christen Press sucks! Alex Morgan rocks, Christen Press sucks! Alex Morgan rocks, Christen Press sucks! Alex Morgan rocks, Christen Press sucks! Alex Morgan rocks, Christen Press sucks! Alex Morgan rocks, Christen Press sucks! Alex Morgan rocks, Christen Press sucks! Alex Morgan rocks, Christen Press sucks!

    • Jesus Gambino

      Christen Press won the ball with a nice tackle and started the counter which led to the Alex Morgan goal.

      You are a joke HOFC 🙂

      • Steglitz49

        I suspect that he is hot on Christen Annemarie but she gave him the brush-off in the bar. As for Alex, Mr Carrasco will keep him right.

        • HOFCToDi

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

          • Steglitz49

            Lighten up

      • HOFCToDi

        Goose Egg for Christen Press, yet again.

        foxsports.com/soccer/boxscore?id=26862

        0 goals, 0 assists

        • Jesus Gambino

          Morgan goal was on an offside.. If we had a decent ref, she would have finished with an egg also.

          • HOFCToDi

            Blah! Blah! Blah!

            youtube.com/watch?v=lMUTJfn81oE

            Sergio Ramos goal was offside.

          • Steglitz49

            How does that help Japan?

          • HOFCToDi

            I don’t give a damn about Japan since Sugasawa should have been red carded for the boot/cleat to Johnston’s knee.

          • necron99

            Especially given the red card in the Copa America on the Jamican defender who actually kicked the ball away and then got studs to the attackers ankle.

      • HOFCToDi

        You are a joke.

        Goose Egg for Christen Press.

        foxsports.com/soccer/boxscore?id=26754

        0 goals, 0 assists

      • mockmook

        “You are a joke HOFC”

        What tipped you off?

      • Steglitz49

        There was an off-side, was there not?

    • SEM

      Do you not watch the NWSL games, Press is an incredible player and I believe she has scored the most goals this season.

      • HOFCToDi

        The article above pertains to the USWNT not the NWSL.

        • Jesus Gambino

          Christen Press plays center forward (CF) in NWSL. We can’t compare CF Press vs CF Morgan. We must compare winger/defender/bench warmer Press with starting CF Morgan. You are a joke like I said.

          • HOFCToDi

            You are a joke.

            Christen Press started at forward in the following matches in calendar year 2015 prior to removal from the starting XI:

            USA vs FRA
            8 Feb 2015
            0 goals, 0 assists

            USA vs SUI
            6 Mar 2015
            0 goals, 0 assists

            USA vs MEX
            17 May 2015
            0 goals, 0 assists

            USA vs SWE
            12 Jun 2015
            0 goals, 0 assists

            Christen Press met her Waterloo against Sweden in the Group Stage of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

          • Jesus Gambino

            How wonderful that you can list all matches Christen Press started as center forward. It’s a grand list of 4 entries. Bravo!
            Now remind me how many times Morgan started as center forward. Probably 20-30 times.

          • HOFCToDi

            Christen Press has cemented her legacy with the USWNT:

            garbage time
            prima donna
            selfish shot hog
            tomato cans

          • Jesus Gambino

            And your legacy, sir, is ad-hominems.

          • HOFCToDi

            Christen Press

            2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup
            Knockout Stage (COL, CHN, GER, JPN) – 0 goals scored

            2015 International Women’s Friendlies
            21 Oct 2015, 25 Oct 2015 (BRA) – 0 goals scored

            2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying
            Knockout Stage (TRI, CAN) – 0 goals scored

            2016 SheBelieves Cup
            Group Stage (ENG, FRA, GER) – 0 goals scored

            2016 International Women’s Friendlies
            2 Jun 2016, 5 Jun 2016 (JPN) – 0 goals scored

            Not one assist in the 13 aforementioned matches either.

          • Jesus Gambino

            And your legacy, sir, is ad-hominems.

            Especially, when attacking Press.

          • HOFCToDi

            Christen Press – international fraud extraordinaire

          • max

            Agree

          • max

            I traveled to europe 3 times, asia 5 times(6 to 8 weeks each time) and many places in the south pacific and carribean. People only know Alex Morgan not Christen Press

          • HOFCToDi

            BBC Sport
            Jonathan Pearce

            youtube.com/watch?v=OrpVI9Zy34E

            25:50

          • necron99

            I am not a Press hater, but if you compare Press off the bench in Garbage time to Morgan off the bench in Garbage time, it still isn’t flattering to Press. In fact Press started against France in 2014 and Morgan came in late for her first game back from long injury and got both goals. Morgan spent 2010 thru the beginning of 2012 coming in off the bench late in games, and she delivered consistently against the top 5 teams in the world, and in the biggest games like the WC final.

            HOFCToDi needs to chill. Press doesn’t suck. But all of this belief that Press at club level has shown more than Morgan has shown at NT level is just ridiculous. This is the NT, the only thing that matters is NT results, and Morgan gets them. (And everyone says that NT play is different and a big step up). Complain about a 1 up top formation, or Wambach getting starts etc, but don’t complain about the first choice at forward.

          • max

            Hope Solo mentioned about Alex after 2011 wc. Go find out yourself. Watch Last year’s Abby’s interview before the world cup in canada. She confirmed that Alex will be the next mega star if she stays healthy. And watch the video clip interview in 2012 about passing the torch.
            Alex is now 27 with the net worth is $24 million. How much Press made? So Stop comparing Alex and Press.

        • SEM

          She’s not getting enough starts but she’s still an amazing player and she’s been with the team for years, not to mention that she was a key player during the world cup. She and Morgan have different playing styles. Press definitely deserves to be there, she’s the future for the team. She helped carry the team when Morgan was injured. Do some research and don’t antagonize fans that have been watching since the 99ers were playing, you’ll lose every argument, just sayin….

          • necron99

            Actually Lloyd carried the NT while Morgan was out. Which depresses me greatly.

      • mockmook

        You don’t even have to watch the NWSL — Press was outstanding in this game (and the last).

        • HOFCToDi

          Take another hit off your bong.

      • necron99

        Press leads the lead in shots, shots on goal and xG. In fact she has twice as many shots and shots on goal as the next player. She is tied for the lead league in goals at 3. With Joanna Lohman among others. So it isn’t saying much.

        Press has been very good in the NWSL and dangerous.

        • Guest

          Mcdonald leads the league in xG last I checked but Press has been good this year and was good today.

          • necron99

            I said myself that she has been good this year. I was pointing out the stats. You are correct that MacDonald took over best xG after the last WNY game. Press still leads shots and shots on goal by a wide margin, and is tied for goal lead, with multiple players.

          • JL

            The fact that she has taken more shots to get the same output as the rest of the 3 goal club should be a bit of a concern.

          • Don B.

            That is exactly the point. McDonald is a competent player in NWSL, but would not stand a chance on the USWNT simply because the level of play is so far above her talent level.

        • Don B.

          Of course she has, and she should be. That is the NWSL. The level of the USWNT is a completely differentl animal.

    • Don B.

      Sometimes you have something intelligent to say, and that’s good. Other times, (75% of the time), you come across as a 12 year old. As a result, anyone who has been here a while ignores everything you say. Only newbies or other 12 year olds respond to or take seriously anything you say. Play it your way, but as it stands, you come across as a child with limited understanding.

      • HOFCToDi

        Cry me a river!

        Christen Press

        foxsports.com/soccer/boxscore?id=26754

        Goals 0, Assists 0, Shots on Goal 0

        Christen Press

        foxsports.com/soccer/boxscore?id=26862

        Goals 0, Assists 0. Shots on Goal 1

        • guest

          remember. goals aren’t the most important thing. the most important thing is Press was DANGEROUS!!

          • HOFCToDi

            Dangerous to the fans in the stands with that slice.

    • Andrew Alberico

      Christen Press played an excellent game against Japan. She and Alex both worked hard, played well together both on offense and defense. I don’t think any team can beat the USWNT if the midfield and backline play as well and put out the effort that Alex and Christen consistently do.

      • HOFCToDi

        Peddle your Christen Press snake oil somewhere else.

    • FlyingSquirrel42
  • CED

    Both goals were offside..Dunn blatant, JJ a close call, but off.

    • Steglitz49

      Soon FIFA will have to introduce review of goals. There was off-side in the men’s Champions League final too. This can’t go on.

      • Ubu-Roi

        The big problem is that most players and coaches vociferously object to it on the grounds that it interferes with the flow of the game and makes it a game of set pieces like, in their opinion, gridiron football.

        • Steglitz49

          The goal stops the game. It would be no different from rugby where the ref has long been able to call for video-review.

          After the missed goal by England v Germany in 2010, FIFA introduced goal line technology. This is simply an extension of that.

          Too much money is involved now in the men’s game.

          • Ubu-Roi

            So why don’t players and coaches at the professional level, almost to a man, share you very rational opinion?

          • Steglitz49

            Search them, not me.

          • Ubu-Roi

            Because they feel that it will change the game to one of set pieces like gridiron football.

        • guest

          can’t see it stopping the game anymore than all the diving and simulation does.

      • Nicole C.
        • Steglitz49

          Thank you. That was what was done with goal-line technology, though they had a bit more time before the next WC.

          Review of goals also suit the broadcasters because they can squeeze in short ads. A win-win.

      • guest

        time for the us to storm the beaches of normandy again.

    • Ethan

      Johnston’s level with the Japanese player’s arm on the point of contact by Long. Defenders often use their arms to shield/defend against opposition attackers. I feel like an argument can be made.

      • Steglitz49

        You are not offside with your arm because you can’t play the ball with your arm. As a corollary, the defender’s arm can not make you onside. That is how I understand the rule.

        • Ethan

          It shouldn’t just be about playing the ball though. Having your arms outstretched gives you advantages outside of playing the ball with your hands.

          Side Note: If they draw the line at the Japanese player’s feet, wouldn’t it be strange seeing parts of both players being offside.

          • Steglitz49

            You need to ask someone who is a touchjudge, which I am not.

        • CED

          She was off, this arm nonsense is the BS excuse of the day on here. That’s off every day of the week.

          • Ethan

            I’m not excusing; I was genuinely curious. I haven’t watched the full game yet, but of course, I would have preferred Press and Heath to finish their chances to make this win legit.

      • CED

        LOL..She was off

    • kernel_thai

      Dunn was hard to figure because seemed to just be standing in an offside position as the play developed. Johnston simply mistimed her run.

  • Roe

    Loved the way Press, Heath and Morgan played. The players of the match for sure.

    • Guest

      Heath needs to work on her finishing some more but I was pleased with the front 4 today

  • sudeep das

    Feeling scared for Pugh – thought she was a lock

    • x

      USWNT twitter said she was unavailable due to being “under the weather.” Wouldn’t worry about it.

    • guest

      She’s sick. Relax.

    • Guest

      She’s a lock

    • kernel_thai

      The real question with Pugh is what happens if Rapinoe makes the roster? Ellis is crazy if she sits Pugh to start Rapinoe. It’s bad enough Dunn will go back to the bench when Lloyd returns.

      • guest

        I don’t really want to see Lloyd or Rapinoe back on the pitch to be honest. The team doesn’t need them. I don’t think Pinoe will be a starter though if she makes it. She probably won’t be fit enough. Lloyd will though and that reality bothers me. Pugh, Heath, Dunn and Press(centrally) are all better options for that attacking midfield line than Lloyd and Pinoe.

        • kernel_thai

          I agree. I dont buy into the idea that u can take Pinoe on a short roster to give u 20 minutes. Even ur subs need to be able to give u 60 good minute in case u go to extra time. If she can get match fit and played in that’s great but that’s the only way I put her in the 18.

          Lloyd however is a given if fit. The question with CL is will Ellis finally manage her minutes.

      • sudeep das

        No that is sorted out. If Rapinoe is fit then Mewis misses.
        I had posted a roster about a month back which was very close to most of our commentators. Here it is again
        Solo, Naeher – 2
        Brunn, JJ, Kling, Krieger, O’hara, Engen – 6
        Lloyd, Heath, Brian, Horan, Long, Mewis (if Rapinoe unfit) – 6
        Morgan, Pugh, Press, Dunn – 4

    • Cc W

      Mal is on the squad – she’s had a busy couple of weeks – prom, graduation, friendlies.

      • max

        prom, graduation, friendlies and sex

  • CED

    Rio 18 roster pretty set, people who didn’t make either Japan roster are done….Hinkle, Lewandowski, Lavelle, Franch, Harris..1 keeper will go as alternate. Oreilly on the outs also as she only got roster spot b/c Pugh had personal stuff.

    • Steglitz49

      HAO, please

      • CED

        Roster:

        4 FW-Morgan, Dunn, Press, Pugh

        6 MF-Lloyd, Brian, Heath, Long, Horan, Rapinoe(if healthy)

        6 D-Kling, Broon, JJ, Ohara, Krieger, Engen

        2 GK-Solo, Naeher

        Alternates- Mewis, Sonnett, Harris

        • Steglitz49

          either write O’Hara or KO. Someone might think you mean Ohai.

        • SEM

          I hope Ellis experiments more. Would like to see Naeher and Harris play. Engen needs a better look and has she called Franch, Lavelle, Lewandowski, Hinkle and HAO into camp if she won’t play any of them. I feel like she may have her 18 person roster set and is just bringing everyone else in because she has to.

          • Guest

            With only 2 more games before the Olympics, I wouldn’t expect any experimentation. She also said she brought those extra people into camp so they could have more 11 v 11 scrimmages.

          • SEM

            The team will be really screwed if players like Solo, Brian, Lloyd, ect get injured. Look at Canada, they’re in a real bind since so many of their players are injured. This is the time to get your backups some time, these games mean nothing, they’re just glorified scrimmages.

          • Cc W

            I think they’d be fine. They are already playing with Carli and PInoe injured – played a lot of last year with Alex injured. They adjusted when Pinoe and Holiday sat out a game – this roster is talented top to bottom.

          • kernel_thai

            If she was going to experiment, Japan was the time. Instead she decided to gel. Hard to argue either way.

          • CED

            She called them to have full squads for scrimmages. Whatever goes on in training or scrimmages has not impressed her enough to put them on game rosters. Lavelle and Hinkle are young and she probably just wants them to be training with the NT for the future. Lewandoski is 30+ so this was it for her essentially. Franch is also for the future, I have a feeing Solo isn’t going to be around for 2019

          • SEM

            I know practices are super important but if she is going to stick to the same group of players, it would be easier to leave the rest with their NWSL clubs. Its not easy for those players to miss games and practices.

          • CED

            That’s the way NT’s wok. They always call in players who don’t play in games.

          • Ubu-Roi

            I think if you ask any player, practice with the USWNT is definitely a major step up from practice with any club team in the world, and I suspect most consider it ‘THE’ major job interview, especially since there could be an entirely new team for the next WC.

          • Cc W

            Hope has said as much – that expected to start a family soon.

          • Steglitz49

            Which explains her concerns about the Zika-virus.

          • Cc W

            Exactly

          • Steglitz49

            She could always start now. Then she would be excused Rio.

          • Cc W

            Or she could do what she wants, play for her team in Rio and decide what she wants to do. She’s earned that right as the best keep ever for the USWNT

          • Steglitz49

            Hope is concerned about the Zika-virus. There is no general agreement of how long the virus can linger in your body if bitten. That was my point.

            Granted, most people get a transient flu-like illness but for some (a few?) it is worse.

            That Hope is the greatest goalie in WoSo history is not in question.

          • kernel_thai

            Well she can likely play people out of the stands against South Africa but Im not sure experimenting against a weaker team teaches u much.

        • Cc W

          That’s what I have as well and I like that roster! While Pinoe and Mewis play different spots – they are just chess pieces that Jill can move around.

        • Tania

          I would be pretty darn happy with this roster though I admit I have a soft spot for Mewis so my heart wants to take her over Long. I’m also a Seattle Reign fan & Long plays for our arch rivals which factors in.

          In all honestly I haven’t been able watch any of the games where Long has played since her call up, because I live in Canada. No access to ESPN or FoxSports.

          And yes, I prefer the USWNT over the CanWNT, in part because we just aren’t all that good (we have the unique ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory) and in part because I cannot STAND John Herdman. There are individual players I love on Canada’s team but I don’t care about the results of the team as a whole.

    • kernel_thai

      Rapinoe is the only real question now. Probably down to Rapinoe or Mewis.

      • CED

        Rapinoe and Mewis different positions so not either or IMO. Rapinoe is going if she is even fit for 20-30 minutes to be super sub. The team needs another wide attacking option in MF. Mewis is going to be alternate IMO as CM.

        • Cc W

          If you think of them as chess pieces who can do different things, it won’t seem like it is flank for DM. Jill can move them around.

        • kernel_thai

          I think if Rapinoe cant go she opts for cover at CM over another wide player because she the most cover there already. She has Dunn, Press, Heath, O’Hara and Pugh to cover two wide spots

          • mockmook

            Plus, Kling plays most games as a pseudo-LM.

          • kernel_thai

            The only real wiggle room she has if she keeps this formation is taking Sonnett as her 3rd CB as she can also cover the #6. That of course means Sonnett’s inexperience can now bite u in two places.

          • CED

            If you want more cover at CM than you pick Sonnett over Engen b/c Sonnett can actually play CM.and CB. That would give you emergency cover without using another roster spot. I actually think Sonnett has played better than Engen the times they got in. But, I think Ellis will take Engen b/c more caps. Though Engen has been a wall flower for 2 years.

    • Riveter

      Of course it was absolutely necessary that Solo start today. The other GKs don’t need the experience. At 200 caps, Solo needs more work, according to Ellis.

      • mockmook

        First people complain at her poor form, then they complain that she is playing games.

        Usually, isn’t playing the best way to get a player out of poor form?

  • SEM

    Great debut for Crystal Press, hopefully Ellis gives her more starts since she was on fire today. Lol.

    • Nicole C.

      We can’t take this result seriously. This is Japan, who were knocked out of OGQ by New Zealand…

      • Steglitz49

        Not NZ. NZ qualified because their opponents had forgotten to get their visas in time. I think you mean Australia and China.

        • Nicole C.

          Not according to Glenn Davis.

          • Steglitz49

            NZ plays in Oceania. Japan plays in Asia where Australia and China play, among others. If Glen Davis thinks elsewhere, that is his headache.

          • Paul Klee

            She’s making a point about horrible ESPN Announcers

          • Steglitz49

            Yawn.

          • kernel_thai

            He corrected his mistake later in the match.

          • Steglitz49

            Fair enough. Both Australia and NZ have the Queen as their head of state and their lags are confusingly similar.

      • SEM

        Definitely can’t take it seriously since it looked like both goals were offsides and it wasn’t a complete game. Clearly Ellis needs to modify her starting line up but I think Press deserves a better look. I wish Ellis would experiment a little more.

      • Cc W

        Friendlies are what they are – a way to test your players and make them better. But I’m guessing the US team does take them seriously – which is a good thing.

        • necron99

          Considering we now know that the USWNT does not get paid at all for the games unless they win, of course they take it seriously.

          • Cc W

            That’s for sure! Do we know if they get paid for a tie?

          • necron99

            They do not get paid for a tie.

          • Cc W

            Yikes! Can you say new contract?

          • mockmook

            So, you are in agreement they should be paid by the game, no more yearly contracts, right?

          • necron99

            Or paid more per game,win lose or tie, and a lower yearly contract. There can be give and take. Given the reality that stability of professional women’s soccer is nowhere close to the level of BroSo.

          • Steglitz49

            Is there a deduction for drawing against 10 players?

        • #1Fan

          I disagree. They take then too seriously from a w/l standpoint. I understand the need to go in to OG on a high so I understand that experimentation is limited. I felt the line up yday was a really good one, BUT it seems that it was dictated by the way Japan played in the first game. 2/3 up allowed more pressure on the Jpn cbs and stopped them dictating out of the back. I would love to see the staff be more proactive with the advantages they have instead of this counter press 4231 that tbh, is incredibly negative and leads to long balls over the top as the primary mode. It was nice to see more central interplay between Press and Morgan and I would like to see that more often.

          • Guest

            I don’t really consider counter-pressing to necessarily be negative. When the press occurs deep in the opposition third of the field and the objective is very fast possession recovery I consider it to be positive. Obviously a team can’t press like that for a full 90 endlessly and the US did sit back a bit after the first goal but Japan was essentially disrupting the US possession in a similar way since the US’s weakness is their back line’s slow ball movement. England shut down the US the same way. I do wish that the US would be a little more patient instead of always trying to immediately attack after recovering possession. Also I don’t think there is anything wrong with direct play. Direct play is effective at every level of play as long as it isn’t solely kick and run.

          • #1Fan

            direct play vs Kick and run is a very subtle difference 🙂

          • Guest

            When I talk about kick and run I am thinking balls over the top or flicked on balls. Direct play to me has more of a focus on playing to feet with long passes quickly to expose defenses and less reliant on over the top and through balls. Long balls with the purpose of keeping possession. A hold up forward would be ideal here though and the USWNT doesn’t seem to want to use one.

          • Guest

            Maintaining possession after a takeaway is something that Press, Morgan and Pugh all do well. That patient little back pass actually is a good way to counter, because the receiving player has a full view of forward players.

          • Cc W

            As it was pointed out – they don’t get paid for a loss or tie – best reason to take them seriously

      • Lindsey

        Regardless of how Japan failed to make it to the 2016 Olys it doesn’t really mean they are any less of a good opponent suddenly. Example: Germany wasn’t in the 2012 Olys but they were certainly no opponent to scoff at during the 2013 UEFA Women’s Championship or the 2015 WWC. Just ask Norway and France.

        • Nicole C.

          I’m joking. The commentator stated New Zealand took Japan’s place at the OG, which is wrong because they are in different confederations.

    • kernel_thai

      She only said it three times that I noticed. Then when she corrected the mistake in the second half shew still tripped over Christen.

      • SEM

        She definitely said it multiple times and the other commentator said Christen’s full name multiple times to I think help her realize that she was saying her name wrong. It’s a big blunder for a game airing on ESPN. I guess Press needs to be better for Markgraf to get her name correct. Lol

        • necron99

          Markgraf is known to have a stutter and work hard practicing names before games. Perhaps certain names trip her up more?

      • mockmook

        Closet atheist? 😉

        • Steglitz49

          meth addict?

      • Only 3 times? That’s bad. Press has been on the NT for several years and Kate calls games all the time. This is the small stuff at needs to be better for people to take womens soccer seriously.

    • Cc W

      Markgraf was in top form today – that and when the guy (who’s name escapes me) says something good about Hope – total silence by Markgraf!

    • HOFCToDi

      Another reason why Carli Lloyd and Mallory Pugh need to start.

  • Jesus Gambino

    Umm.. No.. It wasn’t Morgan or Johnston, but the ref who won the match for the US. Both goals should have been waived off offside.

    • Steglitz49

      When will WoSo reffing get real. Since Jenny Palmqvist retired, have we had any decent female ref? The Swiss lady possibly.

    • Ethan

      There was nothing dubious about that red card.

      • Jesus Gambino

        Actually, yes, you are right.

    • Nicole C.

      Maybe the linesmen and not the ref.

      • Steglitz49

        Indeed.

      • Jesus Gambino

        Refereeing being the genus of linesman-ship 🙂

        • Steglitz49

          I prefer to use touchjudge but it may strictly speaking be the term for a rugby linesman.

    • Jersey Shore Rises

      FIFA should adopt the NHL rule that allow coaches to challenge goals based on being offsides..

      • Michelle

        No thanks. The NHL needs to get rid of that rule.

        • guest

          maybe fifa should adopt the new nhl overtime where each team plays with two less players to increase chances of result before shoot out.

  • Ethan

    I’m currently watching the replay of the game, but I wanted to comment on Johnston’s goal. Pretty much everyone’s saying Johnston was offside. I just want to make one point though.

    I’ve seen/heard offside calls be justified because the upper body of a player or a player’s arm or whatever was ahead of the critical defender. Well, if you pause right around when Long touches the ball, Johnston isn’t really ahead of the Japanese defender’s arm. She’s pretty much level. Any comments or opinions on how the offside rule is interpreted here? I mean, if you can be offside by an arm, can’t you be kept onside by an arm?

    • Steglitz49

      You can’t be offside by your arm because you are not allowed to play the ball with your arm, as I understand it.

      • Ethan

        Think about it. Defenders often use their arms to shield opposing attackers. So, shouldn’t a defender’s arm be considered when making offside calls?

        • Steglitz49

          I don’t think it is because you can’t play the ball with your arm.

          • Ethan

            But you’re stopping/making it more difficult for a player to go around you. That’s pretty darn critical even if you can’t play a ball with your arm.

          • Steglitz49

            I can’t argue with your logic but I don’t think that is how the law is written and interpreted.

    • tonysocref

      This is what the definitions say in the law book.

      In the context of Law 11 – Offside, the following definitions apply:
      •“nearer to his opponents’ goal line” means that any part of a player’s head,
      body or feet is nearer to his opponents’ goal line than both the ball and the
      second-last opponent. The arms are not included in this definition.

      By this, arms are not used in considering offside.

      • Steglitz49

        Thank you for checking for us.

      • Ethan

        Alright. Fair enough. I find that a little ridiculous though because the Japanese player’s arm is making it harder for Johnston to get to the ball. So, maybe it should be considered.

        Steglitz49, you are correct.

        Note: I’ll keep my comment above the same, but does that quoted statement say anything about the defender?

        • Steglitz49

          Thank you though I must say that I think your logic was perfectly logical.

          Now. If we can find a solution for shirt-pulling. I have an idea for some easy to tear fabric so the culprit is caught redhanded.

        • tonysocref

          The updated Laws of the Game (2016-2017) state:
          The hands and arms of all players, including the goalkeepers, are not considered.

          • Ethan

            Including the goalkeepers? Now, that’s a little strange because I buy into Steglitz49’s reasoning why hands and arms aren’t considered.

  • Ashley C

    I keep rewatching the Heath sitter. I think she’s a great player but she’s an enigma. Sometimes she’s incredibly frustrating.

    • F0OtballNowAndAlways

      She was probably thinking of some trick shot she could execute with it, just like her last NWSL goal she almost missed with a silly trick shot when she could have easily dribbled the goalie to her right and tapped the ball into the open net.

      • Ethan

        That wasn’t really a trick shot. That was a chip shot that plenty of players would have tried; Heath just didn’t finish it well enough. Pretty ridiculous that her goal won Goal of the Week though, especially because it was a rebound.

        • F0OtballNowAndAlways

          Plenty of players would have simply dribbled to the goalkeeper’s right. Much easier play than what you call a chip shot. That shot had a lower probability of success.

          • Ethan

            Right. A lot of players would have drilled around, and a lot of players would have chipped.

          • F0OtballNowAndAlways

            Dribbling around would have been the smarter play. Easier and higher probability of success.

          • Steglitz49

            I have seen such dribbles screwed up or foiled.

          • F0OtballNowAndAlways

            So have the chip shot or whatever it was Heath tried to execute in league play. In fact, she did blow it. If the opposing team’s defenders were not so abysmal, they would have cleared the ball before Heath got to it again.

      • Ethan

        Disagree on the goal against the Spirit, but I think you might be right on Heath’s chance this match. Her initial idea seemed to be to chip it with her right first time, but she misjudged the pace of the ball. Subsequently, she didn’t feel comfortable first-timing it with her left, and her balance seemed to already be off before her first touch.

        • F0OtballNowAndAlways

          You disagree with me? The day you agree with me, I will personally ask the administrators on this site to try to locate you and have the local police check on your well being.

          • Ethan

            Fair enough. However, I do think Heath was trying to be cute on her chance today, and I upvoted your comment on the incompetency of some male refs.

    • Roe

      You keep rewatching that? …That’s really weird.

      • Ashley C

        Nothing about that is weird. Rewatching a sitter via Vine is always hilarious.

        • Roe

          Riiight.

          • Ashley C

            Smells like a Heath fan….

          • Roe

            Huh? Of course I am. I’m also a Dunn fan, a Horan fan, Morgan fan.. Pretty much everyone on the team I’m a fan of.

            Not sure what that has to do with my post though..

          • Ashley C

            It has everything to do with your post though…You got wound up over critique of Heath’s play. Heath missed a chance she really should have scored. If you can’t take criticism of your favorite players, that’s too bad tbh.

          • Roe

            Lol what? You need to relax. I just found it weird that you’re still watching a replay of the moment when the game ended hours ago.

            It’s really not that serious. Really.

    • Guest

      Definitely something she needs to work on. She’s been more confident shooting with the thorns this year, so I think she’s improving. Press missed a pretty easy one today too.

    • Tom

      Her perfect pass to Press was so frustrating that Press missed for easy goal.

      • Tony

        Both of them should of scored and had assist. Still I liked what I saw from both of them. Great connection. I wonder why

        • Steglitz49

          If there is great connection but no goals, it is a bit like soccer by a committe: a lot of actibvity but no output.

      • Ashley C

        Press could have had a couple goals. Thought she was going to make the most of her opportunity in the first few minutes of the match.

        • The opening minute shot would have been huge to get a goal there. Great stop from the keeper.

          • guest

            to be fair. the ball was stopped by the keeper’s face.

      • Jesus Gambino

        Her perfect ass… what I read first time, I need glasses.

        • F0OtballNowAndAlways

          No, you need to get laid.

      • mockmook

        No, that wasn’t “easy” — you’re trying to hit a ball that is moving across your body, and you are trying to keep it away from the GK.

        • Guest

          It was tough shot, especially since the pass bounced up at the last moment. Her game-winner in the WC against Australia was an almost identical situation.

          • Yea tough shot, but one she makes rather regularly. Press usually makes the tough ones and misses the easier ones.

    • Guest

      Yeah, why not kick it in on the volley? Stop trying to be cute.

    • Frozen Blue

      I really thought Press should have dribbled farther into the box before making that pass to make the goalie commit, it was so obvious she was going to pass and the goalie saw that and got over there fast. Still no excuse for Heath not converting that chance.

      • Steglitz49

        You are living dangerously criticizing a certain player.

        • Frozen Blue

          Yes the only player on this board not open to criticism. I await my punishment.

          • Guest

            I agree that the best way to get the best possible chance to score would have been for press to take another touch before passing to completely take the keeper out of the play. However, like I mentioned in my post above but playing Heath in early is also a good play. The connection was just a little off this time and Heath should have taken it first time anyway.

          • Frozen Blue

            Now that I have seen the first half of play which I didn’t get to see before now due to DVR problems, the overwhelming praise put on Press for her first half play is egregious. Did she play bad no, but she wasn’t amazing either which is the problem. She needs to do something amazing to break into that starting line up. She didn’t finish that chance from Dunn right at the beginning and she had a few nice crosses into the box. The rest of her game was good, good movement and defensive play but again, was it amazing, something several other national team players couldn’t have done, no. Should she get another start, an overwhelming yes, in this tough Olympics their should be several different starting line ups and she is a good forward she just needs to prove it on the national stage.

      • The pass also wasn’t great in that it was bouncing when it arrived to Heath’s foot. Hard to control.

        • Guest

          Heath’s mistake was trying to control that ball at all. The keeper was on her and she need to release the ball with her first touch. Taking that pass first time and missing or the keeper coming up with a save is preferable to taking a touch before attempting a difficult flick. with her right foot.

    • nwslfan

      sigh… it’s because she made her run literally right down the middle, instead running to the far post, so she did not pull the defender and did not force the keeper to choose between her and Press. the one touch finish was possible, but so much harder bc of the angle of keeper and she tried to beat her and chip but not enough time. agree. the frustrating part is she accelerated so easily past her defender that the far post run was quite achievable. do soccer players still play basketball? you are taught to fill lanes on a break.

      • Guest

        Heath should have taken the shot on a one touch and finished but I don’t have a problem with her running to the middle when Press plays her in early. Receiving the ball in the middle of the goal after being played in gives Heath the best angle at goal unless Press holds the ball, like Frozen Blue suggests, to take the keeper out of the play completely. If Press continues her dribble it holds the keeper on the near post I think the far post run makes more sense. As it happened, the pass was off and Heath had to adjust her run giving the keeper to position herself well for a save. I still think Heath should have been able to finish that though. The play itself along with the Heath to Press shot in the box were encouraging bits of play compared to what we were seeing last year before the World Cup.

  • F0OtballNowAndAlways

    Everybody is goal-hungry on this program. A center back with 3 goals this year? Why is a center back pursuing goal-scoring so aggressively? And will these articles stop saying Alex Morgan is leading the team in scoring? Who else should be leading? Saurbrunn? Morgan has had the most minutes at forward while the team has mostly played a one-forward formation. She better be leading the team in scoring. In fact, we should wonder why she is not leading by a more robust margin.

    • Ethan

      They’re set pieces. Center backs always go up for those. Well, Crystal Dunn did get 5 goals in one game; that narrows the margin. Lloyd’s had her goals and penalty kicks; that narrows the margin. Morgan’s got 11 goals in 11 international games, and you’re wondering why she’s not leading by a more robust margin?

    • Steglitz49

      Setpieces undid Scotland against Iceland remember. Tall defenders come up for set pieces.

      • F0OtballNowAndAlways

        How did the USWNT get by on set pieces before Johnston’s addition to the team? I don’t recall any other center back being so prominent in goal scoring.

        • Steglitz49

          They had Abby.

          • F0OtballNowAndAlways

            Johnston started her set piece adventures while Abby was still on the team.

          • necron99

            Johnston didn’t get starts on this team until Abby lost her ability to jump in 2014.

          • F0OtballNowAndAlways

            At least this one is funny.

          • necron99

            And true. 2 games played in 2013 with 1 start, 3 games played in 2014 no starts. Everything happened for Johnston in 2015.

          • F0OtballNowAndAlways

            Okay, then who was the designated set-piece assassin before Abby? I don’t think Mia Hamm filled that role in her time.

        • Ethan

          Johnston’s better at attacking crosses, and she played minutes at forward and in the midfield for Santa Clara.

    • kernel_thai

      Johnston has all 8 of her career goals on set pieces and it’s pretty standard to use ur CBs that way. Ud have a point if Johnston was wailing away from the run of play.

      • F0OtballNowAndAlways

        The set piece was over after the Japanese player flubbed the clearance. Johnston should have commenced her return to her normal position after that.

        • kernel_thai

          It was a designed play that broke down but Long and Johnston attacking the posts were likely part of the play. The FK was to the top of the box where I would assume it was supposed to be chipped in to Long or Johnston behind the defense.

  • Jesus Gambino

    I like this idea of women only refs. Now, let’s make sure that the camera person, the commentators, PA, coaches, fitness staff, doctors, security, janitors are all women, and only women. If you can’t find a decent person for the job, that’s ok. Let’s fire Sermanni, Parsons, we want women .. ONLY.

    • Steglitz49

      I am for women refs and will not tolerate male refs in WoSo matches.

      • Jesus Gambino

        Then you will have matches decided by refs like today, and like what happened in the world cup.

        • Steglitz49

          That is an argument for some financial fund from FIFA to up the refereeing standards.

          WoSo is soccer of women and by women. Live with it.

          If you want to watch male refs, watch BroSo. Millions of spectators around the globe can’t be wrong.

          • Paul Klee

            So would you ban female referees from officiating Men’s matches?

          • Steglitz49

            Yes. I know it happens but it is stupid.

    • 1950s won’t come back

      Dear Jesus, your train left the station about 30 years ago.

    • F0OtballNowAndAlways

      To be fair, men’s soccer matches are refereed by men and some of them are as incompetent as the day is long.

    • Lorehead

      Both men and women referee both men’s and women’s games in the U.S. and Europe, so your complaint is not even true.

  • Ando91881

    Throughout the first 25-35 minutes of this match, the female announcer (Kate) repeatedly kept calling Christen Press “Crystal Press.”

    Everyone mispronounces words once in a while, so if this happened a few times at the beginning of the match it would be no big deal. But Kate messed up the name about 6 times.

    Finally, at about the 35 minute mark the male announcer started calling her “Christen Press” and from that point on Kate never really said her name again. Almost as if someone told her how badly she was messing it up, so she was embarrassed.

    Kate either had a couple of drinks before the game, or was unqualified to call this game.

    • Roe

      That got annoying very quickly. Does she not know of her or…?

      • Ando91881

        It just looks really bad at a time when WoSo fans are trying to get the public to take the sport more seriously. With the NWSL getting zero media attention, then you add this on top of it to compound it.

        • Steglitz49

          I thought that the kick-off tme of the match was moved to accommodate a boxing match? Or have I misunderstood.

      • kernel_thai

        Oddly the last time I heard a home city attached to Markgraf she lived in Chicago

    • Ethan

      Would she have done that if Dunn hadn’t started? A lot of people seem to prefer her over Chastain/Whitehill/Foudy.

      • Cc W

        Aly Wagner is by far the best of the former players – but she’s on Fox, so it is either Foudy or Markgraf on ESPN now

        • Ethan

          Yeah, which is why I didn’t put her in with Chastain/Whitehill/Foudy even though I have disagreed with her on some things.

        • Ubu-Roi

          Please ‘Wagner’. I’d take Markraff over all of them any time. It’s not even really close. Wagner announces like she played: Nearly there.

      • kernel_thai

        Actually, I think Markgraf explains the game very well and isnt afraid to be honest in her opinions so I can live with a few slips of the tongue. The biggest question here is why the production staff didnt help her out sooner.

        • Ethan

          No disagreement. Markgraf is pretty good. I only remember hearing “Crystal Press” once because I was more focused on the game; so, I thought she just momentarily got Dunn and Press’ names mixed up.

        • Steglitz49

          because they either were mean to her or ignorant themselves

        • The weird part to me is, doesn’t she know the team? Like they have met several times, no? Surely she knows who Christen Press is.

  • Guest12

    Morgan Brian needs play better. Everyone else improved from last game.

    • MrTemecula

      I thought Brian did o.k. She played a defensive position today and Japan didn’t score while she was in.

      • Steglitz49

        Japan did not score. What is your point?

        • MrTemecula

          That she mainly played as a defender and Japan didn’t have one decent chance in the first half and Brian contributed to that effort.

          • Steglitz49

            OK.

        • max

          Japan= potato can team. Record Head to Head vs USA is the same as other potato can teams including canada, france, china, germany and england.

      • kernel_thai

        Which is the difference between Brian and the rest of the CAMs pretending to be DMs. She is the only one not daydreaming about getting a shot on goal. That said Brian still doesnt look match fit after the time missed with injury.

    • Unpopularopinion

      I would start Horan and Long.

      • Jesus Gambino

        Yeah, me too. I would try out Lavelle first.

        • F0OtballNowAndAlways

          It makes me wonder. Why are some people invited to camp and are immediately given game time (McCaffery, Pugh, e.t.c.) while others are denied (Huster, Colaprico, Lavelle e.t.c.). To me, the “what I see in training” line doesn’t cut it.

          • dw

            Yeah, but we aren’t in the camps. There’s plenty of data to inform coaching decisions that we don’t have access to. Plus from time to time you need to assess what players are available in an emergency injury situation. More of the 07ers are going to fall by the wayside post OG, so there’s a certain need to know without serious consideration for the current squad.

          • F0OtballNowAndAlways

            What could have happened in camp I wonder, to make Colaprico suit up and not play? I mean, if a new player is in town and she is good enough to suit up, why not just try her anyway, for a friendly match to boot?

          • kernel_thai

            Earlier this year Ellis said the Colaprico and Lavelle were having trouble with the speed of play in practice. No way to know if that is still the case.

          • Guest

            makes sense to me The NWSL allows players more time on the ball than Japan gave us in these friendlies. I expect both to improve soon though. Allie Long is a great example of a player who took it upon herself to improve her speed of play. I actually think all the current NT players should try what Allie did and play in men’s leagues in the offseason if they don’t play abroad.

          • dw

            Beep test score not high enough?

    • CED

      I disagree. The back 4 were horrible again when trying to play out of from the back under any kind of pressure. Btw, this is the game plan people are going to use b/c it works. They couldn’t play out of it and several times had turnovers, long balls or played back to Solo. Solo then kicked a long ball, making it a 50/50.

      • The distribution we get out of our center backs is awful. Neither know how to pass to anyone but Solo, and it stalls our attack so much. Not to mention a lot of the passes are shaky and could be intercepted.

  • Paul Klee

    Does this count as a clean sheet for Solo.

    • Cc W

      I don’t think so – the game was “abandoned”

      • Katie Curtiss

        They are calling it a clean sheet. The article with the recap on ussoccer.com is calling it Solo’s 99th clean sheet.

        • Cc W

          Well that’s generous then. In baseball, you have to have so many innings completed to call it a game – is there any such rule in soccer?? I know some of you are very good at the rules, so if you know – thank you!

          • Ethan

            I believe 60 minutes are needed in the BPL. No idea on the rules elsewhere.

          • Cc W

            Thank you!
            So, I guess if US Soccer count it as a clean sheet, that’s a done deal. I’m guessing one way or another, she’ll get 100+ regardless of this game.

          • Ethan

            Sorry, I actually misread your comment. 60 minutes is what’s needed for a clean sheet. No idea if there’s a minimum time needed for a BPL game to be called.

          • Steglitz49

            BPL?

          • Katie Curtiss

            I’m not positive I just know in past games, club and international that sometimes the officials call the game when you’ve played past a certain amount of minutes and sometimes depending on the score they will call the game. Other than that I’m not really an expert it’s just based on what I’ve seen.

          • Cc W

            Thanks!

  • Brésil est le meilleur ZIKEI

    Just watching those who only now discovered that Heath doesnt know to score ……. then I’m annoying by calling her “forever a Marta wannabe”

    • Ubu-Roi

      Please, Marta like Pele, and you, are very old. I think I know who might be the next Mia Ham, or Abby Wambach, but I have no idea who might be the next Marta. That makes me very sad. Brazilian football ‘is a memory of things past.’ If only you were an Oil Baron, and weren’t going to jail, and loved Woman’s Soccer, then I could be happy. But Tobin Heath, even when she masturbates, isn’t Marta.

      • Brésil est le meilleur ZIKEI

        You have the art of talking and not say anything;

  • Cc W

    As expected a much better effort by the US today. Were aggressive right from the start which pushed Japan back, and did much better getting rid of the ball quickly not allowing Japan to collapse and press. Also, much better defense by the US. A couple of nice goals, could have been one or two more -all in all a good friendly for the US.

    • Steglitz49

      Are off-side goals nice? Better than boxing the ball into the goal withy your hand, I guess, but still not true goals.

      • brdn08

        Steg, i heard no criticism of the refereeing when they missed calls in Japan’s favor. Sounds like bias.

        • Steglitz49

          Of course. Goes without saying.

          But off-side goals cannot be called nice because they are not goals. I expect that some form of review of goals will be in by WC-18.

          • Cc W

            So under that logic, nice plays, nice shots that don’t result in goals should be ignored – okay fine, if you say so…

          • Steglitz49

            I don’t follow your lack of logic. Soccer is won by goals. It is not figure skating.

            You can win 1-0 while the stats for corners can be 1-11, for example.

      • Cc W

        Well, I can’t say sitting in my chair watching it on TV whether they were off sides or not – they were scored as such, so I’ll appreciate that the US played better and scored goals.

        • Steglitz49

          Men’s Champions League final. Sergio Ramos goal clearly off-side. Missed by the touchjudge.

          Review of goals is coming, like a letter in the post.

  • BGH123

    Sometimes I fear this team is a little too hot or cold. In the Olympics you don’t really get a second crack at teams like you do when you play them twice for friendlies. While we won this game and the SBC, but we didn’t necessarily dominate, and the other team may find a finishing touch

    • Cc W

      True – I guess I look at it this way – you don’t want to peak in June. Rio is 2 months away and there have been a bunch of different combos. Last year they didn’t really look good until the China game, and then dominated. Let’s hope it is the same this year.

      • kernel_thai

        Actually what I took from this match is that they didnt peak at SBC in March which I was worried about.

        • BGH123

          I just worry about lack of consistency in the mid field. It makes me a little nervous that the people she starts can peak and valley in terms of performance.

        • Steglitz49

          This match? Both goals off-side. I don’t follow. How about the match from a couple of days ago?

    • HOFCToDi

      Calendar Year 2016
      USWNT
      Wins 12, Losses 0, Draws 1
      GF 47, GA 4

      • Steglitz49

        iow the OG gold ought to be in the bag, ought it not?

  • nwslfan

    couple thoughts. everybody played a bit better against this substantially different Japan lineup. More defensive discipline for sure.

    I really admire how Japan moves the ball in the buildup, they always move off ball and work really hard to give the player with the ball 2 options to pass. We need to emulate. Having said this, there were far fewer quality or dangerous chances for Japan. I think it was a combination of different personnel for Japan this game and better organization by USA.

    Dunn’s ball to Morgan was gorgeous. Long played so much better this game, she is making a case for herself.
    so bummed we didn’t get a full game against this very worthy opponent.

    • F0OtballNowAndAlways

      “Dunn’s ball to Morgan was gorgeous”

      What? The Same Dunn some people think is all blundering physical player with no finesse, vision or high soccer IQ?

      • Guest

        Same for you, bashing Alex Morgan any chance you get

      • guest

        She was also offside by half a yard when she could clearly see the line. That is probably called by more competent officials. That being said her ball in to Morgan was exquisite.

        • Steglitz49

          Hear hear!

        • Deni Pike

          “Bad calls” by ref’s are irrelevant to the game because law of statistics says that over time all teams will get an equal number of “bad calls” so why do people wasted their breath using an instant reply camera shot when the fref is seeing from a totally different perspective.

          I guess it gives them somehting to argue about

      • nwslfan

        the very same. been a Dunn supporter for a while

        • Captain Crunch

          I’ve never seen Dunn pass as well as she has these last two games. Always felt she was an asset out there but she’s added another dimension to her game.

          • Steglitz49

            The Japanese players are more or less her size. Mana Iwabuchi is 5’1″ like Crystal.

      • #1Fan

        you do realize that EVERY one of these players is capable of moments of brilliance. The great ones are just more consistent.

    • max

      Japan vs uswnt head to head record is as the same as the potato can teams, based on the record of uswnt vs japan.
      France, canada, germany, brazil, england, and china are the same. They head to head records vs uswnt are almost the same as the records of the potato can teams

    • Steglitz49

      If you mean the ball from an off-side position, it ought to have been gorgeous seeing that being offside gives you an unfair advantage.

    • #1Fan

      agree on all, except Dunn was offside. As was JJ.

      • eyeroll

        Well the ref or the linesman should have called it. I recall two offside goals against the us during the wc against the US that none of you cried about so it happens all the times. They still count so get over it.

        • #1Fan

          Im not at all bothered by it. I look at the game from a tactical standpoint. I feel the comments you got from some would be very different if that game had been called @ 0-0 .

  • Ethan

    I don’t know if it’s already been mentioned here, but US Soccer is waiting for word from FIFA about whether this result and the stats hold.

    • Jake

      It should hold up. The rule is at least 60 minutes has to be played before called by weather and it was on the 76 min. It’s just a matter of when FIFA gets back to them.

    • F0OtballNowAndAlways

      Wow, it might come as a surprise to U.S. soccer and other bodies, especially to U.S. soccer trying to Europeanize American soccer by hook or crook, but they are not in any way beholden to FIFA or subject to its dictates. This is plain stupid. What next, permission from FIFA before we can marry, buy houses, go on vacation?

      FIFA doesn’t own you. FIFA has no rights to anything save their name and the competitions they organize and even then, they are at the mercy of the participating countries. FIFA reminds me of corrupt, rogue police squads. They get so full of themselves they forget that without the tax dollars from the same citizens they persecute, they are nothing.

  • Bill

    Rick, you got wanted you wanted finally. It looked pretty good. Problem is Pugh was out and Lloyd was too. So this wont ever happen again. I hope you enjoyed it. Press started with Morgan. Like I said it only took Pugh and Lloyd being out!!!

    • Guest2

      You said it. Don’t expect to see it again. Once Lloyd back, Pugh is now the golden child. Dunn and Press will be watching Olympics from bench. It sucks as fan of both.

      • NYRick

        Heath and Dunn on the flanks, Morgan and Press as the forwards, Brian and Long as my other midfielders. I’ll go to war with that anyday.

        Carli and Pinoe are going to be disruptive and a problem the next month and they are both bigger than Ellis. Just watch.

        • Vive la revolution!

          Lloyd in place of do-nothing Brian. When it counts, Lloyd gets the result. She will win the gold for us in Rio, as always. Pinoe needs to retire, as part of the old regime.

          • Bruce

            You can’t play her at CDM. You can’t play her at CAM. You can only play her as “Carli” and hope she can poach a goal.

          • Steglitz49

            She did it in OG-08, OG-12 and WC-15. She might do it again.

          • NYRick

            MJ won 6 rings once too, but then embarrassed himself late in his career with the concept that there was one more.

          • Steglitz49

            Gold-Lena retired at 25 giving as reason that she could not motivate herself anymore. She is not the only one fortunately.

            ARod played herself back into the NT after having had a baby while Lauren left the stage at 27.

            A good example of it being ill advised to carry on too long is the late Muhammad Ali who passed away the other night.

          • NYRick

            The only soccer player who can play as “fill in their name” is Messi. That’s it. Oh, I forgot, Carli and her coach thinks she is the female Messi. My mistake.

          • CED

            Your ignorance of the game knows no bounds. I bet you think somebody like Busquets does nothing to. Do you even know what a DM does. A DM can have a great game without being on the ball or getting tons of touches b/c they are shutting down passes by positioning, thus the tackle doesn’t have to be made.

      • CED

        Actually, they won’t. Everybody is going to be playing b/c you have to play on 2 days rest and it’s going to be hot. Manuas game could be oppressive like it was for MNT in 2014.

    • NYRick

      I only saw the first half but CP-Alex did look pretty good. It is the biggest no-brainer maybe in the history of US soccer, mens or women.

      And Lloyd should not prevent it anymore. That is moronic and simply corrupt to put Carli in the forward slot with Morgan. They have no chemistry. Zero.

      • Don B.

        If Lloyd never put the jersey on again, I wouldn’t miss her.

        • NYRick

          Right now when I see Morgan playing I see a player who is entering her prime (better than 2012 because she understands the game so much better now). She could always get by on pure athletic superiority which she has in abundance. But now it is all coming together for her.

          Which is why “her prime” should not be wasted paired with Carli the next 4 years. It should be with Press. They will be dynamite together and it seems when they are together neither cares who scores or who gets the chances.

      • Steglitz49

        The US scored 2 goals in this match and both should have been disallowed for offside. What on earth can you conclude from that?

        In the previous match, the US scored 3 goals but 2 were in the period when Japan was playing with 10 ladies. What can you conclude from that?

        The only conclusion is that this was like a practice scrimmage without the benefit of touchjudges.

    • HOFCToDi

      Tickets – $44.12 per person
      Parking – $20
      Beer – $9.75 per person

      Watching Christen Press slice one into the stands ….. PRICELESS!

      • NYRick

        I am only answering you once here because your level of stupidity truly knows no bounds. I would hope that you are 7 years old to excuse your comments, but then again, that would be insulting to a 7 year old.

        Press really worries you. And that’s the beauty of it. You know deep down she is quite capable of doing something special in Rio and you are going to have to deal with it. It gnaws at your stomach the mere thought. And therein lies the beauty.

        • guest

          I have yet to witness your press do something really special on the national team against a good team so I wont hold my breath.

          • HOFCToDi

            The future of the USSF is Mallory Pugh and Christian Pulisic not Christen Press.

        • HOFCToDi

          Your stupidity was preordained.

        • HOFCToDi

          Updated tally:

          FIFA Top Ten Ranked Opponents
          USWNT Goals Scored
          Press (DOB 29 Dec 1988) – 3
          Johnston (DOB 06 Apr 1992) – 2
          Dunn (DOB 03 Jul 1992) – 2
          Horan (DOB 26 May 1994) – 2
          Mewis (DOB 09 Oct 1992) – 1

  • mockmook

    Watched this game and re-watched the last game — kept a lot of my focus on Long.

    Can’t understand the criticism she got for the 1st game. I think she had one giveaway. But, she also had several pinpoint passes and a beautiful through ball to Alex. And, she had 3 or 4 takeaways.

    On Japan’s last goal, she defended the players in front of her, it was the back line’s job to pick up the players already behind her.

    Overall, excellent performances by Long in both games.

    The USA as a whole wasn’t bad either (except the breakdowns on the goals). I know that is a big exception, but those errors seem like they are easily correctable.

    • Guest

      The big difference I saw between the two games what that in the first game, the US hardly pressed at all allowing easy entry into their defending third which saw the US make some very poor mistakes in defense. In the game today they did press Japan and Japan couldn’t play out of the back as easily. They misplaced passes which led to turnovers and US chances. Poor Japanese goaltending was also a factor in the score line on Thursday. The US back line also improved their speed of play from the Thursday game and weren’t forced into as many long balls although they still attempted some on occasion.

    • nwslfan

      when I watched, in this game, on attack, Long turned the ball better, had more positive balls instead always the safe ball played back and the positive balls forward connected. One forced pass that was given away in a dangerous place in the back of the middle third, but only one, and that happens. On defense, she covered passing lanes better, which took away passing opportunities and even intercepted a few balls and broke up play. Last game, this did not happen much and she was much more reactive than proactive on defense..

    • Don B.

      Long is much, much better player than most give her credit for.

    • Michelle

      She’s played exceptionally well over the last year or so. I’m not a fan of hers, but if she can control her temper, I won’t mind her going to Rio. (Which is good, because this lineup looks to be the Rio starting lineup.)

  • Scooter

    I don’t understand the whining about Jill. She’s trying to play more technical players. She is bringing in youth.

  • Frozen Blue

    Can I just say I am in soccer heaven right now!! 2 USWNT games, Copa America and Euro’s starting in just a few days…..I’m so happy.

  • NYRick

    I had to DVR this match and only got the first half. I got some ESPN glitch with the Ali-Liston fight that last second added in. Anyone know where I can see the second half (I know from here that it was stopped at the 76th minute)? ESPN doesn’t seem to be replaying it.

    As for the half, nice to see CP and Alex together in a 4-4-2. This is what it should be. This is what it always should have been. Leave the young speed players on the wing like Dunn and Pugh to alternate for minutes, and Heath on the other side. When Carli comes back we know she has to play so put her back in the midfield.

    The front 4 players we had (Heath, Morgan, Press and Dunn) are a handful to deal with. With Press and Morgan, it’s pick your poison for the opposition. Both will beat you and cause fits. It is simply mind-boggling that a coach doesn’t pair these two and stay the hell out of the way.

    Play of the first half: Morgan slick two foot one touch back heel to Press in the box. Press tightly guarded and barely got off a blocked shot, but that was a play that will happen more and more with chemistry.

    Also, I thought Allie Long was solid. Give her major credit because I think she is on the 18.

    • mockmook

      Perhaps ESPN3 will fix the video in the next day or two (but don’t hold your breath).

      BTW, just ’cause you want to fix “your” Lloyd problem, don’t pawn her off on the rest of the midfield — what did they ever do to you?

      • NYRick

        Seriously, when she comes back is she honestly playing as a starting forward again? Is she officially done in the midfield? Because in her halftime interview with Foudy she most definitely indicated she is playing till 40.

        • mockmook

          Can’t see anything but her being the withdrawn forward until at least the end of the “VT”.

          • NYRick

            That’s bad coaching. It’s embarrassing really when you saw Morgan and Press together yesterday.

        • guest

          rampone can do it then so can lloyd. she get’s her two year salary gift send off too. it’s only fair. womens equality.

        • dw

          She plays a position called “Carli Lloyd”.

          • NYRick

            Hey did you catch her halftime interview with Foudy? Not one mention of the team and how as captain she takes that responsibility etc. All about her and her accomplishments. All about wanting more personal goals etc.

            Believe it or not, I was a fan of hers at one time. I admired the grind. I thought she never got the proper credit over the years. Now, I just don’t see how anyone roots for her, other than of course the steadfast followers.

          • dw

            I like WoSo Rick, but not so much as to watch Foudy or Lloyd, much less both at the same time… To Carli, the “C” on the armband stands for “Carli”.

          • kevin

            anymore details about carli lloyd’s half-time interview? the youtube video of the game cut it out. now she’s saying she wants to play till 40? so that would be till 2022. what’s after the 2020 tokyo olympics? i can only guess she is going after wambach’s all-time goal record.

        • I muted it so fast, I didn’t hear it. She just makes me cringe in every interview she gives.

    • Guest

      I like all of Pugh, Heath, Press(centrally) and Dunn in the attacking midfield line but I would rotate all of players in the Olympic format since there is short rest. Probably should rotate Alex too.

    • Frozen Blue

      Yeah I had the DVR set for this game and got none of it because they schedule changed to say boxing was on not soccer sometime after I set the DVR, only got to see the second “half”.

    • Ethan

      Yeah, I watched the replay on ESPN3, and I also didn’t get to see the second half.

      Loved that play from Morgan, and that’s not the first time she’s made that kind of play. Having Heath, Morgan, Press, Dunn, and Pugh all on the same roster is just ridiculous. Add in Rapinoe (I don’t really think putting her on the Olympic roster is the best idea), and it’s even more ridiculous.

      Long did look pretty good.

      • Guest

        Poor finishing may have prevented both from getting on the score sheet but Heath and Press combined very well today. Actually, all of Morgan, Dunn, Press and Tobin’s connected well today. It’s a shame it took multiple injuries and a sick player to finally see this combination in action. The withdrawn forward role looks like a natural position for Press.

        • Andrew Alberico

          You are right on with your comment. Press and Morgan have to be on field for 90 minutes, together. That is a no brainer. Christen’s overall play today was the best I have seen from her. She and Alex, Dunn and Tobin all pressed the Japan back line and made it difficult for their offense to get organized. Why would the coach not want to stay with this group?

          • guest

            lloyd will start world war three if she isn’t starting in the rio olympics. the greatest women’s player in the world doesn’t come off the bench.

    • Guest

      I think Heath’s pass to Morgan on that play was a nutmeg pass too, so it would have been all kinds of pretty if Press could have scored.

    • guest

      both game halfs are already up on youtube..

    • dw

      Yeah, Allie looks like she’s in. A great turnaround game for her:
      1) She wasn’t displaced for Mewis in starting XI
      2) She likely showed improvement in whatever areas the training in between matches was concentrating on.
      3) Shows up on scoresheet.
      4) Game called by weather before Mewis can come on.
      Bottom line, she played MUCH better than on Thursday.

    • guest

      don’t think so on the long part.

  • rachel

    Does this mean those who are called into the next camp are the players are going to rio?

    • mockmook

      Seems likely since Jill wants to announce the roster in early July.

      • rachel

        oh this doesn’t play well for players ashlyn harris. Do you think is or wanting to move on from her?

        • mockmook

          Harris looks destined to be the alternate for OG16.

          And, that could be the end, as JE will likely start calling in younger GKs (like Franch) in preparation for WWC19.

          • rachel

            That’s really sad if this is the end for her.

          • rachel

            you think things could change for Harris within the next 4 to 5 weeks with league play?

          • mockmook

            No, JE uses camps much more that league play — league play can get you into a camp, that’s about it.

          • guest

            What makes Harris stand out in the league is also what has hindered her chances of actually sticking with the NT. She’s the opposite kind of keeper to Solo and Naeher. Solo and Naeher rely more on positioning and not taking the kind of risks Harris takes with essentially playing sweeper keeper. With as rarely they play the secondary keepers, having a backup keeper with a style more similar to the starter makes transitioning between the two easier.

          • Steglitz49

            If you are going to play like Neuer, you need to be as tall as Neuer.

      • Paul Klee

        I think the date for roster entries is July 18. I wouldn’t be surprised if Ellis names the roster right after the South Africa friendly.

        • Steglitz49

          Sweden play Japan on July 21st, so their OG roster will be known.

        • mockmook

          My crystal ball says before 🙂

          • Paul Klee

            You would think; but she may give Rapinoe more time.

    • Paul Klee

      My Guess is that 23 will be called into July camp. The 18 that were on the first friendly roster, Rapinoe, Lloyd, Hinkle, HAO and Harris. Barring injuries or pregnancies, of course. And if Rapinoe makes the 18, I can see HAO as the one that doesn’t go to Rio either on th roster or as an alternate.

      • Paul Klee

        Of course you could also bring in Lavelle to even up the roomie situation. It wouldn’t affect an NWSL roster or start Rose’s NT contract clock.

  • ezra_weizs

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

    Reason why Krieger isn’t starting at the 1 min mark. She knows that “getting forward” all at once isn’t necessarily what the backline needs. They weren’t horrible today but they were still shaky as they have been since kriegers been benched. KO hasn’t added anything to the right side. Hate on krieger personally all you want but you can’t deny the fact that she is the better right back. Have Kling and Kelley work the left side since that is where they are strong, but Krieger totally owns that right side. Besides one off game with Portland she has been the better defender in the league hands down. She reads the game well and goes forward in the right moments. Not just aimlessley because the coach says so. Defense wins games. Krieger has had the perfect balance between offense and defense in the league. She’s even started many of the plays for the spirit. Jill clearly only saw one game because she would’ve seen that Krieger is better. The argument is that KO gets forward more than Krieger but krieger has also proven she is better at that too during NWSL games. Besides one good cross which was shutdown by the gk KO was pretty nonexistent tonight. Her defending was a bit better but Japan was still able to get pass her and have a shot on goal. Krieger gets a lot of hate on here for whatever reason but do not deny that she is the better defender and is even more dangerous when she gets into the attack. I’m not saying KO is bad, she can find a spot on the left with kling or in the midfield as a sub but not the rightside. Jill won’t star krieger for a personal agenda it has nothing to do with the way she plays. Krieger is obviously better. She didn’t play every minute of two world cups for no reason. If I am another team during the OG I’m lauging that Jill benched her best right back and I am having my players attack that right side relentlessly.
    P.S if you have anything negative to say about krieger keep in moving because 1. i dont care. 2. remove personal feelings when analyzing players. It’s about the way their skill and talent (not a wedding). 3. If you believe that KO is better than Krieger you dont watch the NWSL and you choose to ignore her skill.

    • Guest

      The back line wasn’t shaky in defense at all today. Japan had a total of 3 shots and 1 on goal in 75 minutes. The entire team picked up their defensive effort and gave Japan nothing resembling a good scoring opportunity

      • ezra_weizs

        your right in the fact that the teams overall defense was good but the Backline can always do better imo. one of those shot’s on goal came from the right side. And im not saying that kelley was horrible or that krieger is perfect but she is better for the defense. specifically at rightback. Defense is a lot stronger with krieger. that is just how I feel

      • Paul Klee

        They still weren’t great at getting the ball forward, though. Still too many touches.

        • Guest

          They were better than they were on Thursday though and the offense was supplemented by the counter-press they employed at times in this game. Their first job is to be solid in defense and not give up the chances that resulted in three goals a couple of days ago. They did that today.

          • Paul Klee

            Part of that was not playing at altitude Dunn, Heath and Press were able to go back and relieve more pressure.

          • Guest

            I think the non-pressing strategy in the first game had everything to do with the altitude. Dunn, Heath, and Press going back to relieve pressure and pick up the ball may have been a change in tactics. I still think the back line was noticeably better at moving the ball in this game. While they still attempted long balls in this game it seemed like they were at times able to build up from the back unlike the game on Thursday where going long seemed like the only option

          • Bruce

            Part of that was also the poor work of Japan in their defending half. As brilliant as their tactics were on Thursday, they looked simply bad today.

          • Steglitz49

            Their coach changed the line-up. She is experimenting, building for 2019.

            Once she saw on the replay that the first goal was off-side and then the second, she wrote the match off as a practice game without the benefit of touchjudges.

          • Bruce

            I doubt she wrote the game off after the Johnston goal.

            There were something like 15 players in the box and a scrum after the failed clearance. Judges at any level will miss that call as much as they make it because there are too many bodies to see through and the play has no structure.

          • Steglitz49

            Goal review is starting in the autumn in the Bundesliga and Dutch league and a couple of others. Maybe it will be tested in Euro-17? I expect to see it in use in WC-18.

    • mockmook

      “P.S if you have anything negative to say about krieger keep in moving”

      Right, only your opinion matters — thank you master, may I have another?

      BTW, you might consider adding a paragraph break every once in a while.

    • guest

      what do you think the personal agenda is for ellis not starting kreiger? is it really about the wedding after all?

      • ezra_weizs

        no. Jill wants all her outside backs to get forward. That is her strategy. Krieger knows that it’s not a good idea for everyone to get forward all at once because things like what happened on thursday can take place again. Krieger won’t do exactly what jill wants so she gets benched. It’s obvious that she is better than KO.

        People on equalizer don’t like krieger because of the wedding. That’s the reason for all the hate on her. They can’t seem to let it go.

        Kelley is great on the left side and Krieger is better on the right side. No reason why krieger should not be starting

        • CED

          The naive comment in the Krieger Fangirling is hilarious. The false notion that everybody must get up all at once is BS. The fact is krieger is not as good offensively and btw is slower, lost several steps over the years and it’s showing..ie…Germnay game she was a traffic cone.

          • guest

            now i am curious what the deleted comments were?

  • Bruce

    So what was that formation we saw today? It looked at times like a 4-4-2 with Press withdrawn behind Morgan. Press was working the midfield like a CAM too though, and worked back as deeply as I’ve seen her play the middle this year.

    Whatever it was, I liked it. Aligning the front 4 of Dunn, Press, Morgan And Heath like that is going to be a nightmare for any team to defend.

    • Guest

      4-4-1-1 or 4-2-3-1. Only real changes today from Thursday was that the team pressed Japan which created a lot of chances to counter(where pretty much all of our good chances came from) and Heath, Press and Dunn dropped back a little more often to pick the ball up. The biggest thing though was defensive pressure because Japan couldn’t pass well enough to beat it.

      • Bruce

        The work rate of those four (Morgan included) was easily the highest I’ve seen from the USWNT in a long time.

        • Guest

          They have been trying to work on building up from the back for the last 6 months because it’s next to impossible for the team to play like that for 90 minutes in every game in a tournament setting. The only team they really tried to press at SBC was Germany which was probably due to the changes to the starting XI in that game. There are also only a handful of teams that require the USWNT to defend like that and they don’t bother pressing when they don’t need to.

          • Bruce

            Jill might be tempted think that she the horses to show that effort over the course of an entire tournament. This team rolls extremely deep with players with pace.

          • Guest

            It’s unwise to attempt at the olympics with less rest days and a short bench and like I said they can beat most teams without pressing.

    • Steglitz49

      Both goals being off-side makes the match uninterpretable from the US angle. We do not know how it would have unfolded had there not been the first goal let alone any goal.

      FIFA needs an academy for touchjudges, not just refs.

  • brdn08

    Japan should be thankful this score line was not much worse. While I agree at least one of the goals scored should have been called back, the US created tons of chances that should have been put away. Allie and Alex in the first half Christen and Tobin in the second and tons of opportunities that were missed due to timing like he back heel from Morgan, Morgan’s pass to Press that was called offsides (Morgan either needed to release it sooner or go to Dunn). I had to check the lineups again because I was sure Iwashimizu had snuck into the back line.Absolutely horrid defending by Japan I don’t see any improvement from last year.

    • max

      japan won’t beat uswnt team unless they play 35 times to win 1. Lol 1 out of 30+ games. What a potato can team!

    • Steglitz49

      Off-side is offside. They will experiment with review of goals in the Bundesliga and the Ducth league and a couple of other male leagues and competition. Expect to see it in use in the men’s WC in 2018 if not already in the ladies Euro-17.

      • brdn08

        If Japan’s only hope of winning is praying that it’s opponents get called for offsides or missing opportunities, then their descent will continue.

        • Steglitz49

          Would Atletico Madrid have won if Sergio Ramos’s goal had been disallowed as it should have been? We will never know but we know that Atletico scored the only legal goal.

          • brdn08

            If Atletico had scored one more goal they would have won. I can’t say what would have happened. I can only say it was a terrible moment to miss a call.

          • Steglitz49

            Atletico missed a penalty early in the 2nd half.

  • #1Fan

    When assessing practice matches like this I one there is way too much focus on the result. In many ways this game was similar to the first. Japan continue to try and pass out of pressure almost to a fault and the USA create counters off it. As the game progresses and legs go, USA create more. But the facts are the USA create little that is not over the top and the defenders are not assured when faced with this possession style.

    • Guest

      Pressing to create offense and chances is a sound tactic that works at every level of play. If Japan can’t pass well enough to beat the press, what team can. I suppose Japan could have attempted to go long and they did at times in this game but the result was they created zero offense. France probably has the greatest chance to beat the US with their ability to counter, possess and go long. There are players on the USWNT capable of playing though build up even if they aren’t anywhere near as good as the Japanese

      • #1Fan

        Agree. Its a very valid tactic against EVERY team in WoSO. That has been a major theme of mine all along. The game is just not refined enough to have enough teams that can pass out of it. Why do you think UNC has so many championships in the college game ? Dorrance figured this out a long time ago. Sure it has gotten better, but its still not there. Japan are really the best at it and even they cant sustain it and they don’t have the speed to go long . They have to attack with numbers which makes them tailor made for the USA on anything BUT a perfect day for them.
        The US do not attempt to posses much vs France so they don’t give up many counter chances. in the SBC, France speed troubled the US for sure and vice versa. That game is athletes and depth vs the same. 2 very similar teams.

        • Guest

          I definitely agree that it works better in WoSo than it does in men’s football but managers like Simeone and Mourinho have made their careers by winning with ‘negative’ football, it works everywhere. The way Atletico shut down Barcelona over two legs in the Champions League this year was a master class defensive performance against one of the very best possession teams. In the second classico this year Zidane played with a 4-5-1 defensive structure and also shut down Messi and company playing ‘negative’ football focused on counter-attacks, set pieces, and clogging the center or the pitch on defense.

          Differently from these traditionally ‘negative’ but effective styles, I think there are managers such as Klopp and Pep who use pressing in a positive way. Sorry for the men’s football references but there just isn’t as much as a need for tactics in WoSo outside of the top 10 NTs. As I think you have noted before elite athleticism still trumps all.

          • #1Fan

            I guess my point should be that its they prevailing style of the dominant team. You are totally correct re Men’s.

  • Reality

    As grateful as I am to see Morgan and Press play together at forward, there is a distinct possibility that this was another one of Ellis’s decisions forced by circumstance insofar as Lloyd is injured and Pugh was ill. Nevertheless, it proved to be an excellent combination (what a surprise!) and should be the final key to the NT makeover that has been occurring since WC2015. Rampone, Lloyd and O’Reilly are vestiges of another generation of soccer play. While Rampone is finally about to retire from the NT and O’Reilly will probably not be on the OG roster, Lloyd, barring injury, will still be around given her vow to play indefinitely. She needs to be placed in a limited play status in terms of minutes, opponents and circumstance.

    Press essentially played the withdrawn forward position and did a good job. She was all over the field in both offense and defense, creating scoring opportunities and slowing down the Japanese play. There should be no question about her stamina or skill in fulfilling this role for the team as it fits in nicely to where the NT is headed in terms of its strategy and style of play.

    The only question at this point is whether Ellis will continue to progress in this direction with Press or regress to the status quo of the past. The NT is still exhibiting an overreliance on the direct over the top game, but with Press and Morgan up top, this will provide more offensive options and combinations that will free both players to be very dangerous and productive.

    • NYRick

      1. Real question: does Tony G offer any input other than championing Kling? I just never have gotten how the guy sitting next to Ellis because of Press never champions her on the NT. He can’t possibly or she wouldn’t be JUST getting starts due to injury and illness like you say.

      2. Only one conclusion: Ellis is simply a terrible coach. I know S49 will chime in about winning the WC, but that can’t be the evaluation. There are guys coaching their daughters in kid’s leagues who could take this all-star roster on a deep run in any tournament.

      3. The Morgan-Press forward pairing (like yesterday in a 4-4-2). I think people miss the main point about it. They view us as grandstanders, but they feel to see the obvious: Morgan is better with Press on pitch. Press is better with Morgan on the pitch. Heath is better with Morgan and Press on the pitch. Dunn is better with Morgan and Press on the pitch. It’s that simple.

      • Reality

        3. The NT will be a better team with this combination.

        • NYRick

          It’s so blatantly obvious.

      • They looked great together yesterday. Imagine if Morgan, Press, Dunn, Heath and Pugh had solid games together to develop chemistry. It would be insane.

  • So hint = no help

    Why did Kassouf choose a picture with the ball 5 yards off the passer’s foot?

    • CED

      She was clearly off, horrible call even if he didn’t get the freeze frame right

      • AlexH

        Absolutely offside on both….but….if you control the game and continually challenge the opponent’b back line sooner or later you will a) get gifted by the ref keeping the flag down in error and b) get robbed by the ref putting up the flag in error. Unless FIFA decides to get its poop together this will continue unabated so we might as well work toward taking advantage of the situation as it is rather than as it should be.

  • AlexH

    The difference between Sunday and Thursday’s game was that the USWNT was taking this game seriously. On Thursday that Japanese were playing aggressively and physically and our team pretty much wanted no part of that whereas yesterday the gals were giving it back and hence the better result. The most important thing about playing a possession team is to win 50-50 balls because every one that you lose allows the other team to make another 20 passes that they get to make.

  • sudeep das

    Very hard to swallow – min. 20 friendlies for base pay of $72000 i.e. $3600 for each game by a USWNT player. Now if she wins – add bonus of $1350 to make an earning of $4950 which is $50 less for a USMNT player that loses a game and gets $5000 !!! Win bonus (against a top opponent) difference is an astronomical $12675. Of course don’t have the per game costs of other benefits, maternity leave, etc.

  • AlexH

    The midfield did a great job winning balls and breaking up a lot of Japanese passes. The defense benefited by being put under less pressure but when they pressure did arrive they weren’t much better than on Thursday. They were still way to slow in moving the ball and they allowed themselves to be trapped on the sideline far too often instead of switching the field.

  • Cc W

    And it sounds like that while the players will get paid as US Soccer considers it a win, FIFA decides whether the game will count. I’m wondering who decides if Hope gets the clean sheet – is it a USSoccer thing or FIFA?

  • F0OtballNowAndAlways

    By the way, you people on EQ are the most fickle humans in all of creation. So the Dunn-Morgan-Press trinity is a capital idea, huh? Really? Didn’t the trio start the “She Believes” cup final, playing essentially the same roles? Didn’t Dunn have a rather forgettable game that day, while Press, though solid was hardly spectacular, with Morgan being the only one of the three faring admirably?.

    So you think maybe we should watch and see if the results of yesterday’s experiment can be recreated before anointing these women’s heads with oil? Why don’t we watch and see to ensure it wasn’t a one off deal before shouting hallelujah?

    • All were asking for is a chance to see how great it can be. Maybe it is a one-off (doubtful) but we need more games from them as starters to see.

      • NYRick

        All together now in perfect harmony…

        “All we are say-ing…is give Press a chance.”

    • Guest

      Yeah. One game isn’t really proof of anything one way or the other. I do think it is important that Press was deployed differently in the Germany game than she was in this one. This game had Press in Lloyd’s position and Heath on the left wing. I do think this subtle position change is important for Press since it allows her to get comfortably into the central positions she likes to shoot from and frees her up from having to track back and defend outside backs like Maier or Kemme. Long also wasn’t on the SBC roster. Her first call in this year came at the end of that month and I think she has helped improve the CM play.

    • AlexH

      Because….this…..is……the……internet!!!!!!!

      Having to prove ones point with evidence and logic is tiresome and takes all of the fun out of it.

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  • sudeep das

    Meanwhile the Football Ferns drew 1-1 with the Matildas.

  • Lord Otter-Blotter

    In the 74′ Lindsey Horan takes the ball away from Allie Long, who has the ball pretty comfortably near midfield, knocks her down in the process, and kicks it straight to a Japanese attacker. :S

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