USWNT Things Learned: Ellis’ lineup seems to be set

Ray Curren June 6, 2016 891
Jill Ellis's lineup choices against Japan seem to hint she is narrowing down a lineup for Rio (photo copyright EriMac Photo for The Equalizer)

Jill Ellis’s lineup choices against Japan seem to hint she is narrowing down a lineup for Rio (photo copyright EriMac Photo for The Equalizer)

It will be 59 days between the U.S. national team’s 2-0 win over Japan Sunday and its Olympic opener in Belo Horizonte, Brazil against New Zealand. That seems like a decent amount of time, and in some ways it is. But for Jill Ellis and her coaching staff? Not so much.

There will be two more friendlies (and, of course, several NWSL games, but you know…) for Ellis to evaluate her team, and then it’s go time. Therefore, it shouldn’t be that surprising to see the USWNT make just one change from the first Japan game (Thursday) to the second three days later, and that seems to be more to give Mallory Pugh a bit of a rest (with Christen Press inserted) than anything else.

It’s not unreasonable to say that Jill Ellis should wait a little longer before picking her starting lineup for the Olympics. There are not only those NWSL games, but given the Olympic format of 12 teams fighting for eight quarterfinal spots, there is virtually zero chance the U.S. gets knocked out in the group stage (yes, it does help to be atop the group as far as knockout matchups are concerned, getting Germany in the quarterfinals would not be optimal). So the date Ellis really has to have her personnel in order by that standard is really August 12.

[MORE: Japan scores late for 3-3 draw | Morgan, Johnston lead U.S. in rain-shortened rematch]

However, Ellis’ apparent business model is also defendable. It certainly worked last year, and allows her to really tweak formations and take a look at what she needs to do when it comes to in-game adjustments. So, unfortunately for Ali Krieger, Alyssa Naeher/Ashlyn Harris, and Lindsey Horan, it looks like the U.S. has its starting lineup for Brazil pretty much set (assuming Carli Lloyd is 100 percent by then). So you can take umbrage with using just one sub through 75 minutes of a friendly match or not giving in-form goalkeepers even a chance to unseat the long-time incumbent starter, or not even bothering to look at a true holding midfielder, but Jill Ellis clearly does not seem to want any controversy in the lead-up to what will be the biggest tournament for the next three years, leaving any change to be sorted out afterward.

I don’t necessarily agree with it, and maybe you don’t either, but that doesn’t automatically make it wrong. Ellis did virtually the same thing last spring (although injuries made her adjust a little) and came home with the United States’ first World Cup title since 1999. And no matter what names she puts down in Brazil, the USWNT has a good chance to win another gold medal. Therefore, instead of complaining, let’s assess what we saw this week from the United States in a couple of very good preparation matches against Japan, who won’t be in a fourth straight major tournament final thanks to a horrific Asian qualifying tournament (at home, no less).

What did we learn?:

1) Allie Long is going to Brazil: Yes, Carli Lloyd is out, and it is likely that Long was keeping her spot warm in these two matches, but Ellis would not have started Long in both matches if she wouldn’t have some role in the Olympics. Long, as she has shown in NWSL, did very well in a more advanced role. She complements the ridiculous amount of attacking talent (more on that in a moment) excellently, always looking to make late runs and get herself into dangerous positions (a lot like Lloyd, actually). With players that can get her the ball in those spots, that’s an underrated weapon to have, after all it is the finished product that matters in the end, and the USWNT’s best chance of losing might be having an “off night” where they just don’t finish chances. Long as an attacking sub could help on that type of evening (or obviously be a fill-in if Lloyd or someone else can’t go).

[{CANADA: Sophie Schmidt enjoying Frankfurt | Fall to Brazil in disappointing display]

The issue with Long will be at the other end. On Wednesday, Japan was able to get through the U.S. midfield (which doesn’t have a true holding mid with Morgan Brian playing that spot) too easily. The most likely option on the current roster for someone to help with that would probably be Samantha Mewis, but she got only six minutes in the two games this week. So, as I said in the open, it is what it is, most likely.

2) The U.S. shouldn’t have trouble scoring goals: Yes, they missed a few chances and both goals Sunday were missed offside calls, but – as of now – almost all the U.S. attackers are in good form, led by Alex Morgan. Japan tried to defend Morgan using a high line, and it was somewhat effective at times, but it just takes one mistake (including one from an assistant referee as we saw on her goal Sunday) for that to backfire in a hurry.

The trio of Crystal Dunn, Tobin Heath, and Morgan up top is tough enough to stop, but then you add in Carli Lloyd and either Mallory Pugh or Christen Press? All five of those are capable of scoring or setting up goals at any time, which has the potential to make Ellis’ job extremely easy in Brazil if that continues. Good luck, rest of the world.

3) Japan didn’t exactly field an experienced squad: Obviously, it’s comparing apples to oranges because Japan won’t play in a major tournament until they’re in France in 2019, but imagine the backlash if there was turnover in the USWNT roster like there has been in Japan in the past few months.

Asako Takakura has plenty of experience with youth national teams, so it’s not surprising (especially given the somewhat embarrassing Olympic qualifying run) that she made wholesale changes to the roster. Aya Miyama is out with an injury, but veteran players like Shinobu Ohno, Homare Sawa (now retired), Yukari Kinga, and Azusa Iwashimizu – all over 100 caps – no longer seem to be part of the Japanese mix. In all, just three Japanese players (Saki Kumugai, Mizuho Sakaguchi, and Rumi Utsugi) started both the World Cup and Sunday’s match.

(Seven of 11 U.S. starters were the same, with Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe out with injuries, Lauren Holiday retired, and Ali Krieger the only healthy omission.)

Takakura also rotated liberally between matches, making six changes from Thursday’s lineup, the most significant being in goal, where 6-foot-1 Erina Yamane was excellent Sunday. Thursday’s squad was a bit more experienced.

4) What about NWSL form?: We’ve already established it doesn’t matter all that much it appears, but the two U.S. starters in the worst form are Hope Solo and Morgan Brian. Both did not have great games on Thursday, Brian did not do much to break up Japanese attacks and Solo conceded three times (although it’s hard to make a case that any of them were her fault). They looked much better Sunday, with Brian able to get forward (to be fair, she was Thursday as well) and doing a good job controlling the play from the middle. Solo wasn’t called on much, but when she was did fine.

There are slight concerns about Julie Johnston and Becky Sauerbrunn, both of whom have had slight struggles in NWSL (Kansas City was winless when Sauerbrunn left and Chicago has looked arguably better without Johnston), and there was a moment or two of worry this week. Sauerbrunn decided to come forward for some reason Thursday on Japan’s tying goal and Johnston nearly got caught in a red-card DOGSO situation on Sunday when she got turned.

(Yes, this whole note could be classified successfully as a nitpick, sorry.)

5) No injuries of note: Thankfully, the USWNT escaped both games without any major injury concerns. In fact, at the moment, the only player that seems to be in question for Brazil is Megan Rapinoe. That’s a much better situation than other teams are in and even more reason the United States should enter as a prohibitive favorite for its fourth straight Olympic gold medal.

  • Joe

    The roster has been set for months. Long was called in because Ellis doesn’t believe in Mewis and is not 100 percent convinced in Horan.

  • Chum del Rosario

    I really want Long to be in the Olympics roster because I think she has been more consistent compared with Mewis, although she is also incredible, but Long brings more fluidity to the game… at least that is what I think.

  • Tony

    US problem is Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd take playing time away from Christen Press and Crystal Dunn. That’s my problem.

    • kernel_thai

      It will be amazing if CPs performance yesterday doesnt earn her anything from Ellis

      • Agreed. Press played really well. Wish she would have gotten a goal because that seems to be the only way to show people her worth.

        • NYRick

          Press needs to score at minimum two goals a game any time she starts and absolutely must score one when she enters in the 65th or so minute of any match for any relevancy to the coaches.

          She is a really good all around player who makes most importantly Morgan even better when she is on the pitch with her. It’s funny, I often hear on here that Morgan’s presence opens up things for the other players, but never hear that Press’s presence on the pitch opens things up for others as well.

          • Guest

            Morgan’s runs open gaps in defenses for the US to exploit but it is fairly one dimensional. She doesn’t draw multiple defenders with dribbling ability or being a physical force like Wambach. Press is a little better on the ball than Morgan and can also make good runs but also isn’t really a dribbler. She is very good at filling in spaces and scoring goals though. Better at that than both Pugh and Lloyd in my opinion. I’d prefer Press got some more opportunities to start

          • NYRick

            My opinion. If Morgan, Lloyd and Dunn were injured for the OG and you had to ride your hopes on Press as your main striker and scorer…you will still win gold in Rio. Not a doubt in my mind. Morgan and Press have different skill sets but I still don’t rate one over the other in any way.

          • Chum del Rosario

            Yep, I totally agree with you. I think Press and Morgan have different skill sets, but they are both very dangerous when it comes to scoring. That is why I really hope that Jill would start them both even more because I think their partnership would hugely benefit the team.

          • #1Fan

            Press need Morgan or another striker at intl level. I don’t think Morgan needs Press

          • NYRick

            Sorry but with all due respect, that is a ridiculous statement. And it’s only made because Press supposedly hasn’t succeeded at the international level. We know about her impressive goal totals, but you still can’t properly evaluate with one player getting the 90 at the striker position and no where else against all international opponents and the other striker not playing striker nearly 80% of her minutes on the NT. That is just a blatantly incorrect statement that has no true yardstick to properly measure it to come to your conclusion.

            Press has carried every other team she has been on her whole career, except this NT where there is specific bias as to who steps on the pitch for the matches. Can’t convince me otherwise. That is not to slight Morgan, but if we are choosing a lone striker, Morgan’s game is not vastly superior to Press whereas she gets 100% of the starts when healthy. It just isn’t if one if being objective. Different skill sets. Both big talents.

          • #1Fan

            My comment is based on personnel and how the team plays. I don’t see press fitting in to this team as a lone striker. clearly they are both excellent players

          • NYRick

            I understand your point. But if you had to play Press out of necessity as the lone striker on this team it is fair to say that just about every other international team would kill to have that option.

          • #1Fan

            Cant think of a team that would not covet a Press. Excellent player. unlucky not to have been more involved.

          • #1Fan

            Morgan’s speed and strength is a better fit. No doubt.

          • Guest

            I would make the argument that neither Press or Morgan are ideal lone strikers at the highest level but would tend to agree with #1Fan the Morgan’s physical tools make her a better fit if you had to do it. I think Press would struggle as the lone forward in the same way I think Morgan would struggle as the withdrawn forward. They are different players with different skill sets.

          • NYRick

            The only thing to that is that Press has succeeded as the lone striker in her past career on several teams. And I think on the US team with Heath and Pugh to find her she could be very effective. I have said many times that the combo should be Morgan-Press with Press slightly withdrawn behind Morgan. Kind of what they did on Sunday. That is the best option for the team IMO.

            When Carli comes back she automatically takes that role which is foolish. Carli will probably get a couple of PKs and a header at the OG and be the big hero again. But that is not the best team Ellis could put on the pitch. In a final I would want Morgan and Press on the pitch as the two forwards. If you lose so be it, you gave yourself your best shot. Carli is type of player who would cause a mutiny a la Hope in 07WC if she didn’t start. She is not a team player. That’s all a good coach can do and should do. Carli is living off this big game reputation now and although that has value it eventually goes the wrong way for every athlete. They can’t cheat time or maybe some good fortune that has gone her way in those games.

          • Guest

            I think Press should start. Right now I think she may be the best option to play the withdrawn striker position. Pugh is the only player I think might be a better 10 but hasn’t proven to be a great goal scorer yet. I would be more likely to sit Morgan to try Lindsey at the 9 than sit Press right now. I explained why a few comments up in response to Ethan and #1Fan. Carli is a downgrade to every player in the starting XI and probably a few CMs not on the team. I would use her as Press’ sub or not at all.

          • Guest
          • brdn08

            Wait………….pump the brakes. Press was great in Europe but to say she carried Marta and Vero is not only disrespectful to arguably the greatest woso footballer of all time but also the epitome of bias. Please crawl down out of Christen Press’s Colon.

            With that said obviously I’d give Press Carli’s spot in a heartbeat. She’s the perfect player to have playing false 9 or partnering with Morgan. Four things in combination that separate Morgan from all other attacking players on this team, speed to outrun any defender, service equal to or better than most midfielders not named Aya Miyama, knack for big moments against quality opponents(if you don’t recognize this then you are a hater), and lastly her ball winning is greatly underrated.

          • NYRick

            OK fair enough on Tyreso. Let’s say that Press was an important part of that trio (kind of the Green to Curry and Thompson) for their dominance. And actually on their run to the CL it was Press who put up all the big numbers, but I get your point.

          • brdn08

            No doubt Press was a goal scoring machine. Unfortunately the Us doesn’t have the personnel to play to her strengths.

          • Guest

            This team doesn’t need Lloyd in any way shape or form. I’d make the argument that they are better off without both Pinoe(would take her as a sub if healthy though) and Lloyd. Morgan and Dunn are still very good effective players though although neither will age well.

          • htm222

            is there such a thing as a professional athlete that ages well beyond their mid 20s? For 99% of athletes their goose will be starting to cook by 30. If it’s not already well done. This is probably the peak for Morgan and Press.. better use them now.

          • Guest

            No. But, players who rely on their pace and agility typically fall off faster than those who rely on other qualities to be successful.

          • rydma01

            Exactly. And to go along with that, the continuing bizarre mythology in so many EQ comments is that our Morgans and Presses are for some reason not becoming better futbol players all around. It’s a dumb assumption to make.

            What we do know, in contrast, is that 20-somethings who do not already have blazing speed with critical timing generally do not get faster with age nor become prime targets.

          • #1Fan

            They aren’t . Im sorry but development stops and it becomes maintenance. They become more experienced, but the technical foundation has been laid.

          • rydma01

            Disagree, both as a player and as a coach. But of course you’re entitled to your opinion.

            More fruitful topic would be why (IF, that is…) you feel their actual development (“experience” as you called it) will not be useful enough to make the team even more successful than it is already. I’m not putting words in your mouth, so if you prefer to answer this, feel unrestrained.

          • #1Fan

            Because it all relative. I believe at a certain point you have to do more to stand still relative to the young up and comers who are growing at a faster rate. Th USA remain a case study unto themselves because as stated many times, they are miles ahead of most in so many ways that cannot be replicated. The same way you can trot a well past sell by date Wambach out there in the WC and not pay for it. Physical tools decline as experience peaks, but unless in special circumstances its not enough. Andrea Pirlo and Frank Lampard have not turned NYCFC into winners have they ? The SA Spurs finally succumbed

          • rydma01

            I like the closer examination of the topic. I think everyone agrees that it’s a real thing that athletes get past their Sell By date. But you specifically are claiming (it seemed) that Morgan (and in your view soon Press too?) have already hit it, with no evidence and in my opinion also with little to no chance of logically explaining why we would agree other than by pointing at other players from elsewhere. But soccer is not tennis.

            The only way I can manage to hypothetically agree with you is if we stipulate that the overall level *and* scope of required skills is already so high for most players, that the only thing left of significance in a player’s value is the one or two things they have beyond that ultra-high baseline, so if the exception levels off then the player basically is not valuable anymore. Problem is, we still cannot simply assume that the player cannot evolve just because that idea fits the argument we want to make.

          • #1Fan

            I think they are not improving at a rapid rate. I think they are great players but not getting geater.

          • rydma01

            That will be one of those things that many people hope to discover by playing them together. It could be that I’ll wind up agreeing with you, but for now I’ll just take your observation as a sign that I should look closer.

          • #1Fan

            and of those Morgan is the one who will fall first. press is far cleverer with he ball because she has never relied on pace.

          • Ethan

            Press is clever with the ball. However, I don’t think you realize how quick Press actually is, and she does use her pace and acceleration.

            Plus, I think you’re seriously underselling Morgan, but I know we disagree here. For example, in this match, her through ball into Press for Heath’s chance, her clever attempt to get Press free in the box in the first half, her great cross attempt in the second half after getting by a Japanese defender in tight quarters, and her hold up play to lay the ball off to Brian in the first half all did not involve her speed.

          • Dillon77

            Agree with that. Those that rely on other qualities — center backs, goalies (most obvious)…

          • #1Fan

            agree

          • rydma01

            I would agree with you, with the slightest modification: if Press is on the field, any one of the following three partners could be good enough to win RIO – Morgan, Lloyd, or Dunn. However, it would be highly sensitive to who is CM and left flank.

          • #1Fan

            that is more a reflection on the opposition though. I don’t think you will beat Japan with Press up top alone. just not pacey enough to exploit japan on the counter

          • NYRick

            Press in the first minute gets led in by Dunn on a great short run and hits the keeper square in the face with a hard shot. Keeper beat, that’s bad luck. In second half, she gets a great drop off from Heath at the top of the box for a clear and easy shot to score and puts it 5 feet wide. That’s on her, but that’s two goals right there. Against Japan. And in the game Thursday night she had a sure goal from 7 yards out blocked by her own teammate with the keeper nowhere to make the save. That’s 3 goals in a small microcosm. All against Japan. So why can’t they beat Japan with Press? Up top she would be even more dangerous because she IS pacey enough to beat just about any defender when running full onto a ball.

          • #1Fan

            But it’s not about goals scored or missed. It’s about fit for the team. Press does not have to prove she can score. We know she can. Unless the change formations to include her, she will not be the lone striker of choice.

          • Guest

            Morgan isn’t really an ideal lone striker either since she isn’t a good back to goal hold up forward. Morgan’s best formation is probably a 2 front paired with a target forward so she can chase down flicked on balls by a Wambach type player and cross to a target when shooting isn’t an option.

            I think Press’ best position is underneath either a target forward or one that can stretch defenses out. She is probably the closest thing to a poacher in WoSo but she has some range to her shots. Press to me seems to be a player that fits in pretty well with the way the team is set up right now, although Pugh may be a better option in 4 years if she starts to score consistently.

            I still want to see Horan get a run out at CF though. I think Pugh, Heath, Press and Dunn would all benefit from a hold up forward that they can play off of. This team right now hardly plays any give and goes or other simple possession plays in tight spaces to open up a defense. Occasionally I see Pugh and Heath look for them(Pinoe at times as well) but they are hardly ever executed or used.

          • #1Fan

            We agree on this

          • Ethan

            Morgan made a pretty great back to goal hold up play in the first half for Brian to run onto, and a lot of her good link up passes come from holding defenders off. I’m not saying she’s the greatest, but I definitely think she’s better at hold up play than you think. Either way, I’d prefer Morgan over a traditional hold up forward in that highest striker role any day of the year.

          • Guest

            Morgan is a very good player. I’m not claim she can’t hold up on occasion but since she isn’t really strong enough to shield off center backs or able to quickly turn them easily she often passes off immediately when coming back to link up. I think she normally does a good job with getting the ball to the right player but she doesn’t often let runners get past her or play players into space. I know the immediate example that will come to mind is the Heath chance in this game but I don’t think those types of plays have been very common for this team over the last year.

            When talking about Lindsey specifically in a CF role, I don’t think she is solely a target forward in the sense that she is only good for holding up play and crossing to her head. I think she very technically sound with her feet and has shown that she is very capable in the distribution phase of the game. I have seen her easily win 50/50 long balls and control them while holding off defenders before passing it off to another attacker. I don’t know if she can do it against the very best defenders but I would like to see her get a shot at it. If not in this cycle than the next. She is also a very capable one touch passer which makes her an ideal forward to play off of in possession.

            As for who is the preferred attacker, for me it comes down to the style of play of the team. I think Morgan is the better option for a 4-4-2 counter-attacking setup. If the team is serious about a move towards a more possession based system though, I think Lindsey or another technically gifted hold up forward is the best option.

          • mockmook

            This reminds me of a formation I have tinkered with before — a way to have Alex and Press attack from the deep center, and other attackers all around. Here, Horan is the key:

            http://drawformation.com/post/57576ffd474a3/sm-57576ffd474a3.png

          • Guest

            I was thinking more along the lines of

            ………………………..Horan…………………………
            Heath………………..Press………………….Pugh
            ……………….Long…………..Brian……………….
            Kling………..Brunn…………..JJ…………O’hara

            or have it play as more of a 4-4-1-1

            ………………………..Horan…………………………
            ………………………..Press………………………….
            Heath………Long……………Brian………..Pugh
            Kling………..Brunn…………..JJ…………O’hara

            I don’t think Alex can play in the midfield. Her ball skills simply aren’t good enough and I think Press is better suited for a second striker role. Neither could play like Trequartistas so the wings would probably have to be players comfortable coming back for the ball and linking up. Horan holding up play would be helpful here though and give the team another option. Horan is also player the other forward or attacking mids can play off of since she is an excellent one touch passer.

          • #1Fan

            so would I in a 4411, but in that form, Lloyd does not play for me

          • Guest

            Lloyd isn’t a pivot player nor is she a b2b mid. I don’t think she is one of the 3 best US CMs in any formation. I think she would be a decent sub for that withdrawn striker role but not much else. As we saw at the WC Lloyd cannot be trusted with the ball from the pivot.

          • #1Fan

            Agreed

          • #1Fan

            the formation gives Morgan more options. I would not say it makes her better. Press cannot play as a lone attacker and imo, nor can Morgan unless you are pumping balls in to the channels

      • NYRick

        Ellis always just views CP as insurance, nothing more. And insurance as in 3 players have to get hurt to be forced to use her.

        • Steglitz49

          Correct.

    • Chum del Rosario

      For me, it’s still quite hard to see that Rapinoe can and will play in Rio because I think Jill is gonna play it safe with her roster…

      • CED

        Rapinoe is going if she’s fit for 20 to 30 minutes or more. She can be used as a supersub or to see an experienced player in MF to see a game out. Also, this is Pinoe’s last major tourney, not going to be around for Wcup 2019.

        • NYRick

          Pugh’s emergence (really thanks to Pinoe’s injury or she would have waited to post OG VT for her entrance) has to give Pinoe sleepless nights. Also too with Dunn growing as a formidable force on the flank. Pinoe is not stupid. This is definitely last hurrah for her and she wants to milk 2 to 3 more years out of her NT career. They will let her, but the younger options are better and the team is better.

          This is the problem with the aging queen bee Lloyd declaring herself ready to the next cycle. It will be the worst example and the program will payback too often past the sell date.

          • Chum del Rosario

            I like what you did there… “aging queen bee Lloyd”. Hahaha! 😀

          • #1Fan

            the last version of Rapinoe I saw is better than Pugh is now. Obviously Pugh has the potential to surpass.

          • Steglitz49

            3 years ago or so you ferreted out for us how much the USWNT members earn and in a WC and OG year it is now massive. Why would she not eke out her years at the trough. I would.

            It is hard for JE to axe her. JE is waiting to see how the cards fall. She is keeping her powder dry whilst sharpening her axe.

        • #1Fan

          Rapinoe when healthy is arguably the best wide player they have. She can dribble, she can cut in and shoot and she is unpredictable.

    • Steglitz49

      Carli has scored a number of significant goals. After last her performance in WC-15 and being voted POTY, JE can’t not select her.

      Pinoe she should not select.

      • rydma01

        We’re still talking about OG? Yep I agree. No one that I would send home to make room for Pinoe.

        More interesting point is that Carli can show up, NOT start, and have a pretty good OG. Depends a lot on the other players.

        With no supporting evidence, I wonder and nearly suspect that this injury may have derailed the careening Carli Show that she was riding quite badly) in 2016 and could mean she’ll play better on return. If nothing else, WNT knows that she’s expendable, and she knows that they know it — but that doesn’t mean they don’t want her on the field. A little humility could go a long way for her now. Just a thought, not an expectation.

  • 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

    • guest

      Engen over Sonnett, who has been playing more?

      What if Pinoe’s out…. I guess Mewis is in?

      • CED

        Neither played much, but Sonnett played much better vs quality opponents in SBC and also VT games vs Brazil. I prefer Sonnett also b/c she can play DM in a pinch.

        • kernel_thai

          If something happened to Broon Im not sure Id like the Johnston/Sonnett pairing…neither has a lot of CB experience to draw on to lead that line.

          • CED

            Didyou watch Engen in Germnay game, not good and she is “experienced”. Sonnett was only shaky the first 20 minutes of the 1st Brazil game and has looked pretty good in appearances since

          • kernel_thai

            Well u noticed in SBC she started all three paired with Sauerbrunn. Not remembering any pairing of Johnston with Engen/Sonnett except a late match cameo.

    • newsouth

      the olympics should be a prep tournament to ready the next generation for the world cup, so what’s the point of the old fogies, pinoe and lloyd on a another ride along. in fact i didn’t think pinoe was on the squad anymore, sorry, press, pugh and dunn, the biggest losers in this nonsense.

      • CED

        Actually, the OG is the end of a cycle so it’s rare to have turnover much from Wcup roster. The reason the newbie’s even got a chance is that their were 4 retirements, 2 pregnancies, 2 injuries at the start of 2016. There are several players on their last hoorah who won’t be aroud for Wcup 2019 no matter what they say…ie…Lloyd—37 by next Wcup, already moves and catered to b/c she can’t play CAM. Krieger–lost spot to Ko and Ali has lost a step just in the last year. Pinoe—too many young wide attacking MF options that will replace her before 2019),

        • Steglitz49

          The WC is the end and beginning, the A and O or alpha and omega if you prefer. The Veterans proved it once for all.

          • CED

            For some OG might be the Omega. If Engen and HAO don’t make roster I think they will lose allocation. They were given Tier I via being on Wcup roster, not playing in Wcup and not making OG roster, would be the end of the road. There is only so long to keep players around you have no intention of playing when you could have younger players in camp training and on friendly rosters.

          • Steglitz49

            I expect Engen to be phased out, likewise HAO. I would have stopped using a certain player since the day she did not play in the semi-final of the Championship.

            A number of players will do an ARod if not Holiday after Rio. They then must, like ARod, earn their positions again for WC-19.

    • Chum del Rosario

      I like your predicted roster, although I’m still not sure of Rapinoe over Mewis, and Engen over Sonnett… but over-all, I do think that Jill is gonna with healthy players.

      • CED

        Mewis is last in CM pecking order and also they have used Press in CAM several times in the last few games. Plenty of CM’s but never bad to have another experienced wide MF that can come in to see the last 15 to 20 minutes of a game out. That’s why I think Mewis is not in the 18, but an alternate. As alternate gets to go and keep training with NT as Mewis could be in the 2019 Wcup team.

    • rachel

      man i feel for ashlyn harris

      • Chum del Rosario

        Bad news: Harris is not one of Jill’s favorites. #favoritism

        • NYRick

          In this program, they are all obviously very good. Some a little more than others, but that difference is often marginal. Everyone of these girls on the NT was all-world in every program since they were little kids or else they wouldn’t be there.

          However, two big keys a player needs:

          1) You have to become a favorite. Have to. You could be great but if not a favorite you are essentially f*%ked. You may make the roster but your minutes are limited or non-existent.

          2) You have to come up through their U teams. This is huge advantage since they feel they made an investment in you for years.

          But #1 supersedes everything. They will gift you a spot and it is near impossible to play yourself off the program once you become a golden favorite.

          • Rachel

            I wonder where did it go wrong for Harris last year? I thought Harris could be number 1.

          • NYRick

            When they just let Hope off with a slap on the wrist for the team van joyride with husband…that’s where it went all wrong for Harris. This program is under the severe delusion that they can’t win without Hope and Lloyd. They didn’t learn anything from Wambach in 2015 apparently.

          • guest

            Where it went wrong for her is the way she plays the game. She’s the opposite of how Solo and Naeher play. She takes too many risks, puts herself in positions where she has to make spectacular saves because she plays like a sweeper keeper and isn’t always positionally sound. In a pinch you’re not going throw a goalkeeper in that doesn’t mesh with the backline. The US could easily transition between Solo and Naeher without throwing off the defensive dynamic, not so much with Harris.

          • Reed

            Hate to say it, but I think you are right. And to a certain extent, I get it. J Ellis is going to put the people on the field who she has confidence will play to her game plan. You can call that favorites.
            As head coach she has every right to live and die with that philosophy. I think if there was more transparency — eg, players won those spots on the playing field, then there would be less concern expressed.
            However, both the A Krieger situation and the back up GK situation have left people scratching their heads because we can see through NWSL play that the WNT coaching decisions may not totally add up. Granted NWSL play does not equal USWNT play, but in truth J Ellis said that she is taking that play into consideration.
            So, as head coach, J Ellis will be viewed as a genius or a jerk after the OG — depending on whether the US win or lose.

          • Steglitz49

            The same was true before WC-15. Don’t worry. The US not winning in Rio would be an even bigger upset than if they had not won in Canada. It would rival WC-11 and WC-54.

      • Why though? Can you really say she is better than Naeher? I haven’t seen it.

  • Amy Brookheimer

    Long is the poor man’s Carli Lloyd — low soccer IQ, too eager to prove that she belongs with the NT, and a terrible tendency to make reckless plays or overcompensate when she gets pulled out of position. Those are the sort of things I’d expect from a 22-23 year old, not an “experienced” players.

    • NO1CUR

      Guess what Amy? Long is going Rio. KO and Kling are starting OB’s. It doesn’t matter what you think. Ellis is the coach.

      • John williams

        but why should that be accepted. It is clear the krieger is the better right back. Krieger changes the whole energy of the game whenever she steps on the field.

        1. she has been stellar in the defense and attack in the NWSL. Jill clearly only saw one game.

        2. KO does not do a good job defending on the right side and I don’t see her getting as forward as people says she does on the right.

        3. JJ and Broon haven’t been their best since krieger hasn’t started because they have to cover for KO and Kling.

        4. Krieger has amazing soccer iq, is very technical, and is hands down the better right back. Jill should be having Kling and KO work the left side because Krieger dominates the right side.

        Krieger should not have lost her starting role and KO has done little to show why she should have it. They won’t be called the department of defense at the OG is the backline isn’t krieger-jj-broon-kling. I like KO but she is not the better right back in defense and offense.

        Also I think that if krieger continues to play hard after the OG people will realize that she is the better right back. She might even make it to wc-19 and the OG in 2020.

        She won’t be starting in Rio (which doesn’t really make sense, but it’s too late to argue) but I don’t think her career is over. I actually see her playing the best she’s ever played after Rio. Who knows.

        • Reed

          Totally agree with all your points on Krieger. Not sure how or why she lost her starting position. But by changing out OHara for Krieger, has made the team more vulnerable on the defensive side. So now the normally strong defense is the weakest it has been in a long time. Good to have the side backs involved with the offense as long as they can do their #1 job of defending….. Krieger is the best of the three (OHara and Kling included) at balancing both the defensive and offensive responsibilities. Just look at her NWSL play with Washington. She is the best defender in the league right now. And oh yea, she has a goal too…… Too bad for Krieger if she does not start the OG because of stupid coaching philosophy.

    • dw

      I actually think Long has a pretty good soccer IQ. One of the reasons I support her going to Rio.

      • Greer

        Allie Long plays nothing like Carli Lloyd. Yet people keep saying this. Any ways it doesn’t matter if Amy thinks she is good. As long as Jill likes her. Which she does.

    • Huh

      What the heck is a poor man’s Carli Lloyd?

    • Sammy

      I agree. KO is good but not great. In both games she’s got beat by her left striker. She also kept “clearing” it to the midfield inbetween Alex and our center mid right to Japan. Not helpful. When Krieger came in, she made tiny passes, created space, and then pushed the ball up the end line. Why let JJ and Broon take that on? If I’m an opposing team, I’m planning on moving the ball on KO’s side for every counter.

    • Reed

      Agreed. Right now, it appears that a solid defense in the WC is a liability going into the OG. Part of the problem is related to JE desire to have the OBs constantly push up. That philosophy hurt us in the first Japan game with both KO an MK getting caught up field. But a bigger problem is the marking by the OB. Neither KO nor MK are consistant in their marking and that will hurt us in the OG. In fact, it also hurts JJ and BS because they are constantly having to cover for this. I know some say that AK has lost a step, but in fact if you have watched her play in the NWSL, she continues to be the smartest defender in the league. Her defense and marking is great. Too bad JE has resigned her to the bench because we sure could use her skills, maturity and leadership on the field.

  • kernel_thai

    For me it’s same ole, same from Coach Jill. This was the best opponent she is going to see before the OG and Im not sure she accomplished much with the opportunity
    1. Not her fault but at least three possible starters were hurt and reduced to either a sub role or none at all. If Lloyd, Pugh and Horan r starters she didnt get to gel very much.
    2. Rapinoe is the elephant in the room. If she gets a spot in the 18 it potentially changes a lot
    3. Two quality matches gone and I still have no clue about Sonnett v. Engen
    4. Did a good performance by Press as a central attacker change her mind on how many CMs to carry?
    5. Brian better be fit and playing well for OG because she is still the only CM who seems to think she is getting paid to stop the ball.
    6. If something happens to Solo I think the US is still fine even tho Ellis has made a yeoman’s effort not to get her backups game time.

    • Jersey Shore Rises

      Same Ole, Same Ole not too shabby tying the USWNT record for best start thus far in a season. I think Same Ole, Same Ole will bring back the Gold in RIO16 for us…

      BTW really doubt Rapinoe will be on the final 18 roster as odds do not look good that she will be able to play in any Friendlies before the Olympics and I seriously doubt Jill would take a chance on having an injury with only 18 on the roster.

      • mockmook

        U have 2 much faith in JE.

        The announcers were talking about how Rapinoe could get a spot even if she only plays one game before Rio. Those comments almost certainly come from background info given by JE.

        • Jersey Shore Rises

          No, I have faith in the nucleus of the current team to win in RIO16.

    • Bob Jarvis

      I really like Megan Rapinoe and her play, but she’s been out for, what, six months? In my opinion she shouldn’t go to Rio. And that’s sad because I think she’s one of the best and one of the most under-rated players in the game – but she’s 30+, she’s had multiple ACL’s, there’s only 18 spots on the roster, and losing a player to injury would be a major blow to the US’s chances in Rio.

      • Even if Rapinoe only plays 10 minutes in one game, she is worth taking to Rio, IMO. She’s shown that she can be clutch in big games at big moments. If Pinoe is riding the bench and the US is down in the closing minutes of the game, then I would want her on the field to put in one of her legendary crosses – this time to Morgan or whoever is on the field at that point. If it comes down the US needing a point in a game, I would hope that Pinoe is available.

  • BGH123

    My fear is the midfield. I don;t necessarily see the point of bringing in Long because she is almost 29, and I don’t want to get stuck with another person that is going to be on the national team until she is 33 years old or older (think about it, they are not going to drop her for WWC 19 and she will probably not be where she is now then), but she does seem to be the only one JE prefers that can play for 90 minutes. If Horan/Brian seem to struggle with injuries and playing a full 90, why do we need both? It is going to be HOT in Rio…

    • CED

      OG roster doesn’t mean somebody is on Wcup 2019 roster. There are several people that the OG will be their last major tourney IMO. Look at 2012 OG roster a bunch of those people were gone by Wcup 2015..ie…Mitts, Lepelbeit, Buehler, ….Boxx, Wambach only made it as sympathy legacy picks b/c never won a Wcup.

      • Guest3

        Allie fills a need as reserve in CM. She is better than Mewis. Ellis believes she is. That is what matters now.

        • BGH123

          My issue is not really Long. She is 90 minutes fit and seems to not be injury prone. My issue is bringing people that can’t seem to play for 90, or are coming back from injuries, to play in a tournament in Brazil in August. We will see if it pays off.

          • BGH123

            I mean I don’t really want her to turn into one of the USWNT mainstays who is carried way past their expiration dates, but I get putting her on the plane to Rio

      • BGH123

        I think Buehler was the only one that full on dropped (LeP was out with an injury, and never really make it back). I love the USWNT, but sometimes I fear once they have made you a favorite you can’t really play your way off the team. I am not saying Mewis is perfect, but I don’t think Long, Horan or even Brian have played much better than her for the USWNT, and she is young and only really getting better (and fitter). I also think she has outperformed them all, with the exception of Horan, in the NWSL

        • Guest

          I think the three CMs you mentioned have all been better for the NT than Mewis has even if there isn’t a huge gap in ability. Ellis may think there is a noticeable difference between Mewis and Long from training but I have no information about that.

          • BGH123

            Horan and Brian were TERRIBLE against England in the SBC, and Brian was meh at best again on Thursday, and Long was not great on Thursday. Mewis was solid against Germany, and Japan in limited minutes

          • BGH123

            I;m only really hyping Mewis because she is in the pool. I just think we are bringing a central midfield who is inconsistent and always kinda injured to a tournament in a country where it is hot as sh*t. It could work, and they can play lights out, but I don’t think the gold is a foregone conclusion

        • CED

          First when you’re talking about CM’s it’s best to define the CAM vs the DM. Brian has been playing DM(#6), the rest have been playing CA(#8). What a DM does can and does get overlooked often b/c sometimes they can have a good game without being on the ball or have to make a lot of tackles. They can do much of their job by good positioning which fans overlook. Brian is not actually a DM and is actually learning the position, she is #8 or even #10(UVA). Brian has been pushed into the DM by necessity. It would be great to have a true DM by trade and let Brian move into her more natural position. Unfortunately for Brian they trust her more than anyone else and she is kind of stuck. The ideal IMO would have been to let Brian move into Holiday role and find a true DM. Ellis has moved in the direction of keeping Brian as mostly DM and finding somebody to play CAM, Horan and/or Long. There is some interchange, but 80% of defensive duties are essentially Brian’s. I think long term(Wcup 2019) Mewis could be the DM, as she is the prototype for it with her size, tackling, etc…and thus that would allow Brian to move to #8.

    • AlexH

      I don’t think Long’s age is a problem at all. The OG is a full international tournament and is worth winning in its own right. If long is one of the best right now then by all means bring her. As for WC 2019 by all means cut her if she doesn’t show signs of aging well.

      • BGH123

        I agree with you in sentiment, that just hardly ever happens in practice when it comes to the USWNT (see half of 2015 roster)

        • BGH123

          Also, we are apparently going to have LLoyd until she is 38

        • AlexH

          Well there is that. Although there still is some hope. Jill has managed to ditch a lot of the 30+ crowd and those that remain still have some game left. We will know for sure once the victory tour ends how Jill manages the team. Hopefully there will be lots of tear-jerking send off games for the vets.

  • V

    Healthy Dunn or Press off the bench or 7 month layoff player? Hard decision.

  • Ethan

    Just saw the whole build-up for the Heath chance. Very pretty interplay between Press and Morgan there. Would have been a great goal.

    • NYRick

      Remember I said a couple of weeks ago to you when all the Press-Heath hoopla union was making it’s way on here? Don’t minimize that. It is massively important. Ellis considers Heath basically her best and most consistent player right now. Kind of her linchpin, and in all fairness Heath is playing the best soccer of her enigma-laden career the last year and a half.

      Not Press is obviously close to Heath. Don’t laugh, it matters in the grand scheme of how this USWNT works. I really believe this. Morgan and Heath have been close friends for years and they have great chemistry on the pitch together. Many of the times in the past I have screamed for Press to play, some of my argument has been “put her on the pitch with Heath for crying out loud.” Heath will understand her. But last year they were both basically playing the flank. When Press came off, Heath came on or vice versa with Pinoe on the other side. That was ludicrous. Now you are going to start to see some real chemistry (if ole lemon mug had half a brain and understood it) by running the offense through Morgan, Press, Heath and Dunn. Work Pugh into that mix too, but don’t put too much on her this soon. Plus you have Brian out there with them who has a ridiculously high soccer IQ. You really have to go out of your way to f%$k up with this roster.

      • Chum del Rosario

        Are you saying that Press and Heath are becoming closer than ever? Haha. Just kidding! I totally get what you’re saying. The combo of Morgan, Press, Heath and Dunn/Pugh is gonna be exciting to watch… although I think it won’t last long because of Lloyd.

        • NYRick

          You can read into it anything you want, but they have great chemistry on the pitch too.

          And it matters to Ellis in how she runs this team. But you’re right, Carli will pull it all apart upon her return. It’s about her at all times till 2019.

          • Guest

            I’m not sure there are many players that Heath doesn’t link up well with but Press can score goals and the team needs that.

          • NYRick

            Talent knows talent. Yes, Heath is smart and technical and can do things on a pitch others dream of doing. But great players understand each other. It’s why Tobin quickly figured out Alex. If you watch Alex’s memorable goals, Heath had a great pass in there somewhere. With Press, she was paired with greats like Vero and Marta. They all quickly got it.

            Chemistry in team sports is everything. Golden State with just Curry would be good. With Green and Thompson being their Big 3, they are just about unbeatable.

          • AlexH

            I know the way I want to read into it!!!!! Who knows if it is true but who cares? Now that you begged off being CP’s arm candy for the Huntsmen’s Ball I might give it a shot. I can use the internet rumors to convince my wife that she has nothing to worry about and if I play my cards right she won’t beat me to death with a rolling pin!

          • Chum del Rosario

            Exactly, because Jill can’t afford to not have Lloyd on the starting lineup because of her new found fame… all because of her hat trick during the World Cup Finals.

          • NYRick

            Carli feels she was dissed in 08 and 12 for her gold medal winning goals and never got the fanfare. Now after the 3 goals in the WC final (with one being the memorable half pitch shot) it is an if she was injected with a massive dose of euphoria. A drug that she wants to float on through till the next cycle. And who is possibly going to sit the “star” when you have people like Foudy, Martgraf and DiCicco basically offering to massage her feet during the telecasts.

          • The thing is with Lloyd, she just doesn’t have the “it” factor for public consumption that Morgan has. That is why she feels dissed or slighted. But it’s all in her personality and she isn’t doing herself any favors with the way she continues to handle it. She will never be the star, even if she had big moments in games. She continues to try and shove herself down everyone throats by yelling “LOOK HOW GOOD I AM”.

          • CED

            Lloyd is going to be the Wambach of 2019 potentially, past the sell by date. Question is will Ellis have the guts to cut her, didn’t have the guts in 2015. There is no way in heck in 3 years time with the number of young talented attackers Lloyd should be on the team.

          • guest

            Would you pick Lloyd for the Rio team right now? I think it would be a mistake to call Lloyd up at all after this year.

          • CED

            I would play a different formation than 4-5-1 that caters to LLoyd. I would have her as a sub for Rio and play a 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1. Forwards would be Press and Morgan. MF-Heath, Brian, Long, Pugh. D-Kling, Broon, JJ, Ohara.

            For 2017 and beyond..I would find a true DM…try Mewis and let Brian move to #8.

          • guest

            I agree with your lineup for Rio and it’s a good idea to develop Mewis at the 6. She has the physical characteristics needed to play the 6. I think she needs to work on her speed of play and should try to develop an accurate long diagonal. She has a very powerful leg.

          • Breakers fan

            You leave Dunn on the bench – interesting.

          • guest

            Dunn is a right wing on this team and probably another good choice. In the Olympic schedule wings should not play all 90 of every game. Even if she doesn’t start Dunn should see plenty of minutes. I would rotate Dunn, Heath and Pugh throughout the tournament but this would probably be my top lineup for the toughest games. I suppose you could make your choice on current form as well.

          • Breakers fan

            I’d just add that Dunn is also a forward on this team. She can be played there too, as we have seen to our delight in the few times it has been tried. Beyond that I agree with rotating them. Tiring position to play and a busy Olympic schedule in heat and humidity.

          • guest

            Yeah, Dunn can also play the forward role. She is probably the closest like for like replacement of Morgan but in the absence of another wing on the bench I don’t think Ellis could afford to use both Press and Dunn along with Heath and Pugh together in the starting XI. That would leave her without any flank subs unless Pinoe or another wing make the trip to Rio.

          • rydma01

            One of the slippery issues in any game against a strong opponent is about how you want to play if you’re behind, versus how you want to play if you’re not behind. In my view, Jill seems to take her 60th minute decision a lot more seriously than she does her starting lineup decision. She wants to be sure she is fully loaded to finish and is more willing to experiment earlier to see what the team might be able to do during the first 60.

            That said, I don’t think there’s any team out there anywhere that would want to see a healthy Rapinoe/Lloyd/Press/Dunn platoon step on at 60 minutes. (That is never likely to happen that way but my point is that Ellis has the latitude to do it; she has a lot of money in the bank.)

            I don’t think that being on WNT and not starting is, at this point, an insulting proposition. But if you want to start, you probably have to “be able” to take strong credit for *generating* a first-half goal (which is not something you do by yourself).

          • Chum del Rosario

            I think the fact that Jill made Lloyd co-captain with Sauerbrunn already means that Lloyd will pretty much be on the WWC2019 roster.

          • Andrew Alberico

            Several years ago, Penn State VB won the national championship with a pretty good setter. The setter came back for her senior year. Coach Rose of Penn State in the meantime recruited a setter from Oklahoma, Micha Hancock. He started her over his returning national champion setter and proceeded to win three more national championships. Who says that a coach can not bench a star player if something better is available?

          • rydma01

            I’m not buying at all into this ongoing expectation that Ellis has insufficient political capital to put Carli wherever Jill wants Carli. Why is everyone still traumatized by Wambach? Dunn has arrived, Heath is peaking, Pugh is a young genius, Rapinoe is recovering, Brian is critical path, Horan is big. And did anyone notice that the WoSo soccer audience seems to grow completely independently of what Lloyd is doing?

            The rational best case scenario for Lloyd is that she subs in second half and either provides equalizers or the only score of the game, a few times. This would be important as an expression that Ellis had not been able to solve the game problem already with the embarrassment of riches she already had on the field. And if Alex keeps scoring without Lloyd on the field, it makes it even simpler to supersub Lloyd.

          • Breakers fan

            Do you think this is what Ellis WILL do, or what she should do? And, just curious, did you leave Press out of your Praise List intentionally or inadvertently? Do you, if head coach, start Press at forward? Not saying you had to include her in your post, just wondering about your thinking, thanks.

          • rydma01

            Ahh… don’t worry. I excluded both Press and Morgan, because I’m talking about Lloyd and I don’t see Lloyd displacing either Press or Morgan. I also see Press as being especially interesting because she can play mid/flank, but I would spend very little time trying to put her there if I could put her up front. Meanwhile, for example, Dunn in the outside middle with Press up top is more useful than Press in the middle with Dunn up top. If anything, I think Carli may have lost her position to Dunn if she’s lost it to anyone. Certainly, Heath is a lock, and if Rapinoe is healthy, I think Ellis should do whatever it takes to have Megan and Tobin on the field at the same time.

          • Breakers fan

            Thanks for the elaboration/clarification. What’s perhaps most interesting about your feelings is that it sounds like you really think Jill will pull a trigger that no one else thinks she will pull – the one called “start Carli on the bench” . If you’re right, you’ll be probably the only one who predicts it.

            A difference between you and I – you’re more of a Rapinoe fan. For me there the key is “at this point in her career” and “just coming off of this injury”. I have been a big fan but feel our speedy youthful newcomers have eclipsed her at this point. I’m also more fine with Dunn up top at times too, and Press in midfield, though I lean, somewhat hesitantly, the same way you prefer.

        • AlexH

          Yes! More gossip and innuendo! Way to use the internet Chum!!!!

      • Ethan

        I personally want to see a lot of Pugh at the Olympics, and I think she’s been rated just as highly by Ellis since the Trinidad & Tobago and Canada games. Understand you not wanting to put too much on her right now though.

        It really is a roster filled with very talented offensive players.

        • NYRick

          Pugh is going to be the best player in the sport from age 21 and on. Let her ease into it a bit and not burn out too fast. I think she will most likely have a big role in Rio but they could win without her too at this point.

          • #1Fan

            you mean US right? I don’t really understand the age distinction either given she is a full international. I would reserve judgment until I see the players who whipped the US 5-0. Pugh is one of the first of this generation but trust me, there are many others who are good who are not surrounded by hype. The youth NT system is NOT good at identifying talent . Older, yes, but Iwabuchi is a better player in my opinion

      • Andrew Alberico

        The work of the forwards in the second Japan game was exciting to watch. If the midfield and backline play as well together and have the same work ethic as Alex, Christen, Chrystal, Tobin, I don’t see how anyone can beat the US team. I’m a little more optimistic that even Jill Ellis can see that.

    • Breakers fan

      Where is video for that, Ethan, please? Thanks.

      • guest
        • Breakers fan

          Thank you. Beautiful pass sequence leading up. Who said we aren’t “technical”? Just goes to show how facile (ignoring complexities – I looked it up) overarching labels can be.

          Why didn’t Heath just one-time blast it with her left foot?

          here’s the answer to that riddle: She has a thing for making overly-complicated plays in order to show her “technical wizardry”, and in the end impressing people. She needs to overcome that and select the simple move sometimes. I think she is improving in this area. I hope she watches this replay several times and learns from it.

          • Guest

            She should have attempted to take it first time instead of the quick left to right chip she tried. I think she wanted to come across goal and shoot since she made her run right down the center. The pass forced her to adjust her run and she didn’t make the right adjustment. I would have been more okay with a save had she taken it first time.

          • Breakers fan

            That’s what I meant – I used the phrase “one-time” for “first time”. It was a great run by her to get to where she was. You can see her sprinting down the field and getting by the Japanese defender. You’re right – the pass by Press did force her out wide but she still got to the ball. I thought she made the right, only possible adjustment to get to the ball. The problem came when she met the ball – it was right at her left foot. A blast almost certainly would have scored. But she got cute with it. We agree about what she should have done.

          • #1Fan

            Ill say it again. ALL these players are capable of moments of technical skill. Real technical players do it all the time and consistently well without effort. we are talking about pros and their tendencies. Citing one technical moment, does not mean much.

          • Steglitz49

            Everyone can’t be Marta.

          • #1Fan

            Lots of players in-between

          • Breakers fan

            Yes, I agree that that’s true if one wants to, is trying to describe differences in teams in a general sort of way. What I don’t like – not saying you do this , as you’re careful to say that you’re oversimplifying, — is when people paint with too broad of a brush when talking about this. When you’re on the best team in the world you have some technical abilities. How else would you have gotten there? The US track team isn’t playing for us, or are WNBA players.

          • #1Fan

            I agree. but in pro sports the base assumption has to be that they are all good. we are now talking about tendencies and degrees of good. Its fair game.

          • #1Fan

            if there was money in the game, maybe some would 🙂

          • #1Fan

            there is a big difference between best team and having the best players. Best team is all about depth not solely quality

          • Steglitz49

            Best team is also about spirit, drive and cohesion. WC-11 is a good example. There are other examples — WC-54 is the one most often cited for the men.

          • Breakers fan

            I meant best team in the most obvious way — as in current WC Champion.
            We’re in agreement overall about how other teams may overall have some more technical ability but it’s on a spectrum and the difference is probably exaggerated by many to make a point, or to bash the US team excessively harshly.

          • Steglitz49

            The USWNT looks likely to dominate WoSo for the next 8 and even 12 years.

            The side-effect of that is that the club game and the local confederation championships will grow in importance.

          • #1Fan

            or more accurately, Heath is not a natural finisher and never has been.

          • Breakers fan

            I would agree with that – I was describing *why* she isn’t, at least in this instance, and how she could get better at it.

          • #1Fan

            it sounds crazy, but she wont 🙂 Finishing is a instinctive skill that rarely canbe taught. I know 16 yr olds who would have buried that chance 7/10 times

          • Breakers fan

            you may be right. 🙂 but you knows, she seems to have gotten a bit less “look at my dribbling skills” of late on the rest of the field. If she can repeat like a mantra “consider one-timing it next time if this happens again” maybe she will do something different next time. That said, the right play in every instance can differ. But just the idea, “one-time it”, is important for her to consider.
            I don’t, out of hand, dismiss people’s ability to learn. That said I think you’re right on the whole that some players are more natural finishers. But like with the technical thing – as you well know, it doesn’t hold up every time.

          • #1Fan

            she is a pro . there are other parts of her game that she excels at. I don’t think she finds herself in those spots that often. Shooting form distance in the women’s game is so much higher pctage than men coz with respect then Gks are not high quality. Its why you don’t see many real poachers who bang in goals around the six yds box. the shot has usually bee taken. Btw…Long was def shooting on the JJ goal 🙂

          • Breakers fan

            Yes, Heath has been great lately. But no doubt she is also striving to improve in any area possible.

            Do you really think Long was shooting on the JJ goal? That wasn’t my first impression. I need to look at it again. Certainly possible Her left is not her naturally strongest, most accurate leg.

          • I think that was a pass all the way. A good one at that.

          • Breakers fan

            Not sure if that was a joke above. I never even considered that it wasn’t a pass. Will watch again to confirm.

          • If it was a shot, she was WAY off 🙂

          • Breakers fan

            Yes, and I think struck with a passing-style form, making it a more terrible shot!

          • Guest

            I think I read an article once with regards to Press about her being a natural finisher. I think it was her father who completely dismissed the notion right away. He said that Press practiced shooting hundreds of shots every day and it was through hard work, not natural ability that she became an excellent finisher. In Heath’s case, sure I think she can work on it, but I don’t expect her to be anything but below average or average in the finishing department. Her ball striking technique could use some work as well. Like you I never discount a player’s ability to improve their game. I think Dunn has improved a fair amount over the last 6 months.

          • Breakers fan

            Good stuff. I was going on some vague feeling thinking about the guys I played with in regards to “are some people more natural finishers?” Hard to say, factually, if some are. If some are I think it has to do with ability to focus and stay calm, everything else being equal — players who have ability and practice. But no doubt one can’t minimize putting the time in by practicing taking shots a lot – that can create focus and calm too.

          • Guest

            That’s an interesting question. I think there may be some players that are naturally better finishers or just pick things up faster than others but I think everyone needs to practice if they want to excell. The ability to stay focused and calm I attribute mostly to experience. The more experience you have in certain positions on the pitch, the more comfortable you are with those situations. When you practice things over and over again they tend to become instinctual during games.

          • Breakers fan

            Practice is huge, and you describe well how it translates to games. And then just sheer quantity of game experience against good competition helps. I do suspect there is some natural component based on one’s nature and personality too. Like how some people get more easily flustered and some are better able to keep their composure. It’s probably a combination of these things.

          • Guest

            I might not be the best person to ask since I was a good finisher my youth but some of the things I always did in addition to practicing situations was visualizing what I wanted to do in certain situation before the game or while practicing. I would also look back on where I could have improved if I missed an opportunity during a game and try to learn from it. Sometimes there was nothing that could be done differently and I would accept that. I did have some of the yips in front of goal when I was younger but eventually grew out of them with more experience. I did have friends that never did though so I don’t think it’s the same for everyone.

          • Guest

            I’ll also add that many of my friends who had difficulty finishing were those who didn’t find themselves in a position to score often and thus lacked experience. There were others though that always seemed to be in good positions and while they finished a good amount of chances they also left a lot on the table. I’ve always wondered what those players mental approach was like in front of goal.

          • Andrew Alberico

            You are right about the dribbling thing. She is a great player, but often holds on to the ball too long. Has to develop the ability to make short quick passes. She has skill for sure and can do it.

          • Ethan

            I won’t completely disagree with you, but I think a lot of players would have not scored/screwed up on Heath’s goal against Canada 8/10 times.

          • Guest

            Both of Heath’s finishes in qualifying were good and she seems to be trying to improve it somewhat. This play is just a pretty good example of her inexperience in these situations. There was absolutely no reason at all for her to attempt a quick left to right foot transition for a chip attempt. Usually the simplest solution is the best one when it comes to finishing and that instinct doesn’t appear to be natural for her.

            On a related note, I also don’t think it would be the worst thing if she started practicing a shot follow a cut towards the center of the pitch and striking the ball better. She is a good enough dribbler to cut inside and should do it more often.

          • Breakers fan

            Yeah, now that you say this (even though I didn’t see the “Canada goal” part at first) and I think about it a little more, I don’t think it was *that* easy. Hard to say what the success rate would be, but at the end of a long sprint, the ball arriving across your body with decent pace, and to your non-dominant foot, though she is good with both, the goalie pretty close to you and approaching rapidly, she had to think and act fast. It is easy for us to suggest “one-time shoot it immediately”, from my seat the next day watching it on video, knowing she missed it, and even if that is correct, at the moment it is not purely simple and easy. Still, I think she’d agree that a player should make a goal there at the national team level. But it behooves us to try to put ourselves or just “a player” in her shoes at that moment.
            Great of you to give an example of fantastic finishing from Heath to counter-balance this one.

          • Guest

            The goal in the Canada game was not an easy finish. The ball wasn’t moving too fast making the one time part easier but she was still close to the edge of the area with the keeper in decent position to make the save and she curled it into the corner. I think Heath would be the first to tell everyone that she should have done better with the chance on Sunday. Here is that goal.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIv3SRaxkgc

          • Breakers fan

            Thanks. I remember that goal – and it’s even better when you see it from behind goal or directly behind Heath. She curled it beautifully into the corner, just past a diving keeper.

          • Which is why I laughed when the most natural midfielder (Heath) was listed as a forward in the lineup yesterday and the most natural striker (Press) was listed as a midfielder. Why not just flip them?

            I get that they didn’t play that way during the game, it was more of a 4-4-2 with Press up top a lot, thankfully, but why not list them properly?

          • #1Fan

            agreed . Saw a 433 on the TV . looked more 442 is or even 4321 with two inside forwards at times . Dunn and Heath certainly got forward less and Press was more central going forward.

      • Ethan

        Sorry for the late reply. If you haven’t seen it yet:

        Channel on Youtube: coconut juice x. The video title is (2) USWNT vs Japan 6.5.2016. You can start from 10:10 in the video (53:21 in game time).

  • AlexH

    I am beginning to think that Julie Johnston is vastly overrated as a centerback. She nearly cost us the semifinal last year and was at fault on both of the Japanese goals in the final. These last two games she was an absolute menace when she was under pressure.

    She is an excellent player with lots of skills but she doesn’t seem to be the person you want as the last person between your opponents and a run on goal. I think she should be given a go as a DM and let somebody with more icewater in their veins play CB.

    • CED

      Johnston not good enough with the ball to play DM, IMO. She played CM in youth before being converted. I always found it odd for someone who played CM as youth, she is not very good as distributor or passing out of pressure as a CB. If she was moved to DM should have to greatly improve in these aspects over what she has shown thus far. I think Mewis is going to be the DM of the future and Brian is going to be moved to the #8 eventually.

      • guest

        I’m still not positive that Johnston is good enough with the ball right now to be a great CB playing out of the back. Sauerbrunn is only marginally better though.

    • ColdasI

      Hype is she is blond and scores off set plays. Guys find her attractive.

      • rydma01

        Speak truth to power, brother!

    • rydma01

      I think it’s obvious that JJ is an Ellis project. There are only so many times she will have to face Brazil, Germany, France and Japan. It’s just not that big a deal, especially since… well… how may times has JJ been responsible for a loss to Brazil, Germany, France, or Japan?

      More importantly, JJ in the NWSL must develop to Ellis’s specs. You can totally bet your last four paychecks that Ellis is on top of her about that. Meanwhile, there isn’t anyone who is already better OR already a better prospect. Of course, that could change. But she isn’t the problem now anyway. The problem is the underperforming line in front of her.

    • Breakers fan

      Odd juxtaposition of descriptions: “vastly overrated” and “excellent player with lots of skills”. Make up your mind! (just kidding) I’m ok with her. She works really hard, her head is totally into the game and she has a great teacher and partner right next to her on the field. I know what you’re getting at but I’m not sure we have better, though I am a big Kallman fan…..however that idea is moot and fatuous until she gets at least a camp call-in to show them what she can do. My guess is that if you did a thorough analysis of US centerbacks that each one would show a learning curve and will have made some what might be called bad mistakes at one time or another. Part of me does also share your concern, though.

      • mockmook

        I think the fluster-factor is something ingrained — Skroski might be a good alternative, she seems unflappable.

  • Gary Diver

    Does anybody know whether Asako Takakura-Takemoto will continue to be Japan’s U20 coach? It was impressive that within one week she lead her U20 team in a 5-0 rout of US U20 in PNG and flies half a world away to play USWNT to a draw.

    • BGH123

      I don’t get why the US u20 coach is an assistant for the WNT. She has no inspiring results at all

    • mockmook

      Don’t know if you caught my comment regarding DiCicco’s comment: He is apparently under the impression that it was a closed door match.

  • Gary Diver

    Was it reported whether Pugh was absent for a physical problem, a family issue, or something else?

    • Cc W

      Yes that she wasn’t feeling well so she was rested.

  • Cc W

    Horan hasn’t been 100% healthy and I think she is the starter over Long – but agree Long is on the roster. I just don’t think she is the starter. Horan seems to be better with Moe and plays better defense. Moe’s been hurt too – so if healthy, they will start.

    I’m good with this line up, but do think that players have to be better. I agree that surprisingly CB has not been solid – not sure what the deal is but Becky and JJ seem out of sync. And while Hope may not be having a great season with the Reign, it isn’t just on her – the Reign is struggling, no offense is putting pressure on the defense and goals have been scored. I also don’t think the goals last week were on Hope – great shots and poor defense led to those goals.

    I have 2 spots up for grabs – CB and MF – if healthy, Pinoe makes the squad, if not, I expect Mewis to get the nod. Sonnett and Engen – Engen and Sonnett – going with Engen and Sonnett as alternate.

    • CED

      Long has been better than Horan. Even if you compare Horan healthy, Long has been better. One note on Horan, she makes a ton of horrible challenges and thus is a yellow card machine, leader in the NWSL..4 in 6 games. If she starts in a tourney be assured she will be suspended for a game. However, I think Long will be the starter come Rio. The starting line up is pretty set for Ellis, it will be the Lloyd catering formation…4-5-1

      • BGH123

        I would drop Horan or Moe. You don’t need two slightly injured CMs

        • Chum del Rosario

          But according to US Soccer, their injuries are only minor. So there’s nothing really to worry about…

          • Gary Diver

            Morgan Brian has been playing subpar and ineffectively for months. The clock is ticking.

          • I thought she was fine yesterday. Working her way back into 90 min. fitness and had a lot of good defensive breakups. She also seemed to be trying harder than she was on Thursday, which we can say for everyone.

          • Breakers fan

            Here’s one where a re-watch with a total focus on Brian I think is called for. I thought she was fine also yesterday on the whole but I could do with a re-watch too, to confirm that.

          • NYRick

            She’s a big program favorite. They will wait till they hit the ball off in game 1 of the OG for her. That’s how it works. Program favorites don’t have to be 100%…ever.

      • Breakers fan

        Debatable that “Long has been better than Horan” on the NT. Many more Horan minutes to “evaluate”, and she has made a good number more really nice plays – great passes, good heading plays around goal. Nothing at all against Long in saying this. I just wouldn’t make that conclusion necessarily. Hard to compare with the minutes-played difference, imo. But maybe you’re talking more about NWSL play?

        • Guest

          Horan has better final pass ability than Brian or Long and is a better set piece target than both. She is also better than both Brian and Long at switching the point of attack. However, I do think that Long has probably been better from the run of play in terms of moving the ball around quickly and in defense(mistakes from last game aside). Horan has the better end product but she is ill equipped to reliably defend well for long stretches of games.

      • Paul Klee

        Allie is also a foul machine, although this year, perhaps to increased fitness, her fouls are down some. Though it might be Horan picking up the slack. She is one NWSL yellow away from a suspension.

        • Gary Diver

          What is the NWSL rule on suspensions?

          • guest

            5 yellows= you have to sit a match. 2 yellows in one game = you sit a match. Typical suspension rules.

          • Paul Klee

            5 then a game, 3 more another game and so on.

      • #1Fan

        To be expected. Horan is really not a box/box CM . Needs to learn how to tackle

        • Steglitz49

          Lindsey is a target attacker. She is big, tall and strong and therefore a handful not least in the air, as the Japanese learnt.

          • #1Fan

            yet she plays CM 🙂

          • Steglitz49

            There is no room at the inn. Lindsey could be paired with Alex up top.

  • guest

    I will honestly laugh when Jill Ellis is fired because she played Lloyd instead of press and we lose.

    The thing is, Morgan is a machine and we won’t lose, even when we should. Things just work out for this team, bc the rest of the world just doesn’t have the population and resources we do. That’s why I don’t really give a crap if American teams win at OG. I prefer a good underdog story.

  • Gary Diver

    Budweiser Woman of the Match: Allie Long

    For some reason Jill Ellis has taken a liking to Allie Long and her play with both Portland and USWNT has put her in the driver’s seat to go to Rio on OG16 roster. If Long makes OG16 roster, she should be a role model for players who are willing to work their butt off to improve so they can get a chance for the “Big Show”. You got to give credit to someone who was wrote off by nearly everybody one year ago, six months ago, and who took responsible to prove everybody wrong. Kudos to Allie for her hard work!

    • guest

      do you think she’s the best CM in the league? I’m going to get shat on for suggesting this, but I wonder if her friendships with so many USWNT players help, because they can put in a good word. She’s literally best friends with Alex.

      • BGH123

        I think they do, and that scares me because I want to continue the youth movement and develop players that we may have for 6 or 7 years

        • Gary Diver

          There are 3 years from now to WC19. If Allie Long is shining now, let her shine at OG16.

          • BGH123

            I agree with you about OG16, but this team has a long history of keeping players way longer than needed, which is why i supported keeping up with mostly younger players

          • CED

            Long would have no legacy courtesy spot like Wambach, Boxx, Chalupny, etc… Long has been actually screwed by the vet protection system as she should have been likely in NT or somebody should have been for years over Boxx, who was 35 at OG 2012.

          • BGH123

            Let’s hope. Otherwise we are going to show up in France with a team of 34 year olds, and have to play that Japanese team at their physical peak with 3 more years of experience….

          • CED

            I think people are going to see the writing on the wall and several of the current 30+yr old players will fade away…ie…Krieger has already lost her spot to Ohara. But, Wcup is 23 roster so dead weight has a better chance to hold on than OG years.

          • AlexH

            I think Jill has done a good job pruning away some of the dead wood. The older players that remain can all contribute and given the short interval between the WC and OG I can see how Jill would want to keep a few rather than take risks with new player. We will know how the wind blows once the OG is over.

          • mockmook

            Who has JE pruned? They all have pruned themselves.

          • rachel

            you really think that krieger is done after this cycle because i dont…….

          • CED

            Krieger won’t be at Wcup 2019. Ohara has taken the starting spot and fits what Ellis wants from OB..

          • brdn08

            We’ve seen Japanese soccer players. as far as fitness this is as good as they will ever be unless their is some extreme overhaul to the program.

          • brdn08

            Boxx played her ass off in 2011 and 2012. Her spot on the team was more than justified.

          • Silver Frost

            Lloyd replaced Boxx in OG 2012, no?

          • brdn08

            Boxx was injured in the US OG opener vs. France.

      • Guest

        I think there is a case to be made that Long is the best US CM in the NWSL. The best CM in the league is Fishlock. Henry will be right up there with Fishlock when she gets to Portland.

      • Chum del Rosario

        Long may not be the best CM in the NWSL, but she learned to adapt and fit pretty well into Jill’s system and I think that’s how she got another chance with the USWNT. Just my opinion though…

      • mockmook

        Long has arguably been the best American CM in the NWSL this year.

        Edmonds, Huster, and Brooks might disagree.

      • FlyingSquirrel42

        Well, we don’t really know what goes on behind closed doors and likely won’t unless some of them decide to talk about it. Personal relationships aside, one thing that Allie Long might have going for her is that she’s played with Alex and Tobin at the club level for several years and probably has less of a “learning curve” to gel with their styles than other players who are on the bubble.

        • rachel

          TRUE

    • rydma01

      Long has been the Portland Thorns MVP for two years already. I’m thrilled she’s getting her deserved shot.

    • Jersey Shore Rises

      I love my Long Island Girl Allie Long as she reminds me of Carli Lloyd with her personality and Jersey Like attitude on the field. I really hope she makes the RIO16 roster as a sub.

      • mockmook

        Go for broke — hope she makes it as a starter!!!

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    • Bob Jarvis

      I’m glad you’ve got a warm fuzzy about Allie Long. I don’t. On Sunday in Cleveland I had no feeling she and Morgan Brian had any control in the middle. When Horan subbed in for Brian after the break things got better – but Lloyd very sorely missed. Hope her strain heals up and she can get back in game shape.

      • I kind of felt that some of Sauerbrunn’s odd decisions on the field lately were because the players in front of her either weren’t doing their job, or not doing what Broon wanted them to do, defensively.

        We’ve seen Broon mark her teammate’s players when they are getting burned by the opposition and basically take all defensive matters into her own hands when it seems like her teammates aren’t stepping up, and I kind of felt like she was doing that with Long at times. Maybe she wanted Long to mark the player tighter and she wasn’t and that is why Broon went forward in that clip in the article. Who knows. That’s just a thought. I don’t get warm fuzzies from Long, either. Or anyone in that DM part of the field.

  • Freddy

    Give Allie a few more starts and she will be fan favorite. Look at Julie Johnston rise. A few set play goals and she is dream for copper tone or chocolate milks ads.

    • Guest4

      haha yeah. Straight dudes love the blonds. Wont matter that she has husband..

    • Gary Diver

      If she shines, she has big-time fan potential.

    • Bob

      Don’t need a lot starts, just need make that Rio roster. People will recognize the other blond long leg lady.

    • Chum del Rosario

      If Allie Long truly makes it into the Olympics roster, her story will make waves throughout the whole league. Although if she gets selected, I kinda feel bad for the Thorns because they’ll be losing half of their roster during Rio.

      • CED

        The league is on break.

        • Chum del Rosario

          Yeah, I know that the league will be on break during that time, but still, her success story will surely be an inspiration to American NWSL players.

          • CED

            There is no reason to feel sorry for Thorns if they are on break.

          • Month of July, they are not on break, and the NT members will be gone. Either way, still don’t feel bad for them. That’s what they get for building their roster that way.

          • Guest

            The Thorns are in good position right now to make the post season. If they win the majority of their games in this month I think they will be fine.

  • Gary Diver

    Two and a half elephants in the Room

    Half Elephant: Morgan Brian

    Morgan Brian deserves all the acclaim she earned at WC15, but her persistent injury (I assume hamstring) is very troubling. I have wondered why she has continued playing for Houston when so many people have noticed that she is appears injured and is ineffective. USWNT needs a healthy Morgan Brian. I am not sure if USWNT needs an injured Morgan Brian.

    Elephant One: Megan Rapinoe

    Jill Ellis put HAO on Sunday’s game roster for two reasons: (1) Mallory Pugh’s replacement and (2) place holder for Megan Rapinoe. It is obvious that Ellis is (1) short on “go to” wingers, and (2) letting the world know she wants a reason to take Rapinoe to Rio. But she has earlier said that she needs to see Rapinoe play two games. The clock is ticking and it is really hard to see how Rapinoe will be match ready before Ellis announces her OG16 roster. But if Rapinoe can’t become match ready, the slot most likely won’t go to HAO since Ellis has found no real use for her in over one year.

    I personally think it is not only a mistake, but also grossly unfair to other players if Ellis puts a match unfit Rapinoe in her OG16 roster.

    Elephant Two: Carli Lloyd

    Honestly, how does a nearly 34-year-old Lloyd help this team? Obviously she is going to be on the OG16 roster, but I would praise Ellis if she has the courage not to start Lloyd. I believe the starting roster can be much better with Lloyd sitting on the bench. Lloyd provides absolutely no defense, does her own thing on offense, and relies her mystical “big time performer” reputation which sooner or later will not show up when needed. I hope Ellis learned from the WC15 Wambach experience that eventually reputations will always let you down. In the end, the soccer gods play no favorites.

    • CED

      Brian’s hamstring is not persistent injury at this time.

      Rapinoe only has to be 20-30 minutes fit to make OG. The rest of the players in camp are not wide attacking MF’s besides HAO, who is persona non grata to Ellis. That’s why I think McCafftrey or somebody else should have been brought in as an option.

      Lloyd is unfortunately starting and the formation will cater to her inability to play her actual position of CM. We will see if Ellis has the guts to get rid of Lloyd b/c she will decline even more before 2019. I wouldn’t start her in OG and play a 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1. Actually the heat in Brazil might show many just how poor Lloyd has become

      • Chum del Rosario

        There’s no way that Jill will have the guts to sit Lloyd down in Rio. There’s just no way. The fact that she decided to make Lloyd as co-captain of the team, means that Jill feels indebted to Carli because of that hat trick in the WC.

    • AlexH

      I think you are being overly pessimistic with regards to Brian and Lloyd. Brian is clearly working her way to match fitness and match sharpness. If the OG were next week I would be worried but the games are a while off unless she re-injures herself she will be fine. As for Lloyd she was the world POY at 33 so she probably will do just fine for us in the OG at 34. If Carli is still playing every minute this time next year I’ll get my torch and pitchfork but until then I’m not going to worry.

    • Andrew Alberico

      Lloyd would be most valuable coming in in the second half if the US has a lead. She would provide a physical presence and leadership when the time winds down. I don’t think she would be that much of a defensive liability. If the coach keeps Morgan and Press and Dunn up front to pressure the back line, that lessens the pressure on a player like Lloyd to play defense. Her rough tactics would be of value in the second half against tiring teams.

  • Gary Diver

    Hope Solo Legacy

    I assume that Solo got credit on Sunday for her 99th shutout. So she should be in good shape for getting her 100th clean sheet against South Africa at the beginning of next month. Does FIFA keep track of the number of shutouts? Has any other keeper had 100 clean sheets? Maybe if she can win another gold medal in Rio she will be willing to retire on top?

    • NYRick

      She is not retiring after Rio. Gig too good. Why does everyone forget this? Plus she has the program totally convinced they can’t win without her.

      • Steglitz49

        Which some would say is true.

      • Gary Diver

        But there is something to be said about not going out like Briana Scurry.

        • Steglitz49

          “Money, money, money” sang ABBA. They also sang “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!”

          • Gary Diver

            Only you could throw a Swedish song into the discussion:) I guess there is no loyalty like money.

          • Steglitz49

            We could probably match a USWNT player to an ABBA song. There is “Dancing Queen” and also “Waterloo”, for example, and lesser known like “I believe in angels” and “Voulez vous!”

          • FlyingSquirrel42

            So who would be “Take a chance on me”? Press? Harris? Engen?

          • F0OtballNowAndAlways

            Press does not belong in that.

          • NYRick

            OK so how about replace it with a little Pink Floyd…

            “Don’t give me that do goody good bulls%t.”

    • Chum del Rosario

      Unfortunately for Naeher and Harris fans, there’s no way that Solo will retire after Rio because she knows if she retires, all the skeletons in her closet will be revealed to the public.

      • AlexH

        Except that in this day and age a public airing of skeletons can be quite profitable. If the skeletons are lurid enough Hope could score her own reality show!

        • Chum del Rosario

          Haha. Nice point there! #JustLikeTheKardashians

      • rachel

        I don’t think USSF views Harris as the present

    • SEM

      Solo will play until her body can’t physically handle the game anymore. No other keeper has 100 shutouts. She plans to play in the next world cup and thats bad news for any other US goal keeper. She’s a great keeper but it would be nice to get the next generation some time in goal. The US will be screwed if she gets injured anytime soon or ever, Naeher and Harris have about 10 caps together, that doesn’t bode well for a lot of people should either of them have to become the starting goal keeper.

      • CED

        She’s going to have happen to her what happened to Scurry. That’s the way things work. Younger player will be a step quicker and the obvious will be recognized.

        • SEM

          I kind of hope she doesn’t go the way Scurry did, Scurry flamed out real quick. She was an incredible goal keeper and by the end she was a shadow of her former self and that was due to injuries. I like to think that Hope will remain healthy for the rest of her career, she’s done pretty well so far.

          • Steglitz49

            I thought one of Hope’s concerns with the Zika-virus was that she plans to start a family. Why not start now and stay away from Zika and co?

          • SEM

            Because she wants the glory that comes with winning an olympic medal, its hard to turn down a chance to represent your country when so few get the chance. And I’m sure US Soccer persuaded to for her to stay, especially Ellis, who should know that if Hope didn’t go that the team would be screwed. I think Harris and Naeher are excellent keepers but they don’t have enough national experience to do well on the olympic stage.

          • guest

            Judging a player on NT experience is complete and utter bs. Solo has close to 200 caps but is easily the weakest of the three in the current goalkeeper pool. Would you honestly say that benching Casillas is a down grade when you have De Gea as the backup?

          • guest

            She’s obviously going to have the same thing happen. But it’ll end up blowing up even more because she’ll pull some media stunt. She’s quickly becoming a liability for the team and if they’re expecting her to help them win gold their sadly mistaken.

      • Steglitz49

        I expect both Ms Harris and Naeher to be bypassed for younger keepers. Indeed, had Ms Franch not been injured a couple of years ago, she would be ensconced as Hope’s successor.

        • Gary Diver

          Agree completely. And HOFCToDi has periodically given us names to watch. Solo’s successor is most likely someone currently between U17 and U23.

      • guest

        Solo is easily replaceable for the NT. In fact they already have an obvious improvement in Naeher. What Solo has done in the past doesn’t at all mean she should be given a free ride in the future. She’s quickly showing her age and should be moved along in the very near future, for the benefit of the program.

  • Gary Diver

    “Kansas City was winless when Sauerbrunn left and Chicago has looked arguably better without Johnston, and there was a moment or two of worry this week. Sauerbrunn decided to come forward for some reason Thursday on Japan’s tying goal and Johnston nearly got caught in a red-card DOGSO situation on Sunday when she got turned.”

    Six months ago nobody would have even imagine to suggest that Sauerbrunn and Johnston were potential weak points on the team. I was at the SBC game against France and Sauerbrunn really looked bad in that game. And her judgment in the Japanese stoppage goal was head-shaking poor.

    So are concerns here much ado about nothing or something to keep on eye on?

    • AlexH

      I think I have mentioned dozens of times that JJ almost single-handedly got us eliminated from the world cup and was found wanting on both of Japan’s goals in the final. Our back line benefits from the fact that the players in front of them keep the pressure off of them and the goalie behind them saves their collective assess. They don’t suck by any means but they aren’t worthy of all the praise that gets heaped on them either.

    • SEM

      Kansas City was winless when Sauerbrunn was playing, they’ve only won one game. Both Sauerbrunn and Johnston are great players, and sure Johnston has been much more aggressive but there may be a reason for which we will never why she’s changed. There’s been quite the shake up on the national team since the world cup and all the fans saw this coming, I guess maybe the players didn’t. Give them time, they’ll turn things around.

  • Tommy

    They played Japan twice? Tobin didn’t mention either game. Must of not been important. Heather is rah/rah WNT, even though she has much of chance going to Rio that Rick has.

    • Greg

      Heather believes sucking up is going get her ticket Rio. Truth is after July she will no longer be a member. As far as Heath goes, she is werid and goes days without SM and then posts some random stuff like today.

    • I don’t get the obsession with players not mentioning games on social media. Is Tobin Heath’s instagram the only way you follow this team and know if they play? Sounds like your issue, not hers.

      • Brian

        She wants more money, then promote the sport .. so fans go to the games? EQUALPAYEQUALPLAY

        • Tommy

          exactly she whines for money, yet she wont tell the fans about games.. without fans they don’t make revenue. My Tobin comment basically shows how much these players care about promoting the sport in general.

          • When do the men ever post instagram pictures of “gameday” posts? This is not an argument worth having. People who follow this team on instagram already know when the NT plays. They are already fans.

    • Chum del Rosario

      I think the reason why Tobin is rarely active in social media these days is because of some USWNT obsessed fans called Talex or Preath shippers.

      • SEM

        Tobin is one of the least active on social media, pretty much always has been. But I can’t imagine its been easy for her or the other players when fans make known of their speculations on the teams dating life. Fans should keep it on tumblr and not tag the players. Those fans ruin it for the players and other fans who aren’t interested in who they are dating.

        • Steglitz49

          We are all interested in whom they are dating, as Therese Johaug learnt to her annoyance. Might as well be open about it.

          • SEM

            I think that enough of their lives are in the public eye, they deserve the right to keep their dating life private. Plus their dating life has nothing to do with their playing, they’re pro athletes not actors, their lives don’t have to be public since most don’t care.

  • Gary Diver

    “Cleveland! You guys were awesome today. Sorry you didn’t get to see us play all 90 mins. Thanks for the amazing energy!” tweeted Heather O’Reilly after Sunday’s game was abandoned. I have to give her credit for appearing upbeat considering the unlikelihood of her going to Rio on roster or alternate.

    Does anybody know when the last time HAO has played 15 minutes against a top 15 ranked team? How many minutes did she play at WC15? It is hard to see why she is still being called up, but maybe like Rampone, it is more about “respect” than anything else.

    • CED

      She’s allocated. They are paying her 130K so might as well call her to camp.

      • Steglitz49

        $130,000 — pretty awesome salary. Ought to put her in the top 5% of US women in earnings, I guess, if not top 2%.

    • Guest22

      They are paying her Alex Morgan salary. Pretty sad huh?

    • SEM

      Its a shame that she isn’t getting any minutes. I hope Ellis puts her on the Olympic roster because going into it, she’ll be the most experienced veteran and the team with so many newbies, will need someone like her to calm nerves and share her experience.

      • No. Not needed. The newbies don’t seemed rattled in the slightest and she won’t see the field.

      • CED

        HAO ship has sailed. She got next to know time in Wcup while newbies then with no Wcup experience got PT ahead of her.

        • rachel

          I AGREE about HAO. I woudn’t be be suprised if she gets deallocated next year.

        • SEM

          But they really need a veteran on the team to help the younger players handle the pressure that comes with the olympics. With Rampone, Wambach, Boxx, and Chalupny gone, there isn’t really anyone left. You know Ellis is going to go with a younger roster than the world cup one.

          • CED

            There’s a bunch of Wcup vets, HAO doesn’t add much, she didn’t even play in 2015. Ellis preferred line up in 4-2-3-1 has 9 Wcup vets. Wcup roster Vet subs of Krieger, Rapinoe, Press and maybe Engen,

          • rachel

            HAO has only played 47 Mins this year yeah so…..

          • SEM

            Well we don’t know if Rapinoe will make the final roster nor Krieger, who has hardly had any mins. And Press and Engen are hardly considered vets just yet, neither have played in the olympics. Though Press was an alternate who didn’t play, just traveled to the UK with the team.

          • CED

            Krieger is on the roster, 100%. Being on Wcup roster, playing and being on the team for 4 years makes you a vet.

          • rachel

            well they’ll still have hope tobin carli becky kelley

    • rachel

      HAO has played twice this year jan 23 against ireland and april 6 colombia

    • mockmook

      She doesn’t “appear” upbeat, she is upbeat.

      Extremely positive, extremely likable person.

  • Gary Diver

    Sonnett versus Engen

    Ellis said she was going to use the Japanese games to help her make roster decisions. Since neither Emily Sonnett nor Whitney Engen saw any action, it would seem that Ellis (1) has already made up her mind, or (2) will use camp practice to determine who goes to Rio, or (3) will use her intuition at the last moment.

    • BGH123

      I don’t really get the Sonnett hype. I think she is good, but I don’t think she is better than Oyster or maybe even Dahlkemper. She sometimes makes reckless challenges, and can be outraced. I think she is there because of Swanson

      • Gary Diver

        One could argue that if Sauerbrunn and Johnston are healthy, no other CB will see any minutes at OG16. Ellis is grooming Emily Sonnett for WC19.

        • CED

          Yes, others will see time if things go well. The 3rd game vs Colombia is in Manuas, Ideally the group will be won in the 1st 2 games. Then many of the best XI can be rested from getting drained from playing in the horrible conditions in Manuas, before a KO rd game 2 days later.

          • Gary Diver

            The OG16 games is going to be a test of energy management. Every team needs to get through the group play games while trying to conserve energy for the knock-out games. If players are not rested and fit, there could be some bad meltdowns in the latter games.

          • AlexH

            This is a very cogent point about all tournaments but especially this one due to the small roster size, compressed schedule and tropical climate.

            It is the reason that I don’t fear for the USA against the press. The USA is going to survive pool play no matter what and by the time they see a team with players that are good enough to high press the USA that team is going to be too gassed to pull it off.

          • brdn08

            This will be the real story. I don’t think any of the teams will be able to keep up with the US after the group stage. The men’s teams struggled mightily with the conditions in 2014 with more rest in between games. I expect much worse for the woso sides.

          • Gary Diver

            I’ve changed my mind and now agree with you. The climate conditions will force coaches to give all of the starting players as much rest as possible and a lot of players will see more time on the field than they might otherwise have seen.

      • Interesting that Sonnett is another “chosen one”. Literally gifted allocation without earning it. I like her and think she’s a fine player, but where did it come from?

        • CED

          The #1 pick in the draft is allocated….Dunn, Brian, & Sonnett

          • Yea but Dunn and Brian had caps before the draft, no?

          • CED

            So did Sonnett,

          • For some reason I thought Sonnett hadn’t been capped before January. Thanks.

  • Gary Diver

    Sam Mewis and Jaelene Hinkle

    Where does the Japanese games leave Mewis? Is there any way that she can be on OG!6 roster or is she looking at being one of the alternates?

    Is Hinkle expected to be one of the alternates? Klingenberg was an alternate for OG12 and it motivated her to not be an alternate for WC15.

    • HOFCToDi

      If Mallory Pugh was under the weather, it does not bode well for Samantha Mewis that Christen Press started instead.

      Tactical Formation: 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3
      Central Midfielders (4): Lloyd, Long, Brian, Horan
      Centerbacks (3): Sauerbrunn, Johnston, Engen or Sonnett
      Fullbacks (3): Krieger, Klingenberg, O’Hara
      Goalkeepers (2): Solo, Harris or Naeher

      Alternates: Mewis, Engen or Sonnett, Harris or Naeher

      • Gary Diver

        Overall I agree, though it would be very surprising it Ellis chooses Harris over Naeher since she does chose Harris for the Friendlies.

        The remaining pieces of the OG16 roster puzzle are where Ellis will put Sonnett, Engen, and Mewis. Hard to see how Mewis makes the roster, but I sense Ellis likes Mewis and would like to find a reason to include her.

        • BGH123

          My sense (and hope) is that she thinks Mewis has potential, but maybe is not quite ready. I think she thinks Long has a couple of good years that will give her cover to develop a younger player.

          • HOFCToDi

            Jill Ellis is already looking towards 2019 at potential replacements for Carli Lloyd:

            Mewis, Samantha
            Lavelle, Rose

            Morgan Andrews (Southern California) and Casie Ramsier (Auburn) are two college seniors to keep an eye on this fall.

          • BGH123

            I think lavelle could be a Heath type player on the wing as well. Exciting!

          • HOFCToDi

            Flank (Attacking) Midfielder?

            The next teenage prodigy is Ashley Sanchez.

          • Gary Diver

            Good spotter of good future talent!

          • CED

            They already have a replacement as a true CAM in a 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1 , where Lloyd played before they changed formation b/c she couldn’t play it anymore. It’s Morgan Brian, who is a natural #8, but is playing DM #6 b/c nobody else could play it last year in the Wcup. Holiday and Lloyd dual 6’s was a disaster. Boxx was on the roster as DM, but she had no legs and was pure dead weight, legacy pick. Brian is stuck at DM until there is a DM that can be trusted, Mewis could be person. Mewis plays DM, Brian moves to #8.

          • HOFCToDi

            Samantha Mewis is not a defensive/holding midfielder but a central attacking midfielder. Four games with the USWNT in calendar year 2016, Allie Long has looked far better than as a defensive/holding midfielder than Samantha Mewis ever has.

          • CED

            Ellis wants Mewis to be a DM for NT. Go back and look at her comments. She talks about her size, distribution,etc…

          • HOFCToDi

            Samantha Mewis was completely unimpressive in the role in the second international friendly against Colombia.

          • BGH123

            They have all had bad games. Long was not good at all Thursday

          • BGH123

            Horan was bad against England etc.

          • HOFCToDi

            Yet Allie Long started Sunday while Samantha Mewis sat on the bench.

          • BGH123

            This is true, but you suggested she did not have potential because of one mediocre showing, but if Long or Horan or almost anyone else was held to that metric, they would not either

          • HOFCToDi

            Jill Ellis wanted to believe that Abby Wambach could still play last year. What Jill Ellis wants and what Jill Ellis gets are two separate issues.

          • Gary Diver

            Could history repeat itself again this year with Carli Lloyd?

          • HOFCToDi

            At the age of 34, this is the last hurrah for Carli Lloyd.
            Potential future replacements include the following:
            Lavelle, Rose
            Andrews, Morgan
            Harvey, Mikaela
            Ogle, Emily

          • Gary Diver

            Agree, but who is going to break the news to Lloyd?

          • HOFCToDi

            Father time.

          • HOFCToDi

            Lindsey Horan was benched in the second half against England.

          • BGH123

            Deservedly so. I have only really been impress with her in tomato can games, though she was ok when she came in late against japan, but by then the team had been playing for 60 minutes. My point I don’t think any of them have really played all that well, and while she was conservative against Colombia and not that exciting other people that will play in Rio while she is on the bench have looked straight bad in games, and have not really paid a price. If they don’t win in Rio a lot of blame may hit the midfield

          • HOFCToDi

            Lindsey Horan and Morgan Brian were called out at half time by head coach Jill Ellis.

            youtube.com/watch?v=G8R8CrNsjWE

            1:18:22

          • BGH123

            I’m glad, and they have showed some potential, but I still fear we are going to Rio with Carli Lloyd and 3 CMs who have showed potential to be good, not necessarily great, and bad, not necessarily terrible. They definitely have the potential to lead us to victory in Rio, but I hope they show more consistency in the future, as they are probably our midfield for the next 10 years.

          • Steglitz49

            We are going to Rio with Carli unless she is incapacitated.

          • Gary Diver

            Maybe aliens can be bribed to kidnap her.

          • HOFCToDi

            Nah!

            2017
            Lavelle, Rose
            Andrews, Morgan
            Ramsier, Casie

            2018
            Sullivan, Andi
            Ogle, Emily
            Harvey, Mikaela

          • BGH123

            I like your optimism! Though I went to ND while Andrews was there and saw potential, but I don’t know if she NT material. This new era could bring in turnover to the USWNT, I just get scared that USWNt will honor it’s history of carrying the same players for years

          • HOFCToDi

            The hype train is 2018.

            allwhitekit.com/?p=14973

            Andi Sullivan

          • mockmook

            JE’s eventual replacement will dump her midfield in a second.

          • mockmook

            “Long was not good at all Thursday”

            Your evidence?

          • Steglitz49

            Sam Mewis is tall. That must count for something.

          • CED

            The back line is kind of short, so having some height to defend set pieces is good. Kling 5’2, Ohara 5’5, JJ and Broon just 5’7 which are not towering over anyone. Mewis is 5’11

          • Steglitz49

            Indeed. We will see more defenders of that ilk in times to come — except from Japan, probably.

          • HOFCToDi

            Jill Ellis has scrapped the flat 4-4-2 tactical formation in calendar year 2016 and has utilized either the 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 tactical formation.

          • Steglitz49

            What formation did she use against Japan in the first match? How did she change the formation after Yuki was sent off?

            I could not make it out but whatever she did did not work too well.

          • HOFCToDi

            Reading comprehension?

            I don’t care.

          • Steglitz49

            It did not work against Japan in the first match and because both goals in the second match were off-side, it did not work then either.

            Japan will not be in Rio but Germany will.

          • HOFCToDi

            Read the box score:

            foxsports.com/soccer/boxscore?id=26862

          • HOFCToDi

            USA beat GER at the 2016 SheBelieves Cup.

          • CED

            4-2-3-1 is the cater to Lloyd system, not good. US can not play a 4-3-3 vs any decent team b/c they can’t control the MF, which is necessity in a 4-3-3 unless you want to be scrambling prevention counters all game.

          • HOFCToDi

            I don’t give a damn what you think.

          • Steglitz49

            He does have a point though.

            Even Pellerud favored the 3-5-2 lineup because it naturally transformed into either 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 depending on how the game unfolded.

          • Gary Diver

            I am hoping (against hope) Lloyd is not well enough to play against South Africa and Ellis can have another Lloyd-less game with Morgan-Dunn-Press up front.

            It is funny that somebody has argued that the M-D-P formation was tried before at SBC games and found wanting. I don’t recall the details of those games, but (1) Dunn has developed better passing and communication skills since then and (2) Lloyd’s poor defense is a liability to any formation that doesn’t adjust to cover for her.

            Obviously Lloyd will be at Rio, but it is not obvious that starting her is best for the team.

          • Steglitz49

            Dunn was offside when she passed for the goal.

            Dunn is 5’1″ which is the same as Mana Iwabuchi. If Dunn can’t impress against Japan who have an average height of 5’4″ on the field, with a couple of players 5’1″ and 5’2″, then Dunn is more limited than we like to think.

          • AlexH

            Then adjust and cover for her. I can think of lots of top flight attacking players that don’t defend well and some cracking good defensive players that don’t add much to the attack. Both can be of good use especially if they are really good at what they do.

          • #1Fan

            Not really. Not in the modern game. USA gets away with it to some degree. It’s why you carry a Boxx. Pure charity.

          • AlexH

            If you mean by “some degree”, a hat trick in the final then you are right. There is not comparison between Boxx and Lloyd. Carli carries here weight and then some.

          • HOFCToDi

            Pia should have cut the cord with Boxx and Rampone after the 2008 Summer Olympic Games.

            en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Football_at_the_2008_Summer_Olympics_%E2%80%93_Women%27s_team_squads#.C2.A0United_States

          • #1Fan

            I said the USa can get away with it to some degree. Largely because most teams are not good enough to punish them. Look at teh Aus game. Solo had a great game and saved some blushes. We all know what happened in the final. Im not comparing them. Im saying you can afford to carry players unlike other groups.

          • #1Fan

            I don’t see the up front tho

          • CED

            The response of those with no cogent argument for their position.

          • Steglitz49

            Had you only just noticed?!

            In his lucid moments he is excellent value for money.

          • HOFCToDi

            You are a dumbass Swede who doesn’t have a clue.

            Lineup Notes: WNT Seeks 2016 SheBelieves Cup Title

            http://www.ussoccer.com/stories/2016/03/10/00/12/160309-wnt-lineup-notes-wnt-seeks-first-shebelieves-cup-title-against-germany

            “The USA will play in a 4-2-3-1 formation, as it has for all previous games this year, making it the ninth consecutive game that the U.S. has come out in this formation.”

          • AlexH

            “Cogent” is too big a word for your target audience.

          • HOFCToDi

            All you have done is spewed bull crap throughout this entire thread from flank (attacking) midfielders to central midfielders to tactical formations.

          • CED

            Sorry you have no clue about the game tactically.

          • HOFCToDi

            You haven’t a clue whatsoever. Go back to your USSF versus USWNTPA jihad.

          • Steglitz49

            He was right about that on all counts, wasn’t he?

          • HOFCToDi

            Clueless.

            Lineup Notes: WNT Seeks 2016 SheBelieves Cup Title

            ussoccer.com/stories/2016/03/10/00/12/160309-wnt-lineup-notes-wnt-seeks-first-shebelieves-cup-title-against-germany

            “The USA will play in a 4-2-3-1 formation, as it has for all previous games this year, making it the ninth consecutive game that the U.S. has come out in this formation.”

          • CED

            Oh wait you’re the head of the Lloyd fangirl club, that explains it. You’re thus as clueless at tactics as he is at actual playing her position of CM. Thus an entire team progression has been hampered to cater to her inability to play CM. They just put the bull in the china shop and the turnover machine higher up. There the turnover machine is prowess is less likely to lead to dangerous counters, which they did for the 1st 6 months of 2015

          • Steglitz49

            Being a member of the Carli fan club is not such a bad idea given OG-08, OG-12 and WC-15.

            Sadly, Carli did not have a good agent so noone cared about OG-08 and OG-12. Indeed, even today the penalty of 2011 that still orbits Saturn is well remembered.

          • CED

            Carli Lloyd is the Michael Bradley if WNT,,,Overhyped turnover machine that don’t show up to 80% of games. The fact she doesn’t show up to all games is why she has never gotten the hype she thinks she deserves. It’s also why she also lashes out in passive aggressive comments about her teammates and seems to have to try to belittle even her own teammates to hype herself.

          • HOFCToDi

            Oh wait, you’re one of the clueless morons from the “Press Gang Troll Brigade”.

            Christen Press – international fraud extraordinaire

            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

          • CED

            LOL…I Never hype Press. But I hit the nail on the head with you.

          • HOFCToDi

            At least I’m realistic to admit this is Carli Lloyd’s last hurrah.

            Welcome to the future of the USWNT central midfield:

            2017
            Lavelle, Rose
            Andrews, Morgan
            Ramsier, Casie

            2018
            Sullivan, Andi
            Ogle, Emily
            Harvey, Mikaela

          • CED

            The only player pre ordained to the future WNT CM pool is Lavelle. Not to mention Brian, Horan, Mewis are all under 23. Then there’s the notion Pugh could be moved into a true #10 at some point.

          • HOFCToDi

            It’s not a question of “if”, it’s a question of when with Andi Sullivan.

            allwhitekit.com/?p=14973

          • Breakers fan

            Thanks for the Ramsier name – new one to me.

          • HOFCToDi

            2017
            Lavelle, Rose
            Andrews, Morgan
            Ramsier, Casie

            2018
            Sullivan, Andi
            Ogle, Emily
            Harvey, Mikaela

            allwhitekit.com/?p=14973

          • Breakers fan

            Thanks. I’ve seen most of those people play at least a little. I know Harvey, small in stature but a bulldog player decided to forgo the U20 World Cup so she can play at Texas A&M. Ogle I know is a Penn Stater but I didn’t focus on her all that much in the tourney last year. Plenty of time though to see these players. Andrews I know has a lot of athletic ability. She’s been bouncing around though so it seems there are perhaps some personality issues with her ….just theorizing. Even if there have been it can be something she can surmount maybe.

          • HOFCToDi

            I thought Morgan Andrews transferred from Notre Dame because former head coach Randy Waldrum left the program.

          • Gary Diver

            I heard that there was something going on with her when Waldrum went to Houston. And she probably was in the dumps for a while after being dropped off the U20 team since she was the captain of her U17 team. She has come back strong last year and played well for USC and still a gal with a future.

            Also, keep in mind that having Randy Waldrum in your corner can only help you.

            http://equalizersoccer.com/2015/11/07/video-morgan-andrews-volley-goal-usc-beats-ucla/

          • Breakers fan

            Here’s what I know about Andrews’s movement over time: She was signed/committed to Boston College – she’s from nearby New Hampshire. Then she had some kind of argument with the head coach – and then decided to not go there and go to Notre Dame instead. Why she left Notre Dame?….maybe due to Waldrum leaving, but often after being somewhere players form bonds with teammates that supercedes who the coach is in terms of whether to stay there or not when a coach leaves. Then I know she got dumped from one or two YNT teams after a great start with them. Why is all this stuff happening? Maybe it’s all fine now and I don’t want to start any false rumors about her personally. I don’t know enough about it.

          • Steglitz49

            BC and ND are Catholic institutions. USC is heathen, I presume. Maybe she wanted to go on the pill?

          • Very interesting. Also, you used to hear a lot about her as the next “phenom” and now nothing really outside of some fans comments. Maybe that is telling?

          • Gary Diver

            She should be a top NWSL draft selection next year, so we will see what becomes of her.

          • Good luck to her in Boston, then.

          • Steglitz49

            Changing programs disrupts your trajectory but if she was going to be sidelined at ND she had to pick up her kit and boots and try somewhere else. USC is not a bad college after all.

          • That is my point, why would she have been sidelined? Also, being dropped from a few YNT’s. Is it a skill thing or an attitude thing?

          • Breakers fan

            No way she would have ridden the Irish pine. She left for some other reason. As far as being dropped from YNT(s) I’m tempted to speculate but I’m not going to, because it would be a pure guess.

          • Breakers fan

            I know she did some great things on the field for USC last year and I watched one short post-game interview with her and she seemed pretty humble and articulate. She’s still got a lot of ability. Hard to say what her future will look like but the playing potential I think is still there.

          • HOFCToDi

            Oh really?

            2015 NCAA DI All-Americans Announced

            ourgamemag.com/2015/12/04/2015-di-all-americans-announced/

          • Steglitz49

            2nd team? “Coming second, that is what Americans call losing”.

          • HOFCToDi

            Coming second is what Japan is about, Europeans third.

            2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup
            USA – Gold
            JPN – Silver
            ENG – Bronze

            Where is SWE?

          • HOFCToDi

            Coming second is what Japan is about, where was Europe?

            2012 Summer Olympic Games
            USA – Gold
            JPN – Silver
            CAN – Bronze

            Where was SWE? Oh yeah, lost to FRA.

          • HOFCToDi

            Losing is the specialty of Sweden:

            2016 U-23 Nordic Cup
            USA 3 SWE 1
            ENG 1 SWE 0

          • HOFCToDi

            Failing to qualify for the FIFA World Cup has become the specialty of Sweden:

            2010
            2014

          • Steglitz49

            So did I. Maybe it was a euphemism for not having chemistry with the new coach?

          • Paul Klee

            Press, I think, turned down a youth call while at Stanford, to play in the NCAA cup.

          • Also I thought I heard several current Stanford players have turned down call ups after the U-20 red shirt instruction debacle.

          • HOFCToDi

            2015 NCAA DI All-Americans Announced

            ourgamemag.com/2015/12/04/2015-di-all-americans-announced/

          • Breakers fan

            I’ve seen McKenzie Meehan play a lot -she’s very good. She passed Mewis as the all-time Boston College goal scorer but Mewis I believe still leads in total points due to her assists.

          • HOFCToDi

            2016 U-23 Nordic Cup

            ussoccer.com/us-under23-womens-national-team/latest-roster#tab-1

            Click view more rosters:
            2016 U-23 Women’s Nordic Tournament – May 28-June 8

          • Breakers fan

            That link doesn’t work but thanks. I knew Meehan made this team, which I’m happy about. I hope she gets playing time.

          • CED

            Mewis future DM, Brian moves to CAM. Long stop gap that may have a chance to hang on for 2019 at 32.

        • HOFCToDi

          The USWNT already has a glut of central midfielders. If there is a fatal flaw with the current roster, it is the lack of bona fide flank (attacking) midfielders especially with Heather O’Reilly firmly entrenched in the USWNT coaching doghouse.

          • Gary Diver

            There is certainly a spot waiting for Ashley Sanchez if she can develop further.

          • HOFCToDi

            That won’t happen until 2019.

          • Paul Klee

            If she didn’t go missing in Papua New Guinea!

          • Steglitz49

            Was she headhunted?

          • Paul Klee

            Fell into the USSOCCER news void. Similar to the Bermuda Triangle.

          • HOFCToDi

            Michelle French should been left stranded.

          • Gary Diver

            According to USSF, the Papua New Guinea games never happened or at least the public should not know anything about them:) They have not even acknowledged the game against PNG was ever played.

            Honestly, soccer is a team sport and to blame Ashley Sanchez for the U20 Japanese debacle is really very unfair unless you know more about what happened in that game than I do.

            All I know is that from the highlight video all of the US players at the end of the game were about ready to collapse on the field. I cannot recall ever seeing players looked so spent. I can only surmise it was a combination of heat, humidity, jet lag, and being run ragged by the Japanese team.

          • Steglitz49

            At least the Japanese played with a full complement and not just 10 players.

          • Paul Klee

            Settle down, I’m not blaming her. Just commenting on the lack of news about those matches

          • Gary Diver

            I agree that the information blackout on the U20 PNG games is truly baffling. Something is going on. The Japanese had full reports on all of their U20 games immediately after the games.

          • Steglitz49

            This is USSF remember. The ones that edited out Aya Miyama’s Robert Carlos freekick in their first set of highlights. It was only brought back when it was obviously embarrassing.

          • #1Fan

            I think blame is fair. Especially when the praise is so over the top. Please explain how a kid you see as a full international had no impact. I feel the same about Pugh as a youth. Was she a member of any winning Intl youth team ?

          • Paul Klee

            All I know is she didn’t score any goals, as the US was shut out. I haven’t even seen a match report to confirm that she was even in the lineup.

          • #1Fan

            She is not a flank player imo. Nor is Pugh. All you are doing is dumbing them down to use their speed. It’s a waste of talent.

          • Breakers fan

            Great comment. I agree and I apply this to Dunn too. Players like this you want in the middle of the field, with room to use their abilities.

          • Bruce

            With a glut of taented players vying for 2-3 forward spots and a lacking talent pool at the flanks, what better options are there?

            ideas?

          • #1Fan

            The point is I think both would be better centrally. I don’t want them tracking opposing fullbacks.

          • mockmook

            There’s plenty of wide talent — it’s just not being brought into camps.

          • CED

            There are a plenty of wide attacking MF’s…Pugh, Dunn, Heath, Pinoe(has a few good years), Ohara can play there too, etc,,,This was why even lasty ear HAO was on the outs.

            There is not a glut of CM’s..it’s just Brian, Long, Mewis, Horan. In a normal 23 roster, which is everything but OG 4 CM’s is not a glut.

          • HOFCToDi

            Crystal Dunn is a work in progress at the flank (attacking) midfielder position. Megan Rapinoe is recovering from ACL surgery which typically requires nine months rehabilitation. Kelley O’Hara can’t play two positions at once since O’Hara is currently the staring right fullback.

          • CED

            Dunn has provided the consistent best service besides Pugh. Ohara is an option at wide MF, her versatility was seen last Wcup there and now playing RB. That versatility means it’s easy for Ellis to if she wants an experienced player end of game to move Ohara up and put Krieger at RB, take out one of the younger players to see a game out. Wide attacking options are more than enough for OG. It’s of zero concern in the future with normal 23 player roster games going into 2017 and beyond.

          • HOFCToDi

            My comment does not concern 2017 or beyond but the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

          • CED

            There are way more than enough players for OG. Wide attacking options is of no concern.

          • Steglitz49

            There is nothing to be concerned about in 2017. Go to Holland for a holiday.

          • Steglitz49

            KO ought to be playing left back but if JE prefers her on the right, I cant quibble with that.

            As for Crystal maybe watch the off/side a bit better_ The next touchjudge may have been to the opticians the day before and also been awake.

          • AlexH

            The OG refs are no more likely see better than the 3 blind mice that officiated the game this weekend. So Crystal should keep trying to get away an extra step or three until somebody puts a stop to it.

          • Steglitz49

            That is my fear also.

        • Steglitz49

          I doubt that Engen will be in Rio.

          • Gary Diver

            Am I wrong but it seems CBs are special in that nobody really notices a successful CB because nothing (bad) happens? For CBs, boring is good and no news is good news.

          • Gary Diver

            For some reason Whitney Engen is the most invisible player on USWNT. She is there but often you have to remind yourself that she is there.

        • guest

          Harris is done with the NT. Doubt she’ll ever actually suit up for them again.

      • #1Fan

        Prefer 442

  • Gary Diver

    The Lloyd Experiment

    A thousand times people here were hoping and dreaming that Ellis would bench Lloyd for a couple of Friendlies to see what a Lloyd-less USWNT would play like. The Lloyd experiment was performed. And Morgan-Dunn-Press combo experiment was also performed.

    What was learned from these experiments?

    I would argue USWNT without a 34-year-old Lloyd would most likely be a better team. Lloyd plays no defense, is inconsistent, and expects the team to support her efforts.

    Lloyd is going to Rio, but the team would be better off if she was a substitute off the bench. Remember that one year ago, nobody was predicting that Jill Ellis would bench Abby Wambach during the WC, but she did. Benching Lloyd can’t be harder than benching Wambach.

    Lloyd is a liability because the team needs to be constructed to support her instead of developing the best possible team chemistry and effectiveness. With Dunn developing excellent all-around skills, and the options that Pugh and Press can give the team, it is almost criminal to cater to Lloyd’s ego. Put the team first and maximize the talents of Morgan, Dunn, Pugh, and Press.

    • brdn08

      Lloyd is only a defensive liability if there is bad spacing. You’d be surprised how even the best defenders look average if asked to cover large areas and that’s why 2014 and early 2015 were such a struggle for the NT. The formation changes at World Cup were the realization that you can’t ask players on a team with a huge attacking shape to then be able to repeatedly recover on turnovers or to maintain a reasonable defensive shape. Obvious examples would be what was done to Lauren Holiday in Brazil in December of 2014 or what was asked of Broon and Holiday in France in February of 2015. I’ve digressed but Lloyd’s defense isn’t poor but she’s also not a box to box midfielder so asking her to be one and then wondering why she looks terrible is idiotic.

      • #1Fan

        Or maybe you just don’t turn it over as much

        • brdn08

          I don’t know a woso team that doesn’t or any team that doesn’t turn the ball over. By the way Carli isn’t the worst passer on the USWNT or the most turnover prone. There are others that could be singled out for turning the ball over before Lloyd. It’s juvenile oversimplification to just say don’t turn the ball over as much as if it’s that simple. Obviously if it was no one would turn the ball over.

          • mockmook

            You can get rid of players who are the worst at turning the ball over and find better possessing players.

          • brdn08

            You’re assuming that those players exist and would seamlessly be integrated into the team. Also, you assume that you wouldn’t be sacrificing athleticism, size, or leadership to make that change.

          • Steglitz49

            I presume s/he is alluding to the depth and width of the US talent pool. Crystal Dunn at 5’1″ is on the short side even for Japan — Mana Iwabuchi is also 5’1″ in high heels but since the average height among the Nadeshiko is 5’4″ and a couple are 5’2″, Mana does not stick out like a sore thumb.

    • FlyingSquirrel42

      “Benching Lloyd can’t be harder than benching Wambach.”

      In terms of hype and publicity, maybe. In terms of actually figuring out what’s best for the team, that might be a tougher call because Lloyd can be something of a “wild card” and seems to thrive on high stakes. Wambach was underperforming in a way that was fairly evident – she missed that PK against Colombia, missed at least one chance for a header (I think against Australia), and was generally running out of gas. With Lloyd, the fact that she doesn’t contribute in one game doesn’t mean she won’t turn around and score an 87th minute equalizer a few days later.

      • HOFCToDi

        Abby Wambach blew off the 2015 NWSL Season.

    • HOFCToDi

      The Christen Press experiment:

      Christen Press
      2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup
      (SWE, NGA, COL, CHN, GER, JPN)
      Goals 0, Assists 0

      Christen Press
      International Women’s Friendlies
      21 Oct 2015, 25 Oct 2015 (BRA)
      Goals 0, Assists 0

      Christen Press
      2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying
      Knockout Stage (TRI, CAN)
      Goals 0, Assists 0

      Christen Press
      2016 SheBelieves Cup
      (ENG, FRA, GER)
      Goals 0, Assists 0

      Christen Press
      International Women’s Friendlies
      2 Jun 2016, 5 Jun 2016 (JPN)
      Goals 0, Assists 0

      Christen Press
      Matches 15
      Benched 5
      Goals 0, Assists 0

    • HOFCToDi

      Please illustrate one completed pass from Christen Press to Alex Morgan in the first half of the international women’s friendly match dated 5 June 2016.

      youtube.com/watch?v=fDauPadTV_E

      Please provide the match time stamp (as opposed to the youtube time stamp) and the location on the pitch where the pass originated.

      github.com/amj2012/wosostats/blob/master/resources/how-to-log-location.md

  • BGH123

    I think Brian and Horan will be under the most pressure this OG. If they do not perform well it will call into question whether they can be the midfield of the future. I see Long as more of a right now solution, and I think while she may be there in 2019, she won’t be there beyond that.

    • Gary Diver

      Have Faith! I am more fearful that Lloyd will let the team down.

      • BGH123

        I definitely think they can win! Like it or not, Lloyd is here to stay, but if the young guns don’t perform it could affect how long they stay on the team

  • Steglitz49

    At least JE got to play Japan before she has to finalize her 16+2. Pia’s Sweden face the Nadeshiko 3 days after the list has to be submitted.

  • Lorehead

    “Therefore, instead of complaining, ….”

    You really need to know your audience better than that.

  • dw

    Do we really place a lot of value in playing players not going to Rio over players that are? Don’t get me wrong, I’ll second guess Ellis with very little provocation. But this seems like a stretch to me.

  • Gary Diver

    Much Ado About Nothing

    Thousands of comments have graced these pages over the past 6 months speculating who Jill Ellis was going to choose for her OG16 roster. And Ellis herself said the Japanese games would play an important role in her roster selection.

    But looking back to the Ireland game on January 23, it appears Ellis had essentially made her mind about her roster at the very beginning of the year.

    Only one major switch: Allie Long for Stephanie McCaffrey

    Minor tweaks: (1) HAO and Rampone totally off radar, (2) Hinkle, Engen, and Mewis either on alternate list or not going to Rio, and (3) Ellis wants Rapinoe but is still a big question mark.

    So, it is funny that people spent so much time trying to figure out all the changes Ellis was gong to make but, in the end, the only major change in six months was Allie Long.

    • CED

      Long for McCaffrey wasn’t a switch. Long came in b/c no CM’s were overly impressive. McCaffrey while in January camp, became expendable when Pugh showed she was ready, which was something they probably weren’t expecting.

      • Gary Diver

        I did not mean a “direct switch”.

        McCaffrey is the only player Ellis brought in the January camp who played significant minutes and who is now totally gone. And Allie Long is the only player not in the January camp who now is going to Rio. Only one out and only one in.

        • Steglitz49

          The winds of fate.

    • Steglitz49

      Meanwhile the Swedes are dreading the selection of the 16+2 because Pia looks likely to repeat all the errors that did not fare well in WC-15.

      Commentators complain that the SweNT probably can’t beat either Rosengard or Linköping, let alone top NTs like the US, Ger, Fra, Australia and Brazil, and would struggle against Canada, NZ and China.

      There seem to be some “untouchables” who include Fischer, Seger, Lindahl and Schelin to name but a few. Even when it is obvious that some younger players play better than the old guard, the old guard remains firmly entrenched.

      My own hope is that when Pia steps down after Rio, Lars Lagerbäck can be persuaded to take charge for Euro-17.

      • FlyingSquirrel42

        Has Pia said she’s done after Rio, or are you just expecting that she’ll either resign or be nudged out at that point?

        • Steglitz49

          I can’t swear to it but it is generally understood that she will leave after Rio. It has also been mooted that she offered to resign after her failure with WC-15 but was asked to stay on but I do not know that for certain.

          Pia was roundly criticized at the press-conference when she announced the troop for WC-15. Indeed, it was cut short. Now the criticism in Sweden starts before the troop is eve known.

          Sweden play Japan on July 21st, 3 days after the 16+2 must be finalized.

          Given how Pia sorted out and brought now blood into the USWNT, her handling of the Swedish NT seems odd.

    • brdn08

      It only seems minor because you chose a small window. No coach would unnecessarily make large scale changes to a World Cup Champion roster unless the needs were obvious or the players were couldn’t be ignored. Also you totally ignored the addition of Mallory Pugh. To a man no one thought the following players would not be in Rio; Lloyd, Morgan, Brian, Broon, Johnston, Krieger, O’Hara, Kling, Dunn, Horan, Press, Solo, Heath. That left Pugh, Allie, Pinoe?, Engen vs. Sonnett, and Mewis. I don’t think anyone thought Ellis would add any other players than these. Then there’s Ashlynn vs. Alyssa.

    • Jersey Shore Rises

      Gary just wondering, best start by the USWNT in over 20 year, 2015 WC won, why change the nucleus like I see you are indicating in other messages you have posted?

      I say stick with what has been working and go for the Gold once again by proven players that have won it.

  • Jersey Shore Rises

    No doubt this story will go well here with all the partisan attacks to follow… 😀

    • HOFCToDi

      Started the day after the USWNT won the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

      drawformation.com/post/56bc60cb89182/56bc60cb89182.png

      • Jersey Shore Rises

        I do get a kick out of reading some of the comments by people here on who should start and who should not. I wonder if they know that the USWNT thus far has tied for their best start in history?

        Probably not, they just care if their girl starts or not no matter how well the team has played.

        • HOFCToDi

          With regard to the aforementioned 4-2-3-1 tactical formation:

          Pugh for Rapinoe, Long for Holiday, O’Hara for Krieger

          Lineup Notes: WNT Seeks 2016 SheBelieves Cup Title

          http://www.ussoccer.com/stories/2016/03/10/00/12/160309-wnt-lineup-notes-wnt-seeks-first-shebelieves-cup-title-against-germany

          “The USA will play in a 4-2-3-1 formation, as it has for all previous games this year, making it the ninth consecutive game that the U.S. has come out in this formation.”

        • HOFCToDi

          Calendar Year 2016
          USWNT
          W 12, L 0, D 1
          GF 47, GA 4

          Calendar Year 2015
          USWNT
          W 9, L 1, D 3
          GF 24, GA 5

        • anon

          Which has everything to do with Alex Morgan, Pugh, and Dunn. And basically nothing to do with Carli, except over tomato cans. CP obviously can do that too.

        • Steglitz49

          They did not beat Japan on June 2nd and both goals in this match were off-side.

          • HOFCToDi

            No one cares about your opinion on the subject matter.

            foxsports.com/soccer/boxscore?id=26862

            The results are official.

          • CED

            The response when you have no cogent argument.

          • HOFCToDi

            You have no cogent argument.

          • HOFCToDi

            Enjoy these results:

            womenssoccerunited.com/england-host-women-u-23-nordic-tournament-2016/

            2016 U-23 Nordic Tournament
            USA 3 SWE 1
            ENG 1 SWE 0

          • Steglitz49

            We have covered this before. The top Swedish U23 players, including some U20 and U19 are playing in the Euro-17 qualifiers which were this week.

            Countries with populations of NJ or MA, have to make compromises.

          • HOFCToDi

            Excuses are for losers. You are a loser.

          • Steglitz49

            Ex-planation, not ex-cuse.

          • HOFCToDi

            You lose, yet again.

          • HOFCToDi

            Enjoy the result:

            en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Football_at_the_2012_Summer_Olympics_%E2%80%93_Women%27s_tournament#Quarter-finals

            2012 Summer Olympic Games
            Quarterfinals
            FRA 2 SWE 1

          • Steglitz49

            Algarve 2014, not least Denmark v USA is quite fun too.

          • HOFCToDi

            You lose, yet again.

            No Olympic medals for the Sweden Women’s National Football Team. Enjoy that fourth place finish in 2004.

            en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweden_women%27s_national_football_team#Olympic_Games

          • Max

            Japan can beat uswnt only once in 30+ games. What a tomato can team

        • CED

          They got dominated by Japan on 6/2…The game should have been 3-0 for Japan but they played their poor keeper. If the one that started sunday played thursday US losses. Even then US needed a absolute BS call to go a man up to score 2 goals. Btw, Sunday game should have been 0-0..to offsides goals, 1 blatant by 2 yards on Dunn.

  • guest

    This is Press’s time to shine. Carli should just excuse herself and take time on the bench. If our starting 11 aren’t getting it done, she can sub in at the end.

    This could be the last big competition where we have the combo of Heath, Press, and Morgan – they will all be hitting their thirties this upcoming cycle and they are all in their prime NOW. It would be a terrible shame if we kept one of the greatest strikers the program has ever seen on the bench. The whole Press thing makes me so angry.

    • anon

      Heath needs to be up in Ellis’s face about the injustices toward her girlfriend.

    • Jersey Shore Rises

      Such an outrage how bad this team has played without Press starting, I mean they only have their best starting record in over 20 years…

      http://www.ussoccer.com/stories/2016/06/03/05/03/160602-wnt-and-japan-play-to-thrilling-3-3-draw-before-sold-out-crowd-in-colorado

      • anon

        Unfortunately Carli has been taking up space for too long. This Press/Morgan/Heath/Dunn/Pugh combo should have been the go to for awhile now. Since Sheba. Who knows what could have been.

        • Jersey Shore Rises

          Yes, I bet you believe that should have been the lineup for WC 2015 also….. I kinda like the status quo we have right now and they will bring back the Gold at RIO16.

          • HOFCToDi

            It’s simple to remember:

            ABCP

            Anyone
            But
            Christen
            Press

          • guest

            Yup, 100%. Morgan, Press, Pinoe, Heath, Holiday and Brian would have been an ideal front 6 or at least ideal for the WC roster choices.

      • HOFCToDi

        Beware of charlatans peddling Christen Press snake oil:

        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

      • HOFCToDi

        Beware of charlatans peddling Christen Press snake oil:

        Christen Press

        foxsports.com/soccer/boxscore?id=26754

        Goals 0, Assists 0, Shots 2, Shots on Goal 0

        foxsports.com/soccer/boxscore?id=26862

        Goals 0, Assists 0, Shots 2, Shots on Goal 1

        • Jersey Shore Rises

          I just get a kick out of the venom they spew towards Carli while trying to defend their own players. Why not just defend your player rather then take personal shots at others because you then lose the debate.

          • HOFCToDi

            Beware of charlatans peddling Christen Press snake oil:

            2016 SheBelieves Cup
            Christen Press
            Goals – 0
            Assists – 0

          • HOFCToDi

            Beware of charlatans peddling Christen Press snake oil:

            TSG announces CWOQ Best XI, Awards
            Sunday Feb 21, 2016

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

            concacaf.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/FEAT-USAWomen-022116CWOQAwardWinners.jpg

            Christen Press is not on the list.

          • HOFCToDi

            The “Press Gang Troll Brigade” have become apoplectic.

          • HOFCToDi

            Poor Pressie Pooh, not once the recipient of an individual international award!

          • HOFCToDi

            Christen Press
            2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup
            Knockout Stage (COL, CHN, GER, JPN)
            Goals 0, Assists 0

            Christen Press
            International Women’s Friendlies
            21 Oct 2015, 25 Oct 2015 (BRA)
            Goals 0, Assists 0

            Christen Press
            2016 CWOQ
            Knockout Stage (TRI, CAN)
            Goals 0, Assists 0

            Christen Press
            2016 SheBelieves Cup
            (ENG, FRA, GER)
            Goals 0, Assists 0

            Christen Press
            International Women’s Friendlies
            2 Jun 2016, 5 Jun 2015 (JPN)
            Goals 0, Assists 0

            Christen Press
            Summary
            13 Matches
            Goals 0, Assists 0
            If you include the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup matches against SWE and NGA, 15 scoreless matches.

        • CED

          Beware of the delusional LLoyd fangirls who like you don’t realize she is not an actual good player, lazy, poor tackler, technically deficient, etc..It’s why she can’t play her actual position of CM, the more technical game of the better teams, China, Japan, Germany, etc…eat her alive. She even has problems against poor teams b/c she is an inherent turnover machine.

          • HOFCToDi

            Blah! Blah! Blah!
            A whole bunch of hogwash.

          • HOFCToDi

            Your opinion is WORTHLESS!

            Carli Lloyd #10 of the US poses after winning the Golden Ball

            img.fifa.com/mm/photo/tournament/competition/02/66/13/04/2661304_big-lnd.jpg

            Carli Lloyd #10 of the US poses after winning the Silver Boot

            img.fifa.com/mm/photo/tournament/competition/02/66/13/11/2661311_big-lnd.jpg

          • CED

            The response when you don’t have cogent thought….an opinion is worthless. Lloyd is a horrible CM, She scored a couple PK’s(the success rate os any player on Pk’s is 80%) It’s easier to make a PK than a free throw in bball. In the final she was unmarked twice for sitters and scored a goal via a GK blunder. Why isn’t she playing her actual position? B/C SHE IS HORRIBLE AND CAN’T PLAY IT B/C SHE’S NOT TECHNICAL ENOUGH AND THE BULL IN CHINA SHOP STYLE IS NO LONGER VIABLE IN WOSO. A FACT YOU CAN;T REFUTE AND NEVER HAVE ATTEMPTED TO OVER MONTHS AND MONTHS!

          • HOFCToDi

            Nobody gives a damn what you think!
            NOBODY!

          • HOFCToDi

            Christen Press was BENCHED for the semifinals and final of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

            resources.fifa.com/mm/document/tournament/competition/02/65/52/49/eng_49_0630_usa-ger_fulltime.pdf

            resources.fifa.com/mm/document/tournament/competition/02/66/12/93/eng_52_0705_usa-jpn_fulltime.pdf

            B E N C H E D

          • CED

            LLoyd should have benched before the Wcup..SHE IS A HORRIBLE CM!

          • HOFCToDi

            Nobody gives a damn what you think.

      • HOFCToDi

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

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

        • Steglitz49

          Are those real prices or did you just make them up? Enough to make you a teetotaler and make you cycle to the match.

          • Gary Diver

            In the US they sock it to you at the beer stand. It is somewhat surprising people gladly open up their wallets to the beverage price gouging.

          • Steglitz49

            I would bring one of those cycle bottles and fill it in the loo with tap water.

      • Steglitz49

        Hear hear!

        Won WC-15 and OG-12 and got to the final of WC-11. Neid, Pellerud and Sasaki would be OK with that record — even Herdman come to think of it.

      • NYRick

        You should know that just about 98% of the teams the USWNT plays has absolutely no chance to get a result against them. How else do you explain Hope’s 100 clean sheets in 200 caps. That is absurd and shows little competition. She’s not that good. On home soil that number (even for the good teams) jumps to near 100%. With that said, ANY LINEUP sans your favorites or my favorites that Ellis puts out there will win.

        But you saw that a good organized team like Japan can give them all they can handle, even with a top lineup on the pitch. And we know Germany and France can beat them and Brazil is going to have a huge home advantage in matches at the WC. Throw in pesky Canada who will foul them to death and hope Sinclair can nick one for a 1-nil match and that spells trouble. They should and most likely will win gold in Rio with your girl Carli in the lineup and leading the way, but it can be easily questioned if Ellis is putting her top front 6 on the pitch in the knockout matches.

        • brdn08

          I don’t know that Japan or Germany can beat the US. How often has that happened. Once in 12 or 13 years doesn’t exactly say competitive to me.

    • anon

      I really don’t get this whole CARLI CANT SIT BECAUSE POLITICS. Ellis is the coach. She should be able to sit Carli. What is Carli going to do? Go on strike? Punch someone? I can better understand her inability to sit Morgan, who is the face of their business. Luckily she is also their most productive player.

      • CED

        Ellis only the got job to appease the vets who were going to get cut by Sermanni, she will continue to do it. ….Lloyd would have been on the bench in 2015 under Sermanni b/c she payed like garbage leading up to Wcup, in the Wcup group stage…in fact she had only had 1 good game.

  • Cc W

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6mSxvGieNE&feature=youtu.be
    Alex Morgan’s touches in the last game. I haven’t rewatched the game, but just these clips – some really nice work between Alex and “Crystal Press.” Fun to watch

    • Ethan

      Even though the execution was off a number of times, I really liked Morgan’s thinking on each of her attempts. Plus, I thought not playing in Long was the only missed opportunity, and she only had less than a second to make that decision before Long strayed offside. (Then again, I do think Morgan was set on shooting from the get-go.)

      Favorite moments: 0:32, 0:52, 2:07, and 2:11.

      • Cc W

        :52 and 2:07 – such nice ideas on both of those, and CP’s pass to herself then to Alex, and back to CP – I liked was the give and take between CP and Alex – give them a few more games together I think the chemistry gets better and you get a few more conversions.

      • NYRick

        I thought the play where it looked like Long was open for the pass was the proper play and shot by Alex. Long would have been offsides. And when you watch the replay that is a helluva save by the keeper. Hard powerful shot that the tall keeper got a reaction hand on.

        • Steglitz49

          Off-side in the second match was a moveable feast.

        • Ethan

          Oh yeah, not disagreeing. Just saying that if you want to nitpick, there’s a half second where Morgan could have maybe played Long in and Long would have been on. (Given how Morgan was looking for her teammates all match, it wouldn’t have surprised me if she had chosen to try to play Long in.) Very fine margins, and Morgan’s decision to shoot was justified.

    • NYRick

      Good stuff. It’s actually fun to see clips like this as a cumulative type of effort of a player’s full game highlights.

    • Gary Diver

      Alexandra the Great is currently playing great soccer and a joy to watch weave her magic.

      • Steglitz49

        She truly dominates the field.

  • OZ

    So nobody is going to talk about Ali Krieger? It is mind boggling how she ends up on the bench while playing every game in WC!!!! Is this genius Jill Ellis at work?

    • FlyingSquirrel42

      I’d thought for a while that perhaps Ellis just wanted to see how KO would perform at right back if needed – in that Krieger is a known quantity while KO played left back in OG12 and was used as a midfielder in WWC15 – but that would be one long “experiment” if that’s what it is. Krieger did start against Germany in the She Believes Cup, though.

      The reason I hear most often regarding this change is that KO is seen as more of an attacking threat, so perhaps Ellis still plans to use Krieger against the most dangerous offenses and/or as a sub when it’s time to batten down the hatches. Either that, or maybe it’s just an age thing – KO might be a better bet to still be around for WWC19 or OG20.

      • Steglitz49

        The only dangerous offense comes from germany. France never win matches that matter.

    • Steglitz49

      She missed that semi-final of the Championship after WC-15.

    • guest

      What’s mind boggling is that Kling is the unbenchable outside back in Jill’s mind. O’Hara is better on the left than Kling, who seems to think her one job is to attack. Krieger is better on the right. Logic would point to benching Kling but clearly Jill doesn’t believe in that kind of logic.

      • Steglitz49

        That header against Sweden has to be recompensed.

      • CED

        That’s delusion Ohara is better than Kling at OB.

        • Reed

          KO is the best LB and AK is the best RB on the team. That leaves Kling on the bench. Except JE thinks that Kling should be on the field and so she is.

  • mockmook

    “but imagine the backlash if there was turnover in the USWNT roster like there has been in Japan in the past few months.”

    Uh, I imagine almost none.

  • mockmook

    Here’s who I would drop after “VT” 2016 — the odds favor a better/fitter replacement for each of these by 2019/2020 — the sooner the optimum replacements are found and developed, the better:

    A.Morgan
    Press
    Lloyd
    O’Reilly
    Long
    Rapinoe
    Heath
    Sauerbrunn
    Lewandowski (obviously)
    Rampone (obviously)
    Engen
    Klingenberg
    O’Hara
    Krieger
    Harris
    Solo

    • Gary Diver

      It would be a shorter list and easier to work with if you listed who you would keep.

      Personally I would make two lists: (A) Definitely should be phased out by 2017 and (B) Later to be phased out.

      Your obviously to go two players are obvious.

      A List (Gone by 2017)
      HAO
      Engen
      Krieger
      Harris

      Personally I would like to see 35-year-old Lloyd phased out next year but that is going to take some pushing. It is sad to say, but the poorer she performs at OG, the easier it will be to convince her to retire. Her pronouncements of playing through 2020 are scary if she means it.

      The vast majority of the other names on your list I agree should not be seriously considered for WC19. Alex maybe, but she may have other plans by 2019. The other two maybes are Christen Press and Allie Long if they can outcompete the younger challengers.

      • Steglitz49

        What happens in 2017? Euro-17 in Holland. High time to have a foreign holiday on a bicycle, preferably one made for two.

        • Gary Diver

          Something to think about:) My wife’s father came from Lorraine, France.

          • Steglitz49

            Tickets for the FA women’s cup final are generally cheap and this year up to 3 kids went in free if they were with an adult. (I don’t know how young a child was — under 12 I would guess).

      • Jersey Shore Rises

        Gary, just wondering, should we not wait to see how the RIO16 Olympics turn out before we write off people like the current FIFA Women Player of the Year, Carli Lloyd. BTW NO Mens FIFA Ballon d’Or winner retired within 3 years of winning the award unless due to injury…. Facts matter, right?

        • Steglitz49

          Your point is well taken. Johan Cruyff won his 3rd Ballon d’Or in 1974 and he retired from the NT in 1977 though he carried on club play till 1984, which included stints in LA and DC.

        • CED

          B/c LLoyd can’t play her actual position of CM, she’s a turnover machine and not technical enough, etc.. Catering to her by changing the formation is hampering the teams progress. It’s the same thing happening with England now with Rooney,

          • #1Fan

            Great point re Rooney

      • CED

        Under the current deal any player who makes a OG/Wcup roster is tier I allocation for the next year. So, Krieger isn’t going anywhere in 2017 unless she retires on her own. The others are not assured of Og roster spots. HAO and Engen are surely at do or time now.

      • mockmook

        This is all theoretical, but if it could happen:

        Makes no sense to keep anyone playing past “VT” 16 who is less than 50% likely to be a starter in 2019.

    • Steglitz49

      If Alex Morgan is fit and interested in playing in WC-19 she is a lock.

      HAO does not look likely even for OG-12. Why do you bother to list Lewandowski and Rampone?

      Press has probably missed her chance of a career in the media.

      • NYRick

        I think his list is dripping with sarcasm. And what Press does post career is up to her. I’m sure she has a shot in media if she works hard and pursues it.

        • Steglitz49

          2017 and 2018 will be barren years for WoSo in the US. What on earth would she be needed for? Play on and hope for the best, I guess.

          • NYRick

            Alex is a lock for WC19 if healthy and she wants it. Which would be her last big payday cycle so she would be foolish to pass and still only 30 (maybe the end of her prime). Press is in the same boat in age just about and now has indicated that she wants to play in that cycle too. She has a good chance but would need a good OG to further cement some currency with the program to keep her another 2-3 years. There is obviously young legs always entering this program so it won’t be easy for any of them. Unless of course for Carli. Who trains with Bear Grylls and will be the world’s greatest female athlete at 37. That much we can count on. Hope will be there as well in 2019. This team is air to her.

          • Steglitz49

            Alex is Alex and the world is her oyster. I expect her to carry on playing in America but probably will follow in ARod’s footsteps.

            After Rio, it is anybody’s guess. JE will axe a few more each year. Maybe the USSF will run more Cups between top ranked teams in the spring. Who knows?

            Holland will be the place to be in 2017. 2018 looks bleak all around but WC qualifiers will be intense.

          • Jersey Shore Rises

            Look how you still mock Carli and her Coach…. Always thought we could laugh back and forth being from Jersey and NY but your constant douchebag comments about Carli show it’s not possible…

          • HOFCToDi

            Alex Morgan is a winner, Christen Press is a loser.

            Christen Press
            2 Jun 2016
            USA 3 JPN 3
            Goals 0, Assists 0, Shots 2, Shots on Goal 0

            Christen Press
            5 Jun 2016
            USA 2 JPN 0
            Goals 0, Assists 0, Shots 2, Shots on Goal 1

            Christen Press
            2016 SheBelieves Cup (ENG, FRA, GER)
            Goals 0, Assists 0

            Christen Press
            2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup
            USA 0 SWE 0
            Goals 0, Assists 0, Shots 2, Shots on Goal 0

            resources.fifa.com/mm/document/tournament/competition/02/64/73/21/eng_19_0612_usa-swe_fulltime.pdf

          • Steglitz49

            but she is rather fetching, would you not agree?

          • HOFCToDi

            Christen Press should have been booted off the USWNT roster after the 2016 SheBelieves Cup.

          • Steglitz49

            Coppertone rules OK?

          • HOFCToDi

            For Kelley O’Hara.

          • NYRick

            I could always have a laugh back and forth with you. Lighten up. You can’t deny that Carli has made a very big deal about her trainer. In fact, most on here even know his name. And the trainer himself has kind of a big yap lauding his exploits so he is fair game.

            Regarding Carli, she has no worries coming back into the lineup so I don’t know why you get ruffled when you see people on here maybe saying she is aging, she shouldn’t be a starting forward, they are catering to her. That stuff is all true. I still think Carli is effective for the team but shouldn’t be a starter. Certainly not a forward starter that is holding back Press or Dunn off the pitch. Just my opinion. And one that many on here have.

          • Steglitz49

            Press got to go to WC-15. Dunn did not — except as a spectator possibly. That’s the way the cookie crumbles. Sometimes it crumbles for you.

          • NYRick

            Press gave Ellis absolutely no chance not to select her for WC15. Dunn gave Ellis some type of chance (albeit bizarre and unfair) for Ellis to omit her.

          • Gary Diver

            The fact that Ellis brought up Crystal Dunn by herself early in the VT suggests to me that Ellis feels she did Dunn wrong by leaving her off WC15 roster. But it was probably a blessing in disguise. Dunn did not score a single goal in her first NWSL season and at the beginning of last season was still playing a defender position. Being left off the WC15 roster as a defender changed Dunn’s life in a way that allowed her to develop into the important USWNT player she is today. Sometimes a failure turns out to be an opportunity in disguise.

          • Steglitz49

            JE understood that she had to navigate the political shoals and that steering between Scylla and Charybdis was the alpha and omega of her career.

            JE succeeded, not without some luck, but who remembers or even cares about that now in the US?

          • Gary Diver

            In retrospect, the Colombia group of 16 game was her Rubicon crossing. I wasn’t following the WC closely until that game when I heard Michelle Akers calling for Jill Ellis’ head. I then knew something big was about to happen. Two suspensions later in China game and Ellis found the right road to travel.

          • Steglitz49

            France missed their chance by not playing wisely. They preferred a pyrrhic victory against Mexico.

            Japan rode their luck all the way to the final in spite of losing an experienced striker in the very first game. Was it fair based on performance? Probably not but that is sport for you.

          • #1Fan

            I could not help but laugh at a tweet from her about Grinding. Slow mo of here dribbling thru gates on a dewy morning on a rough looking field. Give me a break. Its all so contrived.

          • NYRick

            The only thing missing is the Spandau Ballet classic song, “Musclebound” playing in the background.

            “Work till your muscle bound…all day long…”

          • #1Fan

            lololololol . Excellent .

          • Steglitz49

            Isn’t “grinding” an old slang for something or other?

          • AlexH

            I think pretty much every verb in the English language is old slang for “something or other.:

          • F0OtballNowAndAlways

            Well you can rest assured the only thing the randy old goat you replied to is interested in is sex.

          • Jersey Shore Rises

            Such BS once again from NY with your coach attacks and the “Carli POY in 2017″….Name the only personal training coach that has had 5 players on the USWNT over the last 3 years?

            Yes , that’s right Coach Galanis with Rampone, Lloyd, Mitts, Johnston and Brooks..

            No other Personal coach has had that many players on the USWNT in the history of the team over 3 years…

            Love the BS from NYC but sick of it….

          • NYRick

            With the 5 names with the trainer you list, 2 are retired from the NT, and one never made it to the NT other than a few caps. Besides, it shouldn’t be about the trainer. With Carli doing that all the time she is basically saying she works harder than all the other players. That’s BS and disrespectful to her teammates in a subtle way. More diss than a good example.

            Baseball ARod did this a few years back in a Sports Illustrated article feature on him. How hard he trains, how many hours in the batting cage etc. and many of the Boston Red Sox players (whom the Yanks were in a constant battle with at the time) blasted him for his arrogance and basically gave him the same reply, “hey we train pretty hard too. Stop the grand-standing about your preparation. see you on the field.”

            To be honest and fair, I also get a little sick of hearing about Press taking a 100 shots a day with each foot or whatever it is. If you are on that elite level, I am going to assume that you worked hard to not only get there but continue to do so to sustain your excellence. Every one of them should work on their strengths and weaknesses to always improve.That should be a given or you have no business as a professional athlete.

          • Jersey Shore Rises

            That’s the difference between you and me as you routinely week by week attack Carli, I on the other hand never do the same to Press.

          • HOFCToDi

            The “Press Gang Troll Brigade” don’t give a damn about the USWNT, only CP12 24/7.

        • Gary Diver

          You may be right about the sarcasm. Argh!

          If I was to make a serious list, I would go in the other direction and build a team around Dunn, Pugh, Horan, Brian, Sonnett, Mewis, and Hinkle. After VT, I’d bring in Lavelle, and look at some of the U23 crowd like Savannah Jordan, Andi Sullivan and some of the other names that HOFCToDi has often supplied us with. The time to start preparing for the WC defense is immediately after the VT.

          • NYRick

            Morgan and Press are only 30 for the next cycle and Heath is 31. I think they’ll all be in contention, along with KO at 31. But you don’t want too many in their thirties. I think Brunn is gone by then too.

          • Steglitz49

            Mostly Morgan.

          • #1Fan

            I hope not . If we can find better options , then this HUGE development system is failing

          • Steglitz49

            Savannah Jordan was badly injured, was she not? or am I confusing her with Summer Green?

            Why can’t ladies be named Mary, Elizabeth, Jane etc

          • #1Fan

            Summer Green ,,back now. I love the forward thinking, but I am a firm believer that the coaching and instruction being given kids now is light years ahead of even 5 years ago. Some of the U17/17 crew are better equipped for a more progressive style than some of the older names being trotted out.

          • Steglitz49

            I guess those 16 years in the wilderness and losing to Japan had some impact and effect.

          • Gary Diver

            Fast forward to the end of 2018 and the landscape will probably look quite different than we can imagine now. I will be very pleased if we are talking about a number of the gals on the current U17 and U20 teams as potential USWNT players.

          • #1Fan

            I would prefer u17 and younger. I meant to write u17 & U16 earlier

          • Gary Diver

            I checked Top Drawer Soccer and Summer Green doesn’t seem to be listed in the top 100 collegiate players.

          • guest

            Drafted this year by Seattle.

          • Steglitz49

            Not listed on the NWSL site. What position does she play?

          • Gary Diver

            Wondering the same thing. Must do some research.

          • Steglitz49

            She was picked as #30 in round 3. After that she vanishes.

          • Gary Diver

            I think Summer Green is a beautiful name.

          • Steglitz49

            Sounds like a legume.

          • Gary Diver

            What do you think about Keelin Winters for a seasonal name?

          • Steglitz49

            She can’t do anything about her family name. Keelin I don’t get.

          • HOFCToDi

            Steglitz49 sounds like an idiot.

          • HOFCToDi

            You don’t have a clue what transpires in the Western Hemisphere.

        • mockmook

          Nay, dead serious.

          This is what should happen to prepare for 2019 (but, I know it is delusional to think anything like this will happen).

          • NYRick

            I count at least 8 on your list who will be just about definites for WC19 barring major injury. Maybe you like my two cycle (max 4 majors) theory for the program. Mal Pugh won’t like it but it makes a lot of sense for this USWNT program. It would essentially blow up their cushy CBA and guaranteed contracts and award by merit, not name on the back of the jersey post sell date.

            Also, as I’ve mentioned with the “two cycle”, the team gets to “franchise” two players for every cycle. So if there is a player or two still young on the fringe who has played over two cycles you can still retain them. But only two. I’m telling you this works on so many levels in the name of fairness. But pro sports (or really anywhere where top money is involved) is not fair. But fairness should be a factor as it pertains to a national team. On a club team all bets are off, but on an NT there has to be an opportunity for all based on merit.

  • Gary Diver

    Will game stats count? If anybody finds out what FIFA tells USSF, please share. Abandoned games must occur once in a while so there must be standard rules. I can’t imagine a game abandoned after 85 minutes would not count. They played 76 minutes Sunday before stopping play.

    This report appeared yesterday on an Ohio website:

    “The U.S. was leading Japan 2-0 when a thunderstorm barrelled in and sent the crowd heading for cover. The match eventually was called. U.S. Soccer said it will verify with FIFA whether the match and relevant statistics will count as a full international friendy.

    A win is a win. Whether it occurred in 76 minutes or the regulation 90, the reigning World Cup champion U.S. players left Cleveland feeling a lot better than they did three days after a 3-3 draw with Japan in Colorado.”

    • Steglitz49

      Maybe FIFA will take into account that both “goals” were off-side, seeing that they will be testing replay of goals in no lesser leagues than the Bundesliga and Dutch league and a few other leagues.

      • Jersey Shore Rises

        Steg, how do you feel about FIFA adopting the NHL rules in which each coach (manager) is given 1 or 2 challenges per game to review goals including those off sides?

        I am all for it….

        • Steglitz49

          I am not convinced about coaches challenges like the NFL does. What would be the deduction if the coach got it wrong? A penalty for the other side? The challenge must carry an element of risk.

          I am in favor of, like rugdby has done for ages, that the referee can signal for a review. The ref does this by drawing a square with his hands.

          FIFA has always argued that the technology must be there. The debaclke in WC-10 forced goal line technology. Now comes this, which has long been overdue in the top tournaments.

          FIFA is keen that the game should be played to the same standard at all levels but has now accepted that the higher echelons may need a higher standard.

          The advertisers will love it which makes soccer even more attrcative to north-American networks.

          • Jersey Shore Rises

            I could not disagree more with you Steg as I still feel that FIFA along with the referees are the last legal Mafia in the the Sports World. We need to come to compromise whereby the teams get some say when an obvious call goes against them on a goal. This way it will help reduce the number of times that FIFA Refs are paid off by people to sway a game one way or another.

            FIFA has a long way to go till people have confidence in them.

          • Steglitz49

            Seeing that the USWNT has been the main benefitter of lousy call over the past 4-5 years, why bother.

            Seriously, I am against coaches challeneges. If you insist on introducing them, they must be anchored to a serious risk such as a penalty kick.

            As I understand it, the experiment in the Bundesliga will be review of goals independent of the refs asking or not. Most of those reviews will be obviously yes because so few decisions are wrong — at least in the men’s game.

            One of the reasons that reviewless soccer has been able to continue has been the high quality of the modern refereeing.

        • AlexH

          No. No. No. No. a thousand times NO!!!!!!!

          The second you stop the game for ANY reason the TV networks are going to start agitating to be able to cut to commercial and that will be the end of soccer as we know it.

      • AlexH

        I’m sure that through a combination of diligent review, prayerful reflection and a few envelopes stuffed full of cash, FIFA might take that fact into account….and into their accounts as well.

  • Gary Diver

    2012 Olympics Retrospective

    On May 27, 2012 Pia Sundhage submitted her OG12 roster.

    A few notes:

    1. Sydney Leroux at 22 was the youngest player on the roster.

    2. Average age of roster was just under 28 years old.

    3. The four alternates were Lori Lindsey and goalkeeper Jill Loyden, who were both members of the USA’s 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup team, twice-capped midfielder Meghan Klingenberg and uncapped forward Christen Press. (Klingenberg started off as a midfielder, which may explain her role in Ellis’ system.)

    • NYRick

      Syd was considered the crown jewel at that time. Expected to maybe even exceed Morgan. Amazing what a difference 4 years makes in sports. Syd has a long way back onto this roster IMO. She’ll be gifted a good shot in 17 but has had a really long spell since she has played good soccer. Ironically the move to Seattle to be close to family was really the worst thing that could have happened to her career. It seemed good for her to go to Harvey and to a technical program but that’s not her game. Never was and her confidence got shredded along the way.

      Conversely look at Kling. Now she is a program favorite. With Pia she was a bubble player at best. Even with Sermanni. Everything has worked out incredibly well for her. Press has to be the only WoSo player in the history of the sport who almost made her team’s OG roster without a cap. I think Pia knew she screwed up in her evaluation of her the previous two years and was tossing her a bone at the time to just be around the team. Until Sermanni came and gave her a chance. I think Pia would have as well if she stayed.

      • Steglitz49

        In fairness to Pia, her team won OG-12 admittedly with a lot of help.

        As regards selecting for WC-11, the USWNT made it to the final. You would have to argue that the US would have beaten that Japan team with Christen Annemarie — a hard sell to the jury which I doubt would buy it.

        • NYRick

          No she wasn’t starting on that team. That was still Abby’s team at WC11. I’m just saying maybe she should have been on that roster along with the OG12 roster. In retrospect if asked I’m sure Pia would candidly admit to it in a few years time.

          • Steglitz49

            Maybe is maybe and reaching the WC-11 final happened. Christen Annemarie did not play at all in the later stages of WC-15, as a certain commentator will remind you of over and over again.

          • NYRick

            He reminds us of her failures when she was 12 years old so I’m sure he’ll jump on the opportunity.

          • Steglitz49

            He has started on me already, rehashing boring stuff.

            In his lucid moments he is excellent value for money but why he goes into these monomanic repetitive modes heaven only knows.

          • HOFCToDi

            You are the stupid parrot repeating the same theme over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over.

          • Steglitz49

            I thought I was an ex-parrot.

            Anyway, I see myself more as a bear or a shark.

          • HOFCToDi

            The statistics have been updated by US Soccer.

            ussoccer.com/womens-national-team/stats

            You lose, yet again!

          • HOFCToDi

            Steglitz49 is a clueless moron, a blithering idiot, and a worthless troll.

          • HOFCToDi

            Christen Press is still a failure.

            Christen Press
            International Women’s Friendly
            5 Jun 2016
            USA 2 JPN 0
            Goals 0, Assists 0, Shots 2, Shots on Goal 1

            foxsports.com/soccer/boxscore?id=26862

            Christen Press
            International Women’s Friendly
            2 Jun 2016
            USA 3 JPN 3
            Goals 0, Assists 0, Shots 2, Shots on Goal 0

            foxsports.com/soccer/boxscore?id=26754

          • Steglitz49

            You can’t count the June 5th match because both US goals were offside.

          • HOFCToDi

            Stupid parrot repeating the same theme over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over.

          • HOFCToDi

            Stupid parrot repeating the same theme over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over.

          • HOFCToDi

            Christen Press has now firmly cemented her legacy with the USWNT:
            garbage time
            prima donna
            selfish shot hog
            tomato cans

          • HOFCToDi

            Christen Press – international fraud extraordinaire

            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

          • HOFCToDi

            Poor Pressie Pooh, never the recipient of an individual international award!

          • HOFCToDi

            It’s simple to remember ABCP:

            Anyone
            But
            Christen
            Press

            Enjoy the photos.

            img.fifa.com/mm/photo/tournament/competition/02/66/13/04/2661304_big-lnd.jpg
            By the way, it’s not Christen Press.

            img.fifa.com/mm/photo/tournament/competition/02/66/13/11/2661311_big-lnd.jpg
            By the way, it’s not Christen Press

          • HOFCToDi

            You don’t give a damn about the USWNT, only Christen Press 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

          • HOFCToDi

            It’s simple to remember ABCP:

            Anyone
            But
            Christen
            Press

            Enjoy the photo.

            cdn-us-ec.yottaa.net/5682eca20b534438800014b5/www.ussoccer.com/v~13.15/~/media/images/wnt/gallery-images/2016/03/160309-wnt-v-ger/160309-wnt-vs-ger-gallery20.jpg?h=559&w=800&la=en&hash=B1A7B6E0C01C796F4C31CF422F0CC370A4D5CF89&yocs=6_&yoloc=us

          • HOFCToDi

            FIFA Technical Study Group – credible source
            NYRick – worthless troll

            2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup
            Golden Ball Award – Carli Lloyd

            CONCACAF Technical Study Group – credible source
            NYRick – worthless troll

            2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship
            Golden Ball Award – Carli Lloyd

            NYRick has proven to be a worthless troll.

          • HOFCToDi

            Christen Press is an one trick pony, a selfish shot hog. Christen Press is not a team player. Christen Press only cares about Christen Press not the USWNT.

          • HOFCToDi

            Christen Press
            2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup
            26 Jun 2015
            USA 1 CHN 0
            Goals 0, Assists 0, Shots 2, Shots on Goal 0

            resources.fifa.com/mm/document/tournament/competition/02/65/35/93/eng_45_0626_chn-usa_fulltime.pdf

            Christen Press
            2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup
            22 Jun 2015
            USA 2 COL 0
            Goals 0, Assists 0, Shots 1, Shots on Goal 0

            resources.fifa.com/mm/document/tournament/competition/02/65/26/11/eng_38_0622_usa-col_fulltime.pdf

            Christen Press
            2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup
            12 Jun 2015
            USA 0 SWE 0
            Goals 0, Assists 0, Shots 2, Shots on Goal 0

            resources.fifa.com/mm/document/tournament/competition/02/64/73/21/eng_19_0612_usa-swe_fulltime.pdf

            Christen Press could not even register a shot on goal.

            ROFLMAO!

          • HOFCToDi

            Christen Press
            2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup
            05 Jul 2015
            USA 5 JPN 2
            Minutes Played 0

            resources.fifa.com/mm/document/tournament/competition/02/66/12/93/eng_52_0705_usa-jpn_fulltime.pdf

            Christen Press
            2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup
            30 Jun 2015
            USA 2 GER 0
            Minutes Played 0

            resources.fifa.com/mm/document/tournament/competition/02/65/52/49/eng_49_0630_usa-ger_fulltime.pdf

            Christen Press was BENCHED!

          • HOFCToDi

            Christen Press
            International Women’s Friendly
            21 Oct 2015
            USA 1 BRA 1
            Minutes Played 0

            ussoccer.com/matches/wnt/2015/151021-wnt-v-bra#tab-1

            Christen Press
            International Women’s Friendly
            25 Oct 2015
            USA 3 BRA 1
            Minutes Played 0

            ussoccer.com/matches/wnt/2015/151025-wnt-v-bra#tab-1

            Christen Press was BENCHED!

          • HOFCToDi

            How pathetic has Christen Press become?

            2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup
            Knockout Stage (COL, CHN, GER, JPN)
            Goals 0, Assists 0

            International Women’s Friendlies
            21 Oct 2015, 25 Oct 2015 (BRA)
            Goals 0, Assists 0

            2016 CWOQ
            Knockout Stage (TRI, CAN)
            Goals 0, Assists 0

            2016 SheBelieves Cup
            (ENG, FRA, GER)
            Goals 0, Assists 0

            International Women’s Friendlies
            2 Jun 2016, 5 Jun 2015 (JPN)
            Goals 0, Assists 0

            Summary
            13 Matches
            Goals 0, Assists 0

      • another guest

        re Press … almost making OG roster without a cap

        Boxx did make the 2003 WC roster without a prior USWNT cap
        “she did not receive her first senior cap until August 2003, when U.S. national team coach April Heinrichs named her to the team’s 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup squad, making her the first uncapped player to be named to a U.S. Women’s World Cup squad.”

        • NYRick

          Didn’t know that. Thanks for the correction.

    • Jersey Shore Rises

      The 2012 Olympic Retrospective which I remember, in which many here will criticize, is that Pia had pulled Carli Lloyd from the starting lineup and if not for the injury to Boxx we may never have seen how dominate Carli was with scoring goals and assists during the Olympics… Just goes to show never give up and keep on pushing just like my Girl from Long Island, Allie Long is doing right now with the USWNT……

      • Steglitz49

        Is Allie Long really from Long Island? Surley you jest. Next we have a lady player from Manhattan — though I think Becky Moros is, come to think of it.

        • Jersey Shore Rises

          No doubt my girl Allie is a from Long Island, has that same type of Jersey Mentality and drive that Carli has….. 😀

          • Steglitz49

            The Hamptons is all about priviledge …

        • anon

          I listened to her speak for the first time. And yeah. .. she is definitely from long island. She doesn’t sound at all like you think she would. She sounds like Tobin with an accent.

      • CED

        You’re delusion fangirling over the Michael Bardley of WNT is noted as usual

  • Maxine Shackelford

    “my room mate Lori Is getting paid on the internet $98/hr”…..!tr1263ur

    two days ago grey McLaren. P1 I bought after earning 18,512 Dollars..it was my previous month’s payout..just a little over.17k Dollars Last month..3-5 hours job a day…with weekly payouts..it’s realy the simplest. job I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months. ago. and now making over hourly. 87 Dollars…Learn. More right Here !tr1263u:➽:➽:.➽.➽.➽.➽ http://GlobalSuperJobsReportsEmploymentsInternationalGetPay$98Hour…. .★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★::::::!tr1263o….,.

  • Bob Jarvis

    I was at the Cleveland game. The defense looked rock solid, the combination of Heath and Klingenberg absolutely owned the Japanese on the left side, and…that’s it. As pointed out, both goals came on questionable non-calls. The Japanese, playing a bunch of younger players who didn’t even qualify for Rio, controlled the game. The midfield (with the exception of Heath) was a mess – Dunn playing at right outside mid was clearly not in her element, and Brian + Long in center were MIA – but got better in the second half when Horan came in. Morgan played well on top, but got zero support – she headed on a couple of nice through-balls that went for nothing – Press didn’t even break towards goal when it was obvious to the entire stadium what was coming next. NOT a good game, and NOT auspicious going into the Olympics.

    • Steglitz49

      If it is any relief, it would seem that many of the other NTs that will be in Rio are even worse.

      • Bob Jarvis

        I’ve never been a fan of “We’re no worse than the next guy!”. I really would like to see them take gold in Rio, if only because the World Cup – Oly double has never been done (which is kind of statistically fluke-y, when you consider that the US has won four of the five Olympic golds (96, 04, 08, 12) in women’s soccer, and three of the seven women’s World Cups (91, 99, 15).

        • Steglitz49

          Those pesky Norwegians in Sydney. Look on the bright side. If Norway had not won, the IOC might have kicked WoSo out, like they did with softball.

          The OG-12 final was marred by subpar refereeing. This denied Japan the chance of doing the double, something which stills annoys them allegedly.

          The more that the US dominates NT WoSo the happier the clubs in Europe will be.

  • rachel

    I just wished that jill hadn’t lied about CLUB play matters when clearly it doesn’t it.

    • Steglitz49

      Club play is what gets you noticed and gives you a chance to be called into camp but remember the Veterans gurad their rights to ear $275-300,000 a year in an Olympic year jealously.

      • rachel

        true but i do believe politics are VERY MUCH at PLAY.

        • Steglitz49

          Jill Ellis won the world championship in spite of having to carry a bunch of dead wood Veterans. That has earned a lot of brownie-points as the Brits say.

      • BGH123

        That all can change with the new CBA negotiations. The men’s team makes more money, but they don’t have the security, hence the turnover. If they don’t do well in Rio they may be going into those negotiations wounded.

        • Steglitz49

          There is not much to play for in 2017 and 2018 so might as well join ARod and Syd.

    • AlexH

      Consider it a sign of equality in the women’s game. Men’s team coaches lie through their teeth and out their backside all the time. Jill is just showing that the ladies can do it too!

    • brdn08

      It does. She called up multiple NWSL players and even tried to have an NWSL only camp to evaluate players for the NT but the current NT players wouldn’t allow it.

      • james wozzie

        it doesn’t… if it did krieger wouldn’t be on the bench. She’s been better than O’hara in the NWSL

        • Steglitz49

          Given that a certain lady could not be bothered to play for her club in the Championship semi-final, maybe indeed she “wouldn’t be on the bench”.

  • sudeep das

    Jill Ellis should play Press, Dunn, Morgan in front of Pugh, Lloyd, Heath together supported by Long, Horan & Brian with Sauerbrunn as a sweeper behind them in a 1-3-3-3 formation. Who need a defense with that lineup!!! Mantra will be if you score one I’ll score three very much like the Brazilians of 1982 WC.

    • #1Fan

      the only way a lineup like that works is with unselfish players in every position . Not going to happen with Lloyd. She will take every shot she can. WoSo is very different. Lloyd is a high volume shooter who scores occasionally from open play and is treated like Messi 🙂 Its actually amazing. WoSo has its own reality when it comes to player perception.

      • guest2

        I don’t think that formation would work against any decent NT. The US many have a bunch of athletic multi-positional players but any team with fast, competent counter-attacking players will rip that formation to shreds.

        • Steglitz49

          Which team would that be? Iceland?

      • AlexH

        Or you can say that Messi is a bloke who can’t get his team across the finish line in the world cup and yet he is treated like Lloyd.

        • #1Fan

          LOLOLOLOLOLOL

        • F0OtballNowAndAlways

          I don’t believe Messi has scored a goal in the elimination stages of the world cup. He seems to be somewhat of an achiever when it comes to critical matches. At the Copa America final last year, no dice, although he was the only Argentinian to score his penalty.

      • F0OtballNowAndAlways

        What recent game has Lloyd played in where she demonstrated this shoot-first mentality? Could you point me to one, because I have watched her in recent NT matches, and the Dash, and I hardly see her doing any shooting.

    • Steglitz49

      Jill Ellis won the World Cup and thereby became COTY.

      JE can do what she prefers. It may end in tears but it will be her tears.

      JE might as well be blamed for her own mistakes because being blamed for the mistakes of others ain’t a bundle of fun.

  • Gary Diver

    Sonnett Over Engen

    I will be very surprised if Jill Ellis does not put Emily Sonnett on her OG16 roster and Whitney Engen on the alternate list.

    Reasons:

    1. OG16 experience will be very valuable to Sonnett looking forward to WC19, but it would be wasted on Engen.

    2. Engen already has her USWNT legacy with a World Cup without playing a single minute. If Ellis felt she could not use Engen in WC, why would she feel she could use her in OG?

    3. Ellis has played Sonnett much more than Engen in the past several games with the exception of the Germany SBC game..

    4. Engen’s temperament works against her. She is the most invisible personality on USWNT. There are times I have to check the roster to see if she is still on it. While quiet and serious, Sonnett still has more personality than Engen which is a plus when trying to make USWNT roster.

    • On point #2. I highly doubt Sonnett will see the field at OG, if she makes the roster, unless there is an injury. So saying that Engen shouldn’t go because she didn’t see the field at WC is a not a great argument.

      • Gary Diver

        I made a comment yesterday about expecting the starting back five to play all games. I have since realized that I was conflating substitutes with starting roles.

        Because of the difficult scheduling, flying, and climate circumstances at OG, I hope Jill Ellis will play JJ, Sauerbrunn, KO, Klingenberg, Krieger, and Sonnett each in only two games out of the 3 group games. It would be taking a very dangerous risk not to reserve energy going into the knock-out games where a lot of team may miscalculate how difficult this Olympics is going to be on the player’s bodies. So I would not be surprised if Sonnett plays two of the knock-out games if climate conditions are difficult.

        • Steglitz49

          The USWNT is now where their basket team has been for ages. In ladies basket it does not matter if a US player fouls out because an almost equally good player can take over. The other countries do not have this strength in depth, so international ladies basket is one big yawn and more about reaching the semifinals.

          It is worth speculating on what might happen to WoSo should the US now dominate for the next 16 years by winning each world championship, not just the OGs.

          I contend that it would strengthen club play and would also strengthen club WoSo in Europe.

          Whether WoSo would almost split into two camps will depend on how attractive the NWSL can become for foreign players and how good US colleges would be at recruiting young ladies from abroad.

          • Gary Diver

            The commentators on the Canada-Brazil game today kept repeating that Canada doesn’t have the depth of quality players that other countries have so they developing players who can play multiple positions.

          • Steglitz49

            Canada has a population greater than the Nordic countries combined. Its population is greater than the 4 European countries that played off for that 3rd OG place.

            You have yourself noted how many Canadian lasses benefit from Title IX, not just Sinclair.

            There is no reason why the CWNT could not reach the semi-final in Rio, though China and Australia may have other ideas.

          • Gary Diver

            OG16 should be an exciting tournament. Several teams could make it to the semifinals but alas only four can. I wouldn’t be surprise if the climate, long-distance traveling, and short periods between games fool many of the coaches. Everybody needs to conserve energy and rest during the group play games, otherwise they may run out of gas when it counts.

          • Steglitz49

            I am not persuaded that WoSo in OG-16 will be exciting, unless it turns into another WC-11 or WC-54.

            The WoSo excitement in Rio will end at the semi-final stage.

            The reason for this is that the US is even more favored to win it than they were WC-15, where they were the überfavorites. The only medals seriously up for grabs are bronze and silver.

            Had not Norway won in Sydney, one wonders if the IOC would want to be rid of WoSo like they chucked soft-ball out?

          • Gary Diver

            Title IX scholarships may be a future magnet for bringing in quality college players from other countries. No other country has women’s sports scholarships like the US does. Most Canadian senior players have gone or are going to US colleges on scholarships. Jesse Fleming the 18-year-old star of future is suppose to go UCLA next year with Mallory Pugh. If US colleges can improve coaching and training for young girls from around the world, everybody benefits.

      • calvester

        Engen didn’t see the field in WC15 because Ellis’ two late game subs were Wambach and Rampone. You know she was forced to put Wambach out there. Since Rampone had played in a previous game (forgot which one), Ellis really should have given Engen the chance to play since she was the only field player that didn’t see any playing time. Somehow Ellis felt obligated to play Rampone instead.

  • F0OtballNowAndAlways

    We can talk about the blown offside calls all we want, but the fact is that Japan had 76 minutes to score and they didn’t. And I think the Japanese have adopted that precise attitude. They have opted for a stiff upper lip and a quiet acceptance of what happened. It is us lesser beings who insist on analyzing anything for its own case that are obsessing with it.

    • Steglitz49

      The Japanese ladies never complain about the refereeing. Even after the OG-12 final they did not complain.

      • F0OtballNowAndAlways

        Very classy of them.

      • brdn08

        They didn’t complain about any of the bad calls in their favor either. A penalty was gifted to them against England at the World Cup last year.

        • Steglitz49

          As I remember it, the England match was settled on a heartrending own goal. The Dutch suffered a similar fate this spring when a defensive unforced error snatched their Rio ticket from them and gave it ti Sweden.

        • F0OtballNowAndAlways

          Maybe they didn’t complain because a reciprocal penalty was also gifted to England?

          • brdn08

            That’s just one example I could go for hours about the refereeing in Japan’s favor over the last three major tournaments.

  • Gary Diver

    Second Canada-Brazil Match

    The second Canada-Brazil match will be played this evening at 7 p.m. ET in Ottawa and is shown in Canada on TSN.

    It should be a good competitive game. This is the fifth Canada-Brazil game since WC with Brazil leading 3-1 in “the series”. Saturday’s 2-0 win by Brazil was closer then the score indicates. Marta scored both goals for Brazil.

    Herdman will not want to lose this game and the series 4-1 so he will take this game very seriously.

    Things to note.

    1. Fans will expect Christine Sinclair to score.

    2. Canada’s backline played poorly, especially K. Buchanan, in the previous match. People will scrutinize how well they play in this game.

    3. Canada lost a major OG player when Erin McLeod tore her ACL.

    • Steglitz49

      Let’s hope there are no off-side goals. I expect Brazil to win.

      • Gary Diver

        Herdman’s comments about Labbé are strange. Soccer goalies are like hockey goalies: different creatures with somewhat fragile self-esteem. Hockey history has a long list of goalie who were great until they lost belief in themselves and then never able to find it again. Labbé knows this is her big chance and will unlikely get another. I don’t understand why Herdman would want to psychologically rattle Labbé .

        • Steglitz49

          Stephanie had a fine career in Sweden. When she returned to Canada she was left high and dry and spent her time doing coaching camps. Thus, she is ring rusty.

        • What were the comments made about Labbe?

  • 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. However, 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.

    • Steglitz49

      Please be mindful that the US scored two off-side goals. Not the best of adverts for the match.

      • HOFCToDi

        Stupid parrot repeating the same theme over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over.

        • The pot calling the kettle black.

          • HOFCToDi

            Cry me a river.

            The “Press Gang Troll Brigade” must be reminded of the inadequacies of Christen Press on a daily basis.

          • 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

          • You are proving my point to a T by linking this as you have done several times in this same article.

          • HOFCToDi

            The “Press Gang Troll Brigade” must be reminded of the inadequacies of Christen Press on a daily basis.

            Christen Press – the prima donna of tomato cans

      • Gary Diver

        I am amazed how everybody who watched the second USWNT-Japan game seems to have watched a different game. There must be more than 20 different views of the quality of USWNT’s play.

        • Steglitz49

          Goals scored affect how a match unfolds. Therefore, I contend that because the goals were off-side we can’t conclude anything from the match.

          The Japanese coach can view the goals as legitimate from the point of seeing how her players coped but what can JE conclude?

          • AlexH

            That woso refs suck and that her forwards should see just how far offside they can get before anybody notices. She could also remind her backline that the offside rule is optional in woso and they should plan accordingly.

          • Steglitz49

            Yokoyama beat it fair and square and almost repeated it a few seconds later.

            There are quality lineswomen and those of lesser metal.

    • AlexH

      I don’t think that these past 2 Lloydless games constitute some sort of an improvement in form and the over the top game that we supposedly over rely on keeps producing goals so I don’t really see the problem.

      • Reality

        We could play almost any formation and still produce goals…even with Lloyd on the pitch. The real question is how much better we can be when utilizing our roster in an optimum fashion. Lloyd is not a team player and her presence on the pitch forces the the NT into a restricted type of play which depends on her limitations and erratic performance. Just because we have gotten away with relying on direct over the top play does not mean we should be satisfied with it. We have the talent to expand and diversify our play and we should be taking advantage of the players who can move us in that direction.

        IMO, Press is a superior “withdrawn forward” because she has better ball handling skills, faster pace, can combine more effectively with other players in the run of play, is more consistent in finishing and can actually play defense as needed. She is also 6+ years younger than Lloyd and is the best choice for the future in terms of team development.

        Press and Morgan need to be given more time together to sync and grow as partners. They are our 2 best natural forwards and this combination can propel the NT to higher levels of excellence.

        • Spot on.

        • Andrew Alberico

          I agree with you for the most part. Your comments are excellent. But…I think the reason the team has to “go over the top”, is the way-below-par-passing of the midfield and defense. Many of us want to see a more technical passing game. But I’m not sure we have the people at midfield and in the defense who can pass the ball upfield. To often, players like JJ pass the ball to…nobody. With that in mind, we might have to go long-ball with Alex and Christen and perhaps Dunn.

          • Reality

            Your point is well taken. I think that the NT’s development of young players in the U__ system has primarily focused on athleticism, pace and stamina. So naturally, the candidates for the senior NT tend to reflect those qualities as opposed to a more congenial balance that includes technical expertise and pitch IQ. There are some positive signs recently that this is changing with the mass purging of the NT roster through retirement and injury. However, these changes do not necessarily reflect the true attitude of Ellis and the USSF hierarchy who seem to be still invested on the past. One can only hope that these recent “forced” changes on the NT will convince management that this is a better path leading to a transformation in how future development is managed.

  • John Williams

    People don’t seem to agree but I think that the addition of O’hara over Krieger in the backline has hurt them. JJ and Broon constantly have to cover for kling and o’hara when they get forward.

    Krieger has the perfect balance of defense and offense. O’hara also just isn’t as good a defender as krieger.

    The only reason that people give is that O’hara gets forward more, but I haven’t seen her do that much. She also hasn’t really done anything great on the right side.

    just because Jill is the coach does not mean her methods are good. If krieger doesn’t start the defense will be very shaky during OG. they’ll still win because the team has some great scorers but I doubt there will be a shutout. I understand Jill wants to make her mark on the team but she should know that defense wins games. Also Krieger has been playing the best she’s ever played in the NWSL(aside from one off game).

    *waits to get attacked for my comment*

    • AlexH

      If Jill tells her FB to get into the attack then it is kind of hard to fault them for doing so. Krieger seems to basically ignore what Jill asks her to do (which I consider a plus) but obviously it won’t help her when it comes to the line up card.

      • Reed

        If you watch Krieger both on the NT and in the NWSL, she does get into the attack. But not blindly and keeps defense as her primary responsibility. KO and Kling on the other hand tend to get into the attack and get caught out of position for those teams who counter attack. So in actuality, Krieger is not ignoring the coach, she is supporting the wide attackers, pacing her positioning and is able to get back and cover her defensive responsibilities.
        I too may be in a minority, but I do agree with John Williams about Krieger’s presence on the field. And it may not help in the lineup card, but it may be felt on the field.

        • Not sure that this opinion is the minority. I think the majority of fans/commenters on here want to see KO and LB and Krieger at RB. Why that hasn’t been tried is the main gripe.

      • John Williams

        I hear you but I also don’t think that KO has done anything productive on the right side. I haven’t seen her get as forward as people says she does on the right. When she does it’s quite meaningless and ends up getting exposed.

        No one is really pressuring Jill about the krieger issue which is why she is getting away with it. The defense is not and will not be what it was at the world cup with krieger on the bench. The last two friendlies have shown it

        This is clearly a matter of favoritism and we shouldn’t shrug it off. I would understand if KO was actually better than Krieger but she is not and it is obvious

  • Gary Diver

    Do people understand the essence of Jill Ellis’ game strategy. (I assume she has one.) And has it changed since WC15?

    • F0OtballNowAndAlways

      I think if you go for option 2, that is an indication that your winger (outside left or outside right, depending on whether the defender is a left or right back) is not up to the task. If your winger is taking care of business, there is no reason for a defender to get involved in the attack.

      I personally have been touting option 1 for a long time to anyone who cares to listen.

      • Gary Diver

        So you believe that “attackers should attack and defenders should defend”? Isn’t part of the argument for this approach is that defense wins tournaments and if your defenders are helping with the attack they are not allowed to fully focus on the task of defending?

      • Ethan

        Or if you go for option 2, you may like to have your winger cut inside (i.e. Spencer and Catley for Morgan’s goal against the Dash).

        • guest

          It is also pretty easy for the defending team to double a winger in there is no support on the flank and their wingers track back.

          • F0OtballNowAndAlways

            A talented winger is generally expected to be able to easily defeat double teams. Dribbling and off-the-ball movement is supposed to be one of the indispensable assets of wingers.

        • F0OtballNowAndAlways

          Cutting inside is part of being a winger. Wingers typically either do just that, or cross or pass from the wings, or dribble in towards the goal from the wings and make a short pass or cross to a teammate to shoot on goal, or finish off the run personally with a shot

          • Ethan

            Right, but that goal doesn’t happen without Catley’s overlap and run. Providing offensive support in the form of overlapping runs and crosses is part of being a modern fullback.

          • F0OtballNowAndAlways

            Instead of making an overlapping run, why not just pass the ball to the winger, let her make the run?

          • mockmook

            Deception and surprise.

            An OB and OM can be going in different directions (that’s hard to defend).

            An OM with the ball can stop (the defender(s) then stop), but the OB can race past the stationary defense and receive the ball.

            Etc.

          • Steglitz49

            Hear hear! Please see my other comment.

      • Steglitz49

        The Magic Dwarf comes up in the attack as opportunity allows. In WC-11 and OG-12 Japan used their outside backs well in attack (did not see enough of their matches in WC-15 to comment).

        It is difficult to know how the cookie will crumble in Rio but the US is unlikely to meet any significant attack till the semi-final and maybe not even then. A couple of quick early goals and any match is theirs.

      • CED

        Incorrect conclusion. Some of the teams with the best wide attacking mf’s in the world have Ob’s that get forward. …Have you heard of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern, etc….In theses systems OB’s get forward by design b/c teams sit back, if OB’s don’t join the attack the bunker can become comfortable, sending the OB’s forward creates overloads or at least pressure so there isn’t double cover on you attacking MF’s. Also, if you notice these teams have many OB’s that started their career as attacking MF’s..Alba, Alves, Marcelo, Vidal(still plays MF for country), etc…That’s what modern fball has one to, more offensively thinking OB’s

        OB’s that get forward is a good startegy for WNT b/c most teams in the past sit back so they have a lot of the ball of they want it which allows your Ob’s to get forward rather often. Failure of Ob’s to take the opportunities and capitalize makes sitting back work, which it did during the Wcup especially group stage(Sweden-draw, NIgeria-just 1-0). There were so many times there were acres of space on the right and Krieger didn’t utilize it well or ended with a poor pass/turnover or poor cross, Even a poor tactical coach like Ellis was able to see that and thus why Ohara is playing over Krieger.

  • NYRick

    Anyone know if the NTers returned to their respective NWSL teams for a few games (namely at least 3) till they reconvene together for the whole month of July till Rio? What’s the status on that?

    • Guest

      I think they are expected to play with their teams this weekend and will stay with their teams until called in July and I expect they will be called for most of the month. Chicago can expect a full strength Portland this weekend.

    • Guest2

      Press is in Chicago: https://www.instagram.com/p/BGXwCEuLJoo/?taken-by=christenpress&hl=en

      I concur with the other Guest. If Parson’s Twitter banter can be taken seriously, I expect the Portlanders to play on Sunday.

  • HOFCToDi

    Jurgen’s last stand?

    washingtonpost.com/news/soccer-insider/wp/2016/06/07/sunil-gulati-addresses-klinsmann-trump-clinton-world-cup-bid-copa-america/

    On Klinsmann:

    “Results are what matter and everyone understands that. Results of the last 18 months overall haven’t been what we would have hoped for, especially in the official competitions. We had some good results last spring that were friendlies, we had some wins coming into this event, but it’s the official competitions that matter the most and we haven’t been up to where we would like to be.”

    • HOFCToDi

      LOL!

      Press, Heath, Johnston at Soldier Field tonight. Of course, Press was sitting next to Heath.

      • Steglitz49

        Is that a crime?

        (Presumably JJ’s other half was sitting next to her?)

        • HOFCToDi

          Worry about your Sweden women’s national football team.

          • Steglitz49

            The implications of your comment about two WoSo players was obvious and uncalled for.

          • HOFCToDi

            You have a reading comprehension issue. Worry about your Sweden women’s national football team.

          • CED

            Heath is known to be gay, but not out to public, people close.ie…teammates know. Same with Kling. Press is questioned.

          • Steglitz49

            If she is not out, let her be.

            Kling I thought was out.

          • CED

            Kling is not out, not even the sort of cryptic out that Krieger did in some interviews and comments. Krieger was an item with Harris. But, is not publicly out like a Wambach, Rapinoe… Krieger is probably going to pull a Scurry, not coming fully out until retired but all the NT members always knew, which is what she said when she came out publicly. I think that;s Krieger and King, the team knows.

          • Steglitz49

            I do not care if they are out or not. I do not care if they prefer to sail under a flag of convenience. It is their lives and they must live as they chose.

            At the same time, when you earn $275-300,000 per year you have to expect that journos are curious.

          • Steglitz49

            This was the England U23 that defeated the US (4-2-3-1):
            1 Lizzie Durack (Harvard University);
            16 Jess Carter (Birmingham City), 5 Abbie McManus (Manchester City), 6 Aoife Mannion (Birmingham City), 3 Paige Williams (Brescia);
            8 Jade Bailey (Chelsea), 4 Millie Bright (captain; Chelsea); 7 Rosella Ayane (Bristol City on loan from Chelsea), 10 Beth England (Chelsea), 11 Melissa Lawley (Birmingham City); 9 Claudia Walker (Everton).

          • HOFCToDi

            The official result was a draw (1-1).

            womenssoccerunited.com/england-host-women-u-23-nordic-tournament-2016/

            You really are stupid.

          • Steglitz49

            The WC-11 final was also a draw (2-2).

          • HOFCToDi

            2016 U-23 Women’s Nordic Tournament

            USA 3 SWE 1
            ENG 1 SWE 0
            NOR 2 SWE 0

            You lose, yet again.

          • Steglitz49

            ENG 1 USA 1 — England won on penalties, which I think traditionally is written Eng 1P USA 1.

          • HOFCToDi

            You have a reading comprehension issue.

            2016 U-23 Women’s Nordic Tournament

            womenssoccerunited.com/england-host-women-u-23-nordic-tournament-2016/

            USA win the 2016 U-23 Women’s Nordic Tournament.

            You lose, yet again.

          • Steglitz49

            From the WSU site:

            Tuesday 7th June
            England 1-1 USA (England win on penalties)
            USA win the Women U-23 Nordic Tournament on goal difference

            Exactly as as I typed earlier — “won on goal difference but lost to the junior Lionesses”

            Good that we could agree with the WSU on that.

          • HOFCToDi

            U-23 WNT Wins Nordic Tournament in England

            ussoccer.com/stories/2016/06/08/20/19/160607-u23wnt-wins-nordic-tournament-in-england-after-1-1-draw-with-hosts

            USA – Winners
            SWE – Losers

            You lose, yet again.

          • Steglitz49

            You were the one who used the WSU as your source document and evidence.

            Obviously, an official American site would put their spin on it. Maybe they think Japan did not win WC-11 either, poor lambs.

          • HOFCToDi

            You are a loser.

            USA – Winners
            SWE – Losers

            You lose, yet again.

          • Steglitz49

            I only quoted you your own source document. You obviously have some reading problem.

          • HOFCToDi

            You have proven throughout this thread to be a blithering idiot, a clueless moron, and a worthless troll.

            U-23 USWNT Wins Nordic Tournament in England

            ussoccer.com/stories/2016/06/08/20/19/160607-u23wnt-wins-nordic-tournament-in-england-after-1-1-draw-with-hosts

            End of story.

          • HOFCToDi

            2016 U-23 Women’s Nordic Tournament

            womenssoccerunited.com/england-host-women-u-23-nordic-tournament-2016/

            USA win the 2016 U-23 Women’s Nordic Tournament.

            You lose, yet again.

          • Steglitz49

            Won on goal difference but lost to the junior Lionesses.

          • HOFCToDi

            USA win the 2016 U-23 Women’s Nordic Tournament.

            You lose, yet again.

    • Steglitz49

      If you could ditch JK today, who would you want to see take over? Diego Simeone? Lars Lagerbäck? Even Pellerud?

      • HOFCToDi

        You don’t have a clue what transpires in the Western Hemisphere. Worry about your Sweden men’s national football team.

        • Steglitz49

          The most obvious choice wold be Lars Lagerbäck because of what he has done with Iceland and his track record generally.

          LL has said that after Euro-16 he intends to re retire but I assume that he can be lured by enough greenbacks. Some would like LL to take over after Pia for the SweWNT.

          Even Pellerud’s contributions to WoSo are well recognized. After WC-15 he reretired. Again, money may well have him come back to the dugout.

          Nevertheless, I would have thought that the USSF would want someone younger and preferably an American.

          • HOFCToDi

            You have a reading comprehension issue. You don’t have a clue what transpires in the Western Hemisphere. Worry about your Sweden men’s national football team.

          • Steglitz49

            Iceland qualified directly for Euro-16 knocking Holland out of the competition along the way, while Sweden had to play off against Denmark and Zlatan carried them through.

            Managing an NT is different from a club in that you have to work with what you’ve got. You can’t go out and buy new players. Thus, the success of Iceland’s men under Lagerbäck — he also got them to the play-off for the last couple of places for WC-14 — suggests that he could be what the USMNT needs.

          • HOFCToDi

            You have a serious reading comprehension issue. You don’t have a clue what transpires in the Western Hemisphere. Worry about your Sweden men’s national football team:

            Sweden men’s national football team
            2010 FIFA World Cup – failed to qualify
            2014 FIFA World Cup – failed to qualify

          • Steglitz49

            Iceland has a population ca 1/1000 of the US. Given the magic Lagerbäck has weaved for the IceMNT one could hope he could scatter his pixiedust over the USMNT too.

          • HOFCToDi

            You have a serious reading comprehension issue. You don’t have a clue what transpires in the Western Hemisphere. Visit your local pharmacy, your prescription refill of Ritalin awaits.

          • Steglitz49

            If you can’t have Lars Lagerbäck — which is almost certain because he wants to retire for good — who would you wish for? Simeone? Guardiola? Sasaki?

          • HOFCToDi

            Visit your local pharmacy, your prescription refill of Ritalin awaits.

          • Steglitz49

            I don’t thin Ritalin will help the USMNT.

            Given how the USWNT has dominated WoSo for 25 years at least, it is a bit sad that their men can’t get it up.

          • HOFCToDi

            Steglitz49
            Pharmacy
            Prescription
            Refill
            Ritalin

            Simple instructions for you to follow.

          • Steglitz49

            I can only conclude that you are devoid of ideas of how to take the USMNT forward. Worse, you seem totally ignorant of the men’s game.

            As for the USWNT, you do not need to worry. Only a mishap like acute foodpoisoning the night before a critical match will put a spoke in their wheels.

          • HOFCToDi

            No wonder why Sweden men’s national football team failed to qualify for the last two FIFA World Cups. Too stupid to follow simple instructions.

          • Steglitz49

            At least they have Zlatan.

          • CED

            Except they were outplayed by a team unable to qualify and playing 1/2 of roster of newbies. You’re the one clueless of the game not the other poster. Arrogance and ignorance the traits of the blowhard subset of Americans the rest of the world despises.

          • Steglitz49

            America the beautiful?

          • CED

            Not a single CONCACAF or Africa fed team would qualify if they were in UEFA.

          • HOFCToDi

            Buzz off loser.

          • CED

            LOL..Leatn the game and pull you Head out of Lloyd ass. The michael bradley of WNT,,,A turnover machine and piss poor CM,

          • HOFCToDi

            You are a blithering idiot, a clueless moron, and a worthless troll.

          • Paul Klee

            Just say Chicagoan in the future. 🙂

          • HOFCToDi

            The aforementioned worthless troll hates the USA.

          • CED

            Fact hurt,,Lloyd always a horrible CM and turnover machine and can’t even play CM now at all b/c she’s a disaster, not technical enough and turnover machine leading to counters.

          • HOFCToDi

            You have a reading comprehension issue.

            Buzz off loser.

          • CED

            The only loser is you and your fangirling over the female Michael Baradley/

          • HOFCToDi

            You have a serious reading comprehension issue.

            Buzz off loser.

          • F0OtballNowAndAlways

            Absolute rubbish. In 1994, Nigeria won her group which included Argentina, Bulgaria and Greece. Nigeria defeated both Bulgaria and Greece in shut outs. In 1998, Nigeria won her group again, defeating Spain and Bulgaria.

            Ghana advanced out of her group in each of her first two world cup appearances, trouncing the Czech Republic 2 – 0 in the first one and defeating Serbia 1 – 0 in the second. And in 1982, Algeria was prevented from getting out of their group only because West Germany and Austria colluded to perpetrate perhaps the most disgraceful act in world cup history, so odious that it prompted a rule change.

            As for the U.S.A., she famously whitewashed Portugal in 2002, and was a hair’s breath from defeating the same Portugal again at the 2014 world cup. Portugal failed to advance from that group, the U.S. did.

            Like posters often tell you, you don’t know what the hell you are talking about.

          • Steglitz49

            The 1994 World Championship is otherwise most significant for the referee called Ali Bujsaim of the United Arab Emirates because he gave a masterclass in how to referee a match.

          • CED

            Funny you have to go about 20 or even 30 years. Not a single Africa team or Concacaf would qualify in UEFA or CONMEBOL. UEFA qualifying is 10 to 12 games not getting lucky to play close or get lcuky in one game 30 years ago. Africa and CONCACAF quals are a joke compared to UEFA and COMNEBOL…they would not qualify,,not even close.

          • CED

            You want to tally Africa vs UEFA in recent Wcups,,2014, 2010, 2006, …it’s funny you had to go back 20 years or more to find a result. Btw, tell me what CONCAAF team is going to beat the 4 playoff teams from UEFA, there is no way Africa or Concacaf would win a group and would be lucky to make the 2 leg playoff.

          • F0OtballNowAndAlways

            You said they wouldn’t qualify and I showed that they have bested European teams in the past. You didn’t say they wouldn’t qualify most of the time, didn’t say they wouldn’t qualify sometime. You said they wouldn’t qualify period. Don’t say one thing and start singing a different tune when your information has been exposed as false.

            By the way, only a few UEFA teams would fall into the category you are talking about. Many UEFA teams are nothing more than glorified minnows? Which African teams would be quaking in their boots at the thought of playing any of the Eastern European countries, or Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Finland or Iceland?

          • CED

            They would never qualify. They would not win a group which are won by the many top teams in the rankings. That puts them if they are very lucky to finish 4 of the best 2nd group teams in a 1 leg playoff. The playoff teams are usually 2 or 3 teams in the top 15-20. There is not an African team in the top 30. By yout comments you clearly have no idea how UEFA quals work.

          • F0OtballNowAndAlways

            There are only 3 legitimate powerhouses in UEFA, or 4 if you include Spain whose universal prowess should really be taken tentatively because they have enjoyed prominence for less than a generation. The 3 legitimate powerhouses are Germany, Italy and France. There is no other country in Europe that can guarantee a victory against an African or CONCACAF team anywhere. We saw them at the last 2 world cups, and they did nothing.

            You are right, I don’t understand how UEFA qualifying works. But that is not all I don’t know about UEFA. Fact is, I don’t give much of a toss about UEFA. I don’t even find European football particularly attractive. I like individualism, flair, improvisation and spontaneity, qualities I find lacking in Euro soccer on the occasions when I bother to watch any.

            Top 30 or not, if African teams can win world cup groups and trounce European countries in the world cup, they can whitewash your overrated Europeans in UEFA tournaments as well. You are making zero sense. You made a stupidly Eurocentric comment and were exposed.

          • CED

            Your delusion is noted that only 4 UEFA teams can expect victories over CONCACAF and African teams. Your ignorance of the game is also noted on the play of European teams. Africa teams have white washed nobody..Jesus Africa is falling behind CONCACAF. What is the record of UEFA vs CONCACAF and Africa in Wcups and Fed Cups? Btw, how many African and CONCACAF teams have won a Wcup? How many made a semi? Compare that to UEFA. There are only 2 Feds in the running for any Wcup in reality ,UEFA and CONMEBOL

          • F0OtballNowAndAlways

            You keep expanding your point and bringing up irrelevant rubbish to try to get out of the hole you got yourself into. No wonder people call you a moron. Your comprehension is infantile. I never said only four UEFA teams can beat Afrifan teams. I said only 4 can confidently expect to beat African teams. Whether you want to admit it or not, any match between an African team and other UEFA teams is a toss up.

            How many world cups have African teams won? I already conceded that there are really only 4 UEFA powerhouses, and they, along with England, who is a powerhouse only in their own minds, are the only teams that have won world cups. African teams have in fact whitewashed UEFA teams at the world cup. All the Eurocentrism in the world will not change that. Nigeria dispatched two of your precious European teams in her very first world cup.

            You made a simple point and I have discredited it over and over. The initial point you made was not that African teams haven’t won the world cup. You are only saying that now because your initial point was proven false. What you initially said was that African teams were no match for Europeans, and I have proven that that is a stupid statement. African teams can defeat just about every European team except the elite 4 on any given day. And even once in a while, they can defeat those two.

            How many Eastern European countries have won the world cup? Are they not part of UEFA? How many matches have they won against African countries at the world cup to vindicate the superiority you seem to think they possess? How many matches have UEFA teams, other than the elite 4 or 5 ever won against African teams in any circumstances, world cup or otherwise?

            Don’t make Eurocentric comments you can’t defend. You can love European football all you want. That’s your prerogative. Their brand of soccer happens not to interest me much. I for one have always found their stadiums far more interesting that their football.

      • Paul Klee

        Abby Wambach. 😉

        • Steglitz49

          You would have to provide her with a chauffeur. Maybe Hope’s hubby would oblige?

          • Paul Klee

            She could afford her own driver a $3mil per year.

  • Dennis Miller

    Krieger should be starting over O’hara. Everyone is saying that O’hara has taken kriegers starting role, but it feels more like it was given to her. She clearly is not a better right back that Krieger.Krieger does a better job at getting into the attack and also doesn’t forget the her main job is to defend.

    I also don’t think that she should retire after the OG. She has been playing the best she’s ever played in the NWSL. I don’t think she’ll start in Rio(not because she’s lost her step or she’s getting old) but I do see her reaching her peak and becoming one of the best defenders on the team.I don’t think she’s reached her peak yet but recent NWSL games show that it’s coming. Very technical and great soccer iq.

    Hopefully not starting in Rio is a source of motivation for her. She is the better defender but she just seemed to get the shiity end of the stick. Soon enough more people will realize that KO is not a better right back than Krieger and she’ll most likely get that starting role back. (btw im not saying KO isn’t a great player, she just can’t do what krieger does on the right side. And yes I know that Krieger is 31 but she herself has said that she feels like the more she gets into the attack the more she feels fresh and young.

    Defense will not be the highlight of the OG. They’ll still win but not because of the brickwall we saw at the WC.

    I don’t think this is the end of Krieger. Especially since being benched I think she has something to prove.She has been playing like she is out for blood in the NWSL. Her NWSL play leads me to believe that we are going to see her play the best soccer she’s ever played. That is if she can stay healthy. Her playmaking skills have improved and has a really amazing understanding of soccer and her role as a right back.

    sorry for the essay.

    • guest

      “Krieger does a better job at getting into the attack”

      II don’t agree with this statement at all. I think Krieger is the superior defender to both Klingenberg and O’hara. I don’t think she is very good at all when it comes to getting into the attack and I think she, specifically, has difficulty carrying the ball into attacking positions before crossing. Krieger needs to be played into a crossing positions to provide service while O’hara and Klingenberg are able to do more of the work themselves. A good example of this was the Sweden World Cup match. Pia left the right flank open all game long and Krieger was not able to utilize that space to penetrate Sweden’s defense

      • Dennis Miller

        Yeah I think she’s gotten way better in the aspect. That is why I keep referencing the current NWSL season. Krieger has been stellar in the attack and the defense. Which Is why Jill’s comments on league form were bull. Krieger has been the better attacker and defender in the league. She hasn’t really gotten the time with the NT to show what’s she’s got.
        That’s why i don’t see her retiring. She’s been in beast mode for the most part and in my opinion has been playing the best soccer of her career.
        I agree that maybe once O’hara got more involved in the attack than her but Krieger has been better as of lately. She was a bit too late for the OG but I don’t think her time is over. The player that I’ve been seeing does not look like and old player getting ready to retire. She looks hungry. O’hara has always been better at left back and doesn’t really do much on the right side. Even in the NWSL she’ll start a game in the right back position and then her coach will end up moving her to the left side.
        I do understand what you are saying though. We shall see what happens after Rio, but I don’t think Krieger is retiring.

        • guest

          i hate to bring this up again. but i do wonder if that krieger wedding had anything to do with her not starting for the uswnt right now. i seem to remember o’hara taking her starting spot right around the time krieger missed the nwsl game for the wedding. wonder if ellis had a falling out with her over this?

          • Dennis Miller

            I doubt it has much to do with the wedding. If it does Jill is an idiot coach. They haven’t benched Hope solo for all the crap she’s done. A good player is a good player. I wouldn’t mess up the strongest part of my team over a wedding.

            Jill wants Krieger to play exactly like Kling, but Krieger knows that this is not a good idea. Krieger at first defended more than she would attack. I think Jill thinks defense is strong enough to have to outside banks play extremely high the Game against Japan made it very clear that this wasn’t true. Defense has been shaky for a while, but they haven’t really played tough teams and they also have great scorers who make up for it.

            JJ and Broon seem to look a lot more stressed and flustered since this has happened. Broon has been making some uncharacteristic mistakes (not just against Japan)

            Krieger is oviously the best right back on the team and If Jill is going to bench one of her best defenders over a wedding she is a crap coach who needs to be called out. I still don’t know why Journalist have yet to ask her about this whole situation because clearly O’hara is not better.

            I bet that if any of the other teams are studying how the USWNT have been playing lately they’re going to have players attack from the right side. It seems to be the weak side of the team. They can get some shots on goal from that side with Krieger on the bench.

            The coach isn’t always right and in this case Jill was wrong. The USWNT had finally found their perfect back four and Jill screwed it up because her own ego.

            That’s why I don’t think this is the end of Krieger. Like I said she’s been playing the best soccer of her career in the recent NWSL season. More peopl are going to see that and realize the she is indeed better than O’hara (attack and defense). The starting role loss will only be for the OG. Krieger is out for blood, I can see it in the way she’s been playing. She has 2017 to prove herself and she will do just that.

            I am looking beyond the OG because I already know defense won’t be the same. Also for people saying defense was great Sunday, it’s because Kling and O’hara didn’t go forward a lot.They stayed back and did their Jobs as defenders(kling better than O’hara) So if you ask me Krieger was right and is the best out of the three of them Pretty sure she has been benched because Jill is stubborn and prideful. Her prototype Kling has over a 1000 minutes this season (more than captain broon)

            The olympic starting lineup is set but that is the only thing that is set. Krieger is not done. And after the OG there will be more pressure to put Krieger back as the starter.

            But that is just my opinion. Again sorry for the essay. It just irks me knowing that the better player is on the bench.

          • Steglitz49

            Maybe it is all about respect?

    • Steglitz49

      Do you think that JE may even leave Krieger behind?

      • Dennis Miller

        no. Krieger is going. She is taking three outside backs with her. Krieger kling o’hara. It’s just a matter of who is starting.

  • Joan Olson

    “my room mate Lori Is getting paid on the internet $98/hr”…..!tl495ur

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  • Gary Diver

    Embarrassment of Soccer Talent Riches and Fantasy USWNT B-Team

    The US has more talented women soccer players than the system can deal with and down the road I think the system needs to change to allow more players to have a meaningful and rewarding experience.

    If you could construct a USWNT B-team consisting of players without recent USWNT caps that would train for international competition next summer, who would you put on that team? You can chose any NSWL, U23, and U20 players.

    • AlexH

      I have always had my Puerto Rico Fantasy option where gals that are good but not really on the USWNT radar can go play in Puerto Rico, Guam, US Virgin Islands etc.

      • Gary Diver

        Has any Puerto Rican player ever been called up to USWNT?

    • David K Anderson

      First thoughts for an 11: Kopmeyer, Doniak,Oyster, Menges, Kleiner, Winters, Colaprico, Lavelle, Morris, Yanez, Redei.

      Mix of youngsters and veterans…

      • Gary Diver

        It would be great if there could be some way for these players to train and to play as a unit and it would be fun to watch.

    • HOFCToDi

      NSCAA names NCAA Division I Women’s All-America Teams

      socceramerica.com/article/66815/nscaa-names-ncaa-division-i-womens-all-america-te.html

    • CED

      There is no need for any B team, your over estimating the number of people. A B team would do okay in CONCACAF b/c CONCACAF sucks but would not fair well against UEFA, It would not be worth the cost. Young players are already developed in U-23, U-20 and now in the NWSL.

      The only thing needed is end the salary system/allocation which by it’s design lessens the WNT pool in given yr. USSF is of course going to call on players they already have to pay 110-139K. Also, the 25 day floater cap needs to be relaxed, ie…think that’s why a player like MCcaffrey is gone. If USSF kept her thru SBT after January camp they would have had to contract her. She hadn’t shown enough to be contracted, but also could have progressed with more time. She only got small amount of time in VT. Long will be over the cap if called in to July camp and stays beyond July 9th game, which she surely will be.

    • mockmook

      More like a C-team if you can’t use non-starters from the NT, but still probably ranked about 5th in the world:

      http://drawformation.com/post/5758c64c97aac/sm-5758c64c97aac.png

  • Gary Diver

    Tier 1 July Competition

    John Herdman has made a big deal of playing Tier 1 competition (one of the top teams) as preparation for the Olympics. Canada has just concluded the last of their 5 meetings with Brazil in the past several months. Canada will go to France at the end of July to play France just before going to Rio.

    Canada going to France is a big plus for Canada. They have nothing to lose and if they beat France they will have a big psychological victory going into the Olympics.

    The question is Does Jill Ellis and USSF feels the same importance about playing Tier 1 teams as OG16 preparation?

    I see no good reason for USWNT to play 74th ranked South Africa at the beginning of next month other than being a cash cow for USSF. Typically in sports you play the level of your competition. If you are playing a superior team it raises your level, while if you are playing an inferior team it lowers your level. We saw that again and again during the VT. Playing poor teams only develops bad habits and diminishes technical fine points. USWNT would be better off not playing anybody than playing South Africa.

    For the final tune-up match at the end of July, USSF does not have an opponent yet. If they cannot find a top 15 opponent, somebody is not doing their job.

    • It is a bit interesting that US Soccer elected not to travel outside of the US at all in 2016 (or since the WC) before heading to Rio. I am not worried about it, because I think the US team can handle “away crows” (if they exist), but it is always a good thing to have a couple road games a year before a major international tournament.

      • Gary Diver

        I am not a fan of John Herdman, but I agree with his view on the importance of playing Tier 1 competition going into the Olympics.

        Some NWSL teams played college teams for their preseason matches. My casual observation was that those teams fared poorer during the first couple of games than teams that played other NWSL teams in preseason matches.

        • I agree, the US will get way more out of the Japan games than they will out of the South Africa game(s)? Could have been an issue with who wanted to play them that close to the OG as well.

        • AlexH

          Most countries don’t play as many times as the USA so it makes sense that they would want to be selective about their opponents. The USA has a slate of games to fill so they can’t be too picky.

          • Gary Diver

            Just hope USSF can find a decent team at the end of July to competitively test USWNT. Playing crappy soccer against a crappy tomato can team is not the way to go to the Olympics.

          • CED

            You never play anyone good on a send off game. You want a team you should beat b/c don’t want to leave with the negative of a loss.

          • Gary Diver

            It would be interesting to see what the other teams are doing. I know Canada and France are facing each other for their send off game.

            Before WC15, USWNT played South Korea and didn’t beat them. Not a good preparation for the shock they encountered against Australia and Sweden.

          • mockmook

            The USA played a boys team before the first JPN match.

      • AlexH

        Its probably due to economics. Why risk playing in front of a crowd of 25 hundred abroad when you can get crowds of 25 thousand at home? The other teams get more money that way too and they get a chance to look around for expats playing in US colleges to beef up their rosters.

        • mockmook

          Chance for US universities to scout some foreign players, too.

      • Steglitz49

        Why be bothered by time zone changes?

      • CED

        The WNY historically doesn’t do much foreign travel. The 1 regular trip was Algarve which was actually a money pit with expenses and virtually no revenue. The facts is there aren’t many countries you can schedule abroad that are worth if financially or you can really break even on.

        The thing is not going to Algarve is part of what makes WNT financials better in FY 2016 and FY 2017 , Algarve was about 800K loss and the SBC tour will makes money SBT profit about 1.3M on 51K attendance compared to losing 800K on Algarve is net change of 2.1M

        • In the past few years, they usually had one other European trip in addition to Algarve.. France/England last year, Netherlands 2013, etc. But you’re right, SBC is a lot better from a financial standpoint.

    • AlexH

      The USA just finished playing Japan. Between the WC and the OG the team has scheduled Japan, China, Australia, Germany, France, England, Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Colombia. The USA plays a lot of games and given the lack of depth in the woso world it is to be expected that they will quickly scrape the bottom of the barrel.

      • Gary Diver

        I thought the idea was to built skills, technique, and team chemistry by being tested by better competition close to the Olympics. Who USWNT played six month ago is in the past and not particularly relevant.

        If the past games were so important and so telling our discussion about being ready for the Olympics would have ended after the SBC games. “What have you done for me lately?” is the key, not “what have you done?”

        • Esk22

          I don’t know. When I played, I don’t think having several tough games before a playoff was particularly valuable. They are emotionally and physically draining. We played our big conference rivals the last two weeks of the season and just got beat up. It wasn’t easy to turn it around and start the playoffs a week later.

          • Steglitz49

            Play-offs are an abomination in soccer and have no right to life.

            What is wrong with a domestic cup?

      • #1Fan

        USA played these games for $$$$ as much as anything else. Seriously, how much experimentation was done? How many different things were tried? These games are a barnstorming tour to take advantage of WC relevance MORE than they are about finding out a lot about players or the team.

        • Steglitz49

          You make them sound as if they were playing for a house of ill repute and that WoSo was the oldest trade.

          • #1Fan

            Cmon Seg .

          • Steglitz49

            “Money makes the world go round” and “Money! Money!! Money!!”

          • #1Fan

            AbbA ?

          • Steglitz49

            Mamma mia! ABBA, not Bjorn Again.

            ABBA Gold has all the great tracks.

          • F0OtballNowAndAlways

            And we all know you bought it for “Voulez Vouz which you play on an eternal loop.

          • Steglitz49

            Dancing Queen (written for the wedding of the king and queen of Sweden),
            Knowing Me Knowing You,
            Take a Chance on Me,
            Mamma Mia,
            Lay All Your Love on Me,

            Super Trouper,
            I Have a Dream,
            The Winner Takes It All,
            Money, Money, Money,
            S.O.S.,

            Chiquitita,
            Fernando,
            Voulez-Vous,
            Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight),
            Does Your Mother Know,

            One of Us,
            The Name of the Game,
            Thank You for the Music,
            Waterloo

          • F0OtballNowAndAlways

            Must you always be ribald? Always a sexual innuendo. What about Tancredi’s retirement? You think that is sexual too?

          • Steglitz49

            Tancredi has been playing worse than ever. 4 yellow cards in 7 matches is pretty damning. She has, admittedly, scored 2 of her team’s 6 goals but then playing as #9 she should score goals.

            Anyone who thinks that European teams will pay top dollar for American players will be disappointed. For Alex, yes, but she ain’t bothering with Europe.

        • CED

          WNT has to play more games than they should otherwise logically b/c they have guaranteed outlays whether they play or not in yr. WNT salaries and NWSL salary totally 3+mil guaranteed before a single game is played. MNT only plays what is essentially needed b/c they have no guaranteed outlays and thus don;t need to make up 3mil in player salary from day one of a yr.

    • CED

      You’re on roll of silly comments. It’s not a cash cow laying S.Africa. It costs the USSF the same playing Japan or S. Africa and a better opponent in theory should have a better crowd, but that is not always the case for WNT compared to MNT.

      • Gary Diver

        If not a cash cow, why play South Africa? The game is definitely not going to improve USWNT for the Olympics. Why go through the motions against a tomato can?

        • CED

          OMG. You play them to leave on high note and confidence. Teams who are expecting to do contend and do well don’t play the last games before a major tourney vs top teams. There’s a reason it’s called a send off..you want to leave on high note. You make your better prep games before the last games..ie…why they played Japan in June, so the problems can be addressed, You don’t wait till right before your leaving to play tough teams and have problems exposed.

          • Frozen Blue

            And I really don’t see it as Canada playing a top 5 team leading up to the Olympics, I see it as France playing an average team leading up to the Olympics.

        • F0OtballNowAndAlways

          Sometimes I wonder why they avoid the obvious. Why not play a team of NWSL all stars, sans the USWNT players of course? Is it because they fear that losing such a match could raise questions about the abilities of the women on the NT roster? I don’t know. But as a fan, I have no interest whatsoever in watching the match with South Africa, and unless something unexpected happens, I won’t watch a replay, just highlights. I most certainly won’t watch it live.

  • Gary Diver

    Game Bonuses

    I assume that USWNT players received no bonuses for the first Japanese game tie and if FIFA comes out and says the second game doesn’t count then the players might not receive any money for that game either. (USSF said they were going to ask FIFA what to do with the abandoned game.) It seems somewhat odd to have a system where it is in your financial self-interest for your own team not to win so you don’t have to pay them.

    • Steglitz49

      Seeing that they could not beat a team playing with 10 players, should the players not pay the USSF some damage money? I propose that the players pay USSF half the bonus they would have received had they won.

      • Gary Diver

        I must admit your comment made me laugh:) For every glass is half full person there is another glass is half empty person.

        • Steglitz49

          If you watch the short period after Yokoyama’s 3-3 equalizer, she almost got free again. Kumi was marginally but clearly offside but if it had been the touchjudge from the 2nd game, she might have been OKed.

          • Gary Diver

            Things could be worse. I watched the Canada-Brazil game yesterday evening and Brazil lost in the 94th minute in a game with 3 minutes of stoppage time. That inept loss is going to smart for a long time.

          • Steglitz49

            Sounds like WC-11 déjà vu all over again.

          • Gary Diver

            Old habits are hard to break:)

    • CED

      Every NT men and women have a win bonus. Club teams have win bonuses for C-league, their domestic cups, etc, By your logic clubs teams and every NT are hoping they don’t win so not to play bonuses

      • Gary Diver

        USWNT played 24 games last year. The 10 game VT were too many for any useful purpose other than make money for USSF and wear the players out. Even The Guardian had an article asking USSF to stop the five-month VT circus of beating up tomato cans. If USSF expects USWNT to play so many games they should pay the players something even if they do not win.

        • mockmook

          They get a salary regardless if they win.

          By your logic, they aren’t being payed for their practice time (camps).

        • CED

          OMG. You don’t get it though it’s been discusses a dozen times before over months. The VT was created by the WNT demands in past CBA’s. It’s not USF that “expecting them to play so many games.” The WNT demanded in the CBA to get money b/c the actually Wcup/OG official prize money was poor. USSF did not come up with this as some money making idea, your notion. The 1st VT after Wcup 99 USSF had nothing to do with it, players organized it b/c prize money was pittance. A USSF run VT was then put in the next CBA. USSF can then pay the current 1.8M bonus which comes from VT and they also realized they can recoup the loss of the OG/Wcup. USSF loses 2 million for the actual tourney 3-4 weeks of an OG/Wcup

          • Gary Diver

            Who organized the 10 games stretched out over 5 months: USWNT or USSF?

          • CED

            The first VT organized on their own “99 was the same span. I read that article when it first came out. It should happen, but it won’t b/c WNT would go to the mat to prevent it. They have a sweet deal in this format and WoSo economics stink at the club level. It’s not in the WNT financial interest to run things like an actual NT and not a club team. They don’t want to have games just in prep for major tournaments, FIFA windows , etc…like the MNT. MNT last cycle (thru 2014 Wcup) they played 69 games, WNT ifwin OG will play 94.(2012 last OG year they played 32 games, they coud play 31 this year wit ha VT)

            WNT want to have 20+ games every year, even in not Wcup/OG years. The salary structure is going to make USSF have to play 20 games even in off years b/c they are currently putting up 3M in guaranteed pay year, that will increase say 25% or more in next CBA. 25% increase is 3.75M/yr mandatory payout before a ball is kicked in a yr. MNT guaranteed is zero. USSF has to schedule WNT even if not prepping for anything b/c they want to recoup their mandatory layouts.

          • #1Fan

            US WNT Soccer is a bubble. its actually amazing how protected these players are. Its like being a member @ Augusta National 🙂

          • Steglitz49

            The USSF may lose money BUT without the World Championship and the OG — who would care a fig?

        • Steglitz49

          Screwing tomato-cans is the name of the game. Who is holding them down, is another question.

  • Chris90

    I’m not as good as you guys but here’s my shot. I kept krieger at right back because she is the better right back. Also she has good chemistry with dunn and press. They seem to connect well. On the left I put kling, heath, and morgan because they also have great chemistry. I think the team would be really strong with this lineup.

    • mockmook

      Somehow your post has ended up with my formation in it.

      • Chris90

        ahhh yeah this is not mine. Jeez..ill fix it. Wonder where mine went

      • Chris90

        dont know what happened there but I just put mine up

    • Chris90

      *IGNORE THE FIRST POST. THIS ONE IS CORRECT*

      I’m not as good as you guys but here’s my shot. I kept krieger at right back because she is the better right back. Also she has good chemistry with dunn and press. They seem to connect well. On the left I put kling, heath, and morgan because they also have great chemistry. I think the team would be really strong with this lineup.

      • guest2

        Pugh is not a CF.

      • mockmook

        It’s a good line-up, but I think Alex and Press are both much better used in the center. And, I think Pugh will end up being best as a CAM (though she is also excellent at sending crosses from the wings).

      • Steglitz49

        Did you insure yourself for the odd wedding or two?

        • Chris90

          you seem to have a real problem with krieger. I always notice your comments talking about the wedding. get over it already will you? Krieger is a damn good player. You talk more about her personal life than her actual skill. Talks sports with me. I don’t give a damn about one wedding that happened a year ago. Better than o’hara

          • Steglitz49

            Loyalty and professionalism.

      • Frozen Blue

        I see that working if Pugh drops into the attacking mid spot and Moran and Press push up top with Press playing under Morgan. My worry would be defense in the middle, Brian could be overwhelmed and don’t know how effective Pugh is as a defender in that position.

  • Gary Diver

    Send-Off Game (one year ago)

    CED claims that “You never play anyone good on a send off game. You want a team you should beat b/c don’t want to leave with the negative of a loss.” Though Canada and France appear to disagree since they are playing each other at the end of July.

    On May 30, 2015, USWNT played South Korea (ranked about 18th) which amazingly ended up in a 0-0 tie. I did not see that game nor hear anything about it. I am wondering what people remember about the reaction after that final preparation game going into WC15. At the time how important did this game seem? What were the take-aways from that game? And, finally, looking back at the WC15 tournament, did the South Korea game foretell things that haunted USWNT during the WC15 tournament?

    • mockmook

      A ludicrous line-up/formation:

      You can read the comments for yourself — it was definitely a foreshadowing of Group play:

      http://equalizersoccer.com/2015/05/30/uswnt-held-scoreless-in-world-cup-sendoff-match-korea-republic/

      • Gary Diver

        It seems to me that Ellis has more difficulties than other coaches deciding on an effective line-up.

      • Guest

        This was a shockingly awful starting XI. One of the reasons I will never stop being skeptical of Ellis. Press and Brian as wingers??? Lloyd in the pivot??? One forward who can’t move and the other has stone feet????? Just all around awful.

        • Gary Diver

          Wasn’t part of the problem that Jill Ellis wanted Morgan Brian on the field but did not know where best to put her?

          • guest

            Brian is a central midfielder. It’s pretty clear from watching her that she is ill equipped to play anywhere else.

  • sudeep das

    Judging by responses there is absolutely no love lost for Carli Lloyd in this forum – any reason why?

    • Gary Diver

      She tries too hard to get the world to see her in the same light as she sees herself. Tooting your own horn and pleading that you are not getting a fair shake turns a lot of people away from her.

    • Guest

      She isn’t one of the best XI players. There are better players available for every one of her ‘preferred’ positions. Lloyd being in the lineup also poses tactical problems for the team due to her deficiencies as a player. On top of her short comings as a player she doesn’t always have the best attitude. I hear too much I and me come out of her mouth.

  • Gary Diver

    Could a Morgan-Press Pairing Work for the USWNT?

    “Press is a poacher – a pure, instincual finisher inside 20 yards. Morgan is a turn-and-burn forward who uses her pace to get in behind, a trait which sounds useful for wing play but really must be utilized centrally.”

    http://www.fourfourtwo.com/us/features/alex-morgan-christen-press-uswnt-tactics-analysis-japan-win#cLDIKyjVBJKECXyV.99

    • guest

      It can work as long as Lloyd isn’t in the starting XI.

  • Frozen Blue

    I am curious, does Lloyd automatically get the start when she comes back? I think this is most likely if she is back for the South Africa game but if she is not ready until the start of the Olympics, would Ellis really start her after being gone for so long? Does she do a Morgan thing like in th WC and gradually play her in? (I am assuming that barring a big set back in her injury Ellis is going to play her)