Henry assists as unbeaten Thorns beat Chicago, go top

The Equalizer Staff June 23, 2016 332

Amandine Henry registered an assist in her first NWSL start to help Portland Thorns FC reach the midway point of the season undefeated with a 2-0 victory over the Chicago Red Stars. Henry, in her home debut, redirected a Tobin Heath corner kick toward goal, where Nadia Nadim flicked it home from the doorstep. Christine Sinclair opened the scoring for the Thorns, who became the fourth team in NWSL history to go 10 or more games without a loss. The Red Stars fell for the first time since opening night and fell out of first place in the process, ceding the position to the Thorns.

The tenor of the match changed in the 6th minute when Julie Johnston took a bad touch in the box and compounded matters by turning to face goal. But Sinclair pounced, took the ball from Johnston, and scored from close range to put the Thorns ahead 1-0.

Moments later, the Red Stars came within a whisker of equalizing when Alyssa Mautz played Sofia Huerta clear behind the Thorns defense. Michelle Betos rushed off her line and may have disrupted or distracted Huerta just enough that her shot hit the post and bounced to safety after traveling through the six-yard box.

The Red Stars actually had the better of the play much of the half but they were burned again when on a situation where the Thorns had insufficient numbers ahead of the play. Nadia Nadim elected to take a shot and it glanced off Casey Short for a corner kick. Henry made clean contact with Heath’s corner and Nadim beat Vanessa DiBernardo to a spot and redirected the ball up and in with her head. 25th minute, 2-0 Thorns.

{MORE RED STARS: Press to appear on cover of body issue | DiBernardo thriving in midfield}

“I thought it was a very professional and smart performance,” Thorns coach Mark Parsons said. “It’s tough to play with that defensive discipline at home. You want to press high. You want to go at teams. It suited us to be a bit patient with our defending and where we defended. That means Chicago was going to have a bit more of the ball where at home you don’t want anyone to have the ball apart from us. So, we had to be smart and professional. I think that played into our hands big time in the first half. We countered them, got set pieces, and we got a goal off countering them. We countered and got a corner for the goal.

“So it was a smart and professional performance. Chicago are an exceptional team. They’re very well coached. They’re very organized and going into the first Chicago game two weeks ago, we were very open against a team that’s one of the most organized teams that we’re going to face. They’re very disciplined and they work for each other. So, to pull out a 2-0 victory, we felt we left some points in Chicago. We should’ve won that game. To manage the game the way we did tonight, I think was important.”

Henry played 70 minutes in her debut.

“The first game in this stadium was amazing,” she said. “We win, is more important. The atmosphere is fantastic. I’m so happy to have played this match.”

Betos had a strong match the rest of the way and the Red Stars, despite some quality possession, were unable to find much rhythm in the attacking third.

The Thorns (5-0-5, 20 pts) face a quick turnaround and a long flight Orlando where they will play the Pride on Sunday. The Red Stars (5-2-3, 18 pts) do not play again until July 1 at Western New York by which time Johnston, Alyssa Naeher, and Christen Press will be in camp with the United States national team.

  • Guest

    Portland’s back line had their second straight shaky performance especially when in possession. Betos’ distribution was unacceptable. She almost never got the ball to the half way mark and it allowed Chicago to keep the Thorns pinned in for a lot of the game. Henry looked excellent. I can’t wait to see her play more.

    • David K Anderson

      Shaky in the first half, for sure…but much more solid in the second. Allie Long was playing a more “stay at home:” role than Henry, who was the more likely of the two to come forward. I see them trading off in this manner, going forward (when they’re actually available…next month’s gonna suck hard).

      • Guest

        I think the back line was good in that they don’t give up a lot of shots inside the 18 and around the 6. I think their passing needs a lot of improvement though and has gotten them in trouble against good pressing teams. Henry is a great shield when she sits back in the 6 but I don’t think you want to limit her by not letting her get forward. She has a good shot and is very good at combining with teammates.

        • Oregon

          Liked Sonnett’s big run forward…lots of pretty play.

      • Lorehead

        Agreed. A lot of missed chances in the first half, but the strongest second half I’ve seen from the Thorns all year.

        • David K Anderson

          Agreed. That second half was controlled and focused.

    • Betos’ distribution was horrible, you are right. How many times did she play a short goal kick right into the Chicago attack? She was lucky they couldn’t do anything with it.

      • David K Anderson

        Some of those goal kicks failed to make it anywhere near the midfield stripe..and they weren’t deliberate short passes. Betos still isn’t entirely right, physically, I don’t think,…although distribution has never been the best part of her game. I can’t complain too much about last night, as she was wonderful as a stopper, but this IS an issue with her.

        In contrast, Naeher blasted one of her punts well past the midfield circle and right onto the foot of Press. Led to a scoring chance, too.

        • Exactly, I actually thought during the game “Naeher definitely has great distribution. Her free kicks are probably better than Solo’s”.

          Why did Franch not start? Was it her semi-howler against Chicago last week that cost her?

          • kellehel

            Parsons said post match that Franch had a knock and didn’t train

          • Lorehead

            I was questioning the decision to trade our starting left back for a backup keeper at the time, but we really have needed both Franch and Betos.

        • Guest

          The issue is when Betos was going for the long GKs and couldn’t get them past the Chicago forwards. There were a couple of times where goal kicks turned into offensive chances for Chicago and that’s just not good enough. This was also a big issue because Chicago pushed numbers forward to high press and clog the left flank making it difficult for the Thorns to play out from the back. In some of their previous games they would adjust and just go long over the press with their height but they weren’t good enough at doing that last night. The Thorns still haven’t worked out yet how to play through the middle yet either.

  • Steglitz49

    Well done Amandine! If you get this much attention from an assist, how much for a goal?

    Investing in overseas talent pays off: Nadim and Amandine. Seeing that Sinc is Canadian, that is another Giovanna foreigner too, even if the NWSL is meant to be a tridentine league.

    • David K Anderson

      That header was on-frame, too…but it’s good that Nadim redirected a bit, as Naeher might have had a play on it (although it would have been a tough save). Henry was fun to watch in person, where I could check out things that might not have made it on camera. So many subtle, excellent things she does…

      Thorns have Sinc, Nadim, Henry, Brynjarsdottir, and Raso as non-US players.

      • Steglitz49

        Thank you. Keep watching Amandine for us. Will this be the new French Connection? The start of a beautiful relationship?

        • Lorehead

          “This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship,” is from “Casablanca.”

          • Steglitz49

            I did not say it wasn’t and I carefully used another phrasing.

            The French Connection and Casablanca are the names of the films.

            I suppose I had better write the full — “This is the kind of arrant pedantry up with which I will not put.” — to be safe instead of just something like I won’t put up with this pedantry.

            Sometimes it is easier to assume that people know what they are typing about.

            While you are at it, you might as well explain for us the difference between a subsidy and a marginal profit.

          • Lorehead

            A subsidy is what teams in Sweden get. A profit is what the Thorns make.

          • Steglitz49

            I would not call it a subsidy in the true meaning of the word. Rather kindness to small animals and children.

            The WoSo teams in the small countries and the poor teams in other countries seem to get fans and other private persons, who at the end of the season put up enough money to pay off debts so that the accounts can be OKed and their team can play on in the next season. (Rarely local governments help out too.)

            Thus, it is not a subsidy but rather kindness to small animals. When the debts have been too big, as in the case of Tyresö, bankruptcy has ensued. In Germany in the case of Duisburg, the restructuring involved the men’s club and in essence Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund put up the big money to clear the debts.

            Several German WoSo teams have chosen the path of voluntarily stepping down to the next lower division thereby avoiding the two-divisions drop of not getting their accounts approved.

          • MurderOnZidanesFloor

            The Thorns are also subsidised, unless they have started paying the wages for Sonnett, Klingenberg, Horan and Heath.

          • Steglitz49

            I guess that the ladies benefit by playing for a men’s club that has access to a good stadium. Another cost hardly booked at full rent.

          • guest

            Remember, the object of a profit making organization is to increase revenues while holding down costs, and your complaining that they’re not paying enough rent!? Does ur stupidity know any bounds? Are all Swedes as obtuse as you?

          • Steglitz49

            Thus you view the purpose of WoSo to turn tricks for BroSo and deliver them income. Good that we have that cleared up.

          • Gary Diver

            Funny, but your tone and rant sounds exactly like another well-known whiner. Can one person have two names?

          • Reality

            There are multiple identities of people trolling on this site and stirring up mischief.

          • F0OtballNowAndAlways

            People who hurl insults while wearing the mask, “guest”, are the most detestable cowards imaginable.

          • donjerue

            STFU

          • Lorehead

            Yeah, but they’re also profitable. Yesterday, 16,981 people came to see them on a Wednesday. That’s really good. Internationally, the English Championship draws an average of 17,160, and after them, the Australian A-league draws a little more than 13K and the Belgian Pro League draws a little more than 11K. Domestically? That’s better than the average for ten teams in the NBA or eleven in the NHL, two of what fans think of as “the big four” who aren’t old enough to leave the NHL out of the big three or young enough to include MLS in the big five. Although those teams have more home games, play in smaller venues and charge higher ticket prices, so domestic soccer is a better comparison: it’s better than six teams in the first-division men’s league.

            The Thorns do get a subsidy, which is why they’re quietly going along with losing seven of their starters for two months, but it’s actually mainly that US Soccer ordered all the players who want to make the NT to play in the NWSL; the Thorns could easily afford to pay them all in the range of the $50-60K they make, but a bidding war with Lyon, PSG, Wolfsburg and Bayern would be another matter.

            Crucially, playing in Providence Park and using the Timbers’ training facilities are not really subsidies, because Merritt Paulson (through Peregrine Sports) had already paid for those. If MLS told him tomorrow he would no longer be able to own a men’s soccer team in Portland, he’d need to reassess whether it would be worth paying the lease on his stadium with only the Thorns and PSU football as tenants. But that is not the case: he already had a men’s team, he was already paying to lease the stadium, and he didn’t have to pay any more for the stadium because he had another eleven games to fill it.

        • David K Anderson

          I sure hope so! This team, although it will not be all together very often this season (*sigh*), has the potential to be something very special indeed.

          • Steglitz49

            I think they can win the Championship and they ought all to be available for the play-offs.

      • Gary Diver

        Problem for NWSL if good internationals only want to play for Portland. Sort of “Portland or Bust”.

        • David K Anderson

          That’s a good point. I think there are some other attractive destinations, but are top internationals going to want to come play home games in front of 2500 people on a multi-striped turf field (for a max of $39k)?

        • Nettie

          Sure, that would be a problem, but Kim Little and Nahomi Kawasumi think there’s at least one other club worth playing for.

        • donjerue

          You mean nobody want to be a Hot Dog Salesperson for WNY? Geeezzz imagine that

      • Ethan

        It was vital that Nadim redirected it. Henry’s header without the redirection would have been a pretty comfortable save in my opinion.

        • Constant Weeder

          I agree – Naeher was right there where the ball was going before Nadim redirected it.

    • Faithjshull3
  • donjerue

    Watch out for Sinc, she’s awakening!

    • guest

      hear hear!

      • Steglitz49

        Hey. That’s my line. Respect, please!

    • Gary Diver

      Three goals in three games. But all three goals were soft goals.

      • David K Anderson

        That can be the mark of a high soccer IQ, though, and Sinclair clearly has that quality. She’s often at the right place at the right time, then has the quick thinking to get the finish.

        I think it really hit me last night at the game that I’m lucky to be able to see one of WoSo’s all-time great players in person.

        • Gary Diver

          One could say that great players always seem to be at the right place at the right time. Timing is everything in soccer as in life.

  • Lorehead

    I hate to say it, but the Spirit still have more points per game, with 2.125, thanks to their two games in hand. That said, Portland’s next four games look very winnable, even with our Olympians leaving early. FC Kansas City is not looking as intimidating as in the preseason.

    Seattle on July 30, with most of our starters in Rio, is going to be the toughest date on the schedule, though.

    • Steglitz49

      Is it too much to ask for people to stop using inappropriate statistics?

      2.125 points per game is a meaningless figure given that points are whole and indivisible at 3, 1 and 0 and also becauset only a few events in which they have been scored.

      As you type, the next 4 games looks winnable, another way of saying that it depends on whom you play what points you might gather.

      • Anti-Steg

        Is it too much to ask for you to stop?

        • Steglitz49

          Please register yourself so we can follow your comments.

          • guest

            It’s not any one person commenting against you. It’s multiple people who don’t have Discus accounts but get so annoyed with you they feel compelled to comment.

          • Gary Diver

            Is it asking too much to get a Discus account?

          • guest

            Why would I bother getting an account when I can comment without getting one? Why go through the trouble of signing up? I see no benefit.

          • Constant Weeder

            There really is no benefit unless you want your comments to be taken seriously. Or not, depending on their quality over time.

          • tseuG

            Should we take yours seriously because your name is in red, and it says “Constant Weeder”?

          • donjerue

            duuuh

          • Steglitz49

            Just register yourself, please, so we can follow your comments.

      • Constant Weeder

        I call BS! Average points per game is a totally appropriate and useful figure. A great many statistics, in sports and elsewhere, present a fractional average of integral quantities. Possibly the most obvious soccer example is goals against for keepers.

        Since you feel that average points per game is an “inappropriate
        statistic”, would you please reveal your own quantitative method of accounting for games in hand when discussing place in the standings.

        • Steglitz49

          When a win was 2 points instead of 3, which is a long time ago, then the steps between lose-draw-win were the same. In such an even ordinal scale with even steps you can use parametric statistics provided you have a lot of events.

          The modern points are an ordinal scale with unequal steps. Worse, in this case only a small number of matches have been played.

          With 8-10 games played the difference between winning and losing a game changes your decimal by 0.3 – 0.38. If, as in some of the big men’s leagues in Europe you talk about 40 matches in a season, the impact is much less at the end of the season but you still have the uneven step problem.

          • Constant Weeder

            As I learned in the discussion of mean and median in attendance figures, you know more about statistics than I do, and I appreciate your bringing some data analysis to the conversation. However, in this case, on the question of where teams stand relatively at a given point in the season, when the number of games played is unequal, I find it useful to be able to think in terms of how well each team has made use of the opportunities it has had.
            I can think: The Thorns have collected only two points for every three they could have, while the Spirit have gotten 2.125. I find this supplements the more conventional: The Thorns are up by three, but the Spirit have two games in hand, so they could catch up, or pass.
            I haven’t counted up, but because of the postponed Spirit-Dash game, the number of games played won’t be equal until the end of August at the earliest, and a lot of other things will have happened before then.

          • Lorehead

            The Spirit’s schedule is also shaping up to be easier over that period of time: Sky Blue three times, Kansas City twice (I was predicting them to be holding up much better than they have) and Chicago once, which will be interesting without Press, JJ and Dunn. They could go on a rampage in July. But the Thorns are capable of getting the twelve points they need to stay on top, too.

          • mockmook

            I think FCKC have rediscovered their form — those won’t be easy matches.

          • Also, I think KC has the edge with NT players away.

          • Peter

            Steg, I agree that when you have more games (that is, more data points), the statistic “mean points per game” is a more reliable indicator of the relative strength of a team.
            But I don’t see why getting 3 points for a win (instead of 2) makes this statistic uninterpretable. I mean we know that under these conditions: 1) “mean points per game” is restricted to rely between and 0 and 3, and 2) once one has a large number of data points, teams with higher mean points per game are better than those with lower mean points per game.
            Have you ever noticed that the team judged to have been the best during the season is not just the team with the most points but ALWAYS the team with the highest mean points per game?

            In other words, the sum of the points gained through the season is a simple transformation of “mean points per game” (just multiply the latter by the number of games).

          • Steglitz49

            What you need to show is that when 7 or 10 games have been played, your mean can predict anything. You could argue that the uneven steps may add to much weight to a difference of a single win.

            There have been several ladies leagues of late where the final round of the season decided who got the league trophy, with either the number 2 or 3 placed team clinching it, yet the mean would have favored the team in front position before that final match.

            35 years ago for the 1981-2 season, soccer increased the points for winning from 2 to 3.

            For a few years after, commentators would bring up examples of how under the old system other teams would have won the league, which shows that it made a difference.

            The NWSL is an even league. Afre 7 games, with 2 wins, 5 draws and 0 loss you get a mean of 1.571; 2 w 4 d & 1 l mean 1.428; while 2 w, 2 d & 3 l are 1.143. These are different but are they meaningful after 7 games?

            Compare this with the 2014-15 season, the ladies of Germany finished with Bayern Munich 56, Shewolves 55, FF 53 & Potsdam 48 after 22 matches. The means are: 2.54, 2,5, 2.41 and 2.18.

            In that German league, the differences were that BM had drawn 5 matches while Wolfsburg drawn 4 and lost 1. Their GD were +49 and +63, respectively. FF was at +55 but had lost 3 and tied 2.

            The issue is not that the mean reflects the total after after 22 or 40 games played. That is obvious except in those cases when it is decided on GD between teams with the same points. It is rather that because the final round of matches can change to standings and this effect is bigger with 3 instead of 4 points, the predictive value of the mean after a small number of games is limited.

            As a curiosity, the French ladies league is played with a system of 4 for a win, 2 for a draw, 1 for a loss. The reason for this is that many French WoSo clubs to save money did not show up for away matches. With one point for a loss and 0 for not playing, absconding was reduced and is now rare.

          • Lorehead

            When one team has two games in hand over another, average points per game is a better way to track who’s leading than points. In the extreme case: what if one team had thirty points through ten games, and another had already played twenty and finished with thirty-one? The first team is having the better season and is almost sure to come out ahead, right?

    • Nicole C.

      Kudos to whoever made these- very cool!
      https://mobile.twitter.com/ThornsFC/status/745788652492455936

      • Steglitz49

        Indeed.

        But, where is the Eiffel Tower?

      • Gary Diver

        Beautifully done! Isn’t “The Great Horan” Rose Lavelle’s nickname for Lindsey?

  • JJ

    I was kind of amused to see how little the Thorns cared about Casey Short. Every time she went forward, she was all alone in acres of space. She usually didn’t have to beat anyone because there was no one to beat. Tactically, the Thorns just chose to ignore her. She had a few nice runs and a few nice passes, but the strategy worked great. I wonder if other teams will do that against Chicago.

    It was nice to see Meg Morris at the match and see all the players go up and give her a hug or a scarf.

    Sonnett continues to improve dramatically. I think her ceiling is incredibly high.

    • Steglitz49

      Why was Casey ineffectual? Did she not have anyone to pass to? Or, did they fumble the passes — if fumbling is a word that can be used in soccer for any pedants reading this.

    • Really impressed by Sonnett again last night. She has to be the third CB going to Rio, in my opinion.

      • David K Anderson

        Sadly,* I think you’re right. She’s almost ridiculously calm under pressure for such a young player, and doesn’t seem very prone to rookie lapses in judgement. Good pace, too (is any CB pairing anywhere as fast as the Thorns’ “Wall of Emily?”).

        *”Sadly” because the Thorns are really getting gutted by the Olympics. I don’t resent the tournament itself (although I also couldn’t care less about it), but I’m seething about the early call-up and the probability of a silly “victory” (aka “cynical cash grab”) tour. Not waiting two freaking days an letting a slate of NWSL games take place intact is a big FU to the league.

        • Yea tough for the Thorns, but I guess that is kind of what they signed up for. Right now, I would almost go as far to say I would rate Sonnett ahead of JJ for a starting spot. I would like to see Sonnett and Broon start the South Africa game and see what happens. JJ needs to work on her current form a bit.

      • FawcettFan14

        Absolutely. Sonnett plays like a veteran. She is so quick and composed on the ball, knows how to use her body to shield attackers. She is in better form than Engen (whose confidence must be low playing for Boston) and Johnston. Sauerbrunn and JJ will likely start in Rio due to their understanding and history together. But this whole season Johnston hasn’t impressed me much. Same deal with Solo. There are better players than them at the moment but will it matter to Jill’s selections?

        Going forward after Rio I’d like to see how Sauerbrunn and Sonnett do together. They are two most cerebral defenders the U.S. has. Perhaps try Johnston in midfield where she played earlier in her career. Where she can use her physicality and her turnovers would be less costly. I always thought she passed better when she needs to make quicker decisions. In the back, when giving time, she often lumps the ball to nobody. Granted, in this game, she completely botched the play under pressure and gifted Sinclair a goal. She was in a tough spot, facing her own goal, and nobody gave her a shout to tell her Sinclair was bearing down, but still. A center back should generally not dribble out from her six-yard box when she doesn’t know what’s behind her.

        • Guest

          “A center back should generally not dribble out from her six-yard box when she doesn’t know what’s behind her.”

          I think generally is being kind to JJ. The word should really be never just like her letting the ball come down in the WC semi.

        • Gary Diver

          Maybe Ellis should bench JJ and give Emily Sonnett a start. That would be a needed wake-up call. JJ’s bad play last night is reminiscent of some bad plays she made last year after returning from WC15. I think she has taken her position for granted and nobody should ever take their position for granted because that attitude will, in the end, cost the game.

        • I thought the giveaway was bad until I re-watched it a couple times. She was trying to turn the ball away from Heath, who was right in front of her, and unknowingly turned into Sinclair. She should have had some help from the outside back in that situation.

    • F0OtballNowAndAlways

      They cared little about Short, or they avoided her because they didn’t think they could get past her easily?

  • J

    If Johnson would have tracked Sinclair, it would have been harder to score for that initial goal. Johnston still should have cleared rather than dribbling, but I believe Johnson could have stopped it.

    • Bruce

      You can’t put this one on Johnson. It’s not her job to track Sinclair when her own team has possession. Just a bad play by JJ.

      • J

        If im watching film I’d point out 1.) Johnston, clear the ball in the box always 2.) Johnson, pressure a player that was initially your mark. I’m not putting it on Johnson at all. Just saying if she played it safe, she would have tracked Sinclair who was pressuring. Watch the play, makes total sense. It was Johnstons error, but the pressure/ cover of center backs is so essential.

    • David K Anderson

      It looked to me like JJ didn’t realize exactly where Sinc was, probably because she was concentrating on keeping the ball from Heath. She popped it backwards into just a bit of space, away from Tobin…and Sinc was right at her shoulder and beat her to the ball.

  • MurderOnZidanesFloor

    Despite the scoreline I think Chicago did quite well and showed they can be competitive against Portland’s star line up. The first goal should never have happened and the Red Stars had chances of their own which they might have taken on another day. Huerta, Gilliland and Short all had good games. However there were negatives too, JJ especially really struggled through the game, US fans will be hoping she doesn’t play like that in the Olympics.

    Portland are looking strong as most predicted, they’ve surely gotten off to a good enough start that even if they struggle without their stars they should get enough points to make the playoffs, which gives them a great chance of going all the way and winning the championship. Henry is looking class already, despite having little time to adjust. The defence and midfield are just strong throughout. I still think they lack a little going forward though, most of their goals seem to come off poor defensive errors or set pieces, which might cause problems down the road.

    • F0OtballNowAndAlways

      “DaCosta offers nothing atm and JJ really struggled through the game”

      DiBernado also pulled her invisible woman act and disappeared again. Press essentially played attacking midfield yesterday with Huerta at forward. We saw what Horan and Nadim did for the Thorns. We saw what Colaprico, who you forgot to mention (understandable since being so consistently good, she is easy to overlook) did for the Red Stars. I’m sorry, I still refuse to buy into the DiBernado hype. I didn’t see anything notable from her yesterday.

      • Steglitz49

        Because she is of both Italian and Argentinian descent then she must be good at soccer, mustn’t she? Stands to reason even though she is a female of the species but they are dealier than the males.

        • F0OtballNowAndAlways

          Are they? Well somebody better tell Messi to start reading his memos, because he put on a far deadlier display against the U.S than anything we have seen from the women’s side.

          • Steglitz49

            I am sure the Argentinian ladies NT would be pleased to have Vanessa in their ranks. Likewise Italy.

    • Silver Frost

      Raso did well as a sub. Reynolds was pretty solid throughout. Nice to see Dagny on the bench. She’s a bust. Heath was a beast once more. Betos was really sharp, but I did not like the elbow she threw at JJ. What if she broke her neck?

      As for CRS, I like the way they move the ball. It shows great team chemistry, which Thorns still lack. Thorns will be dead in the water when they lose 60% of their starters during the OG interval.

      • Anti-Nonsense

        “the elbow she threw at JJ”
        that’s just nonsense, Betos went for the ball.
        JJ was cleats up and caught Betos’ jersey, which was the more dangerous play.
        You can watch it for yourself right here – https://youtu.be/lngRMCqW3IQ?t=5545

        • rkmid71

          I’m glad we have posters like Anti-Nonsense to call out the nonsense when it’s posted.

        • Anti-anti-nonsense

          I see typical GK tough girl posturing. Intimidate the opposition by violence.

      • Gary Diver

        Maybe Dagny has found her spot on the Portland roster?

  • sweetjazz3

    Rare to see such a howler from Johnston, but I’m glad to see it at the club level instead of the national level.

  • CRS-fallen

    Press couldn’t get around Henry, or anyone else. Two games now without scoring.

    • Guest

      Apparently she was complaining about her team again.

    • smallchief

      It’s the new hex. Press can’t score when Huerta is on the field.

  • Guest

    i wish France would take gold in one of these big tournaments. All how down to Henry, who showed up last night.

  • Ashley C

    -Chicago didn’t actually play too bad and looked threatening when they’d attack – but obviously poor defending and defending from set pieces was their downfall. Both goals shouldn’t have happen. Any time a cross/corner came in that backline looked shaky. Johnston has to be careful in possession back there too sometimes.

    -I think Henry will be fine adjusting to the league. I’ve seen her play 3 times now – once with France and other 2 with Lyon and I think she will handle the pace just fine. Thorns and Lyon actually play very similar although I think Lyon is a little better on the technical side of things. But I think Henry can help bring that aspect to Portland.

    -Sinclair has had great movement since coming back from injury. Seems like it didn’t take her long to get back into the thick of things.

    • Steglitz49

      The Emir can match Barca and add a few 1000€ more.

  • Bruce

    One of the more entertaining matches of the season. Could have been a goal fest. Kudos to the Thorns keeper.

    As CRS fan, for me the story of the game is how little impact Amanda DaCosta continues to have. I was really surprised by how effective Chicago was winning balls in maintaining possession in the midfield, given their passive approach to start the year. That DaCosta was nowhere to be found makes the performance of their other mids and forwards even more impressive.

    For better or for worse ( I’d say for better) Press played all over the field amd often drifted into the cam position to make up for DaCosta’s ineffective play. That shouldn’t happen at the professional level, but to be honest I think it’s necessary. If Chicago can figure out who can play the number 10 before the end of the season and allow Press to play up top as she should, they will be hard to stop.

    • I thought this was Da Costa’s worst game so far, which is not good. She seems to be regressing in this system. I was high on her coming to the Red Stars, but it seems like maybe she isn’t as quality as I originally thought. Still a good piece to have off the bench.

      • Steglitz49

        Amanda did well for Liverpool Ladies. Back to back FAWSL titles. Maybe she is not being used properly?

        • David K Anderson

          I haven’t watched her closely enough to tell, be she may be having trouble adapting to the speed of play and/or relatively high level of contact permitted in the league. I realize that’s become a bit of a cliche’, but it also happens to be the case that this as a fast, rough league.

          • Steglitz49

            The speed I can see. Level of contact, maybe, though the British Isles are notorious for allowing a lot of contact. At the same time, other foreign imports have done more than OK in the NWSL.

    • FawcettFan14

      Chicago needs to sign a true #10 player to free Press up from this responsibility. Chalupny was the perfect #10 in Dames’ system but disappointingly they never found an adequate replacement. Colaprico is a beast (esp for someone so small), DiBernardo is a good link-up player but she tends to disappear from the flow of games. Mautz is a sub at best. And DaCosta, well, you hardly notice her. It forces Huerta and Press to drop deep and playmake.

      Much was made of Gilliland’s play last year, and how she deserved a call-up. But how about Casey Short? Great player we all kind of forgot about with the ACL and move to Norway. But she’s great. Fast, sweet left foot. A hard worker. Able to whip in a good cross. At age 25 she could be valuable in this next cycle. You have to think Krieger will retire and KO/Kling should feel some pressure for their spots. I like Short’s play better than Hinkle.

      • Guest

        Plus fans hate hinkle. Likeability seems important for the NT

        • FawcettFan14

          Can’t speak for everyone, but I don’t hate her. My opinion is purely from on-the-field play. I think both should be in the conversation for the 2019/20 cycle.

        • Steglitz49

          Hate is a strong word.

      • I agree on Mautz. Maybe people on here are high on her, but I just don’t see it. I don’t think she is a starter for the Red Stars.

        • Bruce

          I think that last night is what you’ll get from Mautz at her best. Great effort and pressure in the midfield but not enough quality to be an offensive threat from the wing.

      • Bruce

        I’ve come to respect how Dames has put this team together and gets players to perform. Why he isn’t putting DiB at CAM is a mystery to me though.

        • HOFCToDi

          Rory Dames did not select a bona fide flank midfielder in the 2016 NWSL College Draft. Vanessa DiBernardo is not a flank (attacking) midfielder, never has been and never will be. Rory Dames failed to adequately replace Lori Chalupny as the starting left flank (attacking) midfielder let alone Adriana Leon as the backup right flank (attacking) midfielder.

          • Bruce

            All true. What I don’t get is why Dames plays DiB on the flank when there is such a glaring hole at CAM. I’d think she’s be more valuable in the middle of the field.

          • HOFCToDi

            2016 Chicago Red Stars midfield:
            Duct tape and baling wire
            Alyssa Mautz is the only bona fide flank midfielder on the Chicago Red Stars roster.
            Time to start scouting bona fide flank midfielders in the 2017 NWSL College Draft starting with Toni Payne (Duke), who incidentally brought the pain to Florida State.

      • Steglitz49

        Casey Short made the 1st XI of the Toppserien in Norway.

      • F0OtballNowAndAlways

        Hinkle has the smoothest, silkiest left foot in all of WoSo.

    • Gary Diver

      Two days ago I said: When Press plays, as you had mentioned, Chicago shifts to a different mindset looking for Press but Press, like Carli Lloyd, does her own thing and everybody else needs to stop doing what they would like to do as a unit and essentially ask themselves “where is Christen?”

      Other posters disagreed. But Press does seem to do her own thing somewhat independently of what the other players are doing. The team has to work as a unit; otherwise it will never play up to its potential.

      • I actually thought last night they weren’t looking for Press enough. Especially in the second half, I member two clear times where Press was wide open but another play elected to take a more difficult shot (Di Bernardo is one that I remember). It was frustrating. They look to her when she isn’t open, but don’t pass to her when she would have a clear open shot.

        • Gary Diver

          Chicago has to work better as a unit where everybody knows what their teammates are doing and will do next.

          • Bruce

            Hard to do when the centerpiece of your offense goes MIA for most of the game.

          • I assume you’re referring to Press? I wouldn’t say she was MIA, she was working hard, but also had to drop into the midfield, which makes it tough for her to get quality shots off.

          • Bruce

            I mean the CAM, DaCosta.

          • Gotcha, thanks. Who else could they try as CAM? Di Bernardo? Move JJ to DM and have Naughton cover CB?

          • Bruce

            I don’t know if you mess with moving Colaprico out of her holding position. She’s so good. IMO, DiB has the toolset and experience to excel back at CAM and another player could move to flank with little overall disruption. If Press was still in the lineup, I’d like to see Huerta drop back to flank, but for the next several weeks moving a player like Gilliland forward seems like a better option.

            Last night’s substitution (Comeau for DaCosta) when the game was still in play was telling. I would like to think that Rory is moving on from the Amanda DaCosta experiment. I’d be shocked if she still is in the starting XI when the NTers return.

      • Reality

        Since you’ve brought this topic only about 6 times, let me reiterate my previous response. Press is a very disciplined player in a team context. Huerta needs structure to do well because she is inexperienced and frankly lacks the skills and talent of Press. Dames appreciates this and is trying to take advantage of Press’s creativity on the pitch to improve the run of play in the attack. Huerta admits that it is up to her to improve her play to meet that higher standard. The team has to take better advantage of Press’s talent and skills. Last night, since DaCosta wasn’t doing her job properly, Press was constantly dropping back into the midfield to help instead of being up front where she can do the most good for the team.

        • Steglitz49

          Maybe Chicago could hire Lars Lagerbäck?

          • F0OtballNowAndAlways

            There is no way you are not a paid agent.

          • Steglitz49

            He has repeatedly said that he does not want to take on another team. Apparently, he did the Iceland job almost for free. Some hope he will have a go with the Swedish WNT for Euro-17, seeing that Pia will step down after Rio.

          • HOFCToDi

            Swedish association football

            R.I.P.

            Good riddance

          • Steglitz49

            I don’t think Swedes play much football except the association variety. There is some lowgrade rugby and grid-iron played. The next big team ball-sport is handball,

          • HOFCToDi

            Get back on the Ritalin or on the bottle.

          • HOFCToDi

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

        • F0OtballNowAndAlways

          Press and Huerta ha e been doing fine lately. It’s DiBernardo that has been MIA.

          • Reality

            CRS needs another good mid. DaCosta and Mautz are not top flight and Comeau is a rookie. I’m not sure how many international slots Chicago have at the present time, but it could be worthwhile to seek some talent from abroad. Chicago is no Portland or Seattle in terms of venue but there is still the attraction of superior competition in the NWSL which was one of the reasons Henry came here.

          • Bruce

            I don’t agree.

          • F0OtballNowAndAlways

            Okay, the balls she is supposed to be putting through for Press and Huerta have been MIA. Those two ladies create their own chances, or receive the ball from alternate sources more often than not.

          • F0OtballNowAndAlways

            Don’t tell me you don’t agree with that either.

          • Bruce

            The majority of the direct balls played to forwards *should* be coming from the CAM (DaCosta) and even CDM (Colaprico) positions. It’s not a fair expectation to think that DiB will produce as much since she’s been moved to the flank.

            It would be great to see her create from the wings like Heath or a healthy Pinoe can, but that’s not her skill set.

          • F0OtballNowAndAlways

            Whatever her skill set is, I don’t see it.

  • Stu

    Watching Portland is similar to WNT. They love to attack on Heath & Kling side. Force it there at times. Switch field more and involve the right side more.

    • David K Anderson

      Particularly since Reynolds has quietly proven to be very effective at RB. Last night, we did see more of this than in some previous games.

  • newsouth

    great icelandic 1:0 presseroni

    • Silver Frost

      Dagny was a sub.

    • Steglitz49

      Iceland was playing in Stade-de-France in front of 10% of their population. Lars Lagerbäck was animated for once.

  • Gary Diver

    Why are Portland and Orlando playing twice in one week? How does that effect the season schedule when two teams have played one more game than everybody else?

    • David K Anderson

      Because the NWSL schedule was obviously created with a cork board, some darts, and a blind guy.

      • Gary Diver

        American WoSo management looks like a reality show called “Amateur Hour”.

        If I was God, the second thing I would do is fire both the NWSL management and the USSF Board of Directors. When is American women’s soccer going to have some people running the show who actual look and act professional, know what their mission is, and move the ball forward.

        • brdn08

          WHat are you talking about? Surely there is room for improvement but in less than three years this league was breaking even and I think the quality of soccer in some cases rivals a lot of Woso’s international matches. Also, the average attendance for 5 of the league’s clubs is better than almost all other woso clubs in the world. The only goal this league should have is finding new revenue streams so that they can begin to pay at least a reasonable wage to all of its players.

          • Gary Diver

            Commissioners of most professional leagues are out front as the league’s spokesman. Where is Jeff Plush? He is never seen. And league decisions are often announced as simple press releases and rarely explained. Last year’s change of venue for the league’s final occurred suddenly at the end of the season was announced after it had been already leaked. How professional is that?

            I am glad that NWSL has grown and improved over the past three plus years, but with better and more visible management, the situation could be much better.

    • tonysocref

      I mentioned this back when the schedule was first released. There are only 19 weekends for a 20 match schedule. KC, Seattle, Sky Blue, Washington and WNYF will play one midweek match. Boston, Chicago, Orlando, and Portland will play 2 midweek matches with 1 bye weekend. Houston plays 3 midweek matches with 2 bye weekends. First midweek matches are this week and the last midweek matches are 7-8 September with all 10 teams playing on one of those 2 days.

      • Gary Diver

        Thanks, you need a spreadsheet to keep track of the games.

  • Gary Diver

    Game Observations:

    1. Christine Sinclair’s soft goal was a result of a terrible misplay by Julie Johnston. When she had control of the ball and was sandwiched between Sinclair and Heath near the goal line , why did she decide to try and dribbling the ball? JJ made some similar terrible misplays last year after returning from WC15.

    2. Sofia Huerta’s hitting the frame was god-awful. Maybe Dames should have another talk with her.

    3. Henry had a bad touch from Sonnett pass that almost resulted in a Chicago goal. (People quickly forget bad plays that don’t result in goals. JJ should be so lucky.)

    4. Sinclair’s post-game comment about Portland “toying with Chicago” seemed a little cheeky.

    • Nild

      I agree with all of your points. But for number 4, Sinclair is correct. They were fooling around with Chicago at the end aka time wasting. See Horan and Heath trying to out trick each other in the corner lol. A smart thing to do since Heath in particular looked exhausted at that point.

    • Ethan

      2) Do coaches need to talk to a forward after each miss? That sounds excessive.

      3) Henry didn’t have a great touch; however, Sonnett’s pass/clearance did come in at her fairly quickly.

      • Gary Diver

        Actually with number 2 I was trying to be facetious. My point really was that Huerta has potential and she needs to start performing better. The conversation about why Huerta isn’t performing better is getting a little old.

        • brdn08

          Hitting the post isn’t bad finishing just bad luck.

          • Gary Diver

            True, but she basically had an empty net to shoot at. Timing is everything. Hitting the post when the goal doesn’t matter is no big deal, but Huerta’s miss affected the nature of the game.

          • Steglitz49

            Tell that to CR7.

    • brdn08

      It was true. They had multiple other great chances that they missed. Could just have easily been 6-2 or 7-1 score line.

      • Bruce

        Either team could have put up 4+ goals last night.

        • Steglitz49

          Why didn’t they?

          • Bruce

            Why do I get the feeling you haven’t even watched the game?

          • Steglitz49

            I didn’t. After Iceland v Austria and Belgium v Sweden, that was 3.5h soccer already chewed off, not counting the highlights from the other two games.

        • brdn08

          Of course but in my opinion the better chances were created by Portland and the post was in response to Sinclair’s thoughts about Portland’s offense.

    • 1. I doubt she knew Sinclair was behind her, or she wouldn’t have turned with the ball in her direction. Seemed like she was getting away from Heath and didn’t know she was heading toward trouble.

  • Gary Diver

    What 2 or 3 Chicago starters need to improve or be replaced for Chicago to reach their potential?

    • Bruce

      Amanda Da Costa, Sam Johnson, Alyssa Mautz – in that order.

  • #1Fan

    why do people think JJ is such a good defender? I have rarely seen her play well when under any real pressure at all. And her distribution when the USA is dominant is average at best.She looks the part, but ive b=never been convinced. A player like Averbuch is mothballed, but is a far superior technician and game reader than JJ .Clearly not the same physical specimen,but if you keep the ball,you dont have to chase it.

    • Guest

      She is good in the air, a good tackler and can cover a lot of ground for a CB. I agree that she is awful with the ball at her feet though. I think she’s clearly the worst NT defender in that respect. I also agree that her distribution is pedestrian as well. Her mistake that led to the goal, while good pressure is unacceptable.

      • #1Fan

        So she is ok without the ball as in a good athlete. But bad with it as in not a good soccer player ?

        • Guest

          I think Ellis should revisit the must start her idea if the US is serious about wanting to play out of the back. It’s clear to me that the ball slows down whenever she touches it not because she is setting tempo but because she can only move it so fast. Sonnett looks like she could develop into a top DM if she improves her movement and speed of play. Her marking on crosses and arial play could use improvement as a CB though. She might already be better than JJ overall and I like Engen too.

    • Ashley C

      JJ’s decision making – especially under pressure is definitely something she needs to work on. Especially when she decides she wants to keep possession so close to her own goal. Sometimes an outlet is there for the pass but she’s not always looking for it. Has to find some of Hummels’ style in her play.

      • #1Fan

        Out of interest why does she have the right to figure that out ON the NT ? Go play better in NWSL and earn a recall

      • Specifically on the give away that Sinc scored on last night, it was odd from JJ. Why did she want to keep possession there? Watching it, it looked like she spotted the outlet but then saw Heath (and not Sinc) so she kept it, and then wasn’t able to decide fast enough before giving it away. Kind of just a bone-headed play all around for her. Hopefully she learns from it.

        • David K Anderson

          That was my take (from row 5 just outside the 18, fwiw): she elected not to risk putting the ball at Heath’s feet, and tried to put it into a little bit of space and then clear it over touch. Only she didn’t realize where Sinc was and instead put it at _her_ feet.

          The only thing I think she can be faulted for is losing track of where Sinc was…and even top-tier players mess up. It was a really tricky, dangerous situation. And when you mess up in front of _other_ top-tier players, you usually get punished for it.

        • Observed

          It’s not good for defenders to face their own goal and not have a clue about the location of the attackers.

      • Gary Diver

        JJ’s decision making – especially under pressure is definitely something she needs to work on.

        How do you work on it? It should have been a serious wake-up call after she dodged a bullet at the WC15 SF game with Germany.

        • Steglitz49

          Can the leopard change her spots?
          Remember — “If someone tells you that the mountain has moved, believe him; but, if he tells you that a certain man has changed his character, don’t.”

          • Gary Diver

            I guess great soccer players have qualities that cannot be taught. Otherwise, (to paraphrase your shedding weight quote), everybody could become a great soccer player.

          • Steglitz49

            To be a great soccer player you must have at least these three: ball skills, acceleration and vision/awareness. Many players have the first two but that vision, awareness of what is going on around you and spotting and deciding on the best option is the rarest. I am not persuaded that it can be taught.

        • HOFCToDi

          Relentless training:

          topdrawersoccer.com/soccer-product-showcase-articles/the-secret-behind-ronaldos-ball-control_aid39329

    • Gary Diver

      I will go one step further. USWNT won WC15 to a large degree because of their back five. Good games in big tournaments tend to be low scoring matching where the best defense is a clear advantage. The level of recent play by both JJ and Sauerbrunn should be a topic of concern. Up until the Germany game, our CBs could do no wrong, but now there are serious questions mark about the quality of their play. Time will tell if it is just a bump in the road or a real pothole that needs fixing.

      • #1Fan

        I don’t think she was great in WC either. Watch Sauerbrunn play with Averbuch. She is still excellent. Never been convinced by JJ. Reminds me of Yedlin. His athleticism is great but his IQ is not. And technically he is way off the mark

        • Gary Diver

          I am also surprised by people who want to see JJ play in the midfield. I don’t think she has the speed, the touch, or the soccer IQ to play midfield. Honestly, JJ does not look comfortable with the ball and that is usually a bad sign.

      • Becky was much better in the last game. Hopefully, she continues to trend upward.

    • rkmid71

      My understanding is that most people don’t think she’s a great defender. But they don’t care because she’s really good on set pieces and helps us score. And we have Sauerbrunn to compensate or cover for her and Solo in a worst case scenario to make a save. And we get so few goals from the run of play against good competition and I don’t see that changing with the way our current personnel are utilized. Heck Johnston was somehow selected to the WWC All-Star team instead of Sauerbrunn. In SBC, England showed the way by high pressing throughout the game against the US. Tough to do for 90 minutes though. I’m still in shock what Argentina did to the USMNT (625 passes completed versus 191). Not really anyway to sugercoat that. Not having the ball just demoralized the US. I suspect that’s what happened to the U20 YNT women versus Japan in PNG.

      • #1Fan

        Great points. Arg showed the USA how big the gap really is. On the women’s side the gap is no there for many reasons. However the way the women play and the technical competence is very similar. One works because of the competition level. The other does not.

        • Gary Diver

          During after-game analysis of Euro 16 games, I’ve heard several soccer players, pundits, and even coaches stress that the modern game is really becoming a game of chess on a soccer field: one- and two-touch passing, combination passes, transition game, counter-attacks, and counter-counter-attacks. Players need to be able to think on their feet, have field vision, have field awareness, and coordinate actions with their teammates.

          Is WoSo onboard?

          • #1Fan

            No. Totally different games. Athleticism is a given in the men’s game. Technique and tactics make the difference. Women’s game athletes dominate because technique is not good enough.

          • Guest

            They also play on the same sized field while not being nearly as fast as top male players so there is no guarantee that there will ever be a time when athlete’s don’t dominate.

          • rkmid71

            Japan is maybe an exception? Or China? They seem to be able to compete with less (but enough) athleticism.

          • Steglitz49

            Japan’s Golden Generation had the full Monty and worked collectively like a team. Their tactics and those of Iceland’s men’s are in many ways similar.

            As for the lack of athleticism, Japan collected 4 yellow cards against Germany and a yellow and a red against the US in WC-11. Nevertheless, they were awarded the Fair Play trophy for WC-11!

          • rkmid71

            They fouled with a smile and respect for the referee?

          • Steglitz49

            The same referee in the OG-12 final did not return the compliment from the WC-11 final. With a more alert ref, the outcome probably would have been different.

          • Craigaroo

            But clearly Vero and Kim Little fit the category of speed chess players. They see two or three moves ahead in a wide variety of situations (“positions”, we’d say in chess) and it’s a big part of why they are such key players, game-changers. “Wizards”, in Paul Riley’s words.

          • Steglitz49

            Neither Spain nor Scotland WoSo have exactly covered themselves in glory. It is easy to be a star when you are surrounded by 8-10 other stars.

          • Craigaroo

            c’mon, Steg, I know you’re just having fun being contrary but Vero and Kim Little stand out head and shoulders in the NWSL.

          • Steglitz49

            I did not say they did not but Kim’s Seattle twice were bested by another team, KC. Fool me once, on you; fool me twice, on me.

            Now, who did/does Kim play with in Seattle? Jess, Pinoe and Naho. This season Pinoe has been out and Naho only just came back. Seattle is in 6th position with a 3-3-3 record.

            Scotland will qualify for Euro-17 but it can’t have been much fun to be taken to the cleaners by Iceland 0-4 at home in Scotland — and, in case you wonder, Lars Lagerbäck does not manage the Volcanic Ladies (at least not officially).

          • #1Fan

            Little is brilliant. Problem is that others are often three moved behind so she gets crowded out by athletes. She is pure class. In the convo for best female player

          • Steglitz49

            Japan of WC-11 had the full Monty. Age eventually overtook the Golden Generation.

          • Gary Diver

            Why can’t USWNT combine their traditional athletic fitness with cerebral technical play? Actually the French and Germans are coming to it from the other side. Not saying that Amandine Henry is a spy but she did say that one reason she is playing in the NWSL is that she wants to learn and take back to France the American style of the game.

          • Craigaroo

            wow, really, I haven’t been able to watch the Euros too much, but are they really going with the chess analogy?! I’ve been comparing the best technical players to speed chess players lately myself.

          • Guest

            I think the chess match comparison are more with regards to the different tactics by different nations.

          • Gary Diver

            The combination passes and counterattacks have been very impressive. There has been some great soccer played at Euro 16 and the Group of 16 games this weekend should be very entertaining and stressful for the fans.

          • F0OtballNowAndAlways

            Much of these analyses originate from people who couldn’t trap a mouse. If this is true, how come the usual suspects are still rising to the top of the soccer heap? How come, countries like Japan and China, renowned for their technical prowess and athleticism, have yet to crash the exclusive club where countries like Brasil, Germany, Italy and Argentina have held memberships for decades?

    • David K Anderson

      Prior to seeing her in person in league play, I’d have said Emily Sonnett should be behind JJ on the CB depth chart. Now I’m not so sure. Sonnett is, IMO, the better pure defender. JJ is more dangerous in the attack, but not by as much as I’d thought. Sonnett isn’t that kind of threat on set pieces, but she’s actually very good at playing the ball out of the back at her feet. She’s one of those players that can dribble at a good pace, and she’s dribbled clear into the opponent’s defensive third several times for the Thorns. Has the pace to get back if there’s a counter, too.

      I’d start her. I realize some of that’s the Thorns supporter talking, but I really do think she’s the better choice to pair with Broon. I don’t think that will happen, as there’s that “gotta pay your dues” thing in play…but I think that’s the better pairing.

      • #1Fan

        Sonnet is very good and will get better. Heart of a lion. Great leader. Good on the ball. Better than JJ already in my opinion. Probably thought of as a broon replacement. I don’t see set piece contribution as vital to the discussion. I want my defenders to be good on and off the ball first. If you can’t pass that test the the rest is irrelevant to me

        • Steglitz49

          You make her sound like Elizabeth I. Who is her Armada?

        • rkmid71

          I agree with you on set piece contribution not vital. But it’s apparent JE has other ideas. And given the attack has been so inconsistent and I think attacking personnel and midfield suboptimal, those set piece goals are even more important for the time being. As you say, in terms of wins/losses, it doesn’t matter most games. But we sure could be a lot better. BTW — I was happy that commentors in Arg-USA game made such a big deal of Mascherano and his importance … even though Messi gets most of the attention.

          • #1Fan

            In the men’s game a player who can break up attacks and set the tempo is vital to a great team. He is a top player. Vidal is similar with a bit more punch higher up. Their teams are in the finals. That position is not vital in the women’s game. It’s just not at that level.

          • Steglitz49

            It depends on how you look at it. Some would say that Nadine Kessler being unavailable for Germany in WC-15 was a bigger blow than Lira Alushi getting pregnant. Lena Goessling did play but the Nadine’s absense was obvious.

            France has Amandine Henry, except the previous NT coach did not play her, donkey as he was, while Sweden has had Caroline Seeger and Nilla Fischer, who are both getting long in their teeth.

            Japan had Aya Miyama, though she is best known for her set piece work.

        • Gary Diver

          I agree that Sonnett is seen as Sauerbrunn’s replacement.

          I don’t understand emphasis and importance people place on JJ’s set piece abilities. They are o.k,, but I don’t think they are great. The thing about JJ is that at times she is great on set pieces but only periodically. On the other hand, yesterday I was surprised by Amandine Henry’s abilities near the net.

      • I think the crux of the issue is that Ellis doesn’t seem to want more than one pure defender. She has Broon for that role, and she surrounds her with three attacking backs. I think she likes JJ for her set piece skills, so I don’t see another pure defender getting the starting spot over a defender who is also good on attack. .

        • David K Anderson

          That makers sense, particularly given how Ellis also seems to disdain the role of dedicated d-mid. I think Sonnett can build her case as a defender who also contributes to the attack, albeit in a different way (that is, not on set pieces, but in the run of play).

    • Deni Pike

      I don’t think Johnston has improved since playing with the #USWNT. As the quality in the #NWSL has gone up each year, relatively speaking, JJ appears to have become only average. She does not have the necessary speed to counter a good forward nor the Soccer IQ and composure to make quick decisions under pressure. She too often appears as though her head is not in the game.

      Conversely, Sonnet has improved immensely in the months from her time in the #NWSL and #USWNT training camps. She was very good in college, but that is a different level of play.

      Johnston has size over Sonnet, but if JJ doesn’t know how to use it effectively, it doesn’t matter.

      I’d start Sonnet in the next 2 warm up matches, and if she can consistently stand up and perform well against the pressure, put her in my 18 for Rio.

      • guest

        i noticed julie johnston has a weird running style. like she doesn’t fully extend her legs. maybe that slows her down too.

  • Vance

    Henry gifted Press a goal in the first half. Passed the ball right to her in front of goal. She whiffed it. You could not of asked for better look. To much time posing Nude? Mind some where else.

    • newsouth

      ha

    • Bee

      Her and Tobin were both off last night. No energy and slow decision making all the time. I wonder why.

      • newsouth

        .nude comment was funny. the parlor trick fc comments are starting to get disgusting.

        • Guest1

          Nothing disgusting about two good looking women dating.

          • newsouth

            show me dating. i see photos of heath at gay club with no press. where is the evidence other than them training at a soccer clinic in portland which did with ally riley and renae cuellar before also.

          • Guest1

            Is this good enough for you.. It’s in Portland. They’re on a date together alone.

          • Guest1

            How about this one another date

          • David K Anderson

            Yes, because appearing together in a photograph is “dating.” /rolleyes

            Just go away…this is a _soccer_ forum, not a “prurient wankfodder” forum.

          • Guest1

            If that the best defense you got David? You go to candle lit dinner alone with your friend. Your as dumb as New South. He wanted proof. I gave him it.

          • David K Anderson

            You wouldn’t recognize what constitutes actual “proof” if it bent you over a rail and made a man out of you. Get lost, anonymous troll.

          • Guest1

            Picture doesn’t lie David. You can spin how ever you want.
            Double date with Allie Long and her Husband

          • Bill

            He got you on that one David. This dude dropped wine date photo on you.

          • David K Anderson

            Yep, totally “got.” /rolleyes.

            Hey, far be it from me, I guess, to ruin some poor neckbeards wank fodder.

          • Steglitz49

            My mum told me that she and her sister once went without male company to a restaurant where they had been several times together with male friends. They were refused a table in spite of the staff recognizing them because there was a policy not to let women dine together without male company! They never went back.

          • Steglitz49

            They are all decently attired and in the public eye. Who is the spare wheel?

          • guest

            press wears a dress and tobin wears cut-up jeans out on a date together. lol. we need more of these date pics.

          • Steglitz49

            Please register yourself so we can follow your comments.

            Inuendo is cheap. Facts are sacred.

          • John

            HAHA you dress up and go to a dinner alone with wine glasses with your friend?

          • David K Anderson

            Yes, of course. Because I’m not a barbarian.

          • Steglitz49

            They were out on the pull checking out the local talent.

          • guest

            Yes. Do you not? That’s a pretty common thing for me to do with my friends…

          • Steglitz49

            Who cropped the picture? Philistine! Christen Annemarie has stairways to heaven legs. I guess they might have been in pumps, though.

          • Steglitz49

            Come on. They are checking out the local male talent. What we need to know is whether they pulled any and if they were hunks or nerds in specs.

          • donjerue

            I think YOU, and your Hand, are the one who are alone!

    • Guest

      Not Henry’s fault Menges needs to clear that ball in the box. Press needs to at least get that on frame though.

    • guest

      i noticed christen press’s goal scoring slowed down right around the same time she started dating tobin heath. maybe it is just a coincidence.

  • brdn08

    Julie Johnston is a strange defender. She is amazing going forward but whenever she turns toward her own goal, she turns into Rachel Buehler circa 2011 and 2012, I mean abysmal. The first touch has to be a clearance in the play that led to Sinclair’s goal. IMO Gilliland was absolutely abused by Heath, Horan, and Klingenberg repeatedly and Dames never moved to get her any help.

    Betos was great in goal and I think she clearly should be the starter. The back line looks so much more composed when she’s between the posts. Raso brief appearance was wasted by bad finishing. She unselfishly left two sitters that weren’t finished by Dagny and by Weber.

    It’s great to see a team gel and begin to play for one another because hat produces the best soccer. It happened all over the pitch last night for Portland. They defended in pairs and groups made extra runs for each other and when someone was caught out of place everyone was hustling back to defense. Dagny was making tackles on the end line. The hallmark of really great teams is defense and Portland’s effort should be lauded.

    Lastly, can we talk about these Thorns fans. To in effect turn out 17,000 on a Wednesday night for a domestic regular season game is an amazing feat. There is a amazing thing happening in woso in the city of Portland. The league should defer to Merrittt to help find ways to grow the game in other NWSL cities.

  • FawcettFan14

    Klingenberg went shopping at the Christine Nairn store of black-out cleats. I like it.

    • Steglitz49

      Thank you. To save everyone going to the link, here they are by Position:

      GOALKEEPERS (3): Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)

      DEFENDERS (9): Whitney Engen (Boston Breakers), Jaelene Hinkle (Western New York Flash), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (Portland Thorns FC), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Gina Lewandowski (FC Bayern Munich), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC)

      MIDFIELDERS (8): Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC), Samantha Mewis (Western New York Flash), Heather O’Reilly (FC Kansas City)

      FORWARDS (4): Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Mallory Pugh (Real Colorado)

      In short, no surprises — sad to say.

      • So HAO will miss out in favor of Rapinoe for the final roster. Otherwise, I think we can all predict who is going.

        • Steglitz49

          I am not persuaded that HAO deserves to go but the real risk, as I typed elsewhere, is that it is a LBGTQ thing.

          • No – it’s a veteran thing favoring Pinoe. But if both are 100%, I’d take Pinoe over HAO any day. Health is the key factor here. Will be interesting to see how Pinoe is evaluated.

          • Steglitz49

            Crystal Dunn never got this sort of consideration a year ago. That tells you more than we need to know.

          • What, that there’s some sort of queer conspiracy?
            Please.

            Dunn improved with league play, but she’s still the 4th best forward on the team. I’m kind of tired of the notion that somehow her spot was stolen from her.

            Just because she can play 3 positions on the field, doesn’t mean she is better than any other forward, mid, or defender on the field.

            And I think Pinoe has shown that she’s a bit better than HAO at the skills she bring to the table. Mainly, crosses from out wide, and creativity when the U.S. in in a tight spot. She isn’t over-the-hill yet, and she deserves a shot at the Olympics.

    • Gary Diver

      Rose Lavelle and Adrianna Franchwere dropped from Japanese camp while Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe added. Surprised that Lavelle wasn’t called up just for the camp experience and for team scrimmages.

      The South Africa game may get a big bump from interest in “what Megan can do”. But honestly, U23 players would look good against 54th ranked South Africa. I sense Ellis is afraid to let Rapinoe play an actual NWSL game against real competition.

      • Steglitz49

        When tiny Iceland can dismiss Holland from qualifying for Euro-16 by beating them twice and then in Euro-16 go on to tie with CR7’s Portugal and Hungary and then put Austria with Alaba to the sword, maybe anything can happen in this match. I doubt it.

        The WoSo club that signs Lars Lagerbäck have their heads screwed on.

        • Gary Diver

          Three cheers for Iceland!!! No matter what happens next, Iceland’s performance at Euro 16 is one for the ages.

          Now on to England and to quote you “maybe anything can happen in this match. I doubt it.”

          • Steglitz49

            In the post-match interview Lagerbäck admitted that no team he has coached has lost to England. Then he added in a wry way, that there is always a first time.

          • Gary Diver

            It is hard to bet agains England in this match, but . . .

            IF England loses in the Group of 16 against Iceland a lot of people will be led to the Tower of London and heads will fall.

  • Gary Diver

    I am surprised that there has been little discussion of the game attendance.

    • Constant Weeder

      16,931 on a Wednesday evening – what is there to discuss? One thing that struck me about the crowd was that it included a full range of ages and colors, and (I feel safe in assuming) as many genders as you care to define.

      • Gary Diver

        Was it the top attendance for the season? It seems even Portland is doing better with its attendance than 2015.

        • David K Anderson

          We’re up about 1500 per game on average over last year, I believe.

          • Steglitz49

            Brilliant.

            Unfortunately for Amandine, it means it will be hard to show an Amandine effect. (Is Amandine French for almond, as in Amoretto?)

        • Constant Weeder

          The Thorns’ top attendance for the season was 18,114 for the game vs. Seattle, which was on a Sunday afternoon (May 29). It will be interesting to see what happens to attendance for the three games without the Olympians in July and the three in September, after the long break.

          • donjerue

            The Seattle game was w/o the WNT players AND Internationals. They will do just fine attendance wise, because PDX Cares!

        • Rdalford

          Portland attendance 16735 (from box score on NWSL site)

          Portland 2016 YTD (16073, 15823, 18114, 16931)
          2016 YTD total=16735 YTD avg=16735

          Portland 2015 first 4 games (13386, 13148, 14236, 14409)
          Portland 2015 season total=156386 2015 season avg=15638

          • Rdalford

            Typo (apologies)
            2016 YTD total=66941 YTD avg=16735

          • Steglitz49

            The median is about 16,500 which is in good agreement with the mean.

            Amandine might raise these numbers though she will be in Rio too, one assumes.

          • Gary Diver

            It is good that Amandine is getting some good press. No sense hiding your light under a bushel.

  • Gary Diver

    “U.S. Soccer says that ‘Rapinoe is in camp for training and evaluation and will not play in the match” on July 9. Rapinoe has joined the U.S. in camps throughout the spring in a non-playing capacity.'”

    What! Does this mean Ellis will put Rapinoe on OG16 roster without see her in game action? Rapinoe has not played competitively in nearly 7 months. This is not what Ellis told the public a while back. This does not pass the smell test.

    • rkmid71

      She’s also not playing NWSL before. It will be like Boxx … only behind the scenes in camp. It obviously doesn’t matter what she said 7 months ago. She’s free to change her mind and I suspect she will. Rapinoe is not certainly as egregious an example of veteran entitlement as Boxx was for WWC. She will pull out all the chits to make the roster. And I do think Rapinoe can contribute more than Boxx at WWC (which was nothing other than coaching Morgan Brian as DM) even at way less than 100%. In fact, if all she can do is take amazing corner kicks, that might be good enough. I do think it’s ridiculous though.

      • Gary Diver

        Good points. Though OG16 situation is much different than WC15. With WC15, Ellis could carry dead wood and nobody would know. With the restricted OG16 roster, everybody has to do their share of rowing. Due to climate conditions, tight scheduling, and long flights, Ellis will need to maximize her use of roster subs so the starters will be as rested as possible going into the knock-out phase. If Rapinoe is not match fit and cannot play 90 minutes, then the team is worse off having her on it. Ellis needs subs who can actually play at the forward and midfield positions and should not carry dead wood.

        • rkmid71

          I’ve yet to see much example of “Ellis maximizing her use of roster subs”. Not to say that isn’t the right thing to do.I suspect she will give some players a rest if they take care of business in games 1 and 2. Rapinoe doesn’t have a chance of going 90…perhaps later in the knockout rounds she will play more assuming she’s done well earlier. They could do what they did with Morgan in WWC …. come in as sub in early games and start in later games assuming she’s doing well. In general though I worry about the midfield in this tournament. We don’t have the healthy foursome that did so well in WWC of Brian, Holiday, Heath, Rapinoe. Holiday obviously retired. Heath the only in form midfielder from that group.

      • HOFCToDi

        Megan Rapinoe is not 38 years old, so much for the Shannon Boxx comparison.

        • rkmid71

          I wasn’t comparing ages. The comparison was fitness will be determined “behind the scene in camps” and as an example of veteran entitlement (though not as bad an example as Boxx). Otherwise, I said Rapinoe is not to be compared and Rapinoe can probably contribute more. Did you not read it that way?

          • HOFCToDi

            A camp invitation is a not a guarantee of a roster spot.

            Megan Rapinoe was on the shortlist for 2015 FIFA Women’s Player of the Year while Shannon Boxx only started five matches for the Chicago Red Stars during the 2013 NWSL Season and 2014 NWSL Season.

            fifa.com/ballon-dor/news/y=2015/m=10/news=women-s-football-shortlists-for-fifa-ballon-d-or-2015-revealed-2719030.html

            ussoccer.app.box.com/v/2013-nwsl-final-stats

            ussoccer.app.box.com/v/2014-nwsl-final-stats

          • Gary Diver

            Point about Rapinoe not being Boxx is well taken.

            Just wished Ellis called up a couple true winger for her January camp. Keep in mind that when she called her January camp, nobody was predicting Mallory Pugh was going to make OG16 roster, let alone be a starter. Also, keep in mind that she has no intention of playing HAO. So not counting HAO, Pugh, or Rapinoe (as a question mark), who was Ellis going to play as winger? Tobin Heath and . . . a forward – either Press or Dunn.

            Does Jill Ellis believe a true winger is an unicorn?

          • HOFCToDi

            January camp?

            Stephanie McCaffrey did not work out and was not named to the 2016 SheBelieves Cup roster.

          • Gary Diver

            True, but isn’t Stephanie McCaffrey another forward-converted-to-winger? And this leads to the question of why Stephanie McCaffrey was even called up. She has her supporters but few people can locate any greatest in her.

            If I needed a true winger, I would called up at least two true winger for the January camp. But it isn’t clear if Ellis values true wingers.

          • HOFCToDi

            HAO it is!

            It’s obvious the USWNT coaching staff does not believe Ashley Sanchez is ready for the senior level.

          • Steglitz49

            Ashley Sanchez would be a stretch but it would be selection you should not be criticized for.

          • Gary Diver

            I am a big supporter of Sanchez but it was not realistic for her to make the OG16 roster. She had no senior level experience and it makes no sense to put a 17-year old in such a pressure cooker as playing in the Olympics. Pugh is one year older and has had a lot more U20 experience. She was on the 2014 U20 WC roster. So I am not sure what the point was of calling up Sachez for the Colombia games other than to give her UNSWNT experience (as Pugh was given one year earlier) and to give feedback on what needs to be worked on.

          • Steglitz49

            Agreed. The USWNT need not take such a risk with a player. I am against those aged <18 playing senior NT football.

          • Gary Diver

            Good, Mallory makes it by a few months:)

          • HOFCToDi

            Swedish association football

            R.I.P.

            Good riddance

            Time for you to hit the bottle …… hard.

          • mockmook

            She values them only if they are named Heath or Rapinoe.

          • guest

            I haven’t really been impressed with any of the NWSL wingers outside of Heath and Dunn but I guess the concern is why others haven’t even been brought into camp when Ellis shows no inclination of playing O’Reilly with Rapinoe injured. I guess she is happy with Pugh, Heath, Press and Dunn on the wings.

          • Steglitz49

            Remember, to catch your unicorn you need a virgin.

            Have you seen the Unicorn tapestries? I have had the good fortune to see both those in Paris as well as those at the Cloisters, and I have a tie based on part of the tapestries. It has the blue background of those in the Cloisters but I bought in Paris!.

          • Gary Diver

            I have not seen the Unicorn Tapestries in the Cloisters. Last spring while in New York City, we had to chose between the Cloisters and Greenwich Village and the Cloisters lost. But it is high on our list for our next NYC visit.

            I have seen the Lady and the Unicorn at the The Musée national du Moyen Âge in Paris. Is that the Paris tapestry you were referring to? About ten years ago, my wife was doing early modern history research at the Bibliotheque National in Paris and we visited the Museum of the Middle Ages. Great museum though it makes you feel like you’re in a time warp.

          • Steglitz49

            The so-called Cluny Museum. The tapestries are to die for.

            If you are into medieval art not only go to the Cloisters but also the Morgan Library when next in NYC. The Cloisters also have that ivory cross made of whale ivory.

          • Gary Diver

            Thanks. I will put the Morgan Library on our next-to-see NYC list.

          • Steglitz49

            The Morgan Library and the Frick museum are small museums that can easily be handled. They are within an easy walk of each other or just take a cab. Last time I was at the Morgan, they had an excellent lunch cafeteria.

          • Gary Diver

            I have been at the Frick Museum and I agree is it a great small museum. Only thing it lacks is a cafe.

          • Steglitz49

            I agree. They never have had a cafe. Maybe no suitable space?

          • rkmid71

            Obviously, no guarantee. But I wouldn’t be surprised. In Rapinoe’s own words: “it usually takes at least 12 months to regain all the strength, agility and explosion”. After she tore her left knee ACL in 2006, she immediately re-tore her left knee ACL again in 2007…saying she rushed her rehab. The current injury is her right knee and it’s been 8 months? BTW — in a video with Rapinoe discussing injury history, it’s stated that the risk of an ACL tear to opposing knee is 2x the reconstructed knee. She may not be 38, but certainly she’s an old 31 with that injury history. It’s hard for me to believe at 31 yrs of age that her recovery is faster than when she was 18-19 yrs old. But I guess that’s what alternates are for if she’s selected and re-injures or turns out she really can’t play on it.

          • HOFCToDi

            Count your blessings, grandma was not invited back.

          • Gary Diver

            Good point. A half-filled glass looks more appealing than a half-empty glass. Let’s celebrate the half-filled glass.

          • Steglitz49

            This is not about recovery. This is about JE making sure she can’t be criticized whichever way she decides including the outcome in Rio. JE is armorplating her backside.

          • HOFCToDi

            You complain about veteran entitlement, look no further:

            Heather O’Reilly
            Minutes Played
            2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup – 9
            2016 CWOQ – 0
            2016 SheBelieves Cup – 0

            CWOQ – CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying

      • mockmook

        She didn’t change her mind, she lied.

      • It’s not comparable to Boxx. Boxx hadn’t played in two years. Pinoe is 6 months out. Even if she’s only on the team to be used as a sub for the last 10-20 minutes of a game, or to come in to create some magic and send in good crosses / corner kicks if the U.S. is trailing, I think her skills (even not at 100%) are worth having.

    • #1Fan

      You seem surprised. I’m not.

      • Gary Diver

        Not so much surprised as disappointed. Ellis publicly laid out her selection process and now it appears that it was just a smoke screen for making decisions behind closed doors. Why say one thing and then do something else?

  • Gary Diver

    Steph Curry Lesson

    Steph Curry has diagnosed with a Grade 1 MCL sprain the same weekend as Carli Lloyd. While Curry came back after a few weeks, Lloyd has not played in near 9 weeks.

    With the Olympics only 6 weeks ago, Ellis apparently feels she doesn’t need to see Megan Rapinoe actually play competitive ball to put her on the OG16 roster.

    The issue is partly fairness in the selection process, but mainly whether Rapinoe is match ready. Being able to play and being able to be 95% match ready are completely different states. Curry came back, but his play after his sprain was never the same as it was before the strain. “Putting” Rapinoe on the OG16 roster we are essentially getting “unseen goods” and at the Olympics level of competition, ones reputation is not qualification for making the roster.

    • Gary Diver

      At most, Rapinoe will have played in 1 game in over 8 months going into the Olympics. Not a great basis to make an honest evaluation of her play.

      • Reality

        And what about Lloyd’s readiness, fitness and form? She has not played in 2 months since April 23rd and will only have at most 2 games to reach an OG level. And then there is the problem of how Ellis will use her and who she will displace in the lineup?

        • Gary Diver

          If the goal is to make the best possible team out of the players you have to work with, it is hard to understand Jill Ellis’ method. In general I am not a big critic of her, but it is difficult to figure out how she sees the pieces coming together.

          • #1Fan

            How often do you have to see examples of how pre determined a lot of this is before you realize it ? Pugh Sanchez are similar decisions that you support. Pre ordained. Pugh has grabbed her shot and good luck to her, but it’s the same thought process

          • Guest

            I haven’t seen Sanchez play much but I think Pugh is objectively already a better player than Lloyd at least in regards to soccer skills. She may not be a player who can dominate a game yet but she’s been good against top competition.

          • Gary Diver

            I’ll admit that you’ve partly got me here.

            I still support Pugh as having taking an opportunity with both hands. (You may not agree that she deserved that opportunity, but that is a different issue.) Pugh may not be best used as a winger, but other than Tobin Heath, Pugh may be the best winger on the team. As I mentioned elsewhere the modern game of soccer is becoming very cerebral dealing with combination passes, counter-attacks, and high soccer IQ. Pugh will be able to play this kind of game and help USWNT push it forward. Down the road, I feel Sanchez will also be able to play this more possessive and quick transition game. (Obviously, the “tapped” Sanchez still has to prove herself later in the year.)

            The Rapinoe decision appears to have been made before Ellis told the world she needed to see Rapinoe play in at least two games. I shade dishonest for my taste. Also, if Rapinoe is not match ready, this decision will make Ellis look like an idiot.

        • Anon

          Oh what a shocker that the uswnt involves politics and past performance, like every other for profit organization in the USA

          • Reality

            No news to me…I’ve been saying that here on EQ for the past 3 years.

          • mockmook

            Right, like there isn’t “politics” and “corruption” in non-profits. Don’t be dumb.

            Also, isn’t the USSF a non-profit?

          • guest

            the uswnt is not a for-profit organization. the uswnt is supposed to be a national team made up of the best available players in the country. call me crazy, but isn’t current performance supposed to factor into the uswnt roster selection? as in actually playing in a game in the last nine months?

          • anonymous

            oh please. like 90% of non profits aren’t for profits with a different legal definition. profits make the world (USA) go ’round. Unless you are part of the government bubble, of course.

            Why take on a new player, when you can eat your sunk costs and call up vets again?

          • anon

            of course. advertisers and vets feed into each other. no one knows who sam mewis is. we know who carli lloyd is… hell, she’s on oreo displays in supermarkets. everyone wants to see that chick who won the world cup. it’s how you fill seats, which is how you stay in business. no one is going to give charity dollars to womens soccer. its not breast cancer.

          • guest

            maybe for equality and equal opportunity? that is assuming the uswnt truely believes in it. #equalpayforequalplay.

  • Ron Rocha

    Portland beat Chicago soundly and that’s the Allie and Casey of it… see what I did there?

  • Gary Diver

    THE SOCCER GOAL HEARD AROUND THE WORLD (and the great goal call of all time)

    In US sports history there is the 1980 Miracle on Ice and in soccer history there is the 2016 Miracle called Iceland. A country with only 330,000 people (less than more than 50 US cities), Iceland after beating Australia with a goal on last kick of the game and advances to the Group of 16 to play England on Saturday. Nearly 10% of Iceland’s population is now in France supporting their team.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jMMLtsx63k (including commentary by Julie Foudy)

    https://www.thestar.com/sports/soccer/2016/06/23/announcer-goes-wild-as-iceland-beats-austria-at-euro-2016.html

    If you haven’t seen this, you’ve GOT TO SEE IT. Unbelievable! The Icelandic announcer is Guðmundur Benediktsson and calls himself Gummi Ben.

    http://icelandmonitor.mbl.is/news/news/2016/06/23/video_hear_the_icelandic_commentator_go_bananas_ove/

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7t0FdKYhKpA

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIvsIV956S8

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/row-zed/iceland-commentator-wears-heart-rate-8267286

  • Maryrdaly2
  • The Thorns have finally seemed to figure out a away for their embarrassment of riches to work for them. Henry is an excellent addition.

    They need as many 3s as they can get, ’cause once all the NTers leave, they’re going to be S.O.L.

    • Totally. Henry may have been the missing piece to make the big players play up to their potential. It was easy to tell her positive impact on the game already.

    • David K Anderson

      Yeah, the call-ups (particularly given their “f*ck you, NWSL” timing) are going to be brutal on us. Not as bad had the USSF honored the damn FIFA window, but of course they can’t be bothered to do what every other federation does…dammit, they’re ‘Muricans! They’re entitled!!

      We’ll have multiple amateurs called in just to field a team for most of next month. Hoping to stay above the red line…

  • Paul Atkinson

    Watching this Thorns team with its first-choice starting XI playing for the first time, one thing kept playing in my head:

    “Now witness the firepower of this fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL battle station!”

    • BigBadBossMan

      Ironic given the supposed reasoning of Henry coming to NWSL: “Parity”, “Competitive matches every week”. Yeah well not for long if we keep sending all the good players to the same team

  • donjerue

    Great article on why Portland is so successful in terms of attendance for the Thorns. NWSL would be wise to take notes
    http://www.oregonlive.com/portland-thorns/2016/06/portland_thorns_fan_support_st.html

  • Lorehead
    • Guest

      I wondered why Johnson didn’t really have a defined time table so this news makes a lot of sense. Brain injuries are very serious though so even though I hope she comes back, I hope she takes care of herself first. Sydney Crosby had a consussion that kept him out for 10 over a whole year.

    • Gary Diver

      A major problem is that there is a conflict of interest with coaches and management to keep marque players on the field no matter what happened. And of course NFL and NHL hire lawyers to shame the concussion research.

      When watching the WC15 SF game I was concerned about Morgan Brian’s and Alexandra Popp’s health after their bloody midair collision. Silvia Neid later just dismissed it by saying the German team has a good medical staff and Jill Ellis said she couldn’t respond to the question of whether she would support one adding additional substitution for injuries. The coaches in both cases seem to be in denial that there was even a problem to deal with.