Dorrance: Domination no assurance of victory

Tim Nash August 14, 2016 494
Statistical advantages in possession and shots was not enough to see the United States past Sweden. (Photo Copyright Erica McCaulley for The Equalizer)

Statistical advantages in possession and shots was not enough to see the United States past Sweden. (Photo Copyright Erica McCaulley for The Equalizer)

Statistics can be used in the same way a drunk uses a light pole – for support instead of illumination. However, when reviewing the USA’s shocking quarterfinal loss to Sweden in penalties, statistics from the game do both.

Not only do the stats support the idea that the U.S. was the dominant team, but they also shine a light on what Anson Dorrance describes as “this bizarre game we all love.”

In the days leading up the U.S.-Sweden match, Dorrance, the head coach of the 21-time NCAA champion University of North Carolina, believed the U.S. would dominate Sweden.

“Trust me, there are 1,000 ways you lose a soccer game,” Dorrance told the Equalizer last week. “And as I mention every time I make a prediction, anything can happen in a soccer game, but here’s what I know –I know we will dominate Sweden, and usually if you dominate, you win.”

{LAULETTA: Five reasons the Olympics are over for USWNT}

Dominate is one of the most over-used and incorrectly used words in sports. For example, the U.S. Under-15 national team recently outshot Trinidad and Tobago 36-0 and won 22-0. That, on the most definitive end of the scale, qualifies as a dominant performance. Domination, however, can also be relative to the tournament, and in the Olympics, the USA’s performance against Sweden seems to qualify.

Let’s look at the stats for support. The USA outshot Sweden 27-6 (6-2 on goal). The corners were 12-3 in the USA’s favor. Sweden goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl made five saves, while Hope Solo made one. The Americans had possession of the ball for 64 percent of the 120 minutes.

“This game we are involved in is so difficult to win,” says Dorrance. “Dominating doesn’t deliver a victory, and there’s no better example than our game with Sweden because we were certainly the dominant team.”

The lopsided statistics also add illumination to Sweden’s game plan. Knowing it is far easier to destroy than create, especially when faced with a superior opponent, coach Pia Sundhage used her knowledge of the U.S. style and system to create a patient, destructive, counter-attacking plan her players executed well.

“A soccer game is really bizarre,” Dorrance says. “I think you can predict who is going to dominate before the game begins. The interesting thing about our game is domination doesn’t deliver victory. You can outshoot a team 40-1 and lose on that one shot. We have all been involved in games like that.

{CURREN: Things learned from USWNT loss to Sweden}

“There are strategies now to beat dominant teams, and I felt Sweden played theirs well — the bunker and counter and counter-pressing. I thought they did a really good job and made it very difficult for us to play. Not that the goal was a fluke. It was a well-executed counter-attack. But we sat on them, and why did we sit on them? It was because we are a better team. But the better team was not delivered a victory.

“If we take the goals out of it and talk about it, the U.S. clearly deserved to win. To some extent, Sweden dodged a lot of bullets and the U.S. didn’t dodge any.”

Something Missing

It may have been the disjointed flow of the game, which Sweden interrupted with 15 fouls (to the USA’s four), or the way the Swedish bunker took space away in the USA’s attacking third, or maybe it had to do with travel after the Colombia game in Manaus. Or it might just have been one of those things involved in the frustratingly weird game of soccer.

“I can’t put my finger on it, but for some reason we just didn’t play dynamically,” says Dorrance. “We looked sluggish. We just didn’t look ourselves.”

Whether the USA didn’t bring in, or Sweden took it away has and will be debated for a long time. But one of the strengths of the U.S. team was missing

“I think one of the best qualities that we possess is how quickly we can play and how quickly we can move,” says Dorrance.“I think that seemed to be missing some of the time against Sweden.

{MORE: Solo calls Sweden cowards for defensice game plan; Pia unfazed}

“There are three people who I thought played dynamically. Dunn did when she came in. The game changed when she came in. Obviously, Pugh did, and I thought Christen Press, who came in late, did. But I don’t think we played the game at a sprint, and I think that hurt us.”

160807 Glory book 620x300

Watching the game unfold, through the frustrating 90 minutes, into the odd extra time, and watching each team have what appeared to be legitimate goals disallowed, Dorrance had a bad feeling as the shootout began.

“The thing that always scares me about PKs is that usually the team that dominates the game loses in penalty kicks,” he says. “But the mitigating factor, the reason I thought we had a chance to win, is there is a cliché that the better goalkeeper will win. And I thought we had the superior goalkeeper. But Sweden were very good at penalties.”

There is a lot of time now. The 2019 World Cup seems like a long, long way off because it is. There is plenty of time to debate what went wrong – player selection, mentality, tactics, game plans, the list is as long as the time available to discuss it. But the bottom line for now, is that the U.S. lost.

The time to use the light pole for support is past. The U.S. coaches will turn their attention to illumination, and part of that is to understand that sometimes the reason is that soccer is a strange game.

“We came up against a good team and got knocked out,” says Dorrance. “I don’t think that’s indicative of Sweden’s strength as a team. For example, I don’t think they are going to advance to the medal round, and I think we could have.

“But that’s the nature of a tournament where you don’t play the best of seven. Obviously if we played Sweden seven times, we would beat them five or six times and probably tie once.I don’t think we have anything to complain about other than the nature of the game. Sometimes there is absolutely no justice in our game. I thought this was an example of it.”

  • Altius

    “There are three people who I thought played dynamically. Dunn did when she came in. The game changed when she came in. Obviously, Pugh did, and I thought Christen Press, who came in late, did. But I don’t think we played the game at a sprint, and I think that hurt us.”

    AGREE.

    Now if we could just get a midfielder or two to thread passes up to those dynamic players who find space between the lines…

    • Frode

      This is why I think that in addition to Pugh and Dunn, Press will be an important part of this team moving forward. She is a dynamic player who opens up spaces, recognizes spaces and can keep possession. Plus she can shoot like all get-out and is a decent defender. She’s unlikely to be that go-to clutch player, but you only need a couple of those on the field. The rest should be like Press, Dunn and Pugh.

      • Steglitz49

        Stop inhaling. Christen’s days on the NT are numbered if not already over.

        • Altius

          No.

        • Frode

          I don’t think it will play out like that, unless Press chooses to exit. Time will tell.

          • Steglitz49

            JE is already under pressure for the Rapinoe debacle. At least Rapinoe by fouling Asllani started the movement that led to the 1-1 equalizer.

            JE as head coach must take the blame for putting Christen in the #5 slot. She will let Christen down gently but when the allocations next come up, she will be gone.

          • Frode

            Does Ellis look like a coach who is about to release Press? Ellis rewarded Press’s play in 2016 with a roster spot and playing time when it mattered. And by many expert accounts, Press did well in the OGs. Does that sound like a coach who is about to dump a player? No. It’s the missed PK that has you thinking Press will be dumped. For a coach to dump a player because of a single missed PK is unprecedented at this level. To believe that Ellis will dump Press for other reasons is simply ignoring the facts.

          • Altius

            It’s a bizarre and disturbing delusion.

            It will persist no matter the reality.

          • Steglitz49

            Christen missed the goal in open play too. The goal went above the bar. She also had a shot blocked but that was not her fault obviously.

          • Frode

            Are you serious? How many shots did others miss? I guess Ellis will have to dump every attacking player, Lloyd included. Oh yeah, du er troll…

          • Steglitz49

            Lloyd will be gone. Don’t worry. Be happy.

          • CED

            LOL..Your delusion is noted.

          • Silver Frost

            I have to agree. How many games have we seen over the years in which a player has only one shot, goes for the corner and makes it, and wins the game? I saw Hope Solo, greatest GK ever, let in two FKs in the Columbia game, as though she was not even on the pitch. Great goals do happen.

        • Lodovico Settembrini

          Why do you hate Press like you seem to do?

          As someone outside of the US I can state that I like her a lot as player and as person.

          She may lack the typical uber-ego. That may from time to time hinder her. I do hope and do think that she still will have some excellent years in front of her. With the club and with the NT.

          She may need to get a coach who gives her enough confidence. Players are different. A good coach is able to get the best out of them – especially if you have different characters in your team

          And if you don’t like her overthere – She is very welcomened in Europe..(I know that you Steg are from Sweden and you may live in England – so this i too all Press haters in the US)

          • TrollWatch

            He hates Press only because she dropped her shorts for the camera, nothing more than that. Before that, she was affectionately known as Christen Annemarie, but no longer. Now she’s the girl who walked out on Goteburg.

          • David K Anderson

            Precisely. He’s got these cringeworthy, Victorian-era notions about women in general, and posts a lot of creepy speculation about their private lives. Not 4chan-esque “hurr durr Press and Heath are teh lez-beans!!” crap…but still creepy.

      • Altius

        Agree. For a natural striker usually being played out of position, she offers more than goals. That slotted pass to Morgan in the box only moments after she came on was one of the best created chances of the game until that point. She isn’t the most clutch player, but we need a hell of a lot more than clutch players. We need dynamic and creative ones with high technical skills that can play both sides of the ball and link up well with teammates. Obviously, she offers this.

        • Steglitz49

          Christen is 28 and will be 31 by the time WC-19 rolls along. Golden oldies are all very well if the have a golden past in them.

          Seger is 31, Fischer and Schelin 32, while Dahlkvist and Sembrandt are 29, Jakobsson is 26, and the others apart from Lindahl are younger, I think.

          A new team must emerge.

          • Altius

            No.

          • CED

            Press is 27, she will be 30 by Wcup 2019. I made post long ago on the number over 30 by next wcup players excluding goalies.

            Lloyd 34 almost 35 July Bday
            Krieger 34..almost 35 July Bday
            Oreilly 34

            Sauerbrunn 33 turn 34 during tourney
            Rapinoe 33 almost 34 July Bday
            Arod 31
            Long 31

            Engen 31
            Heath 31
            Kling 30

            Ohara 30

          • newsouth

            with age press can only get better. speed isn’t her forte like alex and sydney. the issue as always with this NT is, they don’t know how to use her in space centrally. too bad she couldn’t play for brazil or france.

      • NYRick

        I look at this way for Press. It can’t get any lower for her as a player on this NT than it is this weekend. That is not to put the sole blame on her, but let’s face it, that PK will be the FIRST thing ever mentioned regarding her entire NT career. It’s a Bill Buckner moment for her. And if people look up Buckner’s career he was a multi-time All-Star, a near career .300 hitter with over 2,000 career hits. But no one thinks of him that way. They just see that ball go through his legs and become the face of athletic humiliation on the biggest stage. Now it isn’t Buckner bad for Christen of course, but in NT and WoSo terms it kind of is. I say this obviously as a fan of hers as you all know.

        Now I don’t know where she goes from here with this team. Maybe she does stay on till 2019 WC has a nice couple of years and becomes a decent contributor. It may be a silver lining to for her if she chose to continue because she now has to realize, “it can’t ever get any worse for me.” The monkey is off my back in a reverse way.

        Or…she seems to have other career options in the works and it may be time to move on. She may be crushed mentally from it. Only she knows for sure. I’m sure she’ll continue to give it a go now till next year and see how it progresses. I don’t personally see her playing that much longer if at all on this NT.

        • Steglitz49

          I put it to you that it is curtains for her. She can also forget about a media career.

          This exit was earlier than the 4-0 drubbing by Brazil in 2007 and she is 28 not 20.

          • NYRick

            Sometimes, have to admit, I think you may be seriously demented. Explain why she can forget about a media career? Seriously? I know there is the thing that you don’t like her for the old Swedish club thing, but come on, time to move on and give her a break. If she choses media or whatever, I think she’ll do just fine.

            And if she choses to continue on the NT, it may look kind of bad for the team/coach to even drop (talent wise, she doesn’t deserve that) her because that is singling her out as the scapegoat. And she did not lose this match or get them eliminated solely. It was a collective mediocre effort by the team, not the 99th minute sub.

          • Steglitz49

            She can’t chose to continue on the NT as you type. The head coach decides that. Christen can ask not to be selected iow chose to discontinue.

          • Frode

            Du er troll

          • Steglitz49

            How droll.

        • Frode

          If Press continues to play well, I don’t think even us WoSo fanatics will think of it that often; others will probably forget it. I witnessed live the PK misses by Boxx, Lloyd and Heath in 2011 and although I was devastated at the time, I honestly hadn’t given it a thought until after Friday’s shootout. Heath, an ego-less player who hadn’t yet emerged as a dominant force on the team, did just fine after her miss in 2011. Maybe Heath is helping Press get through this. I actually hope Morgan is too. If Lloyd is the captain she says she is, she will have already reached out to both Morgan and Press, perhaps in private. I’m hoping Lloyd is that person.

          • Steglitz49

            Tobin Heath was 23 at the time, not 28 as Christen is. Tobin was part of winning OG-gold in 2008.

            Boxx and Lloyd got a free pass to the WC but Christen also picked up a WC winners medal in 2015, so they are even stevens.

            Time is not on Christen’s side.

          • NYRick

            Yes you’re right. The average US sports fan will forget it. It didn’t happen in a Super Bowl or WS. I’ll remember it for sure and I know you will. I strangely said before the Sweden game, Press needs one big moment (even if she gets only 10 minutes in the match). She has to find that moment. The PK miss wasn’t what I had in mind, but maybe it springboards her. She is the achieving type, so who knows.

          • NYRick

            Lloyd is probably pissed at both Morgan and Press. Her legacy was at stake at this OG for best player ever.

          • mockmook

            Lloyd as the consoling type strikes me as funny for some reason…

        • Silver Frost

          “I don’t personally see her playing that much longer if at all on this NT.” Yes, please. I can’t bear another vital game in which I see Press trot up to take a PK.

      • Reality

        Press is still a valuable member of the NT. She has unique skills that would fit in very well with players like Morgan, Dunn and Pugh. Ellis has mismanaged her from the jump and her confidence has suffered as a result. This loss against Sweden is no more her fault than the tie against them in the WC. Both were team losses. Press just needs to put her head down and get back in her groove. To her credit, she has not made any inflammatory statements after the game as other players have and it is obvious that because fans really like her, she has a lot of support from them and her family. She has transcended various disappointments in the past and this one can make her that much stronger in the future. She’ll be back in Chicago where Dames values her, uses her appropriately and she can make a fresh start.

        • NYRick

          In a weird way, and she does seem to have an unusual “thinking” type of very determined make-up, this could all strangely work in her favor…if she choses to want to progress on with this team. She probably does. She has been big on challenges and rising above adversity during her career and this new challenge can make her well respected by teammates and fans alike should she succeed.

          I wouldn’t bet against her.

          • Reality

            Success is often preceded by failure. That is how we all learn and grow. The key is not to give up on yourself. Press has a quiet strength and determination that should not be underestimated. I’m rooting for her.

          • NYRick

            Everybody loves a second chance and underdog story. Press is extremely likable to the fanbase (excluding the few on here) heightened by the #DogsforChristen (which by the way I have never seen done before for any athlete). As I’ve said somewhere below, this could all work in her favor because in an odd way the monkey is off her back. If she approaches it like that, she wins.

          • dw

            Yeah, the PK miss was really bad for U$$F and their brand continuation plan. Also not so good for her Q rating…
            I don’t have anything against her. Really a shame she was put in that spot. I’m OK with her staying on 3 more years, but I doubt it will happen.

          • Steglitz49

            Hear hear!

          • NYRick

            I’m going with the underdog story in her favor now for her Q rating. She obviously has the looks and articulate, smiles and is extremely likable. If she starts succeeding on this team now (who knows, maybe the monkey is off her back now in a bizarre way), anything is possible.

          • dw

            But there really isn’t any meaningful success for this squad until WWC quallies. Unless you count SBC, which I don’t. So if she scores 50 goals between now and then, when the monkey comes back in a meaningful game, it could be a million pound gorilla.

          • Frode

            Press missed a critical PK and had a decent tournament. She is a good player who missed a critical PK. It sucks for her and for the team. It’s happened to other players and teams before, and they move on. No need to spin this in any particular direction. It sucks and move on.

          • dw

            Like Zlatan and post-in or post-out: Sometimes you move on, and sometimes you don’t. Last WWC: Lavogez moved on. Basset moved on. Thiney did not move on.

          • NYRick

            Speaking of Zlatan, anyone see his goal for Man Utd today? Sublime. The guy is great. No doubt about it.

          • Silver Frost

            Lavogez barely played in this OG tournament. She’s a mediocrity.

          • NYRick

            Then it may be fans send her small stuffed gorillas to console: #GorillaToysforChristen.

            Or #GoFundMeSportsShrinkforChristen.

          • dw

            Nothing does for Q rating in the US like winning…

          • NYRick

            Winning as in winning or winning as in Charlie Sheen “winning.” Maybe we should clarify.

          • mockmook

            Actually, I can see this “Dogs” thing getting her more buzz than if she was just a minor cog in winning OG gold.

        • Silver Frost

          How many more chances do you give Press? Name one important tournament game she won with a goal. Her one claim to fame was scoring a goal in the group stage of the WC. A lot of women have done the same.

          I used to be a Press supporter, but enough is enough. You can’t fix mental problems with words or training. They are always there.

          • Reality

            Your comment falls into the typical Steg slander category.

          • Silver Frost

            Answer my question. Your current answer is slanderous.

          • Reality

            I think I indicated in my original comment how Press is still a valuable member of the NT. However, I will elaborate a bit more for you. She has never had a fair chance in the first place on the NT to play in her natural position at CF where she has excelled throughout her career until Ellis consistently mismanaged her. It is simply poor and stupid practice to use a talented natural forward who has never played any other position to put her at flank which is what Ellis did most of the time with Press. It is a waste. And then she is blamed for not performing well there. At best, she has been used as a substitute in the waning minutes and has only had 6 starts out of 19 games this year. This is in comparison over time to other forwards on the team who have always played at their natural position and don’t get jerked around. You are applying a different set of standards to her compared to other players who regularly play a position they are familiar with and have consistent starts and minutes on the pitch.

            Press’s experience on the NT is really a microcosm of Ellis’s poor management of the roster and inferior tactics. This has been evident for some time and has reached its culmination at the OG.

            As regards slanderous comments, Steg and his alter ego, the cut and paste troll, have constantly done that with Press. Your comment, “You can’t fix mental problems with words or training. They are always there.”, is of the same category. While Press may lack confidence at this point in her career thanks to Ellis and is going through a dry spell in scoring, your statement crosses the line.

            I have noticed that you have been generally supportive of Press in the past. But I think you are over reacting here in regard to this missed PK. This loss was a team failure which I attribute to a coaching failure. But you are entitled to your opinion and disillusionment. I disagree and wanted to address the “mental problem” part of your comment.

  • Guest

    I still will never understand playing Heath on defense for what, almost half the game? Bringing Pinoe into that game was the worst decisions Jill made. Moving forward I think we need to find ways to get Heath Dunn and Pugh on the field at the same time. Those three are too good to have one on the bench all the time. But especially with Pinoe back I don’t see that happening unfortunately.

  • Steglitz49

    Given how inept this game was refereed, you cannot draw any conclusions from the statistics.

  • MurderOnZidanesFloor

    “If we take the goals out of it and talk about it, the U.S. clearly deserved to win. To some extent, Sweden dodged a lot of bullets and the U.S. didn’t dodge any.”

    They didn’t dodge a bullet when a penalty should have been called in the 6th minute?
    They didn’t dodge a bullet the 1-2 times Sweden broke but couldn’t quite find the right pass which would have given them a one on one with the keeper?
    They didn’t dodge a bullet when Schelin was incorrectly called offside on her goal in extra time?

    Obviously the US dominated in possession and shots but it was hardly straightforward for them apart from just the goal.

    • Steglitz49

      Indeed.

      The refereeing stank to high heaven. Not knowing the rules is the pits.

      • Chak Khan

        You’re stuck in that sandbox. Get out of it already. Okay, we hear you. Replace the human referees with instant replay. Done deal!

        • Guest

          It is irritating how he keeps obsessing over the refereeing?

      • Silver Frost

        No more third world asst linespersons, please. They just don’t cut it. For a big tourney like the OG, the IOC should hire Premier League linesmen and refs. Use some of that Russian bribery money.

  • Gary Diver

    So the team that dominated the game usually loses the shootout? That is simply depressing.

    • Usher

      That’s what Dorrance says. Not sure whether it is true though. Why should it

    • PK

      Dorrance said last week that the US will win.

      Dorrance said that the US will win the penalities since we have the better goal keeper.

      Dorrance said that there is no justice although Sweden should have won 2:1 after extra time and although the changing of gloves was a terrible act of unfairness.

      So why should you beliver Dorrance when saying that usually the team who dominates loses PKs?

  • Steglitz49

    The depressing part of this is that the man is not objective in his analysis. Shame on him.

  • Reality

    IMO, the NT failed in the OG primarily because Ellis built the offense around Lloyd…

    1) Ellis has given Lloyd free rein to indulge herself in shooting at the goal while neglecting her other responsibilities as a team member.

    2) As a result, the mid-field is compromised in covering for Lloyd’s absence and Morgan does not have a good partner up front to cooperatively attack.

    3) Lloyd insists on taking all the penalty kicks which means that there is no one else on the team who has experience or practice.

    4) Lloyd has been made team captain but is not a team player but rather wants to gather all glory upon herself in her quest to be the greatest…not a good role model. She has failed in her role as team captain.

    5) Lloyd is elderly at this point despite her her protestations to the contrary and her clumsiness on the field is increasingly evident.

    6) Loyd wants to play until 2020 and continue to block further evolution of the roster and tactics of the NT.

    7) Ellis, in her enabling of Lloyd (also Wambach, Rapinoe, etc.), has undermined her credibility as a coach who constantly favors the veterans. This destroys the team spirit, prevents players in their prime from achieving their potential and blocks the NT from transforming itself for the future.

    If the NT hopes to recover from this unfortunate performance at the OG, both Ellis and Lloyd need to go. Since neither will be stepping aside voluntarily, it is up to Gulati to take the necessary steps to facilitate change. If he does not, then the NT will not move forward and it will be on him.

    • Steglitz49

      Carli is still the FIFA POTY and the US are the reigning world champions and, strictly speaking, still OG champs for a few more days.

      • CED

        Another person with no sense of reality. They lucked into the Wcup, Ellis had no clue and the only reason they changed anything was b/c suspension. Ellis created a problem she couldn’t solve. Then they were greatly helped by 2 horrible calls in the Germany game. Lloyd has horrible touch, a turnover and foul machine totally incapable of playing her actual position. Btw. Lloyd won the award b/c nobody who votes on it watches WoSo game besides the Wcup. Ellis’ horrible coaching was on display again in the OG, except they didn’t
        get lucky. Well they did part way lucky b/c several horrible calls in their
        favor even got them to the PK’s.

        • Steglitz49

          Your points are well taken. I simply wanted to point out that there is another way to look at Carli and the USWNT.

          If I were Carli I would follow in ARod’s and Syd’s footsteps. That would give an elegant exit from the stage while leaving the option for a comeback on the table — as ARod managed.

        • Frode

          Wow. Not how I would have phrased it, but near enough the truth.

        • NYRick

          The worse call since I’ve been seriously watching WoSo the past 4 or so years…JJ not getting red for the Sasic takedown. That was the match right there whether or not the PK was converted. No way they could play a man down and still win.

          • Silver Frost

            The soccer gods had their revenge on JJ when Blackstenius blew her doors off and scored a goal.

      • dw

        But Carli’s not terribly marketable, and there will be a new POY soon. Marta’s a mortal lock if they win, and even pretty much a lock if they make the final. Sinc is a possibility, but the other team lack household names. Of course Kessler won it, so I suppose a longshot could come home, especially with say a brace in the Gold Medal game.

    • NYRick

      The only silver lining in this medal-less OG…does the VRP evaporate now? It’s a possibility but I think Ellis has to go now too for it to truly happen. The next coach can’t be beholden to Lloyd, Pinoe and Hope. I think Hope will retire now. Really what is there to prove or do anymore on this team. Does Pinoe want to be 35 at the next cycle? She saw a younger HAO (who actually had far more accomplishments in the program than she) phased out at 32. Or even Brunn for that matter. She’ll be 35 and I don’t think she was the same player as last year so she may be regressing already too.

      • Steglitz49

        Who do you want to take charge?

      • Reality

        My fear is that even though attrition will eventually force the elderly players out, Ellis will still remain. I don’t think she is a creative or innovative coach and she cannot think on her feet. So while change is inevitable, Ellis is not the coach to do it.

        • Steglitz49

          They could always rehire Pia. She is stepping down from Sweden after this OG.

          • NYRick

            No thanks.

          • NYRick

            Does this win for Pia delay the entrance of Tony G to Sweden and the sacking of Pia? If by some miracle they win gold at this OG, how do you sack Pia? Euros next year for them too.

          • Steglitz49

            Pia is not being sacked. She stated early on that she did not want to manage the team beyond OG-16.

            The betting is on regarding who might succeed her. Nothing has leaked out. Maybe they will only start the search after the OG is over.

          • NYRick

            So she’s leaving? If so, only one choice for them: Tony G.

          • Steglitz49

            There is Calle Barrling and Anna Signeul — and, of course, Lars Lagerbäck (though he does not want to take on another team) …

          • FlyingSquirrel42

            Is she just retiring from coaching soccer altogether? Or at least from head coach duties?

        • Altius

          Andonovski’s my pick.

          • NYRick

            Mine too.

          • Reality

            A good candidate. I like the way he has developed FCKC.

          • NYRick

            He knows the US players very well obviously and…he knows the NWSL (the players on the cusp who deserve a shot or at worse a decent call-up).

          • Reality

            His team philosophy is not only attractive but very effective. With the egotistical old guard almost gone, I think that the players would welcome some one like him.

        • NYRick

          Remember the first thing we both said to each other after the Carli WC15 final? It wasn’t word for word but it was the same and to the effect of…this program is screwed for the next 5+ years now. This OG miss might be a game changer, but it remains to be seen.

          • Reality

            Remember back when Ellis first took over after they screwed Sermanni and we both predicted that the VRP would be implemented to the ultimate detriment of the team?

          • Steglitz49

            They won WC-15, the first WC the US had won for 16 years.

          • NYRick

            I sure do. I wish life was as easy to predict as the running and management of this team. :–)

          • dw

            I say there’s light at the end of the tunnel now. See, look, optimism!

        • dw

          Tough call. WWC15 was not necessarily the highest point in WNT history. OG16 is clearly the lowest. Time will tell.

          • NYRick

            WC15 was the highest for the US team. Way bigger than the 99ers. They got a freakin ticker tape parade in NYC! They don’t do that for everybody, and I think outside of Amelia Earhardt, and the Apollo walk on the moon dudes, they are the only non-NY team to get that.

          • dw
          • NYRick

            OK you got me on that. I should have researched it better. But it was kind of unusual for them to get that parade.

          • Reality

            WC2015 was a gift to Ellis from the players who won despite her. OG2016 is fate finally catching up with her.

          • brdn08

            Totally disagree, 2007 was a raging dumpster fire on the pitch and off and actually there was so much tension between the actual players that no one was sure they could get it together in under a year. AMERICANS ARE RESILIENT AND PRIDEFUL BEASTS. I HAVE NO WORRIES THAT THIS TEAM WILL BOUNCE BACK IN NO TIME.

          • Reality

            Not if Ellis and Lloyd remain in charge.

          • brdn08

            People said the same thing when she was hired. People aren’t static. They adjust and adapt. I’m not pessimistic. The only shortsightedness I’ve seen is that they didn’t realize the hero work Lauren Holiday was doing. Her exit left a gaping hole that hasn’t been filled.

          • Reality

            I quite agree with you re: Holiday. Although she was not used by Ellis properly, she added a dimension to our mid-field that has yet to be replaced.

          • rkmid71

            Holiday was a team player. It’s no accident that FCKC won back to back NWSL titles. And you could see what that did for ARod, O’Reily and other player’s games too. Back in the day, the Galacticos management didn’t realize the hero work that Makelele was doing — although Zidane and other players did.

        • Steglitz49

          How old is elderly? 31 years?

      • FlyingSquirrel42

        I’m not sure the VRP is as big of a factor as we sometimes think it is, at least in terms of raw numbers. I took a look at the USWNT’s major tournament rosters going back to 1991 to see how much turnover there’s been and how much experience each roster has had in terms of playing in previous WWCs and Olympics, and here’s what I came up with. Each column represents a WWC or Olympics roster, divided up by how many players had been to zero, one, two, or three or more previous WWCs and/or Olympics. The 2015/16 pattern doesn’t really look too different from the pre-2007 pattern, and the amount of turnover from 2015 to 2016 was actually larger than from 2011 to 2012, when only one new player (Sydney Leroux) was added, while a few others were dropped due to the smaller roster caps.

        • Frode

          Thanks for the graphic. Very informative. One pattern I find particularly interesting is the drop in number of tournament “rookies” between WC and OG years. In each transition, the team took on 4 rookies, except for 2012 (veterans retained). This most recent cycle has restored the pattern.

          I wonder how many new players Ellis (or whoever is coach) will take into the 2018 WC.

          • FlyingSquirrel42

            The WWC rosters probably always have more tournament rookies than OG rosters just because it’s three years since the last big one rather than one. I imagine at least a few of the current over-30s will not be on the 2019 roster, whether due to decline in form or just deciding to retire.

            Broon might be the most likely to hang around, given that she’s the younger of the two co-captains and probably hasn’t suffered as much wear-and-tear as some of the others. Carli clearly wants to try, but whether she’ll be successful or not is another question. HAO may just not get too many call-ups from now on. As for the rest of the older crowd, I could see Krieger fading from the picture (even though I don’t think she deserves to) or voluntarily retiring from international play, and between Solo and Harris, I think at most one of the two would be around for 2019. Rapinoe is the hardest to predict because she clearly still isn’t fully back in form, and so we don’t know what it will look like when she is. She’s definitely one of the players who seems to have the most fun, but hopefully she’ll still know when it’s time to walk away.

          • Frode

            I think the core players going into 2019 will be

            Keepers: Naeher, Harris
            Defenders: Sauerbrunn, Johnston, Sonnet
            Midfielders: Horan, Brian, Dunn, Heath, Lloyd
            Forwards: Morgan, Press, Pugh

            There will be arguments about Dunn, but I have a feeling Ellis will rebuild the formation around a stronger midfield.

            If the trend your graphic shows continues, there will be some phenomenal new (young and NWSL veterans) players in the mix, too.

    • Pam Fowler

      Finally, someone knows that Lloyd should retire. Her dominance over the team is effecting the team negatively. This is an Ellis pet. Love Dunn and wish Ellis would play her more. Krieger should be playing not O’Hara

      • Reality

        I’m not the only one, but I think more people are coming to this conclusion.

        • Kevin

          I think most of us came to this conclusion a long time ago. We also came to the conclusion that Ellis wasn’t going to do anything about it.

          • Reality

            That’s why the future is bleak for the NT if those two remain in charge.

      • Steglitz49

        When you abandon your NWSL team in the SF of the championship you do not deserve the NT jersey.

        Odd that the USWNT had its worst exit in a major tournament following that wedding.

        • Kath

          The constant harping on that semifinal, which date was changed btw, screwing plans made by the player and family is tedious. Your comments are tedious period.

        • FlyingSquirrel42

          I assume you’re kidding with the second part. I seriously doubt that anyone on the team was even thinking about Krieger and the 2015 semifinal any more by the time they got to Brazil.

          • Steglitz49

            It was just an observation of an association. Whether you consider it causal is your choice. One should, however, not invite vengeance from the gods lest the grant your challenge.

      • Silver Frost

        KO is fine. She has a hell of a shot, but need more practice. Put Kriegs on too, and bench Lloyd.

      • Kevin

        I’m not sure where you’ve been for the last year, but I think over half the people on here have been critical of Lloyd for a long time now.

        Many of us knew and said she was the problem and we all knew Ellis wasn’t going to do anything about it.

        • Steglitz49

          In fairness, I contend that JE could not do much given that Carli was POTY and her record for the US in big games.

          • Kevin

            She’s the coach, there’s plenty she could have done. She didn’t HAVE TO play her in such an advanced position.

            I blame JE and Japan for the early exit in the OG. JE for obvious reasons and Japan for not marking Carli Lloyd (or having anyone within 10 yards of her) on set pieces.

    • Silver Frost

      Ellis seemed to be disengaged on the bench, viewing the game as a fan instead of a coach. She’s going to have to deal with unexpected contingencies, like Morgan leaving for two years to start a family, and re-introducing Leroux and A-Rod to the team next year. Oh, what fun!

      • Reality

        Ellis lacks the capacity to deal with unexpected contingencies.

      • Rufan

        After Rapinoe went in, Ellis was on the sidelines yelling instructions; we thought she was worried then.

    • newsouth

      4. why press and morgan choked!

    • ARED

      “If he does not, then the NT will not move forward and it will be on him.”

      This applies to both USA teams, no? And perhaps some of the youth teams as well?

      • Reality

        Indeed. The ultimate responsibility for all USA teams rests with him.

    • FlyingSquirrel42

      “Lloyd insists on taking all the penalty kicks”

      Just curious – has someone said that Ellis and/or the rest of the team defer to Lloyd on who gets to take PKs, or do you just mean that she’s taken most of the important ones lately? I agree that she shouldn’t be taking all of them, if nothing else so others can get some practice, but it could be that Ellis wants her to do that.

      I’ll say this much for Carli – and I’ve been getting a little fed up with her lately too – big-game PKs are the sort of thing where I probably *would* rely on her, because she seems to thrive on pressure. In fact, I’d have probably put her 5th in the lineup against Sweden if it were up to me.

      • Reality

        If soccer had the equivalent of the DH in baseball…something like a DPK…then I would say keep her on the bench until needed for this particular function. Alas, since there is no such rule, Lloyd needs to retire. She has had her ample share of glory and her desire for more is sheer hubris as she now is more of a liability to the team than an asset in her play and attitude.

    • lightcomingon

      100% agree with this. I’d love to see Pugh or Dunn take over for her. She is the most selfish player I’ve ever seen play for the USWNT and I’ve been watching for decades. Yes, she scores, but I think her teammates are more or less just trying to get out of her way so they won’t get shellacked by one of her shots (when they aren’t field goals).

      Her first touch and general ball control is abysmal and her field vision is absolutely tunneled. She is single-handedly holding this team back from quick possession, quality service attack soccer and Ellis seems content to let her.

    • Guest

      >1) Ellis has given Lloyd free rein to indulge herself in shooting at the goal >while neglecting her other responsibilities as a team member.

      This is somewhat true but not quite as bad as you suggest. Plus it did get results in the world cup final so you can’t blame her for trying it.

      >2) As a result, the mid-field is compromised in covering for Lloyd’s >absence and Morgan does not have a good partner up front to >cooperatively attack.

      This is the real problem. The mid-field is absent. Lloyd’s too far up front, and they can’t find anyone to replace Boxx. Long has an extreme lack of creativity. Horan may develop but it seems to take her half an hour on the pitch to stop making mistakes. It’s a shame more young players don’t want to play, nor understand the midfield position. It takes a creative, confident player who is not afraid to get hurt and do a lot of running and organizing. There’s currently no one better than Lloyd and because Lloyd plays a certain way, the team needs to be built around that. As soon as there’s someone better then Lloyd it can change.

      >3) Lloyd insists on taking all the penalty kicks which means that there is >no one else on the team who has experience or practice.

      You get the best person to take penalties to take the penalties. If the others want practice, then they can practice. Does Lloyd take all the kicks in the NWSL? I thought she was only on one team.

      >4) Lloyd has been made team captain but is not a team player but rather >wants to gather all glory upon herself in her quest to be the greatest…not >a good role model. She has failed in her role as team captain.

      She is a captain, just not the type of captain you want. She is a leader by example. When things need to be done, she does it hope the others follow her. Does she inspire others? Not everyone. Does it always work? No. That’s just her style. She’s the type of officer who charges over the top leading the soldiers to battle. Admirable, but doesn’t always work out.

      >5) Lloyd is elderly at this point despite her her protestations to the >contrary and her clumsiness on the field is increasingly evident.

      She is still better than the other options. Until then, she plays.

      >6) Lloyd wants to play until 2020 and continue to block further evolution of >the roster and tactics of the NT.

      It’s that desire to play, that desire to win, that separates the really great players from those who are sitting on the bench. You need something more than just skill (Press), more than just desire (Long), you need a combination of skill, desire and determination (Lloyd). Lloyd might not have all three to highest levels but if you combine all those factors she has it more than anyone else right now.

      >7) Ellis, in her enabling of Lloyd (also Wambach, Rapinoe, etc.), has >undermined her credibility as a coach who constantly favors the >veterans. This destroys the team spirit, prevents players in their prime >from achieving their potential and blocks the NT from transforming itself >for the future.

      Sermani’s “everyone gets a turn on the field” didn’t work out so well either. And Ellis won the World Cup. So integrating new players into the team slowly seems to have worked better.

      What a lot of people seem to be overlooking is the team aspect of soccer. The best team on the day wins, not the best individual players. Look at Wales and Iceland in the Euros. They played as a team, they worked, they gelled. While players like Press have skill, she just does not work well with others. She doesn’t connect, she isolates herself. Pugh and Morgan are building something. There’s chemistry there. Pinoe is one of those players like Pugh. She is glue. She holds everyone together and makes everyone else look better. You’re right in pointing to the gaping hole in the midfield. It’s caused by Lloyd being too far forward and their inability to find a player who gels with everyone else to fit in there.

      Personalities matter more than you can imagine on the field. And while you might want to remove some of the veterans and their egos, it’s those egos that separate them from the average NSWL players who might want their spot. It reads as arrogance to a fan watching, but on the field, against other players with similar egos, it’s needed. When there’s huge pressure and everyone is booing you, it’s needed.

      >If the NT hopes to recover from this unfortunate performance at the OG, >both Ellis and Lloyd need to go. Since neither will be stepping aside >voluntarily, it is up to Gulati to take the necessary steps to facilitate >change. If he does not, then the NT will not move forward and it will be >on him.

      I’m not going to check, but did you defend Sermani in his Algarve loss? If so then why not give Ellis the second chance you wanted for him? If not, then why are you so quick to change tact when they’ve just won a World Cup? They lost on penalties to a very defensive team. Just as Brazil have to the same team. It happens. It’s too soon to bring in your prejudices against one player until there are clearly better options that aren’t being used.

      • Reality

        Hi Guest (Guest)…Thank you for your detailed and thoughtful reply. Your lengthy defense of Lloyd is noteworthy. I would say we have some serious disagreement.

        Let me reply to your points one at a time…please excuse the length of my post, but I can only do justice to yours by replying in kind…

        1) “This is somewhat true but not quite as bad as you suggest. Plus it did get results in the world cup final so you can’t blame her for trying it.”

        I would suggest that the results in the WC were the exception rather than the rule and this freedom of action granted to Lloyd by Ellis creates more problems than it solves both in the mid-field where smooth functioning is disrupted and the forward line where Lloyd is more focused on her own scoring than in combining with her teammates.

        2) “…It takes a creative, confident player who is not afraid to get hurt and do a lot of running and organizing. There’s currently no one better than Lloyd and because Lloyd plays a certain way, the team needs to be built around that. As soon as there’s someone better then Lloyd it can change.”

        I don’t think Lloyd is creative in her play. She is direct and aggressive and lacks creativity. As a result, the attack suffers because it is not coordinated and becomes quite chaotic at times due to Lloyd’s tendency to be dispossessed, to excessively foul, and neglect to pass appropriately as needed.

        3) “You get the best person to take penalties to take the penalties. If the others want practice, then they can practice. Does Lloyd take all the kicks in the NWSL? I thought she was only on one team.”

        Game conditions are not the same as practice. Lloyd wants as much time on the pitch as possible to focus on shooting and part of this is taking PK’s where she can maximize her goal total. Unfortunately, this denies all the other members of the NT any experience in taking PK’s under actual game conditions. This did not serve us well in the recent game loss to Sweden.

        4) “She is a leader by example. When things need to be done, she does it hope the others follow her. Does she inspire others? Not everyone. Does it always work? No. That’s just her style. She’s the type of officer who charges over the top leading the soldiers to battle. Admirable, but doesn’t always work out.”

        Unfortunately her example is at times both arrogant and selfish which are not optimum qualities in a leader. She is also not terribly articulate which can also be a problem in leadership. Overall, I don’t think that her orientation is toward the team but rather how the team can support her quest for glory.

        5) “She is still better than the other options. Until then, she plays.”

        Her constant presence on the pitch prevents other options from being tried. She is depriving well qualified players on the team from realizing their full potential and blocking young players from gaining experience.

        6) “It’s that desire to play, that desire to win, that separates the really great players from those who are sitting on the bench. You need something more than just skill (Press), more than just desire (Long), you need a combination of skill, desire and determination (Lloyd). Lloyd might not have all three to highest levels but if you combine all those factors she has it more than anyone else right now.”

        Her thinking that she is and will continue to be superior to other younger players on the team through 2020 is just another example of hubris on her part. She is clearly showing signs of deterioration in her performance now and it is only going to get worse.

        7) “Sermani’s “everyone gets a turn on the field” didn’t work out so well either. And Ellis won the World Cup. So integrating new players into the team slowly seems to have worked better.”

        Sermanni was easing the veterans into a subordinate and supportive role in his tenure. He was actually taking the necessary steps to transform the NT to a younger more dynamic form. Ellis started the VRP (Veteran Retention Program) for the WC and we were fortunate to win that. Any changes she made after that were almost entirely the result of retirement and injury. She continued the VRP with Lloyd and Rapinoe in the OG and we have seen the results of that.

        “What a lot of people seem to be overlooking is the team aspect of soccer. The best team on the day wins, not the best individual players.”

        An excellent point which is undermined by Lloyd’s attitude and behavior. Lloyd’s ambition is to be the greatest player ever. This is not a team attitude. Her ego is focused on her own gain and her example is one of personal ambition.

        Ellis has mismanaged both the roster and the tactics of the NT by making Lloyd the focal point of the attack. Wherever she is positioned on the field, she will end up hovering around the goal. This means that people are played out of position and moved around like musical chairs in order to accommodate Lloyd playing 90″ in every game. As a result, the team never has able to establish a viable working relationship. The mid-field has never stabilized into a coherent unit and the presence and/or absence of Lloyd in the run of play only disrupts it even more.

        There are numerous better options for the NT than employing Lloyd in every game for 90″. She has had ample glory in her career and like Wambach, it is past time for her to gracefully ease her way into a supporting role toward retirement.

        Since she is incapable of recognizing the fact that she is a drag on the NT and will never voluntarily depart, someone has to facilitate her exit. Since that person is not Ellis who is an enabler of veterans, a new coach is needed to move the NT forward and eliminate the VRP.

  • NYRick

    (Thursday)
    Dorrance: “US will dominate, and when you do you usually win the match.”

    (Sunday)
    Dorrance: “But what I meant to say was… We REALLY REALLY needed to dominate VERY VERY much to actually win the match.”

    • Steglitz49

      Indeed.

      The harsh reality is that the USWNT lacks a true playmaker in midfield and needs an organizer of its defense. They also need a less selfish and more objective captain.

      Dorrance needs to learn to be objective. He should have noted the lousy refereeing.

      • Chak Khan

        Captain America Christie Rampone is retiring.

      • AGuest2

        And whose fault is that that the USWNT lacks a true playmaker in midfield and an organizer on defense. By the way, who do you think should be blamed for that?

    • Frode

      Tell that to France. They “deserved” to win over the US in group stage play.

      • PK

        France also deserved to win from the US in the SF of the WC 2011. I can’t remember Dorrance complaining about the unjustice by then

      • David Locke

        But that’s also due to France inability to put away chances

  • CED

    Dorrance is losing his mind, He’s worse than the fangirls in their alternate reality of WNT events.

    • dash4eva

      lol he knows more about soccer than you will in your entire lifetime.

      • CED

        He’s lost his mind with his comments. Btw, if you actually followed the college game UNC has been surpassed and is no longer dominant. The possession based game has neutralized the helter skelter high press that he has based his success on. UNc has not won the ACC title since 2008 and 1 national title. They use to win them almost yearly. The only reason that works his system works is college substitution rules, in an actual league with 3 subs the entire game his system would fail mightily. Higher skilled players than when he started and was dominant have already neutralized him,

        • rkmid71

          UNC hasn’t been dominant in many years. Also, it’s substitution rules and the condensed schedule (with less recovery time between games). It favors teams with a deeper pool of talent on big rosters. It doesn’t mean that the starting 11 is all that much better, if at all. In the past, he won with depth, platooning players, going 100 mph or helter skelter as you say. Why can’t the NCAA agree to lengthen the season, change the sub rules? Parity amongst teams would increase significantly. And you could really start to use the college game to identify the best players.

  • BRA 4 vs SWE 0 OLIMPÍADAS

    Cry more americans, Cry more LMAOLMAOLMAOLMAOAMFVDJSCBSDKGCXZHVCAYCFDGSVCZBCVXZCMZVCZ

    • CED

      Sorry to break it to you Brazil WNT is so sad they have to put the stars for the Men on their jersey b/c the country doesn’t care about WoSo

      • BRA 4 vs SWE 0 OLIMPÍADAS

        Who cares about women soccer????????

        • David K Anderson

          So you’ll be leaving then, huehuehue troll?

  • BRA 4 vs SWE 0 OLIMPÍADAS

    Always said the United States LOST AND THAT BRASIL WOULD BE OLYMPIC CHAMPION. That is, I UNDERSTAND FOOTBALL YOU NOT.

    • Steglitz49

      Brazil must dismiss Sweden first, no longer a foregone conclusion.

  • BRA 4 vs SWE 0 OLIMPÍADAS

    The first change that the US needs to do is stop calling soccer

    • MurderOnZidanesFloor

      As much as I wish they would, it seems to be going okay for Canada.

      • Steglitz49

        I can live with soccer but the CSA stands for Canadian Soccer Association which is a tautology. Bizarre.

    • Hans Castorp

      90,000 people attended the NFL’s LA Rams game which was a meaningless preseason game. The word football isn’t going to be available here for a while yet….

  • Terry Lash

    Neither Nash nor Dorrance can bring themselves to even hint at any criticism of Ellis. How sad. Must be that they are afraid of losing access to the team and be out of favor with US Soccer. I have no respect for the honesty and integrity of either one. Certainly won’t buy Nash’s book.

    • dw

      Can’t bite the hand that feeds you. Plus is Dorrance making a play for a job? All this press when he hasn’t been around on this forum for all the year’s I’ve been here.

    • Gary Diver

      These people can live in denial, but everybody here knows better. And to see the “Old Boys Club” ignoring and/or defending Ellis’ incompetence is typical, but sad.

  • Gary Diver

    Ugly Soccer and Ugly Refereeing

    For the lack of a red card . . . .

    Amazing that people now see Herdman as the “Napoleon of Soccer” as he wants to be known and Keisha Buchanan is the “Sinclair of Defense”. Buchanan received two yellow cards in 3 games and should have been sent off with a red card at the 10 minute mark in the French QF match.

    Facts:

    1. Buchanan was the last defender to the goal.

    2. Buchanan took down Le Sommer BEFORE the ball reached Le Sommer.

    3. Buchanan NEVER touched the ball. There was no deflection of the ball.

    4. Buchanan tackled Le Sommer just below her knees with cleats up.

    How did Buchanan not receive a red card?

    IF the France/Canada match was refereed fairly, we would be saying vastly different things about Herdman and Buchanan.

    OG16 must be one of the worst refereed major tournaments of all time. Totally takes all enjoyment out of watching the matches.

    • Steglitz49

      I doubt that the Swedes find any solace in other teams getting stuffed by poor refereeing.

    • dw

      Did you forget how bad OG12 was?

    • Guest

      I really don’t like the DOGSO is an automatic red rule unless the defender is not making a play on the ball. I hope it is changed but by the book Buchanan should have been sent off.

    • Paul Klee

      The quality of match video and increased number of cameras covering matches IMO is why the perception of bad officiating is seemingly more egregious than say 20 years ago.

      • Gary Diver

        Agree, but in this case the foul was obvious. Buchanan never touched the ball which the referee should have seen since there was no deflection of the ball and it should also have been clear that Buchanan made contact with Le Sommer before the ball touched her. And the high take-down at knee level was outrageous.

    • Forgedias

      You must have a hate for Canada for whatever reason. You bashed them hard in the Canada France comment threads. Not sure what your problem is with them. I admire them.

      They are doing what the USWNT cannot do. I know a lot of people want to see the old guard retire and a new generation emerge and take over. But its not going to happen. The US national team needs to have a winner, every cycle, they can’t allow their team to go a cycle where they are rebuilding even though in the end it will make the USWNT stronger. And the fans alone won’t allow that to happen. They expect the Americans to win every World Cup/Olympics. Its expected.

      Canada is doing it the right way. Blood youth, bring them in slowly. Half their team in the Olympics are 23 and under. They beat the 2nd, 3rd and 5th ranked teams. They came out of their group of death with a perfect record. You can’t ask anymore then that and they deserve the accolades they are getting now.

      To watch a program that was rock bottom before Herdman came in and then the transformation done by Herdman has been amazing. Canada does not have the resources or the gifted athletes that the US has. Canada has to find them and Herdman is the guy behind all this. He had a long term vision that no coach for the USWNT would be allowed to follow through. They would get canned if they lost a major tournament. Herdman was given 6 years and now its all bearing fruit.

      I personally did not think they would get it done. It looked really ugly in the beginning. But those young players that are coming out of college are leading the way. Buchanan, Lawrence, Beckie, Quinn, D’Angelo and then they have highschoolers on their Olympic squad in Fleming and Rose.

      Canada shouldn’t be here. This roster shouldn’t have been able to beat France, Germany and Australia especially down 10 men for 70 minutes. Yet in every instance they have.

      Whatever your reason for your hate. You can’t deny that Herdman has done some amazing things with Canada and does deserve the kudos that everyone gives him.

      • dw

        Herdman is in fact doing much more with less. I could do with less goonery, but have to grudgingly give additional credit for adopting tactics that take into account the craptastic officiating in WoSo. I enjoy physical play, but Canada pushes the envelope a bit much for my taste.

        • ARED

          Well said. Similar to the round of praise for Pia in beating the USA. We can see and respect that it is a reasonable and effective approach to play as Pia does, but it does not mean we all have to be excited to see that approach be successful or praised.

          The 2010 WC Final was a good example. One team playing the ball aggressively, trying to win. Another team playing the body aggressively, trying to stop the team which is trying to win. In that case, the Dutch were good enough to try to play the ball and win themselves -but for Sweden and Canada at this time in WoSo I don’t believe that is true. So, they look for other ways.

      • Terry Lash

        You are right, but it is hard to like him.

      • Silver Frost

        So, did Buchanan foul Le Sommer or not?

        • Forgedias

          Did Le Sommer dive all game long? You want to bash Buchanan about that late tackle fine, but talk about the diving that she did all match long. She had so many dives, especially in the box that the referee started ignoring her.

          • ARED

            It’s not a dive if you fall down, or even if you ask the referee for a foul. And as for the beautiful game, well, I believe it is best played by running fast and kicking the ball, not being strong and kicking the opponent.

            (I am not directly saying anything about France and Canada, but am pointing out these facts/points of view which relate to that match perhaps).

          • Ethan

            I haven’t watched the game, so I could be very out of line here. But, how much could Le Sommer have dived in the first 10 minutes of the match to make the ref ignore that clear red card tackle?

          • fourTurns

            See my post above. She dived in the first 5 mins which set the stage for the no call against Buchanan.

          • Ethan

            Wow, one time. That’s great refereeing to be influenced by one moment. The poster I replied to said Le Sommer dived multiple times causing the ref to ignore her; one is not multiple.

      • ARED

        I agree Canada are bringing new talent in well, while also maximizing the abilities of Sinclair, Scott, etc. And that their fight and team unity bring results above their talent level at times.

        But I must say -I’m not sure the performances of players like Pugh, Johnston, and Brian support the idea that the USA *can’t* make the changes needed to bring in their own new era. They just *won’t* fully commit to it.

        And they did just lose a major tournament, in pretty bad fashion, so why couldn’t they have started a youth movement in 2012 to prep for and achieve similar or better results: 1 win and one QF at the WC and Olympics….? And I do not expect to see Ellis “canned” either….

    • Guest

      Buchanan has deserved at least four cards per game during this tourney.

      • ARED

        And Scott quite a few as well.

        I didn’t see all of Canada’s matches, but I did think they seemed to get 2-3 yellow card fouls for free before they finally received the first yellow. That was also true of teams like Colombia and New Zealand. Zadorsky was sent of before 20 minutes against Australia, and I thought she was less deserving to be sent off than a few others in that half….(she could have seen just yellow, while others could have seen 2-3 yellows).

        • Steglitz49

          One explanation could be a stronger ref who had actually bothere dto learn the rulebook.

    • WOSO Fan

      This constant harping on Buchanan is rediculous. Everyone knows that Japan was robbed of the Gold in the last Olympics by a non-call on Buehler for a NFL tackle in USA’s box. Should have been an immediate red card followed by a PK for Japan. The non-call on Buchanan pales by comparison. I can understand that you’re jealous of Canada’s success and looking for any excuse to diminish it but you seem to forget that the whole world knows what happened in 2012. So give it a rest and quit your frigging whining about Buchanan. Sheesh.

      • ARED

        Buehler in 2012, or Johnston in 2015, does not excuse the referee for decisions in 2016.

        WoSo refereeing has always been terrible, and so far the improvement has been slow if at all. A team like Canada (or Colombia) which pushes the physicality of the game will always be committing more challenges which might benefit from lax refereeing compared to France or Japan.

      • Gary Diver

        The issue is the non-call of a red card in one of Friday’s QFs that would have altered that game and most likely the outcome of the tournament. To deflect that issue of the present to something that happened in the past is avoiding the issue (like current politicians). And by the way, when does two wrongs cancel each other out? I cringe whenever somebody says “but somebody else got away with it”. Not an acceptable defense for wrong doing.

    • fourTurns

      Le Sommer was pushed or took a dive about 5 mins into the match by Zadorsky. Given the ref didn’t even call a foul, she thought Le Sommer took a dive.

      The ref was in very good position to see Buchanan’s foul. So, she must have thought Le Sommer was diving again and/or Buchanan got also the ball. It was a foul and penalty kick and a yellow. Le Sommer kept on diving for most of the match afterwards.

      Buchanan’s second yellow in group round was deliberate (stood in front of foul taker near midfield) so that she would miss Germany match rather than quarter final. The yellow in France match was for accidental clip – it was a foul but a harsh yellow.

  • Gary Diver

    The First Step in Solving Any Problem is to Recognize that There Is a Problem

    The problem is Jill Ellis’ mismanagement of this tournment. She made at least 12 bad decisions, most of which make no sense. It is telling that her defenders have no explanations for her decisions, but attempt to switch the blame to poor execution by players. Bull crap! Nobody can explain Ellis’ game formations or game plan. Excuses are not reasons.

  • KT

    With Pinoe coming back at least for the time being, who plays wing? Her and Heath? Dunn is much better in a central role, but what about Pugh? Part of me hopes that they worked so hard to get Pinoe back for this tournament because they knew it would be her last one. With her age and already 3 ACL tears, I don’t see her being around in 2019.

    • Guest

      Pugh is much better in a central role and I think will be superior to Dunn as a 10. I think Dunn’s first touch is to erratic to be a central player when she isn’t leading the line. Healthy Pinoe, Pugh and Heath would be my favored attacking midfield line. I think you could easily plug Heath on the left and Dunn on the right as well.

      • Bruce

        Dunn is a tremendous talent on the wing but will never, ever be considered a 10.

        • Guest

          I don’t even really think she is a great winger as her difficulties playing inside will hamper her ability to combine well with teammates and interchange along the attacking line. She is pretty great at taking players on and creating space for herself though.

          • Bruce

            Generally agree. Her unmatched work rate is what I really love about her. Can play 90 hard without taking a play off.

          • ARED

            I’ve seen a few saying she was the best player for the USA, which I find odd even with Ellis handicapping a few of the other contenders. Dunn is brilliant 1v1 in space and her acceleration and fight are elite. But after she breaks past a player she usually heads straight into 2-3 more until she loses the ball, or eventually plays a cross which misses her teammates.

            She’s a good player, and good/fast enough to be (inconsistently) effective as a winger, but by the high standard of the Heath, Rapinoe, and now Pugh, she is lacking in vision, decision making, and end result to her time on the ball.

        • Frode

          Dunn is a tremendous player, but I agree that her technical skills are not quite enough to play #10. Until she works on that part of her game, she’s an outside mid, wing back, or striker.

  • John

    Are any journalists or media analysts in the US criticising Ellis?

    • Frode
      • Steglitz49

        Indeed.

        The analysis is fair but ought to mention the abysmal refereeing and also that early on Schelin and Jakobsson broke away but Lotta was not able to slot the final pass to her. That should have been a big warning bell to the US.

        As for parking the bus, the US got let off a penalty when JJ prevented Sembrant from jumping at a corner. In short, with adequate refereeing the match would have ended in regulation.

        • Frode

          I agree. This point is being overlooked by the American sports media. The Swedish side showed patience, poise and quality when it mattered. The numbers don’t show that.

          • Steglitz49

            Thank you.

            Some of the criticism of the US seems unmerited. They were not that lousy as the commentators on the EQ view it.

    • ARED

      Ms. Solo has done Ellis and Gulati a bit of a favor. And we all know the media needs one, single, massive headline/narrative and is not capable of detailed, critical, or nuanced analysis.

  • dw

    Also of note are the names on the EEOC complaint. They could be left out flapping in the breeze with this loss, and an unlikely legal win.
    For those not keeping score at home, a reminder:
    Pinoe
    Hope
    Lloyd
    Broon
    Alex.

    • CED

      The WNT is run by VPS.(Vet {rotction System)..if you try to even lessen VPS and bring in new talent you get a screwed like Sermani. Lloyd, Solo, Pinoe are all the type of personalities that cause problems if they aren’t allowed to leave when they want. They will not be cut, they best to hope to happen is if you don’t play them (like happened to Oreilly) and hope they leave, Of course that won’t work likely as they are collecting the much bigger pay being WNT allocated than playing in NWSL.

      • dw

        Remember not to bite the hand that feeds you. VPS is only good as long as you keep winning.

      • ARED

        I agree in general, although I’m not sure Rapinoe has done anything to suggest she’s in the same class as Lloyd and Solo. Rapinoe is good enough to be on the team still when healthy, and I don’t believe she’s nearly as detrimental to teammates during a match or in their career trajectory as Wambach and Lloyd have been….

        For me, the O’Reilly case is how it should be: A player working hard and desperate to be called in, and a manager who realizes (for once) that there are better and younger players who should be called instead.

        • dw

          IMO Pinoe is a loud mouthed punk just like CL and Hope. Her skill level is perhaps the highest on the team, but dispossess her and she comes at you every time with a red-card worthy tackle. That shows no respect for opponents. Too bad really, because otherwise she is an incredible player.

          • FlyingSquirrel42

            Personality-wise, Rapinoe seems more like just an exuberant goofball than anything else. I don’t see her as somebody who would be giving off “bad vibes” on the bench or otherwise undermining the team if she isn’t playing. She’d be itching to get out there, certainly, because she clearly just loves playing. But if she had been left off this roster or made an alternate, I don’t think she’d have made any negative comments in public about it beyond just being disappointed not to go (just as HAO did when left off the SBC roster).

          • ARED

            Well she did throw herself into some poor tackles in this tournament, although I don’t believe that is a common practice in her game -especially compared to some. She certainly brings a lot of personality, which can be great but also can build pressure and negative impact when things don’t go well, so I understand some of it.

            But I don’t know, it just always seemed like USA fans gave her a hard time because sometimes she’d try something and it wouldn’t work, or because she’d celebrate or smile too much and the Wambach-era team had a rule against smiling (or so I’ve heard…). ; )

    • ARED

      I don’t wish ill for any of these players, but always had an uneasy feeling wondering if they fully understood what they were taking on (both on and off the field).

      Seems to be some poor management/advisement both on and off the pitch for the USA players. And confidence and ambition are great, but when you’re not used to getting hit back it can catch you off guard when it happens….

  • dw

    Has anyone filed a missing persons report for HOFCToDi?

    • Bruce

      Won’t see him for a while, I think.

      Can you imagine how long it’s going to take him to copy and paste link-filled rants into each one of the 50,000 #dogsforchristen tweets?

      • ARED

        Christen Press
        2015 Women’s World Cup
        Dogs Rescued -0
        Dogs Petted -0

        Christen Press
        2016 Olympic Games
        Dogs Rescued -0
        Dogs Petted -0

        • rkmid71

          Conclusion: Christen Press is an animal abuser.

          • Williegsandidge4

            <<fb. ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★::::::!il312r:….,…….

      • John

        Can see him furiously doing so.

    • Anon

      I was neutral on press and now I kind of agree with him. She really wasn’t very good this tournament. That PK was more than just bad luck it was a damn choke job. Contrast with the next shot where solo was screwing with her gloves and the Swedish player was laughing at her then nails her PK… That was awesome. They deserved to win

      • ARED

        Press performed below the level which was expected for a fringe player? She was given a small, almost meaningless role. Then suddenly she is put on in extra time and asked to take the “pressure penalty”? How many penalties had she ever taken for the USA? How many matches had she started at big tournaments? Why didn’t Carli Lloyd or Abby Wambach -the players who had been groomed to do so -take the pressure penalty?

        The Laughing Swede was Lisa Dahlkvist -a player central to Sweden’s team for many years. A player who had played a huge role in big tournaments before. And -guess what! -a player who had scored a big penalty before. At a World Cup. Against Hope Solo. Despite Solo doing silly stall games with her gloves. As Sweden defeated the USA.

        So I think my point is that it’s pretty easy to blame a loss on a player and use the word “choke”, but it’s a little harder to look at the big picture across 120 minutes, and across the past 5+ years and see if there aren’t bigger things going on than a player being thrown into a tough spot and coming up short. Of course Dahlkvist was more confident in that moment….

        • Steglitz49

          Lisa is 29, only 18 months older than Christen. Saki Kumagai was 20 when she was subjected to the Solo-treatment.

        • Guest

          More whine whine whine from press fans.

          • ARED

            More stunning analysis and logical explanations as to why it is “whining” instead of a valid point…..(and who says I’m a Press fan?).

            If you build your team and its stars for 4-5 years, should they and the manager who picked them not be the ones looked at first in a loss? (Especially a big upset when the team looked lost for much of the match?)….

            Nah, I’d say it’s Press, Naeher, and Dunn’s fault that the USA lost to Sweden….

          • Guest

            No one is blaming Press for the loss. Literally no one. They are just critiquing her.

          • ARED

            Well, aside from you having *literally* no way of knowing that…. ; p
            -I guess it’s just another fine line. Saying it was “a damn choke job” implies a player making a bad error which should not have happened, no? Which caused the team to lose because of that play/player, no?

            And that is all just silly semantics (from you isolating a single phrase of my comment). I replied to a comment saying “She really wasn’t very good this tournament” and saying she choked based solely on comparing her penalty to Dahlqvist’s. If the poster didn’t know who Dahlqvist was, I don’t see why it’s so far-fetched for me to: 1) Fill them in on why that is a pretty flawed comparison, and, 2) Suggest that the 120 minutes before penalties matter a lot more and are more easily managed than the shootout -the worst part of the sport. Never mind the 3-5 years leading into each tournament.

        • Mo

          Horan has been toyed with by Ellis. Almost worse since she was replaced by long right before OG. She nailed hers off the bench. I’m not saying press is a horrible player for the pk but … Excuses. If you can’t take the heat…

          • ARED

            Yes, Horan should be praised (Ellis should be especially thankful) and Lloyd and Brian to a lesser degree perhaps. Morgan and Press’ attempts should be critiqued. But to say they choked and ignore the 120 minutes before?

            I’m sorry, but soccer is not a black and white, easy to explain sport. People want to watch the 20 seconds of highlights of a match or the final penalty, and draw conclusions…. It is fine to critique players, but I think it’s nice to be semi-fair or at least semi-logical in doing so. You can say this is making “excuses”, but I say it is giving a fair consideration for what happened in the game.

            Press could have scored, and the USA might have gone on to win. Same for Morgan. Same for Lloyd, Morgan, Heath, and Pugh during the match. Same for Dunn and Rapinoe -who were the subs Ellis first gave chances to. The only difference with Press is that Ellis made the bizarre decision to use her in the 5th round….

          • olds school

            I hate it when matches are decided by penalty kick its 50/50 left or right 50 percent skill 50 percent luck both for the kicker and the goalie, they should adopt the one on one shoot out during the NY Cosmos days and early days of MLS it involves more skills both for the kicker and the goalie and they can move around freely.

          • dw

            The teams have only themselves to blame, not the rulebook. Either by lacking the crucial attack, or by sitting back, you have resigned yourself to a dismal resolution. Soccer declares no winners, only concedes that one team must move on…

          • ARED

            It’s true. Although I often find that poor refereeing/playing conditions benefit the “bus” team. Persistent fouling kills chances, slows the tempo, and steals time in actual play (and obviously can slow the opponent physically).

            Referees need to: 1) Call the fouls/cards, to prevent this from being a continuing theme throughout the match. And, 2) Award full and generous amounts of stoppage time.

          • guest

            I remember those days, it does involve more skill and much more exciting because of the time limit 5 seconds I think, which the league have problem enforcing. Franz Beckenbauer have propose that when he went back to Europe never materialized because it comes from America, the perception is Americans doesn’t know anything about futbol.

          • John

            Cruyff wanted to implement it in Europe as well after his stint in NASL. Thought it was exactly what the crowd would want – excitement.

          • ARED

            I actually don’t care for that method myself, but I also hate the penalties.

            There are a few decent suggestions. One is just to bring back golden goal and eliminate the penalties completely. Play until someone scores -that way a team who parks the bus knows that eventually they must at least pull out a little bit to try to score or they literally cannot win. Now the penalties give them hope to win without ever scoring a goal.

    • Guest

      I honestly think he is plotting something against CP that is worthy of jail time.

      • rkmid71

        Also, what happened to Jersey Shore? I think it’s time for them to switch allegiance to another Jersey girl, Tobin Heath.

        • Steglitz49

          Thank you. I wondered about him too. Maybe he is prostrated with grief?

        • ARED

          I’d say that time came around 2009…. ; p

    • Silver Frost

      Still in his cups with a wicked hangover, not believing his luck in having Press become the poster girl for the word “loser”.

    • HOFCToDi

      Waiting for the fallout from the USSF on the coaching staff, the EEOC complaint, and the attendance for the next international women’s friendlies.

      By the way, an updated tally ………….

      Christen Press
      FIFA Women’s World Cup
      Minutes Played
      Semifinals – 0
      Final – 0

      Christen Press
      Summer Olympic Games
      Minutes Played
      Semifinals – 0
      Final – 0

      • Kevin

        Carli Lloyd
        2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup
        Minutes Played – 0

        Carli Lloyd
        2020 FIFA Olympic Games
        Minutes Played – 0

        • Steglitz49

          Touché!

        • ARED

          Would you put money on this? ; p

          • Kevin

            Sure, give me some odds.

          • ARED

            I’d say 2:1 maybe? $2 saying she won’t play against $1 saying she will -since all logic would suggest she shouldn’t be playing, but we know that logic probably won’t be what makes the decision….lol.

      • ARED

        Carli Lloyd/Michelle Akers/Pele:
        Summer Olympic Games
        Minutes Played
        Semifinals – 0
        Final – 0

        (You may think this post is meaningless, and I would agree….)

        • John

          Diego Maradona/George Best/Johann Cruyff
          Summer Olympic Games
          Minutes Played
          Semifinals – 0
          Final – 0

          • ARED

            Exactly.

            (To clarify, of course Lloyd and Akers have played/won SF’s at other Olympic Games. But I was pointing out the lack of meaning to the stats posted above in relation to these games. But there are many examples of great players unable to play on the big stages -which still does not diminish their greatness).

          • Steglitz49

            Diego Mardaona cheated and George Best dissipated his talent squandering it on alcohol, fast women and flash cars.

            Cruyff won neither the WC nor the Euros.

        • HOFCToDi

          Carli Lloyd already won two Olympic Gold Medals. Michelle Akers already won one Olympic Gold Medal. Christen Press has won no Olympic medals whatsoever.

      • John

        You didn’t go to school with her and she turned you down for the Prom or something?

        Your making this really personal. 🙂

        • HOFCToDi

          Poor Pressie Pooh! No face time with Bob Costas at the NBC Studios in Rio for you!

  • Dennis Nguyen

    Wow! I’m so impressed with the immense soccer knowledge on display here with these insightful critique of the players, coaches, and pundits. It is wonder that nobody here has been asked to coach the national team. It is a shame that Gulatti overlooked such a rich source of expertise. Imagine if the team was coach by somebody here, why we would never lose a single match. If a team were to lose a game, that ignorant fool would be replaced by another poster here.

    • rkmid71

      It sounds like the criticism is hitting close to home. JE couldn’t ever win the College Cup as coach at UCLA, with one the biggest recruiting advantages in the college game. Do you dispute that? And I’ve observed there is a hell of a lot of soccer knowledge on this site and some with insight into the team and players — I don’t know what the background of everyone is, but clearly some people know what they’re talking about.

      • Reality

        Press knocked off Ellis’s UCLA team twice in the College Cup during Ellis’s last two years there in 2009 and 2010…

        http://www.uclabruins.com/news/2009/12/4/207904335.aspx

        http://www.gostanford.com/news/2010/11/19/208163651.aspx

        • Frode

          Those performances must have left an impression on Ellis. Press can be that type of player. I remember well the first time I saw her play, 2009, cheering on my college team with my daughter, asking “Who the heck is that player who just destroyed us?”

          • Steglitz49

            She was that type of player playing for Göteborg. I am not persuaded that she has developed since. The growth she did in Gbg has stood her in good stead but staying a second seasons may have lifted her even more.

          • Frode

            She was that type of player for Tyreso and continues to be in the NWSL. On the USWNT, she is not often played as primary goal scorer, so by comparison people often think she is failing at the NT level. In fact, she has been doing quite well in the roles Ellis has given her. For those who believe she is failing, the missed PK will just cement that (mistaken) opinion. For Ellis and Gustavson, I don’t think the missed PK will weigh that heavily. For Press, I don’t know.

          • Steglitz49

            Christen was given her first cap (and selected to be an alternate) based on her performance for Göteborg. She played for the USWNT before she had kicked a ball for Tyresö.

            One reason I contend that Christen would have developed more at Gbg was that she was coached by a great former striker. That is worth gold when you are a striker yourself.

            Playing for Tyresö was easy with all those other stars around her but I saw no evidence of growth. For Göteborg it was a diffferent task yet she shone and almost made Goalscoring Queen playing for Gbg.

            Christen won her only club trophy playing for Gbg defeating Tyresö in the final of the Swedish Cup when she scored one of the goals. With Tyresö she won nothing.

          • Frode

            Could you possibly harbor the slightest bit of resentment over Press’s leaving Gbg for Tyreso? Also Tyreso’s successs in the CL was greater than Gbg’s Swedish League Championship (Didn’t Tyreso also win that with Press?). Finally, Press was played as a striker when she first came on the USWNT. I remember watching her first 2 goal performance against Ireland and thinking, wow, this is what we need, a dynamic striker to pair with Morgan.

          • Steglitz49

            She will be 31 in 2019.

            You pays your money and you makes your choice. Christen has a WC winners medal which is more than most WoSo players have. Heck, Johan Cruyff never won the World Cup, not ever the Euros, so she is one step higher on the ladder of achievement..

      • ARED

        Well said, I agree! ; )

    • mockmook

      Are players and coaches perfect?

  • dw

    I want to shed some additional light on this so called “domination”. But not really in a positive light. Imagine telling any other WNT coach that you could play with 8 attacking players for the majority of the game. EIGHT. And that also during most of those games, you will also have clean sheets defensively. This is the USWNT culture, and theirs alone. Sweden scored just as many with a lone striker as we did with EIGHT attacking players. And Ellis’ offense looks poorer than many other teams, who are lucky to get half as many players into the final third consistently, if ever. Oh and not to mention the average attacking skill of our side is better than ALL other sides as well. How can the coaching NOT be cripplingly poor?

    • Guest

      Ellis’ job seems to mainly be to get results while managing veterans. Who would you want to replace Ellis as manager? What happens when the US lose the next SBC because said manager wanted to look at Pugh in the central attacking position instead of big game Carli. Look what happened with Sermanni when he tried to experiment at Algrave. I definitely think that Ellis has perhaps been one of the worst managers of top 10 teams along with Bergeroo and Neid. Although, I do question if France’s failures can be placed completely at Bergeroo’s feet since Bini has done well with China

      • dw

        Hmm. Seems like we need a raking of coaches of top 10 WoSo sides…
        Also maybe a ranking of USWNT coaches through history as well?
        I’ll need some time to come up with lists…

        • ARED

          Herdman gets results but only to a certain extend thus far.

          I think Sampson and Stajcic have done well in growing their talent while also achieving strong results. Vadão seems to be on his way to doing the same.

          Pia and Herdman both are so conservative and often negative that it’s a bit hard to see them actually lifting a team to the level needed to take a major title -but, with Brazil eliminating Australia and the USA falling flat it leaves a big opening for an efficient conservative team to win a wide open final two rounds.

          • Steglitz49

            It was Pia who eliminated the US or rather her team who did it. It is too early to tell whether Sweden will get a medal but Pia is going to Rio.

        • Steglitz49

          What would be your criteria for competence? How do you correct for money?

      • Guest

        Andonovski, Sermanni, anyone really. Aly Wagner would be better than JE

      • Altius

        ANDONOVSKI.

        • Guest

          The question was more rhetorical since I know that there are many better managers than Ellis. I am just skeptical that they will be successful in getting rid of the couple of headaches that won’t seem to go away. I’d love to see Vlatko in charge of the team but only if he would be allowed to cull the roster and pick a starting XI without being handcuffed by political agendas.

        • Observed

          Riley would be better at this point. He’s good with losers.

          • Altius

            Uh huh. Great insight.

      • FlyingSquirrel42

        I suppose Joe Biden will need a job next year.

        (Yes, I’m kidding.)

        (Mostly.)

        • Nancyjkuiper3

          <<hp. ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★::::::!ir278m:….,…

  • sudeep das

    Only 6 shots on goal out of 27 is not effective domination; it is more about poor marksmanship. The US U-15 had to put at least 22 shots on goal to score that many.
    The poor finishing by USWNT has been a worry for quite some time now. Not only have they missed opportunities but also have failed to put the ball on frame consistently.
    Just possessing the ball doesn’t make a dominant team.

    • Silver Frost

      Well, it’s hard to finish when ten players are standing in front of you in classic Park the Bus mode.

      • Steglitz49

        It is called an organized defense that plays as a cohesive unit when it is the US who does it. Except they are incapable of it, some would argue.

      • newsouth

        nope. 90% of the teams they play park the bus. the difference is, sweden matches them lb for lb physically. it’s kind of hard getting clean shots when a defender physically equal or stronger than you is riding your back. how come they look like crap 9 of 10 games vs sweden? can’t be the bus in the lot every game. well funded team but one dimensional with one hand worth of technical players. pugh and dunn can maneuver but are small, esp muscled by big nordic girls. press can’t get rid of the cream puff image.

        the crazy thing is, i can’t even remember seeing press or morgan take a penalty kick in nwsl. that’s beyond sad. to make s49 happy, press choked and morgan telegraphed her shot. they both still blew it.

        • Steglitz49

          Too true. The Swedes stood their ground, gave as good as they got and kept their composure inspite of the incompetent refereeing crew. Solid organization.

          This was Sweden’s WoSo’s Stalingard and like the Red Army, they were victorious.

        • #1Fan

          this is what elite teams face EVERY game. Should be no surprise and is no excuse

  • luke

    Haven’t Sweden already advanced to the medal round?

    • Steglitz49

      I guess they could be thrown out for being too blonde.

  • ARED

    There are different phases of the game. “Dominating” in some does not mean in all, and the level of dominance or control can vary from phase to phase. The USA tends to dominate possession, but still sometimes give away the ball cheaply or in bad areas. And when they do have the possession, do they “dominate” in turning possession into chances? And if they do, are those quality chances or only half-chances or forced shots?

    I believe they sometimes concede 2-3 quality chances while working to create 15-20 half-chances themselves. That ratio will usually win when you have better talent at the back and front (Solo to save you, and attackers who can score from half-chances) -and when you are strong on set pieces, where most USA goals come from. But, sometimes you will play teams who can withstand your half chances and are good enough on the day to finish one or two of the quality chances you concede. Sweden scored a great goal on a quality chance which the USA was caught out on. And as the game went on the USA created fewer and fewer chances -and most were more speculative than top quality chances. (And Morgan’s goal came from a a good bounce on a half-chance).

    • Craigaroo

      Where’s the Expected Goals (xG) stats when we need them?!

      • Steglitz49

        Are you meaning an anlysis of this SF? if so, how do you correct for the refereeing errors?

  • Kevin

    Time to start the youth movement.

    Age at start of 2019 World Cup…

    • Steglitz49

      Why is Holiday in your list? I have not seen anything that she wants to unretire herself.

      When Japan won in 2011, their average age was 25 years with two players aged >30. Following that precedent, we keep most or all from Alex and down and pick two from the ones older than Alex.

      • Kevin

        She’s definitely still young enough to make a comeback if she wants. I haven’t heard anything that makes me think she might come out of retirement, but you never know.

        This isn’t any kind of speculative list, just a list with the ages of most of the players that have played with the USWNT or been in camp recently.

        • Steglitz49

          It is an excellent list that you have compiled. Thank you.

          It also illustrates the challenge to JE or whoever would take over from her should she fall on her sword.

          Mind you, Neid survived 2011, so JE likely stays. I wonder what happens to Bergeroo now? Maybe King Eric can be induced to take over?

          • rkmid71

            Falling on her sword assumes an honor code. For example, Messi and his teammates were willing to fall on their sword after Copa America Centenario.

      • Kevin

        What makes 2011 Japan the template for success? The average age of the USWNT at WC15 was 28. I don’t think the average age of Japan in 2011 or USA in 2015 is relevant.

        • Average age on the USWNT at WC15 was 28, with many players older than 30.
        • Average CAPS on USWNT at WC15 was 101.

        Most of the older veterans saw little to no time on the pitch (Rampone, Boxx, HAO) or shouldn’t have (Wambach).

        • Steglitz49

          WC-15 was an oddity in that FIFA loaded the dice in favor of the US as well as the hosts.

          The US also benefitted from the refereeing but at least those refs seems to have known the laws of the game even if their eyesight left some to be desired.

    • #1Fan

      I still believe that within all these individual players, there is an excellent TEAM. USSF need to focus on the whole and not the individuals. Too much of what i read implies a star system that really does not produce great teams. Lloyd comments about 2019/2020 show a startling arrogance that should not be tolerated. Complacency comes from the current CBA that writes in tenure and privilege irrespective of current performance.

      A player like Sanchez is very good when evaluated in isolation, but before anointing her, her role and position needs to be determined. I see a lot of high level girls soccer from ECNL > YNT .NT and one of the biggest issues i see is the growth of the wrong kind of individualism . A failure to buy into a team concept that is re-inforced by media and fans talking about goals only. and not overall contributions. Solo, Wambach, Lloyd are not really punished for acting like divas – bigger than the team. In Lloyds case, on the field , she really does not make the team better.

      Its time to build a team and time to stop pandering to big egos

  • Steglitz49

    Pauline Hammarlund replaces the injured Fridolina Rolfö. It is a stright swap of an attacker/attacking midfielder.

    Some thought that Hanne Gråhns who plays box to box midfield and can both defend and attack might get the nod as more versatile, but Pauline it is.

  • Nancyjkuiper3

    <<hp. ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★::::::!ir278m:….,…..

  • dw

    Stats thru QF:
    Shots taken/ Goals/ %Goals/shots
    CAN 44S 8G 18%
    FRA 62S 7G 13.5%
    AUS 74S 8G 10.8%
    GER 102S 10G 10%
    USA 62S 6G 9.7%
    BRA 89S 8G 9.0%
    SWE 36S 3G 8.3%
    Does this tell us anything? Besides who bunkers and who doesn’t?

    • Steglitz49

      You can’t make too much of this because of the inept refereeing of the Swe-USA match and by all accounts allegedly Frances loss to Canada (which I did not see so can’t comment on).

      You also must separate knock-out play from group play because there is no second chane in the knock-out rounds and 0-0 can get you through on penalties.

      • dw

        I concede no “musts”. The scoresheets are the scoresheets. And the last time I checked shots and goal definitions are the same during knockout rounds.
        I might concede, however, that the statistics don’t really tell us anything when viewed without context. Probably the biggest skewer of stats, which Steg has failed to mention, was the presence of Zimbabwe in your group, or not.

        • Steglitz49

          Zimbabwe scored against each of the teams in their group. Colombia scored 2 against the US, the only goals they scored.

          Garbage in means garbage out. If you are going to analyze data meaningfully then the data base must be valid, that is as correct as it can be. We know that Sweden was denied a legal goal and we know that the US 1-1 equalizer came off a foul.

  • dw

    “I think one of the best qualities that we possess is how quickly we can play and how quickly we can move,” says Dorrance.“I think that seemed to be missing some of the time against Sweden.
    How does Dorrance not know that when you “sit on a team” then you then don’t get to use your speed?
    And there’s the great fallacy in the US tactics. Keep opponent penned in, nullify your own greatest strength…
    And that leads into the fallacy in the US system. Keep selecting for speed, and then at the WNT you get to use it vs. tomato cans, but not so much against other quality sides, and then you need high soccer IQ, which is something we have never selected for.

    • Craigaroo

      When Dorrance says “how quickly we can play”, he’s not talking about athletic speed, running speed, he’s talking abut the ability to move the ball around and player movement.Everyone seems to be trying to find fault with his comments but they seemed on point.

      • Steglitz49

        That describes Brazil, does it not, and maybe even Sweden judging by Dahlkvist ot Blackstenius into goal.

      • dw

        The USWNT I watch is not a team built around moving the ball quickly and player movement. Our player selection is not skewed toward those abilities, nor is our formation, nor are our tactics. As far as I can see, the team is built to run the ball quickly down the flanks, and then do nothing with it.

        • Craigaroo

          You’re no doubt right that the US is best suited to running down the flanks quickly but Dorrance is saying the Us has shown it can play more quickly against a compact defense than it did against Sweden. Dorrance seems to be a guy who knows a little something about soccer, by the way.

          • #1Fan

            I would disagree on Dorrance to a point. he has been very good at using the rules of the College game to his advantage.

          • Steglitz49

            Indeed.

      • #1Fan

        And yet Dorrance is notorious for recruiting fast players , pressing all game and deploying them like lines in a Hockey game. Not known fo being speedy of play guy as such.

    • Bruce

      Given the players that he mentioned. I think his reference to “quickness” had everything to do with off-ball motion when in the attacking half.

      I like the analogy of playing basketball against a tightly backed zone since it is easier to visualize. To get easy shots in the lane, you need to flash to open spaces, pull defenders out of position, look for back door cuts, penetrate and dish off, etc. Standing around and hoping to score by lobbing into the lane only works if you’ve got a vastly superior center.

      At the beginning of the game, the US did a reasonably good job of applying pressure to Sweden’s back line with movement, bending runs and the like. As the game wore on, that ended and (or because) direct balls into the box started to dominate.

      Only Dunn, Pugh and (to a lesser extent) Press showed any initiative to break that pattern – especially after half time.

  • dw

    Defensive Stats:
    SA shots against/GA goals against
    BRA 24/1
    FRA 22/2
    CAN 62/2
    USA 27/3
    GER 24/5
    AUS 66/5
    SWE 61/6

    • Steglitz49

      Soccer is a funny old game. “Drogba forever in our hearts”, it says on Chelsea’s flags.

      The mighty Magyars lost only one game during their glorious run but it was the wrong one to lose: the WC-54 final. The Hungarians went 2-0 up within minutes but Germany won 3-2. In the group game Germany had los 3-8 to Hungary.

      The Bern stadium ahs been rebuilt since but Longines restored the stadium clock. It strikes fear into all coaches.
      https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wankdorf_1954_world_cup_final_match_clock.jpg

      • dw

        What? Wait until your next lucid moment, Steg…

        • Steglitz49

          The US’s goal against Sweden came from a foul. Thus it should not really be in your stats. Mind you 61/6 = 10.2 while 60/5 = 12 which is neither here nor there between consenting adults in public and still does not beat Canada.

          One can hope that after the Sweden match and the Canada match, the refs will be on tiptoe not to embarass themselves further.

        • Steglitz49

          In the 2012 men’s Champions League final Bayern Munich totally dominated Chelsea but it was not till just before the end that Bayern Scored. Drogba scored the equalizer with 1 or 2 minutes left on the clock. He then scored the winning Pk in the pso.

          Drogba in their hearts forever indeed.

          • AlexH

            Bayern made then a similar mistake to the USA on Friday. They took to long to get into an attacking position which allowed Chelsea the time to set up and defend. They believed that nobody could sustain the pressure so they just kept doing the same slow buildup side to side then over and over again. In so doing they dropped their guard and BOOM, they let in a goal completely against the run of play.

          • Steglitz49

            With that dreadful warning example, how come the US did not have both a plan B and a plan C? Maybe they believed in the inept ref team? She did her worst; the USWNT did even less.

  • Gary Diver

    Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Crystal Dunn, and Allie Long have stayed in Rio and were interviewed last night on the NBC’s late night Olympics coverage show. They looked like a sad lot. Rapinoe was asked what she learned from this experience. She rolled her eyes and finally came up with “perspective”.

    • dw

      Just watched the interview, and for my “loud mouthed punk” comment earlier and the inference above, I would have thought this was another “losing sucks” moment. But full marks to Pinoe for being reasonably eloquent. I’m not deducting any points for failing to congratulate Sweden.

      • Gary Diver

        Eloquent? What does “perspective” mean? And poor Allie Long. When others were saying platitudes of “we will be back in four years” I could sense she was saying to herself “unfortunately not me”.

        • Frode

          You have to feel for Long. She worked so hard to make this roster, and in all likelihood she will not get another chance, not necessarily due to age, but rather a change in style of play.

          • dw

            I would think a change in style would help her chances, not hurt her. Her age will be no help. I support Long for the WWC team in 19. Heck, she could even be captain…

          • Frode

            You make a good point. She is big and strong, and if she continues to develop her decision making, she could be that #6 stalwart in a new offense built around a solid midfield, or at least a reliable backup. Continuing to play for the Thorns should help that.

          • Steglitz49

            What was Long’s role in Sweden’s first goal?

          • Frode

            Hence my comment about decision making. But to be fair to Long, the formation Ellis fielded made US highly vulnerable to counter-attacks after a midfield give away (which happens now and then). Many people wrote about this before the game.

          • Steglitz49

            It was not a midfield give-away. Sweden played themselves out of the box (or from the edge of the box).

          • Frode

            A give away by the central midfielders, whether it occurs in the center third or final third. Either way, it leaves the 2-back vulnerable to counter attack.

          • Steglitz49

            Semantics.

          • Frode

            Exactly. The result is the same: a goal on a counterattack.

          • AlexH

            Not if the 2 back are competent. They had to know any change of possession would result in an immediate attempt to get behind the back line and they should have positioned themselves accordingly and if they weren’t doing that the coaches should have had them play a bit farther back or given them some additional help.

          • Frode

            “…or given them some additional help.” That’s the whole point of my initial comment. When an offense pushes its outside backs into the attack and leaves only 2 defenders back, it is vulnerable to counterattack, even by 1 or 2 players. The help you suggest was forward and wide. The midfield (#6, #8 and #10) provider your first line of defense. #6 was there, #8 gave the ball away and #10 was in her usual spot as striker. Thus, at the point of giveaway, all that’s needed is a quick pass around/over the #6 and you trigger a counter. The bottom line is that Ellis’s formation made Johnston and Sauerbrunn vulnerable to a quick counter and moment of individual brilliance (Blackstenius).

          • brdn08

            Not so simple when you’re shifting to allow fullbacks to go forward. The US gets in trouble when it starts stretching defenders to allow fullbacks into the attack, The difference between WWC15 and now is that you had an all time great woso midfielder roving the deep mid. Replacing Holiday has not been easy and remains a puzzle.

          • AlexH

            True, but Holiday has been gone a while . The difficulties you describe are real but they are well known. The defenders should have been prioritizing their positioning to prevent what happened from happening because at the end of the day it was still 2 defenders against 1 attacker. Whatever the defenders where hoping to accomplish during the sequence that led to the Swedish goal was surely not as important as preventing the Swedish goal.

          • #1Fan

            when a ball is given away cheaply in a danger area, a good ream will punish you. I think it is a bit fanciful to blame the defenders.

          • AlexH

            The ball was played from well on the Swedish side of the field. Hardly a danger area.

          • #1Fan

            of course it is . you are expecting to retain possession which is why your Obs are high. A give away in the middle of the field when pressing is dangerous.

          • brdn08

            Way too much space between the midfield and back lines. She cant freely release opposing attacking players when shifts are on to allow US fullbacks to go forward.

          • Gary Diver

            Long would be a very good captain.

          • #1Fan

            she is by no means a gteed starter .

          • Steglitz49

            Allie Long is 29. This was her chance. It is gone.

        • dw

          Perspecitive, as in what losing in a major tournament feels. Winning WWC15 means you forgot how you felt in WWC11. And WWC11 was a reasonable success considering 2nd place by PK’s. This level of losing, with no medal hopes, is completely new, and yet most other countries besides GER experience this at some if not most all major tourneys. Some insight that this is what the Ferns go through all the time, yet carry on. Maybe some inkling into moving off a petulant win-only attitude and see value in all the competitors in all the sports going on around you. Sometimes the best stories, particularly in Olympics, have everything to do with competing, and not just winning.

          • Gary Diver

            The growth of American WoSo has been based on Title IX and extensive positive publicity. The Olympics winners will leave no oxygen for WoSo soccer. If no publicity is bad publicity, there is going to be a lot of bad publicity over the next several months for American WoSo.

          • Steglitz49

            If you believe that this is how you read their euphemisms, good luck to you.

            To Alex and Pinoe it is Frankfurt déjà vu all over again. They went into both matches heavily favoured. They were examined and found wanting. Not even glorious failures. Just trailer trash.

  • Gary Diver

    Black Friday in American Soccer (August 12, 2016)

    Let me count the ways:

    1. Americans love winners, losers not so much. The successful American athletes are going to totally suck all of the oxygen out of the media and endorsement worlds.

    2. American girls will not be inspired to take up soccer and be inspired to repeat the OG16 experience.

    3. NWSL could easily be the major collateral damage of this disaster.

    4. If Jill Ellis does not acknowledge and accept responsibility for blatantly poor judgment in management of this tournament we will enter a “Dark Age of American Soccer”. She doesn’t seem to have any concept of formations, strategies, game plans, or being able to adjust to game challenges in real time. Her decision to insert Rapinoe into the Swedish game and her choices of PK shooters have to be among the worst in the history of American WoSo.

    • #1Fan

      Far too dramatic

      • dw

        Dunno, I think 1, 3, and 4 are real, to a degree. 1 and 3 in particular…

        • #1Fan

          With no major event till 2019, WoSo was always going to struggle for column inches. NWSL is far from a success now and a WC win did not transform it . The casual fan is not interested and the hardcore will remain the hardcore. 2 is College scholarship based and that wont change. I totally disagree with 4. Anyone can miss a PK so selection is very easy in hindsight. I would like those that support point 4, explain to me what that means in the context of Winning a WC and being heavy favs for OG-16.

        • Steglitz49

          Verily and forsooth.

      • Gary Diver

        We will see.

        1. The post-Olympics NWSL attendance will be very interesting. I will be surprised if all of the slow gains we have spent hours analyzing will evaporate completely.

        2. OG16 was mismanaged badly by Ellis. If she doubles down (like our politicians) and refuses to accept responsibility for what she did, why would she change her attitude and approaches?

        3. Publicity and coverage is extremely important in sports. To the Olympics winners go all of the spoils. Let’s keep track of who gets all of the new marketing endorsements and feature articles.

        4. The “equal pay for equal play” movement has taken a big hit.

        5. The USWNT players may become more entrenched to protect their “little elite club”. The talk of “this group of players” coming back in four years to revenge their loss is simply scary if you care about the future of American WoSo.

        • HOFCToDi

          5. If the USWNTPA lose the EEOC complaint, the USWNTPA lose all leverage in CBA negotiations.

          USSF can allow the CBA to expire and lock the players out.

      • Steglitz49

        His point about #3 is well taken. His #1 is well known.

        I disagree with his #2. WoSo as a participation sport and college activity, let alone scholarships, is too well established to be worried.

    • Steglitz49

      America’s worst pso shooters remain those of WC-11. Japan won the pso 3-1. Here Sweden won 4-3.

    • Steglitz49

      The Glorious Twelfth for Sweden, though — and for all WoSo.

  • Craigaroo

    Both semifinals are rematches from the group stage. Using the official FIFA ratings, the approximate odds are:
    Germany (2115) .733 probability of advancing to finals over Canada (1938)
    Brazil (1982 + 100 pts homefield advantage) .613 probability of advancing over Sweden (2002)
    ¶ Roughly recalculating the ratings using the Olympics games played thus far:
    Germany (2115-42=2073) .557 over Canada ( 1938+92= 2030)
    Brazil (1982-3=1979 + 100) .640 over Sweden (2002-24=1978)

    • Steglitz49

      USA ranked #1 with 2168 pts while Sweden is #6 with 2002 pts. A smaller difference that one might have thought.

      • Craigaroo

        Well, maybe to those who thought the US was practically a 99% favorite to win the Gold Medal! But not to those of us familiar with Elo-type ratings

        • Steglitz49

          I must confess to being seduced by the US lasses.

  • Gary Diver

    OG16 and NWSL

    The first casualty of the OG16 debacle may be the NWSL and we will not have long to find out. Remember the post-WC15 bounce? If the slow gains in 2016 attendance disappears, NWSL could be in trouble. Any hope for expansion now? A healthy NWSL is essential to the growth of American WoSo. If deep-pocket Europeans poach our better players, it is going to be bad news for NWSL. Women need a self-supporting league. Women teams living off the charity of kind-hearted men with lots of money in 2018 would be wrong on so many levels.

    • Steglitz49

      The 15th World War? What happened to WW 3-14? Is this some Star Wars analogy.

    • Steglitz49

      The Europeans won’t poach the better US players. They might poach the better college seniors and offer better contracts to Canadians but who would pay for damaged goods?

    • AlexH

      I think the NWSL will survive because the federation is supporting it and it is politically unfeasible for them to pull the plug.

      I think the NWSL needs to play a bigger role in finding talent for the WNT on the coaching side. The way things are set up few players really spring form the NWSL to the WNT but there is no reason that the top coaches can’t make the jump.

  • Gary Diver

    What Jill Ellis Didn’t Do

    1. She knew Sweden was going to play bunker soccer, but had no game plan to counter it.

    2. It became obvious early in the game that Ellis use of her OBs in the attack made her vulnerable to dangerous Swedish counter-attacks. Ellis needed to keep more than two defenders back in this situation. Essestially important issue is to work with the fact that Julie Johnston has been beat a number of times on counter-attacks.

    3. Using Tobin Heath as an OB was stupid beyond belief, especially in light of the fact that Heath had been running her guts out earlier in the game.

    4. It was paramount that USWNT not let Sweden to fully set up their defend form. USWNT needed to use a counter-counter-attack, which they rarely attempted. The slow methodical forward movement of the ball by USWNT played into the hands of the Swedish strategy.

    • AlexH

      Well stated.

      • #1Fan

        1 . Not sure I agree. I put it to you that she does not have the players.

        2. Dont agree again . if OBs are pushing on, then the holding player/s have to cover. With Lloyd vacating the center of the pitch to play as a 2nd striker, then middle becomes a vacuum.

        3. Open to debate

        4. To counter, you need to cede possession. Sweden had not interest in possession.

        All this is easy in hindsight. The pan to break down tams that defend deep needed to be developed log ago. that plan does not include Lloyd. As soon as she scored the goals in the WC you KNEW tat real advancement of this team was on hold. but you would take a WC win and QF exit over say 2 semi final losses., So its hard to complain too much. Methodical ball movement was not the undoing, Empty possession and a failure to create chances was. The myth about advanced soccer is that it is about possession. It isn’t . Its about positive possession – creating chances by moving the opponent and exploiting the gaps. Us cant move the opponent laterally and they surely cannot exploit gaps outside of a few payers.

        • rkmid71

          1. I think she had the players, or enough of the players.Just like us, Pia knew JE would likely play Lloyd the entire game, and most likely in CAM. And Sweden has the defenders to neutralize Lloyd who is slow, physical, average ball skills or passing, inaccurate shooter, etc. So the longer JE stuck with that, the better from Sweden’s perspective. OTH, they couldn’t handle the speed, quickness of Dunn and Pugh and Morgan, but it turned out to be too little, too late. I think the Dunn sub at 65′ and moving Lloyd back would have worked if they had just stuck with it…and Lloyd had actually played her new position.Leaving Lloyd in was ok in my mind as she would be an asset on set pieces. Dunn created havoc the first minute she was in. Sweden didn’t have the speed quickness to deal with her.
          2. Agree with you. Where were Morgan Brian and Allie Long when the turnover happened and our OBs were up. Need to check video, but I think they had lost any semblance of balance or shape between the two of them. The thru ball was sent from the center of the field. Problem is our holding mids have no recovery speed, not really strong defensively, and not that much experience in the position. It’s a bad combination when you play so aggressively with your OBs.
          3. It was mind boggling Rapinoe sub 5′ after Dunn came on. It basically partially negated what had just been accomplished by putting Dunn in the game. And then that was exacerbated by giving Rapinoe who hadn’t played a competitive game in 8-9 months license to take all the corners, when Heath was still in the game.
          4. Dunn and Pugh were creating havoc in the bunker. You just needed to get Lloyd out of the way.JE waited until 65′ and even then I don’t think Lloyd liked the plan. We had the players. We also needed Heath up there.

          • #1Fan

            1. Lloyd needs to go. Needed to go in 2015 , but the 3 goals means you are now stuck with her.

            2. Because they are attacking players by nature. They are not #6 type players and NEVER have been esp when your #10 is going to do ZERO defensively.

            The havoc you speak of was mostly flank related. Im sorry to say this
            but a 433 removing Lloyd and Morgan would be my preferred choice.

            I would happily play Pugh-Press- DUnn

            Midfield trio of Heath- Sonnett – Brian

          • Frode

            I like Sonnett as the #6. She is quick, skillful and smart. Might give up aerial presence, however.

            If Ellis stays with the 4-3-3, I would like to see a rotation of Press, Morgan, Dunn and Pugh. Depending on situations could move any of those four to the point. Morgan might be devastating on the wing, but we’ve never seen it tried.

          • Bruce

            I’ve come to appreciate Morgan’s development recently. She puts in the work every game to stretch the defense and has become much more adept at holding up / laying off.

            Would like to see her not play vertically all the time and bend more runs. That, I think, is the logical next step in her evolution. Kind of doubtful that she would be successful on the wing, though.

          • #1Fan

            I am willing to try Morgan there, but i dont see it working. Dunn, Heath, Pugh , even O Hara are all better options …even Ohai

          • Frode

            That’s they beauty of crashing out of the OGs. Ellis should have the freedom to move people around and call up players like Ohai. This could be facilitated by a less restrictive CBA once re-negotiated. With the USWNT’s early exit, and possible (if not likely) rejection of the EEOC complaint, that is a real possibility.

          • AlexH

            Why would you like to see Press? She will be 30 in 2019 and she has done little to warrant a starting spot. Why not give a youngster a shot or maybe Horan who was a FWD before being put into the MF.

          • Frode

            Why Press? Because she is an outstanding striker and soccer player who, despite some public opinions, has done an excellent job with the myriad roles Ellis has asked her to fill (just ask Ellis). She is the type of player who will work with and complement younger players being brought in and currently on the squad. Importantly, she plays the brand of soccer Ellis is working towards (as was Sermani before her). She may not be a starter (she’d have to earn that of course), but she should be on the team.

            This doesn’t preclude trying Horan up top again (just as Ellis tried Press at the #10). In fact, Horan might thrive as a striker with more possession-oriented players around her. This is was the next 2 years will be all about.

          • Kevin

            That’s a terrible midfield trio and Pugh needs to be in the middle.

          • #1Fan

            not to me . but feel free to offer your own solutions …in a 433 with the CMS in an inverted triangle witn ONE CDM i dont want that to be Pugh. Maybe you want to play a triangle with Pugh at the tip with 2 CDMs . I dont want 2 CDms as i think it is not necessary. in want one REAL one.

          • #1Fan

            I would also want Press to drop a bit deeper and create, allowing Pugh/Dunn to push on a bit .

          • Kevin

            Do you realize how slow Brian is? She’s far to slow to play out on the flanks. Pugh is great in traffic and can read the game as well as anyone on the team already and needs to be in the middle where she can do the most damage.

          • #1Fan

            What flanks she is playing LCM

          • Guest

            I don’t think Pugh needs to be in the middle but I do think that is where she is best. I think she’s played as a CM a couple of times in friendlies. I she is to become more of a wide forward, I wan’t to see her work on more variety in her dribbling and quickly changing directions. She has been praised for her touch and ball control but I still think it is quite a ways away from Rapinoe or Heath. Maybe that doesn’t matter much in women’s soccer though because Dunn’s isn’t great either. I think Brian, Heath and Sonnett would be a really strong defensive central midfield once Heath adjusts to the position change. I do still think it can work with Pugh in the Hole and one of the pivots being more of a box to box player but I like your 4-3-3 as well. I’d also give Horan some run outs as a 9. Other than pace she ticks a lot of my boxes in requirement of a CF.

          • #1Fan

            i don’t like 4231 because i don’t see the need for 2 pivots. you could play 4411, but I need to see a real target fwd emerge before i try either formation. Personally I believe Pugh needs a big target fwd to run beyond and combine with if she is going to play centrally

            Pugh and Brian don’t get discussed enough as a pair. What formation is going to get the best from both?

            Brian is excellent at dictating the pace of play, but she needs runners around her.

          • Guest

            Well I think Horan can do the job of a target capable of combining with the players around her. Maybe that is just wishful thinking since we probably won’t see her played as a 9 for a long time if ever. Brian’s best formation is probably a 4-3-3 and I think you have her position right. Pugh’s is probably a 4-2-3-1 behind a target like you pointed out already. I think Pugh could probably play a CM role in a 4-3-3 if you gave her the freedom to get forward into the attack. I do think she has the tools to develop into a good wide forward as well, but right now I’m not sure Pugh is going to be any more productive than she currently is from a wide position. Perhaps Ellis can instruct her to stay more centrally in the 4-3-3 like Messi does but then the need for a very good LB who can defend and provide width is a must.

          • #1Fan

            I agree on Horan, but she needs a chance. I feel she has already been ruined 🙁

          • Guest

            Horan is only 21 and Portland is already starting to push her up the field with Long and Henry in their midfield. I see her as Sinclair’s successor in a year or two. What’s sad is that I doubt a 15 goal year in the NWSL from her would get her a serious look at the 9 for the NT with Morgan around for another cycle.

          • Guest

            *22 years old.

          • Guest

            This is a bit of a departure from the formations we’ve already discussed but I been wondering if the US women have the personnel to play a 3-5-2 well. I’d be very interested in seeing a Horan and Press strike pair but with a 3 women midfield. Horan up top also gives the team a more reliable direct option against most teams. My only real concern is the lack of very good ball playing center backs comfortable with the ball. I think they would also have to be above very mobile CBs and able to break up counters effectively.

        • Gary Diver

          “All this is easy in hindsight.”

          Immediately after the first dangerous Swedish counter-attack, I predicted to myself that Sweden was going to score against USWNT on a counter-attack and feared JJ would be involved as I recalled Red Stars games from last year.

          It was less hindsight and more writing on the wall.

          • #1Fan

            I keep saying JJ is a liability, but I think the failure here is more about not scoring than defending.

  • AlexH

    I have a no EQ policy UNLESS I am goofing off at work so my apologies to the throngs of folks who have been waiting for my 2 cents on the “Bumble in the Jungle”.

    1) On the bright side this loss now affords the federation the opportunity to completely clean house of all of the lifers that hang around the women’s program. Jill Ellis and April Heinrichs are the most obvious examples of this but there are certainly more and they need to go. It is time for the fed to do what the over on the men;s side big time feds do when finding a replacement. Look out over the landscape and poach whichever coach you think is best. Now that the gal’s bargaining position for the CBA has crumbled into dust the fed should re-invest the savings towards getting new blood on the coaching side.

    2) On the bright side this loss now affords the federation the opportunity to clean house on all of the lifers that are still on the freaking team. We don’t have a meaningful game until the fall of 2018 when WC qualification rolls around. So after the “victory tour” ends we should remove everybody from the roster that will be 30 plus on opening day of the WC and dedicate 2017 to giving as many younger players the opportunity to earn a spot on the team. If there was ever a time to break the old girls network on the roster this is the time.

    3) This loss is primarily on the defense. Our CB’s had basically 1 job to do and they failed. The veteran “smart” player got wrong-sided and the young fast player couldn’t get over quick enough to cover. Given that the Swedes showed very little more than what eventually got them a gold our CB’s were criminally negligent. And so were the coaches who should have been keeping an eye on the back line and letting them know if their discipline lapsed. I think finding a really fast CB needs to be the top priority. The team will likely be spending most of the time in the attacking end and will probably be playing a high defensive line so having a flyer on the back line is a no-brainer.

    4) The loss shows how quickly boring, unsophisticated, route 1 soccer can completely undress a team playing the so-called modern game with all of its possession, overlapping and playing to the feet. I personally am a big proponent of muscles and wheels but if the Euro-snob / jogo bonito crowd get their way then the coach needs to have the guts to purge players that can’t play that way and the federation needs to PURGE COACHES from the system that have never coached that way.

    5) Please, please find players that can shoot from distance. All of our goals were of scored from withing the 18 and almost all of the attempts from distance were pathetically off target. With the state of goalkeeping as it is we need to have players that aren’t afraid to take a rip when the opportunity arises….especially on set pieces.

    That is all

    • Kevin

      2) So you want to cut Lloyd, Krieger, Sauerbrunn, Rapinoe, Long, Engen, Heath, Klingenberg, O’Hara and Press?

      3) Our central midfield being non-existent and offense not finishing/scoring was the problem.

      5) Hard to score from outside the 18 when our opponents bunker and have 10 in the box no matter how great your outside shooters are. What we need are players like Pugh at CAM that can find the gaps, not someone like Lloyd who dribbles with her head down.

      • AlexH

        2) For 2017 absolutely. We have no meaningful games next year, we already know what the oldsters bring to the table and we can be damned certain that they won’t be better 3 years from now. Why not dedicate next year to finding new talent.

        3) The offense should have done better but it is easier to give away a cheap goal than it is to earn a goal against a bunkering team. Our offense should have scored more than 1 but Sweden should have been held to 0.

        5) It is definitely hard to score against a bunker from distance so yes we need players that can find gaps, and already we have those players. Shooting from distance complements these players because penetration collapses the defense which means that the ball can be played back out to sombebody 20 yards from goal who will have space to take a shot. Even if it’s crowded a deflected shot often finds its way into the net or onto the foot of a friendly player. However, sky balls of the type we were putting up have absolutely no chance.

        • Kevin

          2) Hard to judge new talent if you don’t surround them with some proven players.

          5) I’m not sure we do have many of those players. Who do you think they are?

          • AlexH

            2) I think we have a lot of experienced young players right now. Morgan, Pugh, Dunn, Brian, Horan and Johnston are all veterans now and have gotten lots of minutes so there is a framework of players that can help the newbies. Of course, my suggestion is radical and if Jill wants to make 1 or 2 exceptions then fine. However we should absolutely focus on youth in 2017.

            5) Don’t know. As I said at the very top. EQ is what I do to goof off at work. I am convinced that with the bizillion girls that play soccer that we can find players that can shoot. Mewis has the ability and the guts to shoot from distance. That’s 1.

          • #1Fan

            i am on totally the opposite side. I want the goal of my team to be scoring tap ins. Long distance shooting implies inability to break anyone down.

            on your so called young vets. they have been shoehorrned in to a style of play that does NOTHING to play to their actual strengths. Sure the experience is good, but the game they are paying now is IMO FAR below their tactical and technical level.

          • AlexH

            Well if the young players are shoehorned into playing a system that doesn’t suit their strengths then the the system needs to change.

            How do you do that?

            You clean out the coaches and the old players that stand in their way which is what I have been advocating and you replace them with new players and coaches. We have 3 years to do this so lets start now.

          • #1Fan

            Except your Coach and older players won a WC one year ago. Hard to clean house now.

          • AlexH

            It was hard to clean house THEN. They just turned in the worst major tournament performance in the history of the program. If not now, when?

          • #1Fan

            its still too soon. USSF could help by banning Solo for say 5 games for her post match comments

          • AlexH

            Brilliant! I personally have no problem with Solo or other athletes venting their frustrations after a tough loss but I am also not above a little bit of cheap opportunism clothed in high minded rhetoric if it helps our squad.

            I think that we could definitely ditch Jill though at this point. Nobody pays to see the coach and losing coaches get canned at the drop of a hat all the time.

          • Kevin

            Pugh, Dunn and Horan have been with the team for less than a year. I definitely wouldn’t call them veterans. The next World Cup with be their first.

          • AlexH

            They had a ton of minutes in the run-up and were key players in the second most important tournament in woso. That makes them veterans. Soccer is a young person’s sport (everywhere outside the WNT) and there isn’t an official game in for the next 2 years plus change so there is very little risk in making 2017 their year.

            Just tell the oldsters to do well in NWSL (it is important after all. Jill says so, so it must be true!) and maybe invite them to camp to monitor their fitness and keep them close to the program. In 2018 give everybody a clean slate and pick the best players for the pool regardless of age, sentiment, politics etc.

          • Kevin

            That’s the loosest definition of “veteran” I’ve ever heard of then.

          • Steglitz49

            Veteran is a term of abuse in American WoSo. I don’t know what other countries call their olde, experienced players but I doubt that they have too many because they earn next to nothing playing for their NTs.

          • Steglitz49

            Indeed. I would say they are in good position for WC-19.

            Dunn played fine against Sweden; a real threat. Pugh was good too. Horan was on too little to assess but size is not her shortcoming.

        • Frode

          2) For 2017, Ellis needs to bring in young/new players and integrate them with established players. This means STARTING new players.

          3) Agree. It was an isolated but catastrophic failure by Sauerbrunn and Johnston.

          5) The USWNT has some players who can score from distance: Lloyd, Press and Horan. Lloyd used to score like that (see OG 2008 and OG 2012), but ever since she became the second striker, she’s too close to he goal to receive lay off passes. Press is better used closer to the net, but she’s scored some goals from distance. Horan doesn’t get enough playing time at the #10 (has she ever played there?)

          • AlexH

            5) Regarding Lloyd- DING DING DING DING!!!! We have a winner. I am a big fan of Lloyd but you are absolutely right that putting Lloyd closer to the goal where she can use her considerable skills to put the trash in the back of the net has denied her the opportunity to use her considerable skills to strike from distance. Kudos, I should have seen this myself but did not.

            If, as you say, that we have other shooters but Jill didn’t use them properly then that is reason number 39,299,759 that she should be fired.

          • Kevin

            2) Agreed. But “remove everybody from the roster that will be 30 plus” is what you said, which is completely different. If they’re removed from the roster, they’re not even on the bench.

      • Bruce

        Not at all a Lloyd apologist, but I count 11 assists in 2015/16. Anemic, but not as bad as what you’ve listed.

        • AlexH

          Not a Lloyd apologist either. Lloyd has produced wherever she has been placed including this tournament where she and Morgan led the team in scoring. She isn’t the reason we are out of the tournament. That said, she is old and is not getting any younger and we need to move on.

          • Breakers fan

            Seeing how badly Lloyd wants to play for 4 more years it’ll be interesting to see how she is handled/utilized, for any taking her out of the lineup will be a move she most definitely is strongly not ok with at this point in time. Such a move by a head coach, then, will be against her wishes and doing that to the World Cup hero will take gumption from a head coach.

            Not sure if this has been discussed but is there ANY chance that Jill gets fired for this Olympic result? My hunch is “no”, that the loss won’t be put on her shoulders primarily. But I could see Solo being moved aside — after the post-game comments, the earlier bad game, and the lack of success, relatively, in the PK round.

          • Steglitz49

            Carried out too many fouls in this match. Eventually the ref cottoned on and gave her a yellow card but not before time.

          • rkmid71

            Morgan herself said the US offense (i.e. the team) was not scoring enough goals. Lloyd and Morgan bear a lot of that burden given the positions they were in. The US scored 6 goals in 4 games. As a captain and given a free role in the offense, Lloyd should be taking full responsibility for why we are out of the tournament. Against Sweden, we had 27 shots, only 6 were on goal, and only 1 goal. We had 12 corner kicks. Does that level of inefficiency look familiar to anyone?

        • Kevin

          She has 2 from my numbers. I may have missed one somewhere, but I know I didn’t miss 9.

          I have her for one against Germany in the World Cup and one against Colombia. Which ones am I missing?

          Hopefully you’re not using USSoccer’s numbers. Their stats are always wrong. They have Lloyd for 3 assists in the WC, but she only had 1.

          • Bruce

            While I agree that US Soccer’s assist stats are “generous”, it’s all we’ve really got until someone wants to go back and look at every goal over the past two years.

          • Kevin

            I have done that already.

          • Bruce

            yikes.

          • Steglitz49

            Can you summarize the result, please.

          • Kevin
          • Kevin

            I’m still working on entering the games since the SBC. Summer is a very busy time for me, but is winding down a little bit now. I hope to have them updated in the next couple months.

          • Kevin

            Sorry, I was wrong and remembered it incorrectly.

            She does have several assists. I forgot I filtered out games against teams ranked outside the FIFA top 30.

            Those 2 assists in 3400 minutes played are vs Top 30 teams.

            She has 7 assists (and 15 goals) in 810 minutes (12 games) played vs teams ranked outside the Top 30 since the start of 2015.

          • Breakers fan

            Thanks for the stats. To state the obvious — Lloyd…..I think she’d still be pretty fine on most teams in the world, but our team has such promising talent at that position that it really causes a lot of teeth-gnashing and hand-wringing among fans. You have to wonder what the mood of the team is about this. Whether it’s a lightning rod, controversial issue, whether players talk about it, or are they more ok with it than most fans are? That would be interesting to know.

    • #1Fan

      too long to reply to all …

      4. You are wrong. A well laid trap and counter is not route 1. It is a massive misconception that joga bonito is a bunch of meaningless empty passes that create nothing. That is just bad soccer. This loss has very little to do with style. I recall many warm up games in which the same players struggled to break down less organized teams.

      • AlexH

        Well OUR jogo bonito is a bunching of meaningless passes that create nothing. If we are going to go that route then we need coaches and players that know how to play that way. Jill spouts off about playing a modern game but she clearly does not know how to bring it about. Personally I think we should just play to our strength and get players that are bigger-er, faster-er and stronger-er and just slime our way to victory, but whichever way we chose it shouldn’t be half-assed.

        • #1Fan

          a modern game revolves around the PLAYERS ability to solve problems on the field, not the coach talking about it. PLAYERS need to be rounded enough to adapt. i would say the key cog in your team has to be able to set the rhythm

          Solo – great shot stopper poor distributor

          JJ – Poor Passer. Average defender who made a name by scoring goals

          Lloyd – Loose cannon . Poor passer

          Morgan – One dimensional.

          These are 4 KEY players on the team.

          hard to play great soccer without key p[layers in key areas buying in

          • AlexH

            I am pretty sure that every coach in the world would love to have such flawed players as you mention. They all bring lots to the table that a good coach could exploit. Jill however is a bad coach. If she needed different players she should have gotten them. If she couldn’t get them then she should have adapted her game plan to fit her players. Solo, JJ, Lloyd and Morgan may not be perfect for what Jill and the modern soccer crowd wanted but they are damned better than a QF elimination.

          • #1Fan

            I really dont think that comment has much context. Most countries are miles behind in terms of investment and sheer numbers so thats pretty obvious. I am assessing them on the basis of being the best team in the world. And they dont, not in the system I would play. They are all one dimensional players. you act like the coach can select anyone. CBA makes that unrealistic.

            They are what most recent form suggest they are .

          • AlexH

            Morgan and Lloyd topped the scorers sheet this tournament. So their recent for says a lot for them. Nonetheless I think we need to search earnestly for Lloyd’s replacement due to her age.

            I am in agreement with you about Hope and JJ. Although I am willing to give JJ 2017 to polish up her game if there aren’t very many young CB prospects nipping at her heels.

          • Steglitz49

            If the ref had had her eyesight tested before the game, JJ would have been called for a penalty on Sembrandt and gotten a yellow card at least.

          • AlexH

            If the ref had had her / his eyesight tested before the game is an opening phrase with a dizzying number of possibilities.

          • #1Fan

            Goal scoring is what fwds are supposed to do. They need to be judged on how efficiently they do so and the opportunities they create for others.

          • newsouth

            everyone is starting to call out morgan now, and i was just starting to warm up to her as a player, lol

          • Bruce

            Excellent point re: on field problem solving.

            You never get the sense that this team identifies defensive vulnerabilities and then sets forth to exploit them.

          • #1Fan

            Because the heartbeat of this team is an older selfish diva who thinks she is great.

  • Anon

    The one whose place I wonder about is Horan. Is she a midfielder? Not really. Morgan, dunn, pew and press are probably cemented at forward for another four years but it would be interesting to see how she does there. I wish there were more switch ups in the lineups so you could see different combos. Once Lloyd is gone itd be nice to have a strong aerial presence in front of the net and Horan could be that.

    • AlexH

      I don’t think Press is cemented at anything. She was a reserve this time around and didn’t do anything during the OG or even the last WC do do anything to change that perception. The other 3 all got on the score sheet and will all be under 30 in 2019. So they probably have nothing to worry about. Horan can back them up and has 3 years to prove herself better. Chances are she can get good minutes if she works hard and continues to improve.

      • Reality

        Morgan will be 1 month under 30 and Press only 5 months over so a rigid line at 30 is quite absurd. As far as Press’s performance at the WC and OG, she was utilized poorly as usual by Ellis with few minutes on the pitch compared to her peers and with little time at the forward position. Her PK miss is being blown out of proportion by those who dislike her in an effort to scapegoat her for the failures of the team as a whole and for Ellis as a coach. This loss against Sweden is no more her fault than the tie against them in the WC. Both were team losses.

        Press is still a valuable member of the NT. She has unique skills that fit in very well with players like Morgan, Dunn and Pugh. Ellis has mismanaged her from the jump and her confidence has suffered as a result. Press just needs to put her head down and get back in her groove. She’ll be back in Chicago where Dames values her, uses her appropriately and she can make a fresh start there. Her real problems are Ellis as a coach who mismanages her and Lloyd who blocks her time on the pitch where she should be paired with Morgan.

        • AlexH

          There are lots of players in international soccer both men and women that would love to have had the opportunity to be misused as extensively as Press. It is up to the player rise to the occasion and Press has not.

          She very well might be a good player, or even the best player we have on paper but she has done nothing on the field to make her anything more than an older player that is fighting for a position.

          • HOFCToDi

            Forget about Christen Press.

            Christen Press
            2016 SheBelieves Cup
            Goals – 0
            Assists – 0

            Christen Press
            2016 Summer Olympics
            Goals – 0
            Assists – 0
            Shot Attempts – 6
            Shots on Goal – 1
            Penalty Kicks Missed – 1

            It’s time to move on to Jordan, Lavelle, Sanchez.

            allwhitekit.com/?p=15061#more-15061

          • Steglitz49

            The simplest strike against her is her age. Choking at her age when Saki Kumagai stood firm at 20 says it all. Lisa Dahlkvist is only 18 months older.

          • HOFCToDi

            The strike against Christen Press is her pathetic international tournament record.

          • Steglitz49

            A minor problem with the USWNT.

            This is the worst result ever for the USWNT in terms of level of exit. They were impotent. Maybe keep Dunn, Pugh and Horan, Alex on probation because she grabbed that goal, and sack the rest.

          • Frode

            I really do hope you are not someone’s parent.

          • HOFCToDi

            I truly hope you stop drinking the Kool-Aid.

          • Frode

            Sounds like your beef is with Press’s fan-base, not her. Yet you attack her relentlessly from behind a cryptic mask and name. Whatever’s going on behind that mask, I don’t think I want to know. Yikes.

          • HOFCToDi

            Exactly.

            The relentless attacks on Alex Morgan and Carli Lloyd since the conclusion of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup by the “Press Gang Troll Brigade” require a vigorous response. Paid for by the Alex Morgan/Carli Lloyd defense fund.

          • Frode

            Ah, that provides some insight. Thanks. I’ve seen some pretty harsh attacks on Lloyd on this site, but not so much Morgan. Why lump them together? In any case, Press, Lloyd and Morgan shouldn’t be punished for the opinions expressed by a bunch of armchair coaches (the majority of us on this site).

          • AlexH

            I think the reason that Lloyd and Morgan are lumped together is because the Press -corps viciously attacks anybody that is perceived to be in the way of CP and her being the featured striker and darling of the WNT.

          • HOFCToDi

            Exactly.

          • rkmid71

            For some that may be true, for others it has nothing to do with CP. They would be just as happy for someone else to get opportunities. It’s convenient for any criticism of Lloyd to be dismissed as that person having an agenda. They could be being completely objective. I think it’s time to move on from Press for example, I’m pro Morgan, not a fan of Lloyd at this stage in her career (especially not in a CAM role). I keep hoping that she will have a revelation and decide that DM, super sub is her future on the team. She might be able to do that effectively.

          • HOFCToDi

            Seriously?

            After this flop, every player over the age of 30 that is currently allocated should be purged from the USSF payroll. Anson Dorrance cleaned house when he took over in 1986.

          • Frode

            If it would make it easier for Ellis to call up younger/new players with potential, it might not be a bad idea. But maybe see what the new CBA looks like before taking an axe to Lloyd and Rapinoe.

          • HOFCToDi

            Enough is enough.
            Rampone – 41 years old
            Solo – 35 years old
            Lloyd – 34 years old
            Krieger – 32 years old
            Rapinoe – 31 years old
            O’Reilly – 31 years old
            Sauerbrunn – 31 years old

            Aside from Krieger, every aforementioned player has won a Summer Olympics Gold Medal and FIFA Women’s World Cup Gold Medal.

          • AlexH

            I agree with your assessment of the players in question and I think that that Jill could have done a better job giving more people a look in Lloyd’s and Morgans position. But for me any post that starts with Lloyd / Morgan (or pretty much anybody else as well) sucking and being a detriment to the team is a non-starter because they are all excellent.

          • Frode

            I suppose, but I haven’t seen the vicious attacks on Morgan. She seems to enjoy fairly general popularity on this site. Maybe I missed all the attacks….

          • HOFCToDi

            Speaking of the Rio Olympics 2016, Christen Press is not even as famous as former female athlete and Stanford graduate, who incidentally is on the Los Angeles 2024 Olympic Bid Committee.

          • HOFCToDi

            Maybe these so-called armchair experts should apply for the USWNT head coaching position. Wait a minute, Sunil Gulati still has not fired Jürgen Klinsmann.

          • HOFCToDi

            If you want to know who is a female international superstar, look no further.

            http://www.capitalbay.com/thumbnail.php?file=Katie_Ledecky_Michael_Phelps_683915687.jpg&size=article_large

          • Steglitz49

            Stina Blackstenius rules OK.

            The Dutch lass on the beam tonight was pretty outstanding too.

            I love the photo of Sarah Sjöström and Jeanette Ottesen consoling Cate Campbell.

          • HOFCToDi

            Nope.

            Not interested.

            Cate Campbell won gold in the 4×100 m freestyle relay.

          • Guest

            I’m surprised there’s no attached photo of the ball flying above the crossbar lmao

          • HOFCToDi

            To this day, I still read excuses for Christen Press.

            Unbelievable!

          • HOFCToDi

            I would rather watch videos of a bona fide female international superstar.

            results.nbcolympics.com/athletes/athlete=ledecky-katie/index.html

          • Reality

            Your advocacy of stupidity is managing talented players does not pass muster. Press has excelled throughout her career when she is utilized properly. Ellis has handicapped many players on the NT by playing them out of position and weakening the team thereby. Holiday is a good example but Press is the most egregious. Ellis gave Wambach preference at forward when she was clearly fading, then played musical chairs with the forwards when Morgan was injured so no one had a chance to settle in and then finally put Lloyd in the position where she disrupts the offense in her quest for glory instead of coordinated team play. Press should have been paired with Morgan 2 years ago after “Chasing Mia” was done. Instead her talent has been frittered away and her confidence undermined by Ellis’s poor judgement. Both Ellis and Lloyd need to go in order for the NT to evolve and Press can be an important part of that evolution.

          • AlexH

            Nobody is advocating stupidity in managing talented players. The simple truth is that an international player is often called to play out of their position to fit the needs of the team. It happens all the time and the better players rise up and make plays rather than excuses.

            Look no farther that Dunn. She has been played everywhere, got screwed out of a roster spot yet somehow managed to overcome.

          • Frode

            Dunn, Press, O’Hara, Horan have all been played out of position, done well, and not uttered a word of complaint about it. It’s all of us w-nkers who are doing the complaining.

          • Reality

            You are making a specious argument here. It is simply poor and stupid management to use a talented natural forward who has never played any other position to put her at flank which is what Ellis did most of the time with Press. It is a waste. And then she is blamed for not performing well there. As regards Dunn, she has actual experience in playing the flank and with her speed is best suited for that position along with Pugh. It is the responsibility of any good coach to maximize the effectiveness of their players and Ellis has failed in this in regard to Press. This is a loss to the team and reflects Ellis’s incompetence.

          • AlexH

            So basically you are criticizing Ellis for giving Press a chance to get on the field when her “natural position” was otherwise occupied?

            In addition to being given the OPPORTUNITY to play out on the flank, Press has been given lots of time up top as well and has not outperformed the other players competing for that position.

          • Reality

            And you are criticizing Press for failing to take advantage of an illusory “opportunity” at flank when she should have been best utilized at forward? Press has been given virtually no time at forward against the top teams. At best, she has been used as a substitute in the waning minutes and has only had 6 starts out of 19 games this year. This is in comparison over time to other forwards on the team who have always played at their natural position and don’t get jerked around. You are applying a different set of standards to her compared to other players who regularly play a position they are familiar with and have consistent starts and minutes on the pitch.

            Press’s experience on the NT is really a microcosm of Ellis’s poor management of the roster and inferior tactics. This has been evident for some time and has reached its culmination at the OG.

          • skybolt

            I’m definitely interested to see what happens to many of the players post the Olympics tournament. One consolation prize for Press would be to lead Chicago to an NWSL championship title. I think this would be a huge accomplishment for her moving forward.

          • Guest

            I think Portland, WNY and the Spirit are all superior teams to Chicago. I think it will take something special for the Red Stars to top those teams. as it stands right now they may not make the playoffs.

          • Bruce

            In the last few games, CRS looked like it had sorted out its midfield problems by moving Huerta to flank, benching DaCosta and allowing DiBernardo to return to CAM.

            Add McCaffrey, Press, Johnston and Naeher and I’d think they’re ready to make a strong run to the end of the season.

          • Reality

            I will be at the game on 8/27 against SBFC. If she is playing, I’ll see her demeanor and how she performs. A good season with CRS would certainly help her confidence and image.

          • skybolt

            I can’t remember, but didn’t the USSF have a protocol that returning players need 2 weeks or something like that to recover? I guess the 27th will be more than 2 weeks.

          • Reality

            Just barely…15 days. CRS is promoting the subsequent 2 home games on 9/4 & 9/7 against Seattle and FCKC respectively. It would behoove Press and her OG teammates to get in some time with CRS to better reintegrate. But if they don’t play, it should be a good game to watch anyway.

          • Guest

            Lol they have paired Morgan with Press and Dunn ends up scoring all the goals lmao.

          • Steglitz49

            It is hard to argue with your assessment but already one person is, a well known Pressoni.

          • Guest

            Is press the new ARod?

          • Anon

            She’s arod with a lot more media exposure

          • Steglitz49

            No. ARod is married with two kids and a Hispanic maiden-name.

    • homi

      USNWT problem is that they convert people playing in other positions. Convert forwards to defenders, convert forward to midfielders. JE wants to play a certain system but actually doesn’t have the right personnel to do it. She is quite stubborn about it. Try playing a system that suits your players!!

    • Steglitz49

      Pugh, not pew, please.

      Press?

  • Gary Diver

    Will Sundhage play roe-a-dope soccer against Brazil?

    Why change a winning strategy against superior teams? Playing to prevent the other team from winning is much easier than playing to win.

    • AlexH

      It depends if the Brazil coach is a big a dope as Jill.

    • mike

      I think Brazil has more creativity in their midfield than UWSNT.

  • Paul Klee

    How about for the next two years USSOCCER sets up a national red team, white team and blue team and has them play “friendlies” against each other during FIFA breaks. Perhaps set them up geographically, and then do your national A team selections based on performance in those matches.

    • Pinkman

      Why not travelling to Europe, Asia or South America?

      Why not playing in Rome against Italy, in Amsterdam against the Netherlands in Barcelona against Spain, in Stockholm against Sweden, in Tokyo against Japan?

      That would grow the game in those countries (the US team is still very popular. Everyone wants to see Alex Morgan), the team would come out of their comfort zone (endless victory tour games against tomatoe can teams in front of all the fan girls) and the players would see something different than US training camps and US stadions (with pitches often below quality)

      Yes, the that costs something, yes they can’t generate a lot of profits doing so and yes, the team may lose from time to time since they can’t benefit from tired jet-lagged opponents anymore

      But it would make them more resilient, more experienced and stronger in the long run

      • Bruce

        That would be great for the team and WoSo in general.

        Unfortunately, the U$$F can make easier significantly more money scheduling patsies at home. I’ll keep hoping the tiger can change its stripes, though.

      • Paul Klee

        Agree but it would have to be against Non-European teams next year as they are still in Euro qualifications and next summer Euro itself.

        Is the NWSL going to honor FIFA breaks esp for Euro?

        Of course all this depends on the CBA going forward.

        I still contend that the USWNT needs a bigger player pool. And playing lots of overseas matches is likely going to lead to a smaller pool of players.

        • Steglitz49

          All the European teams would love to play the US as part of preparing for Euro-17. They would take Canada too and why not Brazil while they are at it.

          The Algarve, Cyprus and Istria cups should be back to normal unless a deal is cut about the SheBelievesCup.

        • Steglitz49

          The Euro qualifying tournament ends this fall.

          The last group matches are at the end of September and the play-off games at the end of October.

    • Paul Klee

      FIFA breaks next year

    • Gary Diver

      I like your idea. The national team playing tomato cans like Thailand shows nothing and is useless for team development,

    • Steglitz49

      The NWSL must needs move to a regionalized league but would anyone watch such games? Games must have meaning. They would not even be All-Star games. Only glorified practice.

      Better do a tour of Europe before Euro-16. Plenty of nations with varying styles to play.

      • Paul Klee

        When are they going to do this during FIFA breaks late November of this year during Thanksgiving? Max 2 matches (not a tour)

        Late January after short winter camp? Max 2 matches ( not a tour)

        Late Feb early Mar no go #shebelieves cup

        Early April Right before or during first week Of NWSL season. Max 2 matches (not a tour)

        Early June if NWSL shuts down for a couple of weeks maybe but still max of 2 matches.

        Early July only a FIFA break for EURO teams.

        European Tour not practical in the next year

        • Steglitz49

          The weather is the bugbear — too cold and wet in Europe until April.

          Use the Algarve Cup. 8 if not more of the European teams would want to play the US for practice.

          The alternative would be to do something with the She Believes Cup. You could add the four European teams that played of for the berth Sweden took. That would make the US + 7 Euro teams.

          • Paul Klee

            Sounds good except no way is that happening in the next year. In the US nobody is going to attend the SWE v ENG , NOR v FRA doubleheader. And by nobody I mean Chicago red stars attendance

          • Steglitz49

            Indeed.

  • BGH123

    I feel like the selection process for this team was kind of weird. She gave McCaffrey and Hinkle a lot of minutes during the VT, and seemed to ignore Mewis. She then gave Mewis more minutes, and minutes to Sonnett in place of Engen. She then brought Engen back and replaced Mewis with Long, and dropped Hinkle and McCraffrey. She also invested a whole year grooming Horan to bench her for most of the tournament. I feel like the chemistry was because so many people were in and out.

    • skybolt

      Not to mention Rapinoe not having played a single minute in months.

  • Marcus Landon

    STOP with the childish penalty kick nonsense. Anyone can miss a PK, including Messi. The USWNT never should have been in that position. Everyone knew what Sweden’s plan would be; the USA should have had a different line up from the start. THAT’S what cost them the game not a PK miss!

    • skybolt

      Yup, every team knows that taking pk’s is a crap shoot. Heck, even the consistent men’s German team missed 3 pk’s at the Euro Cup.

      • Steglitz49

        Japan v USA in WC-11 finished 3-1. The last round was not needed. Japan had one PK saved while the US had 2 saved and 1 missed.

        A crap shot for the US; a good day at the office for Japan.

  • Gary Diver

    USWNT’s Nemesis: Bunker Soccer

    USWNT’s 1-0 victory over lowly South Africa was a yellow flag that the way to go against USWNT would be a form of bunker soccer. People generally thought that quality, honorable teams wouldn’t stoop to playing ugly soccer. But Parsons used it in his last game against Seattle where he essentially used 5 defenders and won the game by catching an impatient Seattle team on a counter-attack. (Sound familiar?) The stream commentator said it was ugly soccer, but if the only thing that counts is the result, ugly won the day.

    The cat is out of the bag. USWNT should now expect to see some version of bunker soccer from every team except France, Germany, England, Japan, and Canada, until Ellis finds an effective way to counter it. Bunker soccer allows underdogs to even the odds and it is easier to play defensive soccer than offensive soccer. USWNT opponents should consider using at least 5 defenders as Portland did and see if Ellis has any answers.

    • Peter

      I don’t think you give Sweden enough credit. Their tactic is not so easy to play successfully. (Sweden is number 6 in the FIFA rankings !) Otherwise we would see low-quality teams giving better opponents a difficult time much more often than we do. Defending well is a skill itself. It’s not just ugly soccer. Take for instance, the US playing against Costa Rica or Columbia. Why have these two teams not successfully played a strategy of parking the bus against the US? I would say it’s because they don’t have the personnel for it. At some point complaining about good defensive teams playing to their strength just becomes whining that they don’t play the style that suits one’s preferred team most.

    • Steglitz49

      Sweden actually won that match in regulation. It only went to penalties because the referee crew did not know the laws of the game. With a proper centre ref, it would have been won by Sweden in regulation.

      It is the poor quality of refereeing that needs to be fixed in WoSo.

  • Gary Diver

    Does anybody think a heathy (and obviously non-pregnant) Sydney Leroux would have been useful in an USWNT counter-attack against the Swedes? Three years she could do wonders with the ball if you could get it to her.

    • skybolt

      I’m not sure, Although I think her speed and physical play would help, she didn’t really have much impact on the game vs. Sweden at the 2015 WC. Perhaps she was a bit injured as we found out later.

  • Williegsandidge4

    <<fb. ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★::::::!il312r:….,……..

  • Jean Perroni

    Who is this Anson Dorrance ? because he has no clue about football. The better team won.