USWNT: Three questions after Olympic disappointment

Jennifer Gordon August 15, 2016 381
Mallory Pugh (2) figures to be a big part of the U.S. women's team for many years to come. (Photo Copyright Erica McCaulley for The Equalizer)

Mallory Pugh (2) figures to be a big part of the U.S. women’s team for many years to come. (Photo Copyright Erica McCaulley for The Equalizer)

Now a full weekend has gone by since the United States’ shocking exit from the Olympics in the quarterfinals against Sweden. In truth, the loss shouldn’t be so shocking as the cracks in the foundation were seen prior to the team getting bounced on penalty kicks (namely, the shoddy goalkeeping in the Colombia game and the inability to play through central midfield in the game against France).

As the post-mortem of the team’s tournament continues, the question becomes where does the team go from here?  The loss will certainly impact the team’s battle with the U.S. Soccer Federation when the collective bargaining agreement expires as well as NWSL, which from a marketing perspective, was unquestionably banking on the U.S. at least placing in the games. These questions are far from the only ones to consider. Here are three more issues that many will ponder following the loss to Sweden.

1. Veterans Want A Shot At Redemption

After the stinging loss to Japan in penalty kicks in World Cup in 2011, some members of the team decided to give it a go for another cycle. And that’s after a second place finish. How could anyone blame the aging players on the current roster from feeling similarly after the worst finish in a major tournament in the team’s 31-year history?

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

Five members of the roster for the Rio games are over 30 now and the majority of the eighteen will be 30 or older by the time the next Word Cup rolls around. While athletes can certainly play at a high level past 30, there are obvious concerns about an aging roster even though the U.S. answered critics at the 2015 World Cup.

While it’s impossible to know how many players will feel this way or how many players will change their career plans based on the failure in Rio, it undoubtedly will change the course of the team. How does Head Coach Jill Ellis balance the need of the squad to move forward while respecting the players that helped her raise the World Cup trophy last year?  Of course, when speaking about the future of veterans on the U.S. team, Amy Rodriguez and Sydney Leroux, who missed the Rio games while adding to their respective families, shouldn’t be forgotten.  It will be a difficult balancing act to be sure for Ellis.

2) Integrating Youth Into The Team

After seeing the success of Mallory Pugh, many are eager to see the integration of more youth into the side. While Pugh is one-of-a-kind, there are certainly other players both in the NCAA and NWSL ranks who could be of value to Ellis as she continues to transition from the old “long ball” style of play to a more modern, technical style. In Brazil, the growing pains of progression were certainly noticeable, much like an awkward teenager trying to adapt to the myriad changes adolescence brings.

For the USWNT, winning has been the only acceptable outcome of tournaments for essentially the entirety of the team’s existence. In order to continue to progress and play a style that is more conducive to competing at major tournaments in the years to come, more time and patience on the part of U.S. Soccer will be required.  The need for patience, of course, increases when you bring in new personnel. How quickly does Ellis begin looking at new players? Which areas of the field does she focus on in doing so?

{MORE: Solo calls Sweden cowards | U.S. fans use dog photos in effort to console Press}

The obvious answer to the second question will be outside back and central midfield, adjudging from Brazil. Western New York’s Jaelene Hinkle has already seen time with the full team and Chicago’s speedy outside back pairing of Arin Gilliland and Casey Short would also be worthy of a look given Ellis’ stated preferences for that position.

Central midfield is where it gets a bit tricky. Clearly, France dominated the midfield in the second game of the tournament. If the U.S. is to win battles in the center of the park against the top tier teams,  more technical, cerebral players in the midfield will be needed. Here, it might make more sense for Ellis to go younger. Rose Lavelle, who’s in her final year at Wisconsin, and has already seen some time with the full national team, could be an option. Andi Sullivan, a junior at Stanford, could be another player for Ellis to take a look at. Sullivan would allow Morgan Brian to return to her natural attacking midfield position.

In NWSL, Chicago’s Danielle Colaprico could get another look with the national team. While she won Rookie of the Year honors last year as a defensive midfielder, she played almost every conceivable midfield position superbly while at the University of Virginia. Moreover, her ability to take set pieces could make her a valuable asset to the team moving forward.

Of course, the players listed here are far from an all-encompassing list and  it may be a bit premature to predict how Ellis and U.S. Soccer decide to move forward from a personnel standpoint. It is, however, worth some consideration.

3) Pressure on the Youth Teams

For the last several cycles, the U.S. has failed to find success at the youth level, with the last youth World Cup title coming in the 2012 U-20 World Cup.  While the youth national teams aren’t perhaps as results focused as the full team given that the primary purpose of youth national to help mold the talent that will fill the full team ranks in the future, the results of recent youth teams have disappointing.

To recap, the 2012 U-17 team was bounced from the World Cup on goal differential, while in 2014, the U-17 team failed to qualify after falling to Mexico on penalty kicks during the CONCACAF qualifying tournament. In August 2014, the U-20 team failed to advance past the quarterfinals, where they lost to North Korea on penalty kicks (you sensing a pattern here regarding penalties yet?).

{CURREN: Things learned from U.S.’s shocking quarterfinal loss to Sweden}

The U.S. will have two chances to turn recent results around this fall starting with U-17 World Cup this October in Jordan, followed by U-20 World Cup this November-December in Papua New Guinea.

In the last couple of years, US Soccer has invested money in bolstering the girls/women’s development program. Surely, the powers that be in US Soccer will want to see a return on that investment. Will the federation be more desirous of a youth title this fall after the full team’s plunge off the medal stand in Rio?

These and many other questions will be debated and discussed for weeks and months to come. Albeit penalty kicks are a cruel way to lose in soccer, the USWNT enters a new world following Friday’s exit. In uncharted waters, how does the team, the staff, and federation respond?

  • Cc W

    If you want to win going forward, you have to take a hard look at whether several of the older players should be on the squad. You have 3 years – staying with the status quo didn’t work too well in the Olympics. Other teams will get better, and the US can no longer rely on their fitness to get wins.

    While I really appreciate what Carli, Pinoe and Hope have done, neither should be on the next WC team. Neither will be at there best, and it doesn’t make sense to let this keep going on for years. We need to rethink our formations – I’m not sure Alex alone up top works, and not sure she’s been enough of a scorer to just write her in for a starting job.

    I can see keeping the late 20 somethings, and possibly Broon (of the over 30 group), but I’m not sure either Arod of Syd bring anything so special that it can’t be replaced by someone younger. Shea Groom should get a call up and it is a shame that MacDonald didn’t get a chance earlier.

    I’m not saying blow it up, but in 2017, we need to see some new faces if you have any chance of winning another WC.

    • Guest

      Morgan press 2 forward formation

      • Terry Lash

        In the near term, yes. But younger strikers need to be brought in to compete with them.

        • Terry Lash

          The pool does need expansion, because not enough players will be forced to leave.

        • Steglitz49

          Name a few, please.

          Typing in generalities is easy. Coaches have to select a 1st XI and have only 3 subs (4 if you go into ET).

        • Calci0

          That is almost the vibe I seem to be getting. Not so much let the young crowd earn their way up, but more so just dump the older players, and give the young ones game time regardless. If the vets prove in camps and on the practice field they deserve to stay, then why move them? Pugh earned her spot, and that’s the way, I’d like to see the rest of the youth find their way onto the team.

      • Steglitz49

        Morgan will get at least probation. Press is finished.

        • Terry Lash

          Neither Morgan nor Press is finished. Nor should they be. But neither Leroux nor Rodriguez should be considered for the future.

          • Steglitz49

            Stop dreaming. Press will be almost 31 in WC-19. When Carli shot over the bar in 2011 she had already scored the winner in the 2008 OG final. Even so Pia almost sidelined her during OG-12. Fortunately for the US Carli was on song in that final.

          • NYRick

            If Syd and ARod are bought back or even one is bought back into the pool, that is beyond insanity. But this program never ceases to amaze me in that area, so anything is possible.

          • Steglitz49

            I could not understand why the writer even bothered to mention them. Shows you how little thought goes into WoSo journalism.

          • Calci0

            I thought you were past this. It boggles my mind how much room you give your favorite player, when Leroux, has been able to just about match her production. Have your favorite, but again, why slight Leroux. She is younger than Morgan, Press, and Rodriguez. And before injury, and pregnancy was a more than quality option.

          • NYRick

            No, you are looking into that too much. Nothing to do with CP. ARod for sure would be beyond ridiculous and Syd probably has a lot of work to do to get back. Might take her a year and half. I guess she is still relatively young, so maybe give her a look again. Who knows what they are going to do. She too would be very blocked by CL as well now. CL is the main piece that needs to be moved or placed in a secondary role. She will never accept that and she will speak out loudly against it. It’s a huge problem all around.

          • Calci0

            No doubt every player has to earn their spot back on the team. But it sounded like you weren’t even open to the idea of her having that opportunity. And I think she has less work than you think. Her lower leg injuries by the time she can get back to practicing should be back to 100% health. And If Rodriguez was able to make it back on the pitch in 6 months, I can see Leroux being able to have a similar turnaround, if that’s what she aims for. But yes, Lloyd playing in that advanced mid/fwd slot does make it a cramped position, and that much more difficult to get PT. But do you really doubt Leroux’s drive. She chose the hard route and put in the work to make the USWNT, I think she has shown she is willing to put in the time….

          • FlyingSquirrel42

            My view is, what’s wrong with good old-fashioned tryouts? They have three years now before the next big tournament. Leroux and Rodriguez shouldn’t be guaranteed a roster spot, no, but neither should anybody else. Deciding now to keep them out of the player pool altogether seems like a waste, especially in Leroux’s case after all that the program has invested in her and all she did to get into the U.S. pool in the first place.

            The other thing I think they need to do is make more of an effort to schedule competitive friendlies and smaller tournaments over the next couple years, even if that means biting the financial bullet and sending the team overseas more often (particularly to England, France, Germany, Sweden, Brazil, Japan, and Australia). I’d also like to see them find a way to do both the Algarve and the She Believes Cup next year – if they’re hosting SBC, they ought to be able to adjust the schedule if needed.

          • Chak Khan

            Did not last year Pia speak about CL’s “hard to train” or something to that effect during her time as USWNT head coach? Those two have already had a not so pleasant relationship.

          • Steglitz49

            You edited your statement after I replied. Sharpening the cards. Like that ref on Friday.

          • Calci0

            Please tell me why a younger Leroux shouldn’t be considered, when her goal scoring record is proven. If you don’t want to make her a regular starter, so be it, but I can’t think of another fwd I’d want to sub in a game when I need a goal. And when you look at her production, the proof is in the pudding…..

          • Guest

            No thanks. I have little doubt that Leroux will not help one iota against a bunkering team like Sweden. Good finisher but her touch and awareness is not top level.

          • Calci0

            Then drop the entire fwd lineup, and start fresh, because none of them have been successful against Sweden. Press, and Leroux if we are being honest, didn’t score against them in the 2015 WWC nor was any fwd able to score against Sweden in the 2014 AC. And I’ve posted more than enough clips showing Leroux’s field awareness is alot better than people like to credit her…..

          • Guest

            I’m looking for forward that can combine well with their teammates and Leroux doesn’t do that for me. I don’t like Morgan for my starting CF either. Press on the other hand I think can work if she is surrounded by the right pieces. I’d like to try Horan there as well. But more to you suggestion I would be looking for new CFs.

          • Calci0

            Some for years have been screaming for Press and Morgan to combine. Well although it may seem like light years ago, Leroux, and Morgan showed they have a chemistry together, and combined quite well with one another. But due to injury, the two never really had a chance to play together on the senior team.

          • Guest

            Leroux and Morgan are both counter-attackers and runners. Sweden countered Morgan’s ability on the counter by essentially keeping a good defensive shape and kicking the ball back to the US when their chance wasn’t on. The US had the same issues breaking down Mexico in qualifying. I don’t think playing Morgan with Leroux will solve the problems the US has breaking down organized defenses and the better the US gets the more of that tactic they will see.

          • Calci0

            That’s a midfield issue to me. Allowing someone like a Lavalle, to work with Brian in finding ways to breakdown the bunker, is where the US needs to be looking. With Heath/Dunn/Pugh on the wings, also helping to orchestrate offense.

          • Guest

            It’s all interconnected to me. Good forward movement is a must in successful attacking play against bunkers. Playing with 2 forwards and 4 defenders makes the 2 CM’s jobs very difficult especially if they are the players who have to move the ball through central midfield. Bottom line for me, Leroux and Morgan are counter-attacking forwards deadly in space. That type of team is always going to struggle against a bunker and the USWNT has for the last 4 years.

          • Calci0

            They also haven’t had a midfield that has been able to take command of a game. Be it the team playing Brian in a defensive role, or making Holiday play a role further from the offensive side of the ball. Too often players have been put in roles they are unaccustomed too. Since Brian has come up, how often has she been able to play in a position that won her two Hermann Trophies?!? When was Holiday given freedom similar to what she had in Kansas City? I know these are totally different teams with different personnel and tactics, but I mentioned them to highlight the differences they had to play with the USWNT. I don’t see their skill set as that similar to say a Pirlo, which seems to be where they often were played.

          • Ethan

            Morgan’s movement for Press’ great pass in the first period of extra time was as good as it gets. (I think a lot of players would have been caught offside.) Of course, her play once she received the ball wasn’t her best. I understand criticisms of Morgan’s play, but if you want good forward movement, I think you’d want Morgan in a lineup.

          • #1Fan

            its not. the front 3 need to also make very different run types than Morgan or even Dunn makes. Morgan is running channels looking for that vertical ball. I want a Cf who can come short and bring a CB or CDM with, If they dont come , one who can receive , turn and do damage in that hole. Morgan cannot.

          • Bruce

            While I agree that her runs are still too vertical, Morgan’s movement has gotten better over the last year, I think.

            What you are calling out is the type of smart play that can be developed even when a player in later in her career. It’s not like trying to improve one’s first touch late in development.

          • Frode

            In the 4-4-2, there are all sorts of forward pairings that haven’t been explored seriously: Morgan/Leroux, Morgan/Press, Press/Horan, Moran/Horan, Dunn/Press, Dunn/Horan, Pugh/Morgan, etc. We’ve see plenty of Morgan/Lloyd, which was pretty good, but not necessarily dynamic or sustainable.

          • jdee26

            Agreed; but Jill favors the 4-3-3. USWNT scored more goals against Colombia than in any other formation.

          • Bruce

            This team isn’t showing the discipline to stay in 4-3-3 and reverts to a stagnant 2 forward front repeatedly during games.

            Maybe Jill favors that formation, but she is not holding her players accountable to it.

          • Ethan

            Entire forward lineup? Morgan’s scored six against Sweden (including her goal in the quarterfinal). (I know three of the goals were part of a hat trick, but it’s still a good number given the number of matches/minutes.) She also took the shot that led to Heath’s equalizer in a 2011 match.

            Note: If you weren’t including “Morgan” in “entire fwd lineup”, then that’s my error.

          • jdee26

            Morgan , because of her speed is suitable to the old scheme of direct approach and long balls. She is not creative and not a good defender like Dunn or Pugh. Worse, she is not good in tight spaces but she has a role in the 4-3-3. She can go wide and interchange with the attacking wingers if Jill insists on playing Pugh and Dunn as wingers.But she will be a liability if she cannot develop creativity in tight spaces.

          • Ethan

            Not creative? Completely disagree. She’s shown quality passing/vision over her years on the NT and in club play (i.e. setting up her Orlando teammates (i.e. Spencer, Edwards, Weatherholt, etc.) for chances, setting up Klingenberg for Dunn’s goal against Costa Rica, flick on attempt for Press against Japan, back/side heel to Pugh against England in the SBC, great pass down the wing for Rapinoe in the first Brazil Victory Tour match, etc.) Agreed that Dunn and Pugh are better all around defenders; however, Morgan’s hustle and pressure have been good/very good in the NWSL and for the NT this year. She’s created a number of chances for Orlando by robbing defenders of the ball. That being said, getting better in tight spaces will definitely be important for Morgan now and in the upcoming years.

          • jdee26

            Again, Morgan is very suitable to the old scheme of direct football and long balls. She fits well into the Swedish style of 4-5-l, with Morgan as the lone attacker.Jill’s 4-3-3 demands skills in tight spaces, flexibility and defending, especially when the ball is lost in the opponents’ half of the field.

          • #1Fan

            did it suddenly become important? its always been and yet ….She is also one dimensional. Her and Lloyd on the same team is a liability. She should stay in some capacity , Lloyd needs to go

          • Ethan

            Agree to disagree. I just don’t see why quite a number of people say Morgan is one dimensional. I don’t see that at all.

          • David K Anderson

            Assuming she is committed to getting back into full fitness and form, not giving her a good, hard look would be silly. But I never, ever count on USWNT roster decisions not to be silly…

            I’m not sure she’s going to get there, though…and she still needs better service than our current attacking midfield, bar Heath, is likely to give her. Not exactly a great touch…

          • #1Fan

            proven vs whom ? The same sorts of opponents EVERYONE scores against . Leroux is old news. A direct, one dimensional player who is not committed to NWSL play. Its about time that players who are considered elite lit up the NWSL.

          • Calci0

            So says you. I haven’t seen a thing that says she isn’t dedicated to the NWSL. And she has scored goals against Japan, France, Canada, teams that not “EVERYONE” has scored against. At no point do I want to cast aside a proven goal scorer without giving them a chance to EARN their spot back.

          • #1Fan

            It should also be said that Leroux scored five goals in 22 games for the Reign last year despite leading the team in shots taken.

            The Reign, even off the record, don’t dispute Leroux’s version of events. Leroux apparently WAS happy to stay in Seattle if she couldn’t go to KC. This is where her mom lives, after all. But it sounds like the damage was already pretty much done. The Reign didn’t seem to think Leroux was 100 percent committed to them –

            That might be the more appropriate question. Beverly Yanez (Goebel) actually matched Leroux’s production last year in about 300 fewer minutes

            so says more then just me

          • Calci0

            Your quote was “committed to NWSL play”. So even by bringing the Reign situation into play, Leroux was still committed 100% to plying her skills in the NWSL. And great for Yanez, as a Reign fan I’m glad she succeeded. Not sure where that fits into your original comment about commitment to the NWSL?!? I think Leroux showed her 1st year in the NWSL what she is capable of. And also the one year Leroux played on the Reign she was 2nd in game winning goals, so she was still making an impact. But this is getting away from my point, in that Leroux in my opinion deserves the opportunity to compete for a spot, not given one, and automatically slotted back onto the team. But given the chance to show she can contribute much like she has in the past……..

          • #1Fan

            it shows that her returns were not particularly great in the NWSL . In my opinion any move to re-integrate players who are one trick ponies is a bad move.

          • Calci0

            She finished 2nd in scoring her 1st year with 11 goals pretty impressive in my book. But we can ignore it, if it doesn’t fit the narrative….. And in my opinion any move that reintegrates a player that scored in just under half the games they played is a smart move in my book. Your mind is made up, no worries. I’m just glad USWNT coaches are more open-minded.

          • Guest

            The style of play matters though especially when talking about where the team is looking to go in the future. How did Leroux do with Seattle? A high pressing, possession oriented team. My recollection was that she wasn’t very good at all with a very good team around her. 5 goals in 22 games according to the statistics.

          • Calci0

            Under Sermanni when the US changed to a possession style offense, and away from the long ball play, Leroux probably had her best year as a starter, and filled in quite well for Morgan. Little isn’t scoring like she did back in 2014 heck even like she did in 2015. Do we just go off one year (2016) and say she is a shadow of herself?!? No…. Because you don’t look a a single season, and use that as a basis for the entire reasoning for keeping someone off the NT.

          • Guest

            I thought the US played plenty direct with Sermanni in charged. The US had an organized plan of attack and looked to combine more in the middle but still relied on their speed at forward and on the wing to create chances. Little is not a CF and spends a majority of her time in midfield especially with the stronger teams in 2016 compared to 2014. Little should not be expected to score as frequently as a CF who spends the majority of their time in front of goal. Admittedly it’s difficult to judge Leroux on 2015 NWSL stats because she kicked up a big fuss about being traded to WNY and played only 3 games for them. She still is going to have all of the problems I outlined in our discussion below due to her stone feet and a general lack of awareness. So one again thanks but no thanks.

          • Calci0

            Agree to disagree. Her “stone” feet have shown to provide alot better service that you allude to. People have their minds made up, and even when shown that Leroux can and has combined well, the bias is already planted so there is no real use. And I guess I didn’t relay my point about Little very well (it’s the internet, so give me some leeway). But my point with Little is she is playing the same system, same position, and with many of the same players as 2014. And she isn’t scoring like she did that year. I wasn’t saying she needs to score like a CF. But if you know Harvey, and Little, you know that offense is made to run though Little just like it did at Arsenal. So I mention Little’s goal output to say, I think she is the same player, and still just as capable. But I’m not going to knock her down a peg or two because her numbers aren’t what they were is years past. And if anything Little has less of a reason to show a drop off in goals than Leroux did. Leroux was learning an entirely new system, and was rotated from CF to both wings. And you are right, she wasn’t happy about the trade, but I don’t see the bearing on this convo. Leroux played only three games due to injury and the WWC. As for the play of Sermanni, playing more possession, along with trying out new players, is part of the reason for the AC performance. I think had he been given time to get the team to play he intended, not only would the team have benefitted, but so would have Leroux. So I say no thanks to dropping a player without giving them the same opportunity you give to someone who hasn’t shown they can perform at the international level. I doubt too many people would have the same 18 player roster, so I can respect others player choice. But for me, even if in a sub role, I want Leroux, because I know she can put the ball in the back of the net, and she has done so against good opponents, and under pressure.

          • Guest

            The stone feet comment is all relative. Compared to players like at the top of the women’s game like Heath, Brian, and Rapinoe, Leroux has stone feet. She can’t carry the ball though any congested space. I’m not just picking on Leroux either, lots of other US players are terrible dribblers as well. Johntson and Morgan, for example, are also terrible dribblers. I haven’t talked about Lloyd at all but I she needs to be dropped from he squad immediately. She’s been terrible for well over a year.

            I don’t want forwards that put the ball in the back of the net mostly from transition and counter. I want forwards who can combine well with teammates in congested areas around the penalty area and can turn and distribute when dropping into the hole. Leroux has never been that player and just like Morgan and Lloyd I am ready to move on from. I would probably keep Morgan around in some capacity but I would be following your original advice and looking for new center forwards

            I don’t have any problem with giving Leroux the opportunity but I wouldn’t select her for the team in the future. She simply doesn’t have the skills to play the way the US seem to want to play.

          • Calci0

            The US wants to be fluid. They want to be able to change tactics. I’m just not a fan of stating opinion as fact. Again I truly respect YOUR decision. But I think Ellis knows what she has in Leroux and she continued to play her so she thinks she can contribute to the style she wants to play. And this started because someone stated they didn’t even want to give Leroux an opportunity to make the team. Once again even if she isn’t a spot starter, how you won’t even think to give a player that broke the record of goals scored by a sub in a year a spot on the bench?!? One that has scored against France, and Japan. One that has shown up against Canada in tightly contested matches and found ways to score. Playing at 70-80% gave the burst to assist Press in the WWC. Don’t get me wrong Leroux has things she needs to work on for sure! But she’s a player I want on my roster. That’s the thing with the talent rich USWNT, there is a lot of talent to chose from and everyone won’t agree on who best can help the team win. But at least for me, I’m willing to give anyone a look.

          • #1Fan

            a look means camp. Inviting her to camp is a spot that a newer face cannot occupy. Stone feet is a problem if you are supposed to be part of a fluid attacking team and a primary goal scorer. WoSo is developing, the players need to develop with it. Being fast,strong and direct may have been enough to get selected, it should not be as we move fwd.

          • Calci0

            Like I’ve said before, and don’t get me wrong I enjoy the back and forth, that’s why most of us are here. But we just disagree. If I’m building a squad, I want players that have different skill sets. And have a proven record of handling the pressures of the international game (mixed with some youth). You have pigeon holed Leroux, and I’ve learned changing someone’s opinion on the Internet is near impossible. So you see her, how you see her. I see a player that has performed under 3 different coaches, and has a trait I want in a Fwd (and that’s scoring goals). I’ve seen enough of Leroux to be confident she can be an contributor in any system the US plays. The 23 you might select will probably be different from the 23 that another 100 people select. For your reasons you are a lot more stringent on whom you’d even give a look to, but that’s your call. I’m just glad the coaches for the USWNT, aren’t as constricted when looking to fill out a roster.

          • #1Fan

            Fair enough. But th last part is just not true. I want to try new players. That is more open minded that a cba bound USSF coaching staff. Not the other way around.

          • Calci0

            At some point I’m sure we’ll find something we can agree upon…. And while I agree the CBA can be constricting at times it hasn’t stopped the team from trying out new players . Now it may not be to the frequency or number some would prefer, but the coaches have brought in a lot more players for looks than they are often credited for.

      • Guest

        Well you need dunn or pugh to actually score with that formation as recent history shows. Need another young, hungry, agressive forward. I’m going to be so over the Morgan press duel in three years

      • BRA 4 vs SWE 0 OLIMPÍADAS

        Yes, since 2013. But there is still time for 2019/2020

    • Terry Lash

      The player pool must be expanded, in addition to putting at least some older players off the team, as you suggest. This may mean changing the CBA.

      • Steglitz49

        The pool needs no expansion. Those who failed last Friday should be put to the sword, See elsewhere for my proposal.

    • skybolt

      Here’s the thing, even if Ellis believes that Lloyd can make the 2019 roster, there’s no need to play her in very single match for the next 3 years. We tried that with Abby and it still didn’t help in the WC. If Lloyd is still viable as a sub come 2019, you can play her sporadically over the next 3 years.

      • Steglitz49

        Please propose some names you want to see. More important, specific examples for who gets axed. please.

        Platitudes will not grow the USWNT. Pruning and fertilizing will.

      • Breakers fan

        I agree with this approach toward Lloyd. If a coach plays her as a sub and sporadically one has to wonder what her reaction will be to that. Not that it should matter but we saw how she felt when Pia benched her for …..what was it, 1 game? She has PLAYED for the USWNT for like 15 years, it seems — she’s not used to having her butt be sitting on a bench when games are played. So, if this significant cut-back in her playing time happens, what are the chances she accepts it graciously and without causing disruption within the team? I’m not sure she would accept it well.

        • skybolt

          Probably not, but unlike Abby’s situation after the 2012 Olympics and even Lloyd after the 2015 WC, we failed miserably at these Olympics. The USSF has the right to make drastic changes and Lloyd was the captain on this squad.

          • Breakers fan

            I agree, and in that way critics of her could see this result as a silver lining. It could give justification for changes, as you say. Though there are things I still like about Carli I too think it’s time for her to fade into the background, mainly due to who else we have at that position. She didn’t sit for a 34 year old when she was 21, so she should try to understand why today’s top 21 year olds should play. What I’m wondering is IF this happens how will the captain accept it? Such a critical role, that of Captain – it would be ridiculous if it were the Captain who was causing the disruption. But all this is dreaming. As things stand she is a starter and the one who plays probably the most minutes of the front 7.

          • skybolt

            I’m actually looking forward to a time where all the former outspoken players are gone. This includes Abby, Solo and Lloyd. If Ellis is replaced or steps down, I don’t want the next coach to be hampered by strong personalities acting as divas, undermining them every step of the way. I think everyone else will fall in line and go with the coach’s plan.

          • Cc W

            I’m okay with strong personalities and women who speak out – every team needs vocal leaders, leaders by example and players with grit. While I’m okay bringing in new players, players like Abby, Hope, and Carli made this team better. They are passionate, care and speak their minds – nothing wrong with that. You need all kinds of players to make up a team. I’m guessing a team like France would have killed to have players with their passion on their team.

          • skybolt

            In all honesty I don’t necessarily disagree with your well constructed point. I’m just thinking out-loud in case the US decides to hire an outsider with a strong personality to coach this team. I think that both Pia and Ellis were player coaches who did well to manage strong egos. All I’m basically saying is that if the USSF hires a coach who wants to instill their own brand of playing style for this group, there won’t be much dissent from the likes of Solo or Lloyd. Let’s hope the remaining players won’t turn into France.

          • Steglitz49

            This as good a time as any to take over because the team is at rock bottom. It is like unto when Pia took over at the end of 2007. The difference is that she manged to get the team, without Abby, o win OG-08 while this coach has 3 lean years ahead.

            What outsider with a strong personality had you in mind? Kellermann of Wolfsburg? Signeul of Scotland? Emma hayes of Chelsea Ladies, though she is not totally outside since she once ran Chicago? While on Chelsea Ladies, maybe John Terry?

          • Cc W

            Okay I get where you’re coming from.

      • guest

        you forgot that uswnt players like to pad their stats against the tomato can teams. and that means playing all 90 minutes too.

        • Chak Khan

          What good does that do in building a bunker busting team for WWC 19 and Oly 20? Is their pay rate depending on their stats?

      • Cc W

        Agreed – and as soon as all of our favorites are moved along, each of us will be saying why why. Maybe Carli can be a sub going forward, but the MF needs to be figured out if this team is going to get better. Horan may be part of that, but we’ll see. We need younger players to get playing time.

    • Steglitz49

      The squad for the WC is 20+3. Thus putting together a list of 26+4 would be a good start.

    • Calci0

      I guess it’s been a bit and it’s time to slight Leroux again?!? I’d say Leroux’s strike rate is pretty special, not many in team history have better.

      • Cc W

        Sheesh, don’t take it as a slight, but realistically, even after the baby, she hasn’t played for some time. She hasn’t scored for the USWNT since 2014 – so yeah, hard to count on her as an option.

        • Calci0

          She had been injured before the baby. And she scored quite the brace in 2015 right before the WWC against Mexico. That game there showed me she’s a player I want on my team, starting or not. And like I said elsewhere, I’m not counting out a player that took the challenge of making the USWNT, and not only accomplished that goal, but has excelled. And many other players have shown you can come back from having a child and continue to play at a high level. When healthy, she has more than shown to be quite the talent and a contributing member to the team.

    • Constant Weeder

      This is the only time to blow it up. It’s now or wait three or four years. The veterans have their WC medals: the team owes them respect, but not another shot at the Olympics. This is the time when every player should have to earn a spot through their present, not past, performance, and their potential looking three years ahead. The NT should call up lots of players, and they should all be looking over their shoulders in case someone’s gaining on them. That should go on for a year and a half or so. Then the focus should shift to team building – players should mostly be able to look at each other as teammates rather than competitors. I have my doubts that USSF will take this approach, but it’s the only way to ensure we have the best possible roster for the next cycle.
      In addition, the team needs to play friendlies against real competition, even if it means traveling. Of course USSF wants the revenue of playing at home, and the SBC will help team development, but they need to be playing France and Germany and Japan and England and Australia more than once a year – Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, not South Africa and Ireland.

      • Cc W

        Yup that’s exactly it – make everyone compete for their spot. No one is entitled to a spot and given the lack of success last week, it has to be considered, but probably won’t happen.

      • Chak Khan

        Agree with your assessment; however, why not RSA? They were the one who bunkered the US in their last friendly. And Pia paid attention well!

        • Constant Weeder

          Good point. Too bad Jill didn’t.

      • guest

        under the current cba, the uswnt coaches can only call up a certain number of floaters per year and each floater can only be called up a certain number of times. rumor is the ussf it trying to increase the floaters but the uswnt players are not supportive of it. hopefully, the ussf can make some progress.

        • Constant Weeder

          I’m not up on the details of the CBA, but an agreement that undermines the mission has to be changed. The current CBA made sense in the past when there wasn’t a large number of world-class players, but for the future it needs to move more in the direction of the men’s. Getting rid of the long-term contracts would make the team more of a meritocracy, while also making obvious any pay disparity vs the men. It will be interesting to see what the new CBA looks like.

  • Steglitz49

    Keep Dunn, Pugh and Horan with Alex on probation. Get rid of all the rest. All.

    • Terry Lash

      Too radical, not necessary and definitely will not happen. The first step, which also will not happen, should be to hire a new coach/manager, who would then be responsible for player selection and building a competitive team for WWC 2019.

      • Steglitz49

        Rehire Pia? She is stepping down from Sweden after the OG. Or Dennerby, the man who led them during WC-11?

        It is easy to say: hire a new coach. Maybe now that they are in as deep dodo as in 2007, someone may be willing to rise to the challenge. Lars Lagerbäck worked wonders with Iceland’s men. Anna Signeul has done the same with Scotland’s ladies.

        • Terry Lash

          No Pia, please. Others have suggested Vlatko Andonovski. Personally, I would very seriously consider John Herdman, although I do not care for his public persona all that much. But Herman has demonstrated competence at the international level.

          • Steglitz49

            Fair enough. Could approach Mark Sampson too.

        • Cc W

          I’m not ready to fire Jill – I’m going to give her a chance. She has to learn and adapt. If it doesn’t work out, we’ll be able to tell.

          The one coach I’d like to see for the US team at some point is Laura Harvey – but I’ll tell you she’ll want a highly technical CM – her team plays the way Jill wants the team to play. Unfortunately, Kim Little can’t play for the US.

      • Bruce

        Maybe the easiest path to better managing is to retire the captain who is calling all of the shots on the field.

        Addition by subtraction.

    • skybolt

      Yeah, the Brazilian men’s team took drastic measures like that and wound up getting outscored 10-1 in the final 2 matches at home. A good balance of new vs. somewhat old is always good.

      • Steglitz49

        Tell me who of the impotent crowd from Friday you want to keep in addition to the ones I listed. I am all eyes. Just list them so we know where you stand.

        • skybolt

          I’d keep Julie Johnston. She’s still young and has a huge upside. She’ll get better with time. Morgan Brian is also young and will get better. Heath had a good WC and should be given a chance to start in the middle. Make Press a super sub and only play her at the forward position. Klingenberg was not good at the Olympics, but she was fantastic in the WC. I still think she has another run in her. Naeher should also stay and start over Solo.

          • Steglitz49

            JJ is a liability. An alert ref would have awarded a penalty to Sweden because of her. She did not learn from WC-15. She has to go.

            I accept Morgan Brian, at least on probation.

            Forget Press. Klings I am undecided about and will therefore put out to grass. She can follow Long’s and ARod’s examples: play themselves into contention.

          • skybolt

            Like I said before, a lot of Brazilian fans were thinking the same way after the 2-1 defeat to the Netherlands in the 2010 WC, even though I thought Brazil out-played them in that match and were unlucky with an own goal and red card. However, the young group they were replaced with struggled and gave up against Germany in rout to a 7-1 thrashing. The team still hasn’t recovered.

          • Steglitz49

            The team who lost to Germany was missing Thiago Silva. He was their organizer of the defense and their captain. A massive loss. The team was also missing Neymar because of injury.

            I am assuming that my players will not be injured going into the tournament.

          • skybolt

            I’m sorry but the team was not that good even in the earlier matches. I’m a huge fan of Brazil and thought the team escaped losing to Chile in the round of 16, and held on to dear life against Colombia. They just didn’t have the experience of a German team in pressure situations.

          • Steglitz49

            I stated two facts. Your opinion suits you.

          • Breakers fan

            I have this gut feeling that there are excellent backs/defenders in America that somehow aren’t being identified for the talent they have. But I think they will be found (I think they’re out there, maybe on our youth national teams or maybe the NWSL or in college) and thus could upseat someone like Klingenberg who is a, to me frustrating mix, as you say, of excellence and not-goodness. I think in America we can find a great young defender to replace her.

          • Breakers fan

            I’ll throw out a name of someone who’s impressed me greatly in the 4 or 5 games I’ve seen her play: Kiara Pickett. She’s still just on the U-17 team but I really liked what I saw in her game.

            We have U-17, U-18, U-19, U-20, and U-23 teams in addition to all the NWSL and current college players. I’m sure they do this already but the USSF staff need to have talks about who is looking the best from these players.

          • Guest

            Klingenberg had a really difficult time trying to beat defenders by herself. I think Casey Short should get a look at LB. Most impressive LB in the NWSL so far this year. I’m not at all satisfied with Johnston or O’hara either.

          • Breakers fan

            Short seems legit to me too. I’ve only seen her play in a couple games but she as I recall played a vital role in Chicago’s win over the Breakers. Thanks for the recommendation. That’s the kind of thing I wish were more fluid: A player stands out in the NWSL and she’s then brought into the next camp. It should happen with more frequency, as many of us here have suggested. I’m still a Hinkle fan, if she can stay healthy. I do still want to see her play more, however. I’m not sure about her speed and quickness but I like other aspects of her play.

          • #1Fan

            the media spend far too long identifying the next wave from hearsay as opposed to letting the actual GAME decide. Colaprico is an example. May I ask exactly WNY we say Pugh is “on another level” what level is that? Once you ascend to the NT you should be measured like everyone else. She is good, no doubt, but I fail to see Neymar or Messi. Good young player, I think there are a few of those out there who for various reasons have not had the same exposure.

            What is the role of a YNT? Winning or developing talent for the NT or a bit of both ? Playing Pugh on the U 20 team is pointless to me. Playing Sanchez on both teams is more of the same.

            I believe YNTs are primarily about developing players in a consistent style, but Im not sure I see that . There are some incredibly arrogant coaches in the USSF and they don’t seem to be progressive. An environment based of fear and privilege is not great for producing players.

          • Bruce

            Would love to hear your take on Colaprico.

            People scream about the need for a “true #6” and her name just isn’t in the echo chamber.

          • #1Fan

            i would not pigeon hole her, but I would say that the NWSL ROY deserves a good look. That is doing it vs Pros. Should be worth a lot more than a Sanchez who has done zero. U17s just managed to draw with Brazil twice on home soil with Sanchez. That is not great

          • Bruce

            I’ve watched every minute of the CRS this year . I like Colaprico’s game at the #6. She’s a solid defender, plays quickly and with confidence out of the back and rarely makes unforced errors. I haven’t seen much better play in the NWSL from that position this season.

            Given the midfield situation on the NT, I’m certain that she loses points for her small stature and not being considered as versatile at those who have been called up. I’d love for her to get a look, but she doesn’t seem to fit the prototype that has been established.

          • #1Fan

            and you hit it on the head. her play should be all that counts. does it fit? can she play? thats all I care about. her size should count for zero. Screw the prototype..

          • rkmid71

            In the NFL, it’s like selecting a quarterback because they’re 6’4″ with a strong arm Think Ryan Leaf. And think of all those all time great QBs that didn’t fit any mold and were an afterthought on draft day … Fran Tarkington, Tom Brady, Roger Staubach, Bart Starr, Johnny Unitas, Kurt Warner (undrafted), even Joe Montana. It takes a lot more than physical tools.

          • Guest

            I may see Pugh as just another good or very good player in the squad right now but I can understand why many fans think that she in on “another level”. She seems to have a couple moments in each game where she is/seems unplayable. That’s not the same thing a being Messi who will torch defenses in a myriad of ways if not game planned for. But I don’t think there are really any players comparable to Messi at the top of WoSo. Maybe Marta with her excellent goal record but that’s probably it.

          • Calci0

            If there is any female player, I would put on Messi’s level (in the world of WOSO) it’s Marta. Prime example is her performance against the US in the December tournament.

          • Breakers fan

            Thanks. Always appreciate hearing from you as you alone here have direct connection to the Federation. It’s distressing to hear that there is, at least to some extent and at some locations “an environment based on fear and privilege”. That is awful! Really bummed to hear that. I hope it’s not too bad but maybe it is, in places. Within the USSF is where you would want your best people, the least discriminatory, the ones with the most integrity, the ones who don’t play favorites, the ones who base their decisions solely in soccer-playing-ability reasons. I hope the reality is not too far away from that.

            As far as Pugh goes everyone is kind of guessing at this point. You can’t take what people say too literally even though people may mean their comments literally. I think people are just expressing great excitement about her and that’s ok. It’s good to be excited about the team and an individual. I personally have grown to be more impressed with her the more I watch her but I also see her fallibility. I think she’s a really smart player in addition to a talented one and like everyone else I see her athleticism. But it’s her intelligence that has struck me of late – she knows the game and I like her confidence to go after what she feels she can do. She’ll make errors, as will anyone, but I am excited to have her on our team and not on the opposition. Very excited to see Sanchez going forward. And I hesitated to mention Pickett as I don’t like to put too much pressure on a young player (get a hype train rollin’) but I doubt they read this forum. But lastly it should be said that no doubt there are many, many other very talented young players in America and just because their names aren’t familiar yet doesn’t mean they aren’t as good or won’t be as good as those whose names are familiar. All will continue to play and one can just hope they each get their fair chance.

          • #1Fan

            Hope BC have a good year 🙂

          • Breakers fan

            Thanks. I’ll send a report or two. Looking most forward to seeing Gabi Carreiro play. And may your daughter also have a good year! 🙂

          • rkmid71

            On a side note, for college soccer I noticed TopDrawer Soccer just announced a “PRESEASON Best XI 1st team, 2nd team, 3rd team and Freshman team”. That is the ultimate hearsay. Why would you bother? Just wait until the end of the season to see who performs. Absolutely stupid to me.

          • #1Fan

            agreed . Just posted same in another thread

          • mockmook

            As Jimi Hendrix says, “The wind cries Arlitt…

          • Breakers fan

            Noted! Respect your viewpoint as you watch way more NWSL than I do.

          • Steglitz49

            Name a couple, please.

          • #1Fan

            she does not have huge upside. She has the touch and passing of a rock. There are fare better options out there.

          • mockmook

            Not sure I’m totally in agreement with your description, but I keep watching CRS games and wondering what’s all the fuss about Colaprico.

    • Paul Klee

      Why would you keep Dunn? Seems like partying it up in Rio instead of playing for her club would be a disqualifying offense for you?

      • Steglitz49

        Dunn played very well against Sweden. She was a serious threat. One of the few. My hesitancy about Dunn are well known: lack of size and history of injuries.

        The FIFA window runs till 24 h after the end of the OG. No NT player need to do anything in the FIFA window except enjoy the OG.

        • Paul Klee

          Carli is back in Houston. United(official USOC airline) has a direct daily flight from Rio to Houston. Match in Houston is Thursday night. Over six days after Dunn’s last match. Dunn is match fit and was ready to play tomorrow(Tuesday), there is no reason not to play Thursday except it is not important to her.

          • No she isn’t, she’s in Jersey. Carli won’t set foot in Houston until she is forced to.

          • Paul Klee

            Point is Carli’s back in the US. Dunn is not. Spirit are in a playoff fight, but that is not as important to Dunn as hanging out at Nike house in Rio. The Steg standard is if party-time comes before your club team obligations you don’t deserve to be on the USWNT. see his 100 or more posts blasting Ali Krieger.

          • Steglitz49

            The FIFA window still runs. Clubs have to do without players in a FIFA window. Let them enjoy Rio.

          • They are all doing their own thing whether in the US or not. Krieger is in South Beach. I don’t get your point. None of them are training or expected back this week.

          • Steglitz49

            Carli is in disgrace and the dog house. She can do what she likes.

            If they were my siblings or progeny I would tell them to stay and enjoy Rio. Why on earth not? Fear of the Zika-virus?

          • Paul Klee

            They are professionals the need to be playing for their respective club teams. Especially Dunn and Krieger as the Spirit are. In a tough playoff fight. Dash playoff prospects though are kind of a long shot.

        • Paul Klee

          FIFA window runs until one day after the teams final match of the tournament.

      • Breakers fan

        Debating whether “to keep Dunn”, after the past year, is lunacy of the highest order.

        • Paul Klee

          Steg specific reply

      • Ha what? NWSL is on break right now.. nice try though.

    • Marcus Landon

      You sound like an immature brat with lots of anger but little actual knowledge. You’re going to can people for missing penalty kicks? LMFAO! Moreover, there isn’t a single coach on the planet who would can either Morgan Brian or Tobin Heath.

      • Steglitz49

        As you can see elsewhere I accept Moe Brian on probation.

        Tobin will be 31 in WC-19. If the aim of the game is to cull older player, Tobin is surplus to requirement.

        The point is that the team on the pitch on Friday were impotent in spite of all the help the ref team — if you can call them that — gave them.

        Failure carries consequences.

        • Katie

          Tobin will turn 31 May 28, 2019. What’s that like a month before the World Cup? She definitely won’t be too old.

          • Steglitz49

            If you want young players you have to cut some of the dross.

            Keeping my list of Dunn, Pugh, Horan, Moe and Alex, lets you only add 5 new field players to a starting XI.

        • TsovLoj

          Tobin appears to be peaking now, though, not years ago. If you’re watching her in Portland, she’s far from spent.

          • Steglitz49

            She did not peak enough last Friday night.

          • rkmid71

            Heath was the least of the problems. I respect how she worked and what she brought to Portland this season (like Morgan in Orlando and a few others) pre Olympics. In my mind, a key reason she was among the best US players at this tournament was that she had been competing regularly and hard in the NWSL.I get your point, but I was extremely annoyed when Heath was directed off the ball on free kicks by Lloyd, Rapinoe took over corner kicks, then Heath shuttled to the defensive line to accommodate Rapinoe when we needed a goal. She was in a heck of a lot better form than Lloyd or Rapinoe neither of which hadn’t played competitively in months. I would cut some slack for Heath — and if she simply continues to approach her profession as she has, I’d be willing to make an exception. Plus I think she’s a good fit for the direction we need to head and some experience if we cull some others.

          • Steglitz49

            Agreed. Lloyd denying Heath freekicks was bizarre.

      • Guest

        There are more reasons why people want press out. Unless she has some crazy productivity increase in their next three years of friendlies, why keep around a bench player with a history of choking that is 30 years old. I wanted arod out last WC for the same reason.

    • BRA 4 vs SWE 0 OLIMPÍADAS

      I see the future repeating the past

  • NYRick

    1) VETERANS WANT A SHOT AT REDEMPTION.

    Very rarely in any professional sport does any athlete want to call it a career. There is the famous line by tennis great Ilie Nastase about Jimmy Connors magical run to the semis at age 39 in the 1990 US Open…

    “He’s getting what we all want…one more time.”

    If Carli Lloyd and Abby Wambach taught this program anything is for the powers that be not to fall prey to this trap.

    • Steglitz49

      How old is Cristiane?

      • NYRick

        I think something like 38 but that’s irrelevant. There may always be an exception here and there. Buffon is about 40 as Italy’s keeper as well. Point is this US program has a greater young talent pool to continually pick from and more resources than any other country in WoSo.

        • skybolt

          I think Formiga is 38. Cristiane is only 31 I believe.

          • NYRick

            Right sorry. Got them mixed up. I figured he was asking for the oldest one.

          • Steglitz49

            Your point is well taken. I was looking for the oldest. Marta is 30, I think.

        • Steglitz49

          You can see my proposal elsewhere. I am slashing and burning with gusto. Noone seems to want to join me in my campaign for youth. Funny that.

          • NYRick

            #S49LogansRun

          • Steglitz49

            The Scorched Earth tactic worked well for Russia against invaders. Maybe parking the bus should be renamed?

          • NYRick

            #SwedishYellowSchoolBus

          • Steglitz49

            Is it a Volvo or a Scania?

          • NYRick

            Maybe this one would work, we got the yellow and blue in there and the red is for the opponent blood that Fisher spills every match.

          • Steglitz49

            I think Blue, Yellow and Red is the flag of the Åland Islands.

          • NYRick

            Come on, get happy.

          • Frode

            Wow, that’s a blast from the past. But funny. (I own the DVD)

          • HOFCToDi

            Hey Joseph,

            This is not the 1930s.

          • Steglitz49

            Touché! But the match was a sort of Stalingrad where the Swedes was in the role of the Red Army while the US was not.

          • HOFCToDi

            Sunil can call the State Department and have Christen Press extradited to Sweden.

        • HOFCToDi

          Poor Pressie Pooh!

          No interview with Bob Costas at the NBC Studio in Rio for you.

      • brdn08

        31

    • Right? AND how many “redemptions” do they need? This current team of players have won more titles than almost any other WoSo player could dream of. Not winning 1 of them does not make a “need for redemption”. Please, cut the crap and get ride of the dead weight by 2019.

    • HOFCToDi

      Poor Pressie Pooh!

      No face time with Bob Costas at the NBC Studio in Rio for you.

    • HOFCToDi

      Christen Press should call it a career.

      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

  • AlexH

    4) WHY DOES JILL ELLIS STILL HAVE A JOB?

    • Steglitz49

      Same reason as Sylvia Neid. Won the WC as head coach.

      • AlexH

        But what has she done LATELY?

        • brdn08

          SO the US should change coaches everytime it doesn’t win a major tournament.

          • AlexH

            Welcome to the world of soccer. And I’m pretty sure that if the WNT lost in the final PK shootout that nobody would care but this is the worst ever performance for the WNT in a major tournament and Jill did make some cringworthy decisions. So yes can her!

          • brdn08

            If they change coaches they have to completely clean house. Development staff, especially Heinrichs if she still has any input. Tony G needs to go as well. I think it would do these players some good to have to adjust to a completely new system. They need someone who has coached a quality men’s side.

          • AlexH

            Yes, clean house, yes can Heinrichs. The program will never reach its full potential if failure is rewarded with tenure.

          • Steglitz49

            With a proper ref team they should have lost in regulation. Even if you accept that the ref missed an obvious foul, which is a big if, Lotta’s goal was good.

            This was an utter defeat by the US against a team that has been on a downward slope since 2011 and was not given much chance to get out of their group even, where they were taken to the cleaners by Brazil.

          • ARED

            Most nations change coaches everytime there *is* a major tournament….

            (Of course in WoSo there is less turnover -should that be the case?)

          • brdn08

            Actually i think the talent of the players’ is passing the coaches by. There needs to be new exciting minds in woso. Someone who has the courage to coach women the way you would coach men.

          • ARED

            I agree. There are glimpses, but in general there is a large amount of fear/conservatism which constricts any meaningful progression. Japan plays with more risk than some, because they need to. Australia plays with risk, and Brazil sometimes does.

            USA, Germany, Sweden -almost none. France some. Canada a growing (but still small) amount. I guess some might say the USA’s 2 defenders plus Heath formation was courageous -I’d use another word.

          • rkmid71

            Heck yes. What’s so novel about that? Geno Auriemma has been doing it for years at UConn. He doesn’t coach women basketball players, he coaches basketball players. He trains those players against men teams all the time. It’s no accident they have 11 NCAA titles and three of the longest winning streaks in college basketball history. The current one 75 games and counting. Coach Geno has the US Nat’l Team playing well — average scoring margin > 40pts per game.

          • brdn08

            Its not novel but no ones doing it yet.

          • HOFCToDi

            Mexico does on the men’s side. Meanwhile, Jurgen is bulletproof.

          • brdn08

            Jurgen lucked into a job with low expectations. Making it to the knockout round of a tournament is a success for the USMNT.

          • HOFCToDi

            Based upon responses on this message board, Jill Ellis has been placed under the federal witness protection program.

          • brdn08

            She had the most fit, most talented, and best funded team and didn’t make it to the medal round. She has no excuse.

          • HOFCToDi

            I have yet to see a response from the USSF.

          • brdn08

            They have to tread carefully. They still have a CBA to hash out with the players.

          • HOFCToDi

            What does that have to do with the coaching staff?
            The USSF can postpone CBA negotiations until the results of the EEOC filing has been released.

          • brdn08

            If you hire a coach the players dont like. The discussions become that much more difficult.

          • HOFCToDi

            After the manner the USWNT crashed and burned at the 2016 Rio Olympics, the USWNT players need to worry more about pink slips.

        • Steglitz49

          She offered to resign after WC-11 but the DFB reconfirmed her position. At some point before WC-15 she made it clear that she would leave after OG-16. Under Sylvia Germany won Euro-09 & -13 as well as WC-07.

    • HOFCToDi

      Why does Jurgen Klinsmann still have a job?

    • Cc W

      Winning a WC is the major competition. The OG gold is icing on the cake. There is a reason the US has 3 stars and not 7. The OG was the consolation prize after not winning the WC. The gold medal would have been nice, but I don’t view this as a huge deal. There is a reason no team has done the double.

      • mockmook

        This would make sense if the USA /JE had used this year to build for 2019. Instead, any changes were the result of players retiring or what not.

        There is no reason players who likely won’t be the best for 2019 should have been on this OG16 team. These players should have been left home if winning OG16 wasn’t a “huge deal”

        Lloyd
        Krieger
        Engen
        Solo
        O’Reilly

  • brdn08

    While I disagree totally with this article it’s great that we actually hold the US to a higher standard than other nations would ever dream. I think the next move if you’re being serious is to begin bringing technical trainers in from the male side of the game.

    The other is strength training and recruiting. Height needs to be taken into account (Sweden was winning almost every ball in the air defensively). We also need players with better coordination and balance. If a player cant take three touches without constantly staring at the ground then they need help. Watch Ramona Bachmann dribble; it’s a thing of beauty.

    Th crazy thing about set piece trouble is with Abby we always just served the ball to her head. For some dumb reason they refused to do that with Johnston.

    • Cc W

      But how much of that can be taught to people in their mid late 20s – that has to taught early, and that hasn’t been the strong suit of US soccer.

      • brdn08

        It’s obvious US coaches stress fitness and speed over skill and technique. Someone has to invert this. Less sprints more dribbling, less beep tests more practice controlling the ball out of the air. These are simple things that some woso players cant do. Im of the mindset that you can do anything if you want to but your point on age is well taken.

        • Frode

          It’s more of a selection problem than a training problem. Big, fast girls are selected for “A” teams, while smaller, slower girls are relegated to “B” and “C” teams. “A” teams get the most highly trained coaches, while “C” teams get the least qualified coaches — not how you’d arrange things if development of players was a top priority. As a result, girls who develop earlier are often selected for elite teams (in the 10 – 13 age range), even though later-developing girls can and often do become great athletes. You can look at the month of birth for most girls premier “A” teams in his age group and their loaded with girls born at the beginning of their age bracket (because they’re simply more developed). Interestingly, elite female soccer players don’t show this clustering. Naturally skillful players also get selected, but players with potential who started late or developed later aren’t developed. Clubs spend precious little time developing players, teaching them critical skills like trapping the ball, striking the ball with either foot, basics. Players are stuck in positions that most help the team, not a variety of positions that will help them become a well-rounded player. Many clubs make players pay extra for individual skills training. Rarely will coaches pull aside individual players (say, during a scrimmage) and work with them on a skill they need to develop. It just doesn’t happen. On top of this, girls soccer competes with softball, basketball and other sports. And girls almost never play pickup soccer, an important low-stakes way for kids to learn key skills and tactics. There are so many things that need to change if we want to develop WoSo to its fullest potential in the U.S.A. OK, I’m ranting….

    • Steglitz49

      “we actually hold the US to a higher standard than other nations would ever dream” — tell that to the Swedes after WC-15 or Germans after WC-11.

  • Mo

    The only ones of the current OG I’d def want on my squad in 2019 if healthy are Brian, Johnston, Morgan(c), Dunn, Pugh, Heath(c). Undecided on Horan because she IMO is better forward.

    • Guest

      I’d give Johnston the armband

      • #1Fan

        you can’t be serious. She is terrible.

        • Kevin

          You’re kidding, right?

          • Steglitz49

            Sooner or later that red card and not just a penalty will come home to roost.

          • Kevin

            JJ’s only 24. She may end up being better than Sauerbrunn when it’s all said and done.

          • #1Fan

            I am deadly serious. What makes you think she is good? Reds the game poorly, cant pass , poor control.. She scores goals from the odd set piece but that is not what you need from a CB, especially one who plays for a team who has the ball often vs weaker teams. I dont rate her at all.

          • Kevin

            You’re crazy.

            Let’s see, she rarely gets beat on D, reads the game well, has great control for a defender, our best defender aerially by far.

            Who do you think we have that is better? Sonnett and Engen are a huge step down.

            Until the take down in the Germany game of the WC, JJ was definitely outplaying Sauerbrunn for the tournament, and outside of that one very bad play, she did outplay Sauerbrunn at the World Cup.

          • David K Anderson

            I consider Sonnett to be markedly better. She’s better positionally, is faster, and is much, much better on the ball. I think her ability to advance the ball on the ground offsets JJ’s scoring threat; both contribute to the overall offense.

          • #1Fan

            I am far from crazy. i just see the game differently to you. I dont see the qualities you do, in fact I see the total opposite. She is a strong, physical defender and not much else. I dont see her in the same class as Sauerbrunn and when she was injured, I noticed nbo slide from Engen playing. I think Sonnett is a far superior soccer player in almost every way except in the air.

            For a team that is trying to be more possession oriented and needs CBs to make smart decisions in possession, I would not touch her with a l10 ft pole.

          • Kevin

            You didn’t notice a slide when Engen was playing? Wow. No point in even debating or discussing this with you any further.

      • Guest

        Johnston is awful with the ball and hasn’t shown great instinctual defending. Naughton has done as well as Johnston if not better in her play for the Red Stars. I’d consider seeing what the Red Stars could get for Johnston while manager think her value is high.

        • ARED

          She’s also 23? She has the skillset to be a great CB. She has been a great or at least very good one for a long time already.

          I’m not sure why the CBs are blamed for the team’s inability to move/use the ball. They can help a little bit in this way, but not nearly as much as a working midfield can….

          All 4 defenders looked much better on the ball when Long was playing. All 4 defenders are above average on the ball for the standard of international WoSo. All 4 defenders often look unsure of how to play, as do the midfielders and forwards.

          • jdee26

            Good observation; usually caught between the old style of serving long passes that end up with the defense. USWNT mid fielders should be creative enough to break defenses and find the open player, dribbling past one defender opens up the bunker defense. Brazil was successful against Sweden because they were able to use dribbling skills to break down Swedish bunker.

          • ARED

            I agree. Good thing Ellis had Heath playing RB…. ; p

            You can break the defense either with fast and efficient passing or fast and efficient dribbling. The key is that it has to connect at the end as well. Sending hopeful long balls relies on luck (which did come for Morgan’s goal). But also when dribbling, a player needs to be able to link up with teammates with passes/crosses, or reach a good shooting position themselves. Dunn received a lot of praise because she was getting past the first defender, but she struggled from there and often either tried to beat another 1-2 and lost the ball, or made a pass which didn’t connect.

            This is the biggest reason why I don’t think Lloyd fits in the US team -at least how they claim they want/try to play. She is not fast or efficient with her dribbling or passing (or movement, or pressuring the opponent). Lloyd takes up space in the key creative areas of the field, but cannot create, and takes the ball on many possessions and loses it (turnovers, fouls, offside, or poor shots).

            I think against lesser opponents the USA can move the ball well enough -especially on the wings -to create some chances and get set pieces and eventually score enough to win. But the better defenses can manage to repel the slow and predictable movement -especially when there is little threat of combination passing (or effective dribbling) from the main creative player….

          • guest

            i agree the uswnt need’s some better dribblers. alot easier to break a defense down if you can beat a defender and get the man advantage.

        • Bruce

          Johnston > Johnson >>> Naughton

          • mockmook

            I have naught good to say regarding your evaluation of Naughton.

          • Bruce

            Sam Johnson has been by far the better CB of the two over the last few months. It’s not even close.

            Naughton is a rookie playing like a rookie. She will improve.

    • tonysocref

      Let’s not forget Emily Sonnett. Granted she was an alternate but was with the team. If she continues to progress the way she has with the Thorns as a rookie, she would be one of the primary CB’s for the NT in the future. With her field of vision, touch on the ball, accurate long passing and ability to move up field with the ball she might be a very capable DM if need be.

      • Steglitz49

        The alternates are fair. They did not contribute to this indignity.

    • Steglitz49

      JJ? The escape artist who gets away from penalties and red cards. One day her luck will run out.

    • FlyingSquirrel42

      I wouldn’t agree about dropping all three of the current goalkeepers, especially given that keepers age a little more slowly than other players. If Hope retires, takes a break, or gets cut, I’d still give Naeher and Harris some games as well as perhaps Franch and one or two other younger players. We’ve seen so little of Naeher and Harris in actual competitive international matches that it’s hard to say how they’d do in a more regular role, but both seem to be playing well for their clubs.

  • BRA 4 vs SWE 0 OLIMPÍADAS

    I met Heath and Press and personally …. I can not understand how Press fell in love with Heath

    • guest

      at the olympics?

      • BRA 4 vs SWE 0 OLIMPÍADAS

        Yes

        • I have a hard time believing this.

          • BRA 4 vs SWE 0 OLIMPÍADAS

            zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

          • ika?

          • BRA 4 vs SWE 0 OLIMPÍADAS

            LMAOLMAOLLMAOLMAL

        • guest

          are you going to the brazil semi-final?

      • BRA 4 vs SWE 0 OLIMPÍADAS

        Press is very hot

    • newsouth

      still trying to figure this out myself.

    • Don’t hate me

      I ran into Heath and Press at the airport with my niece and my niece ran up to them to see if she could get a autograph and a picture Heath was real nice and she said yes, but Press said no she said she was in a rush, and she said she didn’t have to sigh or take picture with her fans, really who does that, so my niece was really upset that Press would do that..but we did get to meet Heath and she is so chill. so I don’t know how Tobin be with Press

  • BRA 4 vs SWE 0 OLIMPÍADAS

    1- Fight LGBT OK
    2-Feminism OK
    3-Equal Rights OK
    4-BE IDIOT ON TWITTER AND INSTAGRAM OK
    5-MEDAL OUCH

  • Gary Diver

    “Veterans want a chance for redemption.”

    The next Olympics is four years away. For this to be the first issue/question shows how disconnected with reality some people are. Looking backwards is never a good way for moving forward.

    • BRA 4 vs SWE 0 OLIMPÍADAS

      Said the philosopher. Should be one that believes that Dunn will be 0.00000001% of that Martha is.

  • ARED

    Heading into the 3 year “off” time of the cycle, for any team:

    1) The identification and growth of young players should obviously be the biggest focus. (The USA focuses on maximizing profit and veteran player’s career resumes).

    2) Secondarily you can continue to grow and support all of your players -age should not be a penalty against anyone who can actually play among the top-23. (The USA anoints 2-3 youth players who come in -only when the veterans decide to leave. Anyone outside the system has little chance of breaking in).

    3) And intertwined with both, development and gaining experience with new/better/many systems and styles of play. For all of their resources, the USA has a surprising lack of certainty in how they play. (Many other nations seem to get much more out of their talent, support system, and time spent together as a team).

    • BRA 4 vs SWE 0 OLIMPÍADAS

      PUTT ALL TO LIVE TOGETHER. HEATH, PRESS HARRIS AND KRIEGER WOUL LOVE

    • Steglitz49

      Re your #2 — age in 2019 is not totally irrelevant. It goes with your #1.

      • ARED

        It’s not irrelevant, but the point is that while they should be actively finding and wisely developing (support, training, instruction, game action, etc….) young players as a priority, the veterans should still be considered strongly when the big games/tournaments come along.

        The problem in the past is that the young players don’t actually get the chance to show they are better, or if they do the veterans still somehow play (for example, Lori Chalupny playing at WC2015 while Dunn and even O’Hara did not -at first).

  • Simon Redux

    This article is garbage. USWNT totally dominated the game and had myriad of chances to score. With a little bit of luck and better finish on their chances, the US should have easily defeated Sweden. There is nothing structural wrong with the US side.

    • #1Fan

      i dont understand your analysis. Sweden allowed the US to dominate and the US were unable to capitalize.

      • Simon Redux

        Stats Summary: USA / SWE

        Shots: 27 / 6

        Shots on Goal: 6 / 2

        Saves: 1 / 5

        Corner Kicks: 12 / 3

        Fouls: 4 / 15

        Offside: 5 / 5

        No competitive team allows this degree of dominance.

        • Steglitz49

          Thank you.

          “Drogba forever in our hearts”, it says on Chelsea’s flags, a reference to the 2012 Champions League final.

          If that includes extra time, there should be one less offside on Sweden’s account.

        • #1Fan

          Stats dont tell the full story. I would like to see quality shots, I would also add that the only goal USA scored was an assist of the face of a Swede.

          No great team has that much of the ball and does that little with it .

    • Constant Weeder

      If the offside call on Schelin wasn’t enough luck, what would be? Not calling Lloyd’s foul?

    • Steglitz49

      Your comment shows a lack of understanding of soccer. Never mind, go back to American football.

      • Simon Redux

        At least our women are safe from being raped in America, the same can not be said about Sweden which is the rape capital of Europe.

  • jdee26

    TIME TO OVERHAUL STATUS QUO?
    If anything, Rio Olympics taught us there is a shelve life span for all organisms. Perhaps, it is superfluous to point out the need to build a true technical team with a pure ’10’. Dunn and Pugh have played wide to accommodate aging players like Lloyd and Morgan, players more suited to the direct, long ball style that served the USWNT well all these years. The USWNT had 64% possession to the Swedish team’s 34%, and yet lost in a penalty shoot out.I like the new 4-3-3 formation but you need to adjust tactics according to your opponent’s scheme. Sauerbraunn is a good defender but lack speed to chase down speedy break-away forwards. In a 4-3-3, you need both good and speedy defenders who can cover ground against speedy forwards.

    • HOFCToDi

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

      allwhitekit.com/?p=14973#more-14973

      • jdee26

        Link is dubious. Beware of hackers!!!!!

        • Kevin

          Nobody ever follows his links. They’re always to something irrelevant, just like all of his posts and erroneous statistics.

  • Timmy

    Can someone tell this woman that players have contracts? Can’t bring in bunch new players.

    • Ryan

      I know right. They pick a few young players. Invest in them via allocation. It’s not a try out system that’s set up here. Where everyone has chance.

      • Frode

        Until December 31st, 2015. That’s when the CBA MOU expires, I believe. The players have just lost a fair bit of leverage going out of OGs so early and with reduced (no?) Victory Tour revenue to point at. USSF can now legitimately say that past revenue in major tournaments does not predict future revenue. The CBA of 2017 could be very different than the current one. Maybe it will be something closer to what the men have, with lower individual salary, more allocations and a bigger player pool.

        • HOFCToDi

          No allocations. No salary. No nothing.

          The USSF have expended enough resources on legal fees fighting the USWNTPA.

          Pay as you play, just like the men.

          • Frode

            If USSF plays hardball, this is the time to do it. Maybe there will be a strike, and Steglitz49 will get his wish.

          • NYRick

            Can you do me a favor and tell that idiot in the red shirt directly above you that nobody missed him. I don’t respond to him and you would be smart to do likewise.

          • HOFCToDi

            Poor Pressie Pooh! No Olympic medal for you!

            Meanwhile, the 30+ crowd ………..

            Rampone – 3 Olympic Gold Medals
            O’Reilly – 3 Olympic Gold Medals
            Solo – 2 Olympic Gold Medals
            Lloyd – 2 Olympic Gold Medals
            Sauerbrunn – 1 Olympic Gold Medal
            Rapinoe – 1 Olympic Gold Medal

          • Steglitz49

            That is unfair.

            Anyway, my impression is that the Veterans proved, if proof wwas necessary, that the World Cup is the real McCoy and Christen has one of those. In your list only Rampone has two.

          • HOFCToDi

            I only listed Summer Olympic Gold Medals to rub salt into the wound of the “Press Gang Troll Brigade”.

          • Steglitz49

            Given that this is the Olympics, fair enough to illustrate with the Olympics.

            Should have stayed in Göteborg and continue to learn where Hope cut her teeth as a fledgling goalie.

          • HOFCToDi

            NYRick is still waiting for that Christen Press exclusive with Bob Costas at the NBC Studio in Rio. Needless to say, Bob Costas does not interview international frauds.

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

          • Steglitz49

            What could he reasonable ask her? You do not hit someone when they are down. Sjöström and Ottesen showed the way.

          • HOFCToDi

            2016 Summer Olympic Games
            Jeanette Ottesen – bronze medal

            Not even close.

          • Steglitz49

            They consoled Cate Campbell after her disaster. Sarah did not even celebrate her unexpected bronze.

            Common decency shines through.

          • HOFCToDi

            Cate Campbell won gold in the 4×100 m freestyle relay for crying out loud. I have no sympathy for the greedy.

          • Steglitz49

            Sarah and Jeanette felt differently, obviously. That photo has buzzed around the web. Better than an electronic dog any day.

          • HOFCToDi

            The vast majority of athletes who compete in the Olympics don’t even walk away with a medal let alone a gold medal. I have no sympathy for the greedy.

          • Steglitz49

            Belmonte Garcia rules OK!

          • HOFCToDi

            Nope!

            Maya DiRado rules and delivered the upset special of the Olympic Aquatics Stadium.

          • Steglitz49

            You forgot Simone Manuel, the first US Afro-American swimmer, also a Stanford cardinal.

            Have you seen the Stanford Aquatic Centre? If you have, you would not ask your question.

          • David K Anderson

            A classmate and fellow swim team member back in my high school days went on to swim for Stanford (he was the state 50 and 100 meter freestyle record holder). Fantastic program there.

            As an aside, his Mom ended up a bit famous (Sandra Day O’Connor…).

          • rkmid71

            Sandra Day O’Conner — I wish we had more Supreme Court justices like her. And don’t forget the Washington Press Club black tie!

          • Steglitz49

            Indeed. How marvelous.

            “I danced with a man who had danced with a girl who had dance with the Price of Wales”

          • HOFCToDi

            “If you have, you would not ask your question.”

            Not really. Any jab at CP12 these days is delightful.

          • Steglitz49

            Sarah — glod, silver and bronze + a new WR.

          • HOFCToDi

            Sarah lost to an 19 year old American.

          • HOFCToDi

            Japan loses again to the United States.

            USA 110 JPN 64

            You lose!

          • Frode

            Your post reminds me of the time that my son, then about 7 or 8, stepped on an ant and taunted it for being “a loser.” We had to have a little talk with him about that.

          • HOFCToDi

            Please tell me in order the three most popular high school sports amongst females in the United States.

          • HOFCToDi

            Your response reminds me of the “Press Gang Troll Brigade”. Christen Press has scored the vast majority of her international goals against tomato cans in meaningless international women’s friendlies.

          • rkmid71

            I recently saw that Boston University scientists added ants to the list of the few creatures that show no signs of age-related decline before they die. Evidently, worker ants start out in life not being terribly good at things, but then they acquire behavior and expand their repertoires. The scientists expected to see a normal curve – they’d improve, they’d peak, and then decline. It would be like us humans: But it didn’t happen with ants. They think that since ants are a social species, this new discovery may hold meaning for humans.

          • HOFCToDi

            NYRick still believes that Christen Press is some sort of international superstar.

          • Steglitz49

            Bob Costas inteviewed Alex, Pinoe and whom? There were two others. Was it JJ and Klings?

          • HOFCToDi

            I did not see the interview nor thought it was necessary.

            Speaking of the Rio Olympics 2016, Christen Press is not even in the same league as the Stanford graduate who incidentally is on the Los Angeles 2024 Olympic Bid Committee.

          • Don B.

            Rick, you can click on the down button on the right of their name line, choose ‘block user’, and you don’t have to see their crap. I’ve done it for a couple of the folks who fill up the threads with cut and paste junk as well as thousands of posts about Norwegian basket weaving. It unclutters the threads and makes it a much more pleasant experience here.

          • Steglitz49

            Norway? Winners in Sydney 2000.

            Midnight sun, gravad lax, pickled herring and stenbitsrom works wonders, obviously.

          • Steglitz49

            He is writing clear sense for once. Why shut him up?

          • HOFCToDi

            The agony of defeat:

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

          • HOFCToDi

            Strike?

            If the USWNTPA loses the EEOC filing, the USWNTPA has lost all leverage.

            The USSF can allow the CBA to expire, lock out the players, and call up collegiate players along with teenage prodigies.

          • Steglitz49

            Hear hear!

            That is the way forward. It will also stop the best college seniors from taking contracts with European clubs.

          • HOFCToDi

            The attendance figures for the two international women’s friendlies in September should be very interesting.

          • Steglitz49

            Forsooth.

            It will depend on where they are played (can’t remember) but I would guess 18-20,000.

          • CED

            The EEOC filing is a guaranteed loss.

          • Steglitz49

            What can they strike over. The worst loss in the history of the USWNT. Negative leverage, I type.

            (The scoreline of the 0-4 drubbing by Brazli 9 years ago was bigger but it was in a SF of a World Cup.)

          • Steglitz49

            This bunch of losers shall not play again except a choice few, which we have discussed.

            The rest can earn pin money as wedding ushers. Those who can sing, maybe a bit more.

          • HOFCToDi

            The USWNT won the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The USWNT players developed fat heads with their “equal pay, equal play” campaign and lost focus on what is important.

          • Steglitz49

            “Overpaid, oversexed and over here” was the pharse in WW2’s Britain. We could stick to “Overpaid and impotent.”.

          • HOFCToDi

            As for losers, that is perpetually France.

          • Steglitz49

            I don’t see how that helps the US of A nor the NWSL.

            BTW — where are your stats about Sweden these days. Zlatan is doing more than OK with Utd.

        • Steglitz49

          Verily.

        • #1Fan

          Why on earth is there a CBA for a NT in the first place. And one that impacts selection its laughable tbh .

        • Bruce

          What I think many of us are missing here is that the nature of WoSo pretty much mandates that the USWNT will need a payment structure different from the men’s team.

          Members of the men’s NT can make a comfortable livings in the pro ranks without being called up. That simply isn’t the case when the NWSL has a laughable $200k salary cap *per team*. The US simply won’t be able to keep high-level players in the game if they are making under $50k per year, so something like allocations and subsidies are needed – though the current form is dysfunctional.

          The long term fix is that the NWSL grow its way out of this problem so that it can pay players more. The biggest obstacle to this is that US Soccer seems to be happy the way things are, and is not focused on growing the league it runs.

          • Frode

            I don’t think the current USWNT pay structure is necessary. The current USWNT pay structure IS required, however, to maintain the lifestyle and job security for the elite group USSF-salaried players. But that’s a tiny minority of American WoSo players. The rest survive without guaranteed salaries and allocation subsidies. Sure the subsidy system keeps top American athletes in the US and in the NWSL, but again, that’s not necessary, either. Also, one does not require the other. USSF could subsidize its pool players in the NWSL, threaten not to call them up if they leave the country, and NOT play them any guaranteed salary.

          • Bruce

            This is likely a job for math.

            + There are 20 players on an NWSL roster
            + The current salary cap is $278,000 per team
            + Without subsidies, the maximum player salary is $39,200

            So… the line is this forum is to pay your best players about $40K per year with the *hope* that they could make more money on a variable, non-guaranteed basis?

            Pinoe was paid $14k per month in D1. Marta makes close to $30k per month in Sweden. Heck, PSG paid Horan about 3 times as much as the NWSL max salary straight out of high school.

            How could you expect any player to live so modestly to play at home and not even give them a path to economic security when someone else is willing to guarantee money today?

            The current system needs reform, but US Soccer knows that it needs to provide contracts and pay salaries to keep players in the US. US Soccer can’t make money fielding teams of unknowns that play abroad. Allocation isn’t going anywhere.

    • Steglitz49

      In that case pay them but don’t play them. Not one second.

      Think how much revenue US WoSo has lost because there will be no Fans Tour. The loss of 10 matches à 20,000 spectators each is not to be sneezed at.

      These players lost.

  • Forgedias

    Normally I stay out of the bash the USWNT threads because its just too painful to read. But this is an interesting read since its about youth and potential players that could take over.

    I do like that you focused on players in college because that is where I look at. I don’t see the USWNT doing a full scale move to the youth movement because as you said already, they always want to win it every cycle. They can’t afford to miss a cycle like a smaller nation could and rebuild. They can’t even rebuild, they have to reload with veterans.

    That commitment to win it all every cycle does force the USWNT into a position where they have to tunnel vision on who is performing right now, not who can be an asset 4 years down the road. They can’t think in Quadrennial terms. Which is why you see so many players getting their first caps with the senior team after they graduate from college.

    Its why the NWSL is so important to the USWNT. It allows college players to get the necessary experience against stronger competition, the USWNT can rehome many of their overseas players to return them to the NWSL by offering them contracts and potential World Cup berths. So to have a youth break into the senior team would take a huge surprise.

    At the most I would say we could see 2 or 3 players under 23 years on the senior team. Coaches can’t rely on them to win Cups, they have to go with the proven players to keep their jobs. I think after Sermanni, its pretty obvious that blooding too many young players can cost you your job.

    But back to roster decisions.

    1) The outside backs is an interesting story. The USWNT backs are getting old. Sauerbrunn is 31 and will be 34 for the next World Cup. Still doable at that age although she is getting slower now. Ali Kreiger is already 32, so I have doubts she will be in the next WC, Kelley O’Hara is 28 and will be 31 so she is still in the mix. Meghan Klingenberg is 27 and will be 30 for the WC, so she is still in the mix. And Whitney Egen is 29, will be 32 for the WC so in the mix. The only one that can be considered young is of course Julie Johnston who is 24.

    I really don’t see much change in the back line. I think its quite possible every single one of these players will be back for the next World Cup. Even though I totally agree with you about Arin Gilliland and Casey Short. Can they bump out any of the veterans, I don’t know.

    2) Midfield is the same story. I simply don’t see much change happening here. Morgan Brian is 23, will be 26 when the WC comes around. Tobin Heath is 28, 31 for the WC, Lindsey Horan 22, will be 25 for the WC. Carlie Lloyd 34 is an interesting story. Getting older and will be 37 for the WC. She should retire but I just don’t see it happening and the USWNT won’t push her out. Megan Rapinoe 31, and will be 34. Her injury and age is a concern but I think she will stick around for the next WC. Allie Long is 28 and will be 31 for the WC. She is the one I think can be replaced. She isn’t critical for the team. So I do there will be openings here.

    About Rose Lavelle, I agree with you, she is the future for the USWNT, it all depends if it will be sooner rather then later in 3 years time.

    3) Forwards, Christen Press is 27 and will be 30 for the WC. Alex Morgan is 27 and will be 30. Crystal Dun is 24 and will be 27. Mallory Pugh is 18 and will be 21. And I do believe Pugh will be in the next WC. Which probably means Pugh will not play out her college season and go pro is my belief. Then there is Sydney Leroux who is 26 and will be 29.

    Maybe Amy Rodriguez fights her way back onto the roster but she will be 32, there probably will be better options then her.

    4) Goal Keepers. Hope Solo 34 will be 37 for the WC. I don’t see her retiring. Alyssa Naeher 28 and will be 31. Ashynn Harris is 31 and will be 34. Hard to say if she will be in the picture for the next World Cup.

    This is where I see the main problem for the future of the USWNT. There is no legitimate replacement for Hope Solo. Jane Campbell who plays for Stanford and is touted as the next great one hasn’t shown the flashes of greatness. She hasn’t shown that she is part of the new breed of keepers out there. Speedy, agile, quick feet and the ability to make reflex saves. And what about Adriana Franch? She may be the future because so far in college. I just don’t see it.

    I used to watch a ton of college soccer, I can’t anymore, but I do keep track of the two important conferences, the Pac12 and the ACC. In the ACC there is one top flight keeper who is head and shoulders above the rest. And its not an American. Its Kailen Sheriden of the Clemson Tigers. And a very large reason why Clemson has made a name of themselves in the ACC after being the door mat for every other team, where all the top prospects would go to either to the North Carolina Tar Heels, Notre Dame, Virginia or Florida State. Clemson does it by defense and have made it to their Conference playoffs and made it into the NCAA tournament last year. Sheriden has been amazing for them. She is the prototypical goal keeper. Speed, quick feet and able to make reflex saves. Keepers like this simply do not exist in the college system for the US. And that is worrisome for the long term health of the USWNT. Its why I will still mourn Emily Oliver’s retirement from soccer at such a young age due to concussions. She was the future and it ended way too soon. She had the total package.

    I think best guess for the next World Cup roster we will see players like Jaelene Hinkle, 24 will be 27. Emily Sonnet 22 will be 25. Danielle Colaprico 24, will be 27 in the next WC roster. But over all I don’t see much change to the current roster as is unless there is a move to push the older players out which would surprise me.

    • Williegsandidge4

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

    • #1Fan

      Amazing that your analysis focuses on players AGE next WC and not ability or performance.

      • Steglitz49

        It is not amazing. It is logical and relevant.

        • #1Fan

          i think indicative of a terrible system.

  • Paul Klee

    Here’s what I would do right now I would select a core of fifteen award them 3 year contracts.
    Set up as a 3-3-2-2 with Pugh as CAM with Heath as a free winger.
    Starters (3 year contracts)

    Naeher
    Engen
    Sauerbrunn
    Johnston
    Long
    O’Hara
    Brian
    Heath
    Pugh
    Dunn
    Morgan

    Subs (3 year contracts)
    Klingenberg
    Horan
    Rapinoe
    Press

    Then I would pick 10 other players on one year contracts and see if they can fit in.

    • jdee26

      Drop KO for Jaelene Hinkle. KO still plays the old system of long balls and direct approach; 70% of her long ball passes end up with the opponent’s defense.

      • Paul Klee

        I agree, but I’m a Hinkle fan, I love the way she plays the game. Hinkle did dominate KO so much so that SKY Blue had to move KO away from Hinkle. My only concern about Jaelene is would she be able to connect from the right side, KO can do both.

        • Craigaroo

          If you have a first-rate left back, a difference-maker, you take her and versatility be damned. Really good left backs are hard to find.

          • Paul Klee

            Hinkle would have been on the 23 person squad for sure. Unless its a chemistry thing, but don’t think it is. But of course in my 3-3-2-2 there isn’t a true left back

          • David K Anderson

            Yep: one of the very toughest positions for a front office to fill, imo.

            But I’m not on the “replace Kling” bandwagon. Not where the team is suffering…

          • Guest

            The thorns really didn’t need Kling when they had Catley. Trading Catley for Franch was a bad move. I think thwy could have gotten Franch for cheaper but maybe salary was an issue.

          • David K Anderson

            They were unlikely to retain Catley, though. She really wanted to go to Orlando to play for Sermanni.

          • Guest

            Fair enough. There’s no point in keeping unhappy players but it still seems like a net loss to me. Catley is one of the best LBs in the women’s game, younger, more athletic and a better defender than Klingenberg.

          • David K Anderson

            I loved Catley (and enjoy watching her w/ the Pride). Exciting player to watch…

    • Steglitz49

      As I started this discussion, I would keep Dunn, Pugh and Horan, put Alex and Brian on probation. The rest I would simply not play anymore. None of the rest.

      • Paul Klee

        Not Naeher? What did she ever do to upset you?

        • Steglitz49

          China with a golaie 6’2″ and South-Africa with 5’11” has shown us the way forward on goalies.

          I am looking for new blood of those statures to train up for WC-19.

          • David K Anderson

            In the US, girls who are that tall and have some athletic ability get steered towards basketball when they’re young. That’s a better career prospect for the truly gifted ones, as WNBA salaries are quite a bit higher than NWSL salaries (minimum for rookies is about $35k, not that far from the NWSL non-allocated _maximum_). We might be able to find an “American Courtois,” but we may be looking for a while.

            I’m not the least bit worried about the ‘keeper position, though. The US is good at producing top ‘keepers, even on the BroSo side, where we’re obviously not a top country. There are some good young US ‘keepers, like Adriana Franch (although her injury was a huge setback: she was very much on the Nats’ radar a couple years ago, but can’t snag the starting role here in Portland now).

    • #1Fan

      why would you give a 3 year contract to any player? The systems should be scrapped. NTs are not club teams. they are a a reward for great Club play, not a birthright.

    • CED

      GUARANTEED CONTRACTS ARE THE PROBLEM NOW. IT’S WHY THEY CAN’T EVOLVE THE TEAM

  • Gary Diver

    How about two questions after Olympics disappointment: what will the attendance figures be for the remainder of the NWSL season and the two September Friendies? Remember the WC15 bump? Will there be an OG16 dip? And if so, what does it mean for USWNT and American WoSo? Six weeks should give us answers to these crucial questions.

    • Steglitz49

      Even bad publicity may have some use?

      • Gary Diver

        We will see. The American public can be very fickle.

        • Steglitz49

          Obviously we will see and the obvious prediction is that there will be no post-bump and that attendances at the NT matches will be down.

          The challenge to the NWSL is to prevent this.

          Orlando can trumpet Alex as the goal scorer and then make some song and dance about pso being a garbage way of deciding the outcome without going into better alternatives.

          What the other clubs say and do is a mystery.

    • Craigaroo

      I doubt there will be much of an dip in Portland, where the audience is devoted to the club and not to the star effect surrounding the national team. In other cities, there may be some but I doubt it’s anything much to worry about. The teams have found a fairly stable fan base and their longterm prognosis is good unless there are some teams, some owners, whose patience was based on a shorter time frame of 5-6 year rather than 15-20.

      • David K Anderson

        With the playoff/Shield run happening I actually expect our numbers here in Portland to climb.

    • Rdalford

      re “what will the attendance figures be for the remainder of the NWSL season”
      – a number of the NWSL teams have ongoing promotions (offering discounted tickets in some cases) to try and generate interest/ticket sales for remaining NWSL games which makes me think that actual ticket sales to date are not where the teams want/hoped they would be.
      – most teams will most likely (even with promotions) not generate numbers comparable to post 2015 WC bump numbers for remaining 2016 matches
      – 2016 attendance numbers for some teams (Portland, Seattle, WNY ) are running far enough above 2015 that they will most likely still end up with the 2016 season totals/averages above the 2015 level.
      – and with Portland in the race for playoff spot I expect Portland 2016 attendance to hold up well for remaining home matches in Portland
      – play off contention might sway some attendance numbers but unless Sky Blue and Chicago pull in a couple of good crowds for remaining 2016 matches then their 2016 numbers look to be on trend to be below 2015 (although Chicago 2015 numbers were inflated by MLS doubleheader) and both Chicago (with rental fees for Toyota Park) and Sky Blue (continued lowest in league attendance) have to be financially draining for owners.

      imo, attendance is net a positive for NWSL in 2016
      the overall NWSL 2016 attendance numbers will probably be up compared to 2015 (Porland is avg 1K per match higher plus addition of Orlando )

      Other factors, in particular new CBA (when do CBA negotiations get resolved, does new CBA maintain commitment for USWNT players to play in NWSL and/or enable some USWNT players to head overseas) and/or other USSF adjustments in support for NWSL, as well as any decisions re expansion (or not) for 2017, may impact NWSL more than attendance.

      • Steglitz49

        Thank you. Clear analysis as usual.

        The future of the NWSL depends on keeping college seniors in the US. The NWSL can’t afford for them to take the foreign shilling be it in £, € or kronor.

        The hassle for the NWSL is that the US do not like losers and these clowns are not even coming second anymore.

    • kevin

      the uswnt attendance drops in half for the uswnt early-retirement tour in the fall.

  • Steglitz49

    How about articles or at least one article about tonights two semi-finals?

    Please could we have some insightful predictions.

    • Gary Diver

      Let’s hope both games don’t go to PKs.

      • Steglitz49

        Canada v Germany could well do.

        My prediction is that Brazil and Germany will win in regulation.

        A final between Brazil and Germany would please the IOC and FIFA. One between Canada and Sweden would be their least favored combo.

        • skybolt

          We could have 2 Brazil vs. German finals depending on what happens on the men’s side as well.

    • Craigaroo

      I don’t like to be too critical of the Equalizer but I wish they were a little quicker to draw attention to the remainder of the Olympics tournament. Perhaps they’re having a hard time, as I am, singling out some players who are stamping the tournament with their personality and play. I keep expecting someone to emerge from that stronghold of women’s soccer, Germany, but it hasn’t really been happening although of course they are a solid, excellent team. It would be nice if at least Lena Goessling showed some flashes of brilliance to go with those unforgettable eyes.
      ¶ Will Stina Blackstenius score another terrific goal for Sweden and leave a lasting impression? For longtime fans of women’s soccer, I think Christine Sinclair will continue to do the little things which mark her as a special player. But otherwise, I think it’s Brazil who we have to turn to for some really entertaining soccer and I think the brilliance can come from many players in many parts of the pitch. The Andressa who plays for Houston (Andressinha as she’s known on Brazil’s team) is capable of lovely play and she’s not even in the starting lineup.

    • rkmid71

      Don’t count on me for insightful, but I’ll try nonetheless. I think Brazil Sweden will be much different than the group game. Sweden has a legit shot in this game. I don’t think that would be the case if Brazil was fully healthy (eg. Cristiane). On the other hand, I suspect Marta was inspired by her teammates in the qtrfinal — that could spell doom for Sweden. In the end, I think the fatigue will wear down Sweden and Marta will play amazing. I pick Brazil in close game either 1-0 or 2-0 if Sweden throws caution to the wind in the end. I’ve gained some respect for Canada in this tournament and they have a lot of momentum. It’s not easy to beat the same team twice. Nevertheless, Canada’s defense is better than Germany and they have a good blend of youth and experience. I think there will be some goals in the this game. I pick Canada in a 3-2 type match.

      • rkmid71

        My prediction days were short lived and officially over.

  • jdee26

    TIME FOR JILL TO FEATURE PLAYERS WHO CAN PLAY HER SYSTEM.

    Common knowledge that you need the right personnel to maximize the effectiveness of all soccer schemes. The Rio Olympics just proved that the status quo is no fait accompli in the outcome of games.Jill could have made slight changes to her scheme against Sweden.She should have played a pure 4-3-3 featuring Morgan, Dunn and Heath; all three in inter changing roles.

    Second,I would have preferred to see Sam Mewis and Allie Long as holding midfielders behind Pugh as the genuine ’10’. Pugh is very intelligent and can break defenses with her quick dribble, and a better defender than Lloyd. This change requires benching Carli. I like Lloyd but she is not suitable to play ’10’ in Jill’s 4-3-3 scheme.

    Third,I would have substituted Jaelene Hinkle for Klingenberg because she is a natural lefty with better covering speed.And move Klingenberg to right half back. KO’s long passes more often than not find the opposing defenders than her team mates.

    Perhaps, the early exit from the Rio Olympics has provided Jill to install a genuine technical but fast team.

    • AlexH

      TIME FOR JILL TO GO. Plus all of the other lifers at the federation. Clean house while we have 2.5 years before our next meaningful match.

      • Dillon77

        Following up on jdee’s comment: what is Jill Ellis’ system?
        Does she really have one? Or does she subsume everything to the vets and holding pattern that this team is lodged in?

        My “blue skies” and practical approach is to let a coach start over (new kid in town). However, that won’t happen for a variety of reasons…

        That said, at the minimum, it’s time to move on from the Loyd, ‘Pinoe and Solo era and embrace players solidly in their 20s, who can be around for a few cycles.

  • Williegsandidge4

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

  • Bruce

    I would like to see Pugh actually play CAM effectively against top-level competition before anointing her as the answer to the USWNT’s problem at the 10.

    • #1Fan

      Agreed. I think eventually she may transition there, but Brian, Lavelle and others are decent Central attacking options. I would leave Pugh at Lf/Lw. US need to find a central striker than has versatility.

      • Bruce

        Yup. Just about every play I’ve seen Pugh make with NT involves getting the ball with space turn to the goal and then beating an opponent 1v1 to the end-line or by cutting her dribble back to toward the top of the box. She’s excelled at playing on the move and exploiting defenders that are back on their heels. Not a knock, that’s just the job she’s been given.

        I’ve got no read whatsoever on her ability to play in tight quarters, with her back to the goal, holding up and laying off the ball or striking from distance. Would love to see that experiment.

        • David K Anderson

          I’d like to see how that worked out, too…but I have to admit I’m much more excited by the prospect of Lavelle feeding balls to a slashing Pugh. Which we won’t see for years for reasons I can sum up in two words: Carli Lloyd.

    • jdee26

      Only way to find out is play her against top competition, for instance in the next ‘She Believes Cup’. Meanwhile status quo can’t deliver any more.

  • brdn08

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWqCqXcF4H8

    Hopefully we will see Savannah get a shot on this squad. We need a striker that can finish consistently.

    • #1Fan

      Scoring vs over matched teams is not a problem.

      • brdn08

        I mean the skill, physical presence, and quality of the finishing. Some of our national team members struggle bring the ball down out of the air Savannah doesn’t. all of those teams aren’t overmatched especially NCAA opponents.

        • #1Fan

          what did Press do in the NCAA? or Brian or even players like Colaprico. Lets add Cheyna Williams if you like – DOMINATED. Should we put Williams on the team? How many goals has Dunn scored in NT play? My pint is that Jordan may deserve a shot, but that footage is not the reason.

          • brdn08

            Press actually has skill. However you actually have continually work look at her work on her UEFA team. IMO that player never appeared on the national team. She was nearly Marta’s equal if not better in some ways.

            Dunn and Williams were extremely raw just great athletes. Dunn is just getting to a point where she isnt constantly dribbling with her head down and she still struggles judging balls in the air. Cheyna Williams never had a chance at the NT. Colaprico’s problem is that she was on the right path but she needs to damn near be Vero level to make the NT with her size and position. I cant see her playing for the national team unless she makes great leaps in athleticism or modest gains in technical proficiency on the ball. The US missed the boat on Corboz, and I also think precious time has been taken away from Ohai and Gilliland.

          • Calci0

            While I agree, Press is no doubt a top talent, I don’t think UEFA is the best measuring stick. Now what she did last year in the NWSL was quite impressive. But the Swedish league similar to the French and many other Euro leagues, has 1-3 top teams and the rest aren’t as competitive.

          • Steglitz49

            Not when Christen played there. Her Tyresö won nothing when she played for them but she won the Swedish Cup with Göteborg, scoring one of their two goals in the final (against Tyresö).

          • Calci0

            They were still one of the top teams.

          • Steglitz49

            They went bankrupt having lived off money they did not have.

            also — “Coming second, that is what we call losing” — is an American turn of phrase.

        • HOFCToDi

          The annual winter training camp in calendar year 2017 will sort out the new prospects.

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

          allwhitekit.com/?p=14973#more-14973

          • brdn08

            Lets hope for many new faces.

      • brdn08

        We just lost to Sweden. It obviously is a problem.

        • Steglitz49

          With a competent ref it would have not gone to penalties, not even to extra time.

          • brdn08

            At what point the match ended is irrelevant to my point.

          • Steglitz49

            No. A defeat in real time would have benn more humbling for the US.

            It would have lost them more ranking points and Sweden would have increased their ranking points more.

            It is the reffing you ned to grouse at.

        • #1Fan

          I dont believe Sweden were over matched Tactically or Technically.

          • brdn08

            They lost 4 to 1 the week before

          • #1Fan

            Because they got tactics wrong. The players were versatile enough to change. Proves my point. Not overmatched technically or tactically

          • Steglitz49

            It was 1-5 to be pedantic.

    • Steglitz49

      Alex Morgan scored against Sweden. Granted the move came from off a foul that should have been a freekick to Sweden.

  • cfinnovations

    THE UNEXPECTED ELIMINATION OF THE US WOMEN SOCCER TEAM IN THE 2016 OLYMPICS, A RESULT OF A VERY BAD COACHING.

    It is unfortunate that the US women soccer team lost their quarter final game, the number one ranking team that everyone is expecting to win the Olympics gold medal again this year. You know why? The answer is simple – a very bad coach! The failure of coach Jill Ellis to start the game without the most prolific striker in the team was a big factor to their loss. Crystal Dunn who joined the team after she narrowly missed the 2012 Olympics game have already scored more goals than any of the forward players in the team since she joined them. Is that not enough, or is that not exactly what any experienced national soccer coach is looking for? But for some reason coach Ellis did not get the message, she never saw that, and no one told her about it. And the sad result was quite devastating to all US soccer fans, and a big blow to the morale and development of the only successful soccer story in US, when the men are slumping.

    During the game coach Ellis subbed Dunn in the second half, with only 20 minutes left to full time. Dunn, however created couple of opportunities with her passes, including other moves and her assisted-goal that was denied. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough time to close up the game. Dunn was instrumental in the only goal – equalizer when she joined the game in the second half, hence her presence in the first half would have given them more goals when the team controlled the game with so many missed opportunities. Coach Ellis should be fired! Yes – fired for her negligence and total failure to utilize the energy and skills that Crystal Dunn and Mallory Pugh interjected into the number one team in the world to stay on top of the competition. She was using players that hardly score goals in most of their previous games, rather than focusing on the energy of these new soccer talents for challenges ahead of the team – what a shame.

    Any experienced coach knows that when you have a player who is a proven striker that frequently score goals in games, you don’t hesitate to utilize such player for early goals, and not waiting for the team to get in trouble only to start scrambling for last minute attempt when it’s too late. When you build players’ confidence by putting them in their rightful positions, no matter how tough or easy the games may be, they will prevail. Therefore, adding new skills and energy to a team, is always a positive strategy to stay on top, no matter how good the team in question. The US women soccer champions cannot afford another disappointment due to bad coaching. They were on their way to set a new record by winning another Olympics gold medal this year. And that goal would have been accomplished because they are the best women soccer team in the tournament, if not for bad coaching. The team cannot afford to experience such failure anymore. Coach Ellis has failed woefully in her job and it is time for her to go, and let a new coach do the right thing.

    Very Concerned Fan,

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  • Gary Diver

    WC19 Should Start Now

    Jill Ellis should immediately start making changes with an eye on WC19. To “stay the course” for the next two years would be insane if USWNT wants to repeat as champions. Getting rid of several Tier I players may be her biggest challenge, but USWNT is not going to get far with 30-34 year olds plus Carli Lloyd.