Lauletta: Takeaways from the Rio 2016 Olympics

Dan Lauletta August 19, 2016 1,205
Germany won the Olympic gold medal for the first time.

Germany won the Olympic gold medal for the first time.

Germany’s 2-1 victory over Sweden on Friday at the Maracana put an end to the 2016 Olympic tournament and sent global women’s soccer into a 34-month down period before the World Cup in France three years from now. Europe will be transfixed by their continental championship next summer but none of the other confederations have enough depth to put on a tournament that even comes close to the Euros.

Here are six takeaways from the sixth women’s Olympic soccer tournament.

You don’t have to be the best to win

If the gold medal were decided by who played the prettiest soccer I’m honestly not sure who would win, but I don’t think it would be Germany. After doing just enough to get out of their group in second place and barely handling China in the quarterfinals, Germany finally began to peak for the semifinals and played a solid match in the final.

The final piece was Dzsenifer Marozsan who emerged from a quiet tournament to rule the final by scoring Germany’s opener and setting up the second one by ripping free kick off the woodwork that was deflected in by Linda Sembrant. Before that Marozsan, Anja Mittag and Alexandra Popp had been quiet and the Germans were being carried by their midfield, notably Golden Boot winner Melanie Behringer. Sara Daebritz also had a solid Olympics including her hard-nosed play to win back possession and draw a foul that led to the free kick for the second German goal.

In winning the gold medal, Germany sent head coach Sylvia Neid into retirement on top. The 52-year old who won three European Championships as a player closed out an 11-year career as head coach. During that time Germany won the 2007 World Cup, these Olympics, and the 2009 and 2013 Euros—the only two during which she was in charge.

Besides the trophies, Neid’s greatest accomplishment as head coach has been successfully transitioning the World Cup winning sides of the 2000s into gold medal winners in 2016 even as many key veterans called time on their careers. Daebritz, Marozsan, Melanie Leupolz, and defender Tabea Kemme still have their 25th birthday parties to plan and give Germany a solid backbone as Steffi Jones takes over the team (Neid will become scouting director.) And that they won the gold medal without playing optimum soccer speaks volumes about the program.

The evolving tactics of women’s soccer

When Sweden upset the United States by sitting deep and countering before prevailing on penalty kicks it set off a flurry of discussion about the tactics chosen by their coach Pia Sundhage. Then they went out and did it again in the semifinal against Brazil. Sweden were a bit more aggressive in defeat against Germany, but the talking points were real. Over the years we have seen many women’s national teams park the bus, but mostly to prevent it from being run off the road entirely. Never before have we seen a women’s side go as far as Sweden by acknowledging inferiority in the middle of the park and slaying two quality sides.

As Grant Wahl tweeted, it was a sign of changing times for the women’s game and it will be up to the more technical teams to find ways to break it down. It is also worth noting that it is an extremely difficult tactic to win with. Both of Sweden’s winning knockout matches ended in draws and penalties, but either could have ended up in lopsided losses had they made a mistake and fallen behind which would have forced them to chase an equalizer. Their group stage match against Brazil was a 5-1 shellacking.

No one wants to see bunker and counter play, but we all have to acknowledge it as a sound tactic if you have the players to pull it off. Much credit goes to Sundhage for having the humility to admit to herself—and get her players—to buy into to the notion that the best way to advance was to concede most of the field and most of the possession. And they have shiny silver medals to show for it.

Canada is a country on the rise

When Canada is in the spotlight it usually has to do with 33-year old Christine Sinclair. This is understandable considering Sinclair’s place as one of the all-time greats in the sport. But the notion that because Sinclair is on the back end of her career means Canada’s window is closing is not accurate. Sinclair was fantastic in Brazil, but Canada’s second straight bronze medal was won on the heels of a quintet of youngest that has the Maple Leaf’s women’s soccer arrow pointing as high as it has in a long time, maybe ever.

Janine Beckie, an NWSL rookie at 21, scored the goal that got Canada off the blocks against Australia just 20 seconds into the tournament and added a double against Zimbabwe. Ashley Lawrence and Kadeisha Buchanan, 21 and 20 respectively, look like the backbone of Canada’s defense for many years to come. Teenagers Jesse Fleming and Deanne Rose also excelled with Rose scoring a goal and creting another in the bronze medal match.

Five years ago after flaming out in the World Cup, then coach Carolina Morace complained that she couldn’t find enough young players to make Canada competitive. John Herdman has more than debunked that notion. Mark Canada as a contender to be on the podium going forward.

Equalizer will have more on Canada’s tournament this weekend.

The trials and travails of hosting

The further we get from 1999 the more remarkable it is that the U.S. was able to march through that tournament and gut out the final under the enormous pressure of playing in front of massive stadiums full of supporters. Germany succumbed to hosting pressure in 2011 and Canada clearly played more free flowing soccer at this tournament than they did on home soil last summer.

Brazil, who has probably had the hardest time gaining a foothold in their home country of any competitive women’s team, had some extraordinary moments playing in front of the home fans. In the group finale in Manaus the fans went wild every time Marta was shown on the big screen until she finally came off the bench to play the second half. The support through the knockout stage was extraordinary, even in defeat, and the team’s effort matched it. Ending without a medal will hurt, but the memories of being cheered at home in a country that lives and dies on the results of the men’s side was undoubtedly a thrill all 18 players will carry with them forever.


It may feel like Marta’s window is closing 13 years after she first thrilled us at the 2003 World Cup, but despite her considerable mileage she is still only 30. The deeper issue for Brazil is their relative lack of youth. But players like Debinha, Beatriz, and the Andressa’s could wind up being the pieces that allow Marta a major trophy near the end of her career.

The USWNT has work to do

The United States losing was a shock, but at the same time the semifinals and medal matches seemed surprisingly normal without them. What is ironic is that after years of experts (like myself) saying the world was catching up while the U.S. kept ripping off trophies, it was Swedish bunker tactics that finally put the Stars and Stripes out before the semifinals of a major tournament.

In the short term, going out in the quarterfinals is not good enough, and will never be good enough. In the long term, it is important to note that the team is in a bit of transition and that there are many prospects that figure to have a say heading into the two light years and the 2019 World Cup.

For more of my thoughts on the U.S.’s early exit, see here.

Other stray thoughts

— Mallory Pugh and the Canada Five aside, the young player I am most excited to watch again is Stina Blackstenius. The Swedish forward plays for Linkoping and only turned 20 in February. Her ability to possess in tight spaces and finish makes her special.

— Australia’s quarterfinal exit was a disappointment and in four matches the only team they beat was Zimbabwe. But somehow I thought they still showed the world they are for real, and had they scraped by Brazil in penalties, easily could be showing off gold medals right now. I think they’re here to stay. They just have to avoid turning into…

— France. Haranguing about how talented they are is an old story by now. What struck me was that after losing to the U.S. despite outplaying them in midfield, coach Philippe Bergeroo told the assembled media to remember they had just played the top-ranked team in the world. I have no idea what goes on behind closed doors, but someone in that team needs to be the person that says, “They’re ranked number one, but we’re better, and we’re not losing to them next time,” and then plays that next match like the fate of the free world depends on it. Right now, I’ll let former U.S. coach Tony DiCicco tell you the rest.

— The all-European final marked the first time anyone from Europe appeared in a global final since Germany won the 2007 World Cup. In the four tournaments since, Brazil, Japan, and the United States have monopolized the championship matches.

— I can’t think of another team that left a tournament with one point from three matches but on a higher note than Colombia after Catalina Usme’s 90th minute equalizer against the United States.

— I really hope when the next Olympic tournament happens in Tokyo that there are 16 women’s teams. It wouldn’t require any extra match days, and the men already do it that way.

— Had there been a Team Great Britain they would have been contenders to win the gold medal. I hope they are one of the 16 in 2020.

— For the “what could have been” files. Brazil and the U.S. in a semifinal at the Maracana would have been scintillating even on television. Who thought it would be the U.S. not holding up their end of the bargain? And Marta and Christine Sinclair sparring for an elusive major trophy for both would have been one of the great stories in the history of women’s soccer. Instead they played for the bronze. Judging by Sinclair’s reaction, it still meant a whole lot.

— This marks the first Olympic tournament in which both finalists lost matches in the group stage and neither of them finished first in their group (it also happened with the United States and Japan in the 2011 World Cup.) Sweden became the first team to finish third in their group and play a final in an Olympics or World Cup (several of these tournaments did not place third-place sides into the knockout rounds.) And several well-respected media folks had some combination of the United States, France, and Australia in the gold medal match. All three were dumped out in the quarters. All of this tells me that the depth in women’s soccer continues to grow and the future is bright.

  • kernel_thai

    So woman’s matches r becoming more tactical. I feel more relieved having a tactician on the bench for he US … oh, boy.

  • Ethan

    Say what you want about France, but shouldn’t a takeaway from this Olympics be continued poor refereeing? (I also think refereeing is quite poor on the men’s side as well.) There was poor refereeing on both sides in the US-Sweden quarterfinal, and Canada should have been down to 10 with a penalty against them in the quarterfinal against France. (The refereeing did directly affect Sweden more.)

    • Guest

      France got screwed but they played poorly and have the quality to beat Canada by give or take 4 goals with or without the penalty if they had a decent center forward. I think they just took their opponent for granted, played with little urgency, and put in a poor performance. They fluff more gilded chances than any top team I’ve ever seen

      • mockmook

        The USA is right up there in blown chances, it’s just that they manage to sneak in one or two to (usually) win important matches.

        • AnotherGuest

          They aren’t good at creating tap in goals and all the teams they played bar Colombia were very solid defensively. The US created a lot of half chances but I don’t think they blew many clear chances. Half chances are always a gamble on excellent shooting and the opponent’s goal keeping. The lack of a creative player in hole killed the US in the Sweden game and will in the future against teams that bunker

      • WOSO Fan

        If France has the quality to beat Canada by 4 goals with a decent centre forward then to be fair/honest they must also have the quality to beat the USA by at least 3 goals. Just sayin….

    • Steglitz49

      The Sweden-USA refereeing was the pits.

      It was also surprising that such a second rate referee was given the final. She refereed the Ger-Fra game in WC-15 poorly so there was no need to give her such a big match.

  • Guest

    I’m not a native English speaker… can someone explain what ” plays with no pulse” means?

    • slowburner

      It means playing without heart, or courage.

      • kernel_thai

        Of course I guess it could mean plays cool and calm but not in this case. That’s what’s great about English…anything u type can mean almost anything at all.

    • English Professor

      no passion, lack of will

    • Constant Weeder

      If you have no pulse, you’re dead.

  • dw

    I can’t really make a case that the best team didn’t win…

    • Guest

      A case can be made; they lost to a Canada B team, looked awful against Australia, just barely edged China and lucked out as China hit the post on a PK that had the keeper beat.
      Not saying they weren’t the best team, but a case can certainly be made

      • Ginger Ale

        They didn’t want to win against Canada to avoid France in the QF and also played with a B-team

        They have been the far better team against China in the QF although had luck with the penalty

        (what was the result of the last match the USWNT against China – and how did the USWNT play against China in the Brazil tournament end of 2014)

        They were the better team against Canada in the SF

        They were the better team against Sweden in the Final

        Get over it

      • dw

        The point being I can’t make a great case that anyone else is/was better.

    • Steglitz49

      Sweden should have won. It would have been better for WoSo than the teutonic lasses prevailing yet again.

      • dw

        Such sentiments don’t really equate to “SWE was the best team”, now does it Steg?
        Also, now we might get more interest in the Euros, since here in the states the WNT has 2 years off…

        • Steglitz49

          The TV viewing figures in the US for this final and the bronze match will give you the answers. I doubt that they will be terribly high and certainly nowhere near those of the men’s WC-14 final.

          • Lorehead

            They aired in the morning and early afternoon on a weekday, on a channel that not many people normally watch, and the U.S. wasn’t playing. The ratings will be dismal.

          • dw

            Why do you always talk about things as if they are related WHEN THEY ARE NOT RELATED???

          • Steglitz49

            It does you merit that you want to be able to watch the Euro-17 matches in the US or Australia. For the networks to be tempted, they would need good figures for the WoSo OG final between Germany and Sweden, two teams which might meet in the Euro final or SF.

            Thus the viewing figures for the Rio WoSo final are critical. The figures for Canada v Brazil would add some value as a comparator.

            It is estimated that 2.5m Swedes watched the OG final. That is 28% of the population. The match was on a subscription channel not one of the open channels. 28% of the US is ca 85m people, that is more than 3x what watched the WC-15 final. How you rate the men’s WC-14 final depends on how you count but the max is also about 25m but if you go by the standard transmission it was more like 16-18m.

          • mockmook

            Whew!!! That isn’t confined to S49 — but, he is a “special” example.

  • Tom F

    I hope the author is NOT trying to say that the US is still the best out there? They lost to Sweden, tied Colombia, and didn’t look all that good in their 1-0 victory over France(a team that proved a disappointment anyway)
    The US was playing way one dimensional these days. It’s like in basketball when your only taking high percentage shots usually taken by the center or power forward, instead dishing it back to the outside lol

    • US Fan

      Maybe because our opponents bunker a lot, but US scoring ability has declined in recent years. We tied Colombia! Scored one goal vs NZ?

      • Guest

        Scored two goals vs NZ

        And had Solo not let in a howler then Colombia would not have been a tie, plus a bunch of starters were on the bench. It is not as though results like this have never happened. Remember Algarve when WNT lost 5-3 to Denmark? Or game before WC11 when WNT barely scraped by Mexico with that Cheney strike?

    • Guest

      Sweden were a terrible match up because the US is terrible at breaking bunkers and has been for years. Colombia was a one off where the US rested key players and Solo had a very poor performance. Technically the US are the only team in the tournament that didn’t lose a single match. The only team that I think is better than the US, and thought this before the tournament began, is France and they continue to have problems scoring goals. Germany really do not frighten me as a US fan at all. Would have rather played them than Sweden in the quarters because their pride won’t allow them to bunker and they don’t have the pace to cover US counters.

    • Lord Autumn-Bottom

      We definitely didn’t play up to our standard in any game in this tournament. It’s worthwhile to wonder if that performance is what should define us, being the rare occasion where performance really matters, or if it was an aberration, big stage be damned. I’m not really sure how I’d answer that question. I certainly couldn’t point to any team in this tournament and confidently say they’re better than us, even Germany. Although perhaps the next FIFA rankings will have them retake 1st place.

      • Steglitz49

        Because the lousy refereeing, the Swe-US match was a draw for ranking purposes. Had it been a loss, as it should have, then it would have cost the US more points and, more important, gained Sweden many more.

        Remember that Japan never made the #1 spot. I don’t think they even got to #2.

    • Steglitz49

      I think he is trying to say that the US is the best. The EQ is an American site after all.

    • I think a good argument can be made that the US is still the best team out there (my guess is thy will retain their #1 FIFA ranking). The US and Brazil were the only teams at the Olympics to not lose in regulation. They are also the reigning World Cup champions and have beaten the Olympic Gold Medalists twice in the past 13 months.

      • WOSO Fan

        Not sure what you mean by that. Did not Brazil lose to Canada in regulation?

        • Either I wrote this comment before the bronze medal match or just forgot about it when I wrote the comment. Sorry for the confusion.

  • Down Under-rated

    AUS is always the team of the future and been that way for the last eight years. There’s little support for woso in Australia. I’m shocked every time they make a major tournament.

    • Guest

      Most of they’re players are so young yet have 4-5 years of experience, can only imagine what they will look like in 2019-2020.

      • Steglitz49

        They seem behind Canada and probably also Sweden judging by this tournament.

  • Lord Autumn-Bottom

    “but at the same time the semifinals and medal matches seemed surprisingly normal without them.”
    I had a very different experience. It felt kind of bizarre for me having no teams that I had any real interest in rooting for in the last two rounds of a major tournament. Brazil, host country, never gotten gold, yeah, I guess I could go for that. Canada, lots of NWSL players, yeah, I guess I could go for that. Germany, some of their players seem cool and I like Silvia Neid, yeah, I guess I could go for that. Sweden, I didn’t like how they played us but it would be sort of redeeming for us if they proved to be good enough to win gold, so maybe I could go for that. But there was nobody left that I really wanted to get behind. Certainly a first for me, but then I’ve only been watching WoSo since last summer, so that’s maybe just inexperience.

    I guess it plays into the “what could have been” thought. So many fun potential stories to be had in this tournament, but they all ended before they really got going, and I was left with “first Euro team in a final since 2007” and “first Olympic final with two female head coaches.” Kind of neat, but not very special for me.

    • Steglitz49

      Welcome to the rest of the world.

      This was the first OG final without the US. It was a fine final. It was actually the first SF without the US.

      The SFs 4 years ago were Japan-France and Canada-US. Only Canada survived!

      • Lord Autumn-Bottom

        You speak as if the US was the only team I was rooting for. They weren’t.

        • Steglitz49

          It was not clear what your point was so I stated some simple facts to lure you out of your shell.

          • Lord Autumn-Bottom

            A job well done.

          • Steglitz49

            We look forward to Euro-17 with great assurance of faith.

            The four countries who played off for the place that Sweden claimed plus Germany, obviously, England and France (less obviously, admittedly) and possibly Iceland, Spain and Denmark, ought to be fun to watch.

          • Lord Autumn-Bottom

            Indeed! I’m very excited to see the Lionesses in another major tournament, provided those games are made available for viewing in the states, which I ardently hope they are. I’m hopeful that Scotland, Denmark, Spain, and Norway will show well as I watch them all play for the first time; and that Germany will keep their quality after Neid leaves, if not improve it. I’m happy to discover that we’re only a month away from the conclusion of qualifying (save the playoff for the 15th spot), I didn’t know that was coming so soon.

          • Steglitz49

            Norway and Holland are the ones to watch. Sweden got to Rio through a Dutch howler and by keeping Norway quiet.

          • Tom F

            I’ve started watching woso more so than broso, after I stopped coaching my daughter after u14 a few years back. It’s a shame that my fellow woso fans most of the time ignore ot don’t watch anything outside their own NT & home league. it hurts females players from making better salaries at the club level.
            The Bundesliga is the best woso league in the world, and you can at least stream line their game of the week over here
            http://tv.dfb.de
            next year the Euro 2013 will be very exciting because along with the Olympics two top teams(GE & SW), you got also strong, up coming teams like Spain, Norway, Netherlands, Iceland & Austria. All those games usually are available to stream at Espn 3

          • Lord Autumn-Bottom

            Ahh, thank you for the information about the Euro. I’ve watched a Bundesliga game or two, as well as a few Euro qualifier streams, but I have a hard time really getting into games without English commentary.

    • Bruce

      I think your sentiments may trace back to the fact that there was no transcendental player whose performance in the tournament was worthy of excitement. I know that was the case for me.

      • JL

        This is true. There weren’t any players who really stood out game after game like there have been in previous tournaments.

  • Constant Weeder

    The USWNT has the talent in spades, but they have to choose an identity. They can learn to play with the discipline and patience necessary to beat the bunker, or they can rely on athleticism and speed, which have done the trick in the past but may have no future as the rest of the world catches up. Carli Lloyd is crucial to one of these approaches; the rising generation of players who are fast, strong, -and- technical will eventually prevail with the other.

    • Guest

      Carli Lloyd is crucial to none of the approaches. She needs to be dropped whether or the the US want to play direct or indirect. She has neither speed not touch. Her only “skill” is being a bully on the pitch and running over other players.

      • Constant Weeder

        Which worked well for the US until quite recently.

        • Guest

          No, the US were able to work around it until quite recently. Hence, the attacks running through the outside backs. Notice how Kling and Pugh lead in assists against top 10 teams this year.

          • Constant Weeder

            If we’re talking about Lloyd, I would never call her a playmaker. I’d call her an opportunistic goal-poacher and the team’s Achilles heel.

          • Guest

            LOL.

          • guest

            on carli lloyd’s twitter, she said she has alot of chapters yet to write. and lloyd’s personal coach, james galanis, said the tank is far from empty. so that means lloyd has decided the uswnt will have her for another cycle.

        • Guest

          Call me a cynic but, in my opinion, it worked in spite of Lloyd not because of her.

    • Guest

      lol

    • HOFCToDi

      Nope!

      Every forward/midfielder over the age of 25 needs to go out the door except for Tobin Heath and Alex Morgan. Ditto Rampone, Solo, Sauerbrunn. The vast majority of the “equal pay, equal play” troublemakers needs to be purged from the USSF payroll. USSF runs US Soccer not the USWNTPA.

      • Steglitz49

        Verily. It is in line with my thinking.

        I would keep Pugh, Dunn, Horan, Alex and Moe Brian but the last two would have to justify themselves, though Alex is too good as crowdbait to leave off.

        I am not convinced about Tobin but if you say so, she too will be in the justification camp.

        I would look for two new goalies from among the college seniors and juniors.

        • newsouth

          heath bandwagon must be full because parlor trick fc use to be your go to girl.

          • Steglitz49

            Carli did not let Tobin take the freekicks for which all Swedes are eternally thankful.

      • newsouth

        morgan and heath can go. press and the half german stay.

        • Tom F

          which half German, Krieger or the Broonsky?

        • Guest

          Of those 4 Krieger will be the first to go.

        • HOFCToDi

          Christen Press sucks. Ali Krieger is over the hill.

  • Gary Diver

    Can USWNT Play a NWSL All-Star Team?

    USWNT playing tomato cans, like Thailand next month, does nothing for the development of the team and is a waste of our time.

    • Steglitz49

      The US ought to create 4 teams that play a miniseries. Whether anyone would bother to watch is a different issue. The USSF earns money from the internationals. The loss of the Victory Tour is a big loss.

      The US has as many players as the whole of UEFA. UEFA run the Euros — senior, U19 and even a U17 — as well as the Champions League. Each European nation has a league and a domestic cup (England has 2 cups for good measure).

      • Bruce

        I don’t like this idea at all. They’ve already got 10 teams to play each other. It’s called the NWSL.

        Why further dilute demand for the product that is vital to the future of WoSo in the US?

        • Steglitz49

          The idea was to create four regionalized teams from the NWSL teams. A sort of quadruple all-stars — if you can call this bunch of sorry excuses stars.

    • HOFCToDi

      Nope!

      The solution is to lock out the USWNT players except for Mallory Pugh (amateur status) and call up the U-23 USWNT (collegiate players).

      • Steglitz49

        If there is a SheBelieves cup next year, can we assume that in addition to Germany, Sweden and Canada will be invited?

        • Nicolette

          The German team will not participate. Too slow and not good enough

          • Steglitz49

            They can always ask Colombia to do the honors.

        • Paul Klee

          Same 4 teams in 2017

          • Steglitz49

            How sad! People might have enjoyed the US beating Sweden but maybe better play safe and invoke Lincoln’s or Churchill’s wry observation.

            At the same time it is a bit pathetic is it not? The French, who can’t organize a piss-up in a brewery, get invited but Sweden, who puts the US to the test, are not. Make of that what you will.

      • Tom F

        England starting now a B team, and that’s what the US needs to do. Only thing is dunno if the USSF can afford that since they got to pay for the NT/NWSL salaries as well

      • Frode

        Remove Ellis and Gustavson and you have a complete re-boot. Not gonna happen.

    • guest

      if the nwsl all-star team beat the uswnt that might put the uswnt vets guaranteed salaries in jeopardy the vets don’t want that.

      • guest

        the uswnt vets need to protect their allocations.

  • Steglitz49

    A strange article. Its starts with a section header of — “You don’t have to be best to win” — yet by definition the winner is the best.

    Later we read that — “Sara Daebritz also had a solid Olympics” — solid?!?! Däbritz had an outstanding Olympics. Däbritz started for Germany; Blackstenius should have started for Sweden. Neid learnt from WC-15, Pia did not or only in parts.

    “The US has work to do” we read. “The US played lousily” or “The US was dung” would be better section headers. They played well below what they should have. They failed against Colombia as well as Sweden. Utter garbage.

    “Canada on the rise” is about the only valid point.

    • Nicolette

      The US and it’s commentators can’t cope with defeat

      Germany was the better team in all of their knock out games.

      I am not a German but I guess their team respects far more respect here.

      You only read here about “not being the best”, “having no pace”, ect
      I fear the Hope-kind-of-thinking is far more spread around than thought

      • dw

        Germany was the better side in all their KO games. They were the best team at the OG. They still have no pace. So they have room to get even better.

        • Steglitz49

          Germany had enough pace to stretch the Swedish defense. Their speed at broadening the game heralds a new phase in WoSo.

        • Tom F

          from watching the Bundesliga; Germany have enough players to make a quicker/ more athletic side, it’s just Neid is more of a technician(and prefers more technical players) Hopefully more world traveler, Stefi Jones(their new coach), will balance out the team a little

  • smallchief

    What I think is the takeaway is that defense dominated. It’s remarkable — and a little disturbing — that Sweden only scored 2 goals in 3 matches in the quarters, semis, and finals. And Brazil only scored 1 goal in its 3 matches.

    I think that is not a favorable development for the game….

    • Steglitz49

      Sweden scored two goals in the QF but the useless referee crew disallowed a good goal.

  • Necib

    Hey Dan,

    did you write the same as conclusion of the U20 WC 2012.

    The US had 4 points in the group stage and have been destroyed by Germany. They just advanced due to better goal differences.

    They needed luck and ET to survive the QF against North Corea

    And at the end they won it by playing rather destructive against Germany in the final

    Did you write that the it didn’t need to be best to win? Or are you using different standards?

    • Steglitz49

      He is using different standards.

      This is the senior WC and they were Swedes who put paid to the US. Who in the US know where Sweden is anyway? Near Switzerland because they bot start wit Sw, probably.

  • dw

    I think the OG has been a great outlet for WoSo. Excluding China and including England there are 8 quality sides on the international level. With 7 participating, I would say that US, FRA, AUS underperformed. GER, SWE, CAN, performed at or above expectations. BRA about net even (a good case can be made either way).

    • Steglitz49

      I would add Colombia and South-Africa to those that performed above expectations, and even Zimbabwe should have a mention in dispatches.

      Sadly, the refereeing is still a work in progress.

    • Hugo

      Indeed. And there are other teams on the rise (Netherlands and Switzerland). And I guess Norway will get back on track soon as well.

      I am not sure though whether Australia underperformed. And I would also not be too harsh with the USWNT.

      It’s normal to have a bad day at a tournament. Losing by PK is not a desaster. To win a tournament you always also need some luck. I guess the expectations were to high after last WC. There was too much hyping of that team going on. They are not miles better than other teams. 2015 they also benefitted from playing in front of a home crowd (although being in Canada) and from teams like Germany and France having no time to prepare at all

      I am looking forward to the next WoSo tournaments. And I would hope that the USWNT makes a EU tour again. They are still a great team

      • Breakers fan

        Agree – there’s been a good deal of relative parity for a while and there will continue to be. You want to assure that your team wins every major tournament but it may not happen and when it doesn’t you just have to go back to work and try to learn from what happened. It would be interesting to ask every player: What did you learn from this tournament about how you could get better?

  • Breakers fan

    I don’t advocate complacency, satisfaction or resting on one’s historical laurels but at the same time I also don’t really go right to doom and gloom, panic, large dark conclusions or alarmism with respect to the US soccer after this tournament. I mean, if Press had gotten over her shot a tad better, or Alex had gone hard and low the other way on her PK I think lots of the print here just wouldn’t exist and the difference would be a miniscule change. It seems pretty normal fan reaction and behavior to ascribe big thoughts to losses, even if they happened in the tiniest of ways. But again I’m not saying the US shouldn’t be concerned or stop working hard or maybe even make some changes to improve certain areas of play. Not being at training we don’t know what they do already.

    What it came down to was we dominated Sweden for the most part but just couldn’t break down their bunker more than once and they executed one brilliant play while we were semi-sleeping. We did break their bunker down once, unlike Brazil. If one of the missed PKs goes in we have no clue how the rest of the tournament would have went. So that’s my takeaway for the players. Work on PKs more, keep working as hard as you can on the rest of your game and carry on. For the coaching staff I would look at what happened, look at the decisions you made about who was on the field most of the time, and try to cast out fear to make any tough decisions you feel should be made. Hopefully the bad result will lend some oomph to their ability to do that.

    • Steglitz49

      Even with the generous help of the incompetent referees the US could not beat Sweden. That is enough condemnation.

      The US tied 2-2 with Colombia.

      The US was garbage in this tournament. Out and utter drivel.

      Accept it and embrace it to move forward.

      • Breakers fan

        I agree that I should have mentioned the horrible (non)-offsides call. Did we ever get a good look at whether Lloyd did indeed foul that Swede on the goal she had stripped? On tv, that I saw, they never showed it again or from a different angle, so I’m not sure if the Swede flopped but my guess is that she did not. Colombia — Hope Solo making a gaffe was the difference. I don’t go as far as you in describing our play but my sense is that you’ve waited a long time to have a reason to write as you’re doing so live it up! 🙂

        • Nicole C.

          https://streamable.com/6ajb

          Without the AR in view it’s hard to say what the call was. “Flag raised” from the commentators isn’t enough- the flag goes up on a foul, too. Lloyd’s arm was up and she appeared to pull the defender down, so I was okay with the call.

          • Breakers fan

            Thanks very much for that, Nicole! Great find and work in bringing it here.

            In the end I think I agree with you. Let’s note the great touch pass by Dunn here (has *anyone* mentioned that?) and if I had to put my full opinion in print it would be that Lloyd did exert excessive force but also *maybe* the Swede did go down a little easier than she necessarily had to, seeing that the ball was probably going to clear her and get to Lloyd. But that’s purely a guess. It could be that Carli just plain and simple pulled her down and that the Swede didn’t “contribute” to that. So yeah, I too am ok with it. Too bad Carli didn’t completely keep her hands off her as maybe she would have still scored. A lesson for her to learn there.

          • mockmook

            So hard to say, but to me it looks like Lloyd merely rested her arm on that players shoulder (and that player stumbles to the ground).

          • Breakers fan

            That is exactly what I was debating. I went back and forth on it but I think I saw Lloyd do a bit more than just rest her arm on that player’s shoulder…..but I’m not sure!

            Why the heck aren’t there other angles of this play available??!! There should be. One thinks there are but ….how to get access to them?

          • Steglitz49

            While you are looking please pull up Pinoe’s foul on Asllani.

          • Breakers fan

            Thank you. If it’s true it’s worth pointing out. When did it occur – right before Morgan’s goal? I’ll try and find it.

          • Steglitz49

            The real point is that FIFA still has not fixed the refereeing. It would not require a lot of money but it has to be done and done speedily.

            Maybe UEFA can do something for Euro-17.

          • Breakers fan

            With humans I doubt refereeing will ever be fixed. Also, how many fit knowledgeable ex-soccer players pursue refereeing as a career? Do qualified people exist to “fix” the problem, in other words?

          • Steglitz49

            For the ladies it is much a question of money. Male refs have status and usually com from reasonably and even well paid professions. Women refs do it for the love of the game, not money.

          • Frode

            Rapinoe kneed Asslani in the midsection, and she coughed up the ball, went to the ground. Play went on, and the US scored. That’s how I recall it happening (without going back to watch it).

          • Breakers fan

            I went back and watched this play. It was a 50-50 ball that they both converged on. They arrived simultaneously, both hoping to get control of the ball, which was at about waist height at the time. Pinoe put her leg up to get the ball and she did get it, from what I could tell. Her follow through, after getting the ball first, seemed to strike Asllani in the stomach but it didn’t seem very hard. I wonder if Asllani was exaggerating the pain she was in as she went down and stayed down. God knows that’s been done 136,000 previous times by soccer players. So, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I was expecting it be from people’s prior descriptions of it and Pinoe did get the ball first in a 50-50 situation. I guess it could still maybe be called reckless but to me it wasn’t egregious.

          • Steglitz49

            Remember that pinoe’s foul on Asllani led to the goal for Alex instead of a freekick to Sweden.

          • Frode

            This is the constant margin of error in soccer. In order for a team to consistently win, it must consistently outplay opponents by this rather wide margin. It’s as simple as that.

          • Steglitz49

            Zlatan is king though King Eric still rules OK at Old Trafford.

          • guest

            This still shows Lloyd’s hand wasn’t even on the defender when she begins to lose her balance. Whatever contact Lloyd made was incidental and the defender fell down on her own. Another example of poor refereeing in the women’s game, this time costing the US a chance at a medal.

          • Constant Weeder

            Say what? It shows Lloyd’s left hand on Ericsson’s shoulder continuously until she pushes her down. The ref got this one right and then blew the offside call on Schelin.

          • Steglitz49

            Thank you. A correct call.

          • mockmook

            Did you see the GER BRA game?

            Neymar(?) goes down in the top of the box — seems pretty clear he was tripped. Then we see the view from 90 degrees and the player never touched him.

            So, to definitively say Lloyd “pushed” her to the ground is silly with this one very sketchy view.

          • CED

            Please stop this utter BS, IT WAS 100% A FOUL EVERYDAY OF THE WEEK, EVERYDAY OF THE YEAR!

      • guest

        What you need to embrace is Islam, eurotroll. On your knees and face Mecca.

      • Guest

        When did USWNT allow 5 goals in one match? Not only that 5-1 blowout, but the only goal they could manage against South Africa was a fortuitous goal that bounced off Nilla Fischer’s knee

    • Reality

      While I think you make a good point about the over reaction of some commentators here who want virtually the whole team to be over hauled, on the other hand, there are some fundamental problems that need to be addressed. IMO, given the talent we already have on this team, we should be more dominant in our play. The NT has had too many games where we barely won or tied when we should have won handily. I think that this is primarily Ellis’s failure to use her players appropriately and her inability to manage tactics, substitutes, and adaptations to game development.

      Her commitment to the VRP (Veteran Retention Program) throughout her tenure has only been interrupted by retirement and/or injury of these senior players. It still continues to the present with her bringing Rapinoe to the OG and building the NT offense around Lloyd. These decisions have results in depriving well qualified players on the team from realizing their full potential and blocking young players from gaining experience. Since Lloyd has publicly stated that she wishes to play through 2020, It is unlikely that the NT will make significant progress in improving their play unless Ellis rejects Captain Lloyd’s plan. Since that is not a likely event, the obvious overhaul of the NT that needs to be done is to replace Ellis with a coach who can truly free the NT from the shackles of the past and fully utilize the talent at our disposal.

      • Breakers fan

        Yes, I agree and that is what I was trying to allude to in my last couple sentences. It will certainly be interesting to see what the coaching staff chooses to do and then how that works out on the field. I don’t think Carli is beyond the ability to produce but, like you, I would put my bet on other players first.

        • Reality

          It is not Lloyd’s ability to produce that is in question although she is inconsistent in that regard, it is how the team has been shaped around her to maximize her production at the cost of of the whole team’s production and efficiency. Lloyd is on the pitch for 90″ of every game and every minute of that time influences in a detrimental way the manner in which the team plays. Her role on the team needs to be reduced which will be difficult for Ellis to accomplish…hence my recommendation for change.

          • Breakers fan

            It’s a very interesting phenomenon. It happens to be Carli Lloyd but it could be anyone. The issue, as we all know, is: “when you have a 34 year old storied player who made a clutch PK in the World Cup semifinal playing in a brand new position, and thus at game’s end represents “your (as Coach) brilliant brainstorm” and then she scores 3, THREE! goals in the first half of the World Cup final, also in your brilliant innovative new position for her, CAN you, soon thereafter, sit her on the bench?” You can, of course, but how many coaches would, being in Jill’s position? I think we all like to think we, ourselves, would and maybe we would but I can acknowledge that it’s at least a difficult position for Ellis to be in.

          • Reality

            Let me share a quote with you I made here at EQ just after the WC2015…

            “We were extremely fortunate to win the WC and Ellis only made necessary changes because she was forced by circumstances to do so. The younger more skillful players will continue to wait in long lines for their shot at the NT and the current prime generation already on the team will be inhibited from transforming the play on the field. Lloyd’s 16″ of fame was a wonderful accomplishment for her. What is entirely unfortunate is that, since the NT was able to pull out a WC win with largely the 2011 team of elderly veterans, that has created the precedent and momentum for keeping us locked into veteran preference, limited tactics, and static development.”

          • NYRick

            Carli’s attitude would work best if say she was a professional tennis player or pro skier. There you are an individual chasing personal best and glory. And if you are good enough, you can chase history. In a team sport, you can’t be continually chasing personal records or bests or always have something to prove. There is only one end result…the team wins. Nothing else. Carli should now start to realize just how many sponsors and such are going to seek her out. Even if she scored 3 goals in the WC final, if the team lost 6-5 no one would have given a toss about her.

          • Reality

            I think you make an excellent point. I think that Lloyd has not fulfilled her role as a true team captain but rather has been using the NT as a support system to enable her personal ambition. I guess that makes Ellis an enabler.

          • NYRick

            Brunn should have been the “sole” captain, none of this two captain nonsense. It was totally unnecessary and just propaganda to reward her further for the WC. Brunn is well spoken, respected by the team, plays hard and puts the team before herself. That’s a captain.

            Carli quickly ran to Twitter following the loss to explain to her “fans” that she wasn’t finished and had so much more to personally accomplish with the team. Doesn’t anyone else see how blatantly obvious this quest is? Even Messi or CR7 aren’t this brash.

          • Guest

            It is horrifying. As a captain, you speak for the team and represent them. Instead of saying something that fulfills that, like Brunn did, something like “tough loss but I am proud of the effort that the team put in. Thank you to all the fans for the support blah blah blah” she feels the need to remind people 20 minutes after the game finishes that she will still be the ‘best player in the world’ in 4 years and there is no need to worry.

          • Frode

            Kobe Bryant.

          • Reality

            Kobe was individualistic…

          • NYRick

            One thing was absolutely certain: if the US won gold at this OG, Carli was basically immovable till 2020. She still may be, but now there may at least be a chance for some restructuring and to basically move her aside. That’s the silver lining in the loss. Hope too. I think they need to move on from her.

          • Reality

            In regard to GK, they have to at least give other players an opportunity to play not to mention future development for that position. We have here a Wambach scenario where both Solo and Lloyd want to pursue fame and fortune even as their declining abilities and attitudes harm the NT.

          • Steglitz49

            They need to scour the college seniors and juniors for talent first.

          • Constant Weeder

            They need to take a look at the NWSL first. The main problem, though, is the contracts. I’m not too optimistic, but maybe the new CBA will be more conducive of fielding the best team.

          • Steglitz49

            There is noone in the NWSL except possibly Solo’s understudy in Seattle who does not get much playtime. Unless Hope calls it a day, if that goalie wants to advance she has to move. If she won’t move that is her funeral unless Hope quits.

          • Breakers fan

            Look everywhere. Pugh has shown that age 17 is enough to find a great player. But you make a great point – age 23-27 is not TOO old if the player is good enough – meaning NWSL players.

          • Steglitz49

            27 today is 30 in WC-19.

          • Breakers fan

            But look how good Formiga is at 38. Look how fast Bolt is at, what, 31? Experience can be quite valuable. One can not generalize about this age factor.

          • Steglitz49

            Brazil did not get a medal.

          • Breakers fan

            That’s beside the point here. 30 is 8 years worth of potential of Formiga-level play. That said, if an 18 year old is better, play her!

          • Breakers fan

            I think they should give Naeher a shot too. A full shot – all starts for a year or more, though I don’t know how much activity the NT gets after WC and Olympic years.

          • Steglitz49

            A waste of time. Find some new young talent, at least 5’11” and preferably taller.

          • Steglitz49

            One thing is certain: the US did not reach the SFs even.

          • Terry Lash

            Yes, it is hard to reduce CL’s role on the team. JE or a new coach needs the support of US Soccer management to do it.

          • NYRick

            You are probably absolutely correct with your statement. But take a step back and reread it, and then think how utterly absurd it is that this stuff goes on in a national program.

          • Breakers fan

            This is a key point and like Rick I think you’re probably correct to say that this is the case.There’s a lot of money involved and so decisions like this are probably (we do need to acknowledge we’re completely on the outside and can really only theorize) ones that are made by a group of people. I think it’s really interesting that Gulati has chosen to meet with Ellis post-Olympics. How much would we collectively pay to get an audio recording of that conversation?

          • NYRick

            A good coach understands that every season is different. Every situation is different. Think Jose M. He literally could care less if you have the biggest contract in history or if the owner is a billionaire. He will sit who he wants to sit and play who he feels gives him THE BEST CHANCE THAT DAY.

            His track record: won everywhere and in every league, and watch him turn Man Utd. around to the top this year as well.

          • Terry Lash

            Yes, but US Soccer is not going to hire someone like him, even if they were willing to pay a high salary. At the least Gulati would have to go first, which could be beneficial, but I think unlikely to happen in the near term (i.e., before WWC 19)

          • Steglitz49

            Lars Lagerbäck coached Iceland’s men virtually for free. Maybe he can be asked to step in?

          • Breakers fan

            I’m with you, Rick. I think a coach can or should be able to make these tough decisions if she/he is convinced they are the right thing to do. I don’t know the history of Jose M. but I’m glad that someone exists who has a lot of courage in making his starting lineup.

            That said, Lloyd’s goal numbers have been great. I know everything else, I don’t need to be reminded, but as my brother said when we were discussing the team “those goals mean something.” Point being, that yes, I too would have played Press and Morgan at forward but Carli was, very often, putting balls into the net – that’s undeniable, so the call to play her is not without reason (though, again, I like to think that I too would have played Press, even though the American public would have been saying “Wait a minute. Where’s the player who just scored 3 in the World Cup final?”)

            My point is that we should also just acknowledge that we can see the position Jill is in on the national stage and that she’s not just on a message board. And I think it’s right to admit that for some fans this matter carries extra passion because a player involved is his or her favorite player.

          • Steglitz49

            Murinho got his chance in coaching because Bobby Robson needed and interpreter when he took over Porto. Robson took him with him to Barcelona. In short, Murinho learnt from a master.

          • NYRick

            I hear you and understand the point. But for me, Carli is like a pure homerun hitter in baseball. They are one dimensional in their skill set. Yes, they can win games for you and yes, as they say, “chicks dig the long ball.” But sometimes you need to play small ball (i.e. possession, movement, give and go etc.) and I think Carli stagnates a lot of that. It was the same with Wambach at the end. She was basically useless without continual crosses whipped into the box to find her head. She could jump up till age 30 or so, but after that she lost elevation. Worse, the team played one dimensional.

            I think that’s why Sweden has done so well against us over the years. They know we can’t attack from the middle. I thought Heath would solve that, but they keep her at the flank as well. Just keep Dunn and Pugh on the flanks and let them wreak havoc. Have the middle attack with Heath, Brian and Press, and have them find Alex in seams (she is great at making runs through the center of the pitch into the 18). That’s your attack. Where does Lloyd fit into that? She scores off of set pieces for the most part and she fouls endlessly and leaves the center of the pitch open for other more talented mids to cover for her. She is not good enough to “roam.” She is not Messi. She just thinks she is because of the dumb award.

            It all boils down to having a coach with courage. Having courage in this program as a coach (Ryan, Sermanni) gets you fired and ruins a great gig. The soldiers (DiCiccio and Ellis) hang around the program forever. Pia was kind of renegade but that gave her free reign because she took over a program in complete turmoil. I have advocated the two-cycle thing for players and have been laughed at for it on here. I’m telling you it’s smart and it would work to the betterment of the program. Each player gets 4 major events (it could 3 OGs, one WC etc. or any division of that depending on when you entered the program). Now here is the key, each cycle you get to chose “two franchised players.” So if you have a special player (Morgan, Pugh, Solo etc.) they can be the exception to the rule. This would eliminate VRP and the US would remain dominant for as long as the sport is played based on the talent pipeline. And we won’t be having these Lloyd conversations.

          • Breakers fan

            I like your baseball analogy in re: Carli and our team.

            As far as rules regarding roster formation I think you propose as good a one as may exist, but like you I want to believe it’s not necessary to make rules for it, that the coach will just do what is right.

          • Steglitz49

            The reason Sweden has done well against the US is that they are not intimidated. The Swedes stand their ground and do not give an inch but instead give as good as they get.

            The Swedes need to learn to mob the refs and linesmen without getting a yellow card for dissent. The US players are experts at intimidating the ref crew but other NTs are catching on in that department too.

          • NYRick

            I respectfully disagree, “it could be anyone.” Yes in theory what you are saying is probably true. But this is a unique player and personality on an individual quest to prove she was wronged all those years and never properly rewarded for her heroics. That’s a very different scenario and couple that with a coach who has to wash her car for life and you need a management change. Hey, they now have an excuse. They crashed and burned at the OG. Cycle over. Perfect time beginning the end of the year for a new coach and I would love to see Gulati leave as well.

          • Steglitz49

            Yes. If JE is not willing to slash and burn, Gulati should dismiss her.

          • Breakers fan

            Carli is a strong personality which makes this tougher, no question. And you’re right to point out her history. And also now she’s the captain, so it’s even harder. What will they do? And how does Gulati feel about it? My hunch is that with this loss and just with observation of the team he’s moved to the youth side and that he’ll tell Jill this and then Jill will have to inform Carli.

          • Steglitz49

            Carli is getting married. One expects that she wants to start a family. That will resolve the issue.

          • NYRick

            For Lloyd to be diminished, Ellis needs to go. One thing leads to another as the Fixx once said.

        • Terry Lash

          It’s not the coaching staff that’s key. JE on her own will not change. After the loss in Brazil, Gulati said he was going to meet with Ellis. His decisions & policies are the key to changes. He has fired NT coaches in the past (Ryan, Sermanni), arguably for less failures than JE’s.

          • NYRick

            JE will be like that one actor/actress who somehow found his/her way to winning an Oscar. And they basically are mediocre in everything that follows. But that Oscar carries big weight. And it will for Ellis as long as she wants it in this program. I saw the same thing in action for the NY Giants with Tom Coughlin. Good coach yes, but the mindless losses and team collapses in between winning bought him endless goodwill. In TC’s case though at least he did it twice. Which ironically made it even worse, because he should have walked out to the sunset after the second SB right to Canton Ohio, but he is a stubborn old coot who knew he wielded big power because of winning the big one. Because he was stubborn, TC will not get to the HOF in my opinion now.

          • kevin

            maybe gwyneth paltrow or angelina jolie would apply here

      • NYRick

        I agree with all you say. But I’ve given this a little further thought. The worst thing that may have happened to the USWNT may not be Wambach staying an extra two years beyond sell date or even Lloyd with the team mindlessly built around her skill set. I think the worst thing that happened to this team is James Galanis. The puppet master. The man behind the curtain who has brainwashed the poorly chosen team captain into a robotic me-first glory hunter with far too much influence on the program due to one game.

        • Reality

          I think that Lloyd was predisposed to be the perfect pupil for Galanis.

          • NYRick

            Galanis = Professor Henry Higgins.

          • Reality

            “The deal with Lloyd
            is she creates a void.”

        • mockmook

          Wrong G

          Gulati

      • rkmid71

        With all due to respect to other teams, I wholeheartedly agree with your statement that “The NT has had too many games where we barely won or tied when we should have won handily” and your assessment as to why that it is the case. We need a strong coach to break the VRP (and that will be allowed to by the higher ups). So far, JE has not demonstrated that she can or is willing to do that — though I had been hopeful given the benching of Wambach at WC and JE’s management of the situation, the fact that young players stepped up and proved their mettle at WC (eg. Morgan Brian), we won the WC, etc. In these OG it was similar, Dunn and Pugh were among our best players. It was the veterans who let the team and its fans down not just in performance but in the lack of class afterwards — they are supposed to be the veteran leaders. Sorry, but it’s time for other leaders. This is a NT. This time JE did not seem able or willing to make the tough decisions. If fact, it seemed like regression. Also, I was wondering what those Asst Coaches were thinking.

        • Reality

          I am also curious about what Ellis’s assistants are thinking in regard to the present and future. I am more curious about Gulati’s thoughts. He was the one who initiated the coaching change with Ellis replacing Sermanni. He is really the only one who can either “nudge” Ellis into real transformation or replace her with someone who can do this. His considerations are not just team performance which while critical can be influenced by political, financial and legal aspects. I doubt he will initiate any major change.

          • rkmid71

            It’s the end of a cycle. The CBA ends December 31, 2016 — it’s a real opportunity. The USSF rightfully held their ground versus the USWNTPA. The players have lost a lot politically simply by the way they lost and the classless reaction afterwards. They are trying to isolate Solo at this stage, but all those veterans bear responsibility — the time to have spoken up was very shortly after Solo’s ill advised rant. If ever there was a time to initiate major change, it’s now.

          • Steglitz49

            They will be glad to be offered $50,000 all included.

          • rkmid71

            Yes … and keep all their endorsements flowing and minimize any new competition for spots. The structure is more important to them than the salary. Plus $50k is still 2-3x the average NWSL salary.

          • Steglitz49

            Think what Stina Blackstenius or Sara Däbritz could make if they were Americans?

          • Reality

            I agree that the opportunity is apparently there. However, I have been disappointed too many times in the past to take anything for granted. Whether a new CBA can be agreed upon expeditiously is open to question which means they will probably just extend the current one for the time being which implies status quo.

          • kernel_thai

            It’s pretty much now or commit to another WC

        • mockmook

          “Also, I was wondering what those Asst Coaches were thinking.”

          Regarding?

          • rkmid71

            Mainly the subs, Lloyd playing time / role, player selection, Rapinoe.

        • Breakers fan

          It really felt to me like the team we were fielding was one largely “out of obligation” and that the Coaching staff was just praying they could hold on and win one more big tournament with this team. I think they felt that it was just *right* to field the same team, (save Pugh) that won the last 2 games of the World Cup That wish and belief didn’t happen. I think it’s totally fair to question Jill’s decisions about whom to play but in doing so we need to look at the play of each player in the games and not just jump on Carli and say it’s all her fault.

          • Reality

            Unfortunately, Lloyd’s presence on the field influences the play of the entire team since the offense has been largely built around her to accommodate her strengths and weaknesses. This affects every player who is either forced to sit on the bench or be played out of position or adjust to Lloyd’s style of play. It is not all her fault but she plays the most critical role.

          • Breakers fan

            You know I fall on your side on this, but I just try to resist the temptation to always and solely demonize Lloyd. I want to see what she actually does on the field before critiquing her. That said, fairly often I do find reason to critique her play, but others aren’t perfect either.

          • Reality

            I appreciate and respect how you are often a voice of moderation here at EQ. However, there are times when I think that problems have to be clearly defined. I am giving my opinion on what I think is a crucial problem for the team. I do not attempt to demonize Lloyd but rather to illuminate how she is a critical factor along with Ellis in holding back the USWNT.

          • Breakers fan

            In the end I agree with you, but I just make sure I acknowledge her good deeds as well – almost a goal a game for close to 30 games. Of course that can be analyzed – tomato cans included, what would others have done if they were on the field, but she did produce and should get credit for that. She is, as we know, also a great header of the ball, better than the other players we’re discussing.

          • Reality

            Lloyd’s contributions are duly noted with full credit for her single minded focus, perseverance, and performance in big games. She has gained much glory for her play. However, at this point in time, her desire to play a major role with the NT through 2020 is not only hubris on her part but harmful to the team.

          • Breakers fan

            I agree with you and I just hope that in training – which will be the next concrete manifestation of the team that will be visible — if a younger player is clearly outplaying her consistently that that player is rewarded.

          • Steglitz49

            The problem is easy to define. The US, unlike Germany, did not have the key to unlock the Swedish defense. Germany was continually threatening Sweden’s goal. Ironic that they should win on an own goal.

            What did the US actually do against Sweden? Alex goal came from off a foul missed by that sorry excuse for a ref.

          • rkmid71

            Who knows what the coaching staff was thinking, but the team or the starting lineup that won the last 2 games of the WC was never going to happen again anyway. Holiday retired. Rapinoe tore her ACL. Brian arguably was well less than 100% and hadn’t played much prior to OG. And agree with Reality on Lloyd. She plays in a very critical position in the center of our attack, particularly in how it affects the other players around her and the offense in general. Over the last year since the WC she has had the opportunity to show what she can do in that role. It’s been consistently bad. She has never (or at least in recent times) shown the willingness to actually play her position in a midfield role (hence why she and Holiday were such a bad combination). She’s not a team player based on the way she plays the game. She’s a badass as Rapinoe and President Obama would say — but she doesn’t make our offense any better.

          • Breakers fan

            I forgot about Pinoe being out, remembered Holiday retiring. They tried to approximate the WC lineup the best they could. I’m with you on this matter, although in a slightly more tempered way, as I’ve written numerous times. I was bummed when Carli got the starting call, but I held out hope she’d produce again. She scored a couple goals I think, or was it just 1, and had some other decent plays as I recall, but YES I would have played Press and Dunn over her, without question. I do think though, in reply to what you wrote, that she has been looking to pass a lot more than she used to. I know there was a time pre-Olympics when she had a good shot chance but decided to pass, to no avail.

          • rkmid71

            Re: Lloyd, there was one game where I thought Lloyd might be turning the corner … the April 6 friendly against Colombia. I hadn’t ever seen that before from her. Played relatively quickly, combined, distributed, etc. However, my opinion is that she’ll never be a great player playing in that position — as the passing, technical skills, quickness, speed of thought aren’t sharp enough relative to other US options at that position and it’s compounded by selfish play (which mean passing is almost always a secondary thought). You don’t become a good passer by that being your last option. In my mind, that position should have just as many assists as goals. It’s a mentality. And at this stage, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks and the US needs to move on and invest in the future. The fact that she was a captain and with all this post OG nonsense from Solo (that she did not speak out against) just seals it for me. It’s too late now.

          • kernel_thai

            The misconception with Lloyd is putting her close to goal where she will score somehow equates to a #10. It doesnt.

        • kernel_thai

          The best way to beat a bunker is with an early goal. The best way to get an early goal against a bunker is off a set piece. The best way to get a set piece goal is have the same person take the kicks throughout the match. That this stream of logic doesnt make sense to coach Ellis is a big problem.

          • Steglitz49

            Germany managed in their own inimitable way.

  • mockmook

    Well Aug. 19th was also a big day because:

    NCAA WoSo is upon us!!!

    PSU tied WVU (top 10 match up)

    Duke wallops Wofford (Racioppi a goal AND 3 assists)

    The Racioppi wrecking crew faces UNC on Sunday.

    Speaking of which, there are even MORE games available on-line this year (for instance, ACC on ESPN site). Be there or be not there, that is the answer.

    • Steglitz49

      and they all dream of stepping out on the green green grass of Maracana and Wembley

      • guest

        I doubt many US players dream of wearing a head scarf.

    • Breakers fan

      You’re a soccer-loving animal and I love it. Glad to have someone else who I know will also be checking out “the minor leagues”.

    • Breakers fan

      Wow – really early for a Blue Devil-Tar Heel clash – thanks for the heads-up!

      • mockmook

        Ack!!! I got my wires crossed somewhere.

        Duke DOES NOT play UNC on Sunday.

        They meet Sept. 2nd

        • Breakers fan

          Ok, thanks. It’s still news to me and I probably would have missed it if you hadn’t mentioned it here.

          • mockmook

            Still, some intriguing match-ups on Sunday:

            3:00 PM ET
            Wisconsin (Rose Lavelle!!!)
            13 Notre Dame

            4:00 PM ET
            18 California (Arielle Ship!!!)
            21 Santa Clara

          • Steglitz49

            Notre Dame with the Flores Twins, I presume. Jersey girls like Tobin and Carli but from the wrong side of the RR tracks. Sabrina and Monica.

          • Breakers fan

            Thanks, good games! Do you know if these are viewable?

          • mockmook

            UW/UND
            http://www.espn.com/watchespn/index/_/id/2868790/wisconsin-vs-notre-dame

            Cal/SC
            http://wccsports.com/game-center/578d5718e4b0d111ecd244e4/

            —————

            And, let’s not forget the real Duke (Racioppi!!!) game:

            1:00 PM ET
            UCF
            3 Duke (Racioppi!!!)

            http://www.espn.com/watchespn/index/_/id/2868788/

          • Breakers fan

            You have hereby claimed Racioppi for your watch list — you’re lucky I let you do that as I was a Blue Devil for 2 years.

            I’ll let you know who is on mine as soon as my scouting begins in earnest. 🙂

            Thanks for those links!

          • Breakers fan

            I’ve tried 4 times to watch the Duke game and for some unknown reason it re-directs me to Louisville vs. Indiana St. Have you had the same thing happen? Hope to watch Wisconsin-ND, however.

          • mockmook

            Oh, just sent a reply to you regarding that — DESPICABLE!!! 🙂

          • mockmook

            Teaser for next week:

            On PAC12 network
            Fri: Florida (Jordan!!!) vs Stanford (Sullivan!!!)
            Sun: Florida (Jordan!!!) vs UCLA (Pugh!!! 😉

          • Breakers fan

            I get the Pac-12 network, so consider those dvr’d! I wonder if, without Westphal and Faulknor (sp?) Florida will be as strong and whether Jordan will get the same service from the back she got last year?

            For me and Stanford it’s primarily little lefty (I ardently hope forward, not back) Michelle Xiao who I’m excited to see. I’ve really liked what I’ve seen in her.

            Is it the case that Sullivan and Xiao – both YNT members for several years – had to choose between red-shirting and playing in the U-20 World Cup? I read Xiao chose to play for Stanford but don’t know what Sullivan is doing (IF she’s still at a U-20 age) . Do you know? Same with Pugh – didn’t she choose to forego her UCLA season this year completely to play in the U-20 World Cup?

          • mockmook

            “Pugh!!! 😉 ” — A little joke.

            Sullivan is 20 — she is with Stanford.

          • Breakers fan

            Yeah, sorry, I figured it out soon after replying. I liked it. Sullivan though I didn’t know about. Tuning into Wisc-ND now.

          • mockmook

            The Duke game link now takes you to the replay of the correct game.

          • Breakers fan

            Thanks! Rose looked good. I saw about half of it. Did you see it?

          • mockmook

            Watched most of the game.

            Rose looked very good at points. but I’m wondering if she works hard and is skilled on defense — can’t decide if the ball was just never in her area or if she isn’t making an effort to go get it.

            Also, worried about the thigh wrap she had on after the first half. Last year she was quite limited by a chronic knee problem, and now she has a “knock” in the second game…

          • Breakers fan

            She wasn’t always great, true. I think you’ll agree that her technical abilities are about as good as you see here in America for that age. The injuries are a concern. I think it’s hard to judge work ethic in a game like that. The pace was slower than NT and NWSL games and ND was a better team. My sense of her is that work rate wouldn’t be a problem but that’s just a guess. I can’t tell how fast/quick she is. That may be a slight concern. Overall I liked what I saw but definitely need to see more.

            I haven’t seen the Duke game yet so thanks for not revealing the result. That formation is interesting. Seems odd not to have Racioppi in the center.

          • mockmook

            BTW, unless I’m hallucinating, this is a very close approximation (player movement is fluid, much interchanging) of Duke’s starting formation:

            http://drawformation.com/post/57ba3e89f1d7e/sm-57ba3e89f1d7e.png

            Scary (or tragically hip?). They do call it a 3-5-2, I’ll have to monitor how they morph this season (assuming they morph).

            Anyway, I’m surprised how they are using Racioppi. Can’t argue with results (so far). At least she will learn much about defending out there on her lonesome.

          • Breakers fan

            Really excited to see Rose in a full game. Been a couple years since I’ve done so.

    • Steglitz49

      How do you do the strike through? I have tried but failed.

      • mockmook

        Edit your post (assuming you are making a correction).

        (s)Strike this out(/s)

        Replace the two sets above of curved brackets (…) with angle brackets
        (Where I actually use the , you don’t see the characters/coding)

        BTW, that is a forward slash before the last “s”

      • mockmook

        [This might be clearer — assuming my coding works]

        Edit your post (assuming you are making a correction).

        <s>Strike this out</s>

        Results in:

        Strike this out

        BTW, that is a forward slash before the “s”

  • Guest

    This team would be so much better without Lloyd, it sucks that we’re stuck with her. I wish we could get rid of her now, let someone (Pugh or Dunn maybe?) spend the next couple years playing there and getting comfortable.

    What I envision now is Lloyd trying to make it to 2019, and realizing at the end of 2018 that it’s not gonna happen. Someone will be thrown into her role and struggle because they haven’t got to play there while Lloyd has been hogging the spot.

    Why even keep anyone past this year who doesn’t have a chance to play in 2019/2020? The 27/28 year olds are question marks right now, the only ones I’m definitely keeping are Heath and Morgan.

    • kernel_thai

      The problem is USSoccer is more interested in selling tickets than facing problems. As long as older but popular player r preceivd to put butts in the seats they will continue to wheel them out until it becomes embarrassing. The best course if they wish to continue to hold the WC after 2019 is move forward with the players u know will still be n form in 2019 not the ones u r praying will be.

  • CED

    The US losing was not a shock. It was a shock to those delusional and arrogant. I have posted on her 100 times the US has no clue how to break down an organized defense. A well trained defense doesn’t let Lloyd sit in the gaps between the back 4 and the MF, they send a CB up or drop a MF deeper. The US has no plan B. Ellis clearly has not coached them on much of anything tactically against a team sitting back and playing on the counter. People have been overlooking the poor play as they roles against tomato cans but struggled against decent teams. Look at Japan games, the 1st game they were getting schooled 2-0 until a horrible call sent Japan a player down and even then the US gave up a goal late for a draw, The 2nd game Japan played even more “kids”. US struggled against a well organized S. Africa winning just 1-0.

    • Breakers fan

      I appreciate your viewpoint. And I do wonder about how much they work on breaking down a compact, bunkering defense who has skill, like Sweden. One wonders how much knowledge our staff has in specific tactics to try to do this. It needs to be said that it is damn hard, regardless of having some tactical plan going in.

      Can one also say that NO team in the world knows how to break Sweden down? Germany did it the same amount we did – and it happened largely with the aid of a cross being fortuitously slightly deflected. Their other set piece goal is different. Brazil, though doing it 5 times earlier vs. Sweden, though I don’t know if Sweden bunkered in that game, then couldn’t do it at all in the semis. By “not doing it” though I’m referring to “no goals scored”, while with what Sweden was doing it seemed like quite a feat to just create a good chance/shot at goal — which Brazil did do several times – and it’s another thing to then convert that shot.

      Not that you should know how to break down what Sweden was doing but do you have any ideas about what we could or should have done that we didn’t do? I think your first response is going to be “get Lloyd out of there”. I do think your speedy players, here, Dunn and Pugh and Morgan and Press, should all have been on the field in that game from start to finish.

      • Steglitz49

        Sweden did not just bunker. They could counterattack also.The Swedes demonstrated that early in the match. It eventually stung them.

      • Reality

        I think with a team that bunkers, speed per se is not the asset that is most important but rather technique in passing, ballhandling and speed of play, i.e. quick transitions and one touch. Germany actually did a fairly decent job of penetrating Sweden’s bunker with their methodical play. Both the U.S. and Brazil lost patience and reverted to a more direct game.

        Having said that, I agree that if Dunn, Pugh, Morgan and Press were utilized properly, that would have been our best chance to break Sweden’s bunker tactics since they have the skills to penetrate.

        • rkmid71

          Agree. Speed of play is a lot more than physical speed. Quickness or acceleration is a lot more important than speed in longer distances. One touch requires teamwork. You need teammates that work with each other. With the roster they had, I also agree the 4 you mention would have been the best combination to start with Heath adding that unpredictability / creative factor. And depending on how that was going, maybe add Horan who adds more aerial, physical plus is a good passer.

      • guest

        Well, the US did, in fact, break through the bunker on a perfect header from Lloyd with a beautiful assist from Dunn, but the goal was disallowed by an AR who saw Lloyd’s arm near the defender’s shoulder and erroneously jumped to the conclusion that Lloyd pulled her down, when in fact the defender had simply lost her balance backtracking towards the play. But for this very questionable call by the AR, we would have won the match, and Lloyd would have been the hero yet again.

        • Steglitz49

          We are bitter today.

          • guest

            Nothing like the bitterness you will feel towards your leaders when you are forced to your knees and told to face Mecca.

          • Steglitz49

            Thank’s to the US’s foreign policy, all of Europe face that possibility.

          • guest

            Letting in the “refugees” was completely Europe’s own doing, because Europe does not have a high enough fertility rate to sustain their own economies. Specifically, Sweden does not have enough workers to pay for their lavish social safety net. Paradoxically, even in the most generous welfare state in the world, people don’t want to have children, and the result is a Swedish population in a terminal downward spiral. None of America’s doing.

          • mockmook

            “Paradoxically, even in the most generous welfare state in the world, people don’t want to have children”

            No paradox. A logical result. You are essentially subsidizing the diminishment of human interactions/interdependence. And, subsidizing “selfishness”/entitlement which leads to infantilization and self-centeredness.

          • Libertarian

            The solution is to go back to the Middle Ages where men stood on their own two feet. No gumint regulations. Hanging for petty theft. State religion. Everyone a serf, except for the top 1% of aristocrats.

          • Steglitz49

            Sweden has never had serfdom. A free people in a free land.

            Men like Birger Jarl, Magnus Ladulås and Engelbrekt Engelbrektsson protected the common people, women as well as men.

          • mockmook

            Dear “Libertarian”, you have a very odd notion of what that word means.

          • Lorehead

            Mockmook, please lecture us again about how statements about men or police are “stereotyping” and you would never, ever stoop to that?

          • Lorehead

            Oh, by the way, the next time you feel like a nationalist stereotype, you might want to look up whether it’s actually true. Greenland, Iceland and Sweden all have fertility rates higher than the U.S. Norway, Denmark and Finland all have fertility rates significantly higher than the EU average. And France, with its extensive state-supported childcare and maternity leave, is having enough babies to maintain its population even before immigration, unlike the U.S.

            You simply do not know what you’re talking about.

          • mockmook

            All western countries have extensive welfare states. I said nothing about any particular country — so quit lying.

            Also, what percentage of these birthrates is “imported”?

          • Lorehead

            Yes you did. You replied to and quoted a message that said, “Specifically, Sweden does not have enough workers to pay for their lavish social safety net. Paradoxically, even in the most generous welfare state in the world, people don’t want to have children, and the result is a Swedish population in a terminal downward spiral.” None of that is true. Sweden has a higher birth rate than the U.S.

          • guest

            “Sweden has a higher birth rate than the U.S.”

            I don’t know where you get your data, but the top google result shows the US with a rate of 2.0 and Sweden 1.9, and if we assume Sweden has more generous social payments than the US, then the “paradox” would in some sense hold true. If you look at Germany with its rate of 1.4 and make the same assumption of more generous social payments, then the paradox would certainly hold true.

          • Lorehead

            The World Bank, and the figures are very close. Germany does not in fact have more generous social payments than Sweden, and has only recently begun offering them to mothers precisely in order to boost the birth rate. France, Eastern Europe and Japan all fail to fit these assumptions as well.

            Although it’s complicated and there’s much debate, the empirical evidence does seem to be that social spending that makes it easier and more convenient to have children makes women willing to have more children in a developed society.

          • guest

            I’m making the sweeping generalization that Europe has more generous social payment than the US, yet, on average, they have a much lower fertility rate. I don’t why, but it’s true, and there’s no disputing it.

          • Lorehead

            When you look country-by-country, the hypothesis breaks down: Scandinavia is doing fine, while Eastern Europe’s fertility collapsed after the fall of Communism. France and Britain are also doing okay, while Germany, Spain and Italy are shrinking. It’s complicated, but some kinds of social spending make it easier to have kids and raise fertility, while others don’t. And high unemployment is very bad for fertility.

          • guest

            I may have gotten some of the details wrong , but my central point still holds. Europe let in the “refugees” because of their low fertility rate and the need for more workers to pay for their generous social welfare system.

            True, I stereotyped Sweden as a low fertility country, when it turns out Sweden and Norway’s fertility rates are on a par with the US and the UK at 1.8-1.9. I apologize to Steglitz for this oversight.

            What’s really shocking though are the low birthrates in the rest of Europe. Germany, Italy, Spain, Holland, and Denmark all have rates in the 1.4-1.5 range. France is an outlier at 2.1, and I will leave the reader to apply any national stereotype they wish to explain this.

            I didn’t make any claim about the connection between a generous welfare system and fertility rates, but I do know social payments cost money and more workers would help pay for them.

          • mockmook

            Again, one needs to check these “high” birthrates to see if they are the result of immigrants.

          • Lorehead

            Germany responded to its low fertility rate by creating new benefits for parents, especially childcare in 2013. In 2014 (the most recent year for which figures are available), Germany’s fertility rate was the highest it has been since reunification, twenty-five years ago.

          • Lorehead

            Japan is a country with taxes as low as America’s, fertility rates as low as Europe’s, and almost no immigration. The result is decades of economic stagnation. I don’t consider that a good outcome, but even so, Japan is a nice place to live.

          • Troll Detector

            You and millions of Swedes.

        • guest

          we need some video replay of that lloyd play so a final rulling can be made.

          • Steglitz49

            That was one the ref team got right. Not many they did but that one was correct.

          • CED

            LOL! It’s delusional people pretending it wasn’t a clear foul. It’s funny none of these delusional people bring up Schelin’s goal. The ref as usual in WoSo doesn’t know the rules as the ball came off a US player …100% good goal…US should have lost!

          • guest

            For some reason, CED is perpetually negative on the USWNT, so I don’t think he’s the best witness in this matter.

          • kernel_thai

            First, u know there isnt much going on when people r arguing whose disallowed goal was better. Also a big assumption that Lloyd would have been whistled considering the US was only called for 4 fouls in 120 minutes.

          • Constant Weeder

            Nicole C posted a link earlier in this thread. To me it looks clear that Lloyd pulled her defender (Ericsson) down with her left hand just as the ball arrived.

        • Breakers fan

          If your interpretation of the Lloyd vs Ericsson play is accurate you’re right. I watched it about 10 times and am not sure to what extent Lloyd exerted pressure on Ericsson. I think we need to see another angle of the play to really know. But you’re absolutely right that, regardless, that did represent a breaking down of the Swedish defense and that should be pointed out.

          But also don’t forget that Sweden was much more clearly robbed of a goal soon thereafter.

          • NYRick

            I’ve rewatched the Lloyd disallowed goal a few times and the contact was minimal if at all…but she did the golden rule that any ref would call…she issued contact from behind in the box. It was the proper call for the ref also considering the game was in OT. It would have been one hell of a controversial goal had it stuck.

            As for the Lotta no-goal, since the US happened first (and let’s say was allowed to stand) than the US would have bunkered and played more players in the box. It’s hypothetical at that point, but the Lotta no goal was embarrassing.

        • CED

          Your delusional, that was clear and obvious foul on Lloyd everyday of the week. Btw, Schelin’s was goal was not offside ,,,US should have never been in the shootout. They git the benefit of horrible refs that even gave them a chance in game they should have lost.

      • mockmook

        Get three creative/target forwards into the box and keep feeding them until something happens — and remember that crosses from the end-line are greatly appreciated for the uncertainty they cause to the GK and defenders.

        http://disq.us/p/1awr9ec

        • Guest

          I think something like this might work

          ———–Press——Horan————
          Heath—–Brian——Pugh——–Dunn
          ——————Sonnett—————-
          ——-Brunn—-Engen—-Krieger—–

          • Steglitz49

            Press?!!?!!!??
            Krieger?????
            Of those I would keep Horan, Brian, Pugh, Dunn and Sonnet. Basta.

          • Guest

            This is using the current squad.

          • Steglitz49

            Blow the current squad. They were history almost a week ago.

            On to France 2019. (The Swedes have Euro-17 first + qualifying for WC-19.)

          • mockmook

            That looks suspiciously similar to this awesome formation 😉

            ———–Press——Horan————
            ———Brian———Pugh————-
            Heath———Sonnett———-Dunn
            ——Brunn—-Engen—-Krieger—–

          • Guest

            Yes it’s a 3-5-2 I don’t care much where the wingbacks are placed. They’d probably be pushed up most of the match anyway.

          • mockmook

            “They’d probably be pushed up most of the match anyway.”

            Yes. Against a bunker.

        • Breakers fan

          An interesting approach. I like it, if we have the players to do it . Just saw your formation – really surprised you don’t have Horan up front. What was your thinking there? For heading the ball she and Carli and Alex are our best. You must be looking at more than just headers off of crosses; it’s just that when you said “target forwards” that’s the first thing that came to my mind.

          • mockmook

            A mixture is probably best, but if I have to “settle” with Alex as my “target” forward, then I’m all for settling.

            IOW, I can’t bring myself to bench any of those three for Horan.

            What they lack in tagetability, they make up for in quickness.

            But, I’ll compromise, let’s play Press and Horan on alternate days and see who does the best against the bunker.

            —————

            With a clean slate, this might be better:

          • Guest

            Maybe try Johnston for Long?

      • CED

        Several things can be don.

        1)Quick ball movement and 1 or 2 touch passing. The ball always can move faster than players trying to cover. Drag the team from side to side .

        2)Multiple runs off the ball making players react and then make another run off the reaction. Quick movement in small areas (short runs off the ball) are way more important than speed vs a team sitting back. Also, there is the chance a run is not covered, confusion on who covers what run, etc..Then there is the fatigue factor mentally and physically of covering run after run off the ball

        3)Once in a while have a player take on a player, force the help and make the pass off the cover. You have essentially forced rotations to happen which bends the shape.

        There are many other things, which the US seems incapable of even trying, They essentially just went wide, which Sweden willingly gave up the flanks and have the US make crosses to the box against 8 or 9 players in the box

        • Breakers fan

          Yeah, when I said speed I really meant quickness and so named those players. I’d have to watch the game again with an eye out for this issue specifically. It wasn’t something I had on my mind as I watched – to analyze their approach to breaking down the bunkering. I just wonder how easy it is to, if one says “do A, B, and C” in advance, to, with what is actually happening, do these things as easily as it is to write them down on paper. Thanks for the ideas, they make sense. I hope I can watch the game again somewhere to see what we did as it compares to what you suggest we should have done.

          • Steglitz49

            Speed depends. Speed is Alex and Stina. Speed of passing is Behringer to Leupolz or Dahlkvist to Blackstenius.

        • kernel_thai

          1) The advantage here is two fold. Quick passing and patience can break an obdurate defense. The other advantage is that by bunkering, Sweden is telling u they r willing to defend for 120 minutes…..make them. Instead of forcing Sweden to defend for minutes at a time which can be exhausting, the US was determined to rush the attack, give the ball back to Sweden and let them rest by passing the ball around in the back.

          • Steglitz49

            Those pesky Germans kept to their gameplan. Discipline in the ranks.

        • Gary Diver

          Ellis’ Game Tactics Were Lacking.

          When Sweden showed they could counter-attack, USWNT needed more than two defenders.

          When USWNT got the ball, they started by passing the ball back and forth numerous times between the defenders instead quickly moving the ball forward in a quick counter-attack.

      • Steglitz49

        Stop dragging Press into this. She is a closed chapter.

        • Breakers fan

          In your mind, not in everyone else’s.

          • Steglitz49

            Dream on. Stop inhaling.

          • Breakers fan

            Thanks for the permission.

          • Steglitz49

            As NYRick reminds us and as I have noted before, towards the end of extra time Christen had a clear shot at goal but put it over the bar.

          • Breakers fan

            Read my reply to Rick I just sent, and more crucially go watch it again. It was darn far from “a clear shot at goal”. Sweden was playing much better defense there than you give them credit for.

          • NYRick

            Press’s biggest miss came at the 122nd minute. Lloyd actually gave her the ball at the top of the box with space and she sailed it over the bar. Keeper has no chance if she puts it on net. That was her career defining moment. Every demon could have been erased if she bagged that and it was a really good chance. A clean look that she rushed. Of course then came the PKs but at 122nd was her moment. She will take that moment to her grave upon reflection when her career is over.

          • Steglitz49

            Correct. She had a howling miss towards the end of extra time.

          • Breakers fan

            I went back and looked at this wondering if this was the chance I had in mind and it was. To me that’s a very tough shot. Defender quickly closing in on her from outside the 18, goalie with the near post completely covered. By the time Press shot it and as you say she shot it quickly — if you pause it right there — the defender has closed on her and is basically right in front of her. She didn’t have time to spare. The opening near post was tiny as the keeper was there. I don’t think she could have gotten it far post. I think, from the luxury of retrospection that we have her best bet would have been to try to take a slight dribble to her right to give her a little more space and then try to crack it really hard to the far post and hope she could beat the keeper doing that. This was tough. Sure she wishes she had done better but I’d say 90% to 95% of women forwards don’t score in that situation. Go back and watch it again and see how tough it was.

          • mockmook

            The most egregious to me was the kick not taken — the breakaway dish off to Pugh in the COL(?) game.

          • Breakers fan

            Totally agree about that. And I’m sure Press would too. Overall with Press it’s too bad she hasn’t had that big int’l goal yet as she’s come through with great shooting and scoring ability for so many years and teams. Every goal is clutch as it greatly helps your team and so one can say she’s been clutch for her teams time and time again. I just hope the national coaching staff hasn’t given up on her. She really hasn’t gotten many minutes with the NT at her best position in big games, relative to other forwards. Someone with her track record of success I think has earned more of a chance in those situations.

          • mockmook

            BTW, just thought you’d like to know:

            ESPN is in the process of torturing me — they are playing the Louisville vs Indiana St game on the link for the Duke game — ARGHHH!!!!

          • Breakers fan

            I wrote to you elsewhere in this thread saying the same thing is happening to me. WHY?

          • mockmook

            ESPN obviously hates us both. obviously…

          • Breakers fan

            They read the thread on the EQ yesterday and immediately went to work hacking into just our computers. I’m going to move and change my identity…

          • Steglitz49

            She should have stayed in Göteborg and continued to develop under their striker coach. Stunted development.

            Also, the way she left Göteborg revealed a flaw in her character.

          • Breakers fan

            Can you elaborate on “the way she left Goteberg” and why you thought she didn’t handle that well? I have no clue about this. Did she leave Sweden to increase her chances with the USWNT and perhaps she felt there was an urgency to doing that? If so, I don’t blame her.

          • Steglitz49

            It is a long time ago but she had apparently agreed terms with Gbg and they had gone out with a late press release [sic] in which they were over the moon that they had secured her for another year. At one second to midnight she jumped ship to join Tyresö and the Gbg management woke up to learn that the morning print editions in the soccer capital of Sweden did not correspond to reality.

            The knot that Tyresö exploited was that Gbg kept to FIFA windows while Tyresö offered her more time off. Gbg were never given a chance to come back with an improved offer. We now know that Tyresö could build a strong squad by spending money which they did not have.

            FIFA windows are there for a reason and no male club nor player would get away with such a ruse. It paid off for Christen in that she won a WC winners medal. With Tyresö she won nothing but for Gbg she scored one of the goals that won them the Swedish Cup — against Tyresö!

          • Reality

            “The knot that Tyresö exploited was that Gbg kept to FIFA windows while Tyresö offered her more time off.”

            I think it more appropriate to say that Goteborg took Press for granted and refused her the opportunities to play as needed with the USWNT. When Press received an offer from a team that truly appreciated her talent and was willing to make accommodations, she naturally went with that team. Goteborg had their chance and blew it. Get over it.

          • Steglitz49

            The FIFA windows are there for a reason and are to be honored.

            Tyresö could afford to offer Christen more because they spent money they did not have. It is easy to cut thick belts from other people’s leather.

            Göteborg was honest. Honesty should be the best policy.

            Portland could buy the NWSL Championship forever spending real money that they have, not fake.

            Nevertheless, it was the manner in which it happened that left a sour taste in the mouth of all that love soccer. If it had been done in a professional rather than underhand manner, nobody would have cared. Maners maketh lady.

          • Reality

            Press didn’t go to Tyreso for the money but rather for the opportunity to play with the USWNT. And you implied that Goteborg subsequently could may have made her a better offer by also going outside the FIFA windows? That would make them no better than Tyreso. I think that this tempest in a teacup you are always making about Press and Goteborg disguises other reasons for your constant slander of Press, unless of course you are somehow associated with Goteborg management. If that’s the case, you blew it.

          • Steglitz49

            No. I typed — “Gbg were never given a chance to come back with an improved offer”. You imply that my wording means something which it plainly does not.

            It was the sly and underhand manner in which it was done that left a sour taste. No doubt that missed penalty does not taste so good either.

            Gbg adamantly said that they could not go outside the windows.

            At least Christen got a WC winners medal out of it, more than most players get in their career, so I guess it was worthwhile in the end.

          • Reality

            “Gbg adamantly said that they could not go outside the windows.”

            Well then, they couldn’t have made Press a better offer than could they? Your characterization of Press leaving Goteborg as “sly and underhanded” just fits in with the endless manner in which you attempt to slander her. Her first loyalty is not to Goteborg but to her country. If they called, it was her duty to answer that call. Goteborg was holding her back and they paid the price. Get over it.

          • Lorehead

            The FIFA windows are a good example of how the rules formally in place are less important than the parties’ bargaining power. The system was designed as a compromise for the men’s game, where the clubs have most of the power, so you see club coaches tell the national team that they don’t want a player playing for too many minutes, and players suddenly developing minor “injuries” during the window; but, when they can be accommodating, the clubs are.

            In the women’s game, the national teams have all the power and all the money, so they call all the shots. Most of the players—with the exception of Kaylyn Kyle for the Thorns in 2015!—treat their clubs as an afterthought.

          • Steglitz49

            Your ignorance of the women’s game is mindboggling..

            The simple solution is for the USWNT to honor the windows.

            The USWNT holds more and longer camps than those of the European nations. To this add time to travel to those camps which was not an issue when the women’s leagues in the US were up and running.

            Most national teams outside the US do not pay their players much if at all. because they have no money The English started paying their WNT players a couple of years ago but then the FA through the Premier League is drowning in money.

            Yes. The windows came into play because clubs were preventing male players from playing for their nations. By and large clubs respect the windows and incidents that you describe are rare. No doubt there are exceptions but nothing major in the past 8-10 years.

          • Lorehead

            Which shows my point. The men’s game doesn’t have the problem that national teams are calling up players from their clubs for months at a time, because the clubs have the economic clout to stop it. The women’s game does, because the national teams have all the power. (You want to single out the USWNT, but in fact many other NTs, including Brazil, Canada and Australia, send their players into residency camp for longer.) FIFA even ended up compromising by inviting US Soccer to help pick the dates on the women’s side, because that was the easiest way to avoid conflict.

            Whatever should happen, what does happen has more to do with bargaining power than with the formal rules. It’s like squeezing a balloon: you can constrict one part, but others will bulge out to make up for it.

          • Steglitz49

            The European Women’s Professional Players association helped by Jean-Michel Aulas, the CEO of Lyon, got FIFA to agree to having different windows for the women from the men. The US, selfevidently, were invited to help in working out better female windows. It would have been asinine not to seek the USA’s input.

            That other nations hold long camps does not excuse the US shafting their own players.

            Tancredi and Eve-Marie Nault played in Sweden. Canada is part of the NWSL so if the US can disrupt the NWSL why not Canada? What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

            Australia plays a winter season. Their players benefit enormously from playing in the NWSL. Again, if the US can shaft the NWSL so can any guest nation. The same goes for Brazil. Marta plays in Sweden, Debinha in Norway and others elsewhere, and some Aussies in Europe.

            As a curiosity, how many Canadian, Australian and Brazilian players missed games for their foreign clubs that were outside FIFA windows?

          • Lorehead

            Last year? All the Canadian, Australian and Brazilian players did.

          • Steglitz49

            I don’t remember Marta missing many games for Rosengård in 2015 and not this season neither.

            A wise club may not have bothered to hire them or have written contracts with special caluses.

          • Lorehead

            Anyway, I think we’re talking past each other a bit, because you keep saying, “the USWNT ought to stop calling up its players outside the FIFA windows” (As a Thorns fan, I would like that too.) and I keep saying, “The reason the USWNT can and men’s national teams can’t is that women’s careers depend on their national teams, not their clubs.”

          • Breakers fan

            Thanks for that, Steg. Interesting. Tough call – competing offers. Her mistake was to apparently have agreed to go with Gtbg, so I see where you’re coming from. Would like to hear how Press describes it.

          • Reality

            You are correct in you assumption that she left Goteborg “…to increase her chances with the USWNT and perhaps she felt there was an urgency to doing that? If so, I don’t blame her.”

            Steglitz distorts this in order to “justify” his endless slander of Press. As to his real motivations for this trollish behavior, your guess is as good as mine.

          • Breakers fan

            Thanks for your input, Reality. Just to follow-up, how was joining Tyreso preferable to staying at Goteberg in terms of her USWNT prospects? If it was preferable…

          • Reality

            See my remarks below to Steglitz…but to put it in a nutshell…Goteborg refused to allow Press time off to play with the USWNT whereas Tyreso was willing to give her that. The Tyreso offer came at the very last moment but before she had signed any legal contract with Goteborg. Press chose the offer that allowed her to play with the USWNT.

          • Breakers fan

            Thanks, makes good sense. I’m replying directly from my email today, thus not seeing your response to Steg but I’ll check it out.

          • Reality

            btw, good analysis on the 122″ shot by Press against Sweden. She is capable of making it, but it was by no means an easy shot. Too bad.

          • Breakers fan

            Thanks. Yes, too bad she didn’t hit it on frame just to force the issue more with a required save. I’d actually like to watch it again to see if she *could* have gone far post as that was more open.
            A mishit there is common and it’s too bad she didn’t show that she isn’t your average, common shooter in that instance.

          • Guest

            If they were able to build her NT confidence level to what her confidence level is in NWSL games, imagine what the result would be

          • Breakers fan

            The one thing that hasn’t been tried with Press, something that others have been afforded, is to just play her over and over and over at her best position for 90 minutes – for, say, a year, to see what would happen. In my mind her track record — better scoring record than any forward in our system — has earned her that. We know the circumstances surrounding this not happening to date but that’s also Ellis choosing what circumstances mean the most to her and time and again Press playing 90 at center forward has gotten the backseat. So, yes, I agree with you. I want it to be tried.

          • Steglitz49

            The Colombia game did not matter — except in the sense that it confirms the mess against Sweden.

          • Breakers fan

            I want to add though Rick that you’re absolutely right that Press didn’t perform well on this play. She did rush the shot and she mis-hit it pretty badly. It was a tough chance but you’re right that she didn’t do a good job with it.

  • Gary Diver

    Not a Good Article

    Probably twenty posters could have written a more informative and thought-provoking article.

  • Gary Diver

    Goal: Win WC19

    Necessary requirements:

    1. Fire Jill Ellis who demonstrated she is incompetent.

    2. Replace the tenure USWNT roster system with a competitive one based on meritocracy.

    3. Replace the focus of a USWNT team of individual stars with a concept of developing the best team that plays as the world’s best unit that has an identity and coordinates with each other in terms of communications, combinations, and coordinated play.

    • Steglitz49

      Who would you want to see in charge instead of JE?

      • Gary Diver

        Many people, including you, are much more knowledgeable about coaches than I am so I am all ears (or should I say eyes).

        Ellis handling of OG16 was unacceptable. She made at least a dozen major mistakes. She has no clue about formations or game plans. Her choice of PK shooters in the Swedish game was not even rational.

        Go back to WC15. Ellis was lucky. She unbelievably admitted she didn’t believe in formations. Her roster changes in the China game that led to her “great German game roster” was forced on her.

        USWNT set piece efficiency has declined dramatically.

        USWNT uses a slow deliberate attack, but needs a quick transition game which is not part of Jill Ellis’ mindset.

        Ellis thinks her job is just to put the best players on the field and let them figure things out themselves. Ellis doesn’t teach her players to be able to improvise on the field.

        Jill Ellis’ major failures in Swedish game (and she made other mistakes in the OG16 tournament)

        1. Insertion of Megan Rapinoe

        2. Putting Tobin Heath in OB position

        3. Defending with two defenders when Sweden showed dangerous counter-attack capacity.

        4. No attempt to use a quick counter-attack against Sweden.

        5. Worse than random PK use of Morgan and Press.

        6. Not willing to accept any responsibility for her incompetent management of USWNT during OG16.

        • Steglitz49

          Sounds like America’s Stalingrad — which it was in a way. Certainly Sweden’s Stalingrad. Motherland calls!

    • guest

      You are presuming we have rational leaders in charge.

      • kernel_thai

        USSoccer would rather have a coach who bends the knee than one who thinks he/she knows more about soccer than the average Economics professor.

        • Steglitz49

          I gather that the German players love and cherish their Neid. That is what is needed.

  • Gary Diver

    The Future: USWNT vs Canada

    Canada had 7 players on its OG16 roster who were 23 year old or younger, while USWNT had only 3 members 23 or younger. The focus on tenured USWNT players has got to change if USWNT hopes to win WC19.

    • Steglitz49

      Make it simple for yourself. Dismiss all except Pugh, Dunn, Horan, Brian and Alex plus anyone older than 26 at the end of the year.

      • Gary Diver

        Agree! The USWNT future should NOT be its past.

        • Steglitz49

          Tell that to the Veterans-in-waiting, who have been longing for the moment granted to those in Canada.

          Some pesky turnips would not lie down and die. Worries should have surfaced when they tied with Colombia. Those drug barons might have spotted a gap in the market.

    • kernel_thai

      And this is the biggest takeaway from the Olympics. Canada is now the best team in CONCACAF. If Gulati is happy with that then stay the course. If Gulati is embarrassed then he needs to make a change.

      • Gary Diver

        The fact that the USWNT reject Janine Beckie will be a centerpiece of Canada team for the next ten years should cause Gulati great embarrassment.

        • Steglitz49

          Totally bizarre. Do a WR.

        • CED

          Beckie would be a sub at best for WNT. She would not be playing ahead of the current group of US forwards. Btw, the problem with USWNT for years now has been the MF. People seem to forget the MF of Lloyd and Holiday were stinking up the joint for 18 months pre Wcup and stunk thru most of the Wcup. They just got lucky by forced changed via suspensions. The problem was never actually solved post Wcup, just papered over and ignored by fans. There is no natural holding MF and no play maker

          • Gary Diver

            You are correct. It is somewhat amazing what people remember. It is also amazing that the Colombia game was both the nadir of the Holiday/Lloyd midfield black hole and its future fix with the two suspensions.

          • kernel_thai

            Go back on this and other boards for the years 2013 and 14 and u’ll find Holiday was one of the most maligned players on the team. Posters commonly referred to her as lazy and unfocused. Now, based on winning the WC and some stellar work at FCKC, Holiday has risen to much great stature in memory than she ever achieved on the pitch for the NT.

          • rkmid71

            I don’t think she has really risen to any great stature or people are changing their mind about Holiday performances for the NT. Holiday looked like and was a different player paired with Morgan Brian in the semis and final of the WC. Prior to that, the chemistry between her and Lloyd was non-existent which I think contributed greatly to Holiday’s relatively poor performance for the NT in recent years. Holiday has to take responsibility for that fact, though I have some sympathy. Her role at FCKC was totally different.

          • kernel_thai

            It was a mistake moving Holiday to the six. Brian’s arrival freed Holiday of that burden. Ive always thought the difference between formations was splitting hairs in many cases. Was the US actually playing a 4-2-3-1 near the end of WC or did it morph into a 4-4-2 diamond with Lloyd playing the other forward, Holiday in the #10 and Brian alone at DM?

          • mockmook

            “Was the US actually playing a 4-2-3-1 near the end of WC or did it morph into a 4-4-2 diamond with Lloyd playing the other forward, Holiday in the #10 and Brian alone at DM?”

            Both.

          • Guest

            Maybe because she was patrolling the USWNT midfield by herself, while Lloyd roamed around and kicked people from behind. Obviously she might have come across as lazy or poor performance worthy since she was doing the job of 2-3 people. If the midfield had been Holiday with Brian and Huster behind her or Holiday with Mewis and Winters alongside her than that would have been a different story, but what she had was Lloyd roaming around the frontline while she was forced into an unfamiliar defensive position with no passing outlet

        • Guest

          Beckie is not better than any of the current WNT forwards. Herdman just coaches well and exploits her strengths while Ellis squeezes water out of a rock, in ways such as leaving the incredible front 3 she has with NO playmaker behind them, or by allowing her subpar outside backs to stand by the opposite endline thus causing the wings to have to cover for them

  • ertelmetlen

    A couple of remarks about the future of the USWNT:
    -> I find it almost unfathomable that how many great US players never got the chance to play for the national team, while the old guard was given every opportunity to be mediocre and still regularly start for the WNT (Rampone, Boxx at WC15, gotta be kidding rigth?). I don’t have a deep knowledge of US talent, but I saw Jessica McDonald, Tori Huster, Christine Nairn, McCall Zerboni (and I’m sure there are a lot of names I forgot to mention) completely outplay their USWNT opponents in the NWSL. (Also, Gina Lewandowski is one of the best defenders in the world, but I understand that she would have to move back to the US to earn a spot.)
    -> The idea that only young players should be considered as new WNT recruits is mind-boggling. You chose your best 23 players (while keeping all the positions covered, obviously you cannot select 15 strikers etc.). That’s it. It is not rocket science. Age, marketability, past performances should be secondary. Experience matters, but you don’t need to have a bunch 35+ players on your team. It is nice to have a young stable core you can build on, but the US already have that with JJ, Morgan, Dunn, Pugh. I understand that it is not very easy to assess how the NWSL performances translate to the international level (where you are playing against the likes of France and Sweden), but that why the Algarve cup and the crapload of friendly games exist.
    – The complete disrespect towards the performances shown in NWSL (or other non-international setting) is not only bad for talent level of the USWNT, but also very demoralizing for the players left out. I have no idea how (for example) McDonald can cope with the fact that she is scoring goals in every crappy NWSL team she was part of, yet she is not even mentioned as a possible USWNT call-up. Playing for your country should be a realistic goal for all players, which you can earn by great performances. Does not seem to be the case in the US.
    – Hope Solo is fine. Yes she made some unfortunate comments, but she should be the least concern for US fans imo.
    – I saw a lot of commenters crying for Tobin Heath as no. 10. Unpopular opinion: I understand that she is having her best year in Portland, but I still think she is vastly overrated as an offensive player. Literally every time the ball ends up on her feet she hesitates, and makes bad decisions more often than not. In my book she is one of the great examples of the “dribbles when she should pass, passes when she could make a run” kind of player. I actually think that her defensive work is underrated, even if she has her “I’m going for you ankles” moments a bit too often for my taste. She is definitely not a bad player by any means, but handing the future of the US offence in her hands is a bit generous.

    • rkmid71

      I was with you until you said Hope Solo is fine! She would be fine if she had been willing to give meaningful playing time to others, to help prepare the next generation GK, etc. In other words, to be a leader by her actions. Her performance has dropped as many have pointed out in both NWSL and now in this OG. The unfortunate comments may have been less of a concern if she was 20 years old. But no, she’s 35 and a supposed veteran leader of the team. Plus it’s on top of many other well documented incidents which have brought embarrassment at a minimum to the USSF, the team and this country. Solo has already had many second chances. She’s DONE in my book.

      • ertelmetlen

        I cannot think any other US goalkeeper who would make the team unquestionably better. As much as I like Harris and Naeher, (and I saw a very impressive performance by Betos recently) I’m not sure if they are better than Solo even at the dawn of her career.

        I understand that Solo is not quite the role model, but I’m not a fan of selecting players based on their private lives, or likeability. Pro sports always had its villains. Regarding the “coward” comments, I really liked Lotta Schelin’s take on the whole thing. As a neutral, the whole thing was really overblown in my opinion.

        On the other hand I completely understand that you would prefer somebody else.

        • Guest

          Based on their NWSL play i don’t really see much of a drop off at all between Solo and Naeher or Harris. A strong case can be made that Solo has been the worst of the 3 in the NWSL.

          • Steglitz49

            Alyssa Naeher is 5’9″ and while Ashlyn Harris is variously given as 5’9″ and 5’7″. Neither would have got a finger on DZ’s kick that Hedvig got hers on.

            South-Africa and China have shown the ways. Karsta Lowe is 6’4″ and at UCLA but plays volleyball including for the uS.

        • Breakers fan

          This has been bugging me about Solo. At least the last PK (maybe others) taken by Sweden, the game winner: Solo committed early (started walking to her right) to a degree where I really think the Swedish player (Dahlquist?) had time to note that and quite calmly and easily go the other way. What did you or anyone else think about that?

          I am NOT a keeper, never was one, but it was curious how Solo’s approach to guessing a side differed from every other keeper’s. I’m not saying her approach was inferior but instead of making a strong dive in one direction she would instead take a few steps in the direction she was guessing the shooter would go. I guess she was doing that so she could base her next move on whether the kick was a low or high one, for if you dive you’re committing completely to the ball being in a certain location. I just wonder if in taking those steps she still has time to react. No doubt she’s thought a lot about this and figures it’s her best bet. She hasn’t been a world beater at stopping PKs, though she did make one very nice save vs. Sweden. I’ve seen Naeher have so many good games I’d like to give her a chance and part of that desire is a move towards a new leaf being turned over.

          • ertelmetlen

            Personally I don’t put a big emphasis of the penalty stopping capabilities of a keeper. In male football, there is not much of a correlation between being a good penalty killer and being a good keeper in general. Buffon is probably the best example of being an all-time great but never really figuring out penalty kicks. There are much more examples of mediocre goalkeepers being very good at penalties. The US team being one of the best national side hopes to not get into situations where it comes down to the penalties. No matter how much you practice penalties or how good your keeper is, penalties are a gamble.

            I have no idea if Solos approach was ideal, but I assume that she went what she was the most comfortable with.

            Obviously I have nothing against giving an opportunity to other deserving US keepers. But goalkeeper is the position where the least amount of “tinkering” happens, as he/she is the backbone of the defence and ideally plays an important role in organizing the defenders. I think this is the position when sticking with the same person can play off, you rarely see a goalkeeper getting benched after one or two sub-par performances.
            (Barcelona is good counterexample to this, they play with 2 keepers for whatever reason. Not a huge fan personally).

          • Breakers fan

            Thanks for your thoughts. I agree that it doesn’t all come down to how good she is at stopping PKs.

            I’d add this: If the team is not overall happy on a personal, moral level with Solo then it could be time for a change. We’ll never know and they’ll never speak openly about this, but one has to at least wonder if they feel good and comfortable with her out there going forward as opposed to someone else. Solo gets tested so rarely it’s hard to really know just how good she is. At least for me it is. On the other hand with the Breakers I saw Naeher make 5-10 saves which may all be better than just about any save I’ve ever seen Solo make.

          • Steglitz49

            Men shoot much harder & faster than ladies. Thus, in a female PK the goalie has a bigger chance of saving than a male goalie has.

            Once we get women goalies of the 6′ variety as a rule and not exception, the balance will be even more in the favour of such female goalies.

          • Ethan

            She definitely committed early on others. She did the same against Brazil and Japan in 2011. She really is the only goalkeeper that I’ve seen beaten so many times while not having made a dive. Is it less effective? I’m not sure. However, I have to concede that I have found it somewhat annoying to see PKs not struck particularly hard/accurately scored with the goalkeeper going one way but still standing.

          • Breakers fan

            My sentiments exactly. The ball goes in and our keeper is just standing there. Have you seen any other keeper do what she does, male or female, this sort of walking to a side, pre-potential-dive rather than just, if you’re going to guess and commit to a side in advance do it all out rather than halfway?

          • Ethan

            I’m pretty sure I haven’t, certainly not consistently.

        • kernel_thai

          The problem with Solo is simply age. Can u build ur plans around a player who will be almost 38 during WC? Even if ur happy with the way sh is playing now how do u know where she’ll be in three years? I also doesnt seem likely hat Solo would accept a lesser role which means another three years of no caps for other GKs.

        • Chak Khan

          If Solo had said, “The game/tactic was ugly!” it would have been more acceptable. Since she has used the Ryan Lochte’s manner of apology, we should have let it go, or we are more forgiving of him because it was a case of “boys will be boys”?

          • Steglitz49

            She was a sore loser who could not cope with being sent packing. Lochte’s situation was totally different. Lochte also has a wholesome aura around him so is forgiven a lapse.

    • Guest

      I don’t agree that Zerboni, Narin, or Huster have had better NWSL season than the players on the roster at all unless you are talking about Brian who was injured. Brian is still the best CM of those and the US doesn’t play with a destroyer DM. Mcdonald has been the best striker in the league but her finishing is very inconsistent. Many of those goals came in only a few games. I think she had 2 braces and a hat trick for her 7 goals. I don’t really agree on Heath either. Usually I am fine with her decision making and when passes are open she tends to try and make them although her weight was off a bit in the Olympics. Unlike most I prefer players that slow down play and hold the ball when crosses aren’t on. I don’t think she’s a 10 or a great crosser though.

    • Lorehead

      I am glad that Allie Long got her chance, though.

      • Steglitz49

        Though one might argue that Pinoe should not have been selected, there seems no consensus about whom to replace her with.

      • Guest

        What do you think about her for 2019? I’m torn because I think there will be better options like Colaprico and Laddish, but she did pretty well

    • Rami

      I was agreeing with everything till your last point. You’re saying Tobin Heath is a “vastly overrated attacking player”? Tobin Heath who was leading in assists in the NWSL before she left? Tobin Heath who assisted two goals, each in the first two games at the Olympics?

      At least you said your opinion is unpopular, because it doesn’t make any sense. No offense.

      • Steglitz49

        The goal against France came off that the goalie tipped Tobin’s ball on to the post. It bounced out and Carli pounced. I guess you could say that DZ assisted om Sembrant’s owngoal in the final.

        Against Sweden Tobin achieved little. I can’t remember what she did against Colombia.

        • Rami

          So you’re picking out exceptions and disregarding everything else. It’s clear you don’t know what you’re talking about. Heath didn’t play against Colombia.

          • Steglitz49

            That is why I could not remember.

            I was not aware that Heath was considered to have assisted on Carli’s goal because the goalie not only saved but the ball also bounced off the post.

          • Rami

            It counted. It was something about the player that kicked it to the crossbar getting the assist. A poster here explained it very well. It was discussed in the comment section of “Carli Lloyd lifts USWNT past France”

          • Steglitz49

            Thank you. Bizarre though because there was no intent to pass. It was a shot that not only was saved by the goalie but also bounced off the post. Well. You live and learn.

      • ertelmetlen

        I had to double check the Lloyd goal because I didn’t remember Heath having an assist in the game against France. Now I remember thinking “classic Tobin” as she hesitated way too long before taking the shot resulting in very narrow angle (to be far I don’t really hold this against her as her primary role is not a finisher). All in all calling that an assist is pretty generous but nowadays 90% of own goals are given to the attacking player.

        Relying on low sample-size statistics is very dangerous, football is not basketball in this sense. For example Kim Litttle is not even in the assist leaders table as she and Seattle is having a bad year. Or otherwise very underrated McDonald is the assist leader, but I don’t consider her best passer in the offensive third.

        Maybe I’m shouldn’t be so tough on her, especially as she has the most passionate fans in the NWSL (well it is a close call between her and Press)

        • Rami

          Those are actually statistics of the early NWSL season. The most recent ones I might add. And the most relevant. Otherwise we can pull out any old statistics to feed our agendas. And we can’t have that, now can’t we? How curious that you decide to call that a “low sample size statistics”.

          And I’m not sure why you’re mentioning you shouldn’t be so “tough” on her and how passionate fans are. Both irrelevant to your original post.

          • ertelmetlen

            So you don’t consider 4 as low sample size? Numbers don’t lie I guess? Do you agree that Lynn Williams and McDonald are the best US strikers?

            If you are so much in love with the numbers:
            Assist leaders between 2013-2015
            2015 leader: Little (7) =======
            2015 runner up: DiBernardo, Ohai, O’Hara, Rapinoe (5)
            Tobin not in the top 12 (means she had less than 4 assist)
            2014 leader: Fishlock (8)=======
            Runner up: Holiday, Little (7)
            Tobin not in the top 10 (means she had less than 5 assist)
            2013 leader: Holiday (9) =======
            Runner up: Wambach (8)
            Tobin not in the top 12 (means she had less than 4 assist)

            You cannot take raw stats too seriously, especially in league of constant shuffle. If you don’t have a better argument than she had 4!!! assist in a half season of NWSL, I’m still not convinced that she be the no. 10 player to lead the US to international glory. She is a decent player, I never argued that. I still think that she is overrated as a decision maker in the final third.

          • Guest

            I don’t care much about raw numbers especially assist numbers as they are often not the best way to evaluate influence in games anyway. I did not think Heath was very influential at all prior to this season in the NWSL. I think she’s been great for the Thorns this year though and has been by far their best attacking player. The Thorns really struggled offensively in the Seattle game she was suspended for.

            As for the Olympics it seems kind of silly to criticize the shot that resulted in the only goal when taking it a little earlier wouldn’t have made the angle much better anyway and it still resulted in a goal. She was also better than Morgan, Lloyd and Dunn who were all anonymous from the France game and barely had any positive touches to speak of. I thought that both Dunn and Pugh were better in the Sweden match though. Pugh made a couple of great passes from the hole in the first half and had some good 1v1’s on the wing. She was less effective as the game moved on when she was moved to right wing. Regardless of your opinion of any of the players it’s a very small sample size to judge anyone.

      • Ethan

        ertelmetlen might be a bit over the top, but I agree that Heath is overrated from an offensive standpoint. Posters here were claiming that she was influential in the Sweden match, and things got worse when she moved back. On the other hand, I didn’t think Heath was influential. She saw a lot of the ball, but Dunn and Pugh were far more effective/influential with the ball than Heath was throughout the match. Plus, I think she’s had periods of play where she’s been very loose with possession in the NWSL this season.

        Note: Heath’s “assist” for Lloyd against France wouldn’t be one according to NWSL rules and a number of viewers.

        • ARED

          Either way, Heath did a lot more to create that goal than Lloyd did. ; )

          I think Heath and Pugh were by far the USA’s most effective and dangerous players in attack (combining with teammates and creating chances), unfortunately the team struggled in this area as usual. Dunn did pretty well as well, although has she an unfortunate knack to make a great play/run, but misplay the final pass (or dribble too long).

          Heath and Pugh were fouled quite a lot, which stops them from actually creating chances at times. They also hit a wall when they can’t reach Morgan, because Lloyd does not help in this phase (much), so they either force something or cycle the ball back. Long did well from the holding role, but obviously was not forward often to do more than play the first penetrating pass (which she does well). Brian had a few glimpses but was very often not able to connect/create.

          So, all that to say -I think in a broken system, Heath and Pugh were excellent (and Morgan, Long, and Dunn were good). But they all were fighting an uphill battle even before reaching the Sweden match. As ever, the best chances come on set pieces, b/c they haven’t figured out how to create enough good chances from open play.

    • ARED

      I have not seen many people say Heath should play #10, although she definitely has had better press in 2016 and perhaps a few mentions.

      I have suggested her as a possible option in a central/CAM/#10 role -but this is mostly because the USWNT has a massive problem in that role right now (Lloyd), and so I feel any possible alternative should be considered. I believe Press, Pugh, and Heath would all be clear upgrades -of course with a big asterisk which depends on how you want to play. If you want to play fast and fluid, with a lot of ball movement and combination play, then I think obviously these players excel at this while others struggle with it. If the USA continues to haphazardly claim they want to play that way, the players who try will continue to suffer because they need support and do not receive it in key areas at key moments.

      In general when I see Heath or Pugh get the ball, I see that they first want to turn or play a first time pass. Often the first time pass is not available, so they turn/dribble. Then they check again, pass if they can or hold the ball. Then they check again. Usually after 2-3 defenders come you either have made a play or lost the ball, even for the best players. So when Heath (or Pugh) is “hesitating” and making bad decisions, I believe she is often actually just trying to hold the ball and allow teammates to get into good positions. I do feel she could be more decisive when it comes to attacking a defense individually and working for her own shot, but that is not really her way of play (especially since she rarely receives good balls to do so).

      I believe these are passing players, and they are trying to combine with teammates. I think by centering your team on these players (Heath, Pugh, Press, Long, Klingenberg, O’Hara -with Morgan who can fit well enough) you allow the future of the US offense to progress naturally as these players help the team, not themselves, create and score goals.

      • rkmid71

        Obviously, if you care about speed of play, passing is fastest. Pugh is very fast with the ball, but it seems like she instinctively knows that combining with teammates is still the best first option. She has probably faced packed defenses and double teams her entire youth career so it comes relatively naturally at this point. Also, what do you think about trying out Horan in that #10 role? She’s not quick, but she can hold the ball and is a good passer and I believe a team player. I think of her like a Holiday type. I like fast and fluid — taking advantage of the US speed and quickness. It’s logical that you’re likely to see a lot more movement if you had a dynamic passing oriented player in that #10 role — after-all, as a player you have a much better chance that all your work off the ball would be rewarded occasionally. Also, like many others, I’m in favor of transforming this team now and giving lots of new players chances, expanding the # of players allocated — perhaps you can keep overall cost similar by reducing per player salaries.

        • ARED

          Your example of Pugh is great -she is clearly one of the best running with the ball, yet she still only does it if she has to or is in a great 1v1 position. Her decision making and lack of turnovers are what make me say she is truly a great player, not just her speed/dribbling/etc.

          Horan is the player I am most unsure of on the current US roster. She obviously has a lot of talent and usually plays a smart passing game herself as you say. As I said, I believe anyone but Lloyd should be given chances because I think that is the teams biggest problem, so while Horan wouldn’t be my first choice I’d certainly take a look if I were Ellis. I think Horan’s speed is obviously a factor, but also I believe her speed of play/passing is actually slower still than a player like Long (or certainly Pugh/Heath). It’s hard to know though, because we just haven’t really seen it (at this level). She is young and still developing, and we haven’t seen Ellis use her in an effective way yet -whether that’s as a forward, CAM, or holding mid -.

          I do prefer faster players like Morgan/Press/Pugh/Heath/Dunn in attacking positions, because in WoSo so much of the game is about simply running fast/hard and overwhelming the defenders -either by a good pass and run, or often even just pressure and giveaways which create the best chances. I think these 3 years should be the time Horan is given a real chance to find a role with the US. But, I also believe that should happen with players who might compete with her for it -some of whom I might expect will surpass her. But, my real expectation is that the USA slogs forward with too little change/experimentation, and all players have trouble finding new/better/bigger roles.

  • Steglitz49

    The initial estimates are that 2.5m Swedes watched the final. That is about 28% of the population.

    28% of the US population is about 85m. >9x Sweden’s population.

  • Gary Diver

    Request

    Could somebody please explain to Jill Ellis the concept of a counter-attack? She can’t defend against it and doesn’t seem to teach it as a tactic to her own players.

    • Steglitz49

      Counter-attacks do not come in tomato-cans.

  • Gary Diver

    Take-Aways

    1. USWNT was badly out coached.

    2. USWNT played as a group of individuals, not as an integrated team with a sense of unity and purpose.

    3. USWNT never seemed to play with a different game plan for each opponent.

    4. USWNT was not good at improvising on the field when the situation required it.

    • Frode

      These are symptoms of arrogance and overconfidence of coaching staff and select players. Only one player so far has uttered the “H” word, humility. That was Alex Morgan.

  • HOFCToDi

    Takeaways from the Rio 2016 Olympics:

    United States women’s national basketball team is a dynasty while the United States women’s national football team is a bunch of overpaid spoiled brats.

    • Gary Diver

      Actually, you’ve made a very good point. I was thinking the same thing as I watched the end of the Olympics basketball final. The basketball players showed much more class, much better team effort, and much better work ethic to be all they can be than the USWNT players. And they are also a much humbler group of athletes.

      • HOFCToDi

        Association football is a niche sport in the United States. Association football in the United States is the third most popular team sport amongst high school females, trailing basketball and volleyball.

        • Steglitz49

          I can see it trailing basket but how come volleyball?

          • frosty

            American high schools have multi-use gyms that are ubiquitously equipped with volleyball and basketball courts. Gridiron is the outdoor sport of choice and it’s much harder to have a multi-use outdoor field

    • Craigaroo

      Boy that’s harsh and uncalled for. International women’s soccer (football) is a much more competitive sport than international women’s basketball. True, right? Pretty simple, right?

      • HOFCToDi

        Women’s basketball was established at the Summer Olympics in calendar year 1976. Women’s football was established at the Summer Olympics in calendar year 1996.

        The inaugural season for the Women’s National Basketball Association was calendar year 1997. Meanwhile, two women’s professional association football leagues have gone bankrupt in that time frame.

        • Craigaroo

          What are you babbling about? What is your point?

          • HOFCToDi

            The FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup was established in 1953. The FIFA Women’s World Cup was established in 1991.

          • Craigaroo

            What are you babbling about? What is your point? The US women’s basketball team just won its 6th straight Olympics gold medal. Kind of proves my point about international women’s soccer being more competitive than international women’s basketball.

          • Lorehead

            He’s found a line that annoys us more than Christen Press bad, Carli Lloyd good. Trolling is his point.

          • HOFCToDi

            As if association football is the only athletic endeavor for women when other international sporting activities were long established prior to the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

          • Lorehead

            I’m sure a lot of people here like women’s golf or tennis or netball too, and good for them.

          • HOFCToDi

            See below where association football stands in the hierarchy of the American sporting landscape.

          • HOFCToDi

            Christen Press is such a “star” for the Chicago Red Stars that the average attendance for the 2016 NWSL Season of 2,987 is down from the average attendance for the 2009 WPS Season of 4,928 at Toyota Park.

      • Gary Diver

        HOFCToDi has made a great point.

        US women’s basketball team only plays as a team during the Olympics and world championships. This current team has been together for only one month.

        Did you actually listen to the basketball players? Totally about “the Team” and nothing about “me”. I did not see anything selfish like we saw with Megan Rapinoe needing to be on the roster when she wasn’t even healthy, let alone match ready.

        After the Swedish loss, some of the veterans said they (the veterans) deserved a chance for redemption in four years. How selfish! The last thing USWNT needs is a team of 30+ year olds who have a mission of righting personal slights to their egos.

        Also, countries are not suppose to have full-time national teams, but that essentially what USWNT is. They have an unfair advantage over other national teams in terms of players and resources and at OG16 did everything possible to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory.

        USWNT players and Jill Ellis could learn a lot from the basketball players in terms of humility and putting the team first. Remember there is no “I” in team.

        • Steglitz49

          At the same time, the US is leagues beyond the ROW in basket so they can get away with a little camp. The US does not excell to the same extent in handball and this OG their ladies volleyball team went out to Serbia.

          • Gary Diver

            Volleyball is really in a league by itself. Every point is a battle and usually most games are close. Also, if any of the top teams played each other 5 times in a row, often it would end up being a 3-2 outcome. And personally I found volleyball the most stressful sport to watch.

          • Steglitz49

            The US are not as dominant in volleyball as in basket in spite of having some seriously tall players.

          • Gary Diver

            It seemed to me that all of the top volleyball teams had “seriously tall players”.

          • Steglitz49

            Karsta Lowe is 6’4″. She may not be the tallest though.

          • Steglitz49

            China won the gold, defeating Serbia the banes of the US.

          • rkmid71

            It hasn’t always been that way. The former Soviet Union crushed the US women basketball team 112-77 in 1976 and went on to win gold. The US won silver. The Soviets women won in 1976, 1980, boycotted LA in 1984, bronze in 1988, and gold again in 1982. To hear the 1976 players talk about playing that Soviet team today is funny. The USSR team had a center center, Uljana Semjonova, who was 6’11”. They hadn’t lost in 5 years going into the 1976 Olympics. And nobody thought the US would even qualify — they had to figure out uniforms last minute as none had been made. In my mind, the main difference between USA basketball and soccer is coaching. Coach Geno puts up with ZERO nonsense. If they don’t perform, play defense, play as a team, etc., they sit on the bench with him. It doesn’t matter what their past accolades may have been.

          • ertelmetlen

            “In my mind, the main difference between USA basketball and soccer is coaching”

            Maybe in your mind. The reality is that the talent discrepancy between the US basketball (both men and women) and international teams is astronomical. In contrast I’m not even sure if the USWNT is has the strongest 23 players, be even if that is the case the difference is not on significant. The US could probably field 3-4 basketball teams that would be competitive in an international tournament.

            Yes, the USWNT has a lot of talent, yes they could use some better coaching (most women’s football teams could unfortunately, the lack of qualtiy coaches is one of the anchors holding back woso) but this comparison is terrible. Maybe there is better comradeship in the basketball team, but that is not the reason why they dominate while the USWNT isn’t (although they are the most successful national football team).

          • rkmid71

            Astronomical? Do you realize that other countries are littered with NBA players (Ginobli, Tony Parker, Gasol, Bogot, Delladova, Rubio, Yao Ming in the old days, etc) — more than ever. Many on NBA champion teams. The difference is part talent and a lot of depth.

          • ertelmetlen

            I watch NBA regularly. You managed to bring up some pretty meh examples as Manu, Parker, the Gasol brothers are all well beyond their primes and don’t even play on the same team. I’m not sure why do you bring up the men’s team as they are not very well coached, missing some of their best players (LBJ, Curry, Westbrook, CP3 …) and still winning pretty comfortably. They don’t play defence, playing suboptimal lineups, generally just screwing around and still winning comfortably. Yes, there are a lot of great international players, but there is not a single team other than the USA which could send out a staring 5 with 5 NBA superstars and still have 5-10 star players sitting on the bench.

            The original post was about the women’s basketball team. Yes the difference is astronomical. If you watched the women’s olympics basketball final, the difference in the talent level was not even comparable to any football final ever.

          • NYRick

            If LeBron, Curry, Westbrook, CP3, Wade and few others who skipped the OG were on the roster, I would say that there is not one international player who could make the US squad. I’m an NBA fan too and of course I know about Parker, Ginoboli and the Gasols, Rubio etc., but an argument can be made that even they would be on the bubble to make the US team IF everyone showed up and put the hat in the ring to be on the team.

            For the women’s team, it’s downright absurd. There is NOT one international player who could make their roster of 15.

          • rkmid71

            What Swedish player could make the USWNT? What is the US recent record versus Sweden.

          • ertelmetlen

            Who could make the USWNT starting 11 from the Swedish team: Seger, Aslani, Lotta, Jakobsson, Blackstenius, and the defenders would be in play for at least two of the non-Becky spots. I’m not saying these would be definitely starters for the US team, but could compete for a starting spot.

          • rkmid71

            You mean like these int’l players playing in the WNBA: Natalie Onchowa (Indiana Fever, Canada), Penny Taylor (Phoenix Mercury, Australia), Ramu Tokashiki (Seattle Storm, Japan), Sonja Petrovic (Phoenix Mercury, Serbia), Ana Dabovic (LA Sparks, Serbia) etc.

          • ertelmetlen

            I assume you googled “international WNBA players” 🙂
            Non of them would be considered. Most of the players you listed play less than 10 mpg.

          • Steglitz49

            10 miles per gallon? A gallon of what? Alcoholfree beer?

          • Craigaroo

            Penny Taylor, maybe, but admittedly I haven’t seen her much in a couple years and she’s starting to get up there in age.

          • Steglitz49

            You could be facetious and say: all of them. “ertelmetlen” has given you a list. This is my view:

            Stina Blackstenius would start (with Alex). Jessica Samuelsson in defense. Lisa Dahlkvist is 29 so not relevant for WC-19 but would be in a current 1st XI.

            In addition, players like Sofia Jakobsson, Linda Sembrant (in spite of her own goal), Fridolina Rolfö and Pauline Hammarlund would all be assets. Seger, Fischer and Lotta are getting a bit long in the tooth, while Asllani is a bit too slight for the modern game.

          • Craigaroo

            Penny Taylor of Australia, maybe. Definitely 4 to 8 years ago. Of course, back then there was her compatriot Lauren Jackson, too.

          • Steglitz49

            My criticism was ladies basket. Nevertheless, the US men dominate too.

            The depth is obvious. When a US player, male or female, fouls out and almost as good comes in. Other NTs do not have that depth.

          • Steglitz49

            This is true and your point is well taken. At the same time, the coaches that take on the NT job have all been strong characters who run their own show.

          • ARED

            Perhaps the answer is that: At their respective talent levels compared to the competition, US Women’s Basketball has generally maximized it’s output, while USWNT sometimes seems to and sometimes doesn’t (due to system/manager issues mostly, but sometimes player/leadership issues).

            It’s not just about how much better you are, or about how well you perform, it’s about a combination of the two. And I do think the WBball team is probably higher on both measures -although with less pressure and almost never even a close match, I think it is easier to coast along above the fray and avoid many pitfalls.

        • Lorehead

          The coach’s selections are on her, not the players. It’s not Pinoe’s job to decide, “Okay, it looks like I’m not the very best American player at my position any longer, so I am honor-bound to retire from club and country.” It’s Jill Ellis’ to decide whether she’s in good enough shape to make the roster. If Pinoe gets back in shape and tells Ellis she’s available, she’s doing the right thing.

          • Steglitz49

            Which makes me suspect that JE was under enormous pressure to select Pinoe not the other way round.

            Just as she carried some past-it veterans to Canada, so she reasoned that it was easier to carry one passenger than pick a fight. JE did not expect the US to be dismissed in the QF.

          • Gary Diver

            So, will Ellis be under pressure to ensure this group of veterans have an opportunity for redemption four years from now? What change in the USWNT roster did not come about from retirements or pregnancies? Where will HAO, A-Rod, and Leroux fit in next year? Is nobody wants to retire, is there a roster bottleneck to prevent any new blood?

          • Steglitz49

            JE should do all she legally can to make a fresh start. Whether she will be allowed to by her lords and masters is a different question.

            JE could have a career like Silvia Neid. The difference is that there were Euros for Silvia to win during the lean cycles and, by all accounts, the players seem to have loved and cherished Silvia.

          • Gary Diver

            Are you saying that if Rapinoe knew she was not healthy enough to be on the field, she could not remove herself from consideration? Isn’t that what Rampone did? Or am I wrong? Then again people have always said Rampone has class.

          • Steglitz49

            He is defending Pinoe. I don’t understand why.

          • Lorehead

            I’m saying that she didn’t have to. It’s not the players’ responsibility to cut themselves.

          • Steglitz49

            It is a player’s responsibility to keep the head coach informed about her progress and how she feels herself. If she has any doubt about her fitness etc, she is honor bound to fess up.

          • NYRick

            $.

            It’s that simple. A win and a VT could net another 100-150K per player plus any add’l endorsements for a star. Pinoe is a visible star and one of the faces of the team. No way was she staying home. There is no honor on this team. Just talk.

          • Steglitz49

            Thank you.

            The other players must assume and believe that there was no lingering doubts about Pinoe’s fitness and ability. Hope obviously was convinced seeing that she lashed out at the Swedes.

          • NYRick

            Yes you’re right in theory on that. But you are smart enough to know from closely following this program that’s not necessarily how it works. And that’s not even being a conspiracist. Pinoe was going to be on this team hell or high water and that went back to even about April/May. Everyone knew it. The players on the bubble totally knew it.

          • Lorehead

            So, blame the system, not the player. Is there another economic model for the NWSL where a deallocated player could make enough to live on? Because of course the players want financial security. And make sure the next coach is loyal but not too loyal.

          • NYRick

            Yes I blame the system. I think allocation should rise to 45 players in the US pool to choose from, and I think allocation should only run for 1 calendar year going from Jan 1 to Dec 31st every year. At the start of the new year, the 45 is revised. Also I am not in agreement with the pregnancy leave not because it isn’t an important, but because a player has the opportunity to manipulate it and milk it to the detriment of the other up and comers in the system.

          • Lorehead

            I don’t like systems that force people to lie in order to be able to support themselves, then blame them for being liars. For example, when Amy Rodriguez signed her new contract and then told the USWNT she was pregnant, they had to let her come back. But, if she’d told them she was pregnant and then asked for a new contract, well, who here would have questioned their decision to replace her with Christen Press? So of course she didn’t.

            A conservative really should support job security for athletes who get pregnant, albeit for different reasons than me: a policy by a monopolist that pregnant employees get fired is really, when you think about it, a policy that any soccer player who gets pregnant must have an abortion or her career as a professional soccer player is over.

          • Steglitz49

            Who is going to pay for all that?

            As for pregnancy, it is a great asset to the image of the team and game. ARod and Syd are great examples to young ladies. “Look! You can play this game at top level and start a family.”

          • guest

            i blame the player when she shows up for a game out of shape and can’t even play 20 minutes.

          • guest

            no doubt. megan rapinoe was going to be on the uswnt rio olympic team even if she was only 5 minutes fit. the uswnt gang of five strike back.

          • guest

            players have a responsibility to not hurt the team. players have a responsibility to show up in shape for games. megan rapinoe wasn’t even 20 minutes fit. rapinoe and the coach bear responsibility for that. rapinoe not only hurt the team she helped cost the uswnt a gold medal.

          • ARED

            There is room in a roster for a player who cannot play more than as a “supersub” -if the manager decides they have enough strength/youth/stamina in the rest of the roster.

            You could even argue that the USA was losing when Rapinoe came on and even 1-1 when she came off, so the substitution worked and Rapinoe helped the USA make it to extra time at all. You could further defend it by saying the 4th substitution lessens the blow of subbing out a sub just put on.

            Rapinoe rightfully felt she played a big role on the WC winning team 13 months ago -so it’s logical to think you can play a small role on a winning team even at a lesser personal level.

          • guest

            it is logical to think rapinoe could play a small role on the team if she was thirty minutes fit and in-form. however, rapinoe wasn’t even 20 minutes fit. and she wasn’t close to being in-form because she hadn’t played in a competitive game in nine months. if rapinoe would have played in some games prior to the olympics like she and the coach said, then we would have know this prior to the middle of an olympic knockout game. it is not logical to put in a a player and blow two subs on someone that is not even 20 minutes fit and in bad form at the end of a knockout game which is going to overtime. that is absurd. putting in lindsey horan for her heading ability against the swedish bunker would have have been a better option. and to say the sub worked because another forward scored off a defender face deflection is not very logical. the uswnt won every olympic game until rapinoe started subbing on. then they never won another game. megan rapinoe did not help the team in any phase of the game except costing the uswnt a gold medal.

          • guest

            and a responsibility to be in-form for games.

          • mockmook

            Players can think with their hearts, coaches need to think with their heads.

          • NYRick

            I agree with your general premise. The point that most miss is that it sets an example. Abby set an example for Carli right now that she is exercising. Pinoe playing (let’s say to give her the benefit of the doubt at 90-95% even) sets a bad precedent for the next WC or OG. Next time it could be JJ or even Pugh who is struggling to get back from an injury before a major event. The US should have a strong enough pool to pick 18 or 23 players who are 100% healthy first and foremost. Star power wins the day on the US team. They actually came very close of not winning the WC last year and that win masked a lot of warts that just surfaced.

            The US women’s b-ball team is all about just winning. Yes, they have a powerhouse team. A ridiculously skilled team over even their nearest comp, but they absolutely don’t care who the star is. They just play for the gold medal. Lloyd playing 90 and being basically unmovable in any big game tells you all you need to know about the USWNT.

          • mockmook

            The next logical question is: Would the B-Ball players be such class acts and so un-selfish if they were losing games?

          • NYRick

            That’s a great question. I can’t recall that team even being challenged in a game (as in they have never played anyone in the OG or World Games in their history with a mild chance of beating them). Winning makes everyone all warm and fuzzy.

          • rkmid71

            Adversity tests character. You never know until you’re faced with it. The best example of class and unselfishness in pro sports that I can think of is San Antonio Spurs. Win or lose, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker are class acts, led by Duncan and Coach Popovich. There is that quote: Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.

          • Craigaroo

            Exactly so why are you along with Hall of Fame Comment Putz of the Year waving the US women’s basketball team in the soccer team’s face?

          • guest

            to be fair, the uswnt players waved their team in front of the usmnt’s face first.

          • Steglitz49

            You/they are sounding like Wimbledon.

          • rkmid71

            Or Don Quixote.

          • Steglitz49

            Rudyard Kipling, surely? Or, do I mean Rider Haggard?

          • rkmid71

            “I always prefer to believe the best of everybody, it saves so much trouble.”

          • Steglitz49

            US ladies basket has a long string of strong coaches who expect the best, starting probably before the late Pat Summit. Jody Conradt springs to mind. Remember the “Summit Stare”. Most people interested in sport can name several women basket coaches, not just Geno, Tara Vanderveer and Kay Yow.

          • rkmid71

            I would add Muffet McGraw to your list from Notre Dame and Vivian Stringer. Pat Summit played on the USA’s first Olympic basketball team in 1976 — basically a player coach. She was a trailblazer. Amazing woman.

          • Steglitz49

            Vivian Stringer (Rutgers?) I remember and there was the old lady at LSU who got respiratory problems.

          • rkmid71

            Yep. Sue Gunter at LSU. Gunter also played on USNT which competed against those great Soviet teams. She was Asst Coach of the 1976 team and was head coach of the 1980 Olympic team that ended up not playing due to US boycott.

          • ARED

            Rampone -after a long time of trying to fight/ignore/deny it -did admit this. I don’t believe she would have if there weren’t 4+ centerbacks who were obviously going to be chosen before her, and only 3 of those would even make the roster. This was the player version of a manger “resigning” when the team tells him/her they plan to fire him/her.

            Rapinoe was healthy enough to be on the field. Perhaps not for 90 minutes, but she was on the field and despite some feeling she wasn’t very good, I think she was certainly full of energy and looked pretty mobile.

          • mockmook

            “she was certainly full of energy and looked pretty mobile.”

            Not for very long. And, that forced others to make up her minutes. There was no margin for error on a 18 player roster with no rest.

          • Steglitz49

            It could be argued that without Pinoe the US would have lost 1-0 in regulation. They ought to have lost 1-0 anyway but Pinoe got away with a foul. The rest is history.

          • ARED

            Right. All along I said it was up to Ellis, but if Rapinoe was able to play 20-30 minutes I’d consider her a good and dangerous option to have. The key would be Ellis knowing what Rapinoe could give and managing it -not sure she did either.

          • ARED

            Ding Ding Ding!

            This of course has been the answer to the Rapinoe controversy from the start. It’s Ellis’ job to make these decisions, it’s the player’s job to make the decisions difficult.

          • guest

            it’s the players job to be in shape and in-form. rapinoe failed. its the coaches job to pick the best roster. ellis failed. those two failures were big reasons for the uswnt not winning the gold medal. this is the worst performance in the history of the uswnt. rapinoe and ellis should both be fired from the uswnt for their actions.

          • guest

            and it sets a terrible precedent for the future of the uswnt

          • Steglitz49

            Verily.

          • WOSO Fan

            Was Rapinoe required to pass a fitness test?

          • Steglitz49

            Don’t ask awkward though obvious questions.

          • dw

            Absolutely. The trainer asked her if she was fit, and her reply was “100%”.

          • ARED

            In my opinion Carli Lloyd was not in shape and hasn’t been in form (aside from set pieces) in 4 years. And she plays a much bigger role. in 2015 Wambach, Boxx, and Chalupny couldn’t keep up in friendlies yet went to the World Cup. It’s relative, and it’s the manager’s job to make these decisions.

            Rapinoe was healthy enough to run, cut, and move freely. She played some good balls and some bad ones. How does that differ from any other player? As a player coming back from an injury like that, you will fight and pray to make that team. I do not see how you can begrudge her for trying. At least she knew when healthy she was still a top player, unlike Wambach/Boxx/Chalupny -who were all clearly not top players even if they were healthy.

          • Guest

            “aside from set pieces”
            With the exception of the WWC final, has her form on set pieces really been anything of note? Her free kicks go into the stands and she scored a header against Costa Rica in the buildup and one against Trinidad and Tobago that went through the keepers legs. Other than that, ?????

          • ARED

            Well if you count penalties and crosses from corners/set pieces, then yes, it’s of note. Not necessarily anything they can’t get from other players or anything that should keep her in the starting lineup though.

            Her free kicks have been bad forever really, with an odd decent one thrown in every so often. Her taking a single free kick at the Olympics was a fire-able offense in my opinion (for Ellis -and Lloyd…lol).

          • Steglitz49

            It is the player’s “job” to be honest and true to her team. By job read “duty and joy” if it feels better for you.

          • ARED

            I believe Rapinoe was honest -she thought she could help the team. So did Carli Lloyd, Hope Solo, and Heather O’Reilley. It’s Ellis job to determine who actually can.

            I doubt Rapinoe had successfully lied and said “trust me, I can play a full 90!”…..

          • Steglitz49

            The issue is whether she was hopefully honest or honestly honest.

            When everything is said and done, the US had every reason to believe that they could beat Sweden, who had been trounced by Brazil and struggled against South-Africa and China.

        • Craigaroo

          No he doesn’t. I’m giving you a pass because clearly you have no idea that in women’s basketball out of the top 15 players in the world, about 12-13 of them are from the US and it’s been this way for the last 20 years.

          • rkmid71

            I disagree — I think it’s a good point. The USWNT also has by far the deepest talent pool and can roster far more “top players” than other country. As has been pointed out before, a US B team would be among the top teams in the world. The main difference is coaching.

          • mockmook

            While I agree that coaching/management is a huge factor in USWNT malfunctions, we must recognize that a basketball blow-out win of 100-50 is similar to a soccer squeaker of 2-1

            So, the USWNT is far more likely to lose on “luck” than the equivalent “dominant” basketball team.

          • rkmid71

            That might be stretching it. Maybe 100-75 or 70-50. But I agree that soccer is unique in terms of fewer scoring opportunities and complicated by field size, 11 players, etc. You can have 65-70% possession, fire off 30 shots on goal to an opponent’s 4-5 and still lose. And I recall Tim Howard set WC record with 16 saves against Belgium which they lost 2-1.

          • ARED

            Exactly. Part of the beauty (and cruelty) of soccer is that you don’t get any credit for long periods of dominance. In basketball any long period of dominance (even 5 minutes) would result in a tangible boost on the scoreboard. In volleyball or tennis someone gets a point after each “point” -even if both teams are terrible, so again any dominance is rewarded.

          • Steglitz49

            Soccer is a lot more popular round the world than either basket of volleyball.

          • Steglitz49

            You only need to go to this years QFs.

          • Steglitz49

            Utter garbage. 100-50 is more like 7-1 in 2014 or 8-1 in 1981.

            How often does the USWNT defeat a top 8 ranked team by more than 4 goals? I guess it has happened but not too often.

          • HOFCToDi

            I don’t hear the screams of “equal pay, equal play” from the United States women’s national basketball team. Meanwhile, the Women’s National Basketball Association has remained solvent since 1997 while two professional women’s association football leagues have gone bankrupt.

          • guest

            Aren’t WNBA teams owned by NBA teams though? Big difference.

          • HOFCToDi

            Doesn’t three MLS teams own NWSL franchises?

            si.com/planet-futbol/2016/04/21/don-garber-mls-expansion-miami-st-louis-sacramento-nwsl-equal-pay

            It’s not the responsibility of the USSF for the NWSL to remain solvent.

          • Craigaroo

            Honestly. And here I thought your hate here in the Comments section was confined to Christen Press. OK, good to know…

          • Bruce

            Nah. he just hates on women in general.

          • HOFCToDi

            The USWNT turned a profit in FY’16 (fiscal year ending March 31, 2016) does not make up for the 29 previous years of financial losses. The members of the USWNTPA developed fat heads and are now seen as sore losers in the aftermath of an Olympic quarterfinal loss.

          • David K Anderson

            Blocked that one, too. It’s a tool worth using (and some posters are tools worth blocking).

          • Craigaroo

            You know the top salaries in the WNBA are around $100,000, don’t you, and many of the top players get paid hundreds of thousands of dollars more to play overseas in the WNBA off-season — in spite of the fact that none of these teams are making money? Good for the WNBA players but IT ISN’T THE US WOMEN’S SOCCER PLAYERS FAULT if the owners of American soccer teams insist on running closer to break-even than owners of the WNBA are willing to.

          • HOFCToDi

            You know two previous professional women’s association football leagues have gone bankrupt this century?

          • Craigaroo

            Yes and I also know it has nothing to do with the US basketball team being some deserved goddess-like dynasty. Because as I said and everyone else but you knows international women’s soccer is more competitive than international women’s basketball which is a fact which you have neither the decency nor intellectual capacity apparently to deal with. Also, it’s not the fault of women soccer players that, for some reason, owners of women’s basketball teams, in far-flung places like Russia for example, don’t mind throwing all kinds of cash at top US players.

          • Steglitz49

            American WNT players have played in Europe not just before they got on the team like Hope and Press but Tobin swanned off to PSG while Pinoe to Lyon. The difference is that the women basketball (and volleyball) players can go to Russia in their off season, like the Australian soccer players can come to the NWSL.

            There is no reason why US women can’t go abroad to play but thiese 16+2 may not be offered terribly generous terms after Rio. College seniors look like better catches.

          • HOFCToDi

            Diana Taurasi indirectly stuck it to the USWNT in her post game interview.

          • Craigaroo

            I’m just going to be my normal diplomatic self on this. It’s not a good point. It’s an asinine, ignorant one to think international women’s basketball has anywhere near the competitive balance as international women’s soccer.

          • guest

            i think the a uswnt B team has a good chance of being a top 10 team in the world with the same resources and training as the uswnt team. certainly at goalie. but i do wonder between the defenders, midfielders and forwards which would be more likely to be weaker?

          • ARED

            I think calling 18 players “spoiled brats” is certainly too far, and of course there are big differences in the sports, the field, the history, etc.

            But, I think it would be fair to say that USA Basketball truly dominates the world, far beyond how the USWNT does (even though sometimes it seems the USWNT acts/believes they are at that level of dominance). And that the USWNT at times has shown poorly in regards to being about the team and the country over the individual, and in regards to having a good perspective about what they are doing -playing a game to represent their nation. It is not about (insert name) proving they are the best or increasing their star/earning power due to the platform. Those things might come as well after team success, but I’m not sure they don’t influence the team negatively -which suggest they are being prioritized before the team’s success.

            And, I would argue that a national team’s success is not only defined by the result….

          • Craigaroo

            Who’s disputing that USA basketball dominates the world in a way the USA soccer team doesn’t? That’s my point, isn’t it, so what are you talking about? What are you babbling about? What is so great, so insightful, about Hall of Fame Commenter Tony DiCicco’s fanboy’s snark that usually-sane people feel the need to come to the defense? It’s a whole lot easier to say all the right things about team, togetherness, and apple pie when you win every game by 20 points, right? That’s the point.

          • ARED

            HOF and many others seem very negative about the USWNT. You seemed to take offense, although I wasn’t overly clear on your opinion beyond not liking HOF’s insult.

            I said “the insult was too much, but maybe some of this negativity is founded in something more legitimate.”. Because I believe the USWNT has often been held back by misguided management/leadership/individual play and focus. But, of course any comparison to basketball is a bit -or maybe a lot -of a stretch.

            Obviously you are invested into this specific conversation more than I, so sorry to add to any negative feelings. I was just trying to separate the multiple aspects of the topic, and be clear about things without resorting to short or exaggerated conclusions. That does take some babbling sometimes….

            If you are an American fan are you happy with their performance 100%?

          • Steglitz49

            Provided that the 16+2 US players had played with the verve and panache we know they can, Sweden would have been chanceless and Germany would have lost to the US.

            No commentator has explained how the US went out to the Swedes when even the officiating crew was on the US’s side. It was quite an achievement to lose that match.

          • ARED

            Because Elliis’ midfield and attack are poor, and this time Sauerbrunn (and Johnston) was a step or two out of position allowing Blackstenius too much space. All USWNT members are used to getting away with a few small errors like this, because most WoSo nations have trouble following through from opening, to chance, to finishing, but Blackstenius didn’t on that play.

          • Steglitz49

            I suspect that they had not done their homework and did not know how dangerous Stina Blackstenius is. Why Pia did not start her against Germany in the final is a mystery.

            Lisa Dahlkvist was a known entity to the US at least from WC-11.

            The Germans, who also did a lot attacking, had better organization in midfield. Though their CB were quite slow, there defense kept its structure.

          • ARED

            Yes, I think the USA can be overconfident in defending at times (at all 11 positions). They do not always take good starting positions because they are used to the opposition not actually getting a good pass off anyway, and when they do they US players are usually fast enough to recover anyway (and if they fail Solo usually bails them out).

            Similarly, they tend to try to win the ball on the attacking side of a challenge a lot, which is great if it works but allows the opponent to run free if you lose the challenge. Most defenders are taught to stay between the goal and the attacker, but whether it was not knowing or not respecting how dangerous/fast Blackstenius is they did not have good positioning and for once were unable to dodge the bullet.

        • Reality

          “countries are not suppose to have full-time national teams”
          Rubbish. There’s no FIFA rule that says a nation state cannot have a full-time team. BTW, the US team is not full time: its members play in the NWSL for several months each year.

          • Steglitz49

            There is an unwritten rule. After WC-11 and OG-12, the influential FAs complained to FIFA that the USWNT was playing as a club side and that there was no domestic league. The NWSL was a direct result from that.

            FIFA (and UEFA) has made it clear that soccer is a club game on to which a national team is a superstructure.

          • HOFCToDi

            FIFA is allowing Russia, the land of state sponsored pharmacology, to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup. FIFA is inept and corrupt.

          • Steglitz49

            The old FIFA awarded that WC. It was before the state collusion was known. I guess there are legal structures that would make it hard if not impossible for FIFA to cancel the contract.

        • Paul Klee

          Just a point about basketball v football. Substitution rules play a big part in perceived and the reality of selfishness.

          • guest

            i would like rules for football subs increased to at least five.

          • Steglitz49

            I doubt that that will happen. They have added one sub for extra time. That took a long while.

            Subs were first introduced in WC-70.

          • ARED

            That would change the game entirely (and not for the better in my opinion). Players want to play, and sometimes it takes 45 minutes for a match/player to develop. If you are always changing the players it will be even harder for quality to show (but you may see more “action” from energetic challenges and such).

          • guest

            i didn’t mean all five subs had to be used. but could be helpful not to have to waste all subs on injured players. you could also have subs of subs for offensive players. might allow for some specialist type players as well during a game. just an idea.

          • ARED

            Fair idea -just not one I’m in favor of. ; )

          • Silver Frost

            Mia Hamm seemed to do alright at UNC with limitless subs.

          • mockmook

            But, I think it does make the viewing experience more choppy.

            Also, I like how the 3 sub limit means that many players are tested to the limits of their endurance — that’s a beautiful part of the “character” of the game.

          • Steglitz49

            It would take the tactical element away and also favor big teams too much.

          • Steglitz49

            In 1999 the USWNT defeated Japan 9-0. It is the worst loss for the Nadeshiko. In 2011 Japan became world champions.

          • ARED

            In my opinion NCAA sometimes seems to barely even be soccer in part because of the substitutions and the clock. I’m not saying a player cannot play well or succeed (especially in the past, when the competition was not good) -I’m just saying a team with tactics to run/knock the good players off the ball can always have fresh players to do it. And watching the game is often quite bad, as passing connections are strained or non-existent.

            So as a player like Marta wears herself down trying to break open a game with skill/passing/dribbling/etc, the opponent (say Sweden or Canada) can have several players run like crazy to stop her, than change them for another group, and this has a bad effect I believe. In general, soccer has been a game wear players have to be well-wounded in speed/stamina as well as skill in attack and defense. Allow all these subs changes that too much for me.

    • Silver Frost

      Overpaid? The US ballers make millions in salary (mostly in foreign leagues) compared with $200,000 for US soccer stars.

      • Steglitz49

        We lived next to an antiques dealer for a dozen years or so. Each time I asked him — “what is this worth?” — he answered me — “Whatever anyone is prepared to pay for it and neither more nor less”.

        Maybe the USSF will play their sorry excuses of players $50,000 a year all inclusive now?

    • dw

      I’m OK with spoiled brats. Other WNT’s forfeit games because of no airfare; don’t have budget for new kits, don’t have changing rooms at training facilities, don’t have trainers, etc. etc.
      Yet our WNT somehow isn’t paid highly enough for their liking?

      • Guest

        Does any other WNT in the world bring in 30,000 fans to games? Why compare it to others around the world that have no where near the fan base or resources.

        • dw

          Because they’re people too? What, you would deny others medical care because they don’t have popular support? Go back to working on your legal case for USWNT.

          • Guest

            That is not the point. So the USWNT should fund all other NTs in the world?

    • Guest

      LOLOL so a team misses the tournament final for the for the first time in a decade and suddenly they are overpaid spoiled brats? Haha I’m then curious to your justification for salaries for USMNT, poor NFL teams, etc.

  • MurderOnZidanesFloor

    I really thought Germany would achieve nothing at this tournament, kind of shocked that they won it, especially after how poor they were in the opening games. They do have some real quality though, as Maroszan showed when she finally did something, so I guess I was a fool to count them out completely. Hopefully this victory will give them renewed belief in their woeful backline, meaning we might finally get a new winner at Euro 2017.

    Canada did great with their young side, but I’m not so sure they are the side to watch going forward as the article implies. They have little depth and some older players who’ll be on their way out soon. It will depend a lot on what young players break out in the next few years, if none do they will be back to selecting the likes of Adriana Leon once Tancredi/Sinclair are gone.

    I don’t think it should be reason to panic for the US, no side can always come good at the right moments. It surely has to be the end of the line for Lloyd and Solo soon though, it likely will be a reason to panic if they are still starting come 2019.

    Its a shame GB didn’t enter a side, I was more and more disappointed by that the further Sweden got. I doubt we’ll see a team in 2020 either, unless Scotland can do something in the next few years, which might drum up support for a side in part of the UK other than England. I should have just been a field hockey fan instead.

    • Steglitz49

      Scotland is the most adamant opposed to any team Gbr. This is because its officials stand to lose so much and many freebees. Wales, who did so well at Euro-16 have no need to compromise, and neither do Northern-Ireland.

      • MurderOnZidanesFloor

        Yeah, my hope is if Scotland does well at Euro 2017 and/or qualifies for World Cup 2019, then there will be a lot of public support in Scotland for the Scottish players to get the chance to play at the Olympics, making it far more likely than if its just England that want to send a team.

        • Steglitz49

          Before OG-12 Kim Little and other Scotch lasses were told by the Scotch FA that they must not heed a call to join Team Gbr. Those that were selected joined Team Gbr against this decree.

          No Welsh player was selected, not even Jess. The Welsh responded by adopting Brazil as “their” team.

    • Forgedias

      Half of Canada’s squad is composed of 23 and under players…

      I don’t think you understand how much more improved they are compared to when Canada hosted the World Cup. They are much better then that team.

      Ashley Lawrence was a bench player at that time because she wasn’t moved to outside back until very recently. She was a standout this tournament.

      Jessie Fleming was 17 and now is 18. She already possesses what any possession team wants from their midfielder. Ability to hold onto the ball while under duress, ability to dribble at a defender and great vision. She is what Canada has NEVER had in a midfielder before. Canada in the past was the hit the long ball and chase after it. Most of those older players are being moved out.

      Kedeisha Buchanan, Shelina Zadorsky 20 and 23 years old will form the core of the back line for many years to come and then you add in Rebecca Quinn who is another 20 year old and they are set back there. All 3 can play with the ball at their feet, they are much better then what Canada had in the past.

      Janine Beckie 21 year old, has scored 3 goals in the Olympics and she also can play with the ball at her feet. Add in Deanna Rose who is only 17 and you have 2 speedsters on the wings. Beckie wasn’t on that World Cup squad. She adds a dynamic element up front for Canada.

      Then you look at the college ranks and you then find Canada has even more talent coming into the pipeline.

      Kailen Sheridan that plays for the Clemson Tigers is going to be Canada’s number one in the near future. She already is the best Goal keeper in college. She is head and shoulders better then any other keeper in the ACC. There are even youtube videos of her from Clemson fans that break her keeping down from saves, kicks to air/box control.

      Then there is Gabrielle Carle who is still a high schooler I think. She was very noticeable in the U17 tournament because of her dribbling ability. She is very fluid on the ball and she was a back up in this Olympic tournament.
      Best position for her will probably be at midfield since they have several players ready to retire on the senior team for Canada.

      Canada is going young and even though they had half their roster at 23 and younger, they still beat teams like Australia (5th rank), Germany (2nd), France (3rd) and Brazil (8th). Its usually the USWNT that is beating teams like this.

      I get people don’t like John Herdman, but he has done some remarkable things with the Canadian squad. He is rebuilding it not by bringing more veterans but by bringing in youth and using them to build the core of the team around. And that is impressive.

    • ARED

      I thought Germany could win -depending on how the knockout stage lined up and on that “woeful backline”. But as soon as I saw USA, Australia, and Brazil all away from them it just seemed inevitable for me Germany would make and probably win the final, although I thought they’d beat (a worn-down) Brazil or Australia -definitely not Sweden! Däbritz, Marozsán, and Leupolz are all players I rate highly, and being down on France and USA, I was struggling to find any team I really thought was likely to win. So, of course the Germans would be steady enough to win a tournament like that, eh? lol.

      I agree on Canada -they were quite good at times, and quite lucky at others. I think as well as Sinclair and Tancredi, Schmidt does a lot for the team which doesn’t always get mentioned, but she isn’t exactly young either.

      Agree on GB -they’d seem to be poised to succeed in a tournament like this as well. Certainly would have been a huge hurdle for most teams to beat, based on the form they displayed in Brazil.

      • Steglitz49

        The team that replaced GB reached the final where they lost because of an own goal. Whether that means that GB would have reached the final, we cannot tell.

        • Silver Frost

          SWE lost due to two mistakes: Pia’s lame tactics and the own goal.

          • Steglitz49

            The own goal was unfortunate. The only mistake Pia made was not to start Stina Blackstenius.

            The Germans through crisp and decisive passing split the Swedish defense. The teutonic lasses should have been in the lead before halftime.

  • Gary Diver

    Women athletes in both the United States and Canada have shined at OG16. Glad to see Simone Biles will be the nation’s standard bearer at closing ceremonies.

    • HOFCToDi

      The USWNT crashed and burned. The international superstars on the USWNT are few and far between with the vast majority in the twilight of their careers.

    • HOFCToDi

      From the United States perspective, the following is the best story at the 2012 London Olympic Games that proved to be no fluke four years later.

      nbcolympics.com/video/katie-ledecky-reflects-800m-freestyle-gold-london-2012

  • Gary Diver

    Does the tail wag the USWNT dog? (Or is there room in the inn?)

    Simple question. Remember when all of us (and probably Jill Ellis) were waiting for Abby Wambach to decide if she wanted to experience one more Olympics? If Wambach wanted to go Rio, is there any doubt she would have been put on the roster?

    Has any permanent roster spots opened up other than retirements? What happens if nobody else wants to retire?

    I want Shea Groom, Savannah Jordan, Cari Roccaro, Danny Coliprico, Rose Lavelle, Andi Sulllivan, Erica Skroski, Kealia Ohai, Abby Dahlkrmper, Katie Naughton, and Ashley Sanchez to get a fair shot of making the WC19 roster.

    • Observed

      The sad thing is that most of those you named will retire before WC2019, especially those who are not given a WNT contract.

      • ARED

        I’d guess it’s more like “some” not “most”, but either way your point sums up the secondary reason why the system is wrong. Making a WC/Olympic roster in the first 1-4 years after college could help more stay in the game, and even coming close could help them choose to stay despite tough conditions. But having to wait beyond that is unreasonable -plenty will, but plenty will have a little fun and then move on to other things.

        • Steglitz49

          It is reasonable to expect that a player make at least Camp within 4 years after college. Obviously it depends on when in a cycle you are. The average age of Japan when they won WC-11 was 25, which more or less is 4 years after US college.

      • Silver Frost

        I wish Ellis would take a clue from ENG’s Sampson and bring in a wide variety of players. His invite list for ENG is huge. He’s had something like 15 strikers come to camp in his tenure. Compare to US: only 6 or 7 under Ellis.

        • Steglitz49

          The US were favorites for gold in Rio. They were like 5:1 on to beat Sweden.

          How many strikers did JE test?

          • mockmook

            The USA weren’t favorites against the total field of other teams.

          • Steglitz49

            What the heck does that mean when it is at home?

          • mockmook

            It means the USA were not favorites (in the strictest sense).

          • Steglitz49

            Japan’s odds were 35:1 before the start of WC-11. I seem to remember the US being almost even for OG-16.

    • HOFCToDi

      The attendance for the next two to four international women’s friendlies will determine the popularity of the USWNT.

      • Craigaroo

        It wouldn’t be surprising if attendance went into a bit of a lull but the last cycle beginning with the 2011 World Cup has shown there’s a deep market for the national team. 1999 can’t be seen as a once-in-a-lifetime fluke anymore. The long-term prospects for women’s soccer is bright.

        • HOFCToDi

          The USWNT did not meet the FY’17 Event Budget attendance projections for the month of July (24,000 per match).

          ussoccer.com/womens-national-team/results-statistics

          • Craigaroo

            oh, boo-hoo. I guess this will be endlessly re-posted for the next year to come. Honestly….

          • HOFCToDi

            So now you are going to dispute the financial projections in the U.S. Soccer 2016 Annual General Meeting Report?

          • Craigaroo

            No, I’m not. I’m saying what’s the big deal about USSF overestimating crowds for 2 lousy games which drew 12,000 and 19,000?

          • Steglitz49

            12,000 is 50% less while 19,000 is 20% less. I can buy 19,000 just about but not 12,000.

          • Craigaroo

            These are made-up doom-and-gloom arguments. Let’s see if I can steal a graph by Kenn Tomasch and post it here. It only goes up to 2014 but it should get the point across. From 2004 to 2011, attendance fell into the doldrums with only one year, 2007 barely getting over 10,000 in average attendance. So if we’re disappointed in 12,000 for a game, we should be delighted that we can be disappointed in only 12,000. Why are some so-called fans on a site devoted to women’s soccer so keen on putting down the sport?

          • Steglitz49

            Why did they project 24,000 per match if the truth is different? I don’t follow. It is bizarre. Do a WR!

            Who were these people with delusions of grandeur making predictions that seem disconnected from reality?

          • guest

            this all has to do with the next cba and the uswnt’s inflated projections. numbers could likely follow the post ’99 trend.

          • Steglitz49

            I don’t think they will provided the right NTs come and play. The problem is the Euros next year, where the US would need to go on an overseas tour or they get top sides to the Algarve cup again.

          • Steglitz49

            He has a point. Granted, an average of 24,000 is a sizeable number but not a huge one. It would be like 800 at a Swedish WNT match or 7,000 at a German WNT match.

          • Craigaroo

            No he doesn’t have a point. Is that clear?

          • Steglitz49

            For once HOFCToDi has been lucid and calm in a whole set of strings of comment.

            You need to explain which part(s) of his point you disagree with if you want us to disagree with him.

          • Craigaroo

            He’s been lucid and calm about nothing but you’ve chosen to be your usual contrarian self just to be whatever. And with that I’m not feeding the troll anymore for now.

          • Steglitz49

            I have enjoyed him in these threads. I do not agree with everything he types but he does have his moments.

            I am waiting to see which other NT player he will train his guns on now. It ought to be Carli but I doubt that he can bring himself to such repentance. JJ is a more likely quarry for him.

          • HOFCToDi

            The “Press Gang Troll Brigade” have no respect for USWNT players, past or present.

          • David K Anderson

            Blocked him, m’self. Highly recommended…

          • HOFCToDi

            The attendance figures reflect the classic reversion to the mean.

          • Steglitz49

            By the mean do you mean 15,000 or 12,000?

        • kernel_thai

          Not to mention Thailand is a Thursday night and the Netherlands is Sunday night. No he type of scheduling to draw a big crowd.

        • Steglitz49

          In 2011 the US reached the final of the World Cup, in 2012 they won Olympic gold and in 2015 they won the WC. That was some cycle and it goes back ot OG 2008.

          This OG was the worst performance ever of a USWNT in a major tournament. Not only put out by little Sweden but held to a draw by Colombia.

      • Gary Diver

        I agree that the next few Friendlies are going to tell us a lot about the current USWNT fan support. I paid well over $100 to see USWNT at SBC, but I would not pay $30 to see USWNT play Thailand who should play a boring bunker soccer game.

        Also, it will be interesting to see if the USWNT players really care about their NWSL teams.

        • guest

          I might pay $30 to see some fresh new NWSL blood get their chance on the NT, but not to see Klingenberg camped out at the 18-yard line taking pot-shots at goal, because now we all know that is a sham!

          • Steglitz49

            They could invite Sweden over for two matches. That would bring the crowds out in the hope of seeing a 4-0 or 6-1 drubbing. It could also be like playing Japan …

      • dw

        What about Dash drawing 5,000 on a Thursday Night? I would say that is also an indicator, and probably NWSL brass heaved a collective sigh of relief.

        • Steglitz49

          It was based on the number of tickets sold before Rio because it was a rescheduled game. Allegedly there were 500 in the stands.

          • dw

            Nah, looks and sounds way more than 500…

          • Steglitz49

            Believing their own propaganda gives the NWSL a warm and fuzzy feeling.

        • HOFCToDi

          Compare that figure to the average attendance last year.

          ussoccer.app.box.com/s/l1z0zv3w41m3vdaezh28kju65dyrjzq3

    • Forgedias

      I don’t normally agree with everything you say, but in this case. Yes I want to see these kids get a fair chance to make the next World Cup, but I put a post up that almost every single player in this Olympics will likely be at the next World Cup. Most of them will be in their 30’s and some of them deep into it. But even Rapinoe, Solo, Krieger who will be on the wrong side of 30, will probably want to be in the next Olympics. And I simply don’t see them being moved out until after that cycle is over.

      • Steglitz49

        After this debacle, the Augean stables must be cleansed. The dead wood chopped out. The US is not a country of 9m.

        The 16+2 squad could not carry a freebee.

        • ARED

          I agree, but by freebee were you talking about Ellis or Lloyd? ; p

          • Steglitz49

            JE did not adapt. Pia got it wrong in the beginning but somehow changed. She has not let on why or how.

            Maybe it was Lagerbäck’s scathing analysis on TV of the 1st Brazil game. Maybe she sought out Lagerbäck for advise. Obviously, what she did worked.

            You could argue that Pia had backslid for the final seeing that she did not start Stina Blackstenius.

      • Gary Diver

        If the current roster, including Lloyd and Solo, stays the course to WC19 and OG20, it probably will be the oldest team in those tournaments and a whole generation of promising American players will have been abandoned by the system. USWNT should not just be an elite group of “tenured” players who get automatic roster spots until “they” decide to retire.

        • Hans Castorp

          Don’t worry it wont be an elite group of tenured players. It will just be a group of tenured players.

          • Gary Diver

            That is funny. That you.

        • HOFCToDi

          When you crash and burn at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, every player currently over the age of 30 needs to be purged from the USSF payroll. Anson Dorrance cleaned house in 1986 and mined teenage prodigies.

          • Steglitz49

            Let’s get rid of everyone over 27.

          • HOFCToDi

            Nope!

            The vast majority of the troublemakers that constitute the “equal pay, equal play” cabal are over the age of 30.

          • Steglitz49

            I was looking forward to WC-19 when someone 27 today will be 30.

          • HOFCToDi

            Alex Morgan

          • Steglitz49

            Your point is taken but it is off the mark. I wrote that I wanted to “get rid of everyone over 27” — NB “over 27” — so over 30 it is and Alex should be safe.

          • HOFCToDi

            2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup
            Dates: June 1 – June 30

            Alex Morgan
            DOB: July 2, 1989

          • Steglitz49

            So, she will be just under 30.

          • HOFCToDi

            With another gold medal around her neck while the French go home empty yet again.

          • Steglitz49

            Lost in the QFs here. In France it will be 8 European teams and before their howler in defense Holland looked on cruise control to make Rio.

            I am not persuaded that Alex will be in WC-19. Granted, she could do like ARod but I wonder. It is not totally unique to win two ladies WCs in a row. Also, Marta will always be the greatest.

          • HOFCToDi

            2019 will be the Ashley and Mallory show.

            Marta will always be the greatest to never win anything.

          • Steglitz49

            She joins Cruyff and a couple of others. Cruyff went on to have a great career as coach too.

          • HOFCToDi

            As for the greatest, it’s not up for debate:

            youtube.com/watch?v=pivXUhLwfbo

          • Steglitz49

            It depends on where you stand and at what you look.

          • HOFCToDi

            Long distance freestyle swimming (400m, 800m, 1500m).

          • HOFCToDi

            I found a video of Australians dissing Europeans.

            youtube.com/watch?v=xE7Wz4-r3t4&index=64&list=PLvLkevgCggdUJzHQtVB4rXA0UCblV-TiX

        • ARED

          “a whole generation of promising American players will have been abandoned by the system.”

          -I believe this is actually true of the “current” generation, and that they pulled out a WC win despite it. To varying degrees Holiday, Morgan, Press, Heath, Sauerbrunn, O’Hara, Leroux, Long, and Engen have all been significantly held back, whether off the roster, off the field, or in secondary roles which existed mostly to simply prop up the previous generation.

          In soccer, most are in their prime between 25-30. In WoSo, it may even be lower. But on the USWNT you often spend age 18-28 waiting and hoping “veterans” will step aside allowing you to rise. -It’s simply astounding that a player like Holiday never really controlled the team, and never even controlled the midfield or the attack. Right through WC 2015 she was moved around (or aside) to allow Wambach/Lloyd/etc their preferred positions, in a supporting role.

          • Steglitz49

            The only person in your list that can be considered to have been held back is Allie Long.

            This was the worst exit by a USWNT in a major competition ever. Ever. Holiday did not play. Lauren Holiday did all right out of the USWNT. You could argue that ARod did even better with less talent but ARod is not in your list.

    • guest

      the uswnt players don’t want equal opportunity. they only want equal pay. that would be too much equality for them.

      • Steglitz49

        Even in a lean year like this became the USWNT players earn about $150,000, which makes them among the very best played WoSo players in the world.

        Had they not screwed up, they would have been looking at another $100-125,000. As it is, no bonus and no fan tour.

        Who wants to say goodbye to all that_ Not without a struggle.

    • dw

      I think it’s premature to write off ARod and Syd. Not my choice clearly, but everyone here has dismissed them, somehow? How quickly we forget. No one can lose their job due to pregnancy/childbearing (which would probably result in a very winnable court case), and no one has in USWNT history. And either or both could be thinking “I wasn’t there, I could have scored the needed winner vs. Sweden…”
      So we have 2 veteran forwards due to make a comeback. Even if one does retire, and obviously the USWNT CBA status has a lot to do with it, but I would assume that 1 if not both will be seen back, and thinking out loud this is really bad news for Christen Press…

      • mockmook

        If they are retained on merit, then I don’t have a problem with it (but part of “merit” should be reasonable projections on their skillz/fitness by WWC19 vs the youngsters coming up).

        You could always leave them off the USWNT for a few years, and if they are still excelling, then bring them back (if we had a rational system).

        • dw

          Yeah, but we all know that’s not how USWNT works. It’s the same deal as being a Supreme Court Justice. Appointed for life.

          • Steglitz49

            I can’t remember when the next round of assessing allocations starts but it ought to be soon. One way of avoiding deallocation is obvious and there is still time to put it into operation, unless you were bitten by a mosquito in Rio in which case take a test first.

          • guest

            for 2016 i think the allocation list was late january. but with the current cba expiring at the end of the year, who knows for next year.

          • Steglitz49

            Maybe there won’t be any allocations?

            The USSF could put places on the NT up for auction. Using a Dutch auction, it could be quite fun to watch.

          • HOFCToDi

            The allocation system is outdated. It’s time for the women to adhere to the pay to play structure, the same as the men.

          • dw

            I would go further as to say allocation sucked on day 1. But in general, I agree.

          • Steglitz49

            Let them be paid through the NWSL. The USSF can reimburse their clubs at a standard rate for the time the USSF uses them. Say $1000 for a camp? Maybe less given that they are damaged goods now. Try $750.

      • NYRick

        Conceivably, Press could have just played her way off the team. They have justification now if they want it (basically she can’t be trusted in a big spot). Fair or unfair, it is a simple way of looking at. I view her miss at the 122nd mark (not easy but a glorious winner sitting there for her) as being bigger than the PK miss personally for her.

        Although I think her competition may come more from someone like Sanchez or another rather than Syd and ARod. Syd I’m sure will try to get back on the team, but her form/fitness should be the deciding factor, not her previous spot on the team. ARod I guess too, but that one I really don’t get at all. Her role if she made the team would be roster filler (5th forward etc.). I guess the dough is good, but does she really want that at this point after a long stint on the team and now with a couple of small kids? Her big time was 2010-11 with this team, not 2017. And Syd’s may have been 2012-15, not 2017 and beyond either.

        • Silver Frost

          I don’t see Leroux or A-Rod making that difficult 122min shot either.

          • Steglitz49

            Come on! Give us a break. It was not that difficult.

          • dw

            I don’t even recall Press’ chance as a standout miss. Certainly not pulling a “Thiney”. However, then she went “Lavogez”…

          • Steglitz49

            Lavogez penalty was saved by Angerer as I remember but I may remember wrong. More like a Carli model 2011.

          • dw

            “Baggio”, then…

          • Steglitz49

            Indeed. And he is all but forgotten except for that miss. The Italian player of WC-94 I remember is Franco Baresi.

          • NYRick

            The shot shouldn’t have been that difficult for CP, but not sure if you are just being sarcastic.

        • mockmook

          A-Rod and Leroux probably both feel that they can still be starters — it is up to the coach to break this “spell”.

          • NYRick

            What they feel and what they actually are may be two very different things. I’m sorry, ARod hasn’t been an NT starter since 2011 and now she can be in 2017? And Syd had a fairly mediocre 2014-15 plagued by injuries and inconsistency and then she took all of 2016 off. And touch and skill on the ball seems to maybe be the way this team is moving (albeit if they can get #10 in a diminished role). That is not Syd’s strong suit. She has always been Alex lite.

        • Frode

          It seems to me that much of the drama surrounding Christen Press is a creation of this forum. Here, she is held to wildly unrealistic expectations (both by her fans and conveniently by her detractors), and anything short of heroic performance is deemed an utter failure. Step outside this little maelstrom and you see a very different picture.

  • Craigaroo

    The most important takeaway, of course, however, is that the Elo ratings have been validated (tee-hee!).
    ¶ The median rating difference between the teams in all the matches was 155 points, which corresponds approximately to a (.709) expected win percentage or result for the higher rated team.
    ¶The actual win percentage (based on simple win/loss/tie; and games which go to PKs count as ties) was (.712)
    ¶The average game-chart result (based on FIFA’s table using goals scored) was a bit lower at (.679)
    ¶ (also posted at BigSoccer)

    • Steglitz49

      Seeing that Sweden should have beaten the US in play because of a true goal disallowed in a refereeing error and that we know referee errors are too common in WoSo, what does this mean to the uninitiated?

      It would be fun to see some of those xG-analyses of the QFs and SFs. How could Sweden after their drubbing by Brazil turn around so completely? What changed?

      • Hans Castorp

        Offside technology will probably solve at least one major problem in reffing in the coming years or so at least.

        • Steglitz49

          We will see what the experiments in the German and Dutch and a few other leagues will show.

          Review of all times the ball ends up in goal should be standard.

      • guest

        If we’re going to count disallowed goals, then why not allow Lloyd’s goal too? Had that goal been allowed, that late in the match, it would have been curtains for Sweden.

        • Constant Weeder

          Because Lloyd fouled her defender before the goal. Schelin was not offside.

          • guest

            I admit to not being completely familiar with the rules. Having your hand near the opponent’s shoulder is a foul? If you can convince me it is, I won’t bring up Lloyd’s disallowed goal any more.

          • Silver Frost

            I don’t understand the “laws” too well either. Why was Neymar allowed to act, simulate, and dive a hundred times in the OG final yesterday without a yellow cad?

          • Nicole C.

            Because the referee wanted to leave the stadium alive.

          • NYRick

            The PK stutter step should be outlawed. It’s an unfair advantage to the shooter. Rarely, if ever, do you see a shooter miss when they employ the stutter step to the PK, like Neymar did as well. If I was a coach, it would be practiced over and over by every person remotely possible of taking a PK on my team. Don’t bother with anything else. It’s like an uncontested layout.

          • Steglitz49

            I agree. It is surprising taht it has not been forbidden.

          • NYRick

            It’s ridiculous. I laugh every time I see a player use it and say why doesn’t everyone do it? It doesn’t take a great deal of skill to perfect it or practice it? It’s a gimmick that works because the keeper is 99% going to commit first. They have to. Then the shooter (they are all pros) simply needs to rotate their hips for the shot. Not hard.

          • Steglitz49

            If they awarded a goal against the stutterer, then it would soon vanish — or be even more perfected.

          • guest

            haha that’s true.

          • mockmook

            I think the arm was “on” the shoulder — but, I get your point (especially since I don’t think Lloyd pulled on her)

          • Constant Weeder

            This point has been argued to death. The game is over; the medals have been awarded. Let’s let it go.

          • Steglitz49

            Thank you.

          • David K Anderson

            I thought she was called offside (which would have been wrong: a player near the top of the screen – not her marker – held her on), but if it was indeed a foul call, that was also absurd, given what the ref was letting Sweden get away with for the entire first half.

            Not trying to excuse the US loss: they squandered countless opportunities in that first half. Second half, not so many, since Ellis idiotically pulled the only effective creator for the US back into a fullback position.

  • NYRick

    Just noticed a kind of big game coming up this weekend in NWSL: CRS at SB. CRS now sits in 4th at 25 pts., with SB in 5th at 22 pts. All teams have played 15 matches so it’s a race to the finish for the final 5 games.

    Anyone know for sure if the NTers are going to grace us with their presence this week?

    • David K Anderson

      There were none at Thorns practice on Friday (I was fortunate enough to attend).

      • NYRick

        Wow. That’s surprising. I guess that may be leaning towards few if any NTers are going to be playing in game 16. Which BTW is ridiculous. They league took time off to allow for them all back for the final 5 games. If they are healthy, they need to be on the pitch for the fans. They don’t need a mental health vacay at this point. They are professionals, show some pride to your club teams.

        • David K Anderson

          I expect (without anything to base it on, mind you) six of the seven Thorns Olympians to be back – all save Sincy. Unfortunately, I don’t have access to practice next week…although I can head down to the stadium and peek through the fence…there are sightlines to the field in a couple places.

          • Steglitz49

            The Canadians would want to be in the closing ceremony.

        • Silver Frost

          Don’t forget the two VT games in September. Thorns will be lucky to make the playoffs after most of their starters not playing in 3-4 of the last 5 games of reg season. WNY does not have this problem, and I think Riley designed his team to not have to deal with absent NTers, learning from his disastrous run in Portland.

          • Steglitz49

            VT? LT more likely or DT.

          • Guest

            I think Portland are 8 points off a secured playoff position. It would be an abject failure if they didn’t make the playoffs even if they are without their US players for a game because of those friendlies.

          • David K Anderson

            While they dropped points with _seven_ starters missing , they also collected a few, too. Spent most of the OG break at the top of the table, until that make-up game. *shrug*

            Also: the scheduling of those stupid-@ss friendlies is such that they may not miss players at all. I don’t expect long camps for those…they’re just revenue-generators. If, however, that does happen, then it’ll just add to the rage that league fans (especially “club over country” ones like me) have had building up for the cavalier way the USSF treats the league.

            And as another reply points out, the Thorns aren’t that far from clinching a playoff spot. It’s just that we’d really like a playoff home game, something that’s never happened here. =/

          • Lorehead

            Eight, that time Dagny took a week off too.

          • Rufan

            USSF had called them “post-Olympics friendlies”.

          • dw

            Maybe once they roll over the players in the new CBA, they will schedule the “farewell” tour for 2017.

          • guest

            Farewell tour for who exactly? Not Lloyd surely. Rampone? I heard she didn’t want one though.

          • Steglitz49

            Farewell to victory? Farewell to easy street?

          • another guest

            The NWSL schedule always anticipated the Sept uswnt matches and NWSL schedule has no games in the FIFA women’s international match September window when the 2 uswnt matches are scheduled.

        • guest

          the nwsl is not a real job for the uswnt players. just a hobby.

      • Constant Weeder

        I read somewhere (great sourcing, right?) they’re supposed to be back on Monday. That would be consistent with a week off after their last game.

        • David K Anderson

          That was my speculation, too. Probably not Sincy, since she played longer (and might not be said to completely carry Canada these days, but is still the linchpin).

        • Steglitz49

          FIFA allowed 24 h after the end of Rio. The closing ceremony is tonight.

    • Reality

      The CRS website and twitter account are promoting the at home matches on 9/4 and 9/7. Not a peep about the 8/27 match with SBFC which could have a sizable impact impact as to whether Chicago makes the final 4. At this point, all the NT players owe it to the NWSL to be playing this weekend.

      • Silver Frost

        Kieger showed up last Thursday. No rest. And started.

        • Reality

          She was definitely motivated…good for her. The rest of the NT should demonstrate the same support for the club teams and the league.

        • mockmook

          Well, she didn’t play in the last game. Still, it was a nice gesture on her part.

          • Steglitz49

            Maybe if she had, Stina Blackstenius might not have scored?

      • NYRick

        The CRS NTers absolutely have to play this weekend. No excuses. It would be over 2 weeks since their OG loss and there is no time change involved either. Weak all around and they deserve little support from the fanbase if they pull this stunt.

        • Reality

          Krieger played with the Spirit team this week so it is apparently an elective choice for each NT player as to whether they will participate. It will be illuminating to see how many and which players do show up for their team. I’ll be at the CRS-SBFC game so I’ll count the heads.

          • NYRick

            That’s a key game. The players surely realize that. They should all be there and willing to play 90.

    • Steglitz49

      It is a 6-pointer. If Chicago lose, SB come level on points. If Chicago wins the gap becomes 5 points.

      Seattle is in 6th place, 5 points after Chicago. They would benefit from an SB win v Chicago but then SB moves up compared to them. Obviously Seattle can win or lose too. They all can draw.

  • Guest

    Christen press should be starting forward. She is so much more sophisticated than Alex Morgan who is so predictable and was extremely mediocre this tournament. At least give Morgan a partner in Press for the better part of 90 if you have to keep her on the field

    • mockmook

      I’m glad you brought this important topic to our attention.

      It is about time this was discussed here at the EQ…

      • Silver Frost

        Yeah, that boat sailed out of Rio last week never to be heard from again.

        • Steglitz49

          I thought it sank.

          • NYRick

            BTW, what was the score of the OG final, I missed it?

          • Steglitz49

            Germany won 2-1. DZ scored 1-0. Then Linda Sembrant scored an own goal trying to clear. Then Stina Blackstenius came on and scored for Sweden. Sweden had chances to equalize. At the same time, Germany squandered a number of chances, not least in the first half.

            You could criticze Pia for not starting Blackstenius.

            The most dangerous players for Germany was Sara Däbritz and Melanie Leupolz.

            The way the Germans operate their attack makes it hard to score the way Blackstenius did against the US from a throughball by Lisa Dahlkvist. Briefly, as the wingbacks move up, the CBs move out while 2 MFs drop back. It takes a while to figure it out.

        • dw

          Sailed over the bar and into the stands…

          • Steglitz49

            but forget to pick up a drink along the way

        • HOFCToDi

          Christen Press can sail back to Sweden.

          • Steglitz49

            She might have burnt her bridges there.

          • HOFCToDi

            France would be perfect, the land of classic underachievers.

          • Steglitz49

            Which team do you suggest. Albi, Metz, Guingamp or Bordeaux? Maybe that new team in Marseille, the city of Louisa?

          • Steglitz49

            Stop sharpening the cards once someone has replied to your post.

          • HOFCToDi

            twitter.com/SInow/status/765522065772388352/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
            By the way, Christen Press is not in the photo shoot.

      • NYRick

        It’s a low blow to CP, but one that panders to an audience on here sure to enjoy it. I’m sure she is smart enough to realize the deal she has now put herself in with this team and the perception of the fanbase as to whether she is up to it.

        • David K Anderson

          It’s also a legit recognition that posts about Press often absolutely _dominate_ this forum

        • HOFCToDi

          Poor Pressie Pooh! No SI Cover shoot for you!

          twitter.com/SInow/status/765522065772388352/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

        • HOFCToDi

          Christen Press is the first USWNT player to score zero goals, contribute zero assists, and convert zero penalty kicks at a Summer Olympic Games. The feat has become known as the “Press Flop”.

          • Gary Diver

            I don’t feel as strongly about Christen Press as you do, but I do think that Jill Ellis set her up for the PK failure when she put Lloyd ahead of her in the shooting sequence essentially telling the world she had little confidence in Press. But if she didn’t have confidence in her, Ellis should never have put in the crucial fifth slot. Now as long as Ellis is coach, Press will probably be in her doghouse and may end up as HAO ended up.

          • HOFCToDi

            The excuses for Christen Press have been exhausted.

          • HOFCToDi

            The excuses for Christen Press have been exhausted.

  • Miami66

    The difference in Canada following this bronze is the fact that there are more new players who you can rely on than in 2012. Beckie is obviously one of those. 2019/2020 will be interesting for them with probably a good veteran balance (Sinclair, Matheson in likely their final tournaments by then) and this influx of young players with more experience over 2015/2016.

  • Guest

    https://twitter.com/JohnDHalloran/status/767444488243609600

    Seems like Lloyd may not be around for the Dash’s next game. I think it’s time for the teams to start paying the NT players salaries with the USSF contributing directly to the teams if they want to continue to support the league. The cost of 2 NT salaries per team seems reasonable. I’d implement a luxury tax too so Paulson can keep some more of his good players and redistribute some of his earnings back into the league.

    • Steglitz49

      Let’s trust that Moe does the decent thing.

      • Paul Klee

        Too late she has already missed one match, along with Dunn and Lloyd. Just be less pathetic if she doesn’t skip the next one. Apparently, it’s already been rumored the NWSL isn’t a big priority for Brian.

        • Guest

          I think the federation gave the players off until tomorrow. I wish Brian and Dunn had played in that game but I accept that the Olympic schedule was a lot of games in a short amount of time. A little over a week seems like an appropriate break. I will be very disappointed in any player that misses these next games though as Waldrum alluded to when talking about Lloyd. I still think the clubs need to start being the people paying the NT players though

          • Paul Klee

            BS they were fit to play matches on 16th and the 19th; they certainly could have played one match on the 18th. Ali Krieger played so the were not prohibited from playing. Crystal Dunn would rather party it up and vacation in Rio than act as a professional. Her club team is in an important playoff run. I would give her next year off from the USWNT to reflect on if she really wants to be a professional athlete.

          • Guest

            Krieger didn’t play anywhere near close to the minutes of Dunn and Brian. Just because they would have played the last two games of the tournament doesn’t mean they didn’t need a break. In the european leagues there are players still getting fit from after the euros and that tournament was over in early July. I seriously doubt all the NT players would have been back for the 27th if they had made it to the finals. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Canadians and Brazilians missing from their NWSL squads this weekend.

          • Paul Klee

            No that actually does mean they didn’t need a break. What it also means is that they were willing to play matches they cared about therefore it follows they did not care enough about their club matches or their club teammates.

          • Guest

            I completely disagree with you. Tournaments are grueling endeavors. They were going to need a break at one point or another after it’s conclusion. Every other NT is doing the same. Waldrum speaks to the fact that he has had no communication with the Brazilian or Canadian federations yet. I wouldn’t expect to see them this weekend if I were you. They are going to take a break as well. Australia also was out in the quarterfinals and Lydia Williams didn’t report to the Dash so it isn’t just the USWNT players.

          • Paul Klee

            Ali Krieger didn’t need a break, she played and trained. She’s also much older than Dunn. The Canadians and Brazilians were released back to their clubs yesterday the Australians and the USWNT were released back to their clubs last Saturday. Krieger honored this release Dunn and Brian didn’t, simple really.

          • Guest

            Released does not mean that they will feature in the upcoming matches. Lydia Williams was not with the Dash for the game you are criticizing the Dunn and Brian for missing. I don’t agree using Krieger as an example when she played about 120 minutes total in the entire tournament and no minutes in the final game. Brian played those minutes in the Sweden match alone. What training? They had one rest day and one travel day between matches.

          • Paul Klee

            They should still be back with their clubs so the clubs can determine if they are fit for matches. That’s the way it works. But apparently Morgan Brian hasn’t even been in contact with her club, that demonstrates a lack of professional integrity that is astoundingly poor.

          • Guest

            Your problem is with the USSF then who gave them the vacation and pays their salaries. I have no idea if Brian has been in contact with Waldrum as all he said was that he expects her back for their next game. For all I know she could be in Houston already.

          • Paul Klee

            Waldrum didn’t say that. He thinks they might be back but that’s just a guess based on reading the same tweets that we do. He has no clue. Obviously Krieger could figure out someway to get in contact with her team, apparently Brian doesn’t care at all.

          • Guest

            Waldrum’s quote what that he expects to have Brian back. He didn’t make any comment on where she is or was. Maybe she wasn’t back for the make up game but I have a hard time critisizing a player for taking a week off after they played more than 300 minutes in a 9 day span.

          • Paul Klee

            Yes he expects Morgan Brian to be back, but he doesn’t know because it hasn’t been communicated to him, he’s basing that I’m tweets that he’s read online.

            So if Lloyd, Brian and Dunn had said they wanted to sit out the semifinal and final because they had played 300 minutes in nine days you would’ve been fine with that.? Try again.

          • Guest

            They would have played and taken their week and a half break during the matches this weekend instead. Just because they would have played more games after doesn’t mean they still didn’t need a break after the tournament.

          • Paul Klee

            Krieger didn’t. The seven day break probably assumed playing 6 matches so only playing 4 matches they would not have needed as long of a break, right? Say 4 1/2 days plenty of rest for a game 6 days after your last match.

          • Guest

            Krieger didn’t play half the number of minutes of either Dunn or Brian and had and extra 2 days rest since she did not feature at all in the last game.

          • Paul Klee

            But again, they were fit enough to play on Tuesday so why couldn’t they play on Thursday? You clearly have no answer for that do you.?

          • Guest

            Expecting them to continue into the season without taking any break after the tournament is unreasonable in my opinion. I’m okay with the players missing that make up game to take their post tournament break and being ready for the games this weekend.

          • Paul Klee

            Well I guess you have low expectations of these particular athletes.

          • Guest

            I think they could have played but teams would be risking injury and fatigue post tournament without taking a break and continuing to play right on through. There’s a reason European football teams who have mid week games all season rotate their squads. Teams that don’t rotate enough often find themselves fatigued at the end of the season.

          • Paul Klee

            OK I see that point but in the EPL team plays 38 league games Plus possibly another 20 Europa or Champions League matches Plus potentially another dozen or so domestic cup fixtures. In addition to possibly for some players another 20 national team call-ups. An EPL player could conceivably play 90 matches in a year, of course they would need some time off. The most matches that a USW NT squad member is going to play in a year it’s 40 to 50 matches. Or about 50% of what the men play, the women get plenty of time off.

          • Steglitz49

            Plus hte FA cup and League Cup matches.

          • Guest

            They still have 5 match weeks left and some teams have playoffs. I probably would have rested any player that played significant minutes in the tournament for that mid week make up game to get them prepared for the final push. This isn’t limited to women’s football either. Neymar just asked Barcelona if he could miss their game on the 28th ahead of the international break and they agreed. The one thing I do think should change though, is that the players should have more open communications with their clubs and coaches. The clubs should be the people responsible for allowing and controling the post tournament break not the USSF.

            http://www.espnfc.us/barcelona/story/2935148/neymar-to-make-barcelona-return-after-international-break

          • Paul Klee

            It’s like Neymar only asked off because they won, not the risk of injury. He probably would have been back with Barca had Brazil not won. Regardless the women are not overworked compared to BroSo, and again the were fit to play on Tuesday and Friday so of course they could have played Thursday. And Some of them did. It’s time for Brian and Dunn to learn that playing the National Team is not a sinecure but a privilege.

          • Guest

            “It’s like Neymar only asked off because they won”

            I have not read any articles that specified why Neymar is not returning right away. If you have an article I’d like to read it. Most think it doesn’t make much sense for him to fly back to Spain for one game that he may or may not have even played and then return the following week. You don’t know whether or not he would have been back if they had lost that final game and personally I disagree with your assumption. I don’t think he would have been back for that one game since they don’t need him and he was going back for the international break immediately after. The USWNT players have been playing and training almost non-stop since January with only a short break in February and July. I think your expectations are unrealistic and that it is completely reasonable to give them a week off following the Olympic tournament.

          • Guest
          • Paul Klee

            Too little too late

          • Steglitz49

            European women’s leagues have very few if any midweek games. They play at the weekends as a rule. Midweek play is used for the Champions League and, depending on the country, occasionally some domestic cup matches.

          • mockmook

            “that demonstrates a lack of professional integrity that is astoundingly poor.”

            If this is all true, she is just following the example of team “leaders”.

          • Paul Klee

            Well Carli is Carli perhaps reason 17 why she should not be the captain. But then again Ali Krieger didn’t seem to have to follow the lead of the team leader.

          • mockmook

            EVERYONE has noted the huge difference in Krieger’s situation and the “stars” of the team.

          • Paul Klee

            A meaningless difference, because obviously they were fit to play.

          • Guest

            It may be meaningless to you but you didn’t just participate in the Olympic tournament. I don’t believe they would have been fit enough to play all six games and resume playing with their NWSL teams this following weekend had they made it to the final.

          • Paul Klee

            Perhaps you weren’t following the Olympics but they didn’t play six matches they only played 4 matches. And they were fit enough to play six so if they were fit play six they could’ve played five.

          • Guest

            It was clearly a hypothetical. Just because they were fit enough to play 6 games doesn’t mean they were all ready to play in the make up last week after 4 and continue right into the end of the season without taking a break.

          • Paul Klee

            Well yeah it kind of does mean they were fit enough. If they were fit enough to play Tuesday Friday and the following weekend they were fit enough to play Thursday and the following weekend.

          • NYRick

            I’m not attempting to criticize Brian here. I don’t know what the deal is for her not reporting yet if she hasn’t, so I’ll leave it at that. But I’ll remind these USWNT players (now after an unexpected, and yes embarrassing exit from the OG without even a bronze) of a telling quote from Andy Roddick:

            “I realized early on I had to perform. I had to continue performing. When I stopped performing, THIS (all his perks, fame, beautiful girls falling all over him etc.) would all go away.”

            Fabulous perspective from a pro athlete. And so true. And you can liberally substitute the word “winning” for “performing.”

          • Steglitz49

            The NT players do not give a monkey’s for the NWSL.

            How they are handling their embarrassing exit from the OG, the worst exit ever in a major tournament is a good question.

            Sweden got the Fair Play award, incidentally.

          • guest

            somebody need’s to check morgan brian’s instagram pictures to see where she is. lolll

          • Guest

            For comparison sake. Krieger played around 110 minutes total while Dunn play about 240 minutes and Brian was around 300 minutes.

          • Nicole C.

            Lydia Williams was at the game- she just didn’t suit up.

          • Guest

            Good on Williams for being there then but she still wasn’t fit enough to play I guess. Kaylyn Kyle came back and played immediately for the Thorns last year after the WC but she seems to be an exception. Sinclair missed the first week back along with the USWNT players last year after the WC. I guess I never expected any of the Olympic players to play in that make up game and am more surprised that Krieger did as oppose to upset that others didn’t. Anyone complaining that the USWNT players should have been immediately sent back to their teams should blame the USSF.

          • guest

            i bet there are quite a few uswnt players that aren’t too happy with krieger for showing up for the nwsl early and making them look bad. lolll

          • Paul Klee

            She only made three players look bad. And Krieger did seem to be throwing a tiny little bit of shade their way especially at Crystal.

          • Paul Klee

            Of course her paycheck does come from the Dash. So it is likely her club team is more important to her than it is to Brian or Lloyd.

          • Franciosa

            Those players from the European leagues you are talking about (I assume you are talking about men) had no break at all between August last year and the Euros. So after the Euros they get some vacation and are now about to get 100% fit again (and are available for all league games)
            You can’t compare to the USWNT. They essentially had a break between Septmber and April

          • Steglitz49

            As long as they stayed in Rio, they are excused.

          • guest

            i sure hope prior engagements for lloyd doesn’t mean personal endorsement and sporsorship business.

          • NYRick

            Or maybe messing up a scheduled mind-meld/training session with Galanis. There are priorities she has to keep.

          • guest

            and hosting personal soccer camps.

        • Steglitz49

          Seeing that the FIFA window covered the OG + 24 h, that they had to plan for being in the final and because the closing ceremony was on Sunday, Tuesday is their first day back at work.

          If they returned early, then they could be expected to play.

          • Paul Klee

            Again the FIFA window is one day after your team’s last match of the tournament, not the end of the Olympics.

          • Steglitz49

            Indeed. The Swedish Damallsvenskan restarts on August 27th. France restarts D1 on Sept 11th while the DFB on Sep 3rd. Australia also play in the winter, which I presume NZ does too. What African and South American clubs do, I don’t know.

      • guest

        i have increased my bet to $1000 that rapinoe won’t play in the next seattle game.

    • Hood

      Does anyone take this league serious?

      • dw

        Never
        Was a
        Serious
        League.

        • Terry Lash

          B.S. What league are you saying is serious and why?

          • DJ

            The Swedish, the German, the French for example. All their league games are played with national players, their coaches know by when their players return. Those leagues are played longer than just a handful of months. Their players are paid per market value and not by belonging to a national team. They have real teams not just some players who are there to entertain the USWNT super heroines.

          • Steglitz49

            The FAWSL is serious too, as I suspect the Dutch, Norwegian and Spanish are.

          • Craigaroo

            Ignorant comments like these don’t persuade me to be charitable or diplomatic.The majority of teams in the Swedish, German, and French leagues pay their players some expense money, if that. And they don’t have anything approaching parity. You have 2 or 3 teams with a monopoly on the best players, beating up on the other teams.

          • DJ

            Why should they approach parity? Sport is not communism.

            Do you consider the English men’s PL not as a serious league?

            They run it differently (relegation, ect). Players having contracts with clubs (and are not part of any comical trading games)

            If you would have followed last years Bundesliga season you would have realized that there was no “beating up”. But maybe you are ignorant

            But you don’t get my point

            I don’t want to discuss what is better. We had too many silly discussions on that already.

            I am a fan of Woso. I am happy about every successful league.

            But I see a lot of things which can be improved for the NWSL. And yes, we may also look to other leagues and sports and look how they do it.

          • Craigaroo

            We’re discussing women’s leagues or so I thought, but the English Premier League is relatively more competitive from top to bottom than La Liga and the Bayern Bundesliga for sure, which shows you that a degree of parity is indeed a good thing. There’s plenty to learn from European clubs and European players as to how to play soccer, but as far as the structuring of the leagues are concerned, what’s there to learn from? In Europe you have 2 or 3 teams which splash out unlimited cash and have nearly all the good players — and then you have everyone else.

          • Steglitz49

            This Olympic final was between two European teams. The third European team, France, who were favored by many, did not make the SFs. It is probably true to say that the French league is the least equal of those 3.

            At the same time, 6 Swedish players played in or recently played for French clubs: Jakobsson and Sembrant in Montpellier, and Seger, Dahlkvist and Asllani for PSG (Asllani now in Man City and Dahlkvist with Örebro and Seger I don’t know) and Schelin for Lyon (now with Rosengård).

            Nilla Fischer is in Wolfsburg while Hedwig Lindahl in Chelsea and, as noted, Asllani in Man City, while Olivia Schough was for a while in Bayern Munich.

        • USMNTfan4life

          I agree DW. The NWSL solely exists to appease WoSo fans, and give their starlets on the WNT some exercise. The fact that the WNT players get paid the most, play with teammates who don’t get paid, and have clauses in their contracts that none of their teammates can be paid more than them, is total crap.
          If Carli Lloyd, the “best woman’s player in the world,” cannot draw more than 3-4,000 fans (at best, on a good day, in a large metropolis) shows that with WoSo, there is “no there…there.”

          • dw

            I will also elaborate:

            1) League is stood up via the incredibly flawed allocation process. It is not fair, not sustainable, and not transparent. I have written tons on this and won’t repeat here. (Yes, an argument can be made that it is sustainable, but as to that, we’ll see).

            2) League is almost 100% dependent on success of WNT. MLS was also in some measure dependent on MNT, but not anywhere close to the extent of NWSL. Hence the history of previous leagues folding when interest waned. This league will face a repetition of this challenge in the next two years. Bear in mind that really the only reason why this league is billed as “strong and sustainable” is the fact that THE NON-ALLOCATED PLAYERS ARE WOEFULLY UNDERPAID. Isn’t that semantics at it’s best?

            3) League is a Ponzi scheme. Money comes in from fans, sponsors, TV. Shadow corporation that runs media and ops makes money (no corruption here, right? Just go even superficially down this rabbit hole and report back what you see..), allocated players make money. Owners lucky to break even. Non-allocated players not earning a realistic or sustainable income.

            4) League exists on a certain level so that U$$F can save face with other prominent Federations. I suspect but do not know that the existence of the league might be tied to obtaining some measure of funding from FIFA.

            Lastly, it is possible to know all these things, and still enjoy, to a reasonable degree, NWSL soccer. Obviously ignorance is bliss, and if it makes some people sleep better at night, they can dismiss any or all the above as the rantings of a paranoid conspiracy theorist. I can accept that…

          • NYRick

            Tell us how you really feel? lol. Anyway, how about this simple new rule for NTers: if you don’t appear in a minimum of 10 of the 20 games during the NWSL season, you are ineligible for any playoff matches and you also forfeit 20% of your allocation money. Watch how fast they will all be back from Rio.

          • dw

            But the precedence is already set in the other direction. Remember No Wambach Soccer League? The stage is set for Carli to pull the exact same stunt in 2019, maybe as early as 2018.

          • Steglitz49

            #4. The NWSL exists to allow the US (and Canada and Mexico) to meet the unwritten obligation to have a league.

            The Federations complained that the USWNT played like a club side and not an NT. There may be funding attached to it but I doubt it.

          • dw

            An unwritten obligation is not an obligation…

          • Steglitz49

            FIFA can not take the risk that the powerful federations would use this issue as an opportunity to exert their power.

            FIFA knows that a WC without the European teams would be an object of derision.

            If the European federations play their cards smartly after the Rio debacle, they will control WoSo like they control BroSo.

          • dw

            Steg, sometimes I marvel at your lack of a coherent thought.
            How would any federation exert its so-called power due to USSF not hosting a league?
            How would any WC without European teams ever come into existence?
            And control of WoSo, like BroSo is solely dependent on where the money is. That balance if shifting away from USA maybe a little bit towards Europe, but I believe that to be wholly independent on anything that occurred in Rio. You expect huge injects of cash into WoSo in Germany and Sweden?

          • Steglitz49

            In Sweden no because there is no cash to inject. People, however, have been made aware that of public money in soccer and public pitch time and best time to use public facilities the boys and men get 80% and the girls and ladies 20%, so there may be pressure on for 50/50 now.

            In Germany Bayern Munich has injected cash. Wolfsburg did a couple of years ago. Frankfurt, one of the few women’s alone teams, is keeping its snout above water. Time will tell.

            In England the input has been remarkable.

            As for calling bluffs, the key is not to but to negotiate and accommodate. Thus, the USSF will keep the NWSL going if only on a bated flame.

          • dw

            OK, these are at least lucid thoughts.
            There’s private cash somewhere in Sweden right? Or is it all going to pay Marta? But in general, I get it. But as you say, a shift in the balance of public funds seems in order. The WNT has always been ranked higher than the MNT, right? So the question would be, why now, as opposed to the 3rd place WWC finish previously?
            I’m not in the know when it comes to Ladies’ Bundesliga, so I will begrudgingly defer to you.
            England has the cash, but can’t bet the FIFA/IOC politics straight, and this has cost them greatly.

    • guest

      it does seem a bit absurb for the uswnt players to be guaranteed to have the highest nwsl salaries yet they only play in around half the league games every year. has to be a bit irritating for the other nwsl players. but then again, the uswnt players aren’t too concerned about equal pay in the nwsl.

      • Guest

        Why do you say that? The equal pay campaign is definitely the first step towards equal NWSL pay. They can’t tackle all the issues at once. Once they can get equal pay at nt level then it would be easier to get it for club level. Saying they don’t care about it is just silly. They don’t choose the salaries they get paid or that their club teammates get paid. What would you like them to do, tell the federation to lower their salaries?

    • guest

      on the other hand, waldrum might not want the uswnt players to be in too much of a hurry. the dash have no chance for the playoffs. so might as well try for the highest possible draft pick.

      • guest

        but then again, some think waldrum could be fighting for his job right now.

        • Terry Lash

          Yes, he is. Lame argument. He is toast.

      • rkmid71

        Houston seems to perform better without their USWNT players. So if you’re going for the highest possible draft pick, it’s better to have them.

      • Guest

        Would they really need that draft pick though? It’s not as though any draft pick would unseat Lloyd, Andressa, or Brian in midfield. And Ohai, Daly and Beckie are all in great form now so no forward from the draft will be that necessary. Unless they want a defender they could do that maybe

    • Terry Lash

      Maybe his comments are not flattering to him either. Anyway he is gone.

      • Nicole C.

        What do you mean? Waldrum stepped down?

        • Steglitz49

          I thought he meant Poulson. In either case, some confirmation would be useful.

        • guest

          Many here speculate he will be gone. I think he’s doing okay given Houston’s young roster. Of their NT players, Brian is young and Lloyd’s hardly ever there.

        • Terry Lash

          No, it is a prediction.

          • Nicole C.

            Gotcha.

  • Steglitz49

    What did we really learn?

    1. The 12 nation tournament must be increased to 16.
    1a. It is sex discrimination pure and simple.
    1b. It is against natural justice that Brazil should play Sweden again and Canada Germany in the SF having played them in the group stage.

    2. FIFA must make improving the refereeing in WoSo a priority. (The Iranian ref who managed the men’s final did well.)

    3. Poor sportsmanship was punished. Good. Sweden won the Fair Play award.

    4. Tall goalies are here to stay. Midget goalies will be gone by WC-19 and probably already in Euro-17.

    5. Some teams — Sweden most obviously but also Germany — got better as the tournament went on while other teams got lost in a fog of their own making. That is nothing new but interesting.

    6. Survival of those who can adapt and learn. Highly organized and disciplined defenses like Germany’s and Sweden’s paid off. Why they did not get them right to start off with is a good question.

    7. Doing well matters. Pia has gone from being a figure of derision in Sweden to if not a messiah in a red hat at least a singing greyhead.

    • MurderOnZidanesFloor

      “Highly organized and disciplined defenses like Germany’s”

      Not sure which team you were watching but that sure doesn’t sound like the Germany I watched!

      • Steglitz49

        I direct you to my point #5 and also #1.

        In their group game, Canada beat Germany 2-1 in spite of Germany taking the lead. In their SF, Germany beat Canada 2-0. Likewise, in their group game, Sweden were taken to the cleaners 5-1 by Brazil but in their SF it was 0-0.

        Thus, Brazil-Swe had a GD +4 for Brazil while Germany-Canada +1 to Germany. Hence my comment #1b.

        Sweden got silver with a GD of -4 though one was an own goal admittedly. Germany had +8 and Canada with the bronze +4. You win some and you lose some. In WC-11 the US lost to Sweden but it was a group game. Likewise the tie in WC-15.

        • MurderOnZidanesFloor

          Not conceding doesn’t mean they defended well. Canada had several good opportunities to score against Germany the second time around, they were just far more wasteful than they were in the first game. Germany’s defence was shaky all through the tournament.

          • Steglitz49

            Till they drive a stake through the hearts of the Germans, no team is safe. WC-54 is a fine example, maybe the best.

          • Steglitz49

            Both Germany’s QF and SF ended in regulation while Swedens both went to penalties. That meant playing another hour (30+30 min) for Sweden plus the emotional drain of the pso.

    • guest

      “It is sex discrimination pure and simple.”
      If the Olympic committee’s objective is to maximize profits, how can picking sports and events that garner the highest television ratings be considered discrimination??

      • Steglitz49

        Basketball, handball, volleyball and beach volleyball had the same number of female as male competitors.

        Soccer is the glaring exception with 12 female teams vs 16 male teams.

        A clearcut example of sex discrimination.

        • guest

          It sounds more like sport discrimination, not sex discrimination. What do they have against football, the most popular game in the world? Maybe after 12 teams the competition drops off? Replacing the African sides with European ones would certainly have increased the competition. I think the problem, though, is lack of TV ratings, as I said.

          Anyway, I know you won’t, but please stop with the sex discrimination talk, because it’s not. It has more to do with sports the Olympics wants to reduce or eliminate, like wrestling. Luckily, there was enough of an outcry and they left wrestling in, for now.

          • Steglitz49

            Facts are sacred; opinion is free.

            I gave you the facts.

          • guest

            There is no Title IX in the Olympics. That’s a fact.

          • Steglitz49

            Basketball, handball, volleyball and beach volleyball all are equal female to male. Soccer is the exception.

          • guest

            No Title IX in Lausanne, no Title IX in Zurich. What do you call such a backward place?

          • Steglitz49

            Are there any other sports that so obviously discriminate against women at the summer olympics? At the winter one, it is ski jumping.

          • Gary Diver

            Women do not have a 1500 m Olympics freestyle swimming race. Katie Ledecky has the world record in this event.

          • Steglitz49

            Swimming at the Olympics differs from the world championship but your point is well taken. Seeing that America would have won that medal, surprising that they did not fight for it the way they fought for Allyson Felix.

          • guest

            There is no law that says they have to show an equal number of women’s games. The only laws the Olympics follow are those of supply and demand and they’re not going to show the people what they don’t want to watch.

  • Hugo

    In the meantime Saskia Bartusiak (33), captain of the German national team announced that she retires from the national team and Carli Llyod (34) posted that she looks forward to Tokyo 2020

  • Steglitz49

    Where are the xG analyses comparing the two Swe-Brazil and Can-Ger matches? They would be truly illuminating.

  • Gary Diver

    Off-Topic Alert: Women’s Contribution to Olympics

    I live in Canada and Canadian women won 16 of the country’s 22 medals: a whopping 73% of the total.

    American women won 50% (61 medals out of 121 medals).

    Interesting summary on the Team USA website about the experiences and accomplishments of the American women and the importance of Title IX to their success:

    “Multi-medalists Biles, Felix and Ledecky were among a strong contingent of American women, who for the second straight Olympics, set a record with 61 medals, exceeding its previous high of 58 from London in 2012. Had American women competed as their own country, they would have ranked fourth among all nations in the overall medal chart and tied for second in the gold-medal count with 27. Highlighting the list of firsts by American women, Gwen Jorgensen and Helen Maroulis gave the U.S its first gold medals in triathlon and women’s wrestling, while Kim Rhode (shooting) became the first woman from any nation to win a medal at six straight Olympic Games. Kayla Harrison (judo) and Claressa Shields (boxing) became the first Americans in their respective sports to successfully defend their Olympic titles, while Kerri Walsh Jennings (beach volleyball) and Venus Williams (tennis) became the most decorated Olympic female athletes in their sport with four and five medals apiece.

    “Title IX paved the way and created so many opportunities for women in sport,” said [Allyson ]Felix. “I feel so proud and so inspired by the strong women on our team. It’s such an amazing group to be a part of and I think about all the images of successful women reaching young girls back at home – those are the things that last. These performances will inspire future Olympians, and I am just so humbled and honored to be a part of these amazing women.”

    American women also delivered some of the most memorable moments of the Rio Games. On the same night of Phelps’ last career race, the U.S. women’s 400-meter medley relay team of Kathleen Baker, Lilly King, Simone Manuel and Dana Vollmer made history by securing the 1,000th gold medal for Team USA at the Olympic Games in summer competition. The milestone highlighted Team USA’s sustained competitive excellence, dating back to the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. Additionally, Manuel made history by becoming the first African-American woman to win Olympic gold in swimming, while fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad became the first U.S. athlete to compete at the Olympic Games in a hijab. Also proving mettle without a color, American 5,000-meter runner Abbey D’Agostino received the Rio 2016 Fair Play Award, along with fellow runner Nikki Hamblin (New Zealand) and the Norwegian men’s handball team.”

    • AlexH

      I wish they would stop hijacking the individual accomplishments of our female athletes for Title IX propaganda. Most of these women worked their butts off, had their parents sacrifice to pay for coaching and travel, took the time to ferry them hither and yon at an age where Title IX was barely relevant. I’m glad that educational establishments that use public funds have to provide equal opportunity in sports because it’s the right thing to do. However it is but one of many many reasons that our gals are shining so brightly in sports.

      • Steglitz49

        Maybe worth comparing with the UK also?

        • AlexH

          Speaking of the UK there seems to be some controversy surrounding government support of OG athletes. It turns out that it cost 4.5m pounds per medal won and people are wondering if it was worth it.

          • Steglitz49

            Search me. I can’t speak for the Brits.

            Athletes must go into the hearts as well as minds of the people. This the Swedish athletes did in spades, even those who did not medal.

    • Steglitz49

      Sweden won 2 golds, 6 silvers and 3 bronzes. Two men won a sliver each. The other medals, including both golds, were won by the ladies.

      9 of 11 is ca 82% while 2 of 2 is 100%.

      Maybe it is a feature of smaller countries from the 1st world. More of their women compete than in other countries so they pick up more medals?

  • Gary Diver

    Financial Losses of the USWNT Olympics Loss

    Has anybody estimated the financial loss to USWNT players for their flaming out of the tournament? Is it over $100,000 per player?

    1. USOC bonuses

    2. USSF bonuses

    3. Victory Tour bonuses

    4. endorsement losses

    5. other losses

    • rkmid71

      Here is my understanding:
      1. $25k per player
      2. $75k per player (gold); $32.5k (sliver), $20k (bronze)
      3. $1.8m to the player pool for gold — I think the USWNTPA determines how it’s allocated among the players.
      4. Uncertain — probably dwarfs the other categories
      5. $1.20 per ticket sold on VT friendlies — I guess that’s still good for whatever friendlies they have. There was to be a minimum of 10 VT games for gold, and 3 for silver/bronze.

      • Gary Diver

        We are talking about big money here.

  • Gary Diver

    USWNT Allocation System

    How many Tier I, II, and III slots are there?

    Is there a limit on the number of Tier I slots?

    In the past 3 years, has any Tier I player, who did not retire, lose her Tier I contract?

    • rkmid71

      (1) 24 total (its a minimum)
      (2) No. The minimum is 18.
      (3) Don’t think so, but not sure. Any player on the 2015 WC roster began 2016 as Tier 1 if offered a contract. Any player on the OG roster is Tier 1, if offered a contract. Alternates are no less than Tier 2.

      Does this matter though? Hopefully all this will get overhauled in the new CBA. Or are you trying to highlight how flawed the current system is?

    • Rdalford

      the CBA/MOU “tiers” clause has language that make it clear that USSF can move players between tiers and or terminate a players contract. The tiers clause includes “… retains the ability to move players from one tier to another as of July 1 of each year, based on performance but at all times there will be no less than 18 Tier 1 players” so as others have pointed out 18 is min and USSF retains right to move players between tiers. The CBA/MOU “severance” clause establishes that USSF may choose to terminate a players contract (regardless of tier). term reads in part “If US Soccer chooses to terminate a player, she will receive three month’s severance pay …” Historically players have been notified of contract termination in early fall.

      Not sure if it fits your past 3 years timeframe, but USWNT terminated tier 1 contract for Lori Lindsey at end of 2013, and USWNT terminated tier 1 contract for Stephanie Cox at end of 2014. Winters and Averbuch are other examples of players whose USWNT contracts were terminated (although not clear if Averbuch was tier 1 or tier 2 and Winters was not tier 1)

      • Gary Diver

        It will be interesting and telling to see if Ellis is willing to push this situation if everybody on the current roster wants to go to Tokyo for a chance for redemption.

      • AlexH

        Which begs the question, if they can do it, why don’t they?

        My guess is that their is a cozy don’t rock the boat attitude born of the fact that the US is so talent rich that they can pretty much take the top 50 players and pick them at random and have a chance at winning.

      • Steglitz49

        Once Stephanie changed her name from Lopez to Cox, she no longer was a token Hispanic. Indeed, ARod claimed that part.

  • Gary Diver

    Janine Beckie Story (from the Canadian Prospective)

    Canada is promoting Janine Beckie as the poster child for sticking it to USWNT.

    “When John Herdman took over the Canadian women’s soccer program in 2011, he tasked assistant coach Andrew Olivieri with scouring U.S. schools for under-23 players with Canadian ties.”

    Compare Beckie with Sydney Leroux, who was born in Canada, came to the United States under her own volition and was not poached by USSF.

    http://olympics.cbc.ca/news/article/janine-beckie-from-cut-emerging-canadian-soccer-star.html

    Nichelle Prince is also a US/Canadian dual citizen.

    • AlexH

      My boss used to say “Good things come to those who wait, but only what’s left from those who hustle.” The Canadians are hustling and it shows while the USA is just trying to divvy up the pie between the veteran players and the life-tenured federation coaches and officials.

  • Gary Diver

    How Good is Janine Beckie?

    A couple of weeks ago some posters said:

    1. Beckie is only the third or fourth best scorer on the Dash.

    2. Beckie would only be a sub on USWNT.

    If so, why is she shining so brightly for John Herdman’s team? Beckie is only 21 years old, has about 24 caps for Canada and has scored about 14 national goals. She and Jessie Fleming are seen in Canada as the players who will propel the Canadian team past USWNT in the next cycle. You may laugh now, but maybe in 2019 the laughter will stop.

    • AlexH

      Nobody is laughing. Playing youngsters also has the added benefit of lighting a fire under the butts of the veterans. The question is will Canada sustain this? When Beckie and Fleming are in their late 20’s will they get cut for younger players that prove themselves superior or will they be grandmothered in to every roster like what happens in the USA.

  • Gary Diver

    Janine Beckie to Put the Knife in USWNT’s Back

    In the Saturday Winnipeg newspaper there was an article about the 10% of Canadian Olympians who were not born in Canada. Janine Beckie was the focus of the article.

    Yesterday, in their Olympics wrap-up, CBC’s second athlete interview was with Janine Beckie and she said bronze will inspire and drive the Canadian team to bring home a gold medal from Tokyo.

    Janine Beckie was born in Colorado, was moved to Saskatchewan when a baby and returned to Colorado when only 3 years old and has lived her entire life in the US. Her only contact with Canada (other than one Canadian parent) is occasionally visiting a grandfather’s farm. Now she is dedicating her life to defeating her home country’s team at major tournaments.

    Which USWNT coach was responsible for the blunder of dropping Beckie off the national team?

    • AlexH

      The problem with a “program” is that players that are stuck on the outside basically have little chance to get back in. The USA has a bizillion good players but only a very few spots within our various national team programs. For all we know a the time the decision was made it was the right choice. The challenge is to identify talent among a sea of qualified players. It’s hard work, which is why they haven’t shown much interest in it.

      • Gary Diver

        But is very interesting that one of the first things Herdman did as the Canadian coach was to appoint an assistant coach to identify US/Canadian players he could poach from the UNWNT system.

        • rkmid71

          AlexH has proposed in the past that Puerto Rico do the same or that overlooked US players look at Puerto Rico as an option. Isn’t Klinnsman doing the same with German/American players?

          • Steglitz49

            American lasses find it hard to play in foreign teams because they don’t speak the local lingo and thereby exclude themselves from the community.

            It is not a hassle when you play for a club in a foreign land because the local players and people understand and adapt. In an NT it is exclusion.

          • Gary Diver

            “American lasses find it hard to play in foreign teams because they don’t speak the local lingo and thereby exclude themselves from the community.”

            Even more interesting is that American women (and also men) don’t seem to have any curiosity or interest in learning a foreign language. Lindsey Horan lived in France for 3 years and apparently didn’t make much of an effort to learn French. Compare that with Amandine Henry who after only a few weeks in the US, speaks passable English.

          • Steglitz49

            Marta speaks fluent Swedish, a language of less than10m people.

          • dw

            JK is pulling the old Irish stunt of building a team of dual passport players.
            The Puerto Rico gambit remains a possibility…

          • Steglitz49

            It was not an “Irish” stunt. It was crafty work by Jack Charlton, who won WC-66 playing for England..

            It used to be said that as long as your garndma had kept an Irish Wolfhound, Jack could get you cleared to play for Ireland.

            Jack is English born and bred. He was the first NT head coach to systematically exploit the elegibility rules, scouring the top Englsih divisions for players. Under Jack Ireland’s men reached #6 in the rankings.

          • dw

            OK, then an Irish stunt conceived by an Englishman.

    • guest

      i thought i heard it was the u-20 coach michelle french who cut her.

  • Gary Diver

    Is US Subsidizing the Canadian Soccer Program Through Title IX?

    Every Canadian player on the women’s national team (with the possible exception of one or two) is or will be playing NCAA soccer with a Title IX athletic scholarship. The question is whether American taxpayers are subsidizing the development of Canadian soccer talent which will later be used against the US?

    • AlexH

      This has always stuck in my craw. US universities should be in the business of education US residents not foreigners and shouldn’t be giving them scholarships. I could understand if they made an exception for revenue generating sports on the grounds that they have to compete for TV audience but for the other sports it should be Americans only.

      • Gary Diver

        I find it odd that Canadian players who have been given so much by the United States through their NCAA experiences enjoy sticking it to the Americans. You should not bite the hand that feeds you. It shows a lack of class.

        • AlexH

          Of course lots of Canadians are also American citizens or residents. I don’t know if they are sticking it to the United States or to the US Soccer pooh-bahs though.

          I think one of the biggest motivations an athlete can have is to show up a coach that cut them. Finding players like Fleming with a chip on her shoulder is just a smart move, and it is only natural that kids as young as she are going to talk some trash. It’s the modern way.

          • Gary Diver

            One difference is that the United States and Canada has a love-hate soccer relationship that is more hate than love.

        • Steglitz49

          Local rivalries are the meat of soccer. They are called “derbies” in all langages — often pronounced “dörbee” and not “darby, as they ought to be)

      • Steglitz49

        Very few foreigner attend US colleges on sports scholarships, which is what we discuss here.

        Louise Hansson, the Swedish swimmer is at USC but I do not know under what system of finance, and Laure Amadou (not sure of the spelling) was at Arizona State. Both of the golfers Annika Sörenstam and Lorena Ochoa were at Arizona State but again not sure of the financing.

  • Gary Diver

    UNWNT Is Flawed and Broken

    As someone who has taught at universities for over 30 years, the USWNT system looks exactly like the tenure system using to give permanent job security to professors.

    I have asked a number of times if any Tier I player not retiring has lost her Tier I contract? Nobody seems to remember a case of de-allocation of a Tier I player.

    This system appears insane. Why should athletes be given lifetime job security? The US national basketball players do not have it, the US national gymnast athletes do not have it, the US water polo players do not have it, and the US volleyball players do not have it?

    What is wrong with competing for spots on the national team?

    So currently we have Tier I spots tied up with HAO, A-Rod, and Leroux. Ellis has not and will not use the one-dimensional HAO or A-Rod. The times I have seen these players on the field, they did not impress. And Leroux has had injury after injury for nearly 3 years and has shown no interest in playing in NWSL.

    IF the current USWNT players will not retire and want to redeem themselves in 2020, we will have probably the oldest team of has-beens. The national team is the team representing the country and should be a cozy tenured employment scam.

    • rkmid71

      Don’t forget Rampone Tier 1.

      • Gary Diver

        Thank you. It must have been a Freudian slip.

        But I will give Rampone a lot of credit for withdrawing herself off the Olympics roster and saving Ellis’ the impossible job of making a sane roster decision. TOO bad Megan Rapinoe didn’t have the same class and say “I am not ready” which would have save Ellis and herself a ton of embarrassment. If Rapinoe had gotten the red card in the Colombia game it would have been the result of her not being ready to play competitive soccer.

        • rkmid71

          It’s also possible she saved herself embarrassment of JE doing the impossible of not selecting her. Don’t get me started on Rapinoe. But JE could have nudged her to do the classy thing — by saying she wasn’t going to select her. It set a horrible precedent that hopefully won’t be precedent and will never be repeated. Of course, that doesn’t help whatever players were left off as a result.

          • Steglitz49

            Pinoe got away with a foul against Sweden that led to Alex’s 1-1 equalizer. The Swedish captain was booked for questioning the referees judgement — which repeatedly was lacking and against Sweden.

          • guest

            no doubt if lloyd get’s injured before the 2019 world cup she will tell ellis “you let rapinoe go to the rio olympics way less than 100% so now can i. i will find my health, fitness and form in the middle of the knockout stage.”

        • dw

          The paychecks are probably still being cashed…

  • Gary Diver

    Megan Rapinoe and Red Card (Possible Take-Away)

    If Megan Rapineo had been sent off the field with a red card during the Colombia game it would have been because she was not ready to play competitive soccer. Think about it: Then Rapinoe would not have been available for the Sweden game and Ellis would not have depended on Rapinoe to come into the game and pull off some kind of Hail Mary. Maybe, just maybe, she would have thought out some goal scoring tactic, like a quick counter-attack before the Swedish defenses were set up.

    • David K Anderson

      And wouldn’t have shifted positioning and taken the only creative offensive player in the first half, Heath, out of the offensive picture.

      One of the worst coaching blunders I have ever seen…literally.

      • Guest

        I’m not sure it was such a good decision to switch Heath to the right either since she has played on the left most of the year. I think Rapinoe should have been left home but still think Lloyd in the hole has been the most egregious of the coaching decisions. Neither Morgan nor Lloyd can provide anything from the Hole and people wonder why the US struggle against bunkers. Horan, Pugh, and Long would have all been better options in the hole than Lloyd.

        • David K Anderson

          I concur. Beating a bunker is easier with a skilled playmaking CAM…and for all her good points, Lloyd is no playmaker.

          This is one reason I insisted in the build-up that it woudl have been a good idea to put Rose Lavelle on that squad, despite her inexperience and the small roster. Future Vero-tier playmaker…

  • Gary Diver

    When is the last time USWNT has scored a counter-attack goal against a top opponent?

    • Steglitz49

      To be fair, the US dominates possession to such an extent that they can’t score counter-attack goals ex officio. It is the girls on the other side that can and sometimes do.

      • AlexH

        But maybe that is their problem…..

        Consider that the US backline plays so high that they either snuff out counter attacks from the start (as they did against 99% of the Swedish counters) or they get burned at the back (as they did for that singular Swedish counter which made all of the difference.).

        Playing a high line in woso is not smart because female athletes don’t cover as much ground or get up as high in the air as the bros do. This leaves a larger sweet spot behind the line for counterattacking teams to exploit.

        If the D line plays farther back they concede possession BUT they force the other team to play in front of them. This the chance of a quick strike is greatly reduced. Our opponents must therefore commit numbers forward in order to score which will leave them open to a USA counter attack. Basically it reduces the chance of winning from 1) get a counter attack goal 2) play for PKs to just playing for PK’s.

        • Steglitz49

          The play of the German defense in the final was worth watching. As their WB went up the CB went sideways and 2 MFs dropped back.

          Stina Blackstenius still scored but it was not such an incisive counterattack as against the US.

  • Gary Diver

    When is the last time USWNT has scored a distant (beyond 20 yards) direct goal against a top opponent? This includes free kicks.

    • Steglitz49

      The goal is the same size in ladies as men’s soccer yet it has taken till now for teams to bring reasonably sized goalies. Once the ca 6 ft goalie is standard, no team will score from beyond 20 yds.

      The goalies of the better teams are no longer midgets.

      DZ’s goal against Sweden came from off a blast at the edge of the box but Lindahl got her fingers to it. A slightly taller goalie might have tipped it for a corner.

  • Gary Diver

    Since WC15, how many USWNT goals against top opponents have come from set-pieces?

    • Steglitz49

      Lost to Sweden on penalties in OG-16 and to Japan in WC-11. (The penalties against Sweden should not have been needed but never mind.)

      Did not score on Sweden from set pieces but Sweden’s own-goal to Germany came from off a set piece.

      The US avoided penalties in the OG-12 final and against Sweden i Rio through referee incompetence.

  • Gary Diver

    Canadian Mindset vs American Mindset

    Today in The Globe and Mail (national Canadian newspaper), the Canada Soccer Federation paid for a half-page congratulations to their women’s team who were “Back-to-Back Olympic Bronze Medalists”. If USWNT had won a bronze medal, would USSF had paid for a major congratulations in newspapers throughout the United States?

    In Canada there is already talk and support for the 2020 Tokyo soccer effort. Is there any visible effort in the US going forward to soccer at 2020 Olympics? Rightly or wrongly a lot of Canadians see the stars aligned for them to take 2020 gold and maybe 2019 WC.

  • Gary Diver

    Biggest Olympics Soccer Take-Away: God-Awful

    1. God awful refereeing throughout the tournament.

    2. God awful coaching by Jill Ellis.

    3. God awful choke performances by the talented French team. (We may all be dead before they live up to their potential of being the best team in the world.)

    4. Four or five of the six first-round group play games were god-awful.

    5. For the most part, set plays and direct distant shooting were god-awful as was the general lack of ability to score goals.

    6. God-awful sportsmanship by Hope Solo.

    On the positive side, Pia Sundhage and John Herdman came up with game plans that used their players to their best advantage and their teams were rewarded.

    • Steglitz49

      #0. — US players consistently harass touch-judges, which influences the game. They also try it on on the centre refs but less obviously.

      #1 — beg to disagree. Not throughout. The Mexican crew who handled the two Brazil v Sweden matches were OK. At the same time, I was surprised at the choice of ref for the final given her poor performance in WC-15.

      #2. The US lost so JE must fall on her sword. Canada lost; what Herdman? China did well — but lost.

      #3. 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015 and now 2016. Good grief. Cheese-eating surrender-monkies, spring to mind.

      #4. The turnaround by Sweden v Brazil is the stuff of legends. We have come to expect it from the Germans.

      #5. Is not strictly speaking correct. We now have taller goalies and JJ got away with a foul on a swedish corner. Three Swedish corners were not given against Brazil by the same blind touchjudge in the SF (whcih speaks to your point #1).

      #6. Verily. The spirit of Saki Kumagai infused Lisa Dahlkvist, who scored from the spot against Hope in WC-11.

      • Gary Diver

        You are completely right and I was wrong (in my wording) about the refereeing. Some of the games were refereed very well and professionally. But a large number were in the god-awful category.

      • Gary Diver

        Canada lost, but in Canada they are celebrating the bronze. Astutely, Herdman is claiming the bronze medal will inspire Canadians to play soccer and deepen his talent pool. And he may be right. Who knows, maybe he won’t have to poach US/Canadians in the future.

        • Steglitz49

          Sweden lost and in Sweden they are celebrating. The papers are full of the soccer lasses. Even Sarah Sjöström and Jenny Rissved, who won Sweden’s gold medals, are sidelined. Everyone is admiring the soccer players’ babies be they married to men or women.

          As for the own goal, people interpret it that Sweden were unlucky and could have won or at least gotten to penalties.

          To be fair, Pia has been criticized for not starting Blackstenius in the final, but that is all.

          Sweden won the Fair Play cup btw.

          • Gary Diver

            How Sweden treated Marta at the conclusion of the SF game was pure class. (And I realize her Swedish connection.)

      • Why?Steg

        Why do you have to be so respectless? This generation of French ladies might have some mental problems (or they simply lack a good striker who is able to score when it matters).

        Making some fun is also ok

        But calling them monkies….

        I even don’t find a word describing what I think of someone using such a language for athletes of another country

        Chease eating surrender..is also not funny at all

        I remember your nasty, stupid comments about Germans 1-2 years ago.

        I know you write very quickly. But sometimes it doesn’t harm to use the brain and read what you are about to submit again

        I guess you lost every right to criticise Hope for her comments after the Sweden game

        • guest

          Where are you from? He’s just aping American political discourse. My response to him would have been about glass houses.

          • Steglitz49

            In the WC-11 match for 3rd place, Sweden playing with 10 defeated France. The so-called Hammer-goal.
            In OG-16 Sweden took silver.

            Some glass; some house.

  • Gary Diver

    Do USWNT Players Care About NWSL?

    We will find out this weekend who comes to play serious soccer and who finds excuses to take another week off. The question is: Who is professional and who is just milking the system for all it is worth?

    And it looks like the USWNT players will get another week off from their supposed “day job” next month.

    • Steglitz49

      USWNT players put their wallets first. That is why they carry them in their left breast-pocket.

      • AlexH

        Everybody puts their wallets first. Step 1 for any sports program is to channel the greed that everybody has into a direction that supports winning rather than whining.

        • Steglitz49

          Lars Lagerbäck coached the Iceland men’s NT for a much reduced fee, essentially for free.

          • AlexH

            OK. Everybody in countries that matter put their wallets first.

            Isolated islands allow for bizarre evolutionary outcomes. In animals you get marsupials and lemurs and in humans you get altruism.

          • Steglitz49

            Sweden has a glorious tradition in soccer, not just OG-16. The Grenoli rule OK. Zlatan. WC-03 etc etc.

    • another guest

      September FIFA women’s international match calendar window (12 Sept to 20 Sept) – when it should be noted the NWSL schedule has no games – will be used for international matches by many of the WNT teams from Europe so many WNT players (not just USWNT players) will be involved in WNT matches but in most cases this should not cause them to miss any NWSL matches.

      • Steglitz49

        12-20 sept is Euro-17 qualifiers. It would impact Amandine, Kim and Jess plus assorted other lasses.

        • another guest

          since NWSL schedule planned for the Sept FIFA window (no NWSL games in the FIFA window) impact should be limited

          • Steglitz49

            Good.

      • Gary Diver

        The NWSL schedule has the continuity of Swiss cheese.

  • Andrew Alberico

    The USWNT has to come with four solid midfielders. And develop chemistry between them and the forwards. The lack of a strong midfield makes it impossible to beat a bunker defense.

    • Steglitz49

      Having seen Brazil destroy Sweden and Sweden struggle against both China and South-Africa, the US sold the pelt before they had shot the bear. They also did not do their homework because they ought to have known how dangerous Stina Blackstenius is.

      • Gary Diver

        When Sweden showed that they could counter-attack, Ellis needed to keep more than 2 defenders back to protect Solo. And remember (but obviously Ellis didn’t) that JJ was nearly red carded in a German counter-attack during the WC15 SF. If you don’t learn from your mistake, your mistakes are going to cost you dearly.

        • Steglitz49

          JJ should have had a PK against her early in the Sweden match and a card, though she would have gotten a yellow, probably.

          the USWNT can manage without JJ.

          • Gary Diver

            I definitely believe JJ has a few things she needs to work on in order to be on the WC19 roster.

          • dw

            Pffft. She’s tenured.

          • Gary Diver

            Hmm, that is a problem. And a problem in motivating players to become better players.

          • Steglitz49

            It would be fascinating to learn what the American players really think of their performance in Rio. The honest, shoulder to shoulder, skin to skin reflection and contemplation, like standing naked in the locker room.

            What do they honestly think about their match against Sweden? They were overwhelming favorites yet it did not work out. Like going to a disco and seeing the hunk walk away with a plain Jane on his arm.

          • David K Anderson

            Like basic, CB 101-level defending…

    • AlexH

      I think the USA’s failings were in finishing. Against Sweden the USA dominated the flanks got in good crosses and often rounded the corner and dribbled into the box. They just couldn’t hit the broad side of the barn. Part of that was Swedish defenders but part of that was US attackers skying their shots right up through the PK shootout.

      • Steglitz49

        Sweden played in all blue. They played in all blue against Brazil too.

        In the final they played in all yellow.

        That explains it all. the blue change-strip is the proper strip for Sweden.

      • Frode

        The US got a remarkable number of balls into the box, but they were mostly in the air and easily cleared by the likes of Fisher. Yes, they should have done better with their chances (you can almost always say that), but they should have had better chances, and more of them. That takes the right tactics, the right personnel and a lot more patience than the USWNT showed.

        • WOT

          Fischer

          • Frode

            Nilla says tack så mycket…

    • dw

      The need is for coaching a systems that understands and develops midfield play. Not the players’ fault.

      • Steglitz49

        Sweden did a massive turnaround from their lacklustre (abysmal more like it) group play but the US learnt nothing from their Colombia game.

  • Steglitz49

    The all blue strip is now Sweden’s lucky strip. In the final they played in their standard yellow outfit, but without the blue shorts. Many Swedes consider this to be the obvious explanation why they lost.

  • Gary Diver

    Defeating a Bunker Defense

    This could be the subject of a dissertation with different people having different opinions.

    First of all, we are going to see more variations of this in the future. Mark Parsons was not above using it effectively against Seattle a few weeks ago. It is more than just “bunker soccer”. There are a lot of variations and some are quite clever.

    Consider the USWNT/Sweden QF game. USWNT didn’t seem able to score by distant direct shots or set pieces. British CBC commentator thought Ellis wanted Rapinoe to score a direct goal from a corner kick. If so, Ellis should be fired.

    The essence of a bunker defense is setting up the defence with quality defenders. USWNT needed to quickly counter-attack Sweden before they could set up their defense form. But Ellis was content to move the ball slowly back and forth among defenders before moving forward. This gave Sweden too much time to get their defense organized. You snooze, you lose.

    • Steglitz49

      Facile.

      Germany understood how to do it and carried it out. You must stretch and disturb such highly organized defenses. Germany’s first goal was an object lesson in this craft. The Germans missed chances in the first half, not least Anja Mittag in front of an open goal.

    • dw

      We lack all the tools needed to beat a credible bunker. Note that we stuggle to beat tomato can bunkers, until tomato can fitness becomes the critical factor:
      1) No consistent aerial threat since Abby.
      2) No consistent long range shooter.
      3) No consistent quick pass play between CAMs and strikers.
      4) No consistent attack into the outer corners of the penalty area (and no diving in the box specialist, also since Abby.)

      • Steglitz49

        However you turn it around, the US could not adapt its game. France trounced Colombia 4-0 and NZ managed 1-0 even with 10 players towards the end but the US were 2-2.

        Sweden they just underestimated.

      • AlexH

        You forgot 5) Mentally tough center backs that don’t allow themselves to be beat 1 v 2……EVER.

        • David K Anderson

          So many completely crap roster and substitution choices by Ellis in that tournament…

  • Gary Diver

    The French Mindset

    I may be wrong, but it seems to me I saw the French coach during the last few minutes against Canada QF game calmly sitting down on the bench as though nothing was happening. Did anybody else see that?

    • dw

      Pfft. He has nobody clutch. The goal isn’t going to come late. His best option at that time would be to see if he could get a gig coaching the South Korean WNT.

      • Steglitz49

        It is remarkable thoug: 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015 and now 2016. What is wrong with these talented ladies? The French ladies reached the final of the handball where they lost in an upset to Russia’s lasses.

  • Gary Diver

    “It would be fascinating to learn what the American players really think of their performance in Rio.” – Steg

    Inquiring minds would love to know! If anybody has found USWNT players spilling out their souls over the OG 16 debacle, please share. I would love to hear one player question some of Ellis’ god-awful decisions.

    It would be eye-opening to hear what Christen Press is really thinking now. How Ellis set her up for a terrible failure in a tournament that was suppose to be her triumph in the public’s mind.

    • Steglitz49

      They can’t. You can’t question the head coach’s decisions in public.

      Say what you like about Silvia Neid but by all accounts the German players appear to cherish her. No doubt she made mistakes as head coach but they were accepted.

      Pia was in a tighter corner before this marvelous knockout run. People regarded her as a failure, not least from the selection of squad for WC-15 onwards. All is now forgiven.

      I was more after the players assessment of themselves.

      • Gary Diver

        “They can’t. You can’t question the head coach’s decisions in public.”

        It is the 11th commandment that players don’t turn on teammates, but we have just witnessed Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan turning on Hope Solo.

        • Steglitz49

          They turned on Hope for slurring Sweden. Manners maketh lady. Sour grapes do not impress anyone.

          They probably were embarrassed by her glove trick when it did not pay off. Had it worked, they would have laughed all the way to the bank.

        • David K Anderson

          I’d say that that commandment becomes eminently violable when the teammate says something completely over-the-top and indefensible.

    • Frode

      The only critique from players/staff I’ve heard came from Alex Morgan, right after the group stage. She was concerned about the offense’s failure to score. She was right to be. She also said their early exit from the tournament was a “humbling experience.” She has her head on right. Yet another reason to respect her.

      • Guest

        Alex Morgan is part of the problem when it comes to breaking down bunkers. She wasn’t very effective at all in the set offense against a bunkering team and before anyone says she didn’t get a lot of service. She actually did record a bunch of shots in the Sweden game. She also needs to be showing for the ball more in the areas and looking to combine with teammates more. Relying on brilliance from wing play is unsustainable in any given match.

        • guest

          on a scale of 1 to 5. what do you rate alex morgan’s technical skills?

          • Guest

            I don’t think very highly of her technical skills at all. I think they are very low in comparison to her peers. She can’t dribble or turn with the ball when pressured by any decent defender and I think her passing skills are overrated as well. Her assists were high in 2012 because she was the second striker paired with probably the most dominant targets the women’s game has produced so far. She is also one footed and a volume shooter. Not clinical enough in front of goal to be a poacher. The team can work around her though if they have someone else capable of playing in the hole. Neither Morgan or Lloyd are and it hurt the US big time against Sweden.

          • Steglitz49

            Utter garbage.

            “Not clinical enough in front of goal to be a poacher.” — Alex’s goal against Sweden was a classic poacher goal. She could only score it because her left foot is so good.

            You forget that Alex’s most famous goal is a header.

          • Guest

            Scoring a poachers goal here and there does not make her one. The vast majority of her goals come in transition. Alex is a volume shooter and a counter-attacker.

          • Frode

            Morgan is not a complete striker. The USWNT does not have one, and I don’t see one coming up any time soon. By complete striker, I mean someone like Schelin or Ibrahimovic in their primes: tall, fast, aggressive, technical and tactical. Morgan’s chief attributes are speed and aggression; her height is not a major asset. Her technical ability has improved, especially in regard to hold-up play. To be fair, her tactical awareness is probably better than what she showed in the OG under Ellis’ strange formations.
            Absent a dominant, complete striker, a team must rely on a combination of players with technical skill and tactical awareness to score. The USWNT has combinations of players who could do that, and there seems to be a wealth of young players coming up who fit the bill.

    • Guest

      Is this the Gary Diver forum?

      • Gary Diver

        Sorry, I guess I had too much time on my hands today.

  • Gary Diver

    Rope-a-Dope Soccer Against Portland

    When Portland gets all of their star international players back, I do not see how most NWSL teams can play them straight-up. Portland has so much talent, they may only lose one or two games in the rest of the season. Playing some form of bunker soccer against them would at least reduce the goal difference in the games and if a team has a reasonable counter-attack it would give the other team a chance to squeak out a 1-0 victory.

    • Steglitz49

      Do you honestly think anyone cares about the NWSL now?

      • Gary Diver

        That is a good question. And maybe NWSL will be a casualty of the OG16 debacle. And the Swiss cheese NWSL schedule doesn’t help them. If the USWNT players make no effort to promote their NWSL teams, 2016 could be a sad year for NWSL. I still have hope, but time will tell if the hope is a false hope.

        • Steglitz49

          2017 and 2018 will be lean years. The NWSL will survive. It must.

    • David K Anderson

      Which would be a bit ironic, given that with the Olympians gone, the Thorns played some bunker-and-counter matches themselves, and even beat largely-intact Seattle with it.

      • Gary Diver

        I agree with the irony. Mark Parsons has let the cat out of the bag.

        The Portland game caught my attention and shortly afterwards I made a comment that a USWNT Olympics opponent should think about using it. We usually associate bunker soccer with tomato cans, but even good teams can use these tactics against a team with superior individual talents.

        • David K Anderson

          The discipline with which that makeshift lineup stuck to the plan was amazing to watch. In addition, despite the formation and tactics the Thorns relied on, the game was surprisingly exciting (although I admit being in the stands can make a big difference in that aspect).

  • Gary Diver

    Team First

    I would like to see more humility and less sense of entitlement from USWNT players. “There is no “I” in team.” There should be more discussion about what USWNT needs to do to improve as a team and less discussion about the egos and greatness of individual “tenured” players.

    • AlexH

      Well maybe the loss of bonus money and VT gate share will put some of the players in a rebellious mood. In 2019 the youngsters will have their own legacy and finances to consider and will take a stand.

      • Gary Diver

        Could you please elaborate on what you would like to see happen with USWNT over the next three years?

        • AlexH

          Yes. I did so a few days ago but I would never pass up an opportunity to repeat myself. Just remember, you asked for it!

          Without a meaningful match until WC qualifying in Fall 2018 I would like to see the WNT only put players that will be under 30 for France 2019 on the roster from now until the end of the SBC in 2018. Give the younger players a chance to strut their stuff. Afterwards invite the old guard back and have an open competition for roster spots.

          Fire Jill Ellis, April Heinrichs and all of the other tenured potentates to ensure that we send the best 23 to France instead of the best connected / most marketable.

          Fix the CBA to make it easy for the coach to call / cut players.

          Hire a replacement coach that is concerned only with winning rather than one with a vision of “modern soccer” or some other cool sounding catch phrase. Must be willing to call / cut players as needed.

          Go to a 3-5-2 and value the beep test (drink)

          • Gary Diver

            Thank you. I like much of what you suggest here.

            The current “tenure system” of allocated Tier I players who are essentially given job security (like university professors) makes no sense in the competitive world of sports. It irritates me to hear people claim HAO, A-Rod, and Leroux have earned their spots on the roster. I believe that every player on the WC19 roster should have to earn their spot by playing better as a team player than other players who want that spot. Nobody should be entitled or gifted a spot.

            I don’t know enough about formations to comment about your 3-5-2 suggestion. But it does seem to me that USWNT has had a hard time getting 2 forwards to work together so the whole is greater the parts.

            I have a big problem with Ellis’ tactics. When USWNT gets the ball, usually the ball is kicked around among the defenders for a while and then they attempt to move the ball forward. I want to see some quick counter-attacking where the ball moves forward quickly before the defenders have time to organize themselves. I think that was one of Ellis’ many mistakes in the Swedish game. If a team is playing a defensive game, you cannot give them time to organize their defensive form. You need to attack when they are not ready and most vulnerable.

          • Steglitz49

            As HOFCToDi noted to me the other day, Alex Morgan will still be 29 in WC-19 by a couple of days (final is 190630 while AM dob 890702).

            After losing to Japan in the WC-11 QF in Germany, the DFB kept faith with Silvia Neid. I expect that the USSF will do the same with JE unless they have a very strong candidate.

            JE needs to get herself an expert defensive coach. Pia showed what fixing the defense can do for a team. Germany also improved theirs.

            3-5-2 is the preferred formation of Even Pellerud, one of the most influential coaches in WoSo.

    • #1Fan

      Im sorry, but this is classic genie back in the bottle. As a country, US LIVE on hype

      – pre season All Americans
      – pre season best X1s
      – endless hours of Pugh/ Sanchez/Pulisci Adu before they have really kicked a ball
      – Endless marketing of Morgan, Lloyd etc

      and now you want a culture based on team ?

      No chance.

      • NYRick

        I hear what you’re saying and tend to agree with you as it pertains to the USWNT. But for a US thing, it is doubtful unless you were fans of the sport that anyone knew Katie Ledecky and Simone Biles before the OG. Yes, as a sports fan, you may have heard a bit about them but no one is watching trials and gymnastics world championships in the US before the OG. They actually lived up to the hype. We were pre-warned to ad nauseum how good they were, and they didn’t disappoint, they were that good.

        I think pre-season predicting for any sport is just a way the media drives interest for a variety of media dollars. There are always going to be hits and misses.

        Now as it pertains to this women’s program, you do have inside info having seen many of these young players and you have formulated your opinions already on many and don’t agree with the hype. It all remains to be played out. Some will fail when they get on the big stage and under the bright lights, no matter how good or hyped. That can’t be foreseen. I think the issue you have with it (once again as it pertains to the junior women’s US soccer programs) is that some of the players are preordained for the senior team before they kick a ball at that level. They get tenured as junior players. And that’s not fair and I agree with you.

      • Gary Diver

        We have discussed this so many times in the past several months even I am starting to feel confused about how I feel about it. Hear are some of my current thoughts.

        1. There needs to be a much better balance between individual star players and a “collective feel” of a team with a sense of unity. There is a difference between an all-star team of the best players and the best team. Position by position, France had better players all over the field than Canada but Canada won. Same with USWNT and Sweden. And we saw the same situation again and again during Euro 16. The goal of the USWNT coaches should be to create the best team that is playing the best soccer as a unit where the pieces are integrated and showing great combination play.

        2. The tenure USWNT system of allocated players is a problem that is causing a huge and unfair bottleneck to young players. Why should HAO, A-Rod, and Leroux have guaranteed spot on the national team. These players are quickly becoming irrelevant and they are not the only USWNT players who should be “let go” for the future good of the team. We need to move to a fairer system based on meritocracy.

        Yesterday, AlexH suggested that USWNT use only players under 30 until the end of 2018 SBC. Give the younger players a chance. The Friendlies are suppose to allow the team to develop its future so let’s use the Friendlies for that purpose. After 2018 SSC, invite the older player back to compete for all of the WC19 roster positions.

        3. Star system is a problem, but I have no idea how to avoid it. As NYRick pointed out below, it is a US thing. There are a lot of conservatives on this site who say over and over that soccer is a business and needs to commercially paid for itself. In that scenario, hype of star players would even be greater than it currently is. In the United States we will always have the star system to some degree because it is in our DNA.

        • #1Fan

          but its ONLY paying for itself BECAUSE the non stars are criminally underpaid. And even with that ..is it?

          As far as picking a good team. more does not always equal more. I actually think HAO is a great team player and role model, but 200 caps is a ridiculous amount. Rampone is still a great captain. People talk about Holly at SB, but Ramp[one influence cannot be underestimated. The leaders on the WNT should be the ones keeping the individual agenda in check, but when Lloyd is one of them , no chance.

          Young players is a new buzz word, but lest be honest
          Pugh has been anointed and given EVERY chance to succeed. Why?I ask this half joking. She is a talented player, BUT who has she actually played against that allows them to make the leap to Senior team? And why is she the only one? are there more? who knows.. i just know that the US system from top to bottom is rife with unearned opportunity that rarely surfaces because up till now, the US did not need to coach well or select well to win games. For the system to change, the rest of the world needs to step up. I hope it happens because i love the sport, but time will tell.

          Canada are showing with fewer resources, that you can build a winning program on players the US has deemed surplus and homegrown talent. I think the coach gets a lot of unfair stick. He is doing what best he can to compete.

          • Gary Diver

            Star System in Canada

            The star system also applies in Canada. Before WC15, the Canadian media was proclaiming Jessie Fleming as the “next Sinclair” BEFORE she did anything on the senior team. Essentially she is the same age as Mallory Pugh, but Canada promoted Fleming even more than USWNT promoted Pugh.

            From the day Janine Beckie scored her first senior Canada goal, she was promoted as a future superstar. Here is a player that USWNT dumped off their U20 roster like Morgan Andrews was dumped. Is Janine Beckie really a superstar? John Herdman and the Canadian media believe so.

            Deanne Rose, only 17 years old, is also being promoted in the Canadian media as a superstar of the future. Herdman put her on his roster and has played her. The Canadian team has a number of players under 23 that are on the senior roster and seeing time on the field. Jill Ellis is not experimenting with young players other than Mallory Pugh. (Morgan Brian is veteran at this point and Lindsey Horan has played three years of professional soccer.) Where are the young players on the field for USWNT?

          • #1Fan

            Need is the mother of all invention. US has no need to do it, until perhaps now, but i doubt it happens

          • #1Fan

            sounds like we agree

          • WOSO Fan

            I don’t think being a soccer ‘star’ in Canada is nearly as meaningful as it is in the USA. Press coverage, fan population and financial rewards are very, very different. Herdman is just trying to communicate positive results re: his search for talent.

            In terms of the USA exposing more young players to senior international soccer earlier in their careers… I expect the rest of the WOSO world would rue the day.

          • guest2

            I don’t like Herdman because of the things he says to the media. He’s done a pretty excellent job as Canada’s coach though especially constructing a team based on Canada’s strengths. That will probably never include them playing ‘pretty’ football though which US Soccer seems to want to do without selecting the youth teams players that have those skills.

  • Gary Diver

    Off-Topic Alert: Young Olympics Darlings

    Interesting that the American Olympics darlings were 19-year old Simone Biles and Katie Ledecky. The Canadian Olympics darling was 16-year old Penny Oleksiak (who amazingly is another US/Canadian dual citizen.)

    • Steglitz49

      What happened to Simone Manuel?

      • Gary Diver

        Yes, I should have included Manuel and late-blooming Maya Dirado, both of whom were joys to see in and out of the pool.

        • HOFCToDi

          Maya Dirado, at the age of 23, has stated she will retire after the 2016 Rio Olympics.

          Missy Franklin was already on the decline at the 2015 World Aquatics Championships in Kazan, Russia.

        • Steglitz49

          Simone, Maya and Katie are all Cardinals. The Stanford Aquatic center is to die for.

        • HOFCToDi

          With regard to Maya DiRado, short distance swimmers (100m, 200m) have shown the ability to peak in their mid twenties.

    • HOFCToDi

      twitter.com/SInow/status/765522065772388352/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

      • Gary Diver

        Thanks for sharing this. We did have a number of athletes the nation should be proud of for what they did in competition and how they represented their country as charming individuals.

    • HOFCToDi

      youtube.com/watch?v=h7I86zZ27N0

  • Gary Diver

    Olympics Performance and Contract Negotiations

    Does the OG16 failure hurt the bargaining position of USWNT? It is hard to believe that it won’t seriously hurt their position and UWNT players will end up losing much more then a big Olympics payout. And if USWNT loses their no. 1 FIFA ranking, they will not be able to claim that they are the best in the world.

    • HOFCToDi

      Let ’em strike. A number of college athletes would consider it a honor to wear the national team jersey.

      • Gary Diver

        Only 4 more months before the current contract ends. It is going to be very interesting to see who blinks first.

        It may get ugly if the players think the world can’t get along without them. USWNT players should learn what my father used to tell me: Nobody is unexpendable.

        • HOFCToDi

          Tack on three years and the vast majority of players on the Olympic roster will be over the age of thirty.

          en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_women%27s_national_soccer_team#Current_squad

          • Gary Diver

            I was thinking about this myself yesterday and was going to look up the player ages and add three years to them.

            It made me upset to hear that USWNT players feel that they have earned the opportunity to come back in four years to redeem this Olympics lost. No team with a bunch of 30-37 year olds is going to win WC19 or OG20. There are so many younger players with talent that deserve a fair chance to be on the WC19 roster. The future of winning WC19 is not with the OG16 roster.

          • HOFCToDi

            The current players earned redemption against JPN in 2012 and 2015. The current rhetoric is false bravado from a bunch of cowardly spoiled brats.

          • HOFCToDi

            This is the first time the USWNT ended a four year cycle with a thud. Time to clean house and purge the spoiled brats along with the “equal play, equal pay” campaign.

          • Gary Diver

            You are right that this uninspiring “thud” has disappointed a lot of fans and has probably set back their “equal pay for equal play” campaign so far that we may not hear much about it during the final months of contract negotiations.

            Jill Ellis and the USWNT veterans have dug themselves a deep hole which is going to take them a long time to escape from.

          • Steglitz49

            During the barren years between 1999 and 2015, the USWNT and their fans talked up the women’s olympic. They even tried to claim that it was worth more than the WC.

            After WC-15 and not least the unseemly struggle among the Veterans to get that coveted WC, the attention turned to doing the Double. This historic Double would make them greater than the 99ers.

            Now they stand there with egg on their faces. They failed and they failed miserably.

            At least the USWNT reached the final in Sydney. Heck, Rio was not only the first OG where the US did not reach the final, it was the first they did not reach a SF.

          • Steglitz49

            2007 was the same and some would say worse.

            They hired a Swedish lady who read the players the riot act, sorted them out and they won OG-2008 without Abby who had broken her leg just before those OGs.

          • HOFCToDi

            2007 was not the end of a cycle, 2008 was the end of a cycle.

          • Steglitz49

            Indeed.

            As you noted before, Alex Morgan just makes the final as a 29 year old by a couple of days.

        • HOFCToDi

          I’ll take WoSo more seriously when the format for the FIFA Women’s World Cup qualification on the women’s side is identical to the men’s side.

          en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018_FIFA_World_Cup_qualification_%E2%80%93_CONCACAF_Fourth_Round

          en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018_FIFA_World_Cup_qualification_%E2%80%93_CONCACAF_Fifth_Round

        • HOFCToDi

          I’ll take WoSo more seriously when a FIFA Confederations Cup takes place on the women’s side.

          en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017_FIFA_Confederations_Cup

          • Steglitz49

            FIFA uses the ladies U20 WC in place of a Confederations Cup.

            We are more likely to see a U23 Olympic tournament for the ladies like the men have.

          • HOFCToDi

            That’s baloney. The men compete in the FIFA U-20 World Cup.

          • Hood

            Even the men don’t take that serious. It’s essentially a dress rehearsal for the world cup . A lot of players will do vacation instead.
            The men have only all 4 years a real global competition of national teams for which they care while the women have two events within 4 years

        • Guest

          Most seem to get two world cups. There wasn’t much turnover between WC 11 and WC 15. I think Press and Alex will be on the roster if healthy. Politics and tenure is everything on this team

          • Steglitz49

            Press? Dream on.

          • Guest

            Look at past history. All of the under 30 (during) WC 11 players were on the WC 15 roster regardless of performance. Press is going nowhere. She’s on their payroll.

          • Gary Diver

            IF the OG16 roster becomes the WC19 roster, USWNT will crash and burn big time. You do not win a WC with a bunch of thirty-somethings.

          • Gary Diver

            I think the issue with Press is that under Ellis she will end up being another HAO – there on the roster, but rarely on the field.

        • Steglitz49

          Given their record early and ignominious exit from the OG, they have little if any leverage.

          Who pays for damaged goods?

      • Steglitz49

        Hear hear!

    • Paul Klee

      The USSF can do anything it wants with the next WNT contract as long as it disburses funds equal to or greater than it does to the men and what the women are now being paid. There would be no outcry and complaints from current WNT players would seem self serving and whiney. One would hope that they would use this opportunity to greatly increase the player pool, getting rid of the contracted aspect of the player pool while at the same time increasing training camp “floater” pay, friendly roster bonuses and match payouts, tournament incentive bonuses. Etc.

  • Gary Diver

    Does anybody believe that either Jill Ellis or any of the USWNT players ever come to this site and read comments?

    • kevin

      i hope so. they might learn something.

    • dw

      If they did, it would be only once.

      • Gary Diver

        This site is not for the thin-skinned USWNT player.

    • Steglitz49

      In the early days of the EQ, yes. Back in 3-4 years ago it was excellent and the comments section fairly brief and to the point. In those days Jeff Kassouff was more active, even edited the comments section.

      Harjeet did an excellent coverage of Euro-13. She went there (under her own steam, I presume) and went to as many matches as practical.

    • Carli probably has been here.. she seems to search out anything that has to do with her name. Even recently blocked Hal Kaiser (woso media out of Houston) on twitter for some comments he made about her being 37 next WC, and he didn’t even tag her.

  • Gary Diver

    Great Article In Today’s The Globe and Mail About Girls and Women Sports (“Seeing Women Excel in Tough Sports May Change Kids’ Ideas About What It Means To Be Strong”)

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/olympics/tough-women-tough-sports-engendering-change-in-the-way-brazil-treats-girls-athletics/article31484292/

    Comments on Marta’s comments:

    “Near the end of the Games, another team of tough Canadian women won the soccer bronze, defeating Marta and her team. Afterward, I showed my children a video clip from the postgame interview with Marta. Near the end, the legendary player choked up and turned to address the camera directly.

    ‘We managed to fill the stadiums – I think that was the biggest prize for us,’ she said. ‘Of course we wanted to climb on the podium. But the recognition, to be cheered in every place that we went, that’s what we’re going to take with us. Think about this, Brazilians – don’t stop supporting women’s football. Don’t stop. We really need you.’ Overcome, she turned away. It made my kids teary, too.

    Marta, I think, expects that the women’s football team will quickly be relegated back to obscurity, especially now that the men’s team has redeemed itself and won the long-coveted gold medal.

    But maybe, after these two weeks of seeing women play soccer on prime time, more little girls will ask about lessons; maybe a few will break the unspoken rule and run on to the field at recess.”

    • HOFCToDi

      CONMEBOL has a terrible track record of supporting WoSo.

      fifa.com/fifa-world-ranking/ranking-table/women/conmebol.html

      Note the number of member associations inactive for more than 18 months and therefore not ranked.

  • Guest

    My FIFA POTY shortlist:

    Lindahl
    Dabritz
    Behringer
    Seger
    Sinclair
    Beckie
    Formiga
    Marta
    Heath
    A. Morgan

    • Gary Diver

      How many players actually make the official shortlist? It would really be something if Formiga made it.

      • Steglitz49

        10 for the ladies unless they increase it.

      • Guest

        around 10

    • Steglitz49

      I expect DZ to make the list because she scored the first goal in the final plus, I think, it was from off her shot (freekick) that the own goal came.

      The US going out in the QF may well only get one candidate. Sweden might get Blackstenius on the list too or instead of Seger.

    • Srewer

      Hegerberg and Abily instead of Heath and Morgan.

      They won the so called “triple” with their club team and were the key players of that team.
      What did Heath and Morgan achieve?

      • guest

        Due to how few competitive games Lyon plays a year, including CL, I have a very difficult time taking their accomplishments seriously. I’d probably have Abily and Hegerberg over Beckie and Morgan, but I’d keep Heath on it especially if she can continue her early season form and help lead Portland to a championship.

      • I think Heath deserves to be there. She has had a great club season and had a good tournament before the US was knocked out. I wish FIFA paid attention to club play more than just the big tourneys.

      • Guest

        Morgan scored 13 goals in 16 games or something like that, including goals against Germant and France. She also had two goals in OG including the equalizer against Sweden. She has also carried her club’s offense this year and captained this new expansion team into a good first season.

        Heath set up a few of the goals in the group stage and has also been having a tremendous year. And her club play has been better than ever.

      • MurderOnZidanesFloor

        Renard and Kumagai likewise could make it for those reasons. But they probably won’t because FIFA don’t watch women’s football outside the major tournament of the year.

      • Guest

        Morgan equalized vs Sweden and also scored against NZ. She has around 15 goals this year including against France, Germany, Japan and she has lead the offense on her club team and propelled them into playoff contention despite being a first year expansion team.
        Heath played a role in a few of the goals the USWNT scored and also has been terrific for club this year and has been the playmaker for the WNT this year due to the fact that they are devoid of a true one.

        • Guest

          Morgan has had a terrible year for Orlando so far. She is on place to end the year with 3 goals and 2 assists. World class strikers need to be better.

          • Guest

            Not all leagues are like the French one where all but one of the games are blowouts where scoring stats can be padded. Which international forward in the NWSL has done better?

            Especially considering the rest of the roster besides Morgan and the backline is pretty dull. A bunch of names that have probably never even been said on this site before this year, compare that roster to Lyon where the two players you are campaigning for play

          • Guest

            She has played comparably very poor to the other top players in the NWSL.

          • Guest

            Sinclair? Little? Melis? Press? Horan? Daly? Her stats are essentially equal with a significantly more limited roster

          • Guest

            Heath wouldn’t be good enough for the starting team of Lyon. She wasn’t even good enough for the starting team of Paris

            But yes, she was so brilliant at the victory tour against South-East Kenya, the Vatican State and the U15 of Monaco.

            And yes, she hit the post at a match of the Olympics. Wow. She definitely belongs to the best players 2015.

            Maybe she is even the best of all time

          • Guest

            Lol not good enough for the starting lineup of Lyon? Who is the better option? One of the French National Team players who can’t get past a quarterfinal on the world stage? Please.

            And she set up the winning goal against your team of French wannabes, assisted on the first goal of the tourney, took over the SBC Game against Germany, and scored on a beating of Canada.

            No she doesn’t belong there but definitely put all of these brilliant Lyon players who scored 0 goals in 3 games at the She Believes Cup, 0 goals against the USA in group play, and 0 goals in the knockout rounds to once again come up short

    • #1Fan

      Morgan def not

    • Gary Diver

      Can you imagine how stupid USWNT will look if Janine Beckie makes the FIFA POTY shortlist?

      • Guest

        Beckie hasn’t been anywhere near good enough in the league to be considered in my opinion. She definitely wouldn’t be a regular on the US team despite her excellent tournament.

    • MurderOnZidanesFloor

      While both were good I don’t think either Beckie or Dabritz did enough to get on this list, maybe if there was a separate one for young players they’d be on that.

      I also expect that Maroszan will make the list due to her influence on the gold medal match.

      • Guest

        I’ve heard Maro had a very poor Euro season this year.

        • MurderOnZidanesFloor

          Frankfurt as a whole under performed and she missed a lot of it with injuries, didn’t see enough to really comment on her play in the games she was available.

          Not that it matters, based on club form Lloyd was nowhere near the best in the world last year.

          • Guest

            Lloyd won the player of the year based on 2-3 games so I guess anything is possible.

  • Hood

    In the meantime Melanie Behringer and Annike Krahn (both German National Team)retired and Carli Lloyd is wondering whether she can make Olympia 2024

    • Hood

      They both retired from the National Team, not from club soccer

      • Gary Diver

        Apparently US players feel that USWNT is their day job and they are just loaned out to NWSL teams for inter-camp training. So I would expect some USWNT players to quit NWSL while trying to keep their juicy USWNT contracts.

        Actually I think it would be a good idea to make playing in NWSL a requirement for having a Tier 1 USWNT contact, otherwise we will see more players pulling an Abby Wambach claiming that they are training on their own. Ha Ha . . .

        • NYRick

          The USSF contradicts itself regarding the NWSL with it’s scheduling conflicts and numerous extended camps for the NTers. How did that work out this year BTW? They even have two friendlies in Sept. which will conflict with the final NWSL matches for sure. Those friendlies couldn’t wait till after the NWSL championship game?

          If the USSF complied with a realistic schedule for the tomato can friendlies (seriously, do all the top players have to be there for every one?), and put in a rule that to get your full Tier 1 USWNT contract you must play in a minimum of 75% of the NWSL games during the calendar year you would see a big change in the attitude of these players. Even after this crushing ouster at the OG sans medal, I doubt many of them even care. Their bread is buttered with the USWNT and they know that. However, they each cost themselves about 100-150K this year without medaling. They need a dose of reality and then it will hit them. They were on an awful high horse following the WC last summer.

          • Rdalford

            re “two friendlies in Sept. which will conflict with the final NWSL matches for sure.”
            No. The Sept friendlies are scheduled within the FIFA women’s international match window for Sept and the NWSL schedule also honors the FIFS window and does not have matches scheduled in the Sept 12-20 FIFA window. There NWSL regular season ends Sunday 9/25 and the NWSL final is two weeks later (Sun Oct 9th) so there is a week for semifinals then week leading up to final – no conflict with the Sept friendlies since the friendlies are in the FIFA window.
            Worth noting that Euro qualification matches also are scheduled in the FIFA window in Sept so other WNT players (Little, etc) will also be out during the Sept FIFA window.

          • Gary Diver

            Do we know when the USWNT camp begins for the two September Friendlies? I suspect the camp and games will take up more than one week.

          • Rdalford

            For past post WC/OG friendlies (VT tours etc) there have more often not been camps associated with the friendlies especially the friendlies held soon after WC/OG. I would expect no camp and a short call up period for the Sept friendlies and just travel and rest recovery between Sept 15 and 18 matches.

        • Rdalford

          re “expect some USWNT players to quit NWSL while trying to keep their juicy USWNT contracts”
          actually there are examples of USWNT players losing their USWNT contracts/allocated player status but then continuing (at least for a year or so) to play on NWSL teams. recent examples include Lindsey, Averbuch, Cox, Barnhart, LePeilbet, Winters, K Mewis,

        • Rdalford

          re “make playing in NWSL a requirement for having a Tier 1 USWNT contact”

          the current CBA/MOU does have a NWSL requirement. Players had options of
          – playing 2014 in Europe then playing NWSL in 2015 or 2016 or
          – playing in NWSL 2013 and 2014 then have ability to opt out for 2015 or 2016

          My guess would be that this NWSL requirement is one of the negotiation points between USSF and players union.

    • Camoes

      Krahn is 31 years old. USWNT players over the age of 30 please take note. I know it’s hard to get off the 1/4 million dollar per year gravy train.

      • NYRick

        Well to be honest, if you can be in your 30s, make 200-250k a year, have young people idolize and adore you and have the potential for numerous sponsors depending on your performance, would you get off the gravy train? You can’t blame them.

        Problem is the system, not them. It’s a star system and the USSF is afraid of losing the stars. The ironic thing is that the program went on without Mia, without Abby, will go on when Alex leaves too. And please tell Carli that as well. The young kids will scream just as loud for Pugh (and do already) as they have for Wambach, Solo, Carli, Alex etc.

        • Gary Diver

          “Problem is the system, not them. It’s a star system and the USSF is afraid of losing the stars.”

          Agree completely. So USSF and the players have a mutual interest to maintain an unfair and I would say a corrupt system that locks out most challengers from having a fair opportunity to “get onboard”. The young players coming up the system are eventually told “sorry, but that there is no room in the inn”.

          • NYRick

            In the past, I’ve called the senior USWNT team a “mean, sorority” with exclusive membership. And I think that is somewhat accurate even though I was being sarcastic. They begrudgingly accept you in, but you better be really good. With someone like Press, she was an outsider and now eventually has become an insider, but that took some doing. With someone like Pugh, she was such a prodigy that they had to adopt her, especially when the house mothers (Gulati and Ellis) insisted on her inclusion.

          • AlexH

            There is a saying in business that companies go bankrupt very slowly and then all of a sudden. I am hoping that the shock of losing will hasten the demise of the sorority (as you so perfectly put it). The set up is on shaky ground right now so all it needs is a push.

  • Mo

    Melissa tancredi was more impressive than Alex Morgan this OG. Morgan is not the player she was 4 years ago.

    • guest

      Morgan’s game is more suited to counters, not breaking bunkers

      • AlexH

        But Morgan was our leading scorer with 2 of our 5 goals from the run of play so she is more suited than anybody else on our team it appears.

        • Guest

          What a bunch on nonsense. Morgan and Lloyd were the only player to recieve significant minutes at CF. It’s hard to know who will suceed when those two get all the minutes in tournaments and friendlies for the year. In her limited time as a CAM I was way more impressed with Press than Lloyd. Horan has hardly seen a single minute further up the field than CM the entire year.

          • AlexH

            The scoreboard does not lie. Everything else is just speculation.

          • Guest

            It’s not speculation that Morgans goal record in the NWSL is garbage for a starting striker. Press by comparison is having a poor year and still has twice as many goals. Horan is the same and she’s played most of the year for Portland as a CM. All of this ignores the fact that Morgan is a terrible forward against teams that sit in and defend in two blocks of 4 behind the ball. I’d make the argument that numbers lie all the time, especially the USWNT goal stats.

          • AlexH

            Uh, the relevant stats for an attacker on the USWNT is USWNT goal stats. Morgan scores them, case closed. She may not be the best ever but she is the best we have now.

          • Guest

            Again when alternative options get very few to no minutes it’s hard to see anyone surpassing her raw numbers. I don’t think it reflects the quality of her play against teams that don’t leave themselves open to counters. Goals are just as much about the players around Morgan as it is her skills. I think the US would manage just fine without her.

          • Frode

            If you want to compare production potential of attacking players, you should use total points, goals and assists per 90 minutes played.

          • guest

            But it must be said that Lloyd came through once again and scored the winning goal in OT, though it was called back due to her hand resting on the defender’s shoulder.

          • Maybe she put the US ahead for a moment, but the following minute, Sweden equalized and was wrongly called back to a bad offsides call.. it all worked out in the end, sadly.

          • guest

            Sweden would have been reeling from the blow, and thinking their luck had run out, besides the fact the US would have assumed a more defensive posture, being up a goal.

    • AlexH

      Tancredi finally has a cleat-hockey coach that “get’s her”

    • Guest

      How so? they had the same number of goals, not to mention Morgan has scored around 15 other goals this year

      • WOSO Fan

        The comment was specific to this OG, so Morgan’s other 15 goals are not in scope. Tancredi’s goals were against Germany, the number 2 ranked team and eventual Gold medalist. Morgan scored against lesser teams. I think Mo has pretty good case.

        • Guest

          tancredi’s goals were against Germany’s B team.

          • WOSO Fan

            Morgan scored one of hers against New Zealand.

    • Guest

      I still call her Tanc-ree-di because of the British OG12 SF announcer. Apparently it’s tancr-EH-di, in true Canadian style

  • Gary Diver

    What was Jill Ellis Thinking at OG16?

    Before we leave the Olympics, does anybody have any insight to Jill Ellis’ rationale for what she did during the tournament.

    1. Playing Carli Lloyd as CAM when Lloyd is a terrible playmaker.

    2. Playing only two defenders when Sweden showed they were a dangerous on the counter-attack.

    3. Moving Tobin Heath to OB.

    4. Inserting Megan Rapinoe when the Colombia game proved she should not be on the field.

    5. Making no effort to use a quick counter-attack on Sweden. Ellis’ slow ball movement allowed the Swedes to reorganize their defenses which you cannot do if you want to defeat a bunker defense.

    6. The worse than random PK selection. You need to pick your number 1 kicker as someone you know is good at PKs, which Morgan is not. AND the insane placing Christen Press as the crucial fifth shooter immediately after Ellis conveyed to the world she has no confidence in Press when she moved Lloyd ahead of Press in the PK order. It is no surprised that Press was so stress out she looked she was trying to kick a field goal.

    I am sure other people can find other coaching mistakes made by Ellis. The problem is that none of her big mistakes makes any sense to me and I fear these mistakes reflect incompetence on her part.

  • Gary Diver

    My Wish List

    1. As suggested by AlexH, USWNT should use only players under 30 in their Friendlies until after 2018 SBC and then invite the oldsters back to compete for WC19 spots. Aren’t Friendlies supposed to be used for team development?

    or

    2. As suggested by Steg and HOFCToDi, basically clean house and only keep Alex Morgan, Morgan Brian, Lindsey Horan, Crystal Dunn, and Mallory Pugh and do a serious search for young players who will be playing near their peak potential in 2019. (This is what Canada is doing now.) USWNT has a huge pool of talent, why is it completely taken for granted?

    If Canada can take our throw-aways and make a powerhouse team, why can’t we take our best young players and make a dominant team? USWNT plays more Friendlies than any other national team. Let’s use these Friendlies to develop a dominating team as a USWNT team should dominate considering all of the advantages USWNT has going for it.

  • Gary Diver

    Was there a Best XI list at OG16? Were there a golden boot, a golden glove, etc. awards?

    • Guest

      No they do not do that. But I would like to see what people’s look like so here is mine:

      Marta……………Sinclair……………..Beckie
      …………Dabritz……………Behringer………..
      ……………………Formiga……………………….
      Lawrence….Sembrant…..Monica……Foord
      …………………….Lindahl……………………….

      • guest

        Did Canada face the bunker? Wasn’t Beckie given plenty of time and space?

        • Guest

          They did not and yes she was, but who would you put there instead of her?

        • WOSO Fan

          I believe Canada had (ironically 61%) possession in the second game against Germany. Once Germany was awarded a PK, Germany played very defensive soccer. Canada had some very good opportunities to even things up, but didn’t execute. Those possession stats if correct indicate something akin to a bunker.

      • MurderOnZidanesFloor

        That looks good to me. I’d definitely take out Foord though, she didn’t play RB for much of the tournament and was pretty wasteful as a forward, probably Samuelsson in her place.

      • Gary Diver

        So not a single American gets a nod? This was a bad tournament for USWNT.

        • Guest

          I posted a POTY shortlist with Americans on it and got shot down so I was hesitant but I would be content seeing Pugh, Dunn, Morgan or Heath there

  • AlexH

    So I guess Pugh’s decision to go to college is paying off. After the Olympic flame out, she isn’t losing much in the way of bonuses, victory tour money, no Wheaties Box endorsements, etc… and the NWSL isn’t getting any of the Olympic afterglow shining on it, so a free education from a top school isn’t looking too bad at the moment.

    • Gary Diver

      Any Pugh injury update? I assume Pugh was expecting to spend her fall enjoying the Victory Tour. So what will she do now since she isn’t starting college?

      • AlexH

        Toga! Toga! Toga!

      • AlexH

        She is in enrolled but not playing I think.

        • Gary Diver

          I thought she has decided to postponing starting college. So maybe she starts UCLA at the same time as Ashley Sanchez and one year after Jessie Fleming.

        • another guest

          Published reports seem to indicate that Pugh delayed her enrollment in UCLA to Jan 2017.
          “Thanks to a packed schedule with senior and under-20 U.S. national soccer team commitments, Pugh will delay her start at UCLA until January 2017, her parents, Karen and Horace Pugh, told The Denver Post.”

          Suspect delaying enrollment until Jan 2017 preserves 4 years (2017 season thru 2020 season) of NCAA eligibility.

          • Gary Diver

            Of course any report needs to be taken with a grain of salt since a new report may be forthcoming.

      • U20 WC prep. They were basically told they have to red shirt if they want to make the squad. Mal won’t be with the senior team for the September friendlies because the U20’s have a camp or game at the same time. That is her focus now through the Fall I am sure.

        • AlexH

          I wonder why though as she clearly has nothing to prove. Also, why not give somebody else her spot on the team so we can broaden our player pool. It’s almost as though the federation doesn’t want more options for the senior team in the future….

          • I totally agree. Seems like taking a big step backwards for both sides.

    • guest

      It will be time well spent, she could be President one day. Are we there yet?

  • Gary Diver

    What Has Changed?

    In her golden prime, Sydney Leroux would get the ball with some open space around her and then put fear in the hearts of the opposition as she streaked toward the goal. Now whenever Morgan or Pugh get the ball it is rarely in open space and they seem more often than not smothered by defenders. Am I remembering the past correctly?

  • Gary Diver

    Approaching 1000 OG16 comments!

    • guest

      seems like you have written at least 999

      • Gary Diver

        Alas, you have given me too much credit. But the OG16 debacle has meant a lot to me.

        • AlexH

          We need to immortalize it with a nickname. I used the term “Bumble in the Jungle” a while back. That is my official nomination.

          • Gary Diver

            I agree. “The Great Letdown” does need a nickname worthy of its significance. Your nomination is pretty good and catchy.

      • Bruce

        Gotta admit Gary, that’s pretty damn funny.

        • Gary Diver

          Yep, one short of a 1000:)

  • Gary Diver

    Off-Topic Alert: Was Élodie Thomis injured or has she been bumped in the pecking order?

    I was just looking at the French roster and am shocked to see so many of their stars now at the end of their twenties or early thirties. Position by position should be the best team in the world. What happened to so much potential?

    • Guest

      Diani is the future and I got the impression that some of Bergeroo’s line up changes have an eye on the future. It may have cost them against Canada when he played a inexperienced LB and push Majri to LW. Thomis will probably not be a starter in 2019.

      • Guest

        Diani looked invisible all tournament

        • Guest

          And Beckie took the young LB to school on the goal that knocked them out of the tournament. Tounaments are small sample sizes and the experience for young players is valuable.

  • Gary Diver

    Warning: The Young Canadians Are Coming to WC19

    Melissa Tancredi and Rhian Wilkinson have announced their retirements, so the only Canadian players left (excluding keepers) who will be older than thirty in 2019 are: Christine Sinclair, Diana Matheson, Desiree Scott, Sophie Schmidt, and Josée Bélanger. And I would not be surprised if some of the last three retire or get replaced – Schmidt and Bélanger are definitely not essential to Canada’s future. Probably only Sinclair and Matheson have a lock on the WC19 roster. Compare Canada with USWNT.

    • MurderOnZidanesFloor

      No way Scott or Schmidt go before Matheson, they are 3/4 years younger and much less reliant on pace/mobility which is the most likely attribute to decline with age.

      • Gary Diver

        You may be right. Two things: (1) For some reason Matheson seems to be ageless – she looks more like 22 than 32, and (2) Schmidt is a shadow of her former self since going off to Germany (somebody has said she isn’t even a starter on her club team). And Desiree Scott seems to be a mystery to me. Maybe she is very good, but I haven’t seen it.

    • I thought I saw that Belanger said she was retiring after the OG as well? Maybe that has changed or I read it wrong.

      • Gary Diver

        You may be right and if so that will make the future Canadian roster even younger.

  • AlexH

    So looking ahead, who are our defenders of the future. Attacking players get all of the love but defense wins (or in our case loses) championships. Do we have CB’s in the pipeline? How about a bone-crushing defensive midfielder? Or have we decided to just go for the stylish players and left all of our effective ones to be scooped up by Canada?

    • Guest

      Many CBs: Sonnett, Johnston, Dahlkemper, Menges, Rocarro, Skroski, Oyster, Kallman, Naughton, Barnes

      For OBs Hinkle, Gilliland, Short and maybe even Dydasco

      Colaprico seems like a good bone-crushing DM but I would also like to see JJ tried there.

      • AlexH

        More info please about the CBs. Who is fast, who is strong, who is mean, who is smart, who is technical, who is all of the above?

        I guess we have to add “who is going to be stupidly passed over” so Jill can call up a fan favorite?”

        • Breakers fan

          One vote for Kassey Kallman here. I know there are other good ones too, but Kallman’s the one I’ve seen the most. Stuck on a struggling team for the last 2 years but that shouldn’t be held against her personally. She was on a great one at Florida State. She is tough, smart and was repeatedly voted the hardest worker in practice by her teammates. I’d love to see her get a camp call-up, though being on the Breakers make that an against-the-odds proposition. Though I have to say that that mindset is idiotic. Way back when would you not have put Dick Butkus or Gale Sayers on the NFL all-star team because they played on some bad Bears teams?

      • Gary Diver

        People have suggested JJ at DM before, but do you think she has the required speed?

        • Guest

          What kind of speed? Because sprinting speed is not required, and that really is the only type she doesn’t have. Most DMs are not really fast: Desiree Scott, Hamroui, buczowski, Behringer, Seger, etc. I think that is the position on the field that speed would be least important.

          • #1Fan

            it depends. Speed helps a lot, but in the womens game stateside, any pace and a girls i shifted to another position.

        • #1Fan

          Jeez no. Awful ball control and a bad passer. Not a DM on a passing team.

          • How about Sonnett?

          • #1Fan

            WAY better choice.

          • Gary Diver

            I love Sonnett’s intensity – reminders me of Christine Sinclair.

          • Breakers fan

            Yeah, Sonnett is a player I really want to watch carefully for the next year or two. I loved her play at UVA but haven’t really watched her with the Thorns.

          • I have watched her a couple times with the Thorns and have been impressed. (why I thought she should have been the 3rd CB before we saw how the OG played out) – but she is one to look forward to in the future.

          • Gary Diver

            Ellis’ choosing Engen over Sonnett is interesting in light of Ellis’ consistently making poor decisions throughout OG16.

      • #1Fan

        Colaprico is not a bone crusher

        • Guest

          She’s a DM and can properly hold which would allow for the other miss to create and would push Brian higher. There aren’t many bone crusher DMs in player pool but she comes closest IMO. Maybe Brooks

          • Guest

            Other mids*

          • #1Fan

            she is a rteal intelligent soccer player. CAN play anywhere, but a bone crushes she is not.

    • rkmid71

      We should divvy up the work. For colleges, someone identifies a top 10 in west coast region, east coast, midwest and south. That would give us 40 CB candidates and 40 DM and/or HM candidates. And why not add OBs to the equation also? And someone else covers NWSL. Please base it on actual performance observed rather than hype, Top Drawer ranking, who might have YNT experience or some other politically tainted list., And please look at all colleges and conferences … remember Rampone was at Monmouth University (great players can come from non-Power 5 conferences). We might as well as do USSF’s job since they seem to suck at it. They mostly just look at forwards and try to convert them for some reason.

      • Gary Diver

        “We might as well as do USSF’s job since they seem to suck at it.”

        Amen!

        • Frode

          They certainly know which ones have a Canadian parent.

        • #1Fan

          not true, they just are not burdened with the same sense of grooming that the US is.

          • Gary Diver

            My comment was intended to be tongue in cheek.

        • guest

          which makes it interesting to watch devon kerr possibly switching to the uswnt from canada. wonder how she got away?

      • HOFCToDi

        Savannah Jordan
        Rose Lavelle
        Andi Sullivan
        Christina Gibbons
        Kayla Mills

      • HOFCToDi

        Mallory Pugh and Ashley Sanchez won’t be around for the next two international women’s friendlies.

        ussoccer.com/stories/2016/08/18/18/56/160818-u20wnt-2016-u20-womens-ntc-invitational-will-feature-host-usa-brazil-england-korea-republic

        • Gary Diver

          Thanks for sharing this.

          “U.S. Soccer will stage a four-team Under-20 women’s international tournament from Sept. 14-18 as the USA hosts Brazil, England and the Korea Republic in Los Angeles for the 2016 U-20 Women’s NTC Invitational. . . . All the matches will be streamed live on ussoccer.com.”

          I think I will be more interested in watching these game than the USWNT Friendlies.

          • HOFCToDi

            Thailand is yet another tomato can which will generate nothing more than a false sense of accomplishment.

            fifa.com/fifa-world-ranking/ranking-table/women/

          • Gary Diver

            You’ve got that right! And I would go further. Playing tomato cans like Thailand is a hindrance to USWNT development.

          • #1Fan

            well the U15s just won Concacaf. Included in that were 22-0 and 16-0 wins. we celebrate these achievements with Golden balls etc.

          • Gary Diver

            Yes, I saw that the U15 team has something to celebrate. Let’s hope this transfers upward:)

          • #1Fan

            i think its a complete joke. I dont see any dev benefit at all. I see it as part of the problem. The US has no reason to even play in the event. Many of these kids experience very little adversity until they actually get kicked in the teeth because at youth level it is made far too easy.

          • Gary Diver

            You may be right. You definitely know much more about this level of soccer than I do. I would just like to see the potential of soccer being utilized for kids better than it has been in the past.

          • HOFCToDi

            Time for the USSF to lock out the USWNTPA members and call up the U-23 USWNT that participated at the 2016 U-23 Nordic Tournament.

          • Gary Diver

            The system is definitely broke and needs major changes before USWNT implodes.

          • HOFCToDi

            Soccer is a niche sport in the United States.

            nbcolympics.com/video/diana-taurasi-team-usas-gold-bigger-just-medal

            Diana Taurasi drove that point home.

          • Gary Diver

            Diana Taurasi is joy to watch on the court and also gives intelligent, interesting interviews.

            When people here talk about (at least in the past) USWNT being dominate in WoSo soccer, they should take a look at what US women have accomplished in basketball or gymnastics or water polo to get a better understanding of the concept of dominance. USWNT is not dominate in WoSo, but with all of the resource advantages, they should be dominate like their sisters in basketball.

          • HOFCToDi

            Resource advantages?

            topdrawersoccer.com/the91stminute/2016/07/the-high-cost-of-american-coaching/

            topdrawersoccer.com/the91stminute/2015/08/the-great-american-scouting-crisis/

            Two women’s professional association football leagues have gone bankrupt in this century alone.

          • Gary Diver

            I was thinking of the millions of girls who play high school soccer and the hundreds of Title IX NCAA scholarships. Nearly every Canadian player has or is benefiting from these scholarships. Up to the university level, no country supports women’s soccer as much as the US does. According to Wikipedia: “Among girls, the U.S. has more registered players than all other countries combined.”

          • HOFCToDi

            Here is the bottom line that you don’t understand. The American public doesn’t give a damn about soccer. The American public cares about the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL:

            en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_professional_sports_leagues_by_revenue

            College football and college basketball is more popular than soccer in the United States.

          • Gary Diver

            I am afraid you are right, but I wish it was otherwise. I have never understood the fanatic popularity of football. Maybe people see the violence as a parallel with war or a modern version of the gladiators.

          • HOFCToDi

            If it’s bad on the men’s side, it’s worse on the women’s side.

            topdrawersoccer.com/the91stminute/2016/06/does-the-u-s-youth-national-team-system-need-a-full-overhaul/#more-41770

          • guest

            the us women’s rowing is pretty dominate too.

        • Gary Diver

          I noticed that the recent U17 Friendlies in Michigan drew larger crowds than most Algarve tournament matches.

          • #1Fan

            Draws with Brazil are not good results.

          • Gary Diver

            Agree, but we are dealing with 16- and 17-year olds who are still developing their individual and teamwork skills.

            In the 2-2 draw, USWNT had the lead and let Brazil score a late equalizer. That may indicate a coaching issue.

          • #1Fan

            No we are not. Im sorry we are dealing with payers that are being touted as FULL internationals. We cant have it both ways And on the team work part , not really. 70 days in camp. this is not some pick up team.

          • Gary Diver

            I see your point. But maybe it is not good to view 16- and 17-year olds as miniature adults – they are not adults. They are still growing up in spite of the fact that the adults around them want to market them as adults.

          • #1Fan

            so thats the rub isnt it. we cant have both. I personally prefer to view them as young women with potential. I prefer to see them dial back the camps, miss less school and allow them to BE kids to an extent, but I am in the minority. Im the fool. Those that wnat to tlak about these kids as FULL internationals. want them to play in 2 intl events and skip school/’ college cant ahve it both ways. Once you go down this path so early, there is no turning back. USSF YNTs are no promise of riches. Education HAS to be high on the agenda here and 75 days of school is madness.

          • Gary Diver

            Soccer is a little like Nashville or Hollywood. For every success story there are dozens of broken hearts and crushed dreams. An example is Sofia Huerta who quit the Mexican youth team because of her dream to play for USWNT. Well, nobody here sees her ever playing for the senior team. Was it a delusion for her to hope for her dream to come true?

          • NYRick

            Soccer for a young up and coming American women is rapidly becoming like pro tennis. Roger Federer was apparently shipped away from his parents at age 12 by the Swiss tennis federation because they saw great potential and he lived with his coach to his late teens and rarely saw his parents or friends. Is this what it is starting to become? One of my good friends in an instructor at a top youth baseball academy and the stories regarding making traveling teams and parental sacrifice are hair raising.

          • AlexH

            NYRick: While I think that the youth sports travelling team culture is nuts I am also beginning to think that taking 12 years to graduate HS is also nuts. I think that kids that are exceptional in something should pursue it and get their education on line. In my experience they somehow manage to do both.

            I think cities should set up sports magnate schools just like they do for performing arts. That way it takes out a lot of the pay to play aspect.

        • Gary Diver

          Ashley Sanchez has to balance U17 WC and U20 WC duties. It will be a very busy fall for her. I wonder if she has time to actually go to school.

          • #1Fan

            My kid has a close friend on the u17 team going to the wc. she will end up missing 75 days of school.

          • Gary Diver

            Ashley Sanchez is going to play in Jordan in October and then shortly afterwards goes to Papua New Guinea to play essentially in a rainforest during their summer (90 F with 90% humidity). She may be a wreck when it is all over. Let’s hope the teams do well.

          • #1Fan

            but why ? there is ZERO need for her to do that. NONE at all .

          • Gary Diver

            Do we know whether it was her choice? Or her family’s choice? Or USSF’s choice?

          • #1Fan

            its just unnecessary. No matter whose choice. Just like Pugh playing in the U20 WC is unnecessary

          • Gary Diver

            I see your point, but I think individual cases have to be considered separately. Was it bad for Mia Hamm to play at such a young age? And Canadians think it was great that Jessie Fleming played such a big role in Canada’s success.

            My gut tells us that Ellis has not properly found the best way to use Pugh. (It is no secret that I have a low opinion of Ellis as a coach.) Herdman found a way to utilize Fleming and as much as it pains me to say this I believe that if Mallory Pugh was on the Canadian team her output would be much greater than it is on USWNT.

          • Gary Diver

            Missing 75 days of school is no minor sacrifice. Hope the school and family give full support to the players.

          • #1Fan

            you are kidding right. 75 days of school to play in the U17 WC. its a major sacrifice to a sport with no pro endgame of consequence.

          • AlexH

            It really depends on the individual when it comes to missing school. If my older daughter were asked to skip 75 days of school for any reason whatsoever the answer would be a resounding hell no, whereas I would probably let my younger daughter skip 75 days for something worthwhile as she has the focus to keep up with her studies. I am assuming that the team provides the HS girls with tutors.

          • #1Fan

            Not really. Its soccer first.

          • Gary Diver

            My “missing 75 days of school is no minor sacrifice” was meant to be read “missing 75 days of school is a major sacrifice”. Sorry if my trying to be cute confused the message.

        • Breakers fan

          Thanks mucho for this info, HOFC. Really glad to see that the games will be streamed live on ussoccer. If I can watch ’em I will.

      • guest

        Fine, but FYI Di Cicco converted Pierce from forward.

        • rkmid71

          I’m not saying it’s not possible, but there is a learning curve to being a defender. I read an article which said that Pearce/Rampone was among the fastest, one of the best vertical leap, intensely competitive. She wanted to start and play no matter the position. She was more of a basketball player in HS. And she says she loved defense in basketball. “That was my game, being a defender.” She may have been a forward at one time, but she had the willingness and the mentality to be a defender. Those aren’t glory positions.

          • guest

            Yes, I had the defensive mentality when I played ball. I was a DB in football and I absolutely loved running down ball carriers. Soccer coach wanted me to be a forward and I hated it.

          • rkmid71

            Exactly. Some people seem to assume that no one would choose to be a defender … if they’re an elite athlete with skills. In football, some of the best athletes I’ve ever seen are DBs or cornerbacks (eg. Deion Sanders). Same applies in soccer.

      • Breakers fan

        If only we could be subsidized in this effort. It would take a ton of time. Think of how many times you’ve seen the US players and how your viewpoint of them has changed over time, how long it takes you to really get to know a player.

        I think to do this you’d also really want to have access to the college coaches to try to get a lead on whom to check out. That ain’t happening. That said, we can report on whom we’ve been impressed by in our college soccer viewing.

        Your Rampone example is a fabulous one. The greats can come from anywhere. What’s the story on how she got noticed way back when, do you know?

        • rkmid71

          Your viewpoint changes because the players change, develop at different rates and different times. You can’t write somehow off because of one-off observation. The intangibles are what it’s hard to know unless you really know a player. Things like work ethic, soccer iq, competitiveness, perseverance, attitude, love of the game. What’s relatively easy to see is the athleticism — agility, speed, quickness, strength — and the ball skills or lack thereof. As we’ve said before, top players need three things: acceleration, ball skills, awareness/soccer iq. If it was me, I would start by looking at players on dominant, winning teams in each conference and see what makes them tick as well as look at first team all conference players identified by the college coaches in each conference. It would be nice to organize some event to bring all the identified players together in a competition. The greats come from everywhere in every sport. Often undrafted or low draft picks become hall of famers. For Rampone, I think DiCicco got a tip (from a friend who was coach of opposing team I think) and figured it couldn’t hurt to take a peek and the game was in his neighborhood. Rampone didn’t even know he was there. To his credit, based on what he saw he was open to giving her a chance at a tryout with the NT. He didn’t care that it was Monmouth University. He didn’t care that she hadn’t played ODP. She had been recruited to play basketball.

          • Breakers fan

            Great post, especially in your description of what makes a great player and how it’s not easy to see that for some time, and also how a coach’s feedback about players that he knows well can help identify the best. Loved the Rampone story too. DiCicco should really, really be commended for that. I wonder if that could happen in 2016. It’d take a special national team coach.

            I’ll add one more thing about “getting to know a player’s game”. Sometimes a player may just have an off game or a few off touches. Perhaps the game before she was lights-out but we weren’t watching. It takes time with everyone but you’re spot-on about what can be identified quickly.

  • Gary Diver

    Did Jill Ellis hold a post-Swedish game interview? Has she made comments about the tournament?

    • I was wondering the same. Why have we not heard anything from Jill yet?

    • Frode

      This is what I’ve found so far:

      “I think that this was a good step, in terms of how we want the game to look for us,” U.S. coach Jill Ellis said after the exit against Sweden, a game in which she felt her team played well but couldn’t find the goal. “Certainly to come up short, it’s disappointing. But at this point, we’ve got to stay committed and focused on how we want to evolve as a team.”
      http://www.espn.com/espnw/sports/article/17299993/what-the-us-women-soccer-team-olympic-exit

    • guest

      post match interview, hah. the us soccer site has not yet even posted the USWNT pk shootout loss to SWE in the us soccer site list of USWNT results.

  • HOFCToDi

    Phelps, Ledecky Among Finalists For Team USA Best of the Games Awards

    swimswam.com/phelps-ledecky-among-finalists-team-usa-best-games-awards/

    By the way, Christen Press is not on the list.

    • guest

      It’s easy for swimmers to run up the medal count.

      • Gary Diver

        I am not sure the word “easy” is fair. It requires great dedication and an enormous amount of hard, lonely training. There is no entitlement involved here.

      • AlexH

        I don’t think it’s easy but there seem to have a medal for every possible way to transit a pool. It’s as if track and had medals for the 100m run, skiip, hop and shuffle.

      • Breakers fan

        Yeah, just become the best in the world first, and do it in various races that require pretty radically different skills, then it’s all “easy”.

      • HOFCToDi

        It’s easy for you to be a dumbass.

        • guest

          You’re funny.

      • Paul Klee

        Well they do have hurdles, I guess they could add a backwards run. I bet Usain Bolt could dominate the 100 and 200 in that. They could add short distance walking. Then do a freestyle-hurdle-backwards-walk medley and relays. Then you would get the same number of medal events

        • Breakers fan

          I appreciate the humor.

          More info on this topic: Allyson Felix tried to qualify in the 200 at the US trials and missed by a tiny margin. If she hadn’t had an ankle injury at the time my guess is that she would have qualified.But my point is that not only didn’t she win a Gold in the 200 she didn’t even make her team in it, and she is, as you saw if you watched her run, still near the top of the sport in a few distances. I can’t recall if she also tried in the 100 – I don’t think so. But if she didn’t try it’s because she either knew she wouldn’t make the US team or she thought that amount of running at the Olympics was just too much. That kind of consideration didn’t stop Ledecky or Phelps.

          Other examples: Galen Rupp tried to qualify in the 5000 at the American trials and failed. Gatlin didn’t even make the 200 final at the Olympics. World Record holder, Keni Harrison, in the 100 hurdles for women didn’t even make the US team -she got 6th in the trials. This stuff ain’t easy.

  • Paul Klee

    Post in wrong place.

    • Breakers fan

      Did you hear what Usain Bolt said when asked “why don’t you also run the 400?” He said something to the effect – “that race scares me. I don’t want to work that hard to become prepared for it.”

      • Frode

        Among track athletes, the 400m is among the most dreaded events. It’s a lactic acidosis party. I know from personal experience. My daughter runs it for her high school track team and shares the sentiment.

        • Breakers fan

          I’ve heard that and intellectually I understand it. Seems really really hard. I felt for Felix when she got beat at the tape when her rival literally dove across the finish line.

          Question about it: If when running the 100 you are sprinting at one hundred percent, at about what percent are you running/sprinting in the 400?

          • Gary Diver

            I’ve heard that in the 50 m freestyle race, swimmer actually don’t breathe.

          • Breakers fan

            Yes, and I watched ’em, the men, and it’s true (I didn’t know before the race or had forgotten) – they never come up for air, but in the women’s 50 air was come up for a couple times by the winner of the race.

          • Gary Diver

            The Felix race brought up an interesting question. Apparently what her opponent did was legal, but many have questioned whether it was ethical. Not everything legal is ethical.

          • Breakers fan

            My opinion, though it pains me to say it, and I want to say the opposite, is that it was ethical….. because it was legal…meaning Felix could have done it too. My baseline for this is that you can and should do everything within the rules to win and that’s all Shaunae Miller did. I didn’t like it but she, and Felix, are allowed to do that.

          • Gary Diver

            But if every racer dove at the end of a close race it would get old very soon and maybe cause the rules to change.

          • Breakers fan

            That hasn’t happened yet, after all these decades of track, which indicates to me that either a) athletes see it as too risky to their physical well-being going forward; b) doesn’t give a definite enough advantage, over a strong lean; c) too damn scary to do.

          • WOSO Fan

            It appeared that her opponent dove on purpose, but I think she was just out of gas and unable to move her legs fast enough to recover from her lean at the line. If you watch enough track, you’ll see that happen from time to time. If I recall correctly, It almost happened to the young American sprinter in the men’s 100m semi. He stayed up, but just barely.

          • rkmid71

            Van Niekerk ran 43.03. Normally it’s considered a sprint for 60-100 meters and then one long deceleration except Van Niekerk whose splits were 10.7, 9.8, 10.5, 12.03. I think Van Niekirk is the only sprinter who has done the trifecta and run sub 10, sub 20 and sub 44 for the 100,200,400 respectively.

          • Breakers fan

            That race, out of lane 8, was one of the most amazing track feats I, or anyone else, has ever witnessed. And it was shown right after that segment about his elderly lady coach back in South Africa. What a great moment. Did you hear Ato Bolden right after the race: “Michael Johnson, your record has just been destroyed!”, I think it was. Thanks for those times. Johnson’s previous record was like 43.18, if memory serves.

          • Frode

            I’ve heard 85 – 90%. Actually, if you take (WR100m*4)/(WR400m) you get 0.89 or 89%.

          • Breakers fan

            Thanks. That’s amazing. It’s just a little higher % than I would have guessed. That event seems to really push the boundaries of human limits in terms of “for how long can you run at your fastest speed, and not fall apart?”

          • Frode

            It’s brutal!

  • So no Carli Lloyd for the NWSL this week, won’t even be back in Houston until next Monday, even though all indications are that every other USWNT member will be available for their teams. What a great captain and leader of the game… So if she plays the following weekend, she will only play in 7 games this season for Houston, as long as no other “commitments” come up. What a joke.

    • Gary Diver

      You are right. This is pathetic and disrespectfully to NWSL fans. It was amazing that after WC15, many USWNT players were at their first few pos-tournament NWSL games only to receive recognition from their adoring fans and didn’t want to actually play soccer. At some point this sense of entitlement has to stop.

      As captain, Carli Lloyd is no Marta or no Christine Sinclair.

      • Especially since off the field, all she touts is “best player to have ever played” nonsense. But only wants the perks of it. Only NT and only when everyone is watching. Otherwise she’d rather train with a 12 year old boy and his dad.

        How USSF is going to bank on that for 4 more years is beyond me.

        • Gary Diver

          It is beyond belief that Lloyd really thinks that at 38 years old, she will be in the starting midfield for USWNT in Tokyo. One of us is crazy.

        • Gary Diver

          It is also amazing how Lloyd’s minor injury conveniently extended itself until just before OG16. God does work in mysterious ways.

        • guest

          US Soccer is her boss. They write her checks, and they tell her what to do. Obviously, they’re okay with her promotional schedule, and she won’t be missed by Houston anyway.

    • rkmid71

      Maybe she’s busy getting media training on how to answer all the tough questions likely headed her way. It’s taking a little longer than normal.

      • Ha maybe. My guess is she planned on winning the OG’s and made commitments beforehand, with the thought that missing games after just winning another tournament was no big deal, since she was a hero. Well all that didn’t go the way we all hoped.

        • Gary Diver

          Didn’t she make the great personal sacrifice of postponing her wedding so she could dedicate herself to be ready to win OG16 gold. “The best-laid plans of mice and men / Go oft awry” as Robert Burns poetically noted.

          • Maybe her it is her wedding she has scheduled this weekend?

          • Paul Klee

            Would that be ironic, if Carli gets slammed first personal life ahead of soccer.

          • ARED

            I am one voice saying I have little/no problem with players taking time off after a major tournament -given it’s within the rules of all leagues/clubs/federations/etc. So despite my many critiques of Lloyd on the pitch, she won’t get any from me for a week or two time off of it….

            I might add it’s a bit ironic though, b/c she is the one player who never leaves the field for the USA -which might make her more worn down after a tournament. But for me she is the one player the USA most needs to leave the field, while NWSL could desperately use her….lol.

      • Paul Klee

        Well if today’s 8/29 interview with a Houston reporter is reflective of her media training, I can’t imagine how awful this interview would have gone before she got training.

        • rkmid71

          It wasn’t much of an interview. But I guess that’s what you meant. Basically just replied to questions with talk to my agent and “there is nothing else to talk about” That book tour will be interesting. tbh — Morgan Brian’s wasn’t much better. My takeaway from Brian was that OG took more of a toll emotionally and mentally than anything else. Physical less so. Krieger was an exception, presumably because she didn’t play much, was probably pissed off about that especially given the result, and was anxious to get back on the field for Washington in playoff contention. I don’t think Krieger will skip semifinals this year.

          • Paul Klee

            Instead of saying it’s none of your business you should say something like I prefer to keep my personal life private as much as possible.

          • rkmid71

            I found it odd as well that she talks about having sacrificed her life to soccer — thus should be excused if she doesn’t show up? Then she acknowledges that every of other player has sacrificed as much or more yet they show up (most without all the benefits of a USWNT contract)? It’s clear that she feels entitled though she apparently had her plans pre-approved by USSF though she apparently didn’t communicate with Houston per coach comments.Whatever. She’s no captain.

  • Gary Diver

    “When Sweden upset the United States by sitting deep and countering before prevailing on penalty kicks it set off a flurry of discussion about the tactics chosen by their coach Pia Sundhage.”

    To a lot of us, the issue is not tactics chose by Pia Sundhage, it was tactics chose by Jill Ellis.

    • guest

      You actually read the articles?

      • Gary Diver

        Not as much as the comments.

        • guest

          I think I look at the section headers and skim through most of it. But I do look at the bullet points on the bottom, for some reason.

  • guest2

    Flemming and Lawrence while definitely skilled seem very pacy and direct to me. Pugh seems very direct to me as well if talking about young Americans. Brian and Heath may be the only US players that I consider indirect players. Maybe Pinoe as well. I don’t think there is anything wrong with playing direct if it is based on aggressively winning the ball back and attacking.

  • Gary Diver

    “The Week In Women’s Football: Hope Solo Blasts ‘Cowardly’ Sweden As the US Crash at Rio Games”

    Thoughtful and interesting article by Tim Grainey on Tribal Football.

    http://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/the-week-in-women-s-football-hope-solo-blasts-cowardly-sweden-as-the-us-crash-at-rio-games-4142354

    1. “A sad note is that midfielder Louise Cadamuro (Necib) announced that she is retiring from the game and she was a marvaleous, insightful presence for years with France and Lyon, often referred to as the female Zinedine Zidane–the former French men’s World Cup winner and now Real Madrid coach.”

    2. “In a surprise in Manaus, Colombia tied the U.S. on two free kick goals by Catalina Usme, who plays for Independiente Medellin’s women’s side and is a junior women’s team manager. Her first goal dribbled through Hope Solo’s legs, to the delight of the local fans. Why Jill Ellis didn’t start backup Allysa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars) is surprising, given that the Americans had already qualified for the next round. That is partially why there is such a gap between Solo and her younger challengers, who get very rare chances to start with the national team.”

    3. “how will the typical 8-10 fall friendly games be marketed to Americans—will last year’s “Victory Tour” now become the “Depression Drag” and how much will attendances drop off from last year’s phenomenal success—with some games drawing in the 30,000 to 40,000 range. The first two matches in September are with Thailand (September 15 in Columbus) and the Netherlands on September 18 in Atlanta and attendances will be closely tracked. The American’s surprising loss in Rio has set off an early start to lots of interesting drama in the offseason.”

    4. “Jackie Bachteler is a 27 year old coach who began the 2016 season as a women’s head coach with a second division team in Sweden—rare on two counts—her age and that she is American-born and raised, and only went to Sweden after college (though she has a definitely Swedish accent when speaking English.) Bacheteler has been coaching since she was 10 and played collegiately at West Florida University. Bachteler was on the Boston Breakers WPS reserve side but after the professional league folded in 2011, she played and coached in Finland and then moved west to Sweden. She combined a position as a head coach in Sweden’s Division III league with playing in the second division. She met Tony Gustavsson—the current lead assistant coach of the U.S. national team—at a coaching camp while he was the head coach at Tyreso, the now defunct powerhouse that was the home of Brazil’s Marta, Spain’s Vero Boquette and American Christen Press among other stars, which he led to a league title and a UEFA Women’s Champions League runner-up spot. . . .

    Jackie Bachteler is a young American women’s soccer coach who is patiently making a mark in Sweden. She is passionate about the women’s game potential for continued advancement. She is a name to watch in upcoming years in the club game in Europe as she continues impressive work to achieving her own goals for the sport of women’s soccer.”

    MAYBE USWNT should look at Jackie Bachteler as a possible replacement for Jill Ellis.

    • guest

      Andonovski already made his mark at FCKC, and certainly deserves a look before Bachteler, whoever she is.

  • Gary Diver

    Two Coaching Blunders by Jill Ellis in Colombia Game

    1. Inserting Megan Rapinoe into an Olympics game when she had not played competitively in nearly nine months. Ellis was showing poor judgement and not showing the Olympics any respect. Too bad Rapinoe did not receive a red card. Ellis would have deserved it and Rapinoe would not have been available for the Sweden QF match.

    2. Not playing Allysa Naeher in a game where Hope Solo did not need to play. Solo’s muff on the Colombia free kick was in some ways the beginning of the end. It instantly converted a sense of invincibility to a sense of foreboding. If Naeher had played, USWNT most likely would have won the game and would have gone into the Swedish game with a different mindset.

  • Gary Diver

    Hope Solo Should be Benched in Upcoming Friendlies

    Ellis needs to bench Solo for at least the meaningless Thailand match, and maybe for the more important Netherlands match, to send a message that Solo is accountable to USWNT for her actions.

  • Gary Diver

    What Will Jill Ellis Do?

    OG16 rosters in 2019: number of players 30 years old or older

    USWNT: 13

    Brazil: 10

    France: 9

    Germany: 9

    Canada: 9

    Sweden: 8

    South Africa: 8

    New Zealand: 6

    Colombia: 4

    Zimbabwe: 4

    Australia: 4

    China: 4

    Notes:

    1. We know both Japan and England will have a young teams for WC19.

    2. Louise Cadamuro (Necib) is retiring for France.

    3. Saskia Bartusiak is retiring for Germany.

    4. Melissa Tancredi, Rhian Wilkinson, and maybe Josée Bélanger are retiring for Canada.

    Problem: If USWNT had won gold in Rio we would most likely be seeing a number of USWNT players retiring. But apparently the loss hurts so much that the team wants a chance to come back in four years to right the wrong inflicted on them. If so, how does Ellis move “tenured” players off the roster? If she can’t, then dozens of talented young players will have no opportunity to compete for USWNT positions – basically a generation of players will be screwed. And having the oldest WC19 roster is a guarantee for an ugly outcome for USWNT after which Ellis will finally get fired.

    • ARED

      Cadamuro and Bartusiak are very good players who have had very nice international careers, but I’m not sure their nations won’t be better off without them -especially in the long-run by 2019.

      With the USA, as much as I believe they usually hold too many veterans for too long, I’m not sure that most of the 30+ players won’t still be very good players -and possibly the best the USA has in 2019. There is one very large exception however with Lloyd, highlighted by the fact that I don’t believe she should have been starting in 2015 let alone in 2019….

  • Gary Diver

    USWNT Needs a CAM Playmaker and an Aggressive Counter-Attack

    USWNT needs to replace Lloyd with a player who is actually a playmaker.

    We know that Jill Ellis does not believe in formations, but it appears she also does not believe in tactics. Why does USWNT move the ball forward so sluggishly? If you have the personnel, USWNT should counter-attack quickly before their opponent can set up their defenses.

    • ARED

      Good counter-attacking USA players: Morgan, Press, Heath, Pugh, Rapinoe, Dunn, O’Hara, (Leroux, ARod).

      Bad counter-attacking USA players: Lloyd

      It’d be a pretty similar breakdown if it were for “Moves the ball quickly/efficiently” or “playmaker”.

  • Guest

    What do people think about Allie Long for 2019

    • Gary Diver

      Doesn’t this depend on whether Jill Ellis sees Long as her kind of player?

      • Guest

        Yes but it also warrants an opinion on her play

        • AlexH

          If she’s part of the best 23 then great. I would prefer that JE give some younger players a shot first before going back to the oldsters

          • ARED

            Usually there are plenty of chances for both, especially over the course of 3 years. If the team plays 2-3 matches in a given window/camp/etc, then at least one can be dedicated to new players (big lineup changes), while the other(s) are more for improving the established players (new tactics/systems/small lineup changes).

            But that was true between 2012 and 2015, and the coach who tried to do it got fired, so….

      • ARED

        Well, I think they last 2-3 years have shown Ellis does not see Long as “her kind of player”.

        It’s possible that she’s actually changed her total view, but one gets the feeling she just was desperate, and never saw Long as more than a temporary option to help a terrible midfield. She subbed Long out of the Sweden game early, which doesn’t suggest too much faith…..

        • guest

          Coupled with moving heath back to RB, that was an awful substitution choice. Forced the US to go direct and made the game easy for Sweden to defend. I think they would have scored eventually if they continued to play like they did in the first half. Sauerbrunn nor Johnston covered themselves in glory on the goal Blacksteinus scored.

          • ARED

            Exactly. Many are talking about the subs, but mostly about Rapinoe. The bigger issue was removing the only two effective midfielders (Heath and Long) -and then wondering why you are “easy to defend”.

            And I agree, the unfortunate part for the USA was that usually Sauerbrunn/Johnston/Solo avoid mistakes -and even come up with big plays in the few big moments they face -which allows the midfield/attack plenty of time to grind out a goal. This time it didn’t happen, as somehow neither had a good position or angle against Blackstenius when both probably should have. I think the USA defenders often take too many risks because:

            1) They can usually make the aggressive play/positioning work against lower opposition
            2) They feel pressure to help the attack -which really is a lot easier for the midfield than the backline, but Ellis doesn’t seem to agree (or notice)……

    • ARED

      I’d say her inclusion clearly improved the team, and she deserved her spot in 2016. So, in a normal world I would say she should be kept right there until someone else comes and shows they are better. In the USWNT world though, these “normal” ideas on player development/roles don’t seem to apply.

      *A key factor is of course actually giving plenty of good chances to new players over the next 3 years to “show they are better”, not just keep them on the bench because “they’ve never shown it” without giving them the chance to.

      • Guest

        Agreed and there are so many that deserve a look. Killion, Huster, Nairn, Colaprico, Lavelle, Winters, Brooks,’Laddish, JJ, it would be a pity for them to all go to waste

        • ARED

          Indeed. It’s always a bit sad when great players don’t really get much of a shot with their national team because the nation’s talent is so deep (like USWNT, Spain/Brazil men, etc). But too often the USWNT turns it from sad reality to tragic error with the way that they actively suppress youth for the sake of letting veterans -some of whom shouldn’t even be on the team -further their career/stats/resume/etc.