NWSL Week in Review: Rapinoe Not In It For Herself

Ray Curren September 6, 2016 389
Kealia Ohai did not score until July 16, but four goals last week has her atop NWSL with nine (photo copyright EriMac Photo for The Equalizer)

Kealia Ohai did not score until July 16, but four goals last week has her atop NWSL with nine (photo copyright EriMac Photo for The Equalizer)

Unfortunately, it is probably a good indication of where the NWSL is in the national sports pecking order that the news of Megan Rapinoe kneeling for the national anthem didn’t break until after Sunday’s game between Seattle and Chicago was already long over.

But once it was known, it blew up, probably predictably given both the culture of the nation and the media (particularly sports media). It seems like a given from your (or my) perspective that Rapinoe would know that her action would be picked up by media outlets far and wide, many of whom not only didn’t cover the NWSL, but didn’t know women’s professional soccer existed prior to Sunday. Maybe not, though.

Then came the comments and the hot, scalding takes by people on social media nationwide decrying Rapinoe for disgracing her country, just as Colin Kaepernick had done the week before. I don’t know Rapinoe personally and have only interviewed her a couple of times over the years, but one thing stood out in the sea of criticism: her being selfish for directing the spotlight to her in a league that is starved for attention (but will finally make it to national television on Wednesday).

We can beg to differ on whether Rapinoe’s action was disrespectful or misdirected, but Megan Rapinoe is not selfish. And this act is not, either. It was only brought to light when she was asked about in in a postgame news conference and her statement tells you all you need to know.

“Being a gay American, I know what it means to look at the flag and not have it protect all of your liberties,” Rapinoe said. “It was something small that I could do and something that I plan to keep doing in the future and hopefully spark some meaningful conversation around it. It’s important to have white people stand in support of people of color on this. We don’t need to be the leading voice, of course, but standing in support of them is something that’s really powerful.”

She later tweeted about “keeping the conversation going”. Although surely inundated with requests to appear on any number of media shows, she gave a short interview to ESPN’s Julie Foudy and hasn’t been seen or heard in the now more than 24 hours since that national anthem. I’m sure she won’t disappear completely, but the protest isn’t primarily about her.

For now, at least. Rapinoe has indicated that her protests will continue, and she will almost certainly be in the U.S. national team that will take on Thailand on September 15 in Columbus. Protesting in an NWSL match is one thing, protesting with a United States jersey on is quite another.

Or is it? One of the great things about our country is we can all agree on is our freedoms, which has existed since the founding of our nation; the ability to peacefully protest what we think is wrong about it. Debating issues should make us stronger in the long run and able to consider where each side is coming from so we can find some way to exist together even if we don’t completely agree.

As with Kaepernick, support for Rapinoe has been slow from the American sports world, even within the long image-conscious national team. Will her USWNT teammates support her if she doesn’t stand next week? Will they ostracize her for putting them in an “awkward” spot? Might some come out against her?

Honest questions, but Rapinoe honestly may care very little. She sees an injustice, not only systemic ones to African-Americans and other minorities, but to Kaepernick for exercising his Constitutional right to protest them non-violently. And her conscience, shaped by her experiences, won’t let her be quiet.

“Being true to yourself is a really beautiful thing,” Rapinoe said when she came out publicly two years ago. And she’ll continue to whether it’s popular or not.

What else did we learn as the NWSL playoff race is nearing its final twists and turns?

SATURDAY

Washington 1:1 Western New York

What Went Down: The Spirit are one point closer to the NWSL Shield, but it’s the Flash who were probably more impressive in this one, an opponent that no one at the top will see in the postseason and be happy about (even Paul Riley’s former team, Portland). Western New York is just so annoying to play against with great athletes all over the field, pressuring everywhere and playing direct enough where keeping the ball out of your own end can be extremely difficult.

Eventually, the Flash ended up with a 25-8 shot advantage in this match on the road and will probably feel like they should have had three points. And while they still have work to do to even qualify for the postseason and certainly don’t have the quality on the ball that a Portland or even a Washington does, they won’t be eliminated without a real battle.

Player of the Game: Samantha Mewis – Mewis seems to fit with Riley’s style more than Jill Ellis’ at the moment. She was actually put at an outside midfield spot here, although she (and McCall Zerboni) spent more time than not clogging up the middle. While she is counted on to be a physical presence, she does have enough quality on the ball to make things happen as well, and ended up with a deflected equalizer here.

Under the Radar: Katie Stengel – It didn’t look like Stengel would be a regular starter for long at the beginning of the season with a couple of poor performances. But she has been excellent of late, and carried it over into a match with all internationals on hand here, finally being rewarded with a nice goal that gave Washington a valuable point. She still doesn’t have great speed, but is surrounded by enough when she plays; a good complement who can finish.

Inside The Numbers: 32 – Number of goals scored by Western New York this season, still tops in the league (five better than Washington).

Up next: Washington – vs. Seattle (Wed.); Western New York – at Boston (Wed.)

Houston 4:2 Orlando

What Went Down: A quite crazy match in Houston, where Kealia Ohai continues her form that likely has to get her a national team call-up sometime in the near future, as (after not scoring until July), she now leads the NWSL in goals. The Dash dominated most of the proceedings, which made you wonder why they hadn’t earlier in the season. We’ve said it before, but maybe next year will be it for Houston with a healthy Carli Lloyd and Morgan Brian, although it remains to be seen what Lloyd’s future plans are after this season with some Americans being rumored to head to Europe.

Orlando refused to quit, as it has done most of the season, and almost stole an unlikely point. Tom Sermanni has a lot of holes to plug in the offseason and it will be interesting to see how he goes about it. You can’t question his commitment to his players. Alex Morgan was involved in an unfortunate incident after scoring late in the game where she was confronted by a fan who ran on the field. Fellow Cal alum Sam Witteman helped usher Morgan away, but Sermanni sprinted out and got there before security to get between Morgan and the invader. A little scary.

Player of the Game: Kealia Ohai – If we knew what transformed strikers from “out of form” to “in form”, we’d all be geniuses, but Ohai is most certainly “in form” at the moment, and it’s a shame her season will come to an end in a couple of weeks. But, as I said, she has to get called into a national team camp before the 2017 campaign.

Under the Radar: Morgan Brian – Brian has been in much, much better form of late, which leads us to believe that she really was injured at the beginning of the season when she struggled so much. Her class and vision on the ball is something to see when she’s playing well.

Inside the Numbers: 8 – Number of shots by Oahi in this one, with five of them being on goal in a tough day for the Orlando defense. Poor Ashlyn Harris.

Up next: Houston – at Portland (Wed.); Orlando – at Sky Blue (Wed.)

SUNDAY

Kansas City 2:1 Sky Blue

What Went Down: Sky Blue’s playoff hopes were slim anyway, but they were essentially ended here. It didn’t look like it would end this way in the first half as Sky Blue dominated, but FCKC with little to play for did a great job in the second half to regain control of the game and eventually get the win on Yael Averbuch’s long-distance free kick.

It will be interesting to see where both of these teams go in the offseason. Sky Blue is very young, but could probably use a center back and possibly a goalkeeper, while we really don’t know who will be suiting up for FCKC in 2017. There were two nice scenes here at the end. First, support for former FCKC star Lauren Holiday, who revealed she had a benign brain tumor that is scheduled to be removed after she gives birth to her first child in a couple months. Second, Vlatko Andonovski – who missed last week’s game to return to Macedonia after the death of his father, pointed to the sky at the final whistle in his first game back. Sometimes it’s about more than the soccer.

Player of the Game: Yael Averbuch – It’s been a tough season for Averbuch, who was pressed into a leadership role a bit for the two-time defending champs with all the subtractions from last year’s roster. But she’s been there every week in a position (center back) that is not exactly natural for her and was able to bury another set piece for the game-winner here.

Under the Radar: Sam Kerr – Kerr has battled injuries, but I’m not too sure how far you get among the best players in the world these days before you get to Kerr. If she’s able to stay healthy, she should continue to give NWSL and international defenses fits for the next few years.

Inside the Numbers: 6 – Number of shots Kerr took in this match, with all of them on frame. Sky Blue only had eight shots total in the entire contest.

Up next: Kansas City – at Chicago (Wed.); Sky Blue – vs. Orlando (Aug. 27)

Portland 5:1 Boston

What Went Down: Believe it or not, the Breakers actually got off to an excellent start here and had a couple of early chances. But they let Christine Sinclair walk a ball in off a corner kick and after they conceded a second, seemed to lose their will, which often happens to a team that’s going through a tough season when they get down. There has been some more life of late, and we’ll see what that brings for 2017.

For the Thorns, they did this without Tobin Heath (largely) and Dagny Brynjarsdottir, and would love to slot in at second to get a home game in the semifinals. The league would obviously like that as well. With Christine Sinclair in form and the rest of the supporting cast starting with Lindsey Horan and Allie Long (as well as Heath), they have to be the favorites going forward, don’t they?

Player of the Game: Nadia Nadim – Ohai is in the league’s best form, but Nadim is scoring some goals, too, recording a hat trick here (one was a penalty, but still). She also added an assist on an Allie Long tap-in and looks to be healthy heading down the stretch run of the campaign.

Under the Radar: Julie King – Her goal at the end was relatively meaningless, but King remains one of the most dangerous players in the NWSL on set pieces. Not sure how far that can take her, but watch every time Boston gets a chance to set something up, King is always near the ball.

Inside the Numbers: 17,152 – Attendance in Portland Sunday. Rumor has it that Paul Riley’s return to Portland this week will be completely sold out. Might he be back in a couple of weeks for an NWSL semifinal?

Up next: Portland – vs. Houston (Wed.); Boston – vs. Western New York (Wed.)

Chicago 2:2 Seattle

What Went Down: While most around the globe will discuss the Rapinoe controversy, this was a tough, tough result for the Reign, who scored twice in the first 10 minutes and would have been right back in the playoff discussion with three points. But they gave up a goal off a corner late in the first half, and Merritt Mathias pulled down Casey Short, which allowed Christen Press to equalize from the penalty spot (a nice moment for Press after how the Olympics ended for her and the USWNT).

The Reign didn’t generate a whole lot of offense after the original flurry, but did force Alyssa Naeher into a couple of amazing saves, which she seems to do just about every week these days. But we didn’t see Seattle’s midfield dominate, maybe because Chicago’s midfield is pretty darn good as well. The point was very important for the Red Stars, who are now five points ahead of the Reign with just three games left. That’s a long way to make up.

Player of the Game: Alyssa Naeher – I mean, she only had four official saves, but she’ll likely take home Save of the Week honors again and seems to have an uncanny knack for the dramatic when her team needs it most. We’ll see how being a national team regular will help (or hurt?) her in NWSL.

Under the Radar: Manon Melis – She continues her form by getting a goal and an assist in the first nine minutes and likely would have added to it had Naeher not intervened. It likely won’t be enough for this year’s playoffs, but Seattle will need her to keep this form when 2017 begins.

Inside the Numbers: 21 – Number of goals in the NWSL this weekend, which is a far cry from earlier in the season, when we were begging for somebody, anybody to score.

Up next: Chicago – vs. Kansas City (Wed.); Seattle – at Washington (Wed.)

  • mms

    The interesting headline choice for this week’s wrap up really makes me want to play devil’s advocate. “Not in it for herself”. Well probably not, but this is a player who has spent a lot of time recently promoting, “The Rapinoe Brand”.
    I’ve been thinking about this: Since the next six USWNT games are not a Victory Tour, I don’t believe Ellis is under any contractual obligation to name Olympic players to the roster. Would she have invited Pinoe to the September games (or any others)? Currently, she is playing 15-20 minutes for the Reign. Does that warrant another call up? One might argue that she could do what she can for the Reign until they are out of the playoffs (if they make it), then shut it down for the year and finish out her rehab. Before her protest, Ellis could have made that decision with relative comfort. Now she can’t. Now if she doesn’t invite Pinoe people will argue that it is to avoid the uncomfortable position of having a player being paid to represent the national team refusing to stand for the National Anthem. So, Ellis is screwed either way. If she invites her, the next game won’t be about HAO, it will be about Pinoe. Don’t invite her and the game won’t be about HAO, it will be about Pinoe. But I forgot, she’s “not in it for herself”.
    Just one more thought: What if Pinoe had been so moved by Colin that she quietly set up dozens of FREE soccer camps in low income communities? She could even invite police officers to volunteer at the camps as an outreach program. A lot more work, but probably a lot more productive in the long run.

    • Gary Diver

      Is there any indication that Ellis will not treat these Friendlies as faux Victory Tour games? No matter what you call them they are exhibition games to raise money. USWNT’s star power is the main drawing card and Ellis knows USWNT needs to raise money to pay for its salaries, so why would she not use the OG16 roster? I personally hope she calls up 4-5 new players but am not holding my breath.

      • mms

        I agree. I always wish the friendlies were put to better use for trying new blood. But other than under Sermanni, they rarely have been. Budgets and Tiers inevitably limit the player pool. It leads to players playing in 70+ consecutive games while others never get a look. I didn’t really expect Pinoe to not get called in. I simply was making the point that she will now be the story whether she gets called up or not.

        • #1Fan

          Sermanni did it right, got sacked 🙂

      • mockmook

        They could sell just as many tickets by only bringing in half the “stars”.

    • smallchief

      Agree with her or not, it takes courage to take an unpopular position as Rapinoe has. It could have adverse consequences for her career and she will undoubtedly hear the boo birds when she plays again.

      It takes no courage whatsoever to go along with the crowd and follow ritual and custom by standing when the national anthem is played. That’s easy to do — too easy to serve as a yardstick to measure one’s patriotism. .

      .

      • NYRick

        Athletes tend to get more courageous politically as they get older near the end of their careers and when their skills start diminishing. Pinoe at 22/23 trying to find her way onto the USWNT would not have dared to be so political. Now at 31 and a longshot for the last cycle, she is embolden to do probably just about anything to keep her brand relevant.

        Abby, although long thought to be gay, did not officially start coming out until her early 30s, once her career was on the decline and the sponsorship money was not going to be renewed. Let me further that by saying I don’t fault or criticize at all for that, I’m sure that’s a very personal and private decision, but it is fact none the less when she became more vocal and out about being gay. That is in terms to the American public, not the gay community.

        Kaepernick is an athlete on a decline (even though only 28) and a one-trick pony who the professional game has caught up with. Much like RG3. Kaepernick is not stupid and I’m sure he realizes that along with his high payed status of being an NFL back-up QB now (which happened last year and has nothing to do with this protest).

        So while I agree with your “takes courage” thoughts on the situation, a player’s timing should be analyzed along with it. If Steph Curry or Mike Trout as young superstars of their respective sports right now did something like this just entering their prime, now that would be interesting in terms of sponsors/fans reaction. From a USWNT, if Alex Morgan took the stance of Pinoe that would be beyond shocking.

        • smallchief

          You’re probably right. In any profession the young person who makes waves is not likely to get very far. There are exceptions to that rule — but not many.

          • NYRick

            Ask yourself why every top name actor/producer/director in Hollywood, every top name tv star, every top name singer/entertainer, every top name Broadway star and even the minions on the rise in these professions all side into one political idealogy…liberal, democratic, socialist, globalist.

            They all still want to remain in good stance to the power brokers, all want to be invited to the right parties, all want to be on the short list for the plum roles. You can’t blame them really, it’s human nature to be selfish and self promoting for most people. But don’t be fooled for a second that their rationale for protests comes from any great commitment to making a difference or sacrificing for change. None of them want to give up their great gigs.

          • FlyingSquirrel42

            Some people get involved in political causes because they’re going with the flow and haven’t really thought about it too much. People probably also gravitate somewhat towards professions where they know their political views are likely to be shared or at least tolerated. But I think it’s a little harsh to assume that none of the celebrities who get involved in politics have “any great commitment to making a difference or sacrificing for change.”

          • FlyingSquirrel42

            I don’t think Pinoe is any different than the average employee of any profession who keeps his or her head down at first, and only starts to speak up about workplace practices and related issues when they’re more established and respected. If that makes her an opportunist, then who among us isn’t?

          • guest

            “In any profession the young person who makes waves is not likely to get very far. There are exceptions to that rule — but not many.”

            Ali is the most obvious exception

          • Steglitz49

            He was the greatest — though you could argue that he had arrived before he made waves.

        • Steglitz49

          What is Pinoe’s protest about? What is her message? I probably have been told but in that case I have forgotten.

        • guest

          there is also the issue of loss of indentity for the ageing or no longer wanted athletes. which can also apply to many others. and the search for a new indentity or reinvention. likely applies to kaepernick.

      • mms

        I agree her right to kneel. Is it couragous to put yourself in a position to be criticised? Yup. I guess what I struggle with is I fail see how kneeling will lead to tangible improvement in areas of concern (police brutally, racism, homophobia). The result instead seems to become debate about patiotism and the flag and teammates and employers being caught in between. Couragous? Yup? Productive? I don’t see how. Selfish? Maybe.

        • FlyingSquirrel42

          I see your point, but I also think that sometimes we get too deeply into the weeds of “why didn’t the protesters do X instead of Y” when this sort of thing happens. Is kneeling during the anthem going to change the world? No, but not everyone is going to play the same role in a broad movement for social change. Some will play big roles, others will play small roles. Rapinoe may have felt that it was time for some white athlete somewhere to make a more direct statement of support, even if it is still just a statement at the moment. Hopefully it prompts some people who may not have paid much attention to Kaepernick to think about the underlying issues a little more and perhaps take action themselves.

          • mms

            You’re right. Pinoe herself described it as, “The least I could do.” It’s not a world changing act. I only hope that she weighs the impact on her team if she follows through and kneels at USWNT games. Is having little positive impact worth it? Is there a different coarse she could take that would highlight the issues?

          • mockmook

            “Is having little positive impact worth it?”

            What positive impact has she had with this?

          • Lorehead

            She’s gotten people to think and talk about police reform, and she’s shown everyone where she stands. You might or might not consider that a positive impact, but she does.

          • Steglitz49

            Were people not talking about police reform before? Maybe not the upper middle class segment from which the majority of female soccer players in the US come.

            Given that the police in the US has traditionally been an Irish fiefdom and enclave, someone called Megan kneeling may have more impact than other players we might mention.

          • mms

            Yeah. I hate to think that she would subject her team and employers to controversy for nothing, but I agree: I don’t see how kneeling accomplishes anything in the fight against police brutality or homophobia. She said that as a gay American she doesn’t feel the flag protects all her liberties. Maybe I’ve been giving her too much credit. Maybe she doesn’t intend anything positive to come of this. She simply doesn’t feel the flag represents her, so why should she stand for it. If this is true, all the people who argue that this has nothing to do with the flag are wrong. Maybe that’s all it is about. Silly me. I was trying to understand how important social change could come from kneeling, when all this is about is flag symbolism.

      • AlexH

        She isn’t taking an unpopular position with the league though. Crapping on America for a politically correct cause will NEVER get you in trouble.

      • guest

        i am waiting for megan rapinoe and the rest of the gang of five to show courage and support equal opportunity on the uswnt as opposed to the current veteran retention program. the kind of equality that is already practiced on the usmnt. not just some equality when it is in your self-interest.

        • mms

          Not going to happen. They are also not going to give up anything to help even out pay for NWSL. Sadly, this has a long history. I still have articles from 2000. The 91ers fought hard for a new contract. When it was settled players with more than 50 caps (all the 91ers) would be paid 3 times more than players with fewer than 50 caps. They could have fought for everyone to be paid a decent wage, instead they filled their own pockets. These are the same players who could make a decent living from camps, books, and appearances. Unknown rookies can’t do that. I love a lot of these players, but no one is noble. When push comes to shove, people look out for themselves.

          • kernel_thai

            I hasnt changed much. When the NWSL was written into the CBA the USNT players not only got a clause guarenteeing no player salary in the NWSL would exceed what the USNT players got paid but also got an additional bump for being founding members. This is to play in a league where minimum pay was $6000 that first season.

          • Steglitz49

            That was before the Bomb in Brasilia aka Miracle on Grass.

          • mms

            My favorite bit of 1999 trivia is that after the World Cup, USSoccer wanted to send the team on a 6-7 game “goodwill” tour of South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Egypt to “spread the gospel of sports equality.” (From USA Today, July 8th, 1999). The players opted to take 100,000 each from John Hendricks to play in the Discovery Health World Soccer Challenge (a series of indoor games). I’ve always wanted to ask Foudy (who I greatly respect), if she would change any decisions they made from the crazy 6 months post WWC. They each made a decent amount of money, but they could have done even more for the game on the world stage.

          • guest

            i wonder how much if any affect that had on the first women’s pro league folding?

          • Hwah

            As I recall, they blew through something like $100 million in sponsorships/investments during its (I want to say) 3 year existence (?)…..they made sure to get their money.

          • mms

            USSoccer was not financially involved in WUSA, so the player contracts were separate back then. WUSA failed because players and owners experienced the groundswell of the 99 WWC and thought they had caught lightning in a bottle. Their budgets were massive and the revenue was no where near what they expected.

    • Steglitz49

      I have never had any impression that the USWNT have been that interested in what you label “low income communities” and certainly not for “free”. That may be a gross misconception but it is up to the USWNT to dispel it.

      • mms

        USSoccer sent me an email advertising a Girl’s Fantasy Camp to coincide with the October game in Minneapolis. It is a 4-day camp lead by “former USWNT stars” for girls ages 12-14.

        The price: $3,395

        So, that’s a thing.

        • Steglitz49

          Vow!

          Are we not in “Sweden-country” in that neck of the woods. Quick: organize a camp wit current Swedish WNT stars!

          • rkmid71

            I would venture to guess some of the highest concentrations of Swedes outside Sweden. Whole towns. Lots of water, lots of trees and lots of rocks. I’m sure the Swedish WNT would be well received in Minnesota. A donation from camp participants could pay for the trip plus a little and they could organize some games for decent competition. Univ. of Minnesota has been pretty good last couple of years.

        • kernel_thai

          I hope u grabbed a couple open slots. : )

          • mms

            The hilarious part is they call it a “donation”. That way the crazy rich people who could spend that kind of money on their kid can get a nice fat tax deduction. It’s like Leona Hemsley said, “Only the little people pay taxes, and little people can’t afford to get their kids into soccer.”
            The media usually shortened the quote.

    • guest

      don’t forget to buy your rapinoe shirt on the way out. the rapinoe vodka will be available at the end of the year. be different!

  • guest

    of course rapinoe is looking for attention. that is why she is kneeling in front of the rest of the bench players instead of next to them. and the staged picture is taken at just the right place. where do they get these writers.

    • guest

      i think that is the definition of putting yourself before the team. inspiring teammate.

  • Gary Diver

    Maybe Megan Rapinoe agrees with Stan Lee: “With great power comes great responsibility.”

  • Gary Diver

    Kealia Ohai would look great in an USWNT kit.

  • newsouth

    k ohai and m henderson would make lovely nt members. i’m just saying.

    • NYRick

      She will replace HAO on the roster mix and she should make NT rosters right now. And if she doesn’t now, it’s criminal. But anything is possible with this national team.

      • newsouth

        i’m on record saying they over-look her b/c of the tunnel vision but lets see how this plays out at the conclusion of the season.

        • Gary Diver

          If she can score goals and play great team play what does tunnel vision have to do with anything? It is not the talents you have that count, it is what you do with those talents.

          • newsouth

            ask USSTet. i cant see any other reason why she hasn’t received ONE call up or ONE minute of NT field time vs one of their mighty Banana Republic opponents South of the Border. Enlighten me.

          • Gary Diver

            Jill Ellis stupidity and blindness? (Kealia Ohai can see more with one eye than Jill Ellis can with two.)

          • kernel_thai

            Ellis is blinded by her vision of how the game should be played. At some point every coach has to put theory aside and accept the reality that she has to win with the players she has regardless of their limitations. Ellis will never get this and needs to be transferred to the Theoretical Soccer Wing at Soccer House.

          • Gary Diver

            Maybe Ellis needs a lateral promotion?

          • #1Fan

            this is a great point. USSF are blinded by the vision of what soccer should be. Consumed by what other teams ARE and less focused on their own strengths.

            Japan has been the gold standard for them for some time. Small spaced technical soccer that highlights what the USA do not do well, and yet the US is full of open space players. A practical coach would blend a bit of both into an unbeatable mix.

            Instead we have a mish mosh of players that do not gel. Its a confused strategy with a nod to the past – Lloyd etc and nod to the Future – Pugh, Brain Sanchez and more compromises in between – Long

            A hard line at times – Solo and a look the other way when it suits – Solo.

            There is a lack of leadership. Someone needs to set the direction and not deviate.

          • kernel_thai

            And here is the problem of evolving a team where most of the players seem to be locked in for life. If u come into a job knowing u can only make meaningful change thru attrition u need to accept that and build ur coaching strategy around it.

          • Gary Diver

            “US is full of open space players.”

            But they rarely get the ball in open space.

            And I don’t understand why USWNT has no counter-attacking capabilities. (In the old days it was quickly get the ball to Sydney Leroux and she was off to the races.) It is so frustrating to see USWNT pass the ball back and forth between the defenders when they get the ball instead of quickly moving it forward before the opposing defense sets up.

          • kernel_thai

            One of he things that frustrate me the most is watching Morgan flick the ball on with no one within 20 yards of her. If the plan is to play the ball high to Morgan on the counter then Im thinking the plan is also to have attackers driving down the field with her to run off the flick. If the plan is to send Morgan down all alone and hope fro some brilliance, why r they hitting it to her head instead of giving her a ball she can control and advance herself?

          • rkmid71

            No counter-attacking capabilites? What about Morgan, Dunn, Pugh. Speed galore. We should be able to kill any aggressive high pressing team like England, France, Australia or maybe Brazil or any team that’s willing to play a high back line. Most teams that US plays are much more cautious and try to take that away by sitting back. In transition the moment we win the ball I agree the first looks should be direct or trying to connect with forwards with as few passes and as quickly as possible while they are still 1v1 or have space, For teams that sit back, we need more patience, possession and movement in final third to break them down. And throw in some big target players like Horan that are good passers, good headers too. To do what you say though, we need to focus on strengthening the midfield as a priority — select real midfielders that are excellent passers both long and short and fast speed of thought and play. Real team players that can defend and attack.

          • #1Fan

            except that is no the vision of “good” soccer. There is a real lack of understanding. You pass to create openings, not fort the heck of it. I agree with you that this starts in MF, but you also need fwds with intelligent movement and a player who can exploit space between the lines. That is NOT Morgan or Dunn imo. Both prefers space behind the back line. DUnn i feel is better at it than Morgan because I think she is a better 1v1 player than Morgan. US effectively have no real #10 and in some games you really need that.

          • rkmid71

            Sometimes I think the lack of intelligent movement from fwds is partly the result of a bad MF (really back 6) that doesn’t or can’t get them ball at the right time or place even if there was such movement. So things get stagnant. The ball movement needs to be much quicker with every back 6 player always looking for that opening and direct ball to the fwds.

          • kernel_thai

            Part of this is the Ellis determination to make offensive players who r used to running on the break into defensive players who should be starting the break. Most US breaks that stick in my mind were started by flank midfielder like Rapinoe & Heath. Ud think they be sprung by the center of defense.

          • Gary Diver

            If you woke up tomorrow and got an email from USSF asking you to come up with a roster of 20 players you thought Ellis should start integrating for her WC19 roster, who would you like to see being developed as a team? (No restrictions and you don’t have to keep veterans if you don’t want to.)

          • #1Fan

            by integrating do you mean players who are not currently involved?

          • Steglitz49

            ingratiating?

          • Gary Diver

            Include any of the veterans you want such as Morgan, Brian, Horan, Dunn, Pugh, and add others.

          • Gary Diver

            You mentioned that currently USWNT is a patchwork team with too many different styles. Let’s aim for a team that is coordinated and works well together as a unit with a common purpose.

          • #1Fan

            To start

            Gk – Naeher, Franch, Murphy
            D- Sauerbrunn, Sonnet, Pickett, O’Hara,
            M – Brian,Colaprico, Ohai, Heath,Lavelle, Sullivan
            F- Pugh,Dunn, Press, Lussi, Horan

            I like all these players, need more Midfield and Defensive suggestions.

          • Gary Diver

            Is Pickett Carson Pickett? I am not familiar with Lussi.

            I like your choices. No Hinkle? What about Savannah Jordan? I guess we will see if Ashley Sanchez does in the next two years.

            Maybe Sauerbrunn will have lost a step by WC19.

          • #1Fan

            Yes. I like Pickett a lot. Great left foot. Tyler Lussi is at Princeton. Hinkle is a good shout. I got to a point where forwards were easy so I stopped. I hear some things about Sanchez that make me hesitant

          • Gary Diver

            Thanks for sharing this. Ellis has three years to develop a team which plays like a team which I feel currently is not the case.

            Attitudes play a big role in successful teams and I like what I see in Ohai and Pickett.

          • Gary Diver

            Out of curiosity how do the players on the U17 team deal with the missed classes? Does USSF have tutors? Do they essentially do Internet classes with their teachers? Not all teachers would be keen on that.

            I don’t know if you saw this recap from the 2-2 draw between US U17 and Brazil U17 in Michigan on August 12. Looks like it was an exciting match.

            http://www.ussoccer.com/stories/2016/08/10/13/38/160810-u17wnt-draws-2-2-with-brazil-in-front-of-2250-fans-at-michigan-state

          • #1Fan

            I saw. My pal went to the game. A few random thoughts

            1. Brazil are not that good. We should do better here
            2. Need to play vs boys more than we do. Too many easy games
            3. USSF pay lip service to the classes missed
            4. I am pretty sure you will see this group head off to another location soon for 10 days to acclimatize. Its over kill. These kids are spending far too much time away form families and friends and no one else does this anywhere near as much.
            5. In conjunction with point 4, I still cannot understand the selection logic. Take a GK who has been in one camp ONLY as #3 and pass on ones who have been in 5+ camps. If you were not convinced then why 5+ camps ? Rachel Jones decision is also alarming. Kid has been iin almost every camp for 2 yrs. Passed over for kids eligible for u15s . same logic, if not convinced , then why 15+ camps?

            Im rambling, but the reality is the lcak of clarity you talk about re full team is not unique.

          • Gary Diver

            Thanks for sharing these thoughtful comments. I think we agree that USSF is messed up in their personnel, priorities, and decisions. In some ways USSF treats their youth players like the Chinese treat their female gymnasts.

          • Gary Diver

            Rachel Jones decision? Is Rachel Jones the dual US-Canadian who is switching teams?

          • #1Fan

            She is a youth Player for Tophat. Look her up on TopDrawer soccer. Interesting how she can miss out on selection

          • #1Fan

            Ellis finally comments on Solo . as expected

          • DNG

            A good 18 to start but I don’t think Pickett is having the greatest first season with Seattle. She’s had some issues dealing with NWSL flanks in 1v1 situations. Probably understandable in her first year though. I’d like to see the US with a back three if they can find a couple more ball playing CBs in addition the the teo you listed. They have plenty of wing backs.

          • #1Fan

            I actually agree 352 would play to their strengths a lot more

          • Gary Diver

            It seems Ellis wants her OBs to act as quasi-midfielders. And as a result USWNT has been burnt with only two real defenders covering the back field. It might be better to have 3 dedicated defenders and have one more midfielder to help move the ball forward (quickly).

          • #1Fan

            i dont think that is it. when you push on one OB ball side, the other is either supposed to tuck in OR the DM is supposed to drop and the 2 CBs split. Its rare for a team to push BOTH OBs on irrespective of ball position. I beleive that the team is supposed to attack out of a fluid 343 shape or 3312

          • Gary Diver

            It is strange that the Swedish counter-attack reminded me of the German counter-attack where Julie Johnston pulled down Alexandre Popp and nearly lost the WC15 SF match.

          • guest

            it sure looked like both uswnt obs were pushing up pretty high on the sweden olympic goal if i remember correctly.

          • HOFCToDi

            Carson Pickett could not even handle Toni Payne from Duke.

          • HOFCToDi

            Dumbest idea I have read on this message board when Andi Sullivan is the prototypical #6.

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

            The 3-5-2 is a joke when the gold standard is FC Barcelona with Sergio Busquets as the #6 and Xavi as the #8.

          • DNG

            Right, because the US have the players capable of playing like Barcelona. I’m tired of hearing about how Barcelona plays and that it is the way all teams should aspire to play. The reason Barcelona are as good as they are is because they have a starting XI filled with world class players and possibly the greatest footballer to ever live. There is nothing wrong with how Juventus plays. They’re and excellent squad and one of the best in men’s football. Also, you do realize you can play a 3-5-2 with a 6 right?

          • HOFCToDi

            I don’t give a crap about Juventus.

            Why should the USWNT play the 3-5-2 when the last two World Cup Champions played the 4-2-3-1 tactical formation?

            Spain – 2010
            Germany – 2014

            Furthermore, the USWNT has plenty of technical players either in the collegiate ranks or the NWSL:

            DiBernardo, Vanessa
            Brian, Morgan
            Lavelle, Rose
            Sullivan, Andi
            Pugh, Mallory
            Furthermore, Ashley Sanchez will be 20 years old three years from now.

          • DNG

            Why should the USWNT play the 3-5-2 when the last two World Cup Champions played the 4-2-3-1?

            Because it is a tactically flexible formation that plays right into the strengths of the US team and talent pool. The reason most teams don’t play it is because you need talented players with specific skill sets to make it work and injuries to key positions can lead to failure. The US should’t have a problem finding the wing backs to fit the system. My only real question is whether or not the center backs can make it work. If they try it and it doesn’t work the players can easily switch back to the formations they grew up playing in and probably play with their clubs.

          • HOFCToDi

            Bull crap.

            End of story.

          • mockmook

            Put three athletic, quick CBs in there, should work just fine.

          • DNG

            I think they also need to be good with the ball at their feet. It’s very important that the back 3 can play out of pressure and move the ball quickly. I like Sonnett and I’d like to see if Sauerbrunn can still go in 3 years. I’m not as convinced about JJ who I don’t think is a good passer or very good at moving the ball quickly. I do agree that the two outside CBs and even the central one to a degree need to be athletic. I thought it was very noticeable that the USWNT defenders had trouble initiating play with penetrating passes and moving the ball quickly from side line to side line. They need to be better in a 3-5-2 as the wing backs will push up to create width. If they can improve their speed of play there will be openings for the defenders to play balls forward to the central midfielders.

          • Steglitz49

            Did Japan really play 4-2-3-1? It looked more like 4-4-2 or even 4-5-1 sometimes, but my memory may fail me.

          • guest

            recent OG debacle including “injuries to key positions can lead to failure. ” would be a good reason not to use 3-5-2

          • Gary Diver

            Do you see Casey Short as a possibility? Until this year I had not heard of her but she is tall, aggressive, and confident with the ball.

          • HOFCToDi

            The aforementioned list is ridiculous. Five left backs currently active in the NWSL are better than Pickett:

            Barnes
            Hinkle
            Klingenberg
            O’Hara
            Short

            Christen Press is done with the USWNT. Lindsey Horan is slow as molasses. Tyler Lussi is not even as highly regarded as Savannah Jordan or Rachel Hill.

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

          • mms

            I’ve been impressed with Short this year. I would love to see her get a shot.

          • another guest

            Casey Short played at every level of USA youth system (U-16, U-17, U-20, U-23) including starting under Ellis for USA U-20 in 2010 U-20 WC (usa out in quarterfinals) and Short also played 4 years (08-12) at FSU. Short was a first round draft pick in 2013 – unfortunate to blow out her knee in U-23 match after being drafted but before 2013 NWSL season started, then re-injured knee and also missed 2014 NWSL season. Short went to Norway (Avaldsnes) for 2015 and played well enough to earn top XI recognition in Norway league. Short is among the NWSL players who should receive uswnt camp call-ups. I would expect Short and Hinkle to battle it out for LB perhaps pushing Kling out the door (or elsewhere on the pitch)

          • Steglitz49

            I don’t follow you. Are these players to be dropped?

            For WC-19 forget Press, HAO (who has stepped away anyway), Sauerbrunn and probably even Naeher. How well recovered is Franch?

            Why no Casey Short? Or, DiBernardo?

          • mockmook

            Here’s your starters:

          • Steglitz49

            too hard. You would need a list of 60 to give everyone a fair shout.

          • Ethan

            Morgan does not have intelligent movement? I saw no one else making the type of run she made for Press’ pass in ET against Sweden while managing to stay onside, and that run can’t be made by players who just prefer space behind the defense.

          • #1Fan

            A quick counter relies on drawing oppo fwd. Its rare that happens vs anyone but Japan. In terms of the speed of ball movement, that only works if most of the players play that way. The patchwork team you have is not that. Too many diff styles being accommodated.

          • AlexH

            I don’t think it’s a style issue among the defenders. Slow back passing to nowhere in particular is pretty much always bad. Professionals shouldn’t have a problem moving the ball quickly around the back. Hell my U-12s can do it!

          • #1Fan

            it is . because it not second nature. AS lot of them are hold and wait types.

          • AlexH

            Ding Ding Ding! It’s not just that the defenders fail to pass it forward it’s that they fail to pass it anywhere with any intent. The just knock it around without actually bettering their positions. A rapid switch of the field can do wonders as well but they don’t do that either.

          • #1Fan

            JJ is a lousy passer . The current team are suckers for the low block type defense because they have no real alternate plan. Well rephrase, the personnel they have cannot execute it.

          • kernel_thai

            I believe that is coach’s intent. Ur not convincing me Sauerbrunn and Johnston wake up in the morning saying I want to pass it back and forth in the back 50 times. To be honest I doubt either player wants to be handling the ball any more than is required.

          • Gary Diver

            At times it seems that the USWNT defenders are playing “hot potato” where nobody really wants the responsibility for moving the ball forward.

          • HOFCToDi

            The USWNT has counter attacking abilities.

            youtube.com/watch?v=IiVi1dcDUF4

          • FlyingSquirrel42

            Since we’re already sort of discussing politics in this thread, I’ll say it again now: Joe Biden for USWNT coach. “Come on, ref, that’s a bunch of malarkey!”

          • AlexH

            Can “malarkey” get you suspended though. You might want to check with Sunil about that.

          • FlyingSquirrel42

            He could always fall back on “This is a bunch of stuff!” like he did with Paul Ryan at one point.

          • Steglitz49

            Who is this USSTet? Is it a Vietnamese general?

        • Guest

          If it has not affected her in the youth NT system or NWSL, why would it affect her at the NT level?

          • #1Fan

            not sure what you mean by not affected her.

          • Guest

            She scored game winning goal in U20 WC Final and has been consistently good across all 3 NWSL seasons.

          • #1Fan

            ive said 1000x times on here that speed really is big in the youth game. Even more so when she played. Look at Dunn lst year. Golden Book and scores for fun vs most NTs. In her case, Ohai, she clearly has not been in the mix post Sermanni . Do you not think Lloyd has been asked about her?

          • Guest

            No I don’t think that Ellis asks her players on who to call up.

          • DNG

            Speed seems to be pretty big at every level right now although I think tactics and organization can blunt that advantage if done well like Sweden did along with some others.

            I don’t know if the US will have any incentive to change the way they select the squad and starting XI though as most teams that sit in have very little capacity to hurt the US on the counter. Even England struggled to create more than one or two chances at SBC in a match where they smothered the US from a defensive stand point.

          • #1Fan

            I agree with you. England are a real dark horse. tactically I think they are better than the US and I think the athletes are coming along.

          • kernel_thai

            I thought of that. Sermanni had promised her a look if she had a good NWSL season. Of course Sermanni got fired but I wonder if he wishes he had given her that chance now that he gets to see her up close and personal in the league.

      • Calci0

        She will get called up. I don’t know why so many think it’s not a forgone conclusion. People can say what they want about Ellis, but since she has been HC, she has given a lot of players looks in camp. And Ohai this year is putting up a performance to get her look now too.

        • kernel_thai

          The debate is what gets them looks? Ohai is currently on the same number of goals that didnt get Yanez or McDonald looks. Yes they r both older bu with Wambach moving on either might have added a needed target presense. She also has three times the number of goals that did get McCaffrey a look. If there is rhyme nor reason it escapes me.

          • Calci0

            Maybe it’s not simple goal count. Maybe the game film shows something different in the evaluation of her play by Ellis?!? Maybe Lloyd is able to pass on more information from what she sees at practice?!?

          • kernel_thai

            LOL Lloyd would have to go to Dash practice for that to work : ) What this is is profiling. One of the purpuses of a league that USSF puts a good deal of money in and all the NT player play in is to be a crucible for development. U watch players and see how hey do against other quality pros and ur NT players and make conclusions based on that. Then u bring them in and see for urself in an NT camp. That’s how it should work. Instead the knitting circle gets together and decides who will get a chance and who wont based on film and hearsay.

    • MurderOnZidanesFloor

      Henderson? She might be a good choice if the US intends to make a habit out of being eliminated at the quarter final stage.

    • Gary Diver

      Are we talking about talent or looks? Melissa Henderson is yet to score her first goal for Houston. (And hasn’t she already retired once?)

      • newsouth

        And the NT hasn’t carried dead wood on the bench before? Just look at the last WC and Olympics. Ohai is legit. Henderson is a cutie. All ladies deserve fanboys.

        • JL

          This is a sports team, not a beauty pageant.

          • NYRick

            But the beauty pageant contestant is now leading the NWSL with 9 goals.

          • NYRick

            …and beauty didn’t exactly hurt Morgan or Press on this team either.

          • Steglitz49

            Certain members of the Fi and PC brigade resent another lady’s beauty. Tough cheese.

          • FlyingSquirrel42

            “Fi and PC”?

          • Steglitz49

            “Feminist initiative ” and “Politically correct”

          • TrollWatch

            What are you even going on about now? Please start making sense if you are going to post this often.

          • Steglitz49

            Please see my prior reply.

          • Chak Khan

            Is it any wonder NWSL is such a joke?

          • Steglitz49

            It might as well be. Check out the Swedes who stood firm in Brasilia in spite of the incompetent ref team.

          • Guest

            Blah, Blah, Blah. Same old thing with you. Sounds like senility has caught up with you.

          • AlexH

            This is a business and $ex $ells!

          • Gary Diver

            So should NWSL name a NWSL Sexiest XI?

          • AlexH

            No need, the fanboys are already doing it for them. A calendar could work though. Hell the Germans did it a while back so why not?

          • Guest

            Ohai…….Morgan……Henderson
            …….K.Mewis…..Tymrak………….
            ……………..Henry………………….
            Ochs..DahlK……Monica…Levin

          • skybolt

            I’d squeeze Mandy Laddish somewhere in there.

          • Guest

            She can sub in for Tymrak in the 60th minute

          • Steglitz49

            Seeing that Tymrak should not be there in the first place, that is a tall order.

          • GUest

            Why isn’t Press on there???? She is so much better looking than Morgan

          • guest

            i think you are forgetting carli lloyd. she doesn’t sub in off the bench.

      • Steglitz49

        Why are you asking? Are you blind?

  • kernel_thai

    They say all publicity is good publicity but sigh. For me this was definitely the most enjoyable weekend of the season. U had two playoff type matches (Wash/WNY & Chi/Sea) and both were high quality with nothing left between the teams. U had Nadim with a hat trick, Ohai with the most torrid run in league history, Naeher standing on her head and fans giving Lauren Holiday an epic salute. So what does the NWSL get for this spectacular weekend of soccer? The first foot of their recap story is about Megan Rapinoe making a personal statement on their time. It’s just sad.

    • NYRick

      Like all politics (of which sports is very entrenched with on nearly every level), the one negative far outweighs all the positives. This is human nature.

      • Calci0

        “Negativity sells”. It’s kinda sad, but the media often times is looking for the “story”… But maybe this act, got a few people to realize we actually have a professional women’s league?!?

    • mms

      It’s starting to feel like 2007 again. I can’t really explain it. It’s just this cloud that’s forming over the National team that unfortunately could bleed into NWSL. An underwhelming Olympics, the focus on Solo’s comments and Pinoe’s actions, ugly contract negotiations, some players treating club commitments like an annoyance, etc.. Yeah, they are getting some press, but it’s not the kind of press that gets more butts in the seats. All this at a time when I feel like NWSL is making strides in improving the product on the field and SLOWLY growing its fan base. It is the polar opposite feel from last year at this time and you’re right: It’s sad.

      • Chak Khan

        does that mean we will not win the 4th WWC for anothe r16 years?!! Okay, clean-slate get new players now!

    • Chak Khan

      Why put the blame on Rapino? It’s the press who decided the headliner and stories. Rapino has neither power nor control what should be printed. SMH.

      • mockmook

        Uh, a moments reflection by Rapinoe and she would realize that all the coverage would be all about HER.

        So, she being a reflective person, this was her intent.

      • guest

        she saw the attention kapernick got. then she did the same thing. then she got her name in the headlines which increased her brand exposure.

      • sweetjazz3

        Why blame the press too? It’s the fact that people can’t help but put their two cents in on what Rapinoe should or shouldn’t be doing which incentivizes the media to cover the story. But then again, the public never takes responsibility for its actions. It’s always the fault of media, politicians, celebrities, athletes, etc.

    • Chongtlewis1

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  • Steglitz49

    Anna Signeul has named her squad for Scotland’s Euro-17 QF match against Iceland in Iceland. Both nations look like qualifying with ease.

    GKs: Gemma Fay (Glasgow City), Shannon Lynn (Vittsjö, Sweden)

    Defenders: Jennifer Beattie (Manchester City), Ifeoma Dieke (Vittsjö, Sweden), Nicola Docherty (Glasgow City), Emma Mitchell (Arsenal), Joelle Murray (Hibernian), Kirsty Smith (Hibernian).

    Midfielders: Leanne Crichton (Notts County), Hayley Lauder (Glasgow City), Caroline Weir (Liverpool), Abigail Harrison (Hibernian), Leanne Ross (Glasgow City), Kim Little (Seattle Reign), Christie Murray (Doncaster Rovers Belles), Joanne Love (Glasgow City)

    Forwards: Lisa Evans (Bayern Munich), Lizzie Arnot (Hibernian), Fiona Brown (Glasgow City), Lanna Clelland (Tavagnacco, Italy), Zoe Ness (Mallbacken, Sweden), Jane Ross (Manchester City).

    Thus, Man City who play Brum City in the Conti Cup final in a month’s time have 2 players in the Scotch squad as do Vittsjö in Sweden. The third “Swede” plays for Mallbacken.

    • MurderOnZidanesFloor

      They better start Caroline Weir this time. Either way I don’t rate their chances of defending vs Iceland without the injured Rachel Corsie. Got to do better than 4-0 this time though, far too much talent in their squad to lose like that!

      • Steglitz49

        At least they are not playing in Brasilia but the Scotch lasses could face a so-called “Volcano”, which some say is a Scotch invention in the first place.

    • MurderOnZidanesFloor

      Germany have also announced their squad, they’ve made loads of changes, although since they are already qualified its likely a case of resting players and just looking at the others. Yay for Pauli Bremer though!

      https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Crqao5AWIAEOkWj.jpg:large

      • Steglitz49

        Did not a whole slew ask not to be considered after Rio and Silvia or Jones granted them their desires.

        • MurderOnZidanesFloor

          That is the case with Bartusiak/Krahn/Behringer… But not with Dabritz/Maier/Marozsan/Popp.

          • Steglitz49

            She is resting them. All except possibly Popp will be in Euro-17 unless injured, not least Däbritz and DZ.

          • Gary Diver

            Why won’t Popp be at Euro 17?

          • Breakers fan

            Why were those 4 left off in your opinion? They seem like quality players to me. Is the tournament not prestigious enough to warrant using them? That seems doubtful to me..

          • MurderOnZidanesFloor

            I’m pretty sure they are being rested. They are probably 4 of Germany’s best players at the moment. It’s still unusual to leave players out like that though.

          • Gary Diver

            Maybe this is an opportunity to look at new blood for WC19 consideration.

          • MurderOnZidanesFloor

            I hope so. I really feel Germany has a lot more talent than they showed at the Olympics, which is a strange thing to say about the winning side.

          • Steglitz49

            Could they be carrying injuries or simply be worn out?

          • MurderOnZidanesFloor

            Either, or both. Maybe worth checking to see which of them played for their clubs at the weekend?

    • MurderOnZidanesFloor

      Even with injuries ruling out White, Kirby and Taylor, there is no place for Leah Galton in the England squad. Presumably her being too injured to make the England training camp during the Olympics but fit enough to play for Sky Blue did not go down to well. Rachel Daly is likely to get some significant game time though, since England have only selected 5 forward for their two games. Very happy with this selection, Millie Bright definitely deserves her place and it will be great to see Dan Carter get another game or two.

      England women’s squad:

      Goalkeepers: Karen Bardsley (Manchester City), Siobhan Chamberlain (Liverpool), Rebecca Spencer (Chelsea).

      Defenders: Laura Bassett (Notts County), Lucy Bronze (Manchester City), Gilly Flaherty (Chelsea), Steph Houghton (Manchester City), Claire Rafferty (Chelsea), Alex Scott (Arsenal), Demi Stokes (Manchester City), Casey Stoney (Arsenal).

      Midfielders: Mille Bright (Chelsea), Isobel Christiansen (Manchester City), Jade Moore (Notts County), Jordan Nobbs (Arsenal), Jo Potter (Notts County) Jill Scott (Manchester City), Fara Williams (Arsenal).

      Forwards: Karen Carney (Chelsea), Danielle Carter (Arsenal), Rachel Daly (Houston Dash), Gemma Davison (Chelsea), Nikita Parris (Manchester City).

      • Breakers fan

        Do you agree with leaving Dowie out? She seems to always be left off the national squad – maybe rightly so, I don’t know. I’m not familiar with Danielle Carter or Nikita Parris, and not really with Gemma Davison though I’ve at least heard of her. Do you like all of those players?

        • MurderOnZidanesFloor

          I’ve given up on Dowie for England, I really like her as a player and would have liked to see her play at a tournament for England, but I think her chance has gone now. Both Powell and Sampson looked at her but ultimately decided not to take her to Euro 2013 and World Cup 2015. If she can’t make this squad, while White/Taylor/Kirby are injured and Duggan/Aluko/Sanderson/Clarke are out of favour, then she’s not getting in the team with this coach.

          I’m a big fan of Dan Carter and think she’ll definitely be a big part for England going forward. Parris is pacey and works really hard but I have reservations over whether she has the technical ability to play at the top level. Gemma Davison is fantastic and I can’t understand how it took so long for her to become an England regular, probably the most skillful player in the country.

          • Breakers fan

            Thanks for the very informative response! Very interesting, especially what you write about Carter and Davison. Gotta be that Dowie’s relative lack of pace is hurting her in the national coaches’ eyes.

          • MurderOnZidanesFloor

            It could be, although Sanderson went to the World Cup and she’s probably one of the few players Dowie could beat in a sprint!

          • Breakers fan

            Haha, good point. I can’t really explain that one – maybe Sanderson’s height for headers in the box? Experience in big tourneys? Veteran leadership, good clubhouse person? But I would think Dowie would be the latter as well.

          • MurderOnZidanesFloor

            I guess they are different in that Dowie usually plays as the focal point of the attack and is more of a finisher, whereas Sanderson would usually play in behind the striker.

        • FawcettFan14

          England has a deep enough pool now that quality players will be left out. Just not enough space for them all. It’s a good problem to have though, since players will have to stay in top form to be chosen.

          Galton is a similar player to Gemma Davison, both speedy, direct, attacking winger types. Davison is probably a better dribbler so she maybe that is the difference in Sampson’s eyes. But Galton has a bright future, she is a good bet to be on the next World Cup roster.

          • Gary Diver

            Assuming England comes to SBC, it will be interesting to see who Sampson brings over.

      • anon

        WHere is greenwood?

        • MurderOnZidanesFloor

          Injured, out for the rest of the year.

    • Gary Diver

      Interesting that Kim Little is the only player playing in NWSL.

      • MurderOnZidanesFloor

        Rachel Corsie usually makes the side as well, but is currently injured. Not sure if there have ever been any other Scottish players in the NWSL.. I’m sure there aren’t any right now though.

        • Breakers fan

          Do you know that team (Scotland) well? Do you feel they have other NWSL-worthy players?

          • MurderOnZidanesFloor

            I mostly only know the ones that play in England.

            Jennie Beattie is very big and very strong, can play defence or defensive midfield, and has played in title winning Arsenal sides (and likely soon to be a title winning Man City side), so I’m sure she’d do a good job for some sides.

            Caroline Weir is really skillful, but still young and a bit slight. I expect she’d struggle a bit right now but she might be good enough one day, she definitely has the talent…

            https://youtu.be/DVkbBmfoGFg?t=155

            Jane Ross has been fantastic for Man City this year, and is one of the most in form strikers in Europe. She’s the top scorer in all competitions in England and second top scorer in the Euro 2017 qualifiers. She strikes me as the sort of player who’d score a decent amount of goals in any team, in any league.

            Of the non-England based players Lisa Evans would be good enough, she plays for German champions Bayern Munich, she’s a very skillful winger and probably Scotland’s second best player after Kim Little.

            I also like Kirsty Smith a lot, but I’ve only seen her play once or twice. She doesn’t play at a high level, but having seen O’Sullivan make the step up from the Scottish league to the NWSL I guess that doesn’t rule her out. I’d expect her to get signed by a side outside Scotland soon as she seems to have locked down the right back role in the Scottish national team now.

          • Breakers fan

            Thank you, sir. I’ll check out that video. For now I’ll say that from your post it appears that Scotland is a bit of a mine waiting to be unearthed!

          • obo

            More Icelanders, too. They’re the only team on the same pace as Scotland through Euro qualifiers, and they’ve beaten Scotland rather badly head-to-head.

          • Breakers fan

            Good info, thanks!!

          • Breakers fan

            Loved that free kick – thanks. Weir’s on my radar!

      • Calci0

        I think a lot of that is because Harvey came to the NWSL. And that the Reign don’t have too many more int. slots left for other players from her Arsenal teams.

  • AlexH

    I wonder how Rapinoe would feel if one of her teammates refused to stand for the national anthem in protest of the recent Supreme Court decision in favor of gay marraige? And I wonder if the EQ would be saying:

    “One of the great things about our country is we can all agree on is our freedoms, which has existed since the founding of our nation; the ability to peacefully protest what we think is wrong about it. Debating issues should make us stronger in the long run and able to consider where each side is coming from so we can find some way to exist together even if we don’t completely agree.”

    Somehow I think not….

    • Lorehead

      That depends on a few things: whether we agree or disagree with the substance of the protest, whether we believe that sitting during the national anthem is an appropriate form of protest, and whether we think the second question depends on the first.

      Personally, I really would rather not see people start protesting during the anthems in international friendlies. It seems bizarre to me that someone would protest the national anthem while representing her country and collecting a paycheck for it. And I especially do not want to see athletes start protesting each other’s anthems.

      • guest

        if trump becomes president, he will sign an executive order requiring all uswnt and usmnt players to sit down during the playing of the mexican national anthem until mexico pays for the wall.

      • Altius

        If Pinoe decides to sit or kneel during the American national anthem before a USWNT game while REPRESENTING the United States of America, I would bench her indefinitely, until she decided to show a required minimum of respect. To make these statements at a club team is one thing, but if you want to represent your country, then you show respect for your country in this public presentation. She’s free to express herself, but the coach is also free to express HERself.

  • Gary Diver

    Off-Topic Alert: Sydney Leroux

    This is the fourth year of NWSL and Sydney Leroux is still in the top twelve all-time scorers with 17 goals even though she only scored 1 goal in the past two years. Since she is still only 26 years old, I wonder if there is still any gas in the tank when she returns to action next year. When Leroux is good she has been awesome.

    • Breakers fan

      There is certainly plenty of gas left in the tank at age 26. Only questions to me and probably everyone else will be: what will her level of fitness be (which will indicate her level of remaining passion for the sport)?; and will she have kept up much with her touch on the ball? That of course will need more work and time on a team rather than whatever drills she may have done in her time off, but it will be important for her to have kept up the best she can when off with just having her feet on the ball as much as she can in whatever ways she has been able to find to do that, as that has been a question mark to some degree for her.

      • AlexH

        If she wants to come back she has a shot because it’s not like there are a lot of strikers that can reliably put the ball in the back of the net. Other than Alex Morgan who would really be ahead of her in the pecking order as a striker?

        • newsouth

          you’re pretty correct on the striker comment but breakers fan miss the mark on touch. sydney can only get worst with the brick feet. at 26 there is no more upside. she’s a finished product.

          • AlexH

            Yes she is a finished product but having brick feet only hurts if there are other players who do not have brick feet and there does not seem to be a lot of those available right now.

          • Breakers fan

            “Finished product” — we certainly don’t say that about athletes at 26 in all sports. I haven’t done the research but I’m very confident that many players in other sports have improved come age 26 and then beyond. Overall you guys have a point but I don’t think it’s an absolute.

          • AlexH

            But their are many absolutes on the internet!

            I do think that it unlikely though that her basic skill set will improve much at this stage, although you are correct that such an improvement wouldn’t be unprecedented.

          • Breakers fan

            And in the end the question is: How limiting is her touch, vis-a-vis everything else she does well? Can she effectively overcome her lack of superbly soft feet? And, coming back, is it something she can improve upon? I don’t think it’s quite as bad as is portrayed but do see that isn’t what it could be and what it is for others.

          • #1Fan

            im of the opinion that she does very little better than player they already have.

          • Breakers fan

            I think with her speed and strength and heading ability and fearlessness — all of that together — does add something a bit different from who we have. Also susceptible to yellows, admittedly with those qualities. It’ll be interesting to see what happens when she goes back to camp — they WILL take her back, correct? They have to, I believe. It is a pretty loaded position already though, I know.

          • #1Fan

            Surely Groom would be a better option if you want that ?

          • Breakers fan

            I like Groom but she isn’t nearly as big as Syd as you know and the heading ability isn’t in the same ballpark I would say. I like how Syd in general *gets results*, she scores pretty darn often when she plays, and I’ve seen her make nice passes near goal — I believe one was in the Sweden Olympic game — which show more vision and awareness of what’s around her than I think many people give her credit for

          • Calci0

            She also provided the assist to Press in the WWC. And I mentioned this assist above. But here is her “horrible” touch on display:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPwr4ZrAeuA

          • Breakers fan

            Thanks! I’m happy to hear these present-day reports about her. I think you can see from my posts that of the people posting here I’m the most in agreement with you. It’ll be fascinating to see her return and if she’s in good form how all of this will shake out with the team. This is one hard team to get minutes in from amongst the front 5 or 7, however they align.

          • Calci0

            Yeh, and as a Breakers fan I’m sure you remember her play when she finished 2nd in the league with 11 goals. So it’s nice to see someone appreciate the work she has put in the make it to the level she has. But yeh, she has her work cutout for her, but again look at her path to the NT, I think she’s more the ready to put in the effort.

          • Breakers fan

            Indeed I do remember how hugely she contributed to the Breakers good fortune that year. 11 goals – an NWSL goal total not often equaled.

          • mockmook

            I think she’d make an excellent WB.

            Leroux LWB
            Ohai RWB

            Throw in any other 9 players, and you have a team 😉

          • Breakers fan

            I’m all ears, sir……….

          • Breakers fan

            Good to see this play again. I’d forgotten about it. As we both remember there was also the WC assist vs. Sweden I believe it was. Not sure how easy it is to post that one.

          • Calci0

            It was against Aust. https://youtu.be/6YfouCE8-54
            But again it’s just odd how some are so quick to talk of just jettisoning a player that has showed she can be counted on. And she made that hustle and assist at less than 100% as seen be her surgery right after the WWC.

          • Breakers fan

            THAT is an amazing pass! I’ll venture to say, confidently, that she is the only US forward who could have done that. I’m with you man, I think that with the emergence of some others – mostly Dunn and Pugh — that people think we “don’t need” Syd anymore. But obviously you and I feel differently and that she should at least get a fair shot again.

          • Calci0

            Exactly!!!!! That’s all I’m looking at. Is a fair shot. Yet some don’t even think she should get another camp invite?!?

          • Breakers fan

            I think it’s largely the “out of sight, out of mind” phenomenon and maybe some are angry at the chance timing of her pregnancy after KC traded for her…..whatever is in people’s minds I think she will get another shot. How they’ll manage her in terms of minutes on the pitch in friendlies remains to be seen.

          • DNG

            Are Pugh and Dunn being included as forwards because if they are, Leroux definitely isn’t the only player capable of doing that. Morgan is capable of making cutbacks from byline as well. Leroux will get a shot whether or not I or anyone else thinks she should. I’d prefer to move away from all forwards with limited ball skills though.

          • Breakers fan

            I’m just saying she is the only one I have seen actually make that severe a perfect cut-back pass. Until one of the others does it my case remains! 🙂

          • DNG

            I don’t think the answer is more goals but more quality goals and more quality shot creation. That’s how you break down and score against low blocks. I’d be okay with less goals against less skilled teams if they were goals with good build up that ended in shots right in front of the net. That play will translate against solid defenses.

          • Breakers fan

            I hear you and you make a good point about how technical ball skills are a great one to have,and how they are probably required if teams bunker against us. It’s impossible to argue AGAINST a player being technically adept. But goals are also impossible to argue against – even more so, so I don’t know…..I’m all for anything that makes the USWNT better and Syd may be able to contribute significantly to that goal.

          • DNG

            I’m not saying that the US should field technical players incapable of scoring goals. I’m saying that the US should find goal scorers that are technically proficient. I think that Morgan and Leroux have some pretty clear limitation in what they can and can’t do on the football pitch and that those limitations impact the tactical flexibility the US should have in abundance. The reason they still score lots of goals, not Morgan for Orlando this year, is because their aren’t a lot of teams stopping what they do well. When they run into a team that can stop them, it’s a real problem because they aren’t great at being productive in other ways.

          • Breakers fan

            Theoretically and intellectually I’m with you on this, and if everyone starts doing what Sweden did against us who knows what will work, (I could see Leroux getting a header goal in a game like that; I could see her mixing it up on a ball bouncing around goal, sliding and knocking one in).

            Basically I think there are “outliers” who can, enough of the time, (not gonna be always for anyone) transcend what you’re alluding to with statements like “a team that can stop them”. I’d counter by saying those teams can stop any player – technically-based or more athletically-speed-based, but also that they can’t stop the latter all of the time and may not be able to stop the latter as often as they can stop the former. It’s all speculation here about “what will happen”. Leroux didn’t seem to have too much problem with her NWSL peers in 2013 — are they good enough to pass muster for you? We’re only going to play Germany and France once in a great while and I’m not convinced the skills of Morgan or Leroux aren’t ones we don’t want on the field in those games.

          • DNG

            Leroux had a pretty good year in 2013 and followed that up with a pretty bad one in 2014. She hasn’t played more than 3 NWSL games in the last two years so I can’t offer any judgment for them.

            Morgan wasn’t very effective at all against France in the Olympics and I’m not sure yet what Germany will be in 3 years. Their back line was very vulnerable to pacy forwards these last two years which will be changing since their CBs retired. Morgan was probably the best forward to play against Germany because of these circumstances.

            Those teams aren’t the only teams capable of beating the USWNT anymore. England were very good at SBC and a very young Japan put 3 on the US. I don’t think replacing Morgan with, I’ll use Horan just as an example, Horan is going to suddenly make the US incapable of hurting teams with athletic attackers like Pugh and Dunn. It is my belief that such a player can actually help the likes of Pugh and Dunn.

          • Breakers fan

            Horan is intriguing at CF I agree, especially with that speed surrounding her. Someday it might happen.

            Your first statement that Leroux had ” a pretty good year” in 2013. Well, then if that was “pretty good” then any NWSL forward who scored less than 11 goals in a year did not, has not even reached the “pretty good” mark. I’m just not closing the book on her.

          • DNG

            Horan is just an example. I don’t know how good she will or won’t be for the USWNT unless she gets some playing time as a forward. It might turn out that she isn’t good enough. So far I like what I see from her. She has the skill but sometimes plays a little too slow. I don’t agree with the people who discount her because she doesn’t have a lot of foot pace. Leroux had one good NWSL season and followed it up with a bad one. I think bringing her back is a step in the wrong direction. If I were picking the 23, she wouldn’t be in my side, I do however, understand there are those, like yourself, that want to give her a shot. She will probably get it too considering the contract structure of the NT players.

          • Breakers fan

            I respect your viewpoint. She’s not at the top of my USWNT depth chart right now but I would like to see her play, give her a decent chance. I think she’s earned that. About her “bad NWSL year” I honestly don’t know or remember but my memory is that she was hurt or at the WC for most of it, thus the lack of goals/assists but maybe she played more than I recall. I’ll look it up.

          • DNG

            Leroux’s bad year was in 2014 when she played with Seattle. She couldn’t do what Harvey wanted her to and her production was less than half(5 G 0A vs 11G 2A in 19 matches) of what it was in the previous season in 22 appearances.

            As far as who I think the starting forwards should be, I’d play a two front with Press and Horan right now in a 3-5-2. They can also play in a 4-4-2 or a 4-2-3-1. I think they compliment each other rather well and both can drop into the hole. You could also try Horan next to Alex as a Wambach lite in a 4-4-2 and counter-attack. However, as I said to #1Fan above, I don’t want to see a team that grinds out results by playing negative and defensive for long periods of the match.

          • Breakers fan

            I would strongly consider Dunn as a forward also. When shs’e been there with the NT good games have occurred. My guess is that Leroux will go to the bottom of the depth chart and will have to prove herself in training consistently for a long time to have a chance to rise back through the ranks. That’s just what happens when a few people emerge when you’re gone. Thanks for your visions of what we could do – they make sense. Odds seem against Horan getting moved forward at this point in time but maybe someday, maybe never. It wil lprobably depend on the surrounding personnel of the team and of course the vision of the coaching staff.

          • DNG

            I’m only offering what I would like to try. I don’t really expect the status quo to change. Dunn is in my starting XI as a right wing back. Press is pretty clearly still the better goal scorer and Horan plays a much different role than Dunn would be able to play. Pugh is probably the player that I’d have a tougher time fitting into this formation although I’d try her centrally. I’d like to try Heath centrally again as well and call up Colaprico.

          • Breakers fan

            I just remembered about her bad year with Seattle, so never mind that question.

          • Breakers fan

            I want to add that ideally I agree with you. You want great athletes with speed and tremendous technical ability.

          • DNG

            I don’t think they all need to be fast, although a big fast CF with lots of technical quality would be ideal. They US still has fast and capable counter-attackers if Morgan and Leroux are not playing.

          • Breakers fan

            I’m all for technicality but more so than that I am for goals being scored.

          • HOFCToDi

            The technical ability should be reserved for the #6 and #8.

            Andi Sullivan – #6
            Morgan Brian – #8

            Take your pick of the #10 who played the position in college:

            DiBernardo, Vanessa
            Mewis, Samantha
            Lavelle, Rose

            Tobin Heath has the technical ability to play the #7 or #11. Mallory Pugh has the technical ability to play the #7 or #11.

          • HOFCToDi

            Panic! Panic!

            When you outshoot an opponent 27-6, it’s a choke job.

            Now the buzz word is technical ability. Unbelievable!

            Replace Allie Long (29 years old) with Andi Sulivan (Stanford). Replace Carli Lloyd (34 years old) with either Vanessa DiBernardo or Samantha Mewis or Rose Lavelle (Wisconsin). Replace Megan Rapinoe (31 years old) with Ashley Sanchez (UCLA). Replace Christen Press (27 years old) with Savannah Jordan (Florida). The forwards and/or midfielders have been retooled for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

          • Breakers fan

            And who scored in the “game in which a team successfully bunkered against us” ? #13. With #16 disrupting and aiding in the process.

            I’m with you on these changes, not completely but by and large, yes. I may make some of my own that are different but I do love a lot of your choices

          • HOFCToDi

            Crystal Dunn remains on the roster.

            youtube.com/watch?v=0Z3A0BB_PbA

            5:40

          • Breakers fan

            I attended this game. Dunn was great in it.

          • HOFCToDi

            With regards to the forwards/midfielders, retain the following players from the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup roster:

            Heath, Tobin
            Morgan, Alex
            Brian, Morgan

          • Tania

            And Rapinoe. There will still be space on the field for Dunn & Pugh… I definitely don’t want to lose them. But it’s a 23 person roster.

            And you have to keep at least 1 or 2 of the defense, unless they choose to walk away.

          • HOFCToDi

            Megan Rapinoe will be 34 years old three years from now.

            Retirements
            Hamm – 32 years old
            Foudy – 33 years old
            Akers – 34 years old

            Michelle Akers retired prior to the 2000 Summer Olympics.

          • Tania

            Thing is 34 isn’t as old as it used to be, with the improvements in various things like injury treatments, advances in understanding of how to stay in shape, diet, etc.

          • HOFCToDi

            Color me skeptical.
            Rampone, Boxx, Chalupny, O’Reilly combined to play less than 60 minutes at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Essentially the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup roster was reduced from 20 outfield players to 16.

          • Tania

            We will see…

            O’Reilly was certainly capable of playing more, in terms of her physical ability. I’d argue the same with Rampone. The other two, I am unsure.

          • Tania

            Um… NO. Too many rookies.

            Long – agree. She wasn’t the answer. She only got there because of Morgan’s injury

            Lloyd – agree

            Rapinoe – No, unless something goes horribly wrong. You need veterans somewhere; she doesn’t have to start but if you really want Sanchez to succeed, she needs to have a major tourney with Rapinoe & Heath. Plus Rapinoe has something to prove & at 34 can still do it. Something’s changed in her, for the better. Not sure if it’s Seattle, or her personal life or what. But while she’ll never be as obsessively drive as Abby or Carli, she’s more focussed.

            Press – I’m on the fence.

          • HOFCToDi

            Tell that to the 1991 FIFA Women’s World Cup squad.

            en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1991_FIFA_Women%27s_World_Cup_squads#.C2.A0United_States

            Foudy – 20 years old
            Lilly – 20 years old
            Hamm – 19 years old

          • Tania

            Again – things are different now. Times have changed. The advent of 24 hour news cycles & social media adds a new level of pressure. These players are under an an intense spotlight that brings a higher level of scrutiny.

          • Calci0

            This is another example, of the “horrible” touch:
            https://youtu.be/_g3zstcHz5k?t=55m29s

            Even the crowd appreciated the move! And she still fights to get the shot off. But what I REALLY want you to see is what should have been Leroux’s brace, watch after the goal at the 55:00 mark (of the video 45:12 game clock) . #1 notice the touch on controlling that long ball. Not only did she do it with a defender right on top of her, she did it in stride. Next she just has a nose for goal, and even after the foul, doesn’t wait for a whistle, or even try to call for one. She just gets back up, and scores. And does a good job going near post.

          • Breakers fan

            Fantastic! Especially the 2nd part you mention. Think of how many, how g-doggone many players would have just stayed on the turf there after getting tripped up like that… and then look at what Sydney did. Right back up! And strikes an awesome shot. And yes – the ball control shown here goes totally against the comments of many people regarding her. Just goes to show you really shouldn’t make blanket statements about players unless they actually do comprise a complete blanket.

          • Breakers fan

            here she helps greatly in Kristie Mewis getting her 1st NT goal:

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

          • Calci0

            I believe her situation is similar to Rodriguez’s from a few years ago, and even now. She will get to come to a camp. and have a chance to earn her spot back.

          • AlexH

            But even that is useful if it lights a fire under some backsides. A dearth of warm butts is the program’s biggest flaw. And this goes for the players, coaches and federation potentates.

          • kernel_thai

            If Ellis is serious about the direction she has taken the team in the last 12 months then Im not sure Leroux fits the bill.

          • Calci0

            It’s not as bad as portrayed, and one thing I’ve noticed on these boards, is she probably gets the least amount of credit than any other fwd. Especially when you consider, her stats. I was really looking foreword to her play this year, and to see what she took away from her training session with Dwyer. She was competing even at home, which tells me she still wants to succeed.

          • Paul Klee

            I don’t know about females but I imagine it’s the same as with men the combination of athletic ability when combined with experience is at a max between the ages of 27 and 32.

          • Breakers fan

            Seems right for soccer assuming no injuries occur to a player, however we’ve also seen through history amazing years by players much younger than that. Sometimes in other sports – swimming, tennis, gymnastics — female athletes sometimes have their best years at much younger ages than those you mention as I’m sure you know.

          • Paul Klee

            Other than tennis the other sports don’t place as much emphasis on experience as much as athletic ability. Team sports that require that you are interacting constantly with opponents and teammates place a higher value on experience. That’s why great Keepers and great NFL quarterbacks have a longer shelf life.

          • Breakers fan

            Perceptive comment about team play vs. individual sports vis-a-vis peak age performance. Depends also on the individual and how she/he develops mentally.

          • Steglitz49

            Lauren Holiday stepped away at 27. We can probably find a few more for you who did their best at 26 instead of 30.

          • TrollWatch

            That has absolutely nothing to do with a woman’s physical abilities between 27 and 32

          • Breakers fan

            You may be right. I brought up the importance of her having worked as much as she could have on touch because I know it’s an issue with her. How much of an issue is up for debate to some extent but I agree that it is an issue. You make a good point about how at 26 and with the surrounding competition the odds have become slanted against her but is there any chance at all for her still on the NT? I think I’m more optimistic than you, but I still think it’s a pretty big uphill battle for her now with the emergence of Dunn and Pugh and possibly Sanchez on the horizon, not to mention Morgan and Press and Lloyd. (just naming all possible contenders, and know I mentioned players some see as just midfielders)

          • Calci0

            If you look at her performance when healthy, I don’t understand how people could try to write her off. Her goals per game avg is among the best ever for the NT. And I hear over and over about her touch, no she’s no Zidane, Pirlo, Ineista on the ball. But I’ve seen on more than a few occasions, her touch providing an skillful assist. Probably my favorite is the one she served up to Press a few years ago (The Netherlands I think). As I’ve said many times to NYRick, Alan Shearer, and T. Henry were two totally different strikers, but they both knew how to put the ball in the back of the net. And that’s what I want my fwds to do. And that’s what Leroux has done pretty well for the most part.

          • Ethan

            That assist was nice, but her pass to Wambach against Costa Rica in 2015 WWC qualifying was way too good not to be my vote for Leroux’s best assist.

          • Calci0

            Another nice one. Just goes to show her touch isn’t as bad as many tout.

          • kernel_thai

            Im really amazed at the buzz around Sanchez. Much as I said about Pugh when she got the call last January…lot’s of talent but what have they done. Pugh for all her technical brilliance has had two shots at the brass ring and gone out in the quarters both times. Sanchez hasnt even done that. In December when the U20 WC is in the books it will be time to revisit the two young phenoms.

          • Breakers fan

            Would just warn: Do not fall prey to the illusion that if a TEAM doesn’t win a World Championship that it means that every player on that team is not ….great or worthy and instead is whatever pejorative you want to use. As I’ve written here a few other times — and if you know football this will resonate: Frickin’ Dick Butkus and Gale frickin’ Sayers never ever played in a single post-season playoff football game and those are 2 of the most undisputed best players ever to play their respective positions. We can see how Sanchez does but the team result will obviously be related to the play also of the other 10 players on the field. That’s a simple truism. I’ve already seen her lead the US U-17s to a tourney win over Japan, Canada and Mexico. They’re so young. To judge them at this age seems really…..unnecessary. Were all current USWNT players subject to such scrutiny and judgment at age 17, 18? No.

          • Breakers fan

            How many minutes have you seen Sanchez play to date? Just curious if you’ve seen her play and if so, how much.

        • anon

          Press, the current best striker in the NWSL.

      • FlyingSquirrel42

        She sounded eager to get back on the field, so she definitely shouldn’t be written off given her age, and I imagine she has some mental strength from all she went through to get into the U.S. pool.

        • #1Fan

          if you want a one dimensional, head down , shoot all the time player ., then bring her back

        • Breakers fan

          And she’s probably aware that many have written her off – that could provide extra motivation.

      • Calci0

        As I mentioned above, I think she has a huge passion for the sport. And that’s seen in the path she took just to make the USWNT. She and her husband were both huge on fitness beforehand, and I think that will continue.

      • mockmook

        Not too long ago there were many mentions of Leroux hanging out with FCKC — just to kick the ball around, stay connected with the team.

    • #1Fan

      Please no. Step back

    • FlyingSquirrel42

      It’s interesting how much “turnover” there is among the ranks of leading NWSL scorers:

      http://www.nwslsoccer.com/stats

      The rankings aren’t as informative as they could be because the lists end with “__ tied at X number of goals” instead of listing their names, but only a handful of names show up more than once: Kim Little, Amy Rodriguez, Jessica McDonald, Allie Long, and Samantha Kerr, plus Christen Press if you count the partial totals for the current season.

    • Guest

      I think she would make a good outside back

      • #1Fan

        i dont. does not read the game well enough and does nto pass well enough either

      • Calci0

        I think she makes a better fwd, and before injuries, her play showed just that.

        • anon

          I always thought Leroux was a worse version of Morgan with Press superior to both. Now that Morgan seems like she might have already peaked, maybe I’ll adjust those rankings when Leroux comes back

          • Calci0

            I don’t like the X is better than X comparison. I’ll just say, that if you look at the way Leroux performed while Morgan was out injured, you’ll see that her play indicated a player that, can score when needed, against good teams. And I want a player like that on my team, whether she is starting or coming off the bench.

          • Breakers fan

            I like your “I don’t like the X is better than X comparison” statement. Each players has many facets. Some of some are better than some of another, — and that’s just GENERALLY, not always, — so like you I try to steer pretty clear of these big statements, unless it’s obvious and with these players I don’t think it is at all.

      • kernel_thai

        I like that idea except she is a little reckless on tackles which can be a problem both around the box and in the panalty area.

    • MurderOnZidanesFloor

      I think its an interesting idea that Leroux could make her way back in. Its not going to be easy since she barely played for the year before taking a year out, but IF she can get fully fit she’d definitely be a dangerous player again. I’m not even sure she’ll return at all though.

      • Calci0

        She has already plotted Feb. as her return date, so she plans to return. And I don’t see a fitness issue, as most of her pregnancy photos seem to show a player that is taking care of herself even during pregnancy. And when you look at the work and effort she put in to make the USWNT, I think you’ll see a player that will be up to the task of returning 100%.

        • MurderOnZidanesFloor

          That’s great news, especially for FCKC fans. Looking forward to seeing her next season then!

    • Calci0

      There will be tons of gas left in the tank!!! She is younger than Morgan and Press. And younger than Rodriguez was when she made her comeback post-delivery. And her legs will super fresh. She had been doing a lot of work with Dwyer also towards the end of last year.

    • HOFCToDi

      Savannah Jordan, Florida

      web1.ncaa.org/stats/StatsSrv/careerplayer

      2016-17 NCAA Division I
      Games Played 5, Goals 6, Assists 6

      web1.ncaa.org/stats/StatsSrv/rankings

      The understudy to Alex Morgan in preparation for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup

  • AlexH

    Saddest commentary on the WNT:

    “Under the Radar: Morgan Brian – Brian has been in much, much better form of late, which leads us to believe that she really was injured at the beginning of the season when she struggled so much. Her class and vision on the ball is something to see when she’s playing well.”

    Which begs the question “Why the @#$%^” was she in Rio then?!”

    • #1Fan

      i told you 🙂

    • Breakers fan

      Who questioned whether she “was really injured?” Why would they invent a hamstring injury?

      • #1Fan

        i mentioned here a while back that she hurt the other hammy compensating and was babied during the Olympics. She was never 100 pct and they knew it going in

      • Rdalford

        re “Brian has been in much, much better form of late, which leads us to believe that she really was injured at the beginning of the season when she struggled so much. ”

        Not clear where this writer gets the “leads us to believe ….” crap.

        Both Houston (who announced that Brian pulled hamstring in preseason and then had her on NWSL injury report for a number of games and also announced that she injured the other hamstring) and USWNT (who held Brian out of matches or limited her mins and indicated she was dealing with hamstring injury) were public about Brian dealing with hamstring injuries. Brian trying to come back from hamstring injuries was even subject of a couple of articles pre OG.

    • guest

      being healthy is not a uswnt requirement for getting selected to major tournament rosters. jill ellis will gradually improve the players health in the middle of the tournament with a supersub role.

    • guest

      Because even not 100% she was still better than other CMs in the pool. I haven’t seen anyone criticizing her form at OG and that means it was a good decision to take her

  • Guest

    Why did she have to kneel so far in front of everyone else. Why couldn’t she be next to the rest of her team

    • guest

      Because she’s a show pony. What’s the point of doing the Very Important Thing if nobody notices you doing the Very Important Thing.

    • guest

      she needs the increased attention to build her rapinoe brand. rapinoe shirts today and rapinoe vodka tomorrow. her teammates will understand.

  • Steglitz49

    Pinoe may do well in remembering the Australian Peter Norman. At Norman’s funeral Tommie Smith and John Carlos were pall bearers and also spoke. Australia is not around the corner from the US.

    • Hwah

      I think Peter Norman would be a great example for Rapinoe to follow. In many ways isn’t that exactly what she is doing?

      • Steglitz49

        Not really.

        Norman was part of the event and helped Smith and Carlos stage their act and consequently was “punished”. Pinoe comes after, in the wake, and risks nothing.

        Australia did not send a men’s sprint team to the 1972 Olympics. It meant that Norman could not defend his silver. In 2000 the aboriginal Cathy Freeman lit the Olympic flame. Norway won the WoSo gold.

        • rkmid71

          We will see what Pinoe decides to do at USWNT game. I’m not expecting much. Oth, she may decide she’s likely on the way out anyway (for her play), so why not. She can then use that as an excuse for why she’s being dropped and it helps the Rapinoe brand.

  • Guest

    Um, so now EQ is basically serving as Pinoe’s press agent.

    Must be really cool being able to perfectly discern the motivations of the hearts of people you don’t actually know. Totally a coincidence that her supposed motivations happen to align perfectly with your own point of view.

    Somehow I think Pinoe pretty much has the self-promotion angle covered without your help, EQ.

  • Guest

    My shortlist for MVP thus far: DiBernardo, Naeher, Lynn Williams, McDonald, Nadim, Menges, Nairn, Lohman, Colaprico, Short, S. Mewis

    • Steglitz49

      MVP of what?

      I contend that there ought to be one for each of the phases: GK, Def, MF and Forward.

      • Guest

        NWSL MVP

        • Steglitz49

          One single for the whole MVP? This is a team game.

          You can have a Goal-scoring Queen. Maybe a red and yellow card Enforcer as well.

          • Guest

            It is not a new award. It has been happening every season. Look it up.

          • Steglitz49

            You name them for me please.

          • Guest

            2013 – Lauren Holiday
            2014 – Kim Little
            2015 – Crystal Dunn

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NWSL_awards#Most_Valuable_Player_Award

          • Steglitz49

            Thank you. Interesting if not even fascinating. KC won in 2014 and 2015 but Holiday got the nod in 2013 when Portland won.

            Bizarre. Do a WR on the committees.

          • Guest

            It also has always been given to the leading goal scorer which I do not think is fair. If that is the criteria then how would anyone besides a forward/AM ever win? Defenders and GK’s and holding mids are just as important

          • Steglitz49

            The fans like these awards. That is why I suggested one for each phase of the pitch. Those could be in addition to an overall MVP, rookie of the year etc.

            We should also think up some fancy names for these awards like the Gold Ball or Diamond Ball, that the Swedes use, as well as their Goal-Scoring Queen.

            Now, if Victoria Secret or Nieman Marcus could sponsor these awards, we will be on easy street

          • David K Anderson

            Agreed. But defenders and ‘keepers seldom win such awards (Nadine Angerer’s FIFA PotY award being a huge exception). The best Thorn so far this year has been Emily Menges. No way in hell she’s a contender for MVP, sadly.

          • Lorehead

            If Nadia Nadim outscores Kealia Ohai tomorrow, she’ll be in the lead for the Golden Boot, and I wouldn’t complain about her getting the award. I agree with you that Menges, and centerbacks generally, don’t get enough recognition unless they score.

    • skybolt

      Not if Ohai scores another 7 goals in her last 3 matches. 🙂 Seriously though, WNY plays Boston twice in the last 3 matches, so I’d assume Williams and McDonald will get on the score sheet a few times.

    • smallchief

      It looks to me that the MVP will likely be a contest among L. Williams and McDonald. Ohai might be in the running if she gets another goal or two.

      • Guest

        I don’t like it being based solely on goals/assists considering that is the job of one line of players on the field. I think that players like DiBernardo, Nairn and Naeher have been just as important to their teams

        • Steglitz49

          and Nadim, to keep up the N theme …

    • Steglitz49

      Let’s hear it for Casey Short!

    • mockmook

      Erceg?

      You need to be cutting down that list real soon.

      Ohai should also get some love for not only becoming NWSL goal leader, but also becoming the team’s leader/captain.

  • guest

    Media votes Ohai the NWSL player of the week.

    CHICAGO (Sept. 6, 2016) – Houston Dash forward Kealia Ohai was voted the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) Player of the Week by the NWSL Media Association for Week 17 of the 2016 NWSL season.

  • guest

    It really sucks that it’s a self-important showboat like Rapinoe (and the scapegoated Solo) who’re generating the lion’s share of USWNT’s national coverage and commentary these days. A lovely person like Lauren Holiday has a frickin’ brain tumor, and it rates all of 30-something comments here.

    I’d also like to see Jill Ellis have to answer tough questions in the press about her Rio roster selections (Pinoe), lack of tactics against Sweden’s defense, and insane substitution and PK choices. Not holding my breath on that

    • Hwah

      First, I wholeheartedly agree with you that Ellis needs to answer about the Olympic decisions she made.

      As for national coverage of women’s soccer, it has been my experience for the last decade or so, that outside of major tournaments, only controversy breaks through to national coverage….nothing else, not the NWSL, Holiday likely broke through a bit because she’s married to an NBA player, but beyond that it has been Hope this, Hope that, Hope the other thing, Wambach DUI, Sermanni unceremoniously dumped, now Rapinoe, that has broken through. To be honest, without Hope, years could probably have gone by without the USWNT receiving national coverage outside of Olympics/WWC!:)

  • Gary Diver

    USSF Shouldn’t Fire Jill Ellis…Yet”

    http://www.starsandstripesfc.com/2016/8/17/12509378/us-soccer-fire-jill-ellis-uswnt

    At least some questions are being asked.

    “When you break it down, a lot of the early Olympic exit was her fault.” That is an understatement. Next year’s SBC could be Ellis’ Waterloo.

    “Blame Jill Ellis For USWNT’S Olympic Failure” (earlier article immediately after Swedish match)

    http://stocknewsusa.com/2016/08/14/blame-jill-ellis-for-uswnts-olympic-failure/

    • Steglitz49

      A nice speculative piece but some of the speculations came across as fanciful indeed.

      It seems reasonable to let JE continue. None of the alternatives convinced me. I may have missed it, but I did not see Vlatko’s name nor CPC’s for that matter. Silvia Neid was paid exceedingly well by the DFB. I doubt that the USSF can match that let alone up it.

      Anna Signeul, head coach of Scotland, and Calle Barrling, head coach of Sweden’s U19 or, why not go the whole hog and ask Lars Lagerbäck, the man credited with inventing the modern style of playing soccer.

    • HOFCToDi

      Get a clue.

      The USMNT finished fourth at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup and Jurgen Klinsmann was not fired.

      • Gary Diver

        Are you satisfied with how Jill Ellis is coaching USWNT? Is the team playing up to its potential? Is it obvious what game plan Ellis is using for her matches? Has she been able to straighten out the shortcomings of the team? Nobody is expecting the men’s team to play up to its potential and win major tournaments. The women’s team is different. USWNT players have more tenure than the coaches – just ask Tom Sermanni.

        • Steglitz49

          The Miracle on Grass in Brasilia was in many ways just that: a miracle.

          Granted the ref team was not up to scratch and it took till 10 min before the end of the extra time to book Carli. I contend that the players totally underestimated Sweden. That is why they essentially keep stumm.

          • Gary Diver

            I guess it all depends on how you define “miracle”. USWNT never looked comfortable in the QF which is never a good sign. And when Sweden showed they could dangerously counter-attack, USNWT never adjusted. The list of questionable coaching decisions made by Ellis in the match is just too long and too troubling. Everything USWNT did in that game was a struggle and that is never good in knock-out matches.

          • Steglitz49

            As I typed: the USWNT underestimated the Swedes. Those turnips turned out not tto be as green as they were cabbage-looking.

            Also, as I noted elsewhere, Tony G not only is Swedish but coached several of those Swedes at Tyresö and his team played against many of the rest. Altogether a pretty piss poor effort all around..

          • HOFCToDi

            The Miracle on Grass is you smoking a bowl and the simultaneous ability to type on a keyboard.

          • Steglitz49

            Touché!

            Americans may prefer the Bomb in Brasilia. No matter: the other team went to Rio and got to play in the Maracana, twice to boot.

          • HOFCToDi

            Take another hit from your bong.

          • Ginger Ale

            What you contend doesn’t matter and what you content has nothing to do with reality

          • Steglitz49

            With the ref team on their side, the USWNT were still impotent.

            I know four of them were interviewed by Bob Costas as well as Hope shooting her mouth off and Alex and Pinoe not supporting Hope, but have we had any serious interviews about this match?

            How come the reigning world champions with the current POTY and COTY failed against a team trounced 5-1 by Brazil just a few days earlier. Why? How?

          • guest3

            “With the ref team on their side”
            Not true. Carli’s goal, which would have put the game on ice, was disallowed

        • HOFCToDi

          Outcoached? No. Outplayed? No.

          When you outshoot an opponent 27-6, it’s a choke job by the “equal play, equal pay” players.

          • Steglitz49

            They underestimated the Swedes. An interviewer who bothered to learn up about the Swedish players could ask awkward questions both of the players themselves and the coaching staff but fortunately for the USWNT no journo can be bothered.

            Given that Tony G not only is Swedish but coached several of them at Tyresö and his team played against many of the rest, it is pretty piss poor.

          • HOFCToDi

            Bull crap.

            The current members of the USWNTPA choked. The current members of the USWNTPA should focus their attention to association football instead of “equal play, equal pay”.

          • Steglitz49

            You can call it “choke” if you like. I would say hubris and over-confidence and not bothering to prepare themselves for the task that lay before them.

            Several of the US players played in Sweden and Lindsey Horan not only played with some in PSG but against others in Lyon and Montpellier.

          • HOFCToDi

            When you outshoot an opponent 27-6, it’s a choke job.
            END OF STORY.

          • #1Fan

            I do think the quality of shots should be considered. But ..shock horror …..I tend to agree with you !!!

          • Gary Diver

            It is the job of the coach to prepare his or her team for each match. USWNT did not look prepared tactically or psychologically for Sweden. They simply did not look confident on the field. I am not a fan of John Herdman, but I will say he knows how to get this players to believe in themselves and to play confidently. He probability uses the Vince Lombardi view that “we never lose, we just run out of time”. From the beginning of the match, USWNT looked out of sorts against Sweden and that is the coach’s responsibility. Substituting Rapinoe told her players “we need a Hail Mary” – not good for confidence. And PKs are largely luck and mind game and Ellis’ decisions did not create the maximum confidence in her shooters with the expected result of underperforming.

          • #1Fan

            I don’t think the us exhibit real confidence too often. I think they get results but rarely look convincing. They can have 25 shots and yet look bad doing it.

          • DNG

            I think this is a result of how the team is selected and plays. I think there is far too much focus on the number of goals or assists any individual player totals with the NT or their club. When the US plays teams the huge number of poor teams do, they can score buckets of goals on what should be, or are, half chances due to inadequate defending and poor keeping. I think there is far too little emphasis on consistently creating quality chances. That hurts the team whenever than come up against a side that can defend and are not overmatched.

          • #1Fan

            US have all the analytics available and the coaching staff is not stupid. They are well aware of what wen wrong vs Sweden. they know they did not create much in the way of quality, not matter what the SOG stats say.

          • DNG

            I’m sure they know what went wrong. What I want to know is if they will make the necessary changes to ensure that they are better the next time they come up against a side with a good low block that can counter them? Is fielding the best team more important than getting certain players onto the field?

          • #1Fan

            its two things, the right players and the right style of play. The best TEAM has become foreign to the US, its become a marketing exercise. Marketing has led and that was OK as long as the team won. Olympics may change the agenda a bit. Lloyd HAS to go for this group to really grow. Even IF you think she has a role. Solo cannot be the only cull

          • DNG

            Well I’m right there with you on picking the right players and style of play although I think the US has some options there. I’d prefer not to watch matches where they grind out results like Atleti or a Mourinho Chelsea side. I agree that Lloyd has to go. She hasn’t been a good football player for a long time now. Her instincts as a goal scorer has hidden the fact that she does very little in the run of play. I always feel as if the US is outmanned in central midfield when Lloyd play there.

          • #1Fan

            http://www.ussoccer.com/stories/2016/09/05/16/13/160905-wnt-jill-ellis-qa-post-olympics-state-of-the-program-what-happens-this-cycle

            I agree. Its like trading a man for a goal, so when she does not score, its a huge waste. Her scoring has been torrid vs mostly bad teams so its been somewhat masked. The Olympics highlighted the flaw in this plan vs organized teams.

            Read above, she says all the right things, but ….

          • rkmid71

            I would say it slightly differently. It’s doesn’t even require the team winning all the time, just a reasonable % of time. Marketing has led and that was OK as long as the team won ENOUGH. The marketers could spin the WC failure over 16 years or the YNT failures as long as they could focus on and sprinkle in some good wins like OG or even some exciting losses. And they explain it way by saying this is the best we can do and everyone else is getting better so that they’re own performance is not under scrutiny and they protect their own jobs. Maybe there should be competition for the USSF monopoly in developing a true National TEAM. What gives them that license anyway? We will know soon enough if the agenda will change come 12/31/16.

          • brdn08

            Absolutely a gag job.

          • Gary Diver

            It is strange if the USWNT players were over-confident because they did not play with confidence.

          • Steglitz49

            They did not expect such a highly organized defense. It was Lars Lagerbäck quality over that organisation.

            The early Swedish counter-attack, which admittedly did not score, may have sowed doubts in their mind. When Rolfö went off injured an even better player came on.

            US Soccer’s Stalingrad?

          • Gary Diver

            After successfully using a rope-a-dope strategy twice against USWNT and Brazil, why didn’t Sundhage use it again against Germany? There was no way Sweden could play Germany straight-up open soccer and win and they didn’t.

            Were the Swedes cowards? Sweden would have been pleased with a 0-0 draw against USWNT just as they ended up with Brazil. They wanted to go to penalties. I would say any team in the knock-out round who is willing to play for a 0-0 draw is playing ugly soccer and not in the spirit of the Olympics Oath of trying to do your best. Trying to totally negate the game on the field and pass over to penalty shots is not good sportsmanship. Obviously you need a good defense to pull it off, but it is a terrible approach to soccer. The goal of a match should not be to get to a penalty shootout.

    • mockmook

      “At least some questions are being asked.”

      More people probably read your comments here than read those outlets — perhaps I’m exaggerating, but I’m not sure.

    • Rdalford

      US soccer site has posted a Q&A with Jill Ellis article titled “LOOKING AHEAD: Q&A WITH U.S. WNT HEAD COACH JILL ELLIS”

      re anticipated rosters for fall friendlies
      “ussoccer.com: What are the goals for the matches in the fall?
      JE: The first two games will be bringing in the Olympic roster and having meetings and allowing these players to play in front of the fans. Coming out of those games, we will be looking at everything from this point forward in relation to 2019. Every training session, every match we play, it’s looking at players, evaluating players and gaining experience. So those matches will be important for that and for starting that process. Next year our schedule will be aggressive. We’re always trying to play top-10 teams. It’s a priority and our federation knows it’s a priority for our team because it’s in those games where we will see growth from those young players. ”

      So my take, much like last years post WC VT, first 2 friendlies just OG roster, then perhaps start bringing in some new players.

      • guest3

        2 chicken 2 face the cameras! Instead, the palace will issue a statement from our dear leader!

      • kernel_thai

        So would u describe this as “cowardly” by Ellis.

        • Rdalford

          could be … cowardly smile from me

          • mockmook

            Fun Fact: There are only 50 some hits on Bing for “cowardly smile” — I expected MANY more.

        • guest

          that would be the perfect word. too scared to face the sports media in a news conference. prefers only prescreened softball questions.

          • guest

            the prescreened print softball questions are perfect for her bullshit answers. klinsmann has to do it so jill ellis should too. ussf equality.

          • kernel_thai

            “ussoccer.com: What platforms are important in your
            evaluation for player selection in this next generation considering
            there will be several pro club seasons not impacted by a world
            championship?

            JE: The platforms we’ll use to look at players will be far and
            wide. Certainly having a domestic professional league (NWSL) is
            important and it’s an environment for our players to go and play against
            quality opposition. We will look at players playing overseas, the
            college ranks and the Youth National Teams. We’re putting together our
            scouting calendar and we have to be very aggressive there because we
            want to see as many players as we can.”

            So here’s what Ellis thinks of the NWSL…its a place for the NT players to play…..then she talks about scouting and mentions overseas, college and Youth NT. Then she says they r currently working on a scouting schedule. Jill!!!!! the league is almost over. Why the hell r starting to scout now? It’s been running since April.

          • mockmook

            Notice she never actually said she would look at NWSL games.

            But, TO BE FAIR, I’m nearly certain I recall her being at some NWSL games this year to (allegedly) scout.

    • kernel_thai
      • guest

        what an F’ing joke. all prescreened questions. klinsmann should sue the ussf for interview inequality.

    • HOFCToDi

      Should Canada abolish association football?

      Canada men’s national football team failed yet again to qualify for the “hex”. The last time Canada men’s national football team qualified for the “hex” was December 1996.

      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1998_FIFA_World_Cup_qualification_(CONCACAF)

      Maybe Canada should just stick to hockey.

    • HOFCToDi

      “The destiny is in our hands, come Sept. 2 against Honduras.”

      sportsnet.ca/soccer/canadian-soccer-association-reports-4-6m-surplus-2015/

      Canada crashes and burns yet again.

  • Chak Khan

    We’ve got FS1 for the championship October 9th, but which NWSL game will be on TV on Wednesday? Which channel?

    • guest

      from NWSL site
      “CHICAGO (Sept. 6, 2016) – FOX Sports kicks off its 2016 coverage of the National Women’s Soccer League on Wednesday, Sept. 7 when Christen Press and the Chicago Red Stars host Becky Sauerbrunn and FC Kansas City at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill. Jenn Hildreth calls the match alongside Kyndra de St. Aubin. Coverage begins at 7:55 PM ET on FS1.”

      FOX Sports is broadcasting
      – Chicago vs FCKC on Wed 7th Sept
      – Portland vs WNY on Sun 11th Sept
      – Houston vs Seattle on Sun 25th Sept
      – semi-final#1 TBD
      – semi-final#2 TBD
      – final on Sun 9th Oct

      “All six NWSL matches on FS1 are also available for live and on-demand streaming via the FOX Sports GO app and online at FOXSportsGO.com.”

      • Breakers fan

        Many thanks for this – I had no idea!

        • guest

          not new news.
          NWSL site posted an article today titled “FOX SPORTS’ NWSL COVERAGE BEGINS WEDNESDAY ON FS1” which repeats the FOX Sports NWSL coverage stuff.

          The FOX TV deal was originally announced back in April.
          “CHICAGO (Apr. 14, 2016) – The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) and FOX Sports announced today a one-year agreement to telecast six NWSL games for the second consecutive season in 2016. FS1 will air three regular-season matches and all three games of the NWSL Playoffs, which includes the semifinals and final, as part of the agreement. All six games stream live on FOX Soccer 2Go, FOX Sports GO and FOXSportsGO.com.”

      • Terry Lash

        Will there also be live streaming on the NWSL channel?

        • guest

          My memory (from last year) is that when Fox Sorts FS1 broadcast the NWSL matches there is not a “live stream on YouTube” so only live stream is on FOX Sports GO (which I think normally requires a cable subscription). Not sure but I think the Fox broadcasted matches were eventually (day or so delay) uploaded to NWSL channel on YouTube).

      • guest

        Weather (heavy rain and thunderstorms 90% forecast for Chicago) may impact Chicago vs FCKC match and FOX FS1 broadcast

      • Chak Khan

        Thanks!

  • mockmook

    Gee Ray, you’re a frickin’ mind reader. You know Rapioe’s motives exactly, and, of course, they are pure as snow…

  • mockmook

    “Stengel…has been excellent of late”

    I remember when (I believe) the second half started that I noticed that Stengel was in the game — thought she had just been subbed in.

  • groovy lurker

    Wow. This article is nothing more than embarrassing Pinoe fanboying masquerading as commentary.

    Did you wear your #15 jersey under your clothes today?? You know you did.

    Riddle me this –) If Pinoe’s motives are so pure, why does most of what she has to say have to do with HERSELF. As usual.

    • guest

      it’s a win win for everybody. megan rapinoe get’s her name all over the news to help her rapinoe brand and all the news sites get their click bait for advertising.

  • Whatev

    Ohai is a Prima donna of (NWSL) tomato cans. She is a pretty girl but nothing better than what we have in Heath or Dunn. She started scoring when her team was already out of playoffs.

    • mockmook

      Right. It not like any young player suddenly has the light go on for them — never happens…

    • newsouth

      i suspect ohai has her haters lurking in the wings too. it’s possible she could be a late developer at the pro level. not all players come out of college a fully developed product. i’ve cast my vote for new additions to the NT.

  • guest
    • newsouth

      he was fined for saying another country rigged the winter olympics. american outspoken douche dissed another country like that clown swimmer pulled off his little trick in brasil. i look forward to one of his players taking the one game suspension and suing the federation.

  • anon

    This article is an embarrassment to whoever wrote it. The headline reads like something you’d see on a press release from Rapinoe’s promotional people. Advocacy, not journalism.

    • skybolt

      I just feel that her actions at this point is a distraction for her NWSL and NT teammates. Let’s put it this way, if I was away from work for 6 months due to an injury, worked hard to come back soon and help out on a project. However, since I was out of action for so long, my participation in that project was actually a detriment more than help, which led to the client being unhappy with the product. In this scenario, the last thing I’d want to do is draw more attention to myself and put my colleagues in a difficult spot by being the center of more criticism. In all honesty, unlike a lot of us at our current work places, I believe that Rapinoe thinks she’s untouchable, and she’s probably right.

      • Tania

        You may be right about the last sentence, but I’m not sure. I suspect it’s more likely that she & the NT will work out the whole controversy in a way that allows both sides to save face. Unlike Solo I do think Rapinoe isn’t self-sabotaging. And, as I listened to Rapinoe’s interview with Sebastian Salazar, I got the strong sense that she’s sincere in her intentions.