Wambach tells AP she abused alcohol, prescription drugs

The Equalizer Staff September 12, 2016 252
(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

In an interview with Anne M Peterson of The Associated Press, longtime United States national team star Abby Wambach said she spent years abusing alcohol and prescription drugs. Wambach, 36, said she has been sober since being arrested for driving under the influence on April 3 of this year.

“That night getting arrested was one of the best things that has ever happened to me,” Wambach told Peterson. “Because if I don’t get so publicly shamed and publicly humiliated, I don’t think I wake up.”

Wambach received treatment through a diversion program offered to first-time offenders after she plead guilty to DUI. As part of her deal, which could get the conviction wiped off her record after one year, Wambach agreed not to consume alcohol.

Since retiring from soccer in December, Wambach has joined ESPN where she worked on the men’s European Championships and hosts a podcast. She has also campaigned for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Wambach’s book, Forward is scheduled for release Tuesday and is said to detail her abuse of vodka and several prescription drugs.

  • Paul Klee

    Does AP stand for Associated Press or Ann Peterson?

    • Lorehead

      Yes.

    • Steglitz49

      Alcoholic Pizza or even Alcohol with Pizza

  • newsouth

    you like to hit the bottle like han solo. what’s new? u’ve been up to this for years…4 yrs ago…. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjqRK8XxNUk

  • Davestwin7

    This isnt news. It was known for years.

    • Steglitz49

      Has it? Since which year, pray?

  • JLC25

    I wonder if she’ll talk about what appears to be the end of her marriage this past year?
    And, I must say, news to me. She had spoken about some wilder college days, but her level of sustained play for so many years doesn’t easily reveal substance/pill a use. Interested to hear and understand more.

    • John

      Maradona was on Coke at both Barcelona and Napoli and it never impacted his play, If anything, he could have been even better had he not been on it.

      • Guest

        Your second sentence undermines the first. If we never saw him play in that period unaffected by drug use it is impossible to say his play wasn’t affected. Same with Cruyff and his intense smoking.

        • mockmook

          He had to come up with all those fancy moves since he couldn’t run without a coughing fit — bottom line, smoking leads to innovation, especially if you start young — pay attention kids…

          • Guest

            Regular long-term tobacco smoking reduces your life expectancy (that is, the average number of years you can expect to live) by about 10 years … and that’s just the effect on mortality … there is also an effect on morbidity (your state of health while you are alive) … so yeah, pay attention kids (maybe visit some folks dying of the consequences of tobacco smoking in the hospital before you buy into the image that smoking is cool)! Also, according to surveys done among long-term smokers, around 75% want to quit (but nicotine is a highly addictive drug), and by implication seem to regret that they ever started.

          • mockmook

            You know what is even worse for you long term health?

            Not having a sense of humor.

          • JT

            BOOM

    • guest

      it’s ending? did that marriage make it three years?

      • Tania

        Nope. Doesn’t look like it.

    • Tania

      I have talked in other places with folks who got the book as soon as it came out, and she does talk about the demise of the marriage.

  • Steglitz49

    Totally bizarre. Why discuss it now?

    • good one!

      says Mr. Topical

      • Steglitz49

        She is yesterday’s player. Today belongs to the conquerors.

        • Terry Lash

          This public revelation will raise questions like what did US Soccer know about Wambach’s use of drugs and alcohol what did they do about it? What implications does this have for the way US Soccer punished Solo, who undoubtedly will not go quietly into the dark? I don’t think this is a story that will go away soon, and it won’t make US Soccer look good. This is not good for WoSo or US Soccer.

          • mockmookterrylashetc

            Again…. would you react this way if it were a dude. People are complicated. Life is complicated. Chill out, lady morality police.

          • Terry Lash

            You misread me, but that’s OK. Free speech and all that.

          • mockmook

            How did I get dragged into this? 🙂

            BTW:
            Progressives: Prohibition, speech codes, safe spaces, fines if your garbage has “recyclables”, snooping in your garbage to see if it has “recyclables”, etc.

          • Terry Lash

            Don’t know. Assumed it was someone else.

          • mockmook

            It is someone else — I’m asking him/her “why me?”

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjUQMs0kVEI

          • Steglitz49

            Had Hope said “hermitcrabs”, “turtles” or “turnips” instead of cowards, she would have been OK. Thus, she would be well advised to hire a good lawyer and start digging up other people’s skeletons.

            As for Abby — what went wrong between 2003 and now. WC-03 when she burst on the scene. Even WC-11 when she was playing fine. Shades of Paul Gascoigne.

          • Terry Lash

            Maybe, but beyond the statement she was suspended because of an accumulation of issues, we don’t know much. But you are undoubtedly correct that Solo’s attorney will pay careful attention to Wambach’s revelations.

          • x

            Who cares what US Soccer knew? They didn’t suspend Solo because she drank, they suspended her because she caused their property to be involved with a crime (DUI). Wambach didn’t get arrested until after she retired, so she’s not their problem.

          • Excuses..Excuses

            um, didn’t she turn her car over and leave the scene shortly before the WWC? or was that another tournament? That was US Soccer’s problem, as she was still an employee.

          • Terry Lash

            Frankly the specifics of why Solo was suspended is unclear. She was already punished for allowing her husband to drive under the influence. Is she really be punished again for that misbehavior? As I understand it Wambach’s alcohol and drug abuse did occur while she was an employee of US Soccer. So, it could be their problem, at least politically.

            I live in the Washington, DC, area and I used to work for the federal government. Whenever there is a scandal that’s the first thing congress does: ask, what was known and when? The hiding or coverup is typical seen as worse than the original infraction.

            Time will tell how this news plays out, but I would be surprised if Gulati and his staff are not trying to figure out how to get in front of this story and prevent serious damage to US Soccer’s reputation.

          • Paul Klee

            I would be surprised if Gulati and the USSF don’t manage to make it worse.

          • Terry Lash

            Good chance you are correct, unfortunately.

          • FlyingSquirrel42

            They’ll suspend Hope for another six months, for failing to single-handedly cure Abby of her substance abuse.

          • HOFCToDi

            LOL!

            Sunil Gulati only cares about the USMNT not an entity that has generated a profit once in thirty years.

          • USMNTfan4life

            That is true, and I am not a fan of Sunil either.

          • Steglitz49

            Abby is yesterday’s news. Only if some serious event(s) happened while playing for the USWNT would the USSF take any action. They will let it blow over and peter out.

            I suspect this stated being a problem after OG-12. Maybe that was why she was excused from playing in the NWSL?

          • Chak Khan

            Umm, does it mean there is a chance the USWNT will be disbanded just like the women’s club teams prior to the current ones?

          • Terry Lash

            In theory, yes, although I think very unlikely. Before that happened it is more likely there would be personnel and policy changes at US Soccer. To change to a new organization would require a level of interest by congress that seems unlikely given the level of interest in soccer. However, enough bad publicity and the interest of a few members of congress could result in new management at US Soccer. Rapinoe’s actions disrespecting the flag and national anthem are more likely to cause congressional involvement than Wambach’s drug issues. Nonetheless, if the drug issues get a lot of news media attention it will add to US Soccer’s difficulties.

    • Rufan

      To sell her book?

    • to sell her book

      “why discuss it now?” – to hype up her book
      as article above notes
      “Wambach’s book, Forward is scheduled for release Tuesday and is said to detail her abuse of vodka and several prescription drugs.”

    • Ashley C

      What’s bizarre about it? She has a memoir to sell. And she’s certainly not the first retired athlete to do so in history and won’t be the last. Pretty common for athletes to release books – of course some are juicier than others.

    • guest

      her book goes on sale this week. should help sales. i’m sure rapinoe’s book will come out next year. it’s always good to keep your name in the headlines for brand building in the reality tv age. doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad.

  • john

    Well more and more the bloom is coming of the rose that was the carefully crafted image of the USWNT. Frankly, I’m not quite sure how I feel about that yet.

    • Terry Lash

      See my response to Steglitz49 below.

    • Chak Khan

      In this country, celebrity sells. Image sells. People are fascinated with perfection even tho’ folks say be yourself from the other corner of their mouths. She is one of the GOATs. She just decidedly wants to share her human side. Good for her. Mia Hamm isn’t perfect either. She keeps it to herself knowing that showing her human flaws would devastate her demanding fans.

      • ARED

        No one is perfect, but you could also argue that Mia Hamm or others did not seek the spotlight, regardless of whether times were good or bad -in fact, Hamm actively avoided it in both cases. I think it has more to do with remaining grounded and realizing it is about the team not the individual than worrying what demanding fans will think.

        With some others, perhaps including Wambach, it seems they prefer the spotlight be on them. I agree it is good then to not try and clean your image falsely, but you must accept that the spotlight can be cruel. And perhaps some of today’s athletes and stars could stand to spend some time in the quiet shadows for awhile (Lochte, Wambach, Solo, and many NFL players I’m sure). The answer isn’t doing another interview, TV show, or releasing a book, most likely….

        • Steglitz49

          Why do you think Alex has been saying nothing or next to nothing since Brasilia — and she scored the 1-1 equalizer.

          • rkmid71

            If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all? The captains and the coach have been saying nothing or next to nothing also. Most seem to be taking NWSL more seriously than normal, whereas only a few before. Perhaps feeling a need to show something positive after the Bomb. Only Rapinoe has been sort of the loose canon. And other than her foul that led to the Morgan goal, she was weak at OG. What a dubious way to impact a game. I think she sees the writing on the wall. Solo no doubt is building her legal case or deciding what to do, if anything. Knowing her, it will be scorched earth and try to bring everyone down with her. But she has other legal battles to fight, so who knows. The CBA negotiations are twisting in the wind. We should hear something, though not likely more than JE has said in the USSF prepared Q&A, in the next couple of friendlies. There really isn’t much positive to say. Other than the US is still WC defending champs, will re-dedicate and seek to improve, and has a very deep player pool and the team looks forward to building towards 2019 and 2020. I’m hoping for no excuses, meaningful change.

          • Evevic

            Well said!

          • Steglitz49

            The USSF is in no hurry with the CBA. Soon we will know how many or how few USWNT players will play abroad next season. More likely the rich European clubs will go for college seniors or continue to recruit from Sub-Saharan Africa.

    • USMNTfan4life

      There was no bloom, just a well-crafted Disney narrative by US Soccer. They are just like the boys.

  • Steglitz49

    On a more positive note, England have named their squad for the U17 World Cup in Jordan later this year. the chosen once are:

    GKs: Ellie Roebuck (Manchester City), Katie Startup (Chelsea), Georgia Valentine (Reading)

    DEFs: Flo Allen (Bristol City), Taylor Hinds (Arsenal), Lois Joel (Chelsea), Anna Patten (Arsenal), Kelsey Pearson (Blackburn Rovers), Grace Smith (Aston Villa), Lotte Wubben-Moy (Arsenal)

    MFs: Anna Filbey (Arsenal), Laura Hooper (Arsenal), Jessie Jones (Yeovil Town), Hollie Olding (Chelsea), Connie Scofield (Birmingham City)

    FWDs: Ellie Brazil (Birmingham City), Hannah Cain (Sheffield FC), Niamh Charles (Liverpool), Alessia Russo (Chelsea), Georgia Stanway (Manchester City), Ella Toone (Manchester City)

    The lasse are all well spread around betwwen the teams.

  • Abby

    Forget me…..

  • FawcettFan14

    We are all human. We all have issues. I’m glad Abby has gotten beyond denial and is getting help.

    The USWNT has a lot more “shades of gray” now compared to the “Golden Girls” of 1999. But it is more reflective of real life, real people.

    We are all trying our best. Sometimes we f*ck up. Sometimes we are in a dark place, and we need help.

    • ARED

      I agree it’s an interesting contrast and shows life is not always easy or perfect -although to be fair, I think part of a good team/group/work/family/etc. is the ability to lift each other up and hold each other to a higher collective standard. In some ways this makes me think even more than ever that the USWNT (2005-now) could stand to have (or have had) stronger leadership. There has to be a moment where the manager (or US Soccer) is willing and able to step in a say “soccer is just a game, and you are just a player”. Life is bigger, and the team is bigger than any one player -even if sitting her/him means you lose.

      It’d be nice if players could do it too, but when your captain and veterans are the ones who are having problems it’s difficult for younger players to do much constructive -and it seems like the USWNT has suffered a bit from this in multiple ways.

      • Steglitz49

        The fact that before the Bomb in Brasilia (labelled Miracle on Grass in the other nation) the USWNT had an enviable record in major tournaments, speaks against your comment as I understand it.

        The fact that the USWNT’s recovery after WC-07 was achieved without Abby may be even more interesting in retrospect than at the time.

        Whether the pandering to the Veterans in WC-15 laid the foundations to the debacle in Brasilia is an interesting question. Till we have some objective, clear and detailed analyses of the QF in Brasilia, we shall never know. What we do know is that both Germany and Sweden started OG-16 poorly to say the least but ended up in the final!

        • ARED

          My comment is that things that look nice or perfect aren’t always so -especially a “star” athlete. “Winning fixes everything” is not actually true. Winning makes the public and media forgive and ignore everything, but we are all still just people, even the biggest stars.

          I may believe Wambach hurt the USWNT on the field for some time -but that is not the point I am making. I’m saying it’s too bad that a player like Akers or Holiday or Beckham or Iniesta wasn’t there to say “Hey Abby, come on, let’s try to sort these problems out”. But how can a player do that when Wambach was above question in almost every way? Not even the management or federation seemed able or willing to check her, and that is not a good thing in almost any case.

          (And yes, for what it’s worth I was one of those people quietly pointing out how the USA was fine to win still without Wambach in 2008, suggesting there always were other options. Certainly in 2011 and beyond there were….).

          • Steglitz49

            Maybe, like Hope, Abby needed a strong head coach to stay in line. Pia left the USWNT in 2012 and took over Sweden.

            Some coaches, like Sasaki and Neid are loved and cherished by their players but Sasaki in particular but also Neid have been prepared to impose themselves when necessary.

      • Chak Khan

        I am wondering if the crack finally blew up at the OG2016; hence, the breakdown of team cohesion at the QF. It was all behind the scene. If that was true then it IS time to have a clean slate…brand spanking new NT with the prerequisite that teamwork comes first and foremost. You can hate each other off the field all you want BUT leave it at the door as soon as you step over the threshold.

        • ARED

          I don’t mean to imply I think the team is a soap opera. I just think they put too much faith in the wrong players -for way too long. In any team there is a hierarchy, and this affects both the actual play on the field as well as the group dynamic and “intangibles”.

          I have long said the USA is good enough to win even if they aren’t set up to be their best (on the field, or with the group dynamic). But, they are vulnerable because of this as we’ve seen pretty often over the past decade -and more importantly off the field they are all still just people, and it can be troublesome to give too much power and blind faith to people who are struggling with personal issues. I don’t think anybody is hating teammates, it’s just a difficult dynamic when the players who perhaps could fill leadership roles well are barely even in the team due to a deference to the untouchable stars. (I feel this way about any team, not just the USWNT).

  • skybolt

    I hope the alcohol consumption was not one of the reasons why she seemed to lack stamina during her last few years of playing.

    • Steglitz49

      it no doubt contributed

      • Excuses..Excuses

        Wonder what she was on when she ended Daniela Alves’ career…Didn’t she injure another player that season, too?

    • mskillens

      Pretty sad if it was. Who knows what her potential would have been without the drugs and alcohol.

  • plasticbike

    vodka?
    VODKA?!
    come on, Abby.

    • mockmook

      Better than those foo-foo drinks…

      A strong, clean drink for a strong woman.

      • ARED

        I think that’s a line from Bill Murray in Lost in Translation, no….? ; )

  • Ashley C

    Well I wish her the best in her recovery and at least she is being honest and open about everything. Tough about her divorce as well.

    In other news, did anyone else read the excerpts from Lloyd’s book? Straight shots at Morgan lol. And by extension to Pinoe, Press and Krieger.

    • ABCDE

      what… really? where are you seeing this. fun fact: Carli is the only NT player Alex doesn’t follow on twitter. Maybe she blocked her.

      • Ashley C

        Somebody posted these http://fiftythreecrimes.tumblr.com/post/150285097816/carli-lloyd-should-just-call-her-book-i-hate-alex

        Pretty clear it’s directed at certain players.

        • I was expecting that to be worse, tbh. She does say “to each her own” – although it is pretty clear from an outsiders perspective Carli and the rest of the gals are teammates at most. Not friends really in any way.

          • Ashley C

            Being passive aggressive and then ending it saying she isn’t judging them is a cop out.

          • Tania

            This. It is shady, imo.

          • Lorehead

            Hope Solo has been saying, ever since she made it back following the 2007 fiasco, that they don’t really need to be Best Friends Forever to play well together on the field. We don’t expect the men to be. But there was that ad campaign from the late ’90s and early aughts that packaged them that way.

          • John

            Anson Dorrance said of his great 1981 UNC Team: “These were the true pioneers. They were given nothing. They were accustomed to taking things and so they weren’t as genteel as the sort of young ladies we can recruit now. . . They were the sort of girls who would go downtown, burn it to the ground, . . . But then, they were on time for every single practice and in practice they worked themselves until they were bleeding and throwing up. They had a tremendous commitment to victory and to personal athletic excellence. And for that I admired them because they were a tremendous group. And even though, off the field, I think they all hated each other. But once the game began, there was a collective fury that just intimidated everyone they played against.”

          • rkmid71

            Hate? That’s seems like hyperbole. Being a great TEAM requires individual sacrifice for the greater good. Winning makes the sacrificing easier. I think the issue today is not players being genteel, it’s narcissism. There is less “collective” or willingness to sacrifice individually.

          • Ethan

            On its own, the last part may not look like Lloyd’s being judgmental. (It still kind of does to me.) However, when you look at it in the context of what’s written in the left half of that post, the last part really does read like judgment.

        • ABCDE

          she has said all of this before. even on one of the old team videos she was making fun of sydney and all the girls who wear makeup and they were all laughing.

          • Ashley C

            Just because she’s said it before doesn’t make it any better or less tacky. Paragraphs disparaging teammates that aren’t like you off the field but then essentially ending it with “but I’m not judging” is not a good look. Especially since most of her fans are young girls and women.

          • Guest

            “Captain”

        • Chak Khan

          At her roommie and best buddy Hope on the team as well? Hope was the only one who was on DWTS.

      • guest

        now that is some VERY INTERESTING NEWS.

    • anon

      It really isn’t in Carli’s best interest to be stirring up drama with a book. Hope could do it in 2011 because she was indispensable. Carli Lloyd in 2016 is completely disposable to USSoccer.

    • Guest

      Definitely straight shots at all of those mentioned above.

    • Terry Lash

      No. Are these online some place?

    • Lorehead

      That bit about “Dancing with the Stars” has to be at Hope. Talk about kicking a gal while she’s down.

      • Chak Khan

        I suspect as much. It’s odd that Lloyd would do that to her buddy/roommate. I just think Lloyd does not care for DWTS; not so much at taking shot at Hope.

    • Tania

      I really think it’s mostly Morgan & maybe Leroux. I think she somehow draws a distinction between doing The Body Issue vs Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. A part of that is due to the interviews that accompany it, that do address serious topics like body image. And as noted below, she doesn’t follow Morgan on Twitter but she follows everyone else.

      • Chak Khan

        I remember vaguely somewhere Morgan’s indirect response to Lloyd’s dislike of her doing the SI swimming suit. Something to the effect that she was doing it to earn some income as the USSOCCER pay was inadequate.

  • dw

    Well, knock me over with a feather. Not sure to be supportive, or show disdain for obvious publicity stunt.
    Eh, I’ll opt for the latter.

    • Tania

      Why can’t I do both? Truthfully, that’s my instinct.

  • BRASILEIRO

    Who see goal dont see heart

  • guest

    this makes her other car accident in 2014 when she abandoned her car even more interesting. the police never even administered a dui test.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3582472/Soccer-star-Abby-Wambach-fled-scene-flipping-car-2014-crash-told-cops-walked-home-call-tow-truck-tracked-down.html

    • guest

      that accident was reportedly handled by police in the same township she lived in.

      • guest

        a dui conviction certainly would not have been good for abby in a world cup year.

        • Steglitz49

          Could she have got entry into Canada with a dui conviction?

  • guest

    i guess it can’t be long before hope solo does her own interview detailing alcohol and
    prescription drug abuse. god knows what hope is on.

  • Chak Khan

    So USWNT players are flawed humans after all.

  • mockmook

    On a happier note, only two days until the U-20 invitational starts — all three USA games will be streamed by US Soccer.

    Three days until the “epic” USA THA match on ESPN2

    • Gary Diver

      Mallory Pugh: USWNT or U20? Strangely, she is on both rosters.

      • Daosium

        She’s physically at the U20 camp at the moment

        • Steglitz49

          Where she belongs. The senior USWNT has nothing of note till June 2019.

          • #1Fan

            Disagree. She belongs where her desire and talent places her. If that is Full, intl level, then she should pay there. USSF have a big problem in my opinion with this event and its timing. Forcing girls to choose RS or WC is dumb. I think that USSF is vastly over preparing youth teams. Too many camps, for far too long and in isolation. Soccer is not a viable profession for women, USSF need to stop treating it like it is.

          • Steglitz49

            The USWNT has nothing of note on their plate till June-2019. Therefore I contend that Mallory should be allowed to be her age and play in the U20 WC.

            When the CONCACAF qualifying rolls around in 2018, by all means ask her to play for the seniors but for now, let Mallory be her age.

          • guest

            I don’t think it needs to be an all or nothing change.

            She’s in a place of transition and sometimes that is going to mean that the right thing is playing with the senior team, and sometimes it is going to mean playing U20 where she has a different role on the squad.

            Developmentally, the two teams are offering her different things in terms of rounding her out as a complete player. She also may want to play with the U20s and finish what she started there before moving up to the senior team.

          • Steglitz49

            Mallory has just drank the bitter dregs of defeat. Her USWNT turfed out of the Olympics. The worst result ever for a USWNT. How fun was that?

            Mallory was 18, the same age as Mana Iwabuchi when she played in the victorious WC-11 final. Mana also played in London the year after and again in WC-15. What is often forgotten is how much time Mana lost because of injuries. At the age of 20 Mana went to Germany to play and has been there since. Mallory is going to UCLA in her own land.

          • rkmid71

            In addition to the USWNT, Mallory has also drunk the bitter dregs of defeat at U17, U20, and club team. She needs to be part of something to break the pattern. Otherwise, it’s just hype.

          • #1Fan

            I disagree and that is part off the issue ,. this TEAM is supposed to be a developer for the full team. She is on the full team. We are not here to indulge Mallory Pugh. We are here to find more players and see what we have. She has made her choices.

          • Steglitz49

            Were I a player U20 and it went pearshaped for me in the U20 WC and Mallory was not playing, I would be seriously pissed off.

            Ms Pugh has had the experience of the Olympics. It did not pan out. Now she can go and do her bit for her own age group.

          • Gary Diver

            I’ll be a devil’s advocate. USSF was hard-ass and forced college players to choose either the WC16 or college. So USSF should be taking this tournament seriously if they are forcing the players to take it seriously. Why not put together the best U20 team. And, as Steg as pointed out, USWNT could go on vacation for the next year and nobody would really notice.

        • Katie Curtiss

          yup, at the U20 Camp she will be captaining them, she will miss the first game for the USWNT because of the mini tourney for the U20s but will be at the Women’s game in Atlanta

          • Steglitz49

            It is her duty and her joy to play for the U20. She should be allowed to be her age group as much as possible. Adult life is long and can be arduous. Let her be a college girl.

            Granted Mana Iwabuchi was 18 and Saki Kumagai 20 when they played in the WC-11 final and do not seem to have suffered from that. Canada also have some young players in their senior squad as did Sweden and Germany but as a general rule today players must be allowed to be their ages not least for senior teams with such big player pools as the US has.

          • Chak Khan

            Was Mia Hamm allowed to be with her age group or the WNT the entire time once she was called up at 15 years of age?

          • Steglitz49

            You could not resist the bait. I purposely wrote the way I did and you swallowed it hook line and sinker. Marvelous.

            Mia Hamm started playing during the last millennium. Pia Sundhage was also 15 when she first played for the Swedish WNT. Pia borrowed money for the trainfare to her first match. When she got home and told her parents where she had been they breathed a sigh of relief. More recently, Homare Sawa was 15 when she first played for Japan.

            In short you missed the — “… but as a general rule today …” so congratulatuions, go to the top of the class and collect your gold star.

          • #1Fan

            if she is a full international she should not be playing U 20 soccer – period

      • Steglitz49

        Phi Collins and Live Aid springs to mind

  • HOFCToDi

    “Down here they say rattlesnakes don’t commit suicide.”

  • ARED

    I think there may be some signs to show Wambach probably became too big for anyone’s good, unfortunately including her own. Personally it can be tough to make the right connection with someone -especially when they are “on top” and don’t see anything is wrong. The media also plays a role for me, for always hyping every story too much -and especially the stars. Playing sport does not mean someone is “golden”, a “hero”, or even “stable” or “mature”. And with the USWNT the media almost never is fair or critical in its reporting. It is more of an extending advertisement for the team.

    Lastly, I think it is a sign that US Soccer has not managed to manage itself very well. I think we’ve known this in many ways (tactical, players, managers, etc), but now we see it also even on a personal level. At some point with any group/team/work/etc we must remember that life is more than this one thing or one moment -especially if it is a sport. Sometimes we need to be brought back to earth if we fly too high -and it’s usually easier if this happens from a friend or even a boss privately before we have so far to fall.

    • Steglitz49

      There is no shortage of outstanding sportswomen and sportsmen who have led perfectly exemplary lives and are shining examples for others.

      That does not mean that all of those are angels or even would be elected to the sainthood but they have been and are good as well as great.

      • Chak Khan

        Mia Hamm has been criticized for looking older (lost her good look) as she ages.

        • Steglitz49

          Pia’s hair is grey these days as is Toini Gustafsson-Rönnlund’s.

          • Chak Khan

            Yeah, US fans don’t care; they only care that the USWNT wins while looking young and sexy at the same time, always. Any of them shows up as a flawed human and it’s a target practice for the mass media.

          • Steglitz49

            WoSo should be a game of young players.

            Obviously, as the money in WoSo has increased, so ladies want to play longer to earn more. After all, even in a lean year a USWNT player pulls in $150,000 and in a fat year $250-275,000. Nothing to be sneezed at.

            Is it known how much tey get for dropping their kit for the cameras? A fair whack one assumes.

        • guest

          too much unprotected sun exposure likely.

          • Chak Khan

            I meant the public/fans expect perfection from USWNT. No one is exempted from criticism even Mia Hamm the “girl next door”. She is smart to avoid the spotlight at all cost.

  • guest

    does the ussf drug-test the uswnt players regularly?

    • JL

      The US Anti Doping Agency does random drug tests on all registered athletes competing in Olympic sports. An anti-doping agent can show up at your home at any time totally unannounced and test you if you’re one of those athletes.

      • Gary Diver

        Has any USWNT player ever reported an unannounced drug test?

        • Steglitz49

          It is standard in the ski discpline — alpine, biathlon, X-country and ski jumping.

          Some winter competitors have described how they feel sorry for the testers when they arrive in the morning and sit outside and freeze in their cars presumably because they are not allowed to wake competitors at too ungodly an hour. They invite them in for coffee and a bun.

          The very first disqualification in an olympics was because of alcohol.

        • Tania

          I know that a Canadian snowboarder, Ross Rebagliata, won Gold in 1998, was disqualified, then got his medal/win reinstated. At the time, I was opposed to him getting the medal back because regardless of the fact it wasn’t an officially banned substance, pot was still illegal back then. It’s tricky now as some jurisdictions are moving towards allowing medical marijuana, and in Canada we’re moving towards legalizing/decriminalizing (some form; it’s still being debated) and taxing it like cigarettes & alcohol. How do we expect these agencies to respond to pot use in a fair way when different participating nations have different laws?

          • Gary Diver

            Eric Lamaze lost his place on the 1996 Olympics roster because he was busted for cocaine. For some reason his four-year suspension was overturned though not in time for him to be eligible for those Olympics.

      • Steglitz49

        Hope and 2012 springs to mind but the USOC found it in themselves to free her.

      • FlyingSquirrel42

        Would abuse of prescription drugs show up in that kind of test, though?

        • JL

          I don’t think the stuff she was taking is listed as banned substances, though.

          • Rufan

            May have been pain killers.

        • Steglitz49

          Does selfabuse show up?

      • guest

        you would think the uswnt would drug-test too. at least if there is cause.

  • Gary Diver

    Does the Right Hand Know What the Left Hand Is Doing? (or Is there any method to this madness?)

    Mallory Pugh is 18 years old and double dating. She has been training with the U20 team as they prepare for U20 WC16 in Papua New Guinea in November. She will be playing for the U20 team tomorrow against South Korea in the first game of a 3-nation 3 game pre-WC16 tournament in Carson, CA. The games are to be streamed by USSF.

    But then she leaves the U20 camp and plays in the USWNT game against the Netherlands on September 18 instead of playing for U20 on the same day against Brazil.

    This makes no sense at all. Reports are Pugh is still recovering from her OG16 injury. If U120 WC16 is important, why is Pugh not playing with her team on September 16 and 18? Is she the team’s captain? The team needs experience playing as a unit, otherwise how can they ever play their best soccer as a team? Why should/would Pugh skip U20 to play in a USWNT Friendly that is just a faux VT exhibition game?

    The U20 WC16 in Papua New Guinea will be a very difficult tournament for a number of reasons, one of which is playing in 90 F with 90% humidity conditions. (Several months ago the U20 team got decimated in a Friendly by the Japanese U20 team in a Papua New Guinea.) Why USSF is treating Pugh as an ornament in this WC is mind boggling.

    • #1Fan

      Should not be in the u-20 team ..Period.

      • JL

        Why not? She’s age eligible for it. And many other countries have had players who were with their senior teams compete for their youth teams if they’re young enough.

        • #1Fan

          I do not see the benefit to anyone. Players need rest . They dont need to overplay. I also think you are wasting an opportunity to look at and evaluate others. Her case is perhaps unique given that she is not playing pro soccer. But in theory she could have attended school and played. She is a full international,. I believe that is where she should be playing.

          • Steglitz49

            It is Ms Pugh’s duty and should be her joy to help her age contemporaries win their U20 WC. No greater honor has a lass than represent her nation.

          • #1Fan

            Again i disagree. these teams are supposed to be about development . To find the next players. Its not the Pugh Sanchez show. At least it should not be. .

          • Steglitz49

            Please see my other reply. It is her job to play in her age band.

            Ms Pugh went to the Olympics. She came back empty handed. Were I or a relative of mine in the U20 team and they too did badly while the best US U20 player was at home learning to knit, I would be seriously annoyed.

          • rkmid71

            Last time the U20 competed in the WC, with Pugh they did “badly” or they certainly didn’t win. So why would her U20 teammates be seriously annoyed if they gave it a shot without her? Last time they went out in the qtrfinal to North Korea and was 2nd in group phase to eventual champs Germany Pugh started and played 83′ versus NK. She wasn’t a difference maker in 2014. She wasn’t for the U17s before that. Pugh has advanced to senior NT. She wasn’t a difference maker in Rio. The worst result ever. Pugh is good and has lots of potential, but may not be a difference maker. Leave her with the NT and let’s see what other players got.

          • Pugh is a cheater

            I remember the USWNT game atof that tournament mainly for the terrible and embarrasing dive of Mallory Pugh. That was a shameful act of unfairness

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

          • Tania

            I’m the opposite; I don’t think she should’ve been on the Rio roster at all, unless it was as an alternate.

          • Steglitz49

            I too have trouble sometimes understanding why JE and her co-coaches are investing so much in Mallory at this stage.

            Once this U20 WC caper is over, they should leave Ms Pugh alone and let her develop in UCLA. By all means bring her back for WC-19 qualifying.

            The USWNT player pool is at least 5x if not 10x deeper than Canada’s and probably 20x maybe even 25x that of Sweden. Canada has called up some very young players in the past 3 years but Sweden has by and large have left the 18-20 year olds in the U19/U20.

        • Steglitz49

          Hear hear!

      • Gary Diver

        It is also strange that USSF is pointing out that Pugh will be eligible to play in the U20 WC18 tournament.

        I don’t understand why USWNT has under performed in recent U17 and U20 WCs. It is amazing considering the huge player pool USWNT has to work with. My guess is that although the US players have good talents, their team skills are not developed causing the teams to not play up to their potential as a team. If so, this reflects poorly on the USSF coaching staff.

        • #1Fan

          i cant tell you why, but I do believe that currently they dont build teams. They tend to focus on a star and cater to that person far too much. The selection process is rubbish. Late developers are not given enough of a chance, they seem to focus far too much on drills and tactics and not enough on who can actually play. Too few actual game sessions and too many drills and classroom time. They evaluate certain kids for too long and other far too little. They think development is bringing along younger kids quickly – ie the 5 u15 eligible player on the U17 team, BUT to me they are not the best we have. They are not as good as several 16s or 17s but they are there to create this aura of development.

          There are also far too few people involved who are willing to give a differing POV so its all Ellis yes people like BJ Snow.

          The fact that they have not won @ U17 is a shade alarming because you could argue it s the age that is the purest in most countries. by that I mean the US advantages are the least at this age. by U 20 , College etc starts to become a huge edge to the US players vs other countries where there is no viable post HS option to play.

          if they win this year it will all be glossed over, but the cracks in the development of our youth payers are still there. We do not develop players who see the game well and have the technique to execute what they see at speed. Its why so many so called high level games are more about negative soccer . Teams that try and play are not quite good enough and get punished by teams who just sit back and wait for mistakes.

          • Gary Diver

            Thanks for the thoughtful food for thought.

            We will see how this works out. But it makes no sense to me for Pugh to play tomorrow for U20 and then get on an airplane, fly across country, and then suit up for the Netherlands match having little practice with the team. And where does that leave the U20 team?

            As I’ve said before, the Netherlands should use a rope-a-dope strategy against USWNT. They are a good team, but not good enough to play straight-up open soccer with USWNT and win. If nothing else, playing negative soccer against USWNT will reduce the GD. USWNT has more to lose than the Netherlands has to win in this match. For USWNT there are really no Friendlies on American soil. The only loss in about 10 years was the ridiculous Chinese “Wambach Farewell” match. If USWNT cannot beat the Netherlands, I’d be worried if I was Jill Ellis.

          • Steglitz49

            The USSF should leave Mallory with her own age group and allow her to prepare for the U20 WC. She has already tasted the dregs of defeat — the worst defeat in US WoSo history and she was part of it. How fun!

          • Gary Diver

            Agree. Having Pugh to attempt to be in two places at the same time violates the laws of physics.

          • Steglitz49

            Phil Collins did it sort of with the help of British Airways and a now defunct plane.

          • Gary Diver

            Where is the Concorde now when USSF needs it?

            Maybe USSF should send a hologram of Pugh to Atlanta so the fans get to see something for their money?

          • Steglitz49

            It was Alex who scored against the turnips when all is said and done.

          • Steglitz49

            These days when the wealthy clubs of Europe are pumping cash into their WoSo sides, the advantage of the NCAA college system will be diluted out.

            Elsewhere I posted the names and clubs of the England U17 WC side. The names of all the legendary clubs are in it: Arsenal, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Man City, Liverpool and also Birmingham, Bristol and Sheffield. What hearts of a young lady and her family would not burst with joy to wear those colors?

            Here is the list again for your convenience.

            GOALKEEPERS: Ellie Roebuck (Manchester City), Katie Startup (Chelsea), Georgia Valentine (Reading)

            DEFENDERS: Flo Allen (Bristol City), Taylor Hinds (Arsenal), Lois Joel (Chelsea), Anna Patten (Arsenal), Kelsey Pearson (Blackburn Rovers), Grace Smith (Aston Villa), Lotte Wubben-Moy (Arsenal)

            MIDFIELDERS: Anna Filbey (Arsenal), Laura Hooper (Arsenal), Jessie Jones (Yeovil Town), Hollie Olding (Chelsea), Connie Scofield (Birmingham City)

            FORWARDS: Ellie Brazil (Birmingham City), Hannah Cain (Sheffield FC), Niamh Charles (Liverpool), Alessia Russo (Chelsea), Georgia Stanway (Manchester City), Ella Toone (Manchester City)

          • #1Fan

            well aware . Im English .They only pull form the CoEs dont take international players

          • Steglitz49

            CoE = Church of England?

      • Steglitz49

        Ms Pugh must be allowed to play with those of her age group. Those of her age group have the right to benefit from her talent and achievement.

        Let the youths come to FIFA and do not deny them their right to be their own age. Basta!

        • #1Fan

          you are joking. your attitude is EXACTLY the problem. It s not about benefiting from her talent at all. She has played in these events before and guess what ,.. NEVER won. MAYBE THE TEAM WILL PLAY BETTER WITHOUT her? maybe another kid steps up and shows something. The “star” system is not soccer and it does not develop great players

          • Steglitz49

            Incomprehensible comment.

            If I understand you correctly, we kick her off the senior NT as well. Now. With immediate effect. Before we phase out CP23 evem.

          • #1Fan

            No. She is a full International. Play for them alone. Let other players show hat they can offer. Simple

          • ARED

            I would say occasionally moving a player back and forth between full international and youth teams should be possible on occasions if done carefully and tactfully, *but*,
            the US federation has shown such a long history of being so poor with development, organization, and simply having quality people making good decisions in regards to individual players and building teams, that I think you are right -they are better off not trying to walk any tight ropes. They don’t have the ability to do so.

          • #1Fan

            It’s simple to me. Switching makes sense for a marginal intl player who is on the bubble. It makes no sense for a player some are touting as one of the best in the us team. It is another example of short term thinking where winning today is the only thought and real development takes a backseat. If the USA really needs Pugh to win then it’s worse than I thought

          • rkmid71

            It feels like the coaches are the ones that are paranoid and under lots of pressure. Presumably because of all the recent YNT failures. Forcing college players to redshirt, extended camps, prep trip PNG, bringing in Pugh. etc..

          • #1Fan

            Spot on we measure by wins not development

          • rkmid71

            It seems we measure by wins, except when we don’t win. Then we tout development, even if we were throwing everything but the kitchen sink into winning. What happens if they do all this and still lose? I think in part it depends on the quality of the performance relative to the competition. Getting beaten 5-0 by Japan isn’t going to cut it.

          • HOFCToDi

            Players should be technically and tactically developed by the time the players reach the U-14 level. Youth coaching across the country is the main issue.

            topdrawersoccer.com/the91stminute/2016/07/the-high-cost-of-american-coaching/

            topdrawersoccer.com/the91stminute/2016/06/pay-to-play-is-a-symptom-not-the-problem-itself/

          • #1Fan

            Personally I don’t care if we win or lose if we are seeing players playing progressive soccer. If I see signs of growth. I’ll take that over winning without hope.

          • Chak Khan

            USMNT?

          • #1Fan

            What about them? Its CONCACAF . My lasting memory is ARG toying with them. Ruiz scored 5 vs T&T. Like with Pugh, the media are so keen to hype Pulisic. Last time i checked he is not a Dortmund regular yet, BUT we are saying he is the best player we have and maybe the best of the modern generation.

            Im a believer in time. Lets see, but i would not send him to play with the u23s or u20s

          • Steglitz49

            It is easy to forget in the bitter aftermath of OG-16 that the USWNT has dominated international WoSo for 25 years or so. No other NT has been so consistently successful. Sweden is one of the few NTs to have given the US trouble, also Japan.

            Canada, meanwhile, with a lot of young players had a stellar OG-16. Seeing that most if not all Canadian players come up the same college route as the American lasses, the NCAA can’t be blamed.

            The question is rather: what developments in WoSo have passed the coaches of the young US ladies past?

            The HS girls themselves can’t be blamed because they play to get into top colleges and scholarships (usually partial these days). Better study at Stanford or Berkeley than play creative soccer. Best is both, obviously.

          • #1Fan

            not sure i get your point, but either way. Canada do not have better players than the USA. I happen to think that Fleming has the potential to be at least Pughs equal if not better in some respects. But I also thing Can do not play with the same weight of expectation. I think the coach knows what eh wants and the players buy in collectively. I think the US tend to wait for the “star” to show up and win the game.

            You can blame the NCAA. the focus is on winning as it should be, but many of these coaches make no attempt to do much but press and hope for mistakes or bunker in.

            I can summarize this for you from personal experience. When my child was looking at schools, her coach, who is a very well respected figure in the soccer world told her the following. You can play anywhere, but if you want to play decent soccer and challenge yourself, avoid UNC . Dorrance is revered, but to me he plays anti football, exploiting the substitution rules and playing fast strong kids with often limited technique. It worked. If you look at the UNC players that went on to the NT, its telling.

            the game is becoming more sophisticated on the womes side and you need clever players to solve it. Its great to be athletic, but you need to marry that to an idea of when and how to maximise it to get to the very top.

          • Guest

            Interesting quote about Dorrance and the players he brings in That characterization definitely applies to HAO, Dunn, Ohai. I’m not completely convinced it applies to Heath, Klingenberg, and Averbuch, Long and Engen probably fall somewhere in the middle. I do agree with some of your other comments that Dorrance is not the most tactically astute coach.

            On a slightly different topic, I think the lack of development is somewhat the result of women’s soccer not being a viable career path for 95 percent of these women. NCAA is end game for many so athletes that long term development is not prioritized. Maybe the DA academy changes this but I don’t think development will really be maximized until/if club becomes a viable career path and teams have a vested interest in developing teenagers. I’m a big fan of the NWSL, but right now the numbers don’t work for anyone other than the NT players and a couple of owners.

          • #1Fan

            Yael struggled mightily at the beginning. it is a testament to her mental strength that she found a way to adapt and be successful there. I think at varying times he goes outside his box, but when the going gets tough he reverts to type.

            I totally agree on your second point.

          • Steglitz49

            Thank you. Illuminating. I trust it worked out for your daughter. What does she do now? Investment banking? Civil engineering? Public defender?

            WoSo is getting closer. Verily. Tonight Sweden at home in a Euro qualifier beat Slovakia 2-1. The prime Minister was there.

            Slovakia! I hear you mutter. Yes. A small country far away about which we know little. Granted, the match could/should have finished 6-1 but it also could have been 2-2. Squandered chances leap to mind.

          • Steglitz49

            What in the development of WoSo is it that American coaches as a group have missed?

            Given the general health of young ladies in the US and the well organized sports at many high schools and colleges added to which even sports scholarships, the USSF may well have been relying too much on fitness and size at U20 and U17 level. That does not explain Canada, Mexico and Costa Rica, most of whose players also attend NCAA colleges.

          • ARED

            I agree. The one counter -not one I am arguing, only mentioning -could be if the player can benefit and develop further from the experience. Perhaps if they don’t tend to get to play certain roles or be the key player on the full team.

            Someone like Pugh or say Isco are no doubt of a high potential, but perhaps they are held back from playing a CAM role by the likes of Lloyd or Iniesta/Cesc/Silva/etc. So, it could benefit their development to play in a youth team to add experience. But in the case of the USWNT there are plenty of easy matches to give a player like Pugh plenty of experience. Another important area affected by veterans being used at the expense of newer players.

          • Steglitz49

            Thank you for making my point for me. Till the coach is not willing to get rid of the dead wood, the limping and lame, and all the overaged, there is no reason to call players from the ranks of U20 in years when the US has nothing to play for.

            Let those that are 18 and 19 be 18 and 19. They have a right to go to tournaments with their peers and not those old enough to be their grandmas.

          • #1Fan

            Fair point. I just think USSF are caught in between development and winning. A country this size with this many players should have no issues doing both.

          • #1Fan

            this is what i mean…taken from a TDS article, but you get the point

            an Mallory Pugh assert her dominance?

            It should go without saying that Mallory Pugh will be the best player at the U20 Women’s World Cup later this year. She’s already established herself as a rotation starter for the best senior women’s team in the world, and she deferred her enrollment to UCLA(w) into 2017 for this express purpose. That means she’s essentially a full-time U20 WNT player, allowing her to focus exclusively on this tournament and give it her full attention. Both in training and mentally as well.

            That’ll be important for Pugh, who played up as a 16-year-old in the 2014 U20 World Cup and had a tournament to forget in a relative sense. French’s bizarre 4-2-4 lineup that tournament cast Pugh as a sort of attacking rover, not tethered to any one position and thus pulled out of position to do much consistent damage. Pugh’s role should be more defined in this tournament as a dropping second forward, and that should make her hungrier than ever to spearhead another U.S. U20 World Cup title. A good showing at the NTC would allay any fears to the contrary.

            To make this about ONE player is stupid. It is also ridiculous to assume that she is the best player before a ball is kicked. Was Ronaldo the best player in Euros? Its beyond insulting to the other players. Its things lie this that REDUCE unity in a team and make the sum LESS than the parts.

            Just my 2c

          • rkmid71

            Beyond insulting is correct. If Pugh gets all the credit for success while the other players get all the blame for failure, team unity will be tough to come by. Win or lose, we’ll see how Pugh handles a leadership role.And we’ll have other players and teams to compare to. She certainly didn’t have great examples at the USWNT.

          • #1Fan

            i like Pugh. I really do. I just hate this ethos of building up stars instead of building a team. Often the hype is based on virtually nothing.

            Part 2 of the article

            Which fringe players step forward?

            French didn’t call a lot of fluff into this camp. After all, it’s only 20 players, and she no doubt wants to get an accurate read on whether she take can all 20 to Papua New Guinea. This isn’t an early-cycle camp, after all. But there are still a few bubble players on this roster who could use positive weeks in Carson to cement their place on the plane. The three biggest are no doubt the three primarily U18 players invited to train alongside the original 20: Julie Doyle (San Diego Surf), Parker Goins (TSC Hurricane) and Shea Moyer (FC Revolution). Goins might be the most intriguing of the three. Given the fact that French only called in three forwards to this camp – and one of them is Pugh, who’s a sort of hybrid – Goins and her rip-roaring form could easy win a spot on the team.

            As for players who probably will make the team, one of the more intriguing names on the roster is that of Katie Cousins. The 2015 No. 1 overall recruit has had a good if relatively quiet start to her college career at Tennessee(w), and while she’s been called into nearly a half dozen U20 camps this year – French is a big fan – she’s yet to become the cornerstone central midfield boss the U.S. might’ve expected. That could be shifting, and a big week in SoCal could win her a deadlock starting spot in December.

            Also of interest; Ashley Sanchez isn’t here. There’s been some debate as to whether Sanchez, who is both U17 and U20 eligible and good enough to star for both, would play in both the U17 Women’s World Cup in October and then the U20 event less than two months later. She might not be at the NTC with the U20s as the U17 World Cup draws close, but that possibility is still very much on the table.

            Cousins keeps getting called in inspite of the fact that she has been less than stellar in College. The lock in to players irrespective of form. Why make roster divided by talking about the fringe players and then the stars? Why even bring Sanchez in to the article. She is not even present at the NTC. Why assume that she can/will star for both teams. Its a joke .

          • rkmid71

            Why do think Topdrawer writes this way? Storyline fed by USSF? In 2015 at Tennessee, Cousins was Topdrawer preseason Best XI. She scored 1 goal, 1 assist in 18 games. Only 4 of 17 total shots on season were on goal. There were 10 other players on the team with more points, The team finished 3-5-3 in the SEC (7-5-6 overall) and didn’t make end of season SEC tournament. She made the All SEC Freshman team somehow. Less than stellar? I had assumed that her apparently good technical skills just can’t make up for the lack of size and athleticism, especially in midfield where defending is a big part of the job. Not convinced on Canales either who’s another one called into every camp. I’m familiar with some of the other players — outside defenders that might be good in attack but are converted forwards that I know aren’t great defenders. A lumbering GK with slow feet and reaction time (but at least there are 3). My big question marks are about midfield and back 4. The forwards’ job seems relatively easy — they can mess up with little consequence, don’t have to defend that much and can blame poor performance on lack of service. I’m a skeptic and keeping my expectations low.

          • Steglitz49

            Ignorance. It is easier to rehash the press release from USSF. Covering all the college games is more like too much work.

          • #1Fan

            i just think TDS is one big hype train. They are wrong on many players but they dont get off the train. Ever. There is a fascination with tricks and skills, many of which just dont translate to games. I find efficient players who get the job done with simplicity are deemed to be less good than players who do a rabona or a heel flick. you are spot on in your comments re the type of player. here is the deal – to afford the luxury of a a light weight playmaker who does not really defend, you need to have real solid 2way types around her. My kid plays for a YNT and she tells me ALL the time “dad when we play out starting midfield, none of them defend. They all want to look good on the ball 🙂 ” This is a recurring theme where the USSF think you can build a technical team that is not functional.. they are so obsessed with copying huge parts of Japan, that they invite players who are VERY similar and then wonder why they dont gel. this 360 degree player initiative leads them to selecting forwards and midfield players and converting them to defenders as opposed to kids that can defend.

            Dont get me started on the TDS lists and things like preseason best . wtf is that? Another example of pre selection before a ball has even been kicked. The all need to stop and just watch the games. I am a big believer in the game. watch it and its clear who can actually play and who cant. Focus on drills and BS and all of a sudden kids can become good at those, but bad at the game. Its not about selection professional drill doers, or the kid who scores an overhead kick but misses 5 one vs ones , or the defender who looks good going fwd, but cant tackle. Its about producing and selecting soccer players. All the hype just obscures the end goal

            I think they can do well, but i will not be shocked if they dont.

          • rkmid71

            Are you familiar with InStat or similar analytical software? I recently saw a report of a college game. An outside back was the highest rated player without a goal or assist. More “actions” than any other player, highest success rate, most passes attempted and completed at 93%. It tracks challenges, dribbles, tackles, set pieces, crosses, throw-ins. Mathematical formulas weight actions playing in attack and defense, etc. Basically everything. But do you think this player got any press for this performance? I’ve got to believe USSF does such analysis. I’m with you on just watching the game to see who the players are — and this software is interesting to provide some degree of objectivity to what your eyes are telling you.

          • #1Fan

            yes. i think used as an aid to what your eyes see its excellent.; USSF tend to home in on players and really not look at others until the ones they home in on REALLY fall flat. Meanwhile they will give some kids no second chances. its not clear how they evaluate, but i think they should evaluate More players over shorter time frames regionally and then make selections nationally.. I dont think the regional selection is good. Its more nepotism than anything else. I do feel that the DA is an attempt to change it , but Im not convinced it works in the short term.

          • rkmid71

            And a problem is they tend to hone in at such young ages, before the physical development has really evened out. I know girls tend to develop earlier than boys, but still there is a wide gap. I agree about the selection process, who you know, etc.Even plays a role in being invited into training centers. And it seems the ones that physically develop early have a huge advantage. But they also tend to be players with less developed ball skills, mainly because they don’t need them at young ages to be successful. They can just overpower. The less physically developed early on have to rely on guile, skills, deception, etc. to compete and avoid getting killed. As some of those players physically mature and are sufficiently athletic/quick/agile/fast look out. Those are players. That’s why it makes no sense for why they don’t give more players chances and constantly re-evaluate each year. Are they somehow trying to validate their investment in and identification of the initial group? I also feel also that players have to get a bit lucky with the quality of their youth coach (eg. A licensed types) and the level of local competition (to put skills to the test at faster and faster speeds over time) because it’s very difficult later to recover lost time.

          • #1Fan

            could not agree more. My kid was th opposite and a rare exception. Physically very gifted (8m LJ sub 12.5 100m at 13 ) but has worked her tail off to get better technically, even tho she can do pretty well without it. I think she was not selected earlier because ( read the article I posted) she was part of the backlash against what they perceived to be just speed.

            I am no braggart btw. anything she gets, im proud of, but i mention this stuff to add credibility. I find USSF to be far too all in with one thing or the other and the solutions are usually a combination.

            Her ability to enjoy the game coincided with a coaching change as well btw.

            Everything you said above, I agree wtih. Training Centers were a joke. I believe DA does away with them.

          • Guest

            That’s great to hear about working on technical aspects of her game. Good luck to her and if it’s her dream, I hope she’s ggod enough and we see her with the full NT sometime in the future.

          • #1Fan

            Odds are against it, but who knows. Appreciate it !!

          • #1Fan
          • rkmid71

            Interesting article. Nitpicking — the article says “Swanson is a national title-winning head coach at the University of Virginia”. Don’t think that’s true. They were a runner-up one year to FSU.

          • #1Fan

            you are correct.

          • #1Fan

            Personally i think the ACC regular season title is the hardest thing to win.

          • rkmid71

            True. And it’s getting harder every year. It almost seems like a balancing act for the ACC teams. You have to see how reg. season unfolds, your degree of luck, etc. If things fall your way and you have shot at reg. season title, you go for it. Otherwise, you conserve to some extent and try to optimize from a wear and tear or fitness/health/injury perspective to go for NCAA title — obviously needing to win enough to qualify. Last year Duke finished 8th of 14 teams in conference standing just ahead of Louisville but came close to winning NCAA title. Based on my knowledge of some incoming recruits alone, no way NC State wins 0 conference games this year.

          • #1Fan

            ACC teams are at a huge disadvantage. College Cup is more about the breaks., like any single elimination event.

          • #1Fan

            Have you noticed that the 20s played South Korea yday 0-0 . Nothing on the US site at all. No report, no idea who the line up was. I can only assume that all the resources are focused on the HAO farewell, but still

          • rkmid71

            I just saw the match report. I was surprised at so few shots. US only had 5 shots, 2 SOG, Korea had 9 shots, 5 SOG. Pugh didn’t play. They mention that Casey Murphy “made a few big saves in 2nd half to keep the game scorless” and US “pushed hard in last 10 minutes, but could not create a goal”.

          • Gary Diver

            The lack of reporting on this match is so typical and so irritating. I can’t find anything other than the bare-bones match report which doesn’t tell us much.

            The game was streamed last night, but I cannot find the video on the USSF site. But I can find the Brazil/England match on the site. The USWNT/Korea match video was there last night and now I cannot find it. So strange.

            I had to go out last night and I watch bits and pieces of the match when I returned home. I was shocked by how often USWNT players lost the ball. I don’t understand – it can’t be that hard not to be stripped of the ball. They were losing the ball in one-on-one situations and with 3 pass situations.

            And the Pugh story – or lack of story – is also strange. There was no pre-game report that she wasn’t going to play and everybody was expecting her to play. But no Mallory Pugh and no explanation. And originally she was going to hop on a plane after the match to fly to Atlanta to join USWNT. That plan has been squashed, but again no explanation.

            The apparent secrecy around the youth system is so frustrating. There is never any explanation. Just like Jill Ellis not doing a post-game interview after the OG16 QF debacle to face the music. People act as though nobody is every responsibility for anything that happens with USWNT. With the obvious exception of Hope Solo.

          • Steglitz49

            Your points are well taken. Thanks for making them so clearly. I am on your side: leave Ashley Sanchez with her age group.

            It must be hard, though, to cover all angles of the college scene.

          • mockmook

            <blockquote>It would be much easier to follow if you bracketed the quoted article in blockquotes</blockquote>

            It would be much easier to follow if you bracketed the quoted article in blockquotes

            (hope I don’t screw this up)

          • mockmook

            Ta-da!!! 🙂

          • ARED

            A bit late, but I completely agree. It can’t be good for the team or unity as you say, and I also don’t think it’s good for the player. That article basically sets her up for a massive failure -which based on this would seem to be all on her shoulders, which is hardly fair.

            I think maybe the USA needs to consider stepping back their superiority complex. They seem to think so much of themselves that they believe any idea they come up with is a good one, and any team the field at a tournament will succeed. History has proven that isn’t the case….

      • Paul Klee

        Right now, she would be better off training every day with another full international player, that being Jesse Fleming at UCLA. She could probably learn more from Fleming and Vice a versa than she will playing with the U-20’s.

  • AlexH

    I have a lot of sympathy for those battling addiction, but Abby seems to have timed her announcement to coincide with her memoir. Is she really facing down her demons or trading on them for more money?

    • JT

      Her memoir is her announcement. I would imagine that she wanted to give people a bit of a heads up about what is in the book beforehand, and also when have you ever seen someone release a memoir without being interviewed first and talking about what’s in it..?

  • Chak Khan

    All these books, another distraction.

    • Steglitz49

      Alex’s books were more creative. More in the line of Kristi Yamaguchi’s.

      • mockmook

        Actually, I thought more like Tolstoy…

        • Chak Khan

          Not the one written by Mia Hamm. Thanks goodness.

  • Chak Khan

    I read the posted excerpt (Thanks for the link, Ashley C). It does read like Lloyd is taking shots at some of her particular teammates; however, to me it looks more like she is solely expressing her personal belief of what a soccer player should be traditionally. She is from the old school of Mia Hamm, Joy Fawcett, Julie Foudy, etc. She simply wants woso to be taken seriously; hence, increase the growth of the sports. What is her opinion of Blatter when he suggested woso players should wear short shorts and make-up? Read some of the posts by men on woso FB pages, sexist comments and sexual innuendos fly. It’s all about Alex Morgan. It’s not about her soccer ability so much.

  • Gary Diver

    What Do We Know?

    Has Wambach admitted to being on alcohol/drugs will in camp or playing? She did make an odd comment that she looked “hollowed eyed” during the “Wambach Farewell” against China.

    • Steglitz49

      Does anyone honestly care?

      The US won the world championship in 2015.

      • Gary Diver

        Maybe nobody should care, but it does make a good story. And the public must be feed.

        Also, USWNT started to play somewhat decent soccer the game Wambach was benched.

        • Steglitz49

          One presumes that they were tested during WC-15.

          What would FIFA do if some Americans tested positive. No USOC to get them off the hook. Would WC-15 be awarded to Japan by default? And the POTY for 2015 given to whom?

          • Gary Diver

            Do you watch the Tour de France? It is funny that the officials make a big deal of showing the top cyclists going into the lab facility to give their samples immediately after each stage. It does leave a sober impression not to be forgotten.

          • Steglitz49

            The Tour de France has had plenty of scandals and the worst involved an American. What is it about America’s winning at all costs attitude. It is already starting to damage WoSo.

          • Gary Diver

            Americans do love winners – in sports and in wars.

          • Chak Khan

            Unfortunately.

          • rkmid71

            USADA detailed how Armstrong was the “ringleader of the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.” That’s pretty strong. I agree — the line is crossed when winning becomes more important than the people who are playing. I would have removed Morgan Brian and Popp from the WC game after the head collision. I don’t think win at all costs is uniquely American. I think Fifa needs to modify it’s sub rules to account for injuries of this nature.

          • Steglitz49

            Substitutes were first allowed in WC-70. It was 2 subs. At a later date FIFA increased the number to 3. In 1990, FIFA let all who took part get a WC winners medal, not just those who played in the very final.

            There is no need to change the sub rule. There is every need to give team doctors more power. As it is the coach and physio can overrule the team doctor.

          • rkmid71

            The FIFA 3 sub rule certainly makes you think twice about your starting lineup and using the subs too early. I was thinking that you wouldn’t want a disincentive to doing the right thing (ie. not wanting to go a man or woman down) because you’re out of subs. In college, you have unlimited subs by half with no re-entry first half and 1 re-entry second half. That’s a big difference and way too lenient — it hugely helps those teams with more depth.

          • guest

            makes everyone think twice except jill ellis. she gives no thought to blowing two subs on a player that is 15 minutes fit.

          • Steglitz49

            In the final of WC-14 the ref, Rizzoli, ordered the Germans to take a player off the field because he was concussed.

            Briefly, one German player had had a head to head collision, examined by the physio and been allowed to continue to play. Rizzoli discovered that he was out of it. As the ball went over the sideline he told one of the German players (Schweinsteiger, I think) that he would not restart the game till the player was substituted. This was done.

          • guest

            the main state sponsor of doping has always been and still is russia. russia should be banned from the next winter and summer olympics for their gross violations.

          • rkmid71

            USOC gave Solo a “public warning”. It was diuretic which is commonly used to mask real PEDs. She said it was not performance enhancing. So kind of an odd and unnecessary explanation. I think there were only 3 athletes out of 15 that tested positive during that time that got off without suspension.

          • Steglitz49

            She was the difference that won the US the OG-12 gold. Without Hope, Japan would have won in spite of the referee.

            If you went in on the web-site which covered the drugs, either as player, doctor or trainer, you would have seen that the drug was not allowed. The main language of the site is English.

  • Gary Diver

    Western New York Flash vs Thailand

    Sorry if this has been reported before, but WNY will play Thailand on Saturday, 17 September at Canisius College in Buffalo.

    • mockmook

      Interesting — that’s dangerously close to being real soccer news 🙂

    • Chak Khan

      HuH?

    • Steglitz49

      Let’s trust people go along and watch. Do you know how much the tickets are? $5, perhaps?

      • Gary Diver

        There are 1,200 seats and the tickets are all $10. That’s a good deal – similar price to a movie ticket. Hope people show up:)

        • Steglitz49

          $10 you cant complain about. Even $15 would be OK provided there was a family combo for $22.

          • Gary Diver

            If you are paying less for the event than for the food you buy at the event it is a good deal. For a USWNT match, good seat + food + parking equals approximately $150 per person. I could convince myself for SBC, but not for Thailand.

          • Steglitz49

            Amazing. Truly amazing. The American people love their USWNT for sure.

            You can see why NT players want a decent cut of that gravy they pull in.

  • mskillens

    WTF, I’m gone 2 days after suffering a bout of pneumonia and miss this? Damn Abby officially becomes the first female alcoholic pro soccer player.

    • Chak Khan

      LOL!

    • Nicole C.

      Ever hear of Kelly Smith?

      • mskillens

        Oh yeah, totally forgot she was a mess for a while too.

  • mskillens

    Seriously tho, what is with all this bad press on USWNT the past month? What exactly is wrong with players like Wambach and Solo who choose to use substances? Also she let Hope take all the “bad girl” heat knowing full well she was also not an angel?

  • Gary Diver

    Pugh Staying with U20

    “@MalPugh will stay with U.S. U-20s and won’t play in Sept. #USWNT matches. @moeebrian took an elbow to the head in NWSL & is out vs. THA.” (from USSF WNT Twitter)

    I suggested yesterday that Pugh playing tonight for U20 and then getting on a plane to cross the country to play with USWNT on Sunday with little team training made no sense if USSF is serious about U20 WC16. USSF should just send a Pugh hologram to Atlanta for the fans to gaze upon.

    • Steglitz49

      Showing some sense somewhere.

  • Gary Diver

    Reminder: USWNT U20 versus Korean Republic (South Korea) tonight at 7:00 p.m. PT at Carson, CA. Game will be streamed live on ussoccer.com.

    • Steglitz49

      Today and Tuesday are European qualifying matches but most are meaningless in the sense that most groups are already decided.

  • Gary Diver

    Take-Aways from the 0-0 draw between USWNT U20 and Korean Republic?

  • JT

    Addiction is terrible but I’m glad she’s getting healthy. Being a soccer player, the alcohol must have made her extremely dehydrated.