Spirit advance to final with extra time win over Red Stars

The Equalizer Staff September 30, 2016 334
(photo copyright EriMac Photo for The Equalizer)

(photo copyright EriMac Photo for The Equalizer)

One hundred and eleven minutes into Friday night’s epic semifinal the Washington Spirit combined to score the sort of team goal that has defined their most successful moments of 2016. It began with Christine Nairn winning the ball deep and carrying it through open space in midfield. It ended with Nairn firing a far-post cross that Francisca Ordega slotted home to give the Spirit a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Red Stars and their first trip to the NWSL Championship.

Between Nairn’s arrival on the ball and her decisive assist, she found Katie Stengel in space down the right flank. Stengel played it back to Nairn who then worked a sublime give-and-go with Diana Matheson whose one-touch, return pass found its way gracefully between Red Star defenders. Nairn took one touch and then found Ordega with her second touch to thrill the crowd of 4,249 on a chilly, rainy night at the Maryland SoccerPlex.

That crowd, which brought energy throughout the 120 minutes of soccer, was put through the ringer late in the second half. The Spirit nursed a 1-0 lead on Ali Krieger’s 1st half goal but began to sag defensively as the clock ticked toward full time. In the 81st minute Christen Press made them pay. Slipping behind Shelina Zadorsky, Press got on the end of a brilliant cross by Casey Short and hit a one-time volley to level the match 1-1.

Press though, was left to rue a chance to win the match in stoppage time. Vanessa DiBernardo floated a ball over the top and Press split the Spirit defenders in the third and final additional minute of regulation. Press dribbled around a helpless Kelsey Wys and had an open goal in front of her for a trip to the final but her shot hit the cross bar and was cleared out of danger.

The Spirit controlled a majority of the first half and finally collected on it following a 36th minute corner kick that Ali Krieger started and finished. The initial effort was cleared to the right side and run down by Tori Huster. It looked as it Huster was going to let the ball run out of play for a throw-in, but at the last moment she played it to Zadorsky. Given enough space to be patient Zadorsky picked out Krieger making a run at the far post and delivered a perfect cross that Krieger was able to head past Alyssa Naeher.

The Red Stars got their teeth into the match after halftime, gained more of the midfield possession, and were more easily able to find Press who spent the night running at Zadorsky and her center back partner Whitney Church. They did not seem to have the same spring in their step after regulation which ended with Press’s ball off the crossbar.

The Spirit, losers in Seattle in semifinal matches each of the last two seasons, are on to Houston where they will play the winner on Sunday’s Thorns-Flash match in the NWSL Championship on October 9. The Red Stars joined the Spirit as teams to lose semifinals in consecutive seasons. In 2015 the Red Stars were unable to recover from some early miscues and lost 3-0 at home to FC Kansas City.

The Red Stars also received a late scare when DiBernardo had to be helped off favoring her knee in the dying minutes of extra time. Out of sub cards, they had to play the final few minutes with 10 women.

  • HOFCToDi

    Christen Press …………………………………..

    C
    H
    O
    K
    E

    Shades of Fernando Torres with Chelsea.

    • Calci0

      No credit for the equalizer? She did score the lone goal for her team.

      • HOFCToDi

        No credit to Casey Short for serving the ball on a silver platter?

        • Ethan

          A great run and a classy finish. Brilliant cross from Short, but Press deserves all credit given to her for that goal.

          • HOFCToDi

            Season over.

            I hope head coach Rory Dames is satisfied trading practically the entire 2017 NWSL College Draft for Stephanie McCaffrey.

          • Steglitz49

            It will be hard to get a new coach to take over now given the limited room to manoeuvre. Maybe that was (part of) the strategy?

        • Steglitz49

          Her time in Avaldsnes was not wasted. If she is not called up to the NT, maybe time to return to Norway?

          • HOFCToDi

            Casey Short

            en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casey_Short

            Place of Birth: Naperville, IL

          • Steglitz49

            Just for that cross this young lady deserves a call up.

            If she was tired of Norway, there is always Sweden, and possibly many other nations in Europe.

          • HOFCToDi

            Casey Short has a master’s degree in Sports Management. The Chicago Red Stars need a new general manager.

            hottimeinoldtown.com/2016/8/25/12651078/red-stars-general-manager-steps-down

          • Steglitz49

            Casey will still be 28 when WC-19 rolls around (only just, admittedly). By all accounts she is repaired, fit and playing well. Might as well go and earn some cash.

    • Ethan

      I guess you’re thinking of that Manchester United match. Brilliant finish for his goal but a big time open goal miss after a great run and dribble.

      • HOFCToDi

        Fernando Torres was never the same with Chelsea.

        youtube.com/watch?v=IGFNN8Hmnm0&t=2s

        1:35

        • Ethan

          I prefer to remember Zorres and that amazing game against Manchester City.

          • HOFCToDi

            With the game in her hand or at her feet, I could only laugh at that point in the match.

            I hope a distraught DiBernardo did not tear a hamstring.

    • Donjerue
    • Steglitz49

      Fernando Torres became famous when he scored the one and winning goal in the final of the 2008 European Championship and became the Man-of-the-Match. He also scored in their critical win over Sweden earlier in the tournament.

      Torres was, well understood, a known factor before that, not least playing for Liverpool

  • Lorehead

    It would be unfair to blame the loss on Press when she scored the equalizer and Washington dominated possession, but a clutch player she is not.

    • DNG

      The statistician in me wants to argue that a miss is a miss in the first minute or the 90th. There does however seem to be times where she succumbs to the pressure of the moment and that miss in the 90th minute was brutal. Alas, no player is perfect. I think she’s still the best overall US forward but I imagine this is a year for her to forget.

      • Donjerue

        Best US Forward? She’s not even the 4th or 5th best. She could not hit the water if she fell out of a boat! Just like the OG, she shoots it high in a pressure situation. Big Stars score Big Goals…Press: Not so much!
        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1837749bb2c8163e0dadd1af288d73f70b223eb64ff8479fda7447bd21d217c2.png

        • DNG

          Did she score the tying goal in the 80 something minute of this game or not? I was under the impression that she did.

          • sudeep das

            Of course she did score the equalizer. But a great striker should have kept her calm and scored that winner in extra time.
            It has been Press’s problem – 1v1 against the goalkeeper over the past few months. This has affected her confidence in finishing as exemplified by her pass back to Pugh in that Olympic group match against Colombia when she was required to finish the chance past the goalie. This is a mental issue and I am afraid it comes back to haunt her every time she lands in this situation.

          • DNG

            The pass back to Pugh was the correct play. Pugh should have recognized the keeper was leaving her goal and stayed onside. Both Press and Pugh were culpable on that play.

            I have seen every single US forward miss chances I think they should have scored in the last year. She was one for two on the night with her ‘probably should score chances’ in a game where the Chicago midfield got overrun and Press had very little help up front. If the Chicago front office and fans don’t want Press I can think of 9 other teams happy to take her of their hands.

          • sudeep das

            I disagree on that cutback to Pugh – we understand the game differently it seems.
            When Pugh has beautifully drawn away the last defender and passed the ball onto Press to beat an onrushing goalkeeper – a confident striker would have slotted it past instead of passing on her responsibility to a teammate.
            I am not here to denigrate Christen Press or anybody else for that matter. It was just an observation based on missed chances – specially 1v1 – over the past few months. This is a malady that has afflicted the entire USWNT forward line including Mallory Pugh who has missed at least 5 sure goals herself.

          • DNG

            It’s not about confidence in the ability to make the strike. The objective is to score the goal, preferably in the easiest way possible. The easiest way to score a goal on that play is to take the goalkeeper out of the equation entirely and capitalize on her mistake of leaving her goal. I don’t know why you think it’s okay of Pugh to continue her run offside as if she wasn’t expecting the ball back because any coach will tell you that you should always be ready to receive the ball until the play is dead. I’ve seen Pugh, Morgan, Heath and Dunn all miss golden opportunities to score goals this year. Press has certainly had her fair share as well. I might have seen Pugh miss more golden chances than any of the others if I count that last U20 tournament.

          • Bruce

            That type of 2 on 1 drill is basic in any youth soccer practice. It was Pugh’s job to stay on side and not drift ahead of the defender after the pass.

          • mockmook

            It’s also Press’ job to notice the drift and NOT pass.

          • Bruce

            That’s not the way you coach it. At least that’s not the way I coach it (even in rec )

            On a play where a one-touch can seal a goal, you put the onus on the person who needs to stay on side.

          • mockmook

            I don’t care how you coach it. You have eyes and talent — DON’T MAKE THAT PASS.

            What’s the point in dribbling with your head up if you aren’t going to use that info?

          • Donjerue

            Bill Buckner had an RBI in game 6 vs Mets and had 102 RBI in the Regular Season…NO ONE IS GOING TO REMEMBER ANYTHING BUT THE “CLANG’ OFF THE CROSSBAR! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/27cfd07f58f6ce9fae0fdf0e22f25715104a8336b3da92feb9688c6d5c368b52.png

          • DNG

            Thank you for bringing up the absurdity of Boston Red Sox’s fan’s view on Buckner to help highlight my point about Press. Yeah, she missed a chance she should have put away. Her team loses this match in normal time without her.

          • HOFCToDi

            Christen Press
            2016 Summer Olympic Games
            Goals 0, Assists 0, Shots Attempted 6, Shots on Goal 1
            Penalty Kicks Attempted 1, Penalty Kicks Converted 0

            rio2016.com/en/football-womens-first-round-group-g-fb-5

            rio2016.com/en/football-womens-quarterfinal-fb-3

          • HOFCToDi

            Sydney Leroux has outperformed Christen Press at the Summer Olympic Games.

            Summer Olympic Games
            Games Started
            Leroux – 0
            Press – 1

            Summer Olympic Games
            Minutes Played
            Leroux – 77
            Press – 123

            Summer Olympic Games
            Goals Scored
            Leroux – 1
            Press – 0

          • kernel_thai

            I’ll tell u one person who appreciates Buckner being the goat…Bob Stanley. Boston had a two run lead in the tenth with 2 outs when the rally started so there is plenty of blame to go around, but people forget the game was already tied when Buckner booted the ball and if the Mets had still won in later innings theyd be talking about the pitch Stanley threw to the backstop that let the tying run score.

          • HOFCToDi

            Josh Wolff did not even choke against El Tri!

            youtube.com/watch?v=GAaBbFfv5HA

          • Steglitz49

            It does not help when you miss the one that would have won it.

            Mandy Islacker is famous for one thing: the winning goal in the 2015 Champions League final at 90+2′.

          • DNG

            If the Red Stars had won this game in extra time what is the narrative? No one would have cared and the focus would have been on her late game tying goal and the game winner. Why are the rest of the Red Stars seemingly exempt from criticism.

          • Steglitz49

            Because she missed a chance to win the game with no time for a reply. It was a repeat of the penalty that sailed over the bar in Brasilia. Repeat offender you might say. Playing true to form.

          • DNG

            Why didn’t she scuff the game tying goal if she was playing true to form?

          • Steglitz49

            You are clutching at straws. The real world is a harsh place.

            Had Christen scored a winning goal in the dying seconds of injury time, the whole match would have been about Christen. Casey Short would not have gotten a mention in dispatches.

            You can write the headlines and first paragraph yourself. Lay the hyperbole on with a trowel.

            In short, it is not unusual for a player to be known for one goal or save and likewise condemned for one.

          • HOFCToDi

            The “Press Gang Troll Brigade” has been grasping at straws for nearly four years now.

          • Steglitz49

            I wish fans of Casey Short would write about their appreciation of her in the article about Casey. Last time I checked, there were 2 comments, one by me.

          • HOFCToDi

            Just worry about keeping the “Press Gang Troll Brigade” in check.

          • Steglitz49

            They can do their duty by praising, lauding and magnifying Casey’s name seeing that Casey provided the cross that Christen turned into an assist.

          • HOFCToDi

            You remind the trolls of where credit is due.

          • Steglitz49

            They are oddly silent. Maybe they will start typing after breakfast?

          • kernel_thai

            Personally I thought Short was defender of the year in the league and deserves an NT call up. I dont think anything she did in the match last night changes either of those things although Ellis seem much more interested in birth certificates than playing ability.

          • Steglitz49

            “Birth certificates”? Where did that one leap from?

          • Breakers fan

            I think I know the answer but I’ll let kernel thai speak for himself first.

          • kernel_thai

            Short is 26 and Ellis seems determined to bring in players who she’ll have for 2023 as well as 2019. I personally think this is a big mistake. U try and win the WC that is in front of u.

          • Steglitz49

            Casey is born latish in the year and will still only be 28 in WC-19. Thus, she is worthy of consideration.

          • kernel_thai

            Completely wrong there. Unless Press had scored in extra time I believe her stoppage time failure still would have featured here. I dont really understand what it is because she isnt a controversial player but she seems to draw polar reactions from fans. So yeah, Im betting if another Red Star had secured the win a major topic still would have been the Press miss.

          • DNG

            You are entitled to your opinion but I don’t really agree. My overall point is really asking this question. Was Press’ game tying goal in the 81st minute not clutch because she missed a chance in the 91st?

          • kernel_thai

            Uve been contributing to this forum long enough to know logic rarely plays a factor. For whatever reason the lines seem clearly drawn. I personally believe Press to be a fine player who should have a starting role on the NT at least until she proves she cant do it. As to the stoppage time miss, it doesnt mean she didnt have a strong game in my book but I will say a lot have players would have just passed it into the net. Maybe it’s a composure issue but she clearly over hit it for no apparent reason.

          • DNG

            I’m not even disputing that pressure seems to have gotten to her in some key moments. I just disagree with those panning her performance in this match and people calling her a useless choker.

            I don’t know what happened on that play and agree that the ball shouldn’t have been hit so high. My guess is that she struck a slick ball poorly after a long sprint where she split two defenders. In general I think women footballers need to a better job of keeping their shots on the ground.

          • kernel_thai

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oy_FhFFGz0

            This is Morgans first goal. It’s kinda big because they were trailing China at home in the 83rd minute and the draw kept the home win streak alive. All she tried to do was punch in the middle of the open net

          • DNG

            It looks like she placed that shot from my view but it was a good goal. The keeper came out to cut off the angle and Morgan went far post.

          • Steglitz49

            In a sense, yes. One clutch overclutched the other.

          • JL

            Eh….. maybe. Let’s go back to the 2008 Olympic final. Everyone talks about Lloyd’s goal, but no one remembers that A-Rod had a golden chance to win it in the 90th minute, but totally botched her chance.

          • Steglitz49

            Memory is a selective weedkiller.

            The US won with Carli’s goal — which I think may have been the last Golden goal in soccer but I am not sure. That meant that ARod’s miss did not matter and was forgotten.

            Somehow we are not reminded of Carli’s penalty miss in 2011. Infact, we are never reminded of any of those failures, only Abby’s header.

          • HOFCToDi

            U.S. Women Win Olympic Gold Medal as Carli Lloyd Scores Game-Winner in 1-0 Overtime Thriller Against Brazil

            ussoccer.com/stories/2014/03/17/13/08/u-s-women-win-olympic-gold-medal-as-carli-lloyd-scores-game-winner-in-1-0-overtime-thriller-against

            USA – Carli Lloyd (Amy Rodriguez) 96th minute

          • Ethan

            How many people on this site today recall watching that whole match though? I’ve only maybe seen a few highlights of it. (Don’t remember seeing a big Rodriguez miss.)

          • HOFCToDi

            Hope Solo stood on her head.

          • JL

            She had the keeper 1 on 1 and stupidly attempted to chip her when there were better options.

          • mockmook

            These type of criticisms always bother me.

            If she had tried to go low (for instance) and blew that, people would be saying she should have chipped the keeper.

          • Ethan

            I’m not as critical of Rodriguez on that play as JL is. However, the problem with chipping the keeper from where Rodriguez did it was that the ball needed to be in the air on a good bounce, which it never was. She was never going to beat the keeper by chipping the ball right off the ground. Generally I see players chipping keepers from the ground by getting closer and getting the keepers to go to ground.

          • Calci0

            Do you have a link to the shot attempt?

          • Ethan
          • Calci0

            Thanks!

          • Ethan

            I’ve just watched the Rodriguez miss. Yeah, that was a very good opportunity that she failed to finish.

          • kernel_thai

            Not saying it’s right but for some reason on EQ Press is under a microscope.

          • DNG

            I don’t know if it’s just EQ. Some players are just treated differently than others. Look no further than Pugh who has gotten much more praise than I think she actually deserves. That doesn’t mean I think Pugh is a bad player or doesn’t have a lot of potential. I think she’s a very good player but also very raw. However, whenever I or someone else makes mention that Pugh has done little more than prove she can burn defenders to the end line and cross. People are quick to defend her. Pugh is probably guilty of missing 2 of the easiest sitters this entire year for the NT and no one seems to fault her. Part of the reason I am quick to defend Press is because of all the negativity she seems to stir up from other posters. Same with Tobin prior to this year. I don’t think the criticism is always proportional to the play on the field or that players are judged the same. Why is it okay for Lloyd to attempt 2 shots from 35+ yards but it’s not okay for Tobin or Rapinoe to try and take on their defender with some trickery?

          • HOFCToDi

            Bull crap.

            Mallory Pugh is an eighteen year old. Christen Press is a twenty-seven year old who fails to produce.

            Christen Press
            2016 Summer Olympic Games
            Goals 0, Assists 0, Shots Attempted 6, Shots on Goal 1
            Penalty Kicks Attempted 1, Penalty Kicks Converted 0

            rio2016.com/en/football-womens-first-round-group-g-fb-5

            rio2016.com/en/football-womens-quarterfinal-fb-3

          • HOFCToDi

            You are a blithering idiot.

          • Calci0

            Legitimately asking; can you link to these “sitters”? I’d be curious to see the video.

          • DNG

            Here’s the one for the U20’s. It’s going to take me a little longer to find the NT ones since I don’t remember the opponents for each play.

            https://youtu.be/DOB9c8eVYTY?t=2619

          • HOFCToDi

            Christen Press is overhyped and overrated.

            Christen Press
            2016 Summer Olympic Games
            Goals 0, Assists 0, Shots Attempted 6, Shots on Goal 1
            Penalty Kicks Attempted 1, Penalty Kicks Converted 0

            rio2016.com/en/football-womens-first-round-group-g-fb-5

            rio2016.com/en/football-womens-quarterfinal-fb-3

          • HOFCToDi

            Christen Press is overhyped and overrated.

            Summer Olympic Games
            Games Started
            Leroux – 0
            Press – 1

            Summer Olympic Games
            Minutes Played
            Leroux – 77
            Press – 123

            Summer Olympic Games
            Goals Scored
            Leroux – 1
            Press – 0

            ussoccer.com/stories/2014/07/28/10/50/140728_2012-olympic-stats

            ussoccer.com/womens-national-team/tournaments/2016-olympic-games#tab-5

          • HOFCToDi

            Christen Press is overhyped and overrated.

            In the last four NWSL playoff matches, Amy Rodriguez has scored six NWSL playoff goals. In the last two NWSL playoff matches, Christen Press has scored one NWSL playoff goal.

          • Donjerue
        • HOFCToDi

          FIFA Top Ten Ranked Opponents
          USWNT Goals Scored

          Morgan (DOB 02 Jul 1989) – 34
          Leroux (DOB 07 May 1990) – 8
          Press (DOB 29 Dec 1988) – 3
          Johnston (DOB 06 Apr 1992) – 2
          Dunn (DOB 03 Jul 1992) – 2
          Horan (DOB 26 May 1994) – 2
          Mewis (DOB 09 Oct 1992) – 1

      • Steglitz49

        A bit like Gaëtane Thiney in the WC?

        • dw

          Just so.

        • kernel_thai

          But Thiney is back with the new coach.

          • Steglitz49

            I know. It is bizarre. Do a WR.

            France has got to move on. The lights have been on but nobody has been home for 7 or more years now.

      • Steglitz49

        Given her repeat performance when it mattered, the USWNT may now forget her and move on to fresh blood. There is more than enough talent out there that have aright to be tested and developed in time for France in 2019.

        • dw

          My point exactly, USWNT should move on, CRS probably wishes they could…

        • HOFCToDi

          Time for the USSF to pull the plug on Christen Press.

          • Steglitz49

            Not too many Pressoni typing so far, I have noted.

          • HOFCToDi

            youtube.com/watch?v=4xmckWVPRaI

      • Dorothytflores2

        Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !ch531f:
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    • HOFCToDi

      It did not take long for the Washington Spirit to find the weak link in the starting eleven. Taylor Comeau can’t dribble, can’t pass, can’t shoot, can’t defend. Amanda Da Worthless is not much better.

      • GT

        Yeah. Why wasn’t Alyssa Mautz out there?

        • HOFCToDi

          Alyssa Mautz must have landed in the coach’s doghouse.

    • HOFCToDi

      youtube.com/watch?v=DA3cSiDIEyA

      • kernel_thai

        If ud started that clip back a bit Morgan comes in with about 3 minutes to play plus stoppage. She immediately gets a shot from the left that is blocked. Then the ball goes out on the right, she grabs the ball and her throw in puts Wambach 1v1 with the GK only its saved. Next time down Morgan get another shot on goal and it’s saved. Then she gets the goal. So after 87 minutes of A-Rod, Morgan maximizes her 8 minutes.

        • HOFCToDi

          Alex Morgan was clutch. End of story.

        • Steglitz49

          The 3 As of US WoSo — ARod, Abby and Alex. Japan had 3 As too — Aya, Aya and Azusa.

    • HOFCToDi

      youtube.com/watch?v=UfQFqoDpMJc

  • Lorehead

    Did anyone catch what the tifo said? I only saw a glimpse of it.

  • kernel_thai

    Very happy to see Krieger and Ordega share the spotlight. Great match. Too bad the conditions werent better. Also glad to see the Spirit fans turn up to support their team. despite the weather Hope some of them make it to Houston.

    • Steglitz49

      4249 is like >80% full. Pretty good. To be compared with the 4096 who turned out in Manchester to watch that critical match that won the FAWSL for City a week or so ago.

      • Rdalford

        for what it is worth. The Maryland soccerplex seating capacity is 4000 (actual seats). The Spirit sell additional general admission tickets that allow fans to stand/sit on hill behind goal line and/or on flat areas behind seats (5750 in reported attendance for one match this year and 4 matches with > 5000 attendance last season with post WC bump).

        Washington increased the ticket prices for the semifinal (our seats cost 2 X the price we pay during regular season). The 4249 for semifinal brought the total 2016 attendance (regular season 37817 plus 4249) up to 42066 (more total tickets sales than previous NWSL years) and well as increased the ticket revenue.

        • Steglitz49

          Teams in Europe do the same: increase (double) the ticket price for Champions League matches. The attendance remains good and sometimes even attendance records are set!

  • Dennis Nguyen

    99.9% of the posters here can’t even dribble yet so quick to assign blame. As if the game played by 11 players can have one goat. Seems like all you so called experts never played on a team.

    • DNG

      99.9% of posters is a bit of an exaggeration. No?

      • Ethan

        Maybe “past a NWSL level defender” should have been added after “dribble”.

        • DNG

          Even still, the implication is that many posters don’t have any playing experience and therefore can’t possibly understand the circumstances these players are put in. While definitely helpful in understanding the game, I don’t feel as if personal experience is essential. I know plenty of people who have never played but have a great knowledge of the game. Then there is the comment about assessing blame. I don’t see too many commenters, save the usual suspects, assessing blame to anyone.

          • Breakers fan

            The way to know the difference between commenting on a sport you have played a lot – you told me you played soccer through high school so that’s a decent amount — and on one you have no personal experience in – perhaps sailing? equestrian? archery? – would be start watching that sport and then start commenting upon it. Think about that. Your comments are going to be of a different quality. To me if you haven’t done something, sure you can make what could be called “intelligent comments” but they’re more cerebral, they come from the intellect and not a “body and muscle knowledge” of being able to sympathize with what a player is trying to do. People who haven’t played soccer can make intelligent observations, I agree with you, but they’ll never know what it’s like to actually do those things, to be on the field in a game and try to do those specific actions as a human being with your feet and a ball, and with opposition near you trying to stop you, how difficult or easy it is, for each action. And then there are levels of playing experience. Having played a lot vs. having played just a little.

            About Press here – excellent first goal from a great pass. Calmly delivered, in contrast to an all-time choke on the game-winner. But still it wouldn’t stop me, if I’m Ellis, from playing her. I still think she’s a great forward, one who badly needs to get over this hump. Ellis’ choices are either forget her or try to work her through it.

          • Steglitz49

            Your last paragraph spoiled it. Lightning does not usually strike twice in the same place. JE has no choice because CP made it for her.

            The next real chance for the USWNT to shine is France in 2019. It is high time to let the new blood get their chance and develop them and then chose from them.

            By all means, call up Casey Short. She deserves her chance.

          • Breakers fan

            That’s one way to look at it and it could perhaps be seen as being legitimate. One’s view about Press going forward depends on how exceptional you feel she is overall, in general, on a game-to-game basis, in relation to the other forwards in the country. I guess I see her as being better than you do in that regard. It involves taking a leap of faith to some extent but it also needs to be remembered that on the …..150 or so goals she’s scored starting at Stanford, going through Sweden and now the USWNT she calmly came through. Those happened and they happened at a higher rate of frequency over the last 8, 9 years than any other striker in America, I believe.
            I think I agree with you about Short. Not being a big CRS fan I haven’t seen her that much but what I have seen I’ve liked.

          • guest

            You like Casey Short because she played in Norway. You claim to be an expert, but the fact is you’re just biased.

          • Steglitz49

            Kjempebra!

            Casey rebuilt her career in a hamlet of <3000 inhabitants. What is it in the air or water in Rogaland that makes this possible? 3000x more people live in greater Chicago but those pesky Norwegians got the job done — and Casey returned the favor to them plentiful.

          • DNG

            I have never played organized american football in my life. I don’t have to have that experience to know that Ryan Fitzpatrick had an awful game last week throwing 6 interceptions. I’m not saying that the experience doesn’t change your perspective on certain things but I certainly don’t think it’s vital to having an intelligent comment or having an opinion. If someone watches sailing or archery enough they can pick up the necessary knowledge listening to people who have done it before and know.

          • Breakers fan

            I explained what the difference was, and I said the same things as you defending everyone’s capability to still make intelligent comments even if he/she hasn’t played the sport. Having played soccer but not football do you feel your comments about soccer will be, most likely, a bit deeper than those you could make about American football?

            Hypothetical about something that isn’t going to happen: Would you be fine with every soccer commentator in the booth of every game in the future being people who have never played the sport?

          • DNG

            If the announcer has spent thousands of hours talking to all different players about the game sure. I don’t have any experience playing center back but the way I lean about the position is asking questions of my friends who did have that experience.

          • Breakers fan

            See my comment above. I agree with you but there will always be that difference in a sort of “quality”, I think — I’m getting into nuance here – between those who have played at a high level and those who have never played. Those who have played can quickly see things, analyze things; those who haven’t …it takes more time, more study and is, as I wrote before, going off of intellect rather than direct experience. I just watched the USC-Oregon game and the color commentator was a guy (I think Ann Schatz (sp?) called him Sully who had been on the USMNT and his experience added a LOT to the game. He’s of course way beyond my playing experience and I respected his knowledge and intimate knowledge of the game. It was a joy to listen to him. He had that feeling of authority. Ann expressed how much she enjoyed hearing him as well. It shouldn’t be seen as a criticism or a weakness to have not played but it should be acknowledged that one is coming from a sort of different place.

          • Breakers fan

            That – talking to players – but more importantly logging the time oneself watching the sport, watching it closely, thinking about it, not altering what one sees due to bias.

          • Steglitz49

            Is it possible to be without bias if you are truly interested in a sport? Possibly if you are a Swede or Portuguese watching the NWSL but even then you will quickly latch on to a player.

            The problem for a coach is to keep an open mind and we know they don’t, whether it be JE, Neid, Pia or Sasaki. Eventually the trees get in the way of the wood. The detail crowds out the sweep of the canvas.

          • Breakers fan

            You’re right – it’s not easy. I have to battle it in myself, I admit,. but it’s an effort that no doubt should be made. It involves self-reflection, self -awareness, and it’s tough, because it involves facing things that are not always all that pretty in oneself. It’s an ongoing thing that one can just try to be aware of, by asking oneself “why, really, am I saying this?” If one feels one is saying things as they truly are then say it. If you know you’re saying it deceitfully, to benefit, somehow, in the cosmic order, one player over another unjustly, then say something different.

          • Steglitz49

            JE is faced with a Herculean task. She must sit down and think through what her 20+3 team in France 2019 ought to look like. Unlike small countries, who have a limited talent base to draw from, she is drowning in it.

            Granted, JE could wait till after Christmas but the games against Switzerland gives her an opening. Maybe she is screwed by the CBA but then she must make it work for her rather than against it.

          • Breakers fan

            It is a Herculean task. I’d love to be given the greenlight from the USSF to assemble a team from those she leaves off of the NT and challenge them to a best 4 of 7 matches, baseball World Series style.

          • Steglitz49

            Indeed. But soccer loves cup-ties, not best of 5 or 7.

          • Breakers fan

            What’s a cup-tie? Pardon my ignorance.

          • Steglitz49

            It is English slang, like soccer for football, and has its origin in the FA cup where there is one match in each round (ie not home and away games). If you lost, you were out and if you won you progressed.

            If the match was a draw it was replayed and replayed and replayed till a team won. Once the pso was established, it was limited to one replay, then extra time and then pso.

          • Breakers fan

            Your point is taken but unlike you I would not be willing to say I’d be fine with never for the rest of my life being able to hear another ex-player do commentary during soccer games.

          • DNG

            I’m not saying that I never want to hear an ex-player’s input. I just don’t think that being an ex-player is the determining factor in whether or not I agree with an opinion or even find it valid.

          • Breakers fan

            I want to add one thing about this. Thinking about it more I think that if one is a really big fan, really watches a lot of soccer, for years, AND, *CRUCIALLY*, HAS NO BIASES, NO AGENDAS, no favorite players who influence his/her opinions about their rivals for playing time, then that person, if he/she really watches closely can make very intelligent comments — more so than someone who has played but has those things I put in caps above.

          • DNG

            I don’t think it’s possible for anyone to not have biases. We all see the game through our own lenses and are influenced by how we learn the game. Evidence shown by our discussion of that Morgan shot in the NED match.

          • Breakers fan

            I’d say there is a difference between having favorites and having biases. We all have favorites. Biases are going against what you really know to be true to excessively defend or promote someone. It’s hard to try to be as objective as possible but it’s something worth striving for. And it comes from self-reflection, self-awareness – brutal honesty.

          • DNG

            Maybe bias is too strong of a word but I think everyone’s view on a match or play is subjective. I don’t think it’s at all possible for an observer to be objective try as we might.

            Edit Statistics are objective. How we interpret them is subjective.

          • Breakers fan

            But you can use your intellect and reason to re-evaluate positions you originally held. Then they may or may not change but the main idea is that anyone can allow himsef to re-consider things based on new information or new viewpoints. You aren’t stuck with some view necessarily. As you know.

          • DNG

            Even those re-evaluations are subject to our experience. This is probably more of a philosophy idea but I don’t think it is possible for anyone to be completely objective. For the purposes of some discussions maybe that majority is enough to discern some kind of objectivity. That isn’t really good enough for me though since I don’t think the majority meets the criteria of objective. Also, I’m not trying to say that people should strive to be objective in their evaluations. I just don’t really see that as a realistic possibility. As much as I try to remain unbiased and objective, I fall victim to those things just like everyone else.

          • Breakers fan

            It’s probably impossible – to be completely objective – but it is something worth trying to be. If people dismiss that as a worthy objective – “because it’s impossible” — then I don’t think that’s a good thing. I think most people here try to be anyway, there’s just a few outliers who are clearly very biased and agenda-filled.

          • guest

            “all-time choke on the game-winner” So you think that was a choke? Shouldn’t she have kept the ball on the ground? Is there ANY reason that ball shouldn’t have been kept on the ground?

          • Breakers fan

            Not sure I understand you. Yes, she should have kept the ball on the ground, she meaning Press. If Press keeps it on the ground when kicking it it goes into the goal. What are you saying did happen and should have happened?

          • guest

            At this level of soccer, playing for her country and all, she still doesn’t know to keep the ball on the ground. Boggles the mind. I’m not even an expert and I would coach her to keep the ball on the ground. Sorry, not trying to badger you, BF, just blowing off some steam.

          • DNG

            There are a lot of top WoSo players who can’t keep the ball on the ground. Press is no exception.

          • Breakers fan

            I too initially called it a choke, an all-time one. I guess that wasn’t clear.

            My other phrase came from the fact that what she wanted to do was put the ball in the net, not pass a “keeping a ball on the ground” exam.

          • Steglitz49

            Sometimes all you need to do is tap it in. Players are conditioned to hit hard for obvious reasons but sometimes medium force does the job.

          • Breakers fan

            Or – not even on the ground, just under the crossbar.

          • DNG

            Press completely bottled that chance but I don’t think it defines her performance in this match. I thought she was the best Chicago player overall miss and all

          • Breakers fan

            She did some good things, as did other Chicago players.

          • Steglitz49

            Casey Short, for example. Go Norway!

          • DNG

            One of my favorites, Colaprico wasn’t great in this match. DiBernardo was good but definitely at fault for losing position to Krieger on the first goal. Walls, Comeau, and Huerta were all ineffective and McCaffrey wasn’t great either although she was coming back from injury. The Chicago defenders were okay but I’ve seen better performances from them. What really hurt the red stars in this game was their inability to control the midfield and defend their flanks. Press had a slow start to the game but was by far the most dangerous player the entire for either team with her performance in the last 15 minutes. Extra time wasn’t great for either team other than the Wash goal.

          • guest

            Why in the world would you put that “just under the crossbar”? [scratches head]
            I must not be an expert, because I’m still wondering whether it was a choke or not.

        • kernel_thai

          If the criteria to discuss any topic is being in the top .1% of the experts in that area then no topics at all will be discussed.

          • DNG

            I have heard some of these “experts” spew absolute nonsense from their mouths at times as well. Does Wambach qualify as an expert? Did anyone else listen to her analysis during the Euros this year? She was completely clueless.

          • Steglitz49

            Given what we now know about Abby, that may explain the (lack of) quality in her expert commentary.

            Also, it helps having coached to make incisive comments.

          • HOFCToDi

            More likely hungover.

          • guest

            “what we now know about Abby” What do we know and how does it disqualify her from giving expert commentary?

  • kernel_thai

    Kind of disappointing how little activity there is on this topic after a very entertaining NWSL playoff game.

    • Steglitz49

      That is true of most WoSo. What creates the run of comments on the EQ is the odd obsession with a specific player or politics, not a love of the beautiful game for itself.

  • USMNTfan4life

    Who is in the other semi-final? Portland and who else? Portalnd needs to make the final in order for their dedicated fans to make the trip to Houston.

    • x

      WNY. Anything can happen in a single game but I’d expect Portland to advance.

      • JL

        Portland cannot allow themselves to be pushed back on their heels like they were in the previous game against WNY. WNY dominated the first 25 minutes and really should have put one of their early chances away. It was only once they got a questionable penalty call (Nadim went down very easily, but Hinkle got herself in that position, and paid for it) that they came to life.

        And Portland can’t afford to let up late again, since WNY would have tied that game were it not for Betos somehow getting a hand on a late volley by Williams.

        • DNG

          I didn’t see many threatening chances at all from WNY in the first 30 minutes of that game. They disrupted Portland’s possession and attack but couldn’t turn it into any quality chances. They had a ton of good chances after Portland let them back into the game.

        • Ethan

          I haven’t seen the volley again, but that looked like it was going wide. I was critical of Betos going for that when I saw it.

    • Craigaroo

      pshaw! Portland hasn’t even sold out their semifinal and you’re talking about them traveling to Houston! (Kidding – they’ve sold around 18000 + but I’m surprised it’s not a sellout yet)

  • ABCDE

    Where was crystal dunn tonight? who scored the equalizer with a few minutes left? And Press is the choker? Yeah ok. CRS needs more reliable offense than just Press.

    Not a good season for Dunn, at all. I’m thinking she might be one of the ones “resting” in October since Jill doesn’t even seem to like her much to begin with.

    • dw

      CRS has JJ who was shadowing Dunn pretty much the whole match when she got near the box.

      Press outclasses the Spirit center backs by a fair margin. Lucky for the Spirit her true form trumped her skill advantage.

      • Borgata

        Gabarra is pulling an Ellis by starting Church over Oyster.

    • Breakers fan

      There are people out in the world, I’m one of them, who have a different view of Dunn in this game and during the entire season. I’ve somehow found room in my brain to appreciate the abilities of Press, Dunn, and Alex Morgan – not that you necessarily should do likewise, just that it’s possible.

    • kernel_thai

      Well, didnt think anyone could come up with anything as near sighted as as the Press comments but I was wrong. Dunn also had an encounter with a post and nearly beat Naeher a second time. This despite being doubled whenever she touched the ball. She also found time to to work just as hard on defense.

      • Breakers fan

        It’s possible to actually see what is happening in front of one? Amazing!

  • anon

    Christen Press is the best striker in the USA. At least Rory knows it… hopefully Jill saw how good she was tonight. Just a world class player.

    • ABCDE

      I think she recognizes Press talent, as awful as Jill is – didn’t she say during halftime that she needs more support behind her on the Red Stars?

      • kernel_thai

        Ellis words of wisdom…Washington had to be careful of the counter…she should write that down in her book and look at it every day.

  • Christen Press

    Not the result we wanted.

  • guest

    I really enjoyed watching this game. Overall, I thought there was good pace, not too many technical or tactical errors, and the players went at it with passion. This is my first time watching NSWL playoffs. I’ll stick around. Congratulations to the Spirit!

    My stray thoughts include: JJ was lucky she didn’t called for more fouls in dangerous places, CD has really improved her passing game – she had some great crosses, really happy for Kreiger – goal was well deserved, CP truly has everything but the intangible IT factor that CL (and AW, AM) have in spades – and I think it is why her missteps seem so salient, lots of non USWNT players had a strong showing. Glad to to see JE in the stands, hopefully taking notice.

    • Steglitz49

      If JE calls up Casey Short then we have evidence that she noticed something.

  • Guest

    JJ is one of the dirtier players in the league… Spirit should have had a PK or two.

    • Steglitz49

      She gets away with it, like Carli, and unlike Buchanan.

  • GT

    I think Ellis must have taken note of Short’s and Huerta’s play.

    • Bruce

      If she did, Casey is a shoe in for a call-up and Sofia will best stuck waiting for a call.

      • Breakers fan

        It’s extremely doubtful that all of Colaprico, Short, DiBernardo, and Huerta will get called into the next camp, though maybe the first 3 should. I didn’t see CRS to know enough about Dib.
        I predict just the first 2 will. Dibernardo’s hamstring injury looked maybe really serious.I felt awful for her to have her excellent season end like that.

        • Bruce

          Short and Colaprico should be locks for camp call-up. Even though I watch a lot of CRS, I think DiBernardo is the wildcard of the three. You really won’t know how her game will adapt to the NT style of play until she’s given the chance.

          I’d actually wager that Gilliland would get a look before Huerta. Even though she tends to over-dribble, she’s the kind of OB JE loves. Wouldn’t be surprised at all if neither gets a call this year, though.

          • kernel_thai

            I wouldnt bring in Colaprico or anyone else from last years group. They have a full evaluation on them and shouldnt waste a roster spot. Use the next two camps to bring in some totally new players. Then in January bring back the players u like best from both groups.

          • Bruce

            What other positions require an upgrade more than the #6? Why ignore the player who will likely win NWSL best XI at that position?

          • Steglitz49

            #6, the shirt of Bobby Moore.

          • kernel_thai

            She has already been in around five camps…what more is there to learn? Just bring her in the January camp and go from there. Same with McCaffrey and Hinkle. What I want from these two fall camps is to give X number of new players a fair look and some match time. U know most of the veterans r still coming in and getting most of the match time so if there r only six spots for new players in the fall camps do I want three of them going to players who they have already looked at? If for example they brought in Short for a look at left back wouldnt Hinkle’s presence just cut into Shorts time?

          • HOFCToDi

            #6

            Andi Sullivan – Stanford

          • kernel_thai

            I would prefer they left the college kids out of it until after NCAAs. They have all Winter and Spring to look at the college players.

          • HOFCToDi

            Morgan Brian started in the final of the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship as a senior at Virginia.

            ussoccer.com/womens-national-team/tournaments/2014-concacaf-womens-championship/141026-wntvcrc#tab-1

          • Bruce

            I’m of the opinion you need to have all of the candidates for a position in the same camp so you can compare.

          • kernel_thai

            I agree with that but I dont see them committing that many spots to new players at the risk of attendance and losing a friendly!!!! I know, ur aghast! The best way to handle this would be concentrate on one area, say defenders, and bring all the candidates. Then do the same in subsequent camps with midfielders and the forwards. I dont see that happening tho. I see Ellis bringing in the usual suspects with a few new faces. If that’s what Im getting Id like those players to get a fair look.

            As to Colaprico, I actually like her better than Mewis but it goes contrary the the Eliis Theory of Square Pegs. Perhaps Colaprico needs Dames to play her at CAM so the Ellis can then bring her on the NT and cleverly make a #6 out of her. It might take Ellis years to figure out she has duped herself.

          • Steglitz49

            Colaprico is a bit on the slight side for the modern game. It is not her fault but but 5’3″ is 1″ short of the average of Japan’s and 2″ less than Jessica Samuelsson. Granted, Danielle is 1″ taller than Aya Miyama and that must be counted her for merit.

            Casey Short is 5’8″.

          • Bruce

            That last paragraph is the most insightful thing I’ve read this week.

          • kernel_thai

            As Ellis just cut Whitney Engen it doesnt seem like she is big on having players fight it out for jobs.

          • Steglitz49

            I could not understand why JE took Whitney to Rio given that she had not played her for one second in WC-15.

          • Steglitz49

            Casey Short is the real McCoy and deserves to be capped, camp or not camp.

          • Steglitz49

            Huerta ought to reconsider her disdain of Mexico because Mexico has a good chance of qualifying for WC-19.

          • Bruce

            Las Tri haven’t had a head coach since April 6th.

          • Steglitz49

            Sofia can coach them — player-coach, like Kenny Dalgleish was.

        • GT

          Don’t forget with Ohai, Williams, McDonald and Groom’s goal production, it could get crowded in camp.

          • Breakers fan

            Yes, no doubt, and that is why I doubted so many would be called in from just 1 team.

          • mockmook

            YES, bring ’em all in!!!

          • Breakers fan

            Will McDonald and Groom get called in……could go either way on those players. I lean towards “no” on both, just due to space considerations. I know McDonald scores but I honestly have no sense of her game. Groom, it would be fun to see her get a shot. I need to see her more but I do like what I’ve seen so far.

          • mockmook

            I’d leave all the “stars” home for the next few games — OK, bring in the fittest “star” just to show ’em what you expect.

          • DNG

            Why not bring around 5 veterans you expect to be around in 3 years and just not play them during the matches. I think veteran leaders need to be there to pass along the spirit of the squad.

          • Breakers fan

            I agree. It’d be shocking if Ellis made a change of this magnitude but it makes a lot of sense to do so.

          • Steglitz49

            Which spirit? The Bomb in Brasilia aka Miracle on Grass?

          • GT

            I’d like to see Groom get a shot. She is an excellent finisher. And with a good team around her, I think she would “light it up”.

        • HOFCToDi

          Taylor Comeau stunk and Sofia Huerta was not much better.

          • Breakers fan

            I appreciate your no-frills way of stating your opinions.

          • HOFCToDi

            I hope head coach Rory Dames is satisfied trading practically the entire 2017 NWSL College Draft for Stephanie McCaffrey. That’s five strikers on the Chicago Red Stars roster:

            Press
            Hoy
            McCaffrey
            Huerta
            Walls

            The Chicago Red Stars are short four flank midfielders.

          • Breakers fan

            I think I’d feel the same as you were I a CRS fan. McCaffrey will need to have a great year next year to make that trade worthwhile. But as you say it was Dames and co. who made the terms of the deal, not McCaffrey.

          • HOFCToDi

            Taken to the cleaners, the CRS general manager resigns.

            hottimeinoldtown.com/2016/8/25/12651078/red-stars-general-manager-steps-down

          • Steglitz49

            Do you happen to know what Alyse LaHue is doing now or next?

          • Bruce

            I really don’t think she had any say in personnel matters.

          • HOFCToDi

            Sofia Huerta is a striker not a flank midfielder. Alyssa Mautz is a flank midfielder who somehow landed in the head coach’s doghouse. Taylor Comeau should be demoted to the WPSL and Amanda Da Costa should be deported to Portugal.

        • DNG

          Colaprico will probably be called up but I won’t hold my breath on the others. I don’t think Huerta is good enough.

          • Steglitz49

            The irony is that Ms Short is 5’8″ while Ms Colaprico is 5’3″, which is a wee tad bit short for the modern ladies game.

      • Steglitz49

        Sofia ought to go back to playing for Mexico.

    • HOFCToDi

      Short yes, Huerta no.

  • GT

    Tremendous effort by both sides. That was “play-off” soccer. Hated to see either team lose.

    • Steglitz49

      Cup-ties aka knockout games are just that: win or disappear.

    • Breakers fan

      Shout out to the play of Ordega, Dydasco and that cross in by Zadorsky was a thing of beauty. Wys was good too. And what about Christine Nairn on that 2nd goal? Top-notch play! As I’ve been advocating for a couple years I’d call her back into camp. Enjoyed Krieger’s fiery spirit throughout the game It’s quite evident she cares a lot about NWSL play.

      Who did Krieger get inside position on in her goal? I watched it over and over but couldn’t be sure who it was. My best guess was DiBernardo but I’m not sure. Pretty easy, quick error to make, but an error still – you don’t really expect a cross of that perfection to come flying in.

      • mockmook

        A goal is a goal — and it was a beauty.

        BUT, perfection? Are we certain that ball was targeted specifically to AK’s head?

        • Breakers fan

          Good question. Only Zadorsky knows, but you’re right to say that she may not have targeted it specifically to AK’s head. But then again she may have. Even if not to that 1 foot spot precisely, she struck it “perfectly” into the best part of the correct area. 🙂

          • mockmook

            I wouldn’t have even mentioned it (wouldn’t have “impugned” Zadorsky), but I did notice that there were 3 Spirit players very close to where that ball ended up.

          • Breakers fan

            No, it’s a good point. I’m glad you brought it up because I do think players can at times maybe get credit for doing some exact thing when in reality they just thought “Let me send this to that area and see what happens.” It’s a fascinating topic, but it’s one you will only learn more about by talking to the players involved and hearing their honest answers.

          • mockmook

            I corrected it to “2” players, but the point still stands.

            And, there is no shame is putting the ball into the correct area (assuming she wasn’t aiming just for AK).

          • Breakers fan

            Not one iota of shame in doing that. It’s the right play. We’re not machines calibrated to be able to do things in such an exact way all the time. It’s something to strive for but the human element is real.

          • mockmook

            OK, I’ll beat this dead horse just a little more because I know you like to consider things from multiple perspectives:

            One thing is CERTAIN, she didn’t target AK’s head — at best, she targeted where she hoped AK would run to — AK was the one with the onus to put it on AK’s head.

          • Breakers fan

            If Zadorsky ……let’s say “had AK’s head in mind” as her target, I think it’s possible, if we give her the absolute maximum credit for doing the best possible thing, that she tried to have the ball come down the appropriate amount forward of where AK was at the time she, Zadorsky, struck the ball. In other words she may have said to herself right before kicking it: “Ok, Ali, I see you, now for you to get the best possible forward force on your header I’m going to place the ball………….HERE!” and let fly with her kick.

          • mockmook

            I will allow that the most likely thought in Z’s head was, “I want to put this where AK can head it”.

            Was merely pointing out other possibilities (and AK’s part in fulfilling that calculation).

          • Breakers fan

            Players know that to get the best header you have to give them, as the lead passer, some forward-running momentum. That bit of basic physics is known among soccer players from playing the game and observing. And yes, AK had to fulfill that calculation – I like that phrase.

          • Steglitz49

            Hairsplitting. Another version of that Wayne Gretzky quote. I guess there is one from Zlatan also.

          • Breakers fan

            Oops., sorry – I just noticed that you said about the exact same thing I did below. And if she did that it’s even better than hitting it further back – where Krieger was at the time – no way to get a strong header from back there.

        • Steglitz49

          Of course it was.

      • mockmook
        • Bruce

          it was

          • mockmook

            Whew, you saved Bf 🙂

          • Breakers fan

            No comprende.

          • mockmook

            “I’d bet your life that it was indeed #10 DiBernardo”

          • Breakers fan

            Gotcha – haha. Thank you for getting it right.

            About that play, you sleep for a split second and that can happen. Tougher too for a midfielder who isn’t as used to marking that far down field.

      • Ethan

        That cross was magnificent. (All three crosses were top-notch.) Yeah, seeing that O’Hara was unanimously criticized on Ogimi’s goal in that 3-3 match, you have to be critical of DiBernardo on Krieger’s goal.

  • GT

    The “dog fight” between Johnstone and Dunn was fun to watch. Very intense, as it should be.

    • Breakers fan

      Thinking that JJ got lucky she didn’t cause a Spirit PK with the shove into Dunn’s back.

  • GT

    Other than the blown shot at the end, Press showed a lot of heart and guts.

    • Steglitz49

      Maybe but that is not the lasting image. Reality intrudes. Facts count.

      • GT

        Eye of the beholder.

        • Steglitz49

          Christen is very fetching for sure but so is ARod but she is already claimed.

      • Steg Watch

        GER 2 SWE 0

        • Steglitz49

          2-1 surely, if you refer to the olympic final — where ironically the Swedes scored two goals only one of them in the wrong goal, their own.

          Please register yourself so we can follow your incisive comments.

  • Ashley C

    Press will see those misses in her sleep.

    • Steglitz49

      if she sleeps

  • newouth

    NOT HAPPY ABOUT THIS RESULT, NOT ONE LEAST BIT!

    • mockmook

      Have you considered starting a GoFundMe to build a time machine and “correct” this?

    • Breakers fan

      But I know also that you’re a big Dunn fan, newsouth, correct? That said, we all have our favorites, so I feel your pain.

      • newouth

        I HAVE WAITED FOR PRESS TO HAVE A “GREATNESS” GAME SINCE THE 2ND HALF MELTDOWN VS WOLFSBURG IN CL.

        • HOFCToDi

          Wait some more. The CRS season is over.

        • Steglitz49

          She should not have left Göteborg and certainly not in the manner in which she did. Had she stayed, she might well have continued her growth into a top notch player.

        • necron99

          Has anyone noticed that Ella Masar a nice player who did not light it up in the NWSL (8 goals, 3 years), is now over at FC Rosengard taking the space vacated by Press? Playing with Marta and Schelin she has 12 goals this season second to only Marta on the team. Maybe some leagues are easier, and it helps to be on a super team.

          • Steglitz49

            Your point is well taken but I hate to rain on your parade. Press never played for Rosengård (Malmö). Press played for Göteborg first and then Tyresö.

            At Göteborg she was second in the goalscoring league, only bested by Anna Mittag (Malmö) by two goals. Christen grew as a player with Gbg. She won the Swedish cup with them, scoring in the final against Tyresö.

            Lotta Schelin only joined Rosengård halfway through the season, when she left Lyon, having helped Lyon to win their 3rd Champions League title.

            Ella Masar usually plays with McLeod on her shirt in Rosengård.

  • Guest

    Was there last night. Despite the result, Christen Press is an incredible player… always stands out on the pitch. If missing one shot is grounds to criticize her, the same criticism should be leveled at every other player in the game.

    • annie

      She really is. I think she is currently the most complete forward in the US and one of the top in the world.

    • htm222

      you can literally feel the crowd tensing up when she gets the ball… a real treat to see her in person. on a superficial note, she is also even prettier in person.

    • Steglitz49

      It is. Nobody is immune, not even Marta.

    • Bruce

      Held to a higher standard. Not a peep about McCaffrey’s open net miss on a much easier play.

      • Breakers fan

        I’m a big Press fan and I tried to be balanced in my comments about her in this game but I don’t think I agree that McCaffrey’s shot was easier than Press’s. I’d have to go back and compare.

        • Bruce

          My take at the time was that she was teed up an open shot by a good pass (by Press?). Don’t have a way to go back and check, though.

          • Breakers fan

            Will the video of this game be archived anywhere – Fox Sports, youtube? I based my comment on the fact that Press I think literally had an entirely open goal and with no one really on her at the time. That said, they’re most likely not in the playoffs and they’re not tied in that game without Press’s earlier successes.

          • Bruce

            I bet you can re-watch using the fox soccer app (or site). Not in my stable of subscriptions right now, though.

          • mockmook

            See my reply to Bruce.

          • DNG

            I think they well get up on youtube eventually but not right away.

          • mockmook

            Interesting, FS1/NWSL has posted two of their games at the NWSL channel:

            Dash v Seattle
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XGD-giIU9g

            Portland v Flash
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9HTjUOnX3Y

            Still missing the CRS v FCKC game.

            But, we should see the playoff game soon.

          • kernel_thai

            I believe I saw the Chicago v. KC posted

          • mockmook

            Probably the Sept 7th game (not the 11th).

            I’d love to be proven wrong — have wanted to re-watch the game for a while.

          • DNG
          • mockmook

            I screwed this all up. The Sept 7th game was the FS1 one.

          • DNG

            That one’s up too. It was posted recently.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58hGjNozZxw

          • mockmook

            Yes, they are currently ‘hiding’ it.

            Still isn’t in the 2016 NWSL Games Playlist

          • DNG

            I never check the playlist first because they have had trouble adding all of the matches to it right after they have them uploaded. Sometimes I re-watch games immediately after a game has ended and they are almost never in that play list at that time.

          • mockmook

            Thanks!!!

          • kernel_thai

            Id be fairly certain they as Press to post it and she screwed up! : )

          • Steglitz49

            A bit mean and below the belt but I give you a vote anyway.

          • mockmook

            These games back to back had me confused.

            You are correct, they finally posted the FS1 FCKC v CRS game.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58hGjNozZxw

          • guest

            It would help if the NWSL gave the date of the game, so we knew when it was played, but I guess that’s asking too much.

          • mockmook

            OK, I wasn’t crazy.

            The FS1 FCKC v CRS game still isn’t in the 2016 NWSL Games Playlist (even though the video is there in the Videos).

          • guest

            I’m waiting for the Rio Olympics to post the soccer matches in their entirety, like the London Olympics did.

      • JL

        Are you talking about the shot she pushed just wide? Even if she had scored, it wouldn’t have counted because she was offside.

        • Bruce

          was there a flag? didn’t that result in a goal kick?

  • Bruce

    Great game to watch. Both teams did the NWSL a favor by putting on such a good show on national TV. My thoughts.

    1) Red Stars were lucky to be in this game at halftime. Washington dominated by outworking CRS in the midfield and exploiting the flanks in the first half. That they got away from that approach in the second allowed CRS to get back in the game.

    2) Lot’s to like from Colaprico and DiBernardo, but two players cannot hold the midfield against a possession oriented team. They need help on the flank.

    3) The lack of quality on the outside did the Red Stars in. Huerta disappears in games played in tight spaces. Comeau/DaCosta were non-factors on the left. Gilliland’s sloppiness with the ball at her feet was a liability on a slick night. Number one priority going into the draft is left flank IMHO.

    4) Would have liked to see McCaffrey earlier. I know she’s hurt and you could tell that the time off has affected her conditioning, but the Red Stars really don’t get much from a Press-Walls combination. Walls has about 70% of Press’s hold up game, but nothing else. The game changed when McCaffrey started working the edges and opened up the middle.

    5) Dunn, Krieger, and Ordega were amazing. The speed, grit and possession skills of those players on the outside is fun to watch. I’d give WOTM to the captain.

    6) Dydasco had a great game. Was able to shut down every attack on her side.

    7) Johnston got away with a clear foul in the box on Dunn. Hard to miss that.

    8) Casey Short continues to prove why she’s a top XI. Another great game where she shut down one of the best wing players in the league while contributing to the attack. You could argue that she should have moved inside to mark on the game winner, but it’s hard to fault a player for that after playing 115 minutes all over the field.

    9) On a night when everyone in the stadium knew that CRS was going to focus on direct balls to Press, she still found a way to beat double teams and get on the board. That’s 9 goals while playing 9 games worth of time at CF this season if you do the math. If she puts her foot on the ball 1 centimeter higher on the shot that hit the crossbar, we’d be talking about one of the greatest late game performances in WoSo. Instead, we’ll call her a choke artist because we hold her to a higher standard. Such is life.

    • Steglitz49

      9) Either you score them or you don’t. If you score, you are a heroine. If you don’t, you are not.

    • DNG

      I think I’ve made the comment before on what I see as a lack of width from the Red Stars. I think it hurts their attack and their ability to defend their flank. It’s one of the drawbacks of the 4-4-2 diamond. It sacrifices flank play for two strikers and a 4 player midfield. If Chicago’s OBs weren’t as good as they are I think they’d have a real problem generating any width and attacking opposing team OBs.

      • Steglitz49

        I contend that you need to be clearer in your exegesis. 4-4-2 is an old and pretty standard WoSo formation. Some coaches have started to favor 4-3-3 depending on their squad. 3-5-2 is a time-honored compromise because it naturally mutates to either 4-4-2 if more defense is needed or 4-3-3 if more attack.

      • Bruce

        I like the commitment to the 442. I love it that the Red Stars control the midfield in most of their games based on numerical advantage.

        Where they are susceptible is in games against teams that match their midfield intensity. When the flank players are pressured and can’t maintain possession, the OBs have to stay home and the whole system falls apart.

        I think they can live with Huerta being a below average midfielder given that she adds so much to the attack in open space and on set pieces.. The other side of the field need s a complete upgrade.

        • DNG

          It works against some of the teams and not so great against others. It didn’t really work in either matches against the Thorns and I think it hurt the Red Stars for most of the match against the Spirit.

          • Steglitz49

            Obviously, the quality of the players in the opposing side and their strength in various positions, makes the difference.

            What is often forgotten is that there are no goals in the midfield. The goals are at either end of the pitch. Thus, in the Bomb in Brasilia, the US controlled the midfield but forgot the defensive line, a bit like Germany at Stalingrad.

          • JJ

            More like Tyresö against Wolfsburg

          • Steglitz49

            Wolfsburg won because they broke one of the unwritten rules of soccer. Poor sportsmanship. Let’s trust that poison does not seep into the NWSL.

          • JJ

            Wolfsburg won cause they scored 4 great goals while the financial betrayers of Tyresö were already celebrating after the 2:0 lead.

            Excellent result for women soccer and for the fairness of the game.

            The soccer god didn’t want the swedish financial betrayers to win

          • Steglitz49

            Klings was injured when the score was 3-2 to Tyresö and Tyresö put the ball out so that she could receive attention. At the restart Wolfsburg did not give the ball back to Tyresö but threw the ball to themselves and scored their equalizer.

            Tony Gustavsson was furious. He rushed over to the Wolfsburg coach and screamed at him.

            It was typical German low cunning, another example of why they are not popular.

            If you want that sort of behavior in the NWSL, you are welcome to it, but it is not to be recommended. Instead, the example of Arsene Wenger is a model to all.

          • JJ

            Wolfsburg showed great charcater. Coming back from a 0:2 and a 2:3 to win it.

            The Swdish coach showed poor sportsmanship when trying to search for poor excuses. Another Swedish here is still sore and continues to show poor sportsmanship even after all those years.

            Press showed great sportsmanship when congratulating Washington and her friends there after the bitter loss of Friday. I am glad that she didn’t adapt the poor behaviour of the Swedish

          • Steglitz49

            Arsene Wenger remains the patron saint of this issue but I forget, he is French — how stupid of me.

          • Lodovico Settembrini

            German here. Didn’t like Wolfsburg not playing the ball back

            But I guess your “typical low cunning” comment disqualifies you for me in future.

            I may be biased, but at least I can’t remember poor sportmanship of German teams when losing. Even after the 2015 SF when they lost also cause of doubtful referee decisions they accpted that the US were the better team and the USWNT victory was deserved

            I already heard that you are a German hater. That’s a shame, cause I used to like a lot of your comments.

          • guest

            Funny, the Swedes had no objection to the Germans in WWII when they let them overrun their country without so much as firing a shot. The Swedes are the master practitioners of the low art of situational morality, after all

          • Václav

            Hey Clown,

            your queen is German. Is she not popular in your mickey mouse country?

          • Steglitz49

            Does Germany have a queen?

          • Václav

            No idea. I assume they are more advanced

          • Steglitz49

            They have Angela Merkel, Germany’s answer to the Iron Lady.

        • Steglitz49

          If you use the OBs in attack you must operate a highly organized defensive system like Germany did in Rio and Japan did at their peak.

          Briefly, as the OBs move up, the CBs move out and two MFs drop back. That way you always maintain your backline.

          Even Pellerud preferred to use 3-5-2 because he considered that it suited WoSo best, better than 4-4-2 and less risky than 4-3-3. It adds an extra midfielder, if you like.

          Given that the NWSL is not a Capitalistic free-for-all where the money rules and the depth and width of the US talent pool, there is no reason why all NWSL matches should not be draws. In that spirit, this SF went to extra time, and there are not that many blowouts in the NWSL.

  • Constant Weeder

    Great tweet from Steph Yang (@thrace)
    Can someone just…make Christen Press a blanket fort and bring her some soup and a basket of puppies or something.

    • Steglitz49

      Christen Press has a World Cup winners medal to go with her Swedish Cup. That is more than most WoSo players have.

      Christen had a fabulous season with Göteborg and grew as a player. She scored in the Swedish cup final against her future team Tyresö. I always think it was a pity that she left Gbg but given that the true price of a career is to win the world championship, Christen has done more than OK for herself.

    • HOFCToDi

      youtube.com/watch?v=7WZ33w3B8Hw

  • NYRick

    On Press. This is tough to say because as you all know I’ve always supported and championed her the last 4 years on here.

    But…there is this intangible thing in sports that is sometimes hard to define but more often than not, very evident. And it is called the “clutch gene.” There are some very average players in all of sports who simply get by with it and amass nice careers. For the elite players in any sport, it is something that when they have “it” (whatever “it” actually is) they transcend to remarkable and truly memorable players.

    Christen Press is blessed with a lot of things but she doesn’t have the “clutch gene.” It doesn’t get more simple than that. Sorry but it’s painful to admit for me and I’m sure for many of her fans on here. But it’s reality. Yes she did get the equalizer late. That was a big goal no doubt. But that 92nd minute crossbar defies all logic as to not bagging the glorious winner. I mean she should have just passed the ball into the net. It did not even call for a shot, there was no keeper. It is sickening to miss like that with everything on the line. It happens, but it kind of always seems to happen to her. No clutch gene.

    And really at this stage of her career, it is not going to surface any time soon. For the US team, I thought her moment would come at WC15. She got off to a nice start with the game 1 winner vs. Australia. But for whatever reason (I’m still going to blame Ellis a lot on this) she didn’t really get much of a chance after game 1 (politics, panic, midfield mess, Alex had to play, Abby had to get a start, ARod for some reason had to get a start blah blah blah). Then fast forward to this OG. Her moment was right at the gun (around the 91st or 92nd minute) of the Sweden game. Carli passed the ball to her at the top of the box. She had a great look. It was a makable shot by she sailed it high. A premonition of what was to come for her in the PK nightmare shot.

    Point is, she is a marvelous player, an exciting talent (really one of the best women players I’ve seen the past few years). When she’s hot, she can finish like no one’s business. From a variety of angles and furnishes a terrific skill set.

    But…with the game on the line, she just can’t get it done. I think too about that CL final against Wolfsburg. Marta played out of her mind, but needed a little help that day. CP was awol. It’s kind of her MO for some reason in settings like that.

    She’s good. Oh she’s very good. But just wasn’t born with the clutch gene. I’ve accepted it fully now.

    • mockmook

      A lot of people would have said (and some still do) that A-Rod didn’t have the clutch gene.

      Then she tore through two NWSL championships.

      • NYRick

        ARod was always a very good club player during her career but could never carry that forward to the NT, especially when paired with Wambach. In fairness, with Wambach and Lloyd in the room and then the emergence of Morgan there is barely enough air in the room left with how the US runs their star system on the NT.

        Credit to ARod for her last 2 NWSL seasons, but at WC15, she did not deserve that start over Press. That was moronic on many levels and one of the ways Ellis sabotaged that WC for Press. As for the big games though on the pitch, Press has done a pretty good job of sabotaging herself much of the time.

        • DNG

          Arod only started one game at the Olympics and she played as good as anyone despite the 1v1 missed opportunity. It’s true that Arod couldn’t finish well enough for the NT over her career but she was still a good player. Wambach should not have played a single minute during the WC and you can make the argument that at that time she wasn’t one of the 5 best forwards in the United States.

          • NYRick

            Didn’t say ARod isn’t a good player. Nor is my WC evaluation based on her 1 v 1 missed opportunity in that game. I just don’t think she deserved “a start” over Press at forward at any time of that WC. Press was in superior form and far more important to the growth of the team at the time. ARod had a previous 100 caps at forward where she performed on an average level.

            As for Abby, agree with you totally, but we all know the reason why she was on the team. Quite frankly, I was genuinely shocked when she didn’t continue and become a member of the OG16 team. She just had to say she wanted to, and it was a done deal.

          • DNG

            At the time Arod was much more suited phisically to pressing the opponent for 90 minutes than Press. In retrospect we can say that one of Morgan and Arod should have been paired with a better goal scorer but if Ellis felt Morgan was good for at least one goal her decision was understandable. It wouldn’t have been my decision but I can understand it. Arod’s runs and hold up play were excellent in that match. It’s a shame she struggled to finish consistently for the NT. She’s another player I would classify as a second striker.

          • Steglitz49

            ARod has maximized her return on investment more than any other player of her generation.

            Granted that Alex’s bank account may be a bit fatter but ARod has weaved a path through the morass that is the USWNT let alone club football.

          • guest

            I agree, she keeps popping back into the picture, but why? What is it about Amy?

          • Steglitz49

            C & C — Cuba and California? A Trojanette? The blonde Hispanic of Cuban extraction. Hits all buttons.

        • mockmook

          Still, she was clutch in the last two NWSL Finals — a first for her.

    • htm222

      I was always a bigger skeptic of Press than you, but I’m turning around on her and actually think she is getting better. Her club play has been the best of any forward even after the olympics which I figured would break her. I think she has yet to peak, in all honesty, while Morgan (injuries, game based on her now declining speed) and Lloyd (due to her age) will probably decline. She is my “one to watch” over the next couple of years.

      • NYRick

        The sad thing is that she IS getting better. She actually looks much faster and fitter out there and really stands out against the other players with her skill set. Talent wise I’ve always felt she’s been the best forward in the program the past 4 years and she has improved during that time as well. The past 3 years she has easily been one of the top 3-5 players in the NWSL. And I emphasize the word, “easily.”

        For the NT though, I just don’t think it will ever happen for her in terms of being the feature star forward. For one, she won’t get the minutes needed nor the right positioning on the pitch as long as Lloyd and Morgan are on the team, and neither are going anywhere soon.

        But she just isn’t a clutch player. In the famous words of Casey Stengel, “you can look it up.”

        • Steglitz49

          Casey Short or Katie Stengel?

        • htm222

          im partially expecting lloyd to throw in the towel by 2019

      • Steglitz49

        You will watch her in the NWSL but I doubt in the NT.

        • HOFCToDi

          Have you ever read such bull crap? The phrase “one to watch” is the up-and-comer to the USWNT squad.

    • DNG

      I don’t deny that it seems like the pressure of the moment sometimes gets to Press. However, was the 81st minute game tying goal not a ‘clutch’ situation? How does one even attempt to really define clutch performances? Do you have to make every single play? I thought her performance overall was very good in this game despite very little help in the midfield and up front.

      • Steglitz49

        If you want to be a mega-star, you must make the plays that count. All of them.

        • DNG

          I think that is a completely unrealistic expectation.

          • Steglitz49

            Simply contemplate the WC-11 and WC-54 finals and then revise your statement. The names you need belong to the soccer icons.

        • HOFCToDi

          If you want to be viewed competent, put the ball into the empty net with the goalkeeper completely out of the frame.

    • Steglitz49

      Indeed.