WNY Flash crowned 2016 NWSL Champions

The Equalizer Staff October 9, 2016 332
Western New York Flash congratulate Sabrina D'Angelo after winning the NWSL Championship in penalty kicks. (photo by Patricia Giobetti for The Equalizer)

Western New York Flash congratulate Sabrina D’Angelo after winning the NWSL Championship in penalty kicks. (photo by Patricia Giobetti for The Equalizer)

After an incredible season in which few people would have predicted them finishing at the top of the table, the Western New York Flash defeated the Washington Spirit in penalty kicks to win the 2016 NWSL Championship.

The game was by no means an easy one for the Flash, as Crystal Dunn came out hot to give the Spirit an early lead. In just the 9th minute, Dunn scored the fastest goal in an NWSL final when a long ball was sent in and Flash goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo came far off her line to collect. Dunn made a run from center of the field and outpaced D’Angelo. Dunn trapped the ball with her chest and fired off a shot before D’Angelo could get back in position, easily putting it into a wide open goal.

The Spirit would enjoy a 1-0 lead for only a few minutes after Lynn Williams moved the ball down the left flank before sending it  to Mewis. Mewis faked to the left to shake the Spirit’s Christine Nairn before turning and sending a right-footed shot past a diving Kelsey Wys and into the bottom right corner of the net.

Spirit coach Jim Gabarra’s game plan got a bit derailed when, in the first 30 minutes, he had to use his first substitution of the night to sub in Alyssa Kleiner for Caprice Dydasco after she went down with a left knee injury. Dydasco returned to the sidelines at the start of the second half on crutches and wearing a knee brace, but the extent of her injuries are still unknown.

With Kleiner in for the Spirit, both teams continued battling to take the lead, neither team could finish any of its attempts, sending the game into halftime with a 1-1 tie.

The second half of the game started off much slower than the first as both teams struggled to find the spark to energize their attacks. Part of that was because the increased physicality of the match resulted in several fouls that stalled any momentum generated by either side. In the 83rd minute McCall Zerboni was shown a yellow card after a hard tackle on Francisca Ordega, who was slow to get up after the tackle. Moments later, Ordega would again be involved in a collision, this time with D’Angelo, who stayed down. Luckily for the Flash, D’Angelo stayed in and would continue playing the rest of the match.

Despite attempts on goal by both sides, the game would remain tied at the end of regulation, and the game went into extra time. In what at first appeared to be déjà vu, Crystal Dunn came out and scored a goal in the opening minutes of extra time to put the Spirit up 2-1, followed by an attempt on goal by Sam Mewis. This time, however, Wys was able to collect Mewis’s shot to prevent her from once again leveling the score.

The second extra time once again saw both teams putting a number of shots on goal, only to be denied. Lynn Williams tried to find Taylor Smith at the far post during one play, but Wys was able to punch the ball out enough to disrupt the play, causing Smith’s shot to go wide of the post.

Both teams continued fighting hard with the most energy the game had seen all night. The Flash desperately tried to find a goal while the Spirit did everything defensively to prevent one.

It looked as though the Spirit were going to walk away with the win at the end of the extra time, but Lynn Williams, the NWSL Most Valuable Player and Golden Boot Award recipient, was not finished for the night. With just seconds left in extra time, Williams received a ball from Jessica McDonald and headed the ball into the back of the net. That evened the score up at 2-2 and sent the championship match to penalty kicks for the first time in NWSL history.

Abby Dahlkemper was up first for the Flash, stepping up to the mark and easily putting her shot past Wys. Ali Krieger went first for the Spirit, but she let off a bad shot that was easily saved by D’Angelo.

Jaelene Hinkle went next for the Flash, and her shot went past Wys to give the Flash a 2-0 lead. However, Christine Nairn also converted to put one on the board for the Spirit.

Jess McDonald’s shot sailed over the crossbar, while Katie Stengel converted her penalty kick to even things up. Lynn Williams seemed to confuse Wys with her shot, easily putting it into the back of the net for another Flash goal. D’Angelo would then deny Tori Huster’s shot, preserving the Flash’s 3-2 lead.

Sam Mewis then stepped up for Western New York, but Wys stopped the shot. Diana Matheson was up next for the Spirit and had to convert the shot to keep her team in it. However, D’Angelo came up with a huge save to deny the Spirit.

With D’Angelo’s save, the Western New York Flash won the match to become the 2016 NWSL Champions. For her efforts, D’Angelo was also named the championship match’s Most Valuable Player.

  • FawcettFan14

    Has to be painful for the Spirit trio whose penalties were saved. Krieger, Huster, Matheson are the three players ever-present since the inaugural 2013 season when the Spirit finished dead last. Here was their chance to complete the turnaround, and they botched it.

    • DNG

      You can’t blame a whole match on three players missing penalties. The Spirit should have won that match in regulation. Not a good goal to concede in stoppage time.

      • FawcettFan14

        Of course not. I was mostly highlighting the fact that they are the longest serving players on the team. Going from worst team to champions would’ve been so gratifying.

        • DNG

          Fair enough. I hate deciding games via penalties but players can’t play all night. Honestly I think they have accomplished their goal of a complete turnaround. It will probably be even tougher next year with Seattle and FCKC presumably back in the mix. Portland will probably still be a force too and their young CBs will have another year of experience.

          • FlyingSquirrel42

            Penalties suck. And yes, I’m saying that partly because several of my favorite players have missed important ones this year.

            I agree that soccer is too low-scoring to just let it go on and on, but one idea I’ve had since the Olympics is the possibility of lifting the cap on substitutions and playing up to four fifteen-minute periods with a “golden goal” in effect after the first two. It would reward depth and adaptability, and it would increase the chances of resolving the game in the normal run of play.

            My real problem with penalties is that they’re just too far removed from the kind of skills typically required to succeed in soccer. Even when somebody manages to get way in behind the defenders, the goalkeeper isn’t required to stay fixed on the line until the attacker shoots – it’s a situation that essentially never happens in an actual game. The closest analogy would probably be penalties in ice hockey, but those are at least somewhat similar to the breakaways that happen during a regular game and the goalie isn’t at such a disadvantage.

          • Steglitz49

            FIFA tested the Golden goal for a dozen years and then abandoned it.

          • FlyingSquirrel42

            Right, but wasn’t it still limited to two 15-minute periods? And were any extra subs allowed?

            Regardless, I’d still try some combination of more extra time periods and more subs, even without a golden goal, over going to PKs after two 15-minute periods. I’m not sure how much leeway leagues and tournaments have to experiment with that sort of thing, but NWSL might actually be a good “testing ground” if the league wanted to try it.

          • mockmook

            Do some extra time 11 v 11 — whatever rules (and hopefully resolve the game).

            But, if not:

            Do something similar to college eggball/football’s extra time.

            Have each side alternately take the ball from the center circle.

            Maybe 6 attackers vs 5 defenders (including the GK).

            Give them 30 seconds (or whatever) to score or lose possession — whichever comes first.

            Whichever team doesn’t match the other’s score, loses.

            Perhaps, like PKs, you have a minimum number of tries at goal.

          • Steglitz49

            In this year’s OG, FIFA introduced that an extra sub was allowed in extra time. I expect that change to remain.

            The fact that so much soccer is on TV is probably the explanation why it ends with a pso after 120 min.

            It is not that long ago that the men’s FA cup final was replayed if it ended in a draw.

          • guest

            you could always reduce the number of field players in overtime like they do in nhl hockey to encourage a result before penalties.

          • Lorehead

            The original intent was to make a penalty an adequate punishment for fouling someone in a dangerous spot that was not quite an obvious goalscoring opportunity, and players make around 75%, so that’s right. But it’s not a great way to determine a winner in a single-elimination tournament.

            MLS, back when it tried to Americanize the sport with tiebreakers in the regular season and a clock that ran down to zero in both halves, tried to use one-on-ones where players have a few seconds to try to score from further out and the keeper could come off his line. That sounds like what you want, a situation more like an actual, in-game breakaway.

            If it were up to me, I would bring back the golden goal.

        • Steglitz49

          Whitney Engen and Amanda da Costa did it with Liverpool Ladies.

      • dw

        Sure, but to be honest, those were 3 crappy penalties.

        • DNG

          No disagreements here.

  • dw

    Painful ending. Congrats to the Flash.
    The correct sub would have been Lohman, not Stengel IMO.

    • necron99

      Yet Stengel managed to keep control of the ball under a number of rough challenges and take it towards goal. Matheson and Stengel both had legs in that second overtime and took the ball towards goal. Sadly Dunn was mostly gassed, and the other players took their time getting involved. Instead of taking the good breaks they got against the Flash backlne they passed the ball around slowly and took unserious shots. They were trying to kill time off fairly but they were lackadaisical about it. I think they thought they had it won. Instead they gave up that cross in stoppage time. If the Spirit played as hard as Stengel and Matheson did in that second overtime and really tried to get that third goal, they would have put it away.

      • mockmook

        So the subs played with more energy than the players who went 120 minutes — a shocking revelation!!!

        • necron99

          And yet you do not debate my point that Stengel was not a mistaken sub.

  • FlyingSquirrel42

    As a Spirit supporter. partly because of their “underdog” cred from their awful first season and partly because I really like Krieger, Dunn, and Matheson, I was really hoping this would be their year. At least Dunn managed to impress, but seeing the only three left from 2013 (Krieger, Matheson, and Tori Huster) be the ones to fail to convert was tough. (And no wedding comments, Steg!)

    • Steglitz49

      OK.

    • mockmook

      Wow, I’ve tried for what seems like years to alter S49’s behavior, and you manage it in one sentence. Kudos!!!!

  • SBFan

    Not a fan of either team but a great game to watch – had all the drama one could wish for and a fantastic ending.

    • Nicole C.

      Agreed. I was so sure WNY were finished after Dunn’s second goal- what a comeback.

    • DNG

      Eh I thought the game was boring to be honest. There was definitely an interesting chest match between coaches tactically but the football wasn’t so good for long stretches.

      • Arcie Tillydee

        Same. The first 15 or so minutes were high-energy, then the rest of regulation was pretty lifeless. Picked up a bit in ET before becoming that dice roll that is a PK shootout.

        • DNG

          There were certainly moments of good drama but regulation really slogged after the first 15

        • GT

          I wonder if the Houston heat and humidity slowed the players down?

          • mockmook

            The high temp was 82F with around 30% humidity and a 10mph breeze — that’s a cake walk for these players.

      • dw

        Agree, not a great game by any means. Both semis much better watching.

        • Steglitz49

          Semis usually are.

  • Arcie Tillydee

    Meh.

  • stegetlostinBBVA

    Riley-Vallow for 2020!

    • Lindsey

      I’m sure some teams are keeping Vallow in mind if they ever need a new head coach. He went 3-0-1 with WNY as head coach. A 5-2 drubbing of Sky Blue, a 1-1 come from behind draw in Seattle, 2/3 of a semifinal win over Portland in Portland and this championship game.

      • Som Termanni

        Fire Riley, a doddering humorless vat of anger who’s done nothing but embarrass the organization and rack up fines and suspensions. He didn’t build the roster, led it through a 7-game winless streak with the playoffs on the line, and took himself away from the team when it mattered the most.

        Promote GK coach Vallow, the jovial undefeated interim player’s coach of a postseason where the keeper was MVP.

        • mockmook

          The players seem to genuinely like Riley based on their reaction to him on the field after the game.

          • DNG

            It’s a good squad for Riley’s style of play and he did a great job this year molding them into a contender. I think it’ll be a lot tougher for the Flash to get back to the playoffs next year though.

          • JL

            WNY needs to do 2 big things in the offseason:

            -Get a true RB. Eddy is a good player, but she is not a true RB.

            -Upgrade the bench depth. The quality of players that Washington had available on the bench were far superior to what WNY had.

          • DNG

            Even if they do those things, I’m still not sure they are one of the top 4 teams. I think Seattle probably takes their spot this year if not for Fishlock missing 4 matches and that home game against Seattle on that ridiculous sized pitch. I also expect FCKC to be back in the mix next year and for Houston to be better for most of the season. I think Portland is still a better team overall too.

          • mockmook

            Certainly other teams will have a “book” on WNY now, and won’t be taken by surprise.

            But, WNY will be better just from maturation and some continuity.

            AND, they have 3 good picks they can make in the draft — that should fill any holes.

            That’s a long way for me to say that I expect them to be in the top 4 again next year.

          • DNG

            I think they’ll still be a good team. I’m just not sure if they will be a playoff team when I expect Seattle, FCKC, and Houston all to be viable playoff contenders along with the playoff teams this year. It was also Portand’s first year together as well.

          • mockmook

            I think there is an equal probability that HOU, SEA, and/or CRS regress relative to the league — that leaves more wiggle room for WNY to still make the playoffs.

          • DNG

            I liked Seattle a lot more once they started playing Melis at CF. Her runs and finishing ability was a lot more dangerous than Mathias. I can see CRS regressing and I am still unconvinced of HOU so I’m not writing WNY off. I just think it will be a lot tougher.

          • Som Termanni

            Carli Lloyd could’ve been wandering aimlessly holding her book over her head on the pitch yelling “AARON LINES IS SHITE” and the Flash players would’ve celebrated with her.

            The guy who ran onto the pitch to take a selfie with Alex Morgan could’ve run onto the pitch and the Flash players would’ve hoisted him over their heads.

          • JL

            You don’t get it. Talk to some of the people who have spoken to the players. The ones I have talked to said that the players all praise Riley without even being asked about him.

          • Som Termanni

            Players can love a doddering anger management workshop and still play better for the other guy who can take a joke and manage to avoid getting suspended when anything doesn’t go his team’s way.

        • Lindsey

          You seem really bitter considering you make comments on multiple articles saying how much you don’t like him. He took a team of nobodys and turned them into champions. Get over it.

  • Ethan

    After Morgan’s brilliant 75 minutes in the 2011 WWC final, I asked myself why she wasn’t in the first 5 in the shootout. Now, it seems we know why. (Then again, no one at that time knew about Morgan’s tendency.)

    Dunn had two lovely finishes, one of them being in extra time and not far removed from the shootout. Anyone questioning why she wasn’t in the five?

    • DNG

      I’d guess it’s for similar reasons. Maybe she asked not to take them. Maybe the coach saw her take them in practice and doesn’t think she’s one of the 5. Credit to her for two great finishes tonight but she really hasn’t been a great finisher this year for the Spirit.

    • Paul Klee

      I questioned Jen Gordon on Twitter got a abrupt reply then an incredibly condescending one from Beau Dure.
      Obviously, Crystal Dunn has the skill to take spot kicks. Also obvious the only reason she doesn’t is fear of missing. What other reason could there be? Also obvious is that taking penalties is not a requirement for selection to the USWNT. Sam Mewis hopefully for her that pathetic attempt will be forgotten.

      • Som Termanni

        That’s a good question, so the woso media jerk won’t ask it.

        Beau Dure is a twat who doesn’t have another gear past condescension. Either you watched woso when it legitimately sucked, or you don’t deserve to exist.

      • Arcie Tillydee

        Some players just despise taking PKs, usually because it’s not the kind of pressure and tension they’re used to dealing with. No problem whatsoever if Dunn’s one of those players. One of my very favorite BroSo players, Darlington Nagbe, is the same way.

        • Paul Klee

          So it might be simplistic but not wrong to say that she is scared to take spot kicks?

          • Arcie Tillydee

            Could well be. Only she knows for sure…

          • Breakers fan

            Bottom line is that until we hear it directly from Dunn or Gabarra or someone who clearly has reliable data we have no idea about Dunn in this scenario – why she didn’t take one, or what her view of taking them is, or who decided who would take them, so I think we need to keep in mind that our speculation is akin to just throwing darts blindly at a board. What we propose as being true may not be at all. You guys know this, I just think it’s important not to start rumors.

          • Paul Klee

            Well there’s two choices as she didn’t take spot kicks yesterday or in Rio. She doesn’t have the technical skill to hit the back of the net from 12 yards or she begged off from taking penalties. As we know she does have the skill and is deadly finisher in front of net. The only logical conclusion is that she can’t handle the pressure of a spot kick. For god sake everyone in the world knows that Christen Press should not have taken one v Sweden. Why didn’t Dunn? Do you believe for a second that Gabarra would have refused Dunn’s request to take a kick? She obviously is afraid to take them?

          • Breakers fan

            My preference in such mysterious matters is to just shut up and wait to hear the real answer rather than churn my mind to produce ones that even after they materialize and may have the sheen of rationality and plausibility still just blow in the winds of unverifiability.

          • Paul Klee

            Is it really all that mysterious? So you don’t speculate on anything? There could always be another reason, but usually it is the likely reason. In this case when your team MVP and last year’s league MVP doesn’t take spot kicks it’s extremely likely she begged off. Now what is the most likely reason to beg off, fear of failure (scared).

          • Breakers fan

            I have speculated but it leaves me empty and anxious because it doesn’t have definite closure, so over time I’ve learned with some instances to shut that part of my mind off. I’m content with waiting to hear the actual answer in its entirety. But feel free to develop your own theory – it may turn out that you’re right. I just don’t feel a burning need to come up with a theory about what happened even if it appears the possibilities are very few.

    • kernel_thai

      Who would u have taken out….Huster? Certainly not Krieger or Matheson

      • Ethan

        I don’t know. I’m really just asking what other people thought, but I do kind of side with Breakers fan’s point. Certainly not Krieger though? I think too many people are putting too much weight on that penalty against Brazil. (I will admit that I’ve done the same with Rapinoe’s in that shootout.)

        • Breakers fan

          I finally just saw the PKs – 3 awful ones, obviously, all chokes in my opinion, something i’ve done as well. I’m not saying it’s easy to do by any means but on a quality scale those were way down, worse than Morgan’s recent misses – hers were closer to the corner. Then I went to look at what may be in the Washington press today about the game, and The Post did have a pretty long article with quotes from a bunch of people – players and Gabarra. I assumed he would be asked about his decision to not choose Dunn for a PK but strangely it was never brought up. Have you seen him address this matter anywhere?

          • Ethan

            I haven’t actively looked for recaps/comments outside of Equalizer, so I don’t know if Gabarra’s made any comment about Dunn not taking a PK. Krieger’s and Matheson’s were definitely worse than Morgan’s misses against Cameron and Lindahl. I didn’t think Huster’s was that bad though. It wasn’t as close to the corner as Morgan’s shot against Cameron, but it was harder and closer to the ground than Morgan’s miss against Lindahl.

            Let’s not forget about WNY’s PK misses just because they won though. McDonald and Mewis both had PKs that were notably worse in my opinion than Washington’s misses. (Wys also got a hand on both Dahlkemper’s and Hinkle’s efforts. This shootout could have definitely gone differently.)

          • Breakers fan

            Yes, worse, those 2 from WNY, especially of course McDonald’s. I’ll have to review Huster’s – I just saw it once but I believe you.

          • Ethan

            After seeing it again, I don’t think Mewis’ was as bad as I originally thought. Still bad, but not quite as bad.

            Huster’s penalty wasn’t great, but I do stand by it not being “terrible”.

            After doing well to get down to it, I can’t help but think Wys should have been able to get enough on Hinkle’s shot to push it in front of her/wide.

          • mockmook

            Hinkle’s: Is that the one that bounced over the outstretched hand of a GK?

    • Breakers fan

      Absolutely – after the game she had it seems insane to me. I don’t know about her PK history or her attitude towards them, but if she was willing it strikes me as a horrendous decision; she had the mojo today, that would have been enough for me had I been the coach.

  • Weltmeister

    No many Spectators, worst Teams in the Final.

    • Arcie Tillydee

      Under 9000 spectators…and besides the first 15 minutes, the start and finish of ET, and the crapshoot, deadly dull.

      • kernel_thai

        The problem with the neutral crowd is they r only in the match when someone is scoring or on bad calls.

        • Steglitz49

          Many cup finals are played on neutral or predetermined grounds. In the case of the men’s FA cup also the semi-finals are on neutral grounds.

      • Breakers fan

        I didn’t have my horse in the race and I didn’t find it dull.

    • Som Termanni

      2013 in WNY for the home team: 9,129
      2014 in Seattle for the home team: 4,252
      2015 in Portland as a neutral site: 13,264
      2016 in Houston as a neutral site: 8,255

      The Dash’s best attendance this season was 7,440. They had two matches in 2015 that outdrew this one (13,025 sellout vs. CRS, 9,530 vs SRFC). Their franchise opener in 2014 drew 8,097.

      • Som Termanni

        FS1 couldn’t find more than a couple rows of either Spirit Squadron folks or WNY fans wearing makeshift Marvel Flash shirts, but they managed to find an entire section of Thorns fans in time to see them crushed by penalties.

        • KT5000

          Thorns fans went to the Spirit Squadron section during overtime/penalties to show support. The shot probably was of the Spirit Squadron, with a lot of Riveters mixed in.

      • Som Termanni

        2009 WPS finals in LA Sol’s home stadium: 7,218
        2010 WPS finals in FC Gold Pride’s home stadium: 5,228
        2011 WPS finals in WNY: 10,461
        2012 WPSL-E finals in WNY: 1,221

      • JL

        Starfire doesn’t have a high capacity, so that number in 2014 is actually good.

        • Som Termanni

          “Good” for arguments favoring neutral site finals, maybe, but not much else.

          • JL

            “Predetermined” is a better term, since it is selected well in advance and there is a chance of the home team getting there.

            I think the scheduling debacle that forced that final into Starfire (Memorial was unavailable due to a prior scheduled event) was the catalyst for having a predetermined venue for the final.

          • Som Termanni

            Ok… but the Starfire attendance is still good for arguments favoring neutral-site finals in facilities where turnout can be good regardless of the teams’ supporters, and not good for arguments favoring home-field finals, good for arguments favoring sites predetermined by seeding (Swope would’ve been worse had Seattle lost), good for arguments about the league based on its public optics, or good for much else.

      • Steglitz49

        8,255 for the Final of the Championship in a city with Houston’s population is not that wonderful a number.

        At least it was the biggest of the year even if not the biggest of all time in Houston.

    • SEM

      Unfortunately, I don’t see any final drawing huge numbers unless it’s held at Providence Park. Houston’s numbers aren’t that great and the Dash weren’t playing, I think they were lucky to get the number of people that they did. The NWSL needs to change that and it starts with marketing. And maybe some crazy ticket deals since the league needs seats to be filled. If I lived in the area, I would’ve gone even though I don’t care for either teams.

      • guest

        I think they might also do better with a truly neutral venue – hold it in a stadium somewhere that doesn’t have a team (California immediately comes to mind except that it’s really far from every fanbase; so say, Philly or something) – that way, you’re only trying to get people out once (historically much easier to do, especially if they can get some MLS marketing behind it, look at what Orlando managed to do for their first game), and you might have a better time drawing in actual neutrals than people who cheer for Houston all season and then are expected to go cheer for some other team.

        • SEM

          I live in CA, about 20 mins from StubHub and I think they might draw a decent fan base. There’s a lot of soccer players and fans out here and stub hub gives free tickets to Cal State Dominquez Hills, so that could help with numbers. NWSL definitely needs help with marketing no doubt, and so do their teams. The only team that has great marketing is the Thorns and everyone in their front office works their butts off to get people to come. They have a winning formula and I wish other teams would follow their lead but unfortunately there are too many owners who hate the Thorns. But I like your idea, having the game at even more neutral place, that could draw new fans to the league which would do big things for it.

          • Lorehead

            Yeah, the TImbers have a nice sales team that they don’t really use, because all their games sell out already, so they spend all their time trying to get people to buy Thorns tickets.

          • SEM

            I’ve been to a few of their games and I always get calls about special deals on tickets for people who have been to the games before. Would love to take them up on it but I live in LA and can’t afford to fly out to Portland all the time. If I could, I would, Providence Park is one of the best places to watch a game. The park, the atmosphere and the fans are amazing. If the Thorns keep it up, they’ll sell out all their games, too. That would make Paulson beyond happy.

    • KT5000

      This was my first time at BBVA Compass stadium and I was impressed. It’s a perfect size, and any seat in the lower bowl is really close to the pitch. (I didn’t go upstairs.) I’d love to catch a Dash game there if I’m ever back in Houston at the right time.

      I guess we just have to keep looking forward regarding the league and attendance, overall. If the lower bowl is nearly full and not full of neutrals, the atmosphere could match the great setting for NWSL matches.

  • Som Termanni
  • SEM

    Good game, not as good as last weeks but a thrilling final nonetheless. WNY came out of nowhere to score that late dream goal. It’s a shame the penalty shootout didn’t play out like the game. But congrats to WNY Flash, if they’ve shown anything its that teams like Boston that now can have hope to make a dramatic turnaround. It’ll be great to see what’ll happen next season, I already can’t wait.

    • As much as I feel for Boston, the difference is WNY has a proven pedigree. It’s not like the front office or even coaching staff is new at this winning championships thing.

      • JL

        Exactly. They won 3 championships before. They just lost their way for a couple years.

        • Lorehead

          They bought titles in leagues with no salary cap. All credit to them: they’ve done well in the NWSL, too.

      • SEM

        Well, if either of the front office and coaching staff is anything like the NWSL team that I worked for, then the people working for them now may have not been there long nor will they likely be there next season, and if so, not for long. And I don’t hear a lot good things about anything involving the WNY Flash.

      • Lorehead

        The coaching staff is, actually. The closest Paul Riley got was taking an all-star team a local millionaire in a small market bought for his soccer-playing daughter to PKs in the championship game in 2011. That team that bought the championship, ironically, was the Flash.

  • John

    Dunn robbed of the finals MVP because her team couldn’t defend for last 20 seconds.

    • mockmook

      If anyone was robbed it was Lynn Williams — tying goal in ET and makes her penalty.

      D’Angelo whiffs on Dunn’s first goal.

      • DNG

        Terrible goalkeeping on Dunn’s first but it was still a very tough finish.

        • kernel_thai

          It was a great goal from that angle on the run empty net or not.

        • Breakers fan

          But how many players besides Dunn make that “terrible goalkeeping”, if you get my point? If Press makes that play I doubt the first words you type would have been “Terrible goalkeeping”, do you agree? I do acknowledge that you complimented Dunn, at the end.

          • Som Termanni

            > But how many players besides Dunn make that “terrible goalkeeping”, if you get my point?

            How many other players besides Dunn were making that run? She should know Dunn can cover 20 yards faster than she can! That’s what makes it a terrible keeper decision!

          • Breakers fan

            I see what you’re saying, and that should be pointed out, so thanks; but this was so close even with Dunn and D’Angelo made the decision early – not easy to make a calculation like that precisely. My instinct here is to praise Dunn first, that’s all. “Terrible” is too harsh. “Questionable”, “Dubious”, “probably ill-advised” is what I would say.

          • DNG

            It’s really not about Dunn, it’s about D’Angelo. It is the goalkeepers responsibility to know when come out that they can get to the ball first. If they come out and can’t they made the wrong decision even if it’s Messi that rounded the keeper and scored.

          • Breakers fan

            See above. I agree it’s important for a keeper to make the right call there — how could anyone say it isn’t – but I would say she gets to that ball with 97% of all other NWSL players making the run. It could be that all year on such plays and all through college she DID get to that ball first. To not add Dunn to the equation here is some amount of hard-headed anti-Dunn bias, it seems to me. If she stays in net it’s a one on one with Dunn – not the most appetizing prospect either. If Dunn scores easily on that no doubt many would blast D’Angelo for not coming out. If you do something you’ve had success with virtually every other time then to me it moves from “terrible” to the adjectives I proposed above.

          • DNG

            It really isn’t a biased POV. Everyone in the league know that Dunn is very fast. D’Angelo trains with one of the fastest players in the league in Lynn Williams. She should have judged that ball better. That is my opinion. If I had been trying to disparage Dunn I wouldn’t have mentioned the finish was very difficult retrospect mentioning the terrible keeping. I would have criticized the keeper for coming out if no matter what if she couldn’t get there. It’s her job to know if she can.

          • Breakers fan

            My response to that play was – fantastic run by Dunn, outstanding shot, (with an exclamation point) questionable decision by D’Angelo to come out. Very different in tone from what you said. But at least at the end you acknowledged that “the finish was very tough”.
            So you’re saying your reaction had Press done that would have been absolutely identical, with not even a mention of her name in the post?

            Part of this is an attempt at good-natured ribbing, part of it is to explore how identically one treats each player in one’s comments.

          • DNG

            I didn’t dispute any of that though. mockmook made the original comment that D’Angelo whiffed on Dunn’s goal to which I responded. Yeah, she did, but the finish was still very difficult. Your comment then to me Dunn makes that play into a terrible goalkeeping decision and that if it was Press I wouldn’t have said what I said. Dunn’s run and finish can be excellent while D’Angelo’s keeping was poor. The two aren’t mutually exclusive.

          • Breakers fan

            I did forget the context of your original post so thanks for bringing that up – it’s a factor. I just add everything else I’ve said into the mix of what happened. It wasn’t as simple or as severe, IMO, as “Terrible goalkeeping” – for the various reasons I gave. Note: I’m not praising her goalkeeping either.

          • DNG

            So, in conclusion we disagree about the degree to which D’Angelo’s keeping was poor. Shocker.

          • Breakers fan

            Hilarious.

          • Breakers fan

            The other “shocker” is that you didn’t address several points I made, ones which I felt moved the play from “terrible” to “questionable”, “dubious”, “perhaps ill-advised”.

            As it was her “terrible” decision turning out the most terribly it could have that left Dunn THAT shot, while staying in net and taking her on one-on-one probably leaves Dunn with a better, maybe a way better shot.

          • mockmook

            C’mon, this is the internet, we live on hyperbole.

          • Breakers fan

            True but it’s not required. Say exactly what you mean. When I see hyperbole it usually simply informs me what someone’s basic opinion is about the player involved. It’s good for that – for revealing base emotions.

          • mockmook

            I hate to break this to you, but there is no conspiracy to hate on Dunn.

          • Breakers fan

            How have you been able to get inside the mind and heart of every poster here?
            if you haven’t noticed how slowly, in general, certainly not nearly with everyone, praise came to her on this board, how well I think she has to play to keep getting praise, generally, compared to other players then I think you’ve missed that aspect of this place.
            Imagine Press or Pugh or some other beloveds having the game Dunn had and how different the thread would look. It’s a matter of degree but it’s on not on an order of 1 or 2, it’d be significantly higher than that, IMO.

          • mockmook

            OK, I’ll concede that other players would have been much more highly praised than Dunn.

            But, I wouldn’t take it so personally.

            I guess I don’t care that there are favorites — unless it biases an analysis — and, I don’t equate volume of praise with analysis.

          • Breakers fan

            I agree that I should just state my opinion and let others have theirs, sans comment, but sometimes I evidently can’t stop myself from defending someone in the name of what I see as the truth. That’s really all I want and try to care about. I think what really bothers me is how grudging some people can be give praise but how easily and eager they can be to dispense criticism.

          • Breakers fan

            I like this sentence of yours: “I don’t care that there are favorites — unless it biases an analysis”.

            I think that it’s possible – could be with me too – that one’s favorites are *such* favorites – or the opposites of favorites, “enemies” I guess, that one doesn’t even realize when one is being biased. The next step for anyone is to work on that not happening.

          • mockmook

            “one doesn’t even realize when one is being biased. The next step for anyone is to work on that not happening.”

            How do you work on something that you don’t even know is happening? 😉

          • Breakers fan

            I almost threw in a smiley face because I kind of realized that I had put forth a conundrum.
            Maybe……..if we know……..that it’s possible to not know……..what is happening…….then maybe we may be able to know…….that the hitherto hidden happening……. is happening ……behind our backs……but still in our minds…..when our left arm starts itching?

          • HOFCToDi

            Christen Press (DOB 29 Dec 1988)
            2016 Rio Olympics
            Goals – 0, Assists – 0

            Crystal Dunn (DOB 03 Jul 1992)
            2016 Rio Olympics
            Goals – 1, Assists – 1

            Christen Press (DOB 29 Dec 1988)
            2016 SheBelieves Cup
            Goals – 0, Assists – 0

            Crystal Dunn (DOB 03 Jul 1992)
            2016 SheBelieves Cup
            Goals – 1, Assists – 0

            Christen Press (DOB 29 Dec 1988)
            2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying
            Goals – 2, Assists – 1

            Crystal Dunn (DOB 03 Jul 1992)
            2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying
            Goals – 6, Assists – 1

          • HOFCToDi

            Crystal Dunn is a winner.

            youtube.com/watch?v=2K9Z79VpnsY

            1:16

          • Breakers fan

            did you see this game today, HOFCToDi?

          • HOFCToDi

            Yup!

            If the game was broadcast in Spanish:

            falta, falta, falta, falta, falta, falta, falta, falta, falta, falta

          • Breakers fan

            Sorry, I didn’t quite get that. You saw it on a Spanish language channel?
            And does that word translate into English?

          • Steglitz49

            Strictly speaking it means “lack” as in the song about the cockroach who could not afford to travel because s/he lacked money.

          • HOFCToDi

            If
            Foul

          • mockmook

            For someone who get’s very upset when Dunn is not praised highly enough, you show a remarkable amount of “respect” to HoF (who regularly terms players, such as Press, “garbage” or similar appellations).

          • Breakers fan

            I’ve disputed Press’s abilities with him a few times- ask him if you didn’t see those posts and I’ve given my description of her as a player many times.
            He mostly posts facts, numbers that can’t in and of themselves be disputed. I’ve told him there are others he’s not posting and that his selection of numbers doesn’t tell the whole story.That’s really all I can say about Press in opposition to him.

            Beyond that I appreciate some of his links to prospect lists, articles, old videos – that kind of research takes some time and I simply want to thank him for doing that.

          • Steglitz49

            There are two HOFCToDi. One is calm and rational and makes insightful comments. The other is more brusque, monomanic and repetitive, a feature best used to describe the so-called Press-gang so I presume he picked it up from them.

          • mockmook

            Just pointing out that you seem very hostile towards DNG who has been nothing but respectful to you and Dunn, but you seem very chummy with HoF who is regularly a bully toward any player or commenter who doesn’t pass his “smell” test.

          • Breakers fan

            That’s your perception. I disagree – compare who “gives” more on the other’s points with this and the Morgan plays. Do a real study of that and get back to me – on who grants the other credit more often.

          • mockmook

            By respectful, I mean DNG doesn’t insult you for holding different views. HoF regularly insults other commenters just for disagreeing with him.

            I don’t equate lack of “listening” (as you perceive it) with disrespect.

          • Steglitz49

            There are two HOTCToDi. One is polite and rational and the other is not. I guess he picked it up the irrational bit from the Pressoni.

          • Lorehead

            By Poe’s Law, I have no idea if he’s a parody of an insane, jealous fan (who picks on the player who had the craziest fans a couple of years ago to really drive home how ridiculous they are) or actually an insane, jealous fan.

          • Steglitz49

            In the light of his calm and measured comments on a number of WoSo issues, his anti-Press rants stand out like a sore thumb. Mind you, the monomania of the Pressgang is hard to take from time to time, not least when it is in the teeth of the evidence.

          • Breakers fan

            HoFC is respectful towards me – that dictates first and foremost how I am towards him. I respond to what he writes to me. Do I agree with how he speaks towards others at times? No. Do I get tired of seeing the same stats over and over? Yes. But I figure how he speaks to someone besides me is largely between him and that other person.
            The other thing — ignoring points made, not addressing them – which happens not all that much but enough to be annoying — simply makes me wonder if “winning, not altering” is more important than actually discussing the finer points or *ever* having to say that someone else, besides yourself, has made a good point.

            the Naeher saves example is such an obvious one as to be an ignorable one. The save was brilliant, any 3 year old could see that.

          • mockmook

            I consider how someone treats everyone, not just me.

          • Breakers fan

            Ok, that seems like a perfectly morally defensible approach to life and message board behavior. That does influence me too but like I said, for me, what comes first is how he treats me. And in general my personal ethics is to respect what another says, listen to it, respond to it, if it’s directed towards me. A while back I did have a beef with him where I got totally fed up and said as much. Doesn’t mean I was in the right but that’s how I felt.
            Another reason I respond civilly to him is that – besides Press, I know how he feels about her – I enjoy learning more about how he feels about other soccer subjects. And I do find his way of expressing things about players, even if it’s not politically correct, honest and amusing. Getting “beyond Press” with him is something I try to do. Of course you should feel free to treat him as you wish, in accordance with how he treats you. I don’t really know the history between you two.

          • Reality

            Although I once praised you as being relatively moderate here in your point of view as compared to other more egregious commentators such as the one currently in question, I have increasingly observed that you are making here false equivalencies as regards what constitutes troll behavior.

            From Wkipedia…

            “In Internet slang, a troll (/ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory,[1] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[2] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion,[3] often for their own amusement.”

            Steglitz49 and his compatriot in hatred of Press, whom you enable, both clearly fit that definition. They quote limited and often erroneous information about Press designed to mislead and denigrate her and when questioned about their remarks resort to abuse or misdirection. Their non-Press remarks such as the esoteric tidbits in Steglitz49’s case or the cut and paste “contributions” of the other troll do not justify supporting their unacceptable behavior of blitzing any remark about Press with snide remarks or repetitive and slanted cut and paste tirades.

            While you may hold yourself up as a disinterested party in this matter, it is disappointing that what you are really doing is implicitly supporting and enabling their bad behavior.

            This descent to the LCD here at EQ has led me to decide that I do not wish to participate any further. However, since I have respected your comments in the past, I felt I should share with you my point of view in this matter.

          • Steglitz49

            It seems never to occur to you and other members of the Press-gang that your monomanic repetition of claims that fly in the face of the facts leaves some of the readers of the EQ perplexed to say the least.

            Now that Christen has her WC winners medal, her quiver is full. It goes nicely with her Swedish Cup win for Göteborg, where she scored in the final, in her trophy cabinet. Most WoSo players do not have half of that.

          • Breakers fan

            Thanks for that nod, Reality. I’ll miss your posts. Sorry to hear I’ve disappointed you. Sounds like we slightly veer on our view of personal message board ethics. I respect your position. I try to post my full opinions about topics, praise and criticism and degrees thereof, and I agree or disagree with something that is said based purely on content, not the name of the poster. Press here seems the pertinent matter.
            I did critique her miss in the last game but praised her other goal and the season she had and just the other day with mockmook I put her on my 1st American team, ahead of Morgan and Pugh – not sure if you saw that. All the best to you and I still hope CP proves HoFC wrong in the end.

          • Steglitz49

            Don’t take him to heart. Your comments are generally on the money, succinct and polite.

            The Pressgang can’t cope with objective and candid analysis. As for HOFCToDi, he is Jekyll/Hyde character. I have read who sheaves of comments by him which are calm, collected, lucid and on the money. Then he goes off into his monomanic raves. Those remind me of the Pressoni.

          • Breakers fan

            Thanks, Steg. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed but on the whole I’m way more on the side of the strongest Press supporters than her most stringent critics.If I had been the USWNT head coach the last 5 years I can assure you that she would have gotten a lot more time playing forward. I’m angered that she hasn’t gotten precisely that.

          • Steglitz49

            Christen got her first cap based on the quality of her play for Göteborg. She had not yet kicked a ball for Tyresö. But Algarve 2014 was her big chance with Alex sidelined because of injury and Holiday away because her hubby needed an op. Christen did not take her chance.

            As I have noted before, in the Swedish league Gren and Nordahl competed for goalscoring-king but in the NT and for AC Milan, Gren played provider. Liedholm was always a provider. The Grenoli, aka Gre-No-Li, line is famous for all ages and their nicknames say it all: the professor, the gunner and the baron.

            Christen has her WC winner medal to keep her warm at night. Enough.

          • Reality

            While I admire your idealism in attempting to separate the commentator from the sum total of their comments, my opinion is that this only legitimizes their irresponsible behavior. One cannot have a rational adult conversation with someone who responds with repetitive, distorted cut and paste comments. It is the equivalent of talking with the other person while they put their hands over their ears and repeat, La, La, La, La. But since we have different opinions on this, I will not belabor the point.

            I hope that the Breakers turn things around next year and become a contending team and I wish you the best. Adieu.

          • Breakers fan

            One last thing before you go, note that in the big picture I have very rarely responded to him. I try to respond only if he brings up something new that strikes me as interesting. He has a viewpoint about Press that of course one can have, though it is severely selective and ignores many facts while he posts under the mantle of being completely respectful of facts. I tried to get to the bottom of his view about her but I was ignored, if you recall – did it begin pre-EQ for him or did it originate in response to some intra-board feud he felt drawn to engaging in? I can’t tell if it’s primarily a big message board game/competition with primarily you and Rick or if he really believes all he says. It does seem designed more not as an attempt at telling the whole truth as it is something meant to get under people’s skin. I do see clearly that he won’t budge an inch about her; he won’t ever give her credit for anything or acknowledge the truth in what another poster points out. That is frustrating.

          • HOFCToDi

            The four year cycle has concluded (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016). Christen Press has proven to be an international fraud.

            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

          • HOFCToDi

            The four year cycle has concluded (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016). Christen Press has proven to be an international fraud.

            Christen Press has never scored a goal against the following Top Ten FIFA Ranked opponents:

            GER, ENG, SWE, JPN, BRA, PRK, CAN

          • HOFCToDi

            The four year cycle has concluded (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016). Christen Press has proven to be an international fraud.

            Press has yet to score a goal or register an assist versus a Top 20 FIFA Ranked opponent in calendar year 2016.

          • HOFCToDi

            The four year cycle has concluded (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016). Christen Press has proven to be an international fraud.

            Not once has Christen Press been named Budweiser Woman of the Match in calendar year 2016.

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

          • HOFCToDi

            The four year cycle has concluded (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016). Christen Press has proven to be an international fraud.

            Christen Press
            International Women’s Friendly
            18 Sep 2016
            USA 3 NED 1
            Goals 0, Assists 0, Shots Attempted 2, Shots on Goal 0

            foxsports.com/soccer/boxscore?id=32516

            Christen Press
            2016 Rio Olympics
            12 Aug 2016
            USA 1 SWE 1
            Goals 0, Assists 0, Shots Attempted 2, Shots on Goal 0
            Penalty Kicks Attempted 1, Penalty Kicks Converted 0

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

            Christen Press
            2016 Rio Olympics
            09 Aug 2016
            USA 2 COL 2
            Goals 0, Assists 0, Shots Attempted 4, Shots on Goal 1

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

            Christen Press
            International Women’s Friendly
            9 Jul 2016
            USA 1 RSA 0
            Goals 0, Assists 0, Shots Attempted 2, Shots on Goal 0

            foxsports.com/soccer/boxscore?id=26928

            Christen Press
            International Women’s Friendly
            5 Jun 2016
            USA 2 JPN 0
            Goals 0, Assists 0, Shots Attempted 2, Shots on Goal 1

            foxsports.com/soccer/boxscore?id=26862

            Christen Press
            International Women’s Friendly
            2 Jun 2016
            USA 3 JPN 3
            Goals 0, Assists 0, Shots Attempted 2, Shots on Goal 0

            foxsports.com/soccer/boxscore?id=26754

          • HOFCToDi

            The four year cycle has concluded (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016). Christen Press has proven to be an international fraud.

            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

            youtube.com/watch?v=9ePIZugahFc

          • HOFCToDi

            The four year cycle has concluded (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016). Christen Press has proven to be an international fraud.

            Now witness an international superstar in action.

            youtube.com/watch?v=GjMSPpssC58

            “You are watching the superstar of world swimming in action. One of the great swims you will see for a long time.”

          • HOFCToDi

            The four year cycle has concluded (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016). Christen Press has proven to be an international fraud.

            Now witness an international superstar:

            youtube.com/watch?v=xE7Wz4-r3t4

          • Breakers fan

            And also look at if the other person specifically addresses the points made by the other or just ignores them, fails to specifically address them. It’s frustrating to make points, take the time to think of them and type them out and have them be ignored – that can lead to some anger, admittedly. To me that is disrespectful to do in a discussion.

          • Steglitz49

            6 yeras is a long time in soccer but at least it is not 16 years.

          • DNG

            Here’s the goal. I don’t think this turn into a 1v1 if D’Angelo stays in her net. The ball holds up after it bounces due back spin and if it doesn’t hold up it probably leaves Dunn with no angle. The WNY defenders were also not very far behind the play. We’re definitely going to disagree if you think this ball turns into a difficult 1v1. D’Angelo probably anticipated it carrying on more and into the box. She was obviously wrong.

            https://twitter.com/FOXSoccer/status/785228656754892800

          • Breakers fan

            Thanks for posting that. If not for the defenders it may have been a 1 v 1 but with them, and D’Angelo may have figured their incoming aid into her decision, probably not a 1 v 1. If D’Angelo isn’t there Dunn can chest that ball more towards goal (still a tough angle) and not as much away from it and so end up at the angle she was forced to, with D’Angelo being there.

            So yes in the end my instinct here is to by far give praise to Dunn and then probably question D’Angelo. My first instinct in seeing the totality of this play is not to condemn D’Angelo, for the reasons I gave before. You brought up Williams being fast. Who’s to say that that play didn’t happen 3 times in training with D’Angelo getting to the ball before Williams all 3 times? To me “Terrible” goalkeeping doesn’t lead to a basically 50-50 ball with the worst case scenario of that 50-50 ball leading to the shot Dunn was left with. “Terrible” leads to Dunn beating her by far or a tap in result. As it was she left Dunn with a shot players make probably 5% of the time and a shot that most likely would have been even tougher. No way to know in advance the outcome that came from coming out if she failed to clear the ball. The onrushing defender, as it was, was just inches away from being able to clear the shot, let alone the difficulty of the angle Dunn had.

          • DNG

            That’s not really how I judge goalkeeping. Even though her mistake gave up what was a difficult shot, that shot most likely doesn’t happen if she doesn’t make the mistake. That isn’t to say that Dunn couldn’t have still pulled off an incredible play and scored anyway. That of course could still happen. I still say terrible goal keeping for a mistake that could have been prevented and resulted in a goal.

          • Breakers fan

            So you think she should have stayed in goal, immediately backtracked when she saw Dunn, even though probably all year and all her life in such situations she’s had success coming out on a ball like that. Ok, so, if she immediately backtracks towards goal – the only other option – you think that was BY FAR the obviously smarter play and she should have IMMEDIATELY recognized that, let’s say she does that. Then what happens? Dunn chests the ball towards goal and has a much better angled shot. To me that would be a worse move. To see this clearly, do what I hope you did with the Morgan play, pause it every half second from when the ball is kicked, until the contact of Dunn and D’Angelo. Look at each player at each paused point. Take notice of second #5 and picture no D’Angelo there and the route Dunn would have then been able to take. It would have left her with a better angle than D’Angelo could have reasonably predicted than from a 3 on 1 collision type scenario that I think she could have forecast with her decision to come out. Dunn made the play look terrible in the end and that wasn’t necessarily predictable at the time. Terrible means she should have known with absolute certainty that she had basically zero chance of clearing the ball. Or that staying back should have been obviously a better choice. I don’t think you can say that. Not terrible, questionable at best. That’s my final answer. If we disagree no big deal. Each person can make up his/her mind.

          • Paul Klee

            D’Angelo was unlucky that ball hit on the one place on the field that D’Angelo wouldn’t get to the ball first or have the play go less dangerously toward the corner. The bounce it took was also unfortunate for D’Angelo. Also note that she wasn’t coming out from the six she was running just inside the 18 coming from the center. Trying to “retreat” from that angle to take up a defensive position would have been near impossible and likely would have had her facing her own goal as Dunn would put a shot from a much better angle behind her. Rather than bad goalkeeping I would term it unfortunate possibly criticizing her for being too far off her line when the original ball was played from beyond midfield, but even then it would have been typical positioning.

          • DNG

            I disagree. Dunn wasn’t that far ahead of the defenders and she would have had to run around the ball to take that good angle shot. That takes time and I think Dahlkemper cuts off that angle. I agree that she shouldn’t have been so far off her line to begin with but that’s probably her goalkeeping style.

          • Paul Klee

            Possible but I don’t think she had time to retreat to effectively retreat to goal. She would have been out of position no matter what she did. The only thing is if she hadn’t attacked the ball she wouldn’t have had the running defender “called off”. It was really a 1 in 1000 play that was more unlucky than terrible.

          • DNG

            I don’t know about 1 in 1000. I think it was a really difficult chance Dunn converted well regardless. Either way it’s still a bad goalkeeping error in my opinion because I don’t think that bounce was unlucky and I don’t think she should have been so far off her line to begin with. I think that bounce was actually pretty typical of a good long ball on grass. I think you’re right that her initial positioning kind of put her in no mans land but still think an immediate retreat gives her more options and time. The other thing she could have done, which people probably wont want to hear, is taken the contact from Dunn going for the ball. I think Dahlkemper was close enough to prevent a DOGSO call.

          • Breakers fan

            Have you studied goalkeeping enough to really know if she was too far off her line there?

          • DNG

            There is no set distance. It depends on each individual keeper and how much ground they can realistically cover. Some keepers are able to come out and be sweeper keepers while others aren’t. Generally speaking sweeper keepers walk that fine line of looking brilliant/foolish due to how they approach the position.

          • Breakers fan

            Right, no set distance, so you or I or Paul really have no clue if she was too far out or not. I agree with your characterizations of keepers in general but about specifically D’Angelo specifically there at that time — and that’s before the long ball was even struck– we really don’t know, if we’re being honest. For us to pretend to know more than her, criticize her for where she was is arrogant and false of us to do, IMO. No need to pretend to know more than we really do.

          • Steglitz49

            I wrote an analysis to DNG elsehwere in this string. Hopefully that will spark another 1000 comments or so.

          • mockmook

            D’Angelo: “I just misread the through ball and thought it might have skipped a little bit more towards me and it didn’t.”

            She is implicitly saying that she would have reacted differently if she had judged the ball/situation properly.

            And, yes, I know that doesn’t necessarily mean she would have prevented a goal.

          • Breakers fan

            She isn’t saying necessarily that coming out was blatantly wrong; she is saying that she didn’t come out precisely correctly. Which may be what you’re saying.

          • mockmook

            She’s STRONGLY implying that her reaction would have differed. How exactly it would have or should have differed, I have no idea.

            But, it is evidence, straight form the horse’s mouth, that she made a “bad” decision/reaction — “bad” meaning that there was a more advantageous option.

          • Breakers fan

            I take it as “I should have come out further. I should have seen more clearly that the ball had backspin.” Not “I shouldn’t have come out”. I say that because she focuses on the fine point of the long ball, and doesn’t say “I should have retreated”. Backspin holds the ball up of course, both in the air and on its bounce. So coming out wasn’t so much wrong as it was an error to not come out correctly, taking into account the backspin — that she didn’t notice like she feels she should have. Not sure I’m right but that’s how I take this comment of hers. I’d like to ask her “Do you feel definitively that coming out was wrong?” — something absolutely direct. As it is she’s talking about misreading the spin of the long ball only. Unless I’m hopelessly missing something and being hard-headed.

          • mockmook

            Again, I don’t know what the optimal solution was.

            But, there was clearly (to me) a better solution where Dunn would have had to (at a minimum) play around or through D’Angelo vs D’Angelo flying past her and leaving the net exposed.

          • Breakers fan

            Switching topics, to college soccer, curious if you’ve seen USC play yet? I see 4 possible NWSL seniors on that team and some strong underclasswomen.
            And did you by chance see their game vs. Stanford recently? I won’t reveal the result in case you haven’t but still may.

          • mockmook

            Much better topic 🙂

            Unless I’m getting games confused, I believe I saw the first half of that one. But, I have seen at least a few USC games this year.

            Have noticed seniors Mills, Andrews, and K.Johnson

            Also, Sladek caught my eye.

            Yeah, the number of good players in the PAC-12 is ridiculous (mirrors or exceeds the ACC in that respect).

          • Breakers fan

            Cool, glad you’ve seen them – add to your list of top-notch Trojan Seniors 2nd brickhouse to Kayla Mills, #12 Mandy Freeman, CB. Have you noticed her? NOT going to get pushed around, though not that tall, very calm on the ball, good vision and a leg that seemingly can propel a ball around 90 yards or so it seems to me. She likes to send long passes forward – and not just kind of blind blasts — and tends to succeed with them, but not always.

          • mockmook

            I have noticed Freeman, but not really focused on her.

            Don’t think Anthony ever caught my attention.

            I’ll try to remember these players the next time I watch USC.

            ——-

            Any one or two other players (from any team) jump off the screen at you lately?

          • Breakers fan

            Liked the pure speed of Senior BYU winger Michele Vasconcelos – did you notice her? A similar player is Junior Bruin Zoey Garolski. I like her a lot.

            2 UCLA defenders have impressed me hugely: in the center Hailie Mace and on the right Kaiya McCullough.

            2 of their freshman, besides Fleming, have caught my eye: Sunny Dunphy and sister of LA Dodger outfielder Joc Pederson, Jacey Pederson. They haven’t gotten all that much playing time but when they do they look good.

            The more I think about UCLA ..the more good players I think of: Forward Amber Munerlyn, midfielders Annie Alvarado, Lauren Kaskie and Anika Rodriguez, and Claire Winter. Hard for me to differentiate yet who’s the best of these, who could be good in the NWSL. Do these players ring a bell or stand out for you? I know you’ve seen UCLA several times.

          • mockmook

            I did notice V of BYU

            Can’t say I noticed any of the others — well, AM I know of from seeing her on both UNC and UCLA.

            Did sort of follow Jenkins before she was hurt.

            But, I can only manage a few per team to put any sort of focus on.

          • Breakers fan

            UCLA, as is evident, is a school I’ve seen more and focused more on than almost all others, save Stanford and maybe USC, and of course BC because they play 5 minutes from me.

          • Breakers fan

            I think you hit some kind of breaking point with teams where you go from “knowing” 1 or 2 to kind of knowing most of the team, – happens around game 4 or 5. But of course it also requires thatyou watch closely and listen to the names being called out. That’s happened to me with those three Pac-12 teams.

          • Breakers fan

            Oh yeah – one of my absolute favorite finds has been Stanford Sophomore center forward Kyra Carusa – very aggressive, persistent, effortful, diligent, good, fearless around goal. Rare to find those qualities to that degree and only a Sophomore.

          • Breakers fan

            I too like the looks of Sladek. I heard on one broadcast that she scored some absolutely astounding # of goals in high school – it was either like 73 in one year or 170-200 in her 4 years. Anyone who does that, even if the competition wasn’t that great, gets me curious. That stat is indicative of someone who simply knows how to score and does it, over and over. She may move up the field once Johnson graduates. And then there’s Alex Anthony, brickhouse #3 for them – surprisingly agile for being built like a fire hydrant.

          • Breakers fan

            To respond specifically to what you said here, out of respect and to practice what I preach, I agree – it wasn’t optimal at all, her execution. I just watched it again – she’s late, D’Angelo. She doesn’t take the right angled approach to the ball — I actually think she reads it more the opposite from what her comment was. She should, ideally, have gone more to her left, to cut off Dunn. This shows how D’Angelo was uncertain and how fast Dunn is, and Dunn should get credit for going right through the ball, not stopping for fear of a collision with D’Angelo. You see all of this on the posted video of the goal here from the view taken behind D’Angelo. So it could be that her main error was – what she said – reading the long ball. It’s not easy to do and it’s rare for an offensive player to come in and so cleanly get that ball through like Dunn does. It makes D’Angelo look bad. I still think the emphasis should be mostly on the quality of Dunn’s play, as I bet D’Angelo has had success on such plays a huge majority of the time in her career.

          • Breakers fan

            Recall that I gave her a C or C-. not anything better, and I think the big debate DNG were having was “was coming out” right or wrong?
            Overall, my instinct here, as I’ve written several times, is to give praise to Dunn, more so than to criticize D”Angelo, though I do that too.

          • Steglitz49

            It depends on the goalie. Manuel Neuer often strays very far up field but he is 6’4″ which helps.

            In this case the sun was behind the keeper unlike in the WC-15 final.

          • DNG

            He’s also pretty damn quick for a 6’4 keeper and good with his feet. He’s not immune from looking foolish when he makes mistakes though.

          • Steglitz49

            Indeed.

            Buffon too lives up to his name from time to time.

          • Ethan

            Yep, against Griezmann in the Euros and Hazard in that 2012 Super Cup match.

          • Paul Klee

            Where do keepers stand when the ball is 10 yards on the other side of mid 10 yards off the touch line. Not inside their 6. So you have an expectation that she should be immediately be able to size up the vectors of the ball which was originally hooking more toward the center, Dunn and another defender taking off at an oblique angle to her and another defender running behind the ball and immediately retreat to goal; but forgoing that you wanted her to initiate contact with Dunn which even if she didn’t get a red for DOGSO would likely have got one for a reckless challenge? Please hindsight is 20/20 but come on D’Angelo just got unlucky on a perfectly placed ball, and a splendid finish by Dunn.

          • DNG

            The ball was angled torwads the goal but the angle was still tight. D’Angelo was also more than 10 yards off the touchline when that ball came. It looks like she started above the penalty spot which is 12 yards. What I’m looking for is the angled run Dunn takes at full speed to get to the ball. I think it would have been very difficult for her to get around that ball and take it towards goal. I don’t see it ending up as an easy 1v1 attempt if D’Angelo drops off. You’re right about the fouling bit being hindsight bias and risky so I’ll concede that point.

          • Paul Klee

            I just don’t see it as terrible goalkeeping to not be able to determine instantly where all 5 parties are going to be the moment the ball was kicked. Even if she realized she was not going to likely get to the ball before Dunn after she had taken three steps it’s too late so you just keep coming and hope the pressure cause Dunn to have a bad touch, because retreat is impossible at that point. Sometimes you’re just get beat it doesn’t mean you made a terrible play just that someone else made a better play. When I played basketball you couldplay good defense be in the correct position and still be made to look silly by an exceptional play by an opponent. It happens it just better not happen often

          • Steglitz49

            As I noted elsewhere, the problem starts with the WNY player nearest the camera playing Dunn onside. The WNY defense fails to hold their line.

            You could argue that D’Angelo starts off from the wrong position but her real misfortune is that the ball does not bounce into the box so she can use her hands. Therefore, she is forced to try to head the ball without fouling Dunn.

            The problem starts with the back-line not keeping in line.

          • DNG

            I believe when a goal keeper comes out for the ball that they need to be sure. I think she was too far out to start with as well and that her instincts were wrong here. A goalkeepers ability to quickly recognize what’s happening in front of them is vitally important to the position. She doesn’t read the weight on the ball from Oyster correctly and it takes her three steps out of position instead of back towards her goal. That Basketball situation is not the same as what your are describing. The problem is that D’Angelo is not in the correct position to make any play on the ball. Dunn took her out of the play entirely simply by beating her in a foot race. After she makes the initial mistake of coming for the ball, sure she did the best she could to make Dunn’s job more difficult but the crucial mistake had already been made and Dunn was good enough to finish it off.

          • Paul Klee

            She wasn’t in the correct position that exact ball, you play your percentages and she had the entire field covered except that one ball landing within 2 feet of that spot with that weight. she would have needed to make an extraordinary play to prevent Dunn from getting the first touch. The absence of an extraordinary play does not make it a terrible play

          • DNG

            She didn’t have the entire field covered. She clearly didn’t cover the area the ball was played into. She needs to be able to read a split second after the ball is played from Oyster whether or not she needs to retreat or come out. Playing sweeper keeper is not playing the percentages at all it is high risk, high reward goalkeeping that got her caught out this time.

          • Paul Klee

            Even if what you say it’s still not “terrible” goalkeeping it just getting beat on a particular play. High risk high reward lends itself to that. And it is playing the percentages in that occasionally you will get beat by a perfect ball and a great finish. But the hope is that aggressive keeping will lead to quicker distribution and a quicker counter. So it’s not so much the play you have trouble with it’s the style.

          • mockmook

            Jeez, the more I watch this, the less idea I have what D’Angelo thought she was going to do out there in no-woman’s land.

            For me, it is the play (misjudgment).

            Even if she stands her ground AND Dunn manages to come at her unimpeded, GKs make that kind of stop all the time.

          • Steglitz49

            Having watched the goal again, these are my observations.

            Firstly, the WNY defender nearest the camera plays Dunn onside. This is the real fault by WNY.

            Secondly, the ball does not bounce into the penalty area where the keeper can catch it so she is forced to try to head it without fouling Dunn.

            Thirdly, Dunn’s angle is not difficult. She should make that shot and she does.

            It is a classic ball splitting the defense but not as spectacular as the pass from Lisa Dahlkvist to Stina Blackstenius in Brasilia. Dunn is played on side by the defender nearest the camera.

          • DNG

            You don’t think Dunn’s shot was difficult? Agree to disagree there. Shooting while falling away is never an easy shot. No disagreement on the defender playing Dunn on. I still think D’Angelo should have backed off.

          • Steglitz49

            Dunn’s shot looks harder than it is but obviously it is not a tap-in, that is for sure.

            I could agree that D’Angelo’s positioning is not great to start off with and the ball not bouncing into the penalty area screwed her.

            DC’s 2-1 goal is a goalkeeping error. Even so, had D’Angelo been a bit taller, she might well have saved it.

          • Breakers fan

            Thanks, Paul. I like the thoughtfulness and nuance of your response. I also noticed how far out she was at the time of the kick and —— not having been a keeper and not typically really watching their positioning at various times during a match I can’t say if where she was was typical and good or too far out, but I hear you, and that’s why I mentioned how the option of going backwards wasn’t, I didn’t think, clearly the superior one. She was kind of caught right in the middle of the 2 possible end points. She chose the more aggressive approach.

          • Breakers fan

            One addendum – I’d say that the bounce on the lead pass wasn’t so much “unfortunate”. I think she could/should have been able to note that it was struck with backspin and so would bounce straight up rather than forward, but still that doesn’t mean she necessarily was stupid in her original decision-making, IMO.

          • DNG

            I’ve watched the play a bunch now and still feel strongly about my position. The cut Dunn would have needed to make running at full speed to chase down that ball would have been very severe given the starting position of her run. I don’t think she would have been able to get around that bouncing ball and touch it towards goal without slowing down which would give the WNY defenders time to catch up and cut off the angle.

          • Breakers fan

            And that D’Angelo not being able to make these mathematical calculations precisely and instantly– and this is assuming you’re right in what you’re saying- was terrible on her part? As opposed to knowing that she being in the mix, and knowing sub-consciously that keepers are protected would likely lead to a far worse outcome? All of these questions are why I don’t call this move by her a terrible one.

            There’s a big difference in after-the-fact careful analysis and instant decision-making while playing – you know that.

          • DNG

            It’s not an in depth calculation. It’s more or less a judgment call based on her past experiences and training. Not unlike any other save when talking how to best approach the play. Dunn’s run is leading her away from goal and her defenders are close. D’Angelo should be able to see that and, I believe, back off so her defenders can make a play. I think reading plays and anticipating is just as, if not more, important for goal keeping as it is for defending. She made a bad judgement call and it’s a bad error.

          • Breakers fan

            The impasse is before us.

          • DNG

            Indeed. I’m positive it won’t be the last.

          • Breakers fan

            I probably will just hold back in the future. I see these things basically go nowhere, as fun and interesting as they can be to explore a play in depth. I enjoy them and you know the game well, but it’s kind of like bashing your head against a wall. I try to listen to you and give when you make a good point but I see little to zero of that from you, no offense, unless you really consider what I say and think is all irrelevant and off-base. That said I definitely I wouldn’t want you to alter your thinking in the slightest unless you really think you’ve missed something. I’ll likely just keep my views to myself or express them once.

          • Steglitz49

            Even the greatest of the great, be they males like Banks, Hellström or Yashin, or females like Solo or Angerer, can give you examples of split second decisions that did not go their way. For example, Kaihori was Japan’s heroine in 2011 but the final in 2015 she may prefer to forget. I suspect that the sun in her eyes was the culprit.

            Other goalies like Lindahl and Bouhaddi are known to make bizarre plays from time to time, which have been expensive for their teams.

          • DNG

            You are entitled to you opinion of course but you can’t expect me to always agree with your perspective. I have altered my position once completely. I don’t really agree with yours here. I really don’t agree with it on the Morgan play but that’s been discussed plenty. I wouldn’t say you really gave in much at all here or on the Morgan play.

          • DNG

            Because you seem to want a more point by point rebuttal. Yes I think she should have immediately dropped off. Even if she’s had success coming out all her life I think she needs to be able to recognize that getting to that ball was a race she couldn’t win. I don’t believe that is expecting too much from a team’s top goalkeeper. If your argument is that her instincts guided her to make the decision she did, I don’t see how that still is not a mistake or error. She didn’t get there in time and Dunn ended up with a look on an open goal. I don’t think Dunn chesting the ball towards goal is an easy play at all, especially considering the angle of her run which she needs to make to the point where the ball hold up from the back spin. She needs to get back around the ball at a tight angle with defenders right on her heels. The ball not carrying momentum after the bounce on the grass is right around second 5. At that moment Dunn is still in a race to the ball and her trajectory is taking her in the direction of where the 18 and the touchline meet. That is not an easy ball at all to get around while also staying in front of the defenders chasing. I don’t think she would have been able to do it without slowing down which allows Dahlkemper to get back into the play. You can get an even better angle of Dunn’s run if you go to about the 30 second mark which gives the camera behind the goal. Dunn made an excellent play but I still believe D’Angelo committed a bad error by not dropping off. I think it’s absolutely essential that a goalkeeper knows when they leave their goal whether or not they can get to the ball first. If the play is going to be close or they are unsure, I believe they should play it safe.

          • Breakers fan

            A point by point rebuttal is what a discussion is. Otherwise people just type and waste a lot of well-intentioned time feeding into a void in cyberspace. Why write something if it isn’t responded to? So thanks for doing that about some of the points I made.

            I appreciate your viewpoint and it’s very rational, and makes sense. Going back to how you described our difference before I simply don’t go so far as to call it “terrible”. why I call her play “dubious”, “questionable”, “too risky”, but I don’t go as far as you to call it terrible.. They basically meet together.It was virtually a 50-50 ball with a few re-enforcements around.When that happens the odds of the offensive player coming cleanly out the other end are small, rare. Dunn did it here. It’s probably true that she had never encountered what she did there with Dunn’s actual level of quickness. And I think Dunn got in her head a bit. But it was too late then. It she decided to backtrack immediately – and I agree that a keeper should err on the side of caution — in that split second with the ball just in the air, Dunn a good 20, yards away there is no way on God’s green earth any human being will think in their mind all that we came to know about the ensuing play — about the exact bounce, the exact angle Dunn reaches the ball, exactly where Dahlkemper will be at the time — so we can’t say that about D’Angelo’s mind at the time. She has no idea precisely how hard it’ll be for Dunn to take the ball goal-ward if she decides to retreat.

            We know because we watched it back 38 times each. But in that split second when she had to decide what to do she may have thought “It’s Dunn, if I go back it very well could be me vs. her one v. one at the goal” — and that’s what is important, what she reasonably would have thought at that instant, That’s why I don’t call it “terrible goalkeeping”. To me that’s more a hindsight “knowledgeable” pronouncement that doesn’t take into account what it’s like to be on the field, how fast you have to act, how they probably don’t see exactly all that we come to with our multiple views, and it doesn’t take into account, adequately, all the arguments in favor of coming out to the ball that reasonably could have been made by her in that split second based on her past experience of plays that far from the box. That puts me shy of “terrible”, it doesn’t for you, I think.

            Here would be another great poll: Ask 100 male goalkeepers and the top 10 other NWSL keepers how they would characterize her decision, honestly. Then we’d really be onto some knowledge.

          • DNG

            I think it’s a bad error. I don’t think anyone should or would accept this type of error if it was a common occurrence. I used the word terrible because I don’t think this play should result in a shot on an open goal and I don’t believe the play was unlucky.

            I think the keeper needs to be able to assess if a ball is a 50-50 ball very soon after the ball is played. I would consider a 50-50 ball too risky for the keeper to go after. I don’t for one second think that D’Angelo is going to be able to predict the exact bounce immediately after Oyster plays that ball. What I do expect is for her to reasonably predict that this is going to be a close play and she shouldn’t take the risk. Risky decision that don’t work out are often correctable errors and I don’t think this play is an exception. Her instincts however seemed to take her immediately to the ball instead of back to her goal. They probably are a result of how she has played the position her entire life but that doesn’t mean it still wasn’t an error.

            I disagree that D’Angelo has no idea where Dunn’s run is taking her or the danger it presents. I think she can read some of the danger based on the angle of Dunn’s run. However, let’s take the hypothetical, that I don’t think is likely for reasons already stated, and say that Dunn gets around the ball and turns it into a 1v1 situation. If that happens D’Angelo still has a chance to make a save. Once Dunn rounder her however, she was entirely at the mercy of Dunn’s shooting accuracy. This is why I thought her decision was far too risky. Given the option I usually want my keeper at least in a position to make a play on the ball. The way D’Angelo played this ensured she couldn’t.

            I don’t think that D’Angelo should be thinking much at all about situation during the match. Play is happening way to fast to think about things such as “if I don’t come out for this ball Dunn is going to get a 1v1 opportunity”. She needs to already know what to do in most situations so she can react instead of think. The only thing I think she should be thinking about when deciding to come out or retreat is whether or not she can get to the ball first. That needs to be a split second decision though and this time I think she made the wrong decision.

          • Breakers fan

            Good post. One thing – you do realize that you have history on your side — with Dunn scoring – so it’s basically impossible to definitively debunk whatever you say. Let me ask you this: at the time, long ball in the air and you saw D’Angelo come out did anything cross your mind, honestly? It most definitely did not for me. We’re not at her vantage point so realistically we had different data for her but my point is that her move to come out didn’t immediately strike me as crazy. This isn’t a perfect test question because we weren’t seeing what she saw but to me in instances of “terrible goalkeeping” it’s often immediately clear when the keeper has made a horrible blunder.

            In the end we will disagree here about how bad her decision was. I think it’s an honest disagreement. It is from my end, though I do think it would have been slightly wiser for her to stay in goal,which you helped argue for, thus my tempered criticism of her on this play. All she wanted to accomplish by coming out was keep Dunn from scoring. Just break up the play *enough*. With 2 other defenders, and her and a high lofting ball she thought she could at least that. Not that hard to do that far from goal. Happens 93-98% of the time I’d estimate in such situations. That said, with Dunn involved you never know, so it was a risk, an ill-advised one as I described it earlier.

            That said I do think, again because it was Dunn involved while she may have tried to project Dunn’s run slightly in the instant of decision-making – we’d have to ask her – she couldn’t do it with any precision, she didn’t have time to ponder it. She couldn’t know enough about the intersection of the landing ball, Dunn 20 yards later, Dunn meeting the ball, handling it and proceeding forward. That is a dangerous prospect too, Crystal Dunn bearing down on her with the ball, (remember: we’re basing this on *before the move” not knowing what we came to know later) compared to the thought of “just break this play up sufficiently, with the help of my defenders and scramble back to goal”. I’d like to ask her: “How many times have you been burned when you’ve done this in the past?” If the answer she gives is around 0% to 5% or maybe 10% (I think that’s too high) of the time would you still say it was a terrible decision if that is the data from her goalkeeping history?

            What you call “react” vs. “think” is not really a difference, as I see it. Reacting involves, in my definition “thinking”. It’s the use of intelligence, stored memory of experience – whether you call it reacting or thinking. Both happen in a split second there.

            So in the end I too come down on a “negative” evaluation of her play. I give her a C, maybe a C- while I’m thinking you give her a D or an F.

          • DNG

            I don’t think the outcome of the play has much to do with whether or not it was a good decision to come out. Even if Dunn fails to finish here or Dahlkemper manages to cut off the shot I think the decision to leave the goal is a bad one. The first think that crossed my mind when D’Angelo game out and I saw the ball about halfway towards it’s final destination was that she was in trouble. No I don’t get to see this from a keepers vantage point but this similar to judging a line drive/fly ball in baseball. I think it is possible to roughly judge the landing spot of the ball shortly after it is kicked. I simply don’t believe that coming out for a ball the goal keeper can’t get to is an acceptable mistake.

            Your point seems to be more or less that if Dunn was a slower player The decision to come out would have been a good one because she would have gotten there first. I disagree with letting that pass because knowing who is chasing down that ball is all part of the equation. It’s the goalkeepers job to make the correct judgment in these situation and knowing her competition is part of that. I don’t dispute that D’Angelo was trying to stop Dunn for scoring by coming out. I think her judgment was wrong. I don’t agree with putting percentages on D’Angelo’s chances of getting to that ball either. Every situation is unique and needs to be evaluated by the keeper.

            “just break this play up sufficiently, with the help of my defenders and scramble back to goal”

            I don’t really agree with this line of thinking at all. When a goal keeper comes out, it’s with their full intention of breaking up the play themselves. I have big problems if a keeper comes out to slow the play so that their defenders can come back into it. It’s entirely too risky to do that when they can’t possibly know if their defenders will get back into the play.

            I’ve never said that D’Angelo could have know how that play was going to unfold. I criticized her decision because I see it as a correctable misjudgment. There was plenty more wrong with how WNY defended this play too. Such as the OB keeping Dunn onside. That doesn’t come into my evaluation of D’Angelo though.

            There is no analysis in reacting and that’s where I draw distinction. When I talk about think I am specifically talking about critical thinking, logic and problem solving. There is no time to analyze and assess while out on the pitch.

            She gets a D from me in what I think is an unacceptable error. Solo letting a ball go right through her legs on that Colombia free kick is one I’d consider an F

          • Breakers fan

            Thanks. My head hurts on this any more. I have nothing to add. Kind of astounding how many things we disagree about!

          • mockmook

            “A point by point rebuttal is what a discussion is.”

            Umm, no.

            One is under no obligation to address every point that another commenter makes. There is not infinite time in a day.

          • Breakers fan

            I should have tempered that sentence a little – it’s a matter of degree – how much can be ignored and still be considered respectful. To me you should match the effort the previous poster put into his post, if you can.

          • mockmook

            “To me you should match the effort the previous poster put into his post, if you can.”

            Indeed — if we can, i.e, if we have the time — that would be “fair” (but we shouldn’t demand fairness, we should only hope for fairness in such dialogues).

            And, another caveat, the already “soft” obligation to honor another commenter’s effort should only extend to his/her comments that are on point, on topic.

          • Breakers fan

            Absolutely agree with that. But if a poster does have time – is clearly committed to being on-line and discussing a topic, then it should be done and it’s usually clear if a poster is making that commitment at any particular time.

            Here, on this play, DNG did eventually respond to the great majority of what I said and that’s pretty unusual. I appreciated that.

          • Breakers fan

            Last thing about this – there’s also the question of “what is the motivation behind ignoring a point that has been made? Is it being ignored because it “makes a dent” in your argument, because it actually makes good sense, or is it a time thing”, as you suggest?” I don’t mean to imply anything about anybody in any particular argument in saying that, but as a general rule that is a real and true thing to consider, and it gets at whether someone is seeking the truth or if not budging, “winning” a discussion, is paramount and dominant in his mind.

          • Breakers fan

            I’m going to bed. I don’t think I have anything else to say but if I do it’ll be hours from now – thanks for the discussion.

          • Steglitz49

            The real error starts with the WNY defender closest to the camera. She plays Dunn onside.

            If the backline is going to be so far up the filed, they must stay organized.

          • Breakers fan

            One last thing – she knows the ball will have backspin but she has no clue if Dunn will get to it on a short hop, bend it towards goal with her right foot and be goalwards soon after. That’s the kind of precise knowledge only we have after the fact, way after when she needs to make her decision.

            And she knows Dunn can cut on a dime like no other in the league.

          • DNG

            I have a longer reply that talks about this but no I don’t think she knows how Dunn is going to play the ball when she needs to make the initial decision of whether or not to come out.

          • Breakers fan

            Right, it’s absolutely impossible to see into the future to that degree. And in that split second she’s not calculating *precisely* where the ball will land and Dunn’s exact angle in reaching it either with any kind of expected accuracy. This is, overall, a quick, impressionistic decision that is made.

          • DNG

            I’m expanding on it now but I think the decision need to be made on whether or not she can get to the ball first, not what Dunn is going to do with it if she backs off. 50-50 balls for keepers are, in my opinion, too risky when the worst case scenario is the attacker shooting into an empty goal.

          • Breakers fan

            Tell me if you like this. I mean it in a good-natured way. It’s something that just crossed my mind. If we had jobs in the same profession, the legal one, — nothing related to soccer — I’d be the defense attorney while you’d be the prosecutor. 🙂

          • another guest

            in the EQ article on D’Angelo she is quoted admitting she made an error – and Dunn took advantage and got to the ball first and then of course Dunn also finished well.

            “D’Angelo admitted that she misjudged the play, which resulted in the U.S international forward taking advantage, much to the frustration of the young keeper. “I just misread the through ball and thought it might have skipped a little bit more towards me and it didn’t. She’s obviously a phenomenal player and was going to capitalize on that, so it is what it is.”

          • DNG

            What mad it a terrible decision was her coming out for a ball that she couldn’t be sure she would have been able to play with her hands. She hesitated and got burned. If she stays on her line the entire play is less dangerous.

          • Breakers fan

            What I add that you and Son Termanni don’t is Dunn’s role in screwing everything up for D’Angelo – she, D’Angelo beats virtually every other player to that ball, and, also, seeing Dunn racing at her may have gotten into her head, added to or created the “hesitation” – I would need to see that again, I don’t really recall it. This is a factor that needs to be acknowledged, but if you’re not a Dunn fan you’ll be hesitant to do it.

          • DNG

            No I don’t. If it was Press I would have called it terrible goalkeeping because it was terrible goalkeeping.

          • Breakers fan

            We’ll never know because it didn’t happen – what you would have typed, exactly, and in what order. But I’ll take your word for it.
            How you feeling about Dunn’s left foot now?

          • DNG

            More or less the same on Dunn’s left foot. She had a great match.

          • Breakers fan

            Let me know when your opinion changes. Glad you were able to see her quality, though.

          • DNG

            In an effort to be fair. The goalkeeping on Lynn Williams’ goal wasn’t very good either.

          • Breakers fan

            The effort to be fair is an effort always worth making. My recording ran out so I need to somehow see that goal.

          • DNG

            Wys came out to punch the ball, was late, Williams headed it into an empty net.

      • JL

        Great moments for Williams, but she did very little else the rest of the game. I totally agree that it should have gone to Dunn. Even if she hadn’t scored the two Spirit goals, she was a nightmare for the WNY backline just about every time she got the ball in that half.

        • Steglitz49

          The simplest solution is to have a MVP for each side.

    • Paul Klee

      Does Lynn Williams have a little bit of a younger Abby Wambach in her?
      ??

    • Steglitz49

      I thought soccer long since decided to award an MVP to each side in a match. They wanted to get away from the MVP always being in the winning team.

  • Thanks for putting the NWSL championship on first-rate broadcast! Good next step!

  • GNC

    That Lynn Williams PK though….

    • mockmook

      In the soccer business, we call that “cheeky” 🙂

      • Steglitz49

        The business of soccer is business, to borrow from presient Coolidge.

        Hence only 8,255 tickets sold in a city the population of Houston is not great business even if it was more than went to the home games this season, unlike Portland last year.

    • DNG

      I loved it. I hope she sends the keeper the wrong way every time she steps to the spot.

      • Ethan

        Well, Hazard’s changed his approach now (i.e. his rocket PK against West Ham at the start of the season) because goalkeepers have caught on. If she takes PKs infrequently, maybe that will work every time she takes one, but if she ever has to take them somewhat consistently, some variety might well be better. I haven’t seen the penalty, but how it’s been described reminds of one or two that Anelka took for Chelsea.

        • DNG

          Alright so every once in a while Williams rockets one to keep the keepers honest. I suppose she’d have to make a longer run for that to be convincing though. Shame since I like the one step and fire approach. I guess it should be obvious from how she lined up what she was trying to do. I wonder if the quick one step and fire might make keepers jump more since she can almost surprise them by taking it quickly. Sort of like a small step quick pitch in baseball.

          • Ethan

            I’m just saying that if she keeps the same approach, goalkeepers should just stay a little bent at the knees ready to make a save, but they shouldn’t move prior to her kick. I’ve seen a lot of penalty kicks in the men’s and women’s game where I thought an inexperienced, non-professional goalkeeper would have done better because he or she wouldn’t look to guess early. Williams’ one fits into that group.

          • Steglitz49

            Some takers of penalties hardly ever fail, whatever the provocation. Miyama, Kumagai and Dahlkvist are good examples. No doubt there are others.

            As for guessing right, all goalies do it some of the time but few if any do it all of the time.

    • Arcie Tillydee

      Yep…superb.

  • Observed

    I hate NY. Poof that to win in woso just hire the biggest women you can find and out-thug your opposition (crippling Dydasco, etc.). Too bad Zerboni didn’t get some of her own medicine.

    • Arcie Tillydee

      When Zerboni got her booking, there was a huge cheer at one of the places people were watching the game here in Portland. Not the most popular ex-Thorn…

      And yeah…a “victory” for thugball. Among the many things I’m still PO’d about from that semifinal is how NY blatantly targeted Heath (to the point of reducing her effectiveness for the rest of the game after she almost had to be subbed out)…and the idiot ref did jack about it.

      • Steglitz49

        Why does the NWSL allow a male ref to ref these top level games? Were all the female refs lade low with the vapors?

        • Lorehead

          In the U.S., men and women get to ref each other’s games. Just deal with it.

          • Steglitz49

            They do in most European countries too but the show case WoSo matches, like the big finals, are with female crews.

            The Swedish Damallsvenskan may be unusual in always trying to have at least a female centre ref. Male centre refs step in when there is a late cancellation owing to illness and another female cannot be rustled up.

          • Arcie Tillydee

            Now I’m actually curious as to what the panty-sniffer responded with. Curious enough to unblock? Well…no. =P

          • Lorehead

            It was what you’d expect. (As for the World Cup, though, how about a one-for-one rule? Allow as many men to be assistant refs and center refs in the women’s World Cup as there have been women in those jobs in the men’s World Cup.)

          • Steglitz49

            Either we have WoSo or we make do with BroSo.

            It is simple, We respect women who want to be refs and help them develop.

          • Steglitz49

            S49 respects and supports ladies who want to be referees and touch judges.

  • mockmook
  • Ashley C

    -I was a neutral so was happy with whoever won. But I really enjoy watching WNY. Their style isn’t always pretty but they knew how to take chances on the counter all season and would create chances out of nothing.

    -The penalties weren’t great but I thought D’Angelo had a good game for the most part. At 23 she can only improve. Wonder if Herdman was watching.

    -Dunn was excellent and aside from scoring, she doesn’t get credit for doing the little things other players don’t want to do sometimes. Her movement off the ball has always been good. Too bad it had to be decided on penalties.

  • sandrae gunter

    Another indication that preseason prediction and regular season placement is not a big deal, everyone had Flash in bottom half in preseason and they qualified on the last day of reg season and today they are Champs on the last day of the season. Still think we NEED a NEW TROPHY

    • Steglitz49

      There are lots of trophies to use as models. The oldest (1971) is the ladies FA Cup but it is essentially a slightly smaller version of the men’s. Then there are the Queen’s Cup of Spain and the Swedish Cup (both 1981) and the French and German ones. I guess there are more examples.

      No doubt Tiffany can figure out something bothe elegant and powerful.

  • Steglitz49

    The equalizer in injurytime of extra time is a beauty. The cross is spot on and the header gets up between two defenders. A class act after 123 minutes of play or whatever it was.

  • Lorehead

    Can Lynn Williams come in for Christen Press in the eightieth minute of every game?

    • Steglitz49

      She might as well start in the NT, not least if Alex is unavailable.

  • Steglitz49

    Why is a male refere, refereeing the final of the NWSL Championship? Were all quality female refs unavailable?

  • Steglitz49

    DC should never have allowed that header which equalized so late in extra time. It reminds one of Canada in OG-12 and contrasts with Japan in WC-11.

  • Craigaroo

    Thankfully, it turned out to be a dramatic match. Going to PKs does remind me of the idea of changing the PK order and borrowing something from tennis and its tiebreaker procedure. In tennis, instead of one player going first and then alternating serves thereafter,; one player serves first, then the 2nd player serves twice in a row; then after that the two sides alternate but always serving twice in a row. It seems to even things out a little more, taking a way the advantage of winning the coin flip and going first.

    • Steglitz49

      One of the most fabulous tiebreaks of all time was that between Borg and McEnroe in Wimbledon in the 1980 final. Their tiebreaker lasted >20 min. Eventually McEnroe won with 18–16. Borg won the match by taking the final set 8-6. He had lost the opening set 1-6 — 1–6, 7–5, 6–3, 6–7(16–18), 8–6.

      The longest soccer pso I have sat through was on a freezing evening when after 120 min the pso ended 9-8. The losing team had a 5 hour coach drive back home to contemplate what might have been.

      • Lorehead

        You should watch the BroSo Portland Timbers/Sporting KC PSO from last year’s playoffs, then. Thrilling stuff. Came down to a shot by the keepers.

        • Steglitz49

          Thank you.

          When I need a pso fix, I usually watch the 2011 WC final. Don’t get better than that for excitement, though the psos in Brasilia and Maracana this year were not half bad either.

          • Lorehead

            The new bar in Providence Park is The Double Post. Watch that PSO, and you’ll find out why.

          • Steglitz49

            Thank you.

        • And a pk that hit both posts and bounced out, what would have given Sporting the win. Instead, they lost. Great game.

  • Pete

    Instead of PKs try a version of the approach Woman’s collegiate field hockey uses – 1st extra time play 9 per side – 2nd extra time play 7 per side. that should do it and its still soccer with usual skills plus stamina in play still part of the game.

    • Steglitz49

      Please feel free to send your suggestion to Zurich c/o that new Swiss big cheese President.

    • AlexH

      I think they need to go back to a golden goal. I don’t have the stats but a good chunk of PK shootouts would be eliminated with that format. I just don’t see how allowing the opportunity to go BACK to PK’s serves the game at all.

      • Steglitz49

        The first Golden goal was scored by Oliver Bierhoff in 1996. Nia Künzer won WC-03 for Germany by a Golden goal. The last one, I think, was Carli’s in 2008 but I may be mistaken.

        The Golden goal is unlikely to come back after such a thorough testing an outing.

      • mockmook

        “a good chunk of PK shootouts would be eliminated with that format.”

        For that to happen, a good chunk of ET games must have both teams scoring an equal number of goals — I don’t think that is a big chunk.

        • Steglitz49

          Thank you.

          They are in love with their Golden goal. They have missed that FIFA now allows an extra sub in extra time, new in Rio.

    • Gary Diver

      Completely agree that the field hockey option should be considered, along with other options. Hockey is moving away from penalty shots with a similar format. Hockey fans in general are happy with the move away from penalty shots.

      PENALTY SHOTS USED TO END MATCHES IS A DISGRACE

      1. It is not determining the outcome of a match on the field.

      2. FIAFA knows it’s a joke. A match ending with penalty shots is still consider a draw.

      3. Nobody is pleased with a match won by penalties.

      4. Penalty shots is not won by a team, they are lost by the other team.

      5. Penalty shot outcomes is determined by more 50% luck.

      6. Soccer is a team sport; penalty shots are an individual skill.

      7. Penalty shots use only a small fraction of a player’s soccer skills.

      8. As the great Pele said: “A penalty is a cowardly way to score.”

      • Steglitz49

        #3 — Japan and Sweden might disagree with you. The ’99ers for sure.

        As I typed elsewhere, FIFA gave the Golden goal a real run for its money but all that rope just helped hang it.

        • Gary Diver

          You are trying to defend the indefensible. As I said:

          1. FIFA recognizes PKs as joke. Matches won on PKs are not recognized as wins, only draws.

          2. “It is not determining the outcome of a match on the field.” You are deflecting the issue by trying to be cute. I meant the that penalty shots is not part of the field action being played on the field.

          3. Soccer is a team sport, penalty shots is simply an individual skill devoid from any team aspect.

          4. PK is a special skill, but it is only a single skill.

          5. Penalty shots is not won by a team, they are lost by the other team. The outcome always comes down to one poor shot, like Press field goal attempt. I have never seen 10 great shots in a row – somebody always chokes.

          6. CHEATERS WIN PKs. During OG16, the simple and straightforward rule that “the keeper must stand on the goal line between the post until the ball is kicked” was ignored by the referees again and again.

          With video it is obvious that keepers are cheating with the “must stand on the goal line” rule. Australian was cheated by Brazil by the Canadian referee. The video does not lie, the Brazil keeper was off the goal line before the Australian shooter kicked the ball to “start the action”. The Brazilian GK was badly off her goal line several times and got away with it every time.

          GO BACK AND TAKE A LOOK AT ALEX MORGAN’S PK. Hedvig Lindahl was charging off the line before Morgan kicked the ball. This is not an opinion: look at the video and freeze the frame at the point Morgan kicks the ball: Lindahl actually over 2 feet over the line and charging at the 20 degree angle. This is cheating. AND ironically, Solo never cheated on any of her 5 PKs, while Lindahl cheated on most of hers. WHY do referees ignore a basic and clear rule.

          • Steglitz49

            You typed that “nobody is pleased with a match won by penalties” — all I did was to give you three examples. The US vs Brazil in WC-11 is a 4th example and Sweden vs Brazil in Rio is a 5th example.

            How many examples do you need?

          • Gary Diver

            Why does FIFA not recognize PK wins as wins, only draws?

          • Steglitz49

            I have no idea.

          • Stina

            To point 5. What about the SF of men’s Euros between England and Germany?

            To point 6. Cheating always helps (unfortunately) winning. Cheating a PK during regular time does as well as cheating a red card for your opponent. A good referee is able to stop cheating. During the regular time, in ET and during PK

            Sweden won. Get over it. It happened already over a month ago. For how long will you whine and complain?

          • Steglitz49

            Thank you.

            As long as the Germans and 1966, apparently.

          • Gary Diver

            Please answer why are the referees are ignoring the black and white rule that “the keeper must stand on the goal line between the post until the ball is kicked”?

          • Steglitz49

            In honor of the 99ers?

            Why did the ref in Frankfurt and the ref in Brasilia tolerate Hope’s antics?

          • Stina

            Cause they are not good enough. They alos make mistakes during the matches. Remember the disallowed goal of Sweden in the QF 2016 or the wrongly given penalty for the US in the SF 2015

          • Steglitz49

            He would rather forget those. Don’t stress him, poor lamb.

          • Gary Diver

            Are you defending referees ignoring the straightforward rule that “the keeper must stand on the goal line between the post until the ball is kicked”?

          • Steglitz49

            You are repeating yourself and making baseless accusations.

            As Stina types, get over it.

          • Gary Diver

            “Baseless accusations”? Look at the video I posted above. Brazilian GK definitely cheated and was rewarded for her cheating. She was off her goal line by more than 3 feet when the Australian kicked the ball.

          • Steglitz49

            It started in 1999 with the winning penalty. It should have been taken again but was not — for obvious reasons.

            On the men’s side, there was something similar in the 1974 world cup — but it is a long time ago so maybe it did not happen?

      • Steglitz49

        #5 — Aya Miyama, Lisa Dahlkvist and Saki Kumagai might disagree with you.

        • Gary Diver

          Because women GK are slower and weaker than men, they almost always have to guess which way to move before the shooter kicks the ball and guessing is essentially luck. NEVER DOES A GK SAVE A SHOT IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION THAT THEY HAVE GUESSED. Holo Solo guessed wrong with Dahlkvist and nothing else else mattered. What does guessing have to do with skill?

          • Steglitz49

            Your ignorance of WoSo shows no bounds.

            After she saved two penalties against Norway in the final of Euro-13, which Germany won 1-0, Angerer commented that in a WoSo penalty, the advantage lies with the goalie. The reason she gave was that its is 11 meters for both men and women but women shoot less hard. (The PK is known as an “11-meters” in German.)

            In the WC-11 final pso, Japan’s goalie saved 2 pks and one sailed over the bar while Hope saved one.

            In Brasilia, Lindahl saved Morgan’s and Press’s sailed over the bar. Hope saved Sembrant’s.

            In both Frankfurt and Brasilia, Hope’s sportsmanship failed but it worked against Sasic in WC-15. Angerer did not engage in sportsmanship in Euro-13.

            I don’t know what Hope thinks of penalties.

          • Gary Diver

            ironically, the only great save during the OG16 PKs between USWNT and Sweden was made by Hope Solo. Ellis’ insane mind game with Press by switching Lloyd in front of her because of Ellis’ lack of confidence in Press cause her to have a mental meltdown.

          • Steglitz49

            Foppa’s penalty goal in OG-94, which won Sweden the hockey gold became a postage stamp.

            Because the Canadian goalie wanted $100,000 from the Swedish post-office for his name to show on his shirt, his name does not appear and the color of his jersey was changed from the Canadian red, The irony is that that goalie later went and played in Sweden!

      • Steglitz49

        #1 — Penalties are taken on the field in front of the spectators and TV cameras.

      • Steglitz49

        #8 — is a meaningless statement. If a player is fouled in the penalty area, a penalty should be awarded. What is wrong with scoring from that penalty?

        I can’t remember whether Pelé took penalties for Brazil. Maybe he did not? Who knows?

      • Stina

        There is no perfect solution. Penalty Shoot Out is the best of the available options. Others lead overall to boring games (golden goal), take too long or endangering the health of the players

        Sweden won. Get finally over it. Please

        • Gary Diver

          Why are the referees ignoring again and again the black and white rule that “the keeper must stand on the goal line between the post until the ball is kicked”? This is playing a big in the outcome of PKs. Are referees allowed to deliberately ignore offsides?

          • Steglitz49

            Ask the 99ers.

          • Stina

            It does. This is indeed a problem.

          • Steglitz49

            So is sportsmanship.

        • Steglitz49

          Thank you.

        • mockmook

          I already posited a sane and safe solution when ET doesn’t resolve the match.

          The specifics would have to be tweaked to get the right amount of goal scoring:

          Do something similar to college eggball/football’s extra time.

          Have each side alternately possess the ball from the center circle.

          Maybe 6 attackers vs 5 defenders (including the GK).

          Give them 30 seconds (or whatever) to score or lose possession — whichever comes first.

          Whichever team doesn’t match the other’s score, loses.

          (Perhaps, like PKs, you have a minimum number of tries at goal.)

          • Steglitz49

            The more suggestions that are sent in to the gnomes of Zurich the better. They have given us the extra sub during Extra Time. They might try other stuff.

            Broadcasters like to make predictable schedules.
            Thus, during the knock-out stage and not least the final of a tournament, you can pencil in 90 + 15 + 30 + 15 = 2 h 30′ instead of just 1 h 45′ for the broadcast. 45 min can be bridged with a filler.

            You can sell adverts before extra time, in the middle of extra time and before the pso. You can probably put in short ads between the pks though I don’t know if it is done.

            A predictable schedule has its advantages and few disadvantages.

          • guest

            College helmetball overtimes are so fake and phony, I just switch the game off.

            As for deciding football matches, I would allow more substitutions, maybe even empty the bench and let them decide it.

          • mockmook

            “College helmetball overtimes are so fake and phony”

            Really? Worse than PKs deciding a match?

          • Steglitz49

            PSOs are here to stay. Live with it.

            The Golden goal was tested for a dozen years and then abandoned. It ain’t coming back.

            The pso suits the networks.

    • Breakers fan

      I never knew a sport did this – sounds like it’d be a ton o’ fun to watch!

      • mockmook

        I’m guessing FH has much more scoring than soccer, so this may not work for soccer (still too many matches going to PKs)

        • Steglitz49

          They are very different gmes. In FH you have to get inside the circle (the D in front of the goal) to score. Thus, by removing players, in practice you not only have to decide whether to favor your defense or attack, but it becomes easier to get into the D and thereby be allowed to score.

    • Lorehead

      No offsides in extra time?

    • Lorehead

      Alternate corner kicks instead, with different takers each time?

  • Gary Diver

    Why Should GK Cheaters Be Rewarded in PK Shootouts?

    Watch how Australia was cheated by the referee by ignoring the rule that “the keeper must stand on the goal line between the post until the ball is kicked”? The keeper was at least 3 feet over the line before the Australian shooter kicked the ball. Videos do not lie. I don’t understand why people are defending winning PK by cheating. As the Australian coach pointed out the Brazilian goalkeeper Barbara move off her line because “she was allowed to get away with it”. This is wrong and Hedvig Lindahl did the same thing against USWNT. I am really bothered by people claiming that if you can get away with cheating it is already. Cheating is not alright.

    http://www.foxsports.com.au/olympics/brazil-goalkeeper-barbara-caught-off-her-line-before-matildas-penalty-kicks-in-olympics-quarterfinal/news-story/3bc4afe698e18c6a72411bd7b997e47e

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3738500/2016-Rio-Olympics-Matildas-suffering-heart-breaking-loss-Brazil-losing-7-6-penalties-dramatic-encounter.html

    • guest

      sweden cheated in the rio olympics??? grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

      • Gary Diver

        What do you call deliberate GK encroachment in violation of official rules?

        • ertelmetlen

          The term you are looking for is ‘poor officiating’ and not ‘cheating’.
          (In my opinion, women goalkeepers should be allowed to come of their lines to a certain extent, as they are way to short/unathletic to stop penalties. Obviously as long as the rules remain unchanged, they should be enforced by the officials)

  • Gary Diver

    GK Encroachment in PKs

    It is absurd that referees do not enforce the FIFA rule against PK encroachment.

    https://www.quora.com/In-a-penalty-shoot-out-is-a-goalkeeper-allowed-to-come-off-the-goal-line-before-the-player-kicks-the-ball

    Take a look at this somewhat famous episode from 1990 when the rule was more restricted: goalkeepers were not suppose to move period before the kicker kicked the ball. In every PK in the shootout the GK encroached but only on the last PK did the referee call an encroachment penalty. If encroachment was called on the very first PK there would have been no further encroachment in the shootout. Waiting for the last PK decided the match. The fact that one keeper was worse than the other did not alter the fact that both keepers were violating the rule.

  • Gary Diver

    Alex Morgan’s Missed PK

    Surprising that nobody else noticed something strange about Alex Morgan’s miss in OG16 QF match, which was crucial. Missing the first PK during a high-stakes shootout is usually the kiss of death.

    Watch OG16 QF PK miss:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-K51kIcV2Jg

    “It wasn’t Morgan’s best ever penalty and Lindhadt almost seemed to get there before it.”

    Now watch Morgan’s miss against Sky Blue on August 22, 2015:

    http://equalizersoccer.com/2015/08/22/sky-blue-fc-beats-portland-thorns-alex-morgan-penalty-christine-sinclair-injury/

    The two misses are identical in every aspect. It is remarkable that in the two cases the placement, the height, and the speed are identical.

    And interestedly, Sky Blue goalkeeper Brittany Cameron claimed after the August 22 match that she had secret information about Morgan’s PK. I saw that match on YouTube and heard Cameron say essential she know what/where Morgan was going to try to do. I said to myself, “this will come up again”. GKs study things like this before a major tournament and certainly Lindahl could have been aware of Cameron’s comment.

    http://www.onceametro.com/2015/8/22/9192757/sky-blue-fc-keep-playoffs-hopes-alive-for-a-while-before-sellout-crowd

    It is strange that before Morgan kicked the ball Lindahl was diving to the exact place that Morgan struck the ball against Cameron.

  • nwslfan

    What a game! I wanted DC to win bc style of play this season. But my goodness, McDonald put the team on her back and found a way to get her team a chance. Williams was once again spectacular with another extra time goal and in a way she is not comfortable doing. She rose above and wanted it more than the defenders. This goal left me with great disgust during the game, but now I am very excited to see what she can do w WNT. DC played better, but WNY did more w fewer chances. Loved Mewis w composure to fake a shot to create space. Keep it up! Dunn was so so good on both goals. The GKs made some imperfect decisions. It happens. Gutted for Lohman who was supposed to get field time for PKs. I think Gabarra may have made a mistake sticking w pregame sub plan instead of improvising when Dydasco injury changed the planned subs. Would have subbed Lohman instead of Matheson. Not a fan of Lohman when she was at Boston, but Lohman earned her starting spot from quality of her play this year.
    Congrats to WNY. Haven’t watched you a ton this year. You were dragged on the light schedule- 4x vs Boston, but you came to play and fought for the win.

    Once again huge props to Krieger for her leadership at club level.

  • Craigaroo

    TV audience for the final: 180,000 / 88,000 (18-49 age group). This looks like a decent number to me and a significant improvement over the TV audience for the semifinals.

    • mockmook

      Thanks for the update and the article — very encouraging (except the regular season #’s).

      • Craigaroo

        Regular season numbers a bit disappointing but I guess there’s a lot of factors at play (timeslot, promos, lead-in show, etc). Last year, it’s strange how the regular season Houston/Seattle game was the 2nd highest-watched while the semifinal numbers were dismal — the worst numbers for the last two years.