Ellis talks Heath, Press, Williams, Sullivan and more

John D Halloran October 27, 2016 205
As promised, Jill Ellis has begun tinkering with the USWNT roster--and formation (Photo Copyright Erica McCaulley for The Equalizer)

As promised, Jill Ellis has begun tinkering with the USWNT roster–and formation (Photo Copyright Erica McCaulley for The Equalizer)

MINNEAPOLIS, MN. — The United States women’s national team defeated 15th-ranked Switzerland 5-1 on Sunday in the second of two friendly wins against the European side in the past week. The victory in Minneapolis capped off an October camp that saw 10 new faces join the U.S. squad, as well as a formational shift to a 3-5-2 and some new roles for the entrenched veterans.

Here are some updates from the game in Minnesota.

Kealia Ohai earned both her first senior team cap and her first senior team goal on Sunday, scoring just 48 seconds into her debut. The goal broke the previous record of 49 seconds set just last Wednesday when debutante Lynn Williams tallied against the Swiss only moments after subbing in to the contest in Sandy, Utah. After the match, Ohai commented on her goal, breaking Williams’ record and her first U.S. camp:

  • “It was better than I had imagined. I was just so honored to get to be on the field at all. To score my first goal in my first cap was unbelievable. These girls have been so awesome and so supportive. It’s been the best day.”
  • “[Lynn Williams] said, ‘You can have this one because I won the Golden Boot for the NWSL.”
  • “Mentally, it’s so difficult because every single day you have to compete. Especially for a lot of us new girls, you have to compete just to dress. That’s what makes this team the best team in the world. Every single practice you’re competing for, literally, a jersey to play [in the next game]. I’ve improved just in the last week because you’re on edge. Every single day, I have to perform in order to play. It’s definitely been stressful, but I’ve grown already in the week that I’ve been here.”

Head coach Jill Ellis offered a combination of praise and caution for her veterans this camp. Here are her comments on Tobin Heath and Christen Press:

  • “She has [elevated her game]. What Tobin has to continue to stay loyal to is the effectiveness of her style…Your No. 1 function in a wide area is to get the ball central at some point. It’s making sure we don’t always get caught up in how it looks, but what’s the end result? That’s something we’ve focused on with Tobin. She has delivered in terms of recognizing it’s not always the form, it’s the function of what you do. She’s done very, very well…For me, as her coach, it’s constantly reminding her that if you’re 1 v. 3, maybe a combination is better than taking them on…When you’ve got a creative, stylish player, you want to continue to remind them it’s the output that becomes important. She has a lot of self-belief and, obviously, a lot of confidence.”
  • “I think Christen probably could have had a couple more that I know she’ll want back, but overall, she scored in both of our games and done very well, so I’m pleased.”

Ellis also had high praise for the youngsters in camp and took time to point out the performances of Andi Sullivan, Williams and Casey Short.

  • “Lynn Williams—she’s impressive. She’s got a lot to her game—attitude, effort and refinement. She’s impressed me with how well she’s done with her back to pressure.”
  • “Andi Sullivan has played like a veteran—superb in the midfield, composed, calm.”
  • “Casey Short, she’s a player who’s never played in a three-back before and here she is playing across the backline. She was solid defensively and [made] some good decisions.”
  • #1Fan

    I dont believe that players develop when every session is high stress. Stress and great performance do not go hand in hand for me.

    • kernel_thai

      I think some of that might be related to how short camps r.

      • #1Fan

        its more the fact that the NT is the only real way to earn a good living. so its dog eat dog I dont think its the right way to build a team or get optimum performance. never have. Camp is about getting players to work together. Not about pitting them against each other. The competition should be about whose games mesh the best together giving the TEAM the best combinations.

        • skybolt

          It’s sort of like us sitting in an office with our boss standing over us for 8 hours with a pink slip in hand, just in case.

          • #1Fan

            Great analogy. in your example, clearly we would all react differently and you would certainly lose some people who had the potential to be very productive. This single vs collective approach is not conducive to building cohesive teams.

          • skybolt

            This was one of the main complaints about Tom Sermanni as well, which is one of the reasons why he got fired. For instance, he created this super competitive atmosphere where Leroux and Press seldom passed to each other. A team has to work as a team.

          • Steglitz49

            Leroux and Press started together against Japan in the Algarve cup just before TS was handed his pink slip. The match is memorable for two things. Firstly, Aya Miyama’s Roberto-Carlos freekick, that USSoccer originally edited out of the highlights! Secondly, Syd’s comedy of errors 1-0 goal. If you want a third, the Japanese dayglow yellow outfits.

            As #1 fan has noted because the haves in US WoSo have so much and the have nots are veritable serfs, the atmosphere at camp can never be truly relaxed. Only a couple of players like Alex and Carli can feel safe because they are hors categorie as they say in the Tour de France.

          • kernel_thai

            Unless ur prepared to equally divide the time between all the players there is always going to be competition for playing time within any team. No one wants players who r just happy to be on the bus. Sermanni tried to broaden the pool by making established players compete with new players. What a difference two years can make.

          • #1Fan

            That is the biggest difference. I dont thnk he necessarily created the same environment. I think he just was looking at different combinations and the old guard felt threatened . we have the reverse here where possession is 9/10 of the law. Young player need to come in and run a gauntlet of the old guard even though the coach is telling us that she wants more technical players.

          • Steglitz49

            You are talking $150,000 in a lean year and $250/300,000 in a fat one. Would you give that up easily? Maybe your friends in safe spots are willing to help yo for old time’s sake.

            In short, to be a new arrival at a USWNT camp probably makes you understand how the young Marie Antoinette felt when she arrived at the French court. At least the new players speak the lingo so have a chance to dodge the worst knuckleballs.

          • #1Fan

            the point is not the will of the players. Im addressing the will of the Coach to let them .

          • Steglitz49

            Pia kept order. The German and Japanese players loved Silvi and Norio, respectively. Sasaki was more innovative and successful than Silvia but had the misfortune not to go out on as high a note as had he quite after WC-15 but he had no reason to at that point.

            Meanwhile, ARod and Syd are laughing all the way to the nursery — as will Lauren once she has recovered from her surgery which appears to have gone well.

          • kernel_thai

            I think it’s more a factor of who the old guard is now. The veterans dont have the influence that Wambach, Boxx, Rampone & Solo had. Other than Morgan and Lloyd, who dont seem to affected but this brave new approach, the rest r just happy to be employed.

          • Steglitz49

            Alex and Carli are untouchable. It is unfair to include Hope in the Class of 2014 because she was on easy street.

            It was TS’s misfortune that Alex got injured when she did and Lauren’s hubby need surgery. Had the WNT performed well in the Algarve, the firing order would never have been executed. That raises the question if their abysmal performance was accidental.

          • Definitely agree. Who is the old guard now? Sauerbrunn, Heath, O’Hara, Morgan, Lloyd, Pinoe, Krieger?.. well the last two wouldn’t surprise me if they got dropped soon, and the others genuinely seem like they still want to work hard and earn their spot. So that leaves Lloyd possibly as the influencer, which is already argued about here on every article. I like rooting for this team of players a lot more than I did at WC15.

          • Steglitz49

            They won WC-15 but were sent packing from OG-16 without even getting to Rio but instead covering themselves in shame.

          • It happens..

          • Steglitz49

            OG-16 is the worst result ever of a USWNT in a tournament. Worst. Ever.

            They went out to a bunch of turnips who only days before had themselves suffered their worst defeat ever.

            How long will this nonsense be allowed to go on?

          • Guest

            I can see it as a benefit in the long run. We are seeing a lot more younger players in camp then would have happened if they had done well. Hopefully there will be a shake up out of all of this, not only with the line-up, but help put things in perspective with the upcoming CBA negotiations.

          • Terry Lash

            So, why do you keep defending and making excuses for Ellis?

          • Steglitz49

            It too went pearshaped for Silvia Neid on home grass in WC-11. It should have been Germany’s 3rd star. They are still waiting. But the DFB kept faith with her.

            The players must take some of the blame too.

          • skybolt

            Competition is good, but it can’t be that obvious. For instance, if at our company we hire 2 interns with the intent of keeping one full time, the last thing we want to do is give the impression that they’re competing against each for one position. The best approach is to tell them to do their best, be a team player, and let the chips fall where they may.

          • Steglitz49

            Players guess. They would be abnormal if they did not suspect something was afoot.

          • skybolt

            Personally, I’d want the coach to create a team environment where the 2 young players work together on the pitch with respect to passing, assists and scoring opportunities. Perhaps both can make it if their teamwork is top notch.

          • Steglitz49

            “Will someone rid me of this meddlesome priest”, the king i alleged to have said. Likewise, players not safe on the other shore but negotiating the icefloes may mutter among themselves and, hey presto, one of the new girls in camp isn’t getting the service or support that she has a right to expect. Then the new lamb must go up to the mutton and call their bluff. The USWNT ought to be renamed the Darwin-Wallace laboratory of WoSo.

          • Steglitz49

            If the old guard resist, they do not get a chance to show their worth.

          • Steglitz49

            You could turn that around and look at it from another angle. The US has a whole slew of excellent players to chose from. It is not like Norway or Sweden or even Germany. The US is drowning in young and not so young hopefuls.

            Thus, the USWNT head coach will never please everyone but be mindful that when the Swedish FA extend Pia’s contract just now, that did not sit well with a lot of people, not least the clubs.

            Pia took over a USWNT riven with internecine feud and in meltdown. She read them the riot act, got Hope on track and within a year they won the OG gold (without Abby to boot). Not surprising that JE did not want to take over from Pia but Tom Sermanni was prepared to give it a shot. I guess he soon wished he had stayed with the Matildas.

            Thus, JE got to take over at a point when the team had lost pathetically to Denmark. Now she too started, if not from the bottom of the sea like Pia, at least from shallow waters. In the end JE’s record against Pia is not that brilliant in spite of having 10x if not 25x as many players to chose from, and the world’s best goalie was rusticated for being rude to the team managed by the lady who gave that very goalie her chance to be great.

          • Calci0

            Couldn’t it also be looked at, as that player doesn’t handle pressure well. And maybe that isn’t a trait you want in a WWC final? Just looking at it from another point of view.

          • #1Fan

            it could. But i would be more inclined to deduce that if the player was actually given decent minutes in friendlies and failed.

          • ARED

            I believe that a smart player will actually be handicapped in that situation by knowing: 1) The best players aren’t being given the chance to really show it, and 2) Pitting “teammates” against each other and telling them they need to “stand out” and “seize their chance” hardly is conducive to playing as a team, as #1Fan rightly says. So, a player with less game (or general) intelligence, or a more cocky player might benefit, by either not realizing how much better the team would play if they actually would pass, or by truly believing the team is at it’s best when *they* just dribble and try to shoot. But, when a truly difficult moment comes (like, say when you actually are facing a team good enough to stop your Plan A), this false confidence can shatter quite quickly, where a true team could perhaps withstand.

            Not to turn it into a nation issue, but I find this to be a big part of why countries like Spain and Germany have catapulted ahead of nations like England and the USA. A player like Xavi may never make it in England or the USA national team, because they want players who they see visibly on the ball, beating defenders, getting “shots on target”, and “putting in a shift”, and get impatient if they don’t see it instantly. Those things can be good, but if Xavi and Co. just tiki-taka around you for 70% of possession, good luck having Ashley Young or Landon Donovan’s pace/energy/passion/etc. have much effect in the end if it isn’t used well within a greater group effort. And how to get tiki-taka, or the German machine, or the Nadeshiko? By selecting the right group of players, instilling belief, and giving them time to develop as a group, with the understanding that the team is the focus, not the individual.

        • Terry Lash

          Ellis makes player selections based on individual performances, it appears, rather than select players who play well together as a team. It’s largely explains why she is only a mediocre coach.

          • Steglitz49

            Given that the USWNT don’t get that many chances to play NTs that stretch them, JE has to look at individual performance because team performance against a tomato-can tells her nothing.

        • Calci0

          Yet, listening to Williams, describe the Vets, it doesn’t sound like it’s as negative an atmosphere as you are describing.

          • #1Fan

            No one has any incentive to say otherwise. No one will ever rock that boat. remember , its the ONLY way to earn a decent living at the sport.

    • I wonder how the vets feel about that. Do they still feel insanely stressed about making each game day roster? I would assume no, but who knows?

      • #1Fan

        so they have a huge advantage in Camp

        • But had to get over that at some point.. They all come in green at one time.

          • Steglitz49

            but not cabbagelooking.

          • ARED

            With respect to all parties, I felt this was a telling part of Mia Hamm’s career (and now Lauren Holiday). To be able and willing to welcome other players in, and step aside to let them truly flourish. It has been insanely rare beyond those two, although I always will blame the management first for not setting the tone with selections and naming your captains.

            But I never got the feeling that the veterans were open to any encouraging of new players or positive suggestions which didn’t fit the exact mantra in place….It’s good to fight, and be tough, and believe. But it’s also good to recognize and utilize better talent, methods, and motivation strategies.

          • I totally agree, but for the first time in quite a while, I feel like the core of this team is finally welcoming in new talent and is excited for the possiblity of an evolving style. They know the same old is not good enough anymore. So it’s cool to see some of the “vets” be really welcoming to the new kids and be up for competition.

    • DNG

      It part of the culture I’d guess. I think it’s effective but probably not as effective as if players were training to help each other improve or worked more on playing together. This is probably a byproduct of no real career options in the sport. A NT contract plus sponsors is the best you can hope for.

      • Steglitz49

        Apparently HAO played 90 mins with Arsenal Ladies the other day. It was a behind closed doors scrimmage. Let’s wait and see what transpires.

        • They already said they won’t be signing her.

          • Steglitz49

            Thank you. I missed that (obviously).

          • Do you think it was a tryout of sorts, or just for fun? Seems kind of odd to me.

          • Steglitz49

            We can speculate till the cows come home but it could have been just for fun. Yael Averbuch went with Arsenal to Japan for the club world competition. HAO’s hubby is in banking and it could be that he is being posted to London.

          • Calci0

            Do you have a link where they said they wouldn’t be? Just curious. I thought I read somewhere, that they were leaving the “door open”.

      • Silver Frost

        Best to be hoped for is a deal with Portland Thorns.

  • kernel_thai

    Ohai did an interview on the Soccer Matters radio show/podcast. Had some interesting quotes including that the team will find out this week who is coming in for Romania.

    • Steglitz49

      You could argue that playing a team that could not book the 16th berth for Euro-17 may be a poisoned chalice and not a blessing because all you can do is fail to meet expectations — or worse.

      • kernel_thai

        I think it’s much more important who they play in February than who they play in November. I would hope they get a couple matches against a top ten team to get them ready for SBC.

        • Steglitz49

          Canada and Brazil? Or, do you want to cast your net wider to include Norway and the Faeroe Islands?

          I was thinking of the players. if you screw up against Romania, the risk is that you are toast, even Press.

        • #1Fan

          do you see SBC as important ?

          • Steglitz49

            It is that or the Algarve Cup.

          • kernel_thai

            Yes because it’s great to play with the system and the roster but any changes have to be put to a real test. I dont think winning SBC is important but what they can learn from it is.

          • Steglitz49

            Winning is always important. Ask the Swedes if you don’t believe the USWNT.

          • Calci0

            That wasn’t the mindset at AC 14………

          • Steglitz49

            Obviously. Matches against some top teams is always important.

    • zentech11

      Cool, thanks for the info! Looking forward to seeing the roster release for November. I have to admit that with all of the new changes it does create more anticipation and intrigue around the camps/friendlies.

    • guest

      remember anymore interesting quotes of hers?

      • Steglitz49

        Did she say anything about seagulls? Or about the role of goal-posts in soccer?

  • Arcie Tillydee

    Ellis’ full quote about Heath is a lot less harsh, and can even be described as complimentary (in that she clearly has very high expectations for Tobin. I have to dial my earlier criticism way back on that one.

    • Chak Khan

      I read it as, “To hell with all the trickery, SCORE. SCORE.SCORE!!!”

      • Steglitz49

        Tobin might have against Sweden if Carli had let her take the freekicks. For that the Swedes were truly grateful.

        • Chak Khan

          That I will never understand. It must be the same coaching staff who allowed Press and Morgan to take PK. SMH.

          • Steglitz49

            There are no sweets for being stupid.

            In WC-11, 2 penalties were saved and one flew over the bar and is still orbiting Saturn.

          • Chak Khan

            A game prior, USWNT won by PK. Japan GK figured out the tendencies of the PK takers. She guessed correctly.

          • Steglitz49

            Good grief. You can’t cope with losing, can you?

            How come Brazil did not figure out how to cope with the Swedes?

            Just accept defeat and move on.

          • Chak Khan

            How did you read that I couldn’t handle defeats?!! I am not one who constantly harps on about OG16. That was so months ago. One is only as good as one last game/goal.
            I have moved on and looking forward to SBC , WWC19 and OG20.

          • Steglitz49

            for the grownups there is the ladies Champions League, FA ladies cup and various other domestic cups and Euro-17 first, not forgetting U20 WC this year and in France in 2018.

        • jdee26

          Jill’s comments about Heath is right on the money.Needless dribbling without defined objective is rather inimical to the fluidity of the game.Her dribbling skills make up for lack of burst and sustained speed on the wings. But too much wing dribbling obfuscates timely delivery of the ball to possible goal scorers.

          • Steglitz49

            Tobin has played 8 years/125 caps for the USWNT. Why has this not been sorted out before? Maybe it can’t? Too ingrained and innate?

          • jdee26

            For Ellis, this is the time to implement a different system. Tobin better served to use her dribbling skills to orchestrate goals instead of promoting circus activity.Never too late to play smarter; even a depraved fanatic can appreciate the advice.

          • Steglitz49

            Can a leopardess change her spots?

            Tobin started to play for the NT in 2008, one of the new blood Pia brought in (she added at least 6 new players during her time at the helm). Thus Tobin has only known success, the PR-machine having turned WC-11 into a glorious feat. Only a couple of players like Carli, Pinoe and Hope have tasted the dregs of humiliation in 2007.

            I have yet to see any proper analysis of the Bomb in Brasilia aka Miracle on Grass. It seems to have ended up like the WC-11 final. If we don’t discuss it and analyze it, then maybe it did not happen.

          • jdee26

            If winning determines a player’s value to a team, then never too late to make changes for that objective. Tobin does not need to make a 360; just use her technical skills to orchestrate goals, that means dribbling with a purpose to score, not lose the ball.

          • guest

            and less falling down near the opponents 18 yard line looking for fouls.

          • Steglitz49

            You could turn it around and look at it from another angle. Tobin joined the NT in 2008 and played in the finals of OG-08, WC-11, OG-12 and WC-15. Now in OG-16 the USWNT bombs out in the QF, their worst result ever. Worst, ever.

            Is Tobin (and possibly some other players) simply getting jaded? Is that extra drive missing? Complacency? Or, even worse, no longer care about winning, taking part is fun enough?

            You could turn that around in its turn and question whether Tobin has figured out that there is more to life than playing soccer. Maybe she contemplated ARod, Lauren and Syd and said to herself, I too want to be in that club.

          • ARED

            I think you should be sure to look and see if she has options before she chooses to dribble or not. When Press, Morgan, Dunn, Williams, etc. are with her, she can play fast and pass quickley. When Wambach or Lloyd (or Horan) are there, it has to be slower. Lloyd needs 3-4 more seconds to get into a good position, and needs the ball played to feet not into space.

            So, the passer, if they are a good one as Heath is, knows this and tries to delay until the pass can be made. And yes, other times she just tries to beat defenders to create something, but if you are looking for players ignoring open passes to dribble or shoot, Heath is pretty low on the list in my opinion.

      • Arcie Tillydee

        Or perhaps “ASSIST, ASSIST, ASSIST,” that being her best contribution. Tobin’s a classic playmaker (for all that she CAN score and needs to finish more clinically).

        • ARED

          I agree, but keep in mind that the minute 1) She was used more, and 2) Wambach left, Heath’s game and her goals had a clear surge. Not a coincidence. The team played like a team, and a passer like Heath found herself receiving a few good chances, which did not happen often before.

          Pugh played a big role in that, simply by being smart enough to take what you can -but be humble enough to pass. Heath, Pugh, Press, Morgan, Dunn, Williams, O’Hara, etc. can all play this way, and nobody in the world would be able to stop them if Ellis would unleash them.

  • GT

    I think Ellis’ comments are spot on.

    • Jovitajmurphy4

      Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !hq322f:
      On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
      !hq322f:
      ➽➽
      ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash602ShopPocketGetPay$97Hour ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★::::::!hq322f:….,…..

  • kernel_thai

    “It’s her qualities as a player and her profile that makes me say ‘Wow,
    this kid can play,’ ” U.S. coach Jill Ellis said after Sullivan’s debut
    on Oct. 19. “Without hardly any training, you wouldn’t have known that
    was her first cap. Her best asset is just her poise on the ball and her
    decision making.”

    I often wonder about the “without any training” part. Pugh came in exactly the same way. Im trying to think of someone whose game has improved under Ellis’ tutelage

    • Kevin

      Heath’s game has definitely improved, but I don’t think it has anything to do with Ellis’ tutelage.

      • kernel_thai

        Heath has improved because her outlook has changed completely. If that’s Ellis then good on her but it’s a mental maturing more than anything technical or tactical.

        • DNG

          I think this is a bit overstated. I think she’s doing less cute stuff overall but the noticeable differences in her game are due to how she was used this year for the NT and Portland. The NT is very different post Abby era. Portland has changed styles quite a bit two and IF not sure she ever really fit into Riley’s teams. I think this has also been one of the longer injury free periods for her.

          • Steglitz49

            Provided Heath can shine in Carli’s absence, she is on easy street but, remember, playing Romania is a poisoned chalice because all you can do is harm your reputation.

          • ARED

            Don’t worry, Heath with be playing as a wingback in a 3-5-2 while Sullivan and Horan play advanced roles, and Press subs on for 25 minutes as a wide midfielder/winger. (And Long plays CB, of course).

            Then we’ll hear how Heath tried to hard to force things to happen, and Press would “like a few chances back”, after a 1-0 win on a set piece. ; )

          • ARED

            She was just as good before for both Portland and the USA, but more in flashes than long runs. With the USA, they didn’t use her. With Portland, injuries often derailed her as you say. But she did lead them (with a few others) to the title, and her semifinal was one of the more impressive performances in the history of the NWSL.

        • Calci0

          Do you think the same shift can occur for Tymrak? She really seemed like she was on the upward swing, and then kind of leveled out?

          • mockmook

            Tymrak kind of regressed this year (partly due to injury).

            But, she is now headed to the AUS W-League — so she does seem to have the desire to improve her game.

          • Steglitz49

            No.

          • ARED

            The biggest shift, just like for Heath, is to be valued and used by her national team manager. Tymrak likes to play fast, creative soccer, on the ground. Much like Heath.

            Hard to know how good Tymrak could be, or might have been, but I always believed she deserved to be in the regular cycle of the team leading into 2015 along with Long. The center of midfied and chance creation from midfield were a disaster, and Boxx, Chalupny, Lloyd, and Wambach all hurt more than helped. Hard to see why Long and Tymrak weren’t tried in combination with players like Heath, Press, Rapinoe, Brian.

            The team has looked to make giant leaps forward when the change their personnel to be those who play fast, aggressive, for the team, and creative -both on and off the ball. They look slower and confused when they don’t. This has been the case for years, but is either accelerated or just more visible now. I would use Tymrak before Horan at any midfield or CAM position, at least for a nice long look.

      • Steglitz49

        “She will always have Paris”, though it was quite a while ago that she rubbed shoulders with the great one and licked the windows in the Rue de Faubourg-St Honoré.

      • I think it’s the players around her, that finally play more to Tobin’s style. She can play her game more now rather than the Abby ball of old.

    • #1Fan

      I dont know what the comment Without hardly any training, refers to. Does she mean with no integration as in not playing with the others before. Because Camp is NOT training.

      • guest

        perhaps the “without hardly any training” just refers to the short only 1-2 days of camp with USWNT before these friendlies as opposed to having more time in the more extensive camps (Jan etc).

  • Guest

    The hatred some people have for Heath is fascinating to me. I’ve seen a couple people analyze the last game and already come to the conclusion that Sullivan is a better passer/play maker than Heath. I don’t think that’s a conclusion that can be made after one game (especially one that was arguably Heath’s worst game of the year).

    I get that everyone has their faves/least faces, but Heath seems to be the most polarizing with some people.

    • Steglitz49

      I don’t understand why. Tobin is from Noy Yoisey, garnted, but she is from Basking Ridge, which is truly the Garden State. By all accounts she is personable and honest.

      I can offer only this theory. Tobin is blamed by many for the WC-11 final ending in a draw. Then she compounded her alleged crime by having her penalty saved. Those people do not understand that the ROW wanted Japan to be World Champions.

      Worse, Tobin is together with Christen subjected to a character assassination that would make many a politician proud.

    • HOFCToDi

      Andi Sullivan is a MF (DMC).

      allwhitekit.com/?p=14973

      Sullivan – #6
      Heath – #7, #11

      • Steglitz49

        #6 — the shirt of Bobby Moore.
        7/11 is a convenience store often associated with gas filling stations.

    • Frozen Blue

      That’s not what I saw, I just think most people don’t think Heath played very well especially in the most recent game.

    • guest

      Flamboyant players are polarizing. There is a need by some to knock them down a peg as they are seen as arrogant no matter what their true personality. Making defenders look silly, whether by having them fall with their feet twisted under them (breaking ankles), or megging them does not in dear one to female companionship. Tobin’s abilities would be more appreciated if she were a man. She actually makes some people angry just watching her. She invokes the same ire as the little kid dribbling half the opposition when a parent of another kid on the team mutters “ball hog”. The USA needs more players who might do something unexpected on the field to break down bunkers and beat organized defenses.

      • Steglitz49

        At this point Tobin is best known outside WoSo diehard tifosi for her monster freekick in the very first NWSL Championship final, the one of which Aya Miyama and Roberto Carlos would have been proud.

        Why the USWNT does not let Tobin take more freekicks than she does is a bit strange and for which the Swedes will be eternally grateful.

      • ARED

        Ironically, from 2007-2015 the USA had a severe problem with the ball being hogged, and Heath -if on the field -was resigned to simply playing into that singular plan, to cross for Wambach, or on occasion see if Lloyd can score a speculative attempt (which, to be fair, she has done a lot).

        But even in 2008-2009 people were all over Heath, and especially any time she lost the ball. I guess it’s easier for some to notice someone try something creative, even if the situation calls for it, than to keep count of how many crosses miss Wambach, and how many of those that reach her she misses, and how many she hits on goal do not score. And for every goal Lloyd scores from outside the box, there are easily 10 which where nowhere close.

  • WosoFan11
    • Steglitz49

      Thank you. For the readers of the EQ who can’t access the link, here are the candiates in alphabetical order:

      GKs (3): Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)

      Defs(8): Abby Dahlkemper (Western New York Flash), Jaelene Hinkle (Western New York Flash), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (Portland Thorns FC), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars)

      MFs (8): Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Kristen Edmonds (Orlando Pride), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), Samantha Mewis (Western New York Flash), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign), Andi Sullivan (Stanford)

      Fwds (5): Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Kealia Ohai (Houston Dash), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Lynn Williams (Western New York Flash)

      • Ethan

        Dang, Edmonds. I wasn’t as praiseworthy of her overall play as others on this site have been. However, her finishing was very solid, and I am happy for her that she got called up. No call up for Colaprico; so I guess she didn’t impress Ellis too much.

        Jaelene Hinkle has been called up again. Interesting decision. It looked like she was going to be out of the picture. Like Colaprico, I guess Gilliland didn’t really impress in the October camp.

        Megan Rapinoe is back. I’m sure some people won’t be happy with that.

        Ohai! Glad that she’s coming in for the November camp as well.

        • Steglitz49

          My heart sank when I read this. Romania just failed to grab the last 16th slot for Euro-17. The drew 0-0 in Portugal but fell at home on the away goal rule after 1-1 aet. Amanda DaCosta played for Portugal and their goal was cored by an Andreia Alexandra Norton. Norton sounds British but many of the great port wine houses have English names like Sandeman and Cockburn.

          • Steglitz49

            Note added in proof: Ms Norton is 20 and plays her soccer for Barcelona Ladies.

        • DNG

          I’m still not reading into anything January camp and SBC will give us a better idea. The lack of new players(other than Edmonds I guess) is very frustrating though

          • guest

            i was hoping for at least a couple more new CBs to get a look. maybe ellis will just bring back rampone off the sofa.

          • guest

            like they say. if it’s not broken don’t fix it. ohhh wait. i think the rio olympics disaster diid happen even though ellis won’t address it.

          • Calci0

            The SBC Cup will give a good barometer of where roster selection is going. And will give new players a much better measuring stick to evaluate their performance.

        • mockmook

          Gilliland and Colaprico are going to AUS W-League — that might have something to do with it.

      • So basically back to the same old. Sonnett sure didn’t do herself any favors with that first game in SLC. I wonder if they continue to go with Long at CB, or if JJ slots back in? Maybe a combination of both.

        I’d say Ohai and Pinoe are probably competing for that right midfield spot right now.

        Also interesting that Ellis brought in all of Short, Kling, O’Hara and Krieger. That’s a lot of OB’s for a 3-5-2.

        • Paul Klee

          Scrimmages? Need backs and wingers for 3-5-2 with Kling Short Hinkle and O’Hara as at least scrimmage wingers along.

          • Oh yea, forgot Hinkle too.

          • Steglitz49

            I honestly do not understand the selection unless JE’s hands and feet are tied by that old CBA/MOU. To borrow the words of the Lord Protector: — “You have played too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go.”

          • Paul Klee

            This will send the legion of Hinkle haters into overdrive. I saw a picture of Hinkle and Ellis having a conversation after the NWSL championship game commented on by many with invective and venom.

            I love Jaelene’s game but am under no delusions she is here as anything but a practice player. But you never know.

          • Steglitz49

            This was JE’s chance to experiment. Romania is quite poor fare. Why didn’t JE? Does that miserable CBA/MOU hogtie her so badly?

          • Chak Khan

            Q: You mentioned limitations on players you can bring in. Is that something you’d like to see eased up on future contracts?
            JE: I don’t discuss any of that in terms of me getting involved in it. I’m told these are my parameters; this is what I operate in. Maximum flexibility obviously benefits any coach.

            Read more at http://www.fourfourtwo.com/us/news/jill-ellis-uswnt-interview-nwsl-new-players#v381DtixPoik27eJ.99

          • guest

            nice puppet answer by ellis. the last thing you want to do is get on the bad side of the uswnt gang of four.

          • Steglitz49

            After the Bomb in Brasilia, do the Gang of Four have any voice?

          • It makes no sense, she was just unallocated.. Why did they do that so quickly? Unless they are giving her allocation spot to a WNY teammate, like Lynn Williams.

          • Steglitz49

            One last farewell? Maybe an allocated player has a right to X number of camps?

          • Paul Klee

            Well she couldn’t have been just unallocated. She wouldn’t be allowed with the team for 3 months if her contract was terminated. If her contract was terminated right after the July camp prior to the South African friendly she could be brought back now as a floater but you’re right that is kind of strange.

          • No I just mean her USSF paid salary won’t be renewed for next season. She wasn’t on the allocation list that was released last week or the week before.

          • jdee26

            Not a popularity contest: more technical selection.

          • jdee26

            Correct!

        • jdee26

          Like Sonnet but she was mediocre in the game against 15th ranked Swiss team. Hope she gets another chance next year.Jill could try her as a wing back.

        • HOFCToDi

          Williams, Ohai, Short, Sullivan is not the same old. The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup does not commence next month.

          Furthermore, the first round of the NCAA Division I Women’s College Cup (11-13 Nov 2016) conflicts with the upcoming Senior USWNT schedule.

          • Steglitz49

            An excellent point, well made.

      • GT

        No Calaprico, no Groom and no Gilliland. I guess they didn’t impress in practice.

        • We didn’t even get any comments about their week from the coaching staff..

        • Steglitz49

          Groom has the cain mark on her. Like Kadeisha Buchanan for Canada, the refs have her in their cross wires.

          Colaprico has been injured in the past and is vertically challenged. Even among the Nadeshiko players in her position are expected to be at least 5’4″.

          Gillilland — I honestly don’t know. Bad khurma?

          • GT

            I think you mean “crosshairs”.

          • Steglitz49

            Verily. I stand corrected. But so many WoSo refs seem to have such poor eyesight these days that they may well need wires instead of hairs, if not iron bars even. The hair of the dog and all that.

          • Amy P.

            Colaprico and Gilliland are overseas competing in the W-League. Season starts Nov. 5th.

          • Steglitz49

            That is their funeral unless the already have a dispensation.

      • DNG

        If this is Ellis idea of experimentation and deepening the player pool, this team needs a new coach

        • Steglitz49

          Given that the WC roster is 20+3, JE should have either kept it to that or added several more. Nevertheless, your point is well taken. as i typed elsewhere, my heart sank at such a wasted opportunity.

        • jdee26

          Jill Ellis is best suited to handle this transition.Most fanatics are caught up in emotional preferences , devoid of empirical data.The 3-5-2 formation solidifies the mid field , ball possession and the attack. Like every system, it has drawbacks.Plugging in the right players will fix any leakages.

          • guest

            that is correct. let’s just call in all the same players that were responsible for the uswnt rio olympics disaster. they earned the reward.

          • Paul Klee

            Well obviously the entire Rio debacle can be laid at the feet of one Whitney Engen.

          • mockmook

            “The 3-5-2 formation solidifies the mid field , ball possession and the attack.”

            Then why wasn’t the “genius” JE using it before now?

          • jdee26

            No need to change formation with a veteran team when she became coach. The old players were suitable to the 4-4-2 as base formation.Three years is plenty of time to work out the wrinkles and defensive leakages before the next world cup.

          • Steglitz49

            The primary purpose of starting off a match in the 3-5-2 formation is that it naturally mutates to either 3-4-3 if the opposition is weaker than expected or to 4-4-2 if the opposition is stronger.

            In practice it means that at least 1 of your 5 midfield must be comfortable in falling back into a 4 player back line and 1 be able to be an attacker.

            3-5-2 was the preferred starting formation of Even Pellerud. Pellerud had an enormous impact on WoSo worldwide but he is not best known for the 3-5-2 but rather for his overall achievements.

          • Steglitz49

            He forgets that there are no goals in the midfield. The goals stand at either end of the field.

          • DNG

            What makes you say that JE is best suited to handle this transition? I certainly haven’t seen anything to suggest she’s a tactically adept coach.

            The 3-5-2 formation only solidifies the midfield because this team has been playing with a 2 player midfield forever. I Don’t think it’s inherently superior possession formation to the 4-3-3 or even a real 4-2-3-1. The formation doesn’t necessarily determine whether or not the team will play direct or indirect. The personnel has a much bigger role in determining the team’s style than the formation.

            This is were I doubt Ellis. I’m not convinced she is going to put together the best team and plug in the right players.

          • jdee26

            At least we have until the conclusion of the next World cup to judge her.She already won the last one. And she did not take any penalties in the loss to Sweden at the last Olympics.

          • #1Fan

            is this really J EE 26 ? How can you dismiss the Olympics so easily ?

          • Steglitz49

            I am not persuaded that he knows that much about soccer in the flesh. Seems more like from the sall screen and book knowledge.

          • Calci0

            Not slighting Ellis, but “best”?!? I think Sermanni was a good candidate to bring about change. And he took his setbacks in stride while looking at the end goal. But the Fed didn’t share his long term vision.

          • jdee26

            Sermani failed because he alienated his players. His brief tenure was nothing but disaster. His lack of communication skills would have led to early world cup exit had he stayed on.If anything, he was most thankful for his early exit before the 2015 world cup. Good soccer teams are not built on emotional invectives. Ellis has done a good job and she will continue as such.

          • #1Fan

            and as we have seen,Wambach Solo are great communicators. Those two could alienate the Pope himself.

          • jdee26

            Still fanatical perception;yet,results on the field during the 2015 world cup burlesques your misguided sarcasm.

          • #1Fan

            And you ability to predict the future. We have no idea how TS would have done. The fact is he was fired becasue te3h vets were threatened. Was Wambcah vindicated, given she played a minor role? or Boxx or the rest? Would the US have lost if those players had not been on the team? We dont know. But lets not go crazy over Ellis. She is no genius.

          • jdee26

            I can only relate to empirical data.

          • #1Fan

            so we agree. Ellis won and you have no idea if Sermanni would or would not

          • ARED

            How about the empirical data of the sudden improvement in the USWNT’s performance and results the moment Wambach was removed from the pitch? Even in the midsts of a WC, with no time for the other players to prepare, they were better.

          • ARED

            Right, he tried to do a quiet and calm succession of power, thinking it was his mandate, the right move, and would allow star players to phase out with dignity.

            Apparently he should have been loud and clear that he would never pick certain veterans to the team at all, because they felt the team couldn’t or shouldn’t change and become better for the 2015 and 2016 tournaments -especially if it came at their expense. Or so it seems…

          • mockmook

            Can I jump in here and “slight” JE? 😉

          • kernel_thai

            Yes because he was a complete outsider. Ellis is beholding to a lot of people.

          • Steglitz49

            What was the US’s possession of the ball when they Bombed in Brasilia? 80%?

          • sudeep das

            Problem is possession alone doesn’t guarantee wins. If you keep on playing square it doesn’t help. We have discussed this useless square passing from Kling to Broon to JJ to O’Hara and back. This often led to a desperate hopeful long ball from Kling that conceded possession to the opponent. What was inexplicable was most of the time neither of the DMs dropped back enough to receive the ball and distribute vertically. They kept on running in front of back 4 to create space to receive a forward pass and then return it back when pressurized – effectively no forward movement
            At least by playing 3-5-2 Jill Ellis is forcing the backs to pass it forward and play more vertical possession.

          • Steglitz49

            Indeed, square passing is a death trap and a cul-de-sac.

            But the US did not even make the most of its opportunities.

            I have typed this before but it bears repeating. The US was facing a Sweden who had played its worst soccer in a long time. Its defense leaked like a sieve. The had scored two measly goals of no particular quality. In short, this was going to be a walk in the park turkey shoot. To their surprise, the worm turned.

            The USWNT can’t cope with players who stand their ground, who do not say “after you ma’am” but instead give as good as they get.

            The USWNT essentially still consists of players who have come up the college way. Now they also have the NWSL. The players in foreign teams have come up the club route and many of those started to play for the senior side aged 17. Tough, 90 min soccer, and in cup ties overtime and psos may be needed.

            As more and more money goes into the ladies game in Europe, at least among the wealthy leagues and men’s clubs, WoSo will be more like BroSo. With its Champions League and the FA women’s cup and the Euros after the OGs, Europe is starting to get a strangle-hold on WoSo.

            WC-19 is in France, OG-20 in Japan and WC-23 almost certainly also in Japan.

          • mockmook

            One loss to SWE doesn’t mean Europe is gaining a strangle hold on woso.

            They are getting better, but so is the USA. The quality and depth of USA players in the NCAA pipeline is amazing.

          • Steglitz49

            I was thinking in terms of silverware and settings of competitions and the actual competitions as well.

            Although Italy, who once were in the forefront of WoSo, seems to be lagging behind, the WoSo club teams of France, Germany, England, Spain and NL are gaining momentum, while Sweden, Norway and Denmark are staying solid.

            The money in England, France, germany and Spain is starting to talk too. An Italian club has proposed that only teams with women’s teams should be eligible for the men’s Champions league. That would kick out Real Madrid and Man Utd.

      • guest

        ohhh great. call back all the uswnt veterans to play against around the 40th ranked team in the world. very productive use of uswnt resources. guess there will be no consequences for the uswnt starter at the rio olympics disaster. should be a nice tomato can game with only one shot by the opponent that will not be on goal.

    • WosoFan11

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but I did a side by side comparison of the September/November rosters and here is a breakdown of the changes:

      Going Out:
      • Jane Campbell
      • Arin Gilliland
      • Merritt Mathias
      • Emily Sonnett
      • Danielle Colaprico
      • Carli Lloyd (out for her wedding)
      • Shea Groom
      • Ashley Hatch

      Coming In:
      • Adrianna Franch
      • Jaelene Hinkle
      • Julie Johnston
      • Meghan Klingenberg
      • Ali Krieger
      • Kristen Edmonds
      • Megan Rapinoe
      • Alex Morgan

      • I am confused, didn’t Jill specifically say Campbell would be in November camp? Why did that change?

        • Steglitz49

          Maybe she is getting married too?

        • Paul Klee

          Not necessarily I took it to mean November or January, but if Sullivan is here potentially missing college cup matches I’m surprised Campbell isn’t here also.

          • Steglitz49

            I thought Campbell is needed by her college.

          • Also, not that it matters to me, but how is Franch getting called in when she is Portland’s backup GK? Why not give Betos a chance, if they need to fill at Portland quota.

          • Steglitz49

            The power of those 2958 burghers of Avaldsnes is shown in all its glory. Deference where deference is due. Obeisance.

            If that tiny hamlet in the Westland was not prepared to take in the lame and injured from the NWSL and make them whole again, where would the NWSL be?

          • guest

            i guess the uswnt and the usmnt don’t do equal work after all. you don’t have to start for your club team to play for your national team.

  • Confused

    How come other veterans didn’t get rest? Ellis said.

  • Bill

    Why do we need so many outside backs?

    • guest

      Who knows. Just like last camp she called in bunch. It’s fn Romania. We don’t need 8 defenders.

      • jdee26

        Please be reminded that 45th ranked Trinidad and Tobago gave the 2015 USWNT World cup winners all they could handle when they only managed a lone goal to qualify for the tournament in 2014. Romania is currently ranked 36th and can play the Swedish bunker. USWNT possessed the ball 64% to Sweden 36% and still lost in penalty shootout during the Olympics.

        • Steglitz49

          The Swedes did not bunker. The Swedes played a highly organized, tightly focused sustained defense coupled to a blistering counter-attack.

          It worked for Iceland’s men under Lagerbäck.

          • guest

            the uswnt did not lose to sweden at the rio olympics unless ellis says they did.

          • jdee26

            Go back and watch the game that was played mostly in their half of the field.

          • Steglitz49

            So what?

            Bunkering is bunkering and playing a highly organized defense that stays focussed and never loses its shape is a different thing. When you couple that organized defense to a competent counterattack, then you have a game plan.

            The US did not have a plan B but they did have Alexandra the Great.

        • sudeep das

          Let’s hope that Romania plays as well as the Swedes did (or as the Mexicans did earlier this year). Then we get to see what this new formation with new players can produce.

    • Steglitz49

      on the outside chance that the anointed backs blow it?

    • jdee26

      Jill looking for wing backs who can both defend and serve the ball to central positions in the opponent’s 18 for strikers to score. The 3-5-2 require cover speed and good tackling especially when the ball is lost to the opponent during a failed offensive attack. Dispossession in the mid field is the main threat to the 3-5-2 formation.

      • sudeep das

        What is getting overlooked is the need to convert chances at a higher rate. The idea of playing 3-5-2 is to outscore your opponent by a comfortable margin. The number of opportunities that has been squandered this year is alarming. The entire forward line has found it hard to keep even their 50% attempts on goal!!!

  • htm222

    Yikes Sonnett. Jill doesn’t seem to have much use for cb’s these days anyway/

    • DNG

      She needs time to develop. Decision making under pressure needs a lot of work. Still like her more than others though. I’d wait until January before being worried if I was any of the players left off.

      • guest

        she needed time to develop in the nwsl. another premature uswnt allocation at the request of the portland thorns.

    • Chak Khan

      I like Sonnett but I agree with DNG after watching her passing balls to the SUI players more than a couple of times. Broon had to clean those up. She must have done well in the camp because she was one of the starter players.

    • jdee26

      Not really: soccer is a game of angles and helps a lot if team mates are always moving to create passing angles. While Sonnett made a couple of obvious passes to her opponents inside her own 18, her team mates could have made it easier for her by moving without the ball.

  • guest

    no ohai praise from jill ellis? guess she needs to score a hattrick next time for that.

  • guest

    guess sonnett won’t get a chance to earn her 2016 uswnt allocation after all. maybe next year. at least horan has two more games left to earn hers.

  • jdee26

    Tobin Heath’s problem is her ‘Brazilian’ albatross: juggling acts that lead to nowhere.The objective of a wing player is to place the ball centrally for easier scoring opportunities. Soccer is a game of angles and dribbling through three defenders only to end up with a goal kick for the opposition is counter productive.Brazilian circus style yet to materialize in any championship.

    • Steglitz49

      In WoSo, and this is a WoSo site, Brazil’s failue to win the World Cup or Olympics (please note the order) has more to do with the failure of their Fedaration and clubs to support WoSo. Even so, they have done well over the years but one wonders what a Brazilian ladies team might have achieved with adequate support.

      If WoSo the first 10 years of this Millennium was dominated by Germany with a little help from Norway and Sweden, the next 5 were Japan’s. Time will tell the USWNT’s sustained role.

      • jdee26

        Brazil received heavy support from their federation prior to the Olympics. They were in camp for over three months and built up chemistry for the game. However, Swedish defensive game plan laid waste to Brazilian efforts.Like the USWNT, they lost in a penalty shootout, to a team they had soundly beaten in the group stage. Their loss was more due to mental breakdown than any schematic foibles.

        • Steglitz49

          Were you born in 2014?
          When did Marta get her 5 POTYs?
          Why unlike Japan does Brazil’s WNT not excite us?
          Sweden with its WC and Olympic silvers have as good a record as Brazil and Norway has a better one than both.

          • jdee26

            Only Gold medal or Fifa World cup matter.

          • sudeep das

            The beauty of the game is immaterial – eh!

          • Steglitz49

            Only the World Championship counts as the Veterans demonstrated beyond doubt if ever there was doubt.

            Norway have both, that is why I mentioned them. Germany does now as well and under the same coach.

            The reason the Bomb in Brasilia has had such an impact is that in 2003, 2007 and 2011 the American people was fed the false mantra that the Olympics were not just worth something but more than the WC. Then the year after winning the world cup, the USWNT do not just lose in the final on a golden goal (remember those?) as in Sydney but bomb out in the QF without even a medal.

            Btw, running around in your sports bra gives you an automatic yellow card these days thanks to a decree by no lesser man than Sepp Blatter.

          • Steglitz49

            Maybe the 2016 OG will be remembered as the last time an NT from a country with <10 million inhabitants reached the SF of a major intercontinental tournament.

            Let's hope not but the omen's are there with the money that the wealthy men's teams and leagues are pumping into the ladies game these days.

            Norway, 5 million, and Sweden, 9.5 million, are the only small nations to have left a footprint in WoSo, unless I am missing one. Norway's record is better, of course.