Press’ hat trick lifts USWNT to 8-1 win over Romania

The Equalizer Staff November 10, 2016 533

Christen Press scored a hat trick on Thursday against Romania. (Photo Copyright Erica McCaulley for The Equalizer)

Christen Press scored a hat trick on Thursday against Romania. (Photo Copyright Erica McCaulley for The Equalizer)

Christen Press scored a first-half hat trick as the United States women’s national team defeated Romania, 8-1 on Saturday at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, Calif.

Press opened the scoring in the 8th minute on a stunning strike and then scored twice in three minutes just before halftime to complete her haul. She was replaced by Alex Morgan at halftime.

Morgan scored twice in her 45 minutes of play, but was denied from the penalty spot by Romania goalkeeper Roxana Oprea in the 64th minute. Morgan Brian also scored on a diving header in the first half, and Tobin Heath netted a stunning tally two minutes after Press’ opener. Heath also created the eighth goal — officially recorded as an own goal via Heath’s shot — in second-half stoppage time.

The hat trick was the fourth of Press’ international career and brings her to 40 in 79 games, putting her average at just over a goal every other game.

Romania’s loan goal came in the 31st minute, when the U.S. back line was caught too high up the field and Laura Rus got in behind. U.S. goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris was caught in no-man’s land, some 40 yards from goal, and couldn’t stop Rus from scoring on an empty net.

Jessica McDonald made her international debut, entering the match in the second half in place of Western New York Flash teammate Lynn Williams.

U.S. coach Jill Ellis lined up in a 3-4-3 formation on Thursday, with Allie Long at center back again, an experiment Ellis began last month. Stanford University junior Andi Sullivan sat in front of the back three, with Brian in front of her an then…well, then, it at times looked like a five-woman back line. Heath and Kealia Ohai occupied the widest morsels of the flanks, but Crystal Dunn and Lynn Williams were also there as Press stayed central.

WATCH THE GOALS

  • Ando91881

    I looked up Romania on a world map and discovered that it is not as close to Slovenia as I previously thought it might be. Melania Trump is of course from Slovenia.

    I do not really have any comments regarding the match. Sorry.

    • mockmook

      Fun Facts:

      Transylvania is in Romania

      Pennsylvania is in Hillary’s Doghouse

      • sudeep das

        You guys are unbelievable – love this site.

      • Ando91881

        She won the popular vote 47.8% to his 47.5%. Her voter turnout nationwide was about the same as Obama’s was in 2012. The difference was a bunch of Cletus backwards rednecks in the swing states were activated this time and decided to show up and vote. These Cletus inbreds didn’t care all that much for Mitt Romney. I don’t know why they did not show up for one billionaire but decided to show up for another billionaire.

        • mockmook

          My, my, my. Aren’t we angry. And a bigot.

          BTW:

          2012 Barack Hussein Obama ~ 66 million votes
          2016 Hillary Rotten Clinton == ~ 60 million votes

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEpEiBf8vvo

          • Melania

            Pussy grabber in chief. A great role model for the kids.

          • Lorehead

            Both of you, stop it. You’re poisoning the well. Stop demonizing the other side, or we won’t have a country left.

            Ando, Mockmook is right and that isn’t true. And this is a free country, where people who disagree with us have the right to their own opinion. People in small towns like my mother came from are not monsters.

            Mockmook, I worry about you. You get your news from an echo chamber, and your hatred of Democrats has become irrational. If you just were to listen to the clip in context, including the question she was replying to, you would understand that you misunderstood it because of a bait-and-switch game with a pronoun. The “it” that she said doesn’t matter is not the death of four Americans. It is the fact that the terrorists who attacked the consulate in Benghazi were angry about a video that insulted Mohammed, as the terrorists who attacked the offices of Charlie Hebdo were angry about cartoons that insulted Mohammed. You’ve convinced themselves that they weren’t motivated by that and that it wouldn’t be terrorism if they were and that there was some kind of cover-up of something, but that conspiracy theory makes no sense when you think about it. Their motives were, just as she said, irrelevant to anything either of us cares about. And the President called it terrorism the next day.

          • Lorehead

            On second thought, it was probably counterproductive to go into the specifics of why that is an example of demonizing the Other Party. But America needs to stop doing it.

          • mockmook

            How do you always manage to convince yourself that you can read my mind?

            So you give yourself this superpower and then call me irrational — project much?

          • Lorehead

            Mockmook, we are both Americans. We revere the Constitution and root for the national team. I respect your opinions, your right to hold them, and the result of the elections. I hope you respect me as well. We both believe in the principle of loving our neighbor as ourself.

            This year has brought out the worst in so many of us. I tried to argue with strangers on the Internet and persuaded no one. I can only fight that by trying to bring out the best in myself. When you hate someone so much, you call her insults instead of saying her name and don’t care that you’re lying about what she said, that’s the worst in you and not the best. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama are your neighbors; Donald Trump and George W. Bush are mine. But, it is a free country and no one can make you change if you do not want to.

          • rkmid71

            Well said. “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? First take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

          • mockmook

            Except I didn’t say anything that Lorehead is accusing me of saying.

          • rkmid71

            Noted.

          • mockmook

            You absolute imbecile, I said NOTHING about what she said!!! Then you accuse me of HATE after lying about me saying things I didn’t say. You’re deplorable.

          • Lorehead

            Okay, I know things are a little tense right now, and I think we might both be reading things into what the other said that aren’t there, but we’ve heard from other people in the same party. So, how about I apologize and delete the posts you feel were calling you hateful, which you’re not and I didn’t intend to, so they don’t stay up and nobody will see them again. Then, since the guy isn’t even going to be in office or do anything for two months, everyone can just take a deep breath and calm down?

          • guest

            you are fooling yourself if you think that hate is going to go back into the pandora’s box so easily once it’s already released.

          • Lorehead

            That is not in my power. Whether I give in to it is.

        • guest

          Trump is a marketer. He knows how to appeal to the worst of society by being outright sexist, racist, etc. He can get people to pay attention, he can get them to talk. It will be his creationist flat earther VP who is running the show, which is even more frightening. I think Trump at least doesn’t believe some of the garbage he spews and is a bit more liberal than he comes off.

          • guest

            trump is a used car salesman. he just says whatever will help him to get the sale. i can only hope he doesn’t really believe half of what he said.

        • Steglitz49

          Abraham Lincoln was elected president in 1860 with <40% of the vote.

        • Observed

          Another Republican who managed to rig the election, like Bush in 2000. Trump was right about a rigged election.

          • guest

            but trump won. so i guess now the election wasn’t rigged. but we have not yet seen his birth certificate confirming he was born in the america.

      • BTW

        And a whore (Melania) is in the White House (in 2017).

        • guest

          Alright y’all. I am vehemently anti-Trump, but trashing Melania as a whore is uncalled for. Trump has done plenty of actual horrible things without needing to resort to that if you want to say something negative about him.

          • JL

            Can we please not discuss the election here? There are a billion other places on the web to do that. This is one of the few WoSo sites out there, so let’s just stick to talking about WoSo.

            But I do agree that using that term is awful, no matter how much you might dislike her or her husband.

          • Thank you. I come here to escape Politics, not see them argued about on a WoSo forum.

          • guest

            too late. megan rapinoe already brought politics to the us women’s soccer field. and the equalizer promoted it every chance they got.

          • Steglitz49

            Trump that if you can?

          • Steglitz49

            You sound a bit like “I have come to bury Caesar, not to praise him”. maybe you also “like to have men about me that are fat …”

          • Steglitz49

            What is there to discuss? The ladies Champions League? No info from the EQ crowd about the latest round.

          • Well, you’re posting on an article for a USWNT game that aired last night, so you could discuss that, for starters.

          • Steglitz49

            I already did.

        • Chak Khan

          Whatever name she’s called, she is now the FIRST LADY of the US of A. She has more power than the majority of the citizens of this country that including you and your family, friends and relatives. And, no, I did not vote them. Hell no.

        • Lorehead

          Uncalled-for.

        • Steglitz49

          Please withdraw your comment. It is poor taste.

          • Ur Brillant

            It took you 6 hours to figure that out?

          • Steglitz49

            Why is my hours more annoying to you than Lorehead’s hours?

            Also, where were you when needed?

    • football-women.com

      for those interested:
      (Wanting to see more than black and white)
      because both are the former “east” but huge huge hugely different.
      Very “east-west” only view to see them linked or neighboring.
      Slovenia was part of the former Yugoslavia.
      Yugoslavia was a very interesting country for the actual USA.
      Romania has totally different things to learn from.
      Slovenia is the part of Yugoslavia that hasnt seen too much of the war as its the most “western” part with borders and influence from Italy and Austria. For what reason still many are able to understand German.

    • Observed

      I thought Melania was from a high class escort agency in Manhattan.

    • Steglitz49

      If you get a Slovenian Euro coin into your hand, please look at it carefully because the man engraved on it made Slovenia possible. It was actually three or four men but he was the central figure.

      Sloveina became a nation because it had a language and it had a written language because for a period in the 16th century it was Protestant, not Catholic.

      Some men from Slovenia, who had studied in Germany, became Lutherans. One man translated the Bible into Slovenian. Another translated Luther’s catechism and wrote church services in Slovenian, while a third chap wrote hymns to be sung (mainly translations). To do all this they had to create a written language including an alphabet. Finally a fourth man put together a grammar and spell-check. The Bible was translated in 1563 while the Swedish one had appeared in 1541 and the Danish in 1550.

      As a result the Slovenes not only spoke but wrote in their own newly created written language. Poets wrote poetry, young people fell in love and journalists (such as there were) penned, all in Slovenian. Eventually, the Catholic church rolled back in and reasserted itself. The heretics were burnt. The new faith was extinguished. The mass was in Latin again. But. The language survived. And, the language begat the nation.

  • Ethan

    Some random thoughts:

    1) I thought Short looked out of her element from a physicality standpoint a number of times throughout the match, the complete opposite of how Johnston looked in the closing minutes of the match.
    2) Despite a nifty back heel to Horan and a few passes to maintain possession, Morgan didn’t connect as well as I expected in this match, and she missed her penalty. However, she was good in the air on a couple of occasions (i.e. one of her headers led to an opening for McDonald), and she worked out some good shots.
    3) She only played for 45 minutes, but nothing was really working for McDonald out there. Her touch let her down on an opening or two that she had, and she should have stayed onside on Heath’s set-up pass.
    4) I thought Ohai did pretty well on defense and in possession. She got end line on a couple of occasions and had one or two good cutbacks.
    5) I felt Heath over dribbled at times in the second half, but her dribbling was the best I’ve seen in a little bit. Great play on Press’ second goal.
    6) Great first half from Press. Solid positioning and good finishes, most notably her first. She was very much involved in the play as well.
    7) Great energetic play from Dunn throughout the match. Part of me feels like her touch on Press’ first goal was intentional, and her flank play led to three goals.

    • Kevin

      1) Short just isn’t looking like she’s good enough yet.

      3) McDonald looked like a fish out of water.

      5) I think most of her over-dribbling was justified. If no one’s open or there’s no passing lanes, there’s not much you can do other than go backwards. It’s going to happen against bunkers. She’s still one of the best we have at breaking a bunker though, so I’m fine with her over-dribbling on occasion.

      7) I can’t see Rapinoe ever getting back in the starting lineup with Heath and Dunn playing as well as they are and being much younger.

      ———————————————————————–

      8) Harris didn’t look good in the net again and I didn’t like her attitude either when she shoved the Romanian striker when they were both going for the ball. I thought it was a clean play. Naeher is better, but you can see why Hope got all the starts. Harris is a huge downgrade.

      9) Long didn’t have the best game in back (several bad passes and got burnt on the goal, but I think you gotta give her a pass as she’s still learning the position). I don’t think this 3-back formation will work against the better teams, but it makes sense against the tomato cans for sure.

      10) I’m extremely impressed with Andi Sullivan. She looks like a veteran. She looked like the best CDM on the team by far.

      11) Morgan Brian just doesn’t impress me playing further up-field. She isn’t a scoring threat at all. I know she had the point-blank header, but she doesn’t get that against a better team and her shot is below average. She’s just not a finisher.

      12) Lynn Williams didn’t score and I’m not sure if she was involved on any of the scoring plays, but I thought she looked solid. I think she’s earned and deserves more playing team.

      • guest

        Re 11) I think you watched too much of Lloyd at number 10.

        • Kevin

          Huh? Some context? This comment doesn’t make any sense to me.

          • Steglitz49

            Don’t expect sense form commentators on the EQ, please, because you are likely to be disappointed.

          • guest

            I’m saying Brian doesn’t need to be a finisher to be an effective number 10. Despite the fact she played there for the first time in ages, she scored a goal, assisted on another one and then helped scoring third but winning ball in midfield. If that’s not enough for you, I think you prefer Lloyd finishing and pretending to be numer 10.

          • guest

            *by winning

          • Kevin

            First, how does that equate to me watching too much of Lloyd?

            Second, did you see who they played against? You’re way too easily impressed and I’m not basing my opinion on just one game. Brian has played forward in this same role quite a bit recently and I’ve never been impressed.

          • Guest

            Ok. I’m done. Brian played forward? When? She was playing 6, then 8 lately. Haven’t played at 10 since last WWC qualifiers. And no I’m not easily impressed. I only said she was good this game.

            Too much Lloyd, because she’s a finisher like you want to have at 10 and I can’t believe I have to explain it.

          • Kevin

            Forward, as in further up the field, not F.

          • Kevin

            You don’t have to explain anything. I disagree with your assessment of how she’s played the lately playing further up the field.

            She’s played further up the field when Long and Sullivan started playing holding-mid, but apparently you haven’t watched them play much over the past 10 games.

          • Kevin

            I’ve said countless times that I don’t think Lloyd should be the 10. Try again.

      • Frozen Blue

        8. I honestly think that if Harris had stayed in the net for that play that Short, who was hustling back could have forced the Romanian forward outside which would have lead to an easy save. Had that header been on net, from that same forward, she was not getting to that ball. She also gave up that awful rebound against the Swiss, I have not been impressed.
        12. I also like Williams and especially like the combo of Press, Dunn and Williams…deadly.

        • Steglitz49

          She didn’t, so Casey had no chance to show her skills.

        • Kevin

          8) I agree. I also thought Short would have forced her wide. Who knows how it would have all played out, but Harris coming out was the wrong decision. I also thought her (Harris) passing decisions were awful.

          • Harris may have put the nail in her USWNT coffin last night. I’m ready for them to call up some younger players to train alongside Naeher.

          • Steglitz49

            Ashlyn has her WC winners medal to keep her warm at nights. That is more than most WoSo players have.

      • guest

        I just don’t buy the “she’s still learning the position” argument regarding Long, or any other player who’s been cherry picked to play defense. We don’t give new NT players multiple games to get adjusted to the speed of play and say “oh, she’s just learning.” Why not just pick someone who doesn’t have to have a many, many games adjustment to a position, because you know crazy thought they are naturally good at that position and earned their spot on the team by being good at that position?

        • #1Fan

          Bravo. Well we do to some, but not others.

          • DNG

            First, I’m not at all convinced of Long as a CB. I think the thought with Long is that there is a lack of good ball playing CBs in the pool right now. Sauerbrunn and Johnston, among others, specifically struggle to play incisive forward passes and often need midfielders to drop into the defensive line to pick up the ball. Long is fine while the US is in possession but far from a sure defender. I’d prefer to look for different CBs though instead of trying to fit Long into a 3 back.

        • atalba

          You go with your philosophy that everyone must be able to play with their feet. Everyone must have strong athletic ability. Both lead to speed of play and possession. That says Allie Long should be on the field; or be given a chance.

          Nobody, unless they’re from UNC, has a tremendous amount of experience playing in the center of a 3-back formation. Right now, in the senior pool, that is nobody.

          Long brings the toughness that it also takes to play without help. She’s not going to get forced off the ball going 1v1. She’s a tough New Yorker and she represents the US attitude on the field.

          She’s a solid pick for the position. She made one huge mistake – I put the goal on her, not Ash. I missed some of the first half, Warriors, so I don’t know how many other mistakes she made.

      • WosoFan11

        Regarding #8 – I’m with you. I wish I could say differently, but I don’t have much confidence in Harris as goalkeeper at this point.

      • I agree with a lot of this, even mostly on the Morgan Brian point. I just had to chuckle that she scored a goal last night and you said she isn’t a scoring threat. Not that I don’t agree, just a funny coincidence.

    • Frozen Blue

      1.Other than her passing I thought Short looked good, often muscling the player off the ball to take possession, even her passing improved in the second half. Johnston who has been with the national team longer is in danger of loosing her spot due to her continued poor passing.
      2. Horan still confuses me, she is suppose to be this great forward who played in Europe yet her shooting form is often off balance even when under no pressure and she misses or flubs opportunities that a forward of her “caliber” should not.
      3. Poor McDonald she looked so out of place, I am hoping it was just nerves as she played well enough to make the game day roster.

      • Ethan

        1) Maybe, but I also saw her easily muscled off the ball a number of times in the second half. I don’t remember having an issue with Johnston’s passing in this match.

        • skybolt

          That cross from the end line was woeful.

        • Frozen Blue

          Foudy even commented on the fact that Johnston didn’t get the memo on how passing accuracy was desired in her position, she had some bombs to no where at the start of the half, seemed to calm down a bit after she moved to the middle, she also seemed to be playing a lot deeper than Long was playing which gave her more time on the ball.

      • #1Fan

        to point 3 . as said many times, do you think there are players who dont make the GD roster who may excel on GD ? I must stress that I draw no conclusions form these games vs teams that a decent College could beat.

        • DNG

          I think there are players who excel more on game day but given Mcdonald’s NWSL play I’m incline to believe it was more nerves than anything else. That changes as players get more comfortable being on the team which is why Ellis needs to call new players up more often. Not all players can get comfortable as quickly as Sullivan seems to have. As an aside Mcdonald is probably not a realistic option at FWD three years from now anyway.

          • #1Fan

            but thats the point is it not.? You call in players you belleive CAN play at this level and then put them in positions to succeed. Or do you put them in to a camp based evaluation/position battle and then ONLY pick the ones who do well in practice. A still believe that if a player is picked, it should be because hey have already shown you something that you want to see more of on gameday. It it was nerves, then we learned something about her. Colaprico et al still have not been given that chance.

          • DNG

            I’m not defending the decisions of the coach. I still can’t understand the need for certain veterans to even be at the camp. Ellis seems to want to see who can fit with the veteran group more than she wants to actually evaluate. I don’t think there is any reason not to play all the new players called in. One match is too small a sample to draw any conclusions about whether a player has what it takes or not in my opinion but it is better than no minutes. I’m still miffed about Colaprico not seeing any minutes.

          • Steglitz49

            You “don’t see the need for Veterans”? Veterans is an American term. The Japanese call their glorious Nadeshiko the “Golden generation” and refer to 2011-15 as the Golden period.

          • mockmook

            There have to be many veterans because she is limited to 8 non-USWNT pros — I hope they throw out all that nonsense in the new CBA

          • DNG

            Ugh you’re right I forgot about that. I hope they remove all of that stuff too.

          • nwslfan

            well you are making a super reasonable statement on how to run a camp and play in friendlies here, but we have no consistent evidence from her actions and no remarks from Ellis that she runs her team by putting players in a position to succeed. way too much history of square pegs in round holes with Ellis and forcing players and formations. No sign that she picks a system and then puts players in that system to succeed. Its more like, I want that players X, Y, Z on the field, what do I need to compromise in terms of personnel or formation to make that happen.

          • atalba

            I agree. It was nerves or focus. She belongs to be given a shot. It’s not just because the NWSL. This is for players that have been in the system since they were 15, like Jess, and have done well at every step. It doesn’t mean the DESERVE a hot, unless the continue to do well, and improve. He light didn’t just on in the last 6 months, it got brighter. I hope she gets another shot. Her game is one the US should be playing to. She makes for a tough competitor with others. Sometimes you use players that way. If she can improve and beat out others with HER style of play, should could earn a spot in two years.

      • guest

        Yeah I felt bad for McDonald. It looked like she had really bad nerves, which is understandable. Flubbed a few easy passes/chances.

    • kernel_thai

      – I thought Short was pretty effective. Showed her speed in the back, got forward more, made crosses. She is still a work in progress but I think she is equating herself well
      – Ohai…Ive been watching her regularly since UNC and Im stunned how much she has improved her game over these two camps. U really have to wonder where she tops out if she stays in this environment.
      – At what point do we give the corner kick job for the next two cycles to Sullivan and be done with it?

      • #1Fan

        I dont think its 2 camps ..sorry , I just dont.

      • atalba

        I thought was very good and worked within the system. She, too, is learning the 3-back system. If you watch UNC outside backs over the years, their so comfortable chasing, after getting up the field. They know with their speed and intelligence the player is going to force the ball into them. It takes time, and it may not work if they’re not blazing fast.

        The back four are queens of pressure/cover and marking; any good one, good team. The back three are a different breed.

        • Steglitz49

          Casey is the real McCoy. A bit short on NT experience is our Casey but time will take care of that.

      • DNG

        Not sure I agree on Ohai. I don’t see the improvement from these two camps that you might see. What I saw in the middle of the NWSL season was a shift in attitude in how she approached her play(she became hungry for goals). I don’t think her skills as a player have actually changed all that much even over the course of this year. What you might be able to say is that she worked out how to get more out of them in the NWSL this year. I still need to see more next year in the NWSL though. I think she can be stopped with the right defensive plan to deal with her. In this match I thought there were times when she struggled to move the ball forward when she couldn’t run into space and that pretty much fits the narrative I’ve had on her for a while.

      • Ethan

        I didn’t have any problems with Short’s offense, and apart from Rus’ goal, her defense was fine in the first half. It’s just that the Romanian players were getting the better of her (or at least giving her quite a bit of trouble) physically.

        • Steglitz49

          Rus’s goal was not Casey’s fault. It was the fault of the demented keeper who went walkabouts.

      • nwslfan

        Y U P. Also, wasn’t it interesting to see the change in play when Sully came off the field? Mewis good and serviceable 6, but she should be the 8, but Sullivan is head and shoulders the best 6 we have seen in a long time. She turns with the ball so fluidly and with such confidence. She seems like she can blow up plays defensively too. Brian did a killer good job defensively WWC, but she should be higher up the field.

    • Steglitz49

      Casey looked more than OK but then I root of Avaldsnes and the Westland. Keep the lattes out!

    • DNG

      I disagree on Short. I think she’s rather good at leveraging her physicality to separate attackers from the ball, especially on the wing 1v1 against flanks. Johnston was committing fouls in my opinion at the end of the game when was pressuring and shoulder checking the Romania players off the ball.

      Disagree on Ohai in possession. She had a couple of nice turns but generally I think she struggled to go past and pass forward when there was a player in front of her and the spaces were tight.

      I can’t think of many times in the game where Heath over-dribbled first half or second half after viewing the match twice. The majority of the time she elected to release the ball quickly as oppose to carrying or taking on.

  • Guest
    • The Donald

      Typical US behavior. People only want to see US winning. If possible by a great margin. Then everybody is so proud about the brave US. They are not interested in even matches against strong opponents.
      .
      So it is eassier to attract people (young girls) to attend meaningless, one -sided USWNT games against helpless tomatoe can teams than attract people to visit a game of the USMNT with the risk associated that the team is not going to win.
      .

      • Kevin

        So why are USWNT attendances higher when they play against quality opponents?

        • The Donald

          Are they?

          • Kevin

            Yes, slightly higher… but by your flawed logic, they should be lower.

    • HOFCToDi

      Let’s compare the CONCACAF sanctioned events:

      2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying
      8,143
      15,032
      7,658
      5,561
      10,119
      Total = 46,513

      2016 Copa America Centenario
      67,439
      39,642
      51,041
      47,322
      70,838

      • guest

        thank you. very convenient of that poster to leave out the copa america numbers.

        • HOFCToDi

          I can’t imagine the disparity in ticket prices.

    • HOFCToDi

      youtube.com/watch?v=rZK_so3V8YI

      Sunil Gulati is still counting the money the USSF made during the 2016 Copa America Centenario.

      • Steglitz49

        … and probably also WC-14.

    • HOFCToDi

      youtube.com/watch?v=GAaBbFfv5HA

    • HOFCToDi

      Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Mexico
      Date: Oct. 10, 2015
      Competition: 2015 CONCACAF Cup
      Venue: Rose Bowl Stadium; Pasadena, Calif.
      Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. PT
      Attendance: 93,723

      ussoccer.com/stories/2015/10/10/23/33/151010-mnt-loses-concacaf-cup-to-mexico

    • Chak Khan

      and the women don’t deserver equal pay? Again, they are NOT demanding for the exact amount of pay as the MNT; they simply are wanting the pay owed to them based on the profit they themselves have been bringing in.

    • guest

      let’s see how those averages change when the usmnt plays mexico tonight. instead of just arbitrarily picking only certain games which support your opinion and excluding all the copa america game numbers.

      • Guest

        Games with Mexico are a “cash cow” but outliers for evaluating popularity based on attendance. Copa numbers can’t really be compared as there is has been no women’s full international tournament in the US for a while. 16,000 average attendance for the women is a good number for them considering these are not VT matches and the Olympic result.

  • guest

    So has Press finally earned the starting spot? It’s pretty clear she is the best forward option in the US pool.

    • Guest

      She’s definitely making a case for herself. If it were up to me she’d always be starting every game.

      I’d like to see her and Morgan play up top on Sunday.

    • Ray

      Based on what ? 1 additional goal versus….Romania ? I’m not saying Press isn’t a good player but how is everyone jumping to any conclusions from

      • guest

        Eh this is always the problem though right? If she hadn’t scored, people would be saying oh Press, horrible, can’t even score vs. a trash team. If she got one goal, people would be saying oh Press, can only score one goal. She scores a hat trick, including a gorgeous half volley from the top of the box, and everyone says oh she did it vs. a bad team and Morgan got two so does that even count.

        She’s an excellent forward – so is Morgan. Can we all just accept that? I prefer Press because she’s more technical overall – I think she’s a better passer and can keep possession in tight spaces better than Morgan, whose touch sometimes lets her down. Those galloping baby horse steps, you know.

  • Guest

    Not getting called into last camp and not even dressing for this game doesn’t look good for Rapinoe and Krieger. I’m guessing they both dress next game though.

    Realistically, does anyone see Pinoe becoming a major factor again? I just can’t see her starting over any of our wing options now.

    • Not sure on Rapinoe, part of me honestly thinks her political stance had a part of her not making the lineup last night, after everything that has gone on this week. Jill made it a point in the pregame interviews that this is not a political platform. Would she have knelt again? Who knows.

      Krieger, on the other hand, I won’t even be surprised if she’s not allocated next season. Maybe that is part of why Washington was willing to let her go for literally nothing, so they wouldn’t have to pay her a salary next year.

      • guest

        I wonder if Jill has given her ‘The Engen Call’ and she is just waiting until after these friendlies to say something. But why call her up then, and why not give her farewell minutes? Are they not announcing allocations until February?

        • It’s certainly possible, but I think it’s more likely that “The call” could come after this camp. She just came off of captaining her team in the NWSL final.

          And allocations probably will be determined after a new CBA is in place. Hard to tell what will happen before then.

          • kernel_thai

            Unless a CBA signing can be done around the first I doubt they wait on allocations. Teams need to know what their cap will look like as they build their rosters and sign draft picks.

          • Steglitz49

            Maybe they will simply stop allocating?

          • kernel_thai

            Then they need to know that as well. If ur signing players and u have four free allocated players on ur roster I dont see how u get anything done. If u have to give those four free player contracts out of the cap that could total $150K of ur $275K cap if they got the max.

          • Steglitz49

            Simply raise the cap by the amount of 4 allocated players. The teams that can raise the money get their players. Those that can’t don’t.

            This is the USA, home of capitalism.

          • kernel_thai

            That only works if each team has the same number of allocated players. If the CBA negotiations drag on they r likely going to have to live with the current system for 1 more year and then apply the changes in 2018

          • Steglitz49

            The CBA expires at midnight on New Year’s Eve. Then it is a free for all.

      • guest

        megan rapinoe just doesn’t get it that the uswnt is not her personal political platform.

  • #1Fan

    I hope one day there are more competitive nations playing WoSo. Judging players on how well they perform vs severely over matched teams is such a waste of time. Who enjoys watching these games ?

    • Steglitz49

      In 1999 the USWNT inflicted the worst defeat ever on Japan’s Nadeshiko: 9-0. In 2011 the Nadeshiko retruned the complement by becoming world champions.

      The US talked about the Veterans while Japan call theirs the Golden Generation.

      As I typed elsewhere, the USWNT does all WoSo a favor by helping weaker nations grow their ladies game. Granted, it will no doubt take Romania a bit longer than Japan to reach the top but never say never.

      • Hood

        Many teams lost with high margins in soccer history.

        The ONLY purpoase of those games is generating profits. If the US would be interesyted to grow the game they would travel to those countries in order to attract young girls there when they play there.

        Those who are only interested in $$ are laughing about the stupid Swede who tries to sells their profit generating approach to the community here

        What a fool

        • Steglitz49

          To play the US in the USA and in front of a sizeable crowd, is a dream come true for these players.

          It is traditional in soccer to give 1/3rd of the gate to the visiting team. If that applies here, Romanian WoSo will do more than OK out of this.

    • WosoFan11

      I do! (Enjoy watching them, that is)

      • atalba

        I do too! If you’re a fan of game and how it’s developed, you’ll watch and see what tends to work and who is stepping up. There are so many pieces and processes out there that can be evaluated, even by a fan.

        There’s no possible way anyone can say who should start at this point; that’s just stupid. Unless you’re talking about Andi Sullivan. I’ve been a huge CP fan since her college years, but you can’t say since she scored 3 goals over a tomato can, she should start in 2 years. That’s silly.

        Right now, it’s just who can adjust to the formations; who can step up and fit in with the speed of play; Once things are settled, in over a year from now, it’s who can perform consistently.

        Spreading the love of the game to other countries, and to young American girls is the HUGE benefit of woso.

        • #1Fan

          I am a huge fan of the game and I dont enjoy watching these games at all. Pointless in my opinion other than to raise $$. I dont think beating up on weak teams is stepping up. I think its often stepping down. I dont think anyone intelligent is saying that, they are saying that Press is more off an all around player in keeping with what the USSF say they want to build around. Speed of play is an expression I doint really get. I dont even know what is is supposed to mean. The game has many different tempos and not all of them are fast. Its about who can impose their own rhythms on the game and dictate that tempo. The WNT is a circus and the main attractions have to play to keep the lights on. I am not sure that the the US team is spreading the the love of the game to other countries at all. In fact lovers of the game probably dont enjoy the way they play much !

          • Chak Khan

            “The game has many different tempos and not all of them are fast.” This pretty much applies to all woso games whether it’s nt levels or colleges’ or clubs’.

          • atalba

            silly

          • Steglitz49

            They are not pointless to Romania and the other wekaer sides that try to grow their game.

            Remember 1999?

          • Hood

            They are. Romania will not learn anything from those circus games which are just supposed to generate profit. It will not help grwoing the game in Romania. Maybe just the opposite

          • rkmid71

            You don’t get speed of play? It’s The Holy Grail. I’m a Dan Blank fan. I got the following from his book:

            What is speed of play? As a player, it’s doing everything you do already and doing it faster. Fast is better than slow. If you can do the job in 1 touch, don’t take 2. If you can do it in 2, don’t take 3. It’s doing the most effective job possible in as few touches as possible.You have to be able to think faster, make decisions before the ball arrives, etc. It would requires sharper technical ability.

            Fastest is a moving ball, 2nd fastest is player running without the ball, 3rd player running with the ball, straight ahead at top speed, 4th fastest (or slowest) is a player dribbling the ball while making lateral movements and fakes..

            Playing faster reduces the ability of the opponent to get organized.Nothing is faster than a moving ball. There are exceptions, and times to hold the ball (but the exceptions can’t be the rule and default has to be fast). Every pass that someone makes doesn’t have to be the FINAL pass. As a player, YOU don’t have to win the game every time YOU touch the ball.

            This group of players was playing that way. And I very much enjoyed it. The 1st half group did it better than the 2nd half. But both were better than anything we’ve seen in a while. This will work against any team. A team of players that are physically fast or quick (acceleration), think fast (awareness), technically strong (ball skills) and WANT and CHOOSE to play fast will be very difficult for any team to stop, not least Romania.

          • Steglitz49

            “Dan Blank”? I know names like Pellerud, Sasaki, Sundhage, Neid, Lair, Sampson and furhter back Zagalo, Shankly, Liedholm, Svennis and El Tel.

          • rkmid71

            No one has a monopoly on knowledge. I think Pep Guardiola would understand.

          • Steglitz49

            Who is Dan Blank? It is the first time I hear this name. It is a blank page to me.

            Lars Lagerbäck I know of and I suspect he had an enormous influence on the SWNT after the debacle against Brazil.

          • rkmid71

            He was a college coach for about 20 yrs. Over that 20 yrs, he evidently absorbed a lot. And seems to have a gift for writing and cares about players.

          • Steglitz49

            and i thought that 3-4-3, 4-4-2 and 3-5-2 were codes for something.

          • rkmid71

            Ask mockmook.

          • #1Fan

            I get all that , but I dont see it as speed of play. I see it as efficient play. Minimizing touches is about a high technical level. Pirlo slows the game down becasue he is so technically competent and the game is played at HIS speed. Thats is why i dont like the term speed associated with it. it implies that fast play = good play … not necessarily. I think changing the tempo from slow to fast can be the most effective.

          • rkmid71

            Efficiency = doing your job faster AND better. Agree that there are exceptions and changing tempo, and at times holding the ball is the right choice. For example, I thought Heath actually did quite a good job with that choice most of the time vs. Romania.

          • #1Fan

            Job..yes.. but I think you see my point. Speed of play is a misleading term..it implies playing faster is always better. Thats why i prefer efficient play.

          • atalba

            Efficient is an element of speed of play. Playing direct is efficient. Efficient is less steps and energy to do the job. This, in no way describes speed of play, nor a better adjective than speed of play. Your point is not accurate.

          • #1Fan

            No point debating what words mean to different people. Lets agree to disagree.

          • Steglitz49

            The only thing that matters is winning. The other day, they asked Lars Lagerbäck about one of the teams in the men’s Champions League who had already gotten through to the knockout stage by winning each match 1-0.
            Lagerbäck noted that it was very efficient and that there was no need to score more goals than necessaty. Another Yogi Berra in the making, obviously.

          • rkmid71

            That might be Cruyff, yet again. He said “”To win you have to score one more goal than your opponent.”.

          • Bruce

            Got to admit that the obsession with brute speed of play drives me nuts, especially at the youth level. It’s more than painful to watch kids constantly badgered to release every ball immediately when waiting for a second would allow a dangerous opportunity to develop. Just another way we depreciate the value of development and prioritize approaches that only benefit stronger/faster athletes. It’s a wonder we develop any play-makers at all.

          • rkmid71

            You might be misunderstanding. What do you mean by brute speed? Speed is not just physical speed, it’s mental speed, reading the game, anticipation, and ball skills to minimize the touches required to control the ball, dribble without slowing down, etc “Be quick, but don’t hurry.” ~ John Wooden

          • atalba

            Exactly! Drawing players. Moving out of a space to create the same space. Going negative into space. Switching the attack.

            Watch Stanford. They move the ball left, then right, then back again; back and forth between Bauer and Cook. Then they attack! Same game, every year. And, if you’ve been to a game, you’ll hear Ratcliffe say the same thing every game, “keep it simple.”

            No need to force it, means don’t drive it down their throats. It means movement and quick decisions, with speed.

            Love that quote!

          • rkmid71

            You force the defense to continually make decisions, to communicate, to stay organized. The more quickly you move the ball with passes or dribbling and the longer you force them to defend, the more difficult it is, even for an organized defense. Really it’s the only way to breakdown a good defense that matches up physically. And when there’s an opening or the defense makes a mistake or miscommunication, you drive it down their throat as directly and with as few passes as possible and at speed.

          • Bruce

            That’s my entire point. The application of the concept is completely missed in the youth programs I see. Too many coaches telling too many players simply to get rid of the ball. Uptempo play for the sake of uptempo play. No real tactical work helping them quickly view the field and decide when NOT distributing the ball is the right decision.

          • atalba

            It’s really hard to train a bunch of north/south head-down dribblers to look up and pass before they lose the ball. Even the exceptional players want to keep going. Some should, some of the time.

          • Bruce

            Its only difficult if you’re focused on outcome, not development.

          • rkmid71

            I agree that you don’t want to discourage a good dribbler from dribbling or even others to dribble to help develop their dribbling skill. But from my point of view, by the time or age they are competing for WCs, you’re focused on outcome. If the good dribblers haven’t learned by then to keep their head up when dribbling they are not a very good player. Over dribbling results in slow speed of play and is relatively easy to defend with an organized defence. Head down dribblers result in the reduced movement of the other players. In basketball, coaches take the air out of the ball in practice.

          • rkmid71

            I think we agree. Youth programs need to provide the players the freedom to make decisions from the earliest ages, no coaches telling the players what to do, but providing guidance about alternatives and how deciding a different way might have been better in a given situation.Over time, the quality of decision making gets better and better to the point they are not consciously thinking about it. Of course, that needs to be combined with ball skills so they execute their decisions with a high success rate.

          • Steglitz49

            BroSo is not WoSo. Which WoSo player does that these days? Maybe Dahlkvist for Sweden or Seger? In Germany I suspect it was Behringer but she has retired from international play. Japan is too soon to tell. France don’t count.

          • Hood

            They will not get it. They will never get it.

          • nwslfan

            I am a huge Dan Blank fan and I think, if i may, that speed of play is getting the ball to move faster than the defense can react. As you point out, can be done many ways, deciding options your before the ball arrives, passing to the correct foot, quality first touch etc. Agree that changing tempo works, but for me, it all just means that the ball is moving faster than the defense can react, to create opportunities.

          • #1Fan

            great description. I would add that a player ON and off the ball can move faster than the defense can react as well. Speed of play is mental and physical. But the expression i think leads to a belief that is all speed of ball movement.

          • nwslfan

            one of the hardest things to learn is to move fast AFTER you pass the ball. Been enjoying your comments past few months

          • #1Fan

            Thank you. One of the few then 🙂

          • rkmid71

            “It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.”

          • Hood

            Absolutely. Nothing to add

          • Bruce

            Agree. One of the more insightful posts we’ll find here.

          • john

            Well you are not going to have a whole lot of games if you hold out for matches with only the top 4 sides. Not to mention the limited revenue to fund the program, specifically the salaries.

  • #1Fan

    on another note, when will US media learn to let the action on teh field determine certain things ? I read this today and just shook my head.

    The Group of Death is an overwrought phrase, but if you’re looking for the most difficult four-team pairing in the tournament, this is it right here. The U.S. is always one of the three or four best teams of the tournament, and that’s the case again this year. Full national team member Mallory Pugh is the best player in the tournament (maybe in the tournament’s 14-year history), and the U.S. is stocked up with club and college stars alike. If the U.S. is a favorite in Group C on paper, it’s a tenuous hold

    I guess we have not learned anything from the U17 debacle.

    • USWNT Hybris

      “maybe in the tournament’s 14-year history”
      Hybris, Hybris, Hybris

    • kernel_thai

      OK, u just hurt Marta’s and Sinclair’s feelings.

      • #1Fan

        I did not write that. I think its absurd and utterly ridiculous .

      • A_Dog_Without_A_Clutch

        Hana Sugita is just standing right next to her.

  • Frozen Blue

    So can I get an apology from the Press brigade who were accusing Dunn of being a selfish player specifically when it comes to Press in some effort to make her look bad by not passing to her and by stealing her goals. Dunn directly assisted one of her goals, indirectly assisted another and was robbed of a goal when Press stepped right in front of her to score her 3rd! Goal. Dunn additionaly had 2 more assists and a foul on her created Brian’s goal, so selfish of her.

    • guest

      Has anyone been saying that?

      • Frozen Blue

        Yes after the last game against the Swiss I had to defend Dunn from Press conspiracy theories and I have heard several times over the last 2 years about how selfish a player Dunn is.

        • DNG

          I’m pretty sure it was a guest that called Dunn selfish.

          • guest

            I’m a huge fan of Press but I don’t think Dunn is selfish at all. Only thing I can see that might contribute to that criticism is that she sometimes gets her head down when she’s dribbling in traffic, but half her contributions to the team have been awesome crosses so I have no idea how you could contend she’s selfish.

          • DNG

            There are a lot of guests I wasn’t necessarily referring to you.

          • Chak Khan

            Yeah, man, what’s up with all “guest” accounts? Only create misunderstanding.

          • Steglitz49

            Bottomfeeders of the world: unite! All you can lose is your right to be a guest.

          • Steglitz49

            It was some bottomfeeder hiding behind a figleaf of convenience.

    • atalba

      Dunn is a great 1v1 player. She can play defense or offense, not because her soccer IQ shines (no intent of slighting that). She has been improving on looking up since she’s been back on the team. Over 2016, she has improved with that tremendously, which has made her a better player. Her move to Europe will also contribute to pushing the ball to teammates and beating players off the ball.

      • Steglitz49

        Do we know which club in Europe ms Dunn is going to? There are at lest 200 of them if not more.

  • Reality

    “Press makes her case with hat trick as Ellis’ formation rotation continues”

    “The opponent was a speed bump with FIFA membership, but with her movement and clinical finishing, Christen Press still offered a reminder: In terms of technical quality, she remains the best forward in the U.S. pool.”

    “Does that mean she should start over Alex Morgan? Check out the incumbent’s scoring record and you have your counterpoint. But in a world where performance in the NWSL is becoming a greater factor (by Ellis’ decree), Press’ superior league results matter. Week-in, week-out, no matter the level, she’s delivering goals.”

    “Of course, Morgan had two goals during her half on Thursday, too, so it’s not like she didn’t give a good account of herself, and in her speed, tenacity and experience, she offers qualities Press can’t. Against opponents that lack the athletes to keep up, Morgan seems like the best choice, but that’s not all opponents. There are going to be matchups where Press’ technical quality, intuitive runs, and ability to help when checking back to midfield will be the best option.”

    “To this point, though, Morgan has been the default. Now, and not only at the forward position, Ellis is questioning all assumptions. If Press is outperforming Morgan (and if Ellis’ word holds true) she’ll win the starting job, but why does the U.S. need a single, steady starter? If a program is blessed with not only depth but variety, why not use it?”

    http://www.fourfourtwo.com/us/features/uswnt-8-romania-1-analysis-press-hat-trick-video-ellis-formation-rotation

    • DNG

      Stylistically Press is clearly the forward better suited to a more possession oriented team. We’ll see in the future just how much that matters though. Morgan scored two goals too but I didn’t think she combined as well with the forwards around her and clearly isn’t very comfortable dropping into space and turning with the ball. Her touch let her down a couple of times too. I want to see what Horan can do staying up top as a forward instead of always dropping into the midfield. Speed of play is still a bit of a struggle for her but I continue to like the decisions she make in terms of what pass to play.

      • #1Fan

        This illustrates the issu going fwd. if the USSF stay consistent with the message they are preaching, Press would play over Morgan almost all the time now. They represent 2 diff types of player and the USSF keep saying they want 360 degree players. Press is a the superior all around player. I feel that Press makes other players better.

        • DNG

          We are in agreement.

          • Jill

            Don’t agree. Morgan plays better when it matters the most, against better competition. That simple. Press always looks good against this type of weak team.

          • DNG

            How can you know for sure? Press has hardly had any chances to play in big matches. Press has played less than 70 minutes in the KO stages of the last two major tournaments. Explain Press’s success in the NWSL compared to Morgan’s if you think she can only beat up on weak teams.

          • #1Fan

            its a self fulfilling fallacy. Did Morgan also miss a pk vs Sweden under pressure?

          • Chak Khan

            Why, oh, why they keep calling her up for PK kick?!! Perhaps, practice with a weaker team?

          • Yea not sure why she took that. Let Long take it, she consistently does at club level, and makes them. And earned it last night. Or Horan has been good from the spot.

          • Ethan

            The reason why Morgan took the PK against Sky Blue was because Sinclair was out and Long had missed a number of times. That being said, I would have had Horan or Heath take it.

          • atalba

            For a coach, it’s not always the player. It’s the position as the “current” go-to scorer on the field, or the leader. If there’s a conflict, you wait for someone to raise their hand. I’m sure she wanted to take the kick. She better want to! And she was the obvious choice as the go-to forward; not because she’s Morgan the big star. JE could have already promised her a chance at the next PK. You never know.

            She hit it solid, with tremendous bend; just right at an easy place to stop. If you’re a receiver, catcher, or GK, a left hander’s/foot spin is not “natural” and can take away from your concentration.

          • Breakers fan

            It was only “at an easy place to stop” if you guess correctly. It was closer to the corner than 100s of successful PKs I’ve seen and she also hit it harder than many I’ve seen. The only remaining question is “did she clearly telegraph it, or did the goalie just blindly guess correctly?” Because the last 2 I’ve seen Alex take she’s gone to the other side.

          • nwslfan

            hi Breakers Fan. that PK was chest height, not in side netting. if no deception on the strike GK has a pretty solid chance to save if she guesses right. IMO, overall, not a great take.

          • Breakers fan

            Hi! Good point I didn’t note- , the chest high part and I agree with your wording “not great”. but still, she hit it hard (not scared as a good number are) and I think more than 50% (probably 70-75%) over if one took the right half. Just saying that the guessing right was huge there; but did Alex give it away in any way? We’d have to ask the keeper I guess.

          • nwslfan

            we saw Brian take a PK in OLY and she was cold blooded killer- low and in the side netting. work out your nerves with endless practice. several good pk takers on the field. but it was a meaningless friendly,,,

          • Breakers fan

            This would be interesting to see: a chart of precisely where Messi, Ronaldo and Suarez, (name whoever else), have hit each of their PKs in games. What part of the goal, how low, how high? The thinking is: Is it easy for even the best to put them into the side netting pretty much always?

          • nwslfan

            I think the top PK takers have sufficient control of the strike to place it in side netting pretty consistently.

          • Breakers fan

            I think you’re right. I wonder if part of the success rate, in addition to great placement, is the ability to fool the keeper with deceptive body language? That sometimes they get away with not-great-placement by virtue of good deception skills. I say that because my last memory with this is of Messi skying one over the goal in the Gold Cup final and I think I heard that Ronaldo is pretty bad with PKs. If true maybe Pks are just some freak weakness in his game.

          • Ethan

            That and reading the goalkeeper’s movement.

            P.S. This makes my reply before this one less pertinent.

          • football-women.com

            Interesting thought.
            Which triggers a follow up question.
            1. How many people here would think they themselves would be able to do this and how consistently?
            2. Or how many people around here strike it good enough to get the estimation right what percentage “pretty consistently” would mean?
            Anyone the guts to come up with some numbers?

          • nwslfan

            This speaks more to the distressing lack of stats kept in the women’s game. If you want/need empirical data, seek out top penalty take lists, all time or per league, for the men. It is a penalty take, so , imo, the same high standards for consistency apply.

          • mockmook

            I don’t have the “guts” to come up with a number 🙂

            But, my gut tells me that the USWNT players are not nearly good enough.

            You watch certain teams that are well coached, practiced, and mentally tough and each player just gets up there and buries it — they walk up there knowing they will bury it — they are only shocked when it doesn’t happen.

            They don’t even really celebrate when they make a shot, because they expect to, and they know it is expected of them.

          • rkmid71

            It’s a tradeoff between power and accuracy. The harder you hit it, the risk of inaccuracy increases. The best PK takers have the best balance of both. It’s also a mental challenge — knowing the GK is trying to distract your focus, study your preferences, read your hlps, cheat and come off their line to cut down angle or whatever. It’s like trying to make a 4′ putt to win the Masters. People expect you to make it, you make it almost 100% in practice.You have to stay in the present and go through your normal routine.

          • Ethan

            Messi might not exactly be the best choice. He’s historically not as good as you’d expect from PKs. Aguero’s missed a couple lately as well.

          • Breakers fan

            some people act like making PKs is really easy. If the goalie guesses right – don’t know the stats on this, but common sense says 50% of the time, it’s not that easy. If she guesses wrong it looks like a walk in the park – that’s of course the deceptive aspect of them. You can place it way worse than what Morgan did and hit it a lot more timidly and you look like a champ — when the keeper guesses wrong. The fact that these world class men are missing them fairly often speaks to the truth of the matter. People tend to remove the goalie from the equation, which is short-sighted. A good one can cover more ground with a dive and can read body language better than a poor one.

            Does anyone know the NWSL stats this year on PKs? Both % made and % made when the keeper guesses correctly and the ball is on frame (as opposed to being wide or over the bar)?

          • DNG

            Messi’s penalty recored is still at 77%. Which is noticeably better than 50%. My issue with Morgan’s penalties is the look of the penalties themselves, not whether or not they resulted in a goal. Morgan’s last three attempts were shots I would have expected the keeper to save had they gone the right way. If we compare the to Brian’s penalty(small sample I know), Lindahl actually guessed right on Brian’s penalty, but it was placed and struck in such a way that she couldn’t get to it anyway.

          • Breakers fan

            77% by the world’s best- (thanks for the research) – there I was responding to mockmook’s feeling that 90% of the time one should score.
            If Morgan’s sample size rises to at least 10 we can talk more authoritatively about her. Same goes for Brian, Horan, Press. No idea what will happen if they do but that would tell us more definitively about how good they are.

          • DNG

            The best PK takers on the Mens side are closer to 90%. Good ones between 80% and 85%. There probably won’t be enough chances to give Morgan and all the other players 10 attempts. She’s missed her last two for the NT and they haven’t looked good so I’d take her off them

          • Breakers fan

            I mean 10 anywhere – NWSL, NT. Do we know how Morgan did prior to the losing streak at which people like to begin the historical record? I just looked up Ronaldo – he was very good for Man U and Real Madrid – from 82-84% but for Portugal he’s missed 4 of 11 for about 63.6%. So even the best struggle. That’s really all I’m trying to get across here.

          • DNG

            I’d take Ronaldo of penalties personally if he hits a run of poor form and there are better options. Same for Aguero. Both of those players have history of being good takers. No one on the NT including Morgan really has a long history from the spot so I’d go with the hot foot, so to speak. I wouldn’t necessarily replace the designated taker after one miss but probably would after 2 in a row.

          • Breakers fan

            I agree, I too would take Ronaldo off from Portugal’s PKs if he gets cold, as he has, evidently, but I’m not sure if they have done that. You wonder — if they haven’t — that it’s because they feel it would indicate a sign of too much disrespect.

          • Ethan

            There’s a video tape of her scoring one for Cal, and then there was her penalty against Harris in the NWSL in 2013. That’s all I know. (She scored one in pre-season for Orlando, but that one wasn’t any better. The keeper should have saved it.) The biggest thing about the NWSL PK was how Morgan just stroked the ball in. I understand the point you’ve been making, but a lot of those penalty kick goals that end up not close to the corners are like that because the takers know the goalkeepers are going the wrong way. Take Marta’s PK against Solo in the 2011 quarterfinal match or Miyama’s PK in the 2011 final shootout. Those weren’t anywhere close to the corner, but they were good penalties because Marta and Miyama knew Solo was going the wrong way. Considering Morgan’s history before she switched it up on Thursday, I will say that she might not have known Harris had completely gone the wrong way on that PK. However, she didn’t lace that penalty; she just calmly passed it in. I feel like that’s often enough the sign of a player confident that he or she has fooled the goalkeeper. It’s not easy, but if Morgan had been more aware of where the Romanian goalkeeper was guessing before her kick (it was pretty obvious), she could have changed her approach at the last moment and stroked the ball in to the keeper’s right.

            Plus, there’s the whole “straight down the middle” approach. In that situation, players are banking on the goalkeeper guessing one way, and they just blast the ball down the middle. I don’t think Lampard did that as much as people think he did, but he did successfully pull off that kind of penalty a number of times, especially in his later years at Chelsea. (Side note: One of my favorite Lampard moments was him taking and scoring a penalty three times after his previous two scores were waved off.)

          • Steglitz49

            It is a little bit unfair to compare with Aya Miyama because she has been the world’s very best PK taker of all time. (I guess some nerd keeps a list of the few that have not go in.)

            As for clobbering the PKs into goal, a fine example is Saki Kumagai’s in the WC-11 final. The 20 year old vs the 30 year old. Sportsmanship did not work that time either, thank goodness.

            Linda Sembrant said of her PK that Hope saved, that she did not look up and check before she struck. Miyama sells a dummy, checks that it has been bought and calmly hits it low and safely into the back of the net, often, as you type, rolls it in.

          • rkmid71

            Morgan hit the PK to her right and waist high. She struck it hard. If had been a little higher or lower or a little closer to post, it would have worked even though GK was cheating that way. Most GKs tend (>50%) to dive to their left for a left footed kicker and vice versa for a right footed — because of the curvature of the ball and the fact they know that is the preference, Of course the best strategy few use is down the middle Most don’t do it because they don’t want to look foolish in the rare event the GK doesn’t move. GK doesn’t want to look foolish for just standing there.You look less foolish if the GK saves a hard shot. So unfortunately, scoring on a PK isn’t the only goal. Love those Freakonomics guys.Oth — Miyama takes game theory to whole new level.

          • Steglitz49

            I have never seen Aya Miyama miss a penalty. She has been sent off from time to time, so she is not a saint.

            Saki Kumagai, like Lisa Dahlkvist 5 years on, was not bothered by Hope’s antics.

          • Breakers fan

            Thanks for that – you point out something I failed to. That a Pk-taker shouldn’t, ideally, put her head down and keep it down on her approach to the ball. That keeping it up, or at least trying to maintain some awareness of the keeper and any give away of information about which side she’s going to go to, may tell her which side to kick it to. I think you’re right that a few days ago Alex just put her head down and blasted away, even though the keeper had gone a little early to her left.

            The ones close to the middle I mentioned — also good of you to say that sometimes the PK-taker does this because the keeper has given away which side she’s going to, — but in that example I was really trying to focus on ones where a player didn’t know where the keeper was going and just basically choked on the kick.

          • Ethan

            I understand what you’re saying. I’m just saying you might want to look at more historically successful penalty kick takers than Messi.

          • Steglitz49

            The obvious choice is the other one who starts with an M: Aya Miyama. (I think you use her as example elsewhere.)

            Maybe there is a list of conversion rate for female PK takers. It would be fun to see both expressed as % and in absolute numbers, maybe numbers per game and minute too.

          • Breakers fan

            Agreed. I can see now that others besides Messi and Ronaldo are better at taking PKs. But the fact that the world’s best forwards struggle to some extent to make them just shows that the endeavor isn’t a cakewalk — all I was trying to prove by using their examples.

          • Ethan

            Brian’s PK was very good, but it definitely wasn’t low.

          • atalba

            I agree. Some like to play cat and mouse with the GK. Their shot doesn’t matter where it goes, if they outsmart the keeper. If you have your head down and take a solidly placed shot, it must go upper/lower 90, or into the side netting. She took a good swat at it, and it didn’t go where it should. At the mercy of the GK 50/50 is not the ideal odds for a PK.

          • mockmook

            Not good enough.

            You need to hit it so that it goes in even if the keeper guesses correctly — and 100’s do that, too.

            Or, you use deception to “out-guess” the GK.

            Either way, you MUST make a penalty kick (something like 90% or greater of the time).

          • Breakers fan

            Really the only point I was trying to make was that I’ve seen many much worse penalty kicks taken than Morgan’s in that instance. For example, a bunch in the NWSL final.

          • DNG

            Some of the NWSL final takers look like they had never practiced them. I don’t think that applies to Morgan but I may be wrong. Morgan’s PK was poor and she should be measured against the takers on the NT. Brian’s penalty against Sweden for example was much better than Morgan’s. Horan’s was better too. Morgan struck the ball better than she did at the Olympics but the placement was worse on this PK. Almost a guaranteed save if the keeper guesses right. A coin flip chance on a spot kick is not good enough in my opinion.

          • Breakers fan

            I see we’ve located a perfect storm – something to criticize Morgan about but at the same time praise Brian and Horan for, and while we’re at it conveniently ignore the notion of “extremely small sample sizes” and Press’s NT history on the topic. Beautifull! (I hope you can have a sense of humor about this post)

          • DNG

            Just an observation but your right about it being a small sample size for all player. Morgan’s missed the last three I’ve seen her take though and none were PKs that I considered good takes. I wouldn’t keep giving her the PKs though let some others try.

          • Breakers fan

            Morgan’s 3 takes were not great but they were on frame and 2 were pretty darn close to the corner and the other one was more than 50% over on that half. Her problem, one could rationally say “bad luck”, assuming she doesn’t telegraph her shots more than anyone else (we don’t know about this), was, IMO, the bad luck of the keeper guessing correctly and then also on the first 2 not hitting them quite hard enough due to the keeper guessing right, and a few days ago either not rolling it along the ground or hitting it higher than the keeper’s dive. What she did that was better than many PKs taken by others was she did put them near the corner , did hit the last one hard and pretty close to the corner. The worst pks (see NWSL final as you know) are closer to the middle and struck softer; and the very worst of course are those not on frame.

          • DNG

            Most of the PKs in the NWSL final were very bad, I assume because little time is devoted to practicing them. I’m not really comparing her to them though. In order for her to take them for the NT I think she needs to be clearly better than the other NT players. From what little evidence I have(small sample I know), I don’t find this to be the case.

          • Breakers fan

            I agree – in no way am I or have I ever advocated for her to be the PK taker on the NT. I’m just saying although she’s missed her kicks (outside of the unknown variable of “did she telegraph them?) they, imo, were better – closer to the corner (2) hit harder (1) on frame (3) – than a bunch of other kicks which didn’t receive nearly the amount of attention that hers have — because she’s a lightning rod ….because Christen Press is in the picture, through no fault of either of theirs.

          • DNG

            I would not make any decision on who should start based on ability from the spot. I would just give the duties to a different player than Morgan when Lloyd is out. At the very least I would rotate the takers to get an idea about each one. I think Nadim converted all of her penalties in the NWSL this year and she had 4 or 5 I think to answer another one of your questions.

          • DNG

            The Irony isn’t lost on me:)(I think).

          • Breakers fan

            I’m fine with seeing if those who hit great ones – Brian, Horan can continue to strike perfect PKs. Press is out too on this for the NT, right? What I said about Morgan’s latest strike was true. I did not call it a great PK. And I asked if she telegraphed it in any way (that is on the side of criticism, you will note) I’d call her PK take a bit above average in the realm of ALL PKs TAKEN by pro women in the last 10 years. It’d actually be interesting to see a graph/chart of this information. And of course no Morgan critic is going to acknowledge that there are 2 people involved in this equation. I’ll have to check but my guess is that zero people here have commended the keeper – that all have only criticized Morgan. The predictable reaction.

          • Breakers fan

            By “a lot closer to the middle” in my other reply I meant “when trying to put it in the corner” and not the times when the shooter is guessing the keeper will dive to one side so attempts to put it right down the middle. You can tell the difference when watching.

          • DNG

            The very best men’s players make them a little over 90% of the time. I don’t expect every player to be able to match that efficiency. Splitting hairs probably but I’d think that 80%-85% seems a bit more reasonable to me.

          • rkmid71

            If I was a captain of the team, I would be giving the main goal scoring forwards the PKs. I would tell them at practice that’s what’s going to happen — that would be Press, Morgan, Dunn, Williams or whoever else is up there. Rotate it so they’re all getting experience. You want and need them to be seeing the ball going into the back of the net. And I would tell them to practice — into the night their approach and strategy.

          • DNG

            I’d give the penalties to the best takers no matter what position they play but I don’t mind a rotation. It’s hard to have faith in Morgan’s ability to convert when I’ve seen her last three PKs stopped. Morgan may never be a great penalty taker no matter how much she practices and in that case it makes no sense to ask her or allow her to keep taking them. The only exception is if the other options are actually worse which I don’t know. Both Brian and Horan’s penalties were far better than the ones I’ve seen Morgan take recently. Press took a good one for the CRS in the NWSL following the Olympic loss.

          • rkmid71

            There isn’t important game for awhile. My thought is the players whose job is to score goals feel better when they score goals. As you get closer to WC19, you can focus in on a designated PK taker.

          • Steglitz49

            Sweden reached the final, a bit like the US in 2011.

        • Completely agree. Morgan takes it all on herself, and does produce, but Press helps push the team forward.

          • #1Fan

            by product of a pure stat based culture that measure a players contribution forma box score. Dont get me wrong, Morgan is very good at what she does, Im just not convinced that is the way fwd.

          • Steglitz49

            If Alex hung up her boots today she would be both missed and remembered. Not yet true fro Ms Press. Time will tell if it ever will be.

          • #1Fan

            so would Wambach. And HAO. how is that relevant ?

          • anon

            haven’t you learned that he speaks in irrelevancies and non-sequiturs?

          • Steglitz49

            S49 types the truth. That those who have eyes not only read but digest.

          • Steglitz49

            Romania is all very dandy but they did not make Euro-17. Image matters and the image of Christen is wilting under pressure and disappearing in big games.

          • #1Fan

            as stated above ..big game..huge first penalty vs Sweden..did Morgan score ? Did Morgan score in the WWC Final ?

          • Steglitz49

            The goalie guessed right.

            We were back in Frankfurt 5 years earlier — déjà vu all over again, as the catcher said.

          • We agree. I am a Morgan fan as well, and think at times, her play is warranted over Press, but it can’t still be a “Chosen One” situation going forward.

          • kernel_thai

            I still think Press’ best position is sitting behind Morgan as an attacking mid/withdraw forward. For me I was less impressed with the Press goals than what she was doing when she wasnt scoring.

          • Your wording is confusing me. You were impressed by her play other than scoring or you weren’t?

          • kernel_thai

            The three goals she got werent impressive because they werent created. The first she was standing alone in the box (how does that happen?) and Dunn made a super play to get her the ball. Second was a ball that roled out to her. The third was a nice cut back but Dunn and Ohai were also there. In the pantheon of Press goals none rate very high. On the other hand she made some wonderful passes including one assist and she worked really hard to keep the attack going forward. If she hadnt scored at all I would have credited her with a good game.

          • Frozen Blue

            That might be the first fair and honest thing I have seen rgarding Press’s play in this game.

          • kernel_thai

            For me her best moment and there were lots of moments was setting up the Heath goal. Press made a weaving run with the ball up the center then tried to play Brian in but Heath had the better angle and took the shot. It looked like she was running a drill thru cones.

          • Steglitz49

            It is against the highly organized defenses of Germany, Sweden and maybe Norway that that is of the highest. Maybe also England these days.

            WoSo has become more level but the two standout constants have been the US and Germany. After then it is Japan. The others come and go.The last time a major intercontinental final was played between two European teams was probably in 2003.

          • DNG

            I think the weaving run play was the one that ended with a pass through the seam to Lynn Williams. The Heath goal was the one she had to hold up her run before receiving the ball and then push it wide to heath due difficulty controlling the first touch.

          • kernel_thai

            Ur right…the Heath goal was started by Sullivan finding Press.

          • Breakers fan

            Just curious k_t: do you watch games more than once? I ask because your recall of specifics is often very good.

          • kernel_thai

            Ive watched this one three times so far. I find I dont get much out of the live viewing soccer wise. When I already know what’s about to happen Im more attentive on how it happened.

          • Steglitz49

            Once is enough for the game. The highlights maybe twice.

          • Breakers fan

            Excellent. I agree with your feeling that seeing it more than once can, will provide more information.

          • I will give you the second two goals, totally agree they were easy goals. The first one though, a half volley, in stride, into the top shelf so the GK couldn’t reach it? That was a great goal by anyone’s standard. And good on her for being in the right position for it.

            But yes, even if she would have had no goals, I would agree that she had a good game.

          • Breakers fan

            Good point – that first goal wasn’t easy. She made it look easy, but it wasn’t – putting the shot right there.

          • Ethan

            Agreed, but I don’t think Heath was the target on that assist. So the pass might have been slightly off to me.

          • #1Fan

            i agree with part 2. on part one. I dont think Morgan looks to combine. I think she detaches and looks for the ball over the top. I am not sure that the teams would play thru Press as a 10. better that she drops in as a F9 and creates from there for wide players.

          • kernel_thai

            I think Morgan is a much more giving player when the match is in hand than if it is tied or they r behind. In the later situations I agree she tries to take too much on herself and force shots. In matches liike Romania she is quite content to be the distributor. She tried to find McDonald on several occasions.

          • Ethan

            So, that nifty back heel to Horan was not an attempt at combination play? Or have you already forgotten the second Japan match where Morgan looked to combine throughout the match?

          • #1Fan

            i can pick examples of pretty much every top player doing things that is NOT their first inclination or strength. Morgan is /has been a great player whatever side yo are on .The point remains that it is not her strength.

          • Ethan

            Right, but I’ve picked out a whole lot of examples of Morgan combining off the top of my head throughout my time on this site. Plus, you didn’t say combining was not her strength; you said she doesn’t look to combine. I don’t think that’s true.

          • #1Fan

            She does not look to combine. She looks to get in behind as directly as she can. Her runs are almost all of a certain type.Not much variation. For every example you pick, I can find one where she has her head down driving into a blind alley ignoring teammates far better positioned. The sheer number of bad angles shots she takes is amazing for a player of her quality. WoSo is a popularity contest. If you objectively critique a player, people take it personally. She is a good player, but not one I would be building around going forward. Its fine, we are allowed to disagree. I think the powers that be agree with you anyway so no need to worry.

          • Ethan

            If she didn’t look to combine, I wouldn’t be able to state so many examples. Morgan is occasionally selfish with her choices; that’s the case with so many players, if not every other player. That’s not the same thing as “does not look to combine”, which is not an objective criticism without at least some sort of qualifier. Agree to disagree.

          • DNG

            I don’t think Morgan is selfish I think she’s tunnel visioned. She usually passes when she picks up her head to look for a final ball. I don’t agree with your definition of many examples. Like Calcio with Leroux I don’t feel as if your examples of Morgan’s combination play is very representative of her overall play style and tendencies. I’d compare it to a highlight reel. I think the qualifier is “in comparison to her teammates”. I think she’s a below average combination player on her own team. I think Dunn is too by the way among a few others. If we go a step further and compare her and some other USWNT players to players on Japan, Germany or France I think this is even more noticeable.

            As an aside. I don’t necessarily think that Morgan would suddenly be a better or more effective player if she suddenly started looking to combine more. I don’t think it’s a strength of hers and she never really looks natural doing it like Brian, Sullivan, Long, Heath, Horan, Press or Rapinoe(with Seattle) do.

            I agree with #1Fan’s opinion that Morgan is often looking for the most direct route to goal. That’s just how she plays in my opinion. I’ll add that I think her link up play is solid most of the time even though it wasn’t great two nights ago.

          • Ethan

            Alright. I don’t quite understand and agree with your point about not looking natural at combining though. Morgan didn’t look at all uneasy making a one touch flick on to Pugh against England, attempting a one touch flick to Press against Japan, and making that back heel to Horan against Romania. And yes, I do believe those plays along with passes like the ones she made down the flank for Press against Germany and Japan are representative (or at least more representative than you think) of Morgan’s play because she’s routinely made those types of passes throughout her professional career. I agree that Morgan is a direct player, but that doesn’t rule her out from making quick combination passes fairly frequently. Agree to disagree.

          • Steglitz49

            Hear hear!

            Alex Morgan is a more complete player than she is given credit for. This is probably because she scores so many clutch goals. Thus, you forget her other plays.

          • DNG

            What I mean is that combination play is not usually Morgan’s first option after receiving the ball. I know she’s a midfielder and the situations are different but a player like Brian is looking for to use combinations to create chances, solve pressure and advance the ball. I just don’t always see Morgan using or even looking for combinations in the same ways anywhere near as frequently. She is more often than not trying to beat her defenders 1v1 as oppose to using simple give and go combinations or passing triangles(among others) to manipulate the spaces in the defense.

            For the one or two good combination that we saw from Morgan in this match, Press completed at least 3 or 4. I see this as a pattern in their games and it has a lot to do with how they each approach the game. Morgan is usually looking to play on the shoulder as the first option and drop to link up when she has to while Press likes to sit in soft pockets of space in the defense and beat them long when an opportunity arises. Dunn I think is the same as Morgan which is why I don’t really see her as a CAM or forward but a WB/OB.

            Is Morgan capable of making good combinations with teammates? On occasion, sure. I just don’t think it’s particularly consistent or a staple of her play style.

          • Steglitz49

            The harsh reality is that of the names that you list — Brian, Sullivan, Long, Heath, Horan, Press or Rapinoe — a wise coach would still pick Alex Morgan if s/he could only could pick one for all single player, not adjusting for the opposition, time of the month if not day, etc.

          • mockmook

            Someone has to eventually take the shot, and finish it — Morgan was (and perhaps still is) the best someone.

        • Guest

          I think Morgan has more of a stoic and reserved kind of personality, at least on the field. Press interacts with her teammates more and smiles more on the field. I can’t tell if Morgan is stressed/unhappy or if it’s just her personality. She doesn’t seem as joyful these days. I’m sure all of these players are under a ton of pressure to perform in upcoming months.

      • Frozen Blue

        Horan had chances in the box yesterday and didn’t do anything with them, she is not going to be moved to forward until she is a proven goal scorer.

        • DNG

          It’s a one game sample size but I do agree that she should have done better on that one clear chance she tried to chip the keeper. I don’t think she really had any others I would call clear chances though.

        • Again, don’t really see what Horan offers this team that others don’t. What am I missing?

          • Frozen Blue

            I don’t get it either, a college junior is a better midfielder than her and all our forwards are better finishers.

          • mockmook

            I’d say she can hold and pass the ball in traffic better than the current forwards. But, I’m not sure if that trumps their superior finishing and athleticism.

      • Ray

        Not Morgan’s fault that McDonald could not convert any of her chances yesterday.

        • DNG

          Morgan’s ability to combine with teammates is not dependent on Mcdonald finishing better.

          • Ray

            I think you would have looked more favorably on Morgan’s ability to combine with teammates if McDonald had finished the chance that Morgan laid at her feet. Just as Heath finished the goal that Press did the same for. But also maybe you wouldn’t, because you seem to think Press is clearly the best forward. To me, it’s not clear at all.

          • Steglitz49

            Verily.

          • #1Fan

            its not a one game observation .

          • Steglitz49

            If you could only chose one of the two, whom do you think the American people expect you to pick, exit polls notwithstanding?

          • #1Fan

            has nothing to do with the American people/ That is simply a name recognition question. If you asked me ho I would pick if I could only pick one for the games vs all types of opposition there is no contest to me – Press every day. Show me the other player on the roster who can do what she does?

          • Steglitz49

            I did not ask you if you could pick one for depending on the game but the fact is that against the tough opposition you would play Alex and against the weak sides you would rest Alex and play Press in her place.

          • #1Fan

            i answered your question . I would pick Press vs ALL types of opposition.

          • Steglitz49

            That is your funeral. RIP.

          • #1Fan

            Not really. it is my opinion based on what I have seen recently on the field. You are entitled to yours. None of this takes away from what Morgan has achieved. Time moves on and so do play styles.

          • Steglitz49

            The Bomb in Brasilia and the Debacle in Jordan, failing to cross the Styx or Rubicon or whatever, tells its own story loud and clear.

          • mockmook

            There’s also no one on the USA who can do what Alex does (when she is in form).

            But, I’m beginning to wonder if she will ever again be “in form” going forward like she was in the past.

          • DNG

            Morgan’s ability to combine with teammates over the course of a match does not come down to a missed Mcdonald goal that Morgan helped create. Similarly Press’s ability to combine with teammates is not solely defined by Heath’s finish. These are not observations from just one match either. Both are effective players in offenses that suit their skill sets. The first thing I did was qualify by saying “assuming the style of the team matters”. Morgan by comparison is the better counter attacking forward/lone striker. I think Press is the better player surrounded by teammates she can play off of.

          • Steglitz49

            What is that supposed to mean when you face teams like Germany and Sweden, who stand their own ground, do not meekly say “after you ma’am” and instead reply with solid coin?

      • atalba

        They are different players for sure. While I’m a huge CP fan, Morgan has her skills inside the box and at the byline that show well. When you’re playing with 2 up top, and expect your mids to be in play inside the box, you need to know and play your options. Turning defenders is a huge advantage when you have so many rushing in. Morgan does this well when she takes the ball to the end line. It’s a blessing to have so many weapons, as long as they all play to the team philosophy. Either one or both can fit. Consistency is key.

        • kernel_thai

          Yes and the key is integrating ur weapons to get maximum yield not choosing which weapon to use.

          • Steglitz49

            Good grief. Were you a scriptwriter for Mrs Bill?

          • atalba

            Agreed!

    • guest

      Not sure how Press doesn’t offer speed/tenacity/experience. She looks faster than Morgan to me these days.

      • #1Fan

        she is clearly not as tough. less likely to win that contested header. that I grant you.,

        • DNG

          Yeah that’s why I think Ellis should always play her with a more physical striker she can play off of. Press can do all the other things but tends to shy away from the physical play.

          • rkmid71

            What is toughness? A good description I’ve read is that it’s ultimately a player’s ability to exist outside of their comfort zone. Three qualities in the definition would be work-rate, courage (willingness to risk their bodies) and pain tolerance.

          • DNG

            Toughness might not be the most appropriate word. What I really mean is that Press is not someone who thrives with and initiates physical play and those are the types of players that usually thrive as lone forwards. She’s more of a finesse forward.

          • atalba

            Savannah Jordan

          • DNG

            I like Jordan. I am eager to see what she does next year.

        • She’s not but you can see she is improving. Her game is becoming more rounded, and she now seems committed to working hard away from the ball. Her passing is also great for a forward. So her aerial game is her downfall, I am willing to live with that.

          • Steglitz49

            She is 27, the same age as Lauren Holiday when she called it a day and a bit older than Marta was when she got her 5th and so far last POTY.

          • guest

            And down the page, you just said Marta is still a force despite her age (older than Press will be in 2019). At least be consistent with your trolling.

          • Steglitz49

            “Improving”. My comment responded to whitid’s assertion that Ms Press “is not but you can see she is improving”.

            Of course, all players, even Miyama, Seger and DZ (or Messi, Zlatan and CR7) can improve but they also arrived a long time ago.

  • anon

    I haven’t seen anything from Williams YET that makes me think she is a guaranteed thing going forward. Press’ work ethic in terms of obsessively taking shots and training on her own really shows and I don’t see that quality finishing in anyone else to be honest, although Dunn and Morgan are both very good and offer different things. Looking forward to the SBC cup. These games remind me of “stars on ice” from back in the 1990s or something… just a free for all for fangirls to see their favorites score a million goals against a poor side, with no competition. Boring soccer that’s for sure.

    • #1Fan

      Agree

    • atalba

      This is what people say about a chess match; chess tournament. This is why boys don’t play much baseball anymore. This is why foreigners think football is a stupid sport. If you’re not looking for the strategy; the movements off the ball; the connected movements that critically need to be in sync; the changes that are made to reset obvious patterns; then it’s boring.

      • Steglitz49

        You’ve lost me. Also, in relation to soccer, football is an ambiguous term except outside the US where it means soccer.

  • FRANK

    Heres the thing. Press scores a hattrick vs a bad team, you’re all ready to throw Morgan out. However against top teams, Press has never really performed well. Against Sweden in the Olympics, At the Algarve in 2014 (or 15 can’t remember), against Germany in the Shebelives cup. Alex scores against big teams in crunch time. I’d rather have her up top than anyone else.

    • guest

      Press can’t win with a certain subset of people. Perhaps you are forgetting the time she sliced and diced the French defense: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrPOio0qPXg. As I said elsewhere.. If she hadn’t scored, people would be saying oh Press, horrible, can’t even score vs. a trash team. If she got one goal, people would be saying oh Press, can only score one goal. She scores a hat trick, including a gorgeous half volley from the top of the box, and everyone says oh she did it vs. a bad team and Morgan got two so does that even count. She’s an excellent forward – so is Morgan. Can we all just accept that?

      • skybolt

        I think what Press and Morgan proved is that the up and coming young forwards have a long way to go before unseating them. Press was the player of the match IMO, but Morgan also scored 2 goals even without particularly have a great game. Heck, even Leroux destroyed sub-par teams when given the opportunity. IMO, Williams needs to start scoring against these tomato cans if she wants another look in the future. She had that one goal on a gift from the Swiss defender, but has gone almost 180 minutes without scoring. McDonald looked slow compared to everyone else as well.

        • Steglitz49

          Marta was 20 when she got her first FIFA POTY and she is still a force to reconned with.

        • annie

          McDonald got her prize cap for NWSL play. Doubt we’ll be seeing much more from her… I have a feeling she might retire (I thought she alluded to this).

          • ARED

            I agree -it’s good to bring these players in to reward strong league play (and incentivize other outsiders), at least moreso than giving cap 400 to a veteran against Romania. But it seems unlikely she’ll be a long-term fixture.

        • mockmook

          When the TEAM scores 8 goals, there aren’t a whole lot of missed opportunities for goals lying around — can’t be too concerned about Williams not scoring.

          • ARED

            I agree -there should be absolutely no shame in not scoring a goal if your team scores 8….lol. Unfortunately, we do know that people fixate on goals, and sometimes assists, but ignore almost all other contributions which often are how the game is really won.

    • anon

      the natural solution is for them to play together with lloyd as a sub going forward. the only reason they don’t play together is because of carli lloyd (and now, Jill testing new players so she isn’t putting the vets on at the same time).

      • Jill

        Bingo! We have a winner.

        • #1Fan

          we dont. Im not sure Morgan is the player you want paired with Press.

          • Steglitz49

            You mean the other way round, presumably.

          • ARED

            I think they’d be much better if they’d been playing together for the past 3+ years as they probably should have, but still not sure there’s a better lineup than one including them both at this point. I’d give them a long run, while rotating the others in. If it doesn’t pay dividends I’d be surprised, but then again, I’m also a strong believe that any removal of Lloyd with pay dividends, so it’s essentially a given…

          • DNG

            I’m not sure they’d be the best pair even if they had been playing together for the last 3 years. Their styles are just so different. If I wanted to sit back in a 4-4-2 and always look to spring counters Morgan would be my forward. In a more possession oriented offense I’d rather surround Press will players like Heath and Pugh up top or other players who look to combine first. Morgan is always trying to get in behind no matter how the defense is set up, she struggles to hold up the ball and can’t dribble out of trouble. She doesn’t have the ability to distribute from the hole and struggles to turn with the ball. Her drop off when teams take away that space in behind is bigger than almost any other USWNT player(exception: Leroux)

          • Steglitz49

            Alex Morgan is still one the very biggest names in WoSo and has been for 5 years or so. She may have all the faults you describe — I don’t agree with you but never mind — but she delivers the goods.

            As I noted to #1Fan, we are looking for the player to pair with Morgan. Who can pair with Press is a subsidiary issue.

      • skybolt

        The trick plays would be interesting since both players love the back heel passes.

      • guest

        Haven’t you heard, Lloyd is going for two more FIFA POTYs. She ain’t sitting on the bench without a fight

        • guest

          where did lloyd say that???

      • Steglitz49

        Is there any evidence that they can combine effectively?

        • anon

          Yes, from the few games they have played together I thought they looked good. It’s not like Morgan combines more effectively with Lloyd or anyone else, either. Who else would you put with her? They are the two best options for center forward on the roster right now. Let’s see it in a real game.

          • ARED

            It’s been so rare I understand that people have missed it, but Press and Morgan have looked good, and really so have either one when paired with any forward not named Wambach or Lloyd.

            In the matches leading to WC15 the USA looked dominant for stretches whether it was Morgan/Leroux/ARod/Press. The problem was, that only happened for about 15 minutes at a time, because Wambach played the first 75. Press and Heath (and Pugh) have shown enough versatility to be able to work together with Morgan, even if you think Morgan is one-dimensional (which I do not).

        • Not in the old system that catered to Lloyd, but I think they would be in the new 3-4-3 system, if Ellis is really going to stick to it. Maybe we will get a half of it in Carson. Why not let those two start and give McDonald and Williams time together for the second half, they have chemistry.

          • guest

            because she is clearly trying to give Williams the opportunity to combine with a player who is solidified on the roster. If Williams doesn’t perform I think she might lose her chance at some point in the near future. McDonald isn’t a factor going forward (I’m assuming) so why bother playing them together?

          • #1Fan

            in a 343..I assume more like 3421

          • Steglitz49

            Officially sweden played 3-4-3 in Brasilia to achieve the Miracle on Grass but to my eyes it looked more like 4-5-1 or even 5-4-1.

          • DNG

            That’s because they were defending for most of the match. The 3-4-3 can shift in to a 5-4-1 pretty easily while defending. The 2 WBs drop into the defensive line while the 2 wide forwards drop into the midfield line to help defend the wide spaces. The defensive shape is very solid and difficult to break down if the players are well organized.

          • #1Fan

            my 3421 comment related to press Morgan combo..becasue i think if true 343- i prefer real Flank players. Morgan is not that and its not Press forte. in 343 ..i would go Pugh-Press- TBD

          • DNG

            I agree. I don’t like the use of 3 CF in the formation much and would also prefer wide flank type players. I want those wide forwards to be able to drop into those soft spaces and link the midfield to attack which Press did okay on occasion. The attack yesterday was over reliant on long passes to get the ball up the field though and I don’t think that will work against a team with a compact and solid center. I’d try Heath and Pugh flanking Press.

          • Steglitz49

            No Alex? Brave man, particularly with Press. Hope you are right, for your skin’s or guts’ sake.

          • Steglitz49

            You can’t be serious!?! as the great player noted many years ago.

    • Steglitz49

      Hear hear!

    • #1Fan

      Not true. many on here have advocated for Press long before this but were met with the – well she does not score – argument. I dont class the SBC as anything BUT a friendly. Big moments would be , WC, Olympics and yes NWSL finals. No one begrudges Morgan her success, but the debate is about going forward, not back. Morgan would probably be a spot starter, or late game option for me. Not a starter.

      • “the debate is about going forward, not back”. YES. It’s not about what they’ve done, it’s about who produces going forward. I hope Jill really sticks to that, and there is a great wide open competition, that is continual, not decided upon and stuck to. Different skill sets work against different teams.

        • kernel_thai

          IMO the real debate isnt whether both Press and Morgan belong on this team and more the whether the coach does a better job distributing minutes between the offensive players. I think with all the young speed Ellis has stumbled upon ur just not going to see 90 minute attackers as much in friendlies.

          • Steglitz49

            Any USWNT coach has too much choice. This explains why the US has been consistently so good and makes the Bomb in Brasilia an even worse indictment than losing to Brazil in 2007 or not winning WC-11.

    • Steglitz49

      Algarve 2013, i think. Alex also scored the equalizer against sweden in that tournament.

    • ARED

      Hasn’t the answer always been, to just play them both?

      4-4-2_4-3-3_4-5-1. Anything. Why the fear to try them together?

      Morgan and Press, with Heath, Pugh, Brian, (Dunn, O’Hara, Rapinoe, etc.), gives you a terrifying front-5. They always dominate possession, but struggle sometimes to create top chances and finish them. Any reason not to use more of you best attackers and creators together? Players like Williams now add even more options, but I’d think Press and Morgan are the first two who should be tried.

  • Just so HOTFC doesn’t have to work so hard:

    Christen Press – 45 Minutes. 3 Goals – 1 Assist
    Budweiser Woman of the Match: Christen Press

    Last 3 games

    10/19/16 vs SUI – Christen Press – 45 minutes 1 goal – 1 Assist
    10/23/16 vs SUI – Christen Press – 45 minutes 1 Goal – 1 Assist
    11/10/16 vs ROU – Christen Press – 45 minutes 3 Goals – 1 Assist

    • Steglitz49

      please let sleeping dogs lie.

      • True. My bad.

        • Steglitz49

          Let’s hope he misses your bone and goes after me about the iniquities of the turnip world.

          • Unless you included Christen’s name, he will probably come for me first.

    • Kevin

      This forum has become 100x better since I blocked him, but out of the kindness of my heart, and continuing with what you started, I will post his reply so he doesn’t have to do any work at all…

      blah blah blah

      [irrelevant and erroneous stats]

      excuses excuses excuses

      [irrelevant link to 2008]
      [irrelevant link to 2009]
      [irrelevant link to 2010]

      blah blah blah

      • Thanks, I hated waiting for the copy and paste. If I could just make one counter argument to your second point, the blah’s, I would say its more of obsession obsession obsession, but we all get the idea.

        Anyway, how great has Press been playing lately?!

        • Kevin

          I agree with what most others have said. Press is a great finisher (with her feet), but I’m not totally convinced she’s the best option against the top teams yet.

          Press might be the better option against bunkers and Alex against the top teams that don’t sit back.

          • #1Fan

            so are you saying that with other fast players around her that Press cannot drop in to the hole , pick up the ball and play , say Pugh in behind? Are you saying that the only way to play teams that press is to hit them over the top? Can you see Morgan getting much change out of say Buchanan 1 vs 1 ?

          • Kevin

            No, I never said or implied that.

    • HOFCToDi

      ROU – FIFA Rank #36

      fifa.com/fifa-world-ranking/ranking-table/women/index.html

      Worse than CRC, IRL, THA.

      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_FIFA_country_codes

      Whoop Dee Doo!

    • HOFCToDi

      The same garbage was spewed after Christen Press scored a hat trick against CRC during the 2015 Victory Tour. A CRC squad that was missing Shirley Cruz and Raquel Rodríguez.

    • HOFCToDi

      SUI was missing four starters from the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup squad. Four starters that did not even make the trip overseas:

      fifa.com/womensworldcup/players/player=252724/index.html

      fifa.com/womensworldcup/players/player=252708/index.html

      fifa.com/womensworldcup/players/player=321265/index.html

      fifa.com/womensworldcup/players/player=386542/index.html

      fifa.com/womensworldcup/matches/round=268032/match=300269477/index.html#statistics#nosticky

      Furthermore, a fifth starter from the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup squad did not even dress for the first match.

      fifa.com/womensworldcup/players/player=207688/index.html

      ussoccer.com/matches/wnt/2016/161019-wnt-v-sui#tab-1

  • atalba

    This game is like every match OL plays. If it’s just to win and pad stats, it’s a farce. Thankfully, the US are starting from scratch and trying different formations and players that work with the coach’s own strategy (not previous ones). Technical, athletic, quick decision-makers, pressure/suffocating defense, elite conditioned players; all making for a speed of play, novement, nobody can keep up with.

    • #1Fan

      so how does Lloyd fit with that vision ?

      • atalba

        I personally don’t like when she’s on the pitch. She fits with Abby and Rapinoe. All damn good players. I think they play what people think of the American game – direct. I’m not sure how she fits, but you have to respect her contribution and see if she can adapt.

        • Yes, so why don’t we acknowledge what she has done in the past, and now move on from her. She had her world cup glory, nobody is trying to take that away from her, but it is clear our team is moving in a new direction that doesn’t fit her style of play.

          • #1Fan

            is it ? 🙂

          • ha to me yes – even when we make it look messy. Think back to JPN friendlies this summer. Was she missed against a top quality side?

          • rkmid71

            I sure hope that this game is the new direction. It was a joy to watch. Lloyd just doesn’t have the attributes for this way of playing, certainly relative to alternatives, Not just Lloyd but certain other veterans. Pugh would fit right in. Morgan will be fine. The back 3 was pretty good, but I would continue to explore options there. Ideally Long would be a little younger, a little faster, more athletic, more defensive experience. But I like her other attributes. I would be interested to know what happened in practice with Menges and what she needs to work on.

          • #1Fan

            please dont buy in to the what went wrong in practice narrative 🙂

          • Steglitz49

            What went wrong in Brasilia? is the true question.

          • Breakers fan

            Your answer interests me. We are *”told”* that what happens in practice does matter, does determine, to some degree, decisions made by Ellis and co. about who gets playing time. Do you think that’s a smokescreen, that it’s false? What do you think is going on in this regard?

          • #1Fan

            I just don’t believe that is how you make the team. Its a convenient way of justifying decisions

          • Breakers fan

            You may be right. You’re certainly way more familiar with this world than I am. Let me make sure I understand you, though. Do you mean that what happens in practice doesn’t really matter all that much; that playing time decisions have already been made? And even with newcomers who they’re not all that familiar with, that decisions with them too have been made in advance, that they can’t really win playing time with how they play in practice? That a clear and rigid agenda exists?

          • #1Fan

            Well, many of these players have been around a longtime. If the staff does not know what they are about they are not dong their jobs. Take Colaprico, do you think Coach Swanson does not know what she can and cannot do ? In my opinion most decisions have been made and thy use camps to confirm them .

          • Breakers fan

            True, but the one thing they don’t know, one could say, is “how they do, compete, against *these* players and these players only”. That becomes new “data” when camps occur. I’m not convinced that what happens in those 10-20 hours of scrimmaging or whatever amount it is means absolutely nothing in terms of who gets to play but I agree with you that it doesn’t mean *everything*, which is basically what we’re told when we watch the games: “the newcomers who are playing were the ones who did the best in training.”

          • #1Fan

            but how they perform vs each other is not a great barometer. We are building a team to face playing types and teams that are different to our own. No matter what anyone says, training is training and playing vs your own is not an easy thing to do for some. They cannot get over being on the same side.

          • Breakers fan

            Interesting…..”playing against your own is not easy for some. They cannot get over being on the same side.” Hmm. Do you mean mostly that they shy away from playing aggressively because they don’t want to potentially injure a friend? Or more the opposite – that they’re used to playing *against* these girls (in the NWSL, back in college) who are now on their side and they can’t adapt well to it? Please elaborate on that a bit if you don’t mind. I ask because I get the feeling you’ve seen this in your daughter’s age group and/or have heard about it happening. Thanks.

          • #1Fan

            Some of the players are clearly going to struggle with challenging established players in practice. It’s natural. There is a long established pecking order. It’s a lot more intimidating than playing a friendly with everyone rooting for you in some ways. It’s hard to go all out in practice all the time. The adrenaline is not the same

          • Breakers fan

            Yes, I have heard of players (thinking of Kristie Mewis) describing this phenomenon- it could be called the awe factor. A sort of politeness – to not challenge the greats of the program, players they’ve looked up to for years. It takes an act of will to get over it and probably a bit of time.

          • Steglitz49

            I doubt that the top players suffered from that. They may have been deferential off the field, kept a low profile, stuck their tails in the air when called for, but when the bugle called, they made their marks. The attitude of “after you, ma’am” on the field cuts no ice.

          • Breakers fan

            I should have asked this in my first reply. You say “they use camps to confirm them (decisions that have already been made)”

            Do you think the following ever happens: that camp, what they see in training, is so surprising that it fails to confirm one of those decisions? That it actually changes their mind about a player and alters who they play? I realize we’re firmly in Speculationland but it’s still interesting to hear about.

            (Gonna go watch Wisconsin now in the NCAAs!)

          • ARED

            Yes (smokescreen). Esp. for this team there are plenty of matches to give players time, and plenty of players have actually excelled in games, if only in the short moments they play. So to say you are sitting someone due to things like “practice” and “fitness” or especially “experience”, well, my recommendation is to assume these are just deflections and the coach doesn’t want to say the truth.

            Sometimes just being nice, to avoid saying “I don’t think she’s good”….lol. But when it was Wambach, Boxx, Chalupny, etc, I certainly wasn’t buying anything Ellis had to say about why those players were there to begin with, let alone playing over other options.

          • Steglitz49

            I am not persuaded that JE had much of a choice in whom she took for WC-15. I can’t imagine that she enjoyed leaving Dunn behind.

            I thought that for OG-16 JE had thrown off her shackles but the selection would argue: no. Yet OG-16 was the chance to be historic and the US were überfavorites. She must have known that to win they would need to defeat Brazil and then probably Germany. As it was, they came a cropper in a field of turnips.

            Each position in the US is oversubscribed. There are plenty of lasses for each one of them. There are probably more young ladies playing soccer in the US as there are in Germany, Japan and Sweden combined.

          • nwslfan

            Just checking- If Long were faster more athletic more defensive experience? Those are the shortcomings? The rest of her game, mentally, technically, tactically, physically is a good fit?

          • Breakers fan

            I want Allie to succeed, she seems like a good person, and a good player (better elsewhere?) but being thrown into CB on the USWNT with no prior experience as a back of any kind….it’s pretty amazing that that’s happening. I wonder what “they’re saying” about Sonnett? And are they considering any other NWSL players? I’d love to see Kassey Kallman get a shot. To me, you just put Brunn back in the middle. KO on the right, though I really prefer her in the midfield. I like Short, think she’s good.

          • rkmid71

            3 backs against top teams is not going to be easy. I’m thinking a Buchanon type that can move the ball like Long. But somebody with fast recovery speed to deal with bad giveaways and fast forwards (I remember that Sauerbrunn square pass that got intercepted). But no player is perfect. Oth if we can score 3-4 goals (or even 2-3) a game against good teams with Long in that role, giving up a goal here and there on a counter is not as big a deal. In general, I’m not confident about a player in the center of a back 3 that historically has never been a defender, is not that speedy, etc. That’s a lot to ask. It’s not all about the offense.

          • mockmook

            I’m still hoping for a Menges appearance in game 2

          • atalba

            it is.

  • Paul Klee

    If Williams, Short and Sullivan are on the roster Sunday the become full voting members of the USWNTPA.

    • Steglitz49

      Will that trump Trump?

    • I suspect they will be. How many games does Short get of full 90′ to make a decision on her. ? Is she still competing with anyone? Kling gone? I still prefer KO on the left.

      • Steglitz49

        Casey for President?

      • ARED

        Short certainly is getting much more of a chance than many other players (defenders) have gotten over the past few years! I don’t think she’s a top player now, but it’s Ellis’ right to pick players she thinks can grow. I think Ellis is happy to experiment for now, esp on the backline -which I agree with. But I’d have been trying some much different experiments….lol.

    • atalba

      Julie said Andi was going to be missing her playoff game tonight, which leads me to believe she will be playing Sunday. Houston Baptist is not a powerhouse, and the team knew all along the first game was doubtful.

    • kernel_thai

      I may have asked this before in regards to Pugh but can an amateur like Sullivan be in the union? It would seem only professionals who pay dues would be able to vote.

  • NYRick

    Quick thoughts:

    1. I’m really impressed with Ohai . Great work ethic and tenacious out there. Please give her Pinoe’s spot on the roster moving forward into 2017. She’s just better, period. Not missing Pinoe’s anthem nonsense either…one bit.

    2. Sullivan can flat out play. She is a rockstar core player moving forward. She will solidify the midfield much the same way Brunn solidified the backline 3 years ago. Hard to believe she is just a college junior. Plays like she belongs right from the start.

    3. Press hat trick. It’s almost yawn material at this point. She is their most explosive offensive forward. Has been for nearly 4 years. She just does it a little differently than the others. I mean 40 goals in 79 caps playing minimal minutes and usually out of position is downright sick. Bottomline is she needs to be on the pitch. She is a player directly in her prime right now. This isn’t fanboy talk, it’s absurdly obvious to anyone with eyes at this point. She has improved her game in a variety of areas: quicker, tougher on the ball, more tenacious defending etc.

    And it must be stated: had Carli had 3 goals at the half no one she is exiting that match till she got 5. Or Morgan for that matter. I don’t have a problem giving the minutes to the newer forwards for this game, but just saying. We all know it’s true.

    4. Long is still an experiment at fullback. Got absolutely torched and ball watched on the one goal against. Also, I don’t think Short is ready. There are better options, especially if you are going to play just 3 back there.

    5. Harris always seems to do one bonehead thing a match, usually resulting in a goal. What in the world was she doing on that goal?! Naeher is clear cut number one for me.

    6. Carli. Happy wedding. Wishing you all the best. But…I didn’t miss you one iota last night.

    • Steglitz49

      Your #4 — what are your better options? I hope Ellis drops Long but perseveres with Short. That is the long and the short of it, from my angle.

      #5 — I am not convinced by either. Go look among the juniors or even sophomores if necessary.

      • skybolt

        All I can say is that if future rosters were based on how players perform against tomato can teams and play in the NWSL, A-Rod would still be our starting forward.

        • Steglitz49

          ARod has had a great set of innings and managed to have no just one kid but two getting there. I doubt that ARod will make a serious return to the NT though USSF may want to use her in a PR-role.

    • -#1 – I am guessing you meant to have Ohai’s name there. You accidentally left a name out. For me, I’m not that impressed by Ohai so far. I would rather have Pugh than Ohai, because Pugh has that magic ability to find the open target, almost every time, it seems like. I just get the overall impression that Pugh has more of an impact on the field than Ohai right now. We will see if that changes, I realize it’s only been about 55 minutes of game time to analyze.

      • NYRick

        Yeah I did omit Ohai’s name but just put it in. I too feel that Pugh may be the better and more suitable talent as well, but I kind of like Ohai on the roster. She can be a late game spark because she has a non-stop motor and she has a bit of clutch play in her past as well in college and U20.

        • Yea I think she is definitely earning more time for the coaches to decide. I would love to see how Pinoe did in practice. Foudy last night commented that Pinoe said she doesn’t have the best fitness right now.. what a complete joke. What has she been doing the past month and a half? She wasn’t fit for Rio and hasn’t gotten game fit since then. You see others working hard in their own free time to continue and be the best. Why did Pinoe even get called in for this camp?

          • #1Fan

            Age and injuries take a toll . Pinoe is a more talented player than Ohai but I think past her prime.

          • Yea I think that too, but why can’t she be fit when she comes into camp? More importantly, how the heck was she on the Olympic roster if she still isn’t completely fit from her knee injury a year later.

          • #1Fan

            water under the bridge, but a big miscalculation by the person that picked her. A sign of an unwillingness to make hard decisions on veteran players. Another reason Ellis has the job in the first place.

          • nwslfan

            Wow- I see what you did there w the last bit.

          • guest

            it’s more than water under the bridge. rapinoe’s uswnt job should be at the bottom of the river too after her olympic disgrace.

          • #1Fan

            Interesting that you seem to blame her. Coach picks the team. Coach put her in games.

          • guest

            ellis’s job should be at the bottom of the river too like rapinoe’s for their corrupt behavior. it’s also the players job and responsibility to her team to show up more than 15 minutes fit for a major tournament. and she’s still not fit four months later.

          • #1Fan

            Hold on so I understand. The player attended training camps and was under USSF care. She travelled and they passed her fit. I get the fact that maybe she should not have been picked, but surely from that point on it’s on the coach and medical staff ? To use what I have heard from others, surely she must have shown in these super special camps that she was worthy Lolol

          • Steglitz49

            Given that each NT player lost about $100,000 from the Bomb in Brasilia, it is fascinating that nobody has run off at the mouth from frustration.

          • kernel_thai

            The problem with Pinoe is she wants to play East-West when the rest of the team is going North-South. She likes to dribble the ball across the defense looking for a cross or a shot and while she does that everything else stops.

          • Breakers fan

            Starting to think it’s time to begin using the past tense in relation to Pinoe. As in “the problem was she wanted….” etc. I know that’s harsh but it feels that way to me.

          • guest

            rapinoe is one-dimensional now. she is not beating defenders to the endline. just gives aerial crosses but there is no abby wambach to get on the end of it and all the other players prefer to play on the ground with quick passes. and her defensive tacking is a yellow card waiting to happen.

          • DNG

            Pinoe was never a beat players to the end line wing. She would excel with these more technical midfielders in a quick passing offense if she was 5 years younger. She pretty clearly has touble covering ground now at 31 and after 3 ACLs over the course of her career.

          • guest

            are you kidding me??? rapinoe is not fit to play in a friendly four months after she came back to uswnt camp. but yet she declared herself fit enough to play in the rio olympics three months ago. unbelievable!

          • Steglitz49

            ask Trump? or, even better, Mrs Bill.

          • rkmid71

            Tbh — I wonder whether that was simply a dumb excuse as to why she didn’t get selected for the 18. Given her ego, it was probably a better option than I just wasn’t good enough. And why didn’t Foudy comment on Krieger or other players in camp but not selected. Maybe she did and I wasn’t listening.

        • kernel_thai

          It was certainly a pleasure watching her defend her position. I dont know how much weight Ellis gives it but she should.

      • sudeep das

        Yeah it’s that feeling of something’s about to happen when Pugh has the ball which makes it so thrilling to watch her.

        • mockmook

          In a 3-4-3 there is room for Pugh and Ohai.

          • DNG

            Yeah I think so. I’d play Pugh in the forward line. Like Heath I don’t really think she’s a wingback.

    • dw

      Not missing Pinoe, Krieger, King, Hope, Lloyd.
      Press is a stone cold killer, until it matters.
      Long lacks the closing speed that her current position requires.
      Harris is a bonehead.

      • HOFCToDi

        Allie Long is impending disaster playing on the back line.

        • dw

          Well, not really. The games aren’t really all that important, even SBC. And who knows if SBC even happens?

          • Steglitz49

            Why shouldn’t it? Why would Eng, Fra and Ger not travel to the US to frolick in the sun in front of 25,000 spectators (at least for the US games)?

      • GT

        Who is King?

        • Steglitz49

          Kong as in Long?

          • dw

            Very funny, clowns…

          • Steglitz49

            Crowns?

          • GT

            Nice edit.

          • GT

            Long as in Long Island?

          • Steglitz49

            “No (wo) man is an island …” wrote the poet.

      • NYRick

        dw: “Press is a stone cold killer, until it matters.”

        I’m going to have to agree with you on that. It simply can’t be disputed any longer. Only way if she were to hang on till WC19, start at forward, and have a killer tournament. Don’t see any of that happening, her window for that was WC15. I think she has a good shot of being on that WC19 team, but who knows? A lot can happen in 3 years. And as a starter? That seems far-fetched as well.

  • Hans Castorp

    My dog could score every goal Press has scored, since it’s just running a ball into a net against a defense that isn’t even there.

    Can’t wait to see her sit on the bench in 2 SBC games after 0 goals and 0 assists starting the first one.

    • ABCDE

      A bit dramatic…it really just depends on whether she plays centrally or not for adequate minutes. i think she is very capable – she does fine in the nwsl – but I’m not really going to make too many judgments on last night. All of these players have scored hat tricks against sides like this.

      • #1Fan

        thats the problem. Not one of the people i respect on this forum is basing their opinion on the goals she scored last night. not one.

    • WosoFan11

      HOFCToDi, is that you? 🙂

      Also you’ve got an impressive dog – you should sign her up for the USWNT.

      • HOFCToDi

        Christen Press has cemented her legacy with the USWNT:

        garbage time
        prima donna
        selfish shot hog
        tomato cans

        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

        Christen Press
        2016 SheBelieves Cup
        Goals 0, Assists 0

        Christen Press
        2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying
        Knockout Stage
        Goals 0, Assists 0

    • Ethan

      Your dog has a terrific half-volley.

    • HOFCToDi

      I am still looking for the goals scored by Christen Press against the following opponents in calendar year 2016:

      CAN, ENG, FRA, GER, JPN, JPN, FRA, SWE, NED

      I still can’t find any.

      fifa.com/fifa-world-ranking/ranking-table/women/index.html

  • Hans Castorp

    *USWNT gets 5 attackers in the box completely unmarked*

    *one of them scores*

    WoW Press is going to cooperstown!!!! This will surely demolish Sweden next WC.

    • I think you’re missing the full point. If you pay attention to the games, it’s not just the goals, it’s her overall play. The level has clearly been elevated recently and she is deserving of more time on the pitch. Has anyone said anything about Press being the next golden child? I think we’ve all been asking for the opposite of that. We want no “golden children” just a team that is used in the proper way and played to their strengths game by game.

      • skybolt

        I think there’s been plenty of talk on this forum about throwing Morgan out with the old bath water, while and having Press replace her as the starting forward. Certainly a discussion to be had, but a lot of us would like see how Christen can perform in this role come the next She Believes Cup. I think Ellis will likely start her at the CF position in at least one match,

        • HOFCToDi

          Christen Press already started against GER at the 2016 SheBelieves Cup. Christen Press already started against SWE at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

        • ARED

          (Still not understanding why they shouldn’t *both* play?)….

          ; )

          • Steglitz49

            It could be that they are not effective together. The sum is less than the parts.

          • ARED

            I don’t believe that is true (based on the tiny amount of history together, as well as the vast amount of history they have shown individually). Good players, fast players, aggresive players. Yes, sometimes they may both want to shoot, but this is ok. If Barca can share with Messi, Neymar, and Suarez, I think USA can share with Press and Morgan.

          • Steglitz49

            Zlatan has played for a large number of clubs for such a dominant person. Further back you have King Eric.

  • ABCDE

    Uhhh. Were people panting like this over Dunn/Leroux when they scored 5 goals against tomato cans in one game? I like Press and all but… you know…. it was Romania. Personally I hope there is no talent drain from the NWSL next year, I prefer to get my soccer fix from somewhat competitive matches. NCAA is more entertaining than games like last night’s.

    • Ethan

      Dunn against Puerto Rico? Kind of, at least the commentators were.

      Leroux against Guatemala? My memory isn’t that good.

      How about Rodriguez against Dominican Republic? Don’t remember the reaction there as well. However, Rodriguez’s play throughout the years before that match probably led to less enthusiasm about her 5-goal performance.

      • skybolt

        Leroux also had 4 goals in one match against Mexico.

        • Ethan

          She did indeed. I don’t know quite how much praise she got for that on this site, but I remember the commentators being quite congratulatory.

          Edit: Fun fact – I don’t think I’ve seen many goals roll slower into the net than one of Leroux’s goals in that match.

  • atalba

    In a 3-back system, the best skilled, talented, speediest, and experienced player on the USWNT is Crystal Dunn at right back. I’m not saying she needs to give up her gig on the wing, but she has the right mentality for that position. Ask Anson. He’s made very strong and positive comments about her ability as an offensive player, but he used her at right back quite a bit.

  • WosoFan11

    I’m a fan of Alex Morgan and am wondering – have there been any theories or previous discussions about why her stats in the NWSL are not nearly as good as her stats on the USWNT? Is it related to the opponents, team formations, or…? As you can probably tell from my question here I’m a bit of a newbie to the scene, and genuinely curious.

    I thought she played well last night.

    • john

      Oh, theories we here at EQ can provide. It’s a little like Baskin-Robbins. You want political, coach’s animosity, player jealousy, love life, alien control, etc?

      • WosoFan11

        Haha, so many to choose from let’s see… the alien control one sounds interesting, do tell 😉 Anything but politics.

        • Steglitz49

          Alien control starts in Lyon?

      • Chak Khan

        Baskin-Robbins ice-cream is literally just that…ice flakes on top of the cream.

    • I would defend Alex and say that part of it has to do with her supporting cast. Orlando doesn’t have a very strong midfield and Alex didn’t get great service all season. It’s a lot to ask of one person to create all the chances and then finish them as well.

      • skybolt

        Prior to injury, she did have a decent year with Portland scoring 7 goals and 5 assists. Her numbers prior to this year have always been decent, considering games lost to injury or NT duty.

      • #1Fan

        i think it is simple NWSL opponents are better than the majority of teams she faces and she faces them with a worse supporting cast in NWSL. Scoring for NT in most games is no great feat.

    • ARED

      As others say, the competition (of opponent) and her supporting cast play a big role. Also, the NT players have obviously prioritized the WC and Olympics over the past 2 NWSL seasons -rightfully so for me, but that is unfortunate for the league and its fans.

      I’d add that I think playing on smaller fields and turf fields makes her a bit less of an explosive threat. Her speed and power are her greatest assets, and on a small field it’s harder to get behind the defense or control a dribble or pass that is a bit off, and on a turf field the ball will skip away and roll away much faster, making it impossible to chase down many through balls, even for someone like Morgan. She is at her best on a nice big field, running and terrorizing defenders with her speed. But I think she’s been a good NWSL player regardless.

      • Steglitz49

        I had not thought about the field size. I presumed NWSL played on standard sized pitches — except that one bizarre match.

        • ARED

          Not so, I don’t keep close track in this league where others maybe have, but Portland for example is not a huge field, and many other teams seem to change fields a lot and many seem small. Chicago for example, is a nice big grass field now in the big stadium. Much better, although at times the NWSL players and pace can’t actually quite cover the full ground. But that will come in time, and players like Morgan (or Williams and McDonald) obviously thrive when they find themselves in space.

          • Steglitz49

            It seems odd not to play on standard sized fields in one of the world’s top WoSo countries. It may even be a handicap when you must play on them in tournaments.

  • Chak Khan

    No opinions on Harris? Why isn’t JE calling up more GK players. There has to be a couple out there who are just as good if not better than Hope. Harris, I am not so sure.

    • I would say she is the clear #2 for me at this point. Why are we not letting AD Franch, or Jane Campbell, when she is in camp, make the game day roster? Romania or Switzerland is the perfect time for them to get a game without a lot of pressure.

      • john

        Not sure what one is going to learn about a keeper leaning on a post for 90 minutes. Seriously, they need to be in matches in which they’ll need to display the full range of keeper skills from organizing to shot stopping.

        • Right, I get that. But at least get their feet wet and get them used to commanding the backline, the atmosphere, etc. It can’t hurt any, and what does Naeher or Harris get out of these either. Except a Howler, I guess.

          • john

            Yes, I can see starting them of in the shallow end. For me the Howlers are telling. Being able to focus for 90 so you can make the one stop you have to.

        • #1Fan

          NWSL

      • Chak Khan

        Harris let SUI and ROU score. These are teams whose level is way below the US.

        • Right, meaning Naeher would be the clear #1 for me. Sorry if that was confusing.

          • kernel_thai

            I dont think splitting the games between Harris and Naeher is Ellis saying the #1 position is open. I think it’s about getting the #1 and #2 some caps in case of injury.

          • Steglitz49

            I suspect that Harris will be put out to grass but I doubt that JE wants Naeher in goal either. Expect to see new talent brought.

        • HOFCToDi

          SUI was missing four starters from the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup squad. Four starters that did not even make the trip overseas:

          fifa.com/womensworldcup/players/player=252724/index.html

          fifa.com/womensworldcup/players/player=252708/index.html

          fifa.com/womensworldcup/players/player=321265/index.html

          fifa.com/womensworldcup/players/player=386542/index.html

          fifa.com/womensworldcup/matches/round=268032/match=300269477/index.html#statistics#nosticky

        • ARED

          I agree that Naeher is a bit ahead, both for me and it seems to Ellis, but I don’t know that we can blame a GK alone for conceding those goals, especially with such a limited data set.

          Didn’t Harris make a nice save on the SUI goal? Which was on a great chance caused by the terrible cohesion of the back line, I believe, and then a rebound put in because O’Hara couldn’t quite recover. But you’d like to think a defender or CM would have been there, not O’Hara having to cover so much ground.

    • Frozen Blue

      My opinion is she is not up to snuff for the national team and is too old to mold into what is needed, Naeher is a good stop gap for now but we need to start training young goalies…now.

      • #1Fan

        you have been spooled by Solo. Hard act to follow ON the field

        • Frozen Blue

          True and I am afraid we will not see her skill level again for some time but I really hope it’s just yet to be discovered.

  • GT

    Team looked great against a weaker opponent. I thought the newbies made a good account of themselves. Some better that others. A long time till 2019 so plenty of time to try out different players and different formations. Ellis has the luxury of tremendous talent pool.

    • Frozen Blue

      I love seeing all the new players and the new formations in these games. Yes, after a few goals it can get boring but we have to start trying new things somewhere and it is impossible to play “quality” opponents every friendly especially if we are not willing to travel. Can’t wait to see what “new” is to come.

  • guest

    i want to congratulate megan rapinoe and colin kapernick’s national anthem protests for helping to elect donald trump as the us president. you said protests are supposed to make people uncomfortable and you succeeded.

    • Chak Khan

      There has been post election protests all over USA. Yes, people are feeling uncomfortable…more so, AND will be much more. It’s all good. Back to woso, will there any more games prior to SBC?

      • Steglitz49

        Try a couple of games against Mexico?

    • guest

      i don’t know if succeeded is the right word to use for rapinoe’s anthem protests. there is now a good possibility of a repeal of gay marriage and abortion rights. you can choose your action but not others reaction. it is the law of unintended consequences.

  • Guest

    So who are they playing in February? Moldova? Malta? Saint Kitts and Nevis?

    • Sable

      It’s still not official but the idea is to play against a team with just 8 players in order to reduce the travel costs for the visiting team

  • guest

    don’t look now but Christen Press just recently passed Sydney Leroux on the uswnt all-time goal scoring list…FOR GOOD.

    christen press- 40 goals in 79 caps
    sydney leroux- 35 goals in 75 caps

    next up on the list to pass is julie foudy at 45 goals in 274 caps. press has a chance to be at #10 on the uswnt all-time goal scoring list in another year or so.

    • guest

      press is now at #14 on the uswnt all-time goal scoring list.

      • NYRick

        Press will be in the top ten all time US by next year if she stays healthy very easily. Number 11 on the list is at 47 and she is at 40 right now.

        I figure with Press, granted once again staying healthy, that she will play for 3 more years (around age 31) with the NT till WC19, maybe OG20 if WC19 went well than retire. In that timeframe you have to figure on her getting another 75-80 caps bringing her to over 150-160 range. At the pace she is on which could either: 1) accelerate if she becomes a more feature forward with more minutes or 2) decrease as maybe she starts to decline as she inches to say 30 or so, she easily could add another 40 goals to her total.

        Let’s say she peaks at 75 in 150 caps. That is great production and and puts her around 7th on the all-time list with maybe two WC title teams she played on. That is a fantastic career for someone who didn’t get her first US cap till age 24. All speculative of course, but all right in front of her. She is quite driven so if her role becomes more prominent even greater numbers could happen.

        • Steglitz49

          Let’s hope that Christen can do as well as possible. Maybe she can be the Queen of Assists?

          As far as I know, Christen has never been (seriously) injured. It is one of the reasons advanced to explain why she has not the impact of Alex Morgan. The other, of course, is that Morgan simply is the better player.

          I contend that Christen can’t count on being in WC-19 nor OG-20. Possibly as a sub. There are simply too many knocking on the door.

          • NYRick

            Right now, and things can change by the day or by the next camp for this team, but it’s safe to say she would be very much in the picture for WC19.

            As for your familiar parroting of Alex being the better player, well that of course may be true, but it is open for debate when one compares durability, league play, Euro experience, college careers and minutes at forward on the NT. Morgan may well be the better player in big games, but her record in that regard in more in the past than present although she did have a strong SBC this past spring. However, that is still an exhibition series played on home soil.

          • Steglitz49

            I imagine that the afterglow of a hat-trick against weak teams vanishes quickly while clutch goals against good teams are with you forever. Beating Mia was something but beating Abby after the recent events is probably not worth a pitcher of warm spit.

            Christen is a technically outstanding player. She is also a feast for sore eyes. Her future is not playing soccer; it is living off her gifts one of which being comfortable and naturally fluent in front of a camera. Maybe Christen tried to get a media contract for Rio and it did not pan out. I don’t get that impression.

            Maybe she is so personally well off that she does not need to work but she still needs to find something to fill her days with once the final whistle has blown. Hopefully Christen will score lots of goals and that will see her through. Records are there to be broken.

            Btw Anna Fenninger used her year sidelined because of injury to get married in secret. She will now compete as Anna Veith. He is a lucky man.

          • anon

            im not sure how Press not being injured means she isn’t as good a player as Morgan, that is pretty ridiculous. Some people are more prone to ligament and other injuries due to underlying biology. There’s a luck component as well. And avoiding reckless challenges isn’t always a bad thing.

    • Steglitz49

      Is a tomato-can correction needed for this Goalscoring Queen list? Are some of the other numbers irrelevant?

      What is the order of batting on the crucial goals list?

      • ARED

        Yep. Starting with the chart-topping Abby Wambach….

        • Steglitz49

          I looked up some other players to compare with. Lotta Schelin has scored 83 goals in 163 matches for Sweden, about the same rate, as has Pernille Harder with 37 goals in 77 for Denmark. Ada Hegerberg has 33 in 52, a bit higher. Marta has 105 goals in 101 matches.

          For Japan, Sawa 83 goals in 204 matches, Ohno has 39 in 136, and Yuki Nagasato 54 in 123. Among the Teutonic lasses, there is Popp with 35 goals in 70 and Mittag 49 in 148.

          Odd that Japan could win one world cup and play in a second final with such low score rate! Not enough tomato-cans, maybe?

          • Go Heels

            Those rates are fundamentally dependent on against which country those teams played. Hence not really comparable.

            If Mexico would play every year 15 times at home against the Maldives a Mexican player would have the best rate and the Mexican goal keeper would be the record holder on clean sheets

          • Steglitz49

            Thanks for reinforcing that which I wrote in my entry the one to which ARED replied.
            (13 hours is a long time on the internet.)

  • nwslfan

    I re-watched the game. Sullivan! Sullivan!! Sullivan!!! She makes everyone around her look good. Most interesting is how much the other players already trust her and give her the ball. She is the go to player. She gets fed more risky or aggressive passes and makes the pass look routine under defensive pressure. She knew when to fill in as 3rd CB so seamlessly, you didn’t notice unless you were really paying attention. She fully deserves to wear No. 12. Love her.

    • rkmid71

      It’s a breath of fresh air when a non-forward or non AM is recognized like that. CDM can be the most thankless position, but one of the most critical.

      • Steglitz49

        Bobby Moore wore the #6 shirt. He is usually classed as a “defender” but in position specific numbering, #6 was midfield.

    • Up DC

      Spirit training!

    • Go Heels

      Calm down. They played against Romania

      • nwslfan

        This is over 3 games. Look at the flow of the game 1st 65 min vs last 25. I am watching movement, turning, passing, positioning.

        • DNG

          I really like Andi Sullivan and agree with all the good things you see in her. I don’t think it’s unfair for people to want to see more and her play against better competition though. I think she will succeed in any case but I’m sure their will be some more cracks as there are in almost all young players.

  • guest

    Christen’s hat trick proves nothing if she can hardly score against a top team

    • Steglitz49

      Are you HOFCToDi*s alter ego?

      • Maybe he just forgot to sign in?

  • Guest

    Harris’ latest Instagram post: https://www.instagram.com/p/BMuls2mgldC/?hl=en
    Worth noting that the last 3 players traded away by the Spirit (Nairn, Schiffel, Krieger) are in relationships with other women.

    • Guest

      Caption: “Happy Pride Orlando. Proud to play and represent a city and club that stands for inclusion. OUR PRIDE OUR CITY!
      Side Note***To all LGBTQ fans in DC. You are loved and we value you. Come support a club that supports you”

      • mockmook

        If the Pride really supported LGBTQ they would have come out strongly against the evils of Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism after the nightclub shooting. Ditto for Harris and Krieger.

      • guest

        so she is basically saying if a nwsl team doesn’t have a gay pride night then they are assuredly homophobic. lol then that also would apply to other nwsl teams like kc that don’t have one.

    • Steglitz49

      Schiffel played in Avaldsnes in Rogaland county in the Westland of Norway, if you mean Madalyn Schiffel.

    • mockmook

      “Worth noting that the last 3 players traded away by the Spirit (Nairn, Schiffel, Krieger) are in relationships with other women.”

      But, the question is, who might be alienating themselves from who?

      (assuming this isn’t just a coincidence)

  • Paul Klee

    If Dunn & Press play Sunday they are the only two that were capped in every match.

    • Steglitz49

      An astute observation but please explain what it means to us bears of little brain.

    • Both starting again tonight.

      • Paul Klee

        Considering that Ellis is supposed to dislike Press she plays her every match. Backing up the Press/Ellis understanding.

        • Steglitz49

          The issue is rebuilding for 2019 in France, not crunching tomato-cans in 2016.

  • Hugo

    Completely off-topic

    We have the first results of the U-20 WC

    Japan – Nigeria 6:0
    Spain – Canada 5:0
    Korea DPR – Sweden 2:0
    Brazil – Papua New Guinea 9:0

    Surprised about the the clear result of Spain – Canada.

    Sweden being without two players of Eskilstuna who were not allowed to participate the U20 WC by their club since CL games are running in parallel

    And Germany has the next injured player who needs to travel home. Not sure what’s going on with Germany regarding injuries before and during tournaments.

    • Steglitz49

      Thank you. Sweden was missing 5 players from the squad that won U19 Euro 2015. North-Korea dominated the match in every phase but when Sweden got near the NK box, they threatened and had Michelle de Jongh’s shot gone in just before half-time, anything could have happened.

      The Swedish team doctor is the chap who about 6-7 years ago developed the simple set of exercises that massively reduces the risk of knee injury.

      Assuming that Sweden can beat Papua New Guinea, the final Brazil-Swe match will be a cruncher.

      The most obvious difference between NK and Sweden was how comfortable the NKs were playing the ball with both feet. Whether they practice to get good with their weaker foot or whether they select 2-footed players, I don’t know.

      • Hugo

        Hope they will win against Brazil. Like the team. Especially the Linköping players Blackstenius and Almqvist.

        After being being three times in the final in a row and being the holders I don’t expect much from this German team. Not the best age group, many injuries and key players such as Bremer and Rauch missing for other reasons.

        Curious whether Japan will doninate again after being sensational at the U17 tournament

        Also looking forward to the US team. How doninate will Pugh be?

        • Steglitz49

          Germany also lost a top player to an ACL-tear a couple of weeks ago. Thats why I stuck in the bit about the Swedish team doctor.

          The final could be NK vs Japan unless they are destined to meet in the SF.

          I know that NK made their mark in soccer 50 years ago in WC-66 but both their senior and junior ladies team have been good, though the doping incident from 2011 leaves a questionmark. Their players are tall and solid this year for sure.

          • Hugo

            You are absolutely right.

            There are too many ACL injuries in women’s soccer. And Germany seems to be in the center of it.

            I guess there is room for improvement in preventing the players from those injuries. Please inform the athletic trainers of the German clubs about that Swedish doctor….

            I guess NK vs Japan is not a bad guess.

            So I will come with something else (not 100% convinced though): Spain – US

          • Steglitz49

            I can live with Spain. Not convinced about the US but that is, possibly, prejudice from Brasilia and Jordan. You can never count out Germany till the final whistle has blown.

            The first major article about simple exercises to reduce knee injuries was in 2010 — Arch Intern Med. 2010;170(1):43-49; “Prevention of Soccer-Related Knee Injuries in Teenaged Girls” — and then there was another one in the British Medical Journal from a different Swedish group — BMJ 2012 ; “Prevention of acute knee injuries in adolescent female football players: cluster randomised controlled trial”.

            There is no excuse that such simple exercises are not enforced by coaches seeing how little time they take and the benefit they bring.

        • Hans Castorp

          US U-20 have not scored in 3 consecutive games. If they’re lucky AS will score vs France and they can at least fail out of the tournament with some goals.

          • Steglitz49

            The US has a good chance of going far because the difficult teams are on the other side of the draw.

      • Bruce

        Swedish doctor name? Is that the FIFA-11 exercise regimen?