Lauletta: What Alex Morgan to Lyon means

Dan Lauletta December 20, 2016 522
Alex Morgan will join Lyon in January. She will rejoin the Pride in early June (photo copyright EriMac Photo for The Equalizer)

Alex Morgan will join Lyon in January. She will rejoin the Pride in early June (photo copyright EriMac Photo for The Equalizer)

The seeds were sown for Alex Morgan to play for Lyon as early as March when club chairman Jean-Michel Aulas suggested that U.S. national team players would join his side in 2017. Morgan’s name has been attached since the summer. Tuesday morning it happened when Morgan, Lyon and her NWSL side Orlando Pride all announced the move. She will remain with Lyon through the end of their season and then rejoin the Pride. Earlier suggestions that the club would also offer her husband, Orlando City SC midfielder Servando Carrasco, a reserve contract, do not appear to have happened.

Morgan’s popularity stateside is high, and the Pride unloaded precious assets to acquire her in a trade that was worked out before the club was even officially formed. So what does this all mean for Morgan, for the Pride, for NWSL and for the USWNT?

It’s not such a bad thing

Remember this? U.S. fans jumped for joy when French star Amandine Henry elected to come play for the Thorns. Henry was one of the stars of the 2015 World Cup and her entry into NWSL—with a hefty paycut to boot—was a coup for the young league. But why are we to expect France’s best to play in the United States and not expect our best to sometimes play in France or elsewhere? And just like Henry playing in Portland was anything but a death knell for French women’s soccer, neither will Morgan spending a few months in France.

In the short term, Morgan being at Lyon will put more American eyeballs on their matches. In the long term, if she hits it off with the fan base, it should put more French eyeballs on NWSL once Morgan returns to play in Orlando. Having at least a few prominent players from every national team plying their trade in other leagues will only shine a brighter beacon on women’s soccer around the globe.

Morgan is not the only USWNT pool player linked to a move overseas. And yes, any sort of mass exodus will spell trouble for NWSL and its clubs. But the idea that a single player leaving for what amounts to about six weeks can make or break the fortunes of the league at this point is rather ludicrous.

What does it mean for the Pride?

There is no doubt about it, the Pride are in a pickle. They struggled to score as a first-year expansion club in 2016 and Morgan was often left up top with little to no service. Additionally they shipped their first two picks in this year’s draft to the Flash and FC Kansas City respectively. The returns from those trades were Becky Edwards, who is retired, and Sarah Hagen, who scored 2 goals in 587 minutes last season, and Kristen Edmonds.

Edmonds was a find in 2016 and earned herself a spot on Jill Ellis’ radar. But with Morgan gone for six weeks and Lisa De Vanna likely not returning, Edmonds will become a focal point of the attack along with Hagen and Jasmyne Spencer. None of those players are likely going to be able to carry the scoring load, and Morgan’s absence will free up opposing defenses to spread their resources around. With few trade assets, the Pride will have to acquire any reinforcements from outside NWSL.

The Pride also finished the season without a win after July 10—an 0-7-1 finish to what started out as a promising expansion season. A quick start is not imperative but a lengthy extension of their winless run could throw things into chaos, and opening the season without Morgan won’t help.

Perhaps the schedule gods will help out and throw the Pride a bye week during the Lyon window but the second-year club likely looking at somewhere from six to eight weeks without Alex Morgan.

What does it mean for Alex Morgan?

Lyon are in contention for three trophies between now and the end of Morgan’s tenure. Aside from the league, French Cup play opens January 8 and a tantalizing Champions League quarterfinal tie against Wolfsburg opens March 21 in Germany. The Champions League is likely the top objective for Morgan and is the one that could keep her in France the longest. The final is June 1, five days after the league season ends.

The match that will in all likelihood determine the league champion is two week earlier, May 14 at home against Paris Saint-Germain. PSG pipped Lyon 1-0 last week to move three points clear on the table. Lyon though, hold an enormous goal difference edge and the teams are rarely challenged by anyone else.

To that end, Champions League and PSG match aside, Morgan could benefit more from the training environment at Lyon than the week-to-week match play. In fact there are questions about how or if Morgan will fit into a lineup that already boasts Eugenie Le Sommer and Ada Hegerberg. In her Players’ Tribune post about the decision, Morgan acknowledged that, “Everyone on OL plays for their respective national teams, so the training there is just phenomenal. You have to bring your best every day if you want to earn a starting spot.”

Aulas hardly spent all this time courting Morgan just to keep her on the bench, and Lyon are likely to win most of their matches no matter who plays. At the end of the day, five months training with a club that could likely be a mid-pack finisher at a World Cup figures to serve Morgan well. Lyon are probably paying her well for her services as well.

What about NWSL and the CBA?

Trying to figure out how collective bargaining agreement talks will wind up is akin to cracking the German ULTRA code. Grant Wahl reported last week that talks were ongoing and that they could go one of three ways—a new deal, a strike, or an agreement to proceed under current conditions while negotiations continue through the deadline. In other words, no one has any idea what will happen.

In the Players’ Tribune piece Morgan said, “…as we fight for what’s fair in a new CBA, and that it will be more difficult for me to help lead from abroad.” Morgan isn’t going to France until January after the current CBA expires (December 31). Does that mean Morgan is pessimistic about a deal getting done by the deadline?

At this point every tweet, Instagram post, or vacation plan can be seen as a window into the status of the negotiations. About the only thing clear is that U.S. Soccer has less of a stranglehold on the players, at least in the short-term, with Morgan heading to Lyon and others clearly in discussions with prominent European clubs.

As for NWSL, Morgan’s decision to forgo two months of the season—moves already made by Megan Rapinoe and Tobin Heath twice—will have far less of an impact on the league than the new CBA. And those details remain very much up in the air.

  • USMNTfan4life

    I don’t think eyeballs will shift to the NWSL when Morgan returns. There is a reason football in Europe has a draw (for both men and women), because it is the most popular sport to watch in person and on television. Europeans are not that big on WoSo, so what makes one think they are going to turn to the NWSL (with no tv deal in place)?

    Wishful dreaming on the part of WoSo for this deal.

    • Guest

      Europeans not that big on woso? Think again. The reason Europeans isn’t that interested in NWSL is the lesser quality soccer played. The CL final 2012 for example had an audience of 50 000 people.

      The soccer culture in Europe runs deep but it’s not in every country it’s the most popular sport to watch. Most popular sport in Norway is Cross country skiing. In Denmark it’s Handball. Especially on the women’s side. Handball is a pretty big sport in France too.

      During the latest Women’s Euro the games in every host city more or less sold out. The final, played without the hosts who had been eliminated in the semi, was attended by 50 000. Lyon have between a couple of thousands up to 20 000 in attendence at the home venue depending on which team is the opposition.

      Maybe 20 000 don’t sound like much to you but keep in mind France has a smaller population compared to USA. Three years ago the city of Lyon had a little more than 500 000 inhabitants, 1,8 millions with the surburbs included.

      • Guest

        It varies from place to place. Now look at attendance for club games in places like Paris and Munich and you’ll see the lack of support. Its a generalization to say Europe doesn’t care about woso but at the same time it’s disingenuous to think they are “big on woso” too. Same goes in America. Portland is not Chicago when it comes to support

        • Steglitz49

          Which “Guest” is what “Guest”?

          The NWSL has expanded by adding MLS-subsidized teams. The NWSL sees that as the model for the future: WoSo underpinned by BroSo.

          Even Portland does not regularly sell out its stadium for its WoSo team.

          What does that say about WoSo in the US?

          • CED

            The same it says about WoSO in Europe who are even more heavily subsidized by the mens sides and really just viewed as a PR tool at best.

          • Greg

            Which men’s side are subsidizing FFC Frankfurt or Turbine Potsdam and which men’s side did subsidize Umea IK or FCR Duisburg years ago?

            Those teams won 9 CL titles since 2002

          • Steglitz49

            Verily.

            Also worrying because Duisburg went bankrupt and had to be rescued and Umeå almost did and was relegated from Damallsvenskan this season.

      • Steglitz49

        Verily. A lady can earn a fair whack at playing handball. The ladies handball Euro’s just finished were well attended. Thrilling games, many of them too close to call. Down to the wire.

  • Steglitz49

    It will be interesting to see whether Alex puts bums on seats in the French D1 Feminine league.

    It could be argued that this is the first big whitefish the Europeans have landed from outside their continent. Saki Kumagai joined Frankfurt after WC-11 and Yuki Nagasato was already at Potsdam but the Madison Avenue crowd has written Alex name with pride ever since the WC-11 final.

    • GT

      A bunch of bums?

      • Steglitz49

        Orlando’s attendance rapidly went south. Missing Alex may not hurt Orlando too much.

        • GT

          If it goes further south, it will be in Cuba.

          • Steglitz49

            Terra del Fuego?

        • CED

          Every team but Portland would give up their 1st born for Orlando’s attendance. Even in the last 4 home games when they were clearly not doing well they still averaged over 7100 with a fluctuation range of about 600. That means it wasn’t based on one high attendance skewing it. For the season their avg was 8785 which is 3000 more than the 3rd place in attendance.

          • ARED

            I agree, and would like to give you a extra compliment for using statistics in an honest way -and showing why that was the case.

            7100 is a step down from 8785 (or the slightly higher avg they would have had before those last 4 games), but as you said it’s hardly a bad drop off considering the season they had. The question will be how they do this year….

          • Steglitz49

            Indeed. It would be funny if Orlando’s numbers rose while those of Lyon’s Ladies sank.

          • Som Termanni

            It was funny enough when Portland’s attendance rose and the Thorns went from 6th with her to the Shield without her, while Orlando couldn’t draw 8,000 fans to watch Morgan miss a third of the season and get shown up by Jasmyne Spencer on their way to the “except for Boston” bottom of the table.

          • Steglitz49

            Portland won the Championship in 2013 with Alex playing for them. The Shield is not worth a pitcher of warm spit. It is a consolation prize and thereby hurts even more because it is a sign of failure.

          • Steglitz49

            As this string discusses, will missing Alex matter in Orlando? And, whom could Orlando get as new bait?

          • Som Termanni

            If any team had Orlando’s stadium and marketing team and didn’t draw 7,000 season, they’d be an abject failure. When they missed ownership’s optimistic target of 13k in the second game, they dropped the target to 10k. When they never hit 8k again in their last 8 matches, ownership said 7k was good enough. When they hit 5,800 during the break, ownership said the new stadium will be the real test.
            It doesn’t matter what other teams want. For the club to survive, it only matters what the ownership wants. If ownership is that bad at projecting attendance and week-to-week attendance doesn’t grow in the new stadium, it’s not a great sign for the team’s future even if they continue setting “except for Portland” records.

          • CED

            A team really has no clue what the attendance is going to be the 1st year, The team was pie in the sky based on the 1st game. Also, the projections were surely off besides being an untested market but also that the team was less competitive than they expected. They missed projections which were truly outrageous but they surely are making money. They have MLS infrastructure so they have less overhead and with 8700/game with 280K salary cap means they are surely in the black.

          • Som Termanni

            > “The team was pie in the sky based on the 1st game”

            The team president projected 10k/match, openly touting it to the media, before the season started based on season ticket sales of 5,000+. But single-game sales never broke 3,000, barely broke 2,000 in most matches, sometimes dipped under 1,000.

            Generously assuming Boston has 2,000 season ticket holders, and pessimistically assuming Orlando has 5,000, Boston sold as many or more single-match tickets to their two July home matches (3,693)—sans international stars—as Orlando did to theirs (3,089). A Boston sellout is <8% the capacity of Camping World and “They missed projections which were truly outrageous”

            Nearly every NWSL team averages 1,500 single-game ticket sales per match. Most average at least 2,000. Houston averaged about 4,000 in 2014 and 4,500 in 2015.

            Orlando sold at least 5,000 season tickets. It’s not an outrageous goal for an MLS-backed expansion team to sell as many single-game tickets as the previous MLS-backed expansion team did in 2014 or 2015.

            But for Orlando it was utterly unrealistic. They never came close to doing it in _one match_ after the opener, much less across more than half of the season.

            > “the team was less competitive than they expected”

            The Pride’s attendance dropped week-over-week _until_ their performance faltered. They won three straight home matches in weeks 4, 5, and 10, and their attendance dropped over the previous home match each time. All of those were outside of international absences.

            On Week 12, 3 points out of 4th place, the Pride’s fans rewarded the team’s 5th win in 6 home matches with the worst turnout on the season, a crowd so small that the Dash passed it and the Spirit came within 100 of it.

            It’s easy to forgive turnouts south of 7,000 at the end of the season when the team’s fighting to avoid last place. Failing to hit _6,000_ when they’re a win out of fourth place and winning 4/5 home matches is poor.

            > with 8700/game with 280K salary cap means they are surely in the black

            And as long as Gulati blocks player wage increases by citing disappointing league-wide attendance, “in the black” won’t cut it. The league needs to grow. It needs more than one team pulling 10,000/match to justify raising the bar for everyone, or to justify another major-market expansion.

            It needs Orlando, Houston, Seattle, KC, and Chicago to stop turning out crowds of <50% their capacity/initial ticket pools. It needs Boston to keep doing well enough to justify going back to a larger stadium. It needs to come down hard on Sky Blue FC or rescind their NYC market control so someone else can actually sell to it.

            Like I said in another thread, the fact that Orlando is considered a success by falling only 3,000-5,000 fans/match short of even its scaled-back attendance goals is a blight against the league. "Better than Houston" and "best except for Portland" aren't good enough.

            If Orlando moves to another stadium and doesn't average 8,000 a match, Gulati will continue to use poor average league attendance as an excuse to keep sitting on _all_ players' wages, which will continue to slowly suck the air out of the league. The league needs Orlando to give Portland a run in attendance and sponsorships. It needs Orlando to consistently turn out single-game ticket sales. It needs Houston to do it, too, and they can't even put 9,000 neutrals in the stands for the _finals_.

            I'm tired of the argument that teams playing in stadiums with 15,000+ capacity, MLS-backed marketing resources, are successful because they turn a mediocre profit of low overhead. That's fine for the team. It's a crap, low bar for the league.

          • mockmook

            How do you quickly increase attendance in all those markets?

            If it were easy, I think they would be doing it.

          • Steglitz49

            It is not easy. That is why it is not happening. But, in the US it has to happen.

            The rich men’s teams in Europe have an awful lot of cash. Running a women’s team is chickenfeed to them If the girls do well, more power to their elbows.

            To run a women’s team in the US is a bigger % cut for an MLS team. Central subsidies and slave labour is not going to work forever, not least after such a lousy NT year as 2016.

          • Steglitz49

            Indeed.

          • Steglitz49

            Verily.

    • ARED

      Rapinoe and Heath were big names to those committed WoSo fans -but we all know how small a group that is now, let alone a few years back. Morgan attracts a bit more both inside and outside that small bubble.

  • dw

    That is really softplaying the effect on the league, but I don’t expect any different from the so-called media.

    You have expansion ownership groups who look to stack the deck in their favor like the Pride did, only to have their chosen one skip off to Europe a year later. Lessons learned for people on the outside looking in. I guess that offsets not having to pay your big name stars at all, but certainly not what the Pride or any prospective ownership group wants to see.

    TV deal is at best going to stay flat. At worst, it goes away completely. NWSL might get a small mid season boost with Alex’s return, but not enough to offset her absence from the start.

    Corporate sponsors’ interest will drop off, both locally and nationally. Probably the impact will have more to do with the quantity and quality of the exodus.

    It’s not about Lyon winning most of their matches, it’s about winning the matches THAT MATTER. For Lyon, that equates to about 7 or 8 games over the next 6 months, including QFs of the WCL.

    For Aulas, this could be (possibly, but probably not) the beginning of the endgame. If indeed the idea is to become the WoSo equivalent to RM or Barca. There probably will, in the near future, be a girl, somewhere in the USA, wearing a replica Lyon #13 kit. Actually, some over-zealous dad probably has one on the way from France for his little angel in time for Xmas. Again, this is about dynasty, and stamping a global brand. At some point, it isn’t even about soccer.

    As for Morgan’s statements: was there any mention of SBC?

    • Guest

      This was great for a laugh, thanks. There’s nobody more over dramatic or hyperbolic than a typical woso fan.

      • dw

        You’re welcome, Dan.

    • guest

      auas can’t beat psg to win the men’s french league. so might as well try for the women’s french league.

      • Steglitz49

        Be grateful that someone helps WoSo. Why bite the hand that feeds WoSo?

        You could just as well tell us why Real Madrid has no women’s team. You could also explain to us why Man Utd does not restart its women’s team.

        You may want to explain to the readers of the EQ why the Emir put money into PSG’s women’s team.

      • kukiku

        qsg’s fan babyrage

      • Som Termanni

        Seeing as how OL fem lost to PSG last week and is now playing from third place in D1F (behind Montpelier!), he isn’t exactly doing that either.

    • Ethan

      In her Players’ Tribune post, Morgan did say that she plans to be available for all US National Team matches. So, not really, but a somewhat indirect mention.

    • Steglitz49

      Methinks you protests too much.

      Alex put her shoulder to the wheel of the NWSL and played in all 4 of its first seasons. She neither swanned off to foreign fields nor opted out to concentrate on her NT play nor missed a SF for her team for a wedding.

      The NWSL disdained the attempt to run a world club championship for WoSo. The NWSL did not care about the Mexican players in their midst. Now the NWSL knows what it is like to be on the receiving end.

    • Paul Klee

      Why wouldn’t she be available for the SBC? It’s during the FIFA break, and likely she could fly over with at least half her OL teamates.

      • dw

        She would be available, but she doesn’t mention it even happening. I think it is a curious omission, seeing as how that is allegedly the biggest competition for WNT in 2017.

        • Steglitz49

          Ze biggest competition is Euro-17 and the Champions League and the FA Women’s Cup. Whoops, only two of those are open to US, Canadian and Mexican players.

          • guest

            Why is FA Women’s Cup bigger than the NWSL final or decisive French, Swedish or German league matches let alone the French, Swedish or German national cup finals?

            I guess just cause you happen to be addicted to it although it has no high value for WoSo? I guess it would be difficult to find 10 people world wide who can remember who won the FA cup final this year…..

            I fear real WoSo fans should’t take your comments serious

          • ARED

            Steglitz does that (I believe) because it drew a crowd, which is always (unfortunately) headline-worthy in WoSo. But I agree, as for the competition, it is not so important to many outside of England.

            (Maybe not even to those inside England, which is another problem -that WoSo draws numbers more as an occasional exhibition than out of any deep support or commitment).

          • Steglitz49

            In 2015 13,264 paid to see the NWSL Championship final in Portland and in 2016, 8,255 paid to see the NWSL Championship final in Houston. In those two years about 30,000 and 33,000, a total of 63,000, trotted along to Wembley for the two FA Cup Finals.

            Another way looking at it is that one final went down by 5,000 (-40%) while to other rose ny 3,000 (+10%).

            If the FA continues to market its ladies final, it will soon take center stage.

          • ARED

            Well, if the USA was the size of England (travel-wise), they would have had much bigger totals. It is not hard to draw a English crowd to London. It takes a bit more to draw an American crowd to anywhere they don’t already live.

            I doubt any of those 63,000 had to travel by airplane to Wembley…. ; p

          • Steglitz49

            Portland was not sold out. Far from it.
            More people live in Houston than in Portland. Less turned up.

            Excuses, excuses, excuses.

          • Som Termanni

            The 2015 championship was a nightmare scenario for the league, compounded by incompetent scheduling (on a Thursday evening during the school year, which kept most of even nearby Seattle’s fans at home). The match was against two teams local fans hated. More than half the crowd showed up to boo whoever won the game.

          • Steglitz49

            There is always at least one excuse for why too few go to WoSo matches. There is rarely an excuse for why the crowd sometimes fails a men’s team.

            The harsh reality the world over is that WoSo is a hard sell. The other problem is that with the media in male hands and sports administration in male hands, it is hard for women to get a fair shake at getting an audience.

          • Som Termanni

            “the FA continues to market its ladies”: There’s the rub. The NWSL has done more to cross-promote the US _men’s_ national team than the USSF has done to market the NWSL—the lowest of bars.

          • Steglitz49

            I am beginning to suspect that the FA and a few male teams have cottoned on to the fact that if they can make a go of this ladies soccer, they will have a new revenue stream which taps a different seam.

          • Steglitz49

            For the same reason as the men’s FA Cup final is mega. Image and marketing.

            The FA moved the ladies Cup final to Wembley 2 years ago and got it televised lived on the BBC. 30,000 showed up and saw Chelsea Ladies win. This year they got 33,000 to come along. 2017 will be crunch year: will there be more or less spectators?

            The live broadcast on the BBC: cachet. Playing in the National stadium, which on top of that is a handsome and well designed building: mega. The rest is priceless.

          • guest

            Image and marketing? You seem to be the only one thinking that the women’s FA cup has a good image. Something seems to be run wrong with their marketing.

            Many national cup matches are televised by national channels.

            The German women’s cup final for example has much more tradition. It is played since decades in big stadiums. And it is televised by their main TV channel. By the way ARD is the world’s largest public broadcaster

            Ask people here whether or not they know who won the last women’s FA cup final? And ask the same group of people whether they know who won the French league or the NWSL

            Just cause YOU love adn adore Wembley and everything around it doesn’t make the FA women’s cup final to one of the three most important WoSo events world wide. Please stop sharing your stupid Wembley dreams and fantasies with us

          • Steglitz49

            A couple of soccer stadia have a life of their own. Two of those are Wembley and the Maracana.

            Of the club stadia it depends. Clearly Old Trafford and Anfield are special. I don’t fell so much for Emirates but the old Highbury was a gem. No doubt there are other soccer club stadiums o special spirit.

          • guest

            You are taking men’s soccer

          • Steglitz49

            Indeed. No stand alone women’s club has a stadium of their own. The Swedish WNT has Gamla Ullevi in Götborg as their “home” stadium but it is shared by a number of men’s clubs.

            Sometimes women teams play in their men’s main stadia, such as Lyon and Wolfsburg and Arsenal has used Emirates at least once for their ladies.

          • guest

            Playing in a famous men’s stadium doesn’t make a women’s game important. You adore England. Fine. Buy some union jacks and be happy. But don’t troll here about the women’s FA cup final

          • Steglitz49

            33,000 spectators and live broadcast on the BBC ain’t half bad. Beats 8,255 tickets and no main-line TV broadcast.

            England, their England! To have been born an Englishwoman is to have drawn the winning ticket in the lottery of life.

          • Steglitz49

            The German ladies Cup final was played as a curtain raiser to the men’s. That final was played in the Berlin Olympic stadion 1985-2010. Even in the days of the DDR the Olympic stadium was used. Six years ago in 2010 the German ladies cup final was split off and moved to Cologne.

            The 2016 women’s DFB-pokal final was watched by 15,000, in 2015 they were 19,000, 2014 16,600 and in 2013 14,300. Thus in 4 years they got 64,900 — slightly more than the FA women’s Cup in 2 years.

          • Guest

            I thought you were talking about tradition. It seems your only point is the attendance of the last two years.

            I thought that we have seen even higher attendance figures at the African Cup this year. So according to your logic the African Cup is the most important women soccer event.

            And by the way – you are always talking about tradition. Please let us know about the attendance figures of your FA Cup final from 10 year ago.

            The German Cup final was already played in front of thousands in the Olympiastadion of Berlin and televised by ARD by then

          • guest

            Discussing with Steg is not produvtive. He lives in his own world.

            We all know that the English women’s league is of lower importance and class. And we all know that the English national women’s cup has no relevance for global soccer at all.

            But Steglitz thinks so. He is a poor man. He just lives in his fantasy world. Help him being happy.

            Hey Steg, I just learned that Alex Morgan wanted to go to England in order to be able to play in the real McCoy of women’s soccer – the English women’s FA cup. But unfortunately she realized that she is not strong enough for that great competition.

            But she wanted to be as close as possible to the English FA Cup. Hence she went to Europe since in Europe all national stations are broadcasting English women’s FA Cup games around the clock.

            And hey Steg, please be so good proving us again the results of the round of the last 256 and last 128 of the last three FA women’s cups. Please. We are all sooooo interested in it

          • Steglitz49

            HOFCToDi — is that you under a flag of convenience?

          • Steglitz49

            By African Women’s Cup I presume you mean the Africa Women Cup of Nations. That is a competition between nations, not clubs.

            By all means appoint the African Women’s Cup the most important event of the year trumping the OG, if that floats your boat.

            Regarding the German ladies cup final, you seem to have a reading comprehension issue. I will synopsize for you again:

            Between 1985 and 2010 the German ladies Cup final was played before the men’s Cup final in the Berlin Olympic stadium. It was NOT a freestanding event. Instead the women were a warm-up act before the men came on. A pre-band if you prefer.

            In 2010 the German ladies cup final was split off and moved to Cologne as a separate event. The attendance for the German women’s cup final since 2010 has been for that freestanding event. Got it?

            The reason that I only went back to 2013 was that no figure is given for the German women’s cup final for 2012.

            The figures from 2010, when the German ladies became freestanding and onwards are:
            Year … England … Germany
            2010 … 17,505 ….. 26,282
            2011 … 13,855 ….. 20,312
            2012 ….. 8,723 ….. not given
            2013 ….. 4,988 ….. 14,289
            2014 … 15,098 ….. 16,621
            2015 … 30,710 ….. 19,204
            2016 … 32,912 ….. 16,524

            Why the German women’s cup final has failed to get above 20,000 since 2011 while the English FA cup now twice has bested the German record of 26,282 is an interesting question, as are the years of 2012 and 2013.

          • guest

            2012 DFB Cup Final attendance – 15678
            You were appointing events to be the most important purely by attendance figures – not me. So please stick to your arguments.

            Nobody says that the German cup final is one of the three top events of women soccer as you said the FA cup final would be. Nobody. And still the German women’s cup final had better attendance in 5 out of 7 years you provided

            Furthermore you may confess that the German league is stronger than the English league. And please also answer the question since when the FA Cup Final is televised live in public TV. For the German cup final this is the case for more than 20 years (with much higher viewer figures than your funny FA cup final).

          • Steglitz49

            Thank you for the figure of 15,678. Much obliged.

            Thus, we can agree that attendance at the German women’s cupfinal sank steadily for 4 years and bottomed out at 14,289 in 2013, since when it has risen a bit.

            2013 was also the worst year for the FA women’s cup final.

            During the last 2 year, the FA cup final was attended by 27,894 more spectators than the German final. The power of marketing.

            It looks as if 2017 can be a crunch year. Can the FA get their attendance to increase yet again? What will happen to the German final? How will the NWSL Championship look? Which marketing-team will prevail?

          • guest

            FA Cup attendance is irrelevant if you consider that average attendance for the FAWSL this past season, according to the FA, was 1,128–a ridiculously low number which many collegiate teams in the US could easily surpass.

            The reality is European woso couldn’t survive without sugar daddy support, dirty money (PSG), or hoodwinking the public (Tyreso), because the attendance figures just don’t support it. The NWSL, with a mean attendance of 3,800, along with its low-cost structure, due to most players earning below-market wages, means it’s much closer to being a self-sustaining proposition than the sugar daddy leagues in Europe.

          • Steglitz49

            Indeed. The brave new world of the men’s team has changed EU WoSo forever. This season Umeå was relegated from Damallsvenskan, a fate no NWSL team needs to fear.

            It depends on what you consider the true cost of running a WoSo club team is but $4m a year would not be an overestimate. With 12 home-games and making a profit of $40 per spectator — woman, man and child — you need 8,400 per game in the stands. Obviously, if you can attract sponsors, the number is lower.

            3,800 is a long way from 8,400 and 400 short of 4,200.

          • mockmook

            “most players earning below-market wages”

            How do you figure?

          • guest

            Do the lowest paid even make minimum wage? They donate their time and services to the owners when they could be earning much more in other careers, and they’re helping keep the league afloat.

          • mockmook

            OK

            But a low market wage implies that they could make more playing WoSo (in the WoSo market) somewhere else — I don’t see that.

          • ARED

            Haha….uh-oh. I suppose they mean “…below the European/global market-level, which is of course drastically subsidized and inflated, as opposed to a true market value….”

          • DNG

            I kind of agree with guest. Salary caps are in effect wage suppression tools. No one wants to see a league where portland buys the championship though so a necessary evil right now. I prefer luxury taxes to hard caps though.

          • Steglitz49

            Seeing that the NWSL is a league for north-America maybe it should be compared to the last 8 of the ladies Champions League, which this year are:

            Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Lyon, PSG, Wolfsburg, Man City, Rosengård and Hjörring.

            You could say that the first 6 are buying the Champions League trophy, not least in a year when Umeå has been relegated from the Damallsvenskan.

          • ARED

            I agree with the overall point, but the phrase “below-market wages” is a bit odd, considering the fact that we all know the market is not good, and therefor the wages are not good. The Europeans are paying an “above-market wage”, and USWNT players get the same, while normal NWSL players get closer to a market wage -because there really is no market (yet) to sustain wages.

          • DNG

            Yeah. There is a serious market in exactly one city but that’s not enough for a thriving league.

          • Steglitz49

            The reality is that this is what is happening in Europe. It is changing the whole compact of club WoSo.

            The NWSL has been expanding by adding MLS teams.

            Most European WoSo teams can’t afford to pay their players very well, just like the NWSL. Therefore, players go to the best paying clubs.

            Unlike the USWNT, playing for the NT does not earn you much. It is a calling card, a merit on your CV, to get a contract with a rich men’s club.

        • Paul Klee

          It would be a hoot if she was on strike with the USWNTPA, and stayed in France while half her Lyonnaise teammates came over with their respective national teams and played US replacement players in the She BELIEVES cup!

          • Steglitz49

            If the figure Lyon pays is correct, Alex is better off not being called up.

          • guest

            what’s the figure?

          • Steglitz49

            According to one of the other commentators, it is 25,000€ ($30,000) per month.

            I don’t know if it is true and it sounds a bit high but that is the figure reported by one of the other commentators.

          • dw

            An even bigger hoot if US scab team wins SBC.

  • Guest

    Sell out

    • Steglitz49

      Let’s hope she sells out the stadium in Lyon if not all of France.

      Alex played loyally in the NWSL’s first 4 seasons, unlike several of her USWNT colleagues. She has served her time at the oars.

  • guest

    what does it mean??? it means the orlando pride will be worse than the boston breakers next year.

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    • GT

      You may be right. I’m curios to see how the Breakers off season moves including their upcoming college draft picks change their fortunes.

    • mockmook

      Don’t underestimate the Breakers’ ability to squander a golden opportunity.

      • DNG

        The Breakers have a lot of picks to improve their squad in the draft. I think their needs may be too great to solve in this draft alone though.

        • Steglitz49

          How many season will the coach last when the cupboard is bare?

        • mockmook

          If they are smart, in the draft, the Breakers will get “stater level” players at:

          CF
          CM (Qty 2)
          DM
          GK

          Plus, good to excellent players at:

          CB
          LB
          RB

          And, they signed/acquired:
          Fwd/Mid: Emilie Haavi
          Mids: Rosie White and Amanda Da Costa
          LB: Allysha Chapman
          CB: Megan Oyster

          If they can’t solve their ills with all that, they need to close up shop.

          • ARED

            Those are actually some good signings though as a start. We’ll see how it all comes together for them.

  • GT

    With 2017 being a year with no new teams coming in, no World Cup or Olympics (and the good, the bad and the ugly associated with them) this could be a “pivotal” year for the NWSL. I’m hoping that Morgan’s move doesn’t set a “negative” tone for other players who are deciding what they may do next year. Also the outcome of the CBA negotiations could impact the league as well .I think we’re all hoping that a positive result with the CBA combined with having most of the top players available the entire season will result in a “pivot up” and not a “pivot down”.

    • Steglitz49

      Getting top berths around EU is not as easy as it may seem. USWNT players are highly paid. Getting a $25-30,000 a year position may not be too hard but I am not persuaded that USWNT are interested in such.

    • ARED

      Yes, I agree with you 100%. It is a shame that each year was ruined to some extent by the WC and Olympics (and the poor job of the media, US Soccer, and NWSL of relating the league to the national team). And now, the first change to fully show itself -and yet NWSL actually has found new distractions to (likely) harm the excitement for the season.

    • CED

      I find this musing hilarious. This is how real international soccer works, players on any NT play in different leagues. They don’t play in fake league structure where they miss 40 or 50% of the games to play and train for NT. They don’t miss league games to play in worthless friendlies outside of FIFA International windows.

      • ARED

        Yes, but the league is propped up whether we like it or not. Do you suggest letting it fall again, until it can come back organically (not likely, at least anytime soon)? If you do not want it to fall, they must continue to manipulate a false market and hope it grows in this very non-organic way -and maybe hold to hope it will stand alone someday.

        Of course in Euro it is propped up in a different way altogether, but at least with more resemblance of “real international soccer”, as you say.

        So, I didn’t see that as a complaint that Morgan shouldn’t move, but as a statement of the grim truth that WoSo is vulnerable, specifically the NWSL.

        • Steglitz49

          Alex Morgan is not the tip of an iceberg. The money teams in Europe might be willing to offer USWNT members is only a fraction of what they are used to earning even in a lean year.

          For all the talk of players going abroad, let’s see which moves actually materialize. Some college seniors may take a walk on the wild side though.

          • ARED

            It’s not about her leading to a massive leak of players. But about the fact that NWSL may not be able to afford any leak. If the US players even have contracts, which we do not know.

            Investors do not like uncertainty -especially about the biggest assets/draws to the market. That goes for owners, media coverage, and fans. Do you think the current scene in NWSL makes it likely they will sign a big TV deal or see a massive surge in ticket sales? That, I believe, is what GT (and I) was saying.

          • Steglitz49

            USSF has no choice but keep the NWSL going. The CSA will help them. The Mexicans may need some convincing.

          • ARED

            Well, they could say “We make our money with the USWNT, and lose some on the league. The players can form their own league if they want it, and find their own investors and sponsors….”

          • Steglitz49

            The US — and Canada and Mexico — must have a pro-league to comply with the unwritten requirements. The Mexican FA has started some female league their own now, though I am not sure about the details. Without a pro-league, no participation in the WC. I doubt that the USSF would want to risk calling FIFA’s bluff.

          • dw

            There’s no way I MUST do anything to meet an unwritten requirement. What’s FIFA to do, disqualify the US from WWC?

          • Steglitz49

            As I have typed several times, at the time the second US pro-league died, the USWNT played like a clubside. The Association of the big countries objected to this to FIFA behind the scenes, that it gave the US an unfair advantage over their own teams that were pulled together with much less time together.

            I don’t know what would happen if the NWSL was to fold in 2018 and the USWNT played as a clubside in 2019. It is usually best to avoid such confrontations and find some compromise but FIFA has repeatedly since 2012 made clear that soccer is a club game onto which an NT structure is bolted.

            Where there is a will, there is a way.

          • dw

            Yeah, but what matters in StegWorld doesn’t matter in the real world. Plenty of FIFA ranked federations with no club WoSo, right? Or if amatuer or semi-pro leagues count, we have plenty of them, as well. And, in case this isn’t obvious to anyone, if whatever “playing like a clubside” means, I’m reasonably sure they still fit that definition despite the existence of NWSL. Both sides of the argument are a sham…

          • Steglitz49

            The key to success, as always, is to avoid needless confrontations.

          • ARED

            Yeah, I’m not sure I’d be too worried….lol. FIFA did rig the draw at the last WC to try to inflate ratings, no? So I doubt they will allow USA to drop out on some technical rule.

          • Steglitz49

            Indeed. Like they did not include Hedvig Lindahl for voting for POTY in case she won the shebang.

        • CED

          Run it like a real league. The teams actually pay the players and thus have control of their release. If USSF wants to subsidize NWSL you give each team a set amount. USSF spends about 1.5M on NWSL NT salary, give each team 150K and they can spend as they like. Teams without or fewer NT can use that money to pay top non NT players.

          • ARED

            Oh, well I do agree there. A better system of propping could be implemented. But that would still leave the problems of players missing games. Honestly even with no subsidy, based on current draw and influence/power, I imagine the players would still leave the NWSL anytime USWNT scheduled a match…..FIFA window, or not.

          • Steglitz49

            They won’t miss the games if the USWNT respects windows. Outside a window the clubs have no obligation to release players, so why would they?

          • ARED

            Because if the club pays you $12,000 and you make $190,000 a year, the club may have little obligation but also little real power. Ok, we fine you a month’s pay. Ouch.

          • Steglitz49

            It would be a simple contract following standard rules. The players earn their money through their club. The NT reimburses the club for time used on NT duty (work).

            The clubs would not release the player outside of a window. The windows cut both ways.

          • ARED

            But for the US players the club money would be a pittance to the NT work. This is in the “even with no subsidy” world I mentioned.

          • Steglitz49

            They would not be paid by and for the NT. The NT would reimburse the club for the time they use the player. The NT cannot pay the player directly.

            Bonuses for winning WCs etc would be outside of that, obviously but WCs are in windows.

          • ARED

            That is the men’s game. In the women’s game, the USA players are paid totally by the federation, no? And we theorized about if it were a subsidy to the league/clubs. But then I said, even if there were no subsidy, and the clubs could afford to pay the meager salaries they do without support, the money the USWNT players would receive from the NT exploits, even if they were slightly less due to the subsidy that is or isn’t being offered, would still be far and away greater than the normal NWSL pay.

            Anyway, this is all a silly hypothetical, enough!

          • Steglitz49

            CED’s point was to move away from the current system to a new system closer to the men’s. It is in agreement with CED’s idea — which, incidentally, has been proposed by others before — that I make those observations.

          • ARED

            That is true, but you were responding to my hypothetical I believe, whether you realized it or not…lol.

          • Steglitz49

            If it is true that Lyon is paying Alex $30,000 per month, then she is better off not playing for the USWNT.

          • ARED

            Right, but we were talking about NWSL-US Soccer and their connection.

          • Steglitz49

            What chance has a college senior of the USWNT? Might as well take that foreign shilling while it is there.

          • CED

            Standard contract that teams abide to by FIFA are teams are not required to release a player for an international game outside of a FIFA window. They can if they want to but are not required to. The actual required lease dates teams must abide by are firmly set even before something like Euros, Wcup, Copa America, etc…

          • ARED

            Yep….I was just suggesting that it will be a long time before NWSL clubs have any power over the national team (and it’s players).

          • DNG

            I actually really like this idea. I think they should make the cap more of a luxury tax as well so that an owner like Paulson can spend money but have it redistributed to the teams that need it sort of like baseball.

          • Steglitz49

            It has been discussed in the EQ over the past 3 years. No consensus but more people have started to see its merits.

          • GT

            I don’t pretend to understand the details here, but conceptually it sounds good. Is Paulson the owner of the Portland Thorns? So if they have 4 or 5 allotted American players, what are they paid? Less than other teams? And how is money redistributed?

          • DNG

            The league would basically set a set amount any team could spend on wages similar to a salary cap. Teams would be allowed to cross this threshold though if they were willing to pay a tax to the league which the league could then distribute to team that need it the most. Usually there is an amount that teams are required to spend as well so they aren’t completely gaming the system.

          • Bill

            MLB has some provisions like this as does the NFL

          • Steglitz49

            Those are not world games the way soccer is. The MLB and the NFL even more are domestic exercises.

          • Steglitz49

            Hear hear!

          • Bill

            Like this direction. Good idea

      • Steglitz49

        Hear hear! A decisive point incisvely made.

      • GT

        Always happy to amuse.

  • TR

    Alex should do what’s best for herself and family. She has served the national team and the Pride with class. The reality is she will soon lose a step to age or another injury so grabbing a new adventure overseas seems like a good plan to me. If the NWSL or Pride can’t absorb one marquee player moving on they have much larger problems to deal with. I still plan to enjoy watching the Pride from the new stadium regardless of who the starting 11 will be.

    • mockmook

      “If the NWSL or Pride can’t absorb one marquee player moving on they have much larger problems to deal with.”

      If the Pride had any decent draft picks, if they had any decent depth, then they would be OK. But, an expansion team that mortgaged much of its future on one player will take a few years to bounce back.

      • DNG

        The Pride are probably going to have to make it through the next season or two not being very good unless Sermanni can attract a couple of very good international players and fill some of their holes. I thought they were going to have issues even with Morgan. They are still on a similar path to the Dash though who I expect to have a strong year in their fourth season.

        • ARED

          With their team from last year I think they needed one very good midfielder and one very good attacker to have top-4 potential. Possible, but not likely to achieve. Without Morgan, well, it is a boost for teams like KC and Houston right now, because it is harder to see Orlando challenging them -but as always with the NWSL we shouldn’t assume too much until the rosters are actually set.

  • Reality

    A clash of two players who have had some great moments in their careers playing for the foremost WOSO team in the world.

    Carli Lloyd…

    “I set out on this journey 13 years ago to become the best player in the world and I achieved that last year,” the soccer star says of her World Cup performance. “Now it’s about continuing to be the best player in the world.”

    Alex Morgan…

    “I hope that this change will help push my game to another level,” she said. “I want to be the best player in the United States, the best player in the world.”

    • Guest

      get used to it. Carli Lloyd is your new starting CF.

      • mockmook

        Better than anywhere else — let her stay up top and not mess with the build up.

        • guest

          I agree. I’d rather have Press in Lloyd’s spot. It could work.

          • ARED

            Can. Has. Would. Should. lol.

            (Press, and every other forward not named Wambach or Lloyd has looked quite good with or without Morgan alongside. And shockingly, the other 10 players suddenly seem better as well!).

          • Reality

            I think that Morgan’s career had its peak moment back in 2012 and Lloyd’s career occurred in 2015. Both now need to find new paths to maintain their past glory. Morgan is attempting that with her apprenticeship at Lyon. It is now Lloyd’s move to find a method to remain in the spotlight. In the meantime, the line grows behind them for qualified players who are waiting for a real chance to prove themselves.

          • ARED

            Well, there is no denying that Lloyd is 34 and has been “old” by WoSo standards for years. I try to avoid criticizing Lloyd excessively, but it is due I believe.

            Morgan is only 27, so it far more reasonable that she is involved -both in the USA picture and the talking of “best in world”. She may not have reached 2011-2012 form, but her 2015 was good enough to be the most dangerous forward at the WC despite injury, and since then we have seen her move forward.

            So, I agree it is strange (or insane) that these are the only two strikers used by the USA who have so many great players to combine, until recent moments. But, I do not think it means both are equal -or equally clinging to the spotlight. Although I agree, we may see or hear something from Lloyd before long….

          • Reality

            This has been mentioned more than once here at EQ that, in the USWNT system, once a player has made a breakthrough into the level of “star” status via a critical performance at a major event like the OG or WC, then they have attained a level of entitlement which is reinforced by social media and monetary factors. The only way that they can be displaced is through retirement or injury. And even injury is not sufficient since their status is maintained if they recover sufficiently to return. This makes it difficult if not impossible for other aspiring players to gain a real opportunity for advancement.

          • ARED

            Yep. It is quite embarrassing actually I believe, and does hold back the women’s game also. When a team can be run so poorly for so long (at least 8 years from 2007-2015, if we are kind), yet still are a top team, it causes questions about the competition itself.

            That the USA has not been winning so much (compared to their potential) but still was run so poorly causes questions about US Soccer -and that is nothing new either….

          • Reality

            Corporate cultures are shaped from the top down. In the USSF and the USWNT, this means Gulati and his coaching staff. There will not be any meaningful change until they are replaced.

          • ARED

            And now we have “preached to the choir” from the start to the finish. I agree, Gulati is good for money and his friends, but not for the game itself, or for any kind of smart or fair hiring/firing of managers.

          • #1Fan

            but lets be fair, the women’s game is ALL about marketing. its all they really have to sell.

          • Steglitz49

            So far it has been a hard sell in Europe but Euro-17 may give us a sign. Euro-13 was to practical purposes a sell-out with full matches. Let’s trust the Ducth can cap that.

          • ARED

            Ha, now that is a good point….

          • #1Fan

            Replacing Morgan or Lloyd is not about replacing the player. its about replacing the image.

          • mockmook

            Having Lloyd be the “new” face of the USWNT happened in an instant.

            That will easily happen again with someone (Pugh, Sanchez, Dunn, Jordan, ????)

          • Steglitz49

            I vote for Sanchez — for now.

          • ARED

            Maybe wait until her first cap….?

            Just a thought…..

          • Steglitz49

            The WNT needs an honorific Hispanic.

          • ARED

            Ok…..

          • Bruce

            Not Ok…

          • ARED

            Exactly.

          • Steglitz49

            HNNA?

          • #1Fan

            i am not saying its hard . Im saying that is what they do. And to be fair, Lloyd happened in an instant because she has been around a while. The name recognition is there and a WC Hattie helps.

          • Steglitz49

            I put it to you that the US WoSo public and possibly the general public is a bit confused. This is because during the years of impotence after 1999 and until 2015, the great unwashed were told that the Olympics was the most important and since the US won it that made sense.

            Then — whoa — they saw how the Veterans scrambled to be on the WC-15 barge. Unseemly is the word. The WC was won and hey presto, now the WC was the big cheese.

            Then came the Bomb in Brasilia. Instead of being the first ever NT to do the Double, they did not make it out of the QFs. Yet. For years the populous had had it drummed into them that the OG is great.

            How do you sell to this confused public?

          • Steglitz49

            After the Bomb in Brasilia it will be a little harder to market the USWNT. Without either Alex or Carli it will be harder still.

          • ARED

            If they would learn to pull the plug sooner, say on Wambach or Lloyd, they could revel in the benefit of the Morgans/Rapinoes/Press’s/Heath’s/Dunn’s/etc. I mean, Pugh has already shown well enough to be a much better marketing tool than Lloyd for me. Look at the men -Neymar at 17 was huge and drew buzz, while the 30+ players may draw respect and crowds, but not the same effect.

          • Steglitz49

            The team was well run from 2008 to 2015, as witness its success on the field. The team was much renewed with young players from 2008-12.

            The reason it looks so strange is that 2010-2015 belonged to the Golden Generation.

          • ARED

            I know many believe that. But one WC and two Olympics wins, impressive as they are, out of 6-7 tries leaves something on the table I believe -especially because it was a true golden generation. Holiday, Heath, Morgan, Solo, Rapinoe, Sauerbrunn, these were true world-class players. Others like O’Hara, Kreiger, O’Reilly, Rampone, Klingenberg, Press, Leroux, ARod, etc, gave a huge and strong platform for those world-class players.

            But instead they were all used as a platform for the individuals, beginning with Wambach (and continuing with Lloyd), to chase glory and prolong careers. They won sometimes by despite this, but they were not “well run” in my opinion.

          • #1Fan

            are they really true world class players ? Im not ata ll convinced. They pklayed on the dominant team, but i would not call heath,morgan or rapinoe necesarily world class. If i made a world XI im not sure they make it .

          • anon

            i would absolutely consider peak Heath, Morgan and Rapinoe world class players. And yeah, Lloyd too.

          • Guest

            exactly. All of these players have good games and bad games, but at their best (especially Rapinoe imo – even though IMO she is never coming back) they are pretty spectacular to watch.

          • mockmook

            “If i made a world XI im not sure they make it ”

            We won’t know unless you try.

          • guest

            have you ever considered that there can be more than 11 world class players?

          • #1Fan

            err..yes I have. i am not sure that players from other countries get anywhere near the consideration they deserve when talking world class. How many world class players do you think japan had over that period ?

          • ARED

            Sawa and Miyama are in the best-ever conversation for me as well. I love many others, but would not rate them at the same level of those Americans I listed. They may have a few more coming soon though.

          • Steglitz49

            Marta.

          • ARED

            Is not Japanese…..

            (last I checked). (But don’t worry, I posted many praises of her below!).

          • Steglitz49

            I can’t name all the Golden Generation but here is a go:
            Kawasumi, Kumagai, Kinga, Iwashimizu, Sameshima, Maruyama, Sakeguchi, Ohno, Ando and the two you mentioned. There a couple more.

          • guest

            “I can’t name all the Golden Generation” And nobody cares, either, because for millions of Americans, Alex Morgan was the star of WC 11.

          • Steglitz49

            No quarrel with that conclusion. Probably to much of the world too.

          • ARED

            Sawa was the star of WC 11. Miyama arguably.

            But, it’s also fair to say the USA was poor and should have won, or at least performed better. They had elements of a great team -and even had Japan on the ropes with their flawed lineup -but they eventually self-destructed, due largely to their flawed lineup.

            It still took Sawa and one of the greatest performances ever seen in WoSo, but it’s not crazy to talk about Morgan as a star either -that was the peak of her rise to the scene, was it not? And she outperformed the veteran star Wambach, did she not?

          • guest

            I’m only speaking for the millions of unwashed US fans when I say Morgan was the star, because I’m one of them. I didn’t mean to pick a fight with the soccer cognoscenti. My remarks were more aimed at a Swedish troll who seems to constantly want to take the US down a notch. BTW my statement is true, millions of Americans do see Morgan as the star, not Miyama.

          • ARED

            Oh, actually I thought you were implying sarcasm against the Americans who don’t know/care about the team or players who won, so I was responding to give credit to that type of comment. (I had just said above/below how for me, the WC11 was largely about Morgan continuing her rise to be a huge player for the USA, so I assumed you didn’t like that).

            So in the USA picture, Morgan was the rising star and Holiday (for me) was the best overall player. But in light of the tournament in general, I have to credit Sawa as the star and key player for the winners, with Miyama and the entire Japanese team in a strong supporting role.

          • Steglitz49

            Maybe you should tell him about 8-1 in 1981 while you are at it?

          • Steglitz49

            Sweden did take the US down several notches this past August. But it was far away so maybe it did not happen.

            Sweden beat the US in WC-11 but it was in the group game. Phew. Also, it was along time ago so maybe it did not happen.

            Not only Americans but the ROW noticed Alex Morgan in the WC-11 final. You would have to be blind not to have.

          • Steglitz49

            The USWNT backslid in 2016 though. 5 years.

          • guest

            alex morgan’s second uswnt cycle certainly didn’t equal her first cycle. and it’s doubtful morgan’s third cycle will either as age and injuries continue.

          • Ethan

            I think Morgan’s 2013-2016 form was notably better than a lot of people think, and I actually think elements of her game (i.e. some linkup and holdup play) have been better since 2012. Nevertheless, that WWC 2011 final performance remains one of my favorite performances of hers. She was very good in that match and arguably outperformed everyone in her 75 minutes on the pitch.

          • ARED

            I agree. I didn’t mean that was the peak of her career to date -although perhaps 11/12 were her best calendar years. I meant that was the moment she undoubtedly reached the top of the mountain. It was no longer Wambach’s team, or forward line. It was Morgan’s. (and Holiday/Rapinoe/Sauerbrunn/Heath/etc).

            Well. It was obvious to some of us anyway…..

          • Steglitz49

            Are you talking OG-16?

          • ARED

            Speaking in the context of WoSo from 2007 (or before) through 2015, I believe so. I know your point, that on the dominant team everyone is elevated to a higher starting point. But, at some level they are/were the dominant team because of that.

            Rapinoe is a bit of a one-trick player, but her right foot is (or was) absolutely world class. Unfortunately she was a sub until the last bit of her prime, as per usual. Heath and Morgan for me are top players, and have been throughout their careers. Now there is a bit more competition, but I still don’t see anywhere near enough others at their level to take away my “world class” claim. Same for Sauerbrunn, although she’s a bit more like Rapinoe and was a reserve for many of her best years.

            And Holiday in 2011-2012 was probably the best woman I’ve ever seen play, despite again being rarely used in ways to best display it. A great mix of pure talent, technique, vision, intelligence, and toughness.

          • #1Fan

            Heath def not over her career for me. Morgan tip of the spear. it is no coincidence that almost every forward the US tries , scores. Is Leroux world class? Was O Reilly world class ? or better than Rapinoe or Heath ? I think Japan, Brazil , England, Australia , France and Germnay to name a few, have all had players you could replace almost all your selections with. it comes down to ones interpretation of world class. to me it means – in woso – top 2 at your position – just because the toital pool is small. Of the names you listed apart form Solo, who is unequivocally the best at her postilion over that time ?

          • ARED

            Fair enough. That type of conversation will always get complicated. For me, when I watch the 2011 WC even now, all I can think about is 1) How impressive Morgan was, and how crazy it was that she was still being held back, and 2) How she and Holiday made Wambach remain relevant, despite the obvious fact that they (and Rapinoe) were being shuffled around to suit Wambach (and Lloyd). So while I agree that all forwards can and *usually* do score with the USWNT, I do not see goals in CONCACAF as equal to massive goals against Germany, France, and Japan.

            Many laud Necib for example, who of course is brilliant as well, but I would simply not consider her at that same “world class” level, in part due to physical levels and in part to mental, despite her obvious talent.

            On my list, I see no real arguement against Solo or Morgan. Arguments against Holiday, Heath, and Rapinoe will come because those roles and positions have more variance and more competition. Who else, maybe Kessler/Miyama/Sawa/Marta? Cristiane? De Vanna? I love watching many WoSo players, and I also don’t mind taking cheeky shots against the USWNT, but I just don’t see much there.

          • Steglitz49

            DeVanna? Pull the other one.

          • #1Fan

            Prinz? Fishlock ? Kim Little? Sinclair? Kelly Smith ? Angerer,? Marta? Formiga? Schelin? Marozn ? I can name several and so could you. But its the power of marketing. The names you list are great players, but they are also incredibly visible becasue of who they play for and how they are marketed.

          • ARED

            True, but I guess the question also comes up is “world class” limited to the present game, or based on the history of the game (or some combination).

            Again, while I would not compare Morgan to Prinz to call her world class, against Sinclair, Smith, (and Little) I say Morgan is better. Marta has been less of a striker since Morgan came along, but I would rate 2007-ish Marta as better than Morgan’s best times.

            Angerer was strong, but nowhere near Solo for me. No other GK has been even close. Little and Fishlock are great, and it is unfortunate not to see them (or Smith) in the context of a great team like USA or France which may alter my opinions -since I do see the WC and then the Olympics as the biggest stages of WoSo. But again, my point here was never to say “USA is the greatest!”, but instead to say “The USA had a special collection of talent, both in top-end quality and depth/quantity”. That is what made them good enough to win despite playing with 1-2 (or 3-4….) players who were not the best available at most times. Which players are technically “world class” or not don’t really matter to make that point.

          • #1Fan

            again, fair. I used post 2007 just becasue thats what i read.

          • ARED

            I think I was trying to say I felt those players stand up to the world class label even across a long stretch of time, although in a given moment (1-2 years) of time I would say there are a group (however large or small) of world class players. Some remain longer, which is all the more impressive, while others are fleeting -but for me if they have a full year that is enough to acknowledge them.

            For example, I think Holiday compares favorably to all USA midfielders/CAMs ever, so that goes above and beyond just a player being “world class” in a frozen moment of time during a given season. But I agree, it’s been a nice chat -better than I would expect given the touchy subject…lol.

          • #1Fan

            🙂 i love to discuss these things, the more respectful the better.

          • Steglitz49

            The problem of agreeing the best even when restricted by position, is as old as the hills. At some point it comes down to personal preferences and prejudices, just as when a coach picks a starting XI.

            Every so often players come along that are out of the ordinary and whose contribution to the game transcends all.

            Sadly, it is far to easy to note the poor player who had the chance of a life/time but fluffed it.

          • Steglitz49

            That the US, 315m people, with its large number of young ladies playing soccer and supported by Title IX can field several top-class WNT is not an issue.

            The issue is rather how small a pool you must have to be competitive. Judging by the last 5-6 years, maybe 10, you need a population base of at lest 5m and preferably 10m minimum.

          • Steglitz49

            In 2007, Marta was 21 years old. In the WC-11 final Alex had just turned 22. Saki Kumagai was 20.

            Is your conclusion that female soccer players peak around 20-22? I would give them a playing duration to 27 but would like to see them retired from NT duty by 30.

          • ARED

            Not always, and not quite so young. But it certainly is a young woman’s game in general I believe, and while I think your calls for early retirement are crazy, I think it should be unusual to see 33-38 year olds as much as we do, especially with the USA.

            The best players -like Marta -are special, so yes, even at 20 they can be the best. Any doubters who didn’t watch before 2011, I refer you to spend some time on youtube -including the greatest goal in WWC (and WoSo?) history….

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92Ubrul7q2E

          • Steglitz49

            Probably destined never to win the World Championship — like a few others we no doubt can think about.

            If you are still playing WoSo beyond 30, you really must ask yourself what are your priorities. There will always be the odd exceptions but they really should be that: exceptions.

          • #1Fan

            to be honest , Im not really trying to come up with more names. There are several players you would have to consider

          • Steglitz49

            Hear hear!

            Marketing rules OK.

          • DNG

            I agree on Heath. The past year and a half aside she has been inconsistent in her effectiveness and struggled to be productive most of her career. She seems to have put that talent together over the last year or so that she is pretty consistently effective. The body of work is not there for me to consider her world class though. She has always struggled to score goals.

          • ARED

            Fair enough, I must say:
            1) Maybe it’s the change in the team more than a change in the player, that shows her in a more “productive” light. Notice how much better she got when Wambach left and Lloyd left the midfield? ; p
            2) There’s more to the game than goals (but I do agree I think Heath could focus on ways to be a better finisher).

          • DNG

            I think Heath is a very good player and under appreciated by many. I also agree that there are a lot of ways to positively influence a games besides being productive which is why I also said effective. I think she needs to focus on continuing to be consistently being effective and work on her production if I am going to call her world class though.

          • ARED

            Yep, as I said, that is fair. I would wonder which midfielders you like or might prefer?

          • DNG

            Wide attacking midfielders or wide forwards? I like Caroline Graham Hansen a lot. She plays for Wolfburg and Norway.

          • ARED

            Yeah, as I asked that I thought “of course, it all depends in which role you use Heath”, and since the USWNT sometimes barely seems to have tactics, let alone good ones, it can be tough…lol. Part of why I like Heath is because she can play any midfield role and as a wide forward, but I suppose with the USWNT I would say she is essentially just a wide midfielder -part of why she lacks goals, also. She is always running the full pitch and covering for when the center midfielders are a mess (for me, 70% of the time…lol). In Portland sometimes she is more of an attacker, but still more of a wide midfielder I would say, depending on the lineup.

            CGH is good, for me I wait to judge her but she is fun to watch for highlights! (If you rate her above Heath now, it’s probably obvious I disagree…lol).

          • DNG

            I think CGH does certain things I better than Heath in that wide forward role. In the wide attacking midfielder role it is tough for me to claim that there is a clear standout right now. This year I’d say that Heath was up there. Heath is also a little weird to evaluate because she spends so much time supporting in deep positions for her teams.

          • ARED

            Yep, and that’s my real opinion on all of this -it’s too complicated to every fully compare and contrast! It comes down to how various people see, rate, and value various players and their abilities.

            For example, I have no idea what changed that made Ellis decide Heath was a starter suddenly at the WC, but I strongly believe that was a big plus for the USA. Part of my rating of Holiday and Heath is based on small glimpses of them playing in good roles, which generally I do not feel they got to do with the USA. Even Morgan was a supporter of the Wambach-era. So I take that into account, but I understand many others would not.

          • Steglitz49

            Tobin is tougher than Caroline.

          • DNG

            For CGH I’d say injuries are definitely a concern for her. She has a ton of talent though.

          • Steglitz49

            Absolutely. CGH would have been better in a milder league like playing for Montpellier or St Etienne if Lyon or PSG were not interested.

          • DNG

            My guess. Heath is a much better defender than Press at at the point in the tournament when Heath was inserted the team had been struggling for goals and couldn’t afford to conceded. Heath also has a much better work rate as a wide player than Press. It’s a shame Holiday was never played in a central attacking role because she flourished there in FCKC.

          • ARED

            You say shame, I say crime. ; )

            I agree though, Ellis I’m sure was justifying and rationalizing all of her previous decisions -I just think they were all so full of flaws, that it’s impossible to ever truly know what she was thinking (without comments or other insight anyway). I actually was shocked when she made the changes, because I thought she was clueless. But when she made such obvious changes which made the team so obviously better (but still not optimal, I argue), it begs the question of whether she knew all along she was playing a poor team, or just realized it, or was not truly in control to make decisions, or what. I believe that nothing changed in terms of the players, so “I have no idea what changed” for Ellis.

          • DNG

            I think veteran manager is very much part of Ellis’ job description. She wasn’t able to remove Wambach from the XI until she proved to fans and critics that needed to be done. I don’t think Ellis is a great tactician though regardless. The things she’s done to make the team better have been trivial and the U teams which she has had a hand in have really struggled.

          • #1Fan

            there was big meeting in Chicago last week to discuss teh DA. Ellis was there. Apparently she was very forthcoming on the YNT struggles. From a friend of mine who attended, I believe basis her comments that heads are going to roll.

          • mockmook

            “heads are going to roll”

            Hallelujah!!!

          • #1Fan

            im just reading between the lines. But he told me she was surprisingly candid about the failures and more open than ever before.

          • mockmook

            I’m just applying the most optimistic reading to your comment 🙂

          • #1Fan

            me too 🙂 I really hope people are held accountable for failing to move the game and the players forward.

          • Steglitz49

            The USSF is between a rock and a hard place. To get top coaches to work with the youth teams (U20, U17 etc) you must provide some security because the most desirable coaching jobs in the US are the college positions, not least at those ages.

            This is because the college posts are relatively safe and you get to coach a new bunch every year and the whole team turns over every 4 years or so. They are young ladies with a bright future. You live and work in a college town. Your kids probably can attend the college at reduced fees — maybe there is even an exchange between colleges.

            Outside the US there are not these advantages. There coaching the youth side can be a stepping-stone to greater stuff — if you want it.

          • Steglitz49

            2016 was the nadir of US women’s soccer. All three female NTs in action failed.

            Two female NTs failed miserably. The U20s did OK but the fact remains that they did not reach the final and did not play well.

            Seeing that those in charge have not fallen on their swords, some action must be taken by the top brass. The one who won the World Cup is safe for now.

          • DNG

            Does that mean the youth coaches actually going to be held accountable? I’m still dissatisfied with the leadership at the top though but small steps are still good.

          • ARED

            Well, seems Ellis is showing she can make the correct decisions -about 18-36 months from the time they should have been made!

          • #1Fan

            I dont underestimate the difficulty of her job. But I do think you need to have people involved who can challenge the conventional thinking. Not a bunch of sycophants.

          • DNG

            Yup. The most disappointing thing about the youth tournaments for me wasn’t that they lost but the way they elected to play.

          • ARED

            Exactly. I wouldn’t mind it so much either, but she sometimes talks as if she is a mix of Wenger, Pep, and Pochettino, pressing forward into unseen levels of soccer. Really, she is just slowly removing players who are overdue for removal….lol.

            “We want to play fast and fluid”. So she cements Wambach and Lloyd into the middle of her attack. Hmm….

          • mockmook

            “pressing forward into unseen levels of soccer. Really, she is just slowly removing players who are overdue for removal”

            You win the WoSo Internet today!!!

          • ARED

            Thank you, thank you very much! ; )

          • Steglitz49

            Hear hear!

          • Steglitz49

            Caroline Graham Hansen is outstanding but too injury-prone. Norway sorely missed her in WC-15.

          • DNG

            Thinking about this a little more I don’t think my definition of world class necessarily means top 2 at your position. In my opinion world class players need to be able to positively influence any match they are in a clear and impactful way on a consistent basis against any opponent. Prior to the last year plus for Heath I don’t think I could make that claim most of the time although she could produce flashes. Current players that come to mind are players like Little, Henry, Marta, Fishlock… I’m not sure there have been a lot of true flanks over the last few years that fit my description.

          • ARED

            Fair enough. I think it’s too blurry and too many variables to worry too much about. Honestly all players fall short at times, especially when their team is poorly set up or overmatched -and I’ve seen matches where all of those players have been very much un-impactful, so I guess I’d say it’s harsh for me to take out Heath but include Fishlock or even Henry (who I love). I like all of these players, but really for me the phrase of world class is really not meant to be a clear line or definition to scientifically separate players. It’s a way to say “for me, this player is about as good as it gets”, or, “they bring something special”.

            I honestly think that the USA had a special group, specifically from the moment Morgan became a big player (which was 2010-2011) on through 2016, but, the team missed some chances to do even better due to playing the wrong players (for me). Now some have left or are a bit less (Holiday, Rapinoe, Sauerbrunn, Rampone), so we’ll see how things go from here. At least it seems somewhat more likely they will play something closer to the right group of players.

          • Steglitz49

            You need to keep strength in depth separate from world-class. They are different categories but the strength in depth can cover for weaknesses.

            In short, a small nation may have one world-class player but if that player is injured they are stuffed because they do not have the strength in depth.

            A team like the US, which has strength in depth in spades, can lose a top notch players because they have another 5 or even 10 to fill her shoes. This, after all, is why the USWNT in basketball is so dominant. As a corollary, the USWNT handball probably do not stand much of a chance.

          • ARED

            Waaay back in my original comment which began this entire debate, I stated ~”USA had a nice group of world class players, ON TOP of a great and deep supporting cast of very strong players”. My point being that not only did they have only one or the other, but they had it all. The problem is I believe, that they thought Wambach, Lloyd, Buehler, LePeilbet, etc, -who I would group in the “strong supporting cast” roles -were better than Holiday, Morgan, Heath, Sauerbrunn, -who were or were becoming “world class” in my opinion. (Not to mention others who were overlooked like O’Hara, Press, Lindsay, Averbuch, etc).

            So, they got mixed results. (For me).

          • Steglitz49

            The mystery of the French WNT is more bizarre than anything I have come across. How can one explain it? I can’t. Consistently useless when tested and strategically dumb to boot. Faulty In All Targets — and no collective Ferrari from of them,

          • ARED

            Well, you know I disagree here (unless you forgot).

            The French have improved slowly and bit by bit, as you should try to do. Their problem is the women’s game generally does not reward composed, creative play if it is not spearheaded by fast and forceful finishing. Thiney and Le Sommer both offered well enough at times, but sometimes failed -but some players in the team can not stand up so well to the other top teams (physically, and for pace). Even so, France has been in some of the best and closest matches of the past 4-6 years, so I believe they can be proud.

            Useless and dumb? Come on Steglitz…..

          • Steglitz49

            2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015 and now 2016 …

          • DNG

            I’m not saying that this year Heath was not clearly impactful on all of the teams she played for and that I wouldn’t include her in a list of top players. I’m saying this is the first year and that if I am going to call her world class I need some more consistency. If she can continue to be as effective as she was this year and possibly improve her finishing over the next 3 years it’s a different discussion. I understand your point about misuse over the years but I can only judge on what I’ve seen.

          • Steglitz49

            Tobin will be forever remembered for her monster freekick in the first NWSL Championship final. It turned the game. Portland won in spite of playing with 10.

            That freekick was in Aya Miyama and Roberto Carlos class. Why Lloyd did not let Tobin take the freekicks against Sweden is a mystery for which the Swedes will forever be truly grateful.

          • #1Fan

            Is Sinclair world class?

          • ARED

            I’d say yes, she was for a stretch. Although by your “top-two at a position” limit, I’d have to think about it.

            For me, I’d probably define world-class as “you can’t reasonable expect to have a better player in your team”. So in 2012 if you have Sinclair or Morgan, you’re pretty happy. If you have Marta or Rapinoe, or Sauerbrunn or Renard, you are happy. And I put it in the context of the international game as well, and this also favors these players I believe. As I said elsewhere, Morgan making the plays which break Germany or Japan’s defense is what truly sets her apart for me.

          • #1Fan

            Fair. Good debate. I do think for obvious reasons these debates can be far too US centric. I cant agree on your tie breaker, because it inherently unbalances the debate. Is Kim Little worse becasue she does not play in those sorts of games. ?Not to me .In my opinion she is a lot better than Morgan .. a lot.

          • ARED

            Yeah, just posted one that addresses that, b/c it is an invalid comparison when Little misses out. I think Little is far more rounded, but if it’s 0-0 and you’re playing Germany/USA (or I suppose Lyon or Frankfurt), I’d take Morgan because what she offers is more unstoppable I feel, even if it’s less technical.

          • DNG

            I disagree here I don’t think there’s any situation where I’d pick Morgan over Little

          • #1Fan

            Same… not one.

          • ARED

            Fair enough, though I wonder if Saskia Bartusiak would agree with you…. ; p

            (I think Morgan can -and does -break the tight and tough matches, and I believe that is the most rare skill in WoSo. Little is great too, and breaks games as well, often in more of a team-oriented way. But a bit like Messi, sometimes you don’t mind if Morgan just takes a decent ball and makes it a goal, instead of Little trying to creatively unlock a defense she can’t beat for speed/power/pure goalscoring).

            (And no, I’m not saying Morgan is Messi, just that sometimes even Barcelona need an individual to take a 0-0 and make it a 1-0).

          • DNG

            Morgan is a lot more reliant on quality service than Little is. She needs to be played into position while Little can create chances from nothing. If Little played for the USWNT she would easily be the best player and I imagine everyone would see her as the one of if not the best in the world.

          • #1Fan

            FACT. not even debatable really. If I put Little in for Lloyd , you would think Alex Morgan was even better.

          • ARED

            That I agree with 10,000%!

            I have said the same about Press -and in fact I think Morgan’s game has been stunted by the USA’s style (Wambach and Lloyd especially), at least in terms of development. Hard to combine with Wambach on the ground, and that’s who Morgan played with from her first days until 2015 WC.

          • ARED

            Perhaps! Of course the truth is, if she were American she probably would never have been selected into USA camps…. ; p

          • Steglitz49

            I think we got that, dense as we are.

          • DNG

            That fact that this statement is completely plausible makes me sad.

          • ARED

            Indeed, it is very sad. I have often said to my American friends that if if Xavi were American, we wouldn’t know who he is -and that is the biggest problem for soccer in the US. (He probably would have quit by 14 years old, from sitting on the bench!). You have to realize that the strongest, fastest, or most noticeable player is not always the best -especially if you are judging them at age 12.

            Sometimes the best play available is to make an instant, one-touch pass that travels only 3 yards. But in America (and some other places), every kid wants to dribble and shoot every time, to prove that they can. And apparently the coaches accept and reward this (and the USWNT quotes suggest this as well “put the team on my back”, “I’m a fighter, and I decided I was gonna step up”, etc). So I feel a player like Little, who plays a game built on combinations and passing, might be overlooked….

          • Steglitz49

            Though some Americans might know who Mikaela Shiffrin is how many know who Jessica Diggins, Caitlin Gregg, Kikkan Randall, Sadie Bjornsen or Sophie Caldwell are, let alone Susan Dunklee?

            A 14 year old girl is slightly different from a 14 year old boy. Thus, we might reasonably ask how some WoSo players we now recognize, laud and magnify, were viewed as at aged 14?
            — Whom shall we list? We can’t go too fr back and maybe we should stay in America, at least initially.
            — Alex Morgan, Syd Leroux, Crystal Dunn, Christen Press, Mallory Pugh, Lindsey Horan, Tobin Heath and Carli lloyd. Are those enough for you as attackers?

          • Bruce

            If Little played for the USWNT Ellis would likely put her on the flank or at the 8 because reasons.

          • mockmook

            Harvey played Little in some weird ways last year, too (including as a #8)

          • DNG

            The great thing about little is that she can play the 6, 8, and 10 all very well. Her production will just be most notable if she is playing at the 10.

          • Steglitz49

            Your comment stands to reason because they do not play the same position. Alex is a striker, like Blackstenius, Ando, Oho, Nagasato (ex-Ogimi= and Popp, while Little is an attacking midfielder like Däbritz, DZ and Leupolz.

          • ARED

            I think that is true and not…ha.

            True, when it comes to a team playing well as a team. But perhaps false when it comes to a team struggling to hold possession or create chances on the ball in the attacking third.

            A player like Little plays better in the orchestra, but Morgan in a fight. Morgan can take a clearance and make it a good ball, and pressure a defender into allowing this as well.

          • #1Fan

            Being brutally honest here. Morgan is not my type of player. High volume shooter on the dominant team. I dont rate her all around game highly. her dominant feature is speed. the main reason she scores in games is speed. Kim Little , to me , is miles better. She has so many more skills and can beat you in many more ways. as a passer, dribbler she is miles ahead of Morgan as a finisher she is probably better as well. Morgan has medals and goals and we cannot ignore them, but I cant put her in the class of Prinz , Little, Marta. Some would even have her below Wambach !!

          • ARED

            Yeah, it’s fair enough -I know you see flaws in her game. I do as well, but I do always come back to her effectiveness when no one else seems able to have effect.

            I can admit to not watching nearly as much of Little as I imagine you have, because I only watch club WoSo when it suits me, but from what I have seen, she is a genius in many ways. But I’m not sure if you put her into France or Germany’s lineup against the USA she would influence goals, as opposed to creating a lot of great play that comes up just short. And in the USWNT she probably would actually help the team a lot in ways Morgan does not, but at the end of the day it isn’t how classy or beautiful you play, it’s how you beat the other team. She may do it as well or better than Morgan, but for now I can’t say I would feel that way.

          • #1Fan

            One of my kid is a very fast fwd. gets on the end of thru balls and scores a lot of goals. Has done throughout youth and NT ranks. Ive never been impressed by it !! I tell her all the time that to be great she has to work on her game facing up defenders, back to goal and her passing. Im sharing this becasue i have the same feeling about that type of player ( even my own kid !!) The funny thing is the USSF are often picking holes in her play. They never show her tape of Morgan and say be like her. They show her tapes of Le Sommer !! Again sharing this so you get a feel..

            Leads me to my final point. I would not tell my kid to model her game on Morgan either . I respect Morgans toughness , both mental and physical. But I think her game is good, not top of the line.

          • ARED

            Agreed -I would also not be showing Morgan tapes either! HA! Unless it’s of her training physically perhaps. Better to make a player learn the value of developing many abilities and learning how and when to use them.

            But at somepoint I do tend to tell kids I think truly are top (and mature!) players to notice how effective a player like Morgan is as an example to avoid over-playing when you can play quickly -even if it’s simple.

            And, for your kid, I imagine based on your postings here that you can offer as much or more benefit as the system coaches. But don’t get too big of a head, my view of the US system and their coaches is not very good! ; )

          • #1Fan

            lol . We share that opinion. There are some very good coaches, but the US is hurt by it s size and the lack of consistency. It is a very hard job to get right. Far too many people have to be involved and the politics is huge.

          • ARED

            I agree, I always come back to the high burden on the players/families in cost and travel the size incurs, as well as the unholy blend of politics with people who don’t actually know so much. I agree some are good, but it’s hard to make the impact.

            I do think it is far better now, with a league in place an on TV all the time, as well as all top global leagues on TV all the time. Americans are learning -and eventually the next generations of coaches and players with have that benefit, leaving the size and politics as the big issues. It takes time, and I always point this out when people attack MLS. 20 years has brought a lot, even if it is not a perfect league. NWSL in 20 years….hmm….

          • Ethan

            I understand what you and #1Fan are saying. However, for a player that’s being described in a less than positive way when it comes to non-physical elements of the game, Morgan has shown moments of game awareness that warrant tape showings. The dummy for Press against Australia, the dummy for Press for her goal against Romania in the second match and the dummy for Horan in the same match, secondary assist to Klingenberg against South Africa, pass to Edmonds that Edmonds should not have been called off on, etc. I suppose those plays are quick plays, but you don’t have to justify showing those clips to a developing player. Morgan is definitely limited in facing up defenders, and she can become more consistent in her passing and buildup game. However, let’s not portray her as so limited that no player can benefit from seeing non-speed related clips of her.

          • mockmook

            Alex is also worth watching for the sheer determination to score — the use of any surface to hit the ball, the willingness to risk bodily injury, etc.

          • Steglitz49

            Alex has not been successful nothing for nothing.

          • Steglitz49

            Your points are well taken. Thanks for making them.

            The explanation is simple. #1Fan does not rate Alex Morgan. He never actually says which American player he considers is better than Alex. Indeed, in another thread he compares Alex unfavorably to the Scot Kim Little, seemingly without realizing that they play different positions.

            ARED is more objective and confesses in the second para how effective Alex is.

            Lyon has made Alex Morgan the most expensive WoSo player in this current era. (I guess Marta earned more, certainly adjusted for inflation, but it was almost a decade ago.) It may well be that PSG will get more out of Amandine Henry than Lyon out of Alex. Time will tell — and they don’t play the same positions …

          • ARED

            You are absolutely correct! I didn’t really mean that in a “never look at Morgan” way, just as a joking agreement that other players probably show “the right way” more often. By the quotes are important, b/c in soccer there is really no one way, which is the beauty of it.

            I was trying to imply a sense of watching lesser players who have to do the small things right as well. For example, CR is a terrible example for any player I believe -but of course you can still learn and be inspired from his highlights. Morgan works much harder, and plays much more for the team than CR, so I definitely agree with your point.

            And I actually think Morgan’s play in tight spaces and in buildup is much better than most people give her credit for -part of why I was arguing for her cause in all of these posts.

          • Steglitz49

            The fact that commentators are not willing to recognize Alex’s obvious skills shows how far WoSo still has to travel.

            Clearly part of the reason for this denial is so as to be able to champion their specific favorite but much of it seems owed to pig ignorance.

          • ARED

            Well, you get ignorance in talk of all sport, if that makes you feel any better…. ; )
            (And any other topic).

          • #1Fan

            I think you need to be fair. works harder than CR does NOW would be more accurate. Also lets be clear, CR scores 50 goals a season and that is his role. I can sift thru tape and find positives on ANY player. Especially International ones.

          • #1Fan

            with respect, i dont want to spend my time sifting thru tape. Ill just show a more rounded player who can do those things and others. Especailly if the player im teaching has pace

          • Steglitz49

            You can always show her videos of Marta in her prime and L8 and Stina and why not a few German lasses while you are at it. There is tons of footage out there.

          • Steglitz49

            Kim Little’s Seattle never won the Championship in spite of playing in 2 finals while Alex Morgan’s Portland won it once in their only final. Make of that what you will.

          • ARED

            Indeed. I do believe that sometimes people on this site begin to glorify players/teams/coaches/cultures in waves, and usually waves that these come a bit slow, then continue to grow even sometimes bigger than they should, or at least later. Necib. Little. Henry. All great players. All unknown, it seemed, in America. Then one day, big time topics of conversation. It’s good, but sometimes I think it can become a bit more of a story/cliche than the truth. Little is great. However, she is not an invincible soccer Yoda. At least for me.

          • Steglitz49

            I find it fascinating how little press the Swedes who performed that miracle on the grass in Brasilia are disucssed in the EQ.

            Maybe not many Americans watched the match? Maybe the commentators feel that if they don’t mention it, maybe it did not happen?

            Seeing how many of those Swedes either played or had just returned from playing for foreign teams, maybe the Bomb in Brasilia was being defeated by a Europe United team connected by a common language: Swedish.

          • ARED

            You mean how little, aside from yourself, no? ; )

            I agree that it was a massive performance and moment for Sweden. But they are a small country, whether we like it or not. And we may discuss them and their style more as the next big competitions come, but they impressed without “awing” I believe. The played hard, strong, and steady. And the Americans wilted, and did not know how to play, or were too impatient to do it. It cried out of poor management, tactics, and player performance, so I do think that in America that understandably has become the focus.

            England didn’t spend too long praising the USA or Clint Dempsey when they drew in 2010. They did spend a bit of time discussing their own issues….

          • Steglitz49

            Indeed.

            Maybe, just maybe, if the American fans mugged up a bit about the opposition, then they would not se so surprised when they are sent packing.

            Norway (5m) in 2000 and Sweden (9.5m) in 2016 (and 2011 and 2015 though those were group games, thus not terminal).

          • Steglitz49

            They do not play the same positions.

          • dw

            IMO Little>>>Morgan, also.

          • Steglitz49

            Players with an M are rather gifted: Marta, Miyama, Marzosan, Melanie and Melanie, Maruyama ….

          • Steglitz49

            Kim Little is best as an attacking midfielder. Alex Morgan is a striker who passes. They do not play the same positions.

            Alex’s closest would be Stina Blackstenius. Kim Little’s competitors are probably Sara Däbritz, DZ or Melanie Leupolz.

          • DNG

            Right but if I was going to pick one of them to build a team around it’s little every time

          • Steglitz49

            I would ask for Däbritz or Blackstenius but I would take Alex before Kim.

          • mockmook

            But, but, but, S49 just gave you the the profound insight that they play different positions!!!! 😉

          • Steglitz49

            Thank you.

            Reading-comprehension issue? Blocked S49? Cannot cope with opposite views.

          • Steglitz49

            Blackstenius would be a good alternative to Alex based on 2015/16.

          • DNG

            This is a great discussion and a tough one for me. International tournaments are generally too small a sample size for me to judge any player. I think Morgan’s strengths match up well with top teams who will not resort to tactics to slow her down. That being said Morgan still does have an impressive goal tally against top teams.

          • ARED

            That’s the key for me. Wambach and Lloyd are/were good players also, but both my eyes and the numbers tell me that the biggest goals/plays against the biggest teams at the biggest moments have tended to involve Morgan at a MUCH greater rate.

            Wambach’s record against even top-15 teams is a bit lacking I believe an article “revealed” awhile ago -and really, top-15 is a pretty low bar….

            (So for me, I tend to rate Morgan as top striker of these past 5+ years, despite ups and downs, and I actually rate Wambach and Lloyd far lower than most -I’m not convinced they have done anything other players could not have done if they were given that chance).

          • DNG

            When I look at Morgan I see a player who has generally been very effective throughout her career. I think she’s very limited in some fairly obvious ways though and could be neutralized(and has been) with a smart tactical game plan. Until recently I haven’t seem much of this in the women’s game and I think she’s benefitted from that. So while I think she’s a very effective player in the right situation I can’t say that I consider her one of the best in the world right now.

          • ARED

            I agree that as the game evolves, we will see players need to adjust to learn more than just the “one trick” to be truly great.

            But that is not the case yet I believe, as evidenced by Morgan being absolutely vital to the USA winning the WC, while brilliant and rounded players like Necib, Le Sommer, Mittag, Popp, Ogimi, etc, all do really well in low and mid-level competition, but at the very highest levels seem to lack the “cutting edge”.

            Morgan has benefitted hugely though, no doubt, from the environment of the game. Now it’s changing a bit, and she’s trying to as well, so we’ll see how it goes.

          • DNG

            I don’t really agree that Morgan was vital to winning the WC. What I do think was vital was playing Morgan Brian at CM, Heath at RW and removing Wambach from the starting XI all together. I think Press could have come in, been effective and scored goals if Morgan wasn’t there. Outside of her very bad miss against China I thought Arod was good in her limited time.

          • ARED

            I agree all the forwards were great except for Wambach. It’s a classic example of “can only judge what happened with certainty”, because I also think they could/would have won with Press in that role. But in the Germany match especially -the one they were nearly eliminated in -Morgan was vital, for me (I know many disagree).

            Keys:
            1) Benching Wambach -years too late
            2) Moving Lloyd from midfield -not as good as benching her, but she’s a much better forward than AW these days
            3) Playing Holiday/Heath/Brian/Rapinoe, ie, 4 good midfielders who know how to make a pass
            4) Backline and Solo keeping them in the tournament until the time Ellis started to make the obvious and overdue corrections.
            5) Players like Press, O’Hara, Brian, and Johnston being able to come in a perform despite being ignored and undercut in the lead up
            6) Wonderfully shady draw from FIFA

            Think that’s most of it…. ; )

          • ARED

            Coincidentally, the ball Lloyd played to ARod for that glorious miss was arguably the best pass she’s ever made, AND, her best play of the 2015 WC! Although I guess the midfield goal is hard to top….

          • Steglitz49

            I would leave some player(s) out of your list.
            As it is you risk invoking some strings of comments we have heard more than once before.

          • ARED

            With respect, I think an occasional recap a World Cup would outweigh frequent recaps of the FA Cup (men’s or women’s)….

          • Steglitz49

            I was more worried about the specter of 50 comments we have seen 20 times before already.

          • ABCDE

            Lauren Holiday is one of my favorite attacking players. i wish she hadn’t retired or been relegated to defensive mid by Ellis, which catalyzed her retirement. I would have loved to see her playing up front with Morgan/Dunn/Press/Lloyd. I think she could have been a fantastic no. 10

          • ARED

            I agree -although she was actually a fantastic #10, at least in those moments she was allowed to play it (few with the USA, but many with KC). I find Lloyd’s prescense to actually have been a cause preventing Holiday from playing a more attacking and free role, but that is my personal judgement.

            Regardless, we agree she was a great player and brilliant to watch. I do believe she was happy to retire anyway though -one of the few players who seems calm and grounded in the knowledge that sport is not a very important thing really, compared to life overall. But, if she were given that attacking role with the right surrounding cast, she may have found she was having too much fun to stop at least for another year or so!

          • Steglitz49

            It seems that Lauren Holiday had decided to retire after the 2015 world championship. She was not interested in winning yet another olympic medal. In your words balanced and grounded in reaility.

            She also saved herself the opprobrium of the Bomb in Brasilia.

          • Steglitz49

            By all accounts Lauren’s mind was made up to leave after the 2015 WC. She had no need of yet another olympic medal. Thereby she avoided the nadir of the Bomb in Brasilia

            I presume that no news is good news on her health front.

          • Lorehead

            You sound mighty sure that she wouldn’t have made the difference against Sweden.

          • Steglitz49

            Nothing would have made a difference against Sweden. Just like nuffink made a difference in Frankfurt 5 years earlier.

          • Lorehead

            Spoken like a Swedish patriot!

          • Steglitz49

            These things are greater than life. Teams play out of their skin, like in 2011 and 2015. Lift themselves by their bootstraps.

            Regarding Lyon and Alex, it is often forgotten that Lyon hired a bunch of Americans back in 2004/5. Some Lyon players consider that this move by the management was what gave Lyon the stimulus to grow their game.

          • #1Fan

            there is no doubt that the tip of the US spear will score vital goals. Its not enough for me to consider them world class players, thought they could be. Alex Morgan is a good player.

          • DNG

            I forgot to mention this but also vital to WC win. Ellis stopped pretending Lloyd could take care of the ball in her half of the field.

          • Steglitz49

            Alex can expect to be marked tightly by Wolfsburg. They would not be beyond fouling her out of the game, given their past record of low cunning.

          • Steglitz49

            In 2012 Japan reached the OG final. They beat Canada. The scoreline flattered Canada.

            Renard is not top class.

          • Som Termanni

            Someone had better tell Orlando. Having lost a shot at signing Foord, Sermanni’s pulling an Aulas and recruiting Renard, who’s also considering ditching OL for the Bundesliga or WSL: https://twitter.com/Lyonnais69005/status/811563095722172416.

          • Steglitz49

            Caitlin has been a Sky Blue, has she not? Were will she be next? In Man City or some other light blue outfit?

            Do enough Americans know who Renard is? Might as well try to get Buchanan.

          • Som Termanni

            Foord said weeks ago that she’s going to play in Japan: https://twitter.com/JaredConstable/status/806384121081643008

            She hasn’t so much as mentioned Jersey in two years, and Sermanni couldn’t cut a deal with Sky Blue for her rights. She has no intention of returning to Rutgers, and as AFC player of the year she can’t be blamed when she can have her pick of top-division club across Asia.

          • Steglitz49

            Thank you. I am surprised that not more players try out Japan. Just experiencing the culture would be worth it.

          • Steglitz49

            She was.

            The sands of time have run out. Maybe there are enough tomato-cans to open for her to break Abby’s record.

          • Steglitz49

            The “Golden Generation” is how the Japanese refers to their WNT of 2010-15.

            In 2011 they not only won the WC but stole the show and made WC-11 the WC-54 of WoSo.

          • guest

            Maybe for a handful of Swedes, but for millions of Americans, Morgan was the star of this tournament
            .

          • Steglitz49

            Indeed.

            145m Japanese are not to be sneezed at either.

          • guest

            Maybe you could troll a Japanese website because we don’t want to hear it.

          • Steglitz49

            Read. You read on this site. We do not talk.

          • HOFCToDi

            Summer Olympic Games
            Games Started
            Leroux (DOB 07 May 1990) – 0
            Press (DOB 29 Dec 1988) – 1

            Summer Olympic Games
            Minutes Played
            Leroux (DOB 07 May 1990) – 77
            Press (DOB 29 Dec 1988) – 123

            Summer Olympic Games
            Goals Scored
            Leroux (DOB 07 May 1990) – 1
            Press (DOB 29 Dec 1988) – 0

            Christen Press is the quintessential international fraud.

            4 years (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
            78 caps
            2 head coaches

            Christen Press has cemented her legacy with the USWNT:

            garbage time
            prima donna
            selfish shot hog
            tomato cans

          • HOFCToDi

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

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

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

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

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

            Christen Press is the quintessential international fraud.

            4 years (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
            78 caps
            2 head coaches

            Christen Press has cemented her legacy with the USWNT:

            garbage time
            prima donna
            selfish shot hog
            tomato cans

          • Steglitz49

            Alex Morgan is earning money in Lyon. Big money if #1Fan is correct with his $30,000 a month. Per month, not year.

          • HOFCToDi

            Wrong, dumbass.

          • ARED

            Oh how I’ve missed our little talks….

          • HOFCToDi

            Poor Pressie Pooh! No individual international awards for you!

          • HOFCToDi

            Press sucks, dumbass.

        • #1Fan

          Lloyd is the best player in the world …..she told me herself

          • mockmook

            Make Alex Greatest Again!!!

          • ARED

            But don’t worry, she’ll never be satisfied with that either, so we get to watch her continue to go out of her way to prove to us how she is the best. Coincidentally, that usually goes a good bit out of the USA’s way as well….

        • ARED

          But then she scores against Trinidad and Tobago and earns another 12 months of playing every minute! ; )

          Let’s see her tried out at RB or CB…..ha….

          • mockmook

            You know, if Carli had started her career as a CB, I bet she would be a pretty damn good one.

            BTW, I can stomach Carli playing every minute as a CF — just as long as I don’t have to see/read any interview of her 🙂

          • ARED

            Yep -I think a long time ago I tried to convince you she was really a defensive midfielder, if she would only accept (or be told) that and play to those strengths. She fights, she’s strong, she wins lose balls, she wins aerial balls. She has heart. And she can play a little. Her sitting *behind* Holiday/Heath/Rapinoe, winning the ball and making a quick pass right away should have worked quite well, but that was not an “acceptable” role for her I suppose….

            And CB in a similar way, although at least the USA has usually had quality CBs to use (while their midfield has suffered greatly).

        • Bruce

          My take exactly. Let the poacher poach.

      • Guest

        #NotMyForward

    • DNG

      I wonder what Lloyd thinks about AM’s new contract with Lyon.

      • anon

        she’ll probably make some kind of backhanded insult about it like she does about other things Morgan does. Then again, maybe Her Royal Highness herself will go abroad. She has said she wanted to play in England.

        • mockmook

          If there is no CBA, then she may have to go (if she wants to play).

          I do wonder though, will the PA consider it as being a scab if a player just plays for the NWSL?

          • ARED

            It might come first to ask if they even would try to have an NWSL season if there is no CBA. I would hope they would try, but it’s not exactly as if they have a lot of room to withstand drops in attendance and revenue, however small, from the US players not playing.

            Portland can lose 1-2k fans/match and be ok. Can anybody else?

          • DNG

            I think the League needs to operate on the assumption that a deal will get done before the start of the season. I think it will still be okay without the US internationals.

          • ARED

            I agree they should absolutely plan on a season, at least until it falls through. I hope that should not happen, but if I were an owner losing money for 3-4 years already, I may say “enough!” and drop out until a deal is met.

            I do not know the contractual details to be fair, but I think we should remember this is not the NFL or men’s soccer where there is money to burn at every level (league, owners, players, TV networks, fans, etc). The NWSL owners have some money, but US Soccer and USWNT have the real money (and power) in this game. And presently they are not aligned, so everyone waits….

          • Steglitz49

            USSF can afford for the NWSL to be in mothballs or limbo in 2017 as long as they crank it up again in 2018.

      • Reality

        I would think that Lloyd would be most gracious and supportive of Morgan’s quest. 🙂

        • HOFCToDi

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

          foxsports.com/soccer/boxscore?id=32516

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

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

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

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

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

          foxsports.com/soccer/boxscore?id=26928

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

          foxsports.com/soccer/boxscore?id=26862

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

          foxsports.com/soccer/boxscore?id=26754

          Christen Press is the quintessential international fraud.

          4 years (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
          78 caps
          2 head coaches

          Christen Press has cemented her legacy with the USWNT:

          garbage time
          prima donna
          selfish shot hog
          tomato cans

          • Steglitz49

            14 hours. How come?

      • Guest

        Shrugs, smirks at Galanis, kicks soccer ball into the twilight towards Cherry Hill.

    • Steglitz49

      They both must know that Marta is forever the greatest.

    • HOFCToDi

      Christen Press has yet to score a goal versus a FIFA Top 12 Ranked opponent in calendar year 2016.

      Christen Press has yet to provide an assist versus a FIFA Top 12 Ranked opponent in calendar year 2016.

      Christen Press is the quintessential international fraud.

      4 years (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
      78 caps
      2 head coaches

      Christen Press has cemented her legacy with the USWNT:

      garbage time
      prima donna
      selfish shot hog
      tomato cans

      • Steglitz49

        Greetings. It took you a while to find this section. What took you so long?

    • mockmook

      “I set out on this journey 13 years ago to become the best player in the world and I achieved that last year”

      It seems that all these sport and entertainment “stars” eventually succumb to mistaking Awards as equal to ACHIEVEMENTS.

      • Reality

        Unfortunately, our culture is consumed by the cult of celebrity where the general public is constantly searching for someone to satisfy their fantasies. The traditional media feeds this frenzy and social media can make someone a “star” overnight. So it is no surprise when any person who is exposed to this focus of attention begins to think that it is based on fact instead of hype.

        So while an Award can represent recognition for some Achievement, all too often it overshadows the actual achievement and becomes a vehicle for Celebrity. This often brings fame, fortune and further opportunities which may or not be deserved. When the newly made “star” is exposed to this overwhelming treatment, they begin to drink their own kool-aid and confuse all the hype with their true abilities.

        Some people handle it well and profit by it. In others it leads to hubris and disappointment.

  • ARED

    I’d say it means the WoSo world is very volatile, with many and frequent changes. A big surprise there….

    Without a doubt it is a crucial year for WoSo, especially the NWSL. Of course, every year so far has been…..but this could have been the first year the focus of the stars, fans, media, etc, was 100% on a full NWSL season. Instead, it seems CBA and perhaps player movement will threaten this.

    • Steglitz49

      It depends … Volatile is as volatile does.

      Fridolina Rolfö Swedish of Linköping in Sweden, winner of Damallsvenskan, moves to Bayern Munich. Chelsea Ladies acquire Maren Mjelde captain of Norway from Avaldsnes in Norway and Ramona Bachmann of Switzerland from Wolfsburg, while Wolfsburg get Pernille Harder, Danish, from Linköping. Earlier this year Caroline Seger moved from PSG to Lyon and Lisa Dahlkvist to Örebro, while Lotta Schelin left Lyon for Rosengård and Louisa Cadamuro (née Nécib) moved to Marseille and Madalyn Schiffel left Avaldsnes for Seattle. And so on, and so forth.

      • GT

        This reminds me of “The Sound of Music”.

        • Steglitz49

          Musical Chairs, more like it.

          Real soccer perhaps. Have skills, play for the best payer.

      • guest

        Louisa Cadamuro stopped playing soccer. Please remain focused on English FA cup matches. You may know more about those.

        • Steglitz49

          I believe she lives in Marseille where she hails from.

          • John

            I would imagine that she is living in Geneva where her husband plays.

          • Steglitz49

            Most French people working in Swiss towns on the border tend to live in France and commute across the border. There are big financial and social advantages to do so. Likewise Germans. Most EU-nationals chose that principle.

            But, the Cadamuros may be an exception that proves the rule.

          • Christinejduncan

            Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !mj583d:
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  • Gary Diver

    Morgan Comments and Questions

    1. Does Alex Morgan, who is 27, really believe that training with Lyon will make her a different, and better, player? Is there a single example of a WoSo star at the age of 27 who suddenly became a different and better player?

    2. Do we know how much money Morgan will make?

    It is worth noting that the USWNT 2017 Friendlies (assuming they take place), other than SBC, are nothing to get excited about.

    3. Where does Morgan fit in the Lyon roster? Eugénie Le Sommer is having one of her best seasons with 11 goals in 10 games this season and 21-year old Ada Hegerberg, who many claim is the best young forward in the world has 9 goals. Somebody is going to sit the bench and with Le Sommer having the season of her life, it is hard to see her not playing.

    4. Assuming no CBA for USWNT players, does that mean they won’t play for their NWSL teams this spring?

    5. If there is no CBA for USWNT players, what does Jill Ellis do the day after? The 3-week January camp has traditional commenced at the end of the first week in January. Could Ellis cancel the January camp? Something has to happen very soon.

    • Steglitz49

      #1. Alex Morgan reads from what the PR-staff has given her.
      #2. No. But a lot and hardly less than Schelin or Necib made.
      #3. Alex will play. The coach will either rotate the other two or sell Ada Hegerberg.
      #4. No CBA, no money, one presumes. Unemployment exchange looms.
      #5. Maybe the USWNTPA has to bend over and take what is offered them.

    • #1Fan

      SFR Sport reported that Lyon will pay Morgan 25,000 euros ($30,000) a month, far more than the salaries of most of her teammates, who include captain Wendie Renard, Camille Abily and Eugenie Le Sommer among 15 French internationals, plus a foreign contingent that features Norwegian Ada Hegerberg, the 2016 UEFA Women’s Player of the Year, and Dzsenifer Marozsan, the German national team captain.

      Insulting to the rest of the team.

      PSG coach Patrice Lair, for one, thinks that what Aulas, his former boss at Lyon, is doing in signing Morgan is crazy.

      “They asked me about signing Morgan,” Lair, who led Lyon to European titles in 2011 and 2012, told 20 Minutes. “Management was ready to take her. I didn’t want her.”

      Lair’s position is that bringing in a high-priced star like Morgan would destroy the chemistry of his team.

      “We rebuilt our group,” said Lair of first-place PSG, “and I don’t want to ruin it in two weeks with her arrival.” He added that PSG, backed by Qatar Sports Investments, could sign any women’s player it wanted to, but insisted such spending would kill women’s soccer.

      Agreed

      • Go Heels

        Patrice Lair seems to be a good one

      • Steglitz49

        25,000€ ($30,000) a month is a lot. It is more than either Schelin or Nécib (as she was then) earned but perhaps not as much more as we like to think.

      • guest

        So according to you, is the NWSL pay structure insulting to the non-national team players? I’d be pretty upset if I was putting in equal work and getting paid less than 1/10th of some of my teammates.

        • guest

          or far less than 1/10th in many cases. it has to breed resentment.

          • rkmid71

            I feel that NWSL coaches are somehow pressured to play USWNT players because of the USSF subsidy. Not only pressured to play them, but play them in positions which further the interest of the USWNT and not the club team.

        • #1Fan

          you obviously have not read my posts then.

          #1Fan rkmid71 7 days ago
          Playing for the NT cannot be the only financially sustainable path for a player if we want to have a great league.

          #1Fan DNG 7 days ago
          I disagree with you on this. At the margin the league needs to attract all the best players. To limit it to the ones that are prepared to make huge personal sacrifices limits the ability to grow. I agree that it appears stable, but it needs to be more than than if we want to continue to get better. I worry about all the players who are not on the NT.

          Just 2 recent ones. Im not going to go back further. I think you can see my position pretty clearly .

    • Ginger Ale

      1. Ali Krieger, Christen Press…

      • anon

        this is really funny. i think people here only remember Press’ last couple months… and I will admit that she seems to have become hungrier after the olympics. She wasn’t that great this year before October. Alex was better.

        • Ginger Ale

          I didn’t talk about last year at all. Do you remember Press before and after her Swedish stint?

        • ARED

          The topic was “Americans who have become better players” under a larger topic of “Alex Morgan goes to Europe”.

          So if we remember or read about the past, we see Krieger and Press finding ways to improve themselves as players as well as improve their USWNT standing.

    • Bruce

      Morgan could learn a lot at 27 regarding better tactical approaches to the game (spacing, runs, combo play, work habits, etc.).

      I wouldn’t expect anyone at that age (or even at 21) to be able to significantly improve technical play (first touch, ball control, striking). The window of opportunity for motor skills improvement closes early.

      • Steglitz49

        Lyon could be hoping that Alex teaches them a thing or two in return.

    • Timber Dave

      Re #3: Morgan will presumably share time at forward with Le Sommer and Hegerberg. A team needs more than two forwards, what with in-game substitutions, injuries, rotation for rest, etc. Having three starting-caliber forwards will make Lyon even better.

      • Steglitz49

        Too much sound logic for WoSo.

      • newsouth

        it’s a two team league.

        • Steglitz49

          The food is better than in Germany or England.

    • rkmid71

      4. Just like non WNT players, what’s preventing them from signing on their own for whatever they can get with NWSL teams? Of course, it would be helpful for NSWL teams to know what $ subsidies, if any, they can expect to receive from USSF in lieu of free allocated players.
      5. Why cancel? JE can call up college players, NWSL players, even USWNTPA players that are willing. She can evaluate a broader group without restriction as far as I can tell. What’s wrong with that?

      • mockmook

        Nothing wrong with that, but even the college/NWSL players may be reluctant to cross a picket line if they think that they may be on the team with the original USWNT players at some point. And, some will honor the strike just on “principle”

        • rkmid71

          What principle are you referring to? How are the original USWNT players looking out for the others and how is a strike helping them? It’s crystal clear the original players have been only looking out for themselves for many many years and apparently even now, no matter what they say. This is where it’s up to JE to lay the law down with the original players. In that scenario, if those original players exhibit any negative or hostile behavior towards the others, they are not needed and can leave. That behavior is no longer tolerated. That is the assurance JE and USSF must give the new players. It’s not business as usual.

          • mockmook

            Some potential new players will view it as the PA is portraying it: A fight for “equality” for women, blah, blah, blah…

          • mockmook

            And, some will support a union on the “principle” that unions make the relationship between labor and management more “fair” — so, unions should always be supported.

          • Lorehead

            And just as ridiculously, some people support unions of shareholders, also called “corporations,” that elect “executives” to bargain collectively on their behalf. Just imagine if those became too powerful? That would be terrible!

            Anyway I do think the players who already made the big time might realize they’ll get more support from the up-and-comers if they come across as fighting on their behalf, not making a deal for themselves that sells them out. The provision in the last contract that everyone else in the league make significantly less than anyone on the USWNT was realy bad.

          • mockmook

            No one is forced to work for these “evil” corporations.

            BTW, since you are so worried about entities amassing power, I’m sure you are appalled that an entity know as The Government can force you to do things (or go to jail). Surely that entity must be reigned in.

          • Lorehead

            By just as, I really do mean just as. Seriously, they’re both voluntary associations formed for the purpose of collective bargaining, they’re both legitimate, and if you find yourself objecting to one and not the other, your knee is jerking.

          • Steglitz49

            He is using the word “union” in a non-standard way when discussing a labor-dispute. It does not help the discussion, just causes confusion and obfuscation.

          • Steglitz49

            You are using the word “union” in a different meaning from the commonly understood one in a labor dispute. That is meaningless.

            There are societies of small shareholders, which have come about to give a combined weight to those who on their own would have no impact. In some cases they have been known to block major decisions by the boards and even deny board members their bonuses etc. But those are not “unions” in the commonly accepted word.

            If a company is privately owned and there are no shares, then it may not even be a corproation. An example is Boehringer-Ingelheim, the pharmaceutical company, which is still owned by the family. Roche, another pharma company, is in reality also owned by the family, though there are so/called B-shares that can be owned and are traded.

          • Steglitz49

            Verily. Rkmid71’s point though is that in this cases the union fights only for the officers and neglect the crew. This is a union for those in the club, not all female players.

  • guest

    What’s going to happen to poor Blue Carrasco 🙁 🙁 🙁

    • defg

      he’ll move in with Ali and Ashlyn. I think he is used to mommy and daddy leaving him behind by now.

      • Guest

        ashlyn killed the Carrascos’ Christmas tree. I hope she does better with their dog.

    • Steglitz49

      He will master the art of the French kitchen.

  • Teresa

    I’m sick of WOSO! Typical women’s stuff! Ya you know exactly what I mean! And yes, I guess I’m now a hater!

  • wosofan

    Would love to see more US players play abroad, especially on top clubs like Lyon or Wolfsburg or PSG. It could help a number of national team players improve their game. For example, would love to see Lynn Williams or Emily Sonnett spend a year on a top German club.

    • Steglitz49

      I suspect that today the trick is to go before you are drafted. Also, once you are in the USWNT you earn so much that essentially you are priced out of the market.

      Katie Stengel played for Bayern Munich. She was their top scorer when they won the German league for the first time and also did the Double. Before her both Amber Brooks and Sarah Hagen played for BM (as did Erika Tymrak on loan for a short while but got injured). Hagen scored when BM won the German Cup.

      Daphne Corboz just returned from playing for Man City. Chioma Ubogagu played a season for Arsenal. Avaldsnes in Norway has had a string of American players in the recent years.

  • Soccer fan

    Alex is running away because Christen Press is exposing her every year in NWSL by means of comparison

    • Steglitz49

      The last club trophy Christen won was the Swedish Cup in 2012. The last club trophy Alex won was the 2013 NWSL Championship.

      Hitting the cross-bar instead of the back of the next in this year’s NWSL semi-final leaves an impression.

    • guest

      the red stars have a much better lineup than the Pride and Alex doesn’t really play forward a lot of the time. Press has a lot more to work with.

      • Steglitz49

        The alleged $30,000 a month (if we are to believe #1Fan) are not to be sneezed at either.

        • guest

          At the current exchange rate, it’s more like $26,125. Still not too shabby.

          • Excuses..Excuses

            That figure isn’t bad at all, especially to us regular folk. That said, how much of that does she really get after paying taxes and her agent and management team? It’s good money but it’s not CR7 cash.

          • Steglitz49

            The love of Lyon her reward?

      • Guest

        what the heck happened to Hagen? wasn’t she supposed to be the second coming of Wambach at one point

        • Steglitz49

          Sarah Hagen was successful for Bayern Munich like Katie Stengel after her, but in the NWSL neither have had much joy though Sarah’s KC did more than OK.

          Both play in Australia this winter. Yesterday Bayern Munich; today down under.

  • Guest

    Lloyd is in England. Let the speculation begin.

    • guestt

      Is Waldrum going to be willing to play her at forward, since that is, according to her, her new position?

      • Guest

        I wouldn’t be surprised at all if she is shopping herself around to the English league. She has stated her desire to play there. I will be surprised if she ever puts on another Dash uniform.

        • HouseOfCrapToDie

          (Toni Duggan side eyes, mutters something in unintelligble scouse)

          • Steglitz49

            There is always Reading and the London Bees never forget Yeovil.

        • Steglitz49

          Might have been easier before Brasilia than today.

        • guest

          Don’t think so

      • rkmid71

        What position was she playing for Waldrum in 2015 and 2016? I had assumed it was forward given the volume of shots.

        • Guester

          she was at wide mid last season. not that she actually played there.

    • Steglitz49

      England, their England.

  • Reality

    As I recall, the USSF was requiring all players who wished to play for the USWNT to fully participate in the NWSL. Now that there are prominent players bailing out of the league, there is nothing but “crickets” from the USSF. I can’t decide who is doing the most to undermine the new CBA and the NWSL.

    • newsouth

      and their well-sponsored 2011-12 highlight film golden girl is leading the pack.

      • Reality

        Can it be true that being professional is all about the money?

        • #1Fan

          well not strictly true in WoSo . Its the opposite for 90pct of the NWSL. Its not about money at all.

          • Reality

            I admire tremendously the dedication and professionalism of the young women who toil in the trenches of WOSO and the NWSL. They love the game and aspire to succeed, but very few will attain that 1% (.01?) status where they can truly make a living to lead a normal life. That is why the current state of affairs with the USSF and the NWSL is so disappointing.

          • #1Fan

            I agree. its ironic. Its one thing to use the haves to bring up the pay of the have nots, but it seems due to the USSF/NWSL being separate entities, the gulf just gets bigger. An yet players are expected to play as a unit and work hard for each other whilst the haves talk about “equal pay”

          • Reality

            It does require a generosity of spirit from the have-nots, but they don’t have much of a choice if they wish to progress so they are forced to dissimulate any feelings of resentment or jealousy.

          • #1Fan

            It just creates an environment where self interest>> team interest. i get that this is not new, but it robs us of seeing some players with potential ever enter the league let alone develop. Its reamians a pay to play sport even in the pro ranks for 90 pct of the players. No wonder the player pool is what it is.

          • Reality

            I think that this self-interest also bleeds onto the pitch at times and inhibits true team spirit and cooperation.

          • Steglitz49

            Brasilia! Brasilia!! Brasilia!!!

            May never get the chance to play in the Maracana.

          • #1Fan

            well that si exactly my point. Thats the ultimate irony. I can go further and say I laugh reading Eq when people are spouting about how youth teams play and why we dont link passes and play a collective game. Look around you. Its all about being a selfish star. The lesson is look out for #1. heck, make a few selfish “plays” and people will give you a pass. Blame it on others.

          • Reality

            Another way to be a selfish star, aka prima donna, is to abandon your domestic league team to avoid injury or to seek foreign affairs for money/prestige.

          • #1Fan

            well there I m not sure I agree. I think its a free mkt, so do as you please. USSF created the monster by NOT broadening the player pool and making these players see that they are FAR from irreplaceable.

          • DNG

            If they start to use the NWSL to broaden the player pool and the CBA allows it the investment in the league might be worth it and we may start to see less of the me attitudes. They need to get long of year long contracts though and pay players per appearance or roster selection.

          • #1Fan

            the culture is totally wrong. I guess it was born of necessity but now it is being exploited. USSF must have felt that the players “personalities” were the only assets they had to build on. In most other countries, the game itself is the asset.

            it is no shock to me that you got some big, outspoken behavior from more than a small percentage of the starters . Wambach, Lloyd, Solo, Rapinoe to name a few. They are emboldened by the re-inforcement that they ARE the USA. There is no team without us.

          • Reality

            IMO, the so-called “free market” is an illusion since there are rules, laws and conventions that define the “free market” and that usually favor the powerful and wealthy while disadvantaging the poor and disconnected. This is a Darwinian system that rigs the game in favor of those who control the levers of power.

            I do agree that the USSF bears responsibility here as the ruling power by acting irresponsibly in setting the rules.

          • #1Fan

            by free I mean as long as there are teams that they can play for who will pay more then good luck to them. Giovinco came to the US for MLS. He lost his place in the Italian team. Que sera sera.

          • Reality

            Then we get back to prioritizing motivation…money? loyalty? patriotism? professionalism? It seems as if there is free choice but every individual is constrained by their personal circumstances, their value system and the limitations imposed by the system where the odds are with the house. The result usually favors those who have connections and wealth. Horatio Alger stories are far and few between with equal opportunity often absent.

          • #1Fan

            Yes, but they are free to play for the highest bidder and accept whatever the consequences. I feel now that there are no consequences for being self centered ….NONE

          • Reality

            Waxing philosophical for a moment, there are always consequences for decision making, some good and some bad…both for the individual and for the people that are affected by the decision either directly or indirectly. This effect is magnified by the status of the person who makes their decision and creates ripples around them which can help or hurt others.

          • Steglitz49

            The abysmal year of 2016 may stimulate some of the changes that have been proposed in comments on the EQ.

            Oth, the ostrich mentality may prevail.

            The SBC will provide an early indication.

          • Steglitz49

            Indeed. Pinoe, Tobin, Abby and a few more managed to dizz the NWSL when it suited them and they were not brought to book.

            The only retribution the USSF has wrought was on Hope for using the wrong words and she did not even use the f-one.

          • Steglitz49

            Pinoe? Tobin? Abby?

          • #1Fan

            Look at Carli Lloyd . she champions the me vs the world thing and in spite of massive soccer flaws, has been given a total pass by the soccer media because she scored a WC hattrick. now dont get me wrong, thats an amazing feat, but I have no idea how she was on the team in the first place. Plays almost eery minute of every game and for what? Because every game vs a minnow is a chance to score more and add to the bio. The USSfF does not build teams, it provides a platform for individuals.

          • Steglitz49

            It would be interesting to learn what new tryouts at USWNT camp felt like — not just the ones that succeeded but the ones that were discarded.

          • Steglitz49

            I don’t follow you. Why pay for peanuts in the NWSL when you can play for almond pastries across the oceans. If you are lucky, maybe your team will win a trophy — or two — or three, even four!

            By all means be brain-dead but nobody will weep over you. Daphne Corboz played for Man City and now is bak in the USA allegedly to start Medical School. Wise lass. Her kid sister will have seen and learnt.

            Btw — the honorific Hispanic-slot is already claimed.

          • Steglitz49

            Better #1 in Avaldsnes than #2 in Boston.

          • Steglitz49

            It could be that 2016 will be seen as the Stalingrad of WoSo.

          • rkmid71

            It’s also ironic that NWSL is managed by none other than the USSF.

          • Steglitz49

            The USSF has the money, the USSF calls the tune.

            After all, in most countries the local national federation runs the league.

          • rkmid71

            Agree. But I meant ironic in the sense that they are the responsible party for structural flaws in the system that they are now in need of fixing. I’m not even sure they care.

          • Steglitz49

            In the larger picture it is more important for the USSF to fix the men’s game. Provided the USMNT can repeat and preferably improve on 2002, all will be well for the USSF.

            The USWNT, meanwhile, enters into 2 fallow years when their matches are meaningless. Will people actually go along and pay to watch?

            The harsh reality for WoSo in the US is that apart from being an extension of Nationalism, the general public don’t give a damn. Last year the SBC was run as double-headers to disguise that noone would have bothered with Eng v Fra, Fra v Ger or Eng v Ger. Apart from Portland, the attendance at NWSL matches is poor given the population bases. Even the Championship final is poorly attended.

            Fans of WoSo must fix this. NT players of WoSo must too. Who else? DJT? Mrs Bill? Condi Rice’s games start with g: grid-iron and golf.

          • Steglitz49

            You could argue that they are brain-dead.

            They might make $25,000 abroad and even $30,000 playing for medium EU clubs, that is in a year what a certain player according to #1Fan allegedly makes in a month.

        • Steglitz49

          according to #1Fan Alex picks up $30,000 a month in Lyon. Seems a fair return on investment.

        • newsouth

          so her sponsors don’t pay as well as we thought, so she needs the french money?

          • Steglitz49

            letters, as in after her name?

        • Gregory

          Players are bored between October and March. And they want to “feel” the real soccer tradition in Europe. They want to play UWCL and they want to be close to and visiting games of Messi, Ronaldo and Co.

          It is not only money

          • Steglitz49

            What do the ones in Australia enjoy? Sun, beach and sex?

          • Reality

            I was being somewhat facetious in my remark since there are obviously multiple factors involved in trying to earn a living playing soccer especially for the vast majority of women who will never attain the USWNT. My concern is for the survival of the NWSL and the leadership and management that it will require to ensure that viability.

          • rkmid71

            The low odds of attaining WNT are currently made worse by the closed shop nature of the USWNTPA and the CBA. The survival of the NWSL doesn’t depend only on what the current USWNT players choose to do … it’s all the other players. Many of whom have been retiring earlier than they might otherwise due to the state of affairs.

          • Reality

            There is no real representation at the negotiating table for the average NWSL player. The priorities of the USSF and the USWNTPA are paramount which in some ways make this CBA negotiation antithetical to the growth of WOSO here in the U.S.

          • Steglitz49

            Why should the peons be represented? They are the dullards that roe the good ship NWSL while the officers stroll around the quarterdeck sipping pink gins or whatever one drinks in Lyon.

          • rkmid71

            The average NWSL player are the ones getting squeezed by the reality of WoSo economics. And I would call them aspiring WNT players instead of “average”. The USWNT players are in a bubble essentially being put in a favored position of being able to monetize nationalism while having a competitive landscape tilted in their favor in terms of resources. Once players are on the team or the inside, they fiercely band together to protect their mutual interest. Letting in as few newcomers as possible. As I think everyone or most agree, it’s not a true NT. And it’s not a surprise other countries are “catching up” as they start to care more. And you’re right, it’s not helping WoSo growth in the US, which I think is supposed to be a USSF objective. Though as others have said, USSF main priority seems to be the MNT where the economics and money are so much better. And as long as the WNT wins enough, that seems to be good enough. It’s not about being the best you can be, like USA Women’s Basketball. As a fan, it’s hard to get too invested.

          • Steglitz49

            Please go back and put in some paragraph breaks.

            meanwhile, my advise is: go east or west, young ladies!

          • Reality

            While the USWNTPA possesses some leverage, it’s like the NWSL is on life support with minimal resources and the plug can be pulled at any time. Unfortunately, that creates an atmosphere for the players of “every woman for herself” and for the fans the clear impression that WOSO doesn’t matter.

          • Steglitz49

            Any college senior with an ounce of sense and half of coke would look for a team across the oceans.

          • rkmid71

            Absolutely. It’s got to be option #1. It’s going to strengthen the Euro leagues in next few years and maybe Asia?

          • Steglitz49

            Beatriz has played in South-Korea for the past 3 years.She is 5’9″ — a veritable giant among pygmies.

          • guest

            isn’t 5’9 average among female pro athletes. well… not in asia.

          • Steglitz49

            Alex Morgan is 5’7″.

            The average of the Golden Generation was 5’4″, which was 2″ taller than an average Japanese lass of their age.

            5’9″ is tall in anyone’s books.

          • Steglitz49

            The survival of the NWSL is not in doubt because without it, the USWNT and the CanWNT and, possibly even, the Mexican WNT would have to throw themselves on the mercy of the Chief Ideologist and Bribeologist of FIFA.

      • Steglitz49

        meanwhile, I guess USSF can import German and Swedish versions of 2016 and use an English voiceover.

    • Steglitz49

      Tobin and Pinoe did not in 2013 and there have been others as I recall but maybe they got an excemption by royal decree.

    • mockmook

      As I recall, they are allowed to spend a year or two out of every cycle abroad (per the MOU)

      One of us (and I don’t know which) is not recalling correctly 🙂

      • Reality

        We could get really deep into the weeds re: the current rat’s nest of controversy over the cba and mou. Given the legal wrangling going on, it is difficult to obtain hard and fast information as to what actually is in force. I did find this…

        “WNT players can opt out of the league to play in Europe, but only if they also play in NWSL for two years. So a WNT player could opt out for 2014, but has to return to NWSL for 2015 and ’16, or a player who has already played two years could opt out for 2016.
        WNT players in Europe can’t miss a “disproportionate number days” if they’re only available to the team on FIFA dates, or else their salaries can be reduced on a pro-rata basis down to 75% of their full salary based on how much time they missed. “Disproportionate” would be something like missing five days out of a 10-day camp.”

        http://www.starsandstripesfc.com/2016/2/4/10916838/most-interesting-uswnt-cba-collective-bargaining-details

        So it appears that it depends on the status of each individual player in regard to their tenure with the NWSL. Those who have served their time can bail out whereas those who haven’t and wish to play for the USWNT must remain.

        How this migration affects the NWSL is an entirely separate discussion.

        • Steglitz49

          I suspect that the “disproprotionate number of days” could be tested in court, not least by a player of Alex Morgan’s stature.

          FIFA may even pay for her legal counsel because a national Federation must not be allowed to circumvent international agreements that make a world sport like soccer possible.

          A fresh example of individual power in sports is that of the French biathlete Martin Fourcade. He let it be known that he would not compete in Russia on account of the doping scandal. He was quickly supported by the Czech biathletes and then Norway. The other day Russia “voluntarily” withdrew from hosting their world cup event (which they always do each year) and also from hosting the Junior World Championship.

      • Lorehead

        The last MOU said that players could either choose to stay out of the NWSL for 2013­–2014, as Megan Rapinoe, Tobin Heath and Christen Press did (although they all played partial seasons in the NWSL) or for 2015–2016, as Abby Wambach did.

        • Steglitz49

          Do you know anything about Reality’s allegation that — “WNT players in Europe can’t miss a “disproportionate number days” if they’re only available to the team on FIFA dates, or else their salaries can be reduced” ?

          Seeing that FIFA windows were introduced to regulate the relationships between players and clubs with regards to NT duties, this seems a strange clause to have in a contract.

          • Lorehead

            I don’t think that clause was ever invoked, and the USWNT plays fewer games outside the international dates than it did four years ago. But that was relevant to Christen Press’ decisions to transfer.

          • Steglitz49

            Thanks! Merry Christmas btw.

          • mockmook

            Perhaps a “Happy Hanukkah” is in order — just to cover all your bases 🙂

          • Steglitz49

            Keeping to a Swedish theme because of Christen Press, those Swedes have remained heathen by using the old word “Jul” for Christmas (Yule in English).

            Thus, they wish each other “god jul” and between Christmas and New year the simply greet each other with “a good continuation” (on the Christmas, sorry Jul).

            There is a julgran (Christmas tree) and a julbock (Christmas goat).

            The Christmas goat (julbocken) has a key role in a Swedish Christmas. He brings parcels to the children whom Father Christmas (Jultomten) does not have time to get to. This is of course great in single-parent families where mum can pretend that the goat brought the presents as a reason was why Father Christmas did not come.

            Seeing that the Jultomte and his goat do not belong to any religion one assumes they do not disdain children because of their faith, only if they have not been good.

          • Steglitz49

            To complete the goat, the classic way of making it is of straw. The most famous of these straw goats is the one erected in Gävle because it is nearly always burnt down before Christmas. This is not something the good citizens of Gävle enjoy so they try to protect their straw goat but usually it is burned.

            As far as I know there is no WoSo team in Gävle but their (male) hockey team, Brynäs, has a great tradition.

        • mockmook

          Here is what I believe is the relevant part of the MOU (written in 2013) regarding playing in Europe:

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/965b741d2b6f970f0771a14e9c73d85e5b9c368164da76ceea19fd81a4dd13a5.png

          Presumably, they will continue with this flexibility for players in the next CBA/MOU. At least, it doesn’t strike me as being intended as only a one time opportunity to play in Europe.

          Strangely, though it is implied, I don’t see any language that says a USWNT player must play for the NWSL. Maybe you have seen it — or seen the opposite?

          • Lorehead

            The way I read that, there are two options. One says, “return to the NWSL” and the other says, “commit to play in the NWSL.“ So, either way, all the players had to go to the NWSL.

            As of the last report I heard here, we don’t know if there’s going to be a new CBA at all or what it would say. We do know that Alex Morgan will play in France next season.

          • mockmook

            These have to be the sloppiest agreements ever crafted.

            What of players who want to play in Asia? South America?

            Also, the commitment was juxtaposed against playing in Europe. What of a player who wanted to play in neither the NWSL nor Europe?

          • Steglitz49

            My reading of these tealeaves is that the top brass had been told by Tobin and Pinoe that they would be in PSG and Lyon.
            — There were also some other players the top brass was keen to bring back, not just Christen, such as Whitney Engen, Klings, Kriegs, Harris, Yael and possibly also Levin, Wells, Moros and Yanez.
            — the clause also impacted Brooks and possibly Hagen.

            At the time a number of European coaches — for example Lair, then at Lyon, and Benestiti, then at PSG — said that the way the USSF/NWSL was behaving, it was pointless in future to sign American players because they would not stay for a longer time and, thus, the effort that the club put into them was wasted for the club.
            — Bayern Munich went further and as a club made a statement that the US top brass brought undue (unfair) pressure on US players to play in the NWSL and that this was unfair to the players.

  • guest

    The NWSL pay structure is what it is. USWNT players get paid what they do because they earn that money in ticket sales and prize money. NWSL pays their players what they can. The USWNT players (or USSF, really, since they seem to retain much of the ladies’ cash) either have to agree to charitable donations to subsidize non-NT players salaries, or allow for a more open player pool to allow these NWSL ladies to potentially cash in on NT call ups. I don’t see either happening. We don’t live in Sweden where the feds will subsidize the league, or Europe where the wealthy mens’ clubs can pay the ladies more.

    • rkmid71

      “they earn that money in ticket sales and prize money”

      My belief is that the ticket sales and prize money would be “earned” even if you had 24 other players on the WNT. It’s not dependent on those particular players.

      • Steglitz49

        Hear hear!

      • #1Fan

        exactly . it is a nationalistic return on Patriotism. No more no less.

        • Steglitz49

          Verily.

    • Steglitz49

      Soccer is a club game.

    • Guest

      The reality is that the league needs more investment, whether it is from USSF or ideally outside sponsors. You also need to get those initial marketing and media deals paid for, and hope that the ball rolls from there. Will Barca, et al step up? who knows.

      • guest

        i’d like to see some maverick tech billionaire or other type of investor take on one of the struggling teams like Sky Blue and move it to an adequate location and invest in adequate promotions. obviously you need to see this throughout the league, but that initial sparkplug has yet to materialize.

        • Steglitz49

          What do you consider an “adequate” location?
          Why do you need a billionaire when WoSo is dirt cheap?

          The problem for WoSo is that few if any bother to support it. They talk big, make big demands but come matchday, where the heck are they? Even Championship finals get less attendances than regular games.

          Granted, when a WNT player can miss a semi-final and there is no retribution, why invest in this sorry excuse of a luxury hobby for the well-heeled middle-class?

      • Lisbeth

        I thought Barca stands for Barcelona. And I thought Barcelona is a city located in Spain. How does Barca fit to the NWSL. I thought NWSL is an North American league. Is Spain part of North America. Strange world

        • Reality
          • Lisbeth

            I know about the rumors and I know it might happen. But I still dislike it. Houston should play against Chicago. Orlando against Portland. Seattle against New York. Like London plays against Manchester, Barcelona against Madrid and Dortmund against Munich. Barcelona should stay in Spain. They could invest in their women’s team and could help Spanish women’s soccer’s growth.

          • Reality

            Actually, FC Barcelona has done a good job of investing in their women’s team and they are currently second in the Spanish Women’s League standings only a point behind Atl. Madrid. They are attempting to break into the U.S. WOSO market through the NWSL and the infusion of capital would be helpful since I don’t see many of our domestic capitalists coming forward.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FC_Barcelona_(women)

            https://www.fcbarcelona.com/football/womens-football/news

          • Lisbeth

            I understand your perspective. I’m not saying right or wrong.
            I just say that I like it. I am a traditional guy. I might be old fashioned. But I prefer Barca being Barca means Barca being Barcelona.

            They are not an American team. They never attempted to “break” into another traditional soccer country people would not accept it for good reasons.

            If the US wants to be taken serious in respect of soccer they should not look for those artificial marketing gags but rather look for investors to invest in North American clubs and teams

            Just my opinion.

          • Lisbeth

            Wanted to right “I don’t like it” obviously

          • Lisbeth

            Wanted to “write”. I better stop

          • Reality

            Welcome to EQ! We all have opinions and all of us can miswrite at times. 🙂

          • Reality

            No problem. I happen to think that the infusion of different soccer cultures and styles not to mention funding can only strengthen our American “Football”.

          • Steglitz49

            I contend that most people support your case.

            Oth, given that American outfits own clubs like Man Utd and Liverpool, maybe Barca’s possible move should be seen in that spirit. If it makes sense for Americans to own English clubs, why not Spanish owners of an NWSL side?

            If so, where does one draw the line? At Russians? Cubans? Colombians? Chinese?

          • Johan Cruyff

            It’s not about the nationality of the owner. It’s about the name / brand. Barcelona is not an US club. No problem with having a Spanish owning WFC Los Angeles.

            It is also about having clubs with several “children clubs”. What if they have to play against each other in any international match. Does the owner decides who wins. Terrible tendency. We may have seen the glory days of soccer. The future seems to be money / marketing driven

            I fear it would be better for the future of soccer if the Americans stick to Baseball and American Football

          • Steglitz49

            Your stage-name (bye-line) is in poor taste and offensive. Please don’t use it again.

    • #1Fan

      so dont have a league. If there is no economic return here. Dont have one. Its a free mkt no ?

      • defg

        That’s the American way. If no parties (MLS/private investors) are willing to step up and put in the money to invest in the women’s league, it won’t survive. “They say” that if there is no domestic league, the national team will suffer, and womens’ soccer in the USA will be relegated back to the dark ages of 2003.. or something. you do have to wonder how long these owners are going to hang on – FCKC is in flux, Sky Blue has to be in danger, the Red Stars are struggling…

      • Steglitz49

        Not really. FIFA expects countries to have leagues because they consider soccer to be a club-based sport. Thus, no league runs the risk of exclusion from major tournaments.

        Granted, the US (and Canada) could call FIFA’s bluff but it is generally wise to avoid needless confrontations.

    • guest

      so let me get this straight. the uswnt players shouldn’t have to subsidize the nwsl players but yet the uswnt players should be allowed to be subsidized by the usmnt. that doesn’t sound like equal pay for equal play. that doesn’t sound like equality. that sounds like just acting in one’s own self-interest. which is fine. just call it what it is. no need for the uswnt tv sympathy tours.

      • newt gingrich

        USWNT isn’t susbsidized by USMNT. USWNT makes more money for the federation every year except a world cup year. USMNT loses money most years.

        • guest

          what about the copa america year this year where the usmnt got $15 million. guess you forgot about that one. the uswnt has only made a profit one year in their entire thirty year history.

          • Lorehead

            If you think Messi and Ronaldo are on the USMNT, no wonder you think it’s so profitable.

          • mockmook

            The USSF is making money somewhere or they would be bankrupt. Where have they been making money for the last 100 yrs or so?

          • Lorehead

            Remember, when people say the USWNT “loses money,” they’re counting only game-day ticket sales and ignoring TV, merchandise and licensing revenue. That’s tens of millions of dollars. USSF also collects fees from players, their parents, and coaches, from other teams’ matches on US soil, and some other miscellaneous sources.

          • Steglitz49

            Given the attendance figures and ticket prices for USWNT matches, they must be profitable. How profitable is the question.

            USSF may make $5-6m a year from WNT matches just from ticket sales, not including concessions and merchandise sold at the matches. It could possibly be more. That is why they don’t like the Algarve Cup.

  • guest

    i will laugh so hard if lyon gets knocked out of the champions league in the quarterfinals by wolsfburg even with all their over spending.

  • Alexandre Feaud

    Vôtre championnat es surcoté ! vos joueuse américaine ne viennent pas en
    Europe , car vôtre fédération les bloques , si elles ne les bloquais
    pas elles viendrais toute joué chez nous et vous le savez très bien …
    Vos joueuse sont juste rapide et physique , elles n’ont pas de techique
    mise à part tobin heath !! ET lyon es la meilleur équipe au monde !!!

  • Alexandre Feaud

    Your championship is surcharged! Your American player does not come to
    Europe, because your federation blocks them, if they did not block them
    they would come all played with us and you know very well … Your
    player are just fast and physical, they do not have Techique apart from
    tobin heath !! AND lyon es the best team in the world !!!

    • DNG

      Heath is not the only technical US player but I don’t completely disagree with the rest of your points.

  • Alexandre Feaud

    qui d’autre es vraiment technique ?? pour moi vous avez que Heath et c’est un top player , du niveau de louisa Necib , et marozan. toute vos autres joueuses sont comme élodis thomis pysique et rapide .
    Et rien à voir mais Wendie renard vas surment venir l’an prochain au état unis a Orlando je crois ! et Amandine Henry fint sont contrat chez vous et après retourne joué pour le PSG

  • Alexandre Feaud

    Who else is really technical ?? For me you have that Heath and it is a top player, of the level of louisa Necib, and marozan. All your other players are like remote thomis pysical and fast.
    And nothing to see but Wendie Fox’s going to come next year to the United States in Orlando I believe! And Amandine Henry fint are contract with you and after returned played for the PSG

    • DNG

      Brian, Horan, and Long are nothing like Thomis. Andi Sullivan too who started in the recent friendlies but recently tore her ACL. Regarding Morgan, Leroux and Dunn I agree with you.