Crystal Dunn heading to Chelsea, won’t play for Spirit in ’17

Dan Lauletta January 3, 2017 386
Crystal Dunn holds her new Chelsea Ladies shirt. The 2015 NWSL Most Valuable Player is heading to England. (photo: Chelsea Ladies)

Crystal Dunn holds her new Chelsea Ladies shirt. The 2015 NWSL Most Valuable Player is heading to England. (photo: Chelsea Ladies)

2015 NWSL MVP Crystal Dunn is on her way to Chelsea Ladies and is not expected to play for the Washington Spirit in 2017. Her contract with Chelsea runs through 2018.

Dunn joins U.S. national team compatriot Alex Morgan as prominent players making moves to Europe. Morgan is set to join Lyon this month but is due back in Orlando in June. Dunn however, will not be in the league at all this year. “I will not be in the NWSL in 2017,” Dunn told The Washington Post

“On behalf of the entire Spirit organization and our fans, I want to thank Crystal for her years of commitment and outstanding performance,” Spirit general manager and head coach Jim Gabarra said in a statement.

{LAULETTA: What Morgan to Lyon means for all involved}

Losing Dunn is the latest blow in what has been a difficult offseason for the Spirit. After riding Dunn’s brace to the brink of NWSL Championship glory before losing on a late equalizer and penalty kicks, the club has seen Dunn, Ali Krieger, Christine Nairn, and Megan Oyster depart. Also, goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe has hinted she will not return either. The club did acquire Kristie Mewis and Kassey Kallman in a trade with the Breakers and it holds the top spot in the allocation ranking.

“Of course it hurts to lose such a talented player, but this is professional sports, and every time there’s a roster spot open it creates opportunities for others.”

Dunn was the top overall pick in the 2014 NWSL draft out of North Carolina. After being left off the World Cup roster in 2015 she went on a tear, scoring 15 goals to lead the league and earn MVP honors. Her scoring dropped off for the Spirit in 2016 but she was part of the U.S. Olympic roster after scoring a team-record equaling give goals in a qualifying match.

“I have only been to London once before but there is something that grabbed me about Chelsea. The whole family culture – the unity, the morale – is making it feel just like home,” Dunn said in her introductory release from Chelsea Ladies. “I’m excited because Chelsea has a large fanbase and their relationship with the men’s team alone is just incredible. I’m looking forward to the games and to seeing all the fans who come out and support and hopefully we can all help add to the growth of women’s football in England.

“I’m going to give my all. It would be a dream to play in the Champions League and I am ready to help out the team in any way. I’m excited to join my new team-mates and join forces with them.”

Chelsea Ladies are out of this year’s Champions League having fallen to Wolfsburg in the Round of 32.

  • Som Termanni

    Classic feint! She had me completely fooled. What a coup for Chelsea.

    • Steglitz49

      I suggested that her French trip was a feint but I did not settle for a specific team in England.

  • Ethan

    All sorts of offensive talent for Chelsea and Manchester City. I think it’s a bit cool to see a high-profile American player choose to play in England over the more traditional countries of France, Germany, and Sweden.

    • DNG

      The change to winter season might see more american chose England as a first choice

      • Ethan

        Right. I forgot about the overlap in previous years.

    • #1Fan

      Im not sure she had the chance. Not being funny, but I dont think she is suited to the top Bundy opr french teams. Not as an attacker anyways.

    • Richard IV

      Maybe she is not brave enough and wanted to stay in the English speaking comfort zone (as all the ladies making winter vacation in Australia).

  • The Oracle

    Dunn and Bachmann?! Hayes is killing the transfer game right now.

  • Dizzywale

    This is not good for the league. Dunn is risking her place in the national team for a better pay cheque. I wonder how many will follow.

    • A_Dog_Without_A_Clutch

      It doesn’t hurt her standing since this the accepted year to pile up your money internationally.

    • Steglitz49

      The USWNT did not treat Crystal too well in 2015.

      2019 is a while off and there is no guarantee that Crystal will get to be part.

      Crystal is making hay while the sun shines.

      • guest

        The Washington Post “Soccer Insider” article by Steven Goff notes Dunn discussed move to Chelsea with Ellis before making her decision

        Before signing with Chelsea, she consulted with U.S. Coach Jill Ellis.
        “I told her I want to do it but also am very committed to the national team,” said Dunn … “Jill told me, if I was going to do it any year, it’s this year. It was a good feeling having her support. That was something very important to me, being able to feel as though I am part of the national team and not feel as though I am missing out on opportunities. “It’s a great deal, being able to do the national team and also have the experience of playing overseas.”

  • Reality

    I think this will be a great opportunity for Dunn and is a better fit for her than the French Feminine Division 1. However, I have to wonder whether her dropping out of the NWSL will lead other USWNT players to do the same. Even though the league has survived so far, if there are an appreciable number of NT players that end up going overseas full time, it could create a crisis for the league which is still in a delicate condition even after 4 years.

    • A_Dog_Without_A_Clutch

      Lloyd to Liverpool is the only big concern. The only other concern is that Barcelona might want a full commitments from players like Press, Long, Sauerbrunn, etc. to make a strong Champions League run.

      • Reality

        The Champion’s League seems to be the primary consideration for both the prospective players and the clubs. It is a nice addition to one’s resume not to mention participating in the whole experience.

        • A_Dog_Without_A_Clutch

          I don’t think Champions League is that much of a draw. It is just the correlation of CL and money.

          • #1Fan

            i think its a big draw. It a new experience for them and with great respect to the USA , it has the best players in it .

          • Steglitz49

            Verily. It is not called the Champions League nothing for nothing.

          • Reality

            I think that the prestige and money are both motivating factors not to mention playing with and against the best teams in Europe.

          • Steglitz49

            There are a couple of trophies greater than life. They include the Ladies Champions League, the FA Cup and several other domestic trophies.

            There is a lot of silverware to fight for in old Europe even for the lasses.

      • Hugo

        Don’t think so (but I might be wrong)

        It seems Liverpool is not supporting women soccer as Man city or Chelsea. The won the league twice. But afterwards a lot of good players left the club. Even after this season good players are leaving

        If Llyod would go to England she would go to Man City or Chelsea (maybe arsenal). But her main goal is to play for the USWNT. She will not endanger that with leaving the NWSL

        I also don’t think that Barca already has the desire to buy many foreign players. I think they try to grow organically. This may change once the big rival Real will enter the stage. Perez recently stated that they want to start with women soccer. And Perez will not be shy of investing heavily IF Real starts with women soccer

        • A_Dog_Without_A_Clutch

          Carli status on the USWNT is stone cold locked up, Europe won’t endanger her status. Also, 2017 is the “free year” since there are no major tournaments to participate in. The only players that are risk of losing if their place if they move to Europe are Ohai, Williams, Mewis, Short, etc.

          Yeah, Liverpool are not fervently supporting women’s football, the supposed “best player in the world” has expressed interest in playing for their club, so they may be willing to make an exception.

          Man City is not going to spend money anytime soon. If you seen interviews at the end of last season among the coaches and staff, they heavily implied that organization wants to wait after they face one of the big clubs like Lyon or Wolfsburg before they decide on how to approach the next phase of their progress.

          You are right in that Barcelona is not likely to spend money on women’s team, but I don’t think growing “organically” is their aim. I think FCB is being relatively cautious on how they spend their money on “non-football men’s team” activities until the new stadiums have been built.

  • Som Termanni

    Steven Goff’s WaPo story on Dunn has the clearest criticism of Gabarra yet: “Krieger, a Northern Virginia native who joined the team for the inaugural 2013 season, was unhappy with Gabarra’s playing style and player management. She differed with owner Bill Lynch, a local software executive, on how he ran the team. Those sources, ranging from players to people familiar with the team, also cited communication issues between Gabarra and the players.

    One source, who requested anonymity in fear of retaliation, said the players “went to the championship, and yet were so unhappy.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/soccer-insider/wp/2017/01/03/crystal-dunn-rising-star-in-u-s-womens-soccer-departs-washington-spirit-for-chelsea/

    • Steglitz49

      Krieger? The WNT player who could not be bothered to play in her teams SF for the Championship.

      At the Tower of London, there is a Traitors Gate. In days of old, it was not a good omen if you entered the Tower through that gate.

      • Looper

        What about Stina? Linköping will play CL next season. And she is leaving for a club which is not even playing CL. Have you already seen her at the gate?

        • Steglitz49

          Linköping have lost Pernille Harder, Stina Blackstenius and Fridolina Rolfö. They will be hard pushed to get anything out of the Champions League.

          The rich get richer and the poor have to take their medicine and turn their collars and cuffs.

      • Som Termanni

        I know the axe you’re grinding there, and I won’t go near it, or you.

    • guest

      does this mean krieger wasn’t surprised to be traded after all like she said she was? wasn’t surprised that she magically ended up on the same team as her girlfriend?

  • Som Termanni

    This rather muffles the earlier news of Swedish striker Stina Blackstenius moving to D1F’s Montpelier: http://www.excellesports.com/news/sweden-stina-blackstenius-montpellier/

    • Steglitz49

      Stina Blackstenius has the campaign medals, including an OG silver, scoring in the final, and a U19 Euro gold.

      Montpellier has been good to Swedish players over the years, such as Josefin Öqvist — she of the shirt in the stadium during WC-11.

    • #1Fan

      Does it? Top US patrons perhaps, but soccer folks are just as keen to see if Montpelier can crash the party.

      • Som Termanni

        I think one of the world’s established top international strikers bailing on her federation’s league during her NT’s labor negotiations in order to join the increasingly stacked overseas roster of a 17/18 UWCL R32 club takes the air out of the room. I’d love to see Montpelier in and Lyon out, especially post-Morgan, but there’s very little drama in D1F, and for all her considerable talent Blackstenius is not yet on par with Crystal Dunn.
        If the Blackstenius news dropped yesterday or tomorrow, it’d easily be the top headline.

        • Steglitz49

          Stina scored the goal that with a competent ref crew would have won the OG QF in regulation. As it was, it became Hedvig’s and Lisa’s party, though there is no evidense that Stina begrudge them.

          In the OG final Stina scored Sweden’s goal, shorlty after coming on.

          In the 2015 Euro-U19, Stina was compared to a combo of CR7 and Messi with a touch of Zlatan thrown in.

          • Som Termanni

            No argument on Stina’s talent, only on her relevance to the media when putting news out on the same day as Dunn’s move. Happy to be wrong about it, but I’ll note that the BBC, Sky, SI, ESPN, the Daily Mail, Reuters, and the AP are all reporting Dunn. None are yet reporting Blackstenius, which broke hours prior (and a week ago in Swedish media). Hell, while looking for more French outlets reporting on Blackstenius, I found out that Janice Cayman signed with Montpelier yesterday as well: http://www.footdelles.com/article/Transferts_Officiel-Janice-Cayman-rejoint-Montpellier_143664.html

          • Steglitz49

            All the sources you mention are English or American.

            I wrote about Janice Cayman on one of the other strings (the one about the CBA) but was subjected to abuse by HOFCToDi. Reality whinged and whined about it not bothering to read the entries. #1Fan was equally snide.

        • #1Fan

          I not sure I see her as established as you do. According to some, Chelsea mentioned wing back. Sounds like they dont either. I bet if you applied the AWK metrics to Dunn you would get some pretty bad numbers. Not that they mean everything, but I just dont see her as the finished article as a striker.

          • Som Termanni

            Fair enough; it’s hard to stand out offensively on the USWNT, though she’s done as much as she can with the opportunities provided. Her 2016 club campaign was a wash. Wing back and defender were her natural positions before 2015, though I find her 2015 campaign at striker difficult to argue against. I’d also argue that between Gabarra and Ellis she hasn’t had a coach this year willing to trust her with a primary striker role, so 2015 is all we have to go on.

          • #1Fan

            All good. its a healthy debate. I will put it this way. I think Dunn can be a decent productive forward. probably off another striker or on the flanks. I thin she can be the best wing back in the world.

          • rkmid71

            How about the AWK metrics applied to Lloyd? Given a meaningful sample size, I expect top forwards to get roughly 45-50% shots on goal and 20 % goals per shot attempt. I think that’s about what Messi and Ronaldo achieve or even top forwards in the NWSL and college soccer. And I expect reasonable consistency regardless of the competition level., again given a reasonable sample size. I agree with you about Dunn as regular striker. But she’s valuable to have as an option there — on the positive side, very quick and strong on the ball with her low center of gravity. Good 1v1 in space. Good at harassing opposing defenses given her defensive capabilities.

      • Hugo

        Agree. It seems that we will have three teams in the D1F next year which are fighting for the two CL spots (and maybe even more)

        By the way – for me it is already overdue to provide strong leagues like Germany three starters for the UWCL

        Till now I would have said provide 3 starters also to Sweden, but I guess it switched to provide 3 spots for England and France in addition to Germany instead of Sweden (unfortunately)

        • Steglitz49

          Till WoSo is on a firmer footing, let’s leave it as democratic as possible. There are 2 senators per state for a reason.

          • guest

            how many total teams in the champions league? do all the major leagues get two spots?

      • Steglitz49

        Hear hear! Verily and forsooth.

        You could easily argue that Stina’s CV is stronger than Crystal’s.

  • Arcie Tillydee

    This is a critical red flag for the league (more so than Princess Alex’s departure from Orlando, IMO). The league needs to realize that too-low salaries are no less a threat to the league’s survival as bloated payrolls. When even a well-paid (by league standards) allocated player bails for more $, that’s possibly an even greater sign of trouble than the early retirements of non-allocated players or top-level college players opting out of the draft.

    • DNG

      I think this has more to do with the Spirit front office than Dunn’s pay.

      • Arcie Tillydee

        Could well be. Certainly a big factor…possibly a combination of the two?

        • Steglitz49

          Would you advise a young lady against taking a berth with Chelsea? Yes or No?

          • Anson

            Yes, I would advise any young lady with Crystal’s talent to go elsewhere. Especially if she is trying to improve. Chelsea wants Crystal to score. Crystal needs to practice her touch and passing. Both are very poor for a WNT player with her ability. Crystal while a great scorer with speed and quickness has very little discipline when it comes to taking care of her body and improving her touch and team attitude. Very weak!

          • rkmid71

            Team attitude? Give me an example of WNT player that exemplifies team attitude.

          • Bill

            Brian? Heath?

          • rkmid71

            Thank you. Can we please name them captains?

          • Bill

            imho,
            1) Pure speculation on this but i think the Player of the Year to Heath was both lobbied and “engineered” to send messages about what kind of play and team focus ( yes granted weaknesses like not balancing creativity with being direct to the point and not looking to score often enough and greater power in her strikes on goal) and off season work and multi role/multi scheme and multi dimensional contributions coaches and NWSL leaders want. Absent visible signs of more than lip service to a new style its easy for the US to stay stuck in star centric simplicity

            I also think it was a strike across the bow of Lloyd. Lot harder to be a dopey player and an egomaniac and also take free kicks away from an ex Player of the year.

            That play alone in a critical game shows flaws in judgement

            also note that Heath has not “rocked the boat” with comments or too strong a visible position on the CBA ( like all of them she does have to play ball with the players and the owners)

            2) Being a Captain is a different consideration.

            A) One has to be a more visible spokesperson to the media. I can sense that Heath?Brian would be a good representative…calm, humble, team centric and positive. But would either be one who speaks out on the issues that come up? ( Rapinoe and the flag/ Solo and Solo). This is likely not an issue. After all, Derek Jeter was surrounded by media before and after and in between many a game and many a controversy and managed to say nothing for two decades

            B) And in the US, this job often goes to a marketable persona. I am not sure Heath or Brian is able or has that star quality or wishes to be out front and have any more “public” than they have already. There are a lot of nuts out there.

            C) Finally a captain has to take positions ( Like it or not …Lloyd had the uncaring balls to take the kick away) within the team…and these personnas seem best and most comfortable in likeable support roles to their teammates.

            So…I dunno. To me Press is smart and media friendly but imho seems a feathery lightweight. Nor has she yet earned stature within the team. Morgan is smart and hardworking but seems media inarticulate.

            Could be one of the problems…the blandly self assured but not self aware egos migrate to the leadership roles but dont live leadership.

            dunno?

          • DNG

            “Pure speculation on this but i think the Player of the Year to Heath was both lobbied and “engineered” to send messages about what kind of play and team focus”

            I don’t really think this is true. Dunn came in second in the US POTF voting and she certainly isn’t the type of player you just claimed Heath is. Dunn is much closer in play style to Morgan than Heath. Direct to the point that she runs into trouble at times. I don’t see how it was a shot at the Bow of Lloyd either I don’t think she had a great year at all.

            On the captain stuff I’m not sure how much Heath really wants to be out in front of the media stuff. Brian might be more receptive to that in a couple of years. I don’t completely agree with all of your expectation of what a captain is needed to do. There are lots of different types of captains and almost all lead a bit differently.

          • Bill

            I dont have any facts or strong feelings from which to disagree. I do think that in prior times Lloyd might have been a “auto repeat” easy choice based on past accomplishments and the fact that none of them had inspirational years

            We agree ( I must have not said it clearly) that Heath does not seem to want to be out front with the media.

            I do agree that there are many types of captains

          • DNG

            Perhaps it would have been the easy thing to do to give the award to Lloyd but I don’t think it would have been the right decision. I think Heath, Dunn, Morgan, and Sauerbrunn among some other deserved it more than Lloyd in 2016. I think her WC final performance got her the award in 2015 because I thought Sauerbrunn was easily the POTY that year.

          • rkmid71

            I suspect you’re right about Heath and media. I would be the same. She doesn’t have to be Rapinoe and seek it out. What matters most in my mind is the locker room. She’s really upped her game in 2016 at both club and USWNT. That follows from her clutch performance in the WC. Don’t forget that the 4-0 US lead in the final had been narrowed to 4-2 with a Johnston own goal in 52′ and still a lot of time left. Japan has been controlling the game after the horrible start. What happens? Heath comes back and scores in 54′ (I recall on Brian assist) to effectively drive a nail in the coffin and stop any Japan momentum in its tracks. She’s not trashing teammates in articles. She plays a team game and is not an attention seeker. Brian is similar, but probably better in a couple years. Probably you’ll disagree, but I think Morgan should be given a shot alongside Heath. Morgan can do more of the media stuff. I think she’s perfectly fine at it. I’m very disappointed in both the existing captains. They have not been up to the task.

          • Steglitz49

            If Alex is wise, she will learn some French fast so she can do simple interviews in that language. Her big focus must be on helping Lyon retain the Champions League. She may also get Lyon’s spectator-numbers up.

            As for USWNT captain and handling the media, Alex has always struck me a stilted and wooden in her delivery. Maybe the French can liven her up. Captain does not seem Alex’s forte.

          • rkmid71

            I care more about inside the locker room. Like anybody, the more she does it the better she’ll get. Not that I agree, but stilted and wooden is still a hell of a lot better than Lloyd..

          • Steglitz49

            In the locker room speaking French will be an advantage. (She already speaks English.)

          • rkmid71

            I was referring to the USWNT locker room — I care more about that than how well she handles the media. Every time I’ve seen her, she’s always very likable and down to earth.

          • Steglitz49

            For now, Alex’s focus will be Lyon. If all goes well, no doubt they will ask her to come back for second helpings.

          • DNG

            Regarding Morgan, I’m unsure of how her captaincy has gone in Orlando. That team completely fell apart after the Olympics. I like the idea of giving players like Brian and Heath the captaincy if they are up to it. I guess we’ll see what happen in 2 years.

          • washfan

            that’s ok – riding all of those bad skills to the the nwsl mvp; a nike contract, lots of time with the uswnt, olympics and chelsea contract; uswnt tier 1 contract

      • Steglitz49

        Doubt it. It must be a dream come true to get to pull on one of the great jerseys of soccer.

        Katie Stengel did the needful for Bayern Munich while Chioma Ubogagu played for the Gunners.

    • Som Termanni

      It’s becoming clear that the only thing the NWSL is good for (aside from occasionally spectacular soccer and some occasionally spectacular league screwups) is getting tryouts for the WNT in non-tournament years. And even then, ask Edmonds, McDonald, Menges, Franch, Colaprico, Groom, Gilliland, and Mathias how well that’s worked out.

      • mockmook

        Perhaps this will help others get a look since the usawnt likes to play/practice in non-Fifa Windows

        • Steglitz49

          The USWNT may have to tow the line?

          • mockmook

            One of Tom’s later comments seems to show that Dunn will get time off for USA games.

      • Arcie Tillydee

        For me, a “club” guy in that whole club vs country thing, the league is where my club plays, and that’s plenty for me. I also have issues with the USWNT’s poor record of gleaning the league’s best talent in favor of the Good Ol’ Girls Club, but I’m not the USSF, so that’s not the league’s raison d’être for me (and not, in practice, for them either it seems).

        • Som Termanni

          Sure, and as a fan I agree. The league’s often a joy and privilege to watch when the rest of the mess around it fades away. But per Gulati, the NWSL doesn’t have enough fans to reward the players for it, and the players are rewarding the league appropriately by buggering off at the first opportunity—not to other teams, but to day jobs that pay $50,000 a year. Without a financial incentive, we get to watch good soccer only because the USSF pushes the NWSL on players as a second-chance path to the WNT. When that doesn’t work out, why bother? If quality players won’t bother with it, how is it sustainable?

          • Steglitz49

            Then fans of the ladies game had better get their buts into those seats.

            I do not mind if they knit, read their e-mails or just make out with their boy- or girlfriends. Just be in those seats and please groan and howl with the flow of the game.

        • Steglitz49

          Thank you. Soccer is a club game on to which an NT superstructure is bolted on.

      • Steglitz49

        The NWSL fulfills the need of having a pro-league. It does this for Canada and Mexico as well as the US.

        • Som Termanni

          As long as being a minimally viable pro league for a few years of homegrown adult player development, sure, the NWSL could theoretically go on forever. The WPSL still exists, after all. But as for being competitive with other leagues? Unsustainable. And with Mexico making its own semi-pro league this year after pulling its NWSL allocations last year, and the potential of a women’s league to pair with the looming Canadian Premiere League, the NWSL’s importance to both of those nations will likely continue to shrink.

          • Steglitz49

            Mexico never got anything out of the NWSL except abuse. It was outrageous. (Some of their players started for teams in Europe.)

      • guest

        sorry no room when you still have christy rampone taking up an allocation spot even thought she hasn’t shown up for practice or games in over a year.

    • #1Fan

      i dont see it as bailing for $$. Its a once in a lifetime experience. I hope she does well. She is no fool and she knows that IF she wants to get better she needs to move out of the NWSL bubble where her game is NOT getting more rounded.

    • Steglitz49

      Why so snide about Alex Morgan? She has the campaign medals. Alex loyally has served 4 years in the NWSL from its start — unlike other players we might mention.

    • JL

      We had a league that paid players what they were worth. It blew through 100 million dollars in 3 years and went belly-up. Do I like seeing players retire because they have an opportunity to make a better salary in a non-soccer job? No. I hate it. But It is an unfortunate reality of a league that is trying to become stable enough to last. And people who have been through the folding of two previous leagues understand this.

  • Steglitz49

    Seven years ago John Terry saved Chelsea Ladies from extinction. Two seasons ago they did the Double and last year their head coach, who has coached in the US incl Chicago, picked up an award from the Queen.

    Now Crystal gets to play with Hedvig Lindahl!

    • Som Termanni

      And with recently signed Ramona Bachmann. And the Chelsea-Arsenal derby gets to feature Dunn and Kim Little. WSL 2017 is looking pretty fun.

      • Som Termanni

        The more I dwell on Chelsea’s roster, the more ridiculous they look on paper. Their bloody depth at forward now! Fran Kirby and Eniola Aluko were good starters, but now they’re an _insane_ bench.

        • #1Fan

          lets not give Dunn the job yet.

          • DNG

            Emma Hayes mentioned of possibly using her as a wing back in which case I think she’d perform very well.

          • Som Termanni

            Agreed, and it would suit the technical aspects that Dunn’s said she wants to improve. But still, that’s quite a lot of depth in attack.

          • #1Fan

            She must be reading the EQ. Clueless idiots like us have been saying this for some time 😉

          • Steglitz49

            With a Double under her belt I am not persuaded that she is in want of our humble input.

            Maybe she follows HOFCToDi for fun?

          • Steglitz49

            Makes excellent sense.

          • Breakers fan

            Just my opinion but any team that doesn’t start Crystal Dunn is insane.

            I’d play her at forward but know she’s good a bit further back too.

          • DNG

            It all depends on what position she plays and the team she’s in. I would not start her in place of Wolfsburg’s front three just as one example. I don’t think she’s better than Harder, Hansen or Popp.

          • Breakers fan

            Well then we disagree about that. No big deal.

          • Steglitz49

            S(he is mixing up forwards and attacking wing-backs. They are not the same positions.

          • #1Fan

            have you seen some of the other forwards when they play WITH better talent than they may have on their national teams?

          • Breakers fan

            No, all I know is how rare, talented, determined and explosive and productive a player Crystal Dunn is. And if that condition you refer to applies to those players it would apply to Dunn here. Not saying you should agree with me or change your mind, but if she’s on my team she’s on the field. That simple. Will take a lot of evidence to the contrary – in-game minutes – for me to alter that viewpoint.

          • #1Fan

            I said the job of starting forward. She should be on the field. I don’t see her as a top level striker. Interesting that Chelsea have mentioned wing back

          • Breakers fan

            Ok, we’re not as far off, but I would put her at forward but I’m a known, long-time crazy-about-Dunn so I don’t expect everyone to agree with me.

          • Steglitz49

            I expect her to play like the Magic Dwarf does.

          • #1Fan

            Im a Dunn fan as well. I just thnk she could be transformational as an overlapping wingback.

          • mockmook

            Advocating for this since at least March of 2015, vintage formation follows 🙂

            http://drawformation.com/post/550a307e3cc5e/sm-550a307e3cc5e.png

          • washfan

            what’s with all the people who take a person who scores 15 goals for nwsl and wins mvp and then scores 14 for US soccer to put her in defense; 2 goals in nwsl finals – won’t play defense in Chelsea; outside mid or some forward position is where we will see here – this women can just beat people in the 1 v 1 situations – very tough to defend in space and she can put the ball in the goal

          • #1Fan

            how many goals she score in the league 2016 ? when all the players were around? 4 / 2 in one game. How many meaningful goals she score for US in games vs decent teams? 1 vs England ? I like her, but lets not pretend she is a prolific. consistent goal scorer, she isn’t yet. Being able to run by people 1 vs 1 does not work vs better teams . The Chelsea coach mentioned wing back. It kinda funny that you consider wing back some kind of demotion or defensive position. Its a very attacking role where she is

            a. more likely to be able to beat people 1 vs 1
            b. more likely to create for others
            c. more likely to be in space to use her speed
            b capable of at least the 4 goals she scored in 2016
            e. capable of becoming first choice for the US in that role and potentially a game changer

            In an forward role at US NT level what is she? third choice centrally, maybe lower. On the wings? 4th or 5 th choice? She will certainly be behind Pugh and Sanchez soon enough

          • DNG

            You know I agree on Dunn on what I believe to be her optimal position. I do want to comment though that I don’t know if Pugh and Sanchez are definitely going to be productive wings in 2-3 years for the full team. Heath has never been a goal scorer and will most likely slow down by then too. So even though Dunn might not be my ideal wide forward and I think she can be a world class RB/RWB, a flank position might be where she is used at the next major tournament. On a top European side I agree with you though. She’d be better as a RB/RWB. I’m not sure why so many are taking that as a slight. Perhaps it’s because people think that if she isn’t a forward she won’t get recognized?

          • #1Fan

            I am not sure they will be ready either but one thing I do know is that unless there are changes at the top , if available BOTH will be given every chance to take those positions. The USSF has invested too much in them not to hand them a serious chance even if they are not fully ready. I dont think the US struggles for goals as much as they struggle to break down organized defenses. To that end, I see a top class overlapping attacker as a bigger key than another forward. I think it is a serious area of need for this group.

          • DNG

            I think they need attackers and midfielders that can play effectively in seams as well to get the most out of overlapping attackers though. I’m not convinced that’s Sanchez and Pugh yet although you will almost definitely be right about them getting every chance to take those positions. Romania dropped 6 into their back line to better deal with Dunn, Ohai and Heath outside and they doubled up on the wide players a lot. I’m not sure I see great overlapping WBs as a definite solution but admit I don’t have many of my own at the moment. If defenses are going to commit to defending the NT wide players the central ones need to take advantage of that.

          • #1Fan

            i think its harder to defend wide players coming from deeper positions. US tend to push up on to the deeper defenders and not play in the space to draw them out. Would add that teams like Romania are going to get beat even if its ugly. Im thinking more of organized defences on good teams than weaker teams parking the bus.

          • DNG

            I agree on the first part and that Ellis likes to push the players up instead of playing them into space. I still think it works best if you have players creating that space for the outside backs to run into because the closer to goal a low cross is take from the higher the chance it’s completed.

            Of the teams that are good and organized defensively I’m thinking about England, Sweden, France and Canada. I think I agree that a low cross following an overlap into space would be a good plan of attack against these teams. Germany, Australia, Brazil and Japan all want to attack and will give up chances.

            I do think Sweden’s was a little different though at the Olympics. While I mostly see France, England, and Canada as solid defensive team, I don’t think any of them really park the bus. I think Sweden basically did park the bus and if I remember correctly they dropped 5 into their back line and played with a single high forward. Their basic objective was to defend wide spaces and have enough players centrally to cover crosses, utilize their set pieces and counter when possible. It worked very well and I’m not sure. While I’m inclined to agree with your point on a team like Romania, the WNT did almost draw Mexico in Olympic qualifying if not for an awful penalty call.

          • #1Fan

            I do think Sweden was an anomaly. Sundhage comments , the tournament, Solo – there were all sorts of things going on there that created an atmosphere that probably will not be repeated for a long time. I would be building for the teams you mentioned. I think the US need to improve at full back and CM.

          • Steglitz49

            Crystal’s obvious position for Chelsea is as an attacking R or L back, probably right.

            At 5’1″ Japan would be more her size.

        • Hugo

          But they still had no chance against Wolfsburg in this season’s and last season’s CL campaign. Let’s see whether Mjelde, Dunn and Bachmann are abale to make the difference

          • Steglitz49

            Verily and forsooth.

      • Steglitz49

        The French League seems to have attracted the biggest stars. Maybe the food and weather plays a part? It can’t be the language.

        • Som Termanni

          It surely can’t be the money.

          • Steglitz49

            I suspect that Wolfsburg off-loaded Bachmann to the highest bidder because they wanted Pernille Harder.

            As you have noted, Stina Blackstenius has gone to Montpellier, a club that has been good to Swedes over the year and before Lyon was, was the best team in D1.

            Montpellier is just the right city for Stina and the team has a good spirit.

          • Steglitz49

            Chelsea has a lot more lolly than Lyon but PSG has even more.

            Players willing to play for a normal fee would do well to approach teams in Sweden, Norway and Denmark, though Iceland and the Faeroe Islands are a bit more exotic.

          • Som Termanni

            Chelsea as a corporation has more money, but their women’s club, bound by WSL 1’s 40%-of-turnover salary cap for the team, can’t shell it out like Lyon or PSG. Their main tools are better facilities, better sponsorships and more revenue options than most WSL teams to drive up that turnover cap, and the league’s lack of a per-player salary cap compared to the NWSL.

          • Steglitz49

            We can agree that Crystal won’t starve in London.

  • guest

    On the one hand, players want to run off and play for wealthy sugar daddy clubs in Europe, and on the other, they want to be part of exclusive club USWNT. Something’s gotta give, and I hope it’s the players’ contract that gets ripped up and call ups become open to all. The well of talent is deep, and there are plenty more where she came from.

    • Ashley C

      We don’t know Dunn’s contract yet. She may very well be getting paid less with Chelsea.

      I also think it’s bizarre to be upset that women in football want to earn a living. Selfishly I’d love to see Buchanan and Lawrence in the NWSL and Dunn stay – but I don’t blame them at all.

      • Som Termanni

        Per WaPo, “she’ll accept a prorated deal for national team activity”, so as long as her Chelsea deal pays at least $40k, per the MOU she’ll be doing better financially–not dramatically better, not Alex Morgan-to-Lyon better, but better. The WSL has no player salary cap and few financial parity rules (team caps are based on a percentage of total turnover, and Chelsea is flush enough to pay her). A BBC report in 2015 noted top earners make north of £35,000, and if that’s her agreement, it would be at least match her USSF pay for playing in the NWSL.

        • Breakers fan

          Possible/probable that Dunn would have gone overseas anyway, but did the scoop ever get leaked about that debacle of a team meeting the Spirit had right before the NWSL final? Did we ever learn specifically what was said in it, why it has led to such dramatic changes to their club? This question goes out to anyone who may know…

          • DNG

            Since she isn’t playing at all for wash in 2017 and the NWSL season doesn’t completely overlap the FAWSL, I think it’s safe to assume that she wanted out of Washington.

          • Breakers fan

            yes, but was leaving Washington because of the content of that meeting? If so, what was that content?

          • DNG

            Having not been a part of that meeting I can’t be sure but there seems to have been issues with the Spirit as an organization. Foudy said as much in one of the recent friendlies talking about Kriegers move to Orlando.

          • Breakers fan

            Thanks. I didn’t know if that info (about what the players were told in that meeting) was ever leaked and it sounds like it hasn’t been. What specifically could be the issues? Safest bet usually is to guess “money”, so maybe they told players something negative going forward in that regard. I just remember how strange the timing of that news item was – a disastrous team meeting at an apex point of the organization’s history – they were just about to maybe win a League championship.

          • Som Termanni

            Steven Goff publicly mentioned the meeting back in November when the Nairn trade happened. No details about the contents since, until this article where he quotes an source that required anonymity over fear. https://twitter.com/SoccerInsider/status/796746238750314496

          • Anson

            “Reaching the NWSL championship match in Houston was great,” he said. “However, it’s still my job to look forward and continue to put things in place that give the club the best chance to keep reaching for our goals. As is the case with every team in pro sports, changes must be made because no matter how successful a season, things can always be better.”

            When you are given the responsibility of running a program, everyone(including WNT players) need to buy into what the philosophy of company is. If not the team fails and the organization fails. WS got rid of the cancer. TEAM always wins! Individuals tear it apart!

          • Volley

            So Krieger, Dunn, Nairn and Oyster are all cancers? If it was one maybe two that left l’d think it might be the player who is the issue but when you lose four of your best players it points to me that the issue is the management and/or coach.

          • Som Termanni

            > So Krieger, Dunn, Nairn and Oyster are all cancers?

            And if they were cancers, did they not metastasize until Parsons left?

            In other words, does Mark Parsons cure cancer?

          • Volley

            And I forgot that Banini is also gone. She too must be malignant.

          • guest

            i thought oyster wasn’t even getting many starting minutes the second half of the nswl season which could have been a main reason for her trade.

          • Breakers fan

            Thanks for looking for me. A comment under that tweet hints at “goalie decision”, “Rapinoe decision” – playing Star Spangled before players came out – and “starting lineup” decision. If this is the crux of the matter then I would have to look at who they played/started in that game to try to figure out the specifics of these personnel decisions – who played vs. who sat on the bench. Oyster on bench largely is a possibility, I can’t recall who their 2 keepers are, and if there were other starting lineup potential controversies.

          • Volley

            Labbe came back from Rio with with a bronze medal around her neck and sat behind Wys.

          • Breakers fan

            I’m thinking that was perhaps a keystone of their disgruntlement. Did Labbe do noticeably better for the Spirit during the season than Wys?

          • Som Termanni

            Statistically, no, but not by much, and arguably not in a way that points to Wys’s fault.

            Labbe had 5 clean sheets (T-3 with Solo, 1 behind the leaders) and allowed half as many goals as Wys. Labbe’s goals allowed/game was lower (0.88 vs. Wys’s 1.17), but she faced quite a few fewer shots on goal/game than Wys (3.75 vs. 6.25). Their save percentages were both good (80% Labbe, 81% Wys).

            In Wys’s favor, one could argue that Washington’s backline could have done more to reduce the load on her, or that considering their equivalent save rates that Labbe might have performed no better, or that Labbe might’ve been closer to hitting a wall than Wys after her rather strenuous Olympics. Maybe–just maybe–Labbe even supported Wys finishing out the season for consistency.

            But since Gabarra never even played Labbe in goal in similar circumstances as what Wys faced after the Olympics, we won’t and can’t know.

          • Breakers fan

            Excellent provision of data and analysis – thanks. I don’t want to get carried away with this line of thought — that this was their main gripe — as it’s only a theory to begin with. All we can say is that maybe it was an issue who they played in goal. The thing about saying the keeper and maybe other lineup decisions were at the root of the players’ displeasure (outrage?) is that in so doing the players would have had to side *against* certain
            teammates and you don’t see women players doing that, that I can recall. In other words, if they feel Labbe should have played then at the same time they’re slamming Wys and I’m not sure they would do that, but who knows?

          • guest

            does any recall if kreiger started in the nwsl semi-final or final? i seem to recall that she came into the game off the bench as a sub?

          • Som Termanni

            https://ussoccer.app.box.com/s/62j2ma78skprzs0klrppayefzymgu0sf

            Krieger started the semi and finals, played all 120 minutes of both matches, and scored in the semi.

            Lohman was subbed out of the semi at 70′, and didn’t start (or play in) the final. Her omission from the finals in particular caused an uproar.

            Oyster didn’t start the semi, subbing into the semi at 114′ for Ordega to hold the lead, but started the final and played all 120 minutes (and had an assist, to Dunn).

          • rkmid71

            I recall that Krieger wa the first or among the first WNT player returning to NWSL play after OG. Most likely because she didn’t play in OG. She started both games and played 120 minutes in both. In sharp contrast to previous year where she decided not to play in 0-3 loss to Seattle in semifinal mid September. Solo and Rapinoe both played.

          • Steglitz49

            Crystal is making hay while the sun shies. She is cashing in her chips and shares. She has been screwed once. Not waiting around for a rerun.

          • Breakers fan

            Not sure how much more she’ll make in England but I’m betting what you say was certainly part of it. Also, I think she just wants that experience – something new, fun, challenging and very different.

        • CED

          The MOU is void as of 12/31/2016.

          • rkmid71

            Per previous comments and articles, I had assumed everything extended (MOU, old CBA) as is. And that either side would need to give 60 day notice to terminate. But I haven’t read either closely enough to know.

          • Som Termanni

            You are correct. Per NYT: “A U.S. Soccer official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss continuing negotiations, said that the C.B.A. could be ended only with 60 days’ notice of termination and that such a notice had not been received as of this week. (The federation is bound by the same 60-day notice requirement if it wants to end the agreement.) The federation’s plan, then, is to continue to pay the players under the terms of the current deal until a new one is reached, the official said, or at least until one side gives notice that it will walk away from the current one.” http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/28/sports/soccer/uswnt-cba-rich-nichols.html?_r=0

      • guest

        Yes, but players already make a comfortable living playing for club USWNT. Is playing in the NWSL as part of that cushy deal asking too much of them?

        • #1Fan

          they are not required to play in the NWSL forever

          • another guest

            Dunn and other USWNT players have already played 2 (or more years in NWSL) and thus satisfied the obligation to play for NWSL teams per the “Term of Teams’ Rights to Players” paragraph in the current MOU/CBA.
            Not clear (yet) what the terms (or financials) for USWNT players on NWSL teams will be in the new CBA (or new MOU)

            Given the current extended CBA negotiation status, appears to me that USWNT players are currently free to negotiate/sign to play in whatever league they choose

          • #1Fan

            Exactly

          • guest

            US Soccer has a stake in the success of the NWSL. They should make play in the league a condition of playing for the NT. If you want to wear the US shirt and cover yourself in national glory, play in our league.

          • #1Fan

            Cant restrain trade like that. You pick the bets players period. USSF made a deal with the devil to “help” the league and themselves. its not smart play but then again necessity is the mother of all inventions – good and bad .

          • guest

            Agree you pick the best players period, but those players change all the time, so why should we restrict ourselves to a certain group of players by locking them into a contract? Also agree players should go where they want and make what they can, but we should not be guaranteeing them a place on the NT roster.

          • #1Fan

            The CBA was collectively bargained. Remember times were different then. The way I see it, this is a good thing. Players are free to move and the USSF are free to pick who they want. Win win if its negotiated this way. The fall out may be the quality of the NWSL but I doubt it . Ive always felt that the $$ on offer determine the quality. You cannot artificially stimulate it and remain solvent so unless the USSf is going to reduce salaries at the top, increase them at the bottom and essentially finance ALL the players and use the NWSL as s breeding ground for younger talent ….let the so called big stars go;elsewhere to get paid if they can. its a very trick situation becasue of the way its been handled to date. reality is that in Europe , Clubs are willing to pay ( loss lead) to have teams. USA owners need to spend a lot more IF they want to compete for the best players and teh USSf “subsidy” should be spread across the whole team.

          • Som Termanni

            > The CBA was collectively bargained
            The crux of the WNT’s original labor complaint was that the MOU was not a CBA. The argument failed in court, but it was still presented. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/early-lead/wp/2016/06/03/judge-rules-that-u-s-womens-soccer-team-cant-go-on-strike-before-olympics/

          • mockmook

            “Cant restrain trade like that.”

            They already did.

          • #1Fan

            They did not make them play in them NWSL. They can’t. They are free to play wherever they like and USSF can pick who they want.

          • mockmook

            The CBA/MOU says they have to play in the NWSL — so, if a player wants to be on the USWNT they have to put in some time in the NWSL (pending a new CBA/MOU).

          • #1Fan

            I fully understand that, Some time.

          • Rdalford

            Careful reading of the CBA/MOU (as you yourself pointed out in comment on a prior article) the “term of teams rights to players” section outlined the 2 options for balancing playing in NWSL and Europe – but does not actually state that players must play in NWSL.
            Elsewhere in CBA/MOU, the “Players in Europe” section outlines a potential financial impact to playing in Europe
            – pro-rated (but never less than 75% of base tier contract amount) salary impact for players that miss “disproportionate number” of WNT activities

            imo (note I do not have legal training) the CBA/MOU provides some financial penalties for playing in Europe
            – potential pro-rated (up to 25%) loss of base tier pay
            – and loss of portion of pay for NWSL participation
            but does not prohibit playing in Europe nor actually require playing in NWSL.

            also, as noted elsewhere, Dunn, Morgan etc have already played 2 or more years in NWSL so appear to be free to sign to play in whatever league they choose

          • mockmook

            Right, and as I’ve commented, this has to be the most imprecise legal document ever written.

            But, my reading between the lines says that the intent is that players will have to play for the NWSL for at least 2 years out of every cycle.

          • Steglitz49

            That is my understanding too. Alex Morgan has served 4 years, all years since the start, unlike some other players we might mention.

          • Steglitz49

            My reading of the tea-leaves is that those clauses about Europe relate to time outside the FIFA windows because most European clubs tend to stick to FIFA windows. Granted, some have been known to make exceptions while others consider that the FIFA windows are not negotiable.

          • Steglitz49

            Pinoe and Hope did not care in 2013 — some would add ARod to that gang.

          • MrTemecula

            I think USSF did, or it was ‘understood.’ But, money talks, USSF, b.s. walks, just like some of our best players.

          • guest

            or at least the ussf should drop the uswnt annual salaries and the adopt the same pay to play model as the usmnt.

      • Steglitz49

        “Less with Chelsea”???????

        Stop inhaling.

        • CED

          Please name all the Chelsea womens players that make the base salary of 128K.

          • Steglitz49

            Your 128K presumably is a combo of her allocated salary plus her earnings in the USWNT.

            JE may chose not to call up Crystal. That would prove that Ms Dunn has made the correct choice.

          • CED

            So a summary of your blathering is you can’t name a single player on Chelsea that makes 128K

          • Som Termanni

            None of them release salaries. Even if she makes only the average top-player WSL salary of around $45k, as long as Dunn also continues to play with the WNT and receives her pro-rated WNT salary, it’s more likely that she will make the $128k per year total she made with the Spirit than not.

            Also unlike the NWSL, the WSL does not restrict non-salary compensation. Without knowing whether the terms of her contract allow it, Chelsea at least is able to pay her for housing, promotional appearances, and media work outside of her club play, things the Spirit couldn’t afford to do or were prohibited from doing by NWSL rules.

          • another guest

            minor correction
            re “… the $128k per year total she made with the Spirit …”

            as new (since 2013 start of NWSL and MOU/CBA) USWNT player the NWSL portion of Dunn’s salary was $46k in 2016.
            The relevant section of MOU/CBA is “league salaries for new salaried Players to the WNT”
            If Dunn was tier#1 in 2016, then her USWNT base tier#1 salary was $72K plus the $46K for NWSL for $118K

            For USWNT players, like Krieger, who were already on the USWNT in 2013 and therefore part of the current 27 USWNT players when NWSL started in 2013, then the $128K is applicable ( $72K tier#1 base plus $56k for NWSL = $128K) the relevant section of MOU/CBA is “league salaries for the current 27 WNT Players” where $56K in 2016 for NWSL is specified.

          • CED

            A lot of more blathering to not admit the facts your first statement was based on zero facts.

      • guest

        i think he’s referring to increasing the opportunity for call ups on the uswnt for american nwsl players that are outperforming in the league. increasing the uswnt player pool as a reward for league performance.

      • nstarsfan

        I wonder how much is really money. To me, I’ve always thought one of the worst situations for these players is they never get to choose their coach. National team coach is fixed and you can only play for your country. You get allocated to a NWSL team. What if you don’t like the coaching style or it doesn’t fit your game well? This can really hold you back.

        I think in that situation you’d take a choice if you could. I would think many on the Spirit may not have liked the change in coach. He seemed to not want to play the Canadian players after they returned from the Olympics so I’m surprised if he keeps them. Ironic they’ve lost the USWNT members. I expect Canada to have issues sending them back to sit on the bench.

      • kernel_thai

        She may be getting paid less or similarly per month but the longer season certainly makes the value of the contract more.

    • #1Fan

      Thats a CBA issue. USSF agreed to that structure for call ups. I dont know who actually proposed it. Trouble is, USSF feel the need certain players so its naive to think that the players will not want to exploit that. The issue is do they take others with them or simply look after No1. I think we are seeing the answers this offseason.

    • Hugo

      You sound like a bitter, disappointed ex-lover.

      Everybody here is fine when European players coming to the US to play in the NWSL. I think it should be also fine and ok if some of the US players want to experience something different and are playing in Europe

      It wouldn’t be good if all good European players would play in the NWSL (as around 15 years ago) and it woudn’t be good if all good US players would leave the NWSL.

      But I like the idea of having some excellent Europeans playing in the NWSL and some of the USWNT players playing overseas. They can all can learn from eachother. And I think European leagues and NWSL would benefit from a somehow balanced exchange of players

      • Som Termanni

        Hear, hear. Just as we should celebrate how players like Kim Little and Amandine Henry—however great they already were before the experience here—still grew and developed enough from playing in the NWSL that they could return to Europe on their own terms with an enhanced resume. Or how Rachel Daly’s work in Houston and Leah Galton’s work in Jersey secured them callups to England, and for Daly also a cap and a goal. This interchange legitimizes the league and grows the game. (How many Alex Morgan fans learned that France _has_ a club league through her move?) But we also need to mind that the NWSL is attractive to internationals because of the quality of play, not the quantity of pay. And the quality of play will continue to deteriorate as American players continue to forfeit real money at an average day job just to realize that its promises of enabling a legitimate WNT shot are largely bogus, especially among those who weren’t already hand-picked for the federation’s youth programs.

        • Hugo

          Agree. And don’t forget that the US will remain attractive for many EU players due to the competitiveness of the teams and the players. Europeans are eager to experience the fighting spirit and the self confidence of US players.

          Furthermore there are very attractive places in the US and there is good fan support

          US players can experience a different soccer approach and -if they are brave – new cultures and living in a country with a different language. That might help them growing in many aspects

          • Steglitz49

            Europeans want to experience living in the USA too. It is a huge magnet.

        • Steglitz49

          Respect, please. You are stealing my favorite explitative of “Hear, hear!”

          Please feel free to use “Verily” and “forsooth” too, also “hound’s tooth”.

          Btw, I agree with your sentiments.

      • Steglitz49

        Maybe s/he is an ex-lover?

      • guest

        the issue is not uswnt players going overseas. the issue is the lack of opportunity on the uswnt for nwsl players due to the roster restrictions on annual guaranteed salaries of the uswnt players. an expansion of the uswnt player pool and/or a switch to a pay to play model like the usmnt would address this.

        • mockmook

          If you go to pay per NT game, I don’t think the players would continue to agree to be bound to the NWSL.

    • Steglitz49

      Respect please. Chelsea Ladies were rescued by John Terry. What is wrong with living off the largesse of the males?

      Portland = MLS. Houston = MLS. Orlando = MLS.

      • Som Termanni

        All but one of the NWSL teams in the finals for each of its first four seasons = no MLS affiliation.

        • Steglitz49

          Portland won the inaugural one, did they not?

          Remember Tobin’s freekick? The Swedes for sure were grateful that Lloyd took the kicks away from Tobin.

          • Som Termanni

            As I said, all but one. The rest were WNY (twice), Seattle (twice), KC (twice), and Washington, all independent.

          • Steglitz49

            Fair enough and a blessing for pure WoSo.

            The landscape in Europe has changed fast. The once mighty Umeå was relegated from Damallsvenskan. Duisburg went bankrupt and had to be rescued.

            Potsdam and Frankfurt are the two WoSo-alone clubs keeping going at the top level.

          • Som Termanni

            Even for Canberra’s embarrassment at the hands of Sydney yesterday you could put them there as well, insofar as the W-League matters. (I’ll admit, not much, but they remain both quite successful and the only independent W-L club.)

          • Steglitz49

            The W-League seems a mercenary foreign legion if there ever was one.

            The difference is that the top guns are in Europe.

      • guest

        You criticize NWSL teams for being associated with MLS teams (you call it a subsidy) with one side of your mouth, but then you praise WSL teams for “living off the largesse of the males” out of the other side. Now please tell us, which side of your mouth should we listen to?

        • Steglitz49

          Your point is well taken. This brave new world changes WoSo and not necessarily for the better.

          What took the men’s game 30 years to achieve the ladies seem to be getting done in 5-7 years.

    • MrTemecula

      Um, who was better than Dunn at the wing?

  • Don

    Do you feel like she wanted change NWSL teams and Spirit said no?

    • Som Termanni

      As if the Spirit are capable of saying no. My guess is that the players most important to the USSF’s image are showing they can live in comfort and maintain their profile without dirtying themselves with the USSF’s toy league, and potentially even without the WNT. Wood behind the arrow.

      • guest

        “USSF’s toy league”
        Respect please. Average attendance for the FAWSL this past season, according to the FA, was 1,128, while the NWSL enjoyed a _median_ attendance (the mean is much larger due to Portland) of 3,800. So who has the “toy league” now?

        • Chandler

          A toy league is a league which is not evaluated highly by the federation regardless of how many vistors are coming.

          If a league has awful lot of games without national players it needs to declated as just a toy league. And USWNT players treat it like this (weddings, free time after Olympics)

        • Steglitz49

          The NWSL championship final sold 8,255 tickets. The FA women’s Cup final attendance was almost 33,000.

          • guest

            Why are you trolling the NWSL?

          • Steglitz49

            This is an article about Crystal Dunn and how she is joining Chelsea. Chelsea Ladies played in the last two FA women’s Cup finals.

          • kernel_thai

            Ur just cherry picking stats. What is the average attendance in the FAWSL compared to NWSL? A perfect example of the English ignoring Woso is Chelsea. Will Dunn be playing at Stamford Bridge? No the Ladies play at Wheatsheaf Park which holds 3000.

          • Steglitz49

            As Benjamin Disraeli, Lord Beaconsfield, said — there are lies, damned lies and statistics.

        • Som Termanni

          The WSL has fans because of the league. The NWSL has fans in spite of the league, and Americans are notoriously spiteful when it comes to sports. My point is more toward how the USSF treats the NWSL as a largely unwanted toy (excluding it from SUM deals, refusing to require co-negotiated TV deals, doing the bare minimum to promote it, followed by the federation president publicly complaining about the fan base’s size). Compare to the WSL, W-League, D1F, even Frauen Bundesliga. The NWSL looks good compared to other CONCACAF women’s leagues, but nothing else; even the W-League has passed it in professionalism.

          • mockmook

            “The NWSL has fans in spite of the league”

            You can’t have the level of competitiveness of the league and players like Henry wanting into the league and then say it is a “bad” league.

    • Steglitz49

      Crystal wanted a change of scenery. I would have advised her to try Japan for obvious reasons.

  • guest

    re “Chelsea Ladies are out of this year’s Champions League having fallen to Wolfsburg in the Round of 32.”

    Chelsea Ladies, as runner-ups to Manchester City in this (2016) years FA-WSL, are already qualified for the next (2017-1018) Champions League cycle. Both MC & Chelsea receive bye’s into the 2017-1018 UEFA WCL round of 32.

    so Dunn will be able to participate in Champions League, just not immediately

    • Steglitz49

      Indeed. Thank you for making that clear. Much obliged.

      • Robintbunker

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  • A_Dog_Without_A_Clutch

    My best guess for the Starting XI:

    [img]http://sharemytactics.com/80385/Chelsea-LFC-%2717-formation-tactics.png[/img][/url]

    • Steglitz49

      Maren Mjelde in midfield. Crystal as a a wingback in a classic 4 backline.

      Hedvig in goal, of course.

    • Ethan

      I didn’t know Chelsea got Bachmann. Now, I don’t know who’s scarier out of Chelsea and Manchester City.

      • Steglitz49

        Wolfsburg wanted Pernille Harder. Someone was superfluous.

        • Hugo

          But she was already kind of superfluous without Harder in Wolfsburg. Popp, Hansen, Jakabfi (completely underrated) and even Wullaert and Simic were playing while Ramona warmed the bench.

          Wolfsburg and Bachmann didn’t fit. It was either the Wolfsburg style or the unability of Bachmann to be a team player (instead of doing only her famous dribblings).

          Everyone in Germany expected much more of Bachmann who was fun to watch in Sweden.

          So I am not sure whether or not she is simply overrated. Future will tell. Good luck to her

          • Steglitz49

            Ramona carries baggage. I am surprised that she has joined an English team given her history.

            I consider her overrated.

      • A_Dog_Without_A_Clutch

        You trust MCWFC with a better defense, but now you’re absolutely FRIGHTENED of CLFC’s offense.

        • Steglitz49

          Why not simply type Man City and Chelsea? Why this obsession with needless abbreviations?

    • Ethan

      Based on what I know of Ji (admittedly not much), I’m thinking her playing there would be dependent on the opposition (like Fabregas for the men’s team). Dunn would be brilliant in the wing-back role like Moses has been; I’m not as sure about Carney. Maybe Aluko would be central and Kirby as the left inside forward? Kirby seems to be the trickier, more flashy player while Aluko is more of your typical fast central forward.

      • Steglitz49

        Ji scored the one and winning goal in the 2015 FA women’s Cup final, the year that Chelsea did the Double.

      • A_Dog_Without_A_Clutch

        Ji was the back-to-back PFA Women’s Player of the Year. She’s more like the Kevin De Bruyne of the FA WSL. Aluko isn’t the finsher that Kirby is, so Kirby should be the primary receiver of the chances that Ji, Dunn, and Bachmann can provide.

        • Ethan

          Right, and I wouldn’t play De Bruyne as a central midfielder in a 3-4-3 setup. Against opposition that will sit back/won’t be much of an offensive threat, I wouldn’t have any problem with playing Ji as one of the two midfielders. However, I’m just wondering if Chelsea would suffer from a balance/defensive perspective against top opposition with good/very good offensive weapons (i.e. Manchester City). I’d imagine Davison has to fit into the starting lineup for matches as well. Based on what I know (again disappointedly not much), she seems to be a better fit for wing-back than Carney.

          • A_Dog_Without_A_Clutch

            This transfer period they’ve signed a defensive midfielder (Mjelde), 2 forwards (Bachmann, Cuthbert), and winger/striker (Dunn). Outside of a trophy, the Spring Series seems to shape as nothing more than a glorified preseason. I am divining that the immediate future of Chelsea is to test offensive talent before they can tailor a plan to do a lot better in the Champions League. So, to get your point, Chelsea LFC seem to see balance as a “to be continued”. And why not? Liverpool and Man City are sitting still and Arsenal seems to doing the exactly the same as Chelsea (to a lesser scale).

            Although, I think Man City and Chelsea would like to win the Spring Series- they won’t lose any sleep if Arsenal wins due to being the only balanced/consistent team.

  • Roger

    Break a leg Chrystal

    • Steglitz49

      Why?

      Get one over, more like it.

      • By the Shore

        That is saying “good luck” in theater.

        • Lodovico Settembrini

          Some say it is derived from the German “Hals- und Beinbruch” which means “break your neck and your leg” and is also ment to wish someone “best luck”.

          “Hals – and Beinbruch” then is derived from the Yiddish “hatslokhe u brokhe”

          • Steglitz49

            L’Chaim!

        • Steglitz49

          Like the Scottish Play?

          Thanks for keeping me right.

  • Som Termanni

    Ashley Lawrence to PSG is official. Two-year deal: http://www.sportsnet.ca/soccer/canadian-ashley-lawrence-signs-psg-2019-season/

  • Ando91881

    Now there is no excuse for CRS to not make the NWSL final this upcoming season.

    • Som Termanni

      CRS’s excuse was Christen Press’s obsession with smashing soccer balls into the woodwork of an open net in the waning minutes of a knockout match.

      • Steglitz49

        Careful! You risk inviting vengeance from the Pressgang — Reality, NYRick, NewsSouth and their cronies — not to speak of a certain HOFCToDi.

        Never mind. Too late, I guess..

        • HOFCToDi

          C
          H
          O
          K
          E

          • Steglitz49

            Much obliged. On time, like a Swiss train.

      • smallchief

        That’s partially correct — but CRS also failed because near the end of the season it thought Press was its only offensive threat and sacrificed everybody else to get the ball to her.

        • DNG

          What other consistent goal scorers do they have? Huerta and that’s pretty much it.

          • smallchief

            McCaffrey has flashes of O’Reilly heading toward the end line like a wild bull on a rampage and crossing the ball in front of the goal.

          • DNG

            She played pretty well after being traded but McCaffrey is not what I’d call a consistent goal scorer. Without Press I doubt the Red Stars would score much more than a goal per game with their current roster.

          • smallchief

            I think Chicago has a lot of offensive talent. Huerta, Hoy, McCaffrey — DeBernardo is a good 10; Short and Gilliland are good on the flanks. And of course Press.

            But they weren’t getting the job done last season. 24 goals in 20 games doesn’t cut it. That’s the same as Sky Blue which has Sam Kerr and fervent prayer for an offense. (Well, okay, Galton was pretty good.)

        • Som Termanni

          It’s not partially correct, it is entirely correct. If Press walks a 90′ goal past a keeper who’d already fallen prone onto the ground without backline support, CRS advances to the finals. She instead tried to bash the ball so hard that it would knock the goal off its supports and hit the crossbar. Instead, she allowed an extra time period that knocked her team out of the playoffs. I like Christen Press, quite a bit, but do not paper over the fact that she missed a completely open goal with a horrid shot that, had she converted it, would have directly advanced them to the finals a matter of seconds later.

          • Steglitz49

            The Pressgang are lying low. Have been since the fall. Thus, you ought to be safe. Maybe HOFCToDi will congratulate you on a job well done.

          • smallchief

            Well, Press took 62 shots and got 7 goals (plus one PK) in 1200 plus minutes. Huerta took 35 shots and got 7 goals in 1700 plus minutes.

            Conclusion: Huerta didn’t shoot enough; Too much reliance by the coach on encouraging Huerta and others to feed Press rather than to challenge the gk.

            Chicago had the second best talent in the league, after Portland. But its offense didn’t work all that well, either with or without Press.

            Solution next year: get Huerta, DiBernardo, Hoy, and perhaps others more involved in the offense, .Don’t regard Press as the lone offensive threat on the team.

          • Som Termanni

            I’m not arguing any of that. They can very likely get to the semifinals doing exactly as well as they did last season and no better.

            It won’t matter who took how many shots at what point of the season if the person with the ball standing in front of an open net at 90′ of a tied match screws up. No matter how many more touches that Huerta gets next year, or how balanced their attack becomes, as long as Christen Press is on the Red Stars the odds are really, really good that Press will have the ball in those situations.

          • Reality

            And Press should have the ball in those situations. She led the NWSL with 39 SOG at a rate of 63%…an inch or two difference on just a few of those shots would have easily given her the Golden Boot even though she only played in 14 games and 1260″. She is easily the most dangerous scorer in the league. That unfortunate miss in the semi-final doesn’t change that. I do agree that the CRS offense has to diversify more to be truly effective. Huerta has improved since last year but she is only getting 46% SOG and McCaffrey was limited in her appearances. Hoy seems to be doing well in Australia. But the real key is utilizing Colaprico, DiBernardo and Gilliland efficiently in their interaction with the forward line.

          • rkmid71

            I consider 46% pretty good and her goal conversion at 20% very good. Press goal conversion was only 12%, which is not good.

          • Reality

            Huerta did have the distinct advantage of the defense focusing on Press. They demonstrated more compatibility this year but Dames tried to get McCaffrey in the mix so the offense is still a work in progress. Hopefully it will come together effectively this season to realize its full potential.

          • Steglitz49

            Your “That unfortunate miss in the semi-final doesn’t change that” confirms you as a founder member of the Pressgang.

            That “unfortunate” miss came after the penalty hoofed over the bar in Brasilia. Lightning does not usually strike twice in the same place.

          • DNG

            Huerta shooting more doesn’t necessarily mean she will be more efficient. In fact the opposite could happen. I don’t think Hoy and DiBernardo not scoring that often has a lot to do with the team being too focused on getting Press the ball. The CRS scored 4 goal in their 6 matches without Press last season and 24 goals total in 20 matches. I think they have issues scoring goals and I don’t think Press is the root cause of the problem. Their offense wasn’t good when Press was away.

          • rkmid71

            I was going to say something similar. I don’t know that Press taking all those shots is by design. What’s surprising is that Press had 0 assists in that many minutes. Are those forwards working together or is Press trying to do too much on her own? At least Press usually gets a high % of shots on goal. in contrast to some others. Ideally, you want more balance among the attackers in terms of scoring and assists — like Messi, Neymar and Suarez.

          • DNG

            I watched a fair amount of CRS games last year and I think Press’ lowered efficiency had to do with a couple of things. I think she was forcing bad angle shots trying to do too much by herself. The other issue I saw with the team as a whole was that they had a difficult time creating quality chances throughout the year which may have fed into Press’ shot selection. Press also spent some time playing deeper in midfield last year in an effort to help create more but I didn’t think that was very successful for them either. From a formation standpoint I’m not really a huge fan of the 4-4-2 diamond Dames likes using.

          • Reality

            All good points. Press had to be used in a variety of roles this year due to DaCosta’s early season injury. Press demonstrated some real aptitude for the #10 position but the most effective configuration would be DiBernardo at #10 and Press as striker. That positioning produced the best results.

          • rkmid71

            I noticed that DiBernardo was good with assists with 7, but had 0 goals on 32 shots, 3rd most on the team. That’s got to be better which would help keep defenses more honest. I wonder also whether opponents were baiting Press to take low %, long distance shots. It would be interesting to see the location of her shots. At least she’s getting them on goal though.

          • Reality

            I think that Press as Captain felt extra responsibility to make every effort for the team. What would make the team more successful offensively is for the rest of the team including DiBernardo, who has been a proven scorer in Australia, to raise their offensive production which will also free Press to be even more effective. It is Dames’s responsibility as coach to figure out the best strategies to implement this.

          • Breakers fan

            Same question – tell me how you see Da Costa as a player, if you’d be so kind. I know you watch Chicago often and closely. Thanks!

          • Reality

            I think DaCosta has good qualities in her ball handling but given her injury which set her back, she never seemed to click with CRS. Hopefully she will fit in better with Boston to realize her potential and help the Breakers.

          • Breakers fan

            Thanks. I have to think there’s something there considering how well she did at such a top-level program – Florida State and how she plays for Portugal. We’ll see – thanks for your kind wishes.

          • Reality

            I would love to see Boston do well this year as that will strengthen the league. All the best to you and the team.

          • Breakers fan

            Thanks, Go all teams dressed in blue! (Seattle shouldn’t count – they poached that color unnecessarily last year and I’m fine with KC doing well. )

          • Steglitz49

            Amanda played for Liverpool Ladies and with them picked up 2 FAWSL1 trophies back-to-back. Thus, one has to assume, that she is not totally useless. Injuries can set a player back a lot, not least when picked up in a critical year.

          • Breakers fan

            What was your opinion of Da Costa? I ask because she’s a Breaker now and I trust, value your viewpoint,. Thanks.

          • DNG

            I feel similarly to Reality. It’s hard for me to know what she will be this upcoming year. She only started 8 games last year and came on as a sub in 5 others. In her time I thought she was okay. A decent player but not a cornerstone of Chicago’s midfield like Colaprico and DiBernardo. She may be a decent addition to the Breakers but I think they still need a lot more. Last year they shipped a lot of goals and didn’t score many. Oyster should be able to help on one end and a player like Lavelle could help on the other.

          • Steglitz49

            Amanda DaCosta’s Portugal has qualified for Euro-17 and will play in Group D: England, Scotland, Spain, and Portugal.

            To be fair, Portugal looks like the weakest member of that group. It is worth noting that the Algarve Cup got started mainly because the SwedishWNT were looking for winter training quarters but also because a member of the Portuguese FA wanted to encourage WoSo. They were also helped by a British property developer who let the teams stay for free in his luxury resort.

            It may have taken the Portuguese longer than they had hoped for to qualify for the Euros but they do it in the same Euros as Scotland!

          • smallchief

            I think the answer to your question is that Press has been told to shoot by the coach — not pass. Thus, no assists.

          • Steglitz49

            The fouls committed vs the fouls suffered is fascinating when you compare Christen, Alex and Crystal:

            CP 13 FC vs 6 FS — 2.17:1 but at least no yellow card
            AM 7 FC vs 19 FS — 0.37:1 but one yellow card against her
            CD 8 FC vs 26 FS — 0.31:1 and also no yellow card

            Nobody can be bothered to foul Christen but she dishes it out with gay abandon. It would be intersting to know what Alex’s yellow card was for.

          • rkmid71

            The NWSL forwards who disproportionately dish it out are Nadim and Groom. CPs FC numbers are relatively minor compared to them. Usually any high fouling forward will also be on the receiving end — what goes around comes around. That doesn’t explain why they’re still beating up on Dunn and Morgan though — getting beat more often? Interestingly Lloyd FCs (though she doesn’t play as much) aren’t nearly as high as they are with the WNT. Maybe she wants to stay away from the fray / injury more and saves that really physical nasty stuff for int’l play?

          • Steglitz49

            I don’t know how Carli gets away with it. In the QF in Brasilia she was not booked till the 110th minute. Mind you, that was ref who did not know the laws of the game and the few she might have known she certainly did not apply.

          • Steglitz49

            Christen Press has never had many assists and a much lower proportion of them than Alex Morgan for example.

            The interesting observation is that the season Christen played for Göteborg, she was their main offensive threat. The team tried to get her the ball all the time. She was second in the Goalscoring League and she scored in the final (against her future team Tyresö) when Gbg retained the Swedish Cup.

            Though she scored more goals for the start-studded Tyresö and became Goalscoring Queen, nevertheless Christen seems never to have come back to that lethal incisive player that she was i Gbg. Maybe it has to do with the various coaches?

          • Reality

            Trolling again on Press? I unblocked you temporarily to see if there was anything worthwhile. Quite the opposite.

            Let’s put your myth making about Morgan v. Press assists in perspective…

            Here is a comparison of assists between Morgan and Press on the NT…

            Morgan

            Total w/o 2012 “Annus mirabilis”…
            2013-2016 = 11 assists – 4280″
            1 assist every 389.09″
            Average assists per 90” = .23

            Adding on “Annus mirabilis” for

            Morgan…
            2012 = 21 assists- 2319″
            Average minutes per assist = 110.43″
            Average assists per 90″ = .81

            Grand Total
            2012-2016
            32 assists – 6599″
            Average minutes per assist = 206.22″
            Average assists per 90″ = .44

            Press

            Grand Total:
            2013-2016
            16 assists – 4157″
            Average minutes per assist = 259.81″
            Average assists per 90″ = .35

            Morgan and Press are quite comparable in regard to assists…
            Press – .35 assists per 90″
            Morgan – .23 assists per 90″ w/o “Annus mirabilis”
            and .44 assists per 90″ with “Annus mirabilis”

            This is keeping in mind that Press was often played out of position and that 2012 substantially increased Morgan’s
            career total.

            btw, during this past 2016 season, Press had 5 assists and Morgan had 3.

            Having corrected your typical trolling distortions, I will now place you back in limbo.

          • Steglitz49

            Seeing that you are one of these creeps who have blocked your Diqus account so that you can’t be followed, it does not matter.

          • Steglitz49

            Looking at the 2016 NWSL basic series
            name / GP/GS / min / G / A / Off / FC / FS / YC
            Press — /14/14 / 1260′ / 8 / 0 / 16 / 13 / 6 / 0
            Morgan / 15/15 / 1350′ / 4 / 1 / 10 / 7 / 19 / 1
            Dunn — / 13/12 / 1142′ / 2 / 5 / 13/ 8 / 26 / 0

            Assist/Goal = 0 v 0.25 v 2.5
            Fouls/Fouled = 1.23 v 0.37 v 0.31

            We can agree that Alex leads in the Yellow Cards stakes

          • kernel_thai

            So, RECAP … in a story where the TAGS r Dunn, Chelsea and Washington Spirit most of the comments Ive read r about Christen Press and her play for the Red Stars. AMAZING : )

          • DNG

            I’m definitely at fault. I can’t help a good NWSL discussion though:). Houston is going to be the team I watch most this year probably along with Portland.

          • Steglitz49

            Let’s trust that Houston can make a go of it this season!

          • Reality

            It is amazing isn’t it? Blame it on Steglitz49. He usually brings up Press himself to diminish her and extol Morgan.

          • Steglitz49

            The harsh reality is that Alex Morgan is being paid a Queen’s ransom to pull on a Lyon jersey. Crystal has just joined Chelsea. The two Canadian lasses, Lawrence and Buchanan, have gone to PSG and Lyon, respecitvely, while WNY’s Janice Cayman has gone to Montpellier who just signed Stina Blackstenius.

            Let’s trust that Christen can land a club commensurate with her skills. Maybe back to Göteborg?

          • Steglitz49

            The Pressgang — what is left of them — is trolling again.

            They sharpen the cards as usual by putting Alex’s 2012 in a category of its own. “Hors categorie”, as they say in the Tour de France — a label particular praise!

          • HOFCToDi

            Christen Press
            FIFA Women’s World Cups
            Assists – 0

            Christen Press
            Summer Olympic Games
            Assists – 0

            Christen Press
            SheBelieves Cups
            Assists – 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

          • smallchief

            Press is not the root of the problem. The root of the problem is the coach putting too much emphasis on Press’s offensive potential, rather than diversifying the offense.

          • DNG

            How do you think he should diversify the offense? Huerta, Hoy and Press all like to play in similar positions. McCaffrey is probably their only wide attacking player that isn’t a OB. I think their team lacks balance in the attacking third and I’m not sure they currently have the personnel to solve the problem.

          • rkmid71

            You sound like Cruyff. “For the ideal squad, I also try and find a formula in which talent is used to the maximum in every case. The qualities of one player have to complement the qualities of another.”

          • DNG

            I know I’m contradicting myself because I said I didn’t like the 4-4-2 diamond but I think that is what Dames tried to do. He knows he doesn’t have a lot of attacking wide players so he plays with 4 CMs and 2 CFs. If they had a better CB or 2 I might try making Gilliland and Short wing backs in a 3-5-2.

          • Reality

            Dames has acquired the rights to Summer Green, a former UNC forward, who was injured this past year while with the Seattle Reign. But that is the only off-season transaction Dames has done. He is looking forward to the draft where he has been very successful in the past. I agree that CRS needs some better CB’s to free up Gilliland and Short. Perhaps Dames will find them in upcoming draft. However that won’t necessarily produce results this year whereas if he was willing to look at the international market as do some other teams, faster results might have been realized this year.

          • kernel_thai

            Green is a midfielder in this league and probably should have been in college.

          • Steglitz49

            Summer had a nasty injury which put paid to her early climb to stardom. Maybe she can rebuild at Seattle the way Casey Short could in Avaldsnes (and Adrianna Franch to some extent).

          • Reality

            Dames about Green…

            “She is a quality flank player and has a knack for creating opportunities in the final third. We look forward to having her compete in the 2017 season for us.”

            http://chicagoredstars.com/redstars-acquire-summergreen/

          • kernel_thai

            She’ll be effective as either a wide mid or maybe in a tighter attacking mid position. She handles the ball well and is very creative. Her biggest down sides is she seems to lose her confidence very easily and she has a very inaccurate shot.

          • Reality

            Dames has been playing the Ellis game with his mid-field trying to find the right combination to create a potent offense. Presumably Summer will replace DaCosta as a wide mid. If she can produce improved ball movement in combination with Colaprico and DiBernardo toward the forward line, that would be helpful in creating a more coherent attack.

          • rkmid71

            Are you saying that what gets you noticed is not what makes you successful at the highest level?

          • mockmook

            I’d say you can argue that — for starters — Washington, WNY, and Seattle had more talent (on paper) than CRS

            But, CRS will be fine. They can add an “elite” player at #8 in the draft (Gibbons?)

            Couple that with the experience of playing together and so many players staying sharp in the W-League

          • Guest

            Huerta had like 7 goals and had a few stellar assists (the one to Comeau comes to mind). She was involved plenty.

      • guest

        what was alex morgan’s excuse for orlando not making the playoffs?

        • Som Termanni

          Try asking me again when Morgan misses a 90th-minute empty-net playoff-clinching shot.

      • Paul Klee

        Sorry reply in wrong place.

    • A_Dog_Without_A_Clutch

      There are no excuses in sports- just reasons. In CRS’s case: Rory Dames.

      • DNG

        Houston looked good at the end of last season and FCKC will presumably be better this year possibly getting Arod or Leroux back. I don’t think it’s a given that CRS will be a top 2 team.

        • Steglitz49

          The question remains: will fans follow their stars or stick by their NWSL teams?

          • guest

            How does one follow the FAWSL anyway? Is it on the youtubes? And the CL? Out of sight, out of mind, as they say. The NWSL is the only league that matters to me, because it’s the only one I can see. (Okay, sometimes the Frauenbundesliga is on.)

          • Som Termanni

            W-League’s broadcasted games are live on ESPN3 (cable provider required) and posted for free viewing on foxsports.com.au, usually the following day. Damallsvenskan has a paid subscription site for streaming. WSL streams on BT (geo-fenced), the BBC has a recap and analysis show (geo-fenced), and leaves streaming up to individual teams; Chelsea TV not only streams the matches, but they already have a paywalled video up with Crystal Dunn in it, which might be more than the Spirit did with her media-wise for all of last year.

          • guest

            pay to watch on the internet? lol

          • Som Termanni

            Your loss, not mine. At least you got a laugh for free.

          • Ron Rocha

            Follow the star. Where can I watch?

          • Steglitz49

            Use your computer and your loaf. Almost everything can be watched and WoSo stuff is generally not much blocked.

        • A_Dog_Without_A_Clutch

          FCKC will be scary next year!

      • Steglitz49

        You are being generous to a certain player, which does you credit, but may also reveal your lack of understanding of soccer. Let’s trust that it is the chivalrous first option.

        • A_Dog_Without_A_Clutch

          If Dames had a brain, he would have figured out that Huerta should be team’s “9”. Even if Press scored that goal, CRS didn’t deserve to win that game. They weren’t the better team.

          • mockmook

            What should Press be?

          • A_Dog_Without_A_Clutch

            I think it should be a pseudo-binary rotation in which Press plays the #11 and at times switches to the #9. When Press is the #9- play Huerta as #10.

            Lineup 1:
            http://lineupbuilder.com/?sk=d9ky2

          • DNG

            Here’s something I was thinking of with their current roster

            ————Press———Huerta————-
            ———–Comeau——–Dibernardo——–
            Short————Colaprico———-Gilliland
            ——-Johnson—-JJ—–Naughton———

            I wouldn’t use Press as a flank player. Maybe underneath Huerta in a 4-2-3-1 if they can pick up another attacking midfielder who can play out wide.

          • A_Dog_Without_A_Clutch

            This great lineup considering, but ideally I’d rather have Colaprico in higher position so she can have more opportunities in scoring situations.

          • Reality

            Dames, unlike Ellis, knows full well that he is fortunate to have Press as his #9 which is her natural and most productive position. While Huerta is a decent player, she cannot compare with Press in the striker role. Huerta did well on the flank last season and that is where she will stay. Press will be the go to at #9 although Dames indicated he might occasionally use her at #10 as circumstances warrant.

  • washfan

    Since it seems like Dunn is signed into 2018 which means she would likely end with Chelsea May 2018 so I have to think that year she is coming back to the NWSL. I understand that Washington still has her rights so if they don’t trade those rights away she would have to come back to the Spirit if she rejoins the NWSL half way through 2018. Question – do you trade her rights away to get some value now?

    • Breakers fan

      Wow, that’s a doozy of a question and will certainly be the subject of some Spirit boardroom sessions. With 95% of players I think I’d say yes, but she’s one I really hesitate to do that with. Your feelings as a washfan?

    • Steglitz49

      Provided that Chelsea Ladies are pleased with Crystal, they no doubt will offer her a generous new contract.

      If nothing else, it will give Crystal some bargaining chips. If I were her, I would stay abroad and take my chances with the WNT. She has been screwed once. Fool me once, bad luck; fool me twice, on me.

    • Som Termanni

      I’d be surprised if the Spirit have a practical say in it, even if they technically “own” something the USSF considers “rights” to her in the NWSL. There’s no precedent for an allocated WNT player leaving the league stating no intention to return, the Spirit don’t pay or contract her, and the league rules are murky at best.

    • CED

      All the stuff on NT players going abroad and what happens was based on the CBA, which at this point is expired. All new parameters on this will be in the new CBA and terms of allocation structure, assuming allocation structure stays, which it is highly likely unfortunately. Technically speaking not a single NT player is under contract and NWSL teams thus have nothing in reality, as they aren’t their employers, NWSL gets players services on essentially a free loan structure.

  • Steglitz49

    At the risk of sounding paranoid beyond the usual healthy level — can we interpret this as an orchestrated attack on north-American club WoSo?

    Are the UEFA clubs in cohoots, picking off critical US and Can WNT players?

    • Drake Ocean

      no

    • Som Termanni

      If you want a conspiracy theory to chew on, remember that the Spirit coach that Dunn actually liked, Mark Parsons, was a Chelsea LFC assistant or reserves head coach for 6 years.

      • Steglitz49

        Matt Beard was their head coach before he went to Liverpool Ladies. Now he is in Beantown.

  • Carol

    I think the Spirit are losing players b/c of the terrible owner/player history created last year.

    • smallchief

      You may be right — but of course a year in Europe might appeal to a young single lady — or even an cranky old man like me.

      • Steglitz49

        Fulham Broadway is closer to Stamford Bridge than Shepherd’s Bush but I think the ladies usually play out west beyond Twickenham, like Staines or somewhere.

  • Anson

    Crystal will be back! Three reasons. 1. Chelsea and the Champions league will not make her better! 2. Homesick. 3. The Fast Food is awful in England. At least she won’t miss pub life!

    • washfan

      she will be back June 2018

  • Guest

    Ugh.. cue the Dunn/Morgan haters (aka the majority of regular EQ posters) obsessing about Christen Press owning NWSL this year and salivating over her winning favor with USSoccer for sticking with the NWSL. My prediction is she disappoints, as usual.

    • 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

      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
      5 Jun 2016
      USA 2 JPN 0
      Goals 0, Assists 0, Shots 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 2, Shots on Goal 0

      foxsports.com/soccer/boxscore?id=26754

      Christen Press
      2016 SheBelieves Cup
      Goals – 0
      Assists – 0

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

      Christen Press is an one trick pony:

      tomato cans

    • #1Fan

      owning the NWSL. Not really much to own is there. Winning favor? Pick the best players, favor be damned.

      Woso – where you are a hater or a lover – can’t just be an objective soccer fan

      • HOFCToDi

        Pure gibberish.

        • Steglitz49

          Hear hear!

    • guest

      if you think christen press disappoints in the nwsl, then i can only imagine what you think of alex morgan’s performance in the nwsl.

      • Guest

        Alex played on an expansion team. I like both Morgan and Press, but Press had a better supporting cast to work with in 2016

      • Steglitz49

        Lyon thought highly enough of Alex Morgan to pay her 25,000€ a month allegedly. I have not seen anything about Christen looking for a second spell abroad. Maybe Japan for the experience?

        • guest

          i only know one thing. Christen Press won’t accept one less euro than alex morgan.

  • well

    Hope she benefits from this move.. I like Crystal as a player and see her as a key piece in 2019 if healthy. English league seems like the French one in that there is Man City and everyone else. I hope she can add to her game there.

    • Steglitz49

      It used to be Arsenal. Then there were some years of equality, among which Liverpool Ladies won the FAWSL1 twice back to back and Birmingham City had a fine run in the Champions League. Now the money seems to be with 3 teams: Arsenal, Chelsea and Man City.

  • Paul Klee

    Don’t want to go to Chelsea. —-Declan MacManus.

    • Steglitz49

      Then, don’t go. Nobody is forcing you.

  • Guest

    I love watching CrysDunn…… such a dynamic player. I guess I have to figure out how to watch english league matches. Lucy Bronze is also one of my favorites. UNC reunion 🙂

    • fish n chips

      Lucy Bronze is inarguably the best wingback in the world.

      • #1Fan

        Not if Dunn plays there

      • Guest

        Eh debatable. Catley, Majri, Mjelde

        • Steglitz49

          Maren Mjelde is a midfielder who is best known for her freekicks.

    • Steglitz49

      If you type out Lucy Bronze why not type Crystal Dunn in full also? It is a bit insulting, is it not?

      Why leave out 3 letters for one lass but type the full name for the other. Crystal Dunn is 7+4 = 11 letters while Lucy Bronze is 5+6 = 10 letters, a difference of 1 single letter.

      • Kevin

        LOL… insulting?

        I guess CR7 = insulting too

        • Steglitz49

          CR7 and L8 are generally accepted nicknames out of shorthand.

          This was the first time I saw CrysDunn. Maybe it is more common than that but it was the first time I saw it in use.

          • Stegpitz49

            it is her nickname and social media account name. find something real to complain about.

          • Steglitz49

            8 characters are standard for these accounts.

            It does not excuse this interminable rudeness that is part of WoSo fans not least the bottom-feeders who type under flags of convenience.

            Crystal Dunn is 11 characters; the other one 8. Big deal.

  • guest

    and the newwww uswnt starting striker….Christen Press.

    • HOFCToDi

      USWNT Career
      FIFA Top 10 Ranked Opponents
      USWNT Goals Scored
      Leroux (DOB 07 May 1990) – 8
      Press (DOB 29 Dec 1988) – 3

      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

      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

    • Paul Klee

      Why Morgan and Dunn will be there. Dunn said she isn’t leaving for Chelsea until after January camp.

      • Steglitz49

        Smart lady.

    • HOFCToDi

      Christen Press
      FIFA Women’s World Cups
      Assists – 0

      Christen Press
      Summer Olympic Games
      Assists – 0

      Christen Press
      SheBelieves Cups
      Assists – 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

  • Gary Diver

    Does going abroad affect the probability of a player making the WC19 roster? I thought Jill Ellis was adamant before WC15 that the further a player played the less likely she was to be on Ellis’ roster. Wasn’t that brought up again and again in connection with Lindsey Horan? Has Ellis’ attitude changed? Isn’t it in the interest of USWNT to have a viable NWSL? If the league folds, wouldn’t USSF need to create a new league to hide the national club team status of USWNT?

    • Ando91881

      Is the NWSL in danger of folding? Doesn’t seem like it. They will keep it around for at least 5 more years. But U.S. Soccer is definitely doing a half-ass effort of marketing it or helping it grow.

      • Arcie Tillydee

        >US Soccer
        >half-ass effort

        Pick two…

    • HOFCToDi

      The WNBA is more popular than the NWSL in Chicago.

      Calendar Year 2016
      Average Home Attendance
      Chicago Sky – 7,009
      Chicago Red Stars – 3,060

    • HOFCToDi

      Home Matches (Sep, Oct, Nov)
      Sports TV Ratings
      USWNT – 1,184,000 viewers (6 matches)
      USMNT – 2,366,000 viewers (3 matches)

    • HOFCToDi

      Americans do not give a damn about club soccer.

      Sports Cable TV Ratings for Wednesday, 30 Nov 2016
      MLS Playoffs
      Toronto/Montreal, FS1 – 223,000 viewers

      sportstvratings.com/north-carolina-indiana-sportscenter-purdue-louisville-top-cable-sports-tv-ratings-for-wednesday-november-30-2016/6982/

      Sports Cable TV Ratings for Sunday, 27 Nov 2016
      MLS Playoffs
      Rapids/Sounders, ESPN – 295,000 viewers

      sportstvratings.com/nfl-countdown-nfl-insiders-guadalajara-america-liga-mx-top-cable-sports-tv-ratings-for-sunday-november-27-2016/6961/

    • HOFCToDi

      Americans do not give a damn about club soccer:

      Saturday, 10 Dec 2016

      tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/daily-ratings/tv-ratings-saturday-december-10-2016/

      It seems the American public cares more about Frosty the Snowman and Rudolf the Reindeer than MLS Cup. So much for the “Super Bowl of North American soccer”.

  • Gary Diver

    Does anybody know how many NWSL players are playing abroad on a “loan” basis?

    • Arcie Tillydee

      For the Thorns, I know Amandine Henry is going to be playing for three months for OL, and Hayley Raso and Celeste Bourielle are currently playing for Canberra United.

      • kernel_thai

        PSG I think

  • Steglitz49

    Crystal should have signed for Crystal Palace Ladies FC.

    Unfortunately, Crystal Palace plays in the FAWPL South but Crystal could have helped them gain promotion.

  • Steglitz49

    For those who are trying to follow the Tour de Ski, yesterday Jessica Diggins finished just behind Stina Nilsson.

    Jessica beat Heidi Weng, who was third, and also Flugan (Ingvild Flugstad Östberg, who used to play soccer before concentrating on her skiiing — there is your link) who unfortunately broke a pole, and also other named players like Pärmäkoski, Kalla and Falla.

    Today is a pursuit but the distances in time at the top are not great so the field will probably bunch into 6-7 skiers quite soon.

  • Robintbunker

    Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !mj331d:
    On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
    !mj331d:
    ➽➽
    ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash331TopTeamGetPay$97Hour ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★::::::!mj331d:….,….

  • 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 !!!

  • FlyingSquirrel42

    I’ve been rooting for the Spirit the last three years, and this is just sad and embarrassing – a team that came 30 seconds from winning the championship shouldn’t just disintegrate in the offseason like this. I’ve admired them for their plucky underdog history, and the Spirit Squadron seem like a dedicated bunch, but it feels like there’s hardly anything left to root for at this point. Krieger, Dunn, Nairn, Banini, previously Harris and Mark Parsons…who’s left who’s really been at the core of the team at this point? Just Tori Huster and Diana Matheson, I guess.

    • Gary Diver

      So what is your take on the cause of this implosion?

      • FlyingSquirrel42

        No clue, really. One of the WaPo articles made it sound like perhaps some folks on the team had problems with Gabarra and/or Lynch, and not just about the Rapinoe anthem controversy. I do wonder if losing Parsons hurt, even though they placed higher and got closer to the championship under Gabarra, in that he was with them through the second half of their miserable 2013 season and steered them into the playoffs the year after.

        • Steglitz49

          Let’s wait and see if the DC fans remain loyal the way they were in that first miserable season.

    • kernel_thai

      For me the most interesting thing that happen last season was the unexplained disappearance of Oyster. How u go from 90 minute player every match to non factor over night is amazing with no injury involved. Even more telling was this drop from the lineup began while Sadorsky was away with Canada. For me this was the first sign that Gabarra was reverting to SkyBlue form.

      • Steglitz49

        Z as in Zadorsky. Sent off against Australia but Canada still won 2-0. Why are 2nd rate NWSL players playing in Australia during the off season? For beach, sun and sex?

  • Alexandre Feaud

    Je ne pense pas dire des conneries , car j’ai les preuves , vos joueuse peuvent partir en europe car pas de compétition internationnal , et vous avez déjà 4 joueuse qui parte , alex morgan , Dunn , Ashley Lawrence , Kadeisha Buchanan , donc imaginé juste que vos joueuse peuvent partir quand elles veulent . Elle viendrais plus gros salaires en europe et lugue des cachmpions

  • Alexandre Feaud

    I do not think bullshit, because I have proofs, your players can go to Europe because no international competition, and you already have 4 player who leaves, alex morgan, Dunn, Ashley Lawrence, Kadeisha Buchanan, so imagined just That your player can leave when they want. She would get bigger wages in europe and lugue cachpions

  • CED

    People do realize that the CBA/MOU was designed to let players have the freedom to play abroad in these non Wcup/OG years. There is nothing of importance until fall 2018. The design was to keep players easy to call up and do extended camps in OG/Wcup years. Every NT player with a decent offer should consider going abroad in 2017 and even staying until end of Europe 2017-18 season

    • DNG

      Sure I think the bigger issue with Dunn is that she seemed to want out of Washington. She could have played most of their season with them since the FAWSL is transitioning to a fall schedule. She has instead opted to sit out all of the 2017 NWSL season and train with Chelsea instead.

      • Steglitz49

        A wise lady.

  • Coco

    Something is not being said. Dunn bought a house in DC. What is the truth here? You don’t just buy a house and then leave like this.

    • Steglitz49

      She is going to run for president.

      Failing that, seek to be on the Supreme Court. What else? Senator? Congresswoman?

      • Ando91881

        Ivanka Trump is going to live 2 blocks away from The Obamas in a wealthy suburb of D.C. True story.

        • Steglitz49

          Seeing that Condi could make it to Secretary of State and become a member of Augusta National, let’s trust that Crystal keeps thrusting for the highest within her grasp.

          • rkmid71

            I became a bigger fan of Ms. Dunn when I saw a pic of her golfing on instagram….following one of those links someone else provided. Maybe she can make it up to the Old Course for a round or some closer to London. Like soccer, in golf being short is not a problem and some are long hitters. She seems to have good balance If I had to guess, she probably swings too hard and I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s a little wild off the tee.

          • Steglitz49

            Ian Wosnam was quite short, I think.

          • rkmid71

            5’4″ according to Wiki. He won at Augusta.National. No small feat. He’s a Hall of Famer.

          • Steglitz49

            Thank you. That is shorter than the Magic Dwarf through taller than Crystal, and Klings for that matter.

        • guest

          Why ? ivanka and her husband are based in New York and she works at daddy’s company there. i thought he was leaving his kids in charge of his company.