Breakers, Red Stars, Flash make moves

The Equalizer Staff January 5, 2017 72
Brazilian forward Debinha has signed with the Western New York Flash of the NWSL

Brazilian forward Debinha has signed with the Western New York Flash of the NWSL

On Thursday afternoon, the Boston Breakers and Chicago Red Stars exchanged draft picks ahead of the 2017 NWSL College Draft on January 12th. Chicago sent over their 8th and 38th overall picks to Boston in exchange for Boston’s 12th, 16th and 21st overall picks.

With the addition of these two picks, Boston now has 7 total picks, with four of them held in the first round at positions 1,3,8 and 9. The additional three picks will be at 11, 31, and 38. Chicago now holds five selections in the draft with two picks in the second and third round respectfully as well as one in the last round.

In 2016, the Breakers landed three players at the Draft in defender Christen Westphal (No. 3 overall pick), forward Brittany Ratcliffe (No. 17 overall pick), and goalkeeper Abby Smith (No. 27 overall pick). The Breakers ended the 2016 season with a record of 3-15-2 leaving them in last place in the NWSL standings for the second season in a row. To date, Boston has acquired Canadian defender Allysha Chapman, defender Megan Oyster, New Zealand midfielder Rosie White, midfielder Amanda Da Costa, and Norwegian forward Emilie Haavi, despite losing Kristie Mewis, Kassey Kallman, Louise Schillgard, and Elise Krieghoff.

Chicago finished 2016 in 3rd place after a semifinals lost to the Spirit with a record on 9-5-6. As the youngest team in the league, they were still able to be a strong contender in the playoffs in search of their first title. Chicago has seen a much quieter off-season to date than the Breakers with their only player acquisition being UNC star Summer Green.

The 2017 NWSL College Draft will be held on Thursday, January 12th in Los Angeles at the NSCAA Convention at 3p.m. ET.

Flash sign Brazilian Forward Debinha

In addition to the Boston-Chicago movement, the Western New York Flash announced that they have just signed Brazilian forward Debinha. The 25-year old forward has 54 appearances for the Brazilian National Team including an appearance at this past summer’s 2016 Olympics. She has scored 21 goals in a Brazil uniform since 2011 which leaves her at the 7th position on Brazil’s all-time scoring sheet. Most recently, Debinha played for Dalian Quanjian in the Chinese Women’s Super League during 2016. Prior to that, she spent three seasons with Avaldsnes IL in the Norwegian Toppserien.

Debinha will be joining the 2016 NWSL Championship team who finished off last season 9-6-5 after defeating the Washington Spirit in penalty kicks to win the trophy.

  • Bruce

    As usual, I like the personal moves that Rory Dames engineers.

    Guessing that CRS has eyes on a couple of midfielders that will likely be available at either 8 or 12. That extra pick should be used to pick up a quality OB to back up Short and Gilliland.

    • guest

      Chicago picks Boston’s pocket (yet again)?

      • Bruce

        I’ve said before that Beard shouldn’t be allowed in a room alone with Dames. This might be a case where both teams win, though.

        • guest

          I think the common thread – and weak link – in many of these Boston Breakers deals is Lee Billiard, GM since 2012 and now listed as president of soccer operations

          • Bruce

            Awesome that he actually got a promotion in November after how badly they’ve managed personnel.

            The Breakers web site says that in his new role he’ll have *more* control of roster moves. Unbelievable.

  • Bruce

    CRS opening day lineup…

    ———————————————-
    ——–Press——–McCaffrey———
    ———————————————-
    —————DiBernardo—————-
    —-Green/Draftee———Huerta—–
    —————- Colaprico—————–
    ———————————————-
    —-Short——————–Gilliland—-
    ——–Johnson——Johnston——–
    ———————————————-
    —————–Naeher——————-
    ———————————————-

    • A_Dog_Without_A_Clutch

      Please, no! Huerta is an excellent finisher and needs to be up top. She provides absolutely nothing at midfield.

      • Bruce

        Huerta played right flank for most of 2016 for CRS and currently in the W-League. She’s been much more effective there than at forward and is still getting shots/goals.

        She’s best with the ball at her feet facing goal, and really doesn’t have a good first touch, passing weight or any hold-up game.

        No reason to expect she’ll see more time at forward for CRS (baring injury).

        • A_Dog_Without_A_Clutch

          1. Outside of Orlando she wasn’t particularly effective at midfield. Falling into out-of-character assist and an accidental goal does not effective play.

          2. Her problems at forward has more to do with Rory Dames dimwitted attachment to 4-4-2 diamond. CRS has great components for a modified 4-2-3-1 if :
          a. You push Colaprico up to CAM or RM
          b. Understand you have a binary striker system. Huerta’s the Striker in the Ball-control phase. Press is the CF in a Defense-to-Counterattack phase.
          c. Find a CAM or RM to compliment Colaprico and Gilliland and CDM that compliments Gilliland and Johnston.

          3. Yes she great a facing the goal. That’s why a more ball control minded game that accentuates the wingbacks should be more of a priority.

          4. She has great first touch in congested high percentage “goal-scoring” areas. What she truly awful at is dribbling. She like a home-run fodder fastball- devoid any movement that is easy to counteract.

          5. Yup, she has no hold up game. Hence Phase 2 should have Huerta tucked under Press as the CAM. Also though, Dames should be working extra hard with her that aspect of her game.

          • Bruce

            So you are proposing wholesale changes to a playoff team just to get Huerta’s one-dimensional game up top?

          • DNG

            I like the changes. I thought the CRS were far too easy to defend last year and as a result did not score many goals. Since Huerta is easily the second best goal scorer on the team after Press it makes sense to try and get more production out of her. And I feel like a broke record with this but I really think the CRS need more width in their attack.

          • Bruce

            My take is that the issues last year could be traced back to personnel shortcomings, particularly the problems at left flank MF that resulted in DiBernardo and Press both playing out of position. Losing the midfield battle when DaCosta/Comeau played meant the OBs had to stay home. It was a no-win situation.

            The late-season acquisition of McCaffrey (who likes to play wide) and new blood on the left has the promise of making things click. I’d take my chances against any team with these players contributing to the attack…

            Press at CF with McCaffrey playing off-forward.
            Dibernardo at the CAM.
            Huerta and Toni Payne at the flank.
            Colaprico at holding MF
            Short and Gilliland at OB.

          • A_Dog_Without_A_Clutch

            It’s the Peter Principle.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_principle

            CRS’s problem is that Dames coach’s his team as if they were college team .

            1. Recruit players with great skill (Gilliland, Colaprico, DiBernardo, Raetzmann, Bywaters, Leon)
            2. Depend on the workout facilities (that football team bought for us) to optimize their strength and conditioning.
            3. Depend on our depth to win games- there is a basketball-like substitution rule after all.
            4. Simply put- all I need to do is win the Big East Title every four to five years to keep my job.

            As you can obviously see, 1.5 of these perspectives can apply to his job as professional soccer coach. Outside of Gilliland (and he can do a lot better with her too) he doesn’t help any of his players get better because he has such a myopic and skewed perspective of his responsibilities.

          • Bruce

            Give me a coach that can take the youngest team in the league to the semis any day.

          • A_Dog_Without_A_Clutch

            But they’ll plateau like Chip Kelly’s Eagles.

            1. The players don’t get better with him.
            2. As the league matures, CRS can’t get away with punishing the other team’s mistakes like they’ve done in first three seasons.
            3. Depending on Naeher to have 5-plus save every game is not a sound expectation.

            Dames is a good at “strength & conditioning” and that’s about it.

            Under Dames, CRS are like a MMA-fighter with a great anti-grappling game, but the constant dependence on getting out of unadvantageous-to-dangerous positions points to their “bridesmaid never the bride” status. They are never as dominant as they can be. They are never as consistent as they can be. There are too many highlight moments and not enough clinical moments.

          • Bruce

            We won’t see eye to eye on this, it’s clear.

            CRS played the entire 2016 season without one flank midfielder that could be relied up to maintain possession. Players on the left (Comeau and DaCosta) essentially chased the game all year.

            Upgrading that personnel set is extremely doable and returns their most dangerous threats (DiB and Press) to their natural positions. There is no need to scrap and start over.

          • mockmook

            We’ve gone around on this before:

            It was DiBernardo and Comeau who played the bulk (or all?) of the time at LM for CRS in 2016

            Da Costa played CAM

            You already admit this by implication: You lament DiB being out of position when DaC played

          • A_Dog_Without_A_Clutch

            Reasons CRS made it to the playoffs:

            1. Naeher
            2. FCKC’s inconveniences

            3. Houston’s mid-season impotence
            4. Press
            5. Short was a risk that mostly paid off.

            It is not so much a wholesale change, just focusing on your players actual strengths to optimize their results. The Kante-esque CDM is only innovation that needs adding. Dames tries to accomplish things, but he is stupidly attached to the diamond formation as the method.

          • Steglitz49

            Why or how was Short a risk?

          • mockmook

            Can’t follow your explanation — seems you have multiple players playing the same position.

            Just as a momentary snapshot: Who is starting and where?

          • A_Dog_Without_A_Clutch
          • mockmook

            OK here are your images — thanks for clearing this up for me!!!

            P1
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1683f58903709eb26405ee19e17a7d2a3e9210375b0065c977a88d110f442eb8.png

            P2
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/bde9bce0cd26e630eae1b14078010e5a367b0d100c9db90e45cc11d33c66e0e0.png

            I don’t understand why Huerte can’t stay up top in both phases. You want to “hide” a poor ball handler at CAM?
            Anyway, if you must switch, why not have Press at RM and switch with Huerte? That way only one switch is required — not the musical chairs you are proposing.

            (And, you can’t have TBD/Comeau jumping back and forth between RM and LM at every ball transition — that’s not going to work)

            So, take Payne or Vasconcelos and put her at LM.

            Colaprico is the CAM. Pair DiBernardo and Raetzman as your DMs (or JJ at DM with Naughton at CB).

          • Bruce

            I can’t say enough how much I don’t like P2.

          • mockmook

            Grim, indeed.

          • A_Dog_Without_A_Clutch

            1. The second phase is about the counter-attack where I’d rather have the fullbacks stay back and have CF that can hold up the ball (which Huerta is not particularly good at). Also, Huerta is bad at “sustained dribbles from point a to point b”. She is actually excellent at “a few touches to get a viable shot”.

            2. They are not going to switch at every transition, it is dependent on the coach eyeballing situation. Phase 2 applies when:
            a. The coach sees that either Gilliland or Short need to sit back after exerting themselves alot in attack.
            b. The phase 1 is not working against the opponent. So play defensively for a 6 to 10 minute spell before trying it again.
            c. The initial strategy is working exceptionally well (goal difference 3 or more) and you just biding time before you put Cara Walls as “target woman” replacement for either Press or Huerta.

            I would like to explain it more, but it would exhaustive and would need a lot of charts and video clips. If the Equalizer has a “guy/gal in Chicago” that help me make this into a whole article, it would be appreciated.

          • Steglitz49

            Dawg! Git dat clutch fixed! Tik jur caar to the voerktjopp nau!
            Or, are you clueless?
            A clutchless car is no good to neither man nor beast!

    • DNG

      I posted this in another thread but this is what I would try with their current players.

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

      • Bruce

        Interesting. My main concern would be whether Johnson and Naughton have the foot speed to play OB.

        Would be surprised if Comeau gets much playing time this year. She’s below Mautz on my depth chart.

      • mockmook

        I like it, almost πŸ™‚

        ————–Press——-McCaffrey—————
        ———–DiBernardo——–Huerta————
        -Vasconcelos—-Colaprico———-Gilliland
        ——-Short——–Naughton——–JJ——–

        • DNG

          I assume Vasconcelos is a potential draft pick for the Red Stars. My reasoning behind Huerta up top was that she’s a better goal scorer than McCaffrey and I don’t think she’s a great midfielder. Your line up is fine though.

          • mockmook

            Let’s fix this so we’ll all be happy πŸ™‚

            http://drawformation.com/post/586ef243122bb/sm-586ef243122bb.png

            Vasconcelos (BYU), Ship (Cal), and Meehan (BC) are all draft picks.

          • Bruce

            I can’t see Dames picking a forward (Vasconcelos) until late if at all. Maybe Reed from DePaul.

          • mockmook

            V plays F or Mid

          • Bruce

            I’ll take your word on that.

            BTW – Sam Johnson will play in front of Naughton. I think that’s been proven.

  • kernel_thai

    Still curious to see what Boston does at #1. Do u take local girl Andrews or do u take Lavelle and hope for Andrews at #3

    • Steglitz49

      I think we can agree that picking either Lawrence or Buchanan would not be a smart move.

    • DNG

      I like Lavelle better than Andrews. I’d consider Hatch/Jordan if available at 3. None of these players are guarantees but the Breakers need attackers. If Engen plays I think Oyster/Engen can be a decent CB pair although Beard needs to get away from his high defensive line against fast teams.

      • Breakers fan

        Yes, they should not assume that Dowie/Haavi/Simon are enough. No way, especially with the forwards who are in this draft.

        • DNG

          I also think they need a solid DM too. I think they could have been a competitive team last year with another goal scorer or two before they traded Zerboni.

          • Breakers fan

            Agree. You wonder who they may be targeting there– could be Kayla Mills of USC or if they get Lavelle they may put her there – Wisconsin did this year, but I would prefer Rose play attacking mid.

          • DNG

            I would play will Lavelle as an attacking mid. I think she’s at her best when she has a little more freedom to be creative. DMs need to be efficient and effective above all.

          • Breakers fan

            Absolutely, totally agree. They need to do this if they pick her.

          • Arcie Tillydee

            Rose was used as a DM on the U23 (or was it U20? Almost ready for bed and tired…)…and it clearly didn’t suit her skills. She’s a CAM, through and through.

          • Breakers fan

            And all year on Wisconsin, though she would move up on occasion from that position.

          • guest

            agree re Breakers need for solid DM. Breakers have not had a solid DM since Leslie Osborne left after 2012 season

    • Breakers fan

      Let’s imagine both scenarios. I think you’re a WNY fan, is that correct?

      Play GM for a moment if you care to:
      If the Breakers take Lavelle who would you take at #2?
      If they take Andrews who would you take at #2?

    • mockmook

      Neither, you take Jordan.

  • Steglitz49

    Avaldsnes is providing great service to WoSo in the NWSL. That is the 4th player at least to have passed through their gates. It must be that copper ore, I guess.

  • mockmook

    NWSL Draft 2017 Beta X.2.0

    01 . Breakers — Jordan ( F ) – Florida
    02 . Flash — Lavelle ( M ) – Wisconsin
    03 . Breakers — Mills, K ( D/M ) – USC
    04 . Sky Blue — Freeman ( D/M ) – USC
    05 . FCKC — Driesse ( M ) – PSU
    06 . Reign — Fletcher, E ( M ) – Cal
    07 . Flash — Proffitt ( D/M ) – Marquette
    08 . Breakers — Andrews ( M ) – USC
    09 . Breakers — Gibbons ( D/M ) – Duke
    10 . Sky Blue — Hatch ( F ) – BYU
    11 . Breakers — Shaffer ( M ) – Virginia
    12 . Red Stars — Vasconcelos ( M/F ) – BYU
    13 . FCKC — Dougherty Howard ( M ) – Florida
    14 . Thorns — Jenkins ( F ) – UCLA
    15 . Dash — Bauer ( D ) – Stanford
    16 . Red Stars — Meehan ( M/F ) – Boston College
    17 . FCKC — McNabb ( D ) – Virginia
    18 . Flash — Smith, E ( D ) – Rutgers
    19 . Spirit — Drennan ( M ) – S.Carolina
    20 . Thorns — Payne ( M/F ) – Duke
    21 . Red Stars — Ship ( F ) – Cal
    22 . Pride — Stiever ( M ) – Minnesota
    23 . Sky Blue — Wagner ( D ) – Clemson
    24 . Sky Blue — Corby ( M ) – GVSU
    25 . FCKC — Campbell ( GK ) – Stanford
    26 . Reign — Hill, R ( F ) – UConn
    27 . Thorns — Atanda ( M ) – Clemson
    28 . Red Stars — Prudhomme ( GK ) – USC
    29 . Spirit — Donaldson ( M ) – Mizzou
    30 . Sky Blue — Johnson, J ( F/D ) – Nebraska
    31 . Breakers — Harris, L ( GK ) – UNC
    32 . Pride — Ribeiro ( M ) – UConn
    33 . Dash — Boon ( D ) – Portland
    34 . Sky Blue — Armstrong ( GK ) – UConn
    35 . FCKC — Onumonu ( F ) – Cal
    36 . Spirit — Lussi ( F ) – Princeton
    37 . Reign — Webb ( D/M ) – Mizzou
    38 . Breakers — Beal ( D ) – Minnesota
    39 . Red Stars — McFarlane ( M ) – UNC
    40 . Thorns — Gardner ( D ) – UNC

    • Breakers fan

      I’m still recovering from this move. Just hoping it works out. I see you went hard on midfielders for the Breakers which I see the need for but I would get at least one defender within those top 5 picks too, I think, just because it’s now a big drop from 11 to 31. Though Shaffer I think is a midfielder/forward.

      One thing I do not know is if the teams in the League value Driesse, Proffitt and Fletcher as highly as you do. I don’t think they do but I hope you’re right.

      Good to see Meehan in there! Is that a first?

      I haven’t analyzed the needs of teams like you have so it’s hard for me to comment on a lot of your picks, but looking at your drafts shows me what position those teams probably need the most.

      • mockmook

        Both Mills and Gibbons can play D (plus, I did add a defender at #38)

        Bottom line πŸ™‚

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBiZgE9-FYc

        Yes, added Meehan since she can (allegedly) also play AM

        • Breakers fan

          Forgot about Gibbons – not thinking too clearly, still absorbing the trade.

          • mockmook

            Dude, it’s not the end of the world.

            Boston now has 5 of the top 11 picks.

            01 . Breakers — Jordan ( F ) – Florida
            03 . Breakers — Mills, K ( D/M ) – USC
            08 . Breakers — Andrews ( M ) – USC
            09 . Breakers — Gibbons ( D/M ) – Duke
            11 . Breakers — Shaffer ( M ) – Virginia
            31 . Breakers — Harris, L ( GK ) – UNC
            38 . Breakers — Beal ( D ) – Minnesota

            It will be impossible for the Breakers to not get great picks with those first 5

          • Tom F

            I guess the NWSL couldn’t afford a biting war with the Euro powerhouses to get either Buchanen & Lawrence?

          • guest

            Pay from Canadian federation (since Buchanan & Lawrence would be allocated players paid by Canada federation) not NWSL is more relevant to losing bidding war with Euro clubs.

            Canada WNT players get some sort of base contract (but it appears may not get any additional $$ to play in NWSL).
            Canada coach may also want players to get Euro league exp

          • Breakers fan

            Thanks for the reassurance. Upon further reflection I’m ok with it,maybe even ecstatic about it. It’ll come down to who we get with 8 and 9. This just pushes up who is available to the Breakers with their 8,9 and 11 picks and that can only be a good thing. My guess is that they “did the math” and felt it was best for the organization to proceed this way. I have faith in them.

      • mockmook

        BTW, never asked you:

        Have you seen Meehan play CAM or CAM-ish?

        If so, thoughts?

        If not, any speculation on her CAM-abilty?

        • Breakers fan

          Hmm, let me consult my memory bank…..

          That actually surprised me to see that designation for her but perhaps I did see her there….a little, though at the time watching her play it wasn’t super-clear to me that she was at CAM. I see her way more as a forward. I do like her a lot. She now has BC’s all-time goal-scoring mark. Hard to say how good of a pro she’ll be but I won’t be surprised if she’s good. I wonder if she’s in the Breakers’ sights. They of course do have a history of going after the locals and she’s from nearby Rhode Island, just over the MASS border. She’s one of those “good nose for the goal” -type players, as vague as that term may be.

          • mockmook

            Thanks!!!

            I got the CAM bit from AWK — more Fake News πŸ˜‰

    • mockmook

      BTW, if anyone is interested (and hasn’t figured it out), you should be able to copy and paste these into a spread sheet.

      Paste them as plain text, tab delimited. Then get rid of the extraneous columns.

    • Gary Diver

      Campbell picked 25th?

      • mockmook

        Every team already has a #1 GK.

        The first 15 or so picks will be filling positions of need/upgrade — I expect almost all of them will be starters immediately or in very short order.

        The next 10 or so picks are possible starters (and fulfill a need either for a starter or for depth).

        In short, GK is a low priority.

        JC may buck that trend, but don’t count on it.

        • Steglitz49

          If she wants to play she should find a club abroad. That will help with her post-soccer CV too. Having lived abroad may give her the edge.

  • Breakers fan

    Anyone remember how good Debinha is? My guess is that she’s good. WNY going after a forward as stacked as they are at that position – whew. It makes you wonder if they will still draft a forward with those picks 2 or 7. The odds say that they won’t now after this signing but you never know. If Jordan is available at pick #2 do they take her?

  • Bruce

    Breaking down the CRS 2017 draft…

    I wont attempt to go all mockmook for every team, but here’s my attempt to get inside of Rory Dame’s head as the draft approaches.

    After today’s trade with Boston (thanks!), CRS holds 5 picks: 12, 16, 21, 28, 39

    Dames like to own the midfield through numerical advantage, and prefers a 4-4-2 with a diamond midfield alignment. I wouldn’t expect that to change in 2017.

    Rory prefers blue-collar midfielders and tends to draft local players in later rounds.

    Roster needs are listed below in order of importance, along with 10 players I wouldn’t be surprised to see become Red Stars on draft day…

    (1) A starting left flank midfielder. Comeau and DaCosta (now Boston) were ineffective on the flank last season, forcing Dames to play DiBernardo wide and drop Press to the CAM. This weakness was probably the primary reason CRS struggled to score goals in 2016. Recently signed Summer Green may be a workable option here.

    Best picks at 12/16/21 – Payne, Proffitt (local), Gibbons
    Local picks at 28/39 – likely not anyone.

    (2) A central midfielder to backup Colaprico/Dibernardo. Currently, if either of these players goes down to injury, Press will fall back to CAM, limiting the offensive chances of team that struggled for goals in 2016. I’d expect Dames to seek to draft a holding CM instead of a CAM.

    Best picks at 12/16/21 Driesse, Shaffer, Cephers
    Local picks at 28/39 – likely not anyone.

    (2) An outside back to backup Short/Gilliland. Sarah Gorden saw limited time in 2016, and did not distinguish herself as a NWSL-ready player.

    Best picks at 12/16/21 Gibbons, Beal (local)
    Local picks at 28/39 Lachowecki

    (4) A proven second scoring threat at forward. With Huerta likely permanently on the right flank, it falls to McCaffrey, Hoy and Walls to play alongside Press up top. McCaffrey seems to be the best of the three to fill this role, but is as of yet unproven.

    Best picks at 12/16/21 (Dames won’t draft a forward this high)
    Local picks at 28/39 Reed

    • mockmook

      Nice breakdown of their situation,

      My comments:

      (Regarding all your points)
      You will likely not be able to get many of those players by pick #12
      And, then, probabilities drop rapidly from there.
      Shouldn’t you take a chance on different back-up GK?

      (1) Valconcelos (if available) can be that flank player
      (1) Green disappears even when healthy
      (1) Proffitt is a CB/CM isn’t she?

      (2) Cephers not in the draft (yet?)

      (3) Lachowecki not in the draft (yet?)
      (3) Beal is a CB, would have to convert.
      (3) I believe Comeau can also play OB

      ————-

      From my latest draft:

      12 . Red Stars — Vasconcelos ( M/F ) – BYU
      16 . Red Stars — Meehan ( M/F ) – Boston College
      21 . Red Stars — Ship ( F ) – Cal
      28 . Red Stars — Prudhomme ( GK ) – USC
      39 . Red Stars — McFarlane ( M ) – UNC

      I may switch to a “proven” CAM at #16 (Stiever, Drennan, Atanda)

      I may change #39 to that OB you are seeking (Cox, Iordanou)

      • Bruce

        It’s pretty clear to me that you watch more college soccer than I do. Good points. Here is some flavor from my end.

        I’m thinking that Dames is happy with his backup GK situation for 2017. Michelle Dalton actually led the league in GAA for 2015. I’d expect CRS to move mountains pursuing Lauren Clem when she graduates from Northwestern next year, though.

        The hardest position for me to “scout” for is left flank midfielder. There aren’t a lot of high-ranking prospects that play there in college, so you need to be creative in imagining how that would work. Payne brings experience there, a nose for the goal and a work-rate that fits CRS style. I wouldn’t be surprised if she was picked by Chicago at 12. It would be fun to see Payne and Huerta both attacking defenses from the flanks with the ball at their feet.

        I don’t think you can overestimate how much preference Dames gives to local picks. In rounds 3 and 4, he almost always chooses players with local ties so that they’ll stay on the roster or play with the reserves while getting paid nearly nothing. If Beal, Lachowecki and/or Reed are available at 28 or 39, he’ll take them instead of rolling the dice on a non-local that might fill a positional need.

        • mockmook

          The “elite” mids who likely make good LMs are:

          Gibbons
          Valconcelos
          Shaffer

          If CRS’ priority was a LM (which I would support), then trading away #8 was a stupid mistake. All of the above listed players might not be available when they draft at #12

          Payne is an excellent choice at #12 — she may be that elusive LM or end up being a partner for Press, but I’d take one of my listed “elites” if they are available.

  • FawcettFan14

    Debinha is a quality player. She is decently fast but a more technical forward than the Flash’s existing core – McDonald, Williams, Doniak, etc. Will add a nice dimension to WNY.

    I watched some of the Copa Caixa last month; Debinha and Beatriz, with Andressa orchestrating behind them, are forming quite a partnership for Brazil. Not saying they’ll reach Marta/Cristiane levels of yore but the best attacking combo they’ve had in a while.

    • Bruce

      Pretty crowded on that front line.

    • Katie Curtiss

      Too bad the team won’t be called WNY anymore. They are relocating to North Carolina