Wednesday Roundup: Morgan, Harris nab CONCACAF honors

The Equalizer Staff January 18, 2017 59

Also in today’s roundup, Carli Lloyd joins Obama administration, the Reign bring back Merritt Mathias and Michelle Heyman is up for a very special award

Ashlyn Harris has won her second CONCACAF Goalkeeper of the Year honor. (Photo Copyright Erica McCaulley for The Equalizer)

Ashlyn Harris has won her second CONCACAF Goalkeeper of the Year honor. (Photo Copyright Erica McCaulley for The Equalizer)

Alex Morgan was named CONCACAF Female Player of the Year on Wednesday. Additionally Ashlyn Harris was named the region’s Goalkeeper of the Year and that pair was joined by seven other U.S.-based players on the Best XI. U.S. coach Jill Ellis was bested for Coach of the Year by Amelia Valverde of Costa Rica.

The vote was an evenly balanced split between CONCACAF member nation’s coaches and captains, media and fans.

{MORE: Heather O’Reilly officially joins Arsenal; NWSL return up in air}

Joining Harris and Morgan on the Best XI are: NWSL players Ali Krieger, Becky Sauerbrunn, Carli Lloyd, Tobin Heath and Christine Sinclair. Canadians Kadeisha Buchanan and Ashley Lawrence, who were both seniors at West Virginia last fall, were also included. The final two are Costa Ricans Gloriana Villalobos and Shirley Cruz.

Crystal Dunn, who finished third in Player of the Year voting (Heath was second), did not make the Best XI.

Morgan scored 17 goals for the U.S. in 2016, tied for most of the team. Two of those goals were in the Olympics including the equalizer in an eventual penalty kick loss to Sweden in the quarterfinals. Harris was the alternate keeper at the Olympics but made a series of spectacular saves during her first season with the Orlando Pride where she was Morgan’s teammate. The individual awards were the second for both Morgan and Harris.

Lloyd named to obama administration post

150705 Carli LloydOutgoing president Barack Obama named Carli Lloyd as Member and Co-Chair of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. The announcement of several new administration posts came Tuesday. Among athletes named to the same position were basketball Hall-of-Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, gymnastics gold medalist Gabby Douglas and U.S. hockey star Caitlin Cahow.

Also on Wednesday, Lloyd was named to the New Jersey Hall of Fame. The Delran Township native starred at Rutgers before going on to achieve great heights with the U.S. national team. Lloyd’s hat trick in the 2015 World Cup final was a transcendent moment for women’s soccer. The New Jersey Hall of Fame is not specific to sports, but Lloyd is joined by several athletes including former New York Liberty president and general manager Carol Blazejowski.

Earlier this month Lloyd was named FIFA Female Player of the Year for the second consecutive year.

Reign re-sign Merritt Mathias

Merritt Mathias fight off a trio of Washington Spirit defenders (photo copyright EriMac Photo for The Equalizer)

Merritt Mathias fight off a trio of Washington Spirit defenders (photo copyright EriMac Photo for The Equalizer)

Seattle Reign FC and Merritt Mathias have come together on a new contract for the 2017 season. This will be Mathias’s third season in Seattle after two at FC Kansas City. She was traded to the Reign in November 2014 for Kate Deines.

“I am thrilled to be returning to Seattle for my fifth season in the NWSL,” said Mathias. “I love everything about this organization and consider Seattle my second home. I’m really looking forward to what this season has in store for myself and the team. As always, let it reign!”

{NWSL NEWS: Pride acquire No. 14 pick Rachel Hill from Thorns}

In four seasons Mathias has appeared in 79 regular season matches and has 5 goals and 7 assists. She has also started all five playoff games her teams have been in. Mathias has an NWSL Championship with FC Kansas City in 2014 and an NWSL Shield with the Reign in 2015. Last fall she was called into camp with the U.S. national team but did not receive a cap.

“Merritt is someone that has been a huge part of the team now for the last two seasons,” said Seattle Reign FC head coach and general manager Laura Harvey. “She’s played in multiple positions which is a huge testament to her ability. When you have such a small squad, when you have someone that can play multiple positions, it’s huge.”

Harvey has complimented Mathias for her defensive presence and used her as an example during her Defending from the Front panel at the 2016 NSCAA Convention.

Tuesday the Reign announced that Kendall Fletcher was starting ministry school in Australia and would not be returning.

Michelle Heyman up for LGBTI award

Getty Images

Getty Images

Australian national team player Michelle Heyman, who played briefly for the Western New York Flash, has been nominated for sports personality of the year at the inaugural Australian LGBTI awards.

“Me being nominated for this award is one of the greatest things that’s ever happened to me,” Heyman told Caden Helmers of The Canberra Times. Heyman is co-captain of W-League side Canberra United.

Heyman takes great pride in just being herself and has been overwhelmed by how much support she has received just for that alone. According to Helmers’s article she was the only openly gay athlete in the Australian contingent at the Rio Olympics.

The LGBTI awards ceremony will take place March 2 at the Sydney Opera House.

  • Guest

    (EQ haters converge to hate on Lloyd for getting a .gov appointment, and Morgan for nabbing Press’s concacaf fangirl award LOL)

    • Max

      Press is a sore loser

      • HOFCToDi

        Christen Press is the quintessential international fraud.

        • Steglitz49

          But failed in the NWSL semi-final.

          • Max

            Only one time she scored against a top game-2015 algarve cup. That was it in her career with uswnt. How do people still compare her to Morgan?

          • Steglitz49

            That depends on if you are a paid up member of the Pressgang. Most of them, not least their founder, have been lying low since last fall.

          • HOFCToDi

            Neither first string centerback played for France women’s national football team, Wendie Renard or Laura Georges.

            ussoccer.com/womens-national-team/tournaments/2015-algarve-cup/150311-wnt-v-fra#tab-1

          • HOFCToDi

            USWNT Career
            FIFA Top 10 Ranked Opponents
            USWNT Goals Scored
            Morgan (DOB 02 Jul 1989) – 34
            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

            Christen Press is a FRAUD!

            If it wasn’t for Sydney Leroux, Christen Press would be NOTHING! Spoon feeding at its best.

            ussoccer.com/womens-national-team/tournaments/2014-concacaf-womens-championship/141024-wntvmex#tab-1

            ussoccer.com/womens-national-team/tournaments/2015-fifa-womens-world-cup/150608-wntvaus#tab-1

            Christen Press
            FIFA Women’s World Cup
            Goals 1, Assists 0

            Christen Press
            CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying
            Knockout Stage
            Goals 1, Assists 0

            Christen Press
            Olympic Games
            Goals 0, Assists 0

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

            Christen Press
            SheBelieves Cup
            Goals 0, Assists 0

        • HOFCToDi

          You are a clueless moron.

          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

          Not even a shot on goal against the Netherlands.

          The rest of the post Olympic Games, tomato cans.

      • FlyingSquirrel42

        Did she even say anything about it? The Press wars on EQ can get kind of silly on both sides, but I don’t think she deserves to be called a “sore loser” if she never even commented on the awards.

        • Guest

          no she didn’t say anything… i really dont think any of them care about these fan awards. except maybe Harris because she does tend to retweet these kinds of things to her stalker fans.

        • HOFCToDi

          Christen Press is a LOSER!

        • Steglitz49

          It does not seem in character.

          Christen may well feel that the ball did not bounce her way after the Hermann trophy but I have never heard her complain about it. She was unlucky that in OG-12 the alternates did not get medals which they got in Rio.

          I suspect that Christen is already working on her life after pro-WoSo. She ought to be, given everything.

  • atalba

    Congratulations Kadeisha Buchanan! One of the top Center-backs in the world.

    • Steglitz49

      The Chief Ideologist of the NWSL needs to sit down with the Commissioner and Marketing guru. Kadeisha went to Lyon while Ashley has sought happiness in the arms of PSG. Two players that would have gone in round 1 of the Draft. Both Canadians, granted.

      In addition, three of the most popular players, Alex Morgan, Crystal Dunn and HAO have sought their fortune abroad.
      — Allegedly, both Alex and Crystal will make themselves available to the NWSL once their European seasons are over on June 3rd — they are still allocated players — but HAO seems to have taken her deallocation literally and seems keen to enter fully into the spirit of the Gunners and London.

      Maybe for 2018, when there is no Euro, it might be easier to attract top European players again to the NWSL but then they have their WC qualifiers.

      • atalba

        It’s no alarm. Good for them to spread the game elsewhere. The NWSL will be fine. These players are spreading the (north) American game. No need for an unathletic, tiki-taka player to go to Europe. They have plenty of those types.

        • Steglitz49

          If the wealthy leagues let teams spend a bit more on attracting top foreign players, the centre of gravity will move to Europe as it did for the men’s game.

          The FA seems hell bent on making the FA women’s Cup final the premier club event in WoSo. It will be interesting to see how UEFA responds to this obvious challenge to the status of their ladies Champions League.

  • Max

    Morgan is a megastar. Press is just a bench player in the big games. I don’t know why people keep comparing them. If they travel around internationally, they will know who is a popular player. Morgan is like David beckham in the men’s …

    • HOFCToDi

      Always Alex, never Christen!

  • Lorehead

    Congrats to everyone on their appointment, award, contract or nomination, as the case may be!

  • mockmook

    Fake awards?

    • Max

      Did your mom ever got the real one?

    • HOFCToDi

      Thank god you are not on any committee.

  • Steglitz49

    Why is WoSo — at least American and Australian WoSo — so obsessed with gay players?

    Maybe the ROW is too but we don’t hear about it though it seems a peculiarly American and Australian phenomenon. And, why WoSo?

    • guest

      you wont find too many other entertainment venues with so many lesbians. maybe the wnba, which is also very gay.

      • Steglitz49

        In the stands or on the pitch?

        • guest

          both

          • Steglitz49

            A true minority sport then.

    • guest

      swedish team has lots of lesbians.

      • Steglitz49

        It does but Swedish people don’t seem to care. Hedvig Lindahl is married to a lady and has a baby. Lisa Dahlkvist is also married to a lady but in their case it is the partner who has given birth.

        • FlyingSquirrel42

          I don’t know. Maybe the issue is just more contentious in Australia and the U.S.? Also, does Sweden have a “gossip culture” surrounding athletes and celebrities? The U.S. certainly does, and my cursory impression is that Australia does as well, at least to some extent.

          • Yep. Being gay is more of an issue – societal and political – in U.S. and Australia than it is in Europe. The general population still has a big problem with it, so fewer athletes and entertainers are open about their sexuality, so in turn it’s a big deal for those who are out. And a big deal for gay fans to see representation in those athletes/stars they idolize.

            It would be nice if people didn’t care. That would mean it was no longer an issue to be fought over. On a side note, I like the European habit of referring to one’s spouse/significant other as your “partner” regardless of gender/sexual orientation. When you use the term “partner” in the U.S. everyone thinks “gay,” but in Europe it’s used as a straight term, too.

          • Steglitz49

            Indeed. “partner” or “live-together” arose from hetero relationships and got transferred to same sexed hones.

          • atalba

            To be fair Slicey, there is a strong and loud minority of backwards people who call themselves right. Most of the population supports all orientation. It just takes so much energy and voice to overcome the bigots (of all kind).

          • mockmook

            ” there is a strong and loud minority of backwards people who call themselves right. ”

            Have you ever recognized that you might be one of those people?

          • Paul Klee

            In the US there is also a racial component (President Obama has addressed this) of black (and Latino) homophobia being more intense. Considering the major sports have a higher percentage of minority athletes (black in the NFL and NBA. Latino son MLB) than the regular population, might discourage athletes from being more open about their sexuality.

            Also the US differs from Europe in that there is a more “puritanical” view about sexuality. So that being open about one’s sexuality either straight or gay is not viewed as a positive attribute ( i.e. We don’t really want to hear about your business)

          • Steglitz49

            US WoSo is mainly white. Minorities are underrepresented in female soccer in the US. Granted, in the USWNT there is the odd black player, like Dunn, and honorary hispanic like ARod and Lopez before her and now Sanchez.

          • Steg Patrol

            Have the French stopped using “mari” for husband?

            And sorry you took the steg troll bait.

          • Steglitz49

            There does not seem to be a gossip culture around athletes in Sweden. Swedes seem to not care either way and leave them alone, except the usual celebrity stuff. No nude pictures neither.

  • kernel_thai

    If u want to cast shade on these awards, the obvious place to start is Ashlyn Harris who somehow parlayed not making the Olympic roster into best GK in CONCACAF.

    • Som Termanni

      Worse club record and stats than Naeher, worse national team performances than Naeher against the same competition. The only thing she’s the best in the world at doing is winning fan votes and dominating PR.

      Also, Solo obviously wasn’t nominated or else would have likely waltzed away even with her OG humiliation.

      • Steglitz49

        Ms Harris cuts a fine figure of a woman. Ms Naeher may be a slightly better keeper but some of Ashlyn wins in the looks department and some of Ashlyn’s saves have been spectacular — maybe for the wrong reasons — but the fans see what they want to see — and that is the right of a fan.

        • Ms Magazine

          Harris went full butch dyke with her hair after the OG.

          • Steglitz49

            How do you interpret that?

            That having missed out on the OG, she felt free to let go?
            That she simply fancied herself in a short haircut for a change?
            She wanted to see how a change in hairstyle would be interpreted?
            Her fans liked her new haircut and therefore voted for her?

    • DNG

      CONCACAF awards have always been a joke. I got a good laugh out of Harris winning this award though.

      • Steglitz49

        Carli won the FIFA POTY so the standard is about the same, while Alex Morgan never got the Hermann trophy. You pays your money and you takes your choice.

      • HOFCToDi

        Christen Press is a joke.

  • Guest

    press won the fan vote by a lot. how did alex still win lol?

    • Max

      Where is or are the number? Moron

      • Max

        Morgan has become a mega star and soccer face since 2011. Where was Press? Was an alternate player sitting on the bench in 2012 Olympic game and got benched in wc 2015. Press will never be a soccer face. It’s too late. There are lots of new ones after Morgan. Not her. Loser.

        • Steglitz49

          It is high time for Christen to plot her post-pro-WoSo world. No doubt she already is Best of luck to her.

  • #1Fan

    Daphne Corboz to Sky Blue

    • Steglitz49

      Was (a bit) expected. She has a place at Medical School at Rutgers and she is a resident of NJ.

  • Reality

    Dan Lauretta, you have here another troll infested commentary on your blog by people whose lives are so empty that they must vent their spleen to relieve their pain. Kindly remove them from EQ for the benefit of all.

    • Steglitz49

      That is rich coming fom you.

    • guest

      sup Cody Press? How is the stock market treating you these days?

    • guest

      let’s be real though, EQ would lose so many clicks and comments by blocking Steg and House of Crap to Die. Not in their interest to block them

    • HOFCToDi

      Reality is a blithering idiot, a clueless moron, and a worthless troll.