Monday Roundup: Lauren Holiday opens up about brain surgery, recovery

The Equalizer Staff February 20, 2017 67

Also in today’s roundup, Abby Wambach announces engagement, Colombia’s first women’s professional league kicks off inaugural season, Michele Vasconcelos postpones rookie season, Chicago finalizes preseason schedule and Savannah Jordan scores a hat trick in professional debut

Former USWNT star Lauren Holiday opens up about recovering from brain surgery in a recent Instagram post. (Photo Copyright Patricia Giobetti for The Equalizer)

Former USWNT star Lauren Holiday opens up about recovering from brain surgery in a recent Instagram post. (Photo Copyright Patricia Giobetti for The Equalizer)

Former USWNT and FC Kansas City star Lauren Holiday opened up about recovering from brain surgery in an Instagram post on Sunday. The midfielder underwent surgery at Duke University Hospital in October to remove a benign brain tumor. The surgery took place approximately one month after giving birth to daughter, Jrue Tyler Holiday.

“I have never quite known suffering like I experienced the last six months,” Holiday said. “I can remember countless nights repeating ‘there may be pain in the night but joy comes in the morning.’ I remember half believing it and half still in disbelief that this was my life.”

In September it was revealed that Holiday had been diagnosed with the brain tumor near her orbital socket when she was six months pregnant. Doctors put off surgery until six weeks after she gave birth, but her labor was induced to speed up the timeline for surgery.

Her husband, Jrue Holiday, missed 12 games with the New Orleans Pelicans to help take care of Lauren and their daughter. Despite the difficulty of her recovery, Holiday said in her post that it is her family, especially her daughter, who helps her get through the hard times.

“Every time I see this smile, I’m reminded that joy does come in the morning. Maybe not the next day, maybe not even the next month, but it comes,” Holiday said of her daughter.

Holiday retired from professional soccer in 2015. She spent eight years years with the USWNT, over which she earned 133 caps, scored 24 goals, won two Olympic gold medals and ended her career as a World Cup champion. She is also a two-time NWSL champion with FC Kansas City.

Abby Wambach announces engagement

United States women’s national team legend Abby Wambach took to social media on Sunday to announce her engagement to Glennon Doyle Melton, a Christian blogger and best-selling author. Wambach posted a picture of both women’s hands adorned with their diamond engagement rings with the caption “Happy” to her Instagram account.

Happy. #iseethemoonnow

A post shared by Mary Wambach (@abbywambach) on

The news comes just months after the two announced their relationship on Melton’s social media account on November 13, although the two had been dating for a while before making the announcement.  

{MORE: Abby Erceg retires from international soccer | Kelly Smith leaves Arsenal in style}

The marriage will be the second for both. Wambach was previously married to former professional soccer player Sarah Huffman, and she revealed in her memoir Forward that she missed the 2015 NWSL season to return to Portland to work on marital problems despite previous statements that she was sitting the season out to prepare mentally and physically for the World Cup. The two divorced in 2016 after less than three years of marriage.

Colombia’s first women’s professional league kicks off

On Saturday, February 18, Colombia’s first domestic women’s professional soccer league, Liga Femenina Aguila, kicked off its inaugural season. The league features such Colombian stars as Lady Andrade, Yoreli Rincon, Catalina Usme and Daniela Montoya, as well as players from five other countries.

“This is reward for the work put in by the players and all the people who have been supporting women’s football in Colombia for so many years now,” Montoya told “We are so happy to have a professional league. It’s a historic moment for the country and it goes without saying that we are very happy and excited.”

The league’s formation shows just how far the women’s game has come in Colombia. Rincon told Yahoo! Sports that her father used to pop her soccer balls with a knife to prevent her from playing because of the sexism surrounding the sport. However, his attitude changed after watching her score a hat trick in a match when she was just eight years old.

“Since then he has been my number one fan,” Rincon, a player whose advocacy for a league was key to its formation, said.

The new women’s league consists of 18 teams divided into three round-robin groups, with each team playing the other five teams in its group home and away through May 7. The top two teams in each group and the two best 3rd-place teams will then advance into tournament-style play. The final two teams will face off in the league’s Grand Final in June.

“The national championship will help raise the standard of the national team,” Rincon, who plays for Patriotas Boyaca, said. “We’re all going to become better players and the national team will keep getting better too, because there are a lot more girls out there who want to have that opportunity and who’ll see that they’re going to get noticed now.”  

The winners of that Grand Final will not only be crowned the league’s first champions, but they will also go on to represent Colombia in the next Women’s Copa Libertadores. Thanks to a deal signed with the Liga Ibrerdrola Femenina, the champions will also take on Spain’s national champions home and away.

Pregnancy postpones Vasconcelos’ rookie season

Michele Vasconcelos announced today that she will be missing the 2017 NWSL season with the Chicago Red Stars as she is expecting her first child. Vasconcelos, née Murphy, married fellow BYU soccer player Pedro Vasconcelos in 2014.

“Although we were hoping to wait for a little while to start our family and this was initially a big shock for us, we are excited for this adventure and new addition to our family,” Vasconcelos said. “I’m excited to cheer on the Red Stars this season and officially begin my journey with them in 2018!”

The midfielder, called a Rookie of the Year contender by Red Stars Head Coach Rory Dames, was taken by Chicago as the No. 11 overall pick in January’s draft. At BYU, Vasconcelos played 91 matches, scoring 33 goals and recording 30 assists. In her senior season, she was ranked 2nd in the nation in assists per game (0.62), 3rd both in assists (13) and total points (45), and 5th in points per game (2.14). She was also top 10 in total goals (16) and game-winning goals (6).

The last of Vasconcelos’ game winners was in BYU’s 2-1 win over Oklahoma in the second round of the 2016 NCAA tournament. The Cougars were eliminated in the third round of the tournament in a 1-0 loss to South Carolina.

Chicago add Wisconsin, Notre Dame to preseason schedule

Chicago Red Stars will play five preseason matches in 2017. (Photo copyright Clark Linehan for The Equalizer)

Chicago Red Stars will play five preseason matches in 2017. (Photo copyright Clark Linehan for The Equalizer)

The Chicago Red Stars announced two preseason matches against Wisconsin and Notre Dame, finalizing their preseason schedule.

In all the Red Stars will play in five preseason contests, starting with a March 16 road match against the University of Wisconsin. Last season the Badgers finished 9-5-8 on the season after falling to the University of Florida in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

From March 26 through April 1, Chicago will take part in the second annual Portland Thorns Spring Invitational at Providence Park. There they will take on the Thorns, Houston Dash and the U.S. U-23 women’s national team in a round-robin tournament.

“We realized after last season that we needed to take on challenging opponents during preseason to prepare for the rigorous NWSL season,” said Rory Dames, head coach of the Red Stars. “With the tournament we are able to take on top teams in the NWSL and the U-23’s, which will be highly beneficial when regular season kicks off and give us a great look at our roster at that time.”

The Red Stars close out their preseason on April 6 when the Red Stars will travel to Indiana to take on Notre Dame. Notre Dame was upset by North Carolina in the ACC tournament semifinals before being upset in the first round of the NCAA tournament after losing by penalty kicks to SIUE. The Fighting Irish finished 2016 with a 13-3-5 record.

The road matches against Wisconsin and Notre Dame will be open to the public and free of charge.

Savannah Jordan bags hat trick in professional debut

Savannah Jordan, the second all-time leading goalscorer from University of Florida, signs with Glasgow City FC for 2017 (Copyright: Steve Bruno for The Equalizer)

Savannah Jordan, the second all-time leading goalscorer from University of Florida, signs with Glasgow City FC for 2017 (Copyright: Steve Bruno for The Equalizer)

Over the weekend University of Florida standout Savannah Jordan scored a hat trick in her professional debut with Scottish club Glasgow City FC. Glasgow defeated Jeanfield Swift 8-0 on Sunday to advance to the next round of the Scottish Women’s Premier League Cup tournament.

“I was excited to get it underneath us and get the first win. I’m kind of relaxed going into the season now,” Jordan said in a post-game interview.

Jordan was predicted by many to be a first-round pick in the 2017 NWSL College Draft, but rumors that she would be going overseas to play saw her draft stock drop. However, it didn’t drop nearly as far as expected, as Portland Thorns coach Mark Parsons traded two draft picks to acquire Jordan’s rights.

During her four years at Florida, Jordan was second only to Gators alumna Abby Wambach in both the Southeastern Conference’s and Florida’s record books in points, scoring 81 goals and recording 27 assists over 94 games played for 189 career points (Wambach had 242).

Despite playing with Glasgow this season, Jordan has said she will return to the States to play in the NWSL in 2018.

  • mockmook

    Congrats to V, but it is a shame we won’t get to see her in 2017.

    She might have been the last piece of the puzzle for CRS to win a title.

    • A_Dog_Without_A_Clutch

      With better organization, CRS should have won last year.

      • Steglitz49

        Simply with focus, Chicago would have won. Got to do the simple things well.

  • FawcettFan14

    Wow that timing sucks for Chicago. Without Vasconcelos, their bench remains very thin.

  • Som Termanni
    • Belina

      Why waste a international slot on LDV if she “hopefully” will join Pride at the end of NWSL season? I think it’s was a mistake to release Kyle

    • Lorehead

      Hope she stays in the league and plays the Thorns on the road. She’s the player we sent to Orlando that I miss the most, with apologies to Kaylyn Kyle, McKenzie Berryhill, and that’s it.

  • guest

    SJordan is not doing herself any favors in scotland.

    • Dumfries

      Yeah. The SWPL is completely dominated by Glasgow City. Last season they only lost one game (to Spartans who they had beaten 8-0 earlier in the season), which really was a fluke. They had far more chances, they just failed to score and Spartans capitalized on their few chances. It was their first loss since 2014 (coincidently also against Spartans) and 2nd loss since 2008. And in the 2016 Champions League they lost 1-0 and 2-1 against Eskilstuna United DFF (who lost 1-5 and 0-3 against Wolfsburg in the next round). So even if Jordan was joining them for the opportunity to play in the Champions League, well, they’re going to be hard pressed to repeat the success they had in 2014-2015 when they got to the Quarterfinals with a fairly easy path (just barely winning out over KKPK Medyk Konin in the Round of 32, squeaking by FC Zürich in the Round of 16, and then getting clobbered by PSG in the Quarterfinals). They’ve never beaten a team from one of the big 4 leagues (Germany, France, Sweden, and England) in the competition.

      • Steglitz49

        I thought that Savannah did not just got to Glasgow for the soccer, weather and local dialect.

    • Breakers fan

      I understand what you’re saying, but please try to write more clearly and specifically. Not knowing the whole story behind her choice of where to go she may well be doing herself favors by being in Glasgow. You probably were referring to soccer only in your comment – you should write that if that’s what you meant. Life of course is about more than the precise ranking of soccer competition. In terms of soccer only it could be that her best practice will be within her own team and then in Champions League play. That said, I think that if a player focuses on her game, getting very fit, working on what she feels like she needs to work on, a person can make the time useful, valuable and productive. It’s not ALL about what is outside and precisely how it stacks up against some other situation. These things can’t be measured exactly and you’re always guessing about what another experience would have been. A lot will come down to what she puts into it. She went there for a reason that was important to her. I respect that a lot.

      • DNG

        Hey Breakers fan. OT but I think I remember you being interested in seeing the U17 USA Japan WC match. Here’s the first half. The other half is also on the channel.

        • Breakers fan

          Thanks a lot, DNG! Definitely interested in seeing this. I did miss it when it happened. I saw all of our U20 games but missed the U17 ones.

          • #1Fan

            did you watch it yet ?

          • Guest

            Pathetic frankly.
            Not sure how you can justify elevating a kid to the full team who plays a square ball off the initial kick off which is entirely expectedly intercepted for a dangerous counter.

            Saw two decent plays that most ECNL level holding mids should make 95% of the time. Still a scratcher.

          • #1Fan

            To be fair anyone can make a mistake. In general I thought the us chased the ball most of the game ant the positional awareness of JPN was far ahead. I did not see full NT players on the us team. Not close

          • guest

            Agree, but that was a little kid mistake…not an adult ready to compete at the top level.
            Further, that mistake among others, was not offset by any real magical moments where one might say wow that is a special player. In fact the announcers were very positive toward her which at the time, before her elevation, I thought praise oddly awarded. Again my opinion was that her brighter moments were solid, but not truly remarkable. She is a player with potential for sure, and should be developed over time. But I do object to her skipping over others who have consistently proven themselves at higher levels.

            I won’t even comment regarding her being pushed ahead of those her own age who weren’t offered the opportunities.

            Is the Ghana game on the channel?

          • #1Fan

            A fair assessment. The thing is, when you keep elevating and giving people numerous chances in the US system, some level of success is almost inevitable. The team is solid and has enough good players to dominate most teams. As evidenced by the rookies scoring on debut last yr (?) it is ups to the powers than be as to how they interpret those moments AND more importantly how they continue to allocate opportunity. For some, the chances will keep coming. For others its not so forgiving of the slightest misstep.

          • #1Fan

            I have no issue with blooding kids IF they feel they have exceptional upside and potential. Living thru mistakes is part of that.

          • Breakers fan

            In the middle of watching it – more towards the beginning. Been busy elsewhere lately. Know that I don’t just sum up the game in one word. For me and really for all us games are collections of 100s of individual plays, decisions, situations. The one word evaluation of a game – “awful”, “terrible”, “debacle” – ones commonly used for this game to me aren’t very helpful, instructive, accurate. So far in this game the U.S. team has made a lot of good plays. Those should be acknowledged. Some haven’t been, as well, but I’m just seeing that this is more complex than it has been given credit for. I think it’s wrong to just dismiss *everything* about a game if we didn’t win it. The entire process should be seen and acknowledged for what it was at each moment. Though I get the drive to be better, to be #1 – I’m not belittling that desire.

          • #1Fan

            i dont think people are doing what you say,. It was a 3-2 game. i think it is 100pct disturbing that with all the investment, the gulf in the things that we SAY we want to be good at is so massive.

            we were out shot, out thought and thoroughly;y outplayed. Of course there are good plays made by both teams, but the collective output falls well short of what we have been led to believe we are developing. Watch how often the first pass out of pressure by Jpn connects. watch how often they turn away from pressure. Watch how they draw Us defenders in and then exploit space behind. Look how they are doing it with players that are not athletically dominant.

            All these things are what we have been told we are developing. IIt seems that you are looking at picking out individual highlights. thats fine, but Im looking at the collective performance and the style of it . Its depressing to think that that was the result of 2 years of work and money. Its even more depressing to think that the USSF are telling us by thier actions that this is the BEST we have at this level.

          • Breakers fan

            I don’t know what you did in relation to this game but people here absolutely did what I said in relation to this game – summed it all up in one extremely negative word. That’s really all I heard about the game. It’s the common thing to do and it denotes one’s overall emotional reaction to what happened and that’s fine. It shows dissatisfaction, as it should. “We didn’t win, and we should have.” I agree but I then just break it the game down into about 300 parts; that’s how I watch and evaluate games – and by this game’s end I’m sure I’ll have a lot more on the negative side of the ledger than I do now. I’m really not picking out highlights – – I’m only 15 minutes in by the way – I’m just looking at each play as it happens and asking the question “was that a good or a bad play?” I’m getting some of both. I think that should be pointed out. I agree with a lot of what you said and I like how you got specific with describing Japan. That can be useful. I’m also not defending the coaching staff, in fact I criticized them. I too would try a new coach at this point, I think, – looking from the outside in.

          • #1Fan

            Fair enough. i tend to dismiss the emotional one word comments. I need a bit more to take it seriously. Im looking at this from a macro level. I dont care who they pick I really dont. As long as they are consistent with the goals that they state.

            I look at every one of these YNT players and say – what quality or skill makes her special.? is that skill rarely found or at a level that is elite?
            If i do that with that U-17 team, I dont come out with a long list of things that are consistent with how they SAY they want to play. Which of our players

            1. has great passing range and quality
            2. great dribbling skill
            3. Combines really well with team mates.

            You can make your own list. I think Sanchez is the outfield only player on our team who I would say has anything about her that I think is unique. The rest are all good, but I dont see qualities that make me say , i see huge upside here. Some look to have maxed out in my opinion.

          • Breakers fan

            Well-said. The next question is: Do special players exist here and now in our country who aren’t being chosen at this age level? There’s no natural law that says they do at all times in the U.S. It’s not a guarantee that they exist. One could say “they should, with the # of girls playing and amount of money that goes into the sport” but …do they? I really liked that girl the guest brought to our attention a few weeks ago – the PA player – she to me is special. Cant’ believe she isn’t being given more of a shot. But are there more? If they aren’t out there then we have who we have.
            So far I like this left back, Izzy Rodriguez as a solid player. Do you know if she has committed to any university yet?

          • #1Fan


            She is only playing becasue his first choice got destroyed vs Ghana. A converted winger – Wiesner.

            Ohio State.

          • Breakers fan

            Know that that is based on 15 minutes of observation, I need to see her more. Opinion is subject to change. Thanks for the Ohio State news. How about the rest of my post – about who else is out in America, are there special players or players you think are being wrongly overlooked? Do you think that is a big problem for us? Are we ignoring a lot of excellent players?

          • #1Fan

            You may see this as avoiding your question, but I dont think we are currently producing players who excel at passing and more collective play. I think we do produce players who are good at running on to it and some who are good at running with it. I think passing especially out of pressure is a big weakness of ours.

            i dont think there are “a lot” of special players out there, but i dont think many of the ones we are selecting are special 🙂 If I go back to my criteria, I don’t see special speed or touch or vision. I dont see amazing finishing or heading or size. I dont see great man marking or organizational skills. Putting Sanchez aside, I think i could replace every player with another who is just as capable. Therein lies my confusion becasue the same kids are being selected which suggests either they see things I dont or they are not really looking to broaden horizons. its like a new player has to be 25pct demonstrably better or no change. My view would be if equal or close..let see, because i already kn now what these kids offer.

          • Breakers fan

            Basically you’re saying that in the US the coaching isn’t strong enough, consistent enough, starting at age 5 and up. But can the USSF do its work across this country at all those 1000s of locations? Of course it can’t. This comes back to soccer’s place in our culture, I think. It’s just not big enough, advanced enough, full of good enough coaches available to start with the serious work you’re referring to – everywhere, at all ages. Isn’t it as simple as that? It may never deeply change. Soccer may never be big enough for that to happen in any kind of dramatic way. I think it will move in that direction but it may not be at a level you and the other biggest, most passionate fans are happy with. Do you agree with that forecast?

            And as you’ve seen from many of my posts I agree with you that a lot more new previously-unseen players should be brought in. No question, in my mind. That’s from not knowing the field but I know how big the pool is and just assume that there are many other players they could rightfully check out.

          • #1Fan

            im not saying that. Im saying US coaching is short term goal oriented. Then the USSF come along and say – why are the players technically and tactically deficient when we get them? You dont need to be tactically or technically advanced to win games in Rec, Club or even HS soccer so why do we think that coaches should focus on that? I see kids playing at the highest level of Club soccer at u18 who cannot strike a ball properly. Its because they can still be effective in games WITHOUT basic skills.

          • Breakers fan

            That’s what I mean basically in saying “the coaching isn’t good enough”. Being ‘short-term goal-oriented” is not good. Not teaching a player to strike a ball properly is not good coaching.

            I guess what the focus should turn to is: What can be done – by the USSF to effect the kind of changes you, I, we would like to see? How does the USSF reach the Peoria or Bangor youth scene? Or is that not the right kind of question to ask? How do we change the place soccer has in our overall American culture so that more coaches emerge to teach technical play from the get-go? Is it realistic to think that this will happen to a big enough degree that we will notice a change in the next 10 years?

          • Steglitz49

            Good grief! The interchanges of you two come across like mental masturbation.

            Had either of you a point to make that was worthy of consideration?

          • guest

            Just because you are not interested in the discussion, doesn’t mean that its not a worthwhile discussion. Those of us with younger children in the system are interested in discussions regarding the rapidly changing and evolving girl’s youth landscape. Please carry on…

          • Steglitz49

            Their interchange consisted of #1Fan revealing the massive chip on his shoulder and his grudge against the system. I am not sure what Breakers Fan contributed.

            One can argue till the cows come home about the role of soccer in the lives of (younger) girls but, obviously, as they get older and their skills develop playing changes from a passtime and just for fun to thoughts about college and scholarships and ultimately the relevant agegroup NT.

            As far as I can tell, parents spend anything from $3,000 to even $10,000 a year per daughter as their soccer grows. With such big sums, ultimately parents have to ask themselves if the level of skill justifies the costs and what are the returns on the investment. For families with a lot of the ever ready or grandparents or maiden aunts willing to chip in, it is not such an issue.

            As for selecting an NT U-something squad in a nation like the US with so many girls playing soccer and such vast distances, at some point the choice becomes arbitrary, a bit like getting a place at Harvard or Stanford. #1Fan does not seem to understand or accept that simple fact.

          • #1Fan

            your comments make it sound like its remoteness that is the issue. Its not. The coaches to teach the basics are there, but our society does not care. Alll they want to do is win today’s game.

            rarely do I hear anyone talk about a coach whose teams may not win a lot. A coach who may well instill great fundamentals at the cost of winning the game. One who plays all his players to allow them to improve. Instead the sidelines are full of parents complaining about why a weaker kid got any minutes at all because it cost us the game. Remember, parents foot the bill. You make them happy by winning games,. That’s ice cream on the way home and laughs, as opposed to unconformable silence.

            Im not sure what changes it. The foundations on which the game is built here are financial.

            If you get a chance , watch this one day


            I think it explains the differences I am alluding to. I diont see the US ever being like this, but the Game is not built on a foundation that lends itself to the sorts of players I love and admire. Basketball in the US certainly was.

          • Breakers fan

            Will check out that video – thanks, looks interesting!

            I think again we’re saying largely the same thing – that truly good coaching is not happening across the board as much as we would like it to, and that a big part of that is the American culture – attitudes about winning – the fact that not enough people (be it parents or coaches) know soccer well enough to make sure the things you’re talking about – teaching technical skills from an early age – are getting done. When I mention small towns I’m just talking about some kind of consistent approach towards the game and the limits of what a Federation may be able to influence. In other words, how much is the Federation to blame? Or is it down to 1000s of local scenarios.

            But about parents footing the bill – are the parents of kids who don’t get to play happy? I guess you just weed kids out that way. Don’t play ’em enough – because all you care about is winning the game – and they eventually drop the sport.

            What is the solution? How can things change? Or maybe it can’t, realistically in America in the foreseeable future, in any significant way?

          • #1Fan

            we may be, but coaching at some point is about developing skills to win a game. The issue in the US is what game ? the Rec game, the HS game , the Club game or eventually the WC final ? USSF say the WC final., but that excludes 99.999 pct of the players. Good coaches can do a great job without laboring fundamentals. They are there to create a positive environment for the kids, but as you transition up the ladder to elite soccer is where the problems start. Elite soccer in the US is $$$$ driven at a young age. Its open to pretty much anyone that can pay. Its not the best players. In every other country I have lived in Elite= the best players irrespective of $$. the numbers are whittled down a lot earlier.

            Strangely, some of them are. They would rather be on a winning team and complain about PT than be on a less successful one and play more. I lot of average kids get elevated in the eyes of some by being on winning teams. there are kids in the U-18 team now whose teams are good becasue they are deep. if I took some of these kids and put them on weaker teams, they would struggle mightily

            The proposed GDA is NOT free. In a country this size , there is no clear solution. There is no financial incentive for Clubs to produce players that are any better than the requirement to go to College,

          • Breakers fan

            Thanks for that – good stuff. Does the GDA or ECNL offer many scholarships to good players from poor families?

            Could be that things don’t significantly change in the U.S. for a long time. Such a big, unwieldy, widespread topic that it’s hard to measure on a macro scale. Each team is its own little universe, it seems to me.

          • #1Fan
          • Breakers fan

            I really agree with and like the thrust of Dorrance’s point of view expressed in that interview. This subject is not something for the adult principals to bicker about.

          • #1Fan

            Do adults bicker over money ? They you go then 🙂

          • Breakers fan

            Not being involved in that scene I don’t know what the main points of bickering are – you could say, perhaps – what are they? – but it sounds like it’s happening and Dorrance hates it. If it’s over “which is better – the GDA or the ECNL?” and Dorrance seemed to suggest that that is happening, then I would hope that could be eliminated for the kids’ sake.

          • #1Fan

            The bickering is over money. The ECNL stand to lose a lot of it if The GDA becomes the top tier.

          • Breakers fan

            Money from parents, correct? In other words, not from outside funding (if any exists in the first place from anywhere, I don’t know)?

          • #1Fan

            The ECNL is a money maker for many Clubs. Its allure is based on the perception that it is the top tier. If the GDA replace that you end up with 4x elite teams with 20 kids 80 checks. The ECL is a 7 x teams at 25 kids per..175 checks. Huge financial difference.

            ECNL is self regulated – no rules. GDA is USSF regulated- many rules. also the cost of upping coaching standards.
            The GDA will be far more expensive to run for the cubs and have much slimmer margins if any.

            The result is the ECNL constantly telling people in a not so subtle way that the GDA is not needed and will not succeed. The ECNL has now started to use HS soccer as a differentiator, suggesting its good for players ( LOL)

            Developing players is not the agenda. Money is

          • Steglitz49

            Basically #1Fan is revealing his pig ignorance.

            A country as big and populous as the US must have different structures from Iceland or the NL. #1Fan has not learnt to estimate let alone keep quite and only be thought a fool.

          • Breakers fan

            I will reiterate, as I’ve said before that especially after not doing great – as at the last WC – they should bring a lot of new players in just to get a look at them, much like the recent Full team shake-up – in terms of at least looking at a good number of different players – but from what you report, they’re not doing this. I definitely think they should be. If you don’t the “incumbents” can get too comfortable, complacent. They should be challenged by new, hungry incoming players. Sounds like that really isn’t happening – correct?

          • Breakers fan

            I also prefer, when people criticize a player or team, for them to try to be as specific as possible, and to offer a solution. One recurring fault, it seems to me, with the U.S. team in this game is too much impatience. That drive to get forward fast and now is excessive at times. The Japanese are more patient, willing to slowly build up. We know this. The US doesn’t always do this, just sometimes, and a bit too often.
            This concept should have been taught better to our team by its coaches – Snow et. al. I don’t always disagree with a long ball attempt – it’s one of the more effective ways to create a good chance if done well but the player making the long pass should really have a decent chance of success, should see a good opportunity when attempting it.

          • #1Fan

            I think you are missing a key point. Patience requires comfort in possession. If BJ Snow wants to play a possession style then he needs to pick possession players. If he wants to play a counter style, then he needs to pick players that suit that.

          • Breakers fan

            I agree about “comfort in possession”. But Snow’s had these girls for how long? 3 years? They’ve been within the system for how long?3-5 years? At age 13, 14, you can definitely teach “comfort in possession”, “patience” to some extent. If you preach that – “when you get the ball, let your body relax, don’t be in a rush necessarily, look around, calm down” – if the players had been hearing that everyday for the last 3 years they would be better at it. I blame the coaching staff for this. Many times our players are fine with this. I agree that some players are, at age 13, better at this and not as athletic as others. Seems they tend to choose the athletes, if one has to differentiate it into 2 types in a black and white kind of way. But they’re still young enough when they enter the system, I think, that good coaching can mold them significantly. So, like you, I blame the coaches for a lot of this. But I also get what you’re saying – that the notion of “types” of players is real to some extent too, and is something beyond the ability of coaches to alter as much as they would like. That notion – that at age 13 a player is set in her ways, that she will forever be ‘this’ or “that” – that’s up for debate and would vary from player to player.

          • #1Fan

            We see this very differently. Its on the coaches and Clubs that are with the kids the majority of the time. A NT coach picks players that HAVE the qualities he/she wants to use in their system. They are not there to reshape players.

            My criticism of Snow and other NT coaches is that its not clear form the players they pick repeatedly what they are trying to do. In my opinion, if you pick players who excel in open space, they you need to force transition and release them early. you need player who can cover ground in the CM positions, defend deep and then hit hard on the break. Those are not the same players you would pick to play a possession oriented game where pace and power may be less important than other qualities.

            i am not saying a players is typecast, simply that some players are inherently better at some things than others.

            The US soccer system, the HS and Club game is ALL responsible for the TYPES of player we produce. We emphasize competitive games pretty early here. As a result we glorify athletes early becasue they tend to have the biggest initial impact. We talk about who scored. Very little else. Its no surprise to me that we ten to produce players that reflect that culture. There is nothing wrong with it. I think its fanciful to think otherwise. England produce English “type” players. Brazil same. Sure there are outliers., but ia player is a function of the environment they are brought up in. In the USA that is usually the home, the HS and the Club they play for , not the NT.

          • Breakers fan

            Hold on – what I said is that it’s the coaches’ fault/responsibility – club or country – to teach the right things. I didn’t mean to exclude the local club coaches at all. Just saying that when they’re with the NT it’s then Snow and co.’s job. That he has had opportunity over many years to help mold young players to a significant extent. We are totally in agreement about that. I said it 2 or 3 times “I blame the coaches for this”. I think you assume that I exonerate local coaches. I should have been clearer. I’m not giving them a pass either. The same idea holds on down the line. I’m just adding that over the last 3-5 years they’ve spent how many training sessions with Snow? Several 100s of hours – plenty of time to teach. I also wrote about “types” – “athletes” OR “technicians” and that they probably choose athletes first.I think we are saying many of the exact same things.
            As far as what they advertise to the public about “the type of game we want to play” – first, what ARE they saying about that? Sounds like it’s not clear, at least from the players they pick. That it’s too much, in your opinion, a mixture of “types”. That it should be more consistent one way or the other – call them athletes or technicians – based on “what style they want to play.” Hard to argue with that reasoning. I just don’t know these players as well as you do and who else is out there. How they would form a more cohesive unit. I don’t know the pool well enough to know what the smartest selections would be, but it sounds like that you feel you could put together a more cohesive until based on philosophy of play. I have no reason to doubt that you couldn’t but it’s just impossible for me to say “A, B and C should be out and D, E, and F should be in as I don’t know enough about the players.

          • #1Fan

            I dont put any of that on NT coaches. Remember that these kids spend a fraction of the time in NT camps relative to Clubs and the Club/ coach they play for may well emphasize totally different things. Often they dont even play the same position.

            They say they want to play a passing/possession style. Im interested if – i get its only one game – you see any real evidence of an attempt to play that?

          • Breakers fan

            I get what you’re saying and I agree – that a player is more molded by local than YNT time, but at the same time I do not totally exonerate the National Team coaches from all deficiencies we see, from all responsibility in helping shape a player. Are you saying that you think that, with the time they have had with them over the last several years, 100s of hours on the field, that they have had no opportunity to have any real effect on the players’ thinking, their games? No chance to sow the seeds of good habits, good approaches to playing, no ability to alter *anything* in a player? That a player is done and complete at age 13? How many hours would you say Snow has had with the players who have come to all the camps? How many hundred hours of time to work with them, coach them? I was improving at soccer well into my 20s. No way a player is “done” at age 13, 14, and Snow and co. have had a good amount of time to work with them, instill habits, notions, approaches, philosophies.

            I also know, however, that you feel strongly that the current coaches should be replaced. Why, if none of what we are seeing is their fault? That it’s impossible for them to help a player’s game at the point they receive her. Or is it all down to poor player selection – to explain your reason for why you think Snow should be replaced?

            Let me finish the game and I’ll get back to you. If they aren’t playing possession ENOUGH and I can almost assure you that is how I will feel at game’s end then I would first want to know if that really was their philosophy for THIS game. Maybe for Japan they had a different approach. I would want to be able to hear the pre-game discussions. Maybe the players are obeying what they were told. If not, whose fault is that? The players? Or the coaches for not being able to get the players to do as they say?

          • #1Fan

            A player is by no means done. Of course there are things that can be modified and worked on, but I dont really expect a NT coach to do much of that. They should be selecting players who already meet the major criteria they are looking to build their teams around. The big part of the 2 year process should be about finding those players., Minot digression, but its interesting to note that BJ Snow excluded Rachel Jones after 2 years of camps becasue she did not score enough. I can respect that, but why 2 years to find that out. And interestingly enough , she has not scored with the U-18s in a 5-0 and a 3-1 game either. Also worth noting that I heard she was the MoC at the Strikers camp. Simplistic, but it sounds like there is a big difference between scoring in games vs some manufactured camp, but I guess that si why she gets another 2 years !! Maybe she will start vs Eng on sat and score a hattrick and all will be forgotten

            You can see the impact he had from the performances. we lost to a team no one thought we would. That happens, but usually it is they took their chance and we missed several good ones. not in this game vs Ghana. We could not cope with a faster more physical team. We also go a closer result -3-2 – vs a slicker more technical team that to me, outplayed us badly. So to me, we failed at both ends of the spectrum whatever approaches were. Vs Japan, its clear they wanted to defend deep an hit on the break, but you need the players to do that. He played Kuhlmann up top who is a much bigger target type. Not a player i would want pressing CBs and then having the lungs to break on the counter. Not a threat in behind at all to me. A faster player there would have been a much better choice. Vs Ghana a run and gun game was always going to give Ghana a chance. Japan possessed, tired them out and picked them off 5-0. We could not posses effectively and every time we turned it over they pushed it on top of us and exposed out flanks. Our LB kept getting forward ( as a converted winger would) exposing huge gaps behind her.

            I blame Snow because after 2+ years of camps, his team looked ill prepared to handle the moment. He picked a group that was largely varying levels of the same player, instead of looking for players who could have come on and added something different. I blame him for not getting better performances from his team in 2 of 3 games when no expense was spared AND he was allowed to schedule events whenever he wanted.

          • Steglitz49

            Please! Can you type a bit less and say a lot more?

          • LM

            Watched this game again. Snow failed in his 2nd try and should be fired (but he won’t be). Most of the players he picked are not possession players. They are “big play” players that look great on a highlight reel but don’t do the little things right. They are not good in tight spaces and do not settle the ball well. This subtle but powerful ability is so undervalued in the our YNTs.

          • #1Fan

            You are spot on. There is no balance in his team. It’s all players who have made big plays vs average competition. There is no evidence that they can at the highest level

          • Breakers fan

            And it needs to be noted that the Japanese at times too make awful errors. They tend to be portrayed as saintly technicians and that of course isn’t always the case.

          • #1Fan

            I think you are way off on this one. You are looking at it very defensively and very black and white. EVERY player and team makes mistakes. Thats not what this is about. Its about what the USSF is saying we are trying to do versus what is actually happening on the field.

            The players that are being promoted as the best in class do not appear to have any form of Plan B.

            we were outplayed by a tactical team – Japan and out countered by a long ball team – Ghana. In both cases, we seemed to have no strategy when one was not working. Why ?

          • Breakers fan

            Please don’t extrapolate too much on things I say. When I say that Japan at times makes awful plays – that is all I meant. Nothing more. Just wanted to point that out and only that. I didn’t mean it to sum up “what this is all about”. It was an isolated, factual statement meant to say only what it was saying. That they’re not unfailing eternal soccer superheroes, in case anyone thinks they are. In other words, they have similarities to us when we make errors. Obvious to you maybe but it is part of the picture.

            You know better than I do all the internal stuff – about the USSF and what they’re saying. You may be right, probably are. I’m not keeping track of a lot of that. I’m just watching the game play by play. Let me finish the game and I’ll write more.

          • DNG

            I saw this the first time I watched but I was shocked how it seemed like every single U17 Japanese player has a better first touch and close control compared to every U17 US player. Japan was much better technically and tactically

            I think Japan pretty much controlled the tempo of that match from start to finish. The US hardly disrupted their possession at all and when they did finally get possession, they usually just gave the ball right back. In that way the look of this team is very different from the full team who can disrupt possession against any other team.

            I think I’m less worried about a plan B at this point than I am about a consistent plan A that the players are good at. I don’t understand how a team that was in camp for so long could look so lost in possession and have so few solutions to get the ball forward.

          • #1Fan

            Very hard to disagree with anything you said.

      • Steglitz49

        Glasgow was known as the “2nd City of the Empire”. It fell on hard times 50 years ago but has long since come out of its slump. Its Clockwork Orange rules OK. The Old Firm — the Celtic Rangers rivalry and all that. Celtics greatest player was a Swede: Henke Larsson, the chap that the 2006 men’s Champions League final is named after.

  • guest

    Flopbach has 18 months before this falls apart, especially considering she was never really married the first time, and lets be real, only did it for the publicity. Counting down the days for her inevitable relapse into her drug and alcohol addiction.

    • guest

      what do you mean she was never really married?

      • Lorehead

        Her wedding ceremony was technically held a few days before same-sex marriage became legal in Hawaii.

    • Lorehead

      Your animosity to her is bizarre.