2017 SheBelieves Cup preview

Dan Lauletta and Hannah Kronick March 1, 2017 342
Can the USWNT maintain a perfect record in the SheBelieves Cup?. (photo by US Soccer)

Can the USWNT maintain a perfect record in the SheBelieves Cup? (photo by US Soccer)

The second SheBelieves Cup kicks off Wednesday night at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Pennsylvania. A year ago the United States won all three matches in the highlight of a year that ended with Olympic disappointment. How will the 2017 tournament shake out? Dan Lauletta and Hannah Kronick discuss.

What is the top storyline for the USWNT heading into this year’s tournament?

Dan: Following the Olympics, Jill Ellis said she wanted to shake things up with the team. The idea was roundly embraced but did anyone really expect it would mean Allie Long playing in the middle of a three-back? But that’s exactly how the team looked for much of the fall, and there is no reason to believe Ellis will abandon the experiment before seeing it in action against three of the top sides in the world. To me that is the number one thing to watch. It’s not only that Long is an unusual, if possibly adequate, choice to play the centermost defensive role, but there is a deeper question about whether the midfield loses too much with Long not in it. All three opponents are not only good, they are in the final stages of preparation ahead of this summer’s Euros, so this should be a very stiff test for the U.S. however they line up.

{ALSO SEE: Meet Joanna Lohman, most interesting player in NWSL}

Hannah:  For me, I think the top storyline is Ellis’ embrace and inclusion of youth on her roster against some of the world’s best. Of particular interest to me are Mallory Pugh, Rose Lavelle, Brianna Pinto, and Jane Campbell. We know Pugh can hold her own and even excel at the highest level, but coming off an injury and returning to the roster for the first time since the Olympics will be a test for her without a doubt. There’s been a lot of hype around Lavelle in recent months after she was drafted No. 1 overall and just signed by the Breakers on Monday. I am excited to see if Ellis gives her time in the midfield and if she might be able to fill that gap that Allie Long could be leaving. On the goalkeeper front, I am definitely excited to see Jane Campbell in action. With the race for the starting spot in full motion, I am intrigued to see if Ellis gives her a chance. Last but certainly not least, it will be interesting to see how Ellis uses 16-year old Pinto. She has called her inclusion on the roster “a massive investment,” so I am fascinated to see what role (if any) she plays in these matches. To Dan’s earlier point, Ellis wanted a shake up and I think we are seeing it. Primarily with Allie Long’s new position, but also with the inclusion of youth on this team that historically has seen an average roster age that is older than its competition.

What is another storyline to watch for the USWNT?

Hannah:  Another storyline for me relates to Lloyd, Morgan and Dunn’s recent moves to Europe. Although I think it’s a little early to tell what role their new club experiences outside of the NWSL are really going to play in their development, I am intrigued to see if there will be any key parts of their game through which we will be able to see hints of their new training styles and environments. Through signing with Manchester City, Lyon, and Chelsea respectively, the goal is to better themselves as players and better their game, something they didn’t think staying with their NWSL teams would do (even for the first few months of the season). So, for that reason, I am interested to see if there’s anything to unfold there, although it very well might be too early to tell.

Ashlyn Harris, above, is locked in a battle for playing time against fellow USWNT keeper Alyssa Naeher (Photo Copyright Erica McCalley for The Equalizer)

Ashlyn Harris, above, is locked in a battle for playing time against fellow USWNT keeper Alyssa Naeher (Photo Copyright Erica McCalley for The Equalizer)

Dan:  I’ll go back to the goalkeeping. At this time a year ago, Hope Solo was so firmly entrenched as the team’s first choice keeper that Ellis took both Harris and Naeher but neither one left the bench. This year they are locked in a tense battle to see if either can emerge as the leading candidate to get the nod two years from now in France. I’m not yet convinced it will be either one of them, but right now they’re the top two and I really can’t remember a time when the keeper spot was literally up for grabs. I don’t see Campbell getting any time, but for a young keeper just about to embark on a pro career just being in with the team should be beneficial.

How important is it for the U.S. to lift the trophy again?

Hannah:  Very important. This is the first opportunity that the USWNT will have to really show their return to the highest level of competition after the Olympics heartbreak in their biggest tournament of the year. Although the USWNT is usually synonymous with being the best in the world, they failed to show that this summer on one of the largest stages. It will be important for them to win the tournament, with quality play, to show progress since last summer. In addition, it’s important to see a U.S. trophy lift so that we can continue to strengthen the national women’s soccer narrative that is so present right now on the heels of the Lifetime NWSL TV deal and ahead of the start of the NWSL’s fifth season. It would be remiss to deny that the USWNT heavily influences the league and its popularity. This would be the perfect time for a rejuvenation of the USWNT story within the domestic women’s soccer narrative just ahead of the start of the NWSL season at a time where there’s a bit of doubt cast on the NWSL with the continued path some players are making to Europe.

{RELATED: All four SheBelieves Cup rosters announced}

Dan: Wow. I’ll take a hard stance against Hannah on this one. While I generally agree that a better USWNT will equate to a more popular NWSL, I’m not sure this tournament does the trick. And frankly, I’m not sure of putting that expectation on the team is best for development. If we’re making “a massive investment” in Brianna Pinto then it is unfair to throw her straight into a must-win cauldron against three of the best national teams on the planet. Furthermore it is important to put all of the teams in context. The U.S. is in a transitional period at the start of a competitive cycle. The other three are trying their best to iron out some rough edges ahead of the EUROs. On face value, the U.S. should be the least sharp of the quartet. (To contradict myself, last year we assumed England would be ready to peak with no Olympics ahead, and they were a shell of their best selves.) Would it be nice for US Soccer if they can add another trophy to the collection? Yes. Is it best to bring new players along by coaching them to win every time? Yes, I believe that. But I can’t get behind the final result of this tournament carrying much weight.

What are some of the top story lines with the other three teams?

Dan:  Following up on my belief that the USWNT will be fine win or lose, I think France and England are the teams that should be placing a priority on lifting the trophy. In England’s case they are on an upward arc as a program and getting the best of teams who figure to be in their way if they are to keep rising up the food chain. France has long been considered among the most talented teams in the world but their lack of killer instinct is startling. Case in point was last year’s SheBelieves match against the United States when they dominated early only to fade out mentally and wound up losing 1-0 on a stoppage time goal by Alex Morgan. And that’s just one of several matches with a similar plotline. They have since hired Olivier Echouafni as head coach, and this will be the team’s first opportunity to show things will be different. France host the World Cup in two years. Mentally frail hosts have no chance.

{MORE: Amandine Henry hopes SheBelieves is start of new day for France}

Germany are also sporting a new coach, Steffi Jones. But unlike France, Jones was a handpicked successor to a successful boss, Sylvia Neid. Sure, Germany will be under pressure at the Euros where they are defending champions six times over, but the same time they’re riding the high of their first Olympic gold, are less than full strength due to a rash of injuries, and they’re not going to win every European Championship, right? So for me Germany has the least pressure among the four teams.

Hannah:  I will piggy back on what Dan has said above as I think that really hits the nail on the head with the three storylines for the other teams. I think England will have a strong mix of veteran players as well as youth and it will be interesting to see how they come together. They have been continuing to improve over the last two years, specifically since the 2015 World Cup, so it will be exciting to see how they fair against the already-established powerhouses that are USWNT, Germany and France. Echouafni and Jones both have opportunities to showcase their coaching styles upon assuming new roles as the French and German boss respectively. It will be interesting to see how and if France can get to a point where it’s really capitalizing on all its lethal scoring power that they have within their arsenal. As Dan mentioned, France, for as good as they are, can be a bit underwhelming sometimes. With the EUROs up ahead, I imagine they will be in firing mode. For Germany, it’s always a period of transition when a head coach steps down, but that’s made even more dramatic when you consider Sylvia Neid was at the helm of this team for 11 years. We will see how Jones corrals her talent and what her playing style is this week, I am sure.

What do you think of the tournament? How could it be better?

Hannah: I would like to see a more robust list of teams included in the tournament possibly including the likes of Canada, Australia, or a Sweden, especially for a SBC that is two years out of the next major international tournament. Although I do understand a longer, more competitive tournament would strain some European teams this year with the impending EUROs and that this would be tough to manage as a yearly competition especially in World Cup or Olympic years, it would be great to see it a bit more built out especially this year and next. Competitions like the Gold Cup or Copa America are great tournaments on the men’s side that allow for intense international competition outside of Olympic and World Cup cycles.

Dan: I agree. I would even go a step further and advocate for a team like Colombia or Costa Rica. As it stands the women’s game does not have enough meaningful, competitive matches outside the major tournament so it is a treat to see the U.S. invite three such outstanding teams to play in this tournament. But it still has a rich-get-richer feel to it. I’d like to see the tournament expand to eight teams and maybe—but not necessarily—include placement matches. That would allow it to maintain a high level of competition while also giving opportunities to some lesser sides to get quality matches and build their programs.

2017 SheBelieves Cup Schedule

Wednesday, March 1 (Talen Energy Stadium)
England vs France, 4 p.m. EST (foxsportsgo.com)
United States vs Germany, 7 p.m. EST (FS1, foxsoccer2go.com)

Saturday, March 4 (Red Bull Arena)
France vs Germany, 2:15 p.m. EST (foxsportsgo.com)
United States vs England, 5 p.m. EST (FOX, foxsoccer2go.com)

Tuesday, Match 7 (RFK Stadium)
Germany vs England, 4 p.m. EST (foxsportsgo.com)
United States vs France, 7 p.m. EST (Fs1, foxsoccer2go.com)

note that foxsoccer2go.com is a paid subscription service

  • Steven

    Tough to put a finger on the importance of winning the SBC this year. This is the biggest tournament of the year. So if the USWNT has a really poor showing on the heels of their worst ever finish ever at the olympics, coupled with no other opportunities to redeem themselves in the near future, there may be cause for concern ever specially in regads to Jill Ellis job security.

    • Giradel

      The so called tournament has a training camp character for 3 out of 4 participating teams. The German Team has not been together for months and the players take a short break from very important club matches

      • dw

        No different from our previous participation in Algarve, except USWNT has a heavier friendly schedule and historically the January camp, so we go in more match ready that other sides. In that light, Algarve and SBC are as much camps as they are must wins from the USWNT perspective. Ask Tom Sermanni.

        • Giradel

          Partially true. The SBS adds to being already match ready the advanatges of playing in front of a home crowds and playing against opponents who just arrived from a different time zone
          .
          So I guess, SBC is even more a must win than Algarve

          • dw

            Valid points, all.

    • #1Fan

      Can you have a poor showing and win or a good showing and lose ?

      • guest

        I thought the US played poorly last SBC, overall. Unfortunately that says even worse things about the state of woso around the world since they won. I fully expect to watch France play beautiful soccer and not score as usual.

      • Steglitz49

        The Bomb in Brasilia aka Miracle on Grass is your answer.

        • CED

          You do realize that your stupidity of calling winning on PK’s, technically a draw in the records a miracle is an indictment of how pathetic Sweden and how little you think of your own country. Of course you’re not smart enough to realize that. A top 6 teams beating another other is not a miracle. Of course your completely ignorant of the sport, so it’s expected.

          • Steglitz49

            Japan became World Champions in 2011 after a pso where the last round was not needed. Saki Kumagai at age 20 slammed the last nail into the US’s coffin.

            It was a WC achievement celebrated all over the world (except in one country, maybe) and compared with the classic 1954 final.

            The suits in Madison Ave made the WC-11 final into the Alex Morgan coming-out party, though in many ways the match belonged to Aya Miyama. Maybe Aya and Alex will share the fate of never being FIFA POTY. There are worse fates.

            Five years later, another team did the honors. The Bomb in Brasilia is mainly remembered for the awful referee crew. A low point in WoSo, worse than the OG-12 final. In that sense, the Miracle on Grass was doubly miraculous.

          • CED

            Complete blathering about nothing related to the topic.

      • Steven

        Absolutely you can especially in soccer

        • #1Fan

          I agree. The US has been dealing in poor showings and wins recently. I do wonder if the masses are ready for a good showing and a loss? I have my doubts

          • DNG

            Some fans(myself) would be perfectly happy with a strong showing and a loss with lots of experimentation and new players. Sadly I feel as if I am in the minority.

    • Rachel Chapman

      i agree

    • CED

      These are glorified friendlies. Nothing more!

  • nwslfan

    First off, great article! Second, I’m totally jazzed bc I will be at matches tonight. Agree w Dan that 3 back is huge story, esp with new GK and USA’s wunderkind holding mid out w ACL. If I were opponent, I would go right at center of back line with numbers and slip passes to exploit those opportunities. This will force other 2 CBs to tuck in to give help, and open space on outside. We’ll see how it plays out.

    • #1Fan

      For a country with so many Wunderkinds, the US should be a lot more exciting to watch

    • kernel_thai

      Good luck with the weather. Hope the weather people r wrong on their predictions.

      • nwslfan

        Forecast improving as day goes along. Fingers and toes crossed!

        • Breakers fan

          Enjoy!! Look forward to your report!

  • Mercury

    There is only one team who takes that cup really serious and therefore needs to win.

    For the Europeans it is a team building, European Championship prep camp.

    Germany rests several players and arrived on Monday after their players had matches on Sunday. They trained – jetlagged – the first time since months together yesterday. And I guess it was rather refreshing after the flight than serious training.

    Does anyone here really thinks Germany takes that cup serious in a way that their priority is on winning?

    The same can be said for France.

    Sorry Dan and Hannah, if you really expect high level competition you doesn’t seem to have any clue about the circumstances of that cup. The US will win which is good for the upcoming NWSL. But it will not tell much about the real strengths and whether or not we are moving in the right direction

    • MrTemecula

      I think the Germans have not beaten the U.S. since 2003 and would really like to get that monkey off their back. Winning the cup is not nearly important as regaining their championship aura.

  • dw

    A few questions:

    Do we think SBC results will effect CBA negotiations? In other words are the players playing for a whole lot more than the SBC trophy?

    Also, where the hell has the so-called WoSo media been during camp? Little to no coverage. Allegedly a game against a boys squad took place, but other than an aside from Ellis on the US Soccer site, nothing…

    • #1Fan

      I think in general the US WoSo media is starved of real info and hostage to whatever messaging the WNT want to put out. Real objective , hard hitting stuff is few and far between.

      I am very disappointed that no one has gone back, looked at the u-17 WC tape and formed an opinion about the merits of the Pinto selection. I cant believe they have not thought of doing it, so why has it not been done ?

      • dw

        They haven’t done WoSo wages earned by internationals in other countries or European club wage comparisons either. Seems like a no-brainer. The answer is that, even moreso than mainstream media, the so-called US WoSo media is a complete and utter fraud. It’s just a house propaganda machine, especially where NWSL and USWNT are concerned.

        • #1Fan

          I tend to agree. there seems to be an unwillingness to be critical. I can only guess there is a fear of repercussions because I think some of the journos are very good.

          On Twitter some of them are a lot more forthcoming

          • guest

            i’m sure we can rely on julie foudy to speak the truth.

      • nwslfan

        Is u-17 tape available or must one hope a bootleg version got onto YouTube long enough to download? Ditto for the crash and burn U-20 campaign. I feel like swiping at woso journalists when the data seems to be a state secret is a bit unfair.

        • dw

          Wouldn’t it fall to the media to provide coverage and data independent of USSF? Isn’t that the job of the media?? Like, their one job???

          • nwslfan

            You need access to the data. Most practice sessions are closed.

            Yes fully agree it would be great for journalists affiliated w broadcasts to run an analysis from their tapes, even if they don’t get access to the data boxes strapped to players. Most color commentators seem aware there is balance to criticism of national team. Fed doesn’t seem to appreciate and the journalists (often ex-players) want to keep their limited access. I would welcome it.

          • #1Fan

            Again , all these issues are the characteristics of a sport that no one really cares about. Harsh but true. i love the sport and I think it deserves more. for example above

            The U-18s traveled to England on February 15 for a three-game series that included Norway, who they defeated 5-0 on February 21, and closed out the series against England on Saturday.

            The U.S. was the better team for most of the match, outshooting England 12-8 and putting 7 shots on goal compared to England’s 6. However, England’s keeper came up big to make 7 saves to prevent the U.S. from getting on the board.

            so outshooting your opponent = better team ?

            Japan outshot the USA 29-3 while beating the Americans 1-0 in the third-place game at the U-20 Women’s World Cup in Papua New Guinea.

            Coach Michelle French’s team was outshot by each opponent besides New Zealand.

            SHOT COUNT (score):
            USA 3 JAPAN 29 (0-1)
            USA 7 North Korea 25 (1-2)
            USA 4 Mexico 15 (2-1)
            USA 8 Ghana 14 (1-1)
            USA 13 New Zealand 5 (3-1)
            USA 3 France 17 (0-0)

            U-17 were out shot 50-20 or so by Ghana and Japan combined.

            so between the two SIGNATURE youth events we outshot 2 of 10 opponents.

            but still we have almost EVERY player from these groups on every team from the U16s to the Full team..

          • nwslfan

            And French and Snow got fired via promotion to be assistants on full WNT, which is just nuts.

        • #1Fan

          the data is there. the games were on TV. No excuse for not taping or having them if that is your job.

          • nwslfan

            Wooahhh. I had no idea these journalists had the time or were paid enough to have no excuses. Sadly, I’ve been following some other pack of woso journalists who do this as a side gig bc they love woso and don’t get paid so much for their work. We could pester and petition more of the general sports journalists at larger media outlets like SI to do more, but I haven’t seen that level of analysis for the men’s team either, just a few remarks and mostly for debutante or newer players already turned pro. Again, I would welcome more and deeper analysis in woso, particularly the WNT.

          • Gary Diver

            I don’t think they were available outside the US. So why doesn’t USSF post the tapes on their site? Also, if you tape on PVR, it is not suppose to be permanent.

          • #1Fan

            not really debating that. Any US journo who wanted to see the tapes and form a view, could have. I bet many did. I have not read one word of it since Pinto was called in to the U-23s

          • kernel_thai

            Because FOX talent is involved. While I have no doubt USSoccer could get access to this video I doubt they could post it without paying FOX residual fees.

        • Breakers fan

          Are you asking if you can see the U17 World Cup games now on youtube? If you are then the answer is “yes” to at least the Japan game. Put “usvjp1” into the youtube search bar and it’ll come up. That’s the first half, the second half is there too with the number 2 at the end. Not sure about the other u17 games. Thanks to DNG for pointing this out originally.

      • Som Termanni

        A lot of woso media is also broso media, and MLS is sucking up all of their air this week.

        A lot of woso media is international, and a lot of that attention is split on the simultaneous Algarve Cup (which is easier for Euro-based journalists and has the full attention of Asia’s journalists for Japan, China, and Australia’s involvement) and Euro-prep friendlies. It also costs a lot of money to fly into the States, a process that’s increasingly fraught and gaining a reputation for being hostile to foreigners.

        A lot of independent US woso media is both straight-up poor and saving money for the NWSL season, which gets more expensive to cover on the road with each day that passes without a schedule, because airfares and hotel options climb in price.

        And frankly, the news is going to be what happens at and after the Cup, not the camp. Most of these players were already in the last set of camps. Outside of Pinto, nothing of note has happened to the rosters that hasn’t also happened in the last 3-6 months. The 3-back with Long is still there, and Ellis is justifying it with the same talking points about distribution and pressure. There’s no CBA news. Carli Lloyd’s agent handled plenty of separate media appearances with non-woso media to talk about her move to Man City.

        There’s nothing to talk about, literally nothing of note or value that hasn’t already been discussed. It’s an expensive thing for non-local journalists to attend just to hear the same crap from USSF and Ellis that they heard months ago.

        But I’ll bet you more people show up to a post-game presser if the US loses a match.

      • DNG

        I think that the journalists would be reluctant to criticize a 16 year old too harshly even if they had gone back to the tapes of the U17 tournament and came to the same conclusion as you and I. If she ends up playing and not doing well the criticism should really lie with Ellis anyhow. They also probably want to wait and see how thing turn out before making presenting strong opinion

    • Breakers fan

      First question is a great one. I guess the thinking would be “we’re worthy of getting close to the CBA we want, look at these results, We will bring in a lot of fans.” If that’s the case but management would benefit from a not-so-good result — for whatever reason — then they could field the pitch accordingly, hypothetically. What a weird tension that would be, though I tend to doubt that that is the dynamic at work. Not sure both a) if the result would alter negotiations and b) if Ellis has a horse in the CBA race.

      • #1Fan

        Why has the USSF not given notice to terminate already? that would be my question.

        • Breakers fan

          Terminate Ellis?

          • #1Fan

            Terminate existing CBA

          • kernel_thai

            He He well that too : )

        • CED

          It serves no purpose for USSF, other than bad publicity and letting the WNT be able to complain. USSF currently gets to keep the current terms of the last agreement. USSF is willingto give increases, but not the delusional demands of WNT The WNT are supposedly so wronged, you should be asking why haven’t they terminated.

          • #1Fan

            I think they have not becasue it suits current players to be protected. Im looking at it from a player selection PoV not necessarily the $$ only.

      • dw

        I am a conspiracy theorist, but even I wouldn’t suggest USSF would somehow be inclined to tank matches to affect the CBA negotiations. Let the best XI play all 3 games and play their hardest. How much is the WNT position buoyed by 3 big wins? What if the Germans rout USWNT and we go 1-1-1 or worse?

        • Breakers fan

          Thanks for your honesty. As I said I too don’t think that will happen. I can’t answer your question – whether how we do will have any effect whatsoever on the negotiations. CED thinks they will not and until an argument is presented that they will I will take his view of this. What would the argument be if we do poorly in terms of specific CBA requests the players are making? — and we don’t even know what exactly the players are fighting for.

    • CED

      SBC will have no effect on CBA negotiations. These are glorified friendlies. USSF is not altering their stance on issues based on it.

      • dw

        USSF is only one party in the CBA negotiations. Don’t tell me that USWNT wouldn’t use big ticket sales, TV numbers, and and 3-0-0 result in SBC to increase their leverage.

        • CED

          LOL..You’re as delusional as the USWNT. The WNT whole case was based on outlier year. They WNT will barely be in the black for the FY ending March 31st 2017.

          • dw

            Using your arguments the CBA should already be completed unilaterally. BUT, that’s not how it works, really. I’m not even on the WNT side, but you’d have to be delusional to think that the 3 biggest matches of the year for WNT would have no effect on the CBA negotiations. FY18 will likely be a loss as well, so do we expect the lockout next week?

          • CED

            You don’t get it and your statements show it. You’re a fabgirl clearly that can;t see WNT has no leverage. You’re being as foolish as the WNT, who tried their BS campaign of lies, distortions, etc…. USSF is making the negotiations on facts, the WNT entire tactic was to depend on emotion and appeal to people with your logic. They failed in that with their initial threats of an illegal strike and they got their heads handed to them in court in every instance. USSF is not influenced by people with your emotions based logic b/c it’s not cogent. USSF is basing their negotiations on numbers. They know and any person who read all the financial reports knows the WNT numbers are poor and at best are tenuous in a good year where they lose just a few million. Even with winning they have lost money all but 1 yr. The profit they claimed was projected for the last FY was a lie from the start. They purposely neglected over 4M in expenses,. Then even taking away the 4M they neglected in expenses, the fact they didn’t win OG killed all the rosy projections even more.

          • dw

            Listen, clown; I acutally hope WNT loses in the negotiations, and the program is no longer held hostage by a cadre of veterans. But if you listen to your diatribe, why haven’t WNT been locked out if they are bleeding cash? Why isn’t the CBA done if WNT has zero leverage? The simple answer is that your premises are INCORRECT. If you were in any way right, the previous/current CBA would be a thing of the past, and some or most of us here would be happy about it. But “little” leverage is not the same thing as “no” leverage, and so it drags on. All the WNT arguments have been weak and hollow, and yet, still, it drags on… All WNT has left are its plays at public opinion, which depending on your point of view, have a varying degree of value. And to reiterate, if it had no value, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. So in the court of public opinion, like it or not, SBC may do some differentiating between “overpaid and overhyped and overentitled” and “the people’s team, deserving of some consideration at the bargaining table.” In my opinion, SBC is where it can all fall to pieces for WNT with a result less than victory. Victory may have no factor in terms of their overall success, but defeat might be the deciding factor in their failure.

          • CED

            You really can’t be that ignorant to not know it makes no sense for uSSF to lock out. Actually you clearly are that stupid to not no why! The WNT won’t strike b/c even they aren’t that stupid even though they have been delusional and done everything wrong they could have on the negotiations tarting Dec 2015.

            FOR THE 1000TH TIME THE PUBLIC OPINION BS STRATEGY THE WNT TRIED FROM THE START FAILED, IT WAS ALL WAYS A LOSING STRATEGY!

            Whether they win or lose glorified friendlies is irrelevant to the CBA. The fact you don’t realize that shows you have no understanding of the issue. USSF is not basing their stance on it and WNT aren’t even that stupid and they have shown to be not very bright on their positions The only thing that matters is the numbers and 3 glorified friendlies don’t effect that .

  • kernel_thai

    First this isn’t a developmental roster. The only young players who likely get meaningful minutes, Williams and Short, r only getting them do to injury. If Morgan is healthy Williams becomes a 10-15 minute player. If Klingenberg were here Short becomes a sub as well. As for the others, the best chance of seeing Lavelle, who deserves a cap, and Pinto who doesn’t is a blowout which I don’t expect unless the 3back explodes in Ellis face.

    Second, the US should be less concerned about winning and more concerned about developing pool players and refining their style of play. These games should have been treated exactly the Switzerland and Romania with the same cast of potential players given meaningful time against quality in a sink or swim scenario. Same thing for the 3 back. Run it for three matches against the best, then make a decision. Switch the personnel around in the back and see if other combinations make it work. For the US who has nothing important tis the end of 2018, this is development time and formation time. Instead Ellis has her WC 2019 line-up with a couple young players nailed to the bench for show.

    • #1Fan

      which is consistent with the way they run EVERY team from u15 on up

    • #1Fan

      I was initially very bullish that Pinto would play. I could see no reason for picking her if not to play. Not so sure now as Ellis seems to be hedging that. Im trying to understand why she would be there to NOT play

      • Breakers fan

        We’ll see if she plays but if she doesn’t or just does for a few minutes at the end of a decided game then I think the call would have happened just to give her that excitement of being there on the sidelines and bench during games. To let her see that up close and personal and know that she was chosen over others. Not all that much perhaps but more than nothing and indicates to her that they are investing in me, they believe in me.

        • kernel_thai

          If there r minutes to be had in the midfield Id rather see them go to Lavelle.

          • Breakers fan

            Agree. With 270 minutes and 2 CMs, so 540 minutes total available where Pinto could reasonably play, we’ll see how those 540 minutes get alotted.

          • kernel_thai

            Unless Lloyd gets pushed up top u can deduct 270 for her.

          • Breakers fan

            I predict Lloyd plays closer to 210 than 270,. I think there will be at least 1 half out of 6 that she sits out.

          • kernel_thai

            Last year she played the full 270

          • Breakers fan

            But since then haven’t there been times (halves) when she hasn’t played? I feel like a slight shift has, is occurring. Seems like her minutes-played is on somewhat of a downward trajectory, albeit a low-grade downward one. We shall see.

          • #1Fan

            Maybe Man City now have a say

          • Breakers fan

            And Lyon and Chelsea. Doubt it, however, but worth considering.

          • #1Fan

            Lyon already piped up RE Morgan

          • Breakers fan

            What did they say?She’s been injured to some extent, so maybe they have more reason to do so.

          • #1Fan

            they seemed to suggest 25min outings only for her . Unless I misread

          • kernel_thai

            Or at least against Germany. I don’t blame Lyon at all. If Morgan is hobbling they need to protect their investment.

          • kernel_thai

            Not really against good teams. She generally get halves off against the TCs

          • Breakers fan

            Thanks. We’ll see,. I stand by my prediction. Could involve to some extent the CBA stuff, don’t know- an attempt to not let the vets get toooo comfortable.

          • kernel_thai

            I predict if u see Lloyd on the bench it means the US isn’t winning the tournament and Ellis is playing the kids to try and salvage something. a) she should be doing that anyway and b) I wouldn’t be stunned to see the US finish with 2 losses and a draw.

          • DNG

            Maybe Ellis has finally decide she is going to start a lineup on merit and Lloyd will be benched. I won’t have any issues with 3 USWNT losses if they show commitment to playing in a consistent style with new players getting time.

          • Ethan

            I wouldn’t be surprised if Lloyd ended up playing all the available minutes, but any player in the “4” band of the 3-4-3 is not going to feel great after 270 minutes in the span of a week. Then again, Lloyd is all about those ice baths.

          • #1Fan

            Ellis had made it very clear about the specialist 6 though , so I dont see them competing for minutes. Unless of course I missed the part where Ellis threw Lavelle in there as an option for the #6

          • kernel_thai

            Well we still don’t know the formation. If it’s still 3-4-3 and Lloyd isn’t at Forward u can expect her to eat half the CM minutes. That leaves Brian, Horan, Mewis, Lavelle & Pinto competing for the rest.

        • #1Fan

          I dont see what purpose that serves. I dont understand this whole investing BS. Play well, get selected. Its that simple.

          • Breakers fan

            we’ve reached a point where only Ellis can answer your questions.

          • #1Fan

            She already has. She has a long term investment strategy that involves access to the Full team for the chosen ones. I would buy it IF her regime had a track record of finding young talent and being successful with it. to date , they dont, this is ALL on trust.

            If she had , we would not be vaulting pretty much an entire generation of CMs for a 16 yr old

          • DNG

            And what’s worse is that this generation of CMs has, to this point, proven more capable than the U17 player that was selected. I can’t imagine the frustration of players like DiBernardo and Colaprico following this selection.

          • Breakers fan

            All I can say is that I will be rooting for Pinto to do well. She is a “pawn” in all this. She shouldn’t feel any guilt or shame. She’s just playing the game and responding to circumstances she has been put into. I root for every player on our team to do well and she will be no exception.

          • #1Fan

            Im sure you will. On a personal level, so will I . On a Macro level, Im rooting for a process that rewards performances in ALL areas . A process that is designed to put out the best teams for the major events and a coaching staff that treats players transparently and fairly. Where players know what is expected of them and have a real belief that IF they perform, they will have a real chance at the NT. I feel this way ONLY because it is for many the ONLY way they can continue to play the game they love and have made so many sacrifices for

          • Breakers fan

            Valid points.

            I know it’s a small sample size and that many other events – 4 years of college, NWSL seasons – have occurred and are quite worthy of being valued, and that it still probably doesn’t justify the decision, etc,, etc, but……I still would love to see Pinto’s training sessions vs. those of players who haven’t been given a chance on the field yet or a small chance – Colaprico, Killion, now Ohai, just to see if there is some very clear difference among them. I just want to see what they have seen during the times when she has risen. Don’t extrapolate from that, I would just like to see those sessions.

          • #1Fan

            Can I ask why the training sessions supersede what she did with other so called top end talent at the WC ? And also what exactly did she do at the WC to earn the chance ?

            What i love about the mens is usually a string of Club performances earn a player a look. What they do in real games is what normally gets them in the door

          • Breakers fan

            All of that was covered in my other comments in the post. I’m not saying it SHOULD supersede just that it evidently helped her so i’d like to see it, and the sessions of the others who haven’t fared so well. it would just be pieces of the puzzle we currently don’t have access to. Won’t happen of course, so it’s a pipe dream.

          • #1Fan

            Personally i see it as irrelevant. The only relevant thing to me is HOW did she get the opportunity off her performances to date. Thats the crux of NT and YNT selection to me.

            it about how you select a player off that performance relative to NWSL players who have a body of success at the Pro level vs many of the players you are selecting AND playing against iin the next week.

            I would have to have seen something that was obvious to a blind man in the WC to put her on a U23 roster. The fact that I didn’t see it AND have not met ONE person who does including some very well regarded coaches, scares me. It makes me wonder how the heck we are deciding who even gets a chance . it devalues NWSL further, it devalues College. it even devalues the WC.

            Take a Gibbons for example. Is she not available? Its against a backdrop of things like this that make me have total sympathy for players walking away.

            I have nothing against Pinto, I just dont understand the original basis for her being on the U23 team

          • Breakers fan

            The thing about you not hearing from anyone inside the system who has seen her a good deal being enthusiastic about Pinto is worrisome to some extent, assuming none have an agenda against her.

          • #1Fan

            why would they? you have it the wrong way around. The people INSIDE have an agenda FOR players. Those on the outside wonder why

          • Breakers fan

            This also depends on how you evaluate her WC performance. I don’t have an opinion yet but maybe she wasn’t nearly as bad as she is portrayed here as being. I do not know. I am watching her now to try to form my opinion about how she did in those 3 — out of all her YNT games to date – games.

          • #1Fan

            how long have you been watching? Point is if you have not seen something yet that has made you stop and sway wow..then ….If you have, pls tell me what minute so I can go and see.

            We are talking about a player who is one of the youngest IN HISTORY to get on the roster. It should be blindingly obvious what she has to you after 20 mins.

          • Breakers fan

            I’ll get back to you – still early on – she’s had about 5-7 touches so far, I really hope to see all 7 games before forming any kind of opinion I can feel good about. I hear you on the wowing aspect vis-a-vis her age and being at SBC. I’m not going to get too overwrought about all of this – it’s out of my hands. I’ll be patient with her. And we don’t know for sure what her history will be with the full team. We may think we know but we really don’t, despite this sign.

          • #1Fan

            Her history is not the point. She could have the same history and NOT be on the roster now. The fact that you are prepared to be patient should force you to say

            Why is Ellis not prepared to be? Her YNT staff did not clamor for her to be on the U-20 team in the WC did they ? If they did, whya was she not? Its no like we were bossing it at CM there either.

            The more I ponder on it , the more knee jerk and stupid it looks.

          • Breakers fan

            I don’t pretend to understand this and I’m not justifying it. I would have done the same as you. But for me watching soccer is a joyful thing in my life. We don’t see our team that often. When I do I want it to be fun, pleasurable. Not that I will deny disappointment if that is what I see but during the game I wipe out all the background stuff and watch what is in front of me and hope for the best from everyone, that’s the way I approach it. You have a horse in the race so I understand how your passion is on different levels and I respect that.

          • #1Fan

            we all have horse in the race.

            ITS OUR TEAM

            we should never forget that. The folks involved seem to ..often

          • Breakers fan

            I know and I agree, Just not sure how i can influence these decisions. Thus my surrender and turn towards making the best of what I see in front of me. The players, Pinto herself, isn’t deserving of my wrath, so I won’t put that energy into my living room when I see her.

          • #1Fan

            In the old days, this selection policy worked because others could not compete. Since then an example

            Just look at the transformation of France into a women’s soccer force in the last few years. Beginning with the opening of its national training center for girls at Clairefontaine in 1998 – and aided by the growing national acceptance of women playing what has traditionally been seen as a man’s sport – the French have put a huge amount of work into their development of female players. It’s paid off. In the past five years, they’ve won the U17 Women’s World Cup and the U19 Women’s Euro.

            We have never won it.

            My wrath is at those who are making the decisions and their bases for doing so

          • Ethan

            Breakersfan didn’t say they supersede what Pinto did at the U17 WC. From a historical perspective, Ellis seems to put quite a bit of weight on performance in training. So it’s reasonable to want to see at least a part of the practices to determine to what degree we agree/disagree with Ellis’ assessment of player performance.

      • kernel_thai

        Honestly, I can see no reason to put a player than young on the pitch if she isn’t starting. At least Pugh justified her choice last season. Now I do get the advantage for Pinto practicing with the team but if that’s all it is they would be better off doing that at friendlies not their only tourney of the year.

        • #1Fan

          They could in theory bring her and others in to practice to play in scrimmages and evaluate any time no?

          I feel that a player that young needs to be wowing fiolks almost every time she plays – especially against some of the teams I have seen her play against.

          http://www.eliteclubsnationalleague.com/mid-atlantic-conference-standings-2/

          • kernel_thai

            They did that with Pugh. Basically they can do what they want.

          • kernel_thai

            If Pinto had handled the Ghana pressure and physicality better, I might be more inclined to this but she didn’t and that exactly what she’ll see at this level. It’s Ellis bizarro world.

          • Breakers fan

            Will check but do you know if that Ghana game is on youtube?

          • kernel_thai

            Nope, don’t know…I watched it live and that was enough for me.

          • #1Fan

            Agreed. 10000000pct . That is another part of it. We got massacred in the middle of the park by Japan and we got bypassed by Ghana. She had no influence on either game.

          • kernel_thai

            Which somehow gets u on the NT.

          • Breakers fan

            The only people she has to best really are those in the pool at her position within the program. The coaching staff at that position are only comparing the players within it. She just has to impress them more than the others at that position do, but she has the advantage of them saying “she’s doing this at 16, how do we project that 3,4,5, 6 years down the road?” that the others don’t have. It doesnt’ necessarily have to be, in my opinion, a continuous wowing.

          • Ethan

            “… she has the advantage of them saying “she’s doing this at 16, how do we project that 3,4,5, 6 years down the road?” that the others don’t have.”

            Completely agreed there. I mean, players like Killion and Colaprico [and DiBernardo (although she’s not a “6” in my idea of that role, potentially a “6” in Ellis’ eyes though)] still haven’t hit the stereotypical prime age for outfield players (i.e. 27), but they’re not exactly young either. The thought may well be that they’ve hit their top level, and maybe Ellis doesn’t see that level as good enough.

          • Breakers fan

            We’re to some extent giving Ellis the benefit of the doubt here – that this isn’t above all a PR move for the program as a whole – and that she really is seeing differences between these players. My main thing with Pinto for now is to see what I can of her from prior games – I know of 7 that are on youtube – the 2 NTC Tournaments held in California in February of 2015 and 2016 and the Japan WC game – and beyond that try to be patient with her withhold instant judgment. Even if she gets 20 minutes in this tournament and makes a bad play or two I’m not going to assume she’s forever bad, as we know that every player on our team has done that and more. I’ll try and get a sense of what kind of player she is but odds are that the amount of “data” we will get will be small – and that’s why the 7 youtube games – close to 600 minutes of action is for now the best way to get a sense of her game.

          • #1Fan

            i think you know my judgement is FAR from instant. Do your research as you should. but playing well for 20 mins in this event (if she does) is also irrelevant. My question is how do you EARN your spot ? the WC performances should carry massive weight. Clearly they dont OR Ellis is telling you that EVERY other CM from 16-23 is rubbish

          • Breakers fan

            I’m just trying to move forward. What’s done has been done. We don’t control any of this, obviously. I’m a fan, that’s it. My opinions don’t matter even if they’re legitimate. I want to see new players in our country and I hope they do well. I agree with your thoughts but I’m moving on, knowing others make these decisions. For me, now, I see a young player they’re apparently enthused about. I will watch her play if she does play. I won’t even form an opinion about her, or just the smallest of ones. All the background stuff I agree with you about but it’s just out of my hands. I’m dealing with what is in front of me only now and trying to be positive.That’s it for me.

          • #1Fan

            well just remember that things like this will have an impact on the pipeline of player you see going forward. If selection is not justifiable then… This is the very closed shop CBA mentality that puts us in this spot to begin with. I have NEVER heard of a NT talking about INVESTING in a player. Clubs invest in players. NTs pick them based on current form. On the WNT, the USSF invest in players FOREVER and if they pick the wrong ones …tough you are saddled with them . Heck its not like you can even say , that one did not work out , but I see WHY they picked her.

            I hope Pinto plays well, even though the system is idiotic . becasue if she does not, I fear for the potential impact on her development going forward. 16 yr olds play for Nts when its an absolute NO BRAINIER. they dont when it highly debatable.

          • #1Fan

            i remember a kid called Emina Ekic was the star of the NTC Invitational. Touted to be a fixture on teh U17 WC team

            M Emina Ekic, Javanon SC – Ekic was the pleasant surprise of the NTC Invitational. In a roster full of top recruits, Ekic, the Louisville commitment, shined the brightest for long stretches of the event. Neither Canada nor Japan could figure out ways to stop her with one defender, and she was sharp enough to recognize when the defense sent two defenders at her. Ekic is great with the ball and clearly has spent a lot of time working on dribbling with both feet in tight spaces. The quality is there for her to lock down a spot with this squad..

            Did ntt make the roster and has not been picked since Dec 2015

          • Breakers fan

            I remember Ekic from that tournament! And have wondered what happened to her since. She was good in that tourney. Not sure exactly how good, but definitely good. Sounds like it’s a mystery and a wrongdoing what’s happened since.. Often you can work backwards and figure it out -my guess is the usual explanation – they;ve gone for more speed up front? Would that be accurate judging from who they *have* brought into camp since then? She lasted on the team for 10 months after that 2015 NTC, seeing how it was in February.
            How do the players they’ve called in since she was dropped contrast to her in the most obvious ways? Just trying to figure out their thinking and what they value.

          • #1Fan

            you cant. I bet she has no idea why she was dropped either. Thats my point.

          • Breakers fan

            Who has taken her place since then,do you know?

          • #1Fan

            hard to say …but you could argue it was Adrienne Richardson

          • #1Fan

            so why is Lloyd still playing ?

          • Ethan

            First, I don’t think Ellis sees Lloyd as a “6”. The relevant comparison is Pinto vs Killion, Colaprico, etc.

            Second, Ellis sees Lloyd’s level as good enough.

          • #1Fan

            i mean playing at 34 . Killion is in no way past her prime or NOT a viable option for years to come.

          • Ethan

            I was trying to subtly criticize Ellis with the comment about the potential other CMs not being at their prime yet since I agreed with Breakersfan that Pinto only being 16 probably worked in her favor.

            I’m saying that maybe Ellis thinks Killion, Colarpico, DiBernardo, and co have reached their ceiling even if they haven’t gotten to the prime age you see most people give, and she doesn’t think that ceiling is good enough. So she hasn’t given any of them game time and chose a 16 year old over Killion for this roster. However, even though she likely believes that Lloyd won’t get better, Ellis seems to see Lloyd’s level as still good enough. So Lloyd has still gotten a lot of game time.

          • #1Fan

            mixed response. If we are projecting, is she saying that Lloyd will still have it in 2019?

          • Ethan

            If Lloyd plays a lot of minutes over these next three matches, maybe she is.

          • #1Fan

            ok ..so thats fine, but by that logic, how can you exclude 24 yr old. So Ellis is saying that she thinks Pinto is better ? or that she has more potential.? no idea how she gets to that position.

          • Ethan

            Well, you’re excluding the 24 year old because you don’t think she’s better and she won’t be better than the similarly aged players you already have and you think Pinto has more potential and will be better than the 24 year old in the future.

          • #1Fan

            someone must have on hell of a crystal ball becasue Killion among others is a lot better now. so you are factoring in a pretty big improvement for Pinto to get to that level, let alone pass it . if I puit Killion or Colaprico on the U-17s they are a better team immediately

          • #1Fan

            Killion was the #2 pick in the draft.

          • Ethan

            Killion and others are a lot better, and I’m pretty annoyed that Pinto is on the roster and Killion’s not. I’m just trying to understand Ellis’ thinking, and I thought Breakersfan made a great point about how Pinto’s age is in her favor. I don’t agree with such a philosophy though, and you’re right that such thinking is factoring in a considerable improvement.

          • CED

            There is no logic in what Ellis does. She is hopelessly clueless. She be blind luck found a temporary patchwork solution to a problem she actually created and had no clue how to fix it for the year running up to the Wcup. She still has no clue so keeps trying to use the patchwork, duct tape solution which is a disaster, but is not exploited against poor teams. The thing is most of the teams they play yearly are poor so the low info casual fans sees them crush bad teams and is thus mystified by the OG performance.

          • kernel_thai

            I went thru this crap last year with Horan. Horan was brought in as the next big thing and handed a starting position at a position she didn’t play based on the Ellis Square Pegs theory. How has it gone? Now Horan is young and may still be a star on this team if her body holds up but instead of learning from that Ellis just moves on to the next one. When will her reign of terror end? : )

          • Ethan

            Yeah, Horan hasn’t matched the high of that Trinidad and Tobago performance since. (Although she seemed to have some good performances in the NWSL. I don’t watch the Thorns though.)

            We’ll have to wait and see.

          • DNG

            Horan is a very solid player…. but she’s not a 6 or even an 8. She needs to be closer to goal where she can take more chances and isn’t relied on to set the tempo of the team. She just doesn’t have that escape touch away from pressure that is needed playing as a CM. Closer to goal she’s a target in the air, strong in the box and good at combining in congested areas. I think she’s also still developing but I think this supposed need to play her in deep midfield positions has somewhat hindered her development a bit up front. I think she’s a 9 but might be able to play in the hole as well.

          • kernel_thai

            Then the question becomes how to get players to their top level. Im not sure practicing against NT players is better than playing against internationals in her own age group.

          • #1Fan

            well dominating those kids would be a start. She is not dominating ECNL competition.

          • guest

            Second that.

          • #1Fan

            how do you impress at a position you dont even play ?

          • Breakers fan

            where does Ellis have her? DM? She’s been a CAM during her YNT years, right?

          • #1Fan

            #6

          • CED

            Pinto should not be on the roster besides the fat she was horrible in her last big tourney vs top teams. There is also the fact that she could be playing at La Magna for U-20’s. She hasn’t even succeeded at U-20’s yet vs top teams. Playing and doing well against very poor competition(except Canada/Mexico) in CONCACAF U events means nothing. This is part of the problem we have, people seem great b/c the competition is poor. This was one of thing talked about by commentators of the U Wcup, US results were inflated for the year and how were they really prepared by not having more stern pre Wcup games in the previous year

          • kernel_thai

            And that’s the real shame. She could be playing in La Manga instead of watching here.

          • #1Fan

            or she could have been in the UK with the U18s. I dont even see the u20 as necessarily the next step.

          • #1Fan

            BTW..Ghana are not a top team. japan beat them 5-0

  • Gary Diver

    Observations/Concerns

    1. I went to all 3 SBC matches last year. All of the 6 matches were competitive. USWNT was extremely lucky to beat France, especially with Carli Lloyd’s own goal attempt. Hope Solo was great in goal in all matches. England and France couldn’t buy a goal. (Only 1 goal between them in “6 matches”.) Attendance was very poor (especially considering they were double-headers with 4 of the top 5 teams in the world): 13,000, 26,000, and 13,000. Marketing for the tournament was non-existent.

    2. Criticism aside, this tournament is the the best tournament that USWNT will play in 2017 and nobody seems to care. Even the reports from USSF are half-hearted.

    3. I can’t get my head around Brianna Pinto making the match roster. Nobody who saw the U17 WC sang her praises. How can someone who was not stellar at U17 level make the USWNT roster?

    Question: Why doesn’t USSF post U17 and U20 WC matches? Unless we get bootlegged videos we are all in the dark about the actual performances of US youth. Is USSF deliberately trying to hide something?

    4. I will be upset if Rose Lavelle sits on the bench. She could have gone to a more prestigious school but maybe it is more to her credit that she doesn’t always do what people expect her to do. But a lot of us would like to see what she can do in “The Show”.

    5. I am not sold on Ellis’ “3 back experiment”. We will see how the experiment works out.

    6. USWNT won all 3 matches last year, but they were extremely lucky. The first match today will set the tone. If USWNT beats Germany, people will yawn, but if USWNT loses, people will bring out their swords.

    • kernel_thai

      I don’t think that’s fair to the Tennessee crowd who not only showed up but stayed in the match until the dramatic ending. It is fair to criticize both Florida crowds and light attendance for the non US games in the double headers.

      As to Pinto I agree she hasn’t earned this chance but I rationalize it this way. Ellis doesn’t get actually earning ur time thru the U17 WC performance because Ellis didn’t earn her position either. Ellis seems to be a big supporter of handing people jobs as a means to an end like rewarding ur friends or trying to give the impression development is working. Just a theory.

      • Gary Diver

        Agree that the Nashville crowd was good and it was nice that most fans stayed for the Germany/England second match. (The number of people who care to watch the Germany/France and France/England matches was disappointing.) My comment was directed at the overall attendance for the tournament. Also, the Nashville stadium is great and NWSL should consider Nashville in the future.

        • Steglitz49

          I have long argued for an NWSL team in Nashville.

      • #1Fan

        The regime believe they have already identified the players with top end potential and will keep rolling them out. Dunn, Horan Brian were all brought thru by people who are no longer part of the set up. They need to keep rolling these kids out until one hits.

        • kernel_thai

          I agree but they really need to broaden the pool. Take Ohai for example. Even if Ellis doesn’t see her in the top 20 outfield players she certainly must see her in the top 30. She should be using this off year to make sure everyone in her top 30 is ready in case of injury and this is the perfect tournament to do it.

      • Som Termanni

        Also fair to note the weak-attended matches were on school-year weeknights, though so are this year’s, and Chester is still going to draw at least 4,000 more than Tennessee did last year per reports (1,000 tickets to sellout as of yesterday, 18,5k capacity).

        • Steglitz49

          If Zlatan had been playing, the stands would have been full and if either CR7 or Messi, the qyue would have been round the block.

          Stop making excuses.

        • kernel_thai

          U mean Tampa Bay or Boca Raton.

    • Breakers fan

      Re: #3 — Best way to have an opinion about a player is to see her play yourself. The Japan U17 WC game is on youtube. I’m watching it now. Put “usvjp1” into a search there and you’ll be able to see it if you want. It will give you little glimpses of Pinto. One game in her career to date but it’s better than nothing. It helps clear up the mystery somewhat of “who is this person?”

    • mockmook

      “Why doesn’t USSF post U17 and U20 WC matches?”

      FIFA owns the videos of those matches — though, theoretically, the USSF could license those videos.

      So, the USSF isn’t holding back the videos (the videos they don’t own).

  • Gary Diver

    Malloy Pugh

    I have asked this question before, but I don’t recall any answers. But maybe nobody cares. Do we know for sure whether Mallory Pugh is actually attending classes at UCLA? If not, what is she doing?

    • kernel_thai

      I would be certain that question gets answered during the broadcast.

      • Gary Diver

        Good point. Thanks.

    • Breakers fan

      If you don’t want to wait until game time — I haven’t checked her twitter account but my guess is that if she has been at UCLA that one could most likely infer that from looking at her account there over the last couple months.

    • MrTemecula

      I actually did see a picture on the UCLA Bruin Women Soccer instagram account of Pugh, and Sanches (I think), going to class on the first day of the quarter.

  • Gary Diver

    Importance of SBC for USWNT & Ellis

    A number of people have claimed that SBC is just a set of Friendlies and it doesn’t matter what happens. I strongly disagree.

    1. USWNT has just had their poorest major tournament result in a decade. If they crap out in SBC, somebody’s head should fall.

    2. The ghost of Tom Sermanni has been recently seen.

    3. USWNT has all of the advantages: home crowd (USWNT has lost only 1 home match in the past 100 home matches) and opponents are dealing with jet lag.

    4. Ellis’ mind is a mystery of questionable quality. If USWNT craps out, fans/critics will bring out their swords for her. Ellis’ coaching at OG16 was disastrous and a poor showing in the only USWNT tournament in 2017 will force the spotlight on her and her coaching decisions.

    5. I think #1Fan makes many valid points about the ridiculous USWNT “star system”. If the system doesn’t produce results, something will need to give.

    • #1Fan

      I think its important, but I dont think the results are. The performances absolutely are.

    • AlexH

      It’s all about the backline for me. Different formation same group of re-treads. I think this tournament needs to be where reputation ends and performance begins.

  • Ethan

    The US matches are on foxsportsgo.com as well. It wouldn’t make sense if the Germany and France matches weren’t since they’re on FS1.

    Edit: Unless the article implies that by listing the TV channel.

  • #1Fan

    At the youth WCups

    U 20 SHOT COUNT (score):
    USA 3 JAPAN 29 (0-1)
    USA 7 North Korea 25 (1-2)
    USA 4 Mexico 15 (2-1)
    USA 8 Ghana 14 (1-1)
    USA 13 New Zealand 5 (3-1)
    USA 3 France 17 (0-0)

    U-17 were out shot 50-20 or so by Ghana and Japan combined.
    so between the two SIGNATURE youth events we outshot 2 of 10 opponents.

    We were largely out passed and outplayed.

    My question to you all is do we assign ANY responsibility to ANYONE for this?
    The coaches are kicked sideways or upstairs to evaluate and find more gems and players move up, one to the FULL NATIONAL TEAM.

    Is this not scandalous to you ? it is to me.

    • AlexH

      Yes it is. The WNT pooh bahs are profiting from the fact that the talent pipeline (paid for, as you put it, by parent funded dedication) will always provide enough so that they can’t embarrass themselves completely.

      • guest

        They did embarrass themselves completely. Well not really the kids, but USSoccer. The hype machine was so strong before this event that unless they won-they lost. Unfortunately the 17s didn’t win and the 20s finished better, but looked as bad or worse.

        Does anyone think that Ellis et al have an idea that the woso community thinks this whole situation of elevating failed individuals above those who have much more storied records of performance is a travesty? Do they care what the small proportion of the public that cares about woso even thinks? Or do they think that they are the superior talent identifiers and we are all just simple talent selectors and we are too unsophisticated to understand their “plan”?

        • #1Fan

          That’s exactly what they think. They talk about the lowly position the game has here , but they themselves disrespect the intelligent followers they have. The lie to them all the time and think they are too stupid to see it.

          the NWSL is disrespected by them, but we are supposed to go watch?

        • HOFCToDi

          There was no hype machine which illustrates you don’t know what you are talking about.

          • guest

            You aren’t tuned into youth soccer there was a hype machine if you were reading the US Soccer press releases and the Top Drawer Hype. I think #1 fan posted some of that garbage on other threads. As I said there is a small proportion of the populace that cares about wo so and an even smaller one that cares about girls soccer. But those of us who do were inundated with how good that u17 team was… except it wasn’t

          • HOFCToDi

            Americans don’t follow youth soccer. As a matter of fact, if you followed youth soccer you would have mentioned the following:

            2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship
            Classification Stage
            27 Feb 2017
            USA 1 MEX 0

            en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017_CONCACAF_U-20_Championship#Classification_stage

        • AlexH

          Except that you can’t be embarrassed if nobody is watching. It’s only when the rot affects the WNT when the suits will take note. It may happen this week as a matter of fact. I hope not, but it might.

        • HOFCToDi

          Hype machine?

          The definition of hype machine was a full week of advertising on FS1 for the MLS Cup Final that was broadcast on Big Fox.

          TV Ratings Saturday

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

          The American public cares more about Frosty the Snowman and Rudolf the Reindeer than MLS Cup Final, the “Super Bowl of North American Soccer”.

    • HOFCToDi

      When the U-23 USMNT failed to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics, were there riots in front of US Soccer headquarters?

      When the U-23 USMNT failed to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics, were there riots in front of US Soccer headquarters?

      Nobody cares.

  • dw

    Opponents looking at 3 in the back with Long in the middle and no Hope in goal…

    Two potential massive downgrades in the back that have been the keys to USWNT dominance (Rampone, Broon, Solo) for like the past 10 years.

    Yes I know Broon is still with us, just she’ll be playing wide. I predict she’ll be back in the middle by the 2nd half this evening.

    • AlexH

      I think Broon is part of the problem. She hasn’t covered herself in glory this past year and I think she needs to earn her spot just like everybody else.

  • guest

    I believe the FRA/ENG match is on youtube this afternoon – youtube.com/fatv (thanks, Lucy Bronze for letting me know). I’m assuming this is available to americans to watch?

    • mockmook

      Unfortunately, no — video says not available here (USA)

      • MrTemecula

        It looks like it is free on FoxSportsGo.com. I don’t see the key symbol so it might be free even if you don’t subscribe to pay-tv.

        4 p.m. et. or 1 p.m. pt.

        • Bruce

          Great find. Hope you are right.

          • Bruce

            Confirmed! Streaming ENG-FRA on foxsportsgo.com. No login required.

        • mockmook

          Thanks!!!

      • CED

        You can get around Youtube regional restriction easily by simple addons to yur browser. You can also Use Foxsportsgo or go to any of the multiple sites that stream soccer games from all over the world.

    • guest

      Eng vs France is livestream on Fox Sports Go (at least in USA)

  • Steglitz49

    In the Algarve, Spain has defeated Japan 2-1, Holland China 1-0 and Russia Portugal 1-0. At halftime it is 0-0 between Sweden and Australia but Australia has had most of the chances.

    Kerr, Foord and De Vana have been good in attack, Kennedy and Kellog have been good in defense. The Matildas play 3-3-4 while Sweden a timid 4-4-2. Schelin should have scored in the dying 2nds of the 1st half.

  • sudeep das

    Hope Ellis maintain the 3 back system – win or lose notwithstanding.
    Problem is the forward line and its profligacy in 2016. It is very difficult to make a 3 back system viable with forwards wasting chances since the idea is to outscore the opponents comfortably.
    Morgan and Press – heavy 1st touch in box / extra touch to control ball / unwilling to take 1st timers. Hopefully we will see all that change this She Believes.

    • #1Fan

      Is it ? A 3 back system is supposed to be defensively more solid as a 4 back often has outside backs very high and a cm perhaps caught in transition.

      Surely a good finisher picks the right finish for the situation consistently?

      • sudeep das
        • #1Fan

          i never said it couldn’t. I said its supposed to be defensively solid, so I dont see the need to outscore your opponent as such. Its a knee jerk response to SWE game where they got undone on the counter down the middle of the field.

          • DNG

            I agree with you on the 3-5-2/3-4-3 but I’m not convinced that Ellis really understands the system at least in the way I’ve seen it most commonly deployed by top men’s team. Maybe she does and is trying to put her own stamp on it but I’m skeptical at the moment.

          • #1Fan

            for Ellis , any formation that gets as many vets on the field including Lloyd at once is the right formation .

          • DNG

            I’ve seen her fit veterans in every formation. I truly don’t understand what the need to start Lloyd is. Is the US so devoid of forwards that they need a walking turnover/foul machine on the pitch to score. I can’t believe how much cache that WC final bought Lloyd she was completely mediocre last year.

    • CED

      Wrong! The problem with the team is the MF has sucked for 2 years. The fact you think FW play has been the problem shows a complete lack of understanding of the game. Second, the defenders for WNT are pace challenged..Playing a 3 back just will put that on more display as they will be forced to defend 1 vs 1 more and in space with no cover. The lack of speed was exploited not only by Sweden in OG for a goal but also vs Netherlands where 1 ball put them in a 1 vs1 defending positions and the player in both instances pulled away from them like they wee standing still.

      • #1Fan

        CED is correct .

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwrdIX5BuDw.

        Look at that defensive shape.

        Kling ..LOLOLOLOLOLOl Awful, positioning. in the 2nd minute so no excuse about being tired. Just flat out bad. Look at JJ and Brun challenge for the same ball and totally misjudge it.

        On a good day, France are capable of absolutely shredding a US back 3 .

        • #1Fan

          This is one of my fav goals. It shows a lot.

          • DNG

            I think the Sweden goal was better unless you are also pointing to JJ completely misreading that header.

          • #1Fan

            Just a comedy of errors.

        • Gary Diver

          If my memory serves me well, USWNT played underwhelming soccer for over the first half of WC15, including the Colombia match. And the main issue was the Carli Lloyd-Lauren Holiday combo unit that left holes on the field everywhere they weren’t. And isn’t it true that the officials saved the day by forcing Ellis to make roster changes in the China match that she most likely would never have made on her own?

  • Steglitz49

    Sweden 1, Australia 0. Australia saved twice by the woodwork. Could have been 4-0.

    • chrisg

      Australia the new France?

      • Steglitz49

        Indeed.

  • guest

    My 2012 era crush, Thiney has been brought back from the dead I guess.

    • HOFCToDi

      French players pose nude for Women’s World Cup FIFA silent for now

      9jabook.com/forum/topics/french-players-pose-nude-for?xg_source=activity

      api.ning.com/files/sAGwn8i63HvlON7eVes5aZgd1Z*ls06jm84o-nGt9bM-f–63lb8S8QtsJL62VW-O6vHD8SmUD-Ok4su8jqY2hMilrEIKnfx/frenchplayersnude.jpg

      • Steglitz49

        Wrong.

        They posed nude under the headline “What more do we need to do for you to notice us?” This was aimed at French media and the general public.

        The French WNT (and clubs like Lyon and Montpellier) had been playing well at the time that the French MNT were playing awfully. Nevertheless, the media all but ignored the ladies and attendances at games was poor.

        Some of the players have since regretted the stunt. No nude photos except the official ones used in the adverts have been leaked, so those involved honored their commitment.

    • guest

      b/c of that cascarino injury?

  • D1F

    According to french tv, Pia Sundhage isprobably going to coach OL next year. Precheur is leaving this summer

    • guest

      lololololol

  • Guest

    Jordan Nobbs is dominating France right now.

  • Ethan

    I don’t have any meaningful input on the France-England match since I haven’t been watching it. However, I did see Nobbs’ goal, and even though England’s twitter account said Bouhaddi made a great save earlier, she really does make too many errors for an experienced goalkeeper at this level.

    • DNG

      France started a weaker XI and have had a real difficult time playing through England’s pressure or finding balls over the top. England’s lead is deserved even if Bouhaddi let in a howler.

      • chrisg

        yeah France’s subs made a difference and normally would be starting, also wonder if they received a halftime thrashing as the team come out with more conviction and maintained it thru the mtch

  • MrTemecula

    England looks good and deserved the first goal. France looked indifferent for the first 30 minutes. French keeper should have done better on the goal. Cant believe ther is not a better keeper than her.

    • Ethan

      I think there has to be one. She’s just not being played ahead of Bouhaddi.

    • mockmook

      England likely has the same lament regarding GK

  • wosofan

    In all of France Bouhaddi is the best female keeper?

  • wosofan

    Rachel Daly looking really good out there. These kind of performances hopefully solidify her on the roster for England and maybe get her near a consistent starting spot

    • mockmook

      Hope this means she comes out flying in the NWSL

    • disqus_risYMRx7iD

      actually Daly wasn’t that great – looked out of sorts at the right back especially in her own third. Hopefully she’ll make the roster and play further up

      • disqus_risYMRx7iD

        damn this discus shyte

      • mockmook

        I believe she was playing RM — perhaps that is why she looked out of sorts to you. I thought she looked fine.

        • chrisg

          not saying she was bad but rated Taylor White Scott Nobbs higher offensively in the 1st half (can’t say much about the 2nd), and got beat 1v1 a couple times which obviously not a strength

  • A_Dog_Without_A_Clutch

    Defense! Defense! The Scottish Kingdom for a defense!

    https://youtu.be/6dk2OGzYqZs

    • Steglitz49

      The lasses are giving their all but Scotland needs a better keeper.

  • MrTemecula

    French with the equalizer. Thomis creating havoc. It will be long day for US defenders on the left side against Thomis.

  • wosofan

    Renard is the difference maker for France, just too dominant.

    • #1Fan

      Phenomenal player

      • DNG

        She is going to cause the US big trouble again on set pieces. They don’t really have a player who can mark her. Maybe Mewis?

  • wosofan

    Ellis is going with Press, Williams and Dunn up top. I like it.

    • guest

      uh no. I’m pretty sure it’s press williams and carli in the front with dunn on the right wing

  • guest

    Becky needs to never retire.

    • anon

      disappointing lack of aggression from Germany IMO. I always wonder if these teams just get really spooked playing the US. Press more and keep the ball the hell away from Christen Press and they should have this.

      • CED

        These are glorified friendlies. Germany is concerned about Euro 2017 not this. This is their 1st game of the year, the goal is not to get hurt and build some team chemistry after a 4 month layoff. Case in point of not caring much, the ref made a bad call on foul that gave US a free kick 22 yds out and nobody even said anything. The player clearly go the ball first. If this game mattered, Wcup/OG they would have been up in arms.

        • MrTemecula

          Germany looked bad tonight. They only have four months till the Euro. They had no offense tonight. I hate to say France would be the favorites because they always find a way to lose…but France should finally win this year.

          • #1Fan

            they have no pace…no penetration . In WoSo almost all penetration comes from foot speed.

          • CED

            Germany had league games on Sunday, then had to take a flight on Monday. Jetlag and fatigue set in after bout 60 minutes. The US CM’s of Brian and Mewis could barely get a touch of consequence until the fatigue kicked in. The CM’ were horrible.

  • Ashley C

    Jill wants patience and buildup – yet puts out a back 3 and a CB that isn’t a CB or comfortable with distribution/carrying the ball or making runs.

    • Bruce

      I guess I appreciate the commitment to build up play, but at some point a forward needs service. CMs not exactly putting on a clinic tonight either.

  • guest

    Maro is a joy to watch. THat’s pretty much the positive…

  • #1Fan

    watching this game you realize how

    a. Lloyd is done
    b. US offense all comes from turnovers high. they dont have the players to build from deep

    • Bruce

      The lack of service from the midfield is astounding.

      • #1Fan

        you need the ball to serve. I’m sorry but this is a terrible game. Even in this, you can see that DM is miles better than lloyd. Williams is your typical US forward. I just dont see anything inspirational at all

        • Bruce

          We’ve seen this game before. Different formation, but the CMs continue to under-perform. Counting Lloyd in that group.

          • #1Fan

            Yep

          • Bruce

            This 3-5-2 will never work with Lloyd clogging up the middle. Horan and Press both would facilitate better in that spot.

    • DNG

      b. I agree but they would do themselves a huge favor if they stopped starting Lloyd. It’s hard to build up through the middle when you are constantly outnumbered. I also think there was quite a bit of rust. Brian’s passing was noticeably off at the start but improved a little towards the end.

      • #1Fan

        Sorry, but PACE rules in the women’s game. It makes it so meh. Dunn and Heath wasted. This formation is not maximizing the abilities IMO . Germany looked miles short

        • DNG

          True. Still I have hope that good play will eventually be required to beat pace and good organization. Need the whole team to play like that though and Japan is the only real example.

          • #1Fan

            yes they are. Pace just makes teams crumble in WoSo. Heath looks lost in this formation.

          • DNG

            She’s not a wing back. It just doesn’t suit her style of play or her physical abilities.

          • #1Fan

            nope …this formation is marginalizing our most technical players, for a 34 yr old hack and a few sprinters …

        • Steglitz49

          The German Ladies Leagues has only just started playing again after their winter break.

  • #1Fan

    This is world class striking…as she blasts it 5 yds over…smh.

  • #1Fan

    So many player on this teams first instinct is to go fwd fast…this team needs to jettison Lloyd

    • DNG

      Horan did more connecting in her 10 minutes than Lloyd did in her full 90. Horrible display from Lloyd.

      • Bruce

        Her only hope to make it through this cycle is if this 3-5-2 (or whatever) is jettisoned and the team returns to a 4-3-3 with a dependence on direct balls and OB crosses.

        Thing is, if this formation fails because she breaks the AM, that might become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

        • #1Fan

          she is miles off the pace. Im kinda laughing at this because pace and power aside. Lynn Williams was awful

          • Bruce

            True: Lynn Williams made Press look great today. It wasn’t easy, but she made it happen.

          • #1Fan

            yep. goes to show how a goal papers over MASSIVE cracks

  • guest

    Horan actually in at FWD… would like to see this during more friendlies. Why did she sub out Press and not Lloyd? That makes no sense at all.

    • #1Fan

      its US Soccer man . Lloyd is it. Need to get her dem goals

      • DNG

        I honestly have no idea what Lloyds role is other than poaching goals. It sure didn’t look like she did anything useful tonight. I think I’m more frustrated that Ellis think’s you can just use a player like that against top teams.

        • Frozen Blue

          I admit I actually wanted her to shoot more today instead of making poor passes around the box.

          • DNG

            As #1Fan has said a bunch of times her already. Lloyd can no longer keep up with the pace of the game. If she doesn’t have time to make decisions she is useless.

      • guest

        I would have liked to see them shift to a three front earlier with Alex and Press flanking Horan, or Press behind them in Carli’s “position”

        • Frozen Blue

          I’m not sure I have seen enough from Horan to have her starting up front.

          • guest

            not starting, but subbing. I really think that if she belongs on this team it’s as a forward or maybe a “false 9” where lloyd plays because she doesn’t cut it as a midfielder. Otherwise she should be dropped.

          • Frozen Blue

            I would definitely like to see her in Lloyds roll, see what she can do.

          • #1Fan

            I think DNG and I said this …a year ago ..flame ensued 🙂

        • Bruce

          Agree. In this formation, I think your best bet up front is Press, Horan and a sprinter (Williams / Dunn / Morgan ).

  • Bruce

    Well, that was hard to watch.

    • Frozen Blue

      So many give aways, looked like rec soccer.

  • guest

    Fra v. Eng was a much more exciting game with a lot more heart. Disappointing but kudos to Lynn for doing her clutch thing and Press for winning that ball. I also have a major lady crush on DZ…

    • #1Fan

      please .. clutch what? she was so so bad. her touch is awful.

      • guest

        clutch in the sense that she actually struck the ball well and put it on frame once. Something none of her teammates did in 90 minutes. She scores goals when her team needs them, even if her touch is not the best. Still not sold on her as a NT level forward though.

        • anon

          I missed the first half but I think Dunn had a shot on frame… it was the only one up until that point. Germany had some ok looks in the first half.

          • guest

            They gave up after the Williams goal. They did it last SBC too.

          • #1Fan

            and then they won the Olympics 🙂

        • #1Fan

          im not joking..my kid could play on that team. that is embarrassing to me. Pace is the key attribute. Not skill , not vision, just pace. You see the play where she ran thru? Simple spin then just speed and power …Clutch finish time? Row Z

          • guest

            I have a feeling that is major hyperbole. IN any case, they just beat the olympic champions by one garbage goal, so that tells you all you need to know about the state of womens soccer. That excruciating match was between the top two teams in the world…

          • #1Fan

            trust me..its not.

          • DNG

            I think I’ve said this before but I do hope your kid gets a fair shot. I realize that she’s up against it but hopefully if she does very well in college, I think you said UVA, she can open some eyes. Best of luck to her.

          • #1Fan

            tyvm….

  • anon

    Press over strikes the ball way too much. Obviously she did the work that led to the LW goal but it’s maddening to see her do that over and over when she has good looks on goal.

    • guest

      Why can’t she just shoot it low? She gets open looks on goal and usually shanks it over the top. She’s always looking for those top corner shots.

      • #1Fan

        lift your head and let your weight go back = high

        • guest

          I would imagine someone who has reached her level has the ability to shoot at many angles. She has a bad tendency to always go a bit too high when she’s under pressure.

          • #1Fan

            pressure changes things

      • DNG

        She has poor shooting technique which is unsurprising given that she picked up soccer very late compared to some kids that have been playing for much longer. Her pace and strength are enough to create chances for herself against anyone as we witnessed tonight.

        • guest

          what? I’m talking about Press who has been in pay to play club soccer since she was a toddler

          • DNG

            My mistake I thought you meant Williams. Press likes to go for the upper corners but still not great technique. She should also keep the ball on the ground.

        • Steglitz49

          In 2012 and 2013 there was nothing wrong with her shooting. This shanking the ball over the bar and hitting the woodwork is a relatively new phenomenon.

    • NYRick

      Press has good shooting technique, and can hit them with either foot from just about any angle, even in tight spaces. HOWEVER…her one shooting flaw is not realizing after all this time that women keepers are rarely even 6 feet tall. You are not shooting against athletic giants like Courtois, DeGea, Neuer or Cech. I’ve seen probably all of the posts that Press has hit on the NT. Over 90% are top of the crossbar with the keeper having zero chance at stopping it. Maybe she rushes her shot in pressure, but she just doesn’t need to go so high. She’s literally hit about 25+ posts in her NT career. That is not an exaggeration. She has about 80 caps now, and she is good for 1 every 2 games, sometimes it seems like every game.

  • Guest

    This system has Heath playing wayyyy too much defense, such a waste.

    • Bruce

      Just bad formation when you don’t have the CMs needed to maintain possession. How often did either wing get up the pitch today?

      • #1Fan

        rarely.

        • Guest

          When they did it was after winning the ball themselves and off their dribble

  • Bruce

    Stuff I didn’t like:

    1. Short looking shook with the ball at her feet in the first half.
    2. Lloyd chasing the game for 90 minutes while playing THE position that makes or breaks this formation.
    3. Heath and Dunn not being able to get up the pitch the whole game.
    4. Brian disappearing again. Wondering if she’ll ever come back to us.
    5. The fact that Lynn Williams will get a pass after adding nothing all night.

    • Frozen Blue

      Thought Short and Mewis looked especially shaky in the first half but eventually settled into the game.

      • Bruce

        Short completed 0.00% of her first half passes. It was painful to watch – and I’m a CRS fan.

        • Frozen Blue

          I didn’t realize it was that bad with Short, I was too distracted by the 1000 other give aways this game.

      • HOFCToDi

        Despite that observation, the first half statistics:

        First Half
        Possession
        USA 55% GER 45%

        First Half
        Corner Kicks
        USA 4 GER 1

        • guest

          as usual you conveniently left out a critical stat – SOG – which I believe was USA 1 (dunn):: GER 4 (thanks Naeher)

          • HOFCToDi

            You conveniently left out the most important stat:

            Final
            USA 1 GER 0

          • guest

            are you angry that Press did the work that led to that goal? Not that I think any of our players had a particularly good game.

          • HOFCToDi

            Are you angry that GER has not beaten the USA since 13 March 2006 on penalty kicks no less?

            en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_Algarve_Cup

        • Frozen Blue

          Wish they would do something with all those corners, what a waste.

          • HOFCToDi

            The USWNT has not played since 13 Nov 2016. Meanwhile, the Frauen Bundesliga has been in season since late August/early September.

          • Steglitz49

            The Ladies German League has had a winter break and only just started playing again.

    • #1Fan

      Excellent summary. Chasing the team trying to play possession , hoping for that inevitable turnover and the chance is a really boring way to play when you have all the supposed advantages we do. but hey ho, it WoSO …it effective.

      • DNG

        I’d argue that there are men’s teams that play this way, pressing to create chances, and are actually very exciting to watch. The big difference being that they don’t cheaply give the ball away time and time again once they’ve recovered possession.

        • #1Fan

          There are..but none of them are supposed to be the best in class. Pressing is fine..and the subtltey for me is they press to force errors that would probably NOT happen without pressure, In WoSo the errors are unforced 🙂

          • DNG

            No but Klopp’s philosophy of football has always interested me and he has been very successful against the best teams in the PL this year.

          • #1Fan

            Klopp is ok but I’m not convinced you can press long term.

          • DNG

            I think it can work in a league setting. I think the players would burn out in a tournament unless there was heavy rotation every other match.

          • #1Fan

            agreed

    • DNG

      Brian had a poor first half. She needs some help though. Not impressed with Mewis and of course there is Lloyd. I don’t think Brian is the problem but she does have to play better.

  • #1Fan

    lets turn the page..lets go young ..
    lets get Horan, Dunn, Pugh ..even Sanchez out there… Im tired of Lloyds handbrake act. She has the touch of a blacksmith

  • #1Fan

    i watch that game and I say how the F is Lloyd a 2x PoY? In what universe ?

    • NYRick

      Can’t come off the pitch either under any circumstances.

    • Steglitz49

      She was shortlisted and the votes fell her way. Some of her strongest competitors, like Lindahl and Hegerberg were not on the list of 10 to be voted on.

  • ay

    why are we wasting our best playmakers, Heath and Dunn, for such a non working system? I was really suffering with them tonight

    • #1Fan

      Heath is a playmaker ..Dunn is a sprinter..433 for me ..Dunn rb .. heath rw

      • DNG

        Dunn for outside back. What I wouldn’t give to see her making overlapping runs.

        • #1Fan

          crying out for it

  • NYRick

    Why does it take an hour to post a short report on the actual US-Germany game instead of having people post on the general SBC pregame thread? Can’t you have some college kid write 3 paragraphs on a powerbook and get it up lickity-split?

    I mean EQ has done a great job for the sport, but this match was US-Germany (you will get none bigger in the international women’s game, and in front of a packed house as well). This should be a priority.

  • NYRick

    1. Anyone miss Solo? I didn’t. We can beat any team with Naeher or Harris.

    2. What in the world is going on with Brian? I thought she was going to be a world beater and the staple player for this team for years. Is she injured or just content?

    3. Press with the 43rd post of her NT career. It is beyond amazing. Never seen anything quite like it.

    4. Lloyd should be on the team. She should get minutes (about 20-30) or an occasional spot start, but no way she should be a starter anymore, anywhere on the pitch. If they want to keep her for leadership and grittiness and to get to 100 goals. OK, I’m good with that. But the nonsense has to end and the second POY award will not help in any way. Ellis owes her for life for WC15 and she won’t let it go.

    5. Back to Press, why not. I think she played pretty well outside of creating the goal more or less. On Williams breakaway over the bar miss from 5 feet if she slots to the ball to Press it’s a tap in from the left side. Watch it again. Press also had a nice toe poke try (great job by Williams to create it) and just put it a foot or so high.

    6. Back 3 not that bad. Long and Brunn pretty solid. Short worries me, and if you notice Germany was game planning down her side most of the time.

    7. Germany not that impressive tonight. DZ in a fog, or maybe they just don’t focus the game enough around her talents.

    8. Tuesday match against France is for the title.

    • DNG

      Short’s work in possession is very poor. She was actually pretty good defending in the LCB role. I disagree on #4 Lloyd needs to go.

      • Bruce

        I’m in total agreement on that. Short was fine as long as she wasn’t asked to distribute. Looked like the second coming of Sam Johnson out there.

  • Bruce

    Stuff I liked today…

    1. Naeher was solid. Naeher is always solid.
    2. Allie Long looked comfortable anchoring the back three.

    …and that’s about it.

    • guest

      Naeher was the highlight for me on the US team. Was there a player of the match on the US side because it should have been her. Everyone else was pretty meh.

      • Bruce

        Budweiser Woman of the Match: Allie Long.

        • guest

          lol. She’s the new golden child of the USWNT. The only highlight reel play of this game was that nice diving save Naeher did in the first 10 mins against Mittag’s(?) strike

    • DNG

      I still think Long is going to have her issues back there. The irony though that she wasn’t even close to the biggest problem for the team tonight.

      • Bruce

        I really don’t know. She’s been up to just about any challenge thrown her way, and – like you said – there are much bigger problems for this team.

        • DNG

          She’s good at reading the game but really isn’t a great man marker. I anticipate defending runners and clearing crosses will be an issue for her. I’ll wait for the France match to see how she does there.

          • Bruce

            To be fair – there isn’t a CB in the world who wouldn’t struggle against France’s set pieces. Wendi is a beast.

          • DNG

            I didn’t just mean on set pieces though. She’s going to have to defend low crosses in space from Thomis and Majri and Le Sommer’s sharp runs through the penalty area. Germany hardly threatened to stretch the US at all in that match. Their high press also meant they didn’t have the same amount of space to counter as the Netherlands did when they played here last year.

          • Bruce

            It’ll be a good game (I hope) and will be interesting to see if the back line holds up against Le Sommer and Delie. I’m not sure what to expect, to be honest.

            I think that England showed the blueprint to beat France in the first half of today’s game. Les Blues simply don’t hold up well against high pressure (still). England had them on the ropes and then Sampson gave that game away when he tried to run out the clock in the second half.

        • guest

          Germany had the better looks on goal in the first half. Naeher and Becky are the current USA defensive lifelines. Long was Long.

          • DNG

            Germany did not have one quality look the entire match. This was more about them though than it was about the US stopping them.