Rose Lavelle outshines the competition in USWNT debut

Allison Lee March 6, 2017 499
Rose Lavelle had an impressive debut with the senior national team against England. (MEG LINEHAN/Equalizer Soccer)

Rose Lavelle had an impressive debut with the senior national team against England. (photo copyright Meg Linehan for The Equalizer)

HARRISON, NJ — Rose Lavelle is having quite the year. In January she was taken as the No. 1 overall pick in the NWSL College Draft, just a day before reporting to her first training camp with senior national team since June 2016. At the end of February, Lavelle both signed a contract with the Boston Breakers ahead of the NWSL preseason and was named to the USWNT’s SheBelieves Cup roster, one of only three uncapped players to make the cut. On Saturday, Lavelle made her international debut.

The 21-year-old midfielder had quite the debut. Lavelle earned her first start in her first cap, playing the full 90 minutes against a top 5 opponent in front of a sold out crowd of 26,500 fans at Red Bull Arena. Although the USWNT would drop the match 0-1 to England, Lavelle said the experience was amazing.

“[It was] such an awesome atmosphere to play in and obviously the biggest crowd I’ve played for, so that was really exciting. Wish we could have gotten a better result, but it was fun,” she said.

{MORE: Christie Rampone: Reliable, steady, Captain America | Six takeaways from England 1-0 USWNT}

Not only did Lavelle finally make her international debut with the USWNT, but she stole the spotlight, showing fans and critics alike that she was worth the hype. In a performance by the USWNT that was at times lackluster, Lavelle used her speed along the flanks to beat defenders, generate plays and create opportunities on goal. 

In fact, the best scoring opportunity of the night for the U.S. came from Lavelle in just the 19th minute when she sent in a shot from the top of the goal box that sent goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain sprawling to keep her off the scoresheet.

That is a phenomenal answer I got tonight: Rose Lavelle,” head coach Jill Ellis said. “I thought she did great. It’s her first cap, and five minutes of nerves and then she settled into that game and she was one of the best players in the park, so that was fantastic.”

According to U.S. Soccer, Lavelle was the best player in the park, earning her the Woman of the Match honor. That feat is even more impressive considering the University of Wisconsin product–who joked that playing in Wisconsin conditioned her well for the below-freezing temperatures of the match–lined up at left wide mid where she lacks experience. 

“Obviously in college I was used to playing center mid, so playing outside was a little outside of my comfort zone. But I think playing this game definitely made me feel a lot more comfortable and I found my groove as the game went on,” she said.

Although her attempt on goal is likely what many people will remember from her debut, the midfielder also shined in other more subtle ways. Her tenacity and footwork allowed her to maintain possession even when double teamed, and her connection with teammates Lindsey Horan and Mallory Pugh created some of the best passing sequences of the night.

“I think I’ve seen some pretty amazing first caps with a bunch of players, but Rose tonight, I was really impressed with her feet. I mean, she got out of some sticky situations; she almost got a goal in the first half,” said co-captain and defender Becky Sauerbrunn, who had the match ball tucked under arm. “This ball is going to be signed by the team to be given to her because a first cap with this team is something special.”

  • dw

    Good grief, one cap and she’s the new “chosen one”. Enough already.

    • Katie Curtiss

      thank you, at least someone understands, and honestly I don’t see what was so great with her performance anyways

      • bfredrix

        I agree. I thought she did fine but not outstanding. The announcers were hyping her big time though, pouring praise on anything she did.

        I also wasn’t as impressed with Julie Johnston as some who feel she unquestionably took the center spot in the back three away from Long. She was pretty solid defensively for most of the game but I can’t remember any forward passes she made beyond a defensive mid that was 10 yards in front of her. She and Long have opposite strengths and weaknesses so the center back could likely depend on the opponent.

        • ARED

          She had 2-3 great dribbling runs, and 3-4 passes/combinations that stood out quite strongly. Some of the best plays of the match, and always supported the team. If you want a player to get the ball and score herself, Lavelle is not it. If you want a player to connect with her team and always make the “right” play, Lavelle is pretty impressive so far.

          • #1Fan

            I think Brian could actually be better at it than Lavelle.

          • ARED

            I agree. I feel that after being surprisingly sent straight into the starting-11, Brian has somehow seems to be pushed to the shadows now, as everyone is to support Lloyd in the #10 role.

            A lot of people are talking about Sullivan, but I think Brian could become almost like a “new” player if and when Lloyd moves aside. As ever, a lot of pretty decent options for the USA to choose from. I’d envision a Brian-Lavelle CM partnership to be pretty strong though.

          • DNG

            “as everyone is to support Lloyd in the #10 role.”

            This is such a ridiculous statement to have to make. I will only start to believe the NT has started to turn a corner when Lloyd is truly gone.

          • ARED

            Same for me. I struggle to talk about this in person, and sometimes even here on the web, because it is just such a shocking foundation that the whole tower is built up upon. It’s hard not to appear mean or overly negative when discussing the USWNT, but I believe in this case it is simply mentioning the “emperor has no clothes’.

            But not everyone is ready or willing to hear such a thing….

          • DNG

            No they are not. Even here you will still get effusive praise for Lloyd and her 17G/11A USWNT club year last year.

            On another note I think a MB RL CM pairing could be great also expecially if they were playing in a midfield three in front of a single pivot DM like N’golo Kante. Haven’t seen Ellis value that type of player though so…….

          • ARED

            I agree, except who is CM? (Sorry! I can’t think of it).

          • DNG

            Sorry, I should have written out the names. Rose Lavelle Morgan Brian would be a good central midfield(CM) pairing. I would play them above a ball retrieving defensive midfielder in a 3 player central midfield.

          • ARED

            Oooh, sorry. I like shortening too, since I always have long posts…lol. I just missed that one.

            I still agree, although I also have mentioned at times I think a DM/pivot could allow the other three midfielders to excel instead of be anchored to defensive duties. So a 4-1-3-2 in a sense, could work I believe. And Allie Long was essentially doing this role, and I thought it was pretty good.

            So however you call your formation, having a player in that role can be pretty helpful to all the other players.

          • DNG

            I really like Allie Long but I don’t see her as excelling as a ball retriever. I’d look for a more athletic type of player. I invision the US playing more of a 4-5-1, 4-3-3 or a 4-2-3-1. Most 2 forward formations tend to play too narrow for my liking.

          • ARED

            For me it’s more about picking the right players, then find the formations to suit them -but I have to be careful, b/c Ellis says things like this too!

            I think Long’s biggest weakness there was her acceleration/mobility, but her reading of the game and anticipation made it even enough for me. And regardless of that aspect, what I was referring to above is that *anyone* in an established holding role allows the others to play and attack more freely, while also always having the option to turn back and connect with player behind. I think it’s crazy to ask/force players like Heath, Pugh, Lavelle, Brian, etc to have so much ground to cover as they do in systems like this, when even a simple 4-4-2 with a holding mid prevents much of this. You can see how players like Dunn are often torn between pushing forward or dropping back.

            For me, I believe in the 4-3-3 if you have the players, and I certainly think the USA does…..

          • mockmook

            Sullivan, Brian, Lavelle

            OH MY

          • DNG

            Brian is still the best passer and connector on the team for me. I like Lavelle a lot though.

          • #1Fan

            I agree, as I think Ive said. Im just raising the comparison .

      • guest

        I was at the game with two friends who barely know soccer, and even they were both asking me who she was and what her background was.

        • #1Fan

          becasue she nutmegged a few players. Dont get me wrong,, I think she is a very good player, but I also agree that one swallow does not a summer make AND that there are other good players who have very similar and in some cases MORE of the attributes that are being extolled, who are nailed to positions where they really cannot express them.

          there are also players who have this skill set who have just not been given a chance at all.

          If these are the types of players we are going to build around, then I do think there are a few in the youth ranks who could be accelerated very quickly.

      • Ethan

        What really impressed me was how comfortable and composed Lavelle was on the ball. The ball just stuck to her feet, and I thought she was smoother on the dribble than Heath is. Plus, I so rarely see a pass as beautifully spotted and executed as Lavelle’s pass to Dunn from the top of the box near the end of the first half. That could have ended up being a lovely secondary assist on a different day. Lastly, a lot of players like Lavelle tend to try and use their dominant foot as much as possible. Lavelle was very comfortable with using her right. Of course, Lavelle made mistakes, and she struggled defensively at times. However, I saw a lot of great things in her performance.

    • Frozen Blue

      Poor Pugh…it’s gone so quickly.

      • dw

        Ohai, even quicker.

    • truf

      Rose has been around a long time and played in youth WC’s. She’s played with many WNT’s. If you watch more than the WC and Olympics, you’d know she’s earned this. Mewis also had a really nice match.

      • dw

        “Played in youth WC’s” and five bucks gets you a latte at Starbucks. Sure she earned her chance, but I didn’t see anything in her first cap to separate her from say Ohai’s first cap. Both played well. But all this gushing about how great Rose was? I don’t see it, sorry.

        • truf

          u20 WC is largely professional players, except for the north american / African teams. the competition is high. it’s not a latte. Rose has been on the National team radar and development for years. Her abilities did not come out of the blue and not based on one match.

          • dw

            Sorry, how can U20 be pros when most federations top out at semi-pro at the club level, if that?

            Read what Erceg said about her federation, and then tell me with a straight face that NZ U20s are pros…

  • AlexH

    Oh, I don’t know, both Williams and Ohai scored within nanoseconds of being capped so Rose is comparatively underwhelming 🙂

    • guest

      They weren’t playing the same position in that formation if I recall correctly. So your comparison is somewhat confusing to me. Further the competition level was not comparable. I actually think that Lavelle did things we haven’t seen in any other players. She is quicker than Heath and in my opinion, has better vision. She will need other intelligent players with whom to combine to really be maximized. Dunn, Pugh, Heath, Press, Brian, even Horan. They have the players to play great soccer now. There is however, an obvious clog in the drain.
      If they are going to stick with this formation, then I like Horan up top to play with Press and Lavelle as ACM with Pugh and Heath as wingers. i also might try switching heath and Lavelle, but I think Lavelle has better vision to put in a final killer ball. I actually would like to see Dunn as an OB behind Pugh and watch them weave and overlap in an attack. They are both fast enough to recover effectively. Mewis or Brian must hold as a 6 when that happens. But I think it could be lots of fun.

      • mockmook

        The 🙂 at the end of AlexH’s post didn’t tip you that something was amiss? That perhaps he might be joking?

        Anyway, Ohai was playing the exact same position as Lavelle — but, you are right, it is totally irrelevent and immaterial.

  • Arcie Tillydee

    I’ve been a fan for a while now, and loved her debut cap, but one caution: she was (along with Sam Mewis) the best player…on a team that didn’t really look that great and lost the game.

    That said, I thought she was very, very good…can clearly deserves to be in future starting 11s. I thought she was just a bit better later in the game when substitutions had her shifting to the center, but you could see the technical skill and excellent soccer mind all game. This is the player I’d hoped she would be after watching her NCAA games for a while.

    Love to see her get a start in the 10…but that’s not going to happen tomorrow, with the tournament possibly on the line and against France. I expect such a start, but Ellis will likely want to ease her in vs a less formidable opponent (Rose, I love ya, but I suspect that until you get more int’l seasoning, Amandine Henry is going to school ya).

    One thing beyond the obvious great feet and footy IQ that I like about her (and was pleased to see mentioned during the coverage) is that she’s one of those rare players who doesn’t really slow down when she’s dribbling. I see that a lot here in Portland on the BroSo side: Darlington Nagbe. Rose isn’t a speedster, but that ability makes a player’s _effective_ speed greater. A downside is that players that can do that get fouled a lot (see above, re: Nagbe). Against some international opposition and definitely in the rough-playing NWSL, she’s going to have to be ready for that.

    • dw

      I also believe that some of the hype is a smoke screen designed to deflect away from a 1-0 loss. “How about that Rose Lavelle?!?!”

    • ARED

      I agree, well said. I think a big problem though, is that the reason Henry would school her is that Henry has a team who knows how to play with her and maximize her abilities. When Henry has to rely on speed, or dribbling, of physical duels, she can find it much harder. But when she can read the match and combine with teammates who will play quickly and combine as well, it works for the team and they control much of the match. We see this with players like Heath and even Pugh already, who are able and looking for team play in the midfield, but usually cannot find it -or at least not quick and clean enough. So they all end up chasing a lot. Lavelle would struggle there, just like all players.

      Lavelle would fit into the French side quite well though…..

      • #1Fan

        i agree with everything pretty much BUT is it not concerning to you that you are celebrating relatively FUNDAMENTAL soccer skills ? Skills that almost every player considered an International level SHOULD possess? Skills that many before her HAVE and yet have been ignored and bypassed? Skills that are bypassed at youth level and are still are?

        The problem is these issue to date are only addressed at the Full NT level if at all by soccer folk. You cant honestly believe the Lavelle is the only one. So where are the rest and why are they not playing.? is Pinto the only one ?

        Bravo Lavelle on a great game ( i ignore the debut part as irrelevant. great players do their thing in the local pick up game or the CL Final)

        but ….Food for thought.

        • dw

          FUNDAMENTAL for everywhere but the US. US fundamental skills for midfield: 1) ability to play into space for speedy forward to run onto. 2) ability to play over the top for speedy forward to run onto. 3) there is no 3.

          • #1Fan

            you missed one …ability to play it wide for speedy winger to get to by line to cross for strong forward to head in 🙂

            but seriously, if you are at the game and you watch the players. compare the body shapes and preparation of different players to receive, control and pass the ball. Compare the comfort and ease in possession. Some of the US players look like they are handling a grenade. They truly do not want it.

          • dw

            But that’s also systemic, right? US is not a ball at your feet system. You’re either spraying the ball from the back or running onto it at the front. That’s not to say that in some pockets of they system, some young players are not taught a more European style, and I think the culture is beginning to slowly move in that direction, but still a long way to go.

          • #1Fan

            I agree, which is why the transition mat be painful. If indeed its made.

          • Steglitz49

            The question remains: was WC-15 and anomlay or was OG-16 the anomaly?

            How was it possible for the US to win WC-15 but to fail so miserably in OG-16. The sequence bears no comparison to any other doublet since WoSo entered the OG in 1996.

          • guest

            CL got incredibly lucky in 2015

          • dw

            Neither. Both are the result of the same system of marked physical dominance and mediocre soccer. Most all the players in WWC15 final remembered the lesson of WWC11 final. They can physically dominate the Nadeshiko, and yet chose to try to beat them technically in WWC11. In WWC15 they went out solely to physically dominate, which they did. SWE is much different in that they cannot readily physically dominate the Swedes, so then their default is to play soccer. They did not fail miserably in OG16. They got beaten by a slightly better side on that day. And didn’t even get beaten, they failed to advance through penalties. Failing miserably is Spain or Brazil in WC14.

          • Steglitz49

            The US failed miserably in OG-16. It is the failure to recognize that simple fact that may mar the USWNT and WoSo in the US.

            Modern WoSo matches are becoming more equal than we were used to. QFs settled on psos. SFs depending on penalties. Finals decided on own goal.

            The WC-15 final is a true anomaly but because most of the world slept during it, it did not matter.

          • dw

            Once again, I have no idea what you are talking about. Perhaps your expectations are not realistic, as with many things in Steg World. In knockout rounds, teams get beat. Again I will point to Brazil Germany as a miserable failure. Even if you hold a 2/1 advantage over every opponent (which even USWNT does not) you will win a 3 stage knockout less than 30% of the time.

          • ARED

            With respect, in 2011 if they had been at all sound technically in the defensive third they would have won that match. Miyama was prepared to capitilize, but Rampone and Co. had to open that door, and they left it pretty wide open I believe.

            Also, I believe in 2015 their big improvement came when they finally made the changes to become more technically (and tactically) sound, but dropping Wambach and moving Lloyd out of the midfield. Brian, Holiday, Heath, and Rapinoe happily and pretty easily became a strong and technical unit which I believe was the basis for winning the title.

          • Steglitz49

            It would not have mattered what they did in 2011. Japan needed that trophy and were prepared to take a red card to get it.

          • ARED

            I don’t deny they may have still found something special to win it even if theyUSA had been at a better level as they could (should) have been.

            But I think it would have taken a bigger miracle, and I tend to think both of their goals were amazing to begin with already!

          • Steglitz49

            In some ways the Golden Generation can be compared to the Dutch sides of 1974 and 78, the difference being that the Japanese actually won the WC.

            If you objectively go through each of the Japanese players of the WC-11 final, the judgement is that all were fine players and some were exceptional. It is a bit like 8-1 in 1981. We can name that Gretsky, Trottier, Bossy and LaFleur were on the losing side but how many of the Soviet players who handed out this thrashing can we name?

          • ARED

            Indeed. As the 1980 movie says, and the USWNT could sometimes stand to remember, “The name on the front of the jersey means a lot more than the name on the back!”

            And some of use can name a few…. ; )

          • ARED

            Well, a lot was different. Holiday was gone, which alone is enough to cause a big difference (I would say a big dropoff). Ellis had started to change somethings like using Long in the middle, but, as soon as they hit the first bump she pulled the plug and the team essentially froze in my opinion.

            In 2015 don’t forget how close they were to losing to Germany (and Australia, and they struggled with Sweden), so even with the kind FIFA draw, they still were on the brink.

          • Steglitz49

            The kind FIFA draw was a factor no doubt. Easy to overlook.

            Mind you, in OG-16 they drew with Colombia and then Sweden. Maybe Colombia too could have won a pso?

          • ARED

            “Handling a hand grenade”.

            Yes indeed. They don’t want it, and I also believe at times it is that they are unsure about what they are supposed to do with it in the system. Ellis says things like “pass, possession, be fluid, play out of pressure”, but her actions and lineups don’t often seem to support these instructions, and the players seem caught in an unsure mindset when they have the ball.

          • LM

            “Hot Potato” is the term I have used to describe the “get rid of it quick” style.

          • ARED

            Although now with Lloyd it has turned into:

            1) Ability to try to shoot anytime you get the ball
            2) See #1

          • dw

            To be fair Carli Lloyd is not really a midfielder. She plays a position called “Carli Lloyd”.

          • ARED

            Touche.

          • #1Fan

            And its gotten her all the way to 2x PoY and all the top honors in the game

            says a lot – either she is the best player in the game OR …..

          • DNG

            Or…… the PotY award is a joke because many voters watch less women’s soccer than I do.

          • #1Fan

            But she scored a WC Final hattrick. Best in the game .

        • ARED

          I couldn’t agree more. Almost all USA players “rely on speed, or dribbling, of physical duels”, and those who don’t have long suffered -usually never getting on the field (or even into the team to begin with).

          When I first came know US Soccer I used to hear people say “Oh, we don’t win because all the best athletes are playing other sports” and I would agree, at least somewhat, that this made sense. Before long though, I came to believe that point is irrelevant; US Soccer from top to bottom doesn’t know how to choose the right players, or how to use the ones they do choose.

          I also found it quite amusing how much praise Lavelle got over the “debut” factor. It is worth mentioning briefly, but hardly worth the extreme praise and hype.

          • #1Fan

            My goodness. EVERY point you raise I agree with, The biggest being the one about player selection. The forum trolls will say

            that’s becasue they are not choosing the ones you want

            Nonsense. I dont care WHO they choose really as long at is CONSISTENT with the way they try and play. I may not like the style they choose, but I think I am soccer savvy enough to see if the players fit the plan.

            US Soccer have no idea how to select players that are consistent with the stated goals and rarely do at any level. Thats becasue the ONLY consistently stated goal is to win and there is no consistency about HOW to develop player or pick the ones that fit the moving agenda

          • ARED

            In my pride I would argue that it shouldn’t have to be just a 100% consistent flow of identically-styled players, because a good coach can know, regardless of the exact attributes, whether a player is good enough or a special one.

            But a “good coach” is hard to find or define. And I know your point, and it is a good one that I do think is another key in the US Soccer world. it is incredibly frustrating to see a system which speaks one way but acts another -but then will still act yet another way, when it suits them. This is undoubtedly explained with more talking, which is undoubtedly contradicted by actions before long, and the cycle continues. So the US fans and youth are supposed to trust this system?

          • Steglitz49

            You may need to distinguish between a coach who can develop young players to fullfil their potential and a coach who can get the most out of a bunch of players already formed.

          • guest

            The problem is that it takes insight into that ability from the top talent selector to choose the right talent identifiers to choose the pool of players with the highest ceilings for development. Also the top talent identifier needs to understand what player atributes he/she is looking for in each position and clearly communicate that to the talent identifier so he understands what he should be looking for in kids.

          • ARED

            Yes, sometimes you can be great at one and poor at the other.

            But US Soccer pays many coaches, no?

          • #1Fan

            you put it very well. It seems that at youth level we are saying we want technical players or put better that speed and strength are not ALL the is required. Then I see Lyn Williams and Dunn lead the NWSL in scoring, win B2B MVPS and both be on the Full NT.

            Now im not saying this is all they are , esp Dunn who i think has improved massively, but Willimas is PROTOTYPICAL old school a player who came to the game from track.

            So it seems that all the rhetoric is good, until we cant win. and then its back to the sprinters. WE have no staying power becasue the NATION at large has no patience.

            It was nicely summarized for me when the goal she scored is elevated ( a series of unlucky and lucky events) whereas the 2 CAST IRON chances I thought she was given she missed badly and on the other failed to even get a shot away. That told me she is not at all ready for prime time TECHNICALLY. So are we now putting the best athletes on teams and working with them technically or are we excluding them as not good enough ? I truly done mind which.

          • ARED

            Thank you. I was thinking of replying about “needing patience, and perspective” but you mentioned patience in the next sentence yourself.

            Watching the USA TV commentary, I also found it sad -but not at all surprising -that they were willing to *completely* change their view of Williams based on what was a very lucky goal. I do feel Williams played a bit freer after this moment, but as you say she missed all the chances the US actually created, and finished the one that was just a reaction to a free ball.

            I think part of the problem is that in WoSo the physical approach is still very hard to overcome with technique. France is a great example -they have played some of the most beautiful and technical football in the whole world for 6 years, yet struggle to actually beat the best defenses through passing, and can still be easily undone by a single counter by a fast and efficient opponent. They lose 0-1, and everyone goes mad. But I think it is just difficult at this moment, to win without strong athletic performers in the forward positions.

            (And this also is part of why I respect the value of a player like Morgan by the way, because I am used to seeing teams like France suffer from dominating the game, but losing to the ruthless opponent -which has been Morgan or players a bit like her).

          • guest

            Funny about that goal too; it was not scored because of her speed. The slowest attacking player on the field could have gotten up to about the PS by the time the ball bounced off the cross bar, shot and ricochet by Heath to her feet for a clean up goal. The opportunities she gained from her speed, she squandered. Agree no ready for prime time.

          • ARED

            True, although she did react quite well to the ball and anticipate the movement towards it. Much better than the Germans at least.

            I think part of this was her instincts had no doubts about how to react, and she just did it. Further from goal, she may be thinking instead of playing free.

          • #1Fan

            i must reply here and say Im ok with it if the approach is , with work she may become an unstoppable force, but then lets work with all the other athletically gifted kids at all levels as well. Who knows where they end up.

          • mockmook

            Don’t need to be “consistent” if you are picking different players (and styles) for different roles.

            Give me three superbly technical midfielders, then add beasts (I’m Oggg, I run REALLY fast, kick ball REALLY hard) at forwards and wings, and I will rule the soccer world.

          • #1Fan

            Thats is a consistent plan. Consistent does not mean picking the same type of players. I said consistent with the way they try to play. Ball players central with athletic wide players is a consistent plan.

          • rkmid71

            Can I amend and add a couple technical defenders to your mids? Then beasts for the rest, especially the forwards. That’s why I like Leroux, Morgan, Williams, Dunn. And please don’t try to put any of those forwards as defenders. Dunn would be my exception.

          • mockmook

            “Can I amend”

            Today only 🙂

          • Steglitz49

            The only other debut in recent memory that was as impressive has been Alex’s.

  • Gary Diver

    Off-Topic: Portugal ties Canada 0-0

    Portugal (ranked 38 in the world) tied Canada in Algarve Cup today. That has to be a surprise result and a moral victory for Portugal.

  • Hyper

    hype, hype, hype.

  • truf

    a lot of people don’t know much about this game, which is why you see “hype” below. Rose brings technical ability this team is begging for to help connect the midfield to the forwards. You will be seeing a lot more of her.

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    • dw

      Before I get labelled as a hater, I’m not opposed to any of this. Her ability is evident. But “technical ability this team is begging for” is a complete misnomer. Maybe the fans are begging for it. But the coaches keep rolling out Lloyd as CAM, so connecting midfield and forwards is clearly a non-priority. And out of her U20 squad, she’s the 4th player to be capped on the senior level, which seems about right. So Ellis will likely keep her at a place where she can’t use all her talents, like she does with most young callups. And don’t forget, under the current CBA, she only gets to be a floater for so long before it’s time to catch or realease.

      • ARED

        I agree that Ellis sure does not seem to care for this. She does talk about playing better in these ways, but her actions speak far louder than words.

        I think Lavelle’s size and skill set are what prevented her from playing, although I don’t agree that those would be good reasons.

        • #1Fan

          the size thing I dont get. I was at the game and she is thin legged, but did not appear particularly small.

          • dw

            High school lists her at 5-4, 118. So 5 years later, I am assuming she is more muscular, but she is definitely small. Comparitively Morgan Brian at 5-7, 123 (presumed current).

          • Steglitz49

            5’4″ is the average size of the Nadeshiko. A couple of them are shorter, like Miyama and Naho at 5’2″ and Iwabuchi at 5’1″, but the Golden Generation showed that even when you give up 2-3″ on the opposition, you can still be a force.

          • ARED

            Haha! But Luka is quite strong in his legs, remember.

          • guest

            She is listed I think at 5″4″ which means she’s probably 5’3″. As I am sure you are aware from your comments, most technical AM in the men’s game are smaller and many are fairly slight. So I totally agree that relative build shouldn’t matter at this position, but given the choices that JE and co keep making, seems like it has mattered to them that she is slight. Won’t be the first time that I disagree with her, her talent “ID” team, and their selections from the ground up.

            However like you said, She is taller than Kling for sure and probably about the same as Pugh, but Pugh is definitely more sturdily built. I think the answer is throw her in the mixer in the middle of the field a few times against some tough opponents and see how she does. Simple question: can she hang with the physicality or not? Can she dance around the challenges and/or can she play the ball quick enough to avoid an inevitable physical challenge? Can she consistently win it back if she loses it? She did get pushed off the ball at least once, but I also remember her chasing half way across the field and ultimately winning it back.

            Her skill set is very valuable, she was productive in the sense that she put forwards through in dangerous positions (as described above) and she used her technical abilities to create space for herself to make the next pass. At this point that ability is somewhat unique among those who have been given a chance. My opinion is put her on the field without Llyod clogging it up and drawing defenders to her and let the performance speak for itself. But that’s my pie in the sky dream.

            I am with you. She isn’t too short and her relative strength can be easily tested and ultimately improved if it proves to be a stumbling block for her,. I personally think she is worth an investment although i don’t think she needs to be getting caps if she proves too weak to survive and contribute. She should work on that in the NWSL and then be invited back when she can hang. Although I think she will do just fine especially if they get Lloyd off the field. She looks a little slighter than Jessie Flemming to me, but there are definitely parallels.

          • #1Fan

            can I ask why you think she is better than Morgan Brian at the things you just outlined ? Its is interesting that , in my opinion, the reason she played wide is that Ellis sees (drum roll) her speed as an asset.

            I guess what im saying is I dont think her skills are any better than Morgan Brians and she has been parked in a sort of 6/8 quasi role.

          • guest

            I think you make a good point however, I think Brain was initially playing off the bench as a wide player when she first came on in the OG build up etc. I don’t remember her being as quick with the ball as was Lavelle last night, I also think she is less obviously creative and am not sure her skills are quite as varied. But I agree there are parallels that I neglected to mention. Agree perhaps that Brian should also get more of a chance at the #10 in this off year to see what the best combinations are in varying circumstances. I remember watching some UVA highlights, I don’t remember quite the magic of Lavelle, but I think your point is well taken.

          • Steglitz49

            Has Moe Brian lost her motivation?

          • guest

            I think she is in a bit of a funk. perhaps does not see a box to box role or even a d-mid role as the best for herself. May lead to a lowering of enthusiasm.

          • ARED

            I agree it takes a toll on a player, but also we should remember that it can be miserable and disheartening to play in a team like this, but it is also just very difficult in a role like hers to play well.

            You know the team is talented and could be great, but is not performing well. And, you are forced to run and cover defensively **a lot**, and when you do get the ball you deep and fatigued already, and are not finding teammates in places you’d like to find them and connect.

            So it could effect her mentally, or it could just be her giving 100% in a role that makes her an average player.

          • Steglitz49

            Moe has won the World Cup and the Hermann trophy twice. She is 24, the same age as Gold-Lena when she announced that she would retire at the end of that season because she could not motivate herself any more.

            I guess the golden cage of the USWNT Allocation will keep Moe gong for a few years more, probably beyond OG-20.

          • Steglitz49

            She has had great success. She may feel that it will be just more of the same. How many WC wins does a lady need to be content? What profits it a lady … but for soccer?!

          • #1Fan

            i do tbh. Scored a lot and created plenty. I think partially because she had a better supporting cast. Brian is a wonderful talent who is being wasted by the NT. I can see her mentally losing the battle which is a shame. When you continually put players in a position to fail, this is the result.

          • guest

            it seems that you have more information than do I. If you are correct it is again a travesty that is repeated over and over with the WNT at all levels. I hope she gets her chance to play the 10. I know that’s where she played at UVA. Guessing having Swanson on the bench isn’t helping her as much as one might think. Sonnet hasn’t yet been on the field either.

          • #1Fan

            well SS is not an advocate. he is a coach. Ellis makes the decisions. I know 3 coaches – well know guys – who have worked closely with her who will tell you she is.was the best they have worked with to date

          • DNG

            I’m not sure I expect Brian to score a lot no matter the supporting cast at the 10 but I do think she would score a fair amount more in optimal position. NT is all politics and coach preferenes though so maybe she should try playing abroad or forcing a trade to an NWSL team that can better accommodate her play style.

          • #1Fan

            i was saying scored a lot in College. She did. I just raised the Brain comparison because i find it interesting. So much of public perception is timing. I wanted top throw it out there that I think Brian was better in College and is quite possibly still better now, yet no one mentions it much. She is evaluated as a player in a role that is sub optimal for her, whilst Lloyd is evaluated in a role that is custom built.

          • DNG

            You know I agree on the Lloyd role and I suppose the perception thing has to do with the fandom and media feeling like they’ve seen enough of her to know what she is. She also doesn’t play in a position that people tend to notice but I think she’s done a great job at all the positions she’s played since becoming a full NT member and professional.

          • #1Fan

            I think she has done a “professional” job in a role that is not ideal. but then again, the financial incentives make it so they really dont have a choice.

            if you went to Zlatan and said i see you as a CB for the NT, he would say, shove it, Im not playing.

          • DNG

            Cannot do much about the NT right now and for the foreseeable future. Her only option seems to be to look for a different club and keep working on the NT. Not saying it’s right or what I would do but it’s what it is. Maybe the CBA changes things.

          • #1Fan

            I agree. i heard from a good source that she was Arsenals first choice. her and Buchanan . I know she is getting married tho so maybe that had an impact on her decisions.

            Gutted. i would love to see her in the FAWSL

          • DNG

            I think she would have been great at one of the three big FAWSL clubs. In the NWSL, there are probably only two clubs I’d really like to see her at. Of the two FCKC is probably more realistic. I can’t stand the way allocation ties down players and removes player choice.

          • Steglitz49

            In fairness, Zlatan has never refused to play for the NT.

          • rkmid71

            I also suspect Zlatan has never been asked to play CB for the NT.

          • Steglitz49

            The great man has always helped out in defense, at least on set pieces.

            He has been a thoroughbred among donkeys and cart horses, while the boys of ’94 and ’82 had strength in all compartments.

          • #1Fan

            You get my point. Financially he can afford to say no. Club soccer pays his bills.

          • ARED

            “I can see her mentally losing the battle which is a shame. When you continually put players in a position to fail, this is the result.”

            I think that is a very big point, and one of the biggest problems I have found with the USA back from the 2007 drama straight until now. To often players are wasted and never allowed to grow into the roles that they seem destined for. It’s a bit disheartening to watch, especially from the nation that first pushed WoSo into people’s view.

          • #1Fan

            you know I agree and its one of my main point on this board. has been since I signed up. You have to create a NT environment that gives as many players as possible a chance to show you the best that they have to offer. Strictly speaking, it SHOULD be Club, College or pro soccer becasue that is where the BULK of the tape exists. In the USA it isnt . .

          • Breakers fan

            I also think Brian is being wasted to some extent on the NT. I really enjoyed watching her at UVA and wish she stayed in that role, at that position. I think it will come – the removal of Lloyd — faster than many suspect, unless Lloyd surprises us with her performances. Goals will matter, too much, I think, but when Abby’s really clear decline began, her eventual ousting from the lineup actually happened I think pretty quickly. Much more quickly than many here were predicting. My guess is that if Carli keeps making a bunch of obvious mistakes with the ball playing where she is that a move is made sooner than many suspect. I think Brian has a good shot of moving forward at that point. I have to think Swanson is advocating for it and just the fact that they all see Brian in training. Lavelle may be another candidate for the spot but you could get both of them central and Brian further forward than she is now, so it doesn’t have to be an either/or.

          • rkmid71

            “Lloyd surprises us with her performances.” — You mean like the last two games? Or the group games of the 2015WC? Or the 2016OG semifinal with Sweden? Someone noted that almost all her 2016 goals were against lower level teams. The trend line has not been good for awhile now. This France game tonight is tailor made for Lloyd — she will be at her poaching best.

          • #1Fan

            i dont. And I dont think he advocates. Too much class for that

          • mockmook

            Likely an injury (abetted by age) takes her out.

          • DNG

            I need to see Lavelle more to get a clearer picture but I think the biggest reason Brian always plays a combo 6/8 role is because she’s the better player at reading the game while defending and clogging up passing lanes. She was better than Holiday and Lloyd at this too at the 2015 WC as well. I think Morgan Brian would be an excellent linking and distributing player at the 10(miles better than Lloyd ever was). The only thing I question is her ability to turn and run at defenders with the ball but I think she’d be good enough at the other things to make up for it. It’s kind of an unfortunate position she’s been put in. I personally think her best position is the 8 but I would like to see her play the 10 somewhere.

          • #1Fan

            its another WNT example of how being versatile and using your soccer brain to be able to adapt to sub optimal roles hurts your ability to show what you can do. I think Dunn has had the same issues. Press tro some degree.

            Meanwhile the one dimensional ones continue to be given one dimensional roles and told they are great.

            its no coincidence we have played some pretty one dimensional soccer for a while. I really hope its changing

          • DNG

            It does seem like Ellis is trying to find ways to free Brian and get her forward more. I’ve seen her get into the box in good positions a fair bit more in the last 6 months than she did in the previous 2 years. It looks like a losing battle though until they remove Lloyd permanently. You do make a good point about pandering to one dimensional soccer players who are great at their one thing. I think it hurts the team but the team continues to win so….

          • #1Fan

            tangent, but equally relevant given its role is UNC . part of the issue as well is that a one dimensional program has enjoyed GREAT success. That program takes some of our finest prospects and does what with them? Pinto, Jones and several other kids are going there in 2018. I am going to be VERY interested to see if the style changes to accommodate.

          • DNG

            I’m going to take the wait and see approach on that too. I don’t think Dorrance is a great coach by any metric. His reputation has gotten and continues to get him top recruiting classes

          • #1Fan

            but you see my point . he has passively and actively had a huge impact on Soccer over the last 20 years and he has played a brand that is very insular.

            On a recruiting trip to a top school , one of the coaches asked my kid why she never considered UNC – she said, i dont think I will learn much or improve on areas of my game I will need at the next level. I can get really fit anywhere, but I cant necessarily learn soccer. The Coach was blown away. He said, yes. They dont play a very progressive brand there. He then said btw, is that your answer or your dads?

            She said..my Dads ..but I agree with him 🙂

            But seriously hh has had a massive impact on what we perceive it takes to win.

          • guest

            Would be interested in where your kid ended up deciding on. I know a girl who made a similar decision on UNC for the exact same reasons.
            Do you think the 2018 UNC recruiting classes would really help UNC change that style of play? I would say that class fits their normal mode of play.

          • #1Fan

            if Pinto is all she is cracked up to be then maybe. Jones is not a great athlete . Pinto is a clever player though, so she will adapt if need be.

          • guest

            the 2019 class is very different for them compared to previous classes but that is mostly the new assistants input.
            Pinto is hard to judge based on u17 WC performance. Hard to tell if the direct style was the team or the coaching.

          • #1Fan

            who Nahas ?

          • guest

            I think that’s who. I believe most of the local recruits play for his club team.

          • #1Fan

            that would be correct. CASL. Funny that 🙂 he is also a USSF assistant. its a very small world the old soccer world 🙂 Its a family affair , Damon and Sean Nahas.

          • Guest

            No cares that your daughter didn’t get a scholarship offer at UNC. He has history of putting players on full team. Other coaches and players don’t like UNC? No one likes a team that wins all the time.

          • DNG

            You just don’t get it at all. #1Fan is absolutely correct about Dorrance and the soccer culture he has developed. Dorrance himself has talked about it. His goal is not to create a technically focused team. It’s to create a winning team. If the goal is to develop as a soccer player you’d have to go somewhere else like Stanford or UVA for example. I’d argue that the full team players from UNC would have been very good college players at pretty much any school they played for.

          • AlexH

            You talk about being focused on getting a winning team as if it is something bad. 99% of top girl players aren’t going beyond college so I think the AD is perfectly justified in doing things the way he does. If my kid were offered a scholarship at UNC my first question would be whether the academic fraud that exists in its football program has spread to the gals.

          • #1Fan

            of course he is . but there are ramifications. Thats the ONLY point made here

          • DNG

            Never said he was a bad coach just don’t think a lot of developing goes on there. And for the girls not interested in soccer after college his program is fine.

          • Tom

            Stanford has won 1 national title. Even though they have best recruiting classes every year. They are one of the best schools in country. If Stanford developed players better than they would have more players on full team. Their so called pretty style has managed to win them 1 national title.

          • #1Fan

            not true. it depends on HOW the full team wants to play. If AD wins , AD is a legend and AD recruits athletes. Ad plays a certain way …then surely his style is going to be adopted. it was.

          • guest

            Best recruiting class based on Topdrawer soccer?… no respect for that rag. Further much of their rankings (but clearly not all) are based on YNT selections- another highly debatable source of wisdom. I would think the fact that their success is incongruent with their class rankings would reflect as much on the veracity of the source of the rankings as much as the coaching abilities.

          • #1Fan

            Ive said it many times here. the goal of College soccer is NOT to produce pros. its a great system and a great thing. The fact that some kids end up being pros is great as well. but IF the goal was to produce pros, the system would be different

          • Breakers fan

            Which colleges come closest to playing the style of play that you think will move soccer forward in this country? The best at producing pros? I’m not saying that none do, just wondering who you think out there is doing this the best at this time? First ones I would name based on my limited knowledge are Swanson and Ratcliffe. Though they of course get the top players, maybe more so than anyone (besides Cromwell?). Do you see any other great coaches out there doing this, Krikorian perhaps? Cromwell? And how clear would it be to an outside observer while watching these teams vs every other team? Is it crystal clear or more a many shades of gray thing? My guess is that a lot of coaches are now at least trying to move in this direction.

          • #1Fan

            i clearly upset all the UNC folks so ill be careful. Thing is AD got many of the best players and still played that way. Why? because speed never goes into a slump. Its a lot more reliable and easier to utilize. I can use a fast limited player but its VERY hard to use a really slow technical one in College soccer. you need all the other parts . when the coach makes 4 subs at a time , its pretty obvious what his plan is.

            Its more the ones who recruit and develop well rounded players . You can decide who they are.

          • AlexH

            You raise in interesting wrinkle about speed never slumping. Speed is also more immune to top down stupidity which our federation has in spades. In truth your team will always have a punchers chance if they are fitter, faster, stronger no matter what moron is at the helm. I would probably be less in love with muscles and wheels if I had any confidence in those in charge.

          • #1Fan

            Thats why AD picked them. he realized that to teach his team technical soccer in 4 years was a mugs game IF his mandate was to win. It was , so he taught them how to do that. as I said, he took some of the best players we have ever produced and gave most of them shifts. The program and the method was the star as was he. I happen to think that speed still trumps technique in the womens game at almost all but teh very very top levels. Question is does that trickle on down. If it does, its going to take a long long time.

            I agree with your last point and thats the key isnt it. A vote for anything else is a journey into the unknown captained by people who its VERY hard to have any faith in.

          • AlexH

            Well there is hope because I think it does trickle down. Here in Vegas we have a very cutthroat rec league, because the teams are allowed to stick together. This inevitably leads to coaches poaching players and forming super rec teams. While I find the practice appalling I must concede that most of these coaches are more interested in playing good soccer rather than just steamrolling lesser athletes. Even better Team Steamroller was the one team that the league caught up to in the end.

          • Breakers fan

            For the record, having gone to Duke for 2 years I’m about as far away from being “a UNC folk” as you can find. I just wanted some explanation about this gulf that is being portrayed between his teams and some unnamed ones – clearly UVA and Stanford are two but save mockmook who named Fla St.we have no other named examples of competent college coaches out of 300 or so. I’ll add UCLA to the group. Florida. Utah. BYU. USC. Duke. To varying degrees. They’re not all equal. No doubt there are others.
            I did notice his mass substitutions and that is a bit different from some coaches, but that’s not what I’m really talking about – I’m talking about how they play, not who plays and for how long. What do we see a UNC team do? What can I expect to see when I watch them? More long balls? Andrezewski didn’t stand out to me that much. I want to see her more, however. I do like this category, though, of slow technical players. I hope they exist. Can you name any? I’d love to see some. I like watching any technically gifted player. I would add this about “who plays where” – it could be that Dorrance recruits the same people Swanson does or that there is some overlap – I don’t know – but the point is he may be after technical smart players too and they may just choose to go elsewhere. He takes what he can get. You would know more about recruiting overlaps.

            About Swanson I would think Ellis would *want* to hear her assistant coaches’ opinions about how to make the team as good as they can be. I would hope he would be honest but I’m talking only about if if becomes really obvious – more than now – that Carli is holding the team back. Swanson will let that ride. He’ll let Jill make the first move there. I’m talking about when that happens and then they have to decide who to put in her place. He may not need to name Brian at that point. It may be obvious. May depend on how much they feel they need to keep her where she is and if someone else emerges in the meantime. But if Carli plays well, scores a good amount this may not happen. (as stated: the goals will count more than they should) It’ll be up to how she plays. And about Lloyd.. you may be right or I may be right, in terms of how long she remains a starter. I’m talking by the next World Cup. My prediction is that she won’t be a starter by then. Do you think she will be? Time will tell. I can tell you that many here were wrong in their predictions about how long Abby would continue to be a starter.

          • #1Fan

            Err not referring to you. I think you missed the hate mail earlier

          • #1Fan

            Brain has 50 caps. Its up to Ellis to find her team. he is an assistant. I can’t speak to the politics of how long a player plays. I can speak to my opinion of her current quality – Its awful. She has no business on the team. I would add given her aura, she has no business being there in ANY capacity because of the shadow she would cast. If the USSF allow her to carry on, getting fat of tomato soup then more fool them.

            Its time to cut the cord and find viable candidates to replace her and move forward. I am close to saying the same about Morgan, but not there yet.

          • mockmook

            Krikorian is a good one to bring up. He may be the best at getting the most out of his players. But, like you, my mental database really doesn’t have enough data to be definitive about any of this.

          • #1Fan

            He realized he could not compete for the best us players so he went abroad and then blended the savvy of his European kids with us traditional strengths. Great coach. Consistent plan

          • Guest

            Yeah because UNC players never developed there. You sound a UNC hater. Stanford best player had play in Europe because she wasn’t good enough for WNT. Christen Press.

          • DNG

            “Stanford best player had play in Europe because she wasn’t good enough for WNT. Christen Press.”

            This seems to be a statement of evidence based on no facts but an opinion.

          • Steglitz49

            Unfair. Christen went to Göteborg because the league collapsed. Gbg is recognized as a great place to develop your talent. She got to play under one of the great strikers of his generation. Christen did more than OK playing in Gbg. (That is why her way of leaving them left a sour taste in the mouth of many.)

          • Breakers fan

            Not doubting your statement but can you provide a link to what you said is out there — Dorrance saying that his goal is to just win, not create a technically focused team. That would educate me about him. I don’t pretend to be an expert on the coaching styles of college coaches and how radically different they are from one another so that would be interesting to hear.

          • DNG

            I am making that inference based on the way his teams have traditionally played. Perhaps I am not giving him enough credit but his teams are athletic high pressing teams that make takes advantage of the substitution rules to keep the high pressure going.

          • rkmid71

            Yes … and takes advantage of the fact that UNC is able to recruit MORE of the better players — giving them a deeper bench. It doesn’t mean they have the BEST players. Thus when they sub, the quality drop off is not as significant. You can actually see it anecdotally in stats based on minutes played by player. To win, less deep teams have to play starters most of the minutes — which then dictates a different style. You can’t go 100mph for 90 minutes with int’l rules and minimal subs. And in college, you compound that with a very compressed season with 2 games in 3 days, etc. UNC is not the only team that plays like that, but you need a deep roster. That’s why I’ve argued simply limit the subs (could be 6 instead of 3 int’l) or have no return. And spread the games out. You would have even greater parity in college soccer overnight and really ID the best college players whose games translate to int’l game.

          • Steglitz49

            Maybe it is a bit harder to get into Stanford than UNC although UNC is a fine University.

            Margaret Purce had made up her mind to go to UVA but her dad suggested that she give Harvard a shot. She heeded his advice, went to Harvard and was drafted in the first wave.

          • #1Fan

            Never visited. Has zero to do with scholarship. I have great respect for his ability to win. When you win and you get the best kids wanting to go to your school becasue you win, then you should be putting players on the full tam no? I was waiting for Caroline blue shades to twist what was said. He is a great college coach just like Nick Saban is. The greatest College soccer coach there is.

            Im not sure how well the way he plays translates to anything BUT NCAA soccer. Of course other coaches are jealous of his success. Just like Saban or Calipari. but YOU said they dont like him . I said the coach did not like the style they played. Big difference,.

            I also said he has had a massive influence on how we play and what we think is needed to win. That is positive and negative. He has brought a lot of best in class things to WoSo and is a pioneer and visionary. Does not mean I have to agree with everything about him or not comment on what I see as negatives. You are clearly entitled to your opinion, and the little personal dig is fine too. I hope you and your daughter/son ( if you have one) are/were lucky enough to see her attend whatever College she chooses

            Is that clear enough for you?

          • guest

            His daughter is outstanding and i am sure she could have gone there if she had so wished. Just sayin…

          • AlexH

            But he does win. AD is not under any obligation to do anything more. He gives girls scholarships they give him Ws.

          • #1Fan

            I agree 100 pct. im just pointing out that there are consequences at NT level of his methods

          • AlexH

            True, but is that because of his methods or the WNT? A team needs a balance of beasts, burners and artists and there is no reason that the WNT can’t get a few of the first 2 from UNC.
            If HAO 2.0 came out of UNC I would hope the WNT would say, “Hallelujah, welcome to the team!” and not “Hmm, she really doesn’t fit my vision”

          • #1Fan

            he recruits kids that fit his methods as he should. HAO is a fine player, but as you can see she was an early casualty of the Ellis era .

            And yes, she does not fit every coaches vision

          • Fred

            Tobin Heath has, what is your point?

          • #1Fan

            forget it.

          • AlexH

            The fact that HAO was a casualty of the Ellis era goes to my point though. That could just as easily been an Ellis problem not a HAO / UNC problem. I had no problem with JE cutting HAO who was over 30 at the time. However the fact that JE then clung to an unfit MR tells me that a 20 something HAO probably would have had no chance to make her team and that is a problem.

          • g

            What’s amusing is the two players that have filled in for HAO are direct just like her Dunn and Pugh. Not a lot better technically and haven’t produced a whole lot more.

          • #1Fan

            why is that a problem ? If her skills dont fit the plan then I have no issue at all. My issue is , I dont think the plan is consistent at all

          • AlexH

            Because the plan is a means to an end not an end in and of itself. Megan Rapinoe uselessly hopping around the field while your team goes out of the OG earlier than ever before is what happens when you put the plan first.
            Coaches love to wax poetic about how players need to play through adversity but in truth coaching through adversity is far more important.

          • #1Fan

            it comes down to where you think winning is all that matters. I believe in College and the Pros and obv the NT , that is the case.

            when you take that approach from rec soccer, it influences what you produce . So it depends what level you are talking about.

            so if you view development as one long pathway, ti comes down to where you think the winning end product should be. So yes, the plan is a means to a winning end which is why I talk about development all the time. AD has had a massive impact on what and who iwas developed LONG before they got to UNC – thats really the point.

          • Steglitz49

            It may not have been JE who clung. Just like the Veterans in 2015, it may have been a dose JE had to swallow. It was a dose too much, with hindsight.

          • rkmid71

            Putting her on the roster perhaps she was forced to swallow. But playing her in knockout game, absolutely not.

          • #1Fan

            well I can answer that in many ways, but surely i need to find out if that burner/beast can actually do it for 90 mins. I can also say that to date the NT has gotten those players from UNC. And player like Averbuch, who is not really a UNC type , did amazing things there but in the era of pace and power she too was undercapped relative to the perception of her ability.

            Can also add that my comments about his impact – positive and negative – is in the light of the USSF trying to move away from what he has historically valued . Not my opinion ..thats from them . I think you need a mix and that in theory we should be developing players who have it all , why>? Because in the USA we probably could have more of them than anywhere else and totally revolutionize the sport – AGAIN

            Arsene Wenger is a legend, He changed the game in the UK – diets, training , film , recovery . the size and shape of players …EVERYTHING. Others copied, cottoned on and the game has moved on now and he is not enjoying the success he once did. Its the same thing. Doe snot mean he is not a legend.

          • AlexH

            I don’t think that because the USSF is trying to do X that X is necessarily the right thing to do. If it is a mistake to overlook the artists in favor of the athletes then it is also a mistake to overlook the athletes for the artists.
            A good program like a good restaurant squeezes the produce and selects what is fresh and in season rather than keeping wilted produce on the shelf because it tasted really good in the Summer and choosing new produce because some foodie blog says it’s the next big thing.
            For the USWNT that probably means a few more athletes than artists because that’s what we produce, so why fight it?

          • #1Fan

            nor do I . but i think whatever path they choose it is important to be consistent. that does not mean consistently pick one type or the other. the Athlete vs Technician is the USSF argument, not mine. The USSF are constantly elevating one over the other an creating a behavior out there that disenfranchises one party of the other. we should be trying to make both, It is harder to increase athleticism. we should embrace our athletically gifted kids and teach them form a younger age about the sport. as opposed to just telling them to keep running until they are no longer able to do it effectively

            on your last point I actually agree. I think we should be trying to refine what we have and gradually change the mix based on the “ingredients” we are producing. All I have been saying is the ADs success led to a certain type of vegetable being over produced by everybody on the farms. They need to produce a more varied crop.

          • mockmook

            “Doe snot mean he is not a legend.”

            I too have always used “doe snot” as a gauge of legendary status 😉

          • Steglitz49

            Reputation is based on something, is it not? Usually sustained performance.

          • Ha

            This person doesn’t think a guy that has won 21 NCAA titles and World Cup is a great coach. I would love see his coaching resume. His line is the “He wins because, he has great talent”. No crap you think Barca is winning with average talent?

          • #1Fan

            I think he is a great coach. But let’s be clear. I can see why some would think he is not great at teaching the game.

          • DNG

            This is what I meant when I said I didn’t think he was a great coach and truthfully I’m probably not giving him enough credit. I think Dorrance is good at getting top players to play in a system that works well in college soccer. I don’t think he’s very good at turning those players into great soccer players which is not to say that great soccer players don’t play for UNC.

          • #1Fan

            Was trying to help you out. I think I know exactly what you meant.

          • Breakers fan

            Can I ask how you came to this opinion? Have you ever witnessed a training session of his of the several 1000 he has given? Do you know what he teaches? My guess is that you’re working backwards and looking at UNC grads and evaluating them, which seems somewhat legitimate but not totally. There are of course no shortage of them who have risen to the top of the sport. If he isn’t great at developing talent which college coaches are,? Guessing you’re going to say Swanson, due to Morgan Brian and Colaprico going there. How much, though, did he do and how much were they already “like that”? No way to know. I do think Swanson is a great coach, however, even though a team of his has never won the national title. Who else do you think is a great developer of talent in America, anyone? And, really, if we’re not witnessing them coach how do we really know how good they are at developing players? How much can a college coach mold an 18 year old over her next 4 years? Good question. I don’t know the answer.

          • DNG

            I am looking at his teams and how they play and while I think most are great fit athletes, I don’t think they all develop into great soccer players. I think Dorrance teaches them how to play in a specific style he has found to be effective in the college game where practice time is restricted and there are very lenient substitution rules.

            I think you’re raising really good questions about finding great coaches. I’ll say that at younger ages I don’t think winning is evidence of great coaching and great player development. Athleticism matters too much and young women physically develop at different ages. You bring up another good point on college. I don’t think it’s the best environment to develop players since their goal is and should be to win now. I do think Swanson does a great job comparatively. I wonder how Swanson would do in a professional environment. The league would have to be stable and offer coaches a comparable money for any top college coaches to jump ship though.

          • Breakers fan

            I’ve said on here that I’d be happy if Swanson became the next USWNT coach. I’ve never heard or seen him coach, except maybe a snippet or two but at least during the M. Brian years I enjoyed watching his teams.

            I watched about 40 college games his past season – saw UNC play about 5 and to me there wasn’t some gargantuan, noticeable difference from other top teams in the style of play but honestly I wasn’t focusing my mind on that per se. I was trying to identify top Senior players for the draft above all. I assume you’ve seen UNC a lot over the years to make the statement you’re making and UVA/Stanford as well. I do also like to watch Stanford, think Ratcliffe is a very good coach from just observing his teams and I do think they focus on possession more than most teams, so I think that’s fair to say, but again…I’m not there listening to what he’s saying in training, or what Dorrance is saying to see if there’s a big contrast, so it’s hard to say with any exactitude if they’re teaching fundamentally different approaches. They may be. I’m just not sure. Would want to hear them talk to their teams as a fly on the wall for a season to really know. Next year I’ll try to focus more on this.

          • mockmook

            I’m sure Dorrance is as good as anyone in developing his players in practice.

            But, I don’t think his substitution patterns and style of play are the most conducive to “develop” well rounded soccer players in actual games.

            For instance, I’d rate Swanson higher for game time development.

          • #1Fan

            Amazed you did not notice his mass substitutions.

            The ACC Freshman of the year was Bridget Andrezewski. Prototypical Dorrance player. Once a youth international. I will be interested to see if she gets back into the mix

          • guest

            Do you see the players that he has chosen as consistent with his style of play? I think i do generally.

          • #1Fan

            not sure. the 2018 class has some players not known for great athleticism

          • ARED

            Agreed. Heath and O’Hara are others I believe. Heath spent some time playing outside back under Ellis, which seemed a bit odd to me.

            But everytime Lloyd shoots into the stands we here: “that’s what she can do, she only needs one chance like that….”. A lot of players can come kinda close to scoring by taking speculative shots. But most good players know that’s a waste of time and possession, so the pick up their head and pass the ball….

          • #1Fan

            its a great point. so much of this comes down to HOW you view a persons failures. Are they terminal or worthy of another shot ( pun intended) with CL I fear that the WC has made the rope too long. She was hanging by a thread at one point and it seems she was allowed to continue to keep shooting and in the biggest game of all, they went in

            In a way its validation of the Coaches decision and she should be applauded BUT the issue remains how long is the rope now? and will that rope be allowed to hang other players in development. I think Brian has 50 or so caps. Thats a HUGE amount for a player who I dont think has had one signature game yet for the NT

          • ARED

            I agree. And while I immediately said Lloyd had a performance that will live on for a loooong time, it still didn’t change the fact that I believe she should have been dropped long before it….lol. I think that other players would have grown into leadership roles, and who knows -maybe then they wouldn’t have fallen apart vs. Sweden in the late stages and it’s not too crazy to think they could have won the WC and OG.

            Also, it matters to me that the goals were two from set pieces. Lloyd is a fighter and is a good player to have attacking crosses. But even in this huge game she plays so well, in the run of play she was still not very effective, except for the time she decided to shoot from the center circle.

            Amazing. Brilliant. Deserving of much praise. But, I still think she should have been dropped at least from the starting lineup

          • #1Fan

            I see we lost to Germany at U20. I also see Smith scored. I would like to know what percentage of her goals are Unassisted. same with a few other to be honest.

            Not sure I like to rely on unassisted goals too much, but good for her. Im sure she will keep moving up.

          • guest

            Great point. They do seem to prefer the forwards who win the ball from a mistake in the back that tunrs into a 1vgoal triumph. I think mckaskill’s goal was the same in the u23 win. The goal against germany in the SBC was the same press won it shot and, through a series of “unfortunate events” for the Germans they lose. what percentage of goals does the US sscore at any level through build up play through the midfield?

          • AlexH

            True enough but they all count the same. Soccer ultimately is not about “how” but rather “how many”

          • #1Fan

            the point is how do you consistently get many

          • guest

            Exactly how I see it. These pounce on opportunity goals will get fewer at the higher levels. Must develop more sophisticated goal scoring strategies and technical/tactical abilities to support them.

          • #1Fan

            as technique globally gets better, and errors forced by pressure reduce, the question is can you generate goals in other ways.

          • guest

            Smith scored again as the u20s beat France 2-0. A lot of Pugh similarities there. Games not on LaManga though so will have to wait for highlights regarding to the goal circumstances.

          • #1Fan

            she is an excellent dribbler. does not pass or combine much tho .

          • guest

            Reported that once again “she stole the ball in the German box” and finished unassisted. not sure this ability completely translates to the WNT of the future (I hope it doesn’t because the defenses aren’t making stupid mistakes in the back)

          • Steglitz49

            KO was converted into a LB by Pia and that is where she should play. Basta.

          • ARED

            I’d be happy just to see her anywhere! lol. That was a good move by Pia, although she undercut it by playing Lepeilbit quite a lot after.

          • Steglitz49

            Wrong. Press’s issue is that she can’t cope when the pressure is on and she is too easily marked out of a game. Crystal’s issue is her lack of height. She would be short in the Japanese NT.

          • ARED

            As I said, I don’t get it either. I am almost always against holding back a player because they are “too small/weak/etc”. I like players who can play, and Lavelle obviously can with the ball, but I felt she was arguably the best player without the ball as well, at least after the initial adjustment to dealing with Bronze and Nobbs attacking prowess.

            But the US has a long record of being big, strong, and fast, and I think it’s b/c this is easier to notice and value than more nuanced play.

    • ARED

      I agree, except that other players who bring technical ability (and tactical or natural instincts and awareness) are consistently ignored in favor of those who bring little.

      There have been a number of very good USA midfielders, and right now they still have several who can play very well in this way, but usually they either are played out of position of not at all. Kind of like Lavelle so far. And, those who do play are set up to support Carli Lloyd more than to create chances for the team.

  • dw

    I get it. Here’s a player we can hype who’s not in the current CBA. We can make her a household name to continue the brand when we lock the vets out. Very savvy.

    And don’t misunderstand me, I’m not saying she didn’t have a good game (PotM worthy?) or that she doesn’t deserve her chance. I’m just looking a WHY there would be all this attention on her. As of today, brand continuity makes the most sense.

    • ARED

      Well, I’m not against what you’re saying being true, but Lavelle could and possibly should have gotten this chance awhile ago. So the fact that Lloyd is still cemented in the most desired position on the team, while players like Lavelle, Groom, and Ohai can barely get on the field if at all might not fit that idea.

      I think she was the best player, but I don’t think the competition was so high. I also value things like possession, supporting teammates, combination play, and tactical awareness more than many seem to, and I feel she was the best in each of these areas. Bronze and Lavelle were both great, which was fun to watch.

  • guest

    i hope rose lavelle get’s in the france game and has a strong showing so hopefully she can take megan rapinoe’s uswnt allocation spot in 2017.

  • john

    What’s really amazing about Lavelle is that Boston hasn’t traded her for a 2021 fifth round pick yet.

    • ARED

      Haha. I was thinking, it will be a tough task for her in Boston. No disrespect to Boston, but it certainly would be easier to step into a lot of other teams who are a bit more steady.

      • Steglitz49

        A better chance to shine?

        • ARED

          Yes, if it goes well she will get a lot of credit you would think.

          But, if she began her career in Portland and played fancy combinations with those midfielders, she’d shine as well.

          I haven’t known much about Boston for awhile, so I’ll have to see a few games to have an opinion for whether they can improve much or not with Lavelle.

          • Steglitz49

            Better number one in Gaul than number two in Rome.

          • ARED

            Unless the Gaul is sacked, while Rome prospers. Better number two and well-fed, than number one and fed to the wolves…. ; )

          • Steglitz49

            The barbarians sacked Rome in the end.

          • ARED

            Yes, but we do not know who will be sacked in NWSL, do we?

          • DNG

            I’m sure Lavelle(and Morgan Brian) would love to play for Portland. Unfortunately there is no real way for her to get there with out a trade and I doubt Portland are in a hurry to get rid of the talent that Boston would be asking for in return.

          • ARED

            Yes…I didn’t mean this as a real suggestion, just as a comment for perspective. The American way of the drafting of players can be a bit odd at times, and one reason it because the best young players are often put into very difficult positions for their first years as professionals.

            So, in two years from now we may hear a lot said about Lavelle and her time with Boston, but imagine if she had the benefit of being just another player in a team like Portland, where in Boston it is almost already certain she will be *the* player, which can be a heavy load.

          • DNG

            Lots of the commenters here hate the idea of certain clubs being dominant in the way that the Euro leagues are top heavy. I’m less sure that a “villian” is bad for the game though. Fans actually seem to rally behind toppling the king in most sports fandoms and I think it would be good for the development of players if teams were forced to bunker to compete and the other players had to break them down. This up and down style of the NWSL does very little in the way of player development in my opinion.

          • #1Fan

            i tend to agree. it spreads the talent and i think does not allows teams to create a “style easily. Teams should hire coaches and bid on players that re-inforce HOW they want to play.

          • DNG

            I in no way think that, for example Portland, would be so dominant the way others do if they had more control over their roster. I think that a team built with speed like WNY would still cause them issues and there is plenty of talent left over for the league for lots of other teams to still be very competitive. I also think it would be silly to restrict a group of investors in the future or now, like City Football Group for example, from investing in players and developing them if they wanted to do that.

          • #1Fan

            I agree. instead we have people drafting players they cant really use.

          • DNG

            I’m not really a huge fan of the draft by the way. I support any player who plays a year abroad in order to take more control over their career.

          • Steglitz49

            But then the discovery caper comes into play. they are never free. Always serfs to the NWSL.

          • Steglitz49

            Moe Brian has won a World Championship already. She can have her agent contact foreign bailiffs and prelates. Earn some dosh and enjoy the world. Mind you, as an Allocated WNT player her incomes is excellent as it is.

    • dw

      That only happens after she is allocated and wants to play in Portland/Orlando/whereever.

    • Bruce

      Just a matter of time until she’s traded to Chicago for Michele Dalton, a 2021 international slot and a BOGO coupon for deep dish from Giordano’s.

  • ARED

    I would encourage people to watch this match again and consider the plays when an American finds they have the ball and are in space, or are in an advantageous position. And see how they got into this position.

    This is what Lavelle did quite well, she breaks the opponent’s defense by connecting with teammates and giving the ball in these good positions. Mewis in this match made some good plays like this also, but in the first half Lavelle sending Pugh and Morgan in on the attack, and creating the start of many of the USA attacks. It is important for the players attacking to do well, as Dunn did to cross for Lavelle’s shot. But before that can ever happen, you need the first play to create something -and this is what players like Lavelle, Heath, Long, Pugh, etc can bring that is so important -always having the ball in a better position after than when you received it. Having a player in the CAM position who can do this would go a long way.

    Lavelle also had at least 2 nutmegs and a few fancy touches, which of course mean nothing -but also mean everything!

  • Bruce

    Last PSA of the week: Germany-England streaming live (and free) at foxsportsgo.com starting at at 4:00 pm EST.

    • Frozen Blue

      Mittag should have had a hat trick.

  • guest123

    Hopefully, this is an omen to tonight’s game (crossing fingers, toes & legs).

    https://twitter.com/WSUasa/status/839155769706704897

  • Frozen Blue

    Watching the Ger-Eng game, the turf looks pretty beat up especially on the near side line of the pitch, the 6 yard box on one side and 18 yard box on the other and the corners.

    • htm222

      that field is terrible

      • Frozen Blue

        I was surprised.

  • football-women.com

    … meanwhile we have seen England-Germany, the worst match in the Cup so far?

    • Frozen Blue

      I don’t know the USA-Ger was painful to watch with all the giveaways.

      • football-women.com

        Our report will have a look at the difference.
        While today it was tiredness that was often the reason for a lot of the “unforced” problems the first match was often because the pressure on the ball was very good.

  • mockmook

    Rose Lavelle!!!!

    http://www.ussoccer.com/stories/2017/03/07/17/26/20170307-news-wnt-lineup-notes-wnt-takes-on-france-with-shebelieves-cup-title-on-the-line

    Dunn sits to start the game.

    Some chick named Lloyd earning her first cap (I think).

    • Gary Diver

      I think four exclamation points is worthy only if Carli Lloyd was not starting.

      1. Does Rose Lavelle play winger again?

      2. A little odd that both Dunn and Pugh are on the bench since Ellis seems to like to sub one for the other. Maybe Pugh is injured.

      3. It will be interesting to see how Sauerbrunn, Long, and Short move the ball forward.

      4. Ellis doesn’t usually sub her back line, so it looks like Sonnett may not play at all.

      5. It will be interesting to see how the Press-Williams combo works out. Now is the time for Press to produce in a big match.

      6. If Pinto doesn’t have any time on the field, she should have play at La Manga.

      • mockmook

        Yeah, looks like it will be Lavelle and Heath on the wings.

      • Frozen Blue

        Just proves it doesn’t matter how Carli plays, she always starts. Not a very good example for the rest of the team.

      • mockmook

        Symbolically it is very important that Rose is starting this “Championship” game — giving a rookie this honor and responsibility is a big deal.

        Four exclamation points big.

        • CED

          She is also playing out of position which is the status quo for Ellis to cater to the albatross.

          • #1Fan

            The albatross who is still out there, in spite of her team not scoring much over 2 and a half games…amazing

    • Frozen Blue

      Happy for Lavelle but worried about her defensive responsibilities tonight, France is strong on the wings.

      • mockmook

        Indeed. They need to play defense as a unit if this has any chance to work.

        Also, I’d alternately keep Rose or Heath hanging back all game.

  • Gary Diver

    England-Germany Update (for those who didn’t watch)

    Germany beat England 1-0 with the winning goal by Anja Mittag (who scored German’s goal against USWNT in last year’s SBC)

    SBC outcome depends on France-USWNT match
    If France wins or ties, they win 2017 SBC. (And USWNT ties for last place and will have lost 2 home matches in a row for the first time in a zillion years.)
    If USWNT wins, they win 2017 SBC.

    P.S. The turf at some of last year’s SBC matches was also awful. There is no excuse for poor field conditions in a tournament USSF wants to highlight.

  • #1Fan

    For the record, the commentary is embarrassingly bad. When the US make mistakes or get pressured its development and good for them. When the pressure and look better, its competitive game.

    BE CONSISTENT PLEASE

    AS far as the Press offside ..please stop. Miles offside

    • DNG

      Announcing always seems to be poor. I finally feel vindicated for repeatedly praising France although the US did ship those two goals. I think we have pretty conclusive evidence though that Long is not a CB. Sauerbrunn not having a great game either.

      • #1Fan

        None of them are. Under direct ball pressure they have crumbled.

      • #1Fan

        The other observation is you are see in the difference a forward with great movement and the ability to drift wide, come short AND get in behind makes. Le Sommer is the best player on the park imo.

        • DNG

          I agree on Le Sommer. Lover her game she just needs to score more consistently in these types of matches. Her movement up front is second to none.

        • DNG

          Wagner did kind of let the team have it in her halftime analysis. Makes me think she is trying to walk that line of not being to critical and unlikable while broadcasting but does see what’s going on. And while you and I might want the announcers to call a spade a spade I’m not sure the majority of the TV audience does.

    • DNG

      I’m a broken record but Lloyd needs to go. She can’t move and is slow to move the ball. She’s France’s personal counter killer.

      • #1Fan

        100 pct correct. Its over. Its another STUNNING development that she has started EVERY game. How the heck is that even possible ?

        • Bruce

          Halftime subs tell you exactly what plan B is. We’re going to see more burners up the flank with crosses into the box. It’s just unacceptable that there’s no experimentation in the attacking Midfield.

          • #1Fan

            If in doubt ..Pace it out

  • Bruce

    Trying to look at the positive for the first half. Maybe the best ball movementry I’ve seen from a US team. Game’s just moving too fast for you know who.

    • CED

      Disagree on the movement. It;s the same take away. US is losing the center of the MF, Brian has been non existent, Mewis is doing okay but can’t do it all. Lloyd is an anchor. They are lucky to have only given up 2 goals.

      • Bruce

        No argument that the game is being played around the CM, particularly in the attacking half. Other than the glaring whole at CAM, I think the team has built up fairly well against a quality, active opponent.

        Just trying to be the glass half full guy.

  • #1Fan

    Lynn Williams so far ….

    • Bruce

      meh.

  • #1Fan

    Le Sommer ….showing you what top class fwd play is all about. A back 4 showing you how dynamic a full back can be with possession ..

  • #1Fan

    PINTO time ? Do you bring a kid in when you are getting blasted ?

    • Gary Diver

      Why not? It must be depressing for Pinto to be on the bench and witness the ineptitude on the field.

      Has USWNT lost two consequence home matches in the past 25 years? USWNT will tie for last place in 2017 SBC.

      You know what I think about Jill Ellis as a coach. Her team has regressed badly since WC15.

      1. Either Lloyd should go or Ellis should go.

      2. The MF is still a mess.

      3. The 3 back experiment is not working.

      4. Ellis is got to stop playing all of her players, including Morgan Brian, out of position.

      • Bruce

        the mass substitutions give JE an out.

  • htm222

    Good night Ellis
    Good night Long
    The only thing some will miss is your colorful thong

    Seriously, I think Ellis is done after this. Lloyd, Short and Long are the biggest problems and weren’t immediately subbed out

    • #1Fan

      No chance. Ellis is there for the duration

      • htm222

        You really think so? They’ve gotten rid of coaches for far less embarrassing failures.

        • #1Fan

          I do . She is going nowhere. The development 3 back spin will come out. Even though they built this game up as a result matters event

          • htm222

            My god, Long is terrible. She is almost 30 years old. This is not a development player.

          • #1Fan

            She’s blond and photogenic though 😉

      • Bill

        Agree, But I think she loses some or many on the team. They lose confidence in her and themselves

      • Gary Diver

        Duration of what? USWNT could by WC19 find themselves ranked 3rd or 4th in the world. Is that accepted by USSF?

        • #1Fan

          of course it is . The RoW is getting better right? Its why we need a GDA right? never fear….BJ Snow is going to find you some great College players. Like he did for the U-17s. I wonder How Frenchie has helped this group with the attitude so far?

      • guest

        Why? There were people who probably said this about every other sacked coach on the men’s and women’s side, including Klinsmann. Ellis clearly has no idea what she is doing. Any person with minimal exposure to the game knew that Allie Long would be a disaster CB against a competent team. Germany was clearly off when she started against them since they were much stronger in the last two games.

        • #1Fan

          Not coming of winning the WC

          • guest

            how many years ago was that? she had the worst result in an olympics ever. There is clearly a big problem. Maybe USSF doesn’t care enough about the women’s game to make adjustments, which is the only reason I could see her continuing in her position. They did let go of the U-17/20 coaches….

  • #1Fan

    so basically the real “game” is over. And France won 3-0. Meanwhile Lloyd still out there

    Truly HILARIOUS

    • DNG

      And Lloyd is still in the match. This is 3 horrible matches in a row

      • #1Fan

        Your only hope is that Ellis gave her all these games to hang herself

  • htm222

    Wow Ellis HATES press doesn’t she. .. why was that the first sub? crazy.

    • guest

      In Ellis’ warped mind she will never live down the OG Colombia game and missed PK, just like Lloyd can still ride on the damned WC.

  • #1Fan

    Sonnett getting wet. Campbell getting wet. Pinto getting wet….

  • #1Fan

    ROFL O’Hara …this is priceless

  • Bill

    What position is Heath playing now?

  • #1Fan

    so far all we have show consistently on the plus side is ….PACE

    • Gary Diver

      Every coach needs a game plan? What was Ellis’ game plan? The players don’t seem to know what it is?

      Why is Ellis playing so many players out of position? Her 3 back formation has either players who cannot defend or players who felt uncomfortable with the ball and take ages to move it forward.

      • #1Fan

        Its the same plan as EVERY USSF coach. win the ball high and make a play. We are NOT a patient possession nation. These players are NOT possession players. they are pace counter players. Almost EVERY single one of them.

        you can teach old dogs new tricks

        • DNG

          I can’t say that the Pacey US players have impressed me tonight and the back three got shredded by France’s pace out wide.

          • #1Fan

            i did not say they were good. I said they ran fast 🙂

        • Bruce

          Do we have the players to win over the top balls anymore?

  • Gary Diver

    Like the OG QF, Jill Ellis didn’t do anything right tonight. Why did she put in KO as the last sub instead of Pinto?

  • Gary Diver

    Question: Is this the worst start of a season for USWNT in the past 25 years?

  • anon

    I didn’t see the first half but was Press that bad? Why was she the first sub off? Why does Ellis hate her? Especially with Gimpy morgan, she is the best threat in front of goal

    • guest

      She has no aerial game, and that is the excuse Ellis uses to not play her. Then again, she was subbed off for Dunn, who also has no aerial game because she is so tiny.

      • #1Fan

        disagree. She was awful today, like all of them were bar maybe Mewis

        • DNG

          If it gets Lloyd dropped from the starting lineup I’ll take it. I won’t hold my breath though. I agree that no one was good tonight.

    • Bruce

      No, not that bad. Worked hard to cover the void left by you know who. Like so many other players, unable to show her skills due to the failure of the CMs.

      If Lloyd HAS to play CAM, I guess is makes sense to make subs that attack with speed from the wings and cross into the box. Not promising though.

      • #1Fan

        she was bad. they all were.

        • Bruce

          Just responding to the OP’s question.

        • annie

          Bad enough to be the first sub off instead of Lloyd, Long or Short? That seems… ridiculous. Why would you sub off your primary scoring threat who isn’t getting service, over the people who are turning over the ball left and right?

          • #1Fan

            well I dont equate degrees of badness with when subbed. She brought on pace wide, so that was press and lavelle. Williams si supposed to be according threat as is Lloyd right?

          • guest

            I’m no soccer coach but I don’t understand why that would be the case. You see your “backline” getting torched and clearly the primary problem. Why wouldn’t you fix that first?

          • DNG

            Doesn’t make sense to give up on the back line experiment over one half. Might as well see it play out. That being said It wasn’t a very good experiment. France tearing though a back three with their speed out wide and good distributers from the back should have been expected.

          • #1Fan

            it was not so much foot speed apart from LeS, it was wing back overlapping and causing the wide player to be isolated. I said this yday. Ellis is building a formation to play bunkers when these teams are NOT bunker teams. The wide players get overrun by good teams with attacking FBs and a LeS who drifts in to that hole and just destroys the inexperienced bak line.

            If this was must win, Elis would have had to switch to a back 4.

          • Bill

            Ellis over prepared to fight the last war. She misunderstood and mis read where the challenges were going to come from.

            The world is catching up and now we can be beaten several ways…bunkers…speed…one or two good players ( England)…ourselves.

            If Germany did not have jet lag it would have been 0-3

          • DNG

            Thomis gave the back line issues with her speed too but I agree. I don’t understand why Ellis thinks a back three is so much more attacking focused than a back 4 with attacking full backs.

          • mockmook

            If you play a high back line, I don’t see how having 4 in the back will help (especially when you typically send your OBs even more forward).

            Again, I’d say the problem starts in the midfield. But, don’t play that high line either.

            And, like you, I also see a mismatch of personnel and formation.

          • #1Fan

            Why she brought in attacking width? Well she is locked in to the Long experiment right? so I guess she need to let them work thru it ..Oh wait, she moved Long in to MF.

            I HATE a back 3 for this group. Does not have the personnel. She massively overrates the player IQ, and ability to jut pick this up in camps vs each other.

            Back 4 ALL the way and use overlaps and combinations to create. If you are going to pick Morgan, then play to her strength in behind or crosse and cut backs. Lynn Williams is to a come short play to feet player.

            The personnel is not suited to a possession game

          • Yes, you

            You must be texting this on your cell pone, because the grammar is indecipherable.

          • Bruce

            Just like in the OGs, there was no plan for substitutions in this match. It looked like a pick up game in the last 15 minutes.

            Ellis spent all of her subs all just to give herself the excuse that the game was a “learning process”, IMHO.

  • Gary Diver

    As someone posted: “No formation switch. No fight back. No passion. No nothing. Your own tourney, and you regressed during.”

  • #1Fan

    Best day they have ever had? love Aly, but cmon

  • Gary Diver

    USWNT scored 1 goal in three matches during their own tournament.

    • #1Fan

      yep. I recall saying pre event that the forward play had been poor for a while. I think we were told that Morgan was one of the greatest ever. Still.

      how on earth does anyone think Lloyd or Morgan is better than Le Sommer ? I guess Lyon really need her and City need to sell a few shirt over here

  • #1Fan

    The focus is 2019, from a 34 yr old ….WOW
    We had a bunch of young players….we did?

    • Gary Diver

      Lloyd and Ellis need to go immediately. Lloyd is only going to get worse in the next two years and she is now the official albatross. Ellis has shown no ability to choose a roster, play players in their best positions, develop a workable game plan or even general strategy, make mid-game changes, or form a team that plays like a team with a common purpose.

      If they don’t go, it is only going to get worse.

      • #1Fan

        Not going to happen.

  • Gary Diver

    Is this true? USWNT came in last place in 2017 SBC (instead of tied for 3rd place) though their record was the same as England. Standing determined by (1) points, (2) goal difference, and 3) goals scored.

    • mockmook

      It’s true!!!!

      (4 exclamations true)

      • Gary Diver

        Out of curiosity, how would you rate Lavelle’s game performance?

        • #1Fan

          I thought she was OK, Stunned she got subbed. But defensively she had no chance

        • mockmook

          I think I agree with #1

          OK, but not fast enough to be a wing against FRA (especially on defense).

        • Bruce

          I think it’s safe to say that there won’t be another “outshines the competition” article tomorrow.

    • HOFCToDi

      The three back system is a massive failure. The SheBelieves Cup proves that tomato cans on the schedule is a complete waste of time.

      • Gary Diver

        “Tomato cans on the schedule is a complete waste of time.”

        Agree completely. They are a waste of the players’ time and a waste of our time. Donald Trump may be interested, but I am not sure I will even follow next month’s matches against 23rd ranked Russia. What is the point? Certainly not player development. The players would be better off practicing with their club teams.

        • HOFCToDi

          Due to an archaic Collective Bargaining Agreement, the USWNT coaching staff is not allowed to form a U-25 USWNT squad for such matches.

          #PaytoPlay

  • #1Fan

    I dont want to hear this learning stuff when your leading minute players were the likes of Sauebrunn and Lloyd

  • HOFCToDi

    Allie Long SUCKS!

    Due to the magnitude of the loss, Jill Ellis should be fired.

    • Gary Diver

      I have suspected that Hope Solo was fired mainly because she criticized Ellis. It may be an unpardonable sin to criticize your coach, but Solo was right about Ellis. It is now beyond the point of criticism, Ellis needs to go yesterday.

      • HOFCToDi

        Allie Long is not a centerback. Allie Long is not a defensive/holding midfielder. Allie Long does not belong on the USWNT.

        No attempt whatsoever to develop Emily Sonnett.

        • Gary Diver

          Why didn’t Ellis play Sonnett in at least one game? Sonnett is the future and the future needs development. Long, Krieger, Klingenberg, Sauerbrunn are the past. And Ellis needs to develop 2 or 3 other young defenders.

          • HOFCToDi

            As was the case with Jurgen Klinsmann, Jill Ellis has gone looney tunes.

          • HOFCToDi

            Emily Sonnett did not even see the field during the 2017 SheBelieves Cup. Not one minute.

          • HOFCToDi

            Jill Ellis did not even bench Allie Long after the second goal. So much for a show of accountability.

      • HOFCToDi

        Might as well rename the back three tonight as the Keystone Cops.

      • HOFCToDi

        As the case with Jurgen Klinsmann, the longer the tenure the greater the lunacy.

    • guest

      She is terrible. It is hilarious that Ellis is building her team around her.

      • HOFCToDi

        Allie Long has no clue how to defend. Allie Long is a roaring tire fire.

  • sunil

    Can we call up Savannah Jordan now?

    • #1Fan

      Mr Gulati… what are you doing here 🙂

      • Gary Diver

        I hope he watched this embarrassing tournament.

        • Bruce

          He gave the French team the trophy after the match. No speech though.

  • DNG

    Horan at forward. That’s what I want to see in the next round of matches.

    • #1Fan

      won’t happen

      • DNG

        She had that volley if Dunn doesn’t take a heavy touch. Strength and skill in the opponents box is too obvious for Ellis I suppose.

        • #1Fan

          of course it is. She has hitched her wagon to this lot. Btw pretty funny that Dunn went in up top. She is not being down any favors with all the positional flip flopping

          • DNG

            No she isn’t. OB and wide mid are somewhat similar but going from WB to forward is very different. They need to pick a position for her and keep her there. I vote OB in a back 4.

          • #1Fan

            yep. So do I. there is a glaring need and there is less of one up top

          • DNG

            Kelley O’hara is a decent overlapping OB option too at RB. LB on the other hand I think there is a big need. Short has not shown me she is that type of player and Klingenberg just doesn’t have the pace.

          • #1Fan

            short CANNOT pass. typical strong 1 vs 1 defender . a man marker, but not much more so far

          • DNG

            Completely agree.

    • guest

      I actually kind of agree and I’m not a Horan fan. Against France you need a tall and physically imposing forward.

      • #1Fan

        So she is to become the USWNY Marouane Fellaini ? She is better than that. You can’t mess with player like that and get the best from them. If she does it, then it has to be accompanied with bye bye Lloyd and possibly bye bye Morgan

        • DNG

          I think you could play her with Morgan(I wouldn’t), but she would be playing in “Lloyd’s” space.

          • #1Fan

            i would need to be convinced she could play with Morgan. Morga peels off. never close enough. What your hunk Of Pugh tonight? Im still waiting for the is phenomenon to show up. Pacey player who want to go forward ALL the time. And tbh, not looking that pacey at present..my 2c…Yours ?

          • DNG

            Well I think she could adapt to Morgan’s game, that doesn’t mean I think they’d get the best out of her pairing her with Morgan.

          • DNG

            Not impressed with Pugh tonight either although she still seems to be a media darling. And you said it after the first match but Tobin is wasted as a wing back.

          • Bruce

            I came away with the feeling that she’s not match fit at present. Seems to have run out of gas after 20 minutes in each game.

            Maddening that *every* time she gets the ball it’s a mad dash to the end line. Does not seem to be evolving.

          • Gary Diver

            Aren’t the coaches supposed to develop young player’s abilities?

          • #1Fan

            Hard one. I dont think they are. I think they are there to pick the skill sets they want and then create a game plan that gives them the best chance of success. Players need to work on their own and outside representative/NTs to develop certain things.

          • DNG

            One thing on Pugh I think she still looked pacey but she seems to be falling off quicker. I don’t think she’s completely match fit yet. I don’t think she’s ever really showed us much other than pace so my expectation are not as high as many others. There are some though in the media that think she’s already the best player on the team and I just don’t see it.

      • ABCDE

        So you need Ada Hegerberg. Come forward, American Ada!

  • truth

    Ellis wants to destroy Christen Press at every turn. She is bitter about Press beating her UCLA team.

    • #1Fan

      stop. Press was poor today. This is not personal at all. had a bad game…happens

      • truth

        how could you call her poor when she only played for 45 minutes? She shines by wearing down tired defenses in the last 20 minutes of a game. Every other forward gets almost a full game to prove themselves. So messed up that she was the first one subbed off.

      • Reality

        Given that Lloyd was clogging up the whole run of play, none of the forwards had much of a chance to shine. Press had probably the best game among them by playing offense and defense. She ran down LeSommer and helped dispossess her, had a couple of long passes into Williams, and had a good run into the box on a cross. Lloyd should have come out not Press.

        • Breakers fan

          I agree that it was a direct insult to Press to remove her and not Williams at halftime. Press has paid so many more dues than Williams. Had a great game already *in this frickin’
          tournament* and this is the treatment she gets? I don’t want to overstate things as in this game you probably do want to see a bunch of players at forward at some point, but if you’ve decided to keep one forward in and take one out I think, crystal clearly, that Press is the one who gets to stay in. It sickened me, that choice Ellis made. Nothing against Lynn as she did some good things in the Germany game too, but when you line the 2 up, to me it’s an easy choice of who stays on. I was also really disappointed that we got 0 minutes of a Morgan/Press combo at forward. Why would you not want to see that in action?

          • Reality

            “I was also really disappointed that we got 0 minutes of a Morgan/Press combo at forward. Why would you not want to s ee that in action?”

            Gee, I’ve been asking that question for years. I’ve just come to attribute it to Ellis’s general incompetence as a coach in managing the roster, the lineups, the substitutions, the tactics, her lack of flexibility, her inability to adjust to game conditions and her unfortunate favoritism of certain players which is not based on overall merit. Have I missed anything?

          • Breakers fan

            it’s like you really get into wanting/needing a great professional psychologist to properly answer the questions of why she makes some of the moves she does. I do think that she has a stubborn streak of personally enjoying disappointing, saddening Press stemming from her choosing Stanford over…..her, at UCLA and then watching Press lead a team who beat Ellis’ Bruins. I don’t know the numbers there – the Stanford vs. UCLA record when Press was with the Cardinal but I’d like to know what it is.. I can’t think of any other explanation, and yes I know the statistical arguments some make against Press. I think Ellis does have some, not a ton, but some hard-headed, stubbornness about her with certain players – Lloyd and Press, that tend to last.

          • Reality

            One wouldn’t think that Ellis would be so petty as to hold Press’s choice of and record at Stanford against UCLA against her. But the vagaries of human nature should not be dismissed.

            For the record, here is Press’s record at Stanford…

            http://web1.ncaa.org/stats/StatsSrv/careerplayer

            Press was responsible for knocking off the Ellis UCLA team twice in the NCAA tournament in her last 2 years as coach there…(excerpted from Press Stanford bio)

            “As a Junior in 2009: Press scored a golden goal on a screaming 24-yarder in the 94th minute against UCLA in the NCAA College Cup semifinals (Dec. 4) in chilly and windy conditions in College Station, Texas, to give Stanford a 2-1 victory.

            http://www.gostanford.com/news/2009/12/4/208077329.aspx

            As a Senior in 2010: Press scored twice in 3-0 NCAA third-round victory in the rain against visiting UCLA (Nov. 19) … and scored a combined three goals in two NCAA playoff matches against UCLA.”

            http://www.mercurynews.com/2010/11/19/sports-digest-christen-press-leads-no-1-stanford-over-ucla-in-ncaa-womens-soccer/

          • Breakers fan

            Wow. She was an assassin to Ellis’ Bruins back then. One could choose to embrace that (“I can now have this player on MY team??!!”) or one could choose to look at it in a power-hungry, vengeful way “My chance to exact retribution. Ahhahahahaha!!!!”) Could be a wrongful interpretation, but may not be. None of us knows, that’s for sure.

          • #1Fan

            Nah. I think we do.

          • Breakers fan

            What do we know? I think I know your answer but would like to see it in black and white to confirm my suspicion of what your feelings are.

          • #1Fan

            i think its simple. JE thinks Morgan is a better player.

          • Breakers fan

            But they both can play – Morgan and Press, you don’t have to pick one over the other.
            You don’t think Eliis may carry any weird psychological baggage against Press. I think it’s possible she does. We just differ about that. No way of knowing who’s right. Never will be.

          • #1Fan

            they cant bot play centrally in a 433 formation. Press did play wide at times. the 3412 or 352 is relatively new right?

          • DNG

            They could play Press behind the striker. The team wouldn’t be able to play like a possession team with them both in though.

          • #1Fan

            By your notion any coach preferring player A over B may have some

            weird psychological baggage

            Why can it not be as simple as she prefers Morgan and trusts her to perform, therefore gives her as much rope as she needs And in a @ ST formation, she is looking at other combinations ?

            I dont see why there has to be a conspiracy theory?

          • Breakers fan

            There doesn’t have to be. i find the Press situation odd and there is a connection between these 2 people. I also said I may be wrong.

            I think it is possible that any coach preferring player A over player B may have done so for the reason I gave. Key word is “may”. Evidently you don’t think that’s possible?

            How would you describe the YNT roster selections over the years – decisions that you have often critiqued here? Nothing fishy about them? No conspiring going on to keep certain players in, keep others out? Just a pure, honest, ongoing evaluation of all players in the country? They actually believe that every player not invited is simply inferior and make their best efforts to find all good players, and challenge the incumbents? If you do feel it’s ALL 100% above board you then simply believe they are not good talent evaluators. Is that fair to say? That that really is their only fault, (in addition to not being good coaches either)

            By the way I am not at all a big conspiracy person but things happen for a reason that exist in people’s minds and the reason may not correspond to outside reality that well and I think it’s possible– emphasis on that word — they they know they don’t correspond to reality as well as they could. I don’t think everyone is just super nice and fair to everyone.

            I find the Press situation odd. I’m trying to understand it. I don’t think human beings, Jill included, are all models of rationality or beyond some immoral behavior. Before you say, again, ‘she may really feel that way” I’ll say, again, “I know, but she may not just “feel that way”. And the merry-go-round could then go round again if we want it to….

          • #1Fan

            At some point you have to accept the coaches decision and authority. The difference between YNTs and the NT is the YNTs have done poorly CONSISTENTLY with the same talent and the same coaches.

            The NtT is coming off a WC win and a PK loss in OG 16.

            you cannot compare the 2 circumstances.

            I really dont understand what you want to see happen other than the coach decide its Press/Morgan.

            Im not an Ellis defender or lover. i just think it makes no sense to go crazy on the decisions she has made re Press given her results in a results driven business. SBC is the first hiccup and she has a ready made excuse – 3 back. Time will tell.

          • Breakers fan

            To say I’m going crazy is a bit much. But if I come across that way I’ll work on lowering the passion about soccer stuff.

            This began simply and only by me questioning yanking Press over Williams, Then I acknowledged that ok, maybe she just wants to see Willaims a bit more – fine. Then I said I personally would have liked to see some minutes of Morgan/Press. As we all say on here what we would like to see. Then I said I don’t agree with her use of Press over the last 5 years. So maybe you have identified the totality of the opinions I’ve expressed today.

          • Steglitz49

            The Press situation is not odd at all. It is illustrated by the manner in which she left Göteborg. That mark of Cain stays with you forever. “Out, damned spot! out, I say!”

          • Steglitz49

            Most, if not all, objective observers would agree with that assessment.

          • DNG

            Not sure that’s 100% the case anymore but until we see more I think this is the correct assumption. It’s interesting to me how Morgan is starting to get less time and is being pushed while Lloyd is not. Hot take. Ellis got lucky at the WC and stumbled onto the right mix of players organized good enough. You are right that her opinion is the only one that really matters though.

          • Reality

            What we can examine is the poor utilization of Press by Ellis in her tenure with the USWNT. Is it a bias against Press specifically or just a reflection of Ellis’s inadequacies as a coach? Either way, the bottom line is that Press, despite her excellent career, has never been given a real opportunity by Ellis to play at her natural position of CF. By real opportunity I mean starting every game and playing for 90″ on a regular basis.

          • #1Fan

            or maybe JE just thinks others are better and therefore sees Press as a good squad player, no more. Maybe she was born at the wrong time and just overshadowed by Morgan. I prefer Press, but its JE call.

          • Breakers fan

            So if Ellis just sees Press as ” a good squad player, no more” — based on what Press has done in her career, what do *you* think that says about Ellis’s ability to evaluate talent? Does a coach who thinks that deserve to be the head of the top team in the country (in your opinion)? Of course I know that what we think will not influence anything, but what is your opinion about these 2 questions?

          • #1Fan

            JE won the World Cup.

            Wambach is a legend, Morgan is a legend, Lloyd is a legend.
            There is / was a logjam at attacking positions. The fact you and I and maybe others think Press was/is better is irrelevant.

            What bad decision has she made that cost the US in real terms? OG-16? Ok, but AM scored and it was a PK shootout right?

            I am one of the most vocal critics of the way the NT system is run and manged, BUTG you cannot take way a WC win. it may be proven in time that JE was wrong, but for now I cannot kill her just becasue her actions suggest she sees others as better options centrally.

          • Breakers fan

            I’ve given her credit here for the WC win and still do. But to think it could only have been done that way is questionable.

            I never knew you to be such a Jill Ellis fan and supporter. I like it.

            The only subject really under debate here is what is our opinion of her use of Press over the last 5 years. I know it’s irrelevant (as is every opinion on this board that people like me and you spend countless hours typing out ) Seems you agree with us about Press but feel compelled also to defend Jill, which I do appreciate, but I know what her decisions have been, as I watch the games. I wanted to say that I disagree with them — even though it’s probably a waste of time and won’t change anything.

          • #1Fan

            winning the World Cup makes her right Im afraid. the same way as Lloyds 3 goals make her right. There is a huge difference between defending her and accepting that since she achieved the stated goal , she is above criticism.

            If you are going to criticize a WC winning coach on her past 5 years..then anything pre WC15 has been validated. As far as OG 16 goes. jury out for me. I saw the same issues as I did pre WC, but the results were not damning enough to wipe her out. FFwd to SBC. The same issues exist and the results were bad so it is getting closer to open season, but not there yet for me.

            Rememeber BJ and French got 2 cycles and won ZERO. The WC winning HC is going to get time.

          • Breakers fan

            I never wrote: “fire her”. I just stated a critical opinion of her use of Press. I acknowledge that it is just an opinion – meaning I could be wrong – and that things (jill’s opinions, the only ones that matter) can change. Or they may not and that what I say will remain just an opinion just as what Jill does is only her opinion.

          • #1Fan

            She won the World Cup. Surely that makes her right in how she used all the players. they won. we can debate going forward, but to me the win draws a line under everything to that point. OG16 was not a 2 st formation. More 433. so not sure where you wanted Press to play there. and now in 352 – we will see where Press ends up.

          • Breakers fan

            Forget everything else — would you, no one else, if you had been the USWNT coach as long as Jill, have used Press the same way? I’m not saying you would be right, but do you criticize, rightly or wrongly. her use of her? Only your opinion wanted here, what you would have done had you been the head coach.

          • #1Fan

            i would have had a very different team. Lloyd would not be in my team. Morgan would not be in my team. She won. I cant say much, her selections were validated.

            I also cant bring it down to Press only. Any single player is a function of many things like formation, tactics , opponent etc etc.

            What i can say is that If I was coach, Press would have had every opportunity to show what she can do in her favored position. If she was not picked , I would be able to point to specific reasons why,

          • Breakers fan

            We agree about Press then, thank you for clearly stating your overall opinion about her. I too don’t think she’s the only person who matters in the team’s success.
            We both would have approached the time up to the World Cup differently than Jill. Whether our approaches would have led to a better or worse WC performance than Jill’s is unknowable.

          • #1Fan

            Could only have been worse:) or the same..they won

          • Breakers fan

            Many degrees, though – could have won way more spectacularly (though the final would have been tough to top. 🙂 ) or could have been worse, or way worse. Point is we disagreed significantly, (were very critical of) with at least some of the decisions Jill made at the time – which is all any of us do here when we’re negative.
            I do think you’re right to point out though that no matter what she did it did lead to a victory. That shouldn’t be minimized. But even with that I always give the lion’s share of the credit to the players, the ones out on the field playing.

          • Reality

            Wow! Your initial comment certainly precipitated an enlightening discussion. Thank you.

          • Breakers fan

            Not sure how enlightening it was, but thanks. If only we could be let in on the truth about all the things we wonder about. All we and more importantly the players can do is go on. Ironic thing is that players probably play best when their heads aren’t full of thoughts/words, which is why it may be best that they don’t go to message boards, because that’s what they find there -many words and passionate statements from complete strangers.

          • Reality

            Waxing philosophically for a moment, what you described reflects the disconnect that has occurred in our culture between respectful meaningful communication in face to face encounters versus anonymous, reactive, and disrespectful collisions that occur in the digital cloud. However, it is possible to discern people who are good hearted and fair minded and it is always gratifying to exchange thoughts with individuals like you.

          • #1Fan

            Exchange thoughts ? or just agree 🙂

          • Reality

            Not at all. Exchanging disagreements is often just as valuable if not more so as long as it is done in a manner that is mature and respectful. You have certainly demonstrated that in your participation here at EQ.

          • #1Fan

            Im just messing with you. Been a good discussion. Hopefully we have many more .

          • Breakers fan

            Thanks, man. Poetically stated, thank you for that. . I send that sentiment right back atcha.

          • #1Fan

            There are viable lineups in peoples heads. the only ones you can give the check mark to are the ones that she used. She won. As far as they are concerned they won spectacularly so even that is in the eye of the beholder. One of the players who gets credit is Lloyd – I think she is a mediocre player, but my opinion is irrelevant . She is a WC sinner and all the rest.

            As fans, we can criticize all we want, but its hard with the WNT becasue they had had such a huge competitive edge in numbers that results were a given. Im hoping the SBC is the start of a era where great and efficient coaching is required to win consistently. At that point, we will get a good read on JE and the USSF machine.

            My position is to be strategic in my criticism of the NT and see what happens. I dont like the Development system and I think our failures in that area give us the right to be critical.

            When winning requires the best people to make great decisons, we will get a good read on who iss and who is nt up to it

          • Breakers fan

            Well-said. I can’t really add anything to your feelings there. You see the pool down to about …what, age 15 or so? So you basically know who we’ll be seeing, with maybe a few exceptions, for the next 10-15 years. I want to enjoy it more so than I plan on critiquing it, though some of the latter will probably come out, like it did today. Who’s waiting to hear my thoughts, you know?

          • DNG

            I’d love to see what Press could do playing off a connecting striker like Horan. I noted it in the matches and I think you did too that Williams and Press hardly combined at all. I think you lose all the benefits of a 2 striker formation if they can’t combine with one another. Maybe they develop more of a connection but I don’t really see Williams as that type of player right now.

          • Reality

            “She won the World Cup. Surely that makes her right in how she used all the players.”

            I think we won WC2015 despite Ellis. Most of the decisions she eventually made were forced by injury or penalty. We had a challenging group stage although it was hardly a group of death. The prediction was that we would move through it and indeed we did but with more difficulty than anticipated due to the less than impressive mid-field play, Ellis switching the forwards around and playing people out of position.

            While Germany and France had a easier time in the group stage, they had to play each other and then us whereas we only had to play one of them. And 120″ with a shootout is more draining physically and emotionally than your 90″ game. The penalty shot taken by Sasic was the fundamental turning point in our game with Germany. She choked and the rest of the team did not rise to the occasion. So all credit to us for hanging tough and winning. Luckily, we did not have to play Germany and France back to back with one of the games being a true 120″ death match. Instead, we got to play Japan who were not of the same caliber as 2011.

            Lloyd had a miserable WC in the midfield and was one of the primary reasons we were performing poorly. Ellis made the correct call by removing her, but then rewarded her by moving her to the so called “withdrawn forward” position. We may have ended up winning this WC through a combination of good luck, “fortuitous draw”, and other teams’ lack of performance, but our victory has been a pyrrhic one since it cemented Lloyd’s position on the team thereby creating problems with our tactics, development and utilization of players for now and the foreseeable future.

          • #1Fan

            where does brilliance end and good fortune begin ?

          • Reality

            Perhaps we can call it accidental brilliance.

          • Steglitz49

            The Bomb in Brasilia on the Glorious 12th, aka the Miracle on Grass, does not lie. Accidental failure, some would say. It does not matter because it is the worst ever major tournament for the USWNT.

            Worst.

            Ever.

          • #1Fan

            Fair comment. Its usually a mixture of both

          • Steglitz49

            You type — “Luckily, we did not have to play Germany and France back to back …” — but luck had nothing to do with it because FIFA arranged it that way.

          • Steglitz49

            Carli LLoyd scored the winner in OG-08 and the 2 goals in OG-12 before she had her tremendous WC-15 final.

            The jury for OG-16 is easy: the y failed and they failed miserably. Their reason for failure was to underestimate the Viking lasses. This is understandable because they have neither been to Bern nor contemplated the restored Longines clock: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0e37b9a9146ae430060a45bb31749c1aab9f993e6b0a720c2237deabf1d41252.jpg

          • Steglitz49

            Hear hear!

          • Reality

            Speculation about what goes on in Ellis’s head is a fruitless exercise. The same for her public pronouncements. All we have to look at is her actions and I think they demonstrate poor judgement not only in regard to Press and the potential pairing of Morgan and Press, but more importantly to the overall management of the NT.

          • Steglitz49

            Press is not cut out for the high pressure limelight while Alex thrives in it.

          • #1Fan

            No . Dont see that at all. I have no issues with a coach preferring one player to another. Ellis is just very irrational and inconsistent with implementation

          • Reality

            Ah, finally received a reply from you. Interesting that you have felt the need to zero in on Press “having a bad game”. While you appear to portray yourself as a disinterested and objective observer, your comments seem to reflect a more personal view.

            Ellis has indeed displayed many inadequacies as a coach…see my other comments in this thread. She certainly has been “…very irrational and inconsistent with implementation.” I would say that particularly applies to her utilization of Press over the years. It really has become a paradigm for how to waste a gifted player’s talents which is why I have often cited Press as an example of a flawed USWNT system.

          • #1Fan

            You have got the wrong guy . I much prefer Press to Morgan. have said it many times. But Im not blind. I said theyALL played badly except maybe Mewis. Why do you choose to make it sound like Im just focused on Press.?

            A balanced argument needs to be able to see both sides. I see JE side, I just don’t agree with it. But I think the explanations are rational in isolation. Just not coherent when you look at several decisions impacting several player, not just Press

          • Reality

            I just observed your repetitive comments specifically mentioning Press each time about players “having a bad game”. But, be that as it may, I think we can both agree that Ellis is not rational in general in her management of the NT. As of yet, she apparently has payed no price. But I have to wonder how the team is beginning to perceive her judgement and what effect that will have on her effectiveness as a coach.

          • Bruce

            I posted during the game that the halftime subs showed that JE’s response to being down two goals was to bring in speed on the flanks and hope to get back in the game by lobbing the ball into the box. That’s Abby-ball and not at all a strength for Press/Lavelle, so from that point of view I get it – even though they both had better first halves than Williams/Lloyd.

            That stated, the more troubling issue is that Ellis thinks that reverting to the NT’s most basic style is the correct approach to scoring against a team that is most likely to be bunkering. Doesn’t that run contrary to the whole idea about changing to a 3-back?

            She’s just clueless.

          • Reality

            I took note of your comment during the game, “…to bring in speed on the flanks and hope to get back in the game by lobbing the ball into the box.” and thought it was right on target in regard to Ellis being clueless in her reaction to the development of the match. Ellis’s typical response under pressure is to regress to what she considers to be safe and familiar. Unfortunately, that is often the wrong answer, too predictable and perhaps even expected by the opposition.

          • #1Fan

            I think you have selective vision here. Or you are not actually looking at the totality of the comments made.

          • Reality

            I will certainly review that but you should also take note of the number of times you have singled out Press.

          • #1Fan

            mate. when responding to threads ABOUT PRESS , not started by me. the topic is going to be PRESS

          • Reality

            Welcome aboard.

          • #1Fan

            I would add that I dont know how many times I have to a say that I think Press is a better player, but that does not mean I think she is immune to playing poorly. I

          • Reality

            No one is immune to playing poorly and Press is no exception. I was disappointed in her play and I was disappointed by the whole team’s play, but I was mostly disappointed by Ellis’s clueless management

          • Breakers fan

            If you truly, deeply believe in a player you don’t get minutely focused on whether each touch is ideal and have your decisions about whether to play them or not the next half all come down to a minute-by-minute really severe evaluation of each touch. You extend some length of leash to players you deeply believe in. I guess Ellis does not see Press that way, but rather that intense scrutiny is still being exercised about her. Or…maybe she did just want to see Williams more – that isn’t crazy in and of itself

            But I do think it’s crazy to coach your top group of players that way. For me, Press would be in that group. But yeah, if what you’re doing here is trying to be a mouthpiece for Jill, to speak for her, then what you’re saying may be what’s happening. I was trying to get to what the possible underlying origins of this are or could be.

            The great John Wooden played a very small group of players at UCLA. He went with a tight core of I think 7 guys, mostly 5. He saw his team, evaluated them, then went with, stuck with the group he believed in, to give them a lot of time to develop chemistry. How did that go for him?

            Not saying you disagree with that approach, just saying that you can make a decision that you’re going to go with certain players and not be ultra, uber, “what have you done for me lately?” about *everything, every* player does.

          • #1Fan

            You lost me. Your point seems to validate what JE is doing. Morgan has more of a leash than Press does in JE eyes.

          • Breakers fan

            My point was that I think Press’s historical record should lead to her having a much longer leash. That if she was yanked from the French game due to a few touches, ( IF ) then that is a coaching strategy I don’t agree with – putting a player of her caliber under such an ongoing severe microscope. I brought up Wooden because he didn’t yank his best players if they made an error or two. Implicit in this is the notion that you have to be a very good talent evaluator to begin with, like Wooden was, in order to decide who gets the longest leashes on your team.

          • Steglitz49

            It is 2017, not 2010.

          • Steglitz49

            Good grief!

            The USWNT head coach 2008-2012 was Pia. Pia had neither allegiances to Stanford, Berkeley or the Sheik of Araby.

          • #1Fan

            im not a believer that Press Morgan works, but at least try it. Problem is if you try it vs bad teams you learn nothing.

          • Breakers fan

            I don’t think you learn nothing because it would still be time on the field for them to work together, develop communication, chemistry, further knowledge of the other’s game in-game, but yeah, you learn less and so this was a great opportunity wasted for that if you’re considering that combination. Still time before the next WC if you want to try it, however.

          • #1Fan

            not if you are not convinced that they can play together. the only way your mind MAY be changed is IF they play well together vs REAL competition . You need to accept that JE does not see press/morgan as a combo. So what is going to change her mind? I can see why she would not see them as a good pairing.

          • Breakers fan

            I can accept that as of now she hasn’t seen them as a good pairing but I don’t need to accept that she will necessarily continue to see it that way. All we’re talking about is one thought in one fan’s head – it can still exist. Nothing I can do about the situation to change it, but I can have that idea and hope. It may not come to fruition, I realize that. I’d like to see it given a chance against the best – an opportunity was just missed. A mitigating factor was Morgan’s slight ankle injury and her Lyon contract so it wasn’t complete carte blanche for Ellis but there were chances. I don’t know if it’s the best pairing but you don’t either. No one does. Would just like to see it given a good, solid chance. You are free to wish for other pairings – opinions are absolutely equal.

          • #1Fan

            Morgan Injury – I dont buy that AT ALL. she played 12 mins first game , then started and went 63 mins in the freezing cold , then played 20 in the last game.

            I dont see how you risk an injured player in the conditions ion NJ

          • Breakers fan

            So you’re saying that you KNOW her ankle injury was completely healed, or are you saying Morgan’s injury and bad cold that were reported were fictions?

            edit: And that Lyon did not request ANY restrictions on the use of Morgan.

          • #1Fan

            im saying i dont know why it was mentioned. never missed a training session. Was out there in freezing cold. Was a non factor really. And the 250/270 part is irrelevant IF JE was looking at other options . Which she clearly was. remember this is an off ctycle . 250/270 leading up to the WC/OG makes sense As Morgan was her no 1 striker no?

          • Breakers fan

            But still that’s only 95 of 270 minutes from a player who had been getting about 250 of 270 minutes for the last 2 years – huge change.

          • Reality

            “I can see why she would not see them as a good pairing.”

            And what do you see that you think Ellis might see?

            What I see is a pairing where each has unique skills that complement the other. Morgan has speed, Press has pace. Morgan specializes in getting behind the defense, Press excels in finding seams to penetrate in the middle.

            On the other hand, both have good instincts for positioning to maximize their strengths, both are capable of good ball handling and passing and both know how to finish and score goals.

            Why they have never been given a real chance to work together is beyond comprehension.

          • #1Fan

            it comes down to what you want in a 2 striker formation. If i have a CAM and in theory width, I want 2 players who play close together and can work off each other. I think Press is a much better dribbler and passer and has a better shot with both feet. If I was using a front 2 I dont want Morgan at all. i think her first instinct is to run forwards away from the ball , looking for it EARLY. I dont think Press is looking to play it early.

            i also think that Morgan is better suited to play with a bigger more physical forward who can win headers and flick ons to run onto,

            i think Press is a great player I just don’t think JE is looking to build around her. She is more interested in building around others.

            I would not use 2 st myself. If anything I would prefer Press behind a Striker. In the “hole” and that ST would not be Morgan. Would be someone who can hold up play a bit allowing Press to get beyond them

          • Reality

            Morgan certainly made her bones in 2012 working with a bigger more physical forward like Wambach. However, that was a moment in time which took advantage of less developed opponents and the unfamiliarity they had with Morgan’s abilities. I don’t think that approach is viable anymore given the increased physicality and sophistication of other teams.

            Having said that, I would favor a 2 striker formation. With the lone forward setup with Morgan that we had been using with Lloyd freelancing all over the place, Morgan had no real partner to disrupt the defense. Instead we got disrupted in our own attack. I think that Morgan and Press could cooperate very nicely to penetrate any defense. neither can be neglected for a moment and each could require multiple defenders to cover them. In effect, Morgan would be making runs and Press would be finding seams and each could find the other. This would require them to have an extended series of games working together in order to have them truly mesh properly. After all these years, still waiting on that.

          • Steglitz49

            Alex Morgan verily got noticed in 2011. She ought to have been already in 2010, but why quarrel with trivialities when in 2013 Alex had another great year.

            There is no evidence that Press can hack it under pressue. Also, she is too easily marked out of games.

          • DNG

            No two striker formations for me if you are indeed looking to play a more progressive style. The US midfielders just aren’t good enough to control the ball in two player midfields. Press might be the one forward I can see playing in the hole(other than Horan). But if I played Press there, like #1Fan, I’d be looking for a bigger skilled forward that can hold up the ball when played into her feet back to goal. I’d like to see what Jordan could do here too.

          • Reality

            Unfortunately, Jordan seems to be out of the picture right now. I know you would like to see Horan given more of a chance up front just as I would like to see Press. Lloyd is an obstacle for both players to be utilized more appropriately. Ball control in our midfield might do well with a combination of Heath, Brian, LaValle, and eventually Sullivan all of whom could provide a more reliable connection to the front line. This would enable us to return to a more stable back 4 and support a skillful front 2. The 4-4-2 is both a stable and efficient formation with the right players. This is also true in specific circumstances with the 3-5-2. However, Ellis has not been utilizing players appropriately for either scenario so it makes it difficult to judge how successful each would be.

          • Steglitz49

            JE has 2 years to fix the USWNT in. Given the number of young ladies who play soccer in the US, it is a manageable task,

          • DNG

            Lloyd is a non-starter for me in any formation. She needs to go, she’s clearly well of the pace of the game. The key to controlling the ball is the players that play in the middle even if Heath is helping out. The further Heath has to drop to pick up the ball the less she’s doing in A3(same for Pugh). I prefer the 4-3-3/4-2-3-1. The 4-4-2 always struggles to like the midfield to the forwards unless a forward with good movement and ball skill(ELS for example) drops to provide the link a d does it well. Press does this okay but does not really compare to ELS

          • Reality

            I think both Morgan and Press have demonstrated they can drop back when necessary. LeSommer is gifted not only in her skills, but is blessed with her mid-field at both OL and the France NT. But I understand your point about the 4-3-3/4-2-3-1. Ellis has tried both in the past and the 3-5-2 is her latest experiment. But she really hasn’t given the 4-4-2 a real chance. All depend on having the right players in the right position. All will suffer with Lloyd on the pitch.

          • DNG

            I dont agree. Press and Morgan may be better scorers than ELS but in terms of complete players they are behind. Press is closer but Morgan is nowhere near. Almost all of Morgan’s link up play is negative and she can’t hold the ball or dribble with it at all. We’ve seen the 4-4-2 prior to the WC and I’d even call the WC formation with Lloyd a 4-4-2/4-4-1-1. What we haven’t actually seen is the 4-2-3-1 with a true CAM.

          • Reality

            The 4-4-2 prior to the WC was a different team and Lloyd is not a forward. But who would be your CAM to run the 4-2-3-1?

          • DNG

            Brian or Lavelle

          • Reality

            I agree about Brian with Lavelle as the apprentice in waiting.

          • Steglitz49

            The obvious onfiguration to test is a 4-4-2 where the MF 4 are in a diamond, ie a 4-1-2-1-2 formation.

          • Steglitz49

            Alex Morgan has the campaign medals. She has the scars of valor.

            Alex Morgan’s most famous goal is a header. Probably her most important goal was scored with her right foot. In 2012 she proved that she was an assist machine.

            By all means feel free to find a place for Christen Press but not at the expense of other talented USWNT players.

          • DNG

            “I would not use 2 st myself. If anything I would prefer Press behind a Striker. In the “hole” and that ST would not be Morgan. Would be someone who can hold up play a bit allowing Press to get beyond them”

            Yes! This!

            I think that I would probably move on from building around Press or at least look at other options first. I think it would have made sense to do before the last cycle but now, the team has to think about the future too and Moe Brian/Horan are players I would look at first in the next few months. And going over some of the matches again you’re right about Brian not being a tempo setter. Horan and Long are arguably better at setting tempo. Maybe it would be different if she developed playing for a club team that was always looking to control the tempo of a match but that team is not Houston.

          • AlexH

            Use the meaningless balance of the year to play the youngsters. We know what the vets give us. Put Dunn and Horan up top, Rose at 10, Ohai and Mal on the flanks, Mewis and Brian behind and get 3 centerbacks that don’t suck and let the work it out for themselves. At the end of the year we know who brings the goods and then we work the old gals back in.

          • Steglitz49

            Press can’t hack it when the pressure is on. That is one issue.

            The other one is that Press is not an assist machine. At this stage in their careers, it is up to Christen to assist Alex.

          • Steglitz49

            Too late in the day.

          • Steglitz49

            If you don’t believe in it, why waste precious time on it?

          • DNG

            It worked pretty well against Japan. But Japan are always going to leave space for the US to get in behind generally speaking I think Press/Morgan has the same issues as Press/Williams. They just don’t connect enough.

          • Breakers fan

            Would like to know total number of minutes the Press/Morgan tandem has received, then that total vs. how many total it would have been possible for them to have received. Without at least 1000 minutes – that’s only 11 full games, I’d really want about 2000 minutes — I don’t feel able to describe in some kind of definitive way what they do, don’t do, can do, can’t do. Your hunch may be accurate, I’d just like to see it given the chance I feel it deserves. Right now things are not headed in that direction.

          • DNG

            I’m not against giving them time together to work together but the reason I don’t think it will work is because, at this point, Morgan and Williams are not the type of players that look to combine. They try and solve problems primarily with their athleticism first as oppose to using other players, ball movement and their own movement to create openings. Will they get better at those things? Maybe they will but at present time they are not there.

            Look at a player like Horan for comparison. I never say that Lindsey needs more time playing with a group of players to link up and effectively combine with them. You can just place her into the lineup and she will do those things with whoever she’s playing with. She was integrated almost immediately in Portland and had a very small adjustment period if you could even call it that.

          • Breakers fan

            Just as you’re not against giving them time together, I’m not opposed to trying Horan at forward. I like the idea in many ways. I still prefer, at this time, to try Morgan and Press together. Seeing how she had success with Dunn the other night that could be a good forward pairing of the future.

            If you analyze the 2 pairings you bring up you find that if you took Morgan out (you could always take Press out too and play Morgan/Horan) you lose a lot of speed and quickness in every situation that will happen in a game. That’s significant. They’re both very good headers of the ball so that’s basically a wash. I don’t think Morgan is as averse to passing the ball as you seem to portray her. Is Horan better at it? I’d say yes, but I don’t dismiss Morgan’s desire or ability to do it. Ethan is the real Alex Morgan expert. He could speak much better to Morgan’s history of combining in a 2 forward formation. Also, I believe she’s gone to Lyon to work on this aspect of her game. I think there is a willingness to do it, therefore.

            And there’s nothing at all wrong with “solving a problem” — which in actual physical terms means “getting by a player” or “scoring a goal”, with athleticism, which in concrete terms means speed, quickness or agility. Combining isn’t necessarily always the better route. Danger in turnovers there too, for anyone. I agree though that it can be superior to individual athleticism at times and I do like Horan in this role. So my feelings are not anti-Horan here I just like the overall skill set and capabilities of Morgan more. We’ve seen so little of Horan at forward with the NT that it’s hard to have any feel for how she’d do. But I’m with you in thinking there’s real potential with her there.

          • DNG

            Who do you think had a good performance with Dunn? I don’t think any forward played well against France. Not Morgan, Press, Williams or Dunn. Ironically Horan came the closest to scoring for the US in this match from central midfield if Dunn’s touch had not taken the ball over touch.

            I see taking out a player who is primarily a speed threat with a more well round skill player as an acceptable compromise. Foot speed is also not the only type of speed that is important. The ability to move the ball around quickly is sometimes a lot more important than having fast foot speed. I think #1Fan made the point that while Lynn Williams might be the fastest(foot speed) player on the pitch she plays very slow because her fist touch is poor and she doesn’t make decisions quickly.

            Horan also give the team some much needed strength up front which neither Morgan nor Press really provide. I disagree that Horan and Morgan’s heading ability is a wash. Morgan is okay for her size but nowhere near a dominant header of the ball and she can’t muscle her way into position against strong CBs

            Morgan(Press) cannot overpower a player like this:

            https://youtu.be/HvfO8FiPC9A?list=PLYgfkhVHuit4_aeQTeQ7dumZBCsclux6b&t=282

            I disagree with Ethan’s view of a lot of things on Morgan especially her link up play which I find to be miles behind a player like Le Sommer. Morgan is okay for me but overall I think Horan is a better linking player. Horan is much better at holding the ball up to bring others into the play where as Morgan gives up the ball almost immediately after receiving it. She hardly ever(seriously can’t think of one time) turns her defenders and her dribbling skills are poor.

            “And there’s nothing at all wrong with “solving a problem” — which in actual physical terms means”

            Never said there was anything wrong with it if it works. The problem arises against strong teams with athletic players that can match the US’s. When that advantage is not there how do you break through? There is danger in turnovers in dangerous areas no matter how a team elects to play. I don’t see combining near the penalty area as anymore dangerous than any other type of play.

          • Breakers fan

            None played well but I don’t put too much stock, some tremendous volume of import in this one game. I’d have to watch it again to analyze all the touches and critique them,. They kicked our butt by and large for 90 minutes. Next. Again, I want to just move on from this game and not get hung up on it. Dunn made a nice play there, she made the play, it went about 1 inch over the line – kinda impressed the ref saw it so well. Horan volleyed it well from the great assist. We disagree about the heading thing – sorry. Close, maybe a slight edge to Horan, but she’s also not as fast so maybe Morgan gets to a few headers Horan doesn’t. We’re not going to agree about everything. I’ve said all my feeling about this topic. I’m fine with Horan at forward, prefer Morgan for now. You prefer Horan – good.

          • DNG

            I don’t see what foot speed really has to do with most arial challenges. Almost all heading attempts are 50-50 challenges where the stronger player comes out on top. Boxing out is far more important than foot speed in these challenges. If Morgan has beaten her mark with pace the better service by far would be on the ground or low where she can play the ball with her feet.

          • Breakers fan

            More quickness can perhaps on occasion come into play, but I hear you on the boxing out part which Morgan is also capable of but yeah, Horan’s bigger and maybe better. Are you really wanting me to concede this heading advantage to Horan? Does it mean a lot to you?

          • DNG

            It’s just my observation that winning those types of 50-50 duels have more to do with strength than speed. That doesn’t necessarily mean that Horan is the more efficient scorer from headers and I’d have to look at statistics to know for sure. Right now Morgan has more headed goals for the NT but she’s almost always in better positions to do so. It’s not so cut an dry and my overall point was that. Just like speed can be an important asset, strength and skill can be equally important when used effectively.

          • Breakers fan

            As I said I LIKE the notion of Horan at forward. You don’t have to convince me of her potential. Ever since I saw her make those great passes in one of her first games at DM a long time ago now and watched her soft feet and calmness I’ve been a fan. I just think Morgan adds more overall, even if Horan probably does some things better. I add Press into this equation too and I personally (I know your feelings) like Dunn at forward as everytime she plays there some good things seem to happen. Jill will make the call. Horan will be around most likely when Morgan retires so there’s plenty of time for her even if Morgan plays there for some time.

          • Breakers fan

            I would give Horan some time at forward now too to see how that works. In a tournament it can help to give players some rest. I don’t mean to suggest I’m for shutting her out of the position completely. I do recall the one game she played there – before they moved her back on the field – that her slowness did seem a big detriment, but I’m willing to forget that and give her more chances. Not sure there is ANY indication of Jill doing this at present, however. Is there? I may have missed something. I think it’s good you’re advocating for it.

          • DNG

            That was the first match she played and it was against Brazil. I don’t recall her being a huge detriment though just a different kind of player trying to find her place. I also think she’s gotten more used to the speed at which the US play over the last year and a half. She had a pretty big impact on this goal in any case.

            https://youtu.be/I1YfGwJg78A?t=194

          • Breakers fan

            I remember being very frustrated in that game by her lack of foot speed – and I had zero ideas about her at that time, she was brand new to me. Thanks for the highlight – that was a good header even if directed right at the goalie. Good in that she want at it, didn’t shy away.

          • DNG

            Well she’s not a play into space type of player. Play into her feet and she can shine.

          • Breakers fan

            No matter where she plays on the field she can and will have to shine, so that’s her task at this time. Maybe she can talk to Jill about playing forward. Not sure if the team has that sort of free, loose atmosphere where players feel like they can go up to the coach. Where does Portland play her?

          • DNG

            What I mean is that if you are going to play her, put her in a position to succeed and play to her strengths. If Morgan is the forward the team should be looking to play her through in behind or over the top. There is a lot I think she can do for the team as a forward but will struggle if the team is trying to play he into space like the would Morgan or even Press.

          • Breakers fan

            True – they’re different kinds of players. A coach makes her choices. So where does Portland have her? Are you happy with how they are using her?

          • DNG

            They play her as a central attacking midfielder. Personally, I’d like to see her in the box more often but Sinclair is there right now and they may have Jordan up top in a year. Not sure it’s her best role but we’ll see. She tends to move outside as an attacking mid where I’d prefer her to be the forward the other attackers used to combine with inside. Jordan might be able to do that too though. The one thing she has that really no one else on the NT has is an accurate 40 yard diagonal and a well weighted long ball. I don’t think she’s a midfielder but the reason I think Ellis likes her there is her passing range. Not sure anyone else on the NT can play a ball like this. Maybe Sullivan.

            https://youtu.be/NIx_PkaKa-Q?list=PLYgfkhVHuit4_aeQTeQ7dumZBCsclux6b&t=22

          • Breakers fan

            Thanks for that info. Great ball there. I think that others may be able to make that pass – I’ve seen Engen make a similar one and I bet Heath could, Mewis, others – it’s really just a matter of having good touch and I think we have players with good touch that can hit a ball that distance, but…..the point that I agree with is that I think Horan can do it more consistently and that she *sees* that pass perhaps better, more often than others do.

            My main idea about “what we want” is that it’s extremely important not to disparage others more than they deserve to try to advance some narrative. Not saying don’t reveal and advocate for your preferred vision just “keep it real” as you do so. Players this good aren’t just terrible always at things. This stuff is a matter of %s. Something Horan may normally be better at than Morgan may see a game where Morgan kicks her butt in those areas, and vice versa. We try to predict things as fans and we can often be wrong. It’s why I try not to criticize players too much – they’ll probably prove me wrong about it.

          • DNG

            When I comment on whether or not I think a player can make a pass, I don’t mean physically able to do it. I mean that they can consistently hit a ball so that it is a useful weapon in a match situation. Julie Johnston used to try and complete a lot of long balls over the top as well. Completing 1/10 though is just not good enough for me to consider it a tool. Lindsey hits this pass pretty consistently in a way I’m not sure others do. In terms of the matter of % stuff of course that is the case. However, I am comparing(for example) Morgan’s ability to turn and dribble to the best in the game or even an average player at her position and that’s the standard she should be held to. So when I say she can’t turn and dribble at all I don’t mean it literally. What I actually mean is that she is well below average in those two areas of her game and can’t do either enough consistently for me to think she should rely on them as tools in her game.

          • Breakers fan

            Best way to avoid misinterpretation is to say exactly what you mean with the language needed, as you have done here. So we agree about Horan and that pass. Though in the end we’re just speculating about others’ abilities here, …but we may be right.

            We’re on the same page in terms of one another understanding what the other means. No need to re-hash feelings and opinions said multiple times and probably multiple more times into the future as we bang our heads against the wall of what we want. 🙂 I hope some humor is permissible.

          • DNG

            I look at it from the perspective of, until players prove to me they can do something in a match, they are at least not confident enough in their ability to do it and it is not in their toolbox. We can only comment on what we see players do. Can’t wait for more good discussions in the future.

            From our discussion the other day. Here’s an article that talks a little about Dorrance and UNC’s style of play.

            http://www.soccerwire.com/news/nt/uswnt/shawhan-uswnt-are-still-playing-unc-style-soccer-why-not-play-like-uva-or-ucla/

          • Breakers fan

            Yes, good discussion, thanks. I agree with the idea that you believe something only when you see it demonstrated in games, but one has to acknowledge *all* one sees too. I’ve seen Alex Morgan make a lot of good passes to other forwards (though I don’t recall minute marks in games when they happened) and it seems like her detractors just brush over them as if they didn’t happen, instant memory loss, denial, due to what I said yesterday – they don’t fit the narrative they want to advance because they’re focused tightly in on some other preferred vision of the team, so there’s that crazy aspect of fandom that clearly exists and is a problem.
            When you speak of “proving they can do something in a match” just keep in mind that pulling Alex from the lineup takes out the one player who far and away has risen to the occasion the most often against the best teams. Yes she’s gotten a lot more time in those games but others have gotten time too and she has outperformed them as well in those games. So one player you want out is the one forward who has proven in games that she is our best. Which leads me to think you care more about what you want than what is good for the team. That’s what the data shows. Not trying to be personally harsh but those are the facts here.

            Or am I misrepresenting what you would do? My guess, that could be wrong, is that one response you may make is that “the world has moved on from what worked before”. Apocalyptic-type stuff that is always exaggerated. If that has truth it’s in some slight degree from the past few years. France would have to be the best of that style and it was said in the SBC that Morgan has excelled against France so that argument doesn’t hold water. In a bunker situation even if Horan is in midfield she’d be right in the mix of that bunker breakdown so we wouldn’t lose here there and let’s not forget who scored the only goal against the Sweden bunker, even if it wasn’t during a bunkering. Morgan still came through in a tight, huge game when no one else did. That’s who you want out of the lineup. Is that a bias? Seems like it is to me. One based primarily on “what one simply *enjoys* seeing”, personal whimsy.

            I looked at the article provided. The opinions of Mark Shawhan. Who’s he? Why should I take his word for gospel – because it’s on a soccer website on the internet? He may be somewhat accurate but here is who I would want to hear talk about this: All the great UNC grads we know – Heath, Lilly, Hamm, Dunn, Averbuch. Get a roundtable discussion on tape of them talking about “the UNC style of play, facts and fallacies”. THAT I would listen to and trust right out of the gate.

          • Breakers fan

            The thing I try to avoid is: “To fit my preferred vision, to fit what _I_ want, will I exaggerate truths, twist the narrative in some way, put players into unnecessarily tight boxes that they don’t totally fit into, because…………well, I want what I want dammit and I’ll do whatever to try to get it!”

          • DNG

            What I want the team to look like doesn’t matter much but I’m still going to give my opinion on what I potentially think the best team is. All I want the NT to do is to chose how they want to play and pick the players who can play in that way. No more square pegs in round holes.

          • Steglitz49

            What have you not gotten into your head? There is no Morgan/Press combo except possibly a Moe Brian/Christen Press combo.

          • #1Fan

            I have zero issue with the decision in isolation – None. AS I have already said, every game cannot be a referendum on Press or anyone else. The problem I have is ti inconsistency of the message and the purpose of the games.

            We dont know what was said to the players pre game, BUT IF the purpose is to find out about new player,s then why Lloyd for 3 starts and heavy minutes? Why no Sonnet or Campbell or even Pinto? If you were rewarding lavelle for Eng game, then why so little time?

            For me, no individual decision can be questioned, but the total package does not really add up to a coherent plan of id’ing youth or giving the best “team” a chance to work on 3 back stuff

            this lack of a coherent Plan is a common theme throughout the teams from Youth all the way up.

          • Breakers fan

            I guess one could make the argument that she knows Press better than she knows Williams and so was using this time to further evaluate Williams. My basis was that she would also want to see Press more (and maximize her chances to win the game), considering how little time she, Press, has gotten against top teams over the years. Like you say, if you want to see younger, more unknown players then be consistent about it across the field, and she wasn’t that, so good point you make about a lack of consistency.

            I still do question Ellis’ historical record with respect to Press, no matter what anyone else may think about the subject or whatever numbers/stats someone may present to me. I’ve been watching the team, I know what’s happened. Not saying you’re defending her use of Press, just getting my overarching opinion out.

          • #1Fan

            Personally I dont think Lynn Williams belongs. problem is you will only see than in maybe 5 match ups. She can use what she has to do well in the rest.

          • Breakers fan

            I see it as a gradient scale – attributing value to what you see based on who it is against. not a completely “all or nothing” proposition. I still want to see a player execute against lesser opponents. See that she can and does do that. Each situation is a unique, soccer instant. A situation vs. Switzerland that Williams could be in could be a much tougher situation than may occur against Germany, so I don’t dismiss outright anything based on the name of the opponent. I get very micro with it.

          • #1Fan

            I dont agree. I dont think you waste time on players who cannot perform basic things consistently yet. Another reaon a just laugh at the WNT camp speed of play rhetoric. Williams does not have the technique yet to play fast. She can run fast tho .

            i have no interest in seeing veteran players execute vs weak teams. Serves no purpose. Ive seen it already.

            Im not dismissing anything vs the opponent. Vs Germany and France she showed herself to be technically well short. I dont need to see her be technically good vs Russia and score 3 goals. Ive sen enough. Go and work on your game and maybe you get back.

          • Breakers fan

            Who would be your forwards on the full team roster, accounting for your feeling that “you don’t waste time on players who can’t perform basic things consistently”? Williams in out, you’ve said. Who would you have?

            Who would you field in your friendlies against teams other than France, Germany, Japan, England and Brazil?

            Who was technically well-short vs Germany and France?

            The purpose of seeing things in the present is to see present form, not past form. Sounds like you only think anything matters at all against 5 teams but that every touch in those 5 games is of monumental significance and importance while everything in every other game is absolutely and completely irrelevant. If that is accurate we do disagree.

          • Steglitz49

            “You must remember this,
            that #1Fan is not
            as knowledgeable
            as he likes to think,
            as time goes bye …”

  • ay

    so, was there an position tonight, where Heath didn’t play? With this team, the burnout is coming full force her way. Was still playing the defender in the 90th min

  • guest

    LOL that we lost a blowout against the notorious choker French team. Maybe it’s just bad karma for electing donald trump. Make the USWNT Great Again!

  • Bruce

    So how does Ellis rationalize Lloyd’s (complete lack of) performance at the SBC while getting massive minutes?

    a) That the players around her didn’t do enough?
    b) That she’ll get better over time?
    c) That she’s the only option who can play CAM?

    • Reality

      As a result of the WC2015, the fate of Ellis and Lloyd are inextricably intertwined. Unfortunately this symbiotic relationship is extremely detrimental to the NT

    • Silver Frost

      I laughed out loud at point b). I think that in Lloyd’s psychology, unless it’s a
      major tournament with the WNT up against the wall, she just can’t switch to hero gear and make a world class golazo. What to do with a player like that? OTOH, most teams put a spy on her the whole match, so it’s harder for Lloyd to shine.

      • Bruce

        I sat with my daughter (who is new at CAM) during the match and pointed out to her how Lloyd was playing the position. It was sad.

        She adds nothing to the game if she cannot have the ball played to her feet, facing goal with about 20 yards of free space in front of her.

  • guest

    Ellis is history after this. Last place finish on home soil? She’s toast.

    • Gary Diver

      In the last 1 1/2 years, USWNT has regressed badly. Where does the buck stop?

      • Steglitz49

        With the USWNT, I guess. Who else? President Trump?