France stun USWNT to take home SheBelieves Cup title

The Equalizer Staff March 7, 2017 670
Eugenie Le Sommer is mobbed after giving France a 2-0 lead inside 10 minutes on Tuesday (photo copyright EriMac Photo for The Equalizer)

Eugenie Le Sommer is mobbed after giving France a 2-0 lead inside 10 minutes on Tuesday (photo copyright EriMac Photo for The Equalizer)

WASHINGTON D.C. – Two goals inside the first 10 minutes proved to be all that France needed to stun the United States by a final score of 3-0 in the last game of the SheBelieves Cup and clinch the title on Tuesday night from RFK Stadium.

The three-back returned yet again for Jill Ellis’ side as she announced the 3-4-1-2 formation ahead of game time. The back line-keeper combination of Casey Short, Allie Long, Becky Sauerbrunn and Alyssa Naeher is the same that started the first game of the tournament against Germany. The only change to that line up for the USWNT was the inclusion of Rose Lavelle at right outside mid, placing Crystal Dunn on the bench. Olivier Echouafni’s side took to a 4-5-1 for the match with his biggest change being his goalkeeper selection giving Meline Gerard the start over mainstay keeper Sarah Bouhaddi.

{ALSO TODAY: Germany deny England chance at SheBelieves crown

The first half kicked off fast and furious. Within the first minute, France was inside the U.S. box off a poor defensive give away. The U.S. started to feel the pressure from France, who actually appeared to be out in a 4-3-3 instead of the 4-5-1 stated at the start of the game. Lynn Williams took the first shot for the U.S., but it was easily dealt with by Gerard.

France got on the board first in the 8th minute. A defensive turnover in the U.S half gave a ball to Amel Majri who slipped it through past the U.S. back line. Le Sommer ran on and collected the ball in 1v1 position against Naeher who had no choice but to take her down in the box. Camile Abily stepped up to take the penalty and buried it past Naeher to give France a 1-0 lead. In the 9th minute, the U.S. was pressing on the opposite end, but Renard won the ball back and launched it over the top to Le Sommer who was able to get in behind Long. Le Sommer slotted it home past Naeher to put France up 2-0.

France continued its high pressure system as they worked to make it very difficult for the U.S. to connect passes and get out of their own half. The U.S. saw an opportunity off a free kick in the 24th minute when Tobin Heath floated the ball towards the net and it nearly bounced into the goal when no French defenders came to clear it. The ball beat Gerard, too, and Amandine Henry needed a goal-line clearance to keep the U.S. off the scoreboard. A minute later, Lloyd drove down the right side and hit a cross on the ground to Press who wasn’t able to get a clear strike on a ball that went high and wide.

{MORE: Canada returns to Algarve final  |  One last hurrah for Captain America}

By the 30th minute, the steady rain had kicked in and there was tons of back and forth play to finish out the half. Both teams were attacking the other in moments of transition primarily because France stayed in a 4-3-3 and were able to match up perfectly against the U.S. 3-back which struggled to get out of pressure at times. France took the 2-0 lead into the half time break.

Coming out of the half, the U.S. made two subs, bringing in Mallory Pugh (on for Lavelle) and Crystal Dunn (on for Press). Gerard was forced to make a point-blank save on Dunn at the near post inside the six-yard box in the 47th minute. On the other end, Elodie Thomis beat three U.S. players with her speed, but her shot ended up going wide across the face of goal in the 48th minute. The United States continued to pressure as Dunn launched a shot in the 53rd minute that forced Gerard into another save. Two minutes later, Mallory Pugh beat her defender on the left side and let one rip to the near post which forced Gerard into yet another excellent save.

For the United States, Alex Morgan, Julie Johnston and Lindsey Horan came in off the bench in the 60th minute for Williams, Brian and Mewis. In the 63rd minute, Eve Perriset was able to get end line and slotted a cross to Abily who finished first time for her second goal of the night. One minute later, Le Sommer got a shot off that Naeher was able to easily control before she was subbed off the pitch.

{LAULETTA: Final thoughts on France, USWNT}

With the clock winding down, the U.S. continued to press. Horan lofted a cross in and Morgan and Kelley O’Hara both went up, but neither was able to convert in the 81st minute. Three minutes later, the U.S. earned a free kick 23 yards out, but Heath struck the ball right into the French wall. France continued to press as well, never giving up ground as the game came to a close. In the 90th minute, Delie took the ball inside the box after beating Short, and Naeher had to knock the shot wide. After three minutes of stoppage time, the whistle blew and France claimed the SheBelieves Cup title.

France finished the tournament in first place with seven points, leaving the United States in fourth (out of four) place with three points. This was the most significant trophy that the France have won, adding to Cyprus Cup triumphs in 2012 and 2014. This impressive result for the French side will only fuel their preparations for this summer’s upcoming European Championships.

The last time the United States lost by more than two goals was in 2007 against Brazil in a 4-0 defeat in the World Cup semifinal. This is also the first time that the United States lost two consecutive matches on home soil since 2000. Despite the shock for many USWNT fans, the loss is something that the team will be able to learn from. Carli Lloyd told Jenny Taft on FS1 after the game that “this is what it’s all about. To be tested by the best teams in the world,” she said. They will continue to focus on 2019.

Next up, the United States will take on Russia on April 6 and 9 in a two-game series in Frisco and then Houston.

U.S. Starting XI: Alyssa Naeher; Becky Sauerbrunn, Allie Long, Casey Short; Morgan Brian (Julie Johnston 60’), Samantha Mewis (Lindsey Horan 60’), Rose Lavelle (Mallory Pugh 45’), Tobin Heath; Carli Lloyd (Kelley O’Hara 77’), Lynn Williams (Alex Morgan 60’), Christen Press (Crystal Dunn 45’)

France Starting XI: Meline Gerard; Eve Perisset (Aissatou Tounkara 67’), Wendie Renard, Laura Georges, Amandine Henry, Sandie Toletti (Elise Bussaglia 52’), Eugenie Le Sommer (Marie-Laure Delle 64’), Camile Abily (Gaetane Thiney 80’), Elodie Thomis (Claire Lavogez 69’), Amel Majri (Camille Catala 80’), Sakina Karchaoui

  • Ron Rocha

    Dunn goes to England, England wins! Morgan goes to France, France wins! Snowden Goes to Russia, Trump wins! Are we seeing a pattern here?

    • Steglitz49

      Touché!

    • Jean Perroni

      The most probable is the last one.

  • Ashley C

    I guess Le Sommer did us a favor torching Long like that. Maybe that ends this CB experiment.

    Don’t get me started on Lloyd…

    • Lorehead

      I really would much rather see us experiment and lose than win with players we won’t have in 2019.

      • Kevin

        This looked more like Ellis’ incompetence than anything.

        Lloyd is not a CAM and was the worst player in the tournament. Ellis moves around and experiments with every piece on the board, except her queen, who is playing like a pawn.

        • brdn08

          No, Allie Long was much worse.

          • Andrew Alberico

            Allie plays hard. She is just too slow for teams like France.

          • brdn08

            Please explain what she was doing during the sequence that led to the 3rd goal.

          • guest

            She was ball watching and allowed a player to slip in behind her? Sauerbrunn appeared to be covering the far player and assuming Long had enough awareness to both cut down the passing lane and be aware of the central forward right behind her. Also not sure why you’d just pick that play, she messed up on plenty of others. She might be fine as CM, but she’s not a center back. Why we’re trying to shoehorn her into a position she has never played before I dont know. g

          • brdn08

            i used this example because the person I was replying to made it seem as though Allie Longs only downfall at playing CB tonight was a lack of pace. I gave an example where pace had nothing to do with her error.

          • Guest

            Especially given that we have a pool of Sauerbrunn, JJ, O’Hara, Dahlkemper, Menges, Krieger, Oyster, Barnes, etc

          • kernel_thai

            And lack the experience make up for the lack of speed.

        • NYRick

          The queen playing like a pawn. Good stuff.

        • Ashley C

          Lloyd had a tournament to forget. Absolutely nonexistent. The video of her talking, arguing or whatever she was doing with Long gave me a laugh, though. It will be interesting at City because she will have to do much more defending there.

          • Bill

            The three times we saw Lloyd “in game but between action” talking to others during the tournament:

            Game 1 vs Germany: Coaches telling her multiple times to get into the right shape/position

            Game 2: Lloyd lecturing Pugh…gimme the ball…gimme me the ball

            Game 3: Lloyd telling Long to get her the ball

          • Guest

            Dude, that’s pure speculation. Unless you’re a lip reader and can tell us exactly what she said.

            Game 1 we’ve already been told it was them asking her to push forward and play more attacking. Game 2 and Game 3 is your own seemingly biased interpretation of what was being said.

          • Bill

            Very fair call out. The second and third game conversations are bias and speculation on my part and should have been labeled as imagination
            We do violently agree about what was said in Game 1

            Game 3 is likely wrongful speculation as applies to the conversation with Long. That appears to have been a conversation about performing better ( an appropriate role of a captain if done with tact and effectiveness)

            Sorry for the bad post

          • Kevin

            I thought Game 3 was Lloyd and Long just whining to each other and making excuses of why they were playing so poorly… blaming it on other players not doing the right things and making them look bad.

          • Cc W

            Which is why I believe JE is setting CL up to fail – because she has to have a good reason to bench the 2 time Fifa POY

          • Ethan

            Mourinho didn’t take too long to limit the minutes Mata, 2X Chelsea POTY, got in his first season back at Chelsea. (Funnily enough, it seems like he’s been playing Mata a fair amount so far this season.) Ellis doesn’t need a reason, and such a decision would be understandable to most of the people who seriously follow the USWNT. Regardless, I didn’t like Mourinho benching Mata and leading him to move to Manchester United, but Abramovich didn’t care about my thoughts.

            Edit: Now that I think about it, you might be talking about how Ellis needs a good reason for US Soccer to bench Lloyd. Well that could be tough if it’s not already apparent to Gulati and the people in charge.

          • Cc W

            Yes – I think she’s doing it for USS and Gulati and everyone, because she’s moving on from past players and Carli is next on the list.

          • dw

            You guys act as if you think Ellis has a clue to what she’s doing.

          • Kevin

            Or… the much easier way is to sit her out 1 game every now and then and claim you’re “experimenting”, giving her a rest, giving playing time to her backup or a youngster, etc.

            There’s no way she’s setting up Carli to fail… that would be a tactical move and I’ve seen how bad Ellis is at tactics already.

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        • Lorehead

          Unfortunately, I had a schedule conflict that forced me to miss the game, so I cant comment on it. I always thought Allie Long’s best position for the Thorns is CAM, not DM or centerback.

          • NYRick

            You’re most likely right, but that might dismiss her playing for the NT. She has become an Ellis favorite and I think is getting shoe-horned in now at CB to get her on the pitch. She is tough and gritty, she is also slow-footed and ball watches too. I don’t think she is a bad player, but she sure had a howler tonight. Short didn’t help her much either to be fair.

          • Steglitz49

            At least Christen Press started.

          • USMNTfan4life

            Hey, France played well. We should give credit where credit is due. The announcers did not provide France with any credit.

          • Steglitz49

            Beating the USWNT 3-0 does not happen very often. It is one of the biggest losses in USWNT history. Not the most infamous but failure to score and conceding 3 is unusual to say the least.

            Granted, it is behind their loss in WC-07 and way behind the 9-0 thrashing that the USWNT inflicted on Japan in 1999.

          • Kevin

            I filtered the USWNT results for losses in which we gave up 3+ goals.

            Here’s some interesting statistics…

            • This was only their 5th loss ever by 3+ goals. All 5 times were in tournaments, never a friendly.
            • This matches their biggest loss ever on home soil (2003 WC semis).
            • They’ve only given up 5 goals once, the 3-5 loss to Denmark in the 2014 Algarve Cup.
            • The only time they’ve ever lost by 4 goals was the 2003 WC Semi’s to Brazil. The infamous game in which Scurry started over Solo.

            Their 5 losses by 3+ goals…

            • 1998 Algarve Cup lost to Norway, 1-4.
            • 2001 Algarve Cup lost to Canada, 0-3.
            • 2003 World Cup semis lost to Germany, 0-3. (at home)
            • 2007 World Cup semis lost to Brazil, 0-4.
            • 2017 SheBelieves Cup lost to France, 0-3. (at home)

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e501896afd377823c61d417a3dfe1b356ed3dfbe30f2b8d61dbdce5218e91882.png

          • kernel_thai

            It was a hopeless situation that Long tried to make the best of. Even Stevie Wonder saw this coming.

          • HOFCToDi

            No kidding?

            Let us know how many minutes Mark Parsons allows Allie Long to play centerback for the Thorns this season.

            Allie Long SUCKS!

          • dw

            As a defender, yes.

          • Kevin

            She had a terrible game (and that might an understatement), but I’m not going to hold it against her. I 100% blame Ellis for it.

          • Timber Dave

            Yes, Long is a CAM, not what Ellis keeps playing her as — d-mid or centerback.

          • kernel_thai

            I watched it from 3-5 am…Im calling out ur woso dedication : )

      • Ashley C

        I don’t have an issue with experimenting. As I said, Le Sommer/France tested the back 3/Long far more than Germany did. It was necessary.

        • Timber Dave

          Hopefully Ellis got the memo: A 3-back formation doesn’t work against a good offense.

        • kernel_thai

          Ugh. I don’t have to whack my finger with a hammer to deduce it will hurt. This was actually two experiments made exponentially worse by combining them. Can Long play CB and can the US play a 3back.

      • Gary Diver

        We have been going though this song and dance routine again and again during the past year or so. What has Ellis learned from this match? Why is she playing so many players out of their natural position? Why is Lloyd the queen bee and why is she always starting and always clogging things up in the middle?

        • Ashley C

          Further – what has she learned since Rio? She basically experimented in that tournament too and look what happened. She does not learn from her mistakes. That doesn’t count as adjusting.

      • mockmook

        Right, but Lloyd and Long might not (or should not?) be on that 2019 team.

      • ARED

        I agree, but that makes using Lloyd so faithfully even more of a strange decision, no? She is the oldest player I believe, playing poorly, and in a key position. I would think any experiment would involve a change at that position.

      • kernel_thai

        An experiment would be start Lavelle at CAM against France. Starting Long in a 3back was a suicide attempt. Im not throwing any of this on Long. She works hard and is trying to learn a completely new position. It’s Ellis’ total disregard for experience that drives me nuts. CB has one of the steepest learning curves in soccer and only an idiot would have expect Long, who is a career attacking mid to just be able to slide in there. As experiments go this was up there with the T-virus.

    • Ethan

      It might end the CB experiment, but I also want it to teach Ellis to now have her outside defenders better positioned for those counters. Where on earth was Short there?

      • Ashley C
        • Frode

          This is the ultra-aggressive 2-back formation! Whoever is marking Abily is ball-watching. 2 seconds later, Long is caught ball-watching the cross as Abily slips behind her.

        • USMNTfan4life

          I think the entire team is petered out from winning WWC in ’15, coupled with their devastating loss in Rio. They need to dump all the old players (Morgan too, looks slow) and move on. This sequence above sums up the tournament for them.

        • ARED

          Oddly enough, Long is the one who seems to be spotting danger the best, she just unfortunately is not overly gifted at knowing what to do about it as a CB (when to stay, when to go, when to drop etc). Short has a long road ahead of her I believe, and even Sauerbrunn looked very unsure and out of position quite often.

          But while Long clearly offered little help in stopping those chances once they we happening, for me the danger usually began from other problems first.

          • Steglitz49

            Given all the young ladies who play WoSo in the US, it is beyond comprehension that the WNT can’t assemble a competent back-line. If Sweden with about 1/30th the resources can, the US should manage it in spades.

          • ARED

            Yes, I agree. And this alone is enough to remove the coach I believe…lol.

            Let’s not forget they actually had a very competent backline, a WC-winning back four -put together accidentally based on injuries forcing Ellis to change. So after this, she quickly decides to not only change those players, but also the formation? It’s all pretty silly, and pretty hard to see a reasonable defense for Ellis anymore.

          • DNG

            If Long had more pace I might tell her to go pressure here she was caught in an uncomfortable position though. Short is not much more than a solid outside 1v1 defender for me. She’s a solid minus in possession and doesn’t read situations as well as I think she should have. No reason for her to pressure on this play.

          • ARED

            “She’s a solid minus in possession and doesn’t read situations as well as I think she should have. No reason for her to pressure on this play.”

            Agree 100%. I believe it’s unfair to make final decisions on players too much when the formation/system is flawed to begin with (in my opinion), however I believe Short and Long both are not great options in defense compared to others available. But for Sauerbrunn and Krieger who have looked poor also, I think most would agree are still good options in defense. Short could grow in time, and Long is a good midfielder, but for me it’s a double mistake by Ellis -first the formation, then also she puts players in roles where others would do better.

      • DNG

        Short’s probably use to pushing up as an OB. I’m not sure about her communication with Heath here as it could also be Heath’s fault but someone let that player go that shouldn’t have.

        • Ethan

          Right, but she shouldn’t be doing that as the left-sided center back. The problem is that I wasn’t all that impressed with Short when she played as the wingback/outside mid in this system. So, if Ellis persists with this system, she has to tell Short to stay back. (Heath played like an outside mid in a 4-2-3-1 formation all match; so, maybe there could have been miscommunication, and Heath didn’t get back to cover.)

          • DNG

            I agree. Generally the outside CB should not get sucked up high. The only exception would be if Heath was late tracking back but I don’t remember the whole play.

          • ARED

            In my opinion many times Short (and even Sauerbrunn) was unsure about position and whether she should move forward to pressure the ball or drop to cover behind. Many times all 3 defenders seemed to hesitate before making the choice, and so they were vulnerable any time the opponent could get behind Heath/Lavelle at all. Luckily for the USA those players were good at reading this danger and recovering back.

          • Steglitz49

            I am not convinced that you can play a 3-back-line against strong teams. It only works securely against weak teams who have no attack.

            When WoSo teams are balanced, the safe route is either 4-3-3 or 4-4-2.

          • ARED

            You can do it of course, if you have the right players in the team (the USA does not), and just as importantly -if you are willing to have your midfielders and forwards all defend first, and then attack only when it is clear and safe (Ellis directs them to do the opposite).

            To work, the back three becomes a back five when needed, and the others must make a midfield four in front of this (or at least a midfield three). Ellis thinks she can magically make all of the team be free to attack, as if the opponent will just allow this and ignore the vulnerability of the unbalanced formation. So she tells Lloyd and the forwards to stay high, while pressuring Heath/Lavelle/Dunn/etc to attack -but they know in the match they must defend the huge spaces behind (and also to cover for the back three who just aren’t very good), so they have difficult demands on them. Impossible demands against a good team…..We saw England expose it, and France embarrass it.

            I hate to say it, but Ellis can watch the men’s teams playing this formation, and realize that you cannot ignore the defensive gaps just because you think you deserve to be attacking for 90 minutes.

    • A_Dog_Without_A_Clutch

      Remember way back when Thomis torched Lori Chalupny- and Eliis still picked her to join the World Cup over Crystal Dunn because she would chime-in with an occasional strike from distance.

      For Ellis, it’s the Dominican baseball prospect way: “Your hitting your way out of this island!”

      • Steglitz49

        I put it to you that JE was ordered to pick certain Veterans for WC-15. That squad was 20+3 unlike the 16+2 in the OG.

    • Steglitz49

      Dahlkvist and Blackstenius torched them on the Glorious 12th when they bombed in Brasilia.

    • Oregon

      And that play began with a purposeful, quickly taken long pass from the back…. (France)
      #vision

  • Kevin

    My 3 takeaways…

    1) Long should not be playing CB
    2) Lloyd should not be starting
    3) Ellis should not be coaching

  • NYRick

    OK, so I want someone to come on here and intelligently explain (I stress intelligently, not bias etc.) how both Long and Lloyd could have two of the biggest howlers of a half I’ve maybe ever seen in top-flight women’s football…and not come off the pitch at halftime in game your team is losing 2-nil.

    I don’t know where to even start with this game, but could somebody please tell Aly Wagner to stop with the “growing” and “learning” experience this game was for the US. She literally said it about 17 times. They are not, nor will they ever be “The Little Engine That Could” in international WoSo. They scored one goal in 3 matches at home against top competition. The conceded 4 times and finished last in the group of four.

    This is a disaster beyond anything Sermanni ever did to get fired after Algarve a few years ago. And it comes on the heels of not medaling at OG16.

    • Calci0

      I just commented on how little leniency Sermanni was given. Though we do need to concede, Ellis at least has a WWC title as backing.

      • Gary Diver

        If Claudio Ranieri could be sacked weeks after being awarded 2016 Best FIFA Men’s Coach Award, why can’t Jill Ellis be sacked?

        • Ethan

          Relegation is quite a bit scarier than losing multiple times in an off year of international football.

    • Ethan

      Long and Lloyd have been mainstays in the US’ starting lineup over the last year. Lloyd’s the 2015 WWC hero and 2X Player of the year while Long is being tailored for the playmaking center back role. To be fair though, no one came out of that half looking great. Heath had a poor giveaway or two as well. Would have loved to have seen her curled effort go in though.

      • Ashley C

        It will be hilarious when Lloyd somehow wins POTY again.

        • captainfate

          I honestly think Lloyd won the most recent POTY out of name recognition alone. She hasn’t played at her WWC level probably since Olympic qualifying, and while she didn’t win the fan or media vote, she won the player/coach vote, but I’m inclined to think that those players/coaches who voted for her are from much smaller federations and who only have access to watch the USWNT’s friendlies (eg. it’s a lot easier for me, as a person in Australia, to find USWNT matches to watch online compared to France, England, Germany or even Australia matches). Even then, we all know Tobin played way better than Carli last year, so… it’s highly likely that the people voting looked at the list, went “I only recognize one name on this list” and voted for her.

      • NYRick

        “Long and Lloyd have been mainstays in the US’ starting lineup over the last year.”

        Sorry, they shouldn’t be. Whitney Engen has to be having a good laugh watching the CB situation right now. And JJ has to play and start with Brunn. What happened to the solid tandem and chemistry they were building together? Ellis would screw up a whet dream.

        • Ethan

          Understood. I’m just “intelligently explaining” why they weren’t subbed out.

          • NYRick

            And I appreciate the “intelligent” explanation. :–)

    • Ron Rocha

      The coach told all of us as well as her team that she expected to lose and that it was ok because it was an experiment. Never seen coaching done like this but then, what do I know

    • Andrew Alberico

      Neither Long nor Lloyd should be starting for the national team. I don’t understand how the coach can do so much experimenting but good ‘ol Lloyd starts and plays the whole game. Why? Has there ever been a game with so little cohesion between the back line and midfield? At the 80 minute mark, the US back line and midfield made about 6 passes or so, never sending one upfield, and then after all that, without any pressure, they kicked the ball out.
      Unbelievable. And no talk about the forwards. The forwards are fine. But someone has to get them the ball.

    • Ashley C

      I think Wagner is in denial about how the team looked and how development is going. Lavelle was the best player for the US for me, but that’s about it. Talking about the “process” is meaningless if the coach looks like she has no plan or a clue for the future. The players looked like they had no purpose and didn’t understand whatever Ellis was asking of them. Wagner said herself that other countries are improving and yet seems to think they’ll be just fine under Ellis.

      • Ron Rocha

        I second that… “the coach looks like she has no plan or a clue for the future. The
        players looked like they had no purpose and didn’t understand whatever
        Ellis was asking of them” Also so many playing out of position or against their strengths.

    • Guest

      That’s a Fox Sports directive to always stay positive and not to say anything too negative about the US players. Basically Wagner ran out of positives so kept falling back on the only thing they were allowed to say.

      It was obvious to everyone, including her, what was happening, but it’s a long-standing tradition for US commentary to never bad-mouth a national team or face losing viewers or your job. If you ever watch the Eurosport commentators you’ll see a really honestly appraisal of what is happening on the pitch regardless of the team playing.

      I always hate it when the commentary is American because you’re never going to get anything as insightful, cutting or fun as in other regions. There are occasions but all too often is ‘on script’ for whatever they’ve been briefed ‘the message’ is for this game. The message for this one, in case you missed it, was: ‘it’s a growing and learning experience’.

      • rkmid71

        The message was variable. If you lose and play badly “it’s a growing and learning experience”. If you win and play well “USWNT is the greatest team of all time”. If you win and play badly “the American mentality and greatness shown through again, but we have still some work to do”. If you lose and play well “it’s a friendly, there were a lot of bright spots despite not getting the result.”

      • Silver Frost

        A legendary program like USWNT does not need “learning and growing”. That’s for NTs like Poland, Zimbabwe, and Lithuania.

  • Calci0

    It is a bit crazy to think back at how easy Tom Sermanni was let go. In no way am I alluding to wanting Ellis gone because of this loss. And I know she has a WWC that helps with her standing. But what she is doing now is experimenting, and the Fed seems fine with it. Yet Sermanni did the same thing at AC 14, and was let go?!?

    • Gary Diver

      ” And I know she has a WWC that helps with her standing.”

      It is a fact that USWNT did not play well for most of WC15. If Ellis wasn’t forced by the suspensions to decouple Lloyd and Holiday, USWNT would not have won WC15.

      • Kevin

        It’s not a fact, it’s a coincidence.

        Benching Wambach is what opened play up (ie – no more Abby-ball). She was a statue that applied no pressure and was unable to make runs.

        • mockmook

          Both are hypotheses.

          But it seems they each have some truth. Either way, they both point to poor management by JE

          • Kevin

            There’s no hypothesis about play opening up when Wambach was benched.

            That’s like saying it’s a hypothesis that France outplayed us last night.

    • Ashley C

      Sermanni got fired for much less. I think winning the WC obviously helps her standing but I think they won in spite of her tactics imo. I’m all for her experimenting but a lot of the adjustments she makes see little benefit for result since the WC win. Her in-game tactics are abysmal. The team reminds me of watching Van Gaal’s United – unimaginative and attacking with no purpose.

      • Guest

        Sermanni was fired for losing 3-5 to Denmark on the back of a loss to Sweden and then acting like everything was going well. Ellis can’t survive much longer based on that with her ‘I just want them to go out and have fun’ pre-match comments.

        • mockmook

          ‘I just want them to go out and have fun’

          I’m getting so sick of that line (which is an epidemic in all sports).

          I want teams/players that come out looking to murder the opponent.

          • rkmid71

            Totally agree. I believe Mia Hamm said: “You can’t just beat a team, you have to leave a lasting impression in their minds so they never want to see you again.” That level of striving for excellence, effort, focus every day has to be demanded by the coach and no player is above such standard. If they won’t or can’t do it, they sit on the bench or leave the team. Those kinds of coaches seem to be few and far between these days.

            UConn women’s basketball has won 107 games in a row. 60 of those wins have been by 40pts or more. In 32 games this year, they have outscored opponents by 1,050 points…an average of 33 pts per game How do they do this? They are relentless on offense and defense. There is no letup once the bench players get in the game and coach is no less demanding of every player on the roster. Will stop practice to demand a walk on do it right. Every time. They play to their own standard. Auriemma coaches basketball players, not women basketball players.

          • Breakers fan

            I think the “have fun” idea is ok, mostly good. I’ve said it. I think it harkens back to one’s early days in the sport I think it’s not, at its core, some frivolous, vacuous line tossed off which ignores the hard work of the sport. It has to do, I think, with the mind-body connection involved in athletics and how best to maximize it. It’s unavoidable. You have to use your body, all the time, of course, and your mind, so what is the best way to connect the two. Approaching the game as a fun activity is I think a wish to keep your body loose. It also means being focused on the play, the field, your team, but in a loose kind of way so that you can react quickly. If you tighten up in soccer too much you will lose the soft touch you want to have. The ball will bounce off of you. Look how relaxed the Japanese are, generally, when the ball arrives to them. They almost all can absorb the ball softly and keep it under control. If you are hyper-serious it can lead to a tightness that can lead to impatient, impulsive, tunnel-visioned plays. It you’re having fun, your body is more relaxed, your vision of the field expands, your body can loosely move – that kind of suppleness of body is very important in this sport. Any sport, but maybe especially in soccer.

            So I think this is what that idea is about. It’s actually, I believe, a serious, considered statement about athletic performance. But you’re right to stress that hard work will be involved in the sport. It’s not *all* going to be or feel like fun. But I also don’t think that it means “don’t take the sport seriously or don’t try, in your words, to not “murder the opponent”. It is about how best to allow, to make that happen, as you play. I think it’s a valid, probably the best way to approach playing the sport. Think of your own personal experience of having fun while playing a sport vs. when you weren’t having fun and contrast the mind-body connections you had in those 2 experiences. Having fun increases your freedom, vision and ability to react quickly, while not having fun can constrict those things, the way I look at it.

    • Lorehead

      Timing, I think. That was the last chance Gulati had to bring in a new coach, give her time to instill a new strategy, and try it out at the last big tournament before the WC. If Ellis is still losing like Algarve ’14 (Those were also worse losses to worse teams) at SheBelieves ’18, she’ll be fired too if she hasn’t been by then already.

      • Calci0

        Well the Denmark loss hurt, but the Sweden game seems par for the course, the last few years. I think 3-0 even to a team as good as France is one of the worse losses in years, especially following a loss….

    • Mike

      He was let go because of bunch of veterans were realizing they would be phased with Sermanni charge. So what did they do like a couple whinging children they went to daddy (Gulati) and whispered in his ear to fire Sermanni. The instigator was AW!!

      • Lorehead

        And we know this is the reason because Abby Wambach is the Secret Mistress of Football, so whatever happened could only have been part of her evil plan. In fact, the only evidence that she even wanted Tom Sermanni fired is that he was, and everything that happened back then must be Abby Wambach’s fault (and is now Carli Lloyd’s).

        Never mind that USSF completely ignored everything she publicly demanded that they do, such as ask for natural grass at the World Cup, make the Flash trade her to the Thorns, and pay the women equally to the men. And never mind that several other veterans said that they wanted a new coach, including Hope Solo, who openly hates Wambach. Never mind that the one person who knows why he fired Tom Sermanni told a different story and that there are plenty of people in the know who have no reason to keep this a secret. Also, never mind that replacing Tom Sermanni with Jill Ellis worked, so why wouldn’t Abby Wambach be bragging about it? Nobody but the Press Gang on The Equalizer even thinks it was a mistake.

        • mockmook

          “never mind that replacing Tom Sermanni with Jill Ellis worked”

          “Nobody but the Press Gang on The Equalizer even thinks it was a mistake”

          Don’t know about that. TS may have won the WWC as well.

  • guest

    France, Germany or England is winning in 2019. So many young players who start playing professional, technical soccer at a young age. The US system is messed up for many reasons. Congrats on the epic loss, USSoccer.

    • Calci0

      Not going to concede just yet. We did beat Germany. And the England game was played close to the last few minutes. And all three other countries are in season ramping up for the Euro’s.

      • guest

        We beat jetlagged tired injured in the middle of their league Germany by a garbage goal.

        • Calci0

          And France and England beat an USWNT who’s majority of players haven’t even started league play….

          • A_Dog_Without_A_Clutch

            Except England was on the same boat the US as Dunn and Lloyd can attest to.

          • Calci0

            I’m not looking to slight the other teams. But even the English league is more in season than the NWSL. I’m just saying, all the factors weren’t on the USWNT side as alluded to.

          • Vero Calcio

            The US team prepared themself during the Jan camp. So they were able to spent days over days together. Every coach will tell you how important those kind of training events are for the team and the players. It is all about having a team together for a period of time.

            That is the greatest advantage the US had, have and will likely continue to have since only the US is focussing mainly on the national teams while especially in Europe club soccer is much more important

            France and Germany didn’t had the opportunity of having a camp together. The German team was not together for months. Not one single day.

            Furthermore you should mention that there was a winter break for the Bundesliga. So while the USWNT was in a camp in Jan the German ladies were on vacation on some sunny beaches

            The USWNT was prepared, they played in front of there fans and they didn’t need to cope with jetleag.

            What further kind of advantages you need to be successful?

            By the way – the German and French clubs have very intensive weeks in front of them. Munich plays Wolfsburg twice in the upcoming weeks (national cup, Bundesliga) and then there are the UWCL QFs besides their normal club games.

            So while Germany already let some players at home in order to not wear them out and everybody was aware that the important games are still in front of them the USWNT could give everything they had since they can relax and recover now

            How many more factors you are still looking for?

          • Calci0

            A camp is a camp…. I’m not making any excuses for the US. And I opened with I’m not attempting to slight the other teams. But to make it sound like everything was un the USWNT favor is just false. Could it have been 51/49?!? Sure But to make it sound like The Euro teams were at some huge disadvantage is a false narrative in my opinion. The FRAUEN BUNDESLIGA

            were playing competitive 90 minute games as late as 26 Feb. Same with the FEMININE DIVISION 1. A Jan camp followed by about a month off, while your competitors are playing 90 minute games I think even out the home field/Jet lag advantage. My point in all of this is I think the teams were on a level playing field. The US was able to Beat Germany and followed that with two losses. Each team earned their result. So I don’t know why some feel the need to hype up what they feel are USWNT advantages and blow off the advantages of the Euro teams. USWNT lost twice, no excuses. Why feel the need to make an excuse for Germany losing?!?

      • please

        LOL we would have lost against the Germany that played England and France.

        • Calci0

          Woulda, coulda, shoulda….

      • Gary Diver

        The Germans flew in shortly after club matches. They were dealing with jet lag and had little practice together before the USWNT match. Unlikely USWNT would have won if the Germany came over a week earlier.

        • Calci0

          Of, but they were still more 90 minute fit than the USWNT. Look, I’m not saying the USWNT is a shoe in to win anything. but the OP, pretty much said the USWNT has no shot? Are you agreeing with that?

    • Ashley C

      France has underachieved for so long that it was a pleasant surprise for them to show up for once and play like the team they could be. Credit to Echouafni.

  • Nild

    This needs to be a cold and harsh reality check. Rough game, rough plays, and certainly NO ONE played their best. Some bright spots though:

    Samantha Mewis
- She had some bomb ass clearances, took control of the ball well. Had some bad touches but A+ defending(maybe passing, don’t remember)She pulled through this game with her clearances. She’s improving.

    Tobin Heath- The commentators pointed out she may become the leader of the team. It may not be as captain, but she took charge when it came to defending, shooting, corner kicks, and free kicks- she was (or was trying to be the play maker.) She was really trying.

    Crystal Dunn- She showed how valuable she is even when we are down 0-3. Her work rate, determination and drive are top notch.

    I wish this would lead to firing of Jill Ellis. But I doubt it.

    • Ashley C

      I’m a fan of Heath but I’m not sure if she has that leader role in her. I could be wrong, though.

      • Lorehead

        She’s soft-spoken, all right. But, 2013 NWSL playoffs?

        • ARED

          No, that can’t be right -I thought she only became a good player in 2016 when she had “improved” so much. ; )

          • Steglitz49

            Lorehead means Tobin’s Aya Miyama / Roberto Carlos -freekick in the Final + her play in the SF.

  • Greg

    Why do we have CAM playing CB in three back?
    The whole team was bad.

  • Jim

    You know what sucks? The Head Coach.

  • brdn08

    so many problems with the product Ellis put on the field tonight. Sauerbrunn the only defender that decided to show up to the match. Allie and Casey were lost from the kickoff and left Sauerbrunn out to dry. Rose Lavelle was the only new player I thought showed national team quality.

  • guest

    US is awful at set piece defending. Aerial game is terrible.

  • NYRick

    At halftime, I have no problem down 2-0 putting in Pugh and Dunn. I would have even put in Morgan right then too. But how does Press become one of the sacrificial lambs at halftime? That is horrific coaching because whether you want to start with the choker, never scores against the top teams (who exactly scored in this tournament against the top teams?) nonsense…she is still a bonafide scorer who could help you back into a match. Even taking out Lavelle was a mistake too. She was someone who had the creativity to maybe bring you back.

    You absolutely have to sub out Lloyd, Long and Short at halftime. In fact I would have made 5 subs at halftime to send a message to the team that the performance was unacceptable. But Ellis will blame on the 3-back experiment and giving a young player like Lavelle a few caps. No coach, you got it wrong. All wrong. And the biggest problem is Lloyd. She needs to exit a game during a gaffer (and she was having quite the horror show out there). And then there she is talking to Jenny Taft after the game talking about everything has to just point to 2019. It’s beyond laughable.

    • Ethan

      The decision to take out Press out of all the attackers was ridiculous. However, in addition to her goalscoring ability, I wanted to keep her in more because she was putting in a lot of work and looking to create opportunities. I also would have liked to see Lavelle get some more time as well. Not in the wide defender role though. If Lloyd goes out though, you just put Lavelle in the 10 role and see if she can be more involved in that position than she was against England. Long and Short should have definitely come off if we based things on performance at half-time. (In Lloyd’s defense, she did provide a great cross for Dunn to almost score early in the second half. But Press and Lavelle didn’t get another opportunity to pull off a play like that.) Ellis said that she wanted to shake up the forward lineup with the Pugh and Dunn substitutions. But if she really wanted to just shake things up, maybe she should have subbed out the biggest constant in her forward setup over the three matches.

      • NYRick

        If I was Press I would be seething right now. And that’s not to imply she along with everyone else was having a great game at halftime. But she actually made the best US play of the night by tracking back and stopping another good goal chance against. And she has the ability to put the ball in the net. It was ludicrous taking her off at halftime in a 2-0 game. Has Williams earned the right to stay on before her now too? And I would have started Press and Morgan at the forwards. See if you can squeeze the first 45 out of Morgan for a half if she is banged up now, but give it a try.

        It all boils down to Lloyd not be allowing to be removed under any circumstances, unless of course it’s the 80th minute and you are losing 3-0 anyway.

        • newsouth

          lol, morgan is playing france now, so the french girls are getting plenty of looks at her going into the next WC. guaranteed, they will cancel her play out. then, add in she’ll be a step slower. williams and press or bust! opos, i forgot lloyd was given another hermann trophy, so she’ll get her guaranteed 10 shots per game next world cup. BUST!

    • Cc W

      Lloyd was horrible all 3 games. The gif of Lloyd and Long looking at each other lost is the most fitting image of the game. I’m not talented enough to figure out how to add it here.

  • The Oracle

    Why is a player who will be 37 come 2019 World Cup starting every game?

    • NYRick

      I still blame Boxx. Will never forgive her for getting injured in game one of OG12. Lloyd was on the bench and being phased out by Pia at age 29.

      • Guest

        Oh shut up. Lloyd helped us win OG12 and won us WC15. She’s past her prime now, but her past accomplishments are fantastic.

        • rkmid71

          I would say “helped” us win WC15. Her teammates had a much bigger role than her in all the games to get to the final game. And after the first 15 minutes I don’t remember her doing much. The first 15 minutes were great though. I remember Heath scoring on a Brian assist after Japan had narrowed the deficit to 2-4 with plenty of time left. Lloyd could have easily been benched in WC15 in the early rounds. She was benched in OG12 until Boxx got injured. In WC15, our defense incl. Solo and then later our midfield in semis and final (Rapinoe, Heath, Holiday, Brian) won us WC 15.

    • Ashley C

      Ellis thinks Lloyd is Ibrahimovic.

      • captainfate

        To Lloyd’s credit, Ibrahimovic doesn’t have a World Cup.

        • Steglitz49

          but he is Zlatan

          • Z

            And you are Steglitz. Two underperformer when it really matters

  • Ashley C

    So does Lloyd make it to 2019? Will they drag out her corpse like Wambach?

    • Constant Weeder

      You remind me of the old country song:
      “Fill my boots up with sand,
      Put a stiff drink in my hand,
      And prop me up beside the jukebox when I die.”

    • Cc W

      it feels like JE is setting her up for failure – this formation doesn’t suit her and eventually she’ll be allowed to move her out. I do think CL is looking slow so I don’t expect her to be there.

  • Constant Weeder

    Whatever bashing the US deserves, I think we should acknowledge that the French team played an excellent game – high energy, high speed, good decisions, disciplined tactics. If they continue to play like this, every team in the world will have trouble with them.

    • Cc W

      Best game I think I’ve seen them play. Le Sommer is phenomenal.

      • Ethan

        At the 2016 SheBelieves Cup, Le Sommer missed a sitter against the US, and a fair number of people on here criticized her and France for not having a competent striker. What a difference a year can make. In all seriousness, Le Sommer was great, and she does seem to be in a very rich vein of form.

        • DNG

          ELS was still good even though she missed chances. Only difference to me is that she took them this time.

          • Ethan

            Not disagreeing, but all of France’s strikers faced scrutiny from readers and posters on this site following the 2016 SheBelieves Cup.

          • Cc W

            Sounds like the new coach is trying to work with their strengths – to attack rather then defend. They seem to have more confidence and that’s bound to help them. Beating England might be the bigger game for them – the old France would have lost and sulked.

          • ARED

            Beating USA is the bigger victory still I believe, even though it may be true that: 1) The England match was actually more difficult on the field, and 2) They needed that response in the England game to make the USA game as “big” as it was. A stepping stone in a way. Now the question is if they can make SheBelieves another step on a path to a bigger victory.

          • DNG

            It was unduly harsh probably because it seemed as if it was France’s MO to underperform and miss chances.

          • ARED

            Readers on this site also gave a lot of scrutiny to anyone suggesting Wambach should not be playing at the 2015 WC. ; )

            (I have said a few times the amount of negativity towards France from American media and fans seems excessive to me…. Just odd that they criticize a team who is yet to fully mark themselves as a champion-level team, but are so quick to defend their own “best team in the world” after a loss.

        • #1Fan

          not me. people on here seem to think that France are a bunch of chokers. I never thought that. ever. Sometimes you miss chances.

          Form is temporary, but class is permanent

      • brdn08

        Nah this was not France’s best. They really outclassed the US early in 2015.

    • Ashley C

      They’ve underachieved for far too long given the amount of talent they have. They’re technically gifted and playing much more like a cohesive team under Echouafni. Their issue has always been consistency and a mental block – but if their strong play continues they can beat anyone on the day imo. Ellis says she wants to work on buildup play and yet we still struggle on the technical side and often rely on individual moments instead of playing as a group. France figured that out pretty quickly

      • JL

        And he knew nothing about WoSo before he took the job. Maybe bringing in a completely fresh perspective was the key to finally getting France over their mental block.

        • kernel_thai

          France needs to win Euros before they can start thinking they’ve accomplished something.

    • Bruce

      They looked great.

      Somewhat convenient that they all essentially play the same positions in D1 as for their NT.

      • captainfate

        I saw a post somewhere that said Lyon 3 – 0 USWNT. That got a chuckle out of me.

        • ay

          Lol I bet the Thorns would have played better than this

          • captainfate

            Well, on the Thorns you’d have a 4 back, Long would be at CAM and you wouldn’t have had Lloyd. I doubt Thorns would win, but it would have been a much closer match. Sigh.

          • tonysocref

            And that 4 back would have include the one CB Ellis didn’t use the entire SBC. “Emily Sonnett”

          • Timber Dave

            Ellis could maybe use Emily Menges too — we sure need an injection of speed in our backline!

          • DNG

            I really like both of Portland’s Emily’s. I think they have real issues moving the ball under pressure. In another year or so I wouldn’t be surprised if Sonnett was the best CB on the NT though.

          • tonysocref

            Yet as I mentioned below. Sonnet wasn’t given a chance this SBC. 0 minutes played.

          • DNG

            Stupid decision by Ellis. Every rostered players should have gotten at least 30 minutes

          • kernel_thai

            Which is why any talk of the US experimenting is BS. Williams and Short were playing because Morgan and Klingenberg couldn’t. Lavelle was the only development going on

          • Pinkman

            Dream on

    • Hindemith

      Have you seen the Germany – France game? It should have been 3-0 for Germany. And France played with their best players

      • Constant Weeder

        I did see that game. If I coached a goalie as lucky as Bouhaddi was in that game – well I don’t know if I’d start her every game or just keep her around as a charm.
        I’d say, though, that Germany was so much hungrier in that game that it’s hard to extrapolate from it.

    • JL

      I hate to be a downer, but France also looked really good in the run-up to the last WC. They basically beat everyone that was in their way with little trouble. But once they got to the WC, none of that mattered, as they exited in the quarterfinals.

      Having said that, kudos to France for creating a gameplan that fully exploited the weaknesses of this formation and executing that gameplan to perfection. They played really well and deserved this win.

    • dw

      In comparison to the US attack:
      1) Goal one: down the middle, into the feet of a forward running through.
      2) Over the top.
      3) Down the flank.
      All attacks severely flattered by the defense, or lack thereof, but nonetheless a clinic in how to attack your opponent.

  • Guest

    I can’t think of one player who has benefited from playing the 3 back. Not one. Long obviously isn’t a CB. Lloyd is just garbage. It forces Heath/Dunn/whoever is on the wing to worry about defending too much.

    Also what has been going on with Brian recently? I know no one had a good game, but her regression since the WC is so obvious at this point.

  • Ron Rocha

    Just a thought but are the tickets to these experimental practice games discounted or are people having to pay full price?

  • guest

    Morgan Brian is so overrated.

    • Ashley C

      Not even being funny but I forgot she was even in this tournament until this comment.

    • Cc W

      She like many of the players were ineffective

    • #1Fan

      She is not put in a position to succeed. Her is the thing, an observation for a lot of the US soccer fans and Ellis.

      Find the player you think can QB this team. Pick players around them who complement that and stop the “star” system. Stop the attempts to win with “personalities”

      I dont care who the player is. I dont care if it Lloyd even, but then pick at least one super active athlete in the double pivot CDM slot. who can cover a lot of ground and win the ball. If its Mewis, then pick another one who does not have to be a great long passer, but a reasonable short one.Do not pick Brian. she is not suited to that role at all.

      I could right a paragraph like that all over the field.

      Lavelle, Heath Morgan Mewis Lloyd is a terrible combo. Mewis has to do ALL the heavy lifting. rest are lightweights. Replace Brain with a banger like the kid from USC Mills.

      Personally i would jettison Lloyd and put in real creator into the middle of the park and then feed her to make the plays and set the tempo

      There is far took much selfish play that is clearly condoned for some reason.

      I could write for ages on this, but I won’t. Bottom line is there are too many players who think they are stars and not enough selfless hungry hard workers who know their roles.

  • BCAD

    I always knew if someone could out Jurgen Jurgen Klinsmann it would be Jill Ellis. We must have a lot of new soccer followers because majority of us fans, have been calling Jill Elli’s tactics mind boggling since 2015, heck even when she was in talks to be hired as the head coach. I have no problem with her experimenting or trying out a new system, or with us losing, but it’s how we lose is the problem. Why can’t we just play players in their natural position. I was reminded how much it irked when she did it with Lauren Holiday tonight with Allie Long. I have nothing against Allie Long and I don’t blame her but she isn’t a CB. If you want to experiment with a 3 back and develop players do it with Broon, JJ and Sonnett. At least we would be able to critique them and the game more on their performance and not them completely learning a new position.

    I’m not even going to address Carli Lloyd because I know alot of people will do that on this board already.

    I’m usually an Aly Wagner but I felt she was givng JE alot of undeserved passes tonight, however I couldn’t stop laughing with the “trust the process comment.”

    • #1Fan

      Great post. Wagner had the USSF muzzle on for sure

      • DNG

        The unfortunate thing about being a member of the media is that if Wagner is too critical of certain players, she might have a difficult time getting them to give her inside info. Same with USSF sources.

    • tonysocref

      And, “they need to figure it out”

  • Cc W

    I’m not really surprised by the loss – France may have finally figured it out. They are so good technically. US is fine when they play against lesser team, but against a fast and technical team, they can be exposed. This time it was France.

    What a mess the line up was. Naeher was not good, but it wasn’t all her fault. I do think she may have had better positioning on the 2nd and 3rd goal – but the defense let her down.

    The 3 back may work against Costa Rica, but it won’t work against good teams. But don’t worry everyone – it’s part of the process…

    • Ethan

      On the 3rd goal, I think that’s a tactic that Naeher uses. She used that same tactic to make a SOTW save on Groom that I don’t think she would have made if she had rushed to the center of the goal as quickly as possible. I think Naeher decided to stay in the position she took up, gambling that it would put her in a better spot to stop Abily’s shot because she wouldn’t be diving against her momentum. Unfortunately, her tactic didn’t work out there, but I think Abily still scores if Naeher had rushed to the center of the goal when the ball was crossed. Can’t comment on if her positioning could have been better on the 2nd goal. Maybe she could have chosen to move off her line earlier (i.e. when Le Sommer was cutting across Sauerbrunn) and then try to close down Le Sommer’s angle as much as possible.

      • Cc W

        It happens fast – she can get better, but if she’ll be playing with that 3 back it won’t help her stats.

      • Frode

        The third goal is on Long. She is caught ball-watching, five yards off her mark (Abily).

        • guest

          the whole game was on Long. she was awful.

          • Cc W

            And she played the wholeeeee game

          • captainfate

            She played in every game, and all 90 minutes for the 2 matches she started in. I really don’t get what Ellis sees in her. If she was in the CAM position then maybe I’d be convinced. So far her stints at CDM and CB on the NT have left me severely underwhelmed, and confused as to what she’s doing on the NT to begin with.

          • Cc W

            I think that JE considers Long to be a “technical” player and that is why she’s found favor. It is the game JE wants to play but that is not the US strength. I’m betting that Long is more technical than most of the other players on the team – but obviously the bar is low. I appreciate that Long has worked hard to make the team, but if she hadn’t played for the Thorns or been Alex’s bff would she have made the team?

            I’m quite ready to move on from pretty much all of the “old” guard and just let the under 25 players get all the minutes going forward and let them grow together for the next 2 years.

          • captainfate

            I really don’t see how Long is a technical player at all, considering how badly out of position she’s constantly caught at. Agreed on her not making the team if she wasn’t on the Thorns or BFFs with Tobin and Alex.

            I’d still keep Sauerbrunn, Heath, Morgan, Naeher and O’Hara for 2019. Anyone else who’s 30/over 30 by 2019 can fight for their spot. I’d say if Krieger can keep her pace or doesn’t dramatically slow down by 2019, I’d keep her there too.

          • Cc W

            I don’t think Long is technical, but that seems to be an alternative fact for JE

          • HOFCToDi

            Technically inept defensively.

            Time to hire a coach who understands pragmatism.

            Soccer 101 Fundamentals:
            Defenders defend
            Midfielders distribute
            Forwards score

          • Cc W

            No no no – defenders are former forwards who can run fast, mf are players who might be able to open up space, and forwards are now on the flank or play other positions

          • captainfate

            I’m an O’Hara fan but that still gave me a chuckle.

            Don’t forget to add “dead weight is playmaker”.

          • Cc W

            KO is one of my favorite players – I just wish we could see what the former Hermann trophy winner could do if she could play up top rather than on the back line.

            “Playmaker” is so funny – she has scored goals, but most of the playmaking is against tomato cans – and I like Carli, but I think she’s better as a role player than starter.

          • captainfate

            Pipe dream: Press, Alex and KO up top together. Too bad that’ll never happen. We can’t even have Press and Morgan play up top together.

            I wish Carli had the self-awareness to go “I’ve been under-performing. I’ll come off the bench but I don’t think I should start.” Unfortunately, she’s making it a lot more dog-eat-dog than it should be (this is a TEAM sport! You’re the CAPTAIN! You should know when to step out when your performance is detrimental to the rest of the team’s!) so that would never happen.

          • Som Termanni

            Lloyd lives in a bubble. People who criticize her aren’t just wrong to her, they’re jealous. People who don’t recognize her excellence aren’t just dumb, they’re malicious. Anyone who opposes her only motivates her to double down, and every non-competitive personal award validates her decisions.

            You see the opposite in someone like Sinclair, also too stubborn to quit but at least recognizes that her team’s successes are her successes. Being left out of awards seems to motivate Sinclair to do better, while winning awards seems to motivate Lloyd to do nothing.

          • Cc W

            While I appreciate Carli’s tenacity, it’s hard to watch athletes not know when it’s time to go. Becky seems like a proper captain.

          • HOFCToDi

            What is with the foreign head coaches hired by the USSF that literally lose their minds further into their tenure:

            First Klinsmann
            Now Ellis

          • Cc W

            Because they are smarter than all of us – we don’t know anything. You have to believe – “She Believes”

          • HOFCToDi

            Speaking of which, classic Jurgen:

            soccer.nbcsports.com/2015/09/03/if-youve-ever-criticized-jurgen-klinsmann-or-his-usmnt-you-dont-understand-soccer/

          • Cc W

            Like they are working from the same playbook … scary isn’t it?

          • HOFCToDi

            Lose one Klinsmann, add another. Guess who was the goalkeeper for the U-20 USMNT?

            ussoccer.com/us-under20-mens-national-team/tournaments/2017-concacaf-u20-championship#tab-1

          • Cc W

            His son?

          • HOFCToDi

            You got it.

          • Cc W

            Was he the starter? It was nice to see them win!

          • HOFCToDi

            Check out the match reports:

            ussoccer.com/us-under20-mens-national-team/tournaments/2017-concacaf-u20-championship#tab-2

          • Cc W

            I guess so! Smart young man to become a keep! Thanks for sharing the links!

          • HOFCToDi

            Jurgen Klinsmann could not coach his way out of paper bag. It seems Jill Ellis has followed suit.

            Where’s Emily Sonnett? Hey Jill Eillis, Emily Sonnett plays centerback for the Portland Thorns not Allie Long. Hey Jill Ellis, Amandine Henry plays defensive/holding midfielder for the Portland Thorns not Allie Long.

          • HOFCToDi

            Best soccer rant in the last 15 months to 16 months:

            The SBI Show: Episode 224
            By Ives Galarcep
            July 24, 2015 8:00 pm ET

            sbisoccer.com/2015/07/episode-talking-more

    • Oregon

      Yes, there are similarities to Japan’s (and China’s?) recently successful high pressing of the USWNT plus their emphasis on the technical.
      Calm, accurate, quick passing goes a long way. France really upped the speed of play esp. first half. Came out like gangbusters.

      • #1Fan

        not speed of play..They pressed.

  • guest

    I wish she had left Press in for another 20 minutes just so we didn’t have to listen to listen to the Pressgang whine about how we would have won if she played for the next three years. She isn’t all that. She isn’t even Eugenie LeSommer. Sorry.

    • Cc W

      Her best play was running back to defend – and she’s a forward.

      • #1Fan

        to be fair, she took one for the team there. but as I have said She was bad as was everyone else except maybe Mewis

        • Cc W

          I was praising her for that! And it was a bit scary that it was her rather than one of our defenders.

          • #1Fan

            agreed

      • Guest

        Lol maybe if there was a linking force between the MF and forwards then that wouldn’t be an issue. There was no buildup this tournament and thus the ONE goal they scored this tournament was due to her individual effort.

    • guest

      Literally no one is talking about that but interesting to see HoF has switched from posting under his own name to using guest accounts.

  • Kevin

    With all the “experimenting” Ellis is doing, how come we can never experiment with Carli not starting and playing 75+ minutes every game at CAM?

    Just about everyone is playing new and/or multiple positions, etc., and in new formations, EXCEPT for Lloyd.

    In this tournament, she was the worst player on the field in each of the first two games and still gets the start. She looked awful again in the first half, yet she’s the last player subbed out with 12 minutes left in a game that we were down 2-nil in the 9th minute.

    She struggled almost all of 2016 in this same role too, especially if you exclude the tomato cans.

    Why is she excluded from the “experiment”?

    I call BS on experimenting. This is just Ellis’ incompetence and really it’s just an excuse. Just about every substitution Ellis made left me scratching my head too. Unfortunately, we’re stuck with her (and most likely Lloyd as a starter) through 2019.

    • captainfate

      Ellis’ experiment is “How do I build a team around Lloyd that can still help me win?”

      Unfortunately, Lloyd drags the rest of the team down so far the other 10 players can’t do anything about it. Well, I’d say 9 players. Allie Long has no business being a CB. Her position on the NT is questionable enough as it is. I’m convinced that Ellis loves her only because Long is so desperate to be on the WNT she’d do anything to stay on Jill’s good side, even if it means being a horrendous CB at the expense of the rest of the team.

      • Timber Dave

        Don’t blame Long for getting positioned at CB. The correct attitude for a player is “I’ll play wherever the coach tells me to.” Long is doing that. It’s Ellis’s fault that she keeps playing her at centerback, and before that defensive mid, when her best position is attacking mid.

        Meanwhile Carli Lloyd, playing the position that Long SHOULD be in, has a terrible game, part of a terrible tournament, in turn part of a terrible year-and-a-half since the WC final. Has Lloyd had one good game against even moderately strong opposition since then?

        Ellis should replace Lloyd with Long, or maybe with Lavelle (though she needs more time in difficult games first).

        • DNG

          “Has Lloyd had one good game against even moderately strong opposition since then?”

          I’d say no, others may point you to the Netherlands friendly. Lloyd in an albatross.

  • Frode

    The French side was faster, smarter, stronger and more technical at almost every position, even with substitutions. There is no other way to read this game.

    • Cc W

      The comment by Aly Wagner that the US was telegraphing what they were doing was spot on. Play was pretty predictable and ineffective by the US. But agreed – France won the game, beat the US – they made the US look bad.

      • I love Wagner’s commentary. So many of her observations are spot on. She was even incredulous that certain players who were having a good game (Lavelle) were subbed out instead of other players who were playing poorly (Lloyd).

  • guest

    us soccer site match report for USWNT 0-3 loss to France

    Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. France
    Date: March 7, 2017
    Competition: 2017 SheBelieves Cup
    Venue: RFK Stadium; Washington, D.C.
    Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET
    Attendance: 21,638
    Weather: 64 degrees; rain showers

    Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
    USA 0 0 0
    FRA 2 1 3
    FRA – Camille Abily (penalty kick) 8th minute
    FRA – Eugenie Le Sommer (Wendie Renard) 9
    USA – Camille Abily (Eve Perriset) 63

    Lineups:
    USA: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 20-Allie Long, 7-Casey Short; 16-Rose Lavelle (2-Mallory Pugh, 45), 3-Samantha Mewis (9-Lindsey Horan, 70), 6-Morgan Brian (8-Julie Johnston, 70), 17-Tobin Heath, 10-Carli Lloyd (capt.) (5-Kelley O’Hara, 78); 12-Lynn Williams (13-Alex Morgan, 70), 23-Christen Press (19-Crystal Dunn, 45)

    Subs not used: 11-Ali Krieger, 14-Jessica McDonald, 15-Emily Sonnett, 18-Jane Campbell, 22-Brianna Pinto, 24-Ashlyn Harris
    Head coach: Jill Ellis

    FRA: 21-Meline Gerard; 2-Eve Perisset (5-Assatou Tounkara, 68), 3-Wendie Renard (capt.), 4-Laura Georges, 6-Amandine Henry, 7-Sandie Toletti (15-Elise Bussaglia, 53), 9-Eugenie Le Sommer (18-Marie Laure Delie, 65), 10-Camille Abily (17-Gaetane Thiney, 81), 12-Elodie Thomis (11-Clarie Lavogez, 70), 22-Amel Majri (14-Camille Catala, 81), 23-Sakina Karchaoui

    Subs not used: 1-Laetitia Philippe, 16-Sarah Bouhaddi, 13-Kadidiatou Diani, 20-Grace Geyoro
    Head coach: Olivier Echouafni

    Stats Summary: USA / FRA
    Shots: 13 / 12
    Shots on Goal: 5 / 6
    Saves: 3 / 4
    Corner Kicks: 9 / 7
    Fouls: 9 / 15
    Offside: 5 / 0

    Misconduct Summary:
    USA – Alyssa Naeher (caution) 7th minute
    FRA – Sandi Toletti (caution) 18
    FRA – Laura Georges (caution) 74

    Officials:
    Referee: Marie-Soleil Beaudoin (CAN)
    Assistant Referee 1: Chantel Boudreau (CAN)
    Assistant Referee 2: Marie-Han Gagnon-Chretien (CAN)
    4th Official: Gillian Martindale (BRB)

  • HOFCToDi

    Allie Long ………………………………………………………..

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xx0AopECie8/UW9Q-JLY46I/AAAAAAAAAhw/Ti_ST53dPqY/s1600/Dumpster-Fire.jpg

  • guest

    I’m kind of indifferent to Press as a player, but I find it funny that she was the first one subbed off… why? Long should have been subbed off for JJ in the first half.

    • captainfate

      Long or Lloyd should have been subbed off first. Way before Press.

      Except Long got to play all 90 minutes, and Lloyd stayed on for 80.

    • Cc W

      Long and Lloyd both should have been subbed off at the half.

    • guest

      Yeah those halftime subs were absurd. There appeared to be near universal consensus among people watching the game that Long had to go, and probably Lloyd too. So of course it’s neither of those things.

  • brdn08

    this doesnt happen with Solo and a 4 back

    • captainfate

      It probably wouldn’t happen with Naeher and a 4 back, either. I reckon we’d still lose if it was this 3 back with Solo.

      • brdn08

        disagree. Naeher was terrible communicating to the defenders. Also having Solo in camps and practices would have helped immensely with organization. Solo with a 3 back would have done much better. To be fair, if Johnston and Krieger had started instead of Short and Long I think the game turns out much different.

        • captainfate

          Funny. I thought Naeher communicated with the defenders and midfielders better in the GER match than Harris did in the ENG match. I’d have thought that this being the same back line, she’d have decent communication again.

          I’ll have to watch the full match when I’m home to make a conclusion on this.

          • Bruce

            goalkeeping = the *least* of this team’s problems

        • Bugs Bunny

          We got you. All your comments since years have the same theme. The US is by far the best and if they are not winning there are always good reasons. If they would lose 7-0 from Panama you would still tell everyone here that the USWNT is by far the best in the world and the loss should be explained with a difficult star correlation during the match

          • brdn08

            Incorrect. The French team fielded in 2014 and 2015 was better by a somewhat good margin. I only picked the US in the World Cup because France always underachieves in major tournaments. Germany was by far the best international team from 2002 through 2008. The best incarnation of the US team was that 2011 World Cup squad but Pia blew it by insisting on starting Buehler. I could easily go back and show you instances where I discuss Abily as a top 5 mid in the world, Le Sommer as arguably the best forward, Renard and Georges as the best tandem of centerbacks in the world. Go back and look at my comments after France walked through the US in Feb. 2015. I have no problem criticizing the US but I also don’t panic because fortunes change quickly in woso.

          • Bugs Bunny

            Good feedback. Appreciate

    • HOFCToDi

      As far as I know, worst loss on American soil since 2003.

      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2003_FIFA_Women%27s_World_Cup#Semifinals

      Jill Ellis should be fired.

      • brdn08

        i just dont understand why she felt the need to make so many changes from the 2015 lineup/alignment.

        • Emil Sinclair

          Those tournaments aka training match events are for experimenting.

          You shouldn’t take the results too serious. This also needs to be said about 2016 when everyone celebrated the huge SBC victory

      • brdn08

        i thought you liked Jill Ellis

        • HOFCToDi

          My last chance with Jill Ellis was starting Julie Johnston at centerback against France. Jill Ellis failed miserably.

          You know what, they all suck:
          Ryan, Greg
          Sundhage, Pia
          Sermanni, Tom
          Ellis, Jill

          • brdn08

            If by that you mean none them got the team to reach their full potentials or even get close then I agree. Greg Ryan shouldnt be mentioned. He was especially awful and not just because of the Solo incident.

          • HOFCToDi

            Greg Ryan only lost one match during his tenure.

            en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_women’s_national_soccer_team#Head_coaching_history

            It’s the magnitude of the loss. The same should apply to Ellis.

      • dw

        you mean #FIREELLIS

  • Bruce

    Budweiser Woman of the Match: Casey Short

    • tana

      if someone deserved it, then Tobin. Who votes for this?

      • captainfate

        The same people who thought Allie Long was WotM vs Germany.

    • Arcie Tillydee

      Who bears the greatest responsibility for the third goal. Ridiculous…

  • luke

    The only chance for this team to sustain world domination was Sermanni.
    With increasing international level, it would have been tough even for him, but he had experience and the vision, plus there was still an intimidating factor of “Mighty USWNT” present back then.
    Now it’s over imho. 1m playing girls and women look nice on paper, but as it was written many times in here – there is no true love and culture of excellence in American woso at youth level.
    Show me 2-3 US starters out of 11, that were individually better than opposition in this game (and it still would not be enough).

    It was nice while it lasted (I certainly attended the party!).

    • NYRick

      You may be right, but actually, it could turn around on a dime if the right coach is bought in to replace Ellis. The talent is still there and the pipeline will always be there. Look what Sampson did for England by getting his players believe in a system. Even with the WC15 win, I don’t think these players have ever bought into Ellis’s system full time. For starters, none of them have true roles, they are put in a variety of positions on the pitch. Lloyd must always be accommodated till she hangs up the boots in 2020.

      Fire Ellis. Cut Lloyd. And get your party hat back on again. It’s really that simple.

      • luke

        I’m only talking about world domination.
        This team will always be a contender for medals in main tourneys.

        And yes, USSF needs to get rid of her and her clique. Is that BJ Snow “I proud of my kids” guy still out there? :))

      • Ron Rocha

        If you take over a new position, especially one that is already running well, you have to begin a shake up right away and try to create something much more complicated than your predecessor. If you leave it like it is or simplify it then probably anyone could do it and you might not be needed. I think this is more about the Coach than it is about the game. And oh, by the way didn’t this all come about because we were unable to break down a bus parking tactic and needed to get more forward to score goals? Looks like no parked buses against us since and no goals.

        • Oregon

          One goal scored the entire tournament.

          • Som Termanni

            US had only 1 shot on goal by halftime, too, by which point they’d already been down by 2 goals for 35 minutes. Most of the US offense happened in the second half when France could lay off, and still the US fell behind by a third with nothing to show for it.

      • Eugene

        Which talent are you talking about? All the talent that dominated the last youth tournaments? Other countries have talents as well. They might not be hyped as all the “US talents” though

        • rkmid71

          Do you mean hype like “the greatest player in the history of the U20WC?”

      • rkmid71

        The USWNTPA (at least the former members) got the coach they wanted.

    • Ashley C

      Some people on here were not fans of Herdman or Sampson but both actually learn from there tactical mistakes and adjustments imo. It also helps that the players believe in them and seem to play with a purpose, even if not the most technically gifted. And it helps psychologically that the players buy into what they’re selling. It wasn’t that long ago that teams walked all over the likes of Canada and England. It wasn’t that long ago that Morace was in charge and we know that ended in disaster. Both have transformed the game in their respective countries and certainly didn’t have the players the US had at their disposal. A different style of coach could do wonders.

      • luke

        Thing is, all these teams GOT YOU.
        They bit, tasted and will be coming for more.
        Sermanni might have not allowed that at all or much latter and in less violent way. You’d be wounded, but in control.
        Now, it’s an open season for USWNT.

      • #1Fan

        because they are not acting as the producers of some reality tv show like the USSF seem to. They get player that fit the style they want and they do it. They are not trying to accommodate players whilst allowing them to play some social storyline. Fleming is every bit as good as Pugh I think better in fact and yet she is positively underexposed compared to MP. She is allowed to focus on soccer.

        • Ashley C

          Fleming is very good. Caught most of the UCLA games that had a feed and her football IQ cannot be taught. Even with canWNT she seems to know exactly what she wants to do with the ball before she gets it. I think that winds up being an issue for her at the college level when players aren’t experienced enough to make the runs where she wants them. She is quite good technically for a Canadian program that usually isn’t/still developing in that area. She seems to really enjoy just playing which is nice to see.

  • Bruce
    • Ashley C

      Dan’s first mistake was thinking Jill has any logic to her tactics.

    • Kevin

      It’s obviously just Ellis’ excuse for losing and her incompetence.

    • guest

      Yeah, it just doesn’t take that long. Both Ellis and Klinsmann talk like people selected by bureaucrats with little knowledge of the game (*gasp* not USSF!). Lots of big statements about the process and vision. If this was a business they’d be the ones talking about synergy and an entrepreneurial spirit and irritating everyone else with their clear lack of knowledge and ability to get things done.

    • rkmid71

      Because she refuses to put the right players in the right position. It would take years to make CAM into a competent CB (even then that assumes the.player is committed to do so). You could save a hell of a lot of time just selecting a few top CB and letting them compete for a spot. JE doesn’t care about defense. She thought they’d outscore opponents with suffocating pressure, etc. etc. What’s the take away with 1 goal in 3 games? Need to look at the other offensive stats like shots, SOG, etc. I recall during the game last night the announcers mentioned 36 shots, 6 SOG.

  • NYRick

    Btw, in lieu of the ludicrous team display tonight, it has pretty much gone unmentioned…anyone else think Naeher deserved straight red for the nasty PK takedown?

    • Frode

      It could have gone red. That was a take-down.

    • Cc W

      If it had been a WC game, it might have happened. But not in an exhibition match – it wasn’t Naeher’s best game

    • #1Fan

      no. There was a some semblance of defensive covering. Not last man. Close tho. It was not a nasty takedown. GK has to do that and LeS was too quick

      • Ethan

        Completely agreed on your last two sentences. No idea how NYRick came up with “nasty”.

        • NYRick

          It looked “hard.” In fact, Le Sommer a few minutes later was holding an icepack on her hip when she came off the pitch for a minute after being down. Watch it again.

          • #1Fan

            its part of the game. she is moving quickly as is the GK. No malice and no intent at all.

      • mockmook

        “GK has to do that and LeS was too quick”

        I don’t think GK has to (or should) take her down (if that is what you are saying).

        • #1Fan

          Saying the GK has to come hard and focus on the ball. If the ST nips in ahead of her what happened will happen.

    • Ethan

      I don’t think “nasty” is quite appropriate; it looked like a fairly standard trip. But yeah, that looked like it may have been a red. What might have saved Naeher was that Le Sommer’s touch was a little loose and moving her into Sauerbrunn’s path.

      • #1Fan

        it not loose really. She knows all she has to do is touch it by the GK because she is gong to be fouled for a pen. There is no way she is getting the ball and she knows it

    • Timber Dave

      Referee standards changed this year. No automatic red for DOGSO unless it’s serious foul play. It was a bad trip but would not have been a red card had it occurred at midfield — it wasn’t dangerous to Le Sommer’s health.

      • dw

        Exactly the standard for giving red in this instance have changed. You will see PK and yellow as the new standard, as PK and red has apparently been deemed too excessive a penalty.

    • BB Kyle

      1. Rule of women soccer. Players of the USWNT never get a red car

    • Nicole C.

      They changed the rules last summer- yellow + penalty instead of “triple-punishment” (red card, suspension, penalty) if a player commits DOGSO in the box while attempting to play the ball.
      http://www.dutchreferee.com/yellow-card-for-dogso/

  • NYRick

    The Ellis process…

    “Carli, show me wax-on, wax-off.”

    “Allie, show me wash car.”

    • NYRick

      “Short, show me paint fence.”

      • Ethan

        The interesting thing with Short is that she had a great season with the Red Stars and she earned her call up. So it’s not just the established players that fans can feel keep getting starts despite subpar performances. That can happen with NWSL players as well.

        • Bruce

          She had a great season as an OB.

    • kernel_thai

      U have to do it with the Miyagi accent

  • guest

    Why did she sub off Press and Lavelle so early? Maybe because Press has a bad reputation for melting under pressure when the chips are down? Really odd considering Lloyd, Long and Short were the obvious problems.

  • NYRick

    OK, pink elephant in the room, but I’ll say it…what the heck has happened to Morgan Brian’s game? She has gone from one of cornerstone crown jewels of the program immediately after WC15 to being…kind of mediocre and non-existent out there. Anyone agree or have an explanation?

    • Frode

      Her lack of awareness led to the first goal. Got completely stripped in the middle of the field. Yikes.

      • #1Fan

        it was a hospital pass form Lloyd I believe.

        • guest

          I honestly think that she should not have given the ball up. She had time to turn and had taken a step or two forward when she was stripped if I remember correctly.

      • brdn08

        the first goal falls on Long and Naeher. Allie could have taken a foul, Becky had a chance too.

        • ORegon

          That was the worst, Long burned and Brunn fallen on the ground.
          Then the PK.
          Yeah, they needed to huddle.

          Who is the US’ Camille Abily?

          • Som Termanni

            We’ll never know because Carli Lloyd is sitting in that spot.

          • Steglitz49

            Camille Abily at 32 is getting long in the tooth.

        • Timber Dave

          If Allie had taken a foul, she would have seen a red card. No other defenders between her and Naeher.

    • Cc W

      Lauren Holiday left – it made Brian better

    • Bruce

      That’s *exactly* like naming Rose Lavelle as a “cornerstone crown jewels” after one good cap. She has never produced for any extended stretch of time.

      • #1Fan

        She has never played in her optimal position or role

        • Bruce

          I don’t think that invalidates what I said.

          • #1Fan

            not saying it does. Im just stating a fact. Consider this, the Coach has such a low opinion of players that actually play these positions , that she thinks she can take other and teach them to do it at International level and be better off.

            Amazing

    • Ethan

      No explanation, but she indeed wasn’t at her best throughout the tournament (especially in her sub appearance against England). Maybe she’s inconsistent and goes through periods of great play and periods of poor play (like Oscar when he was at Chelsea). For example, she was the midfielder that impressed me the least at the 2012 U-20 WWC. (I was a lot more impressed with Killion and a little more impressed with DiBernardo and Mewis.)

    • guest

      She’s another one being played out of position. She should really be competing with Lavelle for the CAM spot but of course Lloyd is there. I thought Lloyd was a FWD now… I don’t understand this team at all.

    • brdn08

      you could say that about most of the players on the team. There has been no outstanding player over the past 7 to eight months maybe with an exception for Tobin. That said the lack of development falss squarely on the coaches shoulders.

      • #1Fan

        I dont call it development. Its not that. It settling on a formation that suits no one except maybe Lloyd.

        • brdn08

          Even in other formations we werent seeing improvement. We saw the same players with the same weaknesses they have always had.

          • #1Fan

            im not sure I saw that. we were a 433 team. People raved about Dunn , Pugh and Heath. No one is raving about them in 352. a 433 diamond with Lloyd at CAM puts HUGE pressure on the other 2 CMS. We need 3 real CMs if we are going to play 433.

            Lloyd is the issue, she is not a 2 way player so the ONLY role for her is in behind a striker.

          • brdn08

            its a cop out to place all the blame on Lloyd even though she does deserve some of that criticism.

          • #1Fan

            its not. its a fact. look at the roles she occupies

            CAPTAIN
            VETERAN PRESENCE
            LEADER
            CREATIVE FULCRUM AS THE 10

            which one of these is she doing well ?

            When the WC was won, who took almost all the credit ?

          • DNG

            It really isn’t a cop out. The other midfielders are not good enough in central midfield to play 2v3 because Lloyd doesn’t track back or help the team build from the back.

          • #1Fan

            BINGO. in a 433 that is the case. In a 352. she is supposed to be the focal point of the attack. she is poor at both. You can boss a midfield when you are out numbered.

          • brdn08

            but weve seen this team beat those teams last year.

          • DNG

            Fools gold. France thoroughly outplayed the US in both matches last year. England came very close to shutting them out too.

          • brdn08

            I disagree. Look at shots shots on goal, and free kicks created. Also look at possession percentages.

          • DNG

            France created the more dangerous chances in both matches. England posed little threat though last year.

          • Som Termanni

            As much as I love stats, I watched this game. The US outplayed France all of 15 or so minutes on Dunn’s fresh legs before falling back into the pit. They were out-hustled at midfield all 90.

          • brdn08

            So why didnt the US lose?

          • DNG

            Sometimes the luck just doesn’t go your way. The US should have been down 2-3 to France in last years SBC match.

          • #1Fan

            Yep. Solo played well if I remember correctly

          • brdn08

            Oh so Solo…..interesting.

          • brdn08

            someone could say that about tonight if Pughs shot goes in and Dunn scores its a completely different game

          • #1Fan

            ok . best to say we saw the game differently and move on then

          • brdn08

            we saw tonights game the same way. The US chose a poor lineup and got crushed. Its that simple.

          • #1Fan

            sad thing is..once they committed to 352, I dont think they had the players IN CAMP to make a good lineup

          • brdn08

            start Morgan and Dunn up top. Horan, Brian, Heath, and Pugh with Carli (we know jill was going to play Carli). then Broon with Krieger and either Ohara or Johnston. I think the game would go much differently.

          • #1Fan

            i dont. Not a single ball winner in MF. you would be in the same boat. You removed the one player who won possession – Mewis . That MF would get shredded

          • brdn08

            thats a difference of opinion. I think there is a enough pace there to present a ton of problems for France. The problem I saw tonight was spacing and a lack of awareness. please note Short and Long are not included.

          • #1Fan

            al good. I dont think Briani, Horan or Lloyd are mobile enough to cover the middle of the park

          • brdn08

            I think Brian is. Horandoes lack pace but Ibelieve shes a much smarter player than she gets credit. No comment on Lloyd.

          • #1Fan

            I love Horan and Brian, but in defined roles with less 2 way reponsibility

          • #1Fan

            good conversation. enjoyed it. Im going to laugh myself to sleep

          • Arcie Tillydee

            Concur, re: the players in camp. That formation requires, among other things, speed in the back, particularly outside. Not just pace, but overall effective speed. Short has pace, but her positioning is really suspect, and she doesn’t react very quickly…that adds up to mediocre speed, even if she has pace. But there aren’t a lot of choices if we want a natural left foot player there. Klingenberg isn’t fully fit and isn’t fast (she’s very quick-minded and positions herself well, but she’s just not very pacey). We don’t really have a Steph Catley sort of player in the pool that I can think of.

            Brunn has a great soccer mind and reacts quickly, but is slow-footed. It might be worth giving Emily Sonnet a look out wide (right side, most likely).

            I think either JJ or Long are actually okay in the middle (different strengths/weaknesses), although I might give Emily Menges a shot there (pure CB’s mindset with the addition of major pace).

            But I think your comment about lack of the right players for 3-5-2 is accurate beyond the back, too. Or perhaps we had a lot of the right players, but weren’t playing them in the right place. I’d much rather see Allie Long in a deep (or not-so-deep) mid role. Lavelle impressed out left, but she needs to be played centrally; she’s the future there, and I’d play her as CAM over Lloyd in a heartbeat.

            In addition, I like a target type striker in a 2 forward formation, playing alongside a slasher (soemone like Morgan). That’s a role Horan played well in Europe, and I think it’s worth looking at her there (in any 2-forward formation, not just 3-5-2).

            Tonight’s butt-kicking notwithstanding, I might not abandon the formation, if it were me in Ellis’ shoes. But with better roster/position choices, ffs…

          • DNG

            There’s no creativity in this formation for the US. Two of the most creative US players, Heath and Brian, are being completely wasted. Lavelle out wide as well.

          • guest

            I don’t have a problem with creatvity coming from out wide and cutting in like Hazrd and heath and now possibly lavelle. The problem is that they run into a hair ball clogging the drain when they do that disrupts any possible flow into the 18. If JE has to play CL then put her up top, tell her to stay with the last defender (out of the way) and basically play 10 v 11

          • mockmook

            “I don’t have a problem with creativity coming from out wide”

            I do if those creative players don’t have the pace and skills to also be excellent defenders.

          • #1Fan

            Renard and ELS would be the best players on the US team by a country mile

          • brdn08

            Ive been telling people about Le Sommer’s quality for years

          • #1Fan

            i keep reading here that Morgan is the best in the world and possibly of all time .

          • brdn08

            Morgan is the best forward woso has seen this side of Marta and Wambach. Her performances in big matches are second to none.

          • #1Fan

            i dont agree. not even a bit. but that fine. Geoff Hurst scored a wc hat trick as well. Not in the top 100 forwards of all time but his big match performance was great

          • brdn08

            Look at Morgans performances against teams rated in the top 5 of woso. She usually owns Germany and France.

          • #1Fan

            i honestly dont see it. If you mean she has historically gotten behind them them for balls over the top ..ok. But I dont think that makes you a great forward. Jamie Vardy is not world class

          • brdn08

            I refer you to the Olympic semifinal and final in 2012. Irefer you to friendlies against france in 2014. friendlies against germany in 2013, The world cup final in 2011, playoff game with Italy in 2010, SBC 2015. I could give more examples. The world cup final in 2015 is an example of how dangerous she can be wothout the ball.

          • DNG

            Not another CB like Renard in the world. She is World Class. ELS is probably closer but I agree they have no forward with her range of skills either. Would love to see a player like her in the team. If I could chose any player, it would probably still be Little though. Tempo setting 10 that can score goals and would force Lloyd out.

          • #1Fan

            you know I agree. In a way I’m glad this happened. Can people stop the nonsense about all the World Class US players please. Im not sure we currently have any.

          • DNG

            Only one some could claim based on last year would be Heath but that to me has more to due with the lack of dominating wide attackers and I still don’t think she scores enough goals.

          • #1Fan

            As a winger maybe she is not a wingback thats for sure

          • DNG

            That goes without saying.

          • #1Fan

            great discourse today DNG ..adios

          • #1Fan

            we dont develop players like ELS. Racioppi at duke is similar in some ways. classy player, shame she got injured

          • brdn08

            to be fair Broon is dealing with a gk revolving door and new defenders that leave a lot to be desired. France has had continuity on their back line.

          • DNG

            Even at her best Sauerbrunn is nowhere close to Renard as a distributer.

          • brdn08

            thats one skill among many. Renard is also more physically gifted. Id aregu Broons positioning and organization a are well ahead of Renard’s. Id also add Renard can be wildly inconsistent.

          • DNG

            I really don’t think she is way ahead of Renard at positioning and organization. Renard is very good at both. She’s also dominant on set pieces where as Sauerbrunn is hardly a factor. Tobin’s service was good today and no one got a head to one ball.

          • brdn08

            ive never seen a women defender have a stretch of play as good as Sauerbrunn in 2015. Until Renard or anyone else does so I feel confident in saying that sauerbunn is in the argument for best defender in the world with Renard.

          • Steglitz49

            Nilla Fischer.

          • DNG

            No

          • dw

            Any player can be made to look crappy when played out of position in a piss poor system.

          • sudeep das

            At least 2 down in the first half hour; then add on Renard’s miss on the far post in the dying stages of that match

          • Gary Diver

            I agree that France could have been up by 2 or 3 goals by half-time last year. Hope Solo and luck kept USWNT in the game until the French got tired out at the end.

          • #1Fan

            outnumbered is a better choice of words

          • #1Fan

            Worldy from Dunn vs Eng was the difference. I dont think I saw Dunn in those positions much at all. I saw the French fullbacks in more attacking positions today that our wide players

          • sudeep das

            Last year if the French hadn’t wasted those opportunities the scoreline would have been similar to this match. They didn’t convert last time but now they did.

          • brdn08

            so we agree. the only real separation among the top teams in woso is the ability to finish chances. Tonight France did and the US didnt

          • sudeep das

            I’ve been harping about the US inability to convert chances ever since the 3 back system was commissioned. Throughout 2016 the number of opportunities missed including 1v1 is astounding.

          • brdn08

            also an incredible inability to pass in and around the 18.

      • Bruce

        Not the job of an NT coach to develop adult players. That’s the biggest problem with Ellis’ approach. She gets 45 days per year to try to teach players totally new positions and playing styles. That’s a losing equation.

        • brdn08

          Not her job but definitely her responsibility to ensure the players know their weaknesses and make them understand they need to be improving.

          • Bruce

            How do you expect to improve on your core skills or honed instincts on the field after ~20 years of programming? The brain just doesn’t work that way.

          • brdn08

            Devlopment isnt necessarily just about core skills. Its soccer iq, its awareness, its fitness, its leadership, But yes you can hone some skills later. Its no different than NBA players that become much better shooters and or passers later in their career.

          • #1Fan

            it is. Shooting is a solitary skill of form and function. Soccer is not like that at all .

          • Bruce

            We’ll have to agree to disagree on that.

            Personally I think that Ellis far overestimates her ability to develop adult players through limited, camp-based interventions. I cannot think of a successful example of that approach.

          • #1Fan

            Nor me ..EVER. maybe with one player when you can really focus on their role when EVERYONE else knows theirs,. But not with a whole bunch of them

        • ken long

          you meant to say “its stupid to try to teach world class players new positions an formations in 45 days” and “its stupid to play people out of position” what was broken in the back 4 with Sauerbrunn and JJ? and attacking backs like Krieger, O Hara and Jling? that was the best part of the team. and then to double experiment with a back 3 with a centerback who is not a center back couldnt be dumber. not fair to the team, not fair to AL. and trade Lloyd to england; Dunne, LaVelle and Pugh are the fast skilled future of the team

    • #1Fan

      Told you guys earlier. When you play players out of position and put them in a position to fail. They lose focus, confidence and sharpness.

      • Bruce

        To be honest, she was underwhelming all last year while playing 8/10 in the 433.

        • #1Fan

          she never played 10 ..ever. and tbh, she not an 8 unless you have her paired with a really good all around 2 way player. she is not a defensive player

          • DNG

            I think she’s pretty good at guarding space. She can be beat easily by good attackers who can dribble her though. I’d play her as an 8 in front of a real ball winner. I would have liked to see Mills or Killion get a shot.

          • Bruce

            Somebody posted here that she simply doesn’t “boss the position”. I tend to agree that Moe simply isn’t showing the will or work rate to own the midfield like we all would hope she would.

          • #1Fan

            she has NEVER been a midfield owner tho. EVER.

          • DNG

            Yeah that’s fair she’s not really a tempo setter. The search goes on I suppose. I don’t blame her at all for Ellis’ flagrant misuse by the way. She’s just the latest example.

          • guest

            Don’t you think there is some onus on all players regardless of their position to defend when they don’t have the ball? I am a big brian/UVA fan and i was disappointed in how many turnovers Brian had yesterday and how few positive plays she helped to create. Playing an 8 instead of a 10 should not result in such a poor showing in a professional player IMHO.

          • #1Fan

            She had a bad game. I said before the game that I see signs of a player lacking confidence and purpose.

      • Gary Diver

        And they also lose confidence in each other and the coach.

        • #1Fan

          yes they do. I going to bed, but ill add this. The WC win gave confidence to ONE player. Mainly because she took all the credit. It did not do much for anyone else.

    • Ron Rocha

      I feel some of it is the fact that some players are more likely to under perform when being led by an under performing coach. Also, why are more players saying they need to go elsewhere to better their game? Answer: they are not getting what they need here.

      • #1Fan

        thats not on Ellis. Thats on the system in the USA – HS, Club and College

    • Steglitz49

      Thank you. I asked the same question before and noone cared to answer.

      I think Moe has lost her motivation.

      Moe has won the WC and has 2 Hermann trophies on her shelf. When you have achieved that, then at 24 you might take a broader view of the human condition and tkae leaf out of Gold-Lena’s book. (ARod at 26 had a baby without yet a WC winner’s medal, and has just had another one. Syd Leroux has both OG and WC golds.)

  • guest

    What are the final standings? Did USA really come in last? lololol

  • Long

    When you do all that “studying” and still fail the final

  • guest

    ASHLYN WOULD HAVE MADE THOSE SAVES
    -krashlyn fan

    • Som Termanni

      HOPE SOLO WOULD HAVE MADE THOSE SAVES
      -Hope Solo

      • Cc W

        “I wouldn’t have to have made those saves because we would have had a 4 back”

  • HOFCToDi
  • NYRick

    Wanted: a Bill Parcells type to coach the USWNT. One who…

    Never uses the words, “process” or “learning experience” to justify an ass whooping.

    • Bruce

      One who throws assistants under the bus?

      • NYRick

        If you mean Belichick, that’s a very sore spot for us Giants fans. I thank coach Parcells for two SBs, but had his ego not been so large and had he not jerked the organization around when he knew damn well Belichick was sought after and waiting in the wings and wanted the Giants job more than anything.

        But…as a fan I did love hearing a coach not make excuses.

        • Bruce

          Actually I meant Rex Ryan.

  • Guest

    Well at least we got to see what Lloyd looks like at CAM for 270 mins this tourney

  • Bruce
  • Cc W

    The thing Aly Wagner said that the US was thinking about this as if it was an elimination game in a tourney – scary.

    • Bruce

      until it wasn’t…

    • #1Fan

      yes. I went in to it thinking let experiment . If you believe Aly, that was the team JE thinks is her strongest at this point in time.

      • Cc W

        She chose poorly – but Alex is probably the starter over CP if healthy – not much to like about that line up.

        • kernel_thai

          Not Williams? I would think u get Morgan-Press if Morgan was 100%

    • HOFCToDi

      Sunil Gulati is already sweating bullets:

      2018 FIFA World Cup qualification – CONCACAF Fifth Round

      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018_FIFA_World_Cup_qualification_%E2%80%93_CONCACAF_Fifth_Round

      http://img.pandawhale.com/post-60276-Bill-Hader-popcorn-gif-Imgur-T-6vyp.gif

      • dw

        Right, for Gulati, at worst SBC defeat was a drop of panic into an ocean of panic.

  • Som Termanni

    What Ellis has to continue to stay loyal to is the effectiveness of her team…Your No. 1 function as a coach is to win at some point. It’s making sure we don’t always get caught up in how clever a plan is, but what’s the end result? That’s something Gulati should focus on with Ellis.

    • Frozen Blue

      What has been so frustrating with both Ellis and Klinsman is that they are trying to shoehorn the US into a style of soccer they are not ready for and does not suit them. What is so wrong about playing to your strengths. Not everyone has to play like Barcelona to win, just look at Leicester City.

      • Cc W

        Yup yup what FB said!!

      • mark

        Well said!!! I don’t understand the need all of sudden to play this style of soccer

      • Steglitz49

        What is America’s strength? A fit Alex Morgan? A well-shooting Carli lloyd? Harassing the ref crews?

        • Frozen Blue

          I would say a strong back line (in a 4 back with actual defenders) and good wing play. Our troubles in the past few years has been poor central midfield, no creativity (especially vs a bunker and a high press) and poor finishing. I think we have some good central midfielders now that would do well in a more “typical” system, with that hopefully we would develop some creativity and faster speed of play and we need to find a forward pairing that gels.

      • sudeep das

        After watching the youth teams and this She Believes Cup I have to agree with you. Play to your strengths it is then, for the USWNT. One touch football is best for the Japanese and the French and the upcoming Spanish and Dutch sides.
        For close to an year almost believed that the Americans might be able to blend their innate athleticism and speed with technical execution of the game. That would have made them invincible.

  • Gary Diver

    Who Is In Charge of This Mess?

    People say Ellis can’t be fired. If USWNT drops between No. 2, either she should go or Gulati should go. Somebody has to be held accountable for the mess that is called USWNT.

    We have heard excuses after excuse going back to the 0-0 pre-WC15 match against South Korea on May 30, 2015. In WC15, USWNT played crappy until the China match. USWNT played underwhelming soccer in 2016 SBC. They won the tournament, but still played underwhelming soccer. The OG16 performance was the worst major tournament performance in 25 years.

    People have got stop say “let Ellis experiment”. Her unfocused experiments are calling USWNT to regress to the point that they may be ranked 3rd or 4th going into WC19.

    If Claudio Ranieri could be sacked weeks after being awarded 2016 Best FIFA Men’s Coach Award, why can’t Jill Ellis be sacked?

    • Cc W

      “Trust the process”

      🙂

    • Bill

      To me the debate is not what formation. The issue is that the players seem like they are confused and have tuned out the coach. Not all of them. But some of them know what good coaching looks like. Doubt is insidious.

    • Steglitz49

      To answer your final sentence: NT soccer ain’t club soccer. The USWNT won WC-15, the first WC win for 16 years. JE will be allowed to remain in charge for the next WC. It is no different from Silvia Neid.

      Japan turfed Germany out of WC-11 in the QF on German home soil. Thereby Germany did not get to go to OG-12. Neid tendered her resignation. Instead the DFB let her continue. Germany got nothing from WC-15. In OG-16, Germany won the gold defeating Sweden by an own goal.

      • Silver Frost

        And SWE beat USA by sitting on their arses.

        • Steglitz49

          They won by playing in the spirit of Lars Lagerbäck but without the aid of a Volcano.

    • Silver Frost

      We have two more SBC tournaments between now and WC19. With our talent, we should be able to do OK, but will that be good enough?

  • Luke

    Panic Panic!!! Why do we always expect USA to win every game when playing friendlies or insignificant tournaments? The end goal is to win another WC or Olympic medal. Other countries are catching up. USA is experimenting with a line up they are not familiar with. It takes time. So that they have lost is not that important in the scheme of things. We are still 2 years away the from the WC.

    I expect a coach of Jill’s caliber to select the right players to play in whatever formation she has come up with. It’s blatantly obvious now that Jill has no clue how to utilize her players. By now she should have figured it out, that is concerning. Sorry but Long is not the right player in the back-line.

    • captainfate

      I don’t see this lineup improving in 2 years if they keep playing Long at CB or Lloyd at CAM (and if she keeps her attitude).

      I don’t think anyone’s really panicking that the USWNT lost. Personally I don’t care about the fact that they lost 2 matches back-to-back. The problem is Jill not *adapting* after the losses. It started with her playing 1 or 2 players out of position (Press at the wing, 2015), and it slowly evolved to at least 4 players at a time playing out of position at any one time (Long at CB, Lavelle at the wing, Sauerbrunn at RB, Krieger at LB, Horan at CDM). It’s as if she tried to hammer a square peg in a round hole, realized it wasn’t’ working, then decided to hammer 4 triangular pegs in a round hole.

      • luke

        Agree!!

      • guest

        I think the Long experiment is done. That was pathetic. Playing a four back with Brunn and JJ as CB’s… none of those goals happen.

        • Frozen Blue

          There is also Menges and Sonnett up and coming, this is a strong point for the US why change that.

          • Arcie Tillydee

            Exactly. Sonnet is faster than Brunn or JJ, and Menges is faster than Sonnett.

            I’d also point out that while Long got smoked on the second goal, the third was largely on Short. Completely lost her mark and allowed the cliche’ “acres of space” for that cross.

          • dw

            Hold on, DM’s need to track midfield runs through the middle, especially with only 3 back. No DM in sight near Abily, is there?

          • ARED

            I agree, although that is part of what makes the formation so odd for the USA to play. Why force the CMs and wingbacks to have so much pressure to cover runs deep inside their own area, while also being the ones forced to create any offensive chances (b/c the CAM cannot do it, and the strikers are isolated)?

            I a lot of pressure to put on these players for me, and I actually think these players have mostly done quite well (Heath, Lavelle, Pugh, Dunn, and at times Mewis and Brian), despite the fact that they are not able to do enough to win.

          • dw

            No, the formation and tactics suck in this regard, you have it 100% right. So against quality opponents, our lack of offensive production has led to this formation, which as you say, puts heaps of pressure on the wings. These same quality opponents can apparently put a lot of pressure on our back 3. Tactically, it’s awful, because we don’t have any fluidity in passing up top which would allow us to exploit the theoretical “overload”.
            I say we should park the bus and counter. We are suited to do that above all else. Although even with countless examples, I’m sure Ellis can mess that up as well.

          • ARED

            I thought it was surreal to hear Ellis say Lavelle suffered from nerves early in the England match. I thought, “no, she suffered from being isolated 2v1 against two strong players in Nobbs and Bronze -and she’s never played wingback before this moment”. After the initial few minutes, Lavelle figured out how to cover all the spaces despite still being in a lot of difficult positions, and also created many of the USA’s best moments on the ball. And they lost, b/c there best players could not overcome the difficult positions they found themselves in often enough to score.

            In this formation they should park the bus and counter, or at least just send it over behind the defense more often for the forwards to attack (even with Lloyd being slow the other two could create problems, or if you remove Lloyd you have three fast players attacking and this would trouble any defense).

            Instead they take 5 minutes to slowly pass the ball forward to the attacking third, but then when they lose it (often Lloyd), suddenly Short and Sauerbrunn are facing counters and Heath/Lavelle/Pugh are sprinting to recover. To Heath’s credit, she covers this so well it has masked the problem a lot to this point, but I think it’s silly to have her using all her energy this way, while you struggle so much to create offensive chances.

        • DNG

          I’m not so sure about that Brunn and JJ are prone to getting beat with speed over the top too. They would have done better than Long but I’m not sure that’s saying much.

          • sudeep das

            JJ is prone to dangerous back flick header on long balls that are just beating her – own goal against Japan, Dutch goal on counter attack, Parris chance in England match.

          • kernel_thai

            Her OG against Japan was caused by being torpedoed by Sawa but ur right that Johnston seems to mistime her jumps and the result is headers going the wrong direction or weakly out into the area in front of goal

        • sudeep das

          Even with 4 back of the WWC 2015 the first 2 goals would have happened. Some great visionary passing by the French – let’s appreciate that.

          • Ethan

            If the US made a play like the second French goal, I don’t think a lot of people here would be calling that “great visionary passing”. They’d just call that route 1 football. That’s not meant to discredit Renard and France, but I wonder if you’re just saying that because it’s France. Agreed on great passing for the first goal though.

          • DNG

            Successful route 1 balls like that are great passes. As for the US comparison you may be right that we turn our nose on it a bit more. I certainly do I would have no issue with a CB or DM pinging 40-50 yard well weighted direct passes or diagonals.

          • ARED

            It’s a great ball, but not one you would expect to be so easy to score from against “the best team in the world”….

          • DNG

            Never said it should. Route one balls are easy to defend but Long was completely beaten for pace on that ball.

          • ARED

            I agree, although I also thought she at least made Le Sommer move towards Sauerbrunn -but she fell completely!

            I think for as much as Long suffers as CB, we don’t always talk about how also Sauerbrunn has suffered on the outside (and Short also). I’ve wondered if it’d be better to switch the two and at least Sauerbrunn would be more comfortable and a real defender would be in the middle. Long could still step forward to “set play”.

            But really that’s all just silly efforts to fix a bad idea.

          • DNG

            Long is too slow to play on the outside. If the Backline was say Krieger, Sauerbrunn and Short it might work okay. Still I don’t think this back like is so strong that they don’t need at least a solid midfield in front of them. I’ve said over and over again that the WC backline was helped a lot by a good game plan and organization. The midfield did an excellent job of keeping the space between the backline and them very tight and teams just couldn’t get through that low block. no such block exists in this formation. The back three need to be excellent and very disciplined. Long should not have changed passing lanes on the first. Her pulling over opened a lane up for Majri to play ELS through.

          • ARED

            I agree Long is too slow, but so is Sauerbrunn, if she has to also cover the middle when Long cannot. As I said, it was just a thought to secure the centre better, but it’s pointless really.

            I don’t rate Short beyond having potential at this point, I agree they’d have some chance if they removed Long for actual defenders. And I think O’Hara is possibly the best option at both the back 3 line and the wingback position, for what that’s worth. She excels in the hard, gritty game. Heath/Pugh/Lavelle/etc are doing pretty well, but it’s not what they are best at.

            And that organization is why I was saying to just play a simple formation, so they players are calm and comfortable to play. They are neither right now….

          • #1Fan

            Route 1 football is PERFECTLY VALID until the team you play drops off and kills that. The point is what else have you got . The issue with the US WNT is so far ( like Leicester City) ..NOTHING

            if a team gives teh US opportunities to get in behind, they should be taking them

          • mockmook

            So, what you’re saying is that the USA needed to drop off against FRA in this game and kill their attacks — you’re saying that formation per se wasn’t the problem, but the tactics of the formation.

          • #1Fan

            Im saying that I dont get the stigma associated with direct football IF it works. The US issue is that other teams seem to be saying, if we stop you going over the top we dont think you can break us down.

            Ellis is so focused on dealing with bunkers that she has forgotten that is may not work vs good well prepared teams. In the 352 where Ellis plays attackers at WB, they push up. the space is in behind them , forcing the RCB or LCB to cover across , allowing space for CM runners thru the middle.

            Every formation has a weakness and the French exploited the US weakness. the counter would have been to deploy say O’Hara and Kreiger at wb and have then play deeper…switch to 5 back -532 but tbh, I just think France are a better team right now and would exploit the holes wherever they are. You stop them by keeping the ball. The US gave it away very cheaply yday .the 3 B would work IF the US kept possession a lot better

          • mockmook

            Yeah, I know I was extrapolating — it was more of rhetorical device to get people to think about what was actually the most serious problem with the way the USA played

          • DNG

            The US could also have ceded the midfield space and sat in a low block to play for counter opportunities with their front runners. Very ugly soccer and completely the opposite of what Ellis says she wants but it would have worked.

    • dw

      Win, no. Not to finish last of 4, yes.

    • sudeep das

      The way you lose is of concern than the loss itself. This leads to frustration.
      They should play to their strengths – technical football is not their cup of tea. And there is no harm in sticking to your strengths if that produces the results desired.

  • guest

    France is nothing without Renard. If she doesn’t make it to 2019 they are cooked.

    • guest123

      Abily is old also

      • A_Dog_Without_A_Clutch

        Huh Renard is like 26 and she’s a defender- defenders tend to have a much longer shelf life than forwards.

        • DNG

          I presume guest meant if she gets injured and misses the tournament.

          • A_Dog_Without_A_Clutch

            guest- yes.

            guest123- I’m not so sure.

          • DNG

            guest123 might have meant it as “Abiliy is another key player they are worse without.” Not they are both old.

          • Steglitz49

            Abily is 32.

  • guest

    was there a trophy ceremony? i have yet to see a little graphic actually showing the US in last. so embarrassing. lol.

  • Guest

    Hear me out on this – as much as Abby became a dead weight and as much as Hope Solo is Hope Solo, there was one thing they both were that is sorely lacking in this team – they are leaders on the field. Both are focal points, for good or bad, they motivate people to do things – to rally, to defend, to attack. There is no one in the current team who fills this role.

    Morgan is too focused on herself; Long commands zero respect; Lloyd is an introvert who doesn’t work well with others; Dunn is an outsider on this team; Brian, Williams, Pugh, Lavelle are all too young; Tobin is too petulant; Press too meek; Ellis, possibly senile. They need someone with a combination of skill and personality who demands respect to give the team something to focus on. Someone has to take charge, someone has to inspire.

    The best players on the pitch will not make the best team. You need players who will gel and you need someone to rally around. It’s a lesson France learned. And they learned it well. Sometimes in battle there is just someone waving a flag or beating a drum. That person appears useless, but their value can’t be underestimated for moral and motivation. The USWNT can have whatever captain they want, but right now they need a leader.

  • Steglitz49

    The Glorious 12th was a harbinger. They went from a grouse shoot to a turkey shoot.

  • newsouth

    maybe france lives up to their pedigree and wins the next world cup.

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

    • Steglitz49

      Sweden just lost to the NL 0-1 on a penalty. Sweden went to Rio in 2016 because of a Dutch defensive howler.

      The results in the Cups in algarve, Cyprus and Istria make interesting patterns. Briefly, WoSo has become comparatively tight. Hard to penetrate.

    • sudeep das

      An appreciative comment at last. What a team – absolute poetry in motion.

    • dw

      Probably not, as the window is closing on a bunch of French veteran players. Euro 2017 is their best shot.

    • dw

      probably not, because the window is closing on a bunch of French Veterans. Euro is their best shot.

  • Tom F

    EQ poster, mockrook, should be arrested for high treason! it was his continues support for the 3 back via never ending charts that obvious Ellis borrowed his idea from!

    • ARED

      HAHA! I agree, except mockrook almost always suggested using players Ellis does not and even some she has never even given a cap too, so she didn’t follow the idea correctly.

  • NYRick

    It’s Lloyd. And anyone can talk all they want about the new 3-back formations or “new process and new players,” but one thing has to change for this team to seriously compete for a WC in 2019. And that’s moving on from #10. And moving on from a coach who won’t let go of the fact that she has to find a way to win with this team against top competition WHILE still appeasing the player who got her a big contract and a degree of fame.

    You can only go so long with “who brung ya to the dance” blind loyalty. At some point the beer goggles have to come off.

    • 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.

      • NYRick

        Well the other day I joked that watch Lloyd score a couple of poacher goals against France and they win the SBC and then we are totally stuck till 2019 with the both of them. After last night, I truly don’t think it matters what either do till 2019. How could any coach watch that first half last night and not making the obvious necessary changes…namely Lloyd, Long and Short needed to exit the stage. You are not pulling them at the 22nd minute mark and embarrassing them. You are doing it at halftime.

        Yet the clueless one takes out Lavelle (who should have been moved to the replace Lloyd at the 10 or whatever Lloyd plays) if we are in an “experiening and learning mode” as Aly Wagner repeated told us last night. And she takes out Press, actually one of the few players who seemed to running full tilt out there in the first half. She also has the ability to get you a goal, but oh, you are only down 2-nil to France. I guess you don’t need attacking players. And sorry Long and Short were beyond dreadful in the first half. They were steamrolled. That is not a game to learn from, that’s a game that shreds a player’s confidence moving forward.

        • ARED

          I agree, it was quite odd to remove Press instead of Williams, Press found little space but still had a solid half by being an outlet and winning many/most of their corners, while Williams was not a factor at all. And then also Lavelle, who as Wagner very correctly said was one of the players who brings calm to the team and can break the opponent with her passing -which the USA desperately needs.

          Also, I actually thought this was the best game I have seen Short play to be fair (but I don’t really rate her to high based on her current level). Still a lot of suffering defensively for her, but better on the ball.

          • NYRick

            Since they were in an experimenting mood and she had 6 subs to make, I would have made all 6 at halftime to send a message to the team. I know it’s burning all 6 subs which is a risk, but for 45 minutes I would take the chance in a match you were already being soundly outplayed and down two goals. Time to go rad.

            So at halftime, bring in Dunn, Morgan and Horan in your front 6. Players that leave are Lloyd, Williams, Brian and Mewis. Players that leave the back are Long and Short. That makes 6.

            In the back JJ for Long, Krieger for Short and add KO (who essentially replaces Brian) and go with a 4 backline. The 3 was being torched and France is not a team to fool around with, they can embarrass you pretty bad when they get it going. And they were in gear and came to play.

            Switch it back to a 4-4-2 and you now have for the second half:
            Press, Morgan up top.
            Dunn and Heath on the flanks, Lavelle (as your now true 10), and Horan (I know Mewis wasn’t playing badly but I think Horan has the capability of helping you more down by two goals)
            Backline: KO, JJ, Brunn, Krieger

            I would take my chances with that. It may get even worse, but that’s an interesting lineup to try to nick some goals.

          • ARED

            I think that lineup is pretty close to how they should have been playing the whole tournament…lol….at least that formation. Simple as it is, I don’t think the USA should need a complicated system.

            I might do something different personally, but starting with a simple 4-4-2 is never a bad thing when you need to “go back to basics”.

          • DNG

            No more two player midfields please. Especially not one with a CAM, CDM and two wingers. I’m tired of seeing this team get shredded right up the middle. If you need to play with those 2 forwards use a 4-4-1-1 play more direct with two sturdy ball retrieving CM’s not Lavelle or Brian. If not give me Horan up top. She was the only player close to scoring yesterday.

          • ARED

            I don’t know, as I said I have other ideas for the US team, but I think if you have 4 midfielders who are simply good, this can work. My point is just that almost *any* simple formation with better player selection would be better than Ellis’ extreme efforts to find some hidden genius formation.

            It was a 4-4-2 (or, ok, a 4-4-1-1 if you like) that won the WC. Rapinoe, Brian, Holiday, Heath. Sometimes O’Hara. They were smart, strong, and controlled things pretty well -with no help from Lloyd in combination play. The outside backs can combine well enough, and I do not find it a “two player midfield” if the right players are there. Anyway, the point was simply to say any change to a simple and familiar formation may have allowed the team to play better in a system they at least were a little bit comfortable with.

          • #1Fan

            to be fair ..5 goals has clouded things a bit . For long periods I thought Japan bossed the middle of the field.

          • DNG

            Japan did cut right through the defense(Ogimi turned Johnston way too easy) on their one goal, but I don’t know if I’d say they bossed the game. I think the US stepped off their high pressure after the third goal went in and I’m not sure that would have happened had the score been nil nil. Japan did boss the friendly match in colorado though were the team sat off them for almost the whole match. Game still ended in a draw though.

          • ARED

            Very good point, I agree. I think the USA started better and then Japan took the ascendency for some time actually. But in general, I was impressed that the USA players could form a pretty strong midfield almost instantly from the time Lloyd pushed forward and Wambach sat. They didn’t dominate Germany or Japan by any means, but they played well -and well enough to win. Compared to 5 months of working on the current formation…..

            To truly have reached their peak I think they needed Lloyd out even then, but at least at that time she was dangerous on set pieces, and the others could support her in open play. In 2016 they still could. In 2017, not so much at this point….

          • DNG

            It would have been a much different game if Japan had covered the set pieces better. They always looked vulnerable to counters in that game though so I think the US would have come away with the win even if we took Lloyd’s goals away.

          • ARED

            I agree, I think the USA was strong enough to deserve a 1-0 or 2-0 lead in the first 25 minutes, with or without the goals as they happened. On a more normal day 3-1 or 3-2 may have been the score, not 5-2….lol.

          • DNG

            I don’t think the US controlled play or bossed the game in any WC match. They were better than Germany and Japan but it wasn’t because the controlled the ball, but because they stopped those teams from controlling the ball and won it high up the field where they could attack them with speed. That method of defense and attack is not the soccer I enjoy but I agree it’s very effective. So if the US want’s to play that way I would still use two solid two way CMs instead of Lavelle and Brian. If Ellis want’s to use a real CAM she should use a real CAM

          • DNG

            I guess what I’m saying is that if you have to play Morgan, play to her strength which are direct balls over the top or balls on the ground in behind. If you want to play more progressive, you have to look elsewhere.

          • ARED

            Fair enough. I think that could be so, but I would have to see a lot of games without Lloyd before I concluded anything about any of the strikers.

            And for what it’s worth, I tend to support a progressive-realism approach to WoSo. Play and nice as you can, but remember that until teams prove they can stop a player like Morgan running in behind, don’t overplay.

          • #1Fan

            Sweden and others proved it. Thing is JPN will try and outpass you which is tailor made for a physical press and counter. Germany lack the speed so can be had over the top.

            It does bear pointing out that Morgan is also shot. She is past her athletic prime and that was her game. Call this sexist if you like, but reason i have never really bought the equal pay thing is that until the women show that sentimentality plays no part in the selection you are giving big paydays to players who dont deserve it. Players who may have been worthy 5 years ago who are hanging on for dear life. If we were being honest and Ruthless Morgan and Lloyd are replaceable. Not the Morgan of 2012, but the current one for sure.

            If you want Morgans skill set out there , i think you can find it in younger more malleable legs. She is another one who cannot work on the bench. Too big a shadow.

            when you keep these players around and play them any glimmer of form will be seen as a return to glory days. An excuse to keep them on. i think Ellis has about 2 months to decide ( I dont know the upcoming schedule)

          • #1Fan

            THANK YOU. i could not agree more. CAM is a crap position in real life. I dont think it really exists anymore in a 2+ striker/fwd set.

            the CAM or #10 designation just makes a player think they dont have to defend.
            in 352 it means you have 2 vs 3 in the middle and unless those 2 are Viera and Roy Keane …good luck

            4231 ..4411 ok I get it ..

          • #1Fan

            i just think we have to be careful. I like press, but to me she had a bad game. they ALL did. A Press loer point out the few pluses and a hater the negatives, but on balance she was not good.

            Its hard to be good when he whole team fails as they did. Under a press, they were unable to move the ball , Unable to really connect 5 passes all game. Touches were bad. Movement was bad .

            Just accept it and move on.

            Now to the move on part ..here are the burning questions that need to be answered

            1. Formations and their use. 3B or 4B as the base formation ?
            2. Lloyd and her role
            3. Leadership
            4.Youth and its role

            Feel free to add more.

          • ARED

            I agree, esp. with “Just accept it and move on.”. But the context was on Lloyd being “the problem”, but yet these other players were removed. I agree with both you and NYRick -we can’t know what Ellis was thinking, but it also is fair to say the manager should be trying pretty hard to win the trophy once they are this close and make the team moves to allow it. So we were only mentioning Press and Lavelle b/c they were brought off, and in our judgement they were the least of the USA’s problems. I don’t think it will effect Lavelle but I think that is a bad risk you take with a young player, it sends a bad message.

            1) 4B for me, but a 3B with better selection and a better midfield could work if you really want to keep fighting for it.
            2) Dropped.
            3) I think if the team were set up to succeed and Lloyd/Wambach/Solo/Rampone out of the picture, players like Heath, Sauerbrunn, Morgan, and Holiday (in the past) would easily take the needed roles -mostly leading just by hard work and team-first attitude.
            4) It’d be easiest for me if they had kept the 2016 formation and then started introducing new players 1-2 at a time into that. When you change formation and the roles of established players, it makes the picture cloudy. It seems that Ellis sees youth still only as tools to support the veteran players, which I do not like.

            I’d only add that Ellis and therefore Gulati is the biggest question. If Ellis is manager I don’t expect the next two years to go overly well. They should still compete b/c of the talent, but it will be painful each step, as it has been for awhile now.

          • #1Fan

            TY. Great post. I will say that I dont think JE sees Lloyd as the problem.

          • ARED

            I do not either. Maybe in time, but while Ellis has learned how to talk like a creative and smart coach, I think she looks at life without Lloyd and is a bit scared of what would happen.

          • NYRick

            Ellis will NEVER see Lloyd as the problem. She sees her as the one who finally put her over the top as a WC winning manager after years of frustration on the college circuit and being Pia’s caddy. It’s washing your car for life stuff for her as it pertains to Lloyd. That’s a huge problem and Lloyd has a huge ego and is ultra sensitive to past slights (which she did get). Now that she is the “star” she wants the full treatment. She expects it and demands it.

          • ARED

            I don’t think she will in time, b/c that time is long past. But she did eventually see Wambach as a problem -again, long after it was clear.

            So maybe in 2020 she’ll sit Lloyd down for a talk….

          • #1Fan

            what past slights ?

        • Reality

          I think this might eventually be Ellis’s downfall that the players lose confidence in her. With Sermanni, it was a coup d’etat by veterans who felt threatened by his youth movement. With Ellis, it might be a crisis of confidence in her overall judgement in managing the team.

    • Reality

      I’m trying to picture Ellis and Lloyd at a bar with beer goggles on…yeeech!

  • dw

    Finally, exposure that not only does Ellis have no clue what she is doing in the attacking third, she also has no clue about what to do in the defending third.

    • ARED

      The team/media often say “it’s just the final third they need to improve”, and I always wonder whether they are crazy or I am!

      Before under Ellis usually the back third was solid, the middle was a nightmare, and the attacking third was at least dangerous if starved of chances. But now I think even the back third is quite unsteady, which is a pretty big problem for any team, but especially one with an unsteady midfield also.

      • Silver Frost

        Agreed. I’ve never been worried about our back line, until now. And I’ve been a fan since 1999.

        • ARED

          Yes, I would say I in that time only the 2007 WC was arguably worse. Now I think they have plenty of ability, just terrible management of it.

      • DNG

        I am not convinced at all that Ellis has any idea what she’s doing. And I don’t think she understands the core principles of the back three well either.

        • ARED

          I agree on both accounts.

  • Reality

    Gulati personally handed the She Believes trophy to the French team last night. As he did so, what were his thoughts? How was he framing the problem? Was he thinking of Sermanni? Was he thinking of Klinsmann? Was he thinking of Lloyd? Was he thinking of the failures of the YNT coaches? Will he consult with unknown trusted VIP’s to gain perspective? After all, the buck ultimately stops at his desk. What will he do next if anything? Or will he just hope it all blows over?

    • ARED

      He was thinking about his meeting today with sponsors for the mens team and who he can bribe to get the WC to USA in 2026 or whenever….

      • dw

        Send hookers, drugs, and liquor to the Selection Committee. Everyone knows that. Wait, can I say that?

        • ARED

          You just did….

      • Reality

        Shocking that anyone would even suspect such chicanery in FIFA! 🙂

    • ARED

      But he should do what he finally did with Klinsmann. He has poorly handled every manager decision I believe. First he kept Bradley too long, then when they actually improved some under Bradley he was then fired, and Gulati paid a lot to lure JK. Then he extended JK for a second cycle before even seeing the WC performance.

      With the WNT, he kept Pia, then they moved on to Sermanni, then fired him and somehow Ellis was then able or willing to take the job? It all just seems very odd, to imagine how he comes to these decisions.

      (But MLS is growing, the fake Copa America made a lot of money, NWSL still exists, and the USWNT still is profitable if unsteady. And that is probably enough to keep him there for life….unfortunately it is not about sport, it is about money).

      • NYRick

        Your last paragraph perfectly sums up the Gulati situation.

        • ARED

          Yes, I think so. And I do think it’s important to credit him for those things, but, I think they have long reached the point where the substance (on the field) should match the “show” and the “sell” in importance -at least on all levels except for NWSL, which still does need to grow to be secure. Gulati always seems to be spinning a story, and looking to cash in either in money or in publicity.

      • Reality

        Money, celebrity, and seniority are undoubtedly Gulati’s administrative priorities. It helps enormously if you come up in the NT system whether you be a player or a coach. Of course, the tipping point for all these factors is if the team is embarrassed or suffers a serious losing streak. Whether Gulati considers the OG ejection in the quarterfinals and coming in last in the SBC sufficient reason to take some kind of action remains to be seen. The bar is probably higher for the USWNT to maintain excellence. It will be interesting to see what effects this all has on the CBA

        • ARED

          That is a good point, it does seem he is happy to completely ignore bad results to a point, but then if there is something he finds embarrassing he may suddenly act. So maybe he will consider a change now or soon.

          And yes, the CBA issue I feel may be resolved more quietly than it seemed last year, but I can’t say too much about that.

          • #1Fan

            Norah O’Donnell: Do you think you should be paid more than the men’s team?

            Carli Lloyd: Yeah, absolutely.

            Norah O’Donnell: Why?

            Carli Lloyd: We win. We’re successful. Should get what we deserve.

          • ARED

            Oh boy. I either missed or blocked out that one.

            As I said, I’m going to bite my tongue…

  • dw

    Oh, and maybe I was wrong about not deliberately tanking games to affect the CBA negotiations. Because the coach works for the federation, not for the WNTPA. So is it incompetence, or intentional? Hanlon’s razor says incompetence, and yet….

  • NYRick

    Ah, I just got finished listened to the Smiths “Panic.” Always a go-to song for all sports crisis and team frustrations. I advise checking it out. You’ll feel better.

    “Panic on the streets of London
    Panic on the streets of Birmingham…
    Hang the DJ Hang the DJ Hang the DJ Hang the DJ Hang the DJ Hang the DJ Hang the DJ Hang the DJ…HANG THE DJ HANG THE DJ.”

    Mind you, in case you were wondering, the DJ is JE.

    • guest

      it’s not that deep. personally i think these women are entitled spoiled brats. they deserve a whooping every once in awhile.

      • NYRick

        Agree, it’s not the deep. And they do deserve a good whooping every once in awhile. But it won’t change a thing.

  • Guest

    Aside from maybe Heath, has any player shown any type of improvement or growth under Ellis?

    • dw

      Mewis.

    • ARED

      I maintain that Heath’s performance improved because she was put on the pitch -and sometimes even with players who complement her style.

      Similarly you could suggest that Long, Pugh, O’Hara, Press, and Williams have all improved “under Ellis”, but I believe these players have all been doing the work to develop and grow themselves and at their clubs regardless of whether they are used by Ellis or not. I think to credit Ellis with developing these players would be pretty kind to her.

  • Ching

    Playing players out of their natural position doesn’t make sense you should only be doing that out of necessities instead of experimentation, like when Pia converted KO from forward to fullback to combat Japanese speedy flank players or when Ramos played as a midfielder during the CL because Modric and Kroos are injured, I don’t see a necessities or the need for experimentation like this.

  • ARED

    Quite a good match to watch again, which was nice (along with the USA-England, and in general all of this Cup).

    Big win for France to enjoy, and hope to improve another level for the Euro. Big problems with USA, which is not a surprise. A long time to improve before 2019, but I do think you have to (continue) to question the path of this team (the manager, and the captain/#10).

  • dw

    There is hope for Christen Press yet! Abily and LeSommer had the same stigma attached to them, world class players who failed to produce when absolutely necessary. The side I follow, Spurs, have the same exact problem. They exhibit world class quality, until it is absolutely required that they do so, and then they don’t. But hope springs eternal, for Press, and Spurs. COYS.

    • NYRick

      For a second I thought you were talking about the San Antonio Spurs and had lost your mind. I guess I realize you mean Tottenham.

      • dw

        Right, what I said, Spurs.

        • NYRick

          I think if we read comments from last year’s SBC you will see many filled with what a choke artist LeSommer is and how they can never win a big match with her.

          Last night I don’t think you can blame Press for any stigma. She should not have been pulled at halftime.

          • dw

            No but Press does have the stigma in general. So actually does the entire French squad. (Thiney’s miss, Lavogez’ miss, etc.) SBC doesn’t realy equate to a big tourney, so on it goes. As I said below, one more shot for this squad all together.

          • guest

            lol isn’t Press like 30 years old? still waiting for that break out tournament i guess.

          • dw

            still waiting…

          • #1Fan

            Every game cannot be a Press referendum. This was a collective failure. When, why and who was subbed is not the issue really. We have no idea what JE was looking to see.

          • NYRick

            I think the idea is to try to win the game, especially against France. Especially once the match was actually playing for a cup celebration at evening’s conclusion against a top rival. The time to truly experiment is against Russia, Romania etc. This idea that this tournament was a little “exhibition”, kind of just like an off-season friendly is ridiculous. Tell that to the 27k who jammed RB arena on Saturday.

            These are by anyone’s standards the 4 best teams in the sport internationally right now. In form or not. Also, why did the US have a January camp? Why not just show up a few days to a week before these matches. We are only experimenting.

            Press and Lavelle are two of the last players I would have removed at halftime. Yet she oddly chose those two. As Herman Edwards famously said, “You play to win the game.”

          • #1Fan

            that may be your idea. I have no clue what JEs was. All your comments are based n the assumption that she looks at ti the same way you do.

          • NYRick

            Well really you can say the same for every comment that is made on here. You, me and everyone else comments on the premise of how we see the situation. I don’t worry about how Jill sees it. I get she has different priorities and such. Right now, she is not getting results stretching back to last summer’s OG. And the poor little “growing program” I thought anyway was ranked number one in the world. They are being now positioned as breaking in a bunch of high school kids and with any luck cracking the top team in a few years.

          • #1Fan

            Sure, but maybe she already decided to give 45m each to those players. i cant analyse her subs etc in the context of an SBC game without knowing if she was trying to put her best out there.

          • NYRick

            Explain Lloyd for 80 and Long for 90. That is ludicrous considering their play. She is a horrible in game manager IF in fact you are trying to win. At home against France, Cup at stake (regardless of value, it’s still a top tournament for these players) you play to win and throw out I need to give these players 45 minutes logic. They’ll get over it.

            Adjustments in sports are everything. Especially with top teams.

          • #1Fan

            no idea why you are putting me on the spot to explain. Ive made my position clear. Lloyd should not be there basis ability or experimentation. To hear her talk about “learning” the #10 role is just hilarious.

            All Im saying is you are over analyzing the Press thing. To me it makes no difference whether she is first sub or last. Plays 45m or 60m. we can spend all day looking for meaning in these things when all that really counts is how badly they played and what if anything JE is going to do about it

          • DNG

            “To hear her talk about “learning” the #10 role is just hilarious.”

            Me as well. Might have been the funniest and most ridiculous excuse Ellis has come up with to date. Apparently Lloyd has no accountability whatsoever with the capital she has managed to build up with the coaching staff following her “amazing” WC Final performance.

          • Frode

            This is one of the most revealing things Ellis has said about her relationship with Lloyd. That she is allowing a 34-year-old player learn a new position, when there are excellent, much younger options available, says it all.

          • DNG

            It’s also just complete nonsense. I wonder what position Ellis would say Lloyd has been playing for the last year and a half. She’s a striker that floats in the hole looking for goals to poach. She is not a 10 and will never be a 10.

          • Lodovico Settembrini

            Really funny. As a German I would appreciate having a player like Press alot. Pace, high soccer intelligence, excellent shooting and a team player. Yes, she didn’t perform in some of the important matches but there were also important matches in which she performed. And there were others where she didn’t had the chance to shine

            I guess the biggest problem is that she doesn’t get and feel the backing and trust of the coaches (and the US media)

    • guest

      meh.

    • Silver Frost

      Forwards need capable middies to get them the ball. Or, a nice defender who has field awareness, like Renard (60 yd pass to Le Sommer). None of our forwards are bad players.

      • dw

        No, none are bad players, to be sure.

      • ARED

        I don’t think your midfielders are bad players either.

        Or your defenders.

        Hmmmm…..I wonder what this tells us…..?

      • sudeep das

        None of the forwards have the “glue” in their feet so necessary in trapping a ball in tight areas inside the box. In other words their first touch isn’t good enough. So they have to take an extra touch to control the ball which closes the goal mouth or reduces the angle. That lack of one touch control also explains why they seldom take a first timer inside the box. Add to that the number of 1 vs 1 situations wasted last year.

      • #1Fan

        Define bad player. they are pros., so bad must be a relative term. Who is top class?

    • Dylan Thomas

      Abily was a key factor in winning 3 UWCL titles. Those who might have said she failed have either no clue or are only sitting on the ‘USWNT/NWSL is the greatest’ bandwagon

      • dw

        Yeah she single handedly carried Lyon on her back. Riiiiight….

        • Dylan Thomas

          Nobody said so. No player does. Even all the mighty US superstars do not

          • dw

            One fan’s “key factor” is anothers “a player”. But after some research: 9 goals in the 2011-2012 CL. I yield.

          • marie.bough

            It is not about goal, she is a midfielder, not a forward.

  • dw

    Now, countdown is on for waiting for the “USSF has given 60 day notice to terminate current CBA” shoe to drop…

  • guest

    People are so fickle. ELS has one good game (let’s face it that defense would make a good HS forward look good) and that’s enough to consider her not a choker anymore?

    • #1Fan

      US fans seem to only define soccer by NT performances.

    • ARED

      Some of us have this strange belief to refuse to say a player is either Pele or a failure simply based on one goal, miss, match, or even a full season.

      Le Sommer had a strong game, as did many. I doubt she has commissioned a statue yet…..

      • #1Fan

        She has had many strong games and yet somehow the prevailing wisdom is she is a choker. Great player long before last night. If you dont know that, you probably are not watching

        • ARED

          Exactly. I am always a little unsure about the joy some seem to get by going at France either from fans or especially the US soccer media. I wonder do they not watch the matches, and see the players are giving everything (usually…lol)? It seems to be a much different standard when writing about France and questioning them, compared to the USA and simply echoing whatever message the US team gives them.

          “It’s a growing process”. Well yes, but I thought you were already “the best team in the world”. When has France ever been called the best team -never -but when they lose they are “choking” and “failures”?

          • #1Fan

            Well put.The SBC has flip flopped between meaning less event and 3 to only the OG and WC depending on how well the US team does 🙂

        • DNG

          Agreed the rhetoric that ELS is not a strong player is absolutely ridiculous.

    • Frozen Blue

      I thought the announcers said this was the first game of the tournament where she started up top.

    • Ashley C

      Le Sommer has had more than one good game. Have you never watched her at Lyon or at least in the CL? It isn’t always about the NT.

      • Bruce

        You bet. If you’ve watched Lyon play she (and last night’s result) should not be any surprise.

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  • #1Fan

    FIF Pro Womens world XI …hahahahahahhahahahah

    Im done. They need to wake up if they want serious soccer folk to take them seriously

    • Kathy

      Don’t laugh. But I expected the result to be even worse

      • #1Fan

        hahahahahahahhahaahahahahahah

        Sorry ..had to

        • Kathy

          Laughing is healthy…..

          For me 4-5 players which are listed there belong there. Maroszan, Hegerberg, Renard, Marta and maybe LeSommer.

          More than I expected given that players thought Llyod would be a deserved FiFa best player of 2016.

          • #1Fan

            Agreed

          • Steglitz49

            A few more of the winners on the Glorious 12th ought to be there, not just one single.

      • kernel_thai

        Conditions actually helped the US keep the score down.

    • DNG

      This was fully expected. In WoSo it’s all about name recognition. The truth is that the majority of players most likely can’t watch the best in the world play outside major tournaments. Meaningless award.

    • Bruce

      Outraged that Abby didn’t make the list.

  • Kevin

    I filtered the USWNT results for losses in which we gave up 3+ goals.

    Here’s some interesting statistics…

    • This was only their 5th loss ever by 3+ goals. All 5 times were in tournaments, never a friendly.
    • This matches their biggest loss ever on home soil (2003 WC semis).
    • They’ve only given up 5 goals once, the 3-5 loss to Denmark in the 2014 Algarve Cup.
    • The only time they’ve ever lost by 4 goals was the 2003 WC Semi’s to Brazil. The infamous game in which Scurry started over Solo.

    Their 5 losses by 3+ goals…

    • 1998 Algarve Cup lost to Norway, 1-4.
    • 2001 Algarve Cup lost to Canada, 0-3.
    • 2003 World Cup semis lost to Germany, 0-3. (at home)
    • 2007 World Cup semis lost to Brazil, 0-4.
    • 2017 SheBelieves Cup lost to France, 0-3. (at home)

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e501896afd377823c61d417a3dfe1b356ed3dfbe30f2b8d61dbdce5218e91882.png

  • Gary Diver

    (Partial) List of Jill Ellis’ Failures

    1. USWNT played poorly at WC15 through the Colombia match. Then last August, OG16 was the worst major tournament failure in USWNT history. And finally, USWNT finished in last place in their own 2017 SBC.

    2. Ellis never had a news conference to explain her awful OG16 decisions/coaching, including the inclusion and use of Rapinoe at OG and inviting Rampone to the May camp when she hadn’t played any significant time for USWNT for a couple years. There was no discernible game plan and no plan B for the QF match with Sweden. Putting Heath on the back line was typical of her many random decisions. Her choices for the PKs was totally random and cost her the match.

    3. Ellis’ kowtowing to Lloyd as been a dismal failure. Starting Lloyd in every match is ridiculous. Having her clog up the MF is ridiculous. Pretending she is a Number 10 is ridiculous. Lloyd is essential a freelance forward who plays no defense. Lloyd is simply an albatross and a liability. Lloyd needs to be removed from the starting roster and used only as a supersub forward.

    4. Ellis’ “experimenting” and “learning process” is not moving the team forward. In fact, the team’s identity now seems be lost and USWNT has regressed over the past year.

    5. Ellis’ 3 back formation is a failure.

    6. Ellis’ experiment with Long as CB is a failure.

    7. Ellis’ need to have a back line who can move the ball forward quickly and effectively is a failure.

    8. Ellis’ attempt to defend against counter-attacks has been iffy.

    9. Ellis’ attempt to fix USWNT’s MF is a failure.

    10. Ellis’ attempt to find a credible long-term replacement at GK for Hope Solo has been a failure. When Solo recovers from her shoulder surgery, she may still be better than Naeher and Harris.

    11. Ellis’ experiment of playing players out of their natural position is a failure.

    12. Ellis’ use of Morgan Brian has been a failure.

    13. Ellis’ responsibility to develop young talent such as Mallory Pugh, Emily Sonnett, Lindsey Horan, and anybody else under 23 has been a failure. Canada’s current Algarve Cup roster has 7 teenagers on it.

    14. Ellis’ game plans/strategies have been failure. There is never a discernible game plan.

    15. Ellis’ attempt to create a team that is greater than the sum of its parts is a failure. The essential need to create a team with a common purpose where every

    16. USWNT is not longer a dominate team when playing against top-12 teams.

    Ellis’ leadership is a dismal failure. Nobody, including her players, has any idea what she is attempting to accomplish. The players must be losing confidence in Ellis and worse, in themselves. This is happening at the same time the Canadian, the French, and the English teams are increasing their confidence in themselves. If Ellis is not replaced soon, USWNT could be ranked 3rd or 4th at WC19. This would be a travesty since USWNT still has the best player pool in the world.

    • Guest

      Lol at #9. Her attempt at fixing the MF has been inserting various forwards into a DM spot. What is it currently? A forward, a #10 and Lloyd? Lol

    • #1Fan

      1. in the interest of balance, losing on Pks in a single elimination event is no disaster. I can buy an argument that says they did not play well , but i cant call it a disaster.

      3. If Lloyd is all the things you say, and i think she is – then she is NOT a supersub. Her character would be corrosive to the team. Its keep her in current role or bye bye

      4. Nit too early for me to judge, but with Lloyd there I dont see how you can move forward

      7. That is personnel dependent

      8. JE is not playing. If you pick slow players then when you lose the ball you are vulnerable to the counter.

      9. Is it formation or personnel or both

      10. Harsh

      11. Agreed

      12. Agreed

      13 CAN is borne of necessity. US dont have to do that

      16. they were NEVER tactically or technically dominant. They did benefit from numbers and conditioning borne of a large $$ advantage. Once you remove that, you get what you saw last night. Tactics and technique exposed for what is has been for some time – POOR

      • Steglitz49

        Wrong. Gary Diver is correct.

        #1 was a disaster. They went home without a medal having always won gold except in Sydney when it was silver on a golden goal.

    • guest

      1. They won the WC 2015.

      2. The Goalkeeping coach who chooses the penalty shooters.

      3. Lloyd should just be a super sub and not a starter.

      4. USWNT doesn’t have a tradition or system like Barcelona, Ajax and Manchester United (before Van Gaal). Experimenting is one way to create one or figure things out.

      5. The back line is still under experimental phase it’s not surprising that struggle a bit, there’s gonna be trials and tribulation I’m glad JE sticks with it for 90 min. Whats concern me more is the link up between midfield and strikers often seemed lacking the French man marking on Lloyd is very effective struggle to find space and create, Heath is amazing took the play making from Lloyd.

      6. Give it time.

      7. Midfield should be the one focus. The Spain NT midfield of Iniesta the Xavi’s made Ramos and Pique superstars.

      8. The French and the English played well, give credit to those team.

      9. Agree

      10. Not her fault. Nicole Barnhart have been with the team for like forever yet she only have 54 caps Harris 12 Naeher 12.

      11. Forward is the preferred position in the US AM in Europe the best players would usually played that position if you really good for USWNT position man up Rampone, O’hara, Lilly, Foudy, Akers have played din different position it happens in men’s game too.

      12. Blame the coach if the player doesn’t perform?

      13. We wait and see.

      14. agree

      15. Sermani

      16. Not too many WC back to back Champions 1 in women 2 in men.

    • Steglitz49

      Hey, Martin Luther! You have another 79 these to go. Start typing now.

      The US won WC-15. They failed miserably in OG-16. They now failed in the SBC.

      The next big tournament is WC-19. Those pesky Europeans have their Euros. Life goes on.

      • Gary Diver

        Life goes on, but looking at Ellis’ commitment to Lloyd, her commitment to Morgan (who isn’t what she used to be), her commitment to playing players out of position, her commitment to not develop young players, her commitment to 3 back formation that is not working, her commitment to have no game plans/strategy, points to a bleak two years for USWNT. I can hardly wait until she puts A-Rod and Leroux back on the roster to be teamed up with Lloyd and Rapinoe.

        P.S. The Lutherans around the world are celebrating the 400th anniversary of Luther’s Ninety-five Theses.

        • Steglitz49

          You could turn it around and propose that JE is giving Carli enough rope to hang herself.

          I agree in the sense that I don’t understand why JE called up Alex Morgan. She should have left her in Lyon. That might have lit a fire under Alex.

          Given the CBA and maternity clauses and the like, JE may be forced to play ARod and Syd. It may be beyond her control.

          There are some people who have meant a lot in history, like Birger Jarl, Magnus Ladulås, Magarete the Great, Engelbrekt and Luther, maybe also those Slovenian linguists.

          Some would add Eleanor of Aquitaine because she got he hubby, the king of France, to forbid the growing of the Gamay grape in Burgundy. He asked her what she wanted for a morning gift on her wedding and she got him to keep the Gamay out of Burgundy.

        • Opi

          500 years

          • Gary Diver

            You are right:) Time travels quicker than I thought.

  • Kevin

    I filtered the USWNT results for losses in which we gave up 3+ goals.

    Here’s some interesting statistics…

    • This was their 5th loss ever by 3+ goals. All 5x were in tournaments, never a friendly.
    • This matches their biggest loss ever on home soil (2003 WC semis).
    • They’ve only given up 5 goals once, the 3-5 loss to Denmark in the 2014 Algarve Cup.
    • The only time they’ve ever lost by 4 goals was the 2003 WC Semi’s to Brazil. The infamous game in which Scurry started over Solo.

    Their 5 losses by 3+ goals…

    • 1998 Algarve Cup lost to Norway, 1-4.
    • 2001 Algarve Cup lost to Canada, 0-3.
    • 2003 World Cup semis lost to Germany, 0-3. (at home)
    • 2007 World Cup semis lost to Brazil, 0-4.
    • 2017 SheBelieves Cup lost to France, 0-3. (at home)

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f7cc5ddae38845fe475da9828d35286974832a5bda5953c8a4cd274182e815be.png

    • dw

      Note that the Brazil loss and the 5-3 Algarve loss signaled the end of coaching tenures.

      • Kevin

        We can only hope.

        • NYRick

          And pray.

  • Bruce

    A cancer patient goes to his doctor saying that he isn’t feeling well and would like to fine-tune his treatment. The doctor immediately makes radical changes his diet, exercise regimen and medication doses. He also prescribes three new medications and orders a round of experimental chemo. Five months later, the patient says he feels worse and the doctor has no clue how to adjust his treatment protocol because he changed so many variables that he is unable to assess the effectiveness of any of them.

    This is exactly what has happened to the USWNT because JE has no clue how to run an experiment.

    As a a result, we’re now in month five of a commitment to a three back alignment and the team still has no idea what tactics, individual players or pairings are best suited to that formation. The haphazard fielding of personnel out of position doesn’t even provide insight into whether the 3-4-1-2 is a feasible option for this team. What we saw this week was a systematic organizational failure that contributed nothing to “the process”.

    • #1Fan

      Great post. There really was no need to announce ANY commitment to ANY formation. Just try them out and see

      • Bruce

        I’m just waiting for the final scene where the Scooby Do kids pull off her mask and find out that she’s really Jurgen Klinsmann.

        • ARED

          Maybe, if he’s on a sedative also….

          • Bruce

            lol

      • Gary Diver

        Agree, and now Ellis has linked her reputation and future with a 3 back formation that currently is not working. At some point she will reach the point of no return and will have to stay with her commitment to this formation to (maybe) the bitter end.

        • Bruce

          Whoever reverts back to a 4-3-3 with a workable play-maker will look like a genius. It could be her.

          • ARED

            Yep.

    • NYRick

      Good analogy. But I guess we can at least be thankful that Ellis is merely just a soccer coach and not a doctor.

      • AlexH

        Thanks NYR, I was looking for the glass half full side.

  • NYRick

    The Long and the Short of it is…the Back 3 experiment sucks.

    • Steglitz49

      Send them all to Avaldsnes for a couple of seasons?

    • Ching

      Let’s not be carried away it’s not like She Believes Cup is such an incredibly important competition. The team still has plenty of time to get thing straight, this shows that this current crop might not be good as we thought or as we think it can be.

      Megan Rapinoe perhaps, might be the answer?

    • kernel_thai

      Id still like to build a version with Sauerbrunn in the middle. Or if I wanted to experiment…this

      ……………….Morgan……Press
      ……………………..Brian
      Ohai………………………………….Dunn
      ………….Sullivan……..Sauerbrunn
      Short………..Johnston………..Menges

      • DNG

        No more 3 at the back I’m over this experiment. The US have the personnel to play a 4-3-3. Let’s focus on finding the right players to play it.

  • Bruce

    Conclusions I’m trying to draw out of this mess, despite the systematic failure last week and the cluster that is the 3-back alignment.

    1. Sam Mewis showed a midfield presence that the US has sorely been lacking.
    2. Tobin Heath impacted every game and is clearly the most complete wing on the NT.
    3. Sauerbrunn again proved that she’s about as solid a CB as we have in the US.
    4. One year later and Mal Pugh isn’t evolving. Not ready to play centrally.
    5. Press and Dunn still find ways to impact the game when service doesn’t come.
    6. It’s a bad sign when your CF has to play so deep she can run down a breakaway.
    7. Morgan has turned into even more of a one dimensional player.
    8. If Williams doesn’t score off of a deflection, she would be getting absolutely panned.
    9. Lloyd simply cannot keep up with the speed of the game. Just so obvious.
    10. Everything will remain broken as long as Lloyd sits in the CAM spot.
    11. Rose Lavelle shows promise, but not as a two-way player.
    12. You really cannot say that the US has an attacking personality at present.
    13. The US doesn’t have the personnel to beat top teams with Abby ball anymore.
    14. Partnerships are currently not a “thing” on the USWNT.
    15. Allie Long looks 10x better as a DM than she does as a CB.
    16. Moe Brian is lost without blue-collar players winning the MF.

    • Steglitz49

      Martin Luther nailed 95 these to the church door so you have another 79 to go!

    • NYRick

      17. I guess pertains to #9, but they simply can’t win with Lloyd as the CAM moving forward against any team of relevance.

      • Bruce

        17 = 10

        • NYRick

          The Lloyd Theory of Relativity:

          23 – 22 = 10.

    • Frozen Blue

      Goalkeepers?

      • Bruce

        Least of our problems.

    • sudeep das

      Mal hasn’t been tried in the central spine because of Lloyd. So can’t agree with #4 about her being static. We don’t know what instructions she had been given being a young player and what role to stick to.

  • Ashley C

    Canada/Spain final is at 1:30pm fyi. Looks like Herdman wants the youth players to show what they’ve got. Huitema is 15.

    https://twitter.com/CanadaSoccerEN/status/839529020001779714

    • Steglitz49

      Stephanie Labbé has played 6 seasons in Sweden with great success. Buchanan, Lawrence, and Scott took other foreign coins. Fleming is already a superstar — or would be if she was American. As for Zadorsky, like Buchanan, no gratuitous red cards, please.

    • Steglitz49

      Spain won 1-0.

      • Frozen Blue

        Wow, good for them, that seems unexpected.

        • dw

          More teams getting better that are not USWNT.

        • Steglitz49

          Spain had a great Euro-13 but a miserable WC-15.

          • Frozen Blue

            Do they have a chance against Eng, Ger or Fra in Euro-17?

          • Steglitz49

            We shall see, won’t we? Another 12 NTs qualified, including Holland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway but also Iceland …

      • guest

        Herdman fired in 3…2…1

  • John

    OK…she tanked at the OG, tanked it at the SheBelieves. Surely Ellis has to go? I mean…Sermanni lost one game at the Algarve and he was sacked.

    • guest

      This is my thinking. I don’t understand how she isn’t in really hot water right now.

      • Steglitz49

        Because she won WC-15.

        • guest

          And had the worst ever OG result….

  • guest

    The only thing I can think of is that she just really wanted to throw the new players into the fire and see if it worked. Not a Press superfan or anything but she should not have been subbed off before LW

  • guest

    Nothing new to add but Allie Long was soooo bad. She didn’t attempt one defensive maneuver. I felt really bad for Naeher.

    • guest

      All of the actual young collegiate/pro defenders in this country must be thinking what the hell. #USWNTCORRUPTION

    • Guester

      didn’t watch, just saw the french goal highlights.. is Long even able to do a slide tackle?

    • anon

      and Broon who was literally tripping and falling over herself to cover Short and Long (heh)

  • Guest

    Interested to see who manages to have the best start in the NWSL season after this disastrous start to 2017 for the national team. I think most of them play positions more suited to them on their club teams.

    My early prediction is that Heath will break her own assist record this year.

  • guest

    i thought it was a little funny that the shebelieves trophy seemed much nicer than the nwsl trophy. maybe they could make two of them.

    • Steglitz49

      Maybe the Europeans paid for it? They have mighty fine trophies over there even for the reserve teams.

  • dw

    Just rewatched the “Debacle in DC” and have some more observations:

    1) Casey Short, Sam Mewis, and Tobin actually had very good games. Especially Short vs. Thomis. But her marking of Thomis did contribute to the 3rd goal.

    2) Sorry, Rick, but Press was awful. She missed a chance to release Williams with her first possession, and never really improved. Sent her best chance way over the bar.

    3) Lucky not to have a handball in the box called against Morgan Brian.

    4) Renard, obviously a great player, had a great game. A great tourney really.

    5) US kept trying to play out again and again. How do they not know to launch the ball downfield to try to beat the press?

    6) Dunn, Pugh, and Horan affected the game positively. Other subs did not.

    7) I find it very troubling that whoever is scrimmaging vs. the starting back 3 in camps and practices is not lighting them up the way they should so that this charade could have been stopped ages ago. Press, Dunn, Morgan, etc. SHOULD have a field day running at Allie Long.

    8) Lloyd actually not as bad as I thought. Almost every time she got the ball she went wide to Tobin, had a good play going endline on the Dunn shot. It’s not her fault that the back 5 can’t play out.

    9) Henry, Renard, and Georges are at their peak, and this Euro might be their last hurrah together, along with Abily.

    10) Aly Wagner has no idea what she is talking about.

    11) USA played 3 players age 22 or younger in this game. FRA played 5.

    • #1Fan

      Short gave the ball away constantly. marking Thomis was not really her only job.

      • dw

        True enough. But I’m not going to single her out for what seemed like a collective failure. The back 5 trying to play out of the back was a turnover fest. Literally dozens of times ball just played to a French player. I’m not going to watch again for exact tallies, though.

        • DNG

          Short gives the ball away too easily for me. I understand that she’s trying to make the safe play but she booted away the ball too often when she had time to settle it and make a good pass in my opinion. She’s was a significant piece of the back that was just giving the ball away, she just happened to give it away where the team couldn’t be countered quickly. She is not the ideal LB/LCB in any team that wants to build from the back.

          • Steglitz49

            Chicago, where Casey Short plays, did well in the NWSL till Press hit the crossbar. Casey also made the 1st XI of Toppserien, so she can’t be too bad. She is a left-footed player and thereby a natural asset at LB.

            The questions, therefore, become:
            — Does JE persevere with Casey or try someone else?
            — Is the root of the problem that against strong teams a 3-player back-line is too risky?
            — Wjho do you want to try instead of Casey?

        • #1Fan

          I only responded coz you said she was very good. I thought the whole team was collectively awful .

      • DNG

        I think it was Shorts job in transition at least with the US pushing the WBs forward. I agree on Short.

    • DNG

      I definitely think Lloyd is part of the reason the back 5 can’t play out. Maybe not the only or most pressing reason but a part of it. Mewis and Brian were always outnumbered in the center when they recieved and I don’t think Lloyds movement was good enough to give them a good quick outlet. Lloyd hardly ever checks to the ball or makes a run forward to open space. There was also a number of times she slowed up attacks that were on because she couldn’t get her head up and the ball out of her feet.

      • dw

        Right, to an extent. Lloyd Heath and Lavelle can track back and make themselves available more for playing out, BUT that is not what the team should be trying to do. They should be playing the ball long as early and often as possible and let players like Lloyd and Williams fight for it.

        • DNG

          Trying to play out from the back is clearly what the team is trying to do. Heath and Lavelle specifically, are limited in what they can do to help in this formation since they are the only width options. Both really need to stay close to the touch line.

          I think it’s arguable that they should be trying to go over the top against France. France has the athleticism at the back end to take away the over the top option and have in the last few matches dropped back and squeezed that space in behind. It’s the reason Morgan was completely ineffective against them at the Olympics. Mbock had the pace to track her and there was no space to get in behind. You can also see it when Heath is given time and space to turn and run at them in transition. That is really where I thought the US had opportunities to attack France in the last couple of matches but Lloyd is no help at all in those situations and the other forwards weren’t very good either.

          • Steglitz49

            The fact that Carli picked up that 2nd POTY has given her immunity, at least during 2017.

            Maybe Carli and a couple of others will get injured so JE can leave them out?

  • Gary Diver

    What Happened to the USWNT Stats?

    A year or so ago, there was extensive reporting and discussing on this site of game statistics and metrics, but now almost nothing. Not even number of passes, quality shots, expected goals, percentage of successful passes, number of successful 3-pass combinations, “key passes”, “big chances”, shots per game, percentage of shots on target. Why has the interest in stats disappeared?

    USWNT is not playing well and hasn’t played well for a long time. Their crappy play must be reflected in crappy statistics which should give us an idea what isn’t working and who is the fault.

    The first step in fixing any problem is to know exactly what the problem is. To say the whole team is playing awful doesn’t help much.

    The Most Important New Advanced Soccer Statistics and Why They Matter
    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1597790-the-most-important-new-advanced-soccer-statistics-and-why-they-matter

    The Adolescence of Soccer Stats
    http://grantland.com/the-triangle/the-adolescence-of-soccer-stats/

    Four Advanced Soccer Stats/Concepts You’ll Want to Know About
    http://www.thescore.com/epl/news/427204-four-advanced-soccer-stats-concepts-you-ll-want-to-know-about

    • Steglitz49

      Thanks for the links. I presume that none of these sites, like OPTA, cover WoSo, most likely because it costs money to do the analyses and WoSo has not got any.

      One could look at some critical matches for the US and see how these new stats pan out:
      — the WC finals of 2011 and 2015 — I suspect the 2011 would be fascinating
      — matches against Sweden in 2011 (they won), 2015 and 2016 (ties)
      — Colombia, Germany, England and France?

      Anyone who follows WoSo is aware of the varying quality of the refereeing, including touch-judges and center refs who don’t know the laws of the game even in WCs and OGs. How the heck do you factor that into the equation?

      Men’s soccer is more even than WoSo, not just in terms of who wins the WC but also who reaches the SFs. FIFA uses a different method for ranking men’s NTs than it does for the ladies.

  • Gary Diver

    What Good Are the Friendlies Against Weak Teams?

    In a few weeks, USWNT plays two matches against Russia. How are these matches going to help USWNT fix the problems that it has playing top teams?

    • Steglitz49

      There is no reason why Russia should not be a strong team. It will take a few years but they might have gotten better already in WC-19.

      There are only so many NTs that can give the US a run for its money. The US has just played 3 ranked # 2, 3 and 5.. Last year they played Japan, the NL (#12) and CH (#17) and were meant to play Australia but they went on strike. They fairly regularly play Canada.

      There are, of course, Sweden, Norway, Brazil, China, North-Korea, Denmark, Spain and NZ to play.

      No doubt a lot of EU NTs would be pleased to play the US as a build-up to Euro-17 but then I suspect that the US need to go to Europe. It is playing matches in the US that brings in money, including for the visitors, and raises the awareness of WoSo.

      • Pinkman

        Your typical stupid reply on that topic. A weak team is a weak team regardless how good a team will be in some years.

        Flying thousands of miles for 2 matches doesn’t make a team better.

        Those matches doesn’t raise any awareness of WoSo. Just the opposite. Those games are the reasons WoSo loses awareness

        • Steglitz49

          You woke up on the wrong side this morning, it seems.

          As for your second sentence, it is playing matches against better teams that improve weaker teams. Thus, “flying thousands of miles for 2 matches” will help Russia and is a good return on investment for them.

          Just like matches between certain men’s teams get more attention than those between others, like Real Madrid vs Barcelona and Celtic vs Rangers, so there is no reason why the USSF could not build up playing Russia as special.

          Just like the SBC you could have DBC consisting of Russia, China and North-Korea playing the US.

          In 1999 China lost the WC final on a pso. They then, judging by the WC, spent 16 years in the wilderness, a bit like the US, but now are back towards the top by performance.

          • Pinkman

            Russia could stay in Europe to play against better teams. It would also help to improve them. Flying thousands of miles with adapting twice to a different time zone wears people out, is not healthy and does not make you better.

            It’s mainly for the money. For both sides.
            If the US would play in Russia it would raise awareness for women soccer since it would be something special.

            Playing again in the US will not draw any attention. Just the opposite. Eventually US crowds will get bored of such matches.

            Furthermore your constant “selling” of those matches as something great for the future of women’s soccer is bothering me.

            It may have some positive side effects (although I don’t think so), but it is mainly to generate cash. No need to solute USSF for that

          • Steglitz49

            Your point about it only being for the money is well taken but the US is a large country with a lot of people who want to watch their WNT in action.

            If you disregard matches in big tournaments like WC, OG and Euros, WoSo matches generally are not terribly well attended. A couple of exceptions leap to mind such as the 2012 ladies Champions League final (50,000) and England v Germany at Wembley in 2014 (ca 45,000) also the last two FA women’s Cup finals at Wembley with 30,000 and 33,000 in the stands.

            WNT matches in the US are not only comparatively well attended, people pay a lot for the pleasure. Thus they earn US WoSo a lot of dosh.

        • dw

          It absolutely makes a team better, just not immediately following the 2nd match.

    • Pinkman

      It’s just for the money

  • #1Fan
    • DNG

      Good article but I think someone here said that Ellis has connections to important people in US soccer and would be difficult to replace following the WC. I think Ellis, French, Snow and Heinrichs all need to go though for whatever that’s worth.

    • Reality

      Thanks for posting this article. It is pretty much congruent with my own thoughts. The last paragraph summarizes well…

      “Over the past 20 months, the U.S. has gone from winning the World Cup, to crashing out of the Olympics in the quarterfinals and failing to medal, to losing two games and scoring just one goal at home in their own tournament. The blame for this falls on the shoulders of Jill Ellis. She has displayed poor judgement in her tactics, player selection, and forcing players into important and unfamiliar roles, and it’s time for U.S. Soccer to fire her and find someone who can move the team forward.”

      I would just add that Ellis’s downfall might result from a crisis in confidence by the players themselves in her leadership and coaching ability. With Sermanni, it was a coup d’etat by veterans who felt threatened by his youth movement. In Ellis’s case, if her overall judgement in managing the team is in question, the morale of the team will be damaged and the development of the program will be compromised.

    • Steglitz49

      The SBC like its elder sisters the Algarve and Cyprus cups are meant to be for training and experimenting. That is their purpose, duty and joy.

      Therefore, it is wrong to make them a judgement not least when 2 whole years remain to WC-19. What can be a subject for discussion is whether the experiments tried and new players brought in make sense. Given that the CBA/MOU limits what the coach can do, it is not easy to make head or tail of this SBC.

      I have long ago nailed my colors to the tall goalie mast. The US should not field goalies shorter than 5’11” and ideally they should be 6’1″ at least. Go and find them, bring them in and give them experience.

      I also firmly contend that WoSo must needs play with a 4 backline. A 3 backline is only possible when you dominate the match. Even then, as the Bomb in Brasilia showed, it is risky.

      • Frozen Blue

        I would agree with you if we lost because we played Lavelle at #10 and Sonnett in the middle of a 3 back and they are young players still adjusting to the national team level. But our main problems were two older players, Lloyd and Long. She didn’t put players or the team in a position to succeed or grow.

        • #1Fan

          The bold decision would be to fire Ellis and start again. Her tactical and personnel decisions are hard to understand and giving her a “pass” till WC-19 is to believe that her WC-15 decisions were intentional and based on analyzing the problem.To move on from her would be an acceptance that the WC win was more luck than judgement.

          Continually putting players in unfamiliar positions is a very dangerous game.

          Add to that the failure of her hand picked acolytes to get our Youth teams playing any semblance of consistent, high quality soccer and you have a real basis for saying she has been lucky, not smart.

          I can’t see Gulati making the move

          • Steglitz49

            #1. It would be unusual to sack the head coach who won the WC for the first time in 16 years. Neid was not sacked when Germany bombed in 2011.

            #2. If you get rid of JE which one person would you select as head coach?

          • Frozen Blue

            Yes but Ranieri won the EPL and coach of the year in a true coaching masterpiece with lesser players and a good game plan and he was fired mid season the very next season. Ellis won with superior players and luck, with her coaching decisions actually making it more difficult, she has since had another major tournament in which she failed and a high profile friendly series that was a horrible outing, she has had her chances, more than Ranieri got.

          • Steglitz49

            As I typed — which one person do you propose for taking over JE’s job?

            One single person, not 10.

          • Frozen Blue

            It’s honestly sad to see the team so lifeless and accepting of losing, our rock hard will pulled us through a lot of games and now it seems gone.

          • Steglitz49

            The allocated players of the USWNT earn a lot of money even in lean years like 2017 and 2018. They are among the very best paid WoSo players in the world, win or lose. Why bust their guts in lean years?

        • Steglitz49

          Thank you.

          But. Is that the fault of the CBA/MOU or JE?

          As far as I know, apart from maybe Canada, no other WNT works under the constraints that the US head coach does. Granted, the other nations have fewer players to select from but their head-coaches are not shackled hand and foot.

          • Frozen Blue

            I grant that the CBA is a giant restraint for any US coach but the situation I listed i.e Lloyd/Long vs Lavelle/Sonnett (if her goal is indeed to experiment) was an available switch during this tournament yet she didn’t make the change even though Lloyd and Long were not producing. She had lots of options available in these positions and others during this tournament under the restrictive CBA yet she didn’t make the adjustments needed, that is why I am judging her and finding failure.

    • Gary Diver

      Many of the observations in this good article have been made by several of us on this site. If you look at the trajectory of USWNT over the past 2 years, it is not a pretty situation. If the current goal is to defend WC in 2019, how do you get from the current team to 2019 championship team? The current team is a total mess: Carli Lloyd anchoring the center, dysfunctional MF, dysfunctional back line, ineffective front line, and questionable goalie. If Ellis stays, it is not out of the question that USWNT could drop to 3rd or 4th in the world. Lloyd and Ellis keep talking about the learning process, but what has been learned? Why has the team regressed so badly? If this continues, the players will lose confidence in themselves and then it is all over but the crying.

    • Guest

      The comments are also interesting. Thanks