The Lowdown: Three units that could make or break NWSL seasons

Dan Lauletta March 21, 2017 230
By our projected linedup, Julie King will be the only returning Breaker starting on the back line (photo copyright Linehan Photography for The Equalizer)

By our projected linedup, Julie King will be the only returning Breaker starting on the back line (photo copyright Linehan Photography for The Equalizer)

Here are the three units I think will have the biggest make-or-break influence on their teams for 2017

Boston Breakers back line

Matt Beard pretty much redid his entire roster during the winter, doing everything from bringing in internationals Emilie Haavi and Rosie White to four of the first nine college draft picks. There is little doubt the 2017 Breakers will be more exciting than any of their previous NWSL counterparts. But that won’t translate into many wins if the back line does not hold up.

We haven’t seen the Breakers play yet, but most of us seem to think Megan Oyster and Amanda Frisbie will be centering Julie King and Allysha Chapman. King is the club’s (NWSL era) all-time leader in games and minutes, but the other three are all new additions. All four are very good players, but none have ever anchored a back line before at the professional level.

{RELATED: Check out the weekend results from NWSL preseason action}

Oyster looks to be the key and the likely leader but hers is a cautionary tale. Drafted No. 13 overall by the Washington Spirit in 2015, Oyster started the first 34 games of her pro career, playing the full 90 minutes in all but one of them. Her last game before the Olympic break was a bit of a howler and she was benched on the other side, playing just once more the rest of the regular season. Oyster’s final appearance for the Spirit was a sterling performance in the NWSL Championship when she was plugged in to the right side of a three-back.

If the Breakers can figure out how to get the Megan Oyster who looked to be on the fast track to a call-up, that will go a long way toward a stable back four. But even if they do, everyone else is going to need a strong season to make the group work well enough to turn the Breakers into playoff contenders.

North Carolina Courage midfield

The Courage made some interesting offseason additions including the Brazilian duo Rosana and Debinha. With Lynn Williams and Jessica McDonald pretty much penciled in to start up top and Makenzy Doniak being an effective third and/or wide midfielder, it didn’t seem like there was much room for the Brazilians to slot in. That said, anyone who watched Debinha carve up opponents during the Olympics last summer has to be intrigued at what she and Sam Mewis can do over the course of two dozen games.

There could be a bigger issue though. Back to that NWSL Championship three-back deployed by the Spirit for a moment, is it possible that Jim Gabarra unlocked the keys to slowing down Williams and McDonald? By crowding the midfield, the Spirit more or less isolated the two strikers and choked off service. Of course it’s one thing to do that over 90 or 120 minutes, and something entirely different to do it across an entire season. Beyond that, Paul Riley is among the most tactically flexible coaches around so adjustments would come.

The bigger picture is that if the Courage midfield plays well this season, the club is going to be mighty difficult to beat. Alanna Kennedy was traded to Orlando which could leave Mewis playing an even deeper, creative role where she could pull the strings for the entire attack. The talent is there for this midfield to be dynamic and if it all works, watch out NWSL.

Seattle Reign FC midfield

I hesitated before including this unit because the Reign are exiting a bizarrely subpar season, and I think there are little flaws up and down the field that need to be corrected. But their midfield will be a talking point for fans this season so let’s take a look.

Jess Fishlock is back in Seattle, but her two midfield partners have moved on.  (Photo Copyright Patricia Giobetti for The Equalizer)

Jess Fishlock is back in Seattle, but her two midfield partners have moved on. (Photo Copyright Patricia Giobetti for The Equalizer)

When Keelin Winters retired and Kim Little returned to England, Laura Harvey was left with only Jessica Fishlock from the dynamic, three-woman midfield that helped the Reign win consecutive Shields in 2014 and 2015. To replace them she pounced on player discontent in Washington and in two separate trades, acquired Christine Nairn and Diana Matheson from the Spirit. That was probably a slight downgrade but pilfering two pieces of the team that played the most attractive soccer in NWSL last season was not a bad place to go as far as replacing Winters and Little. That is at least until Matheson tore her ACL training with Canada.

{KRONICK: Can off-site broadcasts connect with NWSL fans?}

So what will Harvey do now with the midfield? Rumi Utsugi, who played mostly in back last season, is an option as is Megan Rapinoe. Lindsay Elston was mostly used as a late sub last season. Veteran Kiersten Dallstream is a jack-of-all-trades type, but neither she nor Elston are likely who you want to rely on to be a regular in the center of the midfield. There is also the possibility for a trade or, down the line, a summer transfer. Elli Reed and Carson Pickett are options as well but probably not in a 4-3-3.

The reality is that Little offered some of the most unique qualities of any player in the world and will be virtually impossible to replace. And maybe with her out of the picture Harvey will change up the entire system. Fishlock is a great engine who covers massive space over the course of 90 minutes. One way or another she’ll be the likely focal point of the midfield. But it remains to be seen if the Reign have the personnel to put around Fishlock to make the midfield viable enough for a return trip up the standings ladder.

  • Alex

    Its also possible Seattle will use Yanez in attacking midfield, with Fishlock and Nairn sitting deeper. They used Yanez in midfield when Fishlock was injured last year and moved Little further back.

    • Andy

      This also coincided with them losing a lot. Yanez is a good player, but midfield is not her strong suit.

      • Alex

        I wasn’t too impressed with her either, but I think its definitely something LH will be considering, since she obviously saw Yanez as a better midfielder than Elston or Dallstream at that point last year.

        • Steglitz49

          Bev Yanez will be 29. Maybe time to consider alternatives?

        • LM

          Prior to her stint in Japan, Yanez was a midfielder in college and early pro years.

    • mockmook

      The Reign could have gotten Freeman and Driesse in the draft — what maroons!!!

      You’ve dominated the league with your midfield play, then your midfield is decimated, yet you don’t draft a single mid???? Again, what maroons!!!

  • Bruce

    Off topic: I’m going to go out on a very short limb and predict this will be the last year CRS will be in Chicago under current ownership.

    They are so far behind even last year’s pathetic marketing, that it’s a pretty sure bet that they will draw even fewer fans in 2017 while trying to cover the overhead of now training and playing at Toyota park.

    Since March 2nd, CRS has promoted the preseason with the following original content:

    2 website listings of the pre-season roster.
    1 website announcement of the date singe game tickets will be available
    0 camp diaries or reports
    0 videos
    0 player profiles
    0 season outlooks
    0 articles at all
    ~20 cell phone quality pictures on twitter
    ~20 retweets of other people’s content (mainly Lifetime & Nike)
    ~6 tweets asking fans to buy season tickets
    1 email asking fans to buy season tickets

    It’s obvious that they have no marketing team or plans to drive attendance. My daughter posts more quality, original content to social media in one day than this club produces in a month.

    Whisler deserves to lose this team.

    • guest

      Considering JJ and Press are two of the biggest, most media prolific stars in the sport aside from Morgan and Lloyd, their inability to attract fans is kind of mind boggling.

      • Steglitz49

        Bastian Schweinsteiger rules OK!

      • Guester

        I figure Press leaves after this year if California gets a team. JJ is a wild card. I’m surprised she hasn’t asked for a SB transfer considering she lives and trains near Philadelphia with Zach… but SB is even worse than CRS in terms of fan attendance.

        • Steglitz49

          Press can only leave if someone wants her. Maybe Kvarnsveden next?

          • guest

            Oh shut up Steglitz. In terms of popularity and club performance there is no expansion team that would turn her down in the NWSL. If Morgan was competing for the same spot it might be a problem, but she seems settled with Servando in Orlando, who wouldn’t get a contract in LA.

          • Steglitz49

            Alex Morgan plays for Lyon in France. She earns 25,000€ per month. What Mr Carrasco does is his business.

        • Bruce

          I’m a CRS fan, but think that Press should leave if she finds another team willing to spend to help her build her brand.

          Whisler doesn’t deserve the players and coach he has been blessed with.

          • Steglitz49

            Is there a brand to build? In 2012 and 2013, yes. After fall of 2016, no.

        • Maybe she’s waiting for Sinclair to retire so that she can go join the Thorns.

      • Bruce

        They do zero promotion. It’s sad.

        You need to go back almost five months to find CRS-produced content that promotes Press. Much further for JJ.

        • Steglitz49

          Who wants to promote losers?

          Bastian! Bastian!! Schweini! Schweini!!

      • Steglitz49

        Press? JJ?

        Come on! Be honest. Alex is a megastar and Carli is not far behind. The other two are WoSo players.

        • guest

          I know this pains you to the core, but Press is extremely popular with fans and sponsors. She’s also the new starting forward.

          • A_Dog_Without_A_Clutch

            Coppertone had no problem dropping her for Kelly O’Hara. Sponsors LOVE her, but the fans don’t regard her as a hero- so her ability to hold attention is severely limited.

          • well

            tbh a freckled white woman probably needs some SPF 45 more than a black woman

    • Steglitz49

      Who pays the overhead? Remember, s/he who pays the piper, calls the tune.

      • Constant Weeder

        The complaint here seems to be that nobody is paying the piper, at least the marketing piper. And maybe no one cares enough about the tune.

        • Steglitz49

          Bastian Schweinsteiger to the rescue?

    • A_Dog_Without_A_Clutch

      And lets not forget that AWFUL new crest!

      • Lewis InNC

        Sorry, but I like it.

    • Grant

      1000% agree! I was a CRS season tix holder for three years paying for three seats in order to do my part to help WOSO! Last season, the CRS organization lost Jay Adeleberg and Alyse LaHue. The new staff were terrible. and the move to Toyota Park increased basic tix by A-LOT! The CRS staff assigned me the wrong seats after traveling out to pick them at Toyota Park. They compensated me with an upgrade, but still this was frustrating. There was no benefit at all for being a season tix holder. Parking was free for all tix holders. CRS let non season tix holders in the reserved gate for express entry. When I inquired as to why with a CRS employee manning the gate showing him my season tix ID, he flippantly replied, “what if all these people have the same card?” Unbelievable. CRS sent one email from Armin as a reminder to purchase season tix. No one called me nor was there any follow up attempt. This organization stinks and has just lost three season tix. They have zero respect for their season tix holders. Whistler has hired a very poor staff to replace Jay and Alyse!

      • Bruce

        Your post got me thinking about who replaced Adeleberg and LaHue.

        The answer is “no-one”.

        CRS decided not to spend any money and hire a GM. They also currently don’t have a director of ticket sales. Their current front office is made up of interns and entry-level hires.

        Case in point: the “Director of Marketing” listed on the website has a LinkedIn profile that shows that she’s been out of school for three years, and only has one year of marketing experience.

        No serious business would dare to call someone with no experience a “Director” (or even a manager) of a core business function.

        This team in Arnin’s hobby. Not a real business.

    • mockmook

      I was with you until the end: “Whisler deserves to lose this team.”

      He stepped up and created a VERY GOOD team — year after year.

      He deserves a place in a “Ring of Honor” of trailblazers for woso.

      • Bruce

        Rory Dames deserves all the credit on the football side of things.

        From my point of view, Whisler has never invested $1 more than the minimum required into this club. He’s shown no aspiration other than to own the franchise rights in what should be one of the NWSL’s best markets and wait for a rising tide to raise his boat.

        This club is destined to 2,000 fans per game as long as he runs it.

        • mockmook

          Who hired Dames?

          And, Whisler didn’t have to move to Toyota Park — that’s investing way more than $1

          • Bruce

            See my response to Grant about how Whisler has left key leadership positions vacant and has low-balled payroll by placing entry-level hires in positions of high authority.

            That’s how you pay for an “investment” like the move to Toyota Park.

          • Steglitz49

            If spectators don’t come and watch, you don’t have a business. Pro-WoSo means paying for itself. Breaking even at least and preferably a small profit.

            No spectators = no income.

    • Oh, geez. That’s terrible.

      A single fan / unpaid intern could have posted 10x that content in the same time period. They obviously don’t care at all.

  • Bruce

    Off-topic: USSF calls up two different U-23 squads for upcoming friendlies. Main takeaways:

    1. Very little (zero?) continuity from the Jan camp. No college grads.
    2. Looks like the Portland tournament squad is the “A” team.
    3. Pinto, Sanchez and (wait for it) Sophia Smith called to Portland.
    4. 0% chance of Pinto getting called to senior camp for Russia games.

    http://www.ussoccer.com/stories/2017/03/21/17/30/20170320-news-u23wnt-will-travel-to-portland-and-orlando-for-back-to-back-training-camps

    • Rdalford

      re-posted from other article
      US Soccer site has now announced U-23 rosters
      full article is on ussoccer.com site

      “CHICAGO (March 21, 2017) – The U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team will hold back-to-back training camps on opposite coasts at the end of March and beginning of April that will include four matches against National Women’s Soccer League teams.

      The USA will participate in the Thorns Spring Invitational from March 26-April 1 in Portland, Oregon, taking on three NWSL teams at Providence Park, before traveling to Orlando, Florida, for a camp from April 2-8 that will feature a closed-door match against the Orlando Pride on April 7 and a game against the University of Central Florida on April 5.

      The USA will field different rosters for each event with six players crossing over to participate in both camps. As NWSL preseason has kicked off, the rosters consist entirely of college and youth club players.”

      U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team Roster – Portland, Ore. (March 23-April 1)

      GOALKEEPERS (2): Casey Murphy (Rutgers; Bridgewater, N.J.), Bella Geist (Oregon State; Milwaukie, Ore.)

      DEFENDERS (7): Alana Cook (Stanford; Far Hills, N.J.), Taylor Isom (BYU; Provo, Utah), Ellie Jean (Penn State; Coventry, Conn.), Tegan McGrady (Stanford; San Jose, Calif.), Kaleigh Riehl (Penn State, Fairfax Station, Va.), Gabrielle Seiler (Florida; Peachtree City, Ga.), Alexis Warner (Michigan State; Ypsilanti, Mich.)

      MIDFIELDERS (7): Tierna Davidson (Stanford; Menlo Park, Calif.), Jordan DiBiasi (Stanford; Littleton, Colo.), Jaelin Howell (Real Colorado; Windsor, Colo.), Brianna Pinto (CASL; Durham, N.C.), Taylor Racioppi (Duke; Ocean Township, N.J.), Michelle Xiao (Stanford; Omaha, Neb.), Sandra Yu (Notre Dame, Strongsville, Ohio)

      FORWARDS (6): Simone Charley (Vanderbilt; Hoover, Ala.), Mallory Eubanks (Mississippi State; Lexington, Ky.), Tziarra King (N.C. State; Sicklerville, N.J.), Savannah McCaskill (South Carolina; Chapin, S.C.), Ashley Sanchez (SoCal Blues; Monrovia, Calif.), Sophia Smith (Real Colorado; Windsor, Colo.)

      U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team Roster – Orlando, Fla. (April 2-8)

      GOALKEEPERS (2): Cassie Miller (Florida State; Cave Creek, Ariz.), Arielle Schechtman (Georgetown; Del Mar, Calif.)

      DEFENDERS (7): Megan Buckingham (North Carolina; Novi, Mich.), Kristen Cardano (Florida; Tulsa, Okla.), Alana Cook (Stanford; Far Hills, N.J.), Zoey Goralski (UCLA; Naperville, Ill.), Shannon Horgan (Clemson; Long Beach, N.Y.), Taylor Isom (BYU; Sandy, Utah), Tegan McGrady (Stanford; San Jose, Calif.)

      MIDFIELDERS (7): Sarina Bolden (Loyola Marymount; Milpitas, Calif.), Rachel Corboz (Georgetown; Green Brook, N.J.), Kristina Fisher (Miami; Jupiter, Fla.), Mayra Pelayo-Bernal (Florida; West Palm Beach, Fla.), Brianna Pinto (CASL; Durham, N.C.), Gabrielle Seiler (Florida; Peachtree City, Ga.), Chloe Williams (Eastern Washington; Spokane, Wash.)

      FORWARDS (4): Hannah Diaz (Saint Mary’s; Hidden Valley Lake, Calif.), Sarah Luebbert (Missouri; Jefferson, City, Mo.), Savannah McCaskill (South Carolina; Chapin, S.C.), Hailey Skolmoski (Utah; Riverton, Utah)

      • Bruce

        I had missed that Pinto was called to both camps. That will make at least 5 team call-ups for her by early April.

        You would think that with Moe Brian injured and sitting out the NWSL preseason that Pinto would get a look at playing time with the NT. It’s hard to make sense of how US Soccer is managing her development.

        • DNG

          I don’t think the Pinto I saw at the U17 WC is anywhere near Brian normally gives up poor form an all. I am interested in seeing how Davidson and the rest of the Stanford kids that missed the U20 WC do in these preseason matches. I’ve heard that Davidson was an excellent holding mid as a freshman for Stanford but I haven’t seen her play yet.

          • #1Fan

            I have stopped caring about the YNTs. They are a shambles. Will reamin so as long as the same people are in charge. No plan, not progression. Far too many camps and FBO the same kiods almost all the tiem. I wonder when some of them have any time for school.

          • DNG

            Is the full team really any different besides having more talent to cope except against the best?

            The school issue is a different matter. Missing a lot of college classes for theses call ups and camps is tough. I wonder if many of the U20’s who played at the WC decided to skip a semester.

          • #1Fan

            Your opening para lost me. Sorry

          • DNG

            I was criticizing Ellis’ plan she’s developed for beating bunkers. None of the players look like they’re playing well right now for the full team but they still managed not to get embarrassed against any team except France. I think the leadership is amiss there as well.

          • Steglitz49

            Breaking down organized defenses is hard. It relies on pulling them out of shape so there is a chink in the armor and then penetrating with force.

          • DNG

            Different sport but there seems to be some crossover

            https://twitter.com/CoachLisle/status/843919975962181633

          • #1Fan

            He is obviously right but this is the dominant attitude in our times. No way he would be allowed to coach a USSF team with that attitude !!

          • rkmid71

            That why a USSF team will never be as successful as the UConn women or the USA Women’s Basketball team.

          • What I love about coming from a small university is that we always came from a position of underdogs. Recruiting for football in the great state of Texas, we were lucky to get a single 3-star recruit. Most of our starters were 2-star recruits, or didn’t get offers from any other Div I schools, or were walk-ons. We had a great coaching staff who believed in coaching kids up to their potential, and who believed that college sports are about turning boys and girls into good men and women who are an asset to their community. That meant if you got in trouble, you didn’t play. If you really got in trouble, you were off the team. Being a star didn’t save anyone from suffering the consequences of their actions.

            The thing about 2-star player vs 4-star players is the guys who didn’t get a shot anywhere else really, REALLY want to play and prove themselves. They feel grateful for every day they walk out on that field. The guys who have been told how great they are every day of their HS career, on the other hand, EXPECT to play and they expect to make it to the pros, so they may not show as much effort as the underdogs who just feel so lucky to be there.

            Our coach took guys like that and turned a 1-11 team into an 11-1 team and that success has continued under that mentality for years.

            You can see it in the way that FCKC played the first season in NWSL. Who would want to play in Kansas, right? Who would want to play for a coach no one has ever heard of? But KC fielded players with a certain mentality. While they may not have been underdogs, they also weren’t the star players of the USWNT. They were players no one really talked about much. They were talented, but not showy. I think that sort of modesty, if you will, can lead to a surprising sort of success. I don’t think anyone on FCKC sees themselves as the star or better than anyone else. You cannot say the same about the USWNT. There are definitely players on the NT who EXPECT to play. They think their spot is a given, and that is the wrong mentality to have.

          • DNG

            Well I would consider Holiday and Sauerbrunn top players in 2013 even if they are not what you typically think of when talking about stars. Arod is really pretty good as well even if she’s inconsistent with the NT. I really admire the way VA builds his teams and looks for undervalued players he thinks he can mold into a strong team. He’s usually right about them too.

          • mockmook

            C’mon, they do exactly what you want (bring in tons of different players) and you’re still complaining…

          • #1Fan

            you know wants interesting. The way you go out of your way to single me out. Its my opinion. Call it whatever you want. Call it complaining , cal it whatever. There are people on this site who cannot conduct a civil discussion. You dont say boo. I express my opinion and its an issue.

          • mockmook

            It was meant as a friendly jab — lighten up Francis…

          • Steglitz49

            You can always block him. You block everyone else who disagrees with you.

          • #1Fan

            and BTW suddenly deciding at U-23 that we need to see new players is a joke.

          • #1Fan

            Its not at all what i am asking for. Its actually the opposite. The U-23 team is in theory one step from the full team. With all the $$ spent on camps across the YNT system, by U-23 they SHOULD have a really goo idea of who they think is on the verge of making the next step. I would expect much less turnover relative to the younger teams and yet its the opposite. You have entrenchment at U16 and then it seems at U-23 the window opens again.

            I see this as a sign that once these kids get to College, the clock gets somewhat reset which is good, however it begs the question as to why so little turnover at younger ages.

          • DNG

            I don’t know if I would take the same approach with the U23 team that you would. I think I’d prefer if all of the youth teams rotated out players continually except for the 6 months or so leading up to a major tournament and the U23s to just continually do so. Every single team should have a direction and identity though and I’d prefer all the youth teams to have a similar identity even if the personalities are a little different.

          • rkmid71

            In terms of direction and identity, are you referring to style of play and the types of players selected? Obviously the individual player and coach personalities will make the teams different. What is the USWNT’s style of play? This gets to #1Fan’s recurring point that what they say, what they do and what we see on the field are completely different things.

          • DNG

            Sure you select players that can do what you looking for but each of them will still have individual personalities. But the USSF can’t say one thing and do another that sends conflicting messages to the player pool. And it all has to start at the top too. You can’t claim to be requiring good technique and then make Lynn Williams a featured player that doesn’t make any sense. Not that I think the NWSL should be ignored but call a player like Williams in, tell her what she needs to work on and then look for others.

          • #1Fan

            I dont consider the U-23 a youth team. All Im syaing is that IF the job is done well at youth level, by U-23 there should be less turnover

          • #1Fan

            the fact that so many of the u-17 team are being elevated suggests that the USSF think that was a really good group. They played like a bad team. So what is the conclusion ?

            That BJ Snow is a lousy coach but a fantastic evaluator of talent. So Why is he coaching ?

          • rkmid71

            Logic does not apply. They do what they want and aren’t accountable to anyone except Gulati who doesn’t care that much.

          • #1Fan

            at what point , I wonder, does a player or coach run out of chances. Can he keep inviting his favorites to higher and higher camps until they succeed ?

          • rkmid71

            It seems to depend on who the player or coach is. Some players get very few chances. Some players get zero chances. Some players get unlimited chances. Who defines “succeed”? It’s all very subjective in this sport. All I know is that the U17, U20 teams sucked in the recent WCs. And the USWNT sucked at the OG and recent SBC.

          • DNG

            I don’t believe a player should ever run out of chances. Which isn’t to say that you should keep calling an unsuccessful player in but if she does well enough in the future outside of the team to earn another opportunity that’s fine. A coach should always have a limited leash otherwise they will do exactly what you say, call in favorites in the hopes they will turn good and make him/her look good.

          • #1Fan

            but if you can only re-inforce your chances by being called in then ,…

            I should have clarified and said when does a players in game bio no longer justify continuous call ups

            it seems you can wipe away the stench of a bad performance by doing well in the next camp.

            i think bad in game performances should be weighed far higher than they clearly are. the USSF have a bunch of advanced metrics that I believe ignore one big input – the eye test.

          • rkmid71

            The eye test and results test. Does metrics tell you about soccer iq/awareness? About how ball skills are applied in game situations? How you work with your teammates to achieve a result? This is not an individual sport.

          • DNG

            Well personally I think arbitrary in camp metrics are more or less irrelevant. I think the focus should be on game performance in the ECNL, College, NWSL or another reputable league. The these major tournaments pose a problem for me when looking at individual players. 4-7 games over a short period of time is a small sample size to pull from just like it is for the full team. 20+ matches over the course of a year or even 3 months in college gives us a better picture. So in that way I don’t think I would definitely weight one or a couple of bad performances too harshly without looking into them a bit more.

          • #1Fan

            The issue there is that failure on the biggest stage vs the best competition should not necessarily be counterbalanced by success vs minnows. Or by succes is much more familiar camp surroundings.

            I can tell you that those in camp metrics are FAR from meaningless to them.

          • DNG

            I see your point and I agree that performance against Minnows should not outweight performance against the best. That’s my anti-Lloyd argument exactly. But it would be difficult to determine the difference between a player who just had a bad match and another who is just bad if we are basing an opinion on that one game and stage. With Lloyd we have seen solid evidence for the last year and really longer that she just doesn’t cut it against the best and that reinforces my argument against her. I don’t think there were as many detractors a year ago though when there wasn’t as much evidence.

          • #1Fan

            there is solid evidence on the youth players as well. Very solid. but the USSF are really not looking becasue it spoils the narrative.

          • DNG

            That evidence is not just one or two matches though right? I do think it’s a problem that the USSF seems to have come up with their own arbitrary method of evaluation and I think that needs to be changed too.

          • #1Fan

            the evidence is for me is YEARS of ECNL play. 20 games + per season

          • DNG

            I think we agree then. After ECNL though were would you go. College and then the NWSL presumably?

          • #1Fan

            well my issue is mainly with youth and the lack of turnover., even in the face of poor performances.

          • DNG

            I think I’d prefer at least a little turnover even with good performance but that’s me. Even if we find that some players look good why not look for more.

          • #1Fan

            Totally agree, but theat impacts the whole name vs team thing.

          • DNG

            It should always be about what’s best for the team and it should be viewed in long term as oppose to short term.

          • #1Fan

            i edited my post while you were typing. Opinion ?

          • DNG

            No, I can’t explain the circumstances. At least not without making the assumption that someone behind the scenes is pushing these things along. Either the person who had her on the bench with the U17s didn’t know what they were doing or something funny has been going on since. That type of progression is implying that some huge amount of development has taken place and in the span of two months I find that to be an extremely unlikely scenario.

          • #1Fan

            BJ Snow 😉

          • DNG

            He’s probably the third option. Doesn’t know what he’s doing and is also trying to push his players through.

          • #1Fan

            it is almost as if performance vs weaker teams is setting the agenda here. The other observation is how weak are the older kids that these U-17 just fly right by them?

          • DNG

            I would describe it as reinforcing or justifying BJ’s agenda not that I really understand what his angle is with that player. I’ve have already made up my mind on him though but maybe there is someone who still has faith in him. I don’t think anyone is flying past anyone else by the way. If someone was a completely dominant player in their age range it would be obvious.

          • #1Fan

            he is very big on passing patterns in training. he had a fwd line of Jones, Kuhlmann, Sanchez, Taglaiferri. interesting that its Jones who is flying when she si the one he chose to play the least. I think Jones and Sanchez are pretty similar in style

            Thing is this sure as hell makes him look like a great talent spotter. Just perfect for the role of head of College scouting.

          • #1Fan

            i have a few more gems for you here from TDS …Players to watch at U-23 camp

            F Tziarra King, NC State – Part of the Portland contingent, players like King have to make the most of their opportunity. Coming off a sensational freshman season with the Wolfpack, King earned All-ACC Freshman Team and Third Team honors. A dynamic dribbler and attacker, she fits the mold of what U.S. coaches tend to look for in the final third. King has never been to a U.S. youth national team camp, raising the stakes even higher for her as she looks to make an impression.

            they look so hard for it that she has never gotten a look before 🙂 A classic Lynn Williams type selection. Not that I have anything against it, but opposite of the so called message. She played HS soccer near me. Big fast athlete.

            I find it interesting that Andrezewski did not get a call, unless I missed it.

          • #1Fan
          • DNG

            Dorrance’s description falls right in line with what I seem him looking for in players and the type of player who typically thrives in his system.

          • #1Fan

            I agree. Just though interesting in the context of the UNC debate we had a month or so ago.

          • rkmid71

            “Acceleration and speed are world class” I know she had a good first year at UNC, but I can tell you that claim is a joke. Maybe compared to other UNC players. Maybe you could say better than average. Btw — as Breakers Fan knows, I think Kia Rankin at NC State is a class above BA and I’ve seen them both play a lot (and far above in terms of acceleration and speed) and better technically and tactically. I don’t know that much about King and I know that Rankin got injured towards end of last season and missed NCAA tournament. You saw how NC State was able to go from a losing program — 2014 and 2015 didn’t win a game in the ACC — to making the NCAA tournament. At present, teams like NC State don’t have as much depth as UNC, FSU, UVA, et al. This takes its toll with a compressed schedule and lack of recovery time and the sub rules.

          • #1Fan

            I have seen them both as well. I am glad you know them both. Its comments like that from a top coach that make you realize what utter hogwash passes for reality/fact. I lol’ed at the world class speed comment. cD were good in attack and not so good at the back.

            My comment about BA getting a look was also facetious.

          • rkmid71

            Weak? We’ll find out in college. They may fly right by with a huge helping hand and come crashing down to earth when they hit college where nothing is given to them. Just like in club/ECNL If they would let it, college and the NWSL will sort out the mess of the USSF’s mismanagement of the YNTs and the USWNT. The best when it matters become obvious. It’s most often not who UNC recruited as an 8th grader or USSF selected for a YNT camp at U14.

          • #1Fan

            hahahahah you know Im being facetious. You are right. But it does become self fulfilling as the “best” kids are often on loaded teams . The bit i just pasted from TDS re King makes me chuckle.

          • rkmid71

            I get your drift, but it was not just ECNL. There are other (or used to be) top leagues with comparable competition like USYS National League. Watered down now. But I think GDA is meant to create a bigger umbrella than ECNL to encompass or consolidate more of the top players.

          • #1Fan

            i agree, thats why i said my. GDA is another political football.

          • rkmid71

            There was plenty of evidence on Lloyd post 2015WC. She had really never played forward or AM until the last couple games of the WC. When she scored off the set pieces and the midfield shot where the GK fell down. She then went back to the NWSL and I believe was put in that same role really in an attempt to see if she could play the position. Some of the worst efficiency stats you can imagine — very low SOG, very few goals relative to shots, etc. She has been given a lot of rope to get up to speed for that role both in the USWNT (playing almost all the minutes) and in the NWSL. That’s almost two years now. Do we really have to try to manage like this through 2019? Actually, I don’t even care about Lloyd anymore. Let her play. But rebuild the defense and fix the midfield. We may not score many goals but at least we won’t be allowing goals.

          • DNG

            Fixing the defense or at least getting it back to respectable is not something I think would be too difficult. Removing Lloyd from what is a non-functioning midfield is a huge undertaking based on what we have seen of how this team works. I don’t think the midfield can be fixed without removing Lloyd unless you see a couple Jessica Fishlocks coming through the US system.

          • rkmid71

            I didn’t really think of Lloyd as a midfielder. Whatever position she played in the last couple games of the WC. The midfielders in those games were Rapinoe, Heath, Brian, Holiday. Only Brian and Heath are left, Heath being the only remaining fit player.

          • DNG

            I don’t think this team can function well without 2 good central midfielders and at least one other competent one. Heath and Rapinoe are wings and when they need to drop to support the central midfielders in has an impact on the build up shape and where they are on the field when the ball finally gets to the forwards. Lloyd being a complete zero in the middle against good teams has a huge influence on how the US is forced to play

          • #1Fan

            from head to toe, US is about names, not teams. i had no view on it, but it was very interesting to me the flak klinsmann took re Donovan. Everyone judged LD on his history, not necessarily his present.. lloyd is similar.

          • DNG

            I did not see LD play a lot in the lead up to the WC so I can’t honestly give an accurate opinion on whether or not he should have been in the squad. Lloyd does not belong in the US squad at present time in my opinion. She has not shown the ability to be able to keep up with the best players in the world for the better part of a year plus now. All she does now is poach goals against the minnows in pursuit of historical figures and personal glory.

          • DNG

            I just want to get away for giving to much value to a couple of performances good or bad. I do realize that the infrequency of true top quality women’s soccer complicates matters.

          • #1Fan

            I can say that in my kids age group, I know the player pool pretty well now.
            If I was doing to full time, I would know them inside out.

            Any one on here who knows the age group will probably figure out the players involved, but i watched a top team who played 352 one ot eh wide players was considered one of the top 3 players in the US at the time. I watched her play against a team with a team with one really fast player on her flank. with 20 mins to go, the game was 3-0 to the underdog team. The star was having to track back and was getting obliterated. The coach of the weaker team took the speedster off and the final score was 3-3. the star scored a goal and was influential i the comeback.

            i watched that same star at the WC last year get asked to defend speed on the flanks and get skewered.

            My point is that was no surprise given what i had seen in a Club game. I think it was a huge surprise to BJ Snow

          • rkmid71

            Agree about in game performance. The bigger the game the better. Camp scrimmages are not big games other than as a means to “showcase” and somehow (usually scoring a goal) make an impression or do some fancy moves. That’s why meaningful tough NWSL or college games are more revealing, more meaningful. Or even big, competitive youth club games. It’s not YNTs competing against weak Concacaf teams and winning 9-0 and then somehow suggesting those players are the best ever. You could have 10-20 different starting XIs that could achieve a similar result such is the depth of the US player pool.

          • #1Fan

            i have seen camp scrimmages where some kids dont even get in the game

          • rkmid71

            What the hell is the point of a scrimmage? Or taking off school to not even get the chance to play in a practice game. I guess they didn’t “earn” it with their advanced metrics or the pattern drills?

          • #1Fan

            thats the point. they take some of these kids to camps at youth level and do not even give them a full or fair evaluation.

          • guest

            I can verify this happens. I can also verify that the politics of the “assistants” can result in self advancing purposeful discouragement of players in competition with one’s own. Factor in adolescents in a greatly intimidating circumstance- first national call up cliques already formed, no one really wants you there and “assistants” working the system to keep their own club players in…
            Really equal playing field?
            That said, I like the u19 camp starting on Saturday. Its a fresh look at some new kids, some kids who were bumped out for various reasons and some bubble YNT regulars. But…Discouraged to see kids who did not perform elevated, I will be happy though and encouraged to see some new faces in the mix. Time will tell if they are seriously considering some of these kids for future events.

          • rkmid71

            It’s no wonder we’ve never won a U17WC and have even failed to qualify multiple times in a weak Concacaf region. The coaches leading these teams and bringing in these “assistants” and allowing this kind of behavior are a complete disgrace.This kind of stuff just seems to bring out the worst in people.

          • guest

            I have seen one and dones absolutely torch the annointed ones. But its impossible to unseat once they are offered a crown. It definitely results in the absence of success we have witnessed.There are very talented midfielders in the US. Some are in and out of the system, but not selected sometimes in favor of others with more impressive fathers. Yes that’s right i think they strongly consider the kid’s lineage in their selections. Good press comes out of the professional soccer and american football histories…
            If you think YNT call ups are all about soccer abilities…lol

          • rkmid71

            The whole concept that there are “annointed ones” and “cliques” in YNT camps is a symptom of a serious leadership problem and flawed system. As #1Fan has said, it’s the whole entitlement syndrome from USWNT replicated at YNT levels. They should be rotating players through these YNT pools to look at as many players as possible, rather than pick a few at U14 and invest heavily in them year after year. Like every other sport, they have no idea which players will turn out to be the real players, so why pretend otherwise. It’s no shame to mis-evaluate players and their NT potential at U14. But not having the humility to recognize you might be wrong is unforgivable. It just creates the situation we have now. The rotation will prevent the kind of entitlement that is rife in the system. But how can you change things when the people in charge are happily continuing on their merry way with the boss really quite oblivious. It’s USSF itself that needs some competition — who are they governed by and what gives them the right or license to represent the USA. I guess that’s FIFA?

          • #1Fan

            Sophie Smith iand Pionto are classic example of what is wrong. Since the u-17 wc ..

            Smith U17(reserve) > U-18 (starter) > U-20 (starter)> U-23 Camp.

            Pinto U17(s) > U20 > U23 > Full team > U23

            all in the space of less than 3 months I have NO ISSUE with these kids being perceived by the coaches to be good. I do have a problem with the mentality that says good means needs to attend EVERY camp. Putting the fact that they are HS kids to one side( which is a big issue) , it seems to suggest that development can only occur by flying off to NT camps. There has to be a dev plan that involves working at your Club team and having periodic camps, simply to allow other players to be assessed.

            This sort of rapid adjustment suggests that someone is not assessing these players properly to begin with. I struggle to accept that suddenly someone saw something in Smith becasue she scored vs Eng and Norway. I feel that in her case, seh probably saw limited game time in NT events becasue Taglaiferri , Sanchez and Kuhlmann were ahead of her ion BJ eyes. She went an played for April H and now the Tech Head sees her and rates her higher than BJ does. It suggests that there is not much consistency in the evaluation process.

            pinto similar. I guess french did not want her for the u-20 WC even though we were light CM and had kids who refused to redshirt and go.

            This group/staff do not assess players well. It si pointless inviting kids to be camp fodder.

            Guest is 100% correct and Im glad he confirms what i have said for a while. the bias is unreal. No one has any issues with getting a fair chance and failing, but I know so many kids who never got a fair chance HAVING BEEN INVITED.

          • guest

            How is it that they don’t understand that the pool should be kept large and narrowed only prior to an event? How is it that they put so much value on camp performance (especially since the camps are not level playing fields as described above) rather than overall performance against like competition. Sometimes even head to head? How is it that they even care about team chemistry in off years or in years far remote from a WC? How can you even judge an adolescents mentality given the great variation in maturity at a given age? If a kid has “it” isn’t it the responsibility of the coach to really help that kid to succeed, not throw all kinds of road bloacks up to slow them down so that they don’t (obviously) pass the “annointed ones”

          • #1Fan

            I have no idea.

          • guest

            I absolutely agree its a leadership problem. I also agree the solution is easy; widen the pool and mix it up so the cliques are weakened and less of a factor. Disallow Youth club coaches from any influence rife with conflicts of interest.It is all obviously simple to a business mind.

            That’s what we need a CEO like mentality pulling the strings. Instead we have this adolescent mentality of the protect your own interest, circle the wagons not even just among the kids (where it should be expected and subsequently quashed by the adults), but between the coaches. Heinrichs validating Snow’s selection. Ellis validating Snow’s selections etc. Is this Czech coach doing something creative with her u19 roster or is this just lip service? Time will tell I guess.

          • #1Fan

            2 stories for you

            1. I witnesses a NT Youth team assistant coach allowing his Club player to cheat 3x on the beep test to increase the score.

            2. one of the YNT stars talking to another player. I would rather take a bad shot than pas to her. I cant let her score more goals than me @ the WC.

            FACTS

          • Guest

            Wow I have no doubt that’s true. Expected when you put someone like these coaches in positions with such conflicts of interest.
            The kid stuff is really sad. A playmaker will never emerge with that type of mentality being propagated in the system. Goal creation not celebrated only goal scoring. Leading to advancement. That’s an environment that will only retard development.

          • DNG

            “2. one of the YNT stars talking to another player. I would rather take a bad shot than pas to her. I cant let her score more goals than me @ the WC.”

            This is so depressing to hear. This is completely the fault of the development system and selection process and it’s a tragedy. So much for the ultimate teamwork sport in this country. There should be no tolerance for that type of attitude in these teams.

          • Steglitz49

            In game performance puts Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd and Hope Solo at the top of the greasy pole.

          • rkmid71

            You have to apply some recent form adjustment. Or we could also get Wambach or Rampone back on the field. How was their In game performance during the 16 yr WC drought? How about the OG2016? Or the SBC 2017? We can point to the successes, but could also point out the failures. Hope Solo has already slid down the greasy pole and has a shoulder replacement and couldn’t even lift her arm above her head. Lloyd is like an old fighter from WWII trying to still be relevant, desperately trying to hold on, but is no where near the top of the pole nearly two years following the 2015WC. Morgan still has some fuel in the tank, assuming she can stay motivated.

          • Steglitz49

            It is easy to forget that Lyon are paying Alex well while Man City has signed Carli, Chelsea Dunn and Arsenal HAO. Time will tell which of those 4 musketeers will earn their keep.

          • DNG

            I don’t either and I’m not even sure there’s really a need for it with the NWSL around except for kids still in college. I’m not sure I really see it as the step right before the full team. I think the NWSL and other pro leagues should be that step too.

          • #1Fan

            it exists becasue the USSF cannot evaluate players outside of their own controlled camp environment

          • DNG

            They hardly ever seem to bring up players from it though so what’s it’s real purpose? When they didn’t have a domestic league, fine there’s probably a need for a team but I don’t see one now.

          • #1Fan

            the players who reach that level have been evaluated and largely rejected already unless its another step on the hype train

          • Silver Frost

            Why is there a U-23 team? Nobody from that squad reached full WNT status. Abolish the U-23s and use the resources to save the U-20s from bad coaching and win a tournament.

          • #1Fan

            i think i just answered that below.

          • Steglitz49

            Hear hear! Verily and forsooth. Or, persuade the IOC to have a U23 WoSo OG.

          • rkmid71

            I’ll admit it’s hard not to still complain when its BJ Snow calling up the new players. How can one believe in their judgement? The lack of accountability is numbing. Maybe they are trying to turn over a new leaf? I agree though that there appears to be a welcome shift with respect to giving more players chances, at least at U23 (which S49 has pointed out may not mean much).

          • Bruce

            This coaching staff – starting with JE – hasn’t proved to anyone that they know what it means to experiment with personnel and tactics.

            What does calling up three totally different groups to U23 teams accomplish? How can you truly evaluate a player in the third camp (HS/college-level “B” team) versus a pro-player from January if the competitive environment has totally changed?

            It’s just like JE changing way too many variables in her exploration of the 3-5-2. You cannot measure of the impact of specific players, positions or tactics if you are constantly changing *everything*.

            Snow may have a plan to establish a core group and more systematically experiment with players moving forward, but I’ll only believe it when I see it.

          • Gary Diver

            Square the Circle: Fixing the USWNT’s MF Problem While Keeping Carli Lloyd on the Field

            “It’s just like JE changing way too many variables in her exploration of the 3-5-2. You cannot measure of the impact of specific players, positions or tactics if you are constantly changing *everything*.”

            I have in the past expressed similar views. Going back to WC15, USWNT has had a MF problem and an ineffective front line. In order to keep Lloyd on the field, Jill Ellis has tried all kinds of “experiments” with the MF involving playing several players out of position.

            Simple solution to MF problem: removing Lloyd from MF, but Ellis feels keeping Lloyd on the field is more important than fixing her MF problem.

            Now Ellis has created a back line problem in her futile attempt to square the circle: fixing the MF problem while keeping Lloyd on the field.

            Now, every aspect of USWNT is a mess and experimenting with front line, MF, back line, and GK all at the same time creates confusion and (scientifically) there is no way of knowing the individual effect of any single change/experiment. It is best to have controlled experiments where you are varying one variable at a time. When you vary several variables at a time, you can’t draw any meaningful conclusions.

          • Steglitz49

            Lauren Holiday was a forward who found her true role in MF. By analogy Alex Morgan could play in MF.

            As Lars Lagerbäck has proven and to some extent Pia has confirmed, a tight and highly organized defense pays dividend independent of sex. Thus, if the USWNT wants to win, they must fix the defense and defensive midfield.

          • rkmid71

            Thank you for that last sentence. I would say especially since we are hell bent on handicapping ourselves with Lloyd playing where she is. I’m not sure about AM in MF. Might be too late for that.

          • Steglitz49

            I suspect that in close matches WoSo must have a 4 back line. How the remaining 6 are disposed around the field is an interesting question.

          • Gary Diver

            “Alex Morgan could play in MF.”

            I doubt it. First, AM doesn’t have the ball at the feet skills – she is a somewhat one-dimensional player. Second, her specialty of getting behind defenders would disappear. Third, learning a new position at 27-years old is a stretch. Fourth, people would immediately point out “another player playing out of position”. Fifth, what message would this give to natural MFs?

          • CED

            If kids played around the school schedule there would be even more problems in development.

          • #1Fan

            I don’t see your point. Most development is not done at NT Camp

          • Guest

            Jaelin Howell was really poor in Jordan. Pinto had some decent moments although I failed to see anything special enough to move her anywhere but u18 Camp. Howell on the other hand should have a rest for development and then maybe a look later this year to check in. Although I personally think they tremendously overvalue ynt events against poor teams as some type of proof of value when they should be looking at kids in their natural environment more closely for their real status quo. There are many more competitive ECNL games than many of these international games.

          • #1Fan

            its not what this staff do. they create an artificial environment and then assign max relevance to it. JH did have a poor WC. result. U-23 call up.

            The points you have made are spot on and an eerie parallel to how the USSF treat the NWSL. Form there counts for very little.

            As I said yday, I have given up on the YNTs under this leadership. I have kids. I talk to them. I talk to their friends. Social media disseminates a lot of info between all of them across the country. I think the USSF have to be very careful with the GDA becasue if playing well in the ECNL is not a route to the YNT then why would playing in the GDA be any different? When these kids see players who destroy them when they play NOT getting call ups and kids they handle with ease getting them, it send a very interesting message.

          • CED

            U-system is not producing great MF talent,,u-20, u-18, u017, etc,,from games I watched. Plenty of forward talent with Sanchez, Smith(better than Sanchez IMO) and Kim. Nothing really to peak the imagination among the MF.

          • rkmid71

            What is your view as to why the U system doesn’t look at a lot more players than it does? Why the same players getting so many looks over and over despite such miserable WC performance or sometimes not even qualifying. Given the shortfalls in MF and Defense (at YNTs and USWNT), why is the USSF staff not focusing on players with the best skill set and mentality for those positions. Instead it’s all about forwards and trying to put them in midfield or defense. There are great athletes with skill in youth soccer playing mid and defense, but they seem to select forwards and try to convert them. It’s completely different.

          • Steglitz49

            Playing MF does not get you noticed. Thus the girls want to play in attack, preferably as strikers who score goals.

            Name some WoSo players who made their names as MFs.

          • rkmid71

            So the lesson is that until you get noticed, do everything you can to avoid defense and midfield (unless attacking mid). And even then, if you want even more notice, pull a Carli Lloyd and play MF but ignore the defensive parts of that role. Let somebody else cover for you.

          • DNG

            lol Lloyd doesn’t even do the attacking midfield parts of that role. She’s a poacher that doesn’t want to do any of the dirty work like dynamic runs off the ball or dropping to help move the ball forward. All she wants is the glory at the end. She even had the gall to complain about the lack of service at last year’s SBC.

          • Steglitz49

            Reality intrudes. Carli scored the key goals in the OG-08, OG-12 and WC-15 finals. That gets you noticed and in her case 2 POTYs.

            As for WoSo players who made their names as MFs, there is Aya Miyama and Jess Fishlock. Caroline Seger and Nilla Fischer started in MF too, as did Maren Mjelde, I think.

          • CED

            The list is too long and the fact you don’t know that tells all.

          • Steglitz49

            Which list?

            I gave some examples elsewhere in the thread. Lauren Holiday was a rethreaded forward.

          • #1Fan

            Kim? U seen smith a lot ?

    • Bruce

      FWIW – BJ Snow will be coaching the U23’s in Portland. USSF is calling him the “acting head coach”.

      • mockmook

        He will be acting like a coach…

    • Steglitz49

      Nobody cares about U23 except the U23s possibly.

    • mockmook

      Racioppi!!!

      Hope she has fully recovered and is better than ever.

      And, FLORIDA’s Tres Amigos are in the house Pelayo, Cardano, Seiler …. Jordan (jk)

    • Gary Diver

      Could someone explain why the spotlight is on Brianna Pinto? For U17 and U20 she has scored few goals and nobody thought she shined at the U17 WC16. What kind of player is she? What kind of potential does she have? It made little sense for Ellis to call her up for SBC and not let her play a single minute.

      • Guest

        Be clear she scored a single goal in her debut NTC tournament. No goals in subsequent events even against weak teams. She was playing largely out of the 8 and even the 10 in the last NTC. She is in no way productive. Now however seen as a 6 so goal and assist production not necessary.
        That single goal catapulted her to the full WNT apparently. She came off the bench on that game and scored a galazo. Was a regular from that point onward.

        • #1Fan

          Howell, who did play the 6 is now in the U-23 camp. BJ loves them both. All that matters

          • Guest

            Why anyone gives his opinions any credibility is truly dumbfounding. It the cabal that strong? Ellis and even Gulati need to see these ynt failures as poor reflections on them and their leadership. Then they might choose someone who can be successful in these coaching and ID positions rather than confining the ussf paid positions to their church members. Does anyone know what these jobs pay? Are they ynt heads desirable as an end point or are they seen as stepping stones to college coaching or Nwsl stuff.

          • #1Fan

            not sure, but given the time it has taken to fill USSF slots, it suggests that they are not inundated with resumes. Yes, the cabal IS that strong. I also think that those in roles now were promised some security becasue the alternative roles would be College HC jobs that prob pay better and offer more perks,

          • DNG

            I think they should allow part time college coaches again. They would probably get more people willing to coach if that was the case. No great college coach is leaving their position to coach a youth team in the bureaucratic mess that is the USSF.

          • #1Fan

            IF BJ Snow or French can convince the USSF that the alternative for them is a well paid long tenured job at an ACC or Pac-12 school then they are going to get well paid and get good security

          • Bruce

            Do you think a top 10 college program would hire Snow or French?

          • #1Fan

            Not sure. I dont think so, but maybe they would based on cachet and ability to leverage the YNT ties to get better players

          • rkmid71

            That’s what I was thinking. Dangling the carrot of their connections and increase the perceived chances of getting YNT or NT opportunities. The behind the scenes influence.

          • Bruce

            Or in other words, “hire me, I’m a bureaucrat!”

          • Bruce

            Seriously, I’d find it hard pressed for a major NCAA program to justify hiring any coach who has failed continuously while having access the the full player pool.

          • CED

            You might want to look up the salaries of womens college coaches. It’s not that much..

          • #1Fan

            its all relative and at the top schools where they would be looking its a very good gig

          • CED

            Cronwell at UCLA, one of the biggest profile jobs in P12 base salary is 150K with bonus max around 80K as she made 227K total the year they won NCAA’s

          • #1Fan

            That is a good wage though no ? House, car probably pays for very little !

          • CED

            You do know that assistants in womens bball at top schools.ie..UConn,etc.. get paid more than the head coach of UCLA soccer, which is considered a top program in college Woso.

          • #1Fan

            i dont see the relevance. Compared to other opportunities in their chosen field, soccer coaching, 250k pr is a good wage. Its also a good wage relative to most professions

          • CED

            The fact you think 150K is some great sum for a elite coach or in general is good is amazing.. Btw, 150K in southern cal is chump change, any decent house in southern cal is 800K plus, a better house is well over 1mil. It’s clear the point is lost on you that an elite soccer program UCLA pays their head coach 150K and an elite program in womens bball (Uconn) assistance coaches more that and their actual head coach gets 2.4M/yr

          • #1Fan

            what part of relative WITHIN their sport do you not understand ? its OBVIOUS that soccer is not a mainstream sport in the USA. Its also almost certain that the coach gets free accommodation and the real monetary “value” of the position is higher. But either way I think its clear that the point being made is actually lost on you. At no point di anyone say 150k was a great sum. but i guess you like to invent things to suit your argument.

            Its like me saying Auriemma is pffft coz Nick Saban a top coach at an elite school gets almost 3x as much (7 MM) .

            Its irreevant to the point being made.which was for a soccer coach, a total comp package of around 300k is pretty good and that would be the case that a Snow or French would be making to US Soccer when negotiating for themselves.

          • CED

            Not it’s not almost certain a coach gets free accommodations..I know people who coach and have coached sports college sports I aslo am friends who are assistant AD’s at colleges and no it’s not a given of free accommodations unless you want to live in a dorm. A 40+ plus yr old coach lving in a dorm would be pathetic. Yes, you did make 150K seem like it’s some great sum, read your own posts. its chump change and even more so in LA.

            Btw, you’re Saban/ Aurienna analogy is silly and you clearly don’t know why. Football is revenue sport and womens bball and soccer are in no way revenue sports.

            The total package is not 300K, not even close . It was 150K base, which is literally 1/2 that b/c of cost of living in LA. the 225K is with bonuses the 1 yr they won a NCAA championship.

          • #1Fan

            I love forums. It should be so easy to have a civil discussion but some people just love to be the tough guy. I dont know you, so I afford you that respect until you dont give it back.

            The discussion is not worth having.

            You win,

            150 k is chump change and Im an idiot.

          • mockmook

            150K puts you in the top 2% in USA income

          • CED

            150K is nothing in general and even less so for a coach of a sport.

  • Guestbob

    Harvey has talked about utsugi in the midfield, so it seems pretty clear it’ll be Nairn, Fishlock, Utsugi. I think the FAR bigger question for Seattle isn’t their forwards. WHere do the goals come from? Most of their scorers left. Rapinoe is back but who knows what she’s going got. Yanez has not looked like her ’15 self in NWSL or WLeague. When will Crummer be ready? Can Johnson uprise everyone? A lot of questions up top.

    • Guestbob

      *is their FWs

    • mockmook

      Solve it with Jesolva? 🙂

    • Guest

      I think having Naho, Rapinoe, Yanez and Crummer will be sufficient goal scoring power. I think I their defense is the bigger question. Their only two definite starters are Corsie and Barnes. Anyone else on the current roster would likely be a step below those 2.

      • mockmook

        Bauer and Stott are supposedly first rate material.

        Utsugi played LB last year. Reed and Pickett are “good enough”

        I think the D will be OK — I agree with the article, agree that the Mids are the biggest question (relative to where they were in previous years).

        • Guest

          I completely forgot about Bauer and Stott. I take back what I said.

          Reed is good enough, I’m not convinced yet about Pickett.

          Obviously it won’t be what it was previously, but I can’t see a midfield of Nairn/Fishlock/Utsugi being bad

  • Rdalford

    some more Off topic stuff,
    U-19 WNT roster for training camp announced on us soccer site

    CHICAGO (March 20, 2017) – The U.S. Under-19 Women’s National Team will hold its second training camp of 2017 as head coach Jitka Klimkova has called up 26 players for an event running from March 25-April 1 in Sunrise, Florida.

    The roster represents an almost totally new group of players than the one that attended the first U-19 WNT camp of the year in January last Florida as just three players will return for this camp. All three of those players were members of the USA’s 2016 FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup Team: defenders Kiara Pickett and Emily Smith and midfielder Sydney Zandi.

    However, the January U-19 roster included quite a few players born in 1998, and 19 players from that roster traveled to La Manga, Spain, with the U.S. U-20 WNT in early March.

    All 26 players on this roster were born in 1999 and all are eligible for the team that will attempt to qualify for the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup to be held in France. The age cut-off for that World Cup is players born on or after January 1, 1998.

    There are just two college players on the roster – defender Sinclaire Miramontez of Nebraska and forward Emily Madril of Florida State – with the rest playing for their youth clubs.

    U.S. U-19 WNT Roster by Position:

    GOALKEEPERS (3): Hillary Beall (SoCal Blues; Laguna Beach, Calif.), Brooke Bollinger (Space Coast United; Melbourne, Fla.), Zoe Clevely (Pateadores Academy; Huntington Beach, Calif.)

    DEFENDERS (7): Joanna Harber (Eastside FC; Bellevue, Wash.), Sinclaire Miramontez (Nebraska, Lenexa, Kansas), Taylor Parker (Colorado Storm; Aurora, Colo.), Olivia Petit (Internationals SC; Akron, Ohio), Kiara Pickett (Eagles SC; Santa Barbara, Calif.), Sophia Serafin (West Coast FC; Glendora, Calif.), Emily Smith (De Anza Force; Los Gatos, Calif.)

    MIDFIELDERS (10): Ambere Barnett (SLSG – Illinois; Rockport, Ind.), Tiana Caffey (Space Coast United; Port Saint Lucie, Fla.), Emina Ekic (Javanon FC; Fairdale, Ky.), Alexis Loera (Colorado Storm; Thornton, Colo.), Alyssa Poarch (Continental FC; Middletown, Del.), Delanie Sheehan (West Coast SC; Discovery Bay, Calif.), Danielle Stephan (Michigan Hawks; Lansing, Mich.), Taryn Torres (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas), Olivia Wade (LaRoca FC; Kaysville, Utah), Sydney Zandi (Penn Fusion; West Chester, Pa.)

    FORWARDS (6): Brianna Atterbury (Sereno SC; Gilbert, Ariz.), Sydney Carr (Arsenal FC; Orange, Calif.), Rachael Dorwart (PA Classics; Mechanicsburg, Pa.), Penelope Hocking (SoCal Blues; Anaheim, Calif.), Emily Madril (Florida State; Navarre, Fla.), Adrienne Richardson (Minnesota Thunder; Oakdale, Minn.)

    • Steglitz49

      Is Brooke Bollinger related to the Champagne House?

      • Caroltsaunders

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  • Gary Diver

    Rate the Teams

    Anybody willing to rate the NWSL teams (from A to F) on the seven categories:

    owner/coach/organization/players/fans/stadium/area coverage?

    For example: Chicago Red Stars

    D/B/C/A/C/B/F

    • Bruce

      what’s area coverage? accessibility to stadium?

      • Gary Diver

        Oops, I meant local press coverage. I will change it and add stadium accessibility. Thanks for pointing out these shortcomings.

        • Bruce

          I think you pretty much hit the nail on the head with your CRS rankings, though I would rank both organization and stadium accessibility a grade lower (Ds).

          Total “F” for media coverage.

          • Gary Diver

            I believe your lower ranking for organization and stadium accessibility is reasonable. If you are staying downtown (as I did during Labor Day 2015) and don’t have a car, the stadium accessibility is terrible.

            The organization has declined in the past year. After WC15, I had some personal interactions with Alyse LaHue. She seemed competent, dedicated to WoSo, and a person with a vision for the future. No idea what happened to her other than she resigned.

            It is sad: the Red Stars have a good coach and a good stadium, but everything else in Chicago stinks.

          • Steglitz49

            It may be a simple as that the burghers of Chicago ain’t interested in WoSo. The attendances at most European WoSo club matches is poor in spite of ticket prices being lower than in the US.

            In Europe there is now a divide between the haves and have nots. The haves are the ladies wings of the rich men’s clubs plus the odd female club like Frankfurt, Potsdam, Montpellier and maybe Rosengård. The have nots are the rest — an awful lot.

            In Norway and Denmark, there is much more interest in ladies handball than in soccer, possibly in Sweden too, a sport hardly played in the US.

          • Silver Frost

            Chicago is the biggest metro area with a NWSL team. Too much competition with other pro and college sports to make a dent in local media. However, I don’t see much media attention to NWSL anywhere. Somebody should do a media study on this. We have ten markets now. What is local media coverage in each market? Does the NWSL front office know? They should.

          • Newspaper coverage for FCKC has been great, but was best in the first year. We had a writer at all the games. TV coverage has been next to nothing, but I have seen players on some local morning shows, and a few times (during end-of-season/post-season play) they were mentioned during the evening sports broadcast on TV and radio.

            But I would like to see their scores mentioned at EVERY sports broadcast like they do with MLB, NFL, and MLS. By contrast, Sporting KC gets a TON of local media coverage. A TON.

    • Timber Dave

      I’ll take a crack at it for the Thorns:

      Owner: A. Merritt Paulson cares a lot about the team and players.
      Coach: B. Parsons seems like a pretty astute coach and good leader, but hasn’t won it all (yet!).
      Organization: A. One of the best.
      Players: B+. Several players are world class but there are some soft spots — Klingenberg has slipped a bit, Nadim at striker is good but not great, right back remains a bit of a question mark, Sincy can’t be ageless forever.
      Fans: A+. 16,000/game, tifos, smoke, roses, songs/chants, etc. The full monty.
      Stadium: A. Providence Park is a sweet place to watch a soccer game.
      Stadium accessibility: A. This rates how easy it is for fans to get to the stadium (which is right downtown), though you could well mean how accessible it is to wheelchairs. If it’s the latter, I don’t know what grade to give — there are people in wheelchairs in the stadium, but I don’t know how easy it is for them to get there.
      Press coverage: C. There’s some local press coverage but not nearly as much as there should be, and outside Portland, none.

      • Silver Frost

        Other NWSL owners must be wondering how to duplicate that success. I still watch as many Thorns games as possible to witness this amazing spectacle of woso treated as equal to any MLS team in terms of fan enthusiasm.

        • Steglitz49

          One assumes that there must be other places in the US where an equally vibrant WoSo culture might flourish or have a chance to establish itself.

          After all, in ladies college Basket, Tennesee and Connecticut are brand names, not just the usual suspects of Stanford, Duke, UNC, Maryland and Rutgers.

          • Guest

            Uconn

          • Steglitz49

            That is why they are known as the Huskies. I still have my Husky cap from when we lived in CT. (Formally the mascot is Johnathan Husky.)

            CT is a very pretty state and goes from the sea into the mountains.

    • I think those are pretty accurate. Though I might give stadium accessibility two different ratings based on whether someone has a car or not, since Chicago is a pretty pedestrian/mass transit city. 😉 I didn’t own a car when I lived there, so Toyota Stadium kinda sucked to get to for me.

    • I can’t really be impartial for FCKC, so I’m open to suggestions and corrections for these.

      ?/A/C+/A-/C+/B-/B-/B

      Owner: ?. Brand new owner. No idea. Will find out what the players think after the season starts.
      Coach: A. Can’t argue with the success or with the ringing endorsements of the players.
      Organization: C+. Last season I would have said C- at best, but with new a new owner comes a new organization. The few I have met so far seem slightly more invested than the last group who also worked for the men’s indoor team. Time will tell with this rating, too. It may be better than a C.
      Players: A-. Total bias here. I think KC has had the best keeper in the league and best CB in the league for the past 4 years. Hopefully has world-class strikers again this year and players at other positions who are very solid.
      Fans: C+ I don’t think I can be objective about this, either. The supporters group is very small, but very loyal. Fans, players, and team personnel hang out together. Fans travel for post-season play. That’s all great. But the stadium is rarely full and I would expect a better showing from the self-proclaimed soccer capital of America.
      Stadium: B-. Fantastic field and facilities for players and visiting teams. Close to the action for spectators, but terrible bleacher seating and lackluster concessions.
      Stadium accessibility: B-. You have to drive everywhere in KC. Can’t please everyone. I’m sure every fan would prefer the stadium be in their suburb, but it’s close to a highway and has decent-ish parking, even if you have to fight for spaces with youth teams playing at the same time.
      Press coverage: B-. Good coverage compared to the rest of the league, dismal coverage compared to other sports.

      • DNG

        I have their players as an B+ on paper if the reference is the Thorns at an A. Relative to a team like Lyon though I think the Thorns would be closer to A-/B+ and the FCKC would be a B/B-. The Courage is the only other team in the NWSL with players that I would grade at an A-/B+. Everyone else is below for me at least on paper right now.

        • I agree. I first put them at B/B- then changed it.

          There’s definitely a difference between paper and what you see on the field, but that has more to do with coaching, probably. Pretty sure the Thorns had A teams on paper all 4 years, but didn’t always play like it.

          • DNG

            I actually always thought the Thorns were too top heavy after that first year to be an effective team. How do you get Morgan, Sinclair, Heath, Vero, Taylor, ect… (I know that Vero and Taylor were not on the team in the same year) all of the field at the same time and not leave holes elsewhere. The Morgan trade really saved them from having a year long rebuild in my opinion and the Henry signing was almost like an added bonus. They were pretty good in the first 10 matches last year without Henry granted Horan was sure to have to serve a suspension if she continued to start as a deeper lying CM.

  • Gary Diver

    Is Morgan Brian injured again? If so, what is her injury? I hope she didn’t peak as 22-year old star player at WC15.

    P.S. It seems to me that her career is being held back by always (USWNT and NWSL) be paired with Carli Lloyd, who seems to make everyone around her appear to underperform.

    • Bruce

      EQ reported that she had strained her MCL about 4 days back. The tone of the story was that it wasn’t serious, but that she would sit out of preseason to heal.

    • Steglitz49

      To have won the world cup at 22, this now 24 year old player is the same age as Gold-Lena when she announced that she could no longer motivate herself to carry on.

      I suspect that Moe would like to defend her world championship and even have another shot at getting an Olympic gold, so she might leave the stage at 27, the same age as Lauren Holiday.

      • Gary Diver

        You may be right. During WC15, Brian was the youngest player on the team and probably more important to the team winning the championship than the other “Morgan”. But since WC15, Brian has been so-so at best. Very strange indeed – something is going on. She seems injury prone and being always paired with Lloyd can be a millstone.

        • Steglitz49

          I don’t know anything about her private life but maybe she has developed an interest off the field.

          (Also, if she stepped on it, like ARod she could fit in having a baby and be back in shape for WC-19. Just look at Marit Björgen and Marie Dorin Habert.)

        • newsouth

          i don’t call her dinky virginia for no reason. runt, slow, not durable, american hype job. she’s the future of the mid-field, lol. gotta love this board.

          http://image.cdnllnwnl.xosnetwork.com/pics33/1024/ZP/ZPCNNFBSIZNMNNO.20150110012755.jpg

          • rkmid71

            Well at least you are correct that our midfield sucks. And I don’t see that JE has a clue how to fix it or find the right combination of players. I thought Brian was best described as a Georgia string bean. Did Brian’s UVA team ever beat FSU when it mattered? At least she seems to be a team player, makes good quick decisions most of the time and has above average tech skills and combines well with other players. Strong in the soccer iq / awareness category and ball skills. The acceleration less so. Brings some good intangibles though. If you pair her with the right other mids, it will work.

          • Steglitz49

            NewSouth is obsessed with players who have not delivered the goods. One has to assume that he can’t recognize those that do and have.

          • Gary Diver

            Are you implying that Morgan Brian is a typical “over-hyped” US soccer player? She is 5’7″ which usually isn’t considered a “runt”. Is she slow? Has Brian always had other major shortcomings?

            P.S. What position did Brian play at Virginia? Is she another USWNT player that Jill Ellis is playing out of position?

          • Steglitz49

            Moe Brian won the MAC Hermann trophy twice in succession. The previous player to do that was Sinclair and before her Cindy Parlow Cone and Mia Hamm. It is a rare honor.

            A number of players have won the Hermann trophy but not all of them have gone on to a glorious career.

            Likewise, some outstanding players never gotten it, the most notable being Moe’s namesake Alexandra the Great Morgan, also Carli LLoyd, Becky Sauerbrunn and Hope Solo.

    • Ivyrrussell

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  • Gary Diver

    Success Against Tomato Cans Tells Us What?

    A: Nothing.

    In connection with the youth program, #1Fan made the observation: “Failure on the biggest stage vs the best competition should not necessarily be counterbalanced by success vs minnows. I agree and also think it applies to USWNT.

    In a couple of weeks USWNT plays Russia, but for what purpose? Other than the money, Russia gains much more than USWNT. Beating up on Russia has no value or significance in USWNT’s current problems playing top teams.

    Against Top Teams since 2016
    1. 2016 SBC: USWNT won all three matches and won the tournament (4 goals and +1 GD), though the quality of play was neither dominant nor inspiring

    2. 2016 OG: USWNT had the worst performance in a major tournament in the past 20 years

    3. 2017 SBC: USWNT only beat a jet-lagged Germany team and finished last in the tournament (1 goal and -3 GD)

    Ellis and Lloyd keep making excuses about a “learning curve”, “focusing on 2019”, and “a work in progress”.

    USWNT is a work in decline at all levels. At some point people need to stop listening to the excuses. Maybe if USWNT finishes 3rd or 4th in 2018 SBC and drops in FIFA ranking, people will wake up. The sooner the people in charge step out of their alternate universe (or better – get replaced), the better for USWNT’s long term future.

    • Steglitz49

      Is the USWNT getting worse or are many other NT on par now?

      Poor refereeing decided in the USWNT favor in the OG-12 final and poor refereeing almost got the USWNT through the QF in Brasilia. Eventually one’s luck runs out.

      The USSF is in a cleft stick. As long as they play WNT matches in the US they generate a lot of income and visiting teams are pleased to come and play. If they go on a road trip around Europe, they earn considerably less and probably lose money on the caper.

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  • #1Fan

    Im not sure what to make of this. Does she believe it? is she right? Is she even the best player on that team?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/football/2017/03/22/man-citys-new-signing-carli-lloyd-confident-can-transform-womans/

    • DNG

      Are you talking about her changing the way women’s soccer is viewed in the UK? I don’t know but I’d say she might be able to help a little but probably not enough to spark a revolution in the country. I don’t think she’s the best player on the team. As players overall I like at least Bronze and Houghton more. I did find his gem in the article though.

      “Pep Guardiola has spoken publicly about wanting to lure Lionel Messi from Barcelona to City. Well, the club’s women’s team has already landed the female version and she is determined to help transform the standing of the woman’s game on these shores.”

      Comments like this make me think that hardly anyone has watched her play outside of major events and finals.

      • #1Fan

        there are so many gems in the article. I do find it interesting how we call some of these awards worthless, but the media seem to base their WoSo opinions off them. Whether its Lloyd or Morgan being perceived as changing the sports perceptions by joining teams where they are NOT the best players – its an interesting concept. I would sort of get it if they were joining up and coming teams with no real pedigree , putting them on the map as it were, but both the teams they ahve joined a case could be made that they need them mote than the teams need the play on the field. Morgan to add to her game and Lloyd for one last hurrah via the CL.

        Maybe Lloyd brings a level of work ethic that helps

        • DNG

          They are not being recognized for their accomplishments on the field anymore but utilized for their value off the field. They’re marketable in a way that very few female soccer players are. Only player who I think comes close is Marta and she’s not really there anymore since her play has started to dip. If both are able to get more people to watch women’s soccer for their respective teams and those people stick around when they leave, they are worth every penny. It remains to be seen if that will happen though and I have my doubts.

          • rkmid71

            Has Lloyd and Morgan play started to dip? Disagree on Marta. Marta has an ability to get more people to watch WoSo than any player, yesterday and today and probably tomorrow as long as she wants and is able to play. There is just joy in watching her play.

          • DNG

            It sure has but they will be popular in the states no matter what and it seems like Morgan has a decent following outside the states as well. I don’t think that’s as true about Marta now as it was 5-6 years ago.

    • rkmid71

      Yes, she believes it. No she is not right. No she is not the best player on that team. Nevertheless, she was voted FIFA POTY. But this is business — ManCity is simply trying to monetize its investment. Let’s see what happens in Champions League. The first test is today in quarterfinal first leg away game. The female Messi should be able to make a positive impact or carry the team I would think. They beat Reading in Lloyd’s first game, but their record is 1-5 so far, so hard to tell much from that game.

      • #1Fan

        i get it form the Man City PR side. I dont from a journo. He could right a similar article without some of the outlandish ill informed remarks

        • rkmid71

          What has been clear for quite awhile now is that journo is not what it used to be. I don’t think we can turn back the clock.

        • DNG

          Accuracy in journalism in some places seems to have fallen off with the internet’s arrival. It’s all about getting these stories out first now. Not double and triple checking sources and doing lots of in depth research. If the Journalist is trying to promote and help generate interest in women’s football, is she going to be doing that when she calls a spade a spade with regards to Lloyd’s ability?

    • Bruce

      Wow. She was the fifth-best attacking player for her side during most of last week’s match.

  • Similar to what KC had/has to solve after losing Lauren Holiday. She and Little had such an impact on their respective teams besides just providing goals and assists.