Ellis names USWNT for matches against Russia

Dan Lauletta March 23, 2017 312
Crystal Dunn (foreground) and Lynn Williams were both called into the United States camp ahead of two matches against Russia (photo copyright EriMac Photo for The Equalizer)

Crystal Dunn (foreground) and Lynn Williams were both called into the United States camp ahead of two matches against Russia (photo copyright EriMac Photo for The Equalizer)

United States coach Jill Ellis has named 24 women to go to camp ahead of April 6 (Frisco) and 9 (Houston) friendlies against Russia. Nineteen of the 24 players were part of the SheBelieves Cup team that finished last in the four-team competition. Among the new faces is Megan Oyster, receiving her first senior call-up, and Megan Rapinoe, who has had a very up and down last several months with the national team. The game day roster for each match will be 18 players.

“This is our last chance to get together before the NWSL starts and we’ll take full advantage of the training time as well as the two matches against a team in preparation for the European championships,” Ellis said. “Following these matches, my staff and I will begin a heavy investment in attending and evaluating the NWSL games as well as tracking our players overseas before we get back together for our European trip in the summer. I’m very much looking forward to our domestic league starting.”

Rapinoe was fast tracked in her recovery from 2015 ACL surgery in order to play on the 2016 Olympic team but has been in and out of the side since them amid protests during which she knelt during the national anthem. U.S. Soccer recently created a new policy legislating all players and staff stand during national anthems. After that Rapinoe released a statement saying she would abide by the policy. Ellis told ESPN’s Julie Foudy that Rapinoe was left off the SheBelieves camp roster because she was still working on her fitness.

{SHEBELIEVES CUP: Lauletta’s final thoughts | Bush on the failing three-back experiment}

The Oyster call-up comes as a surprise after the center back fell out of favor in Washington toward the end of 2016. She was traded to the Breakers during the offseason and is expected to anchor the back line in Bean Town this season. Oyster did finish her Spirit career on a high note playing as the right-sided back in a 3-5-2 formation in the NWSL Championship that was similar to the alignment Ellis is trying to implement with the U.S. There is also a hole in the middle with Emily Sonnett being dropped and Julie Johnston not available for this camp because she is getting married. She will return from her honeymoon as Julie Ertz.

Meghan Klingenberg and Amy Rodriguez, both of whom were in SheBelieves camp but did not make the roster, have also been called in. Kealia Ohai, last seen at the January camp, is on her way to Texas as well.

Other players from SheBelieves not named this week by Ellis are Brianna Pinto and Jessica McDonald.

The full cam roster is:

GOALKEEPERS (3): Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)
DEFENDERS (6): Meghan Klingenberg (Portland Thorns FC), Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Megan Oyster (Boston Breakers), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Rose Lavelle (Boston Breakers), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash/Manchester City), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), Samantha Mewis (NC Courage), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign)
FORWARDS (7): Crystal Dunn (Chelsea FC), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride/Olympique Lyonnais, FRA), Kealia Ohai (Houston Dash), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Mallory Pugh (UCLA), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Lynn Williams (NC Courage)

  • Tom

    Let’s bring all our A team players against a crap team. Jill logic. I get watch same players that looked awful at She Believes.

    • rkmid71

      I think that’s the point. Since they were awful at SBC, they (her pfd “A team” players) need a couple confidence building games against lower level competition. If she played different players and they smoked Russia what would that mean? That perhaps they should be the new A team players? That’s when we would hear that Russia is not top competition. But for now we hear that Russia is “a team in preparation for the European Championships”.

      • HOFCToDi

        Give me a break!

        The USWNTPA has circled the wagons.

  • Gary Diver

    USSF Titanic: “This Is All about 2019”

    With Meghan Klingenberg, Ali Krieger, Kelley O’Hara, Carli Lloyd, Allie Long, Megan Rapinoe, and Amy Rodriguez USWNT is headed for the icebergs.

    As I posted yesterday: “Beating up on Russia has no value or significance in USWNT’s current problems playing top teams – problems that Ellis seems incapable of solving.

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

    • Reading “Ellis has a MF problem” not as “midfielder,” but as a curse word. Heehee. Frankly, the sentence works both ways. 😉

      • mockmook

        Shame!!! Shame!!! 🙂

    • HOFCToDi

      2016 SheBelieves Cup
      Record: 3W – 0L – 0T
      Tactical Formation: 4-2-3-1
      Goals Scored: 4
      Goals Allowed: 1

      2017 SheBelieves Cup
      Record: 1W – 2L – 0T
      Tactical Formation: 3-4-1-2
      Goals Scored: 1
      Goals Allowed: 4

  • VaFan51

    I understand the population boom in the MF, but what on earth does Colaprico have to do to get some time?!

    • Gary Diver

      Either (1) Ellis has found her wanting at the camps, (2) Colaprico is too small and/or slow, or (3) Ellis for some reason does not like her. Pick your poison.

      • Steglitz49

        Size matters. The Ndeshiko have no choice but the USWNT does.

        • Bobby

          Yeah, Lavelle 5’4″ about 50 pounds less than Colaprico. Plus Colaprico has a ton more experience on how to WIN! Mark my words Lavelle will never ever win you games! Never has Never will!!!!

          • Gary Diver

            Time will tell, but for some reason Ellis is not a Colaprico fan. And isn’t it true that Colaprico has always played with a better supporting cast than Lavelle?

          • Bobby

            Think about it, why didn’t more Top Players commit to Wisconsin to play with the “Great” Lavelle? If she was so good why didn’t they WIN….anything! It was/is only about Rosey and nobody else….has been that way since grade school!

          • mockmook

            Maybe because Wisconsin is in Wisconsin?

            You’re a top recruit, you could go to:

            Santa Clara
            Stanford
            Cal
            UCLA
            USC
            UNC
            Duke
            Virginia
            Florida
            FSU
            etc

          • Steglitz49

            Lavelle is French in origin; Colaprico Italian or Spanish. Could be as simple as that.

    • Guest

      And DiBernardo

    • Steglitz49

      Latin names lik Colaprico and DiBernardo are not flavor of the month.

      How on earth does Denmark with Nadim and Sweden with Asllani manage?

    • DNG

      Two of the most frustrating and obvious absences for me in these last few rosters are Colaprico and Dibernardo. I just don’t understand why Dibernardo has not been called up and Colaprico can’t get a minute of game time. And as skilled as Horan she is not a central midfield she’s an attacker.

      • mockmook

        They keep writing Dibernardo in for the roster, but no one with that name shows up 😉

  • Gary Diver

    What is going on with Emily Sonnett and Emily Menges? Ellis needs to develop young defenders for 2019 and JJ is a big question mark with glaring issues. Ellis’ 3 back formation anchored by Allie Long is a fatal millstone.

    P.S. Notice that Ellis has listed Long as a MF.

    • Squeak

      Long was listed as a MF for the SBC rosters as well.

    • Bruce

      Oyster was possibly the best CB during W-League. Not sure how her game translates to a 3-back, though.

    • FawcettFan14

      Both Emily’s, Menges and Sonnett, are better players than Oyster and Long.

    • captainfate

      Long has been listed as MF since she got called up to the team. She hasn’t been played as an MF in forever, though. Ugh.

  • Guest

    What a relief!! Don’t worry, in this year of rebuilding and developing, we are gonna get to see what Lloyd, Sauerbrunn, Heath, Krieger, O’Hara, Morgan, and Rapinoe look like against 24th ranked Russia! Phew

    • rkmid71

      We also get to see what ARod (30), Long (29), Kling (28) can do against Russia. And does anyone care what Press (28) does against Russia? This has got to be CBA related. When are they going to sort that out btw?

      • Steglitz49

        Don’t knock ARod. Mother of two and honorific Hispanic. Worth her weight in used soccer socks.

  • Jim

    Let me guess Ohai will sit on the bench while Heath and company play 90 minutes in both games.

  • AlexH

    Here’s hoping that the inclusion of A-rod, Rapinoe and other oldsters are CBA related and not what Jill believes to be the future of the team.

    • Squeak

      A-Rod is most likely a combination of CBA, loyalty to someone coming back from pregnancy in a “dead” year, and she is a good enough player to provide value in a practice environment. Couple that with no real forwards that are standing out right now, and it isn’t much a stretch to let her come in.

      • Steglitz49

        Hear hear! ARod and Syd are valuable marketing commodities.

    • Steglitz49

      As I typed elsewhere, there are fringe benefits playing for Lyon:

      http://www.espn.com/espnw/culture/the-buzz/article/18679220/alex-morgan-two-lyon-teammates-learn-how-make-crepes

      Yeehaw!

      • rkmid71

        AM is close to 3 million twitter followers. She is starting to learn her French cuisine. Hopefully she can add some French players to her next group. Kumagai and Seger are her partners in crime for this outing.

        • Steglitz49

          I think the senior chef in this clip is one of those super-duper top chefs in France.

  • A_Dog_Without_A_Clutch
    • Bruce

      YouTube working much better for me…

      https://youtu.be/D8s0evzqQSo

      • Bruce

        MCWFC up 1-0 at half. Header off of a cross by Lloyd in the 35th minute.

        Fortuna Hjørring is the exact type of team that Lloyd does well against: physically weak and poor at defensive spacing. She has well over a dozen uncontested touches in open space facing the back line and has found herself 3 meters free in the box at least four times in the first half.

        • dw

          Pretty sure it was Lloyd who scored.

          • Alex

            Lloyd goal, Jane Ross assist.

          • rkmid71

            I’m pretty sure the whole goal was created by Jill Scott. She did most of the work. Lloyd was standing unmarked on the far post and there was no pressure on the cross. The reason was because Scott forced the defense to collapse on her.

          • DNG

            I’ve seen that movie before.

          • sudeep das

            Actually Lloyd’s powerful header was quite a good one – not exactly from near the far post but a bit away from the goal. She ended up near the far post after her run and header.

          • rkmid71

            Are you disputing that the goal was mainly the result of JIll Scott’s work? That takes nothing away from the quality and accuracy of the cross nor the fact that Lloyd got herself into a good position near the far post.

          • sudeep das

            No no the entire chance was created by a good powerful run by Scott. I was only stating that Lloyd was not that close to the far post.

          • rkmid71

            How close is “not that close”? 5-6 yds?

          • DNG

            Not only was she only 6-7 yards out but it was a free header with no one within 5 yards of her. Terrible defending on this play.

          • Ethan

            Well, I thought Asllani did well with the initial pressure, and the cross from Ross was fantastic. Agree with your point though.

          • Steglitz49

            Kosse gets it done.

          • Gary Diver

            Every snippet of success make Carli Lloyd’s head bigger and her personality more off-putting.

          • rkmid71

            That really isn’t possible at this point. Ignore the failures or attribute those to something or someone else and take credit for every snippet of success. Look up narcissism. Individuals high in narcissism have fragile self-esteem.That’s why Lloyd can’t handle any criticism or even perceived lack of faith in her abilities. As Sundhage said, “it was so delicate, so, so delicate”. Really, just something the USWNT has to apparently deal with for the time being. Lloyd was made a captain by JE. Two years since WC2015 win. OG2016 failure and more recently SBC failure. And poor NWSL performance in between. Just ignore those things.Though father time is undefeated, Lloyd no doubt believes she’s the exception to the rule. Narcissists believe that such rules don’t apply to them. They are exceptional.

          • Bruce

            That’s what I meant to say.

        • Bruce

          FT: MCWFC wins 1-0.

        • Steglitz49

          Carli Lloyd. Carli! Great investment by Man City.

          • Danish Dynamite

            Fortuna Hjørring is by far the weakest team in the round of last 8. They would have been transhed from teams like Lyon or Wolfsburg. Winning there 1-0 is by no means a sign of strenghts (neither from ManCity nor from Llyod)

          • rkmid71

            That’s perfect. A win-win. Can she please stay there and focus 100% on club soccer for the time being while JE calls in some other players for her spot on the USWNT.

          • Steglitz49

            It is up to JE not to call up Alex and Carli.

          • rkmid71

            You sure about that? Didn’t you think JE was under instructions to call up Pinoe for the OG 2016?

          • Steglitz49

            Verily. She obeyed — and remains head coach.

  • DNG

    Looks like Morgan is starting in the CL match in place of Hegerberg.

    https://twitter.com/OL/status/844974080789020673

    • Steglitz49

      Housewife; megastar — as Dame Edna used to describe herself.

    • AlexH

      I hope Jill is taking notes on how a 352 is supposed to work.

      • dw

        Right, start with Renard in the center…

        • DNG

          I think they could make it work without a Renard but I don’t see why they would want to. I don’t think the formation is any better than the 4-3-3/4-2-3-1 and they have the personnel to play those formations.

        • Steglitz49

          Just look at that bunch: Kumagai, Renard, Buchanan and Seger, also Bremer and Majri.

    • Alex

      Really didn’t see Hegerberg not starting, thought she was the least likely of the three to be on the bench.

    • Alex

      Could make a really solid side out of the Wolfsburg and Lyon subs today.

      https://twitter.com/JasSchweimler/status/844974293863862277

      • Steglitz49

        Money talks.

      • guest

        why would the two-team french cupcake league want to do that? better to keep them on the bench.

    • mockmook

      I’ve seen that formation somewhere…

      • DNG

        3-5-2 makes sense for them. They don’t really have any creative wings but have fast wing backs and a great ball playing CB. They also have a good central midfield core.

        • mockmook

          According to twitter, they didn’t actually line up this way — but, I’m looking for specifics.

          • DNG

            I missed all but 5 minutes of the first half. It was a straight 4-3-3 in the second half.

        • kernel_thai

          U will notice they didn’t move Renard out of the middle to make it work “better”

          • DNG

            Why would they move Renard out of the middle? Renard is the player Ellis wishes Allie Long was.

    • truf

      Hegerberg and Morgan are both better than Le Sommer, but Lyon is not benching their french star.
      (Morgan vs. Le Sommer has been happening for 8 years and Morgan has almost always had the upper hand in play.)

      • DNG

        How are they better? I don’t think either are better. ELS may go hot and cold with her finishing but her all around game is class.

        • guest

          Hegerberg is better than ELS who is in better form than Morgan right now. Both have different strengths. Ada is imo the most complete forward in the game right now. And she is still so young.

          • Guester

            Too bad she plays on a national team that will probably never win a medal during her career.

          • DNG

            I wouldn’t say that Ada is a more complete forward than ELS. Ada is the more physical player while ELS is the more nuanced one.

        • sudeep das

          Specially her runs in the penalty box – what vision.

    • guest

      lyon are saving a fresh hegerberg to close the second half.

  • Anson

    More of the same from JE! Said back after the Olympics USWNT would only play Top competition that didn’t happen. The Top competition they did play…….they LOST!
    Sure they are going to be out for bloood to prove they aren’t that bad but who cares if they beat the Russians??? Mediocre at best! She continues to try new talent……how’s that working out???? I take experience over talent any day of the week! More of the same. US soccer shouldn’t put up with this BS. The whole US Womens program is a shame and a disgrace to people who support it from Top to Bottem! Continue with these incompetent Coaches and expect the same results!

  • Bruce

    Summarizing changes from SBC camp:

    OUT: Johnston, Sonnett, Killion, Pinto
    IN: Oyster, Rapinoe, Ohai

    • FawcettFan14

      McDonald out as well.

      • Bruce

        Thanks FF. Updated.

    • DNG

      Makes sense to rotate Sonnett out if Jill doesn’t think she’s ready yet but I wish she had brought two CBs in instead of one. I don’t think we’re that strong there right now. Still see no central midfielders who specialize in defending and setting tempo.

    • mockmook

      Thank goodness she didn’t bring in a “true” DM to confuse the players…

      • Guest

        Haha why would she? It has been working so well without for the past 5 years

  • sudeep das

    Man City Women win after a scrappy 2nd half on a 36 min Lloyd header.
    Wolfsburg showing how to unsettle Lyon – a lesson for the USWNT against the French next time maybe. This game much better than the Man City one though.

    • sudeep das

      Morgan hits post with a relatively weak shot – but great ball trapping from a very long ball. Lyon slowly getting into that one touch game.

      • guest

        So you’re saying we need a Renard to go over the top and place a flighted ball on Morgan’s foot to get her best. Le Sommer just muffed the best chance of the match though.

        • sudeep das

          Le Sommer – what a run. But this is the Le Sommer of SBC 2016 – this year’s ELS would have scored from there

      • Ethan

        I thought that was an unbelievably good touch, and all the commentators could talk about was how scuffed her shot was. I mean, it wasn’t a great shot, but I feel like the touch would have been highlighted if it was Marozsan, Abily, and co. That’s just me being a little unreasonable though.

        • sudeep das

          Actually it was a very unexpected touch from Morgan. She did it again along the left flank in the 2nd half but her subsequent centre was really bad. So it seems that she has improved her first touch – let’s hope the subsequent shot or pass will improve similarly.

          • Ethan

            Well, I actually didn’t think her right-footed shot was that bad. You see the best male and female players hit shots of similar quality or worse all the time. Definitely room for improvement there though. Her cross after that touch in the second half was definitely not the best.

        • kernel_thai

          While it certainly was a mishit I think Morgan has stopped trying to crush every shot and was going for more of a placement. Even if she’d hit it on the screws I still think she was going for a soft shot. For me this is a positive.

  • DNG

    Looks like Lyon has switched to a 4-3-3 with Morgan on the left wing, Hegerberg in the center and Le Sommer on the right. Not the shaped I would have picked.

  • sudeep das

    Abily scores with a great curving free kick earned by a Morgan foul. What was Schultz doing wandering away from her goal – assuming there will not be any direct attempt.

    • Alex

      Poor decision making at both ends has cost Wolfsburg… That shot from Popp when Harder was completely open was ridiculous.

      • sudeep das

        Marosjan – what a run and finish. 2-0 for Lyon

        • Ethan

          It was a nice exchange of passes as well. Great goal from start to finish.

        • guest

          Germany has so much talent. They need a better coach.

      • Ethan

        I have no idea what Popp was doing there. The only reason she would have for not playing the ball to Harder was if she was offside. I’m not 100% sure if she was on, but I think she was on.

    • kernel_thai

      Just my opinion but Morgan looks like she is having fun again…I see her staying in Lyon for another year.

      • guest

        €25/mo would put a jump in anyone’s step.

        • guest2

          Would €25 buy you a plat-du-jour in Lyon?

          • Steglitz49

            Alex can make her own crepes now.

      • Steglitz49
      • rkmid71

        Like I said awhile back, Morgan and France are like wine and cheese. Just wait til she learns from French. Then they will love her. No more interviews in English. Especially if Lyon wins Champions League with Morgan helping out a lot, which seems to be the case so far.

        • Nat

          Morgan has not learned Spanish with A Mexican American
          Husband, I doubt she’ll learn French any time soon..

          • rkmid71

            Maybe her husband doesn’t know any Spanish either! She has incentive.The language of the locker room. WC2019 in France. Maybe she can learn it with other foreigners on the team — assuming some of them are in the same boat.

  • Ethan

    Great passing between Marozsan, Morgan, and Hegerberg, and a great goal for Marozsan. The first Lyon goal was scored by Abily from a free kick (nicely won by Morgan) from a tight angle. Poor positioning from Schult.

    I didn’t watch most of the first half, but in this second half, I’ve seen Morgan play the most I’ve ever seen in her play in her own half.

    To Emma Hayes and the male commentator, letting the ball run out of play when you’re under pressure is good defensive play, not a frustrating aspect of football. Unless you think Buchanan went down way too easily. Maybe she did, but that was definitely a foul by Hansen.

    • DNG

      Morgan’s playing as a wide forward/flank. Has to track back to cover the overlap.

      • Ethan

        I know. Just commenting. She spent a small period of time central as well, and I think she was out on the right for a little bit a few minutes ago.

        • DNG

          Yeah, I would assume that the front three would try and move around a bit up front. Wish the US would do more overloading and overlapping but not really an option in their current formation and players.

      • Steglitz49

        Which she did excellent. Womanhandled Blässe with aplomb.

        • Ethan

          Agreed. I actually thought she maybe could have done better on the original pass, but she recovered well to win a goal kick for Lyon.

    • Steglitz49

      Alex Morgan acquitted herself with honor, not just a mention in dispatches. She hit the post and her passing and defending were top knotch.

      • Ethan

        If you’re talking about me evaluating Morgan with an edit, I just didn’t want to start another comment. People will probably feel I’m being over the top, but I was very impressed by Morgan’s second half performance (and her touch on that post shot).

        • Steglitz49

          The young lady did well.

      • guest

        Wait – so Alex Morgan hitting the post is honorable, but Christen Press hitting the post is choking? Trump can keep his stories straight better than you can.

        • Steglitz49

          Lyon won 2-0. Alex contributed to both goals.

      • rkmid71

        As KT says, Morgan is having fun again. When you have a team that passes, shares the ball, works together, everyone works hard on both defense and offense, are accountable to each other, learn from each other, help each other, have a coach you trust – now that’s fun. Players who don’t care who gets the credit. The sum becomes more than the individual parts. For the USWNT, I feel as if Morgan and the other forwards have been isolated — our midfield has been dysfunctional and now our defense compromised by the players selected for those positions. Every individual wants the glory on the USA team — and nobody wants to do the little things, the dirty work, the things that don’t get noticed but are vital. The reason the players do that is because they’ve learned that is what gets rewarded by the coaches, the me first players are the ones that get selected, the ones that get named captain, the ones that get more sponsor opportunities, the ones that get all the press. The players themselves try to dictate things through the CBA effectively limiting what the coach can do. It’s like cancer for a team. Changing a culture doesn’t happen over night. That starts from the top and getting the incentives right and then by types of players and character of the players you select.

        I suppose the USA can still win most of the time doing it the way they have, but not because they are any semblance of a real team. But they will never be great and they will always be vulnerable. That’s the difference between the Golden Generation and the Veterans.

        • Steglitz49

          Thank you.

          The Golden Generation lived a dream and are justly lauded and magnified.
          Had the ref been to the optician before the OG final, they would have won that too.

          It seems strange in retrospect that the Golden Generation which gave away several inches and pounds to other sides, had players as short as 5’1″ and 5’2″ in their lineup and averaged 25 years, were able to prevail. It speaks to how outstanding those players were.

          Lyon seems a special WoSo team. Not just because the Chairman believes in them and spends on them even though Lyon’s men’s are nowhere near as rich as Arsenal, Barcelona, Bayern Munich or PSG.

    • htm222

      I’ve always thought Morgan had a great work rate. That was, for me, what always separated her from Christen Press (who has worked on this part of her game)

      • anon

        I’ve always wanted to see a 3 front attack with Morgan, Press, and Dunn on L/M/R, respectively.

        • anon

          Morgan Press Dunn
          Heath Lavelle Mewis OHara
          Short Brunn Kriegs
          Naeher

          • ABCDE

            This is way to sensical to be an Ellis lineup.

          • DNG

            This 3-4-3 will have similar problems moving the ball forward to the lineups that started at SBC but any lineup will be better without Lloyd.

          • ABCDE

            what 3-4-3 would you use? genuinely curious.

          • DNG

            I wouldn’t use a 3-4-3 I’d use a 4-3-3 but if I had to I’d use that formation I’d use 2 wide attacking mids instead of 3 CFs in the front line.

            Something closer to:

            —————Press/Horan/Morgan—————
            ——-Heath/Rapinoe——-Pugh/Lavelle——–

            Dunn and O’hara at wingback and Ohai as a sub.

          • ABCDE

            I’m not sure I get it but maybe I am dumb. Who are your mids and backline?

          • DNG

            Hypothetical team:

            ——————Press—————–
            ———-Heath———-Pugh———
            O’hara——Mewis—-Brian——Dunn
            ——–Short—-Broon—Krieger——

            Obviously there’s some room for tinkering but something like this. It’ll play more like a 3-4-2-1

          • ABCDE

            Gotcha. I’d rather have Dunn closer to goal but this isn’t a bad lineup.

          • DNG

            There’s room for tinkering but do you get what I mean when I say one CF and 2 AMs? I’d still probably prefer a 4-3-3

          • another guest

            I think this is going to have scoring problems…

          • mockmook

            Maybe something like:

            ——————Jordan—————–
            ———-Lavelle———-Press———

          • another guest

            I’d rather have Lavelle develop as a central playmaker. And Jordan… well she is still a hypothetical, at best, in EllisWorld. Woman needs to come back to the Thorns and sync up with Sinc/Nadim. Based on the current roster I’d maybe try Pugh/Press/Dunn in front with Morgan as a sub.

          • anon

            I have to laugh because Jordan has such a great opportunity with the Thorns – aging Sinc who is not her NT competition, nor is Nadim. So she can potentially be the best offensive threat on the most high profile NWSL team. WHAT ARE YOU DOING SAVANNAH?

          • mockmook

            Well, she had already committed overseas before knowing that the Thorns would be the team that picked her — she could have ended up in Boston…

            (Sorry Bf)

          • htm222

            I’m going to be cynical and think that she figured she was going to one of the first draft pick teams and that’s why she bailed for Scotland.

          • mockmook

            I think we are saying the same thing.

          • htm222

            It’s unfortunate we can’t see her, against a side like Russia at least. So bored with Press/Morgan at this point.

          • Arcie Tillydee

            That was my impression, too. She “did a Dagny,” basically.

          • htm222

            She was savvy but it might cost her, is what I’m saying.

          • Arcie Tillydee

            Exactly, re: Lavelle. Rose has the potential to become the best attacking central mid in the game. Playing her elsewhere is a waste of time.

            And yeah…love to see Jordan here in Portland. We could use her.

          • #1Fan

            Choo choo.. hype train pulling out of the station 🙂 can i ask on what basis you make that statement?

          • DNG

            I like her but I’m not sure I see a Kim Little in Lavelle and she’s my gold standard. I think I’d try and find a place for her centrally though.

          • DNG

            I don’t hate it. Press is the one CF I’d consider playing in the 2

          • DNG

            Maybe but the CF loaded SBC front lines had scoring problems too. I think I said I would prefer the 433/4231 in any case

          • kernel_thai

            I might go for this

            —————-Morgan
            ———–Heath——-Press
            Ohai—–Mewis——Brian—–Dunn

          • DNG

            Your lineup is fine. I was just trying to convey how I think 2 of the front three should play. They need to be able to perform at least some duties of a midfielder. Who is there specifically doesn’t matter as much to me

          • CED

            Rapino is done, Ohara is done. Ohai has shown nothing and is severely overrated player in college and NWSL

          • DNG

            I don’t think O’hara is done but your probably right about Rapinoe. As a wing back all Ohai has to do is run up and down the flank defending and sending in crosses. I think she can do that. I do have some doubts as to her fit as a wing in a more progressive offense though.

          • CED

            Krieger and Ohara are LOL selections.. Not a chance.

          • guest

            ok stick Pugh in OHara’s spot. Or OHai.

          • CED

            Krieger is done…last hoorah of WNT, not in the future plans Wcup 2019.

          • guest

            I don’t think she’s in those plans either, but we are still looking at the same call ups camp after camp.

          • Bruce

            In a 4-back, no one has stepped up to knock her off the roster yet.

          • mockmook

            She’s kind of ideal for the 3 back — well, except for age concerns for 2019.

          • CED

            Yes, they have, that’s why she didn’t play the 2nd half of 2016 and very few minutes in the OG

          • guest

            And you trust the powers that be? How well did benching Kriegs for KO (and Heath in the SWE game LOL) work out for the USWNT?

          • DNG

            How was Krieger going to help the team score goals or defend the one goal they let past? O’hara started ahead of her because she’s better at making overlapping runs into space.

          • CED

            You can cry about Krieger all you want she was always a non modern OB. She was not way in the plans of WNT last year as they went to trying to push OB’s up. Something she’s not good at. She is not in the plans in 3 back either. She is being called u b/c of the CBA, not in the teams future plans for 19Wcup/20 OG

          • htm222

            Where are the modern OB’s? Please, name a name. I don’t necessarily think Krieger is the best option in 2019, but she was a critical component of the rock solid defense last cycle. KO was a costly mistake. And putting Heath at RB instead of Krieger was also a costly mistake.

            Also Kriegs put her team into the NWSL finals last year.

          • DNG

            In general I agree on Krieger but this was actually pretty nice from her even if Tobin did the work to create the space.

            https://youtu.be/7Vd-mEbsCU8?t=133

            If Krieger can do this more consistently and get better at overlapping she’s not a terrible backup assuming she still has it physically and no one has overtaken her. I’d still prefer Dunn and O’hara to be the OBs right now.

          • CED

            She does not fit in the system they played last year and doesn’t fit in a 3 back. What part of that don’t you understand? Ellis last year tried playing with OB’s that push up…like many top teams do. This is often useful in breaking down bunkers by creating width and overloads if the team know what they are doing. Now, she wants to flood the MF b/c the MF sucks. She think pure numbers will solve the problems and thus play a 3 back. Krieger does not fit in either system.

          • captainfate

            The issue wasn’t benching Kriegs for KO. The issue was subbing Pinoe for KO. KO is fit enough and fast enough to have played all 120 minutes while Pinoe wasn’t even fit enough for 20.

          • CED

            She didn’t play the 2nd half of 2016 and not much in 2016 period. She has been knocked off and is in no way in the plans in a 3 back.

          • mockmook

            I suppose if YOU keep repeating it, it must be true…

          • CED

            Sorry facts hurt and you’re in denial. They showed absolutely no interest in playing Krieger in 2016 She doesn’t have the skill set for what they wanted to do last year and doesn’t fir in the future in a 3 back.

        • DNG

          Ugh no thanks. We have better wings than Morgan. Heath, Pugh, and Ohai are all better options out there right now.

          • mockmook

            None of the Forwards in a 3-4-3 is typically considered to be a wing.

          • DNG

            Chelsea FC play the 2 in the 3-4-2-1/3-4-3 as attacking mids(Hazard, Pedro/Willian) comfortable inside and out. Tottenham did something similar in a few matches with Dele and Eriksen. Those are the teams I’d try and emulate with regards to the 3-4-3. If you play 3 CFs, the team tends to have a difficult time connecting through the center third.

          • guest123

            I don’t agree. In a 3-4-3 you want a front three who can at least hit the net and Heath doesn’t fall in that category. Pugh and Ohai are still debatable.

          • DNG

            I want players that can move the ball and open up spaces. That’s how good quality chances are created. It would not be my preferred formation though

  • sudeep das

    Had ELS scored now this would have been a Barcelona-esque goal by Lyon. What passing!!!!
    Lyon showing what to expect in 2019. How can the US defeat the French?

    • Steglitz49

      Lyon = Alex Morgan, Ada Hegerberg, DZ, Caroline Seger, Saki Kumagai, Kadeisha Buchanan, Bremer — that makes 7 non-French players.

      • sudeep das

        Out of those players Buchanan and Kumagai had an ordinary game. Lyon fields almost 7 French XI starters.
        Back to the match. What a game by DZ and Reinard. Great hustle by Hegerberg later on. Some great build up along the flanks by Lyon in the latter stages of the match. This is the type of passing game that Ellis is aiming for.

    • htm222

      Abily is getting old. Then again… so was Lloyd.

    • guest

      The way they always do. Muscles and wheels muscles and wheels. And confidence, which Jill has admittedly done a good job of crushing.

    • Ethan

      Nah, it would have been a “walk-it-in” Barcelona/Arsenal goal if Le Sommer had been able to play the ball across to Morgan for a tap-in. It looked like there was enough space for such a pass on the replay, but I’m not completely sure.

      If you’re not talking about that late chance, then disregard my comment.

      • sudeep das

        We are talking about the same movement. What a buildup along the right flank – maybe 15 plus touches. However to be fair Le Sommer was denied space by the onrushing goalie. Wish there is a replay somewhere.

        • Ethan

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2smioDX32gE

          3:23 in the video. There’s definitely enough space to play the ball across, and Schult didn’t really rush Le Sommer. I think Le Sommer took the shot because she wasn’t aware Morgan was so open.

          • sudeep das

            Thanks for the video link. It’s a shame they didn’t show the entire buildup right from Lyon’s back line.
            And yes there was enough time & space for Le Sommer to score with a waiting Morgan on her left. It’s funny how the mind assumes certain things when we watch it live. For some reason I always thought the goalie didn’t allow much space.

  • anon

    Carli Lloyd once again proving she is still the only viable aerial threat on the US side. Especially now that JJ is in the doghouse for some unknown reason.

    • guest

      Horan is an aerial threat as well.

    • Gary Diver

      Among others, here are 4 reasons why JJ is no longer the future:

      1. Her offensive talent was greatly overrated. How many goals has she scored in the past 16 months?

      2. She panics under pressure.

      3. She is not a good passer.

      4. She makes too many costly mistakes.

      • guest

        I completely disagree. The England game v. the disastrous France game showed what JJ does on defense that Long absolutely does not. I think she is a fine passer for a center back. Not the best but in a 3 back she needs to concentrate on defending the goal.

        • DNG

          What did it show exactly? That JJ is not anywhere close to Sauerbrunn in her prime and the AL at the back should not be tried again. JJ almost gifted England a goal off a poor clearance.

          • guest

            JJ played a very good game before the goal – which was the fault of a number of players including Press, Brian and Harris as well.

          • DNG

            JJ played okay not great. I don’t think she’s anywhere near Sauerbrunn right now let alone Sauerbrunn at her peak. She’s very replaceable in my opinion.

          • guest

            Sauerbrunn is 32 years old. She’s not getting any faster and she wasn’t fast to begin with. She’s going to struggle in a 3 back. I think ellis is making a big mistake in not trying to develop a player like Sonnett or Menges if she’s going with this formation. She clearly doesn’t care about defense at all, which has lost her 2 tournaments in a row.

          • DNG

            No arguments here but I don’t think JJ is close to where she needs to be not that others necessarily are there either.

        • CED

          JJ was always overrated. Her distribution is very poor and she is spastic under pressure

          • DNG

            I feel the same. Gets a lot of praise due to set piece scoring really.

      • Guest

        1) a similar number of goals as many of the offensive players. Especially considering their set piece takers have not been good.

        What costly mistake has she made besides the Germany WWC game??

        Her passing is fine. She boots to many long balls but she does connect well sometimes w the mids. Also, I prefer that mindset of wanting to move the ball forward to the mindless, endless passing back and forth that Sauerbrunn and Long and the other defenders do

        • Gary Diver

          In the Japanese WC15 final, she was fully responsible for one goal and then had an own goal. And she was very lucky she wasn’t red carded in the German SF, which could have changed the outcome.

          There has been a few other times I seen her make major mistake though I can’t off the top of my head recall the specific matches. Also, she has costly lost the ball a few times late in Chicago Red Star matches.

        • DNG

          She moves the ball very slow and is just not that skilled on it. The penalty to Germany was not her only mistake in the WC. She’s also the player who Ogimi spun like a top in her own box. At this point I think she’s a little too mistake prone, does not read the game that well, and is not fast to make recoveries from those mistakes

          • Guest

            So she made two mistakes in her first few starts on the biggest stage. You listed two mistakes…is that means for a player to be cut? Bc then every single defender could be. That would mean Buchanan should’ve been done after Rio 2016, Renard after the 2012 London US match, etc. 2 mistakes at age 22 does not justify mistake prone IMO

          • mockmook

            It’s not just the few obvious blunders, it is the numerous times when she is clearly panicked with the ball and just boots it away.

          • guest

            I also think that was the result of the American style of play. Just boot the dang ball to Alex/Abby/Carli or whoever your target of choice is.

          • mockmook

            But, she did seem more settled in the recent SBC — still needs some seasoning (or we need to look elsewhere).

          • DNG

            I certainly don’t think Buchanan is a world class player at the moment but she does have the athleticism that JJ lacks and is a bit more skilled on the ball in my opinion. I never said to cut JJ just that I don’t think she’s far ahead of any of the other defenders.

          • guest

            Who in the NWSL would you rank ahead of JJ? I really like Emily Menges but she didn’t even get to dress for any of her call up games so I guess Ellis doesn’t rate her. Dahlkemper seems like she was a brief experiment. Should be interesting to see if she uses Oyster. I like Sonnett as well so I’m not sure what is going on there.

          • DNG

            I don’t think any of the defenders are far and away better than the group. JJ is in that group of players you mentioned and are thinking of.

          • Arcie Tillydee

            Agreed…but I still think that from a purely defensive standpoint (in other words, Job One for a CB), JJ isn’t as good as several other choices (including the “Great Wall of Emily” from Portland).

          • htm222

            She’s not going to use Oyster in these games. It’s Russia. She will vindicate herself by playing Brunn Long and Short and winning by multiple goals.

          • sudeep das

            JJ’s back flip header has been a cause of concern as it is not a strong deflection. Besides own goal in WC2015 final the Dutch goal last year and England’s Parris chance in SBC2017 are some examples. All of these were set up by weak backward deflections when she is beat in the air.

    • CED

      LLoyd is slow, technically deficient, turnover machines, lazy and an albatross to USWNT

      • guest

        Perhaps but I find it hilarious how she is constantly disproving her haters. She still gets it done when she has to. I think she is a supersub forward on the NT at this point. I have no idea why Ellis still has her as the playmaking mid.

        • DNG

          Did she get it done against the best teams at SBC? I think she’s next to useless against the best in the world.

          • guest

            You could say that about a few of our players. I think there are some untested unknowns out there who would have done a better job.

          • DNG

            Other players were not in position to succeed. Lloyd pas put in a position created to support her and elevate her game and she did nothing.

          • guest

            I actually disagree in the sense that Ellis/Lloyd said she was going to be moving to a forward position, which sort of makes sense. Having her in the midfield is an obvious problem, but it’s formation based I guess. Nothing Ellis does or says makes sense.

          • DNG

            She’s been gifted the most sought-after​ role ever. She get to move at her own pace in the middle of the field looking for opportunities to poach goals. She doesn’t need to press, track back or pull defenses out of shape with dynamic runs. Her role is to score goals and she didn’t get any at SBC in no small part due to how difficult she makes it for the team to play. We need some world class 2 way CMs if we keep giving our opponents the numerical advantage there.

          • Guest

            Didn’t get it done vs SBC last year either

    • mockmook

      JJ getting married

      • anon

        she’s still in the doghouse though. She has been replaced by Allie Long. But maybe Jill has seen the light since SBC humiliation.

        • Arcie Tillydee

          Of maybe Ellis has noted how error-prone and slow JJ is…

  • Ethan

    I didn’t watch most of the Manchester City game, partly because I wasn’t that interested and because the stream kept stopping for me. However, I wanted to give some credit to Lloyd for a nicely taken header goal. Interesting that she/Manchester City went with such a high number on her jersey. Morgan got to keep her numbers, just a different order.

    • Bruce

      That was exactly the type of game that Lloyd can impact as a target and free runner in transition. I’m not a fan, but it’s hard not to respect her efficiency in doing that when the conditions present themselves.

      • Gary Diver

        Carli Lloyd and USWNT is the round peg and the square hole.

        • mockmook

          I’ve always seen her more as the peg hole in the round square…

      • #1Fan

        Efficiency is not the word I would use. she get in to good positions vs weak teams but I dont think the percentage is high. She missed a sitter earlier in the game.

        Good for her though.

        • Bruce

          Fair assessment.

        • DNG

          Her efficiency has been pretty good over the last couple of years. At the very least it’s markedly improved over her efficiency prior when she didn’t see a shot she didn’t think she could score on. I don’t think there’s a striker in WoSo who doesn’t miss their fair share of sitters. The bigger issue for me is that the NT team isn’t good enough for her to do very little positive in 90 minutes against the best in the world

          • rkmid71

            As Cruyff said “when you play a match, it is statistically proven that players actually have the ball 3 minutes on average … So, the most important thing is: what do you do during those 87 minutes when you do not have the ball. That is what determines whether you’re a good player or not.” What is Lloyd doing during those other 87 minutes? Even the 3 minutes she has the ball are turnovers more often than not.

            If the USWNT is stuck with Lloyd (JE choice) as you said they’d better shore up the midfield and defense as there will be a lot of low scoring games against any decent team or any team with a quality defense.

          • #1Fan

            I am more cynical than you. I think she takes fewer because her legs get her to less. i think she is actually doing well for her age / stage of career. Its just stunning that she is allowed to be a centerpiece of an Intl team at this stage. Allowed to talk about 2019 like she is a lock to be there. the USWNT is really unique

            Look at Rooney . Out @ 32

          • DNG

            I agree that her legs are giving her less chances and that’s a big problem. I was commenting that I though the improvement in shot selection(I really think this is more that her position affords her better quality chances) was also a factor. She is doing pretty good at 34 almost 35 and if she was still playing well, like Formiga for example, I wouldn’t mind having her around. Obviously I agree that she should not be the NT center piece now. I don’t even think she should make the squad because I doubt her ego would allow her to get past being a sub. She also just isn’t an ideal game changing sub for me.

          • Gary Diver

            Did you watch Euro-16? I was amazed to heard some commentators predicting Rooney was toast and probably won’t play in WC18. It does look like he is toast.

          • #1Fan

            no sentimentality. performance driven. WNT is a bubble. Insulted from competition. Just like MLS. Its a prevailing trait iin US soccer. the game is built around the owners and they dont want to compete. they all want a steady income.

          • HOFCToDi

            Who picks the roster? Who picks the lineup? Who picks the tactical formation?

          • HOFCToDi

            If the USA was a soccer power, Jill Ellis should have been fired two weeks ago. Sunil Gulati did not learn his lesson with Jurgen Klinsmann.

            The SBI Show: Episode 224

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

            https://soundcloud.com/sbipodcast/the-sbi-show-episode-224

          • Gary Diver

            “The bigger issue for me is that the NT team isn’t good enough for her to do very little positive in 90 minutes against the best in the world.

            Jill Ellis has only two options for 2019:

            1. Bench Carli Lloyd and develop the best team possible with available players that plays like a team with a common purpose.

            2. Keep Lloyd on the field and finagle everything else in an attempt to make Lloyd productive.

            Apparently you prefer option 2 while I prefer option 1. In 2019 Lloyd will be 36/37 years old.

            Has a 36/37-year old ever been the star of WC?

          • DNG

            What did I say that gave you the impression that I want to see Lloyd on the field for the NT? I said in a comment below that I think she should be cut.

          • Gary Diver

            I am sorry I misunderstood your intent. It is hard to talk about Lloyd without realizing what a millstone she will be for WC19.

          • #1Fan

            Lloyd is an issue, but not THE issue really. when you think about it, the system is just designed to have an old core of tenured players with a few lottery tickets on the periphery.

            Until the system changes, we are stuck with this method. By rights, very few of the current crop should feel secure basis recent performance.

          • Gary Diver

            I agree that the fundamental problem with USWNT is not Carli Lloyd, but an ineffective system of entitled star players who earn a form of tenure, who then can coast to their sunset. You are right that the current allocation system needs to be totally replace with a performance based system where nobody gets a free pass based on past performances.

          • #1Fan

            i have listened to people for 2 years telling me how 80 oct of the USWNT is world class. Some of the WERE that a while back, but I can think of any at this point and yet they all see to feel relatively secure.

            Is a player like Colaprico not involved becasue the USSF dont want to make a multi year commitment.? Who knows, but this hurts players with CURRENT form. The dont really get a look. They get a camp maybe or limited minutes ( ohai) but no chance to build continuity and confidence.

            Would Ohai be a better player vs Russia if she had been in the group consistently since her debut ? Or is she going to feel like she is back to Sq 1 trying to make an impression? I dont know the answer, but my coaching philosophy is to put players in the best role to succeed. I want to see them at theier best and then judge. I dont want to see them in unfamiliar territory right off the bat.

          • DNG

            Can you think of any world class US players over the last 5 years? Maybe Pinoe? I don’t know that the US will have any world class players in 2019 based on what I’ve seen unless there are some significant changes made. They could still win the next world cup without a player like that though.

            CBA salary structure needs to change so that players can freely move in and out of the team within the pool. I don’t see any reason why Heath, Press or even Brian and Dunn among others need to be at the matches against Russia. Why not take that opportunity to find out more about other players.

            Not sure on Ohai. Part of me thinks she’s not really in the mix yet and just there to get another curtesy look. I don’t really think her game is heavily reliant on knowing her teammates well but it certainly couldn’t hurt for her to be practicing with the team consistently. I don’t think she feels as if she’s back to square one though. Coloprico might feel that way.

          • #1Fan

            its more the environment. Some are securely IN and others are clearly on a different footing. Makes it hard to play well for sure.

            I think the CBA is responsible for effectively obliterating the Colaprico generation from the NT map almost. we seem to have skipped over a bunch of players for reasons other than talent and now we are focused on the 20 and under crowd . Maybe Im wrong.

          • DNG

            I think you’re right but I don’t think this is the first time that a group of veterans has prevented an age group from breaking into the team.

            On the world class bit. I think I am overly critical of a lot of US players. The US player by and large are all very good and I don’t think the gap between them and world class players that large. Also it’s not as if other foreign players don’t also have favorable world class ratings attached to their names based on their NT.

            While I certainly think Maro is in the conversation for the best CAM in the world, is she better than Little or Vero? I’m not so sure of that. Players who don’t play for the top NTs just don’t seem to get those world class ratings from anyone. I think Little and Fishlock are great examples of this as both would be stars if they played for England.

          • #1Fan

            to me, they ARE stars. But I agree. In the land of the blind, WoSo, NT soccer is the one eyed man.

            I prefer to say all of them are effective. Its hard for me to call a player very good who is a weak passer or has poor fundamentals. Being effective is a comment on the relative state of the game.

            As far as the generational block, sure, but I feel every year that goes by its more egregious that it happens. We have no excuse not to scout better and be more inclusive.

            When I look at Ellis, Its hard not to think she was brought in as a stopgap to mollify the older players and that the WC win has extended her tenure. Her tactics and some of her post game assessments? comments dont stand up to scrutiny at all

          • DNG

            If I wasn’t clear they are too me too. I just meant with respect to the WoSo international community.

            I feel similarly but we are at the mercy of the state of the sport right now. Worse soccer players can be more effective right now. Even if that dynamic shifts in 10 years players will still be judged relative to the period in which they played. Wasn’t think the thing that frustrated people about Tobin. Wasn’t always effective but clearly had the talent to be more effective than she was. No one cared that her fundamentals were better than many other players because it wasn’t necessary and to be fair she deserved some of the criticism for not always trying to play effectively.

            I’m not sure I agree that the generational block is getting any worse. I guess it naturally would as more girls became interested in playing for the WNT but I think it’s just become a lot more apparent how unfairly the system is treating some players relative to others.

            I agree on Ellis, She got luck the US had a great draw and that good players were able to figure it out.

          • #1Fan

            By worse , I mean harder to justify. as we go on , the $$ invested by parents in the game at grassroots is massive. Players coming up now are in general better than the older generations were.

          • Steglitz49

            “Can you think of any world class US players over the last 5 years?” — Yes: Alex Morgan, Carli lloyd, Hope Solo, Becky Sauerbrunn and Lauren Holiday.

          • Gary Diver

            Performance-Based versus Allocation System

            The current allocation system is wrong on so many levels. As you point out, it rewards players for past performance and ignores players’ current form, talent, and potential. It gives job security in a situation where there should be no job security. It attaches a false “star quality” to players based on a couple of performances. USSF then markets them as stars and cannot afford not to have them on the roster.

            And it greatly handicaps the development of young players who have to “wait their turn until needed”. This means that most young players never get a fair opportunity to show what they can do for USWNT. All players between 18 and 32 should be given an equally fair chance of making the USWNT roster and players past 32 need to outperform all younger player in order to make the roster.

            Sentimentality never wins tournaments.

          • Steglitz49

            How can you be fair? There is not enough time. You depend on the assessment by others and at some point it becomes arbitrary.

            You conveniently forget that the US is by area a vast country and has a large number of ladies playing soccer. Germany, which probably is the nearest in absolute number, though probably only a quarter as many, of WoSo players, is tiny by comparison.

            The reality is that as the general standard in WoSo has crept up, so the US no longer can dominate the wya it has done in the past and some would say that 2000-2014 was pretty small beer anyway.

          • Gary Diver

            “The US is by area a vast country and has a large number of ladies playing soccer.”

            That is an important fact. Why should most young talented players never get a fair look at the senior level?

            “For many are invited, but few are chosen.” [Matthew 22:14] The USWNT system is “few are invited and rarely is anybody chosen based on current form and talent”. The tenure allocation system based on current CBA needs to be replaced by a system that allows dozens of talents young players a fair chance of being judged not on their reputations but on their performances on the field.

          • HOFCToDi

            “Why should most young talented players never get a fair look at the senior level?”

            Jill Ellis has been too busy for the last twelve months with her head shoved up the arse of Allie Long to see the light of day.

          • HOFCToDi

            Parents are literally flushing money down the toilet to charlatans posing as youth soccer coaches.

            The High Cost of American Coaching

            topdrawersoccer.com/the91stminute/2016/07/the-high-cost-of-american-coaching/

            The Great American Scouting Crisis

            topdrawersoccer.com/the91stminute/2015/08/the-great-american-scouting-crisis/

          • Steglitz49

            In 2007 the USWNT was made a laughing-stock of. Solution: enter Pia! She read them the riot act, they knuckled under and times were good again — but for those pesky Nadeshiko.

            That is the yardstick, is it not? 2010-15: the years of the Golden Generation — and the Veterans. Today, who is top dog? Canada, Sweden or Germany?

          • rkmid71

            Germany, Sweden or France. France seems focused. I suspect they are willing to be patient and concentrate on what it will take to be top dog in 2019. As you say, Euro 2017 will settle the issue soon for this year if one of those three mentioned can pull it off. Otherwise, it will be a jumble. US is still ranked #1, but barely. And the last two events make them a wimpering former top dog..They need to right the ship soon — but they’re pissing away the time.

          • HOFCToDi

            Jill Ellis + Allie Long + 3-5-2 tactical formation equals a team not worthy of a Top 10 FIFA Ranking.

            2016 SheBelieves Cup
            Record: 3W – 0L – 0T
            Tactical Formation: 4-2-3-1
            Goals Scored: 4
            Goals Allowed: 1

            2017 SheBelieves Cup
            Record: 1W – 2L – 0T
            Tactical Formation: 3-4-1-2
            Goals Scored: 1
            Goals Allowed: 4

          • Steglitz49

            I thought that the whole point is that the US are now ranked #2 — and, maybe ought to be like #5?

          • rkmid71

            I stand corrected. USA #2. Just another body blow.

          • HOFCToDi

            The player allocation system is the root of all evil. Absolute power corrupts absolutely:

            Avarice
            Entitlement
            Exclusivity

            I did not see any issues with Bruce Arena calling up whoever he wanted for “camp cupcake”.

            #PaytoPlay

          • Steglitz49

            Based on yesterday both Carli and Alex are in the USWNT.

            Whom of the rest deserve a chance is an interesting question but the jobs-for-life CBA must be torn up.

          • rkmid71

            Based on yesterday? What about the 2016 Olympics? What about the SBC? What about NWSL performance the last two years? Michael Jordan came out of retirement at age 38. He could still go off and score 40 pts in one game when he was old. Jordan eventually accepted a sixth-man role on the bench in order for his knee to survive the rigors of the season. The team had a losing record both years and didn’t make the playoffs. And Carli and Alex are no Michael Jordan.

          • Steglitz49

            You have to remember that in the sporting universe outside the US, Michael Jordan does not hold a candle to the real stars. The passing of Johan Cruyff would have told you as much or the illness of Pelé.

            There are in most if not all sports the equivalents, like Gren at 38 and Liedholm at 36 turning out for the world cup while Nordahl at 37 considered his best days were behind him. We will never know what the Grenoli could have done in 1950 and 1954 because the Swedish FA did not allow professionals to play in the NT but in 1948 they won the Olympic gold and their names live forever for Milan as the Professor, Baron and gunner..

          • rkmid71

            Does not hold a candle? Michael Jordan’s net worth in 2016 was estimated at $1.14 billion by Forbes. Basketball’s international popularity has steadily grown. There are many int’l players in the NBA today. Off the top of my head top players from China, Germany, France, Spain, Nigeria, etc. etc. I agree though that soccer will remain the most popular sport with fans globally for the forseeable future. I think Messi’s net worth is around $350 million.

          • Steglitz49

            I do not dispute that American basket players earn a lot, likewise grid-iron players. if you say: “he was the greatest” — then everyone in the world knows who you refer to — that other American.

          • rkmid71

            Rumble in the Jungle?

          • Steglitz49

            If you insist. 1964 or 1965? The iconic photo is from ’64 but in some ways the ’65 match is better remembered.

          • HOFCToDi

            Blame the USWNTPA for failure to change.

            #PaytoPlay

    • sudeep das

      Actually it was a good powerful header from a distance giving the goalie no chance to react. When she receives good service she is still very effective.

  • Bruce

    Thorn Invitational starts on Sunday and it has been reported in WoSo media since January that games will be streamed online. No official word from the club since then. Very NWSL-ly.

    • ay

      What are you talking about. The thorns confirmed on Twitter, that they would stream the Thorns games

      • Bruce

        Would love to be wrong, but there are no tweets showing that info.

        The only mention of streaming from an “official” source is this from USSF.

        “The USA’s match against the Thorns will be streamed online at http://www.thornsfc.com. The other two matches will be not available to watch online.”

        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

        • Bruce

          Devils advocate: No official word in writing from the Thorns since the Lifetime deal was announced makes me wonder if teams even have the right to stream preseason games.

          The NWSL has gone silent on streaming and informed local talent that their services are no longer needed. Why should we expect the preseason to be any different?

        • kernel_thai

          Interestingly, Coach Jill has decided to call in the troops March 30 which is going to put a dent in the fun in Portland. t makes perfect sense that shed need the extra days outside the window to prepare for Russia.

          • Bruce

            Of course. Of course.

  • HOFCToDi

    The crew of the HMS Titanic:

    Gulati, Sunil
    Flynn, Dan
    Heinrichs, April
    Ellis, Jill

    Too clueless to realize the ship has already hit the iceberg and is currently sinking.

    • Gary Diver

      You could add Michelle French and B. J. Snow.

      • HOFCToDi

        I don’t give a damn about a couple of swabbies.

      • kernel_thai

        I see snow is coaching the U23 in their upcoming matches. When it rains it pours.

        • #1Fan

          he is great.

  • guest

    what has megan rapinoe done in the last year for club or country to deserve a callup?

    • htm222

      She is still under contract. Along with ARod, etc. The curious non-call up is Leroux

  • guest

    What is going on with Leroux? She’s still not ready to bulldoze a tomato can?

    • Bruce

      Admittedly not fit enough yet, according to an interview last week.

  • guest

    good thing jill ellis allocated emily sonnett in college so she wouldn’t switch to cananda’s team.

    • rkmid71

      Didn’t know about this. If true, I would think it would serve as a warning flag for other players with options like that. Especially as long as this regime is in charge and it’s not a true meritocracy and more like a club than a true national team.

      • mockmook

        Yeah, but you always think that you will end up as one of the chosen ones…

  • guest

    after the rio olympic disaster and the us sbc disaster, i hope and expect jill ellis to make a significant amount of changes to the 2017 uswnt allocation list. enough with the 15 year continuous callups for almost every player. there should be at least around a 25% change in the uswnt player allocation list every year based on prior year performance. especially after the last year.

    • guest

      and give a chance to some new deserving players for a year. the uswnt shouldn’t be a life time appointment. the spots should be earned every year.

    • Frozen Blue

      While I love watching the women’s national team play I would have rather had the players go back to their club teams for a while after that horrible SBC and then call players back in based on their current form in a few months for some matches.

  • Gary Diver

    Wayne Rooney Analogy (for Carli Lloyd)

    During Euro16, English coach Roy Hodgson jiggled his lineup so he could keep Wayne Rooney (then age 30) on the field. Commentators claimed that Rooney (at 30) was past his best days and England suffered in an attempt to make him productive. The powers at be in England critically looked at reality and both Hodgson and Rooney are history.

    Jill Ellis is attempting to do for Lloyd what Hodgson attempted to do for Rooney. If a 30-year Rooney was a millstone for England, can anybody not reasonably expect a 36/37 Carli Lloyd to be a millstone for USWNT at WC19?

    • Steglitz49

      Carli scored for Man City yesterday.

      • Gary Diver

        This is the problem with the “star system”. Once a player is elevated to be a star (or in the case of AM, a superstar), everything is viewed in that context. So every goal that Lloyd now scores, independent of the circumstances of the goal, confirms she is the future. No, she is the past.

        Getting back to the Wayne Rooney Analogy. Carli Lloyd is not the future and what she did several years ago is not going to allow her to outrun Father Time and become the star of WC19. The future is not a 36/37-old self-centered player who sees herself as currently the greatest women’s soccer player.

        • rkmid71

          The only example I can think of where a superstar had the humility and lack of self centeredness to acknowledge they are not the future yet were willing to play a different, supportive, leadership role for the benefit of the team and to help the young players who were the starters, is Tim Duncan (and probably Tony Parker and Ginobli as well) with the San Antonio Spurs. The 49ers traded Montana (to make way for Steve Young). Packers traded Favre (to make way for Aaron Rodgers), etc. Both Montana and Favre, among the all time greats, still had something left in the tank, but not much. You can’t wait until it’s too late. For a United States National Team to operate this way is beyond comprehension.

          • Steglitz49

            Tim Duncan was/is a special player.

        • Steglitz49

          Wayne Rooney is an irrelevant analogy. England’s men have achieved nothing comparable to the USWNT with Carli and Alex.

          The US won OG-08 by a goal from Carli, they reached the WC-11 final, which in a way became Alex Morgan’s coming out party, Carli socred 2 goals in the OG-12 final, she acquited herself not without honors in the WC-15 final and yesterady both Alex and Carli showed that there was life in them yet.

          What has England’s men done of note in the last 10 years?

        • #1Fan

          You are correct. A Lloyd or Morgan goal simply re-inforces the rhetoric, no matter who its against or how it occurs. The same way a Press miss does .The lackluster efforts of the SBC can be wiped away by Lloyd with a header when unmarked. No one has the temerity to mention the sitter she missed earlier when all she had to do was miss the keeper and she failed.
          Lloyd has shown herself to be above the team, the same way Solo was until she wasn’t

          Both Morgan and Lloyd gilding teams that really could do just as well with or without them is not particularly informative.

          • Steglitz49

            Garbage. Utter hogwash. If you watched the Shewolves-Lyon match, you would praise Alex not be snide about her.

          • HOFCToDi

            Summer Olympic Games
            Games Started
            Leroux (DOB 07 May 1990) – 0
            Press (DOB 29 Dec 1988) – 1

            Summer Olympic Games
            Minutes Played
            Leroux (DOB 07 May 1990) – 77
            Press (DOB 29 Dec 1988) – 123

            Summer Olympic Games
            Goals Scored
            Leroux (DOB 07 May 1990) – 1
            Press (DOB 29 Dec 1988) – 0

            Christen Press is the quintessential international FRAUD.

            4 years (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
            78 caps
            2 head coaches

            Christen Press has cemented her legacy with the USWNT:

            garbage time
            prima donna
            selfish shot hog
            tomato cans

          • Steglitz49

            He has blocked you long ago.

          • Steglitz49

            Your last sentence is snide. You could do better.

  • Gary Diver

    “As Cruyff said “when you play a match, it is statistically proven that players actually have the ball 3 minutes on average … So, the most important thing is: what do you do during those 87 minutes when you do not have the ball. That is what determines whether you’re a good player or not.'” (quoted from rkmid71)

    So each player typically has the ball less than 5% of the time in a match. What is the significance for USWNT of this interesting observation?

    • #1Fan

      Off the ball play is more important that what you do with it. Both Morgan and Lloyd are not great off the ball. Lloyd is old , slow and immobile. Morgan has become rather predictable in her runs and has a tendency to always go to her left foot.

      You could make a strong case that the USWNT play without the ball is the biggest weakness they have. not formations, not speed etc. Movement. Showing for he ball, overlapping runs, combinations. When a player has the ball, how many different options do they have.

      US team tends to leave players isolated in possession by bombing into space looking for it long.

      • HOFCToDi

        USWNT Career
        FIFA Top 10 Ranked Opponents
        USWNT Goals Scored
        Morgan (DOB 02 Jul 1989) – 34
        Leroux (DOB 07 May 1990) – 8
        Press (DOB 29 Dec 1988) – 3

        Christen Press is the quintessential international FRAUD.

        4 years (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
        78 caps
        2 head coaches

        Christen Press has cemented her legacy with the USWNT:

        garbage time
        prima donna
        selfish shot hog
        tomato cans

      • HOFCToDi

        Tournament performances worthy of de-allocation:

        Christen Press
        2016 Summer Olympic Games
        Goals 0, Assists 0, Shots Attempted 6, Shots on Goal 1
        Penalty Kicks Attempted 1, Penalty Kicks Converted 0

        Christen Press
        2016 SheBelieves Cup
        Goals 0, Assists 0

        Christen Press
        2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying
        Knockout Stage
        Goals – 0, Assists – 0

        Christen Press
        2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup
        Goals 1, Assists 0, Shots Attempted 7, Shots on Goal 2
        Penalty Kicks Attempted 0, Penalty Kicks Converted 0

        Christen Press is the quintessential international FRAUD.

        4 years (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
        78 caps
        2 head coaches

        Christen Press has cemented her legacy with the USWNT:

        garbage time
        prima donna
        selfish shot hog
        tomato cans

      • HOFCToDi

        Calendar Year 2016
        FIFA Top 12 Ranked Opponents
        USWNT Goals Scored
        Morgan (DOB 02 Jul 1989) – 6
        Lloyd (DOB 16 Jul 1982) – 2
        Horan (DOB 26 May 1994) – 2
        Long (DOB 13 Aug 1987) – 1
        Heath (DOB 29 May 1988) – 1
        Johnston (DOB 06 Apr 1992) – 1
        Dunn (DOB 03 Jul 1992) – 1
        Mewis (DOB 09 Oct 1992) – 1

        By the way, Christen Press is not on the list.

        ussoccer.com/womens-national-team/lineups/2016-lineups

        http://media.moddb.com/images/groups/1/3/2933/ROFLMAO.png

      • HOFCToDi

        USWNT 2013-2016
        FIFA Top 12 Ranked Opponents
        USWNT Goals Scored
        Morgan – 16 (too many to list)
        Lloyd – 11 (too many to list)
        Leroux – 7 (CAN, BRA x 2, CAN, JPN, CAN, FRA)
        Wambach – 5 (GER, AUS, BRA, PRK x 2)
        Rapinoe – 4 (GER, BRA, AUS x 2)
        Press – 3 (AUS, FRA, AUS)
        Holiday – 2 (AUS, JPN)
        Heath – 2 (JPN, CAN)
        Johnston – 2 (FRA, JPN)
        Dunn – 2 (BRA, ENG)
        Horan – 2 (CAN, JPN)

        Christen Press has yet to even catch up to Abby Wambach!

        http://media.moddb.com/images/groups/1/3/2933/ROFLMAO.png

      • DNG

        “When a player has the ball, how many different options do they have.”

        Usually not many which is why it frustrates me when we blame wings or an isolated CM for not being able to move the ball effectively when there is a black hole in the center of the pitch. It’s why I really don’t like playing 3 CF that only know how to go long effectively and when they do show short don’t know what to do. Lots of people want the team to be dominant and to score more goals without first thinking about how the ball gets to the areas to score goals. I was a bit surprised that the US were able to win the WC primarily by working the ball up the wings. It’s a lot easier for teams to press you there since the sideline comes into play.

      • DNG

        I will say that Morgan is at least better off the ball than Lloyd is. It is my hope though that she learns to make runs to create space as well as making runs to get a shot. She does at least pull CBs around a bit when she makes runs in behind and at the very least can force them back to make space for a trailer.

        • #1Fan

          i know AM was told to model her movement on ELS. I think main reason she wen to that team .

          • DNG

            Makes sense to me. ELS is at the top of the sport when it comes to creative and effective movement up front. Since Morgan had the opportunity to train and play with her it makes sense she took it. I saw some good things from her in the half I watched yesterday. Still has a ways to go though.