Horan joins Brian on sidelines for USWNT camp

The Equalizer Staff March 29, 2017 198
Lindsey Horan has a hip strain and will not go to camp with the US or play against Russia (photo copyright EriMac Photo for The Equalizer)

Lindsey Horan has a hip strain and will not go to camp with the US or play against Russia (photo copyright EriMac Photo for The Equalizer)

Lindsey Horan is the latest player to be ruled out of United States camp through injury. The Portland Thorns midfielder has a hip strain and will remain in the Rose City to rehab. Horan joins Morgan Brian on the sidelines for the camp. Brian was pulled earlier this week due to an MCL tweak suffered during the SheBelieves Cup. Julie Johnston is also missing camp to get married and become Julie Ertz.

Jaelin Howell, 17, has been called to camp as a replacement for Horan and Brian. Jill Ellis did not announce a replacement at the time Brian was taken out of consideration. Howell, who plays club soccer with Mallory Pugh in Colorado, started for the U-23s against the Houston Dash on Sunday. She will be available Wednesday night against the Thorns before leaving to join the senior side. The central midfielder will be in her first camp with the full national team.

The camp will lead up to friendly matches against Russia on April 6 in Frisco and April 9 in Houston.

The original camp roster can be found here.

  • kernel_thai

    Give BJ Snow credit…he certainly knows how to make himself look like a genius. Howell now makes three players on his U17 WC team who r apparently good enough to be called in to the full NT. Considering he couldn’t get that team out of group Id be laying low instead of making himself look worse. Maybe he is angling for another promotion. : )

    • guest

      I think maybe 4 has Ivory been to a full NT camp? Ivory Sanchez, Pinto Howell? With talent like this and several others playing up several years in the YNT system all from the u17 WC team that objectively failed to get out of their group and subjectively didn’t deserve to do so it must then be the coach that failed since he obviously was dealt a plethora of talent…

      • #1Fan

        Thats why his tile is Talent Evaluator 🙂

        • mockmook

          Talent Elevator ?????

          • Steglitz49

            Like Negociant & Elévateur in Burgundy?

  • kernel_thai

    Food for thought. Pinto was good enough to hold down a roster spot at SBC. Now with two CMs out injured and a much weaker opponent on the table, what does it say that Pinto isn’t brought in to actually see some time?

    • #1Fan

      i dont know, but it does seem that we are now using the FULL NT as a barometer for KIDS we have seen consistently over the last 3 years. Its an interesting approach. If these kids were prime time ready( or thought to be close) why were they NOT the U-20 WC team? we could have added other to the U-17 mix. Esp given the red shirt issues. The whole thing just smacks of knee jerk. Whomever played well last is it .

      • kernel_thai

        Which is not an approach I like. I don’t believe that u develop players at the NT level…that’s what the league and college r for. If Ellis wants to develop young players she should get a different job.

        • #1Fan

          I agree totally. Its bizarre. I would love to read the post game reports on Howell after the U17 WC. If they were positive, then BJ needs a new job as well

          writing fiction

      • LM

        Maybe it is a way to promote the upcoming GDA. Look at all these play up/call ups! They were developed in the GDA! A self-fulfilling prophecy.

        • #1Fan

          The only reason you promote a so called Academy is becasue it isnt one. A real Academy selects players, its does not simply open its doors to those that can pay and take the best players that can pay the bill.

          i wrote this elsewhere, bubt if you gave EVERY NWSL club the right to PAY for the GDA expenses of the players it deemed to have pro potential and allowed them to sign them to a contract first. I reckon there would be less than 100 players signed. We are going to have 70 or so GDA clubs right out of the gate thats 5600 players assuming 20 players by 4 teams .

          My point is IF a club had to take the financial risk – 8 k per year for up to 4 years on a player, they would ONLY do it on real talent. Instead the GDA is , once again, based on parent funding of dreams. Its fantasy camp for kids.fo a huge swathe of the GDA.

          Its sad.

    • john

      “It’s all about performance in the camps,” says JE. Ergo, Pinto failed to impress during her Senior camp experience.

      • #1Fan

        lets say this is correct ( and I not sure it is) then does that just eliminate the performances in the pre call up camp performances that JE alluded to in the first place?

        I just cannot get over this knee jerk approach to development. It makes us look stupid.

      • Bruce

        So why was she called to two of them?

  • Bruce

    I wonder if you could fit pictures of Colaprico, DiBernardo and Killion on a single milk carton.

    • kernel_thai

      That’s a classic

    • Steglitz49

      They always had and still have the option to play in a different league. Savannah Jordan saw the light.

    • Anton

      I would add Tori Huster (WashingtonSpirit) to this list. Experience playing the 3-5-2. Has played multiple pro positions which shows she is a TEAM player. And has been there since the beginning. Multiple sources including equalizer soccer have endorsed her. She is the sole reason the Spirit made it to the Finals last season. Fast, quick, great with both feet, great in the air, can cover/will cover for others and smart! My vote is for this GINGER!

  • tonysocref

    When will the insanity end?

    • #1Fan

      its a great question. Posted this elsewhere

      When was the last time you saw this many underage kids advanced so far so fast ? I have seen this group play a lot. In ECNL play and international comps. Im stunned by recent developments. Think about it. we failed to exit the group stage with 3 FULL NT players on the roster and several kids considered U-23 ready. Let that sink in. We lost to Ghana. Let that sink in.
      The tell me again how on earth heads have not rolled? Its actually amazing. It really is.

      • tonysocref

        Agree with you on this.
        For me, this is just another slap in the face by USSF. JE and crew don’t give a dam about the play in the NWSL. They’re trying to make it look like the youth system is working when we know it’s not.
        This might work on the causal fan, sure don’t work for those of us that truly follow the sport and teams. 3 failures in the same year and what happens, 2 of the coaches basically get promotions.
        As I have said before, it’s time to fire almost everybody involved with the girls/woman’s program. Starting with Hendricks and Ellis.

        • #1Fan

          here is my theory. They are “interviewing” for new coaches, BUt at some point they are going to say…BJ has done a great job under the interim tag with the U-23s and find a way to put him in charge of teh U-20s or the U-23s .

          All the gems he has polished up for the USSF will be cited as evidence of his brilliance

          I hope I am wrong.

          • tonysocref

            I sure hope your wrong.
            Only 2 players stood out to me on Sunday. McCaskill and Murphy. The rest of the team was meh and what USSF posted about the match stats was pure and simple BS.
            The only reasons Houston didn’t score more was their finishing and the fact that Murphy made some excellent saves.
            Tonight’s match against the Thorns is going to be interesting one to watch. I’ll be there but it is also being streamed on YouTube at 10:30pm ET. (7:30pm local)

          • #1Fan

            i have said on EQ before that when my kids played vs Murphy she was excellent. The best youth GK i have ever seen by a distance.

            She was a bit volatile at teh WC and needs to work on consistency, distribution and positioning, but she has a real chance to be the NT keeper for a long time in my opinion.

          • kernel_thai

            When this group of coaches was originally hired a lot was made of the fact that they all seemed to have come from the same slender branch of the coaching tree. At the time it was explained that the program wanted to have coaches who shared similar approaches to the game. Now a few years later u have that. The flaw in the plan is that bad coaching philosophy is now in the program at every level. If they had just randomly hired coaches based on ability u would see varying levels of success in the different programs.

        • LM

          Nepotism rules in US Soccer.

      • guest

        can you share where this was posted?

    • rkmid71

      “Insanity is knowing that what you’re doing is completely idiotic, but still, somehow, you just can’t stop it.”

      • guest

        “Insanity is knowing that what you’re doing is completely idiotic …”

        I see no evidence that Ellis knows

        • rkmid71

          The Dunning–Kruger effect? If you’re incompetent, you can’t know you’re incompetent.

          Other philosophers and scientists have made similar observations. Confucius: “Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance”. Bertrand Russell: “One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision”. Charles Darwin: “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge”. Shakespeare expressed a similar observation: “The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.”

          • Silver Frost

            Interesting relevancy of these quotes to our own times and its orange leader.

          • Ron Rocha

            …and if you want to protect or advance your position then do everything as wild and complicated as possible because if you make it sensible and easy then anyone can do it and you might not be needed.

          • rkmid71

            So true. Try to appear to make yourself indispensable — which no one really is. “Common sense is the least common of all the senses. It is in spite of, not as the result of education. Enough of it is genius.”

          • HOFCToDi

            It’s called the Peter Principle. The U-20 USWNT debacle at the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup was under the stewardship of Jill Ellis.

            http://www.fifa.com/u20womensworldcup/matches/round=253549/match=300125165/index.html#lineups#nosticky

      • HOFCToDi

        The USSF Board of Directors is oblivious to conditions on the ground.

    • HOFCToDi

      2017 SheBelieves Cup
      USA 0 FRA 3

      The USWNT has experienced the modern day version of Stalingrad.

  • Gary Diver

    Why Jaelin Howell? What has she ever done to deserve this?

    Why was Brianna Pinto not allowed to play one minutes at SBC?

    Very little that Jill Ellis and her cabal do ever makes sense. I will scream if we have to wait until the USWNT Titanic hits the iceberg during WC19 before somebody with authority makes some serious changes. When is the last time Ellis has made a decision that was intelligent and showed she was on top of things?

    • #1Fan

      I have said my bit (zzzzzzz as usual) I guess camp and 72 mins vs Dash was enough to wipe away a TERRIBLE U-17 WC .

      • Gary Diver

        You have been a voice of sanity on this issue.

        I was super critical of Ellis during OG16, but honestly I cannot think of a single decision Ellis has made since WC15 that makes any sense. There is no method to her madness and the people she surrounds herself with (Heinrichs, French, Snow) also seem clueless. I don’t know if I can stand this farce until WC19.

        • Silver Frost

          Ellis is getting ready for quals and WC, where WNT will face bunker after bunker. I guess she believes it’s better to refine the 352 now than try it on for size two years from now. However, the really good teams will not bunker. Will we be able to go on the attack like we used to?

          • DNG

            The 3-5-2 is not some magical shape that is going to unlock a bunker. Selecting the right players and putting them in optimal position to succeed will achieve that with most shapes.

          • Steglitz49

            Bunker is a derogatory term. There is an ocean between a weak team playing with their 10 players behind the ball and a good team playing with a highly organized and structured defense whilst relying on counterattacks.

        • guest

          if the uswnt don’t make it to the 2019 world cup semi-finals at least, will jill ellis get fired? or is does jill ellis definitely get another olympic chance in 2020?

    • AlexH

      Well if somebody would commit a random act of journalism and, you know, ask JE this question we might have answers.
      I personally would like to know if JE’s raiding of the cradle means she thinks that established NWSL vets aren’t good enough to play for the WNT? If so has she told these players? She might not give a straight answer but somebody should ask her the questions.

      • kernel_thai

        Well she does do those 60 Minutes type interviews where USSoccer.com grills her…sarcasm intended.

    • guest

      May be Ellis hoping for another Pugh to emerge, they should be calling young players with a realistic chance making it to the roster like Heath and Cheney during the Beijing Olympics and Morgan and O’hara during the WC.

  • AlexH

    So Morgan Brian’s injury is still a ‘tweak.” I think the reason nobody is being more specific is that the more information that gets out there the more people know what an absolute idiot JE is.
    Consider- Had JE described Rapinoes injury as a tweak her inclusion in the OG an her play at the round of 16 would not have appeared so monumentally stupid. After all who wouldn’t put MR on their team if she only has a “tweak?”

  • Gary Diver

    Reminder: U23-Portland match tonight is being live streamed by Portland. We will all get a chance to see if the Emperor has new clothes or is wearing no clothes.

    It’s been said that McCaskill and Murphy were the only two bright spots for U23 against Houston. It is weird that Ellis has made no serious attempt to find a long-term replacement for Hope Solo. Portland should be a good test for Murphy.

    • Bruce

      I’m not sure if USWNT needs a long term replacement for Solo. Why not just play the goalie that is in best form?

  • Gary Diver

    Jill Ellis’ Effect on American WoSo Morale

    Ellis’ anointing of Brianna Pinto and Jaelin Howell must have a catastrophic effect on the morale of US women players from NWSL down to high school. Message: Merit and field performance count for nothing, and what does counts is who you know, “so-called” camp performances, and whether you are good hype material.

    Nothing good is coming out of Ellis’ random roster insanity.

    • Calci0

      So she gets no credit for bringing in Williams, Ohai, McDonald, Long, Mewis, Oyster, and Short all of whom can look to their NWSL performance for helping get them invited to camp. I’m all for constructive criticism, but you can’t just ignore it when Ellis has brought in players that earned their way.

      • DNG

        Sure we can. Just because she brought in some NWSL players does not make this any less of an absurd decision. There is plenty more criticism to levy Ellis’ way with regards to tactics and team choice as well.

        • Calci0

          Not disputing her tactics and team choices, are open to discussion. But the comment seemed to act as if she had never or continually ignores NWSL performance, which is why I listed the players I did.

      • #1Fan

        i have fundamental problem with a system that relies on Camp to assess form. What did Ohai do to get selected and then not selected and now selected again ? I guess that is what I would love to understand. McD did not get a kick @ SBC.

        • Calci0

          True roster selection, and playing time isn’t as transparent as we would like as fans. It does seem like alot of choices are held in close confidence. I remember reading Tony DiCicco’s remarks on the U20 team of 08 (could have been 2010). It’d be nice to see something similar for the senior team. Hopefully though the players are at least receiving feedback.

      • kernel_thai

        She gets no credit for using NT spots as a tool to make it appear development is working. After watching them play against Portland, did u see anything from Pinto or Howell that made u ask why they aren’t on the NT?

        • mockmook

          Someone did something right in order to beat Portland — the negativity regarding this game is unbelievable.

          • DNG

            It was a preseason game where Portland was testing their ability to beat a press. In matches last year, they would just play long when they couldn’t beat it. And in spite of the final score line I don’t think the U-23s had the better of the play. If that means I am being overly negative fine.

          • kernel_thai

            I never expected the 23s to have the better of play against a quality club, especially without any pro players being called. What I was looking for in this tournament was the type of individual brilliance u see in all-star settings. I didn’t see that. McCaskell had the most game but she didn’t make me forget any of the forwards the NT already has. What this is about is Ellis running the NT like a fantasy camp where u get to go and play with players u idolize in the hopes that someday u’ll be good enough to deserve to be there.

          • DNG

            I completely agree with you

          • Silver Frost

            Smith and Xiao did what they were trained to do, which is to capitalize on the opponents mistakes. I think these U-23s did that better than most NWSL teams would have. They are giving the older pros a run for their money this tournament.

          • #1Fan

            i think you have to look at more than the result. Something that I dont think we do a good job of in the US in developmental games.

          • #1Fan

            i have to disagree a bit. I am looking for a performance from the U-23s. A sign that they are progressing towards their stated goals of a passing, possession based game. I dont see that at all.

            The result is fine, I dont believe that POR is playing that game with winning it being the main goal.

            The negativity revolves around the failure to show any signs of executing on a plan that THEY told us they are implementing so I totally understand it.

            Specifically looking at out double pivot combo of Pinto and Howell from a defensive standpoint, they did some good things, but I dd not see players on the verge of Full NT standards ( unless those standards are lower than I assumed)

          • kernel_thai

            I agree considering the 23s r just a cobbled together team for this tournament so it’s hard to really say much about team play or tactics. Most people seem to be critical of individual play tho and I think that’s fair game.

    • LM

      Between these U17 call ups and the entitled/protected players, USWNT is overlooking years of players in college soccer and NWSL. We will see more young players retire, opt out of draft completely and go directly overseas. I wish these young women all the best as they pursue their passion. The disrespect from US Soccer is not personal and not a measure of your worth as players.

  • Ethan

    OT: Wasn’t able to watch the great majority of the OL-WOB game, but Morgan should have tried to find Hegerberg, who appeared to be just onside, on that poor play by Schult. According to Twitter, it seems like it was a physical game.

    • DNG

      It was physical. Morgan played more or less the same as she did in the second half of last game which I guess is good for her since she isn’t really a flank player but it was just okay for me. She just doesn’t look comfortable on the ball for me to expect anything but a high work rate, crosses from end line and tight angle shots and that’s pretty much what she gave. Not as much good interplay in this game from the team as a whole.

      • Ethan

        Well, there’s also smart runs into space that opens up like her run that led to Abily’s free kick goal in the first leg. There’s also the play where she drifted inside to link up well with Marozsan and Hegerberg that led to Marozsan’s goal. I only watched the last 10 minutes of this game, but in those minutes, Morgan made one smart decision to wait for Majri to overlap and play her the ball, which led to a chance for Bremer. She also happened to be central later on when she smartly laid off a clearance to Hegerberg, which led to Marozsan’s breakaway shot over the goal. If she really did play more or less the same as she did in the second half of the first leg, then I’d say she had a very good game. That second half performance in Germany wasn’t just good for Morgan since she isn’t really a flank player. I would have praised any top-level, experienced winger for that performance. Then again, this difference in opinion isn’t really surprising since we disagree so often regarding Morgan. Agree to disagree.

        • DNG

          Look if that’s what your definition of what a great game is for a wing I’d say that Dunn, Pugh and Heath have great games every game. Those are all things that wings do normally as part of their position. To be a creative spark and impact the game significantly from out there takes more than what I saw from her. They might as well have signed HAO if they wanted a hard working winger. She still does everything that Morgan did on the wing.

          • Ethan

            I don’t remember that good of a half/game every game (few games really) against top opposition from any of Dunn, Pugh, and Heath (at least not recently), and I’m a pretty big Pugh fan. Creative spark and impact the game significantly? Well, I don’t know about you, but winning the free kick that led to the opening goal and making a very key (and creative) play in the second goal is impacting the game significantly. I can’t say anything about O’Reilly from club play, but I saw more from Morgan in the Wolfsburg games than I saw from O’Reilly in her NT performances. Plus, Morgan did drift central on multiple occasions over the two legs, and she’s more comfortable/effective there than O’Reilly is. So no, signing HAO wouldn’t have been the same thing. We’re never going to agree. I’ll try to leave it at that.

          • DNG

            Sorry, but I think your completely biased. Laying of a clearance to Hegerberg is a great play by Morgan because Hegerberg sent Marozsan through on goal. That’s basic soccer from Morgan that you are glorifying. She looked good because she’s playing with very good players around her and her team doesn’t have a Lloyd sized anchor around their neck.

          • Ethan

            Then, the through ball was basic soccer from Hegerberg as well. That through ball wasn’t harder than laying the ball off on a booted clearance first touch right to Hegerberg for a first time pass. I’m sorry, but I think you’re completely biased. (I’ve kind of thought that multiple times over our exchanges; I haven’t said it until now though.) Thanks for making it seem like the lay off to Hegerberg was the only play I mentioned. Agree to disagree.

          • DNG

            Never claimed it wasn’t from Hegerberg.

          • Ethan

            My comment still holds as a whole. I’m sure you can apply your logic there to refute plays you consider great.

          • DNG

            Okay I’ll address your other points. Heath and Dunn win free kicks all the time in all the games they play in. winning a fouls does not become more valuable because Abily scored expecially because of where she scored from on the field. It was a complete howler from Schultz. When the US played with full backs Heath and Rapinoe would wait for the overlap all the time it is basic soccer, but because Morgan does it for Majri in this game it’s worth noting. Was there anything else I missed. Morgan looked comfortable drifting centrally. Well she didn’t look comfortable to me carrying the ball centrally. Was dispossessed multiple times in this match trying to do so and the previous on.

          • Ethan

            I made those points because you said all you expected was a high work rate, end line crosses, and tight angle shots. That wasn’t all she did. I know that’s basic soccer, but it wasn’t part of what you expected. (I have to say though that the great majority of plays players make are “basic” soccer. That applies to player performances that are pretty universally praised as well. Also, free kicks in that dangerous of a position are pretty valued. I know it was a howler by Schult, and I know Heath and Dunn win free kicks. That’s one aspect I brought up as part of an entire package.) I can’t comment on this match. However, I’ve seen an all touches compilation of the first leg, and she wasn’t dispossessed enough carrying the ball centrally to concern me at all. (Maybe it was multiple times, but that’s simply because multiple means more than one. I have a feeling that’s not what you meant, but I’m thinking it was like two to three times taking the ball central. If that’s what you meant, then fine.)

          • DNG

            I have yet to see great in anything she did and that is what you claimed did you not. What are all the great plays and contributions she made in the first game in your opinion because so far it doesn’t sound like it’s much more than a solid game.

          • Ethan

            I just thought the contributions to the goals, the combination plays with the purpose of either ultimately getting the ball forward (like with Majri at the beginning of the second half) or of keeping possession (like the sequence where she drifted to the right at around the 76th minute or so or her hold up play on a clearance from Bouhaddi late in the second half), the constant support to Majri, and the defensive plays (i.e. the awkward foot clearance in the 53rd minute, the slide tackle on Blasse, and shouldering Blasse off the ball late in the match for a goal kick) all combined for a great performance. I know that you don’t agree. Sorry if I’ve been too aggressive here.

          • DNG

            I should have prefaced my comment. I think she played well overall in both legs. Just not great. She performed her role in the way I expect it to be performed. In fairness she probably did better than most of her team being solid in the second leg. Lyon did not have a good game and were lucky to only concede one in today’s match.

          • Steglitz49

            Luck favors the brave.

          • Steglitz49

            The truth will set DNG free.

          • DNG

            I also apologize if I seemed to come off as too aggressive too. I’ll even acquiesce that I am probably a less forgiving grader of Morgan because she isn’t really the type of soccer player I enjoy watching. I stand by my assessments of her in these games and her play on the whole though. To me she was a hard working role player in these two matches that filled her role and did the fundamentals well but was not really influential in the A3. I think we could have put 4-5 other Americans in her position and gotten similar or better results. As a player overall I don’t think she’s clearly better than the other forwards in the pool.

          • DNG

            I’ll even give you that I might have exaggerated on the number of dispossession but overall she is not a good dribbler and does not look comfortable creating on the ball to me. Marozsan is a player who is clearly comfortable creating on the ball.

          • Silver Frost

            Don’t waste your time arguing with this perfectionist. Nobody is good enough for DNG, especially when they show they are human and make a mistake.

          • #1Fan

            i think the point is we assess everyone relative to the perception. AM is perceived as one of the worlds greatest players. Its reasonable to expect a very high standard and moments that exceed “basic Soccer” . Secondary assists and winning free kicks is fine, but I would be expecting a lot more.

            Its healthy to be critical on a website like this. If we cant agree to disagree, then this place loses all its value for me. I love reading peoples “arguments” so please, dont stop them !!

          • Steglitz49

            !4,000 turned out to watch the return game between the finalists in last year’s Champions League. The name of the games was to get through to the SF, which Lyon did. Could Alex had played better? Possibly but Alex showed what a class act she is dependable in defense as well as attack.

          • Steglitz49

            The Gunners signed HAO. Maybe Arsenal will do well enough to win some silverware with HAO?

          • Silver Frost

            Nobody plays up to your standards.

          • DNG

            Not true at all but believe whatever you want.

          • #1Fan

            AM is always a touchy one becasue she has done very well in the USA shirt. Its not the norm to really assess her overall play becasue when she scores, people just point to the goal as vindication.

            I dont think she is a winger really, but i think she can be athletic, committed and make the odd smart play. Its more interesting that they play her there as opposed to through the middle.

          • DNG

            They are trying to get ELS, Hegerberg and Morgan all on the field at the same time. I assume because they want to convince Morgan to stay more long term. It didn’t really seem to me that Morgan or ELS were really suited to play on the wing.

            In the theme of having trouble beating good organized pressure Lyon struggled with it too yesterday. WoSo still has a long way to go before we see more teams play like Japan.

          • Steglitz49

            Lyon are through to the SF while Wolfsburg had a player sent off. Seeing is believing.

  • Gary Diver

    Did Equalizer report on the Thorns Spring Invitational matches held Sunday?

    • Silver Frost

      I wonder what the point of it is. I can’t see that any games are streamed, except Thorns matches.

      • mockmook

        Three good pre-season games for each team and in decent weather

      • Bruce

        Thorns drew over 6,000 to the first match. That’s worth $omething.

  • Bruce
    • mockmook

      “MFILK”

      That’s dangerously close to another acronym.

      • #1Fan

        can’t say i did not think that as well

        • Bruce

          …and that’s why we can’t have nice things.

    • Bruce

      #FreeColaprico

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  • Bruce
  • newsouth

    2 yrs ago when she robbed the bank for another hermann, she was suppose to be the greatest mid-fielder the USWNT ever saw. the hype is real around these parts. Dinky or Durable – Pick you venom!

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

    • Steglitz49

      What is your point? That Mana Iwabuchi is 5’1″ like Crystal Dunn, and Aya Miyama and Nahomi Kawasumi are 5’2″?

  • #1Fan

    anyone watching the U-23 game? if so, thoughts so far?

    • TsovLoj

      Really good game so far! Long looks dizzy. The greater relative experience of the Thorns shows, though.

    • DNG

      Not impressed with the U-23 defending. It took 15 minutes for the Thorns to work through the press but there are open spaces all over the field now that they are not being covered. Thorns still look very much like they’re in preseason not sharp.

      • #1Fan

        I think the U23 team is incredible green. They look like inexperienced players who need time to understand the game. Set pieces aside, created very little

        • DNG

          I do like Murphy

          • #1Fan

            Me too. Neither Pino nor Howell are #6s. Pinto does not seem willing to take on a player in the attacking 3rd and Howell is decent in the air, but pretty average on the ground. Have not seen her put in a tackle yet

          • DNG

            I’m a little alarmed at how easy it’s been a few times for the Thorns to work the ball right into the danger zone. I think a real 6 would be able to clog those channels a much better. They didn’t really cover counter attacks all that well either. One of the times they left Sinclair alone in the hole without a player within 10 yards of her.

          • #1Fan

            neither of those 2 understand the role. Howell plays her club soccer on a team that is NEVER the underdog. No idea where she would have learned to defend. Pinot is an 8 or 10 at this point. More 8. She is a link player

          • Bruce
          • #1Fan

            both of those kids are being considered as CDMs !!

          • DNG

            I think I do like Cook even if I don’t like this defense overall.

          • Bruce
          • #1Fan

            No attempt to close down the ball at all.

          • Steglitz49

            How many were there? 15,000?

          • kernel_thai

            So what is either one doing at NT camp when u can evaluate them here against pro players? Personally, if I didn’t know who anyone was and u said pick out the ones who rate an NT look Id probably guess Smith and McCaskell

          • DNG

            I don’t think I would pick any but I did like Mccaskills’ work rate. Smith is okay but no one really showed they could create without forcing mistakes. And the Thorns played right into that with this being a preseason match.

          • #1Fan

            the way POR played at the back was tailor made for Smith. I can’t think of one pass she made or one combination. McC i liked. By far the most polished. Smith is similar to Williams.

          • DNG

            No one on the team was really combining to solve. I can’t remember any specific examples of a combination leading to any danger. I think they would have struggled to create much at all if Portland was playing more direct to push them back a bit.

          • Bruce

            Yea, she looks much more composed tonight than what I’ve seen from her previously.

          • Ethan

            Well, she had a very good last game against Japan at the U-20 WC. So she’s capable of very good games and has talent. I think it’s a question of consistency over a considerable period of time.

          • Bruce

            Murphy made a lot of spectacular saves in WC, but a good number of them were to make up for her poor footwork and positioning (my opinion).

            If she can keep her movement clean like she did yesterday, it will be hard to send anything past her.

          • Ethan

            In the Japan game? I don’t remember her being poorly positioned on her two/three very good saves. I suppose my memory could be wrong. I wasn’t impressed by Murphy in any of her other matches at the WC.

            Edit: The only spectacular save I recall outside of the Japan match was the late one in regulation against North Korea. So I’m thinking you must be talking about at least one of the saves against Japan. I wouldn’t say she made “a lot” of spectacular saves. Three or four over the course of six games. (I don’t consider the save against Sanchez in the Mexico match as spectacular in case you included that one.) Regardless, I will agree that footwork/movement and positioning are critical.

    • Bruce

      The blueprint has been revealed on how to beat the Thorns. Pressure the back line and they’ll give you 5 or 6 chances per game. Really amazed how bad the are playing out of back given that so many of their players are/have been in the senior pool mix.

      U23 executing on the full NT strategy you pointed out a while back: make no effort to win the ball besides the press and just wait for the opposition to turn it over. Getting a big fat zero in the DM and defensive line.

      Our 17 year-old seniors have done well enough in possession, but really bring no physical presence to the midfield and are always 5 steps away from the ball. I can see why JE likes them – they are passive 6s.

      Pinto trotting around the field like CL evokes a visceral reaction in me.

      • DNG

        If the Thorns swallow their pride they do have an answer. Place Horan up top and play long to her. Menges and Sonnett just aren’t comfortable playing out of the back right now and they might never be.

        • Bruce

          Long is a menace to her own team in the D3, and Franch is careless with the ball at her feet. They are, apparently, all the weakest link.

          • DNG

            I think Long is okay even if she hasn’t had a great game. Henry has had some nervy moments in possession too and she’s great at protecting and circulating the ball. Franch is not a great keeper in my opinion. Not good at distributing and I don’t think she’s the shot stopper she was before her injury. Hard to play from the back without a competent keeper.

          • Bruce

            I hate seeing her anchoring the build up.

            She’s still likely to roll a square ball in her own 18.

          • DNG

            In the right situation I don’t mind Long in the 6. I would say that I generally trust her decision making. She definitely has some oops moments though as she’s been an attacking mid most of her career.

          • Bruce

            Fitting end to the game.

          • DNG

            I feel vindicated on my Franch hot take.

          • #1Fan

            well i told you the offensive game plan 🙂

          • Bruce

            Amazing that POR couldn’t just clear the ball to the midline. It’s not like they were losing any balls there.

          • #1Fan

            i sense they were trying to play out of pressure as a training exercise

          • Bruce

            If so, they sure learned a lot about their limitations. They just don’t have the personnel to do that.

          • DNG

            If they have to go long they will. I assume they will try and play out of the back first in the effort to improve and switch it up if they need to.

          • Bruce

            If POR brings that mess against any NWSL club that can bring speed/finishing to the high press, they’ll be on the wrong side of half a dozen goals.

            I’m thinking NCFC, HOU, SBFC, CRS and maybe even FCKC and BOS.

          • DNG

            They will be fine overall but Franch is the biggest question mark for me. I never thought Betos was that great either but Franch’s distribution is cripplingly bad

          • Bruce

            She’s now playing herself permanently out of the NT mix.

          • #1Fan

            i give Smith credit for hustling the whole game but tbh I expect so much more at U23 level. I was not impressed. Howell and Pinto both lacked a sense of urgency. No bite. Howell is good in the air. Pinto is no 6. 8 maybe. Oh well. That team was a combination of our all conquering 17s and 20s. as expected really.I think the brakes have def been pumped on Sanchez

          • DNG

            Pumping the brakes on Sanchez will only benefit her in the long run in my opinion. Which makes it all the more puzzling that we keep trying to find new U-17 players to fill the hype void. That play up top that Bruce posted gave me flashbacks to the Lloyd Holiday pairing. Acres of space right up the middle.

          • Steglitz49

            Franch has, sadly, never truly recovered from her injury. It may be a mental thing — fear of reinjury.

            Meanwhile, judging by the crowds that turned out in Paris and Lyon, WoSo may have turned a corner in France, if not for Franch.

      • #1Fan

        I agree with you. Our attacking plan is Smith forcing a mistake from a defender. only a few moments created by U23s. Goal was never a pen to me. Even in possession there is no attempt to play penetrating passes. Everything is safe and sideways.

        • Bruce

          Terrible end to a terrible game.

          • #1Fan

            tbh as expected. Our NTs just dont create much. They play incredibly scared and passive soccer and wait for a mistake.

          • Bruce

            If every pass is going sideways anyway, I just don’t get why you don’t put grinders in the midfield and play more direct. This idea that your best soccer is putting tentative finesse players all over the field is just dumb.

            I swear to God, I think that Howell and Pinto combined had 0 tackles, 0 blocks, 0 dispossessions and 0 interceptions.

          • guest

            Or they rely on a GK for an assist 🙂

        • kernel_thai

          Why is this a surprise…it’s the same plan Ellis used at SBC

          • #1Fan

            Its not to me 🙂

        • guest

          In my opinion, nearly every 6 or 8 for the top 20 or so ECNL teams could have performed as well or better in that game if they, too, had been given the support and confidence offered to JH and BP.

          I am not even sure the JH will play for FSU. Wonder what MK is thinking? guarantee she won’t play at FSU based only on her accolades. What happens if these superstars go to college and don’t stand out? Or even don’t see the field…

          • #1Fan

            JH will play at FSU. I think she is decent. Just nowhere near what I would expect from a full intl #6. She could become one.

            You make a fantastic point about faith, support and confidence. Therein lies the big difference. I cant say what i want to because it will be discounted, but same with Smith. .

            if you are looking for kids to impact the game by being quick at pressing from the front, direct and physical , then I can show you quite a few,. None of them have been given that amount of air time/ opportunity. They also put up big numbers vs the same teams Smith does, often with far worse players around them .

            the key is to keep on getting the opportunity EVEN WHEN YOU FAIL

          • DNG

            I hadn’t considered this but there might be a possibility that Parson asked Snow to press them high so he could test his team.

          • guest

            Why do you think no highly technical and creative Flemmingesc playmakers are being put forward? Do they exist in the US youth ranks? Are they being developed anywhere in the USA? If simply being excluded from consideration why? Do they not fit the “style of play” (not sure what that is they say technical possession soccer but they show this odd high press and hope the GK or back line make a mistake) the NT is putting forward?

          • #1Fan

            They are much harder to project. When you play games sat/sun with poor refs, teammates who may not get you the ball or move without it , coaches who want to win etc its much easier to press and rely on one or two athletes. they get all the ink and the younger kids want to be them. Its coaching and what we value.

            Its also what we have selected for a long long time.

            We have people who want Leroux back. I understand why. Its how we have won before and the other route is much harder.

            I really dont mind what we do as long as we do it to the best of our ability .

          • DNG

            I think I’ve said this before but I’d be lying if I claimed that I did not care how the team plays. Not so much direct vs indirect because I think the best teams know how to use both to their advantage and control the tempo of the game. But I think we’ve reached the point where sitting deep in two banks of 4 waiting for opportunities to counter for 90 in unacceptable. That WC group game against Sweden where the teams basically took turns booting long balls to the other team’s keeper was just dreadful to watch.

          • #1Fan

            hey, its all about results at intl level.

          • DNG

            Says who US Soccer :). I think I could make a compelling argument that it’s better overall for the sport if the US loses deep in tournaments

          • #1Fan

            your stance is honorable and I understand it. you think that given all the resources the US should only be happy with winning beautifully. I used to think that way, but now I realize its fruitless. The US are not a soccer country, winning is all that counts, by any means. If thats kick and run, so be it .

            i wont watch, but I will be in the minority. A losing NT playing great soccer would be laughed off stage in the US. A winning NT is all the US want/need ..no style poiints

          • DNG

            I’m actually not sure I totally agree with you on this. The Men’s National Team can’t really be considered successful y any metric compared to the top teams in the world and they still managed to draw huge crowds and attention come tournament time. The women’s still seem as popular as ever even after losing at the Olympics. It’s true that we have reached a point where is results don’t matter but that might not always be the case

          • rkmid71

            Since you like my basketball analogies, do you mean that for the sport of soccer because we are not a soccer country, that the US should be content with the soccer equivalent of the Detroit Pistons Bad Boys? It will never become popular that way. And I don’t think the NBA would be as popular as it is without teams like Golden State, San Antonio, the old Boston Celtics and LA Lakers and Chicago Bullis once Jordan figured out how to play in a team concept.

          • #1Fan

            i think the public do not demand more than just winning.

          • DNG

            Also, it may not happen anytime soon but I do think there will be a point were playing kick and run will have smaller and smaller returns in terms of providing consistent results. Maybe that’s what is needed to move things along though which would be unfortunate.

          • #1Fan

            I agree. i just think its a long way off.

          • rkmid71

            What do you consider consistent results? It hasn’t been working so well for the YNTs. And the USWNT had a long winning drought in the WC. And more recently not a good result in OG.

          • DNG

            They have won at least one major championship for the last 4 cycles. including a World Cup. Who else is even close to that kind of consistency? Germany and I think that’s it. Relative to the rest of the sport they have been very successful.

          • rkmid71

            Who cares who’s close? That’s not the measure.

            “Success comes from knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming. Don’t measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability.”

          • #1Fan

            Its a fair comment.

          • #1Fan

            TDS wrote an article about 4 players that deserve another look. personally I think they should not do that, but the write up is a window on how these players are looked at. You cannot have a team full of them. You need to blend them in with players who can exploit their strengths . The last sentence is telling.

            M Sophie Jones, De Anza Force

            Jones is the type of talent certain coaches cherish while others scoff at because she doesn’t have a physically dominant presence to her. She is brilliant though and she plays an impressive sophistication to her game. She is the type of midfielder who makes breaking pressure easy because she can handle the ball in tight spaces and play with someone on her back. She had a look with the national team at the U16 age group in May of 2016. With a 2001 birth year, Jones is age eligible for the next U17 World Cup team. She is likely going to need the right coach in charge of that group to earn another look with the national squad.

          • creativity_quashed

            I have no idea, but my conclusion is that it reflects a deficiency in the USWNT selection process, if indeed they are, as they profess to be, looking to play technical and creative attacking soccer. I have seen these three play in the past. I put these 3 forward as examples of creative kids being overlooked or thrown to the side, a few weeks ago. Two, of interest, TDS also subsequently also identified as #1 fan points out, the third doesn’t seem to show up on much.Not the “wrong’ club since clubmates are regulars. I agree with the below. Their skill set is not being valued despite the rhetoric to the contrary. Enigma.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7utYc9QM4g
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IfCLXIoaDg
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrh52D24Q-8
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_obXaf_NGE

          • mockmook

            You’re taking the use of initials too far

          • Bruce

            IDK MM, IMHO ALL AOK.

      • guest

        Both Pinto and Howell in a diagonal line several yards back from cross leading to goal in the 8th minute. purposely avoiding confrontation. I remember Howeel winning a couple of uncontested headers. I remember Pinto coming up with a 50-50 at one point. also remember her playing a single outside of foot pass to break the line albeit very wide. Neither was in any way notable. It is truly sad, that we believe the only chances we can create is by pressuring opponents backlines into mistakes. Thorns created more chances through build up. I especially though Allie Long was dangerous in breaking lines. Not a fan as a Cb, but she was clearly superior to the 2 youngsters representing the US. Smith on her way to a full NT call up for sure. In the mold of AS and MP. AS pretty quiet in the waning minutes she saw.

        • DNG

          I agree on Long. Other faults aside I think she’s good a breaking lines with vertical passes when the channels are open. Not sure I want her doing that while positioned between to wide center backs but that’s for the coach to decide and or fix.

        • #1Fan

          Agree on all of it really. Except Smith. I think IF thats the type of player you want, then Lynn WIlliams among others already have that no ? AS and MP are not as physical as SS

          • guest

            Sorry, I didn’t mean to imply that I thought her play really warrented a call up, but facetiously meant that the pattern is to call up “successful” little kids of late. Success being solely in the eyes of JE and her cabal. My predicition is she will be called up based on their patterns not based on true performance. that said, she worked her behind off to earn those chances. She did miss a sitter in the first half and could have done better on several others. But my prediciton is we see her on a roster soon.
            I also agree that in many ways Smith appear similar to MP, AS and LW. Given the style of play currently preferred, I further see Smith as potentially rising.

          • #1Fan

            no apology needed !! just opinions. Now you have clarified, I agree. Thing is players form comes and goes. Real class is permanent as the saying goes. The issue i have is we have been led to believe that AS and MP are real class. What this si showing us is that those initial comments were premature. We have not found the keys to development and have not produced these otherworldly gems as such. there are actually several player in the YNT system who are pretty close to AS and MP.

            There are several who can do what SS did last night. You are spot on in that she missed 4 clear cut chances. so she went 1/5.

      • guest

        Pinto’s body language exuded arrogance to me with little to support it. In contrast, Smiith reminded me of a terrier always nipping…JH looked almost afraid and clearly intimidated.

        • #1Fan

          Pinto is a neat , tidy player, but it is very hard to see what the fuss is about. She really does not impact the game defensively or offensively.

          • kernel_thai

            Obviously the fuss is abut her age but here’s the litmus test. If Pinto was 26 instead of 16 would anybody be asking for her to get call ups? If the answer is no then she shouldn’t be getting them at 16 either.

          • #1Fan

            But there are several 17 yr olds who can do that. I see them every weekend.

          • Chris J

            Absolutely agree!!

          • Chris J

            same could be said for Howell…

            You have Dibiasi and Davidson on the bench, two very strong CMs (8/6), so why go with the 17 yr olds? Makes no sense.

            Disappointing that BJ had this group, no surprise he pulled up his 17s, had to validate his talent ID. Style of play consistent with WC – no combining in the attack or care about possessing, just pressure and pounce on defensive mistakes.

            Agree with most of this thread, just shaking my head. Does actual performance mean nothing?

            With “good” results, does BJ get to keep the group? Scary.

        • Bruce

          Yeah, Pinto played with a disinterest – or maybe just a lack of understanding of what DMs actually do -that’s troubling.

          I would expect a 16/17 year-old getting one of her first caps at U23 to try to leave her mark on the game. I would have much preferred to see a young player who made mistakes by trying to do too much rather than one who seemed content to let the game be played around her.

  • Bruce

    Allie Long wants to make it very clear that the one defensive play Pinto made last night was not at her expense.

    https://twitter.com/ALLIE_LONG/status/847345651805429760

  • guest123

    I’m surprised that Heath has not pulled out of the April friendlies. She did not play in these last two games due to an undisclosed injury.

    • guest

      heath’s undisclosed injury is that she had to be christen press’s date to a wedding.

    • Rami

      It has repeatedly been reported that it’s a minor injury and they aren’t willing to risk it for a preseason game. Why would she be “pulled out” of friendlies? It can’t be this is your first time noticing when a not 100% healthy player gets called to camp.

      • guest123

        Just wondering since didn’t Ellis say that she doesn’t want players in camp who are nursing injuries (eg. Rapinoe)?

        • Rami

          Link to that please. And if that even happened, then she already broke her promise. See Lloyd at the last camps of 2016. O’Hara with her groin injury.

          • guest123

            We don’t know when O’Hara got injured. As for Lloyd, Ellis made this statement during the Jan 2017 camp in her Q/A below. I highlighted it with quotation marks. Ellis also reiterated that she only wants healthy players when making camp roster decisions when talking about Leroux.

            ussoccer.com: Speaking of the SheBelieves Cup, can you talk about this camp being valuable in choosing a roster for
            the tournament?

            JE: The 11 days of camp will give myself and the other coaches a great opportunity to gauge where each individual player is at. With the tournament right around the corner, “the players that are fit and ready to perform will definitely help their case towards a roster invitation”….

            ussoccer.com: In regards to the two players who recently had children, what are your expectations for Amy Rodriguez in January Camp considering she hasn’t played in this environment in over a year? And will we see Sydney Leroux at some point this year?

            JE: I had a good conversation with Amy, and January Camp is a good time for her to come in. Everyone is coming off a break, we’re growing our team and evolving in how we want to play. She needs to get up to speed on that and she knows that. As for Sydney, she’s not 100% cleared for competition yet. Syd will be back in to compete when she’s cleared and at the appropriate event.

            http://www.ussoccer.com/stories/2017/01/04/23/38/20170104-wnt-jill-ellis-qa-2017-january-camp-team-goals-player-evaluation

    • guest123
  • guest123

    Streaming info??? Tune in at 1pm ET.
    https://twitter.com/NWSL/status/847479652834783232

  • Bruce

    Tobin Heath out of April friendlies with a back injury.

    Lauren Holiday’s daughter Jrue Tyler gets her first senior team call up.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b7ede43061276b6419c8961c27060808acb30f14e9d809888d04ff409e89e7f6.jpg

    • #1Fan

      LOLOLOLOL

      Brilliant !!