USWNT ends series against Russia with 5-1 win

The Equalizer Staff April 9, 2017 541
Crystal Dunn notched yet another brace in the USWNT's 5-1 win over Russia. (photo copyright EriMac Photo for The Equalizer)

Crystal Dunn notched yet another brace in the USWNT’s 5-1 win over Russia. (photo copyright EriMac Photo for The Equalizer)

The United States women’s national team once again defeated Russia by a four-goal deficit, beating the Russians 5-1. The win comes on the heels of the U.S.’s 4-0 shutout of the European squad Thursday night, with Crystal Dunn scoring a brace in both contests.

Today’s match marked the second game head coach Jill Ellis resorted back to a 4-4-2 lineup, much to the relief of fans who questioned the effectiveness of the 3-back system in the wake of the USWNT’s fourth-place finish in the SheBelieves Cup. With the return of the 4-4-2 came the return of the attacking full-backs, Kelley O’Hara and Meghan Klinbenberg, for the first time since the September Olympic fan appreciation matches. Before Thursday night, Klingenberg had not seen the field for the USWNT since those matches as she’s been recovering from a back injury suffered back in May 2016. Likewise O’Hara had seen limited time as Ellis has experimented with the 3-back formation that incorporated newer faces to the the team. Both O’Hara and Klingenberg heavily contributed to the U.S.’s attack in the first half today, with O’Hara creating a number of opportunities from the right and Klingenberg recording an assist.

Klingenberg nearly scored in just the 8th minute when she broke into space in the final third and took a shot, but Julia Grichenko made a brilliant kick save to keep Klingenberg from putting the U.S. on the board. Rose Lavelle followed Klingenberg’s shot with a through ball to Mallory Pugh, but Grichenko just got a hand on the ball to cut off Pugh’s angle and force the ball out for a USWNT corner kick.

O’Hara repeated Thursday night’s performance by playing high and joining in the attack from her spot at right back. The forward-turned-defender put a good shot on goal for the U.S. just five minutes later when she passed the ball to Lloyd before making a fast run down the right flank. Lloyd’s pass found O’Hara, who turned and went 1v1 with the keeper, only to have her shot punched clear.

Despite a number of shots on target and close scrambles inside the box, the U.S. finally found their way on the board in the 20th minute when Casey Short fought to maintain possession and sent a pass through traffic to Dunn. Dunn was tripped up in the box, and the referee pointed to the spot, awarding the USWNT a penalty. Carli Lloyd lined up to take the spot and placed a low ball just inside the near post to convert. The goal is Lloyd’s 97th international goal, putting her well on pace to reach the 100-goal landmark this year.

It was a quieter game from Lavelle compared to her dynamic performance Thursday night, although she continued to slip in centrally to get looks on goal, and she sent in a number of crosses from the flanks to try to create opportunities for her teammates. However, the midfielder did score her first goal in a USA jersey in the 37th minute after receiving a long ball sent in from Mallory Pugh. Lavelle took a touch to control the ball at the top of the box and went 1v1 with Grichenko, perfectly knocking the ball past the keeper’s outstretched body for the U.S.’s second goal of the match, the eventual game winner. 

Less than a minute later, Carli Lloyd intercepted a pass from Russia and sent a long ball to Klingenberg racing down the left flank. Klingenberg drove the ball inside the 18 before sending a cross in front of the goal for Crystal Dunn, who karate kicked the ball into the back of the net to further increase the U.S.’s lead.

Russia was able to get one back late in the first half when Short was awarded a yellow card and Russia was awarded a penalty kick in the 42nd minute. The foul occurred when a Russian player fell back into Short while both went for a header. Nadezhda Karpova took the shot and blasted it high and center past Ashlyn Harris, who dove to her right, to score for Russia and prevent a shutout. The next Russian goal would be an own goal after Carli Lloyd’s header deflected off a Russian player and into the goal to put the U.S. up 4-1 just before the halftime whistle.

The USWNT started the second half in a hurry with Casey Short slipping a ball in for Pugh on the right side. Pugh then sent a cross in for Dunn, who was in easy scoring position and easily knocked the ball past Grichenko.

The second half was less exciting than the first, with fewer goals and goal-scoring opportunities for the U.S. That’s largely because of Grichenko, who had an impressive display in goal for Russia despite the scoreline. She prevented the U.S. from scoring after the 48th minute, an impressive task for any keeper.

One of the most exciting parts of the second half was something that happened off the field, as goalkeeper Jane Campbell made her debut with the senior USWNT subbing in for Harris in the 74th minute. Although the late substitution against a team that was visibly tired did not give Campbell much of a test, it was a rare goalkeeper substitution by head coach Jill Ellis and should serve to get any first-cap jitters out of the way for Campbell.

All in all, today’s win was the typical friendly against an out-matched opponent for the USWNT, and much of the game went exactly as expected. Which, after the disappointment of SheBelieves, was no doubt a comfort for many USWNT fans.

Most USWNT players will next report to their NWSL clubs in preparation for the start of the fifth season for the league, which kicks off on Saturday, April 15. Lloyd and Dunn will return to their FA WSL club Chelsea Ladies and Manchester City Women respectively, while Alex Morgan returns to Olympique Lyonnais. Lloyd and Morgan will face off in the UEFA Women’s Champions League semifinals on April 22 and April 29. 

  • kernel_thai

    The good…a lot more passing and a lot less mindless lateral dribbling.
    The bad….really died off in the second half
    The ugly….Dash management must be thrilled that Ellis couldn’t get Dash star Kealia Ohai on the pitch in a 5-1 game to help Dash ticket sales with the league opening next week.

    • Bruce

      The Ohai snub (again) is unfathomable.

      • kernel_thai

        Ellis hates her…it’s obvious. To not play her in either Utah or Houston makes no sense at all.

        • guest

          i can’t believe rapinoe got in over ohai. but it is nice to see rapinoe is maintaining her 20 minute fitness.

      • DNG

        I personally don’t see a place for her in 4 back formations. However, I don’t understand why Ellis is calling up players and not playing them.

        • kernel_thai

          I concur. If u know a player doesn’t fit the formation ur going to play, don’t bring them in. Don’t sit them on the bench in front of her home fans and have her be the only player not used.

          • #1Fan

            Maybe she has been poor in training 🙂

          • kernel_thai

            LOL …. well not poor enough to make the 18 just poor enough to be number 18…u know the coach has it in for u when she makes a GK sub ahead of u.

          • DNG

            I didn’t realize she was also the only player not used. That is just so frustrating. It seems like she was just brought in to fill out the practice team while Tobin is recovering. She deserves better than that.

          • kernel_thai

            And to be a popular Dash player on the roster.

          • Bruce

            Maybe JE needed someone to babysit the U17ers during the game?

        • mockmook

          Are you kidding? You don’t think Ohai could have done every thing that Pugh did over these two games?

          • DNG

            No, I don’t. Not only do I think she’s worse on the ball(and I don’t think Pugh’s as great as most do), I don’t think her passing vision is as good overall either. Neither are players you really want to build through but Pugh is better than Ohai right now. Sort of like the Leroux, Morgan, and Williams redundancy, I would not want to carry three wings like Pugh, Dunn and Ohai. I’d prefer a mix of Pugh, Dunn, Lavelle, and Heath. Two are burners and the other two are more creative players. If you wanted to play Lavelle inside, I’d look for a more creative wing as the 4th but I think for the moment I prefer to repurpose her as a wide player. Brian as the CAM when she sorts out her health issues.

          • kernel_thai

            It depends what the offense calls for. I agree that Pugh is better handling the ball than Ohai and better handling speed of play. Ohai is good passer tho so that’s kind of a push. On the other hand if ur looking for that player to actually score goals it’s Dunn and Ohai. U could leave Heath and Pugh out on and empty field and be surprised if they made more than 5 out of 10. Haven’t seen enough of Lavelle to know if she is as bad but she is currently about 1 for 8 on the NT. I think the current formation favors Lavelle and Pugh much more than Ohai

          • DNG

            Ohai is a good crosser, big difference from good passer in my opinion. I’m not looking for a player that scores goals in the way that Ohai scored many of hers last year(in transition). The team has too much of a log jam on the front line already with players that can score like that.

          • kernel_thai

            At least she scored the goals. Pugh also got most of her attempts in transition but that’s all they were. This team needs finishers and the jury is still out on whether Ohai can finish on the INT level, but u aren’t finding that out by not playing her. I agree we already have a lot of players of her type who can get shots but not finish them.

          • Steglitz49

            Ohai scored the one and winning goal for the U20s in that final when Germany were huge favourites having massacred the US 3-0 in the group game.

            Ohai has been hard done by. I guess she should have gone abroad and proven herself with teams that care.

      • Paul Klee

        Ohai is just the odd person out. Her skill set just leaves her short of automatic NT selection. She isn’t better than forwards Dunn, Lloyd, Morgan or Press in what each of them brings. Her skill set is similar to that of Williams but obviously Ellis rates Williams higher (probably as a more formidable presence in the 18). Perhaps she can learn to braid teamates hair and earn selection over A-rod. 😏 Some 👍🏻 hair on the squad today.

        • DNG

          They are both pacy players but I wouldn’t consider them all that similar. I think Ohai is more of a true winger while Williams is more of a get in behind CF like Morgan and Dunn.

          • Paul Klee

            As a winger she then has to complete then with Heath, Pugh, Lavelle and now KO. Would she be able to beat out Rapinoe? Perhaps if Lavelle can displace Rapinoe as the corner and free-kick specialist.

          • mockmook

            What position(s) are you calling winger?

          • kernel_thai

            U have to let her compete in matches because the BS about how they do in practice isn’t working. Take Lavelle for example. Now that we’ve seen her in four matches it’s kinda hard imagining how bad she must have been in practice not to get a chance before this. : )

          • guest

            the uswnt closed-door practices are where all the secrets of the universe are revealed.

          • guest

            i think corners and free kicks is the only reason rapinoe is fortunate enough to get allocation again. rapinoe looks slooow.

          • mockmook

            Rapinoe got allocation because she is one of the chosen — in any logical scenario, they would make her earn her way back on the team by having a terrific NWSL season.

        • kernel_thai

          Like the hair suggestion. My question is this. Uve got Ohai on the bench in BVVA where her club happens to play. Would u want to throw Ohai out their in front of fans who may have bought tickets to see her play for the national team, or do u want to upgrade ur book on Megan Rapinoe who uve seen play over 100 times?

          • Paul Klee

            Yeah definitely a choice between Rapinoe and Ohai I was confident Campbell would get her first cap when I saw her on the 18. My only thought is that Rapinoe was in to take corners and freekicks.

          • mockmook

            Ohai seems like she is better than Pinoe at this point.

          • kernel_thai

            I don’t think it matters in a 5-1 game who is better. Ellis has an agenda to look at players and prepare to defend the cup. In that regard either Ohai or Rapinoe is fair game. But as that seems to cancel each other out, what comes next? They have a very small book on Ohai as compared to Rapinoe. They also have the added benefit of putting a popular Houston player out there at home to help the Dash and the NWSL sell tickets. At best it was exceedingly short sighted and at worst a deliberate attempt to embarrass one of her players. IMO Jill Ellis is to only a clueless coach but a classless individual.

  • Cc W

    I barely watched either of these games – tomato can games. The bit I watched made me happy to see the youth play well.

  • Bruce

    A. Adopt a 3-Back to “break down teams that bunker”
    B. Play 3-Back against teams that will never bunker in SBC.
    C. Don’t play 3-Back against a Russian team with 10 behind the ball.

    Simply Jillogical.

    • kernel_thai

      U should trademark Jillogical

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    • Paul Klee

      They were actually playing a three back KO had less defensive responsibility than either Long or Mewis (not that they had much either)

      • x factor

        I agree with you when we went on the offense. but when on defense I would imagine that KO would be that fourth defender along the back line.

    • #1Fan

      Ellis has lost her nerve. We lose to good teams and its about trusting the process. We play poor teams and we talk about the importance of winning.

      • DNG

        I see no progress towards a more progressive team in the A3. Lots of route one and uninspired soccer. Also does no one else besides the deep lying midfielders realize they need to move in build up? I realized this is not a new issues but still. Game after game(year after year) this seems to go unaddressed.

      • Bruce

        I think that’s totally the issue. These were perfect games in which to experiment by forcing the team to break down a defensive-minded opponent. Instead we get goals on 3 transition plays, a corner and a pressed turnover.

        I’ve given up on thinking that this team can evolve. There is just no commitment to (or understanding of) the process needed to evolve to a more effective style against quality competition.

        • DNG

          Russia was not close to a solid compact defense. They left tons of space in behind and didn’t cover the wide space much at all. Lavelle’s goal specifically was just horrific defending. How does a back line let Pugh hit a diagonal to a winger in stride with a clear path towards goal. That pass should have been easily dealt with and at the very least someone should have cut Lavelle off. Russia were a terrible team with a completely unorganized defense and we still created very little.

          • Bruce

            Regardless of their defensive quality, they were happy to put 9 or 10 behind the ball all day in both matches. A coach can choose to use that to force a learning experience on her team, or not.

          • DNG

            They can put as many players behind the ball as they want. If they aren’t organized and good enough defensively the US will have little trouble scoring goals.

          • Bruce

            Really? The US did not score one goal by breaking down the Russian defense today, Pugh’s deep cross in the first game was – I believe – the only goal that wasn’t the result of a transition break, corner or defensive error.

          • DNG

            They didn’t need to and that’s my point. Look at the ball Short played over the top to Pugh for one of Dunn’s goals. A good team snuffs that out with little trouble.

          • Bruce

            The whole point of my comments is that a confident / knowledgeable coach uses a friendly like this to help her team grow, not just win with direct play.

          • DNG

            Oh. Well I don’t think that Ellis sends her team out with a specific list of instructions on how she wants them to play. I think she throws players out there and lets them ‘figure it out’. Most of the players that played up front are direct players so I’m not exactly surprised that they play like direct players.

          • Frozen Blue

            I would argue, though I agree with you premise, that a fast translation game is a good way to breakdown a tough defense. It was one of the problems we had vs Sweden, our build up play was so slow up the field that they were able to get 11 people behind the ball before we could get anything going.

          • DNG

            Sweden effectively eliminated the transition game by ceding the majority of possession to the US and defending very deep. Sweden willingly gave up the ball and the midfield because they knew the US could not effectively break them down. The US’s reliance on transition an pressing to create chances was the biggest reason they did not win.

          • Frozen Blue

            I never thought of the game that way, I just remember the slow build up, something for me to consider.

          • Steglitz49

            The main reason the USWNT lost to Sweden in OG-16 was that they were not good enough, just as they were not good enough in WC-11 when they also lost but in the group game.

            The 2-2 draw with Colombia in OG-16 supports the conclusion that the USWNT were not good enough.

          • Steglitz49

            Sweden played the transition game.

            Their defense was highly organized. It is very tiring to play so much defense.

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        • kernel_thai

          Add the fact that if u take out the questionable PK and an OG, a three goal outing is hardly convincing against a slow team.

    • Ron Rocha

      Kinda hard to see any logical plan there huh!

    • TsovLoj

      Re C, remember that results aren’t everything in friendlies. She may feel we learn more about our attacking prowess in such a lopsided match when we don’t have everyone pushed forward in a swarm.

      • kernel_thai

        If results aren’t everything why start the same 10 outfield player two matches in a row against a weak opponent? : )

    • x factor

      It seems as if that Jill has finally realized (hopefully) that the best formation is something with a four-back defensively that can transition to a three-back when the team is in possession of the ball.

    • Anson

      C’MON does anybody believe these 2 High School games against Russia showed us something? Very disapponting!

  • guest

    Why not switch up the line up? Why not play your best forward (Press) for a half to get her into the groove with new players?

    • Reality

      Ellis is presumably moving toward more passing, possession and inside play up the middle. Now that she is moving back to a 4-4-2, it would seem like the ideal time to start and play Press at forward since this is her wheelhouse setup. Naturally she uses Press off the bench for the last 30″ in each game and playing in the midfield today. Another example of classic Ellis mismanagement.

      Press still had the best effort of the game…

      https://twitter.com/OurGameMagazine/status/851160387453988864

      • guest

        Um, that is your opinion on “best effort. regardless, she still can’t score. story of her (NT) life.

        • sunil

          WATCH OUT! You are suppressing discussion of Press!

          • HOFCToDi

            Christen Press suppresses the USWNT’s attack:

            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 is the quintessential international FRAUD.

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

            Christen Press has cemented her legacy with the USWNT:

            garbage time
            prima donna
            selfish shot hog
            tomato cans

      • DNG

        Good individual effort here from Press and the keeper. Not really impressed with her play overall but it should be noted, Ellis used her on the wing again.

        • Reality

          Ellis keeps forgetting that Press is a forward…

          • HOFCToDi

            No one cares about Christen Press.

      • HOFCToDi

        What a joke.

        • Silver Frost

          How did Morgan do?

          • HOFCToDi

            USWNT 2013-2016
            FIFA Top 10 Ranked Opponents
            USWNT Goals Scored
            Morgan – 16 (too many to list)
            Lloyd – 8 (AUS, BRA, GER, JPN x 3, BRA, FRA)
            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)
            Johnston – 2 (FRA, JPN)
            Dunn – 2 (BRA, ENG)

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

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

          • HOFCToDi

            Calendar Year 2016
            FIFA Top 10 Ranked Opponents
            USWNT Goals Scored
            Morgan (DOB 02 Jul 1989) – 6
            Lloyd (DOB 16 Jul 1982) – 1
            Horan (DOB 26 May 1994) – 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

      • Steglitz49

        Great save.

      • guest

        that was a good effort. i’m glad to see press is mixing it up and going bottom corners on some shots.

    • sunil

      maybe Jill doesn’t think she’s the best forward. shocking, i know.

    • kernel_thai

      Sure, start Press and Morgan and bring Lloyd and Dunn on as subs so u can see how they play with Pugh and Lavelle…wait, that makes sense…I retract my comment.

      • Reality

        What makes sense to Ellis…Lloyd starts at forward again and got a PK for 97 – #CarliChasing100.

        • mockmook

          Because everyone knows that Lloyd is a great upcoming prospect to be a Forward at WWC19 — glad to see the youngster getting these opportunities.

          • Reality

            There is a secret clause in the new CBA that allows Lloyd to play until she’s a young 50.

          • HOFCToDi

            Live with it.

        • Guest

          Press instead of Lloyd in the starting lineup could produce more goals for USWNT.

          • Reality

            As I’ve said more than once, Lloyd is an inhibiting force on the NT offense and defense, but as the designated sole PK taker, she will eventually get to 100.

          • HOFCToDi

            No one cares what you think.

        • kernel_thai

          Miss Carli should remember what happened to her BFF when she finally reached those landmarks.

          • Reality

            “Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending.”
            Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

          • HOFCToDi

            No greater end to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup:

            Christen Press
            2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup
            30 Jun 2015
            USA 2 GER 0
            Minutes Played 0

            resources.fifa.com/mm/document/tournament/competition/02/65/52/49/eng_49_0630_usa-ger_fulltime.pdf

            Christen Press was BENCHED!

            Christen Press
            2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup
            05 Jul 2015
            USA 5 JPN 2
            Minutes Played 0

            resources.fifa.com/mm/document/tournament/competition/02/66/12/93/eng_52_0705_usa-jpn_fulltime.pdf

            Christen Press was BENCHED!

            Nevermind Christen Press started eleven of the first twelve matches for the USWNT in calendar year 2015.

            ussoccer.com/womens-national-team/lineups/2015-lineups

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

          • Steglitz49

            Gold-Lena managed it to a tee and she is not the only one.

        • HOFCToDi

          #ChristenPressChasingObscurity

    • Guest

      Common knowledge that Press has technical skills but not as quick as Dunn who is also very technical in ball possession and placement on goal.Press could see more time if she adds quickness to her game.

      • mockmook

        Press is quicker at creating a shot.

      • guest

        I disagree. I think Press is just as fast if not faster than Dunn (she should be, she has about 8 inches on her), and more technical/better soccer iq, but for some reason she doesn’t do memorable things on the NT and tends to wilt when she has the chance to (that goes for the CRS as well)…

        • kernel_thai

          I don’t think Press is faster than Dunn over an effective distance. Sure, Press’ stride length becomes more of a factor the longer the run gets but not over the short sprints in a soccer match. I do think Press is more technical however and has a much better touch.

  • hmmm

    I wonder who is more quickly approaching irrelevancy – Morgan or Press? I am guessing Morgan since she is perpetually injured (photographed icing her leg again today). Ellis seems to not favor either. Will she call up a new young gun? Are there any promising young forwards?

    • Paul Klee

      No one else has the skill set that Press brings (her ability to create shots in tight spaces). This ability will keep her on the squad, as a reserve and occasionally at starter.

      • mockmook

        “ability to create shots in tight spaces”

        Jordan

      • Guest

        Press is skillful but lacks the quickness of Dunn.Consequently never found goal in two games against Russia.

        • Ethan

          How exactly was additional quickness essential to Dunn’s two goals today?

      • kernel_thai

        Throwing Lloyd in with the forwards certainly further complicates the situation. Other than designated PK taker she wasn’t nearly as crisp as she was Thursday.

    • dw

      The answer to this question is always Press.

    • newsouth

      downhill runners and bulldozers (morgan and sydney) don’t have the longest careers. just compare it to 2 yrs and a clud of smoke running backs or boxers with no defense. that’s just the way it is.

  • guest

    Crystal Dunn scores on tomato cans; is greatest thing since sliced bread.

    • ABCDE

      You could say the same thing about Christen Press. And FYI, Dunn has scored more clutch goals against solid opposition in her short career than Press has.

      Wondering what is going on with Lynn Williams. My guess is Ellis realized she made a mistake but she had too many caps, triggering contract status.

      • DNG

        I can only really think of one for Dunn and one for Press.

        • guest

          I can think of zero for Press and multiples for Dunn that kept them from being embarrassed (South Africa, Colombia OG, England SBC).

          • DNG

            South Africa and Colombia are not that impressive to me. Press against France at Algarve and she also had a good one against Australia. I think they’re about even on the scale of good goals.

          • guest

            Not that impressive, ok(?), but Press was the forward in those games while Dunn was a midfielder. Dunn wasn’t on the team against France Algarve (how mahy years ago was that) or the world cup. She was done dirty by USSF and I’m glad she is shining now.

          • DNG

            I certainly did not say that Press always plays well. I think Dunn actually had more minutes last year but Press has played more over her career.

          • Ethan

            Press wasn’t a forward against France at the Algarve or against Australia at the WWC.

            Edit: That Algarve was only two years ago.

          • DNG

            I think guest meant Colombia and South Africa. I don’t remember the matches that well.

          • Ethan

            I see. Misread his or her comment. Regardless, Dunn wouldn’t have scored against Colombia without Press’ great pass to Lloyd in the build-up. Full credit to Dunn for getting into the right position against South Africa, but Morgan and Klingenberg played bigger roles in that goal. Dunn has played well for the NT over the last year and a half or so, but I have to agree with you that I can only think of one clutch goal against solid opposition for Dunn and Press each.

          • HOFCToDi

            How about England?

            fifa.com/fifa-world-ranking/ranking-table/women/rank=552/index.html

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lF7BtTrK-wA

          • Ethan

            That was the one goal both DNG and I could think of.

          • HOFCToDi

            How about Brazil?

            fifa.com/fifa-world-ranking/ranking-table/women/rank=551/index.html

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vixi7QfdVco

          • Ethan

            I didn’t know a clutch goal could happen in a non-tournament friendly.

          • HOFCToDi

            Dunn is 24 years old while Press is 28 years old.

          • HOFCToDi

            So what?

            The only time Christen Press scored a goal against France was when both first string centerbacks were out of the lineup (Georges, Renard).

          • HOFCToDi

            The only time Christen Press scored a goal against France was when both first string centerbacks were out of the lineup (Georges, Renard).

      • TsovLoj

        I’m not convinced Lynn is a mistake. I think she’s what Morgan used to be, for better or for worse, and there’s a place for that kind of speed attacker.

        • Frozen Blue

          She had some nice passes today in the limited time she was in they she made an impact to the game.

        • DNG

          As an impact sub late in games sure. I’m less sure the team needs more than one of those and they certainly don’t need three(Morgan, Williams, and Leroux).

          • TsovLoj

            That I agree with, but I think Williams may be the best of those three.

          • DNG

            Maybe but I don’t think she’s clearly much better than the other two and she might be the worse(most inconsistent) finisher of the three.

          • #1Fan

            Gamechangers baby.

          • guest

            leroux is almost ready for reality tv. keeping up with the leroux’s.

        • kernel_thai

          The better question is with over two years to go before France 2019, why is Lynn Williams competing against Carly Lloyd for playing time against a team outside the top 20?

          • DNG

            Why is Lloyd still playing for the team at all at 34 when she’s clearly off the pace against the top teams?

          • kernel_thai

            She sells tickets. Why was Wambach still around past the point of even being able to compete for a club?

            The more interesting thing to me is Lavelle vs Lloyd for the #10 spot. By all rights if Lavelle is first choice now ud think Lloyd would be sitting not starting a new career as a striker in a different formation.

          • DNG

            Lloyd is not playing like a 10 false 9 or whatever else she thinks she is. She’s a glorified poacher/floater that fills gaps and can’t run much at all. The team will be fine without her ticket wise and it’s not like she has to play once the tickets are sold.

          • Frozen Blue

            Since Lloyd played a forward in the 4-4-2 would Lavelle moving into the middle in this set up replace Lloyd as a forward or
            Long as the attacking center mid?

          • DNG

            I don’t really think Lavelle is a deeper-lying central midfielder. I would not want her playing in one of the two pivots since she’s not really built to defend and break up play. If you play her centrally, You’d be playing more of a 4231 with Lavelle in the 10 role. I’d prefer to give Brian a chance at this role first though. Brian was by far the better 10 in college but has not really been able to play in her preferred position for the NT or her club team.

          • Breakers fan

            I saw them both in college a good amount and both were excellent so the correct answer is “Brian was on the far better team.”

          • DNG

            Yeah and still by far the better overall player to me at least.

          • Breakers fan

            I like ’em both a lot, feel no need to rank ’em, especially in such an extreme way. You’re basing your conclusive and pretty negative, based on positive evidence to date, evaluation of Rose on how much viewing?

          • guest

            at the very least boston has a midfielder that can do some damage in the nwsl this year. good to see it looks like boston hit on their first round draft pick.

          • Breakers fan

            It’s funny — fans get really competitive about players, develop likes and hatreds often and quickly, when I bet players that are on the same team actually try, make an effort to work and get along together, showing a level of maturity far beyond that of the average fan. It’s odd how a lot of fans have such a hard time bringing all into the fold.

          • DNG

            I don’t have any issue with Lavelle. I like that she plays with flair and she reminds me a of Rapinoe and Tobin who are two of my favorite players. I hope Lavelle turns into a great player for the USWNT and the Boston Breakers. I would just prefer Brian as the 10 at this point and probably long term.

          • Breakers fan

            That’s fine and good, glad to hear. Just please try not to let your preference color your view and remarks about Lavelle – a titanic challenge. Get mad at Jill, not Rose.

          • DNG

            I’m not mad at Rose. My frustration is definitely directed at Ellis and it’s really about the need to keep starting Lloyd. I’m not picking Brian over Lavelle because solely because of a style of play preference(although it probably helps). I’m picking her because I think she’s the overall better player right now.

          • DNG

            And just because I prefer Brian at the 10, I do still want to see Lavelle play. I’d actually like to see her develop into a successor to Pinoe and Tobin.

          • Breakers fan

            Glad to hear you like what you’ve seen in her play so far, as I know you’re not easy to impress. When Brian and Heath and Horan return it’ll be interesting to see how she handles the midfield.

          • Breakers fan

            Not to mention Sullivan.

          • DNG

            I saw Sullivan as more of an 8 than a 10

          • mockmook

            I saw her more as a 6 than an 8

          • DNG

            I think she can play as a 6 too but I would think about playing a more defensive minded midfielder as the 6.

          • Breakers fan

            Me too – just talking about the entire midfield picture.

          • guest

            sure look’s like a faster rapinoe and heath too.

          • Bill

            I think we have to be still careful in our assessments about Lavelle until we can assess her stamina in a tough game and endurance across a season.

            For a coach, players that can play a hard two way 90 minutes are very valuable even if those traits are unspectaculat

          • #1Fan

            This is not actually true in many cases. Those rivalries still exist and it often shows

          • Breakers fan

            I bet that they do (rivalries exist) to some extent, after all we’re dealing with competitive athletes near the top of their profession and limited space on the field, but none of us are in the middle of the senior team so we really don’t know the exact situation in any kind of depth. That said, you may get some inside info or at least gossip, which I know in my life is often conflated/exaggerated for dramatic effect. I also believe they do make more of an effort to get along than fans do to embrace each player, and that over time rivalries can be resolved and better relationships can come into being. I have no doubt that happens. Being on the same team and wanting to stay on that team….I think if someone becomes a problem – is noticeably difficult, negative, hard to get along with, openly envious, then that player’s time on the team may become numbered. Not so with fans – no pressure or incentive in this regard. Which leads me to think that some small number of fans are more fans of a player or two than they are of the team. Which of course is completely their prerogative, but let’s call things what they are.

          • #1Fan

            i think it is a lot more prevalent than you. WoSo is a much more political beast becasue of the pay structure and the ability to win with sub optimal lineups.

            Politics breeds resentment.

          • DNG

            I think there are some players on the full team who can rise above that resentment and unhealthy competition(player x says she needs to score more than player y at all costs). I also feel better about some of the younger generation although Ellis calling up teenagers might cause some real damage in the future.

          • Breakers fan

            Well, no doubt that every little “scandal” and scuttlebutt gets a ton of mileage in the outside world, so it could be that those (probably few) are what you’re referencing. I do think that no matter what you may have heard we’re not there inside the team day to day, so ultimately we’re speculating about this when you’re talking about the exact realities of personal relationships. And even if you’ve come across hearsay keep in mind that it is just that, even if it has some degree of reliability. Within a team there are 100s of relationships, each person with every other.

            And do you mean within the senior team or between senior team members and those outside it — NWSL players? Because if you’re one of the chosen few you have no real big reason to not get along with one another. Then of course there are the youth levels – not sure if animosity and inability to get along is more or less prevalent at those levels. What do you think or know about that?

            I think, generally, that when people are physically together – unlike the internet fan experience where everyone is remote from one another – and have to live and work together 24-7 in a team setting that that tends to draw people together. It won’t work perfectly between every 2 people but I bet it works pretty well. That was my experience with every team I’ve been on. You actually intentionally try to get along with others because you know it’ll help your team, and success for your team is what you all want, what you’re all working hard for every day, and what will help you individually the most too so you try to make that happen. There may be exceptions to varying degrees, but I bet it’s kept civil the huge majority of the time, otherwise you’ll probably soon be packing your bags.

          • #1Fan

            I dont think you have to be in the team to do more than speculate. it depends on who you kn ow and what your sources are.

            Secondly, when a team HAS to pull together to win games, its a lot more likely that they do. When a team can win games and then be evaluated by coaches over who was more “effective” in a lopsided game , its a totally different dynamic.

            There are players on the full team who are not happy with the roles they have and that has big impact on team spirit. There ar e players on the team for whom individual success is clearly ahead of the team.

          • DNG

            “There are players on the full team who are not happy with the roles they have and that has big impact on team spirit.”

            There is only so much they are ever going to be able to do about that on the NT though. When there is such a huge group of players vying for the same positions, some people will inevitably be unhappy with their roles. The coach has to make choices and be upfront with the players who may not be in optimal roles. If those players can’t get it together they should be dropped. If the coach can’t figure it out, they should be fired. Allie Long didn’t sulk about not being able to be a CAM on the NT. She sucked it up and worked hard to improve the rest of her game so she could be a more well rounded midfielder and is probably thrilled to just be a part of the team.

          • #1Fan

            I get that, but its not all peaches and cream. And its not about getting tit together as such. the $$ impact means that they will all smile and look happy, but the reality for some is very different. thats all Im saying.

          • DNG

            Of course it’s not all peaches and cream, it never is. I suspect that this is a problem on overflowing men’s teams too. Players are probably not thrilled about having to play in sub optimal roles but will do so for the chance to represent their country.

            More to the point I don’t see how this problem is ever going to be fixed until there is a truly successful league with more player autonomy in chosing their team.

          • Breakers fan

            My point was that you may get hearsay that has some reliability to it but you are not going to know exactly what the situation is in detail. My guess is that the reports may make it seem worse than it is. The way you present it here, it sounds like there are serious problems with the team coming from a few disgruntled players, as you used the word “big impact on team spirit”. Would you say that’s an accurate characterization? That a few are bringing down team morale in a pretty serious way. If it’s clear to the coaching staff that this is happening and who these disgruntled players are, what is the normal response to that — does the squeaky wheel customarily get the grease in the form of more playing time or does the squeaky wheel get shown the junkyard, in the form of no call-up next time?

          • #1Fan

            Soccer is a very small world. The relationships are close. I simply countered your contention that everyone gets on for the better of the team. I think that’s not true.

            There are cliques on this team and that’s not a good thing. The Captain is more interested in her own form than pulling people together.

          • DNG

            The young players and veterans in Portland seem to get along very well. I’m not sure this is as big of an issue on the full team as I’ve heard it is on the youth teams. But that’s what happens when there is very little rotation and they keep on bringing kids up together in small groups.

          • Breakers fan

            I do appreciate the sort of inside lane you have. I agree that cliques are generally not a great thing. It’s the degree of clique-ness that is important, however, and how it affects the overall team. Every team or collection of human beings is going to have closer groups of friends within it. It’s how whether beyond the groups the members of a team can still be friendly, and that can vary tremendously.

            My contention was only that, I think by and large, concerted efforts are made by the players to try to get to know and get along with one another, (it’s the nature of a team), more so than fans *try* to get behind an entire team. I don’t think it will all work out perfectly, but I still feel that no matter what you may hear from the sources you have those reports probably doesn’t exactly represent precisely what is happening. In other words, the players themselves could describe it better than the source(s) you have, I bet. I could be wrong about that but that’s my guess. You suggest Lloyd is a big problem. I’d love to hear each player talk about that, but of course that is not forthcoming. Maybe there are big internal problems – you’re suggesting there are. If there are I bet they won’t be allowed to fester for the next 2 years. If your sources are exaggerating or just don’t know the realities in depth then it’s a different situation and things aren’t as bad as you suggest.

          • #1Fan

            Out of interest , why do you assume my sources are not players ?

          • DNG

            I don’t have an issue believing that Lloyd is a problem and her attitude might not be appreciated by more than a few(possibly the majority). I also don’t have a problem believing that there are cliques in the full team as well. What isn’t really clear to me is whether or not you think this is going to be an issue in the next generation of players or not. And I do think there are some veterans who seem to get along with and enjoy playing with the younger generation of players. Obviously there is going to be a good amount of tension while there are still yearly contracts and competition for those contracts.

          • #1Fan

            Hard to say. I think the system all the way up puts players at odds with each other in bad ways. the compensation system does not help. Time will tell. I see the full teams being a reflection of the youth ones under the current regimes. Its natural to feel very competitive with player A if she is always deemed better than you and it sought for player A when/if player B is suddenly moved ahead of you. Its not easy to suddenly be OK with that.

          • Breakers fan

            Just based on the odds of that happening – the number of people in America who have such a close connection to senior NT players that they’ll confide this level of inside information with is and who aren’t family members of said people is microscopically small.Even with your daughter’s connection to the YNT system I wouldn’t guess that you know full team players in that capacity but I’m completely willing to say I’m wrong if I am. I think anyone here would assume you’re not talking with current NT players at this level. Are you? You don’t have to name names.

          • #1Fan

            k, Just wondered.

          • Breakers fan

            Cryptic reply but I accept it and your right to divulge or not divulge whatever you choose.
            I will add this possibility, though. It’s more conceivable/possible that you could know a parent of a player who is relaying accurate and reliable information. That would be a source I would accept as one that is completely accurate and reliable.

          • HOFCToDi

            Why?

            Veteran Protection System better known as the CBA.

          • NYRick

            Do you really buy the “sells tickets” anymore? For any of them? I think the USWNT will draw every year, every match with a complete turnover in personnel. The USWNT is the draw for the young fan base who urge their parents and coaches to take them to the matches. Not the players.

          • kernel_thai

            Well, if u go back to the match against Switzerland and read the comments when the roster was announced u will find well over 100 comments from parents complaining that they had already bought ticket and made travel plans so there children could see Alex Morgan who was left off that roster. The general post on USSoccer might get 5 replies. So yes, despite the teams success it still stars that drive ticket sales.

          • guest

            Because Morgan is wearing the US shirt. If she had the star power you claim for her, she would draw the same number out to her NWSL matches, but there is no evidence of that. But even if she did draw more fans to NWSL matches, I would argue that she is the exception.

          • guest

            carli lloyd is the tom brady of womens soccer. she still has another 10 ten years left in the tank.

        • JL

          Williams needs to adjust to the increased speed of play at the international level. There have been moments where she had options, but couldn’t make a play fast enough to take advantage of them.

          • DNG

            You say that like it’s something that any player can just do. Maybe she can do it but there is also a very good chance she doesn’t develop into anything more than what she already is.

          • #1Fan

            my question would be why is she getting the chance to adjust at the full Intl level?

    • Guest

      Not true; considering the fact that she played midfield in most of the games under Jill.On the other hand, she has scored 4 goals in two games as a center forward and did not played 65 minutes in both games.By the way, Press, Morgan and Williams could have scored at least a goal in 30 minutes of play if Russia was a ‘tomato can’.Never happened.

    • Frozen Blue

      By all means let’s pick on a player for having a good weekend.

  • FawcettFan14

    Why would you play the same starting lineup against an overmatched opponent? Why? What does that accomplish exactly?

    And sorry but Jill is kind of a b*tch for letting Ohai dress for the final 18 and then be the ONLY PLAYER who doesn’t get off the bench, in front of her home crowd. I’m all for getting playing time based on merit, but why would you include her in the 18 at all if she hadn’t been playing well in training?

    • Reality

      Not letting Ohai play in Houston was a major snub by Ellis, but typical of her style of management.

      • mockmook

        And, it seems the start for Campbell was completely about getting her on in front of her home crowd.

        • Reality

          So why one and not both?

          • mockmook

            Oh JE JE won’t you talk to me?

          • Breakers fan

            This is your main line in the chorus of the hit single you should now work on writing…

          • mockmook

            Alas, ’tis the season, and with the season comes the Siren’s song of (partial?) plagiarism:

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

          • Breakers fan

            Top shelf – well-done! I assume the JC = JE?

          • mockmook

            Only for rhyming purposes…

          • NYRick

            I saw this on Broadway about 3 years ago. I know it was a remake, but it was an amazing show. An incredible overall soundtrack song to song.

        • kernel_thai

          This would be relevant, I guess if Campbell had actually played for the Dash. If u sat her on a stool in front of the stadium I doubt too many Dash fans would know who she was. On that I note I really think Ellis gave Lloyd 60 minutes instead of a half because of the misnomer that she plays for the Dash.

        • kernel_thai

          And the plot thickens as the Dash cut Menninger and sign Campbell…so much for carrying 3 GKs.

    • kernel_thai

      It’s a deliberate slap in the face to the Houston Dash and the NWSL by Ellis, As the USWNT coach she should be doing everything in her power to support the league and help it grow. Instead she undermines it at every turn. This could have been a gesture to help the Dash gain fans from 11,000 WNT fans at the match instead. Instead Ellis embarrasses herself again

  • Ashley C

    These tomato can games are pointless and hard to gauge much from. I only stuck around for the first half. I suppose it’s necessary growing pains for the sport as a whole.

  • kernel_thai

    In other business, nice of Foudy to confirm that Klingenberg was injured in May explaining her poor performance over the second half of the year including the failed Olympic effort. That basically got them down to 16 fit players for the tournament.

    • Guest

      Wasn’t it generally thought that Kling hurt her back in the Portland KC game in late April? She really never was the same after that game.

  • Frozen Blue

    This was just ridiculous, why have a camp and call in 23 players to play a poor team like Russia and then only really play 11 players only 1 of which, Lavelle, needs evaluation as all the other 10 are known products, this was the time to try something new, get boarder line players a look, try new combinations, use this opportunity to improve the team when under no pressure, instead this was a wasted weekend. This would have been a good weekend to have the equivalent of a men’s Gold Cup roster filled with boarder line players and give them a tryout.

    • #1Fan

      I thought everyone was happy with the camp decides all rhetoric ? Ellis has been doing this for a long time. I have always believed that any player supposedly good enough to get called in, deserves a chance to get a full evaluation. Especially early in a WC cycle.

      This is how the team is run.

      Did you see Carli Lloyd taking shots at a guy who saw her as a sub in 2019 ?

      Seriously, I am stunned that the captain of the NT behaves like that towards people with an opinion.

      • DNG

        Lloyd’s been doing that for a while. I guess she uses it as motivation. I do agree that she should really just not read her twitter after matches and respond to anyone. That guy was way kinder than I have been to her too. I don’t think she currently deserves a roster spot.

        • NYRick

          There’s a fine line between motivation and jerk.

          • DNG

            I think Carli has clearly crossed line since I think both clearly apply in her case.

          • NYRick

            In life, at anything really (athlete, entertainer, businsess person, parent, sibling etc.) when you’re good…when you’re really good…you don’t have to say a word.

            Everyone will do all the talking for you.

          • Steglitz49

            Muhammad Ali might want to disagree with you if he was still with us.

          • NYRick

            And many didn’t like him for that very reason.

      • Reality

        This kind of pettiness just demonstrates Lloyd’s basic insecurity…

        https://mobile.twitter.com/CarliLloyd/status/851220021829390336

        • NYRick

          Really hate to harp on this because for a lack of a better term, “it is what it is” and nothing (coach etc.) will change it, but…she is just so freakin unlikeable. Especially for the so-called star and face of the program right now.

          I mean Carli you got you undeserved gift second FIFA Poy. Even you in your quietest moments have to realize what a complete joke that is (although, let me retract, with you, I don’t think you think it was a joke). Point is, move on and relax. You have your place in history with this sport and team. Your dreams have come true. Now your job should be passing the torch, not adding more lighter fluid to it for a further advancement to your career. Carli, we don’t care anymore. You proved the doubters wrong blah blah blah. You are wonder woman. You are the bomb. Keep believing your own BS and you soon will find yourself like the two other immovable gifts to the program (Wambach and Solo). Both had bad exits. Is it any doubt you are headed for one. One in which people will enjoy due to your unnecessary hubris.

          • Reality

            Let me harp a bit with you since it is a topic worthy of discussion. Lloyd has had her moments of greatness at particularly auspicious times, but her overall performance over the years has been spotty. She never had the technical skills of other teammates and now her lack of quickness and mobility is particularly noticeble at age 34.

            What has distinguished her has been her determination and perseverance. But greatest strength can be greatest weakness depending on circumstances. Her fundamental insecurity drives her to greater efforts, but also undermines her ability to be a team player, act as a role model and be a true team leader in her capacity as Captain. She puts her ambition and self centeredness above all else. As a result, the USWNT has suffered because they are forced to accomodate her needs.

            Ellis is complicit in this and has enabled Lloyd’s influence by making her Captain, playing her in every game mostly for 90″ and letting her play wherever and however she wants in search of shots. This not only disrupts the run of play, but forces her teammates to play out of position or be benched or not play at all.

            And there is no discernable end game to this ongoing dilemma for the NT outside of either or both Ellis and Lloyd exiting in some fashion. One never knows what the future may hold, but if the USWNT hopes to truly grow, this problem must be resolved.

          • NYRick

            Great post, spot on. I think we both said at the time, along with some others on here, that the hat trick in the WC final was going to be the worst thing that ever happened to the team moving forward. Don’t get me wrong, it was fantastic that the team won the WC and she was certainly an instrumental part in winning that final, but it would have been so much better for the team to have won that match 2-1 with goals coming from Holiday and Brian.

            I just find it so unsavory when the “star” feels the need to remind us of her greatness. Her unmatched determination and work ethic. For me, that is a slight to her teammates who surely have also worked extremely hard to get to this elite level as well.

            A real star lets any critique roll off their shoulder. Tom Brady doesn’t have to remind people of his past success. It’s foolish and petty. But I do think you have hit on a real key issue here in that the catering to her (and this was going to be very predictable by Ellis for that WC) works to the detriment of the team. They are bringing in new pieces all around and she can’t be touched, and players have to be played out of position to accommodate her presence. And a real leader and captain doesn’t allow that to happen. They have more pride than that. It should be team first at all times.

          • Reality

            Given that Lloyd has apparently been gifted the position of forward on the team since Ellis at least recognizes that she is a liability in the midfield, one can’t help but wonder how this influences the choice of her partner if Ellis continues with the 4-4-2.

          • NYRick

            The logjam in the midfield now with Lavelle clearly in the picture and with Heath, Brian, Mewis and Ellis’ favorite Long now entrenched creates no other option for Ellis than to move Carli to full forward exclusively as one starter. We know that’s where she technically was playing but now it’s official that’s where she’ll be till WC19 as the 90 minute starter. It also seems that Dunn’s big weekend ensures that she will be Carli’s running mate up top all the time with crumbs being thrown to Morgan and Press. Press will predominantly now be pushed back to the flank to be Pugh’s caddy. It’s crazy because I still think the two best pure forwards all around on the team are still Morgan and Press and both are at the tail end of their prime right now.

            This is not to slight Dunn who I think belongs on the field, but I’d rather see her running at people from the flank, move Lavelle more central and have your two forwards be Morgan and Press with Williams as their sub. Never happen we know, but this would be their most entertaining and effective lineup. These games like Russia prove nothing and I would say the same if Press got the 4 goals instead of Dunn. Point though is that let’s say Press got the 4 goals. Guarantee that would not make her the immovable forward. It’s match to match for her. With Dunn, it was automatic now. She is the starter.

            Also, why doesn’t Morgan and Press get a full run out there with Pugh and Lavelle? That is a huge advantage to the opportunities. And KO on the pitch pushes forward as well. When Press and Morgan are playing they are being put out there with a on the downward slide Pinoe and non offensive players like Krieger and Oyster pushing forward. And Mewis is no creative powerhouse herself. In addition, if Long is now a full blown 90 minute starter somewhere(seriously after the France game how is that even possible if not being an Ellis favorite) than doesn’t she offer all the bruising set piece stuff Carli supplies? This team is going to put all their eggs in Pugh and Lavelle moving forward and both are kind of one dimensional, a bit small and frail and still unproven on the biggest stage of the WC.

          • #1Fan

            its hard to talk personnel without defining a formation. I have read a lot of Lavelle inside chatter, but in a 442 or 433 its not a good idea.

            To me, Lavelle is a cam or withdrawn forward not a true cm or cdm

            think 4231 wou;d be a great formation for her AND the team. She could play any of the roles across the CAM line . prob RCAM and maybe even CCAM.

          • DNG

            I think she’s going to have to improve her finishing rate significantly, and it wasn’t very good in college, if she wants wants to find a place as a second striker. I can see her as CAM though. I think we’re similar in thinking this but I would prefer a player like Brian if Lavelle is not going to be able to score goals consistently herself against good defenses. If she can improve her dribbling ability against good defenses I might reconsider.

          • #1Fan

            I am flexible there. In the current US set up with limited off the ball movement, Im not so sure ho well Brian would do at CAM vs a Lavelle. I think Brian is the better passer but Im not sure how much of an asset that is in the current team. A dribbling presence central may be more effective. Who knows.

          • DNG

            I think they can play players in the AM line in the 4231 or wide forward in the 433 who have good movement off the ball. There may not be a huge number of them but I think the team has some good players in Horan, Pugh, Lavelle, Heath and Brian herself. Even Long and Mewis aren’t bad and hopefully Sullivan will come good when she gets back. I think that’s enough players who move pretty well.

          • AlexH

            I’m not too worried about the formation any more. Lavelle seems to bring some stuff to the table and she and Dunn have both showed the ability to put the ball in the back of the net somewhat reliably (unlike are so called “best true forwards”) so once Jill gets over her Long infatuation the front end will sort itself out.
            What we absolutely need is a shut down pair of CB’s because without that we have nothing. I think Brunn needs to sit because if she is always on the field there just isn’t enough time to try out the candidates and at her age she just isn’t all tat anymore.

          • DNG

            How is Lavelle, or anyone really, scoring against Russia proving she has the ability to put the ball in the back of the net? I don’t think any of the US’s CB prospects are ready for the big matches right now. We can only hope they figure it out by the start of the next world cup.

          • Steglitz49

            It is an insurmountable problem because only a few WNT can give the US a run for its money.

            The USWNT just played 3 of them in the SB Cup and they will play Sweden and Norway in 2 months time. They have played the NL. Maybe a match against Spain?

          • AlexH

            Because you still have to put the ball in the back of the net no matter who you play. Both of CD’s goals were eminently chokeable as was RL’s and lots of our star forwards would have found a way to hit the post or something. Those two seem cool in front of the net and I’ll take that for now.

          • DNG

            “lots of our star forwards would have found a way to hit the post or something”

            This is not a statement based on anything but speculation. And just because CD and RL finished their chances this time doesn’t mean that they will continue to. One or two games are the definition of a dismissively small sample size. They only thing that we can really conclude is that the first half lineup had an easier time creating chances than the second lineup against an awful team in these two specific matches.

          • AlexH

            Well there just aren’t enough games to get a statistically significant sample. Morgan and Press have had a pretty extensive run and I feel safe in saying that Press couldn’t hit water if she fell out of a boat and Morgan hasn’t really been firing on all cylinders as of late (although she is way better than Press). Dunn has been building up a good resume in front of goal and, yes, Lavelle had one opportunity and buried it about as well as a shot can be buried. It isn’t proof by any means but it tells me that she deservers more opportunities unlike the underperforming fossils.

          • DNG

            Dunn has a resume of missing gilded chances almost as long as the other two over the last year if you had been paying attention. Press has been by far the best club finisher and it’s not really close.

          • AlexH

            Club Shlub. A gaudy club record gets you invited in. Performance keeps you in.

          • DNG

            Club performance doesn’t seem to have much effect at all on certain players getting invited, Vanessa Dibernardo for example would like a word. I don’t think they care much about club performance at all and from what I can see it’s not a level playing field for all players getting into the team or even into the starting XI.

          • guest

            It has never translated into NT success for Press, and contrary to what certain posters here like to drone on about, she has had extensive chances. Far more than anyone not named Alex Morgan, Abby Wambach or Carli Lloyd got. and you could argue that those 3 actually did things to warrant starter status for a good run.

          • DNG

            So maybe the NT should look at options other than Press, Morgan or whoever. My original point was more that I haven’t seen anything from RL or CD that prove that they are consistently great finishers either. I don’t think you can accurately claim that CD has been more efficient than AM or CP.

          • guest

            I agree with that. I don’t think any of the forwards are firing on all cylinders right now.

          • #1Fan

            she had more than one oppo over the 2 games.

          • DNG

            I might be misremembering but I’m not sure Lavelle had any more clear chances. Not that I think anyone got the number of clear chances that Dunn did.

          • AlexH

            Dunn’s job is to put herself in a position to get clear chances and put them away. Her opportunities are not an accident.

          • #1Fan

            I agree. The only issue i see is does playing on the shoulder and waiting for the thru ball work consistently vs the better teams OR the ones who play very deep and organized ?

          • AlexH

            Nothing really works against better teams who are organized defensively. That is why soccer is such a low scoring game. Pouncing on whatever opportunity arises is pretty much the most common way to score and Dunn has a knack for it. It is one of those intangibles that makes a huge difference.

          • DNG

            “Nothing really works against better teams who are organized defensively.”

            I don’t think this is true at all. Maybe in the women’s game it’s closer to the truth but the best teams in the mens game can break down organized defenses and come out on top most of the time. We can see Japan do it in the women’s game too.

          • AlexH

            Ger 1- 0 Arg , Spa 1-0 Ned, ITA 1-1FRA. The last 3 MWC finals haven’t been exactly video games. If a team wants to defend like crazy they can do it. When top teams play each other in important matches the score lines are frequently low.

          • DNG

            International football is not the standard anymore in the men’s game. Just about every team has more holes than the top club sides.

          • DNG

            I would not necessarily equate low score lines with top teams being unable to break each other down either.

          • #1Fan

            yes it does. you force them out of their comfort zone by varying your attacks. The US have not shown me that yet, but with the new wave of players, I believe they could.

          • Kevin

            Most players that play up top for the USWNT have a knack for pouncing on whatever opportunity arises. That’s how Dunn, Lloyd and Morgan racked up the majority of their goals against the tomato cans last year.

          • NYRick

            Lloyd gets to take PKs. That’s obviously big in goal totals and never mentioned by the US TV media. Only she has 14 goals in her last 17 matches or something like that, when in fact a good majority were PKs.

            Interestingly, I don’t think Press gets goals on the NT by pouncing on errors or loose balls in the box like the other 3. I personally don’t think she is aggressive enough in that area. Often watch were she is situated on corner kicks. She is never deep in the fray of a loose ball. That may be by coach’s design or her style of play, but the main critique of her that I do have is that after 4 years on this team (in which she has had opportunities for sure, but has been jerked around on the flank a good deal) she has yet to figure out that SHE NEEDS TO SCORE to remain relevant and get minutes. That’s all Ellis goes on. Her slick move yesterday has to find the back of the net. Simple as that. Great saves and posts no longer count. Dunn put away two bunnies and she is now all-world and a starter. Credit to Dunn. She is aggressive out there and understands (after being screwed over for the WC roster) that she needs to make a big impact at all times. For her, she realized scoring goals gets attention.

          • NYRick

            If I may add one thing: that’s also why Dunn is going offsides so much as well lately. She gets it.

            Goals=fame=Money=Minutes=Coach’s Favor on the USWNT. One in which the HC after bombing out in the OG without even a medal and the last place finish in the SBC is all about wins and goals…even against tomato cans.

          • htm222

            I’m a big Dunn fan but I think part of it is lack of discipline and not playing forward regularly. Ohai is another record setter for offside calls… maybe it’s Dorrance’s fault.

          • guest

            um how is Dunn all world and a starter now? That is nonsense. She rarely plays forward for this team. Ellis was trying something different against a tomato can but that doesn’t mean anything in the grand scheme of things for her minutes/position. You are so dramatic.

          • NYRick

            You want to put money right now on if Dunn is not the forward starter the next time this team drops the ball?

          • kernel_thai

            The next ball drop will be against Sweden and Im sure Ellis already has her pointy little head trying to come up with ways to lose to them again.

          • HOFCToDi

            Calendar Year 2016
            FIFA Top 10 Ranked Opponents
            USWNT Goals Scored
            Morgan (DOB 02 Jul 1989) – 6
            Lloyd (DOB 16 Jul 1982) – 1
            Horan (DOB 26 May 1994) – 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

          • DNG

            Never said they were by accident. I think she’s unlikely to get on the same amount of opportunities playing the way she does against the best teams.

          • AlexH

            Of course she won’t which is why generating opportunities and putting them away against the cream puffs is so important. If you can’t do it against Russia then you can’t do it against France.

          • #1Fan

            not sure I agree all the way. Russia were bad AND disorganized. The type of chance she is burying she is unlikely to get vs others so I dont see the correlation.

          • DNG

            That doesn’t mean that RL or CD will be able to do it against France either and it’s not like the only things that changed in the second half line up was Morgan and Press replacing Dunn and Lloyd up top. Press was played on the wing if I remember correctly.

          • Frozen Blue

            Yes where Dunn usually plays and scores from.

          • DNG

            Not sure what you are referring to. If it’s Press on the wing, There’s no denying Dunn is much more suited to playing outside than Press and is also more effective out there.

          • guest

            I agree which is what makes me curious about how things will develop from here on out. You have a lot of talent on the wings now (Heath, Dunn, Lavelle, Pugh). You have pressure on Carli in the mid with Brian, Mewis, Horan, now Lavelle. YOu still have competition among forwards with Williams, Morgan, {ress and possibly Dunn. Who gets pushed out given you want the young guns (Dunn, Pugh, Lavelle) on the field like ellis seems to? Common sense and biological reality dictates Carli… but we’ll see.

          • Frozen Blue

            My point is you were saying Press wasn’t playing forward and therefore shouldn’t be expected to score, I was stating that Dunn plays on the wing a lot and still finds a way to score. Also I remember thinking during that second game when Press was on the wing that she had switched positions with someone as she was playing pretty centrally.

          • DNG

            My point was that they are different players with different skill sets. I think your assertion that one player with a certain set of skills will perform as well as another player with a different set of skills at a different position is just incorrect. She might have done some interchanging while Dunn and Pugh were still on but she she definitely didn’t play centrally once Williams came on. Also, Dunn does not score at nearly the same rate playing on the wing than she does playing CF.

          • Frozen Blue

            I completely agree with everything you said, I am just sick of the well Press did play well because…or Press didn’t score because… Dunn to my knowledge has never been an outside midfielder until the national team. She did not start out good but worked hard to improve and has made a case for herself as a starter. She was also not a forward for most of her career yet she is a serviceable forward and continues to work hard and improve. Press got the same chance as Dunn on the wing and never made anything of it (I know different skill sets) but did she work hard to make improvements? I don’t know. I do know that Press would be doing herself a favor by working hard to be a more well rounded player on a team where her preferred position is so deep.

          • HOFCToDi

            Crystal Dunn played fullback for the 2012 U-20 USWNT.

          • Frozen Blue

            True that translates to a degree.

          • HOFCToDi

            Dunn is a vastly superior defensive player to Press.

          • #1Fan

            in game one she had at least 2 …one cut back tha she skied and another where she dribbled in and was not comfortable shooting right footed .

          • Kevin

            I think if started Morgan and Press in both games that the score could have just as easily been the same, maybe more, maybe less.

            I don’t think any of Dunn’s 4 goals were very impressive. I really like Dunn, but her two goals on Wednesday looked like they benefited from some pretty bad goalkeeping and the two she scored yesterday were just about gimmies, especially the first one.

            I think Dunn played well, but not at all because of her stat line.

          • #1Fan

            Long scored more goals than lavelle no?

          • AlexH

            Long was also a complete dumpster fire for the balance of the recent games. As I posted after the last game, Long proved it was possible to net a brace and still disgrace yourself. Also RL has an upside while Long will be on the wrong side of 30 come the WC. She is not getting any better.

          • DNG

            How did she disgrace herself? by missing a penalty and a sitter. Not the first to do that and won’t be the last. I don’t see an extremely poor performance over the course of the two matches but I didn’t see an excellent one either.

          • AlexH

            Plus her passes to nowhere and the ease of which she can get dispossessed (which is a shocker considering she was the great blond hope at CB).
            BTW, I don’t think she is completely irredeemable but she does not deserve to be an automatic starter like our other automatic starters that also don’t deserve to start automatically.

          • DNG

            Well I don’t agree on passes to nowhere. She mostly takes what the defense gives her and she’s probably the best at breaking lines with passes on the team from the deep lying position. Her work in possession was a little shaky but that’s not exactly surprising given they are not yet in middle of the season form.

          • Kevin

            “Both of CD’s goals were eminently chokeable as was RL’s and lots of our star forwards would have found a way to hit the post or something.”

            Both of CD’s goals were chokeable?

            She shot the first one from 2 yards away and in the dead center of the box into a wide open net. Aside from completely whiffing, it would have been near impossible to miss.

            The second one was a pretty easy shot as well, but I think she deserves credit for getting in front of her defender. The shot though wasn’t very difficult.

          • DNG

            In case it wasn’t clear to others I like Dunn a lot too. I think she’s improved a lot over the past year or so. On another day however, I think it’s just as likely she get unlucky with the chances that end up falling to her and gets nothing. She doesn’t exactly have a spotless finishing record either which AlexH doesn’t seem to want to address.

          • Steglitz49

            RCAM I can figure out. I guess on the other side it is the LCAM. But, pray what is CCAM when it is at home? A position invented by c.c.cummings?

          • guest

            Why are you saying she’s a 90 minute starter? She’s been taken out at the half against tomato cans. Stop making things up.

          • guest

            Press has started against top opponents recently. Your theory on morgan as the forever 90 minute player has been proven wrong since the Olympics. Why does Dunn’s performance against russia guarantee Press crumbs? It doesn’t work that way. Press got a starting position at SBC based on performance against tomato cans last fall. Stop making things up.

          • Reality

            “Also, why doesn’t Morgan and Press get a full run out there with Pugh and Lavelle? That is a huge advantage to the opportunities.”

            You anticipated my next remark with that observation. Lavelle and Pugh certainly make a big difference in the ability of the midfield to deliver the ball to the forward line. Both Morgan and Press were making runs or were open, but the ball wasn’t there for them. So while Dunn certainly took good advantage of her opportunities, I don’t think that it makes her the #1 choice to partner Lloyd. I agree that Dunn would be better suited to play on the flank.

            The main point is that we should not even be having this conversation about Lloyd at forward in the first place! But we are dealing with the Ellis-Lloyd co-dependent relationship.

          • #1Fan

            its Russia.

          • Reality

            Well, the problem is that whether it’s Russia or France or whoever, Lloyd will still be out there disrupting the team.

          • NYRick

            I’m going to go back to something newsouth said on here several years ago or really when Press first appeared on the team because he was 100% right on with it.

            It was something to the effect, too bad Press didn’t have the Brazilian grandparents and could be capped for Brazil. She is going to excel in Europe (which she did) and be a huge scoring star without interference on Brazil (which desperately has needed a striker of her caliber the last 5 years). On the US team, she is going to be politically cast aside in the long run. Don’t forget this is when Wambach, Syd and even ARod still were in the picture and Morgan was coming off her golden year in 2012.

            Press’s big chance at stardom was game 2 of WC15. She scored the winner in the opener against Australia. She needed to net the winner against Sweden in that 0-0 draw. If I recall Ellis pulled her fairly early (actually the one thing I specifically remember about that match is the acres of space Pia was allowing to Krieger). Pia knew Krieger is an offensive liability and they just shut down the other side and gave the ball to Krieger. It was smart coaching and Ellis didn’t pick up on it. Instead she blamed it on Press. From there, you know the rest of the story.

          • guest

            More fan fiction? Press isn’t brazilian so why is that something else to whine about her not having the opportunity to do. Just because she has tan skin doesn’t mean she is hispanic. She is African American and euro-white. She hasn’t been cast aside, in fact she has been given more opportunities to redeem herself than any other player I can think of.

          • guest

            Dude Dunn could have been a STAR for Nigeria if only her parents were from there.

          • NYRick

            True. I cite Brazil because of 1) Marta and 2) Great program that has had past success but has been missing the great forward the past 5 years.

            It’s a moot point. I was just recalling a story from new south said 4 years that was pretty visionary because he said it upon seeing her the first time on the team. And yes, because her look is kind of Brazilian etc. too.

          • guest

            that’s the point – it’s not visionary, it’s just stupid. I guess Whitney Engen could have been a star for Germany, Ali Krieger could have been a star for Spain since she has dark hair and dark eyes, Lynn Williams could have been a star for Costa Rica… dumb.

          • NYRick

            I understand her ethnicity. I was just pointing out something newsouth said then and was right about.

            As for “redeeming herself” she has been the best forward in the NWSL overall the last 4 years. As for chances, she will always have to prove herself match by match with this team whereas ANY of the other forwards just need a stretch of a couple of good games to be entrenched.

          • guest

            that is completely wrong. None of them have been entrenched since the Olympics. Press started two SBC games while Dunn was benched or on the wing. You have no idea what’s going to happen in the summer. Keep on wiht your world against Press narrative though.

          • NYRick

            Press was pulled out of nowhere at WC15 after starting the first two games because precious Carli could not be and the Holiday-Lloyd tandem was beyond abysmal. So the flank player took the fall. Also Alex was not 100% but was made the starting forward by reputation.

            At this year’s SBC, Press created the winning goal in game 1 vs. Germany. Game 2 I think she played about 25 minutes. Game 3 she gets pulled after 45 minutes after the Keystone Kops performance by the back 3 getting behind by 2 early. Ask yourself if Morgan, Dunn or Lloyd would be pulled or scapegoated in a similar fashion in a game that big?

          • guest

            Yep, in present time. Maybe not Carli but that is changing. If anyone has been punished since the OG it’s Morgan despite not having a bad tournament. She is seeing less minutes than Press, which is the most direct comparison. Dunn isn’t really played at forward much.

          • NYRick

            Both Morgan and Press should never have to sacrifice minutes for Carli at this stage. Never. Dunn I have no problem. Even Williams I can see getting minutes.

          • pressAgainstTheWorld

            Is Morgan still the Nike Girl? She is lucky she looks so good in athletic clothes. Heck, I bought a bunch of nike pro spandex I probably shouldn’t be wearing because she was on teh poster at my sports store looking pretty amazing.

          • guest

            Alex’s billboard thing is still up at Dick’s at my mall. The nike store features allyson felix, serena and random models. Karlie Kloss is the adidas girl which I think is funny… I guess MoeBrian/Becky aren’t famous or photogenic enough.

          • HOFCToDi

            Alex Morgan is the only individual in the entire USWNT player pool that has scored a goal against SWE in the last four years.

            ussoccer.com/stories/2016/08/12/19/37/160812-wnt-falls-to-sweden-4-3-in-penalty-shootout-after-1-1-draw-in-2016-olympic-quarterfinals

            ussoccer.com/womens-national-team/tournaments/2015-fifa-womens-world-cup/150612-wntvswe#tab-1

            ussoccer.com/womens-national-team/tournaments/2014-algarve-cup/140307-wnt-v-swe#tab-1

            ussoccer.com/stories/2014/03/17/13/10/wnt-wins-group-b-at-2013-algarve-cup-to-advance-to-final

            As a footnote, Alex Morgan was not available for the 2014 Algarve Cup. It’s no wonder the team fell apart.

          • anon

            I actually went to browse at the adidas store this weekend and was surprised to see zero USWNT players in their marketing. I guess they are kind of the ‘second rate’ soccer brand at this point, but plenty of girls look up to Becky and Moe, and they are plenty attractive especially with all the photoshop they use to enhance their models

          • sam

            Press should have been the Nike Girl.

          • htm222

            Press is a very pretty lady but she’s doesn’t have the muscular physique/athletic body Morgan does complete with the six pack abs. Press has slimmed down quite a bit but she has always been kind of soft looking, not really the typical athlete body

          • HOFCToDi

            Let’s anoint the Nike girl to the individual that has never registered a point during the Summer Olympic Games.

          • HOFCToDi

            Revisionist history. Jill Ellis woke up and smelled the coffee. At the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the two best flank midfielders were Rapinoe and Heath not Press.

          • guest123

            Maybe Press wasn’t “scapegoated.” Maybe Ellis has an opinion that is different than yours and thought the other (more proven) players were a better match up to their competition.

          • HOFCToDi

            At the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Rapinoe and Heath were far better flank midfielders than Press.

          • NYRick

            I’m actually going to agree with you on that. Something you are never big enough to do. Press should be played at the #9 either starter or sub or not be on the roster. She is not a flank player.

          • NYRick

            Maybe you’re right. Press has had opportunities (even playing on the flank) to settle the score in her favor several times with Ellis. I’ll agree with you there even though I think she should be exclusively a #9 or not on the roster. But I also think over the past 4 years Press needs to be beyond great to becoming the starting #9 on this team. The others don’t have to be. I’m talking the last 4 years and I’ll stand by that.

          • Frozen Blue

            Dunn didn’t even play forward in the SBC and was rotated on the wing with Heath, Pugh and Lavelle, she hardly gets the “easy road” to playing time.

          • Reality

            Just for the record…

            Dunn:
            2016 – 1494″ 25 games 17 starts
            2017 – 304″ 5 games 4 starts

            Press
            2016 – 1122″ 25 games 9 starts
            2017 – 213″ 5 games 2 starts

          • Frozen Blue

            Well then Press should learn to play more than one position like Dunn does and she will get more playing time.

          • HOFCToDi

            The Christen Press phase out has commenced. The flank midfielder position for the USWNT has been stocked:

            Dunn
            Heath
            Lavelle
            Pugh
            Rapinoe

          • Reality

            Nice non sequitur. Dunn is best on the flank and Press is best at forward. Ellis uses them both inappropriately.

          • Frozen Blue

            How, it just seems logical to me that someone who plays multiple positions would have more opportunity for minutes on the field than someone who just plays one, unless you are the star player or the captain.

          • Reality

            Your original comment was…”…she (Dunn) hardly gets the “easy road” to playing time.” I was merely pointing out that she does in comparison to Press. While it is true that Dunn has more experience in playing multiple positions throughout her career, that is no excuse for her to take precedence over someone like Press who is a natural forward and is better than Dunn in that capacity.

          • Frozen Blue

            Ok if we are just talking about them playing forward, how many of Dunn’s minutes and starts are as a forward compared to Press. I would think a majority of Dunns minutes are on the wing. As far as lack of an easy road, I mean she was cut from the WC team, has had her position changed multiple times and is not an automatic starter in either of them. Press has a similar history minus the WC, the only current difference is that Press really only plays 1 position now. Neither has the easy road so to speak.

          • Reality

            With Ellis, it is hard to tell where the road is…

          • HOFCToDi

            No one gives a damn about Christen Press.

          • kernel_thai

            Opportunity is the key word. On this team u either seize the opportunity or get left behind. Dunn has gone from being cut from the WC team to key member of the team. Lloyd parlayed one great game in WC into the first name on the team sheet. Morgan made her name by getting five minutes a game and turning them into goals and followed it up with a dream season when they played her full matches. Press just needs to take one of these chances and do so well Ellis can’t look past her.

          • HOFCToDi

            Delusions of grandeur.

          • guest

            According to Rick, every time Press is benched in favor of another player, it is because Ellis thinks a bad game is all her fault. Never mind giving a rotation of players a chance or her personal opinion on who the best athletes are to match up with a given opponent. That’s not to say I agree with much of what she does, but she is the coach.

          • HOFCToDi

            The same refrain posted for the last four years:

            Waa! It’s Abby’s fault!
            Waa! It’s Carli’s fault!
            Waa! It’s Alex’s fault!
            Waa! It’s Jill’s fault!

            Time to dispatch the wambulances!

          • HOFCToDi

            Christen Press started against France at the 2017 SheBelieves Cup only to be BENCHED at half time.

          • HOFCToDi

            The statute of limitations for Christen Press excuses expired on 12/31/2016.

            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)
            85 caps
            2 head coaches

            Christen Press has cemented her legacy with the USWNT:

            garbage time
            prima donna
            selfish shot hog
            tomato cans

          • HOFCToDi

            The best forward in the NWSL in the last 4 years? Christen Press did not even participate in the NWSL during calendar year 2013.

          • ABCDE

            To be fair, many Brazilians are European White and/or African-American descent. That doesn’t make speculation about Press on the Brazil team any less ridiculous, though.

          • ABCDE

            African descent, rather.

          • HOFCToDi

            The “Press Gang Troll Brigade” can’t use the race card:

            Dunn, Crystal
            Leroux, Sydney
            Pugh, Mallory
            Short, Casey
            Williams, Lynn

          • HOFCToDi

            Pure gibberish.

          • NYRick

            Rewatch the WC15 Sweden match. You’re the so-called expert on this team.

          • HOFCToDi

            Christen Press started at forward versus Sweden at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

            resources.fifa.com/mm/document/tournament/competition/02/64/72/20/eng_19_0612_usa-swe_tacticalstartlist.pdf

            resources.fifa.com/mm/document/tournament/competition/02/64/73/21/eng_19_0612_usa-swe_fulltime.pdf

            Christen Press could not hit the broad side of a barn against Sweden at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Christen Press could not hit the broad side of a barn against Sweden at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

          • NYRick

            Yes you are right on the start at forward in the Sweden WC15 match. But she came off after 50 minutes or so. I believe she was paired with Syd but the midfield and Krieger were so dreadful and Sweden also parked the bus. I do think it was a match that Press needed to score and things may have been completely different for her.

            At recent OG, she came on around the 80th minute against Sweden. Not at forward.

          • HOFCToDi

            The statute of limitations for Christen Press excuses expired on 12/31/2016.

            Calendar Year 2016
            FIFA Top 10 Ranked Opponents
            USWNT Goals Scored
            Morgan (DOB 02 Jul 1989) – 6
            Lloyd (DOB 16 Jul 1982) – 1
            Horan (DOB 26 May 1994) – 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

          • HOFCToDi

            The statute of limitations for Christen Press excuses expired on 12/31/2016.

            USWNT 2013-2016
            FIFA Top 10 Ranked Opponents
            USWNT Goals Scored
            Morgan – 16 (too many to list)
            Lloyd – 8 (AUS, BRA, GER, JPN x 3, BRA, FRA)
            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)
            Johnston – 2 (FRA, JPN)
            Dunn – 2 (BRA, ENG)

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

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

          • HOFCToDi

            The statute of limitations for Christen Press excuses expired on 12/31/2016.

            Christen Press was even worse at the 2016 Rio Olympics than at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup:

            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
            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 is the quintessential international FRAUD.

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

            Christen Press has cemented her legacy with the USWNT:

            garbage time
            prima donna
            selfish shot hog
            tomato cans

          • HOFCToDi

            You can’t even read a match report. 50 minutes, huh?

            Christen Press is the quintessential international FRAUD.

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

            Christen Press has cemented her legacy with the USWNT:

            garbage time
            prima donna
            selfish shot hog
            tomato cans

          • Reality

            I see that you have replied to what shows on my screen as “This user is blocked” which means you are having a conversation with a “bot”. You’ve now activated the string of meaningless comments. Why?

          • NYRick

            Dumb lapse in judgment on my part. I was trying to be civil and just have some balanced dialogue with him. I forgot who I was dealing with. I actually knew but was giving him a chance for civility. He doesn’t want it. No loss.

          • Reality

            I admire your generosity, but it is wasted with trolls.

          • HOFCToDi

            Poor Pressie Pooh! No international awards for you!

          • skybolt

            Some players like Dunn, Leroux, and heck……..even A-Rod relish the chance to play against tomato can teams to pad their stats. It’s meaningless. I’m almost positive that if we use the 4-4-2 formation with an aging Lloyd and Dunn up top, we’ll be putting up goose eggs against the top ten teams in the world. Was anyone even marking Dunn on 3 of her 4 goals against Russia? Good on her for finishing her chances, but let’s please not keep rehashing the same old argument that games against tomato can teams actually mean anything.

            It sort of reminds me of when I was playing chess in high school. I could never beat the top 2 or 3 best players no matter what tricks I pulled out of the bag, but would absolutely destroy the bottom feeders. In contrast, the bottom feeders would always give the top 2 or 3 players a much harder time, and sometimes even get bet results than me. It all comes down to the top guys taking me more seriously than the bottom feeders, and the bottom feeders playing their “A” games against the stars.

          • HOFCToDi

            No one has pad their stats against tomato cans more often than Christen Press.

          • NYRick

            So is Lloyd Fisher and Ellis Spassky right now? Fisher was always one step ahead. BTW, as a chess fan how come there hasn’t been another high profile world championship chess match the likes of Fisher v Spassky? I think it probably had to do with the cold war at the time. I read a great book on it awhile back. Now with the pending cold war resurfacing again between the US and Russia maybe it’s time for the next Fisher and Spassky. It really is amazing that a chess match is so historic. Those two names are etched in history together forever.

            Regarding your soccer comments, totally agree on Dunn. Going to give her credit though, it still is the hardest thing to do in the sport…find the back of the net. Alex seems a bit off and maybe pressing. And Press, well, when it comes to the NT just seems to press.

          • guest

            no doubt morgan seems to be feeling the heat lately judging by her body language. can’t see her being too happy if lloyd of all people takes her starting spot. hard to win the fifa player of the year award if you are not even starting. the champions league semi-final will be interesting.

          • HOFCToDi

            No doubt Press seems to be feeling the heat lately judging by her body language. Can’t see Press being too happy BENCHED at half time against France in the 2017 SheBelieves Cup.

          • kernel_thai

            U have to wonder how long Morgan plays the good soldier

          • Bill

            Fischer

          • Breakers fan

            Dunn doesn’t strike me as having that kind of mindset or ego. She’s been a contributor, a provider, a facilitator for others to get the goal glory for most of her career – 2 years at defense for UNC, then 2 years at center-mid for them, then back to defense for the NT, then shut out of the WC. Then, finally is put up top by Parsons and we know what happened – led the league in goals, won the MVP. My clear sense of her as a person is one without a big ego, a team player but also one who believes in herself and wants to show what she can do because if she does what she thinks she can it will help her Team win. So, I really don’t think that “padding her stats against tomato cans” is something she relishes. I don’t see that in her character make-up.

            She’ll do her best in those games and if goals come then good by her. Other forwards also play in those games. By all rights they should score the same amount. Do I think it means A LOT that Dunn has scored more than the others in these games of late? No. But do I think it’s meaningless? No. She put goals in the net. The others didn’t, comparatively. That means she played better overall as a forward than the others.

            Would this dictate my decision about whom to play at forward if France came to town? No, but it would inch Dunn closer to getting that call. If the situation above were reversed it would inch her away from getting that call from me.

          • skybolt

            Although I agree with your take on Dunn being a team player, I don’t agree that putting the ball in the back of the net against tomato can teams means anything, especially when you’re left unmarked. Players like Morgan, Lloyd (and even Press recently) have reached a world recognition status where opposing teams will consistently double team them on every possession. For instance, Morgan scored 5 goals in 2 matches against tomato can teams in the French League when left unmarked. Now if Dunn puts up similar stats against top 10 teams consistently, then I totally agree that she deserves every opportunity at the forward position.

          • Breakers fan

            I think you know I’m a big, big supporter of both Morgan and Press and, as it turns out, Dunn, so I’m really not favoring any of the 3 here. My proposed lineup has a 3 forward front line with all of them on it. So, that’s point #1, above all others.

            I’m mostly commending Dunn for getting it done against Russia in that first game. One of her goals was a tough-angled shot with her off-foot that she converted. As I’ve said before I look at the execution of soccer plays first. Could be against anyone. You still have to execute. The soccer gods aren’t going to make things happen because of the name of an opponent. She had a tough shot there with her left foot and she put it into goal. The next goal she stole the ball, kept it very close to her in the process, then didn’t do a heavy touch (as she is so often accused of) to give her space to hit the shot and then she again used her off-foot to get the ball past the goalie. Kudos again for a nice soccer play to score a goal. That’s really all I’m trying to point out here. A team needs goals against any opponent (note that Canada recently only beat Russia 2-1, maybe because their forwards were not converting chances) and she did it, while here the other two didn’t.

            Not a big happening with a ton of meaning but I simply note that she scored. Could have gone the other way, I agree, but it didn’t here. My guess, from watching Jill as coach, is that this will lead to Dunn getting more chances at forward. Do you put any stock in Dunn leading the NWSL in scoring a couple years ago? Meaning: Is that competition good enough to ascribe value to what she did?

          • skybolt

            I believe that most of the US players who make it to this stage of competition have the skills to score multiple goals against tomato can teams if they bring their “A” games to the match. If I solely judged A-Rod on her performance against the Dominican Republic (or Leroux against Mexico or Guatemala), then their finishing was way more impressive than Dunn in this match. A-Rod has also had some amazing seasons in the WPS and NWSL, even when it came to scoring critical goals in the playoffs. Unfortunately, league play doesn’t always translate to the NT.

            My main concern with the forward position for the USWNT is this. When we won the 2012 Olympics tournament, we knew we could count on a 32-year Wambach to score critical goals against tough competition; Lloyd was still in her prime and capable of dominating entire matches. We also had Morgan playing out of her mid scoring multiple goals in one match against teams like Japan or Sweden. Wambach has now retired, Lloyd is starting to lose her effectiveness, and we all know that Morgan hasn’t been the same player since her injuries.

            In recent tournaments, we lost in the quarterfinals to Sweden in the Olympics and only managed 1 goal the entire tournament in the She Believes Cup. Then when a certain players step-up and dominate weak competition, we give hope that these performances will also translate against stronger competition, which seldom happens. Heck, in Morgan’s case going back to 2011-2013 seasons, the opposite was true, where she actually struggled against weaker competition. My gut tells me that we’ll come out of Sweden / Norway only having scored one goal in 2 matches, and then go back to praising certain players for dominating week competition again in August.

          • Breakers fan

            Thanks for that. I get your points. Good ones. Don’t take my recognition of Dunn executing well twice against Russia as me overvaluing that in the big picture. I just don’t dismiss it outright as many do.

            I agree that scoring against the best is the most important measure of a great forward. And those who do it should be recognized for that. What you’re asking, it seems to me, is why didn’t we score, most recently, more against England and France? And more against Sweden? One would have to look at the games again and analyze them. First, credit to Morgan and Press for coming through and scoring in the games in question. How much onus to put on the forwards only and how much on the rest of the team and how much to ascribe to quality opponent play and how much to bad luck? I don’t like how small our sample size is against good teams. As we know, goals in soccer can happen very quickly, as England showed against us in the SBC, and many other examples, Sweden in the Olympics. Meaning: A game can be going one way, then 10 seconds later the other team takes the lead and wins the game and commentary about the game changes utterly. So, I don’t get as alarmed as many with such a small sample size. I’m alarmed to some extent. Even against Sweden we were super-close to netting another goal – Dunn’s great pass to Carli and her header for goal, called back on a maybe-penalty by her. My point is: if we play more against the best the narrative can change very, very quickly. We could go from a team with major offensive problems to one thriving in that area in the space of a game or two. Teams in other sports get to try and try again so very much more often. We’re stuck with a few chances a year and those chances get tons of significance heaped upon them.

            It’s such a fickle game with a very small number of goals carrying a High significance for fans’ interpretation of the state of the team and the nature of the game in question. I don’t mean to devalue a lack of scoring either. But as far as “who to play at forward?” My first 3 choices are Morgan, Press and Dunn. I like all 3 pretty equally. That’s my opinion. I think all have about an equal chance of succeeding against the best. We just need to get more such games in, if it’s possible to do so.

          • skybolt

            Good points. Also, other teams are becoming way more sophisticated than before. Perhaps the days of stars like Marta or Wambach scoring multiple goals against tough competition are over.

            I like your choices for the top 3 forwards, but we all know that Lloyd probably has one of the 2 forward starting spots already guaranteed even if she under performs over the next 2 years. I haven’t been that impressed with Lynn Williams either, and wasn’t surprised to see her get benched against Russia.

          • #1Fan

            You say determination, I say selfishness. IF the USA played teams like France, England all the time, people would see ti for what it truly is.

            The issue is that there are so many easy games out there and so many stat watchers, that it gets lost on the majority.

            Lloyd is no longer a great player and to me she never really was. She was a good player who got a huge amount of rope and had memorable moments when it counted.

            I applaud her for that, but the coaching staff have been complicit in allowing that to be parlayed into this myth that at 34, she is the best player in the game.

            There is no obvious end in sight

          • Reality

            We’ll never know, but I can’t help but wonder to what degree the members of the team also perceive this as a problem or even deep down that Ellis has some awareness. If there is any discontent, I seriously doubt that there is any open talk about it on the team. But certainly there are players who perceive Lloyd as more of a problem than a solution.

          • Breakers fan

            What every player who is in camps and who is in competition with Carli for a starting spot should do is

            do their absolute damnedest to show her up in every practice, every scrimmage, just outplay her to such an extent and so repeatedly, if they’re able to, that it’ll at least move Jill’s perceptions a bit, if not a lot, about how to increase her chances to win the next World Cup.

          • Reality

            That may be happening to some extent for all we know, but since the camps are a black hole for information, one can only assume that Lloyd is superior to everyone. Why else would Ellis give her carte blanche in every game?

          • Breakers fan

            I know what you mean, but we know she isn’t in camps, so the question is – and you’re right, we’ll probably never learn the answer — to what extent is Lloyd getting outplayed in training? These players really need to become ruthless and merciless in trainings – no more Ms Nice Gal if that is part of their camp make-up when it comes to going up against Carli, I would advise.

          • guest

            Are you sure the other players don’t believe that if they openly went at Lloyd’s time/position, that they wouldn’t end up blackballed out of the team? Not to see another chance until a regime change occurred? Only chance is an orgnized mutiny which won’t happen. No one will risk their position to open up the field.

          • Breakers fan

            All I’m talking about is competing hard. Not playing dirty. Sorry if that wasn’t clear. I agree that if it were clear someone delivered a or multiple dirty, cheap shots that that probably would come back to bite a player, but that wasn’t what I had in mind. I just meant trying your absolute hardest, especially when it is you and she one on one, either on offense or defense. They may already do that, but it’s possible they defer a bit to her, and I was advocating against that.

          • DNG

            I see a selfish player as well. Whenever a player feels the need to tell the media how she’s always been slighted and now it’s her time to be the star I have an issue. If she was really ever as good as she claimed her play would justify it and to those who watch the game closely, goals against overmatched teams is not the standard of a great player. Credit to her for finishing her chances and the PKs during the last WC but it’s time to move on.

          • guest

            How do you know she isn’t a team leader, role model, or the extent of her insecurity? You and rick are really into the fan fiction and projection. Even your Pressious has said that no one knows anything about any of them.

          • JL

            It’s selfishness and desperation from them.

          • guest

            it seems like the L-chat crowd seems to know alittle about the uswnt players.

          • kernel_thai

            DNG mentioned that Ohai didn’t fit this formation and I agreed. This formation also doesn’t really have a role suited to Lloyd. Why take a more skilled forward like Morgan or Press off the pitch to make a spot for Lloyd? If Ellis needs to tailor a formation to take advantage of what Lavelle can bring, it only seems logical that Lloyd should make way for her.

          • NYRick

            Who was it that was trademarking “Jillogical”?

          • Reality

            Well, Ellis used the same formation and essentially the same starting lineup not once but twice! Lloyd makes way for nobody…just check out her tweets. And Ellis is her co-dependent.

        • Ashley C

          Her block list must be endless.

        • Breakers fan

          Just saw this. Surprised she fires back at people like that. She’s not lacking in confidence, that’s clear. What I think we all wonder is if Jill has made her assurances or whether it will be a level playing field, or one that begins and continues to level out over the next couple years and Carli *still* thinks she’s just good enough to beat all the others out for the starting spot. We all hope it’s the latter, in terms of fully explaining the confidence displayed in that tweet. I didn’t know she had been engaging in some kind of social media war for a while now – her tweet indicates this is nothing new, these doubtings of her abilities. Not surprising that she is getting dealt them but I am a bit surprised she chooses to engage these people.

          • Reality

            I seldom check Lloyd’s twitter account, but rather hear from other sources about her latest excess. One might call it confidence. I would call it arrogance arising out of insecurity and a lack of generosity. One would think that at this point in her life at 34 with her attainments that she would be able to rise above such reactive and immature behavior. It does not provide a good role model for her young fans and sends the wrong message about how to conduct oneself as a public figure. Unfortunately it is all too common nowadays even in the highest levels of our culture.

          • Breakers fan

            Even though she actually kinda surprised me with a decent number of nicely weighted and placed passes against Russia that created goal chances — (and even though it was Russia there were still defenders there and she did have to place those balls as she did) — I’m with everyone else here that it’s time to move on from her. Not that she is awful or can’t do anything good but starting for the USWNT against the players vying for her spot? No. It’s all up and down to Jill from this point forward. I can’t really blame Carli for wanting to continue after that World Cup final. Jill has the hammer that is the pencil or vice versa. Is it in her hand yet?

          • Reality

            See my remarks elsewhere here about the codependency relationship between Ellis and Lloyd…a folie à deux

    • guest

      you should know by now. the purpose of uswnt tomato can games is for veteran stat padding.

  • NYRick

    THE CURE TO THE ANNUAL SPRING TOMATO CAN FOR THE USWNT:

    Right before the start of each NWSL season moving forward…

    They should bring 32 players into the US camp. Divide into 2 teams (16 each, 4 subs allowed for each team).

    The 16 players practice strictly as a team with no crossover in practice etc. Make Ellis coach of one team, Tony G coach of the other. Advertise the game a couple of months in advance, call it the “US National Women’s Team Showdown,” or something corny like that. Play it in a nice new arena like Orlando. Play two matches like they did here (Thurs and Sunday) and play it like a cup tie with goal difference being the deciding factor in the end. You will see some balls to the walls comp going on out there, the program advances, more players get a truer evaluation and the fans are happy. Certainly happier.

    • Bruce

      Absolutely not. No way in hell that US Soccer should be allowed to steal the concept of an NWSL All Star Game from the League.

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      • NYRick

        Since the NWSL has never expanded on the “concept” of actually having an all-star game, I think it’s fair game. You can also easily bring 32 US players into a camp that would be “worthy” or deserving of being a USWNT caliber player. This would give them a chance to prove it and not hear about performing in “Ellis’s practices or matching game speed etc.” Isn’t that what she said about Lavelle last year?

      • Steglitz49

        The NWSL could always start the season with a match between the winners of the Championship and the winners of the shield. It would give the shield some meaning. If one team won both, play the losing finalist.

    • Ashley C

      It would be fun if the winner of the NWSL played the winner of the CL or something. Scheduling/seasons are different but it might be fun.

      • Steglitz49

        It may well happen one fine day but as you say, the scheduling is a bugbear.

  • Bruce

    ICYMI – USSoccer has advanced the date of the Sweden Friendly from June 11 to June 8.

    So despite USSF assurances to not compromise the NT schedule in a non-tournament year, it’s pretty much a certainty that NT players will be called to camp outside of the FIFA window (June 5-13) and will miss the NWSL matches of June 3-4.

    • Paul Klee

      Except for Chicago v Seattle on Sunday 4 June all the other matches are on Saturday 3 June on the East Coast pretty easy to catch flights to Europe and still have two full days of training before the match.

      • Steglitz49

        The match will be played in Göteborg. The easiest (and cheapest) is probably to fly Icelandair. If necessary, high speed train (like X2000) or coach to Gbg.

      • Silver Frost

        Since when does the WNT ever do travel and friendlies in a logical way to not impact the NWSL? NEVER.

      • Bruce

        I can’t tell if you are being ironic.

    • JL

      “ICYMI – USSoccer has advanced the date of the Sweden Friendly from June 11 to June 8.”

      The June 11 game is against Norway.

      • Bruce

        Freudian slip. Thanks. Edited.

      • htm222

        all those silly social democracies with lots of blondes are the same. (kidding).

        • Steglitz49

          The two countries were in union once though Norway spent much more time joined to Denmark.

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  • NYRick

    Was it just me, or was anyone else out there (let’s be all honest for a second) hoping that the keeper was going to stop Carli’s PK?

    I mean the match was never going to be in doubt. Be honest out there. I know you all secretly were.

    • guest

      Um, no. I’m happy to see someone score even if it’s not my preferred player. Clearly Ellis sees something in Carli that keeps her in the lineup. You can disagree with that, but Evil Carli doesn’t control the team, just like Evil Wambach didn’t and Evil Hope didn’t. It’s the coach/management’s job to release Carli like they did with HAO (who also admitted to wanting to stay on the gravy train, even as a bench player who never saw the field).

    • JL

      Speak for yourself and stop projecting what you feel on to everyone else.

      • NYRick

        Lighten up a bit.

        • HOFCToDi

          The vast majority of fans would rather watch a penalty kick converted than one that sails over the crossbar at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

    • AlexH

      Absolutely not. I always want our players to do well, even if I don’t think they belong on the field. That said, you should be happy because you know that JE will play her until she gets her 100th goal so the sooner that happens the sooner there is even the slightest possibility that the team moves on.

    • Kevin

      Bring honest, I was absolutely hoping Carli would score and it was a great PK.

      Also being honest, I was very disappointed when I saw she was the one that was going to take the PK, although I think we all knew who was going to take it ahead of time.

      Why not let someone else take one? I think we know what we’re going to get from Carli by now. She’s great under pressure, but many others are not, or just not experienced. If I had my choice, I would have had Mewis or Dunn take it.

    • Breakers fan

      Fair question. I have to think about this because I’m not sure how I felt at the time…..I think I was ambivalent and mostly open-minded, as in “hey, if you put it in, good job, but if you miss, then you may not be as good at this as everyone thinks and maybe you won’t always get the call going forward, which wouldn’t bother me.” She may have telegraphed it ….or the goalie guessed correctly, whatever the case, Lloyd hit it perfectly – I mean, one or two inches left and I think the keeper tips it out.

  • VaFan51

    Two observations:
    These matches would have been more interesting and more useful if Ellis had just allowed our “foreign” players — Morgan, Lloyd, and Dunn — to remain with their clubs and, instead, brought in 3 new or almost -new names (and played them). I am not at all sure how it helps us get ready for 2019 to play Carli Lloyd against Russia in April 2017.
    Speaking of 2019, I am having a hard time seeing a role for Allie Long in the next WC. Fingers crossed, our central MF should include Brian, Mewis, Sullivan, Lavelle, Horan (unless she get to take the Lloyd spot), and maybe another NWSL name.

    • DNG

      Hopefully, Horan will be used as a forward at the next WC. She at the least is used as an attacking mid for the Thorns. She is not a CM.

      • VaFan51

        You’re right — she isn’t. To me, she seems perfect for Lloyd’s spot.

        • DNG

          I think you need at least one defensive midfield in your group btw. Mewis is the only player I’d consider B2B and even she is more of an attacker.

      • AlexH

        This has always puzzled me. Is there something in the water at USSF headquarters that causes coaches both men and women to position their players where they have never played before. I get that sometimes a coach has to do this when their is a glaring need or two utterly fantastic players that share the same position, but it seems like in the USA it is a first resort rather than a subsequent resort.

        • guest

          Part of it is Jill’s distaste for defense-oriented players (hence a midfield and backline full of former forwards/attacking mids). Part of it is the tenure system and the program being chained to certain players, thus needing to play them somewhere, anywhere even if it’s not their best position. Forwards/attacking players get a lot of attention in college/youth play and when there is a logjam at forward/attacking mid coaching sticks them somewhere else.

          • #1Fan

            partly becasue in the youth ranks, the better players are steered to those positions that influence the result most. A kid with speed and a powerful shot, is played CM or CF.

            Too many kids play elite soccer. kids who have no business doing it. the impact throughout the development cycle is huge.

            In general , we dn not respect the kid who plays CB and often in the youth games we have 3 or 4 CBs across the back. Sitting deep, trying to cover the long ball. We dont attack from the OB positions and therefore teh concept of ball playing defenders is lost. This is why you get “attacking” players moving back

            Look at Naomi Girma as an example ( from TDS)

            Naomi Girma, De Anza Force U18, Midfielder – Girma stands out on the field because of how she moves around the field. She glides past players and plays with such an ease that nothing seems to really challenge her. Her dominance at center midfield opens up the conversation about whether she has been miscast at the Youth National Team level in the past. She plays with such intelligence and grace that it seems like a crime to hide her in the defense when her attributes are suited for the midfield.

            She plays CB for the NTs . Played in the 17 WC. Moves to CM for Club team. There are many kids like this.

            if the leagues were thinner and more concentrated, you would get better players playing a better style.

          • another guest

            “if the leagues were thinner and more concentrated, you would get better players playing a better style”

            is us soccer implementing the Girls Development Academy (GDA) structure going to help/or hurt? with your “if leagues were thinner and more concentrated” concern?

          • #1Fan

            Hurt initially.

            Further dilution and the GDA is far too big. The size of the US makes it difficult, but its too big.

        • DNG

          They seem to be trying to find a certain set of skill to fit a position while forgetting that there are other sets of skills needed to play that position. I also think they are afraid to move away from the speed and athleticism attributes up top. I think her strength and toughness(or someone else’s) up top is sorely missed.

        • Steglitz49

          JE led the USWNT to their first world championship in 16 years. Thus, she can walk on water.

          The CBA/MOU does not help either, which is probably more significant.

          • AlexH

            The irony is that the WNT got real good real fast when the team stopped playing Jill ball and decided to win the damn thing.
            As for walking on water, that has a limited shelf life in soccer. Leicester won the EPL which was a true miracle but then gave their manager the sack after a disappointing half season. Heck God gave Moses the sack as well so why should Jill be so darned special.

          • #1Fan

            Do you believe that ? They got real good for how many games? Why are the no longer real good ? Or are they ?

          • Steglitz49

            It is a good question but seeing that Lyon is paying high money for Alex, Man City has Carli and Chelsea has Crystal, the players must be doing something right for themselves. A Savannah is with Glasgow and HAO with the Gunners.

          • AlexH

            Yes.
            3.
            Holiday retired and her replacement (Long) is nowhere near as good and Rapinoe got hurt and her replacement (Rapinoe herself) sucked completely.
            No.

          • DNG

            I think the US played one excellent game at the WC and were just good enough to win the others. I think they are still pretty good but not so much better than the rest of the world and not better than France. I think Rapinoe’s injury hurt more than Holiday’s retirement. Going player by player I think France is the better team right now.

          • AlexH

            But the WC is not happening right now. They have their own set of Golden Girls to manage come 2019. A lot of their gals will be on the wrong side of 30 and it will be hard to ditch them for a WC on home soil after a good run of form. If the latest run of poor for of the WNT has a silver lining it’s that it may get the federation to wake up and ditch some of the US old guard and lean on the remainder to accept less minutes at the tournament.

          • DNG

            Some of France’s players are getting up there but their three key players in Le Sommer, Henry and Renard will be in their late 20’s at the time of the next WC and probably still very good. Abily, Georges and Thomis are probably the players that will slow down between now and then or might retire.

          • guest

            no doubt some of the vets need to be dropped next year. it will be almost impossible to drop them in a world cup year. and too late to add new players by then according to the uswnt.

          • kernel_thai

            From the little we’ve heard about the new CBA it doesn’t seem like a changing of the guard is coming. Rich get richer and pool stays small.

          • Steglitz49

            FIFA gave a big helping hand too.

          • Steglitz49

            JE is not the only one. You could add Silvia Neid and Pia Sundhage to the mix. Norio Sasaki fell on his sword, though.

          • kernel_thai

            In college my calc teacher would stand there all class and draw formulas on the blackboard but couldn’t actually explain anything to anyone. Our TA, like most TA was from a foreign country and we couldn’t understand a word he said. So, I dug out my high school calc notebook and got myself thru the course that way. I kind of look at the 2015 WC the same way.

    • kernel_thai

      Well being a known instigator I would have started Ohai in Lloyd’s spot. When Lloyd asked why Id point out that this is the Dash home park so we want to put Dash players out there. Id add that if we ever played in Manchester, Lloyd would start for the same reason.

      • VaFan51

        I might have started Ohai in Dunn’s spot and put Dunn in Lloyd’s spot.
        Really, if matches like these are intended to help us learn about players and how they work together, what on earth did we learn about Carli Lloyd? What did we learn about Rapinoe?
        I thought it was inexcusable to bring in Rapinoe in during the second half of a match in Houston with Ohai sitting on the bench, especially after Ohai didn’t play in the first match.

        • kernel_thai

          I can see Ellis putting out what she considers her first team in the first match because u never really know what an opponent can do until u see them on the field. But by the second match it was pretty obvious Russia could neither score or stop the US from scoring. At that point a competent coach would have used the second match to learn more about her young players or at least tried different combinations of her veterans..

    • Guest

      Horan and Brian are not that crucial to be honest. Would prefer Mewis, Sullivan, Lavelle and then some others getting looks like Colaprico, DiBernardo, Killion, M. Andrews, etc.

  • Be Happy

    Don’t worry, Rick and Reality. Press will always have a place on this team if for no other reason than that she is always in form and healthy. She either has good genes or that yoga voodoo buddhist vegan stuff is giving her good luck.

    • htm222

      haha. I’m reminded of Pia making some remark about Alex not being able to play the way she does for 90 minutes as an excuse to use her as an end of game sub. She was right in the sense that that style of play shortens an athlete’s career… I will be surprised if Alex is a major factor in 2019, as much as I like her and appreciate what she has done for women’s sports.

      • Steglitz49

        Alex’s golden years were under Pia’s management.

    • htm222

      Alex is a yogi as well. not sure about vegetarian or buddhist.

      • Steglitz49

        as in Berra?

  • JustDoIt

    MORGAN PRESS DUNN
    HEATH LAVELLE PUGH
    SHORT BRUNN JJ OHARA
    NAEHER

    • guest

      MORGAN PRESS DUNN
      HEATH LAVELLE MEWIS PUGH
      OHARA BRUNN JJ
      NAEHER

      • sam

        attack down the right because pugh can’t defend and JJ can’t cover ground

        • Frozen Blue

          MORGAN PRESS DUNN
          HEATH LAVELLE MEWIS PUGH
          SHORT BRUNN OHARA

          • guest

            OHara is still super suspect, IMO, as a defender. Same with Short. Weak backline with Becky pulling gymnastics like she did in SBC… Ellis needs better answers to OBs, esp given her system where she wants them forward as much as possible.

          • ABCDE

            I have often wondered if Emily Menges would be good in a 3-back, or even as OB in a 4 back. Very fast, skilled defender. Not the best distributor but can it be worked on..

          • DNG

            Her work on the ball is not the greatest and she still has stuff to sort out with regards to being more solid defensively. If Ellis is playing Short regularly now, one has to wonder just how important distribution is.

          • guest

            I guess I don’t see why allocated players like JJ or Sonnett are that much better than her. I’ve been a menges fan for awhile but I admit I’m biased since we both played for the same youth club.

          • DNG

            I personally don’t think they are that far apart. I think Sonnett probably has the highest ceiling of the three though.

          • AlexH

            Athletic quantity has a quality all of its own especially on the back line. It’s not like JJ or Brun are wowing people with their distribution and is appallingly easy to just dump the ball behind them for a run on the keeper, especially if JE continues to play a high line.

          • DNG

            Menges and Sonnett have had the tendency to collapse under pressure. They are trying to work through it though with their club and I think they’ll be better players for it in the long run as JJ pretty much just tries to clear everything when there is trouble. I agree on JJ’s and Sauerbrunn’s distribution. Sauerbrunn is just still a superior defender in my view than the others even despite a dip in form.

          • AlexH

            I hope you are right about Brunn. She is no spring chicken so her dip in form might just mean she is washed up. I would not mind giving her every chance to shape up though but she needs to be surrounded by a back line that can cover for her.

          • DNG

            I don’t think the team should be relying on Sauerbrunn 2 years from now. And I don’t think you can pair her with someone as slow as JJ if you decide to play her. Her partner needs to be able to recover.

          • AlexH

            I agree. I think Brunn will be too old by then I also think that JJ is a game-losing defensive breakdown waiting to happen and should only see the field as a replacement. Jill needs to go young very soon and use the intervening 2 years to train them up.

          • Steglitz49

            Your “dip in form” may be age cashing in its chips.

          • Arcie Tillydee

            And yet is a markedly better defender than JJ right now, anchoring the best defense in the NWSL last season.

            And I don’t want to hear “at a higher level” as regards the international game. That’s true of maybe five opponents…MAYBE. The rest come nowhere near the speed, strength, and skill players face in the league every week. Any NWSL team would flat-out destroy most of the tomato can teams the Nats play.

          • DNG

            “And I don’t want to hear “at a higher level” as regards the international game.”

            You will never see me type those words as I agree with you and I have been very critical of JJ. She had a good year last year and I think she has potential like Sonnett, Oyster, JJ and Dahlkemper. Like the others I just mentioned, I don’t think she’s quite ready to face the best teams at the international level and that’s really where she’ll be judged.

          • Arcie Tillydee

            Yeah, that wasn’t aimed at you…sorry! It’s just something one hears a lot about people at the cusp of the Nats…and I’ve always thought it was pure bunk unless the opponent was one of the usual suspects (France, England, Germany, etc…).

            I think Menges is ready, but even doing my best to set aside supporter bias, I realize that’s a very subjective statement. Not thrilled with the notion of using her outside in a 3-at-the-back, though. She’s not an outside back, she’s a CB…and despite the temptation to use her world-class pace outside, that’s where she belongs.

          • DNG

            I think Menges should have been capped when she was called up last year. Thought it was stupid not to just like it was for Ohai to be the only player who didn’t get game time this go around. In terms of potentially being a regular, I’d like to see how she(and Sonnett) progress this year for the Thorns. They’ll have plenty of practice building out of pressure if preseason is anything to go by.

          • AlexH

            People can feel free to fill in the names.
            Formation 3-5-2.
            Fwd: Thunder, Lightning (both need to be cold blooded.)
            Wings: Beep-Test Marauder, Beep-Test Marauder
            CM: Artist, Artist
            DCM: Leg Breaker
            CB: Athlete, Artist, Athlete.

          • AlexH

            The problem is that Jill keeps sending them forward then. Sending in numbers is a game with diminishing returns in that the additional offensive power gained does not warrant the additional risk on the counter. There is nothing wrong with having defenders defend first and rely on offensive players to score the goals. It’s OK for a defender to get into the attack but it should be done when the opportunity arises and the odds are in their favor.

          • Steglitz49

            KO was a left back in OG-12. Her problem was that her NWSL wanted her to continue to play as a forward. Thus, KO has less experience at back than she ought to have.

          • guest

            Morgan Press Dunn
            Heath Lavelle Mewis Pugh
            Ohara Brunn Menges

            🙂 🙂 🙂

          • sara

            I wouldn’t mind seeing this lineup at all, even though I don’t think a 3 back will work against top 5 teams

        • kernel_thai

          …….Morgan….Press
          ……Heath……………Dunn
          ………Lavelle…..Mewis
          Ohai-Short-Sauerbrunn-Pugh

          • DNG

            No lavelle in the pivot. I don’t want to give her that kind of defensive responsibility.

          • kernel_thai

            Mewis will have to take most of the defensive load. Lavelle will be getting forward a lot much like Long was against Russia. Sure, it’s not a defensive line up but u could try swapping Lavelle and Heath.

          • DNG

            It looks like Mewis will have all of the defensive load for shielding the back line and I don’t think she can cover that much ground. Lavelle is not a CM for me, she’s an attacker looking to get forward.

          • kernel_thai

            And I think this is going to be a pretty big controversy come June. If Ellis wants to play this type of formation it’s going to be hard to get Heath, Lavelle & Pugh out there at the same time.

          • DNG

            no controversy just play them all for 45 min a game. I should have mentioned this below but Ohai does not work in the 4222 at all for what I think should be fairly obvious reasons.

          • mockmook

            Not obvious — and no evidence you are correct.

          • DNG

            Ellis likes her wings to pinch in and act as almost central attacking midfielders when the US is building up out of this shape. I think Ohai would really struggle to perform this role. She just doesn’t have the ball control or passing ability to play inside the way Lavelle and Pugh did in the past two matches.

          • mockmook

            A real coach uses their players strengths, not their weaknesses.

          • DNG

            I was talking about Ohai’s play in a specific role. In the role Pugh and Lavelle played I don’t think she’d succeed. If that’s the shape Ellis choses because it fits the other players best she doesn’t really have a position.

          • mockmook

            This is stupid, you’re saying that if Ohai isn’t Pugh she can’t play like Pugh — thanks for the insight.

          • DNG

            That’s not what I’m saying at all. Ellis has given her wings specific roles in build up. They pinch inside to give the CMs a forward passing option and the OBs push up to provide the width. Rapinoe, Heath, Dunn, Lavelle, and Pugh can all do a pretty good job picking up the ball when pinching in. I don’t think Ohai can.

          • mockmook

            And I don’t care what JE is doing, I’m talking about what she can do with Ohai as a flank mid.

          • DNG

            You responded to a comment I was making about Ohai in a specific formation and I stand by my assessment. You can believe whatever you want about Ohai and how Ellis is misusing her. I wasn’t talking about any of that.

          • mockmook

            Just because you use her in that formation doesn’t mean you don’t play to her strengths instead of her weaknesses.

            Formation =/= Tactics

          • DNG

            Playing to Ohai’s strengths, the only place I’d play Ohai in the formation/tactical set up that JE used in these past two matches is on top in the forward line. I think the formation/tactics that Waldrum uses suites Ohai very well. Ellis is not going to use that hybrid 442 diamond though because it does not suit her contingent of center forwards in the squad.

          • kernel_thai

            I know Ellis doesn’t get this but Im pretty sure u do. Job one for the US is find a way to slow down the French attack. All things being equal she isn’t going to out score them because France is just as fast and better at possession. The only ways to negate speed is pack it in which completely kills the US attack or defend them with equally fast players.

          • mockmook

            I’d say quick (though the French are both)

            Rarely do you need to use flat track speed if you react (and can explode) quickly to snuff out an attack before a player gets to use their flat track speed.

            So I don’t think you have to be faster than the French (though you do need to be fast, but as importantly, quick).

          • kernel_thai

            The Ellis notion is I don’t care if we can defend them because if I add another attacker I can out score them. Well she didn’t. In previous matches the US has depended on the French being able to create more opportunities but simply not finishing any. The French out played the US in SBC 2016 and OG. These weren’t wins by the US but loses by the French. The US needs to be proactive here. They need to stop the attack of teams who have fast offensive players. Ironically, this has been what the rest of the world has been trying to do to the US forever. Some teams try to bunker and counter but I don’t see the US taking that route as ur conceding the other team is better. The Japanese had success by holding on to the ball for large portions of the match to cut down US attack possibilities and disrupt rhythm but the US isn’t technical enough yet to play that way. Teams have had success with pressure but it’s tough to pressure a team that is both fast and technical. So if ur not willing to put 10 behind the ball how do u negate speed. IMO u do it with more speed. The US is blessed with many more fast attacking players than u could ever use in the attacking positions so why not try them in defense? Ohai and Pugh can stay with fast French flank players and hopefully stop them getting numerous crosses into the box. They also can both run at the defense when they get forward adding that element to the attack. Or u can do nothing and hope the French become inept finishers when they play u.

          • DNG

            I think the US should be the ones defending deep against France and countering if the objective is win at all costs. If it’s not, and I’d argue it shouldn’t be, I’d be more flexible in terms of the game plan for the US. If they could find two solid and athletic CBs with speed in two years, I think a very well organized high press can stop any team including Japan.

          • kernel_thai

            U realize by saying that u r culturally unfit to coach the USWNT, right? : )

          • DNG

            Yup.

          • DNG

            I still think an organized high press with the right players will stifle any team including France. France do have the ability to go route 1 on us but if the US can find 2 athletic and solid CBs that can keep up with ELS they can contain France.

          • kernel_thai

            If u r going to play this formation against a team like France who is fast across the board u need outside mids who can both go inside and on the flank and u need very fast outside backs who can exploit the space left by whichever way the mid goes. The OB also have to be able to quickly recover and defend the sideline against fast French players on the flank like Thomis and Majri. In this formation the normal US OBs r too slow so I introduced two players fast enough to both enter the attack and track back when France counters. If u think u can run this formation against a team like France with Klingenberg and O’Hara I think ur going to be disappointed. Ud be better off playing four CBs in the back.

          • mockmook

            Agree with your diagnosis, but I’m skeptical whether Pugh is faster than O’Hara (and whether she would defend better)

          • kernel_thai

            I think Pugh is much faster but Im not sure she is up to this defensively. O’Hara is a two way player.

          • AlexH

            It seems like the problem then is with Jill. If Ohai can’t play JE’s system (which changes all the time) then JE needs to cut ties. If JE can’t find people that are better than Ohai for her system then perhaps she should play system for the players that she’s got rather than the players that she wishes she had.

          • DNG

            Well I think the decision to look for wings or attacking midfielder comfortable both inside and out is the right direction to go in. Even if the team played a more standard 433 or 4231 I’d expect those wide players to be fluid and interchanging a lot. I don’t see much of a place for the O’Reilly type of winger in the game going forward. And to be fair I don’t think Pugh is much more than that right now either but I see more potential for growth in her than I do in Ohai who looks like she will always have issues with her touch.

          • kernel_thai

            So Sweden is next…given the same formation and everyone healthy, who do u start?

          • DNG

            I might try something like:

            ————–Horan—————
            Heath——–Brian———Dunn
            ——–Long——–Mewis——
            Short—-Brunn—Sonnett—KO

            At halftime bring on:

            ————–Morgan—————
            Pugh———Press———Lavelle
            ———-Killion?——Mewis———
            Short—-Brunn—Johnston—-KO

          • mockmook

            Lavelle may not be a CM to you, but she is a CM (and, when needed, a DM)

          • DNG

            JE thought AL could play center back and it didn’t work out so well. We’ll see how it goes for her but I don’t think she can defend well enough at the highest level to play the role.

          • mockmook

            What does that have to do with Lavelle? Lavelle isn’t AL. And, we aren’t talking about CB. And, I wasn’t talking about what JE wanted, I’m talking about what Rose is capable of.

          • DNG

            I’m talking about putting attackers in more defensive minded roles. I don’t think Lavelle is a pivot player because I don’t think she can do the defensive parts of the role against the best attackers and I don’t think Mewis in a single pivot is enough cover.

          • mockmook

            And I disagree

          • DNG

            Alright agree to disagree. We’ll see who’s right in the future.

          • Steglitz49

            Judging by the past you may turn out to be right.

          • Steglitz49

            Like Alex Morgan for Lyon? Or KO by Pia in OG-12?

          • kernel_thai

            But we’re talking about putting Lavelle in the role occupied by Long not Shannon Boxx. Maybe Lavelle can’t thrive in a #8 role but Id sort like to see her get the chance to fail if it gets another technical play into the game

          • DNG

            Maybe this is a controversial opinion but I think Allie Long is a better all around central midfielder than Lavelle at this point. Long’s even probably the better goal scorer too.

          • AlexH

            But do you think that Allie is so obviously superior and Lavelle so obviously incapable of playing in the central midfield that Lavelle should not even get a shot?
            Personally, RL has shown me enough to warrant a good long look at the position that she regularly plays particularly when the incumbent hasn’t been spectacular and will be on the wrong side of 30 when the games actually matter.

          • DNG

            No, you can give her minutes at against the rumored teams in the summer tournament. I’m going to need to see her defend against teams like that before I believe she can do it. If she proves me wrong, great the team could have another CM option. I think we’re far more likely to see her sheltered as a wide player right now though.

          • kernel_thai

            I can certainly see a case for that but r u saying if Heath had been available last match u wouldn’t have started Lavelle?

          • DNG

            I might have started her on the opposite wing. Heath is pretty flexible in terms of which wing she plays on. I think I’d prefer to pair Heath and Lavelle with fast and direct players like Pugh and Dunn. Sort of like: Pot 1 is Heath and Lavelle; Pot 2 is Dunn and Pugh. Pick one player from each pot to play together.

          • NYRick

            I like what you have going here. The interesting thing that any US coach should be thinking is “how do I beat my number one comp at WC19?” Well, France looked pretty good last month and the WC is in France so I’m thinking they are it.

            So with that, a US women’s coach (any whether Ellis or someone else) from this current day should be devising a plan to match up well “with France.” Not Russia. Not even England.

            Your lineup offers tremendous speed in the LB and RB positions. Yes you could be asking a lot of Mewis and defensively this may all need to work itself out, but the potential is there. Especially since you have 2 years to basically work it all out.

            This is the only thing a “smart” US coach should be thinking. How do I beat France with the talent I have at hand? Unfortunately, this is not in Ellis’ skill set.

          • AlexH

            Why bother with Brunn, Morgan and Press? It is 2017 and the games don’t count. Put Horan / Williams up top, Brian in as a CAM and give Sonnet/Oyster/ anybody not needing a walker a shot at the other CB alongside Short. Let’s see what the youngsters can do.

          • DNG

            Not sure If I would give up on Morgan and Press or if I want Williams starting against top teams but put Horan on top deserves an up vote. I agree on the CB situation except I’m unsure about Short at CB. Need to give a lot of youngsters a shot because so far, no one appears like a sure thing.

          • #1Fan

            Interested in your thoughts on this

            Girls: Brianna Pinto, CASL

            To start, any women’s player with “North Carolina” next to their commit is worth paying attention to. But Brianna Pinto is a special case even within that special designator. Pinto has the look of one of the most special recruits to cross into UNC coach Anson Dorrance’s domain in a long time, and she’s already making good use of her penultimate club season. She might not hit the college game until 2018, but at least based on her 2016-17 season, she looks ready yesterday.

            Pinto’s found time with her ECNL club side CASL to be a bit more truncated than normal thanks to routine national team call-ups at a variety of levels. Most recently, Pinto starred for the U23 WNT – yes, a college-aged national team – at just 17 in a 2-1 win over the Portland Thorns in a friendly. But perhaps most notably, she earned a call-up to the full USWNT in January to participate in a camp as one of the youngest players in the program’s history to have that honor.

            Needless to say, the Tar Heels can’t wait to get Pinto on campus.

            Pinto’s position at the next level is up in the air, and it largely depends on UNC’s need. They could form her into a raiding winger or a second striker. She’s had several multi-goal games for CASL’s prolific U18 team this season, and there are few in the country with a higher potential ceiling than the five-star talent.

            Here’s a glimpse at a few more players making strong cases as we beeline toward the award’s announcement in early August.

          • DNG

            The report in many ways does not reflect the player I saw in Portland during the preseason matches. I don’t get to see her ECNL matches but this statement seems just completely sensationalized.

            “Pinto has the look of one of the most special recruits to cross into UNC coach Anson Dorrance’s domain in a long time”

            This next statement is also exaggerated and not representative of the play I witnessed on the field.

            “Most recently, Pinto starred for the U23 WNT – yes, a college-aged national team – at just 17 in a 2-1 win over the Portland Thorns in a friendly.”

            It’s almost as if the writer didn’t watch the game or is just using the result to generate interest. The U-23’s didn’t create much of anything outside of their pressing forwards who were pretty good during stretches of the match. Pinto and Howell were constantly unaware of danger going the other way leaving their defense completely exposes multiple times. The difference between Henry and even Long compared to Pinto and Howell was obvious and noticeable on both sides of the ball. I can’t remember Pinto influencing that match in any significant way actually. She was pretty good at moving the ball around and playing safe but she hardly ever attempted to break lines with great forward passes.

            “They could form her into a raiding winger or a second striker.”

            What? I’m almost convinced now that me and the author are watching different players now.

          • #1Fan

            ok, so having just read that on a player that is “seen” often, how on earth do people take TDS seriously on player they rarely if ever see?

            I do think this is part of what is wrong with the Youth soccer scene for girls. There is nothing but overblown hypey analysis until the get spanked. Then we get the hand wringing and recrimination. The we go back to the hype.

            I dont think it helps anyone.

          • AlexH

            One thing that the fed could do for good youth prospects would be to provide tutoring so they could graduate HS early and start proving their hype at the NCAA level sooner rather than later. It wouldn’t be for everybody but most kids with stuff going for them (and not just sports) probably have better things to do with there time than twiddle their thumbs in their sr. year

          • DNG

            I don’t really read TDS often but I think you raise a good point. My guess is that these articles’ primary audience are parents of youth players and they are trying to keep things mostly positive. I’m also somewhat convinced that some of the people writing these articles just don’t have a clue what they’re watching or writing about.

          • #1Fan

            Correct. It panders to parents who buy subscriptions. It’s part of the problem. So much of the youth game is all about pandering to the people who pay….parents.

            Will never be truly top tier until we stop lying to parents and kids so we can take their money. I really hoped the GDA was going to be free. It’s not and believe me it’s going to be mediocre kids and blow hard parents telling everyone who will listen, my kid is Academy

          • DNG

            Why isn’t the GDA free? Is the USSF afraid to upset the youth soccer economy? I hope these academy’s spend more time training than showcasing at least. But if you can still buy your way into the program, they are limiting the pool to players that can afford to be there and it won’t end up being much different than the ECNL. And I’ve said this before but it’s be great if the NWSL teams with GDA programs had a way to get the players they develop into their first team.

          • #1Fan

            No idea. There are a few Clubs with big benefactors making it free – LA Galaxy and Cedar Stars. The rest, no. more training is the plan. and yes you can buy in. In fact its about 3k per before travel.

          • #1Fan

            More for you. Just more from TDS. Do you understand why parents/kids lose touch with reality. Just think about how idiotic the opening line is.

            Trinity Rodman, So Cal Blues – Rodman is a stud. She is easily one of the best forwards in the U.S. Youth National Team pipeline. She is the facilitator for the Blues team in the sense that she provided the right element to improve the Blues whenever needed. If Blues needed someone to finish a chance to put the game away, Rodman did it. If Blues needed someone to set up a chance, Rodman did it. She was unstoppable.

          • DNG

            There seems to be no segment dedicated to offer real critique for these players. Reading this, you’d believe it roses all the time. Interesting that I just read this on twitter.

            https://twitter.com/itsmeglinehan/status/852212278040702976

            He gets it. Why did US Soccer fire him again?

          • #1Fan

            I fully understand that criticism is dangerous, but the stupid hyperbole is as well. Especially when directed at an audience who assume the writers are actual authorities on the game. They dont know any better.

            I just dont get the fascination with rankings, best Xis etc. I dont see how it makes kids better

            That is Denis Rodmans kid btw.

          • DNG

            I think constructive criticism is invaluable at every level of the sport and I think there’s a way to do it tactfully even in sports media targeted at youth parents. It should not be, player x can’t do this and is a terrible player, it should be, this is what player x needs to work on to improve and take her game to the next level.

          • #1Fan

            Agreed. The hyperbole is just stupid though. Serves no purpose. The TDS best XI is of games they saw. do you know how many games are played at a showcase with say 50 clubs and 4 age groups ? Exactly. They see a fraction of the games. The Best X1 and alternates ( 24 players or so ) contains 50pct from 2 Clubs

          • guest

            She will play the 8 for UNC

          • #1Fan

            Pugh at RB would be a massive development hit for US Soccer. No way they do it.

            I like the creativity though

          • kernel_thai

            Is Pugh starting at right back worse than Pugh starting on the bench?

          • #1Fan

            yes for USSF. You can sell the bench basis experience.You can’t sell ” the best player the US have ever produced” shifting to OB.Not this early.

          • DNG

            She fits the profile athletically of an OB but I think that she has enough supplemental qualities to her game that makes me think she can still figure it out higher up the field. I think she really needs a mentor though and a professional training environment to really polish off her game.

          • #1Fan

            I agree on the latter, but a top class OB is nothing to be sneezed at.

          • DNG

            I agree but I’m not exactly impressed with most of the upcoming flank prospects either which is one of the reasons I like the idea of trying to convert Lavelle into a winger.

          • HOFCToDi

            France will go thru that lineup like a scalding knife thru butter.

          • Soccer player

            Not true. France only capitalized on poor American midfield play; and a poor pass by Heath close to the French goal area enabled Reynard to intercept and make a long pass to Tomis who passed the ball for the score.Worse, the three back system opened up spaces during French counter attacks.True that the system exposed weaknesses of the three back formation.Nothing to worry .

          • HOFCToDi

            Nothing to worry? Jill Ellis could not coach her way out of a paper bag.

          • DNG

            France capitalized on the weaknesses in the US shape and abysmal defense. The Renard pass was a long ball over the top to Le Sommer who then preceded to put Sauerbrunn on the turf with a simple touch inside followed by a cool finish. I don’t put too much fault on Heath for an intercepted pass on the edge of France’s 18. She could definitely have played a better ball but passes like that are cut out all the time and hardly ever lead to a goal going the other way. The US forwards were worse than their midfielders btw.

      • #1Fan

        Same again. Must have more defensive presence vs better teams

        • NYRick

          Who in your opinion are the best defense US players currently on the team or maybe not on the team at each position?

          • #1Fan

            We dont seem to have any. I dont see RB and LB as defensive positions exclusively. I think OHara is the best of the bunch personally.

            CDMs not really sure.

            CBs I like Sauerbrunn. I like Skroski from Sky Blue as well.

            we really dont have many players i consider to be excellent defensively.

    • NYRick

      But…

      Lloyd owns Ellis AND Gulati. She might as well take both home and put them on her living room shelf for display.

      • HOFCToDi

        Christen Press owns a place on the bench.

        Christen Press
        2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup
        16 Jun 2015
        USA 1 NGA 0
        Minutes Played 0

        resources.fifa.com/mm/document/tournament/competition/02/65/00/60/eng_31_0616_nga-usa_fulltime.pdf

        Christen Press was BENCHED!

        Christen Press
        2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup
        30 Jun 2015
        USA 2 GER 0
        Minutes Played 0

        resources.fifa.com/mm/document/tournament/competition/02/65/52/49/eng_49_0630_usa-ger_fulltime.pdf

        Christen Press was BENCHED!

        Christen Press
        2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup
        05 Jul 2015
        USA 5 JPN 2
        Minutes Played 0

        resources.fifa.com/mm/document/tournament/competition/02/66/12/93/eng_52_0705_usa-jpn_fulltime.pdf

        Christen Press was BENCHED!

        Christen Press
        International Women’s Friendly
        21 Oct 2015
        USA 1 BRA 1
        Minutes Played 0

        foxsports.com/soccer/boxscore?id=24140

        Christen Press was BENCHED!

        Christen Press
        International Women’s Friendly
        25 Oct 2015
        USA 3 BRA 1
        Minutes Played 0

        foxsports.com/soccer/boxscore?id=24141

        Christen Press was BENCHED!

        Nevermind Christen Press started eleven of the first twelve matches for the USWNT in calendar year 2015.

        ussoccer.com/womens-national-team/lineups/2015-lineups

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

      • Breakers fan

        Shelf or mantel?

        just thinking that’s a tall shelf… 🙂

        • HOFCToDi

          Sunil Gulati does not give a damn about the women’s team.

          Sunil Gulati only cares about the following:

          2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup
          2018 FIFA World Cup Qualification
          2020 Copa América bid
          2026 FIFA World Cup bid

          espnfc.com/copa-america/story/3078091/negotiations-for-another-joint-copa-america-beyond-preliminary-victor-montagliani

          espnfc.com/fifa-world-cup/story/3099559/us-mexico-and-canada-to-launch-joint-2026-world-cup-hosting-bid-monday

          • Breakers fan

            Yes, but he might also care whether he gets to stand on a mantel for the next couple years or be squished into one shelf space.

          • HOFCToDi

            Don’t kid yourself. It was Sunil Gulati who banished Hope Solo from the USWNT.

            NYRick is an individual that not only needs to be institutionalized but also fitted for a strait jacket and locked in a padded room.

          • Breakers fan

            Predict please: Carli Lloyd’s # of minutes played in the first 4 World Cup games of 2019?

            Forget Gulati: Is Jill Ellis displayed on Carli’s mantel right now, do you think?

          • HOFCToDi

            April Heinrichs and Jill Ellis on the mantel? With the new CBA, the veteran protection system is back in business. Behave and you won’t end up like Tom Sermanni.

          • Breakers fan

            Do we have specifics yet about how many new players can be brought in for looks in camps?

          • HOFCToDi

            The great white whale will elude Captain Ahab once more.

          • kernel_thai

            They have apparently increased both the number of floaters allowed and floater pay. To me this seems like coal for Newcastle. If ur now paying ur contract player twice as much in guaranteed salary, wouldn’t u expect them to actually play in the friendlies instead of bringing in additional players who ud have to pay floater money. If anything I see Ellis using more free college age and younger players to round out camps with the excuse of development.

          • mockmook

            They did lower the number of contracts to 22 from 24.

            And, they will supposedly lower that number even further.

            A small “victory” in the carnage.

          • kernel_thai

            Not much of a victory as u have created raises for the top 22 player by reducing the number of full time jobs by 2 but allowed the hiring of more temps to replace them. I really can’t see any positives to this contract.

          • guest

            i can understand including canada in the us world cup bid to growth their game. but why do we have to include mexico as well? can’t see too many non- mexican americans traveling to mexico to see the games. either way, hopefully the us get’s around nine of the world cup stadium sites.

          • HOFCToDi

            Check out the seating capacity at the Estadio Azteca:

            en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estadio_Azteca

          • guest

            the only place in mexico i would even think about going to see a world cup game is cancun or cabo san lucas.

        • NYRick

          They are the “mini-me” versions of both. Sort of like those mini NFL helmets Riddell makes for display.

          • Breakers fan

            Gotcha – funny. Smiling in them I assume.

      • Steglitz49

        As FIFA POTY for the 2nd year running and seller of tickets, Carli has pull with a lot of people, not just the two you mention.

    • #1Fan

      Defensive liability, can’t work vs good teams.

  • NYRick

    Not talked about much but has KO emerged once again as a backline starter? I thought she looked good in both matches.

    • Breakers fan

      Agree, I’ve always liked having KO out there. Occasionally erratic but better athletically than most, tireless, fiery competitor and her Stanford background helps – she came up in a very good soccer background for fundamentals and smart play. She’ll do stuff at times– see WC semi — that others just won’t/don’t.

    • Arcie Tillydee

      She already seems to have a really good understanding with Lavelle.

    • Steglitz49

      KO is a back. LB > RB.

    • kernel_thai

      KO was a victim of the 3back more than anything about her play.

  • Kate

    These games were boring. Russia is just plain bad. More curious to see what the lineup is against better opponents this summer.

    Bright spots: Lavelle is a joy to watch. Carli can still make some nice long passes and plays, and is the best PK taker US Soccer has ever had. (Yes, I think she is past her prime too). Dunn is the most versatile player in the USSoccer arsenal.

    Would have liked to see more of Press and Morgan with the youngins.

    Pinoe needs to retire. A shame Ohai couldn’t have played instead.

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