Tuesday Roundup: Jostling for Pugh begins

The Equalizer Staff April 18, 2017 362
Mallory Pugh is going pro. Will she wind up in NWSL or overseas? (photo by Allison Lee)

Mallory Pugh is going pro. Will she wind up in NWSL or overseas? (photo by Allison Lee)

A day after it became public that Mallory Pugh was leaving UCLA to pursue a professional career, Grant Wahl, who reported the initial story, was at it again with word that the Thorns had proposed a “significant” trade to acquire the top spot in the distribution order, but that to this point the Spirit have not been receptive.

The distribution order was instituted the morning of the 2016 NWSL Draft as a mechanism for newly subsidized players entering the league to land on teams. The order is reversed from the previous season’s final order of finish. The Spirit moved from 9th to 2nd in a trade with Orlando (trades can only be made as exchanges) in exchange for Ali Krieger. They later swapped with the Breakers as part of the deal in which they acquired Kristie Mewis and Kassey Kallman.

The Thorns have already traded to the top of the order once, shipping the No. 3 overall pick to the Breakers in 2016 for that spot. At the time they thought Pugh was ready to forego college and sign with U.S. Soccer, but she changed her mind and elected to enroll at UCLA.

Wahl’s initial report indicated that Pugh is not interested in playing for the Spirit and that signing with Lyon or Paris Saint-Germain were also options. U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati could try and help broker a deal between the Spirit and Thorns at the league’s owners meetings this Friday.

NWSL on Lifetime draws 82 thousand viewers

Lifetime’s Game of the Week broadcast of the Portland Thorns hosting the Orlando Pride drew 82 thousand viewers, according to Paul Kennedy of Soccer America. The pregame show drew 131,000 viewers according to Sports TV Ratings

Looking at the numbers, a third-place finish for most viewers may disappoint some fans, but the numbers are slightly misleading. 2017 is the only year the season opener was nationally televised, whereas all other years didn’t see the NWSL on television screens around the country until mid- to late-season. 

The first televised match in 2013 was a July 14 meeting between the Seattle Reign and Washington Spirit, while the first in 2014 was a July 20 meeting between Portland Thorns and the Boston Breakers. 2015’s first televised match was Seattle Reign at Portland Thorns on July 22, not even two weeks after the USWNT won the World Cup and during the league’s post-World Cup surge in popularity. That particular match was also the first sellout in Thorns history and featured some of the USWNT’s biggest stars in Alex Morgan, Tobin Heath and Megan Rapinoe. The first match to be televised in 2016 wasn’t until September 7 when the Red Stars hosted FC Kansas City. 

Hopefully Lifetime will continue to be able to draw in viewers for NWSL. FS1 averaged 97,ooo fans in 2015 and 67,000 in 2016 during the regular season. The channel aired three regular season matches each of those seasons.

Dash waive Ochs, acquire Levin

Stephanie Ochs, in Orange, has been waived by the Dash, who also acquired Cami Levin from the Pride. (Photo Copyright Clark Linehan for The Equalizer)

Stephanie Ochs, in orange, has been waived by the Dash, who also acquired Cami Levin from the Pride. (Photo Copyright Clark Linehan for The Equalizer)

The Houston Dash waived Stephanie Ochs on Tuesday, and within the hour announced the addition of Cami Levin via trade with the Orlando Pride. The Pride acquired a 3rd round pick in next year’s draft.

The addition of a draft pick get the Pride back into the 2018 draft after having traded all four of their picks. Ironically the Pride’s 3rd round pick belongs to the Dash.

{READ ALSO: Rodriguez out for season with ACL tear | The Kronick Report }

Ochs and Levin are both products of expansion drafts. The Dash took Ochs after she spent 2013 with the Spirit. Randy Waldrum successfully converted Ochs to an outside back in 2014, but a torn ACL early in 2015 cost her the rest of the season and she was not more than a bit player last season.

Levin was a Pride expansion draft pick from Sky Blue and was used for defensive depth in 2016 when the Pride backline departed in its entirety to play for their respective countries at the Olympics.

Kacey White to join U.S. Soccer as coach

Kacey White was named Xavier head coach in December but will leave without coaching a single regular season match. (photo: Xavier University)

Kacey White was named Xavier head coach in December but will leave without coaching a single regular season match. (photo: Xavier University)

Kacey White is leaving Xavier to take a coaching job with U.S. Soccer. The school, where White accepted the head coaching position in December, made the announcement. She will leave Xavier without coaching a regular season match.

White, 32, is capped by the United States and was part of Sky Blue FC’s 2009 WPS championship side. In 2010 White served as acting captain early in the season while Christie Pearce (then Rampone) was out on maternity leave.

Barcelona women closing in on UWCL semifinal sellout

On Saturday, Barcelona will become the first Spanish club to play in the UEFA Women’s Champions League semifinal. It may happen in front of a sellout crowd.

Barca will host Paris Saint-Germain on the first leg of their semifinal. The return leg is April 29 in Paris. The other semifinal has Manchester City hosting Lyon in the opening leg. In that tie, U.S. stalwarts Carli Lloyd (Man City) and Alex Morgan (Lyon) will be on opposing sides.

NWSL to participate in head injury summit

NWSL is teaming up with Major League Soccer and U.S. Soccer this weekend to host “Head Injury in Soccer; From Science to the Field.” The medical summit will take place Friday and Saturday in New York City.

The summit will open with a a presentation of soon-to-be-released key findings and conclusions from the 2016 Berlin Consensus meeting on Concussion in Sport.

Throughout the conference, specialists will discuss state of the art principles, concepts, mechanisms and innovative treatments for head injuries and concussions specific to the game of soccer for all ages, levels of participation, and genders for the sport.

Head injuries are a hot-button issue of modern sport. Brandi Chastain has agreed to donate her brain to be studied so doctors can learn more about the affects of a lifetime spent heading soccer balls on the human brain.

  • Arcie Tillydee

    No, no, NO!! FFS, Merritt (and Gavin and Mark), do NOT offer any of the players Washington might actually be tempted to take for Mal Pugh. A fine player, and with even more potential, but simply not worth losing one of our genuinely elite players for. Not one.

    • guest

      do you think they read the comments here

    • DNG

      I can’t see the Thorns giving up any of their USWNT players for Pugh. They don’t have enough depth in the back to trade Sonnett or Klingenberg(or Menges) and it would make no sense to trade Pugh for Tobin, Horan, or Long.

      • Truth is…..

        Not a bad idea to trade Horan. She is getting bigger and out of shape.

        • rkmid71

          Horan also seems to have this lingering hip flexor injury. So if a trade was a possibility I would be careful if I was Washington re: Horan’s fitness situation. Hip flexors are notorious because you can kind of play injured, just don’t have the normal explosiveness. And Horan wasn’t that explosive or quick to start with.

        • guest

          horan has done very little for the uswnt and shouldn’t even have been allocated for the uswnt this year. hasn’t lived up to the hype.

      • truf

        It makes perfect sense to trade Horan. Tobin, Pugh, Long and Horan all prefer central mid. (even if they all don’t play it on the NT level). Pugh is different because she’s a better winger than any of the 3 and would bring a lot to the team.

        • DNG

          I don’t think she’s a better winger than Tobin but to each their own. I’m not a believer in sacrificing a piece in the spine of you ream for a fast crosser.

          • mockmook

            How about for a cross dresser? 😉

        • Arcie Tillydee

          Pugh isn’t remotely in Heath’s class as a winger, although she _might_ have that high a ceiling. Are people really this thunderstruck by pace and a few goals against tomato cans?

    • Forgedias

      I think its the only way Washington would accept a deal is a National team player in return for Pugh.

      • Terry Lash

        But if Pugh refuses to play for the Spirit, then they get nothing. A draft selection is better than nothing.

        • DNG

          I’m guessing not as of yet since it was reported that Lynch turned down Portland’s offer. Lynch isn’t getting a NT player though especially after chasing the two he had out of town.

        • guest

          washingont should call portland and pugh’s bluff then.

          • DNG

            What makes you say it’s a bluff? I don’t think she made this decision not knowing that there was a possibility of things not going her way. I’d be shocked if she wasn’t prepared to wait a year, play overseas and try again at next go around.

          • guest

            washington has her rights for two years. there is no hurry to make a bad trade. the uswnt will want her playing in the nwsl the following year before the world cup if she wants to be on that team.

          • DNG

            Where did you get two years from? They don’t have the first crack at her next year unless they finish bottom of the table. And like I’ve said else where they can always change the rules if they want. Pugh is a NT player with a contract with US Soccer not any NWSL team.

          • guest

            not two years

            D) Retention of Rights. Teams who select a Distribution-Eligible Individual, but do not sign the Distribution-Eligible Individual to a contract, will retain the Distribution-Eligible Individual’s rights until start of preseason the following year.

          • DNG

            Thanks for fishing up this information. I’m a little confused as to what it means by signing DEI’s since I thought that allocated players only sign contracts with the NT.

    • AGuest2

      The NWSL needs a couple more teams out West. They might want to consider dangling Pugh as a carrot to try to entice the MLS Colorado Rapids to go for an expansion team in 2018. Merritt would certainly go for that and would probably throw in Horan as well to sweeten the pot. Both of them are from Colorado and would sell a lot of tickets for them.

  • guest

    hard to call the barcelona crowd a sellout when they aren’t selling tickets. they’re free

    • Steglitz49

      Pedantic use of words. It is like MLS-expansion of the NWSL: someone else pays. Kids went free to the ladies FA Cup final at Wembley last year and again this year.

      There are still tickets for the ladies Champions League final in Cardiff City Stadium on Thursday June 1st on sale I gather:
      Tickets are available from this link: http://www.uwclf2017.co.uk .
      Prices — Adults: £6 (ca $7) and Chldren (16 and under) £3 (ca $3.5)

      There are tickets also for the ladies FA Cup final on May 13th. Kids go free.
      Last season’s SSE Women’s FA Cup Final attracted a record crowd and the 2017 Final is expected to be even bigger and better.
      The Final will take place at Wembley Stadium connected by EE on Saturday 13 May 2017, kick off 5:15pm.
      Kids go FREE, while adult tickets are £15 (ca $18) and concessions (OAPs and students) are £5 (ca $6). Group discounts are available for groups of 9+.

      • guest

        still free tho

        • Steglitz49

          Marketing speak is that the sponsor defrays the kids attending for free with an adult or it is called a loss-leader.

          In the case FA women’s Cup final an adult can bring several kids with him/her, defrayed by the sponsor SEE. In Barcelona’s case I would call it a loss-leader — building the brand, if you prefer.

  • sandrae gunter

    I wonder how “Significant” that offer could be…. And they Rejected it ? What the hell do they want…Tobin Heath? It’s not Portland’s Fault they are incompetent , they run an organization players don’t want to play for… They will soon end up with nothing more than Owners voting for them to be sold

    • guest

      if portland doesn’t want to pay full value then they shouldn’t make a trade request. klingenberg is very average. horan has done very little for the uswnt. i would request tobin heath if portland want’s the top 18 year player in the us.

      • TsovLoj

        Think about it, dude. They do that, Portland tells them to stuff it, and then they’re left trying to negotiate with a young woman who doesn’t want to play for them. They’re better off trying to get what they can get from Portland rather than just get nothing.

        • guest

          they have her rights for two years. they could field offers from orlando too later.

          • Steglitz49

            where does your Orlando enter into the equation?

        • #1Fan

          so the League will allow the teams people want to play for to dictate the landscape/ rules.

          • DNG

            I would guess that is the situation. Orlando was allowed to sign Marta recently to a contract for an extra year than is usually allowed. In this case no rules have been broken yet but it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see the rules bent for the benefit of Pugh and US Soccer

          • #1Fan
        • Breakers fan

          Will the League permit Mallory to say that “I will ONLY play in Portland”? If that’s the case then Portland could offer them their 4th round pick in 2027 and say “take it or leave it”, according to what you’re suggesting above, right?

          That said, isn’t it the case that the League has to approve all trades, meaning “deem they’re fair to both teams”? If that is true then it’ll be interesting to see what terms the League considers fair to both teams in this instance.

          • DNG

            There does seem to be a little bit of that going on but there also seems to be a very wide range of beliefs on what Pugh is worth. Would you think it was crazy if Portland only thought she was worth a first round pick and not any of their starting XI or Dagny?

          • Breakers fan

            Yes, if only 1 first round pick. Whenever one’s favorite team is involved it’s natural to try to start down the “have your cake and eat it too” route, to start giving kind of new twists, new views on players, to try to keep ALL of what you want, because….it’s your team! Everyone does that or is tempted to try to, to some extent. Pugh has shown quite well overall and there is tons of potential there. That is worth more, IMO, than some unknown college Senior next year. What position in the 1st round does Portland even have, do you know?

            I have to go now, in case I don’t respond for a while.

          • DNG

            Potential is just that potential. As a player what is she worth right now? Is she going to score more goals than Dagny, Horan or Nadim? I doubt it. Is she better than Tobin or Sinclair? Don’t think so. Maybe the potential get’s the Thorns to part with Dagny or Nadim but it’s doubtful they would agree on the others. Pugh in this case is worth the price Portland is willing to pay unless there are other teams involved and that’s just how these things work whether or not you or I agree with the final price. You don’t think Dagny was worth a Breakers second round pick do you? It was better than nothing though.

          • Breakers fan

            We’ll revisit Pugh in 2, 3, 5 years. To say Pugh is worth the price Portland is willing to pay is SOOO unfair to other teams in the League, here Washington, There has to be some oversight to make sure teams other than Portland are being compensated fairly. What if you hated Portland and Washington was your favorite team, do you think you’;d be singing a different tune? Until the rules change you can’t start making exceptions for people. They already are but now they damn sure better get Washington good value – as determined by the League not by Portland fans.

          • DNG

            They are paying the price for Pugh right now and there in no guarantee that she will be worth what they give up in 2, 3, 5 years. I don’t think it’s unfair at all for Portland to take the same hard line as Washington. If the teams in question we in opposite positions and it was Washington dictating terms I would feel exactly the same as I do now. So far no rules that I know of have been changed

          • kernel_thai

            On the bright side, at least for u, let’s say Galati does step in. One solution that might appeal to the Spirit is put Sullivan on the table now and let the Spirit use their UFI pick to take her. I guess Sullivan would have to give up her last season at Stanford but Washington was betting on that anyway. They’d also be committing to an injured player sight unseen. But if that was the deal then look who is sitting in the #2 spot in the UFI….the Boston Breakers.

          • Breakers fan

            One last comment – if potential is potential then give up Jordan and a 1st round pick and maybe another pick. They’ve shown less than Pugh at the NT level.

          • DNG

            Why should they? They are negotiating from a position of power. They don’t need Pugh and Pugh doesn’t seem to want to play in Washington. If Pugh is serious about waiting and going to Europe, Portland can wait too.

          • kernel_thai

            This is a fallacy. A team negotiating from power doesn’t immediately put an offer on the table when there r no other bidders. Spirit have all the power here. If they don’t get what they want then Pugh likely signs in Europe. Getting Pugh doesn’t put the Spirit in the playoffs. They need a lot of players to get back to where they were. Pugh is a chip they can use to get multiple young players. That’s why Im not big on Horan being part of the deal. While Horan is a piece the Spirit could use she doesn’t get them in the playoffs either. They r better off taking a lot of smaller pieces. Given the choice of Horan for Pugh or Sonnett, Jordan rights and #1 pick for Pugh Id take the later.

          • DNG

            We don’t have any idea what the offer on the table was. The Spirit do have the power to deny Pugh entry into the league but they don’t have leverage to negotiate a deal they deem acceptable it seems. Pugh’s chip also has a time limit on it. I think you are vastly overrating the Spirit’s leverage over Portland here.

          • kernel_thai

            Then again, why did Portland make an offer. If Im Portland and Im happy with what Ive got but would take Pugh if the price is reasonable then I let DC come to me. If Pugh isn’t playing anywhere in the league but Portland and they have all the cards why r they offering anything? Instead of playing it cool and letting the clock tick, the Thorns r on the phone with a package the day the news breaks. That stinks of desperation not cool confidence. Ur right the Portland should have all the cards but they seem to be playing Washington’s game.

          • DNG

            Why not? They’d like to have her is very different from, they need her. They obviously don’t have all the cards since the Spirit can just say no Pugh in NWSL this year under the current rules. But anyone thinking that the Spirit have the leverage to get one or two of Portland’s core players is just a huge stretch to me. They are favored to be in the running for the shield and a top three team as currently constructed. The Thorns aren’t just going to sit idly by if they can get a deal done but they aren’t going to be forced to give up anything they don’t want to either.

          • kernel_thai

            Im from NY and Ive seen that look on Steinbrenner’s face enough times to know that it isn’t always about what u need its about what u want and Paulson wants Pugh and that isn’t a good position to bargain from. DC on the other hand knows they aren’t getting Pugh regardless so they just want to get the most they can for it. As for losing the pick completely at the end of the season, well before yesterday they were pretty much resigned to that happening anyway.

          • DNG

            We have literally no idea just how badly Paulson wants Pugh. No details of this ‘significant deal’ have been leaked. Personally I think Lynch is just being stubborn because he feels as if he finally got some luck and I guess he kind of did. I just don’t think it’s as much as he does apparently.

          • kernel_thai

            U’ll now how badly Portland wants her if Galati does get involved. Any pressure for him to mediate this will come from Portland not Washington.

          • DNG

            I think that speaks much more to how much the USSF wants her in the league.

          • kernel_thai

            That too but Im not that bullish on how important the USSF considers the NWSL except as a place for their players to play in WC and OG years. They didn’t seem to have trouble with Dunn leaving the league or Morgan & Lloyd missing part of the season and those r three pretty important names to have in the league.

          • DNG

            I think the USSF likes that they can call up their players whenever they want because they pay their league salaries. It’s also probably an image issue for them.

          • kernel_thai

            And they like that they can not worry about the FIFA date Lyon is required to release Morgan on or how many days it takes players coming from Europe to get over jet lag and be effective.

          • Guest

            If you have followed Gabarra’s answers the last few months, it doesn’t seem like it’s luck at all. It seems they made a calculated bet that once the CBA and bigger money was done that a number of younger players Jill wants developing would start to make the move to the professional ranks. Their bet could have resulted in nothing and still could, but it wasn’t luck.

          • DNG

            A number of young player? I count one and it was undoubtedly lucky. If Pugh was planning this from the get go she would not have waited until after the season had already begun. She most likely just finished a semester of college classes and said “I’m out”.

          • Guest

            Yes, a number of young players. Obviously Andi Sullivan was going to get a contract for the asking when she got hurt and there was buzz in DC about her. There are also at least a couple of young players who were on the U23s this round that Jill is interested in getting on board and developing, rather than languishing in college. Jill clearly wants a few young guns developing year-round getting ready for the WC. I wouldn’t be surprised to see one or two more this. Obviously any manger with a brain is going to let the Pug think play out before they throw their client into the cauldron.

          • DNG

            Sully was an unconfirmed rumor and even if it was true that’s one potential player not a number of players. Which U23 player from those matches in Portland do you think is getting allocated in the next year? I don’t think any will.

          • guest

            they are only negotiating from a position of power if the ussf continues to let uswnt players try to dictate which team they want to play for. especially a rookie. the ussf pays the uswnt salaries and requires them to play in the nwsl in order to play on the uswnt. just another reason why the uswnt players nwsl salaries should not be directly paid by the ussf but paid by the ussf to the nwsl teams to reduce power.

          • guest

            and why the nwsl will never be a real league until they are able to pay the uswnt player salaries in the nwsl themselves instead of the ussf.

          • DNG

            I agree but then you’d still have to worry about the best players all wanting to play for a few teams

          • DNG

            She doesn’t necessarily have to sign a US Soccer contract yet. She can sign her big endorsement deal and go overseas. It’s clear that this is not what US Soccer wants which is why they make exceptions.

          • guest

            Pugh will be put on a tier 1 USWNT contract as soon as she is officially a pro (i.e. gives up NCAA eligibility and/or signs the big endorsement deal). The CBA terms of USWNT contract will pay her the tier 1 salary (previously $72K now reported to be 30% higher – approx $94k under new CBA) regardless of playing in NWSL or not. Unlikely that Pugh would delay signing a US Soccer contract.
            The allocated/federation player salary from USSF is in addition to USWNT tier 1 salary. The CBA will only require USWNT playing in NWSL during WC/OG years and has provisions (pro-rated NWSL salary etc) to handle players playing partial (Morgan, Lloyd) NWSL seasons or not playing (Dunn). So Pugh could choose to play overseas (thus not getting the NWSL allocated player money) but would still get the tier 1 base contract amount.

            A big endorsement deal may be worth more if she is playing in the USA ( NWSL) vs Europe but the endorsement deal value is probably more related to Pugh’s status as USWNT player

          • DNG

            Think of it this way. If the league was operated as a free market none of this would be an issue at all. Why is it fair to the player in the first place that they are allowed to be told where they have to play. For the sake of competition if a flimsy argument for me. The league is currently unbalanced and still very competitive. Maybe there should temporarily be some sort of restrictions at the very upper end but curbing investment by rich clubs too much with a very low hard cap is the wrong decision.

          • Constant Weeder

            The free-market league idea has been tried twice. This time survival trumps fairness – just ask the players who have been making $7K while their teammates were in 5 figures. The league is not balanced, as you say, but it’s a lot closer to balanced, and a lot more competitive, than it would have been without the cap.

          • DNG

            The league failed because teams spent more than they were able to afford. The fault there lies with the teams who spent more than they should have. You can also make a rule similar to the UEFA FFP rule if you are worried about teams going under.

          • Constant Weeder

            There is a lot of pressure, especially on alpha type team owners, to spend more than you can afford. I’m not saying it’s a perfect system, but we do have a league.

          • DNG

            And they can put rules in place that restricts spending for teams that cannot afford it that’s how UEFA’s financial fair play rules work.

          • Constant Weeder

            I edited my post before I saw your reply; sorry.

          • DNG

            No worries.

          • DNG

            I’d argue that that’s the way it should be but yes I do still think there will be good players playing for other teams. There are lots of good players in the league and not all of them can start for those three teams.

          • kernel_thai

            But it doesn’t. Let’s say Galati steps in and a deal is made. Let’s say part of that deal has Jordan going to DC. Next year if Jordan says No DC do u think Galati steps in for her? If it’s important to Pugh to be able to sign where she wants then the NWSL isn’t for her. If she wants to play in Portland then she needs to hope Portland will over pay to get her. If we learned anything about Spirit management this year it’s that they r doing it the way they want to regardless of public opinion.

          • DNG

            Why are we so quick to dismiss player choice as if it can’t exist in the NWSL. The reason it doesn’t exist is because people at the top chose for it not to. I defended Dagny, Payne and Jordan for doing what they did and I will defend Pugh too. Anything to give the players more power over where they end up is a positive in my opinion. If owners don’t like the current dynamic they should be responsible for making their team a desirable place to play. The Spirit have to answer to the other 9 owners and I suppose the lifetime executives now too. If enough owners force Lynch’s hand there will be nothing he can do about it.

          • kernel_thai

            Choice won’t exist until the players start a union and r willing to do whatever is necessary to get what they deem fair. That said, MLS has a union and they don’t have free agency either.

          • DNG

            “MLS has a union and they don’t have free agency either.”

            MLS are not able to get the comparable player to Amandine Henry right now though. No top 5 player in the mens game is going to play in the MLS. They have frequently made new rules and allowances for the rich teams to sign big name players. I think it will be many years still before MLS is able to compete with Europe for a top 5 player. Maybe they never will.

          • kernel_thai

            But that only works because the FFF doesn’t have similar restrictions tying Henry to D1. The first step in putting US club soccer back on an even keel with the rest of the world is getting the clubs to pay their USSF players.

          • DNG

            I agree. NWSL ultimately needs to be completely separate from US Soccer.

          • guest

            do you believe the mls has the chance to become a top three soccer league in the next 25 years? i suppose it all depends on how quickly the game continues to grow in the us and is getting comparable attendance to nfl games.

          • guest

            and the us getting to host the copa america every four years could help to speed that growth alot quicker.

          • Guest

            What makes you think the other owners want Portland to get another big player? I’m sure most would be happy to have her as well, but if she really digs in and refuses to play anywhere else, I’m sure the other owners would be happy to see the Spirit hold firm and let her go overseas. The other owners aren’t going to bat for Portland.

          • DNG

            Because when I read that Gulati is going to mediate an owners meeting this Friday, it makes me thing that something is going on behind the scenes. Why would the other owners want to keep a potential attendance draw out of the league when they know they don’t have a chance at Pugh either? If the Spirit dig in that’s fine. They won’t have that first choice forever.

          • mockmook

            What they choose is the NWSL. It has rules about where they land. If a player doesn’t like those rules, join another league.

          • DNG

            I’m challenging what I believe to be an unfair practice. If you disagree with me and wish to explain why you believe it’s acceptable to value artificial parity over player agency and development I’d like to hear your argument.

            Obviously players need to follow the rules of the league and if they don’t want to be subject to the draft they can play abroad like Jordan and Payne are doing right now. My argument is that the rules currently in place are unfair to incoming players, not that they don’t have to deal with it one way or another.

          • mockmook

            I guess it’s unfair that Ford assigns some engineers to Engines and some to Air Bags.

          • DNG

            How are these situations at all comparable? This is a classic false equivalence fallacy.

          • Breakers fan

            But the league isn’t operated that way. If things change, fine, but that isn’t the way it is. We’ve been over this before so I’m not getting back on this carousel. Not saying you’re wrong but that’s not how the league is set up and I don’t know enough about the history of various leagues to know what works best.

            All I know is that through 3 leagues hundreds of players haven’t tried to single themselves out as Someone Special who gets to dictate where she goes. For the good of the league, for the good of women’s soccer virtually every player, 100s and 100s of them have gone where they were drafted, or gone where they were allocated and made an honest, positive effort and I bet virtually every one of them has good memories of that time, be it Alex Morgan going 3000 miles to Rochester, NY or Sydney Leroux going 3000 miles to Boston, or …the examples are endless. But now we see an 18 year old, not a 22 year old or a 25 year old saying “I’m different. I refuse to go to Washington, D.C., even if that team needs help and they gave up a lot to be in the position to get me (or someone like me, the next allocated player) It’s not good enough for ME.” I don’t like it. It reeks of being spoiled, to me. I know you’re fine with it. It’s not the route the 99.9% of women’s soccer players before her in this country took. They weren’;t thinking of themselves first, and plus they probably thought it wouldn’t be so bad where they ended up and I bet they were almost always not disappointed. They could be surveyed to find out.

            Now, on top of that, you’re saying that Portland shouldn’t have to give up what a reasonable person would deem fair value for her. It’s like a practice of a despot. It’s gross.

          • DNG

            I find the entire process of drafting players gross. The idea that teams that finish poorly are incentivized by getting preferential treatment in a player allocation system like a college draft is repulsive to me and stamps all over player rights for ‘the good of the game’ which is a concept that isn’t even really realized. I don’t care at all how things were done 5 years ago in this country in WoSo. The whole process of restricting player choice is wrong. I can’t think of any other top professional soccer league in the world that does that. If the game was in a stronger financial place in Europe I think you’d see a lot more players going to Europe instead of dealing with the Bureaucracy that is the college draft. I will never criticize a player for looking out in the best interests of her own career. I didn’t do it with Dagny, Jordan, or Payne and I won’t do it with Pugh.

            This isn’t about Portland or Washington this is about any team and how leverage works. Let’s pretend for this hypothetical situation that Washington and Portland’s positions were switch. We don’t even have to use those teams because really it could be any two teams. If Washington was the place that Pugh wanted to play and she refused to play for Portland, why would Washington give up anything they didn’t have to. Pugh’s value is decided by market condition not which ever value you, I or any other observer gives her. If Washington in this hypothetical says that’s a first round pick and doesn’t budge and Portland say than we’re not trading her then she doesn’t enter the league and it’s as simple as that. If Portland decides to take the first round pick instead of hoping they get another shot at her next year than that is what the player is worth.

          • Breakers fan

            You’re talking personal ideal philosophy, I’m talking rules of the sport as they currently are, and a spirit of fair play, as I see it. To me, it’s about playing fair, not being ruthless, because it’s the right thing to do, the fair thing to do, the best thing for the league. It’s about ethics, as I see it, not “getting all you can.” Portland knows they have virtually everyone over a barrel, due to their fan base, maybe other factors – a rich owner,an MLS connection. Either they can lord that over everyone, puff their chest out or they can play in what any person with an IQ over 70 knows is fair, and one way would be to give what Pugh is worth. An offer that is clearly good by any objective standard. This is how I see it. We are never going to agree about this so this is not a conversation I’m going to prolong. This will be my last comment about it. This is women’s soccer in America, for one, it’s not men’s soccer in Europe. It’s tenuous here. Barely surviving. Parity should be sought, enforced.

            As I said, 18 or 22 year olds don’t know what playing in Boston or North Carolina or Kansas City or Chicago or Houston will be like. So 99.9% of them don’t make pre-judgments. They say “ok, I’ll give it a shot” and like I already said I bet it almost always turns out to be fine, a good experience. Happens in all American sports, probably for a good reason. Basically, in the end, with the #1 spot in the allocation order, something Washington had to give up a good amount to get – a first round pick, and they now have to deal with a picky 18 year old, as I see it, I just want them to get something of good value for having sacrificed to get that #1 slot.

            Let’s say no deal happens and Pugh goes to Europe then comes back, what does Washington get out of this in the end? If the answer is ZERO then I don’t think it’s right for the league to allow Pugh, and not everyone else, to choose her team. If you cut EVERYONE loose tomorrow and say “pick a team”, then fine, but until that happens, maybe she could try living in D.C,. and playing with the current Spirit team – how bad could it be? She may be with Dunn next year – who bought a house there, I think, which indicates it’s not a terrible place to be.

          • DNG

            “To me, it’s about playing fair, not being ruthless, because it’s the right thing to do, the fair thing to do, the best thing for the league.”

            How is this any different from an ideal scenario. In practice teams are generally ruthless in upgrading their squad and I think that’s their right.

            “Portland knows they have virtually everyone over a barrel, due to their fan base, maybe other factors – a rich owner,an MLS connection”

            Orlando just signed Marta did they not? How about we hold the owners of the other teams accountable for improving their team’s conditions and making them attractive landing spots. Didn’t Harris recently comment that Orlando is the most professional organization she’s been apart of. It wasn’t so long ago that Washington actually was an ideal landing spot.

            “This is women’s soccer in America, for one, it’s not men’s soccer in Europe. It’s tenuous here. Barely surviving. Parity should be sought, enforced.”

            It’s barely surviving everywhere at the moment. Most European woso teams do not offer the lucrative contracts offered at Lyon, PSG, Wolfsburg, Bayern, Chelsea, or Man City. It is your opinion that parity should be sought and enforced. I am merely portraying another that it should be earned.

            “18 or 22 year olds don’t know what playing in Boston or North Carolina or Kansas City or Chicago or Houston will be like.”

            It should be 100% on the clubs give any prospective players a good impression of what it will be like to play for their club. It should be their job to convince players to play there as oppose to telling them that they sign or can’t play in the league. After their college eligibility they can invite them to their clubs to a training session with their first team and those players should be free to tryout for any team they wish to play for.

            I don’t see any reason for Pugh, USSF or Portland to do Washington any favors. I’ll refer back to my point on leverage and teams looking out for their best interests.

            “Let’s say no deal happens and Pugh goes to Europe then comes back, what does Washington get out of this in the end? If the answer is ZERO then I don’t think it’s right for the league to allow Pugh, and not everyone else, to choose her team.”

            I don’t have any issue with this at all. Washington would have had their chance to make a deal and overvalued their position. That’s on them. I don’t prioritize what’s fair or unfair for Washington. It’s about what’s best for the 18 year old’s career and her ability to have some agency in that matter even if she was given a red carpet to walk down.

          • Breakers fan

            A free market is one in which all teams would bid on Pugh. This has been narrowed down to zero competition for Portland, not even 1 other team bidding with them. It’s highly artificial. Never seen anything like it, I don’t think. The Yankees, as I said elsewhere, have had to outbid everyone when they obtained all those great players in free agency. The artificiality of it, the astounding exception being made to try to accommodate this individual, is behind my argument of Portland being ethical and offering what they would end up offering if every team in the League were also bidding for Pugh. Hard to say what that would be but that’s what my foundation is. 100% you’ll completely disagree.

          • DNG

            In a free marked all teams could bid on Pugh and Pugh would be free to reject whoever she wanted to. In this situation it seems like Pugh is the one who has narrowed down the competition. If she was willing to play for another team like Orlando or whoever, Portland would have to get in a bidding war with the competition if they really wanted her. I don’t think it’s artificial at all and we see similar things in transfer market with players forcing their way out of teams in Europe even if it makes that team worse.

            The only reason she has to jump through hoops to get on the team she wants to play for is because of this arbitrary draft process which I think is wholly unfair to every player that’s ever been drafted(In any sport that has it). I don’t like expansion drafts or salary caps either but I’d be more agreeable to a luxury tax.

            Maybe my assumption is wrong but I think fans of American sports(I am one) have by and large been conditioned to think that drafts are acceptable where in reality, they would not be viable if the MLB, NBA, NFL, and NHL had any meaningful competition. Why US MLB players are okay being drafted is beyond me though. Look at how much more lucrative it is for Japanese and Cuban players coming into the league when they don’t have to be drafted. Let me ask you a question? Do you think it’s fair that Mike Trout or Bryce Harper has to play baseball far below their value for close to 7 years because of MLB owners want to keep costs down and the veteran leaders of the MLBPA ‘agree’ that players should ‘pay their dues’. That to me is artificial

            “The artificiality of it, the astounding exception being made to try to accommodate this individual”

            This is where I fundamentally disagree with many of the posters here. I think the league should be more accommodating to every single player in the league not just Pugh. Pugh just appears to have much more leverage in this situation than players like Payne and Jordan.

          • Breakers fan

            Final feeling on this. Washington:Just don’t make a trade you’re not happy with. Screws them for this year due to her picky-ness and feeling of being special (my view) but they can’t afford to not do what’s right.

            Is it true that if Pugh goes overseas, then says she wants to come back that she returns as a Discovery Player? If so, then last team in order of finish would get 1st shot at her, right? Likely this whole rigamarole just re-starts next year — seems possible that next year too that a team may not be happy with Portland’s offer, so potentially she could get frozen out of the league ad inifinitum. Is that correct?

          • DNG

            They may do that and that is their right. And US Soccer could change the rules again and it’d be hard to argue that it wouldn’t be their right to tell the NWSL teams where the players they pay will play. Only true recourse for that is to get rid of allocation. Just curious but how many owners do you think would agree to that? 1-2 maybe.

            I don’t think so. I think she would still come back as a designated-eligible individual. According to the current rules a teams could continue to freeze her out year after year but that seems unlikely to happen with her. I bet that someone will make a deal.

          • mockmook

            Not “ad infinitum”

            She eventually has to play in the NWSL if she wants to be on the USWNT.

          • Breakers fan

            But doesn’t that involve a team *agreeing* to some trade deal – to get Pugh to Portland, assuming she is steadfast in saying she will only play there? I’m talking purely in theoretical terms here. In the real world I know that she’ll end up in the NWSL. But it’s within teams’ rights, is it not, to NOT accept a trade deal, and that could happen, theoretically, ad infinitum, as I see it.

          • mockmook

            I have no idea what u just said 🙂

          • Breakers fan

            Just saying that theoretically other teams could, in an infinite way, do what Washington may do – refuse Portland’s best offer. Pugh then goes away to Europe, comes back, says “I will still only play in Portland”. Then the team who has the first allocation spot negotiates with Portland, doesn’t accept their best offer, freezes Pugh out again, she goes back to Europe, that season ends, she comes back, says “I will still only play in Portland”, then the whole circus comes back to town and we see the same thing under the Big Top with the next team with the first allocation spot. I’m proposing that *theoretically* that could go on forever, though of course it won’t, but it seems to me it could, unless I have something wrong.

          • mockmook

            Again, if you want a contract with the USWNT, you have to play at least 2 out of every 4 years in the NWSL

          • Breakers fan

            I know that. My point was NWSL teams care about their interests, not what Mallory Pugh wants or what Portland wants. And here a deal between a team and Portland would be happening and one team would be *allowed* to refuse the offer Portland was making. That’s why I stated a few times this is theoretical, it won’t happen in the real world.

          • Arcie Tillydee

            “Screws them for this year due to her picky-ness ”

            Well, she screwed Portland over last year with her flakiness, so… In case it wasn’t obvious already, I really don’t want Pugh here.

          • kernel_thai

            At the time of the Boston deal, Pugh was a young player who’d been to Jan Camp. This was before she’s played a match for NT let alone become a starter and played in a major tournament. People who r saying all Boston got… have to realize her stock has gone up since then

          • DNG

            The reality is that it might not have gone up that much from Portland’s point of view and they are a key partner in any deal it seems. There are always at least two sides at the negotiating table.

          • kernel_thai

            And that’s exactly what we r arguing about…what is Portland’s point of view. I think we agree that Pugh is an extremely over valued commodity at this point.

          • DNG

            In terms of play on the field, I’m not sure she’s a huge upgrade if at all actually. From a marketing and economic perspective it’s more difficult to quantify but maybe. Portland are probably going to average 16k again this year anyway though after raising their ticket prices

          • kernel_thai

            Exactly. U could argue putting Pugh on almost any other team has a chance of upping the league’s bottom line more. Her marketability is like preaching to the choir in Portland.

          • Breakers fan

            I’m ok with what Boston got in that initial Pugh situation. 3rd pick in the draft is pretty good. Up to you to make a good pick but that whole thing hasn’t really bothered me.

          • guest

            i would like to see washington entertain trade offers from every team in the nwsl that has interest just to see what pugh’s trade value is. right now the free market value is being restricted to just one team’s take it or leave it offer. i believie 100% that lots of other teams would be willing to give alot more that just one first round pick that is likely gonna be at the end of the first round. as a uswnt player, she is required to play in the nwsl. if goes to europe for a year, she’ll have to come back next year to the worst team which could likley be washington. i would be in no hurry to make a bad trade right now.

          • Breakers fan

            Your point is to me the crucial one. What are the odds that Portland’s offer would alter significantly if just ONE more team entered this “auction”, assuming they really do want her badly? And if every other team entered, it’d be fascinating to see what Washington would get, compared to what Portland is offering. This “Market” is anything but free. ‘ve never seen anything like this in any sport. Even in baseball the Yankees have to outbid everyone for a free agent. This is just a one-lane red carpet straight to Portland, if she hopes to play in the League this year.

            If she’s forced abroad, if she doesn’t open up her cities she’s willing to do to, is it true that she returns as “a Discovery player” and that that order for selection is determined by reverse order of finish?

            If so, then this whole circus may begin again as teams like Washington or Boston (most likely, though I hope I’m proven wrong with the latter) have the first choice? I’m with you in saying “I would be in no hurry to make a bad trade right now.”

            If you take Pugh’s view of “I get to choose my team” — an attitude 99% of players don’t take entering the League, to its logical conclusion – no player entering the draft, every player not re-signing with a team they don’t find ideal, what kind of chaos would ensue, and would we even end up with a league at all? You HAVE to think that way if you feel what Pugh is doing is fine. Not saying you do, I’m just speaking about this situation in its entirety.

          • mockmook

            No chaos.

            If Pugh wants to go only to Portland, her only leverage is to threaten to go overseas.

            That’s legitimate. But, no one has to accede to her “blackmail”.

            ANY team can enter the bidding, but again, if she is going to bail to overseas unless she gets Portland, then it is a exercise in futility.

            (However, I think she would go to some other teams in the NWSL, maybe even Washington, if they hold her rights “hostage”).

          • Breakers fan

            My “chaos” comment is about no draft occurring because every college player decides to go abroad or sit out a year in order to hope to end up on the team they want to be on.And then a rash of players leaving their current teams in the hope to end up on their ideal team. I wonder what that whole scenario would look like in the real world, if all of that happened.

            I agree that Pugh can do, state whatever she wants but then she has to accept the consequences.

            I hadn’t thought that every team can offer Washington something…that a bidding war can occur. Thanks for that. I think such a bidding war should occur if another team wants her.

            It’s possible some new unforeseen chapters to this story are ahead of us, including, possibly ones about Pugh broadening her field of where she’s willing to go.

          • mockmook

            Only a few players have Pugh’s leverage.

            And to have that kind of leverage almost guarantees they will be a USWNT player. Therefore they will be playing at least half their seasons in the NWSL

          • mockmook

            Pugh appears to be a girl in a hurry — so if some NWSL team gets her rights and doesn’t waver, I predict she caves and plays for them.

            But, who wants to risk all they would give up for her rights on a hunch.

            Finally, until I see a direct statement from Pugh that she will only go to Portland I’m going to remember that this all could be “fake news”

          • Breakers fan

            That is an important thing to say that we do not know for sure if Pugh has definitively ruled out all 9 other teams. She may have, but we don’t know for sure. If Gulati, Portland and Washington meet in a room and they emerge with a Pugh-to-Portland deal then I think we can assume that was the case, though — that to her it was Portland or bust (Europe). If such a deal comes out of such a room I just pray that it’s quite clear that Washington wasn’t taken to the cleaners.

          • Breakers fan

            This “not wavering” and “caving” prediction — very interesting…..if you get that right I owe you a drink.

          • kernel_thai

            Approve all trade just means they have to assure that the trade fits within league rules. They don’t judge equity

          • DNG

            How would they judge value if they were trying to? Value is different from each perspective

          • Constant Weeder

            That’s shown very clearly by this discussion. Some say Pugh is worth three starters, others say just a second-round pick.

          • Breakers fan

            Every person giving his/her opinion about what she’s worth in a trade should first state if he/she is a die-hard Portland fan or not.

          • Arcie Tillydee

            RCTID here (in case anyone hasn’t figured out me nick), and I don’t want Pugh at any price Washington would consider. When Tobin is healthy, there is literally NO starting attacker I’d bench for Pugh.

          • Breakers fan

            RCTID is a name I personally don’t recognize, but that’s ok. Not sure if you were talking to me there. Is that your old posting name on this board or a name people you know you by elsewhere?

            You’re completely, obviously entitled to your personal evaluation of Mallory and her future. I’m not going to try to convince you she’s better than you think she is.

          • Arcie Tillydee

            RCTID is a Portland soccer acronym (Rose City ’til I die), and my screen nick rhymes. 😉

            I genuinely think Pugh is overrated, clearly hasn’t lost that teenager flakiness about life decisions, and I wouldn’t start her over any non-reserve attacking Thorn. She’s got pace, is a good dribbler, and has decent (but miles from Lavelle-grade) technical skills…but do you bench Sinc for her? Nadim? Heath? No way in hell.

          • Breakers fan

            Feelings noted and respected about Pugh overall. I hadn’t considered the last year’s thing here but that may help explain the tenor of some of the Portland fans’s emotions being expressed here. I now understand that view better.

            My main feeling about her value is a long-term one for Portland. Not sure how she’d fit in this year; I don’t know the team well enough.

          • guest

            washinton could ask other interested teams what they would like to offer to determine a trade value that isn’t artificially restricted to just one team. orlando or houston could be attractive options.

          • kernel_thai

            Exactly

      • Arcie Tillydee

        An unproven teenager for a POTY contender? That’s literally insane.

  • Ashley C

    I honestly think PSG would be the best fit for her right now. They have a good mix of young players still developing their game and veterans.

    • Steglitz49

      Paris is Paris and she will always have Paris then, like Ms Horan.

  • Guest

    Jostling for Pugh is the name of this article.
    Jostling for Pugh? Sounds like something you do when reaching for the toilet paper.

  • Bruce

    This entire story proves just how little value teams should place on the distribution process in non WC/OC cycle years. Distribution is only a “requirement “for top talent when allocated players are pretty much mandated to play in the NWSL. That’s clearly not the case for 2017 and 2018.

    Pugh will either go to Europe or hold the process hostage to play closer to home. Washington will likely get nothing and like it.

  • truf

    Europe season is practically done. She should stay here for the summer and head over to EU in the fall. PSG or Wolfsburg, etc..would be beneficial to her game. and thus our team.

  • Guest

    My guess is the only NT the Thorns would be willing to part with is Horan. They’re too thin on defense to give up Kling or Sonnett. Long has done too much for them for them to just send her to Washington of all places. The way Paulson talks about Heath she seems untouchable.

    They have more than enough depth at CM to give up Horan. The rest I just can’t see them parting with.

    • guest

      rhoran straight up for mallory pugh is highway robbery. horan has not lived up to the uswnt hype and has only receieved limited minutes with the uswnt.

      • #1Fan

        Horan has been asked to play a new role and arguably her best position is blocked by vets. I dont know of anyone who hyped her as a DM.

    • TsovLoj

      Kling sucks, though, and Horan doesn’t. We could probably move a couple more pieces to fix the defense angle.

    • Guest

      I’d take Weber or Bourielle at OB over Kling

      • Arcie Tillydee

        Boureille is already starting at RB, and may well keep the job when Reynolds is fit.

  • GT

    Mallory Pugh is one of the most promising stars on the horizon. If I were Portland, I’d give up Kling, Sonnett or Horan in a a heartbeat. Washington would be foolish not to take one of them because Pugh has other options. If they get too greedy they might wind up with nothing.

    • Gary Diver

      How about trading some combination of Long, Klingenberg, and Nadia Nadim for Pugh? All of these players are either 29 or approaching 29 years old.

      • GT

        It should be noted that both Heath and Long played for Gabarra for Sky Blue in 2011 the last year of the WPS. If my memory serves me correctly it was reported that Heath was not pleased with that experience. Also, Nadim played for Gabarra for Sky Blue in 2014 and 2015 and it was reported that she wanted to be traded to Portland for the 2016 season.

      • Terry Lash

        Not going to happen. Washington is most in need of a central midfielder, but Long will not go back. Horan seems the mostly likely to be offered.

      • guest

        you don’t trade the #1 18 year old uswnt player for a bunch of 29 year olds past their peak. washington should demand a package of top young players and #1 draft picks only. the same thing portland demanded for them to trade alex morgan. sonnet, horan, klingenburg and whatever draft picks they got.

        • TsovLoj

          If I’m Parsons, I’m laughing in your face at that. Portland just doesn’t need Pugh all that badly.

          • guest

            they can field offers from orlando. every team in the league would want her. they don’t need portland.

          • Steglitz49

            What can Orlando offer DC? Their 3Ms?

        • guest

          Man, people really have an overhyped view of how good Pugh is. She’s a speedy dribbler with a little bit of technical savvy, but the hype train has run waaaaay past how good she is now. She runs out of steam around the 60 minute mark and I’ve seen more and more top teams have her number internationally.

      • guest

        take out the way overrated klingenberg and put in tobin heath. but we all know portland get’s what it wants from the nwsl.

      • TsovLoj

        Player quality aside, in terms of fan emotional attachment, you’d have riots in the Portland streets if you traded Long.

        • DNG

          There is a very real possibility of them losing Long in an expansion draft should one happen soon. Unless of course, more rules get changed.

          • Steglitz49

            Or losing her to pregnancy.

        • Steglitz49

          What does Allie’s hubby do?

          • TsovLoj

            What does that have to do with anything?

          • Steglitz49

            Everything.

      • Arcie Tillydee

        Oh dear God no. Of those three, the only one I’d remotely consider trading one-for-one for Pugh would be Klingenberg, and then only with reservations (LB ie always a tough slot to fill).

    • guest

      klingenberg??? that would be highway robbery. she shouldn’t have even been allocated by the uswnt based on the last year and a half. sonnett can’t even get on the uswnt field. i would call pugh’s bluff if i was washington. i can’t see her at age 18 going over to europe and you know the uswnt wants pugh in the nwsl. so in that sense, washinton has good leverage they should use.

      • guest

        can’t see her family wanting her in europe at that age.

        • Steglitz49

          The simplest would be simply to enjoy her college years, get a degree and then go to Europe like Kadeisha and Lawrence just did, and Savannah and a couple of others.

      • guest

        and horan certainly hasn’t matched the uswnt hype. her value should be lower now.

  • Gary Diver

    SI has reported that “the [Pugh] stalemate could be settled at the NWSL owners meetings this Friday in Orlando, with U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati brokering.”

    Once this situation is resolved there should be an interesting backstory about “how” it was resolved. It will be interesting if Gulati personally gets involved and puts pressure on Washington to make a deal for the sake of Pugh and American WoSo.

    • guest

      i’m waiting to see if portland is going to offer the same comparable deal to washington for mallory pugh that they required from orlando for portland to trade alex morgan. i think we all know the answer to this question.

      • TsovLoj

        Of course not. Portland doesn’t want or need her that badly. Portland’s better off letting her go to Europe than sacrificing too much, and they know it. Washington, on the other hand, is getting a little bit or nothing; hopefully they see the wisdom of the former.

        • guest

          they have her rights for two years going into a world cup year.

          • Steglitz49

            Proivided Mallory stayed in college, those rights would expire?

          • Constant Weeder

            Yes they would. And I think it’s two years only if you assume Washington ends this season at the bottom of the table.

          • mockmook

            If they select her, why would their rights expire?

          • DNG

            From what I’ve read from Gabarra’s interview, she isn’t actually available yet to be selected from the in the designated player draft yet.

          • mockmook

            OK

            When she becomes available, and they theoretically select her, why would their rights expire?

            Happy now?

          • DNG

            Who says they are going to make her available or that she even signs a contract with US Soccer before this is sorted out. That’s you assumption

          • mockmook

            That’s the assumption of every comment on this article — except now you want to play stupid.

          • DNG

            I’m not playing stupid at all. If we talk Pugh at her word that she is adamant about not going to Washington there may be steps she needs to take to avoid them acquiring her rights more permanently. That may include sacrifices on her part which is all I was implying. I don’t exactly know how it all works though since it hasn’t played out before.

            Someone who responded to me earlier left me this piece of information taken from the NWSL roster rules page which got me question this a little more

            “D) Retention of Rights. Teams who select a Distribution-Eligible Individual, but do not sign the Distribution-Eligible Individual to a contract, will retain the Distribution-Eligible Individual’s rights until start of preseason the following year.”

            I didn’t think that distribution-eligible players had contracts with their clubs though so exactly what it was talking about wasn’t clear to me. It could be though that the DEI could refuse being selected by a team by deciding not to play in the NWSL and the contract simply refers to the allocation money they would receive from their federation. I’m not exactly clear on all of this but I don’t think your scenario of they can pick her and that means they get her is actually true.

          • mockmook

            The NWSL rules seem to be written to purposely sow confusion. And, there seem to be a bunch of unwritten NWSL rules as well — how they keep all this straight is beyond me.

            I think the “contract with a team” is a ‘shorthand’ way of saying “contract with the NWSL for a specific team”

            So, assuming the language you quoted is the closest we get on the DEI, then it does seem Washington’s (potential) initial rights would expire early next year. That destroys a great deal of their (potential) leverage.

          • Constant Weeder

            I don’t think they can select her until she signs with USSF; otherwise the Thorns would have done it last year. (I was replying to S49 concerning her staying in college, although that doesn’t appear to be the case.) I don’t know if she can play on the NT without signing while she plays club soccer in Europe, or if she would want to. It would be $$ vs. options.

          • DNG

            I think she can. And called up players who don’t have a contract will supposedly earn a higher per game fee this year.

    • Steglitz49

      Why would Gulati waste his time on this issue when he MUST fix the USMNT.

      • Gary Diver

        Are you implying men cannot multitask? If Gulati wants to see Pugh play in NWSL, he probably can force a solution on Friday.

        • Steglitz49

          Gulati has no choice because the men’s NT earn so much more than the women by competing in the world cup. If he loses Pugh but gains a notch in WC-18, he will be in clover and seen as the next messiah in a red hat.

      • USMNTfan4life

        That is where the money is.

        • Steglitz49

          Indeed. The money is in the men’s game and the USMNT inspite of a chequered last dozen years or so, earns more than the USWNT.

          The USWNT has done well under Sunil but now he must devote all his time to the MNT.

  • Steven

    That idiot owner in Washington needs to be rid of! He’s a cancer in a growing league. US soccer and the NWSL need to do something about him before he destroys the team and drags the league down with him!

    • Gary Diver

      Wasn’t there an owner in the previous women’s league that caused major problems?

      • TsovLoj

        Lynch isn’t asking his players to call him Daddy, as far as we know.

    • guest

      based on what? just playing the anthem early? not having a pride night? his team is a consistent playoff team.

      • Steven

        You forgot to mention the part where he took his championship caliber team and ripped it to shreds which seems to be partly the result of what you mentioned above.

        • Steglitz49

          It is not impossible that the owner tried to off-load the team on someone else and they were not interested.

          It is his money. He can stop paying the bills. Where would the team be then?

        • mockmook

          Nice innuendo.

          Lohman doesn’t agree with you.

          And, his history doesn’t back up your assertion.

          The team ripped itself apart because some players couldn’t stand that he didn’t roll over for Rapinoe.

          • Alternate Facts

            Seems to be a dispute about that. Like your leader Pres. Tic-Tac says, things are not as simple as they appear to be.

        • guest

          it’s been reported there are other teams in the league without a pride night.

      • President Tic-Tac

        Let’s hear it for the anti-fag owners.

      • guest

        No one wants to play for them. That’s pretty much abundantly clear. Everyone who could get out this last offseason did.

    • mockmook

      Yes, how horrible for him to try to get the best deal possible…

      • DNG

        They could also end up with nothing if Pugh isn’t bluffing about going overseas. Heck they could change the allocation rules again by next year.

        • Steglitz49

          How good is her French? Or Norwegian?

          • Constant Weeder

            Henry’s English was not great when she went to Portland, but she seems to be managing.

          • Steglitz49

            Amandine had some English and knew the key words like — “My friend over there is paying” — but I doubt that Ms Pugh can order a croque monsieur in French.

        • Andy

          They would actually get a good deal if Pugh played overseas. They would get the benefit of not playing her when they had to play Portland. Obviously they would prefer a better deal than that, but it’s better than getting low value from Portland and then having to face a stacked team.

          • DNG

            You and I have different ideas about what a good deal is. She could just end up on Portland a year later though a trade with another team.

          • guest

            there is a very good chance washington will be the worst team in the league this year. lol.

          • mockmook

            “a very good chance”

            So if I offered to pay you, say, $1000 if Washington finished last, but you have to pay me $5000 if they don’t — in the real world — do you make that deal?

      • kernel_thai

        The thing people discount here is Washington made two trades to get the top UFI position. How foolish would it then be to just give that spot away to Portland for whatever the Thorns want to throw them?

  • guest

    who’s spot would pugh take on lyon besides the bench? is she going to get alex morgan’s starting spot?

    • Steglitz49

      Don’t ask difficult questions because they can’t cope, poor lambs.

    • kernel_thai

      If Morgan doesn’t return next year she is competing with Bremer for her spot.

    • #1Fan

      does Morgan have a starting spot ?

      • kernel_thai

        They have a pretty solid rotation which is gracious consider Morgan was last to a party and Hegerberg and LeSommer pretty much take turns leading D1 in scoring. Still, if u don’t mind the money Im in favor. It’s a long season and if u can keep all three happy splitting time then it saves u a lot of wear and tear. Where it hurt Lyon is they aren’t using that spot to develop young French players.

        • Steglitz49

          Until Sofia Jakobsson was injured, she led the French Goalscoring Queen league.

        • #1Fan

          i was just adding to my post count by responding to the above . What Aulas does with his money is his business. I think depth is great and clearly he likes the attention.

          • kernel_thai

            LOL…why isn’t anyone considering how Christen Press feels about the Pugh situation???

          • Steglitz49

            Christen has a WC medal to keep her warm at nights and the memory of having been coached by one of the great strikers of his generation. Her cup overfloweth.

          • mockmook

            “why isn’t anyone considering how Christen Press feels about the Pugh situation”

            Huh?

          • kernel_thai

            EQ posters seem obsessed with Press yet she hasn’t been mentioned in over 300 posts.

          • Steglitz49

            Don’t dish Aulas. Without him, WoSo would be in an even worse spot than it is.

            Vic Akers founded Arsenal Ladies 30 years ago. About 10 years ago Aulas started to put money into Lyon’s Ladies and in 2008 he signed Lotta Schelin from Göteborg for an alleged $200-250,000. In 2010 they lost in a pso in the ladies Champions League and then won in 2011 and -12, the first team since Umeå to do it back to back, and last season they won again, Lotta scoring in the pso.

            Aulas has been active within UEFA to promote WoSo.

      • Steglitz49

        Alex always is in good standing with the USWNT. Moe Brian, comme ci comme ca.

    • Arcie Tillydee

      Same problem in Portland: what attacking starter would you bench or trade for Pugh? Sinc? Nadim? Heath? Horan? No way in hell.

      • Steglitz49

        Nadim. Portland would send her back to Denmark in the blink of an eye.

  • Gary Diver

    Horan and Pugh

    Interesting that a number of people here believe Lindsey Horan could be part of the trade deal since Portland has a very strong midfield. But Horan may let it be known she would leave Washington at the earliest possible date. USSF/USWNT made a big effort to get Horan to return to the States after WC15 and she is now an allocated player. Horan may not be the player to toy with since she is still only 22-years old, has a very independent mind, and had 3 years of positive experience playing for Paris Saint-Germain with 46 goals. If she could lose some weight and gain some speed, she might even get a chance to play forward like she did at Paris S-G. I would like to see what Horan could do at forward position.

    • sudeep das

      .. and learn to stay on her feet – her balance has been a problem.

  • newsouth

    if portland wants her so bad, then it’s heath and horan in an exchange. end of story. supposedly, this girl’s name carries some weight but washington is suppose to take scrubs like kling for her, LOLOLOLOLOLOOL

    • DNG

      I don’t think they want her that bad. And I think that’s the reason why Washington will not get anything close to that kind of value for her.

      • Bill

        I am not so sure that the driving force behind this is the desire to play anywhere but Washington. We should look up the departure statements of Krieger and especially Dunn?. I think Dunn made remarks afterwards ( maybe in an interview when already with Chelsea) that were pretty indicative of a problem in Washington

        • DNG

          It’s clearly not. Pugh want to play in Portland and I’d guess that’s her first choice by a mile.

          • Bill

            Ok.

            We shall see

            If I am Portland I do nothing. Pugh goes overseas and next year Portland winds up with Pugh and Jordan and has name players to trade for a GK

          • Steglitz49

            Verily and forsooth.

    • guest

      only way heath leaves portland is a california expansion draft w/ christen. it’ll be kling/horan or nothing.

      • guest

        kling is a bag of rocks.

      • Steglitz49

        Tobin is from Basking Ridge in NJ. She may well value living closer to her family and DC is an easy drive away.

    • Arcie Tillydee

      Any FO person even remotely considering Heath for Pugh in any form that didn’t also include Washington offering a LOT more besides Pugh’s rights should be fired…if not tarred and feathered.

  • Paul Klee

    Why would Washington even want another USWNT member. Any of them can leave for Europe anytime as they are not under contract to their NWSL club. If I were in the Spirits position I would try to get something like Menges and Shim and a draft pick. Maybe a forward Morris?

    • guest

      Because… they don’t have to pay them?

  • guest

    i can’t see why pugh get to pick the only team she will play for and rose lavelle doesn’t have any choice.

    • Steglitz49

      Rose Lavelle did not need to go into the draft. She could have hawked her CV around Europe and Japan. Maybe she did?

      Savannah plays in Glasgow. Not exactly one of the top clubs in EU.

    • guest

      it’s one thing for alex morgan to request a nwsl team when she has put in her time. but pugh is a rookie. i don’t think she should have more of a choice than other rookies like lavelle amongst nwsl teams. her parents orginally said they wanted pugh to go to portland because she has relatives there. but if she doesn’t get to go to portland, her parents are gonna want pugh to go half way around the world where she has no relatives near. makes no sense. no need for washington to hurry and trade. i would wait it out some.

      • guest

        i would at least have washington ask orlando if they have any trade offer and have orlando make their sales pitch to pugh.to see if any interest.

      • Calci0

        Worked for John Elway and Eli Manning.

        • Steglitz49

          Doug Williams lives!

    • sudeep das

      Same reason that Pugh was plucked out of high school and sent straight to the Olympics.

    • Constant Weeder

      Lavelle could have done what Dagny Brynjarsdottir did – skip the draft, spend a season in Europe, and come back to play in NWSL when she can get the deal she wants. Or she could have refused to sign with Boston and forced a trade. Maybe she’s happy to be on a team where she will be a major factor from day one.
      Pugh was never eligible for the draft, since she hasn’t graduated from college.

      • kernel_thai

        Well, DB not only had to sit out a year but Boston claimed her discovery rights so Portland had to do a sign and trade to get her. Lavelle is a different animal. As a US pool player she can’t be a discovery player and could only enter thru the UFI. At some point she either has to play for whoever has her rights or stay in Europe until a trade can be forced.

        • Steglitz49

          The world is her oyster and her future a fallow field, that she must plow to her heart’s content.

        • mockmook

          Hmmm, this brings up an interesting point.

          If Washington selects her, they then have her Rights, right?

          So they can wait her out, she eventually has to play in the NWSL to remain on the USWNT.

          • kernel_thai

            No…the move on Pughs part is wait for a deal to be made before asking to be allocated into the league. All Washington has is the first UFI pick if a UFI player wants into the league. Portland is currently trying to trade for that UFI selection not Pugh’s rights. As to waiting it out, a bad team, maybe even Washington will have the top UFI spot again next year. At some point for this to work the way Pugh wants, Portland is going to have to make some team happy.

  • “Wahl’s initial report indicated that Pugh is not interested in playing for the Spirit… U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati could try and help broker a deal between the Spirit and Thorns at the league’s owners meetings this Friday.”

    This is bullsh!t. Pugh shouldn’t get to dictate where she plays in NWSL. Sick of other clubs getting screwed over for Portland’s benefit. I hope Washington doesn’t give in.

    • Breakers fan

      If I’m Washington I ask for the rights to Savannah Jordan and 1 or both of Portland’s first round picks next year. Don’t go after aging NT players, go young.

      • Guest

        They could use some players for this season to make up for the fact that they have almost no MF or forwards.

      • kernel_thai

        Of the NT players the who might catch Spirits eye is Sonnett with her Virginia connection. At 23 she’d be a cornerstone. So if Im DC I want Sonnett this year, the right to Jordan for next year and the best of Portlands first round picks. Even with Sonnett they may be picking first again next year and can add another anchor piece in Sullivan.

        • guest

          This sounds like the best plan. They’ll probably end up with Kling or Horan though.

          • kernel_thai

            They r crazy to take Klingenberg. She doesn’t play an impact position and is coming off a bad back. I personally wouldn’t take Horan either based on her history. While Horan impacts the Spirit more, she is also much more likely to head back to Europe if she feels ill used by the deal. Sonnets has connections in Northern Virginia and spent the last four years there. She also may still be finishing her degree. While she probably wouldn’t want to leave the Thorns I could see her accepting it. But hey, maybe Horan would welcome a team where she had a more key role than she has on the Thorns.

          • Steglitz49

            It is easy to type “Europe” but harder to define a specific team that can afford the sort of salaries that these lasses are used to.

          • guest

            if washington get’s just klingenberg then the nwsl is a fake league.

        • Breakers fan

          Didn’t think of Sonnett! I know she played there but is she from there? I’ll look it up. She’s from Georgia, as is Jordan. Close enough – a lot closer than Portland if family wants to see her play. Jordan and Sonnett would do it for me.

          Let’s say a deal is not made and Pugh elects to not play in D.C. She does whatever until next NWSL season.
          So then next season comes along. What happens – can Pugh go wherever she wants? Would a bidding “war” occur for her?

          Let’s take this scenario. Pugh says “I’ll try Washington for this year” and signed with them…..today. Could she theoretically start for them this weekend?

          If she played for the Spirit could she just sign for a year then leave them next year if she wasn’t happy – go to Europe for a year, come back and ….then could she go to any team she wants then? Just not sure what the rules are on that. Are you a complete free agent by leaving for a year?

          • Arcie Tillydee

            Sonnett’s from Georgia.

          • mockmook

            Are you high? Pugh is not worth Jordan AND Sonnett. Hell, she isn’t even worth Jordan.

          • Breakers fan

            You know how much I like Jordan and you may be right but only time will tell if what you’re saying is true. Pugh has, in my opinion, a really high ceiling. Washington’s argument to get more than Jordan is that only Pugh has shown what she can do at the NT level to date.

        • Arcie Tillydee

          I wouldn’t do that trade for even just Sonnett alone. Just sayin’…

          Again, what attacking starter do you bench or trade for Pugh?

          • Steglitz49

            S/he asked for Sonnett + Jordan + the best of Portlands first round picks. Iow — not “just Sonnett alone”. Whether Portland would agree is a different issue.

          • kernel_thai

            At no point have I advocated Portland trading for Pugh. If I were Portland Id have offered a #1 pick next year and if rejected been done with it. It’s Paulson’s apparent obsession with Pugh that is fueling this.

    • DNG

      I disagree. Portland is the beneficiary this time but what’s really BS is that players have no choice at all where they spend their careers normally. The real fair way to decide who plays for who would be to get rid of allocations entirely and let the market decide what players are worth. But people don’t seem to want any part of that either.

      • nstarsfan

        Pugh knew Washington had her rights. She either plans to go overseas or knew a trade would happen. She clearly knew she wouldn’t play for the Spirit.

        • DNG

          Washington don’t have her rights yet if Gabarra is to be believe from his interview. She’s not yet available for selection. If she was they could just select her and she wouldn’t be able to do much about it.

          • kernel_thai

            Yep. Portland isn’t trying to trade for Pugh they r trying to get the top UFI spot. If they do Pugh makes herself available. If Washington retains the top spot Pugh can stay in limbo and her rights don’t get assigned to whoever drafts her. Maybe Washington gets a deal they like and move that spot to another team who is either acceptable to Pugh or likes what Portland is offering. I floated a potential trade earlier but everyone I mentioned it to thought it was too big of a risk. The Dash have a pretty solid line-up right now and Lloyd returning at some point. What if the Dash were to acquire the top UFI spot from Washington. They would be much more inclined to take future consideration from Portland than current Fed player because their lineup is set. The Dash r also in a position to give Washington a couple of starters right now which is what they seem to want from Portland.

          • DNG

            If Pugh is willing to play for other clubs the Portland should let her if the price to too high. I doubt that Washington would be happy with any of the starters that Houston would propose to give for Pugh.

        • kernel_thai

          Timing of the whole thing still has me confused. Why would Pugh wait so long to make the decision? If she’d had this epiphany in January she had the leverage of a spring contract in France or England. I don’t buy it was the CBA because the NT and shoe money were still good in January. I don’t buy it was Horan because I doubt Pugh heard anything different from Horan last week that she hadn’t heard in the last five years. This seems to be about UCLA not agreeing with Pugh more than anything else.

          • mockmook

            I don’t thing the NT was offering any new contracts until the CBA was done.

      • mockmook

        Start a league and run it how you want.

        • DNG

          I’m sharing my views. If you have something to add to the discussion than add to it

          • mockmook

            I did.

            I highlighted that just because you don’t like the rules, doesn’t mean they are in some way “invalid”. Doesn’t mean, necessarily, that they are even bad rules — just means you don’t like them.

            The only recourse is to start your own league and have your own rules.

          • DNG

            Just because they are currently the rules does not invalidate any my arguments against them. I think discussing the current rules with regards to the draft is worth discussing which is why I have given a point of view. if you disagree by all means share you own.

            “I highlighted that just because you don’t like the rules, doesn’t mean they are in some way “invalid”. Doesn’t mean, necessarily, that they are even bad rules — just means you don’t like them.”

            I’m not arguing whether or not the rules are valid or invalid. I stating an opinion that I think they are wrong and have been clear that it is just my opinion.

          • kernel_thai

            I believe it is NWSL policy to set the roster rules at the beginning of each season, post them and live with them until the end of that season.. Then they review them and make any changes necessary for the next year. It’s too late to change the rules (again) to help out one team. When the introduce UFI minutes before the 2016 draft it was considered a thinly veiled attempt to ease the way for Pugh to go to Portland. If Portland has managed to maneuver themselves into a corner then I say good. If they want Pugh let them pay. If the price is too high then don’t pay it. I also don’t need to hear how Pugh in Portland is somehow good for the league so Washington should take what is offered. Morgan in Orlando was good for the league and Portland wasn’t satisfied until they had crippled the new franchise. I for one am glad to see the shoe on the other foot.

          • DNG

            My argument for Washington taking what they can get has nothing to do with the “good of the league” It has everything to do with, they could also end up with nothing. If Lynch wants to fall on that sword that’s fine with me and Pugh will have to accept the consequences and wait.

            Portland will not cripple their Franchise for Pugh and I think you’d be hard pressed to argue that Orlando is crippled. They have a good coach, can attract good talent and look respectable at the moment.

          • DNG

            And do I seriously need to say in my opinion at the end of every post. That should be implied based on the context of the conversation.

    • Steglitz49

      It is a free world and one presumes that if “signing with Lyon or Paris Saint-Germain were also options” then those rumors may have forced the hand of the Chief Ideologist of the NWSL.

      It is fascinating that none of the wealthier clubs are mentioned so the rumor may not have any substance. Smokes and mirrors. DC must call the bluff by asking for more than enough in return.

    • Terry Lash

      Disagree with you on this one. US Soccer should not be able to dictate where WNT players play their club soccer, in my view. The problem is that Portland has become the only mega club. Pugh should not be punished because of Portland’s success. But as others have suggested, the Spirit need central midfielders now, not next year. Therein lies a possible deal with Horan going to the Spirit and the Thorns getting the rights to Pugh.

      • guest

        Who is punishing Pugh for portland’s success? Most are just saying she shouldn’t force everyone to move mountains for her to be able to play wherever she wants while still completely unproven on a pro level. That is unheard of at this point for a brand new player.

        • Bill

          More importantly, what is wrong at Washington? Anyone who can has left and left quickly. In many organizations that is a sign of really bad top or middle management

        • kernel_thai

          When this league formed everyone thought Morgan would be the cornerstone of the Seattle reign to be in the same city as her bf. Instead she went to Portland because it helped the league. Morgan was coming off a historic season for the NT, and OG gold medal and a final three appearance in the FIFA PotY race. That Pugh feels she can lever anyone based on a ton of potential and little resume’ has me shaking my head.

          • #1Fan

            Its the world we now live in. Cant hate the player, hate the game .

      • kernel_thai

        This is something the PA gave USSoccer thru collective bargaining.

        • Terry Lash

          OK, but I don’t like it. In any event, I don’t think that US Soccer can as a practical matter or will force Pugh to play for the Spirit if she does not want to play there. Either Gulati will broker a deal with another club acceptable to Pugh or she will play overseas.

          • kernel_thai

            Well u shouldn’t. Playing for ur country and ur club should be completely separate entities but if the players were willing to bargain it away u can’t feel too bad for them.

          • Terry Lash

            At the beginning of the league I was sympathetic with US Soccer’s policy of allocating NWT members and strongly urging foreign-based players to join NWSL clubs. But now there should be a transition to complete separation of US Soccer from NWSL, as you say.

          • Steglitz49

            Who is going to pay the bills?

          • kernel_thai

            It also forces the US to play by FIFA rules. Ellis was trying to gracious that she was trying to stick to the FIFA calendar for calling in players when it should be a given. I saw a tweet from someone with FCKC that she had already informed them she’d recalling in players during the summer during league matches. It also solves the problem of returning NT players coming back on their own schedule because their USSF contract allows it.

          • USMNTfan4life

            Not until NWSL makes money.

      • Washington should be a non-starter. Just look at the game last Saturday. Hardly any stands, looks more like high school field. If Pugh or any other big name ended up in Washington, and could draw crowds, where would people sit, on their butts on the lawn, embankment or in the parking lot. Geez. How about NWSL teams getting a decent place to play that allows for a crowd to come and watch.

        • Steglitz49

          The Chief Ideologist has failed to look after WoSo in the US by failing with DC. Here is their chance to start to put it right.

          • USMNTfan4life

            Who is the “Chief Ideologist?” Sunil Gulati?

          • Steglitz49

            No. I see Sunil more as the Chairman of the Party. The Chief Ideologist is more someone floating around in the background, a sort of washed out character that nobody notices until it is too late. An eminence grise, is the label I think sophisticated Ivy-leaguers would use.

            Sunil Gulati brought the world cup to the USA again after 16 years. Before that under him the USWNT also won two olympic golds. Sunil now must concentrate on the USMNT, where the real money is.

        • kernel_thai

          Isn’t DC United building a new soccer specific stadium. U could argue if Pugh makes the Spirit fan glamour for seats it urges the team to move to the bigger facility.

          • Steglitz49

            In the next millennium?

          • Terry Lash

            Yes, there will in a year or so be a new, soccer-specific stadium in downtown DC for DC United. The current Spirit field is in suburban Maryland with essentially no public transportation choices. However, whether DC United management would be willing to work out a practical deal for the Spirit to use the new stadium is uncertain. An even bigger question is whether the downtown location would attract enough fans. It is possible, perhaps even likely, it would be a Chicago situation.

          • Steglitz49

            Who uses public transportation in the US? WoSo is an upper middle-class sport. They drive to matches.

          • Terry Lash

            If you are going to fill a 20,000 seat stadium downtown there has to be both options. Both are important even at DC United’s current venue, RFK stadium, which is not downtown. The new stadium will not have as much stadium-specific parking available as RFK does.

          • kernel_thai

            As nice as the Plex is the Spirit need to be looking beyond it. Say there hadn’t been the big shake up over the winter. The team coming off a near miss at a title could be turning away customers at every match.

          • AGuest2

            Way beyond on and outside the area, unless they can somehow fold in with DC United so they can enjoy the same kind of advantages the other existing MLS clubs have in the NWSL, because I don’t see much improvement in their situation. Their home opener in 2013 was 4969 and now in their 5th year it was 2400. That is a drop off of 47%, and I don’t see a way of improving their situation if they stay put. Get on the phone with Sacramento Republic that is one of the top contenders for a MLS franchise where an announcement is expected later this year as to who the next two teams are. Partner up with them. Meanwhile they could be playing next season in a 11,000 seat stadium with armchair seating while they wait for the new downtown stadium to be built.

          • Steglitz49

            Self-evidently having good public transport is an advantage for a modern sports facility wherever in the world.

            Nevertheless, I doubt that is is a significant issue for the upper middle class sport that masquerades as WoSo. Instead, I put it to you that safe and convenient parking is a requirement, not an optional extra. In the US people drive and the upper middle-class will come in the Chevy Suburbans and other SUVs, not by MARTA or BARTA or any other RT system. RV more likely.

          • Urbanite

            You’re conflating fans with youth-player families. Ever been to NYC? Young professionals in DC aren’t much different. Dense urban environments lack parking, so owning and maintaining a car becomes prohibitively expensive. Housing is already expensive enough. We rely on the excellent public transportation in both cities. Both SBFC and the Spirit would tap into new, large 20- and 30-something markets if they were accessible by rail.

          • ABCDE

            lol. Clearly you have never been on the train to a Mets, Rangers, Islanders game. No one wants to drive. There’s a reason why Sky Blue has such awful attendance.

          • Guesting

            What they need to do is to join the partnership group of one of the current ones applying for one of the next 4 MLS expansion cities. By merging with one of them, they will be able to solve most, if not all of their problems. Of course it will require moving the team. One thing is clear that MLS clubs provide a niche that can best serve WoSo for right now. In particular those MLS clubs who own and/or operate their own stadiums. Right now it is an uphill battle for them that will only get worse for some, if not all of them.

          • Steglitz49

            There has to be a WoSo team in the nation’s capital.

          • Guesting

            Nuts!

          • Steglitz49

            Thank you, McAuliffe.

          • Terry Lash

            Agree, but the first MLS club to try associating with is DC United.

          • AGuest2

            Unless they are fully invested with DC it want really work.

          • Steglitz49

            Why should they? WoSo loses money except in Portland, possibly.

          • USMNTfan4life

            MLS teams won’t be incentivized to invest in a WoSo team until the league’s teams start turning a serious profit. Portland is the only NWSL team that brings in money and that is an anomaly. It is dumb for MLS teams to invest in Woso right now. They need to focus on themselves first and foremost.

            Pugh should not be able to dictate to where she plays. Portland would have a stable of the most recognizable WoSo starts, and that monopoy woud sink the league, in my opinion.

          • Steglitz49

            Your points are well taken. Verily and forsooth.

            Barcelona’s and Tottenham’s Ladies are good cases in point.

            A couple of years ago, Barcelona Ladies would lose embarrassingly like 0-7 and 0-4 in the early stages of the ladies Champions League. Now they are in the semifinal. The men’s money has built the team, just like at Lyon and Arsenal. Tottenham’s ladies now attract decent crowds at home matches and are one match away from promotion to the FAWSL2.

            As for Ms Pugh, I still contend that she should buckle under and stay at college and get her degree.

          • Tammy

            Most of us use public transportation to get to Thorns games.

          • guest

            The outstanding public transit system, the metro, in DC is used extensively by everyone.

          • guest

            You are dumb. Public transportation is actually a big draw in many places even if you are rich. I’m from Long Island and now live in LA and truly miss the Long Island Railroad. It’s nice to not have to worry about driving and traffic when you work a moderately stressful job in a place with a concentrated population. Something I also hated about DC when I lived there and worked in Tysons Corner was the lack of Rail to many parts of the metro area.

        • Terry Lash

          The Spirit’s grass field may be the best in NWSL, and the availability of food and drink is good. But you are correct: the bench seating is uncomfortable and reminiscent of high school stadiums. Sitting on the grass bank is attractive to kids, but is not suitable for most adults. The sound system and replay screen are subpar, too.

          • Steglitz49

            Just write them a check and they will fix it tomorrow.

      • mockmook

        Of course USSF should be able to dictate where players go as long as they are paying them a SALARY.

        • kernel_thai

          League has rules. Let all the clubs follow them. Next Portland will be asking to start each match with a one goal lead.

          • mockmook

            I think Slicey was advocating that the USSF help the League “follow the rules” (so to speak) and force Pugh to go to Washington.

            Of course, it would still behoove Washington to trade her if she is really as opposed to being there as is being portrayed.

          • guest

            this is true. the ussf has the power to put an end to this drama whenever it wants. and also send a message to all other current and future uswnt players regarding required playing in the nwsl. but what is more important to the ussf? nwsl health or uswnt marketing?

          • Steglitz49

            The Pughs could always pay DC to release her, like Lyon paid Göteborg $200-250,000 for Gbg to release Lotta Schelin to Lyon.

          • kernel_thai

            I think what Slicey is advocating is follow the rule that is in place which doesn’t force Pugh to play anywhere, it only gives Washington the first chance at her should she choose to enter the NWSL. Washington could simply pass on Pugh and retain the #1 UFI spot which gives Boston the next selection followed by Houston and so on. I haven’t actually seen anything to indicate Washington has Pugh’s rights at this point or that Pugh has asked into the NWSL. All Ive seen is she has retained an agent and is looking into a shoe deal.

          • DNG

            Exactly what are the league rules that are not being followed right now? It’s not at all clear to me that Pugh has to agree to play for Washington after reading the distribution rules on the NWSL website. Now maybe this doesn’t mean what I think it means but I wouldn’t be so sure that Pugh can be forced to play for Washington if she doesn’t want to.

            “D) Retention of Rights. Teams who select a Distribution-Eligible Individual, but do not sign the Distribution-Eligible Individual to a contract, will retain the Distribution-Eligible Individual’s rights until start of preseason the following year.”

            https://www.nwslsoccer.com/2017-roster-rules

          • mockmook

            Of course, no one can be forced to go anywhere.

            But, one question is, “If Washington grabs her rights and won’t relinquish them this year, will Pugh relent and play for them?”

            IOW, no one is using “forced” literally — we are using “forced” as a severe narrowing of her options.

          • DNG

            I have no clue if Pugh will relent or not that’s a question you’d have to ask her. Washington can of course test those waters if they want to. I haven’t read a lot of opinion from WoSo journalists who believe she will end up in Washington but make of that what you will.

    • Constant Weeder

      Pugh can only dictate where she plays to the extent that NWSL wants her to play in the US. I certainly hope no one is suggesting she should be punished if she decides to go to Europe. Barring that, the NWSL has no stick, so they will try to use the carrot. (Odds bodkins, I’m starting to sound like Steg.)

      • kernel_thai

        The stick is if she want to be on the WC roster she’ll be playing in the NWSL in 2019. So will Alex Morgan and Crystal Dunn

        • Steglitz49

          I doubt that the top brass would challenge Alex Morgan. Indeed, after the garbage way they treated Crystal in 2015, they might be wary about disdaining her again.

        • guest

          the “stick” is effectively enforced by terms in CBA that require USWNT players to play in NWSL during WC/OG cycle years for players on USWNT contracts.

          The old CBA/MOU had a couple of options for how USWNT players met the play in NWSL (at least 2 years of 4 year CBA/MOU cycle) requirement. Media reports so far have indicated that play in NWSL terms (xx years in 5 yr cycle) are also in the new CBA. As you note, USWNT players currently in Europe will be back in NWSL for build up to WC 2019.

        • Constant Weeder

          True, but a lot of things can change before then, including who’s on top of the DRO.

          • kernel_thai

            But can u see Portland on top? The only way Portland gets into that position in the near future is trade for the pick. Why should any other team give Portland an easier time after Portland set the bar so high squeezing Orlando.

          • Constant Weeder

            If she won’t play for the team with the top pick and Portland is willing to give up something that team wants, they’ll trade, especially if USSF is leaning on them because they want her in NWSL. Washington may be overplaying their hand at the moment, or they may just be negotiating: we’ll maybe see after the owners meet tomorrow.
            There are surely teams other than Portland where she could thrive, but, aside from having family in the area, I wonder if she has formed friendships with some of Portland’s players, maybe especially Horan, because of what they have in common.

      • Steglitz49

        Thank you.

        Beware! Sounding like S49 will get you in the cross-wires of all those inadequates who hide behind StegWatch, StegPatrol, StegWorld and StegNaked.

    • Arcie Tillydee

      The ironic thing is that if Stumptown Footy comments are any indication, a lot of the supporters don’t really want her. She’s not considered worth giving up a non-defender starter (probably the least Washington would accept) to get. I entirely agree. Of Sinc, Heath, Henry, Horan, Nadim, and Long, there’s not one I’d trade for Mal Pugh. For that matter, I wouldn’t give up Sonnett or Menges for her, either. That leaves Reynolds and Klingenberg…and I don’t think Washington would bite.

  • Gary Diver

    Missing Issue: Lindsey Horan, Mallory Pugh, and the Future of North American WoSo Development

    Horan is a good friend of Pugh and has been advising her and may be playing a role in the Pugh Affair.

    People seem to be focusing on whether it is “right” for Pugh to break tradition and opt out of college. And also focusing on the money angle.

    But there may be a bigger issue being missed here: the future of North American WoSo developed. It was always assumed that promising high school talent would go to the NCAA. Horan earned notoriety for breaking the rule “stay in US and go to college”.

    “Pugh Skipping College May Forecast the Future of U.S. Women’s Soccer”

    “Pugh’s decision to turn pro cracks the door open just a little bit more into what the future could hold for women’s soccer in the United States. Listen to U.S. women’s technical director April Heinrichs speak, and you hear her laud Europe for its professional setups. Top players are in professional training environments beginning in their teens.

    “That isn’t the case in the United States, which still stands as a leader in most things women’s soccer. Horan was previously the only American to make the jump, passing on a full scholarship to North Carolina to sign with PSG in 2013. Pugh, after some delay, will join her in bypassing college soccer. Could Sanchez follow? Will Fleming, one of the world’s best teenage talents, stay the full four years at UCLA?

    “Canada coach John Herdman has been at the forefront of discussion surrounding the need for players to be in professional training environments, and it’s only a matter of time before select Canadian internationals choose the professional route over college, which has traditionally developed talent for the program.”

    Read more at https://www.fourfourtwo.com/us/features/mallory-pugh-college-ucla-uswnt-europe-nwsl#h06WPpzvtPCHVm3b.99

    If Gulati “forced” NWSL to allow Pugh to play on her terms and if Fleming and Sanchez follows her, it will be a game changer for American WoSo. There was always a sense that Lindsey Horan saw herself as a pioneer and maybe she was.

    Until relatively recently there was no American women’s soccer league. Michelle Akers and Mia Hamm, two of the greatest American players of all time, together only played a few seasons of professional club soccer. But the situation has changed greatly now and why should talented American soccer youth be forced to follow tradition if the traditional path is not the best path for their developed and future as professional soccer players? If Herdman funnels most of his youth players directly into the NWSL, it will be another game changer.

    The future does not have to look like the past. The Pugh Affair may open the gates for talented American youth to bypass college and go directly to NWSL. It will be interesting to see how Gulati deals with this possible game-changing situation. And, in the long run, this may make NWSL a better league for player development.

    • #1Fan

      the US league is not financially competitive for top talent that is unallocated. Not sure what the solution is.

      • Gary Diver

        But there are only a few European teams with deep pockets who can offer young talent $100,000-$200,000 per season. And is Lyon going to pay Pugh more than they pay Morgan or Buchanan?

        And as I mentioned above, if Herdman can convince Fleming and other talented Canadian youth to skip college, it will have a major impact on the discussion. It will also be interesting to see if Sanchez follows Pugh and skips UCLA since she missed so many high school classes.

        • #1Fan

          im not really looking at Pugh alone. Hence my comment about growing the game. I think all the ink goes to these headline issues about individuals, but the game itself needs to grow to support all this stuff OR its just rich men and toys.

          What is Paulson ?

          • DNG

            I think owning sports franchise, outside of the NFL, is mostly just rich men and toys. Not that I’m discouting the teams that do actually make money but there is a very large amount of them that don’t. Obviously the big difference here is that WoSo is not a viable career path for every player playing in the league right now and that’s what I’d like to see in the future if they can make it that.

          • #1Fan

            I agree. I have no idea on the tax treatment these guys get so maybe losing money aint so bad;)

      • DNG

        Old article but I thought that it had some things in it I did not realize about the Frauen Bundesliga. They actually do what I was suggesting the USSF do. Each year the German FA contributes €180,000 to each club. The NWSL might have a little less variation top to bottom but the German league is still pretty competitive. The top teams who spend closer to €2 million a year obviously have a leg up but if they want to spend their money so be it.

        • Steglitz49

          MLS-expansion of the NWSL by another name.

          Since Aulas started to spend on Lyon’s ladies section and it paid off, other rich teams have followed suit. The exceptions are
          — Man Utd, who refuses to crawl to the cross and admit that they were wrong in closing their ladies section down a dozen years ago; and
          — Real Madrid, who has never had a ladies team.

          • USMNTfan4life

            I don’t see the women’s game growing that much (at least at the club level, it has grown as well as it could). I could be wrong. The NWSL could have an advantage MLS does not because the men’s league has a cap ($4.5 million or something like that), and that restricts ambitious teams from signing World Class players who would much rather play in Europe. The women’s league should not be part of the MLS owner’s teams, and should seek out investors who want the free market to determine what their salary cap needs to be.

          • Steglitz49

            My reading of the tealeaves is that UEFA on their hand is cementing the ladies Champions League as the premier club tournament in Europe while the FA is doing the same for the FA women’s Cup by playing it at Wembley with lots of sponsorship so that kids can attend free.

            Thus, soon Europe will control WoSo as well as BroSo. The glamor and silverware will be there to be won. The NWSL will have its private existance.

      • USMNTfan4life

        I don’t see the women’s game growing that much (at least at the club level, it has grown as well as it could). I could be wrong. The NWSL could have an advantage MLS does not because the men’s league has a cap ($4.5 million or something like that), and that restricts ambitious teams from signing World Class players who would much rather play in Europe. If MLS breaks the shackles on those rich teams, then the caliber of players for the men’s clubs would get better. It won’t, because MLS needs to protect the financially weaker teams within the league. That is why the salary cap is very low. It is frustrating as a fan. The women’s league should not be part of the MLS owner’s teams, and should seek out investors who want the free market to determine what their salary cap needs to be.

        • Steglitz49

          Judging by Europe over the past 10 years or so, involvement of rich men’s teams in WoSo makes a huge difference. The landscape has changed rapidly, not necessarily for the better for WoSo, but it has changed with male money.

    • kernel_thai

      Or not. The difference here between Pugh and Horan is USSoccer is making this decision easy for Pugh. Pugh has two things that make this happen. She has a guaranteed tier 1 USSF contract waiting for her the second she turns pro and she has over a year in a starting role on the USWNT on her resume’ if she wants to try for a contract over seas. Someone like Sanchez or Pinto would have to slug it out in Europe like Horan did. Someone like Flemming has a better resume’ but not the big guaranteed income from Canada to augment her contract.

      • #1Fan

        to add, from what i read, the next 2 drafts are very weak. The players in HS or 1 yr in to College are going to look very attractive relative to the next 2 Draft Class

        • mockmook

          “The players in HS or 1 yr in to College are going to look very attractive relative to the next 2 Draft Class”

          Poppycock. Maybe a few VERY SPECIAL players. You are arguing exactly the opposite of what you have been saying for weeks or months here.

          • #1Fan

            Im not, but tbh I can’t be bothered to go back an justify it. Draw whatever conclusion you want. Have a good evening.

    • mockmook

      How is it game changing?

      Just means some players will be younger when they start playing in the NWSL — OMG, I’M FREAKING OUT!!!!!!!

  • Steglitz49

    Tickets available now for Chelsea question and answer session on May 4th, with 4 of their new players this season — Ramona Bachmann, Erin Cuthbert, Crystal Dunn and Maren Mjelde. The event which will take place in the Tambling Suite at Stamford Bridge. Tickets are £10 ($12) per person.

  • guest

    I also have to laugh at “Mal has relatives in PDX” excuse like she needs a babysitter or something. She is a professional athlete and 19(?) years old. She’s not a kid, she’s an adult. Most are living (possibly far) away from home by that point and without the luxuries her salary affords her at that age. Sounds like a lame excuse to me.

    • guest

      and reports are the relatives in portland excuse is really just her sister who currently goes to college in the area. not to mention if she goes half way around the world to play in europe, she will likley have no relatves in the entire country or continent. makes no sense. washingon should wait it out and call her bluff.

  • GT

    Is Stephanie Ochs hurt? Won’t some team”pick her up”? She’s a good player.

    • guest

      I would have waived Henderson. She’s beautiful and charming and a good marketer for Houston as a TX native but a kind of useless player, despite competing with Press and Morgan for the Hermann (and crushing Press in the NCAA championship). It never translated into pro success, possibly because she never got a call up.

      • FawcettFan14

        Houston now has Henderson and Hagen, two players who racked up goals galore in college (70 for Henderson, 93 for Hagen) who haven’t been prolific in the pros. Back in 2011-12 I had both of them pegged for long USWNT futures, but they lost the scoring touch.

        • Steglitz49

          Sarah Hagen scored the first goal for Bayern Munich’s Ladies when they defeated the German Cup holders Frankfurt 2–0 in the 2012 final. That Cup win was Bayern’s Ladies first real success for decades. It ushered in a new era for the club.

    • mockmook

      Never has come back strong from her injury a few years back — I really liked her game before she got hurt.

  • Alex

    Not sure if this is a dumb question but if Pugh goes to play in France for a year, then wants to join the NWSL next year, do Washington have her rights? Or does whoever is first in the allocation order next season get them? Or can she just join whoever she chooses?

    I doubt Lyon would want her so I don’t see how they are possibly an option. Elodie Thomis struggles for game time there, so I can’t see Pugh being worth it for them.

    • Steglitz49

      Your points are well taken.

      As I understand it, DC holds the rights for 2 years, which I interpret as 2017 and 2018 (but it might possibly be 2018 and 2019, though I don’t think so).

      I too have difficulty inseeing Lyon being interested. Not even sure about PSG. Therefore, I see this as a marketing driven exercise to maximize income.

      All things considered, if the USWNT does not prevail in 2019, what worth WoSo in the US? As a corollary, how do the Pughs make any money out of their asset if not now, when?

    • mockmook

      DNG quoted me some rules that seem to say that if Pugh is selected by Washington, they only retain her rights until the start of next year’s NWSL pre-season.

      Then, assuming she is an allocated player for 2018, she would (theoretically) go to whoever is first on the list, the worst team in 2017 (assuming she isn’t traded or they pass on her).

  • Gary Diver

    “He Who Pays the Piper Calls the Tune.”

    Some people have made a point that if USSF is playing Pugh’s salary, they should have a say in where she plays. If Sunil Gulati wants Pugh to stay and play in the US, we may find out tomorrow. USSF leverage over NWSL is substantial and we will see very soon who in fact calls the tunes.

    Is there anybody who doubts that Gulati can’t force NSWL to do the “right thing” as he sees it?

    • Steglitz49

      Sunil must focus on fixing the USMNT. For him WoSo should now be a side issue. He has done enough for the USWNT.

      If Zlatan comes to LA for the money drooled over, it will put WoSo into sharp focus. Servando Carrasco gets $95,500 – $99,625 while his wife pulls in about $30,000 per month in Lyon. To those that have more shall be given etc.

  • GT

    Why wouldn’t Pugh want to play in Washington? She’d be the star of the team. It’s also a nice area to live.

  • guest

    it would also be interesting to lean the timeline of the rumored portland trade proposal for the top UFI spot from washington. did portland have inside information that pugh was going to be dropping out of college and try to trade for the top UFI spot before the information became public to the nwsl teams so that portland could give up much less to washington? and when that trade proposal was denied, was the second strategy for pugh to then make her public announcemnt in an effort put pressure on washington from the nwsl and ussf to make the trade happen with the threat of going to europe? washingon could first counter with finding out what mallorr pugh’s true current trade value in the nwsl is by asking other nwsl teams what their trade offer would be. then they could use that information as support in negotiations if the ussf tries to pressure them into a below market value trade and letting a uswnt rookie decide the only team she is willing to play for which 99% of the other nwsl rookie and veteran players don’t get as an option. in the end, pugh will do what the ussf says if she wants to play for the uswnt in world cups and olympics.

    • Steglitz49

      You type willy-nilly “going to Europe” but for WoSo Europe consists of a number of different leagues with different teams. You need to specify which you have in mind.