Gabarra on Pugh: “We can’t discuss any offers”

Dan Lauletta April 19, 2017 356
Jim Gabarra says it is inappropriate to comment on any trade offers involving the DRO. (Photo Courtesy Sky Blue FC)

Jim Gabarra says it is inappropriate to comment on any trade offers involving the DRO. (Photo Courtesy Sky Blue FC)

Monday night’s announcement that Mallory Pugh was leaving UCLA to turn pro has put two NWSL clubs in the crosshairs. In initial reporting by Grant Wahl, it emerged that Pugh has interest in playing for Portland Thorns FC. However, should Pugh sign with U.S. Soccer and become a federation player, she would be subject to the Distribution Ranking Order (DRO.) Currently the Washington Spirit hold the top spot in the DRO thanks to a pair of offseason trades.

“We made the moves to get into this position,” Spirit head coach and general manager Jim Gabarra said Wednesday. “It’s a strong position right now, and we gave up a lot to be there. We put a lot of thought and strategy into it.”

Wahl reported Tuesday that the Spirit had turned down a “significant” offer for the rights to trade DRO spots and get the rights to Pugh, or the next player to be brought into the league as a Federation Player (the DRO resets after the NWSL Championship.) I also tweeted that a source indicated that offer was two federation players a claim quickly and vehemently shot down by the Thorns.

Asked about discussions between the clubs, Gabarra declined to address the matter.

“We have not been notified that a new player is going to be funded that is going to be available to the league,” he said. “Until we hear that, we can’t discuss any offers, trade offers, trades turned down, or even discussed. It’s just not the right thing to do.”

Gabarra did speak highly of Pugh and suggested she would be a sound addition to the Spirit.

“If Mallory decides to play in the league, we have the first choice and that’s someone that we really think would be an extraordinary player. She has great potential and someone who we think would be a fit for our style of play. We would be very excited for the opportunity to have her play here in D.C.”

The sides are expected to speak Friday during owners meetings in Orlando. According to Wahl, signing with one of the French powers Lyon or Paris Saint-Germain is also on the table.

“It will be interesting to see how the process unfolds,” Gabarra said. “We’ll make the best decision for the club when and if a player becomes available for the DRO.”

The Thorns traded to the top of the DRO in 2016, shipping the No. 3 overall pick to the Boston Breakers. At the time Pugh was expected to skip college and sign with U.S. Soccer and play for the Thorns. She had a late change of heart though and enrolled. However, she never played a regular season match for UCLA after deferring her freshman year to join the U.S. U-20s for their World Cup last fall.

  • Steglitz49

    “Read my lips …”

  • DNG

    Just saw an interview with Parsons who gave about as much info on the Pugh situation as Gabarra which is to say nothing. Guessing we won’t hear much about it until a trade or final decision is made

  • tonysocref

    Additional posting by Paulson in response to Dan’s post,
    “Not even close Dan…check yo sources”

    • guest

      if that offer is not even close, i can’t wait to hear what laughable offer portland really made. i’m guessing bag of rocks klingenberg and a fourth round pick.

      • tonysocref

        That fourth round pick would be for 2019. Thorns already traded their 2 2018 fourth round picks they had to North Carolina for Britt Eckerstrom. Currently the Thorns only have 2 first round picks for 2018.

        • Movement

          Package their highest first round pick, their 2nd round pick, Emily Sonnett, and Mallory Weber to the Spirit for the rights to have Mallory Pugh and Estelle Johnson

          • Steglitz49

            They might ask for Savannah Jordan too.

          • A_Dog_Without_A_Clutch
          • Steglitz49

            Maybe they let Savannah go home for Easter? Or, she was ill?

            The Swedish Damallsvenskan has played one round and matches have gone according expectations. Rosengård and Linköping are favourites for the top 2 spots, which qualify for the Champions League. Göteborg is a dark horse and they managed to beat Örebro 1-0 at home, and Örebro is seen by some as another outside contender though more likely to finish like 4th or 5th.

          • tonysocref

            Why would anybody in their right mind trade away 2 #1 picks (Sonnett plus1), a 2019 2nd round pick and what has become a contributor to her team for an over hyped unproven 18 year old player at the professional level and a 28 year old defender. Portland already has a 28 and 29 year old defender in Kling and Reynolds.
            At this point in her soccer career, Pugh is worth nothing more then a one for one NT player or a #1 pick. Nothing more.

          • Steglitz49

            DC lost a final they should have won. Now they want to make sure and exploit the hype maximally.

            Your point, that Portland should sit tight in the boat and let the waves take care of themselves is wise. USSF should call the Pughs’s bluff and let her go to Europe. If the new CBA is what we think it is, she would have to play at least 2019 and possibly 2018 in the NWSL anyway to be eligible for the WNT.

          • Arcie Tillydee

            Heartily agree. Moreover, there’s not a single attacking starter I’d trade one-for-one. The Thorns simply don’t need her.

          • Breakers fan

            You may be right, but those (your last sentence) do also have the ring of “famous last words”, potentially down the road. I mean that in a spirit of good humor. Pugh is a tough player to project even 2 years down the road, let alone 5 or 8.

          • DNG

            She has a high ceiling but is not close to a sure thing superstar. You don’t mortgage the future on that when you don’t have to.

          • Breakers fan

            Mortgaging the future is quite a strong term — I personally doubt they’d be doing that in terms of what it would take to get Pugh, but I don’t know how hard a bargain Washington will drive. Recall that they could have Pugh for 10+ years while some of these others – the veterans who may be being considered — have considerably fewer years left for Portland – many,many fewer than they’ll get with Pugh – and how will these upper-20s players’ quality last as they age?

            How many Portland players to do you currently rate as superstars (I’m not including Sinclair here due to her age) ? For me, it’s 1 – Heath and she’s borderline superstar for me. Henry is but she’s not on the table here.

          • DNG

            I don’t see Pugh as being worth anything more than 2 first round picks being optimistic. Anything more than that(admitting I still hate the draft), I think the player needs to be a lot closer to a sure thing. Some of the Portland fans here have already weighed in on her only being worth one 1st round pick or a 1 for 1 NT player.

            Years of service really aren’t an issue for Portland. They have the clout to attract top internationals and don’t need to rely on building though the draft. I don’t think Pugh being 18 really changes things that much for them.

            One definite superstar in Henry and maybe Heath if she can put together another very good year.

          • Breakers fan

            Do you recall whose 1st round pick Portland acquired? Because their first round pick is likely to be the 8th to 10th overall pick — not really a super-valuable commodity, so I want to know what else Washington may be getting if they do get one or both of Portland’s 1st round picks.

            Some of this will also depend on Portland’s value of Savannah Jordan, whether they know Jordan plans to come there, and if Washington wants Jordan. To me, with Horan, you don’t really need Jordan.

            I’d say that assuming Portland can find someone internationally who will be as good as Pugh for say 10-15 straight years (Pugh’s potential tenure with Portland) is a gamble, certainly an uncertainty.

          • DNG

            Orlando’s who I project to finish middle of the table. 15 years for Pugh is a stretch for me and I don’t think she’s definitely a starter in Portland’s current squad. And in a good draft year I think there is a lot of value to be had at 8th, 9th, or 10th Breakers could have selected Mandy Freeman with one of those late picks last year. I could be wrong on this hot take I think they missed out on Mills taking Andrews, who did not start, 2nd overall.

          • Breakers fan

            Thanks, re: Orlando.

            10, 12, 15 years – the point is the same.

            Yes, those picks, 8-10, CAN be quite good but it depends completely on the draft class. I don’t know enough about next year’s one to say yet what my opinion is on that.

            I’m quite aware of what happened in last year’s draft with the Breakers, as you might imagine. I had the same thought you mention seconds after it happened.
            And it’s way, way too early to compare Mills with Andrews, despite Matt Beard’s decision about who to start in the season opener. And it was 3rd overall – Ashley Hatch was chosen 2nd.

          • DNG

            There is always a diamond to be found somewhere even if the draft classes are weaker overall. I’m not a huge fan of Andrew so I’ll admit that it definitely colors my view here but Mills and Gibbons would have been filled a much bigger need than Andrews.

          • Breakers fan

            Agree about a diamond – depends utterly of course on the quality of your scouts.

            Your opinion re: these 3 players is noted. That’s all I can say. I differ but only time will tell.

            edit: I will add that I would have preferred they take Darian Jenkins at pick #3 and gambled on Andrews being there at 8.

          • mockmook

            A sampling of “later” picks:

            Round Pick #
            Round 1 7 Christine Nairn
            Round 1 8 Kathryn Williamson
            Round 1 8 Arin Gilliland
            Round 1 9 Danielle Colaprico
            Round 2 12 Shea Groom
            Round 2 13 Megan Oyster
            Round 2 16 Katie Bowen
            Round 3 23 Mollie Pathman
            Round 3 23 Erica Skroski
            Round 3 25 Emily Menges
            Round 4 31 Haley Kopmeyer

          • Breakers fan

            Excellent list – thank you!! This list shows how inexact a “science” scouting is. Understandable considering their meager resources for it.
            A nice contrasting list would be players taken high in the draft who were, in effect, busts.

          • There are far too many to list.

          • Breakers fan

            Exactly, meaning that assuming you’ll get a diamond in the rough, so to speak, at 8, 9 or 10 is by no means a great bet. Which is the origin of this topic – the value of Portland’s first round pick in a trade for Pugh.

          • Right. I think a single first-round pick, even the #1 pick is a terrible trade for Pugh, who is already somewhat proven as an offensive asset.

          • Breakers fan

            I agree – one of my proposals was Jordan and the best of your 2 first round picks.

          • mockmook

            One interesting thing about that list is:

            If you gave that list to someone, but inverted the list’s order, they likely wouldn’t be much surprised by who were considered to be the “best”

          • Steglitz49

            Top college seniors will follow, Kadeisha’s, Ashley’s and Savannah’s lead and head to Europe. The Canadian lasses were smarter by not entering the draft while Savannah played her hand to perfection and got Portland.

          • Steglitz49

            Orlando will make the playoffs.

          • Breakers fan

            Curious to hear your response to my comment “With Horan you really don’t need Jordan”, based on your very strong feeling that Horan be tried at forward, to the point of you feeling she maybe she should be our nation’s starting forward. An idea I’m by no means dismissing outright.

          • DNG

            Why wouldn’t Portland want both? I’m not giving up potential starting CFs and goal scorers for Pugh if I’m Portland and I’d give both of them the opportunity to play for Portland before picking one or the other if I wanted to pick one or the other at all. Horan is still a pretty good 10 if Jordan does become the starting CF.

          • Breakers fan

            Ok, fine, just wanted your opinion. As you say about NT forwards, “they’re versions of the same player” if you have them at forward. Pugh offers a contrast there, and no way I’m closing the book at age 18 on her being a very good forward.

            It’d increase Horan’s chances with the NT to have her be seen regularly as a target forward, regardless of her known history of playing there. Nothing like the present, — fresh evidence to convince someone of something. Dunn is a great example of that. Just saying.

          • mockmook

            I think Jordan is much quicker that Horan.

          • Breakers fan

            Agree about that. And of course no two players are going to be exactly alike. I was using DNG’s phrase back to him about Morgan, Williams and Leroux – to which my reply was “I don’t believe in types as much as you do”, though I acknowledge that one can group players *loosely* on similarities if one would like.”

            Compared to Pugh, if you’re going to play them together, they’re “similar” while Pugh would offer a contrast in a pairing with one of them was all I was trying to say.

          • Steglitz49

            They only differ by an H and a J, don’t they?

          • Arcie Tillydee

            Could be. But in terms of replacing Sinclair at some point, I think that’s what taking that long(ish) gamble on Savannah Jordan was about,. Not saying Jordan’s “another Sincy,” but no one who’s staying realistic is saying that about Pugh, either.

          • #1Fan

            Why do you think that? I am unaware of many female players who suddenly change trajectory past 18

          • Breakers fan

            She’s done, shown very well, IMO, — key phrase as I suspect you have a different opinion — at enough points in my viewing of her to think she could turn out to be an excellent player at the pro level. Are you implying she’ll be at best a, decent-to-good pro based on what you think of her abilities and potential?

            What you say about players not improving much beyond the age of 18 is interesting. It’d be interesting to talk to retired, or veteran players about that very subject. Ask them, and one would have to assume they’ll be honest: How much did you change, improve from the age of 18 onwards?

          • #1Fan

            improve, yes..Im saying change trajectory.

            My assumption here is that she must already be projected to be an excellent payer at pro level no ?

            So I am talking about becoming a lot more than that when i say change trajectory. I am talking becoming a top 10 player in the game.

            I dont have a different opinion to you , in spite of some of the rubbish you read from other here re that.I have said numerous times that she is a talented player with potential. I just have not YET seen anything that suggest she is transformational in the current regime and that is not consistent with the messaging I got from some very respected people in the game.

          • Breakers fan

            My response there, about Pugh, was to the Portland fans who feel she is worth quite little in a trade. They certainly, with their trade offers, don’t seem to be projecting her to be an excellent pro player. To me they’re undervaluing what she could do for that team over the next decade or more in an effort to not give up much and still get her.

            In the end we’re of course all just guessing and giving opinions about her now and into the future. I’m going to agree with you that some quarters are overstating what I think she’ll do; I also don’t see her as transformational.

          • DNG

            I’m guessing that Portland fans don’t value the years anywhere near as much as you think they should and that makes sense to me given their situation compared to the Breakers. Portland are a win now team with rebuilds not really being necessary due to their ability to attract international talent that other teams can’t(possible exception being Orlando).

          • Breakers fan

            Your ok-ness with Portland passing on Pugh, or giving up what I would call little for her – is noted. Just so I’m not putting words in your mouth – what are the max deals you would offer if you were Paulson:

            If I were a Portland fan I personally would value the years Pugh would give you a lot more than other Portland fans here are doing, regardless of what you say, even though what you say has some truth to it.

            So what are your max offers for Pugh?

            a) was it 1 or 2 first round picks?
            b) ?? (current players or players + draft picks)
            c) ??
            etc.

          • DNG

            Max I would offer for her would be the two first round picks next year or one first round pick next year along with one or two players(depending on the player/s) not including Sinclair, Heath, Horan, Henry, Long, Sonnett, Klingenberg, and Menges.

          • tonysocref

            Potential she has, but so did the 46 players (1st rounders) that have been drafted over the past 5 years. How many of those 46 are still with the league or even starting for the team they are currently with.
            Paulson will give up what ever he wants to, but for me she is only worth a 1st round pick max.

          • DNG

            Totally understand your argument here too btw

          • Guest

            Paulson has thousands more seats every game that he can still sell even with the big crowds he has. Pugh would fill a lot of those seats. There will be instant sponsor discussions for the team that signs her. There will be more exposure and coverage for the team that signs her. Just think Freddy Adu with the ability to succeed in the Pros. Add that to the possibility of being in the league for 10+ years from today and she has a much different value than many of you seem to want to realize or admit.

          • #1Fan

            Projecting 10 years is a very interesting leap.

          • guest

            all uswnt vets project three cycles for themselves. four cycles in lloydand rapinoe’s cases.

          • kernel_thai

            I don’t think Portland care about future considerations because, like Pugh, they r only potential. I don’t think Portland want to lose a piece of the puzzle for this year tho and is likely looking to trade whoever Pugh is going to replace plus those future consideration. The problem for Washington is after a series of PR hits over the last year, they need a win now not draft picks. If they could get Sonnett, a 1st round pick and the rights to Jordan, they can at least put Sonnett out there every match this year and say there is more goodness to come as well.

          • mockmook

            I’m completely baffled how Pugh is assumed (or evaluated) to be worth the equivalent of 3 NT quality players.

            If Portland pays that, then I’m wrong. I just don’t see it happening.

          • #1Fan

            echo DNG there, but also I think they realize they dont need to value her any higher. they would be bidding vs themselves.

          • Breakers fan

            Seems possible to me they’ll lose Pugh if they offer farcical deals to Washington for her. A lot can happen in a year , including what Pugh deems acceptable as a playing destination, if they don’t get her now. The iron is hot now for Portland.

          • DNG

            Sure it’s definitely possible but I also think US Soccer want’s Pugh in the US more than Portland wants her in Portland.

          • Breakers fan

            What does that mean in terms of what you think will be done (by the USSF) here?

            And when you say “Portland” that can mean completely different things. Paulson may *really* want Pugh, while their fans may not really care or actively not want her. What is “Portland” in that equation?

          • #1Fan

            the Owner. Thats all that matters here.

          • Breakers fan

            And we don’t know how the owner feels about Pugh, do we?

            What can you see Gulati doing here to ensure that Pugh plays in the U.S. this year- do you see him potentially trying to have Mallory broaden her # of places at which she is willing to play? If not that, what else could he do to help make it happen?

          • #1Fan

            one would have to assume that Pugh preference has already been run by Portland. probably thru Horan . One mus then assume that the owner is amenable or she would look really stupid making a preferred destination known thru press channels only to have them say we are not interested.

            Also remember the maneuvering when it was initially mooted.

            I think its very safe to assume we know how he feels based on that.

          • Breakers fan

            Good points. That said, the true feelings of the owner will become clear by what his best offer is. In other words, how badly the owner wants, likes Pugh will be shown by how much he is willing to relinquish to get her. I don’t think Washington can be lowballed here. Boston maybe, or probably, unless they’ve learned their lessons, but less so Washington.

          • #1Fan

            i slightly disagree there. I dont think this deal is necessarily a market transaction. He will give up what the brokers tell him to and Spirit will accept it. They will come to a deal that is deemed fair an equitable by a 3rd party ie Gulati. Even though he is not impartial at all.

            Just my 2c

          • Breakers fan

            Interesting proposal about what will take place. I would hope that doesn’t happen, that Washington won’t have the final say on what deal goes down I really hope that isn’t the case. Not saying it won’t be, I just hope it isn’t. To me that would be a travesty, a real blow to their franchise, if they’re in effect forced to accept something they wouldn’t accept on their own.

          • #1Fan

            if that was the case, then why does Gulati need to be involved at all ?

          • Breakers fan

            I think I misinterpreted what you said in the post before. I was trying to represent what I thought you wrote. I think I got it wrong.

            When you wrote “He (the Portland owner) will give up what the brokers tell him to give up and the Spirit will accept it”, WHO are these brokers? And are they impartial? And where does Gulati figure in or is HE “the (sole) broker”?

          • Steglitz49

            The Chief Ideologist is your (wo)man at the NWSL. Sunil must fix the USMNT. Basta.

          • #1Fan

            I am assuming he is only getting involve to do what he thinks is best for the USSF. That can only mean making a deal where she stays in the US surely. If she is not going to do that with Spirit, then …..I guess when I add it up USSF has to side with Portland interests becasue they want her to stay. unless he can get other teams involved.

          • mockmook

            Of course other teams will want to bid on her if they believe she will be willing to play for them.

          • DNG

            If I had to guess. Pugh or someone associated with her communicated her preferences to US Soccer who then communicated them with Portland. I have yet to read any rumors of any other teams involved but even one would change things quite a bit. Just completely guessing here but her preferences probably go something like Portland, Lyon/PSG, maybe a top english club, rest of NWSL clubs. I’m guessing that Gulati will side with Portland on this. Portland do have a number of good depth players that would help out the Spirit but I’m guessing that the Wash owner sees losing Pugh as more than just losing a soccer player.

          • kernel_thai

            Galati would be better served trying to find a competent coach for his woman’s team than trying to sort out league matters.

          • DNG

            I was going to respond with this in another of your response to me but I think the NWSL needs to come to terms with the fact that the best players coming into the league might not be okay with being told where they have to play. We’ve already seen this play out once with Dagny and we could see it play out with others as well. If they want to keep good players in the league at the low salaries they pay, there are going to need to be some allowances made for some players. The number of Jordan’s and Payne’s could potentially increase in future drafts and I think that’s a problem. If Sullivan comes into the league next year and says she only wants to play for Washington or she’s going overseas, why not let her play for Washington?

          • mockmook

            The problem is, almost all these “special” players seem to want to play for Portland. You can’t let them all go there.

          • DNG

            Portland can only start XI players. Not every good player can play for them. I’m sure there will be players that have second choices too. Portland might not even want all the ‘special’ players that want to play for them.

          • kernel_thai

            Portland ownership is looking big picture. If Pugh is the next big thing they got in on the ground floor. As for today, Portland fans r right…she isn’t a big upgrade. Down the road if she becomes a superstar they won’t be talking about how she played this year.

          • Breakers fan

            Right and right. It’s a bit disingenuous, I think, to not consider what you’re getting in the fact that Pugh is only 18. You have to realize you may have her for 10 or more years, long after Tobin Heath et al is gone. That’s a part, a BIG part of getting her. It’s not just that she had a few bad crosses and held onto the ball too long a few times the last NT game, it’s all her moments to date — many of them with the senior and U20s quite good – you’re getting that player too. I’d certainly want her on my team.

          • DNG

            I really don’t think Portland fan’s care much about 5 years from now. If they end up making a designated player rule maybe they sign Pernille Harder in a few years. They are a very attractive destination and aren’t likely to need any kind of serious rebuild for a number of years. I doubt they well ever be bottom of the table even in their rebuild years. Portland fans are right in my opinion to not want to sacrifice the current team for future potential. History shows they they’ll just be able to sign some big name players anyway.

          • kernel_thai

            I agree. If the fans were making this decision a modest offer would be made for Pugh and if refused they’d move on.

          • DNG

            It’s not impossible that she could develop into a top 10 player in the game with the right nurturing. It seems as if my wish for her to go to Europe is an unsatisfactory result for the USSF though if the rumors about Gulati sitting in on an owners meeting Friday(to broker a deal) turn out to be true.

          • #1Fan

            No shock. As I said earlier, no way they let the crown jewel get away.

          • DNG

            I’m getting the feeling too. And to be fair to Portland I do think she could develop there as well but I don’t think It’d be as good for her as a couple years in Europe. The NWSL is unmistakably American in terms of style.

          • #1Fan

            What are your views on the developmental value of playing on a very strong team vs a weaker one ? Does struggling a bit build character? or is it all about getting your own way ?

          • DNG

            I think that a player should experience hardship at one point or another and that it’s good for growth. That hardship can come from different sources to such as struggling to break into a team or losing in the semifinal like the team did last year. Even with Pugh starting for the Thorns I don’t think it’s going to be so easy for her ot them. They could easily lose in the finals or semifinals to NC again which I happened to think was a good experience for Horan and Sonnett.

            I think I tend to favor growing with a team even if they are dominant over completely relying on trial by fire. And I don’t think situations like Boston the last two years would be good for any player. Especially towards the end of the year when they were getting crushed in every match. It looked more demoralizing than anything else.

            I don’t think the situation in Lyon has hurt France too much in the sense that they are still a very good team even if Lyon is not really concerned with developing players anymore.

          • Breakers fan

            About “Boston the last 2 years” to me last year was tougher than the year before, though even last year they only had about 4 or 5 really bad losses, out of 20 games. By the way, since I just looked it up, they tied WNY the 3rd to last game of the year. They were well in most of the games during the year. More so the year before -this coming from someone who watched all these games.

            But, we don’t know what the experience was like. It’s not all about final scores of games. It’s what the culture is, what it’s like to play for a coach, so none of us really have any idea what playing for them was like, what effect it had on their psyches. It could be better than you or I think or worse. I think it depends more on the other factors I mentioned as they were only blown out in about 20% of the games, and by that I mean losing by 4 or more (once). it’s certainly different from playing on a winner but it can have its benefits, to have to struggle like that, I think, It can focus you on the game, keep you working all game it can keep you humble.

          • DNG

            They have lost way more games than they have won though. After a while that starts to affect moral. Not that they don’t handle it professionally but it takes a toll. And you’re right that I can’t know for sure because I am not in the locker room.

            It’s possible in soccer to get completely dominated and only lose by one or two goals so 4 or more is not necessarily my definition of a blow out. They gave up 3 or more goals I think 8 times in 20 matches. That’s just not good.

          • Breakers fan

            The main thing is that you’re not in any of their heads and you weren’t for one second of the the entire season, but I know you fashion yourself an expert on all things soccer. Thanks, though, for the rundown on the season as if I didn’t watch it. Learned a lot from you there.

          • DNG

            There’s no need to be passive aggressive and rude. Did I imply that you did not or that you should take my opinion as fact? Believe whatever you want and disregard my opinion if you wish.

          • Guest

            Buzzkill, buzzkill, buzzkill.

          • Breakers fan

            Not what it was – you know and knew when you posted that I saw way, way more of Boston than you last year, so for you to try to tell me about their season struck me as arrogant and presumptuous. Also saying things like “you know a team can lose by a goal and be dominated” as if this sport is new to me. The opposite is also true of course but that wasn’t pointed out because your goal was to make Boston look as bad as you possibly could. How many of their games did you see? The subject was “Is struggling ever good for a player?” Not let’s try to bash a team as hard as you can and not even get your facts right or really even know in any kind of more-than-superficial way what their season was like because you’ve said you saw very little of it. That’s what got my goat – it struck me as presumptuous and rude if you want to use that word. If you don’t know about something deeply just leave it alone and don’t pretend to be an expert about it. Stick to what you know. You won’t find me trying to lecture you about how Portland wasn’t as good as you thought they were last year because I know and accept you saw way more of them than I did. End of rant. You are an intelligent fan of the game and I enjoy reading your posts but that I felt was uncalled for, passive aggressive on your part. No team needed to even be named there. You could have just said “if I team has a really really awful season then struggling may not be beneficial”. I simply stepped in to say “having seen their entire season, (unlike you) I can tell you that maybe it wasn’t as bad as you were thinking and here’s a fact that you got wrong.”

          • DNG

            “you know and knew when you posted that I saw way, way more of Boston than you last year”

            How do you know how many Breakers matches I watched last year? You just went on to call me presumptuous and arrogant while acting essentially the same way yourself. Last year I watched 16-17 of their matches so to say that you watched so many more than I did even if you watched every single game is a stretch. I saw enough of their season to feel comfortable with my opinion. You have a different one and that’s fine. I do apologise if some of my rhetoric was condescending it was not my intention.

          • Breakers fan

            You really saw the entirety of 16-17 of their matches? If so, I apologize. And I appreciate your apology.
            Talk to me about what you think of their individual players from last year then, if you don’t mind. You should have a very good read about all of them, basically.

          • DNG

            Yes. Archives made that possible. I’ll start by saying what I think I’ve said to you before. I don’t think their roster was as bad as the results. I think a lot of their issues were more tactical and that is on the head coach. Two defenders on their back line that I liked were Kallman and King. I think I even had a reasonably good opinion of Engen early in the year although I believe you said you were disappointed in her. I don’t think the problem was Engen until it appeared as if she kind of checked out I saw some fire in her early in the season. As the season went on though I thought Engen fell off to the point that I believe you felt she was really poor. I think I have presented this point to you too but I think Zerboni was a pretty big loss. Not that I think she’s an irreplaceable player but she did a good job covering ground and giving the Breakers some steel in the midfield before the trade. I still don’t think they have that DM that I would look for if I were them. I think they could really use someone like Amber Brooks. McCaffrey was poor for the Breakers and couldn’t really provide any end product. Trade will be good for them in the future in my opinion. I wasn’t impressed with the midseason signing Beckmann much at all. She probably isn’t really suited to the NWSL as a player. Dowie actually was better than I expected and ended up scoring 3 goals in 6 appearances. I think Smith going down in goal early in the season was a big problem for them too. Not sure if that’s enough detail for you and I do admit that I probably did not pay as close attention to the specifically to Breakers players as you probably do.

            The last 5 matches where I alluded to it looking demoralizing I think the breakers started pretty strong in all of those games but really fell off once they conceded goals. They did do well in the match they drew with WNY. I think Beard got his tactics horribly wrong in 3-4 of those last 5 matches.

          • Breakers fan

            Thank you for that. You definitely have seen them more than I thought. I do know more about them and could add comments about players not mentioned but that’s not necessary. About Engen I actually felt the same as you — good early on, though she did have that mental lapse when Portland scored the only goal in that 1-0 game on the free kick by……I know Heath was involved – can’t recall if she hit the free kick, (probably) or scored the header. But overall I thought she was pretty sharp early on but then lost some focus later on. She did disappoint me relative to her status and what we had to give up to get her.

            I agree with basically all of your comments – thank you for them. Zerboni was solid, better than some, but not sure I rate her quite as highly as you do but I do think she did a solid job. I think I rate Angela Salem higher than you – she’s looking pretty good at DM at the moment. How good? Don’t know yet. This year’s team is a huge unknown to me. It could go any of various ways. I do question whether Dowie will score a decent amount again. She is not very fast or quick. Maybe she’s a type who just somehow gets it done but unlike I think Beard I am not assuming that. Last week against KC – when I watched it the 2nd time I froze the screen at various points a few seconds before the goals or close goal chances were scored and time and time again 1 or 2 of our defenders were caught WAY up field when KC countered – and we saw the results. To me that’s on Beard – do you see it the same way? The question is: Will they learn from it?

          • DNG

            In reference to the KC game I did see it the same as you. It seems that Beard has not really figured out yet that almost all of the teams in the NWSL have fast forwards up front who can counter attack quickly. Both of KC’s goals were quick hitting counters. I actually think that Boston could be a team that can effectively counter-attack because Lavelle is a pretty good ball carrier and passer.

          • Breakers fan

            Yep. I think Beard can be tunnel-visioned, thinking only about his team or what he wants to do offensively since the team has had such difficulty putting balls in the net. Good point about Lavelle but Dowie ain’t beating many defenders with speed but I guess there are other ways to counter. I’d personally like to see a match or 3 with the 2 forwards being Purce and Onuomonu – see how that goes. But the English connection between Beard and Dowie is super-strong and I think she’ll probably start every match.

          • Breakers fan

            Can I ask why you’re a Portland fan? Are you from there? Live there now? Favorite player from college plays there? Like how the city supports them? Front runner?

          • DNG

            Not really a Portland fan anymore than I just enjoy watching how the team plays. Two years ago I liked watching Seattle play much more than the Thorns. I really enjoyed watching SBFC last week too. I’m really more of a fan of attacking football than any specific team.

          • Steglitz49

            Yet KC won the Championship back-to-back defeating Seattle on both occasions.

          • #1Fan

            ty. was interested in your opinions on that. in many sports here there has been a growth in player power and therefore growth in the super team.

            i think it has pros and cons.The WNT situation is unique becasue of the Club like nature of the team. You can see that reps with as many of her WNT teammates has to be positive.

            The WNT are ultimately the biggest ‘Club” in the NWSL and they are the ones that the USSF has made themselves beholden to. Its too late to change that.

          • DNG

            The thing with the USWNT players is that I’m unsure about their team unity. I think you have alluded to the team spirit not being so great. Lloyds past passive aggessive comments seemingly thrown in the direction of a certain player seems to give some credence to the notion that not all of the players like each other that much. I could be wrong but I don’t get that same feeling from afar about many NWSL team

          • #1Fan

            in a way, the whole GDA thing is just the NWSL on a youth level. USSF want better training for, lets say the 300 NT pool players, but to do it they feel the need to create a league for approx 8000 players (80 clubs x 4 teams x 25 players )

          • DNG

            80 club teams in the GDA seems needlessly excessive. I’m curious if they will actually use it for the sake of development, or if it will just be turned into another money making opportunity(for someone).

          • #1Fan

            thats about the number. Its too many, but very hard to have a national product with fewer and not have crazy travel.

          • DNG

            Why does it need to be national? Why not keep it more local?

          • #1Fan

            because its the USSF and also they have to at least appear to offer what the ECNL does. Its a fascinating issue, but I wont bore you with it.

            Post count ya now

          • Guest

            Oh My God, you are such a buzzkill. Do you think anyone is using the GDA as a money making opportunity? You clearly have no clue what you are talking about. How is 80 clubs too much or too little as well? More teams means more local and regional travel and less big travel keeping costs down. But, there might be some people out there in the soccer world who are making some money and doing good things. Make sure you watch out for anyone trying to make any money.

          • #1Fan

            its a perfectly valid question. Its not keeping costs down. There are only 2 fully funded GDAs. LA galaxy and Cedar Stars. Costs are the same as ECNL.

            Its supposed to be a vehicle to develop NT talent. 8000 players is a lot. The USSF are specifically saying that the UNLIKE the ECNL this is a developmental league and NOT a profit making venture.

          • mockmook

            Not making a profit is not the same as not making some people some money.

            More teams means more kids can join a team near to them — that should mean less travel.

            ————

            The fact that there are “scholarships” for the GDAs is a good thing, right?

            And, that will definitely keep costs down for those who get those “scholarships”, right?

          • #1Fan

            The aim is not to have as many kids a who want to join the GDA. There are already 85+ECNL teams out there . Im not even going to bother to mention the other leagues.The aim is to have a Club structured to develop exceptional kids that have potential to fill our NTs.

            Most leagues schedule multiple games on weekends, GDA aims to keep the game/ practice ratio down so one game per week. In the case of some NY/NJ/CT teams it now means trips to Virginia and Buffalo …for ONE game. So the travel is more.

            Scholarships exist now. They are need not ability based. And if 95pct of the people are paying the same as they did in the ECNL thats not keeping costs down.

            As currently constructed, the GDA team structure is far bigger than the number of elite players out there. It is far closer to the ECNL model it claims to want to distance itself from.

            All its really doing is diluting an already watered down player pool even further.

            But then again, as someone who has sat thru the Club presentations and gone thru the numbers to make a decision, I clearly have no clue what Im talking about.

          • DNG

            Let me qualify a little. Grow with a team​ that has a good team spirit where everyone puts the team first and the team’s goals are clear. Bad team spirit can be a cancer to a player’s career.

          • Steglitz49

            You do not play in Europe. Instead, you start by playing for a specific club in a certain European league. It may be that that club has qualified for the ladies Champions League but only 2 from each country have.

            Therefore, stop typing about Europe.

          • Steglitz49

            Stop typing about Europe as some amorphous blob. Instead, please state which teams you have in mind.

          • guest

            Which one for one are you talking about? Pugh could play for a dozen years and will draw big crowds of adoring young fans. Which one national team player would you take rather than her. It’s not a person for person decision, it’s a total value decision.

          • mockmook

            I’d say Pugh for Sonnett is comparable.

            Both are still growing into the player that they will be. Both have yet to prove to be indispensable parts for the NT.

            And, there is no guarantee Pugh will be a fan magnet — she may be like A-Rod, has moments of brilliance, but rarely steps up in the crucial NT games. She may end up being fragile, always injured. We just don’t know her ultimate “total value”.

          • mockmook

            Per the EQ:
            “Teams are not permitted to move 2019 picks until after the 2017 NWSL Championship.”

          • kernel_thai

            Thank god.

          • Yes and no. Depends if that #1 pick equals a Rose Lavelle or a Zakiya Bywaters. Not all #1 picks are created equal.

            If you were the Boston Breakers this year, knowing you could get Lavelle, there’s no way in hell you would trade your #1 pick this year for a #1 pick next year. Knowing who you can get for it, you would need to be offered much more to trade that pick away. Pugh is (presumably) that kind of #1 pick.

          • kernel_thai

            Why is Portland calling with an offer? Pugh has pretty much said, I guess, she only wants to play in Portland. Ud think they be waiting for Washington to call them. : ) It’s the fact that the Thorns keep checking their hole card that makes Washington believe they r still in this hand.

  • newsouth

    douche is strong in the paulson character. the little diva is like the new sydney. maybe they should ship her to seattle and let harvey teach her a lesson or two.

    • smokin

      Suggestion clearly misplaced. Channel your energy to improve yourself and perhaps achieve marketable skills in your professional life.The ‘new south’ can use your expertise.

      • newsouth

        my skills net me six figures in south cal, so i’ii continue to play my roll on the boards. go troll someone else.

        • Arcie Tillydee

          You’d think a guy making “six figures” might know which form of “role” to use…

          /rolleyes

          • mockmook

            Truck drivers can pull in 6 figures

            (Not that there is anything wrong with being a truck driver)

  • Ashley C

    Portland should be very cautious here. Pugh has the talent and sponsor money but should be careful to put too much expectations on her right now or over hype her. Sometimes you break up a team’s chemistry and it ends badly.

    • #1Fan

      Hmm … so when this happens on the WNT do you feel the same way ?

  • TsovLoj
  • Breakers fan

    Based on Gabarra’s thoughts above …Will it get a point where Pugh and Washington at least talk? I think it’s conceivable that she changes her mind about playing there.

  • john

    As a Washington fan I was a lot more excited when I thought this pick would be Sullivan. I think Sullivan is better at her roles than Pugh at this point. Also, my gut tells me Sullivan is more mature overall (and yes I know she’s a little older) than Pugh so I’d rather gamble on her making a quick successful transition to the pro life.

    • Breakers fan

      Assuming Sullivan gets allocated by the deadline — the day after this season’s NWSL championship game – would all Washington have to do to get her, Sullivan, be to say “we pass on Pugh” and then they would remain at the top of the allocation order — do you know the rule on that?

      Tough call to me who would be better long-term but like you I lean towards Sullivan here, but Pugh could surprise.

      • DNG

        I think US Soccer would have to talk to Sullivan about this. This was all bound to get messy sooner or later with Europe being a realistic option for top American players. Sullivan could end up pulling a similar tactic to Pugh or she could give the Spirit a break. She might be more agreeable to joining Washington though considering she’s from norther Virginia. Personally, I think the Spirit need to fix their PR issues at the moment and work on making their team a desirable place to play again. It is not a good look when a player like Dunn basically says “I could have played for Washington in between spring and fall season but I didn’t really want to be there this year”.

        • Breakers fan

          What is the conversation between Sullivan and US Soccer that you’re imagining having to take place? What specifically would be addressed?

          Agree about Spirit and their PR issues. If I’m them and I want Pugh — I would try to arrange for Pugh to meet with the current team and talk with them about how things are, what it’s like to play there. That’s my best idea for getting some positive PR across to Pugh (assuming the current players ARE happy there) .

          Washington couldn’t have foreseen this, I’m sure they wanted Sullivan when making the trade (again Boston looking kinda foolish in giving up this #1 slot, unless they get to use their #2 position before the deadline)

          • DNG

            They’d have to basically outright ask her if she’d be okay being allocated to Washington and foregoing the college season. I don’t think that’s likely to happen. What could happen are some backroom deals next yera that get the Spirit up to the top of the distribution list again unless they finish 10th and have it anyway.

          • Breakers fan

            I agree – I get the sense Sullivan would like to complete her Senior season at Stanford.

            You’re implying this, but once you get allocated your college eligibility immediately ceases, correct? I ask because I’m picturing allocating Sullivan but not paying her until her college career is over and so allowing her to go to Washington still this year.

          • DNG

            Yes, as soon as Sullivan signs a contract and accepts money she becomes a professional she is no longer NCAA eligible. I don’t think they are allowed to do what you suggest but maybe they are. They’d also have to make sure that Sullivan doesn’t do the same thing as Pugh(is agreeable to playing in Washington) and threaten to go to Europe.

          • guest

            I see her wanting to complete her degree but having already been injured maybe she wants to start cashing in while she can. She could be one more injury away from irrelevancy. I’m not sure if Stanford is as lenient with distance learnign and online coursework as some of the big public universities are.

          • Breakers fan

            This is a good point about Sullivan. Surgery has improved, however, and we’ve seen others – Casey Short come to mind – come back and be quite good after 3 ACL’s, but you’re right that each new one is a risk and I think may leave you not what you used to be, but I’m not a medical expert.

            I do think it’s possible Sullivan would accept an allocation this Fall IF she really wants to play in Washington – no guarantee of that, we saw her willing to go away 3000 miles to college — and if she doesn’t feel a dying desire to play her Senior season as the Captain of the The Cardinal. She might want that experience of her Senior season and year at Stanford to let possible allocation wait, at least until after the college season.

          • Steglitz49

            Surgery did not save Kim Kulig’s career. There are other warning examples, including from other sports. The list is longer than people like to acknowledge.

          • HOFCToDi

            Andi Sullivan will be draft eligible unless she requests a medical redshirt.

          • Breakers fan

            Forgot about that…so your point is that if she plays her Senior season…if she asks that possible allocation wait in the above scenario…that she would have to enter the draft and that the team that drafts her — almost certainly the team who finishes last this year (she’ll be the #1 pick most likely) — would be the one that would retain her when allocation came, no matter whether Washington still has that #1 allocation position. Is that how you see it?

          • HOFCToDi

            Correct.

            Another scenario exists. Andi Sullivan is granted a medical redshirt and plays for the Stanford Cardinal for the 2018 NCAA Season.

            Megan Rapinoe tore her ACL twice in college.

            http://www.ussoccer.com/stories/2014/03/17/13/50/megan-rapinoe-twice-removed-but-never-gone

            “Maybe I rushed my rehab,” said Rapinoe about an injury that usually takes at least 12 months to totally regain all the strength, agility and explosion.

          • mockmook

            The HUGE assumption you are making is that Sullivan will be allocated.

            Even if she plays at Stanford this year, she likely still won’t be quite right — I can’t see the USA allocating a player who is still not back to 100%

          • Breakers fan

            That’s a good point. With the injury allocation is less certain.

          • Guest

            If there is an expansion team or two as is rumored, none of the existing teams will have first dibs on Andi either via DRO or the draft.

          • kernel_thai

            U could be right but it is debatable. When Orlando entered the league they got the top draft choice but not the first DRO selection if memory serves.

          • guest

            why couldn’t she play her senior season and play for the nWSL next spring? am I missing something?

          • Breakers fan

            No, you’re not. She can and probably will do that – do both. Not sure what in my post caused the confusion… Maybe when I said “she can play for Stanford and Washington” — as if there were any doubt she could do that. What I meant was in relation to that “early allocation” scenario I described before. USSF allocates her early to make up for Washington getting screwed in the Pugh deal (potentially) and so Sullivan missing her senior year due to early allocation in order to get her to Washington because that’s who they really want with that 1st allocation slot. That early allocation almost for sure will not happen, I don’t think. So then I was trying to think “Can she still end up on Washington if she isn’t allocated early?” And one answer is “yes, she can,if Washington finishes last this year and they then get the first draft pick.”

            So don’t worry, all is as you thought it was.

          • kernel_thai

            NCAA compliance tends to be a bad dirt road straight up hill with a cliff at the end.

          • Breakers fan

            Hahaha –
            In the Sullivan situation your description meaning……..anything you were thinking of there in particular in terms of how the NCAA may bend the rules for her?

          • kernel_thai

            They don’t bend the rules for woman’s soccer players.

          • Breakers fan

            I guess I don’t understand your analogy that well, though it’s a striking, ominous image. Can you elaborate, explain it please?

          • Steglitz49

            A Stanford degree is not to be sneezed at and being this close to completing it, the young lady would be ill advised not to.

            If her current injury does not heal properly, she will be irrelevant. Kim Kulig is a warning to every lady player and there are others.

          • mockmook

            Isn’t she likely taking MORE classes while she rehabs?

          • guest

            you can only take so many credits at a time.. i went to a school that is on the quarter system like Stanford and taking any more than 3 or 4 courses depending on difficulty is very challenging. she could do a summer term and finish by next January, probably, if she really wanted to. THat is what Alex did so she could prep for WC11 with the NT.

          • HOFCToDi

            When has Andi Sullivan even stated she is foregoing her senior season? Andi Sullivan is currently rehabilitating from a torn ACL.

          • Breakers fan

            This is all speculation (she hasn’t stated that at all) were she to be allocated sooner rather than later, as a way of making Washington happy in this Pugh situation. Washington could theoretically pass on Pugh, retain the #1 allocation spot and use it to get Sullivan (almost certainly who they envisioned getting when they made the deal with Boston) were Sullivan be allocated before the deadline of this allocation “season” – the deadline being ….I think the start of next pre-season. It’s either then of the day after the Championship game.

          • HOFCToDi

            Speculation based upon unsubstantiated rumors.

            For the vast majority of college athletes, a college degree is more valuable than a professional career in soccer.

          • Breakers fan

            We were just playing around and trying to see how Washington may be able to use that #1 allocation slot that they obtained with the hope of getting Sullivan, to get her. How could that happen? If it’s clear that they will basically get hosed in this Pugh situation the League may want to try to help them out by trying to get them Sullivan, but it all comes down to what Sullivan wants to do and I agree that it’s much more likely she’ll finish out her 4th year at Stanford.

            What you wrote, though, about rehab and possible red-shirting, does seem at least plausible. How many months rehab will Sullivan have had by August?

          • HOFCToDi

            Stanford, U.S. midfielder Andi Sullivan suffers torn ACL
            November 21, 2016

            equalizersoccer.com/2016/11/21/stanford-uswnt-midfielder-andi-sullivan-suffers-torn-acl/

          • Breakers fan

            Thank you, so it’ll be about 8, 9 months and that’s missing Spring and Summer play that I’m sure all her teammates will be doing. My guess is that she plays. For someone of that status to skip another year just seems unlikely. She’s probably working her butt off in rehab and will continue to do so.

          • HOFCToDi

            Summer Green missed the entire 2016 NWSL Season after tearing her ACL in November 2015.

            http://www.goheels.com/ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=210517788

          • Breakers fan

            Ok. We’ll see. They’re on 2 hugely different trajectories and have radically different possibilities in their soccer lives at the moment, of course, so I think that imparts some urgency to Sullivan’s endeavors. Not saying it may be the wisest thing to come back maybe a few months early but it may be ok too. Hard for us to know from outside how the rehab is going.

          • mockmook

            “For someone of that status to skip another year just seems unlikely.”

            Has nothing to do with status, has to do with how well her injury is healed or is healing.

          • Breakers fan

            I agree it shouldn’t and I left open the possibility that she may not return. Recall she will have had 9 months to rehab come next September. I just made a prediction that she will return and that one big factor in that is her status — a player who was getting regular call-ups, starting and doing well by all accounts – and said I felt she will feel more urgency to return than a Summer Green. But, yes, I also agree that she will wait until she feels her knee is in a position to play. I’m just predicting she does not red-shirt. What is your prediction – will she sit out the entire next college season to save a year of college eligibility?

          • #1Fan

            it is interesting that in the last 18m or so we are now producing a relatively large number of players that people seem to believe are transformational. Is this true? Or are we simply seeing the impact of more media focus on players of younger age?

          • Breakers fan

            It does seem like a first, or maybe the most of that phenomenon, in American women’s soccer history, doesn’t it? In all sports that enjoy popularity in their home excitement, hype, praise, adjectives of different strengths are going to be used when young players come onto the scene and perform well. If Pugh and Sullivan didn’t do well in their first NT games this may be a different story but they did.

            I think part of it, the perhaps extreme, overblown praise, was due to how long the previous incumbent veteran players had been entrenched on the team and now, finally, we were seeing the changing of the guard and people were really excited about it. That’s natural and understandable and fine, good, in my opinion. Your point is that they went too far in the praising. I agree.

            But as you say it’s the nature of media to do such things. Probably more so in this day and age than in earlier times. It’s more now a culture of everyone speaking, having a public voice, like we’re doing here, so the volume tends to get turned up in order to be heard, I think. You want, you need “a story” in the media and it does seem that they glommed onto this one too fast. I agree with you. Let it play out a lot longer before annointing these youngsters as the next great player in our country. I don’t pay as close attention to the media reports, I don’t think, as you do, but I take your word for it that the praise was really turned up.

            Which players would say fit into this “billed as transformational” category – just Pugh and Sullivan or more than them? Not sure if you’re including Sanchez here. No doubt you are including Pinto. If I were to try to present the other side of the Pinto debate, one defending in some measure what Ellis is doing with her it would be to say that they feel they’ve had such a fundamental problem at DM for a few years now that – right or wrong – they are really honing in on trying to address that position and they, again, rightly or wrongly, see a lot of potential and things they like in Pinto, so they are putting her on the fast track, at least for now, to try to create a great DM for the future. Take a good look at her, at least. A focus on that position and liking her a lot – rightly or wrongly – may be what’s primarily behind it. Could be a hunch Ellis has about her. That would be the soccer reason for her advancement. We have heard the PR for the Program explanation too.

          • #1Fan

            not my point at all really. My question is real phenomenon or just a reflection of the way we cover the sport.

          • Breakers fan

            Looks like I wasted a lot of time trying to respond to you. Reading your 2nd sentence I feel like I did respond to it, tbh.

          • #1Fan

            You said

            Your point is that they went too far in the praising.

            I just answered that part. Im not talking about the praising. Iam just asking do we believe that these players will transform the NT. Change the way we play.

            Pinto, Smith, Sanchez. Howell, Pugh

          • Breakers fan

            Do I think they’ll be transformational? From what I’ve seen “no”. You’re talking a major, noticeable stylistic change in the way the American team plays. Will we move way more towards what the Japanese do or the French, if one wants to include them, if they are fundamentally different with the US now, with these players? One would have to say “no”. Is that a criticism of them? No. It’s a stylistic description. It’s not on them to be transformational, as I think you would agree. It’s up to the media to portray them accurately. By the way I’ve personally never heard that word used in relation to them in the media. Have you? If so, in what circles? Who is saying it – is it people who the masses of America hear or just a very small inside group of the most passionate fans? I’m evidently not in that group because I’ve never heard that word used about them.

            Have any American players in women’s soccer history been transformational to the way soccer was played here from one point to another?

          • #1Fan

            Ellis is implying it. She is on record about the qualities she is looking for to change the way we play. I assume that the younger players she is adding possess those qualities or at least she thinks they do.

          • Breakers fan

            These things, changing a style, take time anyway. I do think the players here – I’d add Sullivan, and Lavelle and would take away Howell and Smith because I don’t know them well at all — are more in the possession style than players from the most recent era are, but how much more, how different exactly, and will the coach drill the team in slowing down play more…..I don’t know, I kind of doubt it. Again, as you’ve said before too, a team should play to its strengths, so odds are that we”ll never play as methodically and patiently as the Japanese, nor probably should we. To say that’s bad reflects a personal preference or position, not a natural fact about the game, of course. I mean, should a team slow play down significantly just to obey those calling for that style? It would be fun to see if we could slow things down and complete a lot of passes, but I’d say not at the expense of trying to score goals.

          • #1Fan

            I would not include Sullivan or Lavelle in my comments. Maybe Sullivan, but def not Lavelle. She has followed a very traditional path to the NT. The others I mentions are doing things that have rarely been done before,

            By the way, it could just be the new way of testing kids.

            I am pretty sure that Sanchez has been short term negatively impacted by the recent events. her confidence has taken a big hit. We will see how she recovers from it. Pinto Im not sure. Is it possible that picking a kid for the SBC roster and then not picking her for the Russia stuff and taking her other CM teammates instead has an impact? I would say its possible. You read and hear all this amazing stuff and feel unique and then …. Must be quite hard for a young lady to process.

          • Breakers fan

            Ok, Re; my naming of Lavelle and Sullivan, was just thinking of who could lead and how the team’s style may change going forward, be they 22 or 17 but you had mostly the younger category in mind, which is fine.

            Yeah, maybe what we’re seeing with these youngsters in camp is the new way of testing kids and not so much a comment on *these* individuals perceived ability level relative to their age. Good thought.

            Interesting about Sanchez – is this sort of inside info you’ve gotten about her current state of mind, or are you basing it just on your evaluation of her recent play? Just asking, as I have no idea what you’re hearing or who you’re talking with.

            I think I’m with you about Pinto – I wouldn’t have done it in the first place, I don’t think, but that’s a view from the outside. I just don’t think it was particularly necessary or wise from the get-go, especially if you’re going to, as you said, take her in, not get her in a game, then drop her the next time and on top of that choose a peer competitor instead. Not having a kid that age I honestly don’t know what kind of effect that may have. How resilient kids tend to be, whether she just feels honored and grateful she was called up in the first place or whether she’s now confused and kind of crushed that a teammate — we’re talking Howell here, right? — was chosen over her the most recent time. And I think it’s important to know: Did Ellis sit her down and talk to her about deciding not to call her up and about Jaelin, and explain what the thinking was– to me that would be very important to do — or did Pinto find out by email or some such impersonal way?

          • #1Fan

            A kid will have all of the emotions you listed. I dont think it matters that much how the message was delivered, its all about how the kid responds.

            On AS, 😉 trust me on that one

          • Breakers fan

            Thanks. Sorry to hear that about AS – I hope it’s not serious and that she can bounce back. Is the issue mainly “getting invited, then the invitations stopped”?

          • #1Fan

            the issue is her performances have dipped and many think its becasue other bright young things have emerged and she has not reacted well to it emotionally.

          • Breakers fan

            Ok. Guess next year at UCLA will tell us more about how she’s doing. I like her game a lot and wish her well.

          • #1Fan

            I dont think UCLA will tbh. She will go back to being an aplha. If other players are being called up to the Full team ahead of her then we will see what happens

          • Breakers fan

            We can’t, in my opinion, dismiss PAC-12 play as being “not good enough”. Sure, she’s not playing the France NT or the Japanese U20 team every game, but you have to perform, execute good soccer in the Pac-12 to succeed. YOu seem to be saying “no matter what she does in the Pac-12, for UCLA, I will NOT be impressed!, So don’t ask me if I am!” I say it that way to make a point, but is that basically how you feel? You can have whatever opinion you want, but I will watch her play there and I will deem it to have some meaning.

          • #1Fan

            i dint say that. I said its not the issue. You must try and not put words in my mouth. Playing well in the PAC-12 is not her issue.

          • Breakers fan

            What is the issue? Is it “is she exceptional?” “Is she transformational?” I don’t get into these things really much in my personal thinking about the game, except maybe in passing. I just mainly watch and enjoy the sport, and know it’s a long development process for each player, so I really don’t care much about giving evaluative labels to a player at any point in time, but I have for you because you asked. It’s fine but it’s not how I really approach the sport as a fan. It’s mostly about enjoyment for me.

          • #1Fan

            Sorry, but you lost me totally.

            I said pretty clearly that AS has not responded well to othe kids being elevated.

            Thats the issue.

            Anyways ..nuff said,. ty for the conversation.

          • Breakers fan

            I was responding one by one to your posts – you later explained “the issue” but at the time I didn’t know. So it was just a chronology thing there. Yes, thank you.

          • #1Fan

            Question for you – if a male player suffers a set back like this and sulked. would you say – i like his game and wish and wish him well OR Man up , and come back stronger ?

          • Breakers fan

            I don’t know that Sanchez is sulking. I interpreted your comment as “her confidence is a little shaken” – not sulking, you didn’t say that before. In either case, confidence shaken or sulking, male or female I would say “man up, come back stronger” and that’s what I meant by “I hope she can bounce back.” I’m not talking to her so I didn’t phrase it that way. I may be more compassionate though towards females and maybe that’s wrong but in the end I do think the player has to get over things like this and move on.

          • #1Fan

            Ok. Just clarifying. My point is her play at UCLA is not going to tell us whether she has addressed her issue. Is she comes back to camp, and sees other selected ahead of her again, then we will learn IF she has addressed the issue.

            Smith getting selected ahead of her is/was a BIG issue

          • Breakers fan

            What outward signs, what evidence, what will indicate that “she has addressed the issue”? I appreciate hearing what’s going on, so thank you for that. To me, that should light a fire under her. Where again is Smith going to school?

          • #1Fan

            i was not at the camp, but I know people that were. I did not ask what the outward signs were, but they said it was noted by those that count.

            Stanford

          • Breakers fan

            A player getting down, a bit sad and disappointed over something like this —— for a little while —— is understandable and ok by me. If it turns to prolonged sulking, lack of focus and effort then that would have to be addressed, but in an understanding but still firm way.

          • #1Fan

            I assume for it to be mentioned it was above the norm.

          • Breakers fan

            That’s the drift I was getting. In the end, time will pass and her attitude will be evident at her next camp, whether good or bad.

          • Breakers fan

            Those UCLA-Stanford games next year will be excellent.

          • #1Fan

            Usually are good games. PAC-12 has good players.

          • Breakers fan

            I mean particularly now with all these players knowing each other so well, and in a sense vying for the same spots at the next level. It’s more that way now than before, it seems between these 2 schools, — but it’s not something I’ve really studied.

          • #1Fan

            its always been like that really. California produce loads of players and many stay home. It goes back to my earlier point about social media , media and the way we now see the game .

          • Breakers fan

            I really want to see Smith now, Will check if she played in those 2014, 2015 NTC tournaments in California. Between the 3 – her, Pugh, Sanchez, do you have a favorite? Either now or projecting into the future?

          • #1Fan

            i think they are all similar in style. Smith is the most physical , Sanchez probably the best pure dribbler, Pugh the most athletic.

            I have no real preference

          • Breakers fan

            Thank you – would you describe Smith as either or both (relatively) fast and/or quick? And Smith again, since I haven’t seen her much at all – good with both feet? a good shooter – in terms of accuracy and power? All these are relative – I know she won’t be the best at any of these things.

          • #1Fan

            she is good enough at all those things. If i had to pick a flaw, I would say that she is a dribble first/shoot first player. At times, she looks off wide open teammates to keep dribbling.

            She has a good motor and presses well. She scores too many goals from pressing defenders into errors fot it to be luck.

          • Breakers fan

            Thanks for the comments about Smith — appreciate them. If I get a good look at her from past games I’ll come back and give my feelings about her.

          • Breakers fan

            The whole universe of social media amongst these players…………I wonder about that. What happens there? What does it create? I have to think it doesn’t produce great “results”. Is that your take on it – that it’s kind of a nefarious thing, the way it actually plays out?

          • kernel_thai

            Until the injury Stanford was also a heavy favorite to win the College Cup. With both an NT contract and an NCAA title in her back pocket, I can see how it would have been easy for Sullivan to leave school and return home to start her pro career.

          • #1Fan

            the one upcoming or the last one ?

          • mockmook

            “Must be quite hard for a young lady to process.”

            Depends on what expectations JE gave her.

            JE may have told her up front that she would get little or no playing time.

          • Breakers fan

            Will add that way primarily it’s up to the coaches to make any transformation in style. But above that of course is the question “should, with our players, such a transformation occur?” Remembering that it’s not A or B. It’s not one style all the time by team A and another completely, utterly different style of play all the time by team B in the first place so these attempts to call styles as ever being completely separate is false, not completely false, but it’s always a mixture, by every team, of styles. I know you’d like the US to move more towards the Japanese style or I think you do – do you? I don’t want to put words in your mouth. What is your hope for women’s soccer in America as we move forward, what would you like to see happen, more importantly what should happen, in your opinion?

          • #1Fan

            I have said it repeatedly. I am fine with whatever style they choose as long as the commit to it and select the players that fit it.

            International WoSo is about winning the OG and the WC. Pick whatever gives you the best chance of doing that.

            Its a very separate discussion about what you or I would like to see aesthetically

            As far as you comment o n style, i think you take a very literal interpretation. Style refers to where a team is most comfortable. Plan A. Japan have built teams around short passing and comfort in possession. That is their style. Does it mean they cant or dont go long – of course not.

            Hopes for Womens soccer is such a broad question that I would struggle to give you an answer.

          • Breakers fan

            I feel that again we’re saying the same thing. Do I take a literal interpretation of style? What I said was that “it’s always a mixture, it’s never completely this by team A and that by team B” so again, we’re in agreement there too.

            So basically we’re both fine with no transformation, just do the “other” style well, and we don’t see these players as being transformational nor do they have to be.

          • #1Fan

            i guess, but the original question was are these player going to change the way we play. Not am I ok with it.

            All I was trying to say was that anyone who talks about a style knows its not black and white do no real need to spell that out. Some teams are certainly more flexible than others.

            On the last part, I actually think they do. I cant remember so many 17 yr old callups for any major country who were not considered exceptional at the time. So thats really the point/ question Are these player truly exceptional or is this the new development method.

          • Breakers fan

            Yes, are they truly exceptional — meaning compared to all players over all-time — OR are they exceptional just compared to their present-day peers, meaning are they just the best the country has to offer right now? Or is that not even true – are others just as good who are not being recognized? but then even with them maybe eventually they will be recognized and be promoted, that the cream will rise to the top — is that what’s going on?

          • #1Fan

            I am asking others opinion. There has been plenty of opportunity to see them play and form opinions relative to other players you have seen.

            Once you are in NT camps, your peers become every other player in the country.

          • Breakers fan

            Please explain “I am asking other opinion”, I didn’t understand that.

          • #1Fan

            what is your opinion . are these players exceptional in the context of what you have observed .

          • Breakers fan

            Good question, one no one really knows the answer to yet, though all could weigh in about it, make a guess. It implies, to me, “will they become exceptional players even if they are deemed very good now?” My prediction is that Sanchez will become the best of the bunch. Pugh second, however a big qualifier: I STILL haven’t gotten to the 6 NTC games to give Pinto a long look (and I missed the U17 Cup). Howell and Smith I barely know from Adam, or Eve, to be honest, so I plead the 5th with them.

            Will any be exceptional? Tough. You would have to say who in American women’s soccer history you rate as exceptional so I know what you bar is for that word. I’ll predict that Sanchez at least approaches that word. She may not reach it but she’s my favorite to date of that bunch but I do think Pugh could become quite good – will guess not quite exceptional though. Now, since I’ve given you my opinion you have to give me yours.

          • Steglitz49

            “You can have any style you want as long as it is winning”, or something like that.

            It is easy to forget that before the Bomb in Brasilia aka the Glorious 12th, the USWNT had thoroughly dominated WoSo. Granted, there were those 16 years in the wilderness but the OG-golds made up for them. That is, of course, why the dud in OG-16 was such a calamity.

            Today club WoSo is increasingly a European scene.

          • Breakers fan

            Question for you – who in American women’s soccer history does qualify as being transformational?

          • HOFCToDi

            Hype.

            Hardly in the same class as Hamm, Lilly, Fawcett, Foudy back in the late 1980s.

          • Breakers fan

            Different time now, though, The ones you state I have to think would have received the same media hype if the birth years of the 2 groups of players was reversed. Certainly can’t blame or get on these young players for what’s said about them. They play the game, the rest of the world does what it does. And I’d say time that at least Sanchez and Pugh may enter the class you mention. I don’t know the others well enough to say, though I doubt it. Also, a key point: The rest of the world in bigger numbers is significantly better now so it’s harder to rack up the World Championships, thus harder to “look good, look exceptional” That said I do not want to provide excuses for not winning for our next generation, just stating that it is harder now.

          • HOFCToDi

            Hype.

            Mia Hamm was a starter at the age of 19 during the 1991 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Ashley Sanchez has yet to be capped by the Senior USWNT.

          • Breakers fan

            We’ll see how she does. Do you agree that it’s very tough to break into THIS USWNT *right now* for a 17 year old at the position(s) Ashley Sanchez plays? Look who’s there already.

          • HOFCToDi

            Hype.

            Ashley Sanchez has not proven to be even better than Lynn Williams.

          • Breakers fan

            I don’t see a lot of hype, so ease up on that word. We’ve heard about her, she’s done quite well consistently throughout her soccer life where she”s played. Who says she’s better than any current NT players? She’s 17. She may be, but I’m not saying that, and I don’t know who is, so there is no great hype about her. We know her name, that’s it.

          • HOFCToDi

            No greater hype perpetuated on this message board than by the “Press Gang Troll Brigade”.

          • mockmook

            Isn’t it possible that she plays this year?

            I have no guess because I have no insight on her health/rehab.

          • Breakers fan

            Yes, it is possible. That is my prediction – that she will play this year for Stanford and the reasons I gave being a contributing factor to her not wanting to red-shirt.

            That said, you’re right to point out that above that she will not want to jeopardize her long-term career just to have a Senior season at Stanford. Let’s say she feels her knee isn’t ready – for the entirety of her Senior year. Will she red-shirt or just give up her Senior year and still enter the draft? I predict the latter if it comes down to those 2 choices.

          • kernel_thai

            Sullivan said they r telling her she should be physically ready sometime during the NCAA season but her take seemed to be she isn’t going to get her hopes up but if it happens it happens.

          • mockmook

            Thanks!!!

          • Guest

            They are going to make $200-$300K per year as soon as they sign a contract with the USWNT what college degree is more valuable than that. Also, a number of athletes leave school before they finish their degrees and are able to still complete college after they start playing professionally. If you are talking about non-national team players no question, for now finish your degree.

          • kernel_thai

            Pugh is…not Sullivan. Pugh has the advantage of starting on tier 1 because she was on the OG roster. Sullivan would start on tier 3

          • kernel_thai

            The unfortunate injury has put Sullivan in a position to get both. If an exception were made and she was allocated to Washington today, all she would lose is her NCAA eligibility. She can’t play so she likely just continues to take classes and rehab at Stanford. The league doesn’t operate in the fall so she remains there for the next semester as well. After that she is in exactly the same position as any other senior entering the league, one semester left that she can either defer to the fall or finish and join Washington in May.

          • kernel_thai

            Considering all the machinations Washington went thru to get the top DRO spot u have to believe they had been lead to believe Sullivan would have come out if things had happened differently. Sullivan has played for the Spirit reserves so the team knows her well.

          • Steglitz49

            Your ACL-tear is waiting in the wings. Just ask ARod.

          • kernel_thai

            IMO if Sullivan finishes her final year at Stanford then the league will allow her to enter the league thru the draft as they did with Dunn, Brian and Sonnett. The only way I see Sullivan finishing at Stanford and then getting allocated is thru a back room deal where Washington gets a guarantee to grease the way for Pugh to go to Portland. Even if Sullivan were willing to forgo her final year of eligibility it would be pretty blatant to just hand her first NT contract to a player recovering from such a serious injury.

          • Breakers fan

            Precisely my thinking. A sort of “thank you, and here you go” to Washington for the Pugh situation they “helped” with (potentially — we’ll see how that plays out).

          • #1Fan

            I guess this is where I divert. How can we consider Sullivan a thank you? She may never fully recover. And if the USSF can or culd do this, why dont they just tell the owners what all the teams should be ?

            Obv Im being facetious, but at what level does the USSF input become detrimental to the practices of the league?

          • Breakers fan

            By “a thank you” I mean “the best they can do and who Washington envisioned (I’d put a lot of money on that) when they worked to get that #1 slot.” So thanking them in the way they most would like to be thanked (I think). Many have come back from knee injuries, especially in the last few decades, so I think Washington was/is hopeful enough that she can too.

            I’m with you in not liking the bending of rules to appease Pugh. It can set off a chain of events like this – another reason to not like it. BUT nothing has happened in actuality yet so let’s wait and see, though manipulation does appear to be underway.

          • #1Fan

            i dont think its to appease Pugh though. I think it s to continue to do what the USSF want. It may be Pugh is the topic today, but this has happened to a degree with other NT players no ?

          • Breakers fan

            If Pugh has said “I’d prefer to play in Portland” and they get her there it is to appease her. The USSF want her here, no doubt, but she could play in Washington too or any other NWSL city if they don’t care about appeasing her.

            Others have been pleased, – are you referencing Morgan, Leroux for example? — but they were far from 18 when that happened. Morgan went to WNY, she went to Portland. Leroux went to Boston, went to WNY before they were ‘sent” to their ideal location – and that due to a marriage, not just to be near one’s sister or play before big crowds or with one’s buddies.

          • #1Fan

            i dont see the age as relevant. Maybe thats wrong.

          • Breakers fan

            I do. I put some value in paying years of dues. Morgan put in 10 more than Pugh and Leroux at least 5 more.

          • #1Fan

            Im not sure i understand your PoV. I think the USSF agenda revolves around NT players irrespective of age and reflects the current state of whatever League is current.

            I dont think they say well ABC has paid her dues so …

            Again, I could be wrong.

          • Steglitz49

            Mana Iwabuchi was 18 and Saki Kumagai was 20 when they played in the WC-11 final. In spite of some injuries to Mana, they have proven their worth.

            What has Ms Pugh done? Since she joined the USWNT they have had their worst ever period. Worst. Ever.

          • Breakers fan

            I’m just saying I don’t like how Pugh is making a big deal (IF SHE IS) about how she’ll only play in Portland of all NWSL cities. And that every other NT player “took their lumps” and went to their allocation assignment or two or three over all the years of all the pro women’s leagues, so in that sense, some 5 or 10 years on, after accepting several allocation assignments without making a stink about it, as Pugh appears to be doing at age 18, and then they, Morgan, Leroux, simply would like to join their husbands in some city then making that happen is to me much different than Pugh’s current demands about where in the NWSL she would simply prefer to play.

          • kernel_thai

            My response to the Pugh relative thing was always Did she have relatives at UCLA? Ud think she would have gone to Univ of Portland in that case : )

          • Breakers fan

            Hilarious.

          • Steglitz49

            Marta is on your side.

          • Steglitz49

            Alex and Syd are pros. They know the drill.

          • kernel_thai

            WNY is good example of the other side of the coin. After the original allocation WNY was the only team not to get three USNT players. At the time Press was still in Tyreso and Lines asked if they could have the rights to Press as their third allocation and were refused. Galati famously told him Wambach counted as two.

          • Steglitz49

            WNY won the Championship with a team that few if any fancied. Granted both Chicago and DC threw away their chances but that is the way the cookie crumbles.

            Meanwhile, Marta has landed in Florida!

          • kernel_thai

            The USSF agenda is win the major tournaments and sell tickets. The NWSL is there to help them do it. Anyone who thinks the USSF care more about the NWSL than that is an optimist.

          • Steglitz49

            The NWSL is a necessary evil.

          • kernel_thai

            more a necessary inconvenience

          • Steglitz49

            We can agree on necessity.

          • #1Fan

            I agree which is why I dont think this is purely a Pugh issue. USSF thinking could well be she will play with NT teammates and be very comfortable ther and we need that in order to see her best at the WC. Any other team puts more NWSL “pressure ” on her and we dont want that – pure speculation by me

          • kernel_thai

            I think USSoccer would prefer her playing in the NWSL because it is convenient to bring her into camps and monitor her progress. I think the only reason they would care which city she plays in is that making her happy keeps her here. Not sure Portland has much influence over the USSF…but they do have influence with the owners since profit sharing makes the league work.

          • Steglitz49

            It would be interesting to be a fly on the wall and find out exactly which European teams have offered for her hand and how much.

            Would Ms Pugh play for Stjärnan in Iceland now that Lagerbäck coaches in Norway? Would she grace Avaldsnes or Vålrenga with her presence? Now that Marta has left, maybe Rosengård can offer Ms Pugh a spot?

          • #1Fan

            i think carrying the load for an NWSL franchise can ruin a player. I dont think they want to take that risk.

          • Steglitz49

            Garbage. The NWSL is founded on the same principles as the NFL = equalising after each season.

            Which NWSL team would Ms Pugh carry? I can’t think of a single one. If she wants to grandstand, then she should go to one of the European clubs expected to be in the middle of the table. There are plenty of those.

            Montpellier needs a replacement for Jakobsson.

          • kernel_thai

            I think if they r happy with Pugh as a quality role player on the NT then she is on the perfect path. I think if they truly want Pugh to be the Chosen One, she needs to be put in situations where it’s her team and let’s see what she can do. She had that at the U20 WC and didn’t do so well. I was expecting her to get that at UCLA and maybe one of the reasons she left was expectations. At Portland and on the NT she can blend in with all the talent and do her thing. If that is the reason for this then I find it troubling. U don’t become the next Mia Hamm by blending in.

          • #1Fan

            i think its a big ask for a young kid.

          • DNG

            I agree. I think trial by fire is very risky for young kids. I’d prefer her to find a good mentor at Club level and to work on her game. As a player I don’t think she’s ready for the kind of responsibility that comes with being the star. She’s not good enough for that right now.

          • kernel_thai

            Well it’s not necessarily going to happen this year. Spirit isn’t going to win anything this year with or without Pugh but at least there she will have to should part of the burden.

          • #1Fan

            i think you position is ver reasonable. My guess is USSF dont want her saddling that load. Just improving and focusing on that.

          • HOFCToDi

            Mia Hamm “blended in” for the Senior USWNT at the 1991 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

          • kernel_thai

            She did as one of the youngest players on the team. At the same time she was leading her college team to four national championships and scoring over 100 goals for the Tarheels.

          • HOFCToDi

            Mia Hamm was not the star of the USWNT at the 1991 FIFA Women’s Cup. The stars of the USWNT at the 1991 FIFA Women’s Cup were the members of the “Triple-Edged Sword” as bestowed by the Chinese media.

          • kernel_thai

            No but Hamm was the water carrier at UNC. At some point the generation will rotate and they will look to Pugh to lead the NT. At that point Im not sure where she will have learned how to do that.

          • Steglitz49

            That was before Mana Iwabuchi, Ada Hegerberg and Stina Blackstenius were born.

          • DNG

            I don’t agree on Pugh. I don’t think she’s ready to be ‘The’ star, emotionally or even ability wise. I’d have a difficult time saying she’s be an upgrade to Nadim on the wing right away. I’d much rather her work up to being the game changing player as oppose throwing her into the fire. I think trial by fire works for some and not for others and it’s very much a boom or bust method of development. If she ends up as some point becoming the clear best player on a team with a lot of good players, would that not reflect well on her too?

          • Steglitz49

            The proof of the pudding is in the eating thereof. Sameshima came back; Kulig didn’t.

          • kernel_thai

            As a Dash fan, one of the constant complaints I hear is how the Dash were treated when they entered the league. The Dash wanted Press but she had been promised to the Red Stars. The Dash were also told that they could have the second pick in the draft but couldn’t use it on certain players like Dunn or Johnston even if they were available. These arrangements happen. Sonnet and Horan got full USSF contracts to make the Morgan trade happen. A UFI system appeared out of no where 15 minutes before the draft last year to open the door for Pugh to end up in Portland. An minor adjustment in the rules was made to get Marta signed. Nothing would surprise me.

          • Steglitz49

            Dash’s misfortune for that first season was that Shark Island Girl got injure just before the start. Aya had been to Houston, gotten the jersey and then injured her knee. She never got to enter the dry tee-shirt contest. Playing for Japan, she helped them reach the WC-15 final though.

          • Steglitz49

            Hear hear!

        • mockmook

          ” I think the Spirit need to fix their PR issues”

          How is that done? What do you want them to do? And, what makes you think that will satisfy the people who want to stay angry with Washiington just because all the “right” people are angry at Washington?

          Would an annual “Let’s Kneel for the National Anthem Night” do the trick for you?

          • DNG

            It’s not about whether Lynch was right or wrong to do what he did it’s that a lot of people didn’t like it and it was a bad PR look. He needs to find a way to satisfy his fanbase who did not agree with his decisions last year. I would argue that it was his right to do what he did but that doesn’t really matter to his fans and potentially some of the players. On top of the Rapinoe thing they traded away a bunch of fan favorites in the off season. I don’t know if he is really against it or not but maybe he should hold a pride night like a lot of the other teams do as a show of good will. If that’s not something he’s comfortable with find something else.

          • mockmook

            So a pride night will fix the issue, right?

          • DNG

            Never said it would fix everything but it would be a start.

          • mockmook

            What next?

          • DNG

            Idk. He can host an appreciation event for STH or maybe make an apology to Rapinoe. I’m sure he’s got people working for him that could figure something out. Control the narrative as they say.

          • Steglitz49

            As long as DC win, it will blow over. If they keep losing, nothing will help except the absence of relegation.

          • SayWhat?

            So do you know that they don’t do any events for their STHs? Not sure where that comes from? Why would he apologize to Rapinoe? I heard a player say the guy was literally standing there that night with one military family with a critically ill child (also in attendance) and another family who recently lost a child. He brings personal friends to games who have lost loved ones. How can you sit there with a straight face and say he should put up with a petulant Rapinoe with no real conviction trying to grandstand choosing the National Anthem as her platform?

          • DNG

            Because a lot of people didn’t like what he did and it resulted in blow back and a loss in STHs. Rapinoe was perfectly within her rights to kneel during the NA as Lynch was well within his rights to do what he did too. Too bad for him that most sided with Rapinoe.

          • SayWhat?

            Do you actually know that it hurt their season ticket sales? I think Goff quoted someone as saying they were close to last years sales. I saw a lot of wringing of hands on the Twitter-sphere. I wish I could remember where I saw it, but someone (maybe GM or front office) said their feedback was 80/20 in favor of not letting Rapinoe make her scene. Seems like Rapinoe would have damaged their fan base regardless of what they did. So knowing that he was in the military and brings military families as his guest, I can certainly see why he’d try to deny the spectacle of Rapinoe.

          • DNG

            “Rapinoe would have damaged their fan base regardless of what they did.”

            How do you know this. Military members were not uniform in their support or criticism or Kaepernick. If he just let her kneel we probably aren’t talking much about it at all still. Seattle only comes to town once a year. I have yet to hear a compelling argument as to why it’s so disrespectful to kneel as well. For years it wasn’t even a tradition to stand for the national anthem. I understand the military has their own rules about this but Rapinoe is not in the military.

            I could be wrong about the ST sales do you have any articles I can look at.

            Forgetting about the Rapinoe stuff what the heck happened in the offseason that prompted Lynch to Trade Nairn, Krieger and Matheson for basically nothing? That’s the other part of this.

          • SayWhat?

            I don’t have the article handy, but am pretty sure it was Goff who said tickets sales were closing in on and close to last year’s. There were a number of people I saw on facebook who wrote nasty things about the Spirit thinking Rapinoe played for them. Clearly it would have also angered some of the Spirit fans if Lynch didn’t do anything about. My main point is that if I had his background, friends who have died in the service and was standing there with military families who had lost loved ones I’d have a hard time letting Rapinoe make her political statement in a way that is clearly disrespectful to a lot of people. A lot of people thought it was fun and exciting as well, but I don’t think Lynch cares as much about those as he does about people he thinks would be insulted by Rapinoe.
            It has nothing to do with Rapinoe being in the military. She said leading up to DC that she could not stand for a country that allows …. I don’t understand how anyone can believe she didn’t mean to be disrespectful. If you are saying you can’t stand because you can’t show respect for your country isn’t taking a knee showing your disrespect by her own words.
            What makes you think Lynch decided on any of these player moves? Gabarra essentially said that he talked to Diana and saw her in a role that she didn’t agree with. He saw her playing limited minutes, she saw herself playing 90 mins. Nairn said essentially said that she thought she needed to get away from home. Krieger is a bit of a mystery but again Beau Dure recently talked about demands she made in the past when he was embedded with the Spirit writing a book. a month or so back Lauletta retweeted someone (I wish I could remember is name) but he was a player agent for some Canadian players and said that Krieger was a nightmare in the locker room. Do you believe Gabarra, who has the most tenure coaching professional women’s soccer is Lynch’s puppet and tossing people out with no thought? That doesn’t make any sense. I realize Krieger was a favorite of many fans. That doesn’t mean Gabbara saw her the same way.

          • DNG

            Peacefully protesting without fear of retribution from the government is one of the things that I find makes this country great. She was doing it to be noticed and to say that we as Americans can do better. Her kneeling is not a statement that she hates the United States. She’s doing it because she loves this country and wants it to be better(in her eyes). Would that be the method I would chose to support a cause I believed in? Probably not but I don’t understand all the outrage either. Her act was harmless.

            Were those really the only reasons those players were moved. Those were the reasons we were given but they don’t really add up to me. Why did they give up so much for so little in return. That’s what I think the bigger issue is. Had this Mallory Pugh stuff not happened there is a very good chance they get nothing in return for Krieger. Krieger spoke to being unhappy there but didn’t really elaborate. All the fans saw was the core of their being shipped off and Dunn literally deciding she’d rather stay in England in between spring and fall season than play for the Spirit.

          • SayWhat?

            As did an owner of a sports team peacefully changed the timeline prevent the spectacle. She said before the game that it was a show that she didn’t respect this county because the country wasn’t fixing what she wanted fixed. If these problems were important enough to kneel during the anthem, what else has she done to get exposure for those problems and what has she done for any of those problems in the last 6 months. I haven’t seen anything, how committed could she be. Does she love the country enough to find ways to use her reach and influence to actually help solve any of these issues or was it easier to just take a knee couple of times. For grins just skimmed her website, facebook and twitter, I don’t see any focus on any of these great problems being addressed there at all. Why?
            I don’t know if what I’ve proposed as the Krieger deal are the only issues. I don’t even know if they were the issues at all. I’m just saying that the reasons others are proposing have less evidence than what I’ve proposed. People can choose to ignore everything Gabarra and others have actually said and think the worst of anyone at the Spirit, but that certainly doesn’t make the hateful conclusions true either. I don’t remember where it was (again) but Jo Lohman has also refuted the hateful conclusion of our soal media friends. So you either have to believe that she would know first hand or that she’s also being controlled or is in fear of her spot on the team. Doesn’t really seem like Lohman fits that conclusion. So, I don’t know what the reasons for the Krieger trade were I don’t think you do either and I don’t think it’s what you might be inferring.

          • DNG

            I never said Lynch wasn’t allowed to do what he did, I said there were a lot of people league wide that didn’t agree with him and didn’t like it.

            Unless you can find a quote of Rapinoe saying that she does not respect the United States of America, I will remain skeptical that she said those exact words. She’s quoted in this article from last year and “didn’t respect this country” is not in her quote

            http://equalizersoccer.com/2016/09/04/rapinoe-kneels-during-national-anthem-in-nod-to-kaepernick/

            Why didn’t Dunn decide to come back and play for the Spirit in between fall and spring seasons?

          • SayWhat?

            I am blown away how hard you try to nuance for Rapinoe but are willing to support the hypothetical nefarious intentions or dishonesty of Lynch or Gabarra. In this article, Kaepernick makes it publicly clear that he can’t stand and show pride (nor respect) for the flag of a country that abuses black people. Rapinoe says she supports his stance and essentially feels the same way about how the country treats gay people. So she’ll also not stand and show the country respect. It’s not word for word but its what I think anyone who thinks about what she in in the context of what already happened and what was said by Kaepernick would have to conclude. It’s an intentional show of disrespect to be extreme and get attention for the cause. Even if you completely agree with the intention or the cause, I can’t believe that you actually believe that she wasn’t intending to be extreme and didn’t know it was going to be perceived as disrespectful to millions of Americans. She knew it was going to insulting to people but chose to do it anyway. Just imagine how insulting it probably was to Lynch and the military families with him that night who were a couple hundred feet away. Its amazing how much her supporters twist themselves into a knot to rationalize what was clearly intentional and an obnoxious way to get attention regardless of the cause.

          • DNG

            “he can’t stand and show pride (nor respect) for the flag of a country”

            This is something that you personally have attached to Kaepernick and Rapinoe’s actions. This is your belief. I don’t fault you for it but I don’t agree with you. As I said before I would not protest or chose to be an activist in this manner if given the choice.

          • Guest

            I’m amazed that you are blind to this.

            Kaepernick said “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,”

            Rapinoe said “Being a gay American, I know what it means to look at the flag and not have it protect all of your liberties,”

            So Kaepernick is saying he can’t stand for the anthem because of the racism in America. Rapinoe says she completely understands Kaepernick she also thinks about bigotry when she looks at the flag.

          • DNG

            I don’t agree with your interpretation and we are talking in circles now. I’m not going to convince you and you are not going to convince me let’s move on. I don’t really care to discuss this any longer.

          • Guest

            Not my interpretation their words.

          • DNG

            Not standing up to show pride does not mean Kaepernick or Rapinoe do not love their country. It is a statement that they are not proud of some of the thing that have happened in it. There’s nothing wrong with that. Get over it.

          • mockmook

            “Her act was harmless.”

            Not to the people who it offended. Many are customers of the Spirit or the NWSL in general. They will be less likely to support the league when Rapinoe is allowed to pull her stunt.

            BTW, assuming you work for a company, do you think you can take 5 minutes out of your day (while being paid) and kneel in the lobby with a sign around your neck that says “Stop Abortions Now”?

            That scenario is the exact equivalent of what Rapinoe was doing.

            YOU AREN’T PAID TO PROTEST, YOU ARE PAID TO WORK

            Protest on your own time, on your own dime — THAT is the American tradition.

          • DNG

            It’s harmless to them too. How were those people who were offended lives impacted by Rapinoe or Kaepernick kneeling? How were they actually harmed?

          • SayWhat?

            I’ll use an example someone presented n a facebook thread when all of this happened. He/She made the case that Lynch had a principle he decided to defend and had every right to do so. It’s Lynch’s business and he can decide what behavior crosses the line at his stadium. How would people be offended in the stadium if a Westboro Baptist protester or anyone’s lives be impacted if someone showed up with a God hates (the F word) sign or tshirt. Do you think Lynch would put up with something like that you could argue is free speech and doesn’t impact the lives of those offended? Its an extreme example I know, but I’d bet you that Lynch wouldn’t put up with any behavior that he thinks in meant to offend. It was a no win situation for Lynch, he chose to just not allow it to happen. Have you seen how some (not all) veterans and others react when they see people attacking the flag? Unless Rapinoe is an idiot she knew that a lot of people were going to be offended by her action, she knew is was extreme and would get her more attention.

          • DNG

            Where did I say that Lynch didn’t have the right to defend his principals?

          • mockmook

            The Spirit were potentially harmed, the league was potentially harmed by losing support.

          • DNG

            The league chose not to punish her so they don’t agree. I don’t think we should be making decisions based on potentially harmed in any case.

          • mockmook

            Again, you’re playing stupid. You don’t wait for a potential PR disaster to sink your ship — you act to stop it.

          • DNG

            Then the League should have done something about it after the first time it happened in Seattle. They could have made a rule right after the first time it happened. What Lynch did ended up making it a giant PR disaster too. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say he made things worse.

          • mockmook

            Still, his lobby, his rules (even if misguided).

          • DNG

            I never said he wasn’t allowed to do what he did. He is the host and can carry out the pre-game ceremony any way he chooses. I just don’t think it was a good decision to handle things the way he did.

          • Guest

            She has not done it in Seattle. The first time in the league was in Chicago when no one was paying attention. He swan song was going to be in DC. Then she chickened out at Seattle on 9/11. Now she’s not doing it at all. Wish she had the courage to continue doing it in Seattle since her team supports her.

          • DNG

            Okay what ever. They should have made a rule the first time it happened if it was such a PR nightmare. What Lynch did was a worse PR nightmare. They made mainstream new for all the wrong reasons. what does it matter that she decided not to do it on 9/11 that’s her decision and you’re obviously going to make of it what you will anyway.

          • Guest

            Again, there wasn’t any rule against it, of course they didn’t punish her. That doesn’t mean they agree with her. That also doesn’t mean the league doesn’t think it harmed the league.

          • DNG

            Than why wasn’t a rule made after the first occurrence if it was so harmful? Your argument here is very weak.

          • DNG

            “BTW, assuming you work for a company, do you think you can take 5 minutes out of your day (while being paid) and kneel in the lobby with a sign around your neck that says “Stop Abortions Now”?”

            If the company says it’s okay, and the Reign did then yes. If the Reign tell her to stop she would have to stop.

          • mockmook

            When in Maryland, the company is the NWSL and the Spirit — the Reign have no right to speak for the Spirit.

          • DNG

            It’s an NWSL event and the NWSL did not punish her. They did not even say that kneeling was against the rules. If they thought it was a big deal they could have. The event was not solely Lynch’s and the Spirit’s

          • mockmook

            It was partially Lynch’s and that is all that matters — it was his product she was harming — it was his “lobby” where she was wearing the sign.

          • DNG

            It’s not all that matters. There are two teams on display and there is no match at all without both of them there. If Lynch had serious concerns he should have talked to the League.

          • Guest

            The league still hasn’t set a rule against it, so talking to the league certainly wouldn’t have done any good. Could be that he did talk to them.

          • DNG

            Right because the league didn’t think it was a big deal, Lynch did.

          • guest

            her other employer, the ussf and the uswnt, said it was not okay but rapinoe continued to do it at the uswnt anyway. not to mention the fact that she didn’t ask for those owners consent beforehand. she has no constitutional right to protest on private property without the owners consent first.

          • DNG

            And a rule was only made this year were Rapinoe has yet to kneel. Why the heck does she need to ask for Lynch’s consent. Lynch does not own the soccer complex in Maryland he rents it.

          • Guest

            You have to be in pain to keep supporting this. You know the rule is only for National team games. She clearly doesn’t need to ask for Lynch’s consent. If the Spirit have a contract with the soccer complex it is their facility to run their events the way they chose. You just said in another answer the Reign support her. She not prevented from taking a knee, the cause is still the same today as it was in Sept., the Reign support her, why isn’t she at least still taking a knee in Seattle.

          • DNG

            It was only made a rule recently by the USSF and Rapinoe has not kneeled since. I never said the Spirit could not run the event the way they wanted but it is not just their event. They, as hosts, have every right to do the pre-game ceremony the way they choose but there is no event without the other team present.

            “She not prevented from taking a knee, the cause is still the same today as it was in Sept., the Reign support her, why isn’t she at least still taking a knee in Seattle.”

            She gave her reason for why she is no longer kneeling. If that wasn’t good enough for you find her and ask her yourself.

          • Guest

            What was her reason again? Lack of conviction? The problem has been solved? No one will let me take a knee? Taking a knee is so last Sept, I’ve decided to tweet and instagram and post on facebook and snapchat to my millions of followers to actually do something about the problems? Oh that’s right, she doesn’t use her own social media to communicate the issues because that might take the attention away from promoting her merch and camps.

          • DNG

            We are not going to agree on this, let’s move on. You are entitled you your views. I don’t agree with them.

          • guest

            my post was only talking about her uswnt actions. the rule actually was in effect in prior years as well. all players were required to act respectfully during national anthems. her protest actions were contrary to every other player and coach at the game which any reasonable person would agree is a violation. the anthem rule was only strengthened this year to explicitly require all players to stand during the national anthems likely for legal reasons. not to mention the fact that the ussf and the uswnt both said she is expected to stand during the anthem when she first did it and rapinoe continued to do it anyway. rapinoe was deceptively trying to justify her protest and protect her reputation when she said she will now stand with the new ussf rule change. when in reality, there was always an anthem rule in effect.

          • Guest

            The Reign said it was okay if she did it, but she’s never taken a knee in Seattle. She completely chickened out taking a knee on 9/11 at her stadium the week after DC. Why? Because she knows how obnoxious it is, especially on 9/11. Then she went on to take a knee at other stadiums. I wish she had the spine to continue doing it just at her home stadium. I’d love to see how long the Reign would support her. If it’s so important to get her cause attention, why not keep doing it in Seattle since “the Reign support her?

          • Guest

            Completely Agree. DNG must be tied in knots trying to support Rapinoe and bad mouth the other parties. The things DNG assumes about the bad intentions of some and the saintly intentions of others with the evidence he/she has presented is pretty staggering for me.

          • SayWhat?

            Also, I don’t know how you say they got nothing. Again, Krieger is a little odd, but I don’t see her playing a lot more years and depending on how big a problem Gabarra had with her, who knows. The Spirit are currently in the middle of the Pugh discussion primarily based on the Krieger trade. I don’t remember exactly what they got for Nairn and Matheson, but it wasn’t nothing. They ended up with Solaun, they used something they got in the trade for Mewis, Kallman when they also moved Oyster. So, it’s a little bit of a mystery from the outside, but we don’t know what Gabarra thinks he needs and what he doesn’t. I’m not saying Pugh or Sullivan are going to show up at the Spirit, but if I had the choice of Krieger or Pugh, I’d take Pugh hands down. Oh yeah, they got Arielle Ship as part of the Seattle deals as well. Ship, Solaun, Mewis and Kallman are all solid players, young, fast, athletic seems like there’s a theme there.

          • DNG

            I’m exaggerating. I think they undervalued their players on the market. They got Ship and a pick for Matheson. The chances of them getting Pugh seem to be close to zero right now but if they aren’t stubborn they will get something. Sullivan seemed like a huge gamble to me. They should have waited. I wasn’t really talking about the Oyster deal because I thought they got pretty good value out of that one.

          • SayWhat?

            I can see people thinking they didn’t get the right value or make the right decisions, but do you honestly believe that Gabarra is just taking what he believes is poor value? Even if he ends up being wrong I have to believe that he thought all of this through. have you seen some of the tweaks he made in rotating players and tactics last season? He clearly has the ability to think things through. These deals were clearly all linked and were probably negotiated at the same time even if they didn’t all happen right away. Again, you don’t have to believe him but he has clearly explained several times now that he was expecting to have a good chance to sign a young newly allocated national team player. That still might not happen and he might not get anything for being top of the DRO but he clearly thought the risk was worth the reward and he’s been at this for 15 – 20 years.

          • DNG

            I think he undervalued his players and I don’t think that the Spirit are a better team now than they were a year ago.

          • guest

            lol. rapinoe was in violation of nwsl and ussf rules too. she should also be making an apology to the nwsl and the uswnt for her attention seeking empty gestures which did nothing for minority communities besides help to get trump elected.

          • DNG

            Rapinoe was not in violation of her team’s rules or NWSL rules. You’re wrong

          • kernel_thai

            Im not sure this is as much a factor as people make it out to be. Last year when Pugh was talking about turning pro she was still talking about Portland and that was long before anyone was calling Washington a bed place to play. The allure of Portland is unmistakable. Nadim and Taylor left teams where they were very successful because they wanted to play in Portland. Henry took a lot less money to leave Europe and play there. I really don’t see this as anti Washington as much as pro Portland on Pugh’s part.

          • Steglitz49

            Too much like hard work to be part of building something. Having it handed to you on a silver platter is the (US) WoSo creed.

  • Paul Klee

    Maybe Pugh could just take the NT money and go train with Carli, and only play NT matches.

    • HOFCToDi

      Less of a language barrier in England even though it may be difficult to decipher the Cockney accent.

      • Steglitz49

        Liverpudlian Scowse, you mean. Manchester dialect is not too bad. Geordie and Glaswegian tend to be impenetrable.

    • Gary Diver

      This is an aside. Together, Michelle Akers and Mia Hamm played only a few club seasons. Did they only play NT matches? What did they do between the Friendlies?

      • mockmook

        “Did they only play NT matches?”

        I know the answer. Someone named Gary Diver recently gave it:

        “Michelle Akers and Mia Hamm played only a few club seasons.”

        Jeez.

      • Steglitz49

        Michelle Akers played her club soccer in Sweden for Tyresö. I don’t know what Mia Hamm did for club play. In those days the USWNT played much as a club like they did when the 2 earlier pro-leagues crashed and burned.

        Some American players played for Lyon, like Aly Wagner and Hope Solo (after her season with Göteborg in Sweden) and more recently Pinoe.

  • guest

    I think the sponsorships are interesting. Rose Lavelle signed with New Balance, who I didn’t even realize had a soccer line but like O’Hara with Under Armour, she will get to be their feature WoSo player in ads. I’m assuming Pugh goes with Nike, since they are looking for the next new thing now that Alex/Carli are fading stars. As the biggest American soccer brand, it makes sense for her I guess, in terms of potential upside if she really explodes. Nike does have a glut of NT players on their roster but it’s mainly Alex and Carli in their actual ads, and Pinoe occasionally as well.

    • guest

      It’s interesting that Becky is the only established NT player signed with Adidas. I think it would have been smart for Press to sign with them, but I think she and a lot of others thought she would be the next big thing and blow up like alex after the WC/OG last cycle and collect that big Nike check.

      • htm222

        Moe Brian is also an Adidas athlete but I agree that Press would have been smart to sign with them as someone who is very photogenic and a direct competitor/contemporary of the already established Alex with Nike.

        • guest

          It’s because Nike sponsors USSoccer. If you are a real conspiracy theorist like certain posters here, Alex only played because she was a premier Nike athlete. Same with Lloyd and Solo before she became radioactive to sponsors. Moe and Becky are cornerstones of the current lineup, so that theory might be debunked. However, given the affiliation I’d imagine Nike pays more and has more visibility in terms of sports fans.

          • Guester

            Nike also just produces a lot more clothes. Adidas in the US at this point is kind of a niche brand that focuses a lot on designer collaborations. The nike section in any sports store is going to be much larger than the Adidas or Under Armour section. New Balance doesn’t even have a section at many places.

          • Steglitz49

            Hopefully Rose Lavelle will change that!

          • Steglitz49

            I contend that you are on the right lines.

            Adidas uses players from WNTs which have Adidas kit — like Germany’s, Sweden’s and Japan’s lasses and probably any NT they provide kits for. Adidas also use some club players from teams with Adidas kits.

            In the 1970s Adidas made a special Dutch MNT kit for Johan Cruyff. The reason was that Cruyff had a personal sponsorship deal with Puma. Thus, Cruyff first painted over one of the 3 lines on the kit, so a special kit was made for him after the two brothers — Adolf Dassler (Adidas) and Rudolf Dassler (Puma) — cut a deal. Today Puma belongs to a French luxury brand group while Adidas is still independent.

        • ABCDE

          Press also has kind of a “funky” style and adidas goes in that direction with a lot of their prints and collaborations. I love some of their track jackets and shoes. Oh well, too late.

        • #1Fan

          and Horan i believe

        • kernel_thai

          There’s a great story about how Brian got her shoe deal and what a cutthroat business it is.

      • guest2

        brian wears adidas shoes

        • Steglitz49

          You are 19 hours behind but don’t let that worry you. Your inability to read is more of a concern to you at least.

    • htm222

      I had no idea New Balance was a player in the soccer arena myself. I own a fair share of new balance apparel (I buy all workout clothes at TJMaxx and Marshalls because why would I pay full price for something I’m just going to sweat in) but I think of them as the “mom and dad sportswear” brand. I think they are trying to change that with some of their partnerships, though.

      • #1Fan

        NB are not big players – Tim Cahill, Vincent Kompany and a few others on the mens side.

        • Steglitz49

          If Zlatan comes to LA maybe they can sign him up. After all he is a dad.

    • annie

      It’s funny because I’m 30 but I remember as a kid Adidas was basically synonymous with soccer. Things change, clearly. Michael Jordan put Nike on the map.

      • guest

        and MIa

    • #1Fan

      Nike hs a gkut because they provide free equipment to all the kids in the YNT program and Id2

    • Steglitz49

      Most of Marta’s income used to come from endorsement agreements with Coca-Cola and Puma. Maybe that will change when she starts playing for Orlando?

      • guest

        Maybe Tropicana is interested

        • Steglitz49

          Pepsi?

  • Steglitz49

    “Can’t discuss? Won’t discuss!” to plagiarise Dario Fo.