Wednesday Roundup: Pugh options remain open

The Equalizer Staff May 3, 2017 222

Also in today’s roundup, BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year shortlist announced, Alex Morgan goes down during Lyon victory, Jasmine Periera retires from international soccer, Breakers re-sign Abby Smith, more info in the Mal Pugh deal was released and FA WSL spring fixtures results are in.

Mallory Pugh tries to beat Jordan Nobbs to the ball at the SheBelieves Cup (photo: Chelsey Bush for The Equalizer)

Mallory Pugh tries to beat Jordan Nobbs to the ball at the SheBelieves Cup (photo: Chelsey Bush for The Equalizer)

Mallory Pugh has a contract offer from Paris-Saint Germain and could wind up with any number of NWSL clubs, SI’s Grant Wahl said in an Insider segment on FS1’s Champions League pregame show on Wednseday. On Tuesday, a source told The Equalizer there has been developments in the weeks since Pugh dropped out of UCLA to pursue a professional career, but that a lot is still up in the air.

Wahl’s reporting backs that up with one of the developments being a recent meeting between Pugh and the Washington Spirit, who hold the top position in the Distribution Ranking Order (DRO.) It does not appear though that the meeting did enough to persuade Pugh to accept a contract with U.S. Soccer to play in Washington. If she does sign with U.S. Soccer without completing her college degree, she would enter into NWSL through the DRO.

Enter the Thorns who already traded up the top spot in the DRO to get Pugh once when they sent the No. 3 overall pick in 2016 to the Breakers (who used it on Christen Westphal) only to have that position expire after Pugh decided to enroll at UCLA.

The Spirit made two trades over the winter to move up from 9th to 2nd and then 1st and now hold the cards regarding Pugh’s possible entry into NWSL. Wahl also mentioned that other NWSL teams—the Pride, Dash, and Reign were named—could wind up as the landing spot for Pugh.

BBC Footballer of the Year nominees announced

Christine Sinclair (Getty Images)

Christine Sinclair (Getty Images)

BBC has announced its five-player shortlist for its Women’s Footballer of the Year 2017 award. The nominees are Melanie Behringer, Ada Hegerberg, Hedvig Lindahl, Marta and Christine Sinclair.

Behringer, 31, currently plays for Bayern Munich and recently retired from international soccer after 11 years playing for Germany. Last summer, the midfielder won Olympic gold with Germany, the nation’s first ever Olympic gold medal, after they defeated Sweden, 2-1. Behringer led the Olympics in scoring, having scored 5 of Germany’s 13 goals in the tournament. Previously Behringer won the 2007 World Cup and the 2008 and 2013 European Championships with Germany. She led Bayern Munich to consecutive Bundesliga titles and was nominated for FIFA World Player of the Year in 2016.

Also nominated is 21-year old Olympique Lyonnais forward Ada Hegerberg, who also plays for Norway. For club she helped Lyon win the treble–French Division 1 title, Coupe de France, and UEFA Champions League–in 2015/2016. That season she also led the French league and the Champions League in goals that year (33 and 13, respectively). Hegerberg was also voted the UEFA Best Women’s Player in Europe in 2016 and was Norway’s first female soccer player in 20 years to win the country’s Golden Ball award.

{KRONICK REPORT: Williams blasts first goal of 2017 | RUN OF PLAY: Penalty Kickin’ It }

The only goalkeeper on the shortlist is Chelsea and Sweden keeper Hedvig Lindahl. Lindahl most famously helped Sweden defeat the three-time-reigning Olympic champions, the USWNT, in a penalty kick shootout in the 2016 summer Olympics. Lindahl and Sweden would go on to claim the silver medal after falling to Germany in the gold-medal match. The goalkeeper helped Chelsea win the Women’s Super League and FA Cup in 2014 and conceded the fewest goals in the WSL in 2015, allowing only 10. She is a five-time Swedish Women’s Goalkeeper of the Year and has represented her country in three World Cups, three Olympics and several European Championships.

Marta, one of the biggest names in women’s soccer history, is a five-time FIFA World Player of the Year (2006-2010) and recently made international headlines when she left FC Rosengård to sign with the Orlando Pride. The Brazilian-international forward has 116 caps and 108 caps for her country. Last year she helped the South American country advance to the bronze-medal match of the Rio Olympics, only to fall to Canada, 1-2.

The last finalist for the award is current Portland Thorns and Canada women’s national team Christine Sinclair. Sinclair is the greatest soccer player that Canada has ever produced, making 257 appearances for the country and scoring 167 goals. Last year Sinclair surpassed Mia Hamm’s goal total when she scored her 159th international goal during the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament. She went on to help Canada win its second consecutive Olympic silver medal in Rio and her club to win the NWSL Shield in 2016 as well.

The winner of the BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year 2017 will be announced by the BBC World Service and on BBC’s Women’s Football webpage on Tuesday, May 30, 2017. Fans can vote for their favorite here

Alex Morgan collides with goalkeeper during OL victory

Olympique Lyonnais defeated FC Girondins de Bourdeaux, 1-0, this morning to close in on another French title. Despite a number of close chances for Lyon, the game remained scoreless well until the second half. However, Claire Lavogez broke the deadlock for Lyon in the 80th minute, placing a free kick just under the crossbar and above the reach of Bordeaux’s goalkeeper.

The scariest moment for American fans tuning in to the match’s YouTube stream occurred just before the end of the first half when Alex Morgan collided with 19-year-old goalkeeper Elisa Launay. It appeared as though the two players’ knees knocked as Launay tackled Morgan, sending both players down to the pitch for a couple of minutes. Both were attended to by trainers on the field, with Morgan using hand gestures to describe what happened. Eventually Morgan was helped up and was able to walk and then jog on her own accord. Play resumed for just a couple of touches before the halftime whistle sounded.

Although Morgan was not limping or visibly in pain, she was subbed off at the half in favor of Eugenie Le Sommer. That may have been partially to give Morgan rest, though, as several of Lyon’s other starters–Wendie Renard, Kadeisha Buchanan, Amel Majri, Camille Abily, Dzsenifer Marozsan and Saki Kumagai–were benched for rest.

Paris Saint-Germain were also in action today, defeating Metz 2-0. Eve Perisset and Marie-Laure Delie were the goal scorers for PSG.

Update — Morgan tweeted later that she expects to be all better in a few days.

Jasmine Pereira retires from international soccer

On Tuesday New Zealand women’s national team forward Jasmine Pereira announced her retirement from international soccer. The Auckland native, who is only 20 years old and has 24 caps for the Football Ferns, cited unhappiness caused by financial insecurity as the reason behind her decision.

“Playing internationally and training like a professional athlete then not having the support money-wise really made it hard,” Pereira told Trackside Radio. “I got to a point where I was struggling too much and I felt life was far too short to feel so unhappy about that kind of stuff, so I decided to stop…I just felt it was my time to do something else and something that made me happy.

“It was an honor to wear the fern on my chest and travel around the world but over time it just became a lot harder when I had so many other things I needed to pay for and do.”

Pereira also said that the financial stress from competing for New Zealand had caused her to move back in with her mother, and she was forced to juggle two jobs on top of training.

The announcement comes less than three months after former Ferns captain Abby Erceg announced her retirement from the international competition for similar reasons.

Breakers re-sign Abby Smith

Abby Smith (gray jersey) has officially re-signed with the Boston Breakers. (photo copyright Linehan Photography for The Equalizer)

Abby Smith (gray jersey) has officially re-signed with the Boston Breakers. (photo copyright Linehan Photography for The Equalizer)

The Boston Breakers announced today that they had officially re-signed goalkeeper Abby Smith to a contract that runs through 2018.

Abby is one of the best young goalkeepers right now in the country, and she will only get better,” said Matt Beard, Breakers head coach.

Smith came to Boston via the 2016 NWSL College Draft, where she was taken as the No, 27 overall pick. She made her debut in goal for the Breakers on May 1 but only made two appearances for the club before being sidelined with a season-ending knee injury. She has started in all three of the Breakers’ matches so far this season, helping them to a 2-1-0 record and earning her first professional shutout on April 23 against Sky Blue FC.

Smith will be back in action with the Breakers this weekend as they take on the undefeated North Carolina Courage on Sunday, May 7.

FA WSL spring fixture results

Chelsea Ladies defeated Reading FC Women, 4-0, at Adams Park, with goals from Karen Carney, Drew Spence, So-Yeon Ji and Hannah Blundell.

Bristol City Women defeated Yeovil Town Ladies, 3-2, with an own goal by Nicola Cousin being the deciding goal.

Manchester City Women drew with Birmingham City LFC, 1-1, in a prequel to the FA Cup Final. Emily Westwood scored the opening goal for Birmingham, and Lucy Bronze scored the equalizer for Man City.

  • DNG

    Grant Wahl said today on FS1 that Washington was harboring resentment over Portland hiring Parsons last year and that it was impacting a deal for Pugh getting done. If true I’m a little stunned by Lynch’s pettiness.

    • guest

      Yeah that’s not what’s happening, or at least not the whole story. Lynch is pissed at the disintegration of his team and knows Parsons isn’t going to give him any decent trade deal. My guess is that Pugh goes abroad to PSG.

      • DNG

        Do you have any sources for your information?

      • Forgedias

        Yeah that makes more sense. Portland knows they have all the cards. Pugh wants to play in Portland, so Portland can lowball an offer to Washington hoping they would accept.

        Portland is good for the league, but have the other teams be just farm teams for Portland isn’t good. So its good Washington is digging in their heels and trying to get a better offer.

        • DNG

          Nothing going on really makes sense and Wahl put his name on this so unless this guest has their own sources I can’t make any judgment on his/her comment

          https://www.si.com/planet-futbol/2017/05/03/mallory-pugh-nwsl-uswnt-psg-lafc-schelotto-fifa-scandal?xid=socialflow_twitter_si

          • Forgedias

            Does anything really make sense? For my perspective I am hugely disappointed that Pugh is going pro because for selfish reasons she won’t be playing in UCLA with Fleming. Because I was going to go out and say Pugh was going to score 20 goals that season for UCLA.

            But if Pugh is going to get a shoe contract to go pro, then its a no brainer, she should go pro. Washington on the other hand is getting the bad end of the deal here. Regardless of what you think of the owner, it really looks like they are being railroaded by the higher ups to give into Portland.

            There is no doubt that the USWNT want Pugh to stay in North America. And it just sucks for Washington since Pugh doesn’t want to play for them. The only way Washington benefits from this is stonewalling and hoping Portland gives in and give them a US national team player and another young player in return.

            I think Sonnet at the minimum has to be in this deal.

          • Arcie Tillydee

            Why would Portland give anything besides a single Nat for Pugh? Pugh is all potential (and yes, that means I’m saying 4 goals v tomato cans isn’t a big selling point for me…it’s not). I _might_ consider Klingenberg or _maybe_ Sonnett, straight across.

            Sonnett was in a bit of a funk at first this season (I suspect psychological fallout from Ellis clearly devaluing her lately), but her last game was PotM level (were it not for Franch’s superb outing). One-for-one would risk the core of last year’s league-best CB pairing for an unproven player…but I might do it. Might.

          • DNG

            They can’t give up Sonnett even if they wanted to. They have no center back depth.

          • mockmook

            As much depth as a typical NWSL team: Menges, Reynolds, and Cox (and could add a “free-agent” like Miramontez or Claire Wagner if they wanted).

          • DNG

            I think Portland would be willing to give up pretty much any reasonable combination of non core players. Maybe not their defenders but I have to believe the players like Boureille, Weber, Nadim, and the first round picks would all be in play.

          • kernel_thai

            I think it’s between Portland and Houston. Portland isn’t going to be able to steal Pugh as long as she is willing to go to Houston and Houston is willing to deal for her. I can’t really see what Seattle and Orlando have to offer. Orlando would love to have Pugh but doesn’t have a talent surplus at any position to make the deal. Seattle’s roster is built for their system but doesn’t really have a young star who might interest the Spirit. That leaves the Dash if the they r willing to part with Morgan Brian. Brian is a young NT player who spent four years in Northern Virginia and might be happy to move back there. The Spirit would not only get a player with both NT and local fans but midfield is an area of need. The Dash could then play Pugh at the #10 or try and hold up the Thorns.

          • tonysocref

            Somebody else has come up with another idea as it pertains to Houston.
            https://www.wosoweekly.com/lloyd-for-pugh-makes-sense-to-me/?rq=pugh

          • DNG

            lol if Houston can give up Lloyd for Pugh it will be a coup. Houston is kind of loaded out wide already though.

          • kernel_thai

            Pugh needs to play the #10 at club not wide. Her development is already stall ed at the NT so she needs a club who will see if she is the future running an attack.

          • #1Fan

            width is critical in the modern game. Not sure I understand the desire to play her centrally

          • kernel_thai

            Because the US always has speed to put wide. They need a passer in the middle. Both Lavelle and Pugh need to be developed centrally at the club level at least

          • DNG

            I don’t really think Lavelle and Pugh are great passers in the middle right now. Maybe sometime in the future, but maybe not.

          • Guest

            Lavelle is beginning to show some passing vision and technical ability to play it when she sees it that is, I predict, soon going to be recognized as exceeding all others in the USA.

            Then the issue is what happens to Lloyd. Is she a 9 now? Do they go to a diamond 442 with Mewis as the Dmid Lavelle attacking and Heath and Pugh wide. Leaving room for 2 forwards? or drop a back and continue with the three back and add Brian. Brian is not a destroyer dmid. I think she is best as an 8 in a 433 variant. We can only hope Lloyd gets dumped and they stick with formations allowing Mewis to destroy, Brian to deeply create and lavelle to twist defenses in the attacking third.

          • #1Fan

            but why? great wingers are rare and can influence the game just as much.

          • DNG

            I will say that as much as I like watching Brian play, that 10 position seems to be filled less and less by true 10s in the modern game. Top creative wingers and sometimes even forwards are often used in that role.

          • #1Fan

            Yep ..thats my point,.

          • kernel_thai

            My fear with Pugh is if u play her out there she will depend solely on her speed and never develop any further. Wouldn’t u like to see what she could with the ball in the middle of the pitch and fast attackers on both sides?

          • #1Fan

            why? She has shown me nothing that suggests she is suited to that role.

          • kernel_thai

            Which is exactly why Id like to see her try it on her club. If she can do it that is the place to find out. The NT is currently playing a system without a middle player so ur going to see Pugh wide there.

          • #1Fan

            i guess I just dont see the reason for trying it. Why not use players in that role who have already shown the ability to do it?

            My position on Pugh has been clear form the start. Plus physical , but does not have the smarts and savvy that an elite central player has.

            Its not a knock. She could be a huge success as a winger, Think Alexis or peak Ronaldo

          • DNG

            Alexis played quite well in a central role for a decent part of this year but I agree with your point. Her very good speed will most likely be used best on the outside. If she develops some better ball control and deceptiveness she could be a great winger.

          • kernel_thai

            And my argument is at 19 no one really knows what she has. I could make the argument that she doesn’t finish well enough but Id be arguing against myself. We won’t really know for 4 or 5 years. If her finishing improves then maybe she is a great creative winger. One of my concerns for the NT is where the goals come from in the current formation. Ur first 3 wide players (Heath/Lavelle/Pugh) have trouble finding the net on an empty pitch. Ur starting forward has a centennial coming up. Press and Morgan seem to be on the bench chatting about the good ole days back in Cali.

          • #1Fan

            i cant agree with your opening line. at 19 we do know what she has. Issue is what more (if anything) does she add with experience.

            19 is no child In athletic terms

          • DNG

            Definitely a chance nothing is added. Depending on where she ends up that could be more likely than not.

          • #1Fan

            its not obvious where a player gets time to work on their game

          • DNG

            I think when players get brought into a team and a culture they tend to take on some of the characteristics of that team’s play. It won’t completely change them as players but you can see some influence. Playing I think she’d get better practice at combination play in a team that looks to create in that way vs playing for a team like NC for example. The offseason is likely where she’ll have the time to add to her game if she choses.

          • kernel_thai

            Cant agree. If at 18 years and a few days she is the finished project we’re wasting a lot of money on development. Id like to think she is still raw talent that still can be shaped.

          • #1Fan

            who said she was the finished product? I said we know what she has. You are suggesting radical transformation. I dont see that being the case. She has the potential to add things, sure.

            It depends what you mean by shaped,

          • kernel_thai

            Also, kinda curious how Ellis sorts out the Heath/Pugh/Lavelle question in her current formation. Neither is really suited for the holding pair so either Lavelle or Pugh sits?

          • DNG

            Heath is still dealing with an injury so It’s not really a problem right now. Why not rotate them and wait until the WC to decide on the top pairing.

          • kernel_thai

            If u believe the team needs more technical player on the field it’s hard to support a rotation. If ur four most technical attacking players r Heath/Lavelle/Pugh/Press/Dunn then the current formation has two of them starting on the bench

          • #1Fan

            you have to be more descriptive in what you mean by technical.

          • DNG

            Not sure you and I have the same definition of technical. I don’t really see Pugh and Dunn as technical players at all. others are to varying degrees but compared to the rest of the world not great. Might be able to make an argument for Heath.

          • kernel_thai

            If u listed the most technical of the US attackers u wouldn’t include Pugh and Dunn? Im not asking u to list the most technical players in the world. So is ur point the US has no technical players at all?

          • #1Fan

            you have to tell me what you mean by technical.

          • DNG

            I didn’t say that. I said that I think we have different definitions. Dribbling is only on attribute under the umbrella. Brian and Heath are players I’d call technical players. When I said that you could make an argument for Heath I should have clarified. I think an argument can be made that she is quite a good technical player compared to the rest of the world. I think Brian is as well. The rest mentioned I’m less sure of. I wouldn’t consider Press and Lavelle more technical than your average European player for example.

            Edit: I forgot to include Horan but I think she’s a technical attacker as well.

          • kernel_thai

            The definition of technical has gotten very narrow over the years and Im not sure why. There r more techniques to be mastered in soccer than dribbling. I could make the argument that there r very few technical players in Europe because so few of them can shoot the ball.

          • DNG

            First touch, dribbling, close control, Passing ability/range and shooting ability are all things I put under the umbrella. Pugh and Dunn definitely don’t check enough of the boxes for me to call them above average technically compared to the world average. Press and Lavelle are average. Brian and Heath are above. I’m sure there are some who will say I’m being harsh on Press and Lavelle and maybe I am a bit. I feel pretty strongly about Dunn and Pugh though. I don’t think they are overly technical in any sense really.

          • Arcie Tillydee

            That’s the thing: Heath and Pugh belong out wide. Lavelle belongs spang in the middle…but there’s dead weight in the way.

          • DNG

            This is, I think, the crucial moment in Pugh’s career. Is she going to end up on a team(situation) where she can learn how to be a creative winger, or will she be put in team only looking to exploit her speed. This is why I favor her going overseas but I’m not sure she really wants to do that.

          • guest

            Pugh is not a passer. yes she is sophisticated enough to play a ball on the endline back, but beyond that she hasn’t shown anywhere near the creativity and technique to exploit the creative ideas that Lavelle has. She should stay on the flank as a classic flank “burner” type player. That’s who she is. She can become a better version of herself for sure in the coming years, but she won’t change what she essentially is.

          • Guest

            She completely failed as a #10 in her first u20 wc. Tried and failed. Resulted in some weird M French decisions to adjust and give her a plan B. Out in the first knock out game to KDPR if I remember correctly

          • kernel_thai

            If u got rid of all the players who failed in that WC all ud have left is Horan and Summer Green.

          • Guest

            Lavelle was successful in that World Cup. You said they should try Pugh centrally. I said they tried and she failed. Not indicting her as a player only as a 10 at that time. I haven’t seen anyone play her centrally since then and no I don’t see her display characteristics of vision and creativity that I would like to see in a 10. I have seen that in lavelle.

          • kernel_thai

            Where do I sign?

          • DNG

            I think Houston would be fools to give up Brian for anything other than a goal scorer but that’s me. Seattle I can see as a go between between Portland and Washington where Harvey gets a lot back for her. She’d have to give some stuff up though.

          • guest

            How many games does Brian even play? She’s one of those players who is always out with a different injury for her club team but magically gets better to play in NT games.

          • kernel_thai

            What does Seattle have that Washington wants? If Im giving up Pugh (19) I don’t want players in the second halves of their careers.

          • DNG

            No clue but Harvey seems to be great at maneuvering these kinds of deals.

          • kernel_thai

            For me the dream deal for Washington is to get a three way with Houston & Portland and land both Sonnett & Brian to exploit the UVa connection. Then if they can bring in Sullivan next year they have a pretty decent young spine.

          • kernel_thai

            If I could get Pugh for Brian and move her along to Portland for Weber, Orlando’s #1 pick and the rights to Savannah Jordan Id do it. If not Id be happy to keep Brian

          • DNG

            Would the rights to Savannah Jordan be enough? What if she didn’t end up signing.

          • mockmook

            If I was Washington, I’d go for Seattle’s Bauer and Pickett if they offered it.

          • kernel_thai

            Not sure Washington can take two defenders who aren’t NT players. They need the most help on offense and especially midfield.

          • mockmook

            But, I’m not sure how Pugh views Seattle and its venue.

          • tonysocref

            Only Seattle likes their venue.

          • tonysocref

            A one for one and draft pick trade doesn’t help Portland come the first week of Jun. They currently have 20 players on their active roster and 3 currently inactive. Sykes is suppose to be reporting to the team when the secondary transfer window opens on June 5th. Lussi is finishing up school and is scheduled to graduate the first week of June.
            With this, I’m starting to think that Portland is looking at trading at least 2 of their depth players. That way they get something in return for them instead of having to waive them and get nothing.

          • DNG

            That would make sense.

          • kernel_thai

            But how do the Portland depth players help Washington? The Spirit need to get a quality young starter out of this that they can rebuild around. I agree that Sonnett is the minimum and maybe the deal gets expanded so DC sends back a CB for some of those Portland depth players or future considerations.

          • Ethan

            If Portland keeps on getting PK calls, I don’t know if they’d want to give up the best PK taker in the league.

          • DNG

            lol you could be right. Nadim converted all her PKs last year too. Not sure other teams would want her anyway since she probably wouldn’t resign at the end of the year if traded.

          • kernel_thai

            Not sure why anyone thinks Nadim isn’t considered a core player by the Thorns.

          • DNG

            She probably would be but she would most likely need to make way for Pugh one way or another. Don’t think Portland would sign her to sit her on the bench.

          • kernel_thai

            On the other hand they r likely paying Nadim a high salary while Pugh is free. They r also paying Sykes so Im guessing they will hope she plays a bit.

            There r two reasons none of this makes sense. First, they already have more quality players than they have spots in the lineup. Second, with expansion likely coming they r trying to add a player they have to protect. It almost certainly means that Horan, Sonnett & Long with be unprotected for expansion.

          • DNG

            tonysocref put forth the idea that they might be trying to move some of their depth players because they are going to have to drop one or two with Sykes and Lussi coming into the squad. I think we’re going to have to wait to see the new expansion rules but I agree with you there. I wouldn’t be surprised to see more protection for Portland in an upcoming expansion draft. If there weren’t any allocated players no team would ever agree to give up any of their top players in a typical expansion draft.

          • mockmook

            I’d be holding out for a #1 draft pick and someone like Boureille or Weber.

          • tonysocref

            Now we have someone else thinking outside the box. Almost everybody is forgetting that the Thorns also currently hold the rights to Tyler Lussi and Savannah Jordan. They also have Ashleigh Sykes joining the team when the secondary transfer window opens in June.

          • Arcie Tillydee

            Lemme put on my Jill Ellis hat for a sec. Okay, there…

            “Well, there’s Allie Long.”

            Back on Planet Earth, I have to agree that’s the problem: Thorns have a ton of attacking depth, zero “true” CB depth. That makes Sonnett the more valuable asset than Pugh…at least in my reckoning. Heck, even trading Kling for her, an on-the-surface no brainer, runs into the problem of replacing a left-footed LB, something most teams in the world struggle with. Meghan Cox looked great starting v CRS, but is still largely untested there.

            And seriously, who do you bench for Pugh?

          • rkmid71

            They don’t need Pugh. Plus I agree with others who’ve said Portland is not even that ideal a situation for Pugh from a soccer development perspective. Maybe she likes the comfort of being on a stacked team that’s likely to win more often than not with her or without her. And the comfort of being closer to family, etc.and having that support network.

          • DNG

            I don’t really have such a big problem with good players developing at good teams. I think they develop fine when given playing time. It’s the players that never get into the squad that kind of stagnate in their development.

          • rkmid71

            Doesn’t development depend on more than just playing time — depends on the role / position, addressing weaknesses, etc.

          • DNG

            Yes and I’d also argue that the style of play of the team she’s on matters a lot too. Hard for players to test themselves and evaluate where they are though if they don’t get any time though.

          • DNG

            Nadim would be the obvious choice after they work her into the team like a player coming back from injury but I’m not completely convinced that would be a net positive. My issues with Nadim game aside, she did end up scoring 9 goals last year I think(some penalties I know).

          • Forgedias

            Sonnett has a ton of potential, did not have a good year previously but she can improve. There is no way Washington would be interested in a player like Klingenberg. It pretty much is Sonnett and like DNG said, it would reduce their depth in that key position but why should Washington accept anything less if they can’t get a national team player. Draft picks aside, its not going to help them in the near term.

          • Arcie Tillydee

            Sonnett had a poor NT year and it hurt her confidence, but was terrific for the Thorns (stingiest defense…probably the best CB tandem in the league).

            The first two games of the NWSL season, her lack of confidence showed and she made a number of ghastly errors, but now with her away from Ellis’ influence, Parsons seems to have her playing with confidence again. She’d have been my PotM vs Chicago, were it not for a corker of a game by AD Franch.

          • DNG

            I mean she hardly ever got to play so no one should be shocked that she made a couple of mistakes in the very select few minutes she got with the NT. I think she will develop into a solid player but the time off in between seasons is too much for a developing CB. Might want to try playing in the W-league next year.

          • kernel_thai

            Well somebody liked her…Sonnett made the all league team for the month of April.

          • guest

            klingenberg is a bag of rocks. waste of a trade asset.

          • Silver Frost

            Why wouldn’t POR just wait until Mal finishes playing for OL next year? By then, DC will have no rights to her, correct?

          • DNG

            If DC finish 10th and there is no expansion they might still have her rights. If there is an expansion who knows.

          • kernel_thai

            And the one thing u can be pretty sure of…Portland won’t have the top DRO spot unless they trade for it and if team know Pugh is returning then that spot will be expensive

          • guest

            mallory’s rights would then go to the last place team in the nwsl this year. very likely not portland.

          • DNG

            I’m not so sure how much Pugh would have learned playing in college. I think playing overseas for a year at PSG could be good for her. Like I said to Arcie below I don’t think Portland can afford to give up Sonnett. Not unless they get a CB in return. I don’t see them Purposefully making their team worse this year.

          • kernel_thai

            Nothing Pugh decides about the NWSL effects her playing for PSG if she wants to. As a full contract USNT she can always take the option to go overseas next year.

      • GT

        Pugh is getting bad advice from the people around her. Her indecisiveness /flip-flopping is jerking around a lot of people and organizations. Very unfortunate.

    • mockmook

      “But Washington owner Bill Lynch does not want to trade Pugh’s rights and has a major beef with Portland over its signing of former Spirit coach Mark Parsons.”

      You’re reading more into this than it says.

      So unless you have sources, you are guilty of the same speculating as guest.

      If Wahl is trying to say what you said, he needs to be clear and quit dancing around the issues.

      Anyway, what does make sense is that Lynch should take a hard line and drive as hard of a bargain for his team as possible — and the best deal he can make may be to keep Portland from getting Pugh (so it is up to Portland to make him a better deal).

      • DNG

        I’m reading into it sure but guest just made some unsubstantiated claim without any source. Wahl is a reporter and I’m sure he has his sources. If I am guilty of reading more into it than there is we’ll probably find out but I haven’t heard anything to back up guests claim. We still have no idea what exactly Portland offered so we really can’t decide for ourselves if what Portland offered was ‘fair’ and how hard a line Lynch has drawn.

        Edit: And why would Lynch be pissed at the disintegration of his team? By all accounts he wanted to get some of those players off his team.

        • Guest
          • Guest

            What does it say about an NWSL Owner who tweets something like this? It’s no wonder people think he’s a jerk and wouldn’t want to work with him on anything.

          • guest

            Paulsen brings pettiness and petulance to a new level. He has been handed gifts from the Gods at US Soccer since day one and still can stop himself from dumping on a club the rightfully sits at the top of the DRO. He’s a child. Wonder how long until he deletes this Tweet like he has so many times in the past. I wonder if he is bi-polar.

          • Guesting

            There is a method to his madness!

          • guest

            that’s what happens when a person was born on third base.

          • guest

            that’s what happens when a person was born on third base.

      • DNG

        Here’s it clip. It’s definitely possible that I’m reading too much into it. But I also think it’s very possible that what Wahl to me seemed to be implying was true. Language used “stealing” was curious to me.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgUwDMCI3X4

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  • guest

    let mallory pugh go to europe. she can come back to the us when she is a real pro soccer star and not just uswnt hype.

  • guest

    Rose Lavelle voted NWSL Player of the Month.

  • loves BBC

    What is BBC?
    Must be from a country for specialists in football?
    Only they left out Abby Wambach, Birgit Prinz and Kelly Smith.
    And maybe Bobby Charlton?

    • disqus_hj8dHnhlYK

      Why would they choose retired players for a POY award?

    • Steglitz49

      Auntie Beeb.

      Vote for Hedvig Lindahl. It was a scandal that she was not nominated for POTY.

      Hedvig plays for Chelsea Laides, the WoSo team saved by John Terry. Three cheers for belles of Chelsea and Terry!

  • #1Fan

    a player that some have said cant miss and is the greatest the US have ever produced and we are haggling over what the offer should be ?

    Something does not add up.

    • DNG

      Clearly a lot of people don’t agree with the greatest the US has ever produced label:)

      • #1Fan

        I guess not. I read a comment last night that said Lavelle was going to be more influential in shaping WoSo in the US than Pugh

        My thoughts were

        1. why does every player have to be some sort of “gamecahnger”
        2. why is it relevant
        3. If someone had said that a year ago …..

        • DNG

          I believe that was Chelsea Bush. I don’t really agree with her or her reasoning either. On some level superior athleticism never really loses it’s edge and will always be able to compete. Short term. I only see one team with the skill and athleticism to consistently outplay the US and they have had finishing problems forever.

          As for your thoughts

          1. No idea
          2. I don’t think it is or even likely to turn true.
          3. Everyone would have laughed at the idea a year ago so I wouldn’t be surprised if opinions changed regarding Lavelle in a year too.

          The US have had technically gifted players. Maybe not always enough for full team but they have enough to have a decent mix of athletes and technicians now and they still chose to play Carli Lloyd every match and give contracts to forwards like Williams.

          • #1Fan

            Amen. The key being superior. Real superior athletic ability is rare as well. In current climes, its en vogue to dismiss it.

          • ARED

            #3. Not everyone…. ; )

        • guest
          • #1Fan

            No.

          • guest

            Would you please include a reference then?

          • #1Fan

            Chelsea Bush

      • kernel_thai

        Im sorry…it’s too late…that decision has been made by…um…someone and we must move on. Of course tomorrow is another day and new greatest could be named by…um…someone while we aren’t looking. : )

    • tonysocref

      It’s pretty much the same USSF hype that was used a few years ago after Brian got her 2nd Herman. Has that panned out? No.

      • DNG

        Love Brian. She’d be great as a 10 in a short passing team. Probably will never realize her potential in Houston.

        • #1Fan

          Brian has gone from overhyped to underrated in a flash. Highest Soccer IQ on the team by far imo. Funny to me how, becasue she holds the ball longer and dribbles, Lavelle is deemed somehow a better “fit” at #10

          • DNG

            I don’t get it either. I’d want the player in the hole to be someone who can assess the situation and release the ball as quickly as possible. Unless you have elite control like an Isco there is no space to dribble in the center.

          • #1Fan

            agree again. we see the game very similar. In a US system with pace on the outside , I want a player who can release it and not hold on to it or dribble with it.

          • ARED

            I agree with you both in general also, but I will say that with Lavelle especially but Pugh also I think they can and sometimes do release the ball quickly, and certainly Lavelle has great vision and sees the game well (whether Pugh does or not we could debate….).

            But I think both are far quicker to resort to creating individually because they can, and because they are still finding their way on the USA team. I love when a player like Brian makes the smart and selfless play everytime, even if she knows Lloyd is just going to blast it 20 rows up, but I cannot say that I blame Lavelle or even Pugh for doing that several times and by the second half of a close match deciding to try their own luck a bit more.

            It all comes back to Ellis for me. There are many talented players, and for me they are not playing well together hardly ever during Ellis’ time.

          • Guest

            If I remember correctly, MB was played wide earlier in the 2015 wc. She didn’t have ace the impact that RL has had. I know out of position but many would argue the lavelle is also being played out of her natural ACM position. Right now I see RL as succeeding. L as a ACM if we can really consider Lloyd as such (which I don’t) I see Lloyd as playing in that spot because she thinks she will be on the ball the most in attacking situations as the CAM. She knows she can’t rack stats unless she’s getting the ball in forward locations because she can’t much by herself to get within striking distance anymore.

          • Ethan

            Lavelle’s quick turns and her clever/lofted passes [i.e. to Dunn late in the first half against England (I think), to Pugh early in the second Russia game, the back heel in one of the Russia matches, etc.] are what impress me the most about her play so far.

      • Rizuh

        Brian never quite fully recovered from that big hit vs germany in the wc imo

      • kernel_thai

        Brian has spent her entire NT career played out of position. Not sure she wins two Hermans playing the #6 at Virginia. Best thing that could happen to Brian is a strong club season at the #10 for the Dash.

        • tonysocref

          As long as Lloyd is around, won’t happen at club or NT level. Morgan needs to be on another team or Lloyd needs to be shipped off/benched.

          • kernel_thai

            Best thing for Dash is to have Campbell or Ohai get allocated so they can leave Lloyd unprotected for expansion.

          • Paul Klee

            I doubt anyone would take Carli. Probably Portland and Chicago would lose allocated players. If there are 2 expansion teams.

    • HOFCToDi

      Some have said, huh? Put down the bong and step away from the keyboard.

  • AlexH

    Mal needs to sign with whomever puts the most money on the table. She is one ACL tear away from irrelevance. Strike while the iron is hot gal!

    • kernel_thai

      Again, this is just about NWSL rights. She can still take the PSG money next year if she wants. The question is does she want her NWSL rights tied to a team she doesn’t love or is she willing to sit out tis fall.

    • rkmid71

      Pinoe has 3 ACL tears and is 31 years old. It seems once you’re in the club it’s very hard to be replaced no matter how unfit or what form you’re in. Of course, it helps if MP signs a USSF contract. The club stuff is gravy.

    • Silver Frost

      Julie Foudy is certain Mal will play in the NWSL. If so, then why isn’t she signed up already? Time’s a waste’n. If she’s sitting out to increase her star power, then Mal is a fool, or badly advised. Wait too long and nobody will care, and the UCLA degree opportunity will have vanished too.

      • mockmook

        She wants to play in the NWSL, but not for Washington.

        The people wasting time are the teams not offering Washington enough in a trade.

      • guest

        pugh wants to live with her relatives in portland. that’s why she might move half way around the world to live alone and play in europe. lollllll.

  • #1Fan

    Has Brian been handled poorly by the WNT ? or perhaps just broke thru at the wrong time.

    • guest

      She was successful in 2015 when she got on the field as essentially an 8. What happened after that other than she seemed to more often fade into the games. Do you think its the role they asked her to play in the system they play? Square peg in round hole? i think that she would do well as an 8 behind lavelle at the 10, in front of mewis as the 6 and with horan (or press) up top as a sophisticated 9. Add Heath and Dunn on the wing or if we have to have Pugh i would like to see Dunn as an attacking wingback behind Pugh and teach them overlapping patterns. keep a left back behind heath that will stay at home to allow heath more attacking presence and i think it might be fun to watch.

      Switch in Morgan for Heath when dual burning flanks are the better strategy (slower outside backs). I think that midfield will be able to hold the ball and allow the US to play a more sophisticated game rather than trying to dump it to the speedster up top. Or use the speedsters to create turnovers in the back lines to result in unassited goals. I think those reliable turnovers will become things of the past as the row develops and back lines can pass around them.

      • #1Fan

        i think she has far more experience AND success as a CAM than Lavelle has to date and yet she cannot get on the field in that role. It seems she is the biggest casualty of the Lloyd era – in terms of potential not realized. I think it has had a big impact on her mentally and physically.

        • guest

          That’s a shame then. Do you think when they are able to jettison LLoyd (we can only pray that happens soon)that brian or lavelle will fall into the 10 role? Assuming the formation selected includes essentially a player playing in the hole behind the CF?

          • DNG

            I’m wondering if they will even play a dedicated 10. Not so sure they will at the moment. If not the 10, I do think Brian can still be a + contributor as an attacking 8. Probably won’t see her best unless she plays for a team built around her in that 10 spot though.

        • Tic Tac

          Brian is a slow poke. Now she’s a no poke.

          • #1Fan

            Speed is not a requirement to play CAM

          • Silver Frost

            Tell that to Boquet.

    • guest

      Constantly injured, worse than Morgan it seems. IMO she’s not goign to have a long career .

    • DNG

      Both but the same could be argued for players like Rapinoe and Heath. Both would probably have fit in more with a younger generation. I’ll lean more towards poorly handled since Brian still has time to prove herself.

      • #1Fan

        ! dont think so. Rapinoe and Heath are largely playing in their best positions and have done for a time. Both have been at times among the best in the world in their roles.

        I think Brain has/had that potential and really should be there by now.

        • DNG

          Do you think their roles in the team have always suited their abilities though. Maybe Rapinoe because she’s always been an excellent crosser, but I’ve never really thought Heath really fit into the Wambach era team. Good enough sure but not really maximized.

          I do think the situation is a bit different with Brian but we can probably make some comparisons to Holiday. Two forward formations kept her from the 10/9.5 role on the NT for much of the Wambach era too.

          • #1Fan

            Most people have not see the best of Brain. She is criminally underrated. I have seen her do things that Pugh, Lavelle et al have never done. yet the common perception that she is a weak box to box CM or a light tackling CDM is so unfair. Its the single biggest reason why i know that Swanson has no influence on selection.

            As an all around player, there is no comparison between Brian and Ohai – but on the Dash, she is also in a sitaution that minimizes her strengths .

            She seems to be in a very bad spot all around. needs to get to Europe. She is one US player who could start for say OL or PSG and make them better.

          • DNG

            Is she better than Dzsenifer Marozsan or Veronica Boquete? I don’t think the answer to that question is a definitive yes so I’m not as sure she’d definitely make those teams better. I do think they could play her in the side and lose nothing or very little. What other team could use her right now? Maybe an English one.

          • #1Fan

            i think she absolutely had/has that level of ability – vision and creativity.

          • DNG

            Even so it’s not necessarily making those teams better so why would they make the move? Is OL going to make DZ play the 8 when Abily retires to that Brian can play the 10. I don’t think so. There may be a place for her at PSG in the near future with Vero and Cruz getting older but Lair tends to like to use French players. Maybe if Pugh signs with PSG some of that changes but I can’t really predict what will happen right now. There’s also the question of how those big clubs value her as a player as oppose to what you and I think she’s capable of doing.

          • #1Fan

            i dont think they would. Im simply using it as an example of how good I think she was/is

          • DNG

            Gotcha. I was thinking in more of a practical sense thinking she might want to try Man City at the position to try and raise her profile

          • #1Fan

            its a shame. really is . I hope she can turn it around

          • guest

            Given the current WNT pool, what formation and personnel do you see as maximizing Brian’s strengths?

          • #1Fan

            had one .

            4-4-1-1 ? 3-4-1-2 ? 4-2-3-1 ?

            prob 4-2-3-1 …

            ST – Horan
            RCAM – Lavelle LCAM- Pugh CCAM – Brian
            CDMs – Mewis Sullivan
            LB – ??
            RB – Dunn
            CB – Saurbrunn and ??

          • guest

            Interesting. I like your ideas although I don’t think I have seen enough of Sullivan at the highest level. I too have advocated Dunn as an outstanding option as an attacking right back. I remember her as my POM in the u20 wc championship team.

            Also do you think Morgan Andrews might be an option beside Mewis? Seems she somehow got outed by the YNT system would be unfortunate if she wasn’t fairly evaluated.

            I also like Horan as a nine with enough technique and ideas to play well with others. I wonder if Pugh could play left back and complement Dunn on the other side? She came back and made a couple nice defensive plays in this recent u20 wc.

            What do you think the differences are between Pugh and Dunn at this point in time? Beyond Dunn’s experience and therefore age related sophistication. Unlike some pundits I remember reading, I don’t think Pugh is a particularly sophisticated player. Would Brian fare better teamed in the Amidfield with a player with more sophistication (by that I mean having more ideas, and the skill to carry them out to solve problems on the field than the average player) beside her instead of Pugh?
            Is Morgan adding sophistication to her game by playing in Europe? Could she play a wide AM for the WNT in your formation? Where if anywhere does heath fit in?

          • #1Fan

            Great questions. I have not seen enough of Andrews to comment.

            Pugh LB ..not for me.

            Pugh vs Dunn – I thin Dunn is currently a grittier player. I feel she get by on guts more than any other player on the team. She has improved her game, but i think she could be a Dani Alves tyepe RB who creates overlaps and gets into very dangerous areas. RB vs RW becasue she could receive the ball under less pressure form RB and impact the game more.

            I agree on Pugh . she is dynamic in possession and like most young players of her type , has a tendency to want to go forward all the time as fast as she can – like Bale in the early days. In the right setting she will get more sophisticated.

            I want Brian as my “brain” I think she would make Pugh look better as she has great passing range.

            On Morgan, no idea. I suspect she is learning , but Im not sure how much she can absorb at this stage. learning now is as much a function of unlearning bad habits and that is very hard for an established player who has had success doing it her way.

            Not for me. I dont think she is suited to that role.

            Heath would probably be one of my CAM choice s ahead of Pugh, but I did this with an eye to the future.

            Ty

          • guest

            Thanks for taking the time to answer. Interesting conversation. Llyod scoring the game winner in the CL is not helpful here…

          • #1Fan

            CL or WC ?

          • Giest

            Actually both. One of the worst thing for women’s soccer in the is was Lyons wc hattrick. Set us back years

            But I was referring to her recent champions league goal lost on aggregate but…

            Ellis may feel validated in continuing to showcase her when in my opinion shelf life stamp says …EXPIRED

          • ARED

            I agree Pugh is not always the smartest or most patient with the ball, but I believe she is actually ahead of Dunn in this. In a team that plays well together and moves the ball, Pugh can fit in well I believe. Dunn as on outside back yes, but in advanced positions it seems puts her head down and while she is quite good at this, if you want a “sophisticated” team, I think Pugh gives you more of that -and more room to grow as well.

          • DNG

            Probably comes as no surprise that I like every player your lineup. I’m sure there will be people who come and tell you how there aren’t enough goals in there though. The CB spot is definitely a concern for me right now. I’m not feeling too confident that any of the players will be ready by 2019 and I think they will need some pace there if they decide to stick with Sauerbrunn. I think O’hara might be able to cover at LB even if she’s not the greatest crosser. Looking to the future beyond the next two years is a different question. I don’t see a lot of good American outside backs in the NWSL. I haven’t really watched enough college games to get a feel for any there either.

          • #1Fan

            Maybe they are right. Not sure that picking Lloyd or Morgan or anyone else necessarily solves that. Maybe the solution is Jordan at the 9

            not like they have been banging them in for the NT recently.

          • DNG

            Eh if they can comfortably win by one or two goals against the best teams by exerting their will on their opponent and playing good soccer, that’s enough for me. I’d let this team play first before making a ruling on whether or not there is a lack of goals problem.

          • #1Fan

            as would I

          • ARED

            That is the reason I would not use Horan as a single striker -although certainly it’s hard to imagine why we haven’t seen this exact system tested in case she proves me wrong. My feeling is that you lose a level of hold up play and smart ball movement from Horan, but you can gain a lot of speed and better finishing (though some may disagree) with Morgan/Press/etc. And in WoSo, speed still kills in my opinion.

            Why not use essentially this formation for 6 months with Morgan/Press/Horan taking turns? it seems crazy not to try.

          • DNG

            I think this is a perfectly valid suggestion which means that Ellis will give us 2-3 of the USWNT strikers starting on the front line with little to nothing to link them together.

          • ARED

            If they removed Lloyd (ie, “little to link them together”), i believe almost any system they tried would be much more effective…..

          • DNG

            I agree. Anything without Lloyd will look a lot better and arguably has in the limited time it’s been done(except those awful set of instructions and personnel choices about how to play a back three at SBC).

          • Steglitz49

            Alex Morgan is a given unless injured. Therefore, why bother with Press and Horan taking turns? Look forward, not backwards.

          • ARED

            It depends on the roles and the combinations of players around for me. It’s an interesting point.

            I think Brian fits well into a smart team who moves the ball well, b/c she is a smart player who moves the ball well. We know she can create and impress in advanced areas also, however I would not say I believe she yet is at the level of Vero or a few others at this stage. She is still young though, and as we all seem to agree she is not in a position at Houston or USWNT to really show or grow into her best level.

          • AlexH

            Could it be a case of “well rounded” = 0? Each position requires that a player do one thing superlatively, otherwise CB could interchange freely with wingers, forwards with fullbacks etc. Just like you conjectured that the #10 is not that relevant in modern football, perhaps the well rounded player is suffering the same fate.

          • DNG

            Not sure I agree with this. I don’t think the men’s game really reflects this line of thought. If a less well rounded player is more useful in the women’s game I think it’s because the women’s game still has more developing to do. If it becomes a viable career path, eventually the women’s game will be filled with well rounded athletes too. Just probably a ways off from that reality.

          • ARED

            It’s not that the well rounded players aren’t there and useful, it’s just that the not-rounded players tend to get the preferential roles due to -oddly enough the fault in their game.

            It happens in all levels I believe, and is one of the more important areas for a manager to make decisions and ensure that all 11 are fit together well, but also are committed to giving everything no matter their role. In the men’s game I think you need this to win -in fact when Portugal found it they finally won a big championship despite perhaps having less talent overall. In WoSo, you can still see more room for undefined systems, players, roles, etc. Speed, strength, and talent can be enough to win -even just playing as 11 individuals. In men’s soccer it is pretty rare to see this work anymore, especially at the high levels.

          • DNG

            Well rounded players exist in the women’s game an your right that they tend to get used to plug holes in a lot of teams. What I was really trying to get at though is that the standard of technical ability required in the men’s game is quite a bit higher and by comparison there are more players in the women’s game who can get by mostly on pace and athleticism.

            “In WoSo, you can still see more room for undefined systems, players, roles, etc. Speed, strength, and talent can be enough to win -even just playing as 11 individuals. In men’s soccer it is pretty rare to see this work anymore, especially at the high levels.”

            This I completely agree with

          • ARED

            Yeah, then we agree again on this one. There are a few players in NWSL who are quite useful due to their speed, yet are quite helpless when their speed has put them in a position to score or make even simple passes. It’s a bit tough still, but I do feel the level is rising.

          • Steglitz49

            As I have typed elsewhere twice at least, you need to go back to position specific numbering and the giants who wore it to understand the mythical quality of the #10 shirt.

            Briefly, 310 was worn by the inside left. This was considered the most difficult position to play. Gunnar Gren and then Pele wore this shirt in the days of position specific numbering — I think Liedholm may have too. With such giants, that jersey amassed unto itself glory, aloud and honor.

          • mockmook

            I don’t buy that these players can only be great if they go to great teams — I thought great players were supposed to elevate the play of those around them.

          • #1Fan

            yes they are, when put in a position to suceed

          • ARED

            I think Brian does elevate the play of those around her, but I do not think those around her elevate her play. Some do, and some don’t….

            Brian, Heath, Holiday, Press, Long and O’Hara all are players who have made the individuals and the team as a whole better despite being used in less ideal positions for themselves to shine. That is normal for some players to do this, although I would argue most of these players should be the ones at the center of the team, and others should be the ones fitting in around them….

          • Steglitz49

            I put it to you that Moe, Tobin, Lauren and KO all have shone in their positions. The other two are of baser metal and so can’t shine except through reflected glory.

          • mockmook

            For someone who doesn’t believe in #10’s, you sure put a lot of importance on the role that Brian plays.

          • #1Fan

            she is a CAM. I believe that is her best position. I would like to see her get a chance to play there. I dont believe in the mythical #10. Read into it what ever you want.

          • DNG

            I do think it’s interesting how lots of American(sort of talking about Pulisic somewhat too) want the “best young” women’s soccer player to play and grow in the CAM role. I wonder why that is. It’s pretty clear to me that movement from all the front players in critical in pulling CBs around to create space. That’s one of my biggest issues with AM. I think she’s too static in the box when offense is looking to break a defense down..

          • #1Fan

            this is exactly my point. its the extra significance they seem to apply to the role. Something that Mockmook seems unable to get his head around. Both players are skillful attacking midfielders whether they play centrally or wide. In the right role they will see lots of the ball in key areas.

          • Steglitz49

            As I typed before, you have to go back to position specific numbering and the period of end of WW2 and till position specific numbering was abandoned to understand to significance of #10.

          • Guest

            I am curious. Not that I don’t agree but what things specifically does she do that are unique.

          • mockmook

            She is quite unique because she fulfills and excels at the #10 role while simultaneously not being called a #10 by #1Fan — that takes talent.

          • #1Fan

            I’ve tried to explain. others seem to understand – you on the other hand seem to want to be a snarky comedian.

            Its seems to have been a topic of interest to some in whiling away a slow Friday.

            Have a great day.

          • Steglitz49

            Moe Brian got engaged in February. She has a WC winners medal to keep her warm at nights, not to forget her Hermann trophies.

            I suspect that Moe is concentrating on her upcoming nuptials and may, like Gold-Lena before her, have trouble motivating herself to carry on. Whether Moe should play in #10 or #14 is a moot point but she can’t have either #9 or #23.
            Though #6 is too far back for her, Moe plays a bit like the late Bobby Moore though some would say more like the Kaiser and he played in #5 though he started in #4.

    • Silver Frost

      I can think of many Heisman Trophy winners who never made it in the NFL. What’s Tebow doing now?

      • #1Fan

        Dont get the comparison, sorry.

        • AlexH

          I think he is saying that great college players don’t necessarily become great pros.

          • #1Fan

            except this one has a WC winners medal .

          • AlexH

            True. MB is a more successful pro than Tebow but I don’t think she has necessarily lived up to her promise either. It is quite possible that she is exactly as good as her recent run of form suggests and her handling has nothing to do with it. Then again it is possible that Jill Ellis ruined her. I would love to see MP play for the nats with another coach as a control, purely for the sake of science of course 🙂

          • DNG

            I’d love to see Swanson coach the NT but I don’t see him leaving UVA and the job isn’t available anyway

          • Steglitz49

            So does a bunch of Veterans at Crystal Dunn’s expense.

        • Steglitz49

          Hermann trophy. Pretty obvious.

    • ARED

      She came at a brilliant time first of all, because she somehow went straight into the 11 (or maybe the top 14 players), and was winning the WC right away as an important player. But after this it does seem she as much as anyone from the WC forward has suffered from Ellis’ rotation of players and systems (and core beliefs on how to play soccer…? lol).

      • DNG

        lol. Up voted for

        “anyone from the WC forward has suffered from Ellis’ rotation of players and systems (and core beliefs on how to play soccer…? lol)”

        • ARED

          Ha; )

          I said long ago that I could no longer guess even what Ellis was really thinking or what she believed about the game b/c she makes so many odd and contradicting moves, sometimes even at the same time, so I assume she is just spinning a wheel to tell her what her current philosophy is every other week or so….I certainly would not want to have to try to define the “Ellis Method” of soccer…..lol.

  • #1Fan

    the US is one of the few soccer countries that cling to this mythical #10. The feeling that its the ultimate position on the field for the best player. Im not even sure the role exists in many successful teams around the world.

    • guest

      Can’t agree with that.
      There have been many countries that have played with a 10 if we define that player as a player with great technique, vision and creativity who plays out of the hole behind the forwards and dictates the style and pace of the game

      • #1Fan

        Have been – sure. not so many now. Please name me some. Big clubs or top International teams. Successful ones.

        Also Im not sure you are getting my meaning – the mythical #10 is more than just a CAM. it the perception that they are the best, most important player on the team

        Its behind the obsession some have with putting Pugh there. Or the euphoria that Lavelle is now IT.

        the improvements in fitness and defensive coaching has made a real #10 an luxury most cannot afford.

        • guest

          Adding, “the perception that they are the best, most important player on the team” changes the discussion for me and I can agree with you now that I understand your point. I wonder how many continue to really perceive Lloyd as “best player” on the US women’s national team?

          I think the article was more saying perhaps the US style will evolve to include a modern #10 rather than as you say a “mythical” one. Modern #10s I think of in terms of Luca Modric, Mesut Ozil, Andres Iniesta etc. I hope maybe Christian Pulisic will be one of the same for the men someday- maybe even soon. The last “mythical” ones I think were maybe Maradona, Ronaldinho? or Zidane? come to mind. Some may argue that Messi as a false nine is something of a mythical 10.

          Interesting point now that I understand it better. I do hope that the women turn to a style that include a “modern 10”- one with exquisite ball control, vision, and technique to play unexpectedly and productively while pretty much controlling the pace of the attack. Sometimes I think a 10 isn’t necessarily starting in the “hole” but migrates there off a dribble or a run like Eden Hazard. lavelle certainly has shown a tendency (possibly too predictable in my mind) to dribble right to left into and often through the “hole” to almost be playing a 10 role off the flank like Hazard. I am sure my definition can be improved upon, but its a start.

          • #1Fan

            i think that role has migrated to areas of the field with more space – ie wide. OR deeper,

            Ozil drifts wide, rarely is he thru the middle. Modric plays deeper – more B2B.. there really are very few. They have become too easy to mark.

          • ARED

            I think with the defensive improvements also more players have the ability and talent to be on the ball in possession and to be creating, especially in the big teams. So you do not have a team designed to win the ball and just move it to the advanced #10 -who then is the creator, who has 2 strikers ahead to use. Now, Modric for example is/would be a brilliant #10, but you also have Isco, James, Kroos who could play this role, and of course the many players like CR/Bale (Messi, Robben, Hazard, etc) who want the ball in the creation phase but do not play as traditional #10’s.

            Also, there is increased importance of possession -you can no longer be careless in possession b/c all teams are so good at keeping the ball. You must value it, and in many teams we see the best players who are good enough to play all midfield roles used further back -like Modric for both Real and Croatia, Santi Cazorla at Arsenal, Cesc at Chelsea, or those used like Xavi/Iniesta/etc who cover the entire midfield to keep possession, as opposed to one waiting high as a #10 for the other players to win and move the ball forward to them.

          • Steglitz49

            Maradona can never be mythical. Cheats are not.

            As for Zidane, 20 years ago he was marked out of the men’s Champions League final when Dortmund won. It was an Brit who did the needful.

    • Steglitz49

      To understand why jersey #10 became so coveted you must understand position specific numbering and the men who wore the #10 shirt.

      Johan Cruyff started in #9 then switched to #14 so I guess you could add #23 to a list of jerseys worth fighting for. Bobby Moore wore #6.

    • AlexH

      If your team has fantastic talent top to bottom the #10 isn’t that important because you can threaten from everywhere. The national and club mens teams certainly don’t have such a deep talent pool so they try to work through a particular player. That’s why I think the US thinks in terms of a #10.
      On the women’s side of things there really is no need to focus on just 1 player. Just field a team that has a quality player at each position and let them do their thing. I think that’s what happened in 2015 when the team decided to stop playing the way Jill told them to and reinvented themselves in the knockout phase.

      • DNG

        I think most top successful team need players capable of playing in that space. It’s just that there is less and less of a need to dedicate a central midfielder to that particular area of the pitch. Teams can drop a forward into that space or direct a wing to drive inside there and that role can be filled.

        • #1Fan

          Exactly. Its not really a dedicated role in modern football anymore.

          • Steglitz49

            As in a dedicated follower of soccer fashion?

        • ARED

          Yes, I think you always want players in those areas creating if possible. But now many teams have 5-6 players they love to see find the ball there, it is not only one. (Or, many receive the ball wider and take it to this area themselves or in a combination move).

    • mockmook

      I think that is a strawman.

      Teams have wanted the best #10 at the #10 — they aren’t going to move their best player (say Sauerbrunn circa 2015) to #10 just for kicks. And, I don’t think this has changed over time.

      • #1Fan

        I think you miss the point, but thats fine

  • guest

    Pugh isn’t as good or promising as people are trying to make her out to be. Every year the USA has a promising player and Pugh is one of them. Moe in 2015 because of her playmaking in the WC, Alex in 2012 for basically giving the best performance by an individual since Mia Hamm. Both of them had more convincing years than Pugh. Pugh’s showing at the Olympics wasn’t bad but it wasn’t as good as Moe or Alex each had. I don’t think she’s worth a mega trade.

  • guest

    any opinions or hear any rumors on who are the three uswnt player contracts that are getting dropped?