On a brisk November morning in Arlington Heights, Illinois, Chicago Red Stars assistant coach Gary Curneen is breaking down tape for a group of high school, college and club coaches. The clips show a player out of position, making poor touches and frequently losing possession.
He pauses, and then asks the coaches in attendance how much money, in the form of a scholarship, they’d offer this player to play in college. The general consensus is little, if any.
Then Curneen shows another series of clips. It’s the same player, but this time she’s in a different uniform. Now she’s dicing in and around defenders, making them look silly and scoring goals in bunches.
The first set of clips is Michele Vasconcelos in her rookie season with the Red Stars. The second is Vasconcelos at Brigham Young on her way to West Coast Conference Player of the Year honors in 2016, a season in which she scored 16 goals and added 13 assists.
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