The Big Come Back? USWNT post-WC ‘23

Jimy Hendrix

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The one thing you could really learn was about mentality and game intelligence. CBs (Girma especially) immediately switched on to “don’t try to play soccer, just boot it up or clear it every time” while Canada was slower on that and it cost them. Shaw got her goal by just being extremely switched on.

Players basically in real time needed to tactically learn to play a soccer/beach soccer hybrid game and it was kinda grimly fascinating.
 

InstaFace

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VAR review at the end of extra time awards Canada a PK.

Naeher came out to contest a long ball and didn't get there. Canadian forward won the header and hit it wide, but referee awarded it up on review.

Seems like a tough call. Both are allowed to contest for that ball. Both jumped into it.

Canada converts the PK. On to a shootout...
Naeher (A) didn't get to the ball, and (B) delivered a double punch to the upper body of Gilles, with enough force that it would knock some people out. Her head bounced off the ground, to the extent that anything could bounce there. That wasn't merely a hit, it was a brutal hit.

If that's not a foul, then goalkeepers are allowed to foul however much they want. It has to be a foul. And I'm a former goalkeeper and member of the guild, when it comes to defending them. I get angry when goalies punch a ball they got to first and then are plowed into by forwards. Well, this is the reverse, only delivered by closed fists rather than a shoulder.

I can kinda understand it not being given at first, because GKs either get to those first, or retreat to stop it post-shot, 99% of the time. And even when they're close, it's usually like a double-hit kind of thing where they each got a touch. But here, on review, it's clear that Naeher got none of the ball and all of Gilles' noggin.

Naeher's problem there was that she didn't come out immediately. She hesitated, if you watch the high-angle replay. By the time she committed, she was going to be late to that ball. She's got the advantage of being able to reach with her arms, and despite that she was still late. I basically can't wait to replace her with one of the young hungry goalies who deserve a chance - we even have one on the roster, Jane Campbell, who has been a meaningfully better shot-stopper than Naeher for the last 3 years running, and in 2 of the last 3 years so was our third keeper, Casey Murphy. I'm on team Katie Lund, but really any of them need to be given a chance under live game fire.

At least Naeher was able to make up for it on both sides of the shootout. Pretty big emotional rollercoaster for her those last 15 minutes.
 

BaseballJones

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Really good win vs Brazil tonight. Tough sledding, but they hung on and managed the win. Well done, USWNT!
 

67YAZ

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67YAZ

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Olympic draw today. US was always going to end up with Germany based on France & Spain being the other two Pot 1 teams. Australia without Kerr is still a tough match up, but we’ll be heavy favorites. The African qualifier - Zambia or Morocco - will also present a challenge.

There’s a ton of talent in this field. Should be a great tournament.

79742
 
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67YAZ

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Interest piece in the Athletic about Hayes’ first run out with the NT. In short, she tried to meet 1 on 1 with each player and spent a lot of time focusing on details all week in training. Hayes didn’t come in with a new grand strategy or tactics, she was drilling in the little things and watching how players learned and responded. Hayes did shout out the captains and how strong the caring culture is within the squad - they really mentor the young’uns.

We’ll see what the Olympics bring, but I couldn’t be more excited about this cycle with Hayes at the helm.
 

DJnVa

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Of note, they beat South Korea 4-0 yesterday--2 goals for Swanson and 2 for Davidson.
 

67YAZ

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Of note, they beat South Korea 4-0 yesterday--2 goals for Swanson and 2 for Davidson.
Mal only has 3 goals for the Red Stars so far this season, so it was very exciting to see her pot 2. On the same day her husband hit the game-winning 2-run HR, no less.
 

Joe D Reid

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It would typically be hard to envision them bridging the gap to the top teams we just saw at the WC. But an upgrade at manager combined with the fact that the WC team didn't have Swanson, Macario, or this version of Shaw means there is a shoot-the-moon scenario where this all works out. Not likely, but possible.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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It would typically be hard to envision them bridging the gap to the top teams we just saw at the WC. But an upgrade at manager combined with the fact that the WC team didn't have Swanson, Macario, or this version of Shaw means there is a shoot-the-moon scenario where this all works out. Not likely, but possible.
They also got nothing out of the best player on the NWSL in that World Cup (Smith) and had no non-washed offensive sub options that the manager trusted. Everything is ripe for this team to improve very rapidly, but with the club season circumstances for Hayes the Olympics are very possibly too soon.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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So for the first half tonight we basically learned that the backups aren’t as good as the starters, which, duh, I suppose.

Second half, the story was that our Swanson / Smith / Rodman frontline still looks extremely terrifying to play against, Sam Coffey seems indispensable to the midfield as currently operating, and Lily Yohannes was tremendously exciting in her debut. The goal will get the most attention because it’s a goal, but it’s that pass to Rodman that really struck me. This team will hit plenty of balls behind and out to wide players, but rarely that perfectly weighted and spun
 

luckysox

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So for the first half tonight we basically learned that the backups aren’t as good as the starters, which, duh, I suppose.

Second half, the story was that our Swanson / Smith / Rodman frontline still looks extremely terrifying to play against, Sam Coffey seems indispensable to the midfield as currently operating, and Lily Yohannes was tremendously exciting in her debut. The goal will get the most attention because it’s a goal, but it’s that pass to Rodman that really struck me. This team will hit plenty of balls behind and out to wide players, but rarely that perfectly weighted and spun
It was a perfect pass. Gorgeous.
 

DJnVa

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16-year-old Lily Yohannes becomes third-youngest USWNT goalscorer in debut

She's not cap tied yet, she's eligible to play for Dutch squad.

Born in Springfield, Va., Yohannes spent her early childhood playing the game along with her brothers and father in a community of fellow Ethiopian and Eritrean expats. When the family moved to the Netherlands, Yohannes played her way into the Ajax women’s academy system, eventually becoming a starter for the team this season.

She played in 20 matches this season, scoring five goals with four assists and helping Ajax reach the UEFA Women’s Champions League quarterfinals, where they fell to Emma Hayes’ Chelsea.

“She’s like the most mature 16 year old I’ve ever met,” USWNT midfielder Rose Lavelle said on Tuesday. “I feel like she’s more mature than me honestly. She’s been so impressive. I told her, ‘I will always remember my 100th cap because it was Lily’s first cap and her first goal.’
 

67YAZ

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@the1andonly3003 - Keep an eye for Hayes at Wrigley. Word is that she has set up shop here already, wouldn't be surprised if she took in that match. Wish I could make it!

I don't envy Hayes's trying to make her Olympic roster selections.

There's only 18 slots + 4 alternates. So if we assume 2 active roster keepers + 1 alternate keeper, that's 10 starting players and 6 subs + 3 alternates. The multi-position versatile players are going to get spots - like Crystal Dunn, who can cover wing and full back, or Macario, who can play a deep 9 and 10.
 
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Ale Xander

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Ale Xander prediction:

F Smith
F Rodman
F Swanson
F Morgan

M Lavelle
M Horan
M Macario
M Coffey (Go eagles)
M Shaw

M/D Dunn

D Girma
D Davidson
D Fox
D Sonnett
D Nightswonger
D Staab

G Naeher
G Murphy

Alternates:

DM Sullivan
AM Sanchez
F Williams
D Krueger

toughest omissions, Moultrie and Albert (off-field)
 

67YAZ

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Albert (off-field)
I get it, but maybe they aired their grievances during this camp? And Hayes has a different tone about these things, saying (paraphrasing) “my job is hope guide these young women” in reference to Albert.

Because Albert does it all in midfield and gives the side either 2 hard charging, do it all 8s for a 4-3-3 or a direct replacement for Horan in a different set up.
 

InstaFace

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Second half, the story was that our Swanson / Smith / Rodman frontline still looks extremely terrifying to play against, Sam Coffey seems indispensable to the midfield as currently operating, and Lily Yohannes was tremendously exciting in her debut. The goal will get the most attention because it’s a goal, but it’s that pass to Rodman that really struck me. This team will hit plenty of balls behind and out to wide players, but rarely that perfectly weighted and spun
The Scuffed Discord was sold on Lily in about the first 5 minutes of her appearance, they're ready to put her on the plane to Paris (I guess it would be a train from Amsterdam but whatever), over Korbin Albert probably. She has that magic precision of touch and positioning about her the same as what makes Gio Reyna jump off the screen to veteran ball-watchers. DaMarcus Beasley couldn't stop talking about her very first trap-half turn- layoff combo for her first touch, like he repeated himself twice in the postgame. She reads the game at a tremendous level and speed, for any age nevermind a week shy of her 17th birthday.

It's hard to imagine rocking a 20-minute debut any harder than she did. I'm very excited, as one of the handful of WNT fans who have been following her in Europe this season (mostly in UWCL, I think I only watched one domestic game plus highlights). She didn't look out of place facing Chelsea in the QFs.

One of the gals on the discord said Yohannes has "Resting Unimpressed Face" and it really gives her a veteran swagger beyond her years.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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One of the gals on the discord said Yohannes has "Resting Unimpressed Face" and it really gives her a veteran swagger beyond her years.
It was literally me. I’m the gals in this scenario and am delighted to be cited.

The part that struck me about that in the postgame and during the goal celebration was realizing that it’s only partially that, and it is also partially Teen Shy About Big Smiles Because of Braces Face. Both a big reminder of how young she is and also it gave me a lot of empathetic feelings as a former braces teen myself.
 

the1andonly3003

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@the1andonly3003 - Keep an eye for Hayes at Wrigley. Word is that she has set up shop here already, wouldn't be surprised if she took in that match. Wish I could make it!

I don't envy Hayes's trying to make her Olympic roster selections.

There's only 18 slots + 4 alternates. So if we assume 2 active roster keepers + 1 alternate keeper, that's 10 starting players and 6 subs + 3 alternates. The multi-position versatile players are going to get spots - like Crystal Dunn, who can cover wing and full back, or Macario, who can play a deep 9 and 10.
good shout, will keep an eye out for her, maybe ask about Boehly - Will be in the right field bleachers behind the goal
 

Ale Xander

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WTF

Ale Xander is furious


Also have no clue who Bethune and Campbell are before googling

And I can't believe they have Dunn listed as F. Pure BS

Hate Hayes already.
Other than Horan, and perhaps Lavelle, and Lynn as an alternate, they have no attacking veteran leadership
 
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graffam198

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In the words of Gen Z, good, Alex Morgan is cooked. She was an amazing player and offers a ton of experience. But to offer her a roster spot is a waste and blocker of youth talent. Would love to see her in an advisory/coaching position.
 

67YAZ

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The alternates as really surprising. My only guess is that clubs wouldn’t release players for an alternate role, especially NWSL clubs now in season.
 

Ale Xander

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Didn't think I'd be in tears 25 minutes later. This is hitting much harder than it should.
 

graffam198

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Cambell is a great keeper. Somehow that didn't register when I first looked and thought "Only two keepers?". I think Lynn is still battling her leg injury. She's back on the pitch, but I think under limited use. Not familiar w/the other two.
 

Ale Xander

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Hal was pretty good in the ACC at Clemson, but not really an Olympian to past US standards imho.
 

Batman Likes The Sox

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This is a very good roster and I think the best chance for the US to medal. Nearly everyone called can contribute to a faster attack from every position with a lot of defenders that can move that ball down the sidelines. Looking forward to the games!
 

pedro1918

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The alternates as really surprising. My only guess is that clubs wouldn’t release players for an alternate role, especially NWSL clubs now in season.
The NWSL is off during the Olympics. No games between July 2nd and August 23rd.

https://www.nwslsoccer.com/schedule/regular-season?season=2024&gad_source=1&gclid=CjwKCAjw-O6zBhASEiwAOHeGxSqHqaQV_8dsUI8_NlCULYmxh_pPN5QR-O6wGPf2GhqT_F1KffXyiBoCJTwQAvD_BwE

As a Washington Spirit season ticket holder, I am thrilled for Croix Bethune. If she can maintain her current play, she is going to be star in this game for years to come. I’m a big fan of Hershfelt as well. She has been great all season. Trading Sanchez and Staab, which was met with frustration from me, has worked out splendidly.

As far as Morgan goes, it’s sad and weird, but the writing was on the wall. She hasn’t scored for her club or country this year.
 

InstaFace

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I can't believe Jane Campbell can't crack the big roster. Nobody's done more to earn it at the club level, and Naeher's done nothing to keep her spot. Campbell's spot starts in the friendlies were fine, too.

Morgan was always off this roster, barring injury. Can't bring a striker who hasn't even scored a goal this year. I'm not sure Lynn Williams would've been my pick as the alternate forward, but she brings a little positional flexibility. Our 5 main-roster forwards are an absolute murderer's row, no matter where they have Dunn line up. So glad that Shaw has basically made herself undroppable - she's Smith insurance, as much as she is a 30-minute spark off the bench.

Korbin Albert making it after the electric debut of Lily Yohannes is a bit of a shame, but I guess they wanted a like-for-like Macario backup in Bethune, who's more of a 10 (and young and fun, and some people are saying she's an NWSL MVP candidate this year - I haven't watched much Spirit).

Rose may or may not have a knock, so the midfield is the place for intrigue on this roster. Hershfelt is there for flexibility too, she can play 6, 8 or RB. Even our LB (Nighswonger) has a roster backup in Dunn. We got speed up and down the roster, and positional flexibility up and down the roster. I think it's a great roster, even if I roll my eyes a tiny bit as a member of the Jane Campbell Fan Club.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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WTF

Ale Xander is furious


Also have no clue who Bethune and Campbell are before googling

And I can't believe they have Dunn listed as F. Pure BS

Hate Hayes already.
Other than Horan, and perhaps Lavelle, and Lynn as an alternate, they have no attacking veteran leadership
Swanson is young, but has been in the team for a half decade and won a World Cup. She’s absolutely attacking veteran leadership, just happens to also not be old.
 

graffam198

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I can't believe Jane Campbell can't crack the big roster. Nobody's done more to earn it at the club level, and Naeher's done nothing to keep her spot. Campbell's spot starts in the friendlies were fine, too.

Morgan was always off this roster, barring injury. Can't bring a striker who hasn't even scored a goal this year. I'm not sure Lynn Williams would've been my pick as the alternate forward, but she brings a little positional flexibility. Our 5 main-roster forwards are an absolute murderer's row, no matter where they have Dunn line up. So glad that Shaw has basically made herself undroppable - she's Smith insurance, as much as she is a 30-minute spark off the bench.

Korbin Albert making it after the electric debut of Lily Yohannes is a bit of a shame, but I guess they wanted a like-for-like Macario backup in Bethune, who's more of a 10 (and young and fun, and some people are saying she's an NWSL MVP candidate this year - I haven't watched much Spirit).

Rose may or may not have a knock, so the midfield is the place for intrigue on this roster. Hershfelt is there for flexibility too, she can play 6, 8 or RB. Even our LB (Nighswonger) has a roster backup in Dunn. We got speed up and down the roster, and positional flexibility up and down the roster. I think it's a great roster, even if I roll my eyes a tiny bit as a member of the Jane Campbell Fan Club.
My only quibble with all of this, which I think is spot on, is Dunn as a 2/3. She is absolutely lost as a back. I agree it's nice to have "insurance" but to pull out Fox or Nighswonger (unless it is a blow-out) is criminal. Dunn in the back was so ugly to watch last WC. I like Lily a lot, but I think Korbin is better...for now. I have to hope Nayher is on a short leash
 

67YAZ

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Cat out of the Olympics with a knee issue. Hayes called it “minor knee irritation.” Just rotten for her to miss the WC and now Olympics.

Lynn Williams steps up form alternates to take Cat’s place. Orlando’s Emily Sans becomes the new alternate. Odd that Hayes called up another defender and didn’t replace Williams with another forward.
 

Ale Xander

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Cat out of the Olympics with a knee issue. Hayes called it “minor knee irritation.” Just rotten for her to miss the WC and now Olympics.

Lynn Williams steps up form alternates to take Cat’s place. Orlando’s Emily Sans becomes the new alternate. Odd that Hayes called up another defender and didn’t replace Williams with another forward.
Why wasn’t Cat replaced with a midfielder?
 

Jimy Hendrix

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Why wasn’t Cat replaced with a midfielder?
Squad was already pretty rich with attacking midfielders and is thin up top (after the incredible starting front three, it would be pretty much all subs who can do the job but fit a little better at 10 than 9 or the wing). Williams makes sense for that reason.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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Fun 1 - 0 win. Ball didn’t go in enough and there were a few nervy moments dealing with the press, but the US dominated the ball, got 17 shots off and were never truly threatened.

First cap for Croix Bethune, who looked as creative as she has in NWSL, nobody hurt, and onto the next prep match.
 

BigPapiLumber Co.

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Lavelle was initially in the starting lineup. Then about a minute before kickoff she jogged to the locker room and the PA guy announced she was replaced in the starting lineup. Is the tv broadcast giving any info why?