USWNT - World Cup > Olympics

Cellar-Door

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The USWNT takes on Thailand tonight at 8PM Eastern/5PM Pacific. The game is on ESPN2.

The play on the field itself will likely be secondary to many of the stories surrounding it. It's the team's first game since the Solo suspension, there will be a ton of talk about Megan Rapinoe and the national anthem, and it's Heather O'Reilly's final game after 15 years and 230 caps (7th all-time).

The Rapinoe thing will be interesting to me, as Columbus, Ohio seems like a region that may not be all that sympathetic to a protest. In addition, it seems a bit more significant to protest when actually playing for your country than it is when you are playing for your club.
She's not going to do kneel, considering she waffled this week on whether she would and Jill Ellis gave a quote to the press basically telling her not to.

Edit- I was wrong. Ellis will probably punish her for that quietly like the USWNT used to do for players who wouldn't play NWSL.
 
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DrewDawg

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Wouldn't a more meaningful protest be to not play for your country?

But they would hit them directly in bank account.

Social justice only goes so far.
 

Titans Bastard

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There's an experimental squad for two games against Switzerland, with 11 uncapped players:

http://www.ussoccer.com/stories/2016/10/06/15/24/161006-wnt-ellis-names-24-players-for-usa-matches-vs-switzerland

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Jane Campbell (Stanford), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)

DEFENDERS (7): Abby Dahlkemper (Western New York Flash), Arin Gilliland (Chicago Red Stars), Merritt Mathias (Seattle Reign), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC)

MIDFIELDERS (8): Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Danielle Colaprico (Chicago Red Stars), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), Samantha Mewis (Western New York Flash), Andi Sullivan (Stanford)

FORWARDS (6): Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Shea Groom (FC Kansas City), Ashley Hatch (BYU), Kealia Ohai (Houston Dash), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Lynn Williams (Western New York Flash)
 

InstaFace

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USWNT have an extended segment on 60 Minutes tonight to make their case for why they're mistreated. On field conditions and lodging I think they have a point; on pay, I'm more skeptical, given the dialogue well-argued here in the past. I'll try to pull a few quotes, e.g.

Q: Do you think you should be paid *more* than the men’s team?
Lloyd: Yeah, absolutely
Q: Why?
Lloyd: We win, we’re successful, we should get what we deserve.
 

Cellar-Door

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USSoccer should offer to pay them the exact same deal that they pay the men, but pay for that by withdrawing the money paid through NWSL. They'd never take it. Health care, maternity leave, consistent salary and having a league to play in domestically are all what the bulk of the players want.

Edit- also using the men's structure would be terrible for the development of the game. Men's works because it's few dates and every single player in the pool has a full-time club gig that pays very well. If you eliminate the salaries and undermine the NWSL the women's player pool will be college kids and a handful of full-time USWNT players, everyone else over 24 will have to get real jobs.
 

Titans Bastard

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I didn't see any of the games, but I read that the team was outshot in all but one of its games and generally won very ugly. The manager, Michelle French, is not getting good reviews.
 

SoxFanInCali

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Yeah, they nearly got knocked out in the previous round by Mexico before scoring twice late to advance. I saw a bit of a couple of games on FS1, basically to see Pugh, but the team looked very disjointed when I was watching.

In the group stages, they won their group over France on the 7th tiebreaker (Fair Play points), due to France having a yellow card. The next tiebreak was drawing lots.
 

SoxFanInCali

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Forgot to mention, USA U-20 lost to NK in a semifinal so they are playing the third place game against Japan at 1 a.m.
And they lost that game as well, getting badly outplayed despite Japan only winning 1-0. Possession was 63-37 to Japan, and shots were 29 (8 on goal) to 3 (0 on goal).
 

Titans Bastard

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Winter camp roster:


Klingenberg and Pugh are injured. There are some new faces with whom I am unfamiliar.
 

SoxFanInCali

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As shown in the above roster, Alex Morgan (Lyon) and Crystal Dunn (Chelsea) are giving it a go overseas. Morgan is on a loan deal, but I think Dunn has made a permanent move. Given the preference US Soccer has that the USWNT players play in the NWSL, this is the time in the cycle to do it, with no major tournament until 2019.

The CBA that has gotten so much publicity over the player demands for equal pay expired on 12/31. That agreement has rolled over to the new year, so they are still playing under those terms for now. The players fired their legal counsel last week, so that likely means they aren't anywhere close to an agreement.
 

InstaFace

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They need their long-term Solo replacement, I can't fault them for casting a decently-wide net.
 

Titans Bastard

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Not quite USWNT, but since this is the de facto women's soccer thread --

The NWSL announced an agreement with A&E today:
  • A&E has purchased an equity stake in the NWSL
  • three year deal to show a weekly Saturday game on Lifetime
  • a NWSL/A&E co-venture called NWSL Media, which appears to be along the lines of what SUM is for MLS.
  • all non-televised games to be streamed online (free + no geo-block)

Any additional investment and exposure has to be good for the league, even if Lifetime is an odd destination for a sports property.
 

OilCanShotTupac

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Maybe that's the point? - a women's league is not likely to get big numbers on a sports network, but by going to a network with a large female audience....?
 

Titans Bastard

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InstaFace

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Grim by 2017 pro-athlete standards, but not particularly grim by the standards of pro sports leagues in their 5th year of existence. In the early days of pro baseball and football the players did a whole bunch of barnstorming or worked odd jobs in the offseason to make ends meet. And probably 40-50% of the league makes enough to live on if they're careful.
 

Titans Bastard

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Another NT player heads overseas:



Like Alex Morgan (Lyon), it's a short-term contract. Both are expected back in the NWSL by the summer.

Crystal Dunn (Chelsea) and Heather O'Reilly (Arsenal) have signed longer-term deals.
 

Titans Bastard

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Titans Bastard

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Roster for the SheBelieves Cup:

GOALKEEPERS (3): Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)
DEFENDERS (6): Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Rose Lavelle (Boston Breakers), Carli Lloyd (Manchester City), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), Samantha Mewis (NC Courage), Brianna Pinto (CASL)
FORWARDS (6): Crystal Dunn (Chelsea Ladies FC), Jessica McDonald (NC Courage), Alex Morgan (Olympique Lyonnais), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Mallory Pugh (UCLA), Lynn Williams (NC Courage)


Pinto is a HS junior.
 

SoxFanInCali

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Christie Rampone will be honored before the March 4th game against England in her home state of New Jersey.

It's a shame that she tried to play on after the World Cup and got injured, so she didn't get the kind of send-off that Wambach, O'Reilly, Boxx, and others did. She finished with 311 caps (second most in international football history behind Kristine Lilly's 354) and played in 5 World Cups (winning in 1999 and 2015). She also won 3 Olympic golds (2004, 2008, 2012) and 1 silver (2000) medal.

Pinto was born nearly a year after Rampone won her first World Cup.
 

SoxFanInCali

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The USWNT beat Germany 1-0 in the first game of the SheBelieves Cup on Wednesday. They will play England in an hour, with the game being broadcast on Fox. As mentioned above, Christie Rampone will be honored pre-game for her long national team career.
 

InstaFace

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...and England nicks one on a mayhem set of rebounds after a corner. Deserved late winner, I think in the 89th. They're certainly the most improved team on the international circuit over the last 4 years or so.
 

Titans Bastard

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The US lost to France 3-0 tonight and finished 4th out of 4 in this friendly tournament.

Some stats via Twitter:

- first 3+ goal loss in 10 years
- tied for worst home loss in history
- first time US has lost back-to-back home games since 2000


I didn't see it, but sounds like it was a rough game.
 

robssecondjob

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It was bad. I am not sure they strung three passes together during the entire match.

Listless attack and stationary defending.
 

SoxFanInCali

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They were experimenting with a three back formation this tournament, clearly they weren't ready to face top opposition with it yet.

No need to overreact at this point. It's 2.5 years until the next World Cup, this is the time to work with new players and tactics.
 

InstaFace

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And this cup is an excellent place to do so, and I'm glad it's become an annual thing. 3 meaningful matches against the world's top 4 teams, held in the US, is just waaaaay more watchable.

It was almost literally impossible to watch the Algarve Cup, held in Portugal. Plus, with 12 teams involved there, the USA beating the crap out of Switzerland or Iceland was not really compelling football (or, worse, getting beat by Sweden and Sundhage, or bombarded by Denmark).

I imagine the tournament will expand to a 6-team round-robin or an 8-team tournament with two pools -> semis pretty soon, but I hope it stops there. It's nice that it's smaller and more focused. And that I could actually attend one of these days.

edit: I need to learn a bit about who Lynn Williams is. 23yo Californian forward out of Pepperdine, seems like she's taking Crystal Dunn's job a bit.
 

wonderland

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They were experimenting with a three back formation this tournament, clearly they weren't ready to face top opposition with it yet.

No need to overreact at this point. It's 2.5 years until the next World Cup, this is the time to work with new players and tactics.
I was at both matches and I thought the play was much better in the US match. They gave up the early goals (Long doesn't look the part of playing the middle in a back 3) but regrouped after huddling up after the second goal.

Offensively they had the ball in some good spots but couldn't find the execution. Lloyd didn't do much I thought. Given she's 34, I'm wondering if it's time to look at her in a different role.
 

SoxFanInCali

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And this cup is an excellent place to do so, and I'm glad it's become an annual thing. 3 meaningful matches against the world's top 4 teams, held in the US, is just waaaaay more watchable.

It was almost literally impossible to watch the Algarve Cup, held in Portugal. Plus, with 12 teams involved there, the USA beating the crap out of Switzerland or Iceland was not really compelling football (or, worse, getting beat by Sweden and Sundhage, or bombarded by Denmark).

I imagine the tournament will expand to a 6-team round-robin or an 8-team tournament with two pools -> semis pretty soon, but I hope it stops there. It's nice that it's smaller and more focused. And that I could actually attend one of these days.
Yeah, the Algarve Cup was pretty ridiculous. Tough to find a broadcast, and most games it looked like there were literally a couple dozen people in the stands.

I'd like to see it expanded a bit, but definitely not beyond 8 at this point. They could easily add Canada, Sweden, China, and Japan and have 2 groups of 4 with a semifinal and final.
 

InstaFace

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Doing that would probably kill the Algarve Cup as a viable competition and showcase, though. I dunno if they have any options to shift when it's played so that smaller FAs (especially those without a domestic women's league) could plausibly play both.

Japan certainly deserves an invite, they beat England in the 2015 WWC (and played a pretty decent 60 minutes against USA in the Final, though the first 30 counted too...), etc.
 

Titans Bastard

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Roster for two April friendlies against Russia:

GOALKEEPERS (3): Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)

DEFENDERS (6): Meghan Klingenberg (Portland Thorns FC), Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Megan Oyster (Boston Breakers), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars)

MIDFIELDERS (8): Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Rose Lavelle (Boston Breakers), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash/Manchester City), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), Samantha Mewis (NC Courage), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign)

FORWARDS (7): Crystal Dunn (Chelsea FC), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride/Olympique Lyonnais, FRA), Kealia Ohai (Houston Dash), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Mallory Pugh (UCLA), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Lynn Williams (NC Courage)

It looks like Allie Long CB experiment could be over.


You won't see the name "Julie Johnston" anymore. She's missing this camp to get married and will go by Julie Ertz when she returns.
 

Titans Bastard

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NWSL players are now rolling in it:



It wasn't that long ago that MLS "developmental contracts" were about $15k, too. Hopefully the NWSL can find ways to continue to increase the min/max numbers to the point where they don't get so many mid-20s player retirements.
 

InstaFace

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I watched the 2nd half of the USWNT friendly vs Russia last night. My lukewarm takes:

- The defense looked like a pro team scrimmaging a college team, just absolutely toying with Russia. Johnston / Sauerbrunn is practically vintage Pique / Puyol at this point.
- Allie Long looked great out there as a CF. She's trending to be the new Abby Wambach, not as tall but way faster and more technical.
- Crystal Dunn looked pretty good, made a challenging tight-angle finish for the first goal at 10'.
- Christen Press, by contrast, really disappointed. Made a total hash of many, many opportunities. First it was not crashing the post, then fouling up a through ball, then trying a hold-up turnaround in the box and taking way too long, etc. I liked her as a winger in competitive matches, but she was miserable in the role Jill put her in tonight.
- Pugh was largely invisible, which saddens me since I really wanted her to be an upgrade over Alex Morgan by now or by soon.
- Russia had maybe 15% of the possession and won maybe 25% of one-on-one tackle battles. They had one player who looked like she belonged out there (#6, a CB I think), and the keeper did an OK job keeping the scoreline somewhat respectable, but man after you get beyond the top 6 or 7 sides internationally it's a disaster for quality of play.
- There was a girl I hadn't seen before, #14, last name of Short. Didn't know anything about her but she was an absolute burner as a LB / LM.

Have not heard the name Sydney Leroux in the last 6 months. Her son was born in september.
 

Titans Bastard

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Mal Pugh ended her UCLA career after zero games played. She's going pro - probably to the NWSL, but TBD.
 

SocrManiac

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I was hoping a quick Google search could help me dig up the data, but it just doesn't pass the sniff test that four additional years of earnings are enough to justify the loss of earning power after she's done playing. Everything seems to be indignation about the wage gap, which isn't the core of my question at this point.
 

67YAZ

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Well, Pugh is an exceptional case as a teenage starter for USWNT and one of the most touted women's soccer prospects in history. Wahl reports that Pugh has meetings with Nike & Adidas lined up already. And I'm sure there's plenty of other money earning opportunities out there right now that would both end her amateur status and provide enough to cover tuition in the future (should she ever want it).
 

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yeah, people like Pugh are like child actors, they can always go back and get a college degree under a nontraditional schedule if and when they want it - top colleges make exceptions for cases like theirs all the time. When I was in college, both Julia Stiles and James Franco were studying there under some program that was made up to let them on campus - you'd see them occasionally in the library, and some people had classes with them, but the normal rules of structure and schedule didn't apply to them, and they ended up with degrees eventually.

I have far more worries reserved for the 50% (?) of college football players who can't (or choose not to) take their academics seriously because they think they're going pro, when 99% of them won't.
 

67YAZ

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As a TA at Miami (FL) almost 20 years ago, I'd say that significantly more than half the football, baseball, and men's ball players skated through. The shining exception was Dan Morgan, who earned his BA and masters in history in 4 years; he was the kind of student who hung around the department looking to chat with faculty and graduate students about whatever book or article he was reading. Morgan is now Director of Pro Personnel for the Seahawks, a level of success which is not a surprise to anyone who knew him then.

For women athletes, it's different. I look at someone like Casey Short here with the Chicago Red Stars - world class player, been a national program fixture since U17, and fought through 2 ACL tears to finally make the USWNT last year at age 26. That she maxes out her NSWL salary at under $40k is crazy. Given her academics while at FSU and incredible work ethic, she could be finishing up med school and on to a residency this fall or pulling down 6-figures in the financial sector right now. She's leaving a ton on the table to pursue her dream, which is clearly her choice. But other highly talented women in that position will make the very rational decision to walk away from the sport. That's bad for the game.

Edit: While I'm telling tales out school...at Miami, another TA got an essay from a male athlete comparing Athens and Sparta: "I guess the Spartans looked at life kind of like Dave Chappelle says, 'feed me, fuck me, and play with my balls.'" Yep, right in the middle of page 1.

I had a football player who missed 13 of 15 classes in the fall semester, came to the final exam with a note from the team doctor asking the player to be excused for his asthma. The kid was a senior starter competing for a national championship on Saturdays and incapable of walking across campus on Tuesdays. He turned in a blue book final exam - 3 essays totaling less than 6 pages. The professor, who'd been at Miami for decades, told me to give the kid a D because if we failed him "the athletic department will have us tied up in meetings and paperwork until May."
 
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