Adversity piling up for Reign FC with Hope Solo injury

Liviu Bird February 22, 2013 77

With Hope Solo's injury, Seattle Reign FC's position becomes more tenuous as the NWSL season approaches. (Photo: Liviu Bird/The Equalizer)

SEATTLE — What seemed to be a promising allocation from the National Women’s Soccer League could leave Reign FC without a single U.S. player on the field come opening day. It’s shaping up to be a long season in Seattle, with Megan Rapinoe in France, Amy Rodriguez pregnant and Hope Solo injured.

Solo was left off the U.S. Algarve Cup roster on Thursday with “a long-standing wrist injury that has flared up recently,” according to a U.S. Soccer press release. “Solo has damage to ligaments in her right wrist, and although she was playing with the injury, with Women’s World Cup qualifying not until the end of 2014, the team medical staff advised that now would be the time to address the situation.”

Reign FC announced on Twitter late Thursday night that Solo would have surgery next week and miss six to eight subsequent weeks as she recovers.

Seattle general manager Amy Carnell would not comment on whether the club knew of Solo’s injury and the American staff’s decided course of action prior to the announcement, but she did her best to remain positive.

“I think a lot of different teams in the league have their challenges, and certainly ours is unique,” Carnell told The Equalizer on Thursday. “I think we have to go in with the attitude of doing the best with what we have. Much of what has happened is completely out of our control.”

When the NWSL allocated Rapinoe to Seattle, everybody involved knew she would be in France for the first part of the season, playing for Lyon. She will not appear in the NWSL until June.

Mexican forward Teresa Noyola will also join the club in June, as she is under contract with ADO Den Haag of the Netherlands.

Rodriguez, expected to shoulder Reign FC’s scoring burden, is pregnant and will miss the entire 2013 season. By the time the league decided to allow Seattle a fifth free agent signing, the club opted to leave the slot empty until after the Supplemental Draft.

In that draft, Seattle selected Nikki Krzysik and Kaley Fountain. Fountain tweeted that she will not play in 2013, and Krzysik and her agent have stated that she is uncertain about playing, despite her participation in Paul Riley’s most recent Supergroup camp this week.

Now, Solo will miss the start of the season as well. Big Ten 2012 Goalkeeper of the Year Haley Kopmeyer and former Apollon Limassol goalkeeper Michelle Betos are the others under contract with Seattle at the position.

“Obviously, that’s going to be a tough position to fill for any goalkeeper stepping in there,” Carnell said. “We’ve got a number of keepers coming with us to Japan (for a preseason training camp), so we’ll have the opportunity to see them for two weeks. Between the Discovery list and open tryouts, there are different options.”

While Carnell and her staff work around the inconvenience, missing all three allocated American players to start the club’s inaugural season makes its current position tenuous at best.

Of the 22 players on the roster right now, 16 seem prepared to start the season. More will become clear when the 24 players who make the trip to Japan in mid-March are known.

For now, credit Carnell for maintaining a brave exterior in the face of such early adversity.

“We’ve got a great coach in Laura Harvey, and I believe in her ability to make this team successful with who we have,” Carnell said.

But no matter how stoic the club seems, scenes behind closed doors must be tense. It’s not difficult to picture Harvey, Carnell and owner Bill Predmore sitting around a table with their heads in their hands.


  • http://twitter.com/hercircumstance hercircumstance

    You could tell early on that weird allocation wasn’t going to do them any favors even before the rest of the dominoes fell. That whole scenario handed to them from the start will never make any sense to me and neither will Portland’s not so humble beginnings. I have yet to hear an explanation of that which made sense. Teams and many agents seemed to know the night before who they’d get so why a number of key teams were surprised at the announcement time was interesting. You can almost see a trail of shuffled players between Morgan, Pinoe, and Perez and an obvious hole in Chicago. Insert a Nike shaped evil mustache twirl here.

    Tinfoil hats aside, Seattle actually have a lot going for them other teams don’t though and it is mostly in the areas they are in control of. Shocker, right?

    They have a great coach. The best I’d say. If anyone can make sense of this roster she will and that’s where the surprises will have to come from. So welcome to America. We do things weird here. Sorry about that.

    They have a GM who got some good experience last spring with handling a weird situation with the Sounders where they basically had two rosters going between the times the NT players were available and when they weren’t. They made that work for them.

    They seem to have a good owner who has implemented fan friendly PR, good branding in general, and practically an in-house graphic design situation that any team would envy or have to pay a lot of money for. They look great.

    They also signed very good free agents who have proven to be the dependable types even if they don’t have blockbuster names here. I can see a couple sleeper hits in there if things come together right. The coach herself found Fishlock so there is one traditional scouting and signing in the bunch. Too bad the rest of the team’s construction couldn’t be that straight forward. The overseas allocated players shouldn’t be forgotten either. Hopefully they won’t forget their team.

    Finally, at least as far as Hope’s part is concerned, the Reign are the only team that doesn’t have a home game until May do to more league LOLs so it might actually work out nicely if she sets that date in the books, doesn’t rush it, and the home crowd won’t be missing out of their hometown player at all. It sucks, but injuries happen and she’s a pro at coming back from them and getting back in top shape again. It’s kind of crazy how long she’s been playing with that particular injury due to the WC/Olympic schedule. I’m glad it’s fixable because — ouch.

    • http://www.phasedma.com Anthony

      A lot of teams got the short end of the stick, but things are starting to play out and the strong teams are not so strong anymore.

      Seattle was going to be a nasty team to play with Hope in the back, Rapinoe in the middle and A-Rod in the front, and now who knows what is going to happen.

      Portland has Morgan, but they are missing Heath and Buehler isn’t exactly the All-Star of the US squad (Which isn’t to say I wouldn’t take her as the Flash’s 3rd US player).

      Chicago still has some roster issues, but I wouldn’t be counting them out yet.

      The teams you really need to be looking at are the ones that have been around with the same staffs previously. That experience is going to count for a lot.

      Good consistent play with good coaching is what is going to win games this season. All the shenanigans seem to have been ironed out by fate.

      • Steglitz49

        Verily. We will see some new stars shoot up on the firmament and some established names pale into the background. The sooner this league starts playing the better.

      • Anton

        Seattle was never going to be ‘nasty’. A-Rod, while I’m one of her biggest defenders, wasn’t going to light it up with nobody giving her service. Hope is Hope, you knew what you were getting, but defensively they were allocated no one. Not to mention everyone knew Pinoe was at Lyon until June and wanted to be in Portland. The league claimed they ‘knew’ that Heath was going to PSG, did they know that Noyola was going to Europe also?

        On the flip side, not only does Portland have Morgan, they also have arguably the best pure striker in the world lined up next to her. Buehler gets a lot of crap, but she’s not bad at all, she gets lumped into the mediocrity that is the WNT defense as a whole.

        If if was impossible for Morgan and Solo to be in Seattle together from a pure marketing standpoint, then it should have been impossible for Morgan and Sinclair to be in Portland together from, I don’t know, a competitive standpoint.

        • http://twitter.com/hercircumstance hercircumstance

          To me Sinclair and Morgan together is similar to Stern saying no to Paul and the Lakers. It’s just too much intentional, direct meddling for my taste. Hilarious as it came during the stage were people were supposed to be wisely distributing players. Really? It should never have happened period. That’s $400,000 worth of elite forwards given to one team for free in a cash strapped and forward lite league. That’s shady stuff.

          Like I said above, if you shift things just slightly by sending Morgan back to Chicago, Pinoe back to Portland, and Perez back to Seattle and a Chicago defender over to Seattle things would have made a little more sense on a league level. Doesn’t hurt that those are the three teams that seemed the most confused (or in Portland’s case, a mouth full of canary feathers) come the allocation announcement when they knew the night before what they were getting. It’s weird.

          That whole process is a black mark on professionalism that exists regardless of how the season plays out. Sinclair and Morgan will be on that team for years because they are off the books. It isn’t like Portland has to take a salary hit for having two players of that caliber. Even the Miami Heat are likely to ship off one of their big three due to money reasons. Portland won’t have to.

          • http://www.phasedma.com Anthony

            I find it funny everyone is giving the championship to Portland and Seattle. The Flash fully intend on continuing to win championships, and give Abby her first club championship in her hometown.

            It’s kind of a double edged sword though. There is no parity in US soccer, and unless the Flash crash and burn people are going to come begging to be on a championship producing squad.

            Rochester enjoys being the Yankees in the leagues they play in… Especially in the early years of a new league. I personally hate when teams dump money like it’s going out of style because when you don’t have parity you create issues that a new league doesn’t need.

            But I love my city winning championships as much as anyone else.

          • http://twitter.com/hercircumstance hercircumstance

            Who is giving Seattle the championship? I’d like to shake their hand.

            Flash are doing just fine. I said all along I thought Flash was well set on being a rival to Portland in both field power and star power. More so than Seattle. The league would do wise to promote that over a depleted Seattle squad who won’t look themselves until at least mid June which is a shame. A TV audience would rightfully go “who?” during Portland’s home opener against Seattle though I’m sure the league would be more than happy to give Portland that TV exposure anyway.

          • Steglitz49

            I fancy KC.

          • http://www.phasedma.com Anthony

            I’m talking about when the national team players were allocated. As it stands now Seattle is in quite the mess.

          • necron99

            Abby’s first club championship was in Washington DC.

          • http://www.phasedma.com Anthony

            That’s strange. I wonder how I missed that. Especially for as long as I have.

          • Steglitz49

            The rule of thumb in the men’s game used to be that a player traded against his will got 5% of the transfer fee while if he put himself on the transfer list he got zero. These days their agents may get them a slightly better deal.

            The NWSL is trying to emulate the NFL and create and maintain balance. This wise. There will be teething problems. I too would have favored Ms Morgan in Chicago. As for Ms Sinclair, I expects that her pulling power is most pronounced near the Canadian border but the lady had a yen for Portland. Let her play in Portland.

          • NYRick

            You see that’s just it (“a yen for Portland, Let her play in Portland”). Noooo! It can’t work that way!

            So with that mode of thinking, let’s say the top 10 college players coming out into the NFL draft this year have a “yen” to play in NY for endorsement reasons. Do we let them? Talent in all professional leagues, especially in an allocation or draft process must be distributed fairly. The NWSL team that got Morgan hits a jackpot on and off the field. Put her in Chicago or Sky Blue (I went to Rutgers and it’s a beautiful stadium and pitch) and she would sell out the place for those respective teams. For Portland, they could put HS girls on the pitch and they will draw big crowds. The Pacific NW is soccer crazy in the US.

            AM called the shots. So did Sinclair. The two of them on the same team is borderline absurd, and quite frankly unfair. The two best strikers in the world on the same team (in an allocation process) is ridiculous. The league will work best when the players don’t run the show. Abby called the shots in the last WSL and how’d that turn out?

          • Steglitz49

            Ask yourself: what would have happened to the NWSL if Alex Morgan had gone to Kobe Leonessa, Wolfsburg, Arsenal or Barcelona (not to mention a whole slew of clubs with money)?
            — There has not been the slightest whiff of Ms Morgan taking the foreign coin. Such loyalty demands loyalty in return. Payday.

            I doubt if Ms Sinclair called so many shots. I think it was a win-win situation.

            As for Abby, I am disappointed that she is not playing in Japan. The Japanese seem to hold her in the highest regard. Go where you are loved!

          • NYRick

            I think you are quite underestimating AM’s endorsements in the US and the advantages of her playing her club soccer in the US. I’m sure her agents are fully aware. She has marketing potential much like Maria Sharapova in areas outside sports (clothing lines, cosmetics, health and beauty, etc.) She will make a ton more money playing here and keeping her visibility here for sponsors, than a Euro women’s soccer salary (even for the best players) could ever match.

            Yes, I am happy that she decided to stay here and help grow the new US league, but it is entirely in her best interests to do so. Most athletes, in this day and age of sports and mass media, are not loyal. She decided where she wanted to play in the NWSL (ie I don’t think if they told her to go to KC, she would have gone). That my friend, is being bigger than the sport. Also, as for professionals going where they are loved, most will instead go where they are best paid in both salary and sponsorships. No criticism there. We would probably all do the same. Just the way it is.

          • Steglitz49

            Your point that Alex Morgan staying in USA is powered by self-interest is well taken though I, being a gallant, prefer to see it as altruism. Yamaguchi and the Williams sisters have learnt that winning Olympic golds and Grand Slam titles does not necessarily make you the all-American girl next door.

            Loyalty is surprisngly common in sport. In this context it has been noted, that Ms Press abandoned her club in the hour of its need in the CL QF to go to a richer club. She was not traded; she chose not to extend her contract. Let’s hope it goes well for her and that she prospers.

            Returning to Ms Morgan, why she would want to bury herself in Portland is beyond me when she could have been part of something in Chicago or KC. Now she will not have the epitaph of “the field that Morgan built” to look back on. An explanation that could fit is that she will build the California team.

            The very top sports-persons are a curious bunch. They do not march to the same drumbeat as the rest of us. Some of them are surprisingly greedy but many are altruistic. Not all the generous ones get the credit that they deserve but such is life. Check out a few! You will be surprised how many there are.

          • NYRick

            This is not a black & white thing, but neither of the Williams sisters are the All-American girl next door. Alex Morgan is. Her handlers know that full well. I do believe she is all for being an inspiration and a role model to young girls in the US, but financially and for PR and sponsorship reasons, her best play is and was to remain in the US. She gets no merit badge for that. She will be well compensated salary wise, and she right now is the most marketable female athlete in the world. The US is the best place to take advantage of that.

            I too agree with you on why Portland for her. There’s is nothing to conquer in the Pacific NW for US soccer in terms of growth and popularity. If you truly want to grow the sport and the women’s game, put the most marketable player in KC, NJ or Chicago. That would have been a big and most likely rewarding challenge for her. I don’t profess to know all the details, but it seems she did not want any part of that. Maybe it’s a west coast thing or simply being close to family etc., and I’m not faulting her for that. She has all the power and she could call her shots the way the allocation process was foolishly set up. It just makes no sense from the marketability of the new league, that’s all (i.e. the inmates are running the asylum). It’s the same problem with the decreasing popularity of tennis. The stars are bigger than the sport. Aside from Grand Slams, they make the rules so to speak and play in the tournaments most beneficial to them. Never a good thing when that model is in place.

            As for Press, it seems as you say she went for a better financial deal with her club transfer in Sweden. Can’t fault her there. I think she’ll play in Sweden this year and return to the NWSL next. Her profile in the US will grow, her salary as a rising star player will be well subsidized by US Soccer, and it will be in her best interests all around to return home for endorsements and team selection.

            BTW, have you ever seen Horan play? I hear she’s a younger Abby with more tech skill. I’d like to see her get at least one full game at Algarve against maybe Iceland. No harm there.

          • Steglitz49

            I have not had the pleasure of watching Ms Horan play in person but seen various video-clips. The “Commander” has and waxes lyrically about her: a totally new type of lady player, better than Abby at her age, will change the ladies’ game forever, and so on and so forth. Barring injury, I cannot see Sermanni leaving Horan out of the starting line-up for important matches. Thus, if USA plays with 2 strikers it will be Lindsey and Alex.

            As for Ms Press, she may have come to like Sweden (Liedholm stayed the rest of his life in Italy, so there is precedense). The people of Göteborg are a friendly and witty bunch open to the outside. This comes partly from being the major port of the Nordic countries and a working class city, but also because so many Swedes (and Norwegians) have family in USA. From about 1850 to 1920, 1:5 (20%) of Sweden’s population moved to USA. If you go further back, Sweden was one of the three European countries that colonized USA (the other two were Holland and Britain) and Philadelphia’s coat of arms is blue and yellow. Stockholm suburbia is a different kettle of fish.

            When you live in the USA, it is easy to forget how large the country is and how convenient it is to go by car. Driving 4-5 hours to visit someone is easier than flying. That could explain the north-west location, as you say. I am just not persuaded that Ms Morgan is being marketed perfectly. Competently yes; top-class doubtful.

            Women all over the world who play soccer realize, that it is vital that there is a vibrant club league in USA. FIFA did before Kumagai put the last nail in the coffin – why else did Ms Solo get the golden gloves? The Nadeshiko and the world outside Canada and USA have pulled a sheet over the rotting festering corpse that was the Olympic tournament because they understand that without an Olympic gold building the NWSL would have been much harder, nay impossible.

            The NWSL must now deliver. For three years (2014-16) all top soccer tournaments will be played in the US time-zone. No excuses. It is do or die.

          • necron99

            The recurring theme of the inmates running the asylum. I don’t think the allocation ended up with a fair mix of skill/name value for all teams. But inmates running the asylum.
            So what are Horan, Press, Averbuch, Hagen, Levin, etc, etc then?
            There had to be some incentive for the players to buy into a league that had no proven history and was being put together in very short notice. The league also had the problem of convincing players to wait past the close of the transfer window’s in other leagues without the players having contracts or knowing what team they would get. It also has the negative of being built on very low budgets. Not every player would have found a home somewhere else, but some like Alex Morgan had options. The league made their allocation choices. I wasn’t in the meetings so I don’t know how much dirty dealing went on. Nobody has those answers. But if they league gave Morgan to Seattle to get her to play in it, then it was a small price for the league. Having her in the league, visiting all the other cities 2-4 times a year is better than not at all. It wasn’t inmates running the asylum, it was the Warden knowing how to keep calm in the prison.
            And why shouldn’t Alex Morgan get a choice in where to play, Marta, Necib, Schelin, Seger, Bompastor, Garefrekes, Popp, da Mbabi, all get a choice. Morgan and every other player in the Allocation group came out of college and went through a draft where they had no choice, some of them went through two. Keeping the players happy as best they could was a smart move. Let’s thank the players that didn’t get their first choice city for sticking it out, not dog the ones that did.

          • NYRick

            I agree in principle of much of what you’re saying. My point centers more on allowing the US players “input” as to where they wanted to play. Of course, all of the US players were previously professionals and had played in other pro leagues. Thus, I see the “choice” element or being a free agent so to speak of where they wanted to play still being something they earned or a factor. Throw in the uncertainty of a new league and heel dragging of the NWSL formulation and you see their rationale.

            But the NWSL was subsidizing USWNT player salaries. Once the players agreed to that, their choice of where they played should have come off the table. An allocation or draft was devised for the 3 federations national players. Actually, what should have happened at that point was that players should have been ranked from 1-50 or so (i.e. Morgan 1, Sinclair 2 Rapinoe 6 etc., including the Canadian and Mexican players). It would not have been hard to do, even if it bruised a few egos. Then the 8 teams draft in order with the two Pacific NW teams picking 7th and 8th. Soccer is a huge success there. They don’t need the most high profile names like the other cities did. This way, you don’t get Morgan and Sinclair on the same team, plus the absurdity of having Heath join them there. Hope and Pinoe together too is silly just from a league marketability standpoint. Not saying I’m correct, just my opinion. Competitive balance always works best in all sports. You don’t want crowds of 1,500 or less showing up in Boston or NJ due to mediocre teams and no star power. I do see your argument and points too. They are sound.

            Look, we all know AM could have played anywhere she wants in Europe, but she more than any other international player is best suited to play in the US for obvious reasons. I’m not faulting her or dogging her, but I don’t think she should have been allowed to stay in the Pacific NW. That’s just stupid from a league standpoint. The new league and owners are of course not loyal and not without faults, but this league must work in the US right now or it will never happen here again. Three strikes and your out. The USWNT could not be more popular at this time. It is up to them to sacrifice a bit, at least till WC15 to make the league work.

          • Steglitz49

            Firstly, it was reasonable to keep the allocations of the players of the 3 countries separate.
            Secondly, there was never a rumor of Alex Morgan playing outside USA though there were plenty about Christine Sinclair. It could be that no team was prepared to pay what AM’s agent wanted.
            Let’s see how it turns out on the field. My money is on KC.

          • http://twitter.com/hercircumstance hercircumstance

            Why not Abby to Portland too? That’s where she wanted to be. Competitive quality be damned, Morgan needs to be happy. Perez didn’t get that. Pinoe didn’t. Morgan’s happiness unbalanced the league and forced players from their home turf for years to come, but Morgan’s happy. Send her to the one team who don’t need a bump in ticket sales. That’s how much she is helping the league.

            You know if Portland had to pay for her market value along with Sinclair I’d be fine with this. That would be a big bill and not smart for a team to bury themselves with. Since she is free and given to them the complaining is justified. This wasn’t capitalism or nature it was back room dealing.

          • http://twitter.com/hercircumstance hercircumstance

            Ok, that was probably overly harsh of me but it is frustrating when the “player friendly” aspects of the league are reserved very a very very small number.

            If you look at the team construction only four players were traditional free agents per team where the team and the player essentially picked each other and made it work out financially. Every other step was either a draft or that jacked up “free agent allocation” that was the least player friendly of them all.

            If you look at the NT allocation process only a few players got their “happiness” choice. Morgan’s stands out the most because it negatively effects many other players natural choices, essentially bumping them from where they would make the most impact and sense, and the balance of the league because because of everyone else that team was given as well.

          • Steglitz49

            “If you look at the NT allocation process only a few players got their “happiness” choice.” Ms Perez apart, how did this pan out for the other 15 Mexican ladies and Ms Sinclair apart, the Canadian ladies?

          • NYRick

            You are absolutely correct on all counts on this. I have nothing much to add. As I’ve said before, Morgan is right now bigger than the sport. When one player has that kind of power, trouble usually ensues. We’ll see what happens.

          • Steglitz49

            Hear hear!

            The gentleman does protest too much. He seems hung up on Ms Press being the world’s best footballer, Pia Sundhage the world’s worst manager and the NWSL as incompetent. The sooner these young ladies start kicking the balls around the better. Let’s have tons of goals and not too many yellow cards and no red ones please.

          • NYRick

            As for my protests, for the record:

            1. I think Morgan is the world’s best female footballer.

            2. Sundhage is an average coach at best. A good HS soccer coach can take the 2010 to present USWNT roster to a 90%+ winning percentage. Japan and Germany are really the only teams capable of beating them in a big spot, and it would take a great effort by either team and some breaks to do so. (France, Canada and Brazil need their best games and the US worst effort). The US has just a ridiculous amount of talent.

            I personally think Pia cost the US a WC in 2011 by refusing to acknowledge the talent she had in AM. She instead continually played ARod and Cheney before her as starters. That is incompetent. As for the Olympics, it is well documented and not a stretch to say the US team got a lot of help and extremely questionable referee decisions to barely escape Canada. In the Japan final, they were outplayed fairly badly, didn’t get an obvious handball call on Heath in the box and had Hope stand on her head to win the gold.

            3. I didn’t necessarily call the NWSL incompetent. I just questioned (like many others here) the somewhat shady allocation process of players.

            Yes, OK. Maybe I doth protest too much. :–)

          • Steglitz49

            All big countries have the problem of strength in depth and whom to pick for a match. As long as you win, you can pick anyone; if you lose, it does not matter whom you sent on to the field. (Both Derwall and Voeller leant this the hard way.)

            In spite of the USWNT’s domination they have failed to win the last 3 world cups, the only tournament that matters. One wonders what the missing ingredient is? What do you think?
            — To fail 3 times in a row is pretty damning and the melt-down in 2011 was bizarre to say the least.

            The sad thing is that the ladies’ game is developing along the men’s lines but even more rapidly. Of the small countries, maybe Norway’s ladies will have an impact in 2015 on account of the Norwegians being willing to spend on women’s sports. With the Olympics in Brazil we can probably expect the big south-American FAs to throw some bones their ladies’ way. South-Korea is a power in the east.

          • NYRick

            I think in terms of US women failing (for top honors at least) in the last 3 WCs, you have to look at the talent base. From 2003-2008 or so, the US had an aging roster of the 1999 stars. Through politics and seniority (a past problem for this team), no one wanted to leave the scene and let the younger players prosper and develop. The coach wasn’t strong enough to manage the situation either. The players like Foudy, Lilly and Mia had the power and ran the team. Hope famously called all this out at 07WC with the use of Scurry over her. Maybe she went about it a little immaturely, but she was right.

            Soon after things started to change. Pia came on board and inherited a vastly more talented roster of rising young more technical stars (Heath, Rapinoe, Morgan, O’Hara, Cheney), plus players in their prime (Lloyd, Solo with Boxx and Rampone still very solid). That is a huge difference. So the 03 and 07 WC results for the US are not surprising. In 2011 WC, they were just starting to hit stride with a changeover and influx of talent. Namely Morgan, who emerged as a force. If she starts in the Japan final in 2011, there is a different result in my opinion. I do have a problem with Pia’s slow realization of what she had with AM. Morgan is a rare talent and she didn’t need to be 23 to be on the field as the first option upfront. That should have happened full time at 20/21 for her. Pia called it “baby steps.” I call it a lack of coaching vision. I know I’ve also lauded Press, but I think they did the same thing with her. When talent is so obvious, it really stands out. Press’s time in Sweden has served her well. She’s learned the short passing Euro game and her skill set has vastly improved. Couple that with having a ton of talent to begin with, and you get a great player. She needs to be on the field, even at the expense of an aging fan favorite in Abby.

            Unfortunately, Abby’s pending record will stand in the way of Press getting on the field. Along with a lack of minutes for Leroux and Horan for the same reason. A big mistake. The better question to ask is did the US learn their lesson from 07 in keeping players or the old guard around too long? It seems Rampone, Boxx, Lloyd, HAO are in no hurry to leave the national team. They are having too much fun and getting the attention they’ve always dreamed of from being on the team. But Japan and Germany are thinking more progressively to winning the 2015WC by better developing and more importantly, playing their very young players. That strategy may just pay off for them in the end to overtake the US for the top spot in 2015. TS is going to have to bruise egos for the US to win the next WC.

          • Steglitz49

            “That strategy may just pay off for them [Japan and Germany] in the end to overtake the US for the top spot in 2015.” — Japan are the World Champions. Germany were the world champions twice before that.

            It is up to USA to become world champions in 2015. Until then Japan remains world champions.

          • NYRick

            That was said from a standpoint of the US being the #1 ranked FIFA team in the world right now, and for some time. Even after the 2011WC. I do agree with you though. The reigning WC champs Japan should be considered the #1 ranked FIFA team. I do however think the US team is presently better and will be the favorite going forward in 2015.

          • Steglitz49

            The FIFA ranking of men’s and women’s NT differ at least in one critical aspect: time-period. The men essentially are ranked based on performance in the last 4 years while the women’s rankings are based on a much longer span (possibly even 40 years).

            Another perverse feature of the women’s rankings is illustrated by the Olympics. Because Germany did not qualify for the OG-12, their ranking did not change while Japan, who played tactically to get to the final actually lost ranking. This was mainly because Japan drew against South-Africa, who are lowly ranked; the draw against Sweden was not so expensive because Sweden is reasonably highly ranked. Bizarre as it seems, a team that does not qualify for a tournament got more ranking value of of a it than the team that took itself all the way to the final.

            The rankings matter because of seeding for big championships like the WC. The host is always seeded. Thus in 2015 with 6 groups, Canada will be seeded but it can matter a lot whether you are ranked 5th or 6th, or 6th or 7th, depending on where Canada are ranked, and so on.

          • TsovLoj

            Wholly agree with Point 2. The US’ record isn’t good proof of her skills; it’d be a damn good record with anyone at the helm. And I also agree she made poor choices in forwards generally.

          • http://twitter.com/hercircumstance hercircumstance

            Press left her team because they would not agree to a contract that would free her for NT duty. She dealt with that last year and they hindered her chances to attend camps. She wasn’t going to risk it again.

          • Steglitz49

            The problem is that the USWNT demand players for longer than the FIFA rules. The teams follow FIFA rules about releasing players for NT duty. Those rules were put in place to protect small countries against rapacious clubs. Now it seems that players need to be protected against some rapacious NTs.

            Let’s hope that FIFA can bring some weight to bear on this seeing that players are being discriminated against. One obvious suggestion is that FIFA ban teams that behave in this fashion.

          • NYRick

            Yes, I heard that Press was having trouble making NT camps due to her team’s refusal to free her up last year. That’s a shame because she deserved to be, at the very least, on the Olympic final roster of 18. Certainly at the expense of either Arod, Cheney or even Leroux. None of the 3 are really in her league. She got the Olympic experience as an alternate, but no gold medal. That would irk me if I were her, and I think right now she has started the new year with the NT with something to prove.

            Funny thing though. Even if she made all the US camps in 2011 and 2012, I somehow think that Pia would have bypassed her anyway. Pia was not a great judge of young talent and catered to favorites and seniority. She made one excellent move (KO to left back to get her on the field, but even that was due to the injury to Krieger). It was born more out of necessity than smarts or else KO would be rotting away fighting for a roster spot too. And that girl can flat out play. If Pia couldn’t see that Morgan deserved to start by early 2011 at the latest, how could she possibly see how good Press was as well. If Pia was still here, I guarantee Press doesn’t even bother with the NT anymore. She was never going to win Pia and her stubbornness over.

            Sermanni I think has a keener understanding of just how talented the young US players are. Press, Horan, Mewis, Dunn, Leroux, Heath, O’Hara, JJ and of course AM are the backbone to 2015. Handle that core correctly and they win the 2015 WC and 2016 Olympics in a walk. Not sure if he will however.

          • Steglitz49

            “I heard that Press was having trouble making NT camps due to her team’s refusal to free her up last year.” — As I typed elsewhere, the fault was not with her club but with the USWNT. The clubs follow the FIFA rules for release of players for NT duty. The USWNT demands longer (and more) camps than the rules and the clubs are under no obligation to release their players.

            FIFA takes (or threatens) action against clubs that do not release players. The rules were put in place to protect NTs of weaker (poorer) countries against selfish clubs.

            FIFA ought to take action against NTs who break these rules. They could start by banning them from the next World Cup. That would put a quick end to it. No NT should be allowed to be above the sport.

          • NYRick

            That’s a good and fair point. I didn’t know that. All teams should be required to follow the FIFA rules for release time. The US should not be above the rules in any instance, I agree. That’s not fair to the smaller nations who can’t fund longer time-allocated camps, etc. And in reality, it’s certainly not fair to US players playing their club soccer in Europe. Those clubs (if they are within the rules) have no reason to cater to the US in this regard, nor should they.

          • Steglitz49

            Today many of the WNTs of Japan and Sweden play abroad while those of Germany and France (nearly) all play in their own country. Without the FIFA regulations we would lose the whole international exchange which is part of the fabric of soccer as the world’s game.

            A player must feel safe that she can play for any club without risking falling foul of excessive demands on player time. For example, should, against expectations, Göteborg lift the CL trophy in May, no doubt Ms Press will be a bit annoyed that she did not keep faith with the club.

            On the separate issue whether it is fair that some countries can afford to bring their NTs together for longer spells than others, that is a harder nut. It was raised in relation to the Olympic tournament in that USA and Canada, who had no domestic leagues, essentially had NTs who played during the year as club sides. One assumes that FIFA would want to avoid getting into such details and instead rely on the NWSL leading them being phased out.

          • necron99

            And players can make their professional choices appropriately. If the player is truly that good then the coach is a fool not to being them in when they can get released, but players have a choice as well.
            There is no such thing as fair. It isn’t fair that a number of European FA’s require there highly profitable men’s teams to subsidize a women’s team in the name of growing the game, giving their women’s leagues a leg up on the USA which doesn’t have a strong secure league.
            It isn’t fair that those countries have strong football cultures that have football as their number 1 sport. It isn’t fair that their children grow up watching strong players playing football on TV.
            Bleh.

          • Steglitz49

            7-8 years ago Man Utd, the wealthiest soccer club in the world, closed its women’s section, in spite of the FA and other groups trying to persuade them not to. A couple of years ago Chelsea were going to follow suit, when John Terry (of all people) opened his wallet and persuaded some of his male team-mates to chip in. Thus Chelsea Ladies were kept going.

            Real Madrid, the second wealthiest soccer club in the world, does not have a female division. They have a training academy for the ladies, but the women’s club in Madrid is Atletico.

            Arsenal have always supported their ladies, which shows in the record books. They are the only British team to win the ladies CL, beating Umeå in their glory years by one goal.

            About 5 years ago, the owner of Lyon started putting serious money into the ladies’ side. It paid off. PSG picked up on the PR value of the ladies doing well. The difference is that PSG is a bunch of hired guns while Lyon’s team (used to be) mainly home grown.

            Most women who play soccer in Europe earn very little from their sport. In USA the grid-iron clubs are wealthy franchises. There is no women’s equivalent of grid-iron. One wonders why ladies’ soccer could not get help from grid-iron?

          • necron99

            There is no such thing as above the rules. No NT can require club teams to release their players on other dates. There is no rule preventing NT’s male or female from having a camp at any time. In the men’s world club mostly comes before NT because of the money involved, so players would just not take the call up. The NTs could chose to play only players that came to camps that were off FIFA schedule dates and violate no rules at all, however their teams would assuredly be weaker.
            In the women’s world the money isn’t the same. In fact the USWNT players have more money riding on camps then club. So the players may chose to take the camps over club, or even to play for clubs that don’t mind releasing them.
            Either way there is no cheating involved, no rules violated.

          • Steglitz49

            Criticism was raised against the USWNT already in WC-11 and became more pronounced in OG-12 that because the USWNT plays much more like a club side than the rest the world, where players are released by clubs for international duty, the USWNT had made itself an unfair advantage.

            The creation of the NWSL has quited that criticism though again it has been noted, that an 8 teams league for a part of the world with about 450 million people, is a bit thin. We will have to wait and see how the NWSL grows and develops.

            Sport is all about fairness and a level playing field. Soccer is the people’s game and belongs to the world. The model for soccer is that it is based on clubs. The leagues have relegation and promotion and there is a domestic cup. Ultimately, this should be the goal for Canada, Mexico and USA.

            In the final analysis, the losers will be the American players. Today players play all over the world — the number of Japanese ladies abroad is quite remarkable. It would be a pity if for America this flow would become restricted to a couple of very well established players earning a bit of icing on the cake by playing half a season for a wealthy club. It is also against the spirit of the beautiful game.

          • necron99

            Atheletes aren’t loyal in this day and age? Owners aren’t loyal either, and if you think about the rules of baseball until Curt Flood, the owners never were.
            All athletes aren’t saints, but clubs and owners aren’t either.

          • http://www.phasedma.com Anthony

            Hey now. Abby says she has not spent a summer in Rochester in the last 15 years. That’s a long time to be without Wegmans, Zweigles, and garbage plates.

            Up until now I didn’t really think that Abby wanted to be in Rochester, but I’m starting to think she actually did.

            Frankly if Abby wants to play in her hometown she has earned that right more than any other female soccer player on this planet. Mia Hamm and Abby Wambach both scored their 100th goals in Rochester and Rochester will show up in force to break US club soccer attendance records on opening day as Rochester shows how proud we are of being able to call our home town hero the most prolific female scorer on the plant.

            You guys can talk all you want about Seattle and Portland being soccer hotbeds (and they are), but Rochester made being a soccer hot bed the popular thing to do. I doubt any single city except for Carson City has hosted more USWNT games than Rochester. It’s not because we are a charming city, it wasn’t because we had a great stadium (they played in a baseball stadium with a short field) and it isn’t because of Abby (Abby wasn’t even on Rochester’s radar back in 99). It’s because we have an affinity for soccer and we bleed pride.

          • http://www.phasedma.com Anthony

            Hey now. Abby says she has not spent a summer in Rochester in the last 15 years. That’s a long time to be without Wegmans, Zweigles, and garbage plates.

            Up until now I didn’t really think that Abby wanted to be in Rochester, but I’m starting to think she actually did.

            Frankly if Abby wants to play in her hometown she has earned that right more than any other female soccer player on this planet. Mia Hamm and Abby Wambach both scored their 100th goals in Rochester and Rochester will show up in force to break US club soccer attendance records on opening day as Rochester shows how proud we are of being able to call our home town hero the most prolific female scorer on the plant.

            You guys can talk all you want about Seattle and Portland being soccer hotbeds (and they are), but Rochester made being a soccer hot bed the popular thing to do. I doubt any single city except for Carson City has hosted more USWNT games than Rochester. It’s not because we are a charming city, it wasn’t because we had a great stadium (they played in a baseball stadium with a short field) and it isn’t because of Abby (Abby wasn’t even on Rochester’s radar back in 99). It’s because we have an affinity for soccer and we bleed pride.

          • TsovLoj

            The difference between this and the NFL is that the NFL offers pay commensurate with asking the players to play wherever they’re told to play. The NWSL decidedly does not, even for national teamers. So in this case, as much as we can, yeah, we let them.

          • NYRick

            hercircumstance: All great points you make throughout the thread on the bizarre and yes, “shady” allocation of Morgan and Sinclair.

            In terms of Morgan, both Seattle and Portland are the soccer hotbeds of the US. They will lead in attendance even if you had no allocated players. There are rumours Nike headquartered in Portland wanted Morgan there for endorsement reasons. Personally, I think Chicago or Sky Blue (to capitalize on the NY market for exposure) were the best places for her in the league). And for Sinclair, it was either Portland or she was probably playing in Europe. She held the hammer.

            That was really the problem of the whole “allocation.” Name one other professional league in the world where the players dictate the teams that will draft them. Only a rare occasion (Eli Manning to the Giants comes to mind, but’s that is the multi-billion dollar world of the NFL). I truly hope the NWSL makes it, but right now the inmates are running the asylum. Players are going to play where they want. Of course, all of them want to play in front of the enthusiastic and most likely big crowds in Seattle or Portland. But for the good and survival of the league, there must be sacrifice. I didn’t see any. Right now, Morgan is bigger than the sport, and unfortunately despite her sweet persona, she and her agents know it. Plus, I really wish Press would play in the US too. And it seems Pinoe and Heath are infatuated with Euro club play as well. Too much of our US talent overseas to the detriment of the new league. We’ll see how it shakes out.

          • Steglitz49

            Ms Morgan is not bigger than the sport. She is loyal to the NWSL and such loyalty demands loyalty in return. Had Ms Morgan gone abroad, the NWSL would have been sold down river or been up a creek without a paddle.

            As for Ms Press plying her trade in Sweden, please leave her be. I think she made an error of judgement in changing clubs as she did, but she is best placed to map her future and more power to her elbow.

            As for ms Rapinoe and Heath? What young ladies would not love to spend some time in the gastronomical capital and fashion cetre of the world? More power to their elbows! Stay in France and enjoy life in all its fulness.

            North-America is such a huge region that a toy league like NWSL will not meet demand. What is needed are regional leagues, domestic cups and the equivalent of a CL cup. Relegation from and promotion to the highest tiers must be instituted, the sooner the better.

            Soccer is a simple game. It has conquered the world. More people watch the FA cup final on TV than the superbowl, and that is not counting the CL finals and the World cup. Survival of the fittest, wrote Darwin and Wallace 150 years ago. American ladies club soccer has to adapt or be a back-water of trivial significance.

            Be grateful that Alex Morgan did not take the foreign coin!

          • NYRick

            Yes, she specifically IS bigger than the sport (women’s soccer). Sorry. Both she and her agents might not flaunt that fact (who would), but it is fact. She is the true face of women’s soccer now worldwide and it isn’t even close. With that cache, she can dictate and call the shots. Even for a new league.

            Press, Heath, Pinoe can of course play anywhere they like, and enjoy life and its experiences beyond soccer in any fashion they choose. As a US fan, my point was that I (as in me personally) would prefer them to play and grow the US league. I want young soccer playing girls to be able to attend games and see our best players and be inspired. That’s my selfish US fan talking. Also, I’m of the opinion that women’s soccer IS US soccer. There is not one without the other. Without the 1999 US team, women’s soccer goes absolutely nowhere. In that line of thinking (again personal), it stands to reason that the best women’s club soccer league in terms of finances and visibility belongs in the US.

          • Steglitz49

            Reality intrudes sometimes. We recently celebrated the victory at Stalingrad.

            Alex Morgan is an icon in USA as is Christine Sinclair in Canada and Cecilia Santiago in Mexico. In Sweden it is probably a toss-up between Schelin, Asllani, Diaz or Rubensson, while in France you can take your pick between Necib, Thieney, Boulleau, Houara, Délibe or Thomas. Let’s not start on the Germans or the Nadeshiko. And we will always have Marta.

            No-one in Sweden has ever resented their hockey-players playing in the NHL, even when they were not released to play for Sweden in the world cup. Likewise, people cheered for Grenoli when they trundled off to Italy (and they were not the first nor the last).

            The NWSL does not need Ms Heath, Press or Rapinoe to build their league but, as you point out, this cannot be done without Alex — and Alex is here and never gave a headache of going elsewhere. High time to reward Ms Morgan’s loyalty to encourage the others.

            Ladies all around the world owe the USA a huge debt. The USA rescued the 2003 world cup. No other country could have done that. Norway’s victory in Sydney may have kept soccer in the Olympics. Japan’s victory in 2011 sent ladies’ football into overdrive.

            These last few years the wealthy men’s clubs of Europe have realized the PR-value of supporting their ladies’ sections. We do not know where this will end but the CL final at Stamford Bridge and Euro-13 will give us a pretty good indication.

            Meanwhile, let’s sit back and enjoy the Algarve cup. What started as informal matches between the Nordic countries holding winter training in Portugal is today after the World Cup a most celebrated tournament, and last year’s final between Germany and Japan was a cracking game.

        • Steglitz49

          The Thorns also have Luz Saucedo and Marlene Sandoval both experienced defenders.

          Regarding Ms Sinclair, I can be persuaded that only some of the teams had her on their wish-list while Ms Sinclair may not have had those on hers, and Portland was the only win-win fit.

          With such a strong attack and attacking midfield as USWNT has, the defense likely will get a bit dull. The Brazil teams of 1958 and 1970 were famous for scoring goals. As long as you score more than the other side you win. Also, the US have a bunch of U-20s who are good at defense.

          The sooner the NWSL starts playing the better because then we can moan about reality.

          • http://twitter.com/hercircumstance hercircumstance

            Either Sinclair should have bumped Morgan out or Morgan should have bumped Sinclair out by shear math and common sense. The league thought it was perfectly fine to deny Perez her first choice and Seattle’s in her due to “balance” reasons. That should have applied to Portland too. Too bad for Perez she doesn’t have Morgan’s agent or sponsors.

          • Steglitz49

            I am remiss at not replying to you. Please allow me to make amends.

            There has not been the slightest rumor of Alex Morgan even considering taking a foreign posting, unlike some of hre USWNT colleagues. Where would the NWSL have been with Alex in Kobe Leonessa or Barcelona? Up the proverbial creek without an AK-47. Such loyalty demands loyalty. My humble opinion — inasmuch as the opinionated can be humble — is that Alex could have afforded to go to Chicago. “The field that Morgan built”, could have been her epitaph.

            As for Ms Sinclair, she is harder to read. She will never be the King Eric of ladies soccer — anyway, what would be the equivalent? Queen Margaret, probably. My reading of the tea-leaves was that it was a fit-fit situation: Ms Sinclair wanted Portland and Portland wanted her.

            Finally, the creases of the foreign team angle will iron themselves out given time. As the NWSL matures, expands, adds relegation, regional leagues and a domestic cups, there will be plenty of opportunities or young ladies to fulfill their dreams in north-America.

            Of course, the lure of being able to play for one of the fabled teams will always be there and the attraction of spending a few years in a foreign culture and be paid for the pleasure — and admired to boot — must not be underestimated. The NHL consists of about 30% non-north-American players and some of the greatest in the history of the NHL are not from Canada or USA.

            Soccer is the world’s game and Japan are the world champions.

          • Anton

            My theory is that both Hope and Sinclair refused to play in the league unless they were allocated to Seattle and Portland respectively. Hope probably said “I’ll just play for the Sounders” and Sinclair likely would have went overseas for a massive payday if they didn’t get their way.

            hercircumstane is right, putting Morgan in Chicago would have been perfect. Put your most marketable star in the biggest media market available just makes too much sense. Portland/Seattle didn’t need superteams to survive, the fans were going to come out regardless. Teams like Chicago/KC needed to have a superstar to lure the fans out, KC did decent with Cheney, Scott and Barnhart (albeit not ‘superstars’), but Chicago got a 31 year old with a torn ACL, a 35 year old midfielder and probably the worst U.S. player up for allocation in Winters. Morgan in Chicago would have benefited the league the most.

          • Steglitz49

            According to many and various reports, Ms Sinclair tried to go abroad but no club signed her. Many rumors flew around PSG but PSG signed Kosse Asllani instead. They then added Tobin Heath while Lyon got themselves Megan Rapinoe.

            Yours and HerC’s point about Chicago is spot on. It is indeed a pity that the powers that were could not prevail on Ms Morgan to play in the Windy City. If it was good enough for Michael Jordan … Well, Chicago simply have to roll up their sleeves and gird their loins and put their shoulders to the wheel [insert mixed metaphor; delete expletive].

            My money is on KC as the dark horse in all this.

        • Kernel Thai

          The odd thing about the Morgan allocation is it didnt sell one more ticket than giving Portland Rapinoe would have. Pinoe is loved in Portland while Morgan would have been a godsend to ticket sales for any team.

          • Anton

            Exactly. The league, or whoever did the allocation (Merritt Paulson’s cousin probably), completely failed when it came to using Morgan’s star power. She was their trump card, anywhere she went she would have been the main attraction. Why put her on a team that already had 2,000+ season ticket deposits before the allocations were even announced? It made and still makes zero sense. Chicago already failed once while in WPS, giving them Morgan would have made sure they never fail again.

            Plus I kind of wanted to see if Alex could do it on her own instead of having Wambach/Sinclair/Marta to work with.

          • Steglitz49

            I think the NWSL are thinking strategically. Ms Morgan can build the (northern) California team that the NWSL needs.

            Since Marta and Abby do not play for Portland, it will indeed be interesting to see how Ms Sinclair and Alex work together. I gather it has worked in the past.

            When they asked Nordahl how he could score so many goals, he answered that it was not difficult with such a great provider as Gren. Nordahl and Gren vied with each other in the goal scoring leagues — some years the other won. Nordahl also had Liedholm providing passes. The Grenoli of Milan.

            You pass to score goals, and like Gren, Alex has as many goal-giving passes as goals. Whether, like Liedholm, she can become one of the most influential managers, we have to wait a while to see.

          • Steglitz49

            Maybe Ms Morgan wanted to be in Portland so she could build a northern California team for the expansion of the NWSL? The NWSL saw the strategic business sense in this.

          • Anton

            That would make no sense. Does she want to be the most hated woman in Cascadia?

            I’m sure some in Seattle aren’t very happy with her choosing to play not only in Portland, but with a club that’s directly affiliated with the Timbers. Then if she bolted PDX after one year, well, Seattle and Portland might actually agree on something soccer wise.

          • Steglitz49

            If the NWSL is to survive and flourish it must have teams in California. At least two and preferably three teams. The obvious person to build women’s pro-soccer around in California is Alex Morgan.

            Alex grew up in LA and then was a student at Berkeley. Although Abby Wambach got the FIFA golden ball quite deservedly, nevertheless Alex Morgan is the biggest name in women’s soccer in USA today. By far.

            Thus, instead of the “field that Morgan built” her epitaph could be the “state that Morgan built”.

  • http://twitter.com/hercircumstance hercircumstance

    Tinfoil hats aside, Seattle actually have a lot going for them other teams don’t though and it is mostly in the areas they are in control of. Shocker, right?

    They have a great coach. The best I’d say. If anyone can make sense of this roster she will and that’s where the surprises will have to come from. So welcome to America. We do things weird here. Sorry about that.

    They have a GM who got some good experience last spring with handling a weird situation with the Sounders where they basically had two rosters going between the times the NT players were available and when they weren’t. They made that work for them.

    They seem to have a good owner who has implemented fan friendly PR, good branding in general, and practically an in-house graphic design situation that any team would envy or have to pay a lot of money for. They look great.

    They also signed very good free agents who have proven to be the dependable types even if they don’t have blockbuster names here. I can see a couple sleeper hits in there if things come together right. The coach herself found Fishlock so there is one traditional scouting and signing in the bunch. Too bad the rest of the team’s construction couldn’t be that straight forward. The overseas allocated players shouldn’t be forgotten either. Hopefully they won’t forget their team.

    Finally, at least as far as Hope’s part is concerned, the Reign are the only team that doesn’t have a home game until May do to more league LOLs so it might actually work out nicely if she sets that date in the books, doesn’t rush it, and the home crowd won’t be missing out of their hometown player at all. It sucks, but injuries happen and she’s a pro at coming back from them and getting back in top shape again. It’s kind of crazy how long she’s been playing with that particular injury due to the WC/Olympic schedule. I’m glad it’s fixable now.

  • sol1711

    seattle have a great coach?

    what she has won? nothing

    the english league only last 5 month, that’s a nice weather league.

    and since you can not go because there are no 2. league.

    and the victorious against turbine potsdam came about only because potsdam 10 injured player was inside.

  • Kernel Thai

    Carnell and Predmore have to decide on a long term or short term plan. Long term is u hold ur cards and ride out the storm. I doubt Seattle fans will abandon the team based on a bad first season and what they have is worth more than what they can get for it. Short term is look to trade in their chips for players who can help them this season. If Kryzsik, for example, doesnt want to leave the east coast there r plenty of team back east to trade her rights to. Rapinoe also has lots of trade value to a team who can afford to wait til June.

    • Steglitz49

      Because there is no relegation from the NWSL, it is not such a disaster as it might be in one of the foreign leagues where two, and sometimes three, teams are relegated at the end of the season. Also, the lack of a domestic challenge cup helps because there will not be the ignominy of being knocked out by some giant-killer or, worse, some small-fry.

      Let the reign play up and play the game. Given the strength in depth in USA’s ladies soccer they should be able to take care of themselves. After all, without relegation finishing 2nd or last is the same: losing.

      • http://twitter.com/hercircumstance hercircumstance

        Relegation, no, but expectation in a soccer city is huge and this is year 1. If anything, future good drafting position and the possibly of being “allocated” Press next season would be nice. I doubt Arod will be NT funded should she come back to soccer so there is an obvious slot right away.

        • Steglitz49

          Your point about ARod is well taken. I would expect her not to be an active player and instead concentrate on another career. Maybe do some coaching, perhaps of juniors. Amy is actually older than Rosi Mittermaier was when she hung up her skis. Rosi had the pleasure of seeing her son take a WC silver last Sunday (his surname is of his dad’s so only the nerds know of his illustrious mum).

          As for Ms Press, she obviously likes it in Sweden. She has moved from the football capital of Sweden to a better off club in outer Stockholm suburbia, something which a true girl of Gbg probably would not even contemplate just like a lady from Marseille (like Louisa Necib) could not play for a Paris club or a lass from Chicago would not play in NYC.

          If Chirsten continues to perform as she has, then the truly wealthy clubs of Europe likely will take notice and open their wallets, maybe even the Japanese ones. I am not persuaded that we will see her in NWSL kit. Maybe Jeff could open a book on which club will be Chirsten’s next?

          • http://twitter.com/hercircumstance hercircumstance

            She’s mentioned wanting to come back to the states at some point in her career which is why I wishfully penciled her in. I support any player going to where money and stability is though so if she stays in Sweden or elsewhere then I’d be more than happy for her. After the magicjack fiasco and WPS in general that’s more than enough reason to stick to a professional environment that has proven to be a good fit for her and that is Sweden for now.

          • Steglitz49

            Verily. All too true. Most people like to live in their own land. I agree with you that Christen will likely return to USA, unless she does a Nisse Liedholm (though to complete the analogy she would need to find love in the arms of a Swedish or European partner).

            I suspect that the lure of playing in the CL holds quite a lot of attraction, though that would not explain why Ms Press jumped ship seeing that she had taken her team to the QF. In the perverse irony of the beautiful game, unlikely though it is, Gbg might lift the coveted trophy at Stamford Bridge in May …

  • Derek

    Well since she’s getting it done now, she’ll probably only miss what, two or three games? They said 7 week-ish recovery?

    • Steglitz49

      Let her come back after Midsummer. Let it heal properly and not become a recurring injury owing to eagerness. Ms Solo has nothing to prove.

      • Gerson22

        Nothing to prove except that, you know, she will actually take club responsibilities seriously, something she hasn’t done in a while.

    • http://twitter.com/hercircumstance hercircumstance

      7 weeks, but you have to get into game shape too. That’s just the recovery period to being a functional human being. I’m hoping they are zoning in on the home opener in May to ease her into it with June being a realistic time for her to be in form again. Of course this is Hope and she might just kick ass in late April to spite the timetables.

      • Kernel Thai

        As its her wrist it shouldnt effect her conditioning. shell simply need to get her timing back when she is cleared.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Quintana/1603175855 David Quintana

    It’s going to be a challenge but I really hope they are up for it. The hardest part is going to be keeping the fans interested over the long run and I think they can do that. Seattle is the only market that will forgive everything from their teams. The one thing the team has done right is the communication with the fans. I have never seen a more open management and transparency in a team if they keep it up I think they can ride this storm and sail to calmer waters.

    http://www.meetup.com/Las-Reinas-De-Seattle-a-fan-group-of-The-Seattle-Reign/

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