Morgan Brian wins 2013 MAC Hermann Trophy

Jeff Kassouf January 10, 2014 187

Morgan Brian won the 2013 MAC Hermann Trophy as college soccer's best player. (Photo: Twitter.com/UVaWSoccer)

University of Virginia junior midfielder Morgan Brian won the MAC Hermann Trophy on Friday as college soccer’s best player. Brian beat out UNC senior Crystal Dunn, who won the award last year, and UCLA junior defender Abby Dahlkemper.

Brian had 16 goals and 14 assists this season for Virginia, tying for the ACC lead with 46 points. Brian led Virginia to their first-ever College Cup, where the Cavaliers lost in penalty kicks in the semifinals to eventual NCAA champion UCLA.

All three of Brian’s caps with the senior U.S. women’s national team came in 2013, and she scored her first goal close to home on Sept. 3 at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., in a 7-0 win over Mexico.

“I want to thank coach (Steve) Swanson, my teammates and the University of Virginia because without them, obviously none of this is possible,” Brian said.

Dunn was the first player since Mia Hamm in 1993 to win the ACC Player of the Year award three times in a row, but could not repeat as Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy winner.

Dahlkemper, the third finalist, was the first defender to be nominated as a finalist for the award since Cat Reddick (now Whitehill) in 2003. She was a key piece to UCLA’s first ever NCAA championship.

“I want to thank coach (Steve) Swanson, my teammates and the University of Virginia because without them, obviously none of this is possible,” Brian said.

Maryland’s Patrick Mullins won the men’s MAC Hermann Trophy, marking the fifth time the ACC has swept the men’s and women’s award in the same year.

  • Rdalford

    Congratulations to Morgan Brian. Well deserved MAC Hermann trophy recognition.

    Watching online was nice to see her acknowledge Crystal Dunn and Abby Dahlkemper the other two MAC Hermann finalist.

    Will be fun to watch these players as they grow into US WNT players.

  • xman22702

    Well done! I wonder if she will want to go into the NWSL draft or wait another year?

    • Empress

      Brian should wait another year and figure out how not to choke in championship games.

      • RM

        I thought she played relatively well, especially in the early going. Her penalty was ok. Not good but not horrible either. Either way, UCLA was a more talented team, and now that they actually got a good coach, they were bound to win the whole thing eventually.

        • Empress

          Yes, fate decreed that UCLA must win and Brian have a good PK, although it failed to get in the net. LOL.

          • guest

            It wasn’t a good PK, but it wasn’t bad either though. Bad would be the one from the Spurs game today.

  • Forgedias

    If Morgan Brian declares for the NWSL draft, then she will destroy my mock draft. But I wish her best in whatever choice she takes. An education is still important for these girls as well.

    • Pressured

      Would you mind sharing your mock draft? If Brian declares, is she ahead or behind Ohai?

      • Forgedias

        I’ll add a reply to Rdalford since this might be pertinent to this conversation. There were two players in last years class that joined the draft early. In Kendall Johnson she had a year of eligibility left. But I do believe she had a red shirt year as well, so that may explain why she was allowed in the draft. Adriana Leon was the other player who also had a year left in her eligibility but got allocated. So there are ways for players to make it into the draft but in most cases you may be correct on the rules.

        As to the mock draft, If Morgan Brian somehow does join the draft, she would be the defacto number one player. Crystal Dunn would most likely drop to the 2nd pick to Houston. Its Kealia Ohai who I think will fall down the draft because Chicago with their 3rd and 4th picks would most likely pick Julie Johnson and Vanessa DiBernardo since they have Christen Press and several other good forwards as well. The 5th pick is very interesting because I am not so sure that Kansas City would take Kealia Ohai if she fell to them. They have Melissa Henderson and Amy Rodriguez and they only use one forward. They need midfielders with Desiree Scott signing overseas and a left outside back since they lost Lauren Sesselmann. Their needs are very different so again I don’t see Ohai being picked here and then Skyblue who has the 6th pick would probably be Ohai’s destination. That is a fairly big drop for a player that is supposed to be the 2nd most coveted player in the draft.

        Again this is all speculation since more then likely Morgan Brian will not declare for the draft. It would be a shocking move if that happened.

    • Rdalford

      Current NWSL rules (which of course NWSL can change) indicate that players who have exhausted college eligibility and/or are graduating this year (2013-2014 school year) are eligible for the NWSL draft. Morgan Brian is only in her 3rd year at UVA so unless she is graduating early I do not think she would be able to declare for this year’s NWSL draft.

      • Boston Red

        Well, she could sign with an agent, thereby making herself ineligible for the NCAA. Sorta like Indi Cowie… hasn’t graduated, but lost her NCAA eligibility by being a pro in “freestyling.”

        I’m sure she wouldn’t, though.

        • Steglitz49

          There is probably only one or two freestylers who an pull in the sort of money that makes it worthwhile passing up NCAA eligibility. Indeed, you could say that the slot is taken.

          • Boston Red

            Which really has nothing to do with what I said. If Morgan B. did want to enter the NWSL, she could probably turn pro (perhaps get in a couple of games in Australia like Mewis did) and she is now ineligible for the NCAA.

    • guest

      I don’t see why she should declare for the draft. This isn’t NFL or NBA. There’s not that much money to be made in women’s soccer. Unless you think the only way she can make the WC squad is if she goes pro. Besides, an UVA degree is a nice thing to have, and like you said, many of these girls seem to care about their education as well.

      • J.

        Why are you being so damn negative.

        • guest

          What’s negative about that post?

          • ruby4

            “There’s not that much money to be made in women’s soccer…” I would add a clarification to that. There’t not much money to be made in women’s soccer yet. If the NWSL manages to make it past the 3 year curse mark, I can see there being a little more money in it. Get some more investors, attract some top internationals i don’t think salary wise the league would look half bad. It will never be the NFL lets be realistic but certainly more than the peanuts of the 12k average they get now.

          • Steglitz49

            iow, the young lady has plenty of time in which to complete her BA.

      • Theodora

        Yes! That BA from Thomas Jefferson is more valuable to her than a possible WC title.

        • Steglitz49

          Yes. She is certain to get the BA. There is no certainty about the WC. Ask the Germans if you don’t want to annoy the USNT.

          Nothing prevents Ms Brian from playing for the NT whilst not in the NWSL.

    • kernel_thai

      I dont believe she can enter the draft unless she has enough credits to graduate three semesters early.

  • VaFan51

    Absolutely deserved. I have never seen a college player who saw so much of the field and could affect play anywhere. Mo was the best this season.
    A question: Is Morgan Brian the first Hermann Trophy winner who was not on the season’s original Hermann Trophy watch list? Incredibly, she was not.

  • luke

    Phenomenal, complete player: she is offensive orchestrator, she is fierce, tackling defender when needed and she is a scorer in crucial moments. She rarely makes errors, just watch her closely through the match and count, you’ll be surprised!
    Finally she has that killer instinct that not many women player yet have, baby face smiling blonde off the field – mean assassin for 90 minutes on the field.
    I hope, I really really hope TS is going to take her to Canada 2015, she needs to learn and gain confidence, especially in her position.

  • luke

    She scores in every way imaginable: with fantastic diving headers, nicely bent freekicks, precise technical shots or after crafty combinations in the middle.
    All of this often in clutch moments of the matches – OTs, ETs, she’s assassin.
    Not to mention her great assists, her field vision is unmatched.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qxw3AH9QnKc

    • Sydonia

      She choked in the NCAA national championship game when she missed a PK. Please explain.

      • martiunka

        She hit the ball with power but keeper guessed it. It happens to the best and Rowland is a exceptional GK. Not much to explain. Definitely not a choke.

        • Theodora

          I’ve also seen GKs guess right and still fail to stop the shot!

        • Harry Truman

          Brian failed to find the right spot when it mattered.

      • Evevic

        The whole USWNT CHOKED IN THE 2011 World Cup by your standard? PKs are dreadful because they’re a guessing game. Says nothing about the player’s ability. Mia hated taking them and I’ve yet to see Alex Morgan take and make one with the national team. Respect your opinion but find it a tad unfair. I think Morgan Brian has the potential to be a special key player for the program for yrs to come.

        • Steglitz49

          Indeed.

          • Evevic

            I love futbol because it’s unpredictable . Like in 2011 I went front jubilation to heartbreak in the span of three matches.

          • Steglitz49

            WC-11 was a classic. I doubt if we will have such a tournament again for a very long time. It had everything, including the framework and superstructure.

            Women’s pro-soccer may one day look back on 2011-13 as the years that made the difference.

          • Evevic

            Indeed. We would all be grateful if 2015 could duplicate that feat. But if we don’t win it this time it will be a setback. Don’t mean to sound arrogant but the success of the USWNT is very good for the women’s game.

          • Steglitz49

            Your point is well taken. A US victory in Canada would be great for the NWSL and because women’s pro-soccer needs a solid US league, it is not a bad idea. The other countries, obviously, would want their mitts on that trophy.

            The time-zones will be a headache. Vancouver is 9h after Berlin and 17h after Tokyo. Tomorrow’s match that was played yesterday, or something like that.

          • Theodora

            Good for US women only. Somehow I can’t see German people or French people accepting your thesis.

          • Steglitz49

            That is why we have PR firms. It is their job to sell the concept. They could start by getting decent crowds to club games.

        • newsouth

          they are going to chike again if they keep letting wambach take all of them for her stats vs the other forwards.

          • Steglitz49

            What makes you so certain? And, why all this negativity? Look on the bright side of life: there might be two Morgans on the pitch at the same time, a commentator’s nightmare.

          • guest

            True, but their last names are not both Morgan.

          • Steglitz49

            To the soccer world at large, there is only one Morgan and Alex is her name.

            Examples of Morgans, apart from the Morgan car, include Cliff Morgan and Morgan Pressel, plus no doubt a whole host of others.

          • Evevic

            Morgan Brian will surpass her in 2-3 yrs in term of her value to the program (not popularity with the fan) because she’s more talented and a 5 star player. She epitomizes the beautiful game (athletic, scorer, passer, grace, impact player, great touch and feel for the game).

          • kevin

            But they play different positions so they shouldn’t be compared.

          • Steglitz49

            In a dog show you compare different breeds and declare a best-in-show, so why not for soccer players?

          • Steglitz49

            I am not convinced. “scorer, passer, grace, impact player” — is a reasonable description of both Alex, Aya and Homare. No doubt time will tell but I am not holding my breath.

          • Evevic

            Teams have figured AM out. I don’t expect to ever see her put the numbers of 2 yrs ago. She’s comfortable primarily in a direct offense and has no right foot. Expect defenders get more physical with her and foul her more especially now her body is breaking down.

          • Steglitz49

            Ms Iwashimizu got a red card for her challenge. Alex tumbled, Azusa walked and Japan raised the trophy. (A year later Canada had collective amnesia.)

            I expect Alex to call it a day after OG-16. She may well quit after WC-15 already. The US is her oyster. As you type, why risk debilitating injury. She probably already earns more than Ennis and Neuner combined.

          • guest

            That seems true looking at recent play, but I’d hold judgment until she’s healthy and playing in a meaningful match.

          • guest

            Perhaps, but only because the US is experiencing an extreme surplus in forwards right now. A couple of years ago the team would have done anything to get an Alex Morgan type player. Strikers can single-handedly change the game more than a mid. Brian needs a strong team around her, and she can make them better. It’s hard to compare the two.

          • Empress

            Yes, and physical teams muscle Brian off the ball, like UCLA did.

          • NYRick

            Do physical teams also muscle Xavi, Iniesta and David Silva off the ball too? In a year or two, and once she turns pro and gains more international caps, her talent will figure it all out and she will be a dominating linchpin player for both club and country.

          • Z

            David Silva does not deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as Xavi and Iniesta.

          • NYRick

            I’ll certainly give you that, just making a point as to creative players.

          • NYRick

            Completely agree with you on this. Morgan Brian is a special player and in the next few years, she will be the Morgan that is the focal point of the US program, and I think the Morgan that people talk about. Along with Tymrak and Press, she is the new breed of US player that will propel the US team forward for the next two cycles. I truly hope all three get a prominent role at WC15 although I’m not holding my breath on that. But it’s really to the team’s benefit.

            As for getting into any debates with Steg on Alex, you are fighting a losing battle. You will hear, “one for the ages, forever etched in body paint, she should call it a day at 26 after WC15, the greatest thing since slice bread blah blah blah.” Look, Alex is an excellent player with a penchant for the moment to her credit, but I think you said it somewhere on here as well, she will have a very difficult time replicating her 2012 ever again. I wouldn’t necessarily bet against it, but I highly doubt it. Her true fame derives from her beauty. If she were average looking (I realize looks are subjective, but you get the drift), she would never be considered “one for the ages.”

          • guest

            Always gotta make it about Press and Morgan, don’t’ you Rick.

          • Z

            What else is new with the guy? He is insufferable.

          • NYRick

            Where did I make it about Press and Morgan? Maybe it’s you who is always looking into things? Read more carefully next time. I was in alliance with the conversation about the two Morgans. Where exactly was the comparison between Press and Morgan in what I wrote above?

            I critiqued Alex because Steg never lets up with the same nonsense about her (still the conversation was about Brian and Morgan and who would be more impactful in the program). You Alex and Abby fans really need a sense of prospective and maturity some times.

          • guest

            Yeah, because it’s not the Press-stans that are trying to rile up every thread on this site.

          • Sydonia

            If not Press, then the unproven Tymrak, greatest midie ever!

          • Empress

            Brian wasn’t very special against UCLA in the championship. Special players come through in the end, like Alex Morgan and Ronaldo.

          • guest

            I hope you mean the real Ronaldo (R9).

          • Steglitz49

            Empress means Rahn but her spelling is wobbly.

          • luke

            She was very good in the first half. She looked completely exhausted in the second.

          • Steglitz49

            Why? Was she ill?

          • luke

            She was playing whole 90 minutes in last Virginia matches.

          • Steglitz49

            Does the NCAA not use substitutions in the way that players can come off and then go back on again? Or, has that all been changed?

          • Boston Red

            They still use the almost unlimited substitution rule.

          • Steglitz49

            I would not recommend the body-paint stunt to Ms Brian. It would smack of copy-cat and desperation — and you can only pull it off once.

            She could make instructions for knitting and felting or model luxury lingerie. That might work, though “Brian’s Secrets” would have the wrong ring and for all I know “Morgan” might be trade-marked. Does anyone know if it is?

          • guest

            LOL. Where do you come up with this Steg?

          • luke

            hahaha I can’t with this man… :DDD
            Steg, how not to love you? ;)))

          • NYRick

            LOL. You talk about body paint, knitting and lingerie as it relates to a female, and I’m the one who gets attacked on here. Hilarious.

          • Boston Red

            You can’t prevent someone from using her name.

          • Steglitz49

            Your point is well taken. Nevertheless, some actors, sports persons and designers (but not all) have been able to protect their names though I assume it is not simply their given or surnames but a combination thereof.

            Also, the Morgan car company have the rights to “morgan” but I presume it is the whole logo bit, not just the name. Porsche has the rights to “911”. There are a number of these unexpected protections.

          • Boston Red

            It’s a pretty complicated area, made even more so by different laws across countries. One “Morgan” would have to show her use of a trademark in a particular field and how they could be confused. “Morgan Soccer” on training camps could go to whoever got there first. But Alex can’t trademark “Morgan” across all possible uses.

          • Steglitz49

            The main (only?) market is the US and one has to assume that Alex’s agents already did the needful.

          • evevic

            I agree with you. Abby as a starter at 35 for 7 matches is a disaster waiting to happen. Sometimes selfishness can masquerade as positive ambition. I think we’re seeing that with her. Don’t blame her completely because TS SHOULD BE MAKING THE TOUGH DECISIONS!!

          • luke

            I wrote it 6 months ago, I’ll write it now: with Abby Wambach starting every game in Canada, US won’t win it all.
            It even sounds stupid – 35yo aging champion surrounded by insanely talented successors starting for what? Fame, goals, importance? She has it all already! She’s freaking legend!
            She can bring her class, clutchness and quality for some of the matches/halves or minutes, but starter for 7 matches in a month? Insane.

            Anyway, I will eat my words and you all may call me an idiot if I’m wrong – it’s an official statement. :)

          • ruby4

            Call me crazy but I don’t see Tom starting abby for a full 90 every game. When push comes to shove I think he will do whats best for the team and if that means benching abby than he will bench abby.

          • Evevic

            But you do that now and not at the World Cup.

          • ruby4

            Maybe he’s trying to be strategic? He is managing a whole team of personalties so maybe he trying to be cautious and not set off any land mines unless he absolutely haas to. Maybe he’s holding his last card for the moment when he absolutely needs it. Ever think of that?

          • guest

            He did that early last year. Wambach didn’t play that much at the Algarve. With Morgan getting injured and Press being in and out due to club play, he was forced to play Wambach more. Plus, I think he feels some pressure to play Wambach when they are playing in the US to appease the fans.

          • Silver Frost

            Honestly, how many forwards play at the top of their game at age 35, male or female? This coming year in NWSL will tell us a lot about Abbster’s form. And the 2015 season.

        • Sydonia

          Yes, total epic fail. WNT had 120 minutes to destroy the Asian dwarf women and allowed it to go down to PK in WC-11. They deserved to lose by playing apologetically, feeling sorry for the tsunami victims. Our WNT have since learned how to play to win, witness Olympics 2012.

          • guest

            “Asian dwarf women”? Really?

          • Steglitz49

            Touché! By japanese standards they were tall. They stood on average 2″ taller than their countrywomen but about 2″ shorter than their opponents. They also gave away about 10 lb in weight.

          • Moon Goddess

            How about by Martian standards?

          • Steglitz49

            Mars is the god of war and Nike the goddess of victory but I think Addidas make the Nadeshiko kit (unless it is Puma).

          • Evevic

            Completely disrespectful toward the well deserved Japanese World Cup champions and you didn’t need to go there.

          • Steglitz49

            Thank you. I can only assume that s/he refers to the red and yellow cards collected by the Nadeshiko while at the same time overlooking the appalling off-side error which would have won the WC to Japan in regulation. The fact that Japan won the world cup means that howling error is not revisited.

          • Sydonia

            I don’t respect the enemy. Respect is for polite minded teams, like USWNT in WC-11. They have a silver medal to reward politeness.

          • Steglitz49

            The stiff upper lip has a lot to be recommended for it.

            Champions don’t make excuses for their shortcomings.

      • luke

        Watch again, it was very decent penalty strike. Well placed, OK strength. Keeper went completely blind to her right and guessed pefectly.
        IMO choke is what Carli or Tobin made in 2011 – bad, mediocre misplaced strikes. Deifferent than Morgan Brian’s penalty.

        • Steglitz49

          Someone hit the ball over the bar also. Only Abby scored hers, but by then it was too late.

          • martiunka

            Yeah. It was Carli Lloyd who shot hers over the bar.

          • Evevic

            So do u also think she choked?

          • Steglitz49

            Kaihori was playing phenomenally that evening.

            I like the way Aya Miyama takes penalties. She strolls up to the ball, sends the goalie one way and the ball the other. Infact, she scored the 1-1 equalizer like that, and at speed.

            I think that Ms Brian should have a chat with Bev and Becky about playing in Japan. It does not have to be Kobe Leonessa. Most teams would do.

          • Silver Frost

            Lloyd had a very bad WC-11, always firing 25 yd shots wide of the net, or over it. She’s become better at taking long shots fortunately.

          • Steglitz49

            It worked in 2008 and again in 2012, so why not in 2011? Any ideas?

        • Sydonia

          No different. When one is the team leader and NT capped player, one has the responsibility to make a winner. Brian failed. UCLA’s Mewis is better for our WNT.

          • guest

            Tom obviously doesn’t agree with you, and I’d take his opinion over yours. Sorry bb.

          • luke

            I agree, she failed 100% in that moment. She’ll remember it for years, I’m sure. They needed her to step up and save the day and she came short.
            But honestly, watch the replay, watch the way she took that penalty, watch her body language and the strike.
            She was not stressed, she was not hesitating, she was not afraid. She failed, but she did not choke.

          • Sir Alex

            Choke, fail, lose. What’s the bloody difference?

          • luke

            Ask Lebron James.

          • newsouth

            Alley Courtnall

          • Steglitz49

            I presume you refer to Ms Courtnall scoring the lone goal for the Bruins in their 1-1 semifinal draw against Virginia, before UCLA prevailed 4-2 on penalty kicks.

            How unsporting of you, raining on the parade.

            Though your point, that these trophies awarded by the good and great are somewhat meaningless, is not without merit as illustrated by Hope Solo getting the Golden Gloves in WC-11 but Kaihori only letting one penalty in in the pso.

          • JAMES 18

            Even all the Great ones missed penalties, Maradona, Marta, Zidane, C.Ronaldo.Abby, so lets give the kid a break.
            Brazil might have a WC trophy by now if MARTA didn’t miss that penalty in the 2007 WC finals

          • Steglitz49

            Is Maradona truly great? I think not.

          • Evevic

            Wow I get the feleling you think AM is the greatest thing since slice bread but Maradona is not great? Are you serious? I’m no fan of Maradonna but at his prime he was great for both club and country. Check YouTube. What’s your definition of greatness?

          • JAMES 18

            Arguably, the best ever. Better than ZLATAN by far. :-). Pure Magic on the pitch.

      • Eric Bauer

        Everyone misses penalties at some point.

        • Sydonia

          Champions make theirs.

          • guest

            Who is a “champion” in your opinion?

          • Sydonia

            The women who won world cups. Some Yanks are in that set of champions.

          • guest

            This is what an armchair quarterback says. Someone who doesn’t really understand the game and just wants to spout their opinion.

          • Steglitz49

            Wrong. Champions score enough of their penalties to lift the trophy, and preferably more than enough goals in regulation.

          • guest

            The word “champions” can be used to mean several different things depending on the context, Steg.

          • Steglitz49

            You have lost me. “The winner takes it all”, sang ABBA while the expression “coming second is what we call losing” originates in these necks of the woods. If you say “He was the greatest”, everyone knows to whom you refer; the female of the species seems open to debate.

          • ruby4

            Champions are made just as much by there failures as there successes.

          • Steglitz49

            “If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
            And treat those two impostors just the same”

            Then, in your eyes Tobin and Carli have redeemed themselves (if that is theologically possible).

          • ruby4

            Not sure what you mean?

          • ruby4

            “If you can make one heap of all your winnings and risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss, and lose, and start again at your beginnings and never breath a word about your loss; If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew to serve your turn long after they are gone, and so hold on when there is nothing in you except the will which says to them: “Hold on!”

            If that’s what you mean by “redemption” than yes I think they redeemed themselves.

          • Q

            So we cannot consider Messi a champion because he missed plenty of them, some in very important games

          • Steglitz49

            UCLA won the title, not UVa. Ms Brian missed a penalty.

            Messi has won a lot of titles. Three Champions Leagues with Barecelona (2006, 2009 and 2011, though the 2006 is generally considered Henke Larsson’s final), U-20 WC and Olympic gold, but the senior WC has eluded him.

          • Q

            Let’s not forget that Brian won the biggest title she could have at her age – U-20 World Cup. Are you saying that UCLA won the title because she missed her PK? If yes then that’s very unfair judgment. UCLA won because they simply played better.

          • Steglitz49

            As far as I know a list of those eligible to be voted for the Hermann Trophy is drawn up by the great and the good. It is meant to be voted on in such a way as to reflect their performance in College soccer during the season. As for that gnomes of Zurich award, the three with the most votes are invited to the annual knees-up.

            Ms Brian winning the U-20 WC is a special achievement and no doubt helped get her on the list of eligibles. Clearly the electoral college considered Ms Brian the most worthy of the Hermann trophy, which is what we celebrate here.

            At the same time it is worth noting that much scorn has been poured in the Equalizer by commentators on the fact that the three ladies invited to Zurich with Angerer are Abby and Marta.

          • guest

            Messi missed a crucial penalty against Chelsea in the semifinals in 2012. Would a “champion” had made that?

          • Empress

            Yes

          • guest

            So Messi is not a “champion”, despite all the trophies he has won? Who in the present is a “champion”?

          • Steglitz49

            A good question. For a team game, the Champion is the team as in Japan for the ladies and Spain for the gentlemen.

          • Steglitz49

            Another way to look at it is the 2006 final. Henke Larsson came on as a substitute with <30 min remaining when Arsenal were winning 1-0. He provided both the assists, perfectly weighted goal-giving passes. The Henke Larsson Final.

            In 2012 Chelsea went on to defeat Bayern Munich in a match they ought to have lost. Such is life.

          • Eric Bauer

            It would be easy to come up with a huge list of champions missing penalties. Such a ridiculous comment.

    • VaFan51

      Thanks so much for this compilation.

      I saw nearly all of those matches and I can say another of her talents has been to engage the crowds in attendance: so many gasps, so many “oh’s” as a play unfolds.
      So many times I have been in the stands and heard a parent or coach tell a child or young player to “watch number 6.”
      At one of UVa’s last home games of this past season, I saw a father lean over and tell his teenage daughters to watch Mo because “we don’t know how much she will be around next year.”

      “The beautiful game” is a tag thrown around so often that it often loses its meaning, especially through all the bump-and-grind kickball style of much of soccer in the U.S. But in all honesty, the way Morgan Brian plays the game is truly beautiful.

      • luke

        All I can say you are very very lucky that you can witness live the magic this team is performing, I envy you.
        I really do.

      • martiunka

        Exactly what Evevic said. I’m a fan from far way and I’m extremely jealous of anyone who can see it live.

      • guest

        I don’t see any oohs or ahhh moments in this video.

        • Steglitz49

          It is difficult because Morgan Brian’s name does not end in an “A”. It was “Oh, Ah, Cantona!” at Old Trafford in days of old and the crowd would break out into renditions of the Marseillaise. Those were the days, my friend, we thought that they would never end. They have now.

    • sydon

      That Polish kid is better,lol

      • Steglitz49

        Do you mean Ewa Pajor?

        • sydon

          Yes Ewa PAJOR

          • Steglitz49

            Which university has Ewa in her sights? The Yale Bulldogs?

          • JAMES 18

            Who knows?That kid could be crazy good.A real talent.

    • kiro

      Nothing special.

      • Steglitz49

        Who or what is “noting special”?

        • kiro

          None of her plays in this video is special.Lets be honest here.

          • Steglitz49

            The young lady is a naturally two-footed player who also can head goals. That is pretty special. But. How come UCLA beat them? It was UCLA’s first title, not their 12th. In short, your point is well taken.

            The young lady will soon be 21, that is a year older than Saki Kumagai was when she slammed the last nail into the coffin in FF on that enchanted evening.

            Let’s trust that Ms Brian’s game continues to develop — but she must finish her BA first.

          • luke

            If you set up relay race 20X100m Virginia vs UCLA, UVa girls would finish 20sec behind.

            That’s how UCLA beat them.

          • luke

            That long header wasn’t special? Really? :)
            I’ve seen only one player that is able to make that play and she is international goals record holder.

          • kiro

            Long header? Come on. We need to see some jaw dropping skills not headers.

  • kevin

    Some of you must really hate the name Morgan.

    • newsouth

      no, in the usa it can be about brand name vs the real talent. just look at the nt. girls in their prime are being wasted for some legend BS with wambach. morgan is an ok player but she isn’t going to turn the football world over upside down.

      • Evevic

        Which Morgan?

        • Steglitz49

          As remarked elsewhere, there is only one Morgan just as there ever was only one Sugar Ray.

          The commentator shouting Brian in a ladies match will be quite amusing. We look forward to the “Life of Brian” sequel.

          • luke

            Looks like you’ll be quite amused in years to come Sir, cause ultimate playmaker has just arrived. Good for you. :)

          • Steglitz49

            My hunch is that Alex will retire after OG-16 and possibly already after WC-15, so confusion on the field will not be the issue. Unfortunately, the brand name of “Morgan” will remain so strong that Ms Brian might want to consider building her middle name. Mini-Morgan or Post-Morgan does not quite ring true. Maybe Morgan-B might get traction?

          • Evevic

            So newsouth thinks Alex Morgan and not Morgan Brian is an ok player? Thanks for the clarification.

      • Steglitz49

        Verily and forsooth. Which is why Lindsey Vonn remains Vonn after her divorce. The brand has been built; the brand must stay.

  • wosofan

    This might sound odd regarding a player like Brian, who’s been on all the youth national teams and won all the awards, but the really encouraging thing for her career (and US Soccer) is how much she’s improved in the past year. Huge improvements. Yes, she was always very good. Yes, she dominated the ACC Championship in 2012. But the progression she’s made from a year ago is really something. She is so much better than the player she was at the U20 World Cup. If she continues on that trend, she could be an amazing player on the international level — Ballon d’Or, World Cup MVP, etc.

    • VaFan51

      Speaking as someone who saw most of Brian’s home matches for the past 3 seasons, I can say that this observation is very true. She not only improved technically (hard to believe), but she’s stronger and much more a leader on the pitch.
      Two traits of her game not many folks know about:
      She has a surprisingly strong leg (two, actually) and is one of the few college women players who can consistently switch the ball all the way across the field accurately, right onto a teammate’s feet.
      She has become a real threat in the air. She may be blade-thin, but she can sky (a high school basketball star) and has scored on headers from just about every distance and angle.
      She is so much fun to watch.

      • Steglitz49

        Your point that Ms Brian “is one of the few college women players who can consistently switch the ball all the way across the field accurately, right onto a teammate’s feet” is a marvelous observation because this is the weakness of the ladies game. If Ms Brian has mastered the dark art of this aspect, more power to her elbow.

        Briefly, because the ladies play on a full width field, they often use one or even two intermediaries to switch the play from one side to the other. This gives the defense time to move across. In short, players who can switch by one pass are worth their weight in gold (if not in body paint).

  • guest

    Perhaps a player shouldn’t be judged solely on one penalty kick. That would be like judging a commenter on statements about homophobic cities and Asian dwarves.

    • TN

      If Morgan Brian misses penalty kicks consistently, then perhaps it is a problem, and it’s not like she intentionally misses that kick. I would say it’s different when a commenter constantly makes ignorant remarks, and intentionally airs them.

    • treehill

      It’s surprising when soccer fans, of all sports fans, pass judgment based on singular kicks and results, instead of considering body of work.

      After all, the most common criticism of soccer is “There aren’t enough goals,” and the most common rebuttal is “There’s more to soccer than just goals.” You would think soccer fans in particular would appreciate the importance of everything in the game that isn’t scoring. That they, of all fans, would understand the importance of how you play the game rather than just the result.

      Whenever someone focuses solely on a single goal or game or result when judging a player, they’re pretty much stating that the 99% that is the rest of the sport is meaningless and boring – just like American critics of soccer like to think.

  • kevin

    brace yourselves Rick is back and look at that he mentioned Press in an article that doesn’t have anything to do with her at all right on cue.

    • guest

      Press is the future. And let’s praise the two creative mids who can make all the passes for Press to finish. Let’s not mention any of the other forwards, who have been just as good. Is this the same Rick who complained about Wambach only mentioning Alex and Syd and leaving Press out. Looks like the man who criticizes Abby Wambach is no more than an internet form of her.

      • kevin

        he must really really hate the name Morgan by now.

        • guest

          He will love Morgan Brian as long as she can create goals for his girl Press. But god forbid if she makes goals for the other forwards.

          • Steglitz49

            Is Ms Brian joining Chicago? I thought that she was finishing her BA first.

          • kevin

            She’s still a junior.

          • Steglitz49

            Ms Brian ought to finish her degree. Whether she wants to go to grad school is her choice. Astrid Jacobsen is taking time out from her studies to be a physician in order to try to make the Olympics. She was second in the Tour de Ski (after the impossible Johaug) so Astrid is well on the way one hopes.

          • kevin

            I agree she should finish her degree.

          • guest

            Well, I believe she is a kinesiology major, so she may actually be getting a BS.

          • Steglitz49

            A BS degree sounds a bit inferior. A BK does not ring true either. Even the “B” seems a bit askew because presumably she is a spinster and not a bachelor, and we can’t have “SS” for sure. Hmmm … Will someone please rid us of this bothersome nuisance and keep us right.

          • guest

            If the degree is in a science, a BS is worth more than a BA.

          • Steglitz49

            I thought that BSc stood for a Bachelor of Science while BS was one of the abbreviations for a Bachelor in Surgery (sometimes also abbreviated BCh or ChirB, though to the common man on the Boston T, BS stands for something much inferior. Apparently there is a “Bristol scale” to assess its quality.

          • guest

            Depends on the country.

      • Steglitz49

        Morgan Brian is the future while Ms Press is the present.

        Christen is relevant that she also received the Hermann Trophy, a fat lot of use it did her subsequent career.

        • guest

          Press is doing alright for herself.

          And college awards do not guarantee professional success.

          • Steglitz49

            Ms Press rebuilt her career in Sweden, a country to which the Hermann trophy means nothing, which might have been an advantage, all things considered.

      • NYRick

        Not true at all. I would like to see Morgan Brian pass the ball to any US forward in the future for goals. For all any of us know, it could well be Horan who benefits most from her play in the future.

    • NYRick

      As a sidenote, also mentioned in this thread by others were: Aya, Homare, Wambach, Caril, Tobin, Courtnell, Vonn, Iwashimizu, Ronaldo (Brazilian), LeBron, Solo, Messi etc.

      I guess they all have plenty to do with an article on this year’s MAC Herrman winner too. Get a gripe. And if you read above, Press’s name was just mentioned in the context of sentence in a very minor way. No comparisons at all.

      • Steglitz49

        You did not name Henke Larsson. How could you not? Are we to conclude that because like Abby Henke broke his leg but came back, he is cast into utter darkness?

      • guest

        Context matters Rick.

        • NYRick

          Yes, I agree with you on that. And here is how I used the Press reference that you may had a problem with in context with the discussion on Brian…

          “Along with Tymrak and Press, she is the new breed of US player that will propel the US team forward for the next two cycles.”

          How is that out of context? Maybe it was just the critique of Alex you didn’t like that followed, that’s fair. I also called Alex like I have on numerous occasions, an excellent player too. Can we just have a truce and move on from this nonsense?

        • Steglitz49

          And I thought it was size.

          • veritas

            Is that why you overpost?

      • guest

        We all have a gripe.