Acevedo could fill in for Morgan; Dash taking shape

Jeff Kassouf March 14, 2014 71

National Women’s Soccer League preseason officially began for all nine clubs on Monday, and the kickoff to the 2014 season is now just a month away. All nine club’s rosters can be found here. Those include all trialists trying to crack a roster spot, except for Portland Thorns FC, who did not reveal any players beyond those drafted or already under contract.

The Thorns continue to operate without the services of U.S. striker Alex Morgan, who has considerable recovery left — there is not even a timetable — on a stress reaction in her left ankle. So with Danielle Foxhoven shipped north to Seattle this offseason, who could fill in alongside Christine Sinclair in the interim?

Mexico forward Jackie Acevedo could have her opportunity, the Oregonian’s Jamie Goldberg reports.

“I love her,” Thorns coach Paul Riley said of Acevedo. “I hadn’t seen much of her, just game tape. But just to see her with our kids – she’s good, she’s sharp, she’s got a good brain on her, she moves well off the ball and she’s crafty around the net.”

Dash looking a 3-5-2?

This Houston Dash video is about a month old, but it does give some relevant insight into how Randy Waldrum plans to set up his team.  Have a look below at the shot of the team’s whiteboard, featuring what looks like a plan to play a 3-5-2, anchored by Whitney Engen at center back and Brittany Bock, Becky Edwards and Teresa Noyola in the center of the park. Houston’s midfield is stacked as expected, but the Dash will need to figure out where goals are going to come from:

Then again, maybe that is just there to throw everybody off.

  • wosofan

    That whiteboard is very interesting — good find!! Also, rumor out of PDX is that Riley is also considering a trade or some sort of signing, to fill in for lack of depth at striker, esp. when Sinclair is gone for CanWNT.

    • TsovLoj

      I’d be kind of curious at least to see how Acevedo and Sullivan or McDonald would do up front.

    • kernel_thai

      Riley discussed a trade on Talk_Timbers and pretty much admitted he doesnt have anything to trade. Also, it really hard to find forwards who score at the best of times. Add the fact that he doesnt seem to like young players and I think it’s going to be tough for him.

      • ege

        Kind of hope we kept Foxhoven

      • wosofan

        Please, Paul Riley, if you are reading this post (ha, ha – no chance), consider acquiring a veteran goal scoring machine like ARod. KC will merely take the Thorns’ first-round pick in next year’s college draft — Sarah Killion looks good in blue, I’ve heard.

    • FCKCEvans

      As far as i’m concerned KC has an excess of strikers, especially if Hagen comes in June. Like Kernel_Thai mentioned Riley admits he doesn’t have much he wants to give up though. I do think Portland’s midfield is better so taking a risk on a young striker could work.

      • wosofan

        Yes, too many strikers, so FCKC can trade ARod to Portland — she’ll reunite with Paul Riley!!

        Ha, ha, ha. Would never happen. These veteran WNT players would never get traded twice in the same year.

        On the other hand, Riley is not a huge fan of college draft picks, so he might consider parting with a No. 1 pick in the next draft, to acquire ARod. If I were GM, I’d get on the phone with the Thorns and start the conversation.

        • FCKCEvans

          I’m not ashamed to say that i’m excited for Arod’s arrival in KC. But if somehow, KC can get Hagen in April I wouldn’t hate your proposition of Arod to Portland for a first-rounder. She probably won’t be free much longer anyway.

          That said, with the WWC and possible expansion talk it seems silly to give away a first round pick in 2015 with so many possible unknown needs. Just my opinion though and I understand you were only half serious.

          • wosofan

            On thing is certain — ARod is going to get her chances. Quality looks on goal. If you think back to last season: Jones, Mathias, Henderson, etc. — all had their looks. In other words, ARod is not going to be playing for last year’s Washington Spirit. (She may not be playing for quite as strong a team as last year’s FCKC, though, either). If she does something like 10 goals in 24 matches, I’ll call Sermanni myself to get her on the WCQ roster.

          • kernel_thai

            The best thing for A-Rod is KC has a system. If she fits into that system she’ll get easy chances. A-Rods problems come when she to try and create goasl by herself.

          • Steglitz49

            Is 10 in 24 better than 38 in 51?

          • Steglitz49

            Yes. It is. Using Fisher’s Exact test, the two-tailed P value equals 0.0094. Thereby the difference is very statistically significant. Yippee!

        • kernel_thai

          Poor A-Rod…what does she do when Morgan comes back…sit on the sideline and knit baby clothes?

          • Steglitz49

            Magdalena Neuner made a huge marketing success with her knitting. She published two books of patterns and several instruction videos with her sponsor Lana Grossa. Now she is pregnant but not yet married …

          • guest

            How scandalous!

          • Steglitz49

            An interviewer put this to Magdalena, pointing out that she had twice refused to be folded out in Playboy and came from the most conservative state in Germany. Magdalena impishly grinned and agreed, but went on to say that such a “conservative” girl could not possibly propose to her boyfriend. It was her boyfriend’s job to ask her to marry him; she could not go against tradition and family values. (Maybe they are married now.)

      • Steglitz49

        Is Sarah Hagen leaving Bayern Munich? I know Amber Brooks took her medicine but I had not heard that Sarah has knuckled under — yet. Bayern’s coin, unlike Tyresö’s, seems good.

        • FCKCEvans

          I have no insider info. I have a hunch that she will join KC on loan after BM’s season to try and get some extra looks from ole’ TS.

          • Steglitz49

            Why KC? Just curious. Boston, for example, seems in want to some muscle.

          • wosofan

            KC is the NWSL teams that holds her rights, if she decides to play in the NWSL.

          • Steglitz49

            Thank you. I had forgotten. Has Sarah agreed to that? If Bayern Munich does not resign her, I can see it mattering but if Bayern gives her a new contract, presumably they can lend her to the team which they prefer?

          • wosofan

            From a development standpoint, Hagen has a lot to lose by just walking away from Bayern this June. They are in Champions League this upcoming season, 2014-15, and I think she can continue to improve. Having said that, if she wants to make a run at the World Cup team, she probably needs to give up on Bayern. There’s no way to mix a full European schedule with the USWNT schedule, from Sept. 2014 to June 2015. They cannot both work. They would interfere with each other too much.

            I’m betting she goes with USWNT, because it could be once in a lifetime. And even if she’s an alternate, it lines her up for the Olympic team in 2016.

          • ftrb

            No German club has qualified for the 2014-15 Champions League yet. It will be whoever the top two teams are at the end of this 2013-14 season. Currently, it’s Frankfurt and Potsdam, and on current form it seems unlikely that Bayern will make it.

          • Silver Frost

            Ali Krieger lived and played in Germany for four years, and still started for the USWNT.

          • Steglitz49

            That was under Pia Sundhage’s baton. Ali first played for the NT in 2008 (admittedly at the advanced age of 23 years).

            Ali had great success playing for Frankfurt, including the Treble in 2008 and the DFB cup again in 2011, plus innumerable runner-ups.

          • Steglitz49

            ftrb is correct. Bayern Munich are 9 points adrift of qualifying for the Champions League. After 12 rounds, FF leads on 30 pts (GD 39), Potsdam has 29 pts (20), then the She-wolves with 25 (24) and Bayern Munich in 4th on 21 pts (with 9 in GD).

            I presume that your confusion comes from, that teams like Sweden and England, who play a summer season, use last season’s result for the 2014-15 Champions League. Seeing the unpleasantness of Tyresö’s finances, it could well be Linköping who get to represent Sweden in the CL with Rosengård (former Malmö).

          • wosofan

            Yes, sorry, I had assumed Bayern qualified for CL. I sadly confused them with PSG (different league, different country, but American forwards on both rosters!!)

            Anyway, I still feel Hagen would benefit from staying in Germany, rather than just 2 months in the NWSL, and then nothing. She’d have to hope she gets consistent USWNT call-ups, and also, hope she makes the WC roster. I just feel like her development would be halted.

            Also, interesting development — Katie Stengel has apparently received a call-up to the USWNT for the two China friendlies. She had an excellent La Manga tournament, with the U23WNT. However, Hagen has more experience and is a more polished hold-up forward at this point, and certainly a better aerial threat.

            Anyway, I’m wondering who will be there for the China friendlies?? Are Hagen and Christen staying in Europe? What about ARod? The WNT is so fascinating right now — particularly compared to the Pia era — and I really like that.

          • Steglitz49

            The WNT under Pia was metronomically successful, the meltdown in the pso in Frankfurt the only blot in their copybook — but the wrong page to blot for sure.

            Of the players that Pia brought into the NT Ali (Krieger), Alex, KOH, Tobin and Syd are still in contention, not mentioning the ones she tested and found wanting.

            Provided Bayern pay Sarah a decent whack, why move? Bayern aren’t exactly in financial dire straits like Tyresö.

          • Rdalford

            re Stengel call up – has the call up roster for the China friendlies been announced? Can’t find it on US soccer site.

          • kernel_thai

            No…this was on twitter…n other names attached.

          • Rdalford

            thanks

          • kernel_thai

            If Im Hagen I wait for some commitment from the USSF before I leave Bayern. She is doing well there and their is no proof that her joining the NWSL equals a WC roster spot.

          • Steglitz49

            Good advice. Keep taking the Bayern Euro.

      • applefan

        did FCKC get her contract? very interesting. I know her contract is up in June…

        • FCKCEvans

          Again I have no real insider info. I’m just placing an assumption based on a few things:
          1. As WOSO stated, KC has her rights
          2. She looked good in the few moments at the Algarve Cup and probably wants another camp or two to show her stuff. The best way to do that (apparently) is to play in the NWSL.
          3. She follows Huw Williams KCs coach on Twitter and is close with Erika Tymrak.

          So again, I could just be starting rumors. But if she wants to push for a NT roster spot, I think she ends up in KC sometime this season.

          • Steglitz49

            Sarah stands 5’11″. Lindsey Horan at 5’9″ in PSG is her obvious immediate rival for the NT. Sarah has scored 51 goals in 38 starts for Bayern Munich including several critical goals while Lindsey, not yet 20, has not been given as much time to demonstrate her abilities for PSG but has a chance to strut her stuff in the U20 WC.

            Were I Sarah, I would go for as good a Bayern contract as I can but ask them to be lent to the NWSL for this season.On the other hand, at 25 Sarah may be thinking of returning to the US in general, unless she has a love-interest in Bavaria.

          • Reality

            You have the goal-start ratio backwards on Hagen. It is 38 goals in 51 starts.

          • Steglitz49

            Thanks for the correction. Sounded too good to be true. Wishful thinking, perhaps?

          • FCKCEvans

            I agree Hagen has a lot of competition. If the NT is her goal, I think we see her suit up for KC in 2014 on loan from BM.

          • Steglitz49

            The NT leadership must be honest with those on the cusp. Were I Bayern Munich, I would offer Sarah a sweet contract.

          • kernel_thai

            The billion dollar question is how long does KC hold those rights? According to the vague league rules they r supposed to sign discovery players within a reasonable amount of time after claiming their rights.

          • Steglitz49

            If Sarah agrees a new contract with Bayern Munich, can Bayern decree to whom they lend Sarah?

          • wosofan

            We can safely assume that FCKC holds her NWSL rights for the 2014 season; probably no longer than that.

          • FCKCEvans

            Agreed, I don’t think KC would have protected discovery player #1 after losing Sess if Hagens rights would expire before the 2014 season.

            Wosofan, look at us…agreeing and getting along lately :) Ha.

      • Pressured

        If it were me, I’d be fine with Henderson or ARod up top, Tymrak out left, Holiday at CAM, Buczkowski and Richmond at DM, Robinson at LB, Kallman and KrazySick at CB, and Meritt at RB. My question is who will be the right winger?

        • FCKCEvans

          I wonder this too. Defense is less than set IMO bc they may try and slide one of their many center-backs into an outside back, thus allowing Mathias to play an attacking role of which she’s more comfortable. As for AM, KC used Henderson there in spurts….it seems that they almost view their attackers as interchangeable. And I think rookie Frances Silva has an outside shot to play AM, she’d fit in with good vision and craftiness. When Katrina Gorry arrives though, I believe that spot is hers to lose.

    • Steglitz49

      Those glasses! The glasses are to die for. To travestize: “I am an expert of the soccer of the upper social classes, And to be able to see the players I wear these great big glasses …”

  • AlexH

    3-5-2 is a really good formation for women’t soccer. More teams should use it including the USWNT.

    • Greg

      Brazil has used it historically. One of the big talking points at the 2011 WC was how Brazil returned to a 3-5-2 with a sweeper and two marking backs.

      I don’t really see how it gets USWNT players into their best positions personally. I assume you’d have someone like a Megan Rapinoe out wide, which gets her into the attack more but also leaves acres of space for opposing wide players- think Japan’s attacking fullbacks or someone like Marta drifting into that space and cutting in. That was actually how the first US goal against Brazil in the 2011 WC was scored- ball went wide to Boxx in a ton of space, and she played in a good cross that got bundled into the goal as Brazil’s defense was transitioning across to close her down.

      • AlexH

        I think Dunn would be very god winger in the 3-5-2 and that Rapino could be moved into one of the 3 CM positions as she tends to drift centrally already. Athletic wingers (which we have) could reduce the time and space on the flanks and I think Solo could handle the crosses.

      • wosofan

        freaky goal against Brazil, as I recall. Brazil were defending a set piece, which is why Boxx was up that far in the first place. ball gets kicked out or cleared, then set back in, and then deflected past the Brazil backline, and Boxx chased it down. Not exactly an example of the 3-5-2′s weaknesses. The big weakness is that the team must have two outside wings who can run (fast) all day long. I think a healthy O’Hara and Dunn could do that, but kinda hard to do for a 7-match WC tournament. Plus, you lose Krieger from your lineup.

        • AlexH

          Wosofan: Don’t you think that HAO could hack the wing as well?
          Also, I think Krieger would make a pretty good winger because she already gets up and down the sideline a lot as a fullback.

  • kernel_thai

    It certainly is an interesting formation. He has Ochs and Ohai playing central and Souza and Washington playing wide. It also doesnt feature Sameshima at all.

    • FCKCEvans

      I played this formation in college and loved it. It worked really well with our personnel. It seems the trend of outside backs getting forward would lack in a 3-5-2 but it could work when Engen and Kling arrive. I wonder how they will line-up until their arrival.

    • FCKCEvans

      Also good catch on Sameshima. Also Masar…perhaps i’m over-ranking her abilities.

      • guest

        Sameshima injured her right knee before the start of the Algarve Cup and missed the tournament. I believe she’s with the Dash now but not training yet. So that line-up could just be based off of who is healthy and who isn’t at the moment.

        • Steglitz49

          Is it the curse of the ACL-tear? Or is it a simple sprain? Does anyone know? Who played in her stead?

          • guest

            Pretty sure it isn’t an ACL or MCL injury, it sounded like more of sprain and the Nadeshiko and the Dash are being cautious. Kamionobe Megumi was called up to replace her.

          • Steglitz49

            Thank you. But,why not someone 5 years younger? Or, are they all injured?

          • Guest

            If it was ACL or MCL she’d be back in Japan with the NT hovering over her. Those injuries don’t tend to be in the hands of clubs when it comes to woso. Certainly not a new club in a new country with unfamiliar doctors. This injury is something with a timetable that is more in line with seeing time on the field sooner rather than later. She is with the team based on pictures which is a good sign to that.

          • kernel_thai

            She has a tear in her meniscus. It’s not ligament damage. They r currently trying treatment to solve the problem.

          • Steglitz49

            High time to hang up one’s boots?

          • wosofan

            a meniscus tear recovery is like getting an oil change for pro woso players. Hardly cause for retirement. My guess is that she does not play for the Dash before the Asian Cup (qualifying). So Dash will not see her on the field until about the time that Engen and Kling return to the States.

          • Steglitz49

            A torn meniscus does not recover surely? What happens? Any orthopods out there who can explain, please come in and join the discussion.

          • kernel_thai

            Horan had a similar tear that took her out of the U20 WC in 2012…she was playing for PSG in the fall

          • luke
    • wosofan

      Ochs and Ohai seem clearly more comfortable and effective when playing out wide. They can also run for days. So that’s a strange alignment if he sees them pairing up in the middle.

  • dt

    Hanna Terry of Northeastern is trying out for the Thorns.

    • Steglitz49

      Is Hanna related to John Terry by any chance?

      • dt

        Her dad is name John Terry but not the one from Chelsea.

  • Pressured

    3-5-2 Bologna.