USWNT rolls past Switzerland in first-ever meeting

The Equalizer Staff August 20, 2014 229
Megan Rapinoe scored in a 4-1 win for the USWNT over Switzerland on Wednesday. (Photo Copyright Nicole Gamard for The Equalizer)

Megan Rapinoe scored in a 4-1 win for the USWNT over Switzerland on Wednesday. (Photo Copyright Nicole Gamard for The Equalizer)

CARY, N.C. — The United States women’s national team defeated Switzerland, 4-1 on Wednesday at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C., extending the Americans’ home unbeaten streak to 85 games.

Megan Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd, Christen Press and Abby Wambach each scored for the United States, but Hope Solo was denied from become the sole all-time leader in U.S. shutouts.

Ana Maria Crnogorcevic’s penalty kick goal in the 71st minute meant that Solo would stay on 71 all-time shutouts, tied with Briana Scurry for the most ever. The penalty kick was one of three in the match, and was the result of a Swiss cross hitting Rapinoe in the hand. It was Rapinoe who drew a PK for the same reason on a nearly identical call 15 minutes earlier. Lloyd stepped up to finish that one.

Rapinoe, playing in a new No. 10 role as a playmaking central midfielder, opened the scoring in the 3rd minute. After collecting the ball at midfield, Rapinoe passed it forward to Sydney Leroux, who held the ball up and eventually played it back to Rapinoe for the left-footed finish.

Carli Lloyd scored on Wednesday vs. Switzerland.(Photo Copyright Nicole Gamard for The Equalizer)

Carli Lloyd scored on Wednesday vs. Switzerland.(Photo Copyright Nicole Gamard for The Equalizer)

“(On the goal) it popped out wide to Sydney and I was kind of filling in in the box,” Rapinoe said. “I took a quick touch and hit it. I play out wide normally, so (the position) was comfortable for me. … Yeah, it was a hand ball. Sorry, Hope.”

Lloyd would double the lead from the spot with her 51st all-time goal for the United States. Crnogorcevic’s goal cut the U.S. lead to 2-1, but five minutes later, Press unleashed a half-volley after chest-trapping the ball, smacking it off the underside of the crossbar and into the back of the net.

“I want to watch that again,” Press said with a smile. “It was one of those second balls, chest and volley. I don’t know if it was one of my best until I see it.”

Wambach added an insurance goal from the penalty spot in the 87th minute, extending her world record to 168 goals. Wambach drew the PK after drawing contact from Swiss defender Nicole Remund in the box.

The U.S. will next play Mexico twice, on Sept. 13 in Sandy, Utah, and on Sept. 18 in Rochester, N.Y., before World Cup qualifying in mid-October.

Wednesday’s meeting between the U.S. and Switzerland was the first ever at the senior level.

Ten of the U.S. players will immediately depart for either Seattle or Kansas City for the NWSL semifinals. FC Kansas City hosts Portland Thorns FC on Saturday, while Seattle Reign FC hosts the Washington Spirit on Sunday.

Match highlights

  • ^o^

    Decent performance, especially the first half. Good ball distribution, ok possession.

    • 365

      Yep, I like the ball movement in the first half.

  • Progress not perfection

    Saw some really good things tonight. Much better better penetration than past few games. Possession still iffy at times but that can be worked on. Didn’t mind pinoe in the attacking role, her distribution seemed solid, just stupid and reckless decision leading to a hand ball. She’s just the type of player you have to take the good and the bad with. I deal with those moments because her moments of brilliance make it make it worth it IMO. Beautiful build up with leroux in pinoe’s first goal. Stunner goal from Press. JJ had an excellent half, she should be starting. Dunn outplayed in some moments but wonderful in others. Still room for growth there. Midfield still needs some tinkering. I would like to see a little more defensive shoring up there. Would also still like to see Brian in more of an attacking role and still want KO at leftback. I expect if we can make it through qualifiers, the team will than be in residency from january through march and that will be a crucial time. This team hasn’t had a long term residency since before pia left i believe. Thought Holiday did very well, very disciplined in the role. very calm and collected, read play well. worked w/ CBs well. All in all I don’t think this team is in crisis. Is everything perfect right now? no. Is the team as a collective playing to it’s potential right now? no. But i don’t want them to be playing there absolute best right now. I want them to play there best on july 15 2015. Progress not perfection folks.

    • ale

      excellent comment, everything you say is true. but I still do not trust Jill Ellis, it is not good. I think a 4-2-3-1 would be a reliable and safe alignment.

      • Guëst

        Jill Ellis….hmm. Don’t understand how she’s any better than Sermanni. All she is in my opinion, is a protector of the old girls club. Atleast Sermanni was willing to try out new players, thus creating the fear of being replaced among those veterans. I don’t trust Ellis is going to provide a creative enough team to go head to head with nations who are modernizing their game. I thought the game vs Switzerland looked like COMPLETE garbage. Sorry people.

        • ale

          if you’re right, ellis has the ability to create the best team, it is just bad. I think we need another coach who is willing to rejuvenate the team and watch a good football philosophy and that adapts well to the USWNT game and teach us something new. to insert us a better football.

    • luke

      There was one moment when Press broke away in the middle and passed brilliant diagonal ball to Morgan, who made perfectly synchronized run for it – quite intuitive play from both if you ask me.
      Has a long-awaited chemistry finally arrived? :)

      • treehill

        The potential chemistry has always been there, bubbling under the surface… this was the first play in their first minute together ever

        http://gfycat.com/ColorlessAdoredBantamrooster

      • simmer down folks

        One moment in how many minutes?

        • luke

          Yep, that’s a problem.

    • Titi14

      JJ had a good half but who is she going to take the starting place of ? I don’t think Rampone is going to retire any time soon and SBrunn is under no pressure.

      • Progress not perfection

        I think she should be getting more time than rampone at this point.

        • Titi14

          Why ? Rampone is physically fit as ever. She can play for another 3 years just like that. that’s what commentator said- A freak of a player. At 39, still got that pace, looks after herself. There has been no loss of form. She is the captain and I don’t think any coach is going to sideline her.
          Also close to the WC and OG, you still need more time to play with Becky just to get the partnership going and improving.

          I mean JJ is going to be good and she has got time in her side and she will be in the squad for many more years. She can still be 3rd/4th CB option . You still got RVH coming back from injury- a solid defender ( shows her value to the Thorns defence) and feel JJ will be 4th CB above Engen.

          • Progress not perfection.

            Sorry, guess i was going along with the general theme of comments that anyone anyone over the age of 25 needs to go. My bad.

          • Titi14

            The thing I am also in big favour of youth and am always looking for inclusion of more new blood in the side.

            If you play certain system, you can get rid of veterans notably- Abby, Lloyd, HAO.
            The only one you got left is Rampone as outfield and the next experienced group is the new kids on the block along with Krieger,Rapinoe,SBruun who still got time.

            I feel with Rampone, the US Soccer is going to let her decide in her own time when she is going to retire. No coach is going to tell her, her time is up. She is still fit. she has massive influence in the side. She is Captain America. You need a strong character to say i don’t want you in the team when there has been no loss of performance.Also she is still the fastest CB the US have. you atleast need a pacy CB to recover.

          • Steglitz49

            Such as Alex Morgan and Christen Press? Who would be left? JJ, Dunn, Moe Brian and Syd?

          • kernel_thai

            I think the thing Johnston showed was an ability to pass out of the back to transition the ball forward. That’s a positive and Id like to see her a regular contributor in the matches. Not ready to anoint her yet tho.

          • Titi14

            But you already have SBrunn doing that . Some one who brings the ball forward and someone who stays back. Rampone is the one that normally stays back and with her pace can cover things.

            I like JJ as a player- bascially her game functions like SBrunn. But there will be 2 player doing the same identical thing. How good is her pace as well?

      • guest

        Pair her with Lloyd in central midfield. Move Holiday up to attacking mid. Either bring Pinoe off the bench, or move her to the wing and bring Leroux off the bench. JJ can provide a much needed defensive presence in the midfield. When Lloyd goes off on one of her adventures into the box, I’d rather have JJ shielding the backline than Holiday.

        • Titi14

          She is way too inexperienced for the role. I haven’t seen her play regularly as a DM for Red Stars beside being their hail mary when they need a goal in the last 10 minutes.

          She has to play the full game and that too consistently and be good for her to play DM. Its just like Brian being picked to play DM. some crazy decision when proper DMs are over looked.

          • guest

            Neither Lloyd nor Holiday are proper DMs. I’d say JJ is closer to a real DM than either of those two so why not give it a shot?

          • Titi14

            Of course I know that. That’s why I don’t want any of them in that role and a proper DM bought in to the squad. How much money do they have to pay to a new DM ? they talk of contract but they don’t seem to have any place for a DM till now. Only numerous AM and forwards but no proper DM

          • kernel_thai

            Well neither are shield type DMs but one of the few positive Ive seen in the last few game is better linking. If I can get consistent linking thru the midfield I dont give a crap about a shield type DM. The most common need for having a shield type is too many giveaways in the midfield.

          • Titi14

            If you want better linking than you have to have a different strategy of playing? possibly a high pressing system like Barcelona of few years bacl. You get all ball players in the park and push up the field and compress your opponent and they cannot play so when you get the ball, you can link up and score.

            Can the US press for long periods of the game? even last night, the Swiss went through them but they lacked a good forward who could cause havoc. They passed the mid but got stuck in defence. Well I am not asking for shield type defence or a brawler.

            Holiday is being misused and so is Long , Brian and others. They have all got diff characteristics . Essentially you want someone who can spray passes like Holiday out there but who is more experienced or who has nuanced for the role.
            Is she going to play there aganist Mexico and WC Qualifiers? what about against better teams?

  • RollingBeatles

    Switzerland played well considering they’re not in season yet and on the road. Perfect time to expand so teams like them, Spain, S. Korea could qualify. Plus CONCACAF needs 3 spots.

    • AusFan

      Yes the WWC expansion is coming at the right time and FIFA have given the right Confederations more spots. BTW South Korea have already qualified via the Asian Cup in May.

  • ale

    I think decent game today, I think USA could have scored more goals, I think that would have made more goals cox wambach as cox has a perfect cross. jj excellent player holder hope to see start. holiday did not play well but fulfilled. rampone is still world class. order to press, morgan and leroux together in the field and they did well. klinguinberg I do not like, do not add anything to the game.

  • luke

    Flopbach delivered again. ;))

    • Vertigo

      I a big fan of her game, leadership, and what she usually brings to the team.

      Regardless, that was one of the more disappointing things I’ve seen from her.

      • luke

        Her last two NT matches were really mediocre.
        It’s not only about lack of speed – her passes were very inaccurate and she even stopped winning headers.

  • Guest

    “Lloyd said post match Holiday has the primary holding mid responsibility whereas she is playing up a bit more in a box to box MF role” interesting.

    • Titi14

      She was bad in the 1st half. She was sluggish and the worst player on the pitch. getting dispossed, people passing her, bad passes.

      As soon as Wambach stepped on the pitch in the 2nd half, there was a new dawn on Lloyd. She was energetic, moving well, fiesty, shooting from outside the box, getting in the box- doing what she used to do.

      I would like a pure DM to play in a mid, not converting people there. Ellis knows Lloyd cannot play DM so its a safe bet to partner Holiday in there with a pure DM.

      • guest

        Here here! I too, have always wondered why Amber Brooks hasn’t gotten another call up. I thought she played the DM position superbly vs Brasil. I never can understand why the coaches choose converting a player to a position over a player whose that is their natural position either.

    • JAMES 18

      That’s supposed to be her role if they were playing 4 3 3.The 2 central midfielders that flank the DM(in this case Holiday) have both defensive and offensive responsibilities.They join the attack but are required to drop back when the opponent has the ball. (Box -to box).One of the central midfielders (in this case Pinoe) acts as the distributor or play-maker, a role more suited for Brian.
      Jill is not playing the right players at certain positions in the 4 3 3 system,especially in the midfield and the 3 forwards. Pinoe belongs on the wings .Because in this system the two wing players are normally attacking midfielders with pace, technique and skill to beat opposing defenders and can also provide quality service from the wings to the central striker. She might not have blazing speed but Pinoe has the skill and technique to beat defenders, and can provide quality service from the wings.If you ask her to be the play maker then you are asking for trouble.

      • lolz

        I don’t think jill is planning on pinoe being the permany playmaker i think she just wanted to see what would happen IMO.

        • treehill

          And I think it’s great that she tried Pinoe as CM, I wanted to see what would happen too.

          Now we have information we didn’t have before. (I don’t recall Pinoe ever being in the middle). Hopefully Ellis will progress forward. (Next up: Morgan Brian)

  • Guest

    Kelly O’Hara had a mild strain in her hip/groin. For those of you who wanted to behead jill for not calling her up.

    • BCAD

      She only sustained that injury pregame

      • fanfrom1995

        Yes, in the warm ups for the Sky Blue game against Houston. KO started the game, but was out in the 28th minute. She was not running as fast as she normally does. By the way, SB won.

  • guest

    This Press video is dedicated to he who shall not be named,torn between watching a Sky Blue game or watching the most versatile of them all,hmmm,i wonder who this lucky guy is. lmfaoooo!!!!

    • MB

      I am sure he is quite happy.

      • guest

        4 inches from being skyed. Doubt that went where she aimed it.

        • Davis

          It was a fantastic goal. No reason to belittle it.

          • Guëst

            Looked like a youth player goal…..not a professional. Poor technique= lucky goal. That’s why she ends up smiling like a kid because she couldn’t believe it went in.

        • MB

          The same can be said about any goal close to a post. It is always a matter of inches

    • guest

      Rick is still recovering from his orgasm after Press’s goal.

  • BCAD

    Many may or may not agree with this and even though I am thrilled the USWNT played and won, this was a pointless friendly

    • $$$$$

      $$$$$$$$$.

    • JL

      The only thing wrong with this game was the rather inconvenient timing. This is a team the US could very well face next summer, and as they had never played them before, it would be wise to get a feel for how they play.

  • MB

    Not a great game. Many passes out of bounce, not much convining play from the midfiled. Amazing for Press on that goal. Wasn’t her best game but that statement can be extended to all players. Also, we continue to see brillance from Rapinoe but so many disposession that you have to wonder who much she cares.

    • luke

      It wasn’t a great game by any means, but there were short moments of great chemistry between Morgan and Press. Even if only because of that, every USWNT fan should celebrate that game. :)

  • Titi14

    Good comfortable victory in the end. Probably helps with an early goal. There were some solid performances notably Holiday who I thought were really good even though I was not happy to begin with. If they want more possession, just partner with a pure DM. Probably Lloyd will be under threat for her start XI- she just looked terrible and sluggish in 1st half.I thought the worst US player in 1st half. 2nd half Abby on the pitch, all of a sudden she was a diff person. Lloyd was like a Duracell bunny, funny though because she is the only mid that benefited with Abby or just seems to be comfortable.
    Press still seems isolated for like 1st 30 min, the ball seems to going to Syd’s side and She was not very vocal about it. As usual, she became more involved as she cut inside. Great goal as well. There was some good plays with her but I just feel she has to play in the middle to see her full potential.
    Rapinoe- some good stuffs but than has her equally daft moments soon after. I am afraid Brian is still raw or not going to get chances in the creative role. Heath did play there against France and now Rapinoe. Brain just seems too young. May need a season in the league to get used to the pace and physicality.
    Dunn was solid as well in LB. If she is going to play there- sorry to KO fans but she is as athletic as KO and is as versatile. I thought people here was like Kberg was LB but I did see her game in RB and there was nothing special nor bad. just average performance .

    Rampone still got time in her side. She is not going to retire any time soon. She still looks physically young as ever. SBrunn is not going to be hampered as well . So

    JJ might sneak in 4th CB role and get to the WC.
    Abby was dreadful. I thought she came back fit and fresh after her injury but her touch was so poor. But the good thing is she does have that presence and the ball always seem to find her.

    Morgan a bit off. She had some chances but am happy she did not get injured and is back for Thorns. just worried she played a bit extra.

    HAO, Long – too less minutes to worry about.

    Thought Swiss were good as well. If they had one World class striker( not Abby type) , they would be much better. They had some good neat passes but in the final 3rd – disappointing. They would be much better in a neutral/ home conditions. just felt the early goal took a bit out of them. they start of high pressing and became a bit tired. Once they got into the game, they play good possession but a lack of good forward was a problem for them.

    • MB

      Agree on Lloyd, That was a poor game and can she stop tryin to score from 25 years out. It worked before but most of the time I see her take a shot, it looks selfish and never the best option

    • treehill

      As I said elsewhere I agree Press is much better when she gets in the middle. I still think the team would be much better with Alex on the left wing and Press or Syd in the middle if it HAS to be 4-3-3.

      Unfortunately we did not get to see Alex on left wing because when Abby came in, they went back to 4-4-2. Pinoe switched to left wing, Press stayed right, Alex and Abby were mostly together up top.

      I thought Dunn was solid and will be a fine LB just because of her athleticism.

      However there is ONE position that is sealed beyond all doubt, I think 99% will agree on: Becky Sauerbrunn will absolutely start at CB at WC15, barring injury. At least we have 1 position set!

      • guest

        absolutely agree. Broon is a lock.

      • Titi14

        I did would like Morgan to play on the wing and learn more. I did want her to do that for Thorns in a 4-2-3-1 formation as well.

        It looks like Press is going to play on the right and she had a anynomous start to the game. Pinoe seemed to pass the ball only to Syd and also Alex was pressing CB, their outlet passed to LB, when Press had already dropped deep. I was fearing for her and thinking of all the trolls when she suddenly started to come inside and think I need to do something.

        the goal shut them up as well but I don’t think she is ever going to be good playing out wide.

        1 position? I would say Rampone and Krieger would be a certainty as well. you can forget about forwards and mids, but its is vital that you have a stable back 4 playing at all times. ( Thorns showed it this year with injuries what it will be without a stable back 4). so 3 out of 4 i would say. The reason being most of us expected Krieger to play in LB but she played in her usual position and that Dunn played LB.

        • Silver Frost

          Press was on the left vs France. Ellis is still toying with the lineups.

          • Titi14

            the problem for her is that its not the middle. left or right but not the middle. Think she should have had few chances by now in the middle

        • treehill

          I’m just talking about consensus. I think Rampone probably should start, but quite a few disagree, and who knows if she’ll maintain her form. Krieger probably should start, but a few still think Dunn should be RB and KO should be LB.

          I bet by now 99% think Sauerbrunn should start.

          The people “trolling” against Press are just counterbalancing her fanatical supporters. No one actually dislikes Press.

          • Titi14

            I think SBrunn is guaranteed as she is the most experienced CB who is comfortable on the ball and bring out the ball from back to join the attack.
            I have no idea whats the fan following with KO having the right to start as LB? But Dunn is equally versatile as her and as athletic so going to provide stiff competition.

    • john

      Actually announcer said Rampone will retire after WC. So she will most likely play a role there, but create one of those WC/OG roster moves that are typically tied to a change in US coaches in the past.

      • Titi14

        Wow- so she is finally retiring. Well the good news is that other people will get a chance but bad news is you still need a pacy CB to recover and cover other people.
        At the moment, you got SBrunn, RVH, Engen , JJ which looks OK. SBrunn is going to be the natural leader I expect at the back- most probably RVH will come back into the side. As a pure defender she is still good.
        Are there other good defenders coming in ?

    • Jess

      To be honest I was rather unconvinced by Dunn at left back. She had some great moments, but too often she was outplayed. Granted it was Dunn’s first time at left back for the USWNT and with time I think she would be a great option there, better than Cox or Kling at least. However right back is clearly more natural for her and I still want her as right back in 2019. As for O’Hara, she can’t really be considered a legit option at left back if she isn’t play there with her club. Honestly for the sake of her NT career she needs to leave Sky Blue if they insist on playing her at LB.

      • Titi14

        The problem in NWSL is goal scorers is more valued than defenders. So OHara is naturally going to be put where she is at her most effective- playing up forward.

        With 9 teams, mostly probably every team would have her in forward position. no coach is going to listen to her and give it to her and play LB when they know she is a better forward.

        I was surprised to see Dunn in left back as well- did expect Krieger to play there and was hoping KBerg to play and see what she is made of. The thing that was missing was both full backs did not provide enough width . It was quiet unusual. I expected more in attacking wise.

        The game was funny. Everything seems to be going only on left hand side. the attack went mostly towards Syd and than Swiss attacked Dunn on the left. But the good thing is there is going to be stiff competition for LB and I hate to say it but O Hara will not in the group.

        • Steglitz49

          Dunn represents the future. KO’s injury seems a headache and in the NWSL she does not play LB.

          Chrystal at 5’1″ can axle the Magic Cape from Philipp Lahm, now that he has retired from internationals.

        • D23

          The outside backs were not given enough quick ball. Pinoe and LLoyd looked far to often to play inside through the centre. Cheney seemed to be the only central midfielder consistently looking to turn out to the outside backs. There were a number of occasions where Krieger was off for the give and go but the ball was not played to her and the play went back inside.

      • washfan

        Dunn made some passing miscues like others but her’s were in the US attacking side so she wasn’t turning the ball over in the US defense. Not sure what is meant by Dunn was “too often outplayed”. Outplayed by whom on the Swiss team – didn’t see people blowing by her.

        • Jess

          actually I seem to recall Dunn losing possession and turning over the ball many times within the US’s half. She wasn’t blown past by the players but she wasn’t reliable in possession.

          • treehill

            Not what I saw. I saw a lot of this in the defensive half:

            http://gfycat.com/SelfishSmugGrosbeak

            I saw more of this in the attacking half:

            http://gfycat.com/ImperturbableMiserlyChuckwalla

          • Nwslfan

            On the attacking miscue gif, the ball never goes sideways to get past defender. A bit of film, reminder on mechanics and some 1v1 practice -that is quite fixable. Defensively, the patience issue seems fixable too. She certainly demonstrated ball winning and no fouls. Dunn seems coachable, but i don’t know for sure.

      • Just Say’n

        Bachmann’s twinkle toes attempts to get by always failed when Dunn was in front of her.

  • ForeverLOST108

    My one big issue was how often Holiday seemed to get the ball stuck in between her feet which would cause her to fall and lose the ball. She needs to move the ball faster against better competition.

    • Silver Frost

      IMO, it was scandalous to play Holiday for 85 minutes knowing she has a playoff game two days from now. Morgan was out there too long, as well as Brun.

      • wondering

        So what does that make the situation of those playoff bound players who played the whole game? Why did you single out a handful of them?

        • http://www.mehlsbells.wordpress.com/ Melanie

          I’d have to check, but when watching I was thinking that Holiday, Morgan, and Rapinoe were the ones left out quite long. (Other than Solo, of course. But she wanted the shutout, and putting Naeher in for 25 minutes or so would have sucked all-around.) Holiday and Morgan have to play on Saturday, not Sunday, and I think Ellis was giving Rapinoe room to play with her new position. Overall, Ellis was making decisions based on her NT assessment wants and not the NWSL. Which . . . well, when the NWSL doesn’t arrange around FIFA windows, this is what happens.

          The rest of the playoff players were either subbed out after, or subbed in for, not much more than a half, and then Long got only 5 or so minutes.

          Any ways, thank heavens for six subs.

          • Silver Frost

            WNT and NWSL report to the same boss, USSF.

          • http://www.mehlsbells.wordpress.com/ Melanie

            Yes. I’m not sure what you’re driving at? Ellis is tasked with trying to keep the NT competitive and prepping to win the WC, and it’s not her fault that conflicts with the NWSL playoffs. I’m not complaining about the playing time distribution, just noting how it broke down. Plus, *sigh* I doubt the USSF is unhappy that some players played 70 minutes in front of a sell-out crowd.

            For kicks, though, here’s what could have happened, in a perfectly-fair-to-the-NWSL-only world:

            http://neuroticsoccer.tumblr.com/post/95281916033/nwsl-and-uswnt-duty-conflict-today

        • Silver Frost

          Those three were out there longest, except Solo of course.

          • guest

            Well Dunn (and aforementioned Solo) went whole game. Dunn arguably plays for the team w/ the worst depth and therefore most in need of a fresh(er) player to play max minutes in playoffs.

  • treehill

    So Alex, Syd, and Press started together up top for the first time ever…something some said would never happen. This should be an occasion long remembered! Many including me last year thought they would be totally dominant as forwards.

    But it’s clear now that in the 4-3-3 the outside forwards aren’t really forwards. Syd and Press did great when they got into the middle (assist and score). But on the wing, while they’re improving, I don’t think anyone would say they were dominant. I saw them make a few more crosses than before but not the relentless crosses, runs up the wing, and attacks from wing you get from HAO and Rapinoe. Maybe Syd and Press will keep improving out there but I don’t think it’s best use of talent.

    Talking about Pinoe, I loved that they tried her at CAM, they needed to try– but I don’t think she did that well. Yes she scored one but she can score from anywhere. I think she’s not great at the hard grunt work of setting up play after play.

    I used to think she was just inconsistent. But now I believe she is great at the spectacular, but not patient with basic normal stuff. She’s tries for the brilliant play and sometimes succeeds. But I saw at least a few times she totally ignored simple give-and-goes and good simple passes.

    Having said all that, the US obviously won big. I think it was mainly the defense and 2 PKs.

    • guest

      Defense played well. Midfield and forwards were average. 4-1 scoreline a bit flattering for the USWNT.

      • Guest

        Defense playing well for this team is a +. It’s been a horrendous for a while. Mid and forwards can be figured out.

    • luke

      Pinoe totally ignores simple give-and-goes and good simple passes playing for Reign as well. It completely disrupts the attack of possession-oriented teams.
      Pinoe would be perfect for Chicago – put her on Red Stars roster and they would be title contenders every year.

      • nwslfan

        so true, so true. why play the easy ball when you can go for the unexpected? is her twitter account still “doing my own little thing”?

      • Reality

        Perhaps that is part of the reason why Rapinoe’s Lyon experience was less than satisfactory for both parties. As regards her going to CRS, I would approve of a straight up trade with Seattle for Press.

        • Steglitz49

          One wonders what she got out of her sojourn in the gastronomical capital? Maybe she mastered the art of the French kitchen.

          • Reality

            Hopefully she sampled some of Bocuse’s cuisine.

    • Harry Truman

      They played together against France in June, so not the first time.

      • treehill

        If you want to get technical, they all started together back in March 2013 against China. But Press was definitely in the midfield of a 4-4-2 with Alex and Syd up top. They’ve played together at least 5 times since then.

        But as I said, this is the first time they started “up top” in a 4-3-3, the way many fans envisioned the “3 musketeers” last year.

  • TN

    She might have scored the first goal, but Rapinoe was terrible today, constant turnovers and not realizing her teammates were making runs to pick them out. And lazily standing around not challenging for balls when she was already deep inside her own half. Constantly ball watching and when Leroux tries to pass for her, not bothering to quickly get back on side (this happens too. Corners hitting the bar and the side net. I think Leroux defended more than Rapinoe.

    Lloyd continues to try to score for herself, surprise surprise. It’s time to stop having Lloyd take penalty kicks, with that said, penalty kicks in friendlies are incredibly stupid. Holiday was also not good today, constantly waiting until she’s surrounded and then get dispossessed right in front of the defense, which caught them off guard.

    • Guest

      Rapinoe is always gonna be a hit or miss player. You either take the risk with the reward or you don’t take it at all. Considering she’s gotten the career she has, More coaches than not decided to take the risk with her.

  • slc1997

    With the exception of Dunn, the back 4 is probably set. All played well, but I think that left back position should be O’Hara’s for now.

    Mids are skilled but they will not click in this 4-3-3 formation. Personally think they should try a 4-5-1 (Which their 4-3-3 today sometimes morphed into). While its not her fault, Press seems lost on the wing. Has some greats moments like her goal today but has not looked consistently good since she began playing with the NT. She was playing Midfield at the time and I don’t think she is going to see a starting role at ST so maybe they could use her as an attacking mid.

    Up top it’s just Morgan. Leroux has played her best off the bench and I think it causes problems for back lines to bring her on late. It’s sad to see how quickly Wambach has declined. Playing like she did today (and has played her last couple NT caps), I don’t see her plying a significant role in this team. Her dive to earn the PK was just awful.

    For qualifiers I have
    Morgan (Leroux)
    Heath, Holiday (Press), Rapinoe (O’Reilly)
    Brian (Johnston), Lloyd
    O’Hara (Dunn), Rampone, Sauerbrunn, Krieger (Dunn)
    Solo

    • Lorehead

      As absolutely remarkable and impressive as Rampone’s career is, her role in the 2015 World Cup, when she will be forty, will surely be limited.

      • http://www.mehlsbells.wordpress.com/ Melanie

        Much as I secretly persist in my belief Christie Rampone is actually a terminator, sent back from the future to help save the US’s back line, I think she will rest some in the intense scheduling that is the World Cup. Perhaps Rachel Van Hollebeke as a sub for her, then.

      • slc1997

        I don’t imagine she would play seven games, but is there anyone better? Johnston could be, but inexperience and the fact that she isn’t playing CB very much lately. And with Van Hollebeke’s struggles recently, she might not even make the team. Engen has potential but I’m never overly impressed with her. Not always there mentally and struggled mightily against a Wolfsburg team that is going to look an awful lot like Germany next summer.

    • Titi14

      While I agree with a 4-2-3-1 formation , there is some personnel wrong in your line up? You seem to have snuck in KO, when she has not been playing that role for ages.

      I have problems with your 2 DM. well they are both not DMs. Only 1 of them can play the box -to-box required as in the formation. God hope its not Brian doing the DM role. Lloyd has shown previously she is not a DM. A good Box to Box player but not a DM. So 1 of them is required to sit out for a pure DM I feel.
      Recently people have been hating on HAO hence her celebation so being on the subs bench I can understand, though i feel its her last swansong as well.

      • slc1997

        I feel that Brian is being molded into another Shannon Boxx. The only other players who can play the role of a real DM are Julie Johnston and Amber Brooks. Johnston has been called in as a CB right now and Brooks hasn’t gotten a cap since November. And for O’Hara, Dunn looks unnatural there and Klingenberg can play the position but is she really the best option? O’Hara has the skill and just never seems to lose energy, IMO making her the perfect player to play LB.

        • Titi14

          I have seen her highlights and she looks to me like a pure AM and to mold her in place of others just seems frankly disappointing knowing that there are other DMs in the league. Same with JJ as well. They are both being molded and I cannot see what is wrong with Brooks.

          I dunno if its the 1st time Dunn playing in left but you do feel a bit uncomfortable at 1st. Dunn and KO are essentially both versatile, energetic and can run all day so in that sense , both are vying for a place but KO is hardly ever going to play there under Ellis nor as a LB for Sky blues.

          You cannot give a LB slot only for NT purposes to a player who does not play there for her club when you have got seasoned defensive professional player in line.

          KBerg is a natural left footed solid player and I have talked in the previous articles about having left footed players or preference of having left footed players.

        • Steglitz49

          Then JE has to explain to KO’s team coach that for the good of the cause KO needs to play LB and SB must fall on their collective swords, ever one WC trophy, joy without end.

          • Elaine

            I don’t think Coach Gabarra will listen to anyone.

  • Reality

    An interesting experiment with Rapinoe as a playmaker but she is not good at distribution and consistently favored the left side with no result. Press was playing off the ball well enough and trying to make herself available but was ignored by Rapinoe. Holiday is still the best choice in the playmaker role with Rapinoe better off on the wing.

    The mid-field is still a problem with getting the ball to the forwards. Both Leroux and Press were constantly dropping back. Press made 3 excellent passes to Morgan, O’Reilly and Wambach any one of which could have been assists for her but none were finished.

    Press should be the CF. Her goal was spectacular and demonstrated her ability to score if she is given half a chance. (Actually this goal was similar to the “missed” Houston crossbar shot which if called as good would now have had CRS in the playoffs.)

    The 4-3-3 in my opinion is a dubious compromise by Ellis to keep Wambach and Leroux in play at forward. The NT should be trying Morgan and Press at forward in a 4-4-2 with Leroux and Rapinoe on the wings at mid and Wambach coming in when her particular situational skills might be required.

    It was noteworthy that Ellis kept Press in for the full 90″. I think she recognizes how Press can be very dangerous at a moment’s notice and her stamina is excellent.

    There is still time to implement this formation and it should be done for ASAP.

    • Titi14

      4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 is a good set up. You don’t need Wambach if you being youth like Tymrak, Ohai who can play in the wing forward much better. Plus they give you defensive cover in wings and also has 3 people in the middle to protect. Syd will never let you down, she tries hard.

      The 4-4-2 is old school soccer. In that formation, Wambach and Morgan will be main strikers.Rapinoe will cross to wambach and so will Syd. You also need 2 strong 2 DM, against good teams away from home. Its different playing at home and having full stadium of patriotic fans shouting your name but going away will be a test.

      So in your 4-4-2 , you got
      …………..Morgan…Press
      Rapinoe…..?……….?……..Syd
      Who is your 2 midfielder? any 2 DM or 1 DM?

      Unless it has a diamond or goes 4-2-2-2 ( Man city) . Press- Morgan up top

      instead of Syd, have Holiday and Rapinoe/Heath as 2 AM and 2 DM. the width to be provided by Dunn and Krieger. Same in 4-4-2 Diamond. I prefer 2 DM because 2 full back providing width will need cover at the back.

      She had to play Press for 90 , Morgan and Syd have play offs and was never going to play the whole game. it was pointless having A-Rod in the squad.

      • Reality

        4-4-2 is a tried and tested formation which can suit a team very well given the appropriate personnel. In this case, Morgan and Press with proper mid-field support would be formidable. The 4-3-3 or any of the variations you mentioned are good for a team that knows how to play possession and combination well. Given the veterans that Ellis will be utilizing, it has not worked that well. If some of the talented younger players are finally given their time in the future, I can see the switch in that direction. But given the time constraints before the WC and the nature of the roster, IMO the NT would be most effective in the attack thusly…

        Morgan – Press

        Rapinoe – Johnston – Holliday – Leroux

        Tymrak, Heath and Wambach can come in as needed.

        We may disagree about Johnston as a holding mid but I would like to see here given a chance in that position.

        The backline of Krieger, Sauerbrunn, Rampone, and O’Hara and will suffice with Dunn and Engen as backups.

        • Titi14

          The problem I have with JJ there is loads of people talk of her versatility but I have only seen her play there for like nearly every time Red Stars is a goal behind and needs goals. ( like last 10-15 min) . You don;t know how she is going to play the whole game when you got better DMs in the league. Hell even Long have played DM with good performances.

          The point of 4-4-2 in your formation and personnel is Rapinoe/Syd is going to have to cross the ball to the top and they are not going to win many headers.

          Those 2 will again switch inside to be more effective as Press does now. if Morgan/Press drops below and Syd and Rapinoe pushes up wide — it will looks like a front 3 with a no. 10 and Holiday/JJ behind.

          Better to go 4-2-2-2 with the same people but put Syd up top and Rapinoe/Press just below than with Holiday – JJ ( well I would prefer someone else)

          • Reality

            With Wambach no longer the focus of the offense, the NT does not have to rely excessively on headers. Rapinoe and Leroux can also feed from the outside on the ground. Rapinoe would need reprogramming to be more effective in that manner but if she cannot adjust than Tymrak or Heath can be employed. I think that Leroux has profited from her experience with Seattle in which she essentially functioned as a mid-fielder and she has learned some solid combination passing skills which would serve her well as an attacking mid. The best fit for Press is up front in tandem with Morgan and not to give that combination a chance would be gross negligence.

          • Titi14

            Of course you got 2 world class strikers up top but how you service them and also protect the back 4 matters. that formation is basically the same thing just replace Press, Syd,JJ and Holiday with Wambach, HAO,Lloyd, Box. there is not much difference with the way they are going to play.

            Syd is essentially going to be HAO minus the crossing.
            JJ hopefully as Boxx ,

            Holiday as Lloyd.
            The only good thing is Holiday is more of a ball player than Lloyd and JJ is unknown.

            Or go to 4-2-3-1 and see if Morgan can play out wide. Have the same people but just Morgan out wide.

            The best fit is Press as a striker whether as a 2 person or 1 person up top. She needs to play in the middle. I dunno why Eliis does not experiment with Morgan in the wings.

          • Reality

            I would say that you have made some breathtaking assumptions in your comparisons. The only thing I would agree on is that Press should be a striker and a CF if a 4-3-3 is employed.

          • Titi14

            well HAO has the same skill level as Syd. There just seems to be a slight diff in that Syd scores more. Both runs up and down.

            JJ at the moment is an unknown – will she be as good as Boxx? who knows

            Holiday is she playing a more withdrawn role or as an AM? or is she playing Box to Box ( ala Lloyd)

            The biggest change is up forward with Press. You get more mobility and link up play but don’t have the physicality of Wambach. It requires one of press/ Morgan to drop a bit so that both are not playing the last person in defence for offside. So I would expect Press to play a no10 striker than to be up top hovering. Both can stretch defence but the problem for all of them will be they will resort to taking shots from outside of all opponents play a deep back line .

            Whether it looks good I dunno. Should we give them a chance. of course

          • Reality

            Thank you for the clarification. We all do a lot of speculation which is part of the fun of this forum along with our analyses post game. You always have interesting observations to share.

          • Craigaroo

            Interesting to compare Leroux and O’Reilly, which I’ve never thought of doing. O’Reilly can cross the ball and, on the wings at least, she’s better at taking on defenders 1v1, even if it’s always the same ol’ trick. Whether that makes her better in the 4-3-3 I don’t profess to know.

          • skybolt

            Personally, I can’t see why the team can’t switch formations with the forwards during the course of the match. For instance, Morgan can start at CF with Press flanking her on the right side and Leroux on the left. Once the defense gets adjusted to this formation after about 30 minutes, Ellis can switch things up and put Press in the middle, Leroux on the right and Morgan on the left. All of a sudden the CB’s will have to contend with a completely different type of player now.

          • Reality

            The best teams do switch it up in the course of a match and I agree it would be a good tactic for the NT. Of course, not only does it take knowledgeable and skillful players but they have to know each others tendencies and foibles well in order to make it work properly. Each player may not be at their optimum in a new configuration but conceivably it might be worth it to throw the defense off stride.

          • skybolt

            Absolutely. The Swiss defense converged on Morgan every time she received the ball, hence the 3 yellow cards for fouls committed against her. By switching Morgan to the left flank the opposing defense would’ve had to chase her out wide leaving Press open in the middle or let Morgan roam around freely against the lone right back. You’d essentially have to play zone defense instead of man to man coverage, which could prove to be pretty confusing to the opposing defense and coach.

          • Nwslfan

            Agree. Would have been nice to see coaches make that in game adjustment.

          • Nwslfan

            Do you think the 2014 scouting report on Morgan was that she’s made of glass and to pop her when needed? 2014 Syd tends to go right thru those kind of knocks, 2014 Press too, frankly.

          • guest

            Press does not so stop. Again being ridiculous after your childish comments in the Thorns thread. Press is not a physical player and would not get through any knocks even as good as she is.

          • Steglitz49

            This the great advantage that the US has. It can mix and match and swap its attack at leisure with a standard that none but possibly Germany can match.

            WC-15 might be awfully boring.

          • NYRick

            Question is, will they do it or not? It takes coaching courage and bruising big egos on this team.

            BTW, you are sure at your best here setting the US team up for a major fall at WC15. I do think the US has the most talent, but any of about 5-6 teams can beat each other on any given night. Just takes one handball in the box (that gets called), one defender falling down at the wrong time or simply the nights when the freakin ball won’t go in the net regardless of what you do (i.e. the goalie stands on their head).

          • Steglitz49

            Your points are well taken but at the same time, the US is the ladies’ Brazil. They are living a bit on past glory yet still a force to be reconned with. Being ranked #1 they are the favorites, not least when playing in their own neck of the woods and on plastic to boot.

            It should not be beyond the art of women to sort out how to pay those that wear the NT jersey. It is a great honor to be selected for one’s country. Granted, a lady should not be out of pocket for doing her duty, but it is too much of a gravy train at the moment and, therefore, counter productive.

          • NYRick

            I’ve wondered the same exact thing. Play off their athleticism and versatility. If a defender is marking Morgan well and getting overly physical with her, switch the forward formation and let them then deal with Press or Syd. Every sport is almost always won by finding the right matchups (for not only your team chemistry) by more for finding basically who on the other team can be exploited to your advantage. With the Big 3, we have the power to exploit in every capacity. No one has to be the true CF or #9. What they do need more than anything is a true #10 to get the forwards the ball from the midfield on the ground. Pinoe is not the answer for this role.

            Too selfish and too concerned with razz matazz and beating a defender 1 v 1 and shoots way too much. The great #10’s all have one quality: The ball leaves their foot quickly after receiving it, and the proper decision is 9 out of 10 times made to the proper player. Also, no favorites as to who the ball goes to. It goes to the player who has an advantage or is making a run. When I watched last night, I don’t think Pinoe looked Press’s way once. Every pass and movement went left and went to Syd. You have to change it up a bit even if you force in a pass to the right once in awhile. Keep the defense honest and guessing. Now there may be familiarity there with Syd and Pinoe, but you can’t have that from the CAM. Distribute the ball properly, don’t worry about glory or shooting and instead be the straw that stirs the drink. Unfortunately in the US market, there are no endorsements for that.

            American women, all of them, want to be the star. Want to be the one who puts the ball in the net. Yes, that includes Press too because I know that’s coming. But we so need the young female Paul Scholes or Pirlo to emerge. A 5 foot nothing maestro who understands the importance of the role of the CAM and wants nothing more than to distribute the ball beautifully to her forwards. I don’t think that person exists presently in our system for whatever reason.

          • NYRick

            I’m actually going to go out on a limb here and say I do think we have two players for this role: 1) Brian 2) Tymrak. But both seemed destined to the next cycle. We need the Chris Paul of the sport, not the Kobe. We have plenty of those.

          • Nostradamus

            OK, so where was Brian last night? She’s mediocre, and will get cut before quals.

          • Nwslfan

            Ffs, Nostra, Brian got only 5 min + extra time in SUI game. Plus, the vets have to pass her the damn ball to be a distributor. The only feeds she got were from Wambach, and those were for scoring opps.

          • Nwslfan

            Rick, puleeze. Tymrak frequently holds the ball for 3 touches minimum and often holds the ball for 2 touches too many and loses possession. Not saying Tymrak cannot change her decisionmaking and style of play, but that is how she plays right now.
            Brian-agree. However, Good luck to US coaches in getting Lloyd and Pinoe to combine w Brian though. That pair wouldn’t pass to Cheney for years either.

          • Nwslfan

            Unselfish ball distributors get cut in ODP process, play in D2 and dont get recommendations from Dorance or Cromwell, OR, they don’t exist…. Which is more likely?

          • guest

            Ellis isn’t bringing in any DMs from the league. Your options are Lloyd, Holiday, Long, Boxx. None are too appealing tbh. So why not give Johnston a crack at it? I’d rather play a CB at DM than a DM at CB.

          • Titi14

            Well no on is playing DM at CB because you have CB covered. JJ is essentially a CB who people say is versatile. She has hardly played there.

            If Boxx is fit and in form, its better to have here there as she is still one of the best DM in the league.

            They played Holiday out there because she is the best passer of them 4 but she is essentially doing what Brooks is doing for Thorns , she is a good passer as well.

          • Craigaroo

            Boxx really hasn’t played enough for us to tell if she’s still one of the best DMs in the league. However I doubt it. As she loses speed and quickness, she’s becoming more foul-prone, something that was noticeable even the last World Cup cycle.

          • Titi14

            Boxx haven’t played that much as well for REd Stars , so I am worried but if she is back to form and full fitness, I still believe she is better than what other players have to offer.

            1st of all , she has got positional awareness that is really hard to find . also the self control to stop your self from going forward to join the attack.
            At the moment, you got Lloyd, Holiday, Long and JJ that seems to fight for the role of DM but they are all not pure DM.

            The problem with DM is that they will become goul prone if you lose your speed.

            Yest, Swiss mananged to go pass Holiday and Lloyd but they just didn’t have a good striker to finish things off or final ball was missing. Ellis trying to play Holiday like Pirlo in that Pirlo cannot defend properly as well, He is a deep lying play maker. You need people around him to do the running and defending. Lloyd will not give you that nor Rapinoe.

            So if Boxx is not going to be fit, give Brooks a chance .

          • Ramona

            Her last game at CHI Boxx looked worn out, and I didn’t notice her much. Maybe that’s a good sign for DMs.

    • guest

      Playing Press for the full 90 is probably less noteworthy than you think. Both Morgan and Leroux have playoff matches this weekend. She doesn’t. And Arod and Wambach are too crap to play the whole game, so that leaves Press with the honors.

      • Reality

        Your point is well taken. However, I would mention that Ellis has played Press for the full 90″ in all 3 games as head coach.

        • Craigaroo

          Yes, what happened to the conspiracy theories that Ellis wouldn’t play players who beat her UCLA team in college?!! Press starting. Rapinoe starting and given freedom as attacking mid. Called up Ashlyn Harris. Well, okay, A-Rod didn’t play this game and O’Hara wasn’t called up (but I don’t remember if O’Hara ever beat UCLA. Maybe her senior year when Press was on board)

          • Reality

            Where are the conspiracy theories of yesteryear? Don’t know about that one as it was not one of mine. lol. It is pleasantly surprising to see Ellis starting the young forwards and letting them play together with Wambach substituting. Let’s hope it continues.

          • Craigaroo

            veering off-topic but there’s a line from Catch-22 that became oddly relevant in the last year. I think it’s Ou-est les Neigedens d’Antan. Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear?

          • Reality

            Yes, I had heard that. I wonder what Francois Villon would think of the uses put to his immortal line?

          • Craigaroo

            Damn Frenchman. Probably has some outrageous accent.

          • Reality

            One thing for sure, Villon never heard of American fries…

          • guest

            Is this the same Craigaroo from BB? Known for DI SCIGLIO!!!!

          • Craigaroo

            No, sorry, different Craigaroo. Damn, there’s another Craigaroo? Maybe there’s more than one Yossarian then, too. What kind of name is Yossarian, anyway? Lt. Scheisskopf had the answer at his fingertips – “It’s Yossarian’s name, sir.”

        • guest

          Also, that Press was one of only 2 players to play in every game last year. She has definitely gotten plenty of shots with the NT this year and last.

        • NYRick

          I actually am starting to think that Ellis may just be the best thing to ever happen to that player’s NT career. Who would have thunk it? Ellis seems to like her a lot and she is going to play somewhere on the pitch. I don’t necessarily think Sermanni was going to give her this type of opportunity. If it’s not her most optimum position/role or skill set, so be it. It is an honor to play and start on this stacked NT and contribute any way she can. I think she gets that. I also think moving around our Big 3 into a variety of forward formations during the match as skybolt suggested is the way to go as well.

          When it comes to Alex, Syd or that player, they’ll find a way and figure it all out. Big talent usually does. Hopefully with minutes and chemistry together by next summer. I think they will.

          • Reality

            It is encouraging that Ellis is playing Press as a starter and utilizing all 3 California girls. Something about that California air that breeds forwards. In retrospect, Sermanni was not the one who could have benched Wambach but it looks like Ellis may be able to sufficiently reduce her role so that these three can thrive.

          • NYRick

            Someone needs to get the 3 in a commercial together right before the WC hoopla starts around May/June with the Beach Boys “Wish they all could be California Girls” as the theme song in the background. Product can be determined. Can be beauty or athletic. Ka-ching.

          • Daniel Strick

            How about this? Do it as a WC promo. Remember a few years back when the promo for the NCAA women’s B-ball tournament featured Joan Jett’s buzzsaw version of the Mary Tyler Moore Show theme song? Bring back the Jettster to do California Girls in her own unique style. Start with pictures in their college uniforms. Use video clips that emphasize their athleticism, plenty of amazing goals to choose from. Just a couple glamour shots. Plus, hiring the out-and-proud will go over big with all the NWSL lesbian fans. It’s a winner.

    • wosofan

      Great point on 433 being a mistaken compromise. It should be a 442 with Press and Alex up top. Rapinoe should play out wide. Brian at defensive mid. Cheney as the number 10. Lloyd should play box to box. Leroux and Abby possible subs. If we’re honest though, Hagen is a more dangerous finisher than either of those two. Sydney has lost her goalscoring instincts with Seattle, and age has caught up with Abby – she can’t elevate or power her headers and her feet aren’t quick enough to score. Her balance is really really poor.

      • Reality

        I would love to see Brian, Hagen and Tymrak get more time with the NT. But unfortunately Ellis is committed to her veterans for the WC and even the OG. Perhaps after that, they will have greater opportunity to shine.

      • Craigaroo

        It drives me a little nuts that some fans (not necessarily anyone posting here right now) seem to worry more about what’s good for Press than what’s good for the team. However, I agree somewhat about a 4-4-2 with Morgan and Press the first two choice strikers. Even though I like Leroux and can’t be objective about her (UCLA and all that), I’ve felt for a little while, despite Leroux’s goal-scoring for the US, that Morgan and Press are likely the best two forwards for the US, or likely to turn out that way, provided Morgan regains a bit of sharpness and Press gains a bit of confidence.

        If it’s 4-3-3 however, then Press as a wide forward is reasonable choice by Coach Ellis.

        • Titi14

          The point being Press is essentially a striker that likes to play from the middle and lead the line. She has got stiff competition at the moment.
          She has been wide forward for may be 2-3 last NT games and you can clearly see she is not comfortable with that.
          For the 1st 30 min last night, she was basically not adding anything in offence and just defending by dropping deep. Everything went to Syd on the left. The only time she became involved more is when she goes in the middle and get the ball and wants to link up more.

          I don’t mind her doing that( cutting inside) but there was no width provided by Krieger nor anyone else. It just causes congestion in the middle.

          Also when Abby – Morgan played for like 20 min in 2nd half, she was right mid. I don’t think she is going to improve or want to play there.

          in the 4- 3-3 , fans want to know if Morgan is a better option out wide and see how she does. Press is a really good centre forward. Morgan might be a better fit who knows. I think most people would not mind seeing how she does. The only problem is Morgan willing to go up and down and defend ?

          CP fans are worried that she is not getting a fair shot at the moment and with her playing out of position, her performance is going to dip ( which causes trolls asking her to be dropped from the team).

          Someone wrote below that CP told Ellis that she wants to fight for the main striker role.

          • Steglitz49

            Alex, being left-footed, can play naturally on the left but also in the centre, but she is awfully good with her head when it matters. That should not stop JE from giving Christen the #9 shirt.

          • Titi14

            Well but is she willing to play on the left and going to run up and down helping out the defence? Have they looked at that in training or she is set as no.1 so other people have to play round her.

          • Steglitz49

            If fully fit, yes. If not, the field be rearranged around her while she is on the pitch.

          • Titi14

            pick a system and play Morgan in her favourite position and fill the other positions with players who fit the system. You just replied in my other post its like chess and got many alternatives. If so many alternatives why so many players playing out of position? CBA?

          • Steglitz49

            Probably.

            Sweden is playing with an aging squad because there is not that much to chose from even though Pia is trying to bring in new blood. Why the USNT persists with so many senior players is beyond me but it looks as if JE is starting to move things around a bit. Smoke and mirrors?

      • Titi14

        how does your mids and forwards work?
        ………………Press……..Morgan
        .Rapine………….Holiday………..? ( Rapinoe here)
        …………….LLoyd
        …………………….Brian( Seriously a DM?)

        A youngster who is a AM in DM , that too the most imp position of all. Never looked convincing in that role before. Does Rapinoe float around wide on both sides ? what about Lloyd ?

        That is a weak midfield as they come and a disjointed forward
        Why not go diamond or even a 4-2-2-2?

        • Steglitz49

          You can have any formation as long as you win. Just pick the winning one.

          • Titi14

            well if it was so easy every fan would be a manager/coach.

          • Steglitz49

            We try our best, we try our best. It is hard to be a Monday morning coach with all these midweek games. Rats.

            The US is an interesting nut to crack because so many alternatives for every position. A bit like chess.

    • newsouth

      don’t waste you breath. courtnall will be a CB before press is a CF for the NT.

      • Reality

        During the game, one of the announcers mentioned that Ellis had remarked that Press had told her she wants to be a starting forward. So she’s not shy about voicing her ambitions. And she doesn’t have divided loyalties like Courtnall. She’s a pure California girl.

    • AlexH

      I wish we would try a 3-5-2. We the backs for it as well as people that can burn up and down the wings all day.

      • Reality

        I think that in general formations are dependent upon the opponent and the circumstances. What may work well in one situation will not work as well in another.

        Of course, in order to attain the level of flexibility of using multiple formations, a team must have experienced players who are familiar with each other sufficiently to anticipate their actions within any given formation.

        Most teams don’t have this degreee of integration and stick with a few formations that are not too risky, being neither too offensive or too defensive minded.

        The 3-5-2 formation is a real attacking style on the wings but the key is possession in the mid-field where the real battle is fought. It has its risks on the backline where the centerbacks must have superb communication and cooperation.

        • AlexH

          With 3 CB and 3 CM the 3-5-2 is perfect for winning the battle for the center of the field. The formation’s weakness is that the wingers have to hold down the flanks without support of overlapping fullbacks, but we have the athletes to do this.

          • Reality

            This will require good technical skills of possession, combination and passing. It is debatable whether some our veteran mid-fielders are capable of this. So, as usual, it is dependent on who we play there as to how effective this formation can be. Whom would you choose to implement this?

          • AlexH

            From yesterday’s call ups, I think the following starting 11 would work in a 3-5-2.

            CB: Sauerbrun, Rampone, Krieger
            Wings: Dunn, HAO
            MF: Lloyd, Rapino, Holiday
            FW: Morgan, Press or Leroux

            I agree with your statement that our veteran midfielders might not be able to pull it off, but I think they are more exposed in a 4-3-3. The other thing about this formation is that if you slide Dunn back to LB and slide Krieger to the RB then you have a pretty familiar 4-4-2. I think the difference between the 4-4-2 and the 3-5-2 is that in the former the defenders support the attack by means of overlapping fullbacks whereas in the 3-5-2 one of the CB push up and support from the center, which is the safer option.

          • Reality

            I’m not crazy about the current 4-3-3 formation and your proposal has merit. But I think in order to make it work, Lloyd, O’Reilly, and Rapinoe need to be replaced with players like Johnston, Brian and Tymrak. However, while they possess the necessary skills, they presently lack the experience to implement it properly. It is an interesting concept and certainly worth a try just to see what would transpire but Ellis’s tendency to go with her veterans will probably preclude it. Timing is everything and it might be something to utilize in the future.

  • Steglitz49

    The US remain the favorites for WC-15. Only Germany can threaten them. Thus, they will meet in either the final or SF (unless an odd teams knocks either of them out earlier). They can afford to lose a game in the group-phase.

    The artificial surface will give the US an edge over Germany. Thus, American players should be lauded for trying to get grass laid down.

    • dw

      So you keep saying…

      • Steglitz49

        Who can realistically threaten this US team (barring injury to Alex Morgan) apart from Germany?

        France? Pull the other one.

        • 49 is a troll

          Dang you’re dense!

          • guest

            49 is life.

          • Steglitz49

            Gold.

        • luke

          “Don’t ever underestimate the heart of a champion.”

          (Btw, it was an American who said that)

        • dw

          Anyone in a knockout game who plays a good game against us where we play a bad game can beat us. Same as any other team. See: U-20 USWNT vs. Korea; Germany in 2011WWC.
          You may sing songs about the Nadeshiko being a “team of destiny”, but the truth of it is Ze Frauleins played flat, and a team they should have beaten knocked them out. It can happen to anyone.
          And if you play really bad, you can get humiliated. See Brazil (who were the supreme favorites) at WC14; USWNT at Algarve14.

          • Steglitz49

            The Nadeshiko were not a team of destiny. They were a bunch of top class players who won the Cup by beating Germany on home soil, sweeping Sweden aside, and coming twice from behind against the US (never mind the erroneous off-side call). Their goal against Germany was outstanding.

            Nevertheless, on current form, it is hard to see any team but Germany giving the US a headache in Canada next year. A certain player did not play in the Algarve — and it showed. If you twist my arm, I would say that Norway could give the US a small headache but not a hangover.

  • NYRick

    I went to the SB match so I haven’t had a chance to watch this match yet so I can’t comment. For 15 bucks a ticket, an NWSL match is still the best dollar per value entertainment in sports you’ll find anywhere.

    I see “that player” had a nice moment. From the replay above it seems to be a carbon copy of the goal she scored against Portland in Portland to tie it late. She thrives in the middle of the pitch always.

    • luke

      That was very nice moment indeed. :)
      But what’s more important “that player” had couple of very nice moments combinating with “the other player”. :)))
      Still not enough – 2 or 3 for the whole match, but it was beautiful to watch.

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  • sol’s a comic

    So did anyone lose money on Sol’s US 0-Swiss 2 prediction? I’m sure he’s shocked to learn a German coach and a squad full of Germany based players could lose to the very bad US?

  • https://www.youtube.com/user/JigsawWill Jigsawwill

    I think Holiday was the best player on the field yesterday.

    http://youtu.be/gT3abSWgDbU

    • guest

      A little careless at times with the turnovers. That’s not okay when playing so far back.

      • Craigaroo

        Good point. It’s the difference between having played in an attacking position your whole life and having trained and played as a defensive mid. Someone trained in the d-mid role would have a better instinct about the danger of turning back towards your own goal.

        IN the highlights above, you see it quite early, around 0:40, the soft pass to the backline that is close to being intercepted. Good highlight video though and you can see Holiday’s wonderful possession skills.

      • Mosan

        You have to be kidding. It is exactly the opposite. While you want her further forward she represents what the doctor ordered for the hole in the DM of the WNT. Strong on the ball, 1 vs 1, can controll the ball, hold on it and distributed with simple and outlet passes. Brings back the cerebral part which the US lacked for so long at the center of the field. You see tons of more turnovers and futile passes with Lloyd or any other player.

    • Reality

      Thank you! Your work is much appreciated..

    • nwslfan

      fully agree Will.

    • Titi14

      Watching this video reminds me of why Brooks should be in the NT squad and given a chance.
      Holiday is essentially there because she is one of the best passers in the team and Ellis wants to play more possession game. Which is essentially what Brooks been doing this season for Thorns. She can control the tempo of the game and has good vision in her passing skills and can pass long or short.

      Instead they let one of the best AM and put her back in DM.

      • https://www.youtube.com/user/JigsawWill Jigsawwill

        They don’t believe in Amber Brooks. Whether thats fair or not I’m not entirely sure. What is clear is that there is not ONE world class holding midfielder in this pool. Shannon Box is no longer a factor.

        • Titi14

          I don’t believe that they don’t believe in Brooks. I think something happened between her leaving for Germany and coming back to essentially play for Thorns and she is being frozen out. She was one of the best in U teams.

          She has one cap. played a few minutes aganist Brazil. that seems like a very few minutes to judge which was effectively a very open game.

          • Davis

            I don’t think she’s being frozen out. I think that the USWNT coaches just don’t think she’s good enough. And I agree with them. If I was going to pick and DM from the NWSL to get a shot at the USWNT, it wouldn’t be Brooks. It would be Jen Buczkowski or Becky Edwards. I don’t think Brooks’ play in NWSL has been good enough to merit another call up.

          • Titi14

            Well Brooks did start slowly but has been really good at the business end of the season ( I think Riley needs to blow trumpets – he has of everyone except her- been kinda harsh at the beginning of the season) . The reason I say is she was part of the system just recently and just like that discarded without anything. No one speaks about her , Ellis coached her in U games. IF you watch the video above, Brooks does the same things for Thorns. Great distribution skills, good on the ball. positionally good. – not fully developed yet?
            At the moment, her development is already ahead of Brian / JJ – both of whom has hardly ever if played a whole game in a DM let alone all their life. So why not invest ( thats what the US Soccer people were calling it in Reign game) in the one you already got and make it better?It says she was captain of U-23 as well.

            Also Buczkowski is 29 and i don’t think the NT is going to bring her at her age. Last season she was great along with Scott ( another DM as well) , I am not sure how she has played this season. How is her distribution skills ? Was she still good.

            Edwards on the other hand deserves a shot but she got injured last season while on the Thorns and I was like she is really good. That means Thorns would have had Edwards, Long and Brooks – a solid mid 3 . and I dunno how she has been this season as she is currently playing for the last placed team in NWSL and its hard to pick if you are not having stand out game. Is she back to her best? She just seems to be injured at the wrong time often.

            What about Winters, S.Mewis and others or players in the U teams?

          • JL

            Of the 2 holding mids at KC, Richmond was better than Buczkowski.

          • Titi14

            Even better- more people who are use to playing in DM and in a possession based team as FCKC. May be one for the next circle. She also has represented US in all U teams so must be good as well

          • Steglitz49

            Everyone below the age of about 25 seems to be better for the next cycle.

          • TsovLoj

            Edwards definitely has potential.

          • Steglitz49

            But, what? Bayern’s leadership criticized US soccer but Amber was a good girl and claimed that she had not been put under any pressure at all. (If you believed that, you’d believe anything, admittedly.)

          • Titi14

            Well its been a messy and at the end of it , a young girls promising career cut be cut( think of CBA money ) and the US lose one of its promising DM

        • dw

          I think it should be reasonably clear that Boxx’s spot is Long’s. Amber Brooks has the 2019/20 cycle potentially open for her, that’s it. Otherwise, she has to be the beneficiary of someone else’s misfortune/injury. But you have Long, Lloyd, and even now Holiday ahead of her…

      • Steglitz49

        To think that Amber gave up the knödelpots of Bavaria for … ? As long as Portland win the NWSL, it will all be worth it, won’t it?

        • hollow victory

          Not if why she came back was to get onto the NT. Don’t recall any statement about wanting to win a NWSL title.

        • Titi14

          I don’t think so. She did say she came back so that US Soccer scouts can watch her and fight for the role of DM and that was her only chance of getting to NT. In that sense, with a strong season she has had and with a lack of DM in NT, it leaves a bitter taste I must say.

    • dw

      So my first reaction was to disagree, but you may be right. I think Holiday is our 2nd best player overall. She must be shocked at the current trend of shifting players around. But she’s good wherever she plays on the field. I did not realize she was such a good distributer. Too bad our system doesn’t lend itself for that from the AM positions.

  • ROOTchino

    Coming back to a place with so much emotional trauma for her. Having her Stanford coach in the stands and scoring a wonder strike like that.. This is the face of someone who just exorcised her NCAA demons.

    • Lord_Littlefingers_Lash

      Love that starting line up of Leroux Morgan Press with Pinoe behind them. Its like we’re actually trying to win out there.

  • nwslfan

    if you take out the handball PKs and the flop, you get 2-0 and that seems about right. US at the end of the season and should be in form against a team not ranked in top 15. some good individual efforts and some great individual efforts for a few moments, but how did the team do playing together? How crisp was the passing? how many giveaways? how much give and go? SUI played some high pressure but the SUI midfield did not seem overwhelmingly good. Speed of play- how many touches was the US midfield taking when they had the ball 3-5 or 1-2? if you watched the game and ignored the blather of US commentator who said things like “Ellis- a breath of fresh air” you know the answer to those questions. US has a ton of work to do if it wants to win the tournament next year…

    • Ramona

      SUI played well. They love tiki-taka. Bachmann was about one inch away from a breakaway a few times. Brun kept getting in the way.

      • dw

        Say what you will about the current squad being appointed for life, at least Broon, Rampone, and RVH keep us competitive almost every match.

    • guest

      US midfield would get run off the pitch by a Germany or Japan.

  • nwslfan

    US has clearly practiced building out of the back on a 4-3-3 and Holiday dropped nicely into the back slot and was able to turn repeatedly, despite some high pressure, so that was very good to see. a little bit lost the plot on buildup from the back when Carlos dropped back a few times in 2nd half. on attack, after Holiday would pass the ball wide to a sideline, someone in MF needed to slide into the attacking role behind the front 3 and make the ask, and that wasn’t happening nearly enough by either Pinoe or Press, so the attack going into the final third seemed kinda disorganized.

    Syd covering a ton of ground on 4-3-3 and had a good idea of how to help out defensively in that formation, THANK YOU HARVS

    JJ had a good half. keep giving her minutes to develop experience.

    • Silver Frost

      Syd is way better at defense than when she began her pro career only two years ago. She tracks back to defend better than the other NT forwards, although Press will go corner to corner at times.

  • guest

    So is Solo72 going to take as long as Catching Mia? I was kind of wishing Ellis would put Naeher in when the shutout ended.

    • Steglitz49

      Why didn’t she? Not allowed by the top bras?

  • xman22702

    If the ball wasn’t in a 5 foot radius of her, Abby walked. If the ball was in a 5 foot radius of her, she nonchalantly jogged. Those 168 goals mean nothing now, dump Wambach and start putting together a strong, resilient lineup.

    • brdn08

      Couldn’t beieve she missed putting away a gimme from Christen Press. If Abby keeps this up I really dont see where she can be useful because the 4-3-3 that Ellis is in love with already puts more pressure on the defense before you consider that Abby just doesn’t give you much, if anything, defensively

      • xman22702

        Literally they’re better playing with 10 men than with Wambach, her time has come and gone.

    • Tales of Hoffman

      Give her some slack, she’s coming into form after a long rehab. With enough rest Abby will be able to contribute in WC15. Algarve will be a good testing ground to see if she is finally in form.

      • xman22702

        Even before her injury, she was slowly deteriorating, she may contribute, but not significantly.

    • Guëst

      My guess is that US Soccer is going to have Abby coaching WWC 2019. For some reason the upper eschelon fears innovation.

  • brdn08

    My takeaway was that this was the best defensive group we’v seen minus Klingenberg. As soon as Krieger left the game The back line lost its shape and holes began opening up. Even though the starting defenders haven’t played together much this year, I was surprised at how well they moved together. Dunn wiil be necessary at LB next year because she actually stops the ball and Im not sure that any forward in the world outside of maybe DeVanna can beat her in a foot race.. It was ridiculous watching the defense in Algarve refusing to close the ball down. Dunn needs more minutes to work on her offensive contributions but defensively she was great. Playing right next to Becky doesn’t hurt.

  • AlexH

    It was good to see the team taking shots from distance. We don’t do nearly enough of that.

  • NYRick

    Fantastic post. Pinoe playing Ronaldinho. Lloyd like a guard dog who keeps jumping the fence. Great stuff! LOL.

    That CRS player should be considered for corners for the NT. I was screaming for Dames to let her take them since she got there since she is not a great player in the air on set pieces, so why not utilize her accuracy on corners instead. Pinoe had 2-3 absolutely useless corners and Holiday I’m never really thrilled with her corners either.

    • ROOTchino

      Agreed. While it makes sense to have your forwards near the goal for those situations, it has never been one of Press’ strong areas. Honestly, before Chicago I can’t think of a single game where Press took a corner or set piece aside from once in the 2013 Algarve which came really close and I’ve been watching her games since the Gothenburg days. I’m glad Dames finally listened and was taking her out of her comfort zone. Of all of the skills she has I think one of the best might be her ability to adapt her game to fit the role/team she’s on.

      • NYRick

        Let’s face it, her game is all about finesse. And every good corner taker I’m seen, man or woman, is a great finesse player. Makes perfect sense. She is very even keeled out there as well, and consistency is what it’s all about with corners. One of Pinoe’s strengths is her emotions, but she wears those on her sleeve a little bit and can get undone when things aren’t going her way. Not good when you have to focus on a key corner to take. Make CP take the corners. Tell you what, I wouldn’t mind her taking free kicks from 20+ yards out either. Especially from anywhere in the center of the pitch. I’m sure I’ll get labeled again as a fanboy for such mad suggestions, but I’m really talking in the best interests of the team.

        • ROOTchino

          I wouldn’t consider you a ‘fanboy’ Rick. To me a fanboy is someone who is borderline obsessed and hates on any & every player who isn’t their “Chosen One” and praises them constantly even during terrible games. There is nothing wrong about choosing to support an athlete and follow their career. If anything it gives you unique insight into that particular players strengths/weaknesses that many others may not see right away which in turn leads to the great, diverse and opinionated discussions we find on this site.

          Sometimes people only like to speak or contribute when they have something meaningful to say, it just so happens you know a lot about this particular player and you speak more frequently about what you know. Don’t worry about the labels, fly your Press flag with pride man!

  • treehill

    Since Jill Ellis gets relentless bashing on these boards (including some from myself) I want to give her praise when she is due.

    1. Abby and HAO were both available and neither started, for the first time since Algarve 2013. Some thought that would never happen again, because of “old guard” etc.

    2. Putting the Three Young Guns as forwards together for the first time is a great moment, even if the formation and execution aren’t everything hoped for. (The fact that U.S. Soccer and reporters thought it hardly worth mentioning is a sign of a two year long marketing tragedy.)

    3. In all Ellis’ 5 games she started Krieger and Sauerbrunn. Establishing at least that core is a great thing.

    4. Trying out Pinoe at CM, though it may not have worked, was bold and worth trying.

    5. Bringing back Johnston (first time since April 2013!) was great, even if people complain about her position.

    Good job Ellis!

    • Steglitz49

      Your points are well taken but I would take issue with you on that your “Three Young Guns” aren’t that young, are they? They are in their prime and WC-15 may be their best (if not only) chance to be world champs.

  • doctor

    honestly the people that are pushing for Syd to play on a wing are choosing a mustang over ferrari. I would much rather have O’Reilly(who is just as fast as syd but will provide better air passes),Heath(not as fast as Syd but will thread balls all day and is able to be in tight spaces) Dunn(just as fast as Syd but better 1vs1) on the wings before i put syd on a wing. She is a good goal scorer but she is clumsy, when i see her i think of a raging bull. why pick something average when you can get something so much better…i hope ellis is not as blind as some of you guys

  • doctor

    lets be honest this game was a bad possession game, the first half it looked like the swiss had most of the possession, and usa was not able to link up that many passes. the only reason it was not a tie was because our defence was rock solid and the swiss dont know yet how to break through usa’s defence with saurbraun and rampone being there

  • doctor

    1 goal from a handball pk
    1 goal from abby diving pk
    1 goal by a spectacular and very lucky shot by press
    1 goal that was 100 genuine was rapinoes goal

    only 1 goal was legitimate goal, and so was press’s but come on that was very very lucky.

  • guest

    Don’t let Rick see this. He might soil his pants.