Which 3 New Players Should be on the USWNT Now

Discussion in 'USA Women: News and Analysis' started by skybolt, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. skybolt

    skybolt Member

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    My question is that if it was up to you, which 3 non current roster players should be on the team starting January 1st, 2013. I realize that the team will see more changes down the line, but let's concentrate on your top 3 for now (and why). Here are mine:

    1.) Whitney Engen - Since the defense was a weak point in both the Olympics and WC, we have to see some major changes at this position. Krieger and Sauerbrun are likely starters, but we need another central defender with Rampone hitting 40 at the next WC. Engen was WPS defensive player of the year in 2011 and she also has the height (5'-8") to defend against set plays.

    2.) Christen Press - Although our offense seems to be performing well for now, the USWNT will need someone like Press if Wambach loses a step or 2 at the next WC. I really like Sydney Leroux, but do think that the team loses some of its creativity when Morgan is subbed out against stronger opponents. Morgan is the type of player that makes something out of nothing and can take on 2 or 3 defenders at a time while servicing other players. Bringing someone off the bench like Press that has the scoring touch and can create opportunities for others with her playmaking skills, would be a huge boost for this team. Plus, having her compete against Leroux for a starting spot would really push both players to bring their "A" games for each match. If Press does start next to Morgan, then I bet they'll be able to run circles around defenses similar to a Messi/Teves combination.

    3.) Kealia Ohai - Ohai reminds me a lot of Morgan when she was on the under 20 team. I can tell that this girl is a winner and will fight until the last second to make sure her team comes out on top. Similar to Morgan, she's the type of player that will not disappear from a match even if facing stronger and more athletic opposition. My gut tells me that she'll improve exponentially from year to year until she's a superstar by the age of 25. She's a similar type player to O'Reilly but with more creative skills.


  2. cpthomas

    cpthomas BigSoccer Supporter

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    If this is going to be a serious discussion, it should start out with a good list of all the potential candidates and their normal positions. There also should be some serious discussion about which positions are most likely to be "open." The discussions I've seen on BigSoccer on topics like this mostly seem to trend towards "flavor of the day" when there are a whole bunch of candidates out there who get forgotten quickly when they're out of the limelight.
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  3. kernel_thai

    kernel_thai Member+

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    I dont think ull see anything of Ohai or Dunn while they r still in school. I think Sermanni's penchant for youth in Australia was out of necessity which he doesnt have here. I would think the coming "youth" movement will focus more on the 22-25 age bracket.

    As to ur three names, I hope Engen gets a fair shot and I think she will. Ohai might get a spot by WWC or the next Olympics. I see her sliding into HAO's spot as the Carolina wing. I could see her and Dunn getting a few caps if they expand the pool but nothing consistent till they graduate. I think Press is a given and if she doesnt get a major role in the coming year there needs to be an investigation. From what ive seen she will make Sermanni consider changing the formation just to get her on the field.

    As for NCAA tournament seniors, I liked what I saw from Nairn (PSU) and Brooks (NC). They both play positions of need and I hope they both get a shot at the camps. For most of these players I think the league will be their chance to catch Sermanni's eye.
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  4. kool-aide

    kool-aide Member

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    If you're good enough, then you're good enough regardless of age. That was true in 2008 for several players still in college and it will be the same going forward. Personally, I don't think Ohai has jumped to the head of the "call to camp" line at her position. I think Dunn should have been in nat'l team camps last year.

    I agree that individual threads for each position/line would be a great way to look at the depth charts. You want to start some of them? I'll start one on keepers and defenders if you'll start one on forwards and mids.
    CANAmerican repped this.


  5. Katreus

    Katreus Member

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    No quibbles here.

    The last spot would be hard for me to choose... but we really need outside backs and DMs, rather than wings. We have a ton of wings to choose from there in the 22-25 range that are better than Ohai right now. You say Ohai will keep improving? Then let her keep improving. Call her in at 23-24 when she's got a year or two of pro and is performing well in the pros.

    So, in the vein of outside backs, how about Camille Levin? Position of need, she's got a season's worth of pro seasoning and is starting, and she's got lock down defensive skills and good on the attack.
  6. kernel_thai

    kernel_thai Member+

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    I guess my thought on if ur good enough... is if ur good enough to start then bring her in, whoever... if she just gonna sit then I dont see the reason to rush, especially in non big tournament years. Put them in the pool, bring them to camps, maybe give them a few caps but i prefer to populate my bench with full time, young soccer players sprinkled with a few vets.
  7. QuickFeet13

    QuickFeet13 New Member

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    do any of you think ohai will be a forward for the uswnt? They have morgan, leroux, and press who are all just a few years older than her, they will probably have to transition ohai to a different position.
  8. FawcettFan14

    FawcettFan14 Member

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    I'm going to cheat and name five players. Right now I'd take Crystal Dunn (UNC), Amber Brooks (UNC), Camille Levin (FC Goteborg), Christen Press (FC Goteborg) and Morgan Brian (Virginia).

    Dunn is selected for obvious reasons; she uses her pace extremely well, is elusive in tight spaces and can play anywhere on the pitch: center back at 2010 World Cup, right back at 2012 World Cup, central defense, midfield and striker at various times for the Tar Heels.

    The U.S. badly needs some depth at holding midfield. Yael Averbuch, Keelin Winters, Becky Edwards and Brittany Bock were all floated as possibilities during the WPS era, but its possible their window has closed (but not necessarily). Brooks is the best physical, defensive midfielder in the college ranks right now, and I like that she isn't just a blunt instrument. She has a deft touch and great long range passing ability.

    Every time I watched Stanford play the last five years, I was continually impressed by Cami Levin. Another player who, like Dunn, shifted around to wherever her coach needed a reliable, tenacious presence. A marauding right back by the end of her college days, she was constantly buzzing up and down the flank, putting in crosses (the play that led to Teresa Noyola's winner in 2011 was classic Levin), and winning tackles against players far bigger than her.

    It's a travesty that Christen Press has zero caps at this stage, but that will change soon. She partnered well with national teamers Abby Wambach and Megan Rapinoe with magicJack in 2011, and she lit up the Damallsvenskan, a competitive league, for 17 goals this season (second only to Mittag's 22). With Morgan on fire, Leroux a perfect supersub, and Abby continuing to be an aerial threat, Press will be just another weapon for Tom Sermanni (maybe Sarah Hagen and Melissa Henderson, too).

    Finally, we've complained forever on these forums about the lack of a true #10 on the USWNT. Carli Lloyd picked up her game immensely from the Olympics onward, but she is 30 now and with her mercurial nature, who knows if she'll keep it up with no major competition for 2.5 years. Vanessa DiBernardo showed flashes of great skill with the U20s, but fellow midfielder Brian was far more consistent. She rarely misplaces a pass, and at 19 has a more sophisticated soccer brain on her shoulders than most of the senior mids (save Heath and maybe Rapinoe).

    I think any of these five could slot into the current USWNT and not look out of place.

    About Ohai, I think she has a future with the senior team, but maybe not for a year or so. With the crop of great forwards in the 22-24 age range, she probably won't find much luck there. Despite her fantastic solo effort in the NCAA final down the center of the pitch, I think her best position is an outside winger as a "3" in a 4-2-3-1, or a "forward 3" in a 4-3-3 (as she did for the U20s this summer).
  9. BrooklynSoccer

    BrooklynSoccer Member

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    Tom will have the difficult luxury of evaluating a lot of great younger players and then incorporating the chosen handful into the current crop, meanwhile trying to figure out the puzzle of who works best together on the field.
    It's going to be a fun year or two. I hope he gives a lot of call ups and more opportunity for players to prove themselves in real matches.
    I Agree with FawcettFan's list, but not sure Brooks would be on mine. (she does deserve a call up). Lindsey Horan and Julie Johnston would be on my list though.
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  10. kernel_thai

    kernel_thai Member+

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    I agree about Johnston. She could the rock they rebuild the back line around. Not so sure about Horan.
  11. Dundalk24

    Dundalk24 Member

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    Johnston could potentially be a DM too.
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  12. kernel_thai

    kernel_thai Member+

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    As for Dunn, if u can believe Dorrance, her journey around the pitch may continue. He mentioned in one of the post College Cup interviews that her WNT future was likely on the wing and planned to play her there next year. Course a lot could happen between now and then.
  13. kernel_thai

    kernel_thai Member+

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    Does she play DM at Santa Clara or Attacking Mid?
  14. Dundalk24

    Dundalk24 Member

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    Not sure but she spent most of her time with the U20 team as a DM where she was wonderful but was moved to CB to solidify the back 4 in Japan. Swanson said DM was the preferred position for JJ.
  15. Katreus

    Katreus Member

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    I have high hopes for Johnston too. If she can be a DM, that would be absolutely fantastic since we seem to be a wasteland there (and I wasn't all that impressed with Winters in the Arsenal vs. Potsdam game).

    From what I recall, Horan's doing fine. 7 goals in the d1 so far, tied with Asllani. Heard she's pretty smart with her runs, prob. just needs to learn how to take care of her body but PSG seems on top of it.

    BTW, a French PSG fan watching Horan said (Oct. 14):

    Matches with what others are saying in the Horan thread (check WPS forum). Note that Pinoe's named Horan as the most impressive young player she's seen and I think a couple other (Morgan and Solo) have noted her play in the Rush vs. Sounders game.
  16. kernel_thai

    kernel_thai Member+

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    Johnston was their leading scorer despite a month with u20. I know she works a lot with Brandi Chastain so u can expect Johnston to be a better defender than soccer analyst.
  17. BrooklynSoccer

    BrooklynSoccer Member

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    Yes, numerous sources have said Horan as a ton of talent. At 18 she's a rookie starter on first division french league. I'm excited to watch her.
    As for JJ, I'd like to see her as Dmid, her natural position. I wouldn't say she's a stronger center back than Rampone, Becky, Engen, Amy L. but she was smart and very organized...maybe with time?
    I, personally, like Dunn as outside back if we continue to use a 4-4-2 with a d mid and outside backs who get forward. I like 7 people, at times, flying forward. ;-)

    It's going to be fun.
  18. kernel_thai

    kernel_thai Member+

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    Hey, the French need a finisher...think they swap up Necib for Horan straight up? :)
  19. JanBalk

    JanBalk Member

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    She shows great promise but I still think it is to early for her, let her finnish a full seasson in first and if she still as good as it seems yes she need to be tried. A player without even one full pro or college seassomay be a bit early for the WNT.
  20. MRAD12

    MRAD12 Member

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    Lindsey Horan, Melissa Henderson, Sarah Hagen
  21. newsouth

    newsouth Member

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    1 Dunn - Didn't Sydney play for the NT while in school? I don't remember.

    2. Engen - Their defense blows, and it's a nightmare if Rampone is pulled out of the lineup. That's why she plays almost every game at 38. She and Dunn are like Brasil upgrading its' defense with Bruna and Thalia.

    3. Becky Edwards - Get someone who can dribble, hold possession (I'm sick of dispossession Queen, Winters, name coming up) and captain the mid-field like a young Formiga. How the hell is she an ace in Europe and for WNY but a dog at Pia's camps?

    4. Like I said, she is a bad match up with Fullbach. Even Mike Lyons didn't want those two on the field since Press needs forwards, who run and stretch defenses around her. Does this guy play at 4-3-3? Sydney and Horse press, stretch the hell out of defense which gives her one-on-one and scoring opportunities. That's where the FC USWNT takes on a dimension. Fullbach slows the game down and allows big defenders to sit on Press. Also, she plays well with her back to the goal to distribute to advancing forwards. She may be more of an attacking mid-fielder (100 times better than the so called attacking mid-fielders for France, since she is potentially a FIFA Player of the Year type player), letting her play off of Sydney and Morgan.

    Here's what I see at the forward position: This guy will put all three on the pitch if Fullbach is out. They will look sloppy since they will need a dozen or so games to gel, but they will get one game and look bad. And there goes that experiment because the pressure is to win up from the NT, not develop a group high powered forward that could rule the women's game for the next 10 yrs.

    What other team in the world could list Press, Sydney and Horse as their 3 starting forwards with an older fullbach, "johnny on the spot" ohai, henderson and hagen in reserve? That's some crazy pedigrees if you like them or not. Now, let Germany push Morgan and/or Sydney off of their runs. How do you cover the offense behind them, since one or two of those girls maybe better pure scorers and more versatile .

    Don't worry the NT will mess this up too.

    Yeah, I might not like Morgan, but I'd pay the admission price to see them put the best talent on the field and have them work in unison.

    I also think those group of forwards could score the most goals ever by a team in the Olympics and WC, leading the USA to solid Gold wins with no controversy like that ridiculous foul ridden Japan game in the Olympics.
  22. exref

    exref Member

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    Top 3 hard to pick, there are so many with potential. I'd say Christen Press is first choice - she shows the skill and the desire. Then, I would move Kelly O'Hara to midfield. She's not a defender (although I think she could learn the finer points eventually). O'Hara is too valuable to not be on the field. So, the other 2 should be defenders and defensive midfielders. Crystal Dunn and Julie Johnston.

    Also like Nairn, Engen. Quon did not impress me in the NCAA tournament, but can she improve with a different team and new coaching?
  23. ForeverLOST108

    ForeverLOST108 Member

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    Quon hasn't impressed me in years. I doubt we see her even get a call up for a long time, if ever. Much more likely to see Levin.
  24. exref

    exref Member

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    Curious, since she seemed to be so good when she first came on the scene for Stanford, but maybe she reached her peak as a freshman.
  25. WPS_Movement

    WPS_Movement Member

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    Here are my picks of 21 players, that could give the current 21-woman squad on the USWNT a run for their money, and might beat them on any given day.

    F - Christen Press
    F - Maya Hayes (running with Press, causing havoc)
    F - Sarah Hagen
    F - Casey Nogueira
    MF - Kealia Ohai (attacking mid, & dominating the flanks, can also be a forward if needed)
    MF - Katy Frierson
    MF - Kristie Mewis
    MF - Vanessa DiBernardo
    MF - Morgan Brian
    MF - Sinead Farrelly
    MF - Christine Nairn
    MF - Becky Edwards
    MF/D - Julie Johnston (defensive role, in various positions)
    MF/D - Crystal Dunn (outside back pushing forward, or on the wing)
    MF/D - Camille Levin (outside back pushing forward, can play in so many spots)
    D - Keeley Dowling (tall, athletic, & physical, closing speed, with a leaping presence in the air)
    D - Whitney Engen
    D - Brittany Taylor
    D - Toni Pressley (defensive enforcer)
    GK - Bianca Henninger
    GK - Adrianna Franch

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