By Dan Loney on Sep 20, 2019 at 12:25 PM
  1. Dan Loney

    Dan Loney BigSoccer Supporter

    Mar 10, 2000
    Cincilluminati
    Club:
    Los Angeles Sol
    Nat'l Team:
    Philippines

    US Soccer - the Carnival Will Carry On

    By Dan Loney on Sep 20, 2019 at 12:25 PM
    Two men currently share the record for most World Series wins as a manager: Casey Stengel and Joe McCarthy.

    No, not that one. That would have been a heck of a story: successful baseball manager runs for Senate, hunts Commies, and dies drunk.

    Both McCarthy and Stengel are in the Baseball Hall of Fame, obviously, and both men were outstanding baseball minds.

    Oh, by the way. McCarthy managed Ruth, Gehrig and DiMaggio; Stengel managed Mantle, Berra, Elston Howard and Whitey Ford.

    Two people share the record for most World Cup wins as a coach: Vittorio Pozzo and Jill Ellis. And Ellis did it without Mussolini's help.

    Although Ellis didn't do it without help, to say the very least.

    The Jill Ellis era, as it will not be called, has come to an end. Does the United States win two World Cups in a row without Ellis? Maybe, but the situation needed someone willing to bench very famous and strong-willed players. The 2015 Cup is not won if Abby Wambach starts ahead of Carli Lloyd. Would the 2019 Cup have been won with Carli Lloyd starting? Maybe, but it wasn't like Megan Rapinoe didn't win the Golden Boot or anything.

    Managing egos and motivating players is a murkily understood part of coaching, and apparently Ellis is one of the best. She may not get the credit she deserves, but then again, Chuck Daly got surprisingly little credit for the 1992 Olympic basketball team.

    It's probably a no-win proposition for Jill's successor…well, except for all the winning that her successor will end up doing. Japan will get a boost for home field advantage next summer, sure, but how much did that help France this summer? I'd pick the US to win even if they hired Juergen Klinsmann.

    I might even pick the US to win if they hired nobody, which as of this writing seems to be the plan.

    I don't bring up the Dream Team in complete idleness – rather, I bring them up to start a pointlessly clickbaity hacky prisoner-of-the-momenty Sports Argument.

    Is the 2019 team the greatest of all time?

    It sounds blasphemous, but when you measure how they performed against their peers? I'd go with the 2019 team over 1999.

    This year the US went to Europe and dispatched five European teams in a row. They might have faced stronger opponents twenty years ago. The US survived an own goal to beat Germany 3-2, but no one knew at the time that Germany wouldn't lose another World Cup game for eight years. China was a match for the United States in 1999, but people forget just how good China was that year. In the semifinal match, Sun Wen's Steel Roses beat Norway 5-0. Norway were the defending world champions. Norway would win the gold medal in Sydney the next summer. China brushed them aside.

    This year, of course, the United States turned out the hosts convincingly. Talk about giving away your pay-per-view main event, by the way. Whoever bracketed the tournament so that there was a possibility of France meeting the United States before the semifinal needs to question their life choices. Okay, fine, the US probably shouldn't have spent over an hour tied with Spain. The closest call was against England, who may very well be upset that their second goal would not have been overturned four years ago. Then again, nobody told England to botch a penalty.

    But the result was always the same Every US game this tournament seemed to end the same way – anywhere from five to ten minutes of Tobin Heath taking the ball to the far corner. If you measure the greatness of a team by how they performed against their peers, the decision is pretty easy.

    An argument for the greatness of the 2019 team is almost an argument against Ellis, but what about the attacking depth. It's one thing to be able to make adjustments, it's another to send in another couple of aircraft carriers. Lloyd was a backup, Press was a backup to the backup, Dunn was in the wrong position. These are players who will either get Hall of Fame consideration or Hall of Fame jackets. If anyone could have shut out the 2019 team, it would have been Lilly, Foudy and Rampone, but that's a sizeable if.

    Let us now take time to praise Alyssa Naeher, who earned her spot in the pantheon this tournament. For all I know Ashlyn Harris also would have stopped England in their tracks, but going into this tournament we all wondered, "How would the United States replace Hope Solo?" And the answer turned out to be, "Three years ago."

    The nice thing about the Olympics is how conveniently it will prove or disprove any lingering assumptions we have. Can child’s drawing of a tree coach the United States and win? Here's our chance to find out. And here's another weird stat for you. The United States is the only team to win a World Cup and Olympic gold consecutively. But nobody has won the gold medal in the Olympics the year after winning a World Cup. You'd think that would be easier to accomplish, but no team has done it yet.

    That’s a problem for next year. I just want to take some more time to appreciate that we may have just seen the best women’s soccer team ever.

    So, that was my very basic World Cup take, and it was about here I was going to segue with my usual grace and elegance into Rapinoe and her skill at grabbing the spotlight both on and off the field. Except in the past month, thanks partially to the World Cup win and partially to Major League Soccer apparently operating under a series of calamitous head wounds, the subject of politics in American soccer has crashed into mainstream American culture. Tell Warren Zevon he can rest easy. The lawyers, guns and money have arrived. Every time I tried to update this, something else either inspiring or stupid or hilarious or all three at once crashed through the wall like Wild Turkey Man.

    No, as in, a giant smiling pitcher of bourbon, not a guy bitten by a radioactive – you know what, let’s move on.

    I can give you a boring laundry list of what barely deserve to be called “opinions,” but for a lot of you this is old news. If you’re reading this, you’ve given thought to how much the US women’s national team should be paid. I think both senior national teams should form a single union, and be ready to withhold labor until their goals are met. I also think we should come up with automobiles that run on water and puts out cuddles as exhaust.

    I don't think there's a fair way to legislate wages by government action. If this were the pre-MLS 1990's, when most of the men's national team were contracted to the US Soccer Federation as opposed to a club, the solution would be equal pay, next topic. Same work, same pay.

    Once NWSL becomes a self-sustaining enterprise, or at least stops paying its players in Pepsi Points, this will again become an easier issue. The national team won't be the main source of income for the women, and equal pay will again be something theoretically attainable.

    Right now, the USSF has to financially support the women's team, otherwise the player pool is reduced to those willing to put up with the hardships of semi-pro athletic career. We already know what that sort of national team looks like - Brazil has had something like two of the top six or seven players ever (Marta and Sissi), and they have won neither Women's World Cup nor Olympic gold. You need a middle class in soccer, as you do in democracy. (What we do when the state withers away under the dictatorship of the proletariat is a problem for the future. The very near future - workers of the world unite etc. etc.)

    But this shouldn't be a permanent state of affairs. So it's foolish to ask for legislation or regulation in this environment.

    Also as of this writing, Major League Soccer has embroiled itself in a controversy over flags and banners that almost any idiot could have avoided. The Iron Front - whose success in defeating the triple threats of Franz Von Papen, Ernst Thaelmann and Adolf Hitler is, to put it delicately, a matter of historical record - has decades later managed to offend someone high up in Major League Soccer, presumably an owner or two. However you feel about antifa or Uncle Fa, this silliness should never have come to the point where entire sections empty out during games, and it is entirely one billion percent the league's fault.

    Literally the only people who can take even modest comfort in this is the Major League Soccer Players Association, who have now learned that at least one club's ownership group is so dumb they have to be watered once a week. Probably at least two, since even MLS wouldn't listen to Anthony Precourt's opinions at this point.
    ______________

    Most of these issues are ongoing, sadly. Shame to end on a note of unresolved drama.

    I'd like to sincerely thank BigSoccer for all the patience and masochism they have shown over the past OH MY GOD THIRTEEN YEARS. Thank you especially to Jesse Hertzberg for putting up with me for so long, and his successor Andy Robinowitz (I don't know if he craves anonymity or not; people associated with me usually do for some reason). Let's see how quickly I get red-carded on the message boards!
     
?

So what was the best women's team of all time?

  1. 1991 USWNT, like you saw them play

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. 1995 Norway, because they must have been all right

    2 vote(s)
    5.1%
  3. 1996 US Olympic team

    1 vote(s)
    2.6%
  4. 1999 USWNT

    11 vote(s)
    28.2%
  5. 2003 Germany

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. 2007 Germany

    1 vote(s)
    2.6%
  7. 2011 Japan

    1 vote(s)
    2.6%
  8. 2015 USWNT

    3 vote(s)
    7.7%
  9. 2016 Germany

    1 vote(s)
    2.6%
  10. 2019 USWNT

    9 vote(s)
    23.1%
  11. Dick, Kerr Ladies

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  12. Lyon, because you're an insufferable hipster

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  13. 2018 NC Courage

    3 vote(s)
    7.7%
  14. 2003 Bay Area Cyberrays

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  15. magicJack HA HA HA God that was awful

    4 vote(s)
    10.3%
  16. 2002 Hounslow Harriers

    3 vote(s)
    7.7%

Comments

Discussion in 'Articles' started by Dan Loney, Sep 20, 2019.

    1. Paul Calixte

      Paul Calixte Moderator
      Staff Member

      Orlando City SC
      Apr 30, 2009
      Miami, FL
      Club:
      Orlando City SC
      Nat'l Team:
      United States

      US Soccer - the Carnival Will Carry On

      By Dan Loney on Sep 20, 2019 at 12:25 PM
      Zidane's disastrous return to Real Madrid (so far) is fuel to the fire for the "anyone could have coached _____" argument.
       
    2. kenntomasch

      kenntomasch Member+

      Sep 2, 1999
      Out West
      Club:
      FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
      Nat'l Team:
      United States

      US Soccer - the Carnival Will Carry On

      By Dan Loney on Sep 20, 2019 at 12:25 PM
      Got any news on the Hindenburg?
       
      adi21 and Mateofelipe repped this.
    3. Beau Dure

      Beau Dure Member+

      May 31, 2000
      Vienna, VA

      US Soccer - the Carnival Will Carry On

      By Dan Loney on Sep 20, 2019 at 12:25 PM
      Cliche, but I went with 1999 because it's difficult to top the back line of Chastain (OG notwithstanding), Fawcett, Overbeck and Markgraf.

      A couple of issues with the 2019 team:

      1. They needed a very soft PK to put away Spain.

      2. The xG keepers say France and England each had the advantage in those games.

      3. The pressure got to England.

      4. I'd argue the Netherlands were very much in the game until a ... I won't say "soft," but I will say "lucky" penalty.

      Between all that, the aging of some key players (aside from the PKs -- I'm sorry, but Rapinoe wasn't her old self) and the clogged youth-development pipeline (youth Cup results are scary), the USA won't be favorites in 2023. They may be favorites in 2020, but the odds of winning will be less than 50-50. I'll say USA 2-1, "Britain" 3-1, Japan 5-1, Netherlands 6-1, Australia 10-1, and I'll repeat my objection to taking only three European teams to the Olympics.

      The case in favor of the 2019 team being considered among the greats (maybe top 3-5?):

      1. Rightful Golden Ball winner Julie Ertz created a black hole from which no opposition attack could escape.

      2. Naeher made the saves she needed to make.

      3. Tobin Heath is the most skillful player the USWNT has ever had.

      4. Being able to bring Christen Press or Lindsey Horan or whoever draws the short straw off the bench if pretty impressive, though I'll point out that Tiffeny Milbrett played five minutes and change in the 1999 final.

      Enjoy it now. By 2023, the USA will be just one of 5-6 teams that can win it. Again, not a bad thing. It's about time Europe (especially England) got serious.
       
    4. KensingtonSC

      KensingtonSC All You Fascists Bound to Lose

      FC Vaduz / Philadelphia Union
      Jan 7, 2010
      Andalusia, PA
      Club:
      FC Vaduz

      US Soccer - the Carnival Will Carry On

      By Dan Loney on Sep 20, 2019 at 12:25 PM
      Funny enough, I see my Uncle Fa every Thanksgiving and Christmas.

      Also, the 2019 team would crush the 1999 team simply for the fact that the players are significantly better both on the team and around the world which forces the current team to be better. It'd be like Clayton Kershaw taking on the '27 Yankees.
       
    5. kenntomasch

      kenntomasch Member+

      Sep 2, 1999
      Out West
      Club:
      FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
      Nat'l Team:
      United States

      US Soccer - the Carnival Will Carry On

      By Dan Loney on Sep 20, 2019 at 12:25 PM
      FWIW, Lefty Grove went 3-2 against the 1927 Yankees, with a shutout but with a 5.18 ERA. 1927 was not a banner year for pitching in the AL, unless you were a big fan of Bump Hadley and Hod Lisenbee. There aren't a lot of comparables.
       
    6. mschofield

      mschofield Member+

      May 16, 2000
      Berlin
      Club:
      Union Berlin
      Nat'l Team:
      Germany

      US Soccer - the Carnival Will Carry On

      By Dan Loney on Sep 20, 2019 at 12:25 PM
      First, was this a swan-song column? Sorry to hear (well, read) that if so. Your columns are consistently interesting. As a former columnist, I get the attraction of being a former columnist, however.
      Second: I believe that the 1999 side might be more talented. And I am not sure the top six clubs in the 1999 cup weren't as good as anyone around this time. But I believe the 2019 versions just pips them because they had to play more good sides. I watched way too much of this cup, just about every match, and couldn't get away from the fact that the depth of quality was substantially, uhm, deeper. The US side in 99 had to beat Germany, Marta and China. The group games were against some seriously flawed sides. The '19 version got one of those sides in this cup, Thailand. The overall results indicate to me they were not much worse and may have been equal to N Kor or Nigeria and were not that far off Denmark. The US was just overwhelming.
      But Thai aside, they had to beat a series of worthy opponents in Chile, Spain, Sweden, France, Nederland and England. the overall level of the tournament has raised. So winning it meant more chances to slip, and 2019 didn't.
       
      Paul Calixte repped this.
    7. AndyMead

      AndyMead Homo Sapien

      Nov 2, 1999
      Seat 12A
      Club:
      Sporting Kansas City

      US Soccer - the Carnival Will Carry On

      By Dan Loney on Sep 20, 2019 at 12:25 PM
      Has it been 13 years? Damn, I should really get on putting out the next ECG.
       
      bigredfutbol, Ismitje and NeilB repped this.
    8. Honore de Ballsac

      Oct 28, 2005
      France.

      US Soccer - the Carnival Will Carry On

      By Dan Loney on Sep 20, 2019 at 12:25 PM
      If this is your last column, thanks Dan. Hope you come back to it.

      2019 team won the thing in third gear. By far the best. The game's getting better right before our eyes - but US can still win, confidently, playing the poster children in drab form with top talent chomping at the bench.

      Ellis absolutely deserves props for the ego management and the Missions Accomplished. Her challenge was significantly different from any World Cup manager we see on the men's side. Like, "Through-the-Looking-Glass" different. Cagily sandbagging for years against any major WC threat, for example - that's just one weird thing.

      And no matter how much talent a France or Spain might wield, you could never bet on a single nation versus the field in a men's competition. You certainly could in this Cup - thus all the American fans with pre-booked itineraries for the final. Given the US' advantages that should be the case for the foreseeable future. The US coach just has to keep the team from beating itself and overcome Soccer's low scoring and randomness and perversity.

      Glad to see more props for Naeher. Seconded.

      Btw, I don't pay much attention to the Olympics, but weren't the World Cup and the Olympics usually held two years apart until pretty recently? So maybe it wasn't super easy to accomplish in consecutive years. (Didn't read like one of your jokes.)
       
      hykos1045 repped this.
    9. kenntomasch

      kenntomasch Member+

      Sep 2, 1999
      Out West
      Club:
      FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
      Nat'l Team:
      United States

      US Soccer - the Carnival Will Carry On

      By Dan Loney on Sep 20, 2019 at 12:25 PM
      They've been holding Olympics every four years since the end of World War II. They've been holding Women's World Cups every four years since 1991. The schedule hasn't changed. The MEN's World Cup is two years before (and after) a Summer Games.

      1988 - Olympics
      1990 - World Cup
      1991 - Women's World Cup
      1992 - Olympics
      1994 - World Cup
      1995 - Women's World Cup
      1996 - Olympics
      1998 - World Cup
      1999 - Women's World Cup
      2000 - Olympics
      2002 - World Cup
      2003 - Women's World Cup
      2004 - Olympics
      2006 - World Cup
      2007 - Women's World Cup
      2008 - Olympics
      2010 - World Cup
      2011 - Women's World Cup
      2012 - Olympics
      2014 - World Cup
      2015 - Women's World Cup
      2016 - Olympics
      2018 - World Cup
      2019 - Women's World Cup
      2020 - Olympics
       
    10. (They call him) RMc

      Jun 1, 2013
      Club:
      Celtic FC

      US Soccer - the Carnival Will Carry On

      By Dan Loney on Sep 20, 2019 at 12:25 PM
      unless you were a big fan of Bump Hadley and Hod Lisenbee

      Well, isn't everybody? Lisenbee was the last player born in the 1800s to appear in a major-league game, pitching 31 games (including three starts!) for the 1945 Cincinnati Reds...at the age of 46! (Plus, he was named "Hod".)
       
      Dan Loney and AndyMead repped this.
    11. Honore de Ballsac

      Oct 28, 2005
      France.

      US Soccer - the Carnival Will Carry On

      By Dan Loney on Sep 20, 2019 at 12:25 PM
      Oh. RainBOWS. Yeah those are cool.
       
      Beau Dure repped this.
    12. Mojo Jambo

      Mojo Jambo Member

      Aug 26, 2013
      Cleveland, OH
      Club:
      Nottingham Forest FC
      Nat'l Team:
      United States

      US Soccer - the Carnival Will Carry On

      By Dan Loney on Sep 20, 2019 at 12:25 PM
      If you spot me a healthy Akers....
       
      Ismitje repped this.
    13. Honore de Ballsac

      Oct 28, 2005
      France.

      US Soccer - the Carnival Will Carry On

      By Dan Loney on Sep 20, 2019 at 12:25 PM
      Was thinking the same. And Milbrett was pretty special.
       
    14. Paul Calixte

      Paul Calixte Moderator
      Staff Member

      Orlando City SC
      Apr 30, 2009
      Miami, FL
      Club:
      Orlando City SC
      Nat'l Team:
      United States

      US Soccer - the Carnival Will Carry On

      By Dan Loney on Sep 20, 2019 at 12:25 PM
      Btw, if this is really your last entry here - I thought it would be impossible, but then Run-DMB and Conejo Pérez actually retired - then kudos for ending it in the most Dan Loney way possible.

      For the brief time that we coincided on the BigSoccer front page, you were an immense source of inspiration - and you saved me from enduring embarrassment by prodding me to fix my tagline at the start.

      Now then, brb... **bets life savings on Loney getting red-carded before Christmas**
       
    15. Bootsy Collins

      Bootsy Collins Player of the Year

      Oct 18, 2004
      Capitol Hill
      Club:
      DC United
      Nat'l Team:
      United States

      US Soccer - the Carnival Will Carry On

      By Dan Loney on Sep 20, 2019 at 12:25 PM
      Did I miss something? Dan definitely seems to hint at this being his last blog post; but I don't see any clear statement of that here or before.

      Dan, if you are winding it up, thanks for the time you've spent on it.
       
      kgilbert78 repped this.
    16. west ham sandwich

      Feb 26, 2007
      C-bus
      Club:
      Columbus Crew
      Nat'l Team:
      United States

      US Soccer - the Carnival Will Carry On

      By Dan Loney on Sep 20, 2019 at 12:25 PM
      I was going to say 1999 because this team doesn't have a Mia... But Ertz may be that. Not the attacking presence and goal scorer that Hamm was, but able to take a game over (and Ertz didn't even play as good as she is capable).

      You may be right about Heath's skill, but she's not able to dictate a game, she's a piece who often doesn't add as much as she seemingly should (same goes for Rapinoe).
       

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