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Discussion in 'USA Women: News and Analysis' started by kool-aide, May 9, 2011.
Great post.....well put.
Greg brought those girls into Camp, they were getting them in the mix for the Olympics. Yael, Heath, Casey N were all called in from the 06 Ncaa winning team. Yael, got her first cap against china and i believe it was Cheny who got her first goal in that tournament. Like I said if Greg didnt Fup you would have saw many of those players fill the roles that current players some how still occupy.
Greg system and staff made the best use of the talent pool they had at hand. Greg let it all get to his head and thought he was bigger than the game. The defense was on lock, they had the right players on the bench a great mix of youth and experience.
The sign of a good coach is not always bringing in the best players, but the right players, who play well together. Its a matter of opinions saying which players shud be brought in and who not, but I think we can all agree the team is not clicking, the only stability has been Hope and Hao. Arod and Abby have yet to gel, Rampinoe has yet to come into her own. Boxx and Lloyd have yet to sement their partnerhsip. The defense line has been flip floping know one knows who is playing where. Amy L just played left back for the first time the game before the worldcup starts. Lori Chup was unfortunate, but it gave her the opt to test other players. Cox has been in the mix before 07, if she hasnt semented a role with that team by now she probably wont ever, NEXT.
Greg and coaching staff brought in players tested players organized the right personalities for the greater good. He just let his ego get the best of him, he let the success get to him.
Ur a fan of the team as i can see, but you have ur facts wrong on this one. If you have any direct contact to that coaching staff I advise you to ask to see there player pool time line. My biggest issue with Pia is her player managment and horrid organization skills.
Ex: Nicole B, lloyden one of them shud lose their place to a up and coming goalie. As netheir of them are seen as future prospects.T
Playing at top colleges doesnt mean u r getting quality coaching. As college is more focused on winning not developing. As u look at the current USwnt roster, some of the top players on the team do not come from power house programs. Theres some UNC, Stanford, Notre dame, but the same amount went to lessor known schools.
School makes things very difficult to get a group of players together. Theres def no easy solution, I do feel that US should have a wpsl team, Maybe 4 teams covering north south east west regions and from those pick a roster for any tournaments or games during the summer. This alows them to work with players and develope players. Many youth national players already play for wpsl teams during summer, instead of them all spread out gather them collectivly. It will help track progress and performance much better. This will aslo give US scouts a better chance of seeing college caliber players who may not be in the US soccer limelight.
I didn't say ALL of the players from that era were once in a generation talents; I said a few were (namely Hamm and Lilly). I still say those two are amongst the great women's players in the history of the game.
Of course the game has evolved since then so comparing today's players to them is akin to comparing Peyton Manning or Tom Brady with Montana, Elway or Marino. Great in their own eras but the game has changed so it's hard to say how they would have played in each others eras. Applied to women's soccer, the game has gotten better because other countries have picked it up and it has become way more popular here because of the Hamm/Foudy/Lilly era.
But you sort of make the point I've been trying to make here, which is that it's harder for teens and college students to make the USWNT today than it was during Hamm's era because the talent level is so much deeper. That it turn, increases the average age of WWC and Olympic teams, which was the point I was trying to make up thread.
I agree with Luvdagame -- no way would I give up a chance at my daughter earning a full scholarship to college for the tiny chance she makes chump change as a pro soccer player. I doubt that NCAA system is going to change and I wouldn't want it to change. Maybe youth soccer (ODP and youth national teams) is not ideal but it does graduate a good number of players to WNT. Not saying it couldn't stand for some serious alterations and interesting ones proposed up thread. Good luck become Warren Buffet.
I think it's weird how the some talk about where a player is NOW vs. what they COULD BE. Some are like they suck because they are doing this now or have done this in the past. Potential is a factor too. The best player in the world could be in the pool but if you don't develop them do you really expect it to show? Some players are born with the talent but if you don't challenge them do you really expect them to improve. Once a player is hyped up, it appears to be curtains it's like they plateau. Stop getting better. At that point they are good or slightly better than average, but why stop if they could be better?
From what I've seen it's usually the players that were not heavily spotlighted or who didn't had all the hype that do the best in tournaments (for our team). Once they get the hype, it's curtains and it repeats itself. Many of our very best had the talent but never stopped gaining or developing. Some were picked out of obscurity. Rampone was a bench rider in 99' but look at what she became. She developed. In recent years many were prospects until they make it as a regular and them boom! It stops.
As far as the college thing, it's not for everyone, but I do believe that many play there because they know they will get better looks and because there were/are such few professional opportunities out there. If the WPS was a multi-billion business IMO those numbers would drastically change.
I think the 91ers were great talents, but I feel what seperates them from what you have now was that they were thrown out there into that environment and they progressed. They could have just played for their colleges and passed up on the Nats b/c they felt they weren't "ready" but they said what they hay and did it. To me they became what they were because they developed their mentalities at a young age.
I agree about the Keeper thing. By the time Solo is done Lloyden and and Barnhart will be her age, no real need to have them there in the next two years. Bring a younger keeper in and let them learn from the best.
Keep it staggered.
Regardless of who the coach is, there needs to be a masterplan. A common goal of where they want to sport to go. I think the Fed got spoiled into just letting the sector run itself, because in the past the results the team was getting were great, but now there's more competition and we have not brough the big one home in 11 years.
My facts were 100 percent correct that those players were first capped by Pia or given their first real dose of playing time. That's all I was saying. You said I was incorrect and you were wrong about that. I really don't need to see a play pool time line because it can be found at US Soccer's website, which lists when each player was first invited to camp and capped.
I can't say I disagree with some of your player evaluations or your thoughts on some of Pia's decisions (though injuries created some of those issues) or your thoughts on Ryan. But Pia has brought in a bunch of young players that just got a cup of coffee under Ryan, which was my point. I wonder if Pia is not the coach after WWC or Olympics and some of these young players who received callups or minimal caps during her tenure like Klingenberg, Harris, Farrelly etc... become major pieces in the next quad, will you give Pia the same credit you are giving Ryan for developing Cheney, Heath etc..?
"After playing the second 45 minutes against Mexico today with no issues, U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage confirmed that defender Heather Mitts has earned a spot on the final 21-player Women's World cup roster."
U.S. Soccer reports never cease to sugarcoat reality...
Yes, Lilly and Hamm are two of the games greats I would never doubt that.
The women's game has progressed athletically across the globe, but on technical attributes the rate of U.S. progression has definitely slowed when compared to others. For most nations now, its a matter of physical strength and not skill in being able to hang with the U.S..
With the current state of things, the U.S. will either have to develop ever increasing levels of Rocky IV Ivan Drago inspired athletic excellence, or produce more tactically, technically, skilful players.
Having the quality of Lilly or Hamm in their prime now, would make you a top player for sure, but not a great player in the way the U.S. needs in this era. U.S. players still harness attributes of Hamm and Lilly within their game, but the far too obvious attributes of physical strength will be eventually neutralised. If the recent U.S. youth NT's poor showings highlighted anything, it was this very fact.
Even though great, in their prime Hamm and Lilly don't come close to what we see now in Marta. A great who is still yet to reach her prime, Marta's now the model for every creative player currently playing, and yet to come. Marta is a world class athlete, with intuitive skill born from a freedom few U.S. players understand. If the U.S. could put a little of that culture into it's world class athletes, the WNT would be something special again.
The fact athletes get a serious education when pursuing a future in any sport is always a good look. Far to often you don't hear the stories of the guy's that get washed up early and are on the scrap heap before they got a chance to earn anything major.
Women's soccer is still like old school men's football, in that it's predominantly amateur with a few well paid pro's.
kool-aide, I remember you saying something about how you've disagreed with Pia in the past but never thought she was a fool. If she took all three rehabbing defenders, though (LP, Rampone, and Mitts), you'd change your opinion. I liked it when you said it then, and I think it bears repeating. Taking an older defender of questionable health to a world championship event is foolish. Something tells me Mitts could lose a leg and still be going to Germany.
I suppose it is all how you define "issues." If you define "issues" as pain/another pulled muscle/not testing as unhealthy then I could buy she got through 45min w/o injury.
If you define "issues" as able to keep track of an elite forward turning the corner and/or able to play at the level she was at prior to this injury (series of) then, not so much. She was rounded w/ ease -- at least she had sense enough to not compound that w/ a tackle late/from behind in the box.
Did I say that?
I do think Rampone & LP looked healthy and probably are at this point.
Is Mitts really going to make it over to Germany?
I can't see her making the plane. Sounds like a hollow, "yeah she's made it", to reward her for never giving up. All the Mitts love will soon be followed by a sad statement later in the week, a statement reading that she's broke down in training and will be replaced by Engen .
It's all a psychological ploy by Sundhage to motivate the team, and rally the fans behind the unlucky underdogs. "Damn why are the U.S. so unlucky. We'll win it for Mittsy, Tarps, our WWC winless vets, and restore the WNT's bright legacy".
Or is this all an confusing Inception like dream gone bad? Have I just been dreaming that Sundhage has been using the Bad News Bears and Rocky for the last three years as legitimate coaching manuals. Let me find a spinning top, I'm all so confused
Not to deny the US is having problems keeping up with the rest of the world in talent and technical ability but... One thing about Marta and how the US isn't producing Martas - no one else is either, apparently, and that includes Brazil. Marta was a sensation at 17 (8 years ago) and so far there's still only one Marta although we've been told on occasion that there are thousands of her scattered all over the country.
Even for a country that is producing many talented women, Marta stands alone - a once in a decade or once in a generation player.
i am still to be convinced of germany's superiority to the u.s. in this area. i'm not saying it's not true, but i'm just not yet convinced. i've seen the germans play the uswnt two or three times in recent years, and the only time they looked superior footballers was when they played in front of that huge, cheering home crowd in germany in 2009. i can be convinced. but i need more than that.
No other national team program will create direct Marta clones, as Marta's grown and developed within a Brazilian football culture. Outside it's own system, has any other nation made a Prinz, a Smith, a Sawa, a Ljungberg etc.....? Each nation has it's own way to play the game, and the players they produce reflect that identity. It's just that the U.S. identity has become too size and strength dependant, losing touch with the direction of where Hamm was taking the modern U.S. game.
Right now Marta is the international model for the qualities needed to be classified a great player. However like players before her, she will be eclipsed. Other nations have players that can be, and have been, serious contenders to her throne. It's more a matter of time, rather than Marta being untouchable for as long as she is playing. With the style the U.S currently use though, you don't see them producing anything to rival a Marta level player for a very long time.
While Marta stands out on her own, when playing for Brazil she's still surrounded by quality creative talent. Talent that may not be at her level, but it's still talent that the U.S. would still love to produce if it could. Marta is simply the peak of an underdeveloped Brazilian system, a system which has brought though enough players to compete with nations years ahead of their own.
The WNT was thought of as an entertaining side back in the day, based on the qualities you still see now. Any serious observation could tell you though that this current WNT is ghost born from former glories. The WNT can no longer play with a swagger of past reputation, when the standard in play is so low.
Genuine creative player archetypes are still alien to USWNT sensibilities. They exist but are always nowhere to be seen. So what's the U.S. version of a modern era #10 going to be down the line, because it can't look like Carli Llyod, can it? One of the worlds elite nations should be able to do better than that.
Other nations have already developed playing styles far more interesting than the ones produced by the WNT over the past 8-10 years. Being more physically powerful than your opponent can only last for so long. Outside of WWC cycles the U.S. keeps churning out results, with little progression in how the games being played. The overtly athletic nature that is such a huge bonus, is now becoming a crutch relentlessly holding things together.
I would normally say Germany play USA with a huge inferiority complex, and way too much respect. However the last time it really mattered they won in impressive fashion 0-3 on U.S. soil too no less. If you can't give them credit for back to back WWC titles, with two very different teams, then.......
When the U.S. are going for their 3RD! straight WWC title, would there even be a debate on U.S. strength compared to it's rivals? The U.S. won in 99' on home soil using penalty kicks, and it was a given that the U.S. were the best.
Germany lose to the U.S. in friendlies years before the WWC, but you can bet they show up at the WWC. Learn to pay attention when Germany gear up to play tournament football, and look away when it means little. Remember they don't get the pay checks and bonuses for healthy win ratio's playing in NT friendlies, like the U.S. girls.
German players moved the game forward in 03', and with help from Brazil again in 07'. No mean feat for a unconvincing team .
I don't think it's a matter of not giving Germany credit for back-to-back World Cup titles. It's just a matter of, since you mention inferiority complexes, how much of an inferiority complex you think the US should have in regards to Germany. And I think Luvdagame has a good perspective on it. Playing head-to-head, the two teams seem pretty close in strength.
It was impressive to beat the US on US soil at the 2003 World Cup but let's not stress that 0-3 scoreline. That was a 1-0 game until the 88th minute or something like that when the US was going all out for an equalizer and Germany scored on the counter-attack.
Giase: Heather Mitts breaks World Cup jinx with U.S.
"...Mitts played a solid second half, although she took a bad angle on a few challenges. She showed a burst of speed to run down the player with the ball. When the game ended, while the rest of her teammates were hugging Lauren Cheney for her game-winning goal in the 92nd minute, Mitts looked to the bench.
Sundhage gave her the nod....
...“I decided to focus solely on soccer right now and try to make the World Cup team and the (2012) Olympics and make the most of my career because I know it’s not going to last much longer,” said Mitts, who plays for the Atlanta Beat. “All the other stuff didn’t interfere, but I just wanted to focus 100 percent on soccer.
“As I get older I need to work a little bit harder staying in shape. When I was young I could do that stuff, but now I can’t juggle that many things.” "
As long as Pia gets fired like the usual coach of a Word Cup pre-tournament favorite that bombs should, then who cares. Go get eliminated so we can start rebuilding. This team has all the signs of a first round exit and sometimes a step back to try and go two forward is needed.
I need to echo what Batfink had to say (above) about the Germans, and I disagree with Kolabear; one should not put too much store in the fact that '03 was a 1-0 game for a long time.
I vividly remember two reactions to that loss, and I paraphrase them here: After that game, a very emotional April Heinricks described the test as a match for the history books and one of USWNT's best performances, despite the result. A very bemused Birgit Prinz (who had been playing in the States with the Carolina Courage) had a different take; in essence she said, I just don't understand it, I am delighted to win and advance, but this is not the way I would have wished to win-- the US just didn't show up today. Prinz was right. That was a very lack-luster performance by Team USA; we completely deserved to lose, and by an even bigger margin.
You can't "peak" for everything. The WC is important to the US Team, but so, it would seem, are the Olympics and even the Algarve. If we don't win it, well then, there are the Olympics to look forward to. By contrast, Team Germany will show up for every game in Group and beyond, especially playing at home. They have been building for this for four years. In evaluating the German program, there is their perfomance in the WC, and then there is everything else. I'm not suggesting we can't beat them and I would love to see us do it, but you can bet the Germans will not be coming with an inferiority complex and will decidedly be bringing their A game.
6/7/11 - last German match
Germany 5 - Netherlands 0
I don't give a sh_t what you Mitts haters say.
I'm glad she's on the team. IMO she deserves to be there like she deserved to be on the last 2 WWC teams if it weren't for the injuries. She is a solid defender, tough as nails and STILL has speed.
Batfink, she is not on the team because of some sentimental reason. She's there because she belongs there.
I've been defending Heather Mitts for a long time here on BS from the haters. Ridiculous.
In April's and Ryan's days, the haters were saying she was on the team only because of her looks which was total bullsh_t! Now the argument is she's old and slow(er). More bullsh_t! She's still one of the fastest on the team and hardest working.
Heather Mitts deserves to be on the US 2011 WWC team. Period.
Get over it folks!
I was at that game.
I remember the Germans marveling at how predictable the US attack was.-- dump to the corner, cross to the big striker. No attacks up the middle whatever. It allowed them to defend the box with just two players.
It might be a lesson for what we try this time.
I was there too and have to agree with Clive. Germany was far the better team in that game and the US attack, in the Heinrichs tactical mode, was as Clive described. The only time any creativity came into the US attack was at the very end, when Heinrichs relented and inserted Milbrett into the lineup. Milbrett insisted on being creative and therefore was in Heinrichs' doghouse.
Great post, you've said it all!
Once again, their younger players did most of the scoring. Okoyino da Mbabi, Laudehr, Popp, Kulig. Grings did score one very late in the match, but the rest are all under 25.