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Discussion in 'USA Women: News and Analysis' started by McSkillz, Jun 4, 2019.
What about when France beat us in that friendly match earlier this year?
I wonder what would happen if both teams bunkered against one another?
I dont' put much stock in that and consider it an aberration.
Folks have been claiming the rest of the world is catching up for a few years now, but I don't see it. No one has the power, size and speed of the US game. Throw in the US women have a ton of support from US soccer and has for many years, the US women's program is head and shoulders above everyone else. I could be wrong but I doubt it.
As for individual players, Press is better than Rapino, Lloyd is always dangerous and has to be in the game. Any of the mids could win the tournament for the US but Horan, Lavelle and Ertz are the biggest and strongest. Possibly throw Mewis in there as well. It's really a team where anyone could play and win.
Friendlies are virtually meaningless for judging how teams will perform in actual competition. They are useful in evaluating systems and individuals but the results themselves mean nearly nothing. This is even more true when the personalities and systems played are as different as they are in this case.
Even glorified friendlies that are masked as "tournaments," like the "She Believes Cup" have no real meaning beyond the limited evaluation value for other friendlies.
TV people and many others like to inflate the value of friendlies but the results in such are still nearly meaningless.
Didn't really care she missed the pen. The whole incident was a joke anyways, it was outside the box foul and the officials were blind as bats calling it a pen.
Besides, Lloyd only scores pens when it matters.... remember her pen against Angerer a few years back when they were playing against Germany?
The use of a bunker is to place an attacking team at a disadvantage by giving them no space to attack. If both teams try to bunker you have a bad match that most probably ends 0-0. You might even end up with a 0-0 match where one team has 95% possession and 0 shots on goal.
So my understanding was that when a foul, or contact for a foul, is initiated outside the box, the foul is outside the box. But, someone posted that when it continues into the box, it's a pen?
I'm with you, I think that was clearly outside the box - not a pen.
A lot of booing (I hope).
Hey, I just noticed your sig line. Go Bruins!
Mewis goal 1 was blasted in general direction of goal and careened off a defender standing 5 yds away. Keeper never moved her feet... at all...still almost got a glove on it. A keeper having a good day makes that save. Pretty goal...but clinical finish?
The Pugh goal and the Horan goal...no keeper is stopping either. Morgan's header goal was almost exactly the same setup as the Press header against Chile. Thai keeper never left her feet...just meekly threw a foot up (wouldnt expect many keepers to make that save). Lender though!.. sorry...cant be stingy with the credit! Exact same scenario...except she gets horizontal in a nanosecond, flies across in the air, and pushes away a well placed header when she wasnt even in the frame when the ball came off the shooter's head. Both quality finishes...Morgan's resulted in a goal, the other in possibly the save of the tournament.
The Rapinoe goal was well placed and likely a goal against most decent keepers...but highly unlikely a great keep stays on their line on a through ball coming clear across the field from 35 yards out. So even I give you that one, Horan's, Pugh's, and 3 of Morgan's (her sweet little cryuff roll, cut and shoot 3rd goal was definition of clinical), I get 6 finishes that would NOT likely have been saved by a good keeper. The other 7 had varying degrees of keeper culpability and nearly all of them were placed in her near vicinity.
The larger point is despite one crew getting 10 more goals, there isnt much drop off from strike force A team to B team.
Having rewatched the game now, I'd like to upgrade my impression of Bryan's day in a way. She actually passed quite well, and seemed to direct traffic effectively a bit. What struck me a bit negatively at first-- that she appears to have lost a step relative to her own team-- didn't bother me as much today.
But partly that was because Ellis had her up in the corner a lot, where she was more effective than her apparent present speed might otherwise let her be. When play transitions from offense to defense, the people farther down field are inevitably going to see jersey colors when they look for unmarked players to decide where they themselves should go-- and Brian was often so far up field that who was actually in her jersey did not affect the flow much. If somebody assumed she would catch the player nearest her and she couldn't, the threat was usually contained or over before that person could get into any mischief anyway. And a couple of times when she was farther downfield she made fairly astute decisions which I did not notice on first viewing.
So this is a somewhat limited apology to a player who is unlikely to ever realize I have been offensive.
And, of course it is also something of praise for Ellis' coaching in this one, too.This was likely to be the game the bottom of the roster decisions hinged on and were based on, and they appear to have worked out quite well...
I know you've updated your opinion, but still I don't get why the vast majority of people default to saying Morgan Brian "didn't do anything" and "doesn't deserve to be on the roster" after every game.
In the game against Chile, Brian completed 85% of her passes (the most by any of the midfielders). She had 3 key passes, and should've had 2-3 assists on perfect balls to Press (x3) and Lloyd. She was also the most fouled player of the game, leading to 4 free kicks, she had the same amount of recoveries as Julie Ertz, and she was the player (I think) who pulled up to keep Chile offside. She was statistically the 3rd best player for the US (behind Lloyd and Davidson), and she played better overall than Horan. I can only remember 2 maybe 3 times all game where she did something wrong (one being the missed shot at the beginning).
This is basically the same performance she puts in every game, regardless of opponent. The time she has missed due to injury has hurt her a little bit (with respect to comfortableness on the ball and being used to speed of play), but she is largely the same player (or better) as she was in 2015. She's one of those players who you don't think about until you actually watch the little things they do (advancing passes, movement, off-ball and clear out runs, directing play, etc.), so I'd encourage anyone who thinks she "disappears" to focus on her and what she does the next time she plays.
That applies to the call in the US vs Chile match because it was a holding foul. The Chilean player kept hold of Long all the way up to the edge of the box. (The foul doesn't have to be at ground level; so yes, it did just carry into the box.) Should the ref have just let it go since the game was wrapped up and that call isn't made that often? Maybe. Was it technically a correct call? I think it was, and the refs weren't blind on that play.
I like your sig line, but I give a lot of credit to Kling. Megan was basically our attacking midfielder, from the left back position.
But, yes, Brian was huge in that tournament - enough that I'd consider her for Hon. Men. Best IX status for her play in that tournament.
A "holding foul." That's the phrase I was looking for. I've never heard that referenced before that match. And, I've watched a hell of a lot of soccer.
I can't help with that because I've never been in that camp-- I often wonder just what some people are actually watching when they watch, and I've always felt she was that sort of player.
But she isn't big, her durability is going down, and she never was especially fast. I've always seen her as the type of player who can least afford to lose even half a step because she does a lot of stuff "just enough." And while I'm not so sure she's lost that half step to the overall international game, it seems to me as though the team as a whole has gained one and she's getting down toward "just barely enough some or most of the time..." But I'm not doubting her smarts or effort at all.
(And I think that play was going to be offside anyway-- it was poorly timed-- but the step up certainly made it really obvious, and was one of the things I noticed the second time around... )
Brian's greatest asset is the ability to make decisive movements and passes to calm the midfield. CM is her spot but that's not where they had her. She did good I thought. This team is different from 2015 becuz it's we're bypassing the middle (except to outlet wide). For that I'm simply into the Mewis/Horan/Lavelle combo, with Ertz at CD. Having Mewis ghosting behind Morgan is a must.
Yes, I thought Brian did very well, but the whole time I was thinking, "how will she be on defense?" She wasn't tested in the least. I don't feel comfortable about her in the midfield when every position must be performing at its peak.
If we're talking about Alex Morgan...
13 of her last 16 goals (19 games, 1420 min) are against Thailand (5), Belgium (1), Scotland (1), Jamaica (2), T&T (2) and Mexico (2).
She has 3 assists in those 19 games, all in her last game against Thailand.
so why all the chest thumping when the USA win them? fact is the friendlies are meaningless narrative is true everywhere EXCEPT the USA.
Actually, a lot of the noise comes from critics in the USA, especially of the coaches, when the USA doesn't win friendlies.
that is one source yes. but in general in the USA friendlies are a big deal. every game is.
Regarding Brian, I agree this system doesn't suit her so well. Imo, her best offensive attribute is controlling the ball in tight spaces, turning away from pressure and making accurate passes to a teammate in a less congested area to advance the ball. She can get the ball surrounded by three opponents, make a deft turn and relieve the pressure. I can't think of another U.S. woman who is/was as good at that as she is. That (among other things) is in Mewis' wheelhouse, but she'd not as good at it. (she's better at other things). And, Brian, statistically is a very good ball winner. It goes less noticed because she's not a crunching tackler, but she's a recovery machine.
I hate to see her in the Ertz role, because she's already a target for criticism for some reason, and no one in the world that I've seen can play that role like Ertz.
Imo, if Brian was played as one of the 8/10 in Jill's system we'd be fine. She would hold the ball well around the top of the box and find open attackers, and she'd uphold the defensive part of the role as well as any of the options.
I'm not calling on her to be a starter, but I'm saying that if she was played as one of the 2 10's, we'd be more than fine.
I'm not a fan of her at the lone six. But, I don't think anyone can replace Ertz there. I guess Mewis would be closest.
Morgan Brian is actually a pretty solid defender, she is good at getting goal-side, blocking off passing lanes, closing down, and dispossessing players. Her only weakness in defense imo is her physicality, but no one seems to have that problem with Rose Lavelle.
I think they're both (Brian and Lavelle) defensive liabilities because they're both too soft and not that good in the air. Brian is obviously better defensively, but she's just not good enough to play CDM against the better competition.
Regardless, barring an Ertz injury/suspension, the only midfield spots available are higher up the pitch.
Offensively, Lavelle is clearly superior to Brian in almost every way. She's faster, better in tight spaces, better 1v1, 1v2, 1v3, and has a much better shot. Lavelle is far more dangerous than Brian offensively.
Since the 2015 World Cup...
Morgan Brian (45 CAPs, 2895 min) since 2015 WC
- 1 vs Romania (Nov 2016), 5-0 W
- 1 vs Romania (Nov 2016), 8-1 W
- 1 vs Chile (Aug 2018), 3-0 W
- 1 vs Romania (Nov 2016), 8-1 W
- 1 vs New Zealand (Aug 2016 - OG), 2-0 W
- 2 vs T&T (Feb 16 - OGQ), 5-0 W
- 1 vs Puerto Rico (Feb 2016 - OGQ), 10-0 W
...all versus tomato cans.
Even going back the rest of her career, Brian's stats are extremely unimpressive...
Morgan Brian (83 CAPs, 5194 min) career
- 1 vs New Zealand (Apr 2015), 4-0 W
- 1 vs Haiti (Oct 2014 - WCQ), 6-0 W
- 1 vs Mexico (Sep 2013), 7-0 W
- 1 vs Japan (July 2015 - WC assist off corner to Heath), 5-2 W
- 1 vs Mexico (May 2015), 5-1 W
- 1 vs England (Feb 2015), 1-0 W
- 2 vs Argentina (Dec 2014), 7-0 W
- 1 vs Costa Rica (Oct 2014 - WCQ), 6-0 W
- 1 vs Russia (Feb 2014), 8-0 W
In her entire career, all 5 of her goals and 11 of her 13 assists are against tomato cans.