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Discussion in 'Women's College' started by UNC4EVER, Dec 15, 2010.
Just wait until Clivehomer chimes in. He probably clicks on this thread daily.
Not a lot going on. Recruiting seems to have slowed down.
Ive heard the team is going to Germany for the worldcup. That should be a fun time for them.
Hey Lorrie Fair, I qualified my answer ["good (but not perfect) success"] and was not intending any criticism of the Tarheels, or comparison in terms of results, or valuative comparison of styles of play. I thought jbs01 asked a good question and I gave him what I thought was a straightforward and legitimate answer. I know there are some UNC haters, but I'm not one of them. In fact, I've weighed in previously and complimented UNC's short passing game and disputed the haters' characterization of how UNC plays.
I think that jbs01, by referring to the possession game, is talking about a team trying to hold the ball for long periods of time so that the other team has few opportunities to get the ball and therefore very few opportunities to score. That's one aspect of Barca's tactical approach. An observation from watching the Portland women the last few years is that there's some risk in this: If you're holding the ball for long periods and as part of that are shooting less due to the much longer buildups, your scoring total may go down (especially if you don't have a Messi-like scorer). It can leave you exposed to the other team taking advantage of one of their rare opportunities with the ball and getting a goal to win a game notwithstanding a vast possession (and shot) deficit; or you can end up in a shootout, which is more of a 50-50 proposition. So, referring to jbs01's post, there are trade-offs in this kind of tactical approach. That's certainly something AD would consider before making a tactical shift.
IMO, this is an Excellent post! I wish it could be required reading for those newly inclined to rain on UNC! At this level, the objective is to (i) win championships/seasons with (ii) college players. UNC addresses this by (i) recruiting technically skilled athletic players; and (ii) substituting fresh legs lavishly to sustain full field defensive pressure and a helter-skelter speed of play in the attack. A midfield possession style is harder to teach/coach; harder to play; and more vulnerable to dire consequence if (God forbid) a college player should have a technical or mental lapse. IMO, the merits of this "keep it simple--speed of play!" approach can be judged from the relative successes of UNC, Portland and Stanford. These last two teams have long had beautiful midfield control games. The UNC system makes huge demands on the technical competence of its players-- that is one reason so many go on to the full WNT; I think some people miss that because the UNC system also reduces the number of variables excellent players must excel at. It is a very lean and minimalist approach to excellence and I don't see it changing anytime soon.
With regard to specifics, the UNC back three is about much more than head-count. It is a defensive System that encompasses a comprehensive approach to managing the defensive half of the field. Those who have followed the Heels closely over time will have heard many of the Tarheel defenders refer to "trusting the system". Once again, I don't think this is going anywhere. In recent years, the Heels have played a 3-5-2 to advantage when they have held a lead. Anson seems willing to use this as a defensive tactic to slow the game down when we are winning, and the gals have the ball skills to execute it very well. He seems to like this, as the only risk is our lead is reduced or we are back at a tie-- he seems unwilling to embrace this as a full game strategy. IMO, we would have been better served by a 3-5-2 in both 2007 and last season, but it didn't happen, and that leads me to conclude that it probably wont happen in the near future either. One reason may be (and here I'm just speculating) that once again, it is harder to play a full-bore fluid attack out of a 5 player midfield. The jobs are less defined and there is more opportunity for miscommunication and error. It may be that Anson's calculation is that it is better to play a simple system with players less than perfectly suited to their roles than it would be to introduce additional systemic complexity and chance for mistakes. This is all predicated on maintaining the Heel's speed of attack. Going to a holding game (e.g., more like Portland) would be a complete reinvention of the program and one (as CP Thomas points out) not without considerable risks of its own. You can bet the Heels will not be going down that road any time soon.
Well, I been away for a few days and I agree that CP's post and UNC4EVER"s response are dead on.
But it's slow..... I've previously speculated about the 2011 potential defense and midfield, how about the front line?
I'd be shocked if the starting three weren't Jones, Rich, and Ohai. But then it gets interesting after that.
Pfankuch, Burchenal, and Bartok would be the relief line, but I'd love to see Wood as a large target in the middle, assuming that she was not needed on the back line. Frosh Grey and Sweeny will also see some time up front, I would imagine.
Dang.... over two months until the season starts.... groan.
The frontline is very good. They didnt show it vs Notre Dame.
Kealia can def be 25+ goal scorer. No question in my mind. Courtney became a lot better passer last season. I expect her to become a very good leader as a senior. Rich has to get stronger. Don't depend so much on her speed. I dont know what to think of Bartok. She was a highly recruited player. Only shows flashes that isnt fit enough to stay on the pitch. Watch her Highschool highlights and wonder where that player is.
It is interesting to look at the various Tarheel lines (especially since it is June ), but I'm not convinced there is much to learn from the exercise.
Despite their warts, the Tarheel defense is very satisfactory for 2011 and it is completely reasonable to predict that they will let in fewer balls than an effective Tarheel attack can put away. We may not see the clean sheets of a few years back, but the defense should be fine.
I think our striker corps is excellent-- as good as we have had in a while.
IMO, the issue for 2011 is whether the Tarheel midfield and front line can combine into an integrated attacking unit. Didn't happen so well last season. If our strikers can get the variety of service and independent attacking pressure they have come to expect from our midfield, and if those seven players can work together as an attacking unit, we should have a rockin' season (unless of course we get flayed again by injuries). In this regard we will sure miss Megan Klingenberg... I'm not sure how that issue is gonna go for us this season, but I am very much looking forward to seeing how it works out. You can have eleven talented individuals, but if they don't combine to optimize each others talents, then the talent is wasted. I think that will be the 2011 challenge for the Tarheel attack.
I agree that Kling is a loss but this season they will be without one key starter from last year but last season they lost 5 or 6 key starters and some of they were as important as Kling. And despite hughe loss of talent and tons of injuries the team lost only 3 games. So I suspect they will adjust without Kling.
We agree on the major issue, perhaps not the details. I wouldn't make too much of our only losing 3 games. We fell out early and didn't beat (or even tie) a top 10 team after that Oct. 14 game against Florida State.
I don't think the story last year was so much about our graduating players as we played our best ball in the first four weeks of the season with decisive wins over A&M and a very respectable tie against Stanford.
Although we UNC fans admittedly set the bar very high, it is what it is. Within the context of our exceptionally high expectations for this program, last season was decidedly underwhelming and one of our weaker years in memory, despite some exceptionally talented players.
I agree with you that a big part of it was the shocking number of injuries. I think there were other issues as well. We now (hopefully) have our health back; we have some exciting new players; and Anson has designed an early season perhaps best described as challenge-lite; so we should have time to put the chemistry together with much less exposure to season ending injuries (unless we beat each other up at practice). I'm hoping for a much better season than last year.
I agree that the bar is always set high and we left the tournament earlier than all interested parties are accustomed to but from a pure objective view point, how can anyone really say that in light of the number and caliber of people who left and the number of injuries that last year's team performed really really well and better than most other teams would have done suffering the same losses. I actually have higher hopes this year with the young kids now being more experienced and assuming full health.
That plus the possibility of real help on the back line with the likes of Murray, Ramirez, (or possibly even Mikula) being able to step in for the injury plagued Givan.
According to this coach, Taylor Ramirez may provide help in the center back position...
Yes. I'm really looking forward to seeing Ramirez play. I sure hope that coach Gary Kleiban is right in his assessment. One thing for sure, when you read his various blog posts he sure doesn't lack for ego --I just hope that it's not unduly coloring his evaluation of Taylor.
Also, if what he says is true about how she was recruited, I'm amazed. The whole system is more loose than I thought.
Well, remember we were advocating for her...
Is she the best incoming freshman CB in the nation? I don't know. She still has a lot of work to do, and we've made that crystal clear to her the last couple years. But I'm comfortable saying she's the best from what I've seen.
On the "looseness" of recruiting ... I've obviously left out many details. The most important of course being that Anson came out and watched her compete on several occasions. But there's definitely something to be said about recruiting decisions based solely on recommendation or resume - it happens, and it's a major problem in this country.
I'm not sure what is meant by "loose". Do you mean "loose" in that non-revenue sports don't have a huge media following of the college recruiting process?
Thanks for the post gkleiban, and for the original blog post. It's all about continuing to develop at the next level. I am looking forward to seeing how Anson's talent pool performs in the fall and have the same thoughts you do about over-reliance on youth national team pedigree in assessing quality recruits.
Interesting thoughts about recruiting without having seen players play. I'll bet that the very elite programs do not do that, ever. Can you imagine AD signing a player sight unseen?
Cpthomas, sorry, I don't follow...what are you referring to here? Did I miss something?
PJB, I thought your post was in relation to the above, referencing AD's watching a player play vs recruiting her based solely on recommendation or resume. I'm doubting highly that AD, or any other elite program coach, ever would recruit based solely on recommendation or resume. Sorry for any confusion.
My "amazement" and what I meant by "loose" was covered by the additional details supplied by gkleiban. The way I read it initially was that he sent a convincing email to the UNC staff, and they sent the recruit a LOI. ("The rest is history.") Since we are now advised that AD actually did fly out and see the prospect before signing her, I am much relieved.
Even mid to low majors would not sign anyone without seeing them play.
True that there are very good players who have not bee in the national program but more often than not national team players are very good players. Look at last year's freshman class and how well they played as freshmen.
Yes, just to clarify, I was not suggesting recruiting "sight unseen" - and neither was gkleiban. Dorrance was given a heads up and he took advantage to come and have a look. Too often people assume that "high profile" achievement is the only relevant predictor of a player's future success at college level. And in many cases fans jump to conclusions about the strength of a recruiting class on that basis as well.
Some frequently overlooked factors:
- a player's intangibles that contribute in a positive or negative way to team chemistry
- coaching and player development aren't necessarily superior in high profile programs
- not all players develop at the same rate / peak at the same age
- not all talented players are in position to gain access to established talent ID programs
- not everyone can afford to attend your college's summer camps
Coaches need to have many contacts (esp. coaches) at the local level in order to be able to give these lesser known players a look and select players who are the best fit.
Two interesting radio interviews w/ Meghan Klingenberg and a UNC Psychologist, who weighs in on the team's success over the past 3 decades:
Check out UNC/U-23 USWNT Player Amber Brooks' Blog - http://www.ourgamemagazine.com/amber-brooks.html
Thanks for that link! Looks like Amber "'Ber" Brooks is blogging from the World Cup in Germany. And as we speak- the team is on a plane on their way there. Very exciting....