2020 Challenge Cup

Discussion in 'NWSL' started by SiberianThunderT, May 27, 2020.

  1. lil_one

    lil_one Member+

    Nov 26, 2013
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  2. FanOfFutbol

    FanOfFutbol Member+

    May 4, 2002
    It is very stupid to issue these awards before the tournament ends. I guess whoever decides these things does not believe the final is important enough to wait for. While the already decided choices make sense I cannot believe that there is no chance that a performance in the final could not supplant the current thinking.

    I also find it strange that in a tournament with so little effective offense it is an offensive player that wins MVP.

    I think the choices are being made to give the usually clueless announcers something to talk about during the CBS broadcast. They often spend long periods talking about anything but what is happening on the field and they may be running out of random meaningless material to spew out of their mouths.
     
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  3. lil_one

    lil_one Member+

    Nov 26, 2013
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think the philosophy is just treating these awards like the "regular season" awards. Historically, these have been announced in the week leading up to the season final (Last year was actually an exception, and I think that was because they had so few in the league office). This is also a unique year, and very few games were played, so I do agree that its a bit ridiculous that the awards are based on just 6 games without the final. But, I do get why, and I don't think one game would honestly make that big of a difference (unless Daly has a real stinker of a game).

    Additionally, it's just more logistically practical when you have owners, media and fans weighing in; if you wait for them to cast their votes after the final, then the awards don't get announced until after most fans have already turned their attention elsewhere.
     
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  4. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    Bext XI showed during halftime. Britt E. as Best GK. WTF.
     
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  5. lil_one

    lil_one Member+

    Nov 26, 2013
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  6. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    Well here's a stat:

    (made even more impressive considering they allowed the most goals during pool play)
     
  7. lil_one

    lil_one Member+

    Nov 26, 2013
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I would have to go back and look at the goals in the group play that they let in, but could it be something to do with having a new CB pair who had to get used to each other? I guess Oyster did have to sit out in the SF, but overall, I think Houston really did well to bring in Oyster and Naughton to lock down that defense, which used to be a real sticking point for the Dash.
     
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  8. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    Yup! I think I read in a Sport Illustrated article that they did a big defensive retooling after pool play.
     
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  9. fire123

    fire123 Member

    Jul 31, 2009
    My thought on the Dash's defense and the goals against them:
    1st Utah goal, good cross and great finish by Matheson. Could be attributed to the defense but more to great offense.
    2nd Utah goal, great FK from just outside PK area by Vero that went in directly.
    3rd Utah goal, a FK that dropped behind the defense and in front of the goal that was very difficult for the defense to clear, it's more of the keeper's ball to get. Neither did and King got to the ball first.

    1st Sky Blue goal, defense caught high up field, great thru ball that allowed Monahan 1v1 vs Campbell, no contest.
    2nd goal, Campbell left the PK area to clear the ball, dropped to Kawasumi who shot and scored from 40 yards out.

    Lone Washington's goal, a shot from 20 yard out in front of 3 defenders, great kick. Could be said that defense should have stepped up and prevented the shot.

    The Dash's defense was not great but good enough. Suffered some unavoided goals. Still better than years past, especially in the air. Worked well together, coupled with great help from the midfield, the defense was pretty solid.
     
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  10. blissett

    blissett Member+

    Aug 20, 2011
    Italy
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    --other--
    More or less agree with your analysis, but that 2nd Utah goal was on Campbell. Vero's FK was wonderful, but a well-placed wall shouldn't have allowed that kind of curved shot, and wall-placement is GK's duty. Probably Campbell didn't believe that a player could kick such a slider, but considering it was Vero taking that FK, a wise GK would have moved the wall to her left at least by a little, to safely and effectively cover that side.
     
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  11. Smallchief

    Smallchief Member+

    Oct 27, 2012
    Club:
    --other--
    #286 Smallchief, Jul 28, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2020
    Here's the NWSL's best 11 for the Challenge Cup.

    Goalkeeper: Britt Eckerstrom (POR)
    Defenders: Julie Ertz (CHI), Abby Erceg (NCC), Casey Short (CHI), Jaelene Daniels (NCC)
    Midfielders/Forwards: Debinha (NCC), Lynn Williams (NCC), Lindsey Horan (POR), Rachel Daly (HOU), Shea Groom (HOU), Rose Lavelle (WAS)

    I disagree with several of the selections: Ertz and Horan to be specific. Ertz was terrible in the playoff games, scoring an own goal and on another occasion almost another. Replace her with Naughton of Houston. Horan wasn't half as good as Vero of Utah.
     
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  12. blissett

    blissett Member+

    Aug 20, 2011
    Italy
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    --other--
    Interesting that just two players from the champion team (Daly and Groom) found a place in the best 11. You could say that Houston's win was more a team performance than a sum of individual skills. I anyway wonder if there ever was a "Best 11" with less representants from the winner team.
     
  13. Ethan Frank

    Ethan Frank Member

    Chelsea
    United States
    Jun 11, 2019
    You definitely could say that; it's not wrong. Their loss came at the right time, and their keeper got to use her biggest strength to get the team into the semifinals. You can maybe make an argument for K. Mewis and one of Naughton/Oyster, but other than that, I think you'd really just be giving places to players simply because they were on the winning team.
     
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  14. Ethan Frank

    Ethan Frank Member

    Chelsea
    United States
    Jun 11, 2019
    The first thought that came into my mind was Portugal at Euro 2016, another team that was average for a lot of the tournament and had a number of draws. They still had four entries (three outfield players) in the Best XI though. Interestingly, France only had two entries, but I remember them being pretty good throughout the tournament. Maybe it was just mainly the Payet/Griezmann show though.

    Note: According to Wikipedia (which I used for the above as well), only two Danish players got into the Best XI for Sweden Euro 1992, and one of the players was Schmeichel (GK).
     
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  15. blissett

    blissett Member+

    Aug 20, 2011
    Italy
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    --other--
    I agree that giving random free places to the winning team is bad practice; on the other hand it is also bad practice to give places based on name recognition (or, in this case, USWNT membership): there are players, in these Best 11, who had maybe one excellent game in the tournament, but didn't do much in the rest of the matches (if they played them at all). Rose Lavelle comes to mind: an exceptional player and one every coach in their right mind would want in their team, but actually in this tournament, out of the 5 games her team played, she only started 2 (subbed-out at 70' in one of them) and she was subbed-in at 62' in the quarter-final, and the only circustance where she was actually brilliant was the iniatial win vs CRS; not enough to grant Best 11 in my books. Although it was probably just a way to give Washington Spirit some recognition (another bad habit of Best XI teams: awarding some players a place, just because "there has to be" a player from a particular team that did well).

    For what concern Houston Dash, I'd add at least a name to the ones you mentioned: Nichelle Prince. It's true that she had to skip the initial games for personal reasons (death of her father and quarantine after she had left "the bubble" because of that), but when she came back to the team she was a very dynamic and exciting player; don't get misled by the fact that she didn't score: a lot of Houston offensive work was done true her feet and her runs.
     
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  16. blissett

    blissett Member+

    Aug 20, 2011
    Italy
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    --other--
    I remember very well that tournament: Denmark had joined it at the last moment to replace Jugoslavia and their unexpected performance was indeed a team-work masterpiece. There were anyway some notable individual players, but maybe the members of panel who voted for the Best XI were still shocked by the result and they somehow thought it was sort of a fluke. It was difficult to object to the undeniable power of reigning champions and finalists of Netherlands.
     
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  17. lil_one

    lil_one Member+

    Nov 26, 2013
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The Orlando Pride just announced a new shirt for sale, and it is perfect:

     
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