Grading April...

Discussion in 'USA Women: News and Analysis' started by uniteo, Oct 6, 2003.

  1. uniteo

    uniteo Member+

    Sep 2, 2000
    Rockville, MD
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Who to believe,

    April Heinrichs, who claims to have lost the best women's game ever, or Kerstin Garfrekes:

    ''Honestly, I was disappointed,'' Garefrekes said of the Americans' effort. ''They didn't play their offensive game. It was not really organized and they missed many opportunities.''

    I for one have been dissapointed witht the style of play from the US throughout the tournament;

    Over-reliance on balls over the top

    A plan that seemed to involve nothing more than winning through physical dominance

    a mistrust of younger/creative players players (say hey Aly Wagner)

    How is it that the WUSA has allowed so many national teams to progress technically, but the USA regresses to a strategy of 40 yard balls over the top to Wambach and Parlow?

    The team defense was great. And set pieces were great until the US matched up against a team that was not physically outclassed.

    But the team's creativity was on the bench. I think that Heinrich's has no trust for a player like Wagner, who doesn't aspire to the "you have to run til you puke your guts out, then run some more" school of soccer (that was Michelle Akers pre-Cup analysis by the way...thankfuly there are some coaches [like Brazilians] who think there may be a better way). But when you have a creative player like Wagner you have to accept that many or most of the moves/passes/shots will not result in a goal...it only takes success a few times per game to win.

    Instead we get players who will run forever, always kick the ball toward the opponents goal, always kick the ball out of play when the opposition is attacking (does Brianna Scurry not have feet? Cause she seemed to me able to handle a backpass) and wait for the other guys to get tired.

    Contrast that to Sweden's passing game in coming back against Canada...organized attack, balls on the ground, switching directions with runs from midfield. Sweden tried to create a goal, not just play it long and hope a Canadian defender fell down.

    Let's hope the USA is done with Catenaccio

    Oh yeah, April gets a C-
     
  2. TOTC

    TOTC Member

    Feb 20, 2001
    Laurel, MD, USA
    Grade?

    Let's see.

    Overall, a C.

    The breakdown:
    Corners: A-
    Short corners: D
    Free kicks: B (no direct frees went into the net w/0 a head)
    Technical: C- (is it my imagination, or were Parlow and Wambach the only players attempting 1-v-1 breakdowns?)
    Forwards: B: (Too much reliance on size over speed and skills)
    Attacking midfield: D (Mia Hamm is not an attacking midfielder; Jim Gabarra tried it and failed. Wagner's confidence is now gone.)
    Defensive midfield: A- (Shannon Boxx is a keeper)
    Backline: PASS (It can grade anywhere from an A to a D-, because the hack four clamped down on Norway and became sieve-like a scant four days later. Where have you gone, Carla Overbeck? A nation turns its lonely eyes to you. Woo-woo-woo.)
    Goalkeeping: A (Scurry could have done little about the four goals conceded. Siri might not have helped because of the shoulder)
    Chemistry: D (Yes, MacMillan was brought in to keep that 1999 chemistry alive, but you got the feeling something was amiss in the old US magic)
    Tactics: D (Only two subs in the semifinal? And why did the American players continiously make the same mistakes over and over again?)
    Player selection: D (Four injured players were selected for the roster. Collectively, they played a scant, what, 40 minutes? The folly was compounded when Brandi went down)
     
  3. RedBlueDevil

    RedBlueDevil Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Dallas, Texas
    Grade: C-

    And April, how about getting up off the bench once in a while, just to show you're interested in the game. I don't know, maybe yell at the forwards to attack the goal. Maybe yell at Foudy to get involved in the game (beyond the misdirected passes).

    There are only two tournaments in Women's Soccer that really count; WWC and Olympics. April is 0-2. Shall we go for three? Trot out all the old timers for the last hurrah, and take the silver again? I hope not.
     
  4. old boy

    old boy New Member

    Jul 8, 2003
    Maine
    Putting in Wagner (especially if Parlow was gassed) and Milbrett was a good move if they were planning to attack on the ground. Given how soon after halftime Wagner came in, didn't they talk about how to attack in that event? Not bringing in some fresh legs for Foudy or Lilly in the last ten minutes was unforgivable. Heinrichs played with too many of these players to manage because she can't see where they are at this point in their careers.

    The long ball thing is a more recent infatuation. They didn't even play this way when Akers was up front. With players like Jennings and Venturini, they were always more of a through ball team.

    Sure, let the grand dames have their last go at it in Athens, then clear house and move on. Just don't expect to win there either.
     
  5. uniteo

    uniteo Member+

    Sep 2, 2000
    Rockville, MD
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Exactly, even after she came in it seems most of the time she was just watching the ball fly overhead.
     
  6. MichaelR

    MichaelR New Member

    Jun 12, 2003
    Philadelphia
    Frankly, she deserves an F, and she should be dismissed.

    April is right about one thing. She did coach the greatest women's soccer match ever played. She lost that one, too. 3-2 to Norway for the gold medal in Sydney. The Germany match was compelling stuff, indeed, but we were well and truly beaten.

    Two major competitions, with the best talent and greatest depth in the world. Two losses. The latter one, on home ground, was a worse defeat than the first one, in Sydney with the Aussies firmly behind Norway. I'm gutted and angry.

    The bill of particulars:

    Failure to build a new offensive scheme around the exquisite playmaking talents of Aly Wagner.
    Failure to use pre-WWC years to integrate exciting new talents, like Boxx and Wambach, into the team.
    Passivity and failure to notice the deterioration of Tiffeny M. and Julie F. as offensive threats, without an adequate plan to redeploy Foudy as a d-mid, where she suits the team best right now.
    That look of total confusion and despair on her face in ESPN's frequent cuts to the coach.
    An unchallenging post-Algarve, pre-WWC schedule that poorly prepared the States for this level of competition.
    Inexplicable substitution patterns (Example No. 627: In the Germany match Parlow was our most effective attacking player, and we were turning the tide and generating far more chances than the Germans. CP seemed to have at least 10 minutes of effective play left. This decision seemed to have been made before game time, and April did not understand what was going on in the match and adjust her thinking accordingly).
    Utter cluelessness as to how to give the team a spark and turn around the match. (For instance, Tiffeny put a hopeless shot way wide, with Wambach and IIRC Lilly in position for a cross. Maybe, just maybe, a Shannon Macmillan would have been able to execute a good cross in that situation. A Mac sub-in at minute 85 or so could have been a gamble worth taking. But that would require a creativity that April has never displayed.)

    With Even Pellerud or Pia Sundhage at the helm, we would be prepping for a World Cup victory on Sunday. I'm convinced of it. These coaches have turned around underachieving sides. Imagine what they could do with the United States' talent pool. If April continues as US coach, we will lose in Athens next year just as we lost in Portland and in Sydney.
     
  7. RevsRule

    RevsRule Member+

    NE Revs, LAFC
    Jun 9, 1999
    N. Eastern, Mass
    Club:
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    April gets a F- and deserves the boot on 10/13.

    The men cleaned house, brought in Arena, and turned the program around. It's time to do the same with the women's program. April does not deserve any more chances. We can't beat anyone good playing kick & run soccer
     
  8. jscott23

    jscott23 Member

    Manchester United
    United States
    Jan 24, 2003
    Poway, CA
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    At this level the grading is only done on a pass/fail basis.

    April, you failed again!
     
  9. paks

    paks Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Eugene, Or
    Inexplicable substitution patterns (Example No. 627: In the Germany match Parlow was our most effective attacking player, and we were turning the tide and generating far more chances than the Germans. CP seemed to have at least 10 minutes of effective play left. This decision seemed to have been made before game time, and April did not understand what was going on in the match and adjust her thinking accordingly).
    Utter cluelessness as to how to give the team a spark and turn around the match. (For instance, Tiffeny put a hopeless shot way wide, with Wambach and IIRC Lilly in position for a cross. Maybe, just maybe, a Shannon Macmillan would have been able to execute a good cross in that situation. A Mac sub-in at minute 85 or so could have been a gamble worth taking. But that would require a creativity that April has never displayed.)

    This is my one of my biggest beafs from Sunday. Her subs, If Mac is not healthy enough to come into this game for at least 15 minutes why was she even on the roster. Mac is one of the US's greatest crosser's and corner kick takers, not to mention one whale of a shot. I kept wondering when she was going to be brought in, this game needed her. We were so insistant on bringing the ball up the right and then crossing that she would have fit in the role perfactly, then you could have moved Mia into the middle where she is much more effective running at the defense, or making the second run behind the defense. I do hope April is gone next summer but I don't think she will be TPTB will give her one more shot.
    Grade F
     

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