The US WNT Olympic Roster has been announced

Discussion in 'Group G' started by leviathan, Jun 23, 2008.

  1. Cliveworshipper

    Cliveworshipper Member+

    Dec 3, 2006
    Well, we have radically different views of the US style of play under Ryan, Hendricks, and Diccico. They all favored the "direct" game. Ryan was even quoted as saying he'd never employ that style, that the modern game was too fast to be stringing passes together.
    (Well, it worked OK for Spain today)

    Diccico did employ a playmaker to good effect, I'll admit. When the "direct" game was shut down, he'd bring in his Super Sub Shannon Macmillan to restore order and make a brilliant shot, service, or feed. Otherwise he sat her for UNC players.

    (Remember Supersub? My question there is if she was that effective, why didn't she start? I'm not the first to ask that question.)

    If you think the USA ever played an offense based on short passing and playmaking, please tell us what games they were, I'd really like to see the tapes of those games. But I don't think you'll be able to name a game where it happened by design, because it was never in the game plan.
  2. casocrfan

    casocrfan Member

    Nov 25, 2004
    San Francisco
    Wagner might have been on the field under Heinrichs, but the style of play was not one that would have allowed her to excel. With Ryan, it was worse and she was injured. I think her improved play under Pia (and a style that better suits Wagner) is indicative of this. Players don't usually get better as they get older and return from injury.
  3. soccermum

    soccermum New Member

    Sep 24, 2006
    I think it's a bit early to judge whether her play has improved under Pia. She hasn't played enough yet.

    Pia was pretty adamant that she wasn't taking injured players to China so I trust that she feels Wagner is healthy and can contribute. I think it remains to be seen if this is finally Wagner's time to shine. I hope so!
  4. luvdagame

    luvdagame Member+

    Jul 6, 2000
    i'm questioning the unstated assumption that they wouldn't have been given playing time and wouldn't have improved this year regardless of who the coach was? the development of young players is unpredictable. we can make those assumptions but they are not necessarily accurate.

    ryan (i haven't commented on hendricks and diccico) used the direct game mixed in with passing. his point was that you have to be careful with the passing game against modern quick teams that can punish you painfully if they steal the ball from your middies or back while you are playing your passing game. very early in his tenure even after they won they would emphasize more possession. look at the finland game in august 2007 just before the world cup. the passing (in the second half especially) was wonderful. it was not an afterthought. but it was part of a mixture which included more of the direct game than some people like.

    yes it did. but you can't use that as too much of a rule. remember that spain has an abundance of wealth in players who trap, dribble, pass and shoot exquisitely, and remember too that holland and portugal, two of the better passing teams in the competition, were beaten by teams who didn't have their pass/possession expertise.

    my point is not that the uswnt has played an offense based on short passing and playmaking but that ryan (again, i haven't commented on hendricks and diccico) used an offense that was partially based on short passing and playmaking, (see the finland game i mentioned above) and that mixing this with the correct amount of the direct game is very important in tournaments. because passing/possession can get shut down by good teams, and if that's too much of your emphasis, you end up like holland and portugal in the euros.

    like i pointed out, she was only injured in the second year of ryan, and the first year she got a lot of chances where i remember her really making excellent passes and directing the game, but also having the ball stolen from her and being a liability on defense. if she was quick enough she would have excelled. lloyd was also catching up and passing her as a two way midfielder which ryan's system required. that's why (along with her injury) she lost her place.

    even in pia's system she is going to have to be quicker to regain the ball on defense. she seemed to be doing that the little i saw of her in korea. but soccermum is right. we might be jumping the gun. we have to wait and hope and see.
  5. casocrfan

    casocrfan Member

    Nov 25, 2004
    San Francisco
    The only team that made the quarterfinals in Euro 2008 that didn't play a possession game was Turkey, who was a blast to watch. Croatia, Russia, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands all pass the ball around, try to control the run of play and then attack. Some are more defensive than others (Italy) but none play very direct at all -- that's what made this tournament so much fun to watch. That and Turkey's incredible run.! So, seven out of the eight tells me that playing a possession game is the best way to win. Now, they all play a little different possession game, but I wouldn't characterize any of them as predominantly direct.

    I also don't think the US women are best as an indirect team, but rather a nice mixture of both. I also think Wagner delivers a better direct, long, pass in the run of play than any other player on the team, but to be successful the runs off the ball have to be made or the pass can't be played quickly and thus the player with the ball gets dispossessed. Foudy, Lilly, Boxx, Osborne are all guilty of this and I don’t blame them. Too many times we blame midfielders for losing the ball when teammates lack of movement into open space is the real culprit.
  6. Cliveworshipper

    Cliveworshipper Member+

    Dec 3, 2006
    well, I thought they got punished pretty well by Brasil when they punted upfield. The pretty passers were back in the face of the US in about 5 seconds. We didn't even get a chance to puff twice before we had to chase and punt again (this time a little shorter).

    Not passing because you fear a counter is a poor reason not to try. Get players who can pass and there won't be the give aways, and the field opens up.

    Brasil countered pretty well in the World Cup when we weren't passing. Weren't the last two goals off counters?

    Look at the difference the next game, when Ali was in there and played off players who knew how to play the short game. A world of difference. Soccer isn't thought of as a game of statistics, but one pretty good one is that teams that possess more, win more.

    ( Being a Portland fan, I never thought I'd be defending HER to anyone ;)
    I hated her guts when she played for Santa Clara - probably because she wreaked so much havoc on us )

    Who were the Mids in the Finnland game you mentioned, BTW?

    Actually, more boom ball teams lost. In fact they all did. only Spain was left standing, and it's clearly a passing team.

    Listen to what you just said. The US has had an abundance of players who trap, dribble, pass, and shoot exquisitely, and they got ignored by US coaches on a regular basis. I can think of a couple All Americans in the last few years who quit soccer because they knew their talent wasn't valued at the National level.

    One was a four time All American and linchpin on two National Championships who was never invited by Ryan or Hendricks to a tryout. Pia gave her a shot this year, but she was rusty after a three year layoff, had little time to train, and got cut. When she was on form she was fast as lightning and could organize, too.

    There are a couple in College now who can do it, too One or two have real speed AND ball skills (two on the u20's). maybe they need to be Brought up early to teach the old guard how to play.

    (Or Checkoslovakia. Russia, and Germany? Again, more "Direct" teams lost. The passing team won. They must be doing something right, they haven't lost in 23 straight.)

    And if you play powerball, it can get stalled, too. After the first 5 minutes, Germany's "direct" game did zilch. Those guys ran miles backpedalling today. Just like the WNT did against Brasil. See a pattern?

    Whenever the US played the best teams, Ryan abandoned the passing game. Again, Brasil was a good example, as was Korea. The first choice was Boom, the second was more boom The thrid was to get more physical and all that acomplished was a big red one. All that was left was to listen to "Joga Bonita" chants.

    I'm trying to think if the US linked three passes all game.

    There is no magic in the direct game. It won't get you wins if the players don't have skills, just like the passing game. And the direct game depends on you being bigger, taller, faster and stronger than the opponent. If you aren't all of those, you have no chance against the best teams.

    For the record, the US isn't those things against many of the best teams anymore. The world is getting better. If we don't develop the skill sets soon, the Women's team will be just like the men are on the world stage. Poor to middling.

    Look - In the modern game you need to know how to play both ways for sure. I guess we agree on that.

    My point is you don't get both if you just put the direct folks in and say you are going to teach them how to pass. They haven't done it their whole lives because they didn't need to in the Youth system.. In your 20's is kind of late to learn, don't you think? (see N. Kai for reference - imagine if she had someone to show her how to play). Do you think Ronaldinho learned how to pass at age 22?

    You need to also invest in the skill players, not just stick one or two in if there is room on the roster and put them in when nothing else is working. The game isn't won in wind sprints, it's won with skill and daring. Marta is NOT faster than Tina Ellerton, but Tina is on Marta's highlight reel. Sometime you have to say you will put skill players in and learn to work around their deficiencies instead of the other way 'round.

    I reject that we don't have players in this country who can do it. There are a couple on the team right now. There just needs to be a couple more. Instead of trying to make them fit in with the speed merchants, make those players fit into a passing system built around skill players.

    One last thing about Ali Wagner, since you mentioned her speed. I'll admit she isn't the fasted player on the team, and you can't expect her to chase people down. But she can play defense (and has quite well) in a well organized defense. That means players helping each other. Isn't what they teach when you are 14 in club? (should be). Ali's plus side is big if you build a SYSTEM around players like her.

    Spain used the short game to put Germany (and the previous 22 sides) on their heels, then sprung a guy for the score. BUT it was the short game that made it possiblle.
    1 v 1, Torres had no chance against a well organized defense, but the passing broke it down.

    Even when the Spanish weren't scoring, Germany had to chase so much that when they got the ball, they had no shape or means to break down Spain's midfield. Plus, they were gassed.

    4 or 5 long balls into the box (that did nothing) was all they had.

    I was amazed at how offensive the 4-5-1 (or 4-2-3-1) was. I always saw it as a defensive formation. Man! they would turn 3 guys upfield the instant they got the ball, and then weave all through the defense that was still backpedaling...

    The pressure on Germany wasn't from the long ball, it was from good passing. The long ball came after the defense broke down. An it was then effective.

    by itself, the long ball game stretches the team out to where players can't help each other. You have to beat your player physically every time, or you get nothing. often you have to break a double team. You have no help. When it turns to defense, you have to be faster than your opponent or you get left in the dust. Again, no help.

    Face it, we don't have players anymore who can physically punish the likes of Kelly, Marta, Christiane, et al. (I'd mention N. Korea players, but I don't know their names). if Sinclair ever gets more help and a coach who knows more than the long game, she'll punish us, too, but that's another rant.

    My point is we are going to have to learn to play as a team to nullify the best in the world.

    A well organized attack that has a build-up keeps the team in position to help each other on offense and defense. Time and again today Spain made stops on double teams and were able to do it because they were close enough to help each other and then both players were close enough that they could also play off each other heading up field. They were even able to double in the midfield to good effect because they weren't all spread out. They nullified fast players like Odonkor by playing together. He was a non factor, even with all his speed. The game should be shown to every kid coming up.

    You can't do that with Boom Ball. Germany didn't double until near the box. Why? Too stretched out from long ball.

    Spain was beautiful to watch - other sides are doing it - it's what I want to see us do. It really works, but you have to commit to it. It's the future, We can lead or follow.
  7. luvdagame

    luvdagame Member+

    Jul 6, 2000
    sorry for the length guys.

    you'll get no argument from me here. we agree that there has to be the right mix of passing/possession and the direct game. our disagreement seems to be on the actual implementation.

    my contention is essentially that against the really good teams historically, too much concentration on passing/possession can leave you in the lurch when it's derailed by the opposition. your position is that the passing game as played by spain, done properly, will win out.

    my point is that spain won this time, but it is one of the few times that that type of football wins the championship (and it's the championship that i'm interested in). cesc's statement points out that it is the exception rather than the rule.,23063,11966_3757011,00.html

    your point is that because spain did it it can be done.

    my point is that you need the embarrassment of riches of technical expertise all over the field that spain has to do it, and we don't have that allround ability.

    your point is that we have those players, but we don't encourage them. that may be true, but we have to fashion our game with the type of players that we have now.

    like i said they did play their fair share of passing/possession. but passing/possession against norway is much easier than against brazil and north korea. and this time around, if canada made it difficult for us in the peace queen cup, it will be even more difficult against the full brazil and north korean teams.

    this is not the same as saying that the passing/possession teams tend to win tournaments, because they do not. and that's what i'm focusing on.

    boxx, replaced by wagner in the 79th minute, and chalupny, replaced by osbourne in the 76th minute. either hao or tarp also started out as a mid i think, but that was quickly changed when abby was replaced by lloyd after hurting her toe.

    nothing that i have said should even remotely be construed to say that there is. but you can also neglect it at your peril. we both agree that it's the right mix, and our last game leaves my worried that we don't have that right mix.

    tho i'd be delighted if i'm wrong on that.

    not true. sometimes if you are just faster you can strike quickly in the direct game. but taller, stronger, bigger, and more skillful certainly can help too.

    i've been saying this for a long time. since before last year's wwc. one of the reasons we dominated for so long is because other feds were not interested. now that they are, they are catching up with us and we will have to redouble our efforts just to stay ahead.

    again, you'll get no argument from me here. my current focus tho, is for these olympics. and the question i ask myself is: with the types of players we have on the roster, what gives us our best chance of bringing home the gold? this is where we have a disagreement. but it is only a small one. it is one of degree.
  8. htide

    htide Member

    Jul 28, 2007
  9. Cliveworshipper

    Cliveworshipper Member+

    Dec 3, 2006
    Yeah, I think we both want the same thing, a more creative team.

    My concern is for the future. We need to be developing and encouraging a style of more technically gifted player we have ignored for a long time.

    I fear that a failure to win gold in the Olympics will set back efforts towards more creative play for the next World Cup. Pia will be out and we're back to boom ball and we'll never catch up, or that we win gold and freeze team development there and not try to get more creative in the future. I fear both those scenarios more than not getting gold this time. It's going to take a while to turn things around.

    We both know the US isn't there yet. I just hope we don't stop trying to get there. It starts at the ODP level, too, not just at the Senior team level. The US has more people playing organized ball than almost anyone, including Brasil, but we aren't making any Martas or Ronaldinhos. we're just making very good athletes, not soccer players. That used to be good enough, but it's not now.

    Today Uefa named the Tournament team. One of the things they said was that they could have just named Spain and walked away without blinking. I don't think they were saying that Spain had the 23 best players, but rather it was a commentary on TEAM play.

    Reuters article
  10. MRAD12

    MRAD12 Member+

    Jun 10, 2004
    Chicago Fire
    That's because kids are playing TOO MUCH organized ball in the US not enough pickup games where they can develop their own skill and creativity. Kids nowadays belong to expensive suburban soccer clubs that teach cookie cutter tactics. Marta learned her creative game playing pick-up games with boys in the streets of Brazil. Our kids have their moms drive them to a two hour structured club practice in an SUV then they go back home to their video games.
    The Brazilians have done well with the little resources they have.
  11. casoccerdad47

    casoccerdad47 Member+

    Mar 31, 2006
    Arsenal, under Wenger has won championships (one without a loss all season) playing a passing game. Manchester United plays a pretty good version of a passing game. AC Milan in the early '90s may have been the best passing team I've ever seen. Brazil has won a few World Cups playing a passing game. France won a World Cup and a Euro Cup with Zidane pulling the trigger on a passing game. Spain's championship is not the exception.

    You noted that Portugal was beaten by Germany playing a direct style. Portugal went out because they couldn't defend free kicks and corners and because Ballack got away with a push. Klose's goal was a defensive breakdown. It had little or nothing to do with Germany's style of play. Sometimes the best team doesn't win.
  12. SomebodyOrOther

    SomebodyOrOther BigSoccer Supporter

    Jun 8, 2002
    Over here!
    Cliveworshipper's posts pretty much nail the way I've felt about the style of the USWNT for many years now. We're squandering some of the best true soccer talent in this country, and for those of us who love soccer because it's "the beautiful game" it's just heartbreaking. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that the women on our current NT aren't talented, but there is a different variety of player talent that we aren't utilizing which could give us a totally different dimension and a greater chance of success.
    Lindsey Huie. :( Good Lord I love her game. I could go off on a tangent about how frustrated I am that she was completely ignored by Heinrichs and Ryan, how bad I feel for her that she never got to compete at that level and that there's been no pro league for her to keep playing in and showcasing her talent, and, frankly, how bad I feel for myself that I don't get to see her play anymore. Huie was one of those drool-inducing players--she'd get the ball and do something jaw-dropping and it would be 5 minutes before I could pick my chin up off the floor and wipe it off. Sometimes I had to pick my eyeballs up off the floor because they popped out, too. :eek: in a good way. But, I digress...this is not the time or place for that.

    As Cliveworshipper said, Aly Wagner can do a lot of the same, but she hasn't had opportunity to do so (for various reasons) in recent years. It's just a shame that we seem to not know what to do with that type of player.
    More truth.

    I'd love to see the USWNT move in a more diverse and creative direction, but that's not happening any time soon it appears. Still, Pia's tenure as coach is still young, so it's hard to say where she'll steer the team over time. I'll keep my fingers crossed.
  13. Byron#1

    Byron#1 New Member

    Jun 29, 2008
    I hope that US WNT will win the gold medal.
    I love Tobin Heath, I hope too see her playing.
    Every time I look a game, she doesn't play. :(

    Good luck girls, you can do it.

    PS: Tobin and Hope are so cute :p

    PS2: sorry if my english is no perfect. :eek:

  14. noorwell

    noorwell Member

    Sep 15, 2003
    Yeah! Hope is very cute, cuter than Mitts.....
  15. seb_perpignan

    seb_perpignan Member

    Jun 5, 2005
    Shandong Luneng
    Nat'l Team:
    China PR
    the americans players already start to do shopping in Qinhuangdao

  16. BrooklynSoccer

    BrooklynSoccer Member+

    Jan 22, 2008
    man, not to be a bastard, but do these girls have really bad style or is just the jock element.?. sorry to be rude, but really girls.
  17. dianamo-superstriker

    Sep 30, 2007
    dude.. it's like super hot and humid there; they get some time in between hard-core practices to go out and shop.. they are "Street shopping" so it's not like they are going to a gala or stuff... they are basically dressing like tourists, which means wear confortable clothing..


    now, if that was a miss universe competition....
  18. BrooklynSoccer

    BrooklynSoccer Member+

    Jan 22, 2008
    hahah. ya ya ya....

  19. corvallissoccer

    corvallissoccer New Member

    May 25, 2007
    Chelsea LFC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

    Hope Solo...yummy

Share This Page