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Regarding the match in general. I don't think UCLA were comfortable with the snow out there. The ball was skidding and the players were very uneasy on the snow stepping gingerly around. For the most part West Virginia out the pressure on the Bruins.

And then you have to note that Jessie also tied the score with 2 minutes remaining. She has done this several times already. Against Florida, Stanford she was very clutch scoring key goals. Its good to see.

And then to her penalty kick. It was saved, so that wasn't good for her but I really liked what she did. Unlike most players, Jessie didn't take a big run up to the ball. She was right behind the ball about one step away. She took one step forward and kicked the ball. Its really a smart strategy because it doesn't give the keeper time to read where the foot is going to connect. When a player strides into the ball in a penalty kick. Many of them have already committed to one side of the net. And their angle, where their feet are planted and where it connects to the ball. A goal keeper can get a read where the ball is going and move in that direction. What Jessie Fleming did was really smart in that she took all of that away from the keeper and they just had to guess which side. Which the West Virginia keeper did. She guessed correctly. But I still liked the way Jessie took that penalty kick.

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2 hours ago, Forgedias said:

Regarding the match in general. I don't think UCLA were comfortable with the snow out there. The ball was skidding and the players were very uneasy on the snow stepping gingerly around. For the most part West Virginia out the pressure on the Bruins.

And then you have to note that Jessie also tied the score with 2 minutes remaining. She has done this several times already. Against Florida, Stanford she was very clutch scoring key goals. Its good to see.

And then to her penalty kick. It was saved, so that wasn't good for her but I really liked what she did. Unlike most players, Jessie didn't take a big run up to the ball. She was right behind the ball about one step away. She took one step forward and kicked the ball. Its really a smart strategy because it doesn't give the keeper time to read where the foot is going to connect. When a player strides into the ball in a penalty kick. Many of them have already committed to one side of the net. And their angle, where their feet are planted and where it connects to the ball. A goal keeper can get a read where the ball is going and move in that direction. What Jessie Fleming did was really smart in that she took all of that away from the keeper and they just had to guess which side. Which the West Virginia keeper did. She guessed correctly. But I still liked the way Jessie took that penalty kick.

I wasn't following UCLA at all last year (and certainly didn't have the wealth of information that you've provided ... thanks again for that). How does this season compare to last and previous seasons? Is this where UCLA usually shakes out or are they a stronger or poorer side than in years past?

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Jessie Fleming's PK  today was  very similar to the PK ( a consolation goal ) that  she took in the Bronze medal loss to Mexico in the 2015 Pan Am Games ( Toronto ) : a short run up , and a right-footed strike off to the left intended for the low corner. Her PK against the Florida Gators earlier in the year -- the same move . Given the video out there and that  a lot of WVU roster are Canadians who would know Jessie's tendencies:  perhaps the WVU keeper knew what to expect  and perhaps Jessie is telegraphing her PKs.

Edited by tc-in-bc

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4 hours ago, rob.notenboom said:

I wasn't following UCLA at all last year (and certainly didn't have the wealth of information that you've provided ... thanks again for that). How does this season compare to last and previous seasons? Is this where UCLA usually shakes out or are they a stronger or poorer side than in years past?

Last year they missed the NCAA tournament. They had a below .500 record. Part of that the previous year they graduated a huge senior class so they struggled hard. Possession wise they were constantly pressured by the other team. This year, they are missing 3 players from the U20 World Cup who are top prep athletes. One of them Mallory Pugh is the top ranked recruit for this years class and played at the Olympics this year like Jessie Fleming did. So UCLA didn't have the talent that they could of had.

Plus they had a key injury in Darian Jenkins which meant that UCLA relied even more on Fleming for scoring. So you would see teams put 2 or even 3 players to mark her. Basically telling UCLA that they had to have someone else step up to score.

Talent wise this years club and looking at the future. Anika Rodriguez who is a midfielder and played more of the 10 role for UCLA which I really wanted Jessie Fleming to play. Fleming played either wing and UCLA played a diamond midfield 4-4-2 formation. UCLA started shifting their formation around to a more 4-3-3 formation and sometimes a 3-5-2 when they needed more offense so Fleming could play the 9 role and be the central holding forward role which she exceled at. Fleming started picking up more assists from this position allowing her to hold up play and spring forwards with thoughtful passes. UCLA in the past had their seniors and Anika Rodriguez handle spot kicks near the box. And since I know Fleming has a great shot, I also wanted Fleming to take these. It wasn't until later near the end of the season did we see that happen. Fleming was getting opportunities to take spot kicks which made me happy.

UCLA has some talent right now. Rodriguez is a good technical midfielder who can hold and keep the ball at her feet. Hailie Mace is their center back. Very mobile and good technical skills. She seems to have the green light to go forward if she sees an opportunity and has dribbled through several players to make some highlight plays this year. Another is Zoey Goralski who is a right outside back. Great speed and another good technical player.

So out of these players, Fleming, Rodriguez, Mace and Goralski would make your top players for this squad next year. They have 2 forwards graduating this year, Darian Jenkins and Amber Munderlyn which will open spots up front for the new incoming class. But the 3 key players at the World Cup is what I will focus on. They were forced to red shirt this year because its what the USWNT U20 coach wanted them to do. Really did heavy damage to teams like Penn State that lost 6 players to the World Cup. They were a shadow of their former selves since they won the NCAA tournament last year.

Mallory Pugh. Top Ranked player of 2016, played at the Olympics. She will be coming in as a forward. Speed, attacking skill and technical ability to boot. She is an immediate upgrade for the UCLA.

Ashley Sanchez. Another top recruit. Forward as well and like Pugh is probably on the radar of the USWNT senior team down the line. Has technical skills like Pugh and captained the U17 team for the United States.

Marley Canales. Midfielder. Top 15 player I think? Can't remember but she is fairly high and comes in with a lot of pedigree. Been to all the major Cups for her age level. Probably going to be a flanking midfielder or maybe play a holding role for UCLA but she can be both attacking or defending.

You add in these 3 players that are at the World Cup to the ones I listed for next year and you have a very strong contending roster.

4-4-2 diamond midfield. (Though I am not sure if Fleming would be at the 10 spot or if Rodriguez would be given that role like she has been doing for most of this year)

--------Pugh---Sanchez

-----------Rodriguez

Fleming-------Canales

----------Winter



4-3-3 might be a better option to fit Fleming and Rodriguez into a formation that will tailor their abilities more. Have Fleming play at the 9 role or a false 9 role, more deeper to hold up play. At least this formation Fleming would be more of the playmaker for the team as the central forward. (It may seem nothing really has changed formation wise but just imagine the 3 top players as forwards and the bottom 3 as midfielders and things start making more sense. Since UCLA does play with a defensive midfielder a lot of the time)

-------Pugh------Sanchez

-------------Fleming

Rodriguez-----Canales

-----------Winter

UCLA to me becomes one of the most exciting teams to watch next year. Should be a lot of fun. Especially with the break out of Fleming for UCLA. She has come through with a lot of clutch goals and been given more responsibility that a player like Pugh will not overshadow Fleming. Fleming has class written all over her and her ability to think on the field and create is going to be unmatched.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Forgedias said:

Last year they missed the NCAA tournament. They had a below .500 record. Part of that the previous year they graduated a huge senior class so they struggled hard. Possession wise they were constantly pressured by the other team. This year, they are missing 3 players from the U20 World Cup who are top prep athletes. One of them Mallory Pugh is the top ranked recruit for this years class and played at the Olympics this year like Jessie Fleming did. So UCLA didn't have the talent that they could of had.

Plus they had a key injury in Darian Jenkins which meant that UCLA relied even more on Fleming for scoring. So you would see teams put 2 or even 3 players to mark her. Basically telling UCLA that they had to have someone else step up to score.

Talent wise this years club and looking at the future. Anika Rodriguez who is a midfielder and played more of the 10 role for UCLA which I really wanted Jessie Fleming to play. Fleming played either wing and UCLA played a diamond midfield 4-4-2 formation. UCLA started shifting their formation around to a more 4-3-3 formation and sometimes a 3-5-2 when they needed more offense so Fleming could play the 9 role and be the central holding forward role which she exceled at. Fleming started picking up more assists from this position allowing her to hold up play and spring forwards with thoughtful passes. UCLA in the past had their seniors and Anika Rodriguez handle spot kicks near the box. And since I know Fleming has a great shot, I also wanted Fleming to take these. It wasn't until later near the end of the season did we see that happen. Fleming was getting opportunities to take spot kicks which made me happy.

UCLA has some talent right now. Rodriguez is a good technical midfielder who can hold and keep the ball at her feet. Hailie Mace is their center back. Very mobile and good technical skills. She seems to have the green light to go forward if she sees an opportunity and has dribbled through several players to make some highlight plays this year. Another is Zoey Goralski who is a right outside back. Great speed and another good technical player.

So out of these players, Fleming, Rodriguez, Mace and Goralski would make your top players for this squad next year. They have 2 forwards graduating this year, Darian Jenkins and Amber Munderlyn which will open spots up front for the new incoming class. But the 3 key players at the World Cup is what I will focus on. They were forced to red shirt this year because its what the USWNT U20 coach wanted them to do. Really did heavy damage to teams like Penn State that lost 6 players to the World Cup. They were a shadow of their former selves since they won the NCAA tournament last year.

Mallory Pugh. Top Ranked player of 2016, played at the Olympics. She will be coming in as a forward. Speed, attacking skill and technical ability to boot. She is an immediate upgrade for the UCLA.

Ashley Sanchez. Another top recruit. Forward as well and like Pugh is probably on the radar of the USWNT senior team down the line. Has technical skills like Pugh and captained the U17 team for the United States.

Marley Canales. Midfielder. Top 15 player I think? Can't remember but she is fairly high and comes in with a lot of pedigree. Been to all the major Cups for her age level. Probably going to be a flanking midfielder or maybe play a holding role for UCLA but she can be both attacking or defending.

You add in these 3 players that are at the World Cup to the ones I listed for next year and you have a very strong contending roster.

4-4-2 diamond midfield. (Though I am not sure if Fleming would be at the 10 spot or if Rodriguez would be given that role like she has been doing for most of this year)

--------Pugh---Sanchez

-----------Rodriguez

Fleming-------Canales

----------Winter



4-3-3 might be a better option to fit Fleming and Rodriguez into a formation that will tailor their abilities more. Have Fleming play at the 9 role or a false 9 role, more deeper to hold up play. At least this formation Fleming would be more of the playmaker for the team as the central forward. (It may seem nothing really has changed formation wise but just imagine the 3 top players as forwards and the bottom 3 as midfielders and things start making more sense. Since UCLA does play with a defensive midfielder a lot of the time)

-------Pugh------Sanchez

-------------Fleming

Rodriguez-----Canales

-----------Winter

UCLA to me becomes one of the most exciting teams to watch next year. Should be a lot of fun. Especially with the break out of Fleming for UCLA. She has come through with a lot of clutch goals and been given more responsibility that a player like Pugh will not overshadow Fleming. Fleming has class written all over her and her ability to think on the field and create is going to be unmatched.

 

 

Thanks for that. I'm aware of some of the others that you mentioned but wasn't certain what their school situation was (although I'm pretty sure I knew Pugh was at UCLA). Sounds like they'll be a powerhouse next year.

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19 minutes ago, tc-in-bc said:

Har Journalist @HarJournalist 17h17 hours ago

#CanWNT's Herdman about Fleming doing great at #UCLA. "I don't think there's really any progression at the college level." Says Too easy.

0 replies 3 retweets 7 likes

Easy for Herdman to say when you have a high paying career.  If she wants to go pro, then she should go for it and I support it.  But if she wants to keep in school to get her education for life after soccer than I support that.  Her future well being is way more important than her on field development.

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Herdman is probably right, but Buchanan and Lawrence turned out okay in college, so it's not necessarily a dead end.  Fleming is just going to be more tightly marked as she improves and her reputation grows, so I think she will continue to be challenged at that level.  With Pugh enrolling at UCLA, she'll have at least one world-class player to link up with.

I can see where Herdman is coming from.  When you're trying to build the No.1 team in the world, these kind of details are important.

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Herdman is correct. This has always been the case on the men's side and as the women's game has developed in Europe, it is happening also.

 

Bastardized rules, short season, limits on training and minimal football culture are just some of problems with the NCAA. 

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10 minutes ago, red card said:

Herdman is correct. This has always been the case on the men's side and as the women's game has developed in Europe, it is happening also.

 

Bastardized rules, short season, limits on training and minimal football culture are just some of problems with the NCAA. 

Herdman is correct but it's not about soccer development.  It's about having an education (if she wants to pursue that) for her post soccer life.  There aren't million dollar contracts out there waiting for her like the men have.  She suffers a career ending injury that scholarship isn't there waiting for her if she leaves to turn pro.  Herdman should be supportive of her choices not publically questioning them especially when it benefits him.

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Herdman is right, but the money in women's soccer is not worth turning down a free college education for. When NWSL players make closer to what MLS players do (purely talking $ figures here, not trying to get into a pay disparity argument), then the argument to leave college and play pro is a stronger one.

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Wonderful player.

Again, there are university-age girls making six figures a year in Europe.  Say for example Ada Hegerberg - voted best player in Europe, Norway's sportsperson of the year, big Puma sponsorship, Champions League win.  Really unfortunate she couldn't sit in a class on Economics and play against San Diego State.  Sucks to instead have to play Wolfsburg in the Champions final and score your team's only goal of the game and again in the shootout.

Do what you want.  If you want to be a doctor more than anything, go to school.  If you like both medicine and soccer, go to school and play soccer.  If you want to be a great player more than anything, go to Europe.  Education has no finish line.  We're an affordable social democracy and a million Canadians do it every year, of all ages.  It's not use it or lose it like a playing career.  You can also do it part-time while you play.

There is no broad stroke, everyone is different.

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The full quote from Herdman shows he wishes they could manage their academics and play at the high level.

I think it’s just easy for her there. I don’t think there’s really any progression at the college level. I think the college system is an easy ride for these players. I wish they were playing in more competitive environments. Even at 17, 18, like the Germans, French, and English do. I would just love to see our young players playing professionally earlier, and managing academics at the same time.

As Vic also noted, why does getting an post secondary education be a need for a elite football player at age 18. There is plenty of time especially for women given their professional seasons are relatively short and they won't be putting their education to practice till they're over 30.

If you're not an elite player, then I would be onside on getting an education. But make sure you actually get a good education since getting one on a NCAA scholarship is largely a farce. Great ideal but poorly executed by the NCAA, the school and often by the student athlete. 

Edited by red card

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On 2/5/2017 at 1:03 PM, red card said:

As Vic also noted, why does getting an post secondary education be a need for a elite football player at age 18. There is plenty of time especially for women given their professional seasons are relatively short and they won't be putting their education to practice till they're over 30.

If you're not an elite player, then I would be onside on getting an education. But make sure you actually get a good education since getting one on a NCAA scholarship is largely a farce. Great ideal but poorly executed by the NCAA, the school and often by the student athlete. 

I'm not saying a post secondary education is a need for an elite player.  What I'm saying is the national coach (or honestly us on here) shouldn't be publically questioning her for it.  It's her choice and if that's what she wants to do it should be supported.  We don't know her and what's best for her.

Also wrong to paint the NCAA scholarship system "largely" as a farce.  There are issues to be sure but I'm positive it's mostly confined to the high revenue drawing sports, not the lesser ones (no offense to Women's soccer).

If she doesn't turn out to be the player that we hope for, you know there are going to be people on here pointing out his comments and angry/dismayed/disappointed whatever at her decision to go school and stalling her development

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Our national system has officially pushed players to the NCAA for decades.  The system was created when the women's game in Europe was 18 shirts and a bag of balls.  That's not the case any longer as has been mentioned.

I didn't read his comments as questioning her or in any way unsupportive.  I read them as " gee it's a shame we don't have a better solution for them".  More of a comment on the system than the case.

Sounds to me like he's just sniffing for avenues to help players like her and our programs at the same time.

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Quote from Fleming when asked if she would play for a Vancouver NWSL team after college:

“I haven’t really thought that far ahead. I love the city and it would be nice to be at home in Canada, but I think I’d also like to explore opportunities in Europe. Again, I haven’t thought that far ahead. Keish (Kadeisha Buchanan) and Ash (Ashley Lawrence) are kind of living the dream right now, so a bit jealous of them, but no that would be cool.”

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Wanted to leave this here for you guys. 

There is a site I follow that does write ups on College football for women and they do projections of players as they age up through their 4 years in college. The site is called Allwhitekit and the author is Chris Henderson. He is also doing a podcast about women's soccer as well now. 

Here is his draft projections of 2020 since its a very good draft year with Jessie Fleming and Deyna Castellanos the young Venezuelan star. He is projecting pretty far into the future since these players are freshman and players can improve and move up the draft rankings. But its a fun exercise and the 2020 year is loaded but the 2019 in his opinion is going to be very weak on talent. Its why he wanted to look further ahead and hype it up.

Here is the article link.  http://www.allwhitekit.com/?p=15250

Further he talks about the 2020 draft in his podcast that he does with a college coach  Jon Lipsitz. Jessie Fleming is number one in his draft ranking with Deyna Castellanos coming in 2nd place. They go fairly in depth with each of the 27 players on his list so if you want to skip ahead its near the end where they talk about Fleming at the 1 hour 21:40 minute mark. They talk about Fleming and point out that she destroyed top ranked Pac12 defenses and coach Jon Lipsitz points out that not many talk about Fleming's ability to fire bombs from 25-30 yards out and in college many teams will sit back and force the player to try to beat them. He says that if they do so, Fleming can rip them apart from long range and if they try to close in on her she can beat them or combine through them. A lot of players at the college level and beyond will have a tough time defending against Fleming because there isn't a single strategy they can use to stop her. He goes further and states that Fleming is a better Rose Lavelle who went number one in the NWSL draft. She is more athletic, more technical and can shoot from long range. 

Lots of praise for Jessie. Here is the link to the podcast. http://www.allwhitekit.com/?p=15247

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[ 1 ]   Read an interesting item just before the 2017 NWSL draft by Chris Henderson discussing his " four factors " ranking of some NCAA attackers. Jessie Fleming had the second highest score with  294 . Generally the higher the score   the more potent and  the more efficient , is the individual attacker.    QUOTE:

                          294 – Jessie Fleming – FR – UCLA

                          Shock: The Canadian is really good.

http://www.allwhitekit.com/?p=15191

Other Canadians on Henderson's list  with their scores:  Jenna Hellstrom ( 116 ), Isabella Habuda ( 137 ), Valerie Sanderson ( 167 ), Evelyne Viens ( 200 ), Lindsay Agnew (207 ).

[ 2 ]  Chris Henderson's new podcast ( The WoSo Independent Podcast ) is definitely a worthwhile listen. In the latest podcast they mention that Jenna Hellstrom is trialing at FCKC and that there may be a slim opening here  for her given that Ribeiro recently did her  ACL and that Payne signed with Ajax in the Eredivisie Vrouwen ( the top women's league in the Netherlands). But Jenna Hellstrom would still require an international slot.

 

Edited by tc-in-bc

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Yup what is really outstanding about Jessie Fleming's game even after what they said about her in the podcast is that when she takes shots, most of them are on frame and not being sprayed wide. Over 60% of her shots are on goal. And I watched Jessie all season long last year. She forced a lot of good saves, She easily could of gotten more goals plus Amanda Cromwell the coach for UCLA wasn't using Fleming on the spot kick attempts which I thought she should be the go to person. That was taken by Annika Rodriguez but late in the season, Jessie began taking those spot kicks which is good to see.

I think Cromwell was seeing what I was and that Jessie can loft the ball over a wall and get good shots on goal. Most of the time we see even in international competition shots being fired into the wall but Jessie can get the ball over it and score. 

Jessie was already one of my favorite players to watch and watching her all season, she became my favorite college player. Wonderful technical gifted player. Love watching her make defenders look like they were pylons. 

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North America is such a mess when it comes to talented young players.  You would be hard-pressed to invent a worse system.

If she hasn't already she should look into transferring to a school in Europe and playing pro.  She should bank some money while she can.

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What is she studying at UCLA?  Is it something that UCLA is highly rated worldwide in, and where would a similar calibre of university be in Europe?  (I'm not asking *if*, as I expect there will be a couple of reasonable choices)

 

Earlier in this thread we've already had this discussion, that it looks like her choice is school 1, playing 1b.  So we have to respect that...

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