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Everything posted by rkomar

  1. I forgot to mention that LMU was tackling Fleming _hard_. She got her legs cut out from under her a couple of times. They didn't seem to go after anyone else with the same ferocity. I wonder if teams watched the Florida games and decided that taking Fleming out was a good strategy?
  2. No word from Forgedias, so I'll give a brief summary. Jessie Fleming scored the first goal against Loyola Marymount U at about the 39 minute mark, after much possession and failed attacks by UCLA. She was subbed off for the rest of the game after that. UCLA had the game pretty much in hand from the start, and by about the 70 minute mark pretty much the whole bench was out on the pitch playing for UCLA. They ended up winning 3-0. Despite scoring, Fleming was a bit off, coughing up the ball quite often. In fact, the rest of the team seemed to avoid her during the attacks. Perhaps she's still feeling that twisted knee she got just before the international break. On a different note, Gabrielle Carle was playing outside back for FSU when they beat UCLA. She was pretty influential in the game in that position. I was used to seeing her as a forward when playing for Canada, so it came as a bit of a surprise. I wonder if she'll ever play outside back in the future for Canada, since Ashley Lawrence is usually in that position? Anyway, it's good to see her playing such an important role on such a successful NCAA team.
  3. Maybe taking a knee in football is like making a substitution late in a soccer game just to run more time off the clock.
  4. It doesn't have to be malicious to have bad consequences. You can cap tie someone just in case, and then never use them in retrospect. I say don't give anyone false hopes; cap tie them only if they fit into your plans and you're straight about what they need to achieve to make the team. I've seen plenty of posts advocating the cap-tying of anyone who exhibits any potential whatsoever. We've kind of sucked for a while and people are desperate for any advantage we can get. My opinion is that such a strategy will backfire, and we don't need it anyway.
  5. I'm a little disappointed by all this "cap tie" talk. It reeks of hoarding and lack of respect to the players. Why cap tie a player you'll never use again? Not for a positive reason. I like better the way things seem to be going for the team anyway: come and give yourself to something special coming up. We want players committed to making the national team as good as it can be. The rest can try something else.
  6. The World Cup is a global celebration of soccer. You're supposed to see representatives from all over, cheer for your team, cheer for the plucky underdogs, and watch with interest when different styles clash. Satisfying the whole world's soccer fans is just as important as finding the best team. You could put together a competition that had the best X ranked teams in the world, but it wouldn't be the same thing. I hear similar arguments about the Brier and Tournament of Hearts in curling. Incensed Albertans who believe their province should have three teams and the lesser provinces should be limited to one representative for all of them. And NO Northern Ontario! They don't appreciate that the tournaments are also a celebration of the national game, and that everyone should be invited to the party. In the end, there is only one champion. Is including more UEFA losers more important than including losers from other parts of the world?
  7. We have Costa Rica, Jamaica and Cuba in our group. CONCACAF have a brief article on the draw results: link
  8. Did anyone go specifically for the women's side of things? Is Herdman still staying connected somehow, or has he completely broken with the women? Maybe he doesn't want to step on any toes in public, but I have to think he would still be popular on the women's side.
  9. I definitely remember Annika Rodriguez being that way, but something changed mid-season last year, and she is much more aware of where her teammates are now. Perhaps she just needed to get better at dribbling without looking at the ball. She went on a nice scoring run after that, and really helped UCLA make it to the finals. She used to frustrate me so much, but now I look forward to her attacks. As far as the Stanford attack goes, one of the announcers in that last match was pointing out that they would carry the ball in on the wings and then slash in diagonally through the defense (either dribbling or passing). Since they're all very talented, they can read those plays well and play off each other very effectively, opening up holes in the defense. Holding up the ball with back to goal was only the second phase of the attack, if the first slashing phase bogged down. UCLA, like most teams, tends to cross the ball squarely from the wings, making it much easier to read by the defense. Hence, the lower number of goals scored. That said, UCLA is good at quickly pressing the other team in defense and recovering the ball, and if they can put the squeeze on the wingers quickly, maybe they can prevent a lot of those slashing attacks. I'll be really interested in seeing if they can slow down Sophia Smith that way. It won't be easy against her.
  10. Oh well, better luck next time (for her and for me).
  11. I watched Stanford vs U. of San Francisco, and Stanford looks so good again. As if they didn't have enough firepower up front, they recruited Sophia Smith this year. UCLA just doesn't have the ability to penetrate defenses the way Stanford does. UCLA _is_ good at keeping possession, so maybe they can slow down Stanford's scoring by keeping the ball away from them. I look forward to that rematch in about a month, to see how UCLA tries to cope with Stanford. I wonder if that's the game that Stanford most misses Sullivan this year, for matching up against Fleming.
  12. I thought Teagan Micah played really well. She is much improved over last year, and I think it's time to wipe that slate clean. She has worked on her weaknesses, and we should judge her on this season's performances. I don't think she will disappoint.
  13. According to twitter, Beckie scored in her first appearance at Man City. That had to feel good, considering that she didn't score at all for Sky Blue. I hope that's the first of many for her.
  14. The team isn't terrible, it's just playing terribly. They _were_ terrible last year, when they decided to tear it down to tank the season. In fact, their plan for rebuilding seemed to have gone swimmingly through the draft. Somehow, their prize cigar exploded in their faces. I don't really understand why it did; they shouldn't be playing this badly with the players they have. Maybe it won't be hard to fix things with such a good pool of players, and the fans will come back quickly, but for now, I'm getting some satisfaction knowing that the organization's tank plan is running longer than expected.
  15. Jim Gabarra is out as coach of the Washington Spirit with only a few games to go in the season. I guess morale must be really bad to force this change, since it isn't going to make any difference in the standings. This team is stacked with young talent, but they've been even worse than Sky Blue in their last dozen games or so. I wonder if they shouldn't have kept some of those influential veterans who could have nurtured the young talent along? I feel sorry for the young players, but not sorry for the organization.
  16. USA beat Mexico 3-0, scoring all of their goals in extra time. I felt a bit sorry for the Mexican team, because they had a couple of golden chances to score near the end of regulation time. I guess poor finishing under pressure isn't just a Canadian affliction.
  17. The little scoreboard at concacaf.com shows that we beat Haiti 2-0 today. There's no video up as of yet, so I'm wondering if the game was played without a TV crew recording it. Overall, I thought we were the best team in our group. We dominated all three group games, and it was just finishing that let us down. I'm not going to feel too disappointed about the result, because it's clear that we aren't slipping relative to everyone else. We do need more cold-blooded finishers, though.
  18. Ha! That reminds me of the "Attempted manslaughter!" joke in the Little Dog series. Brilliant humour.
  19. The NWSL website has a short article with a letter from Beckie explaining her decision. She says it was about the opportunity to play in Europe, and that she has no beef with Sky Blue. I think it was a letter that had to be written, since her move was adding gasoline to the fire around her old team. I've noticed that Beckie shies away from the physical side of the game, avoiding heavy contact and collisions in play. That can be a problem within the US style of play, and maybe she was falling out of favour with coaches over that. Perhaps she will be much better suited to the European style, which doesn't emphasize physical play as much.
  20. To be fair, the wingers made many passes towards players near the 6 yard box this game, so I have to give them credit for fixing that. However, it just moved the problem to the next step: connecting with the other forwards, and then getting a decent shot from the latter. It seemed like our players did a better job of clearing the ball out of danger than the defenders did. Our attack is really disappointing. We would be a pretty decent team if we could make it even moderately more effective. On the positive side, I think our players are going to benefit a lot from this international experience. I get the feeling that they are used to much more space and time in their league/school play, and this is a real eye-opener for them. It's exactly what this tournament was created for.
  21. Ugh! That was hard to watch, mostly because of the refs falling for all of the Costa Rican time wasting. As usual, we looked pretty good everywhere except in the final third of the pitch, where we were toothless. If the wingers had passed on some of their chances instead of banging the ball right at the goalkeeper every time, we might have put a few more in. Even on the goal we scored, our player shot right into the goalkeeper's chest, and then was lucky to get it by on her second attempt after it rebounded back to her. Our UXX women need to work on their composure in front of the opponent's goal, because it's the one place where they don't have any. I have to say, the second Costa Rican goal was a beauty. A soft curling shot that went around our goalkeeper and squeaked in by the post.
  22. Maybe it's also important to give young players a reasonable career path, just to keep them in the game. Then, the late bloomers still have a chance to progress, rather than just give up and get on with a normal life. The more players you have training professionally, the more likely you discover some of international quality.
  23. I was only half listening to the beginning of the broadcast of the Sky Blue v Pride game today, when I thought I heard one of the commentators say something about Janine Beckie likely having played her last game for Sky Blue. She's not in the line up for the game. Anyone know anything more? Did I mis-hear what was said?
  24. One of the articles mentioned that Worthington was taking over. It may have been bad luck, but the few international games I watched where he was coaching did not leave me with a good impression of the team. So, those of you assuming that things will be better now that Priestman is gone may be in for a rude surprise.
  25. Hard to believe it's that bad, unless they predict losing OTP funding or something. Maybe the new job is just too good to pass up for Priestman, especially after Herdman moved over to the men's program. It does seem to be a step up from training young players. Anyway, I wish her luck in her new post. I hope our EXCEL program can continue to produce similar results after she is gone.
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