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#151892 - 07/20/11 11:12 AM Re: What a soccer game ! [Re: Backscreen17]
observer Offline

throw in

Registered: 10/28/09
Posts: 99
We need a completely new back line and 2 central midfielders. These players should be technically sound and creative players. I am thinking there are better keepers than Solo.

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#151893 - 07/20/11 11:21 AM Re: What a soccer game ! [Re: Coach Chass]
TSO Offline

kick off

Registered: 10/26/10
Posts: 47
Wasn't just talking about against us. They didn't create a lot of good scoring chances vs Germany or Sweden either.

And yea, one way to create that space is by us possessing the ball-which wouldn't always work. Japan could have played deep even if we did possess and let us pass the ball around at midfield. It's not threatening when you are passing that far from goal, so it isn't a necessity to apply a lot of pressure.

Another way is when Japan had the ball, win it back and then counter (like the 1st goal) since Japan's defenders would be high up the field which is more of what I was talking about. Every time Japan pushed up, would have sent Morgan the other way as soon as we won the ball back. If Japan gets it back big deal, they had very little threatening buildup play. Obviously this isn't an effective long term strategy, but that shouldn't matter. In this particular game, it likely would have been. At tournaments, there is one goal...win. You need to take advantage of the other team's weaknesses and play to your strengths.

I just want to make sure the team is still versatile. There are times when you need to play possession and times you need to play a little more direct. We showed we can switch our style around depending on the opponent and be successful which is a good thing. I don't want to become dependent on one playing style or one formation (especially with how often coaching changes occur at the national level). Barca is amazing. But when they get in trouble (which rarely happens), they have no plan B. They just continue playing the exact same way and hope for the best which usually works. Only the major European teams pose Barca any challenge, but this happened vs Chelsea 3 years ago and Inter 2 years ago. Both those teams had great gameplans for Barca who struggled to create their usual scoring opportunities. Against Inter it was very obvious. Needing 2 goals and up a man for nearly the entire game, there was no sense of urgency just continue being patient. Barca gets away with it due to being better than everyone else, we don't have the players to become dependent on one style of play like that.

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#151894 - 07/20/11 11:35 AM Re: What a soccer game ! [Re: observer]
Backscreen17 Offline

brace

Registered: 09/23/10
Posts: 1062
Ah yes, Solo. A good keeper. But a diva. It takes a certain mindset to carry a team as a keeper. She's never really been asked to do that, except for 2 PK shootouts in the recent WWC, one of which we lost. Indeed, Japan's keeper made TWO saves, and arguably outplayed her.
That said, I think you can win a World Cup with her.
I will say though, it's hard for me to get past the incident where (rightly or wrongly) she was benched, and then pretty harshly criticized Brianna Scurry.
I also think that she is (at least somewhat) a product of an appearance-driven, backstory-driven publicity machine.
LEAD the team. THEN become the media darling.
By that, I mean, step up. As good as she is, Wambach actually stepped up IN THE CLUTCH. Morgan blossomed on-stage. Rapinoe stepped up.
Solo saved a (mediocre) shootout/PK attempt vs. Brazil -- full credit for the situation.
But I'd also argue that she didn't really help settle her defenders vs. Sweden and Japan.

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#151895 - 07/20/11 11:40 AM Re: What a soccer game ! [Re: TSO]
Coach Chass Offline
Coach

Registered: 05/09/02
Posts: 2197
Loc: Charleston/Berkeley
I think you hit it on the head...versatility. There is a time to play for speed on a quick counterplay (as in Morgan's goal, which worked beautifully) and a time to possess, slow the game down, and create your own opportunities while denying the other team theirs. Any time a team relies exclusively on one tactic without mastering others, they are handicapped. For best results, the tactics have to fit the situation, and I don't think there is a one-size-fits-all that is most effective for every moment of every game against every opponent.
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#151896 - 07/20/11 12:18 PM Re: What a soccer game ! [Re: Coach Chass]
Coach Chass Offline
Coach

Registered: 05/09/02
Posts: 2197
Loc: Charleston/Berkeley
That said, the more technical ability a team has--the better their ability to control the ball and the pace--the more tactical versatility they have.
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I've got good news and bad news...

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#151897 - 07/20/11 12:25 PM Re: What a soccer game ! [Re: Coach Chass]
Backscreen17 Offline

brace

Registered: 09/23/10
Posts: 1062
Good points from a Coach's perspective.

The next question is: Once you've assembled and developed all the right versatile "buttons" to push, who's doing the pushing?

I could easily argue that Sundhage -- an immensely popular PLAYERS' coach -- is not the right person to take our WNT to another level. To me, she was clearly the right coach in the wake of the 2007 WWC debacle ... an outsider and a healer, who implied a fresh start.

This is NOT to say she should be released. Or that she is the "wrong" coach to move forward. But I'm curious, does anyone else have the sense that "status quo" in the coach's area won't be good enough four years from now?

As a coach, what do you think?

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#151898 - 07/20/11 01:27 PM Re: What a soccer game ! [Re: Backscreen17]
adidaskitten86 Offline
corner kick

Registered: 04/17/06
Posts: 273
Loc: SC
I don't think the problem is such an easy fix as just finding the right coach for the senior team right now. I'm from the generation of girls playing for this WNT and the problem runs all the way back, as usual, to development, both at the club and ODP levels. Growing up, coaches rewarded flashy over smart and dependable and ODP valued loyalty over finding the right, best players. That's not to say that it didn't work entirely, because we do end up with some very talented girls moving up through the system, but, for the most part, unless you were selected at the U14 or under level, it was nearly impossible to get identified as you got older.

Also, I knew very few coaches growing up who actually taught players how to read the game and play intelligently over relying on their skill/athleticism if they make mistakes. Play was always reactive and almost no one sat you down to say, "Okay, look at how everyone's set up right now...where's the most likely place Player X is going to pass the ball? Should you be making that run to that open space/defending that space?" I can't even count the number of times it was blatantly obvious where a pass was likely to go in the WC, and yet there's no Team USA player within 20 yards of the receiver. We'd scramble to cover her AFTER she got the ball, but by then she'd had so much space she could either take a shot or drop the ball off to a player who was left unmarked by the scramble.

That kind of play is all well and good, for the most part, if you have the athleticism to make flashy comebacks and saves, but if you rely only on the scramble, it opens you up for more and more stupid defensive mistakes that lose you goals. If you learn to be proactive and smart about your play when you're young, it can make a huge difference in the game. The problem is, it often means you look like you're working less (because you probably are since you aren't running around in a flashy scramble to save your butt) and a lot of coaches were never taught to look at players and say "hey, you know, Jane Doe doesn't make as many super fast saves down the sideline as Joanie, but now that I think of it, it's because she wins the ball or forces the pass before it gets to that point."

You end up seeing these weak points up through to the WNT level and it's hurting us. You could argue that Lloyd and Boxx had no place in running (or barely covering) the midfield or taking PKs in the final after being fairly useless in previous games. Megan Rapinoe was a sparkplug and assisted crucial goals and only got two starts. We were rewarding loyalty and seniority over effort and determination.

We don't even look at covering the most obvious pass option, we rely on last minute defensive saves that could have been prevented, and we get burned by other teams who HAVE learned to play smarter and anticipate who can slip in and steal poor passes or take advantage of those open players. Our athleticism and endurance will help us out of many a rut, but as other countries keep teaching intelligent, tactical play...well, it's easier to improve your conditioning than to teach a style of play to adults who've been playing the game a certain way for a decade and a half.
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#151899 - 07/20/11 01:37 PM Re: What a soccer game ! [Re: adidaskitten86]
Backscreen17 Offline

brace

Registered: 09/23/10
Posts: 1062
Very good points, all.

They point to a larger, systemic problem -- namely, some major shortcomings among youth coaches and the system that fosters them.

I know it frustrates the bejesus out of me.

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