A roadmap for U.S. women's soccer emerges from Olympic failure

The Victory Tour this year will be more of a Farewell Tour.

That’s not really a bad thing. The U.S. women’s soccer team is full of older players who, no matter how they played in Japan over the past two weeks, have a long list of accomplishments worth celebrating. And we should treat it as if it really is the end and not one of a boxer’s “retirement” fights or an Eagles tour.

In the mid-2000s, women’s soccer in the USA was in the doldrums. The WUSA had failed, and nothing replaced it. Winning the 2008 Olympics helped, but the Olympic spotlight is shared with so many, and we didn’t really see things pick up until a breathtaking 2011 World Cup. The 2012 Olympic gold medal required a bit of a fortunate call in the semifinals, an incident that provided a revenge storyline for Canada this week, but comprehensive wins in the 2015 World Cup semifinal and final would’ve been enough to these players’ legacies no matter what happened after that.

A lot of that success is due to the stars of the 4-3 win over Australia in the bronze-medal game: Megan Rapinoe, who may have been overrated in recent years but was underrated long before that, and Carli Lloyd, who has scored some of the most important goals in women’s soccer history -- some scrappy, some spectacular. Alex Morgan has been one of the most dangerous strikers the game has ever seen. Becky Sauerbrunn never got the recognition she deserved because she simply locked down the defense rather than coming forward to score goals. Tobin Heath and Christen Press raised the bar for the skill level to which young players should aspire.

So make the rounds one more time, with the hopes that we’ll have enough vaccinated people and masks to turn back the Delta variant and allow big crowds to give them the ovations they deserve.

Then it’ll be time to face the future.

We’ve learned now that mere tinkering doesn’t work. It’s not just these particular players. It’s a system that has grown stale, something we’ve seen over the years but was glossed over when the team managed to win one more championship in 2019.

In the long run, a loss in the Olympics may be what the U.S. women’s soccer program needed. The questions that needed to be asked outside of back-channel whispers may finally be asked by people who are no longer star-struck by the mere sight of a Rapinoe or a Morgan.

The system -- indeed, the women’s soccer community as a whole -- has spent too much time celebrating the wrong things. Legacies in soccer aren’t supposed to be made in friendlies, where players rack up gaudy numbers of caps and goals.

To U.S. Soccer’s credit, they’ve made efforts to make some friendlies more important than others by creating events such as the SheBelieves Cup -- only to be excoriated in legal arguments for not making the SheBelieves Cup the equal of the men’s Gold Cup or Copa America. But the federation and the team are both complicit in treating this team as a traveling circus in which the stars -- making an annual salary that limited their coaches’ capacity to replace them -- play all the time.

Vlatko Andonovski deserves a chance to rebuild this team, with open competition for places. But it’s not as simple as saying Andonovski needs to get younger players. In too many cases, those players don’t exist. That might change as the NWSL continues its growth, though it would still be nice if all the pundits and sponsors bleating “equal pay” would notice the league’s existence, but the USA has simply fallen behind in terms of development.

These are all things that can be addressed in part with the next collective bargaining agreement. Lest we forget, the current CBA expires in five months. It’s just difficult to talk about future pay when the current team refuses to accept legal and economic reality about back pay.

It’s going to take a partnership to move forward. That doesn’t mean a hilariously hollow amicus brief from the U.S. men’s national team union as the women continue to try to use the men’s deal, which basically said, “Oh, sure, if you win the World Cup, you’ll get eleventy billion dollars because FIFA will pay us infinity billion dollars,” as the benchmark for what they should’ve made in the past. That doesn’t mean releasing a misleading documentary on HBO on the eve of the Olympics.

It’ll take the men, the women and the federation (and maybe sponsors) figuring out how to invest in development and share the benefits of FIFA and Concacaf prize money even as FIFA and Concacaf aren’t even close to offering the same bonus equity that other sports have managed to figure out. The men have no foundation from which to preach until they join forces with the women and negotiate together.

It might even take losing a friendly or playing a game without all of the big names, all in the name of expanding the player pool so that the team is no longer reliant on the same players who did very well in the past but are no longer at that level.

The Olympics have given us all a dose of reality. Teams aren’t going to shudder in fear when they look across the field and see a bunch of celebrities wearing whatever combination of red, white and blue Nike has concocted this year. Sweden and Canada both knew they could beat the USA using different styles -- Sweden with a “damn the torpedoes” approach, Canada with a more patient approach. The Netherlands knew, perhaps a bit more confidently than in 2019, that they had the players who could compete with the vaunted Americans.

How we adapt to that reality may determine whether the team’s 2023 experiences will resemble 2019 or 2021.

40 comments about "A roadmap for U.S. women's soccer emerges from Olympic failure".
  1. Jim Mashek, August 4, 2021 at 7:38 p.m.

    "Victory" tour. Blech. It's time to test the next generation, not for a farewell tour.

    Honest question, though: are non-allocated players like Horan required to join the tour, if it's outside international windows like previous ones?

  2. Bob Ashpole, August 4, 2021 at 10:36 p.m.

    Good article, Beau. Jill Ellis was constantly tweaking the team and the way they played always looking to improve through new tactics and new players. That didn't happen after she left.

    I want the team to move into positional play, but I don't think the current coach is up to that and I think USSF opposes it. Under Ellis, she had brought them about 75% of the way. They (current management) strike me as being in the Anti-Cruyff camp and worse still, living in the past.

    What I want to see is keeping the USWNT culture of physical agressive, attacking soccer and add a more sophisticated technical and tactical aspect to their style. Not going to happen though.

    I was shocked when management's game plan against Australia was to play defensive soccer for the tie. They should have went for the win and the top of the group. I see that as a morale breaker sending a message to the players that the coach didn't believe in them. Big mistake.

    I don't see the USSF management, which brought us the failed 2018 men's cycle and the yet another failure to qualify for the Olympics, changing their view of the game. 

    The longevity of the players has meant that the senior team only had to add 1 or 2 new players a year. That was a huge advanatage in having the WNT play more like a club team. The other advantage was that the WNT program was run by the best women's coaches in the world. This methodology has worked. The WNT is the most successful national team program in the world. But USSF changed the methodology, starting with stripping the coach of authority to make changes in how the team plays and giving it to Earnie Stewart.

  3. Santiago 1314 replied, August 5, 2021 at 4:43 p.m.

    1st Beau, This is an Excellent Synopsis of the Problem... Kudos to you.
    Bob, I will Look Back on some of the Old Game Reports from Jill Ellis WC 2019
    As I recall:{hahaha I can't remember what I had for Lunch :)} We were not too Happy with the play of the Team as the Tourney Started and were Ready to Crucify her...
    But, She Figured it Out and Won, So she Deserves ALL the Credit.
    There was enough Talent on this Squad to Win it All, With some Luck again maybe,
    But, the "Fear" in the Eyes of the Opposition was Not there,
    The Aura of American Women's Soccer Exceptionalism was Obviously Gone, For All to see..
    "The Empress had NO Clothes.!!!"

  4. frank schoon replied, August 5, 2021 at 5:38 p.m.

    We had so much talent and we were so far ahead of our competition that coaching was only a secondary consideration.....

  5. Santiago 1314 replied, August 5, 2021 at 5:47 p.m.

    Bob; here is one of your Posts from 2019... I'm still Digging...

    • "Bob Ashpole replied, June 29, 2019 at 1:09 a.m.

      The entire team stepped up and was outstanding, and there were lots of 1v1 battles won. Rapinoe had a great night. Dunn was simply amazing. 

      Ellis made a surprising, gutsy move switching to a 541, but she certainly judged the French correctly. I can't recall ever seeing a USWNT play catenaccio before.

      France is a great team. 

      I am not going to comment on the officials. They deserve to be shunned."

  6. Santiago 1314 replied, August 5, 2021 at 6:42 p.m.

    Actually Bob, it was the 2015 WC, that we "Questioned" if Ellis had Coaching Ability...
    But Look at my Comments from then; At Least I'm Consistent.!!!

    "Santiago 1314, June 13, 2015 at 12:54 a.m.

    @Kate...unfortunately our younger players are even worse...Oh, for the days of Anson Dorrance..... Pay for play has destroyed the woman's game... Focus on winning and recruiting has killed off skills development.... We R no longer dominant...throw in the Astroturf fields and this will be the ugliest womens World Cup ever!!!"

  7. Santiago 1314 replied, August 5, 2021 at 6:45 p.m.

    More from 2015,

    "kate bartlet, June 12, 2015 at 11:54 p.m.

    Morgan Brian is not qualified. This was a joke as this is the best " offense" USA has? Heather O'Reilly. Tobin Heath. Jill Ellis is a loser! Stop playing girls you Like and start playing best 11. Can we get a real Coach?? Tonight against Sweden was embarrassing"

  8. Santiago 1314 replied, August 5, 2021 at 6:49 p.m.

    And more;

    "Kenneth Barr, June 13, 2015 at 6:44 p.m.

    This performance is down to the refusal of the coaching staff to put the players on the pitch that suit the tactics being employed. Leaving the tallest player you have on the bench and then playing high balls onto the box is absurd. Either start Wambach or change the attacking tactics to suit the players on the pitch. It is far easier to play the players best suited to the tactics than force players to adjust their game to suit the tactics. Let's get with it, Jill Ellis and staff."

  9. Santiago 1314 replied, August 5, 2021 at 6:53 p.m.

    Mas y Mas... Funny to read our Old Posts...
    The Players Names Change, but the "Situations" are the Same...

    "Carl Hudson, June 13, 2015 at noon

    Time to play Julie Johnston at midfield,
    Rampone replacing her in the back. Time to START Morgan up front, keep Lazy Leroux, inept Press, unqualified Brian,
    over-the-hill Wambach, and useless Holiday on the bench.

    This USA coach has no clue about who her best players are. And it seems like there is some hidden reason why Morgan is not starting and playing more."

  10. Santiago 1314 replied, August 5, 2021 at 6:55 p.m.

    And here is one of You Bob, in your Ever Consistent Lawyerly Fashion...

    "Bob Ashpole, June 14, 2015 at 12:35 p.m.

    The team is a work in progress. The defensive play clearly improved from the first match. Now it is time to improve the attacking play. I was very surprised at how physical the referee allowed the play to get. I don't understand the referee allowing markers to pull down players in the box while calling corners and free kicks near the box tight. Opponents are going to note it and the shut-out. So expect to see a lot more physical play against the USA. And some ugly soccer as a result."

  11. Santiago 1314 replied, August 5, 2021 at 7:27 p.m.

    Last One, I promise(maybe)... The only Difference, 2015 Team "BELIEVED in USA, This years Team Does Not... See the Difference???

    "Santiago 1314, June 22, 2015 at 11:36 p.m.

    Awesome, Wonderful, Way to Play, Que Toque, Que Classe!!! What a Display of Skill and Technique!!.. Oops, I'm Talking about Colombia... USA???..How Embarrasing, Terrible, Disgusting, Disjointed Ridiculus High School Soccer...Actually, I've seen better High School Teams, Even On TURF...We Suck,!!! BUT; JUST WIN BABY, WIN...I Told you all...We can't play...But, We are THE USA!!! The Greatest Country the World has ever seen, The Greatest Women's Soccer Teams EVER...And this "American Exceptionalism" "Never say Die" attitude is worth ONE Goal a game...And if the Defense will hold up, We will WIN this Ugliest of Women's World Cups EVER...We are the U.S. of "F"ing America and WE BELIEVE THAT WE CAN WIN!!!!!"

  12. Bob Ashpole replied, August 5, 2021 at 11:34 p.m.

    I am lost Santi. Why do you think killing off the game with France by switching to a 541 is inconsistent with my complaint that the team played defensive soccer going for a tie against Austrailia in the last group match?

    Killing off a match to protect a lead is different from playing defensive soccer from the first minute of the match. I cannot believe that you don't understand the difference.

  13. Kevin Parker replied, August 10, 2021 at 9:43 p.m.

    It was impossible for the US to finish at "the top of the group". They could have beaten Australia 35-0 but would still have been behind on standings points. That being said, I agree that not playing for a win had to be demoralizing.

  14. R2 Dad, August 5, 2021 at 12:05 a.m.

    "players rack up gaudy numbers of caps and goals."

    I think the WNT has fixated on the wrong metrics. If USSF is doing their jobs, no player should exceed 200 caps. And this victory tour nonsense needs to end; that's focusing on financial returns vs player development. Maybe Jill Ellis was able to juggle all that but without any authority Vlatko isn't going to have the juice to do the same.I agree with Bob, positional play is required going forward, but we don't select players with that in mind. We have 2 years to make it happen.

  15. F. Farshad, August 5, 2021 at 1:05 a.m.

    I agree with article but like to point that our current U30 players on the team didn't show anything either. Women's Olympic soccer should also become an U23 tournament to prepare the younger players better.   

  16. R2 Dad replied, August 5, 2021 at 1:29 a.m.

    Agreed, GB managed to meld two separate groups into  one team for two senate competitions. Vlatko should be able to manage this as well for U23 Olympics and World Cup qualification and tournament play.

  17. Bob Ashpole replied, August 5, 2021 at 6:16 a.m.

    There is a big difference. The WNT is expected to win gold and win the world cup. We are happy if the MNT just makes it out of group.

  18. Adam Cohen replied, August 5, 2021 at 1:25 p.m.

    agree with this. 

    wouldn't it have been cool to field an Olympic team consisting of the next generation players.  USA has plenty of talent and it would be way more interesting to see them in Olympics gaining important international experience.

  19. Santiago 1314 replied, August 5, 2021 at 4:48 p.m.

    Adam, I am waiting for someone to Produce a List of Younger WORLD CLASS USA Players to Replace this Group...
    I have asked Multiple People on this and other Websites for NAMES..!?!?!?
    You got Any.???
    ( Sadly, I don't think they Exist... Please SOMEONE, ANYONE ... Prove Me Wrong.!!!)

  20. Santiago 1314 replied, August 5, 2021 at 4:48 p.m.

    Adam, I am waiting for someone to Produce a List of Younger WORLD CLASS USA Players to Replace this Group...
    I have asked Multiple People on this and other Websites for NAMES..!?!?!?
    You got Any.???
    ( Sadly, I don't think they Exist... Please SOMEONE, ANYONE ... Prove Me Wrong.!!!)

  21. frank schoon, August 5, 2021 at 9:44 a.m.

    'ROADMAP', REALLY???? And what is this roadmap? All I hear is 'too many old players', 'weak coaching', "weak tactics','need to make changes'.....WOW, what a roadmap, what insights!!!

    Reading the points of what is wrong with our women's team is just as scary as reading is what is happening to them.....

    I'm not surprised of what is happening to our women's team for I've been criticizing their play for years. All you have to do is  to look at their technical/tactical play....THEY DON'T PLAY GOOD SOCCER, and neither do their opponents. The only difference is that our opponents are improving...Are we improving...NO!!! You need to improve the level of the game....and it's not about 'ATHLETICISM'!!!!! You notice our competition is giving us a game not due to ATLETICISM, but more on aspects of soccer... Those aspects are not taught to our 'developing' players' due to our INADEQUATE coaching and training, throughout our pyramidical structure.

    The level of soccer the women play as stated by a former Ajax great is that women's soccer is comparable to the level of a 5th division men's Amateur ball....There is a reason why Anson Dorrance , once stated his women's team will not play a boys team above U16.   In other words there is plenty of improvement for women to gain.

    Let's look at one aspect of improvement,technically speaking, passing employing the outside of the foot....Just like the men, that has become a lost art... The tempo of the game can be improved without  having to increase the speed of running, or quickly passing the ball(NEITHER OF WHICH HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH TEMPO) but applying the right technique at the right moment.

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  22. frank schoon, August 5, 2021 at 10:22 a.m.

    Lets look at how our centerbacks receive a ball from the backs. First of all, have you noticed how the backline are all stationary when receiving the ball, 'a la Subuteo'. Not only does a player receive the ball stationary, but his/her teammate directly ahead of her does not create space in front of the receiver so the receiver can receive the ball on the run with a view facing downfield and has gained more field space further downfield, and for her midfielders to operate in and at the same time create numerical superiority allowing for secondary ball retrieval.....I'll stop here , for I don't want get too far into the weeds, here.

    Getting back to the outside of the foot pass, as an example, note how many steps and movements the nearest centerback takes upon receiving the ball and switching it to the other. A pass from a right back to a right centerback should be in a manner that you receive it with inside of left, directing it, allowing just enough space for you to turn and pass with the outside of the right. BINGO!!!
    Next time watch how many movements it takes for a centerback to switch it....It takes WAY too much time ,resulting in giving the opponents time to adjust defensively for they can read what is going to happen. These are simple A,B,C'S. WHERE ARE THE A-LICENSED COACHES TEACHING THIS? This is the problem , we have LAPTOP COACHES, who ,if they try making an outside of the foot pass like this, would break their ankle. 

    There is so much out there technicall/tactically speaking that needs improvement,but you won't hear it coming from these socalled license experts....Just look at women college soccer  what a joke this is. These parents have been paying top money for their daughter to learn soccer in order to play college ball....and just look at the poor quality of women's college soccer....PATHETIC. Realize they are learning throughout the years, little, although someone making good money giving a poor product....

    I hear nothing of the details of the game that needs improvement for that is what is all about!!!

  23. Santiago 1314 replied, August 5, 2021 at 4:50 p.m.

    I Loved Subuteo.!!! ... oh, you Bring back Good Memories.!!!

  24. David Ruder, August 5, 2021 at 1:20 p.m.

    Less complaining would give more time to concentrate on the fundamentals of the game, would improve their game. 

  25. Wayne Norris, August 5, 2021 at 1:46 p.m.

    This is an excellent article and Beau is the only member of soccer media that ever seems to call out the USWNT on the "economic and legal realities of equal back pay".

    Also great points on how USWNT is focused on individual CAPS, Goals, etc against lower competition as well as, ridiculous comparison of FIFA men's bonuses and MISLEADING documentary.....among others.

    Also included in this article but rarely discussed is the dynamic of who has $100k salary and how that plays into selection....

    I would love to know more about how the 23 salaried players are determined, is that guaranteed annually or are those players swapped in and out of the salaried position, etc.

    Either way it will be nice to see change!!

  26. Beau Dure replied, August 5, 2021 at 2:08 p.m.

    The number of salaried players is down to 16. The CBA that's about to expire called for 20 in the first year, dropping by one each year.

    It'll be interesting to see how many they'll have next year if the CBA expires.

  27. Bob Ashpole replied, August 5, 2021 at 11:44 p.m.

    It isn't just the WNT impacted by this. It hurts the NWSL too. Those players and salaries were a subsidy for the NWSL owners. Previously each club got 2 national team players. Now some clubs are only getting 1. 

    This is hurting our WNT program.

  28. Robert Ray, August 5, 2021 at 1:55 p.m.

    A good, thoughtful article (thanks) and very good comments from the four folks above me.  I totally agree the the women's soccer should shadow the men and play at the U23 (over enen U21) level, which would encourage development of younger players not only in the US but in all nations.
    Further I strongly agree with the comments about a victory tour...2 Ws, 2Ls and 2Ts does NOT suggest a victory in any sense of the word!!  The BIGGEST obstacle IMHO to the WNT is the USSF.
    If the current structure of the USSF (micro managing politicians) remains the WNT will be a second class organization at best. Coach Andonovski has NO CHANCE to fix this situation (USSF interference) and his replacements wouldn't either for the same interferring/micro managing reason.  If the USSF remains as it is today we will never win another WWCup or our first MWCup.

  29. Mark Landefeld, August 5, 2021 at 2:37 p.m.

    Would it be heretical to suggest the NWSL subsidies end, let more WNT players find opportunities in Europe, then have a better comparision basis with the MNT for negotiations and turn our elite development over to the continent with more money and interst in doing this?

    i.e. Do what's happened in the Men's game?

    A year ago, I don't think anyone owuld have suggested that Andovski's tenure would be at greater risk than Berhalter's now.

  30. Mark Landefeld, August 5, 2021 at 2:46 p.m.

    ... and calling "comprehensive wins in the 2015 World Cup semifinal and final" is ludricous if you are looking at player development.  Julie Johnson should have been red carded and a PK awarded to Germany in the semi -- USWNT got through on some bad officiating.  And the final would have been far more level (and interesting) had the same Japanese back not lost track of Carli Lloyd THREE times in less than 30 minutes.  There were no dominating TEAM performances there.  As happens in many tournaments, outcomes arise from a mistake here or there.

    2019 WWC was more "dominating" by the US, but the tournament still showed that Europe was catching up.

  31. Peter Bechtold replied, August 6, 2021 at 12:49 a.m.

    Mark L. You make some excellent points. I only take issue with your last sentence re the 2019 WC . I watched the key match from beginning to end 3 times: the key match for the US was the quarterfinal vs. France. The US went up 2-0 in the first half and was completely dominated by France in the second. The French scored one goal by their towering CB but could have had more. The key in that game was Rapinoe's goal after about 4 minutes which set a tone. Rapinoe was given a free kick just outside the box after SHE committed a clear foul against the French defender who had out-run her to the ball. She came up from behind and then fell to the ground.(She has been doing this a lot lately). Inexplicably, the referee gave a foul FOR her when in fact SHE had committed the violation. I have watched most matches in Japan and the Women's refereeing is still in its infancy. It reminds you of youth matches where inexperienced referees call in favor of whoever winds up on the ground. Truly pathetic.
    Rapinoe took the ensuing free kick which rolled across the goalmouth into the far corner. Incredible. Back home, we used to say:My grandmother would have stopped that ball.(BTW,Grandmothers do not attend soccer matches back home). In addition, the French GK FELL backwards without being touched; a sight impossible in a JV soccer match.
    But without all that, The USWNT would likely not have advanced. After that, they benefitted from the schedule. They won alright, but were they best ?? I agree with Frank Schoon.

  32. frank schoon, August 5, 2021 at 3:03 p.m.

    The team is doing poorly, and so the suggestions by some of the commenters is nothing about technical or tactical applications, what is happening on the field, player development.....Nah, who cares about that but it is all about equal pay, subsidies, other monetary obligatonS. WOW, THAT'S WHAT WRONG WITH OUR TEAM. I get it, now we're on right ROADMAP.....

  33. Santiago 1314 replied, August 5, 2021 at 5:17 p.m.

    You are Correct Frank... It has been all too common, in the Last 15 years, for our Youth Pay-to-Play and College Coaches to Make our Women... "PLAY THE WAY YOU ARE FACING.!!!".. "One Touch.!!!" ... "Don't Dribble.!!!" ... "Pass, Pass, PASS THE BALL.!!!" ... They "Literally" Beat the Skill Out of the Creative Youngsters... and "The Chickens have Come Home To Roost" ... 

    The Same Problem became Self Evident on the Men's Side, That is why there is only a Few Players over 24 On the Starting 11 ... When Most National Teams average 28.
    I see it as a 10 year Gap, 32yrs old to current 22 yrs old... We have Lost a Generation of National Team Quality Players...
    We really Shouldn't HAVE to be Building the Men's National Team around 20 year olds... But, WE ARE.!!!
    How did the Men Fix this Issue SOOO Fast.???
    We need to employ the same Strategies here.!!!

    I Fear that the Gap on the Women's Side is 15 years... We CAN'T be Building our Women's National Team around 15 year Old Girls.!!!

  34. Santiago 1314 replied, August 5, 2021 at 5:17 p.m.

    You are Correct Frank... It has been all too common, in the Last 15 years, for our Youth Pay-to-Play and College Coaches to Make our Women... "PLAY THE WAY YOU ARE FACING.!!!".. "One Touch.!!!" ... "Don't Dribble.!!!" ... "Pass, Pass, PASS THE BALL.!!!" ... They "Literally" Beat the Skill Out of the Creative Youngsters... and "The Chickens have Come Home To Roost" ... 

    The Same Problem became Self Evident on the Men's Side, That is why there is only a Few Players over 24 On the Starting 11 ... When Most National Teams average 28.
    I see it as a 10 year Gap, 32yrs old to current 22 yrs old... We have Lost a Generation of National Team Quality Players...
    We really Shouldn't HAVE to be Building the Men's National Team around 20 year olds... But, WE ARE.!!!
    How did the Men Fix this Issue SOOO Fast.???
    We need to employ the same Strategies here.!!!

    I Fear that the Gap on the Women's Side is 15 years... We CAN'T be Building our Women's National Team around 15 year Old Girls.!!!

  35. R2 Dad replied, August 5, 2021 at 5:30 p.m.

    Frank, part of the problem is the linking between NWSL and USSF/MLS. There appears to be a preference for NWSL players at the expense of USWNT success. There is no other logical explanation why Emily Sonnett (Washington Spriit) comes in for Press instead of Macario (Lyon), who wasn't even on the bench vs Australia. Or when they lost to Canada and needed creative energy. Lavelle (OL Reign), Mewis (Courage), Lloyd(Gotham FC), Morgan (Orlando, 10+ years in US), Heath (out of contract but 7 years at Portland Thorns), Rapinoe (OL Reign), Press (out of contract but 5 years in the league)--all NWSL (Dunn & Horan previously) players. In fact, i think USSF is punishing Macario for not playing in the US. How else do you explain why one of the most gifted players is left off the roster in presumably must-win games?

  36. frank schoon replied, August 5, 2021 at 5:33 p.m.

    Santiago, you said it perfectly..<" "The Chickens have Come Home To Roost" "> and I'm afraid that mentality is not getting better in coaching for unless you have or had great skills as a player no matter the level of soccer one has played, that is a great determinate in how you want youth to play....


  37. Bob Ashpole replied, August 5, 2021 at 11:50 p.m.

    R2 Dad, my assumption was that Macario wasn't 100% fit, not that the coach was conspiring against her.

  38. Santiago 1314, August 5, 2021 at 5:19 p.m.

    Sorry, Not Sure why I am Getting Double Posts.???

  39. John Soares, August 6, 2021 at 11:47 p.m.

    Wow!... the BEST team in the history of soccer (men or women) only got a bronze after 4 golds and one silver. (6 metals in 7 opportunities)
    AND, that's after 4 gold 1 silver and 3 bronze (8 for 8) in W C.
    You would think the world just ended.
    YES.. it was disappointing... unexpected and they did play poorly.
    The "old" ladies Lloyd and Rapinoe showed why they deserved another shot.... and yes, we have plenty of potential stars waiting to step up.
    The future looks bright......
    Want to trash something/someone 
    Where were the men???

  40. Kent James replied, August 8, 2021 at 2:01 p.m.

    Yes, that any team can dominate the world at this point is a pretty high bar.  Teams have bad games, they get unlucky, a call may go against them.  No team can assure domination.  This team was old, but I don't see the young players that should be playing instead (yes, that is probably a real problem for the future, but that's a different topic).  A bit unlucky not to beat Canada (especially given what I would argue was a more clear foul against Rapinoe in the bronze medal game was not called).  No denying the US could have played better, but even so, they did pretty well...(and had they made it to the Gold Medal game, I wouldn't have bet against them).  

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