Women's General Football Discussion

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Post by McLewis Fri Jul 15, 2022 8:41 pm

Summer update:

So July kicked off some major international tournaments:

CONCACAF's W Championship
Womens' AFCON
Womens' EUROS
CONMEBOL's Copa America Feminina
OFC Women's Nations Cup

I haven't been able to keep up with that last one, but if you follow me on twitter, you know I've been keeping up with all of the others.

Starting with CONCACAF, it's already at the final stage where USA will face Canada in a rematch of the 2020 Olympics semi-final match. Canada are favorites for this one. They've looked absolutely imperious throughout this comp whereas USA have struggled at times against teams they really should be beating easily. Both have already qualified automatically for the 2023 WC by reaching this stage. They'll be joined Down Under by Jamaica and Costa Rica. Haiti and Panama still have a path to the WC, but will have to win a inter-confederation playoff.

In Africa, the WAFCON semis are set as Nigeria will take on Zambia as well as South Africa taking on hosts Morocco. All 4 of these sides have qualified automatically for the WC. This has highkey been a really entertaining tournament to watch. Lots of ballers all over, particular from Botswana, Zambia and South Africa. Burundi also acquitted themselves well. My team in this comp, Senegal, have actually been pretty disappointing. At this point, I think the favorite is probably South Africa, however I'll be rooting for Nigeria. South Africa actually won the first meeting in this comp between them, as they were in the same group, but it wouldn't surprise me if they meet again in the final. I won't sleep on Zambia though. Their captain, the dynamic and ultra-talented Barbra Banda, may be banned from this comp (for a very stupid reason), but they weren't expected to get out of their group so there's no pressure on them and they're playing like it. Fun team to watch.

In Europe, we're on Matchday 3 of the EUROs group stage and 2 favorites have already emerged in France and hosts England, who have both already qualified for the knockouts. France smashed Italy 5-1 in their opener while England absolutely obliterated 11th ranked Norway in theirs, with a 8-0 shutout. Defending champs the Netherlands look steady enough while Spain were supposed to make some noise, but have instead lost both Alexia Putellas (torn ACL) and Jenni Hermoso (knee) so their prospects of a deep run look bleek. The remaining dark horse, Sweden, look their normal selves: Steady, but unspectacular. They'll go deep. The 2 sides I've liked the most outside of the favorites have been Iceland and Portugal. Both are really fun teams to watch.

In South America, Copa America Feminina is also in Matchday 3 with favorites Brazil, hosts Colombia, Paraguay and Venezuela have all qualified for the knockout stage. Argentina and Chile will advance to a 5th place game. Neither side can finish any better than 3rd in this tournament as a result, which  may yet yield a WC berth as the winner of the 3rd place match joins the finalists as the region's 3rd representative in Australia/New Zealand. The winner of the tournament will also face the winner of the Euros in a new fixture called UEFA-CONMEBOL Women's Finalissima, mirroring the one that took place on the men's side.

In Oceania, this is a strange one as usually the winner of this tournament goes on to be the region's sole representative at the WC, however given New Zealand, a member of this federation, is a host, that sole berth was given to them. So none of these teams will be there, meaning they're playing solely to win this competition and not much else. To that end, it's still in the group stages with Samoa, Cook Islands, Papua New Guinea, Tahiti, Fiji and Solomon Islands all qualifying for the knockouts.

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Post by McLewis Mon Aug 01, 2022 12:27 am

So England have just won Euro 2022, beating Germany 2-1 in extra time with goals from Ella Toone of Manchester United and Chloe Kelly of Manchester City. Germany scored their goal through Lina Magull of Bayern Munich.

This is England's first Euro win and the 2nd for their Dutch coach, Sarina Wiegman, who coached her home country to the 2018 Euros title.

England's Beth Mead took home the Golden Boot while Germany's Lina Oberdorf took home the Best Young Player award.

The game itself was an a real advert for the women's match and it really should bring added interest to the upcoming WSL and Frauen Bundesliga seasons. The WSL in particular stands to benefit a lot from this. Chelsea and Arsenal are already powerhouses, but Man United, Liverpool, Man City and Spurs all continue to lag behind in truly investing in top quality talent. Only City can really say its made some strides in that, but they need a better coach. Man United do have 2 of England's best talents in Ella Toone and Alessia Russo, but the club have failed utterly in providing a good environment for women's players. It has to do better. Germany will feel they took their foot off the pedal in the 2nd half of ET as they looked in control for most of this game, especially the 2nd 45. They were missing their top scorer in Alex Popp who was forced out just before kickoff with an injury as well as Klara Buehl, their top playmaker from midfield. Without them, they struggled to create chances and their stalwart defense just couldn't go the distance against England's dynamic passing from midfield through Keira Walsh and Fran Kirby.

Elsewhere, USA beat Canada 1-0 to win the CONCACAF W Championship Final, South Africa beat Morocco 2-1 in the Women's AFCON Final, and Brazil beat Colombia 1-0 in the Copa America Feminina Final.

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Post by BarrileteCosmico Mon Aug 01, 2022 2:14 am

And one day it did come home Proud

Its nice to see this get the attention it deserves
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Post by Ben Mon Aug 01, 2022 8:40 pm

I saw this matchc last night.

Congrats to the Lionesses! They were excellent throughout the entire tournament and deserved to win. Smile
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Post by Myesyats Mon Aug 01, 2022 8:43 pm

Epic post game interview from the England captain, what a character

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Post by McLewis Tue Aug 02, 2022 1:21 pm

Yeah that was Leah Williamson of Arsenal. This was her first major tournament as England captain. She was virtually unused in their last major tournament. Turns out she's a stalwart defender and will surely make the Tournament's Best XI. Such was the incompetence of Phil Neville.


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Post by McLewis Tue Aug 02, 2022 1:24 pm

Just about all of that England squad play their football in the WSL, which kicks off in September.

I expect bigger attendance numbers, particularly of the bigger clubs, due to this win by England.

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Post by McLewis Thu Aug 04, 2022 12:52 pm



And it sold out in less than 24 hours.

90K packed Wembley to see the World Champs take on the European Champs is the definition of a prestige friendly. USA fans have been begging for a fixture like this for quite a while. This team has only really faced Canada when it comes to the elite teams at international level since the Olympics. This would present the sternest test of Vlatko Andonovski's tenure and that of this very young USA squad since then.

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Post by Ben Thu Aug 04, 2022 5:20 pm

That'll be an epic match between the two champions.
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Post by McLewis Fri Aug 05, 2022 4:21 pm

Oh yeah, it's going to be very epic. I don't expect to see the same squads we saw in both finals as well so that adds to the interest in this fixture.

Sarina Wiegman really got away with playing a forward (Rachel Daly) as her starting LB. USA have some real weapons outwide that will absolutely exploit that. So Wiegman needs to find an actual LB who is ready to make the step up. I would also look for Ellen White to make way for Alessia Russo up top and for Ella Toone to also stake a claim for a starting position. Both have proven they're more than ready.

As for USA, we're largely OK. We just need to sunset some of these older players who just can't hang anymore. I'm looking at the likes of Kelley O'Hara, captain Becky Sauerbrunn, and Megan Rapinoe largely, but that group expand to Alex Morgan, who is only truly in contention right now due to a hot run of form as well as Tobin Heath and Christen Press, the latter of which is out with an ACL injury. All are world class players when at the top of their game, yet a new generation has emerged that are good (if not better) than each of these players in their positions, with the exception of maybe Press. Then there's the return of stalwarts like Crystal Dunn, Sam Mewis, Tierna Davidson and Lynn Williams when all are fully fit.


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Post by iftikhar Sat Aug 13, 2022 4:19 pm

DPR Korea (North Korea) is ranked 10th in the world Shocked . I know they spend a lot in sports and have their own brand of sportswashing, but this is a great achievement.
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Post by McLewis Tue Oct 04, 2022 3:31 am

I debated posting about this as I haven't been giving this thread as much attention as it deserves given that the European women's leagues have all started back up and the NWSL is entering the playoff phase (really exciting matches all around) before the big England-USA showdown. That said, 2 very major issues have popped off in the last couple of weeks:

There's the RFEF scandal going on regarding Spain WNT coach Jorge Vilda and 15 players who have asked not to be called up because they don't want to play for him. They've indicated that his style of coaching is causing mental health issues, citing that he's extremely controlling about not just their football, but their bodies. And these aren't just any 15 players. They are 15 of Spain's best with several playing for Barcelona. Spain are severely weakened without them. It's notable that no Real Madrid players were allowed to partake in this as the club have warned them against it. That's never a good sign ethically. What's worse is the RFEF have sided with Vilda and have hung these players out to dry in the media. This has emboldened Vilda who has attacked them in the media himself. It's a shitshow. Just another reason why I just don't watch Spanish football.



And now, here in the States, a major investigation into the abuse endured by many women's players over the last decade has just wrapped up. This is only 1 of many investigations occurring though it is the most high-profile given this law firm was hired by US Soccer to conduct this investigation. Sally Yates, who is most well known here for being Deputy Attorney General in the Obama administration, has been the face of the investigation. The findings from her team have been highly anticipated since this investigation was announced earlier this year. I've spent the entire day reading it (it's a 319 page PDF document, link in the tweet thread below) and frankly, it's grim, appalling read. Many of these women went through all kinds of hell.



I'm on my 2nd glass of whisky.

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Post by El Gunner Tue Oct 04, 2022 7:40 am

if it's 15 of Spain's best players, then something is definitely up.

can't be bothered to read through the pdf for the US one, TL;DR it for us
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Post by McLewis Tue Oct 04, 2022 3:24 pm

I still haven't made it all the way through the PDF, but I will for sure do a TL:DR within the next day or so.

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Post by McLewis Thu Oct 06, 2022 3:09 am

So finally finished the PDF and here's the key takeaways:

- It focused primarily on the misconduct of 3 coaches in the NWSL:
  • Paul Riley

  • Christy Holly

  • Rory Dames

Regarding Riley, he was basically accused of sexual harassment and misconduct by Mana Shim and Sinead Farrelly, whom he coached at Portland. In order for the team to not do suicide runs during practice, he asked the 2 women to kiss each other in front of him, which they did. And the team didn't have to do the drill, which shocked both players. This incident was the culmination of years of sexual obsession that Riley had developed with these 2 players, who both identify as lesbian, which both fascinated and annoyed him. He constantly made sexual advances towards them, insulted their sexuality, their bodies and linked it all to their football. He was, at the time, the winningest coach in NWSL history so he was a power broker in the league, holding near absolute power over their career trajectories. Despite that, both players sent emails to Riley asking him to stop with the sexual advances, but he deleted those emails and continued. When they wouldn't go along with the advances, he cut their playing time. At this point, they sought help from a teammate that Riley was not targeting, star player Alex Morgan. Morgan helped both players send emails to Portland's Front Office (Owner Merritt Paulson, President Mike Golub, and GM Gavin Wilkinson) as well as NWSL Commissioner Jeff Flush and his successor Lisa Baird. The only investigation that was opened was internally at the club and it ended with Riley's contract quietly not being renewed. Publicly, Portland wished him well and he eventually took over the Western New York Flash, who were not told about his sexual misconduct. After the investigation went nowhere and the NWSL failed to help, Shim and Farrelly took their stories to the media and that resulted in a bombshell article from The Equalizer. This resulted in Riley's firing from his current club the North Carolina Courage, formerly the WNY Flash. By this point, neither Shim nor Farrelly were playing anymore, despite both still being in the prime years of their careers. Baird tried to feign shock and disgust, but Alex Morgan tweeted Baird's own response to Shim, which was that there was no findings of any wrongdoing on Riley's part in the club's investigation so the matter was closed. It exposed Baird complicity in covering up Riley's misconduct and it directly led to her being forced to resign as Commissioner.

Regarding Rory Dames, he was the longest tenured coach in the NWSL. He was with the league when it began and spent all of that time with the Chicago Red Stars. Before coaching there, he coached youth soccer and owned a soccer school where he coached young girls. This is where he gained a reputation for not just being a tough coach who merely yelled at his players, but a downright cruel coach who belittled players' physical features as a means of getting them to play better. This followed him to the NWSL where it became worse until Christen Press, a mainstay with the USWNT and the Red Stars' captain at the time, complained to both Red Stars owner Arnim Whisler as well as US Soccer coach at the time, Jill Ellis, and US Soccer President Sunil Gulati. As with Portland, Dames liked to use players' sexuality as a means of belittling them. Also like Portland, investigations were opened quietly, Dames was found to have done nothing wrong and the matter was dropped. In fact, Whisler actively supported him and said all of this was designed to "take Rory out". When Press realized nothing was going to get done, she asked to be traded to a club overseas, out of NWSL. Ellis made it clear that in order to keep her place with the USWNT, Press had to stay in NWSL, which meant continuing to play under either Dames or any number of other coaches who would eventually be found to have fostered toxic environments. Press chose to force her way out of Chicago and was therefore frozen out of the USWNT until Ellis resigned as coach. Only after that, was Press brought back into the fold. As for Dames, he continued to coach the Red Stars all the way up to October of last year when a finding from an internal culture review of the club revealed that nearly every player pointed the finger at him as a major source toxicity and a poor work environment, citing specifically his tactic of isolating players and berating them ceaselessly. Even then Whisler didn't want to fire him until an independent sports psychologist reviewed the findings and conducted more surveys with players and club staff. The findings from that analysist were even more damning for Dames. Whisler turned on him instantly and fired him. As with Riley, US Soccer suspended his coaching license, preventing him from getting hired at any other club.

Regarding Christy Holly, his modus operandi, while at both Sky Blue FC and Racing Louisville, was to single out a player a day after match, invite her to his office to review tape from that match and for every mistake she made, he would touch her in inappropriate places. Unlike Dames and Riley, Holly had virtually no coaching experience when he took over at Sky Blue FC, such were the abysmally low standards in the NWSL at the time. He was an unpaid, part-time volunteer with the club that just hung around the players. That's all it took for him to get the coaching position. He never held a coaching license during his entire tenure at Sky Blue FC. By the time he was hired as the inaugural coach of expansion side Racing Louisville, Holly had a reputation throughout the league for making dirty jokes on the regular at the expense of virtually all players on his team. He specifically targeted one player more than others, Erin Simon. With her, he went way beyond dirty jokes. She described instances of Holly groping her, sexting her and challenging her to do the same.  Given the power imbalance, Simon felt she had to do so in order to keep her position on the team so she did. This continued even after she left the club for the Houston Dash. In fact, it got worse. Because Holly lived in the same apartment building as his players, he had near constant physical access to Simon and he utilized it relentlessly. When she finally told him to stop touching her, Holly did, but then began verbally abusing her, often in front of her teammates. Ultimately, Simon confided all of this to the team chaplain, who agreed to not tell anyone as Simon was afraid it would get back to Holly and he would retaliate. Eventually the chaplain did tell her superiors and this led to the club's front office (President Brad Estes and VP James O'Connor) becoming involved. Within a week, Holly was fired for cause. An investigation was opened at Louisville as well as at Holly's former club Sky Blue FC (which is now Gotham FC) and the reports from the players about him were unerringly similar experiences to what he put Simon through.


So those 3 coaches were the crux of the PDF. They weren't the only ones though. Washington Spirit coach Richie Burke lost his job for verbally abusing his players, as did James Clarkson of the Houston Dash and Farid Benstiti of OL Reign. One GM, Alyse Lahue of Gotham FC also lost her job for inappropriate misconduct with players. Amanda Cromwell of Orlando Pride is the only female coach to be fired for misconduct. All of these firings came about in a very short period of time and were the direct result of bombshell reporting from The Athletic and The Washington Post, which brought increased attention from major sports media and mainstream news and local media, which ultimately alerted the league's sponsors.

It's also important to point out the the club FOs are just as responsible as the coaches. Nearly every club in the NWSL has a culture of allowing these coaches free reign with no guardrails. The league was stood up very quickly and essentially designed to not fold like its predecessors. That's all the commissioners and team owners cared about. This meant that players were playing and living in absolutely deplorable positions. Some players reported being bit by bedbugs and having to relieve themselves outside due to their accommodations having no restrooms. Many trained at elementary and middle school football pitches and took their ice baths in trash cans. And that's when they were being sexually and verbally abused while making significantly less that US minimum wage. Why did they stay? Because they wanted to play and they were gaslit by club owners and the league into believing that if they would be the cause of the league folding if they tried to push for improvements. That is the level of insidiousness they had to endure.

I know this was supposed to be a TL:DR, but that's a tough ask with a 319 page PDF. There's a lot that I left out for the sake of brevity here so I strongly suggest reading the PDF or media articles about this. Plenty of them out there on the major sites. ESPN's E60 just did a documentary that goes over some of what the PDF covered. It's well worth watching to get a very good idea of what these players endured.

The last thing I will point out is that these players are not soft or weak. Many of them are among the best footballers in the world as the NWSL, in my opinion, is the best women's football league in the world. These women are used to tough talk. They know how to take that and use it to become better. What they're not used to and shouldn't have to be used to is what they endured under these coaches. None that was touch coaching. It was abuse. The ones still playing are in therapy and those who aren't, have lost their joy for the game. This is something we just don't see in the men's side, yet I'm quite sure it's there.

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Post by Clutch Thu Oct 06, 2022 4:50 am

Awful, complete sickening. American coaches are definitely like this and are very abusive. It's kind of the norm tbh

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Post by El Gunner Thu Oct 06, 2022 9:11 am

yep, like Clutch said, not surprised at all... it's still something i would expect from most 40+ American men... they think they can get whatever they want, that they are invincible and are oblivious to consequences. Plus, lots of sexual frustration probably as well because they aren't getting it from their wife anymore and they can't handle their teen daughters as well. That's how it goes, a bit of biology, a bit of outdated/misinformed/ignorant culture.

But good it's finally coming out so that the other bums will learn and hopefully more women coaches start coming up.

@McLewis very interested to hear your thoughts on the Ime Udoka situation, since you are also a black man living in American culture.
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Post by McLewis Fri Oct 07, 2022 1:05 am

Clutch wrote:Awful, complete sickening. American coaches are definitely like this and are very abusive. It's kind of the norm tbh

I agree, to an extent. The biggest problem here is the speed in which the NWSL was setup. All of this was designed to capitalize on the success of the USWNT's 2012 Olympics gold medal run, just as its predecessors the WUSA and WPS were designed to capitalize on the success of the '99 World Cup triumph. There was truly no thoughtful consideration for how to set this league up for true success at all levels. The goal of making money on the success of these past teams was the bigger goal than actually giving young girls a pathway to the top tier of the professional game. They essentially opened this league due to greed and packaged it as altruism. And of course, that's a breeding ground for all kinds of abuse.

El Gunner wrote:

@McLewis very interested to hear your thoughts on the Ime Udoka situation, since you are also a black man living in American culture.

That man is a fool. Nia Long is an incredible woman and has been for pretty much most of my life. Like other young African-American boys, she was one of my very earliest crushes. To be chosen by her for marriage and then cheat on her is an L of epic proportions.

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Post by McLewis Fri Oct 07, 2022 1:41 am

Some updates:



So basically, Merritt Paulson, owner of the MLS' Portland Timbers and the NWSL's Portland Thorns has fired his GM and Club President, but refuses to hold himself accountable given the fact that he not only knew these abuses were happening, protected the abusers, but has also been accused inappropriate misconduct himself by staff from both clubs. Yet, because MLS is not designed to hold men like this accountable, the worst that will happen to him is the above. He can't be forced to sell the team as there's no mechanism for it. So all that's left is hurting him financially and it remains to be seen how supporters groups will be doing that beyond refusing to by season tickets and muting the gameday atmosphere.

Fortunately, things look slightly brighter in Chicago:



Getting Whisler away from power at the club is a great first step, but it's not enough. As long as he holds the controlling stake in the club, he's never far away from power.

A good example of what happens when the toxicity is purged is the Washington Spirit. After they fired Richie Burke and then the owner was forced by his partners to sell the team to the league's first female owner of color, the team went undefeated for the rest of the season and finished as champions. That's how much it can mean to truly excise the cancer.

For me, the best way fans can put pressure on these clubs is to put pressure on the sponsors of the clubs. The club and league brass are terrified of a mass exodus of sponsors. It's how they've gaslit players into staying in the league this whole time so pushing those sponsors to reconsider their support unless the toxic elements are purged may just work. The league is more stable than any of its predecessors and yet if it folds, there is always the hope that something else will replace it with people doing things the right way from the start.

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Post by McLewis Fri Oct 07, 2022 2:19 am

In other news,

Big game tomorrow between European Champions England and World Champions USA.

This is going to be a tall order for England. They haven't managed to beat USA in the last 5 years. The last time they held the Americans scoreless was back in 1988, since then USA have scored 40 times against England, keeping 10 clean sheets along the way. That said, England have yet to lose a match under Sarina Wiegman. They've won 20 matches and drawn 2, scored 118 goals and only conceded 5 with 17 clean sheets. The quality in UEFA is growing so there are still a lot of lopsided wins among those stats, but it's impressive nonetheless as England are not known for being this good. This is frankly the best I've ever seen them be.

As far as players to watch for England -  With captain Leah Williamson of Arsenal, Chelsea defender Millie Bright has been named captain. They have plenty of firepower up front with star Beth Mead. There's also Manchester United's Ella Toone as well Manchester City's Lauren Hemp along with Chelsea's Fran Kirby and Barcelona's Keira Walsh in midfield. Alongside Williamson, Man United star Alessia Russo is a big miss here, but the player I'm most excited to see suit up for England again is Ebony Salmon. She has absolutely obliterated defenses in the NWSL for the Houston Dash after being completely mismanaged at Racing Louisville. I can't think of a better player for England to have with Russo out. Just a really good all around team that Wiegman has built though. Very fun to watch.

As for USA, it's pretty much the same team we've seen in previous friendlies though Alex Morgan and Mallory Pugh are both missing. That's a lot of firepower gone for USA as both are deep in the NWSL golden boot race. Look out for Sophia Smith and Trinity Rodman. There's a reason both were nominated for the Ballon D'or along with Alex Morgan. In midfield, it's Rose Lavelle's show. She's added defensive responsibility to her game now so there's absolutely nothing she can't do in midfield. A rising star to keep an eye on midfield would be Racing Louisville's Savannah DeMelo. The rookie class of NWSL players have been very strong and she's prominent among them. In defense, my absolute favorite women's player, Crystal Dunn, is expected to make her return from a whirlwind maternity leave. A rising name to pay attention to is Naomi Girma at the center of the defense. I'm not sure if she's start alongside captain Becky Sauerbrunn or stalwart Alana Cook, but she among the standouts of this rookie class that are fresh out of college. She plays like a seasoned vet and has already worn the captain's armband for the San Diego Wave. I don't like USA coach Vlatko Andonovski, but I can't argue much with this team he's put together. I think his lack of tactical intelligence will get found out at some point, but the sheer quality of this team seems to be enough to paper over the cracks. I don't know if that will continue with this match.

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Post by McLewis Sat Oct 08, 2022 12:45 am

Very good match from England. Impressive 2-1 win over a US side that looked really all at sea in the midfield.

From an American perspective, England coach Sarina Wiegman did her homework and really had her team put the screws to the US midfield, which is where we're the weakest. We're fine going forward, but without an actual 6 to break up play, England were able to dictate the tempo of this match from the start through Keira Walsh, who was fantastic. Without Julie Ertz (who likely has played her last game for the USWNT) and Sam Mewis (who should be back for the WC) the US just don't have an enforcer to protect the backline, which got exposed badly today. The brightside of that is we saw the international emergence of one Naomi Girma, who stepped up and showed out all match, putting out fires all along the backline. She'll be a lock to start every game Down Under next year. Up top, it was the same story with Trinity Rodman and Sophia Smith, who really gave the England backline all it could handle. If not for a bad VAR decision, this game likely would've ended 2-2 as Rodman had a goal chalked offside when she wasn't.

Overall a great advert for the women's game in front of a sold out crowd at Wembley. The US aren't done in Europe yet though as they face a very depleted Spain side next. Given that Spain will not have any of its best players, I expect a win for the US to wrap up their travels. England, meanwhile, will face the Czech Republic, which should also be a straightforward win for them.

Big takeaway from this game:

England are an elite side in the women's game. They join the USA, France, Canada, Sweden and Germany as a bonafide superpower. That was the case before this match kicked off today, but today's win for them really cemented that.

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Post by McLewis Tue Oct 11, 2022 9:59 pm

Annnnnd that depleted Spanish side just shutout the US 2-0 in Pamplona. And it wasn't really close, the US were clearly 2nd best today. Spain controlled the game from start to finish. The US continues to struggle due to the lack of a DM and their coach just doesn't know what to do about it. He still has time to fix that problem, but not much.

Here's the real scary thing: We play Germany next.

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Post by McLewis Thu Oct 20, 2022 9:54 pm

Ballon d'Or Feminin 2022 rankings

20. Kadidiatou Diani (Paris Saint-Germain)

19. Fridolina Rolfo (Barcelona)

18. Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit)

17. Marie-Antoinette Katoto (PSG)

16. Asisat Oshoala (Barcelona)

15. Millie Bright (Chelsea)

14. Selma Bacha (Lyon)

13. Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave)

12. Christiane Endler (Lyon)

11. Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal)

10. Lucy Bronze (Barcelona)

9. Catarina Macario (Lyon)

8. Wendie Renard (Lyon)

7. Ada Hegerberg (Lyon)

6. Alexandra Popp (Wolfsburg)

5. Aitana Bonmati (Barcelona)

4. Lena Oberdorf (Wolfsburg)

3. Sam Kerr (Chelsea)

2. Beth Mead (Arsenal)

1. Alexia Putellas (Barcelona)

I'm not gonna lie, I don't like these rankings for several reasons:

- I think Cat Macario should've won it. Marie-Antoinette Katoto and Beth Mead are firm 2nd and 3rd choices. Alex Popp would've been the outside choice for me.

- No Lyon players in the Top 5, despite winning the UWCL, is comedy.

- Both Sophia Smith and Trinity Rodman should be much higher. Smith is better than Alex Morgan at this point in their careers. Rodman is right up there as well.

That said, I understand the Euro-centric nature of these rankings. It's France Football and, just as on the men's side, they focus almost solely on European football and its players. Unlike the men's side, there's a league outside of Europe with teams that are collectively better than the top clubs in each of the big European leagues. That league is called the NWSL.

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Post by McLewis Mon Oct 24, 2022 1:27 am

NWSL Playoffs have been lit so far.

Portland Thorns topped San Diego Wave 2-1 and will meet the winner of OL Reign / Kansas City Current in Washington DC next weekend.

Portland are known for their bangers and they haven't disappointed. This one is from Rocky Rodriguez:



And at the death, my absolute favorite player in all of women's football did this to send Portland through to the final:




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