U.S. women in the World Cup semifinals: Decisions, decisions

Jill Ellis made three lineup changes for Friday’s quarterfinal win against China, two out of necessity. The result: Still just a 1-0 win against a team that had little attacking punch, but the team looked better and felt better. And it was the kind of performance U.S. fans had wanted to see. Amy Rodriguez wasContinue reading “U.S. women in the World Cup semifinals: Decisions, decisions”

On the Women’s World Cup and Hope Solo, in that order

What a World Cup we’ve seen so far! – Stunning upsets: Nigeria tying Sweden, Norway tying Germany (this isn’t 1995), and Colombia over France. – Moments of brilliance: Colombian keeper Sandra Sepulveda, the sequence leading to Karla Villalobos’ equalizer for Costa Rica against South Korea, and this free kick from Norway’s Maren Mjelde that couldn’t have beenContinue reading “On the Women’s World Cup and Hope Solo, in that order”

Western New York Flash make their own luck in loss to Spirit

Soccer karma does not exist, most of us have agreed. But can a team make its own luck? Saturday at the SoccerPlex looked like a typical Washington Spirit game against the Western New York Flash for 45 minutes. The Spirit had a few promising moments — one difference from previous engagements would be the world-classContinue reading “Western New York Flash make their own luck in loss to Spirit”

On concussions, Krieger, Wambach, etc.

The soccer community, much to its credit, is taking concussions seriously. Even those of us who are at the low rungs of the coaching ladder have been required to watch videos so frightening that the natural response might be to sit a player for life after he or she first heads the ball. We haveContinue reading “On concussions, Krieger, Wambach, etc.”

The skill of Abby Wambach

Abby Wambach has an indomitable will. She has the ability to raise her game when the stakes are higher. She works hard and inspires others to do the same. But let’s remember one thing: She’s also a danged good soccer player. Seems obvious, doesn’t it? But it’s too easy to forget. Too easy to thinkContinue reading “The skill of Abby Wambach”

Washington Spirit vs. Western NY Flash: Dan Borislow was wrong

Those of you who recall WPS may remember that Dan Borislow was an immense supporter of U.S. national team players. Other players, not so much. The idea of fans cheering for anyone other than Abby Wambach almost struck him as repugnant. I never asked Borislow how much WPS he watched before buying the team formerlyContinue reading “Washington Spirit vs. Western NY Flash: Dan Borislow was wrong”

NWSL stars: Home sweet home

A common theme running through the NWSL conference calls that stacked up Monday afternoon: Players are happy to be home. Not just in the sense that they could easily be playing overseas or spending a lot of time in U.S. residency camp if no domestic league existed. For the national team players who chatted Monday,Continue reading “NWSL stars: Home sweet home”

Very Good Things in U.S. soccer

No, the U.S. soccer scene isn’t all petty arguments over turf wars, business plans and what was said in 2007. A lot of Very Good Things have happened in American soccer recently — some well-publicized, some not. – The U.S. men won for the first time in Mexico’s Azteca Stadium last night, getting a series of increasinglyContinue reading “Very Good Things in U.S. soccer”

Will WPS stars sign up for another season?

Here’s a bit of irony: iTunes, in shuffling through my music library, has just called up Stevie Wonder’s Signed, Sealed, Delivered. If you look at the list of players who have and have not signed with WPS teams for 2012, you’ll see that an awful lot of players are in the “have not” category. ThatContinue reading “Will WPS stars sign up for another season?”