SportsMyriad podcast, the first: Lori Lindsey’s perseverance

Lori Lindsey’s retirement provoked a lot of good discussion. Would a young player coming through the ranks today stick around in amateur soccer to work her way into the national team? Who else makes that great through pass down the center?

What a great time to experiment with podcasting!

I’ve been thinking about podcasting for a while, and with my left hand in a splint that slows down my typing, it’s the perfect time. And it gives me a good excuse to put all the interviews from Lindsey’s home finale in one big audio file.

I’m learning on the fly, and I’m open to constructive feedback. If you’d prefer to skip around and listen only to the parts that interest you, here’s a quick guide:

3:20 Olympic sports recap

9:05 Setting up interviews on Spirit-Sky Blue game

10:15 Jim Gabarra’s comments on Sky Blue’s season. Techncal difficulties erased Mark Parsons’ comments on the game — basically, the occasion got to them, and everyone was trying to hit one big heroic pass instead of combining intelligently.

11:30 Me on Lori Lindsey’s history in Washington. Somehow, I worked Landon Donovan into it.

18:00 Setting up the rest of the interviews:

18:38 Virginia coach Steve Swanson telling an old anecdote on Lori and paying tribute to her attributes that many younger players do NOT have.

(Incidentally, I don’t think that’s me laughing on this one and other interviews. Maybe Kevin Parker? Maybe the other man who was there? We had a group of about 8 people.)

20:38 Christie Rampone on Lindsey’s ability to play a direct ball with great vision

21:15 Spirit coach Mark Parsons on how Lindsey filled a couple of different roles on a playoff team this year and a last-place team last year. Also, there’s some dispute over who won a danceoff in 2013. (It was Toni Pressley, as recorded in my book.)

24:45 Ali Krieger on the Spirit wanting to win for her

25:25 Lindsey on her retirement and favorite moments

31:00 I sign off and show off my mad GarageBand skills.

Enjoy, and tell me how I can do it better.

Spirit vs. Sky Blue: Farewell to Lori Lindsey

I’m not going to do a big recap of Sky Blue’s 1-0 win over Washington for the following reasons:

1. Western New York held Chicago to a draw in the later game, clinching a playoff spot for the Spirit despite the loss. (Former Spirit Reserves goalkeeper DiDi Haracic, essentially the Flash’s fourth-string keeper, got the start.) Sadly for Sky Blue, which counterattacked beautifully in this game and got solid defensive performances from Sophie Schmidt and Christie Rampone, that result knocks them out.

2. Spirit coach Mark Parsons summed up the team’s performance with elegant simplicity: “The occasion got to us a little bit.” More specifically, “everyone wanted to hit that final pass.” He’s right. The night was riddled with ambitious passes that skidded away so quickly that Canadian artificial turf apologists will surely use the video to claim the ball is tough to control on all surfaces, not just FieldTurf.

3. Broken finger. Can’t type much.

So the lasting memory of the evening will be Lori Lindsey’s retirement. The Spirit put together a nice video tribute with comments from all over — former coaches such as Clyde Watson and Kris Ward, former teammates such as Becky Sauerbrunn and Megan Rapinoe (the funniest of a fairly witty bunch), even Mia Hamm.

Fans outside Washington or recent women’s soccer fans might not realize how important Washington has been to Lindsey (and vice versa). In the years between the WUSA and WPS, she slogged it out with the Washington Freedom (held together by Jim Gabarra, now the Sky Blue coach, who graciously congratulated Lindsey before the game). She played on this field in front of a couple hundred people at times. In those years, she pushed her way into the national team pool and wound up playing in the 2011 World Cup.

She talked a bit about those years in the postgame interview, after she signed autographs for everyone who hung around. I’m uploading the entire audio here and may add parts of it to the debut SportsMyriad podcast Sunday or Monday. Stay tuned.

Here’s Lori: