January 20th: "Megan Rapinoe leaves Lyon, will play entire NWSL season with Seattle Reign"
Huge, if true. ChadJohnson:
Looks like they're looking hard at Memorial
There’s a draft school board policy change regarding the use of Memorial by the Reign.
Hil Storm's excellent summary on Rapinoe's stint and playing time with Lyon.
I follow OL. There are a few things that probably factored in.
Lyon was a complete team and literally on top of the world when she showed up last year. Their roster is stacked with much of the French NT and some key NT players from other countries. Whenever a team gets a player they don’t necessarily need how they fit in will always be a question early on. For Rapinoe it stayed a question the whole time despite her efforts on/off the field.
She came in last January with world cup winner Shinobu Ohno. Ohno never played during her stint with Lyon. She might have subbed in once. It was a bit of a scandal for Japan and now they tighten up contracts and placement of players that go abroad so they don’t get similarly froze out. So compared to Ohno Rapinoe was treated well-ish. That should tell you how odd some things at Lyon can be with so many good players on a team.
Rapinoe at least got playing time even though it was sometimes starts, subs, not a ton of full 90s. She never played full games for any of their big games and those include two CL losses (the final last year and again in November) and this latest PSG loss she didn’t play at all though maybe she was already leaving by then and it was expected. It was my impression the coach never knew what to do with her. She’s a free spirit and he comes off as way too rigid. Her style and personality is well known so why they picked her and never fully utilized that is beyond me. If they didn’t see those attributes as assets to harness that’s shortsighted imo.
When they resigned her last Fall I figured both parties had found a happy medium and things would be different. Early comments was that she showed up to Lyon a little tired from Reign but that she was doing better than when she arrived the January before so they were happy with the progress. That made me optimistic. She made a lot of effort with her French and tried giving interviews in French even. The rest of their internationals besides maybe Kumagai speak fluent French so it was a good sign she was all in. They got knocked out of the CL in November and some eyebrow raising comments and action from the coach and fallout happened I’m not going to go into detail about. OL aren’t used to losing and that goes for the coach too.
So it was never a perfect situation by design, but she seemed to try to make it work and them resigning her implied they did too. As much as a stacked team might try. There’s pros and cons to it. I thought she came back to the NT and Reign with a lot more focus and less wastefulness to her creativity. She seemed more productive. Maybe having a short leash helped that, but at this point I’d rather her play full 90s and be with a team that wants her specifically instead of one that doesn’t know exactly what to do with her. She’s a little too old and way too good to need to change her game too much. Having her just as she is with a touch more productivity is her at her best and that is the thing to shoot for.
Are you suggesting that Oba
puts on his robe and wizard hat
January 21st: "This week in comments"
First time I've ever done this. It feels like I'm dividing by zero. But this gif is too beautiful to ignore. Gratz, Aasenb.
January 22nd: "Player Profile #3: DeAndre Yedlin"
The theory behind the Sophmore slump
is that other players acclimate to your game and the adrenaline spikes are not as high. How do you adjust to a player like Yedlin who is continually improving their game? Not easily. My opinion is that he still has a high ceiling and is not done improving. He is definitely not the starting RB on the USMNT, but nothing indicates he cant get their either if he continues to learn the game tactically and improve technically.
Lenhart is a villain, yes...
The big difference is that Sherman is immensely talented, and arguably the best in the world at his position right now.
Lenhart is mediocre even for MLS and makes up for his lack of skill with gamesmanship.
That's Funny - I was just thinking the same exact thing
I like your comparison with Scott as Perpetual Utility Man. Maybe that’s the best scenario. With the depth we’ve been building at forward I’m not seeing much time for Estrada there in league games. At least I hope that he doesn’t get time there due to injuries. I imagine he’ll get minutes with the Open Cup and reserve matches but he deserves more than that.
You may be getting at something I’ve been seeing develop over the last few years when you mention his skill at passing in tight spaces. I think this has turned into one of his greatest strengths along with a pretty sophisticated soccer IQ. If our midfield starts to look like RSL’s (possession-based, ground-based) then I could see a place for him in one of the wide positions. I think he struggles when put in a position where he has to go one-on-one – he’s quick but doesn’t have a lot of pace – but he knows how to work a triangle and moves into space as well as anyone on the team.
In any case I hope this off season works out well for him. When I think of Estrada I think of the American Soccer scene where Sigi is reaming the team at halftime in Salt Lake. Sigi leaves the locker room and the room goes dead silent. Estrada gets up and walks around the room and touches every one of his teammates. That’s someone you want on your team.
January 25th: Sounders halt pursuit of Steffen Hagen, report says
PUN QUOTA MET. Thanks, sidereal
January 25th: "Mauro Rosales "I made a 'family' here with everybody"
I am all verklempt
One of the best players to ever grace a Sounders kit. Class in every way possible, on and off the field. Mauro will be one of my favorite Sounders of all time, even though I expect to see decades of future Sounders. It is difficult for me to overstate how much I loved having him here.
I think it says something very positive about Seattle, particularly from an international player perspective, that the people that live here bleed with the players on the field. To be a Sounder is to be a member of the family, and good or bad, we always love our family. I think that experience leaves a real impression on soccer players that spend time here. It is difficult to leave a community that loves you so passionately for another club where being a player in the community is somewhere between “meh” and dealing with the fickleness of fans who love you one second and throw you under the bus the next. I would like to think of Seattle as a city that cherishes its soccer players through thick and thin. My impression, from various interviews, is that players here feel that in a unique way. I hope we never lose that characteristic.
I have no doubt that when Mauro ultimately returns to Argentina, he will be a very good ambassador for the Sounders club.