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2019-20 News Thread

jeffbear

Mod Squad
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Now we need a deep dive who done it on Hull's last 6-5 years of tragedy. Their ownership and management are freaking criminally negligent.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
The NWSL has announced another expansion franchise, based in Los Angeles, that will start in 2022. Currently called Angel City, it has a mostly woman investment group improbably led by actress Natalie Portman. Tech and gaming executive Julie Uhrman will be the CEO, other lead investors are VC executive Kara Northman and Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian (Venus Williams’ husband). But the list of other investors? It’s a who’s who of women’s soccer. Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy, Lauren Holiday, Abby Wambach, Angela Hucles, Saskia Webber, Joy Fawcett, Rachel Van Hollebeke (Bueller), Tisha Venturini Hoch, Shannon MacMillan, Amanda Cromwell, Lorrie Fair Allen and Ronnie Fair Sullins. Actors Uzo Aduba, America Ferrera, Jennifer Garner and Eva Longoria are also involved. Venus Williams and her 2 year old daughter are both listed as owners. Ohanian, media executive David Nathanson and Brian Weinstein, who runs JJ Abrams’ production company, are the only men listed in the ownership group.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
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I love the name Angel City and I hope they stick with it. NWSL badly, badly needed to be in that market and the ownership group certainly looks robust. The Louisville franchise will come on line first and they recently announced a name and their basic kit ... Racing Louisville. Very fitting, I think. I'm thinking it's past time to break up the star power the league has clustered in Orlando a bit ... because it's been an abject failure on the pitch, if nothing else. So maybe Alex Morgan could be the first big name in LA. It would be a good fit since she's from San Dimas.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
I love the name Angel City and I hope they stick with it. NWSL badly, badly needed to be in that market and the ownership group certainly looks robust. The Louisville franchise will come on line first and they recently announced a name and their basic kit ... Racing Louisville. Very fitting, I think. I'm thinking it's past time to break up the star power the league has clustered in Orlando a bit ... because it's been an abject failure on the pitch, if nothing else. So maybe Alex Morgan could be the first big name in LA. It would be a good fit since she's from San Dimas.
Morgan forced a trade to Orlando from Portland because her husband was playing for Orlando City. Then he moved to the LA Galaxy when Orlando didn’t renew his contract. He’s now playing for Ft. Lauderdale in USL League One, 1 level below NCFC. So I don’t think they’ll need to worry about his next club if she does want to play for Angel City.

There isn’t much star power left in Orlando and they may break themselves up just by attrition. Some of the stars are...experienced. Ali Krieger, Ashlyn Harris and Marta are mid-30s. Sydney Leroux is only 30 but she has 2 kids and her husband plays in Orlando now too. Emily Sonnett is the only other player with a senior USWNT cap and she just got traded there by Portland.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
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Bottom line ... NWSL likes a "foundational" USWNT player for their clubs and Alex would be a great fit for LA. She's not young, but plans to shoot for another WC so she'll be motivated and likely will be comfortable back in Cali. Orlando is NOT working on the field and really never has, and badly needs a re-set. Syd seems poised to push herself back onto the scene and was reportedly training at a very high level before they got shuffled out of the Challenge Cup. Krieger and Harris have a few years left in them and Sonnet is only getting started. They've got the bones of something there, but need a fresh approach. They would do well to jettison most of their name brand players and get busy with their youth.

It's interesting to me that expansion is coming at a time when so many of the NWSL franchises are at transition points. Reign are in year one of OL's ownership and clearly headed towards a roster that looks nothing like the current one. Thorns were setting up to take some time to evaluate kids before this tournament setup kind of forced their hand. I've liked what I've seen from a lot of their youth. Chicago has a great setup but never really got the chance to take a swing at replacing Sam Kerr with the weird off season. Of the big hitters only the Courage are fully roster stable right now. Add in that Washington, Houston and Sky Blue are making big efforts to improve to the expansion draft mix and we could be looking at a completely different power structure in 3-4 years. Given the quality of the college crop the league adds every year, they clearly can expand without diluting the talent pool very much ... so long as they stay financially able to ward off bigger contracts from Europe as those leagues start to invest more in the women's game. If Italy's league ever goes full pro, look the heck out.
 
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jeffbear

Mod Squad
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MLS news of sorts ... Dave Tepper's Charlotte franchise, who have pushed off joining the league until 2022, went ahead and announced the club name, logos and colors yesterday. No shock on the colors, as they just went with the NFL Panther's colorway. Duh. They went vanilla on the name though ... Charlotte FC. I mean, that's fine but fairly dull. I would have much preferred Queen City or Charlotte Town just to stand out from the boring MLS herd a bit.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
MLS news of sorts ... Dave Tepper's Charlotte franchise, who have pushed off joining the league until 2022, went ahead and announced the club name, logos and colors yesterday. No shock on the colors, as they just went with the NFL Panther's colorway. Duh. They went vanilla on the name though ... Charlotte FC. I mean, that's fine but fairly dull. I would have much preferred Queen City or Charlotte Town just to stand out from the boring MLS herd a bit.
They also said they have 25,000 season ticket deposits. The other clubs that play in football stadiums block off part of the seats, I assume Charlotte will do the same. If those deposits get converted and they get a strong walk up, they’ll be top 3 attendance in the league behind Atlanta and Seattle, who also play in football stadiums.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
Sam Mewis is leaving the NC Courage for Man City in the FA Women’s League and Rose Lavelle is considering an offer from them. The contracts are for 1 year so they wouldn’t be allowed to return to the NWSL until after the Olympics next year. Because the NWSL doesn’t have any games scheduled after their tournament, there is no transfer fee.
 

jeffbear

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They also said they have 25,000 season ticket deposits. The other clubs that play in football stadiums block off part of the seats, I assume Charlotte will do the same. If those deposits get converted and they get a strong walk up, they’ll be top 3 attendance in the league behind Atlanta and Seattle, who also play in football stadiums.
They have hinted that they will do something similar to what they do when the Canadian national team play in BC Place ... which is graphic fabric over the upper deck seating. Done well, that looks sharp and isn't a distraction. Do it poorly and it looks decidedly bush league.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
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Sam Mewis is leaving the NC Courage for Man City in the FA Women’s League and Rose Lavelle is considering an offer from them. The contracts are for 1 year so they wouldn’t be allowed to return to the NWSL until after the Olympics next year. Because the NWSL doesn’t have any games scheduled after their tournament, there is no transfer fee.
That's bad (really bad) for the league, but that's something that serves the individual players well. Sammie Mewis had kind of quietly become one of the best box to box midfielders in the NWSL ... THE best IMO. She needs to be playing, not sitting around training and not getting games. Rose is a unicorn, and still just a kid. She has a shot to be the best player in the world one day, but again ... she needs games.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
They have hinted that they will do something similar to what they do when the Canadian national team play in BC Place ... which is graphic fabric over the upper deck seating. Done well, that looks sharp and isn't a distraction. Do it poorly and it looks decidedly bush league.
Seattle and Atlanta do it for their teams too, they don’t fill the football stadiums. The supporters and marketing department will come up with tifos to cover the seats, it will probably look a lot like what the Premier League lower levels look like. As long as it doesn’t look like the Greensboro curtain...
 

jeffbear

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Seattle and Atlanta do it for their teams too, they don’t fill the football stadiums. The supporters and marketing department will come up with tifos to cover the seats, it will probably look a lot like what the Premier League lower levels look like. As long as it doesn’t look like the Greensboro curtain...
Yeah ... Seattle is good with the tifos and Atlanta does a good job with lighting to kind of make the upper deck disappear. I just mentioned BC Place because that's the one that Ryan Bailey (media guy for CFC) specifically mentioned on a podcast I was listening to a couple of weeks ago. Ryan is a hoot, BTW. He was an awesome hire for them.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
That's bad (really bad) for the league, but that's something that serves the individual players well. Sammie Mewis had kind of quietly become one of the best box to box midfielders in the NWSL ... THE best IMO. She needs to be playing, not sitting around training and not getting games. Rose is a unicorn, and still just a kid. She has a shot to be the best player in the world one day, but again ... she needs games.
Mewis kind of shoved Lindsay Horan out of that spot at the World Cup last summer. Horan as the reigning NWSL MVP played in the group stage, once to cover for Ertz moving back to center back and another to cover for Ertz when she was out against Sweden. But precious little time in the knockout matches. If Vladtko stays with the current formation, it’s going to be hard for Horan to get any time In the midfield, absent injury. Maybe she can learn to play right back for when O’Hara and Krieger ride off into the sunset.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
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Apparently they would like Midge Purce to grow into that RB role when O'Hara ages out, so they can use her like they use Dunn on the left side. That's why Purce has been slogging away at fullback for Sky Blue, driving her internet fans bananas.

There isn't a lot between Horan and Mewis. They play the same game in the same way, but Mewis is more versatile in attack and a bit quicker with the ball at her feet. Since Horan can play any of the three traditional central midfield roles though, she's about as useful a backup as one could imagine. Those are definitely first world problems, and that depth and versatility is what separates the US from the second tier of world class programs. As we saw in that last World Cup, England, France and others have drawn VERY close to the US in their starting 11s. But the benches are nothing like what the US can boast ... at least not for the next rotation. I think the English will definitely get level soon and the French could be there by the next WC. Brazil and Sweden need to re-load but the traditional Euro powers are moving forward quickly and surpassing the US in terms of investment in the pro game. That's why all of this infighting with the Federation has hurt so badly. If USSF supported the NWSL half as much as they have MLS for all these years, it wouldn't be a problem because the US college system is the best development program for female soccer players the world .... like by light years. But no ... we're too stupid for all that cooperation and achievement nonsense.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
Apparently they would like Midge Purce to grow into that RB role when O'Hara ages out, so they can use her like they use Dunn on the left side. That's why Purce has been slogging away at fullback for Sky Blue, driving her internet fans bananas.

There isn't a lot between Horan and Mewis. They play the same game in the same way, but Mewis is more versatile in attack and a bit quicker with the ball at her feet. Since Horan can play any of the three traditional central midfield roles though, she's about as useful a backup as one could imagine. Those are definitely first world problems, and that depth and versatility is what separates the US from the second tier of world class programs. As we saw in that last World Cup, England, France and others have drawn VERY close to the US in their starting 11s. But the benches are nothing like what the US can boast ... at least not for the next rotation. I think the English will definitely get level soon and the French could be there by the next WC. Brazil and Sweden need to re-load but the traditional Euro powers are moving forward quickly and surpassing the US in terms of investment in the pro game. That's why all of this infighting with the Federation has hurt so badly. If USSF supported the NWSL half as much as they have MLS for all these years, it wouldn't be a problem because the US college system is the best development program for female soccer players the world .... like by light years. But no ... we're too stupid for all that cooperation and achievement nonsense.
Steven Goff has a weekly column in the Washington Post about American players overseas. Besides covering the usual suspects like Pulisic and Weah, etc. he covers women. There are a lot of American women playing in Europe. Andonovski will have to expand the WNT pool before the next World Cup, and the Olympic delay only exacerbates his problem. It wouldn’t have surprised me if some of the older women rode off into the sunset, especially if they took the gold. Lloyd is 38, Rapinoe is 35, Sauerbrunn is 35, Krieger is 36. Even Morgan, Heath, Press and O’Hara are the wrong side of 30. The first iteration of the women’s league brough in women like Wambach, Boxx and Hucles, who hadn’t been to senior camps or didn’t even come through the age group national teams. it’s great that the NWSL got their tournament in, and may play at team sites later, but it cost Andonovski a development year.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
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It did ... although I don't think we're done with European migration. It's just not as easy for the players with term on their contracts and no national team subsidy. The next gen is right there in the NWSL, but you're right ... they need to be playing this season out not sitting around training in small groups or team settings. Bad timing ... but it's not like there's anything anybody can do about it.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
Juventus wrapped up their 9th straight Serie A title with 2 matches to go. They lead 2nd place Inter by 7 points. Inter, Atalanta and Lazio have clinched the other Champions League spots, any of them can finish 2nd, 3rd or 4th. Real Madrid won their first La Liga title in 3 years. Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla got the other Champions League spots. Bayern Munich won their 8th straight Bundesliga title, by 13 points over Borussia Dortmund. RB Leipzig and Borussia Monchengladbach got the other Champions League spots.
 
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jeffbear

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It's a poor statement on the overall health of these leagues that we're seeing so many multiple repeat champions. It's fun for the fans of those specific teams, but the fact that the stratification of Serie A and the Bundesliga has thinned out to just one club is troubling. It's one thing when fringe leagues like Scotland and the Scandinavian leagues do that, and quite another when it's 2 of the 4 biggest leagues in Europe. While I think we're probably already on a bullet train to a permanent "Super League" I think that's a horrible development for the overall strength of European football since it will just ghetto-ize the VAST majority of clubs in second class leagues and drive the money even more to the thinner and thinner top tier. Sooner or later there will be a revolt. This IS Europe we're talking about after all.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
It's a poor statement on the overall health of these leagues that we're seeing so many multiple repeat champions. It's fun for the fans of those specific teams, but the fact that the stratification of Serie A and the Bundesliga has thinned out to just one club is troubling. It's one thing when fringe leagues like Scotland and the Scandinavian leagues do that, and quite another when it's 2 of the 4 biggest leagues in Europe. While I think we're probably already on a bullet train to a permanent "Super League" I think that's a horrible development for the overall strength of European football since it will just ghetto-ize the VAST majority of clubs in second class leagues and drive the money even more to the thinner and thinner top tier. Sooner or later there will be a revolt. This IS Europe we're talking about after all.
Even the Premier League has been dominated by the same clubs for years, not 2 or 3, but complaints of the “Top 4” have dogged the league almost from the start. Aside from the Blackburn and Leicester shocks, it was always Man U, Arsenal, Liverpool or Chelsea grabbing the Champions League spots. Man City has replaced Arsenal in the “Top 4” but do we think those 4 clubs won’t continue to dominate for years? Borussia Dortmund had a realistic chance to overtake Bayern, but spit the bit on restart. Last year, the league was decided by only 2 points, but in 2017-18, Bayern topped Schalke by 21 points and another 8 back to 3rd. And Schalke announced that they’ve basically given up chasing after the league and will be happy to nick the occasional Europa League spot. Schalke followed up that 2nd place finish with 14th last year, on 33 points. The last time someone other than Real Madrid or Barcelona won La Liga was Atletico in 2013-14, and before that it was Valencia in 2003-04. And Serie A has had a revolving list of clubs chasing Juventus, at least Inter are relevant again. And Atalanta have come from nowhere and grabbed consecutive Champions League spots for the first time ever. But Juve won the Scudetto by 11 points over Napoli last year with another 10 points back to 3rd.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
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Hey ... the Premiership looks downright competitive compared to virtually every other league in Europe. Their top tier is really 4-6 deep, and they have a decent amount of rotation in that group. And it still sucks butt to support a team in the bottom half of the league because you have only the longest of long shots to ever be truly relevant for any length of time without a cash infusion that would support a small first world country's economy.

No matter how anybody wants to spin it, European soccer is turning into a two tier operation. Haves and have nots, with only JUST enough movement between the groups to give the illusion that the playing fields are level. They aren't ... not on any sustainable level at least. The late 20th and early 21st centuries have been absolute hell on clubs that weren't in that top tier when the money went nuts, and it's only getting worse over time.
 
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