Hey Jill – can I call you Jill? – Great!
So, Jill, I’ve been talking with some friends and reading some thoughts on Twitter and Facebook and was wondering if you had a second, could I run some things by you. I know you’re busy, this won’t take long…
We all know that your roster decision boggle the mind. Matter-of-fact, none of us actually have a bloody clue what you’re doing or thinking. I know you pulled it off last summer and I am eternally grateful. And I’m not trying to tell you how to do your job, but may I make a few suggestions?
For some reason, maybe only your infamous diary knows, you won’t play HAO and now you seem to have it out for Kriegs as well. Not sure why this is, none of us do, but it seems this way. Let’s be real for a second. The combos you’ve been throwing out there aren’t really working. Winning trophies, yes, but you do coach the USWNT not the USMNT, so winning is actually what the women do, it’s kinda their thing. However, it’s been kind of sketchy lately, if I may put it mildly. So, here are a few combos that you haven’t tried, that maybe you should.
COMBO #1: Solo, (right to left) Kriegs, Broon, JJ, KO (right to left) HAO, Moe, Tobin, (10 spot) Horan, Alex and Carli
Now, we all know that Carli and James want Carli in the 10 spot, that doesn’t make her a 10 spot. Myself, nor anyone else will ever deny the amazing feat she accomplished in the final last summer, we are unlikely to see that ever happen again, still doesn’t make her a 10 spot. She is technical, powerful, blue collar work ethic and deadly, she is (if my Manchester United self may say) a Wayne Rooney. Lindsey Horan, on the other hand, is creative and clever with the ball. She can move it, draw defenders in, which, if you play Carli up front, would leave her open for Horan to pass to. Horan is your Juan Mata.
Apparently, you want Krieger to basically play midfield and stay pushing up. She’s not going to do that. She’s smarter than that. That’s what makes her the best at what she does. Krieger knows when to go and when to hold and she would not leave her center backs or her goalkeeper hanging. That’s not how she rolls and that’s not how our department of defense rolls. If you play HAO in front of her, they can overlap and interchange, they’re both veteran and smart enough to know when to go and when to hold. It is easier for Krieger to push up, when she has someone she knows is going to back her up and handle it until she gets back there. Seriously, why aren’t you playing HAO (who has scored 2 HAT TRICKS in her last 2 games – FYI)?
Same goes for the left side, play KO and Tobin, they both know when to go and when to hold, they can cover each other and make runs. KO could basically just chill, because honestly, Tobin can hold the ball for days (really, 5 stars in FIFA – who does that – TOBIN FREAKING HEATH!) with the occasional nutmeg for fun. These pairings, there is no reason not to play them, literally, none!
For obvious, or maybe not so obvious, reasons, you leave Broon and JJ alone. I don’t care what all those people who give out awards say, Broon is THE BEST IN THE GAME – PERIOD! JJ is no slack herself and you won’t find a better pairing in the game at center backs, literally, I checked, no one even comes close. So, stop messing with them and leave them alone.
Moe is fine in the midfield, she wins the ball, can hold the ball, chases everything and everyone down, let it be. Plus, by moving Carli up and Horan into the 10 spot, Moe has more room to roam and create. If you play HAO and Tobin or KO and Tobin or HAO and KO on the flanks, she has quick and easy outlets passes to start a break.
COMBO #2: Solo (right to left) Kriegs, Broon, JJ, Kling, (right to left) KO, Moe, Tobin, (10 spot) Horan, Alex and Dunn
COMBO #3: Solo (right to left) Kriegs, Broon, JJ, Kling, (right to left) HAO, Moe, KO, (10 spot) Horan, Alex and Press
Now, if you notice, I didn’t change goalkeepers. I mean you never do, so why bother having other goalkeepers? I think Ashlyn is a solid #2 and Naeher is a great #3. I understand playing your #1 as often as possible, so I didn’t bother changing them.
It doesn’t matter who you put up front, with the form Alex has been in, whomever is playing opposite her is going to benefit from it. And any combo will do, there is power, speed and skill just hanging out right there, enough to terrify any defense.
The back 5, you just leave them be. I could see switching out Kling for KO or putting Whitney in there, but other than that, no touching! I know what Carli did was amazing, but seriously, it was never more apparent than in the World Cup that offense wins games and defense wins championships. Just let it be, Jill, let it be.
The real problem is the midfield. I knew we would miss Cheney and that you can’t replace a talent like that, but good Lord woman, I didn’t think it was going to be this rough! I know Pinoe is out and man is that apparent, but, if you play HAO, KO, and Tobin, putting Moe in center holding mid and Horan in 10 spot, it leaves the game open and flowing, that’s when the gals do some of their best stuff!
I’m not one to tell a coach, or anyone else, how to do their job, but humor me? Can we get a lineup like one of these?
Thanks for your time, Jill! Good luck in Rio!