The Unused Sub: Hey, We’re Back


As I write this, the Pacific Northwest is in the middle of a crazy heat wave. It’s hot in the room I am typing this and my brain has melted.

I just finished watching the 2017 MLS All-Star Game in which the league’s best players took on Real Madrid – maybe you’ve heard of that upstart team from Spain. Yes, the game had the significance of navel lint and I’m sure I could have spent the time better continuing watching GLOW or something. However, it did give thought to maybe someday the NWSL could have an All-Star Game.

I recall asking Megan Rapinoe about the idea for the league to have one after the Reign picked up the win in a bonkers, nine-goal game against Sky Blue FC before the league went on international break. She said she’d like the league to have it and yeah, who wouldn’t? Of course, entertaining the idea of an All-Star Game is a really, REALLY long ways away. There are so many other things the league needs to do in terms of ensuring sustainability, we know this. But let’s say in the distant future, if/when the conditions are met, how could a NWSL All-Star Game look like?

There have been some suggestions that it could be the best of the NWSL taking on a women’s club team from Europe, much like the format the MLS has. It’s not a bad idea. Another suggestion is NWSL East versus NWSL West. Again, not a bad idea. I’m sure what I’m about to say is not an original idea as I’m sure it’s been proposed on Twitter or (shudders) the black hole of WoSo fandom, Tumblr, but what about one team made up of NWSL players from the United States, Canada, and Mexico versus NWSL players from the rest of the world. Being that the league started off with the federations of Canada, Mexico, and the United States – there’s enough talent there to field a starting eleven with adequate subs. Then with the NWSL Internationals, I think we can safely assume that by the time anything All-Star Game related is actually materialized, the league will have grown and be sustainable enough that there are just as many international players in the league as there are from North America. Schedule it around a mid-season FIFA break and in addition to the game, you can have NWSL Skills competition like a free kick competition, have fans vote for say team captains or the final roster spots for each team, and make it a day or weekend of festivities. It could work, right?

So, NWSL North America versus NWSL International. Thoughts?

I’m glad the break is over and the league resumes. Here are this weekend’s predictions.

Boston Breakers OVER FC Kansas City.
I don’t know if the break has given Vlatko Andonovski the time to come up with something new so the ball gets to Sydney Leroux or Shea Groom and they’re actually putting shots on target. That’s Kansas City’s problem and I have my doubts they can find the trick. I said before that Boston is going to be a problem for some teams as the push for the playoffs heats up and I think a win here starts that momentum that enables them to look at the playoff contenders with bad intentions.

Sky Blue FC OVER Washington Spirit.
Sky Blue will look to avenge that bonkers game against Seattle before the break, and they will take it out on Washington.

Portland Thorns FC and Houston Dash play to a DRAW.
I have no idea if moving the kick-off time will play an advantage to either side. The extreme heat that’s blanketing the Pacific Northwest is going to result in a game where everyone moves like wet sponges.

North Carolina Courage OVER Seattle Reign FC.
I’d like to be proven wrong in that Seattle will pick up a major win on the road with this one given North Carolina will have the make-up game against FC Kansas City after this before they travel to Seattle for the return leg of this series the following weekend. That said, the side that’s hosting does not lose in this league. Also, who knows if this one will kick-off on time.

Chicago Red Stars OVER Orlando Pride.
Last time I said Chicago Red Stars would do good and win, Christen Press claimed a brace. So clearly she saw my predictions and went, “I like the cut of this guy’s jib.” Red Stars keep their hold at the top of the table.

Here’s your tunes to send you into the weekend.

Song: “Fever” | Artist: Roosevelt

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