11 new faces for team USA?

Thats a lot …

We have nearly lost the overview. But we have 3 years now. So why not start trying something. But keep in mind that we will be three years older in three years. Well – sort of most of us hopefully. Its really the main point that you cant say: there is not an awful lot to do at the moment so lets take some break or make some fun of it. But three years is an awful lot of time regarding the development of players and the game. And there will be a lot of things massively different in 3 years from now. But first lets keep the overview:
Jane Campbell, Ashley Hatch and Andi Sullivan are three college players. Sorry, not seen a lot. Letting college players know they are as well under observation is certainly a good thing. Bit no support to some of the players preparing for the U20 WC? The NWSL players:
Lynn Williams
Kealia Ohai
Arin Gilliland
Casey Short
Merritt Mathias
Shea Groom
Danielle Colaprico
Abby Dahlkemper

We have already talked about it: The USA actually have the vast majority of extraordinary players in the world. Actually to be better than one of the starting eleven requires skills that imminently would probably put you amongst the best 30-40 in the world and that is not that easy.

Kealia Ohai
is very unlucky that there are so many extraordinary players around at her time. We just cant see her get past Alex Morgan and Christen Press at the moment because they are just too good. And coming from the wings depends on the opponent and what is asked. But there are also Mallory Pugh and Tobin Heath, and if it is about pure speed probably Crystal Dunn who are still just that tiny bit in front actually.
Ohai is a strong runner and also has the vision to pass the ball on and prepare chances (though not always) and has a drive towards the goal also personally. A fantastic player allround who is unlucky to compete against fantastic + 1% more. Though combination play is less her favorite compared to her runs there arent major weaknesses but also no special strength in one particular section to be first choice there. But she is one of those being very close and three years is a long time and things have this year already changed in her favour in a few weeks. So lets see.

Lynn Williams
How good can you get late? Needs a seperate post because it is more than a line. But it is the main question here. The best thing is if you are 18 and not fit but already a world class player. Because fitness is the area you can gain the most if you are not yet top. To improve technical skills is much more difficult and needs much more time. And of course it depends massively on how much you are trained already. And that might be the key question with her future level. Seen from the athletics level there is a lot potential. But it seems like a rough diamond she kind of doesnt completely know yet how to make the most of it. Now it depends how good she will be able to turn her power and speed into fruitful actions on the ball. Very interesting. She might use trainings sessions also to play in the back line. Just to learn and see what happens.

Merritt Matthias
Matthias had one wonderful game against Tobin Heath which was her first as a defender. We dont know why she played consistently in the attack before. And unfortunately there was also not yet much of a confirmation after that Thorns match regarding the defense and we will still have to see why she was called up for the US roster.

Abby Dahlkaemper
Played a solid and valuable season for the Flash and didnt look the weaker compared to her partner Alanna Kennedy who is a regular starter at top ten team Australia. However to be a candidate for the US team you need to show even more at the moment than that but enough talent seems certainly to be there to take over in the future.

Danielle Colaprico
Is a very fine holding midfielder for the Red Stars. Good in a lot of aspects including defensive duels, technical skills, ball distribution. However to be amongst the top players in the world she needs to be able to have an influence on the game that is at least somewhere near that of her teammates Johnston and Press who are. Couldnt see that too often yet but she certainly has also got the ingredients.

Arin Gilliland
Same procedure like so often. We have seen her being a wonderful player and very good in several important games. A hard worker along the side line who is very difficult to pass for any forward and always available to push the own offense over the wing. However there is still the small gap between the influence a very good player has for her team to the influence an exceptional player like Press has. But no doubt the margin is small enough to be overcome and of those playing wing backs there are no exceptional players actually starting for the NT. So she is possibly not the weaker compared to the latest wing back starters. Maybe yet less experienced.

Casey Short
Nearly exactly the same to say like with Gilliland. Except that they are slightly different type of players. Casey Short a little bit easier to use in scenarios where less free spaces are avaiable and the technical skills play a bigger role because she seems to feel more comfortable controlling the ball at her feet.

Shea Groom
Is even more difficult to rate because this season Kansas’ offense simply was very different from the USWNT to play. It looks like pretty the same pattern. Good player but exceptional enough to play here? You simply cant tell as they are all close but seem not yet quite there. But all able to get there with another small step forward. And you (and even the player themselves) can not know who might be able to do that under the right circumstances in the right situation.

Who is still missing?
While there seems more a discussion on Danielle Colaprico and Vanessa DiBernardo, we would see Kristen Edmonds also at least on level there. Also Kristie Mewis hasnt been too far away since several years. Pity she missed the most part of the season. But also worth a mention.
And we tried to see more of Meritt Matthias to understand how it comes Beverly Yanez isnt ranked clearly better.
Sarah Killion is kind of a Morgan Brian light. If she only could increase her physical impact a little bit. Not too far away at the moment.
Jess McDonald is the partner of Lynn Williams in Western New York. Can we see a reason why Williams should have had the better season or is it again unfortunately due to overestimating the number of goals scored? Though of course this often is a indication for quality it might fail totally. For example Ohai would have been a lame duck based on the number of goals for the first view matches turned all of sudden super player within weeks. Another pretty good example that the number of goals scored isnt necessarily a good measure is Crystal Dunn and her difference between 2015 and 2016. There was probably not much between the two Flash forwards during this season but Lynn Williams might be indeed the one with the more extraordinary talents.
Stephanie McCaffrey has been with the roster in the past. But we havent seen enough from her this season.
There is also a lot to say about the difference of having a good team and having the best individuals. “Special interest” players are usually not enough considered for “special situations” like having good header players for high crosses when you are not able to pass your way through a defense.
So for example we would keep an eye on Jaelene Hinkle. Difficult to say whether she is straightforward one of the next best. Really a few very close players around there. But she has “special strengths” no one else has. Not even the extraordinary players. She is probably not amongst the best when you need to combine your way through a crowded opposite half. However if you have strong header players or feel it is more dangerous to serve high crosses into the box we think she might be the best for this special situation. Her vision of where to play the ball and accuracy of the crosses might be better than that of all other players.
Thus this list is certainly not complete and we look forward to experiencing who will make it next.

This article has another part about players of the back line in team USA and the problem with back line players worldwide that we have sourced out into another post.
There is another article due how much players are hampered by the NWSL 5 month only season and how much those have an advantage who do or have played overseas.

 

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