Women's Soccer USA

Coverage of women's soccer in the US. If it's not here...it's not important...

September 28, 2007

Solo's mental state "is not my concern"

The long-term residency program is detrimental to players' tactical sharpness. God love Abby Wambach--and I most definitely do--but when she repeatedly says that the US players' lack of international club experience is not a problem because "we get the best competition in the world every day at practice," I have to wonder if she's really that short-sighted or is simply saying what she's been instructed to say. And then I wonder which of those is the less distressing possibility. Going up against the same players who come out of the same system every day only teaches you how to beat those players and that system. After a few times you'll know everyone's tendencies, and you'll be anticipating moves rather than learning how to react to unfamiliar tactics and personnel. Club teams will not match up with the US roster in terms of individual skill, top-down, but playing in meaningful games every week against rotating opposition creates pressure, exposes players to adversity, and hones their reactions to changing circumstances in ways that end-of-practice scrimmages never will.

Oh, and bring the friggin' team psychologist with you when you go to a tournament, and remember that keepers are different from field players, and women are different from men. Ryan's comment that Solo's mental state after being benched "is not my concern" reveals volumes.

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