Allow me to explain

Remember when we had Clarissa to explain shit to us? That was pretty terrific, wasn’t it?

Clarissa explains it all

I miss it. And since I’m feeling a little nostalgic, I’m thinking there are a few things about the USWNT that might need explaining.

  1. Shannon Boxx is the holding midfielder. She is not the #10, not the playmaker. Yes, she scores goals, but there are plenty of holding midfielders who do that. Think Michael Bradley. Think Daniele De Rossi. Think Roy Keane. On second thought, stop thinking about Roy Keane.  Shannon Boxx. She is the USs only true holding midfielder. And try as they might, they have not found anyone who even remotely gives her a run for her money.  (The only player I can think of on the horizon is Portland’s Keelin Winters, who is perhaps a year away from really being able to compete on the full national level.) Now Shannon Boxx is a machine, and I don’t see her dropping off too many levels next year, but conjecture is not an appropriate sub in a tournament.  She protects the back four like no one else in the country.
  2. Megan Rapinoe shoots from distance. I notice a lot of people whinging about this, because they only just heard about her last year when she joined the Red Stars. Shooting a lot from distance is her thing. One might say it’s her favorite thing. She did it to score against Brazil in the 3rd-place match in the 2004 U-19 Women’s World Cup. She did it to score against UCLA in the 2005 NCAA Championship. Yes, she misses a lot. But shooting a lot is what she does, and if she didn’t, we’ll, then we wouldn’t have that amazing goal against Brazil. Complaining about that side of her game is like complaining about Wambach falling down a lot. It doesn’t matter if or when you’re right; it doesn’t change a thing. Everyone knows about it, and coaches put her in anyway. She has vision and a canon. And when she was gone in the second half against Sweden, even Pia admitted she was missed.
  3. We don’t really have a #10. There’s no true playmaker, and while Wambach has improved tremendously in this aspect, do we really want her the job of feeding balls to far less consistent goal-scorers? I would suggest Rapinoe for the job, but we’re all tired of me harping on about it. (Seriously, when Tobin gets healthy? Pinoe in the middle.) Lloyd was frustrating when she was healthy. Lori Lindsey is terrific for Philly, but she owns that team. She drives them. The opportunity for her to own the WNT has passed, and I think it shows. The same may be true for Huffman, who is perhaps not a playmaker by nature.

This is not all, maybe. But even Clarissa only had half an hour each week.

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