Our other Championship team

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Re: Our other Championship team

Post by FANatic on Tue Dec 09, 2008 8:14 am

Keelin will definitely be a critical piece of next year's championship team.( Very Happy )

We should be stronger than ever up the spine, with excellent goalkeeping, an improved defensive back line with a year of experience for our young defenders and the addition of Cloee. I also have a gut feeling that one of the 2009 freshman will emerge as a strong and very speedy outside back. (Which player I can't know until we start to see them play next August. Just a guess: Taylor Brooke or Elinor Priest? I believe Elinor is one of the top sprinters in the state. Anyone having seen any of the local 2009 recruits care to weigh in on this? Molly Klier is another unknown recruit - to me anyway. Maybe Geez has some info in his massive personal soccer archives. I've heard his will stipulates that his archives go straight to the Smithsonian upon his demise.)

It's also possible Megan Sweeney will be dramatically improved next season, if she indeed struggled with her knee at all in 2008.

Charney will probably be in the attacking mid position, and Sophie and Dani will lead the goal scoring parade. We will have myriad options at outside mid. We will have a ton of quality depth sitting on the bench. And if we dominate most teams like we usually do, there will be ample playing time for our young reserves to grow and learn without the pressure of a year like 2008. 2009 is shaping up to be truly a year in line with 2002 and 2005, at least on paper and before any injuries. (And if any national teams take just one player next year, I will give up, fold my tent, and to heck with NCAA soccer.)

Just speculating... My 2 Cents

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Re: Our other Championship team

Post by bluffer on Tue Dec 09, 2008 6:03 pm

"Fanatic wrote[quote]Charney will probably be in the attacking mid position, and Sophie and Dani will lead the goal scoring parade.

Hopefully the pilots will have all three U-20s back for the entire year. My lineup would be Michelle and Dani at forward (Probable leading scorers) with Sophie as attacking mid and Keelin as holding mid, Ellie and Kendra at wing with Cassie and Cloee center back and Jessica and Sweeney outside back. Of course Kelsey at goal. Sophie is a natural mid and with her and Keelin at mid the pilots would win every ball. I think Sophie is also more of an attacking player than Keelin and with her distribution skills she would be almost like a third forward. With that type of skill at every position it shapes up to be a very good year in 2009.

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Re: Our other Championship team

Post by karanicole on Tue Dec 09, 2008 6:10 pm

And Michelle O. coming off the bench?

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Re: Our other Championship team

Post by Auto Pilot on Tue Dec 09, 2008 6:15 pm

Where to play Sophie and Keelin? That is a great problem for any coach to have. If I were privy to the pilot brain trust I might just switch them based on the matchups. So with Sophie and Keelin obvious choices for the central midfielders where does that leave Charney? Interesting, because she had a great year technically and tactically but did not score much.

I am thinking maybe Michelle E. can take up the left mid where Megan R. left off. She definately has the pace to play outside and I was impressed with her playmaking this year and last as well. I can see her getting off crosses from the left endline and Jessica from the right. Sophie is a proven finisher so I would keep her in the attack as a Forward or Attacking Mid. Keeling is just so strong at distribution as we saw during the U-20's championship. She wins all the head balls at mid and can hold up well under pressure. She is also a threat on set pieces.

Wondering who will take the free kicks now Megan is gone? Who can bend the ball and send it with pace. Kelsey is on record saying Charney has a shot in the same velocity. It all just makes my head spin. I think Garret will enjoy subbing this year as the pleasure has been denied him for the last two years.

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Re: Our other Championship team

Post by bluffer on Tue Dec 09, 2008 7:45 pm

Autopilot: Have you forgotten that Enyeart proved herself as well as a finisher when she was Freshman of the year with 16 goals. I have no doubt that she would have led the pilots in scoring this year if she had been allowed to play more in every game. There is a reason she was picked to represent the U.S. in the u-20's. Of all the Pilot forwards she is probably the most natural and is certainly the fastest. I really think the pilots need her speed up top, she will get to balls that neither Sophie or Dani are able to run down and has proven that she can also distribute from that position (15 assists as a sophomore). Ellie can re-assume her position at wing and has certainly proven she has the pace to play wing. I would also like to see Jessica at wing but she has made herself such a valuable asset at outside back that the coaching staff may not want to move her. I can't think of a better combination at mid than Sophie and Keelin, both have size, good speed for midfielders, and great distribution skills.

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Re: Our other Championship team

Post by Auto Pilot on Tue Dec 09, 2008 8:46 pm

No slight to Michelle's finishing was intended. I have no doubt that she would have and will continue in her goal scoring ways. There is only one on the team that can compare in pace. I mentioned Michelle E. as a possible outside mid because she is so fast. I suggest that she most likely could play anywhere on the field.

I was just thinking that Foxhoven would be under utilized any other place than forward, although, as has been pointed out, she has become much more than just a finisher this past season. Sophie, as I said will most likely move back to either attacking or holding midfielder.

That leaves us with Sophie, Michelle E., or Halley in the other slot up front; or maybe even Charney with her powerful shot. Michelle E. and Dani are the obvious picks for forward. Central midfield will be hotly contested for playing time with Keelin, Sophie, Charney and Michelle O. showing she is outstanding in the holding spot as well. I expect Michelle O to move back with Kassi into the central defense given the quality of midfielders we will have available and the graduation of Corie N. There will be no questions next year at midfield.

Michelle makes the most sense to me up front, but the way the pilots play possession it is more about techical ability and tactical awareness than pure speed. I just feel that against a strong opponent the forwards don't get as many touches, and I would really like to see Michelle E. on the ball as much as possible imho she is just as assist minded as she is scoring minded. If Michelle does play up front she will get quality balls from the back and we will be much more dangerous on the breakaway/counter attack than we were this year.

As for Ellie, she is a world class defender. We saw that with the U-20s; again a player I could see playing anywhere on the field, except perhaps holding midfield. Of course, none of this takes into account the incoming freshmen. I am guessing at least one will crack the starting line up.

Keeping our fingers crossed that everyone stays healthy, I predict we will see more players getting minutes and have a fresher team come the end of season next year.

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Re: Our other Championship team

Post by purple haze on Wed Dec 10, 2008 3:51 pm

Without Michelle E. up top what the Pilots lacked in '08 was some ability to score a fast "easy" goal on a breakaway or counterattack. (Easy being a relative term here.) Ellie was also missed for her speed no matter where she played. Without them, so many of the team's attacks were built up over time through multiple passes and patient ball control. It seems to me that lightning strikes were much rarer. Building a team to win the typical 1-0 or 2-1 College Cup game means having someone who can blaze to glory and terrify the defense. One defensive flub versus a sprinting striker is all it takes some times.

I recall that Charney took some corner kicks early this season before Megan took over the role. (Too bad Megan couldn't have been in front of the goal to head her own kicks!)

The auditions for so many roles next season is shaping up as a very competitive process.

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Re: Our other Championship team

Post by Harry Redknapp on Wed Dec 10, 2008 8:50 pm

Bluffer

I would play Michelle Olivier ahead of Kassi or Cloee at center defense. I like Michelle Enyeart's pace on the outside mid spot and would play Elli Reed at left defense. I think Charney Burk has to start too; I think she plays the attacking midfield position well.

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Re: Our other Championship team

Post by fan from afar on Thu Dec 11, 2008 4:36 am

As I have said before, I love the idea of Michelle at left outside mid and Ellie at left outside back. Imagine teams fighting to keep Michelle under control and then having Ellie, with her speed and good left foot, overlap past or into that mix. That will cause defenses serious headaches. I agree with Harry. Also agree about M. Olivier at center D - she is unspectacularly solid there. Also about Charney - I expect to see a huge improvement from her frosh to soph year.

However - PH has a real good point. We do not have breakaway speed at attack with Daniel and Sophie. We essentially have two target players. Michelle could be one of the leading scorers in the nation playing at forward.

So, after playing with all the combinations, I think you have to start with where you want Michelle playing and work back from there. To me, there are only 3 givens - Danielle at attack, Keelin at one of the two center mid spots, and Jessica at outside back. Plug Michelle into whichever spot you like, and the rest falls into place pretty well.

It will be an extremely versatile team, and I expect you will see Michelle at both positions, maybe depending on the situation. If we're having trouble breaking down a tough central defense, Michelle goes there and Sophie goes back into the middle. If we are having trouble with a fast attacker (Stanford!!) on our left, Ellie goes back to left outside and Michelle to left outside mid.

Finally, while it's definitely fun, none of this will probably matter too much, because there WILL be injuries - there always are - and there will be surprises with the new players. It sure is going to be fun next fall.

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Re: Our other Championship team

Post by bluffer on Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:45 am

Purple Haze: I agree with you that the Pilots lacked that extra speed that Michelle E. has that allows the team to score a "fast" or "easy" goal on a counterattack. I think she also brings that dimension of being able to make a defensive play (ala Colorado 07) leading to a goal. I think as a forward she would have more touches on the ball and more opportunites to strike fear into the opposition (break down the defense) and to make things happen (assist her team mates). She attracts so much defense that it gives the other members of the team more freedom of movement which I don't think they would get if she were on the wing. Although Charney played well this year, if you place her head to head against Keelin or Sophie I think she would rarely win the ball due to her size and speed, therefore, I have to go with Keelin and Sophie in the mid. I don't think you can find a better or stronger tandem that would be more dominate at the midfield position. As for Ellie, she played outstanding at outside back for the U-20s but I thought her play at that position was less than steller for the Pilots, mostly due to trying to do too much. With her speed she might be better suited to left mid where she can use that speed to join the attack and get in position to receive a pass from Michelle E. or one of the mids after they have pulled the defense and goalee out of position. I think Dani has to remain at forward but needs to learn to combine better and not take so many low percentage shots. As to the back line, I thought Cassie was the heart of it last year, she was solid all year long. Either Cloee or Michelle O. will join her with Jessica and Sweeney as outside backs. The only question is at right wing, Kendra , Charney, or one of the new freshman. Right now I have to go with Kendra's skill and experience if she is healthy. I think that is a lineup that will win against the best teams, NC, Notre Dame, UCLA, etc., instead of struggling against the better teams while beating up on the likes of Kennesaw State, Portland State, Northern Arizona and others. Most, if not all, of the team is playing at their strongest position and at the position that they know the best and probably have the most experience playing (except Jessica who I would like to see at mid but can't think of anyone who can replace her).

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Re: Our other Championship team

Post by Poopdeck Pappy on Thu Dec 11, 2008 1:17 pm

With this depth of talent, we might see Garrett employ an A-team, B-team system much like what the Blazers are using this year. I'm assuming that he would want to keep his defense together for cohesion, so each of these two sub-teams would consist of two forwards, two wings, and an attacking midfielder. Using this concept, he would play his A-team for the first 20-25 minutes or each half before gradually subbing in his B-team which would play the remaining minutes. This would spread the PT around and keep fresh legs on the pitch for the entire game.

Along these lines, I've noticed that UCLA and North Carolina are much more liberal with their substitutions than Portland has been. This probably reflects their overall depth of talent. The Tarheels also use a different keeper for each half.

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Re: Our other Championship team

Post by Geezaldinho on Thu Dec 11, 2008 3:11 pm

That sounds like what UNC does.

Excuse me, I have to go puke....

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Re: Our other Championship team

Post by purple haze on Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:09 pm

I love this topic. Here it is two weeks till Christmas and we are already deep into debating next season's lineup. Welsome to the endless season courtesy of Pilot Nation!

Getting back to the excellent U-20 photos that were posted: The USA players are all smiles, while the North Koreans look like someone scuttled their secret nuclear program.

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Re: Our other Championship team

Post by Geezaldinho on Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:50 pm

purple haze wrote:
Getting back to the excellent U-20 photos that were posted: The USA players are all smiles, while the North Koreans look like someone scuttled their secret nuclear program.

Haha.

Well, second place is never enviable position. Let me remind you of the USA team's reaction to placing second in the CONCACAF qualifiers


http://www.pilotnation.net/women-s-soccer-f7/canada-beats-u-20-s-in-final-t959.htm#5542

In North Korea's case, maybe somebody DID shoot their dog.

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Re: Our other Championship team

Post by Auto Pilot on Fri Dec 12, 2008 12:57 am

First place, is so important when you get that far. USA had the best team in Russia in 2006 (even the locals said so) but they ran into some unfamiliar gamesmanship from the Chinese in the semi and could not get a score in the first half. The Chinese played for over time and PKs the whole second half and got what they wanted. The Chinese girls were dropping like flies with the cramps and were receiving acupuncture on the side lines. Never seen that before. It was kind of a disgrace the China coach actually made a public apology to FIFA for the stalling tactics, but China won the PKs and went on to lose to Korea in the final.

The US was so heartbroken they cried for days and couldn't get their emotions together and lost to Brazil in the third place game. Koreans have alot at stake in terms of political pressure. I don't even want to think what awaited them back home.

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Re: Our other Championship team

Post by A_Fan on Mon Dec 15, 2008 3:48 pm

I know this topic came up page or two back, but I haven't been to the site in a few days. Concerning Megan taking the corner kicks. I ran into the Rapinoes at a basketball game at PSU a couple of weeks ago and I asked them why with her jumping ability, Megan wasn't on the receiving end of those kicks. Rachel said because no one on the team could deliver a corner kick as well as Megan. She said making a good corner kick is harder than it looks and that Megan's skills were put to better use for the team as the kicker rather than receiver. Rachel is sharp, I hope we see her back on the bench next year in a coaching capacity.

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Re: Our other Championship team

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Mon Dec 15, 2008 6:03 pm

A_Fan wrote:I know this topic came up page or two back, but I haven't been to the site in a few days. Concerning Megan taking the corner kicks. I ran into the Rapinoes at a basketball game at PSU a couple of weeks ago and I asked them why with her jumping ability, Megan wasn't on the receiving end of those kicks. Rachel said because no one on the team could deliver a corner kick as well as Megan. She said making a good corner kick is harder than it looks and that Megan's skills were put to better use for the team as the kicker rather than receiver. Rachel is sharp, I hope we see her back on the bench next year in a coaching capacity.

As evidenced by the first goal against James Madison. Shannon Mac was a great example of this: the best corner kickers can get the ball from the corner to their target spot really fast. The offense has a better idea where the ball's going than the defense; and the quicker the ball gets there, the less time the defense has to react. The goal against JMU showed just how it's supposed to work. Whether it's a corner or a free kick, especially from the side, the principle is the same. I've been wondering, too -- it has seemed to me that the Pilots scored more goals off corner kicks this year than I can remember them even coming close to in prior years. But I really have no idea. Anyone have any stats? Probably would require someone to look at all the play-by-plays from this and earlier years.


Last edited by UPSoccerFanatic on Mon Dec 15, 2008 6:06 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Our other Championship team

Post by SoreKnees on Mon Dec 15, 2008 6:05 pm

I always remember Justi Baumgardt as a terrific corner kicker. She could just place it on a dime!

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Re: Our other Championship team

Post by Auto Pilot on Mon Dec 15, 2008 9:32 pm

This thread is derailed and halfway to bean town so I'll jump on. The most logical corner kicker to me would be Charney. Her pace was close or as good as Megan. Plus she is not tall so you wouldn't lose her height around the goal. Plus with no pressure on the ball I have a feeling she would be very accurate.

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Re: Our other Championship team

Post by eProf on Tue Dec 16, 2008 1:04 pm

SoreKnees wrote:I always remember Justi Baumgardt as a terrific corner kicker. She could just place it on a dime!

Justi's corner kicks were fabulous. I don't think I've seen a Pilot player since (man or woman) who had corners like hers.

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Re: Our other Championship team

Post by FANatic on Thu Dec 25, 2008 8:27 pm

I have to go with Auto on corner kicks. I think Charney has the chance to be a really good/great choice for corner and free kicks.

It will be interesting to see if any of the freshmen have that kind of leg with accuracy.

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Re: Our other Championship team

Post by DaTruRochin on Mon Dec 29, 2008 3:08 am

A nice little article about the U-20s featuring Keelin as the centerpiece...

http://soccernet.espn.go.com/columns/story?id=605471&sec=us&root=us&cc=5901

It offers an explaination as to why Michelle wasn't featured as much and as to why she didn't see as many minutes as one would expect, but my favorite has to be the closing quote:

Until then, for all the magic of the U-20 World Cup, one story's global ending is another's local beginning: "I, along with my Portland teammates Elli Reed and Michelle Enyeart, now know exactly what it takes to be champions," Winters said. "We have won a World Championship, but now we want to win a national championship with our team at Portland."

Goal Celebration!

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Re: Our other Championship team

Post by fan from afar on Mon Dec 29, 2008 7:39 am

It will be interesting to see which of these U20 players make it to the national team. My money is on Keelin.

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Re: Our other Championship team

Post by Auto Pilot on Mon Dec 29, 2008 3:05 pm

I can't see Kristine Lily playing another World Cup. There just might be an opening for a midfielder.

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Re: Our other Championship team

Post by purple haze on Mon Dec 29, 2008 4:10 pm

Aly Wagner will also be getting up in years (relatively speaking) by the next World Cup, and has been slowed by an injury that limited her in the Olympics. This might open another midfield spot on the WNT.

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