O-Live Article on UP

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O-Live Article on UP

Post by up7587 on Tue Oct 20, 2015 12:34 am


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Re: O-Live Article on UP

Post by Disgruntled on Tue Oct 20, 2015 11:08 am

Well, if you want to change the publicity, eliminate the problem. I'm sorry that nobody wants to specifically call this out, but our coaching situation needs to change. We haven't had a "Marquee Recruit" since Lauren left for greener pastures.  I can only place that blame in one place, and it doesn't include the iron deficiency, or the small roster (which also begs questions)?

The current coaching staff does not inspire. Instead they call out the draw of Merlo Field and the amazing crowds, which shockingly are drying up. How many transfers out do we have to have before we start asking the real question... why?

I've heard many anecdotal stories of mind games being played, and players not being certain of their role.  Something has to give. If the tradition of a once great program isn't enough, if the best stadium in college soccer isn't enough, then what?

I certainly hope that Michelle French, Lauren Hansen, and others are paying close attention.

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Re: O-Live Article on UP

Post by A_Fan on Tue Oct 20, 2015 1:26 pm

Which transfers away from UP do you think have really hurt the team? As far as I can tell none of the players who left in the past few years ended up having a large impact on the teams they moved to. Kids move on for a variety of reasons and soccer is not necessarily the reason. Do you have any actual facts on why these young women changed schools?

Also which "Marquee Recruits" did the UP have before Lauren left? UP has never been noted for signing "Marquee" players.

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Re: O-Live Article on UP

Post by Disgruntled on Tue Oct 20, 2015 1:46 pm

Well, for starters, every transfer has hurt the team. We've complained of depth for how many years now? Chloe Colohan, Danica Evans, to name two that I sure would've liked to see around for a couple of more years. Yes you can argue that there are likely peripheral circumstances, but as I said before I've heard from several people close to the program who have said that the players don't know what their role will be week to week, and that communication is largely a one way street.

As for marquee recruits... well how about Megan Rapinoe, Sophie Schmidt, both were quite highly regarded. As I remember it, we were in a very good position with Kealia Ohai until Lauren left, she was the #1 recruit in this class.

And yes you are right, UP has never been noted for signing Marquee players to me that is a big part of the problem, if we can't compete for top talent given our history, then we will never be a top 10 team again.

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Re: O-Live Article on UP

Post by PilotNut on Tue Oct 20, 2015 5:26 pm

I have been perusing this forum this season, and keeping track of the teams without saying anything, and have been formulating some thoughts.  Take them for what they are worth.

The Athletic department will have some tough questions at the end of this season, as both the men's and women's programs have struggled of late... we used to have a marquee facility full of marquee fans, but most other programs have caught up or exceeded UP in terms of facilities...  Let's be honest, Merlo is a great facility, but it is no longer unique/unusual--we need to continue to invest and renew the facility.  Schools with large TV contracts, sports networks and football programs have been able to invest in their own facilities to very quickly catch up or move ahead.  We no longer have 1,000's of fans attending games, either.  

So, how do we keep up?  The leverage we have now in hopes of turning things around: The history/tradition (however it is fading very quickly), being located in a soccer-crazy city (moderate success should bring back a lot of fans for both programs), and a solid foundation for facilities (not starting from zero).  Where do we go from here?

Thoughts?


Last edited by PilotNut on Tue Oct 20, 2015 7:00 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: O-Live Article on UP

Post by Harry Redknapp on Tue Oct 20, 2015 6:10 pm

I agree with you on the facilities front. Food offerings have been inconsistent and poor. Most games now there is no option for real food if you need a meal. On Sunday we had food with us and we're turned away by a security person, which is a new experience. It doesn't feel fan friendly right now.

And the comparison with 2005 team was stark. Pilots continue to recruit good local players. On Sunday Kendrick, Boon Lusby and Jones for example. But no national team level players. Sinclair and Rapinoe are a special case maybe but Steph Lopez and Lindsay Huie and Angie Woznuk were star quality too. Not sure if anyone on the team today compares to those five?

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Re: O-Live Article on UP

Post by wrv on Wed Oct 21, 2015 2:43 pm

The real question is not stated in this thread, though one could infer it from Disgruntled's posts. That question has little to do with facilities . . .

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Re: O-Live Article on UP

Post by purple passion on Wed Oct 21, 2015 6:52 pm

WOW!!
A lot of Monday morning (season end) quarterbacks. I'm not ready to give up on GS, but the fear of moving away from Cliveball is going to be necessary to keep pace with other Clive inspired playing styles and the styles that have learned to defend against it.
As for transfers out, two were for scholastic issues, one for playing time, and one for not fitting in. Those are ones that I know. Another was on the roster as a Frosh, but disappeared into just a student without playing..a medical issue I understand.
The students, I'm afraid, are more inspired by Villa than the team...and Villa has been weak this season.
Just don't give up on these ladies...they have talent...it just needs release.

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Re: O-Live Article on UP

Post by Susie Que on Thu Oct 22, 2015 3:17 pm

At the end last year's losing season, AD Scott Leykam said this to the Oregonian:
"I think what this season means is we need to get back next year [2015]. We'll see what we need to do from a personnel standpoint and a program support standpoint."

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Re: O-Live Article on UP

Post by Dan No Yell on Thu Oct 22, 2015 3:21 pm

Disgruntled wrote: I've heard from several people close to the program who have said that the players don't know what their role will be week to week, and...

When there are 17 or fewer players available and half are talented forwards, it's not surprising they don't know their roles week to week. I bet the coaching staff doesn't either.

There are some players who were starting earlier in the year who are not now. Some of those players may have lost their starting role to players who earned the role. More likely it has to do with health and match ups.

I don't remember how it was worded, but; when they were introducing the 2005 team they said it was the last team, in any sport mens/womens, to win a championship from a smaller conference. Sorry for the convoluted wording. All the top recruits are going to school that play in marquee divisions, and a coaching change is not going to stop that. It's not only true for UP soccer, it is true for every sports program in every small conference school.

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Re: O-Live Article on UP

Post by Geezaldinho on Thu Oct 22, 2015 5:45 pm

Dan No Yell wrote:.

I don't remember how it was worded, but; when they were introducing the 2005 team they said it was the last team, in any sport mens/womens, to win a championship from a smaller conference. Sorry for the convoluted wording. All the top recruits are going to school that play in marquee divisions, and a coaching change is not going to stop that. It's not only true for UP soccer, it is true for every sports program in every small conference school.

For women. That's probably true.

Though it's worth mentioning that Denver won the Men's Lacrosse championship this year, and Hopkins wins it pretty regularly, large schools have resources and player funding outside athletic scholarship we don't have.

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Re: O-Live Article on UP

Post by Dan No Yell on Thu Oct 22, 2015 7:37 pm

^ True. I missed the exact wording.

But the bigger point is the 2005 team was magical. I don't know that any women's college soccer team will ever be that good again.

7587 thanks for the article. Well written and informative. I am looking for the return of Young and Armendariz next year.

Here is a fun one on the subject of 2005.

http://www.topdrawersoccer.com/the91stminute/2013/11/the-best-womens-di-teams-of-all-time-the-2005-portland-pilots/

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Re: O-Live Article on UP

Post by A_Fan on Fri Oct 23, 2015 9:20 am

Gotta agree with you DNY, it was a very special team. It will be a real coaching coup for someone to have a team that talented and cohesive ever again.

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Re: O-Live Article on UP

Post by ejjqb on Fri Oct 23, 2015 11:44 am

Anyone who was around to witness the 2005 season will agree that the team was indeed very special and so much fun to watch.  As has been pointed out, the landscape of college soccer has changed dramatically since then so that the Pilots are competing with nearly twice as many well-funded programs for the available talent pool.  I doubt that the talent pool has doubled since then so the Pilots must work harder to identify players and convince them that the Pilot experience is worth their attention.  With the current situation, that is becoming even more difficult.  Small fan turn-out, lack of lively student participation from the stands and poor results on the field make the Pilot experience a shell of its former self.

All of that being said, I am impressed with the overall development of the team after witnessing the abysmal play early in the season.  They do provide some exciting moments though all of this just adds to the frustration with the lack of scoring and the propensity to give up goals at the most inopportune times.  Some of this leaves one to wonder about the coaching strategy being used.  Why are defenders getting into positions that allow breakaway runs to the goal?  Why have the Pilots seemed to have abandoned the long-time Pilot standard of using overlaps to take the ball to the endline on the left side, a strategy that has led to many goals over the years?  With Boon's obvious talent on the ball, why does she always cut to the middle when she dribbles up the field and then never takes it to a position of taking a shot?  Often times, the left side is left completely open for her or for the midfielder on that side to receive a pass.  Why do the Pilot wings stay so far back in position to receive a flat pass rather than moving forward to receive a pass in motion with a head of steam to get past a defender?  Other teams use the pass to the moving wing to great advantage on the Pilots themselves.  Is there a chance for the second all-time leading high school scorer, Viera, to try her hand at forward since Babcock clearly has the coaches' confidence at right defender?  Or maybe for Boon, probably the most reliable player this year, to get a chance up front?  Someone needs to put the ball in the net and the strategy used so far hasn't exactly worked.

Sorry for the long post, but just needed to get it out as I have enjoyed the Pilots women too much over the years to just watch the past two years' performance without commenting and wondering.

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Re: O-Live Article on UP

Post by keeper on Tue Oct 27, 2015 1:33 pm

While the results have been disappointing and frustrating this year, I actually thought the team played pretty well at times throughout the season and enjoyed watching a YOUNG team develop. The return to the possession game Clive favored is good to see and with a couple additions, and continued growth, could bear fruit next season. While some would like to see the possession style ditched, looking at the players on the roster and considering you don't have a "Christine" (superwoman on the pitch, for lack of a better term) or a "Michelle E" (deceptive speed and strength), the possession game gives the Pilots chance to be extremely competitive.

Of the 4 or 5 games I saw this year, the Notre Dame game was the only one where I felt the Pilots were talent deficient. The other games, the Pilots did a great job of controlling the game and were only lacking in finishing. So, I'm somewhat encouraged that next year will be better.

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Re: O-Live Article on UP

Post by Auto-Pilot on Sun Nov 08, 2015 9:19 am

I agree with the last two posts. I think this years team is better than some give them credit for. All but two games were close, and the Pilots looked like the better team, only to lose. However much I appreciate the Pilot possession style, you have to mix it up sometimes or it becomes predictable and easy to defend. It seems the default to retreat backwards, instead of pushing forward. And they have to take more shots! We've had trouble all year getting that final pass to connect.

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Re: O-Live Article on UP

Post by gnarly on Thu Dec 10, 2015 9:01 pm

I ran into parent who has a daughter the same age as my daughter a few weeks ago.  She and I used to coach the girls back in the U7-U9 days ten to 12 years ago.   We used to take the whole team to UP games and the girls and parents all loved it.  Now she made a comment that she laments how far the program has fallen off and misses the days of old.

It is sad that hardly anyone posts anymore.   There are few fans attending the games (one game I saw only 4 fans on the bleachers South of the student section).  The players don't play with spunk.  

Folks here make the comments that the game has changed.  That it is hard for a small school like UP to compete.  That may be true but the good programs adjust and make changes.   Looking at the seeds in this year's bracket, you see a lot of the same schools that were there 10-15 years ago:   FSU, Penn St, VT, UNC, WV, FL, Duke, Stanford, Vir, ND, SCU.   Those same teams have been in the thick of it for years.

Good programs have good senior leadership on their team.   To have a strong group of upper class players on the team you have to have larger recruiting classes.   Having 2 seniors on senior day won't cut it.  Players get injured, drop out, want to be closer to home. The teams I just mentioned average around 27 players on the team.   Penn St, this year's champ, had 27 on the roster.   Some are even carrying over 30  (VT 30, UNC 31, FL 32).  Our WCC rival SCU had 29 this year.   Some teams that had nice season this year like USC had 8 seniors on their team (plus another 8 juniors).   San Francisco which had a record breaking season for them beating both SCU and BYU had 7 seniors.

I don't know if GS is a good coach or not.   I don't have any personal experience with him.  What I do know is that when I asked some of the coaches my daughter during her classic soccer days their opinion of him, they did not speak highly of him.  If UP is to have a strong program again, they need a coach who is respected by their peers.  If you watch the highlights of the 2002 championship game and when UP scored in OT one of the first persons to give Clive a congratulatory hug was SCU's coach.  Go out there and watch it.  Huie said as much in that in the article she came here site unseen.  She came on the reputation of the coach.  That was all she needed.   If we want a nationally regarded program we need a coach who has a national reputation, not one that is not regarded highly even locally.  The girls deserve better than they are getting.

There is more competition for fans then there was 10 years ago.  We didn't have the Thorns.   The Timbers weren't at the elite level.   That is not the issue though.   What I see when I've watched a game lately is the players are not playing with the passion they used to.  It is hard to watch a game sometimes because they don't have a coach they believe in.   The goal seems to be to possess the ball rather than gamble and take a shot.   You could see that passion in this years Timbers and in their coach.  That is what is missing at UP.

I have a copy of 2005 championship game.   When the interview happens at half time with GS they ask him how UP was able to score 3 goals at half and he said:  "we have world class players and it is hard to stop all the scorers we have"   That was right on.   What we need right now is someone who can recruit world class talent.   Take the SF coach.  He recruited for USC and that class won the championship.  Now he is building the SF program.   That guy can recruit and turn a program around.

The Oregon live article was on the money.   Now I hope we'll see some changes.   I find it really sad when the university let a program as special as UP fall from grace.    I hope we can bring back the passion on the bluff.   Maybe I can take my grand kids to the game someday when they bring back the excitement to the pitch.

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Agreed

Post by Harry Redknapp on Fri Dec 11, 2015 6:44 am

Reluctantly I agree with you. It's time for a change of coach.

I can't say more right now but there will be further evidence of the problem when the team next takes the field.

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Re: O-Live Article on UP

Post by purple passion on Fri Dec 11, 2015 11:44 am

I know what 'arry is talking about, but I'm no expert on what decisions should or should not make regarding talent or procedure, so I'll just go with the flow and enjoy good college soccer from year to year.

As for the Thorns, they are only competition for fans during the Pilots preseason unless we are talking about competition for a slice of a fan's budget. I'm on a fixed income and support both.

My two cents is to ask all of us to let those involved do what they think is best up to the point of not maintaining our love of soccer. As far as respect of the program, maybe we should write to Steve Goff and ask him how the East Coast views the Pilots.

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Re: O-Live Article on UP

Post by Disgruntled on Mon Dec 14, 2015 8:41 am

Gonna go ahead and leave this tweet right here...


Portland W Soccer ‏@UPWomensSoccer

"Big day for our Pilot alums...Sinc hit that one milestone & Michelle French's U20 USWNT won their 4th straight CONCACAF title! #PilotPride"

Ms. French... there is a Mr. Leykam on the line for you.

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Re: O-Live Article on UP

Post by Shadrach on Mon Dec 14, 2015 5:25 pm

RE: previous post stating "Ms. French....there is a Mr. Leykam on the line for you."

All I can say is "from your lips to God's ears!" Let it be so!

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Re: O-Live Article on UP

Post by Corrado Kid on Sat Dec 26, 2015 1:00 pm

Geezaldinho, what are your thoughts on the direction of the program and coaching situation?

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