Rapinoe and the playoff bound Pilots

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Rapinoe and the playoff bound Pilots

Post by wrv on Tue Jul 10, 2007 10:31 am


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Re: Rapinoe and the playoff bound Pilots

Post by GUPhantom on Wed Jul 11, 2007 7:26 pm

RA-PI-NOE!!! RAP-PI-NOE!!! RA-PI-NOE!!!

Thanks for posting the article!

It's good to know Megan is getting healthy. I read on USSoccer.com that she participated in the last training camps held by both the U-21s and Senior National Teams this summer. But, she wasn't listed on the final rosters.

Was that because she's still in rehab mode? If anyone has any information about that, can you post a response? Before she tore her ACL, she seemed to be making claims on earning a spot with the World Cup Team as Stephanie already has.

I'm definitely excited about seeing her on the pitch again. Love her game. She's just vicious!! With Sophie Schmidt and Angie Wuznok, they will be without a doubt the top midfield line in the NCAA!

Go Pilots!!

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Re: Rapinoe and the playoff bound Pilots

Post by Stonehouse on Fri Jul 13, 2007 12:00 pm

Going into next season I think the Pilots are easily the #2 team in the country... behind UNC, who returns a ridiculous amount of talent from their Championship team of last year.

If everything goes right for the Pilots, I think they can definitely make it to the College Cup and advance to the Championship game. It's looking like a bright year ahead!

The hardest thing for the team, I think, will be playing time for everyone. The back line is pretty set with Davis in goal and Patterson and Cronkrite in the middle and Sweeney and Lopez on the outside. Kori Nicholson or one of the freshman (Keelin Winters, perhaps?) may push Cronkrite and Patterson... actually, I would count on it. But at least we've got a lot of experience back there.

The middle will be incredible with M. Rapinoe and Schmidt with Woznuk and Budge/Scifo on the outside. The first three are locks, with maybe Budge or Scifo getting pushed.

Up front is where it gets tricky... Enyeart is a no-brainer, and the way R. Rapinoe was playing at the end of last season how could they leave her out? But then there is the silky smooth Kendra Chandhoke, as well as a hot-shot recruit Elli Reed, who will be tough to keep down.

Should be ineresting to see how it all shakes down, and how they will deal with Lopez and Schmidt missing time at the World Cup.

Either way, I think we are in for another magical season out at Merlo.

Oh, and if you haven't been by campus in a while... the turf field is totally placed now and the new grass has been planted. The bump-out of the grandstand also is flying along... is it possible that there will actually be bathrooms there by opening night? Amazing!

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Slight Correction

Post by wrv on Sat Jul 14, 2007 7:05 am

Stonehouse, as usual your post is informative and on point. One thing, I am not sure that the Patterson player to which you allude is around. You probably mean Michaelson. I am interested to see whether the player from Texas, Sara Jackman, will immmediately compete for playing time along the back.

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Patterson

Post by wrv on Sun Jul 15, 2007 8:53 am

I vaguely recall that Michaelson may have married: so never mind. I am excited about next year's team . . .I agree that the College Cup is a distinct possibility.

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Re: Rapinoe and the playoff bound Pilots

Post by Stonehouse on Mon Jul 16, 2007 8:23 am

wrv... you are totally right. The name Emily was on the mind and for some reason I wrote Patterson instead of Michaelson. But at least that shows that I'm a longtime Pilot fan, right? Smile

Can't wait for the season to start... and I can't wait to see the new changes to the stadium. I hope it's all done right - I think they sorely need some kind of Walk of Fame or something like that that really showcases the National Championships and College Cup appearances. The faded signs along the Willamette Blvd. side just don't really do it for me.

I also wonder if the 'Portland' and 'Pilots' that were painted on the field for the game vs. Canada will become a permanent feature. I thought they looked really sharp.

One other bit of news... I have heard that Bon Appetit will not be doing the BBQ anymore and instead will go for a kind of Asian-style bento thing or something like that. It's getting fancy over there at Merlo!

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Re: Rapinoe and the playoff bound Pilots

Post by Geezaldinho on Tue Jul 17, 2007 12:00 pm

Before everybody gets all worked up about the #2 ranking, Well need to beat Fla. St. right out of the gate and UCLA, and USC away, all without our World Cup players ( I think we're the only school with this problem this year).

I think those are key, as the only other top 10 team I see is Santa Clara late in the season. The rest of the schedule just doesn't look strong enough to cement a super high ranking. Don't get me wrong, there's other good teams on the schedule ( Fullerton, Pepperdine, Maybe Kansas, one or two others). Just not top 10 prospects.

What makes this year interesting is the number of players who can play in several different places. This year, they'll need to. I'll bet Winters gets time in the midfield and Scifo plays some outside back, at least early in the season. I thought Scifo was great in the back last year, and her footskills and ability to get forward will help her.It'll be interesting to see who plays holding midfield in Sophie's absence (Jackman? Can Rachael be coaxed to the back after last season? will Cronkrite move up until Sophie gets back? can Kelly start?) The first month of the season's going to be interesting.

Though we seem deep up front, don't be at all surprised if one of the new strikers gets time. You might see three front lineups the first week. I'm including the Oregon recruits in there, too. Enyeart will get the most time up front. After that, I think the players that have the highest work rate will get time. That's why I think Budge will get time somewhere, even though she can't match the speed of some of the others.


Every year, some player we didn't expect to start gets in the lineup.
Who's it gonna be this year?


I saw the soccer complex today. The turf field looks almost ready, waiting only for the Nike crumbs to be spread out. The Grass field won't be filled in enough to practice on 'till later in the fall.

The grandstand? Don't expect that those facilities will be ready until the end of September. There's just too much to do yet. We'll be picknicking the first month.
From the way things are layed out, I don't think the walk of fame stuff will appear this year.

And don't talk Bento. You'll have to pry my Brat out of my cold dead hands.

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Re: Rapinoe and the playoff bound Pilots

Post by Stonehouse on Tue Jul 17, 2007 2:10 pm

Right on, Geezer! Nice post.

First things first, you can check out the pre-season prospectus at PortlandPilots.com:

https://www.portlandpilots.com/assets/sports/wsoccer/2007_WSOC_Preseason_Prospectus.pdf

I actually think UP will have one of the tougher schedules in the country... I had forgotten how many top-notch teams UP is playing. Florida State, UCLA, and Santa Clara (and Portland, for that matter) will all be pre-season top 10. And I bet USC, Pepperdine, and Yale (a pretty consistently strong progam) will also be ranked. At Oregon will also be a tough game, even though the Ducks won't be as strong as last season.

That's six ranked teams right there, not including four other BCS programs in Oregon, Purdue, Kansas and Washington. And that doesn't include always-tough WCC teams like Loyola, San Diego, and Gonzaga.

Call me crazy, but I think UP's strength of schedule will be PLENTY tough.

And actually, it will work out a lot better for the Pilots as well. Last year, the team had some excruciatingly difficult games against the top three teams in the country - Florida State, UNC, and Santa Clara, but then the only other ranked team they played was Florida, who they tied.

That came back to bit the team in the @ss come seeding-time for the tournament, because the selection committee (being, of course, the geniuses that they are) decided that despite a top 5 ranking, the Pilots weren't worthy of a seed because they didn't have a win over a ranked opponent. Which of course is BS, but it is what it is.

I think this schedule is super tough but also one that will hopefully set them up for a solid seed come tournament time.

As for the starting line-up... the big question for me is who will step in for Schmidt when she's away. Will Woznuk slide over to the middle with Rapinoe, with Budge and Scifo (or even Chandhoke?) on the wings? Maybe. Or will Nicholson step in? Or one of the freshman?

I agree that Scifo might do a nice job filling in for Lopez... but I don't think that R. Rapinoe will slide back there. She's proved herself as a goal scorer, and I think that will be her role.

If I had to guess... here is my starting lineup:

GK - Davis
LB - Lopez (Scifo/Winters/Brown during WC)
D - Michaelson
D - Cronkrite
RB - Sweeney
LW - Woznuk (Chandhoke/Scifo during WC, with Wozzie in the middle?)
M - M. Rapinoe
M - Schmidt (Wozzie? or Nicholson/Winters during WC)
RW - Budge
F - R. Rapinoe
F - Enyeart

I think Elli Reed will be first off the bench, spelling Budge out wide or one of the strikers. Chandhoke will get plenty of minutes too, but I'm really not sure where... my best guess is that she will go out wide during the WC as Woznuk slides to the middle. Unfortunately I think she might get pinched a bit, which is a shame because she's got terrific skill. But Enyeart is just to explosive and R. Rapinoe has an absolute nose for the goal.

As I said earlier, it's going to be a really exciting year, but I don't envy coach Smith the job of divvying up playing time.

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Re: Rapinoe and the playoff bound Pilots

Post by Geezaldinho on Tue Jul 17, 2007 6:12 pm

Hmm, interesting thast the prospectus has Reed in the midfield. I thought she was a striker on the U-20 team.

Each time I look at the list, I see new combinations.

I mostly agree with your list, Stoney. Holding midfield and a third outside defender will be the keys until our players get back from the World Cup. I don't think you'll see Wozzie in the offensive middle unless it's to spell M. Rapinoe. she'll stay outside to set up the strikers.
Rapinoe is just too good at winning balls.

I still think you might see R. Rapinoe at somewhere other than striker. She has other talents--imagine the pressure it would put on opponents! No double teams anywhere up front! I note that she is listed as both a striker and as a defender. My best guess is she and Woz will be the outside mids, regardless what the prospectus says.

There are certainly dangerous teams on the schedule, but Consider is that it seems top 10 teams NEVER loose outside that group. some years it is more like the top 8. If you want to be ranked above those teams, you need to beat them. In one sense, it might actually be better to lose to a lesser ranked team instead.

One of the things UP needs to avoid is the shafting like they got from the seeding committee last year. The only way to avoid that is to beat the majority of those 4 teams I mentioned, and they will probably need to beat all the Pac 10 teams on the schedule.

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Re: Rapinoe and the playoff bound Pilots

Post by ninjapizza on Tue Jul 17, 2007 7:54 pm

I wouldn't rule out R. Rapinoe as outside back. She does have a great defensive mentality and experience that Scifo doesn't.

The key this year would be keeping everyone healthy and being back to 2005 form. Especially on the back line. Last year there were early struggles with Evans being injured and I don't think Michaelson was quite in form, at least not the kind she was in in 2005. (Sort of like Roma with an out-of-form Panucci. Different positions, yes, but they have the same influence on the defense.)

Any word on who this year's captain is?

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Re: Rapinoe and the playoff bound Pilots

Post by Stonehouse on Wed Jul 18, 2007 10:32 am

Poor Rachael... everyone wants to stick her in different positions! Smile

It's great to have such versatile players... I hadn't thought of her playing out wide, but I think that makes a lot of sense. That would free up a spot for either Chandhoke or Reed up front. And it's true that she would make more sense in the back line as Lopez' replacement.

But that's a lot to ask someone, bouncing around from position to position. She did it last year and did it well, but she totally flourished when she finally got the stabillity of knowing she would be playing up front. I mean, she put the entire team on her back in the playoffs, especially after Enyeart when down with injury.

I'm sure she will be willing to do what is best for the team, but I would really be too bad if she lost that edge and momentum that she had at the end of last year.

Now that I think about it, I remember Garrett saying something at the end-of-the-year banquet to the effect of, "Rachael, you finally got to play in your natural position and do what you do - score goals. We won't bounce you around any more... unless we really need you to." That got a chuckle from the crowd, but also might turn out to be prophetic.

And I totally agree with you, Ninjapizza, about Michaelson. She didn't seem to be quite at the same level as she was the previous season. But I think she will be counted on to help anchor that back line, especially during the World Cup.

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