What's Happening with the U-20's?

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What's Happening with the U-20's?

Post by Geezaldinho on Sat Jan 26, 2008 9:31 am

US Soccer announced today that Jillian Ellis is no longer the U-20 coach, but is moving on as an assistant to the full National Team.
In her place, Tony DiCicco has been named as the new U-20 coach.

I'm still trying to sort out what is going on-

has Ellis been fired from her head coaching position? Does Pia really need the help?
Is this a welfare program for a ex-WNT coach to tide DiCicco over until the women's league restarts in 2009?

I wonder if this is good or bad for our players on the U-20 team. I thought the US team was going to move away from the old coaching regimes and move on to some more creative soccer.

I see Bill Irwin is untouched by the moves. I wonder if the other shoe is about to drop...


announcement

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Re: What's Happening with the U-20's?

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Sat Jan 26, 2008 12:31 pm

Interesting questions. If Pia really wanted Ellis, then she presumably wanted her right away. The U-20s are due to play in two weeks, so they may have needed someone on very short notice and perhaps DeCicco was the best that was available. Or, maybe Ellis was concerned about being gone for the U-20 world championships during the NCAA tournament in November-December 2008 and wanted out. Who knows?

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Speaking of U20 national team ...

Post by UPWomenSoccerRookie on Sat Jan 26, 2008 5:57 pm

These posts piqued my interest on who is in the player pool for the U20s. There are 3 current Pilots (Elli, Keelin, and Michelle) and one in-coming, Danielle Foxhoven.

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Re: What's Happening with the U-20's?

Post by Harry Redknapp on Sun Jan 27, 2008 1:47 pm

Strangely the US Soccer announcement lists Elli Reed under her club team and describes her as a high school player! The U20 World Cup is on Chile from November 20th until December 7th. That is totally absurd timing because it places it right in the NCAA playoffs. Why don't they play in the spring or summer?

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Re: What's Happening with the U-20's?

Post by PilotNut on Sun Jan 27, 2008 2:23 pm

Well, being that it is the World Cup.... the US doesnt have the say as to when its played... and Nov. & Dec. is Spring/Summer weather in Chile...

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Re: What's Happening with the U-20's?

Post by Geezaldinho on Sun Jan 27, 2008 2:35 pm

Yeah, it's the natural time to have it in Chile. It will be right at he end of the closing (Clausura) soccer season. Then there is the extended holiday season right after, and then It gets pretty hot in the summer months of January, February, and March. The other time to have it would be April/May During the opening soccer season (Aperatura).

Not everyone works on the NCAA fall schedule..

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Re: What's Happening with the U-20's?

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Mon Jan 28, 2008 10:05 am

According to an article in SoccerAmerica, Ellis' moving to the Women's National Team and DeCicco's taking over the U-20s will allow her to avoid conflicts with her coaching duties at UCLA. I assume what this means is that Ellis did not want to be committed to the U-20 World Cup during the NCAA tournament.

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Re: What's Happening with the U-20's?

Post by Geezaldinho on Mon Jan 28, 2008 10:26 am

Her duties on the WTN will require that she be gone for nearly all of August. I hope she has faith in her assistants to organize the team for the season, or there won't be a championship run...

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Re: What's Happening with the U-20's?

Post by FANatic on Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:49 am

Sounds like Ellis was kind of boxed in. I think she made the right move, though. I would rather take my chances missing August training than be unavailable during a probable deep NCAA playoff run. I wonder if they have an arrangement where she gets her U-20 job back the following year. Sounds like Ellis arranged this, rather than being approached by Pia for the WNT position. Don't know that for sure, though.

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Re: What's Happening with the U-20's?

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Thu Jan 31, 2008 11:49 am

Well, UCLA presumably have Shannon Mac, among others, coaching them in August.

I guess there are a lot of teams, other than North Carolina, waiting to see what college players, if any, get selected for the Women's National Team; and what college players get selected for the U-20 championship. I see Cheney, Rodriguez, and Heath (NC) going to the WNT, based on the Four Nations tournament. But, they'll be back in September. The real questions will be the U-20 team, for which those three players (maybe excluding Heath) and a bunch of others could be gone, including as many as four Pilots (counting Foxhoven).

I've concluded, after reading comments here, that players going for the U-? team experience is good for them and, over the long run, for the school. So, it makes me wonder about North Carolina holding all its players off the U-20 team. To some extent, I'm guessing it's damage control related to NC's no longer dominating college soccer and to Dorrance's recent public embarrassment in court. But, are future potential recruits going to think that NC is a bad bet because they might lose U-? national team opportunities both to show what they can do and gain experience at a high level? I'm also wondering, somewhere in the back of my mind, whether Dorrance's recent problems, or other things, have put him in the position of deciding to retire after this year. I have heard (unverified) that although the public statement is that the NC players made this decision themselves, there is some inside information that no one is talking about.

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Re: What's Happening with the U-20's?

Post by Geezaldinho on Thu Jan 31, 2008 12:15 pm

I see several reasons UNC player won't play for National teams. It's actually fun contemplating them.

1) The players all have a deep love for Anson and are willing to set back their international careers for his sake. Life is just a warm fuzzy.

2) UNC players think there is nothing more important than winning the NCAA's and have decided they'll do anything to do it to set themselves up for pro careers in the new women's league. a National championship is key for the resume's.

3) Dorrance is calling his players in because he sees an opportunity. Since the scandals began, UNC hasn't had the success it once had. he wants to show that he's past all that.

4) Dorrance is calling his players in because he's nervous about UNC internal politics. The University is in the midst of a search for a new Chancellor. This new person, presumably not named in the lawsuits and personally untainted by them, will want to clean house and rid UNC from the taint of the scandal. Dorrance sees another Championship as his only hope of riding things out. It would be pretty hard to fire a sitting champion coach, and after a year things might blow over.

5) UNC, having stuck it's neck out for him, has given Dorrance an ultimatum. Win again or retire gracefully.

Any others?

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Re: What's Happening with the U-20's?

Post by Geezaldinho on Thu Jan 31, 2008 12:27 pm

one more thanks to UPSF:

6) UNC has indeed told Dorrance he's gone regardless and he figures it's his last chance for a championship. as part of the brokered agreement, UNC holds the firing off a year to separate UNC and Dorrance from the scandal.
the last hurrah.

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Re: What's Happening with the U-20's?

Post by Geezaldinho on Thu Jan 31, 2008 4:41 pm

One more, this one a bit more Machiavellian:

7) This isn't about Anson's Job. A guy who win's 19 (or whatever) National Championships is untouchable.

This is about Pia Sundhage and Dorrance's control of the National team. Ever since Anson "retired" from the WNT coaching job amid rumors of revolt from some of his former players, he has had iron clad control concerning his replacements... until Sundhage.

It was a great recruiting tool, among other things. "I can get you a couple of Championship iPods, and I can get you a spot on the WNT".
In return, the coaches packed the teams with UNC players to complete the cycle.

The fact that the Ellis shuffle miraculously developed into Tony Diccico (Anson's personal lapdog) being named coach of the very team Anson decided to show his muscle about indicates one of two things:

a) Anson has shown his muscle, he now controls the main pipeline to the WNT through Diccico, and he'll release the hounds to play on the team, couching it in terms of a great patriotic sacrifice. Diccico will show a lot of public gratitude.

b) He'll keep his players out of the WNT equation until he gets Sundhage out and he gets another one of his cronies in. He may even take the reigns again himself to "save" women's soccer.
You see, Pia doesn't really care where you went to college. She just wants the best and most creative players.


See? I told you this was going to be fun...


Last edited by on Thu Jan 31, 2008 7:00 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: What's Happening with the U-20's?

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Thu Jan 31, 2008 5:05 pm

8. UNC figured out that with only Tobin Heath being invited to the WNT mega-camp, they have no other players likely ever to make the WNT. So, why bother playing in the U-20s? Stay home, try to win the NCAA tournament when you have your best players but the other top teams don't. And, try to convince Tobin Heath that even though she has a shot at the WNT, she should forego the chance to improve her own play and her value to the WNT by treating UNC as more important than the US U-20s. lol!

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Re: What's Happening with the U-20's?

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Fri Feb 01, 2008 4:29 pm

Elli, Michelle, and Keelin all selected to the 18-member U-20 national squad to play in the upcoming tournament February 7-17 in Chile. Games against England, Norway, and Chile, all of which already have qualified for the U-20 World Cup.

Great for them, but wow, it makes me nervous. Plus Sophie is captain of the Canadian U-20 team.

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Re: What's Happening with the U-20's?

Post by Geezaldinho on Fri Feb 01, 2008 5:00 pm

It will be Great to have them get all the international experience they can. I'm a bit worried that they will do it under Diccico though.
He's been known to give favored playing time to some programs and not others. Guess which list UP is on.

You'll also see that UNC players Nikki Washington and Casey Nogueira are on the team, and the official position is still that they won't go to Chile next fall.

It looks like scenario 7a) above is what's playing out. This will be fun to watch. Suspect

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Re: What's Happening with the U-20's?

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Fri Feb 01, 2008 10:56 pm

9. Get mad because Pia now is coach of the WNT and plans to play a more technical, possession-oriented brand of soccer that acknowledges the importance of finesse, something you don't really teach. Combine that with already being mad that Jillian Ellis is the coach of the U-20 national team and is well aware that women's college soccer in the West Region is way better than anywhere else in the country, so that your players are going to have less and less of a pipeline to the WNT. Put those together and decide to take all your marbles (the two or three NC women players who might make the team) and go home. Then, when Ellis lets it be known that she is going to have to withdraw from coaching the U-20 team for the World Cup because of conflicts with the NCAA schedule, help your pal DeCicco get selected to fill in for the U-20 team, and release your marbles to him in hopes that maybe you will have more control over who plays for the WNT than you previously had thought. Evil or Very Mad

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Re: What's Happening with the U-20's?

Post by Geezaldinho on Sat Feb 02, 2008 10:06 am

Very nice UPSF, though I might have called that 7c) Wink

The Ellis reference is very nice, which brings up scenario:

10) This isn't about a Dorrance and USsoccer power struggle at all - he only lost that control for a fleeting moment when one of his cronies pooched the World Cup - It's about a Dorrance and Ellis power struggle.

Anson used to have free run of the recruiting field, using his control over assignments to the YNT's and WNT to entice players to come to UNC.
(he's even been known to make a kid an offer and then give her WNT caps while she's trying to decide on a school. The kid signs, and never sees the red, white, and blue again)

He knows Ellis is in trouble, coming off a year when she has again failed to bring home the gold plaque, and cross town USC does it on the first try.

So- he has his people tell her she needs to focus on winning it all and stay home for the tournament if she expects to keep her job. She naively accepts this argument hook, line, and sinker, and accepts a third string assistant job on the WNT hoping she'll be able to get a head coach job after she wins the College Cup. He uses his player's careers as leverage by keeping them home so she thinks she probably won't win the U-20's, either.

In her place, Anson installs our friend, yeah, you guessed it), Tony (lapdog) Diccico.

Now we go to scenario 7b) but with a twist:


Ellis figures she's got another shot at the gold, since she now thinks Anson will put his players on the U-17 team. Anson, meanwhile, figures Ellis lost players (including Kara Lang for the Canada cause) and didn't manage to replace them after another CC loss, keeps his players out and goes for all the college marbles.

Diccico (heretofore to be referred to as "LD") repays his benefactor by keeping opposing team's key players out of the NCAA ranks, including a couple of Ellis'.

Expect Portland, USC, Fla State, and possibly Santa Clara, Texas, and A&M will have multiple players on the U-20's

After the u-20 world cup, it's business as usual, except Anson has to figure out how to go after Pia...


Gotta go-- Nurse Ratchet says I have to take my Lithium. bounce


Last edited by on Sat Feb 02, 2008 7:27 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: What's Happening with the U-20's?

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Sat Feb 02, 2008 11:21 am

10. When all is brought to the light of day for the entire women's college soccer public to see, Coach D offers the following explanation: "What is innocent in reality could appear as [self-serving and not in the interest of American women's soccer] when spun by [the women's college soccer public]. The way I see it, you have to really understand how our soccer program works. Our athletic culture is unique. Someone ... might come out [and see what I'm doing] and while it's not wrong, they just wouldn't understand it out of context."

(Slight editorial changes to Dorrance's explanation as to why he settled the Jennings sexual harassment case against him.) cheers

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Re: What's Happening with the U-20's?

Post by Geezaldinho on Sat Feb 02, 2008 4:05 pm

See? isn't this fun? The quote was a stroke of Brilliance!!

You can go a lot of places with that. I'll add a couple (nearly) direct quotes from the Charlotte news observer. See if you can guess where I strayed a little from real life:

When asked to comment UNC Athletic Director Dick Baddour said in a statement that further continuance of this matter would have benefitted no one.

"We have heard from a countless number of players who stand firm in their belief in, support of and thanks to Anson and the women's soccer program," Baddour said. "Many of our former student-athletes expressed their desire to testify on Anson's behalf and about the positive experiences and WNT caps they had while playing for him. But we just didn't want to subject them to a further proceeding."

Dorrance, 56, created a dynasty with his women's soccer program at UNC, presiding over 19 national titles in 26 years. Even though The performance of his teams has dropped off since the Keller/Jennings affair started, He is a master strategist who is known for motivating his players and inspiring fierce loyalty. It wasn't unusual for him to hug his players a lot or present graduating seniors with long-stemmed roses and scanty workout clothing after their final games.

In his 1996 book "Training Soccer Champions," Dorrance wrote that women "have to feel like they have a really, really personal connection with the coach, and it has to be unique. ... Women want to experience a coach's humanity.. sometimes really a lot."

On Monday, UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor James Moeser called Dorrance a great toucher and leader in advancing UNC women's opportunities in sports.

"We have never believed that the complaint had any merit," Moeser said in a statement. "We've stood by Coach Dorrance since this case started, and we stand by him now."

Chancellor Moeser has announced his retirement from the University, and a search is under way for his replacement.
Jillian Ellis is sending out resumes for her next job.

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Re: What's Happening with the U-20's?

Post by PurplePrideTrumpet on Sat Feb 02, 2008 4:46 pm

[quote="UPSoccerFanatic"]10. When all is brought to the light of day for the entire women's college soccer public to see, Coach D offers the following explanation: "What is innocent in reality could appear as [self-serving and not in the interest of American women's soccer] when spun by [the women's college soccer public]. The way I see it, you have to really understand how our soccer program works. Our athletic culture is unique. Someone ... might come out [and see what I'm doing] and while it's not wrong, they just wouldn't understand it out of context."

UPSF, that was brilliant. I chuckled out loud. And Geezer, I have a guess. Do I win anything? Very Happy

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Re: What's Happening with the U-20's?

Post by Geezaldinho on Sat Feb 02, 2008 4:48 pm

You win mention in the hall of forum merit---give it a shot.

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Re: What's Happening with the U-20's?

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Sat Feb 02, 2008 7:07 pm

Geez, you're right, this is really, really fun!

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Re: What's Happening with the U-20's?

Post by PurplePrideTrumpet on Sat Feb 02, 2008 8:35 pm

Well, I think caps would be pretty positive. But would the workout clothing be an illegal extra benefit? Or is it allowed since he gives it to all UNC students he likes, not just the soccer players? I think there's a typo in that paper: They probably meant "teacher," right? (almost missed that one)
The Man Watching might be an appropriate title indeed....

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Re: What's Happening with the U-20's?

Post by Geezaldinho on Sat Feb 02, 2008 9:23 pm

Pretty good!

I figured you might miss the teach reference if you were skim reading.

Any phrase that includes the words "a lot" or "Really" might not have been reproduced exactly right.

I made up the Keller/Jennings part (though it is accurate).

The part about furthering women doesn't have UNC in it in real life. (it might have been funnier to leave it alone)

Everything else is in the paper.

One other thing - I'm not sure UNC Athletic Director Dick Baddour did Anson any favors by using the Phrase "stand firm" anywhere in the testimonials in reference to Anson and the Jennings case. I though about another "really'" there.....

Maybe he needs a publicist.

I think the workout clothing is OK if it is for athletics. There is reference to him watching players in the weight room in scanty clothing in the court papers.

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