Author Archives: Chris Henderson

The WoSo Independent Podcast – Episode #6 – NWSL Team Preview Teaser Episode

On episode #6 of the WoSo Independent Podcast, Chris (@chris_awk) and Jon (@jonlipsitz) briefly discuss the rumored Summer tournament featuring the USWNT, Brazil, Japan, and Australia (1:55). Then, they spend roughly an hour discussing the beginning of preseason for NWSL clubs (7:57) and ask a few pointed questions about each as a teaser for full episode length podcasts for each club to come over the next few weeks.

Boston Breakers (11:07)
Chicago Red Stars (16:50)
FC Kansas City (23:55)
Houston Dash (33:35)
North Carolina Courage (40:15)
Orlando Pride (45:54)
Portland Thorns (50:35)
Seattle Reign FC (54:55)
Sky Blue FC (58:57)
Washington Spirit (1:05:15)

The WoSo Independent Podcast – Episode #5 – SheBelieves Cup Post-Mortem

In episode #5 of the WoSo Independent Podcast, Chris (@chris_awk) and Jon (@jonlipsitz) conduct a thorough post-mortem on the calamitous SheBelieves Cup for the USWNT including discussing the 3-5-2 (1:40).

There’s talk about the Allie Long at center-back experiment (12:52) and personnel if the team does stay with the 3-5-2 (17:20).

The USWNT’s attacking misfires don’t escape criticism either, as Chris and Jon argue about Alex Morgan and whether she’s an automatic starter right now (26:43). They also discuss whether Carli Lloyd is the right player to fill the “#10” role in a 3-4-1-2. (34:45)

They also pick a USWNT SheBelieves Cup MVP. This was not easy (44:01).

There are also a few words about France and their SheBelieves Cup tournament triumph and whether this is a turning point for the program (48:16)

Closing out, Chris & Jon discuss a potential Marta to Orlando deal (54:27), while Chris suddenly remembers that Jeff Plush resigned as NWSL commissioner a few weeks ago (1:01:47). And Jon has a new job for the coming college season with Cal (1:04:20).

NWSL – 2017 Preseason – Undrafted Rookie Tracker

Need to know where the top undrafted rookies from this past class are headed either domestically or abroad? Here’s a master list. Numbers by each player are their final ranking on my big board. Have not included players unranked on my final board.

As always, updates are appreciated, especially with players going overseas.

Boston

None

Chicago

22. Simone Kolander – F – Minnesota
73. Jacqueline Altschuld – MF/D – San Diego
102. Kourtney Kutscher – MF – Cal State Northridge
130. Emily Richardson – D – Evansville

FC Kansas City

27. Josee Stiever – MF – Minnesota
60. Jenna Hellstrom – F (CF) – Kent State
66. Sydney Miramontez – D (CB) – Nebraska
67. Toriana Patterson – D (CB) – UConn
96. Kaela Little – GK – Notre Dame
98. Danielle Rice – GK – Texas A&M
124. Rachel Leonard – D – Sacramento State

Houston

99. Lauren Watson – GK – Texas Tech

North Carolina

74. Carly Gould – MF – Brown
97. Krystina Iordanou – D – Virginia Continue reading

NWSL – Unofficial Combined 2017 Preseason Schedule (Updated March 13)

Here’s the (unofficial) 2017 preseason schedule. Four teams haven’t released full, “official” preseason schedules, but here’s what I’ve gathered through official releases for NWSL clubs as well as college teams. All times listed are EST.

March 16

8:00 PM – Chicago Red Stars @ Wisconsin

March 18

1:00 PM – Orlando Pride vs Stetson
2;00 PM – Washington Spirit vs Penn State

March 19

5:00 PM – FC Kansas City @ Missouri
6:00 PM – Houston Dash vs Baylor

March 25

3:00 PM – Sky Blue FC @ Saint John’s (NY)
4:00 PM – Boston Breakers @ Boston College
6:00 PM – Orlando Pride @ South Florida
6:30 PM – Washington Spirit @ North Carolina

March 26

5:30 PM – Houston Dash vs U.S. U23
8:00 PM – Portland Thorns vs Chicago Red Stars

March 28

7:00 PM – Boston Breakers @ NEFC U15 Boys

March 29

4:00 PM – Orlando Pride @ Florida
8:00 PM – Chicago Red Stars vs Houston Dash
10:30 PM – Portland Thorns vs U.S. U23 Continue reading

The WoSo Independent Podcast – Episode #4 – SheBelieves Cup + NWSL News + U.S. Youth National Team Talk

On episode #4 of the WoSo Independent Podcast, Chris Henderson (@chris_awk) and Jon Lipsitz (@jonlipsitz) discuss the first round of matches in the SheBelieves Cup (1:55). Afterward, they briefly discuss the release of the NWSL schedule, including some questionable decisions on who’s getting the most and least games in the 4:00 PM Saturday TV windows (28:55). Then, they touch upon the latest injuries and signings as the NWSL preseason rapidly approaches (35:44). Finally, an animated discussion on the present and future of the U.S. youth national teams (57:11).

(Note: This episode was recorded on Thursday morning, before the announcement of Jeff Plush’s resignation as NWSL commissioner. We’ll cover that in Episode #5.)

NWSL – Chris’ 2020 NWSL Draft Big Board – Top 27

1. Jessie Fleming – MF – UCLA

On the same year that a couple of rising Canadian stars signed off from the college game, Fleming showed why she could walk away a college legend in her own right in a few years. Fleming had already been a full Canadian international for more than a few years before coming into Westwood and came into the college game with the reputation of being one of the brightest attacking prospects for her country in some time. After a season with the Bruins, it’s easy to see why Fleming is so highly regarded. Despite missing three matches while on international duty, Fleming still led the Bruins in scoring with eleven goals on a remarkable forty-two shots, putting sixty-four percent of those attempts on frame, astonishing numbers for anyone, let alone a rookie. Fleming also made a habit of making defenders look like training cones for YouTube-worthy clips with her technical skill and flair on a consistent basis. The Canadian seems like a near lock for a #1 pick in this draft if she’s in it, which is the big question considering Kadeisha Buchanan and Ashley Lawrence’s venture to France after their college careers ended.

2. Deyna Castellanos – F – Florida State

Florida State scored one of the recruiting coups of the decade when they were able to bring in Castellanos, one of world soccer’s most promising prospects. The Venezuelan had displayed what appeared to be otherworldly talent at youth international level for her country in the run-up to her arriving in Tallahassee and won the Golden Boot at the 2014 U17 World Cup. Already a full international with Venezuela, Castellanos had mighty expectations to meet as a freshman at Florida State. Despite missing nine matches on the season, the Venezuelan was still impressive as a rookie, tying for the team lead with seven goals, including some astounding strikes and would’ve surely finished in double figures had she played in every match. Efficiency at collegiate level needs some work, but time is on Castellanos’ side, with the forward not turning eighteen until April. The sky is truly the limit for FSU’s latest international star.

3. Tierna Davidson – MF/D – Stanford

The standout player on a typically elite recruiting class heading into the Farm last year, Davidson was all that was promised and more in her rookie season. Previously a part of the U20 World Cup qualifying team for the U.S., Davidson wasn’t on the final roster for the competition, with Stanford being the benefactors and getting a fantastic freshman season from the Californian. Davidson was talented enough to start every match for the Card as a rookie and was part of an imposing central midfield that also featured Andi Sullivan. Though Davidson was more miss than hit in front of goal, one of her two goals was a big game winner against Big Ten double winners Minnesota. Also a potential fit at center-back for some team, we may not find out Davidson’s true potential until Sullivan departs after 2017, with Davidson likely becoming the focal point of the midfield for Stanford after then.

4. Taylor Kornieck – MF – Colorado

It’s hard to pick out a player from last season’s freshman class that did as much to boost their overall profile and draft stock as Kornieck. Though Kornieck looked like a recruiting coup for a program that had come off a horrible season, few could have envisioned the impact the U.S. U18 international would have right off the bat. While more than Kornieck contributed to Colorado’s rise to second place in the Pac-12, the rookie’s incredible 2016 season was one of the biggest factors in one of the biggest turnarounds in league history. Kornieck’s ability in the clutch certainly can’t be denied after her rookie season, which saw her net six game winning goals and eleven overall for the Buffs. Kornieck’s efficiency numbers weren’t great, but she’s not going to be a center forward at the next level. Role is a big question as a pro, as Kornieck stands at a massive 6’1”, which raises a lot of possibilities for position, but any strong coach should be able to find a place for this special talent.

5. Kaleigh Riehl – D (CB) – Penn State

Riehl enters 2017 as a veteran at U20 level for the U.S. after starting every match at last year’s U20 World Cup in Papua New Guinea while having also featured at the U20 World Cup two years earlier. Given that experience in 2014, when Riehl was one of the few rostered players without college experience to that point, the bar was set pretty high as she headed into the college ranks with PSU. It’s safe to say she cleared that bar and set it even higher after a 2015 campaign that saw Riehl start every match at center-back for the club as they rolled to a first national title. Riehl’s efforts helped PSU net eight straight clean sheets to finish the season, while her goal late in the College Cup semi-final against Rutgers sealed her side’s spot in the final. Riehl looks like a no-brainer first rounder at this point, even in a class with some great potential at center-back.
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The WoSo Independent Podcast – Episode #3 – SheBelieves Cup Preview + 2020 NWSL Draft Big Board

On episode #3 of the WoSo Independent Podcast, Chris Henderson (@chris_awk) & Jon Lipsitz (@jonlipsitz) briefly touch on the USWNT scheduling a friendly with Norway in June (2:00), preview the SheBelieves Cup for the U.S. (3:30), Germany (8:30), France (12:45), and England (18:07). They close out the show with an hour of discussion on the Top 27 prospects for the 2020 NWSL Draft (24:50).

The WoSo Independent Podcast – Episode #2 – The NWSL TV Deal

In Episode #2 of the WoSo Independent, All White Kit & HERO Sports’ Chris Henderson (@chris_awk) and Jon Lipsitz (@jonlipsitz) discuss the latest news with the NWSL’s TV deals and departing players, the USWNT’s latest camp roster, and the latest NCAA WoSo transfer news.

Contents:

The NWSL’s TV deal with A+E Networks (1:25)

The USWNT Camp Roster for the SheBelieves Cup (31:02)
-Is Megan Rapinoe’s USWNT Career Over? (37:00)

Carli Lloyd’s Move to Manchester City (45:50)
-Who Is The Face of The NWSL Given the Exodus of USWNT Players? (51:45)

Michelle Betos’ Move to Norway (55:37)
-Ramifications for Portland & AD Franch (1:00:16)

English Star Jemma Purfield’s Transfer from South Alabama to Arizona State (1:04:10)

The WoSo Independent Podcast – Episode #1 – NWSL Draft Review

In Episode #1 of the WoSo Independent, All White Kit & HERO Sports’ Chris Henderson (@chris_awk) sits down with former college women’s soccer coach Jon Lipsitz (@jonlipsitz) to provide a detailed review of the 2017 NWSL Draft, including views on the big stories and a team-by-team analysis of picks and trades in the weeks following the draft.

Show Intro (0:20)
General 2017 NWSL Draft Thoughts (2:15)
Boston Breakers (10:20)
Chicago Red Stars (22:40)
FC Kansas City (29:48)
Houston Dash (38:57)
North Carolina Courage (47:21)
Orlando Pride (57:35)
Portland Thorns (1:05:08)
Seattle Reign (1:12:05)
Sky Blue FC (1:18:58)
Washington Spirit (1:28:17)

NWSL – 2017 NWSL Draft – Round Four Analysis

Round Four Analysis

31 – BOS – Sammy Jo Prudhomme – GK – USC

Stock went up in a big way after senior season helping lead USC to a national title. Question the fit a bit considering Breakers need defenders and have taken zero, but they also needed an upgrade in goal for a backup at the very least. They may be hedging against Abby Smith’s injury recovery suffering complications. Probably not going to be more than a backup at this level, but still probably better than what they’ve had.

32 – ORL – Nickolette Driesse – MF – Penn State

Driesse should’ve really gone a round or two earlier and is a great value at this spot. Played deeper role with Florida State before transferring in and playing a more attacking role with PSU. With Becky Edwards gone, is she playing a deeper role in pros? Orlando were really going big for a central midfielder and got the best one still on the board probably a few rounds after she should have gone. Great pick.

33 – HOU – Erin Smith – D – Rutgers

Another from the conveyor belt of defenders from Rutgers and a great value. Can play centrally or wide but might grade out as a right-back at the next level. Extremely attacking player roaming the flanks and should have a great mentor in Poliana. Versatility a huge asset this late and fills need. Excellent late pick.

34 – SBFC – McKenzie Meehan – F – Boston College

A few years ago, nobody would’ve believed you if you thought Meehan would fall this far, and she’ll probably have a massive chip on her shoulder being taken this low. Does she play centrally or wide at next level? Some might worry if she’s plateaued already given downturn in form past year or so, but pressure likely won’t be on early being picked this low. Continue reading