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I watched most of the stream, and didn't see a lot of balls booted over the midfield from UCLA.  It looks like they are trying to attack through the midfield now.  So, it looks like those early predictions of Forgedias were correct.  Good job!

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Fleming Wins Multiple Player of Week Awards
Freshman named UCLA/Muscle Milk Student-Athlete of the Week and Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week
September 27, 2016

Freshman midfielder Jessie Fleming of the UCLA women's soccer team was voted the UCLA/Muscle Milk Student-Athlete of the Week for Sept. 19-25 and was also honored as the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week for the second time this season.

Fleming scored two goals in the Bruins' 2-0 victory over Arizona State on Sept. 22, adding to her Pac-12-leading goal total of seven in just six games. Fleming's goals came in the first eight minutes of the game and came three minutes apart. The first was a tap-in from eight yards out in the sixth minute, and the second was a long-distance golazo into the upper left corner in the ninth minute.

This is Fleming's third UCLA/Muscle Milk Student-Athlete of the Week honor of the season and of her career.

The UCLA/Muscle Milk Student-Athlete of the Week is chosen by fans on Twitter via @UCLAAthletics. This week, Fleming beat out women's volleyball player Reily Buechler, who had a match-best 21 kills along with nine digs in the Bruins' win over USC, and men's water polo goalkeeper Garrett Danner, who had 36 saves in three games to lead UCLA to the Mountain Pacific Invitational Championship.

In addition to her Player of the Week awards, Fleming was named to the Top Drawer Soccer National Team of the Week.

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UCLA tied California today 1-1. Cal almost won it until the 89th minute when Proctor for UCLA would score in the last minute forcing overtime. Jessie Fleming was of course the best player on the pitch. She had 2 great shots on goal during regulation time, one point blank shot and another where she deked a Cal player right outside the box and got a great shot off forcing a finger tip save by the Cal Keeper Emily Boyd. And yeah Boyd had a great game. Fleming also had the best chance in overtime. She was point blank about 6 yards out from the goal line near post in a crowded box and Boyd again stood her ground and parried the shot off and the rebound was cleared.

There was another point in the first half I think where Fleming and another Canadian player Emma Fletcher were faced off against each other. Fleming with the ball and Fletcher was man marking her and Fleming flicked the ball and turned 180 degrees shedding Fletcher from her and freeing herself from her mark. That got some oh's and ahh's from the crowd.

Its disappointing that Fleming couldn't earn a point despite all her efforts but she was trying to carry her team. You could see it. UCLA had a very hard time keeping possession against Cal. They dominated ball possession in the first half and continued to control quite a bit of it in the second half. Part of those problems is the ball handling by the UCLA players. They took a lot of hard touches forcing them to take more touches to get the ball back and frequently they couldn't keep possession. When they did, they would create some opportunities but it was frustrating to watch at times. Fleming on the other hand, is such a joy to watch play with the ball when she does get it. She has the ball at her feet, she rarely misplays the ball and she has sweet touches on the ball that allows her to dribble. In fact when she has the ball and dribbles, she forces the other team to swarm her with players or hug her. Frequently she has a player draped on her back as she is holding onto the ball.

Fleming only subbed out once late in the first half. She played the entire second half and both overtimes. So her minutes were sizable today. Probably 43, 45, 10, 10 which equates to something like 108 minutes today for her.

Edited by Forgedias

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12 hours ago, Forgedias said:

UCLA tied California today 1-1. Cal almost won it until the 89th minute when Proctor for UCLA would score in the last minute forcing overtime. Jessie Fleming was of course the best player on the pitch.

Appreciate the ongoing updates Fordy, keep 'em coming!

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So here are the highlights of the game. All 3 of Jessie Fleming's chances are on display. It really shows who was the top player for UCLA because Fleming has featured on these clips. All 3 of these chances were good scoring chances and Emily Boyd played an outstanding game to stop UCLA.

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Wondering if any of you are watching West Virginia? Their feeds are free so no subscription required. They have of course Kadeisha Buchanan and Ashley Buchanan but they also have 3 or 4 other Canadian internationals on their squad. West Virginia are the number 2 ranked team in the country. They play a very attractive ball possession game and pass the ball and dominate possession. In all their games, they outshoot the opposing team. They lost one match this year to Georgetown in double overtime which I watched and if the Mountaineers had better finishing, they would of won that match in full time instead of being pushed into overtime where a great goal ended it for Georgetown because they clearly dominated that game as well.

West Virginia unlike many of the top schools do not attract the best prep athletes in the nation. Programs like North Carolina, Stanford, Duke, Penn State and UCLA tend to be places where the top prep athletes head to. So West Virginia have to try something different. They focus on recruiting the top Canadian players and bring them to their school. And unlike the top schools, these Canadian internationals are focused on getting playing time, not trying to play for a top program because they are aiming to get noticed by their national teams. Playing time is key for them so if a school can attract the top Canadian internationals and have success, then it breeds more success when other Canadians notice this and pick them to play for.

Kadeisha Buchanan (4th year)

Ashley Lawrence (4th year)

Amandie Pierre Louis (3rd year)

Carla Portillo (3rd year)

Bianca St.George (2nd year)

Easther Mayi Kith (2nd year)

Rylee Foster (1st year)

So you can see they have a large Canadian squad already on the roster. And this U17 World Cup, who knows, we may see more heading over. Canadians tend to commit to colleges that have other Canadian stand outs and West Virginia isn't a bad place to be for them.

To illustrate how dominate West Virginia is. They are currently playing conference schedule matches and today they played against Kansas University and completely dominated them for possession. Probably 80% of the ball possession was on their side. They only scored one goal but they get a ton of shots on the opposing team. The Mountaineer back line is nearly all Canadian. They have Buchanan and Mayi Kith as the center back duo who both act like liberos. They are free to attack up the field when they feel they can and both did in this match because Kansas gave them tons of room to move forward. I compare Mayi Kith to a mini Buchanan because she acts like Buchanan back there. She doesn't have that intimidating presence that Buchanan has where she will get physical with the forward if they step into her space but Mayi Kith is very mobile and fast. She can play the ball with either feet and is a great ball handler. The outside backs are Pierre Louis who is a converted forward and Carly Black. Bianca St George gets subbed in the outside back role for minutes though she isn't a starter. Ashley Lawrence in the beginning when she returned from the Olympics played as an outside back like she did at the Olympics but with the loaded back line they have, Lawrence was moved to the midfield with Carla Portillo.

West Virginia play in a 4-3-3 and watching Lawrence play, she is very much like Jessie Fleming. Making step overs, flicking balls and constantly dribbling at the defenders. She forces defenders to hug or send 2 players to mark her and while Fleming may have some trouble with the more physical play in the college system. Lawrence is very much at ease when under physical duress by another player going into her space. She easily sheds players off her and moves the ball forward. I can see Fleming becoming like this when she works more on physical training that she can handle 1 or 2 players pressing her hard like Lawrence can. Lawrence is very dynamic on the field and you can see the offense constantly moving forward with her in the midfield.

I've had a lot of arguments about Buchanan and Lawrence being elite because when I look at college players, I look at them not by nation, but by the work they have done. And when people argue with me that they are not elite and then I find that both amusing and shocking because they have not watched them play at the college level where they crush their opponents and at the Olympics. They only look at their mistakes.

With Buchanan, they say she is too aggressive and physical and I go that is good in a center back. In fact when Buchanan gets physical with a target forward, she shuts them down because she can intimidate them. If the Boston Breakers were to draft Buchanan first over all, they would reduce the goals allowed since they allowed over 40 goals this year in a 20 game season. They need help and Buchanan would be a great answer.

And for Ashley Lawrence. I keep pointing to the Brazil game and point how she single handily destroyed the entire team with her speed and ability to flank them on the wings. Yet people say Brazil is old, so was the USA team who were the oldest team in the Olympics. There were some very biased views on these two Canadian players. And what makes Lawrence even more special is that she is left footed. Its already hard to find left footed backs and many times you have to convert forwards to play those spots. Its even harder to find gifted technical left footed backs like Lawrence. She is so special that she can play either wing and not lose any effectiveness because she can use either feet. And West Virginia knows this because they use Lawrence on corner kicks and spot kick duties. On either side she will use either her right or left foot to loop kicks in. That isn't normal, you need a player that is comfortable with either feet to do that.

For Lawrence I have her tabbed going to the Seattle Reign because they desperately need a left footed outside back and Lawrence checks every box. Speed, technical and can play the possession style that Seattle plays.

Oh I should talk about Rylee Foster. I first noticed her when she played against the Americans and had that crazy game where the USA team were in the Canadian half for most of the game. They were shelling Foster all game long and Foster was making some ridiculous saves. Parries, kick saves. So I was a bit curious to see how she would develop. Keepers really need time to develop but you can see their potential if you get a few matches in. With Foster, she doesn't get tested that much since her team is so damn good in front of her with Buchanan and Mayi Kith holding the center, they take out most threats that try to get shots on goal. But what you do notice is that she is big and potentially could be athletic. She has some good quickness and footwork as well. She isn't afraid to come outside the box to play balls passed to her and today against Kansas, she only had to make 2 saves but the second one required her to react quickly to make the save to preserve the shut out and she looked good doing it.

The question is whether Rylee Foster will be going to the U20 World Cup this year because if she is, then West Virginia will lose their top keeper since Foster plays most of the matches.

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[ 1 ]    Topdrawersoccer.com  :   Women Freshmen Top 100    2016 Midseason Ranking:

1.  Jessie Fleming    --   midfielder    UCLA

13. Evelyne  Viens   --   forward        USF

23  Rylee Foster      --  goalkeeper   WVU

52. Olivia Sheppard  --  defender   Princeton

http://www.topdrawersoccer.com/college/freshmentop100/index.jsp

 

[ sidenote ] Deyna Castellanos is number two on the list.

 

 

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27 minutes ago, tc-in-bc said:

13. Evelyne  Viens   --   forward        USF

D'où sort cette fille?

http://www.journaldequebec.com/2016/04/05/je-ne-revais-pas-a-la-ncaa

Zero résultats sur canadasoccer.com !

19ans..(en avril 2016)

@tc-in-bc or @Blackdude , if she is turning 20 (or turned 19) this year, then she could play in the U-20's this year right? Crazy stats!

The only player above her in those goals/game stats rankings, Ashley Hatch, just got invited to a senior USWNT camp.

http://www.sltrib.com/home/4439255-155/soccer-alta-high-product-kealia-ohai

_________________________

EDIT: Hellstrom is a '95 so will just need to keep playing well to make senior camps

http://www.canadasoccer.com/?t=profile&pid=1458

Edited by Olympique_de_Marseille

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Just finished listening to the live audio of the match against Stanford. The number one team in the country against UCLA, the 10th ranked team in the nation. It really looked like UCLA were going to make a come back since Stanford looked to control most of the game in full time. UCLA scored first in the 12 minute and then Stanford 2 minutes later equalizes it. Then would go up 2-1 late in the second half. In the 86th minute Jessie Fleming would equalize it from a corner kick. Since this wasn't televised, the announcer called it like this.

"Left booted miracle from Fleming"

"Magic presence on the pitch"

Since Fleming is a right footed player, its nice to know that Fleming can score from either foot. In the overtime, UCLA had several good chances to score and had a Stanford player clear a ball from the line so it was close. Stanford would score the golden goal in the second overtime period and win the match which was disappointing with the heroics of Jessie Fleming.

Stanford is a very technical team. They play ball possession football so losing to them isn't the end of the World since they are the number one ranked team in the nation. It would of been nice to get a result though for UCLA.

So Jessie Fleming scores her 8th goal of the season. Pretty sure she is winning the Pac12 freshman of the year honors this year. On her playing time. Since she played about 108 minutes on Thursday, her minutes were less even with both overtimes. She only played 35 minutes in the first half and about 40 in the second but played all the overtime.

Edited by Forgedias

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On Saturday, October 08, 2016 at 0:27 AM, Forgedias said:

 

So here are the highlights of the game. All 3 of Jessie Fleming's chances are on display. It really shows who was the top player for UCLA because Fleming has featured on these clips. All 3 of these chances were good scoring chances and Emily Boyd played an outstanding game to stop UCLA.

Fleming also loitering with intent on the UCLA equalizer. Getting players into the box is the way to score goals!

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Watched this match when they replayed it a few hours later since I missed it earlier. UCLA were playing against the Arizona Wildcats a bottom team in the Pac12 conference. 1-4 so far in their conference schedule. They would beat Arizona 2-1 in overtime, probably not something that Amanda Cromwell is going to be pleased about but the Arizona keeper played a very good game against UCLA.

Jessie Fleming helped assist on the first goal in the 7 minute mark that Annika Rodriguez scored on. Her second assist of the season. After that Fleming mostly when she got touches was trying to be the linking midfielder, trying to flick the ball to her team mates and holding the ball up so her offense can set up around the Arizona box. UCLA had about 70% of the possession in the first half and maybe 60 in the second. UCLA dominated Arizona but were outshot 11 to 8. But that isn't the whole story, Arizona had like 2 shots on goal while all 8 shots from UCLA were on frame and forced the Wildcat keeper to make some good saves. Arizona were a very direct team, trying to lob balls forward or long ball it and then high press the ball carrier when they recovered the ball. Arizona were able to tie the game up with this tactic in the second half after the 60 minute mark with a moon ball shot on goal that Tegan Micah couldn't tip over the cross bar.

Jessie Fleming for her part decided to take a more active role in the match after the tying goal. She was still there using her vision to move the ball around. In the 21st minute for instance she launched a run down the right touch line or bottom from where the camera was looking and she did several step overs to shake her mark off and then sped to the corner with the ball, Fleming then deked the same mark and got around her and then held the ball up waiting for help to arrive and passed it off to player. That is the stuff I love watching from Fleming.

In the second half when Arizona tied it, Fleming started carrying the ball more, trying to dribble through players. She got a very good shot off point blank against the Arizona keeper in the box when UCLA countered a minute after Arizona scored and minutes after that, Fleming would pick the ball up in the center circle, charge forward pass the ball to a forward to passed back to Fleming and then Fleming dribbled through 2 defenders forcing one of them to drag her down right at the box. Fleming wanted a penalty kick but the referee deemed it right outside the box. And the color commentator said this.

"That's the danger of trying to defend a player like Fleming, she is so good on the ball, keeps it close its like its attached on a string. Your trying to get in there and poke it away but instead she ends up fouling her."

UCLA gave the free kick to Annika Rodriguez and she kicked it right into the 7 man wall. I really want coach Amanda Cromwell to allow Jessie Fleming to take those kicks since she can take them and get them over the wall with her shooting ability.

In the 83rd minute, Fleming would get a pass and would run down the flank (Her speed is really impressive, she looks so effortless out there) and move the ball inside the box, she would deke her defender and then pass to an open player who gets a good shot off but is saved. Color commentator said this.

"Hernadez with a nice right footed strike but once again its Fleming doing a lot of the work to create that opportunity. She draws 2 or 3 defenders as she is dishing it off hits the turf and Hernadez with the nice strike."

Jessie Fleming's vision and her ability to create is beautiful to watch, its easy to pass to an open player but with Fleming she gets those passes to players when she has defenders draped all over her.

The commentator is in full admiration of Fleming continued to say this.

"I think right there that shot we just saw of Jessie Fleming the first time I've seen her walk all game. She's constantly jogging and she barely ever walks, constantly in movement, picks her moments to run at pace. What did coach Cromwell tell us in the last match? The Cal match or the Stanford Match. Her monitor read 9 miles when she was done that game. All these players wear these GPS heart rate monitors that track their fitness and work rate."

Both commentators were talking about this and an average player would run 7 miles. They were amazed at Fleming's fitness.

UCLA would link 8, 9 passes to try to move the ball forward while Arizona whenever their goal keeper would get the ball, she would never pass the ball off to her back line. She would drop kick and punt the ball down the pitch trying to start a counter which tells you how direct Arizona was playing. UCLA did send a few long balls from their back line which invariable would lead to Arizona getting possession but they kept that to a minimum at least.

The golden goal happened right at the start of the second overtime period but on the replay they skipped the first one. I had to rewind the feed just to make sure I wasn't imagining it but they obviously wanted to shrink the game for a replay. Hailie Mace who is a center back for UCLA is the only center back that is allowed to dribble forward. She dribbled through 2 Arizona players and got into the box and then sent a pass in that Dunphy who redirected the ball into the net for the game winner.

My take on Jessie Fleming is that when that early goal was scored for UCLA, Fleming wanted to be more of a linking midfielder that she plays on Canada. Keep the ball, try to get her forwards and her team mates involved into the play. When Arizona tied it up in the 60 minute. That totally changed and Fleming took on more of a carry role. She wanted the ball more and she was much more willing to dribble at defenders and force them to tackle her down which happened several times. One that nearly set up a penalty kick. I think Fleming knows she is the best player on the pitch and when its needed she will try to make things happen for her team. Really interesting to see the development of Jessie Fleming at this level and how much of a leadership role she is taking on.

Edited by Forgedias

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I used to think that the NCAA was the best development system but after being informed about some other things and seeing quite a few of our NT players dominating and winning awards I'm not so sure if that is the best environment for them.

Maybe they would be better served in a more competitive (read professional) environment with free schooling, something akin to junior hockey.  NB offers free tuition (bursary program) to families making under 60k, Nfld had something similar but I believe they ran out of money and cancelled it.  Doesn't Ontario have something along these lines? 

What I am saying is I think something could be worked out or create a scholarship program and as Canadian carded athletes don't they already have some sort of education benefit?

Now why am I saying that the NCAA may not be the best route? They have very particular rules regarding amateur status (accepting money) and the amount of practice vs school time that Canadian institutions don't have.  A CIS coach can spend 24 hours a day with them no problem, an NCAA coach can't do that.

There is a very enlightening interview with Carleton basketball coach Dave Smart (start at 21:40) that explains this.  It is really worth your time to listen to.

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I think there are non-soccer related pros to going to play in the NCAA, especially if one is going to profit from a proper high quality education.  The NCAA has some very arcane rules  with regards to practice time limits but at the end of the day, someone who is intelligent like Jessie Fleming is better off at a UCLA than going to many schools is Canada.  And I'm not just talking about the education but with all due respect to the CIS, the level of play is better in the NCAA as well.  I mean, it's not like she's going to a university with questionable academics.

And I've heard that interview with Dave Smart before.  I attend many Carleton basketball games during the course of the season and what he has built there is revolutionary and amazing.  But the thing is that the only challenge Carleton usually gets is when they play NCAA Div 1 schools in the preseason.  I can't see them losing a game this year on the way to another CIS Championship.  So why does Dave Smart get the players he gets?  Because he is an extraordinary demanding coach who wins and kids get a good education.  I don't know if there is a CIS soccer coach of the same ilk as Smart, so why would Fleming stay in Canada?

 

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The problem with the NCAA is athletes in sports like American football & basketball don't really get a quality education or any education at all. In soccer, it is different since most aren't going to get a big payday but the quality of play especially on the men's side is weak.

But it seems like many Canadians playing soccer in NCAA are going to Run of the Mill State University. If they're coming back to work in Canada, it isn't going to get their foot in the door for an interview - though the cachet of what university you went to doesn't hold much traction in Canada compared to the US labour market.

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45 minutes ago, red card said:

The problem with the NCAA is athletes in sports like American football & basketball don't really get a quality education or any education at all. In soccer, it is different since most aren't going to get a big payday but the quality of play especially on the men's side is weak.

But it seems like many Canadians playing soccer in NCAA are going to Run of the Mill State University. If they're coming back to work in Canada, it isn't going to get their foot in the door for an interview - though the cachet of what university you went to doesn't hold much traction in Canada compared to the US labour market.

I can't disagree with anything you've said especially with Canadians going to Run of the Mill State. With all due respect to the University of West Virginia, for example, on a purely academic basis, it can't compare to McGill, U of T or UBC.  But I think the soccer competition is going to be way better week in week out down south, even though it may not be great.  And with 315+ schools in Division I, much of the soccer below about 50 is truly awful.  You just have to remember that they are supposed to be students first.

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Unless a big club in Europe is willing to give Jessie Fleming a 6 figure salary, it isn't worth it to skip a free education considering the costs involved. Women do not have the same avenue to play at an Academy and then make money later on. The money just isn't there unless a club is willing to fund the development for the player.

As to the weakness of the NCAA, I agree it can be weak in the sense that conferences are not equal. There are many conferences that only send one team to the NCAA tournament. The best conferences are the ACC, Pac12, Big10, SEC and the Big12. The WCC and the Big East are smaller conferences that can send more then one team to the NCAA tournament.

These conferences at least have teams that attract the best players in the nation so against each other they have competition plus when they schedule non conference matches, they tend to try to schedule against each other to get the strongest opponents.

ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference) North Carolina (22 championships) Notre Dame (3 Championships) Florida State (1 Championship) Duke, Virginia, Clemson make up the best of these teams. North Carolina lost 3 players to the U20 World Cup, Duke look very strong this year and Florida State has had times struggled. Clemson has Kailen Sheridan and she carries the Tigers to a lot of wins on her back.

Pac12 (Pacific 12 Conference) Stanford (1 championship) UCLA (1 championship), USC (1 championship) California are the best teams in this conference. Stanford is the favored pick to win the NCAA tournament this year because they kept all their players that would of gone to the U20 World Cup this year. Penn State who won the championship last year lost 6 players to the World Cup. UCLA lost 3 players so I don't expect UCLA to be a favorite, but next year they have Mallory Pugh who played at the Olympics, Ashley Sanchez and Marley Canales and should be a scary force together with Jessie Fleming. The only weakness I see from the UCLA is their goal keeper.

Big10: Penn State, Minnesota and Rutgers make the cream of the crop here. Penn State shouldn't be able to repeat since they lost 6 players to the World Cup. But if they had those players, they would be on of the favorites to repeat. Rutgers use defense to win so I think all 3 will be in the NCAA tournament.

SEC (Southeastern Conference) South Carolina, Florida and Arkansas (The team that beat mighty Florida State) make up the best here. I had Texas A&M here in the beginning of the year but they have struggled hard this year.  South Carolina was the former home of Sabrina D'Angelo and normally the motto is defense but this year its defense and offense. They are one of the best teams in the nation this year.

Big12: West Virginia, Baylor and Oklahoma make up the best here. West Virginia has of course Kadeisha Buchanan and Ashley Lawrence but they also have 5 other Canadians on their squad. They have only conceded 6 goals all year and none in their conference play. Plus they score a ton of goals. They are the current number one team in the nation after Sanford lost to USC 3-0 in a shock loss and dropped out of the top spot. A lot of people have tabbed Stanford as the favorites to host the College Cup but my pick is West Virginia. Their defense is bar none the best in the nation and they are a strong possession team. Their last match against Texas Tech this Friday. They outshot them 29-5. That should tell you how good they are compared to most teams.

At the college level, teams schedule matches against each other. They have a conference schedule where they play against their own conference opponents and a non conference schedule where they try to schedule matches against the strongest teams outside their conference. RPI (Rating percentage index) is a rating that each team gets for determining their wins against how strong their opponents are. So if their opponent was a puff cake, then their rating would most of the time reflect that.

Currently the top RPI teams in the nation are Stanford, West Virginia and South Carolina. By scheduling strong teams in the non conference part of their schedule and then beating good teams in their conference. You can tell where the strong conferences are located.

Does this alleviate the fact that their are weak teams and possibly the wrong system that a player will play in? No of course not. There is always the risk that a player will be lost in a college system. Especially if they go to a college that isn't one of the stronger ones out there. But look how Kadeisha and Ashley developed at West Virginia. They are World class players and are elite. UCLA plays a ball possession game. If you watch them, they do a lot of one touch passes to each other. They have weaknesses. Some of their players are simply place holders until Pugh, Canales and Sanchez arrive next year. But they have Fleming and Rodriguez who will form the back bone of the midfield and they will make deep runs into the NCAA tournament. And that is the important part. Making a deep run into a major tournament which in by itself is a very good development tool for a player.  I do question their goal keeper for UCLA because she has only one attribute. Size but she isn't quick and she is slow. Because she is slow, she can't get off her line to challenge for balls inside the box and that is a problem.

And this is where I am coming around to the idea of West Virginia winning the College Cup. Their defense is scary good. They have Buchanan, Mayi Kith who form the backbone of that defense. And because both are so dominant back there, Rylee Foster rarely gets tested much. Foster who looks potentially a star keeper because she has qualities that are needed in the modern game for women's football. She has mobility, ball handling, quickness and she has shown some athleticism. And for a first year player that really bodes well for her development. Add into all this is that West Virginia possess the ball so much. They tend to dominate ball possession 70-80% of the time from what I have seen. It will take a good team to match them possession wise or use strategies like bunker counter attacking to beat them.
 

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Unless a big club in Europe is willing to give Jessie Fleming a 6 figure salary, it isn't worth it to skip a free education considering the costs involved. Women do not have the same avenue to play at an Academy and then make money later on. The money just isn't there unless a club is willing to fund the development for the player

Funny millions of Canadians have no problem paying for their own education.  That's the joy of a social democracy.  We are not the United States when it comes to the cost of a quality education and thanks to every known God for it.

The decision is of course qualitative to the player in question.  But I guess it depends if you're a footballer or an oceanographer.  If you're an oceanographer who likes to play the game you're probably at RandomU.  But if you're a footballer with an interest in oceanography you're in Europe playing for a Champions League team and doing your schooling part-time or after your career.

When Lindsay Horan (the top recruit) went to PSG out of high school years ago it was the watershed moment.

Again, if you want to focus on your education, all the power to you.  If you're a talented footballer who lives and breathes the game though; sitting in a classroom, playing a bastardized version of the game, against weak competition, and only young amateur players, in a miniature season... if that classroom is math or philosophy a passing grade is standing up and taking an Uber to the airport.

There are a millions of girls playing the game while pursuing their careers.  It's a great past-time to keep you fit and healthy and socially connected.  But that's not what a real player is about.

Edited by Vic
quote block added

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19 hours ago, Vic said:

 

 

Funny millions of Canadians have no problem paying for their own education.  That's the joy of a social democracy.  We are not the United States when it comes to the cost of a quality education and thanks to every known God for it.

The decision is of course qualitative to the player in question.  But I guess it depends if you're a footballer or an oceanographer.  If you're an oceanographer who likes to play the game you're probably at RandomU.  But if you're a footballer with an interest in oceanography you're in Europe playing for a Champions League team and doing your schooling part-time or after your career.

When Lindsay Horan (the top recruit) went to PSG out of high school years ago it was the watershed moment.

Again, if you want to focus on your education, all the power to you.  If you're a talented footballer who lives and breathes the game though; sitting in a classroom, playing a bastardized version of the game, against weak competition, and only young amateur players, in a miniature season... if that classroom is math or philosophy a passing grade is standing up and taking an Uber to the airport.

There are a millions of girls playing the game while pursuing their careers.  It's a great past-time to keep you fit and healthy and socially connected.  But that's not what a real player is about.

Lindsay Horan also got a 5 figure deal to play for PSG when she was 18 where she put that money for her future education. I don't doubt some players can pay for their own education but not everyone has that ability. Getting that free education is a big plus for a lot of players.

Take for instance the Stanford players that skipped the U20 World Cup this year. There were 4 players that could of made the team but opted to stay in school. Stanford has some strict academic requirements and trying to make up the lost time would of put those players back since the USWNT U20 coach Michelle French wanted all her players to red shirt the year which would of meant skipping at least one semester. For some players it was simply too much to ask.

And for those players who have aspirations of developing further and maybe getting noticed by the senior team? Its a hard sacrifice to make for these players. These are the decisions that a lot of the men don't have to make. The best players get pulled into academies and then they either play at club level or get sold or transferred to another club. Either way they have the potential to make money for themselves. Women simply don't have many options for themselves.

Jessie Fleming is very lucky in that she got noticed at such a young age and got capped at 15 years old. Her 3 years with the national team developing, the U17, U20, World Cup and Olympics all were huge development tools for her. And now she gets to play at the college level.

If your thinking the college level is not where she should be developing at, then fine, she could develop at a club in Europe, but she opted to go to college. And its not like she was forced to go to a small college, she had her pick of which college she wanted to go. She is at a premier college team in UCLA in one of the better conferences in the Pac12. She isn't going to stop developing.

Jessie is already being relied as a leader for her club and more importantly is stepping up to take that leadership role. When her team is in a close game, she goes out and tries to make that goal happen, tries to take the pressure to win on her shoulders. That is very good to see happen.

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Lindsay Horan also got a 5 figure deal to play for PSG when she was 18 where she put that money for her future education. I don't doubt some players can pay for their own education but not everyone has that ability. Getting that free education is a big plus for a lot of players.

5-figure deal?  You could get that at McDonalds.  I know exactly what she made and she wouldn't have banked a dime living in Paris.  She went to be a footballer, to be a professional.  That's her dream.

Of course Fleming won't stop developing, nor will any other player who plays against 18-22 year old amateur players for a few months a year. But they will develop at a fraction of the rate they would in a fully professional year-round environment.

 

 

 

 

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