You’ve seen the list. I’ve heard the conference call. So what can we say at this point?
Q: Is Portland the overwhelming favorite?
A: We still have a lot of roster moves to go, but after the Thorns landed Alex Morgan AND Christine Sinclair, the league certainly doesn’t owe them any favors.
Seattle looks great, too. Hope Solo and Megan Rapinoe? And Teresa Noyola? And Kaylyn Kyle?
We heard the Northwest teams might be stacked, and the whispers were right.
Was Washington ripped off?
Don’t forget how great a defender Ali Krieger has been when healthy. Diana Matheson and Lori Lindsey are a good start in midfield. Ashlyn Harris was a terrific keeper in WPS. But they do indeed need a scorer.
Was Sky Blue ripped off?
Jill Loyden may be the second-best keeper in the allocation, so that’s a good start. One question is whether Christie Rampone can keep turning back time — it’s easier for an older player to put together one good three-week spurt than it is to play a whole season. (That’s one reason I’m a little concerned about the Chicago Red Stars, which unofficially lead the league in WUSA veterans with Shannon Boxx and Maribel Dominguez.) It’ll be interesting to see whether Kelley O’Hara plays left back or midfield. Sophie Schmidt’s solid.
Will Western NY be compensated for getting only two U.S. allocations?
They could easily end up over-compensated. In the conference call, we heard two possibilities: They could end up getting an early draft pick as compensation, or U.S. Soccer may eventually find a 24th player to fill its league-wide allocations. Suppose they get a top draft pick AND a U.S. pool player who decides to come home from Europe?
Which team got the least from a marketing standpoint?
Kansas City. We hard-core fans have a lot of respect for Lauren Cheney, Becky Sauerbrunn and Nicole Barnhart, and Canadian Lauren Sesselmann has her fans. But they’re not big names, and aside from Sauerbrunn’s St. Louis ties, I don’t know of an obvious tie between the players and the community. (Please chime in if I’ve overlooked something.) Washington’s players may also be low-profile, but Ali Krieger grew up in Northern Virginia, and Lori Lindsey is a Washington Freedom alumna.
Are we all making too big a deal out of allocations and forgetting how much will change with free agency and the draft?
Hmm … let’s ponder the history of MLS and the two women’s leagues that … YES! Yes, we are.
Look — a couple of the allocated players are currently in the player pool but have barely been in camps, much less games. Are they really a full tier above Leslie Osborne, Lori Chalupny, Tasha Kai or other U.S. veterans who simply weren’t in Pia Sundhage’s plans?
Also, consider this: New leagues always yield breakout stars. Looking back at the WUSA, would you rather have had Shannon Boxx on your team or some of the original national teamers?
So it’s a fun time to talk about the rosters. Way too early to freak out over them.