We are joined by Trebor Tracy of Angels on Parade for the NWSL Challenge Cup match preview between Portland Thorns and Angel City.
[Lineup posts] Phuoc, you wizard!
What are Friday's Powerball #s?
I don’t want to Sinc to start in Seattle, so hopefully she starts tonight. Would be surprised if we get this much of a bench mob tho, I’d bet at least 2-3 more usuals start- Maybe Weaver, Hina, and Kuikka.
"Imagine two teams that have never before been assembled, much less having previously met. Well, you won't have to imagine much longer! See you at seven-thirty."
I don’t care for these Cup matches. Yes, I’ll watch, and the less seen players get minutes, but the risks are there.
I'm with you Phuoc in hoping we see a start for D'Aquila at CF tonight! I'll be pretty disappointed with anything less. Hogan in goal seems a given. I really hope he uses these games intelligently with his starters and his rotations with subs....like pairing players who'll be playing next to each other during the WC window, or even trying new formations, if needed. If we don't win this game, though, the CC is probably lost, so I wonder if that'll factor in.
Interesting you have Sinc starting tonight with Moultrie in midfield. I assumed it would be one or the other (but more so Moultrie) because of the Seattle game in a few days. I'm not sure if we've seen them together? Could be an interesting combo...although I'm not sure Porter can handle that if they both get forward. I'd be all for Sinc playing a full 90 though if it means Moultrie gets the start this weekend (though I somehow doubt that.) Our midfield for the first CC game: Porter/Rocky/Sinc. I def think we see Porter, with some combo of Sinc/Moultrie and maybe Sugita, since he's been pulling her back into midfield that last few games when Dunn or Sinc subs out. The midfield is where I'm most curious because the Moultrie/Sinc eternal conundrum. I think whoever starts tonight will not start Saturday.
Defense seems more questionable. Does he go full youth? I kinda doubt it considering his lineup the first CC game. On the backline for that first game: Reyes/Nally/Hubly/Kuikka. I wonder where McGrady is at with her return to play. She's been off the IR but hasn't gotten any minutes so I doubt we see a start. Maybe a late sub for Reyes. Her return would take a lot of pressure off of Kuikka and Kling (and Reyes.) I do think he'll go with Nally, despite her pretty poor performances this season. I also wonder if he chooses to rest Hubly and goes with Provenzano? I kinda doubt it. That would be quite the slow and inexperienced pairing, so yeah, maybe Hubly again. Poor Kuikka has no RB's behind her so generally has to play all games. Maybe when McGrady comes back and Reyes shifts to the right can she get some rest, but Beckman is absolutely not a defender. She's a pure F imo. Rhian shifted her to a wingback with her 3/5-back system, but I think that was pushing it defensively. She's like 5 ft tall and not super fast lol. A full on defender...I'd say absolutely not, especially not marking Alyssa Thompson lol. I think we ultimately see the same backline we did the first CC, which again was: Reyes/Nally/Hubly/Kuikka. Or maybe we see Menges for Hubly.
I have the same starting group as you for F, but he went with a very different group for the first CC: Leon/Smith/Sugita. I hope hope hope he scraps that and gives Smith and Sugita rest. If anything, Weaver can run for a week straight, so put her in if needed. Going with Leon/D'Aquila/Vasconcelos as well.