In this playful piece, we pose a question or make a statement about something in soccer that will be opined about, agreed and disagreed upon, by YOU, the reader. No more talking heads giving safe, politically correct answers. Those days are over. Instead, we’ve opened the floor to everyone out there in cyberland to throw in their two cents.
October’s question was: Which U.S. player will make the biggest mark on the 2002 CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup and in turn, help the USA qualify for the 2003 Women’s World Cup?
Below is a sampling of your responses, edited to meet Center Circle’s stringent journalistic standards:
“I think the ‘Fab 5’ will have the biggest impact, for they are the best players in the world. They shoveled the team’s first earth way back in 1987 and they want one more run at a world title. They are the toughest women in the world … and the best. I have had the privilege of meeting most of them and I have attended Kristine's camp in Wilton, Conn., since she ran it. This was my last summer!! They are the best!!! Fab 5 = Joy Fawcett, Julie Foudy, Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly, Brandi Chastain. If you have Joy and Brandi in the back and Julie and Lil in the middle and Mia Hamm up front it must scare the crap out of every team they play!!!”
From Holly Davidson (Wosportwi):
“Let us not forget the likes of the ‘consistent’ player. Yes, we may have some comebacks from some amazing players, but the biggest difference is always made by players like Julie Foudy. Has she ever faltered? Not to my recollection, but she has always been a consistent and strong asset to the team. So, my vote for the U.S. player who will make the biggest mark on the 2002 CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup and in turn, help the USA qualify for the 2003 Women’s World Cup, is Julie Foudy.”
From Mark McBeth (ourplace):
“I think Shannon MacMillan will top all the players you just mentioned. Why, you ask? Because she was the biggest star in the match with Mexico (a 8-0 win on Jan. 12). She scored three goals and assisted on at least three others.”
From Amanda Strogoff (MandaQuack):
“If Jena Kluegel gets the minutes she deserves, she will play a huge part in the USA's upcoming tournament success. She makes great overlapping runs into space down the sidelines. From the flanks, her crosses will always find their target (Abby Wambach, for example). Mark Jena down for several assists. Meanwhile, coming off a disappointing WUSA season, Tiffeny Milbrett will enjoy getting back into the international game. It wasn't Millie's fault, of course, that the New York Power was plagued by injury, bad luck, and a change of coach. With a strong team behind her, Tiffeny will go back to being the scoring machine we know she is. Keep an eye on Siri Mullinix, too. Her play solidified shortly after her return this WUSA season and she kept Washington in some close games. She set a WUSA single-game saves record (13) against the Boston Breakers and nearly tied this mark (with 12) several weeks later. Watch for some key saves by Siri to keep the U.S. in close games. These are the players to watch. Go USA!”
[Editor’s Note: Sorry, “Amanda,” but Jena didn’t quite make the final U.S. roster for the Women’s Gold Cup, and neither did Abby. I guess it all comes down to Siri.]
From Christopher Honey (christopherhoney):
“It will be Briana Scurry of my disappointed Atlanta Beat, because, let's face it, if she'd been between the sticks at the Olympics, we'd have a gold medal. She's experienced, athletic, effectively organizes the defense and distributes the ball better than anybody. Plus, who can punt further downfield than Scurry?”
Now to the question for November: Who will be the biggest surprise on the next U.S. Men’s National Team roster when the team gathers in early November to get ready for the El Salvador friendly?
E-mail your well-crafted response to firstname.lastname@example.org, including your full name, age, city of residence and favorite U.S. Soccer player (men’s or women’s, youth or futsal). Feel free to submit responses for as many months as you wish, but in the interest of sharing the spotlight, we will be giving space to different respondents from month to month.
Table of Contents
1) Armchair Midfielder (Rating the MLS Cups)
2) In Threes (w/ U-20 MNT defender Ryan Cochrane)
3) Then and Now (w/ former WNT midfielder Shannon Higgins-Cirovski)
4) Queries and Anecdotes (w/ MNT midfielder Cobi Jones)
5) Mark That Calendar (October = Everything)
6) Superstar!!! (w/ WNT defender Danielle Slaton)
7) FAN Point/Counterpoint (Impact U.S. Player for 2002 Women’s Gold Cup?)
8) "You Don’t Know Jack (Marshall)" (MLS Cup trivia)
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