It's Friday, Wanna Fight About Football?
December 7, 2018 2:13 PM   Subscribe

The Offside Rule and The Guardian name the best 100 female soccer players of 2018.
posted by Tentacle of Trust (17 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
A somewhat Seattle-centric view :
- The top 6 are fine. It's great to see Harder and Kerr get the praise they deserve.
- They undersell just what a shitty year Morgan had for Orlando. A striker of her level should have over 60 shots on the season - Kerr had 88, Williams had 93 for the perpetually overachieving NC Courage - but Morgan only rang up 38 shots. That is abysmal, and her rank should be lower.
- The only reason why Kim Little isn't in the top 10 is due to injury. Pray she recovers fully in time for the World Cup.
- JESS FISHLOCK IS THE GREATEST PLAYER OF ALL GOD DAMNED TIME AND I WILL BROOK NO ARGUMENT HERE. While it doesn't apply to this ranking, let me remind you she led the 16/17 Melbourne City squad to the W-League title as player/manager, because she's the best, you guys, just the fucking best.
- Nadia Nadim should be much lower, and that's not just anti-Thorns bias talking. She just hasn't produced for anyone.
- Jodie Taylor, bless her, should also not be so high. She's excellent at getting in behind, but lacks the hold-up or all-around game I want to see out of someone so highly ranked.
- Rachel Daly is probably fairly ranked, but she's far more entertaining to watch than you might think. The woman does not understand how to take a play off. She will run harder than anyone for 90 minutes, to the point of collapse - she once had to be taken to the hospital after the final whistle.
- Jess MacDonald is possibly the least talented player on the list. That's not an insult. She earned her place here through hard work, she does not give up, ever, and anyone who favors underdogs will love her. Just sit through the vast number of chances that she wastes, and know that she'll get hers in the end.
- Pugh? Lower. Erceg? Higher. Mewis? Much higher.
- AD Franch is the best keeper on the list. Please realize how much it hurts me to say that. She's played for the Portland Thorns and the OSU Cowboys. I root for Seattle, and attended OU. She's my sworn enemy twice over... and I'll take her over Naeher, Bouhaddi, and even Lydia Williams. (I will still take Kopmeyer over anyone, tho. Allow an old fool his sentiment.)
- A quick list of players that can arguably appear in the 90-100 spots : Danielle Colaprico, Jaelene Hinkle (controversy aside - I will boo her without reservation but she's damn good), Beth Mead, Jessie Fleming (likely dropped off due to injury)... Georgia Stanway, perhaps, or a Scot like Caroline Weir?
posted by suckerpunch at 3:09 PM on December 7, 2018 [4 favorites]

It's Friday, Wanna Fight About Football?

Not today, but Saturday night's alright.
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:23 PM on December 7, 2018 [4 favorites]

On the topic of female footballers - I did not watch this year's Ballon d'Or show, but I just found out about this incident when it was discussed on the latest Guardian Football Weekly podcast.

WTF? (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻
posted by zakur at 3:40 PM on December 7, 2018 [3 favorites]

Women's World Cup draw tomorrow at 12:00 EST / 18:00 CET. Get hype.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:53 PM on December 7, 2018

Clearly, a rule of “no male DJs, MCs, or Announcers” would be a start....
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:07 PM on December 7, 2018 [2 favorites]

AD Franch is the best keeper on the list. This is the correct opinion, but not one shared by Jill Ellis. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Also nice to see Rapinoe round out the top ten. Such a force when she's in form, and more consistent than I think that write up indicates.
posted by Tentacle of Trust at 4:26 PM on December 7, 2018 [3 favorites]

Ah football fights.... Big fan of Jackie Groenen, down in 33rd, pff, who do I fight with?:D
posted by birmingham at 4:51 PM on December 7, 2018

Jackie Groenen, down in 33rd
What the heck does "always classy on the ball" mean?
posted by Tentacle of Trust at 4:58 PM on December 7, 2018

Hot take: Alex Morgan would not scratch the top 20 if she didn't have Jill Ellis putting her in position to finish so many USWNT chances. She's a very good player, but as OP mentioned had a terrible year and has continually underachieved in her club career.

Also, as a Thorns fan, let me counterbalance OP's anti-Thorns bias (I actually agree with all the takes) by saying that it remains a crime Jill Ellis won't cap Emily Menges, who would deserve to be on this list if she got the national team reps she deserves.
posted by lhputtgrass at 5:18 PM on December 7, 2018

I'll take credit for suckerpunch's excellent analysis, but OP has a definite pro-Thorns bias.
posted by Tentacle of Trust at 5:27 PM on December 7, 2018 [2 favorites]

Ah, true enough. Apparently it's been a long week and I can't read. Sorry!
posted by lhputtgrass at 5:30 PM on December 7, 2018 [1 favorite]

Menges is a great call. I kinda wonder if she's rated lower by Ellis because she can't spray the ball around like Dahlkemper and Davidson. Well, at any rate, let me just mention that, of the Emilys, Menges never gets got like the time that Rapinoe sonned Sonny. :)

Also (assuming 'classy' means 'smooth') I don't know if I'd describe Groenen as smooth on the ball, just Jesus is she smooth at taking away the ball.
posted by suckerpunch at 5:45 PM on December 7, 2018 [1 favorite]

Well, at any rate, let me just mention that, of the Emilys, Menges never gets got like the time that Rapinoe sonned Sonny. :)

I was at that game, and it may be my favorite soccer moment ever. Rapinoe can see seven seconds into the future.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 6:37 PM on December 7, 2018 [2 favorites]

Ada Hegerberg!
posted by Carol Anne at 6:52 AM on December 8, 2018

Women's World Cup draw tomorrow at 12:00 EST / 18:00 CET. Get hype.

Draw results:

Group A
A1: France
A2: South Korea
A3: Norway
A4: Nigeria

Group B
B1: Germany
B2: China
B3: Spain
B4: South Africa

Group C
C1: Australia
C2: Italy
C3: Brazil
C4: Jamaica

Group D
D1: England
D2: Scotland
D3: Argentina
D4: Japan

Group E
E1: Canada
E2: Cameroon
E3: New Zealand
E4: Netherlands

Group F
F1: United States
F2: Thailand
F3: Chile
F4: Sweden
posted by Pendragon at 9:51 AM on December 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

Draw results:

538 reckon that France have the hardest group, but I think they are overstating their case -- a big part of the reason France is in the hardest group is that group A has... France in it. This also overstates how difficult the US group is from the perspective of the US, since their group average skill level is raised by having the US in it.

From the perspective of the top tier teams (the top 6 teams that were in Pot 1), I would argue that Canada in group E has the toughest draw. Using 538's methodology, they're the second hardest draw - SPI average of 78.9 versus overall average of 74.7. If you drop the top team in each group, then group E is still the second hardest, although the gap with group A is cut in half -- instead of averaging 80.7 and 78.9, the strength of the remaining teams is now 76.4 and 75.3. So by these two metrics, it's a close second for toughest group.

But where it really gets tough is when you look at the overall draw. In effect, there are two sets of groups; One set, with group A, B and F where the best team is very strong (in fact, the three best teams, USA, FRA, DEU - SPI above 90) but there's a big gap to the second best team (SPI in the low 80s). The other set, groups C, D, and E each have two very good teams with SPI ratings in the high 80s, so effectively co-leaders; C has AUS/BRA, D has JPN/ENG, E has CAN/NED. Four of the groups have the winner play a third place team, and two have the winner play a runner up -- One of these is F, where the runner up to the US will play the runner up to Germany; the other one is Canada in E, where they would play the runner up in the two-leader group D. (On the bright side for Canada, if the US and France win their respective groups they would play each other in the quarter final, and Canada is on the other side of the draw entirely unless we finish 3rd.)
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 11:44 AM on December 10, 2018

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