It seems as everyone these days has some advice for US National Team coach Jill Ellis. Go to a 4-3-3. Bench Wambach. Free the Irish and bring O’Reilly and O’Hara off the bench and into the starting lineup. Move Johnston to midfielder and bring Rampone in for her leadership and experience.
Sky Blue FC coach Jim Gabarra has been watching, too. Six of his players are on World Cup rosters. All but one – Kelley O’Hara – has seen action in group play and the round of 16 matches. And he’s heard all the "suggestions" for Ellis – from former USWNT Coach Tony DiCicco to Fox Sports’ Alexi Lalas to former US soccer icons Michelle Akers and Julie Foudy and pretty much anyone with a twitter account (which includes me).
But he doesn’t see much changing.
"Like everybody else, I didn’t think they played great (against Colombia)," Gabarra said. "But the World Cup is all about just getting through to the next game. And they did that. I don’t think you’re going to see a lot of changes at this point. Especially when it comes to the back four. Usually, you get a group you’re comfortable with and stick with them."
Gabarra has been in a weird position of wishing that his players and their teams do well but knowing that the better they play, the less of a chance they will return to the Sky Blue FC lineup anytime soon.
Defender Caitlin Foord and striker Samantha Kerr have done well as Australia upset Brazil. Foord was a key player by keeping the sensational Marta in check for nearly the entire game. Marta, who exits with a rough Cup, only had one legitimate chance against Australia. And Gabarra is glad that Kerr isn’t returning with a broken jaw courtesy of an elbow from Nigerian defender Ugo Njoku. She has played in all four games for the Aussie side. ‘
"Foord has done a great job and that’s the first time I believe she played left back," said Gabarra. "She more or less shut down Marta. Kerr has done well for herself and, although I’m sure she wishes she had a few goals, like any striker."
The biggest surprise has been Filigno. She was just on the radar of the Canadian team a year ago and now she’s started twice and ot some meaningful minutes against the Swiss last Sunday.
And for the record: I would love to see a 4-3-3 with O’Reilly and Rampone in the starting 11. But I also think Ellis isn’t inclined to listen to me or anyone else.