In case you missed it, FIFPro – the organization representing soccer players throughout the world – snubbed United States women’s national team defender Becky Sauerbrunn on its World XI list released yesterday.
While American defenders Meghan Klingenberg and Julie Johnston were recognized, Sauerbrunn – probably the best defender in the world right now – was not.
Here are some classic reactions from Soccer Twitter.
WNT Fandom's reaction hearing Broon got snubbed by FIFA again pic.twitter.com/ssbKM2xFBD
— Jennyyyyy (@1_uswnt) February 18, 2016
From here on in when a soccer player is left off a merit-based list, they got Brooned.
— The Yanks Are Coming (@YanksAreComing) February 19, 2016
And here’s the best one of all, sent out by Soccer Morning producer Trevor Heyward.
— Trevor Hayward (@HeyHayward) February 18, 2016
However, the worst reaction came via our beloved supporter’s group, The American Outlaws, who inadvertently snubbed Sauerbrunn in a tweet about being snubbed when they tagged Meghan Klingenberg.
IMO, the irony of tagging Kling instead of Sauerbrunn in a tweet about snubs should be immortalized. pic.twitter.com/BBHkj3LREk
— Danny Page (@DannyPage) February 18, 2016
In my opinion, the reason Sauerbrunn was left off the list is that people don’t notice subtle greatness. If a defender reads a play properly, there is no need for a great recovery run. If they position themselves properly, there is no need for a last ditch tackle. And if they play simple possession out of the back, there aren’t any assist numbers for them in the statistical column of the scoresheet.
@cboehm Often, the best defenders are the ones you don't notice at all. Perfect positioning is subtle, as is simple possession out of back.
— John D. Halloran (@JohnDHalloran) February 18, 2016
In happier news, the National Women’s Soccer League released its 2016 schedule yesterday. One wrinkle is the new feature of “regional rivalries” which will have each team playing a home-and-away against every other team in the league except their “regional rival”, who they will play four times during the season instead of only twice.
At first glance, this appears to affect Chicago, Kansas City, Portland and Seattle – all expected to be top teams in 2016 – the most.
Of note, the league also avoided all official FIFA dates in this year’s schedule, something not done by the U.S.’s top male domestic league, Major League Soccer.