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How tall are WPS goalkeepers?

Discussion in 'NWSL' started by Longtimesub, Aug 7, 2009.

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  1. Longtimesub

    Longtimesub Member

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    May 18, 2009
    A local sportswriter wrote an article about the US Men's team goalkeeper Tim Howard. He had a chart showing how tall some of world's top male goalkeepers were.

    Then how tall are goalkeepers in WPS?

    SB: Branam 5-8; Bardsley 5-11

    FCGP: Barnhart 5-11; Whitworth 5-9

    LA: Leblanc 5-9; Henderson 5-7

    CHI: Jonsson 5-10; Williams 5-9

    BOS: Lipsher 5-9; Luckenbill 5-9

    STL: Solo 5-9; Loyden 5-10

    WAS: McLeod 5-9; Spisak 6-2

    Most common height is 5-9.

    Shortest goalkeeper? Henderson (5ft 7in)

    Tallest goalkeeper? Spisak (6ft 2 in)

    Top 2 goalies in WPS, Leblanc and Solo, are 5ft 9in tall.

    I think that, in a women's soccer, a goalkeeper could be 5-9 and be "world-class". (It is probably fair to say that a player who is 5-9 should be considered "tall" in women's soccer.)

    How about some of top goalkeepers in European men's leagues?

    van der Sar (Man U): 6ft 5 in
    Reina (Liverpool): 6-2
    Cech (Chelsea): 6-5
    Casillas (Real Madrid): 6ft 1in
    Buffon (Juventus): 6-3
    Howard (Everton): 6-2

    It seems that a "world-class" male goalkeeper should be at least 6ft 1in tall...

    My guess is that a young lady, who is at least 6ft tall, probably would NOT play soccer in high school. She will play either basketball, volleyball, or softball. Some tall ladies pitch for the USA softball team. Like Jenny Finch, Monica Abbot, and Cat Osterman...

    I guess Spisak is an exception...
     


  2. Cville K C

    Cville K C Member

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    In high school, young women can usually play more than one sport.

    I think that the goalkeeper position has evolved quite a bit in women's soccer. Most of the keepers in the league today are extremely quick. I'm surprised Branam is listed at 5-8. When she walked by us after a game, I thought she was more like 5-6 or 5-7. Obviously, if a keeper is much shorter, shooters could aim under the bar a lot, plus it becomes a problem with 50-50 balls in the air.

    You look at the best keepers in the WPS and almost all of them are athletic enough that they could play out in the field if they had to. I don't think that was the case so much 15-20 years ago, although there were some good athletic keepers back then. Having seen Solo play this year, she can punt or kick the ball almost 3/4's the length of the field. She can throw over 30-40 yards on the fly. She can leap high enough to get her hand a good margin over the crossbar. The same could be said of quite a few of the keepers. They are really pretty incredible.
     
  3. kool-aide

    kool-aide Member

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    If you compare national teams, the USA WNT is not a "big" team (and by big, I mean tall). Boxx & Abby are the biggest. And Boxx is only 5'8" which isn't that big--I'm 5'8" and I'm not "big." I dare say that some of it might be bigger girls playing bball in middle school (and high school) and deciding to focus on bball.
     
  4. Bonnie Lass

    Bonnie Lass Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, but even with a bigger team like Norway, their starting keeper for umpteen years (Nordby) is only 5'6.(Then consider one of her backups for a chunk of those years, Christine Colombo Nilsen, is right at 6'0, of not 6'1.

    I think size helps a keeper, but it only goes so far.
     


  5. StarCityFan

    StarCityFan BigSoccer Supporter

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    Siri Mullinix was only 5'7", but she was superb for the Freedom.
     
  6. flamepruf

    flamepruf New Member

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    Size obviously helps. Shorter jump to the bar or just stretching out to block a shot. But explosive reaction time makes or breaks a GK.

    The longer the league keeps going, your almost certain to see a taller women play at some point. But keep in mind that GK position is picked by a few and mastered by even less.
     
  7. REALfootballRulez

    REALfootballRulez Member

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    That's because they lie about height in ALL sports. I've met some Mizzou football and basketball players and most were at least an inch shorter than their advertised height.

    It's notoriously done in pro sports too. Charles Barkely has always been listed at 6'6" but even he has admitted he's actually 6'4". An NBA scout once said they actually measure players heights with their shoes on!

    I know of people who met Sergio Momesso and Doug Gilmour when they were on the Blues and they noticed they were noticeably shorter than their listed heights and I've met Al Macinnis and Craig Conroy and they were around an inch shorter than their listed heights.

    It's happens in all sports so it's no surprise if they pad the height of some WPS players as well.
     
  8. REALfootballRulez

    REALfootballRulez Member

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    If you see Spisak in the team photo on the Freedom page she looks like a GIANT compared to everyone else. Even Abby and the men!

    Yet you can use Spisak as an example of how height doesn't mean everything. Spisak is MUCH taller than Mcleod yet Mcleod is the starter. McCleod looks 5'8" at the most so Spisak has a half a FOOT on her yet still isn't starting.

    Athletic ability is the key factor and the height certainly helps. Hope Solo personifies this.
     
  9. StarCityFan

    StarCityFan BigSoccer Supporter

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    Allie Long and Erin McLeod were looking at my copy of the media guide and noting that they were listed as the same height. I know one of them said to the other something like, "Only because you lied!" (Sorry, I can't remember which one at this point, though my recollection is that Allie's the taller of the two. I wouldn't swear to it, though.)
     
  10. Longtimesub

    Longtimesub Member

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    There was a game against St. Louis in RFK...Spisak had to come out because of an injury...In that game, I think she made one save which was made easier by the fact that she was over 6ft tall...
     
  11. Longtimesub

    Longtimesub Member

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    An excellent point...I think being a forward is more glamorous than being a goalkeeper...for some people.

    Meanwhile, if I want to see tall ladies play...I should stick with volleyball...By the way, it is on Universal Sports now. US Women's team playing other national teams...
     
  12. never2late2start

    never2late2start New Member

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    Tall keepers have an advantage for high shots, but are at a disadvantage on low shots because it takes them longer to get down low to stop those. I'm not saying keepers should be short, but if they're tall then they need to to be to get down low too. It's not all about higher shots.
     
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