Orlando’s Taylor Kornieck has an impressive tutor — A couple of summer reading suggestions — Woso links — Kornieck talks about her first goal

The IX: Soccer Monday with Annie M. Peterson, June 7, 2021

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Imagine for a moment, you’re a young soccer player and ALEX FREAKING MORGAN offers to give you some pointers.

If you’re Taylor Kornieck, you listen.

Kornieck scored the equalizer against the Washington Spirit for a 1-1 draw Sunday that preserved Orlando’s undefeated season.

The Pride are 3-0-2 and sit atop the league table. As Julia Poe noted in her gamer for the Orlando Sentinel, it was the first goal for the Pride this season that wasn’t scored by Morgan or Sydney Leroux.

For those of you who don’t follow the NWSL consistently, Morgan is in Olympic-year form already, with a league-leading four goals. She also has an assist.

In her postgame session with the media, Kornieck said she’d been getting help from Morgan.

She’s stayed after with me, done film, even during games, she’s always just giving me helpful tips and putting me in the right positions. And it helps me do less running in the end. So I’m just so I’m so happy to have her up top and and to learn from her in particular. She’s just an amazing player and I’m so happy that she’s out there.

The young midfielder was a standout for the Colorado Buffaloes before she was drafted third overall by the Orlando Pride last year.

Her young career came to a screeching halt because of the coronavirus. The Pride was forced to withdraw from the Challenge Cup tournament because of an outbreak on the team. In September she was loaned to MSV Duisburg in the Bundesliga to get some playing time in.

Coach Marc Skinner praised the 22-year-old, saying he doesn’t know if she has a ceiling.

For us, it’s about what part she does on the defensive side, what part she does when we build up, what part she does in the attack and creating goals, there’s still lots and lots of room for her to develop. What we’re going to keep doing with her is keep looking at ways she can make the play, ways she can make better decisions. And I think that’s what it is. Once you’ve played together for a season, you’ll really start to see how Taylor is such a threat.

You can see more from from Kornieck below. But before I move onto the links, there’s something else I’d like to point out from this weekend’s postgame sessions.

Andre Carlisle asked Andi Sullivan why she kneels for the anthem (she was the only one on her team who kneeled on Sunday). Sullivan gave a heartfelt answer that I feel bears repeating.

“I would say I’m nervous to answer this question, and it’s obviously not a simple answer. And I hope that people I know in my circle, if I make a mistake that they’ll guide me in the right direction. But it’s not an easy thing for me to do, to kneel for the anthem as an individual. For me, growing up, the anthem was always a moment to be grateful, and to come together no matter what was going on, and no matter our differences. But I have realized that not everyone’s experience was my experience, and not everyone has that feeling when they hear the anthem played. So I kneel to remind myself not of my perspective, but of others. And because I love this country and I want everyone to feel how I felt when I was growing up. I was, you know, actually blissfully ignorant of problems in our country, specifically police brutality, So I kneel to remind myself to continue to make myself uncomfortable, because it makes me uncomfortable, to change what’s going on in our country. I don’t know if kneeling really has that effect from my action, but I’m going to keep doing it, especially because just in conversations that I’ve had with black players in the league, that’s what they would like to continue to do and I want to follow their lead. I’ve had some good conversations with players, or just listening to them, that is my motivation and I just want to make sure the black players in league, especially my black teammates, feel that support and know I’m willing to listen and try and make changes.

On final note. If you’re a longtime subscriber, you may remember that I did a soccer Monday on Susie Petruccelli and her book, “Raised a Warrior” and other projects she’s done. As it turns out, there’s a U.S. edition of the book coming out. You can show retailers there’s a market for this kind of content by pre-ordering the book. PLUS IT’S REALLY GOOD. Here are a few links: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Bookshop.org, among other places.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the fact that Meg Linehan has a book too! Secrets of Success: Insights from Megan Rapinoe’s World-Class Soccer Career. You can find it on Meg’s website here!


(Reminder: First, the underlined words are the links. Second. CLICK these, even if you’ve already read them. ESPECIALLY NOW, as newsrooms are forced to make difficult choices. Clicks = Attention from editors, producers and webmasters. Third, if you want to push out stuff you’ve written or read, email me! apeterson@ap.org.

Because soccer is a global beat and I live on the West Coast, sometimes I’m up and working at weird hours. This past week I was on a Zoom at 1:30 a.m. with FIFPRO, the global players’ union, to talk about women’s soccer an the pandemic. You can read the report here.

Here’s my story! Please click on it. It will show the AP that women’s soccer coverage is valuable.

One observation: Sarah Gregorius, FIFPRO’s director of global policy and strategic relations for women’s soccer, is really smart and really enthusiastic. I was sad to see Amanda Vandervort leave, but the post is in good hands. Some of you may remember Sarah from New Zealand’s national team.

STEPH YANG IS WITH THE ATHLETIC NOW! Congrats. So excited to see what you do!

Paul Tenorio at The Athletic reports that the Thorns have acquired the rights to Olivia Moultrie.

Sandra Herrera with CBS Sports has started an NWSL Star Power Index, and here’s the first.

Maria Sanchez is giving the NWSL another shot, from the Houston Chronicle.

Unsurprisingly, Alex Morgan is you NWSL Player of the Month.

Katie Whyatt from the Athletic speaks to Ellie Roebuck, a player to watch.

On the latest Mixxed Zone Podcast, Jenn Cooper talks to Meg Linehan about the upcoming summer series.

PSG won the French title, snapping Lyon’s streak, from Jeff Kassouf of The Equalizer.

Nice story here from John Halloran for The Equalizer on Paige Monaghan.

I missed this from my colleague Howard Megdal on what the latest USWNT roster can tell us about the Olympic team, from Forbes.

USA TODAY talked to Carli Lloyd about the uncertainty surrounding the Olympics.

Inside Hook looks at how celebrities are flocking to soccer.

TODAY talked to Ashlyn and Ali about adoption.

And Lynn Williams has reunited with Sam Mewis!

Five at The IX: Taylor Kornieck

Kornieck spoke to the media following the Pride’s draw with the Spirit. Here’s what she had to say.

(An aside here: I’ve been thinking, and I really want to include and amplify the voices of some of the league’s players who aren’t the USWNT stars, players who might not get the coverage that the Rapinoes and Morgans and Lloyds get! Let me know if there’s anyone you want to hear from, and I’ll see what I can do.)

Question: Something that Marc has talked about is the team’s need to get better at bouncing back from being a goal down. And obviously, you guys did that very quickly tonight. What was kind of the mindset, the conversations between players like in those minutes after the gold?

Kornieck: Well, you know, it all started right before the game. In our huddle, you know, Ashe gave a really great speech that motivated all of us. We’re at the top of the table and it’s easy to get there, but it’s hard to maintain. So, you know, once we went a goal down, we all just kept fighting and fighting and we found our chance and made a great opportunity out of it. I’m really just pleased with how we came back from that goal.

Question: For you personally, just scoring that goal, just what does that mean?

Kornieck: I’ve been telling everybody it was due time for me. I had my first header against Louisville in the first game of the Challenge Cup. And I’ve been in a little drought. I really haven’t showed my top play and everything I can do. And that was just a little glimpse of of me as a player. So I’m hoping to bring more of that as the games go on.

Question: After Aubrey Bledsoe threw the ball, kind of what did you see? And then the pass from Marta and then go from there?

Kornieck:Yeah, I noticed when she threw it, right when I turned around, I saw Marta just right in the perfect spot and I knew she was going to first time it to me. And you know, I took a touch forward and I saw her. She was on her heels. And I just took that one touch from behind and slotted at the far post.

Question: The broadcast kept talking about how Alex and you had a film session two weeks back where she broke down some things. Anything about that you can share?

Kornieck: Yeah, she’s been incredible to me. She’s stayed after with me, done film, even during games, she’s always just giving me helpful tips and putting me in the right positions. And it helps me do less running in the end. So I’m just so I’m so happy to have her up top and and to learn from her in particular. She’s just an amazing player and I’m so happy that she’s out there.

Question: Did she go to you, or did you seek her advice?

Kornieck: She came to me and I was obviously nervous. You know it’s Alex Morgan. But no, she’s she’s been great. And I’m so fortunate to have her with me.

Question: I see you hustling even defensively. Where does that come from and what does this mean to you moving forward?

Kornieck: Well, it’s a different game than college. And I’m not used to used to playing with such high quality, high-level players and all at once. So it’s been tough in the beginning stages, but Alex has been helping me, Syd’s been helping me, Marta’s been helping me. I just have some of the best players in the world helping me, and I want to work hard for them in return. So it’s all about working together as a team. I’m going to say it again. I’m so fortunate to be surrounded by such amazing players.

Question: It seems like you’re opening up and kind of taking some of those longer strikes a little bit more readily throughout this game, were you getting encouragement from Marc, from your teammates, or was that kind of a conscious thing you were doing?

Kornieck: I haven’t really got an opportunity to just let one go. And today, I think I just got so ahead of myself that I just blew it over the crossbar. But, you know, I hope to keep getting those opportunities. And one of these days, I want to put it away.

Mondays: Soccer
By: Annie Peterson, @AnnieMPeterson, AP Women’s Soccer
Tuesdays: Tennis
By: Joey Dillon, @JoeyDillon, Freelance Tennis Writer
Wednesdays: Basketball
By: Howard Megdal, @HowardMegdal, The Next
Thursdays: Golf
By: Sarah Kellam, @sarahkellam, LPGA.com
Fridays: Hockey
By: Erica Ayala, @ELindsay08, NWHL Broadcaster
Saturdays: Gymnastics
By: Jessica Taylor Price, @jesstaylorprice, Freelance Gymnastics Writer

Written by Annie Peterson