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Women's Soccer/Football and WWC 2015

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USA! USA! USA!

 

Agreed, but I fear huge disappointment this year.  It felt like 2011 was the year, with the magic against Brazil in the QF, only to blow it against Japan.  This year, it seems like they can't score to save their lives sometimes.  Still, so looking forward to watching this!

 

 

Artificial turf.  Uck.

 

No kidding.  I read something the other day after the FIFA arrests that FIFA spent more money last year on hotels than they did on women's soccer.  Appalling!  Beyond that, because I'm cynical, I could do nothing other than shake my head that Wambach got an endorsement deal with Scott's Lawn & Turf after leading the charge against aritifical turf. 

Edited by pennben
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I want the United States to win, but if I can't have that, please let them make the finals and please make sure that Attorney General Loretta Lynch is part of the U.S delegation to come to the finals and watch the game! 

 

Boom!

Edited by pennben
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Oh, I've been ready for this tournament for months, ever since the field was set. I'm actually going to the two US games in Winnipeg.

 

Despite all the issues- the artificial turf controversy, the totally rigged draw, the FIFA scandal exploding less than two weeks before it begins, the reigning World POTY missing out with injury, and so on- I still think it's going to be the best WC yet. I really can't wait to see which players step up and shine.

 

For anyone who is relatively new to the women's game, BR has a list of their top 50 players to watch for this year: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2480929-ranking-top-50-players-at-the-2015-womens-world-cup?utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=share&utm_campaign=web-mob-art-mid-91972

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Thank you, pennben for starting this thread! It's a real shame all the FIFA nonsense has overshadowed the lead-up to this tournament. I'm getting stoked for it!

 

Agreed, but I fear huge disappointment this year.

 

 

I hear you! And hearing Alex Morgan's touch-and-go for the start of tournament isn't doing much to calm my nerves!

 

ETA: Soccer Gods: A novice's guide to the 2015 Women's World Cup

Edited by Gillian Rosh

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Oh, I've been ready for this tournament for months, ever since the field was set. I'm actually going to the two US games in Winnipeg.

 

You must give us full reports! 

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I'll do my best to give a full report, but my internet access might be limited until after I get back from Winnipeg.

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FIFA forces Brazil to sell booze at the matches and build stadiums that are currently, literally parking lots, and these women have to play on artificial turf. Maybe funneling 5% of your slush money from Qatar could have taken care of this issue? Aren't we promoting soccer for everyone?

 

I want a rematch of Japan and USA. And I want Baby Horse to take it to them. 

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Thanks for the schedule Gillian, I was trying to find it this morning.

 

 

I'll do my best to give a full report, but my internet access might be limited until after I get back from Winnipeg.

 

Worry not, Elsydeon. Just have fun!!! How cool is it that you'll be there?!! I forgot to mention that in my last reply to you:) Travel safe, be well.

 

ETA:  In honor of Canada who plays today, here's a story about Diana Matheson from a few years back that I think is awesome.  She's been sidelined by injuries, but I hope she has the chance to take the field at somepoint at home in this World Cup.  She deserves it.

Edited by pennben

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I went to USA/China in 1999 (?) during the Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy days in Foxboro when they won it. We had a blast. Such a great crowd. 

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What an awful awful foul that was by the China player. You play the hosts even for 90 minutes and then do that. 

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Even though the Norway-Thailand game was a mismatch, it's nice to see new teams in the World Cup. I was really pulling for Thailand to at least score a goal. Oh well.

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I had to turn off that Germany-Ivory Coast match. The last time I wanted a match called to end a team's suffering was Brazil v. Germany last year. This reminded me of that.

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Even when the USA dominate, I'm always uncomfortable with scorelines like this.  I always fall back on that the other team is living a dream to just to get there and will build on that.  We have seen that happen over the last 20 or so years.  But, also, yuck to the seemingly piling on, although I understand goal differential can be important vis a vis the tournament.

Edited by pennben

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On the other hand, it's kind of condescending for the winning team to just sort of stop playing too. Goal differential is important when you've only got 3 games in order to advance, so it's hard to put the brakes on. Plus, the other team can try to learn something of the quality of play at that level. 

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Great second half from Team USA today.  They looked kind of tight and tentative during the first half and Abby didn't play very well, but they definitely got it done today.  Megan Rapinoe is a beast and I'm really grateful that Hope made all of those insane saves. 

 

It was great to see them settle in and really play.  They're going to need everything they have against teams like Germany, Japan or Brazil.

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They're going to need everything they have against teams like Germany, Japan or Brazil.

 

Agreed.  Finally saw the whole game, not just highlights.  They are going to have to play much better than they did for a lot of this game in order to have a chance.  As good as she is, Solo can't stop everything.....but damn, she kept them in the game in the first half.  This game could have been disastrous otherwise.

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I think Tobin Heath was a significant factor as well.  I noticed that her presence and passing added much more finesse to the US game.  I also think that everyone realized that Abby wasn't having that great of a game, and so everyone stepped up. 

 

I'm hoping it was just nerves, and, now that the tournament has started, everyone settles down. 

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It was great to see them settle in and really play.  They're going to need everything they have against teams like Germany, Japan or Brazil.

 

It was good to see them find some rhythm later in the game. And I became a fan of Sydney Leroux! 

 

Japan didn't look too good last night--Switzerland had SO many chances and just failed to put the ball in the goal.

 

ETA: In other news, the New York Times is SO OVER Hope Solo

Edited by hendersonrocks

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I wasn't particularly impressed. Solo basically was the only one playing in the first half. You can't rely on your keeper that heavily against the Japanese or Brazilians. To their credit, they played far better in the second half, but I didn't think that third goal was particularly great versus poor containment and bad positioning on the Aussie keepers' part.

 

On the other hand, I think Sweden and Nigeria aren't that good, so that might have been the toughest match in the group. 

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Wish I could have watched England vs. France today. I did see Eugenie Le Sommer's fantastic goal via highlights.

 

It was actually a bit of a grinder, and the officiating was pretty bad.  There were at least two yellow cards that should have gone against France, and a corner kick that should have been for England that turned into a goal kick for France.  Not terrible, but a bit lackadaisical.

 

I think both teams were just playing very deliberately, especially since the conditions were quite bad (wind, rain, etc.).  Props to England and their goalie for keeping it as close as they did, because France is a really, really tough team.

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On the other hand, I think Sweden and Nigeria aren't that good, so that might have been the toughest match in the group.

 

I feel like Sweden (with Pia) might be a trap game.  I've got a weird feeling about that game (sorry, match).

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I'm not much for women's soccer, but did have the Germany-Ivory Coast match on, and I have to say, I think Germany will take it all.  I know IC wasn't much competition, but the German team played like a perfectly well-oiled machine.  They are going to be hard to beat.

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Holy cow.  The Norwegian coaching staff need to buy Hjelmseth a case of her favorite libation.  Maybe several cases.  Germany has taken 18 shots in the first half, and has scored only once.  They are a tough, tough team.

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I had to step away from the game, but second-half Germany is looking very beatable.  Norway really pulled it together the second half.

 

And it's a draw!  I'm really shocked, given how strong Germany looked in the first half.  Nice game, Norway!

Edited by SophiaD
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I wasn't impressed with Germany at all. The keeper hangs onto that ball or parries it and there's no goal. You can take all the shots you want, but they have to be good chances. Kick it at me all day and I'm going to save it. That was a winnable game for Norway and they should be really ticked they couldn't get a second. 

 

Poorly officiated game too imo.

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Poorly officiated game too imo.

 

The Thailand vs. Cote d'Ivoire game was even worse.  I couldn't believe they missed all of those offsides calls.

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So after that draw with Sweden, I'm more convinced than ever that the US isn't going to go far in this WWC. They'll get out of group play, but they just don't look good at all.  HUGE save by Klingenberg though.  Fantastic play that saved us from a loss here.

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I was disappointed by the USA vs. Sweden game.  The defense, especially Julie Johnson and Klingenberg, came to play, but it looked as if everyone else stayed home.  Except maybe Rapinoe, but she needed more help than she got.

 

I hope they do better in their last group game. 

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I'm more convinced than ever that the US isn't going to go far in this WWC. They'll get out of group play, but they just don't look good at all.

 

 

I wish Jill Ellis would quit playing musical chairs and settle on her roster. The US team needs to play together to develop into a team, not a bunch of very talented players who all happen to be on the field at the same time. Otherwise I fear you're right, they won't make it past the semi-finals.

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Whoa!  Colombia beat France 2-0 (albeit with one of the worst missed handball calls midway second half). Dumb, dumb, dumb play by French goalkeeper in stoppage time that eliminated any chance at a draw.  I think the announcers said something like 21 (FRA) to 3 (COL) shots advantage to France....clearly efficiency advantage to Colombia. Wow!

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Dumb, dumb, dumb play by French goalkeeper in stoppage time that eliminated any chance at a draw.

 

As soon as she came off her line, I shook my head and said, Colombia will score here. 

 

The missed handball call was pretty bad. That said, I hope that Colombia gets at least as far as the men's team did at last year's WC.

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Back from Winnipeg. With the exception of the rampant mosquito population wreaking havoc on my arms and the pre- 5 AM sunrises ruining my sleeping schedule, I had an absolutely fantastic time. The atmosphere at both US games was incredible. I don't know if you guys could hear the band that was playing at both Nigeria games on the broadcasts, but they did not stop for 90 minutes. Loved the passion from them. And the locals were so nice and friendly. I didn't have any problems with them at all.

 

More things that were awesome:

 

Meghan Klingenberg's goal line header against Sweden. She's easily the smallest player for the US at only 5-1, but that woman has some serious spring in her jumps.

 

Megan Rapinoe. When she's on her game, she can produce magic. And she delivered that against Australia.

 

Hope Solo on the field. Yes, she's a real jackass off the field, but she still is the best keeper in the world and came up big when Australia was outplaying the US.

 

Julie Johnston. She had some nervous moments in game 1, but was the best player for the US in game 2. It's still hard to believe she was buried on the bench just a few months ago. I see her and Sauerbrunn as the top CB pair in the world right now.

 

Sam Kerr. I first saw the potential this young player had when she came over to play in the NWSL two years ago, and she's only gotten better since. She gets overlooked at times in favor of De Vanna, but she's been a nightmare for her opponents to deal with.

 

Nigeria's offense. With the likes of Oshoala and Ordega, they're hard to contain.

 

Things that were not awesome:

 

The off the ball elbow by Njoku on Kerr. That shit is not acceptable and I hope FIFA drops the banhammer down on Njoku.

 

The US midfield continuing to suck. Holiday has been shit for months now, and her shitty form is now rubbing off on Lloyd. The forwards are being starved of service because the midfield keeps coughing up the ball.

 

Abby Wambach doing absolutely nothing on the field except diving for calls and whining. I am done with her and her bullshit. I wish Ellis had the stones to permanently bench her.

 

Nigeria's defence. They would have easily beaten Sweden had their defence not conceded those first two very preventable goals. If the US gets its act together offensively, Nigeria could be in for a long day Tuesday.

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As soon as she came off her line, I shook my head and said, Colombia will score here. 

 

The missed handball call was pretty bad. That said, I hope that Colombia gets at least as far as the men's team did at last year's WC.

 

France has never really had a good keeper. You can always count on Bouhaddi making at least one boneheaded decision per game.

 

As for the handball, it was bad, but I've seen worse:

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Thanks for the report Elsydeon! Glad you had so much fun.

 

 

The off the ball elbow by Njoku on Kerr. That shit is not acceptable and I hope FIFA drops the banhammer down on Njoku.

 

I read today that she was suspended for three games.  Deservedly so.

 

 

Abby Wambach doing absolutely nothing on the field except diving for calls and whining. I am done with her and her bullshit.

 

Honestly, she made everything worse today, essentially blaming turf for her (and the US's) lack of scoring and why she's not fully committing to going for certain plays.  SIgh.

 

The team talks about being in a bubble......they need a better bubble.

Edited by pennben
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Well, everyone has to play on the turf. It's not right, and it's not fair. Champions don't make excuses, Abby, and you know that. 

 

Not for nothing though, they scored 3 goals in their first match, and went up against their former coach, who has a decent team in their second match. USA has 4 points and leads the group. You're in the World Cup. You have 3 matches to play. Your singular goal is to advance from the group stage. That's all they should be talking about. 

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I guess the success of the USA is going to be the back 4. The timing was off in the offensive third. You should win with a red card and having the lead, and they did, but you also put the game away with a second goal. It's important to win the group since they'll go against a third place finisher. 

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Nice goal from Abby today.  Great play from the Nigerian keeper - I thought for sure at least one of those was going in.  I would have liked to see at least one more goal, but I'm happy they won. 

 

I hope they can build on this and have a really good showing on Monday.

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I am so pleased that not only did the US win the Group of Death, but Australia finished second. They're my favorite non-US team, and everyone was counting them out beforehand. Sweden has some waiting to do, but barring some completely batshit crazy results, they're into the knockout round. And as for Nigeria and their nutso homophobic coach, don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

 

The bad news is that the R16 opponent is likely to be from Group F. Which at the moment would be France.

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Group C was fun. I would say I'm surprised Japan only got one goal against Ecuador, but they aren't really known for running up the score. Plus this is a team who intentionally played South Africa to a draw in the last Olympics to get a KO round path with very little travel involved. The real drama was Switzerland/Cameroon. And while I didn't care for Cameroon's blatant Brazilian-style time wasting, they torched the slow Swiss backline all game long and were deserving winners. They probably won't get past the R16 this time, but with a few more years and some actual funding, they could be set up for a deep run in 2019.

 

The teams who have advanced thus far:

 

Canada- A

China- A

Netherlands- A

Germany- B

Norway- B

Japan- C

Cameroon- C

Switzerland- C

USA- D

Australia- D

Brazil- E

Colombia- F

 

Eliminated:

 

New Zealand- A

Ivory Coast- B

Ecuador- C

Nigeria- D

 

Everyone else is either yet to play their third game or awaiting the final four results.

 

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Player of the Match today:  Julie Johnston.  It scares the hell out of me that if Rampone/Engen hadn't been injured, Julie who has perhaps had the best games for the US in the group, would not even be on the field, maybe not even on the squad (she wasn't on the squad for the WWC qualifiers).  How many opportunities has the US lost because they weren't willing to honestly assess the younger players versus the marquee names?

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