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pennben

Women's Soccer/Football and WWC 2015

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I gotta say I'm disappointed with only one goal---I know, it got the job done and all but against Nigeria's weak defense it should have been more than that. And given that Abby Wambach's goal was scored with her foot I have to wonder about all the crosses that might have been played by someone more well rounded.

 

And as for Nigeria and their nutso homophobic coach, don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

 

 

Between the rough play and the coach I would have been rooting for anyone playing against Nigeria.

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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?

 

I know most people are harping on Johnston not getting a shot until the injury bug struck, but when asked about it, she's said that at the time she wasn't ready to be a contributor, let alone start. It took an invitation from Lloyd to train with her and Lloyd's personal trainer during breaks from the NT that got Johnston to the point, both physically and mentally, where not only could she start, but she could excel.

 

For me, and most others, the big facepalm is the fact that Crystal Dunn wasn't selected. There's been a serious lack of production from the forwards and Dunn is tearing it up in NWSL, leading the league in scoring and basically carrying her team at the moment.

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The officiating in this England-Colombia game doesn't seem very consistent.  Either that, or the Colombian players are diving like crazy.  Possibly both.

 

That yellow card on Sepulveda is going to be very costly.

Edited by SophiaD

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And the R16 matchups are set:

 

China vs. Cameroon June 20

USA vs. Colombia June 22

 

Germany vs. Sweden June 20

France vs. South Korea June 21

 

Brazil vs. Australia June 21

Japan vs. Netherlands June 23

 

Norway vs. England June 22

Canada vs. Switzerland June 21

 

The fact that 4 of the top 5 teams in the world are on one side of the bracket is a joke. Germany's path is brutal- they have the possibility of facing first number 5 Sweden, then number 3 France, then number 2 USA, just to get to the final. But then again, I guess it's kind of fair, considering the cupcake group they were handed.

 

It seems like reports of France's demise were premature indeed. Mexico was out of it within seconds.

 

I don't cry often at sports, but watching Vero cry was making me cry. I wanted Spain to advance so badly so she could play on, but they have no one to blame but themselves for wasting their chances. And kudos to the SK coach for making the right moves at halftime.

 

I still think Colombia got hosed on that yellow on Sepulveda. She's been outstanding for them, and now they have to play the US without her.

 

Best of the 8 debutantes by far is Cameroon. I would not be surprised if they beat China.

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The US has played Colombia in the 2011 WC and the 2012 Olympics. The two games were very one sided with the US winning 3-0 both times. So in that regard, this is probably the easiest of the R16 matches to predict. But those results need to be thrown out. Colombia is a vastly improved side since then, and they have some players who could cause the US problems.

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And the trash talking from Colombia has begun: http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/soccer/2015/06/19/colombia-lady-andrade-abby-wambach-world-cup/28999129/?AID=10709313&PID=3753211&SID=ib44yqdnh1000bl000dth

 

I will laugh my ass off if she gets sent off against the US. I mean, seriously. They have almost a third of their squad sitting on yellow cards plus their keeper is suspended, and she has the gall to say the US is more physical? I was hoping for a US win already, but now I want them to go out and wipe the floor with Colombia. Show no mercy.

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And this from the player who clocked Abby in the face during the last Olympic Games.  Yes, that was finesse-filled punch, all right. 

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Germany has put on a master class against Sweden. They were on the front foot since the opening whistle and rarely put a foot wrong.

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As much as Pia was good for the US, after watching Sweden's backline get ripped apart today, I am glad that Ellis fixed that area up. Our backline was awful when Pia was in charge, often relying on Hope to bail them out.

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Agreed.  Assuming the US even makes it that far, the backline and Hope will be the key to the game.  Germany was so, so good today.

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The Aussie ladies are taking it to Brazil!

 

That Aussie keeper was aces today.

Edited by ganesh

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The Aussie ladies are taking it to Brazil!

 

It's too bad Brazil sullied their exit with the coach complaining about a tough bracket. Them's the breaks, grumpycoach.

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Seriously, the Brazil group was so easy they rested most of their players in the last match. It's not a "bracket". You play the match you have or you go home. 

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It's too bad Brazil sullied their exit with the coach complaining about a tough bracket. Them's the breaks, grumpycoach.

 

It seems like everyone is taking potshots at the US in this tournament. First the Australian federation spewing crap after they lost, then Pia's comments, then Nigeria's coach acting a fool, then Andrade running her mouth, now Brazil's coach whining about the draw.

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At least Sweden and Nigeria were in the same group as the USA. Brazil cruised through their group and weren't the better team today. Where's USA in all that? 

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It seems like everyone is taking potshots at the US in this tournament. First the Australian federation spewing crap after they lost, then Pia's comments, then Nigeria's coach acting a fool, then Andrade running her mouth, now Brazil's coach whining about the draw.

 

Add Colombia to the tally:

 

 

Yoreli Rincon (via translator) on #USWNT: “They are clearly tall and athletic, but they don’t have the heart that we Colombians have.”

 

I'm not so sure this is a bad thing overall.  It shows other countries getting stronger and not just fearing the US team because they are, well, the US team.  I'm not sure that in the last year or so, this US team has intimidated anyone and it is kind of refreshing to see other teams not walking into games with a mental disadvantage.

 

On the one hand, it'd be great if the US prevailed over all the trash talk.  On the other, maybe these thoughts, along with many soccer media and fans in the US with their criticisms, would be the kick in the ass the USWNT system needs to change things up if they fall out early in this tournament.

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No, it is good in a way. But USA did win what was considered a very hard group. It's not like they're in decline. Not for anything, but it's also kind of dumb to mouth off too. This is classic bulletin board material. Hey, Abby, Columbia thinks you don't have any heart! 

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Didn't work so well against Sweden:)  Look, I am cheering for the US, but they are not above criticism. 

 

 

It's not like they're in decline.

 

Hmm.  Maybe, maybe not, but they sure as hell haven't played that well recently.

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Yay for Canada!!!!  Big win for them today against Switzerland. I was sure glad to see them pick it up when they came out for the second half and play more like the team we know they are.

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Yay for Canada!!!!  Big win for them today against Switzerland. I was sure glad to see them pick it up when they came out for the second half and play more like the team we know they are.

 

I'm sorry, but I just can't root for Canada as long as Tancredi is still there. It's been almost 3 years and I'm still not over what she did to Lloyd in the Olympics. That and the fact that they play an extremely unattractive style. And John Herdman being a massive tool.

 

http://prosoccertalk.nbcsports.com/2015/06/22/yoreli-rincon-carli-lloyd-idol-big-sister-womens-world-cup-uswnt-colombia/related/

 

I find it somewhat ironic and a little insulting that Rincon would shoot her mouth off about a team with a player on it that she idolizes.

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I don't know what the bar is for assessing the USA level of play.

 

2-0-1 in what's considered the hardest group isn't that bad. They conceded one goal. Any coach will take that line in the WC group stage, men or women. You advance out of the group and anything can happen. One of the games was against their former coach. Criticizing is one thing, but as it's been said, the piling on is more than that. 

USA doesn't have the offense they did at the Olympics and Alex and Abby aren't gelling like they have in the past. That back line might not hold up against the likes of France and Germany and the big ladies need to produce some big goals. That's criticism. On the other hand, the rest of the world has caught up a bit and USA isn't going to be blowing anyone off the turf either. 

 

"They have no heart" isn't criticism. "They have an easy bracket" is just a non statement out of nowhere. 

 

I think Colombia is going to come out blazing. If the USA can hang on, Colombia is going to burn out and I don't think can blaze for a full 90' against a team that can maintain possession well. 

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It seems like everyone is taking potshots at the US in this tournament. First the Australian federation spewing crap after they lost, then Pia's comments, then Nigeria's coach acting a fool, then Andrade running her mouth, now Brazil's coach whining about the draw.

 

Just for the record, most of us Aussies didn't act like that.  It was one article on the FFA website and made the point about how we all honestly thought that the USA would put on a better performance given they have consistently been in the top 2 and we have only peaked at 9th.  The one silly article was blown completely out of proportion with everyone saying that we "trash-talked" about the loss.  The point, which was terribly made, was that we gave one of the best teams a run for their money and that the USA weren't as classy as we expected.  

It is a shame that the one badly written article from the FFA has overshadowed the conversation about how far the Aussie girls have come, considering the most of them have to have full-time jobs as well as football to support themselves and have sacrificed a lot to be at camp and at the WWC.  

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Just for the record, most of us Aussies didn't act like that.

 

I think (hope) most folks know that. Honestly, the substance of the article wasn't necessarily that offbase, I think folks were startled at the tone of the article and that it appeared on the federation's site. 

 

You are absolutely right that this should not overshadow the play of Australia in this tournament.  They are playing great! 

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So the Colombia game plan is to foul a lot a take dives? Yeah, tons of heart there. 

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Oh my.  If the US does manage to get through this match, both Rapinoe and Holiday out for the next match based on accumulated yellows. 

Edited by pennben

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There is something fundamentally lacking in this US team.  I have no confidence in them whatsoever at this point. We are way past the point of screwing around in this tournament.  If they wait much longer to "peak", they'll reach maximum peak on the plane ride home.  Turn this around!

Edited by pennben
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The Colombian game plan was to clearly chip foul and slow the game down, pack the back in an effort to get past 90' and see what happens. I mean, they did win 2-0 in How many fouls were there? They played patiently with the player advantage and didn't give anything up stupidly. 

 

Germany or France isn't going to play that way. I agree that I'm concerned that they will have their hands full if they're playing from behind, but I don't see that the team is beating themselves either. Do they need more chances? Sure. There's not enough fluidity between Alex and Abby. They might consider a 433 if the offense is still lagging. 

 

You survive and advance. 

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This is also the first time Alex played a full 90' too. I would like to see them take it to China and get ahead early.

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I gave myself the night to cool off after that game, but I'm still pissed off. Seriously, what was that hot mess? Yeah, it was good that the US won a game it was supposed to win, but that performance was ugly as fuck. At this point I don't even know if we're going to get past China, let alone Germany or France.

 

I think the question needs to be asked: who is really running this team, Ellis or Wambach? The fact that she's still the number one option for taking PK's after missing several in the last few months is a joke. The fact that she's still starting regularly is a joke. The fact that she's even still on the team is the biggest joke of all. A competent coach would have seen her decline long ago and said thanks, but no thanks.

 

Losing Holiday is not a big loss. She's been subpar ever since Ellis took over, and I for one won't miss her lazy ass play and constant turnovers. It's a shame that it took a suspension and not Ellis seeing how shitty she's played for her to hit the bench, though. Losing Rapinoe is a big loss. I've criticized her for her inconsistency, but she's been the only real creative spark in our otherwise dire midfield.

 

Why the hell is O'Reilly still in the doghouse? Our only player who has played well as a winger is suspended and we're going to get Press. I like Press, but she is not a winger. That is O'Reilly.

 

On the other hand, I love how the media is ripping on Ellis for her poor decisions in this tournament. I just wish they were able to ask her the tough questions that Klinsmann has to deal with on a regular basis. Any reporter who dares to criticize the coach or the federation with regards to the women gets blacklisted.

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I'm so happy the Netherlands scored. They are such a scrappy team. 

 

Japan is really an excellent team, though.

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Abby needs to be muzzled for the remainder of the tournament. She's been running her mouth too much and making excuses that quite frankly are tiresome. Everyone has to play on the turf, yet other teams have zero problems in the scoring department. And while it sucks that the US is going to be missing Rapinoe for the QF, the fact is that both she and Holiday knew the risks of playing physical and put themselves into that situation. Neither of them are whining about a biased ref or anything like that.

 

I love the fact that the media is finally calling Abby out on her bullshit after kissing her ass for years. She's been involved in a lot of shady stuff in the past, but since few were paying serious attention to the women's game until now, she got away with it because of her play on the field. Now that she's long past her prime and her on-field performances have nosedived, she's not getting away with shooting her mouth off.

 

On to more positive things. The quarterfinals have now been set:

 

US vs. China June 26

Germany vs. France June 26

 

Japan vs. Australia June 27

Canada vs. England June 27

 

The US/China game is honestly the least interesting of the 4. With China's propensity for bunkering and the US attack floundering, this has all the makings of a boring slog. I don't see the US defense being tested that much by a woeful China attack, but China's defense is far more organized than Colombia's was, so I don't see much excitement in this game. I predict a 1-0 US win.

 

FIFA, you can go fuck yourselves for rigging the draw to ensure France and Germany met in the QF. Two of the 3 teams playing the best football should not be meeting until the semifinals at least. This game has all the potential of being the best game in the tournament. Which means it'll probably be a dull as fuck 1-0 win, but I'm hopeful that we'll get a quality showing from both sides. My prediction- France will be the first real test for Germany, but the winning tradition of Die Mannschaft will put them over the line in a 2-1 victory.

 

Very few people predicted Australia to triumph over Brazil. I was one of those very few people. Brazil never got out of first gear, and Australia's tough group forced them to turn up their game quickly. That was the difference in that game. On paper, however, Japan looks like the overwhelming favorite. I say not so fast. Japan and Australia faced each other twice in last year's Asian Cup. Game 1 in the group was a draw, as Japan overcame a 2-0 deficit to equalize with two late goals. The final was also very evenly matched, with Australia's inability to finish their chances dooming them to a 1-0 loss. So while the consensus has Japan taking this game, I believe the third time will be the charm, and Australia ends Japan's bid to repeat as champs with a 1-0 win.

 

England had been dominating results against Canada, rattling off 4 straight wins without conceding a single goal. But in a friendly just a week before the WC, Canada flipped the script and pulled off a win. Up until now, Canada has looked ordinary, riding the wave of the homefield advantage and doing just enough to get through the group and the R16. How much further they go could depend on England's formation. England can be strong when they don't set themselves up negatively. When they're forced to play more open, they're much better. If the Lionesses have learned from their win over Norway and they go out and attack from the start, I believe they can get past Canada. It won't be the most attractive game, but I predict England to win 2-0.

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You know, I always root for the US... but I find myself kind of delighted by the idea of Germany being the men's and women's world champions at the same time.

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That was a hell of a game. That's the kind of game you don't want anyone to lose.

 

There's no way China/US can live up to that one.

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