Monday, November 27, 2006

US Women are golden

The US Women have done it again.

The team had never lost a Gold Cup going into the match and they still have not as they beat Canada 2-1 last night in Los Angeles. The US controlled much of the play through out the game, especially in overtime, but it was not the run of play that decided it, instead it was a controversial call in the 119th minute and a penalty kick.

Off some confusing play, the ball came into the box where Natasha Kai (pictured) reached her foot out for hit. The Canadian defender got in the way and the ref blew her whistle and pointed to the spot. Right away, I thought of the Italy-Australia match from the World Cup. This call, much like that one, was going to decide the game. Also, much like that call, it was not very clear that it was the correct one and at such a late part of the match, I think you better be 100% sure of the call. That said, there was no hesitation by referee Virginia Tovar, so I'm guessing she felt very sure.

Just a moment later, Kristine Lilly did what she does so well and got the goal. Game over, US gets the trophy.

It's get to see the program doing so well, but it's hard not to notice how much trouble they were having finishing their chances. Again and again they got to the final third but then either gave the ball away on a sloppy pass or took a long, off target shot.

The good news for the ladies is their fitness. Canada was out of fuel by the start of overtime, but the US still had some in them. If a kid is ever complaining about having to run some additional laps at the end of practice, just direct them to this game for the reason why.

Also, Natasha Kai showed she has all the elements of being the next great US scorer. She is fast, has a great first touch and can play smart. However, she is too quick to take shots and her passes need some work, but that will come with more games.

It is a shame there is not a women's league around where she and so many others could get more of such games (yes there is the USL W-League, but that lacks the needed resources to really develop players). Hopefully this problem will come to an end soon.

On last comment on the game, what was up with the far side lineswomen? How many wrong calls can you make? There were five or six offside calls that were bad and three or four corner kicks that were ruled as goal kicks instead.

Congratulations to the US women.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree on your comment regarding refereeing. There has to be more training for the referees, but it has to come from the top. Sepp Blatter needs to step up and take a stand.

Brazilian Dude
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7:21 PM  
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