Monday, October 01, 2007

2007 Women's World Cup Final Thoughts

So another World Cup has come and gone and what do you know, the Germans won it all. Hard to believe the three weeks went by as fast as it did.

So what did I learn? Getting up early is fun however it really hurts the blogging. Also, to relate this to the '06 men's World Cup, the US played the role of Brazil, Germany played the role of Italy and Brazil played the role of Germany. Think about it, the US came in expected to make it to the final, but never really looked amazing (until the third place match). Germany was a strong team whose defense did much of the heavy lifting. Brazil was a good team heading in but many didn't think they had what it would take to go deep. Also, the US lost in their second playoff game (like Brazil) and Brazil lost in their third playoff game (like Germany). Not perfect, but there are similarities.

But enough of that, here are my final thoughts are certain parts of the fifth Women's World Cup.

US WNT - Maybe calling yourself the greatest team no one has ever heard of was a bit too much. The style and skill that we have come to expect wasn't there till the third place match.

Coach Greg Ryan - So why exactly wasn't the team playing up to their skill till they weren't playing for anything? And who changes keepers going into the semifinals when the new keeper has only played seven games in the last 51? Coaches are paid to make the difficult decisions but they get fired for making the wrong ones.

Hope Solo - She said the right thing just in the wrong way. Okay, she probably shouldn't have said anything but come on, she was playing great leading up to the semifinal then her coach benches her for some crazy reason. I don't think she meant to attack Briana Scurry, just point out that Scurry wasn't the team's number one heading into the cup, so why make the change?

Briana Scurry - Someone who was placed into a bad situation by someone who should have known better. Still Scurry, when she has a game or two to get ready, is strong between the posts.

Kristine Lilly - Pure class and wonderful skill. She is the type of players that all children, male or female, should watch. She gave everything and was humble while doing it.

Abby Wambach - A joy to watch. The way she pushes through and opens up options is something that you seldom see.

ESPN - Their announcers were actually talking about the action on the pitch for the majority of the game. What a crazy concept. Maybe try to import that into the MLS broadcasts and you'll see better ratings.

US Soccer - Didn't send the team's psychiatrist or chef over to China. Odd choice to make.

German WNT - Wow, no goals allowed and people thought the Italian men had something amazing in the '06 World Cup. If it had to be someone other then the US, Germany was the best.

Birgit Prinz - Stands as a wonderful example of what a striker should be. Smart with the ball, quick and a danger in the air.

Nadine Angerer - Nice to know that Germany can produce fantastic keepers no matter what gender they might be.

Brazil WNT - If their country doesn't finally accept the amazing team they have before them, they are idiots. The US, Sweden and China wrote the first chapter of international soccer but Brazil is writing the second. Their physical style is new to the game and brings it to an even higher level. Best moment of the whole cup was when the team held up a banner reading 'Brazil - We need your support' while getting their picture taken after receiving the silver medal.

Marta - The best player of the whole tournament without a doubt. She danced and the world was stunned.

China - Way to pull off a good show and great job fixing the grass in Shanghai in only 7 days.

US Women's Soccer League - Who knows how much of a role the lack of a top women's league in the US played in this World Cup. As the quality of play improves across the globe, if the US wants to stay at the top, they need a good league producing quality players.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there any chance the Federation will keep Ryan into the Olympics?

Why would he not retire? For the same reasons he is not world class coach....fear and doubt.

And we all saw what happened when the women were allowed to play their game!!

Very worried in Los Angeles

1:44 AM  
Blogger Mike H said...

Ryan has a contract through the end of the year (much like Bruce Arena did through the end of 2006), so there is an easy way to bring in someone new, just don't renew.

A new coach might not have the time needed to make the team into a gold medal winner, but it is obvious that a different direction is needed.

9:58 AM  
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9:09 PM  

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