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2015 Womens' World Cup in Canada


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Unlike the US men, I have total faith in the character of the US women when up against strong opposition. I still believe they Sweden and Australia, in that order, will go through from this group.

Spain seem to be the best of the newcomers, from what I saw of them in Euro 2013. Switzerland and the Netherlands look like round of 16 material. Costa Rica beat Mexico in CONCACAF qualifying and cannot be easily dismissed either.

I'll post my full picks at a later time when I feel a little more confident about them. The tricky part is figuring out which third place teams will go through.

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My darkhorse pick for the title is England (IK this will inevitably turn into you know what )

Dark horse indeed. We played Germany in a friendly last week and lost 3-0. Our 22nd defeat in succession against the Germans. I think our team is a little way off the very top teams right now. Getting to the semis would be nice.

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Unlike the US men, I have total faith in the character of the US women when up against strong opposition. I still believe they Sweden and Australia, in that order, will go through from this group.

Spain seem to be the best of the newcomers, from what I saw of them in Euro 2013. Switzerland and the Netherlands look like round of 16 material. Costa Rica beat Mexico in CONCACAF qualifying and cannot be easily dismissed either.

I'll post my full picks at a later time when I feel a little more confident about them. The tricky part is figuring out which third place teams will go through.

Forgot about Costa Rica. Don't forget that Costa Rica faced the American during the CONCACAF qualification battle for the third and final place and the right to face Italy in a home and home repachage four years ago at this time. I wonder how South Korea will fare in Canada. I think Australia's Mathildas could really do some damage like they did in 2007. Perhaps New Zealand's SWANZ (still call them that) will surprise. England will be solid as usual, maybe the semis as Rob hopes. France will definitely be real good.

I know they US women, being ranked #1 at present, will accept any challenge in front of them with its tremendous depth. I think they'll finish ahead of Sweden and Australia. But in the case of Sweden, I'm sure ex-coach Pia Sundhage will use their relationship with them against them in group play. But something gnaws at me about them of what's to come--and might cost them in the end. Nigeria will be physical with them. If you remember their game against Germany during group play, the Super Green Eagles knocked down and around a few of the Germans including, I remember, Ariane Hingst at the corner by one of them.

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I remember that game well (in fact I think it was played on my birthday). The Korean ref lost control of that game early and never got it back. Hopefully the referees committee remember it as well when making the assignment for that match.

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  • 3 months later...
  • 2 months later...

Canada (aka Big Red) vs. China and New Zealand (Football Ferns/SWANZ--still call them the latter) vs. The Netherlands (OranjeLeeuwinnen) this afternoon. Both at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Alberta. Crowds will go red and white for Team Canada. I'll support them; they're gaining rock star status. The Eskimos' home was for a long time Canada Soccer's home stadium and will kick things off, pun intended.

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Blatter may not arrive at Vancouver's BC Place anyway. Why not, given the ugly controversy swirling around him and FIFA. I say, good that the Swiss serpent does not turn up at all in Canada:

http://soccer.tsn.ca/news/fifa-president-blatter-world-cup-plans-the-air

I bet he's both too scared to be arrested when he leaves home and too busy destroying documents in the FIFA HQ before really going out.

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I have a friend who's working as a volunteer for the Women World Cup and he was feeling a bit stressed about it yesterday. Had to wish him good luck and tell him to not worry (he's a bit frightened of being around so much fans and people in a stadium). After all its a lifetime experience.


Also, after all the scandals happening these days, I think Blatter did the right choice of not showing his dirty face in public anymore. His sole presence ruins soccer for everyone

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No, we just had the misfortune of having two of the weakest teams in the field placed in the same group. I knew today would be a little tough to watch as soon as the draw was made six months ago. Today could conceivably have been Norway vs North Korea and Germany vs South Africa, but NK was excluded from this WC and South Africa failed to beat Cote D'Ivoire despite being favored to win. It's not a matter of expanding too fast, it's just hoping the right 24 qualify. Yesterday we had tight 1-0 matches and today we had blowouts, what will tomorrow bring....well that is the fun thing about a World Cup. You just never know.

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A day of firsts:

Homare Sawa (Japan) became the first player, male or female, to play in six World Cups.

Cameroon became the first African nation to win it's debut match, and the first African side to score six goals in a match.

Ri Hyang-Ok from North Korea became the first person, male of female, to both play and referee in a World Cup when she officiated the Sweden-Nigeria match. She played in the 1999 and 2003 WWC's.

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Round of 16 is set.

Saturday

Germany vs Sweden

China vs Cameroon

Sunday

Brazil vs Australia

France vs South Korea

Canada vs Switzerland

Monday

Norway vs England

USA vs Colombia

Tuesday

Japan vs Netherlands

Despite the occasional blowout, this has been an outstanding tournament thus far. As I stated a few weeks back, the spirit of the women's game would rule the day and make us forget all the extraneous issues facing FIFA (it's been really refreshing not to see Mr Blatter and his accomplice Mr Valcke anywhere near the matches). There have been some issues with the officiating (as usual), but this is virtually a new generation of referees making their WWC debut and they will take their lumps and learn from them. That being said, there were only two red cards shown in the group phase. Three of the eight first time qualifiers advanced out of the group play with Cameroon having to be the biggest surprise and Spain perhaps the biggest disappointment of the newbies. Having watched all 36 matches thus far, I need a few days off to catch my breath.

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Spain had their head coach, Ignacio Quereda, for over 27 YEARS now! I guess he couldn't rest until he finally take them to the WWC. Time for a fresh voice. It is indeed a disappointment to see bow them out like this in its debut year here. Incidently, it was Spain's captain and star Veronica Boquete who petitioned on Change.org to get women's national soccer team on the FIFA series. Now they will on the upcoming FIFA 16...but with only half the 24-team field though (and Japan and Norway aren't among them). Maybe it the field will get complete and some other nations not qualified as subsequential downloadable content.

Doing OK, USWNT, but...get your act together.

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