Coffee?

Check.

Twitter Feed?

Check.

Tiesto?

Check.

Having to start this article all over again because I forgot to save…again?

CHECK!

Without technology the world would seem all but lost, but without technology my blood pressure would also drop ten point.

While WPS season is not officially underway (pre-season is, I know), the world’s game is well underway. From MORE news in Canada, to Canada itself, taking a turn south to the US, across the Portagul, searching for Cyprus, and even making a stop in Scotland (yes, again), China, before ending down under, the game is busy, the game is traveling, the game is growing.

Playing for Keeps

WPS has announced that the pre-season will be focusing primarily on roster size. Through the next few weeks teams are expected to ‘downsize’ into the desired, but sometimes dreaded 24 person roster, that is including the USWNT/CANWNT/Other NT players who are currently gone on ‘cup duty’. These practices, scrimmages, and meetings will be about trimming the fat and playing for professional careers. Atlanta will open play this Sunday at KSU Stadium against the University of South Florida while the new kids on the block, Western New York Flash will kick off against University of Buffalo at the stylish, newly named Sahlen Sports Complex. Good luck ladies and remember what you’re playing for!

Meanwhile…Across the Globe…

While some are preparing for the pro’s, other’s are traveling with other pro’s, but not to professinal games, but to national game, or perhaps those are deemed professional games. Are the Olympics professional or national? World Cup? Let’s go with this: there are some professionals that are playing professionally as international tournaments in preperation of a global professionally international competition.

Am I the only one that didn’t get any of that?

Canada, Mexico, and the USA all got their starts this week in their respective cup’s (Cyprus Women’s Cup, Algarve Cup). For the most part North America has been well respresented and has kindly reminded the world where the world power of the sport still comes from.

Cyprus Cup Mexico pulled ties with South Korea and Russia, meaning 2 points and no shot at the title game, but no losses as well. Canada has had even brighter hopes with a tight W over Scotland, more on them in a minute, with a 1-0 walk away. Second round was won in similar fashion with a 1-0 W over Italy. This’ll more than likely place the leaf’s in the final, after a 3rd round match against England.

Final Prediction: Canada vs Holland (2:1) Canada keeps the Cyprus Cup title for another year.

Algarve Cup

The Yank’s dropped the hammer, and dropped it hard and quick with their first win over Japan (2-1). USA is still enjoying their growing winnning streak after taking the title of the Four Nations Tournament. A-Rod scored a real beauty from the top in the 6th minute, and only 11 minutes later Rapinoe put in another to make it 2-0. Not even 20 minutes and two goals (take note USMNT), that’s coming out fast. Second round had the US taking on Norway after beating their neighbors 2-1. Things would go as kindly for the folks up north, the US would blank them 2-0 with goals from Lindsay Tarpley, her first cap since a ACL injury knocked her out of play with the now defunct Red Stars; and Carli Lloyd ended the match in the 63rd minute with a ‘absolute firecracker’ to the back net. The United States will play their 3rd round against Finland, but have already rooted themselves into the final.

Final Prediction: USA vs Iceland (3:1) USA takes the title, but the Icelandic goal allows us to see another amazing victory dance (who will be the fish?).

Strange notes of the ‘cups’:

  • Scotland Defeating England: 1st time in 34 years the Scot’s beat England, remember the story about their first meeting?
  • Iceland: They would have been a serious threat in the Four Nations Tournament. So far these folks have knocked off Sweden (2:1) and China (2:1), and look to get past Denmark into the finals. A win for Iceland, they’re a lock, a loss, it’s a toss up against the US. A true shame they didn’t make it into the ’11 World Cup. With expansion in 2015, who knows…
  •  

Speaking of Things Odd in 2015

A few weeks ago, many of us were left scratching our heads and searching our files, for reasons why the Canadian Women’s National Team, Head Coach Carolina Morace, and the Canadian Soccer Association were at such severe odds with each other. At the same time it was well known that Canada was in a race with African country, Zimbabwe, at hosting the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the first WWC to have the newly expanded field (phoning Iceland).

Last week it was stated that after threatening to boycott matches, because of postive movements by the CSA in getting to talk with Coach Morace, that CanWNT would drop their threat. Meaning that they’ll play in this years cup.*

On top of all these actions came the news this week Canada will indeed be the hosts of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup (this coming after Zimbabwe withdrew their bid). Vancouver looks to be the city making the biggest pitch/fit to host the final match. Toronto will not be placing a bid as a host city due to its involvement in the Pan-American games.

Amazing how everything came together just…in…time…

Congrat’s to Canada, we’ll see you in ’15.

*The team is still fighting legally with the CSA on collective-bargaining agreements, proper payments, and trying to discover how much the men’s national team is getting paid compared to their much higher ranked female counterparts.

On that Thought of Collective-Bargaining…

Shout out to the Australian Women’s Game via Twitter for discovering an article from The Sydney Morning Herald discussing the issue of women professional soccer players being paid mere scraps compared to their male counterparts.

Of course this article wasn’t written in the United States.

Of course this article wasn’t discussion a WPS player.

Of course this article wasn’t talking of a young college player new to the world.

This article was written in Australia.

This article was about the capitan of the women’s national team, Melissa Barbieri.

This article was about a 31 year old woman trying to play the game she loves and balance a full time job.

Melissa is a school nurse at Good Samaritan Primary School, where she bandages banged up kids on a regular basis.

Why? Because it pays money. At just over $30,000 a year, a national team player doesn’t make enough in soccer alone to survive.

At least not on the women’s side of things. Because of this many players are either into full time studies or work while playing the game as well.

Imagine Ronaldo flipping burgers.

Picture Rooney living in a mobile home (maybe not that hard thanks to Nike’s ’10 World Cup commercial).

Visualize Beck’s living in a two bedroom, one bathroom, single floor home.

That’s the reality for Barbieri, and many other female players. The fact is that this article demonstrates that the complaints about women’s sports, primarily soccer in this case, not getting the desired coverage isn’t just in the United States, it isn’t just in England, this a global epidemic with no stopping in sight. Be sure to read the one comment left at the bottom of the article. Naturally, I don’t hold with me the answer to these issues, but I do know of the personal story to relate:

Once upon a time inside the state of Missouri in the United States stood a a small university. This university was developing two extra curricular programs at the same time.

  • Football
  • Speech/Debate

The football program had the athletic departments funding and backing. Booster’s poured their money into the program, getting a stadium, new lights, keeping other athletics from participating on ‘their’ equipment, and ran game day events every Saturday prior to the game.

The speech/debate program had a man with a vision, a dream, and a future. They started out traveling inside an old van with a container full of homemade fried chicken, biscuits, and greens. The team would stop at the closest town with a church that would allow the competitors to stay overnight prior to their big events. Aside from those few kids, that one coach, and a handful of parents, no one, not even the university itself, cared about this program.

Currently: Southwest Baptist University Football has won 0 conference titles.

Currently: Southwest Baptist University Speech/Debate has “unknown” conference titles. However, Southwest Baptist University Speech/Debate has won 19 of the past 26 national titles. The department also has as many donors as the football program, an entire floor of the language arts building devoted strictly to the program, stays at hotels on the road, and currently dines at actually restuarants.

Currently: Canada Men’s National Team is ranked below 50th in the FIFA World Soccer Rankings.

Currently: Canada Women’s National Team is ranked 9th in the FIFA World Soccer Rankings.

Catching on to the pattern?

Those who expect the world to be given to them on a silver platter (hello EPL) will get just that, but eventually they will stagnate, they will plateau. Those who fight for what they desire, for what they know that may deserve, or at least want, they will achieve greatness. Melissa may not see the day, but may my words be known that there will come a day where people will grow tired of the dramatics and will be drawn back to the skill of the game.

Extra Minutes:

91st Minute: First and foremost, serious congratulations needs to go to Jenna Pel, owner and operator of “All White Kit“. While reading through information, it was brought to my attention via Twitter that one of Jenna’s fabulous articles has made it into the New York Times, covering the US in the Algarve Cup!

92nd Minute: FIFA has an interesting article up about Sun Wen; former forward of the Chinese National Team. She played, probably most notably, against the United States in the FIFA ’99 Women’s World Cup Final. She discusses how Asia is not only becoming a new economic power in the world, but has the potential to once again become a power inside the women’s soccer world.

93rd Minute: Currently working on an upcoming project involving Qatar and the Qatar Women’s Football Association. Hopefully as the week continues more information will become available, and a rather interesting article will soon exist…I hope. Until then, check out their page to find out about this newest professional women’s league in the world.

94th Minute: Was able to start the book “Outcast United”, I’m nearly 25 pages into the book and am deeply motivated, convicted, and moved by what this book discusses. For those unfamiliar, the premise goes along the cultural differences of several refugee families that live just outside of Atlanta, and one coach who is driven to create a positive world for this kids. An absolutely must read!

95th Minute: Shameless plug: If you find yourself floating through cyberspace around 7:00 pm CST (you’ll have to figure out your own time) head over to Twitter and check out the hashtag #wpschat, there you will find a lengthy, multiple hour discussion on the WPS, marketing ideas, future hopes, questions, and expectations of what is to come of the WPS in the United States. Naturally I’ll be there rocking it out with you!

It’s an ever changing, ever evolving world that we live in. As I’ve been watching this very site over the past few weeks I’ve noted a membership increase. Algarve Cup? Maybe. Cyprus Cup? Perhaps. World Cup? Possibly.

Regardless, does it show that the game’s interest and addiction is growing?

Absolutely.

-D-

P.S: Curious about what I ate for breakfast at those hotels prior to competing for the SBU Speech/Debate program? I’ll give you a hint, they were cold and white, still curious? Find out when you follow me over at Twitter @CoachDaugherty

2 Comments
  1. Asa 9 years ago

    Another great blog Shawn 🙂

  2. Women's Soccer United 9 years ago

    Brilliant article, thanks again Shawn 🙂 (Sorry you had to write twice, nightmare)

     

    I 100% completely agree with your sentance ” Those who fight for what they desire, for what they know that may deserve, or at least want, they will achieve greatness.”

     

    I think your Algarve and Cyprus Cup predictions could be spot on. Scotland did a great job to end the 34 years of hurt against England, although unexpected result again it shows how much closer the standards of the teams are. In fact, so far the tournaments have been really exciting (we have even managed to get a live stream of one Russian match and hope to get the second one live tomorrow :D)

     

    Congratulations to Jenna Pel, that is brilliant news!! What a great achievement 🙂

    Outcast United sounds an interesting book, I hadn’t heard about it before.

    I keep meaning to go to the wpschat, I must sort out my timings lol!!

     

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