Put this writer on the IR.
After shoveling snow for the past few days I’ve strained the tendons in my fingers shoveling through feet/meters of snow and typing is a bit more uneasy then usual. However, unlike the tendency of EPL players who need to draw more time…
…the show will go on.
This past week was a week of celebrations, from the kits being unveiled of Women’s Professional Soccer for the 2011 year to the jaw dropping performance across the world, literally, by the Brisbane Roar yesterday to secure a shot at the finals of the W-League in Australia. With the snow melting, for some of us, so to are the nerves of many who curiously wonder about the future of the women’s game.
Dear MLS…WPS just looks better…end of story…
Earlier this week it was announced through the global soccer company, PUMA, that the new kits (outfits, uniforms, pick your choice of words) would be shown to the world as the anticipation of the 2011 WPS Season aims to kick off in less then three months from now.
Each team has a new away and home uniforms as well as a specific uniform for specific games.
1 of every 8 women inside the United States will be affected by breast cancer sometime in their lifetime, knowing that try to picture the starting 11 on a field, WPS makes sure to emphasize the importance of the fight agaist this raging disease. This year WPS will be bringing awareness to world by their specific uniforms for each team that is decked out from head to toe in…yes…pink.
During specific matches in the month of July, WPS players will put on their Project Pink uniforms. More information about this lovely event can be found here.
One question worth asking about the new outfits comes from Washington’s. The Freedom’s (yes, I still refuse) uniforms still say “Freedom” on the front of the jersey’s. No where can magicTalk be found on the clothes.
Edit: While finishing this article, Jeff Kassouf, writer of Equalizer Soccer and Gerry Marrone, former Sky Blue FC General Manager, informed me that the uniforms were ordered before magicTalk was spoken of. In fact Mr. Marrone informed me that before he left his position as GM that he had already ordered uniforms through 2012.
As well as the new uniforms, new cleats were also on display. Not going to lie, if this writer was indeed a female, he’d go out and get ahold of some of these kicks as with some more of the ’11 PUMA WPS uniforms.
It was the match ever…that no one got to see…
Last night, in the early morning hours here in the US, while my Twitter account was still going on a rampage. Why? Because I follow AusWomensGame and they were going nuts last night. In the semi-final match of the Australia W-Leauge Brisbane vs Canberra the game went 1-1 for the full duration of the match, followed by a non-ending extra time due to goals scored in the 96th AND 97th minute, and finally in style Brisbane converted in penalty kicks to send themselves into the final against today’s victor of the second half of the W-League semi’s.
What a semi-final match it was! Non-stop game play, goals, and misses, and tackles, and saves, and…no media. Yep, that’s right ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) chose not to air this game. The twitter world was of outrage last night as people, primarily Australian, just ripped ABC apart. For this writer, due to his national presents (that is living in the United States) he legally wasn’t allowed to watch anyways via ABC, but can you imagine the frustration?
Personally, it goes to the ’99 World Cup with the US vs China; the turning point of women’s soccer inside the United States. What would have happened if no one saw that game (ironically via ABC, America’s Broadcasting Company)? What if the nation didn’t know that the penalty kick went in at the end? Or that America had a save? What if the world didn’t know?
I can’t speak on behalf of the rest of the world, but I can say this…
I would have never coached.
I would have never wrote.
My love towards the game would have never existed if ABC wasn’t playing the World Cup in my cousin’s basement in southern Missouri.
How many future all-stars, national hero’s, World Cup winners, and Hall of Fame coaches did we just lose? How many do we lose on a daily basis?
I know the secret to the women’s game, to its survival, growth, and future: We recognize that on the field, it is Team A vs Team B, but off the field we must recognize that if we do not work together, globally, we’ll have nothing to compete for.
The ROAR, a media outlet on Australian soccer had a rather interesting article about the A-League and W-League of Australia. Discussing how failing to get the 2022 World Cup will result in the ‘pruning’ of some teams. Sadly, neither league has many to prune. However, as stated inside the article, both the MLS, which is finally starting to gain some ground after 15 years, and the WPS, both have had some serious woes, but they still survive. We focus on the WPS’s issues, but many are not aware of how desperate the MLS was during the late ’90’s. As a KC Wiz/KC Wizards/Sporting KC fan, I can tell you, it was frightening that we could lose our team. Fear not my friends down under! Stay strong, pruning branches incourages stronger growth later!
2011 World Cup Report…Simply Inspiring
With the ’11 World Cup in Germany quickly gaining momentum upon us, ticket sales have started to become more well known. The organizers inside Germany have reported that over half a million tickets have already been sold for the World Cup, quickly making people, including this writer, if it’ll be the most financially successful World Cup since its unofficial beginings in 1991. As reported through FIFA the fastest ticket sales are going to the third place game, the clash of the US and Columbia, Brazil and Norway, and naturally anything that involves home favorites Germany.
Worth noting that this will be the last World Cup with this setup, in 2015 the field will be expanded to 24 teams, eight more than the current tournament format.
Alongside with this cheerful information is the article, also released by FIFA, that discusses the TV coverage expected for the tournament. Already acknoweldged sports media powerhouse ESPN will be covering each match, similar to 2010 Men’s World Cup in South Africa, which is something new to the experience. On top of that is the several different camera angles discussed from FIFA:
A spidercam and a helicopter camera will be in operation for selected matches to capture the action on the field from a bird’s eye perspective, while a further two cameras will follow the teams’ arrival by coach at the stadium. Virtual graphics will also be provided to support broadcasters and ultimately ensure fans enjoy a viewing experience on a par with the men’s game.
“We have never seen coverage on a scale like this before in women’s football. It shows our commitment towards improving the media production of the world’s premier women’s football competition. The football on the pitch will be great, and we want to be sure the fans receive the best-quality images and presentation of the matches,” said Niclas Ericson, Director of FIFA TV.
Interesting side note: Because of the overly opionated, vaguely studied view point towards Middle Eastern traditional view of women, FIFA has made connections with Al Jazeera to air women’s games at a level never seen before in many countries. More on this report can be found here.
91st Minute: Earlier this week CSA (Canadian Soccer Assocation) held a open meeting on the possibility of looking to reform soccer within the country. Former star Kara Lang was present with a document she had created in the event that she’d get to speak her mind. Sadly, the opportunity was not given, but we can view it today thanks to CBC:
Hello everyone and thank you for giving me the opportunity to say a few words on behalf of the players.
The players of our national women’s team whole-heartedly support the change in governance that has been proposed. We feel that it is an important, and necessary, step for the growth of soccer in Canada.
Voting in favour of reform would mean that there would be a greater level of soccer and business expertise at the disposal of this association. It would add a level of experience that is currently not there. It would allow for new ideas and new voices to influence Canadian soccer.
It is also important to us that a change in governance will see more women in the board. While a minimum of three women on the board is far from perfect, it is a start, and one that the players fully endorse.
Most importantly is that the CSA does not continue as is and accepts the status quo. It is simply not good enough. If soccer in this country is going to take the next step, then the CSA needs to change. Carolina Morace has brought the women’s program to a whole new level, but unless the Association starts making changes that allow it to grow and progress, the team won’t ever be able to reach its full potential and achieve the goals that they have set for the program.
You have the power to stop the inertia of this Association that is stifling the growth of soccer in this country. It’s time that you all recognized the opportunity that is right in front of you. The women’s program is the most successful program in Canada, and has the potential to change the face of soccer in this country. We’ve heard many times that the CSA supports the women’s game, but actions speak louder than words. So far the actions of the Association have proven otherwise.
If you truly believe in this team, then invest in them and give them the resources they need to succeed. You have what could potentially be one of the best teams in the world – just imagine what could happen if they came home with a World Cup Championship or an Olympic medal. Imagine what it could do for soccer in this country.
Lastly, I would like to address the situation with the women’s national team coach, Carolina Morace.
The players are aware of her decision to resign after the World Cup, and want to express that they are behind her 100 per cent. This is not an acceptable outcome, and the players would like to urge the CSA to act quickly to resolve this situation.
Carolina has brought a new mindset to the women’s team, and the players feel she is the key to achieving a medal in the World Cup and beyond. By allowing her to leave, the CSA would be doing a grave disservice to the team and to soccer in Canada.
For those of you who think that the issue of Carolina’s resignation is separate from that of governance reform – you are sadly mistaken.
Carolina Morace is the best thing that has ever happened to the women’s program, and if not for the current governance structure, she would be able to do her job to the best of her ability.
The Canadian national women’s team feels that it is in the best interests of the game in Canada to do whatever it takes to ensure she remains a part of the program.
If people like Kara Lang are our future for western soccer (meaning Canada and the US), we’ve got a bright future ahead of us.
92nd Minute: OurGameMagazine has published it’s February 2011 issue. I’ve made it halfway through, greatly encourage all of you to read this. It’s only on they net, so it is probably easier to see than it would be in paper form. Personal favorite articles:
Twiga Stars – Tanzania women’s soccer growth and struggles, emotionally stirring.
One More Chance – Club Spotlight on Piteå IF, Swedish club team from the north that has qualified for the Damallsvenskan league. This club has been around since 1918, emotionally uplifting.
93rd Minute: Women’s Professional Soccer got to sit down and have a nice little Question and Answer session with newcomer Alex Morgan. Check out this cheerful youngster as she takes her game to the next level.
94th Minute: With the Four Nations Tournament behind them, the US Women’s National Team has ventured back to the states and have started training camp in Florida. Pia announced her 31 person roster, will be trimmed to 23 before the Algarve Cup. Many usuals are on the roster, along with newcomers Sydney Leroux, Meghan Klingenberg, Sinead Farrelly, and Alex Morgan. All picks from this years WPS draft class. Frustrating aspect: noting that once again Pia has snubbed Lelsie Osborne once again from the team. More on the roster can be found here.
95th Minute: More magical magicTalk SC: From the All White Kit, Freedom has announced most of their roster for the upcoming WPS season. While last week we reported that Solo has signed with Washington, she doesn’t appear on roster. The theory is that she’s still working on contract issues with the crazy man himself Borislow…oh to be a fly on the wall in that room.
Dream of the Week:
At this rate I’m having at least one soccer dream per week…emphasis on at least. This week it invovled myself putting on a uniform, for a men’s team, it was black and red, and the team started with the letter ‘B’. No, it was not a coaching jacket, it was a standard uniform, shorts and all. Always been advised to dream big…why not?
If you’ll excuse me now, I need to go ice my fingers…
Concerned about my sleeping patterns? Need to know the newest style of cleats? I can’t help you, but I can direct you to those in the Twitter world that can, check me out @CoachDaugherty.