Monthly Archives: February 2011

Notables for February 27th, 2011 (Slightly Updated)

…or the I’m alive and well, I promise post.

 

  • According to a published report in the Chinese press, Mexico head coach Leo Cuellar hinted that Mexico would play the United States prior to the World Cup. U.S. Soccer couldn’t confirm the match but it does kind of make sense. The USWNT will be playing its final preparation game in the U.S. on Sunday, June 5 which fits Cuellar’s timeline in the article. Also, rumor has it that it will be the team’s only domestic game before the World Cup. According to the latest U.S. Soccer press release, the team will have domestic friendlies on Saturday, May 14, Wednesday, May 18 and Sunday, June 5.

 

  • The USWNT’s pre-WWC schedule is as follows:

Algarve Cup now until March 9, March 21-April 1 training in London, April 2 England friendly, April 3-7 training in Scotland, April 18-May 6 training in West Palm Beach *during this time, presumably everyone other than Ali Krieger will travel to WPS matches on weekends*, May 9 training for friendlies begins, friendlies May 14, May 18 and June 5, June 6-13 break, June 14-23 European camp, June 23 travel to Dresden, June 28 Group C match vs. North Korea…

 

  • TSN was one of the first outlets to report that the Canadian Women’s National Team has ended its boycott.   One morning I wrote an article about this and a few hours later it wound up on The New York Times Goal blog. Weird! Also be sure to read the first installment Lissa’s terrifically comprehensive rundown of the situation in the post below.

 

  • You can keep track of Canada’s progress in the Cyprus Cup next week because the tournament has its very own website. Rejoice!

 

  • With Barnhart, Whitworth, Lipsher and Butler off the open market, several former no. 1′s are still without a home. What will become of the likes of Jill Loyden, Karina LeBlanc and Erin McLeod? Atlanta Beat owner and acting GM Fitz Johnson explains why the team passed on each one in the The Marietta Daily Journal.

 

  • The Boston Breakers released its preseason squad. Players vying for a roster spot include former Breaker Niki Cross, WPSL super striker Leah Blayney, Gina DeMaio, Ally McCann, Ahkeela Mollon and Katie Schoepfer. Also of note, Keelin Winters is listed as a defender and goalkeeper Ashley Phillips and new draftee Katherine Sheeleigh are excluded from the squad.

 

  • Chicagoland Soccer News has a brief yet interesting article on WPS’ plans for westward expansion. The usual suspects include Seattle, Vancouver, the O.C. and Dallas.

 

 

  • Both the U-20′s and the U-23′s are currently in action in La Manga, Spain although you would never know it by looking at the U.S. Soccer website. The Practice Field blog offers a helpful update on the U-23′s. Georgetown midfielder Ingrid Wells is a seasoned vet in the USWNT youth system and she explains how her role differs with the USWNT U-23’s. Meanwhile, Cross-Conference has posted the U-20′s roster and the dates they’ll be playing. This article details why fourth time’s the charm for 18 year-old midfielder Sarah Killion.

 

  • Since she’s not in Spain, one might wonder what Sydney Leroux has been up to. Last week, Graham Hays tweeted that the U-20’s forward had been spotted pinch-running for the UCLA softball team. The Daily Bruin offers confirmation.

 

  • Scotland narrowly missed out on qualifying for the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Head coach Anna Signeul tells The Guardian that the team must recapture some momentum at the Cyprus Cup. Also, Kelly Smith is set to earn her 100th cap in England’s clash with Italy on Wednesday.

 

  • Hope Powell and Faye White chat about what 2011 holds for women’s soccer in a BBC video interview. White also talks up the prospect of having a Great Britain team compete in the 2012 Summer Olympics. 

 

  • The Dutch Vrouwen Eredivsie will conract to six teams after clubs AZ and Willem II will both fold their women’s teams. In previous years, matches were only played on Thursdays. This year games will be played on Friday nights. There will also be a free market for players now. (Thanks Deborah)

 

  • CNN profiles the German Women’s National Team star Lira Bajramaj in a video interview.

 

 

  • A source tells AWK that Shek Borkowski’s WMLS has changed its name to WLS – Women’s League Soccer. It’s safe to say ‘Women’s Major League Soccer’ didn’t fly with the Major League Soccer suits. 

 

  • In Frauen-Bundesliga news, Herford has been officially relegated after a 3-2 loss to Jena. The team finishes the 2010-11 Frauen-Bundesliga season with just one win. A dream DFB-Pokal final has been set for March 25 as Frankfurt defeated Bad Neuenahr 3-1 and Turbine Potsdam turned over Bayern Munich 4-2. With just one point between them and two games to go in the F-B season, things are going to get rather interesting.

 

  • Lastly, if you’re thinking of traveling to the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, don’t forget to pay ProActive Travel a visit. Here are all the details:

For all you US and Canadian Women’s National team fans, come support your teams in stadiums throughout soccer crazed Germany with ProActive Soccer Tours. This one of a kind World Cup fan experience lets you, your friends, and your family follow the teams for 8 days and 5 games (2 US, 2 Canada, 1 Other), and is the perfect summer vacation.  This fully guided tour includes the 5 game tickets, tours of the German host cities, daily cultural activities around Germany, 3 to 4 star hotels, private transportation, and even a meet and greet with a star from the Women’s World Cup, all for only $1290!  To be a part of this extraordinary event go to proactivesoccertours.com, or give us a call at 540-908-3279 to reserve your place today!

 

K, see ya!

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Disputes between the CanWNT & the CSA

On February 4, news broke of Carolina Morace‘s intentions to resign from her duties with the Canadian Women’s National Team upon the conclusion of the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany, which takes place from June 26 to July 17.

19 days into the whirlwind situation and there has yet to be a resolution. Over the course of this period, a lot has been published on the topic (headlines conveniently assembled by Jenna Pel) and a number of related debates have taken place on various discussion boards, podcasts, comments sections, and the like. Let’s take a look at what’s known thus far and some of the major talking points.

What’s Frustrating Morace?

In the leaked internal memo sent to media, Morace vaguely revealed that, “The Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) has a strategy to achieve their goals that differs from my strategy”. Further reports later divulged that friction between Morace and the CSA were born out of disagreements over budgetary control.

Morace isn’t seeking budget increases; rather, she wants more autonomy in using available funds when and where she deems appropriate. For instance, “when South Africa withdrew from a second friendly, Morace wasn’t able to schedule another game, or use the money elsewhere, as it was redistributed by the CSA.” CanWNT midfielder Carmelina Moscato told Anna Maria Tremonti of CBC Radio’s “The Current”:

“A lot of the details aren’t disclosed, obviously for contract reasons in terms of respecting her contract. But, as far as we know, it has to do with budget, having a little more control over the money that is available to her, being allowed to, basically, spend at her discretion, and ultimately make decisions that are for the betterment of the team without having the CSA or the organizing body resisting her requests.” [1:48]

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Lianne Sanderson Checks In From the WPS Offseason

Fresh off a terrific rookie season with an Philadelphia Independence team that finished as 2010 WPS Finalists, the Cheesesteaks’ no. 10 is back in the States in preparation for the 2011 season. Lianne will provide an inside look in the life of a WPS player as she will continue her blogging gig for AWK this season. Happy to have you back, Lianne!

 

First thing I would like to say is WELCOME to my first blog of the season. I hope some of you follow me on Facebook or on Twitter@liannesanderson : )

I am currently writing this on my flight to Washington to start preparing for preseason.

I have been training with my old team Chelsea whilst in England which was very good and I feel it has put me in good stead going into preseason with the Cheesesteaks in Philly. I have had an extremely enjoyable off season and took a break which felt weird, as due to work commitments and football/soccer in the past I have had no longer than two weeks off. So it actually felt nice to travel and be in the real world.

I have been lucky enough to of been to Florida twice, Amsterdam, Washington, Baltimore, New York, Deep Creek Lake House, Manchester to watch the greatest team in the world, and of course I have been home to my beloved England.

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Working to Unmask the Identity of magicTalk/Jack/Washington Freedom SC

It’s funny how things happen sometimes.

Exactly ten years, two months and seven days ago, the Women’s United Soccer Association held its inaugural draft in Boca Raton, Florida. Superb Chinese striker Sun Wen was drafted first overall by the Atlanta Beat. The Washington Freedom selected Finnish international and Notre Dame midfielder Anne Makinen with the sixth overall pick.

The same year, MLS’ Miami Fusion closed up shop.

A decade on, the WUSA has since folded, both players have moved on but the two teams remain, in name at least. It seems that’s about to change too, at least for one of them.  

Yesterday Our Game Magazine revealed that the team formerly known as the Washington Freedom would indeed be playing its home matches at the varsity soccer complex of Florida Atlantic University. The location? Boca Raton, Florida.

For the first time in ten years, top-flight professional soccer will return to the South Florida area. The FAU soccer stadium is approximately 20 miles away from Lockhart Stadium, the former venue of the Miami Fusion. Lockhart Stadium is also home to FAU’s football team.

The full WPS schedule is set to be released in a few hours but sources confirm that it will contain a sentence explaining that the team will play a few home games in the D.C. area.

Additionally, although the identity has changed seemingly every week, the team will henceforth be known as magicJack’s Washington Freedom.

WPS currently finds itself at a similar juncture to that which MLS experienced ten years ago. The contraction of the Fusion and the Tampa Bay Mutiny downsized the league from twelve teams to ten. WPS lost four teams in 2010. Since 2001, MLS has ballooned to 18 teams and will welcome expansion clubs the Portland Timbers and the Vancouver Whitecaps into the league this season.

Perhaps WPS can have a similar boom in expansion over the next decade. But first the league must make it through its third season, which exists largely thanks to Dan Borislow’s late resuscitation of a team that has since taken on an ever-evolving identity.

 

Check in tomorrow for a post that will explore the ever-evolving identity of Dan Borislow’s latest acquisition.

Notables for February 13th, 2010

  • To lead off, you may have noticed the new graphic over in the sidebar and wondered what it’s all about. AWK is proud to announce our partnership with ProActive Soccer Tours. ProActive is a leading travel provider and specializes in soccer tours. If you’re thinking about attending the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup this summer, ProActive is the way to go. You honestly won’t find a better package at a better rate. Here are the details:

For all you US and Canadian Women’s National team fans, come support your teams in stadiums throughout soccer crazed Germany with ProActive Soccer Tours. This one of a kind World Cup fan experience lets you, your friends, and your family follow the teams for 8 days and 5 games (2 US, 2 Canada, 1 Other), and is the perfect summer vacation.  This fully guided tour includes the 5 game tickets, tours of the German host cities, daily cultural activities around Germany, 3 to 4 star hotels, private transportation, and even a meet and greet with a star from the Women’s World Cup, all for only $1290!  To be a part of this extraordinary event go to proactivesoccertours.com, or give us a call at 540-908-3279 to reserve your place today!

 

 

  • The USWNT has played England 10 times, collecting seven wins, one draw and two losses. The two losses occurred in Italy in 1985 and 1988 respectively. Since then, the U.S. has scored 29 goals and conceded only two in its eight subsquent meetings with England. This will be the first time the team will face England on British soil. The USWNT has not played a non-tournament international friendly on foreign soil since the Germany friendly in Augsburg on October 29, 2009.

 

  • The team will meet Hope Powell’s squad at Brisbane Road, home of League One side Leyton Orient. The East London club has the third-smallest  stadium in the Football League with a capacity of 9,271 behind that of Dagenham & Redbridge and Barnet. Leyton Orient will be away to London rivals Charlton that weekend.

 

  • Leyton Orient are the closest club geographically to London’s Olympic Stadium. After months of suspense and politicking it was announced that English Premier League side West Ham United will indeed take over the stadium post-Olympics. Not this was ever going to happen but wouldn’t it have been nice if the stadium was scaled down to 25,000 seats (per original plans), made a new home for athletics (per original plans) and then became the new home of Arsenal Ladies? 25,000 would definitely be too big but it beats the heck out of the quaint quarters of Borehamwood.  

 

  • News That Isn’t News Anymore pt. 2: Pia Sundhage has named her squad for the Algarve Cup. Most, if not all of the young players who got called up for camp have been dropped. That’s likely because the Algarve Cup will serve as one of the final tune-ups ahead of the World Cup and the squad listed here will probably look a lot like the World Cup squad.

 

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The WPS Preseason and College Prospect Watching

With roster turnover for the 2011 WPS season almost at an absurd level, the preseason will be more important than ever for clubs in building rosters and chemistry for a complicated and grinding season ahead. But the preseason serves more than one purpose, and for players on the lucky college teams getting to play against WPS clubs, it’s a last chance to show off against professional players before the 2011 college season and the 2012 WPS Draft to follow. Considering only a handful of teams are getting this opportunity, it’s a big advantage for these players to up their draft stock against their peers so early in the process.

Following is a brief analysis of the preseason opponents for each WPS team with some discussion on each team’s brightest pro prospects. Numbers in parentheses are current big board rankings for the 2012 eligible prospects. 2013 and 2014 rankings are positional Top 5 and overall Top 5 only at this point and are reflected as such below.

TAFKAT Washington Freedom

The Borislows haven’t released any preseason friendlies as of right now. Please try and look shocked. If they really wanted to make some people (read: me) happy, they’d schedule a preseason camp in California and work on getting some of those players from Stanford, UCLA, Oregon State, Porland, etc. some visibility. I’m not holding my breath.

Atlanta Beat

South Florida (03/06) – The Bulls made a big time breakthrough in 2010, reaching the Big East Tournament final and advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. I’m not sure I’d put USF at the beginning of my preseason schedule though, as they’re known for their, ahem, “physical” style of play. The Bulls’ mentality is summed up pretty well by battering ram forward Chelsea Klotz (2012 #85), who has turned into a physical weapon for USF despite standing just 5’4″. Jamaican Venicia Reid (2012 #81) was also a big catalyst for the Bulls’ impressive end to the 2010 season and is representative of an increasingly cosmopolitan squad in Tampa.

Auburn (03/09 and 04/03) – All eyes will be on the Tigers’ Katy Frierson (2012 #11, #4 Midfielder), a classic playmaker who’s one of this class’ Golden Trio of #10s along with Teresa Noyola and Ingrid Wells. Frierson will surely relish getting a chance to show her skills, knowing a strong 2011 campaign could push her into the first round of the 2012 WPS Draft. Defender Julie King (2012 #74) is also someone to keep an eye on. The senior-to-be is a tenacious defender who is also a powerful threat in the air on set pieces.

Clemson (03/12) – The Tigers are under new management with Hershey Strosberg being displaced by Eddie Radwanski after another dismal season. Nobody’s quite sure what Clemson’s going to look like on the pitch, although Radwanski’s UNC Greensboro teams were always hard-tackling and defensively stout sides. With many comings and goings likely with the regime change, it’s impossible to guarantee what talent will be on hand for this encounter, but Radwanski will likely be hoping some of his talented youngsters are available. Maddy Elder has been the main goalscoring threat for Clemson the past few years, while Lauren Arnold and Vanessa Laxgang both showed signs of real potential in their freshman seasons with the Tigers.

North Carolina (03/19) – Anybody fancy the Tar Heels for the upset? UNC’s only real draft prospect for 2012 is forward Courtney Jones (2012 #41) who faces an uphill battle in a class loaded with forwards to show she can be a consistent player at the highest level and shed her consciousless gunner ways. The Heels’ cadre of younger players though are much more intriguing. Crystal Dunn (2014 #1, #1 Defender) stands on the precipice of superstardom after a wildly successful freshman season in Chapel Hill. A hand injury may have blunted Anna Sieloff’s (2014 #4 GK) development somewhat in her freshman season, but the young keeper remains a very promising prospect. Kealia Ohai (2014 #4, #2 Forward) was all but unplayable at times in 2010 in a tremendous freshman campaign. Alyssa Rich was scorching hot for the Heels last season when she wasn’t on the training table, while Meg Morris will be equally happy to put a season fraught with injuries behind her. Last but not least, midfielder Amber Brooks (2013 #2 Midfielder) will be looking to stamp her authority on the Heels as possibly the next midfield general for UNC. Don’t be fooled by last season’s exit at the Sweet Sixteen by the Heels. This team is still loaded with great talent.

Florida State (03/20) – The Noles are going to be very popular with WPS scouts for years to come with a plethora of talent in Tallahassee to observe. Obviously, most questions this Spring will revolve around the health of star forwards Tiffany McCarty (2013 #3 Forward) and Jessica Price who missed the 2010 season through illness and injury. If the dynamic duo are fit and firing in 2011, the Noles are national title contenders. Those with the 2012 draft in mind will be keeping an eye on massive defender Toni Pressley (2012 #8, #1 Defender), the likely first defender off the board next year, along with scrappy midfielder/forward Tori Huster (2012 #19). Defender Ella Stephan (2012 #68) and midfielder Casey Short (2012 #75), who came on like a house afire last season, could also find themselves in the mix with strong 2011 seasons. Florida State also features a clutch of young, talented defenders. Kassey Kallman, Tiana Brockway, and Ines Jaurena will likely all be in demand in future drafts, with Jaurena possibly sought after on two continents. Additionally, Kelsey Wys (2014 #3 GK) rounded into one of the ACC’s top keepers after a little bit of a shaky start early in 2010.

Florida (03/27) – Fair warning folks, the Gators are notorious for putting out scratch squads for spring matches, meaning we may not get to see much of the SEC powerhouse’s star players. If Becky Burleigh does decide to trot out the first team, defender Kathryn Williamson (2013 #5, #1 Defender), who has seen her star rise rapidly after a wonderful 2010 season that ended with a call up to the U.S. U23 team, will be fully on display. While this draft is inundated with playmaker midfielders, Erika Tymrak (2013 #4 Midfielder), could fit the bill for said position in 2013′s draft. Holly King has turned into a first-rate midfield smashing machine for the Gators, while McKenzie Barney looks well on her way to becoming the best forward in the SEC. This year’s prospects figure to be more likely to feature in the later rounds of the 2012 draft. Tahnai Annis (2012 #38) has been a hit in Gainesville as a poacher with an exquisite talent for clutch goals, but has to prove her size (5’1″) won’t be a liability as a trequartista type player in the pros. Jazmyne Avant (2012 #44) is a marauding full-back who may be due a position change because of some defensive deficiencies. Lindsay Thompson (2012 #88) can frustrate and dominate in equal measure and will be looking to force her way into the Gator lineup in 2011 to boost her draft stock. Sarah Chapman (2012 #151) has been more functional than dynamic for Florida thus far but still has the potential to round into a more complete player.

Georgia (03/29) – Like in the above showdowns with UNC and FSU, the Beat may find themselves not having the best keeper on the pitch when they meet Georgia for their last preseason tilt. England youth international Ashley Baker (2013 #5 GK) has already proven to be a strong shot-stopper who may move up draft boards if she can tame a weakness on high crosses. Freshman defender Torri Allen (2014 #3 Defender) was a rock at the back in 2010 and will likely be looked at as a full-back in the pros. Tricky winger Alexa Newfield already looks like an SEC star in the making, while Canadian youth international Nikki Hill shined as a super sub in 2010. Full-back Rebekah Perry made a successful transition to defense in 2010 and should improve as she gets more comfortable at the position in 2011. The Bulldogs’ top prospect for the 2012 draft is big center-back Bailey Powell (2012 #105), who is likely begging for a healthy season after two injury fraught years. A wild card could be NC State transfer Kara Blosser who will be looking to hit the headlines for the right reason after a fractious exit from the Wolfpack.
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On The Virtues of Patience

We here at AWK occasionally get comments. Occasionally they come on posts months after the fact and make us have to drag our mindset back in time. In August, I wrote the following in a post on which coaches might be on the hot seat about Iowa coach Ron Rainey:

Ron Rainey (Iowa) – Always an also ran in Big Ten play, Rainey’s in his fifth year with the Hawkeyes and the pressure has to be on to deliver a double digit win season at the very least. The Hawkeyes haven’t been over .500 during his first four years in charge, and a fifth such poor season could be his last here.

Things didn’t exactly go that well for the Hawkeyes this year. Despite a productive non-conference schedule, they looked out of sorts in Big Ten play, finishing bottom of the conference. Seeing as how this was Ron Rainey’s fifth year in charge, there are some very unhappy campers in the Hawkeye faithful about the team’s performance, including a recent commenter:

Check out this Ron Rainey (Iowa) post 5th season article – http://www.dailyiowan.com/2010/11/09/Sports/19941.html – Can you believe the spin the University of Iowa student newspaper puts on The Ron Rainey Era at Iowa? After yet another year (with own recruits) under .500 and only ONE Big Ten win, which was squeeked out in the season final game against another Big Ten bottom feeder Purdue, the Daily Iowan makes it sound The Blunder Years are over. Prior to the start of his 5th season you placed Ron Rainey on the Hot Seat. What’s your take on why he is still there?

I could probably try to analyze and re-analyze (and may yet do so for Preview 2011) the Iowa situation, but I’ll take the time to try and look at things from another angle, using something of a case study.

Our example is the second ever coach at their school, a competitor in a traditional “Big Six” conference. The first coach struggled mightily with one NCAA Tournament appearance in six years and a 4-16-0 swan song that saw a change at the head of the program for the 2001 season. Success had proven fleeting for the new coach in their first three years in charge. While this coach had led the program to three finishes over .500, the team had lost twice in the first round of the conference tournament and not qualified in the other year. Years four and five were considered crucial in many’s minds as to the future of this coach at this program.

Disaster ensued. The program went 4-16-2 over the next two years in league play as the team finished at the bottom of the league in both seasons. Many likely thought the coach a goner after the zenith of the program. After all, five relatively unsuccessful seasons had proven the downfall of many a coach before. But the administration showed patience and let the coach continue on.

In 2009, Shelley Smith and the South Carolina Gamecocks lifted the SEC Tournament title and made the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament, their third straight appearance in the Big Dance. In 2010, the Gamecocks finished second in the SEC again and reached the SEC Tournament final for the second straight season and later took part in their fourth straight NCAA Tournament. At current, the program is established as one of the top teams in the SEC.

The moral of this tale? Sometimes patience and faith in a coach can be a good thing. While every situation obviously isn’t going to work out as well as things have at South Carolina for Smith and the Gamecocks, it also shows that some success stories take longer to write than others.

And as a secondary lesson, some columnists tend to avoid negative hit pieces to make sure the coach picks up the phone when they need a quote for an article. Just sayin’.

An Overview of Recent CanWNT Headlines

The story of the Canada Women’s National Team’s conflict with the Canadian Soccer Association is as layered as it is intriguing. The issue has made headlines in the Canadian media in recent days and rightfully so. The players’ multi-folded issue with the CSA has been covered extensively in the press. Here’s a spate of recent headlines in chronological order.

 

Monday, February 7th

The excellent English CBC commentator Nigel Reed shared his thoughts immediately after news of Morace’s departure came to to the fore. Reed describes the effect Morace has had on the CanWNT and sees a bit of Clough and Mourinho in the “driven, passionate Italian”.

 

Tuesday, February 8th

The CBC was one of the first news outlets that shed light on the compensation issue that underpinned the entire story. John Molinaro reported that the team had obtained legal representation (on a pro bono basis) to help resolve the dispute over compensation with the CSA. Another significant point in Molinaro’s report is the fact that the boycott is tied directly to the CSA’s conflict with Morace and the players would end the boycott if the CSA can resolve the issue with Morace.

The Toronto Star had this brief editorial about the CSA’s lack of vision in women’s soccer, or soccer at all.

CanWNT player Carmelina Moscato was a guest in an audio interview with the CBC.

 

Wednesday, February 9th

The Toronto Star reported the CSA stepped in with a cash offer after news of the boycott was released. The team will reportedly continue its boycott, however, until the issue over Morace’s position is resolved.

The National Post - one of two of Canada’s national newspapers – posted an article featuring several quotes from CSA General Secretary Peter Montopoli. The piece states that the CSA is trying to reach out to Morace to deter her from resigning. The article also says the CanWNT tabled an offer regarding multi-year compensation back on February 2009 but the CSA did not respond to it in “a timely fashion”.

Canada’s other national newspaper The Globe and Mail had an illuminating article about the lack of financial support the players have received in the past 10 years. The piece goes into detail about the difference the men’s and women’s teams receive and offers some revealing – and sad – quotes from Kara Lang. Also check out the comments.

TSN also reported on the new offer that had been tendered to the players and Peter Montopoli sounds optimistic that each side will settle both issues. Montopoli also says the current situation should not affect the country’s bid for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The latest episode of the Cross Conference podcast featured CanWNT supporter Ingrid Green and delves into the issues from a fan’s perspective.

Our Game Magazine had an article with some insight from player and OGM contributor Carmelina Moscato. Moscato explains why the CSA’s latest offer should have come a decade ago and that Morace doesn’t have control over the CanWNT budget.

 

Thursday, February 10th

On the latest episode of The Equalizer pod, Richard and Jeff welcome CBC senior writer John Molinaro who gives an overview of the issue with an inside view.

The Globe and Mail has a video interview with Carmelina Moscato and attorney Jim Bunting.

Moscato and Bunting also appeared in an interview for an Edmonton TV station.

The Province gives an overview of the most recent developments and states that the CSA were ready to give the players a new offer “before the players delivered their ultimatum on Monday”.

The Globe and Mail just posted an editorial about the sacrifice the CanWNT players have made and the compensation they should get in a non-mainstream sport.

 

Feel free to post more new articles pertaining to the issue in the comments.

Reports: Canada Women’s National Team on the Brink of Boycott

A Brilliant 2010 for the Canadian Women's National Team Could Be the Motive for Change in 2011 - and Justifiably So

 

 2011 hasn’t been too kind to the Canadian Women’s National Team. In just 38 days, the team’s hopeful superstar Kara Lang retired at the tender age of 24, its 11-game unbeaten run was snapped by the U.S. in the Four Nations Tournament and news leaked that head coach Carolina Morace, as well as her staff, intended to leave the program after the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup.   

It’s been a cruel past couple of weeks, particularly after Big Red’s big 2010.   

Now it seems like there are one million things separating the team from the World Cup’s opening match against hosts Germany in Berlin on July 28, which is expected to set a record for the best-attended women’s soccer match in Europe. And none of them are good.   

Tonight news reports surfaced suggesting the team was on the verge of a boycott and would not participate in any more international matches until the Canadian Soccer Association addressed issues of Morace’s departure and questions of just compensation.   

Morace’s decision appears to be indicative of clashing views and strategies with the Canadian Soccer Association. There were also questions raised about the plausibility of Morace’s demands but even that seems to be an issue of conflict. This past weekend’s partially successful attempt at reform within the CSA likely speaks to the suffocating role that bureaucracy plays in the governance of the institution.   

Beyond the politics, it also seems like a lack of fair compensation - or any compensation at all - is at the heart of the matter. The TSN reports that the team did not get paid for  the 2008 Olympics and would not have gotten compensated at all for 2010 CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying had the team not won the tournament.   

The threat of boycott could be a bold and potentially risky move of brinkmanship, particularly as the team is just over four months away from the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup.   

With such high stakes in mind, however, the team’s move is undeniably courageous and highly strategic. On one level, the Canadian Women’s National Team is standing firmly behind a coach who has helped transform the team from being predictable perennial runners-up to becoming true contenders – and contenders with panache. And perhaps on a more urgent level, the team knows how much progress its made in recent years and wants to be rewarded, or even acknowledged for it. Compensation agreements between the team and the CSA have seemingly lagged behind the outstanding progress the team has made on the field.   

Such unrest reflects extremely poorly on the CSA. Having a successful, well-loved head coach arbitrarily decide to leave the program is embarrassing enough. Having the entire Women’s National Team float the idea of a boycott in a World Cup year as a result of seemingly long-standing issues of inequality and instability is even more damning. Factor in the country’s bid to host the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup and you’ve got yourself an urgent matter in need of addressing. (Could the idea of Zimbabwe as hosts be a real possibility?)       

For the first time in a long time (okay, ever) a real argument can be made that this team is just as competitive, if not better, than the United States Women’s National Team. As Christine Sinclair said in the TSN article, the team can finally compete with the world’s best.   

While questions still surround the USWNT’s on-field play, it seems that the only doubts burdening the CanWNT lie off the field. And that’s a real shame.   

    

For a more thorough understanding of the situation, read the TSN’s report, check out the comments on CanadianSoccerNews.com and view Christine Sinclair’s comments about the players’ position on Canada.com.

All White Kit Has a – Yet Unnamed – Podcast!

As Lauren twittered shortly after adding the final touches, we have either created a masterpiece or a disaster. The answer probably lies somewhere in between but that’s up to you to decide.

We’re going to try to get a new episode up every week from here on out – provided we weren’t too traumatized by Saturday’s experience at least. But hey, we’re learning as we go.

The topics covered on our maiden edition include the news surrounding Carolina Morace’s surprise announcement and the politics that may have been behind it, magicTalk SC’s unusally normal method of announcing its player signings, kits and hoops, the 2011 WPS Draft and the USWNT’s latest training camp.

This edition also features a guest appearance from the train, which will probably end up being a frequent guest on the pod.

We’re working on getting our stuff together on iTunes but for now you can download it as an mp3 by right clicking here and pressing ‘Save Target As’.

This week’s music provided by Phoenix.

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