Notables for Black Friday 2011

  • This article in the New York Times ran yesterday and provides an overview of the current WPS/USSF situation and features recent quotes.

 

  • WPS this morning released a statement on the status of the sanctioning. It didn’t contain anything revelatory, which isn’t surprising. The bottom half reads as so:

“While we take very seriously the issue of U.S. Soccer’s classification of us as a Division 1 league, we are both confident and undeterred in our mission to continue and to be the best women’s professional soccer league in the world,” said Women’s Professional Soccer CEO Jennifer O’Sullivan. 

“WPS enjoyed our strongest season in 2011 setting new attendance records, increasing sponsorship and engaging our growing fan base through social media. Our brand was bolstered by the FIFA World Cup and we expect continued momentum from the 2012 Olympics next summer. Given these factors in addition to our long-term plan for growth, extensive expansion franchise pipeline, and the investment and commitment of a core group of owners, we would hope that the Federation would continue support for the only professional soccer league for women in the United States.”

While no final decision has been made by U.S. Soccer on the sanctioning of WPS for 2012, U.S. Soccer has given WPS additional time to resolve the issues they identified in the League’s annual report.  WPS is engaged in positive dialogue with U.S. Soccer and will continue ongoing discussions in the coming days to determine what is necessary for the League to retain its Division 1 status. 

 

  • The Orlando Sentinel has a piece on UCF’s unbelievable journey to the Elite Eight.   

 

  • The Brazilian Football Federation reports that Jorge Barcellos has replaced Kleiton Lima as head coach of the Brazilian Women’s National Team. The news item also says that Brazil will face the USWNT in a friendly next April in Japan.

 

  • Barcellos is the former head coach of the Saint Louis Athletica. The Athletica finished second in the regular season standings in WPS’s inaugural season. They were eliminated in the Super Semifinal after falling 1-0 to eventual champions Sky Blue FC. Saint Louis then folded mid-season in 2010 after garnering a 2-1-3 record.

 

  • Australia has reportedly lost out on its bid to participate in the 2012 Summer Olympics. The Matildas protested North Korea’s tournament qualification after the team had been banned from the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup after five members were found doping. The World Anti-Doping Agency opted not to appeal to FIFA as it determined “that the sanction only applies to the competition in which North Korea failed the drug test”. 

 

  • We’re about halfway through the first round proper of Euro 2013 Qualifying. The seven teams that win their respective groups will join Sweden in the final round. The best ranked runner-up will also earn automatic qualification. The six other runners-up will be drawn into three pairs for two-legged playoffs to be played in late October 2012. A progress report on each group:

 

Group 1

Italy remains the in-form team of the round. The Azurri are the only side in qualifying that has taken five wins in five games. Their 2-0 win over Greece on Wednesday brings their goal record to 19 scored and none conceded. Bardolino striker Melania Gabbiadini tallied a goal in the game and now leads the team with five goals scored. Russia and Poland are locked in second place with nine points apiece after each scored wins on the week.

 

Group 2

Spain drew 2-2 with Germany to cement their place at the summit of Group 2 heading into the new year. In a red-blooded affair that saw 36 total fouls, four yellow cards, and the ejection of Silvia Neid, Spain secured a stoppage-time equalizer. In doing so, they became first team in 38 Euro matches (over 12 years!) to avoid defeat against the Germans. It also marked the first time Germany drew a match since the first group stage game of the 2008 Summer Olympics against Brazil. Spain’s improved second half performance helped keep the score line close to the end. Germany’s next test will be in the Algarve Cup this spring. Highlights set to Blondie here.

The rest of the group matches are pretty inconsequential now as both Germany and Spain are virtually guaranteed passage out of this round. Regardless, Switzerland thumped Kazakhstan 8-1 on Wednesday. Kazakhstan has now let in 29 goals in its last three matches but actually managed to get a goal back against the Swiss. Kazakhstan has an even better record than Turkey who are still winless in five. So hey Kazakhstan, maybe it’s not too late for a comeback.

 

Group 3

Iceland looked poised to return to the Euro’s as the team has collected four wins from five games. Belgium are just three points behind the group leaders and has won two consecutive matches. The Belgians might have a chance of making a debut appearance in the tournament, but must fend off Northern Ireland who sits in third place with a game in hand. Northern Ireland secured a 3-1 win at home against Norway.

There were murmurs of Norway’s decline after the team’s lackluster group stage showing at this summer’s World Cup. Those doomsday predictions have been all but realized as Norway are now in fourth place with two wins and two losses. The 1995 Women’s World Cup holders and two-time Euro champions have never before missed the cut for the tournament in its current incarnation.

 

Group 4

Group 4 has finished qualifying for the year. France are duplicating the form that saw them romp through World Cup Qualification as Les Bleues maintain a 100% record with no goals conceded. The playoff spot will almost certainly go to a team in the British Isles. The Republic of Ireland currently posses second place with six points from three games. Scotland are just two points off the pace and have a game in hand. Wales are tied with Scotland on points, but have already played four games.

 

Group 5

If the current standings in Group 5 hold out, the tournament will see two first-timers advance to the next rounds. Slovakia and Belarus are tied on points in first, but Slovakia has played one game fewer. Belarus has faced every team in the group and earned a 2-2 draw against Finland and a costly 3-0 loss against Slovakia. Finland, meanwhile, has only played twice and sits in third place after that draw against Belarus. Ukraine – who nearly qualified for the World Cup playoffs last year – are tied on points with Finland after collecting one win, one draw, and one loss.

 

Group 6

England essentially needed to win its group match against Serbia to remain in the hunt for second place. The Dutch have held sway over Group 6 with an unbeaten record in five matches. The Three Lions managed to retain possession of the playoff spot with a 2-0 win over Serbia. Jess Clarke and Ellen White provided the goals. It’s England second win in four games and they’re now just one point clear of Serbia.

 

Group 7

Denmark is assured qualification from Group 7 with an 11-0 win against Armenia. The victory doubles Denmark’s total goals-for record which is now a tournament best 22. The rout also makes Pernille Mosegaard-Harder the tournament’s joint top scorer as she ties Vero with seven goals. The Czech Republic and Austria are level on points with seven each as both teams have earned two successive wins. Armenia, on the other hand, remains in last place with a tournament worst 32 goals shipped.

 

  • And finally, USWNT rounded out what has been a very eventful year last weekend with a 1-1 draw against Sweden. Here are the updated all-time records.

 

Appearances

1.) Lilly 352

2.) Hamm 275

3.) Foudy 272

4.) Rampone 244 +

5.) Fawcett 239

6.) Milbrett 204

7.) Markgraf 201

8.) Chastain 192

9.) MacMillan 176

10.) Scurry 173

11.) Overbeck 168

12.) Wambach 166 +

13.) Parlow 158

14.) Boxx 153 +

15.) O’Reilly 152 +

16.) Whitehill 134

17.) Tarpley 125 +

18.) Fair 120

19.) Lloyd 119 +

20.) Mitts 118 +

21.) Jennings-Gabarra 117

22.) Roberts 110

22.) Hucles 109

 

Goals

1.) Hamm 158

2.) Lilly 130

3.) Wambach 125 +

4.) Akers 105

5.) Milbrett 100

6.) Parlow 75

7.) MacMillan 60

8.) Gabarra 53

9.) Foudy 45

10.)Venturini 44

11.) Heinrichs 37

12.) Tarpley 32 +

13.) Chastain, O’Reilly 30 +

15.) Lloyd 28 +

16.) Fawcett 27

 

Assists

1.) Hamm 144

2.) Lilly 105

3.) Milbrett 61

4.) Foudy 55

5.) Wambach 52 +

6.) MacMillan 50

7.) Gabarra 47

8.) Wagner 42

9.) Akers 36

10.) Parlow 35

11.) O’Reilly 30 +

12.) Chastain 26

13.) Fawcett, Lloyd 22 +

15.) Venturini 21

16.) Boxx 20 +

(Rodriguez 12)

(Cheney 11)

(Rapinoe 8 )

 

Goalkeeper appearances

1.) Scurry 173

2.) Solo 103 +

3.) Mullinix 45

4.) Barnhart 41 +

5.) Webber 28

6.) Harvey 27

7.) Allman 24

8.) Maslin-Kammerdeiner 17

 

We hope everybody is enjoying their Thanksgiving break. If nothing else, it’s a welcome respite from the uncertainty that has invaded the WoSo world as of late…

4 thoughts on “Notables for Black Friday 2011

  1. Luke

    Thanks for the update Jenna, and for putting in the time to collect all this news in one place.

    Brazil did well to bring Barcellos back. Brazil were at their peak in 2007-2008, with him at the helm. I was surprised to see Brazil’s style of play had regressed by 2011; they had trouble keeping possession at times, their defensive shape was erratic, and it seemed as if they were relying more on individual brilliance than cohesive teamwork. Granted, some of the players didn’t play as well as 2007 and some other big names had retired, but even so the coach and his or her philosophy/tactics make a big difference.

    Reply
  2. Batfink

    Big news for Brazil and their main rivals. After witnessing the rubbish produced with Lima at the helm, Brazil have finally gone back and got the right person to move them forward. I don’t know why this happened, but it’s good news for neutrals who want to see a decent Olympic women’s football tournament in 2012.

    Reply
  3. Joshua

    With regards to Brazil, I would think it is not on the 2012 London Olympics nor even the 2015 FIFA tournament that they are focused on, although those are important to women’s futebol in Brazil. I think the focus is on the women’s futebol tournament at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil less than five years from now. I assume that is the one they want to win more than any other. With the finals at Maracana Stadium, in front of I don’t know how many tens of thousands of people, and a worldwide TV audience which the Olympics should draw. The 2007 Pan-Am Games finals could be taken as a dress rehearsal.

    And the team they want to face in the finals? Who else but the USA.

    Everything else pales by comparison.

    Marta and her team from 2007-2008 are going to be too old by then IMHO. They should be looking at younger players.

    Reply
    1. Batfink

      I think Brazil got over the USWNT mind f*ck once the 04′ Olympics were over, and have proved that in every game since then, best highlighted in 07’s lopsided WWC semi final. It was Lima forcing Brazil to play like the USA that cost them in the recent WWC quarter final, as previous Brazilian women’s sides would have looked to pass and move the USWNT ragged when playing with an numerical advantage for such a long amount of time.

      We don’t know how long Barcellos will take to undo the nonsense Lima imposed during his time in charge, but any side with Marta can be instantly competitive, or even great, when doing the right things to get the best from her particular skill set.

      The teams Brazil will need to focus on in the short term quest for success in Britain are Sweden, Japan, and France. Unlike the U.S., these sides are the new heavy weights Brazil rarely get to face at the highest level. In the Long term though I would agree in the thinking that the CBF’s focus on having both it’s men’s, and women’s sides win Olympic Gold, should finally make Barcellos’s side as competitive as they will have ever been before.

      Reply

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