Sunday, October 08, 2006

Rainy Sunday ruminations on the USWNT

Quiet weekend here at the Palazzo del Peepiero. Both Mojo and I have the October Crud complete with nasty chest cold and hack. The weather has ranged from cool and pleasant to cool and drizzling rain...

So we've been keeping a profile that sags lower than a Congrssional page's pants when accosted by a Republican House member.

Had a nice anniversary dinner at the new place on Lombard, Christies (more about which on Monday) and went to see The Devil Wears Prada at the Golden Dome - remind me again to note that Meryl Streep is a fucking incredible actress - before home to the Peep. Today just some random driving-and-shopping before an afternoon at home. But I did get to watch the U.S. Women's National Team play that perennial powerhouse, Iceland.

First, as a former keeper, let me say that I am not fit to polish Thora Helgadottir's football boots. The woman is a hellup terrific keeper. What the Iceland coach was thinking pulling her ten minutes from time I don't know.

The US women dominated the game - I think Iceland had something like 3 shots over 90 minutes. Overall it was about as exciting as watching paint dry.

Having said that...this game left me with some questions about the WNT:

1. The U.S. has lost a lot of experience in midfield. It shows. Many of the attacks look like what you'd see at any English Division 2 fixture - lots of crosses and through balls to Abby Wambach.

2. If you can mark Abby out, you've gotten 60% of the way to beating the WNT.

3. With the Hexagonal coming up, this team is gonna a) play a Latin team (or T&T) and the b) play the Canadians for the top spot. So why bother booking these lame friendlies with Iceland and Taiwan? You're gonna see a hispanic team of some sort, so why not schedule Costa Rica or even Brazil? And you're gonna see Canada. The Scandanavians play a straightforward physical game like Canada, but a team with Chris Sinclair up front is gonna get their shots. Why bother with Iceland? Why not the Brits, or even Scotland or Wales? Why not one of the real Nordic powers, like Sweden, Norway or Denmark?

I love the U.S. women. But sometimes I wonder if the folks at U.S. Soccer aren't still dreaming of 1999. It's a different world, gang. The Europeans aren't scared of us anymore. We may still be a Goliath of women's soccer, but there are a hell of a lot of Davids in sportsbras out there with a rock in their pocket and a bad attitude. Let's not get cocky...

1 comment:

walternatives said...

Thora Helgadottir's? Doesn't that last name translate as Helga's daughter? I think so. Fascinating especially considering that most family names are patriarchal. Hmmm.
I have to admint, I'm not a sportswatcher, but your post intrigues me...