By Beto Alfaya
On Saturday, the Brazilian National Team beat Chile, 3-0, in a friendly at the northeastern city of Maceió, Marta’s birth state. The game was planned as part of celebrations for the future Marta’s memorial that will be built at the Rei Pelé stadium, with presence of Marta and the National Team. The local authorities officially began construction.
Coach Kleiton Lima had the opportunity to substitute nine players to play during the game, as both teams agreed, to observe different formations and its options with young players. Defender Aline Pellegrino scored the first after a corner kick, just tapping with her foot to the goal. Minutes later, Marta hit the crossbar on a individual play. The second goal came through a cross from the right as the winger Fabiana served Marta who just touched to the goal.
In the second half, with several players substituted and Brazil scored at the end of the game on another cross, this one from the young star Thais to Rosana, who scored heading to the net. Brazil will play the next friendly in preparations for the World Cup next June 16th, at the city of Fortaleza against Argentina.
Two days after the WNY Flash announced they acquired Marta’s contract, Head Coach Aaran Lines talked about the five-time FIFA World Player of the Year, how he and his staff compiled a team that features three national team captains, the 2010 WPS Rookie of the Year, some of the best internationals, and a handful of young talent. “I think if you go through our squad, not only have we brought in quality players, right next to their level of ability is their character,” Lines said. “And that’s important to Emma (Hayes), myself, and everyone here. Every player is coming to the club because they want to be here.” (more…)
Just four days ago, magicTalk SC owner Dan Borislow talked about wanting to sign five-time FIFA World Player of the Year, Brazilian Women’s National Team forward Marta. But Tuesday night, the Western New York Flash announced that they had acquired Marta, taking over the third year of her contract. Late Tuesday night, Borislow told Our Game Magazine in an email: “This came as a total surprise. I am glad she will be playing in the league. She will discover we are the team to beat, so I hope she is at the top of her game when she plays us.”
The Western New York Flash of Women’s Professional Soccer announced Tuesday night that they have acquired Brazilian star and five-time FIFA World Player of the Year, Marta. In a statement, the team said that it has taken over the third year of Marta’s contract. “We are thrilled to bring Marta to the WNY area,” Head Coach Aaran Lines said. “This is an incredible opportunity for the community and youth soccer players to embrace one of the best female players ever in their hometown. She has incredible physical attributes matched with phenomenal technical abilities. She is an extremely exciting player to watch and is important to the women’s game, and we are excited for her arrival.” Marta is currently on loan with Santos FC in Brazil. WNY Flash have not said when she will report to the team. (more…)
Santos FC beat Foz Cataratas, 3-2, Saturday afternoon to win the Torneio Internacional Interclubes de Futebol Feminino in São Paulo. Foz Cataratas took a 1-0 lead in the 7th minute when Gabi chipped a ball over Santos keeper Andrea Suntaque, who came too far off her line and was caught off guard. Foz Cataratas put three defenders on Marta, neutralizing the five-time FIFA Player of the Year. But Santos got a huge break in the 26th minute when Leti from Foz Cataratas was sent off for defending a ball with her hand. With the one-player advantage, Santos equalized in the 33rd minute on a goal by Angelica, a high-rising shot 30 yards from goal.
In the second half, Foz Cataratas took the lead again, this time on a goal by Daiane Santos, who flicked the ball past Andrea inside the 18. Santos then pulled level on a goal by Maurine in the 64th minute from a difficult angle. Avoiding a tackle near the end line, Maurine managed to hit the ball with her right foot and bend it into the goal, off the fingertips of Foz Cataratas keeper Vivi. A few minutes before time expired in regulation, Dani received a red card for Santos, bringing both teams down to 10 players. But Santos managed to score the game-winner before the end of regulation. Nearing the 45-minute mark of the second half, Thais scored the winning goal when Foz Cataratas failed to clear the ball out of the area.
In the third-place match, Palmeiras defeated Umeå IK, 3-2. Palmeiras beat Umeå IK, 3-1, two days earlier in the final match of the group stage.
According to LdB FC Malmö club director Niclas Carlnén, his club has had contact with the agent representing Brazilian forward, current Women’s Professional Soccer free agent, and five time FIFA World Player of the Year, Marta. LdB FC Malmö won the Damallsvenskan championship in 2010, and Marta was in Sweden in November to watch the club play. (more…)
With two wins in their first two games of the Torneio Internacional Interclubes de Futebol Feminino, Santos sits at the top of the table. Santos began the tournament with a 4-2 win over Swedish side Umeå IK and then followed that up with a 1-0 win over Palmeiras. Foz Cataratas beat Umeå IK, 3-2, Sunday, four days after drawing, 1-1, with Palmeiras. (more…)
Brazilian superstar Marta won her fifth consecutive FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year award Monday night in Zurich, Switzerland. German Women’s National Team Coach Silvia Neid won the Coach of the Year. Marta beat out Germany’s Fatmire Bajramaj and Birgit Prinz, and Neid finished ahead of U.S. Women’s National Team Coach Pia Sundhage and Germany’s U-20 Head Coach Maren Meinert. (more…)
It’s been a busy few days in Brazil with a lot of unanswered questions. Marta’s future is still uncertain, and after coaching Santos FC for 13 years, Brazilian Women’s National Team coach Kleiton Lima is no longer with the club. (more…)
Torneio Internacional Interclubes de Futebol Feminino features Umeå IK, Santos, Foz Cataratas, and Palmeiras
Torneio Internacional Interclubes de Futebol Feminino begins Wednesday, Jan. 5, in Brazil and features two of the world’s top clubs – Umeå IK (Sweden) and Santos (Brazil) – as well as Palmeiras (São Paulo, Brazil) and a new Brazilian club Foz Cataratas (Paraná, Southern Brazil). (more…)
By Beto Alfaya
In front of an attendance of 18,326, Canada became Torneio Internacional de São Paulo champions with a 2-2 draw against Brazil. Canada won on goal differential. Brazil started the game without Cristiane and Grazielle, both injured, so the young 17-year-old Thais started the game, her first with the national team, while Canada had back its entire team. (more…)
Injury plagued Brazil, already without Cristiane, who injured her shoulder Thursday, Dec. 9, in the first round of the Torneio Internacional Cidade de São Paulo, suffered another injury setback. Starting forward Grazielle (Santos FC) injured her knee Wednesday night against Canada in the final game of the group stage. (more…)
Canada and Brazil had already qualified for the finals of the Torneio Internacional Cidade de São Paulo after each team beat Mexico and the Netherlands, but before they meet up in Sunday’s final, the two faced each other Wednesday night in the final game of the first round. (more…)
By Beto Alfaya
The Canadian women’s national team beat Mexico, 1-0, in the second round of the Torneio Internacional Cidade de São Paulo. With a goal from Christine Sinclair in the first half, Canada sealed its place on the tournament’s final against Brazil, since both teams have six points. (more…)
By Beto Alfaya
Sunday in the Torneio Internacional Cidade de Sao Paulo, Brazil beat the Netherlands, 3-2, getting the game-winner in stoppage time from Gabriella. Marta scored two goals for Brazil. Marta scored first for Brazil on a mistake from the Netherlands keeper. The Netherlands tied the game on a fast counter-attack before Marta scored again, heading a cross into the net. In the 94th minute, the young Gabriella, who played last year for Franklin Pierce University (New Hampshire, USA), scored after the Netherlands goalkeeper deflected a Marta cross. It was really hot during the game, and the both teams agreed before the game to have a technical stop, allowing the players to have some hydration.
By Beto Alfaya: MRI results came back Saturday and revealed that Brazilian forward Cristiane will not need surgery on her shoulder. Cristiane was injured Thursday night against Mexico in the Torneio Internacional Cidade de Sao Paulo. She will miss the rest of the tournament. (more…)
Cristiane suffers broken shoulder, sidelined for rest of Torneio Internacional Cidade de Sao Paulo, may need surgery
By Beto Alfaya
According to Brazil coach Kleiton Lima, Cristiane broke her shoulder Thursday night during Brazil’s game against Mexico in the Torneio Internacional Cidade de Sao Paulo. She will miss the rest of the tournament and the last two months of her contract with Santos FC. (more…)
By Beto Alfaya
Torneio Internacional Cidade de Sao Paulo opened today in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The four-team tournament features Brazil, Canada, the Netherlands, and Mexico. Canada began the tournament with a 5-0 win over the Netherlands. Christine Sinclair, who signed today with the Western New York Flash of Women’s Professional Soccer, scored two goals for Canada as did Diana Matheson (Lillestrøm SK Kvinner). Josee Belanger (Amiral de Québec) also scored for Canada, and keeper Stephanie Labbe (Pitea) earned the shutout. Diamond Simpson, recently called up from the Canadian U-18 camp, earned her first international cap. (more…)
With its 5-0 win over Colombia Friday night, Brazil became the 14th team to qualify for the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup. And even with one day left in the tournament, the Brazilians have already earned the title as the 2010 Sudamericano Femenino champions. Chile and Argentina, who played to a 0-0 draw Friday, as well as Colombia all have a shot at finishing second and qualifying for the World Cup. Saturday, Italy and the U.S. play the first leg of their two-game CONCACAF/UEFA playoff. The winner of that playoff will be the 16th and final team to reach the World Cup.
Sunday is the final day of the CONMEBOL qualifiers. The team in the worst shape is Colombia, which is 0-1-1 with one goal scored and six goals allowed. But Argentina isn’t that far behind. The Argentinians are third (0-1-1, no goals scored, four allowed). Chile is in second place and has two draws yet has only scored one goal (and allowed only one) in its two matches. There are a number of scenarios, but the easiest way for Chile to qualify for the World Cup is to beat Brazil Sunday. If Chile loses, the winner of the Colombia vs. Argentina match qualifies. If Chile draws with Brazil and Colombia draws with Argentina, Chile qualifies. There are other scenarios, and they’re all based on goal differential. Also, news out of the Brazil camp is that midfielder Maurine partially tore her hamstring in Wednesday’s win over Argentina.
CONMEBOL: Brazil can qualify for World Cup with one more win, Argentina on brink of elimination; WPS looks ahead to 2011
The second stage of the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers kicked off Thursday night at Estadio La Cocha in Latacunga, Ecuador. Colombia, looking to make its first-ever World Cup, drew 1-1 with Chile. Colombia scored first on a goal by Yorelli Rincon, her fifth of the tournament. Chile equalized in the second half on a goal from Francisa Lara. In the second game last night, Brazil cruised to a 4-0 win over Argentina, backed by a goal each from Cristiane, Marta, Rosana, and Graziele. Brazil can qualify for the World Cup Friday night if it beats Colombia. The Argentinians will be eliminated if they lose to Chile. If Argentina loses, that sets up a number of scenarios for both Chile and Colombia to become the second South American team to qualify for the World Cup. The final day of the CONMEBOL qualifiers is Sunday.
Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) held a conference call Wednesday afternoon, addressing the media one day after issuing a press release regarding the 2011 WPS season. Tuesday, the WPS confirmed the six teams that will play in 2011 – Atlanta, Boston, Sky Blue FC, Philadelphia, Washington, and the expansion Western New York team. During Wednesday’s conference call, WPS CEO Anne-Marie Eileraas announced the name of the expansion team – the Flash.
She also spoke about FC Gold Pride folding and the financial struggles of the Chicago Red Stars, who have until Dec. 15 to seek investors to secure a place in the WPS 2011 season. “The hurdles we faced challenged us,” Eileraas said, later adding, “We’re very pleased to be at the point where we’re at right now.”
Atlanta Beat Owner, and CEO and Chairman of the WPS BoG, T. Fitz Johnson said there will be a shorter schedule in 2011. The WPS also said it will take a break during the 2011 Women’s World Cup. Also, several media members asked about two-time WPS MVP Marta, and Thomas Hofstetter, WPS BoG Member & Sky Blue FC President said that Sky Blue doesn’t have the funding to support Marta’s salary. However, Eileraas said that Marta and her agent are looking to see if any other WPS team is interested in signing Marta.
No, it’s not an exaggeration. There is a possibility (albeit slight possibility) that Argentina and Brazil may not qualify for the second stage of the CONMEBOL qualifiers, thus eliminating them from World Cup contention.
This is how it all breaks down: Argentina seemingly has the easiest route. If the Argentinians beat Ecuador tonight, they’re onto the second stage. Ecuador needs to beat Argentina by at least three goals to reach the second stage. Chile has already qualified out of Group A. In Group B, Brazil also has what looks like an easy route into the second stage, but there is one scenario that can knock out Brazil.
If Brazil beats Paraguay, they’re in, leaving the second and final spot open for either Colombia or Paraguay. If Brazil and Paraguay draw, Brazil and Colombia advance. The one way Brazil cannot advance is if they lose by two goals or more to Paraguay and Colombia beats Uruguay. If Colombia beats Uruguay, Colombia advances. The only chance for Paraguay to move on is if Colombia’s margin of loss is at least three goals more than Paraguay’s or two if Paraguay scores at least two goals more. If not, Colombia advances. Sound confusing? It is. Bottom line, wins by Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia send those three teams to the second stage.
If Mexico’s win over the U.S. was the biggest upset in women’s soccer history, we almost had the second biggest upset last night. Brazil played Colombia and took a 2-0 lead in the first half on goals by Cristiane and Marta. But Colombia struck less than 15 minutes into the second half on a goal by Yuli Munoz to make it a 2-1 game. The Brazilians held off the Colombia attack for the final 30 minutes in what has been Brazil’s closest match in this tournament. Colombia became the first team to score against Brazil in a WC qualifier since Brazil’s third match in the group stage of the 2007 CONMEBOL qualifiers (a 6-1 win over Bolivia, and it was a PK goal by Bolivia). It was also Brazil’s closest margin of victory in a qualifier since April 23, 2003, when the Brazilians beat Argentina, 3-2, in the final round.
Earlier yesterday in Group B, Venezuela beat Uruguay, 5-2, backed by a pair of goals from Isaura Vizo and one each from Nayle Quintero, Karla Torres, and Ariana Altuber.
World Cup qualifiers update: African Women’s Championship semifinals, Brazil loses player to ACL tear, and U.S. prepares for playoff with Italy
The semifinals for the African Women’s Championship are set for Thursday in South Africa. Nigeria takes on Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea plays South Africa. Ghana, which has played in the last three World Cups, did not advance after losing, 3-1, Monday to Equatorial Guinea. South Africa, Cameroon, and Equatorial Guinea have never qualified for the World Cup, and Nigeria has never not qualified.The winners of Thursday’s semifinals qualify for the World Cup and advance to the AWC finals on Monday, Nov. 14, at Sinaba Stadium.
At the CONMEBOL qualifiers in Ecuador, favorites Brazil and Argentina are unbeaten. Brazil has qualified for every World Cup, Argentina the last two. But Chile, Paraguay, and Colombia look to be legitimate contenders. All five teams are unbeaten heading into Wednesday. That’s when Peru plays Chile and Bolivia faces Ecuador in Group A action. Both Peru and Bolivia must win Wednesday to avoid elimination. Chile can advance to the knockout round if its result is better than Ecuador’s result against Bolivia. Argentina and Chile are in first and second place, respectively, in Group A. Argentina is 3-0, while Chile is 2-0-1. Even though it is not playing, Argentina can advance to the knockout stage Wednesday if Peru beats Chile and Bolivia beats Ecuador. In Group B, Venezuela was eliminated Tuesday after losing, 5-0, to Colombia. Yoreli Rincon, who scored the “Goal of the Tournament” at the U-20 Women’s World Cup in Germany this past summer, scored one of Colombia’s five goals. Rincon and Brazil’s Marta are second in Group B with two goals scored, one back of Christiane, who has scored three goals for Brazil. The Brazilians, the runners-up at the 2007 Women’s World Cup, are 2-0 after wins over Venezuela and Uruguay.
Leah Fortune (Our Game Magazine, July 2010) got her first cap with the Brazilian Women’s National Team but was taken away by ambulance after suffering a knee injury in the match against Uruguay. An MRI later confirmed a complete tear of her ACL and partial meniscus tear in her left knee. On her blog, Fortune said she will remain with the team in Ecuador throughout the qualifiers and then return to the U.S. for surgery on her knee.
Canada capped off its phenomenal run in the CONCACAF qualifiers by beating Mexico, 1-0, Monday. The Canadians outscored their opponents, 17-0, winning their second Gold Cup and first since 1998, when coincidentally they beat Mexico, 1-0. Christine Sinclair scored a PK for Canada in Monday’s win. The U.S., meanwhile, beat Costa Rica, 3-0, to advance to the CONCACAF/UEFA playoff against Italy. Abby Wambach scored two goals and Lauren Cheney scored one for a U.S. team that is headed to Stadio Euganeo in Padua, Italy on Nov. 20. The return leg is Nov. 27 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois. That playoff will determine the 16th and final spot in the 2011 World Cup. On Nov. 29, FIFA will hold the draw for the World Cup. U.S. coach Pia Sundhage called up Leslie Osborne to play in the playoff against Italy. Osborne, who plays for the Boston Breakers of the WPS, broke her collarbone against Sky Blue FC back on Aug. 15. She recently was cleared to play, and this will be her first time back with the USWNT since 2008.
The following teams have already qualified for the 2011 Women’s World Cup: Germany (host nation), Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Sweden, England, Norway, France, Japan, North Korea, and Australia.