By Olaf Goldbecker
Germany Head Coach Silvia Neid announced the squad which is expected to defend the title at the 2011 World Cup in the nation of the reigning champion. Two world champions of 2007 did not make the final cut. Defender Sonja Fuss (FCR Duisburg) and forward Anja Mittag (Turbine Potsdam) will have to watch this year’s competition on TV. Also taken off the roster were defender Josephine Henning (Turbine Potsdam) and forward Conny Pohlers (1.FFC Frankfurt), as well as keeper Lisa Weiss (SG Essen-Schönebeck). (more…)
The Norwegian Women’s National Team announced its World Cup roster this morning. Coach Eli Landsem named 19 players and will add two more prior to the World Cup. Lene Storløkken (LSK Kvinner) Lise Klaveness (Stabæk) are recovering from injury and still could make the squad, but are still being assessed. The roster features six players from the 2010 Norwegian Football Cup champions Røa, including former Lene Mykjåland, who played last year for the Washington Freedom of Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS). (more…)
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.
U.S. Head Coach Pia Sundhage, midfielder Heather O’Reilly, and forward Abby Wambach addressed the media today following the announcement of the U.S. Women’s National Team World Cup roster. Sundhage said it was difficult to narrow down the roster to 21 players, saying, “We have not picked the best 21 players. We picked the 21 players that will do the best together … (We’re) very happy with the 21 we picked and the fact that they are different from each other. Everyone has high expectations.” (more…)
The U.S. Women’s National team roster for the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany was announced this morning. Coach Pia Sundhage is taking three keepers, seven defenders, seven midfielders, and four forwards to Germany for the tournament, which takes place from June 26-July 17. Nine of the players were part of the 2007 U.S. Women’s World Cup team that finished in third place in China. (more…)
The 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup is now less than two months away, and more teams have added friendlies to their preparation. There’s also new news out of Nigeria and France. Regarding friendlies, Nigeria will play Ghana twice in May before heading to Germany. In Germany, Nigeria will play a handful of practice matches (against as yet unnamed opponents), according to Coach Eucharia Ngozi Uche. Japan will play South Korea on June 18 as their sendoff game in Ehime, Japan. New Zealand, after its two matches against Australia, will play China en route to Germany. (more…)
U.S. Soccer announced today that the U.S. Women’s National Team’s World Cup roster will be announced live, Monday, May 9, on ESPN. Pia Sundhage’s 21-player roster will be named live at 10 a.m. ET. ESPN SportsCenter anchors Kevin Negandhi and Sage Steele will host the show, which will feature interviews with U.S. captain Christie Rampone and Abby Wambach. Currently, the U.S. Women’s National Team is wrapping up a three-week training camp in West Palm Beach, Florida. (more…)
By Ann Odong
Australian National Team striker and reigning AFC Women’s Footballer of the Year Kate Gill has been ruled out the FIFA Women’s World Cup after sustaining an anterior cruciate ligament injury. Gill injured her knee in innocuous fashion Thursday last week in her Swedish side, Linköpings FC’s 4-0 Cup victory and will now spend the next 12 months on the sidelines. (more…)
One of Germany’s shining future stars who won the U-20 Women’s World Cup last summer, had her dream of playing in the World Cup in her home nation come to an end. In Sunday morning’s practice, Dszenifer Marozsan suffered a torn ligament in the right knee and is expected to be out for six weeks. National Team Coach Silvia Neid reacted and nominated Conny Pohlers for the preliminary World Cup roster.
By Ann Odong
With the FIFA Women’s World Cup just over eight weeks away, Australia has recently stepped up its preparations for the tournament. With friendlies announced against Trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand, traditional sporting rivals England and Mexico, the Australian’s are setting themselves to better their 2007 quarterfinal appearance. (more…)
A number of teams headed to the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup will play friendly matches prior to leaving for Germany. This week, it was announced that Australia will play two games against New Zealand (May 12 and May 15). Colombia will play Mexico twice (both games are scheduled for the last week of April), while France will host Scotland at the 20,000-seat Stade Francis le Blé in Brest on May 18. Germany will play North Korea (May 21), Italy (June 3), the Netherlands (June 7), and Norway (June 16). The U.S. will play Japan on May 14 and May 18 before their sendoff match, scheduled for June 5 against Mexico at Red Bull Arena. On May 17, England will play Sweden at The Kassam Stadium in Oxford, England. Nigeria will play Equatorial Guinea twice, but not in friendlies. The teams will play against each other in the 2012 Olympic qualifiers. (more…)
German National Team Coach Silvia Neid held a press conference today to announce her preliminary roster of 26 players. Neid is in the comfortable position to have a ten weeks preparation for the World Cup since the association DFB ended Bundesliga early. The clubs sending most players are 1.FFC Frankfurt and FCR Duisburg with seven each. Champion Turbine Potsdam has five players. Even relegation endangered 2. Bundesliga club Magdeburger FFC has one player, goalkeeper Almuth Schult, on the roster. Missing one the list are e.g. Bundesliga top striker Conny Pohlers, or Turbine Potsdam midfielders Jennifer Zietz and Viola Odebrecht, who all have been in excellent shape lately. In contrast to them, Duisburg defender Annike Krahn is on the list, who has not played a single game since her ACL injury in fall. (more…)
Turbine Potsdam Head Coach Bernd Schröder has criticized the German Soccer Association DFB in regards to the league schedule being cut short due to early World Cup preparation for Germany’s women’s national team. The normal Bundesliga schedule runs until mid-May and sometimes into June, but it was cut short this year, ending in mid-March. (more…)
FIFA officially announced today that Canada will host the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. In the months leading up to the announcement, Canada was in the running against Zimbabwe, but since Zimbabwe pulled out of the running earlier this week, all Canada needed was FIFA’s official word. (more…)
Alyssa Naeher’s been on the big stage before. The 22-year-old Boston Breakers keeper won the Golden Glove for the world champion U-20 Women’s National Team at the 2008 Women’s World Cup. Now, Naeher has taken her game to another level. She’s currently in Portugal at her first Algarve Cup with the full U.S. Women’s National Team. (more…)
Seven teams competing in the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup begin 2011 with a pair of tournaments. The U.S., Canada, and Sweden will take part in the Four Nations Tournament in mid-January in Chongqing, China, while England, North Korea, New Zealand, and France will play in the Cyprus Cup in February/March. (more…)
U.S. Women’s National Team defender Ali Krieger sat with U.S. coach Pia Sundhage and the small U.S. contingent in Frankfurt, Germany last week as the 16 teams were drawn for the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The U.S., one of four seeded teams, learned its fate as Sweden, Colombia, and North Korea filled up the rest of Group C.
“If you see each of the groups, every team is going to be good. You’re playing the best of the best. You’re playing the best in the world,” Krieger said via phone last week from Germany. “Everyone’s catching up. You can’t roll into the tournament and think that you’re automatically going to win it. We know we have to focus on the first game and take every game like it’s our last. I”m actually happy that we’ll be put to the test and that we’ll be challenged.”
Some have already labeled Group C as the Group of Death, others save that distinction for Group A (Germany, France, Canada, Nigeria). Krieger said that no team has an easy ride through the group stage no matter what group it’s in.
“You can’t expect to just show up and win,” she said.
Take the U.S. team’s performance at the CONCACAF qualifiers for example. The U.S. lost to Mexico, and then had to beat Italy in a two-leg CONCACAF/UEFA playoff to qualify for the World Cup.
“I think it was one of the best things that could’ve happened to us,” Krieger said, referring to the loss to Mexico. “Our team came closer together. The two games versus Italy made us work hard. This was all very new to us because it was do or die. There was a lot of pressure for us. It was a tough and difficult road we had to take.”
Krieger said there’s already a huge buzz in Germany about the World Cup, which is still more than six months away. She also knows a little about the venues, having played for FFC Frankfurt since 2007.
“The draw was well-done, well-organized, so it’s off to a good start already,” Krieger said. “They’re really passionate about football here. There’s a lot of hype with fans because it’s going to be in a soccer country. I think that it helped that the men’s World Cup was here (in 2006). They have the setup already. And, there’s so much advertising for it. I think there’s already been around 300,000 tickets sold. I can’t wait.”
The draw for the FIFA 2011 Women’s World Cup was held today in Frankfurt, Germany, and the 16 teams that qualified found out their fate. The seeded teams in each group were Germany (Group A), Japan (Group B), the United States (Group C), and Brazil (Group D). Here’s how the groups break down: Group A: Germany Canada, Nigeria, and France. Group B: Japan, New Zealand, Mexico, and England. Group C: USA, Korea DPR, Colombia, and Sweden. Group D: Brazil, Australia, Norway, and Equatorial Guinea. The first match is Germany vs. Canada (June 26, 2011) in Berlin. Nigeria plays France on the same day in Sinsheim. The top two teams in group stage advance to the Final Stage, which begins July 9, 2011, with the winner of Group A facing the second place team from Group B. That match will take place in Wolfsburg. The finals are set for July 17, 2011, in Frankfurt.
The U.S. beat Italy 1-0 (2-0 aggregate) Saturday afternoon in Illinois to secure a spot in the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Amy Rodriguez scored in the 40th minute at Toyota Park and that’s all the U.S. needed to win the CONCACAF/UEFA playoff and reach the World Cup. The draw takes place Monday, Nov. 29, in Frankfurt, Germany. The host nation, Germany, is in Group A and will play its first match on June 26, 2011, its second match on June 30, and its third and final group stage match July 5. In addition to the U.S. (CONCACAF) and Germany (UEFA), the other 14 teams that will take part in the 2011 World Cup are: Brazil (CONMEBOL), Colombia (CONMEBOL), Nigeria (AWC), Equatorial Guinea (AWC), Canada (CONCACAF), Mexico (CONCACAF), New Zealand (Oceania), England (UEFA), Sweden (UEFA), Norway (UEFA), France (UEFA), Japan (AFC), North Korea (AFC), and Australia (AFC).
The Colombian Women’s National Team made history Sunday in Ecuador, beating Argentina, 1-0, to qualify for the 2011 Women’s World Cup. This will be the first World Cup appearance for Colombia. In addition to a win over Argentina, the Colombians needed Brazil to beat Chile in the second and final game of the CONMEBOL qualifiers Sunday afternoon, and the Brazilians did. They beat Chile, 3-1. In Colombia’s historic win, Ingrid Vidal scored in the 51st minute to send Colombia to Germany. It was Vidal’s second goal of the tournament.
Eight days ago, Alex Morgan was playing in the first round of the NCAA tournament. She assisted on California’s lone goal in its 2-1 loss to Duke. Saturday in Padova, Italy, Morgan played a much bigger role on a much bigger stage and became a national hero in the eyes of U.S. women’s soccer. In the 94th minute of the U.S. vs. Italy CONCACAF/UEFA playoff, Morgan scored off an assist from Abby Wambach to give the U.S. a 1-0 win and an advantage heading into the second and final leg of the playoff (which takes place Saturday, Nov. 27 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill., at 1 p.m. Central time. The match will be broadcast on ESPN3.com).
Following the game, Wambach talked about Morgan’s heroics: “One of the top-five biggest goals in this team’s history I think. Not that I’ve been a part of all of them, but I’ve been involved in a few big goals and for a 21-year-old to come on the field and make that kind of difference to give us the edge to potentially qualify for the World Cup … that’s huge. You can’t put a word or an emotion to it. It’s just the biggest goal of her career.”
Morgan added: “I saw that long ball and Abby is great flicking with her head, so I just tried to get myself in a good position for her to flick it on, cut off the defender once I received the ball and drove it past the ‘keeper. Great feeling.”
The U.S. not only has a 1-0 advantage, it has a one away-goal advantage, so essentially the team can play to a scoreless draw and still qualify for the World Cup.
In Ecuador Sunday, Chile, Argentina, and Colombia are looking to become the second and final team to reach the World Cup from the CONMEBOL qualifiers. Brazil is already in. Here are the scenarios for the remaining teams: Argentina can qualify if it beats Colombia and Brazil beats Chile or if Argentina beats Colombia and Brazil draws with Chile. Chile can qualify if it beats or draws with Brazil and Colombia and Argentina draw. Colombia can qualify if it beats Argentina and Brazil beats Chile or if it beats Argentina and Brazil draws with Chile. The games take place at noon (Colombia vs. Argentina) and 2 p.m. (Brazil vs. Chile) local time in Ecuador.
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.
U.S. Women’s National Team ready for playoff against Italy. Sundhage, Rampone, Wambach, Osborne, DiMartino comment on series
It sounds simple: win and you’re in. The U.S. Women’s National Team takes on Italy Saturday in the first of two legs of the CONCACAF/UEFA playoff, which will determine the 16th and final team to qualify for the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
During Thursday’s conference call, U.S. Head Coach Pia Sundhage, captain Christie Rampone, and forward Abby Wambach fielded a number of questions from the media. Earlier this week, two recent call-ups, midfielders Leslie Osborne and Tina DiMartino, spoke exclusively to Our Game Magazine.
Osborne talked about getting the call. “Well it was crazy, just in terms of being unexpected,” she said. “I was 30 minutes outside of NYC when Pia called me. The last week of my life was crazy and exciting. I am just happy to be here, feels good to be with everyone again. I just want to help the team be successful and find a way to win these games.”
DiMartino added: “It’s a great honor to be called into camp to help the U.S. qualify for the World Cup. I hope I can make an impact on this team whether it’s on or off the field. The environment in Italy has been very positive and encouraging. The team’s been training hard, and we are very focused.”
During Thursday’s conference call, Sundhage talked about the additions of Osborne, DiMartino, and midfielder Lindsay Tarpley. “The reason we added three players is because we wanted to change the atmosphere a little bit. It’s the training atmosphere that is important, and the trainings that we’ve been having have been great. Everybody is pushing everybody, so the fact is that by adding players, the environment will be a little bit different. Those three have done great. This is a team that is ready and recharged, including the new players.”
When asked if Italy now had more confidence going into the game knowing that the U.S. can be beat, Rampone responded: “I don’t think that would help their confidence. I don’t think they were expecting to have us as the opponent they were going to have to play twice to get to the World Cup. If it’s giving them momentum, great, because it gives us even more. It’s one loss, but we’ve grown stronger (since the defeat against Mexico). I think that’s even more intimidating, facing a team that just lost after we’ve been so successful. For us, we’re going in with confidence, and it doesn’t really matter what they’re thinking.”
Wambach talked about the differences between playing on the road vs. playing at home. “When we go up against a different opponent on their soil you are battling a lot of different factors. The magnitude of the game changes things a bit because there might be more fans and that gives you some extra nerves. This is a World Cup game for us. This isn’t the Algarve Cup where we’re training through a tournament. We’re here to win this game, and not just by one goal. We feel we have the opportunity to do that so we go into the second leg with that under our belt before we play at home in Chicago. Whenever you play on away soil there is an added level of excitement because we want to silent that crowd. We’re excited about the opportunity.”
The first of the two-game playoff is Saturday, Nov. 20, in Padova, Italy. It can be seen on ESPN3.com at 10:30 a.m. Eastern time. The second game, which will be played Nov. 27 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois, will also air on ESPN3.com. The time of that game is scheduled for 1 p.m. Eastern time.
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.