Cross-Conference ‘Cast – Episode 10 – I Just Have a Lot of Feelings

Episode 10 is live!    Just assume we are right about everything. (Except that I said Lindsey Huie was a left midfielder. She was on the right. Mea culpa.)
Songs:
  • “Deserts & Lezards” – La Caution & Chateu Flight
  • “Unpersuaded” – Moving Units
  • “Shame” – Lewis Taylor
  • “Bad For You” – Haley Bonar

Action Item:

Discussion points:

  • WPS results (SBFC fires their coach, Chicago Red Stars just make me angry AND disappointed and then also make some roster changes.)
  • U-20 Women’s World Cup (we were right about the US and delighted about Mexico)
  • Sydney Leroux and UCLA does nothing with talented players.
  • GARCIAMENDEZ.
  • No, really. GARCIAMENDEZ.
  • We’ve come pretty far. We hope to get better. Thank you for listening!

Contact us:

Recapping the U-20 WWC quarterfinals

My first trip to FIFA.com this morning and what do I see? Fatigue blamed for USA failureare you joking me, Heif Ellis? Does anyone really believe that? Sure, this team was probably fatigued, but that is a cheap excuse for the failure. Were they fatigued in qualifiers? Were they fatigued in that first game against Ghana, through all the rest of group play? If fatigue is to blame, then that just backs up the heart of the issue: this wasn’t the team the US was looking for. The force was not strong with these players. Jill Ellis cannot discern when it’s a trap. Need I go on?

This picture from the USWNT blog describes the US U-20s' performance perfectly. I agree, Nairn.

Let’s have some links.

July 29, Semifinals (in Eastern time)

  • 9:30 AM – Germany vs Korea Republic
  • 12:30 PM – Columbia vs Nigeria

Are we done with the 2010 US U-20s yet?

I’m getting bored of talking about how bad the US roster, starters, and subs were this tournament. I am really disappointed in the captains’/veterans’ play; they both performed better in 2008. I still think Henninger is one of the top two keepers in the US at this age level. Quon was injured, hopefully not badly. Verloo, Noyola, and DiMartino disappeared on the bench. Hayes subbed in and out. Kristie Mewis did her best, but it’s hard to play 1 v 11. Even the defense broke down as the tournament progressed. Et cetera.

It’s hard to deny that you can evenly distribute the “blame” among the players and the coach. I like Ellis, but her work with the 2010 U-20s is like Gabarra’s work with the 2010 Washington Freedom. Decent players, good on paper… shabby results. That’s fine at UCLA, but not on the ladder to the US Women’s National Team.

It’s a horrible thing for a US (and U-20) fan to say, but I’m glad this team is out of the running. This wasn’t a strong team to begin with–like I said, as far back as qualifiers. The problems weren’t fixed. The results were telling.

Mexico is playing Korea Republic right now, and although they are down 3-0 to the AFC side, the Mexicans are still playing better than the US did. They are overmatched, clearly, but they are consistent. Cuellar, Corral, and Santiago haven’t given up. They will lose, and despite the scoreline, it won’t be an embarrassing stumble backwards for their program.

[A very quick edit: yes, Mexico’s Gomez Junco scored as this post was publishing, so nya! No frustration, not giving up.]

US U20’s fall to Nigeria in the quarter-finals due to lack of Portland players.

Well now.  We now have the worst finish for a women’s team at this level. Is anyone particularly surprised? While my co-writer will have lengthier, thoughtful and genuinely accurate things to say about this result, here’s my little theory:

As time goes on, the number of Portland Pilots on a U-20 WWC squad is directly proportional to the final result that team will achieve. The greater the Pilots, the better the result.

2002 had one, Angie (Woznuk) Kerr. That team won. At the time, one was adequate.

2004 had three (eventually four), Angie (Woznuk) Kerr, Stephanie (Lopez) Cox, Megan Rapinoe and Kelsey Davis. That team finished third, only falling to a fantastic German team that eventually won the World Cup and beating a Brazil that had a young Marta, who would eventually win player of the tournament.

2006, two: Stephanie (Lopez) Cox, Kelsey Davis. Two should have been enough, right? Lopez was captain, but team was plagued by inconsistencies starting from before qualifying. That team placed 4th, which was the worst finish at the time.

In 2008, they had three, all field players: Keelin Winters, Michelle Enyeart, Elli Reed. That team won the U-20 Women’s World Cup, Winters was Captain.

This roster? Had only one, Kendall Johnson. There is only so much one Pilot can do now that this tournament is 8 years old.

How do you feel about my well-reasoned, scientifically-sound hypothesis?

The U-20 WWC knockout rounds begin!

Tumblr is having difficulties this morning, so it’s time for another post o’ links. Today is game day for Germany-Korea DPR and Sweden-Columbia (is Sweden already down by 2?) and the only one I’m sorry I’ll be missing is Germany-DPRK.

Let’s look at US business first, since I have been ignoring them.

I’d like to highlight the commentary we’ve been getting from the ESPN3 webcasts. The commentary on the Mexican games has been wonderful (especially if you’re sick of FSC’s WPS games). One quote, which I cannot remember word for word, essentially boiled down to, “If you’re struggling with the pronunciation of names, ask the players and coaches.” In the game against Nigeria, after a sub came on, it was, “There are two Sundays in the game now… suppose that makes it a fortnight.” If you are going to commentate a women’s soccer game, you have to relax and enjoy it.

Here is the FIFA business:

By the end of all this collecting, Sweden has not managed to come back. 2-0, Columbia advance. Time for me and the Swedes to pack and hit the road!

Preview: what’s past is prologue

In a small preview of a post I plan to make regarding the 2004 U-19 Women’s World Cup and its influence on today’s full national team, I’d like to share this with you:

Amy Rodriguez and Megan Rapinoe, July 2010

I like this picture. It reminds me a lot of this one:

Amy Rodriguez and Megan Rapinoe, November 2004

Webcast update for the quarterfinals of the U-20 Women’s World Cup

I almost never make predictions in tournaments, so I pretty much forgot who I expected to advance from group for the 2010 U-20 Women’s World Cup.

Group A: Looks like I felt solid about Germany and France and didn’t mention Columbia at all. France struggled more than expected. Germany advances at the top of their group with 9 points. Columbia and France are even with 4 points apiece, but Columbia owns the tiebreaker.

Group B: Here, I felt like Korea DPR and Brazil were the safe bets. This was the group of death, after all. Obviously, Brazil crashing out was a surprise. Sweden tops the group with 7 points, and Korea DPR advances with 6.

Group C: Evenly matched, as expected. I had pegged Japan and England to go through, and I am very happy to be wrong. Mexico and Nigeria advance after a great showing. They are even with 5 points, and Mexico takes first with the tiebreaker.

Group D: I got one right! USA and Korea Republic to advance. I didn’t expect it to be so hard for the US, so this is a shallow win. The US has 7 points to Korea Republic’s 6.

Costa Rica, New Zealand, and Switzerland leave without any points. England drops out with 1 point from their first game, a draw with Nigeria.

Now the knockout rounds start. Times listed are Eastern. They will be on ESPN3, and the US game will be on ESPNU as well.

Quarterfinals

  • July 24
    5:30 AM – Sweden vs Columbia
    12:00 PM – Germany vs Korea DPR
  • July 25
    5:30 AM – USA vs Nigeria
    12:30 PM – Mexico vs Korea Republic

The semifinal games will be played July 29 at 9:30 and 12:30.

North Carolina is not a good place to keep up with soccer.

I still haven’t watched US-Switzerland (not to mention any of the USWNT games) but I’m not sure I can be bothered while at the beach. I am still enjoying Mexico and New Zealand’s squads, and I will have those write-ups after I finish watching their games. I’ll miss those Junior Ferns in the next round.

For now, here is what’s going on with the U-20s.

Cross-Conference ‘Cast – Episode 09 – No Touching!

New Episode! We recorded mere hours before the Sky Blue FC coaching change, which actually doesn’t matter considering our general apathy towards the orange.

My co-editor is on vacation, living the life of the rich elite on the East coast, while I toil in middle America. All of this was made very clear in the hour we discussed:

  • WPS Action, including Ashlyn Harris’ coaching debut, Boston’s turnaround, and FCGP’s meteoric… extended stay at the top.
  • USWNT’s two games against Sweden.
  • U20 WWC and how much we looooooooove Mexico <3 <3 <3
  • Shek Borkowski leaves Zvezda
  • W-League update! Pali survived!
  • Utah does a scarf thing.
  • Kelsey Davis wins our award.

One big catch-all post for the missed days of U-20 WWC action