Friday, October 26, 2007

Winning women

I ranked who I think the top candidates are to replace Ryan. I'd say that there are also other contenders like Tom Sermanni, Mark Krikorian, and Jim Gabarra.

Gabarra could probably sympathize with Jerry Smith’s position as a coach who could possibly be eliminated from contention because of a spouse being a former national team member, since he is married to Carin Jennings-Gabarra. Granted, Carin retired quite a while ago, but she would still have ties to some players, like Kristine Lilly.

Actually, Gabarra has an advantage over Smith due to his recent pro experience from his time at the WUSA, as does another possible candidate, Mark Krikorian. But Smith's long record at Santa Clara could out weigh that.

All things considered, I still believe the female candidates hold the edge here. That's even without including Marika Domanski-Lyfors as a coaching possibility, though she could be a contender. But I belive Pia Sundhage has a decided advantage due to her American coaching experience. A candidate like Jillian Ellis also has comparable experience and achievement to Krikorian, Smith and Gabarra, with the added intangibles of being female and working more recently with the current player pool.


Anonymous said...

From what I've read, I tend to go along with Pia Sundhage as being the leading candidate also.

On the negative side, as well as handing over a plum coaching job to a foreigner, I don't think Sunil Gulati was too pleased with her leaking the fact she had been approached by USSF before the Ryan release was announced. This could hurt her chances?

If not Pia, an interim Coach is likely to get the team through the Olympics with Tony D. being an obvious choice if he can delay his 2009 commitment to the Boston Breakers until after the Olympics.

This may not be viable as I understand his work was to begin early next year with the Breakers?


Anonymous said...

Surely, Tony D working with the best female players in the country and prepping them to play against the best players in the world wouldn't hurt his role with the Breakers all that much would it? He would be evaluating talent close up and personal.


Anonymous said...

why would a point of contention be if someone had a spouse that played on the team 10 years ago or even 5 years ago? The women who played on team, Carin Gabarra and Brandi Chastain, are no longer members on the team and while they are still active in the soccer community, I doubt they would have that much involvment with their spouses' decisions regarding the team.

Anonymous said...

Captain Cat on

With 122 caps and eight years of experience with the United States women’s national team, Cat Reddick Whitehill has quietly established herself as one of the most experienced players on the roster. And with the recent turmoil surrounding the team, Whitehill is ready to become a more vocal leader in hopes the WNT can regain their stature as one of the most feared teams in the world.
“Honestly after everything that has happened I want to make myself an even more vocal leader,” the defender told Soccer365 while shooting an instructional soccer DVD.

The task of stepping up to be more of a team leader could not come at a more difficult time.

Despite a great record in 2007, the season finished in turmoil after the circus surrounding head coach Greg Ryan dropping Hope Solo before the Brazil match, the team ultimately not living up to expectations at the World Cup, and finally with Ryan’s contract not being renewed by U.S. Soccer.

But Whitehill is confident she has what it takes.

“I want to employ what I have learned growing up and what I learned as a leader at University of North Carolina and now that I have over 100 caps and three world championships under my belt I feel I can really help this team”

The challenge at hand will start when the WNT convenes in January to begin preparations for the Olympics and Whitehill hopes the team will be able to re-group, refocus and once against find the edge that made the WNT the most feared team in women’s soccer.

“(This camp) will be different. I am looking forward to everybody seeing everything as a new start. Let’s just put this year behind us. Forgive and forget. Let’s move forward.”

“Everyone is saying right now how the U.S. used to be the team that opponents were kinda scared of but now (the U.S. is) just another team.”

“I want to make a statement that we are not just another team, you are supposed to be scared of the US WNT! This is a great team and we didn’t get to show it because we did not play as well as we should have at the World Cup and I want us to play the best soccer ever in the Olympics.”

The team is in an ideal situation to make this a reality with a core of young players who are quietly gaining experience and confidence.

“I think the biggest positive (from the World Cup) is that now all of our young players, Carli Lloyd, Leslie Osborne, Lori Chalupny, Stephanie Lopez, now have a world championship under their belts.”

“We learned a lot through the World Cup and challenges we faced both on and off the field and through it all we have grown tremendously and that over the next eight months we will continue to come together as a team and be even better prepared for the Olympics.”

Before the team can completely move on, however, the final piece of the puzzle must be put into place, a new coach. This is one area where Whitehill has no control but is hopeful that whoever takes the helm they will put their own stamp on the team.

“I think it will be hard for anyone coming in. There was a little more to this team than with previous teams…but I want someone to come in and make (the team) their own.”

You go Cat!