Sunday, April 13, 2008

Closer and closer

The U.S. women edged out a win over Canada on penalty kicks in the final match of Olympic qualifying. Pia involved a number of younger players in the match and will have some decisions to make before gathering the squad again for a set of exhibitions in North Carolina.

3 comments:

ghostwriter said...

Wish I'd had a chance to watch the game. By this account, at any rate, the Canadian GK was supurbe...love to see great keeper play.

Interesting that HS got the start against the lesser opponent, but more important game (Costa Rica) and NB the championship game. Pia really has done a lot of rotating keepers. We'll see when they get to Beijing, if that continues. By my count, HS is still WAY the best.

Continuing the earlier thread (after Costa Rica): Coach, congrats on a great performance, good luck in Beijing, hope one of us gets to the final. For the US to do that they'll need some tough games between now and then, and maybe even some adversity. I trust the Matildas will arrive in shape and playing exciting soccer in NC. Let's see how the US handle some pressure from DeVanna et al.

It's interesting to me, though, how quickly the WNT has fallen out of the public soccer eye, now that the dust the Solo controversy kicked up has settled down...

Anonymous said...

i think Solo is still number one...she has started in all of the important games and delivered. I'm also a fan of nicole and believe she is a great parter to hope. Also I'm glad pia is prepping both keepers, trying to avoid the same mistake greg ryan did by just playing hope constantly. so now both keepers are ready if anything happens to hope nicole can step in and be more prepared for the atmosphere and feeling out the game. for olympics, it's hope all the way with nicole second...dont see scurry coming maybe as a 3rd.

but for the team, great communication, great attacking, and great defending. keep it up.

Coach said...

Hey,

Ghost, cbc.ca didn't broadcast the Final on-line for some reason so I didn't get to see it either. Matchtracker just doesn't do a game justice! lol Not sure why they changed their minds as it was originally scheduled?

I did see some highlights though and as magnificent as our keeper Erin McLeod was, I thought she should have had the Carli free kick in OT! It bounced before finding the corner but I'm just being unreasonable. lol

Erin saved our bacon over and over throughout the game, especially the second half and OT with some incredible saves. Yes indeed, a soccer goalie can change a game just like in hockey! lol

Great PK shootout and Barney came through. We hit the post on our second kick. :(

I believe everything has fallen into place re. Hope as we surmised it would back in the fall. She played back to back in this tourney when the most important game was on the line for the Olympic birth. I was thinking Pia might start Barney in the Final to give her a taste of some real "Final" pressure as she has made it a point to involve all. Going to PK's is likely NOT what Pia or Barney had in mind! lol Bragging rights and the vaunted "undefeated" record that Ryan holds up there were the only thing on the line though and dang I wish we had them! :)

I continue to believe Hope will be the starter in the Olympics unless injury or something very odd occurs. Should this happen, Barney will have a bit more "pressure" experience on her resume. I also believe Bri is still in the mix for this year.

I think we agree that the treatment of Hope hit a nerve that went way beyond the "sports world" for many people. Thus the intense focus of it all. For the most part, things have fallen into place as we believed they should and things have returned to a somewhat normal state?

This unfortunately is not always the case in these politically charged situations, thus the concern we had back in the fall for Hope's USWNT future. It appears solid and with time Hope continues to rebuild the team relationships damaged by it all.

Out for now.