Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Scattered readings

What I've perused this morning. . .
New Zealand goes high-tech to combat the heat and pollution at the Olympics.

Mark Zeigler takes a hard look at the record of the U.S. women.

It's ironic to think that if Landon Donovan played for Brazil and stayed in the country because he loved it there instead of in Europe, he'd apparently be a huge hero.

Kentucky gets its kicks in.

Yeah, I didn't know Stephanie Cox went to Portland on an academic scholarship, either.


Kenny Johnson said...

Looks like we won't be reading any Jaime Cardenas' LA Times articles anymore. Just saw he was 1 of the 150 let go by the paper today -- this really is a sad pattern for soccer reporters.

ghostwriter said...


Ziegler, as always, has some interesting points.

A similar thought occerred to me while I was posting on the Marta/Cristiane absence (a day late and dollar short as usual). Perhaps the biggest improvement Brazil will experience over the next few weeks will come as much from playing together for a while as adding the rest of their star players. It's probably a scary thought to contemplate just how good they could be with a little effective support from their Federation.

Still there are those who think league play is a better prep than the kind of residency approach USWNT has taken. We'll maybe get a better impression on that if the WPS is successful at resurrecting a US based pro league for the women.

It'll be interesting to see if Brazil is actually better this next game v. US just from the additional time together.

I hope somebody with FSC will give us a good post game report...

But whatever happens in this match, Pia and the team know the "rubber meets the road" for them only in Beijing, and they're not getting too amped up for these friendlies. But play the Samba Girls in Beijing and blood may not actually flow, but motivation, shall we say, will be quite high on the US side. And talent is not restricted to Brazil. The US have some folks best in the world at what they do, just like Marta and Cristiane. As much as they were (and still are) opposed on the WC "stuff" both Solo and Wambaugh will share a win or die trying attitude for that match, and (keep the ref out of it) will have something to say about the outcome (as, I think, will the irrepressible A-Rod).


Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Take 2007. The U.S. women beat Brazil 2-0 on June 23 in a friendly in New Jersey. Three months later, the teams met in the semifinals of the World Cup in Hangzhou, China.

Brazil 4, USA 0.

It is a score, and a lesson, etched in the minds of the American players.

“We're just trying to peak at the right moment,” Markgraf says. “We feel like last year we peaked a little too early. Pia knows that one of our concerns this year is we want to be fresh in August, both emotionally and physically.”

So much for Greg Ryan as an elite soccer coach, especially in selecting Scurry to start over Solo in the 4-0 loss.

Also, so much for the veterans (Lilly, Wambach, Markgraf, Rampone) on the team. The future belongs to A-Rod, Nogueira, et al -- and, yes, Hope Solo.

Coach said...

U.S.A. 1-0 over Brazil! :)

Abby broken leg?? :((

papa bear said...

Ziegler's article is indicitive of the shame cycle so many fans of the Men's and especially Women's national team have.

We have won 3 major tournaments in 12 years. That's a lot folks. Are we really upset with that? Those are numbers that Brazil on the men's side struggle to put up at times.

The US ladies are still the best in the world and history has shown the Brazil result was a bit fluky. (oh and Ziegler if we are going to micromanage scores, throw out the 4-0 and the US is 7-5 in terms of goals scored against Brazil and Germany and most of those are Germany's)

Germany is the one side that is consistently great as well. I worry about them far more than any other side. Not to say other sides can't beat the US, but the Germans are a cut above most everyone else and they have the REAL best player in the world in Birgit Prinz. (compare her to Marta in the final last year and you'll see why Marta is overrated the way Cristiano Ronaldo was overrated 3 years ago. Step overs look cool but they don't = greatness. Titles do. )