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    Maple Leaf Forever! - Canadian 2019 Women’s World Cup Preview Part 3: Canada


    The 2019 Canadian women’s national team is being called, by serious players who have even watched the games that aren’t on TSN, our best ever. The only serious argument would come from the circa 2003 team, which was mostly too young but featured apex Andrea Neil and was the only major tournament where both 20-year-old Christine Sinclair and 35-year-old Charmaine Hooper were within reasonable range of their primes. That team didn’t beat anybody they weren’t supposed to beat, but they beat everybody they had to and got us our best-ever fourth-place finish at a World Cup. You could argue for our 2016 Olympic team, but since that’s this team with some young players replaced by inferior old ones, it sort of concedes the argument.

    Naturally, the rest of the world has not sat still. As we know this is also the best Dutch team ever, the best Australian, probably the best English, and overall maybe the best American, which is a thought to chill the blood. Even last year, at home, this Canadian team was distinctly outplayed by Germany.

    Yet sit down, plan Canada’s path to victory, and it is the right side of insane. If we win our group, which is difficult but realistic, we get a round-of-16 match against most likely England or Japan. That’s rough for a round-of-16 game, but Canada winning would arguably not even be a surprise. England is good, but maybe a bit overrated; certainly not off Canada’s tier. Japan seems to be on the way down. We’ve also beaten both teams recently after some long cold streaks. The last World Cup aside, and we absolutely could have won that game, Canada’s had England’s number since 2014 or so. Get through that and the probable quarter-final is against Australia, an easier opponent, or a pupu platter of South Korea/Brazil/Norway-type outfits who could upset the Aussies but aren’t really in our weight class. Then you’re in the money, and the rest of the way every team is either good or on a roll, but the most probable semi-final opponent is Germany and even though it didn’t really count we’ve beaten them too…

    Read more at Maple Leaf Forever!

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    In the photo of the team in the article...

    Does the number/logo placement seem subtly inconsistent to you?

    Or are my eyes buggy.  

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    • Robert are you the guy from Toronto who was SCREAMING at the TV at Duke when Canada blew the lead against Haiti?  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a human being more mad haha.
    • Right, like that little gadget the "internet." That hasn't really changed anything.
    • You don't know Robert, aka @BedBugs, he's not a Canada fan, he's a Dutch fan. 
    • My lord can we just be happy we got friendlies and both are at home? Let’s talk some footy instead of constantly finding something to complain about
    • There's supposed to be a salary cap for the coaches as well, so think that part is sorted. What if your alternatives are flipping burgers or working at the 7/11? Think you are overstating things a bit. Sure there are lots of people who can easily make more with another type of career, but that's not necessarily the demographic that tends to wind up being a pro level soccer player in the first place, because of the various life choices that are involved along the way. Bottom line is that there were probably more empty seats last summer than the league investors had hoped would be the case everywhere other than Halifax. That factor comes into the equation as well on what's doable and the expectation levels that surrounded this league online have always been very much out in the stratosphere. Think it's a mistake to underestimate the scale of the achievement it would be to have a coast-to-coast ten team plus domestic pro league a couple of seasons from now that can sustain salaries in the $40-60k range for core projected starters.
    • And that's the crux of my thinking - all this kerfuffle over increasing the salary cap is about helping work around the (strangely) negative emotions some have re: the perception of the Can PL as largely semi-pro. We've had a successful first season. Why all the fuss? Ideally, league wages would be living wages or at least make up a significant component of a player's annual income. Once a league generates enough revenues, a union will help ensure those dollars are shared more equitably and sustainably among the players. In the interim, a union will help raise the salary floor and provide benefits, etc. Advocate for a cap increase if you want a high quality import or want to bring a guy like Simeon Jackson home or want Kyle Bekker to buy a semi on the Mountain. But advocating for a cap increase to support the mid/low-range guys is about emotion, not economics or soccer outcomes. And it won't help. There is nothing wrong with a league being semi-pro or having a semi-pro component. Outside the big five, the AHL, and AAA MiLB, pay to play is what keeps sports leagues alive.
    • Yeah right. And I heard that they're only going to open the second game if Canada manages to win the first game. So many "I heard" and "I think" theories. The players have to catch an early flight back to Europe. A request from T&T in order to not be subject to two home games in a row as a closed door match is more like playing of neutral grounds. Only if we sell out the first game. Hey, that would violate our agreement with T & T wouldn't it? Why doesn't the CSA just level with us? Or are they just too embarrassed to do so? 
    • No, they are playing Trinidad in front of a packed house March 27 to try to get into the hex. 
    • Heres another angle, if the stadium had 20,000+ seats you need more time to sell those seats. By selling the first game only and it selling out at an attendance of 6200+, it is basically free advertising for the second game which they can open to the public immediately. Since it’s a smaller stadium it won’t be hard to sell that many tickets in a couple days. 
    • This is true, he is allowed to keep pressuring up high if he's the only one, and stay up on an attacking play if he's naturally progressed into the final third. Other players simply cover for him, so he does it without fear. On the other hand, his attacking effectivity when doing this is pretty low.
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