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Canada-Mexico (R)


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3-0 Canada at the Half. I missed the first 20 minutes so I didn't see the first. 2nd and 3rd real beauties though. Third goal, Matheson makes a nice short chip to Sinclair who uses the outside of her thigh to direct ball (one time) to Lang who threads a low cross in between two Mexicans onto the foot of Latham who buries it. Mexico struggling to get out their half. Lots of direct soccer, but Canada controlling the midfield and demonstrating great skills as, for example, the third goal would attest.

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Canada wins a nailbiter 8-0.

Goals scored by 6 different players, which speaks volumes about the sheer offensive talent this team has. The only worry would be in defence, but hopefully the return of Nonen and Boyd will sort out the defensive woes.

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Great game, especially to watch in person. Never saw the senior Woman’s team in person before, I think it’s a must to get a sense of how the team and each player performs. I, with some trepidation, submit my attempt at player ratings below.

I think that the Mexicans are not a great test, but it is very useful to try things out. The Mexican’s overall play was very spotty, I thought their goaltender, Molina-Shea, was great at everything except clearing (it could easily have been 10-0 after the first half. Their attack showed occasional brilliance, but it was very limited to the Latin ground attack. Boy they were small, but none nowhere near as small as Matheson. I thought their best player was the Central defender #7, Gonzalez-Canales but she had no support. I think that the Mexicans got really tired and frustrated in the second half (boy they were stingy with substitutions…Holgeritis?)

What was a real revelation from watching the whole field at once is how Pellerud is uses total football. Positions were interchangeable according to the scenario, there was a real fluidity that you don’t often see in the men’s game these days. For instance in set pieces, it was Matheson and Dennis who played back, although Matheson played an attacking midfield role most of the time.

What a brilliant idea to play Hooper as a sweeper-libero defence (a la Beckenbauer) in the first half. It was fascinating to see how she played left centre-back in tandem to Hermus during Mexican attack, move up to the centre in neutral play, and then move up to team up with Lang on the right flank on attack. Brilliant. I think this may be Hooper’s future, and it may add several years to her professional career. I don’t think we should read to much into the fact that we scored more when she moved up to forward in the second half, as Mexico’s collapse was the biggest factor in the goal bursts.

We pretty well started with our A team (except for, Matheson and Dennis, although both look like they belong on an A team). Our first-half team was far superior to the second –half team, and it was more what we need for the WWC.

The referee was great, let a lot go, didn’t miss much and was fair. She could have given a lot of yellow cards, especially to Canada, but didn’t. Canada will be facing stricter refereeing, for the most part, in the WWC. This may be somewhat of a detriment to having Lang and Kiss, but we need their enthusiasm.


STARTERS (all were strong)

Hooper 9

What a revelation in terms of her overall talents! She was very solid defensively, winning most of the headers and passing well and long. She is still the leader, and no longer a one-trick pony in my mind. I would support her move to sweeper, although most would disagree with me. We are strong enough at forward, and have to make room for Lang.

Latham 9

We have found our centre forward. Quick and intelligent. If there was any fault, there were times when she should have shot on net more and have passed less.

Sinclair 9

Great movement with the ball, in the right place at the right time. Although tiring at times, she never ran out of gas. We haven’t seen the best of her yet.

Lang 8

I know she often overan the ball, but we need her exuberance. Was only replaced because Even promised to move Hooper up after the sweeper experiment. Unlucky not to score more than one, she would have scored lots in the second half. We need her on attack.

Matheson 8

Wow, confident and intelligent. Positioning on both attack and defence brilliant, She was everywhere and her solid play allowed the others to prowl on the sidelines. Excellent attacking, major assists on many goals, knew when to chip and hoof it. Great on foiling the oppositions ground game, she would be very effective against Argentina, Japan, and maybe china and Brazil in the playoffs. I think she is still to small to play the likes of Germany, Norway and the US, but may be proved wrong.

Dennis 8

I looked really hard for any faults, couldn’t find any. What a debut. Excellent service up the right wing. Cool clearances during any danger in front of Leblanc. Wasn’t on the program, and everybody was saying “Who’s number 13?”. Think we found a good replacement for Chapman. Even kept her on for the full 90, and never tired. Pellurd will be hard-pressed to replace her with Noonen.

Kiss 8

A strong 8, was very solid on attack, created a lot of danger. Will have no problem against bigger opposition.

Timko 8

Good solid presence on the right midfield. What a tough nut, and boy she has grown since the U-19. Sometimes overpassed. Will be pivotal for fighting the tougher teams at WWC.

Andrea Neil 8

A steadying influence in midfield. Sometimes looked tired, but never let us down.

Hermus 7

Not spectacular, but steady. Her importance was noticed once she left early in the second half, and could have been needed if Mexico hadn’t collapsed after she left.

LeBlanc 7

A powerful clearer (boy, she can outlick some Premiership keepers) and excellent positioning

(which may have been why she was not really tested). The one time she was tested, she did bobble though. How will she do under sustained pressure in the nets? Still has to be number one, as solid positional play may be more important than McLeod’s flashiness in nets.


McLeod 7

Was tested in nets, and she was cool and agile. May be weak in positioning, but our defence was a lot weaker in the second half. Needs work in clearances.

Andrews 7

Great support for the attackers, but was sometimes unsteady in front of McLeod. Of all the substitutes on defence, she was the strongest. I had thought she was a B player put on for the home crowd, but will made a case for the A team.

Wilkinson 6

Showed strength and purpose on the right side, but often lacked finesse.

Consolante 5

Did not have a strong game, was often given the runaround by the Mexican forwards. However, no major mistakes, and earlier promise in July may still be there.

Rustad 5

Good purpose, but her passes often went astay. A long way to go before she’s ready for the A team. Against a good team her mistakes could have been critical.

Moreau 4

Sorry Elaine, after she replaced Neil she seemed to go invisible for 20 minutes, and I looked real hard.

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what impresses me the most is how these girls have a hunger for the ball and they don't shy away like the men's team do. I mean, it is amazing the type of ball control they are rapidly developing and how they are not afraid to attack the opposition.

I hope this type of friendly, carries over into the World Cup. Although, the WC is a whole different ball game esp. when you have a lot on the line and the margin for error is very small. I hope they can bring these last few excellent performances into the WC and i am sure w/o a doubt, the media will take an (inexcusable) notice IF they are successful at it, in turn, bringing soccer some much needed positive attention

(i am confident and i like what i see, so far)

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I read some comments on another board where they justify our win by saying that Mexico didn't have a good team. When will some people accept the fact that our women squad is just that good. So good that they will make anybody look poor. I cannot help but to feel upset when our players are put down like that. Grrr I am mad.

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quote:Originally posted by The Ref

I read some comments on another board where they justify our win by saying that Mexico didn't have a good team. When will some people accept the fact that our women squad is just that good. So good that they will make anybody look poor. I cannot help but to feel upset when our players are put down like that. Grrr I am mad.

Don't worry--they'll be eating those words when we win the WWC. Hah! And I'm not being sarcastic for once.

I think Sinclair will be the Pele of women's soccer, personally--there's not much out there like her, and she's freakin' 20 years old. What will she have achieved when she's Hooper's age? Which is nothing at Hooper, who is still an amazing athlete, without any qualifiers.

But one player I think is worth watching--other than the ones we all know about--is Matheson. She's such a bulldog, and seems to really do her job in the mid. She may never be a banner player but I think she'll be a real fixture for our Women's team for a long time. I was impressed at her debut and it hasn't worn off.

Anyhow, nicely done all round--one wonders when Mexico will send their A team? Or did they just not bother qualifying this year? Har, har, etc.

Allez les Rouges,


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there's a few good articles about this game. This ones good:


"Today I can say publicly, yeah, we can beat Germany,'' he said at the Canada vs. Mexico press conference yesterday.

"I'd like to play Norway in this World Cup, I guess I'd better say in the final, that would be great,'' he also said.

and Pellerud would never say anything unless he truely, 100%, believed it could happen.

"Understand, Even is a guy who understates, not overstates. He's reserved. He's not given to making public pronouncements. Belief, he believes, is something you build within. Confidence is acquired from success, not something you wear on a shirt sleeve.

But seeing is believing. And even Even can't believe what he's seeing sometimes. "

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quote:Originally posted by mattbin


Anyhow, nicely done all round--one wonders when Mexico will send their A team? Or did they just not bother qualifying this year? Har, har, etc.

Mexico sent a half-team, as many of their players are now doing duty with their US college teams (a siginificant portion of Mexico are composed of US citizens born in Mexican-American familes, and many of the true Mexicans also go to US colleges). Altough Mexico wasn't a true test, it doesn't reduce the great accomplishment of our women. The Mexican goalie, their central defender and some of their forwards were good.

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The other key stuff from the Canoe article is that

CSA announced a deal with Adidas for four years.

"It's well into seven figures,'' said Adidas Canada's Jim Gabel. "And beyond that, part of the deal includes a bonus clause for the 2003 Women's World Cup and the 2006 World Cup.''

Whirlpool has also made a big investment in the team and will be running full-page ads featuring the team.

A few years back, before Pellerud, I didn't believe the women's game could be financially sustainable, we wouldn't get true value for dollars spent because of the lack of attention women sports generally receives and I didn't want funds sipohened away from the men's program.

But a few years have changed things and now I believe with a good performance out of Canada in the WC(min - quarters, preferable semis) and a good showing in Athens, the women's game will actually be the catalyst that should bring socccer to the forefront in Canada.

In the end, the men's team will end up relying upon the women's team to garner attention and even for finances.

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Isn't that part of the problem the mens team have been facing these last few seasons? The womens success has been viewed as the catalyst for promoting football in this country. Thus our mens side has been left on the dark side of the moon. I guess you've got to run with what's hot, but Geez, could you imagine the screaming and crying (and rightly so) there would be if the womens team were told "No, you can't play at home this year because the sides we'd like to see here are going to want to be payed for at least their expenses and we've not budgeted for that."

Bloody hell. That the senior mens team hasn't had a home fixture in what'll be 3+ years is a statement by the CSA. And one which is, in the most generous terms possible, not a confident one.

I was enjoying my long weekend,,,,.

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Anyone know what the deal is with Silvana Burtini. I would have expected her to play this match. Is she still in contention for a WC roster spot. Even as recently as the Gold Cup she was one of our better players.

Have to many other players passed her on the depth chart, seeing as how she is the only player how has not commited 100% to soccer in the run-up to the World Cup?

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quote:Originally posted by Rodway

Anyone know what the deal is with Silvana Burtini.

from what i hear, silvana is training to be a police in vancouver, and the last few months could not take part in team canada stuff b/c of conflicts with that.

she was with the team when they played vs. ghana on august 16th but could not get time off of work for the game this weekend. she could be playing this thursday in vancouver vs. mexico again.

and from all indications, she supposedly is still "in the running" for a roster spot. who knows what will happen?


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quote:Originally posted by Franky

okay then, the score would have been three or four to nil, instead of eight. What do expect from sore losers, they never acknowledge their opponents strong achievements nor their good qualities and have excuses for everything.

Exactly my point. Even coach Pellerud recognizes that his team is good. Before we blow away Australia, let's say now whether Australia is good or not.

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Now that you have given us a yellow, and before you give us a red card:D, Ref, let me just say Australia will be primed up with a full team playing at the top of their level as they will be going to the WWC. They are good, but not great. A much better test, especially for Germany, than Mexico.

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