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April 27 Friendly - France v Canada [R]

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Women's World Cup Team

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Canada Blanks France 2-0

Canada’s Women’s World Cup Team today defeated France 2-0 in Strasbourg, France with goals by Andrea Neil and Sophie Schmidt to conclude their four-game European tour with a win.

Schmidt of Abbotsford, BC scored in the 78th minute for her first goal with the senior team in only her fourth appearance. Schmidt earned her first cap against Holland on April 19.

Neil, who substituted into the match in the 67th minute to earn her 104th cap, scored her 21st goal in the 89th minute.

Goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc played 90 minutes and earned her 17th shutout.

“Fielding a very young team without regular starters as Christine Sinclair and Candace Chapman, and using veterans as Andrea Neil and Charmaine Hooper as replacement players; our team accomplished a stunning win by beating France 2-0,” said head coach Even Pellerud. “This was our fourth game in eight days and our focus was on team structure and discipline.”

“France, an often mentioned candidate to win the European Championship in June, started strong offensively, but Randee Hermus and Sasha Andrews in the back controlled the tempo and did not allow penetrations. With a well organized midfield, our players fed our strikers with good services and we scored (Schmidt) on a well taken volley from the back post.”

“Our substitutions brought new energy to a tired team, and another late goal by Neil gave us the win we deserved,” concluded Pellerud.

April 27, 2005 – International Friendly

Strasbourg, France

Canada 2(0)

France 0(0)

Goals: Canada – Schmidt (78); Neil (89)

Canada - 1-Karina Leblanc; 2-Amanda Cicchini; 3-Sophie Schmidt; 4-Sasha Andrews; 6-Jodi-Ann Robinson (14-Amber Allen, 67); 7-Isabelle Morneau; 8-Diana Matheson; 11-Randee Hermus; 13-Amy Walsh; 16-Katie Thorlakson (5-Andrea Neil, 67); 17-Brittany Timko; Even Pellerud - Head Coach

Substitutes not used: 20-Taryn Swiatek; 10-Charmaine Hooper; 9-Melissa Tancredi; 15-Kara Lang



Women blank France

Conclude tour with 2-0 win

STRASBOURG, France (CP) - Sophie Schmidt and Andrea Neil scored second-half goals Wednesday as the Canadian women's soccer team wrapped up its European tour with a 2-0 win over France.

Schmidt's goal, off a corner, was the first for the senior side for the 16-year-old from Abbotsford, B.C.

The French are ranked fifth in the world, compared to No. 11 for Canada.

Canada finished the tour at 1-2-1 but the two losses - 3-1 and 3-2 - came against Germany, co-ranked No. 1 in the world with the U.S. The tour opened with a 1-1 tie with the 17th-ranked Dutch.

The Canadian women go back to Europe next month to play Denmark, Norway and Sweden.


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My faith in Even Pellerud is somewhat restored. I still have to wonder why none of our traditional forwards are scoring any goals. Crafty Andrea Neil is the only one saving face for the team. Am not surprised about Sophie Schmidt's success. I knew she was a keeper after seeing her play in Thailand. Talking about goalkeepers, I am sad to see that Erin MacLeod has been left out alltogether. I've read excuses saying that she had been injured to which I respond so has LeBlanc, and she played. To say nothing about Charmaine coming off from delivering her daughter just 3 months ago, and she played.

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This game didn't restore my faith in Pellerud, but I never lost it. Canada's only real set-back in 5 years under Pellerud was a poor showing against Mexico in one game (a very important game, but still only one game).

If you consider Canada's long layoff, this trip showed a lot of promise, especially the last 2 games. The win over France was impressive given who was not on the roster:







Pellerud wants a deeper/tougher defense, followed by more possession and playmaking in the m/f. From his report of the game it sounds like he was happy on both fronts. Still, this was just the start of a long process to peak in 2007. 2005 is a great time to look at as many players as possible and not worry too much about results. 2006, especially the 2'nd half will be a lot more meaningful.

Goal scorers (all 4 games) for Canada were:

fwd - Sinclair, Allen

m/f - Neil (2)

Def - Hermus, Schmidt

Our only 'traditional' forwards on this trip were Lang, Hooper and Sinclair. Lang and Hooper saw limited playing time (on defense). Latham didn't make the trip. Goals were evenly distributed between defense, m/f and forward. I don't see a problem with that. A balanced attack is tougher to defend.

I completely agree with the comments re: Schmidt. Evidently, Pellerud does too. I'd also like to see more of Everrett and Zurrer, maybe in May.

Pellerud has 4 or 5 keepers who are all pretty capable. Erin hasn't been a top-2 choice for quite some time. If it were me making the GK ranking, I'd put Erin 3'rd or 4'th, along with Van Boxmeer. Not that she's not good. She's just up against stiff competition. The other Canadian keeper, Nicci Wright seems to have fallen completely off Pellerud's radar. Not sure what the problem is - I never saw her play a bad game. She was picked up by the Washington Freedom in 2003 and I believe is still actively involved with the post-WUSA version of the team.

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I'm pretty sure Nicci has retired from int'l play. Had the WUSA returned in 2004, she was planning on playing one more year before retiring from active high-level playing -- she's now coaching in the DC/VA area (and taking part in the Freedom stuff), the last I've heard!

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Cafan, it is nice to see your faith in Pellerud being up there. I really hope you are right and I am wrong. There are just too many strange things going on that I question in my mind. There are also things that Pellerud will say person to person that the public or press never hears. And these are good things by the way.

As to the forwards goal production that dried up in Europe, I see a total of 6 goals of which only one was scored by a forward. Nothing from Jodi-Ann and nothing from famous Thorlakson. Poor Kara Lang, if she is not wasted in defense, she is left on the bench.

I think Nicci Wright is just dedicated to coaching nowadays.

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By my count we had 2 goals scored by forwards - Sinclair and Allen. As a team we scored 3 goals against Germany and 2 against France. That's a better per-game goal production than the USA had in their Algarve Cup meetings against the same teams. The difference is that the USA shut both teams out while Canada gave up an average of 2 goals per game - which is why Pellerud's top priority is defense.

Robinson and Thorlakson are still very green at the senior international level. They both need time and experience to develop. They may or may not not rise to the next level but we won't know which is the case for some time.

I suspect there's a good reason Kara didn't see more playing time. Pellerud isn't saying, just like the situation with Timko at Oly qualifying. We may never know what was going on but I think it's premature to worry about it. I'd also like to see Kara play fwd or m/f but I'm not adverse to seeing her spend time on defense either. If you look at Canada's senior games since January 2003, you'll see that Kara was used in a variety of positions. She saw time on defense as far back as the 2003 Algarve Cup, but she played fwd, m/f and a short stint on defense at the WWC. She played m/f in Canada's last game against the USA. Bottom line is she's versatile enough to move around as the situation dictates. The U19 situation was a case in point - she was needed most on the back line, and she did a great job. The senior team is another story. Pellerud is building for 2007, so I expect to see a lot of experimentation with players and positions in 2005. It's too early to assume Kara's being pegged as a defender.

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I find your analysis very good, well informed and with valid opinions. I wanted to send you an email but there is no contact information in your profile. Maybe you can email me so I can email you back privately and take things from there if that is ok with you.

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To me Lang is our own Wayne Rooney.

Would prefer to pay to see rooney wasted on defense the way we see Lang wasted playing defense.

this is why Soccer is not that popular in this country

it is due waste of natural talents and improper tactics for short term gain to offset lack of proper preparation and planification

more apt to apply flight by night band-aid solution.

she is average playing defense but a world class player in an attacking role already and that at the senoir level.

forwards like her does not come by everyday even for nation like the US or Germany for that matter.

As for Jodi Ann she has showed nothing special yet to even be on this trip I have seen nothing from her at the u-19 level to make me willing to pay any kind of money to watch her perform on a soccer pitch

I am not sure if she was even an automatic starting 11 in Malaysia

she does not draw a crowd the way A Kara lang can.

Kara can be a gold mine for Canadian soccer if employed the proper way

she is the Marketing tool that Canadian soccer needs

any other country would have already seized on her potential to attrack sponsors

British reporters and commentators were overwhelmed by her out of the ordinary attacking ability and talent even still at the raw level

which seems to be where it will still be if Pelerud keeps using her at the back or keeping her on the bench.

at the u-19 in Edmonton and also when the English senoir team toured

eastern Canada they could not get enough of Kara Lang pontential. they were begging for more even though she was on the opposing team talent that the CSA and Pellerud seems to be willing to give up on by giving her a defensive and distructive role which seems the route #1 approach

even in agmes where results should be secondary and where creativity and skills should be taught and put to the test time and time again

we also need creative midfield players to supply that crucial pass

in the final third of the field that a player like Parker can deliver, she was not voted the best midfielder in the W -league last yr for nothing.

we are not creating open play scoring chances.

most of our goals are coming from set pieces.

cuchini is one hell of an architech in midfield shen she is allowed to play a craetive role a combination of her and parker would be like having a Gerard and Lampard combination Schmidt under the right guidance is going to be a world class player whether at the back or as a midfield player.

when we looked at the recent results of our various national teams one thing that is very obvious is the teams are not adequately prepared prior to the beginning of an overseas trip we only start to come together at the end of the trip.

not taking full advantage of the earlier game to solidly establish ourself because the home work was not properly done and that is what did and will always prevent the further advancement and improvement of both of our senoir teams in their attempt to qalify for the olympics and in the men's world cup campaign.

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