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2007 World Cup draw - Sunday

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"TORONTO — Canadian women’s soccer coach Even Pellerud says the squad he’ll field for the upcoming women’s World Cup in China is far more prepared than the Canadian team that captured fourth four years ago.

The downside is, almost every other country can make the very same claim.

The depth of the women’s game has increased tremendously over the past four years, said Pellerud, which is why, come this Sunday’s draw for the 2007 FIFA women’s World Cup (7:45 a.m. AT), there will be no easy pool in which to end up."

http://thechronicleherald.ca/Sports/654622.html

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Final draw in Wuhan on Sunday

Zurich, 21 April 2007 - The final draw for the FIFA Women’s World Cup China 2007 will be held at the Guanggu Science and Technology Exhibition Centre in Wuhan, China, this coming Sunday at 18.45h local time. Sixteen teams will be competing in the flagship competition of women’s football, which will be played in the cities of Shanghai, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Tianjin and Wuhan from 10 to 30 September 2007.

The basic draw principles, which have been approved by the FIFA Committee for Women’s Football and the Women’s World Cup chaired by Worawi Makudi (Thailand), will be as follows:

The hosts, China, will occupy position 1 in Group D (D1);

The reigning world champions, Germany, will occupy position A1;

The USA and Norway, first and third in the FIFA Women’s World Ranking for March 2007, respectively (Germany are currently ranked second) will also be in Pot 1 with China and Germany. The draw will determine the group in which they will be placed (B or C) as well as their position in their group;

No group may contain more than one team from a particular confederation, except UEFA (maximum two teams per group):

Korea DPR will be placed in Group B

Draw procedure

More than 800 people will be attending the ceremony, which will fuse Chinese culture and international style. The show will feature the bianzhong, a traditional Chinese percussion instrument also known as a bell set, as well as acrobats for which the city of Wuhan is renowned. The official song of the FIFA Women’s World Cup China 2007 will also be performed live.

Those present at the ceremony will include FIFA Vice-Presidents Issa Hayatou and Jack Warner, FIFA Executive Committee member and AFC President Mohamed bin Hammam, FIFA Executive Committee member and chairman of the Committee for Women’s Football and the FIFA Women’s World Cup Worawi Makudi, FIFA General Secretary Urs Linsi, Chinese Minister of the General Administration of Sport Liu Peng, Deputy Chinese Minister of the General Administration of Sport Cui Da Lin, and

Vice-President and General Secretary of the Chinese Football Association Xie Ya Long.

The draw will be conducted by FIFA Director of Competitions Jim Brown and FIFA’s head of women’s football Tatjana Haenni with the help of four well-known assistants in the shape of Sun Wen (FIFA women’s football ambassador, winner of the adidas Golden Ball and Golden Shoe at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 1999), Tina Theune-Meyer (former coach of reigning world champions Germany), Gao Hong (former China goalkeeper) and Tian Zhen (a Chinese singer best known for Steel Roses, a song dedicated to the Chinese women’s national team).

On the evening before the draw, there will be a gala match between the Chinese women’s national team and the FIFA Women’s World Stars at the Wuhan Sport Center Stadium (see http://www.fifa.com/en/media/index/0,1369,135589,00.html).

Further information from:

FIFA Media Department

media@fifa.org

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quote:Originally posted by The Ref

China beats the Fifa All-Stars 3-2. It seems that they got over their coaching problems.

Neil came on in the 2nd half. I think she was the only Canadian player selected.

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Tough group for Canada, but certainly a group they can qualify from.

Group A

Germany

Japan

Argentina

England

Group B

USA

Nigeria

South Korea

Sweden

Group C

Norway

Australia

Ghana

Canada

Group D

China

New Zealand

Brazil

Denmark

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Wow, Group B is insane.

Interesting comments about the arbitrary placing of North Korea in Group B.

On a similar note, I have an unresolved question about the U-20 draw (linky here), which also involves the U.S., interestingly enough!

----

Top-ranked Americans get tough draw in women's' World Cup

By STEPHEN WADE

AP Sports Writer

768 words

22 April 2007

10:25

Associated Press Newswires

English

© 2007. The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

WUHAN, China (AP) - Call it politics. Call it shenanigans.

Whatever you want to call it, the United States ended up in by far the most difficult group at the women's World Cup in China.

The top-ranked Americans wound up in Group B on Sunday with Sweden, North Korea and Nigeria -- by far the most powerful of the four groups. The same four teams were grouped together in the 2003 World Cup.

"We landed in the most difficult group again," United States coach Greg Ryan said. "We had the most difficult group in 2003, and now the most difficult in 2007. It's hard to believe we drew exactly the same teams."

The United States is FIFA's No. 1-ranked team, while Sweden is No. 4 and North Korea is No. 5.

The other three groups look weak by comparison. In Group A, defending champion Germany got Japan, England and Argentina.

"We're happy, since Group B looks so much more difficult," Germany striker Conny Pohlers said.

Group C has third-ranked Norway with Ghana, Australia and Canada. In Group D, host China was paired with New Zealand, Brazil and Denmark.

Germany will open the World Cup against Argentina on Sept. 10 in Shanghai. The tournament ends there on Sept. 30. The United States opens against North Korea on Sept. 11 in the western city of Chengdu.

The United States has won the World Cup twice -- the inaugural tournament in 1991 and again in '99. But pulling this off will be a feat.

As one of the four seeded teams, the United States was drawn by lot into Group B. However, before the draw North Korea was placed arbitrarily -- and without explanation -- into Group B by FIFA.

That positioning guarantees that China cannot face North Korea before the semifinals. That's a break for China, since North Korea is Asia's top team followed by Japan and China. China will also avoid any possible quarterfinal matches the United States, Germany or Sweden.

"I just didn't understand it. I was confused," Ryan said about North Korea's placing.

Jim Brown, FIFA's competition director, failed to explain before a crowd of 800 -- and a TV audience of millions -- why North Korea was placed where it was.

FIFA secretary general Urs Linsi was asked four times about the move -- from Chinese and foreign reporters -- but gave few answers in a news conference.

"The decision was taken by the (FIFA) organizing committee," Linsi said.

Pressed, he simply replied: "I think if you make a draw, you don't ask the teams. That's the way it is."

Asked if he intended to lodge a protest with FIFA, Ryan shook his head.

"At this point it doesn't matter," he said. "What is done is done. We just have to start preparing for our first game."

United States striker Kristine Lilly, on hand for the draw, tried to be positive.

"Hey, I'm not going to get caught in the politics," Lilly said.

"I'm happy," she added. "Now I know who we're going to play. We've played these teams before. I don't think there's an easy group. I don't think there's a hard group. There's just soccer."

Four years ago, the Americans beat Sweden 3-1, North Korea 3-0 and Nigeria 5-0, but lost to Germany in the semifinals.

Asked if he thought political problems between the United States and North Korea might reach the soccer field, Ryan replied: "It's all going to be football and there won't be anything else."

This women's World Cup promises to be the most competitive. In addition to the four seeded teams, Sweden and Brazil are seen as serious contenders. A large handful of other teams are also in the mix: England, Japan, North Korea, Denmark, Australia and Nigeria.

For the first time in the women's World Cup, prize money will go to all teams. A total of US$6.4 million (euro4.7 million) will be awarded.

The winner will get US$1 million (euro730,000) with US$800,000 (euro590,000) for second, US$650,000 (euro480,000) for third and US$550,000 (euro400,000) for fourth. Quarterfinalists will earn US$350,000 (euro260,000), with US$250,000 (euro184,000) for all other teams.

The tournament will be played at five venues. In addition to Shanghai and Chengdu, matches will be held in Wuhan, Tianjin and Hangzhou.

------------------

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Quite interesting that the AP reporte does not mention Canada as being part of the "large handful" of teams in the mix. On past record and the fact we finished 4th in the last WC, you would have thought that we would be in the top 12 teams here.

Its probably only an oversight. But we will see I guess

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Quite interesting that the AP reporte does not mention Canada as being part of the "large handful" of teams in the mix. On past record and the fact we finished 4th in the last WC, you would have thought that we would be in the top 12 teams here.

Its probably only an oversight. But we will see I guess

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I think that Canada needs to show well in this tournament before people start taking us seriously in the women's game. One good result at the WC does not mean we are for real--even though WE know that we are competitive and should be "in the mix" to win. Placing fourth once, though hardly a fluke, is not enough when in the past our WC record is rather embarrassing.

I think we will show well, and might get to the final four again. It won't be pretty football, but with grit and determination--and Christine Sinclair--we might show well again and earn proper recognition internationally.

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I think that Canada needs to show well in this tournament before people start taking us seriously in the women's game. One good result at the WC does not mean we are for real--even though WE know that we are competitive and should be "in the mix" to win. Placing fourth once, though hardly a fluke, is not enough when in the past our WC record is rather embarrassing.

I think we will show well, and might get to the final four again. It won't be pretty football, but with grit and determination--and Christine Sinclair--we might show well again and earn proper recognition internationally.

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Canada got an excellent draw. The average fifa rankings of teams in Canada's group C is 18.75 compared with Group A 13.75, Group B (group of death) 8.5 and Group D 14.5.

I know they don't seed all teams and there are restrictions about teams from the same confederations being place in the same group (max of two for Europe)and the host (China) getting a top seed within a group but if was based just on rankings the groups would have been:

First seed USA Second seed Germany Third seed Norway Fourth seed Sweden

Japan Brazil Denmark Korea

Canada China England Australia

Ghana Argentina Nigeria New Zealand

I am not unhappy, but Australia could be tough. Anyone know if Canada has played them recently and to what result?

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Canada got an excellent draw. The average fifa rankings of teams in Canada's group C is 18.75 compared with Group A 13.75, Group B (group of death) 8.5 and Group D 14.5.

I know they don't seed all teams and there are restrictions about teams from the same confederations being place in the same group (max of two for Europe)and the host (China) getting a top seed within a group but if was based just on rankings the groups would have been:

First seed USA Second seed Germany Third seed Norway Fourth seed Sweden

Japan Brazil Denmark Korea

Canada China England Australia

Ghana Argentina Nigeria New Zealand

I am not unhappy, but Australia could be tough. Anyone know if Canada has played them recently and to what result?

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sorry about the formatting. it should look like this

USA, Japan, Canada, Ghana

Germany, Brazil, China, Argentina

Norway, Denmark, England, Nigeria

Sweden, Korea, Australia, New Zealand

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sorry about the formatting. it should look like this

USA, Japan, Canada, Ghana

Germany, Brazil, China, Argentina

Norway, Denmark, England, Nigeria

Sweden, Korea, Australia, New Zealand

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quote:Originally posted by terpfan68

I am not unhappy, but Australia could be tough. Anyone know if Canada has played them recently and to what result?

I don't know about recently. However, wiki says that our all time record against Australia is 5 wins, 2 draws, and 6 losses.

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quote:Originally posted by terpfan68

I am not unhappy, but Australia could be tough. Anyone know if Canada has played them recently and to what result?

(article quote)

Australia is ranked 14th while Ghana is 48th.

Canada has faced Australia 13 times in the past 20 years, most recently in a 2-0 Canadian win in a friendly in 2003.

"Australia is a team we know pretty well, we've played them and we saw them play lately at the Peace Cup in October," said Pellerud. "Australia is very similar to us, same type of team, same approach to sports, very similar style, for sure a team that over the last five years has steadily improved. I would definitely rank them about at our level."

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