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2011 World Cup Prep


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Belgium changed 7 players from their side that lost 1-2 to the French on Wednesday. And Belgium isn't a country with a lot of depth in their program. I'm surprised Amnesty International let them go on the field like that.

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The Germans are definitely arriving at the Esplenade lunchtime Tuesday, so we're probably at the Schewizerhof.

And the open German training session is 6:00pm Tuesday at Olympic Park. Not sure if it's the main field or one of the perimeter ones.

Well, the Schweizerhof refused to confirm or deny the Canadian team is staying there. I give up! My only hope is one of the players to email me their whereabouts.

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Ref, if FIFA say's we are at the Schweizerhof, I would imagine we are.

The open and free German training session tomorrow is now reported at 5:00pm.

Here you go Alyssa, although it's taken out front of the Schweizerhof.


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Nice pic. Thanks, Vic.

In other news: Norway beat USA today.

GOALS: Lloyd 60', Haavi 65', Myjkaland 67', Pedersen 82'

Recently USA barely won against Mexico 1:0 with a late goal by Cheney.

Are the mighty Americans fading? Could we see a first round exit?

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Nice pic. Thanks, Vic.

In other news: Norway beat USA today.

GOALS: Lloyd 60', Haavi 65', Myjkaland 67', Pedersen 82'

Recently USA barely won against Mexico 1:0 with a late goal by Cheney.

Are the mighty Americans fading? Could we see a first round exit?

Strange things are happening. I have a feeling we'll see many surprises. I wonder if the U.S. not having my favorite Natasha Kai is hurting them.

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Again, Eli Landsem is a very talented lady. And Norway played without Thorsnes and Woods who are both supremely talented players.

Closed door friendlies don't mean much and the U.S. has more than enough talent to win the cup if they hit their stride. That said you wonder if the U.S. women have any confidence left in Sundhage. She was the perfect foil and saved the team like a goddess after Greg Ryan's mess, but the results point to her time coming and going and gone. And she's in the tough situation of having to win the Cup to keep her job. I hope for everyone's sake she's two steps ahead of everyone and can unleash the hounds next week.

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Women's World Cup roundup...

Fast FAQ's

- we were sixth of 16 to arrive in Germany behind Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, Australia, South Korea and Mexico

- more than half the teams have arrived

- Swedes are in a absolutely ideal spot in the Düsseldorf countryside (http://www.sportschule-hennef.de) - remote, beautiful training grounds, pool, spa, etc

- Norway were prepping for the USA today Kaprun in the Austrian Alps and are getting the Mancini Park treatment and loving it, now they are returning home for four days with friends, family and partners before the tournament

- the Germans were given a similar four days off after their Norway match to disappear and reflect

- the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) is 250 people, 4000 will be digitally connected

- 25,000 ID cards have been distributed including 6200 service employees and 5500 security

- there are 2500 media reps from around the world, 500 print and 200 photographers from Germany alone

- 12.5 million meters of copper cable, 624 000 m glass fiber, six dedicated lines in the Berlin Olympic Stadium

- 2,800 meters of copper cable, 770 meters of fiber optic cable, five dedicated lines and 73 switchboxes in the communications center of FIFA command headquarters in Frankfurt

- Stuttgart like many cities are not offering public square big screen viewing, because no one knows quite how many people are interested in the Women's World Cup

- the 32-member delegation of Equatorial Guinea was located in Münster. But because the weight room and swimming pool were missing, coach Marcelo Frigerro was assisted by the LOC to relocate the team to the Sport Hotel Bitburg

- many teams are like the German team also have no fixed location, but change the venue and the hotel to the city and opponent

- there are three remaining warmup matches with England pushing the envelope playing North Korea tomorrow and Australia Thursday. The last game is Sweden/Japan on Thursday as well

- The retailer REWE and the national railway Deutsche Bahn today began an 80-million-euro instant-win lottery for the Cup over four weeks to the end on July 16 featuring eCoupons, free fares, month-passes, and World Cup packages.

Fatmire Bajmaraj


Fatmire Bajmaraj (5'6" and 120lbs) was asked in an interview about Blatter's comments on women's uniforms like beach volleyball players and had a good reply:

"The embroidery on the inside of the collar of our uniforms is 'Flourish in this blessing's glory.' This is the important part of the uniform."


'We are far from sold out, but still very happy,' said the head of the World Cup offices in Bochum, Thorsten Lummer. For the four games of the preliminary round. According to his information so far about 30,000 tickets were sold - more than at the municipal stadium has seats.

Currently most in demand is the game of Canada-France (30th June) with 10,000 tickets sold. For the Japan-New Zealand game the other hand, only 7,000 tickets had been sold. Similarly, look at the games in Australia, Equatorial Guinea (July 3) and North Korea, Colombia (July 6) from.

For the kick-off event at St. Mary's Church, the 80s pop idol Kim Wilde ("Kids in America") will perform. And people can listen to the 40 women's soccer women's choral singign at numerous events and as a guest on Radio Bochum.

The local program relies not only on fun and games, but also academic questions about football. Apublic lecture series at the Ruhr-University deals with engineering solutions for modern sports arenas. There is also a critical discussion of the 'collection of football through politics, media, culture and economy' on June 29.


Birgit Prinz

Birgit Prinz does not want the media star to be. "I could occur in 1000 television shows and earn as much money as I could, but I've noticed more and more that I do not want it."

Even the offer of the Italian football club AC Perugia [men's team] in 2003 was refused. She was the first woman offered a spot on a male pro team have been feared but it was a marketing stunt. Then there was the offer of the Spanish club Real Madrid, who wanted to build a women's team around her, which she declined as well. In 2002 Hege Riise convinced Prinz to join the Carolina Courage in WUSA where she was second in the league in points and took them to the final where she was MVP scoring and setting up another to see Carolina win the Founders Cup (in 94 degree weather, after a major headbutt early in the game and twisting her ankle just after the second half kicked off).


Germany: Seven courses for gold

Preparation started April 11 and between then and the last day of prepration June 16th were 78 planned training sessions with meticulously laid-out content and structure. Each course was self-containing but they were progressive and built on each other. They began with a technology course in Bitburg, then went to into athletic training (yoga, boxing, basketball, rowing, taekwondo) before moving to tactics in Kaierau, back to Bitburg for defense, then to Herzogenaurach for attackign and playmaking. The fifth course was practicing tournament rhythm with games against Italy and Holland. The sixth course was standards of play and the seventh was refinements.

Silvia Neid provided a great comment:

"The crucial question is how the players present themselves particularly against the background that in football nothing is predictable, since playing such factors as daily form of injuries, lock, or simply the role of luck. These are often only millimeters decisions, whether the ball to the posts or jump into the goal. If the team loses, but everything has been proven, then one can accept that too, that you have not won the title and another team was simply better, then we will be fair to our opponents and say "Congratulations."


Bianca Schmidt on the German 4-day pre-tournament break

DFB.de: The preparation was very long. Do you feel ready for the big tournament?

Bianca Smith: Two or three weeks I was a little tired, but that's normal in a preparation. After the last recovery stage I will be sure ready for the challenges ahead.

How important are these breaks between training camps?

Very important, I think. One can just relax, think about other things. That feels good, so are the breaks very well chosen. You look so happy after that time and again, when you again see the other players.


Bombing in Berlin

The Federal Criminal Police (BKA) has apparently evidence of a nuclear attack during the opening match of the FIFA Women's World Cup 2011 in Germany at the beginning of 26th June in Berlin. According to a report of "Spiegel online" to show a number of confidential documents to the police that the women's World Cup of Islamist fanatics "in a much greater extent" as a symbol of the "typical decadent lifestyle" of the West could be seen more than a men's World Cup.

The BKA also looked into evidence of a plan for a nuclear bomb during the opening match between Germany and Canada in Berlin's Olympic Stadium.

Assassination video a "hoax"?

An "Internet research" has shown, however, that the cause of the alarm messages "likely" was one circulating net-length film in which an assassination attempt on the 26th of June at 19.00 clock in Berlin, which a detective chief commissioner concluded that the content of the videos was not hazardous calling it an internet hoax.


The enigma of age on the German team

This is the second-oldest German squad ever, but contains not just the elder stateswomen like Prinz (33) and Grings (32) but a lot of youth in Kulig (21), Peter (23), Popp (20) and Okoyino da Mbabi (22) all who are world class and will see major league time on the field. Prinz say's no striker will play through 90 minutes, we are too strong."


Wednesday's Bild insert

Sport Bild has a June 22 extensive special edition for the FIFA Women's World Cup 2011. "With this special, we are ringing in the World Cup countdown and one of our readers vote on the sports highlight of the summer. With Germany's biggest sports magazines, football fans are very close to the playing field," said Matthias Brügelmann, editor SPORT BILD. In the issue on 22 June 2011 provides a 48-page supplement withfacts and background for fans and friends of the women's game. In portraits and photo reports are the players of the German World Cup team analyzed in detail and highlights their individual strengths. The other teams will be presented in detail as well as the various venues and stadiums in Germany. An overview of the TV programming during the World Cup also ensures that viewers do not miss the game. As a special bonus, is a poster of the German women's national team.


DFB to the rescue

Before the opening match between Germany and Canada (18.00 clock) attract more than 1,000 children and young people in Berlin's Olympic Stadium. The students were selected to represent the 16 participating countries. The organizing group Uniplan tried to stiff the elementary school on the price of the t-shirts but the CDF intervened.


Cuellar the Old Master

Australia and Mexico are staying in the same hotel and this week played a regional all-star team in Göttingen, the AMtildas winning 6-1 and El Tri 4-0 in front of about 3,000 fans a game. Cuellar invited the teams to Mexico:

Cuellar marveled at all the VIPs in the crowd, "We feel very comfortable and welcome the strong commitment of the organizers and our opponent on the field. I invite these teams to take a return visit. You will learn about Mexico and finish some games. Holger Jortzik said "we now just have to find sponsors to fund it. The girls deserve it."


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Canada Goes Shopping


Diana Matheson, Robyn Gayle and Karina LeBlanc on a day off today in Berlin.

She's the Man

It's been attributed to injury and discipline, but there's a number of people who believe the reason Equatorial Guinea has left the Simpore "sisters" at home for the World Cup is the new FIFA gender test. Both played in the African tournament which qualified the country for the World Cup.


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- Stuttgart like many cities are not offering public square big screen viewing, because no one knows quite how many people are interested in the Women's World Cup

Tell me about it. I'm having a hard enough time convincing the local beer garden here to put up a viewing screen for the first match!

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Alex Popp's strength and power symbol


When it comes to soccer, what will it take for us to cheer the home team?

How is it we manage to muster curiosity, even passion, when other countries are playing a sport that we barely pay attention to the rest of the time? And how is it that we are virtually alone in our very temporary and fleeting love affair with football, when the rest of the world has a year-round obsession with it?

In South Korea, I’ve seen simple cafeteria-style restaurants full to bursting to watch English Premiership games or international friendly matches. When South Korea faced Iraq in the semi-finals of the 2007 Asian Cup, the whole country screamed together, and the games were on at 1 a.m. local time. On an overnight train in Vietnam, I met Irish travellers who were paying through the nose to receive international text updates about a mid-season Liverpool game with no long-term consequences. It was all they talked about.

Around the world, football is more than a sport that gives us an excuse to drink beer at 11 a.m. every couple of summers: It’s a common ground, a common language. You don’t need to travel to understand its global reach, either. You need only to look around your neighbourhood during a major tournament.

Except, I think it’s safe to guess, during the next major international soccer tournament: the 2011 Women’s World Cup, which begins June 26 in Germany (broadcast on CBC). Canada is playing in – even favoured in – this tournament, which puts Canadians in an uneasy moral position.

When Canada plays, we football fans can’t adopt our normal football attitude and cheer for the nations of our ancestors or our neighbours. New Canadians are put to the test, too, asked to support their country of origin or their country of residence. Our multiculturalism will be challenged, and I feel our truer Canadian colours will come out, and we’ll watch golf instead.


The elusive popularity of women's football


"People still don't like to see women playing a men's game," Schaaf said. They've observed that women are insulted and are frequently on the receiving end of sexual discrimination.

This applies only to certain areas of the stadium - where the hardcore fans are, bawling songs and swinging big flags.

Two female football experts are the reporters Martina Knief and Sabine Töpperwien. They are the only women in Germany who comment on the men's soccer league games on the radio. They're tired of being asked if it was a long struggle to the microphone in the male-dominated circle of their colleagues. Martina Knief says she works a match "Martina Knief-style" and doesn't imitate any male or female colleagues.

Ninety-two percent of the workforce in the German sports editorial sector are male, Schaaf said. And much reporting on the sport is decided according to male standards of how to report on sporting events. Therefore, according to Schaaf, it is particularly important for women's football that more women are represented in the sports media.

"They simply have a different perspective on the game," she said. "Men always try to draw comparisons to men's football, even in their commentary, whereas female commentators really concentrate on the game."


The favourites:


- A heady blend of youth and experience

- anchored by Nadine Angerer, a rock of a goalkeeper who did not concede a goal during Germany’s march to the 2007 World Cup title.

- led by the three-time FIFA World Player of the Year, prolific striker Birgit Prinz


- a wealth of attacking talent, from powerful striker Abby Wambach to rising stars Alex Morgan and Amy Rodriguez

- never finished outside the top three at any World Cup


- the game’s brightest star in Marta

- dynamo Cristiane

- failed to collect a trophy in a combined nine attempts at the World Cup finals and the Olympics

- the game's most colourful and creative side

The Contenders:


- balance and experience

- cruised through qualification, winning seven of eight matches

- patience and clever ball movement


- quick and technical attack

- led by playmaker Homare Sawa, now in her fifth World Cup

- impressive front line that includes dynamic Duisburg striker Kozue Ando and teenage phenom Mana Iwabuch


- the old guard is gone and a new generation, led by midfield captain Caroline Seger

- A 17-0 demolition of Azerbaijan in qualifying is a testament to the hunger and firepower


- completing qualification without a loss

- Kelly Smith, with nearly a hundred caps to her name, still looks sprightly

- widely considered a team on the rise

The Sleepers:


- thrilled in qualifying, scoring a total of 53 goals and conceding just two

- stout defence supports a creative attack

- primed to make a splash

North Korea

- Legendary discipline, a rich football heritage and the leadership of coach Kim Kwang Min

- Consistency is this team’s calling card

- midfielders Jo Yun-Mi and Kim Kyong Hwa will help make this steady if unspectacular squad a tough out


- many are high on Canada after a qualifying phase saw them allow no goals in five matches

- Goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc and the defence has already proven itself

- it is the offence, led by forward Christine Sinclair, that needs to produce for Canada to make a run at the title

The Enigma:


- a boom-or-bust bunch

- After a breakthrough performance at the 2007 tournament and winning its first Asian Cup in 2010, Australia ’s ceiling is high

The Rest:


- Nigeria is a regional football factory, having won six of seven total African Women’s Championships

- Veteran goal-getters Stella Mbachu and Perpetua Nkwocha give Nigeria a fighting chance

New Zealand

- breezing through qualifying in a weak Oceana region

- seems happy just to have qualified


- used a rousing triumph over archrivals USA to directly qualify

- a lack of support for veteran striker Maribel Dominguez’s waning skills could doom

Equatorial Guinea

- main advantage is freedom from the burden of expectations

- lacks the attacking prowess to pose a credible threat


- first appearance at a Women’s World Cup

- the Cafeteras, led by 17-year-old midfielder Yorely Rincon, have nowhere to go but up

= an up-and-coming power in South America, but success on the world stage will probably have to wait


2011 canWNT FLICKR Photostream

LINK: http://www.flickr.com/photos/canadasoccer/sets/72157625884362654/detail/?page=6

Lots of great photos here like:


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Berlin Stadium:


Fast FAQ: Equatorial Guinea has just three players from Equatorial Guinea.


Blind date with women's soccer

Sports news in the real sense no longer take place. The majority, about two-thirds of the current football coverage is about sports injuries, bad behavior and insulting players or of who said what when and how the conflict between Ballack and Loew. The fact that everything seems to be more important than to talk about the World Cup for women. The only clues to the upcoming world championship are funny, sometimes embarrassing and stupid advertising contributions to women's football, often just scrape past the sexism. For as much crap women should no longer have to pay license fees.


Shoe size 37: Women's football in Egypt, Palestine, Turkey and Berlin


An exhibition of photographs by Claudia Wiens about soccer-playing girls and women

The award-winning photo journalist Claudia Wiens in Egypt, Palestine, Turkey, and in Berlin-Kreuzberg watching football playing women and girls and portraits with the camera.

The exhibition counters the stereotypes of women from Islamic countries and wants to make girls and young women from around the world courage to approach a sport which is regarded as male domain, in Berlin as well as in Cairo. For the football team sport it is able to overcome cultural, social and religious barriers, to develop common ground and thereby to develop integrative and emancipatory effects.

Exhibition: Kreuzberg Museum of Urban Development and Social History

Adalbert Strasse 95A

10999 Berlin-Kreuzberg


Kick it like Barbie


Bend it like Barbie the doll is modeled after national player Birgit Prin

Football is all very well as a game for rough girls, but is hardly suitable for delicate boys.

~Oscar Wilde


DFB Women's Manager Doris Fitschen: "Playboy? If a player wants, she can do it"


Their players are likeable, confident and attractive, says manager DFB Fitschen. An interview about seven advertising shoots in one day and the football-Barbie.

Doris Fitschen: Advertising is an engine of the economy. We are confronted daily with many advertising messages. The theme plays in our lives is a very important role.

ZEIT ONLINE: You once said, they want to brand the emotion of women's soccer. What does that mean?

Fitschen: So far, we know the players just as football players. But behind it are interesting personalities. We want to point this out in commercials and photo shoots.

ZEIT ONLINE: How do you see the players then?

Fitschen: Friendly, modern, confident, attractive - just as they are.

ZEIT ONLINE: What do you emphasize?

Fitschen: Closeness. We want to be stars to touch, because the World Cup will be primarily a family event. There will be lots of children. They want close to the stars.

ZEIT ONLINE: So the core target group is different from men in the area?

Fitschen: young girls are important to us, we want to get them all playing football. Then the corresponding family, so the parents and siblings. Overall, our audience is much younger. In general, however: Every spectator is welcome!

ZEIT ONLINE: Every campaign needs faces. Who is that for you?

Fitschen: In the women's national team, we have many players with interesting personalities. We want to make everyone known. Birgit Prinz is currently the best known, but others you are now not far behind. First, there is always Lira Bajramaj. Or Alexandra Popp, who was with the U-20 World Cup, the shooting star.

ZEIT ONLINE: Women will appear very soon in Playboy. What do you recommend to their players?

Fitschen: If a player wants, she can do that, that's a very personal decision. We put no obstacles in their path. If a player wants to talk to us about, we will get together of course with her.

ZEIT ONLINE: How would the team react?

Fitschen: That depends. We have different types in the team. I'm sure some would find the good, others not so good.

ZEIT ONLINE: You have tried in recent months by advertising partners. How much persuasion did it take?

Fitschen: Our sport has taken in recent years, a very positive development, the attention has been steadily increasing, and therefore the attractiveness to businesses. Many still have the 2006 World Cup in mind, this huge emotional event. The sponsors hope that the Women's World Cup evokes similar emotions. The women's team now has five premium partner and a main partner - all large German companies. This too is a sign.


"Big Mama" goes on air

In the U.S., everything is a bit bigger - including the networt vehicles. "Big Mama" is the name of the giant truck from the U.S. television network ESPN, fully equipped about 38 tons. It moved into position last Saturday on the broadcast compound of the Olympic Stadium in Berlin. Only in the night from Friday to Saturday, the marvel of engineering had been completed. The maiden voyage takes it straight to the venue of the World Cup opening match between Germany and Canada. "Big Mama" is much more than TV signals into space. In addition to a complete command center and a glass studio space is a makeup room in the vehicle.


Growing interest in women's soccer

The Hamburg-based magazine has commissioned a poll yesterday in order to find out the interest of the Germans at the beginning of the World Cup on Sunday. One result: 65 percent of respondents want to watch World Cup matches on television.

The enthusiasm is even greater among men than among women: 69 percent of men said they wanted to see the games, for women it was 56 percent.

Differences were also evident in the age groups. Most likely (68 percent) to follow were elders aged 60 years. In the 45 - to 59-year-olds it was 63 percent before. In the 30 - to 44-year-olds it is 59 percent. The smallest is the football fever in the group of 18 - to 29-year-olds: But again, 56 percent want to watch.


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The average age of the North Korea team is ridiculously 20. They can field this lineup:

GK: 16

DF: 17, 19, 19

MF: 16, 17, 18, 20

FW: 18, 19, 20

North Korea has also created a scandal by by turning down the Dresden Mayor's reception to a dinner with their opening date the USA team. They also turned down official appointments the week before in Leipzig.

And we need more Karla Kick, who like any self-respecting feline, has a sense of adventure, and was recently seen jumping off a ten-foot high wall in Dresden – no doubt testing the theories about cats always land on their paws and have nine lives.


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Final two friendlies yesterday:

Australia 2-0 England

Sweden 1-1 Japan

Scottish-born Australia coach coach Tom Sermanni:

We have a lot of pace and mobility in the squad. We have a lot of good footballers and we have a lot of young players that haven’t reached that age of fear.

Although these players are still young, we have had a couple of campaigns in Asia which has really toughened them up. The pace of the team and the pace they that can play at is a positive for us.

[On his young roster] If things go well there is no problem, but if not then that is when the unknown arises in terms of which players stand up and which are affected.

In women’s sport, generally players get opportunities at a younger age than male players. There is not that hierarchical structure as in fully professional sport, so the opportunities are there and the experience factor is less relevant.

The women’s game has grown and developed significantly having become quicker, technically better and teams are more tactically mature. Also the gap between the various nations is closing quickly, much like men’s football.

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An interview with Blatter got this response on the amount of prize money in women's football (i.e. the tournament):

"Personally I am somewhat surprised that it isn't more. I'll be speaking to our Finance Committee about this. It does look positive."

Blatter said the forecast tomorrow is playing ball and I can only find foreign weather forecasts for Berlin that read overcast with a small chance of showers tomorrow. Anyone know where the best forecast would come from?


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Looks like a good day for football.

Today's last segment of Five Facts of the day contains the lead on Carolina Morace and Silvia Neid:

"The number of times the head coaches of the teams contesting today’s Opening Match, Carolina Morace of Canada and Germany’s Silvia Neid, faced each other at the finals as players. The closest they came was back in 1991, when an Italy side containing Morace lost 2-0 to Germany, for whom Neid was an unused substitute."



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