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2018 FIFA U17 Women's World Cup Uruguay ( Nov13-Dec 1 )


tc-in-bc
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So even at this level in a U17 women’s World Cup semifinal Canada can’t do it against Mexico who I can assure you does not have even half of Canada’s registered girls playing soccer but yet they are off to the finals and Canada is going home incredible. 

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15 minutes ago, 1996 said:

So even at this level in a U17 women’s World Cup semifinal Canada can’t do it against Mexico who I can assure you does not have even half of Canada’s registered girls playing soccer but yet they are off to the finals and Canada is going home incredible. 

It's not surprising given what Mexico and their pro league has put in place. 

Year over year they are just going to keep getting better. 

They have set their sites on beating the US, and I think they will. 

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Disappointing game. We didn’t create anything really, and that penalty was a really poor challenge. Redcard said it well, she needed to just angle her run to get in the way instead of following up behind the attacker and making a rash challenge.

Hopefully they can win the third place game to end on a high note.

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13 hours ago, red card said:

If the aim was to win, it was the wrong starting line up. Both Walk & Akindjou have not had impressive tourneys - especially Walk. Then I thought Wilkinson learned the mistake of putting Huitema on the wing from the first match but I was wrong. Then with losing the defensive rock in Rose, adding two new faces on the backline is very unorthodox. Plus, Vallerand has played better than Portelance.

Antoine's mistake was not accepting she lost the ball. instead she went hard charging after the player rather than cutting off the angle and banking on Karpenko to make a save if needed.

Wilkinson corrected her major mistakes for the second half but given they were behind, they weren't as composed on the ball and Mexico did a decent job of clogging up Canada.

The rest was what we saw of Canada in the tourney - limited offensive skills and iq in midfield to unlock the opposition. Limited set pieces achieved to give a chance for Huitema to put one in.

Even though I liked the 2nd half team better, I think the only real weak link 1st half was Portelance, she was out of her depth. The others were maybe not the best we could offer (Walk, for example), but were fine when on. 

At a certain point, if the pressure is high, you have to go long. But it has to be organised properly, and we were not. The ball goes high to a key player, like Huitema, but she needs players close to play off of. That basic concept was absent.

I am frustrated by the result, but thought we were outmatched fairly, and was impressed by Mexico. They were tighter, worked as a team, there was very little selfishness, they were very fit, and they executed the coaching more precisely. They annulled our height. All power to them. I don't think they can match Spain though, on pure talent, but it will be interesting. I also think we are superior to New Zealand and have to be favourites for the 3rd spot.

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7 hours ago, Unnamed Trialist said:

Even though I liked the 2nd half team better, I think the only real weak link 1st half was Portelance, she was out of her depth. The others were maybe not the best we could offer (Walk, for example), but were fine when on.

I am frustrated by the result, but thought we were outmatched fairly, and was impressed by Mexico. They were tighter, worked as a team, there was very little selfishness, they were very fit, and they executed the coaching more precisely. They annulled our height. All power to them. I don't think they can match Spain though, on pure talent, but it will be interesting. I also think we are superior to New Zealand and have to be favourites for the 3rd spot.

Agree with much of that.  I was going to post something about Portelance during the game but it came across as unkind and I really didn't want to do that against a teenager.  She seemed behind the others in the games I saw, although she seemed to get marginally better in the second half which may have kept me from posting.

I don't think we were outmatched but I definitely give the Mexicans credit for their team defending, it was outstanding.

For Canada, I think we have a pretty solid keeper there, one to keep an eye on.

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1 hour ago, Joe MacCarthy said:

Agree with much of that.  I was going to post something about Portelance during the game but it came across as unkind and I really didn't want to do that against a teenager.  She seemed behind the others in the games I saw, although she seemed to get marginally better in the second half which may have kept me from posting.

I don't think we were outmatched but I definitely give the Mexicans credit for their team defending, it was outstanding.

For Canada, I think we have a pretty solid keeper there, one to keep an eye on.

I was surprised that Vallerand didn't start, I thought she had a great game against Germany....

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Disappointing but especially little details making the difference. 

I do agree that Wilkinson was lacking again, but a third place game is never going to be a definitive test nor should be, unless you are in an Olympics. 

In the final, sorry to say our ref is making terrible mistakes, Spain up 2-1 at the half, but Beaudoin failed to call one of the most obvious penalties I have ever seen. Frustrating to see poor reffing in a FIFA final (btw, the Spanish announcers I am watching in Eurosport also believed we deserved that penalty vs. Mexico, so there you go).

Edited by Unnamed Trialist
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Of course I am happy for Spain, 2-1 with all goals in the first half hour. Claudia Pina was the deserved best player of the tournament, today she was spectacular.

In the final, what looked like it was going to be a blowout, with two early Spanish goals and a deserved penalty missed, shifted fast with the Mexican counter. All of the goals vs. Spain in the tournament were immediately after them scoring, so mental lapses there. Still, the fact that Mexico kept it close and fought it out, evening out the match in the second half in some phases, shows how well they were coached. I think Vergara was the best coach of the tournament, she is very good, because that was hard to do, have  real chance of getting a result vs. Spain until late.

Overall, Spain's youth teams are tearing it up in women's, with European championships and the world u-20 runners up, but I think there is still a way to go for the senior women. There is talent, and strong play, but the overall squad quality is not as high as other leading nations, nor the competitive edge. I watch Spanish league, and while some of the Spaniards are very strong, the quality in a few foreign players does show as well. So for me the jury is still out as to whether youth success will lead to anything substantial at senior level.

 

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Spain was easily the deserving winner. Real final was Spain vs NK where both teams looked like they knew how to play football. Now we'll need to see if all this youth success is seen in the senior team next year.

Canada looked again off on attack. Continued to have lots of difficulty getting decent chances and shots on goal. It appears the system of play is to play like Spain but the Canadian players just haven't received the training to be at Spain's skill level and be able to think quickly to move the ball faster and pass it accurately over longer distances beyond triangles.

That being said, despite losing to Mexico and NZ, I think there is more potential senior team players on Canada's team. Mexico was better coached and both Mexico & NZ played with much vigour and played their systems more cohesively. Other than NZ's keeper (should have been golden glove winner) and one defender, they looked ordinary. Didn't notice any Mexicans of note probably because with the influx of American trained players on the Mexican team, the skill level has eroded but they are much more athletic and fit.

It was good to see Huitema grow her game and finally try to dictate matches on her own. 

Edited by red card
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18 minutes ago, red card said:

Spain was easily the deserving winner. Real final was Spain vs NK where both teams looked like they knew how to play football. Now we'll need to see if all this youth success is seen in the senior team next year.

Canada looked again off on attack. Continued to have lots of difficulty getting decent chances and shots on goal. It appears the system of play is to play like Spain but the Canadian players just haven't received the training to be at Spain's skill level and be able to think quickly to move the ball faster and pass it accurately over longer distances beyond triangles.

That being said, despite losing to Mexico and NZ, I think there is more potential senior team players on Canada's team. Mexico was better coached and both Mexico & NZ played with much vigour and played their systems more cohesively. Other than NZ's keeper (should have been golden glove winner) and one defender, they looked ordinary. Didn't notice any Mexicans of note probably because with the influx of American trained players on the Mexican team, the skill level has eroded but they are much more athletic and fit.

It was good to see Huitema grow her game and finally try to dictate matches on her own. 

I know Huitema is considered our best player, but comparing her with Eva Navarro of Spain, there is an abysmal difference.  If we could get 11 players that play like Navarro, we would be laughing. 

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Huge congratulations to New Zealand for their first ever medal at any FIFA tournament.  Their goal going in was "When we get over to the World Cup we want to win at least one game."

It was their second win over Canada in a month:
http://www.nzfootball.co.nz/newsarticle/70207?newsfeedId=568889&newsfeedPageNum=3

They had four players who played for their U20 team including the goalkeeper who has been with the full senior team.  

"[Coach] Leon Birnie said the selection of this squad has been a long time in the making. It has been 15 months to get to the final 21 players. Birnie and his support staff have done a lot of talent identification in that time through some robust processes."

It's a bit unsurprising both made the medal round as Canada and New Zealand have distinct advantages. Whereas in most countries the players play club and are together rarely, the Canadians train together in Excel centers year-round whereas the Ferns being from a small island can train together more frequently as well. It makes a big difference in shaping a team. If the Germans or other UEFA countries did what we do they'd bury us. It is incredibly impressive that Spain can do that when they all play on different club teams.

3-0 Colombia
2-0 South Korea
0-5 Spain
1-0 Germany
0-1 Mexico
1-2 New Zealand

Tough outcome but still a success and better than the Americans and a hundred or so other countries as well.  We were on track through the first four matches but then couldn't find the finish other than another piece of Kazandjian magic.

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23 minutes ago, Vic said:

Huge congratulations to New Zealand for their first ever medal at any FIFA tournament.  Their goal going in was "When we get over to the World Cup we want to win at least one game."

It was their second win over Canada in a month:
http://www.nzfootball.co.nz/newsarticle/70207?newsfeedId=568889&newsfeedPageNum=3

They had four players who played for their U20 team including the goalkeeper who has been with the full senior team.  

"[Coach] Leon Birnie said the selection of this squad has been a long time in the making. It has been 15 months to get to the final 21 players. Birnie and his support staff have done a lot of talent identification in that time through some robust processes."

It's a bit unsurprising both made the medal round as Canada and New Zealand have distinct advantages. Whereas in most countries the players play club and are together rarely, the Canadians train together in Excel centers year-round whereas the Ferns being from a small island can train together more frequently as well. It makes a big difference in shaping a team. If the Germans or other UEFA countries did what we do they'd bury us. It is incredibly impressive that Spain can do that when they all play on different club teams.

3-0 Colombia
2-0 South Korea
0-5 Spain
1-0 Germany
0-1 Mexico
1-2 New Zealand

Tough outcome but still a success and better than the Americans and a hundred or so other countries as well.  We were on track through the first four matches but then couldn't find the finish other than another piece of Kazandjian magic.

Just to add, the Spaniards play on good clubs but almost all are either on lower level teams for them, B teams, or in a team in 2nd or 3rd division. But that is not a problem as they play enough together, there is a core, and leadership, and Spain tries to coach all its teams, men and women, with similar values. They all understand that. 

As for Kazandjian, I forget if I was waching the English or Spanish feed, but after the final they were talking about players and thought she was one of those who best handled the ball in the tournament. I would not be surprised to see interest for her from a bigger club. 

A question, for @Vic and others here. What do you do at this age when you have a good tournament? Look for a NCAA team and a scholarship and go to school in the US? Or pursue a professional career, seeking chances with a pro side in the US or Europe? Even knowing that the potential income will be fairly modest, hardly anything to make a definitive difference in a person's life. I am asking because you'd imagine there are NCAA scholarship offers out there waiting, and some hard choices to be made.

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49 minutes ago, Unnamed Trialist said:

 What do you do at this age when you have a good tournament? Look for a NCAA team and a scholarship and go to school in the US? Or pursue a professional career, seeking chances with a pro side in the US or Europe? Even knowing that the potential income will be fairly modest, hardly anything to make a definitive difference in a person's life. I am asking because you'd imagine there are NCAA scholarship offers out there waiting, and some hard choices to be made.

I think it's NCAA. Players want to make sure that they have a career and I'm sure some of the players have made their decisions on their future. Jordyn Huitema is the only Canadian player on that team who could try to go pro once she turns 18 next May.

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Women's soccer in Canada and the US is quite different from most places in the world and enormously different from men's. It takes a hefty amount of investment to play for the national team. There are massive team fees at the youth level, extra training fees, often significant travel costs, etc. It's pay to play and the higher you go the more it costs.

Another comparative difference is  most girls who play the game are well-balanced and do well academically. You usually have a very high geek to freak ratio.

Very few young girls go pro right out of high school. Lindsay Horan broke the mold a few years ago when as the number one high school rated player she chose PSG over UNC. Hasn't hurt her any either, she's played in almost all the past dozen US women's games.

With highly talented young girls in Europe like Ada Hegerberg making huge sums at young ages the dynamic shifts, but as you mentioned it's really only economically a factor for the real stars.

The decision of what to do is influenced by a couple of factors. Mostly where the game in your life is. Most overachieving balanced young girls want to be a doctor or lawyer and also the best player in the world. Their decision is balanced as well against the odds of success in the game, so they hedge their bets and take the discounted education. It works well for those at the national level with support but for the rest it's usually the end of the line because of the lack of domestic opportunities to continue to develop.

For those with lofty ambitions outside the game who aren't all-in it's a wise choice. The playing career for women is shorter than men and with no opportunities in sight it's a good time to cash the cheque and try to recoup the tens of thousands of dollars of investment. It would be nice to see changes to the system to allow them do that here instead of abroad though.

Where going to university does not fit - the aforementioned "freaks".  Wrong connotation though as the only thing freakish about them is they love the game more than academics. They reflect more the pattern of what you see on the men's side. They usually get wined and dined and sold into bland programs down south and they fade into the oblivion of soft coaching, weak programs and competition. In Europe they would be gobbled up into strong club programs in a heartbeat and continue to develop at an accelerated rate.

One day, perhaps in 2100 after every other single country in the world has done it, we'll get off our addiction to our national teams and actually get down to the hard work of enhancing options to keep women in the game in a non-trivial way past the teenage years. Until then we'll be known as that G7 country who at every opportunity preach advancing gender equality and women's empowerment but can't figure a way out to do what everyone else does.

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My two take aways from the tournament:

German fans are brutal, they booed Rose when she limped off the field. She was obviously hurt and we played short a player for the last few minutes of the game

The substitution rule is archaic and not designed for u-17. At the very least they should be doing something like Canadian Universities that allow a certain number of subs each half and someone subbed in the first half can come back in the 2nd. This would allow more players to get more experience and maybe add a little more speed into the game.  

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19 hours ago, Unnamed Trialist said:

A question, for @Vic and others here. What do you do at this age when you have a good tournament? Look for a NCAA team and a scholarship and go to school in the US? Or pursue a professional career, seeking chances with a pro side in the US or Europe? Even knowing that the potential income will be fairly modest, hardly anything to make a definitive difference in a person's life. I am asking because you'd imagine there are NCAA scholarship offers out there waiting, and some hard choices to be made.

Most if not all of these girls who have NCAA in mind have been committed to their particular school since grade 9.  I know, for instance, that some Ontario EXCEL girls who would be contemporaries of this group just had their "signing party" for formally accepting their scholarship.

I suppose you could always get an upgrade at this time if NCAA scouts poach.  Don't know if they do that or if there's an honour system in place.  But if the players have made it to the national team they've had their academic choice lined up for a long time now.

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1 hour ago, BreadBoy said:

My two take aways from the tournament:

German fans are brutal, they booed Rose when she limped off the field. She was obviously hurt and we played short a player for the last few minutes of the game

Their coach was also very cynical about that injury, her face was disappointing. Mind you, maybe we should have been closing the game out with a bit of gamesmanship. 

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1 hour ago, paul-collins said:

Most if not all of these girls who have NCAA in mind have been committed to their particular school since grade 9.  I know, for instance, that some Ontario EXCEL girls who would be contemporaries of this group just had their "signing party" for formally accepting their scholarship.

I suppose you could always get an upgrade at this time if NCAA scouts poach.  Don't know if they do that or if there's an honour system in place.  But if the players have made it to the national team they've had their academic choice lined up for a long time now.

Really, i thought that NCAA wasn't allowed having any real contact with kids until after grade 10? The rules seem to bet stricter every year.

Canadian universities on the other hand are a lot more relaxed about contact (emails etc) between coaches and kids but are also very strict about gifts and school visits. 

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Yep, I think it happens much later. Consider:

https://www.torontofc.ca/post/2018/11/27/two-academy-players-sign-national-letters-intent

or 

These players are 2001s (grade 12s). I don't think they can contact you until much later in your high school career (maybe grade 11?).

As to whether the U17s are looking to show themselves for NCAA or not, I would say that 90% of them have their eyes on NCAA. I would also suspect that nearly all of them would get scholarships solely based on the fact they are on the U17 national team.

Edited by Saviola7
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