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Olympic Qualifying Tournament 2020: Jan 28 - Feb 9


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We've been hearing for a long time about how the Americans will be bitten by their style of play being eclipsed by the European one.  And yet, there they are at number one in the world, still the favourite for winning each World Cup.  The European style may be more pleasing to watch for soccer purists, but I don't think that it has yet been proven that it is the way to win women's soccer games.  It would be interesting to figure out why the women's game is different from the men's game that way.

That said, I'm all for our players getting on to teams where they aren't second class citizens.  The NWSL seems fine for our established players, but doesn't seem to be as good for our developing players.  Whether the European style is better or not, European clubs seem to be the better place to get skills and experience.

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Thanks! That was a nerve-racking game. We were pretty bad. Still not sure if Huitema was onside. Happy to have been in the stadium. Huge relief though. Onward!

The best thing our women can do is get the hell out of the NWSL and over to Europe.  Huitema is obviously better for it and both Janine Beckie and Adriana Leon are thriving.  Beckie could barely get a

And a nice appearance by Olympique_de_Marseille at the very end of the Honduran online broadcast! Nice 'stash! Thanks for being there, supporting our ladies.

6 hours ago, rkomar said:

And yet, there they are at number one in the world, still the favourite for winning each World Cup.

They are, yes, but there sure was a lot of help from the referees this time.  They needed two penalties vs the Netherlands, and an offside call vs England to get to the final.  Look to the movie "Bend it Like Becham" for the answer as to why the US is still #1, it takes more than one generation to cultivate a cadre of players capable of catching up to to the US.  I look more at the individuals in Europe, the likes of Lucy Bronze, to demonstrate what is coming.  The US has athletes, the Europeans have footballers.  When a team has enough time and the critical mass of players to develop 11 of them my money says the US is out.  Unfortunately that also means Canada is done, too.  We have nothing like either the US or European development systems.

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I think you're not appreciating the technical skill of the Americans' top team.  Just because they are more athletic doesn't mean they aren't as skilled.  That's what's keeping them on top of the world.  It's true that the levels below them (including NWSL) lean towards athleticism over skill, but the cream of the crop has both.

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We'll have to disagree because I have been thoroughly unimpressed with the skill the USWNT displays.  I watched enough Portland Thorns to realize Tobin Heath is a one trick pony.  I really don't appreciate whatever skill they display, from my point of view they're just the physical specimens you find when that many players are in your talent pool.  I firmly believe that once the Europeans begin to develop the numbers of female players, they too will find their physical stand-outs and then they will apply the superior coaching and training to dismantle the USA.  Or at least that's what I hope 🙂

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23 hours ago, Patrick said:

The best thing our women can do is get the hell out of the NWSL and over to Europe.  Huitema is obviously better for it and both Janine Beckie and Adriana Leon are thriving.  Beckie could barely get a start in Houston or Sky Blue but she's tearing it up at Manchester City playing as an aggressively offensive minded defender.  She's not scoring but that's not her job, she's just dominating her side and serving ball after ball in to the opposing teams box.  I also love the fact I can watch her and Leon on demand for free on the FA Player, as opposed to the weekly changes in "broadcaster" for the NWSL.

The NWSL is a USWNT league that promotes their style of direct, physical play with a real lack of the technical side you see in the European game.   Our women aren't prioritized there despite the CSA subsidizing their play.  If theEuropean clubs want our NT players I'm all for it.

I thought Canada played better vs Jamaica than SKN. The passing was crisper & faster, they were more connected, more varied attack and better off the ball movement. 

Beckie wasn't just one note player like we saw last year. Beckie & Huitema had a better connection than Sinclair has had with Huitema or Leon. With Riviere now a starting back, Lawrence should be playing more midfield. She switches play better and delivers more incisive passes than Fleming. Our Euro based players have been the best so far in this tourney - could be fitness but all are showing to be more skillful.

Fleming seems to play well in college but in the past year with the national team, the ball continues to bypass her, she is easily pushed off the ball and her teammates regularly bypass her. I heard she passed on the NWSL draft to finish her degree. So, I don't see her improving in the short run.

So in matches where Chapman isn't a liability against a world class winger, time to start Lawrence in midfield. And against lower ranked teams, time to start Huitema. Against higher ranked teams, time to sub off Sinclair earlier for Huitema or Leon. 

For the American women, they're still athletically dominating which tends to get neutralized in the men's game as they age,. The women's game is still skewed u25. Americans are also mentally dominating which isn't going to change until women and women's football are more valued as they grow up in other societies. And technically, European women are getting better than the Americans but the gap isn't significant enough as it in the men's game.  Women in other regions are still a generation behind technically from the Americans.

 

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For some reason, Jamaica sat back and didn't really press the Canadian players during the game.  That is always going to make our players look good, because they have plenty of time to make their plays.  So, I don't think you should rank Canadian players based on how good some of them looked in that game.  It wasn't a good test.

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So I thought the woman’s national soccer team is bigger in popularity than the woman’s national basket ball team ? But the woman’s national soccer teams Olympic qualifying is on and let’s be honest a still obscure app, whereas the woman’s Olympic basketball qualifying tournament will be on a mainstream regular tv station the CBC . Again I have to state that putting so much soccer on these apps is not a good thing, out of site out of mind . Only the die hards are watching this woman’s Olympic soccer qualifying tournament let’s be realistic , however, everyone one will be able to watch the woman’s basketball team try to qualify.

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18 hours ago, SoccMan said:

So I thought the woman’s national soccer team is bigger in popularity than the woman’s national basket ball team ? But the woman’s national soccer teams Olympic qualifying is on and let’s be honest a still obscure app, whereas the woman’s Olympic basketball qualifying tournament will be on a mainstream regular tv station the CBC . Again I have to state that putting so much soccer on these apps is not a good thing, out of site out of mind . Only the die hards are watching this woman’s Olympic soccer qualifying tournament let’s be realistic , however, everyone one will be able to watch the woman’s basketball team try to qualify.

The Canada football matches are on tv. Just on Rogers but now on other cable line ups. 

I would say the Olympic football matches are being played at times that CBC would never show on tv (news and hockey take precedence). Plus, expected entertainment value is below average as other than maybe for 1.5 matches, these aren't expected to be competitive and are played before smallish crowds. No casual viewer would be watching beyond 15 mins. Just because it is on tv does not mean people will care.

Since CBC carries the Olympics, they have carried the qualifiers for many of the sports. But mostly streaming rather than tv. Assuming people on this forum are only casual followers of other Olympic sports, has anybody on this forum watched any of them? I have watched field hockey & rugby but not much else. 

2 of the 3 basketball qualifiers are being shown live on tv but one is on Thursday afternoon - so not many watching. The 12ET Sunday game will get some viewers. Saturday game for tv got bumped for hockey. But beyond being shown on CBC tv, CBC Gem & DAZN, 99% of Canadians will not know if the team qualified or not on Monday. 

In the month of January, Sinclair had second highest mentions on twitter amongst Canadian athletes. So, the national women's football team remains more popular and more importantly, has a more engaged base than for women's basketball.

 

 

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16 hours ago, Lofty said:

Random observation: Jordyn Huitema is slow.

It wasn't just her.  The Mexican players were beating every Canadian player to the ball for most of the game.  It looked like our players weren't that interested in giving 100% on each play.  That doesn't sound good, but it paid off towards the end of the match, where we dominated possession because the Mexicans were too pooped out to compete anymore.  It will be interesting to see how much the Mexicans have left in the tank for their final game against the Americans.

I got the impression that the Mexican plan was to go full throttle at the beginning to get an early goal, and maybe batten down the hatches after that.  Our defensive play was good enough to stymie that plan, and with our early goals, we were able to coast towards victory.

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14 hours ago, Lofty said:

I did see this from a few players but certainly not all: Scottie always wins every 50/50 ball and even came away with it once when she was pushed to the ground. Buchanan, Zadorsky, Carle, and Schmidt also competed hard for the ball. Perhaps others too who don't come to mind right now.

I agree that Huitema could have competed harder for some of those loose balls but she seems to shy away from physical contact. She also plays far too deep for a centre forward, which is actually similar to what Sinclair has been doing in recent years. If you lack pace it is understandable but then you just have to time your runs better to get behind the defence. Somebody has to get up on that last defender and if not the centre forward then who?!

As for raw speed, which is really what I was talking about, she runs with those little pixie steps that will never get you to top speed. Sprinters don't run like that! (And nor do Leon or Chapman, two of the team's speedsters.) She needs to spend her summer training with an olympic track team. She would come back with 5 lbs more muscle and one second off her 100m sprint time. It would serve her football well in many areas.

Huitema has actually been a very physical player. Playing for Canada youth teams, at least once on average, she bowls over the goalkeeper. I was always afraid she would get seriously injured but she usually ended up recovering after a bit.

And when required, she has shown she has the motor to chase down a ball.

It could be the PSG training. Be more productive with your movements and focus on better positioning. She certainly showed this in the Jamaica match - all her 5 goals was being at the right place at the right time rather than any show of dribbling, passing and running skills or being physical.

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1 hour ago, red card said:

Huitema has actually been a very physical player. Playing for Canada youth teams, at least once on average, she bowls over the goalkeeper. I was always afraid she would get seriously injured but she usually ended up recovering after a bit.

And when required, she has shown she has the motor to chase down a ball.

It could be the PSG training. Be more productive with your movements and focus on better positioning. She certainly showed this in the Jamaica match - all her 5 goals was being at the right place at the right time rather than any show of dribbling, passing and running skills or being physical.

Good post. She also has very physical support at PSG, there are very powerful players there, perhaps to rival what Lyon puts on the pitch, so she does not need to be covering as much ground. 

She is good in the air, quite accurate too.

I think, however, that she or anyone could train speed. You have to run to do this, and not in training, on your own. You do 5k runs, and mix with series, sprints, pause, sprints. Until you feel like puking. Then go again. It can be done. Perhaps her lankiness and still being young has not enabled her to develop the pure explosive speed, but she has a light frame and should be able to improve in that area.

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