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Road to Costa Rica - u20 World Cup


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What a crazy game between France and Japan last night.  Japan has a one goal lead near the end of the game when France scores to tie it and force overtime.  France scores in overtime, and then in the last few seconds of that, the French keeper clobbers a Japanese player in the head while trying to clear the ball and Japan ties it up on the penalty shot.  Japan goes on to win in the penalty shoot out.  It was a very entertaining match, with Japanese skill balanced out by French physicality.

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3 hours ago, rkomar said:

What a crazy game between France and Japan last night.  Japan has a one goal lead near the end of the game when France scores to tie it and force overtime.  France scores in overtime, and then in the last few seconds of that, the French keeper clobbers a Japanese player in the head while trying to clear the ball and Japan ties it up on the penalty shot.  Japan goes on to win in the penalty shoot out.  It was a very entertaining match, with Japanese skill balanced out by French physicality.

Between the incompetent árbitra and the incompetent staff at the VAR they gave the game to Japan.  The officiating at this u20 level of World Cups is appalling bad.  This also includes the ARs.  The course's instruction the officials are receiving has deteriorated or Fifa is just grabbing anyone who wants to make a few dollars blowing the whistle at best.  I am disgusted.

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On 8/19/2022 at 8:23 PM, red card said:

The u20s play like they're behind in their development since they don't play/train enough with just NCAA + possibly League 1, didn't get proper coaching at earlier age groups and play against weak &/or one dimensional competition.

Nevertheless, there is a reasonable amount that have made the senior team as there seems to be late bloomers, play better with better players &/or develop more once they're in a pro environment.

Of the 60 person senior squad listed for the recent WCQ, the only ones who didn't play for a Canada youth team are Gilles, Lacasse, Viens, Alidou, Hellstrom & Pridham. Many Quebecois which shows there was (and maybe still) a blind spot. It also may show that the Euro leagues are better at identifying & developing talent than NWSL.

The backbone of the current team is from the seven players of the 2014 u20 team that made the quarters playing in Canada + veterans from youth teams of the early aughts. 

From the 2016 u20 team, Rose is a senior team regular and 4 have been selected on/off (Carle, St-Georges, Stratigakis & Proulx). 5 are pros.

From the 2018 u20 that didn't qualify, Riviere, Huitema & Grosso are senior team regulars. Carle & Stratigakis were also on this team. 4 are pros.

For those who say Canada's youth team selections are way off, it isn't evident based on the senior Canadian player pool ex Quebec players. Instead, given the number of youth women playing, Canada's senior team player pool shows we aren't producing enough in numbers and not enough elite players (regular starters in the top clubs of the top 4 Euro leagues or regular contributors for NWSL teams). The US has many more players that don't get selected to their youth teams but more of them end up in the NWSL, blossom and make the senior team. 

 

Bit late responding, but I don’t really buy the notion that our players at the U-20 level are somehow less developed than the likes of South Korea or Nigeria, or that our pool is somehow too thin to be moderately competitive in a field of 16 teams.

Losing is one thing, but the last 3 U-20 World Cups have yielded a failed qualification and a goal difference in finals of 3 GF, 21 GF in only 6 games. We are not even close to competitive. 

By U-20, most of our players have shown enough talent to enter and train in a highly competitive NCAA pathway for at least a year. Through sheer geographic luck, we have enhanced access to one of the best player development pathways in the world for women’s football - one most countries do not have the same ease of access to. We have a steady crop of athletes entering that pathway. We should be able to figure out how to make those players competitive on the field at an international level. Anything less is simply not acceptable from the CSA. 

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From what I saw, I don't think our players were as experienced at the high levels of the competition.  They were trying stuff that works fine against lesser competition, but fails at the top level.  Stuff like: wait until you have the ball before you decide what you might do with it (no time for that at WC level), use one-on-one moves that succeed at the NCAA level (let ball go by and then turn to run with it, pass it through the legs of the opposition, try to use speed to get around the opposition,...) but fail miserably against higher-level opponents, shoot the ball hard right at the goalkeeper,...  All of these are things that can be fixed by getting experience at a higher level.  I didn't see a huge difference in ball skills or fitness, so I think the players are fine at that.  The EXCEL program is supposed to help groom UXX players for senior competition, but maybe it has slipped in recent years.  It seemed to be producing more senior-squad ready players when Priestman was running it.  Maybe it is worse, or maybe we are just in a down spell when it comes to talent?

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1 hour ago, The Ref said:

Between the incompetent árbitra and the incompetent staff at the VAR they gave the game to Japan.  The officiating at this u20 level of World Cups is appalling bad.  This also includes the ARs.  The course's instruction the officials are receiving has deteriorated or Fifa is just grabbing anyone who wants to make a few dollars blowing the whistle at best.  I am disgusted.

The goalkeeper pretty much got all head when she went to punch the ball.  Is that the call that you are disgusted with?

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6 hours ago, rkomar said:

The goalkeeper pretty much got all head when she went to punch the ball.  Is that the call that you are disgusted with?

One of many.  The play you mention was a foul against the goalkeeper and the Japan girl should have been booked.

 

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6 hours ago, Olympique_de_Marseille said:

Well, the teams that beat us in the group stage didn't even make the semi-finals.

Star Wars Doom GIF

Scary to think these ladies may well be the new blood for the adult team.  Something is wrong in Denmark!

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5 hours ago, The Ref said:

One of many.  The play you mention was a foul against the goalkeeper and the Japan girl should have been booked.

 

This might just be the most moronic take I've ever read on this board, and that's saying a fucking lot. 🙄

 

I hope that you selected your board handle to be ironic, 'cause you clearly have no clue.

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11 hours ago, SthMelbRed said:

This might just be the most moronic take I've ever read on this board, and that's saying a fucking lot. 🙄

 

I hope that you selected your board handle to be ironic, 'cause you clearly have no clue.

There is no need to insult.  It is just enough to say you disagree.

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Watched Spain-Netherlands semi, Spain to the final totally beating up on them, despite the scoreline. They had a dozen shots in the first half hour. Netherlands uselessly trying to play out of the back when they don't know how: now there's a coach setting up her players for failure. 

Japan beat Brazil late in a closer match. Brazil sloppy but with peak moments, Japan with great footballing nous, they are thinking like elite players. Lovely to watch. 

Final goes Sunday. 

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Hmm, I was expecting someone would comment on the game by now...

I thought it was a very entertaining and interesting game.  Both teams played at a very high level.  Spain came out playing more freely at the beginning and took a big lead early in the first half (3-0).  Japan poured it on in the second half and were able to score an early goal to make it 3-1, but couldn't break down Spain's excellent defense after that despite making many clever attacks in the 18 yard box.  Even when Japan was at its best, Spain looked to be coping with them.  There is always some luck in a soccer game, but I think Spain was fully deserving of the win in this case.

The bad news is that our team was pretty far beneath these two teams in their level of play.  I think the number one difference is in thinking the game.  You could tell that the Japanese and Spanish players had a Plan A and Plan B on what to do with the ball even before it reached them.  The Canadian players, however, would generally look around and assess the situation after they received the ball, making them too slow when high pressure was being applied.  That style probably works fine in their usual leagues, and they had no reason to push their development beyond that.  To get better, they need to play regularly against opposition that restricts their time for decisions much more.  How you get them into such an environment is the hard question, though.  I certainly don't have any answers.

I don't want to be all doom and gloom, though.  It looks like our exceptional players who move on to pro careers make up the gap after a time.  Our lack of success at the UXX levels doesn't necessarily mean we will have the same lack of success at the senior level.  At least our players who were in this tournament now personally know that the gap exists, which is step one in bridging it.

P.S.  I was mildly shocked each time the camera zoomed in on the players in the final match.  I couldn't really believe that such young players were playing so maturely.  They looked like seasoned pros from a distance.

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I rewatched the 1st half as it was ridiculously late here live. 

I think Spain was better, but Japan made it easy. The first two goals the Spanish strikers got behind over anxious CBs and finished. Then a soft, unfortunate penalty. Japan never really got going and the result was never in question. 

In some ways it is too bad we could not see the best of both teams, but Japan had a bad day. 

During the Spanish broadcast they mentioned Sinclair has the most goals in a single edition, 10 in 2002, along with Popp later. So those youth goals don't even count towards her international tally. 

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8 hours ago, Unnamed Trialist said:

I rewatched the 1st half as it was ridiculously late here live. 

I think Spain was better, but Japan made it easy. The first two goals the Spanish strikers got behind over anxious CBs and finished. Then a soft, unfortunate penalty. Japan never really got going and the result was never in question. 

In some ways it is too bad we could not see the best of both teams, but Japan had a bad day. 

During the Spanish broadcast they mentioned Sinclair has the most goals in a single edition, 10 in 2002, along with Popp later. So those youth goals don't even count towards her international tally. 

Usually 3-0 scorelines means a lacklustre second half. But Japan dominated the second half. They tore apart Spain's right side. But Japan continually messed up the final pass. 

Fairer result would have been 3-2. A very entertaining final.

Spain now holds both the u17 and u20 titles. 

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I didn't think Japan was messing up the final pass so much as Spain was dealing with it.  The latter made that final pass have to be something spectacular to beat them.  The stuff that Japan used to shred other teams' defenses wasn't working against Spain.  But that's just my memory, though, which hasn't been the greatest in the last few years.  It would probably be good if I could rewatch the game again more dispassionately.

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10 minutes ago, rkomar said:

I didn't think Japan was messing up the final pass so much as Spain was dealing with it.  The latter made that final pass have to be something spectacular to beat them.  The stuff that Japan used to shred other teams' defenses wasn't working against Spain.  But that's just my memory, though, which hasn't been the greatest in the last few years.  It would probably be good if I could rewatch the game again more dispassionately.

Good analysis.  Spain had the game won and dedicated all their efforts to mark woman to woman the Japanese players.  Japan with their quickness and anticipation of plays did not prosper because of the close marking by Spain.  Having their game won they needed not leave themselves thin at the back by trying to score more goals.  Just if the chance presented they would take it.  I assume the Spain coach told them to mark tight and do just that over and over.  Japan did not have a response finding themselves behind for the first time.  They beat Brazil, but when Spain got 2 up in a short while, that was not in their plans.

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