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Women's World Cup - 2019
Old 06-02-2019, 12:11 PM   #1
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Women's World Cup - 2019

This Friday, June 7th is the opening match of the 2019 Women's World Cup between host France and South Korea in Group A. I thought it would be fun to start a thread and we could post on it as the tournament progresses. Fox Sports will be televising all of the matches. BBC 1 will air some, but not all. Live streaming is available on Hulu Live TV, YouTube and Fubo (you can do a 1 week free trial on each of those).

Brackets: https://www.fifa.com/womensworldcup/groups/

FIFA rankings (FWIW): https://www.fifa.com/fifa-world-rank...g-table/women/

I would be remiss for failing to post this somewhat tongue-in-cheek (almost entirely accurate IMO) article first published in 2015 by The Telegraph UK "11 Reasons Why Women's Football is Better Than Men's". https://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/the-...than-mens.html

"The men’s game is embarrassingly cynical, with the big wusses diving and feigning injury if someone so much as farts in their general direction. Women’s football is far more phlegmatic. A study shows that on average, men stay down 30 seconds longer than women after being fouled."

Let me add that for those of us who admire the female form, women footballers are among some of the fittest athletes in the world.

Prognosticators have this WWC a horse race between 4 sides - U.S., Germany, France and England.

Some interesting early matches - Day 2 between Norway and Nigeria and Day 3 with the Aussies vs Italy. The Nigerian side has qualified for every World Cup since 1991 and the Lady Falcons could end up becoming surprise spoilers in this tournament.

So, any predictions? I'm a fan of the USWNT and believe this World Cup is theirs to lose. France has been on a tear over their last 11 matches. And the Lionesses of England, along with manager Phil Neville, hope to improve upon their 3rd place finish in 2015 by making it to the final in this World Cup.
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Old 06-02-2019, 12:33 PM   #2
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Nice setup for the tournament, candrew - thanks! I'm also a USWNT fan but try to watch as many matches as possible - there are always some unexpectedly good moments in matches that don't involve the top teams.
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Old 06-02-2019, 12:52 PM   #3
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An interesting back-story for this tournament involves a lawsuit file by USWNT members (Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Becky Sauerbrunn and Hope Solo as named plaintiffs) against US Soccer asking for equal compensation. IMHO, USWMT members have a case and are deserving of, at a minimum, compensation that is not only equitable to the men, but based on their performances over the past decade, greater than that of their male counterparts.

USWNT files lawsuit against U.S. Soccer Federation, what it means for Women's World Cup

A look at a few of the total 41 complaints included in the 25-page filing:
Quote:
The lawsuit claims that from March 2013 through Dec. 31, 2016, when the previous collective bargaining agreement expired, players on the women's team could make a maximum salary of $72,000, plus bonuses for winning non-tournament games as well as World Cup appearances and victories, and for Olympic placement.
And then there is the collective genius of FIFA (NOT!!) who thought so little of the women's game overall that they scheduled the Copa America final on the same day as the final of the Women's World Cup. It is long past time to drag FIFA's governing body into the 21st century.
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Old 06-02-2019, 02:37 PM   #4
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Thanks for the heads up on the tournament. I’ll make sure to see some matches. One of the things I most enjoy about women’s football is the players fake less, play more and aren’t as dirty.

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And then there is the collective genius of FIFA (NOT!!) who thought so little of the women's game overall that they scheduled the Copa America final on the same day as the final of the Women's World Cup. It is long past time to drag FIFA's governing body into the 21st century.
I think FIFA and its governing body should be invited to go join the Tesla that Elon Musk sent to outer space. Those folks care about little except their own pockets. FIFA has done nothing little to encourage women’s football. The sport and its governing body need to leave 19th century Europe and join the the 21st world.
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Old 06-02-2019, 02:59 PM   #5
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Another matter of interest for this tournament will be the implementation of changes to The Laws of the Game as of 1 June (excepting yesterday's CL final) that were agreed upon by FIFA at their annual meeting.

• Goal kicks, and free kicks taken in the defending team's penalty area, are in play as soon as the ball is played and moves. The current rule, whereby the ball has to leave the penalty area before it's in play, makes no sense, especially as infringements just mean a re-take. This will improve the flow of play and stop teams who are defending a narrow lead from wasting time by deliberately flaunting the law and then forcing a re-take. Attacking players must still be outside the penalty area when the kick is taken.

• Substitutes must (emphasis mine) leave the field of play at the nearest point to the boundary line. This is to stop that aggravating waste of time near the end of a game when a foot-dragging substituted player trots in first gear from the field, pausing to shake hands most sportingly with anyone who might happen to be in their path and to acknowledge the applause of their adoring fans. The new rule is a direct consequence of years of unsporting behavior. If players are really concerned about their security (through having to walk around the field's boundary in front of opposing fans, say), then they can always make a direct sprint for the bench instead.

• No more "deliberate handball," everything is now a "handball offense." For the amateur ref, the advent of the VAR means that on weekends there are even more screams of "Handball!" every single time the ball hits a player's upper body. FIFA's new definition is less than helpful thanks to its ambiguous use of the words "usually" and "unnatural" in defining when a handball offense has been committed - for example (from the new Law 12): "It is usually an offense if a player: touches the ball with their hand/arm when: the hand/arm has made their body unnaturally bigger." What does "usually" cover? Who on earth can define "unnatural"? This change will mean only more delays and debates, and more players, coaches and spectators making usually loud not to mention unnatural appeals.

Speaking as a retired soccer referee, the accursed "handling of the ball" (no such thing as a "handball") without a doubt created the most controversy for me and other officials in match situations. Handling of the ball has over the years often been the most mis-applied Law of the Game - especially at the amateur level. I expect that the lack of clarity in this law change will only serve to further complicate matters for on field officials and VAR along with creating increasing controversy.
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Old 06-02-2019, 03:04 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
Thanks for the heads up on the tournament. I’ll make sure to see some matches. One of the things I most enjoy about women’s football is the players fake less, play more and aren’t as dirty.


I think FIFA and its governing body should be invited to go join the Tesla that Elon Musk sent to outer space. Those folks care about little except their own pockets. FIFA has done nothing little to encourage women’s football. The sport and its governing body need to leave 19th century Europe and join the the 21st world.
+1

After witnessing the shameful conduct on behalf of some players in last year's Men's World Cup, I'm looking forward to watching the women compete. They are every bit as technically sound as their male counterparts and will come in hard on physical challenges as well! I like the fact that they can take a knock, then get right up and back into play.
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Old 06-02-2019, 03:06 PM   #7
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I suspect men who foul other men do so with more force in most instances such that the pain and injury created is more severe that could lead to more time to recover from the shock and/or to determine if a serious injury occurred. I suspect the average female form is also more naturally padded than the male form against the force of a foul.
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Old 06-02-2019, 03:28 PM   #8
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I suspect men who foul other men do so with more force in most instances such that the pain and injury created is more severe that could lead to more time to recover from the shock and/or to determine if a serious injury occurred. I suspect the average female form is also more naturally padded than the male form against the force of a foul.
In most instances, I'm not sure that I could agree that in the men's game players are fouled more severely than in the women's game. Or that female footballers at the professional level have more "natural padding" - as sexist as that may sound. Relatively speaking, they are every bit as lean and fit as their male counterparts and will foul just as aggressively, as well. I can speak from personal experience as a soccer referee (now retired) having officiated both men and women's NCAA and premier level matches. It's not all sugar and spice out on the pitch when these women decide to get it on.

I do think that we can agree with a relative degree of certainty that in the men's game players tend to routinely make a meal of trifling contact. In last year's World Cup, Neymar Jr. himself spent 14 minutes on the ground embellishing all manner of fouls, minor contact and instances where he wasn't touched at all (the Costa Rica match). He shamed not only himself, but the Brazilian side as a whole. Neymar's is one but of numerous examples how the men's game at its highest level will degrade if players don't cease this sort of nonsense.
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Old 06-02-2019, 04:08 PM   #9
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In most instances, I'm not sure that I could agree that in the men's game players are fouled more severely than in the women's game. Or that female footballers at the professional level have more "natural padding" - as sexist as that may sound.
Higher weight X higher speed = higher force = more severe for me. Two VW's colliding at 20 mph I suspect is less damaging than two semis colliding at 50 mph.

Don't have the numbers, but I'd wager average body fat % for USWNT is higher than for USMNT.
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Old 06-02-2019, 04:21 PM   #10
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Before we let yet another discussion devolve into gender differences, let's just assume that 99% of ER forum members would wish for a hospital bed if we were slammed into by a professional soccer player of either gender, whether we ourselves have 7% or 27% body fat or any other number.
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Old 06-02-2019, 04:32 PM   #11
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Higher weight X higher speed = higher force = more severe for me. Two VW's colliding at 20 mph I suspect is less damaging than two semis colliding at 50 mph.

Don't have the numbers, but I'd wager average body fat % for USWNT is higher than for USMNT.
Most fouls and contact during the course of a match are not the result of full-on, full speed collisions on the part of two players as you are suggesting. In fact, very few, if any at all. Fouls below the player's waist are typically the result of getting raked by an opponent's cleats, being stepped on, tackling "over the ball" or a poorly timed tackle that results in tripping an opposing player. Most contact above the waist and below the shoulder area involve holding, pushing or attempting to go "through" a player in challenging for a ball. Again, these are not full-on, full speed collisions. Above the shoulder fouls usually result from careless elbows and challenging in the air for headers. Concussion risks exist, but again, in nearly all of these aforementioned instances, rarely are these are relative to the size of the player(s). OTH, I've also been witness to reckless play, serious foul play and violent conduct on the part of both male and female players and can tell you that the resultant injuries are just as severe for both genders - regardless of size.

And yes, women will typically carry a higher percentage of body fat than men. However, to state that elite female athletes are provided a significantly greater degree of protection from contact based on a scant few percentages of body fat greater than their male counterparts doesn't make sense to me.
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Old 06-02-2019, 07:43 PM   #12
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Fox is broadcasting US games. Fox Sports is handling some others. Search for a recent TV schedule to be certain.
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Old 06-02-2019, 08:15 PM   #13
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Before we let yet another discussion devolve into gender differences, let's just assume that 99% of ER forum members would wish for a hospital bed if we were slammed into by a professional soccer player of either gender, whether we ourselves have 7% or 27% body fat or any other number.
Why not get into a discussion of sex differences? Why try to cut off discussion before making a pronouncement? If one gets slammed by another person, whether they're a pro athlete or not is not likely the basis of the degree of injury that results.
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Old 06-02-2019, 08:16 PM   #14
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Most fouls and contact during the course of a match are not the result of full-on, full speed collisions on the part of two players as you are suggesting. In fact, very few, if any at all. Fouls below the player's waist are typically the result of getting raked by an opponent's cleats, being stepped on, tackling "over the ball" or a poorly timed tackle that results in tripping an opposing player. Most contact above the waist and below the shoulder area involve holding, pushing or attempting to go "through" a player in challenging for a ball. Again, these are not full-on, full speed collisions. Above the shoulder fouls usually result from careless elbows and challenging in the air for headers. Concussion risks exist, but again, in nearly all of these aforementioned instances, rarely are these are relative to the size of the player(s). OTH, I've also been witness to reckless play, serious foul play and violent conduct on the part of both male and female players and can tell you that the resultant injuries are just as severe for both genders - regardless of size.

And yes, women will typically carry a higher percentage of body fat than men. However, to state that elite female athletes are provided a significantly greater degree of protection from contact based on a scant few percentages of body fat greater than their male counterparts doesn't make sense to me.
We largely disagree.
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Old 06-02-2019, 08:20 PM   #15
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We largely disagree.
Great, then we will have to agree to disagree. So, in the interest of moving on here, do you have some other thoughts you might want to share regarding the upcoming tournament - as in a prediction of which team will win?
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Old 06-02-2019, 10:55 PM   #16
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My thought is that I will not be seeing as many games as I would like to see... I do not have FOX sports and will only be able to see the ones they put on the OTA FOX channel...


I do hope they have the US team on OTA.... we will wait and see..


My prediction is USA and Germany in finals (if they do not play each other prior to final) with USA winning...
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Old 06-03-2019, 04:04 AM   #17
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My thought is that I will not be seeing as many games as I would like to see... I do not have FOX sports and will only be able to see the ones they put on the OTA FOX channel...

I do hope they have the US team on OTA.... we will wait and see..

My prediction is USA and Germany in finals (if they do not play each other prior to final) with USA winning...
Most US games are on FOX. Refer to this link:
https://www.cbssports.com/soccer/wor...he-first-time/

FS1 has some, so you have to look and find your teams and what channel.
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Old 06-03-2019, 04:09 AM   #18
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Match schedule from FIFA:
https://resources.fifa.com/image/upl...9noswjmz&ddfsd

Would be nice to keep this thread on-topic.
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Old 06-03-2019, 04:46 AM   #19
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Great, then we will have to agree to disagree. So, in the interest of moving on here, do you have some other thoughts you might want to share regarding the upcoming tournament - as in a prediction of which team will win?
My hope is USWNT. They are the odds-on favorite.
https://www.cbssports.com/soccer/wor...rmany-england/

I've watched all of their games this past year.
- GK is improving, but nothing that gives them an edge with top teams.
- Striker is weakness. 13 does better when on the edge, but does not play as well with her back to the goal. When 10 comes on, the entire game changes, as her skillset is more desirable in that role.
- Forwards are strong players. 15 and 17 are two favorite players. The problem at times is lack of connection with the striker.
- Backline appears patchwork at times. Hopefully they will gel soon.
- Midfield is their strong suit. 8 is a key, as you can tell by the nicks she takes and gives. She adds a lot of toughness on corners, and will use any body surface to score.
- Coaching? I hope the coach has figured out what she has, and her own weaknesses. Adjustments will probably be necessary in some games, but my fear is that HC cannot let go of her "picks" when she needs to.

2015 was a long time ago, but that's when each country started their journey to 2019.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_F...%27s_World_Cup

Those were close games, with GK and D very important. Of course there was the hat trick in Japan final that showed Lloyd's true mettle.

Cheers!
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Old 06-03-2019, 05:43 AM   #20
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My hope is USWNT. They are the odds-on favorite.
https://www.cbssports.com/soccer/wor...rmany-england/

I've watched all of their games this past year.
- GK is improving, but nothing that gives them an edge with top teams.
- Striker is weakness. 13 does better when on the edge, but does not play as well with her back to the goal. When 10 comes on, the entire game changes, as her skillset is more desirable in that role.
- Forwards are strong players. 15 and 17 are two favorite players. The problem at times is lack of connection with the striker.
- Backline appears patchwork at times. Hopefully they will gel soon.
- Midfield is their strong suit. 8 is a key, as you can tell by the nicks she takes and gives. She adds a lot of toughness on corners, and will use any body surface to score.
- Coaching? I hope the coach has figured out what she has, and her own weaknesses. Adjustments will probably be necessary in some games, but my fear is that HC cannot let go of her "picks" when she needs to.

2015 was a long time ago, but that's when each country started their journey to 2019.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_F...%27s_World_Cup

Those were close games, with GK and D very important. Of course there was the hat trick in Japan final that showed Lloyd's true mettle.

Cheers!
You've made some excellent observations. We've been traveling outside the U.S. for most of the past year, so I've not had a chance to watch our women's national team. Here are a few thoughts based on observing past player performances and recent coverage I've read.

Without a doubt the U.S. keeper position is perhaps their biggest ? As solid as the U.S. side is, every good team eventually needs that big save at a crucial time or a big game from their GK. I understand that Naeher has been steadily improving, but can she keep a clean sheet in a one goal match against a top opponent?

Agreed re: the U.S. backline. Becky Sauerbrunn, just a few years removed from being regarded as arguably the best CB in the world, has probably lost a few steps. Though Sauerbrunn at 80% still exceeds almost everyone else. Another big question is Jill Ellis' decision to use Crystal Dunn at LB. This decision puzzles me, but then again, I've only seen a couple of WNT matches this past year. I understand that Dunn, who is the NWSL's best striker has been serviceable as a LB. But will that be good enough when she has to defend other world class forwards?

You are right about Alex Morgan at striker. She is not a back to the goal, hold-up play kind of attacker. But it's Morgan's off the ball work and almost tireless work rate that is so impressive. She absolutely runs her ass off for the full 90 and that helps create lots of space for other players.

And yes, the U.S. midfield has talent and depth. It doesn't get much better than having the likes of Lloyd as the 10, Rapinoe & an improved Tobin Heath as wingers and Julie Ertz at DM.

Interesting observation you have re: Ellis's inflexibility. Let's hope that if she has a blind spot in that regard, her assistants will speak up and Ellis will heed sound advice.
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