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Archive for July 2010

WPS: I Believed In Nikki Marshall Before It Was Cool

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Should have been the #2 pick. Shame on you, DiCicco.

As of this writing (July 29, 2010), Nicole Sue Marshall is currently the hottest striker in the league right now. Providing, of course, that you are ignoring Amy Rodriguez, and the three main forwards of FC Gold Pride.

I haven’t been quiet about Marshall on my Twitter. Despite all the people who are better than her, she’s still the best. That doesn’t make sense but I don’t care.

Marshall has scored in three consecutive games for the Freedom ever since they finally pushed her to the front line. Already people are gearing up to call her the WPS rookie of the year. The same people who were all “who is Nikki Marshall? Why is a Colorado Buffalo going so early in the draft? Where is Colorado, anyway?”

Before the 2010 WPS Draft even started, the Cross-Conference Collector said that Nikki Marshall could possibly be the #2 pick. While she wasn’t, she certainly deserved to be — and only now are people figuring it out.

EDIT (July 31, 2010) : Yes I know Cheney scored today and Marshall didn’t. Shut the fuck up.

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Written by teamongolia

July 31, 2010 at 11:58 pm

FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup: Where Do You Go From Here

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Or “Why Sydney Leroux Doesn’t Really Need To Be Called Up”

I’m not watching the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup anymore since the USA crashed out. Call me a bad fan if you like but I’ll do whatever I want, thank you very much. I’m the USA-all-the-way-or-fuck-it-all sort of person when it comes down to it, and unlike certain unpleasant Stanford fans, I’ll still have respect for Jillian Ellis even though (as I’ve stated before) I’ve cooled towards UCLA since Christina DiMartino and Erin Hardy graduated. The generation after them doesn’t do it for me.

Amidst the chorus of know-it-all pundits shrieking for Pia to give Sydney Leroux a call-up — I personally think the one person Pia needs to call up isn’t Leroux, but Portland’s Keelin Winters, or hell, even FC Gold Pride’s Becky Edwards. Despite Winters’ now-ridiculous hair (when she did she hire Rapinoe to be her hairstylist?), the midfield needs work and leadership, which Winters can provide. And I’m going to come right out and say it: Abby Wambach sucks as a midfielder. While her Huffy Sarah Huffman did not impress me in the one Sweden friendly I saw on ESPN, I’ve never trusted Lloyd, and Lindsey needs some more young competition.

Now someday, I’m sure, Leroux will get her national team call-up, like Christine Nairn and Alex Morgan before her. But right now, with A-Rod and Cheney around, and with O’Hara as a backup, does Pia need her, really? The answer is no. And for those people making the laughable claim that with her “provocateur” personality she’ll be good for the team’s popular image the way Natasha Kai was intended to be — how do YOU know that anyone is even going to pay attention to Leroux long enough to care? In the mainstream media, people are going to see what they want to see, not what you want them to see. If she doesn’t get regular playing time, like Kai WASN’T getting at certain points, then it’s all moot.

The rest of the team have bright futures at NCAA and at least the U-23 level, if not WPS. Bianca Henninger, despite her team’s faults, was a worthy successor to Valerie Henderson and Alyssa Naeher, who are both “killing it” in WPS, and I see the same future for Henninger should the league still exist by then. I am waiting to see if Pia is going to bring up Nairn again — at this stage Nairn is only good when she has good players around her, as she did in 2008 with the aforementioned Edwards and Winters. Samantha Mewis probably has another U-20 cycle to look forward to, but neither she nor fellow UCLA recruit Jenna Richmond seem to be cut out for it. In fact I’m only optimistic for humanitarian goalkeeper Bryane Heaberlin, who looks set to make the transition to the next U-20 cycle and perhaps even start at goalkeeper for them — hopefully unlike Cat Parkhill before her. Also since Meagan Morris is going to be a Evil Clone Tar Heel, I see her getting unwarranted U-20 call-ups in the future.

Written by teamongolia

July 29, 2010 at 8:44 pm

FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup: Since When Do We Play Like Men?

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The fact that I knew this year’s USA team couldn’t repeat their predecessor’s achievement doesn’t make me feel any better, and it won’t soften today’s loss against Nigeria.

It certainly does appear that Gina DiMartino will be the only DiMartino sister able to call herself a U-20 WWC champion,  unless young Jaclyn Rose DiMartino advances to 2012 or 2014.

So! I’ll be cheering for Colombia, land of the drug lords. See you on the other side, bitches.

P.S. Was that Bianca Henninger getting chippy with a Nigerian player? Please advise.

Written by teamongolia

July 25, 2010 at 4:58 pm

NCAA: I’m My Own Grandfather

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All self-respecting women’s soccer fans should know about Lorrie and Ronnie Fair, Kristen and Samantha Mewis, and the DiMartino sisters. However, I must put some misconceptions to rest once and for all:

  1. Casey Nogueira and Mariah Nogueira are NOT RELATED. Full stop. End of story.
  2. Neither are Melissa Hayes (Penn State alumna) and Maya Hayes. This should be quite obvious with some research, but I had to learn this the hard way. Don’t be like me.
  3. On the other hand, incoming test subject Tar Heel Kealia Ohai is the younger sister of Megan Ohai (USC), who was on National Lampoon or something. Google “Megan Ohai” and you’ll see what I mean. Those Trojans, really.

Written by teamongolia

July 22, 2010 at 11:00 pm

FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, NCAA: It’s Like One Tree Hill

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I am a University of California, Berkeley alumna so generally I am very protective of their women’s soccer team. However, even I know they’ll never crack the Sweet 16. Not with the coach they have now, unless they give him the boot and let Kelly Lindsey take the lead, for real this time.

(Dear SBFC fans who may have come by this way and want to rip on Kelly Lindsey for abandoning your beloved team: For a team that goes through coaches like disposable baby diapers, one might think the problem isn’t the coaching but your smarmy GM and bloated egos the size of the former USSR just because of that star on the crest of your Kraft macaroni and cheese jerseys. SO GO AWAY. Thank you.)

That said, I am totally sold on Alina Garciamendez, the Stanford sophomore and the heart of Mexico’s national team, both at the U-20 and senior level. That girl is El Tri’s be-all end-all. Seriously, I am dying to see her wonder goal against Nigeria. Not to mention she has impressive forearms.

Man. The Cardinal (and their unpleasant fans) always get the good ones. Yeah, I’m jealous. Shut the fuck up.

(Off-topic question: Is the Alex Morgan fanboy who mispronounced Lauren Fowlkes’ name — to hilarious effect — still commentating these games?)

Also somewhat ironically, Mexico’s current leading scorer at the tournament is Renae Cuellar, who plays for the University of Arizona — the team that usually ends up at the bottom of the Pac-10 heap.

FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup: Bachmann Doesn’t Care What You Think

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I watched the USA U-20s vs. Switzerland U-20s today. While Sydney Leroux is a beast and always has been since the 2008 U-20 WWC, I am still nervous that the kids will implode against South Korea. In 2008, the U-17s defeated the South Korean U-17s by a score of 4-2, but I expect the U-20 Taeguk ladies to be tougher.

So on my scale of USELESS and USEFUL:

USELESS: Brooks and Bywaters. Don’t get me wrong, Brooks was one of my favorites as a U-17, but then she went to UNC and Dr. Evil Anson Dorrance ruined her. Silly fouls and giveaways galore — had the Swiss midfield been tighter and better, it would have been disaster.  Bywaters’ goal was the only good thing she did all game. If she had been more USEFUL, Leroux would’ve been more dangerous than she already was.

USEFUL: Johnson and Leroux. Leroux for scoring the goals, Johnson for being the only defender that I can’t remember having a noticeable error.

PET PEEVE: The commentator’s reluctance to say Bianca Henninger’s name. ALSO THE LACK OF COURTNEY VERLOO PLAYING TIME WHAT IS THIS.

Written by teamongolia

July 18, 2010 at 4:28 am

FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup: Watch It Plz

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A friendly reminder!

I hope you are all going to wake up at 5:18 AM tomorrow (Tuesday, July 13) to watch Brazil’s U-20 women’s team (featuring Texas Longhorn Leah Fortune and her version of Kimberly Pickup’s Pick-Flip) take on North Korea’s U-20 boys’ team women. Brazil won in Chile, and you can bet I am rooting for Brazil because North Korea’s haircuts are EVIL and COMMUNIST.

Also don’t miss the New Zealand U-20 women at 8:18 AM, as they feature California Golden Bear Betsy Hassett. Go Bears!

Written by teamongolia

July 13, 2010 at 5:38 am