rhythm bandits

Archive for December 2010

NCAA, WPS, etc: Oh what will the New Year bring

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Now we turn from promoting Christen Press to other countries (since Pia doesn’t like her) to discussing what is next for this blog.

I have always posted on whims, and I doubt that will change in the upcoming New Year. In fact, I may post more infrequently (I do have a life outside of this, shockingly), unless WPS, the USWNT, and the idiot fans (and their blogs) piss me off more than they already do.

Soccer-wise, the highlights of the year were certainly

  1. FC Gold Pride’s glorious last season
  2. Lauren Fowlkes getting her NCAA championship ring
  3. Alex Morgan being awesome
  4. Watching Notre Dame in person

More than I could have asked for, really — considering there was so much to regret and dislike. But that would take pages.

Anyway — Happy New Year, everyone.

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Written by teamongolia

December 29, 2010 at 6:47 pm

USA Women’s National Team: An open letter to other federations

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She looks perfectly fine to me, Pia.

Dear women’s football (soccer) federations, and coaches across the world not named Pia Sundhage,

Here in the United States we have something called the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). There are a lot of sports under their governance, including women’s soccer.  Many great players have passed through NCAA, perhaps even some players on your own squads. This past year, some notice has been given to the leading scorer in the collegiate ranks this year, a young lady by the name of Christen Press.

Miss Press is an accomplished striker who is able to create and finish, fleet-footed, and has (as far as we have observed) tremendous promise. She is also a much calmer presence than Kelley Maureen O’Hara and Kerri Michel Hanks, the two players she is most often compared to. Unfortunately, this promise seems to be going to waste in our country, as our head coach has somehow decided that even Meghan “Wears Too Much Eyeliner So She Looks Strung Out” Klingenberg merited a full national team call-up ahead of her.

Here, my dear women’s football federations, is where you come in. Miss Press’ teammates at Stanford University, Alina Lisi Garciamendez-Rowold and Teresa Noyola-Bayardo, having been otherwise given short-shrift by the United States Soccer Federation, have transferred their talents to Mexico. This is working very much in Mexico’s favor as well as their own — both have a very good chance of representing Mexico at the Women’s World Cup in Germany. Miss Press, on the other hand, has (as far as we have seen) little future with the United States. The fact that we have still not released Kristine Lilly from the player pool is a damning statement of what USSF thinks where its talented youth should go. (Hint: where the sun does not shine.)

So, my dear women’s football federations (and coaches), here is your chance to seize a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity (literally) to offer citizenship to Miss Christen Press, who will certainly be an asset to any football (soccer) team that will have her. Applications are open to all reasonable contenders, but being a World Cup-bound team in need of a good striker is a plus in the consideration process. (Equatorial Guinea and North Korea, please sit down, I do not think Miss Press looks manly enough for your teams.)

I hope you consider our proposal, and in everything make the most of your youthful promise.

Please accept our most humble regards, etc. etc.,

rhythm bandits

Written by teamongolia

December 20, 2010 at 11:23 pm

Mexico Women’s National Team: Yes she did

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Please take a moment to watch this video…you will probably recognize who that young lady wearing 19 is.

That’s right. Teresa Noyola. I remember asking a while ago– “will she or won’t she?” As in, would she or wouldn’t she leave the US Soccer system to play for her motherland? Considering that she’d just worn the USA crest this past summer (as opposed to Perez, who last wore it in 2008 — and Garciamendez, who last wore it when she was 16 or thereabouts but only at a training camp), I hadn’t thought she would go for it so soon.

But she did. Since this video was of a senior national team competition, I can’t see her not being cap-tied.

There goes another expatriate…but not just any expatriate. Unlike Perez and Garciamendez, Noyola has had more presence in the USA youth system, having represented the USA in serious business international competitions since 2007.

Huge loss for US Soccer (although I doubt they’ll realize it), a great coup for Mexico.

EDIT: Money quote from the comments: “If the US doesn’t stop fucking around, they’re going to lose every player ever to have a relative from another country. All the NT will be left with is ex-pat Canadians that got wamboozled by UCLA.”

Written by teamongolia

December 16, 2010 at 6:54 am

NCAA, etc.: Search terms for Christmas!

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Because it is almost the end of the year, here are the top 10 search terms used to find my blog since its inception in January:

Why yes, I am a badass, and this is my badass blog.

Bryane Heaberlin verballed to North Carolina, which makes me want to punch someone in the mouth.

Also, now that we know the Hermann Trophy finalists, I will just say that Christen Press deserves the Hermann Trophy and if she doesn’t win it, I will cry foul.

Written by teamongolia

December 12, 2010 at 10:43 pm

WPS: “You can’t buy my love but I will flip through that magazine”

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I haven’t spoken about WPS for a long time. I didn’t even chime in when FC Gold Pride, my hometown team, folded. I was angry and sad for a little while, but then NCAA heated up, the USWNT got in trouble, Alex Morgan suddenly got famous (or as famous as a women’s soccer player not named Mia Hamm can get in the United States), and Lauren Fowlkes got her NCAA championship ring. Morgan and Fowlkes can make my day, any day.

Well, it seems that since FCGP collapsed, so many interesting things have happened. As of this writing, Sinclair, Riley, Bock, Zerboni, and Wilson are going to Western New York Flash (blech what a mouthful). They’ve already got Fountain and Goebel, as you all should know by now — and of course a certain princess is slated to be the #1 2011 WPS draft pick, which WNY owns. I begged WNY to take Carrie Dew and Emma Hayes thanked me for my input. The Washington Freedom’s crazy-ass new owner is sending Freedom fans into conniptions — never seen so much whining in my life — at least, the most whining I’ve seen that wasn’t caused by Hope Solo. The Chicago Red Stars are not showing any signs of life. And, most oddly to me, Kelley O’Hara has been signed by the Boston Breakers, coached by the man who cut her from the 2008 U20 team (and in doing so I firmly believe that he drove a wedge between her and some of those other players). I mean, isn’t she Dennis the Menace to Tony’s Mr. Wilson? (Wonderful analogy, whoever came up with that.)

Other things have happened as well: the U-23s are going to camp again, Tiffany Weimer and co. start Ocho FC, the utopian women’s soccer team (hence it’s perfect and non-existent), Alex Morgan gets interviewed on a blog, and Morgan also did a photoshoot for ESPN the Magazine. Normally I don’t give a rat’s ass for ESPN anything, but OMG OMG, I WANT THAT ISSUE THAT HAS HER PICTURES IN IT, I WANT IT.

Written by teamongolia

December 10, 2010 at 2:41 pm

NCAA: Mariah Carey is a Popular Choice

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Amanda Laddish said that the Fighting Irish sing this song in the locker room:

The Cal Bears sing this song when they return to Berkeley from away games.

Katie Finley, formerly of the Stanford Cardinal, did an ASL video almost like this one. Probably cuter.

And then we can’t forget this song. Being the Christmas season and all.

Written by teamongolia

December 7, 2010 at 11:08 pm

NCAA: I LOVE NOTRE DAME FOREVER AND EVER

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REALLY I DO LOVE YOU GUYS A LOT

Back when I was writing my Christen Press’ Little Sister vs. Notre Dame entry, I hadn’t really thought back then that today it would be Christen Press herself vs. Notre Dame. The mighty triple-edged sword versus the Fighting Irish.

And even if I had thought Notre Dame would have made it this far, I would have believed that Christen, unlike Channing, would have prevailed.

But that was before Notre Dame lost to UConn in the Big East Tournament. Notre Dame was a different team then.

If Ohio State had advanced to the Championship instead of Notre Dame, Stanford would have won. But Notre Dame had a special something going for them today — I don’t know what the hell it was, perhaps a grueling opponent scouting — and ripped the Cardinal’s deadly attack to pieces. And they did it attractively, too. Adriana Leon’s goal had to be unstoppable — because no one gets a garbage goal against Stanford’s Emily Oliver, who had a beast of a game.

I don’t do player rankings, so I’ll just list what stood out to me. It’s easier.

  • I once asked if Laddish/Leon/Tucker could possibly be the next Bock/Dew/Hanks, and the answer is? They could possibly be better than those three. Laddish in particular is a terrific ball-winner. Barg was okay, but Laddish dominated the midfield — Nogueira and Levin had no answer for her.
  • Quite appalled that Stanford was resorting to “Let’s Knock Henderson Down” (Dr. Quon, I’m looking at you) tactics — Stanford can play much better than that! Could it be that they really did feel outclassed by Notre Dame, who wasn’t better than them on paper? I didn’t see the Irish knocking Press down as much as the Cardinal knocked Henderson down.
  • Beth Mowins kept harping about how Press hadn’t made a shot in 60 minutes. Thank you, but that was SO not necessary. Was she even watching? Press may not have been getting shots off, but she was trying her damn hardest to create a goal.
  • According to Shek Borkowski, it was “Fawlkes” who disrupted the Cardinal’s flow of play. While recently Lauren’s game has been rough around the edges, I still adore her with all my being. She deserves this championship AND SHOULD BE STARTING CENTER BACK FOR THE USWNT WITH NIKKI MARSHALL, KTHANX.
  • I thought Jazmin Hall would have added a better flank attack  than Kecia Morway did, but that’s a minor quibble. Morway did better than I thought she would — same with Nikki Weiss. Little Tucker, on the other hand…well, maybe she just wasn’t in the game long enough. La la.
  • Courtney Verloo looked out of place at center back today. I’m sorry.
  • Teresa Noyola did not have the best game, either. Odd.
  • And Foudy kept blathering about how slow Alina Garciamendez was and making her sound like a tortoise, which made me want to punch Foudy in the mouth. DID YOU SEE THAT HEADER SHE ALMOST SCORED WITH? DID YOU, FOUDY?!
  • When all was said and done, I saw Press congratulating Jessica Schuveiller — composed and dignified in the face of defeat. That’s something to be said for her. (Shek Borkowski also has an opinion on her, which you can read here.)

Of all the games played in American women’s soccer, this one is one of the prettiest. Both Notre Dame and Stanford put the “beautiful” in the beautiful game, and I’m not talking about how hot Courtney Verloo is (even though she is).

Well done, Irish. Go maire tú an lá!

Written by teamongolia

December 5, 2010 at 10:25 pm