August 8th, 2011

Hot Rhod

Canada World Cup Qualifying - Info and Tickets

Hmmm, I guess it's pretty routine that I promote Canada here but what can I say? I want us to go the World Cup and I hope all the other Canucks on ontd_football want the same too! Last week, Canada found out their road to qualifying for the World Cup - in order to get into the CONCACAF hex we need to beat St. Lucia, Puerto Rico, and St. Kitts and Nevis in group 2. In the words of Grant Wahl, "If Canadians can't advance to the Hex from a group including Honduras, Cuba and likely Panama, they're worse than I thought."

Fair enough. Bottom line is Canada drew a really good group that gives us a realistic chance of progressing to the Hex (a six team round robin for the fourth qualifying spot in CONCACAF) Well, if you're in the GTA area, take the opportunity to be part of the sea of red and white.

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Before I peace out until the next big Canadian thing, I would like to share a rant by a certain Sid Seixeiro of Tim and Sid Uncut fame via The Score :

I wanna say something right now. To any soccer fan who’s listening to this, who like me, grew up in a very European household watching a lot of other leagues. I’m talking to you Italian guy, Spanish guy, Portugese guy, English guy, Greek guy, Croatia, Serbia, whatever. You know who you are. It is time to get behind Canada’s men’s team because they need us. Teams cannot be coming into BMO field, or wherever Team Canada plays, and half the fucking crowd is supporting El Salvador. This is not a one way street, the team isn’t that good, they need a lift. BMO Field has to become a bit of a fortress here and you can’t have 8 busloads of Mexico supporters coming up from Buffalo and dominating. If Canadian soccer fans really care about seeing Canada back in a world cup, it’s time to show up. It’s time to dominate our home turf and buy some fucking tickets. So I am directly talking to you – unmarried, soccer fan, aged 20 to 35 with disposable income and no mortgage. I’m talking directly to you. When these tickets go on sale on Monday – buy ‘em. And it’s time for people to fucking show up – these are massive fixtures. And only if BMO is full will those guys on the field get a lift. If half the crowd is supporting Honduras it doesn’t fucking matter – might as well be in Honduras. … ‘Cause the time is now. They got a great draw. And if you really want to see this team make a run towards a World Cup it’s not a one way street! BMO has to be full and full of Canadian fans for a fucking change. I’m buying tickets Monday. I would urge you to do the same. Because they have a real chance here. They got a good draw. This could fucking happen. I’m not saying it will, I’m saying it could. – you won’t regret it.

Thanks for your time!

London's burning

Spurs fear riots could threaten opening Premier League match against Everton

Tottenham must wait to hear if the club’s Premier League kick-off at home to Everton on Saturday will be postponed after riots in the area.
White Hart Lane is less than a mile from Tottenham Police Station, where around 300 people gathered from 5.30pm on Saturday to protest over the fatal shooting of Mark Duggan, 29.

The demonstration was trouble-free until around 8.20pm, when two police cars were attacked on High Road. Buildings and cars were then set alight, 48 people were arrested and eight police officers taken to hospital. The Metropolitan Police are ‘aware’ further disorder is being planned on sites such as Twitter.

Tottenham cancelled stadium tours of White Hart Lane for Sunday and Monday ‘due to safety reasons’. The Spurs Megastore was closed and the ticket office in Park Lane, to the south of the ground, will not open until Wednesday. The club intend to operate a counter service from the matchday ticket windows in Paxton Road between 9.30am and 5pm on Monday and Tuesday.



After World Cup Thrills, Players Return to Unstable Women’s League
Abby Wambach at a WPS game

Published: August 8, 2011

BOCA RATON, Fla. — Three weeks after losing in the final of the Women’s World Cup, the players on the United States national team have returned to their professional soccer league. They have been welcomed home as if they were champions, handed roses and plaques calling them “extraordinary heroes,” an embrace that they both appreciate and find somewhat baffling.

“It definitely makes it hard coming back and being honored,” midfielder Carli Lloyd said. “We’re like: ‘Wait a minute, we’re confused. We didn’t win.’ But at the end of the day, it’s been really special coming home. We did so much for the game. It’s been amazing.”

Yet, despite the fame and glory the Americans achieved with their thrilling run at the World Cup, the far less glamorous and more uncertain existence of league soccer has abruptly returned.

Attendance and television ratings have swelled in the three-year-old Women’s Professional Soccer league, but there is no guarantee that it will survive into Year 4.
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*I feel like this has always been a shortcoming of the marketing surrounding WPS and women's soccer in general--it's being portrayed as entertainment for young girls (or spank bank fodder for dudes)--not serious sports competition. But you can't sustain the league on that.
**There's no confirmation but it's pretty widely agreed that she is the highest paid women's soccer player. But notice also that she's been on a string of teams that have folded due to financial pressure. She signed a five-year contract with WPS for that amount--doubtful she'll be making that much wherever she goes next.
***This makes no sense to me. What are the players going to do? If they don't play club soccer at all they jeopardize their chances of making the NT at all, and even if the top few foreign leagues absorbed all of the players in the USWNT player pool, they're semipro and probably wouldn't pay any more than this hypothetical semipro WPS. Shut up, Borislow.
I've been thinking for a while that the best thing for women's soccer in the US might be to adopt a semipro model like Europe has. As much as I love that we have the only fully pro league in the world, 1) it doesn't necessarily mean we're paying all the players a living wage anyway, 2) it's probably better for development in the long run if we have a stable league, where teams aren't folding every year and people aren't going into playoffs wondering if there will even be a league next year. The W-League and WPSL have been doing pretty well for a while now. There are worse things. :/ Thoughts?

ETA: I forgot I had read this earlier. Added bc it's pretty relevant/interesting.

A week in the life of Sophie Bradley of the FA Women's Super League

Lincoln's centre-back describes a typical week in preparation for the launch of the summer league

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Not quite the life of a male footballer, eh?