Saturday, August 16, 2008

Handing off

My brief fling with women's soccer is over after three dates (1, 2, and 3), and heartbreak. Probably suffering from similar, though undoubtedly more profound, heartbreak, Canada star Christine Sinclair provides a nice segue by fighting Olympic tears to bash Jason de Vos and the men's program.

FTA:

Pellerud has his critics.

Jason DeVos, a former men's national team member who has been working as a television analyst, said Pellerud's methods are outdated.

Instead of playing a kick-and-run style, the women should play a more possession-focused game, said DeVos.

Pellerud was blunt in his reply.

"He can start to look at my record," he snapped.

Sinclair was more acid.

"The men's team is not at the Olympics," she said. "It's a shame to hear men's players saying that when they are no where."

Interesting. There are couple of strange leaps in logic in Sinclair's statement. One is that she build from a false premise: Jason isn't on the national team, and hasn't played there for 4 years, and has been too old for the Olympic program for over a decade. Second, the Olympics aren't the pinnacle of men's soccer achievement. For evidence of that, you need not look beyond the fact that Belgium, of all countries, qualified for the semi-finals. Belgium!?!

On the broader issue of the men's team being "no where", I'd say Canada's position as a 50th-60th ranked country in a field of over 100 competitive teams isn't much different than the women's spot as a 9th or 10th ranked team among 20 or 30 nations that actually invest in women's soccer. Sinclair has it all wrong, though it's up to the MNT to start proving that, starting this Wednesday.

Handing off duties for a while

Speaking of this Wednesday, I'll be carefully tucked away somewhere, in a tent or a stuffy cabin. I trust our caretaker manager to provide excellent liveblog commentary of the Canada - Jamaica tilt. Any other posts he wants to put up here throughout the week are more than welcome, and I expect they'll be action at his own blog as well.

The next time you'll here from me will likely be next Saturday evening, with all of my fresh thoughts on a game that is three days old.

I would be remiss if I didn't grace you all with some prognostication in the form of a prediction. I'm hoping that the Jamaicans will still be suffering a ganja hangover after Usain Bolt's massive victory in the 100m, but it won't matter. Canada is the better team, and it is time to start showing it.

PREDICTION: CANADA 2 - 0 JAMAICA

1 comment:

Footie Fool said...

Sad to hear Sinclair's comments, and it only adds fuel to the "Men vs Women" debate among the national teams. She's way off base here in lumping deVos in with the Men's team. Why bring the MNT into it at all? And can she really believe that the MNT is "nowhere?" I mean, she's a player - she's got to know that the MNT is not "nowhere" but a strong, up and coming side. And she has to realize that Canada qualifying for the WC in 2010 is going to do ALL soccer good in this country.

That all said, I do cut her some slack as her comments were coming off an emotional defeat - a defeat that will see her mentor, Pellerud, leaving his post.