Few will cry bitter salt tears in the event of a loss for Canada against the USA in the Olympic football semifinal this afternoon. The Canadian women’s history against the US is beyond dismal; in fact, it’s about as statistically one-sided as any “rivalry” could be, with the US all time record at 43-3-5. While CWNT coach John Herdman has taken a page from the book of Gretzky by pouring on the victim sauce with claims the US team uses “illegal tactics” because “that’s what they do”, mind-games aren’t likely enough to compensate for the gulf in quality.
Yet again, historical records don’t always mean much in the course of ninety minutes. A Sinclair free-kick, a Tancredi header—hell, a Moscato long clearance that bobbles past Hope Solo’s horrified face. A win for Canada…should we even go there?
As with any Summer Olympic games, Canada’s success has come in dribs and drabs. An event here, a bronze medal there, with a few compellingish stories in between. But beating the US in a team sport to make it to an actual final in a game on the sputtering rise in popularity in this country would almost certainly end up being the story of these Olympics for Canada.
And why not dream a little dream? The game’s at Old Trafford after all, a theatre apparently built for this sort of thing. Or a giant branded monstrosity in which the vastly more popular giant almost always wins. In any case, an upset three years before Canada hosts the Women’s World Cup, and a month before the mens team resumes qualification for the other World Cup, could provide some keen public interest in our national soccer program. Let’s hope the Canadian Soccer Association will take ready advantage.
WTR’s Olympic match preview.
There are traces of a winning team in the Montreal Impact, writes Nick Sabetti.
Toronto FC shits the bed in Chicago.
Chelsea panic in the face of a dreadful preseason record.
Manchester United lining up a £50 million bill for Lucas Moura and Robin van Persie.
Police investigate reports that Gael Clichy had bananas thrown at him while Manchester City played a friendly match in Limerick.
Darren Fletcher back in training with Team Scotland, which I have so dubbed.
Leonardo Bonucci has nothing to confess, say his lawyers in the Calcioscommesse investigation.
A match made in hell—Russian president Vladimir Putin considers investment in AC Milan.
Bits and bobs
Watford is sponsored by Football manager. Which is awesome.
Tim Vickery waxes poetic on the importance of Team GB’s victory over Brazil. No mention of Canada smashing those dreams to bits.
Cristiano Ronaldo hopes to play in MLS one day.
And that, give or take, is the story so far…