Well, I’ve slept on it and it still leaves a bitter taste. Surveying the Canadian soccer media landscape, I know I’m not alone. Ben Rycroft’s take is here, Squizz’s reaction piece is here, and Ben Massey’s wonderful recap is here.
As for the call itself, well, enough has been written on that subject. Some (well, massively sexist websites that steal copyrighted material) are pointing to the fact Melissa Tancredi is evil, so, you know, all’s fair. Others are pointing out the fact Canada conceded three goals after the first 45 minutes, which kind of glosses over the fact Big Red was up against the world’s best team, heavy favourites for the gold medal, and that weird referee decisions tend to have a big impact on games when given in the last fifteen minutes of play shortly after an equalizing goal. I think Squizz’s take is even-handed and thorough enough.
But now for the positives. Canada has been electrified by football. Women’s soccer. Three years ahead of our hosting the Women’s World Cup. Christine Sinclair, thanks to the magic of the broad interest in the Olympics, is moving toward “household name” territory. All this a mere year after the Morace debacle in Germany, when many Canadian soccer journalists questioned the mettle of this team at the highest level following an atrocious 2011 WWC. If the CSA can’t find a way to capitalize on this accomplishment in the hopes of broadening interest in the national program, it is entirely on their heads.
And consider this: some otherwise level-headed overseas journalists questioned whether this was one of the most exciting games ever played at Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United, the theatre of dreams. Two North American teams playing women’s football. Last night was not only a massive boost for Canada, but for the sport in general. It was also a tonic in a year when the WPS folded, leaving many elite women players in the dark over their futures. There is still a lot of work to be done to level and expand the playing field, but hopefully last night did its part.
Despite the loss Canada still has a lot going for them.
Montreal moves within five points of the final playoff spot.
Stoke City defender taken to hospital with mystery virus.
Roberto Mancini after Swansea’s Scott Sinclair.
Robin Van Persie lands in Germany for Arsenal’s pre-season.
Chelsea close to signing Moses, Azpilicueta.
Carzola signing official, joins Arsenal in Germany.
Manchester City continues to push for Liverpool defender Daniel Agger.
Edin Dzeko wants Milan move.
Swansea set to sell Joe Allen to Liverpool…for the right price.
West Brom add Markus Rosenberg on a three-year deal.
Rio Ferdinand keen on bringing Usain Bolt to Old Trafford.
Luka Modric looks to be staying at White Hart Lane.
Manchester United on alert after Sao Paulo confirm PSG talks.
QPR and Galatasaray after Arshavin.
Peter Schmeichel warns De Gea about Old Trafford’s number one spot.
Wesley Sneijder happy at Inter.
Massimo Moratti confirms PSG bid for Lucas Moura.
Negotiations set to being for Kaka’s return to Milan.
De Rossi back on Roberto Mancini’s wish list.
Ten months for Antonio Conte?
Maicon rejects PSG for Real Madrid or Chelsea switch.
Bits and bobs
Usain Bolt thanks Bayern Munich doctor.
Rafael set for Olympic semi-final at Old Trafford.
River Plate set up South America return for Pizarro.
Inter already claiming defeat in the battle for Lucas Moura.
Today’s rumor roundup.
Premier League’s most fouled players.
Ever wonder what it’s like to be a ref in La Liga?
Autopsy points to natural death for MLS player.
Premier League preview - Chelsea.
Cheers to Michael Tomasone for the links.