U17 2016 World Championships – Final review

1. Korea DPR – 2. Japan – 3. Spain – 4. Venezuela

The final day of an extraordinary championship is over. And so its time to look back. And to think about the future of the womens game.

But first to the finals:

3rd place:
Spain – Venezuela 4:0

Very surprising that Spain didnt change some regular starter players. They will have had their reasons to go away from the good tradition to use that and think of the development of the whole roster and give a few of those a reward and an opportunity to show their skills who havent had it earlier.
Using their complete team they were always in control and beat Venezuela quite comfortably. The most noteworthy (more…)

11 new faces for team USA?

Thats a lot …

We have nearly lost the overview. But we have 3 years now. So why not start trying something. But keep in mind that we will be three years older in three years. Well – sort of most of us hopefully. Its really the main point that you cant say: there is not an awful lot to do at the moment so lets take some break or make some fun of it. But three years is an awful lot of time regarding the development of players and the game. And there will be a lot of things massively different in 3 years from now. But first lets keep the overview: (more…)

U17 2016 World Championships – the Semi Finals

Extraordinary again

Extraordinary was this second semi final. More below. But we are still sticking to our major aspect. Spain minimised their chances in the group stage (by getting second with the draw in the last match). Maybe they feel it somehow. But do they have realised? Sometimes you have no choice and can be happy to place second. But when you have a choice of an easy way to the final you should take it. So it was like against Germany but the other way round. With the unlucky day for Spain this time. Your opponent scores with the first opportunity while in the mean time five balls had fallen mean to you just missing a few centimetres for your forwards in the box to score.
And in the other bracket, kudos to them, Venezuela and North Korea fought for the spot in the finals. Under normal circumstances not (more…)

AFBL Nachbetrachtung 5. Spieltag

Das TV-live-Spiel:

Turbine Potsdam – SGS Essen 2:0 (1:0)
Erst einmal tief durchatmen. Und dann einmal mehr nach Alternativen suchen. Ungeschönt schreiben oder satirisch? Sehen wir es als Gedulds-Training. Also eben noch einmal mehr das Gleiche: Es stand alles vor ein paar Wochen sowieso schon genauso hier. Da waren wir positiv überrascht worden von der SGS Essen, dass man nach dem Spiel in Duisburg direkt die Abwehrprobleme ansprach.

Hatten aber auch befürchtet, dass es von der Erkenntnis zur Beseitigung derselben eben leider auch noch einmal ein nicht einfacher Schritt ist. Und so haben wir (more…)

D1: FCF Juvisy Esonne – HSC Montpellier 1:2 (0:1)

Since years the ever same situation in France has been more or less as gripping as watching a glass of water evaporating in the sun. Last season was one of the tightest though. At least half a year Montpellier HSC could shake up the old order Lyon – PSG on 1 and 2 until the winter. Only to see them rather fading away in the second half. But Montpellier was also again off to a good start this season so far having not yet conceded a goal. FCF Juvisy Esonne on the other side with a rather shocking initial loss to Guingamp. However the main question of this match remains the same like the years before: who from these two here sitting in third and fourth also what feels already since 20 years would be the main challenger.

Headline: still getting tighter
but still work to do. Tighter between these two and to the big guns. The match was individually quite on a good level. It lacked some fluidity however because both teams focussed on pressing each other quite well. The margins could be close enough now for both to threaten the top teams based on the individual class of the players. And that individual class has been the main gap for all those years where they have had no chance. But is that still the case anymore? We will have to wait and see. But we have already seen that a back line with Linda Sembrandt can go much further than the one with Wendy Renard and Griedge MBock (though she still isnt the best individual of the three) for example. And that was not because there was an astonishing offensive power lined up in front of Sembrandt.

Speaking of offensive power. The match wasnt very gripping because it missed scenes not only in the boxes but even so close to both boxes. It was a tough battle in midfield though and very intense. But to have an advantage over the top duo there will still be more compactness needed. Maybe the main point they need to improve on. But lets have a short look


U17 2016 World Championships after the Quarterfinals

From good to professional. But with some bumps

There were some bumps in the level of play as we already got too used to the increased level of this championship. The quarter finals were the first time here we were not too much amused. Still the level was good. But the games switched further away from a matter driven of showing what skills they have got to professionally preventing the others from showing what they might have. Somehow the high quality level of the group matches throughout made the quarters a difficult stage. Because it just wasnt justified to expect the quarters to get any better. With a lot at stake and with the 4th game the girls understandably were missing some of the sharpness and joy of the first matches. Maybe sometimes the coaches also added to a more cautious approach.
Maybe in the first quarter final match it was the quality of Deyna Castellanos again who made the game reminding of the previous years where the level of the players have been much less homogeneous. Maybe it was because it was probably the match with not the strongest teams. Apart from Castellanos glimpses there was not too much else to appreciate. Still a good achievement for Mexico in this tournament.
Unfortunately also the top match Spain – Germany (more…)

2016 NWSL Final: Washington Spirit – Western New York Flash 4:5(2:2) a.pen.

The final. The expectations were high for a final that had seen preceding semifinals of probably the highest standards ever. And two dynamic winners who boasted energy all over the football field in their deserved extra time wins last week.

Headline: Not as expected
But what a disappointing game it has been compared to the semis last week. It makes you even struggle to analyse the football performance level because it was kind of a pity. It more makes you think about how low the human knowledge is about the human body. Why was it that so many players who played top level last week did look so lost this week very often. Why only some? Why them and not others? Why at times? It got a litle bit more normal level towards the end. Certainly a problem of the control system in the heads. But why and – more important – what would it need to overcome these sort of problems. It wasnt nerves or the thought of the high prize at stake. Because being able to call yourself NWSL champion for the rest of your life sounds good. It was the picture of a miraculous lack of energy and focus that was so astonishing.
It only was another good example for the short list we made last week to describe the quality level of a game. Indepth there is more but contrariwise the lacks here gave this the typical different look of a second tier match. Where you also see glimpses of top performances of course. The occasional viewer would describe it as being played like on 90Volts only and mixed up with lots of technical mistakes.
But lets have a look of how it unfolded first.

The first about 15 minutes (more…)

U17 2016 World Championships after round 3

Mixed performances

The last U17 WC has already seen much much improved performances but this one seems to be yet another big step forward. Overall the teams have matured also regarding the balance of the performance level within each team and between the teams. Once you had easy wins for the few forerunner nations in womens football because the “smaller” countries may have had a few players on level but lacked quality in depth. Now we have a field of 16 teams that is nearly as much on level as at the mens world championships. And technical faults are much more an exception even though the games are played with yet increasing tempo and dynamic duels. And a lot of games are really good and interesting to watch even compared to the top flight leagues in many countries.
How good are these teams compared to top flight (first league) club matches?
Without a discussion of what the best league is. It depends on the particular league of course. The North American players are coming to senior level much later after college football and thus are difficult to compare to the NWSL. But the college football system is not a disadvantage for their development of course. (more…)

Preview: Final Washington Spirit – Western New York Flash


That is a final match up that probably would have given you similar betting quotes like Leicester City for Premier League championship last season. Maybe the Spirit have been amongst the possible candidates here and there after they got at least to the semis last year. But New York against them? 3rd from bottom last season? Losing Engen, Edwards, Edmonds, Spencer, Heyman … And now they have won away at heavy favorites Portland Thorns and when they can repeat that performance they might more than fancy their chances. The Spirit have been missing out on the shield at the last day of the regular season due to a loss in Chicago. But they have overcome them now in a similar battle in the other semi also in extra time. So only one more perfect (more…)

U17 2016 World Championships short update after round 2

Headline: High flying expectations confirmed…
 … has been the headline after round1.
And that is still true after round2. However more for the fact that the average level of the performances has risen. The favorites had difficulties this time to confirm their expectations partially.
And the African teams have proofed to be better than at day one where you already saw it was more a lack of the right preparation than a lack of skills that held them back. However Cameroon still produced quite something against Venezuela. Or better Deyna Castellanos produced quite something for Venezuela. We already mentioned her shot against Germany reminded us of Carli Lloyd. But that was even more crazy. Ghana just got back to a 1:1 draw in injury time with a stunner of a backheel goal into the far corner after a flat cross from the wing. That would probably have been the goal of the day. But with seconds to go Castellanos scored from the following kick off from 50m. Look at it in the summary video of FIFA here.

All favorites except Japan have had hard times. Spain only (more…)