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They're No. 1

With less than six months to go before the Women's World Cup in China, the USA has returned to the top of the FIFA rankings following their Algarve Cup championship. Now we all know these rankings mean nothing, but a nice accomplishment nonetheless.

By Steve Goff  |  March 16, 2007; 3:48 PM ET
Categories:  Women  
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If only the USA Men were this consistent...

Posted by: Carson | March 16, 2007 5:43 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Cleotis | March 16, 2007 5:52 PM | Report abuse

That's good stuff. They've been able to maintain their global status, unlike, say, US Men's basketball, which is trying to scrape it's way back to the top. Women's soccer may be the only sport where we can legitimately say we're the world's best.

As a bonus, we have Heather Mitts.

Posted by: Joe Doc | March 16, 2007 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that sometimes we have soccer fans who treat the women's game in a fashion similar to the one they rage against when mainstream sports media members dis soccer.

Posted by: seahawkdad | March 16, 2007 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for saying that seahawkdad. it's true. any dad with daughters who might consider playing should be applauding the US Women. Any guy who is not a dad but wants to someday be should ALSO be applauding the US women. Anyone who is slightly patriotic should ALSO be applauding the US women. Somehow i get this idea that because the Men haven't been able to win a World Cup many who support the US Men are slightly jealous and that jealousy turns to ambivalence with regard to hearing about the US Women's successes.

It's not a battle of the sexes here.

This is simply just giving girls something else to aspire to in this great country of ours. Not every girl can nor should be expected to grow up and become useless like Paris Hilton.

So dads and future dads, would rather your daughter aspire to be Abbey Waumbach or Britney Spears?

having more options for girls in sport is part of what makes the USA great. Remember, the best female footballers in the world came HERE to OUR country to play in WUSA because they didn't have the same kind of opportunity back home.

Doesn't that make you frickin proud? It should.

Posted by: jade | March 17, 2007 2:36 AM | Report abuse

Amen. My daughter played through college, and still does, generating feelings of pride in me all the way. Any dad or dad-to-be who wants to be involved in sports with his child no longer has to wish for a boy. That's a blessing that I wish more males would come to understand.

Posted by: seahawkdad | March 17, 2007 6:34 AM | Report abuse

Where'd Carli Lloyd come from? MVP?
It's nice to see the women playing attractive soccer again. Good coach for a change.

I don't understand why someone would follow the men's national team, but not the women's? They rock.

Posted by: Dave | March 17, 2007 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Dave, some futbol fans (like me) thrive on passion, and since Akers hung-em up, the women have just not had that inspirational leader. Hamm was great, but was/is stoic, Lily lets her play lead the way, and Foudy's chip-on-shoulder attitude towards MLS and the men's game has put off a great many of us.

I was a big fan of the women's game when Akers played 'cause she was very fun to watch (I saw her once score from 40 yds out vs China at RFK. If the defender had been in the way, I think she would have ended up in the net too!). Now the game just seems slow to me and the vast majority of the keepers seem too easy to beat.

It's almost as if they are too squeaky-clean for me and the discordantly strident meeeeeeeeeahhhhhh squeals were most definitely off-putting.

Show me a player with Olsen's or Aker's grit, and I'll watch 'em.

To be really fair, I am not that much a fan of the US Men either, but that's where my national team dollars are spent.

The ladies have my respect -- I'm just not a big fan.

I hope that gives you some insight.

PS, the present coach cut my daughter at SMU, fwiw, but that's just for the record, I bear no resentment.

Posted by: GrillMaster | March 17, 2007 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Are you kidding? Abby Wambach makes Akers look like a whimp. I think the last coach had the US playing boring, dull soccer, which is why Im glad they have a new coach. But, I don't think these women lack any sort of passion.

Regardless, folks can like what the like and not like what they don't like. My issue is more with people who poopoo women's soccer just because it's not mens soccer. Think that's kind of silly.

Posted by: Dave | March 17, 2007 10:50 AM | Report abuse


I'll see your argument and raise you. I'm a father of two boys and I'll take them to watch the Freedom this summer. Having been burned in pick up games by women with more skill and speed than I have, I have no issues at all with the women's game. It's not the men's game, but college football is not the NFL.

I think that USWNT fans should as enthusiastic and uncomprimising as fans of the Brazilian Men's team - anything less than a championship should be unacceptable. We have the talent to be #1 despite the improvement in other countries, too bad USSF kept Heinrich for so long.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | March 17, 2007 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Give credit where its due. The US coaches have it easy since its all being done for them in the college programs.

Anson Dorrance is a soccer coaching god and should be put in charge of US Soccer (both men's and women's).

If it wasn't for him our national team wouldn't be where they are now.

"This is a women's soccer school. We're just trying to keep up with them."

- Dean Smith (UNC men's b-ball legend)

Posted by: Southeasterner | March 17, 2007 11:33 AM | Report abuse

No more Anson. He wins and continues to win by recruiting and getting the best athletes and sometimes soccer players. However, he molds them or instructs them to win via athletics. That is insufficient in the international game - other countries are catching up to our superior athletes.

Tactical improvement is what is necessary.

I would have prefered for Lauren Gregg to get a shot instead of April Heinrichs.

The different between men and women game is not extremely significant - size, speed and athletism. The most important is speed, given that the field is constant, a woman will have more time on the ball before the defender pressures her than a man. This time allows more time to settle, decide what to do and execute the next move (dribble, pass, etc.). This makes the game less fluid.

Size and Athletism is most prevalent in the GK - as GM stated, most women can't adequately cover the upper part of the goal. I don't think this is a negative. Instead, increased scoring without artifical means is probably a benefit for American fans.

Since WUSA, I've spent more time on the men (both DCU and USMNT (Germany/WCQ) and college). I was a season ticket holder all 3 years (along with my wife and daughter). I went to all the 2003 WWC in DC, Philly and went to QF (?) in Boston.

Posted by: JSF | March 17, 2007 1:00 PM | Report abuse

I think Cleotis aka Clitoris should get his head out
of his arse

Posted by: Carson | March 17, 2007 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Dave, I couldn't disagree with you more! If you were to ask Abby, she'd probably be honored to clean Akers' boots.

No disrespect, Abby, but maybe you should forcibly make Wagner fulfill her potential so that you can get some service in the box. Then you should be disappointed if you don't score once every 90 minutes. You do that, and you'll have a good shot at breaking the scoring record or at least being in top 5.

I just want to say that Lily is a phenom! Can you imagine if some of our players (like Wagner) had her work ethic?? That would be exciting to see! Meantime, the USWNT vs minnows matches are some of the most boring and annoying futbol you'll ever (not) want to see.

No prisoners, ladies. That's what fans want to see, imo.

Posted by: GrillMaster | March 17, 2007 3:40 PM | Report abuse


Dorrence's main reason for success is that he knows how to motivate women players. It's not the same psychology when dealing with men.

I think he was the USWNT coach in the '80's, before there was ever a WWC. But then again, he may just have given US kits to his Tar Heels.

Despite Dean Smith's quote, UNC Women's Soccer is never mentioned when talking heads rant about dynasties. The Tar Heels have only won 75% of the NCAA Women's Soccer titles. Was John Wooden even close?

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | March 17, 2007 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Dorrance coached the USWNT through 1994, including winning it all in the first WWC in China in 1991. At one time he wore three hats (UNC women, UNC men, USWNT). More detail can be found in his Wikipedia entry.

Posted by: Go Penn State! | March 17, 2007 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Go Penn St - yep, you are correct.

270 - I don't agree, totally. Does he motivate, yes? But the talent that he has gets, is heads-and-shoulders over the rest of NCAA. Not saying he's a bad coach - but the tactics that he uses would not be effective in international, now.

Posted by: JSF | March 17, 2007 7:35 PM | Report abuse

I have problems with women's soccer. I've watched a lot of it and it's just too slow and underpowered. if they switched from the 5 ball to the 4, i would probably watch it, because then you'd get cross field switching, and long clearances and much harder shots. I'm not knocking the women's game, they are very technically skilled, it's just really slow to watch.

Posted by: DCAustinite | March 17, 2007 8:52 PM | Report abuse

It is true that US Women are very good, but please don't compare their results with the US Men. The level of competition is so much higher in the men's game, so that winning a women's World Cup is just not comparable to winning the men's World Cup.

Posted by: Swede | March 18, 2007 4:11 AM | Report abuse

Swede, winning the WWC is absolutely comparable to winning the MWC. In each case, the winner is the world champion, just as the winners of the men's and women's Wimbledon tournaments are both Wimbledon champions.

You really don't have to worry. None of your little man-parts will shrivel up just because women are good at sports.

Posted by: Ash | March 18, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Ash = Best poster here

Posted by: Goran | March 18, 2007 9:08 PM | Report abuse

I love soccer. I love my country. I watch all the women's games I can. The thing I'm most happy about with the WNT recently is the team is developing and progressing some unlike when April Heinrichs was at the helm. I still think Heirichs set the team back a few years.

Posted by: sitruc | March 20, 2007 12:56 AM | Report abuse

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