While some continue to question the justice of Norwegian referee Christian Pedersen’s time wasting call on Canadian goalkeeper Erin McLeod—and some have even raised the “Ugly American” slur because of the belief that US players comments after the match were insufficiently appreciative and gracious toward Canada’s performance—others are pointing at a rather ugly no-call in which Canada midfielder Melissa Tancredi appears to intentionally stomp on the head of US midfielder Carli Lloyd in the 55th minute.
Tancredi, who committed seven fouls in the game, including one in the first minute, and was shown a yellow card in the 79th minute, told reporters after the game that she said, “‘I hope you can sleep tonight and put on your American jersey because that’s who you played for today” to the referee after the game. One wonders how she will sleep herself after what appears to be a deliberate attempt to injure another player.
More importantly in view of Canada’s bronze medal match against France on Thursday, will Tancredi face the same kind of ban that Colombia’s Lady Andrade received after she sucker punched Abby Wambach during a group stage match? (Interestingly, Andrade said before her two-match ban that FIFA should investigate the USWNT “because they’re the United States. The whistle always goes in their favor.”)
Tancredi’s comments were just one of many made by Canadian players and their coach that questioned the integrity of the referee. FIFA has noticed and released this statement on Tuesday:
“Following the Olympic Women’s semifinal match between Canada and the USA played at Old Trafford on the evening of 6 August, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee is currently analyzing incidents that occurred after the conclusion of the match.
“Further information will be provided only after the Committee are in possession of all the elements of the case.”
An article at TropiGol.com suggests that FIFA may be investigating more than postgame comments to the press after an unidentified Canadian player reportedly got into a “verbal confrontation” with the ref in the players tunnel at Old Trafford after the game. Could this have been Tancredi?
Returning to the time wasting call, Abby Wambach told reporters that she began counting out loud the number of seconds McLeod was taking before kicking the ball. “I wasn’t yelling. I was just counting. Probably did it five to seven times.” In the moments leading up to the call in the 78th minute, Wambach recounted, “I got to 10 seconds right next to the referee, and at 10 seconds she blew the whistle.”
Wambach said of the call, “Yes it’s uncharacteristic. But the rules are the rules. You can say it’s gamesmanship, you can say it’s smart, but I’m a competitor. We needed to get a goal. They’re trying to waste time; I’m trying to speed it up.”
McLeod has admitted that she was told by an assistant referee to stop wasting time. Speaking to cbcsports.ca, Pedersen’s father says his daughter told him after the game that she warned McLeod twice and also told team captain Christine Sinclair.
US coach Pia Sunhage says the ref in the semifinal was right to call the foul on the Canadian goalkeeper.
Was the ref right to make the call? The New York Times considers.
The National Post writes, “Canada’s players said the result was a robbery, and you could say they were right. But you couldn’t say the Americans didn’t play their asses off, too.”
All White Kit has a great review of the game and what was learned from it.
Time asks, “In American sports over the past year, has any team provided more drama than the US women’s soccer squad?”
Describing the USWNT as “perhaps the most universally embraced group of Americans playing team sports,” the New York Times says the team is “Perfectly Captivating For Their Imperfections.”
One Miami Herald columnist describes how the USWNT’s Olympic tournament is a much more compelling story than that of the US men’s basketball team. “For me, the Olympic ideal/ideal Olympics is that the Games should be about athletes who work and devote entire lives to these moments, not about athletes to whom the Olympics are merely a sidelight, a novelty.”
The Huffington Post says Alex Morgan is becoming America’s darling.
Sporting News says redemption awaits in the gold medal match against Japan on Thursday (2:45pm, NBCSN, Live Extra). In case you’re wondering, the main NBC network, which reaches vastly more households than the new NBCSN, is showing the women’s water polo final.
Soccer America looks at how the USA and Japan matchup.
Sunil Gulati tells SI that US Soccer has been in talks to make sure the members of the USWNT can stay in the US rather than move to foreign leagues. “We’re having discussions about that right now,” Gulati said. “It’s a little bit awkward having all those discussions when players on this team are part of that discussion. We’re not raising that [with them], but we’ve talked with some people around them, representatives and so on. I think over the next 30 to 60 days we’ll have a better handle on what might be possible for next year and beyond.”
US Open Cup
Seattle will try to become the first team to win four consecutive Open Cup titles tonight when they face Kansas City (9pm, GolTV).
MLSsoccer.com will stream a live pregame show starting at 8pm.
Kansas City is in a bit of a home slump going into the final, having a 0–2–2 record at Livestrong since defeating Toronto on June 16. Sporting coach Peter Vermes says, “We don’t have to approach it from the perspective we’re at home. We need to face it from the perspective it’s a final.”
SBI notes that Kansas City’s Roger Espinoza,who had a fine Olympic tournament, picked up an injury while with Honduras and that his status for tonight’s final is uncertain.
Kansas City goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen—aka Bridgette, aka the Muave One—is sick of losing in Cup finals, having been runner-up three times with Danish side Aalborg BK. Neilsen says,”I’ve been in three cup finals. We won’t talk about the results. It’s time for me to win a cup now.”
In a video roundup several weeks ago, Simon Borg was going on about “Hip Hoppenot” missing a goal. This week, Borg describes the Nelson Rivas headbutt on the young Union striker as “vicious, deliberate and had a tremendous amount of force behind it” and calls for a five game suspension. He also questions whether Jack McInerney should have been sent off, noting that Rivas “went down rather easily” when McInerney touched him. “Yellow would have been sufficient.” You’re still not forgiven, Simon.
As of this writing, the Generation adidas Cup results table at MLSsoccer.com hasn’t been updated since Saturday’s game but Twitter reveals (thanks to the fine folks at YSC Sports) that the Union’s U-15 team was defeated by Colorado, 2-1 on Monday, the goal coming from a penalty kick converted by Chris Gomez. The U-15s were able to secure their only win in the tournament on Tuesday when they topped FC Dallas 2–0 with goals from James Murphy and one Morgan Hackworth.
Wearing black armbands to honor the passing of Kirk Urso, the Union’s U-17 team had its first defeat of the tournament on Monday, losing 2–0 Columbus. In Tuesday’s semifinal game, the U-17s clobbered San Jose 5–1 with goals from Billy McConnell, Joey Julius, Max Krochwitz, Kazari Trought, and Matt Greer. Zach Pfeffer had the assist on the first three goals. The U-17s will play Toronto in the final on Thursday.
A new column at the Brotherly Game offers a poetical take on Saturday’s loss in Montreal, a recap in verse.
Jimmy McLaughlin, on loan to Harrisburg City Islanders from the Union, received an honorable mention in USL PRO’s latest Team of the Week, as did Garret Pettis. Reading lad Corey Hertzog, on loan from New York Red Bulls to Wilmington Hammerheads, was named to the Team of the Week.
Harrisburg play their last home game of the regular season tonight, hosting Charleston Battery at 7pm. You can read some background on tonight’s matchup here. Still in the hunt to make the post season, the Patriot News says Harrisburg needs to play the remaining four games as if they are already in the playoffs
With some help from the Shin Guardian and Portland blog Stumptown Footy, Montreal blog Mount Royal Soccer tries to parse Tuesday’s goalkeeper swap of Troy Perkins and Donovan Ricketts.
Using Opta stats, this post suggests Montreal got the better deal.
Geoff Cameron’s UK work permit has been approved.
The league has surpassed the 4 million mark for attendance in 2012.
The USMNT stays at No. 36 in the latest FIFA rankings.
The Shin Guardian has an excellent round table discussion about soccer analytics.
Jamaican speedster Usain Bolt wants to play for Manchester United. “People think I am joking. But if Alex Ferguson called me up and said, ‘OK let’s do this, come and have a trial’, it would be impossible for me to say No. I would not take up the challenge if I didn’t think I was good enough. I am a very accomplished player and know I could make a difference.” Good luck with that.