Saturday Soccer Stuff

Sorry to be slow about the Algarve updates … but following is a collection of tidbits I’ve gleaned here and there.  In Alvor, Portugal,  the USWNT defeated a very feisty squad from Italy by a score of 2-0.  Lindsay Tarpley scored early (6th or 7th minute) on a rebound after a shot by Lauren Cheney.  Heather O’Reilly scored late (74th minute or so) and unassisted.  Here’s Gayle Bryan’s Fair Game Blog write-up … it’s great to have an eye-witness account.  Gayle also offers an explanation of why the US Soccer coverage has been so annoyingly slow.  (This is helpful, as I was beginning to consider tempting conspiracy theories as to why US Soccer seemed to be ignoring the USWNT.)

The USWNT defense sounds like it played particularly well, with Captain Christie Rampone being named Player of the Match.  Here’s US Soccer’s write-up of the match, and here are the post-game quotes, as well as the write up from Italy

I continue to just love how Pia thinks – and how her thinking and attitude are influencing this team.  How refreshing after the Ryan years (and the April years before that).  For video highlights of the US v China match … or for a post-Italy interview with Pia … go here and click either on Weekend news (Pia-toward the end) or the highlights.

Cat Whitehill saw her first action in quite some time and from what I read somewhere (here’s the link) it sounded like fitness (coming back from an injury) has been the big issue for Cat.  Good, steady, hard work is being done by coach and player … and it’ll be great to have Cat back on the field and at 100%. 

Love this team and how it’s shaping up.  Now on to what looks like a good, challenging Norway game on Monday!

 In other Algarve news from Friday, Germany defeated Finland 3-0 and Denmark beat Sweden 1-0 in Group A.  In the other Group B match, Norway upended China 3-1.  In Group C, Portugal and Iceland remain undefeated.  Portugal beat Poland 3-1 and Iceland beat Ireland 4-1.[TABLE=8]

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