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Japan’s Aya Miyama Is the One to Watch in Women’s World Cup Final

Published: July 4, 2015

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Nothing about Japan’s game, in theory, is about the individual. Their whole philosophy is about passing, controlling and even scoring by committee.  That’s what makes the brilliance of Aya Miyama so hard to notice. She is not a outspoken leader or a media magnet like Abby Wambach or as internationally recognized as Alex Morgan. Miyama is the captain of Japan, but she is one with the... 

A 2nd Women’s World Cup Title Would Cement Japan’s Place Among Elite

Published: July 3, 2015

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Japan have a chance to defend their FIFA Women’s World Cup title against the United States on Sunday. It’s a rematch of the 2011 final as well as the Olympic gold-medal match they played a year later, and it’s an invitation for the Japanese to join the elite of the women’s game once and for all. They were never a traditional powerhouse. Before winning the World Cup in 2011,... 

Canada’s Women’s World Cup Ends with Tears and Hope

Published: June 28, 2015

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Three minutes cost Canada in the biggest game the women’s team has ever played. The defence slipped and gave way to England early in the first half, and Canada could not recover. But the past two weeks earned Canada a generation of new supporters and, with that, a greater future. A 2-1 loss in the quarterfinals of the Women’s World Cup doesn’t erase that progress. “It’s... 

Canada Learning to Play Under Pressure After Reaching World Cup Quarter-Finals

Published: June 22, 2015

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Canada had only once before won a single elimination game in the Women’s World Cup. They didn’t win at all in the group stage four years ago. So, this is progress. Canada played in front of a record 53,855 crowd on Sunday night, and they beat Switzerland 1-0 to advance to the quarter-finals. And they are learning to play—and win—tight games: Five of their past eight games, including... 

Spain Not Afraid to Speak Up After Women’s World Cup Exit

Published: June 20, 2015

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Spain left the Women’s World Cup without a win in Group E. It was their first time participating in the tournament, an achievement in itself for a program that largely coasted through years of mediocrity. In fact, since 1998, Spain have played under the same coach, Ignacio Quereda. Despite being one of the longest-serving national coaches in the game, he has not managed to produce much loyalty... 

Canada Must Show a More Complete Game in Knockout Round of Women’s World Cup

Published: June 16, 2015

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The team’s goal was to win their group, something Canada had only done once before in a Women’s World Cup. And they did that, barely, taking Group A with a 1-1 draw against the Netherlands on Monday night. In all, they have only conceded a single goal. Their defence, not their attack, has kept Canada in a position to make a run in this tournament. Two goals in three games usually isn’t... 

Canada Not Showing Enough Confidence at Women’s World Cup

Published: June 12, 2015

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They are atop their group with one game to go, and they have not conceded a single goal in the Women’s World Cup. Still, Canada’s 0-0 draw against New Zealand on Thursday night raises some doubts. Christine Sinclair has scored Canada’s only goal of the tournament thus far, and even that was a gift of a penalty in the 92nd minute against China. Their offence, which coach John Herdman... 

Women’s World Cup 2015: Canada Have to Find More Ways to Score

Published: June 7, 2015

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Of course it was up to Christine Sinclair to score the winning goal against China in the opening match of the 2015 Women’s World Cup. There is no bigger player for Canada. “Can you imagine the pressure on that woman’s shoulders?” coach John Herdman told TSN after the match. “That’s what she’s born for.” Her eighth World Cup goal was a little bit different.... 

Canada May Not Be Best Team at Women’s World Cup but Is Most Balanced

Published: June 3, 2015

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There is a (quite literally) hard-nosed captain, a teenager in defence, a midfield talisman and a coach who trusts them all. Canada may not have the most talented squad in the Women’s World Cup, which starts on Saturday, June 6 in Edmonton, but they have achieved some pretty good balance. It’s an ideal combination of experience and youth, with three players under 20 and another nine in... 

5 Players Italy Should Axe Ahead of Euro 2016 Qualification

Published: June 28, 2014

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The formula for Italy was never really known. Coach Cesare Prandelli rolled out different formations in advance of the World Cup, and he brought over a group of players both experienced and fresh to the international scene. That Serie A’s leading scorer, Ciro Immobile, only made his second start for the Azzurri in Brazil was evidence enough of a team in transition. (He played just 88 minutes... 

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