Olympics

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USA vs. Canada

Post by DoubleDipper on Tue Aug 07, 2012 5:24 pm

From Ann Killion, SI.com:
MANCHESTER, England -- At the end of the game, Christine Sinclair stood alone on the field, hands on her hips, staring. At the Americans celebrating. At her teammates crumpled on the grass. At the officials walking off. At her own shattered dream.

"Devastated," Sinclair said. "We feel like we didn't lose. We feel like it was taken from us. It's a shame in a game like this that's so important the referee decided the result before it started."

That's a very strong statement, but the bitter Canadian women were full of strong statements after Monday's 4-3 overtime loss to the United States. Goalkeeper Erin McLeod said her team "outplayed the Americans the entire game." Their coach called the refereeing "bizarre decisions."

Their anger was over a chain of events that began with about ten minutes of regulation left to play, with the referee's call against McLeod for stalling. At the time, Canada was up 3-2, the third time it had taken the lead on the U.S. The call -- which came without an official prior warning -- resulted in an indirect free kick, which resulted in a hand ball call against Canada, which led to a penalty kick by Abby Wambach and to the U.S. reclaiming a tie.

"It was shocking," said Sinclair.

Sinclair, 29, is one of the great players on the planet. But not that many people know the native of Burnaby, British Columbia, because she plays for a team that rarely plays in the international spotlight.

Canada has made it to the semifinals of a major tournament only once in their history - at the 2003 World Cup, when Sinclair was a 20-year old college student at the University of Portland. Other than that, their best showing in either a World Cup or Olympics was a quarterfinal loss to the U.S. in Beijing four years ago.
But on Monday, Sinclair finally had her showcase game. And she shined. She scored a hat trick -- three goals. She put Canada ahead in 22nd minute, slipping through the American defense.

"I felt like a sitting duck," said goalkeeper Hope Solo, who has been battling Sinclair since their college days in the Northwest at the University of Washington and Portland, respectively. "She was wide open in the six-yard box and she had me to my left or to my right."

Sinclair scored again in the 67th and the 73rd minutes -- the last two goals on devastating headers.
"I think we're the better team in the air, but we didn't win those air battles as much as we would like to," Solo said.

But three goals weren't enough. Sinclair would have needed a fourth to secure the win.
"I just want to help our team win," she said. "In big games, big players re expected to turn up. And I tried to do that."

With Sinclair's three goals, and Abby Wambach's one goal on the penalty kick, the two players moved into a tie for second place on the most goals scored in international games, at 143. Mia Hamm has the most at 158. Sinclair also set a Division 1 record for goals with 39 in 2004, leading Portland -- for the second time in her career -- to an NCAA national championship.

"I think it's kind of funny, with my career that I've had, that people wouldn't know it," Sinclair said.
But stars are made in the international spotlight and Canada hasn't played in many big games. They've also been owned by their neighbor to the south. Monday's was their 27th game without victory against the Americans, a streak dating back to 2002.

Before the game, Pia Sundhage warned her team that they really had only one thing to worry about.

"Where is Sinclair playing?" Sundhage said before the game. "This is the first question we will try to figure out."

They never could figure it out on Monday.

"What a wonderful player," Sundhage said. "She was a handful."

But at the end of the game, the handful felt empty. And devastated. And robbed.


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USA vs. Canada

Post by DoubleDipper on Tue Aug 07, 2012 5:31 pm

Threat of suspension hangs over Canadian women's soccer team
Canadian head coach John Herdman is asking for empathy ahead of the Olympic women’s soccer bronze medal match.

Not from Canada, a country that rose up in a rage usually reserved for hockey when it felt it’s team was wronged by a Norwegian referee, but from FIFA, the imperious governing body of world soccer, which announced Tuesday afternoon that it is “analysing incidents that occurred after the conclusion,” of Canada’s controversial 4-3 loss to the U.S. on Monday in a semi-final match in Manchester. The unspoken threat of suspension or fine thus hung over the team Tuesday as it attempted to regroup ahead of Thursday’s bronze medal match against France.
To long to post here...read the article at:http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/olympics/threat-of-suspension-hangs-over-canadian-womens-soccer-team/article4467220/

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USA vs. Canada

Post by DoubleDipper on Tue Aug 07, 2012 5:36 pm

Why not Christine Sinclair for flag bearer at closing?
To the U.S. reporter, Christine Sinclair’s three goals (against the United States) in a spellbinding Olympic semi-final (against the United States) at Old Trafford (against the United States) meant she was now a household name. How, the captain of Canada’s women’s soccer team was asked, did she view it?

“I think it’s kind of funny …,” Sinclair responded, looking away and taking a deep breath before starting up again, “I think it’s kind of funny that with the career I’ve had, people wouldn’t know about me. In semi-final games and finals, big players are expected to step up. And I tried to step up.”

When the powers that be decide who gets to carry Canada’s flag for the closing ceremony, they could do worse than Captain Canada. She has defined Canada’s London Games, just as she has defined a sport played by more kids in this country than any other.
Another article too long to post....read it here:http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/olympics/why-not-sinclair-for-flag-bearer-at-closing/article4468542/

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Re: Olympics

Post by slick on Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:12 pm

Terrible ending .. so sad for 12 and 13 .. Olympics watching has ended...

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Re: Olympics

Post by gnarly on Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:07 pm

Too bad Soph didn't convert on one of her chances. I saw 2 of hers that were oh so close the header and then the shot to the near post. Then we would have had all three pilots score in the game.

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Re: Olympics

Post by Zogman58 on Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:59 pm

It was a rotten couple of calls that resulted in the PK. The Canadians do need to remember there were several muggings of US players in the penalty box that could have resulted in PK's also. Team Canada controlled quite a bit of the first half but the US team controlled the second half and the majority of the extra time periods. The US team I felt had several more high quality scoring opportunities than Team Canada. Overall it was a fantastic game. I was exhausted by the end as my Daughter and I were quite animated during the game.

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Re: Olympics

Post by Geezaldinho on Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:38 pm

It looks like we aren't the only folks who paid attention.

http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2012/08/07/team-usa-mens-basketball-womens-soccer-power-nbc-sports-network-to-most-watched-total-day-ever/144231/

Prior to the men’s basketball victory, Team USA’s women’s soccer team won a thrilling 4-3 overtime victory against Canada. The game was watched by 2.92 million viewers (1.84 HH rating) on NBC Sports Network from 2:45-5:30 p.m. ET, the best ever for that daypart on the channel. The 5-5:30 p.m. ET half-hour, which was when Alex Morgan scored the game-winning goal, was watched by 3.84 million viewers, making it the most-watched half-hour of the Olympics to date on NBC Sports Network.

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Re: Olympics

Post by Geezaldinho on Wed Aug 08, 2012 8:47 am

News from the disciplinary committee:

Canadian captain Christine Sinclair and forward Melissa Tancredi were among several players highly-critical of the work of Norwegian referee Christina Pedersen in Monday’s 4-3 semi-final loss to the U.S.

Pedersen, who has worked international games since 2007 and was one of 16 referees selected to work the 2011 women’s World Cup, made several awkward calls impacting the game, the worst of them against Canada.

“We feel cheated,” Sinclair said afterward. “It’s a shame that in a game as important as that, the ref decided the result before it started.”

Said Tancredi: “She (Pedersen) could have done a better job. A way better job. This is the semi-finals. We’re supposed to be professionals and they should act like one too. I feel robbed. That’s all I can say. I said to her: ‘I hope you can sleep tonight and put on your American jersey because that’s who you played for today.'”

When FIFA announced its disciplinary committee was going to investigate the post-match actions, there was concern in the Canadian camp that some key players might be suspended for the bronze-medal match.


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Re: Olympics

Post by slick on Wed Aug 08, 2012 8:59 am

Well said, #12.............

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Re: Olympics

Post by Geezaldinho on Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:12 am

FIFA has also announced the referee assignments:


9 August 2012

Final
USA – Japan
Referee: Bibiana Steinhaus (GER, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Marina Wozniak (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Katrin Rafalski (GER)
Fourth Official: Jesica Di Iorio (ARG)
Reserve AR: Maria Rocco (ARG)

Third Place Match
Canada – France
Referee: Jenny Palmqvist (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Anna Nystrom (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Helen Karo (SWE)
Fourth Official: Quetzalli Alvarado (MEX)
Reserve AR: Kim Kyoung Min (KOR)


I think this is the first time in many years where a referee has been assigned a match when only one team is from the referee's confederation.

I don't think is has ever happened with the women.

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Re: Olympics

Post by DoubleDipper on Wed Aug 08, 2012 11:08 am

Phew, FIFA: No discipline for Canada women's soccer players before Olympic bronze-medal match

From OregonLive.com
LONDON -- Canada players are clear to start the bronze-medal match at the Olympic women's soccer tournament because a FIFA probe into their behavior won't be completed before the game kicks off Thursday.

FIFA is investigating "incidents that occurred" following Canada's 4-3 semifinal loss against the United States on Monday.

Canada players, including forward Christine Sinclair who scored all three of her team's goals, were openly critical of the Norwegian match referee.

However, FIFA said Wednesday that its disciplinary panel cannot prosecute the case before Canada plays France for bronze.

"In view of the elements currently at its disposal, the FIFA disciplinary committee considers that further investigation will be needed regarding incidents that occurred after the match," FIFA said in a statement. "Further information will be provided in due course, but not prior to the bronze-medal match."

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Re: Olympics

Post by Geezaldinho on Wed Aug 08, 2012 8:44 pm

From Chistine:

“We came here for a medal,” she said defiantly. “It might not be the colour we want, but I don’t think I’d want to be the team that plays us next"

I'm gonna stand back Neutral

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Canada wins Bronze

Post by Geezaldinho on Thu Aug 09, 2012 8:40 am

Running on obviously tired legs and getting outshot 25-5, Canada got Bronze on a goal in the 91st minute from Dianne Matheson in one of the only times Canada got numbers in the box. It was their only shot on goal, and I think France had more pipe shots than Canada had total shots.

Congrats to Sophie and Christine.

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Re: Olympics

Post by PurplePrideTrumpet on Thu Aug 09, 2012 12:46 pm

US leads 1-0 at the half but Japan is shredding the US wings. I can't see one goal being enough.

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Re: Olympics

Post by ejjqb on Thu Aug 09, 2012 1:13 pm

Even two won't be enough. Sundhaghe still hasn't learned her lesson about the risk of taking Megan out. She gets knocked because of her defense but once again the US gives up a critical goal shortly after she leaves the game. And now the US is without its real offensive catalyst. Sometimes a good offense is as good as a good defense when you can't maintain possession, which Megan does so well. I'll just be holding my breath for the rest of the game.

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Re: Olympics

Post by PurplePrideTrumpet on Thu Aug 09, 2012 1:51 pm

ejjqb wrote:Even two won't be enough. Sundhaghe still hasn't learned her lesson about the risk of taking Megan out. She gets knocked because of her defense but once again the US gives up a critical goal shortly after she leaves the game. And now the US is without its real offensive catalyst. Sometimes a good offense is as good as a good defense when you can't maintain possession, which Megan does so well. I'll just be holding my breath for the rest of the game.

Wasn't easy, but they got it done. Another great match and a great display of women's soccer.

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Re: Olympics

Post by Geezaldinho on Thu Aug 09, 2012 1:53 pm

Gold, baby

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Re: Olympics

Post by DoubleDipper on Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:51 pm

On campus today with a lot of (mostly) young rowdies watching the Gold Medal match......not a beer in sight.

Looked around for some familiar faces in the crowd, but the only avatar I saw was Stony's! Razz

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Re: Olympics

Post by Stonehouse on Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:14 am

Here's a video from the watch party here... some great goal celebrations! (Even if some jerk in a purple shirt blocks the shot on the first one. Wink


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Precious Medalists

Post by DoubleDipper on Fri Aug 10, 2012 11:45 am

This photo kind of sums it up:


Photo stolen from Stonehouse. (It's unknown who he stole it from).

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Re: Olympics

Post by DoubleDipper on Fri Aug 10, 2012 4:37 pm

But I guess Christine's still having a little difficulty accepting that Canada didn't play for Gold!
Christine Sinclair is still bitter, and is still standing by her words
LONDON -- She called it the best day of her soccer life, and it was. Canada beat France. Canada achieved its goal of winning an Olympic medal. Christine Sinclair could be happy and proud, finally.

Still, she couldn't be satisfied. Because after the Canadians played for bronze Thursday in front of thousands of empty seats in Coventry, they had to bus two hours to London. They had to watch the United States play Japan for gold in jam-packed Wembley Stadium. They had to watch the Americans win.

"It was difficult," Sinclair said Friday. "Obviously we had won the bronze, and we were absolutely thrilled with that. Yet knowing that we were so close to being in that game, and knowing that we took the Americans to the absolute brink and they have the gold medal …"

She tsked.

"Still a little bitter."
You can read the entire article from YahooSports here:http://www.stltoday.com/sports/olympics/christine-sinclair-is-still-bitter-and-is-still-standing-by/article_43aa288e-2357-5762-a073-7cd5cc65638e.html

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Re: Olympics

Post by Geezaldinho on Fri Aug 10, 2012 7:03 pm

From soccer Ameica

By Paul Kennedy

Thursday's USA-Japan Olympic gold-medal match was watched by 4.35 million viewers and had a national household rating of 2.74, making it the most-watched and highest-rated event ever on NBC Sports Network.

Until the 2012 Olympics, NHL Stanley Cup Final broadcasts on VERSUS had been the network's most watched events,

Additionally, the USA-Japan match drew 1.467 million streams on NBCOlympics.com, the most-streamed event in Olympics history.

NBC SPORTS NETWORK VIEWING
EVENT ... VIEWERS
1. 2012 Olympic Women's Soccer: USA-Japan 4.350 million
2. 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Final Game 3: Flyers-Blackhawks 3.600 million
3. 2009 NHL Stanley Cup Final Game 4: Red Wings-Penguins 3.448 million
4. 2012 Olympic Men’s Basketball: USA vs. Argentina 3.330 million
5. 2012 Olympics -- Including Rowing Qualifying 3.140 million
6. 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Final Game 4: Flyers-Blackhawks 3.126 million
7. 2009 NHL Stanley Cup Final Game 3: Red Wings-Penguins 2.955 million
8. 2012 Olympic Women's Soccer: USA-Canada 2.918 million
9. 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Final Game 3: Canucks-Bruins 2.757 million
10. 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Final Game 4: Canucks-Bruins 2.714 million
*NBC Sports Network was rebranded from VERSUS in Jan. 2012.

With 1.467 million streams

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Re: Olympics

Post by purple haze on Fri Aug 10, 2012 7:27 pm

Wow, what an Olympics for women's soccer. It was off the charts in terms of skill, excitement and controversy. And to have three Pilots in the thick of it, and winning medals, is sweet! Canada achieved far more than I had thought they might, given their flop at the last World Cup. Their coach must be some kind of genius at righting a sinking ship. Just awesome work by Christine, especially, to score a hat trick against the U.S. She wasn't alone, since it takes a true team to do what Canada did. Sorry she has a bitter taste still, as she deserves better. (don't we all). The Olympics has me stoked for the Pilots' season.

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Jingoistic

Post by DoubleDipper on Sun Aug 12, 2012 6:23 pm

RipCityPilot wrote:
DoubleDipper wrote:jingoistic
I feel that this is DD's word of the month...
Ha hah, sorry, I hope you didn't have to look it up both times I used it.

But why else would the IOC continually play national anthems and provide medal counts if it were not about NATIONALISM!

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Re: Olympics

Post by Geezaldinho on Sun Aug 12, 2012 7:11 pm

DoubleDipper wrote:
RipCityPilot wrote:
DoubleDipper wrote:jingoistic
I feel that this is DD's word of the month...
Ha hah, sorry, I hope you didn't have to look it up both times I used it.

But why else would the IOC continually play national anthems and provide medal counts if it were not about NATIONALISM!

Jingoism is extreme patriotism in the form of aggressive foreign policy.[1] In practice, it is a country's advocation of the use of threats or actual force against other countries in order to safeguard what it perceives as its national interests.

It comes from a popular song during the Russo-Turkish war of 1877-1878 that had the line.

We don’t want to fight, yet by jingo, if we do,We’ve got the ships, we’ve got the men,And got the money, too!


What that has to do with singing anthems before and after athletic competitions I will never know (Cue John Spencer commercial).

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