Wednesday, September 5, 2007
On my flight back to New York yesterday, the Italian Women's soccer team were on the same plane. I would have assumed that they were on their way to China, via JFK, except that Italy didn't qualify for the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup in China. Had I not gathered from the conversation the flight attendant attempted to have with them that they spoke little to no English I would have asked them a slew of questions. Of course my immediate reaction when I saw the team dressed in blue T-shirts and shorts board the plane was a superstitious one, OH, My God, I'm flying with a soccer team. The team might also be superstitious because compared to the amount of them that were checking in, only half were on my flight. However, the flight was perfect and superstitions are, well, just that. But it did get me thinking about the upcoming Women's World Cup. I've become familiar with many of the US and Canadian national team's players over the past few years and for the most part the women's national teams from those two countries have stronger sides than the men's. It's in the statistics. The US have weapons in their forwards Kristine Lilly, Natasha Kai and Abby Wambach and break out of the gate on Sept 11 against Korea DPR, who I have no doubt will be packed with their own ammunition. Canada's side is full of players who already play for MLS clubs and USL sides such as the Vancouver Whitecaps, New Jersey Wildcats, Toronto Lynx and Ottawa Fury, they include striker Christine Sinclair, defender Melanie Booth and forward Rhian Wilkinson, to name a few. They kick off on Sept 12th against Norway. In my gut, I foresee Canada and the US in the finals, be it quarter, semi's or the big 'F'. It all starts on September 10th. Should be high calibre play, another great event to fill up the old sports calendars with.