Tuesday, June 14, 2011

2011 FIFA Women's World Cup Preview

I love these international tournaments, and the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup begins on June 26, 2011. The first time I watched soccer was during the memorable 1999 Women's World Cup held in the USA, so I still enjoy it to this day. Most people remember how big that was, with the team selling out football stadiums across the country, culminating with the United States beating China in penalty kick overtime for the championship in front of over a record 90,000 people at the Rose Bowl. Mia Hamm became a household name and Brandi Chastain scored the game winning penalty kick then pulled her jersey off to reveal the infamous sports bra. The game is still the most watched soccer match in US history.

Those players have retired, but the tournament lives on. The big difference between the men's game and women's game is the women don't slop around and fake injury as much, which is refreshing. It can get annoying watching Cristiano Ronaldo pretending to be hurt every 5 minutes, which I why I slightly prefer the Women's WC, but both are great fun to watch.

The 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup comes from Germany, and will be another great spectacle, and every single game will be broadcast live on ESPN. The time zone difference is a bit better for US fans than it was in China in 2007, when they played early in the morning US time. All of the United States matches will be at 12 pm ET. Be sure to watch the first match between Germany and Canada on Sunday June 26th, which will be at Berlin's Olympic Stadium in front of 75,000 people. Sure to be an exciting match.

I'll give some predictions for who will move on.
Group A: 1. Germany, 2. Canada, 3. Nigeria, 4. France - Germany should win at home and the second spot should be up for grabs by all three. I'll give Canada the edge.
Group B: 1. Japan, 2. England, 3. Mexico, 4. New Zealand - Japan vs. England should decide who wins the group. Mexico could be the spoiler, but Japan and England should come through.
Group C: 1. United States, 2. Sweden, 3. North Korea, 4. Colombia - The US is ranked #1 in the world, so not winning their group would be a disappointment. The second spot is up for grabs between North Korea and Sweden, I'll pick Sweden to beat them.
Group D: 1. Brazil, 2. Australia, 3. Norway, 4. Equatorial Guinea - Brazil is the favorite here along with Norway, but I will pick Australia to surprise and take out Norway.

Quarterfinals: Germany over England, United States over Australia, Japan over Canada, Brazil over Sweden. I'm tempted to pick Sweden over Brazil as an upset, but it's always tough to pick against Brazil. The USA has won the cup twice and never finished below 3rd place. Germany has won the cup twice in a row.

Semi-finals: United States over Germany - Germany knocked the USA out in this round in the States in 2003, so why not the other way around? Japan over Brazil. Am I nuts? Maybe, but Japan is ranked 4th in the world. It may be a sentimental pick, but they have the talent.

3rd Place: Germany over Brazil. Championship: Japan over United States. I'm going with the underdogs, even though most think Brazil, Germany, USA or Norway will win it all. Who do you think the top 3 teams will be?

After this, the 2015 Women's World Cup will be held in Canada and the number of teams will be increased from 16 to 24. Enjoy!


  1. Wrong! USA is most likely to win over Sweden and Colombia and reach the quarter, semi, and finals and win their 3rd WWC title this year.

  2. Would love to see USA win of course. I think they'll do it this year, but I wanted to be different and pick Japan, who have the skill to win but probably would be overmatched by the USA.