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2011 Women's World Cup of Soccer

Happy hour starts in 5 minutes

Elephant

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Today I watched one of the most thrilling soccer games ever! The speed at which that game was played, the back and forth play, the terrible officiating, the storybook ending in regulation... It was one of the most incredible displays of determination and grit in any sporting venue I have ever witnessed!

Kudos to the US Women's soccer team, the victory today was a great one.

Let's hope that it didn't take too much out of you. There is still a tough French team to go up against.
 

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Burgundy Burner

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Message to rest of the world. Don't try to schedule a game against the USA women on July 10. On July 10, 1999, Brandi Chastain capped a five for five penalty shootout to win the World Cup over China. Today, exactly twelve years later, the USA women went five for five again. Ten For Ten on The Tenth. Awesome!

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbTiiAtLXnE[/media]


[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qq0HsY4ciE[/media]


[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYuRqF22HCs[/media]
 
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Lanky Livingston

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The word cup is so exhilarating! Those kids up there, spelling those words under all that pressure...so intense! Oh wait, typo. ;)

That was an incredible game - poetic justice! Wambach's goal was way better than the tying goal from Donovan in the men's world cup IMO. The best part was how the crowd was jeering the Brazilians for their obvious dives - it was great!

i want to marry hope solo
You'll have to fight me for her! She's gorgeous! But I suppose I can settle for Alex Morgan or Megan Rapinoe...
 

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I just saw the goal. That was pretty amazing.
 

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Definitely the conversation of the day. They've been about it since carpool. Tobin Heath!
 

Henry

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Ok I just watched the penalty kicks. I don't know anything about soccer, but did the Brazilian goalkeeper cheat up early on every single kick? It sure looked like she did.
 

Elephant

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Ok I just watched the penalty kicks. I don't know anything about soccer, but did the Brazilian goalkeeper cheat up early on every single kick? It sure looked like she did.
The rule states that a keeper can take a lateral step before the ball is touched by the opponent on a penalty kick. If there is a horizontal step, it is illegal. I can tell you this rule is not set in stone unless of course it is as obvious as the Brazilian keeper when she stopped the first American PK.

If it is a single step forward and then the lunge either way, most times it won't get called. But when both feet have made an obvious forward move to gain an advantage of cutting down the angle of the shot, it should be called every time.
 

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Henry,

I didn't watch the game but I went over the running text commentary on CNN/SI. One of the commentators there is also a working soccer ref as well as a journalist. He said the Brazilian goal keeper was illegal on every single kick and any of the last 4 been missed she would likely have been called for it just as she was for the first one.

He was livid over the officiating of the whole match though and thought there was no way it should have ever come down to penalties.
 

Elephant

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He was livid over the officiating of the whole match though and thought there was no way it should have ever come down to penalties.
Watching the game as a former official myself, I concur! It was a horribly officiated game. But I have to say I had the advantage of HD giant screen.

I am beginning to think there is going to need to be some sort of technology instituted in world class soccer officiating. FIFA will not likely get to that point for another 10 years and I am opposed to too much technological intrusion, but something needs to be done.

I have heard some suggest there needs to be more officials on the field, but that is not the answer. There needs to be a way technology can be introdcued without affecting the flow of the game. And before anyone suggests it doesn't really affect the flow of games like football, or more representative of the type of flow the game of soccer has, hockey, this is a poor analogy. There are few breaks in soccer. We discussed this last year during the mens WC.
 

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El, I disagree. I would start with more officials. One man to ref 22 world class athletes is ridiculous. Even the NBA uses 3 guys to ref 10 players on a court that is a postage stamp compared to a soccer pitch. Even discounting things that happen away from the ball, there is just too much chance a ref's view is obstructed to see every play cleanly.

I would add 2 refs at the goals, stationed either behind it or to one side and add 2 asst refs on the field with responsibility for half the pitch, never to cross the midfield line so that no matter where the ball is located there should be 3 officials following play (head ref, asst ref and goal ref) with what would presumably be 3 different view points of what was happening.

Technology maybe the answer for somethings, like goal scoring, but it won't fix the problems that go with fouling other players and diving.
 

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My issue with the referee-ing, beyond just some plain bad calls, was that that particular referee seemed determined to assert control over the game. The absolute worst thing in sports is when a referee or official becomes a noticeable part of the game. You could tell from her body language that she was emotionally involved in what was going on - and you just can't have someone like that officiating when the stakes are so high. I'd hope we don't see that referee again.
 

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El, I disagree. I would start with more officials. One man to ref 22 world class athletes is ridiculous. Even the NBA uses 3 guys to ref 10 players on a court that is a postage stamp compared to a soccer pitch. Even discounting things that happen away from the ball, there is just too much chance a ref's view is obstructed to see every play cleanly.

I would add 2 refs at the goals, stationed either behind it or to one side and add 2 asst refs on the field with responsibility for half the pitch, never to cross the midfield line so that no matter where the ball is located there should be 3 officials following play (head ref, asst ref and goal ref) with what would presumably be 3 different view points of what was happening.

Technology maybe the answer for somethings, like goal scoring, but it won't fix the problems that go with fouling other players and diving.

But Neo, there are 3 officials on the soccer field. One is the center ref, who should be the central figure of the officiating crew and 2 side judges. This particular referee did a very poor job. Boone was right in that later in the game she had to assert her authority in the game because by then she had lost control. A good ref sets the stage early in the game and this one didn't. I even commented on that with a guy I was watching the game with. I specifically said that she is going to lose control of this game if she doesn't make some calls immediately.

As for 2 refs on the field, at this level it is next to impossible. I believe the idea of having a central authority figure on the field is paramount when dealing with all world athletes like this. The center ref is in charge and the 2 side refs answer to them. If you have 2 side judges and 2 refs on the field, there is always going to be contradiction on calls. It has happened to me in a 2 referee system where there are 2 refs on the field and no side judges, I can only imagine with 4 people how it would be.

The simple solution is more stringent guidelines for refs, a better pool of refs. This woman was not up to the task of the job she was in. They use a lot of women in women's soccer and I just don't understand why they aren't using men who are more physically capable of doing the job at this level. No doubt a woman can be a side judge in either, but a man is more physically capable of being right in the action. That is why I was such a good ref. I stayed in the middle of the play and allowed my side judges to do their jobs. It's a good system with the right people in place.
 

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As for technology, I am not a fan. But if there was a replay in effect, the ref could have taken a quick look, or an official in a booth, to see if Hope Solo had broken the rule on that penalty kick during regulation. The offside that wasn't called on the OT goal by the Brazilians could have been called from the booth to negate that goal. As for play on the field, that will always have to stay with the ref on the field.
 

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Actually El, I thought the play was aggressive, but that ref went way overboard and actually interfered with the flow of the game unnecessarily and repeatedly. She almost cost the better team playing with far more heart the game. Unacceptable in my opinion.
 

Elephant

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Actually El, I thought the play was aggressive, but that ref went way overboard and actually interfered with the flow of the game unnecessarily and repeatedly. She almost cost the better team playing with far more heart the game. Unacceptable in my opinion.
Oh I agree Boone. My point is that early on in the game there were a few aggressive plays that she let slide. I clamored for her to make those calls or she would lose control of the game. When things began to get a little out of control is when she tried to inject herself into the game as you suggested. You were right on. But if she had made those earlier calls, there would likely have been less aggressive play.

It is not an exact science, but the old timer who took me under his wing when I first started to referee told me nip it in the bud right away. Do not be afraid to give an early yellow card to set the tone for the game. Let them know who is in charge early and they will be less likely to get aggressive the rest of the game and you will not have to disrupt the flow nearly as much. If you let them slide on a questionable call early, they will push the limits more and more throughout the game.
 

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But Neo, there are 3 officials on the soccer field. One is the center ref, who should be the central figure of the officiating crew and 2 side judges.
I know there are Side Judges but those guys have limited responsibility and can't call fouls. I have been told that the head ref can ask them what they saw in foul situations but in a year of watching top international soccer now I have never seen the head official do that. Sorry, I just can't count the Side Judges in my figuring.

As for 2 refs on the field, at this level it is next to impossible. I believe the idea of having a central authority figure on the field is paramount when dealing with all world athletes like this. The center ref is in charge and the 2 side refs answer to them. If you have 2 side judges and 2 refs on the field, there is always going to be contradiction on calls. It has happened to me in a 2 referee system where there are 2 refs on the field and no side judges, I can only imagine with 4 people how it would be.
It works for the NFL. It works for the NBA. I don't see why it can't work in soccer. You have a hierarchy and put teams officials together so they always work as a crew. Saying "it just won't work at this level" is not an answer if it has never even been tried.

The simple solution is more stringent guidelines for refs, a better pool of refs. This woman was not up to the task of the job she was in. They use a lot of women in women's soccer and I just don't understand why they aren't using men who are more physically capable of doing the job at this level. No doubt a woman can be a side judge in either, but a man is more physically capable of being right in the action. That is why I was such a good ref. I stayed in the middle of the play and allowed my side judges to do their jobs. It's a good system with the right people in place.
The best ref in the world can't call what they can't see and the only way to fix that is more eyes on the action.

And if women are physically capable enough to be players, they are physically capable enough to be refs. That was a pretty sexist statement, brother.
 

Lanky Livingston

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Game is starting shortly! Player to watch will be Becky Sauerbrunn (#4) who is starting in place of Buehler....Buehler....for the red card she got against Brazil.
 

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