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Barstool’s Women’s World Cup Preview

Barstool’s Women’s World Cup Preview

1-morgan

I know what you’re thinking right now:

“By golly, my life would not be complete without a Women’s World Cup preview”

… and by golly, you’re in luck because your boy Samuel is here to help fill that void.

Np homey

Np homey

First things first, let’s deal with the 500,00-pound elephant in the room: not only are you reading a post on Barstool about soccer, but you are reading a post on Barstool about women’s soccer. Can you believe it? I know, what a time to be alive.

Think back to last June when soccer was the much-maligned redheaded stepchild of the sports world here at Barstool, and look at how far we’ve come… soccer is now just the much-maligned stepchild of the sports world here at Barstool! Progress! In fact, just the other day somebody told me that Portnoy said on the Rundown that he looks forward to soccer posts and has reads every word I’ve ever written.

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Some, perhaps even many of you are still going to scoff at the prospect of watching the Women’s World Cup, and your right to do just that is precisely what our granddaddies risked their lives in all those wars to preserve. But what you are not “getting” is that there are many reasons why you will likely end up watching anyway:

– Impressive athletes doing impressive things
– Nothing else on TV at 2pm on a Tuesday in June
– You’ve evolved beyond the Neanderthal stage
– It’s not about soccer, dumbass. It’s about AMERICA.
– And finally, if all else fails, there’s always this…

4-Lereaux

So whatever your reason for watching, chances are good that most of you will end up watching some of the games over the course of the next month. With that in mind, sit back, relax and let me spoon-feed some basic facts about what – and who – to watch for…

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2011 Women’s World Cup

As a quick reminder for some of you, and a small history lesson for the others, the US was also the favorite coming into the last World Cup in Germany four years ago. The team didn’t exactly have the performance of their lives but they did play well enough to win every game leading up to the final, including a quarterfinal matchup against Brazil in which we went down a (wo)man and a goal in the opening minutes of the game, and then again in overtime, only to come back twice and eventually win it in PKs.

5-us-brazil

The US eventually played Japan in the final and despite giving up almost zero legitimate chances over 120 minutes of soccer still somehow managed two concede two goals, eventually leading to PKs where the spritely Asians – many of whom seemed happy just to be there – ended up prevailing.

Psst, we still won the big one

Psst, we still won the big one

So congrats to the Japanese, who really came out of nowhere (and put a bit of a hole in my betting theory for Women’s World Cups – but I’ll get to that in a minute), but all they really did was leave our American ladies hyper-motivated to take what they feel is rightfully ours this time around.

Gimme dat third star

 

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GROUPS

8-Groups

I’ll just be honest and acknowledge that I have not seen most of these teams play. I watched some Algerve Cup and all the USWNT friendlies, but anybody who has seen more than that has access to more soccer than me and, more importantly, has way too much free time on their hands.

So if you want a breakdown of every single friggin’ country you are going to have to look elsewhere. I will be watching (almost) every game though so as the tournament wears on I will use whatever soccer knowledge and/or betting expertise and/or blind luck I can to offer recommendations here and there when appropriate. However, for now, from a bird’s eye view here are some general thoughts:

At the moment, the odds for winning the whole shebang look like this:

9-WWCodds

I’ll admit, things are changing a bit as the rest of the world continues to close the gap on the top few countries (particularly the US and Ze Germans), and precisely because of that I could eat my words on this, but I view this year’s tournament as having a lot of similarities with the EPL: there are a bunch of teams that are happy to be there, some potential dark horses that will be in contention… for fourth or possssssibly third place, and really only a handful of teams that have any chance of winning.

There are some countries below the thicker red line that some people will highlight as potential dark horses, and among them I would say watch out for Norway and England as they both got a rather favorable draw.

“Vait, vee haf a chance, ya?”

“Vait, vee haf a chance, ya?”

No Norway, you do not.

[Be honest: how many of you realized that isn’t Norway?]

As for the other four “contenders” above the thick red line, here is why they won’t win…

Why France won’t win: because they peaked in February beating the US in a friendly and have not been playing well lately

Why Brazil won’t win: Marta is damn good. Unfortunately (in soccer terms) she is getting old. As is fellow striker Cristiane. This is definitely their last chance, but I think 2011 was actually their best chance.

Why Japan won’t win: they pulled it out by the hair on their chinny-chin-chin last time. Lightning like that doesn’t strike twice.

Why Canada won’t win: they have homefield advantage, which is huge, but in the end they are Canada and this ain’t hockey. Do the math.

11-canada

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PREDICTION

Maybe cause I’ve always been a big fan of motivation, maybe cause I have a brain and eyes, and maybe cause I’m a god damn American, but my money is on the U-S-A taking this tournament home. Why?

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1) Because we have the most talent

2) Because Hope Solo, for all her off-the-field failures, is the best goalkeeper in the world

3) Because our biggest competition, Ze Germans, are missing their best player, Dzsenifer Marozsan, through injury.

4) And perhaps more importantly, because we are playing on our home soil for god’s – because let’s be serious, we own Canada.

World Cup Fans Gather To Watch Matches In Rio

Conclusion: USA will win the Women’s World Cup. Anybody who says otherwise in the comment section is a communist, a terrorist, or a Democrat.

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So that’s your incredibly abbreviated Women’s World Cup preview. Games kick off tomorrow as the host Canadians square off against the Asian Commies (5pm ET on FS1). Champions League final preview coming tomorrow morning. Check ya then.

One for the road

One for the road


Holler,
Samuel S. Army