Saturday, August 9, 2008

Beijing Olympics Women's Football - Can USA Finally Win It?

Expert commentary provided by Ross Howard

Women's football has progressed in leaps and bounds, and there can be no further proof of that than in the Beijing Olympics when watching the live Olympics football. There will be a total of 12 international teams taking part in this edition of the football tournament, and gone are the days when women's football will see huge scorelines in the favor of the more established nations. There is now a close resemblance to the men's game in results, as well as the tactical and technical abilities of the women footballers.

The 2008 edition of the women's Olympic football tournament has a number of excellent teams taking part. The usual suspects of Germany, Brazil, Norway and Asian champions North Korea will all be in the mix and shooting for a medal finish. There is also the very popular USA women's football team, who are in a unique position. They are actually on a better standing in the sport compared to their male counterparts, and have won both the Women's World Cup many times, as well as countless international tournament. It is with this pedigree that expectations are often high of the USA women's football team. But the talent pool is also large, with the sport enjoying immense popularity on various levels from the grassroots up.

The questions are therefore unavoidable. Will the USA women's football team win the gold medal at the Beijing Olympics? They certainly have the players to achieve that, although some key players have suffered unfortunate injuries before the start of the tournament. But with other quality players like Hope Solo still available for selection and fit to play, the strength in depth of the USA team is there for all to see. They have also often competed against their strong rivals like Germany and Brazil, and come out on top at the end of it all.

Perhaps the only point that the USA team might need to take note of that might jeopardize their medal hopes, would be their need to avoid complacency within their ranks. They have been grouped in a relatively easy pool of teams in the initial stage, with the likes of Norway, Japan and New Zealand making up the rest of the competition. On paper, the USA women's football team should overcome these teams easily. Yet, with the leveling up of many teams over the years, the USA will have to be at their best to avoid upset results against their group rivals.

As long as the USA women's soccer team can get off to a good start in the tournament, they should have little trouble qualifying from the group stage. The tough competition will come in the knockout stages, where they might have to face difficult teams like Germany and Brazil. With those matches enjoying a nature not unlike Russian Roulette, it will be the luck of the draw for most teams. But if they are able to safely negotiate the group stage, their medal hopes will be increased dramatically, and the USA women's soccer team will have as good a chance to win the gold medal as Germany and Brazil would have.

About the Author

Ross Howard provides commentary on live streaming football telecasts and will be looking forward to live Olympics football when the men and women's competitions begin.

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