Saturday, June 12, 2010

What if the women's NTs played in place of the men?

The above represents an experiment in which I imagine the 2010 World Cup as played by corresponding women's teams (click on image to magnify).  Using their (suspect) FIFA rankings and what I know of the international women's game, I project the outcome.

Many of the big names in the men's game go down early, as their national associations are terrible when it comes to the women's game. Spain, England, Argentina, France, Portugal - none of them make it to the final eight.

The tournament (in my mind) starts off interestingly with a near upset as England gives Germany a  difficult time in the "sweet sixteen" (revisiting Euro drama). Nigeria and South Africa both advance to the final eight where Nigeria unfortunately goes down to the US and South Africa falls to Germany. Japan and North Korea go head to head at this stage for a historically overdetermined fight for a spot in the final four - Japan wins that one with style - and we end up with a quarter final of usual suspects - Japan, Germany, Brazil and the US. The US beats Japan in a tough but boring game in which the American defense shuts down an otherwise exciting squad. Brazil takes down Germany in a hard-fought game leading to the grudge match of all grudge matches - USA v Brazil.


  1. And the winner of USAvBrazil would be...?

  2. You're sort of missing out the fact that the Germans are almost an order of magnitude better than everyone else in the womens' game at the moment, though, right?

    Looks like wish-fulfilment to me!

  3. Sanbikinoraion - Germany was just beaten very convincingly by the US. Both teams were missing a few of their starting players - but for the US that seemed not to matter. It was an interesting game.

    Brazil, on a good day, can beat anyone. But they don't always have a good day. So, Brazil making the finals would be an upset but hardly a surprise.

    All part of my attempt to produce some form of chatter in the WC blogosphere about women's soccer.

    Am considering a table shaped by the profile of each country's most famous artist....At the moment Slovenia (with Marina Abramovic) would be primed for a run.

  4. One could also devise a bracket with the worst Euro teams replaced by the best African teams left out of the tournament.

    There needs to be a Euro/Africa run-off in the course of qualifying. It would replace the Euro qualifier.

  5. Jennifer, you have no idea how much I wish this were a women's tournament right now. How can anyone argue that the men's game, at international level, is more entertaining? These guys look like they're being forced to play for their supper.

    I like your idea of the "conceptual upset." Maybe some of these conceptual fixtures will come to fruition when the Women's World Cup expands to 24 teams in 2015. In my cynical media mind, that's eight more sides that no one in the ESPN audience will know anything about.

    Here's looking forward to 2011 ... and 2015 (in South Africa?).

  6. That would be something FIFA could do in Simelane's memory. Imaginge. A South African women's WC! It would force FIFA to organize a feminist and pro-lesbian tournament. In my dreams, anyway.

  7. I'm not down with women's soccer, but I do know that Australia (14) just beat N. Korea (7) in the Asian Cup.

    So maybe you could factor in an upset between hte Matilda's and Germany?


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