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Pre-Women’s World Cup Power Rankings

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Well, here goes nothing.

The last Women’s World Cup seems like it took place more than four years ago, when group stage games saw a couple wobbly scores like Switzerland’s 10-1 defeat of Ecuador and Germany’s 10-0 demolition of the Ivory Coast.

[ MORE: USMNT player ratings ]

The lesser lights seem a bit stronger this go-round, but it’s still very much the case that single upsets — let alone long runs into the tournament — aren’t going to arrive too often.

The top teams in the world are just too good. And even Brazil, who is struggling mightily in terms of results, has been losing while running a brutal run of preparation fixtures.

Tier 4: Be happy to be there

24. Cameroon

23. South Africa

22. Jamaica

21. Argentina

20. Nigeria

19. Chile

18. Thailand

Tier 3: Hoping to surprise — Some impressive moments on their resumes, but nothing that makes you expect glory.

17. New Zealand

16. Scotland

15. China

14. Italy

13. Spain

12. Norway

11. South Korea

10. Australia

9. Netherlands

Tier 2: Capable of extended beauty — The stars and set-up to win any match, but just not quite the level of the favorites.

8. Brazil

7. Japan

6. Sweden

5. Canada

Tier 1: The Elite — Where anything other than a final is a failure. And just think: France and the USWNT will meet in the quarterfinals if both win their groups.

4. England

3. Germany

2. France

  1. USWNT

Morgan, Naeher help USWNT play Canada to 1-1 tie in friendly

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) Alex Morgan scored and Alyssa Naeher had a late stop to help the U.S. Women’s National Team to a 1-1 draw with Canada on Thursday night.

The U.S. had won six in a row since a 1-0 loss to Australia on July 27 and is 47-3-7 all-time against Canada.

Morgan opened the scoring in the 31st minute. Canada failed to clear an entry by the U.S. and Morgan split three defenders then, from near the spot, and rolled it past Stephanie Labbe into the corner of the net.

Adriana Leon tapped in a goal, after two missed chances by Rebecca Quinn, in the 57th to tie it. After a corner kick by Janine Beckie, Quinn’s header was blocked and then her shot from the center of the box ricocheted off the crossbar. Christine Sinclair’s cross of the rebound set up Leon for the finish from point-blank range .

Maegan Kelly came on for Canada in the 71st minute and had two chances in the waning minutes, firing a shot directly at Naeher in the 82nd and then, a couple minutes later, Naeher deflected a high shot off the far post to preserve the win.

Canada hasn’t beaten the U.S. since 2001.

The teams will play again Sunday in San Jose, California.

Watch Live: Canada looks to beat Guatemala, stay perfect in Olympic qualifying

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Canada looks to keep up its terrific form when it meets group cellar dweller Guatemala in both sides’ Group B finale of CONCACAF Women’s Olympic qualifying today in Houston (Watch live at 8:30 p.m. ET online via Live Extra).

[ WATCH LIVE, ONLINE: Canada vs. Guatemala ]

Should she start, Christine Sinclair will have the chance to gain ground on Abby Wambach as the all-time international leading scorer in women’s history. Sinclair trails the recently-retired Wambach by 25 goals. At age 32, she’s a good bet to be the record holder before she hangs up her boots.

Sinclair passed USWNT legend Mia Hamm on Valentine’s Day. Not very nice, Sincy. Not very nice.

For Guatemala, it’s a matter of picking themselves up off the mat after a surprising loss to Guyana on Sunday.

Canada will face Costa Rica on Friday for the right to go to the Olympics in Rio.

Rapinoe takes aim at FIFA, artificial turf and (passive aggressively) Canada in Players’ Tribune post


United States women’s national team star Megan Rapinoe is hyped for World Cup, not so much for the turf, and pretty much conceding that anything is possible for this summer’s tournament in Canada.

In a sprawling piece entitled “5 Reasons to Get Hyped for The 2015 Women’s World Cup“, the USWNT’s energetic and dynamic veteran provides an interesting read on the mindset of the Yanks heading into the tourney.

If you wanted to be positive, you’d read this as a letter from a veteran player who doesn’t want to drop the turf debate but is incredibly fired up to rep her country in an effort to bring the World Cup back to the United States.

[ MORE: Premier League earns extra Europa League slot ]

If you wanted to be negative, you’d read this as a letter that tells you how hard it is to win the World Cup, that the turf could really harm the better teams’ chances at surviving, and that really a lot the teams can win the thing.

But, Rapinoe, being one of the best personalities in the game, she brings a great zest to her story. And her take on the Canada rivalry is not only spot-on, it’ll make you want the tourney to start pronto.

From The Players’ Tribune:

So, Canada doesn’t like us very much. The U.S. Men’s National Team has Mexico. We have Canada. Personally, I don’t hate them, but I can understand why they’re still mad about the “delay of game” call on their keeper that sparked our crazy comeback win in the semifinals of the 2012 Olympics. They thought the penalty was B.S., and looking back, maybe it wasn’t the most deserved penalty. But it wasn’t like the game was 1-0. We scored three other goals, plus the goal in extra time. Still, I can understand why they feel hard-done by the call.

The tension of the rivalry has been building since that game, and I feel like it’s fueling them going into the World Cup. Tactically, when they play us, their mentality is, “We’re going to do whatever we have to do to win. The gloves are off.”

To recap: After a little, “Yeah, your nation was cheated, Canada”, Rapinoe drops a passive-aggressive, “You only stick with us in games by fouling the heck out of us” jab.

It’s also worth noting that they scored four total goals, not five as Rapinoe’s math states. And that the “craziness” of the comeback is due almost solely to the almost never called foul on Erin McLeod. But Rapinoe was an absolute beast in that match, so we suppose she can say whatever she wants.

Bring on the World Cup.

John Herdman to lead Canada women until 2020

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After leading the Canadian women’s national team to a bronze medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics, head coach John Herdman signed a contract extension on Thursday that will see him in charge of the team until 2020. It ensures he will be coaching when Canada hosts the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2015.

“I am thrilled to know that I have the support from the Canadian Soccer Association to not only build a strong women’s program but also to have the opportunity to implement it and see it through after the Canada 2015,” Herdman said in a federation release. “We now have the clarity to move forward, focus on our performances and put in place the stepping stones to truly leaving a lasting legacy for women’s football in Canada.”

Herdman’s deal was set to expire after the 2016 Olympics, but after an unexpectedly positive showing in London, where Canada took the United States to extra time in the semifinals, he has re-upped his deal for a further four years.

“Just like it was the case when we initially announced him as our new women’s head coach two years ago almost to the day, we continue to believe that John has the leadership and vision to develop the clear pathway this country needs to grow women’s football in addition to world class performances on the pitch,” federation general secretary Peter Montopoli said.

Canada’s next match is Oct. 30 against South Korea at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Alta., followed by a matchup against Mexico on Nov. 24 at B.C. Place in Vancouver, B.C., which will also host the 2015 World Cup final.