News and notes from the WWC

July, 1, 2011

BOCHUM, Germany -- Time to clean out the notebook. Herewith, some observations from the Women's World Cup.

• French defender Sonia Bompastor and midfielder Camille Abily -- fan favorites when they played in Women's Professional Soccer in 2009 and 2010 -- held court in both French and English in the media mixed zone after their 4-0 win over Canada. Bompastor stayed the longest, trying to oblige every interview request, and actually had to be pulled away so the team bus could go back to the hotel.

• France boasts ten players from Olympique Lyon, which beat the German club team Turbine Potsdam in the Champions League final this year. But Abily said that doesn't mean it'll be able to beat Germany on Tuesday in their final Group A game. "For confidence, it's very important," she said. "We know we can beat German teams, but it's not the same. There are just three or four players [on the German national team] from Potsdam, so we know it's not the same team."

• In fact, Bompastor and Abily both downplayed any idea that they can now present a challenge for Germany -- unwilling, surely, to provide bulletin-board material for a German team that has not looked its best so far this tournament.

"Even though we won today, I still think Germany is No. 1," Abily said. "They won the European championship [in 2009]. They won the World Cup twice. I think this team is No. 1. They have a very great team. In one game, I hope we can beat them. We are going to try."

France has played the best soccer of the tournament so far, but Germany will come out strong Tuesday. While both teams are in the quarterfinals, France can win Group A with just a draw -- and in front of its home fans, Germany will not want to finish second in its group, especially to historical rival France.

• UEFA remains the only undefeated confederation in the World Cup, despite having more teams (five) than any other confederation.

• The disappointment was thick in the air as Canadian players made their way to the team bus. Goalkeeper Erin McLeod, who allowed four goals but made several strong saves to keep her team closer in the match, said the locker room was quiet.

"Shock," she said, when asked what it was like after the match. "I don't think anyone said anything."

• Many of the questions for Canadian coach Carolina Morace after the game surrounded whether having a league in Canada would help the development of the game as the country prepares to host the 2015 Women's World Cup. Eight players on the roster play professional club soccer, mostly in WPS, while the rest of the squad spent most of this year training in Italy before leaving for Germany.

Morace talked of European leagues in Germany, Sweden, Italy, Norway and France, but dismissed a reporter's suggestion of WPS as a model. "In my opinion, a [league] that has six teams and doesn't stop when there is the World Cup, I'm sorry," she said. "In WPS, I don't like … there is six teams, and if you arrive at the bottom, nothing happens."

• For more from France's big win over Canada, including Bompastor's comments about accidentally hitting Canada's Christine Sinclair in the face with a ball clearance, visit espnW.




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