Best Players of the Tournament

Discussion in 'Women's International' started by Libero6, Oct 6, 2003.

  1. Libero6

    Libero6 Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Florida
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Players of the Tournament - by position (pre-Final)

    GoalKeeper:
    Romina Ferro (ARG)- Despite being on a team that allowed 15 goals, The 23-year old River Plate shotstopper posted an astounding 27 saves in 3 games. An unorganized midfield and an inexperienced defense often left her stranded but on 1v1's Ferro was virtually unbeatable.

    Alternate: Andreia (BRA)- She gets the nod here for shear entertainment value. The fun 'n gun Brazilian offense left her vulnerable to counterattack but the 26-year old proved worthy with some spectacular saves, 21 saves overall, and only 4 goals allowed.

    Biggest Letdown: Kim Jung Mi (KOR)- As part of what was supposed to be the Asian Invasion, Kim let 11 get past her.

    Defender: Jane Toernqvist (SWE)- Her precise, Maldini-esque tackles and tenacious marking have been the linchpin in the solidity of the Viking backline. She is rarely beaten and often gets the last word in on challenges, she'll be severely tested by the Germans.

    Alternate: Cat Reddick (USA)-as the old guard of the USWNT prepares to bow out after this tournament, Cat Reddick has shown herself to be the future for US female defenders. Stepping in for the injured Brandi Chastain, Reddick acquitted herself well in 405 minutes of playing time and adding 2 goals and 1 assist to the US tally.

    Biggest Letdown: Kate Sobrero (USA)-Considered a veteran on the US squad, Sobrero often struggled to keep up with opponents and, when she did win possesion, chose to boot it upfield rather than trying to build an attack.

    Midfielder: Maren Meinert (GER)-Although listed as a forward, it is Maren's creative attacking prowess (along with her tournament high 7 assists) that puts her in this category. Her pinpoint passing and game-awareness make her the driving force behind Germany's ferocity.

    Alternate: Marta (BRA)- The electrifying attacking mid lit up an exciting run by the Brazilians in which they threw caution to the wind and went for broke. Solid performances all around were highlighted and sparked by this 19-year old with seemingly endless energy and refined ball skills.

    Biggest Letdown: Aly Wagner (USA)-Playing time aside, Wagner is a tremendous talent that simply didn't show up. Like Maradona in '90 (or Ronaldo '98), Aly looked disconnected from her teammates and never capitalized on her chances. She'll get another shot in Athens.

    Forward: Birgit Prinz (GER)-Prinz must occupy this spot. She leads the tournament with 7 goals and 4 assists and has had truly inspired moments on the pitch. The towering WUSA AllStar uses guile and her blazing speed rather than brawn to beat her opponents. She also posesses a deft touch and finishing ability that will make her hard to tame for the Swedes.

    Alternate: Victoria Svensson (SWE)-Three goals and three assists barely begin to tell the story of what this 26-year old has provided to her team in the course of this tournament. She has a warrior spirit that refuses to be subdued, is very quick on and off the ball, and can sky over opponents twice her size to get to headers. Her game-awareness, finishing ability, and shear hunger for the win make her a terror on the field.

    Biggest Letdown: Cindy Parlow (USA)-Several ladies could have filled this one quite equally. Parlow was chosen due to the ratio of what she was hyped to do compared to what she accomplished. Four shots and two goals looks good enough on paper but reading between the lines (and watching the gametape) we see Parlow was simply not as involved in the attack as she should have been. Long considered the Brian McBride of the USWNT, Parlow did not show as the target stiker she was in her UNC days. Likewise, her technical skill was not on full display in this tournament despite a late awakening against Germany in the semis.

    There you go, those are my picks...of course only noting the tops and bottom of the field leaves many qualified entries unmentioned so post away with your agreements and disagreements.

    The debate is officially open!
     
  2. SCoach

    SCoach New Member

    Jun 17, 2002
    Tallahassee, FL
    The only bone I have to pick on the list is Parlow. I make no bones about the fact that I am a fan of the girl, but I'm also a realist and a coach.

    Cindy is a slow player. Probably running a 5.5 or so in the 40. What she brings to the game is take-on ability, and the ability to make the final pass after taking on. At UNC, Anson made use of this by playing parlow on the right wing where she was DEADLY. In the WUSA, she was removed from this role for 2 years. Only this year was she allowed to reclaim that role and she did far better. April and the Nats tried to make Parlow the next Akers and it's not a role she is suited to. Getting Wambach in the side allowed Parlow to maraud out on the wing again. It takes her a while (several games) to find her form there, but if you leave her there, she is deadly.

    Against Germany, she started to show form. She was walking through the German defenses and causing havoc. It's been a long time since I've seen an American player in a tournament of this level, and a game of that caliber, megging people, doing pull-backs, and adding some needed spark. And then she was pulled off. I don't know if she got hurt, or if it was just a bad decision. A number of other players were being far less effective. Boxx, Foudy, Fawcett...

    Oh well, water under the bridge now. Lets hope for a quality match against Canada on Saturday, or the US could end up off the platform entirely.
     
  3. Libero6

    Libero6 Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Florida
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I can agree with this in principle, except that in Heinrich's 4-3-3, with Parlow at right forward makes her essentially a right winger and thus well within the realm of her positional "comfort zone."

    Who would you pick as the biggest letdown at forward?
     
  4. SCoach

    SCoach New Member

    Jun 17, 2002
    Tallahassee, FL
    Unfortunately, I didn't have a chance to see many of the matches, so I would not be qualified to offer a response.
     
  5. voros

    voros Member

    Jun 7, 2002
    Parts Unknown
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think Maren Meinert should be the clear favorite for the Golden Boot honors. If Germany wins the final and she contributes, I think she should win for her exceptional play as a #10 wearing #14.

    Victoria Svensson, Abby Wambach, Katia and Birgit Prinz deserve consideration as well.
     
  6. CAFAN

    CAFAN Member

    May 30, 2003
    FIFA's take on it:

    GOALKEEPER

    ROTTENBERG, Silke (GER #1) - With her outstanding performances, she set a new standard for goalkeeping in the women’s game. She was a fantastic presence, commanding her area well, with great timing and awareness. She never hesitated to take necessary risks to assist defenders.

    DEFENDERS

    WANG, Liping (CHN #20) - With very good balance, her small stature did not impede her game, and her distribution and timing in the build up were superb.

    FAWCETT, Joy (USA #14) - She is great in duels and covering her other defenders with her precise timing of challenges and covering. She starts and leads the build up and is so able to dictate the tempo with her selection of passes.

    HOOPER, Charmaine (CAN #10) - She was put in defence out of necessity and adapted extremely fast to her new task. Has been the leading influence at the back for Canada, and in possession she played simply and solidly. Her timing for headers is exceptional, both defensively and in attack (on set pieces). She had an impact on every game.

    MINNERT, Sandra (GER #13) - A very good defender, she is strong in duels and also has very good heading ability. She made good recovery runs, covered her team mates well and intercepted penetrating passes with her sound positional sense. In possession she dictated the tempo of her team’s build up.

    MIDFIELDERS

    WIEGMANN, Bettina (GER #10) - A superb playmaker. She was arguably the one player who has been capable of dominating and influencing the pace of the game. With her good positional sense, she is a true football intellect.

    MOSTROEM, Malin (SWE #6) - Has been the link in the chain between the strikers and the midfielders (both in possession and opponents possession) for Sweden. Times her penetrating runs extremely well, which brings her into scoring positions.

    BOXX, Shannon (USA #7) - Balanced the midfield in every game. She is physically very strong, hardly loses a duel, reads the game well and repositions herself all the time. In possession she plays simple, effective passes. She is very dangerous and direct on set pieces, especially with her head.

    MEINERT, Maren (GER #14) - Very direct offensive player with a tireless drive to go for the win. She is very mobile, fast and creative with a superb work rate and is able to get away from her opponent easily. In transition, she puts pressure on her opponent immediately.

    STRIKERS

    PRINZ, Birgit (GER #9) - A complete striker. Extremely direct, she showed all-around goal scoring ability but equally capable of setting up others to score. Physically, she is very strong and uses her strength to benefit her football. She showed superb work-rate and was a handful for any opponent.

    SVENSSON, Victoria (SWE #11) - A very dynamic match winner, she had a huge impact on every game. She created scoring chances, for herself and others and consistently pressurised the opponent's build up.

    SUBSTITUTES
    ----------------------------------------------

    GOALKEEPER

    JOENSSON, Caroline (SWE #1) - Very solid, her style of goalkeeping is simple and effective. Extremely good intercepting crosses and penetrating passes. Superb in starting counter attacks, especially with her long distribution from her hands.

    MIDFIELDERS

    GULBRANDSEN, Solveig (NOR #8) - She always balances her midfield, positioning herself very well, but also has the drive to support the attack. A very strong player and extremely important to her team. She is capable of battling throughout the game to regain possession and has the insight to apply pressure through penetrating passes and supporting the front line.

    MARTA (BRA #10) - She demonstrated superb technical abilities, great vision and awareness as a very talented young player with an exceptional feeling of the game. She had very good timing of her runs and her dynamic individual actions resulted in a number of goals. She can break open a defence on her own.

    STRIKERS

    HAMM, Mia (USA #9) - She was involved in most of the goals scored by the USA. Very dynamic and fast striker, with exceptional cross-ball deliveries. Extremely direct in her play, she was always a threat for the opponent. Scores goals, assists, and has a good work-rate both defensively and offensively.

    MELLGREN, Dagny (NOR #14) - A very direct striker, she was complete in her finishing and putting others in scoring positions. She was able to turn games. Dynamic and skilful.
     
  7. Tom T

    Tom T New Member

    Feb 25, 2003
    Soccer Wasteland
    Rodney Dangerfield might not get much respect but he sure gets a lot more than CP.
    Geeez.
     
  8. Libero6

    Libero6 Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Florida
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I disagree with FIFA's picks (where they disagreed with me anyway) in that a lot of their picks had more to do with team environment whereas I was looking at individual achievment.

    My pick of Ferro over Rottenburg, for example. Rottenburg is an excellent keeper that has had a stellar cup thus far...but a lot of her success was due to a rock solid defense in front of her (Silke only needed to post 12 saves). She was rarely ever truly tested whereas Ferro was fired upon from all angles and acquitted herself well.

    As for the rest...I only picked two outstanding and one letdown per position as opposed to an AllStar team so a lot of those picks (like Hooper, Fawcett, and Mellgren) would've been on my list too had I picked a team.

    I also disagree with the Shannon Boxx pick as I failed to see FIFA's description of her play in any of the games I saw of the USWNT. She lost possesion several times and at times was disconnected. Not that she played badly by any means, just wouldn't get my vote as one of the tournament's best.

    As for Tom T's reference, I assume you mean Cindy Parlow and I disagree with you. I have a lot of respect for Cindy. I first saw her play in her junior year at UNC and I've followed her career since. I picked her as the biggest letdown for that very reason. I had higher expectations of what her performance would be in this cup and she didn't play up to her abilities in my opinion.
     
  9. Bob Abouy

    Bob Abouy New Member

    Jul 29, 2003
    I totally agree with you Libero6. She had a horrible last two seasons in the wusa and it carried over to her national team experience. The thing about it is that she is no better than what she was in college. Which by the way was pretty darn good. But the fact is she has not improved as a pro and her play at the highest level suffers because of it.
     
  10. HuntKop

    HuntKop Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 15, 2002
    Sulla mia Vespa
    Club:
    ACF Fiorentina
    Nat'l Team:
    Italy
    I would have to add Hanna Ljungberg (SWE), at least to the alternates list, simply for the skill and tenacity she's displayed in this tournament. She's been drawing defenders away from the other scorers (see Öqvist's goal vs. Canada), and just brilliant on the ball. Her numbers may not be as strong as Vickan, but I feel she deserves some mention amongst the best of the tournament.
     
  11. TOTC

    TOTC Member

    Feb 20, 2001
    Laurel, MD, USA
    Or The Wombat.
     
  12. Libero6

    Libero6 Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Florida
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I agree with you. Hanna has been one of my favorites this tournament. I didn't pick her simply for fact that she is supposed to be a striker and not withdrawn forward. Her's and Vickie's goalcount battles in the Swedish league are epic and I was looking for her to explode on the boards. She's definately a brilliant athlete and she's helped her team tremendously throughout the tournament but as for being top striker...I have to stick with Prinz and Svensson.

    As for Abby, truthfully I've never been fully impressed with this girl. I was still at UF when she started there and I got to see a lot of her play. Fotop was a far better forward for the Gators in my opinion. Wombach has height and weight advantages over virtually everyone she plays against but we saw her handled quite well by the German defenders that could match her physically. She has a decent touch and can finish but other than that she relies far too much, in my opinion, on her physical advantages. Prinz and Svensson, on the other hand, use their skills to beat opponents despite their size.
     
  13. Awe-Inspiring

    Awe-Inspiring New Member

    Jan 18, 2000
    Prinz has had a terrific tournament, but consideration has to be given to Wambach, who was seen as dominant in every game she played until the Germany game.

    Plus, Wambach did something that Prinz didn't. She excited interest in those who watched.

    That's because her skills are better than you give her credit for.

    And the best is yet to come from her.
     
  14. sexysadie

    sexysadie Red Card

    Sep 29, 2003
    somewhere on earth
    Mia Hamm and the energetic Victoria Svenson is my best players of the tournament
     
  15. Libero6

    Libero6 Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Florida
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I agree she's been dominant...but I saw that dominance as being more due to her being bigger than her opponents rather than being better than them. That's all fine and dandy on the scoreboard because she can bang them in against a 5'3 defender but (as you mentioned) what happened when she got marked by girls her size?
     
  16. MarioKempes

    MarioKempes Member+

    Real Madrid, DC United
    Aug 3, 2000
    Raleigh, NC
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    My pick for best player is Marin Meinert, with Svensson a close 2nd.
     
  17. CAFAN

    CAFAN Member

    May 30, 2003
    CyberSoccerNews take:

    http://cybersoccernews.com/columnists/ring/031008ring.shtml

    All-Stars

    On Wednesday, the World Cup All-Star team will be named.

    I’m not going to try to compete with the Technical Study Group in figuring out the eleven top players appropriately placed in the proper positions.

    So I will put forward some names of some players who deserve to be on it.

    Goal-keeper: Scurry has had too little action to be considered. Rottenberg had the one fantastic game. Lots of others - Precious Dede for instance - had their moments. But for me the best overall job was by Taryn Swiatek of Canada.

    Karina LeBlanc, who was the keeper of the year in WUSA and looked to have a lock on the Canadian job, did poorly in the opening match. Even Pellerud took a chance, after a gut check, put Swiatek into the line-up and Canada went on a tear.

    Defense: Jane Tornqvist of Sweden has been outstanding as has Kerstin Stegemann of Germany. Joy Fawcett did absolutely nothing wrong and played very smoothly and consistently. Ghana was knocked out early, but Elizabeth Baidu kept that team together with some great play.

    Mid-Field: Malin Mostrom of Sweden has been outstanding. I would also mention, of course, Maren Meinert, though she has been pushed forward most of the time. Solveig Gulbrandsen of Norway was forced to relinquish lots of her offensive role but her defense on the right side of mid-field was superb.

    Forwards: There are too many to try to name them all: Birgit Prinz and Wambach are way up there.

    But the best player of the Cup has been Victoria Svensson. Described originally as Hanna Ljungberg’s side-kick, she has simply been fantastic in every match.

    One player who does not get a mention but should get an award for being the most accommodating to a coach’s style is Christine Sinclair of Canada. She has had to forego stardom to play Pellerud’s system.

    Pellerud should be chosen the outstanding coach.
     
  18. Metros#1

    Metros#1 New Member

    May 14, 2001
    NJ
    Today's final pretty much proved you are right.
     
  19. sexysadie

    sexysadie Red Card

    Sep 29, 2003
    somewhere on earth
    for the whole tournament my pick is Victoria Svensson.


    the best goalie : Sweden's goalie
    Silke Rottenberg
    the best forward : Victoria Svensson
    Abby Wambach
    Hanna Ljungberg
    the best defender : Joy Fawcett
    Tornqvist
    the best winger : Christine Lilly
    the best midfielder : Shannon Boxx
    the best attacking-: Mia Hamm
    midfielder Lilly
    the best announcer: Tony Di Chico
    the best stadium : Columbus Crew std
    the best rookies : Cat Reddick
    Nia Kunzer
     
  20. Metros#1

    Metros#1 New Member

    May 14, 2001
    NJ
    The best all-around would have to be Meinert -- offense, midfield play, defense and leadership.
     
  21. Fah Que

    Fah Que Member

    Sep 29, 2000
    LA
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Best cutie with skill

    Nia Kunzer
    Jane Tornqvist (Is she part Asian by any chance?)
    Hanna Ljungberg (my favorite)

    I only watched the final and the first US game so I missed many.
     
  22. Dandal

    Dandal Member

    Jul 20, 2002
    Sweden
    Club:
    --other--
    Filipino mother.
     
  23. sexysadie

    sexysadie Red Card

    Sep 29, 2003
    somewhere on earth

    best cutty have to be Hanna, Marklund, Nia, Redick
     
  24. DennisM

    DennisM Member

    Dec 10, 2000
    Nya Sverige
    She was born in Manila.
     
  25. the_13th_redneck

    the_13th_redneck BigSoccer Yellow Card

    Sep 3, 2002
    The Best Players

    I think Maren Meinert was the best player and really should have been given the Golden Ball. Prinz's goals reflect the dominant nature of the German midfield. If you actually watched the games, you would have noticed that her finishing isn't top class and the excellent service provided to her by the midfielders (mostly Meinert) was where the credit really should have lay.
    And for those who watched a lot of Germany matches, you would know that most of the attacking moves in the opposing 1/3rd was started by Meinert. This somewhat changed with the semi final and final where she was marked ferociously, but still she made a huge impact, scoring in both matches and even providing an assist in the USA match.
     

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