- Associated Press - Saturday, June 20, 2015

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) - Silvia Neid is all in favor of FIFA placing an emphasis on having more women coaching national teams.

Germany’s coach, however adds, it’s also important for females to put in the work to pursue those opportunities.

“Of course, I’m always glad for any female coach, any woman who wants to become a coach and get her license,” Neid said through an interpreter in Ottawa on Friday, a day before top-ranked Germany faces the Pia Sundhage-coached Swedes in a Round of 16 match. “But women have to take responsibility for themselves. They have to want it. They have to make that journey.”

Neid’s journey is coming to an end after announcing she will retire after spending the past 10 years coaching Germany.

That will leave the women’s game minus one of its accomplished female coaches. Neid is a two-time FIFA women’s coach of the year.

Sundhage, who previously coached the United States National team, was also asked about the state of the game and female coaches.

“I think that is a very good question, but bad timing,” Sundhage said. “Tomorrow is a game against two good teams. You might want to ask that question some other time.”

Of the 24 nations qualifying for the World Cup, only eight had a female head coach. And that includes Nuengrutai Srathongvian, Thailand’s first female head coach.

A NATION WAITS: In Vancouver, host country Canada and Switzerland will hold official trainings Saturday at BC Place before they meet in the round of 16 on Sunday. Soccer fans seeking some culture in this picturesque city can walk on the waterfront path from the stadium just around False Creek by Olympic Village to a weekend dragon boat festival.

On the pitch, Canada coach John Herdman insists midfielder Sophie Schmidt won’t miss this game for the eighth-ranked Canadians, winner of Group A, despite falling awkwardly during a 1-1 draw with The Netherlands on Monday and bruising her hip.

“It will go right up to the wire for Sophie. She’ll have to push right through the pain barriers over the next few days,” Herdman said. “I’m sure she’ll be going out on the football field for the next game in a little bit of pain, but she’ll not miss the opportunity of playing in BC Place in her hometown in this crucial match for Canada no matter how much pain she’s in.”

SPANISH DEPARTURE: Spain, ranked No. 14 in the world, was knocked out of the Women’s World Cup, finishing last in a group behind Brazil, South Korea and Costa Rica.

Now the team’s players are calling for the removal of coach Ignacio Quereda, who has led the national team since 1988.

“We believe an era has come to an end and we need a change,” the 23-player squad said in a statement. The team includes Veronica Boquete, considered among the top players in the world.

In their statement, the players said they were ill-prepared for the World Cup, with few advance games and poor analysis of opponents.

“This generation has the talent and commitment to have gone a great deal further,” the statement said.

The team’s finish at the World Cup means they won’t qualify for the 2016 Olympics.

REMEMBERING 1990: At the men’s World Cup back in 1990, Cameroon shocked Argentina in the group opener and advanced all the way to the quarterfinals before falling to England.

Cameroon coach Enow Ngachu has used that team’s success to inspire his team at the Women’s World Cup. He’s using it again in advance of the team’s match Saturday against China

“The same message: ‘In 1990, Cameroon qualified for the quarterfinals. Why not you?’ History can repeat itself tomorrow,” Ngachu said.

UP NEXT: The knockout stage of the Women’s World Cup opens Saturday, with one of the premier matchups of the round of 16 going first: Top-ranked Germany faces No. 5 Sweden at Lansdowne Stadium in Ottawa.

Then No. 53 Cameroon, the lowest-ranked team left standing, takes on China at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton. China, ranked No. 16, won’t have coach Hao Wei after he was ejected from the team’s final match of the group stage.

___

Sports Writers Janie McCauley in Vancouver and Anne M. Peterson in Edmonton contributed to this report.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide