Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Kevin Gamble on The Women's World Cup

Like most bloggers, I run an automated vanity search. One of the things that I search for is my name, which means I get hits on people who I share a name. Thus I see things about former NBA star, and current University of Illinois at Springfield coach Kevin Gamble. I also see things from blogger Kevin Gamble at Red Colored Glasses. This morning he has a good post on the recently completed Women's World Cup, and the train wreck known as the U.S. Women's National team.

I'd commented on the team myself in the micro-blogging format:

The U.S. Women's National Team was a complete embarrassment, and not for their performance on the field. Fire the coach!

What happened with this team was disgusting, and it clearly points to the problems of U.S. Soccer. The whole system is broken at every level above the club team. The men have a unique problem of trying to get to someplace they've never been on the world stage. The women, however, have been the best in the world, and we have totally squandered every advantage we ever had with our old-boy, elitist, exclusionary development system. We couldn't be doing it more wrong.

I won't recap what happened, you can read Kevin's post if you want all the gory details. I'll skip right to his conclusions:

This in-between, starry-eyed-nostalgia approach is killing this team, and perhaps worse still, splitting their own country over whether to support them or be disgusted by them. Women's soccer in the U.S. is at a crucial turning point; it can't afford to poison itself, and if this keeps up, that's exactly what it will do. I've been a fan of this team for many years, but I'm suddenly on the verge of moving on and not supporting them, and that's frustrating.

Should Hope Solo have said what she did? Probably not, but she was right! The old rule applies, you dance with the one that brought you. I remember hearing Kay Yow speak a few years back where she said, "It's a fine line between arrogance and confidence." Hope did not cross that line. She spoke the truth. Sometimes the truth hurts. The team could not have been more wrong in the way they handled this. Someone owes Hope a massive apology. It's also time for some players to retire and for the coach to be fired.

Thank you Kevin for a great post! I've been reading you for a while, but I had no idea we shared a common interest in soccer. We're definitely on the same side of this issue


Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

My thoughts on this lovely behavior

Kev said...

Hey Kevin! Thanks much for the quote, link, and compliments. I hadn't seen your blog before, but it looks great and I will definitely be checking it out. Here's to enlightened Kevin Gambles who know what's best! :)

News on the U.S. team has been conspiciously silent since the final--especially compared to all that's been published about the post-tournament celebratory receptions for the Germans and Brazilians--which is telling. If the U.S. team was actually proud of their behavior and confident in their reception, wouldn't we have heard more by now?

I hope they find a way to pull out of this. Tarpley, Kai, Chalupny, and the other younger players could be the start of a great new team.

Kevin Gamble said...

Thanks for stopping by! It's definitely time for a fresh start with this team. The whole thing makes me kind of sad for these women. It should have been a crowning moment regardless of the outcome. Instead it's very sad.

If there is anything positive coming from this is that maybe it will force the needed changes.

Thank you for your comments. You definitely made me smile!