Keep­ing Score on FIFA

Ottawa Magazine - - This City - By Stephen Dale

Be­tween June 6 and July 5, the world’s best fe­male soc­cer play­ers will lace up their cleats and head to Canada for the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Ot­tawa is one of six host cities, which means nine matches will be played in June at the shiny new TD Place at Lans­downe Park.

When Canada hosted the inau­gu­ral FIFA un­der-19 women’s world cham­pi­onships in 2002, there was a hint of great­ness in the air. “That was where some of our Cana­dian su­per­stars — play­ers like Chris­tine Sin­clair, Erin McLeod, Carmelina Moscato — first stepped onto the world stage,” re­calls Va­lerie Hughes, who got to travel with the team across the coun­try as part of its or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee and is gen­eral man­ager for the Ot­tawa games this year. When the Cana­dian women’s team won Olympic bronze in 2012, los­ing to the United States in the fi­nal match, the world took no­tice. And de­spite some strug­gles — women’s team mem­bers con­tinue to make less than their male coun­ter­parts, though they are cur­rently ranked eighth in the world while the men sit at 114th — Hughes be­lieves FIFA will be in­spi­ra­tional to girls start­ing out in the sport. Ot­tawa “will be ex­posed to an amaz­ing level of play dur­ing the games and get a real idea of what can be achieved in life,” she says.

Alexan­dra Popp

Who to Watch For: #9 Lisa-Marie Woods, Nor­way’s midfielder, one-time MVP with the Ot­tawa Fury #28 Naphat Seesraum, Thai­land’s fast-mov­ing midfielder #25 Alexan­dra Popp, striker with the pow­er­ful Ger­man team

Kay­lyn Kyle

Who’s Watch­ing: 407 mil­lion: Tele­vi­sion au­di­ence for the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Ger­many. Canada ex­pects to sur­pass that, partly be­cause there are 24 teams in this com­pe­ti­tion, up from 16 in 2011

Team Canada

So­phie Sch­midt

Who’s Work­ing: 1,176: Num­ber of Ot­tawa vol­un­teer ap­pli­ca­tions 300: Vol­un­teers se­lected for the Ot­tawa games 100: Vol­un­teers who flu­ently speak a lan­guage other than English or French 84: Age of old­est vol­un­teer 16: Age of...

Robyn Gayle

6: Ap­prox­i­mate num­ber of times women fake an in­jury dur­ing a game 11: Ap­prox­i­mate num­ber of times men fake an in­jury dur­ing a game 10 sec­onds: Ex­tra time it takes men to get off the field for sub­sti­tu­tions, com­pared with women 30 sec­onds: Ex­tra...

De­siree Scott

Mile­stones 1971: Women’s teams in Eng­land al­lowed to play on the same pitches as men 1991: First FIFA Women’s World Cup held in China 1996: Women’s soc­cer be­comes an Olympic event

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