Thursday, June 28, 2007

A Prime Example Of The Disparity Between the U.S. Men's and Women's World Cup Teams

This story is a few days old, but it's something that I wanted to cover before the week ended. Last weekend the new jerseys for the U.S. women's World Cup team were unveiled, and they turned out to be gold. Apparently, since the team is #1 in the world, and because they were somewhat upset in the last World Cup by Germany in the semifinals, they've started using the slogan "Take Back The Gold" and decided that gold jerseys would be the perfect compliment.

"This is a statement Nike and the rest of us are taking on," scoring leader Abby Wambach said Thursday at the first public showing of the uniform. "We believe we can win the World Cup. Seeing how we're No. 1 in the world, we're going into this tournament with all the confidence in the world."

Say what you will about the possibility of being perceived as arrogant, but the Women's National Team(WNT) has the hardware and stats to back it up.

In 22 years, they've won two World Cups('91 & '99), two Olympic Tournaments('96 & '04), five Algarve Cups('00, '03, '04, '05, '07), three CONCACAF Gold Cups('00, '02, '06), and since coach Greg Ryan came on board in 2004 they've compiled a record of 34-0-7. That is pretty impressive regardless of the sport or sex of the participants.

Compare that to the U.S. Men's National Team.

They're currently ranked #16, and achieved their highest ranking of #4 just last year. They're never won a World Cup, and their best result was reaching the semi-finals in 1930. Their biggest success has come in the CONCACAF Gold Cup where they've won one more gold cup('91, '02, '05, '07) than the women. However, they don't have the Olympic success or current overall record to match the women.

While donning gold jerseys might come across as being a bit cocky, it's easy to see why only one U.S. national team can really get away with it and it's not the men.

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