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Bobby McMahon

Bobby McMahon

You can see me on Soccer Central most Mondays and Thursdays on Rogers Sportsnet in Canada. I write a regular column for and and frequently guest on various podcasts and radio shows.


No Time For Canada To Drop the Ball

Written by on March 2, 2011 | 39 Comments »
Posted in International

As soon as a decision had been made to move forward with an application Canada was considered to be a leading candidate to host the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup after losing out to Germany for the 2011 event.

However, FIFA’s decision to accept bids for a multitude of their tournaments simultaneously caused a great deal of confusion at submission time. In a number of cases it was unclear which countries were bidding for what tournaments and it often seemed like the message “we will take whatever you give us,” was emanating from some bidders.

Just after bid submission time it looked as if the 2015 field was as crowded as a FIFA VIP reception. But after the dust had settled only Canada and Zimbabwe had offered to take on the responsibility of hosting the premier women’s soccer tournament in the world.

The field narrowed to only Canada when Zimbabwe withdrew earlier this week leaving the Canadian Soccer Association with a chance even easier than that potted by Obafemi Martins to win the Carling Cup for Birmingham City last Sunday at Wembley.

Confirmation will comes from FIFA Galactic HQ Thursday morning and although there will still be the all expenses paid by a FIFA Technical Inspection Committee that needs to be undertaken (we saw how important their finding were for 2018 and 2022) Canada will host the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

And then the work officially begins and it is not only the toil associated with ensuring that stadiums are ready, the logistics of moving, accommodating, feeding participants and the multitude of other complex tasks that few realize have to be undertaken.

More importantly for the future of the game in Canada, the objective is to ensure that when the 2015 event concludes Canada is not only recognized as having been a first class host but much more importantly – the winner and the World Champions.

Canada’s soccer fraternity is being offered the very real chance of being a world champion in a sport where the supporters, fans and media have been overly content – some might even say that some bask in it – to be considered gallant losers.

Too often and for far too long losses have been excused with “weren’t we unlucky,” or “the call went against us,” or “but we really tried hard.”

Enough excuses, and what is more, enough infighting, enough petty parochial politics.

Canada’s women’s team has already shown remarkable improvement under Italian Carolina Morace coach to the point where they should go to Germany this summer with a real (as opposed to delusional) chance of making an impact on the tournament.

The style of play under Morace as changed for the better and there is no reason with the additional incentive of 2015 that the players will not continue to improve and that others will force their way into the squad over the next four years.

This is the time for leadership. Carolina Morace has shown the way. Now who within the CSA is willing to step forward and commit to give Morace the contract, the latitude and most importantly the resources she needs to make Canada a winner 2015?

Forget “Own the Podium” this is bigger than that.

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39 responses to “No Time For Canada To Drop the Ball”

  1. Theo van Nasarshavregas says:

    It looks like Villa and Houllier mailed this one in. 2-0 ManC at the half. Houllier’s team selection is a head scratcher (8 changes). It’s not like Villa are the team competing on three fronts here. Nice to see Bradley getting a run today but he looks rusty. Villa’s only player really in it looks to be little Bannon. Great finish from the petulant Balotelli for the second goal. Villa are making City look like Barça for long stretches today.

    Speaking of Barça. We’ve got a footy lovers footy match coming up in fifteen minutes. The blaugrana visit the Mastella. It’s Valencia v Barcelona on GolTV @ 16:00. All Italians and Serie A loving folk are welcome to partake in how the beautiful game can be played beautifully.

  2. Rossoneri Red Devil says:

    I am reposting this from this weeks Raves & Rants, just in case you didnt see it:

    You really are a victim of constantly hearing the stereotype of Italian football. Conservative coaching is spread across the world, not just in Italy. I’ve watched Bilbao park the bus at home against the likes of Real and Barca. Watching Megson’s Bolton teams was dreadful. As Bobby tried to point out the other day, there are teams like Udinese and Napoli that play interesting, adventurous football in Italy. As SL pointed out, Inter scores more goals than Barca head to head, yet Barca is somehow superior on style points???? THE GAME IS SIMPLE: THE TEAM THAT SCORES MORE GOALS, WINS. The path to this outcome is the choice of the manager and his players, NOT THEIR ETHNICITY!

  3. Theo van Nasarshavregas says:

    And teams like Udinese and Napoli are the exception to the rule in Serie Zzzzzzz. The land that is the motherland to anti-footy and has been since I’ve been alive. No need to scream RRD. I can hear you but I’m not buying it. Go try to fool someone else.

  4. Theo van Nasarshavregas says:

    And there’s a reason Italy has that sterotype. They deserve it. As the saying goes, stereotypes just don’t come out of thin air and there’s almost always some truth to just about any stereotype out there. And last year Inter upset FCB. But that’s footy. Footy is a strange old game at times. Last year FCB won their UCL group which had Inter in it. Inter only managed one win, two losses, and a draw v FCB. And their sole win was aided by a 17 hour bus ride Barça had to endure due to an Iceland volcano blowing its top. And Jose parked his bus in the second leg and barely escaped doing it.

  5. Rossoneri Red Devil says:

    Scottish players are bruisers, the Spanish are soft, African sides are athletic but tactically naive, Brazilians are too flashy,— yeah yeah I too have heard the stereotypes, but none of them are true.

    Your obsession with perpetuating the Italian stereotype is a bit odd. Every day you seem to slip your disdain for Serie A into your posts. Just don’t watch it. I don’t see the need to constantly shoot off uninformed comments that make you look ignorant, and take away the value of your in-depth knowledge of the leagues you do watch (you’ve admitted you don’t actually watch much Serie A).

  6. Rossoneri Red Devil says:

    Although we have been arguing our positions about Italian football today, I did want to say thanks for giving me a view of a day in the life of a Canadian footy fan the other day with your post about the TV licensing north of the border. I’ve always been curious about that from seeing Canadian broadcast footage on FSR.

  7. Rossoneri Red Devil says:

    Congrats to Shalke, walking into Munich and clinching a spot in the Final.

    Celtic delivered at home in a Socttish FA Cup Old Firm Derby. 3 Red Cards for Gers? Maybe they are all bruisers.

    After Messi blew another attempt at his famous chip, I thought his finishing touch might be off like during that Arsenal game. Then he reminded me he is the best player in the world with an amazingly accurate finish to snap up the game winner at Valencia.


    congrates on the double the Orient express has come off the rails and your Fav scores the winner for Barca.was it much of a match?no Gol tv in mi casa.will you agree La Liga is over 10 point lead BARCA Champs 10/11!

  9. Theo van Nasarshavregas says:

    And Messi has Italian heritage in his blood.

    Glad to hear the Celtic score.

    And I do catch more Serie A than I admit to. I just don’t see what some other posters do. I’ve watched the Milan v Napoli match since. It was on the next day on GolTV. And the first half was an absolute snorefest.

    And I’m sure I’m not the only one that feels the way I do regarding Serie A and the Italian NT especially. I just have the courage to say it no matter the company.

  10. GO FOREST YOU REDS says:

    Congrats not congrates

  11. Theo van Nasarshavregas says:


    No GolTV at your place? Why is that? You’re saving all your extra pennies for your stash of Diet Mountain Dew?

    I saw that Forest dropped two points the other day. Sorry about that. What’s your connection to Nottingham? You were born there and then the Yanks enticed you over the pond with a year’s supply of your favourite drink?

    Derek Taylor gave FCB La Liga when the gap went to four points. I think I said in the past that it was too early at four points and once it went to seven I said it was over. It is still at seven now (provisionally, until RM play tomorrow). But FCB just got past a tricky fixture which RM still have to do. Injuries really are the only thing that can stop FCB from winning the league now I’d say. They’ll rest some players Saturday in anticipation of the 2nd leg with AFC. And if they get past Arsenal, they can focus more on the UCL then La Liga with the seven point cushion. One salient point though, because RM are not barking up FCB’s butts like last year, Pep will rotate more and the urgency may not be there to match or surpass last year’s 99 point season. Jose is starting to feel the Marca wrath that he may not match what Pelligrini did last year in the league. Poor Jose.

  12. Theo van Nasarshavregas says:


    Raul got the winner today in Munich. Schalke keep doing well but for their league where they’ve been terrible.

    From my source I only saw two sending off for Rangers (Whittaker & Bougherra) and Wilson scored at 48′. Celtic are starting to own the Rangers this year.

    L Orient (England) and Lorient (France) get bounced from domestic cups on the very same day. Small world.

  13. GO FOREST YOU REDS says:

    I am 100% is a long story and we might have to add something to the diet Mt Dew to say the least.

    i am having deja vu all over again with Forest same as last year no depth and no money to make the team better very disappointed with the state of affairs.if you can’t beat Preston or Sthorpe you do not belong in the EPL God knows we don’t want to post fewer points then Derby!

    I think Forest has been hit with acid rain!

    i thought the penalty against Smalling was weak i know it works for you.what is your opinion?i think if that was Rio there is no call just saying.

  14. Rossoneri Red Devil says:

    Diouf picked up a 2nd yellow after the final whistle during a Lennon v McCoist faceoff. (His 1st yellow was for having a go at Lennon after the Whittaker red)

  15. Theo van Nasarshavregas says:


    So what’s the connection to Forest? Why root for a Segunda Division side? Why not a Conference side … like Crawley Town? You have family from Nottingham? Love Robin Hood?

    The Smalling concession was a penalty. Even if it had been from Rio. The footy gods spoke loudly yesterday. Shrek should have gotten a three game ban. The Mickey Mouse FA, in their infinite wisdom, chose to overlook it and swept it under the rug. The Mancs get a penalty called against them in a big game and not the other way around for a change. Now Vidic is out for Liver*ool and Rio may be back (but will be rusty).

    The footy gods care not what the Mickey Mouse FA does or does not do (fining Blackpool £25,000 for fielding an ‘understrength’ side, forcing teams to play 2 games in 48 hours on numerous occasions, the Shrek nonban). The footy gods know best and dispensed some kharma upon ManIOU. As they say, “Kharma’s a bitch!”

  16. Theo van Nasarshavregas says:


    I thought I should post a comment regarding the article. Morace was done a marvelous job transforming the women’s NT. They have dispensed with a kick and run MO and play some real footy now. They have also become very competitve under her leadership and are making the men’s NT envious to some degree. It is my understanding that Morace’s demands are not onerous at all and the CSA could really mess this up. And it won’t be the first time from that incompetent crew. The CSA make the FA look like they know what they are doing.

    I wish the women’s team well. They are one of the better sides with an aotaide shot at this year’s WC. A positive and serious run this time can become invaluable experience and a springboard for 2015. But if the CSA find a way to overly micro manage this and lose Morace, I fear we will be back to square one with an opportunity lost.

  17. Soccerlogical says:

    I for one still prefer intelligent “chess moves” catenaccio in Italy over long ball “run like chicken with head cut off” football in Britain.

  18. GO FOREST YOU REDS says:

    i agree the FA spit the bit on the Shrek elbow and Karma is a pain in the arse.

    When i started to root for Forest they were in the 1st division and winning European Cups.a couple more hints WWII and NASL Detroit Express by the way only Robin Hood to watch is the original with Errol Flynn!

    just watched 2 EPL Classic replays of AFC/LFC from 01 and 04 AFC won both.if i could wish for anything it would be to have AW genes that man has not aged.he has some great genes.

  19. Theo van Nasarshavregas says:


    Good evening. How are you making out on the wager front? Seen any black helicopters lately?

    I don’t care for a lot of the British kick and run myself. That’s why Arsenal are my EPL team (the main reason). The British overemphasize tackling and getting ‘stuck in’ too. If they see a guy, like Berbatov or Arshavin, with a certain languid style the British blast him and say he should be trying harder. Complete b*ll*cks (rubbish) that.

  20. Soccerlogical says:

    The only helicopters I have seen lately are the ones heading your way with a straitjacket for the ridiculous comments regarding Italian soccer, which are outdated by 5-10 years.

    If anything, Chelsea and Manyoo are known for parking the bus on away ties in Europe. And let’s not forget Arsenal under Graham!

  21. Theo van Nasarshavregas says:


    I don’t get the WWII or Detroit Express reference. And one could look at the AW comment the other way around. He looks 61 to me right now. Maybe he aged prematurely?

  22. Soccerlogical says:

    I don’t mind a good tackle or header, as a matter of fact I consider it very athletic and even creative.

    The “chicken with head cut off” refers to Britain’s style of play (up until this century) wher defenders and mids would hoof the ball into the opposition’s penalty area hoping for a deflection or header. Or the other scenario where players lack the ability to hold onto a ball or lack vision and simply dribble torward goal like a mule hoping to get a set piece or throw in which moves them 5 meters closer to goal.

  23. Theo van Nasarshavregas says:


    Let’s not get into the Italian stuff again. I still have to go back to past articles and catch up while I’m getting caught up on some matches on the PVR.

    You’re not going to put money down on Milan advancing are you? Maybe you’re the one that needs the straight jacket then me thinks. And I can’t be the only bloke on the planet that feels the way I do about Serie A. It’s getting worse, not better. They’ll have one less team in future UCL competitions to bore us with. They try to shut down games in the first legs let alone away legs. Remember Milan and Inter just a couple of weeks ago?

    So, how’s the wagering going? I hope you’re sticking it to the bookies. Like Macca, I don’t like them much.

  24. Theo van Nasarshavregas says:

    And the sport Stoke City play surely cannot be said to be football. More like rubgy to me with their aerial bombardment, Rory Delap scud missile throw ins, and Shawcross leg breakers amongst them.

    So it’s not like I’m a big EPL pom pom type.

  25. GO FOREST YOU REDS says:

    my Father was in Nottingham before going to France and he said the people were great.treated like a king.

    Detroit Express had one certain player Trevor Francis and then he went to Forest.

    as far as AW watching the 01 match he looks the same.

  26. Soccerlogical says:

    Another few good seasons and I’ll have enough to buy an English League One side and be the next Milan Mandaric!


    I’m big on “At least 1 goal in 2nd Half” and “Over 9 Corners” market. Try to avoid cups and derbies but still have a few dimes on MUN-MANYO-CHE progressing in the CL.

  27. Theo van Nasarshavregas says:

    You did a UCL parlay? I thought parlays are sucker’s bets? With your prowess you’ll be able to buy that black helicopter soon. Forget about just seeing them from your bedroom window late at night.

    And don’t put cabbage on Milan getting past the Spuds.

  28. Theo van Nasarshavregas says:

    The banana skin in that parlay is Marseille on away goals. Otherwise you’re probably safe. Unless Kraft has a meltdown over what his manager said about him and his interest in Neuer.

  29. Soccerlogical says:

    Haha, that CL parlay has like 5 other bets which already came in.

    The secret is to only include Draw No Bets or Double Chance in your parlays. That way a nice 8-10 parlay can add up to 6:1 odds and you need only hit 1outta 4 of your parlay bets to make a nice monthly profit.

    But enuff about lil ol me….

  30. GO FOREST YOU REDS says:

    B IVANOVIC was quoted today in the Sun that they should not have been given the penalty. at least i have one person on my side.

  31. Do the words “Sun” and “quote” belong in the same sentence?

  32. Canada confirmed as 2015 host and will also host the under 20 Women’s World Cup in 2014.

  33. Theo van Nasarshavregas says:


    Another Q for you regarding the laws of the game. Yesterday in the Valencia v Barça match, Valencia had a goal disallowed by the linesman for offside. It was a very close call either way. And I’ve heard commentators give their opinions on it for both sides of the argument. Could you clarify for everyone on such close onside v offside calls, exactly what part of the body do the laws state need to be even? Are they the hips? Or the shoulders as in athletics (i.e. 100m)?

  34. CDNGooner14 says:

    I thought that the offside rule pertains to any part of the body that someone can legally score with. Correct me if I’m wrong. (PS I didn’t see the Val. vs Bar.)

  35. Gus Keri says:

    Also, CONCACAF lost in their attempt to increase their allocation of places in the World Cup. They will have 3.5 places like before.

    South America is the big winner. With 4.5 places, in addition to the host Brazil, there could be 6 countries, out of 10, playing in WC 2014.

    Africa will have 5 places. Down from 6.

    Europe, Asia and Oceania are the same like before.

  36. Offside law
    “nearer to his opponents’ goal line” means that any part of a player’s head, body or feet is nearer to his opponents’ goal line than both the ball and the second-last opponent. The arms are not included in this definition”

    WCF places – South America rewarded for performance in South Africa. Very difficult to make a case for an increase in allocation to other Federations.

  37. Theo van Nasarshavregas says:

    Thanks Bobby. So a quick shorthand would be along the lines of what CG14 said ~ ‘if you’re allowed to score with it (anything but the arms), it cannot be past even’, otherwise it is offside …

  38. John Bladen says:

    If it wouldn’t be considered bad form to comment on the actual article…

    Morace has done wonders in a very short time. She inherited a group of eager, determined players, and has completely rebuilt both the way they train and their tactical approach in record time (2 years, give or take).

    That’s phenomenal, in my book, even considering the relatively weaker/less numerous opposition the women’s game features. No-one should be under the illusion that what she has achieved is ‘easy’ because it is the women’s game. She has done fantastic work with the WNT. I would be very surprised (and disappointed) if they do not at least reach the semifinals in Germany this summer.

    However, I am deeply concerned that the CSA will employ their colossal ability to mismanage situations like this and let Morace go. It would be a bigger and more embarrassing mistake than we saw with Rene Simoes & Osieck on the men’s side. And I believe there is a real risk it could happen (especially if Morace’s popularity and success might be seen to draw attention away from the CSA execs, who are no doubt basking in their dubious victory this morning).

    I hope I am proven wrong on this front… but I have little faith in the ability (and priorities) of the CSA. Happily, this will not stop me attending games in the tournament….

  39. Gus Keri says:


    I agree that, collectively, South America performed the best in WC 2010 but it hardly justified the decision.

    6 teams out of 10 is too much.

    If you justify this, then Europe should have many more places than 13. Remember that the top three teams were from Europe.

    Giving CONCACAF 3.5 is not fair for this area when Asia and Africa get more places for less production.

    In South Africa, 2 out of 3 CONCACAF teams made it to the second round. On the other hand, 1 out of 6 African and 2 out of 5 Asian/Oceanian teams made it through.

    By the way, I don’t think FIFA based their decision on SA performances. It was based on the fact that they gave Africa an extra place in 2010 as the host confederation and couldn’t change the rule for the next cup.

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