Saturday, March 31, 2007
Just a few years ago the US, Germany, China and Norway the power houses of women's soccer did not have national teams. The US is currently one of the the top countries in the world for women’s soccer, both in terms of participation and in international competition. Women’s soccer started late in this country. When I had just gotten out of college in the early nineties Varsity college teams were just beginning to spread. The American national team was only established in 1985. Despite a small number of participating teams in the women's world cup the US team was able to quickly develop a strong program as they have already won two world cup titles and an Olympic gold and silver medals. The US dominates the world in the women’s game, leading the way as it takes root throughout the rest of the world, with all the social and cultural implications that follow. Having said that I now would like to share the small history of the Eritrean women's soccer team. As most of you know women have played a big role in Eritrea's struggle for independence and in the process women were also playing big roles in all aspects of life. Women fought alongside men and did it with excellence. They were sometimes feared more than men by enemies as their ability and agility always surpassed expectations. The Eritrean women's team in it's short history of a couple years was on the spot light this spring along side of the success that the youth team brought in the qualification rounds. The women played against a strong Moroccan team with more experience and came from behind to defeat them in a spectacular fashion by the score of 3-2 infront of their home crowd in Asmara. The Redsea women showed many signs of brilliance and for a fairly new team, they out did themselves. In the second leg of the game taking place in Morocco the women lost in a very tight game by the score of 2-1 losing the round by goal differentials as Morocco scored more goals in the away games compared to Eritrea despite a tie in the amount of goals scored. This rule applies to all FIFA sanctioned games. The Eritrean National sports federation has awarded the young women prizes as they continue to put Eritrea on the map. Any Eritrean girls who are playing at the collegiate or high school level in the US or even at the club level in other parts of the world should think about joining the Eritrean women's team as they climb the latter of success. Teams like Nigeria, Ghana and other West African teams have also shown signs of brilliance in past world cups and Olympic games in a short period of time, so there should not be any reason why an Eritrean women's team could not compete with the big guns very soon. Congratulations to the Eritrean women despite the loss in Morocco. Eri-International sports.