Author Intro and National Team Corner Update

Based on the fact that I am known as the world traveller on the OGM staff, I have been drafted to cover the national teams on the international women’s soccer stage. I will be giving a weekly update on the subject and welcome any feedback and info at my twitter handle @ciaramccormack as I do my best to give our readers information on the most interesting storylines of the week from women’s national teams around the world.

The major stories from this week come from China as 4 nations ranked in the top 20 world rankings square off in an international friendly tournament, while over in England, we touch on England’s women’s players battle with the FA over their player compensation packages….

Starting in England, news this week surfaced about a dispute between the England FA and England’s national team players, over their financial compensation package as their current agreement recently expired. Discussions between the two groups has stalled and the two sides seem to be at an impasse. An upcoming training camp in La Manga is up in the air. To read more about the dispute: Click Here

Next week we also kick off the Four Nations Tournament. There are some interesting story lines as Even Pellerud faces many of his former players from Canada. Pellerud is at the helm of Norway for the second time, the Four Nations Tournament being his first event since being named the new coach of Norway in December 2012, replacing Eli Landsem after a stint in the 90’s where he led the nation to the 1995 World Cup. In depth information about the tournament schedule, roster and my thoughts on each team is below.

Four Nations Tournament

The Four Nations Tournament is the first major tournament of the year and will include Canada, Norway, South Korea and China in a round robin format tournament.

The following are notes and details for those that are interested in following the tournament:

Host: China

Date: January 10-17, 2013

Rankings of Participating Nations (as of December 2012):

  1. Canada: 7th
  2. Norway: 12th
  3. South Korea: 16th
  4. China: 17th


12th January 2013

  • China PR v Canada at 14:00
  • Norway v Korea Republic at 17:00
  • Venue: Chongqing Yongchuan Sports Centre

14th January 2013

  • China PR v Norway at 16:00
  • Korea Republic v Canada at 19:00
  • Venue: Chongqing Yongchuan Sports Centre

16th January 2013

  • China PR v Korea Republic at 14:00
  • Canada v Norway at 17:00
  • Venue: Chongqing Yongchuan Sports Centre

(Times are listed as local time and is subject to change.)


Roster: Click Here

With 12 of the players from the reigning Olympic Bronze Medallist team on the roster mixed in with U20 and U17 players, the Canadians look to be focusing on the journey to Canada 2015.

Players that likely would be on the roster but will not play in China due to other reasons would arguably be Melissa Tancredi who reportedly wants to focus on school in 2013, and Christine Sinclair who is serving her FIFA 4 game ban. Carmelina Moscato who was a starter in London is also not with the team in China due to commitments as an assistant coach at the University of Wisconsin.

The only real surprise from the roster is the lack of speedy U20 forward Jenna Richardson, one of Canada’s best offensive threats at the U20 World Cup, who stays at Oregon State instead of joining the Canadians in Asia. Jodi-Ann Robinson, who competed for the Canadians at the 2008 Olympics as a 19 year old but who fell from the radar over the last several years and was not with the team in London, is back in the fold for the trip.


Roster: Click Here

*Only change to the originally listed roster (in the link above) is Nora Holstad Berge. Holstad recently moved from Linkoping in Sweden back to Norway (Arna-Bjornar) and was a late addition to the roster.

Norway welcomes back Even Pellerud into the fold, a coach that led Norway to the 1995 World Cup. Pellerud spent 8 years in Canada, transforming the Canadians into a disciplined, organized team that had its best result at the 2003 World Cup, where they finished in the top 4, after a last place finish in 1999. Pellerud went on to be at the helm of Trinidad and Tobago before being named Eli Landsem’s successor last month.

For more on Pellerud and his hiring from Norwegian media: Click Here

For more on Pellerud’s ideas on what Norway needs to do to be successful moving forward: Click Here

Norway’s roster for the Four Nations Cup is a blend of young and old as Pellerud tries to get a sense of the players and potential roster picks, as Euro 2013 approaches. Young players to watch include keeper Guro Pettersen, who filled in admirably for her club and national team teammate Ingrid Hjelmseth who was injured for Stabaek’s Cup final against Roa in November 2012. Other young players to watch include Caroline Graham Hansen (Stabaek), the elegant midfielder, who at 17 years old won the 2012 Player of the Year award in the Toppserien, as well as Melissa Bjarnesoy (Sandviken) who has shown a lot of potential at the U20 level.

Notable absences from the roster include 2 players who recently made a move to Germany to play for top German side Turbine Potsdam. They include captain Maren Mjelde and 17 year old striker phenom Ada Hegerberg. Mjelde and Hegerberg, along with Ada’s older sister and U20 teammate Andrine, moved to Potsdam at the start of January and will stay with their new club for pre-season instead of making the trip to China.


RosterClick Here

China, who were once a world superpower, have been slipping noticeably on the world stage, as they were ranked 10th in the world two years ago, and fell to 19th this summer. A good 2012 AFC tournament has given the team a glimmer of hope and the team hopes to keep climbing back to their form from the late 90’s, early 00’s. They will be tested by three strong sides in South Korea, Canada and Norway and should get a good measure of where the team is at, heading into 2013. Notable players for the Chinese include Ma Xiaoxu, a powerful young striker who is a supreme talent, but has been hampered by numerous injuries in the last few years, and Pu Wei, who captains the Chinese side and who has been to 3 World Cups and 3 Olympics.

Chinese Women’s 2013 Schedule: Click Here

South Korea

Roster: Found by clicking here and then selecting “Women’s National Team”

With little information able to be found about the current state of affairs for the South Korean women’s team, the Four Nations Tournament will be a good test to see where the team stands as they face strong opponents in China who seem to be on the rise, as well as Canada and Norway, both with many new players who will be looking to make a strong impression on their respective coaching staffs.