Preview – Football – Tournament of Nations

What is it?

It’s a rather clunkily-titled football tournament, currently being held in the USA. The first I heard about it was on Twitter. Apparently, this is the inaugural competition, and will see the USA, Australia, Japan and Brazil face off for the title (Champions of Nations?) between 27th July and 3rd August.

Why those teams in particular?

I’ve got no idea. I can’t seem to find any information on how they decided who took part.   It looks like it is the highest-ranked women’s teams, apart from European teams who are all busy playing Euro 2017, and Canada, who have been excluded for a reason that escapes me. Not exotic enough, maybe?

What is the format?

The four teams play each other in a round robin. Three points for a win, one point for a draw, with ties determined by goal difference, then goals scored, then head-to-head results, then FIFA Ranking.

What happened yesterday?

The first two matches were played. Brazil drew 1-1 with Japan, and the USA surprisingly lost 1-0 to Australia. Both games took place in Seattle. Goalscorers were Camila (Brazil), Yuka Momiki (Japan) and Tameka Butt (Australia).

What next?

The next games are on Sunday in San Diego, with Japan v Australia and USA v Brazil. Then the tournament is wrapped up next Thursday in Carson, with Australia v Brazil and USA v Japan.

What is the most interesting thing you have found out about the tournament?

The teams taking part in the tournament each have an interesting nickname, which might well give an insight into the mindset of each country. Brazil are nicknamed Las Canarinhas, which translates to the ‘female canaries’, in reference, I assume, to their famous yellow shirts. Australia are nicknamed The Matildas, after the popular Australian ditty ‘Waltzing Matilda’. Japan’s national team are known as Nadeshiko, which apparently means ‘the personification of the idealised Japanese woman’, but is appreciably more catchy as a nickname in Japanese. For the hosts, however, Wikipedia lists the USWNT, Team USA, The Stars and Stripes, and The Yanks as potential nicknames, all of which are (in my opinion) pretty average as nicknames go. Surely the Americans must be able to come up with something better than that?

Where can I watch it?

ESPN are showing the tournament in the USA. I can’t find any reference to anyone showing it anywhere else, so I guess I’ll end up following the results on Twitter.

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