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From High Hopes To Total Failure

My heart goes out to the players on the Canadian Women’s National Team. They are facing some dark days now, and will endure some more in the weeks and months ahead.

I’m sure nobody would have ever predicted that they would finish bottom of their pool with three straight losses and just one goal scored. And yet, that’s the tally that has seen them disgraced and disposed of in the shortest order from the 2011 World Cup.

Earlier this year, this team was ready to quit if their coach, Carolina Morace, wasn’t given a better deal by the Canadian Soccer Association. And yet, there’s no way around the conclusion that this manager failed to lead them through their greatest competition.

Once the collective flop sweats have passed and the team returns home, there will be much hand wringing and some thorough over-analysis. Experts from all sides will surely have their opinions. Axes will be ground. And hopefully those hatchets will be buried.

In the meantime, I say we honour them. Athletes, like artists, put themselves out in a public way and risk failure every time. I hope these talented women can stand tall and look past the unflattering outcome of this competition. They are not a bad team, and they are all capable players.

For those who are leaving the sport, I wish there were a higher note to end on. For the rest, I’m sure there will be meaningful triumphs ahead.

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