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#1 Posted : Wednesday, December 25, 2019 10:27:50 PM(UTC)

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SEOUL www.thetopsoccer.com/tottenham-hotspur , South Korea (AP) — North Korea won’t send its women’s soccer team to a regional competition in South Korea in December amid strained ties between the two countries.The East Asian Football Federation said Wednesday that North Korea informed it in mid-September that it won’t take part in the 2019 EAFF E-1 championship in the southeastern city of Busan.“Given that North Korea told us it won’t participate in the event for broad, complex reasons, we believe North Korea’s football association wasn’t able to perfectly handle the matter by itself, so we don’t plan to impose punitive measures on it,” Park Yong Soo, the EAFF general secretary, said.South Korea’s soccer association said it also confirmed North Korea’s decision when association officials visited Pyongyang earlier this month for a men’s World Cup qualifier match between the two Koreas. Korean Football Association officials said North Korea gave no reason for deciding not to send a women’s team.The development is yet another sign of deteriorating sporting ties between the two Koreas amid lack of progress in a broader global diplomacy on North Korea’s nuclear program.North Korea blocked fans and international media from attending the World Cup qualifier at an empty stadium in Pyongyang. There was no live broadcast of the match, which ended in a scoreless draw. FIFA president Gianni Infantino said he was “disappointed.”South Korea’s soccer association later sought a sanction for North Korea, sending a letter to the Asian Football Confederation and arguing that North Korea failed to uphold rules requiring host nations to grant visas and entries for traveling supporters and media without discrimination.Sports exchanges often mirror the status of political ties between the two Koreas, which remain split along the world’s most heavily fortified border for about 70 years.Last year Cheap Argentina Soccer Jerseys , athletes from the two Koreas walked together during the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea and fielded a joint team in some events as their relations improved ahead of the start of the nuclear diplomacy. But North Korea boycotted the 1986 Asian Games and the 1988 Summer Olympics, both held in Seoul. As architect of an unprecedented run of excellence at the helm of the U.S. women’s soccer team, Jill Ellis wasn’t short on accomplishments.Back-to-back World Cup titles while never losing a game. A staggering overall record of 102-7-18. Multiple “coach of the year” honors.And yet, as she announced Tuesday that she would be stepping down as U.S. coach at the conclusion of a five-game victory tour this year, it’s clear the numbers don’t tell the whole story with Ellis.Article continues below ...“She is massively underrated,” Craig Harrington, the highly-regarded assistant coach for National Women’s Soccer League’s Chicago Red Stars, told me in a telephone conversation.“International soccer has so much turnover, that’s just how it is. Coaches come and go — she survived all that and saved the best for last Soccer Jerseys Wholesale , dominating a World Cup in a way that has never been done before.“The U.S. job has challenges that other programs don’t. There are a lot of strong characters and different personalities. Working those things together into a team that wants to play for each other isn’t easy. But when history judges her, she did exactly what was asked of her and more.”Ellis will never get her due credit for an extraordinary run that saw the U.S. team at the forefront of national discussion as a generational influencer of young women and a beacon of sporting excellence. And she seems fine with that.After all, in 2019, at a time when the women’s game is fighting for greater recognition and financial equality, what is the better storyline? That the main architects for victory are fearless athletes such as Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan, or a smart, calm, quiet coach who doesn’t read what is being written about her?Despite the historical success of the program, the U.S. had never won back-to-back World Cups before — and never won one on European soil. During the early stages of the tournament, Ellis found her tactics and substitution patterns come under heavy scrutiny. Such criticisms seem foolish now Cheap Australia Soccer Shirts , after host nation France was blown away in the quarterfinal, a tight struggle against England was survived in the last four, and the Netherlands was handily dispatched for the gold.Never mind the talent within the squad. The U.S. women won because not only they were the best team at the World Cup, they were also the hungriest — no easy feat when you are the defending champions.“When you come to such a high, and have gone to the top, it is hard to repeat it time and time again,” Ellis said, when I asked her on a Tuesday conference call how she managed to keep her players so desperate for success. “It is not just the soccer pieces but making sure you bring in new blood. That’s an important part of building.”Ellis did rebuild, and not everyone liked it. Carli Lloyd, the best player from the 2015 World Cup win Cheap Belgium Soccer Jerseys , was restricted to coming off the bench in France this summer and wasn’t a big fan of the change.Several senior players complained about Ellis’ methods following a quarterfinal defeat to Sweden in the 2016 Rio Olympics after lobbied for her removal. Ellis knows that if it hadn’t been for the 2015 World Cup memory still being somewhat fresh, she would likely have been fired post-Rio. But she stuck it out, and now goes out on top – a rarity in modern day soccer.Ellis never indulged in excuses as the U.S. coach. She never backed away from the reality that the U.S. is expected to win each and every time it takes to the field, embracing their No. 1 ranking and relishing the associated pressure.Ellis was neither public-facing nor demonstrative. When she had gripes, either with players or the federation, she handled them internally rather than laying them before the court of public opinion.Such things don’t get you lauded as the hero, and she’s fine with that, too.“The advice I would give the next person would be to do it their way,” Ellis added. “Make sure you do it the way you want to do it.”
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