Monday, September 17, 2007

Talking Nigeria

You could tell by listening to the player interviews in the last few days that there is great respect for Nigeria. It is certainly warranted. Even though they have not won a game, the Super Falcons are having arguably their best-ever Women’s World Cup run besides 1999 when they won two group games and made the quarterfinals, only to fall to Brazil 4-3 in overtime. You have to understand, they didn’t score a goal in 1991, scored five in 1995, but could only get one point from a tie with Canada, and then in 2003, crashed out without scoring a goal again. In 2007, they have competed pretty well with two of the best teams in world and you know they are relishing another shot at the USA. The media following the U.S. team got the chance to speak with defender Tina Ellertson today. Tina hasn’t played in the tournament yet, but she’s got a very unique story in that her mom was born in Nigeria, her dad was born in Ghana, and the African culture is still very much entrenched in her family. Please note that Tina grew up in Washington state and bleeds red, white and blue (not Nigerian’s color of green, which would be weird anyway, she’s not a Vulcan), but the match will hold a special place in her heart, something she knew the day the draw was announced and the Super Falcons were paired with the USA.

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