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  • MONTREAL -- Canada is sitting pretty ahead of the 2014 FIFA U-20 Womens World Cup. Rickey Jackson Jersey . Canada was placed in one of the easiest groups during Saturdays live televised draw in Montreal. The eighth-ranked Canadians will face North Korea (ranked No. 4), Ghana (No. 19) and Finland (No. 26) in the group stage. "We definitely didnt expect an easy group," said Canadian U-20 coach Andrew Olivieri. "We were anxious. Its a great group." Olivieri, a retired Montreal Impact goalkeeper, doesnt want to get ahead of himself before the first ball is kicked five months from now. A good draw, however, allowed him to raise his expectations. "Weve never been beyond a quarter-final, except for that first tournament (in 2002)," he said. "Were in a good position. We want to reach the quarter-final, and win that quarter-final." Since the inaugural competition in 2002, also hosted by Canada, the U-20 tournament has been held every two years. This year, the 20-day tournament begins on Aug. 5 and wraps up Aug. 24. Four Canadian cities -- Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton, and Moncton -- will welcome some of the best womens under-20-year-olds from 16 different nations. The final will be held at Montreals Olympic Stadium. Canada plays Ghana in the tournaments opening match in Toronto. Ghanese coach Bashir Hayford thinks Canadians would be too quick to treat the first game as an easy victory for the home side. "All eyes will be on us," said Hayford. "It will be a bit intimidating with that crowd. But well have supporters in Toronto too. I know they will galvanize and come and support us. If we can win, our confidence will be built for subsequent games. We are going to play very well." Ghana earned its spot in the U-20 World Cup by defeating Equatorial Guinea 4-3 in penalty shots in January. This is their third successive trip to the U-20 World Cup, but they have yet to make it past the group stage. "Every country wants to win the cup," said Hayford. "Thats why were competing. If you ask me about my expectations, Ill tell you: we want to win the cup." After Ghana, the Canadians will face the Finns, also in Toronto. Finnish coach Marianne Miettinen knows playing in Canada will be a great experience for her young players. She says she will be wary of Canadas good speed up front, but knows her side will come to Toronto with a lot of heart. "Finland has a good fighting spirit," said Miettinen. "The Northern teams are really well organized. Were going to give everything in every game. Were going to be really tough to beat." The Canadians close out the group stage against North Korea, in Montreal. And although the fast-paced North Korean team will prove to be a tough test for Canada, the host nation luckily avoided the Group of Death -- the soccer group that invariably brings together some of the worlds best teams. For the upcoming U-20 Womens World Cup, that group is composed of the United States (ranked No. 1), Germany (No. 2), Brazil (No. 3), and China (No. 6). Together, the U.S. and Germany have won five of six U-20 competitions. The Americans are the defending champions, having beaten the Germans 1-0 in the final game of the 2012 tournament in Tokyo, Japan. If Canada does make it past their group stage, they will have to face the Americans, Germans, or Brazilians in the quarter-final. "Its going to be challenging," admitted Olivieri. The tournaments third group opposes Nigeria (ranked No. 5), South Korea (No. 10), Mexico (No. 11), and England (No. 13), and the final one includes France (No. 9), New Zealand (No. 15), Costa Rica (No. 25), and tournament newcomers Paraguay (unranked). The U-20 World Cup will give also give Canadian soccer fans a taste of whats to come. Next summer, Moncton, Montreal, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Edmonton and Vancouver will host the 2015 FIFA Womens World Cup, the first senior FIFA tournament held in Canada. Olivieri, whos been coaching the under-20s for two years now, said that any player who excels on his squad this summer will have a very good shot at being involved in next summers World Cup. In total, Canada will host 84 international soccer matches in seven cities across the country in the next two years, and is expected to draw a combined nearly two million soccer fans. "The womens game is improving in Canada," said Olivieri. "It will be incredible. There are many young kids already playing the game, and this will only help. The reach of the game will change." Note: Mayor Denis Coderre and former Montreal Canadiens coach Jacques Demers were in attendance for FIFAs official draw. a Ten of the 16 team coaches were also present in Montreal on Saturday. Taysom Hill Womens Jersey . - The Green Bay Packers got back to work on Friday without star quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Willie Roaf Jersey . Many of those eyes are in the United States of America, a country that the sport has wanted on its side for some time. On Sunday the football Gods delivered once again, only this time it was time for good old USA to experience as much heartache as joy.ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Peyton Manning wants to clear up a couple of things about his recent visit to Tuscaloosa, Ala., that raised eyebrows at NFL headquarters and the hackles of some Tennessee fans. The five-time MVP said hes always been driven to improve, a quality thats even more essential at age 38, and thats why he met with Alabama coach Nick Saban a couple of weeks ago. Saban shared defensive tips with Manning, who gave him pointers on the hurry-up offence that has befuddled the Crimson Tide. Saban said Denver offensive co-ordinator Adam Gase also visited his staff that week. NFL rules prohibit players and their coaches from meeting before the start of off-season workout programs, and thats why the NFL said it would look into the matter. Following the Broncos first organized workout Monday, however, Manning insisted that he and Gase didnt break any rules because they didnt meet with each other in Tuscaloosa. "Yeah, that didnt happen. We know what the rules were. Like I said, I was there on an independent project, and Adam was as well," Manning said. Saban has also said that Manning and Gase didnt meet with his coaches at the same time. Gase and Saban go way back: Gase got his start in coaching under Saban in the 1990s at Michigan State and followed him to LSU as a graduate assistant. As for fans from the quarterbacks alma mater who might be upset that he met with a rival coach from another SEC team, Manning said he still bleeds orange. "Obviously, I have been to Tennessee doing the same thing for the past 16 years. Ill do that, going to make it 17 years in a row, going back to Knoxville. Hopefully that covers me as far as being loyal to my university," Manning said. "Most of the other places, I go just one time. So Ive got 17 years at one place, so I think its pretty clear where my loyalties lie. "The projects I did this year were to help the Denver Broncos and to help me. That still is what my job is, to make myself a better player." The NFL rule prohibiting players and coaches from meeting before the start of the volunntary off-season workouts, the first two weeks of which are limited to strength and conditioning work and rehabilitation, were installed with the latest collective bargaining agreement a few years ago. Michael Thomas Saints Jersey. . Its designed to prevent players from feeling pressured to meet with coaching staffs during whats supposed to be their free time in the off-season. Players and coaches often get together in casual settings and NFL coaches often meet with college coaches. Mannings appetite for improvement is what led to his trip this off-season to Alabama. He also visited Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. "Theres different things that Ive done throughout my career in the off-season that Ive sought out someone to talk to, something to study to try to make myself a better quarterback," he said. "I believe in this league you either get better or you get worse -- you dont stay the same. I know that has gotten a lot of attention, but that is something Ive done throughout my career. "I certainly know the rules, but I know theres no rule that says a player cant get better -- at least I havent read that one. Thats what I was trying to do and I believe that is important, especially as you get older, in the off-season to try to seek out some things to try to make yourself a better player." Seeing the leagues only five-time MVP trying to improve impressed new defensive end DeMarcus Ware, who was lured to Denver by a three-year, $30 million offer from general manager John Elway and the chance to play with Manning, whos intent on getting back to the Super Bowl this season following the Broncos 43-8 loss to Seattle in February. "Sometimes it doesnt matter about accolades, it doesnt matter if you were MVP or not, its what can I do to really get better for next season?" Ware said. "Peytons one of those types of guys that puts in that effort, not just on the field but off the field, trying to figure out, What can I do to get better? Because he has a bad taste in his mouth from the last season and he doesnt want it to happen again." Wholeslae Jerseys NFL Jerseys Cheap Wholesale NBA Jerseys Cheap NHL Jerseys Cheap MLB Jerseys Wholesale Soccer Jerseys Cheap College Jerseys Cheap Football Jerseys Cheap Basketball Jerseys Cheap Baseball Jerseys ' ' '
      July 15, 2019 4:47 AM CEST
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