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Oct. 22, 2007
Gulati: U.S. women not falling behind

Has the United States fallen behind Brazil and Germany in international women's soccer?

U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati doesn't think so.

Germany became the first team to finish consecutive Women's World Cups while the Brazilians stunned the Americans with a 4-0 semifinal result in China last month.

The Germans went on to defeat Brazil in the final, 2-0 (the U.S. and Germany never met in the Cup).

ďAs the Brazilians found out, technical skill doesnít always mean you win," Gulati said Monday during a conference call. "If that were the case, then on the menís side Brazil and Argentina would win every World Cup, and on the womenís side now, Brazil would win every World Cup but they havenít won a World Cup or an Olympics.

"The technical part of looking at a game isnít just about the dribbling. Itís about defending, tackling and passing. We didnít perform as well as we could in this tournament.

"I donít think weíve fallen behind Germany. Weíve played against that team and matched up well against Germany. Whatís happened is that a number of programs around the world have invested heavily in their programs and achieved a level of soccer that is higher than it was a decade ago. Iím not concerned that weíve fallen off, but once youíre in this top five area, what it takes to stay there is pretty demanding and weíve got to get better if weíre going to keep bringing home gold.Ē

-- Michael Lewis

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