vintage garefrekes

I am a bit late to this news, blame it on moving/ working/ traveling schedules. This past May Kerstin Garefrekes retired from soccer. But even before that, after the 2011 world cup, she retired from the German national team and thus I have also been trailing off following the team closely. There are a few particular players I really enjoy watching, one is Kerstin Garefrekes, and the others are Homare Sawa, Aya Miyama, and Shinobu Ohno. The last three are midfielders of the Japanese team during the 2011 world cup. They are admired greatly (by me) for their field visions and skilled passing. I once compiled a video of all their incredible “drop” passes but decided not to upload for fear of copyright issues.

© AP / Rick Bowmer

“the” goal. USA versus Germany, women world cup 2003. © AP / Rick Bowmer

With Garefrekes, I have always loved watching her “runs” and passing from the wings. Ok, I don’t know the game very well in term of actual playing (hey, it could have been different if I got some training when little 🙂 ), but one of the key things is knowing “where” and “when” to run / make cuts to be open and seeing ahead of time where you can pass / cut the angles to get the ball behind the defenders. And i always love players running down the side and managing curls into the penalty area (that’s how England scored two goals in the 1996 world cup semifinal! pass it out to the wing, run in, pass in, headers, GOAAAL!!) . In any case, for those who did not follow, Kerstin Garefrekes was also involved in THE game that got me completely addicted to women soccer: the 2003 World Cup semifinal between Germany and USA. And, as a reward of being patiently waiting, here it is in full, vintage Garefrekes in one of _the_ best games in women soccer! Intense action starting at 14m30s , when, guess who, scored for Germany. This is also a game of SPECTACULAR goal protection from the German keeper Silk Rottenberg (and a young Nadine Angerer cheering on the side). INCREDIBLE saves after saves. The entire match after minute 14m30s was played in the German half! And she single-handedly preserved the score for Germany until minute 91…

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sports updates

really thought i could wake up for the boston marathon watch :-), oh well. it’s HOT today in Cambridge/Boston, the race officials allowed runners to skip the race and defer until next year if they choose to do so. Anyhow, the women’s race came down to a sprint (!!) with 1st and 2nd place decided within 2 seconds. I guess we don’t think too much about it, but if you really pause for a moment, that’s really amazing (how the body can last 2 hours+ (in ~30°C) running very fast and yet still able to sprint)

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frankfurt vs potsdam, part II

missed the live match and am currently watching replay for the entire thing. but first a detour, had yet another dream chatting with frau K last night :-D, must be after watching that meisterklasse of hers. this time it was at one of her handel recitals (2nd time i heard her singing that aria in dream!) and we had some nice discussion again on her walk back to the subway heading for the airport! these dreams clearly reflected vhat i normally watch just before zzz, given that a month ago i had yet another chat in dream with vivica genaux about copy-rights of her documentary “a voice out of the cold” on youtube :-). Anyhow, within my group of (in)finite german-speaking friends, i’ve just found another one who promised to translate that whole meisterklasse, hooray. at least now we understand why she “looks” like she’s smiling sometimes when singing very sad phrases, i have already guessed many times it’s her ways of using the face muscles, but it’s great to finally see how she explained it during that Sesto aria, very nice! (click on image for video of masterclass)

Sarò qual più ti piace

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aerial beauty

here’s a series of photos from screen captures to celebrate the beauty of headers by some of the top female footballers of the world. I’m always a biig fan of runs down the sides and crosses from either wing into the penalty area. As only an observer, i have no idea how difficult it is to cover someone in front of the goal against these crosses. When the pass is accurate, it’s such a beauty to watch. The power of these headers are just simply amazing. Looks like all the highlights on youtube are wiped out due to copyright, but this series can be seen here (at least for now…).
Germany 1 France 0

Peter free kick into the penalty area from nearly 40m away

Garefrekes outran the defender at the far post for a header

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fifa women world cup 2011 is here

thanks to free satellite tv on jetblue, i just realized the women world cup is here! and my favorite player scored the open goal of the tournament for Germany, wiht a similar header from the far side as the first goal i saw her scored way back in 2003 which knocked the US out of the semifinal. Anyhow, these fotos are “borrowed” from the official fifa website, where you can also find complete schedule. If you live in the US, the matches are available “for free” on (for free means you need internet from some big name companies i believe, you can always go there and try out, for example here’s the replay of the tournament opening Germany vs Canada yesterday or Japan vs New Zealand today).
Edit: so, i’ve just done watching the complete replay of the opening match, amazing! here’s the highlight via youtube:

some comments:
the passing skill of Garefrekes is amazing, she passes very quickly as well before the defense can get set. Celia Okoyino Da Mbabi is also very good with her passing and finishing. On the Canadian side, Christine Sinclair is a specimen, it’s too bad I only get to see her brilliance on display now. I used to dislike the Canadian approach of bulldozing over all other teams, but now with the new Italian coach, they’re such a fun group of players to watch with the nice passing game. Don’t miss the very nice wind-kiss Sinclair gave to her coach after she scored that magnificent free-kick in the highlight video above. Read more of this post

random pix

since the arrival of digital cameras and big storage space, it seems we take tens of thousands of pictures only to store them away. i’ve been spending the last 2 days cleaning up my hard drive and finding some pix didn’t remember i had. thought i share them here, else i won’t know of their existence until probably 6-7 years from now when it’s time to clean up again…  some of the pix are not mine, in which case there’s a (c) thingy next to it.

moon rise on the Charles: i’m always fascinated by the lighting on the river, both during sunrise and moonrise.  for any camera, my first test would be at the river in low light:

moon rise on Charles River, Boston, 22-jun-2005

moon rise on Charles River, Boston, 23-jun-2005

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