Brazil coach Paulo Goncalves cleared up a few mysteries Wednesday when he announced his 20-woman team for the FIFA Women's World Cup USA 2003. USA 1999 legend Sissi is confirmed out, while '91 and '95 veteran Roseli did not make the side after training with the team. Somewhat surprisingly, Milene Domingues, the wife of Ronaldo, is in the team.
"Milene is going with us, but she is between the 19th and 20th player," the coach confirmed. "Roseli tried hard, but we decided to change some things and use our younger players. We are going in a new direction."
In support of this youthful revolution, only five of the players Goncalves named to the team had major roles at USA 1999 - Tania, Katia, Andreia, Formiga and Maicon. Three of those, Katia, Tania and Formiga, played at Sweden 1995.
"The five players are very important because of the experience they have," he said. "If you add the experience of these five players with the young players, along with the current health of the team, we are very excited."
In Katia and Formiga, Goncalves has a pair of experienced players up front who can steady talented youngsters Marta and Daniela. Katia plays for San Jose in the WUSA, while Brazil-based Formiga helped lead her nation to the gold medal at the recently completed Pan American Games in the Dominican Republic.
22-year-old Daniela, who just finished her first season in the WUSA with San Diego, will have more than a little help up front from the electric Marta. The 17-year-old burst on the scene last year at the FIFA U-19 Women's World Championship Canada 2002.
"Marta was the second best player in the world at the Under-19s," Goncalves said. "She will be in the U.S. next year I am sure in the WUSA." In terms of Daniela, the 66-year-old coach said: "She is very good. Everyone is interested in her."
Strong at the back, young in the middle
Brazil's defence should be every bit as strong as their attack. Tania will feature in her third FIFA Women's World Cup campaign, along with goalkeeper Andreia. USA 1999 veteran Monica will appear in her second FIFA Women's World Cup while 18-year-old newcomer Renata Fernandes dos Santo Diniz - Renata Diniz - will appear in her first world championship tournament.
"The principal player on defence is Monica," Goncalves said. "She played in the Olympics and in the World Cup. Renata Diniz is a young player but she is very good and will help us a lot."
It is in the midfield where Goncalves has most of his surprises. None of Brazil's midfielders have any FIFA Women's World Cup experience. That would ordinarily worry most coaches. Goncalves is not one of them.
"Well, our midfield is young but it is very skilled," he said. "I think people will be surprised when they see how well our midfield can play."
Michell, Rafaela and Renata Costa will lead Brazil's midfield unit. Michelle, Goncalves said, could be the best of the bunch, which also includes Pan Am golden-goal scorer Christiane. He also mentioned 18-year-old Kelly, who he thinks also may have a future in America.
One surprise Goncalves still has to spring is his side's formation. The Brazilian coach listed five players as "wingers." Goncalves said he plans to use different formations against different opponents, but he thinks that the "wingers" will give his team an edge.
"We might use a 3-5-2 or a 4-4-2," he said. "We keep modifying our thoughts and our game plan."
"Our biggest problem"
The lack of regular competition for the players may be an issue the coach said, claiming he realised many of his charges lack the kind of big-match experience players from Germany or the United States have.
"I think that is going to be our biggest problem," he said. "Here in Brazil we don't have anything for the women. There is no tournament or state championship. So, when we have to put together a team, it's very hard. We have to take the players who have played most recently. But even experience at Pan Am or the Under-19s is not enough. So, we will have to take our experience from each game in the World Cup when we play it."
Despite the relative lack of experience and the few surprising selections and omissions on his squad, Goncalves said he was sure Brazil would still have a few surprises left for USA 2003.
"In Brazil," he explained. "We always have some surprises ready because the other teams don't know how we can play."
|1||Andreia Suntaque (Andreia)||GK||14/09/77||Santa Isabel|
|12||Giselle Pereira de Vasconcellos (Giselle)||GK||20/11/83||Juventus|
|13||Monica Angelica de Paula (Monica)||D||04/04/78||Matonense|
|4||Tania Maria Pereira Ribeiro (Tania)||D||03/10/74||Santa Isabel|
|15||Renata Fernandes dos S. Diniz (Renata Diniz)||D||01/11/85||Juventus|
|3||Juliana Riberio Cabral||D||03/10/81||Corinthians|
|2||Simone Gomes Jatoba (Simone Jatoba)||M||10/02/81||Santos FC|
|14||Rosana dos Santo Augusto (Rosana)||M||07/07/82||SC Internacional|
|19||Priscila Faria de Oliveira (Priscila)||M||10/03/82||AA Portuguesa|
|5||Renata Aparecida Costa (Renata Costa)||M||08/07/86||SEM Clube|
|8||Rafaela Andrade de Moraes (Rafaela)||M||23/05/21||GR Maringa|
|6||Michelle Aparecida Pereira Reis (Michelle)||M||08/04/83||Palmeiras|
|20||Milene Domingues Nazario de Lima (Milene)||M||18/06/79||Rayo Vallecano (Spain)|
|11||Christiane Rozeira de Souza Silva (Christiane)||F||15/05/85||Juventus|
|9||Kelly Cristina Pereira da Silva (Kelly)||F||08/05/85||SEM Clube|
|7||Miraldes Maciel Mota (Formiga)||F||03/03/78||Santa Isabel|
|10||Marta Vieira da Silva (Marta)||F||19/02/86||SEM Clube|
|16||Andreia dos Santos (Maycon)||F||30/04/77||Gremio FPA|
|18||Daniela Alves Lima (Daniela)||F||12/01/81||San Diego (USA)|
|17||Katia Cilene T. Da Silva (Katia)||F||18/02/77||San Jose (USA)|