The U.S. Women’s National Team’s failure to produce live updates today for most of the Algarve Cup opening match against Iceland was disappointing. I’m writing this blog to share my personal game-day experience, commend those who “came to the rescue”, suggest that U.S. Soccer start covering the U.S. WNT more frequently with Twitter, and raise a few points as to what I believe social media is all about:
– Deliver immediate and accurate information, scores and updates.
– Offer transparent, open and honest two-way communication with fans.
– Provide alternate media coverage (esp. of women’s sports, since we’re often hard-pressed via traditional outlets to get the amount or depth of coverage that men do.?)
??U.S. Soccer advertised that the Algarve Cup matches would be covered live via their Match Tracker. When I logged on to ussoccer.com this morning at 5:00am PT to get some information for my pre-trip blog post, I searched and searched for a link to the Match Tracker, but was unsuccessful. I even made a plea to anybody reading Soccer Science to put the link in my comments section below if they could locate it.?? I figured the fact that I was so excited to leave for Portugal, coupled with the few hours of sleep I got last night were surely to blame.
But as the morning continued and I tried to follow along with #uswnt and #algarvecup tags via the Twittelator client on my iPhone, I noticed that there were no updates or information anywhere to be found – on the ussoccer.com website or even on http://twitter.com/ussoccer. ??Confusion started flying around the Twitosphere. Here are just a few posts:
– From @Alondra_h: RT @nscaawomen RT @rt_fail RT @more_is_less: RT @BurningMoon117 @ussoccer your MatchTracker won’t load for USWNT vs Iceland #FAIL
– From @agmendenhall: Apparently @ussoccer is experiencing a “datacenter outage.” All that means to me is I can’t track #USWNT vs. Iceland.
– From @marie_ryan: Dear @ussoccer I didn’t realize #USMNT have won 2 World Cups &3 Gold Medals. We want to know what’s going on with the #USWNT game. #EPICFAIL
I was thrilled when @KarinaLeBlanc tweeted the Cyprus Cup results from Canada vs. Switzerland (2-1 victory for the Canadians w/ goals from Sinclair #101, and CJ). And @thefadotcom tweeted the England Women National Team’s result against South Africa (2-0 to the English) in the same tournament.
With 25 minutes left to go in the USA vs. Iceland match, @bostonbreakers posted that U.S. was leading Iceland 2-0, with the latest goal from their 2010 WPS Draft first-round pick, Lauren Cheney. The Breakers also successfully posted a blog on Fan Corner with real-time updates from the game. Sounds to me like somebody’s got a friend across the pond with insider info. ??Well done to @breakersGM, @ericahunt and the @bostonbreakers for recognizing an opportunity and turning a poor performance by one team into a “W” for the other. @tonysocc, @lcole22: Will this success transcend onto the pitch? 😉 ??
With about 10 minutes left in the match, some people were finally able to access Match Tracker, while others were still having troubles. @SkyBlueFC was quick on the case as they Tweeted out the live score. I