Tag Archives: International Soccer

USMNT v Spain

On June 4, 2011 the United States Men’s National Team faced off against Spain at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough for a friendly international match. The USMNT was using the game as a warm up to the team’s next big cup competition, The Gold Cup, taking place this summer.

Spain came into the game ranked Number 1 in the world and off winning the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. The side is the favorite to win the Euros in 2012.

The USMNT lost 4-0 to Spain. Photographer Alison Ciarleglio documented the match for The Soccer Guys. Check out her pictures below.

http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=104087

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Why The U.S. Needs to Start Hating England

Courtesy Mike Towers of World Cup Bafana Bafana 2010

Just when it seemed nobody was taking this year’s World Cup seriously, along comes an excellent article on why US “soccer” fans should hate England. It’s from an American writer who has rekindled my admiration for the birthplace of Lenny Bruce, Woody Allen, Saturday Night Live, John Belushi and Bill Hicks.

The article by Ryan Thies of the Long Beach Post is a real treat. “Why USA Soccer Fans Need To Start Hating England” is all about the nature of sporting rivalries and why the US needs hate figures to bond as a nation.

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Give'en A Chance

Shay Given has put FIFA on the hot seat for their World Cup Qualifying system. The Republic of Ireland has every right to his opinion, not only is he right but he is bringing up and important issue that needs to be changed. (Courtesy Flickr mikebrown59)

Shay Given has put FIFA on the hot seat for their World Cup Qualifying system. The Republic of Ireland has every right to his opinion, not only is he right but he is bringing up and important issue that needs to be changed. (Courtesy Flickr mikebrown59)

By Kevin Koczwara

Republic of Ireland goal keeper Shay Given has come out and said what other players have been thinking: FIFA has set-up a barrier preventing smaller nations from getting into the World Cup final. By creating a seeding system FIFA has ruled out the chance that big-market nations(larger nations) will play one another in the play-off for the final spots for South Africa from European qualifying (UEFA).

The system that would make sense would be a random draw of teams. It works for the FA Cup and The Champions League and The Club World Cup every year. So, why shouldn’t it work for The World Cup?

This should be a hot topic in the footballing (Soccer) world. This system is surely working in the favor of potential play-off teams like France, Russia, Greece and potentially Portugal (if the stars align properly). And the system works against countries like Ireland, Bosnia, Croatia (in truth they should have no trouble beating just about anyone if they are healthy), Norway, and Scotland.

But FIFA could care less about the smaller countries who have less experience in the World Cup. What if one of those teams went on a historical run and made it to the Finals? That would not draw as many people as France or Russia (except maybe Ireland because people around the world have ancestors there, especially here in the good ol’ U.S. of A.).

Look at the Qualification Numbers for some of the teams that are in Second place and in control of there destiny.

  • Republic of Ireland – 3 times
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina – 0 times
  • France – 12
  • Russia- 9
  • Norway- 2
  • Croatia – 3
  • Greece – 1
  • Sweden – 11
  • Scotland (tied with Norway in points, behind in Goal Differential) – 8

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