Tag Archives: South Africa

A New Group of Stars Emerge At World Cup

Courtesy ???????? ????

By Joe Meloni

The stat lines of a few of the world’s best through the first few weeks of the 2010 World Cup may have left a few of the game’s newest fans a little confused. They’re wondering why Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo failed to lead his nation deeper in the tournament with a dazzling set-piece or two. They sat waiting as Spain and Portugal battled in the Round of 16, but they wound up remembering the name Gerard Pique instead as the massive Barcelona defender helped stifle Ronaldo and the entire Portuguese attack. Those opting to watch Argentina clamored with anticipation while Leo Messi left a defender or two in his path only to hit a ball wide or send one sailing into the crowd. It was Messi’s countryman Gonzalo Higuain drawing most of the praise for the Argentines in their run to the Quarterfinals.

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French Need a Revolution

Courtesy Wikicommons Safia Otokoré

By Joe Meloni

It’s odd, at the moment, to think Raymond Domenech was a Zinedine Zidane temper tantrum away from perhaps leading France to a World Cup championship four years ago.

Since the latest installment of the World Cup began 10 days ago, absolutely nothing has gone right for France, and it’s easy to pin the lame-duck Domenech as the guilty party. Piecing together a list of his poor decisions in France’s games thus far isn’t as difficult as, say, finding any good choices he made. Not selecting Karim Benzema or Samir Nasri for a team in desperate need of creativity with the ball or choosing not to play Thierry Henry or Yoann Gourcuff in a game his team would lose, 2-0, stand as some of the most obvious complaints supporters of Les Bleus have of the flighty manager.

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Most and Least Impressive Teams Through Round 1

By Kevin Koczwara and Ryan Fleming

Every team has played a game in the World Cup Finals now. It took almost a week for each team to play a game in their group, but it was well worth the time it took because there have been some great games and only a few stinkers (France and Uruguay for sure). Now it’s time for Ryan and Kevin to look back on the week that was and pick a few teams that stood out to them, for good and bad reasons.

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Who Won't Win The World Cup Part 1: Group A

By Ryan Thies of The Long Beach Post

I have had the distinct pleasure of spending time in four different countries involved in the World Cup (five, if you count El Paso, Texas as Mexico) and as a result I feel uniquely qualified to make some predictions. Besides just El Paso and America at large, I have also been to Argentina, Brazil, and England, so the odds are in my favor that one of “my” countries will actually win the whole thing. But each of those teams, like the entire field, have their Achilles’ heels.

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USMNT Announces 30 Man World Cup Roster

By Kevin Koczwara

Today United States Men’s National Team manager, Bob Bradley, announced the 30 players he is taking to Princeton, NJ to train and try-out for the squad for that will be going to the World Cup in South Africa in 30 days.

The USMNT’s final roster can only have 23 players on it come June, but Bradley would like to evaluate what he believes are his best 30 options and see who fits where. Then he will have to make his final cut. Why not just the name 23 he wants to go to South Africa now like some countries are doing? Well, Bradley has a lot of injury concerns to address within the squad. So, he needs time to assess each and every player before he names his final roster.

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World Cup Draw Part 1: Groups A & B

Courtesy Wikicommons/ Audrey & Patrick Scales

By Kevin Koczwara

Let’s look at the first half of the Group Stages of the World Cup. The draw was Friday afternoon, and now that I have had some time to digest the pairings, I am going to make a few predictions. I will write a wrap-up of each group, two at a time, in this series. There will be four parts and all will be posted this week.

So let’s start it off with groups A and B.

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Where Are You Argentina?

Maradona is a legend in the world of soccer. His skill was unmatched as a player, but as the coach of Argentina he is faultering in World Cup Qualification for 2010. (Courtesy Diego_3336s Flickr)

Maradona is a legend in the world of soccer. His skill was unmatched as a player, but as the coach of Argentina he is faltering in World Cup Qualification for 2010. (Courtesy Diego_3336's Flickr)

By Kevin Koczwara

Argentina has won the World Cup two times (1978 and 1986) and has been to the finals four times. The only year that the Argentinians didn’t qualified was 1970 (they have withdrawn their spot three other times). But they are on thin ice this year in the qualification stages, even though they have the world’s best player in Lionel Messi. If coach Maradona doesn’t bring his team back from the dead in the final stages of qualifying then this could be a historic year for the World Cup, it would be only the second time Argentina didn’t qualify.

Maradona scored wonder goals while playing for Argentina and lead the national team to the 1986 World Cup title, but maybe he is not suited to coach his peers. His team has great depth and some of the world’s best players, but they aren’t getting the results they need. The 3-1 defeat to Brazil over the weekend has hurt the team’s chances of making it to the World Cup.

Currently Argentina is fourth in the CONMEBOL table. Brazil has already secured their place in South Africa and Paraguay and Chile are looking to book their flights and accommodations as well (each just need one win). If Argentina doesn’t seal up the fourth spot then they will have to play for the fifth spot and that doesn’t mean an automatic bid.

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