Tag Archives: World Cup South Africa

England's Players Got A Bugging Problem

Courtesy Mike Towers, Editor of  World Cup Bafana Bafana Blog

Since we are all still in the dark about the actual contents of these tapes I called on my underground sources Big Jim and Big Jim’s Scary Half-Brother to track them down.

My instructions were clear – get those tapes before the press splash them all over the front pages. And so, after several hours of sitting in pubs near Tottenham Court Road gazing wistfully at passing foreign students, my boys finally sprang into action.

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U.S. Still Has Big Problems at Left-Back

By Kevin Koczwara

The United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) has been shuffling players in and out of their camp in the last few months. Bob Bradley has been trying to fill in the last available spots on the World Cup Roster and address a few of the issues the squad has.

The big gap I can see on the U.S. side is at the left-back position that has been inhabited, inexplicably, by Jonathan Bornstein during the Bradley era. Come June and the World Cup in South Africa, Bornstien will either have to improve by leaps and bounds, or the USMNT will have to find another player to fill the position. Whoever plays on the left-side will have to be in top form if the U.S. hopes to make it out of the group stage and move forward in the tournament.

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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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World Cup Preview Pt. 5: Group G

By Kevin Koczwara

I did not update yesterday because I went on an 8 hour journey to Maine and back for an interview. It was an amazing experience to drive that far, by myself, through what seemed like a never ending landscape. The drive also gave me plenty of time to think about a lot of things. And not surprisingly one of those things was Soccer. Continue reading

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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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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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