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Tag Archives: World Cup
March 3, 2011Posted by on
Although CONCACAF has been hoping to receive a full four places in the 2014 World Cup, FIFA voted to have the allocation of World Cup spots stay the same. There is only a slight change, although it is a key one as far as CONCACAF is concerned. 13 teams will automatically qualify from UEFA, 5 from CAF, 4 from CONMEBOL, 3 from CONCACAF and 4 from AFC. The first team to miss qualifying automatically from CONMEBOL, CONCACAF, and AFC will be placed into a pool with the winner of the Oceania. Rather than the team from CONCACAF automatically facing the team from CONMEBOL and the team from Oceania automatically facing the team from AFC the matchups will be selected randomly between the four. For the most recent World Cup, the four teams which would have been in this pool were Bahrain, New Zealand, Uruguay and Costa Rica. Instead of Costa Rica being forced to face Uruguay, their opponent will be selected at random from the other three teams. Obviously comparing the strength of CONMEBOL to AFC and Oceania this is still an improvement for CONCACAF and will likely make it easier for CONCACAF teams to qualify for future World Cups.
February 23, 2011Posted by on
The United States has moved on to the U-17 World Cup, the only nation to participate in each edition of the event.The United States broke open a 1-0 lead in the fifth minute as Alejandro Guido headed in a cross from Joe Amon. Four minutes later El Salvador equalized and the game stayed 1-1 throughout regulation. In what turned out to be a wild extra-time, the US struck first with second-half sub Mario Rodriguez scoring off of a cross from Marc Pelosi.
The game stayed that way for almost ten minutes before Pelosi got involved again scoring in the 111th minute to give the US a nearly insurmountable 3-1 lead with 9 minutes remaining. After that defener Kellyn Acosta was shown a second yellow and ejected; and after that goalkeeper Fernando Pina was injured on a play and shown a straight red for kicking a Salvadoran player while catching a pass. I haven’t seen any word on the extent of Pina’s injury, but he was reportedly being carried of on a stretcher when he was given the red-card. El Salvador received a PK for the play and converted it bringing the score to 3-2 where it stayed until the final whistle. The US survived and moved on to the semifinals of the CONCACAF championship which means they simultaneously qualify for the U-17 World Cup.
*I saw both Mark Pelosi and Marc Pelosi printed multiple times. I apologize for the mistake.
February 15, 2011Posted by on
I grew up watching soccer, playing soccer and learning to love the game, but I was a few years too late to really pay attention to the 1994 World Cup. I imagine it was beautiful, the denim kit, the prospect of attending a World Cup game as real as it could ever be, and of course the height of the Colombian national team. This team is most remembered for its tight connection with the Colombian drug cartels and Pablo Escobar. This is exactly what Faryd Mondragon, a young 23 year old playing in Argentina at the time, spoke about in a recent piece with Philly.com. Mondragon backed up the great Oscar Cordoba who backed up the legendary Rene Higuita.
February 11, 2011Posted by on
The Shin Guardian got an interview with USSF President Sunil Gulati, who specifically talked on the Striker issue which has caused so much of a fuss in recent years. Jozy Altidore is not a terrible player, he may not be a great player, but just because he hasn’t scored in 7 World Cup games doesn’t mean he is completely incompetent. Of course Gulati talks on other subjects too, all equally worth reading about.
TSG: A striker got fouled this evening [Juan Agudelo against Chile]. A striker scored [Teal Bunbury]. Much has been made about that a US striker has not scored at the past two World Cups.
But then you look at a country like Paraguay. A very successful country on the international front.
For the past two World Cups they had less collective goals than the US and a striker only scored one of them.
Do you think the US striker situation is scapegoated a little too much?
SG: I think when you talk about a total of seven games it is a very small sample size.
We won our group without having a forward score so there is obviously other ways to win games.
Clearly you would like the players up top to help in that area and I’m sure they’ll help in that area in qualifying.
February 5, 2011Posted by on
An Interview with Pia Sundhage
Apparently there’ll be a ton more TV coverage of the Women’s World Cup this summer.
The USWMNT is starting to do things that we’ve been asking the USMNT to do for a while, by improving youth development. Which mean’s we can’t blame Sunil Gulati for it too much anymore.
February 4, 2011Posted by on
Steve Zakuani was born in Zaire, which later became the Congo, grew up in London and recently received an American Green Card and is on his way towards U.S. citizenship. Zakuani plays for the Seattle Sounders as a wing, or second striker, which outside of Donovan and Dempsey is a fairly shallow position for the USMNT. Zakuani recently accepted a call up from the Congo to play for their team, but he confirmed that he only played in a friendly and would have been less willing to do so if it had bound him permanently to the Congolese team. Zakuani says he is considering playing for the Congo and for England also, but it would seem that, as a player he would most benefit from declaring himself American. He would likely get substantial playing time for the Congolese team, but considering the recent quality of the team it is unlikely he would ever be able to play in a World Cup. England would most definitely give him the opportunity to play in a World Cup, but first he would have to make it past players like Theo Walcott, Frank Lampard, and Steven Gerrard. Needless to say the English roster is a much harder one to crack. The American team on the other hand would allow him the best balance of both, they are very likely to continue to reach World Cup’s but they are also still at a level that Zakuani would be given substantial playing time, and a chance to improve himself as a player. It seems that the best fit professionally would be to play for the USMNT, but then again if his heart is in Zaire that likely doesn’t matter at all.
January 22, 2011Posted by on
In what was a very confusing story for me, Union Head Of Scouting Diego Guitiérrez recently scored for the 1994 US World Cup team against the Omaha Vipers of the MISL. First it is 2010 so I couldn’t exactly figure out why the 1994 World Cup team would be playing at all, but this article explains that it was merely an exhibition game to raise awareness of the new team in town. Then I thought when did Diego actually play for the USMNT? I couldn’t remember his name as an international so I looked it up. He did have one cap for the US national team which was a small surprise for me. Although that cap came in 2001, and he only became a citizen in 2000 so him playing as a member of the 1994 World Cup team didn’t really make much sense either, but again its an exhibition so I guess they bent the rules a bit to field a full team although apparently Alexi Lalas was there so that counts for a lot. The most interesting note I found is that amidst all this confusion Diego managed to find the back of the net, not horribly surprising considering he was one of the younger players on the team at 38. The game did come down to age though with the younger Vipers winning with ten unanswered fourth quarter goals (remember its indoor soccer) taking away what had been a 14 to 8 lead for the good guys and winning 18-14
January 17, 2011Posted by on
“We believe that CONCACAF deserves another full place at the World Cup finals due to the performances of our teams on the field and the actions of our confederation off it,” Warner said in a statement.
This past year both the United States and Mexico moved onto the knockout rounds of the World Cup, while Honduras failed to make it out of the group. Also Costa Rica, who would have been the fourth place team in qualifying was knocked out by Uruguay in a play-in game.