Ireland vs. Laos

Will they meet again? Or is there a new challenger for the WCP Cup?

Who Are The Sleeper Teams This Year?

No Ukraine this year...could it be Germany's time? Sudan? France? What about Colombia? There are plenty of good teams this year that could step up.

Ukraine: On Top, But For How Long?

Ukraine has been a real force to be reckoned with these last two years, and they show no signs of slowing down.

Polish Fan Power!

Team Poland was pushed through to the Semi-Finals largely on the power of their excellent fan support. With a more experienced team, can this be their year?

Opening Ceremonies

Everything begins on March 30th with opening ceremonies. Is your team ready?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Looking Back...

The WCP Cup keeps getting better, and this year was no exception. The groups were all very entertaining to watch and it was great to see so many fans out to watch. This tournament is really great for soccer in Saskatchewan and so many people who knew nothing about soccer came to see what all the excitement was about.

It will only continue to grow in the coming years, but in order to make it even more exciting, the rules will have to be formatted to the expanding amount of teams and the quality of play.

A couple things I was thinking about:
1. Maybe seeding more than the top 4 teams. It worked out fairly good this year, but there's no denying that any team that was left out in group D could have made another pool quite a bit more exciting. This year there were a lot of good teams, so it wasn't too big of an issue. Just a thought though.

2. Changing the way tiebreakers are made. Norway's pool and Jamaica's pool both had issues with this. It goes head to head, then goals for, then goals against. In Northern Ireland's final two games, they were blown out of the water because Norway and Ukraine were trying to score as many goals as possible. It's embarrassing to the team, and it would be better if it went goals against ahead of goals for, that way rather seeing how bad you can embarrass the other team, it's how well you can keep the ball out of your net. No one likes watching a 10-0 blowout.

All in all, the WCP Cup is very well handled and these are just suggestions.
Any others?

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Amazing Final

-Norway beat Ireland 4-3 in overtime in today's final. The best final anyone could have hoped for, as Norway went up 2-0 early besides domination by Ireland. Their first goal was a beauty as it hit the crossbar and went into the net. Ireland kept up dominating the game though and battled back to tie it 2-2. Near the end of the game Norway had the lead 3-2 when with about 6 minutes left Ireland tied it. In overtime, Adam Payette beautifully headed a cross over the Ireland keeper and into the net.

-It was great game to watch, but one thing that wasn't too classy of some fans was booing Ireland every time they touched the ball. Yeah, it was kinda funny, but those guys out there are trying hard and it does get the team down. There's really no need to insult the team. The reffing was very one-sided against Ireland and the entire crowd save for a few people were pro-Norway.

-On a positive note, it's great that Norway won and toppled the mighty Ireland. The game was awesome and it's good to see that having the best players doesn't necessarily make a team the best. Ireland was hated by many and it's good for the tournament to see a different team win this year.

-The bronze medal game was another good game with Jamaica winning 3-1 over Laos. Laos just couldn't pull together and Jamaica was able to match their quickness.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

On to the Playoffs!

With Portugal securing second in their pool last night, and Norway getting first, the playoffs are all set.

First off at 6- Ireland v Portugal
Ireland comes off playing a fairly easy pool, while Portugal had a tough road to get here. This could work in Portugal's favour, as Ireland haven't played a very strong team yet and aren't sure how to work their strategy yet. However Ireland won't need much to get going, and should win fairly easily. Ireland will take it 3-0.

Next Laos plays Canada at 7, a team that maybe shouldn't have made it out, but nonetheless did. Laos has proved themselves to be a very strong team and Canada will be a good test for them. Canada is once again highly underrated and could topple Laos. Laos is a very quick and agile team and can exploit Canada's weaknesses in speed and agility, but it will be very tough to beat Canada, as they play very well as a team. I think Canada can pull off the upset of Laos, but either way it will be a hard-fought game. ......mmmmmm I'm gonna go with Canada on this one, just because Canada is coached well and plays very solid as a team. (Note:I love the upset, so I have to take at least one in the quarter finals.)

Thirdly, Greece takes on Norway at 9.
Greece should be able to dominate Norway with their superior play. Greece is solid all around, while Norway only has a couple bright spots. Canada plays a lot like Greece and Canada dominated Norway(even though it was only 3-2), so I expect Greece to do the same. Greece takes 'er 4-2.

Finally, Jamaica plays Italy at 10.
Italy surprised a lot of people with how well they've been playing and only lost to ireland 4-2. However Jamaica is a very good team and will be able to capitalize on breakdowns in Italy's line-up. Jamaica wins 3-1

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Final day Matchups

Today is going to be the deciding day for many teams. Ukraine's, Canada's and Norway's playoff spots will be determined by how many goals Norway scores tonight. If Norway scores 8 goals and wins, they're through at second place. It will intense to see if Northern Ireland can hold them to under 8 or possibly beat or tie them.

Prediction: I think Northern Ireland can hold Norway to less than 8 goals, though it will be tough to do without their regular goalie. Canada ends up 1st, Ukraine at 2nd.

Scotland, Jamaica and Portugal's lives depend on how portugal does tonight against Botswana. If Portugal scores two goals and gives up none, they'll be through at second. If they don't score two goals, or tie or lose, Scotland goes through in first.

Prediction: Portugal should be able to score two goals against Botswana, but Botswana has never given up easily and should be able to get a couple of their own. If Botswana scores 2 goals, Portugal will then need to get 3 goals because they'd have to score more goals than Scotland. I still think Portugal will be able to score 3 goals and get the win. Jamaica at 1st, Portugal at 2nd.

Italy and Serbia face off in their matchup, not having to rely on any tiebreakers. The winner of this matchup goes through at second place.
Prediction: Serbia will pull out a close one and take second.

It's too bad that two entire pools are going to be decided on goals for, but i guess that's the way it goes. Should make for exciting soccer anyway.