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?

Friday, February 22, 2008

WCP Cup Forum

Similar to what Team Canada had last year, the forum will be a place to discuss everything that is happening in the Cup. It just makes for an easier way to discuss issues and more people can get involved.

The link to the forum will be on the sidebar with the other sites.

I encourage people to register, as it includes extra benefits like editing and poll creating, plus arguments between a bunch of "anonymous" just let people hide behind the anonymous tag while saying whatever they want.

When you post, you need to enter a confirmation code in the bottom left corner in order for the post to appear.

You can make your own topics and I've set out an outline of where to post different topics, but if you come across a problem, please email me so I can fix it. Enjoy the forum.

Forum here as well as the sidebar.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Exhibition Games

Please post any exhibition games you know about in the comments.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Team News and Previews...and a Pre-season Ranking by Someone Who Knows Diddly-Squat

Note: If your team plays an exhibition game or has tryouts at a certain time, e-mail with the results or schedule so it can be posted.

Team news and previews

England: England will look to be a major force this year by bringing in some new players. Yes, to the commenters, this includes Ronny Torres. They should have a very strong midfield, but a weaker defence, and if this team can figure out how to actually play as a team then they have a good chance of winning.

Germany: Not much news out of the Germans, but they should be back with pretty much the same team. They have a chip on their shoulder after losing in the group stage last year and will be looking for revenge.

Canada: Canada has a new coach this year and a couple roster changes. Losing Eugene Seckler as a coach will hurt them, but they'll probably still do alright. They may be lacking in speed and fitness, but they're always tough and solid and can keep games close.

Jamaica: Jamaica is losing a couple of their best players this year in Justin Manz, Shane O'Gilvie, and Tamon George. The younger players will need to step up in order for Jamaica to keep it's status as a medal contender.

Ukraine: Ukraine has made some acquisitions in the midfield and at keeper that will definitely improve their team. They don't have a particular weakness anywhere, making them fairly solid all-around. They are a quicker bunch that play well as a team and should be a major force.

Laos: Laos will have the same team as last year. They are a very skilled group and very quick, however they might lack an imposing force against the bigger teams such as Republic of Ireland and England. Nevertheless, they will once again be right up there with the best teams.

Norway: Norway will also have pretty much the exact same team, and will be looking to repeat as champions. They won as the underdog last year, and this year teams will be very eager and pumped up to knock off the defending champions. It will be tough for Norway to repeat now that everyone knows how good they can be.

Greece: Greece will be the same team they've been for the last 2-3 years. The Greeks may not have particular stand-out players, but they play very tough and everyone always seems to underestimate them.

Portugal: Much of Portugal's team is playing together this indoor season, so by the time the WCP Cup rolls around, they'll already be well-acquainted with each other.

Italy:Another team playing together this indoor season, Italy will be tough to beat. A younger and inexperienced team, but since they play all indoor together, you never know what can happen. We all know how well Greece and Canada have done in the past despite star players.

Republic of Ireland: Ireland is a major force and will continue to be a major force. They have many good players, but they might be constrained by the star player limit in the rules, forcing a couple cuts, but not enough to severely impact the team. They still have a great defence and playmakers in the midfield and up front.

Nigeria: Nigeria looks to be rising in status. They played solid last year in a tough pool, but weren't able to advance. They kept games very close and had enough chances to win games as well.

Scotland: Scotland played very well last year despite not advancing. They have playmakers on their team, but are lacking a solid defence. If they can shore up the defence, they will be a contender.

Colombia: Tough to say how good Colombia will be. They are sure to have some El Salvador players, but how their roster shapes up remains to be seen.

Chile: Chile may also benefit with the addition of El Salvador players, so their potential is also unknown.

Botswana: Botswana was a huge underdog last year, and will still be this year. They do have the advantage of having more players playing indoor soccer this year and getting into shape earlier, so they're bound to be better this year.

Northern Ireland: Missing some good players last year, Northern Ireland did not fare well. If they get their entire roster together they should also be better this year.

Serbia: Should be the same as last year, but the younger players will have to be workhorses for this team to have a chance and they'll need a better defence.

Poland: Poland was the victim of unfortunate circumstances last year when Ukraine and Canada were forced to run up the score as high as possible in order to advance.

Austria: They were beaten bad last year in a relatively easy group, so they really have nowhere to go but up.

*There are only 19 teams this year unless a team is able to pull together soon and submit the fee, despite being past the due date. From what I gather, one of Serbia, Poland, or Austria will not be submitting a team.

Pre-season rankings

Now for the rankings. Keep in mind, these aren't based on anything on at all, just opinion. I encourage the commenters to pick apart the rankings, but try and show reasons why you feel that way.

1. Republic of Ireland
2. Norway
3. England
4. Laos
5. Greece
6. Jamaica
7. Ukraine
8. Germany
9. Portugal
10. Scotland
11. Canada
12. Nigeria
13. Italy
14. Botswana
15. Colombia
16. Northern Ireland
17. Serbia
18. Chile
19. Austria
20. Poland

The rankings will be adjusted based on exhibition games between two teams or any other roster developments that occur.