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, April 30, 2008

Quarterfinal Matchups


The defending champions take on Ukraine. Last year, Norway beat Ukraine and ended up squeaking by Ukraine to advance to the second round, eventually winning the WCP Cup. This year, Ukraine is back for revenge, and looking to make a mark of their own. Ukraine barely made it out of their group this year, but they are certainly capable of beating a strong Norway team. Ukraine's team could be one of the most dangerous in the tournament, but they will have to beat Norway, a team that always seems to find a way to win close games. Both teams match up well, and the game should be great.

Prediction: Ukraine wins 4-3.


Ireland looks stronger than ever, but they haven't had a real test yet. England can be that test. England some very skilled players, and they will have a real chance against Ireland. Granted, England will have to play close to perfect soccer to win, but they have more of a chance than most teams. Ireland's entire should be out, which doesn't fare well for England. England will need to play very solid as a team.

Prediction: Ireland wins 5-2


Scotland played very well in the group stage with a very tough pool. They've shown they can play with the best teams in the tournament, and now it's time to prove they belong. Chile is coming off a disappointing loss to Norway, but the game hopefully showed Chile exactly what they need to do to compete against the best teams. The real battle will be between Scotland's defence and Chile's strikers. This is where the game will be won.

Prediction: Chile wins 3-2


The most intriguing game of the quarterfinals. Laos is a very quick but small team that relies on fast wingers and midfield shots. Germany relies on long balls to the strikers and a tough midfield. Germany will have their entire team together for the first time this tournament. They will have to be very physical with Laos if they want to win, and they'll have to close down their midfield to limit those shots. Germany can certainly do both those things. Laos will have to beat Germany with skill and precision passing. Laos is very skillful, but they'll need time to work their magic in order to win.

Prediction: Laos wins 4-2

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Pool Recaps

I've been away for a bit, but I'm back. Sorry for the lack of posts. There has been a rise in the number of derogatory comments directed towards individuals, so from now on, any mean-spirited comment directed towards a specific individual will be deleted.

Now, instead of recapping all the games of the last 4 days, I'll provide an overview of each pool. Recaps will continue tomorrow.

Group A:

This pool is pretty much wrapped up. Norway closes out against Poland, and no matter the result, they will finish at the top of the group. Chile will finish in second. This pool went pretty much as predicted. Norway and Chile proved to be the best teams in the pool, but they were given a couple scares. Italy should have tied Norway at the very end of their game, Austria put a real scare into Chile, only losing 3-2. Austria, Poland and Italy all played very good soccer. All the games between those three teams have been one-goal games, so they've been very exciting. They worked hard and put on a very good show. This pool closes out tomorrow with Norway taking on Poland at 7:30.

Group B:

Ireland dominated their fairly easy pool. The only real battle was for second, when Serbia battled Germany. Germany won 4-3 in a very exciting game in the last minute to virtually lock up the second spot. Serbia played very well in tournament and improved substantially this year. Botswana played with their usual hustle this tournament, making every game they played exciting to watch. Nigeria fell from their status last year, but were still fun to watch. They played to a 3-3 draw with Botswana, in possibly the best game of the group next to the Germany-Serbia game.

Group C:

In what has been the most exciting pool, Group C is still wide open, pending the results of tonight's games. There are so many scenarios that can happen that I won't bother stating them on here. The main thing is that EVERY TEAM can still go through. I, nor anyone else, would have never expected the group to turn out like this. This is the tournament at it's best. Scotland tied Ukraine by scoring in the last minutes once again, making it the 3rd straight game Ukraine has lost/tied because of a goal in the last two minutes. It doesn't get any more exciting than that. Games tonight will decide the group.

Group D:

Another pool that is turning out to be very exciting is Group D. Greece tied a strong Laos team, which makes tomorrow night's game the deciding game in who will go through in second. Greece will have to win to go through, England needs a tie or a win to go through. Both teams are very strong and this battle will be an epic one.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Day 6 Recap

Colombia vs. England- 5-4 England- Colombia kept it close with England, but there rarely a time when it looked like England would lose. Colombia's had it tough, playing 3 games in 4 days, but they still looked good. It's too bad they got stuck in such a hard group. England has found it's scoring touch, and hopefully it all comes together for their game against a tough Greece team.

Ireland vs. Germany- 7-0 Ireland- Ireland dominated Germany. Germany's player losses hurt them bad, but Ireland just has way too much skill. They look hell-bent on revenge this year, and so far it seems that Laos is the only team standing in their path. The loss brings Germany back to Earth after winning some fairly easy games, and hopefully this shows Germany what they have to do to compete with the best teams.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Day 5 Recap

Canada vs. Northern Ireland- 5-2 Northern Ireland- Northern Ireland had way more scoring chances. Canada stood back and let N.I.'s offence walk right in and shoot. Canada kept it fairly close for the first half of the game, but Northern Ireland pulled away in the second. They now look to their game against Scotland on Saturday, which will likely determine their fate in Group C.

Austria vs. Poland- 3-1(?) Austria- Can't quite remember the exact score. Poland fought hard, but Austria was just too much for them to handle. The game looked liked it could go either way, but Austria just put away more of their chances.

Laos vs. Colombia- 5-0 Laos- Laos is much too strong to let a team like Colombia beat them. Colombia thrives on hustling to the ball, but unfortunately for them, Laos thrives on hustle as well. It was good to see Colombia play hard throughout the entire game, never giving up. Kudos to both fan bases as well.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Day 4 Recap

Italy vs. Norway- 4-3 Norway- Norway won this one, but it was definitely not easy. Italy charged back at the end of the game, coming extremely close to tying the game at the end. Norway dominated the game for the most part, but Italy had a lot of very close chances.

Germany vs. Nigeria - 4-1 Germany- Germany just had more offense than Nigeria and Nigeria was simply unable to stop them from shooting. Both these teams are tough, and the game really started to become chippy near the end. Luckily no one was seriously injured, but there were a couple cards thrown around and the first red card of the tournament right at the end. Germany takes on Ireland on Thursday.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Day 3 Recap

Ireland vs. Botswana- 7-1 Ireland- Playing a weaker team once again, Ireland took an early lead against Botswana and never looked back. Botswana played hard, but Ireland passes and shoots much better. Ireland's first test of the tournament will come Thursday against Germany.

Ukraine vs. Jamaica- 2-1 Jamaica- Jamaica and Ukraine both tied Northern Ireland, meaning the winner of this matchup would have a much easier road to the second round. Jamaica scored early on Ukraine, and Ukraine was once again forced to make a comeback. The game went back and forth, with both teams having their chances. Ukraine tied it right before half. Jamaica scored their second goal a little after halftime, and Ukraine pressed hard to get the goal back. They hit a couple posts and and had some bad breaks, but fact remains they couldn't score. Jamaica played very well and looks once again like a solid contender after a sketchy performance vs. Northern Ireland. Every game in this pool will have an effect on who will come out. Group C is heating up!

Laos vs. Portugal- 4-2 Laos- Laos came out flying to score 3 quick goals, going up 3-0. They looked to have the game in hand before Portugal scored 2 very quick goals to make the game seem suddenly very close. Both Laos and Portugal had a number of chances, and this game seemed poised to go down to the wire. Laos solidified the game a little later with their 4th goal. Laos seems to have taken command of this pool, and the decisive game now looks to be Greece vs. England.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Day 2 Recap

Scotland vs. Canada- 4-2 Scotland- Canada played quite poorly. While Scotland is fairly good, Canada didn't have the determination they've had in recent years.

Nigeria vs. Serbia- 3-2 Serbia- Serbia bounced back from their game against Ireland and beat the under-achieving Nigeria team.

Northern Ireland vs. Ukraine- 2-2 tie- In possibly the best game of the tournament so far, Ukraine was really put to the test by Northern Ireland. After going down early, Ukraine bounced back and scored once, and proceeded to dominate the rest of the game trying to score the go-ahead goal. After what seemed like forever, Ukraine finally broke through and scored. Immediately after the goal, Northern Ireland went on the offensive for the last 2 minutes and scored after a cross was bouncing around in the box to tie the game. Ukraine plays Jamaica tonight at 8:30, which will likely decide which one of the two teams will make it out of the group.

Chile vs. Italy- 4-1 Chile- Chile played very well, and are turning out to be one of the stronger teams in this tournament. Their goal-scoring ability is phenomenal, and they have a very good chance at taking the pool from Norway. Chile scores goals with ease, making them more than capable at upsetting a favorite when the playoffs roll around.

England vs. Portugal 6-2 England- Finally getting their act together, England showed just how dangerous they are. Portugal kept it very close for the first part of the game, but England just had too much skill for them.

Greece vs. Colombia- 3-2 Greece- In another great game, Colombia put a real scare into Greece. Colombia, a real underdog in this tournament, scored very early to shock Greece's usually impenetrable defence. They kept the intensity of the game very high. It was only a matter of time until Greece scored though, and they put away 3 goals before Colombia started to really charge back. They scored to make it 3-2, then put the pressure on with a couple close chances until the final whistle.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Day 1 Recap

The first day kicked off with opening ceremonies at 1:00, lasting about 45 minutes. The first game, starting a bit after 2:00, featured defending champion Norway taking on Austria.

Norway vs. Austria- 3-0 Norway- Norway started off very slow, and Austria seemed poised to make this one an upset. Austria had some very close chances but just couldn't put any away. Their problem was that they couldn't create any opportunities around the box at all. All they were doing was crossing it in hoping for a header. Norway, a very solid team in the air, eventually got rolling in the second half.

Ireland vs. Serbia- 7-0 Ireland- Ireland dominated every aspect of the game, as they should against a weaker Serbia team. Serbia has the ability to play much better, and they'll make it close against other teams in the group. Serbia plays Nigeria at 3:00 today

Jamaica vs. Northern Ireland- 1-1 tie- This was probably the upset of the night, with Jamaica being quite highly touted and Northern Ireland a basement-dweller. This all changed on Saturday, as Jamaica found themselves an equal. Both teams matched up quite evenly, and you really couldn't say one team deserved it much more than the other. Jamaica will definitely need to pick up their game if they hope to make it out of their group. Northern Ireland takes on Ukraine at 5:00 today.

Germany vs. Botswana- 6-2 Germany- Botswana started off very strong, taking leads of 1-0 and 2-1 before Germany buckled down on defence. Germany, a goal scoring machine, broke out and peppered Botswana.

Chile vs. Poland- 4(5?)-2 Chile- Poland played very well, but Chile was just too much for them. Chile's players are very deadly if given the opportunity to shoot the ball, and Poland gave them time. Chile takes on Italy at 6:00 today.

Laos vs. England- 5-0 Laos- Laos dominated England. England was missing their goalie and their mainstay midfielder from last year, Mark Korthius, is not even on the roster this year. Even with England's regular goalie, Laos still would scored just as many. The goals were pretty much unstoppable. England does not look like the team I, nor anyone else, predicted them to be. They looked very sloppy. If I were to redo the rankings right now, I would drop them out of the top 6 easily, possibly further. As for Laos, they look poised to go to the final. England can make amends tonight vs. Portugal at 8.


Note: Please, someone provide me with quick recaps of the women's games.
Does anyone know what is going on with the WCP Cup website?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Here It Comes...

With the opening ceremonies only days away, it seems almost assured that this tournament will be an event to remember for a long time. This tournament promises to be bigger, better, and more exciting than any previous soccer event in Saskatchewan.

A couple quick notes:

-As you can probably tell, a few minor adjustments have been made to the blog to make it look a little better.

-You'll be able to check in with us every game day to see a recap of the previous day's events. Since I won't see every single game, please feel free to e-mail with a recap of a game that is missed on this site. Also, any women players are welcome to help out with the women's side if they want to write quick game recaps.

-Tell your friends to come out and support a team. Give this tournament as much exposure as you can. Let's pack that place.

-The polls will be modified after the tournament starts.

-If your team doesn't have a website, make one, then send me the link. It takes very little time but gives your team much more exposure. It lets people know who everyone is and adds a little celebrity status for the players. It is very much worth the effort.

-We all owe Kevin Holness and company much appreciation for all he's done to put this tournament together once again. They put in a lot of time and effort into making this thing run smoothly. They've done an outstanding job so far, and this tournament is only getting better and better.

A message from CBC:

We would like to get things started by having players call us and leave a message for us to play on the radio.

Call 1-800-661-7540, and under the morning edition, say - what team you play for in the WCP Cup and why you're going to win. Thanks.

-Adam Hunter CBC Radio


Support your country, have a great time, and let's see some top quality soccer!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Preview A Pool: Group D

Group D


Group D for Death. This year's Pool of Death has three of teams from last year's Pool of Death, Laos, England and Greece. After beating out favorites El Salvador and Germany last year, Laos and Greece are no longer underdogs. England will be looking to redeem itself after a dismal showing last year. Portugal, now the underdog, could play the same role Laos and Greece played last year. Colombia will be trying to survive against these powerhouses, however, they could play the role of spoiler and ruin some team's aspirations for the playoffs.

Prediction: England, Laos, Greece, Portugal, Colombia. This is pretty straight-forward prediction. I've predicted no real upsets here, which surely means there WILL be upsets. Greece certainly has the ability to go through, but Laos and England have too much skill to be out of the tournament before the playoffs. Portugal and Colombia are good teams, but the most they'll be able to pull is an upset of one of the top three teams.

Game to Watch: England vs. Laos

Preview A Pool: Group C

Group C

Northern Ireland

Group C will be a tough pool. All the teams have the ability to come out. Canada, again heavy underdogs, always seem to make it to the playoffs. Scotland has already tied Ukraine 1-1 in exhibition, and though that's not to say they can beat Ukraine, it at least shows they can hang with them. Northern Ireland, although arguably the weakest team is this pool, could upset a top team that overlooks them. Jamaica will be looking to prove that its recent player losses will not affect their team. Ukraine has shown good stuff in exhibition, and they look to prove they're a real contender.

Prediction: Ukraine, Jamaica, Scotland, Canada, Northern Ireland.
Ukraine is the strongest team of the group and should be the favorite to come out of the group. Jamaica, although losing some players, should be able to hold on Scotland. Canada isn't as good as they've been the past couple years, so I don't see them moving on to the playoffs this time. Northern Ireland may beat one or two teams, but they won't be able to make it out.

Game to Watch: Jamaica vs. Scotland. I think Ukraine has a very good chance to come out of this group, and I think the game between Jamaica and Scotland will decide which other team makes it out.

Preview A Pool: Group B

Group B


Ireland leads this relatively easy group. Germany will look to get back to the playoffs, and Nigeria will be trying to prove they are better than they've shown so far in exhibition games.

Prediction: Ireland, Germany, Serbia, Botswana, Nigeria. Ireland and Germany should be going through. None of the remaining three seem to have the ability to take Germany down in order to take second. Like Group A, it appears there are two teams that are the overwhelming favorites to go through.

Game to Watch: Ireland vs. Germany

Preview A Pool: Group A

Group A


The only proven team in this group is Norway. Everyone knows how good Norway is, but no one really knows what to expect from the other four teams. Chile still has to prove they can play with a good team, but they are the favorite to finish second.

Prediction: Norway, Chile, Italy, Poland, Austria. Norway should have first place locked up if they play their best, but the real battle will be for second. Any one of those 4 teams could make it through the group. Chile should come out in second, but they'll be given a run for their money.

Game to watch: Norway vs. Chile

The Draw

The pools are in! Pool Previews will be coming later in the day. Stay tuned...