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?

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Ranking teams is fun, but very tough. Do your own rankings in the comments, and try to justify them. Here we go.

1. Laos - Based on the final last year. ROI won, but there is no doubt the outcome would have been different if ROI had been missing Tristan, as well as Brett. Tristan was outstanding in the final. Him leaving ROI is a huge loss. If you can't rank ROI first, the only option left is Laos.

2. ROI - It would be dumb to drop ROI any further than second. They have been in the final for the last 3 years, and always do extremely well. The loss of Tristan, Brett and Benno hurts, but Ireland can replace those guys and will.

3. Ukraine - Ukraine was great team last year, and this year they have only improved. Very solid all-around team with depth that has to be considered a favorite to win.

4. Scotland - Despite what looks to be the loss of their all-star keeper, Scotland will still be a very good team. Very good defensively and with the addition of a couple players up front, there's no doubt that they're a top 5 team.

5. France - A no-brainer to round out the top 5. A team of all-stars that has become an immediate threat to win. Though they look to be lacking any depth, their starters put them at this rank. No team from last year proved they should own this spot, with the exception of Chile(more on that).

6. Jamaica - Jamaica will be looking to get back to the playoffs this year after barely missing out last year. They are ready to rumble. Don't count out a team led by Holness. This was the toughest spot to choose. Chile and ES could both be considered, but since their teams aren't set, we go with the team that has been practicing a lot and playing together for a long time.

7. Chile - Chile lost in a shootout to Scotland in last year's quarter-final. They were a great team. This year they look to have lost many players to El Salvador, but they have also gained a bunch of new players that will still keep them quite strong.

8. El Salvador - Back from the dead, there is certainly a lot of hype around El Salvador, as they were one the best teams before they folded last year. El Salvador certainly has lots of potential. They get 8th spot because they don't have the star power of France. They can be considered interchangeable with Chile.

9. Northern Ireland - Northern Ireland proved a lot last year, playing against Scotland, Ukraine and Jamaica. Incredibly, they held their own and almost made it out of the pool. They are now a legitimately good team, and we'll see if they can take it further.

10. Germany - Germany has consistently hovered around this spot. They are always good enough to make any pool interesting, but can seem to make the jump to an elite team.

11. Saudi Arabia - They've been playing together all indoor season in Div.1, and playing pretty well. They'll definitely make an impact in this tourney, but will not necessarily make the playoffs. They'll need luck at the draw.

12. Portugal - Another good team along the lines of Germany and Saudi Arabia. These teams CAN beat an elite team, but it isn't easy.

13. Norway - Norway is dealing with losses this year, but they'll still be a good team. They won't have the playmaking they've had in the past, but they will still be defensively solid and will keep games close. It's a shame they've fallen to this ranking.

14. England - England was pretty good last year, but they've lost all their playmakers this year. If they regain they guys they didn't have last year, they'll be much better than 14th.

15. Serbia - Serbia surprised everyone last year when they almost upset Germany to take second spot in their group. They are a team that the best teams have to really worry about.

16. Colombia
17. Greece
18. Italy
19. Austria
20. Canada
21. Nigeria
22. Poland

-The draw is scheduled for March 7th. That is coming up FAST.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


There's going to be some changes around here.

Clearly, there is a problem with anonymous commenting. It's not many people, just a select few. These select few have issues. When I come back after a couple days and see 70 or so comments about anonymous people making fun of people who aren't anonymous...well that's just pathetic. It wasn't that bad last year, but it is definitely way out of hand this year. No more.


In order to comment, you will need a profile. The profile doesn't divulge any personal information, and they are very easy to make. You still remain largely anonymous, but now at least your profile is responsible for what you say, instead of everyone being anonymous.

I encourage you to make a profile. There were a bunch last year, and I'm not sure where they went.

Team Rankings later today

Friday, February 6, 2009


-Team Previews are finished. Three separate posts have been made for three categories: Top 4, Teams on the Verge, and the Rest of the World. Scroll down to view.

-There are 22 teams in the Men's tournament this year, meaning we will be seeing 2 groups of 5 and 2 groups of 6.

-If any women's teams would like to see a preview of their tournament, I would gladly post it. I receive various information on Men's teams, but none for Women's teams. Help me out here.

-Team Rankings will be done in the coming days. Feel free to post your own in the comments.

Team Previews- The Top 4

The Top 4

Republic of Ireland- Ireland will be dealing with losing 3 of their top playmakers this year, with their main striker, center defender, and main keeper leaving(Brett Bachelu, Benno Looft, Tristan Manz respectively). This is a severe blow to the team, but Ireland is still a force to be reckoned with. They will be able to fill those positions, and though they won't be as dominant as before, anyone underestimating Ireland will be in for a major surprise. Ireland has big, strong, and skilled players at every position. Ireland may have lost some guys, but don't be surprised to see them making a run at the final once again.

Laos- After finishing second place last year, Laos will be making another run at the WCP Cup. The team remains completely intact from last year, meaning you can consider Laos a top contender. With the addition of perhaps a couple players, including Josh Northey on the wing, they look to be even better. A quick and tricky team, Laos works out of the midfield in a variety of ways. They can score from anywhere. They can be exploited, but for a team to beat Laos, they will have to play solid team soccer for the entire game. You give Laos a chance, and they will bury your team.

Scotland- Scotland is another team very much unchanged, with the exception of their keeper, J.D. Blakley, who might not be back from SFU in time for the tournament. Scotland's reputation is as a team that won't give up goals, but has a bit of trouble scoring. However, their team will be in contention in every game they play. They will be hard-pressed to repeat their bronze medal performance, but they are certainly more than capable. Scotland dares you to underestimate them.

Ukraine- Ukraine has picked up a couple solid players to help solidify their line-up. The most notable of these is Benno Looft, who looks to be playing center back. Although they have lost offensive players Danny Marchinko and Paul Scollan, Ukraine has picked up some very good replacements for them that have the ability to push them over the top. They retain dominant wings and strikers with a solid midfield. Look for Ukraine to be a very dominant force this tournament.

Team Previews- Teams on the Verge

Norway- Norway is dealing with significant player loss this year, and it will be tough for them to remain a top contender. They still have some talented players, but it will be very tough for them to generate offense against most teams. Norway will still be good, and might surprise some teams, but it's doubtful they can become the cinderella story they were two years ago. But, they managed to do it before, why not again? With some new recruits they should be able to cause some havoc.

Germany- Germany is revamping their team after a playoff loss last year. Despite being a skilled team, Germany could never seem to make the jump to an elite team. This year, with some new pickups, they could make that jump. They'll have to play smarter than they did last year, but still able to keep their toughness.

Chile- Newcomers to the tournament last year, they sure made a splash. With a younger team this year, Chile should be better. They will lose some players to the newly formed El Salvador, but their gains should equal their losses. Another team that has the ability to do some damage in the playoffs.

France- Newcomers to the tournament this year, France is definitely looking to come in with a bang. Building off two former members of ROI, they have already recruited various star players from other teams. Expect France to be a mash-up version of ROI and England. They are heavily recruiting the top players to make an impact right away, so their team will look quite good on paper, but without the right chemistry between players(like England last year) and lacking a deep team, it could all fall apart quickly. Make no mistake though, France will scare you.

Jamaica- Jamaica was part of the Group C mess last year, and unfortunately came out on the wrong end. There were bright spots, but Jamaica couldn't stay consistent last year. They'll be looking to get revenge after failing to make the playoffs last year. Remember, they were behind Scotland(3rd) and Ukraine(4th) in their group, and only lost out on point differential. Some people may be writing Jamaica off, but Jamaica has always been a top team.

Portugal- Portugal had a decent showing last year, and even though they were in a tough group, they'll have to make some changes if they want to be a genuine top team and make it back to the playoffs. This is an odd team, because they can allow goals in a second, and get one right back the next minute. Expect some new recruits for Portugal this year.

Northern Ireland- NI had a great showing last year after coming in as a write-off before the tournament. No one expected them to make Group C as exciting as it was. They definitely showed they have some skill. They can't be considered a top team yet, but they've made the jump from awful to possibly playoff team. Their team should remain intact from last year. They worked very hard in all their games and their hard work almost paid off last year. Expect NI's hard work to pay off this year. They may lack the star qualities of other teams, but they definitely make up for it with their work ethic. They should make a mess of whatever pool they're in, and possibly make it out this year.

Saudi Arabia- This team has been playing together in the men's premier league all winter, and are doing fairly well. They manage to hold their own against the better teams. The main point here is that they have played together for awhile now, and will be able to play very well as a team when the tournament comes around. They have a good enough team to do well in this type of tournament.

El Salvador- If previous year's El Salvadorian team is any indication of what the new team will look like, El Salvador becomes an instant threat. They have playmakers that break a game wide open, but the real issue will be covering all the positions on the field. They'll need a team that can stop other offenses and distribute the ball to the goal scorers. It's good to see El Salvador back in the tournament.

England- England was an odd team last year. They were very hyped up, but never really looked as dominant as they could have been. This year they will be dealing with the loss of their top wingers, but could gain a couple top midfielders. They made it out of a tough Group D last year, so they are clearly a good team, but unless changes are made, it will be very tough for them to make it out of their group.

Team Previews- The Rest of the World

Before I start

-There are teams like R.E. in the men's league, who are good players, and they should definitely be recruited to these teams. Teams absolutely need these hard workers.
-On that note, these are my favorite teams. Every year, it's guaranteed that one or more of these teams will surprise everyone and destroy the hopes of a top-ranked team(or at least really make them work for it). Who will be this year's Northern Ireland? (Others: last year's group games of Serbia vs. Germany, Italy vs. Norway, Columbia vs. England)

Greece- Greece has been a force in years past, but they'll be dealing with key player losses this year, mainly their two goalies. They'll need some quicker, younger players to keep pace with the stronger teams. They were the only team other than ROI to get points off of Laos. They've kept games close in the past, so hopefully Greece can come back strong.

Poland- Poland has never been a strong competitor, mainly lacking a strong defence. They gave up far too many goals in a weaker Pool A last year, but they always play hard. I expect Poland, like many of these lower teams, to be looking at younger players.

Canada- Canada has always been a dark horse in the tournament. Their defeat of Jamaica messed up Pool C bad. They were a decent team, but it doesn't look like the have the talent to really do major damage. Taking them lightly isn't recommended.

Austria- They had a fairly good showing last year, at least forcing Norway and Chile to look over their shoulder in their pool. However, Austria is a mediocre team. They don't have major skill advantages over many teams. Seeing as how the WCP Cup adds an extra player on the field, skill becomes less relevant. They came close to beating Chile last year.

Colombia- Colombia was a great addition to the tournament last year. They played hard every game and really made Pool D interesting. It was great to go watch their games and hope they could manage to knock a top team off. They came very close against Greece and England. Their fans were great as well. I really can't say enough about how great Colombia was for the tournament. This year, their team should be about the same, and hopefully they can be just as exciting to watch as last year.

Serbia- Serbia was written off last year, as everyone expected Ireland and Germany to roll through their fairly easy group. But after a poor start against ROI, they came back to win two and test Germany in a great game, with Germany only scoring the winning goal with a minute left. Their major defeat against ROI proved they aren't capable of consistently playing great soccer, but last year was definitely a start.

Nigeria- Nigeria fell below expectations last year after being expected to at least challenge Germany for second place in their pool. After only mustering a tie against Botswana, Nigeria has some proving to do. They were always a decent team, and it's too bad they fell to the bottom level last year. Hopefully they come back with new recruits and a chip on their shoulder.

Italy- They finished last in the weaker Pool A last year, but their games were definitely interesting. They challenged Norway very well, lost two games by scores of 2-1, and played well against Chile in a 4-1 loss. They showed they are a competitive team and the younger players they have will be more accustomed to the high level of soccer in the tournament.