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, March 27, 2009

Schedule Preview Day 5- Day 8

April 19- Day 5

Men- Poland vs. Germany 12:30
Men- Colombia vs. Serbia 1:30
Women- Germany vs. England 2:30
Men- Scotland vs. Norway 3:30
Women- Scotland vs. Austria 4:30
Youth- Canada vs. Scotland 5:30
Youth- The World vs. Canada 6:30
Men- Ukraine vs. France 7:30
Men- Greece vs. Ireland 8:30
Men- Nigeria vs. Chile 9:30
Men- Botswana vs. Saudi Arabia 10:30

On a Sunday filled with soccer, this day is an interesting one. Poland could upset Germany in the early game, because we'll have Germany coming off 2 straight days of soccer and playing early, so this could be a surprise game. The rest of the afternoon isn't particularly exciting, except for Norway and Scotland at 3:30. BUT, at 7:30, we find what looks to be one of the best games of the tournament, with Ukraine taking on France. This is a must-see game, and has a very real possibility of being the best game in the group stage. This game is followed by Greece and Ireland, another game which should be entertaining. The night ends off fairly slow. This day, overall, is fairly unexciting, but the 2 after-supper games will be great. Grade: B

April 20- Day 6

Youth- The World vs. Ukraine 7:00
Women-Austria vs. Ukraine 7:30
Men- Italy vs. Portugal 8:00
Men- Jamaica vs. Greece 10:00

This is a scheduling mistake. The women are slated to play at 7:30, but there is a Youth game schedule at 7. Since there is no game at 9:00, I expect the women's game is supposed to be at 9:00. Hopefully they fix this mistake ASAP so people can change their plans if they have to. In any case, this will be a Monday without many consequences. Grade: C+

April 21- Day 7

Men- Austria vs. Colombia 7:00
Youth- Scotland vs. Germany 8:00
Men- Poland vs. Scotland 9:00
Men- El Salvador vs. France 10:00

This day starts off very soft and ends with a bang. The main event of today will be El Salvador vs. France game. This game is definitely one the main attractions of the tournament. The two newcomers will face off in what will surely determine who will come out of the group, and the teams are 2 of the best. The second must-see game of the tournament. Grade: A-

April 22- Day 8

Men- Portugal vs. Norway 7:00
Youth- Ukraine vs. Canada 8:00
Men- Northern Ireland vs. Greece 9:00
Men- Saudi Arabia vs. Laos 10:00

Great games all across the board on Day 8. Portugal takes on Norway in Group C to start us off at 7:00, and it continues on at 9:00 with Northern Ireland taking on Greece. At 10:00, we have the match between Laos and Saudi Arabia, arguably the 2 best teams in their group. Saudi Arabia can prove they belong as a top team with a strong performance against Laos. Grade: A

Schedule Preview Day 1- Day 4

The schedule is out, but it takes some effort to figure out which days will be best and where the best games will be. I'll try to make it a little easier for everyone. Here is Wednesday April 15 - Saturday April 18. Every day will be assigned a grade rating. The best game of the day will be italicized. I've also included the Group Previews on the side links, so you can go back and take a look at those if you wish.

April 15- Day 1

Men- Ireland vs. Canada 7:30
Youth- World vs. Canada 8:30
Women- England vs. Canada 9:30

The opening day starts out with the all the defending champions playing the first game. The games aren't that good, but it's the opening day, so it should be fun regardless. For opening day's sake, the rematch of the final 3 years ago will be a good game to watch. Grade: B-

April 16- Day 2

Men- France vs. Colombia 7:00
Women- Chile vs. France 8:00
Men- Scotland vs. Italy 9:00
Men- Laos vs. Nigeria 10:00

The tournament really starts up on this day, with 3 men's games and 1 women's game.
This will be the first we see of top teams like France, Scotland and Laos, who are all pre-tournament contenders. It will interesting to see how the other teams can play against them, and our first chance to hope for a legitimate upset(I love upsets). This will be the first look at France for both men and women. The games might not be that great, but it will be interesting to see those teams play for the first time. Grade: B-

April 17- Day 3

Men- Northern Ireland vs. Jamaica 7:00
Youth- Scotland vs. Ukraine 8:00
Men- Norway vs. Germany 9:00
Men- Austria vs. El Salvador 10:00

This will be a great day. The first game of the night has a good chance to decide who will come out of Group A. Definitely worth watching, even just to check both teams out. The 3rd game, with Norway and Germany, is another game that will have strong implications in Group C. The last game is one of Group D's games, and every game in that group will mean something. Expect some top-notch soccer on Day 3, and this will be a great Friday night. Grade: A-

April 18- Day 4

Men- Ukraine vs. Serbia 12:30
Women- Canada vs. Germany 1:30
Men- Chile vs. Botswana 2:30
Women- France vs. Ukraine 3:30
Men- Poland vs. Portugal 4:30
Men- Germany vs. Italy 5:30
Youth- Germany vs. World 6:30
Men- Canada vs. Northern Ireland 7:30
Women- Chile vs. Scotland 8:30
Men- Austria vs. France 9:30
Men- Colombia vs. El Salvador 10:30

Whew. You want soccer? You'll get your fill on Saturday. With 11 games lined up for the first Saturday, it will be tough to find time to watch all the games. The day starts off with a bang, with Ukraine taking on a supposedly Winnipegish Serbia(if you don't understand, read the Group D preview). But from then on, there doesn't seem to be many intriguing games, from the men's side anyway. There's bound to be a few games that will be surprise you, and the day is definitely ripe for an upset somewhere. If you've nothing to do, hanging around the facility in your team colors and socializing is what you should be doing. Grade: C+

Monday, March 23, 2009

New Things

-WCP Cup schedules are to be posted after midnight tonight(March 23). Check the WCP Cup website for the actual schedule.

-Once the schedule is out, we'll take a look at how the tournament might play out. The schedule will give us something else to talk about in the weeks leading up to the tournament.

-The poll is almost done, so we need another one. Any ideas? Post them in the comments.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Preview A Pool: Group D

Group D

Group D

El Salvador

Once again, Group D stands for Death. Ukraine, even though they are a stronger team this year, will definitely be hard-pressed to win their group. Much hyped newcomers France and El Salvador are the most obvious threats, and are joined by Serbia, Austria and Colombia. What it makes this group even more interesting is that Serbia is bringing in players from the Winnipeg team that rolled into Regina and won the men's cash tournament in January. Add in that Serbia recently trounced Ukraine in an exhibition game(definitely not indicative of Ukraine's power, but still), and it's clear this group will be very exciting. Colombia proved to be a fantastic team in last year's tournament, and although they fared poorly in Group D, they still had exciting games. Austria won two games last year and played strongly against Norway and Chile. Austria is a decent team and the top teams will be in trouble if they overlook them too much. Austria and Colombia will hungry for an upset.

Prediction: Ukraine has their team set, ready to rock, and should take this group. We've seen what happens to teams that bring strong players in and expect to do great...they fall hard. France and El Salvador won't have the organization or depth to take Ukraine out of the top spot. Don't get me wrong, all 3 teams are very strong and close to equal, but Ukraine is better established as a team. Serbia will in contention for the second spot, along with France and El Salvador. Serbia, Colombia or Austria WILL beat one of the top 3 teams in here, mark my words. However, it should still come down to France and El Salvador for the second spot, with France's superior goal-keeping giving them the advantage. Finishing order: Ukraine, France, El Salvador, Serbia, Austria, Colombia.

Game To Watch: France vs. El Salvador. Everyone will want a good look at the 2 new, and supposedly great teams. This one is purely of curiosity to watch them in action after so much talk about each team.

Preview A Pool: Group C

Group C


Scotland will be hard-pressed to defend their bronze medal performance of last year, with a fairly hard group again this year. Norway, Germany and Portugal will all be hungry to exact revenge after all failed to make it past the first round last year. Italy and Poland should be no pushovers though, because none of the teams in this pool are good enough to win even if they play bad. This pool will be tight.

Prediction: Scotland, Norway, and Germany have all lost players of significance, so it's quite unclear who the top team is in this group. That being said, I think Scotland will still come first, with Germany in second. Scotland proved they could win without their keeper in the bronze medal game last year and they have great team discipline. Norway, Germany and Portugal won't be nearly as organized as Scotland, and will be fighting it out for second. Germany should be the stronger of these teams and make it through. Expect Italy or Poland to make the pool very interesting and beat a couple of the better teams.

Game to watch: Scotland vs. Germany. Arguably the two best teams in the group, and will likely determine who will get first.

Preview A Pool: Group B

Group B

Saudi Arabia

Laos finally gets out of the group of death, and promptly gets placed in the easiest group this year. Laos should easily dominate this group, while the rest battle it out for second. Laos is far more skilled than the rest of the teams in this group. We should see Chile and Saudi Arabia fighting for second.

Prediction: Laos will dominate this easy group, and in all likelihood, the game between Chile and Saudi Arabia will decide who goes through in second. Chile is not as good as last year, and the newcomers Saudi Arabia can beat them if they play well. In finishing order: Laos, Saudi Arabia, Chile, Nigeria, Botswana. Don't be surprised if Nigeria or Botswana upset Chile or Saudi Arabia.

Game To Watch: Chile vs. Saudi Arabia. It will likely decide who goes through.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Preview A Pool: Group A

Group A

Northern Ireland

Group A will be interesting to watch. The obvious favorites to make it out are Ireland and Jamaica, but Northern Ireland, Greece, and Canada definitely have a chance. All it takes is one upset to get into the playoffs. The great thing about this pool is that all the teams play pretty much the same style. All of these teams control the ball the well, in turn controlling the tempo of the game. The tempo in this group should be much lower than the other groups, because these teams consist of very experienced players that take their time in setting up chances.

Prediction: In finishing order: Ireland, Jamaica, Northern Ireland, Greece. I think we'll see Ireland make it through for sure. The real battle will be determining who else comes out. Jamaica and Northern Ireland had an even game in the group stage last year, so it should be good again this year. Jamaica even lost to Canada last year, so there's another spin on it. It looks like a 2008 Group C reunion for Jamaica, Canada, and Northern Ireland. Greece is the other team, always a threat to upset a big name team.

Game To Watch: Ireland vs. Jamaica. A meeting of two classic tournament rivals.

Monday, March 2, 2009


-The Draw is THIS SATURDAY, march 7, with the actual draw happening at 9:00. So you'll have to get there much earlier than that if you want a decent seat. It should be packed. Every soccer fan should attend, and bring your friends. It's a great time.

-Exhibition games are well underway, with teams like Northern Ireland, Serbia, Ukraine, Laos, Chile, and Nigeria all having exhibition games already or in the coming weeks. Plenty of teams are looking for someone to play, so get your team going and practice up.

-England is apparently not entered in the tournament this year. I included all possible teams in the rankings, so that no one would be left out. But now it seems safe to remove England from the rankings. There is also speculation that the tournament isn't full yet, which would mean at least two other teams from the rankings would not have entered. If anyone knows anything on this topic, please post it in the comments.

-Group Previews will be posted the day after the draw.

-So far the new commenting system seems to be working a lot better. Anyone still have problems with it? Let me know.

-There's also the Team Canada Forum or the Blog Forum for further conversation. Check 'em out. The links are on the side.

-GET PUMPED FOR THE WCP CUP! See you on saturday!