Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Men's Preview

The WCP Cup draw is coming up soon! February 18th! See the post below for details.

Note: Women's preview and Youth previews to follow.

So, it's almost time. Let's get some talk going. The Men's side is looking at 4 groups of 6 this year, assuming Sudan and Somalia are allowed in. But with 24 teams, what are we looking at talent-wise?

How about this? We assign each team a grade between 1 and 5? 5 is the best, 1 is the worst. This is an exercise to see how many good teams we actually have, and how many good matchups we can actually get. We want to get a general sense of the competition out there.

1. Afghanistan-2
2. Austria-2
3. Botswana-2
4. Canada-5
5. Colombia-2
6. El Salvador-4
7. England-1
8. France-5
9. Germany-5
10. Greece-2
11. Ireland-5
12. Italy-1
13. Jamaica-3
14. Laos-5
15. Nigeria-4
16. Northern Ireland-2
17. Norway-4
18. Poland-5
19. Portugal-3
20. Scotland-1
21. Serbia-2
22. Ukraine-3
23. Sudan-new-1
24. Somalia-new-1

While these 1-5 scores can obviously be disputed, it gives you a general sense of the competition.

- The 5's are clearly contenders, and given the talent they displayed last year, as well as improvement, these teams are expected to advance into the final stages. Unless they meet each other(and some clearly will), they should place in the top 4.
The 5's are Canada, France, Germany, Poland, Ireland, and Laos.

-The 4's are also contenders, but need improvement and a bit of luck to be in the medal round. The 4's are very good teams on the cusp of becoming a top contender. The 4's are El Salvador, Nigeria and Norway. El Salvador lost a lot of their strength last year from being a 5, Nigeria has improved considerably from last year, and Norway is almost there. They're oh-so-close.

-The 3's are good teams, and they're usually the team that the 4's and 5's are scared to face. They clearly have skill and talent, but don't gel well enough together to beat the best. Expect some 3's and 2's to upset 4's and 5's. Jamaica, Portugal and Ukraine are the 3's.

-The 2's aren't that bad, but their fight isn't to get out of the group. It's to give teams good games, and hope to come out with a win or 2 somewhere along the line. The 2's are Afghanistan, Austria, Botswana, Colombia, Greece, Northern Ireland, and Serbia.

-The 1's just aren't good enough. They're here to participate in a great tournament and have some fun while doing so. It's not every day you get to play with the best soccer players in the province and be a part of a great tournament. The 1's are Italy, England, Scotland, Sudan and Somalia.


So what do we get out of this?

5- 6 teams
4- 3 teams
3- 3 teams
2- 7 teams
1- 5 teams

The winner will come from the 4's and 5's. If they don't, it will be the craziest tournament EVER. Anyway, it's a fairly even distribution. Exactly half the teams (12) can be considered quality teams, therefore they would be a good matchup. I don't know where Sudan and Somalia got the players to form 2 more teams, but good on them for joining up.

If the teams are evenly distributed (they rarely are...Group of Death anyone?), then we'd have 3 quality teams in each group. That's a pretty good number.

Thoughts anyone?


Anonymous said...

Should be very interesting to see the turnover this year. Rumor has it one of the on Team Norway is getting married out of town the weekend of the playoff round and a few of their players will be going to the wedding since a large chunk of that team have been playing club soccer on the same team for the last 10 years or so and are good friends. Who knows how many of their players will be gone for playoffs, but they might make an earlier than usual exit out of the tournament.

to the point of the Group of Death. It would be nice to start seeing teams get seeded in this tournament. For the most part it's the same teams year over year. If there's a new team added they get seeded in the middle somewhere perhaps? Spread the talent out over the pools rather than having one really solid team (a '4' by your rankings) get pushed out and a team like Northern Ireland make it to the next round out of an easy pool

Anonymous said...

Interested in player movement. Any big names on the move to new teams?

Anonymous said...

According to the Norway Blog, that little player from Saskatoon that helped Poland out last year is off to ROI this year. I personally think this is a bit of a farce that a team like Ireland can do this (nothing against Ireland directly, just don't agree with how easy it is for players to jump around). Toughen up the rules to help build more solid middle of the pack teams and you'll have a much more competitive and interesting tournament, rather than looking at the pools and more or less giving the Ireland's, Laos' and other top teams a free pass through the playoff rounds.

Anonymous said...

Greece is looking for a few more players. Does anyone know of a player seeking a team.

Anonymous said...

clearly the players that are moving to these top teams are moving because they have a better chance at winning. If the middle of the pack teams would offer them something that could get them to play there, then maybe thats what they should start to do. pay their tournament fees? buy them some nice shoes? any sort of bribe would suffice.

Anonymous said...

Scotland is also looking for new players. We have our heritage quota filled so any non-heritage players are welcome. E-mail chris.a.mcl@gmail.com if you're interested.

Anonymous said...

who cares about ranking teams, its the world cup anything can happen!

Anonymous said...

germany is a 2

Anonymous said...

agreed, germany sucks. they are over rated. laos pumped them last year in the quarters

Anonymous said...

According to the Norway Blog, Somolia has changed their name to Sierra Leone as it improves their heritage numbers.

LEONIDAS said...

GREECE has a new temporary website. Go to www.hellasunitedofregina.weebly.com


For Simulations of the tournament go to http://www.youtube.com/user/WCPCUPSIMULATORS?feature=mhum .