Saturday, November 14, 2009


please oh please oh please.


Slovenia pulls back a goal in the 88th minute! Huge development to keep the playoff leg more even. Anything can happen Wednesday. Russia leads 2-1.

The game of the day in Africa has kicked off. Egypt leads Algeria 1-0 after a goal in just the 2nd minute of the game for Zaki. Egypt is going to need by more than 1 though to advance to South Africa.

Motherland Update

Bilyaletdinov AGAIN. The Everton employee puts Russia up 2-0 and in full control of the 2 leg playoff if they can hold on to this score.


That's it for the USA. 1-0 loss on a questionable PK call. Scary moment at the end that Cherundolo goes off with a knee injury. We'll have to see how that plays out later in the day. Good showing from the US despite the loss. Robbie Rogers, Bradley, Feilhaber, and Guzan were some standouts for the US. In the end, the Slovakia back line was just too strong. Next up, Denmark.


The first game of the UEFA playoffs has begun and the Russians look to take a 1-0 lead into half time after a 40th minute goal by Bilyaletdinov (say that five times fast...or even once correctly).

Jeff Cunningham and Sacha Klejstan

Two more subs for the US: Jeff Cunningham and Sacha Klejstan come in for Altidore and Rogers in the 82nd minute. Klejstan makes an immediate impact with a shot on goal. The US is running out of time to tie this up.

Cameroon is now up 2-0 after a Samuel Eto'o goal. This all but clinches a spot in the WC for Cameroon.

Dax McCarty and Clarence Goodson

Still 1-0 in the 72nd minute. The US has dominated the game, but Slovakia's back line has done a great job of not letting anything happen in the box. Bradley's going to take a look at some of the new guys as Dax McCarty and Clarence Goodson come in for Bocanegra and Dempsey. Let's see what they can do.

Africa - Group A / USA

We're under way in Africa as Cameroon has taken the lead early over Morocco. The formula for Cameroon is simple: win and in. However, Gabon still has a shot if Cameroon ties or loses.

The 2nd Half is under way in Slovakia, and welcome back to the National Team Eddie Johnson. He comes in for Connor Casey. Let's see what he's got.

Half Time in Bratislava

Well, the USA has been the dominating side, with a solid showing by new starter Robbie Rogers. The only real chance Slovakia had was the PK. The US has had some solid chances, and they midfield and strikers are playing together nicely. A lot more possession from the US than we're used to seeing. It should be an interesting 2nd half. Hopefully, we will see some changes in the line up just so Bob Bradley can get a different look at some other players.

Slovakia takes the lead

Bornstein commits a foul in the box leading to a penalty in the box. Hamsik sends Brad Guzan the wrong way and Slovakia takes the lead.

Nigeria is in! USA about to kick off.

And that's it. Nigeria jumps Algeria in the standings and is headed back to the World Cup after a long absence. Algeria has to be kicking themselves after needing only a win over lowly Mozambique.

The USA is about to kick off in Bratislava. Looks like we have some fresh faces in the starting 11. Spector will be starting at center back with Bocanegra, and they will be joined by Johnny B and Cherundolo. Dempsey and Robbie Rogers starting on the outside mid with Bradley, and my personal favorite Benny Feilhaber in the middle. Altidore and Casey getting the start up top, but don't be surprised if Cunningham or the almost forgotten Eddie Johnson to get some time in this game.

Here we go...


Obafemi Martins does it again! His second goal in the 83rd minute gives the Nigerians the lead!

On top of that, Mozambique's Monteiro has given his team a surprising lead over Algeria. Now Nigeria has the upper hand in the group again.


Heartbreak for the Nigerians

Wanga ties it up for Kenya in the 79th minute. Now only 10 minutes stand between the Nigerians and another failed attempt at a World Cup bid.


NIGERIA SCORES AGAIN! After being down 1-0 to Kenya, Martins tied the game up in the 62nd minute and Yakubu took the lead shortly after in the 65th. If the results stand, Nigeria and Tunisia will tie at the top of the group, with Nigeria going through on goal differential.

WCQ - 2nd to Last Day

Alright folks, fasten your seat belts because here we go...

Before we get started, a quick shout out the USD Men's Soccer Team for winning the WCC. Hell of an accomplishment.

WELCOME TO THE PARTY NEW ZEALAND! Fallon notched a header off a corner right before half, and Paston saved a second half penalty to send his team through to the World Cup.

Qualifying is under way in Africa. Kenya is tied with Nigeria 1-1, and Mozambique is deadlocked with Tunisia 0-0. If the results stand as is, Tunisia punches their ticket to El Mundial and Nigeria is left to watch at home again. Can the Nigerians come up with a late winner to make it through? The first match in Group C is at half with Rwanda and Zambia tied at 0. However, this game doesn't matter. Everyone's looking to Egypt Algeria later today, as group favorite Egypt is sitting on the brink of elimination and will need at least a 2-0 victory to give themselves a shot at the group lead.

Finally, looking ahead to the US friendly against Slovakia, this is one of 3 international games left for the Yanks, and Bob Bradley's going to need to figure out what this team is going to look like in June now that Davies is out and Onyewu won't be back until right before the tournament. "Mandon" will also be out of today's match up as he led the Galaxy to the MLS Cup Final last night. Look for Dempsey to play a bigger role, and hopefully the surprising Cunningham will come back to make an impact up top.

Look for updates throughout the day.

Friday, November 6, 2009


Ok folks, after the final qualifiers on November 14th and 18th, we will know exactly who will be partaking in El Mundial in June. The only qualifiers left are the UEFA playoff legs, the final African qualifiers, and the CONCACAF-CONMEBOL Playoff legs. We'll be covering these regions closely. Here's my quick take on what is going to go down in UEFA:


Russia vs. Slovenia - Russia showed during qualifying that had they not been grouped with Germany, they would have been dominant. Unfortunately that wasn't the case, but these last two games should be a formality. Expect Russia to get through with relative ease.

Portugal vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina - Portugal barely pulled it together just to make it to the playoffs. It's hard imagine the World Cup without CR9, and I don't expect them to lose this match up. Bosnia-Herz is just overmatched. Don't expect Portugal to do too much damage in June though.

Greece vs. Ukraine - The match up that I'm most looking forward to given my Greek heritage. Also, because it should be very close. Greece is probably the most boring soccer team to watch, as they grind out low scoring games with unstylish play and scrappy defense. Ukraine stars one of the most feared strikers in the last decade in Andriy Shevchenko, and much like Russia, if not grouped with England, might have won most other groups outright. My heart says Greece, but my head is taking Ukraine.

Ireland vs. France - This is probably the most anticipated match up. France is a powerhouse that's a World Cup staple. Ireland is taking on an "us against the world" mentality after FIFA gave them the shaft and declared seeding a reality half way through. I'm going with the upset pick, and France is going to be watching this world cup from home this June.

Preparations Update:

We're about to book flights in less than a month here. Let me tell you know, my funding's going to take a serious hit. If anyone knows anyone with flight hook ups, please let us know.

Until next time...