Drawing From Four Pots: The 32-Team World Cup Field

December 3, 2009


“The World Cup draw, to be held Friday in Cape Town, will put the 32 teams into eight groups of four, with geographical restrictions. Essentially, one team from each pot will be put in each group. But no two teams from the same confederation (except UEFA, the European region) can be drawn into the same group.” (NYT)


Throughout the history of football, there have been many great matches that have ended during penalty shootouts.

December 3, 2009

“Throughout the history of football, there have been many great matches that have ended during penalty shootouts. During the penalty shootout, many heroes have been born for great saves that have gotten their side a trophy or advancement onto the next round, or missed to ruin their side’s chances of advancing or preventing your side from winning.” (Bleacher Report)


Fan Diary #18 – Derby Day

December 3, 2009

“Why do I love a derby? I nervously await each Merseyside derby as if it is the most important match of the season. I bite nails. I refresh webpages. I await injury updates. I lose sleep. This doesn’t make sense for two big reasons: 1.) I am not from Liverpool. 2.) The Merseyside derby is almost never pretty. (Every Liverpool victory I’ve seen over Everton inevitably ends with Red supporters in our pub agreeing: ‘That was an ugly win but I’ll take it.’)” (EPL Talk)


Europe’s World Cup contenders

December 3, 2009


Francesco Totti
“Of all the reactions to the Thierry Henry controversy, Raymond Domenech’s was perhaps the most bewildering. Asked post-match about the incident, the France coach sighed. ‘We’ve just qualified for the World Cup. Can’t you just let me enjoy this moment of happiness?’ When the coach is the one man in France celebrating a lucky break as a tremendous triumph, you know all is not well in the cradle of the national team.” (ESPN)


The 32 qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup

December 3, 2009

“Paul Doyle, Barney Ronay and Geoff Pruce profile the teams that will be travelling to South Africa” (Guardian)


Austria: 2009-10 Austrian Football Bundesliga

December 3, 2009

“This is the 98th season of top flight football in Austria, and the 36th season of Austrian Football Bundesliga (the first Austrian Bundesliga season was 1974-75). Reigning champions are Red Bull Salzburg. Prior to 1949, clubs from outside the capital of Vienna did not compete in the professional first division. Over the years, Austria has been plagued with numerous instances of prominent clubs folding, declaring bankruptcy and being forced to drop down to lower divisions and/or merge with other clubs. Which is why the list of all-time title holders in Austrian pro football is so complicated. The list is at the bottom of the map. Below are the home grounds of the last 3 champions in Austria…Red Bull Salzburg, Rapid Wien, and Austria Wien.” (billsportsmaps)