World Cup scouting: The 32

June 11, 2010

Matías Fernández (Chile)
“The following 32 names represent Football Further‘s players to watch at the 2010 World Cup. We’ll be following their performances closely over the course of the tournament, with weekly scouting reports rounding up their progress. Names preceded by squad numbers. Players in bold have been scouted by Football Further in the build-up to the World Cup. Players in brackets were scouted but not called up by their national sides.” (Football Further)

Uruguay 0-0 France – Player Ratings – World Cup – 11 June 2010

June 11, 2010

“France began their 2010 World Cup with low expectations after a poor performance in the last several years. They had to go through a playoff to qualify and recently lost a 0-1 friendly against China. Uruguay qualified from the South American region and contain some very talented strikers (such as Diego Forlan). Below are video highlights and a full recap of the match.” (The 90th Minute)

The dive

June 11, 2010

“It’s going to happen. You know it and I know it. At some point in this tournament, with the whole world watching, a player will take a dive. Somebody will engage in play-acting of an extravagantly transparent design. The tut-tutting will start. We’ll hear some guy on TV, probably from England, who will be all bluster and denunciation. The game will be declared to be in disrepute. Standards lowered. Somewhere in the denunciation, in the outrage or in the subtle subtext, there will be a suggestion that what the diving, play-acting international soccer player has done is unmanly. Unworthy. Not sporting.” (The Globe and Mail), (Must Read Soccer)

The time for talk is over

June 11, 2010

“From the moment the World Cup draw was announced back in December, the United States’ opening game against England has been one that almost everyone, even neutrals, circled on their calendar. That the Three Lions are tabbed as heavy favorites matters little. For the U.S., the match is as an opportunity to recapture the spirit of 1950, when the U.S. delivered perhaps the biggest upset in World Cup history, beating England 1-0. Can history repeat itself Saturday? It’s possible, and there are some factors that appear to be working in the Americans’ favor.” (ESPN)

South Africa 1-1 Mexico – Video Highlights and Recap – World Cup – 11 June 2010

June 11, 2010

“The opening match of the FIFA 2010 World Cup was the host nation South Africa taking on CONCACAF side Mexico. A host nation has never lost an opening match but Mexico could provide a tough test for South Africa. Would South Africa get a win or would Mexico start off with a win over the host country? A full recap of the match along with video highlights are below.” (The 90th Minute)

World Cup 2010: South Africa 1-1 Mexico
“The gloves are now off. For the first game of any World Cup, you always need to pick your strongest side. Anything else would be foolhardy, so we can be fairly sure we are seeing people’s strongest hand. How, then, did ITV do? This year it was their turn to take the opening game for the first time in eight years, and they looked keen to show they meant business. Their key new acquisition was Adrian Chiles, who continued to exude his unaffected charm with such familiarity that you could almost believe he’d been kidnapped from the BBC in his sleep and no-one has yet told him.” (twohundredpercent)

World Cup 2010: The Opening Ceremony… Live!
“Though it has slipped under many people’s radar, there is some sort of World Cup due to be held. Soccer City, Johannesburg is the venue for the start of this summer (winter)’s festivities. South Africa and Mexico wait in the wings to entertain us with some actual – wait for it – football. But first, of course, comes the dubious pleasure of the opening ceremony.” (twohundredpercent)

The World Cup Periodic Table

June 11, 2010

“This, my friends, is the smoke before the fire, the thunder before the lightning, the salty sea breeze that portends the coming hurricane. Enjoy and savor the smell, because when all is said and done, when your house lies in rubble, your cash savings burned to keep warm, a smile shall not grace your face. But rather a physical embodiment of WTF?” (futfanatico)

Which stars will Spain leave out of the side?

June 11, 2010

“The reigning European Champions and the bookmakers’ favourites – this isn’t a position Spain are used to. Usually they are flashy outsiders everyone expects to self-destruct at the knockout stage, but the incredible results Spain have recorded over the past four years shows that this is both a talented and ultra-professional squad.” (Zonal Marking)

World Cup predictions

June 11, 2010

“Nearly there folks, the World Cup starts today. Yes, that’s today, and next time you hear from me I’ll have some actual real actual football to talk about. Just one more thing before we’re underway. As hopefully you’ll know by now, twohundredpercent is going to be a very busy place over the coming few weeks – our team of, uh, hand-picked experts will be providing the best coverage possible from the comfort of our own living rooms, and we thought it was only fair that we nail our colours to the mast first so that you know where we all stand.” (twohundredpercent)

Six to watch: the key players

June 11, 2010

“Everyone knows that Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney are the star men for their sides – here are six more relatively unsung heroes that could be crucial for their respective teams.” (Zonal Marking)

Six to watch: the fringe players
“Often players who weren’t considered part of the starting XI at the beginning of a tournament emerge to play a leading role by the knockout stages. Here’s six who hope to do that…” (Zonal Marking)

Down on Les Bleus: The Word from Paris

June 11, 2010

“On the eve of the World Cup, after four years of anticipation and hope, tactics and maneuvering and hype, interestingly, it is possible to sum up the mood of the French capital on the state of the national team in a word: pessimism. Pessimism abounds, and it is not unjustified. Les Bleus, as the team is affectionately known here, looked disorganized in the qualifying matches and even suffered a painful 1-0 loss to lowly China. (A recent article in the sports journal L’Equipe that summarized these developments was titled ‘De l’optimisme a la crainte.’)” (Soccer Politics)

Excitement and expectation mount in South Africa

June 11, 2010

“In 2006 it was inconceivable that Germany would be the first host nation to depart the World Cup at the group stage. Yet by their own high standards the squad was one of the country’s weakest and pundits had the knives out. We should have known better – they were edged out only in the semi-finals and the tournament was a huge success in uniting and popularising the country.” (WSC)

“Haiti in the World Cup” @ Pilgrimages

June 11, 2010

“My first piece is up at Chimurenga’s Pilgrimages Blog: ‘In Port-au-Prince there stands – or at least there stood, before the January 12th earthquake devastated much of the city – a mural depicting four great nationalist heroes of the Caribbean: Toussaint L’ouverture, Che Guevara, Fidel Castro and Emmanuel Sannon. If you don’t recognize the last name, you are not alone, for Sannon’s presence among this group might at first seem a little odd.'” (Soccer Politics)

“The French Caribbean Team” @ Pilgrimages
“My second post to the “Pilgrimages” Blog is up, this one on how France is the Caribbean team in this World Cup. ‘When the French team takes the field against Uruguay, and later against Mexico, history will be lurking.'” (Soccer Politics)