Posts Tagged World Cup

South America States its Case for Soccer Supremacy

Posted by Noel on Thursday, 1 July, 2010

South America dominates for the first time in a long time, in a decades long World Cup soccer rivalry between South America and Europe.

Argentina Fans

Argentina Fans by Ali Brohi

In world cup soccer, there is a rivalry that most US College Football fans should be able to relate to. It is the rivalry between the two most successful national soccer conferederations, UEFA (Europe) and CONMEBOL (South America). The rivalry can be closely compared to what is seen between the SEC and the PAC 10 in college football. One group, (Europe/SEC) is generally considered to have the best quality of football in the world (like how I used “football” in a double meaning there?)  the other (South America/Pac 10) believe that they are just as good as the other, but are dealing with a (European/East Coast) bias.

When it comes to College Football, the problem lies in getting a bid for the National Championship, or a second bid for the BCS, in soccer the issue is entries into the World Cup. As far as the Europeans are concerned, South America has too many bids because their confederation has only 10 teams but can earn as many as five entries into the tournament, or 50%. Europe usually gets 12-13 bids, but has 53 members, or about 25%. South America, however, feels that they have the best players in the World and that their confederation does not include tiny countries with no shot to win the Cup, like Luxembourg or Latvia, so they should get more bids.

Over the past several World Cups, Europe has proven their argument by knocking out South American teams in droves, leaving Brazil and Argentina to hold the South American banner. This year however, the South American teams have not only fought back, they have put together one of the soundest thumpings of any confederation in history. Of the five teams that qualified for the World Cup in 2010, all five reached the elimination round, and only one (Chile) lost its round of 16 game. Who beat Chile? Brazil, another South American team. This, of course means that four of the eight remaining teams in the World Cup are from South America, and the remaining bracket makes it possible, albeit unlikely, that the final four teams could all hail from South America.

The results of this World Cup will not lead to added bids for CONMEBOL, but it certainly makes a sound case that they deserved the five they got, despite what their rivals in Europe might say.

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Best Soccer Goal of the Day June 28, 2010

Posted by Noel on Tuesday, 29 June, 2010

Arjen Robben hits a stinging shot to stun Slovakia in what would eventually be a 2-1 win for the Netherlands in the World Cup round of 16.

Arjen Robben – Netherlands vs Slovakia (World Cup)

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Will Clinton Give More Than a Name to the US World Cup Bid?

Posted by Noel on Tuesday, 18 May, 2010

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton has been named honorary chairman of the U.S. bid to host the World Cup in 2018 or 2022. The question is; can a political, and more than likely part-time, figure like Clinton compare with a passionate and committed figure like David Beckham for England’s bid?

President Clinton

An active Clinton could make the difference for the US World Cup bid

Clinton’s reasons for entering the fold are obvious, especially after he stated the following, “That means that if we get the (World Cup) there will be an economic stimulus estimated between $400-$600 million per host city. That will be very good for a lot of families that are still hurting, a lot of communities that are still digging out from under the current economic crisis.”

A former President really has only one thing on their mind once they leave office and that is to cement their legacy. Helping to improve the economy by bringing what may be the world’s greatest event to American soil, could only help him in that effort.

In order to get this bid through, will he do for the US what a passionate soccer legend like David Beckham will do for England? President Clinton is obviously a very influential figure and there is no doubt that he could have a major influence on what happens with this bid, just adding his name to it helps. But what if he was more than just an honorary figure? What if he scratched out just a few visits to some key decision makers and a press conference here or there? He could absolutely make a huge difference.

The two biggest arguments against the United States having a world cup are first; that the country doesn’t need it. It’s true that the United States is in a recession, but the country is still considered to be in comparatively good shape by the rest of the world. The second argument is that the US hosted a world cup only 16 years ago. When the US hosted the 1994 World Cup, the country was still a fairly virgin territory in regards to soccer. Sure, kids played in the leagues across the land and Pele and Beckenbauer stopped by in their twilight years, but at the time there was no pro league and it was predominantly considered a kid’s sport. The World Cup went a long way toward changing that and it has resulted in a boom of excitement in regards to soccer in the United States. The other potential host countries will point that out and say that the US is not in need of another World Cup so soon.

BECKENBAUER-PELE-CHINAGLIA

The First shot at a North American Pro League starred Beckenbauer, Pele and Chinaglia.

So the US needs the help of a heavy hitter like Clinton, but they need more than his name. They need his charm, his effort and his action. With a suave and charismatic speaker like Clinton reminding key decision makers, in person, of the financial boom that soccer saw internationally after the US World Cup in 1994, the United States has not only a better shot at securing the tournament, but quite possibly a game winning shot. But will the former President give the time?

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