Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The ACC is the best Conference

Is there any doubt that the ACC has the top soccer conference? Look no further than this year’s 2009 NCAA Soccer Championship. Wake forest beat UNC Wilmington and will play non other that ACC rival Duke Blue Devils. The Blue Devils beat Winthrop 3-2, then beat favorite Michigan St 2-1.
Maryland beat Loyola 2-1 then beat Penn St 2-1 to reach the Sweet 16. They will play the smart guys from Harvard. ACC Champion Virginia is on a roll. They slaughtered Bucknell 5-0 and face the only team that has defeated an ACC team so far, Portland.

Moving over to the other bracket we see BC beat Dartmouth 2-1 then shout St Johns in New York 1-0. They will face Drake. North Carolina shut out Brown 2-0. The ACC record is 9-1 so for in the tourney. 6 out of the 7 teams have made it to the Sweet 16.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The World Cup field of 32 nations is set. The next big date is December 4th 2009. The group draw for the 2010 FIFA World Cup will be staged in Cape Town, South Africa. Let take a quick look at the teams and who can take a run.

Asia(4)— Australia, Japan, North Korea, South Korea.
The top team from Asia is the team that came from the Oceania Confederation, Australia. Australia changed confederation since the Oceanic was such a pitiful confederation. In the 2006 Oceania final round of 6 Australia was 4-1-0 (W-D-L) and the had 21 GF and 3 GA. This only qualified them to a 2 game playoff with Uruguay. They lost 1-0 in Montevideo and won 1-0 in Australia. This playoff had to go to a shootout which the socceroos won. They moved to Asia and again came in first in qualifying with 20 points. It is a lot easier to get one of 4 slots in Asia than to compete for the .5 Oceanic slot. If one Asian team can go deep it will be Australia.
Africa (6) — Algeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, South Africa (host) The African nations will be playing on their continent for the first time. This should give all the African teams a boost. The Ivory Cost I consider the top team followed by Nigeria. S Africa I have last however every nation will want to be in the group once groups are picked.
Europe (13)— Denmark, England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland. It is usually a European team or a South American team that win the World Cup and it should be no different here. The favorites have to be Spain, England, Netherlands and Germany. However any team can win it. Greece won a European Championship. Denmark just toyed with USA in a friendly. France and Italy have won World Cups….could it be Portugal’s year?......
South America (5)— Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay. Brazil and Argentina always make the World Cup and this tournament is no different. I find it odd that ½ the teams from CONMEBOL make the tournament. I think UEFA is stronger but they only get 13 slots with 53 teams competing. Regardless about my pet peeves Brazil and the rest bring flair to the game that otherwise would be dominated by European teams….so good for them. It is always interesting how these perform on the big stage. These are 5 quality teams that could get through the group phase. Brazil is the Favorite in this group.

CONCACAF (3) — Honduras, Mexico, United States
This is the confederation that I follow. My confederation that the Yanks are in. I only rank CONCACAF above the Oceanic confederation. CONCACAF is top heavy and the competition drops off. Mexico has advanced out of the group stage in 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2006. That is 4 in a row. Mexico has small players however the pressure cooker that the soccer players face prepares them for the World Cup. They live with this pressure everyday. We are all waiting for the Yanks to advance deep however with injuries to Davies and Gooch make them vulnerable. You have to score to advance so look for goals from Landon Donovan. Honduras is happy to be in the big dance. Competing and scoring will be big. Advancing will be tremendous.

Oceania(1)— New Zealand do not want to be imbarrassed.....

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Irish were cheated

Back in 1981, Michel Platini, echoed the sentiments of then-France manager Michel Hidalgo, and claimed that if there was any justice in the world, Ireland would qualify for a major soccer tournament.
That statement followed a desperately unlucky campaign by the Boys in Green (losing out on goal difference) against Holland, Belgium and the French in an effort to reach the World Cup finals in Spain the following year.
Twenty-eight years later, Platini’s words came back to haunt him as the UEFA President remained deafeningly quiet following one of the biggest injustices the game has ever seen, a wrong which, as luck would have it, was perpetrated against the Irish on Wednesday night at Paris’s Stade de France.
Chasing a 1-0 deficit from Saturday’s first leg in Dublin, the Irish got just what the doctor ordered when Robbie Keane netted on 33 minutes. The visitors, playing some superb football, might have finished off the tie with a second, but their efforts came agonizingly close on four occasions.
Fast forward 70 enthralling minutes to extra time, where Thierry Henry chased a long pass into the Irish penalty area. With the ball headed out of play, and another French opportunity gone begging, the Barcelona based ‘ambassador of football’ stuck out his left hand to control the ball illegally, not once but twice, and then squared to William Gallas who scored in an unguarded net.
Henry even admitted it afterward:
“I will be honest, it was a handball. But I’m not the ref,” he said. “I played it. The ref allowed it. That’s a question you should ask him."
“I’m in the box, there are two defenders in front of me. The ball bounced off my hand, the referee did not see it and I played on."
The French striker was more than a little evasive in saying the ball bounced off his hand - rather he reached out and caught the thing in a move Randy Moss would have been proud of.
Though it was admirable of the French World Cup winner to admit his sins, the hurt wasn’t any less for Ireland and their fans who were devastated after missing out on the World Cup through what coach Giovanni Trapattoni called a “great mistake” by Swedish referee Martin Hansson.
“I told the referee that it is possible to make great mistakes,” Trapattoni said. “It is a bitter evening.”
Trapattoni made the valid point that the official should have talked to his assistants before awarding the goal, the Italian’s wish that he might also have interacted with Henry being slightly ambitious.
“All the European people saw the game and what happened. France played a good game in Dublin, but this time we played better and over the two games we deserved to go to South Africa,” Trapattoni said.
“The hand was so obvious, we're disgusted,” Robbie Keane said after the game before aiming a broadside at football’s governing body. “FIFA absolutely did not want Ireland at World Cup.”
And inevitably Platini’s name came into the mix once more (after the French victory) as the Frenchman was blamed, along with FIFA’s number one, Sepp Blatter, for arranging an easier passage for his compatriots in the playoffs.
With eight countries vying for the final four spots in Europe, FIFA curiously decided to seed the draw - a move which drew the ire of the smaller countries like Ireland, Bosnia, Slovenia and Ukraine (this ‘seeding’ process wasn’t part of the initial rules of the competition).
But while the seeding argument will likely soon drift over the horizon, the handball incident in Paris, which is already being likened to Diego Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ goal in Mexico in 1986, will not. The clamor for TV replays in soccer is likely to reach a crescendo now.
Everything You Needed To Know About FIFA:
Those in charge of the world’s most popular game, had on their own web site within hours of the Paris World Cup tie, the following entitled article: ‘Gallas Breaks Irish Hearts’
The article rambled on for 637 words, yet made no mention at all (that’s nada, rien, nothing) of a handball during the game. Go figure?

By Mark Stokes

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thierry Henry


Henry admits to Cheating
"I will be honest, it was a hand ball. But I'm not the ref," Henry said. "I played it. The ref allowed it. That's a question you should ask him."

First non call)

First off there were 2 French players off side on the play. Why did the ref miss that one on this important play...the Refs let it go...Why? Do they have some financial stake in the game. Are they influenced by the big superstars of the French team? Were they told not to call anything close against the French at home? If not why was this play allowed?

Second )

Henry used his hand to control the ball so it does not go off side.

Third) Henry directs the ball....this was not an accident. The ball clearly changes direction.

Now I have a team to root against in the World Cup. The French do not deserve to go to the World Cup. They cheated to go there. This is a black mark for Henry and the entire National French team. I will look at them as cheaters who do not deserve to be in the World Cup.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Superdraft 2010

1 Philadelphia
2 New York
3 San Jose
4 Kansas City
5 Toronto FC
6 FC Dallas
7 D.C. United
8 Colorado
9 New England
10 Chivas USA
11 Seattle
12 Columbus
14 waiting for playoff results

What is frustrating about the sport is the lack of information out there. Soccer by Ives is good. He has a variety of topics. http://www.soccerbyives.net/

However soccer is nothing compared to rivals.com with the hoop and football recruit coverage. football has the top 100 at each position for High school kids entering college. That is about 1,000 football players who are ranked....and these are HIGH SCHOOL kids.

So here we are, with only 4 teams left in MLS. My team the Revolution, are knocked out. I want to know how they are going to improve their team. I want to know the top college players entering the MLS superdraft. I want to debate who they should draft. I want to talk about the REv weaknesses, strengths and who can improve the club. I can not find this info anywhere. The Superdraft is in January and it is already November. Generation Addidas only reveals the 2009 signee in January....the month of the draft.

Generation Addidas, formally Project-40, has less information about players that my crappy little blog. http://www.adidas-esp.com/generation/about.shtml .
This web site is piss poor. MLS marketing arm has to take this over the marketing of the draft........to provide us soccer fans with INFORMATION. Yes I am yelling. I am frustrated with the lack of information. Does MLS want their league to fail....then start working you idiots. Provide us with information. Don Garber, do you need a kick in the shins to hear us. You are the marketing guru...so start marketing. ............

I want to know the top players that can improve my MLS team. I want the Superdraft to rival the NFL draft. I believe it could but MLS if DROPPING THE BALL!!!!!!

The best site I have found on players is this one. http://www.3rddegree.net/ga-tracking/

I want to thank this site for the best info so far. If anyone out there has a better site...please shard. Ives if you are listening, please post some info on the Superdraft. Who the best MF is, who the top strikers are, and defensive start that could instantly improve an MLS site like Ike Opara, the ACC defensive player of the year in 2008 and 2009.

The ACC I believe has the best soccer conference. They have 9 teams and 6 of them are ranked in the top 25. here is a link to the the All Conference First team, second and All Freshman team.

Offensive Player of the Year Corben Bone, Wake Forest
Defensive Player of the Year Ike Opara, Wake Forest
Freshman of the Year Andrew Wenger, Duke