Friday, June 25, 2010

2010 FIFA World Cup: Weekend Previews

Uruguay vs. South Korea

Saturday at 10am EDT
Park urges South Korea to underline pedigree

United States vs. Ghana
Saturday at 2:30pm EDT
Preview I
Preview II
Carlisle: U.S. cannot afford to be complacent
Bradley: Black Stars in the zone

Germany vs. England
Sunday at 10am EDT
Preview I
Preview II
Richard Williams: Time for a new chapter to be written
Paul Hayward: Now for the real test

Mexico vs. Argentina

Sunday at 2:30pm EDT
Team News

Dubois: France's soccer empire in ruins?

The world watched with awe and derision this past week as the French national soccer team, boasting a roster of star players, imploded on and off the field at the World Cup.

Laurent Dubois is the Marcello Lotti Professor of Romance Studies and History at Duke University. He recently published "Soccer Empire: The World Cup and the Future of France," and is founding editor of the Soccer Politics Blog.

Another Celebration Compilation

The Mill

Friday's Rumours

Michael Ballack signs two-year deal with Bayer Leverkusen after Chelsea release

Michael Ballack has joined Bayer Leverkusen on a two-year contract after his contract expired at Premier League champions Chelsea.

Cesc: Yanks can reach the semis

Fabregas said: "The best moment for me at the World Cup so far was that nail biting end when the USA scored in the last minute against Algeria. It was an incredible finale and was the most memorable one for me.

"Everybody is talking about it. That was a great moment and they are a great team"

2010 FIFA World Cup: Friday's Previews

While Italy pack their bags and head for home, attention turns to the final set of group games which will finalise the second round line-up. Spain will be hoping not to follow Marcello Lippi's side on the traipse back to Europe, but they must do the necessary against Chile this afternoon to ensure their tournament doesn't end here. Switzerland face Honduras in the group's other game, where Ottmar Hitzfeld's side will have to overcome their default conservatism and go on the attack.

Group H is ostensibly decided, but Brazil and Portugal will scrap it out for top spot. Carlos Queiroz's side's seven goal demolition of North Korea essentially rules Ivory Coast out of the running for a place in the next round.

We look forward to these fixtures, and back on yesterday's action, as Day 14 gets underway in South Africa...

Brazil vs. Portugal

Preview I
Preview II

Ivory Coast vs. North Korea


Chile vs. Spain
Preview I
Preview II
Sid Lowe: Spain refuse to change style

Switzerland vs. Honduras

Jeff Bradley: Five Reasons Why African Teams Have Struggled

Ghana lost 1-0 to Germany on Wednesday at Soccer City Stadium, but within seconds of the final whistle, the Black Stars were celebrating. A group of players ran to the stands, grabbed a Ghanaian flag from some fans and did a victory lap. The loss mattered little to Ghana. Once the Black Stars received the news that Australia had defeated Serbia 2-1, they knew they were through to the Round of 16 as the first (and likely only) African team to advance.

So what's gone wrong for the other five African nations?

Here are five things:

Carlisle: Donovan proves he's the best ever

In 2006, Landon Donovan was blamed for the United States' World Cup failure. Four years later, he became a legend, leading the Americans to one of their greatest-ever successes.

Hirshey: Goodbye Landycakes, Hello Lan the Man

I admit it, there were times in the past decade when I looked at Landon Donovan and saw Ryan Seacrest in cleats. Here was a young U.S. player who had all the technical ability in the world but would wilt if someone sweated on him too hard or would throw a hissy fit if his teammates weren't up to his appreciation of his own excellence.

In other words, he played like a girly-man and defined every cliché about American soccer. Even his pretty-boy Galaxy teammate David Beckham seemed nails-tough by comparison.

I was very tempted to use the water fountain picture but our decision to put it to rest prior to the tournament has paid off. I'm not going to ruin it now...

European giants cannot handle the burden of expectation

Marcello Lippi sat at the top table in the press conference room at Ellis Park and offered the one performance of class we have witnessed from any Italian at this World Cup.

2010 FIFA World Cup: Thursday's Action + Final Group Standings (E&F)

Slovakia 3 - 2 Italy

Paul Wilson at Soccer City
Paul Fletcher: No defense for 2006 winners
Carlo Garganese: Lippi to blame!!
Italian Press: Shameful Exit
Player Ratings

Paraguay 0 - 0 New Zealand
Match Report

Holland 2 - 1 Cameroon
David Hytner at Green Point Stadium
Chris Beven at Green Point Stadium

Denmark 1 - 3 Japan
Owen Gibson at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium

Group E

Team Pld W D L F A Diff Pts
1 Holland 3 3 0 0 5 1 4 9
2 Japan 3 2 0 1 4 2 2 6
3 Denmark 3 1 0 2 3 6 -3 3
4 Cameroon 3 0 0 3 2 5 -3 0

Group F

Team Pld W D L F A Diff Pts
1 Paraguay 3 1 2 0 3 1 2 5
2 Slovakia 3 1 1 1 4 5 -1 4
3 New Zealand 3 0 3 0 2 2 0 3
4 Italy 3 0 2 1 4 5 -1 2

People Screaming About Donovan's Goal

What did we do before YouTube, when those of us stuck in offices couldn't vicariously live through actual celebrations of Donovan's huge goal against Algeria? Here are some of the best.

Bentonville, Arkansas

U.S-Algeria sets record for viewers

ESPN said 1.1 million people watched at least some of the USA's 1-0 win as it was streamed on Wednesday. The match, which was also watched on ESPN by 6.2 million people, lasted from 10 a.m. to noon ET, during working hours for most of the United States.

The network says it was the biggest online audience for a sporting event, beating the Duke-Butler NCAA championship basketball game on a Monday night from earlier this year.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

2010 FIFA World Cup: Thursday's Previews

With heavyweights England and Germany booking their places in the last sixteen, Italy will be hoping to join them on another tense day of final group games in South Africa.

Marcello Lippi's side go into their tie against Slovakia on two points, level with New Zealand, but two points behind group leaders Paraguay. In Group E, Netherlands have already secured a place in the second round, and either Japan or Denmark will join them in what is essentially a knockout game in Rustenburg this evening.

Italy vs. Slovakia
Preview I
Preview II
Preview III

Paraguay vs. New Zealand
Preview I
Preview II

Cameroon vs. Netherlands
Preview I
Preview II
Team News

Denmark vs. Japan
Team News

Government to rule on Gary Neville's Teletubbies House

The Manchester United captain's planned £6million underground home - similar to the kiddies' show set - drew fierce protests.

Algerian player slaps female reporter following loss to U.S.

"I said nothing to him and he reached over and hit me," Halimi said to Yahoo! Sports. "So I hit him back. I said nothing to him first."

US players thrilled by fan response back home

Tim Howard got back to the team hotel after the big win over Algeria, turned on a television and saw David Wright. Then he noticed what the New York Mets third baseman was wearing.

Martin Rogers: Donovan is reconciled in more ways than one

Donovan and “Rules of Engagement” star Bianca Kajlich had an emotional telephone conversation in the early hours of Thursday morning after he had blown her an on-camera kiss just moments after scoring the winner against Algeria.

The Mill

Thursday's Rumours

Les Bleus return home under heavy security

France’s team returned to Paris under heavy police protection on Thursday after their humiliating first-round exit from the World Cup.

The plane chartered by the French Federation landed at Le Bourget business airport, 20 km north of Paris, after a 15-hour flight from South Africa. A smattering of supporters were kept at a distance and dozens of photographers, cameramen and journalists were penned behind a wire fence

2010 FIFA World Cup: Wednesday's Other Action + Final Group Standings (C&D)

England 1 - 0 Slovenia

Henry Winter at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Kevin McCarra at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
England Player Ratings
Capello: Beer eased our nerves
Richard Williams: England far from convincing
Phil McNulty: Campaign finally shows life

Ghana 0 - 1 Germany

Sean Ingle at Soccer City
Germany bright but beatable

Australia 2 - 1 Serbia

Matthew Hall at Mbombela Stadium

Group C

Team Pld W D L F A Diff Pts
1 USA 3 1 2 0 4 3 1 5
2 England 3 1 2 0 2 1 1 5
3 Slovenia 3 1 1 1 3 3 0 4
4 Algeria 3 0 1 2 0 2 -2 1

Group D
Team Pld W D L F A Diff Pts
1 Germany 3 2 0 1 5 1 4 6
2 Ghana 3 1 1 1 2 2 0 4
3 Australia 3 1 1 1 3 6 -3 4
4 Serbia 3 1 0 2 2 3 -1 3

2010 FIFA World Cup: United States Win Group C and Advance to Final 16

USA 1 - 0 Algeria
Paul Wilson at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium
Sam Sheringham at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium

Hirshey: Defining moment
Rogers: Donovan's sweet ending
Jones: Gun & Run Football

Bedlam in NYC

Thank MLS for rise of USA

Clinton left speechless

Player Ratings

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Economics of the World Cup: Stadiums & Sponsors

Know Your Money
has taken a look below at the economics of the World Cup when it comes to stadiums and sponsors.

Joachim Löw backs Germany's talent to overcome Ghana

Germany's record of progressing beyond the opening stage of World Cups is as pristine as their white shirts, but only victory against Ghana tonight will guarantee safe passage to the last 16.

Jonathan Wilson: Serbia battle their own demons

Volatile Serbia need to find their inner self in their final World Cup Group D match against Australia.

2010 FIFA World Cup: Players To Watch & More

Yesterday saw four sides progress to the last sixteen, with Mexico and South Korea joining group winners Uruguay and Argentina into the next phase. Today is the turn of Groups C and D, with many issues still unresolved.

2010 FIFA World Cup: England vs. Slovenia Previews

Preview I
Preview II

Kevin McCarra: Last chance for so-called Golden Generation

Insider's Guide: Slovenia

2010 FIFA World Cup: USA vs. Algeria Previews

Preview I
Preview II

Paul Wilson: Algeria ready to make history

Carlisle: Can U.S. seize the moment?
Hirshey: Why the U.S. will win

Adu hopes to make U.S. squad in 2014

Freddy Adu is heading back to Greece this week, his mind already on Brazil.

While definitely disappointed to be left off the U.S. roster for the World Cup in South Africa, the 21-year-old former phenom is focusing on the 2014 tournament after starting to revive his career this year at the Greek club Aris Thessaloniki.

The Mill

Wednesday's Rumours

2010 FIFA World Cup: Tuesday's Action + Final Group Standings (A&B)

Mexico 0 - 1 Uruguay
Owen Gibson at Royal Bafokeng Stadium
Player Ratings

South Africa 2 - 1 France
David Hytner at Free State Stadium
Piers Edwards at Free State Stadium
French press rages after exit
Sarkozy to probe French failure
Player Ratings

Argentina 2 - 0 Greece

Sean Ingle at Peter Mokaba Stadium
Paul Fletcher at Peter Mokaba Stadium
Player Ratings

Nigeria 2 - 2 South Korea
Daniel Taylor's Report
Player Ratings

Team Played Goal Difference
URU 3 4 7
MEX 3 1 4
RSA 3 -2 4
FRA 3 -3 1

Team Played Goal Difference Points
ARG 3 6 9
KOR 3 -1 4
GRE 3 -3 3
NGA 3 -2 1

Richard Williams: English football's future at stake against Slovenia

A growing revulsion with England's overindulged stars could lead to the reversal of football's so-called embourgeoisement.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

That Sweater & T-Shirt Combo

Cheers to Bobbie BS for tracking this down.

2010 FIFA World Cup: Tuesday's Previews

With World Cup play heading into the final sets of group matches beginning Tuesday, the focus now turns to the various scenarios and match outcomes that will result in the brackets for the knockout stages of this topsy-turvy tournament.

Tuesday's Players to Watch and More

Mexico vs. Uruguay


South Africa vs. France
Evra dropped

Nigeria vs. South Korea
Team News

Greece vs. Argentina
Team News

Africa's great leap forward turns into sorry stumble

The inquests have already begun into the causes of the continent's football malaise.

Tim Vickery in South America

In South Africa, Brazil are reproducing the form that lead them, along with Spain, to be considered pre-tournament favourites. What might be more of a shock is that Brazil are leading such a strong contingent from their own continent. With an accumulated seven wins and two draws, this has been South America's World Cup so far.

The Mill

Tuesday's Rumours

2010 FIFA World Cup: Monday's Action

Portugal 7 - 0 North Korea
David Hytner at Green Point Stadium
Player Ratings

Chile 1 - 0 Switzerland
Daniel Taylor at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Player Ratings

Spain 2 - 0 Honduras

Paul Wilson at Ellis Park
Jonathan Stevenson at Ellis Park
Player Ratings

Carlisle: U.S. must stop hitting the snooze button

One sporting cliché states, "It's not how you start but how you finish." For the U.S. men's national team, which will play its last group match against Algeria on Wednesday, it's actually all about how the Americans start.

French dressing down leaves stars in tears

A French minister reduced the country's disgraced World Cup stars to tears as she gave them a dressing down over their tantrums ahead of their final group game on Tuesday.

With the whole of France outraged at the antics of the millionaire footballers in refusing to train and threatening to boycott the match against South Africa, Sports Minister Roselyne Bachelot said she had told the players they are a "moral disaster".

"They applauded me and they were crying,"
Bachelot said of the encounter at the team camp on Monday night.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Diego Maradona – Luís Fabiano did a 'double handball'

"What's tragicomic is the referee's smile afterwards. When I scored the goal against England, I didn't see the referee laugh. He had so many doubts, he looked at his linesmen, there was no fourth referee at that time, he looked at the crowd to see if they gave him a hand.

"But yesterday, the referee went [back to the centre circle] laughing and that's what shocked us all. So if you saw it why didn't you penalise it?

2010 FIFA World Cup: Monday's Previews

Portugal vs. North Korea


Chile vs. Switzerland


Honduras vs. Spain

Amy Lawrence: Pass-masters Spain missing Marcos Senna

Spain's coach, Vicente del Bosque, had to select two anchoring midfielders to cover for the man who did the 'dirty work' in 2008.