Ireland vs. Laos

Will they meet again? Or is there a new challenger for the WCP Cup?

Who Are The Sleeper Teams This Year?

No Ukraine this year...could it be Germany's time? Sudan? France? What about Colombia? There are plenty of good teams this year that could step up.

Ukraine: On Top, But For How Long?

Ukraine has been a real force to be reckoned with these last two years, and they show no signs of slowing down.

Polish Fan Power!

Team Poland was pushed through to the Semi-Finals largely on the power of their excellent fan support. With a more experienced team, can this be their year?

Opening Ceremonies

Everything begins on March 30th with opening ceremonies. Is your team ready?

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Well, the WCP Cup has ended. Yet again, it was a great tournament full of excitement, surprises and great finishes. Thanks for supporting the WCP Cup Blog throughout the tournament, and I hope you enjoyed the Blog. I look forward to next year when the tournament is sure to be even bigger and better. Every year is better than the next.

I'll post something every once in awhile concerning rumors on next year's tournament. Enjoy the summer!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Final Games


Women's Final

First, we had the Women's Final, with Germany taking on Chile. Germany looked like the stronger team at the beginning and throughout the first half, taking a 2-0 lead. In the second half, Chile woke up and answered back with 2 quick goals of their own. The momentum seemed to have shifted to Chile's side, with a disheartened Germany now just trying to keep Chile from scoring. But as the game went on, Germany would still get the odd opportunity, putting in their 3rd goal. Chile was really on the attack now, desperate to get a goal in order to even it up. Germany managed to hold them off, with the help of the post and good defending, winning the Women's WCP Cup 3-2.

Men's Final

The main event, the Men's Final, featured ROI and El Salvador. Much like the final in previous years, it was a classic. ROI came into the game on a hot streak, having turned around after a poor group showing. El Salvador was the new team, knocking off some of the top teams in the tournament, and fighting their way to the final. The game kicked off to an already-pumped crowd(from the Women's Final). The game started off quickly, with wonderful opportunities on both sides. Surprisingly, El Salvador seemed to be controlling the game. ROI seemed content to let them dribble around at a distance, and El Salvador certainly tried to make them regret it by shooting from those distances. However, it was ROI who struck first. El Salvador had more opportunities than ROI, but ROI's opportunities were much more dangerous. They got their second goal to make it 2-0 Ireland going into the half.

The second half came with Ireland hoping to put the game out of reach. 3-0 would certainly spell the end for El Salvador. ROI had their chances, but El Salvador managed to score first. El Salvador was back in the game now, and it seemed that the powerful Ireland could be beaten. The game's momentum was shifting in El Salvador's direction, and sure enough, they scored again to make it 2-2. Ireland, as they've done many times in this tournament, stepped up the intensity hard. They realized they were on the verge of collapsing, and they couldn't let it happen. El Salvador also realized they were on the verge of knocking off the defending champions. Neither team could get the momentum on their side, as regular time ran out with the score tied 2-2.

The first overtime was crazy, with both teams getting their chances to put it away. Neither could, and it went on to a second overtime. It wasn't long into the second overtime when Ireland scored on long range free kick that just slipped inside the corner of the net, giving ROI the win. The final score of 3-2 capped off a fantastic tournament with a fantastic game, and even though the final goal was a bit of a letdown, the game itself definitely made up for it. A great game, very well played by both teams. Congratulations to ROI.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

On to the Final

Ireland vs. Saudi Arabia- 6-2 Ireland. ROI has really stepped up their game after that loss to Northern Ireland. Since that point, they've absolutely dominated every game, and definitely look like the old ROI. Saudi Arabia played good, missing some great opportunities when they were down by a goal. Had they converted those, the game could have ended differently. But if you don't get all your chances in on Ireland, they'll make you pay, and they did that tonight.

El Salvador vs. Portugal- 3-2 El Salvador. This game was a lot closer than most anticipated, and Portugal has definitely been a treat to watch in this tournament. After being tied 2-2 for quite a while, El Salvador scored the winner fairly early in the second half. This was a game filled with shots, and they came from everywhere.


So on we go to the final, featuring ROI and El Salvador. The last time these teams met was in the semi-final of the second WCP Cup, when ROI won in a shootout to go to the final. Ireland is playing fantastic right now, and should be favoured to win their 3rd WCP Cup. El Salvador is no slouch, and can definitely keep up with Ireland. The final is always a good game, and this year should be no exception. See you there.

Sidenote: How Crazy is this tournament?

Is it incredibly crazy? Or maybe insanely crazy?

In any case, the tournament is definitely operating on some level of crazy.

Could anyone have foreseen that of the 8 teams that made playoffs last year, the only team left in the semifinals is the one that lost critical players? Not me. Not anyone. Now we have an ROI vs. Saudi Arabia semifinal, and a Portugal vs. El Salvador semifinal. Don't even bother trying to predict what will happen, it's impossible. Anything can happen in this tournament, and people forget that every year. But this particular year will be impossible to forget.

Here's a little preview for tonight's games.

Saudi Arabia vs. ROI- Saudi Arabia is an all-around good team. All their players are decent, most of them have the ability to score from anywhere, and they have a very balanced attack. They don't rely on one individual to get the job done, they find a way around the opposing team. ROI is bigger, and likely has more individual talent. They do not have the same hustle of the Saudi Arabia team, so after ROI attacks, it will be critical for Saudi Arabia to have a very quick counterattack. Look for ROI to be scoring off of free kicks.

Portugal vs. El Salvador- Both teams are very offensive teams. They both rely on the ball skills of the forwards to hold up the ball and create chances. With El Salvador, the ball is distributed from the back to the forward almost every time. If Portugal players can stay on their man and not let them stand there looking for a chance, Portugal will have success. However, no one has done that so far. Portugal works the same way, relying on the forwards to hold up the ball and wait for the team to get to their spot.

Note: Feel free to be skeptical on that analysis. I'm no genius.


ROI vs. Poland- ROI 3-2. Not many people expected Poland to put up a fight, but those people haven't payed attention to what's happened in this tournament. ROI was up 3-0, and looked comfortable, but Poland never gave up and scored twice in the second half to make it 3-2. They had a chance to tie it in the end, but it went off a crossbar. Poland played a great game, and they've been a fantastic surprise this tournament.

Laos vs. El Salvador- El Salvador 1-1(PK win). Laos encountered their second tough game after a relatively easy group stage. From the opening kickoff, El Salvador definitely looked like the better team. Laos was constantly making poor decisions and giving up the ball in simple passes. El Salvador just had to wait for Laos to screw up, then take they'd take the ball down the field for a chance. Luckily for Laos, their defence was still playing fairly good and they managed to hold El Salvador off. It was only a matter of time though, as El Salvador got the first goal off a free kick. Laos, trailing for the first time in the tournament, started playing better and better, getting themselves to their usual level, though still making some bad decisions. Laos got one back off of a misplayed corner kick, but neither team could break through for the rest of the game. Overtime solved nothing, but you could see Laos was starting to wear down El Salvador with their superior speed and hustle. So, on to penalties we go. Laos was the first to miss, and El Salvador could have put it away, but hit it high. After trading saves and goals, El Salvador had another chance to win and put it away for good. A great game to watch.

Portugal vs. Northern Ireland- 6-3 Portugal. Portugal always looked like the better team in this one. They are a goal-scoring machine right now, and it will be tough to stop them unless your team can match their offensive firepower. Northern Ireland played good, but when you allow 6 goals, it's very tough to win. The semifinal is now between Portugal and El Salvador, and we can expect a very high scoring game. Should be a good one.

France vs. Saudi Arabia- Saudi Arabia 4-0. In another shocker, France got hammered by Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is a good team, and it's not surprising that they won, but more so that France lost so bad. With a crowd that got behind them more and more, Saudi Arabia kept giving them something to cheer for, with goal after goal. France had one of those nights where nothing goes right, hitting posts all over the place. But plain and simple, Saudi Arabia outplayed them.

Women's Final preview- Chile vs. Germany. No upsets in the women's side, where the two best teams in each pool will face off in the final on Saturday. Both teams are very good, so tune in Saturday at 2:30 to check it out.

Final Day Recap

ROI vs. Jamaica- 6-0 ROI. ROI finally showed up to the tournament, pounding Jamaica. Jamaica, for its part, played terrible in their do or die situation.

Laos vs. Chile- Laos 4-1. Another easy game for Laos.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Day 12 Recap

In the final day for most teams, the games were either heartbreakers or meaningless. There was no in-between for these games. You'll see what I mean in the recaps.

Men- Ukraine vs. Austria- 6-4 Ukraine. Ukraine went up very early with 2 goals, and never looked back. Both teams gave a fine effort, but it was obvious to anyone that Ukraine was still reeling from their defeat the night before. Austria, as they've done the entire tournament, kept up their intensity and played very well. The game was never that far out of reach for the Austrians, and they punished Ukraine's mistakes. The game was utterly meaningless though.

Men- Scotland vs Portugal- Portugal 3-2. In a decisive game for Scotland, Portugal kept on rolling with a 3-2 victory. Teams alternated goals, and momentum switched back and forth(as it has for almost every other Group C games), but ultimately Portugal's 3rd goal was the clincher. Portugal assured themselves of first in the group, leaving second place to be decided by the Poland/Norway game. Scotland needed a Norway win, a tie, or a win by Poland of less that 4 goals. The odds were clearly in Scotland's favor...right?

Women- France vs. Austria- France 5-2. France gains a little pride with the win, making sure they don't finish last in their group.

Men- Norway vs. Poland- Poland 6-1. There were 2 possible scenarios for the effect this game would have on the group. The first scenario was that Norway would win, or Poland would win, or maybe they'd tie...but in any case, the result would send Scotland and Portugal through, Poland and Norway would keep their statuses as teams that aren't very good, and life would go on. The other scenario was that Poland would destroy Norway, and go through ahead of Scotland, making Group C the absolute craziest group.

Guess which scenario happened?

Yeah, I can't believe I'm typing it either. Portugal and Poland are through in Group C. Poland played a spectacular game behind the support of their large contingent of fans, and Scotland was pushed out in heartbreaking fashion. Up only 2-1 at halftime, Scotland looked secure, but Poland played great in the second half, seemingly scoring at will. They've definitely come a long way from their embarrassing defeat by Germany. It seems almost fitting that they were the only team from which Portugal couldn't pull out a win.

Men- Serbia vs. El Salvador- 7-3 El Salvador. Another meaningless game. Serbia had tied them 3-3 at half, but it was never likely El Salvador would lose to Serbia.

Women- Ukraine vs. Chile- Chile 2-1. The battle for first place on the women's side was a good one, with Chile getting the victory and securing first. The women's playoffs are set, while the men's are to be decided on Monday.

Men- Greece vs. Canada- 4-1 Greece. Greece went out in a blaze against a rough Canada team. While Canada was playing to make it out of the group, Greece was playing for pride. Both teams beat up on each other, and once Canada's exit from the tournament was assured, the game turned into something less than soccer. It couldn't have ended soon enough.

Men- Nigeria vs. Botswana- 3-2 Nigeria. Like Greece, Nigeria regained some of their pride with a win in their final game. Though they played well, Laos and Saudi Arabia were just too good to be toppled. It's good that both Greece and Nigeria exited the tournament with a win and on a high note.

Women- England vs. El Salvador- England 5-1. England won easily, and look like they'll finish in second place in their group, barring Germany being upset on the final day.

Day 11 Recap

Overall, this was a great day for soccer. It was absolutely the best day yet.

Men- Norway vs. Italy- 6-0 Norway. Italy has been a disappointment in this tournament.

Men-Portugal vs. Germany- Portugal 5-3. In a game that decided the fate of these teams, Portugal simply outplayed Germany. Portugal has been phenomenal lately, and kept it up against Germany. Germany played well and the game was great to watch, but Portugal is on a roll. Germany was eliminated with the loss, and Portugal clinched a playoff spot. The rest of the group would be decided on Sunday.

Men-ROI vs. Northern Ireland- Northern Ireland 4-3. Bet no one expected that score. In a another candidate for game of the tournament, Northern Ireland shocked ROI 4-3. ROI scored early, and it looked like just another ROI win, but Northern Ireland kept up their intensity and did not back down. The scoring went back and forth until ROI woke in the final minutes again and started hammering Northern Ireland. ROI had shot after shot in a seemingly never-ending last couple of minutes, and it really didn't seem believable that Northern Ireland would win until the final whistle finally blew. This game was the perfect example of how far ROI has fallen. They lacked intensity for most of the game until it became clear that they were going to lose. ROI is now battling for their lives on Monday against Jamaica. Northern Ireland is through. Wow.

Men- France vs. Serbia- France 7-1. Serbia's Winnipeg players finally made it in, and the game looked to be a close one, but Serbia ended up losing by the worst score yet. It's a shame Serbia couldn't live up to the pre-tournament hype.

Men- Canada vs. Jamaica- Canada 3-2. As surprising as this score may seem, it isn't. Canada has owned Jamaica in the last couple years. They continuously prevent Jamaica from making the playoffs, and this year was no exception. Every year it seems Jamaica could be one of the top teams, and then Canada knocks them off completely. Frankly, it's hilarious. Jamaica now battles ROI for the top spot in the group. The winner is in first, the loser is out. In the event of a tie, Jamaica would go through in second.

Men- El Salvador vs. Ukraine- El Salvador 5-3. It was do or die for both teams, so this was a great game to watch. Though not necessarily as exciting as some other games, the level of soccer was definitely higher with these two. El Salvador scored midway through the first half, but neither team was really controlling the game. As with the Ukraine/France game, there weren't many chances for either team. Ukraine evened it up after half, but another limited chance for El Salvador got them a second goal late in the game. By this point, Ukraine were really pushing hard for a goal and definitely had their chances, but couldn't put one in the back of the net. The defensive shell by El Salvador proved to work, and they clinched the game with a 3rd goal off of a blocked penalty shot in the closing minutes. Another giant fell, with Ukraine being eliminated.

Women- Austria vs. Chile- Chile 2-0. Chile continues rolling through its group, and takes on Ukraine on Sunday for first place.

Men- Nigeria vs. Saudi Arabia- Saudi Arabia 6-4. Saudi Arabia rolled to a 6-4 victory, wrapping up 2nd place in the group. They'll be preparing to face a tough France team in the quarterfinal. Nigeria played well, but Saudi Arabia is another team that you always seem to know will win the game.

Men- Laos vs. Botswana- 5-0. The result was expected.

Women- El Salvador vs. Canada- 5-0. It's a shame the night ended off with 2 snoozers. If you missed out on the afternoon and early evening games, you really missed some great soccer.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Day 10 Recap

Men- Scotland vs. Germany- tie 2-2. In a wonderful back and forth game, Scotland and Germany made sure whoever is going through in this group will be a secret until the end of this weekend. Throughout the entire game, momentum swung back and forth. Scotland would score, and Germany would answer right back. A great game to watch, and it's a shame it happened to be the earlier game because a lot of people missed it. Germany is playing very well right now after a poor start. Scotland has played consistently good, and they are definitely a solid team, but can't seem to cement their place as the group's top team. Portugal hasn't played the two other top teams in the group yet, so we'll find out exactly how good they are this weekend. Norway is by no means out of it, and two wins this weekend will place them right up at the top, in contention. Poland can't be counted out either, because if other teams tie(which is a definite possibility), Poland can squeak through. They'll need help, but anything is possible in this group.

Women- France vs. Scotland- 2-1 France. This game was more for pride than anything. France won't be able to finish higher than 3rd, as Ukraine and Chile are assured to go through. Chile and Ukraine need only to battle it out for the right to first.

Men- Ukraine vs. Colombia- Ukraine 9-1. Ukraine pounded Colombia. There was never any question that Ukraine would win this one, scoring twice very early. They dominated We'll find out if Ukraine can make it through their group today when they take on El Salvador. The winner is through, the loser is out. Doesn't get much better than that.

Men- Serbia vs. Austria- 2-1 Serbia. Serbia's Winnipeg players finally made it in, but it looks to be too late to save their chances of going through. If they had been able to beat Colombia in their last game, this weekend would be a different story, where they would have a way better chance of making it through. It was definitely clear that Serbia was a different team last night, and they can still get some glory against France and El Salvador this weekend. A win or two against those teams would garner lots of respect for their team. Austria has played very well this tournament, providing lots of excitement for the fans with their close games and solid play. The standings don't reflect just how good they are.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Day 9 Recap

Men- Poland vs. Italy- 3-0 Poland. Continuing to make the mess that is Group C an even bigger mess, Poland dominated Italy. Poland, after two straight strong games, needs only a win against fast-falling Norway this weekend to have a shot at the playoffs. It won't be easy, as they'll need some ties and key losses, but with this group, anything is possible.

Youth-Canada vs. Germany- 0-0 tie. First scoreless game of the tournament, possibly in it's history.

Women- Ukraine vs. Scotland- 2-1 Ukraine. Women's Group B looks to be coming down to Ukraine vs. Chile.

Men- Saudi Arabia vs. Chile- 5-2 Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia had a strong showing against Laos on Day 8, and followed it up with a resounding defeat of Chile. This Group has been the easiest to predict, with Laos on top and Saudi Arabia at second. Chile has taken a real fall this year after losing their players to El Salvador. Laos awaits the winner of Saturday's El Salvador/Ukraine game to see who they'll likely play in the Quarterfinal.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Day 8 Recap

Men- Portugal vs. Norway- 5-1 Portugal. Group C, with a history of being a crazy group, lives up to that history. Portugal destroyed Norway in every aspect of the game. Now we have Scotland, Germany, Portugal, Norway, and possibly even Poland in the mix to make it out. Italy can't seem to put anything together to get a win. Early on, it didn't look like Portugal would do any damage in the group, but now it's clear they are no joke. Norway, however continued its rapid decent down the group. They played so well against Germany, and it's a shame they can't continue that success. No team is this group is guaranteed to make it out. This coming weekend will be a must-watch weekend for every game in this group. It makes my head hurt just trying to figure out which teams will make it out.

Youth- Ukraine vs. Canada- 3-0 Ukraine.

Men- Northern Ireland vs. Greece- 5-1 Northern Ireland. NI is normally a defensive team, relying on 1 or 2 goals to win games. Greece is normally a defensive team as well, and prides itself on making it very hard for strikers to get a shot off on net. This game was anything but normal. Greece was noticeably less fired up for this game than their games against Ireland and Jamaica. Northern Ireland was surprisingly offensive, putting two quick goals in the net. Greece became very deflated, and seemed to come to terms with the fact they won't make it through to the playoffs. Northern Ireland definitely still has a chance, but must rely on Jamaica losing to both ROI and Canada. They'll have to beat Canada as well. Greece, while playing valiantly in their first two games, lacked the intensity in this one, but hopefully we'll see them exit the tournament with a strong showing in their last game.

Men- Laos vs. Saudi Arabia- 2-1 Laos. Laos was put the test by arguably the strongest team in their group(besides them). Laos played very well, and are a lock for first in their group. They didn't dominate the game, but they certainly looked like the better team. Leading 1-0 most of the game, they put in a second goal in the middle of the last half. Saudi Arabia was able to get one back soon after, and was really putting on the pressure at the end. Still, Laos deserved the win and got it.

Day 7 Recap

Definitely one of the top days of the tournament so far.

Men- Austria vs. Colombia- 2-0 Austria. Austria continued to show some guts, beating Colombia 2-0. Though Austria won't make it out, they've played some very strong games in the tournament. They played great against France, and won the second half of their El Salvador game. In any other group, you'd have to consider Austria at least a contender to make it out. They've played very good so far.

Youth- Scotland vs. Germany- 7-2 Scotland. Scotland is running away with the youth competition, blowing out all their opponents so far.

Men- Poland vs. Scotland- 1-1 tie. This game was supposed to be an easy victory for Scotland. But that's the beauty of this tournament, anything can happen to any team. Germany's blowout of Poland seems a lot more significant now, and could mean the German team has figured out how to play as a team. Poland was not lucky to get the tie in this one, as they played very hard and strong. They had a chance to win on a close free kick at the very end, but couldn't put it away. Scotland had their chances as well, with the ball just unable to make it past the goal line, despite sitting on it a couple times. A very good game.

Men- France vs. El Salvador- 3-2 France. Coming off their victory over Ukraine, France needed this one to secure first place in the group. In the opening minutes, you could tell this would be a much different game than the Ukraine/France game. There were probably more shots in the first 10 minutes than the entire Ukraine/France game. El Salvador went up early, but France answered right back. The chances for both teams went back and forth, with neither team dominating the game. Even though neither team dominated, it always seemed like France would win. Their chances were closer and more powerful, while El Salvador had to abandon its strikers and shoot from far outside. France is now through to the playoffs in the first place, playing second place in Group B(whoever that may be). In any case, France is clearly a top contender, and look to be making their way to the final. El Salvador will be taking on Ukraine for second place Group D on Saturday, with the winner(barring some crazy result) likely playing Laos in the first round of the playoffs. That quarterfinal game will be the same quality as the final.

Day 6 Recap

Youth- Canada vs. Brazil- 6-1 Canada.
Women- Canada vs. Ukraine- 6-1 Ukraine.

Men- Italy vs. Portugal- 4-0 Portugal. Portugal got its act together after a poor game against Poland. They have to be considered a contender to get out of their pool.

Men- Jamaica vs. Greece- 3-1 Jamaica. Jamaica continued its strong showing so far. They will surely be going through, unless something crazy happens. Right now, it looks like the real question for Jamaica is whether or not they can steal first place in the group from the Irish. They also have a game against Canada, a team that always plays well against Jamaica. Greece put on a good show, but Jamaica was just too good.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Day 5 Recap

For the most part, these will be quick recaps.

Men- Poland vs. Germany- 5-1 Germany. Germany walked all over a seemingly weak Polish team. Germany is starting to get rolling after a tough opening loss to Norway, and the decisive game for them comes on Friday against Scotland.

Men- vs. Serbia- 5-1 Colombia. Colombia was on the other of a blowout this time. They'll need to take advantage of these opportunities when they come, because the rest of their group won't be so forgiving.

Women- Germany vs. England- 4-1 Germany. England lost to a German team that is destroying the rest of its group.

Men- Scotland vs. Norway- 2-1 Scotland. Scotland eked out a win vs. Norway, and Norway is now fighting for its lives after a strong opening game.

Women- Scotland vs. Austria- 1-0 Scotland

Youth- Canada vs. Scotland- 4-1 Scotland

Men- Ukraine vs. France- 1-0 France. This was supposed to be one of the best games of the tournament. While it was a relatively unexciting game to watch, it was a display of two of the best teams in the tournament. Very few mistakes and very few opportunities are an indication that these are two very similar teams. The best soccer won't always be the most exciting to watch. That being said, neither team played particularly well, but there's no doubt these are two of the top teams.

Men- Ireland vs. Greece- 4-2 Ireland. Greece was winning and playing good well into the second half, when Ireland finally got their act together. Ireland is definitely not playing their best soccer, and it won't be easy for them to get first in the group.

Men- Nigeria vs. Chile- 5-1 Chile
Men- Botswana vs. Saudi Arabia- 4-0 Saudi Arabia

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Day 4 Recap

Since there were so many games on Day 4, there won't be much of a recap.

Men- Ukraine vs. Serbia- 3-0 Ukraine. Ukraine dominated the game, but couldn't put many goals away.

Women- Germany vs. Canada- 8-0 Germany.

Men- Chile vs. Botswana- 2-2 tie. This could be considered a minor upset, as many people are tagging Chile to get out of the group. But if they can't beat Botswana, they stand little chance of beating Saudi Arabia or Nigeria to get second.

Women- Ukraine vs. France- 3-0 Ukraine.

Men- Poland vs. Portugal- 3-3 tie. Germany, Scotland and Norway are expected mainly to be the ones fighting to get out of this pool, but they should be looking over their shoulder at these two teams. Poland and Portugal might not make it out, but they certainly have the talent to make life very difficult for the rest of the group.

Men- Germany vs. Italy- 8-2 Germany.

Youth- World vs. Germany- 4-1 World.

Men- Canada vs. Northern Ireland- 2-2 tie. This group will be an interesting battle for second. Northern Ireland's chances took a real blow with the tie, and will need a lot of help to make it through now.

Women- Chile vs. Scotland- Chile 5-3. Chile had been winning 3-1 in the closing half, only to concede 2 goals in a very short time period. They picked it up though, putting the pressure on Scotland and scoring 2 goals to win it.

Men- France vs. Austria- 3-2 France. Best game of the tournament so far. France came in expecting to win by a large margin, but they got far more than they bargained more. France dominated the first half, getting shot after shot, but not being able to capitalize on anything. Finally, with about 30 seconds left in the first half, they scored to go up 1-0. It seemed like maybe France would really start to hammer Austria now. But the game shifted somewhat, and Austria started getting some chances of their own. The game actually evened out, and Austria was able to catch France's keeper off-guard with a dribbler into the bottom corner. Tied 1-1, the action really started to heat up. Back and forth, back and forth, then finally...Austria scores again! Austria wasn't getting many chances, but they had capitalized on the ones they were getting. France was really on its heels now, and Austria was getting more chances, almost going up 3-1. France finally realized what was about to happen and started to put the pressure on. A fortunate free kick caught Austria off-guard and France tied it at 2-2. At this point, Austria went into a defensive shell for the closing minutes, hoping to hold off an angry France team. It seemed to be working, until a miraculous rocket shot from under half grazed the underside of the crossbar, sealing the win for France.

Men- El Salvador vs. Colombia- El Salvador 4-0. Colombia played better than they did against France, but El Salvador was too much.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Day 3 Recap

Men- Jamaica vs. Northern Ireland- 3-1 Jamaica. Not the greatest show, but a decent game. Jamaica always looked like they'd win it. Northern Ireland didn't have much of an offense and seemed to be content with defending their own net, which inevitably got scored on.

Youth- Scotland vs. Ukraine- 10-2 Scotland. Scotland obviously dominated.

Men- Norway vs. Germany- 3-0 Norway. Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the score 2-0? I could have sworn Norway only got 2. In any case, the renewed German team just couldn't handle a tough Norway squad. Right in the opening minutes, it was apparent the game would take its toll on both teams. There were many hard hits and fouls. It was a rough game, to say the least. Norway was the only team with an offense for the first half, when they got their goals. The second half, the German team finally came together and started really pressing hard. Alas, they couldn't buy a goal. Definitely a good game to watch though.

Men- El Salvador vs. Austria- 5-3 El Salvador. El Salvador came out looking very strong and really had their fans into the game. Sure enough, a couple minutes in they scored, proceeding to score a couple to go into the half with a comfortable lead. Austria got their act together in the second half, getting out of their funk by winning the second half. El Salvador, while a great offensive team, looked to be quite lacking at various points in the game. Both teams will need to step up their play in this group.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Day 2 Recap

France vs. Colombia- 8-1 France. France made their debut in stunning fashion, hammering Colombia 8-1. While the score seems extremely lopsided, the game wasn't completely out of hand until well into the second half. Going up 2-0 in the first 10 minutes with some very goals, France looked good early. Colombia was playing fairly good too, getting a couple chances, getting a goal back to make it 2-1. It looked like it would be a close game until France scored their 3rd goal, which essentially opened up the floodgates. You could tell from that point that Colombia had lost their confidence.

Chile vs. France- 1-0 Chile. The France team on the women's side made their debut as well, but it didn't turn out the way they hoped. Chile welcomed them to the tournament by beating them 1-0. Chile dominated and definitely deserved the win.

Scotland vs. Italy- 4-1 Scotland. Scotland also looked good in their opener, and they'll definitely be looking to make it into the medal round again. Much like the France game, the weaker team showed some confidence and skill in the first half, but fell apart in the second. There was no question Scotland was the better team though.

Laos vs. Nigeria- 4-0 Laos. Laos proved they are still one of the top teams with a win over feisty Nigeria. Nigeria was out to prove something after their dismal showing last year, and they definitely looked better. Nigeria played well throughout the entire game and looked to have regained the confidence they lost. They definitely had their chances to score. However, the good effort was no match for a very strong Laos team, which put in a good effort as well. They were flying around the field, and they will be very tough to knock off.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Opening Day

Opening Ceremonies were about the same as they've been in the last couple years, and it's clear to see how much bigger the tournament has gotten. The place was packed. There were the usual keynote speakers, some cultural dances and then introduction of the teams. Games got underway at 7:30.

(Men)ROI vs. Canada- 1-0 ROI. Ireland certainly showed some rust in their opening game, narrowly beating Canada 1-0. Both teams had their chances, but it really didn't look like anyone would score. The game was, for the most part, pretty boring. No one could get a good shot on net, passes couldn't be completed, and the ball pretty much remained around half. Canada played well, but they are definitely lacking offense. Ireland will get their act together soon enough. If they don't, bye-bye Ireland.

(Youth)Canada vs. World- 2-1 Canada. The youth tournament started strong with an exciting game. The game was well played by both teams.

(Women)England vs. Canada- 4-0 England. England showed why they are the defending champions, dominating Canada in the Women's opener. Canada simply had no offense. England looked strong in all areas, and definitely look like they have a good chance to repeat.

Day 2 previews can be found below. The recap will follow the games tomorrow.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Happenings at the Blog

Here we go, the tournament starts THIS WEDNESDAY!

-The WCP Cup Blog will be trying to provide daily game results, with somewhat of an analysis depending on which games are viewed. If anyone would like to help provide some analysis, send an e-mail to For the most part, the focus will be on the Men's side, but anything else is appreciated. However, you will be able to find all the daily game results here.

-To figure out which game YOU want to watch, check out the previews for the days of the tournament. You can find them below. The previews for Day 8+ will be provided closer to those days.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

One Week! (After Today)

The countdown is on!

Exhibition games are still happening, new players are emerging, some players are going down with injury, but it all adds to the excitement of the WCP Cup. April 15th! Get ready!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Schedule Preview Day 5- Day 8

April 19- Day 5

Men- Poland vs. Germany 12:30
Men- Colombia vs. Serbia 1:30
Women- Germany vs. England 2:30
Men- Scotland vs. Norway 3:30
Women- Scotland vs. Austria 4:30
Youth- Canada vs. Scotland 5:30
Youth- The World vs. Canada 6:30
Men- Ukraine vs. France 7:30
Men- Greece vs. Ireland 8:30
Men- Nigeria vs. Chile 9:30
Men- Botswana vs. Saudi Arabia 10:30

On a Sunday filled with soccer, this day is an interesting one. Poland could upset Germany in the early game, because we'll have Germany coming off 2 straight days of soccer and playing early, so this could be a surprise game. The rest of the afternoon isn't particularly exciting, except for Norway and Scotland at 3:30. BUT, at 7:30, we find what looks to be one of the best games of the tournament, with Ukraine taking on France. This is a must-see game, and has a very real possibility of being the best game in the group stage. This game is followed by Greece and Ireland, another game which should be entertaining. The night ends off fairly slow. This day, overall, is fairly unexciting, but the 2 after-supper games will be great. Grade: B

April 20- Day 6

Youth- The World vs. Ukraine 7:00
Women-Austria vs. Ukraine 7:30
Men- Italy vs. Portugal 8:00
Men- Jamaica vs. Greece 10:00

This is a scheduling mistake. The women are slated to play at 7:30, but there is a Youth game schedule at 7. Since there is no game at 9:00, I expect the women's game is supposed to be at 9:00. Hopefully they fix this mistake ASAP so people can change their plans if they have to. In any case, this will be a Monday without many consequences. Grade: C+

April 21- Day 7

Men- Austria vs. Colombia 7:00
Youth- Scotland vs. Germany 8:00
Men- Poland vs. Scotland 9:00
Men- El Salvador vs. France 10:00

This day starts off very soft and ends with a bang. The main event of today will be El Salvador vs. France game. This game is definitely one the main attractions of the tournament. The two newcomers will face off in what will surely determine who will come out of the group, and the teams are 2 of the best. The second must-see game of the tournament. Grade: A-

April 22- Day 8

Men- Portugal vs. Norway 7:00
Youth- Ukraine vs. Canada 8:00
Men- Northern Ireland vs. Greece 9:00
Men- Saudi Arabia vs. Laos 10:00

Great games all across the board on Day 8. Portugal takes on Norway in Group C to start us off at 7:00, and it continues on at 9:00 with Northern Ireland taking on Greece. At 10:00, we have the match between Laos and Saudi Arabia, arguably the 2 best teams in their group. Saudi Arabia can prove they belong as a top team with a strong performance against Laos. Grade: A

Schedule Preview Day 1- Day 4

The schedule is out, but it takes some effort to figure out which days will be best and where the best games will be. I'll try to make it a little easier for everyone. Here is Wednesday April 15 - Saturday April 18. Every day will be assigned a grade rating. The best game of the day will be italicized. I've also included the Group Previews on the side links, so you can go back and take a look at those if you wish.

April 15- Day 1

Men- Ireland vs. Canada 7:30
Youth- World vs. Canada 8:30
Women- England vs. Canada 9:30

The opening day starts out with the all the defending champions playing the first game. The games aren't that good, but it's the opening day, so it should be fun regardless. For opening day's sake, the rematch of the final 3 years ago will be a good game to watch. Grade: B-

April 16- Day 2

Men- France vs. Colombia 7:00
Women- Chile vs. France 8:00
Men- Scotland vs. Italy 9:00
Men- Laos vs. Nigeria 10:00

The tournament really starts up on this day, with 3 men's games and 1 women's game.
This will be the first we see of top teams like France, Scotland and Laos, who are all pre-tournament contenders. It will interesting to see how the other teams can play against them, and our first chance to hope for a legitimate upset(I love upsets). This will be the first look at France for both men and women. The games might not be that great, but it will be interesting to see those teams play for the first time. Grade: B-

April 17- Day 3

Men- Northern Ireland vs. Jamaica 7:00
Youth- Scotland vs. Ukraine 8:00
Men- Norway vs. Germany 9:00
Men- Austria vs. El Salvador 10:00

This will be a great day. The first game of the night has a good chance to decide who will come out of Group A. Definitely worth watching, even just to check both teams out. The 3rd game, with Norway and Germany, is another game that will have strong implications in Group C. The last game is one of Group D's games, and every game in that group will mean something. Expect some top-notch soccer on Day 3, and this will be a great Friday night. Grade: A-

April 18- Day 4

Men- Ukraine vs. Serbia 12:30
Women- Canada vs. Germany 1:30
Men- Chile vs. Botswana 2:30
Women- France vs. Ukraine 3:30
Men- Poland vs. Portugal 4:30
Men- Germany vs. Italy 5:30
Youth- Germany vs. World 6:30
Men- Canada vs. Northern Ireland 7:30
Women- Chile vs. Scotland 8:30
Men- Austria vs. France 9:30
Men- Colombia vs. El Salvador 10:30

Whew. You want soccer? You'll get your fill on Saturday. With 11 games lined up for the first Saturday, it will be tough to find time to watch all the games. The day starts off with a bang, with Ukraine taking on a supposedly Winnipegish Serbia(if you don't understand, read the Group D preview). But from then on, there doesn't seem to be many intriguing games, from the men's side anyway. There's bound to be a few games that will be surprise you, and the day is definitely ripe for an upset somewhere. If you've nothing to do, hanging around the facility in your team colors and socializing is what you should be doing. Grade: C+

Monday, March 23, 2009

New Things

-WCP Cup schedules are to be posted after midnight tonight(March 23). Check the WCP Cup website for the actual schedule.

-Once the schedule is out, we'll take a look at how the tournament might play out. The schedule will give us something else to talk about in the weeks leading up to the tournament.

-The poll is almost done, so we need another one. Any ideas? Post them in the comments.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Preview A Pool: Group D

Group D

Group D

El Salvador

Once again, Group D stands for Death. Ukraine, even though they are a stronger team this year, will definitely be hard-pressed to win their group. Much hyped newcomers France and El Salvador are the most obvious threats, and are joined by Serbia, Austria and Colombia. What it makes this group even more interesting is that Serbia is bringing in players from the Winnipeg team that rolled into Regina and won the men's cash tournament in January. Add in that Serbia recently trounced Ukraine in an exhibition game(definitely not indicative of Ukraine's power, but still), and it's clear this group will be very exciting. Colombia proved to be a fantastic team in last year's tournament, and although they fared poorly in Group D, they still had exciting games. Austria won two games last year and played strongly against Norway and Chile. Austria is a decent team and the top teams will be in trouble if they overlook them too much. Austria and Colombia will hungry for an upset.

Prediction: Ukraine has their team set, ready to rock, and should take this group. We've seen what happens to teams that bring strong players in and expect to do great...they fall hard. France and El Salvador won't have the organization or depth to take Ukraine out of the top spot. Don't get me wrong, all 3 teams are very strong and close to equal, but Ukraine is better established as a team. Serbia will in contention for the second spot, along with France and El Salvador. Serbia, Colombia or Austria WILL beat one of the top 3 teams in here, mark my words. However, it should still come down to France and El Salvador for the second spot, with France's superior goal-keeping giving them the advantage. Finishing order: Ukraine, France, El Salvador, Serbia, Austria, Colombia.

Game To Watch: France vs. El Salvador. Everyone will want a good look at the 2 new, and supposedly great teams. This one is purely of curiosity to watch them in action after so much talk about each team.

Preview A Pool: Group C

Group C


Scotland will be hard-pressed to defend their bronze medal performance of last year, with a fairly hard group again this year. Norway, Germany and Portugal will all be hungry to exact revenge after all failed to make it past the first round last year. Italy and Poland should be no pushovers though, because none of the teams in this pool are good enough to win even if they play bad. This pool will be tight.

Prediction: Scotland, Norway, and Germany have all lost players of significance, so it's quite unclear who the top team is in this group. That being said, I think Scotland will still come first, with Germany in second. Scotland proved they could win without their keeper in the bronze medal game last year and they have great team discipline. Norway, Germany and Portugal won't be nearly as organized as Scotland, and will be fighting it out for second. Germany should be the stronger of these teams and make it through. Expect Italy or Poland to make the pool very interesting and beat a couple of the better teams.

Game to watch: Scotland vs. Germany. Arguably the two best teams in the group, and will likely determine who will get first.

Preview A Pool: Group B

Group B

Saudi Arabia

Laos finally gets out of the group of death, and promptly gets placed in the easiest group this year. Laos should easily dominate this group, while the rest battle it out for second. Laos is far more skilled than the rest of the teams in this group. We should see Chile and Saudi Arabia fighting for second.

Prediction: Laos will dominate this easy group, and in all likelihood, the game between Chile and Saudi Arabia will decide who goes through in second. Chile is not as good as last year, and the newcomers Saudi Arabia can beat them if they play well. In finishing order: Laos, Saudi Arabia, Chile, Nigeria, Botswana. Don't be surprised if Nigeria or Botswana upset Chile or Saudi Arabia.

Game To Watch: Chile vs. Saudi Arabia. It will likely decide who goes through.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Preview A Pool: Group A

Group A

Northern Ireland

Group A will be interesting to watch. The obvious favorites to make it out are Ireland and Jamaica, but Northern Ireland, Greece, and Canada definitely have a chance. All it takes is one upset to get into the playoffs. The great thing about this pool is that all the teams play pretty much the same style. All of these teams control the ball the well, in turn controlling the tempo of the game. The tempo in this group should be much lower than the other groups, because these teams consist of very experienced players that take their time in setting up chances.

Prediction: In finishing order: Ireland, Jamaica, Northern Ireland, Greece. I think we'll see Ireland make it through for sure. The real battle will be determining who else comes out. Jamaica and Northern Ireland had an even game in the group stage last year, so it should be good again this year. Jamaica even lost to Canada last year, so there's another spin on it. It looks like a 2008 Group C reunion for Jamaica, Canada, and Northern Ireland. Greece is the other team, always a threat to upset a big name team.

Game To Watch: Ireland vs. Jamaica. A meeting of two classic tournament rivals.

Monday, March 2, 2009


-The Draw is THIS SATURDAY, march 7, with the actual draw happening at 9:00. So you'll have to get there much earlier than that if you want a decent seat. It should be packed. Every soccer fan should attend, and bring your friends. It's a great time.

-Exhibition games are well underway, with teams like Northern Ireland, Serbia, Ukraine, Laos, Chile, and Nigeria all having exhibition games already or in the coming weeks. Plenty of teams are looking for someone to play, so get your team going and practice up.

-England is apparently not entered in the tournament this year. I included all possible teams in the rankings, so that no one would be left out. But now it seems safe to remove England from the rankings. There is also speculation that the tournament isn't full yet, which would mean at least two other teams from the rankings would not have entered. If anyone knows anything on this topic, please post it in the comments.

-Group Previews will be posted the day after the draw.

-So far the new commenting system seems to be working a lot better. Anyone still have problems with it? Let me know.

-There's also the Team Canada Forum or the Blog Forum for further conversation. Check 'em out. The links are on the side.

-GET PUMPED FOR THE WCP CUP! See you on saturday!

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Ranking teams is fun, but very tough. Do your own rankings in the comments, and try to justify them. Here we go.

1. Laos - Based on the final last year. ROI won, but there is no doubt the outcome would have been different if ROI had been missing Tristan, as well as Brett. Tristan was outstanding in the final. Him leaving ROI is a huge loss. If you can't rank ROI first, the only option left is Laos.

2. ROI - It would be dumb to drop ROI any further than second. They have been in the final for the last 3 years, and always do extremely well. The loss of Tristan, Brett and Benno hurts, but Ireland can replace those guys and will.

3. Ukraine - Ukraine was great team last year, and this year they have only improved. Very solid all-around team with depth that has to be considered a favorite to win.

4. Scotland - Despite what looks to be the loss of their all-star keeper, Scotland will still be a very good team. Very good defensively and with the addition of a couple players up front, there's no doubt that they're a top 5 team.

5. France - A no-brainer to round out the top 5. A team of all-stars that has become an immediate threat to win. Though they look to be lacking any depth, their starters put them at this rank. No team from last year proved they should own this spot, with the exception of Chile(more on that).

6. Jamaica - Jamaica will be looking to get back to the playoffs this year after barely missing out last year. They are ready to rumble. Don't count out a team led by Holness. This was the toughest spot to choose. Chile and ES could both be considered, but since their teams aren't set, we go with the team that has been practicing a lot and playing together for a long time.

7. Chile - Chile lost in a shootout to Scotland in last year's quarter-final. They were a great team. This year they look to have lost many players to El Salvador, but they have also gained a bunch of new players that will still keep them quite strong.

8. El Salvador - Back from the dead, there is certainly a lot of hype around El Salvador, as they were one the best teams before they folded last year. El Salvador certainly has lots of potential. They get 8th spot because they don't have the star power of France. They can be considered interchangeable with Chile.

9. Northern Ireland - Northern Ireland proved a lot last year, playing against Scotland, Ukraine and Jamaica. Incredibly, they held their own and almost made it out of the pool. They are now a legitimately good team, and we'll see if they can take it further.

10. Germany - Germany has consistently hovered around this spot. They are always good enough to make any pool interesting, but can seem to make the jump to an elite team.

11. Saudi Arabia - They've been playing together all indoor season in Div.1, and playing pretty well. They'll definitely make an impact in this tourney, but will not necessarily make the playoffs. They'll need luck at the draw.

12. Portugal - Another good team along the lines of Germany and Saudi Arabia. These teams CAN beat an elite team, but it isn't easy.

13. Norway - Norway is dealing with losses this year, but they'll still be a good team. They won't have the playmaking they've had in the past, but they will still be defensively solid and will keep games close. It's a shame they've fallen to this ranking.

14. England - England was pretty good last year, but they've lost all their playmakers this year. If they regain they guys they didn't have last year, they'll be much better than 14th.

15. Serbia - Serbia surprised everyone last year when they almost upset Germany to take second spot in their group. They are a team that the best teams have to really worry about.

16. Colombia
17. Greece
18. Italy
19. Austria
20. Canada
21. Nigeria
22. Poland

-The draw is scheduled for March 7th. That is coming up FAST.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


There's going to be some changes around here.

Clearly, there is a problem with anonymous commenting. It's not many people, just a select few. These select few have issues. When I come back after a couple days and see 70 or so comments about anonymous people making fun of people who aren't anonymous...well that's just pathetic. It wasn't that bad last year, but it is definitely way out of hand this year. No more.


In order to comment, you will need a profile. The profile doesn't divulge any personal information, and they are very easy to make. You still remain largely anonymous, but now at least your profile is responsible for what you say, instead of everyone being anonymous.

I encourage you to make a profile. There were a bunch last year, and I'm not sure where they went.

Team Rankings later today

Friday, February 6, 2009


-Team Previews are finished. Three separate posts have been made for three categories: Top 4, Teams on the Verge, and the Rest of the World. Scroll down to view.

-There are 22 teams in the Men's tournament this year, meaning we will be seeing 2 groups of 5 and 2 groups of 6.

-If any women's teams would like to see a preview of their tournament, I would gladly post it. I receive various information on Men's teams, but none for Women's teams. Help me out here.

-Team Rankings will be done in the coming days. Feel free to post your own in the comments.

Team Previews- The Top 4

The Top 4

Republic of Ireland- Ireland will be dealing with losing 3 of their top playmakers this year, with their main striker, center defender, and main keeper leaving(Brett Bachelu, Benno Looft, Tristan Manz respectively). This is a severe blow to the team, but Ireland is still a force to be reckoned with. They will be able to fill those positions, and though they won't be as dominant as before, anyone underestimating Ireland will be in for a major surprise. Ireland has big, strong, and skilled players at every position. Ireland may have lost some guys, but don't be surprised to see them making a run at the final once again.

Laos- After finishing second place last year, Laos will be making another run at the WCP Cup. The team remains completely intact from last year, meaning you can consider Laos a top contender. With the addition of perhaps a couple players, including Josh Northey on the wing, they look to be even better. A quick and tricky team, Laos works out of the midfield in a variety of ways. They can score from anywhere. They can be exploited, but for a team to beat Laos, they will have to play solid team soccer for the entire game. You give Laos a chance, and they will bury your team.

Scotland- Scotland is another team very much unchanged, with the exception of their keeper, J.D. Blakley, who might not be back from SFU in time for the tournament. Scotland's reputation is as a team that won't give up goals, but has a bit of trouble scoring. However, their team will be in contention in every game they play. They will be hard-pressed to repeat their bronze medal performance, but they are certainly more than capable. Scotland dares you to underestimate them.

Ukraine- Ukraine has picked up a couple solid players to help solidify their line-up. The most notable of these is Benno Looft, who looks to be playing center back. Although they have lost offensive players Danny Marchinko and Paul Scollan, Ukraine has picked up some very good replacements for them that have the ability to push them over the top. They retain dominant wings and strikers with a solid midfield. Look for Ukraine to be a very dominant force this tournament.

Team Previews- Teams on the Verge

Norway- Norway is dealing with significant player loss this year, and it will be tough for them to remain a top contender. They still have some talented players, but it will be very tough for them to generate offense against most teams. Norway will still be good, and might surprise some teams, but it's doubtful they can become the cinderella story they were two years ago. But, they managed to do it before, why not again? With some new recruits they should be able to cause some havoc.

Germany- Germany is revamping their team after a playoff loss last year. Despite being a skilled team, Germany could never seem to make the jump to an elite team. This year, with some new pickups, they could make that jump. They'll have to play smarter than they did last year, but still able to keep their toughness.

Chile- Newcomers to the tournament last year, they sure made a splash. With a younger team this year, Chile should be better. They will lose some players to the newly formed El Salvador, but their gains should equal their losses. Another team that has the ability to do some damage in the playoffs.

France- Newcomers to the tournament this year, France is definitely looking to come in with a bang. Building off two former members of ROI, they have already recruited various star players from other teams. Expect France to be a mash-up version of ROI and England. They are heavily recruiting the top players to make an impact right away, so their team will look quite good on paper, but without the right chemistry between players(like England last year) and lacking a deep team, it could all fall apart quickly. Make no mistake though, France will scare you.

Jamaica- Jamaica was part of the Group C mess last year, and unfortunately came out on the wrong end. There were bright spots, but Jamaica couldn't stay consistent last year. They'll be looking to get revenge after failing to make the playoffs last year. Remember, they were behind Scotland(3rd) and Ukraine(4th) in their group, and only lost out on point differential. Some people may be writing Jamaica off, but Jamaica has always been a top team.

Portugal- Portugal had a decent showing last year, and even though they were in a tough group, they'll have to make some changes if they want to be a genuine top team and make it back to the playoffs. This is an odd team, because they can allow goals in a second, and get one right back the next minute. Expect some new recruits for Portugal this year.

Northern Ireland- NI had a great showing last year after coming in as a write-off before the tournament. No one expected them to make Group C as exciting as it was. They definitely showed they have some skill. They can't be considered a top team yet, but they've made the jump from awful to possibly playoff team. Their team should remain intact from last year. They worked very hard in all their games and their hard work almost paid off last year. Expect NI's hard work to pay off this year. They may lack the star qualities of other teams, but they definitely make up for it with their work ethic. They should make a mess of whatever pool they're in, and possibly make it out this year.

Saudi Arabia- This team has been playing together in the men's premier league all winter, and are doing fairly well. They manage to hold their own against the better teams. The main point here is that they have played together for awhile now, and will be able to play very well as a team when the tournament comes around. They have a good enough team to do well in this type of tournament.

El Salvador- If previous year's El Salvadorian team is any indication of what the new team will look like, El Salvador becomes an instant threat. They have playmakers that break a game wide open, but the real issue will be covering all the positions on the field. They'll need a team that can stop other offenses and distribute the ball to the goal scorers. It's good to see El Salvador back in the tournament.

England- England was an odd team last year. They were very hyped up, but never really looked as dominant as they could have been. This year they will be dealing with the loss of their top wingers, but could gain a couple top midfielders. They made it out of a tough Group D last year, so they are clearly a good team, but unless changes are made, it will be very tough for them to make it out of their group.

Team Previews- The Rest of the World

Before I start

-There are teams like R.E. in the men's league, who are good players, and they should definitely be recruited to these teams. Teams absolutely need these hard workers.
-On that note, these are my favorite teams. Every year, it's guaranteed that one or more of these teams will surprise everyone and destroy the hopes of a top-ranked team(or at least really make them work for it). Who will be this year's Northern Ireland? (Others: last year's group games of Serbia vs. Germany, Italy vs. Norway, Columbia vs. England)

Greece- Greece has been a force in years past, but they'll be dealing with key player losses this year, mainly their two goalies. They'll need some quicker, younger players to keep pace with the stronger teams. They were the only team other than ROI to get points off of Laos. They've kept games close in the past, so hopefully Greece can come back strong.

Poland- Poland has never been a strong competitor, mainly lacking a strong defence. They gave up far too many goals in a weaker Pool A last year, but they always play hard. I expect Poland, like many of these lower teams, to be looking at younger players.

Canada- Canada has always been a dark horse in the tournament. Their defeat of Jamaica messed up Pool C bad. They were a decent team, but it doesn't look like the have the talent to really do major damage. Taking them lightly isn't recommended.

Austria- They had a fairly good showing last year, at least forcing Norway and Chile to look over their shoulder in their pool. However, Austria is a mediocre team. They don't have major skill advantages over many teams. Seeing as how the WCP Cup adds an extra player on the field, skill becomes less relevant. They came close to beating Chile last year.

Colombia- Colombia was a great addition to the tournament last year. They played hard every game and really made Pool D interesting. It was great to go watch their games and hope they could manage to knock a top team off. They came very close against Greece and England. Their fans were great as well. I really can't say enough about how great Colombia was for the tournament. This year, their team should be about the same, and hopefully they can be just as exciting to watch as last year.

Serbia- Serbia was written off last year, as everyone expected Ireland and Germany to roll through their fairly easy group. But after a poor start against ROI, they came back to win two and test Germany in a great game, with Germany only scoring the winning goal with a minute left. Their major defeat against ROI proved they aren't capable of consistently playing great soccer, but last year was definitely a start.

Nigeria- Nigeria fell below expectations last year after being expected to at least challenge Germany for second place in their pool. After only mustering a tie against Botswana, Nigeria has some proving to do. They were always a decent team, and it's too bad they fell to the bottom level last year. Hopefully they come back with new recruits and a chip on their shoulder.

Italy- They finished last in the weaker Pool A last year, but their games were definitely interesting. They challenged Norway very well, lost two games by scores of 2-1, and played well against Chile in a 4-1 loss. They showed they are a competitive team and the younger players they have will be more accustomed to the high level of soccer in the tournament.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Time to Start Up

-The 2009 WCP Cup runs from April 15 to May 2.

-No word on the date of the draw yet.

-Lots of rumors from lots of teams flying around. New teams look to include France and Saudi Arabia, and El Salvador is apparently making a comeback.

-The WCP Cup Blog e-mail is back up, so e-mail any questions or comments.

-If your team has a website, e-mail the link to and it will posted on the sidebar for everyone to visit.

-On that note, every team should have a site to visit that at least has some team information on it, like a picture and roster. It's very simple to do.

-Teams are already practicing and many players are being recruited as we speak. If your team is looking to be competitive, make an effort to get some good players (Check out teams in the top men's and women's league and figure out who is available). Lots of good players still have nowhere to play.

-Younger players are also moving up to the age where they can play in the men's tournament. Keep them in mind.