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, April 29, 2010

Semi Final Previews

Quarterfinals went much like I expected, except Laos beat Germany. In any case, that game was very good, and it was always going to come down to whoever could get the last good chance on goal.

Ireland vs. France- France didn't look as good as they've looked throughout the group stage. Against Laos, they looked phenomenal. I would have taken France if you'd said they were playing Ireland after the Laos game. However, after the Norway game, I'm not sure if France can do it. They'll need to be perfect to beat a strong Ireland team. France matches up well with Ireland, but not well enough. Ireland should win, 3-1.

Laos vs. Canada- Laos is coming off a tough win against a good Germany team. Canada is finally coming together, and will not be an easy victory for Laos either. I see Laos looking past Canada to Ireland, and not quite showing up for the semi-final. Laos is favored, but I think Canada can pull off the upset. Canada 4-3.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Quarterfinal Previews

Sorry for the lack of posts everybody, I was unavoidably delayed. It will take too long to recap the weekend, and by now you probably know what happened anyway. Let's just get to the predictions.

France vs. Norway

France has played very well this tournament, and have only gotten better as it goes on. Norway has played very strong as a team this tournament. That's the reason they're through. So who will win this matchup? France. France has been impenetrable on defence lately, and Norway does not have the talent to penetrate it. Norway has not faced a defence like France's. Germany's defence is not good, El Salvador's defence is just as bad, Scotland didn't have a defence, and Jamaica's defence is right on par with the bottom 10 teams. France's defence is a big step up. Any Norway striker will be suffocated, and the only hope they have is to shoot from outside and hope something manages to luckily find its way in. The main difference in the game will be France's strikers. France will get shots off, and if they're remotely on target, they'll go in. France has some very good shooters, so expect a lot of what you saw Germany do to Norway in terms of shooting. Norway has some hustlers in midfield, and this is the only way they'll win. France's midfield is a little slow, and a couple Norway 1-2's near half will be the pinnacle of their goal-scoring opportunities. Yeah, Norway is playing well as a "team," but so is France. They won't have a letdown of last year's quarterfinal happen again. France wins, 4-1.

Germany vs. Laos

Germany advanced after an exciting win over Norway on Monday to take first in the group. Props to Germany. They had a big game to win, and they finally did it. Congratulations Germany! Your prize is...a quarterfinal against Laos. But maybe this is a prize they want. Laos is reeling after getting absolutely pummeled by France on Saturday(they got killed, and if you dispute that, you're wrong), then only winning 2-1 on Sunday against a physical Austria team. So do we write Laos off? Not at all. They're a very dangerous team, and come flying at you with quick touches and speedy players. They'll have their entire team there on Wednesday, and they'll be mad. But Germany has been playing very well lately, and will up to the challenge. Germany can beat Laos by doing a couple things. Don't rush into tackles, and mark your man. France did this very good, and Germany can do the same. If Laos can break free from Germany's defence just a couple times, this game will open up, and give it to Laos. But I think Germany will be pretty amped up about being in the playoffs, will play hard, and I think they can steal one from Laos. This one should be a high scoring game regardless. Germany wins, 5-4.

Ireland vs. Nigeria

The least intriguing matchup of the playoffs. Nigeria is good, but not Beat-Ireland good. If Nigeria can keep it close, it will be a success. In order to beat Ireland, you need to have a stellar defence and good goalkeeping. Nigeria does not have this. Ireland can shoot, and they can shoot good. I'm not writing Nigeria off completely, but they shouldn't be able to compete with Ireland if Ireland plays well. If Nigeria can catch them sleeping, that will be something special. Ireland wins, 6-1.

Canada vs. Poland

Canada finally showed their strength against Ireland. They play a similar style to Ireland, and it was clear to see that if they come to play, Canada is hard to beat. Canada gets to take on a Polish team that rolled through their group. Poland never faced a extremely strong opponent, but are nonetheless a very good team. Canada might finally be gelling as a team, and if they are, it's coming at the right time. Canada has a big and tough defence, but they are susceptible to getting out of position. Overall Canada is a big team, and would have a tougher time against a very small team like Laos. Simply put, they play well against players like themselves. Poland is not a team like Canada, but Canada still matches up well player for player. This will be the most intriguing game, because no one is really sure how good either team is. When Canada comes to play, they are very good. They'll show up for the quarterfinal. Canada wins, 3-2.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Day 11 Recap

YB Scotland vs. YB Italy. In a clash of the two best Youth teams, Italy was the victor. But there's little doubt Scotland will get a chance for revenge in the final.

Afghanistan vs. Norway- Norway 4-1. It could have been a trap game for Norway, but Norway came out and played solid all game. Afghanistan's frustration started to show, as they took multiple cards. Head over to Norway's blog for a full recap.

Portugal vs. Northern Ireland- Northern Ireland 3-2.
In a must-win for both teams, Northern Ireland continued their run as giant killers. If not for the two close losses to open the tournament, Northern Ireland would have overtaken Nigeria. They still have a chance, but they need to beat Poland and get some help. Portugal has looked lost in this tournament and are done.

Ukraine vs. Austria- Ukraine 4-0.
Ukraine looked much better against a physical Austria game. Their defence can shut down weaker teams like Austria, but against better teams, like Laos, their defence is much too slow. They'll fight to get out of the group when they take on France on Sunday.

Ireland vs. Chile- Ireland 5-1.
Ireland started slow, and only scored right before half to make it 1-0. But thanks to some absolutely stunning goals, they pulled off the win once again. Ireland will likely face Nigeria in the next round.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Day 10 Recap

YG Canada vs. Brazil- 3-2 Canada. Seems to me like this was an upset, considering how the rest of the games went.

Afghanistan vs. Jamaica- Jamaica 4-1. Jamaica finally gets a win, and if they win out, this could be very interesting.

Nigeria vs. England- 9-2 Nigeria. Nigeria keeps rolling. They don't back down off of weaker teams and now look to be a lock to go through.

Laos vs. Italy- 7-2 Laos. No surprise here.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Day 9 Recap

YB Canada vs. YB Germany- YB Germany 6-3.

W France vs. W Ukraine- Ukraine 5-0.
Ukraine looks quite dominant thus far. They'll make this year's playoffs quite exciting on the women's side.

Austria vs. Greece- Austria 1-0.
Austria managed to hold off Greece in an exciting 1-0 victory. Austria has played quite well so far this tourney, and will get chance to do some damage this weekend when they play Ukraine and Laos.

Botswana vs. Canada- Tied 2-2. In a game with huge implications, Botswana tied Canada. Canada looked lazy, not hustling to the ball or putting much effort in to get the ball back. Botswana, on the other hand, played like they wanted it, and made sure to prevent Canada's shots. Canada's lackluster performance has made this group very exciting now. With one game apiece left, this will likely come down to Goal Differential. If that doesn't settle it, it goes to Goals For, then Goals Against. So let's take a look here...

Botswana- 3-0, 2-6, 2-2...Giving them a goal differential of -1 at 7 Goals For and 8 Goals Against.

Canada- 3-1, 7-2, 2-2...Giving them a goal differential of +7 at 12 Goals For and 5 Goals Against.

Canada is up by 8 goals right now, with Ireland left to play. Botswana has Columbia left. Here's a scenario for you. Canada loses 4-0, Botswana wins 5-1, they'll be tied in every aspect. The very last tiebreaker would be a shootout between the two teams. Cross your fingers!! Only one thing is for sure, it will be exciting to see this play out.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Week 1 Notes and Predictions

So, we're about halfway through the group stages, and we've seen some pretty good soccer.

Notes- Group A features Ireland rolling through once again, but yet to face another top contender in Canada. Group B has been the most exciting, with El Salvador, Germany, and Norway leading the way. Jamaica and Afghanistan are talented teams, but have yet to put it together to make that final leap. Expect the final games in this group to be very exciting. Group C, while not the most talented, has provided very good games to watch, some close matches and some very high-scoring. Group D has been a physical group, with teams like Austria, Greece, and France. France and Laos have owned the group so far, and there's been no real upsets or close games. This isn't the normal way for this tournament, so be prepared on the weekend for a couple surprises.


Group A

Ireland will be coming out of this group for sure, along with Canada. Botswana still has to play Canada, but Canada should be able to hold them off. Botswana is good, but not good enough to beat an experienced team like Canada. Ireland will be well-matched with Canada, as they play similar styles, but Ireland will be able to beat them. Ireland in first, Canada in second.

Group B
El Salvador is the top team in this group, but not by much. This group is the most wide open out of all of them. Norway has played very well so far, but haven't necessarily played a top team yet. They have yet to face the top teams in Germany and El Salvador. Jamaica hasn't shown anything so far, although they have skill. If they can get it together and win out, it will be very interesting to see what happens. I say El Salvador keeps it going, finishing in first, and that the Norway-Germany game next Monday decides the group, with Germany taking it to finish second. Every game in this group matters, and every point is crucial. It should be a race to the finish.

Group C
Poland has dominated so far, and will take the group. Second place is Nigeria's to lose. I don't think Nigeria will lose again, and will buckle down and play smart, so I give them second place over Portugal.

Group D
The group looked to be a race between Laos, Ukraine and France, but Laos might have squashed any hope Ukraine has of making it through with a convincing victory. The top spot will be a battle between France and Laos. Austria has yet to play Laos or Ukraine, and could potentially upset one of them. Ultimately, the group will go to France and Laos. Laos first, France in second.

Day 8 Recap

YG World vs. YG Germany- 4-0 World.

YB Italy vs. Ukraine- 5-3 Italy. Italy is the top contender to knock Scotland off. Their matchup against each other on Friday will be a preview of the final.

England vs. Poland- Poland 7-1. Poland is all set to take the group, and look to go through undefeated.

Nigeria vs. Northern Ireland- Tied 2-2. In what could be considered another upset, Northern Ireland tied Nigeria. After Nigeria's strong effort against Poland, they seemed to have a letdown against Northern Ireland. If they want to be considered as an actual good team, they have to step their play. Any more slip ups and Portugal will pounce on their playoff spot. Northern Ireland has a habit of playing the top teams very well, like when they beat Ireland last year. They play Portugal and Poland next, and could deal the death blow to Portugal if they take points if that game.

France vs. Greece- France- 5-1. France looked strong from the opening kickoff and never let up. Greece was outmatched. France has slowly looked better with each game, and this group will peak on Saturday night when France takes on Laos for the top spot in the group. In a similar situation as Afghanistan in Group B, Greece has taken on 3 of the top teams in the tournament. They'll get their chance to prove something against a tough Austria team.

Day 7 Recap

YB Canada vs. YB Ukraine- Ukraine 6-4. Scotland, Ukraine, and Italy look to have qualified for the playoffs, and the final spot will go to the winner of the Germany-Canada game.

W Canada vs. W Scotland- Scotland 6-3. Scotland finally gained a little respect.

Scotland vs. Afghanistan- Afghanistan 5-1. Afghanistan had two very tough games to start the tournament, but their victory over Scotland shows that they're a good enough team to really screw up this group. With games against Jamaica and Norway, they could catch a team sleeping and knock them out of playoff contention.

Canada vs. Colombia- 7-2 Canada. Canada looks in top form for their upcoming game against Ireland. But they have a feisty Botswana team to go through first.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Day 6 Recap

Sunday capped an exciting first week of games and let's get to the games.

YG World vs. YG Brazil- 2-1 Brazil.

YB Scotland vs. YB Germany- 3-1 Germany.
Scotland is still the best YB team, with only unbeaten Italy left to play.

Portugal vs. Serbia- 8-2 Portugal. Portugal finally gets their first win against Serbia, and got a lot of goals in the process. Portugal's hopes of making the playoffs have taken a huge hit though, and it will take another team upsetting Poland or Nigeria for them to even have a chance. Certainly possible in this tournament though.

Ireland vs. Botswana- 6-2 Ireland. Botswana was still riding the momentum of their convincing victory over Chile, but then they ran into Ireland, the defending champions for a reason. Ireland dominated Botswana, and only allowed 2 goals in the later stages of the game. However, this shows that Botswana never gives up and will keep fighting, and this could be very important when Botswana takes on Canada for the second spot in the group. If Botswana can keep it close early, they might be able to pull off the upset.

W England vs. W Italy 5-1 England. England dominated Italy in every aspect, and it's become clear that Chile and England will be coming out of this group.

Germany vs. Jamaica- 3-1 Germany.
Jamaica continued its disappointing play against Germany, and now their only hope lies in winning out the tournament, including beating El Salvador. Jamaica has the talent to do it, but they haven't shown any good team play yet. They can get back on track against Afghanistan and Scotland. If El Salvador loses to Norway, this pool will be very interesting coming into the final games. Germany looked very good against Jamaica, but still have a tough road to the playoffs. Every game in this group matters.

W Germany vs. W Ukraine- 3-2 Ukraine.
Ukraine scored twice very quickly off the start to pull out to an early, but Germany shook it off and attempted their comeback. Ukraine's third goal was the clincher, and they managed to hold off a charging Germany team to take control of their group. Ukraine should be able to finish first in this group.

Laos vs. Ukraine- 6-2 Laos.
In a much-anticipated Group D game, Laos played great against Ukraine. Ukraine struck first, but it was all Laos after that. Laos was too quick with their passing for Ukraine to react, and it allowed Laos to run up the score. Ukraine played alright, but lacked speed and offence, and they'll need to come up with something if they want a hope of making it out of the group. In any case, Laos looks like a top contender for the title.

Nigeria vs. Poland- Poland 2-1.
In what could be debated as the most exciting game of the tournament so far, Poland just held off Nigeria. A great game by two great teams, it featured a lot of skillful displays, hustle, and great saves. Both teams deserve to come out of this group, and it's likely they will.

El Salvador vs. Afghanistan- El Salvador 7-3.
Afghanistan kept in close for awhile, but it was only a matter of time until El Salvador exploited their defence. Afghanistan is still playing hard, and they can beat a good team if they put together a complete effort. They've played two of the top teams in the tournament, and could deal a fatal blow to Norway or Jamaica's chances. Stay tuned.

France vs. Austria- France 4-0. In what looked to be the most physical game of the tournament, France outmuscled Austria for the win. France was in control of the game, but had to deal with a tough Austria team. Only winning 1-0 at half, France managed to match Austria's toughness and put in 3 more to seal it. France is looking better with each game, and has very good chance to make it out of their group.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Day 5 Recap

Lots of games let's go.

YB Italy vs. YB Germany- Italy 3-2. Looking like if any team will challenge Scotland, it will be Italy.

W Italy vs. W Chile- Chile 3-1.

Chile vs. Canada- Canada 3-1. Chile was supposed to challenge for the second spot in this group, but that seems to be out of the question now. It will take a miracle for Chile to get back in it. Now it's between Canada and Botswana for that second spot.

Ukraine vs. Italy- 4-0 Ukraine.

YG Canada vs. YG Germany- Tied 5-5.

Serbia vs. Northern Ireland- Serbia 3-2.

Portugal vs. Poland- Poland 3-1.

W England vs. W Scotland- England 8-0.

Norway vs. Jamaica- Norway 6-3?
I don't remember. Something like that. In any case, Norway played very well against Jamaica, and beat them pretty convincingly. Norway seems to be emerging as a top team in this group, while Jamaica, after picking up some very good players, has hit a major stumbling block. They'll need to pick it up tonight against Germany. If Jamaica thought Norway had some offence, wait until they see Germany. Jamaica's defence played terrible last night, and it cost them.

El Salvador vs. Germany- El Salvador 5-3. El Salvador was pretty well matched up with Germany, and for the first half it seemed like either team could win. Both teams were breaking through and getting good chances. Germany seemed to go into a shell in the second half, and El Salvador eventually put them up 4-3. This brought Germany out and they started getting some offence again, but couldn't break through. El Salvador scored a late one to secure the victory.

Laos vs. Greece- Laos 6-1. Laos looked dominant early on, and never let up. They'll get a real test today against Ukraine.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Day 4 Recap

YB Italy vs. YB Canada- 5-3 Italy.

Germany vs. Afghanistan- Germany 6-3. Germany came out strong, and easily handled Afghanistan. Afghanistan didn't play that bad, but there was just no way that they were going to stop Germany's superior offence. Afghanistan looks like they'll be the team that gives a top team a run for their money, like Austria in Group D, or Botswana in Group A.

Ukraine vs. Greece- Ukraine 6-2. Ukraine still looks like a strong contender to get out of their group, although they scored most of their goals on free kicks. They won't get so lucky against teams with better goalkeeping. Still, Ukraine looked dominant against Greece, and anyone writing them off in the group will be in for a surprise.

England vs. Serbia- Tied 3-3. A exciting back and forth game. While the teams may not have the highest skill levels, they can still provide some exciting soccer to watch. England was once again the victim of momentary lapse in focus that allowed Serbia to quickly get back in the game.

Portugal vs. Nigeria- Nigeria 9-5. This was a crazy game. Nigeria was pummeling Portugal all through the first half. Portugal scored a couple quick goals after halftime to make it look like we might get a game, but then Nigeria answered right back. Nigeria looks to be back on track after a dismal last two years, and are definitely the new frontrunners for that second playoff spot. Both teams defences need some work if they want any chance at winning a playoff game though.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Day 3 Recap

YG Brazil vs. YG Germany- YG Brazil 4-1.

YB Scotland vs. YB Ukraine- YB Scotland 5-3. Scotland still looks like the best youth team.

France vs. Italy- France 5-2. To no one's surprise, France dominated early, ending the first half up 5-0. However, in the second half, France seemed to really slow down and let Italy back in the game. Italy scored twice and really put the pressure on France. Italy put on a much better performance than they did against Austria. France will have to do better when they play the better teams in their pool.

Norway vs. Scotland- Norway 4-3. In another exciting game, Norway held off Scotland to take it. Norway seemed to be in control of the entire game, but then Scotland would suddenly surge and answer every Norway goal with a goal of their own. It made for an exciting game, but Norway definitely deserved the win. I'll remind you that you can visit Norway's blog, and link is on the sidebar. Scotland played much better than they did against El Salvador. They could be the team that upsets one of the better team's chances of getting out of the group.

Botswana vs. Chile- Botswana 3-0. In the tournament's first upset, Botswana dominated Chile. Botswana was great in this game, swarming Chile and hustling to every ball, getting 3 goals to show for it. Botswana looked great, and Chile might have just seen their playoff chances take a nosedive. Chile couldn't get anything going against the fast Botswana team, and if Botswana plays like that for the rest of the tourney, they'll be a real challenge for any team. Botswana gets their win EVER, and they deserved it.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Day 2 Recap

NOTE: If someone on your team would like to take some initiative and make a website or blog for your team, I'll gladly link to it. It allows everyone to familiarize themselves with your team, and likely will increase your fan support. It's easy, fast, and great way to get some publicity. The latest team to do so is the Men's Norway team. Click here for the link, and its also on the sidebar.

To the games...

YB Germany vs. YB Ukraine- Tied 3-3. In an exciting, fairly high-scoring game, both youth boys teams showed some good skill. Scotland won't have it so easy winning this thing.

Italy vs. Austria- Austria 3-1. Italy was definitely the weaker team. With decent fan support, its a shame that Italy couldn't have put on a better show. Austria wasn't much better, but last night's match was a clear indication that neither team is much of a contender. Sloppy passes, poor shooting, and bad touches made for an excruciatingly bad game. Austria can definitely perform better, but not sure about Italy.

W Chile vs. W Canada- Chile 6-0. Another bad game to watch. Chile dominated Canada in every aspect. Chile will have to wait for a real test.

Northern Ireland vs. England- Northern Ireland 3-2. England took the early lead, and possession drifted back and forth. No team looked to take control until Northern Ireland scored two quick goals near the end of the game to take the lead. The final pushes by England were useless. Both teams will have to raise their level of play if they wish to make it out of their group. They lucked into a fairly easy group, so both teams have a chance. More so Northern Ireland, although they don't look to be as good as they were last year.

El Salvador vs. Scotland- El Salvador 5-1. El Salvador showed the skill that got them to the final last year, and they certainly look to be on their way to doing it again. Scotland is not the same team they were last year, and it showed. They had no real offensive presence, and could only attempt to hold off El Salvador.

That's it for now. See you tonight!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Day 1 Recap and Opening Ceremonies

The WCP Cup kicked off last night with the Opening Ceremonies. We were once again treated to a full house as everyone showed up to welcome the teams. Let's get right to the games.

Ireland vs. Colombia. 5-1 Ireland. Ireland opened up the tournament with a convincing victory over Colombia, but Colombia definitely showed they had some fight. There were periods where Colombia controlled the game, and they had a couple chances to make Ireland pay. If Colombia had shot the ball when it had the chances, instead of trying to be fancy, the score might have been a little different. However, they would have also needed to have somebody marking Ireland's midfield, who were constantly open. There was no question Ireland dominated, but Colombia showed the same spirit they've shown since they've joined the tournament, and that's a never-quit attitude. Ireland certainly looks well on their way to defending their title, and it will be interesting to see how the rest of the group plays out.

YB Scotland vs. YB Canada. 4-1 Scotland. The Scotland boys also opened up their title defence with a convincing win over Canada. They are definitely the favorites to repeat.

YG Canada vs. YG World. 5-0 World.

W Germany vs. W France. Germany 3-1. Germany will be hard-pressed to take this group after narrowly beating France. Ukraine should be a better test for them.

Friday, April 9, 2010


-Less than a week until the tourney begins! The schedule is set, and everyone is raring to go. Get pumped!

-It's great to see that all the teams are playing so many exhibition games. It seems like every team is much more committed this year.

-NEWS: Comments will now have to be moderated before they will appear on the site. This will eliminate idiotic comments, and you won't have to make an account(God forbid THAT). The new commenting system is best for everyone. It won't clog up the comments with unnecessary profanity, and will still allow for easy and fast commenting. I try and give you freedom, and you embarrass the tournament and this blog. So this is what happens.

-Opening ceremonies are at 6:30 on Tuesday. Be there.

See you on Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

WCP Cup Playoff Schedule

See the posts below for Weeks 1 and 2. Click on the picture for an enlarged view.

WCP Cup Schedule Week 2

Click on the image for an enlarged picture of Week 2.

WCP Cup Schedule Week 1

Click on the picture for an enlarged view. If you know who runs the WCP Cup website, please direct them my way.