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?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

WCP Cup 2012 Groups
Womens Division
Group A
1. Ukraine
2. Italy
3. EL Salvador
4. Netherlands
5. Poland

Group B
1. Germany
2. Chile
3. Canada
4. England
5. Ireland

Mens Division
Group A
1. Ireland
2. Sudan
3. Scotland
4. Botswana
5. Serbia
EDIT: 6. Somalia

Group B
1. Laos
2. Colombia
3. Jamaica
4. Afghanistan
5. N.Ireland
6. Canada

Group C
1. Poland
2. Nigeria
3. Portugal
4. Germany
5. Vietnam
6. Hungary

Group D
1. EL Salvador
2. France
3. Norway
4. Italy
5. South Korea
6. Greece

Previews to follow in the coming days!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

WCP Cup Final

Ireland vs. Laos: 3-0 Ireland. A dominant performance all-around. It doesn't really need to be gone into detail. And with the cabaret last night, this thing is all wrapped up. Good show everybody! I'll get some details on next year for you.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Semi Final Recap

Ireland vs. El Salvador: 2-1(PKs) Ireland. Great game to watch. El Salvador did very well getting up for their second big game in 2 days, and despite missing a couple key players, they managed to take Ireland to a penalty shoot-out. El Salvador knew what it would take to beat Ireland, and they executed it perfectly. They did much the same thing they did against France, which was to sit back and defend, and hope to take advantage of an opportunity if it came up. Criticize it, but that strategy had to be employed against Ireland if El Salvador wanted to have a chance at winning. Ireland controlled most of the game, but El Salvador wouldn't let them finish their chances.

Laos vs. Poland: Laos 4-3. Another overtime game. Both teams were aggressive and creative, and it was a great game to watch. Much more back and forth than the Ireland vs. ES game. It was a shame that one team had to lose, because they both were deserving of a spot in the final. Poland, uncharacteristically, made too many defensive errors this time. A red card put even more pressure on Poland, and Laos eventually capitalized. Laos knows how to win the big games, and they proved it again last night.

So we come to another Ireland vs. Laos final, something we've seen twice already before. The series is who will win the matchup this time around? Stay tuned! 5:00 on Saturday.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Quarter Finals Recap

Laos vs. Greece: 3-1 Laos. The Greeks showed why they were able to go undefeated in Group C with a strong effort against Laos. Scoring the first goal, Greece really started to worry Laos. Laos kept it together though, tieing it before half. Laos kept up the pressure in the second, and managed to finally break through and take the lead off a low shot beating the keeper. They added a third before the game was over. Pretty good game to watch, and it was great seeing Greece contend in the game.

Canada vs. Ireland: Ireland 7-2. Canada gave up a couple more goals than I thought they would, but the result was still the same. David Brown scored 5 goals, which is testament to his talent, but he was left open constantly to take those shots. He's the tournament's leading scorer, shadow the guy. I was very surprised Canada couldn't figure that out. No way a team should let a guy score 5 on them. Anyway, it's clear that Ireland is absolutely dominating the tournament. They'll likely coast through the rest of the playoffs.

France vs. El Salvador: 1-0 El Salvador. El Salvador won on essentially the last play of the game in the second overtime. It was well under the 2:00 minute mark when they got a free kick at the top of the box, and Riggs picked the top right corner with the shot. Needless to say, it was heartbreaking for a France team that expected to contend with Ireland in today's semi-final. The game itself started out fairly slow, with both teams getting a feel for their opponent. France started to take control, and they held it for most of the game. El Salvador had a few flashes where they had opportunities, but France were holding them in check for the most part. France covered the El Salvador players close, not allowing them to get up to their tricks. El Salvador hung back defensively, daring France to make something happen. And in the end, France simply weren't able to finish their chances. Simple as that. El Salvador capitalized on one good opportunity at the end. A disappointing end to the tournament. Both teams played very good, and I guess every team but one will be disappointed at the end. El Salvador goes on to take on Ireland tonight, and they have the unenviable task of trying to take down a very strong Ireland team.

Poland vs. Norway: 3-0 Poland. Norway played much better this time around, and showed much more patience with the ball. Neither team was showing much, but then Poland started to wear them down after a 0-0 first half. The second half was all Poland, and the shots came from everywhere. Poland moves on to face Laos tonight.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


France vs. El Salvador

Summary: France is a very strong team. They have proven players, they can completely shut down offensive teams, and they can score from anywhere on the field. Comparably, El Salvador is right up there. They have arguably more pure playmakers than France, and more shooters. France rely on a couple players to get it done, but El Salvador has a range of players that can score easily. France's players play much better working together as a unit, being able to move up and down the field as a team. Both teams are good, and this is a pretty even matchup. France's key to winning will be making sure El Salvador doesn't get time with the ball in space. El Salvador will have to play better as team and avoid costly breakdowns to win this one.

Prediction: 2 very exciting teams, and a great matchup. If France can play the way they did against every team but Greece, they'll win. Give El Salvador the time that France gave Greece, and they'll punish France. France should have the players to shut down El Salvador's playmakers, and then quickly counterattack while everyone's still up the field. France 3-2.

Norway vs. Poland

Summary: Norway was put into a fairly easy pool. Ireland was the top team by a large margin, and they proved that with an 8-2 victory over Norway. Norway hasn't shown anything to prove they'll be able to get by another very good team. Still, they will be better against Poland with addition of a couple players. Poland, on the other hand, played very tough games in a tough pool. By now, they're accustomed to playing close games against tough teams.

Prediction: The large majority of us haven't been treated to Norway's full-strength roster, nor have we seen them play with their lives on the line. Well, tonight we get both hopefully. Will they be able to match Poland? Doubtful. Poland knows exactly what to do and how to do it. They swept Group D for a reason, and I can't pick against such a hot team right now. They'll have the support of the crowd as well, and I'll say Poland 4-1.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Laos vs. Greece

Summary: The defending champs versus the surprise Greece. Not too many people saw this one coming, but it could be a good one. Greece moves fast, and they tackle hard. Laos is better known for their ball control, quickness, and solid teamwork. Both teams hustle hard to every ball. Laos were surprised by Sudan at the start, but still managed to win. They've looked strong so far, and haven't shown any real weaknesses. They don't have the same attacking flair, but they're still a very dangerous team. Greece won't impress you with their ball skills, but they'll outwork you until the end. They specialize in set pieces and hard tackling. Make no mistake, Greece is a difficult team to play against.

Prediction: Greece will punish a smaller Laos team physically. Laos will have to play smart and get that ball moving quickly to catch the Greeks out of position. This is pretty much Laos' specialty, and I think they'll execute it. The Greeks are good shot blockers, but Laos should be able to some shots by. I don't see Greece being able to keep up to Laos' scoring. Laos 3-1.

Ireland vs. Canada

Summary: Ireland is very strong, there's no denying it. Can anyone beat them? Maybe, but it'll take one great game to do it. Canada can be that team. There are few teams better suited to take on Ireland. Canada has a solid defence, they cover players tight, and can score 2-3 quality goals on any team. They'll definitely need some luck to beat this Ireland team though. Ireland has quality at every position, but they haven't faced a team that's given them a real challenge yet. Ireland has to be forced to pass the ball around, and they'll need patience to beat Canada. Hopefully Canada can give them a good game.

Prediction: Ireland hasn't faced a quality team yet, so they could be surprised by Canada. All the pressure is on Ireland, as they're expected to win easily. Canada can come out and play their game, with no real worries. The longer Canada can keep Ireland from scoring, the more panicked they'll get, and the more Canada's confidence builds. However, Ireland is still a top-notch squad. Canada is good, no question, but they didn't exactly win convincingly against Ukraine, they tied Germany, and lost to Poland. Ireland is better than all those teams, and they'll show up to play. Everyone is cheering for the upset, but I just don't think it'll happen. Ireland 5-2.

Monday, April 18, 2011

WCP Cup Weekend Recap

I'll keep this short because I want to get to some playoff previews. Most games ended up being irrelevant, so let's go over the ones that actually meant something.


The most meaningful day for some of the best teams...

Canada vs. Ukraine: 2-1 Canada. Another extremely close Canada victory. Ukraine played very good, and were in control for most of the game, but Canada got 2 quick goals near the end and came away with the win. That makes 2 close games in which Ukraine was in control and gave away in the end. Unfortunate way to go out.

Jamaica vs. Poland: 5-1 Poland, In a must-win game for Jamaica, they came out very flat. In a meaningless game for Poland, they came out flying. Poland sweeps Group D, and they have to be extremely proud of themselves no matter how this tournament ends. Back to the drawing board for Jamaica, as this is the 3rd or 4th year in a row where they've been expected to contend and have fallen hard. Poland goes through in 1st place.

Afghanistan vs. Nigeria: 6-3 Afghanistan. Nigeria, after being hyped all pre-tournament, fell flat again. They were strong in exhibition games, but that didn't translate at all to the tournament. Beatings by Greece, France and Afghanistan made the tournament a disaster for them. That just goes to show there's no point in even coming to this blog until the tournament starts.

Laos vs. El Salvador: 1-1 tie. In the game to decide Group A, both teams came out ready to fight hard for first. Laos struck first fairly early, and El Salvador responded immediately. Everyone thought we'd be in for a high-scoring game from then on, but it never happened. Neither team applied intense pressure, because El Salvador was simply trying not to lose, and Laos still would win the group with a tie. Still, a good game though. Both teams looked strong.


Essentially the big wrap-up day for the Group stages. This day decided the final playoff positions, even with a couple games on Monday.

Women's Poland vs. Women's Canada:
2-1 Canada. Intense game. That is all.

England note: They salvaged some pride this weekend, I think. They tied Portugal 4-4 and lost to Serbia 4-3. Close games, and likely gives them reason to come back next year.

Women's El Salvador vs. Women's Chile: 2-0 Chile. Another win-or-you're-out game, Chile edged El Salvador for the final playoff spot in their group as well. They'll take on Ukraine.

Ireland vs. Norway: 8-2 Ireland. The battle for top spot in Group B was a battle in the same way that a broom can be considered a fruit.

Canada vs. Germany: 1-1 tie. A must-win game for Germany, but they just couldn't pull it out in the end. Both teams missed capitalizing on some very good chances. Injuries and suspensions took their toll on Germany, but overall they had a good showing. Rough start, but very strong recovery. Unfortunately for them and Ukraine, it was inevitable for the Group D teams.

Ukraine vs. Jamaica: 5-2 Ukraine.

France vs. Afghanistan: 8-2 France. The final win-or-you're-out game of the tournament, France took it to Afghanistan. After much hullabaloo over their possible demise, they finish as expected.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

WCP Friday Recap

Women's England vs. Women's Italy: 2-0 England. Unexpected test for England, but they're still rolling.

Poland vs. Scotland: 7-1 Poland.

Austria vs. Northern Ireland:
Tied 2-2.

France vs. Nigeria:
2-0. France came through in a game they absolutely had to win. Not the prettiest, but a win nonetheless. France now faces another must-win against Afghanistan to go through on Sunday night.

Friday, April 15, 2011

WCP Cup Thursday Recap

YG Brazil vs. El Salvador: Brazil 6-0

Women's Germany vs. Women's Austria: 9-1 Austria.

El Salvador vs. Colombia: 4-0 El Salvador. Colombia has taken some great strides in the tournament, and this game was another good one for them. They missed a lot of opportunities, and they definitely had a chance to upset El Salvador. The scoreline doesn't show it, but a great game by Colombia. The tournament has to considered a success for Colombia, and look for them to improve on it next year. El Salvador vs. Laos will decide the group tomorrow.

Greece vs. Afghanistan: Greece 4-1. Greece finished their group games, and in the process, they moved into sole possession of first place in Group C. What does this mean for the rest of Group C? Greece has 4 wins and a tie, and they'll be going through. The rest is wide open. The France vs. Nigeria game is a must-win for both teams. The loser will likely be out, assuming both France and Nigeria beat Afghanistan...and that's not a guarantee either. This weekend will be very interesting for Group C. Massive game tonight for France and Nigeria.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

WCP Cup Monday to Wednesday Recap


YG Canada vs. Germany: 3-3 tie.

YB Italy vs. Ukraine: 6-5 Italy.

Greece vs. Italy: 3-0 Greece. Greece continues rolling. Undefeated in the group.

Jamaica vs. Scotland: 5-0 Jamaica. Scotland played very hard once again, but again, they just aren't on par with the rest of their group.


YB England vs. Germany: 9-4 Germany.

YG Brazil vs. England: 5-0 Brazil.

Ireland vs. Serbia: 10-2 Ireland. What did you expect?

Italy vs. Nigeria: 5-2 Nigeria. Nigeria is back on form, and Italy faces Botswana for personal pride in their last game. Nigeria takes on France on Friday night in a huge game for both teams.


YB Canada vs. Scotland: 4-2 Scotland.

YB England vs. Ukraine: 10-1 Ukraine.

Austria vs. El Salvador: 4-1 El Salvador.

Laos vs. Colombia
: 6-2 Laos. The stage is set for the Laos vs. El Salvador showdown on Saturday. It will determine the top 3 positions in the group. Will we get to see Sudan in the playoffs? Can El Salvador wrestle first place away from Laos? Saturday night, be there.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

WCP Cup Weekend Recap: Sunday

Sunday Recap

Women's Poland vs. Women's Italy: 2-2 tie.

Youth Girls Brazil vs. Youth Girls Italy: 2-2 tie.

Women's Germany vs. Women's El Salvador: 5-2 Germany. Germany took it to El Salvador. It was a dose of reality for ES after thrashing Austria 10-0, and it's clear they still have work to do in order to be mentioned in the top teams.

Women's Ukraine vs. Women's Canada: 5-2 Ukraine. Ukraine continues to roll towards the playoffs, and look unbeatable right now. Their biggest test is yet to come though, when they face England on Saturday.

Youth Boys Germany vs. Youth Boys Italy: 5-4 Germany. If you haven't been able to catch a Youth Boys game, go check one out. The soccer is exciting, intense, and generally just fun to watch. Scout a couple kids for the future.

Austria vs. Sudan: 5-2 Sudan. Sudan got back on track against Austria, showing off the abilities that made so dangerous against Laos and El Salvador. Sudan was up 3-0, and it looked like they might put the game out of reach, but Austria scored 2 quick goals to make it 3-2. They put the pressure on Sudan, but a couple more breakdowns led to a Sudan victory.

Canada vs. Poland: 3-1 Poland. The main draw of the night. Canada and Poland were the top two teams in the toughest group, and a victory would go a long way towards securing first, not to mention a playoff spot. Canada looked to be in control early on, and they scored the first goal. Poland gradually figured out Canada's gameplan, answering back before half, and then it looked to be Poland's game from there on in. Canada was controlling the ball well at the back, but Poland was completely closing down any legitimate chances on goal. Poland eventually got their 2nd goal, and Canada still weren't able to put any pressure on Poland. The Poles added a third as the game closed out. Poland has emerged as the clear front-runner in the group, and have a firm grip on first. The fight for second will be a dogfight.

Norway vs. Sierra Leone: 5-1 Norway. Norway improved to 4-0, assuring themselves a playoff spot. They've improved as the games have gone on, and even though their pool is fairly easy, it's still a notable accomplishment. The battle for first with Ireland takes place on Sunday.

Ukraine vs. Germany: 3-2 Germany. The other big Group D on the schedule didn't disappoint. A back and forth affair saw Germany come through with the victory. It was a physical, hard-fought game, finally coming to a peak with two red cards at the end of the game. Germany has improved with every game, and they're really starting to show the skill that made them an early group favorite. Solid play all-around. Ukraine had a tough weekend with two losses. Still, they played quite well. In both games Ukraine has shown they have the skills to be a top contender, but it's just not coming together for them. They're not out yet, but the road through the group is tough.

France vs. Greece: 4-4 tie. The most shocking result of the night belonged to this game. France, touted as a top contender, was put to the test by an undefeated Greek team. It became clear France wouldn't have another easy game on their hands after Greece managed to block all of France's shots in the opening minutes, and it wasn't long until a long free kick found it's way into the net to make it 1-0. France answered back very soon after, and that seemed to be the story of the game. Greece would score, and France would score right back. Greece seemingly won it when they blasted one home in the last minute, only to have France score on a long header on the last play of the game. Both teams played tough and exciting soccer, and this group just got a lot more interesting. With Nigeria looking back on form and a good Afghanistan team looming, France and Greece will have their work cut out for them. Keep a close eye on this group.

Afghanistan vs. Botswana: 9-2 Afghanistan. Afghanistan dominated Botswana, and it's clear Botswana isn't the same upset-ready team they once were. Afghanistan looked good, and they'll give France, Greece and Nigeria some good games.

Monday, April 11, 2011

WCP Cup Weekend Recap: Saturday

The weekend was filled with excitement, so let's get to the recaps. Sunday's recaps will follow later.

Youth Boys Canada vs. Youth Boys Germany: 3-3 tie.

Women's Canada vs. Women's Italy: 2-1 Italy.

Youth Boys Scotland vs. Youth Boys Ukraine: 6-3 Ukraine.

Norway vs. Portugal: Norway 4-1. Norway is playing better. They're controlling the game a lot better, and good thing too, because their final game is against Ireland next Sunday.

Youth Girls Canada vs. Youth Girls England: 5-3 England.

Women's Poland vs. Women's England: 8-2 England.

Colombia vs. Sudan: 2-1 Colombia. UPSET SPECIAL! Colombia pulled off the upset against the most talked-about team in a crazy game. Sudan had chance after chance, but the resilient Colombia team stepped up to keep the ball out of the net. By the end of the game it was chance after chance for Sudan, and Colombia always managing to get in the way and block or clear it. Another great game to watch.

Jamaica vs. Germany: 5-3 Jamaica. Germany came out firing Saturday, but Jamaica was able to capitalize on almost every single German mistake. A back and forth game, Jamaica always seemed to get a goal only to have Germany come right back with their own. Only at the very end, when the entire German team rushed forwardSome beautiful goals, great passing, and exciting soccer. Both teams opened the tournament with bad games, and this was a statement game for both. The level of play was much higher this time, and all the teams are still in it. I'll elaborate on that in the Sunday recap. Great game by two good teams.

England vs. Sierra Leone: Sierra Leone 3-1. England was looking for redemption, but they wouldn't find it against a good Sierra Leone team. Still, a much better game.

Laos vs. Austria: Laos 5-1. Laos is looking ready for a strong playoff run. After their Sudan surprise, they've looked fairly solid. Next real test is against El Salvador next Saturday.

Botswana vs. Nigeria: Nigeria 3-1. Nigeria was able to bounce back after their Greek defeat to beat Botswana. They've got a good chance to make it out if they can produce a result against Afghanistan and France.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


Who had fun watching Ireland blowout England?

No one likes being part of a blowout. Last night, you know who felt good after Ireland's 14-0 thrashing of England? Not the WCP Cup Organizers. Not the fans. Not England. Not anyone who's considering coming to watch exciting soccer. Not Ireland(well...they probably felt alright). It hurts the tournament to see results like this.

WCP needs to do something about the disparity between teams. This is the background on it: People want to play in this tournament, and people want to win this tournament. Some people have the luxury of being able to recruit people from around the province to help them win. Some don't. Ireland picks up the best players they can to help them win. They don't need all the best players, because they're pretty good anyway, but they recruit hard nonetheless. Players will come play for them, and why not? They have a good chance at winning. You can't fault Ireland players for being skilled. England is a group of players who play hard, but simply aren't as skilled as Ireland. It's obvious there's a large gap in talent, but England doesn't go around trying to get the best players on their team. They can't. I'm not trashing Ireland, and I'm not trashing England. NOBODY WANTS TO BE A PART OF A BLOWOUT. It's a fault that has naturally occurred in this tournament. So what can be done about this?

OPTIONS: 1. There's been talk of instituting a rule that a team can only have a certain amount of out-of-town players. It makes teams take on more Regina players, and since fans are all from Regina, it creates a bigger draw to the tournament. The Saskatoon players could still come down, but they would play on different teams. Not that big of a deal. This is really just an Ireland rule. But it's been talked about.

2. A qualifying tournament. Each year, anyone can submit a team. There's no boundaries. You want to submit a team? Go ahead, you just need to find enough players. So how about a qualifying tournament for say...the bottom 12 teams? The problem with that is cost. What teams would be willing to pay essentially the same fee to compete just to participate in the WCP Cup? It's a tough call.

3. More pools. Pools are at 6 teams a pool. The World Cup has 4 teams in each pool. More pools would mean that each game is extremely critical. If a good team gets upset in WCP Cup, they can hammer on 3-4 other teams to gain that advantage back. Lots of teams have no chance of making it out of their pools now. But say you have a pool with Laos, Colombia, Austria, and Nigeria. Sure Laos will probably come out, but second place is lot more uncertain. It can come down to the last game of the group, whereas in the current format, you know who's out of the tournament long before all the games are finished. This option makes it more exciting for the weaker teams.


As a player, you don't want to blowout a team. You want to provide excitement for the people who come to watch, and you want to play good soccer. But what are you supposed to do if you're on a good team? Score on yourself? Play a man down?

Teams are getting better, make no mistake. I'd say there are 12-13 quality teams in the tournament, and it gets better every year. Look at how exciting Group D is. Group A too. We've seen good games in Group B and C as well. The tournament is still as good as it's ever been.

What are your thoughts on this? Is it an overreaction to a couple blowouts, ex. Ireland vs. England and France vs. Italy? Does something need to be done?

WCP Cup Friday Recap

Poland vs. Ukraine: 2-1 Poland. Ukraine was up 1-0 for the better part of the game, and it looked they were on the verge of a second before Poland got two quick goals with about 4 minutes left. A good game to watch, and Poland has managed to take an early lead for the group favorite. Canada is next up for Poland on Sunday, and Ukraine takes on Germany an hour after that. Group D features Germany and Jamaica today, where the loser is likely done in the group.

Ireland vs. England: 14-0. All-around embarrassment for everyone involved.

Colombia vs. Northern Ireland: 3-2 Colombia. Colombia gets their first win of the tournament. Next up, Colombia gets to take on Sudan today.

Friday, April 8, 2011

WCP Cup Thursday Recap

Youth Girls England vs. Youth Girls Germany: 4-3 England.

Women's Chile vs. Women's Ireland: 3-1 Chile. Chile is proving they belong back in the conversation with Ukraine, Germany, and England.

Canada vs. Scotland: 7-0 Canada. An expected scoreline, and it doesn't look like Scotland will be able to pull off any upsets in this group.

France vs. Italy: 11-1 France. I was really hoping Italy would give them a game. It was over within the first 10 minutes.

Overall, a fairly boring night. Fans were great for the Women's Chile and Ireland game, but that's to be expected out of Chile fans. Also, if anyone is interested in joining a USA team next year, please contact Chad Isaac at He's looking to start up the team, and would like to know ASAP if people are interested.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

WCP Cup Wednesday Recap

Youth Girls El Salvador vs. Youth Girls Canada: 4-1 Canada.

Women's El Salvador vs. Women's Austria: 11-0 El Salvador. Honestly, no matter how much better the other team is, you should never lose by that much. Especially when El Salvador isn't even a top team themselves.

Norway vs. Serbia: Norway 3-2. Serbia went up early 2-0 off of Norway mistakes, but Norway eventually clawed their way back to win 3-2. Serbia played pretty good, but Norway has to start showing more than this. If they want to be considered a top team, they have to win these games comfortably. No more critical mistakes, and start controlling the pace of the game. Norway has a history of playing down to their competition, so they better be careful. Luckily for them, they'll likely be in the playoffs due to a fairly easy group.

Sudan vs. El Salvador: Sudan 6-3. You want to watch exciting soccer? Go watch a Sudan game. They are, by far, the most exciting team in the tournament. No team has more passion for the game. When you've got players that truly believe they can rifle a shot top corner from half, you've got a team to watch. When you've got players that will backheel it to their centerback, regardless of who's around, you've got a team to watch. After their Laos game, in which they barely shot, they came out firing the ball. Tied 1-1, El Salvador started to come together, making it 3-1. But Sudan is at their best when they're all-out attacking, and they roared back with 5 unanswered goals. Sudan has been nothing but excitement, and you add in some great ball skills, a couple players with reach like Dhalsim from Street Fighter, and they're now the team to beat in Group A.
This makes the game between El Salvador and Laos mean everything. If Laos wins, it will be Laos in first and Sudan in second. If El Salvador wins, it'll be a toss-up between the three teams, with Sudan leading the way on Goals For. This is all assuming those three teams win the rest of their games in the group. Either way, get set to see much more of Sudan.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

WCP Cup Tuesday Recap

Youth Girls Germany vs. Youth Girls El Salvador: Tie 1-1.

Women's Ukraine vs. Women's Italy: Ukraine 8-1. There's a clear disparity between some women's teams, and Ukraine is at the head of the class.

Austria vs. Columbia: 2-1 Austria.

Greece vs. Botswana: 2-1 Greece. Greece is looking like the early favorite to take second place in the group. Can they challenge France for first? We'll see. The matchup between Greece and Afghanistan will likely decide second place.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Monday Recap

Youth Boys England vs. Youth Boys Italy: 4-3 Italy.

Afghanistan vs. Italy: Afghanistan 4-2. Keep an eye out for Aghanistan. They've got a couple goal-scorers, and could be dangerous in this group. They played together all indoor, going undefeated in Div.4. It's Div.4, but that still takes skill. They play well together.

Portugal vs. Ireland: Ireland 10-3.

Laos vs. Northern Ireland: Laos 7-2. Nice bounce-back game for Laos.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Sunday Recap

Saturday Recap Below

Youth Girls Brazil vs. Youth Girls Canada: Canada 5-2.

Youth Boys Canada vs. Youth Boys England. Canada 10-0.

Women’s Canada vs. Women’s England: England 8-2. England starts their tournament off with a bang. The top Women’s teams are becoming clearer by the day. England is clearly gunning for Ukraine.

Women’s Austria vs. Women’s Chile: Chile 7-0. Chile is back after a disappointing showing last year, and they’re in the mix with Ukraine, England and Germany as contenders.

Portugal vs. Serbia: 3-2 Portugal. Portugal held off Serbia for a 3-2 win. Not the most still-filled game of the tournament, but nonetheless entertaining.

Ukraine vs. Scotland : 5-0 Ukraine. I’ll say this. Scotland is trying hard. They’re a young team, they run hard, hustle, don’t give up, but they are in for a very rough tournament. This isn’t anything new. They’ve been placed in the toughest group, and it’s extremely likely that all their games end up this way. Ukraine will be tough to take down in this group.

Norway vs. England: Norway 4-1. Although you wouldn’t necessarily see it from the scoreline, Norway did not look like a team that’s expected to challenge Ireland in the group. Far too many mistakes, poor touches and a lack of discipline. Neither team was able to really gain control in the game, and it looked as though it could go either way for the most part. Norway eventuall potted a couple more goals to seal it. However, it has to be noted that Norway were missing a couple key players and that it was the first game of the tournament. I expect a better showing at their next game. England is a decent team though, they played well.

Poland vs. Germany: Poland 4-2. The third shocking result of the weekend. Poland went up early on Germany, and never looked back. It was 3-0 by the time Germany finally scored, and Poland scored one more to seal it before the Germans scored in the last 10 seconds of the game. Germany was expected to be an offensive force, but none of this was seen during their game against Poland. The reason became quite apparent as the game wore on, which was that Germany completely took their own midfield out of the game. The word “possession” is a word that the Germans have to learn if they want to win this group. The long ball is a great way to catch a team off-guard once in awhile, but it can’t be used every single time. Poland knew it was coming every time and simply clogged it up and retook possession. While the German defence ball-watched, Polish players ran into space and punished them. Germany is one of the most talented teams in the tournament, but they blew this one. It was disappointing to watch a team as good as Germany stumble like that. This was their first game together since last year, and you can bank on them being better than that in their next game. And Poland? Great game by every player. They knew Germany is very tough to handle, and they made a real statement with that victory. Hard work, solid defence, good goalkeeping, and goal-scoring from everywhere makes them a very real threat to make it out of the group. Look out for Poland.

Nigeria vs. Greece: Greece 4-2. This game was a shocker, but for all the wrong reasons. Sloppy play from both teams, and Greece just ended up overwhelming Nigeria. Nigeria was supposed to have top notch team play, and we saw that in the RSA tournament. Yesterday? Non-existent. Turnover after turnover killed them. Greece took full advantage of every turnover. Nigeria has to get their act together, and they’ve got an uphill battle to make it out of this group. I’m looking to Afghanistan as the next team in line to take second place in the group, and their game against Greece should be interesting. Congratulations to Greece, as they held together against Nigeria. Not an easy task.

Saturday Recap

Sunday Recap to Follow

Opening Ceremonies: Great work by the OC for keeping it short and sweet. They understood that no one wanted to listen to a whole bunch of speeches, and we got right to some great soccer.

So, by now you've probably heard of the big story of the weekend. Laos vs. Sudan.

It started right after Opening Ceremonies. The entire Sudan team came out ready to go, warming up in a very organized fashion. There was still quite a bit of time before kick-off, but Sudan just kept warming up. And apparently they needed to be as warmed-up as possible, because they ran Laos ragged. We saw a glimpse of last year’s Laos team at the start of the game, but Sudan soon took the game over. No one was getting by Sudan’s #2 at the back and no one could stop Sudan’s wingers or strikers from zipping by, but Sudan’s downfall came from a lack of shots. They have to shoot more if they want to make it to the playoffs. Laos didn’t have the depth or raw talent to compete with Sudan, but they did have organization. They held off a very good Sudan team, and came out with the 2-1 win off of an own goal. Sudan’s goal-keeping is also lacking, and I think that will cost them against a very accurate shooting team like El Salvador.

Women’s Ukraine vs. Women’s Poland: 5-1 Ukraine. Ukraine starts off their title defence strong, but the scoreline is a tad deceiving. Poland’s critical mistakes cost them every time.

Youth Boys Scotland vs. Youth Boys Germany: 5-3 Scotland.

Youth Girls England vs. Youth Girls El Salvador: 3-1 England.

Ireland vs. Sierra Leone: Ireland 9-1. Ireland continued their usual domination of every team. Sierra Leone isn’t that bad, it’s just that Ireland contains all the best soccer players. What else is new?

Women’s Germany vs. Women’s Ireland: 4-0 Germany. Germany will be challenging Ukraine and England for the championship this year. Count on it.

France vs. Botswana: France 7-0. France cruised in this one. Botswana never put up much of a fight, but France certainly wasn't going to let them. They likely won’t face a real challenge until playoffs.

Jamaica vs. Canada: 5-0 Canada. In the 2nd of 3 major stories from the weekend, Canada destroyed Jamaica. Jamaica, going through their usual pre-tournament hype, was expected to at least put up a fight. That wasn’t the case. 10 minutes into the game and it was apparent where this one was going. Canada, true to their Enter club team roots, shut down all Jamaican strikers. They blanketed Jamaica’s midfield, so they didn’t even have chance to get the strikers in play.
With the midfield covered, the strikers non-existent, it became a free-for-all on Canada to feast on Jamaica’s defence. This game was a statement game for Canada, and it’s apparent that they are the team to beat in this group. However, expect closer games from Canada in the coming weeks. Solid all-around team. As for Jamaica, they have to figure out a way to stop the bleeding. Teams can exploit them, and they’re doomed if they don’t shore up a bad defence.

El Salvador vs. Northern Ireland: ES 7-3. An expected result, but give Northern Ireland credit. They played quite well, but El Salvador can put goals away much too easily.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

What Do YOU Want to Watch on Opening Weekend?

Opening Ceremonies 1:00 Will they be long? Probably. Will they be boring? Most likely. But c'mon, it's the Opening Ceremonies for the 2011 WCP Cup. The very first day of Saskatchewan's best soccer tournament. I'm excited to get this thing going, and you should be too. There will be tons of people there, and you'll get a taste of the awesome atmosphere.
*Note: The World Curling Championships start on Saturday(great timing).

What else might pique your interest?

Laos vs. Sudan 2:00 What's not to like? We get to see the defending champions back in action, and we get our first look at the brand-new team of Sudan. It's the first game of the tournament, and it'll be a good one.

Timeframe From 3 - 6 Get to see the top-notch Ukraine Women's team take on Poland, and some Youth Boys and Girls games. Chance to watch the players of the future perhaps.

Ireland vs. Sierra Leone 6:00 Top team Ireland takes on the other brand-new team, Sierra Leone. It's unfortunate that the two new teams have to be subjected to playing the top 2 teams in their first game of the tournament. Everyone wants to see how these teams play though.

Women's Germany vs. Women's Ireland 7:00 At this point, the tournament should be behind schedule by 30 minutes or so. Take that into account. But Germany will be Ukraine's main competition for the Women's Championship, so take a look.

France vs. Botswana 8:00 Top contender France plays their first game against the always exciting Botswana. France's first real game in a long time, against a Botswana team that will be itching to pull off the upset.

Canada vs. Jamaica 9:00 The main event of the evening. The two teams that many expect to make it out of the incredibly tough Group D. This game will go a long way in determining the group, and it's only the first day. Will all of Canada's players be ready and healthy enough? Will Jamaica's Saskatoon players make it down? It's the perfect timing for a great matchup between two long-time rivals. One of the best games of the tournament.

El Salvador vs. Northern Ireland 10:00 To cap off the day, we get our first look at the El Salvador team, looking to take their group away from Laos. If there are any upsets in this group, Northern Ireland is likely to be the team to do it. We'll see if their team can actually be taken seriously.

The Sunday games aren't as exciting as the Saturday games. If you can only make one day, make it Saturday.

2 Youth Games, Women's Canada vs. Women's England, Women's Austria vs. Women's Chile, Portugal vs. Serbia, Scotland vs. Ukraine, England vs. Norway 1:00 to 8:00 There will be some good games in here for sure. I'll be there watching most of them. I want to see if Women's England is still a contender, if Women's Chile can get back to their former glory, if Portugal has the potential to be top team again, if Scotland can upset Ukraine, and see exactly how good Norway is. There's some storylines in this bunch.

Germany vs. Poland 8:00 This is the game you want to be there for. Every Group D will be great, and this is your first look at Germany and Poland. Will Germany gel together on the pitch? Will Poland find enough offence to keep up with them? Both teams will be ready to crush the other one. Be there for this game.

Nigeria vs. Greece 9:00 Can Greece shoot down Nigeria's hopes of contending for first in the group? Last game of the night.

It'll be great weekend. What game are you most excited about this weekend?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Debate: Momentum + Women's Update

Which teams are peaking at the right time? Which are tripping over themselves? Let's take an uneducated look.

Teams on the UPSWING

The team everyone seems to be talking about. Mainly because they've been playing a lot of high profile exhibition games, and doing well in those games. They've beaten El Salvador 2-1 and Nigeria 4-2 among the bigger ones. So is Jamaica a legitimate contender for the Championship? Here's my thoughts: They've still got problems at the back, and have no depth on the outside. A couple good players like O'Gilvie, Banerjee, Amilcar and Korthius can only take you so far, and then a good team will come along and exploit those weak spots. Jamaica will be a good team, no question, but they're getting hyped up to be better than they are. Still on the upswing though, because winning those games goes a long way towards solidifying your team.

Another team playing a lot of exhibition games. They'll be in game shape by the time they hit the field, and they'll give France a run for their money at the top of the group. When it comes to the playoffs, Nigeria still doesn't have the raw talent to beat the top teams, but with a lot of hustle and solid team play like they've shown, they'll have a much better chance.

Poland is getting lost in the their group. And this is a good thing. They've got a solid defence and core group of players, and they'll have a couple more Saskatoon players. Last year, the entire aim was to get the ball at the feet of their most dangerous player. He's gone now, replaced by a couple good players. Teams can no longer focus on one guy, they'll have to worry about the entire team. Poland also has great fan support, which does help. Playing good in exhibition games, and going in as an underdog. Recipe for success.

Northern Ireland
Luckily for them, they're in an easy group, where all it takes is a tie and lucky goal for a ticket to the playoffs. They've held their own against teams like Canada, and have the best chance out of their group to be able to repeat that success against Laos or El Salvador.

Their team might surprise some people. Younger players and hard-working. Remember, they made it all the way to fourth a couple years ago with a scrappy team, and that scrappiness is back.

Teams on the DOWNSWING

Don't get me wrong. They'll be in the playoffs, and they're a definite favorite for the title. But a complete lack of exhibition games and full practices has to be painful. France is in a group where they'll win, but they'll pay for it. Nigeria, Afghanistan, Greece and Botswana have never been known as graceful teams. This group will be the most physical group. France will be hacked often in this group, and for them to do well in playoffs they'll have to avoid any major injuries against these teams. Being away from real soccer for this long won't help them.

Losing two of their top players won't help. Out-of-towners that can no longer make it won't help. The core group has stayed the same, but like the rest of us, they haven't gotten better. Mix that all together, add in the fact that they won last year and have nothing left to prove, and Laos could have a rough time in this tournament. Poor showings in exhibition games as well. Again, don't get me wrong, they're a fantastic team and will very likely be in the semi-finals. But likely on the downswing.


Regarding the Women's portion of the tournament, teams are becoming much stronger. As interest grows in the women's portion, the teams are becoming a lot more even. Take for example the U of R girls against AC in the Women's Div. 2 Final on Tuesday night. An exciting game from start to finish ended with AC winning in a shoot-out. The U of R players, consistently touted as the best players in the WCP Cup, have some up and coming talent to watch out for. Look for these players in the Women's WCP Cup.


Any other teams on the upswing or downswing?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

2011 WCP CupTicket Prices

Here are the ticket prices. 85$ for a tournament pass, and that doesn't include the final. The big question we're all still wondering about is: what's going on with liquor licensing? SOMEBODY get an answer, please.

Adult: $7 per day
Youth: 15 and under $2 per day
Kids: 10 and under Free
Tournament Pass: $85
(April 2-April 22 does not include Final day)

*Tournament Passes will be available 12:30pm April 2nd
at the front desk of the Eventplex.

Final Day April 23 Ticket Prices:

Adult: $10
Youth: 15 and under $3
Kids: 10 and under Free

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Debate: Group D

Let's start this up. A daily debate on which teams are better. To kick it off, let's go with the group everyone is talking about: Group D. So who are the two favorites to come out?

Well, right now, it looks like Jamaica and Canada. I don't like mentioning specific players(to keep their privacy intact), but it's still fairly easily to see the way this group is going.

Jamaica has played a lot of exhibition games. They most recently beat Nigeria 4-2, and Nigeria should be no slouch at this point. Nigeria has probably the team that has spent the most time together before the WCP Cup. They played in the Regina Men's Tournament, losing in the final, and seem to have an exhibition and/or practice every single week. That being said, they should be pretty good at this point. Jamaica is no slouch either, and I believe they've played quite a few exhibition games as well, but have preferred to practice more than they play.

Anyway, Jamaica beating Nigeria 4-2 shows that Jamaica might be a lot better than we're giving them credit for. And then they tied Laos 3-3. We've talked about how they depend on their Saskatoon players, but that might not be the case. It looks like Jamaica might be able to handle the tough games on their own. The Saskatoon players will definitely help though.

Canada has played a couple exhibition games as well, but haven't really had their team together either. Their showing has been worse than Jamaica's. Poland has been getting their games in too, but aren't destroying the weaker teams they play. However, Canada and Poland might look and play completely different when the tournament rolls around.

Ukraine and Germany haven't had any exhibition games, and it seems unlikely they'll have a solid feel for the size of the field and gameplay before the tournament. The large majority of Ukraine practices weekly, as does Germany. But a once-a-week practice doesn't provide the same experience.

I say that Jamaica and Ukraine come out. Ukraine played well in the Moose Jaw tournament, even though they lost in the Semi-final, and they stay in very good shape. Their team is ready to go. They'll outlast Canada, Poland and Germany with their rough schedule, because their players are used to it. Their first is also against Scotland, which allows them to feel out how all the other teams play. They won't be surprised. They'll need someone to step up and start finishing chances though. Jamaica is just playing too well, and without Saskatoon players, to not make it out. They've been working hard and are committed to winning. Germany is too unpredictable, and I don't think they can play solid soccer for the entire group stage. Very good team though. Poland just won't have the players or skill to make it out. They'll win a game or two, but I can't see them beating 4 other very good teams.

With that being said...go Scotland! Beat someone in this group!

And submit your brackets!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Bracket Submissions

Get them in ASAP! Check the Bracket post out here.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Opening Ceremonies Announcement

MOBADASS frontman Earl Pereira (co-founder of Wide Mouth Mason) will be singing the National Anthem at the Opening Ceremonies this year.

"As a double-platinum artist and 3-time JUNO nominee, MOBADASS frontman Earl Pereira (co-founder of Wide Mouth Mason) has established himself as one of the most entertaining performers in the country. Pereira has shared the stage with The Rolling Stones, Nelly Furtado, Alanis Morissette, AC/DC and more. With demand for MOBADASS continuing to grow, Pereira made the decision to leave Wide Mouth Mason in 2010 to focus solely on his increasingly popular project. MOBADASS Performed over 150 shows in 2009/2010 including the 2010 Winter Olympics, 2010 Grey Cup, and National television performances on TSN, CTV, SHAW, GLOBAL, and CBC. In 2011, MOBADASS will release their second studio recording, Starcity Shakedown, the follow up to their acclaimed debut release, Island Rock. For more details visit"

Just one more reason to get excited about the WCP Cup. Bring it on already!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


You may or may not have heard what's happening right now, so I'll fill you in.

The main WCP Cup blogs have been contacted by WCP Lawyers regarding the content of this blog. I won't go into details, but this is something that really makes me wonder about the people that come on here.

Listen, I've come on here for the past 5 years. I post predictions, recaps, and other soccer-related topics for the people to talk about. I've never insulted anyone, and my posts are always clean and respectful. I take a lot of time to maintain this blog and keep it updated. I do it because I love soccer, and I love the WCP Cup.

What do I get in return?

People are complaining about this blog behind my back. About what? I don't know. The comments are very clean. If you have a problem, my e-mail address is prominently posted. I've always responded to everyone that's ever e-mailed me. Don't go whining to the organizers. I'm here. Talk to me. I'm more than willing to comply with any reasonable requests. To those that have chosen to complain behind my back to WCP Cup Organizers, you're an embarrassment to the soccer community.

Me, and the other bloggers, we do this for FUN. Get it? I have to deal with countless insulting comments every day. What's your aim here? I don't have to do this. I get absolutely no support from the soccer community, even though I'm providing a service everyone wants. For FREE.

My e-mail was hacked last night. Someone went in, deleted every message in my inbox and outbox, and changed my password. They proceeded to send very disturbing e-mails regarding an individual in our soccer community to people I have great respect for. This made me furious, because it was an intrusion into my personal life that I do not want. As a sidenote, all the brackets that had been e-mailed in were deleted. Please re-send your brackets in. There were quite a few brackets in, and it embarrasses me that I have to ask for them again. I have yet to decide whether or not I'll cancel the entire thing, because these issues with lawyers, e-mail hacking, and insulting comments has really worn me out.

I'd appreciate some support for this blog. I've done my best to give everyone a place to talk about the WCP Cup, and it's getting thrown in my face.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Great Moments in WCP Cup History

***Fill out your BRACKETS! You could win $40, and it's free! Click here.

As we get closer to the WCP Cup, we know we're going to see some great games take place. So let's take some time to recall some great times in the WCP Cup history.

2005- The first WCP Cup held in the old soccer facility. Who could forget the leaking roof and run-down facility? However, fans flooded into the place, and it was as loud as could be for the final games. While it only featured something like 6 teams, it set the stage for a great tournament.

2006- The first year in the new facility. Teams entering the tournament shot up, and we were treated to a whole different type of game. The top teams were Ireland, Germany, El Salvador, Jamaica, and Canada. Germany, El Salvador and Jamaica were much the same as 2006. Ireland and Canada were relative newcomers as teams. As the tournament wore on, it became clear that no one respected Canada as a team. They were old and slow, with no skills. Teams took them way too lightly, and ended up paying for it. The Semi-Finals featured Ireland vs. El Salvador, and Jamaica vs. Canada. Ireland and El Salvador had proved to be the top two teams, and they won in a shoot-out. Canada beat Jamaica in an upset to advance to the final, but Ireland beat Canada fairly easily. A great start in the new facility.

2007- The time when the tournament format changed to be much like the one we know today. 20 teams, 4 groups. And lots of exciting soccer. The big story to kick off the tournament was Group D, where El Salvador, England, Laos, Greece and Germany were put together. ALL these teams were strong. We were treated to some epic games by every single of these teams, and when the dust settled, it was Greece and Laos left standing. Ireland had an easy group(no surprise), and so did Jamaica. The other interesting group, Pool B, featured Canada, Ukraine and Norway. These three teams battled hard, and it came down to them having to score as many goals as possible in their last games. Norway ended up edging out Ukraine by scoring over 8 goals. And then we all know what happened after that. Norway went on to win a very exciting final. Great goals, great plays, and an epic overtime header to win 4-3 in an upset. Still the best game in tournament history, in my mind.

We'll stop there for now, and continue with 2008, 2009 and 2010 later. For now, try and remember some of the games from those years and talk about them in the comments. What were some epic games you remember?

Fill out your bracket! See post below.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

WCP Cup Bracket

Anybody want to win $40?

In conjunction with March Madness, the Blog has decided to put up some prize money donated by 2 generous organizers. To win the money, all you have to do is fill out the attached form.

Click the picture and zoom for full size.

Entry is FREE into the bracket.

To complete: Fill in each group with the finishing order. Ex. Laos- 1, El Salvador 2, and so on, up to 6.
Write the team names in to the spots in the Quarter Finals, Semi Finals, and Final. Ex. A1- Laos.
Beside each Quarter Final is a number from 1 to 4. Those numbers correspond with the Semi Final game.
Write the winner of each Quarter Final in each numbered box.
Whoever wins Game #1 goes in the Semi Final Box labeled 1. Ex. 1 Laos
Then write what you think will be the score in the final. Ex. 3-2.

Entry is FREE. Total Prize: $40. All entries MUST be in before April 2,
and I’ll post all the brackets on the website so you know where you stand.
E-mail with your entry.
A couple ways to fill it out:
1. Print off the picture, fill it out, scan it, and e-mail it.
2. Go to a picture editor (Microsoft Paint), fill it out using the pencil tool, save it, and e-mail it.
3. Simply write me an e-mail or post a comment that contains all the relevant information contained in the form.

Point System: Groups: 1st place- 10 points, 2nd place- 8 points, 3rd place- 6 points, 4th place- 3 points, 5th place- 2 points, 6th place- 1 point

Each Quarter Final: 15 points

Each Semi Final: 20 points

Consolation Final: 25 points

Final: 30 points

Here's the pdf file as well. This is the easiest method to send it in. Download the file, go to the Tools tab. Click on "Typewriter" and then simply click and write anywhere on the document you want. When you save it, save it as a JPEG, and e-mail it in.


I look forward to seeing your entries.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

WCP Cup Schedule

Click on any picture to enlarge. Printable PDF version in links to the left.




Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Potential Finals, Women's Preview, Notes, Results, Etc.

----If it’s like last year, Group A should be taking on Group C, with Group B against Group D. So what might we be looking for the playoff round?

I especially like the possible matchups between Group B and D. We could see Ireland vs. Canada (a classic matchup), Germany vs. Norway (high-scoring group rivals last year), or Norway vs. Canada. Never mind the possibility that completely different teams could be in there, such as Jamaica, Poland and Ukraine. Going on my previous predictions, this could be the first year that the top 4 remain the same. The matchups would be Laos vs. Nigeria, France vs. El Salvador, Ireland vs. Germany and Norway vs. Canada.
Laos, assuming they finish first, would play second place in Group C, likely Nigeria. I would expect Laos to beat whoever comes out in second in Group C. France should be able to beat a weakened El Salvador team, if El Salvador can finish second. Ireland would be facing Germany, and Norway would face Canada. If all 4 teams from last year make it back to the final 4, there will be one major difference. They won’t play the same teams. Laos would likely go up against France, and Ireland would take on Canada (an Ireland vs. Norway semi-final would be very intriguing as well). In my opinion, that would take us to a France vs. Ireland final. And that would be a spectacular final. Anyway, that’s all just speculation. The tournament is crazier every year. There’s virtually no chance it works out like that, but you never know.

----The schedule comes out tomorrow. I’ll break it down, and give you a good idea of which days are best to come watch soccer. The ticket prices are very high, but you can a package that allows you to watch a certain number of games. That might be better and cheaper than a full tournament pass. We’ll find out when the schedule comes out. Stay tuned.

----Anyone have any updates on the alcoholic beverage situation? I’ve heard everything from beer carts to portable bars. Someone make an effort to find this out.

----Exhibition game result: Jamaica beat Afghanistan 6-1. While these are never very accurate of how a team will do in the tournament, it could show that Jamaica is starting to get their act together. Afghanistan went undefeated in their Men’s Division 4 League, but what does that mean? That’s Division 4. Many Division 2 teams would even struggle in the WCP Cup, so that doesn’t mean much. Afghanistan will need to be better.

----Women’s Preview: While not an expert on Women’s soccer, it is great to see so many teams practicing and trying to get a decent team together. The teams are pretty much unchanged from last year, except France has now become Poland, and Scotland is now Ireland. Let’s take a quick look at how it might shake down:

Group A- Led by Ukraine, Group A is probably the stronger of the two groups. Ukraine and England will battle it out for top spot, and that game should be the best of the tournament. Poland will be fishing for the upset here, and if they can pull off a win vs. either team, they’ll have a spot in the playoffs (barring a major collapse).
Group B- Germany leads this group, but the rest of the group is up in the air. Scotland, now Ireland, came out last year but got crushed in the playoffs. Chile can play with the likes of England, Germany and Ukraine, but they’ll need to rebound from last year’s disappointing performance.

Prediction: The groups are evenly matched this year, and England should be able to get revenge on Germany. Germany vs. England and Ukraine vs. Chile in the Semi-Finals, with Ukraine taking on England in the final. Just like the Men’s Side, anything can happen.

----Any ideas for the next poll?
Top Two Teams in Group D? Best Potential Final Matchups? Best Day to Watch Soccer (when schedule is out)? Biggest Sleeper Team? Let me know any suggestions in the comments.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Preview A Pool: Group D

Hang on, this is a long post. But you'll get a decent preview of each team in the group.

Group D

Summary: A difficult group? Look no further than Group D. 5 out of 6 teams can easily be considered contenders for the Championship. Canada first. Canada finished 4th last year, but were they really the 4th best team? Canada had arguably one of the easiest groups, with only Ireland as a real challenge. Canada actually managed to tie Botswana, and the best teams should not be tying Botswana. Then they proceeded to tie Ireland, and the best teams SHOULD be able to hang with Ireland. Consider the Botswana game a slip-up. Canada beat Poland in the quarters, and lost the champions, Laos, in the Semi-Finals. Not bad at all. The 3rd place blowout to France meant nothing. So what's in store for Canada this year? They are mostly comprised of players from Enter, the Regina Men's Top Division Winner. Enter has never been known to be a team with lots of skill, yet they consistently win. Canada takes on the same form as Enter. Every player works hard, in always in their position, and does their job. Not flashy, but it gets the job done. Every game involving Canada this year will be close, and will be a good game to watch. There won't be a collapse with this team.
Ukraine is made up of a lot of Yorkton players, a city with a lot of Ukrainian heritage. The Strikers, made up almost entirely of Yorkton players, finished 2nd in the Top Men's Division. They play in much the same way as Enter, not relying on single players to get the job done. In recent years, Ukraine has fallen off in terms of being able to compete with the elite teams, as France and Laos beat them handily in the group stage last year. The younger talent is starting to step up for them, and that could make a difference this year. Germany is the next team in the group, and they should be the main team that others are scared of in this group. Their goal-scoring ability is unmatched by any other team in this group, and maybe the tournament. They can rip goals in from anywhere and everywhere. Teams can't relax on them for a second. Canada and Ukraine specialize in keeping goals to a minimum, and if Germany can score quickly, these teams will be out of their element.
Their issue is getting their players caught up front, leaving them exposed to bad counter-attacks. If they have one weakness, that's it. One thing's for sure, Germany games will not lack excitement. Poland was a surprise team last year, rolling through their group with ease. They'll need to raise their game even more this year, because the group was quite easy last year. Nigeria was their only victory over a legitimately good team. While they've lost a good midfield player, they have gained other players that can pick up the slack and hopefully keep Poland strong. They've got great fan support, and now the big-game experience to go with it. But if one team is going to experience a major drop-off, I'd say it will be Poland. They'll have to bring the intensity every night, and I don't know if they can handle it as well as the previous 3 teams mentioned. Jamaica is often one of the more disappointing teams of the tournament, even though they are exciting and a really good team. Every year we hear about new players that are coming to play with them, and how they'll actually be there this time. I'll believe it when I see it. Having good players show up, without ever practicing with the team, for a couple games is no guarantee of any success. Jamaica does have a solid team, but they need to have a committed and consistent lineup that they can rely on. Teams have to work hard to win these games, and bringing in a couple good players who aren't very interested in it won't help. It's been the same for 3 years, so we'll see. Despite who shows up, Jamaica will have a strong midfield and striking force. They have holes at the back, and the midfield is often stuck hanging back to make sure teams aren't scoring on them, so their scoring potential is never fully realized. Once again, they'll be a very interesting team to follow anyway. Scotland rounds out the group, and they really don't stand a chance. They can't compete on the same level as these other teams. It's just unfortunate for them, this being the second year in a row it's happened. You can completely expect every team in this group to write off the Scotland game. But you know what? Scotland lost to Norway 3-4 last year, in the same type of group. A team tying or losing to Scotland here will be a dagger to any playoff hopes. I'm sure Scotland is praying that teams will take them very lightly, and you can bet they will. Watch for an upset.

Prediction: Who to take here? Canada can handle this tough type of group. So can Germany. Jamaica can, with the right team. It's a toss-up. I don't think any of these teams have improved substantially. I'll say Canada makes it out in first because they've got the players, team chemistry, and experience. They may not be the most talented, but can withstand the punishment of playing 5 tough games. I'll take Germany in second. My decision was really between Canada, Germany and Jamaica. I don't think Ukraine is on the same intensity level as these 3, and I think Poland will have a tough time in this group. It's incredibly tough to predict this group, and every single game will be great to watch. I've probably played against every player in this group, and I know we're in for some great soccer. I'm just going to sit back and enjoy it, because it will be awesome.

In Finishing Order: Canada, Germany, Jamaica, Ukraine, Poland, Scotland.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Preview A Pool: Group C

Group C

Summary: Group C plays out a lot like Group A and Group B. El Salvador SHOULD get second in Group A, Norway SHOULD get second in Group B, and Nigeria SHOULD get second in Group C. But in Group C, it's a lot murkier. France is back with a vengeance after being ousted by Ireland in the semi-final. They beat Laos fairly handily, and Laos ended up winning. The team remains the same, give or take a couple players. If the schedule works the way it did last year, France won't have to face Ireland until the final. And you can bet France will be bulldozing its way to the final. Botswana was up and down last year, playing Ireland a lot closer than expected and tying a strong Canada team, but they also lost to Columbia. They need some consistency if they have any hope of making it out of the group this year. Luckily for Botswana, the frontrunner for second place is Nigeria, the most inconsistent team in the tournament. Greece always shows up to play. They may not have the talent they once had, but they're Greek through and through, and a great addition to the tournament. A physical team, they'll have to rely on a compact defence to prevent any balls from getting through, because they lack scoring ability. Italy has been in the tournament for the last 4 years or so, and the result has always been the same. Never a contender, they play hard for pride and the occasional win. Attaining third in this group would be a great accomplishment. Nigeria. What can you say about them? Every year that they're expected to do good, they fall flat. Once you're down on them, they impress you. No one really knows what to expect from Nigeria, except the Nigerian team. They've been practicing hard for quite some time now. They did exceptionally well in the Regina Men's Tournament, reaching the final and narrowly losing to the O'Neill Alumni Team. They practice in the facility quite a bit(way more than any other team) and are scheduling exhibition games galore. You want a prepared team? Nigeria is it. They may not have the individual skills, but they'll play great as a team. Anything less than the semi-finals will be disappointing for them. Afghanistan is another up and down team, much like Botswana, but that's because the makeup of their team has changed so drastically from year to year. Rumor has it their team is on the rise, and could challenge Nigeria for that second spot. Before they can do that, they'll need to find a defence and some composure. They would concede a few goals, get a couple cards, then concede a few more goals. We'll see what they can come up with this year.

Prediction: France will easily sweep the group. Nigeria doesn't have the track record of El Salvador and Norway, so locking them in for 2nd place is a little tougher. However, I do expect their preparation to pay off and see them in the second round. The groups rarely turn out the way you'd expect, but these first three groups are pretty straightforward. Any upsets would be tremendous, and I hope I'm wrong on all these predictions for that reason. Botswana and Afghanistan are the next best teams, and will battle it out for third. Italy and Greece will bring up the rear.

In Finishing Order: France, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Botswana, Italy, Greece.

Preview A Pool: Group B

Group B
Republic of Ireland
Sierra Leone

Summary:Ireland leads the way in group B. Ireland has consistently gotten an easy group at the draw, and this year is no different. Fielding another dominant team, Ireland has too much skill at every position to not win this group. But Ireland relies heavily on Saskatoon players, and the uncertainty of who will play on any given night could hurt them. They could also be becoming disheartened, as there was talk that Ireland wouldn't even enter a team. Norway was able to make it out of a group last year that included El Salvador, Germany, and Jamaica. Not an easy task. However, Norway can be exposed on defence, and they don't have premier striking ability. Hustle, strong midfield play, and hard work are Norway's attributes in this tournament, not necessarily skill. Serbia was in the easiest pool last year, and only finished 4th in the pool. We've seen them bring in a couple good players from Winnipeg in the past, but there were none last year. If they've convinced some good players to join them, they'll have a chance. Again, another good group for the weaker teams to be in. Sierra Leone is a newcomer, and I know nothing about them. But I REALLY hope they come in with a good team. Portugal was usually a good team, but then last year took a nosedive. They aren't expected to regain their former glory, mainly due to losing a lot of players. They used a lot of players from the Moose Jaw Air Base, but many of those players were transferred before last year. What we might see this year is a much younger Portugal team. A lot of the younger players have ties to some Portugal players, and likely will be recruited by them. If that's the case, Portugal will be a fairly decent team. England is the final team in this group, and while they're not expected to win many games, it sure would be nice to see them play hard and take it to one of the top teams.

Ireland has to be considered the favorite to win all of their games and make it out of the pool. I think they'll get tested by Norway, but ultimately prevail. Norway will make them work very hard for the win, because Norway fits the definition of "playing together as a team," but they don't have the talent to stop Ireland from scoring multiple goals. Norway can win, but it will take a flawless effort. Serbia, Sierra Leone, and England will try and put a dent in Norway's and Ireland's hopes, but it is unlikely. Portugal will have a decent showing, assuming they field the type of team I believe they will. The younger players are often counted out because we don't really know who they are, but they can provide very good reinforcements for a team. If you know of one, I suggest getting them on your team.

In Finishing Order:
Ireland, Norway, Portugal, Sierra Leone, England, Serbia.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Preview A Pool: Group A

Group A
El Salvador
Northern Ireland

Summary: Laos is looking to defend their title this year, and at first glance, it doesn't seem like they'll have any difficulty at all in getting back to the playoffs. Laos is far and away the most talented and experienced team in the group. El Salvador, after a great showing 2 years ago, wasn't able to make it past France and Laos in their group last year. This year, El Salvador could be hurting even more, by losing some of the younger and talented players to the University Final timeframe and other issues. El Salvador will be hard-pressed to put together a team capable of beating a top team.
Austria has always been a fighter in the tournament, but never had the skills to overcome the best teams. They work hard and score some goals, but can't put together the total effort needed to win. If it's true that they're losing their keeper to Norway, it will be a huge blow to their team. Sudan is a newcomer, and it's always tough to judge how newcomers will do(ex. Afghanistan 2 years ago). Sudan will get acquainted very quickly with the close quarters and physical style of this tournament. They might be bringing some skilled players, but if you haven't played in this tournament before, you're in for some trouble. Columbia has always been like Austria...they'll make a team work for the win. You can't just show up. Northern Ireland has been a strong team in the past, but they seem to have slowed down. The thing is, if they're going to get back on track, this is the group to do it in.

Laos should easily win the group, barring a stellar performance by El Salvador. El Salvador is the real wild card here. If they don't show up with a decent team, this group is wide open. Austria, Sudan, Columbia, and Northern Ireland can duke it out for the rest of the spots. If one of these 4 teams can dominate the other ones, they'll have a good shot at El Salvador for 2nd.

In finishing order: Laos, El Salvador, Columbia, Northern Ireland, Sudan, Austria

Women's and Youth Pools


Group A

Group B
El Salvador

Youth Girls:
El Salvador

Youth Boys:

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Men's Groups

The draw last night was exciting as always, and the big topic of discussion is, as usual, Group D. The group of death. It's a curse. And every single game will be very exciting in that group. It also brings up the discussion of further seeding...maybe seed the top 8 teams? Discuss it in the comments if you want.

Also note that commenting on this site has changed. Comments will be moderated by me before they are made public.

Group A
El Salvador
Northern Ireland

Group B
Republic of Ireland
Sierra Leone

Group C

Group D

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Rules and Regulations- An In-Depth Look

The draw is TOMORROW at 9:30. Be there.

*I would also ask that anyone receiving e-mails from the WCP Organizing Committee please forward them to Repeated attempts to contact the Committee to get information for the public have proved useless. Thanks.

The rules and regulations are available online here: Take a look at the player transfer requirements.

"Player movement will be restricted taking into consideration the 2010 WCP Cup Rosters. Any Player who
participated in the 2010 WCP Cup (“Original Team”) may not register with a Nation team in the 2011 WCP Cup
that is different from the one participated with during the 2010 WCP Cup (“New Team”) unless:
(a) The Original Team is not participating in the 2011 WCP Cup;
(b) The Original Team has cut/released the Player and the Original Team Coach/Management signs a
declaration form to that effect and provides said form to the Player. The Player/New Team will
require this signed form to register the Player. Any Original Team refusing to sign a release form for
a Player will be required to register that Player and provide him with the chance to participate in the
2011 WCP Cup;
(c) The Player can demonstrate that he has a higher percentage of Heritage with the New Team. The
onus to demonstrate Heritage remains at all times on the Player; or
(d) The Player or New Team pays to the WCP Cup Organization/Registration Committee a Player
Transfer fee in the amount of $200.00."

Star player requirements are gone for this year. It seems as though any player, heritage or non-heritage, has to pay the $200 transfer fee. But what about the part in the rules where it says: The Player can demonstrate that he has a higher percentage of Heritage with the New Team.? Any non-heritage player could simply say they were 25% of the new country's heritage, and avoid the fee. Since they would have been 0% heritage as a star player, it's easy to transfer. There's still ways around the heritage requirements, but this is a good start for the WCP Cup. Now that teams are finally fairly evenly distributed, the $200 transfer fee will be a small way of discouraging players to switch teams. Not much, but it's something.

See you at the draw!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Men's Preview

The WCP Cup draw is coming up soon! February 18th! See the post below for details.

Note: Women's preview and Youth previews to follow.

So, it's almost time. Let's get some talk going. The Men's side is looking at 4 groups of 6 this year, assuming Sudan and Somalia are allowed in. But with 24 teams, what are we looking at talent-wise?

How about this? We assign each team a grade between 1 and 5? 5 is the best, 1 is the worst. This is an exercise to see how many good teams we actually have, and how many good matchups we can actually get. We want to get a general sense of the competition out there.

1. Afghanistan-2
2. Austria-2
3. Botswana-2
4. Canada-5
5. Colombia-2
6. El Salvador-4
7. England-1
8. France-5
9. Germany-5
10. Greece-2
11. Ireland-5
12. Italy-1
13. Jamaica-3
14. Laos-5
15. Nigeria-4
16. Northern Ireland-2
17. Norway-4
18. Poland-5
19. Portugal-3
20. Scotland-1
21. Serbia-2
22. Ukraine-3
23. Sudan-new-1
24. Somalia-new-1

While these 1-5 scores can obviously be disputed, it gives you a general sense of the competition.

- The 5's are clearly contenders, and given the talent they displayed last year, as well as improvement, these teams are expected to advance into the final stages. Unless they meet each other(and some clearly will), they should place in the top 4.
The 5's are Canada, France, Germany, Poland, Ireland, and Laos.

-The 4's are also contenders, but need improvement and a bit of luck to be in the medal round. The 4's are very good teams on the cusp of becoming a top contender. The 4's are El Salvador, Nigeria and Norway. El Salvador lost a lot of their strength last year from being a 5, Nigeria has improved considerably from last year, and Norway is almost there. They're oh-so-close.

-The 3's are good teams, and they're usually the team that the 4's and 5's are scared to face. They clearly have skill and talent, but don't gel well enough together to beat the best. Expect some 3's and 2's to upset 4's and 5's. Jamaica, Portugal and Ukraine are the 3's.

-The 2's aren't that bad, but their fight isn't to get out of the group. It's to give teams good games, and hope to come out with a win or 2 somewhere along the line. The 2's are Afghanistan, Austria, Botswana, Colombia, Greece, Northern Ireland, and Serbia.

-The 1's just aren't good enough. They're here to participate in a great tournament and have some fun while doing so. It's not every day you get to play with the best soccer players in the province and be a part of a great tournament. The 1's are Italy, England, Scotland, Sudan and Somalia.


So what do we get out of this?

5- 6 teams
4- 3 teams
3- 3 teams
2- 7 teams
1- 5 teams

The winner will come from the 4's and 5's. If they don't, it will be the craziest tournament EVER. Anyway, it's a fairly even distribution. Exactly half the teams (12) can be considered quality teams, therefore they would be a good matchup. I don't know where Sudan and Somalia got the players to form 2 more teams, but good on them for joining up.

If the teams are evenly distributed (they rarely are...Group of Death anyone?), then we'd have 3 quality teams in each group. That's a pretty good number.

Thoughts anyone?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Another News Update

-For all teams, you should have at least 10 representatives in team colors at the draw. Doors open at 9:30, and the draw won't begin until all team representatives have signed in and collected their draw envelopes(Not applicable for Youth teams).

-Schedule will be released on March 2nd

-A lot of teams have registered this year, and on the Men's Side we're looking at potentially 24 teams. Newcomers include Somalia and Sudan.

-The Women's Side is looking at 10 teams, with Ireland and Poland as the newcomers.

-Youth Girls will have 5 teams, and Youth Boys will have 6 teams.

-The first day for the WCP Cup is April 2nd, NOT April 3rd as previously mentioned.

-Opening ceremonies are being held at a different date than April 2nd, at a date to be confirmed later. They might be held on the April 1st evening.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Alright, Let's Do This!

Ok everybody, it's time!

Dates have been confirmed for the WCP Cup, and it'll run from April 3 - 23. The draw will be held on Friday, February 18, at the Italian Club.

Head on over to and check out their Sights and Sounds videos so you can get pumped for the return of that incredible atmosphere.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Hey Everyone! Update!'s almost time to start this thing up again.

The BIG news is that the tournament is starting earlier this. But that's all we've got on that right now.

Check out the new commenting format as well, it's now slightly easier to comment on posts around here.

As teams start getting together, I'm sure we'll have more news for you.